Friday, October 29, 2010

Dishing it up with Heather Brewer!

Folks, I’ve got Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod on my blog today. Her latest book, Twelfth Grade Kills came out on September 21, 2010 and let me tell you, this book kicked some serious butt! If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her young adult series, I suggest you head to the nearest book store and get on it.

JET: First of all, let me say I really enjoy your Vlad series and I’ve confiscated my son’s copy of Twelfth Grade Kills and burned through it in one day. It was supposed to be my reward for finishing my edits, but I made the mistake of taking a break and picking the book up – that’s all she wrote – at least for the rest of that night. 

Now that I've gushed about the book, let me ask you about your Book Expo America surprise.  Can you explain how it felt to walk into the Expo center and see Vlad’s brand painted on the stairs?

Heather: I literally gasped aloud! Probably the first time I've ever done that in my life. It's one thing when you're sitting at home, hidden away from the world, telling yourself stories. It's quite another when the world starts to enjoy those stories with you.

JET: What made you choose Young Adult as a genre?

Heather: Really, it chose me. The first two books that I had ever written (both awful, unpublished and hopefully rotting somewhere) were for adults. Both were learning lessons--the primary lesson being that a writer should write from the heart. It turns out that my heart is actually a teenager and thirsts for blood.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Heather: Learning to have the patience of a saint. Everything in publishing involves waiting. Waiting for literary agents, waiting for editors, waiting for cover art, waiting for reviews. It's an endless cycle. And unfortunately, I've never been a very patient person. But I'm learning!

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Heather: I have new favorite moments every day. But two stand out to me: 1. the first time I spoke to my now agent, Michael Bourret, and he totally understood what I was trying to do with Vlad, and 2. Meeting a Minion named Jaymes at San Diego Comic Con. He cried and thanked me for getting him through school. Whenever I start feeling self-doubt, I think of Jaymes and how much my books meant to him. Then I sit my butt in that chair and get to work.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Heather: The greats: Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe. I've always loved the darker stuff, and happily blame my twisted little imagination on these three.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Heather: I've written bad poetry, short stories and the like since I was about five. But when I turned twelve, I read Stephen King's "Carrie", and it changed my world forever. I closed the book after that reading and said aloud for the first time, "That's what I want to be. I want to be a writer." But it took me many years to actually take the plunge. I was in college when I wrote my first manuscript, and a stay at home mom for several years before giving it a serious go. Luckily, for me, the third time was the charm.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Heather: I called up a blood bank and asked them how long it takes stored blood to expire. Probably should have explained that I was a writer first.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Heather: That's like asking me to choose between my children! I love them all for very different reasons. A current fave, however, is "Shadow Children"--a short story featured in an anthology edited by R.L. Stine called "Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror". I love this story, because in it, I face a fear that I still very much deal with. The fear of What's Lurking in Dark Places.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

Heather: Stick to a daily word count. Set a goal (no matter how small) and reach that writing goal every single day, no matter if you're sick or travelling. And remember this formula for writing a book:
Butt + Chair = Writing!

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?

Heather: It depends what we're talking about. Bag-wise, I prefer cloth or plastic (paper rips so easily). Cups? Plastic. (Note: I am terrible for the environment)

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Heather: Steak! The more rare, the better. I'm a carnivore, through and through.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Heather: Mountains. Hiking is a blast! Besides, I don't do well in the sun, and I get incredibly bored at the beach. When you're a non-swimmer, there's really not much to do there.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Heather: Rock-n-Roll!

JET: Classics or Modern?

Heather: Everything has its place, so I'll pick both (though I do tend to lean toward modern).

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Heather: I loves me some silent films, but I am all about cheesy horror! For instance, William Shatner once starred in "The Devil's Rain". It was horrendous. I loved every second of it.

JET: Zombies or Demons?

Heather: I think it's been well-established that I am on Team Zombie, no matter who or what the opponent is. Unless someone brings up Team Vampire or Team Starbucks...then I'm in trouble.

JET: Paper or Digital?

Heather: As far as books go, it's gotta be the real thing. Paper, without a doubt.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

Heather: Sweet. I could give up potato chips, if necessary, but don't you touch my Godiva chocolates.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Heather: Though I often tout my love of Starbucks, I'm actually a bigger fan of tea. Nothing like a cup of tea and a cookie to relax me at night.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Heather: I just turned in the first draft of "Beginning", the first book in my new spin-off series, called "The Slayer Chronicles". These books will take place during the summers between the school years of "The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod". If readers enjoyed the bloodshed in my Vlad books, they'll love what's in store for Joss!

I'm currently working on the first book in another series, called "Bloodbound". Monsters, sword fighting, and a kick-butt girl - what's not to love?

"Beginning" will debut Fall 2011, and Minions can expect "Bloodbound" sometime in Spring 2012.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Heather Brewer and her work at the following places:,,

Next Friday, I'll be talking about my new release Vengeance and highlighting some of my Backspace friends releases. 

Until then,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jenny Craig Week 7

1.5 pounds - w00t!  Now I'm at a total of 8 pounds.  I'm just hoping to get to 10 pounds by the end of the month.

I kept up the exercising and I'm feeling great! 

For those keeping up with this blog - sorry this is late and so short - but I'm buried right now - so until next week!  Cross your fingers. 


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dishing it up with the authors of DRACULAS (A Novel of Terror)...

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with F. Paul Wilson, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand and Blake Crouch, the authors of DRACULAS (A Novel of Terror) released this week on October 18, 2010. DRACULAS hit number one on Amazon under Occult books and kindle e-books due to an interesting marketing strategy including hundreds of reviewers posting to their blogs and websites and Amazon and anywhere else they possible could - all coordinated with the book release.

Here’s the skinny on DRACULAS:


Mortimer Moorecook, retired Wall Street raider, avid collector, is losing his fight against cancer. With weeks to live, a package arrives at the door of his hillside mansion—an artifact he paid millions for…a hominoid skull with elongated teeth, discovered in a farmer’s field in the Romanian countryside. With Shanna, his beautiful research assistant looking on, he sinks the skull’s razor sharp fangs into his neck, and immediately goes into convulsions.


A rural hospital. A slow night in the ER. Until Moorecook arrives strapped to a gurney, where he promptly codes and dies.


Four well-known horror authors pool their penchants for scares and thrills, and tackle one of the greatest of all legends, with each writer creating a unique character and following them through a vampire outbreak in a secluded hospital.

The goal was simple: write the most intense book they possibly could.

Which they did.

A word of warning:

Within these pages, you will find no black capes, no satin-lined coffins, no brooding heartthrobs who want to talk about your feelings. Forget sunlight and stakes. Throw out your garlic and your crosses. This is the Anti-TWILIGHT.

About the authors:

F. PAUL WILSON is an award-winning, NY Times bestselling novelist whose work spans horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, young adult, and virtually everything between. He is best known as the author of THE KEEP and creator of the urban mercenary Repairman Jack. (

JACK KILBORN is a pen name of J.A. Konrath, who has written six Jack Daniels thrillers. The seventh, SHAKEN, will be available this October. Kilborn is the author of AFRAID, ENDURANCE, TRAPPED, and SERIAL UNCUT, (written with Blake Crouch) which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times. (

JEFF STRAND is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of such novels as PRESSURE, DWELLER, GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY), BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, and THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE. His secret shame is SUCKERS, co-written with J.A. Konrath. (

BLAKE CROUCH is the author of four thrillers, DESERT PLACES, LOCKED DOORS, ABANDON, and SNOWBOUND, all published by St. Martin’s Press. His short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen, THRILLER 2, and other anthologies. (

JET: What prompted you folks to write a novel together?

Blake, Joe, Paul and Jeff: We all know and like each other, respect each other’s writing, and when Joe came up with such a hot title and premise, it seemed like a no-brainer.

JET: With voice being the key to any story, how did four very distinct and talented authors come together to a meeting of the minds to produce a novel with consistency in the voice and tone?

Blake, Joe, Paul and Jeff: First, we set all egos aside. We opened our work to each other to read in very early stages, and tried to stay receptive to feedback. One of the cool bonus features of this book is a 40,000-word email chain between the four of us, which shows a glimpse into our collaborative process, warts and all.

JET: Was there ever any disagreements on where the plot should go? If not, can you tell us about some of your more interesting collaboration sessions? If so, tell us about one that sticks out in your mind.

Blake, Joe, Paul and Jeff: Yes, we had major disagreements about the end, the fate of a character, and a scene toward the end we ended up taking out. It’s all chronicled in exhaustive detail in the bonus features of DRACULAS.

JET: Tell us a little about Draculas. What makes this a "must have" read?

Blake, Joe, Paul and Jeff: Pure Intensity. Horror. Major scares. Laugh-out-loud humor. And it all takes place in a hospital over 4 hours.

JET: What's next for each of you?

BLAKE: Next up for me is finalizing a new book I’ve just finished. My first two novels, DESERT PLACES and LOCKED DOORS also just went up on Kindle for a reasonable $2.99, so I’m jazzed about that.

JOE: I've got two sci-fi ecopunk novels in the TIMECASTER series coming out in 2011 with Ace Berkley, and a few other super secret projects in the works. I'm writing the eighth Jack Daniels novel, called STIRRED, with Blake, which will also be the third in his Andrew Z. Thomas books (DESERT PLACES, LOCKED DOORS.) It's a wrap-up to both of our series.

JEFF: Next up for me is WOLF HUNT, which does for werewolves what DRACULAS did for vampires, except that I finished WOLF HUNT several months before DRACULAS, so actually it's DRACULAS that does for vampires what WOLF HUNT did for werewolves. WOLF HUNT is funnier, though.

PAUL: FATAL ERROR, the penultimate Repairman Jack novel, hit the street mid-October. Just finished a draft of THE DARK AT THE END, the (sort of) last Repairman Jack novel. I say "sort of" because the whole series ends with NIGHTWORLD which will come in 2012. Jack is a player in that novel, but the cast is an ensemble from across the Secret History.

Buy DRACULAS here!

My review of Draculas was posted on Monday October 18, 2010.

Next week, I have author Heather Brewer on my site for a pre-halloween minion fest! Join us for the fun and games.

Until next week,



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jenny Craig - Week 6

Another half pound and half an inch on my waist and hips this week. 

I wanted to see more, but considering we are talking the actual loss of fat - and not water weight - I'm happy with it. 

It's funny because I got a half pound of cheese at the deli and stared at the package.  Now fat isn't necessarily the consistency of cheese - but it certainly is a visual motivation.

I'd still like to see 1 - 2 pounds a week - but that has been a little difficult to achieve with only 45 minutes of exercise.  So this coming week - I want to up the exercise to an hour a day and see if that results in hitting my weekly goal. 

My calorie intake is still 1200 a day - so with the increase in activity - my target is a total loss of 10 pounds by the end of October.  I'd like it to be more since I'm only three pounds away from that goal - but considering we are talking two weeks - I think that's managable and attainable. 

If I continue at the rate of 5 lbs a month - I should hit my goal by the end of January.  Ideally - I'd like to hit that goal by Christmas - but based on the past month and a half - I'm not sure if that's realistic - even with the increase in activity.

In other words, the battle is going well and my husband is really noticing the difference which helps with the motivation factor.  That sparkle in his eyes when I catch him checking me out is so worth the effort!

Until next week

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review of Draculas

I finished Draculas a week ago and I’m still a bit ambivalent about it. I liked it – don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t love it. So my lament is where do I put it on a scale of five stars? For me it’s 3.5 stars – right smack between I liked it and I liked it a lot.

Several factors weighed in on this, one of which surprised me since I’m usually the queen of gore. I’m not squeamish by any stretch of the imagination, and this didn’t make me queasy but the sheer abundance of gore shocked me to the point I might not have kept reading if I hadn’t signed up to review the book.

But if I did that – I would have missed out.

Yes, the gore in the beginning got to me and turned me off, but eventually the characters, specifically Jenny and Randall – won me over. These two characters were the reason I kept reading, I cheered for them, felt anxiety for their fate, even cried for them. To me, they were the strongest of the book’s cast.

Another factor that played into the score was the fact that I just couldn’t picture what these monsters looked like. Of course, there were several descriptions of what happened, how they turned, but I just couldn’t picture it no matter how I tried and I’m usually so good at visualization. The good thing about this – I didn’t have any nightmares related to reading Draculas but I’m sure others did.

The last factor for my scoring was the ending. I’m not going to spoil it here, but I was a bit taken back. You could even say a couple things pissed me off. But not the fact they left it open-ended and allowed for the possibility of a sequel and a million and one questions fluttering around my brain for days.

This book certainly isn’t the usual vampire story – it brought me back to the days of Salem’s Lot, where these creatures were the embodiment of evil and I liked that far better than the brooding vampires in the Twilight series that ended in what I call an anti-climax of nothingness.

This definitely didn’t fall into the anti-climax of nothingness category and for those who dig a scary, blood-ridden ride, pick this sucker up – you won’t be disappointed.

On Friday (10/22), I have the pleasure of having the authors of Draculas - Joe, F Paul, Jeff and Blake - on my blog for a short interview. Join me then to find out more about Draculas.  In the meantime, if you want to purchase this book - hop on over to Amazon by way of this link:

Buy DRACULAS here!

Until we meet again -

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dishing it up with Jonathan Maberry. . .

I have the pleasure of talking with JONATHAN MABERRY today.  He is a New York Times bestselling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer and probably one of the most prolific writers I know.  His most recent release is a young adult thriller called ROT & RUIN. 
JET: Can you tell us a little about ROT & RUIN and why readers should add this to their must have collection?

JONATHAN MABERRY: ROT & RUIN is a novel about how a group of teens deal with a world that the adults think is broken beyond repair. All of the adults lived through First Night, which is what they call the beginning of the zombie plagues; and as a result of those experiences, every adult has some degree of post traumatic stress disorder. It’s ruined the adult culture, and their lack of faith in any possible future trickles down to the teens and that’s where the tension begins. The teens are young –they expect to have long lives in front of them, they don’t want to hear about ‘end of the world’.

So the story deals with coming of age in a broken world, learning the value of human life, becoming strong, falling in love, fighting for survival…and determining one’s own fate.

It also has a lot of humor, horror, action, and zombie carnage!

JET: I thoroughly enjoyed both Patient Zero and Dragon Factory and your hero Joe Ledger has become one of my favorites. Who had the most influence in your life that aided in the creation of Joe Ledger and why?

MABERRY: Probably Travis McGee-- the character in John D. MacDonald’s series of twenty-one mystery-thrillers. McGee was an intellectual but also very physical. His morals and politics are to the left of moderate, which makes him a nice blend of realist and idealist. He generally thinks his way through a problem, and then if there are no other choices, he uses violence.

Travis is also emotionally damaged, and that makes for a compelling, layered hero.

Joe Ledger is damaged goods. He’s psychologically fractured because of some ugly boyhood trauma, but he’s learned to use that damage. He’s also trained extensively in martial arts and he’s been through Army Airborne Ranger training and the police academy. He has all of the physical components in place; and with PATIENT ZERO, he finds purpose and direction.

JET: Have you ever seen a dead body? How has that influenced your writing?

MABERRY: Sure. I worked as a cook in a hospital many, many years ago. I was friends with a morgue attendant and he took me on a tour. It was creepy for a few minutes, and then it became very sad. That’s the first time that I really equated ‘corpses’ with ‘people’. I mean, we all know that the dead were people, but we forget that when we see a dead body, especially one who has died violently in a car accident or explosion. At that point our fear of the dead and our revulsion tend to insulate us by making us see them as something NOT human.

Over the years I’ve attended a couple of autopsies; and I was bedside when two different people (my father and my best friend) died. I’ve also seen thousands of crime scene photos, particularly while working as an expert witness for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office for murder cases involving martial arts.

The unpleasantness, the loss of dignity, the vulnerability, and the visceral horror of the dead inform all of my fiction. It’s difficult for a writer to accurately describe the emotional and psychological effects of death unless they’ve been in the presence of the dead.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

MABERRY: Taking the risk to become a full-time writer. For most of my career I worked day jobs of various kinds (college teacher, bodyguard, bouncer, graphic artist, etc.) while writing on the side. I did pretty well, selling a lot of magazine articles, package inserts, product descriptions, and other things, but it was rarely enough to live on.

Then, some years ago, my wife made an offer to me: she’d work for five years while I concentrated on my writing. At the end of five years I would either be making a good wage as a writer, or I’d go find a job and go back to writing on the side. It was a challenge, and it was often financially very tight, especially as the economy slowly eroded. But then everything changed. Now I make a very good living (and my wife no longer has to work!).

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

MABERRY: Landing a literary agent. I got a very good one and that gave me a lot of confidence in where things might go.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

MABERRY: Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson. I met them when I was a kid and they each gave me great advice about writing; but I haven’t seen them since. They’re amazing writers and I owe them a great debt. I re-read Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes every Halloween; and I read I Am Legend every summer –something I’ve been doing since I was fourteen. I know them both pretty much by heart.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

MABERRY: When I was old enough to form that thought in my head. I’ve always wanted to write, always knew that I would write. Over the years my faith in my own writing career has fluctuated, and there were times when my focus was mainly directed elsewhere. There was a large part of the life spent teaching jujutsu, women’s self-defense, and martial arts history at Temple University; and giving workshops on ‘arrest and control’ and ‘immediate threat resolution’ to all levels of law enforcement, including SWAT.

But I always wrote.

What surprised me, though, was when I made the decision to write a novel. I was always a nonfiction guy, but I took a chance and wrote GHOST ROAD BLUES in eighteen months That book changed everything. It got me an agent. It won several awards including the Best First Novel Bram Stoker Award, and it helped me fall in love with fiction.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

MABERRY: I did ride-alongs with Forensics Units in Philly; and I participated in a SWAT training exercise to determine how best to stop fast and slow zombies.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

MABERRY: That answer changes daily. Partly because I love every book I’ve written (they’re my children); and partly because I write in different genre.

Best answer I can give is…my favorite new novel is ROT & RUIN. My favorite thriller is THE KING OF PLAGUES (3rd in the Joe Ledger series, due out in March).

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

MABERRY: Here are some tips that I typically share when teaching or lecturing on writing:

First, learn the craft. Most writers are born with some kind of storytelling ability (maybe it’s a gene), but good writing is the result of storytelling plus learned skills. Take the time to learn about voice and point of voice, about figurative and descriptive language, about action and tension. Learn how to construct a sentence and a paragraph.

Next, write an outline. Know where your story is going to go so that you don’t waste time writing scenes which don’t contribute to that goal. That said, once you have an outline allow the story to grow organically so that you don’t force it to fit. A technique that works for me is that I write the first and last chapters of a book; then I write an exploratory synopsis –which is an essay written for myself in which I work out the story and the narrative logic; and then I write an outline.

One crucial thing is: NEVER revise until you are finished a first draft. Never. Ever. Revision of that kind is a momentum-killer. It’s a quicksand pit. Write it down fast and ugly and then fix it in the rewrite.

Also, read the genre. Read the heck out of it. Read enough to know what’s good and not so good (from your point of view). Fall in love with the genre…or don’t bother writing for it.

The second part of that piece of advice (and the reason most people step into the revision quicksand) is that you shouldn’t try to write a perfect piece. No one has ever done it, and no one can. Write a solid piece, pretty it up in the rewrite, and then send it out. Then work on something else. Perfection is by definition impossible for humans to attain. Stop wasting good writing time on it.

And last…and maybe most important of all…be relentless. If you love to write, then keep writing and keep sending it out.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . .

JET: Paper or Plastic?

JET: Steak or Tofu?
MABERRY: Neither.

JET: Beach or Mountains?
MABERRY: Mountains

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

JET: Horror or Comedy?

JET: Salty or Sweet?

JET: Angels or Demons?
MABERRY: Angels (yeah, I know it’s a girly answer. Sue me.)

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
MABERRY: B-rated horror

JET: Comic Books or Anime?
MABERRY: Comics. I grew up with ‘em and I write ‘em.

JET: 2012 Mayan prophecy believer or Ain’t gonna happen?
MABERRY: The Mayans did NOT predict that the world would end in 2012. Only one person claimed that, but it was someone who couldn’t actually translate the writings. All of the other hundreds of archaeologists who read the writings translated it correctly. No doomsday.

JET: Thank you for indulging me! Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

MABERRY: Then I have my third Joe Ledger thriller, THE KING OF PLAGUES, hitting stores in March from St. Martin’s Griffin. I also have three mini-series from Marvel in the pipeline. MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE PUNISHER is already running, and it’s a post-apocalyptic existentialist adventure. Very strange, even for me. Next up is BLACK PANTHER: KLAWS OF THE PANTHER, kicking off in October; and then in January we launch CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, a five-issue Marvel Event that follows Cap from World War II to present day. And my graphic novel, DOOMWAR, debuts in hardcover in October.

I’m currently writing DEAD OF NIGHT, a standalone zombie novel to be release by Griffin in Summer 2011.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog.

Folks, you can find out more about Jonathan Maberry and his work at  And if you haven't picked up one of his books, do it now.  He knows how to spin a story and keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Next week I have F. Paul Wilson, Joe Konrath, Jeff Strand and Blake Crouch on tap talking about their new book Draculas - along with my review of the book.    

Until next week . . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jenny Craig week 5

Ugh.  Got on the scale on Friday morning and I was the same damn weight I was at the end of week 4.  How irritating.   I only digressed one day this week and had lunch at work during a vendor presentation - half a buffalo chicken wrap and a huge salad with Jenny dressing.  Not on the menu per se and it could have contributed to the lack of weight loss.

Then I took my measurements.

OK - I lost a half inch on my chest, waist and stomach and a quarter inch from my hips. Now the non-weight loss doesn't seem so bad.

I did up my work out to 45 minutes a day - that may be translating into muscle tone and we all know muscle weighs more than fat. 

So now I'm not so upset.  The weight isn't coming off as quickly as I anticipated, but I am fitting into my clothing better and am generally feeling pretty good - with the exception of the tendinitis in my shoulder. 

Next week I get to have my menu tailored to what I ordered instead of the set menu from Jenny Craig. So all my favorites, which makes it that much easier to stick with the diet. 
Here's to hoping next week is better from the scale perspective.

In the meantime - I just received my proof for Vengeance and I'm so jazzed.  It is lovely.  Can't wait until November 1 when it is released!

Don't forget, I've got Jonathan Maberry here on Friday - come join us for the fun!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday follies. . .

I know, I'm late. 

Well, I've got a few excuses for that, really, honestly. 

OK, maybe not, but it was worth the try. 

Seriously though, I've been knee deep in creating video trailers for both my November releases and that in itself takes quite a bit of time - but it's so much fun.  The only downside - my shoulder's been acting up something fierce and after creating the videos - I had no energy to write the blog. 

And today got away from me between the doctor and the day job, I didn't have a moment until now. 

I found out what's wrong.  Tendinitis.  Painful bitch of a thing too.  And the prescription anti-inflammatory warnings were scary as hell - but laughable.  Check this out:

Stop taking this medicine and seek emergency help immediately if you experience:
Shortness of breath, fast or irregular breathing, fever, joint pain, fast pulse, light-headedness or fainting, swelling of face, hives & itching.   

OK - those seem reasonable to me.  However the next paragraph gave me pause. . .

Stop taking this medicine and notify your doctor as soon as possible if you experience:
Skin rash, swelling of feet or lower legs, visual disturbances, itching, stomach or intestinal bleeding, weight gain, headache. 

Visual disturbances - WTF is that?  Does that entail seeing ghosts?  Fashion faux pas?  What?

OK now I'm a bit nervous and I read other common side effects.  I won't give you the whole list - but here are some of the more eyebrow raising highlights:
Swelling of face or lips,  blurred vision, confusion, and hallucinations.

Whoa. Now I'm confused.  Is that a side effect of the medicine - or just the sheer bizarreness of the side effect list?  

Not only those lovely "common" side effects but more serious ones like Congestive heart failure and gastric or intestinal ulcers are also on the list.  

I was much better off thinking of this as my 'happy pill' - the one that takes the edge off the pain and allows me to function in a semi-normal capacity.   

It's supposed to help but dayem, with the list of ailments accompanying it, one has to wonder if the pain relief is really worth the risk of these things.   I've taken some heavy duty anti-inflammatory before, but I don't remember the litany of side effects attached.  

Despite the growing concern for the side effects, the pain in my shoulder dictated my choice.  I took the medicine and (knock on wood) haven't experienced any yet.  I took as directed, with food - so I'll have to remember that because getting an ulcer on top of the tendinitis would be a bitch. 

Anyhow, that's my round about excuse for not getting this post up first thing in the morning. 

Forgive me.  Or not. 

Next week, I have the pleasure of having Jonathan Maberry on my blog, so swing in and make him feel welcomed! 

That's all I got. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jenny Craig Week 4

Yippee - I dropped two pounds this week! 

And I started an exercise routine that I kept to.  Feels great. 

People are starting to notice . . . :) 

Sorry for the fly-by but I have a ton of things to do - including getting on my gazelle for another 45minute workout. 

I'm hoping for similar results at the end of next week - but I've got a couple challenges on my plate during the week - we'll see if I can reach the mini goal of another 2 pounds or not. 

Have a good one and here's to healthy eating!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy First Friday!

October 1. Holy cow. Halloween is just around the corner and I’ve got to start thinking about finding those candy deals. In honor of the fun and freaky month of October, I’ve set all my short stories on Smashwords so you folks can set whatever price you feel is fair – even zero – for my stories for the entire month. Enjoy!

In the meantime – I’ve got some fun guests on my blog this month. I’ve got Jonathan Maberry, Author of Patient Zero and Rot & Ruin swinging by on the 15th. The fab four - F. Paul Wilson, Jeff Strand, Blake Crouch, and Joe Konrath talk about their release Draculas on October 22 and Heather Brewer – author of the Vladamir Tod Vampire Chronicles series hanging with me on the 29th.

October is also a busy month for my Backspace brethren and their book releases. Join me in giving props to the following folks and the fabulous books they’ve written:

 A. S. King - Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Jonathan Maberry - Rot And Ruin

Tasha Alexander - Dangerous to Know

Lauren Baratz-Logsted - The Sisters Eight Book 6: Petal’s Problems

Erin Blakemore - The Heroine’s Bookshelf

Laurel Corona - Penelope’s Daughter

Linda Gerber - Trance

Camille Kimball - What She Always Wanted

This month you can find me over at eXcessica’s blog and don’t forget to follow my Jenny Craig experience here on Wednesdays.

Well that’s it for today. Happy October!

Catch you next week.