HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Hey Everyone!

Halloween is my favourite day of the year. Seriously. Its better than my birthday, Christmas, Yule, or Easter. It’s the only day where its alright to pretend you’re someone else without anyone thinking you’re crazy. And you get chocolate!

To celebrate, why not get yourself a copy of Freaky Flashes, which includes my flash fiction piece titled Reaping Darkness. I’m so thrilled to be included in this anthology with a multitude of talented authors.

I’m so thrilled that I have five copies to give away! Leave a comment below by midnight October 31st in order to be considered. I’ll draw five names and the winners will get their copy tomorrow!

You can get yourself a copy of Freaky Flashes here:

http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=13&products_id=359

It’s only $1.49! That’s less than a chocolate bar or a cup of coffee!

And if you want something free to read today, why not treat yourself to a ride on TRAIN, my new serial novel? You can find that here:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/2270424-train-a-novel

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

It’s Elementary, dear Watson…

“Your abbreviations are becoming indecipherable. Which is interesting, seeing as you have no problem being articulate.”

“Language is evolving, Watson. Becoming a more efficient version of itself.”

From – Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu

 

I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes.

Not just the novels and stories themselves, but the character. The larger than life presence that exudes confidence, albeit in a non-traditional way.

I haven’t seen the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr, but I suppose I will at some point. What I am watching now is the show Elementary. I watch it on my iPad through the Global app. I wasn’t sure about the show at first, but I love Lucy Liu in anything she does, so I checked it out.

I’ve followed it so far since its first show and, I have to say, it’s a very smart show. Lucy Liu is playing the very down to Earth Joan Watson in a tone of performance I’m not used to from her. She’s playing the straight man to Jonny Lee Miller’s very eccentric (and very troubled) Sherlock Holmes. They play beautifully off of each other and never lose that inner fire both of the characters from the books had.

I have to say that I actually look forward to watching the show. I have to watch it a day later than those that have cable, but that’s okay-it’s worth the wait. The show is incredibly full of depth, character, intelligence and charm. Think of a CSI without all the flashing blue light, add in an on screen connection that works really well and add a dash of some very smart and witty writing and you’ve got yourself a winner.

The music and the way the show is shot work beautifully to enhance the story, which is invariably a twisted little puzzle of some sort. It also usually gives the viewer a few lovely little twists in plot that take the story to a new level.

Either way, if you want something to watch on those cold fall and winter nights that are heading our way, make Elementary a show to watch (oh, and Survivor, Go On, Kitchen Nightmares. I also can’t wait for Celebrity Apprentice. Just saying).

Check out the trailer of Elementary and enjoy. The show rocks.

 

Some Halloween Treats! – New Releases!

Hey Everyone,

Check it out, it’s October, right? Well, there are lots of tricks and treats going on around here. I’ll probably dress up as Harry Potter again, but that’s another story all together.

My upcoming release is included in Freaky Flashes. It is an anthology of some incredibly talented authors and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. My short is titled Reaping Darkness and directly follows Reaping Shadows. Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to read one to read the other. They can both stand on their own.  Plus you get a whole book FILLED with amazing flash fiction pieces.

What better treat could you ask for? It comes out on October 31st, 2012 and will be published by Breathless Press. I know, awesome, right? Anyone who leaves a comment here can win a copy of the book, in various formats. I only have five free copies to give away and no one has bit yet. Anyone want a Halloween treat a little early? Just leave a comment below and first five comments win!

Learn more about the book here:

http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=18&products_id=359

Coming up on November 15th, 2012 is the second novella in my new The Deep Woods Trilogy titled Night of Air. Here is a bit about the story:

It is the year 1692.

Nicolas has been able to experience a dream come true, finally having the man he most wants: his best friend Jackson.

However, there is a price. Nicolas is to be inducted into an order of men responsible for protecting the earth. While Nicolas is able to lie with Jackson and be his mate, he must complete a task before his magic can take hold completely within him.

He must have mate with the rest of the men who protect the world.

Will Nicolas give himself willingly to others, having only recently getting his heart’s desire?

You can get your copy on November 19th from Cobblestone Press.

I am pretty sure that if anything I’ve written as erotica, this is it-it’s probably the hottest thing I’ve ever written. I’m just

saying…it made me blush, and I’m the one who wrote it.

I’ve also finished working on Talking Poems. I wanted a ten poem suite to enter in the Attys on WattPad. I haven’t written poetry for a while and it was fun to do. I don’t know that I wrote in ten different styles, but I had a blast. I’m thinking of releasing it later this year, just for fun. For now, however, all ten poems are available here to read for free!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/2096657-talking-poems

I’m working on another serial project at the moment and am working out the logistics I’ve given myself. It’s getting there, I promise. 🙂 I had hoped that I would be able to achieve daily. However, with work, fun, writing and editing and lots of reading, I can promise serially. I will aim for every second day, but will promise once a week.

Here’s a bit about Train:

You can read the first few chapters of Train here for free on WattPad:

http://www.wattpad.com/7695109-train-a-novel-first-a-word

I’ve even added a new description of the novel and created a cast. More characters will be added as I go along. They can only stay on the train for so long. After the passengers all get off the Train, things really begin to happen.

Other than that, I’ve been wondering about what my holiday release will be this year, aside from Night of Air (November is sort of a beginning of the holiday season right?) and I think I have settled on one. More news on that later as it develops.

I’m also working on Haven, but that’s another story.

Woman or Worrior? Or The Carrie in all of us

I was taking a look at some pictures last night and I thought I’d take a moment to write a bit about my recent canvass titled “Carrie”. Notice the quotation marks. See, she’s not the real Carrie, but the representation of what she is, that exact moment.

I think it captures something of her, or of the part of us that can identify with her, that moment when you are completely blanked out by flame. I am still considering adding a tiara, but she says she’s done for now.

“Carrie” started as a ruined canvass. It was to be the third in a triptych that I had done in a series of women with blue flowers. The first one is one of my very favourite pieces. The second turned out less so. I had started the third, a woman holding a baby, in pencil with a red dress in cante (charcoal pastels) and an outline.

I didn’t like it, so it sat behind my easel and some other canvasses until I started working with paints over a year later. I don’t have a picture of it (she was too big and garish for me, for some reason, whereas the other two women didn’t take up much of the canvass, but were the central focus).

I had recently done a canvas entitled Diesel. You can see a picture of it here:

 

It turned out pretty freaking awesome. I had thought this canvass, though recent, was ruined, too (though of course, depending on your taste in art, perhaps it already is ruined. LOL Bit I digress…).

So I picked up the abandoned canvass, that woman and her baby, and erased the baby out of the picture. Even though the pencil lines were eventually covered up with cante, pastel’s and then oil paint, I can still see where the baby is-I know where it used to be. This is not a representation of pregnancy, only that I know the woman in the picture has lost something. I gave her a necklace to symbolize what she had lost, or perhaps where her spiritual centre was. It was a pentagram, but is now only a small circle of gold, but the pencil lines are still there too.

I filled her in with pencil first, reshaping her and worked on the under layer of the canvass with pencil first, cante to give it line and shape and then pastels to give it a bit of texture. She turned out like this:

 

I let her sit for a bit because I knew she wasn’t done. I wanted to use paint in some way and I was pretty sure what I wanted to paint would turn out quite a bit differently than the canvass I had just done. But I forged ahead anyways. Here’s what she looked like in the beginning of the painting process:

 

From beginning to end of the refurbed canvass, I’d say three weeks or so, give or take to lay down all the different layers of pencil, cante, pastel and paint.  A year and a bit if you count the time she stood silent, waiting to be finished. Here is what she looked like when she was first done:

 

And here is what “Carrie” looks like now.

 

The texture of the paint, cante and pastel are coming through in the body and the hair, the colour’s are deeper now. I like her better now, too. While working on her, I wasn’t sure if she was a woman or a warrior or both. Both, as it turns out.

In the end, it was almost a two year journey with “Carrie”. Hmmm, I wonder which canvass I can rework next?

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

 

Welcome to Pagford.

It is a picture perfect little town: rolling hills, ancient abbey, cobbled streets, charming houses and colourful inhabitants. However, like everything that looks perfect, secrets run rampant through Pagford’s streets, waiting for the moment to be set free.

That moment arrives in the death of Barry Fairbrother. After suffering an aneurism on the night of his wedding anniversary, the town of Pagford becomes torn. With Barry’s death, a Casual Vacancy arises, a seat left vacant on the Parish Council due to death.

There are a few hopefuls vying for the coveted seat: Howard Mollison wants his son Miles to take the seat so that Miles can help Howard rid Pagford of The Fields, a rundown part of town home to a methadone clinic. Howard is thrilled at Barry’s death as Howard may finally rid Pagford of an eyesore. Miles’ wife Samantha, however, is less than thrilled and begins to fantasize about much younger boys.

Collin Wall, Deputy Head minister of the local high school, also wants to run for the vacant seat. As Barry’s former best friend, Collin thinks Barry would have wanted him to carry on his work, bringing The Fields and Pagford together, instead of tearing them apart.

Tessa Wall, who is the school guidance counselor, is more concerned over the antics of their son Stuart “Fats” and his association with Krystal Weedon and the mental state of her husband if he actually wins the seat; Collin hides a secret that could ruin him if exposed.

Simon Price also wants to run, despite having isolated himself from the community. His wife, Ruth, approves of him running because she is used to agreeing. It is the only way to keep him from getting angry. Often abusive to his two sons, Andrew “Arf” and Paul, taking in stolen goods and stealing from his place of work, Andrew wonders what would happen to his father if his secrets got out.

Even those not hoping to fill the casual vacancy are affected by Barry Fairbrother’s death: Parminder, who harbors secret feelings of her own, lavishes attention on one daughter while degrading her other daughter Sukhvinder who cuts herself to release the pain. Kay, a social worker who has just been assigned to help Terri Weedon and her children Krystal and Robbie as their mother struggles with heroin addiction.

There’s also Gaia, Kay’s daughter, who is bereft at leaving London because her mother followed her noncommittal boyfriend Gavin Wall to Pagford. Gavin, who knows he never should have let his relationship with Kay go so far is only concerned with ending the relationship and the love he holds close for another woman. Let’s not forget Shirley Mollison, Howard’s wife, who has her own secret agenda or Maureen, Howard’s business partner, who does whatever Howard says; Or what about Mary Fairbrother who had grown to dislike her husband and his growing attachment to Krystal Weedon?

Pagford is a picture perfect little town. Like anything that looks perfect, there is shadow underneath. What would happen if that shadow were exposed? What if the secrets of those in town were exposed, out in public? Would Pagford hold itself together, or would cracks begin to appear in its postcard image?

Before the Casual Vacancy is filled, the town of Pagford will find out and no one will be the same…

I wasn’t expecting to like The Casual Vacancy, much less love it. This has nothing to do with the fact that it’s not the next Harry Potter book. I knew going into The Casual Vacancy to have no expectations because it was decidedly not Harry Potter. Rowling’s first book for adults couldn’t be more different than that other fictional world she created, but a small town political novel just didn’t sound thrilling to me.

There was also the fact that, from the first page, I knew that The Casual Vacancy wasn’t going to be a quick read. The tone of the writing is completely different and I knew it would not feature the wicked fast plot of the Harry Potter novels. However, I read on anyways, knowing that Rowling is a good writer and hoping for a good story.

Well, I was wrong. J K Rowling is an incredible writer and in The Casual Vacancy she had penned an amazing novel with an amazing story. The Casual Vacancy actually has very little to do with the politics surrounding the title. Instead, it is really a study of the people who live in Pagford and the whims of human nature.

I suspect that the title of J K Rowling’s new novel is really a play on words. A Casual Vacancy is a situation in which a political assembly’s seat is declared vacant through resignation, disqualification or death. However, due to the nature of all of Pagford being involved and the possibility of an election that has split the town and those that want the vacant seat for their own ends, there is nothing casual about this vacancy.

As I read, I was reminded of many different authors. If I had to compare it to anything (although Rowling has written it so well that The Casual Vacancy is really incomparable), I would say it’s a mix of Charles Dickens, Maeve Binchy, Minette Walters and Meg Rosoff. The Casual Vacancy is bleak, gut wrenching, horrifying, frightening but also joyful and surprisingly funny. It’s a book that defies genres and boundaries.

Rowling’s strength as a writer has never been more noticeable than with The Casual Vacancy. Her characters are so well drawn that you identify with each and every one of them and the further you read, the more you become involved in their lives. Multiple storylines criss cross and meet up with each other and it takes a writer of the highest caliber to keep all of the intersecting characters and storylines straight and still tell an amazing story.

Surprisingly, the young adult characters in this novel (Andrew, Stuart, Gaia, Shukvinder, Krystal) play a larger role than I thought possible in a “political novel”. Rowling’s adult characters are just as well drawn and as you watch all of their lives intersect, you wonder how Rowling can possibly tie everything together in the end. Thankfully, she does it with grace and style and an ending I never, ever saw coming.

Make no mistake, though, this is an adult novel. In the pages of The Casual Vacancy, you’ll find drugs and drug use, sex, racism, prejudice, rape, theft, poverty, cutting and self-abuse. However, you will also find laughter, humour, joy, determination and hope. It is a novel less about politics than it is about the people who make up a community.

The Casual Vacancy is beautifully written and incredibly told. It is not a novel for the faint of heart, but is also a novel so full of heart that the characters within it will stay with me for the rest of my life. It made me laugh out loud, made me cry in public, had me rooting for some characters and loving to hate others.

It is a book you do not merely read; instead, you live inside of it until the last turn of the page and beyond.

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