Saturday, February 28, 2015

First Two Birthrite Series Books Available in Paperback :)

Hey all! I'm excited to announce that the hard copies of Descent and Sacred Atonement: A Novelette WILL be available starting March 1! And as long as the USPS is on my side, I will have copies at my Horror Realm Con table. I will also be running a special throughout March: buy Descent for $12.00 and get Sacred Atonement for free (I'll go into further detail on a future posting).
Today and tomorrow is also your last chance to get the Descent ebook for free at Smashwords by placing in the following coupon code at checkout:
XS25J
Smashwords also can convert to almost any e-reader or pc. :)

Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) at Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499587

I plan to be back to regular blogging next week. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Descent and Sacred Atonement Hard Copies on the Way!

Welp, it's official. I've submitted the proofs for the Descent and Sacred Atonement hard copies! Once they are approved (I'll know within 24 hours) they will start being available. smile emoticon I will also be running a special during their first month out, so stay tuned.

As for other postings here, I plan to have the next Vixen recap on Monday. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why Shit's Not Getting Blogged This Week

Hey all,

Just a short posting on reasons for my lack of blogging this week.

I'm in the process of finishing up the formatting for the hard copies of Descent and Sacred Atonement. I'm really pushing to get the interior complete so that I may work with my graphics person extraordinaire, Rowen Poole, to then get the covers made up.
I'm pushing to have these hard copies available in time for March, and if all goes well, hopefully before February is even over.

I'm also editing a project for another author and trying to get an anthology (that I'm a part of) formatted. I'm also finishing the website for my film, "Driving Nowhere."

I plan to have at least most of this complete by the time this weekend is out. Therefore, next week should bring back my normal blogging schedule, including another Vixen recap (I believe we are back in Clara's head for Chapter 5, so it should be a lot less painful).

So thanks for your patience during my very busy week! :)

In the meantime, Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) is available for free at Smashwords until March 1.
After visiting the Descent Smashwords page and clicking the Buy button, type in or paste the following coupon code at checkout:

XS25J

Thanks all, and I'll be back to blogging next week. :)


Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Cemetery by the Lake Audiobook Available!


The audiobook version of The Cemetery by the Lake is now available on Soundcloud. Narrated by the author and Engineered by Rowen Poole at StarGlider Studios. Have a listen. It's free. :)


A recurring dream of an old abandoned graveyard by a lake fills Jane's nights with restless unease. On the last day of her freshman year at college, she takes a drive to her family's former vacation spot in the Pocono Mountains with the intention of facing old demons.
Upon her arrival, she feels the comfort and belonging that was there for her as a child. But on that early spring afternoon, a sense of foreboding leads her to a clearing that is all too familiar.
And it has far more in store for her than a childhood fear...

The Cemetery by the Lake is the first in the Stories from Colony Drive series, a series of connected short stories that take place in Northeastern Pennsylvania.





Saturday, February 14, 2015

Made In Heaven: A Birthrite Series Short is Available at Smashwords

Happy Valentines Day!
My new Birthrite Series Short, "Made In Heaven" is now available as a free download on Smashwords​.
"Made In Heaven" is a short story/missing scene from the novel "Descent ( The Birthrite Series​, #1) and a spin off for the characters Reginald and Gail.





 I will warn that for those of you who have NOT read "Descent," there are some minor spoilers in "Made In Heaven".
However, if you have read "Descent" or haven't but aren't bothered by spoilers, then read on.
Also remember that "Descent" is free throughout the month of February with the following coupon code (type or paste it in at checkout after clicking the Buy button):

XS25J

And for those opting for the hard copy of "Descent," "Made In Heaven" will be included at the end of the hard copy. So no one will miss a thing. :)

Happy reading!



MADE IN HEAVEN Smashwords page:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/519495

DESCENT Smashwords page (so you can take advantage of the coupon code):
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499587

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What's Happening Over Here

Hey all,

I'll be getting to Chapter 5 of the Vixen recap asap. I do have a lot going on over here at the moment now, so just bear with me. :)

- Yesterday after logging into my Twitter account, I found out that someone nominated this blog for a Shorty Award! I'm still in the process of getting my profile completely set there, but here is my Shorty Award profile. While I'm not necessarily expecting to win (though that would be awesome) because there are a TON of amazing blogs out there, I am flattered that someone out there thinks highly enough of my ranting, raving, and ramblings. I'll repost the link to my profile on their site once it's all set up. :)

- Last year, I recorded an audiobook version of my free short story, The Cemetery by the Lake. My original plan was to have it up on Amazon, but as I thought on it, the story is already hanging out for free at various retailers. Plus, it was my first time doing an audiobook, so it was more of an experiment of sorts. Plus, it's a short story. Therefore, I just didn't feel right charging people for it. I am planning on releasing my Colony Drive Short Story Series (of which Cemetery is a part) as an anthology, as well as the single stories (more info on that later), so perhaps then I will also produce a complete audiobook anthology.
But for now, the Cemetery audiobook will be free on my Soundcloud page (a sample of the audiobook is already there) starting next week. I will make an announcement here and at my website when it is released.

- Don't forget that Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) is also free on Smashwords until March 1. All you have to do is click the 'Buy' button on the Descent Smashwords page and either type or paste the following coupon code at check out:

XS25J

- I'm also at work on the Descent and Sacred Atonement hard copies and plan to have those available in March.

- And speaking of The Birthrite Series, I announced last night on my Twitter account that I will be releasing deleted scenes from the books, posting them on this blog (think of them as previews for the series). Post of those scenes will be random. I will also be getting the Spotify playlist together starting next week. :)

- On the music front, stay tuned for a new Living Room Session at my YouTube Channel (and probably Soundcloud page) and a song for a new film being put out by my friends at Ghost Walk Films.

Well, that's it for now. Made in Heaven: A Birthrite Series Short is also to be released on Valentines Day. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

VIXEN (THE FLAPPERS, #1) RECAP: CHAPTER 4 or "Just Shut Up, Gloria. Please. Shut UP"

And we're back.

A lot longer than I intended, but I'm still going at this. I will give a heads up: this chapter irritated me so much that I had to listen to either something full of rage or soothing as I did this. I opted for something soothing. So imagine the beautiful sounds of Loreena McKennitt playing in the background as you follow along.



In the last recap, we had a chance to be inside Lorraine's head as she watched Gloria get her hair bobbed. We also got to learn how wonderful and beautiful and great and amazing and breathtaking Gloria is. Now we're back inside Gloria's head with chapter 4. Joy!

Now, if you're just joining us, here are the first three chapter recaps to catch you up before you continue with this one:

Prologue and Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Moving on to Chapter 4 which should just be called Shut the Hell Up, Gloria.

And it starts off with a bang. 

Gloria was hungry. She focused on cutting her crab-stuffed mushroom into tiny pieces, avoiding eye contact with everyone at the dining room table. She could feel all their judgmental stares--her mother's, cousin's, and fiance's--burning a hole through her bob.

That first paragraph actually wouldn't be so bad if that first sentence wasn't so out of place. Instead, something like Gloria sat at the dinner table, wishing the ground would swallow her up as she focused on cutting her crab-stuffed mushroom into tiny pieces might have been more effective. With everything that happened (the next paragraph basically describes how all hell broke loose in the house when Gloria arrived home with her bobbed hair), it might be more realistic for her to be so anxious (either in a good or bad way) that she could barely keep her food down. Though, I guess it's also possible that she could be a stress-eater.
Anyway, now she's at dinner with her mom, Sebastian, and Clara. BTW, as a side note, even though Gloria calls her fiance Bastian throughout the story, I'm going to call him by his full name, Sebastian. Because anytime I see the name Bastian, this is what I think of:




And that would just be wrong. So Sebastian it is.

She sees Sebastian glowering at her and her bobbed hair from across the table, glowering as if he's going to leap across the table and strangle her. She thinks of how that might be weirdly exciting as she had never seen him heated before. How he is so dull compared to her.

In the past, he'd always been so stable, so predictable. So dull.
Why had she ever found him appealing? Sure, on the surface she was just a prim prep school girl, but she had hidden depths.

Um, no you don't, Gloria. There are no depths to you. All you've done up to this point was prove how shallow and dimwitted you are. Sure, one can argue that you did look passed the color of Jerome's skin, but even that attraction seems superficial at this point. The only person who HAS demonstrated hidden depths so far is Clara.
After Gloria's ode to herself, we get a back story on her supposedly passionless relationship with Sebastian. How convenient. Because of course, no story is ever complete without a love triangle (and I do mean NEVER). Therefore, Gloria is thinking of Jerome the entire time she reflects on her relationship with her current fiance. Seriously, hands up if you are tired of seeing these love triangle themes.





So then Gloria mentally degrades Clara  and asks her cousin what she has been doing with herself. Not because she honestly wants to know, but because she wants to shift everyone's icy stares from her. Yep, it's still all about Gloria. Gloria is also suddenly a smartass while Sebastian pretty much kisses up to her mother. The sad thing is, Gloria's smartass comments would actually be funny if they weren't coming from her. Gloria also continues her mental degradation of everyone around her. Actually, this time it's toward her father, who isn't even in the room. At this point I'm surprised she's even giving Jerome the time of day. And yes, I realize I'm overusing Gloria's name. Because it's all about Gloria.

Clara does make the scene more bearable for this reader by turning on her country girl charm, overdoing it just a tad. Which is quite amusing. Much more amusing than Gloria fancying herself a rebel and failing dismally. At this point I'm wishing this story was only about Clara.
After Clara describes a day in the life of a farmgirl, Gloria hopes her cousin is joking about it all. And of course, more judgmental thoughts from our girl:

It was a wonder the girl [Clara] could speak at all, what with her blouse buttoned up so high. It was easily the ugliest blouse Gloria had seen in ages.

Shut up, Gloria. Nobody cares.

Clara continues:

"I also love the volunteer work I do in the pediatric ward of the local hospital."
"Pediatric ward?" Gloria repeated. Was this girl serious? 

So now Gloria takes issue with the idea of Clara volunteering her time to care for sick children. Fuck you, Gloria. Maybe Sebastian or someone should actually leap across the table and strangle you. I hope you get hit by a falling chandelier.

After Clara continues her act some more, it is suggested by Sebastian that perhaps Gloria should have gone out to the country in Clara's place for improvement.

This what, Bastian?" Gloria asked. "I'm dying to hear what improvements you think country life could work upon me."

As much of an asswipe Sebastian is, Gloria, I do agree that you need all the improvement you can get. Clearly, Gloria can't stand it when someone tells her she's less than perfect.

Bastian pounded his fist onto the table. "This...atrocity!"

Gloria glares at her fiance before shift the focus to Clara, pointing out that she too has her hair bobbed. To which Clara offers the explanation of donating her hair to organizations for women who had lost their hair due to illness. Of course, Beatrice and Sebastian are impressed, but Gloria continues her inner temper tantrum, even thinking she could tell Clara a thing or two about charity.
Now, I will clarify being aware of the fact that Clara is bullshitting her way through dinner. But Gloria doesn't know that. Therefore, her negative remarks toward volunteering in a pediatric ward makes her come across as a whiny, spoiled brat.

As the other two at the table are gushing over Clara, Gloria thinks about wanting to return to the Green Mill and see Jerome. Sweet Lord, NO!!! Jerome is the most awesome character so far! PLEASE don't ruin him! (Though I have a foreboding feeling that that is exactly what'll happen)

Then Gloria starts thinking about the instant spark she had with Jerome and how it isn't there with Sebastian. Of course not. Because then we wouldn't have the cliche love triangle.
After thinking about it some more, Gloria makes a plan to seduce her fiance.

Now, I will say the scene in which she attempts to seduce Sebastian is actually very well written. Once again demonstrating the authors ability to write and actually tell a decent story. I'm starting to feel like she's trapped in cliche guidelines set by her publishers.

Of course, Gloria's plan to seduce her fiance fails. It ends with them arguing and him leaving her alone.

Gloria watched him leave. She slumped into the love seat, hugging a pillow to her chest. Her throat ached as she tried to swallow the oncoming flood of salty tears.

Yet another well-written passage. Dammit, Jillian, you can write! I would love to see what you can do without the constraints of all these insufferable cliches!

Anyway, Gloria's mother enters the room, obviously not happy and informing her daughter of their need to talk. Gloria wants to wait until morning, but Beatrice (her mother) insists they talk now.

Her mother sat down on the love seat next to her. "You're lucky you still have a diamond on your finger after this little stunt you pulled." She was referring to Gloria's bob, of course, but her tone made it very clear that she had also been eavesdropping. "Unfortunately, it's no longer just about you."

YES!!! Score one for mom!!!






Then, Gloria says:

"I don't know what you're talking about, Mother."




It is then Gloria's mother fills her daughter in on the divorce. We learn that Gloria's father found a younger woman to shack up with. A twenty-three year old exotic dancer named Amber, to be exact. Understandably, the news comes as a shock to Gloria.

Then her mother continues:

"The Carmody name, our entire family's reputation, could be permanently destroyed. Running off with some floozy? We'll be ruined once this gets out to the papers. Unless," her mother said, taking hold of Gloria's hand and squeezing it tightly, "you are married to Sebastian Grey."
Gloria felt her heart sink. "I'm already engaged. Remember?"
"I do. Only, we no longer have the luxury of a long engagement. Now there is no time to lose. The second this scandal breaks is the second Bastian takes that ring away."
"But, Mother, it's 1923. Plenty of couples get divorced these days!"
"You don't understand me, Gloria," her mother said sharply. "Your father is the sole proprietor of your inheritance, which is due to you on your eighteenth birthday. But if you fail to marry Sebastian, you won't see a penny of it....I will be out on the streets. We'll be left with nothing."

You know, I feel like I've seen a plot almost exactly like this before...




Remember that scene in Titanic when Rose's mother has that private talk with her daughter of why it's important she marry Cal Hockley? In fact, now that I think about it, when looking at the physical descriptions of Gloria and Sebastian again...










Now, is there anything wrong with the author using Titanic as an inspiration for her story? Absolutely not. But it's pretty much the exact same scene and scenario. And it's been done many times. And we know exactly where it's headed.

We also find out that Sebastian didn't court and propose to Gloria because he loves her. Apparently he also has nothing. He's living on credit and loans and his father gambled away their money. Basically, everyone in this story is a hot mess.

Because of the situation, the wedding has been pushed up and now Gloria is to be married within the next month. And there is no other choice.

After her mother leaves the room, Gloria bursts into tears. And I do understand, as she is in a pretty tough situation. Marry a jackass or have her mother out on the streets. Then we are treated yet another frustratingly well-written chapter ending:

As she sat alone, crying, she found herself trying frantically to twist off her diamond ring. Before tonight, it had been a promise, yes, but a dazzling one. And a slippery one, to be put on and taken off according to her own free will.
Now her finger bulged under the platinum band, cutting off her circulation, the skin beneath turning purple. The ring was stuck.

Ending is strong. Again, Ms.Larkin, obviously has talent for writing. Maybe this really is all the publisher's fault. That's what I'm telling myself, at least.

Til next time, folks.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

DESCENT (THE BIRTHRITE SERIES, #1) is Free on Smashwords Throughout February

Hey all,

1. I have the Chapter 4 recap of Vixen almost completed. I meant to post it this week, but well, I have no other excuse than my schedule got really busy. But I'll post it asap.

2. As I mentioned before, Descent, the first book in The Birthrite Series will be free with a coupon code on Smashwords throughout the month of February!





The Birthrite Series is a journey into the vast unknown, plunging deep into the dark crevices of the mind, begging the question of what sanity really is and if the insane truly are. Are we really shown the whole truth of what surrounds us or is it an illusion? It also tells of deep-rooted love, planted centuries ago and a story of family, forgiveness, and redemption.

Visions of infant twin boys, clouds, a young woman taking her own life, and a collision of space, time, and realms...
On the eve of Summer Solstice in 1844, four men in different areas of the world share an experience that ends up impacting not only their own lives, but those of the future generations.
Nicolae Ganoush, a young fugitive from a Romany slave village in Wallachia escapes into the night with his younger brother, and battles with inner demons and a murderous act that will haunt him until the end of his days.
Jonathan Blake is an eighteen-year-old Irishman living in the American Midwest. After meeting and falling in love with an American Native girl, his life with her will take a turn that begins to slowly unravel an ancient truth behind their lineages.
When James Livingston agrees to help sponsor an orphanage being built by his good friends, the Flemings, he views it as yet another project to enrich the new growing town of Plains, New York. But an experience he has in room 410 inside one of the buildings on the property will make him question everything he believes. And the troubles may be much closer to home than thought.
In Tuxpan, Mexico, twelve-year-old Hector de Fuentes discovered a mysterious cave hidden amongst a pocket of a large rock formation at the end of the coastline. Now at sixteen, it has become a place for him to think, read, and escape from the outside world. But Hector also has visions, seeing people and places that nobody else can. And being at the cave seems to enhance that ability…

In the year 1931, seventeen-year-old Dorothy Blake is living in Plains, New York. The Fleming Orphanage has long fallen into disuse but is kept by the town as a landmark. The buildings loom high on a hill, overlooking the town and taunting the townsfolk with its folklore. On Halloween night, Dorothy goes up there with friends. The group of six expect nothing more than a good time and a few laughs. But they instead fall to a dark, brutal evil; one that extends far beyond the orphanage and the town of Plains. The descent is only the beginning… 




Visit the Descent Smashwords page, click the 'Buy' button and type or copy/paste in the following coupon code at checkout:
XS25J

The book is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes, though the discount code does NOT apply there.

Thanks, everyone and Made In Heaven, the free Reginald and Gail short will be available on Valentines Day. :)



******
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