Thursday, October 30, 2014

Video Versions of my Blogposts

I decided to do video versions of some of my blogposts. This one is an intro of sorts on the sweeping generalizations that usually seem to follow our bygone eras around. I had to do a lot of research for my book series (a fantasy/horror/gothic series called The Birthrite Series) and will be covering more of what I introduce and mention in this video in future ones (and blogposts):




And here is the Leahmouse video titled "What Goth is NOT" (I know I've posted this one several times before but it is an excellent video:





And while I always encourage others to do their own research, here are a few starting points:

Female Authors/Writers Throughout History (dating back to Antiquity):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_writers_by_historical_period

http://mikeswritingworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/03/25-female-writers-who-changed-history.html

Romani (aka "Gypsy") Slavery and Persecution:
http://www.varromskahistoria.se/en/500-years-slavery

http://www.academia.edu/1132654/Gypsy_Slavery_in_Wallachia_and_Moldavia

http://romediafoundation.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/roma-slavery-in-the-romanian-territories-a-catch-22-of-history-and-recognition/

Irish Slavery:
http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-the-forgotten-white-slaves-says-expert-john-martin-188645531-237793261.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves/31076

Zane Grey (Author and supporter of the Native Americans, namely the Navajo):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zane_Grey

http://www.zanegreyinc.com/

The Vanishing American (Zane Grey's book about a Navajo man that was first published as a serial in The Ladies Home Journal in 1922):
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/121218.The_Vanishing_American

The Vanishing American (film adaptation of Grey's book that was made in 1925 in conjunction with the serial release. It also has Geronimo's grandson in a prominent supporting role, casts other native and aboriginal people, and also portrays an interracial love story):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vanishing_American

And a little something more you don't usually hear about:
unknownmisandry.blogspot.com

If you enjoyed this video, like, share, and subscribe! :)



I'll also be posting some news here soon. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HAUNTED ATTRACTION REVIEW: Castle Blood


Autumn/Halloween is my favorite season and time of the year. Of course, a large reason for this is the fall festivals and haunted attractions that open up for business now. When I was in college, I used to go with friends to every haunted attraction in the area we could possibly get to. Nowadays with pesky things called 'adult responsibilities,' I consider getting to at least two attractions a good Halloween (if I can do three it's a bonus).

Those of you who have been following my writing and blogging in recent years have likely seen me mention Castle Blood on more than one occasion as it is on my 'must go to' list during the Halloween season. Last night (Saturday night), some friends and I visited their brand new location, which is none other than a 100-year-old three generation funeral home.

Here is my video interview with the owner, Rick (aka Gravely MacCabre) from back in September. Here, we discuss what's in store for the attraction's new home:



So very quickly, what is Castle Blood, you ask?  Well, it is an award-winning attraction in Monessan, PA that is in its 21st year running. It is a live action, interactive tour with a different built in story every year. In fact, here is the description from their website, CastleBlood.com :

"We have an interactive storyline, and a game or challenge to send our patrons on each year.
The story changes from year to year, however it always remains true to our basic legend and the characters of the castle. You will take your time going through with your guide. So you’ll see everything. And everything will see you.
Depending on the Creatures you encounter, and what ‘denizens’ are in the Castle, your tour can even change from night to night." 

Instead of chainsaw wielding guys in masks, you are more likely to encounter the more classic, gothic creature such as a ghost, vampire, werewolf, and maybe a zombie or two. Fans of the classic Universal horror pictures, Hammer films, or the original Dark Shadows will very likely dig it. :)

I don't want to give away too much of the new location as it truly is an experience to be had. But I will say that the rather large old funeral home offers the cast and crew much more possibilities. Never seen before rooms and special effects have been added and according to one of the cast members, there is still more to come (which I look forward to seeing next year)! The crew did an excellent job with putting it all together in the short time they had and I look forward to seeing where it will all go. Yes, the old funeral home is certainly a great fit for them.

There is still time to get out to Castle Blood this Halloween but if for any reason you do not make it, check out their other seasonal events, including their Spooky Cryptmas (Christmas), Bloody Valentine's Day, and Midsummer Nightmare!
They also have an awesome gift shop complete with Midnight Syndicate CDs, whose music they license to enhance the already spooky atmosphere. :)



Official Site:
Castle Blood

My Castle Blood Articles on Ravenous Monster Webzine:
 Castle Blood: A Different Kind of Scare
Castle Blood: Halloween the Way It Ought to Be...Inside A 100-Year-Old Funeral Home

Highlighted Footage from an Interview with Rick (aka Gravely MacCabre):









October is not only Halloween, but also my birthday month! I'm also going to be releasing my first full length novel, Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and The Twisting House (Stories from Colony Drive, #4) very soon.
So in celebration of all that, I'm offering the three stories available in the Stories from Colony Drive Series for free on Smashwords. You can already download #1 (Cemetery by the Lake) and #3 (Romancing Elena) free, and until November 5, Dusk to Dawn (Story #2) is also free with a coupon code.

So on the Smashwords Dusk to Dawn page, enter the following coupon code at checkout:
RY63B

And then download The Cemetery by the Lake and Romancing Elena for free. :)

Then if you don't mind, rate and review on Smashwords and Goodreads , whether you loved them, sort of liked them or they weren't your thing.

Thanks everyone and Happy Halloween! :)

PS- Smashwords offers formats for pretty much any computer or e-reader. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Book Drive Book Haul and Small Rant. :)

Hey all!

Sorry it's been a while since my last video. Busy with filming, writing, and music though I will try being more consistent again. :)
Recently, my local library had a charity book drive and I scored some pretty good deals!  And there is a small rant woven in (sorry, can't help it). :)



 Feel free to visit my YouTube Channel and subscribe!


And Until November 5:

October is not only Halloween, but also my birthday month! I'm also going to be releasing my first full length novel, Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and The Twisting House (Stories from Colony Drive, #4) very soon.
So in celebration of all that, I'm offering the three stories available in the Stories from Colony Drive Series for free on Smashwords. You can already download #1 (Cemetery by the Lake) and #3 (Romancing Elena) free, and until November 5, Dusk to Dawn (Story #2) is also free with a coupon code.

So on the Smashwords Dusk to Dawn page, enter the following coupon code at checkout:
RY63B

And then download The Cemetery by the Lake and Romancing Elena for free. :)

Then if you don't mind, rate and review on Smashwords and Goodreads , whether you loved them, sort of liked them or they weren't your thing.

Thanks everyone and Happy Halloween! :)

PS- Smashwords offers formats for pretty much any computer or e-reader. :)
 





If you would like to join our community and receive content exclusive to email, join our little tribe and Subscribe to my Messages from the Labyrinth Mailing List.. We promise to never share your info or spam you. Ever.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new vlogging updates.


******

My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
and Amazon
"The Cemetery by the Lake" at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
"Dusk to Dawn" at Smashwords
Tiffany on Goodreads
My music is also available at CDBaby
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Interview with Michael Wade Johnson of Faux Pas Films



My relationship with Faux Pas Films started back in 2012 when I was approached by Michael Wade Johnson to do a cameo in their dark drama,  Cyclical Effect. They also ended up using my song, "Ghost" in the film. The next project of theirs that I was involved with was 2013's Ovulation in which my song, "Ashes to Dust" was used. Since then, they have kept busy and are currently filming their latest project, Candie's Harem. So read on! :)

TA: So, what have you all been up to since the last time we talked?

MWJ: Films, films, and more films! After finishing "Ovulation", I wrote and directed "Incorporeal" and then a little short called "Attritional" while at the same time helping with tons of other projects like "The Dirty Sanchez". That and raising my soon-to-be 1 year old daughter, Adora, who is my brightest light imaginable.



TA: Now, you completed a new film titled "Candie's Harem." Can you give us a little synopsis (without giving it completely away, of course)?

MWJ: Well, actually we are in pre-production for the film right now and starting production in the upcoming weeks. We recently started an Indiegogo campaign (http://igg.me/at/candiesharem) to help with additional funds for the film. The film is massive and impossible to make on my usual no budget formula. I'm digressing though. The film is a whodunit horror murder mystery set in a more erotic kind of theme. I grew up on the old "everyone's a red herring" kind of films and thus I wanted to incorporate my own version. It's about Candie, a beautiful bisexual who has a string of lovers and none of them are aware of the others. She thinks she has the perfect set up until her lovers start dying off one by one. Who is murdering Candie's Harem? Find out.



TA: It looks pretty interesting, from what I've seen. Where did the idea for the plotline come from?

MWJ: Well, I wrote the screenplay way back in 2007. Basically I wanted to write a story that keeps you guessing while at the same time being edgy and provocative. It has horror, it has drama, it has the blood and the boobs, but it also has a lot of philosophy and cerebral moments and takes you on an emotional journey with a definite character arc.

TA: What type of audience would you recommend it for?

MWJ: Old school horror fans and adults who enjoy the slasher/murder mysteries. It does have a strong sexual theme with nudity and adult language, so anyone who likes the dark, hard R rated horror films.

TA: Any interesting behind the scenes stories you would like to share with our lovely readers?

MWJ: Nothing yet but I'm sure we'll have plenty by the time we wrap production. The scenarios in the film are sure to make the laughter ensue BTS.



TA: When can we expect it out as far as a premiere of a release goes?

MWJ: Everything should be complete by April 2015. Then we'll see where it goes. Most likely a festival run and then a DVD release.

TA: Finally, what's next for you guys?

MWJ: Pretty busy stuff as always. Up next will be a Horror/Comedy/Musical called "The Non Gratas", then I have an untitled Anthology in the works, and after that, we'll be making a remake of my first film "Brimstone" just in time for it's 10th year anniversary. Never a dull moment in the indie film scene!



 Definitely never a dull moment! :) So check out Faux Pas Films and Candie's Harem on Facebook:

And check out their Indiegogo Campaign

And last but not least, just say no to censorship. :)




ONE LAST SIDE NOTE:  I am offering all three short stories in the Stories from Colony Drive series for free until November 5 on Smashwords (which offers a format for pretty much any type of pc or e-reader). You can already download The Cemetery by the Lake (Story #1) and Romancing Elena (Story # 3) free. In order to get Dusk to Dawn (Story #2) as a free download throughout this month, visit the story's page and enter the following coupon code at checkout:
RY63B

And after you've read them, feel free to leave a review at Smashwords and/or on Goodreads, whether you loved them, sort of liked them, or they weren't your thing. :)
Thanks all!



If you would like to join our community and receive content exclusive to email, join our little tribe and Subscribe to my Messages from the Labyrinth Mailing List.. We promise to never share your info or spam you. Ever.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new vlogging updates.


******

My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
and Amazon
"The Cemetery by the Lake" at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
"Dusk to Dawn" at Smashwords
Tiffany on Goodreads
My music is also available at CDBaby
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon, Part 1

As I implied in my recent review of Jenny Trout's The Boss, I avoided reading Fifty Shades of Grey until I was finally able to one day admit to myself that I was in fact curious over seeing what the hype was about. I was already horrified by the atrocious writing and grammar in the excerpts I read, however, it really isn't fair to judge something unless you actually have given it a try.

So I did read the books and to be very frank, this was pretty much my expression after finishing the final sentence in the first Fifty Shades book:



It took me nearly a month to finish. Now mind you, I read Stephen King's "It", a 1000+ page book, cover to cover within a week. So that says something right there.

After struggling so much through the story I almost through the book across the room reading all three books, I came to the following conclusion: I could understand how fans of this series might find it entertaining or some kind of escape. After all, that is the very reason why many romance readers enjoy the genre. What I don't understand, though, is how this particular series was a phenomenon to the point where sexless marriages were supposedly being revived and women were "finding their sexuality again". While this in itself is not a bad thing (I also don't know what the situations of these women were, so it probably isn't fair for me to be too judgemental), I couldn't help feeling slightly disturbed and a little confused over the fact that this particular book series was doing it. Not only that, but also going beyond being a mere escape or fantasy. For some, it was becoming a way of life. Seriously?
My reason for asking is the simple fact that erotica is nothing new. In fact, it has been around in the form of literature and art for thousands of years (just google "Vintage Erotica", "The Kama Sutra" as only two examples of this). Contrary to what many Fifty Shades fans seem to want to believe (and a friend of mine who owns a bookstore also confirmed that many fans of the series do believe such a thing), erotica and BDSM were NOT invented by E.L. James. Even in times when society was (seemingly) outwardly repressed, many were getting their freak on (for shits and giggles and as an interesting side note, check out Cracked.com's 5 Ridiculous Sex Myths About History You Probably Believe ...yep, 'tis a sad day when a humor site tells more historical truths than the average "credible" source) and exhibitionists like the Marquis de Sade also existed. Even earlier were the exhibitionists of the Roman Empire. There was also fetish clothing and BDSM gear made in the 1920s (and probably earlier) along with the publishing of novels like Lady Chatterley's Lover (published in 1928), The Awakening (published in 1899), and The Story of O (published in 1954).
So despite all this and more, I have to sit and wonder why a Twilight alternative universe fanfiction turned somewhat naughty is being hailed as a pioneer of sorts when it really isn't? And I say 'somewhat' because the sex scenes that are supposed to be so groundbreaking were actually pretty tame with the exception of the infamous tampon scene (and to me, that particular scene came across as the author trying too hard to be 'shocking').

On another note, I have said before that I do agree with those who say that Fifty Shades not only misrepresents the BDSM scene, but romanticizes abusive relationships. I won't get into this too much (not this time, at least), because it has already been been well-said:

Jenny Trout
Alys B. Cohen
Fifty Shades of Abuse



In this second video, the reviewer also discusses the (mis)usage of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles in Fifty Shades which I will get into later in this post. I will also add as a side note that I normally do not condone the destroying of books, but I understand her rage here. This review apparently also had several FSOG fans severely butthurt. And any post, article, or video that leaves the bleeding hearts of the world butthurt always end up being my favorites.



I will also concur that when reading a story in which the man who is supposed to be the romantic hero is triggering memories of a previously bad and abusive relationship (which did happen to me as I read FSOG) definitely poses a problem. And when you see women everywhere are holding him as the ideal man? Even more troubling.

Anytime Fifty Shades of Grey is bought up, I often mention Jenny Trout's/Abigail Barnette's The Boss (along with her FSOG recaps which I think are spot on). What I like about this series is the fact that it challenges reader on many levels to step outside the box of what is considered 'acceptable' in a romance story or even erotica. And yes, some may find them uncomfortable to read. Do I enjoy everything about The Boss? No, but I think you'll have that with most forms of entertainment you consume. As I've stated before, The Boss offers a far more realistic vision of a BDSM relationship. It demonstrates the lifestyle as being one of respect and trust. It demonstrates that if you find someone who is new to the scene (as Ana is in Fifty Shades and Sophie is in The Boss), you slowly work them in to not only ensure their comfort but also determine what they are okay with and what they are not. Neil does this with Sophie (The Boss) and Christian fails to do this with Ana (Fifty Shades). Most importantly, you DO NOT abandon the submissive with no after care the way Christian does more than once with Ana.
I also took issue with Ana being held up as a 'strong woman' by readers and even the author herself (throughout the series, we are CONSTANTLY told how strong, beautiful, smart, courageous, etc Ana is) despite her actions completely contradicting that. Interestingly, I've actually read of stronger female characters in historical novels and novels written centuries ago.
Now, I've stated before my dislike of the misuse of classic novels in recent contemporary fiction in my essay on how Twilight and now the forthcoming After horribly misuses Wuthering Heights, one of my all time favorite books. Oh, the humanity. E.L. James also insists on doing this with Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I came across this pretty awesome comparison of Tess of the D'Urbervilles vs. Fifty Shades of Grey courtesy of the blog, Jane Eyre's Legacy:

What does Tess of the D'Urbervilles Have in Common with Fifty Shades?

Interesting quotes from that very blogpost: "The crucial different between the two texts is in the female’s response to intimidating behavior.Tess rebuffs Alec and only succumbs when the livelihood of her family is at stake. Anastasia succumbs because she falls for Christian’s intimidation tactics."

"Fifty Shades of Grey, whether we like it or not, through its phenomenal sales, shows us how intimidation and stalking have been normalized to such an extent that the extremes are now considered a sexual fantasy. We have come to the point where the same actions Alec D’Urberville perpetrated on Tess – stalking, intimidation, and coercion – are seen as romantic overtures."

Reading this also makes you wonder if perhaps those of centuries passed were more self aware than many of us in the 21st century. As far as I know, not many women were falling all over themselves to call Alec D'Urberville the 'ideal man' when Hardy's book came out in the 1800s.

There are many layers to the Fifty Shades phenomenon to explore and delving into them further just might be in store for future posts. :)


ONE LAST SIDE NOTE:  I am offering all three short stories in the Stories from Colony Drive series for free until November 5 on Smashwords (which offers a format for pretty much any type of pc or e-reader). You can already download The Cemetery by the Lake (Story #1) and Romancing Elena (Story # 3) free. In order to get Dusk to Dawn (Story #2) as a free download throughout this month, visit the story's page and enter the following coupon code at checkout:
RY63B

And after you've read them, feel free to leave a review at Smashwords and/or on Goodreads, whether you loved them, sort of liked them, or they weren't your thing. :)
Thanks all!



If you would like to join our community and receive content exclusive to email, join our little tribe and Subscribe to my Messages from the Labyrinth Mailing List.. We promise to never share your info or spam you. Ever.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new vlogging updates.


******

My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
and Amazon
"The Cemetery by the Lake" at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
"Dusk to Dawn" at Smashwords
Tiffany on Goodreads
My music is also available at CDBaby
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Free Short Stories Throughout October. :)

October is not only Halloween, but also my birthday month! I'm also going to be releasing my first full length novel, Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and The Twisting House (Stories from Colony Drive, #4) very soon.
So in celebration of all that, I'm offering the three stories available in the Stories from Colony Drive Series for free on Smashwords. You can already download #1 (Cemetery by the Lake) and #3 (Romancing Elena) free, and until November 5, Dusk to Dawn (Story #2) is also free with a coupon code.

So on the Smashwords Dusk to Dawn page, enter the following coupon code at checkout:
RY63B

And then download The Cemetery by the Lake and Romancing Elena for free. :)

Then if you don't mind, rate and review on Smashwords and Goodreads , whether you loved them, sort of liked them or they weren't your thing.

Thanks everyone and Happy Halloween! :)

PS- Smashwords offers formats for pretty much any computer or e-reader. :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Playing With Blood...

...on the set of The Downfall of Mr. Difford in Corland, OH. :)

On the open road...

 


Before the fun began...







 (I have no idea why Matt's photo is uploading sideways to the blog. Just pretend it's vertical)


Let the bloodletting begin...

 











The aftermath (you can still kind of see the "bullet wound" in my neck)...


The drive home...









THE END

There is a tentative release date for the film in either December 2014 or January 2015. I will post more info once I have a definite date. :)


If you would like to join our community and receive content exclusive to email, join our little tribe and Subscribe to my Messages from the Labyrinth Mailing List.. We promise to never share your info or spam you. Ever.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new vlogging updates.


******

My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
and Amazon
"The Cemetery by the Lake" at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
"Dusk to Dawn" at Smashwords
Tiffany on Goodreads
My music is also available at CDBaby
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound