Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunflowers for Tina - #LifeisGood

Today is a special day as we remember fellow author, A-Z Team Host and friend, Tina Downey.  I have a couple of images I'd like to post for this special tribute.  Before I do that, I want to mention how Tina's #LifeisGood message always made me smile.  If there's one thing I can remember about Tina--aside from her constant positive support, was her classic #LifeisGood motto.  We tend to forget that, but it's undeniably true.

Thank you, Tina for all that you did.  May God bless you and your family.








You can visit more of Tina's writer friends and see their tribute posts by visiting here. Do you have any special memories you'd like to share about Tina?

Update:  Special Donations


Below is a special link to donate to Tina's family and her children's education.  If you can contribute, it would be greatly appreciated.

Donate here.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Ask the Universe

It's September and already time for another month of Insecure Writers Support Group.  This wonderful support group is courtesy of Alex J. Cavanaugh and other fantastic authors, including Michelle Wallace, L. Diane Wolfe, Lynda R Young, Susan Gourley/Kelley, Joylene Nowell Butler, and J.L. Campbell.  I mention this crew because they are tireless supporters who give freely and should be thanked often.  If you haven't had a chance to review the IWSG website, please do.  Last month, there were some great posts that I found incredibly inspiring including Seeking Validation As A Writer & The Trend in Indie Publishing - It’s Taking Over the Industry.  Check them out if you can!

As for IWSG, my insecurities are the same.  I'm progressing with my WIPs at a snails pace and that alone fosters insecurity.  Since there's little I can do about that, I stay positive as possible and keep moving forward.  Anyway, I remember watching a portion of Jim Carrey's commencement speech last spring.  Like many people, his words moved me.  There are times when doubt overcomes my thought process or exhaustion settles inside my bones, that I recall his inspiring words.

I was wondering how many of my writer friends ask the universe for things like better health, happy family, more love or even a successful writing career? Have you....asked the universe?  What have you asked for?



Can you relate to Jim's message about following your dreams?  Do you have any insecurities you'd like to share with me today?

On another note, last month Nutschell interviewed me on her Wednesday Writer’s Workspace, stop by if your interested.  And this month, Captain Alex is interviewing me about the A-Z Challenge and my Classic Monster theme.  I'm super excited about that, so I'll be sure an blog when that post releases too.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Mina Burrows

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Character Interview: Caleb Madroc from A Hidden Element by Donna Galanti

Hey, guys! I have another special treat today.  Donna Galanti, author of A Human Element and The Dark Inside has graciously arranged a killer interview with one of her cool characters.  Meet Caleb Madroc from Donna's paranormal suspense, A Hidden Element, This is book 2 in The Element Trilogy and guess what...it releases today! Woot!  We’re thrilled to have Caleb Madroc here today. Everybody say hi to the hottie.
HI CALEB! *waves emphatically*

Hey, babe.

Caleb is 25 and an Elyon Community cult member living in the wilds of Oregon in a secret community his father created.

Thank you so for this interview, Caleb. Now that the book has been written, can you tell us how your friends see you?
What friends? I have none. I've lived a life of solitude ever since my father stole me away to this community he created. Except for the occasional night of passion, I've not connected with another. Even before we moved here, I was an outcast. The other kids thought I was weak because I used my powers to heal, not to hurt. They just didn't understand me. I didn't fit in there, and I don’t fit in here. I fit in nowhere.

What is your most prized possession? Why?
There are two things that I can never have, yet cherish the most–my twin sons. They are five years old now and were born in our community where they are raised by the masses. I cannot be with them but every day I whisper their names out loud as an offering for some higher power to answer my prayer to be with them. Someday I will become my own master and take my sons away from this place. But if I try and fail—they will die. If my father discovers my plan—they will die. I am destined to be alone, but I am fine with that if someday my sons can have a normal life. The scars of not knowing them are seared on my heart.

Name five items in your pockets.
There is only one item in my robe pocket, the final poem I wrote for the one love I had once–and the mother of twin boys I will never know, Rachel. She was assigned to breed with me and we fell in love. Poems for her poured from me, and I’d planned to give her this poem one special night, but she never came to me again. Our bond was severed, per my father’s orders. She was sent to mate with another…and then another and another. I never touched her again.

Do you have any special things you do?
I help others in my community. I save them from severe punishment, and even death, and in doing so put myself in the position to be punished by whipping. I've healed many in our community and released them secretly into the world to find a second chance at life. To live and love with others. To be cared for. All the things I wish for myself, and my sons. I can stand the whippings—if it means sparing the punished some pain. Those scars I can bear. The scars of my lost love, Rachel, and my lost sons are a never ending pain.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?
Finding my mother dead in a well when I was seventeen. She was the biggest light in my life, and my champion. She guarded me from my father and kept me safe. With her gone, my world grew dark. I had to survive, alone. I may never know how she died. An accident? A murder? It haunts me still.


Did you get along with your parents?
I loved my mother dearly. She was a gentle soul in a bad marriage. My father…well, he is all things I cannot be. Evil, remorseless, egotistical, and a murderer. He forces me to do his dirty work and tries to mold me into his likeness. He believes I’m weak and I can never be as strong as he, and I think he may be right. But I should still try to stop him, even while he threatens to kill my sons if I don’t obey him! Even while I despise my father, part of me still loves him and yearns for his fatherly love that I once had as a child. I never will succumb to his life of hate, and I often think if I were like him I would kill him myself. But I try to live my life guided by love, not hate.

Thank you for this interview, Caleb! Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I am hopeful I can become a part of normal society and that one day the world can accept me–that a woman can accept me…that my sons can accept me as their father. Don’t judge me by what I’ve been forced to do, rather judge me for the love in my heart that wants desperately to do what’s right.


ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT

Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?


ABOUT DONNA:


Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Website: www.ElementTrilogy.com
Blog: http://www.elementtrilogy.com/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5767306.Donna_Galanti


BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS

Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
ON SALE THROUGH 8/31 FOR JUST $.99cents!
Join Donna’s Facebook Launch Party here for bestselling author guests + amazing giveaways! Today 8/28 from 3-9pm.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Writers Workspace: Alright, Alright, Alright

Alright, Alright, Alright.  Guess where I'm at today?  I'll give you a hint...



And this is how I feel about it...


Source

Get in and "watch the leather, man." We're heading over to The Writing Nut cuz Nutschell's interviewing me for her author series, Wednesday Writers Workspace.

See ya there.

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ISWG: How's that novel coming along?


It's time for another round of Insecure Writers Support Group.  Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this monthly support system and wonderful website.  The team always puts together great posts to help authors.  If you haven't had a chance to visit the website, click here for the link.

Today, I thought I'd mention a recent discussion I had with a friend of mine.  He's a former colleague that I meet occasionally for coffee.  Sometimes being a writer is such a lonely existence that I very rarely talk about my writing to friends and colleagues in my professional career.  Most of the time they just don't get it so I don't bother.  This particular friend is a writer and knows how difficult it can be, but then again novel writing is a whole other enchilada.  That said, he asked how my book was going.  I told him I was working on it, but when I saw this, it made me laugh because I can relate.

(Source)

Anyway, we continued to talk and he mentioned something even funnier.  He said he once had a friend that said...

"I've started nine novels, but I haven't finished one yet."  


He said he thought it was a great opening line to a novel.  I agreed.  We had a good laugh, but then I stopped, feeling the need to defend the unknown friend, and probably myself somewhere in there too.  Hey, we've all been there from time to time with novel writing.  I explained how hard it is to create a story with the plotting, characters, point of view, editing, beta reading, re-editing, rewriting etc...  Hell, that list can go on forever.  I then said how challenging it is to balance everything in life like your family, work, laundry and dare I say making dinner?  It's not easy.  But's if it's who you are and what you do, what other choice do you have?   I should have told him to have his friend reach out to ISWG.  I think maybe just a little support might help them.

Other than that, I have no complaints this month.  What about you?  Can you relate?  Did you like the opening line?  Do you have any insecurities you'd like to share with me today?  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway featuring Author, Donna Galanti

Hey, everyone! Donna Galanti is here on my blog today, discussing the monsters inside us and also to do a special re-release of the killer thriller, A Human Element. If you'd like to check my review of this fantastic novel, click here. There's also a wonderful character interview of Donna's dark villain, X-10 that you just have to check out too!

We've got lots of exciting things scheduled for today, including a giveaway below. Without further delay, please welcome a talented author and friend, Donna Galanti!

The Monsters Inside Us


(Source)
In some movies and books the monsters are obvious. But are the monsters inside us? 

In my paranormal suspense, A Human Element, X-10 is obviously monstrous. He kills. He seeks blood and revenge. He has no remorse. Yet as we come to discover it’s a combination of his genes and environment, can we blame him?

And sometimes we create the very monsters we fear who are really to be pitied, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. We can identify with him as we have all felt like an outcast, rejected and unloved at times. Is Frankenstein truly the monster or is it the human who created him?

I believe the true monsters in my book lie beneath the surface of characters that are not so obviously monstrous.

The abusive foster father.
The scientist who tortures his experiment.
The doctor who sells a baby.
The men who kidnap and torture a sailor.

Do they get what they deserve in the end? You’ll have to read to find out…

I created new scenes of the monster, X-10, for the re-release of A Human Element that blur the boundaries of good and evil further for him. We see him now once loved and desired, and in return he shines kindness on the only soul that ever touched him with tenderness. While genes and environment have made X-10 what he is, should he be feared or pitied? Or both? In an interview here with X-10 awhile back, you may fear him more than pity.

New scene with X-10. A true monster?:


As X-10 ran under the full moon, leaping over rocks and roots, darting around boulders he could see her in his mind.

Laura. You are mine.

Then he saw her with her man. Water coursed all around them. Her hair hung wet about her shoulders. X-10 closed off his mind's eye to the scene. It made him feel strange. And in that strange feeling he couldn't define, X-10 hated her even more.

Rage surged through him and his blood pulsed fast, throbbing under his white skin in blue rivers. Why did she get to have her man when he couldn’t have his woman? Why was she worthy and he wasn’t? But Sabrina’s touches had made him feel worthy. Even if they were paid. And she had smelled and looked so good.

The night flashed through him again and he moaned with agony over the loss of the girl who left a hole in his heart. The girl who called him Charlie and loved him for just one night.

After Sabrina’s fear of him had left her, she’d sat down on his bed then. "Why don't we just lie here for now? We can talk, you know. Like real…people."

He stood over her, considering. What would he talk about with a human girl?

She lay down on her side and he did too, facing her. Her blonde hair curved along her breasts like silky strands of sparkly cotton candy. He'd seen a picture of it once being swirled on a stick at a fair. He wondered what it would taste like. What she would taste like.

She touched his face then pulled her fingers away. "When you look at all your parts, you're not so bad."

"A monster."

"No. I've been with monsters."

"Like me?"

She shook her head. "Monsters on the inside."

Even in the garish light she was the loveliest thing he had ever seen. He wanted to touch her, but was afraid of his urges. To hurt and maim and kill. Good guys don't do those things. And she had called him by his name. As if he was a good guy.

No! No good guy!

He was evil to the core.

And hate spurred him on now. Hate would help him survive. He forced himself to run faster through the night. Why did Laura get to live a normal life? He vowed to make her end not normal. And in that end, she would wish she had never been born.

A lonesome dog bayed in the hills above X-10 as if approving his plan. Streaks of moonlight and shadows fell across his face like whip lashes over and over, creating a living painting from darkness and light. He would show Laura darkness like she never experienced, and pain. There would be so much pain. He howled back at the creature that rode alone through the woods as he did. Perhaps they would meet along their journeys.

He hoped so. He was getting hungry again.

Who are some of your favorite monsters? And did they get what they deserved in the end or were they to be pitied and redeemed?

About A Human Element:

Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.

But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.


**Get your evil on with this re-release by Imajin Books! Newly edited, new scenes, new cover!**

Praise for A Human Element:

“An elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.”
–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author

“Lyrical and creepy, A Human Element tugs on our heartstrings and plucks the gut-strings of horror. This debut thriller author is a true storyteller, highly reminiscent of Dean Koontz.” –Dakota Banks, Award winning author

About Donna:

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, A Hidden Element (August 2014), the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Website: www.ElementTrilogy.com
Blog: http://www.elementtrilogy.com/blog/Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaGalantiFacebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor

Purchase A Human Element, Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, here: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCOJoin Donna’s Facebook Launch Party today 7/28 from 4-9pm EDT to celebrate the re-release of A Human Element and chat with cool guests + win giveaways!

MONSTERS vs. ALIENS GIVEAWAY!


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***

Thanks for stopping by, Donna!

Well that was a treat, huh?  Did you sign up for the giveaway?  Have you read A Human Element?  

Have a great week!

Mina B.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse

Welcome to the monthly The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, an online gathering of bloggers who love books (and coffee), hosted by The Armchair Squid    What's the monthly blog hop about?  Well, books, of course.  Oh and coffee too.  On the last Friday of every month, a group of bloggers convene and post about the best book they read over the past month.

Below is a list of participants.  Stop by and visit other authors / bloggers to see which book's a hit for them this month.  Bring your coffee with you too.  I like mine coffee with cream and sugar.  How do you take your's?


1. The Armchair Squid 
14. V's Reads
15. My Creatively Random LIfe

My pick this month:  Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan


Published in January of this year, Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan has received rave reviews from book fans and it even made the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling book lists.  It's a funny thing about that bestselling bit of info.  I didn't catch that when I picked up the book.  I chose to read this because it was unique, featuring an MC's, Archer Hale, who was loner living in a small town where people under value and pretty much ignore him because he has no voice.  His quiet existence keeps him and the town content until he meets Bree Prescott, a relentless female who's curious about the young man everyone thinks is strange.  The story is about the two MC's coming together despite their horrible experiences.  They each, in their own way, help one another  face their past and find their voice.  I liked it because our hero, Archer, who was an underdog, wasn't the weird dummy everyone thought he was.  He was actually a very intelligent, self-sufficient young man, who educated himself by reading books and also learned some sign language too.  Would I recommend reading this?  If NA is you thing, then you'd probably really enjoy this one.  Archer's Voice is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and due to strong language and sexual content, is meant for readers 18 years and older.

***

Want to sign up for some more coffee and books next month? Visit here and come join the fun!

Thanks The Armchair Squid for having me.  I'm off to check out what others read last month.

Next month, I hope to post about American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mina Burrows