Saturday, May 31, 2014

Calling All Critiques: Submit Your Cover Art

Starting now, Calling All Critiques is accepting entries for your cover art.

How to Enter

Submit your entry to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.
Your name/pseudonym:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Attach your cover art to the email in a standard format (.jpg, .gif, .png preferred). Make sure it’s big enough to be legible when viewed at full-size on a standard web browser.
This week, we will keep accepting entries through Monday or Tuesday, depending on interest. If you get them in before 8 p.m. EDT and spots are open, you will go into the next day’s round.

More Details

Questions? Check out some of the earlier blog posts or leave a comment below:

After You Submit…

After you submit, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

Thanks for being part of Calling All Critiques!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Calling All Critiques: First Week Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our first week of Calling All Critiques, whether you were a submitting author or a critiquer or just stopped by the blogs to see what was going on. The Rafflecopter random giveaway of two eBooks and a $10 Amazon gift certificate ends on Sunday at midnight, so give some feedback on one of the earlier posts and maybe win some prizes:

First 500 Word Random Winner

As a thank you to all the authors who submitted their work to be critiqued, we’ve randomly chosen one lucky winner who has a choice of the following prizes:




This week’s winner is:
Entrant #5
Toya Barnette


Toya, look for an email in your inbox later today. You have until Sunday to respond as to which of the three prizes you want. If we don’t hear from you by then, a runner-up will be chosen. Once you choose your prize, we will provide you and the blogger with each other’s contact information to coordinate timing.

Next Week: Cover Art Critique

Starting Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 6 a.m., submit your cover art to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.
The name you want to be known by:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Attach your cover art to the email in a standard format (.jpg, .gif, .png preferred). Make sure it’s big enough to be legible when viewed at full size on a standard web browser.
Updated info for this week: Your entry will be assigned a number in the order in which it is received. Our cutoff is now 30 entries. Entries 1-6 will be posted on our blogs Monday morning, entries 7-12 will be posted on our blogs Tuesday morning, etc. This week, we will keep accepting entries through Monday or Tuesday, depending on interest. If you get them in before 8 p.m. EDT and spots are open, you will go into the next day’s round.
And all the rest is the same: Your email will be kept confidential. What you submit is what will be posted, so double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar. (We may correct crazy formatting errors as a result of email quirks, but still, make sure it’s clean before you press send.) You may resubmit an entry, but it goes to the end of the queue: if you submit it past the 30-entry cutoff, you’ll have lost your spot.
All 30 accepted entrants will be entered into the prize drawing, and the winner will be chosen by their assigned number through Random.org.
As always, if you don’t want both positive and negative feedback, please don’t enter. This event is for us to help one another grow as authors and maybe to make some friends in the process.
Some fine print: Entries that don’t include the above information will be discarded. At our sole discretion, we may also discard other posts for reasons such as offensive/distasteful material. Erotica may be confined only to certain blogs, and we may put an adult content warning on it.

If You Enter, Please …

Critique other entrants. The sky’s the limit on how many other entries you critique, but we ask that you at least provide feedback to two other participants.
Also, when you receive feedback on your entry, be gracious if you decide to respond. We would highly suggest not responding except for perhaps a “thank you,” but you’re going to do what you’re going to do, aren’t you? Don’t be defensive or explanatory; these critiques are for you to improve your writing. Take what you want and leave the rest behind.

And If You Critique, Please …

Be nice. Be constructive. Be specific. Be polite.
Mean-spirited or spam posts will be deleted. General “I love everything about it and I think you’re the next J.K. Rowling, ZOMG!” obviously-written-about-your-best-friend comments won’t be deleted, but that’s tacky. Don’t be tacky.

Join us for more fun next week!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here soon.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

A Million Ways To Die In The West

Rated R / 1 hr 56 min / Comedy - Western

What is it about?


Seth MacFarlane plays a coward and sheep-farmer who is afraid of all of the different ways you can die in the western frontier. His girlfriend, Amanda Seyfried, breaks up with him, and he'll do anything to get her back. She left him for the slick mustachio'd Neil Patrick Harris. There is a newcomer to town in Charlize Theron who befriends the hapless sheep-farmer. He foolishly challenges his ex-girlfriend's new lover to a gunfight, but he is a terrible shot. Charlize offers to help train him how to shoot, but she's also hiding something. Liam Neeson is coming to town, and he's the deadliest criminal in the territory.

You will like it if...


You like Seth MacFarlane's style of humor. There are several hilarious moments throughout the movie, but there are more misses or near misses than in his previous effort Ted. Some of the best parts feature Sarah Silverman and her boyfriend in the movie Giovanni Ribisi. The main problem with this movie is that Seth MacFarlane is the main character. He is the worst actor in the film, and some parts of the movie suffer because of it. It's still a great comedy, but not as good as Ted was.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Calling All Critiques: Entry #15 - Fate Captured

Thank you to everyone who has shared their work for us to critique. We hope that our feedback is useful.

Also, please note that we still have spots open: Submit your first 500 words to Critiques@Saboviec.com for inclusion in this week’s blog posts. We need it by tonight at 8 p.m. if you want to be included tomorrow and spots are still open.

For critiquers, please feel free to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway. One lucky person will win a $10 Amazon gift card, an eCopy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller, and an eCopy of Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fate Captured (An Aegean Lovers novel)

by Maria / MM Jaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance

“Monica, hold on.” Delia tucked the wired earbud back into her ear and clutched her tablet again with both hands, pointing its camera forward. “I should’ve bought one of those wireless headsets.” She sidestepped a dumpster that sat majestically across the sidewalk, blocking her way. “Okay, I’m turning left now. Jesus. This street is even seedier!”

“For the love of God, why didn’t you take the main street like a normal person? You’d be there by now, plus I wouldn’t have to worry about you mingling with the Athens backstreet elite!”

A normal person wouldn’t need visual aids to help her pen a ‘gripping crime novel set in Athens and the Greek islands’, and there's nothing like a back alley to capture those. Besides, I think I got the right street now. The name is—”

“Karytsi Street, according to Google Maps. This one should feed right into Stadiou Avenue. You’ll find the Arger Enterprises building at the left corner.” Monica’s sharp exhalation tickled her ear. “Oh my God! I’ll finally get to see the actual building!”

Delia shook her head. Monica was a week away from leaving Boston to come to Athens herself, but, unlike Delia, who had just plucked up the courage to give up a promising corporate career, Monica was taking the first step toward starting one. She had been called for an interview at Arger Enterprises, one of the leading marble industries in the world--Monica’s one and only target jobwise.

“What’s with you and your love for the big marble company? You act as if I’m about to photograph your favorite celebrity!” Her prolonged tutting carried her distaste all the way to Boston. “When I’m trying hard to shed my corporate white collar skin, after you kept harping on and on about pursuing my dream of becoming a writer, don't expect me to share your excitement about entering that dreadful world.”

“One man’s dream another’s headache, they say. You’re not me. And I’ve told you time and again I have my reasons to want to work there. Now watch your step. I’m after some footage myself. But not of chipped sidewalks.”

Delia squinted as her lens caught the blazing Greek sun. “How do you know the sidewalks are chipped? And stop deflecting!” She swerved to bypass an ancient looking hydrant. Not “ancient” in the Greek sense of the word, as in thousands of years old, but the fact that it was squashed and half-torn out of the curb meant it hadn’t been used in ages. Delia hovered her tablet over it and pinched out the screen to zoom in. That could sure be used as a prop in her crime storyline. Maybe when Sven is chased by Ukrainian thugs. Sven could look over his shoulder while running and stumble on the hydrant.

Or maybe I try to find a Greek rather than a Scandinavian name for my hero. She had a solid plot outline, but in terms of character name-giving, Cordelia Swan, aspiring crime novelist, was the worst godmother ever!

There’s More to Critique!


After leaving your comments, don’t go yet! That is, if you have time, we cordially invite you to give more feedback on some of our other brave souls. Head on over to one or more of these blogs to see some more great entries:
Thanks again to everyone participating in this critique event!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Calling All Critiques: Entry #10 - Guardian of the Cursed Crown

Thank you to everyone who has shared their work for us to critique. We hope that our feedback is useful.

Also, please note that we still have spots open: Submit your first 500 words to Critiques@Saboviec.com for inclusion in this week’s blog posts. We need it by tonight at 8 p.m. if you want to be included tomorrow and spots are still open.

For critiquers, please feel free to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway. One lucky person will win a $10 Amazon gift card, an eCopy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller, and an eCopy of Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guardian of the Cursed Crown

by Jevon Knights - http://www.knightswrites.com/
Genre: Fantasy

    The stench of filth offended Larsen’s nose, overcoming odours of decay and moss in the unkempt cemetery. It easily identified the person who approached from behind, stepping weak like the light of a lone candle in a cave. Larsen gave no sign of interest, knowing that there was no threat. “Still mourning, my king?” said a cracked voice.

    Even though Larsen didn't want anyone to see him in this state, his face hidden deep under the cowl of a patched brown cloak, he also didn't care to play the game of pretending to be someone else. His sorrow was far more important and he just wanted to be left alone. “Malick is your king now,” said Larsen. “Go and serve him in whatever way you wish.”

    “There are many who still think of you as their king, you know,” said the voice.

    “And there are many more who don’t, so what of it?” said Larsen with an annoyed tone.

    “My lord, you had everything a man could dream of: wealth, power, fame. Your name was praised all across the lands. You could have gotten any woman with just the point of a finger. But you traded it all for an old forgotten cemetery. Could she really have meant that much?”

    At these words Larsen turned and grabbed the throat of the stranger with one hand and drew his sword from under his cloak with the other. The man dropped his crooked walking stick as Larsen slammed him into the trunk of a tree, tall and leafless, one of many that grew among the waist-high grass. The tree shook with the impact, and Larsen pointed his sword at the man's jaw.

    The man wore a hooded cloak, black and tattered. There was a strange rune on his old and wrinkled face, imprinted just under his right eye. His grey hair and beard made a long and matted tangle. “I know who you are,” spat Larsen. “I’ve seen you before, beggar, and I smelled you coming from a mile away. What business have you here? If you’ve come just to mock me, you’ve made a grave mistake.” Being drunk on his sorrow and wanting compensation for this mockery, Larsen pushed tip of his sword against the beggar’s neck, revealing a bead of blood.

    The beggar clenched Larsen’s wrists as he tried to pry himself free, his legs flailing. “My lord, I was simply wondering if you were willing to go just a bit further, is all,” said the beggar as he gasped for air.

    “What are you babbling about?” said Larsen as he loosened his grip on the beggar’s throat just enough to allow him to speak more clearly. “If you have a point, you better make it while I’m still merciful.”

    “The illness that infected Gwen, I’ve seen it before,” said the beggar. “And it can be cured.”

    “Cured!” bellowed Larsen, feeling an instant hatred building in his gut. “Gwen is dead. How can you talk about a cure?”

There’s More to Critique!


After leaving your comments, don’t go yet! That is, if you have time, we cordially invite you to give more feedback on some of our other brave souls. Head on over to one or more of these blogs to see some more great entries:
Thanks again to everyone participating in this critique event!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Calling All Critiques: Entry #5 - It's Only Monday

Thank you to our first brave souls who have dared to share their work with us for critique.

Critiques are welcome from anyone and everyone. Just remember our rules: Be nice. Be constructive. Be specific. Be polite.

For anyone just joining us, read more about the event here and more about the rules here.

And, as mentioned previously, just for helping critique, please feel free to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway. One lucky person will win a $10 Amazon gift card, an eCopy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller, and an eCopy of Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's Only Monday

by Toya Barnette
Genre: Adult fiction/chick-lit

When Taylor was summoned from Sales to the Front office she stepped out to a kaleidoscope of dancing color; the magnolia tree in full bloom reminded her of fresh cotton candy against a warm blue sky. Tangerine and white peonies covered the lush landscape and patches of daisies swayed rhythmically in the sweet breeze of spring. Instead of walking directly to the Front office, she opted to take the long way around the charmed boutique hotel to gather her thoughts. She was peeved with Kelly, Front Office Manager, for the lackadaisical management of her accounts. On Friday, Kelly had ensured her the new Front Desk agents were trained well enough to be placed on the floor. “Taylor, don’t worry, I got your back”, she had said.

Taylor walked briskly over the cobblestoned footbridge with her arms crossed and face downcast; she leaned over the wrought iron railing, plucked a jasmine flower from the vine that had migrated across the top and inhaled until her nostrils were filled to capacity with fragrance-it reminded her of Oahu. As the creek rippled quietly below, the resident crane stood majestically on an ivy covered boulder while a black squirrel scampered up the seventy year old oak tree planted by the original owners back in the 1950’s.

When she exhaled she wished a singular breathe could magically transport her back to the island. Life was so simple then; wake up in paradise, jog down to the beach, bask in the sun’s glow until noon, take the long way home past Diamondhead, nap, wake up and go to work with the band at night. Each day belonged to her – she owned it until she became pregnant by the love of her life, miscarried, hastily decided to part ways and moved back to California for a fresh start. Heartbreak had a way of ushering in a new reality and at the time Taylor welcomed the change with open arms. These days her time was tied like a noose to someone else’s bottom line. Somewhere along her career path she had lost the passion she once felt when she started in the hospitality industry over ten years ago by happenstance. She loved helping people but something strange had happened. People had become increasingly rude and brash. Everything had to be done instantaneously in this internet driven world. When had the industry become so scientific; detailed charts of guest stay patterns, weekly analysis of revenue and competitive rates in the marketplace, unrealistic monthly budgets that if missed by one penny would send ownership into a tizzy. Taylor felt as if the globe was spinning out of control. She had always dreamed of having her own business, maybe now was the time. Perhaps she would use the 100 acres her great-grandfather had bequeathed to build a non-profit organization for underprivileged children; she always thought children were the purist form of humanity. It had saddened her deeply when she had lost a chance to become a mother. “Oh well, another time, another place”, she reminisced.

There’s More to Critique!


After leaving your comments, don’t go yet! That is, if you have time, we cordially invite you to give more feedback on some of our other brave souls. Head on over to one or more of these blogs to see some more great entries:
Thanks again to everyone participating in this critique event!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Calling All Crituques: Now Accepting Submissions!

Today (Saturday, May 24) we’re accepting entries to the Calling All Critiques event. Next week, we’re doing critiques of your first 500 words.

How to Enter

Submit your entry to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.
Your name/pseudonym:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Entry:
Your first 500 words may run slightly over in order to finish at the end of a sentence.
Acceptance of entries closes on Sunday, May 25, at 5 p.m. EDT.

More Details

Questions? Check out some of the earlier blog posts or leave a comment below:

Less than 24 hours before we begin accepting critiques!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here soon.

X-men: Days of Future Past

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 11 min / Action - Adventure - Fantasy

What is it about?

In the future the mutants, humans with potential mutant offspring, and mutant sympathizers are hunted down and persecuted. The Sentinels are robots made specifically for this task. They have been modified using mutant DNA to make it so they can adapt to any power the mutants can throw at them. Professor X has a plan to stop the war from ever happening. Kitty Pride has the capability to send a person's mind back in time, but only for short periods of time. Professor X wants her to send someone back further in the past to prevent events that cause this future. The nature of her power would tear apart a normal mind, but Wolverine would be able to heal himself.

You will like it if...

You liked X-men: First Class or like superhero movies with a message. The action and special effects are what you would expect from a big budget superhero movie, but it's surprising how little of it is needed to push the story. In an age where you have movies that cast young actors for their six pack abs and use explosions with pretty special effects in place of plot, it is refreshing to have a big budget movie that pays as much attention to the story. There is no major villain for the superheroes to fight, but it doesn't matter. The Sentinels provide a credible threat to push the "race against time" feel of the story. This movie is very entertaining. If you have any interest in seeing it I would recommend doing so immediately.

Preview:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Calling All Critiques: The Rules

We have less than one week before Calling All Critiques starts accepting its inaugural entries! Today I’ll introduce the rules. You can read more about the event and participating bloggers here: Calling All Critiques: A Cross-Blog Event and Introducing Your Hosts.

What to Enter

The schedule for the weekly critiques is as follows:
  • Week of May 26: First 500 word critique
  • Week of June 2: Cover art critique
  • Week of June 9: Book blurb or query letter critique


For this coming week, you may submit your first 500 words, finishing at the end of the sentence. (That is, your entry could be 505 words long … or 510 words … or 515 words … but let’s not get too crazy with our run-on sentences, mmkay?)

How to Enter

Starting Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 6 a.m., submit your entry to Critiques@Saboviec.com. Cut and paste the following template into your email and fill it in.
Your name/pseudonym:
Your website (optional):
Title:

Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Entry:
Your email will be kept confidential. What you submit is what will be posted, so double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar. (We may correct crazy formatting errors as a result of email quirks, but still, make sure it’s clean before you press send.) You may resubmit an entry, but it goes to the end of the queue: if you submit it past the 35 entry cutoff, you’ll have lost your spot.
Your entry will be assigned a number in the order in which it was received. Our cutoff is 35 entries or until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Entries 1-7 will be posted on our blogs Monday morning, entries 8-14 will be posted on our blogs Tuesday morning, etc.
All 35 accepted entrants will be entered into the prize draw, and the winner will be chosen by their assigned number through Random.org.
And I will say this one more time: If you don’t want both positive and negative feedback, please don’t enter. This event is for us to help one another grow as authors and maybe to make some friends in the process.
Some fine print: Entries that don’t include the above information will be discarded. At our sole discretion, we may also discard other posts for reasons such as offensive/distasteful material. Erotica may be confined only to certain blogs, and we may put an adult content warning on it.

If You Enter, Please …

Critique other entrants. The sky’s the limit on how many other entries you critique, but we ask that you at least provide feedback to four other participants.
Also, when you receive feedback on your entry, be gracious if you decide to respond. I would highly suggest not responding except for perhaps a “thank you,” but you’re going to do what you’re going to do, aren’t you? Don’t be defensive or explanatory; these critiques are for you to improve your writing. Take what you want and leave the rest behind.

And If You Critique, Please …

Be nice. Be constructive. Be specific. Be polite.
Mean-spirited or spam posts will be deleted. General “I love everything about it and I think you’re the next J.K. Rowling, ZOMG!” obviously-written-about-your-best-friend comments won’t be deleted, but that’s tacky. Don’t be tacky.

Less than one week until we begin accepting critiques!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here soon.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Calling All Critiques: Introducing Your Hosts

As I posted on Monday, this blog is part of the upcoming Calling All Critiques cross-blog event. Today’s post is to introduce the bloggers who will be participating, critiquing, and calling everyone they know to help support those brave souls who have shared their work. You can read more about the event here: Calling All Critiques: A Cross-Blog Event.

Meet Our Hosts

We have seven fabulous bloggers who will be participating in Calling All Critiques.
Brian Basham
Brian grew up and still lives in Va Beach, VA where he spends his time playing with his black lab, Sadie, a.k.a. Inspector Puppy. In his spare time he plays softball, poker, and the occasional video game. Oh, and he writes too. You can read some of his stories for free at his Wattpad page. The first novel in his Virtual Wars series is going through edits and rewrites with no current release date announced. He blogs about writing, publishing, movies, and whatever else he feels like talking about at http://www.brian-basham.com/.


MM Jaye

MM Jaye is the pen name of Maria Messini, a bilingual Greek native who lives in Athens with her husband and daughter. She is a certified translator and also teaches the art of translation to young adults. Writing was Maria’s idea of therapy when, back in 2009, her spirits had temporarily nosedived, but she didn't take it seriously until her first manuscript was completed last year. Since November, she’s been building her author platform aiming at publishing Fate Accomplis, her first contemporary romance, in the fall, along with Fate Captured, a prequel novelette. She blogs at mmjayewrites.com and myfriendsexcerpts.wordpress.com. You can also find her on Twitter @MMJaye or Facebook.com/MMJayeauthor.
Quanie Miller


Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. Her debut novel, It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy, is a romantic comedy loosely based on her experiences living and working in Silicon Valley. Her first paranormal novel is called The New Mrs. Collins and is slated for a September 2014 release. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress follow her on Twitter @quaniemiller or visit quaniemiller.com and quanietalkswriting.com.
S. L. Saboviec

Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. In her spare time, she reads, writes, and thinks about reading and writing—along with playing the occasional video game or eight. She's expecting her first child in September, but pregnancy has only slowed her down a little; her debut release, Guarding Angel, will be available May 19th. She blogs speculative fiction book reviews at the Magic & Mayhem Book Review Blog and tweets about life and writing from @Saboviec.

M.G. Silverstein

M.G. Silverstein is a YA fantasy novelist and fantasy genre blogger. She is currently completing her second Bachelor’s degree in English (her first is in Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts). Her debut YA fantasy novel Elemental will be available in 2015.
Although she considers the Washington, D.C. metro area her favorite place on Earth—she isn’t ‘from’ anywhere. Having lived in 7 states, 14 cities, and 2 different countries, the only place she feels at home is when reading or writing fantasy. You can visit her at www.mgsilverstein.com to hear her musings on both the fantasy genre and writing a fantasy novel.
Christie Stratos
Christie Stratos is an editor and award-winning author who lives in the New York area and holds a degree in English Literature. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics and is always on top of current publishing trends and technology. In her spare time, you can find her playing French Horn for musicals, small ensembles, orchestras, and a 10-year-old community band for which she was a founding member. Christie can be reached through her editing business, Proof Positive, her author website and blog, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Mike Verbickas
Mike says: Growing up in a small town, you spend a lot of your time thinking, dreaming and waiting. It's this experience I credit to why I became a writer.
A trained journalist and fiction writer, I think I bring a unique mix of skills to the blogosphere. In journalism, you feel most alive when meeting diverse people and experiencing new things. After all, who can't pass up a good story?

 

Only one week left until we begin accepting critiques!

While you wait, check out all the participating blogs and bloggers:

We look forward to seeing you back here in a couple weeks.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Godzilla

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 3 min / Action - Adventure - SciFi

What is it about?


The King of monsters is back! The movie starts off with Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (fans of the other Godzilla movies should recognize the name) finding what seems like it may be the original Godzilla's bones, but he doesn't believe it is. They find a parasite inside that is encased in a cocoon, and is prefectly preserved. There is another spot where a cocoon was, but it looks like it has hatched. Move to Japan, Joe Brody is a nuclear plant technician who wants to shut down the plant because of some strange seismic activity. It is increasing in intensity. What could be causing it?

You will like it if...


You like monster movies. Godzilla is back, and is showing why he has always been considered to be the king of the monsters. The story mostly follows the adventures of Ford Brody played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who is fortunately not asked to do too much. He is the son of Joe Brody who is played by Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad who is plays the paranoid scientist to perfection. Serizawa is played by Ken Wantanabe who has the most iconic lines in the movie other than the Godzilla roar of course. The first time he says "Godzilla" feels like an almost sacred moment in the movie. The special effects are fantastic. The moment where Godzilla walks forward through smoke is one of the best special effects scenes I've seen in recent years. The way they move the clouds and smoke in realistic patterns is something you don't see often. More often you will see the smoke simply fade behind or disappear. I enjoyed this movie thoroughly for what it was, but you can't go in expecting too much. It's still a Godzilla movie, similar to the many foreign versions before it. If only we could go back in time to erase the last hollywood version of Godzilla.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Calling All Critiques: A Cross-Blog Event

We can all use a little help once in a while, can’t we?

I’m excited to announce that my blog will be part of an upcoming event, Calling All Critiques, a cross-blog critique event open to self-published, traditionally published, and unpublished authors (that would be everyone!). The event will start the weekend of May 24 and run until June 13, adding up to three weeks of critiques of different aspects of novel writing and marketing.

Three weeks of critiques

The schedule for the weekly critiques is as follows:
  • Week of May 26: First 500 word critique
  • Week of June 2: Cover art critique
  • Week of June 9: Book blurb or query letter critique
Entries will be accepted the weekend before the week’s critiques, with a cutoff of 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday. We have a total of 35 slots, 5 on each participating blog, and the entries will be accepted in the order they were received. The posts will go up throughout the week, 7 each Monday through Friday, one on each blog each day, for a total of 5 per blog. All blogs will link to each other so that critters can easily find the other entries.

There will be prizes

What’s an event without prizes? We have two categories of prizes: One lucky winner each week from the entrants and one lucky winner from a Rafflecopter giveaway, chosen by random draw.

Each winning entrant will have his or her choice of the following prizes:

Each Rafflecopter winner will win this package:
  • An electronic copy of Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec
  • An electronic copy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller
  • $10 gift certificate from Amazon

Interested in having your work critiqued?

Each week, entrants will have two days to submit their work for critique. When the submission window opens, you (that’s right, you) may submit to an email address that will be provided. You will need to provide the following information:

Your name/pseudonym:
Title:
Genre (include audience, such as YA/Adult, and category):
Entry:

Your email will be kept confidential. What you submit is what will be posted, so double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar. (We may correct crazy formatting errors as a result of email quirks, but still, make sure it’s clean before you press send.) You may resubmit an entry, but it goes to the end of the queue: if you submit it past the 35 entry cutoff, you’ll have lost your spot.

If you’re nervous about participating because you aren’t sure what comments you’re going to get, rest assured that we bloggers are committed to making this a positive event for everyone. Mean-spirited or trolling comments will be deleted. We’ve participated in these events in the past, and for the most part, everyone is helpful and kind.

That being said, if you don’t want feedback on your entry, don’t submit. Critiques are provided to help you improve your writing. Along with “this worked great for me,” you will get “this didn’t work so great for me” comments. If you don’t want that kind of feedback, please don’t participate.

Interested in critiquing?

Yay! Critters are the lifeblood of this event. As the posts go live, one each weekday over the three weeks of the event, please feel free to critique as many or as few as you want. You may want to follow all the participating blogs to get up-to-the-minute information, or we will be tweeting under the hashtag #CACrits.

The only rule we have is to be constructive. You can say you dislike something, but give reasons why. In fact, you can say you like something, but give reasons why for that, too. Although it’s ultimately up to the author to determine whether to take feedback or not, we grow the most when we understand why something does or doesn’t work.

Posts will go up in the morning at each of our blogs. We’d love it if you could visit all of us throughout the week:

(Website not yet live) Before Ink DriesMike Verbickus
M.G.'s Fantasy Blog – M.G. Silverstein
Magic & Mayhem Book ReviewsS. L. Saboviec
MM Jaye Writes – MM Jaye (Twitter / Facebook)
You are here! - Official Blog of Brian Basham – Brian Basham (Twitter / Wattpad / Facebook)
Proof PositiveChristie Stratos
Quanie Talks WritingQuanie Miller

Thanks for stopping by!

We look forward to seeing you back here in a couple weeks.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pimp Your List

This week I want to talk about promoting your email list! I wanted to post this last week, but wasn't able to due to a death in the family. I'm back now and ready to start pimping my own list. So how do we start? This is what I'm doing.

1.) Why do you have a list?

What are you trying to do with your email list? Is it for a monthly newsletter? Is it strictly for promoting your products? Are you promoting an event? Are you trying to organize a social group? You have to decide what you are trying to do with your email list. You probably already have a good idea of what you want to do. Define it and try to figure out how to reach your ultimate goal. My goal is to get more people to read my stories.

2.) How often are you going to send emails?

This could be a deciding factor for people who are potentially interested in signing up. People don't want to be spammed, but at the same time you don't want people to forget about you either. How often does the content you are providing dictate that you should send an email? Is it time sensitive where you may need to send out weekly updates? Is it a daily joke or horoscope? For authors like myself a weekly or monthly update should be sufficient.

3.) Motivate people to sign up

I have found a few articles that talk about how effective an email list is, but many of them don't tell you how to get people to sign up. Why should people want to sign up for your email list? Exclusive content, contests, and interaction are what I am going to try to provide every month with my newsletter.

4.) Pimp your list

Now it's time to promote. Tell people why they should sign up. Tweet about it when you send out the newsletter. Post an on-line version so people can see what they are missing and decide if they want to join in on the fun. Create a page explaining why they should sign up. Point towards your list signup page wherever you can. I still have a bit of work to do here, but I am going to be taking all of these steps in the near future!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Neighbors

Rated R / 1 hr 36 min / Comedy

What is it about?

Seth Rogan and his wife have sunk all their money into their home, and have a newborn baby. The house nextdoor is for sale, and they are hoping for some nice new neighbors. What they get instead is a frat moving in next door. The frat guys seem nice enough. They are invited in to party with the frat guys when they first come over to complain about the noise. The frat boys only ask that they call if the party is too loud before calling the police. They try to call the next time, but there is no answer after four calls. Then they call the police. The frat guys then declare war.

You will like it if...

You like revenge comedies with college student antics. Revenge of the Nerds comes to mind. There are quite a few laughs throughout. The frat guys are all taken to the silliest extremes. Seth Rogan somehow stumbles through the movie while not being funny, but is still likeable. I'm not sure how he pulls it off. I love Rose Byrne in this movie also. When the laughs aren't coming, the scheming and partying keeps the movie interesting. I went in not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Two New Stories

Grim

Grim is a serial short story that is updated weekly on Mondays. The grim-reapers are tasked with helping souls reach their final destination once their bodies cease to function. They themselves are in limbo until they have made a decision between heaven or hell. One reaper in particular has lived in this role for longer than any other in history. His name in life was Thomas Bjorn. Follow his adventures as he is caught between the forces of Heaven and Hell.

Chapter 1 - The Wager



These Are Not The Droids You Are Looking For

Two Storm Troopers, Bob and Doug, try to make their way through Star Wars Episode 4 without being killed by the rebels or themselves. Bob is a war hero from The Clone Wars, but he suffered a head injury in the fray. He now is a bit eccentric. Doug is his loyal second in command. He doesn't question any orders no matter how rediculous. The first chapter was posted on Star Wars day May the Fourth, and the rest will be posted as I finish each chapter.

Chapter 1 - Mos Eisley

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 22 min / Action - Adventure - Fantasy

What is it about?

Spider-Man has eliminated a lot of crime in the city, but as it was foretold in the prior movie he is going to make enemies. Enter Jamie Foxx who plays an electrical engineer who had designed a power grid that was then stolen from him. He has blueprints that are knocked out of his hands. He chases after them into the street where Spider-Man saves him from being hit by a car. A few days later he has an accident at work that causes him to gain strange electrical powers. He needs help when Spider-Man shows up. He realizes that Spider-Man is taking away all the attention he was getting, and then decides to fight against the spider.

You will like it if...

You liked the previous Amazing Spider-Man movie. It's mostly a faithful translation of the character as in the previous iteration. I was looking forward to this new movie that wasn't just a rehash of a story that was in the previous trilogy. They simply tried to do too much in this movie. All of the scenes with Garfield and Stone feel awkward. Their romantic chemistry is severely lacking, and the movie grinds to a halt whenever one of their scenes come up. Foxx has some iconic lines in the movie, but he gets less face time than those awkward love scenes. The transformation of Harry Osbourne is reminiscent of Venom in Spiderman 3. The action scenes are done well, but in spots look cartoonish. In the end this iteration is a little above average compared to other superhero movies.