Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fred's going to Comicon...in a bar!

Ahoy lovely readers!


November was a crazy month for writers all over the globe. NaNoWriMo ends today, and I'm happy to say that I've another win under my belt!

here's the proof! 

Usually, this is the time to rest on the NaNo laurels and take it easy for the holidays. But that won't be happening for lil ol' Fred. 

I'm honored to be a guest author at Bad Wolf Bar's BarCon 2.0! 

"What's BarCon?" You ask? Well, my dear friends, it's a Comicon...in a bar! 


Look at me as the first speaker of the day! 

The event is in the New Orleans area, so any of you SE LA dreamers should come out! It'll be a day filled with nerdy fun, games, presentations, panels, and awesome performances. 

Oh, and it's in a bar, so drinking will be happening ;) 

I'll also be giving away some great new Lucid bookmarks and posters! 





You know you want one...of each! 


So come on out for the first ever meet and greet with Fred! I'll be doing a reading from Lucid and I'll be answering any questions about the Dream World as well! You can even get your e-books signed by downloading an Authorgraph app on your e-reader! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day? No, just the 8th day of NaNoWriMo!

Ahoy lovely readers.


Been quite a few minutes since I've blogged about anything other than Fiction Features. To say I'm in a rut would be a gross understatement. Lots going on to keep writers down nowadays.


One of the biggest and scariest months is upon us. The face of many worlds rests on the actions of millions.

You think I'm talking about election day? Hell no!

This. Is. NaNoWriMo!



For you non-writers (aka smart people) this is National Novel Writing Month. Foolish people, such as myself, try to write 50,000 words in four short weeks. If you reach the goal, you've "won" NaNo, which unlocks a lot of cool swag and promos for self-publishing your manuscript.

It's one of the most fast-paced, stressful, and downright awesome things I've participated in. My first Nano was in 2012, when I was fresh out of college and hopeful about my budding writing career. Though the term "writing career" still makes me laugh, I did meet a lot of cool writers in my area and started a winning streak that I'm proud to boast about today.

But, alas, I must confess I found myself vastly unmotivated to do ol' NaNo this year. I guess it's kind of like participating in the holidays when your heart's just not in it. Sure, you'll go through the motions, pretend to enjoy some festivities (or stress your brains out over getting 50k written down...such good fun, I promise!) but it won't be the same.

Oh, how wrong I was.

See, this is also the first year where I had no plans of what I'd be writing. Usually, I'll continue my Lucid series (which, the final book is in progress...though on the backburner for the time being) but I was so wrapped up in life's distractions I hadn't mapped out a plan.

Now I have this little short story that's turning into a novella. It's exciting and scary to have an unplanned world spring into your mind, but I'm enjoying every minute of it.

One of the characters is quite charming. 

Here's what I've learned about writing an unplanned story.

Start off small: 

My premise started with a little girl in a creepy house. I didn't know if the house was going to be haunted, deserted, or even a figment of her imagination. All I knew was that I needed to get her to that house. So, I pictured myself as an 8 year-old little girl. A bit of my early childhood sparked the beginning, and that's all I needed to get the ball rolling. Those tiny details in the first chapter of your novel are important, because they're the first things your reader will encounter. Make them intriguing as well as sensible. It's always great to start with a compelling first bit, but you'll have to fill in enough blanks to keep the reader informed of how your characters got into that mess.

Set a word count goal: 

This is mostly important for NaNoWriMo, as we gotta get 50,000 in before November 30th. I treat writing sort of like a workout. Sometimes I feel too tired to do anything, but I remind myself that it's important to me. If I want to be a better writer, I have to actually, you know, write. Same with working out. I won't look like Lara Croft by thinking about her, will I? Gotta put those thoughts into actions --or words in this writing case. The word count goal will be especially helpful for an unplanned story. Going in without an outline, or really any idea at all if you're like me, will lead to some dead ends. Setting a word count will not only ensure you stay on your Nano track, but it'll also help you navigate through the murkier parts of your story.

Make the goal attainable, as well. Don't shoot for 10k a day. That's crazy talk. A good 2,000 goal is just fine and will ensure a Nano victory!

Be open minded: 

Remember, this is an unplanned story. It chose you! Sure, you're thinking up the characters, but something bigger than your consciousness conjured up this idea. Listen to that other part of your brain as your fingers fly through the words. Maybe you didn't want your character to fall in love with an older woman, but here he is mooning over the widow down the street. Have him take her out on a date and see how it goes! GILFs need love too, yo!

Now there's a tagline that'll get you some attention! 

But really, we writers know that our stories already have minds of their own. Be more open-minded with your unplanned novel. You didn't really have expectations for it, because you didn't think it'd exist! The world is its oyster; be sure to explore all avenues! 


And that's my little NaNo rant to distract me from doomsday. For all you writers, keep on writing! And for everyone else, keep readin' and dreamin'! 


-Fred 


**ANYONE IN THE NEW ORLEANS/SE LA AREA!**

I'll be a guest author at Bad Wolf Bar & Grill's Barcon on December 3rd! I'll have bookmarks, posters, and other Lucid goodies to hand out! Be sure to dress as your favorite comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, or anime character and I'll see you there! 

I'll be posting a blog about it soon, but for more info check out the Facebook event: (copy and paste into your browser) 

https://www.facebook.com/events/965943350183177/




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Not A Book Review

This is a first for my blog. And hopefully a last, as well.

2016 hasn’t dealt me a very nice hand, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The icing on this shit cake was ending a year-long relationship via text with someone I truly cared about. Honestly, I saw it coming, and I was going to suggest we split or at least take a lengthy break, but I wasn’t even given the chance to reply to what was a childish and hurtful way to end it. He’s not worth another letter (when will I ever learn my lesson about writing letters to guys?) and I sure as hell don’t want to face him right now.

But I have things to say, and I am a writer, so this is more cathartic than anything else I could do right now. If it brings someone else solace, then I’ll have done my good deed for this hideous year.

To the focus of my year,

You didn’t deserve me. From the minute you thought disappearing without a trace and popping back into my life was ok, I sensed something deeply unsettled within your core. But I also saw the greatness and the sweet person inside. Everyone needs a champion from time to time, especially when we’re in a dark part of our lives. I wanted to be that person for you. I would have gladly been your light in the dark, and I kept reaching out even when I was bluntly pushed aside.

I am an idiot, but this I’ve known since a young age. The depths of my idiocy were maxed out by you. Shortly before meeting you, I’d just returned from the biggest adventure of my life. I lived, thrived, and traveled around another country all while attaining great self-discovery and learning about myself and how I can interact with this great world we live in. I returned a much more confident and self-efficient person.

As I slowly devoted myself to you, I saw myself slipping away. Why I didn’t stop it before I turned into a husk of myself is an easy question to answer. I thought you needed me, because I saw you slipping as well. I thought giving to you would not only help you but create a mutual support system from which we could both benefit.

And for a while, it did. Even in my darkest despair, even after being humiliated and discarded like a used tissue, I remember the good times we had. It had been a long time since someone had treated me so tenderly and opened my heart up like you did. But I guess I didn’t have enough value for you to continue to treat me as such. I wasn’t making you money or advancing you toward your goals, and even though I tried giving to you in other ways, I wasn’t important enough to hang on to.

This was a long time coming, and I knew it would eventually end, but I deserve more closure than you gave me. You said I was the emotional burden, but who was the one reaching for comfort and support for the better half of this year? Who enjoyed playing the emotional hostage situation game to keep me coming back? There was a lot of work put in on my side, and I get little to no closure myself? For all the time I spent worrying over you and trying to reach out when one of your sulky moods struck, I get a text message and a prompt cut off? I wasn’t even worth a phone conversation, much less a face-to-face discussion like sensible adults do. This act of childish cowardice threw me more off course than your disappearing acts throughout our relationship. With all of your relationship experience, you still function on a grade school level. You’d mentioned how crazy your exes were, and it’s not hard to imagine someone reacting very negatively to something like this.

But this also showed me a new, nastier side of you. I didn’t realize how cold you could be for you were always so warm to me. But I guess that warmth was an act of “pity” as you said in your impersonal, final text. I don’t need anyone’s pity, and I won’t apologize for proactively trying to reach out to you while attempting to predict your bouts of closeness and distance.

Nothing was conventional about this relationship, one that was almost forced into long-distance though we don’t live so far apart. I find it hard to believe you entertained nearly a year of someone out of pity. You sure were cozy and comfortable with someone you didn’t really care about. I think back to a month ago when things were good and we were growing closer. If that was an act of pity, then it must be the most grandiose act on record. None of this adds up, but I’m done trying to analyze your dark and unsettling mind.

I hope you remain too self-absorbed in your own world and goals to reach out to another person for a long time. You will be hard pressed to find someone who’d give you as many chances as I did. Someone who gave so much of herself and sacrificed so much time for a guy who can’t even return a phone call. And no one deserves a year of anxiety attacks, self-doubt, and diminishing self-worth just to be tossed aside and completely cut out of your life. May you find whatever it is you’re searching for, but may you also be aware that I want no part in it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fiction feature with a serious Intent to please!

Ahoy lovely readers!



Hope last week was a good one for all of you. I’m back with another great fiction feature to get this week started off right!



This one’s for my older readers, as the kiddos had their fun last week with Emily’s book. Today, I’m happy to introduce Intent by Krista Wagner!




Thriller Intent Is a Terrifying Tale of Small Town Life Gone Wrong

“A thrilling ride of desire, doubt, hope, and uncertainty, where faith is tested and the truth isn't what it seems.”

In her debut novel, author Krista Wagner introduces us somewhat introverted, twenty-two year old Raylee Johnson, a girl who is bored with her small town life and feels that it is going nowhere in particular. When her high school crush, Billy, returns to town, she finds a small measure of confidence, but when her parents—the local pastor and his wife—are killed in a car accident, Raylee turns bitter.

Finding comfort in her relationship with Billy, Raylee unexpectedly faces a world shrouded by disconcerting events when her high school nemesis, Crystal, shows up. Soon, Raylee finds herself surrounded by lies and more death and her attempts to uncover the truth all point to one fact…the truth is never what it seems.



Though the novel is new adult, its focus on tragedy, loss, and faith will strike a chord with thriller readers of all ages and places, for Intent shows us that no matter the size of the town or the boring life of its inhabitants, no one is safe from deception, and even murder.

When a bored fast food worker loses her parents she finds comfort in an old high school crush, but when people start to die and her former nemesis shows up, she starts to question who she can trust.



And here are a few great reviews that talk the novel up even more!

"This is a well-written story that captivated my interest from the first paragraph. So much happens throughout the book... each event shaping and transforming Raylee Johnson (the main character) in both expected and unexpected ways. I read this book in less than 24 hours, not wanting to put it down."

"I read this book the day I got it! I was unable to put it down. It's captivating! Raylee, the main character, is somebody who everyone can relate to in one way or another. Just when you think you have the characters figured out you realize that you don't! I recommend this book 100%."

"Intent by Krista Wagner is a great read. The element of surprise and intrigue are utilized throughout this entire book. As the protagonist, Raylee Johnson, pushes through a seemingly monotonous dead end job and begins to reach the conclusion that her life is without meaning, she is catapulted into a maze of events that leave her reeling. The courage and strength that Raylee finds during this tumultuous and precarious period of her life unfold with dramatic flare. The reader is led astray several times as the plot unravels down narrow paths of apprehensive action. Clues are scattered like finely sifted granules of sand across the grand canyon. As with any good mystery novel, the reader is never quite sure who's behind it all until the very end.
Wagner's ability to infuse the reader with hope and encouragement through a relationship with Christ is worked into the story in a clear manner without being intrusively overboard. There is not a "preachy" feel to this read, as the author takes advantage of her talent for subtlety and cohesively delivers sound Christian doctrine through some of the lives of the minor characters. This book is sure to help the reader effortlessly transfer some healthy prospective into their life.
If you enjoy reading a good mystery that has an element of reality without creating nightmares, I highly recommend that you read, Intent by Krista Wagner!"



You can find Intent on the e-shelves today!
https://www.amazon.com/Intent-Krista-Wagner/dp/0692281495/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473718676&sr=8-1&keywords=intent+krista+wagner


Let’s go ahead and meet our author while we’re at it:

Mother of three and Adjunct English Instructor Krista Wagner has been writing short stories of dramatic events like murder and kidnapping since she was in high school, and has been writing in general since she was seven years old. Wagner received her B.A. in English from UMBC, her M.A. in English Composition with a Literature Concentration from CSUSB, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from National University. Outside of her professional life, Wagner enjoys watching suspenseful films, reading the Bible, and spending time with her family. She is currently at work on a children's fantasy screenplay.



You can reach out to Krista at the links below:

http://kristawagnerintent.blogspot.com/2015/02/intent.html

http://kristawagner.wix.com/intent

https://twitter.com/IntentBook04



https://facebook.com/krista.wagner31



pinterest.com/kristawagner31

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8509957.Krista_Wagner

http://www.wattpad.com/story/22792724-rian-field







And that’s it for this feature! Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!



-Fred












Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Back To School Special!

Ahoy lovely readers!


Yes, I know it's been a good while since you've heard from your old pal Fred. August was an...interesting month to say the least. I've fallen, been torn, fixed up and on the mend again. It's a gripping tale, but I choose to reserve it for bonfire story time this Autumn.
Still recovering, but I'm happy to be back at my laptop, with use of both hands, to get back to writing. And showing you lovely new reads, of course!

I'm especially thrilled to bring you a brand new read today that's good for those youngins looking for a literary escape from their schoolwork. It's with great pleasure that I introduce Emily A. Steward's Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure!





When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.



Sounds like the perfect read for a post-homework evening! Filled with magic, perils, and schoolyard jokes, this is a gripping tale for people of any age!


You can purchase Penelope Gilbert as an e-book soon!


But to satiate your craving until then, here's a little excerpt!


*****

A six-foot-tall arachnid hovered over them. One of the creature’s razor-sharp metal legs was raised to attack. The scream seemed to confuse it. It wasn’t much of a window, but it was long enough. She rolled to the side just as the beast’s leg smashed into the ground, leaving a deep hole behind. Crane turned to see what was happening. He let out a cry and fell back into Haldor.

“Guard your necks!” Penny shouted. A web shot out from another spider just behind the first, catching Crane around the ankle. It pulled him in faster than he could react. Another web shot toward Penny. She managed to deflect it with her sword. She could hear Chip hooting wildly from somewhere above, as if cheering them on.

“Haldor, these guys are metal, can’t you do something?” she cried.

“I’m trying, but I have to get closer.”

“Help!” Crane yelled from where he hung upside down from the spider’s back. Haldor jumped to his feet and ran at them, swinging his spear around. He let out a gasp as a spindly leg knocked him to the ground. Another rose up to make the kill. Penny leapt forward and chopped the leg in two with her sword before it could connect.

The metal shrapnel scattered onto the ground. Haldor took that moment to drive his spear into the soft underbelly of the animal. It let out a horrible shriek but only seemed to be angered more. It came at him again, foam dripping from his fangs, his glass eyes gleaming red like a hundred tiny traffic lights. Haldor fell back, losing his grip on the spear. The spider lunged just as Penny attacked it from behind, stabbing her blade deep within his thorax. She then swung around, looking for the spider who held Crane. She could see it skittering toward the forest.



“Come on!” she yelled to Haldor who was wriggling out from under the spider corpse. She ran to the spot where she saw the creature enter as Haldor hurried to catch up. She scrambled through the brush until she came to a stream. There she saw the spider. He was across the water under a large tree. Above him were several objects swinging in the breeze. It took her a moment to realize that they were rotting bodies strung up by their necks. Their unseeing eyes stared eerily into the darkness. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were at least thirty of them. She wretched silently as she tried to think of a way for Crane to not become one of them. The spider was already trying to wrap a strand of webbing around his neck. A thought occurred to her. An outrageous, outlandish thought. I can do this, she assured herself. She tried to picture every last detail of her slain foe—every creepy crawling, hairy, shiny detail. Penny could feel the energy pulsing through her. Her hands were no longer her own. Her teeth had become fangs, and her eyes were the eyes of a killer.

*****


Now here's a little about our author. I don't usually include author photos, as the books should speak for themselves, but this picture is too cool to not share!








Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.

You can reach out to Emily at the links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Emily_Steward14

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emily.steward.37

Website/Blog: https://estewardblog.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/emilyasteward




And that's it for now! Hope you're all enjoying the fall into a new season ;)







Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!




-Fred

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Reading's Final Countdown!

Ahoy lovely readers!


I hope the month of July did you all well. It's hard to believe that the month of August is upon us. That means back-to-school for most kids, but there are still a few weeks left of the sweet summer.

So, I'm keeping this summer reading party going with another great YA read! This one is a paranormal thriller regarding the strange events of a town. Get to know Lora Palmer's The Mirror Masters with this wonderful excerpt!








Strange things happen in Sea Cliff Heights every single year on this date, June 15th. Mysterious pulses of light flickered in the forest. Not-quite-solid figures appeared in the cemetery one second and disappeared the next. All day, I couldn’t shake the intuition that this year would bring something much worse than the usual weirdness, much worse than the usual gibes about how it began thirteen years ago, the same night my parents found me abandoned on the beach.



"Let’s watch something light — not a horror movie," I said.



"Leah, Leah, Leah." My brother David shook his head and scooted closer to Kara, my best friend, on their loveseat. They shared a conspiratorial grin. "Don’t tell me you want to watch some lame comedy when we can have a slasher fest. It’s tradition.”



A shiver raced down my spine at the mental image the idea conjured, one of chilling music, strangled sobs and hitching breaths, followed by silenced screams. Tonight also marked the town tragedy of the 1870s, when strangers murdered the Stanford twins, the mayor’s daughters. Of course David would insist we do something scary to commemorate the anniversary.



"Come on!" I shot him a pleading look. "I’m sure you breezed through exams, but I took three AP finals this week and fielded a million alien jokes today. Enough already — I deserve a break from crazy.”



"Just go out to the cemetery with us," Kara said, her eyes sparkling. "We won’t do anything risky, I promise.”



Sure. Why wait for trouble to find us when we could seek it out and bring it right here?





Glancing out the sliding glass doors toward the church beyond, I couldn’t help checking for signs of unusual activity. My hands fidgeted, and I fought to still them. I thought I could just make out the sound of otherworldly voices speaking in urgent whispers outside. A gust of wind rustled the palm trees, obscuring any other noise and causing moonlight and shadows to flit across the lawn. Every muscle in my body tensed. Whatever might lurk out there, we’d be safer staying away from it. 







You can find The Mirror Masters at the links below:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MirrorMasters-Lora-Palmer-ebook/dp/B01EKZKP6E

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/631608

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-mirrormasters






And here's a little bit about our author, who's new to this blog!

Lora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Bucks County, Pennsylvania is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. In her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.

You can reach out to Lora here:

Social Media Links:

Website: http://lorapalmer.weebly.com

Blog http://lorarpfictionblog.blogspot.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lora-Palmer-YA-Writer-144172288935800/

Twitter @lorareedpalmer

Instagram: lorareedpalmer






That's it for now! Keep the summer spirit strong, and until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!




-Fred

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Reading Special Guest! NEW RELEASE!

Ahoy lovely readers!

I take it all my American readers had a lovely Fourth of July? I hope my non-Murican readers had a lovely day on the fourth, as well!

You may notice that this YA summer camp special isn't on a Friday. Well, that's because I have a new release to share with y'all today!

Please welcome Laura Wadsworth Carter and her new novel The Elect!





For the past thirteen years, the Foundation has ruled Belstrana with an iron fist and has protected its reign with an army of meticulously programmed child soldiers. As one of those soldiers, seventeen-year- old August has done terrible things to innumerable people, though he wasn’t aware of it at the time. But when one small accident leads to a major awakening for August and three other Young Ones, submission is the last thing on their agenda, and they soon find themselves at the front of a growing rebellion. Embroiled in a fight they have little chance of winning, they soon realize that deception hides behind the most unlikely faces and desperation leads to unthinkable acts. But all they need is a crack, and the Foundation will fall.





Sounds like an amazing read for anyone who's into YA Dystopian fiction. Let's have our lovely author tell us why her riveting read would be a great addition to a summer reading list:

"The Elect is a fast-paced adventure story that won't take long to read and has a lot of tension, a touch of humor, and just a kiss of romance. It's a clean read but provides high stakes and a good storyline."

You can pick up a copy of The Elect to take on your summer vacation by going to Amazon, B&N.com, and other fine e-book retailers!


Summer's still in full swing, so be sure to get some fun in the sun while you still can! Drink lots of water and keep slathering on that sunscreen while you get lost in a good book on the beach :)


Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!




-Fred