Monday, March 2, 2015

Back to the Future! Plus Leonard Nimoy, Lame Blog Comments, Housebound Movie Review, What Are the Kargrandes, and Ninja News

Please welcome Jamie Ayers today! She was gracious enough to let me move her appearance to today so I could feature Bill and Kevin from RiffTrax last week, so please give her a warm welcome.

We all have a vision of what the future holds. In 1989, the future meant flying cars, self-lacing shoes, and the hoverboard. This is the year Back to the Future Part II was set, but like most things in life, what we often expect doesn’t happen.

Often times, it’s better! In the final installment of my trilogy, 18 Thoughts, my three amigos (Olga, Nate, and Conner) do a little time traveling. Instead of traveling to the future though, they’re going back to the past, so they can have a future. Confused? Well, then maybe someone should head to Amazon and download the first two books, 18 Things and 18 Truths. *stares expectantly*

All caught up now? Great J Anywho, my trilogy is all about hope. Hope that everything will be okay in the end, no matter how crazy things get in-between. After my seriously jacked up childhood, that ‘thought’ never bloomed in my mind. But over the course of my adult life, I’ve been able to look back on everything with a wondrous panorama of what was God’s plan all along. So be full of hope today and hold onto faith! Most people can’t see time for what is really is, but we are in fact infinite.

I still desperately want a flying skateboard though and discovered some DIY instructions on Ryan Craven’s blog. Alas, I’m a DIY moron, so instead of the brutal torture I’d undergo making this myself, who do I have to bribe to make one for me? I’ll do ANYTHING! I will even *gulp* give my babies away. And by babies, I mean the books in my trilogy, in ebook format (because I’m desperate but poor). Okay fine, you just have to comment on this post and I’ll leave it to to pick a winner.

*What do you think our future holds?

Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld anxious to return to normal, but fate had other plans; now she’s caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, torn between past and present.

18 Thoughts on Goodreads| Amazon |YouTube

Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories stories by night and teaches young adults as an English teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number eight – new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week - thanks to all who are spreading the word for me:

What are the Kargrandes? Eighth clue up this week- #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Animals? Weapons? Solve the mystery by April 7! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

And there is an awesome review of Dragon of the Stars at Edi’s Book Lighthouse!
Since the book is on pre-order at Amazon, reviews can’t be posted until its release–however, Edi started a forum discussion with his review. (Never knew you could do that!) So if anyone wants to chime in or add a discussion/review there, feel free!

Ninja News

Thanks to everyone who visited last week for my INTERVIEW with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of RiffTrax and MST3K fame!

Don’t forget Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day!

New Release –
Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble by Lori L. MacLaughlin
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out has an amazing post today and coming up Wednesday. His Battle of the Bands post on Sunday pit two rock bands playing a piece by Beethoven. His post today is an interview with the lead guitarist of the Greece band, Orion's Reign. Wednesday, for IWSG day, he’s doing a video interview with the L.A. musician, Sebastian Sidi, and he offers up some great advice for writers about overcoming insecurity. So check it out!

Leonard Nimoy

Last Friday we lost a great science fiction icon, and the inner geek in me is still crying.
Nimoy was many things–actor, director, poet, singer, and more. He created one of the greatest characters of all time in Mr. Spock, up there with Sherlock Holmes. I grew up with Star Trek and consider it the greatest science fiction franchise ever created. Nimoy brought true depth and meaning to the character of Spock.
It’s a sad day for all and he will be sorely missed. Prayers for his family and friends.

Movie Review

The main character, Kylie, is sentenced to house arrest and must return to the home she grew up in. Strange sounds and happenings begin to occur.
From New Zealand, this film really surprised me. It didn’t rely on gore or shock tactics, and there are many funny moments. There are also many twists and turns, which is why I can’t reveal much else about the movie.
Overall, it was very satisfying, well-acted, and very well done. A really original film.
Available on NetFlix.

Lame Blog Comments

We all enjoy blog comments. Sometimes even the lame ones. Just what is a lame comment?

Is it the ‘Great post’ comment? Is that better than nothing? Do we leave comments like that when we just can’t find something to say about the post? Now, I can usually find something to comment about in a post. Just by reading, one or more things will jump out. (Besides, ‘Great post’ is R’s trademark comment. No one else should be able to use it, right Pat?)

Is it the ‘Hello’ comment? Someone just stopping by to say hello without reading? Or just to leave a comment so you’ll comment back? I recently visited a blogger who had obviously spent a great deal of time and researching the post, and the very first comment was basically a ‘Hello.’ I thought it was a shame–the blogger had put so much effort into writing and this person didn’t even read it.

Is it the comment that has nothing to do with the content of the post? Someone who is just asking an unrelated question or leaving a reply to something else or just making a random comment?
I’d recently told Arlee Bird that leaving a comment that has nothing to do with the post is rude, and he agreed and added ‘That is one of the biggest indicators that a blogger is either just immersed in self-interest or in la-la land.’

It takes time to write a blog post. (Mine take between two and three hours to put together.) With that kind of effort, a blogger deserves a decent comment. Doesn’t need to be long, just relates to the post. (That’s why I offer a variety of topics in my posts–something for everyone. Plus I ask questions at the end.)

What’s your opinion on lame comments and what constitutes a lame comment?

What do you think the future holds? (And do you still want a hoverboard?) Any idea about those Kargrandes? Seen Housebound? What are your thoughts on Nimoy? And what’s your opinion on lame comments…?

Monday, February 23, 2015

RiffTrax Interview with Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett! Plus What Are the Kargrandes, ColorIQ Challenge, Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja News

Last week saw the release of RiffTrax Live: Sharknado. I was honored when Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett agreed to answer a few questions. These guys have been my idols since Mystery Science Theater 3000 and have been a source of laughter for over twenty years.

Without further ado, I present RiffTrax’s Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy!

1. I believe that BBC (Blood, Boobs, and Carnage) is the benchmark for cinematic greatness. What drew you to the greatness that is Sharknado?

BILL: Like you, the British Broadcasting Corporation.

KEVIN: The Three I’s: Inconceivability, Incoherence, and Ian.

2. RiffTrax is so freaking awesome and you riff such a variety of films, both good and bad. Are there any movies you feel are untouchable?

BILL: Of course. We would seem like monsters if we tried to make funny out of SCHINDLER’S LIST, HOTEL RWANDA, etc.

KEVIN: I’d say Schindler’s List is one we’ll never do.

3. Do you derive any perverse pleasure from watching your cast mates screw up their lines at a live show?

KEVIN: I derive even more pleasure in the artful ways that they recover and make the show even funnier for it.

BILL: I am too busy watching myself screw up lines.

4. What’s the strangest cosplay outfit you’ve seen at one of your live shows?

BILL: Someone actually pulled off a strange-but-wonderful version of the sharknado itself at our Sharknado live show. Big funnel cloud with sharks in it. A+!

KEVIN: I don’t think there’s a Torgo costume that doesn’t qualify as strange.

5. Besides Sharknado, are there any other ‘Nados’ you’d like to see the SyFy Channel ruin? Squidnado? Cownado? Scissorsnado?


BILL: NicCageNado.

Thanks, Bill and Kevin! Special thanks to Jeff at RiffTrax who made it happen.

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number seven – new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Seventh clue up this week- #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

Solve the mystery by April 7–what are the Kargrandes? Animals? Weapons? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

And big thanks to Bob at Beauty in Ruins for his review of Dragon this week - It's still as fun and exciting as his first forays into space opera, but the darker themes and deeper level of introspection absolutely elevate the novel to a new level.

Ninja News

I’m at the A to Z Blog today, talking about the advantages of a theme during the Challenge.

Ella is a very talented artist and writer. She just had two of her hearts published in The Stampers' Sampler.

Julie Dao landed an agent - Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency!

New Releases –

Apocalypse Weird - Immunity by EE Giorgi
When greed, mayhem, and a deadly virus collide on the high deserts of New Mexico, it's Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of the Apocalypse Weird. One of five books launching today from Wonderment Media.

Cassie and The Wild Cat: Host A Ghost by Pat Hatt
Find it on Amazon

Love, Lattes, and Mutants by Sandra Cox
Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.
Find it on Amazon. Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

A Woman Ignored by TB Markinson
Find it on Amazon

Stephen Hayes has TWO stories in On SEX: 69 Hilarious Stories About Everything SEX.
You can read one of them HERE

Online ColorIQ Challenge

JE O’Neil posted about the Online ColorIQ Challenge. This was my score:

What did you get?

Movie Trivia Answers

Sorry, forgot to post them last week!
1 – Who played Erik in Erik the Viking? (1989) Tim Robbins
2 – What comedian voiced Reepicheep the mouse in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian? (2008) Eddie Izzard
3 – Who voiced Hiccup’s father, Stoick, in How to Train Your Dragon? (2010) Gerard Butler
4 – Who played Gimli In LOTR: Return of the King? (2003) John Rhys-Davies
5 – Who voiced Draco the dragon in Dragonheart? (1996) Sean Connery

Whoa!!!! Are you a fan of RiffTrax or MST3K? Did you pick up their version of Sharknado? (It’s 8.5 stars on the IMDB – the original version is only 3.3.) Planned your Challenge Theme yet? How’d you do with the Color Challenge? How about the trivia? And have you figured out the Kargrandes yet…?

Be sure to visit the A to Z Blog.

Monday, February 16, 2015

How to Become a Best Selling Author in Just One Week! Plus A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Signups, What Are the Kargrandes, Movie Review, Ninja News, and RiffTrax Interview Coming Soon!

Best-selling author in just one week? Elizabeth Seckman shows you how…

I was a best-selling author bringing in over $13,000 a week in royalties. I could afford any house in town and could buy anything in the store I wanted. I was rolling in Simoleons!

Here’s how I did it:

I left my family and moved to a house by myself.
I quit my day job. To pay the bills, I left the bank repossess whatever they wanted to come in and suck up.
I quit taking daily showers, for the most part a good hand wash kept me out of the red zone. I quit sleeping. Naps on the couch worked fine.
I quit cooking. Grab a snack and get back to work.
I shunned all face to face encounters. When I was in desperate need of human contact, I made a quick phone call.
I didn’t waste time on classes or skill development. I just forced myself to sit and write for twelve to fourteen hours a day.
I wrote the same genre over and over. I got better royalty checks if I never tried to step out of my literary box.
I hired a maid.
I shut off the age progression feature in the menu setting.

It only took me one week to become a best-selling author on the virtual reality game, The Sims. Now, I know it’s not real life, but there are real life applications. As I look over the list, I wonder- what things would I sacrifice to be rolling in real Simoleons? Well, I could be talked into the maid. And if I could shut off age progression, well now, I’d have bigger news to share than a new book! Other than that, there’s nothing worth becoming a smelly, malnourished, sleep-deprived hermit for.

Elizabeth writes books and eats chocolate. Find her - Blog / Website / Facebook
Find her books on Amazon
What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is the sixth one, and there are new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Sixth clue up this week- #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

Can you solve the mystery before April 7–what are the Kargrandes? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

Movie Review

Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Based on the 1960’s series, it was updated for a new generation. However, it didn’t really capture the spirit of the original series. It was very odd, but not odd in a good way like the series.
The animation is all right. It does boast some great name actors for the voices – Patrick Warburton was the best, although he doesn’t come in until late in the film.
Overall, it seemed too long and the result is a movie that’s just ‘all right.’
Not recommended

Ninja News

DL Hammons has an agent - Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency!

New Releases –

Perfection by J.L. Campbell

The Great Time Lock Disaster by C. Lee McKinzie

Holy Ghost Writer has THREE new books out, including Where the Hell Did She Come From?

Wastelands 2 – includes a story by Milo James Fowler
Get it on Amazon

And coming soon – an interview with the biggest guests I’ve ever had on this blog: the RiffTrax guys!!! Yes, I scored an interview with them in conjunction with their release this week of RiffTrax Live: Sharknado.

The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!

Sign-ups for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge are already under way. If you have done it before, you know how much fun it is (good for you!) and if you have not, this is your chance to give it a try! You can sign up to participate here.

One of the most burning questions participants ask themselves every year is: "Should I have a theme?" Themes are not mandatory, but definitely fun. They let your visitors know what to expect, and help you create posts that line neatly up from A to Z. They also have an added bonus: They let you participate in a whole separate blogfest! Two years ago A to Z participant Mina Lobo stared the Theme Reveal, and we thought it was such a great idea that we made it tradition. It is now our very own, grand and festive way of rolling out our themes together!

Here is how the Theme Reveal Blogfest works:
Sign up on the Linky list below, and on March 23rd (Monday) publish a post on your blog in which you reveal your theme, tell us why it is exciting, and give us a hint of what to expect from it! Then, once your post is up, use the Linky to visit all the other blogs announcing their themes. Enjoy!

This is a great opportunity for all of you to get a jump start on your A to Z experience. Sign up below, ready your theme, and post March 21st on your calendar!

Think you’d be willing to sacrifice a few things to become a best-selling author in one week? Getting closer to the Kargrandes answer? Seen the movie? Excited about the new books? Participating in the Challenge? And are you excited to reveal your theme…?