Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: Progress & the Power of Positive Thinking

Oh my gosh, I apologize for my blogging delay.  Life has handed me a crap storm of crazy and I've been doing my best to stay afloat.  That said, it's already December.  Damn the year's practically ran me down.'s time for Insecure Writers Support Group brought to you by Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts, are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins!

On Progress & the Power of Positive Thinking

I didn't exactly do NaNo although I did try to keep up with the pace. In the end, I added about another 15K to my novel. Not bad, but definitely not great. Still, I have to admit it's progress. As for insecurities, my one insecurity is this: My blog anniversary is next month and that ultimately means I've been at this writing rat race for close to a dog's age. It's all a bit depressing when you think about it. What with the time and effort that goes into writing novels and my not having one thing to show for...

That said, it was mid November when I had these destructive thoughts and let's be was more of a pity party than anything and then suddenly, I had an errant thought—probably a gift from the man upstairs now that I think about it. As I was chastising myself for my lack of accomplishments, the voice spoke, "Hang on a second. You actually do write for a living and have been doing so these last few years. Is it exactly what you want? Not exactly. But you are making a living off it and well...that's something, isn't it?"

After my inner voice spoke, it got me thinking even more. Even though I'm not exactly where I want to be, I have had some success. It's professional writing for my clients and not fictional for myself, but it's still something. And that my friends gave me hope! I'm so thankful I got that positive message. I totally needed it. 

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is here!  Okay, I got my copy.  Did you get yours?  Hurry!

Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.

That's it for IWSG.  What type of progress did you have last month?  What about the IWSG guide?  Have you picked up a copy?

Have a great rest of the week!

Mina Burrows

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero Blogfest!

Today, we're celebrating heroes and what they mean to us.  Special thanks to Joy L. Campbell and Michelle Wallace for hosting this blog hop.  The goal of this post is to write about the heroes that are inspiring us the most right now.  Who's my hero?  The easy answer would be a family member or perhaps my children.  But that's not what's in my head right now unfortunately.  No, what's in my head at the moment is a hero character I'm currently writing about.  

As writers we spend our lives observing people and situations, watching movies and then, of course, spend countless hours in our imagination.  We are creatures of the moment who are driven to capture the perfect story in our own words.  Right now the hero I've captured is rolled up into a ball of confusion in my head, and I'm sure I'm doing a butcher-like job trying to describe him on paper.  He's terrible complex just like the relationships he creates.  He's bold, unforgiving a has a sense of humor.  Is he a ladies man?  Funny you should ask, but yes, he is.

It's odd how when you're in the middle of a story how it's difficult to think little else but your hero or circumstances you've created for them.  Like any good story, I used real-life inspiring heroes to capture mine.  Whether it's straight from the news, a situation I've witnessed or even experienced, finding and using your everyday life as a muse for your hero writing is utterly essential.  It could be the heroic efforts of the many healthcare workers administering care to Ebola victims or a kind gesture of child.  For me, hero moments are everywhere when your writing.  At times it makes our job relatively easy.  At other times, not so much.   My goal for this writing project is to harness all the signs I receive and somehow make this hero of mine shine.  It's not an easy task that's for sure, but like any good writer, I'm up for the task.

What about you?  Do you have a hero you honoring today?  Or are you like me and are locked in creative-mode with your current project?

It's Monday.  Be sure and have a wonderful week.

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

All Aboard the Island Adventure Romance Blog Train

Hey guys! Fellow author and friend J.L. Campbell is here on my blog today, celebrating romance and suspense straight from the islands.  Campbell is a fantastic writer that I've read and featured previously on my blog here and here.  Well, now she's back and she's brought some exciting news.  Please welcome J.L.!

Hello.  Welcome to the second stop for the Island Adventure Romance Blog Train. This series is about standalone books that feature fast-paced stories set in the Caribbean.

Chasing Anya is about an independent woman, who has something of a history. She is plagued by a troublesome ex, who has no intention of letting the past stay where it belongs. Among the challenges Anya faces, is forgiving herself for something she believes is unforgivable.

What makes Anya's story special is that she presents a strong front to the world, while battling her demons and hiding her insecurities. Chasing Anya is more than a romance novel, it explores choices and living with the consequences of the decisions we make. The book also explores themes of friendship, healing and redemption. And no, it's not preachy. There's also excitement and intrigue as a case of insurance fraud unfolds around Anya.

In this book, we also meet her sister, Celeste, who I'll just say is a handful. She doesn't come across as a likeable character, but matures in her own story, Taming Celeste, which follows Anya's romance.

If you want a no-risk taste of the start of this series, Anya’s Wish is my gift to you. This free download is accessible here. I hope you enjoy the introduction to a set of characters whose lives intertwine in different stories.

Over the period of the tour (October 20-31), the prices of all the books in this series will be discounted to 0.99. Also, you may enter on the Rafflecopter to win a ten dollar ($10.00) Amazon voucher or an e-copy of the entire collection, which includes Chasing Anya, Contraband and Taming Celeste.

Follow the tour stops as I share information about these books that have been described as compelling and well-written, with vibrant characters.

J.L. Campbell lives in Jamaica and writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She also writes non-fiction and is a certified editor. Visit her on the web at or at her Amazon page. She's enjoys good company, so feel free to follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by Joy!  Okay, everyone!  Hurry and get your copies while the deals are hot! And don't forget to enter to win too!  

Have a great rest of the week!

Mina Burrows

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Hey, Halloween fans!  The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, is back.  Wahoo!  I haven't participated in many hops this year, but of course I couldn't miss this one.  It's one of my favs!  

It's scary how fast Halloween is approaching.  Hold on to your broomstick witches, because before you know it, Halloween will be over and your teeth will be aching from all the candy you devoured.  But before it's over and Death does his little dance, let's have some fun!  

For this year's hop, there are almost 300 blogs participating in this year spooky giveaway, giving away lots of books.  Booya! 

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card
Since this giveaway must be book related, I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card so the winner may pick their poison.  Hear that, Death or are you too busy dancing?  Eh, see the details below on how to enter:

To enter…
You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Extra entries…
+2 Subscribe to my blog
+1 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows

+1 Follow me on Google Plus
+1 Retweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

a Rafflecopter giveaway The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Oct. 15th - October 31st, midnight. Contest is open to International participants. 

Want to see who else is participating?  Visit I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and check out all the links and hop on by.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Classic Horror on Netflix & Other Creepy Flicks

Hey, guys.  It's day 7 of October, and Halloween is just around the corner.  Jinkies, I can't believe it's that close.  Anyway, as writers, readers and everyday life-goers, one way to take a break and celebrate Halloween this season is to watch classic horror specials on TV.  Am I right?  Well, nothing gets you in the mood for Halloween like a good old-fashioned movie or video on Netflix.   Today, I'm featuring some classic horror films/shows and other creepy videos available on Netflix now.  So get ready as we review a boat-load of horror genre so you can binge-watch throughout the month of October.

Classic Horror on Netflix

House on Haunted Hill, 1959 NR 74 minutes - 3 Stars on NF
A devilish millionaire offers five strangers $10,000 to stay overnight in a remote haunted mansion, where they are terrorized by grisly apparitions. Starring:  Vincent Price, Elisha Cook Jr.

My Comments:  Vincent Price is like a cornerstone in horror cinema.  I don't think we've had an actor like him in the horror genre since.  I saw House on Haunted Hill decades ago, and it's definitely time to watch it again.  Have you seen it?

Night of the Living Dead, 1968 NR 95 minutes - 2.25 Stars on NF
As dead bodies return to life and feast on humans, a woman joins a band of survivors in a farmhouse trying to save themselves from the zombie hordes.
Starring:  Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea

My Comments:  During the A-Z Challenge, I posted on this movie and zombies for the letter Z. It is a classic indeed and currently rank an 8 by fans on IMDB.   Have you seen it, or is this too outdated for your taste?

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1955-1957 NR 3 Seasons - 4 Stars on NF
Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock brings his droll sensibility to the small screen in this legendary and iconic anthology series. Starring:  Alfred Hitchcock

My Comments:  I've seen a handful or so of these, but no one creates suspense and highlights the darkness in humanity like Hitchcock.  What an icon and what a series.  IMDB fans rate this 1950's series at an 8.7 which is pretty impressive.  

Nosferatu, 1922/1929 NR 94 minutes - 2.5 Stars on NF
Many horror-film fanatics call this silent classic the scariest Dracula adaptation ever, starring Max Schreck as the eerie and grotesque Count Orlok. Starring:
Max Schreck, Alexander Granach

My Comments:  This classic vampire movie is truly memorable.  And that's quite an accomplishment when many of the horror movies made since then are frankly, forgettable.  This was another one I featured on my "N" post for the A-Z Challenge.  Don't miss your chance to watch it on Netflix if you can.

The Twilight Zone 1959-1963 TV-PG 4 Seasons - 3.5 Stars on NF
Hosted by creator Rod Serling, this groundbreaking anthology series presents tales of the supernatural that are often tinged with social commentary. Starring: Rod Serling

My Comments:  I've seen so many of these episodes, I've lost count.  What a treat to be able to catch at least four seasons of these episodes.  Top episodes are: To Serve Man (1962), The Fugitive (1962) and  Kick the Can (1962).

Other Creepy Flicks!

Lastly, if the classics are not to your taste, then there are oodles of other horror films or television shows to watch on Netflix.  Check out my list of what to watch this October and read my brief comments on the shows.
  1. The Munsters - Another classic television show and not so scary.
  2. American Horror Story - Seasons 1 & 2 are a cross between disturbing and terrifying.  Perfect for horror fans.
  3. The Walking Dead - Horror & Drama!  Can't get enough of the WD? Previous seasons available on NF.  Wahoo!
  4. World War Z - I liked it, but it may not be for some people.
  5. Cabin in the Woods - It wasn't a fav, but I do love Joss Whedon.
  6. Angel - The vampire with a soul!  Thank you Joss Whedon.  Yes, Angel's seasons are stream'n on NF too.
  7. Dreamworks Scary Stories featuring Shrek - Hilarious and fun for the kiddos!
  8. Hemlock Grove - Season 1 was cool, but I've lost interest in Season 2. :(
  9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Duh!  Need I say more? Two classic episodes are Nightmares (Season 1) and Hush (Season 4).
  10. Scoody Doo - Me personally...I can't get enough of those meddling kids!
Of course the Halloween series and Scream series are also available so you have that option.  What types of movies do you like to watch during October?  Are there any classics on your list?

Have a great week!

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG: Lessons for the Bold

Insecure Writers Support Group is already upon us for the month of October.  Can't believe that it's almost time for Halloween!  Wow.  #Timeflies  Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts, Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue!

Today IWSG members are contributing to The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond which an incredible undertaking to help writers learn from other aspiring and published authors. I thought long and hard about what I could contribute, and sadly I didn't come up with much. Still there are some important and elemental lessons all writers need to remember at every stage of their career.

Be Bold and Never Give Up!
On Writing:  Lessons for the Bold

Looking back on my experiences, I can undoubtedly tell aspiring authors what's worked and what hasn't worked for me, but the truth is every writer has difference experiences. What works for some, doesn't necessarily work for others. Luck also plays a big role in a writer's success. Alas, no one can predict that. No one can predict why an agent will respond to one query letter, and another one won't. Or how one book gets published, and another one is rejected. Or why one book sells more than another. Everything varies and in this still somewhat tumultuous publishing time, where publishers are fighting among themselves, the group that it affects the most are the writers.

The two things that I've learned that perhaps are the most valuable lessons are to be bold and to never (EVER) give up. Be bold in your writing. Be true to yourself. Be bold in your submitting and be bold when you publish. Do the work now and when it comes time remember..."Fortune Favors the Bold!"

Those are my words of advice and in fact, not being bold enough has been a debilitating insecurity I've dealt with for the last year. Now that I've expunged this cowardly demon inside me, I can move forward boldly with greatness. Right?  Damn straight!

What about you and your insecurities this month?  Have you been bold enough in your writing?  What about in life?  What type of advice did you give for the IWSG book?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Mina Burrows
Bio:  aspiring author and lover of wicked literature
ISWG has my permission to rebublish this post.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest

It's time for Underrated Treasures Blogfest hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Today we're posting about our favorite unknown MOVIE, BAND/ARTIST, TV SHOW or BOOK.  This one was hard for me, but I took a shot.  Today, I'm only posting on movie and music.  I couldn't think of a good underrated TV show that I liked.  I don't watch that much TV so...  As far as book, frankly, there are so many books that are underrated, I didn't know where to start.  That said, here are my two choices.

Grosse Pointe Blank

I don't how many people saw this movie, but it has to be one of my all time favorite 90's films that I thought was totally underrated.  My husband and I watched this film so many times it was a tad ridiculous.  Anyway, I'm not sure how many of you are a Better of Dead fan, but those movie films are classic to me.  This one is probably the last film I saw John Cusack do what he does best, play the brooding guy (Martin Blank) that is stuck in an untenable situation.  This story line of a hit man heading to his high school reunion had me roaring with iconic actors like Dr. Oatman,  Martin's terrified shrink, played by Alan Arkin. This film also featured other spectacular actors like Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Hank Azaria and Dan Aykroyd.


Grosse Point Blank Soundtrack

The music of the film was another underrated piece to this film.  Here's a sample of the track here, including an alternate version of the Violent Femmes, Blister in the Sun.  Check it out!

What are your thoughts?  Are you a fan of Grosse Point Blank?


I'm over at the A-Z Challenge blog today, being interviewed by the awesome, Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Please stop by!

Have a great week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fabulous Friday, News & Fred

It's Friday. Woot! I have had a hellish sort of a week. What about you? Work has managed to squeeze every ounce of me these last few weeks, but guess what....I've still managed to get some writing done late at night. Hah! Take that world! This is no small feat for me, because between my family and running a business, writing is incredibly difficult to fit in. Which is flipping sad, isn't it? Eh, that's life. Anyway, I've tallied about 10K words in the last week possibly more. Hey, that's a pretty big deal for me. And to celebrate my small accomplishment, and because it's Friday, here's my happy dance:  


Coming up

Underrated Treasures Blogfest:

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Underrated Treasures Blogfest is scheduled this Monday, September 22th.  Post about your favorite unknown MOVIE, BAND/ARTIST, TV SHOW or BOOK.  I'm participating and so can you.  Sign up here!

A-Z Challenge Blog Interview:

I'll be on the A-Z Challenge Blog being interviewed by the one and only, Alex J. Cavanaugh, about my classic monsters theme from this year's A-Z Challenge.  Remember that?  Yeah, good times.  I'll be reminiscing about those thirty days of hell  *clears throat*  writing those titillating posts about creepy, classic monsters.  If you missed them, click on my link of Creepy Classics.  Seriously though, the theme I chose this year was fun, which made the topic easier.  A-Z tip:  It's just like writing.  Pick a theme you love and it won't seem like work. :)  Anyway, I hope you stop on by on September 22nd.  Wahoo!  . :)

Downey Education Fund:  

Tina Downey's tribute was early this month, and wasn't it wonderful to see all the love and support from all the writers and bloggers in the blogosphere?  She was so loved, and she will be missed indeed.  I just wanted to mention again that Downey Education Fund has been created for her children.  If you can spare some money to support, I'm sure her family would greatly appreciate it.  Click here to donate.  And if you can't donate and you're a blogger, please consider adding this icon to your blog with a link to the donation page.  Thank you for your support!

Photo of the Week

This photo comes from Awesome Things in the World and boy is it awesome!  First question I you know what these are?  (And no, you are not allowed to ask Elise Fallson...that's cheating!)  The second question I have is...can you write a caption?  Here's the one I posted.

"It's raining men! Hallelujah it's raining men. Amen!" 

Fridays with Fred:  Fred & Companionship

I think I've mentioned before about Fred getting older, becoming more grouchy and now he's having some health issues too.  He's fifteen years old so with his age comes a myriad of conditions.  *sigh*  That said, we does have good days.  Fred still gets frisky, palling around with his young whippersnapper friend, Spike.  What's it like have two Jack Russells under one roof?  Never a dull moment.

Do you have any plans this weekend?  Have any news you'd like to share?  Are you signed up for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest? Are you happy it's Friday?

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 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.


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?


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.



Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element:
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element:
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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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...


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.


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?