Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween Howl-Fest: Supernatural (Round 1)

We've made it to week two of my Halloween Howl-Fest -- yaaaay! I'm very excited to introduce the next conference in the bracket . . . the Supernatural conference. Ghosts, poltergeists, demonic hauntings, you name it. After some of the shocking dark horses from last week's voting (and the even more shocking loss of Hocus Pocus so early in the game), I'm excited to hear everyone's responses for this new category. So get voting!

[A note for those who were wondering: the version of The Omen I am referring to is the original, not the remake.]

And of course, don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see which movies made it into Round 2. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween Howl-Fest: Magical (Round 3)

I must admit, I'm surprised at some of the movies that made it into Round 3 of my Halloween Howl-fest. And very pleased for the most part (there are definitely a few movies from each category that I'm secretly rooting for). One of them has already been knocked out (sigh), but there are still a few contenders (and one or two dark horses) that I hope might sweep this thing. 

Is anyone else surprised? Pleased? Annoyed that their favorite movie lost out? Make sure that doesn't happen this round by voting for your top 2 magical films! Check 'em out . . . 

And if you're curious about which magical movies are going to make it to the next round, I'm sorry. You're going to have to wait a few weeks for that one (or you could always just read through the responses and tally them up for yourself, but that would be spoiling all the fun). Check back Monday, October 21st for the Top 2 teams from all four conferences that made it into the Quarter Finals bracket. And of course, take a look this coming Monday to vote for your favorite SUPERNATURAL films!

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Halloween Howl-Fest: Magical (Round 2)

Thanks everyone who voted in the Magical Conference: Round 1 of my Halloween Howl-Fest. I love seeing everyone's thoughts about some of my favorite spooky films. There were a few landslides (ahem, Harry Potter), and few that were nearly neck and neck, but as promised, Round 1 winners have been chosen. Take a look . . .

But who will move on to Round 2? Only you can decide. Look over the top eight magical films and cast your vote. And of course, don't forget to check back Friday to see which films will make it into Round 3!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Halloween Howl-Fest: Magical (Round 1)

It's day one of my Halloween Movie Howl-Fest, and I cannot wait to get started on some of these awesome movies. My friends and I of course will be going down the bracket, watching and debating (heatedly I suspect) each film pairing. But I'd love to hear from you movie lovers out there about which Halloween films are your favorites. Is it The Witches or Hocus Pocus? Both stories about dark mistresses of magic, determined to rid the world of children. Or how about about fairy tales and witch hunting? Do you prefer Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters or Brothers Grimm? Tough call, that one. 

Take a few minutes to look down the list and let me know which magial movies deserve to move on!! 

I hope you enjoy the list of movies I've put together. There are of course many more terrific tales of witchcraft and sorcery, but there's only so much time before Halloween and I've already got a lot of movies to watch. I can't wait to hear back from you! Check back on Wednesday to see which movies are moving on to the next round . . .

And as always, happy blogging!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Halloween Howl-Fest

It's September 22nd and the first day of Autumn, which for me means that it's FINALLY time to start celebrating Halloween. Yaaaay!!! As a holiday addict, I like to do something special to celebrate this most haunted, most spooky, most terrifying time of year, and what better way than to have a cinematic smack-down? 

That's right, I'm pitting my favorite Halloween movies against one another to see just which one best embodies the holiday they represent. It's the battle royale and only the best of the best can make it to the final four (or the final scare as I like to call it). Sixty-four teams, four conferences, ONE winner. 

Take a look at the contenders . . . 

Check back tomorrow for the first of the conferences (Magical) and cast a vote for your favorite movies. Whether your preference is based on favorite characters, nostalgia, cool plot-lines or the quintessential "scare" factor, that's for you to decide.

Happy Fall everyone!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CassaStorm Release Day

I am thrilled to announce that today is the long awaited (and highly anticipated) release of the third installment of the Cassa series by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh! And trust me, you do NOT want to miss this one. Check it out:

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Friday the 13th)

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. Universally known as one of the unluckiest days of the year, fear of Friday the 13th (also known as Friggatriskaidekaphobia) is one of the more commonly developed phobias across the globe. But why? Why do we get nervous when we look at the calendar and see that the thirteenth day of the month happens to fall on a Friday? 

Well, I did a little research on the subject a few year back and found that there's no real origin to the superstition. No evil witch cast a curse, no demon claimed it as a dark holy day. However, there is historical evidence for the fear of both Friday and the number thirteen. 

For example, early Christian traditions feed our fear of Fridays, as it is generally understood that Jesus was crucified on a Friday (thus the celebration of Good Friday). Sailors believed it was unlucky to begin a voyage on Fridays. And in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, he states "And on Friday fell all this mischance", thus giving literary precedence to the fear. 

Similarly, many early traditions suggest an inherent darkness surrounding the number thirteen. Like the thirteen members of the last supper (Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles). Or Norse mythology, which states that there were twelve gods having a dinner party in Valhalla when Loki stormed in (making him the thirteenth member) and caused the death of Balder, the god of light and joy. There is even some evidence that the dinner party happened on a Friday . . .

Of course many people believe that the fear originates from French King Philip IV's massacre of the Knights Templar on October 13, 1307, but there is little evidence that this is anything other than a modern day invention. And yet, it remains a bit creepy nonetheless. 

So while both Friday and the number thirteen are both considered unlucky, there's little evidence of the two overlapping until the 19th century. So what then feeds our irrational fear of Friday the 13th? I blame the film industry. Those creepy Jason movies sure did feed into our preconceived superstitions. 

Well regardless of the origin, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for mischief and mayhem. As Mad Eye Moody always says . . . constant vigilance, my friends. Constant vigilance. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by one of my favorite bloggers and author of the CassaFire series, Alex J. Cavanaugh. I'm thrilled to say that I'm one of the co-hosts this go round, and can't wait to visit as many blogs as I can to see what my fellow writers are up to this month. The other September co-hosts include Chemist Ken at My Hogwarts Sabbatical, Michelle Wallace at Writer in Transit, and Joylene Nowell Butler. Check them out!!!

I'd like to start first by saying HAPPY SECOND ANNIVERSARY Insecure Writer's Support Group. In the two years since Alex began this forum for writers, it's expanded and grown exponentially. More and more bloggers join everyday, finding a place to vent their frustrations, administer advice and help, and most importantly, find support. I'm very honored to be a member of such a salient association. And very excited to hear about the big announcement Alex J. Cavanaugh is supposed to make today, so head on over and check it out!

But now, on to my ISWG post for the month. I saw something the other day that got me thinking about the curse of the reader. Or perhaps its a gift . . . sometimes the two seem very similar. Anyway, I think I can say with absolute confidence that most people that devote their lives to reading are quite imaginative. They have to be in order to picture the worlds built of pen and ink. But that gift of imagination gets us in trouble too because often times the world around us seems less fantastical than the ones in our heads and our lives dull in comparison. 

It's a problem I've often faced in my own life. But fortunately, there's a cure for problems such as these . . . writing. When my imagination gets the better of me and the world can't compare, I create new ones. Ones that allow for knights and dragons, or adventures to other worlds. Or international intrigue. Or pretty much anything my mind can dream up. Writing is the answer to a beige world, a way to infuse ordinary life with vivid color. 

Thanks everyone for stopping by my blog and happy posting! Check back September 22nd for the first post of my Halloween Movie Howl-Fest, a sixty-four film bracket of vampires, ghosts, monsters, witches and more -- a cinematic smack-down worthy of the most haunted of holidays. Be seeing you soon . . .