Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mayan Calendar: End of Days?

I can’t believe March is almost here. I’m a little perplexed how the last two months flew by, and now we have ten months left in the 2012 yearless if you consider the Mayan end of the world prophecy/calendar. Not a lite topic for some folks, I assure you. 
Ever wonder what that prophecy really means? In short, it’s centered on the Mayan Calendar and hinges on a shift in the world as the way we know it. Does that mean complete Armageddon or does it mean a flood of devastation that hits our lives, and threatens the world and how we live it? ABC news did a take not too long ago on the subject. If you get a chance, read it here.  Also, check out another interesting blog called "end of the world 2012."

Personally, I don’t put too much stock in prophecies, except when I’m writing them. (HeHe) I think the changes that have transpired over the last 100+ years have been awe-inspiring, meriting life-changing circumstances that rival any prophecy. Just calculate the advances in technology, medical, social etc…,I can go on and on, but you get the point.

The first book I wrote had a Mayan tie to it, and I did a good amount of research, even as far as reading the Mayan’s Book of Creation, Popol Vuh. That’s a tricky one there because technically it’s been transcribed and logically one would want to question its interpretation.  Despite not being an expert, I thought the author and translator, Dennis Tedlock, a professor of English and Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, did a heck of a job. I never took the text too literal, but as a writer, I found aspects of the Mayan story fascinating. 
With all the hub bub, what I’m really curious about it what you believe? Do you believe life will change irrevocably at the end of the year? Will it be like a post Apacolytic world like The Hunger Games, Jericho or even The Walking Dead? LOL. No seriously, though…what do you think?

Mina B.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fridays with Fred & Tag Stuff

The weather is so beautiful lately; I got this magical shot of Fred.  He’s enjoying the outdoors too, frolicking around with his happy face.  Anyway, I thought I’d share.

On another note, this week I was tagged by some of my fellow campaigners. I’ll do my best to get all the questions.  I chose different questions from the three friends that tagged me. 
- What is your dream car? karmann ghia – hot pink too! (I know…I know. But I’m one of those girls that actually loves the color pink. My daughter is rubbing off on me.) 
- What is your favorite flavor of jelly? Boysenberry, the kind my Grandma used to make. YUM!
- Do you prefer the countryside or the city? I can take either. 
- What is your favorite amusement park ride? Any roller coaster, baby! 
- What genre is your current WIP? Mystic Deeds and frankly it’s kick’n my a**.
- Do you have someone in your live who keeps you on track with your stories? NO! There’s my problem!
- What are your favorite sweets? Chocolate covered pretzels
- How often do I write? Not often enough.
- Do you write by outlining first, or by the seat of your pants? Both. Usually by the seat of my pants. When I get blocked, I go back and write an outline.
- What is your favorite author? I have so many, I’ll have to stick with the ones that led me to the here and now: Dean Koontz and Jane Austen. I used to be embarrassed to tell people that, because when I did, people looked at me strange. It made perfect sense to me and still does...
- What is your all-time favorite characters? Jennifer Ashley’s Lord Ian Mackenzie. He’s dark, disturbed and wears a kilt. Need I say more? 

And now it's my turn!  I've tagged the following people.  Ty ShaunClarike Bowman-JahnSara FlowerStephanieLauren Waters, Mark MurataChris K. Empty White PagesGilliad Stern.  

Remember to rules: Answer the questions and then go around and tag others.  Here are my 11 questions:

- Where do you find inspiration?
- What’s your favorite TV show?
- What are you reading now?
- What’s your favorite recipe?
- I do a segment on my blog called Creepy Classics.  What’s your favorite Creepy Classic and why?
- Are you a Twilight fan or do you think it’s overrated?
- What’s your favorite children’s book? 
- Are you a half empty or half full person? 
- Tell us something not many people know about you?
- What’s your best writing tip?
- What’s your current work in progress?

Have a great weekend!
Mina B.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ARC Review: Jessica Therrien’s Oppression

I just finished Jessica Therrien’s debut novel, Oppression. Wow, what a unique and fantastic YA tale.  I'm not usually a fan of Greek mythology, but this book was so well done, I was completely smitten and can’t wait for Book 2.  I’ll do my best not to mention too many spoilers, but if I do…sorry.
Elyse is an 89 year old woman who ages slowly thanks to her gene pool and looks like she's 18.  She's not human; she’s actually a descendant of gods, specifically Asclepius, known as the God of healing.  Elyse knows none of this, of course, since her parents hid her from the other descendants in order to protect her.  It was a decent plan until they died, leaving Elyse to spend the majority of her life alone. 

Since she never knew who or what she was, living among humans was always a challenge, especially due to her youthful appearance.  Throughout a lifetime, she found solace among a few humans that she loves dearly.  As she makes yet another move to a new area, this time San Francisco, she meets a young, handsome and mysterious man, William.  From the moment, William was introduced, I liked him.  And as more of his story unfolded, I grew to adore him. The two of them together are wonderfully matched. Like Elyse, William is a descendant—from the bloodline of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love.  Does that sound delicious or what?  It me.

As William introduces Elyse into the local descendant community, Elyse learns about her parent's past and also her untold future.  As a child of Asclepius, she is the last healer and is considered the new mother.  And her future and ability are tied to a prophecy that may just set her oppressed people free.  Each child of the gods carries their own unique power, but naturally, there are those that are far superior than others, namely The Council.  This band of select few govern the descendants, using methods that are cruel and deadly not just for descendants but for mankind.  Everything seems great until Elyse's human family is threatened.  And prophecy or not, Elyse will have to make a choice that could kill her.

This book was a page turner that I thoroughly enjoyed. Oppression has a dark yet seductive undertone of Greek mythology that is cool and enticing.  There were hints of Shakespeare weaved throughout the tale, including the ending that left me spellbound.  Although book one had a general ending, it left me with the understanding that this series is far from over.  In fact, it's only the beginning.  Bring it on Book 2.  Oppression was a 4 for me and releases February 28th.   You can pre-order it via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  In the meantime, add it to your GoodReads list.  

Mina B.

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge: 4th Campaign

Okay, for the First Campaigner Challenge for the Writers Platform Building, I took a stab at a poem. I haven't written a children's tale in a long time. It felt good to do so. Enjoy.

Mina B.


A shadow crept across my wall. 
I swore it was nothing, nothing at all.

A shapeless mass tricked by light,
I ignored its visage, dismissed it outright.

I affirmed it was nothing, nothing at all;
yet I starred at that vision as it clung to my wall.

Attempting to relax, I snuggled in my bed,
My eyes locked on the darkling, as it snuck towards my head.

What I thought was nothing…nothing on my orange wall;
was now indeed something, something terrifying after all.

I shut my eyes tight, pretending to sleep;
Until the haunting image jumped on me in one great leap.

My eyes flew open, trying to snatch a peak,
I prayed I’d keep it together, hoping I wouldn't shriek

The being then breathed in my ear and I felt a wet lick.
I shuddered involuntarily; the sensation made me sick.

The beast then bounced on my now buried head. 
My heart pounded furiously until I realized it was my dog, Fred.

“Go to sleep, Fred” I cried, feeling irritated.
Fred cuddled next to me, comfortable and elated.

My something was nothing…like I originally stated.
All was well again and then everything faded.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fridays with Fred: Presidents Day

With Presidents Day coming up, I thought I’d give a dead tribute to our past Presidents. Zombies are on my brain lately because the highly acclaimed series, The Walking Dead, returned last Sunday. If you missed the it, you missed one chilling episode. Rick is a living breathing bad ass and a silent but deadly force in the undead “walker” world. Anyway, I Googled the term Zombie Presidents and pulled some fantastic imagery of our former Presidents...zombfied. There are so many wicked talented artists and designers out there. I put this collage together with my iPad and had a helluva time doing it to. My favorite is the Michael Jackson thriller piece. What's yours?

Special thanks to the following sites that help me make this collage:  Adrian's Undead Diary, Debate Politics, Pencilla, and the list goes on and on and on...

Fred’s representing president’s day, imitating Lincoln.  Go Fred!  See what fun you can have with picnik.  I’m so sad this apps going away.  :0(

Last but not least, since we’re on the topic of Presidents, I found this trailer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer via you tube. I honestly didn’t know what to think about this one. I have this book on my TBR list and will get to it soon. With Tim Burton producing this bad boy, I’ll bet it will be exceptional if not spectacular. Here’s the trailer if you missed my post on my FB.

Looking for another classic pix of Fred? Check out Zombie Fred. Remember to stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Have a great weekend.

Mina B.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Follower Hop Winner & Cool Stuff

Congrats to Noely J. for winning the Follower Love Giveaway Hop. As mentioned, the winner will be allowed to choose one of the following killer books: Clockwork Prince, Bloodrose or Hallowed. The winner will be notified via email and will have no more than 72 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. The contest winner was selected by the reputable  And now for some other cool stuff.

For readers...

I thought I'd mention a few of my fellow author friends that have either recently released their novels or are about to.  If you're looking for something new, unique and paranormal to read, you may want to give these a try:

- Cherie Colyer recently released Embrace which is a teen paranormal thriller / romance. Check out the book description via Goodreads and visit Cherie's blog for more information.

- Jessica Redmerski also recently released her debut novel, The Mayfair Moon. I reviewed the thrilling YA crossover tale last month (my review) plus I did an author interview which has some interesting tidbits about the series.

- Jessica Therrien is set to release her debut novel, Oppression, at the end of the month. I'm in the middle of reading this YA paranormal romance/adventure series, so check back soon for my review. Visit her blog for more info or check out the book description via Goodreads.

- Donna Galanti's Paranormal Suspense, A Human Element, is set to release March 2012. That's the next one on my list. If you get a chance, visit her website for book details. 

For writers...

- Also, the today is the last day to sign up for Writer's Platform Building Campaign #4.  Visit Rachel Harrie's blog to connect with some fab authors!
- Last but not least, Alex Cavanaugh is co-hosting the A-Z Blogging Challenge this April.  The challenge is pretty intense, but its a great way to connect with other bloggers and authors.  Right now there are over 600 people signed up.  That's flipp'n amazing.  Visit here to learn more and sign up today.

Whew!  That's it.  I'm tired.  Back to work now...

Mina B.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest: Where it all began!

Welcome to the Origins Blogfest!  The Origins Blogfest is the killer idea of DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude, and is co-sponsored by Alex J. Cavanaugh , Katie Mills aka Creepy Query Girl and Matthew MacNish at The QQQE.  Thanks for creating such a cool blogfest, guys!
Like most writers, I have a wicked imagination which began as a child and blossomed as the years passed.  Here’s my Origins post of for me…where it all began.

When I was four, I lived in an old house filled with antiques.  I was the youngest of five and luckily had my own room.  I still remember that room to this day.  Aside from it's old furnishings, it had roses on the vine wallpaper and a gray Oriental rug clad with mystical etchings and a green border.  As the odd kid out, I spent much of my time trying to play with my older siblings, which sadly wanted nothing to do with me.  That left me with significant time on my own.  

With my turn of the century home constantly creaking with strange noises and the period furniture having a presence rivaling the house, it didn't take long for my imagination to fester.   When I wasn't outside, I spent countless hours in my room, staring at that damn rug, especially at night.  When I think about my origins, I'd have to say it started with that thing.  There was nothing too exceptional about this piece, except for one thing.  In one of the four corners, near the border was a monster-like figure.  It was a cross between a stick-like dragon and a gangly beast.  At night, I used to think the creature would come alive and terrorize me.  It’s completely ridiculous, I know, but back then, good lord, I was petrified of it.  Unfortunately, for me that rug followed me around for years in my room (*shivers*) until one day my Mother gave it a new home.  Thank god!  Years later, I had to write a short story for school.  The first thought that came to mind was that monster in the rug.  I wrote about it, of course, using the monster as my muse.  

Maybe one of these days I'll find that story and post it.  What about you?  Did you have any spooky beginnings as a kid?

Want to read the origins of others?  Check out these list of participants!

Mina B.