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.


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

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.


Purchase A Human Element, Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, here: 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!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Monday Inspiration

In no particular order, these are the things that have inspired me over the last month.  I missed Insecure Writers Support Group earlier this month, but I still wanted to contribute.  It seems like I spend a lot of time doing projects with work or with my family.  That said, it's hard to fit my writing projects in sometimes.  And I am a writer dammit!  Anyway, I saw this found it inspiring.


Moving on to other things that have inspired me recently. I like all types of music for writing, but one band I admire is Foster the People. To say that I love this song is an understatement, but what's even better than the tune is the video. Remember, Kill Bill when Tarantino added the animation part to the film?  Between the story and the motion graphics, this video reminds me of it and is pretty psychedelic video too.  Feeling inspired yet?

Lastly, I saw this on Friday and it made me smile.  There's something about Loki, isn't there?
What types of things do you turn to to get inspired to write every week?

Okay Loki.  I'll get right on that. (Source

Got any thing planned this week?  What about this month?  Any book releases, blog hops, vacations or anything else planned?  Have a wonderful week.

Mina B.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Video Mania: World Cup/USA Soccer & Hunger Games!

Today is a BIG day for the the USA and #World Cup.  BIG.  For all you soccer fans out there, the USA will play Germany at 12 noon EST on ESPN.  Keep your fingers crossed that the US does well because without a doubt the entire world will be watching.  Or at least US will.  In fact, I heard earlier on radio this morning that this soccer game is supposed to break records with the amount of Americans watching the game at home.  #Crazy, huh?  Anyway, I'll be one watching too! Go USA!

Soccer:  Art Imitating Life

On another soccer note, I had the pleasure of watching this video created by NBC Sports Network:  An American Coach in London: NBC Sports Premier League Film featuring Jason Sudeikis.  I'm not sure if you've seen it, but I had to post it with the World Cup frenzy going on.  The funny thing is I actually had a high school soccer coach like this when I grew up in Texas.  He was a football coach turned soccer coach because the school didn't want to hire a real coach.  He didn't know squat about soccer, but he did know a heck-of-a-lot about winning.  It was a kickball style of game he taught and it was an interested experience to say the least.  The scary part about what you see here in the video is...its not so far from the truth.  Enjoy!

Hunger Games new Trailer!

Oh my gosh did you see this?  Look at Peeta!  Oh, I loved the books and can't wait for the movie too.  Enjoy and share if you haven't seen it already.


How's your month so far?  Everything good?  I hope so. 

Mina Burrows

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th Mixup: Campers Not Wanted & Fred

A person can discover a lot things about themselves when they go camping.  Before I began my adventure, I researched, pinned and planned like you wouldn't believe for my family's camping trip.  My goal was to create a wonderful experience with my family.  My husband was on vacation, the kids were on break, I slowed down work for a few get my point.  The idea of jumping into pseudo-survivor mode really had me excited for this excursion.

Well I found out something new about myself.  I'm not a fan of camping. In fact, if the apocalypse heads my way, I probably would be one of the first to go.  The realization is a bit depressing, but that's the truth.

Take away the heat, the noseeums and mosquitoes, my kids whining and Fred almost having a heart attack, it wasn't all that bad.  And yet, it wasn't all that great either.

I never once complained though.  When you're a mom, you often try to please everybody else that I find it's never a good thing to start complaining.  Once you do, then it's like the little ones follow your lead and everything goes down hill.  Camping takes so much work it's mind boggling.  In the end, we left early because the truth is we suck.  Fred wasn't doing so well and the other dog we have, Spike, became ill at the boarders.  All and all it wasn't the best trip, but we did try.

When did I realize that camping wasn't for me?  When we left and I ended up asking my husband to stop a restaurant so I could have a rum runner.  Yeah, just 40 minutes of drinking a rum runner and enjoying a mahi mahi sandwich did it for me.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some images of Fred during our trip.  He seldom poses for me anymore.  In fact, he hides.  Bless him he's getting old.  Still, my husband captured these wonderful images of him.

That's it!  Happy Friday the 13th!  And a special Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: June is here!

Well, I missed the last two Insecure Writers Support Group because of A-Z but I'm going to do a quick one for today. Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this monthly meme and also thanks to this month's co-hosts are C. Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and LG Keltner!

Well, I don't have much to relay this month.  I feel like my life is a series of days passing by and I can't seem to get enough accomplished.  Like most of us, work takes its toll and raising children does too.  On a great note, my nine year old son got straight A's for three quarters this year, which has me beaming with pride.  And my seven year old daughter is such a wonderful reader, I can't express how proud of her I am too.  That said, I do my best at balancing it all, but there are days when I'm completely exhausted.  I remember when I used to be able to write to the wee hours of the night.  Bah!  Not so much now. I'm lucky if I can keep my eye lids from closing at around 9:30 pm.  Eh, whatever.  I'm not complaining.  I love my life, I just wish I had more time. 

Anyway, I saw this and it made me smile.  I hope it does the same for you.

Do you have any insecurities you'd like to share with me today?