Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tiffany's 31 Days of Halloween, Day 1 and #TBT

Welcome, mortals, to my 31 Days of Halloween! Of course, Halloween is everyday for some of us, but for the rest of you, 31 days is good too!



For Day 1 and Throwback Thursday, I am posting an interview I conducted for my YouTube Channel back in 2013 (when The Underworld TV had a much longer name that I decided to shorten). This took place at Horror Realm where I had my table across from the lovely Tiffany Shepis. That Sunday, I sat with her at her table for a little bit and chatted about her upcoming projects (or projects that were upcoming at the time) and experiences in the industry.  Check it out! :)




 Stay tuned for Day 2. :)






*****

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Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Awesome Halloween Gig and New Giveaway Announcement

Hi everyone,

Here's my awesome gig announcement:
This October, I will be part of the Lantern Tours at the Depreciation Lands Museum on September 17th and the 24th. The Lantern Tours are the museum's own haunted attraction of sorts, only done as a period piece of sorts. This year, the theme is a 17th century witch trial. Real life accused witch, Mary Bliss Parsons, is standing trial for charges brought against her. And I am thrilled and happy to be portraying Miss Parsons!


More information on the event is at the link below:
http://depreciationlandsmuseum.org/upcoming.Halloween.shtml


And here is some interesting info on the real Mary Bliss Parsons:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_%28Bliss%29_Parsons


And now for the giveaway announcement:

From today and through October 31, I am giving you all a little Halloween treat.
As Kindred (the second book in The Birthrite Series​ )will be coming out on January 1 (a significant day in the book), I am offering the first two installments, Descent and Sacred Atonement: A Novelette for free on Smashwords​ (Smashwords can configure to pretty much any e-reading device).

For Descent, click the buy button and enter the following coupon code at checkout:
ED79V

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/499587

For Sacred Atonement, do the same thing only with a different coupon code:
QK23J

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/514331

So here's a chance to get started on the series at no cost. And if you enjoy it, feel free to leave a review. :)

Thanks everyone, and I will be posting my actual weekly blog post later in the week.

Tiffany




*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Question I Frequently Asked and More From the Birthrite Series Playlist

Hey all,

No, this is not my weekly post (I'm currently working on that), but I am posting a new video from my YouTube channel, answering a question that I get asked quite frequently.




Also, those of you on my Facebook artist page and/or The Birthrite Series Facebook page likely saw my shout out to the winner of the signed copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement: A Novelette (The Birthrite Series, #1.5) from the Unusual Historicals giveaway back in August. Well, another giveaway announcement will be announced here as well as at the two asformentioned Facebook pages tomorrow.
Until then, here is another song from the Birthrite Playlist. Loreena McKennitt's "The English Ladye and the Knight." And because Tolkien influences much of my writing, the video also includes scenes from the LOTR trilogy, focusing on Aragorn and Arwen (NOTE: I did not make this video).

"And love was still the lord of all."



Stay tuned for the announcement tomorrow. :)







*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound






Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Art of Lie Spotting or "Yes, you've been lied to...and you probably liked it"

Hi everyone,

Well today, I'm going to make you work a little. Before continuing to read the rest of the post, I would like for you to watch the video below. It is a very interesting TED Talk with Pamela Meyer, titled How to Spot a Liar.

And, go. :D



Now I came across this video when I was doing research for something else and came across a YouTuber that I follow covering this very subject as well. I thought this would be especially interesting since - here in the United States - we are going through yet another Dog & Pony & Clown Show. Or what some also still know as being the presidential elections.
Another reason I wanted to start to talking about this is because it DOES have much to do with what is often discussed here on this blog, sometimes on my YouTube channel, and even a little with what I write in my fictional stories.

See, here's the thing. We live in a society where we hold truth in a most high regard. We often say that honesty is the best policy and that we would rather cold, hard honest truth than be told a pretty lie. But the real truth is that we are lied to everyday. And everyday, we are willing participants in those lies.

To paraphrase Meyer in her TED talk, there has to be at least two active participants in order for a lie to work. Meaning the one doing the lying and the one being lied to. And as Meyer states: if you fell for a lie, regardless of who it is from,  it is because you were willing to be lied to. And here are a couple examples of how we allow ourselves to be lied to:

Since the presidential elections for 2016 is underway (and here is also where I will ask you to do a little work), I want you to think long and hard about what you want to hear from your political candidates. Now whether you are liberal, conservative, independent, I don't really care. But think about where are you the most vulnerable? What really grinds your gears? And what would be the one thing a political candidate need to say in order to 100% sway your vote to him or her?
(Now I will add if you are a reader from outside the US, you can also participate by imagining the same thing of a prime minister or any other leader you would be electing.)

Really think about that and let it sink into your brain.

Now with that in mind, imagine one political candidate that got up on the podium and stated the following:

"The country is in a state of turmoil and distress. While some things are starting to look up, there are many other problems that I'm not even sure we can effectively get to in four years, much less make so much as a scratch in it. But I will certainly try. However, much of the responsibility is also going to be yours. Yours to try and turn your own lives around and learn to be self-sufficient again. And through doing that, we can perhaps also learn to be decent human beings again.  It will be a long, hard process though and without everyone taking responsibility for themselves and their own actions, I'm not sure we can even start rebuilding."

Now, candidate number 2 takes the stand:

"This is a great nation and you all are great. And I promise that in my four years as president, I will put an end to problems like racism, sexism, homophobia, and every other type of 'ism and phobia you can think of. And I will see to it that every last persons needs and wants are met without anyone having to lift a finger. Everyone will prosper under my presidency!"

Okay. Now which candidate do you think would get cheers, pomp, and circumstance, and which one would be booed off the podium?  Of course, people say they want transparency and honesty in their candidates, even if that transparency involves that voter hearing what he or she may not necessarily want to hear. Hey, at least we would all know what's really up, right? But when it comes down to who they vote for when they step into the booth, what is that voter most likely to lean toward?

And did you notice how burger and fast food establishments often use swimsuit models in their ads?







Meanwhile, logic would tell you that if these girls ate like this every day, the likelihood of them maintaining that look would be pretty nil.

But we are fed (pun not intended...well, maybe sort of...I do like puns) these types of advertisements everyday. And of course, many seek to soley blame some sort of patriarchal system, but the fact of the matter is that these companies continue to make such advertisements in order to sell their product for a very top secret reason. It's because...get ready for it...such tactics WORK. Whether we want to admit or acknowledge it or not. That is also why everyone from advertisers to politicians are constantly collaborating with Hollywood celebrities. Sure you might say that seeing Beyonce or Chuck Norris endorse a certain candidate has no effect on who you vote for, but even if that much is true, tactics such as that do work in other ways. Perhaps seeing Beyonce actively support your candidate of choice offers some validation in your own choice, or if you aren't already a fan of hers, it might make you want to respect her "at least a little more." Because people tend to have this strange habit of idolizing and idealizing those who are famous and have their faces all over the media.
The thing is that humans are - overall - very tribal (and very territorial...but I will get to that in another post). Most like doing things in packs, and the need for humans to feel as though they are a part of something big or part of 'the group' is constantly being utilized by our media. From a young age, we are conditioned to fear being the lone wolf. And why not? Don't you want to be one of the 'cool kids'?




Yes, we are lied to everyday and yes, we probably like it. Learning how to spot when you are being lied to is not necessarily meant for you to simply say "aha! gotcha!" But what it can do is give you the ability to arm yourself and make yourself less vulnerable. Because you are at your most vulnerable when you are being told what you want to hear. And it can actually be the beginning of bettering ourselves and society.
As I said earlier, there are so many ways that lie spotting ties into much of what I not only discuss on this blog, but also what goes on around us in our everyday lives. And it can go further down the rabbit hole. Therefore, I will leave it here for now, but watch for the subject of lie spotting to be woven in to many future blogposts. :)

Until then, I leave with this video in which Paul Eckman discusses the science behind being able to read faces:






*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound










Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Coming Up on Ye Olde Blog...

Hey all,

So here is what's coming up at the blog:

- My post on lie spotting. This will be interesting as it easily applies to much of what I discuss here at my blog and even a little in my fictional writing.

- Music reviews: New releases by Ginger Ackley, Brian Henke, Ashagal, and Midnight Syndicate

- 31 Days of Halloween throughout October

- Vixen recaps to resume in November

- New excerpts from Kindred and Saturn Sun prior to their year end release. :)



So we shall see you all soon! :)






*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound



Thursday, September 17, 2015

New Episode of The Underworld TV: Castle Blood, 2015

Greetings mortals...

The time for Halloween draws near...so I sit down with Gravely Macabre of the popular haunted attraction, Castle Blood, for chat on what they have in store for us this Halloween and beyond.  Plus, some cool collaboration and partnership they have going on with other haunts in the area! :)

Be sure to check them out at http://castleblood.com




And coming up next week:

The art of "lie spotting". In other words, yes you've very likely been lied to, and yes, you probably liked it.

Til next time. :)







*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound






Monday, September 14, 2015

Behind the Scenes Action at the Depreciation Lands Museum

Hey everyone,

Well this was just an awesome weekend. On Friday I went to see a Vincent Price movie marathon at a local drive-in. Then I spent Saturday and Sunday in the 18th century. Saturday night was our Tavern Night and I am happy to say that it was sold out with an amazing crowd enjoying great food, great conversation, and I was only too happy to perform a few songs from that era for them.
The following day (Sunday), I was back at the museum re-enacting life in the 18th century. Because I unfortunately didn't get a video of Tavern Night (we have another coming up in November...maybe I will try to get some footage for that one), I made up for it by getting a quick little walk around video of the museum on Sunday right before we opened and then after we closed.

Here it is:




I also took a couple photos of one of the books we keep on the back shelf of the schoolhouse (Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies over my penmanship practice):





 And it seems that customer punch cards (you know, the kind where after you make so many purchases and get so many punches or stamps on your frequent  buyer card, you get something free) aren't such a new thing:





From inside a book with a most recent publication date of 1900. It seems this punch card was from a book store. :)




*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound




Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Vote for Descent :)

Hi everyone,

We were just informed that the book cover for my book Descent that Rowen Poole and I collaborated on (though he did do most of the designing) is competing this week in the Creme de la Cover contest! If you guys could swing by and give the cover some love and vote for it, it would be much appreciated:

http://indtale.com/polls/creme-de-la-cover-contest


I will say that you do have to subscribe to their site in order to cast your vote. But it is a cool site for indie writers an authors.

Thanks everyone and have a great night. :) 

Monday, September 7, 2015

One of the Problems with Social Media and a Few Antecdotes

Hey everyone,

Sometimes in the morning, I like to go to a certain park that I love. Here I hike, walk, jog, depending on the mood I'm in. It is a beautiful area with a nice amount of hills and even a nature trail. In the mornings it is very serene and still. When it is that quiet, it is also when (in addition to enjoying the nature that's around me) my mind starts to wander and contemplate things. How our modern world loads us with mixed messages (which I have covered in previous blogposts) and how people tend to accept things as 'fact' without really looking into any origins or to maybe get another side to the story.
I heard this one brilliant example on a podcast and I really think that it does ring true with many today:

If someone (not a child, but a grown adult) came up to you and said "I think Santa Clause is real. I've seen him in books, hear people talking about him all the time, and I've even seen him in the malls and riding around on fire trucks at Christmas time! Therefore, I have no reason to believe he ISN'T real," you would most likely think that person as being more than a few bricks short of a building.

However, this is how many tend to approach the information fed to them on a daily basis. If it is said by their talking head of choice or their favorite celebrity, many unfortunately eat it up without question. Next thing you know, they are posting of it on Facebook, posting one meme after another, and belittling anyone that dares to question their logic (or lack of logic). If you present maybe some new evidence to them, they get even more indignant and continue on their tirades without so much of a glance at the new information. This, my friends, is what the wonderful world of social media has wrought. Yes, we all use it and I'm not saying that it isn't without its benefits and advantages. But unfortunately, many have taken it to a dark side of self validation. They have created a virtual world in which they are right and everyone else is wrong. They use it as an excuse to "continue believing in Santa Clause."

I apologize if some of my postings might seem a bit ornery at times, but frankly I'm beyond tired of people not using their brains (in case you haven't already guessed that).

So as I leave you to continue enjoying this holiday weekend, I will leave you with the following:

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that you might not know it all.

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that there is always more than one side to the story.

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that everyone's experience is different and sometimes what you are getting is either biased or a regurgitation of a popular opinion (keeping in mind the "my lived experience calls your lived experience bullshit" adage).

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that you are very likely only getting ONE side to the story.

- Take Professor Google, Professor Wikipedia, and Professor Snopes with a grain of salt.

- Be leery of "experts" that aren't open minded.

- Question those that deem themselves authoritative figures (yes, you can do this without coming across as disrespectful...and how they react to your questioning says much about their character and likely their credibility).

- Once you get these basic steps down, THEN you are ready to dig deeper. :)

Until next time, be well and question everything.







*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Thursday, September 3, 2015

From The Birthrite Series Playlist: BLACKMORE'S NIGHT

Hey all,

I'm getting my butt in gear to finish Kindred (The Birthrite Series, #2) before year's end. I'm excited to introduce the continuing story, leaving off from Descent, Sacred Atonement: A Novelette, and Made In Heaven: A Birthrite Series Short.

Of course, I've been listening to a lot of music as I write and lately I've been listening to a lot of Blackmore's Night.
For those unfamiliar with them, the band is fronted by Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Rainbow fame.

Have a listen to a few tracks I've had on repeat, visit their website, and support the artists by buying their albums! :) Enjoy!


















*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cataloging the Blog

Hi everyone,

I will be posting a new blogpost within the next two days, but for the time being I've been cataloging this blog so it might be easier to go through passed posts if one so desires. I'm also repurposing my social media pages.

In the meantime, please feel free to browse in the ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS, READING THE FLAPPERS SERIES and UNDERWORLD TV pages. More will be getting added to them throughout the rest of the week. :)







*****

For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb

"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound