Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thinking of Others

Tis the season. What season? The stress filled season of course! It happens earlier and earlier each year. People begin to be inundated with forced happiness, which brings about the very opposite. Tempers flare, blood pressure goes up, stress eating happens, and throughout it all, we are constantly reminded that there are those in the world that are less fortunate than us.

Let's take a look at that last part for a minute. Yes, while you're getting upset at the fact that Starbucks took the minimalist route this year or that the mall is already playing Christmas carols, there are people who are starving, getting sick because of the environment that they live in, are living under the oppression of a militaristic regime, have to deal with the stress of being killed by land mines, soldiers, IEDs, or any number of awful things.

Ugh! You're thinking. The world is effed up! So what? What can I do? I'm one person! I can't stop corruption in government. I can't end world hunger. I can't single handedly clean up the environment. I can't I can't I can't...

Except that... You can.

Start with your own back yard. I know, you're probably sick to death of hearing me talk about having a positive impact in the world around you but it seems to me that now, more than ever, this is important. In the past month alone, I've seen so much hate pouring out of people that I have come close to taking the low road. In fact, there was one incident that very nearly caused me to have a very public meltdown. I'd just gone through what was one the most difficult and traumatic moments of my life when someone decided to direct their misanthropic attitude in my direction. No, there was no way that they could have known what I was dealing with, but that's the point. How often do people act on their negativity without considering others?

Xenophobic attitudes, casual racism, snarky internet comments for the sake of tearing others down, and the righteous indignation when others show signs of having a bad day are sadly more common than random acts of kindness.

Think about that for a moment. This is the time of year that stress and tensions are running high in everyone, not just you. Think about that retail worker who was short with you. Wow! How rude! What gives them the right to treat me that way? Well, honestly, sure, they should be nice, however, you try being nice when you are making minimum wage, have to deal with the entitled public, know that you are not going to get a day off to spend with family because people feel that shopping is the best way to show our gratitude... Yes, retail work sucks and YOU, are part of the problem.

So what can we do to help? Well, first of all, don't shop on Thanksgiving. For that matter, don't shop on Black Friday either. Countless studies have shown that you are not going to get a better deal and the fact that there is a website that tracks Black Friday deaths should be a warning. Perhaps if enough people stayed home or went out and did something else (like watching a movie or having a post holiday drink with friends) Corporations may realize that it is not in their financial best interest to open their doors and invite chaos in on what should be a holiday meant for reflecting on what we already have.

But Christina, everyone else is going to be out there. So what if Big Store Inc doesn't get my money? I'm just one person.

That's the attitude I'm talking about. So what? You remember back when you were a kid and you tried the 'everyone else is doing it' argument in your parents? What do you think you're doing right now? Yes. You're one person and no, it may not seem like much, but trust me. If enough 'one persons' comes to the same conclusion, it will make a difference.

Now, I know you can't avoid shopping for the whole season, so let's try something else. It's very simple. Ready?

Remember those retail workers with their minimum wage and angry faces? You don't know their stories. Just as you probably get upset when someone tells you to smile or be happy, they are likely to have stab-murder thoughts if you were to remind them that they are supposed to be the cheerful face of CorporateMart. Don't be that guy. Instead, YOU SMILE. You say thank you, wish them a good day, and be grateful for what they do. You know why? Because it's contagious. Your genuine positivity will make a larger impact that you know.

Now, while we're on the subject, let's talk about making a difference. This is also the time of year when it seems like every store wants you to give something to someplace. Whether it's a food bank at the grocery store, the Red Cross looking for disaster relief, the local pet shelter, or Toys for Tots, so many people think you are made of money!

It's okay if you aren't. Personally, I try to donate wherever I can, but I'm an author and my name is not JK Rowling, so I can't personally end world hunger. Also, I rarely have cash in my pocket, so walking past that kettle can be difficult, but sometimes it is necessary. You know what makes it worse? Acting like you don't see them or making some sort of derisive face or comment. The people who are standing out there looking for money are human and more often than not, not getting paid one red cent for their work. They understand that you may be broke or that you might just not have any cash on you. But they are no less deserving of empathy and kindness than anyone else.

And finally, I understand that'shop local' is an easier said than done prospect. Most towns don't have mom and pop's 'Ye Old PlayStation Emporium.' But that doesn't mean you should abandon all ethics and just shop at the big chain store that everyone knows is ruining the economy of several national including ours. There are options. Explore them.

So there you go. You have been preached to by one person who is on a crusade to make the world a better, happier, cleaner, more open, loving, and positive place for all, who won't stop just because she may be the only one.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Write On! Indie Author Spotlight Week: Time for the Lost Cover Reveal

And finishing off my week of Write On! Indie Author Spotlights, we have a very exciting Friday (and not just because it's Friday the thirteenth)). Today, I am honored to be able to bring you an exciting first look at the cover for Chess Desalls' third installment of her series, The Call to Search Everywhen: Time for the Lost. Absolutely stunning! Read on to learn more about this series and it's amazing author.

TFTL Cover Reveal


Calla's disappearance leads her family and friends to suspect that she’s lost. In a desperate attempt to find her, Valcas seeks help from a man he betrayed. A new search begins, one that sounds promising, even if it forces Valcas to confront his past. The travel team reunites for a mission they never saw coming: a journey to a world caught between life and death, and hidden within the deepest recesses of time. Ivory rediscovers a friend and Ray learns the meaning behind his tattoo. But the connections they make between travelers and the lost may twist the core of the Time and Space Travel Agency inside out. Time for the Lost is the third installment in The Call to Search Everywhen serial series. Catch up with Calla and Valcas' adventure before the third book releases in February 2016!
series graphic



About the Author
chessChess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She's a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her non-fiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.
Connect with Chess on:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Write On! Indie Author Spotlight Week: Series Spotlight: The Regeneration Chronicles

Today's spotlight is on the works of author Ellison Blackburn. Her Regeneration Chronicles fall into the fascinating and oft overlooked category of literary sci-fi. As such, this is series that will appeal to a wide variety of readers, not just those of us on the science fringe. Regeneration X is the first in the series (you can read my review here) and Progeny, the second book, has just released on November 5th. Read on to discover more.



Regeneration X is a story about having choices and dealing with the consequences; creating new memories and letting others fade; and making sacrifices in pursuit of happiness.

Regeneration X (Regeneration Chronicles #1)


To be or to have been …

If Charlotte Rhys Fenn could do it all over, knowing what she knows now, she would be different.
Charley leads a comfortable life with her best friend and perfect match, Michael, a man with whom she shares two lovely pet children (canine and feline), and a home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She’s fortunate to have a caring and supportive family, and two amazing friends, Inez and Becks. Professionally, she holds a secure position as editor of a respected healthcare magazine. Her life is settled, as is her future.
Acquiring this existence of hers hadn’t been easy. For at least twenty years she felt like a wind-up toy, methodically following preprogrammed rules—step one … step two. She even imagined herself as a minuscule, but essential, cog inside a big machine with the mechanical brain. No matter what she tells herself, it hasn’t helped since another thought flutters through her mind as frequently: Going through the motions is the same as coasting toward nothingness.
It is 2025, the time is right. Technology, in a rapidly advancing world, makes it possible to reimagine the future by recreating the past or, more aptly, by creating another past.
Charley must either embrace her well-earned, sedate lifestyle, or invite a change that could alter her future irreversibly. It’s a difficult decision, one that could destroy all she has endeavored for, turning their life not only upside down, but backwards, forwards, and inside out.




The Regeneration Chronicles continue with a story about a legacy bestowed, an inheritance claimed, and each individual’s responsibility to him or herself and mankind.
The future can change for the worse, lest we forget to honor the past.

Progeny (Regeneration Chronicles, #2)


One of a Number …

Nineteen-year-old, Emery Kidd is one of two historians for her community. As a Chronicler, she is aware of the minute details of a society dramatically changed in the course of the two hundred years since cellular regression began. However, it is only now, after one of her lifetimes has passed, Emery discovers an important fact about her own heritage. She is the daughter of the most famous of regeneratives to have ever lived.
Consequently, Emery is also quietly learning just what it means to be the daughter of a martyred woman. Undoubtedly, she bears a strong resemblance to her mother, but more than auburn hair and expressive facial features, Emery would like to believe she’s inherited the same strength of character as well. And yet, believing and knowing are entirely separate matters.
Since everything changes with time—in varying degrees—and destiny often unfolds a plan unforeseen, Emery may just find the opportunity to test her belief. In fact, the entire human population will come face to face with their true inheritance.
The question is how this legacy will be received. For the future is inevitable, this much is certain. Lest we forget, the mere passage of time does not come with it the entitlement to life. To live and prosper is a path that is earned, but mankind has seemingly forgotten this. Can Emery remind the world that survival requires conscious effort? Will Emery and her friends, Cassidy, a fellow chronicler, Liam, a brilliant engineer, and Aiden, a reserved mediator be enough to save the oblivious many?

About Ellison Blackburn


Ellison Blackburn has been a web designer/developer for over fifteen years. Next to writing fiction and poetry, her passions include painting and collecting vintage thingamabobs. She is the author of Regeneration X and Progeny, books 1 and 2, respectively, of the Regeneration Chronicles.

Raised in Chicago, Ellison relocated to the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their three beastly, furry children.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Write On! Indie Author Spotlight Week: New Release: Dreamvision

Today we have a new release from SL Bynum, author of Grim Crush (you can see my review here). Her latest work, Dreamvision, is a slight departure from her previous work, but promises to be quite exciting. Read on for more information.


Description


 Dreams do come true, but in Abigail’s case, she wishes that were anything BUT true. 

Eight years ago, when people still used landline phones and desktop computers, sixteen-year-old Abigail had everything a happy teenager could ask for—a loving family, two best friends, and a sexy prom date. But all of this blows apart when her dreams, which involve terrible accidents, start to actually occur in her hometown. Soon Abigail’s life consists of putting together vague clues from her dreams to save the lives of those she cares about, but she isn’t always successful. As she sinks into isolation, paranoia, and heartache, she resolves to stop the nightmares altogether, relying on someone who is not what they appear to be. 

DREAMVISION is filled with horror and suspense at every turn, and is told in the form of a blog from Abigail’s perspective during the year 2007.

Excerpt

Warm wind rushed past me as I ran to the end of our street and across another street. Trixie’s house was about a mile from mine. I was athletic, so the distance was barely a problem for me.
When I reached Trixie’s gray, one-story, ancient house, I rang the doorbell three times. Then I stood and waited, trying to catch my breath. My heart was hammering against my chest, as though it wanted to burst out of it. I had a bad feeling for some reason.
Trixie opened the door, to my great relief.
“Abby? What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I need…to tell you…something,” I panted.
“Did you run here?”
“Yes. Is…your mom home?” I didn’t want anyone around when I told Trixie what I learned. Trixie didn’t have any siblings, or a dad. Her dad had run off before she’d been born.
“Yeah,” Trixie answered. “What–?”
“Then can we go for a walk? I have something important to tell you. And I want you to listen.”
“You can come in. My mom’s just upstairs taking a bath so she can’t hear us–”
“She is?!?” I pushed past Trixie into the house.
“Hey–! Abby!” Trixie protested, but I didn’t pay attention to her. I ran down the hallway to the first bathroom, the one next to Trixie’s room. It was empty. I continued on to Mrs. Vander’s bedroom, and the bathroom door in there was closed. I heard music playing inside, and Mrs. Vander was singing along with it.
I lightly knocked on the door. I didn’t want to seem too urgent. But what excuse would I give her?
Trixie came into the room. “Abby, what the heck is going on? Why are you bothering my mom?”
From the bathroom, Mrs. Vander yelled, “Trixie, what do you want?”
“Get your mom to come out,” I told Trixie, pushing her up to the door. “Tell her anything!”
“Why–?” Trixie began.
“Just do it. She’s the one I dreamt about!” I had a terrible feeling in my gut.
“Mom!” Trixie yelled through the door. “I have something to show you! Come out please!”
I heard the splashing of water. After a few more seconds, the door flew open. Mrs. Vander stood before us wrapped in a pink towel, with her short brown hair dripping wet. The music I heard was blaring from a boombox, sitting on a shelf beside the tub of water. From it, a country singer was crooning, “It’s not ooooverrrrr…”
“What is it, Trixie?” Mrs. Vander asked irritably. Then she spotted me. “Oh, hello, Abigail.”
“Hi,” I said.
“I didn’t know you were here. Well, Trixie, what did you want?”
Trixie looked to me for help. “Umm…”
Before she could come up with an excuse, there was a tremendous crash behind Mrs. Vander. A gasp escaped from my throat, and Trixie let out a scream.
We all turned to look, just in time to see the boombox splash into the tub of water, sending a wave of it onto the floor. Sparks shot up into the air, and smoke furled up from the water. The boombox let out one last garbled cry of “…ooo…ve…errrrrr…” and died out.

About SL Bynum

S. L. Bynum fell in love with writing at the age of twelve, when she wrote a rendition of The Three Little Pigs for her little brother’s homework assignment. Her dream has been to be an author since she was sixteen, and she now has two books out, Grim Crush and Dreamvision. Besides books, she loves desserts, fashion, dancing (when she’s alone), warm weather, and playing video games. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her family.


Connect:


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Write On! Indie Author Spotlight Week: Coming Soon: Friends without Benefits

Hey, who's this? Who let Christina McMullen in? Aw geez! There goes the neighborhood! Yes, I'm sneaking my own book into Indie Author Spotlight week because well, truth be told, I had four authors scheduled and I happen to have a book coming out at the end of the month myself, so my somewhat obsessive need for order demanded I fill out the whole week. Friends without Benefits is the fourth book in the Rise of the Discordant series. Read on to find out more, but first, look! A cover!

Yes, I am pretty proud of this one.

* * *

Description


Donna's love life is at an all-time low. Despite breaking her family curse (ensuring she would not give birth to the demon spawn destined to bring Chaos to power), she still can't get a date. Worse, the incubus who was supposed to sire the all –powerful demon spawn won't leave her alone. But instead of keeping her up all night with passionate dreams, he just wants to talk.

Meanwhile, the fissure that appeared under the site of the old mill grows wider each day. Desmond is running himself ragged trying to prevent the weakening of the barrier between realms. As such, he accidentally lets slip Seth’s identity from a previous life, bringing about rift of a different sort. This one between the two agents of Order.

As winter approaches, it is no longer a question of if the Discordant will rise up and try to claim Blackbird, but rather how soon? Will the agents and mystics be able to put aside their own personal issues long enough to vanquish Chaos or will Order crumble? And perhaps the most pressing question of all: Is Big Royal Burger even open yet?
  

* * *

Excerpt

Donna sat up and blinked. She was no longer in her bed, or in her room, or in Blackbird, for that matter. The bright, sandy beach was nowhere she had been before. Reclining back on his elbows just a few feet away was her incubus. She was growing used to his lack of clothing and modesty, but still marveled at the fact that living within a dream made him impervious to things like sand being wedged into uncomfortable places. 
“I brought you something.”
Donna raised her eyebrows. 
“You did? I don’t see anything.”
Between the lack of clothing and expansive, empty beach, there wasn’t much of a place that he could hide anything. Unless it was something very small… 
She stomped down hard on that line of thinking and chastised her heart for the sudden flutter. What had gotten into her? 
“Don’t you?” he asked, stretching in a practiced way that was meant to seem effortless and draw her attention.
“Oh, so are you saying all of this is for me?”
“Of course,” he said with a wink.
“To do with as I please?”
At that, he gave a wistful sigh.
“If only we could.”
His words were like a bucket of ice water that stopped the fluttering and sent her waterlogged heart plummeting.
“I see,” she said tersely and got up to walk along the edge of the surf, determined to get at least some pleasure out of the artificial paradise. She’d barely taken two steps before he appeared at her side.
“Where are you going?”
“For a walk.”
“Okay, I can do that,” he said, falling into step beside her. She did her best to ignore him, but it wasn’t long before the combined silence and his unwavering gaze began to drive her mad.
“So, do you have a name?” Donna purposefully looked out over the setting sun and the beautiful fiery rainbow it made on the water’s surface, determined to stay strong and not give in.
“Like clothing, Fa Be’yoh doesn’t seem to believe that there’s a need for names.”
At the reminder of his nakedness, her head turned on instinct. Donna was sure she saw a smug smile ghost across his face.
“Well that’s just stupid,” she huffed. “Names don’t cost anything and he gets to have one.”
“Your mother named him.”
“Really?” Donna snorted. Suddenly, her father’s odd name made sense.
“Really,” he nodded. “There’s magic in names, you know.”
“Yeah, tell me about it,” she grumbled, wondering, not for the first time, why her mother had to choose to give her a name that clearly meant virgin. “Whatever. I’m tired of calling you hey you, so I’m going to call you Inky.”
“Inky?” he asked, scrunching up his nose.
“Inky, as in short for Incubus.”
“You can’t do any better than that?”
“Oh I see how it is,” Donna said and rolled her eyes. She had thought the name was quite clever. “You’re fine to have no name and then as soon as I give you one you become a name critic. Okay then, you’re now Blinky.”
“Blinky? Blinky’s worse than Inky”
“Pinky?”
“I don’t think-”
“Fine! I’m calling you Clyde, no more objections!” 
“But that doesn’t even-” he began to protest, but Donna held up her hand.
“You are Clyde. Get used to it.”

* * *

To get the celebration started, I've got a Goodreads giveaway starting on Sunday the 15th for a paperback copy of Past Life Strife. This will run for two weeks. On the last day, November 29th, the Kindle edition of that title will be free. Friends without Benefits will be available around the same time, so keep up by following this blog or connect with me on social media:



Monday, November 9, 2015

Write On! Indie Author Spotlight Week: New Release: GR3T3L-1

Hey everyone! All week I'm going to be featuring new and upcoming Indie books and authors for your reading pleasure! Up first, we have the latest release from the very talented VM Sawh. GR3T3L-1 is the fourth installment in his Good Tales for Bad Dreams series of re-imaged tales we all thought we knew. GR3T3L-1 is the first sci-fi of the series and you can see my review of it here. Read on to learn more about this fantastic series!


~Description~
When they are stranded on the surface of a hostile alien world, two sentient robots H4NS3L-671, the military-minded combat drone, & GR3T3L-1, the advanced surveyor prototype, find themselves with neither memory nor mission. 

With no resources and no one to count on but each other, the robots must learn to work together in order to endure the brutal landscape, unlock the mystery of their missing memories, and plan their own rescue, all before their power runs out. 

What they don’t know is that the dangerous planet holds a terrible secret that could ruin their chances of ever escaping alive... 

This is “Hansel & Gretel” told like never before. This is "GR3T3L-1."


~Excerpt~
As the last of the light faded, and the surface fell into darkness, GR3T3L registered a temperature drop of 12 degrees. Its sensory lights sprang to life automatically cast beams over the sandy ground. Gravity was lighter here, meaning they could cover ground quickly. Still, with the storm looming to the North, GR3T3L knew they were running out of time. An objective analysis of the situation indicated that their chances of finding sufficient cover in time were less than 23%. GR3T3L’s recovering database indicated that throughout human history, there were many examples where humans had persevered when the odds were against them. How did humans do this? GR3T3L cross-referenced the search results with a methodological analysis and came to a single conclusion. HopeThe concept appeared to mean a great deal to humanity. Hope for an end to disease. Hope for an end to suffering. Hope for salvation. GR3T3L paused in its analysis as trillions of images and videos flooded its mental display. One of the videos playing depicted an operation from the United Africa campaign wherein a group of combat drones were advancing toward a group of children huddled behind the ruins of a blasted building. GR3T3L immediately understood the children to be members of the same family; they clutched the mangled remains of their dead parents. The drones took aim with the automatic weapons and with efficient bursts shot each of the children three times in the head. Blood and brain sprayed the wall behind them, obscuring green graffiti which read: We were born free. One of the drone’s radios crackled, transmitting its message. “Enemy combatants: zero.”
Given their present situation, GR3T3L was interested in how humans responded to similarly dire conditions. Its HUD referenced another video where dozens of Africans were depicted kneeling inside a mosque. From its files, GR3T3L came to understand that humans had often used religion as a guiding set of principles for living their lives. It often required strict adherence to a set of text-based rules of conduct. Compliance with said rules would result in a reward, promised in the life after death. As GR3T3L perused through its files, the robot concluded that access to the reward was determined by the accumulated metaphysical weight of a human’s perceived good or bad actions. Thus when a human was subject to adverse conditions beyond their control, religion could be used as a means of generating hope. GR3T3L found this curious, wondering if such a thing could ever be experienced by someone who wasn’t human.
“Warning: increased air mass detected,” H4NS3L declared. “Orbital beacon indicates planetary atmosphere has become dangerous. Wind speeds in excess of 100 KPH. Airborne debris has increased in size and mass.”
GR3T3L cast its sensors toward the oncoming wall of sand. “Crystalline matter from the surface has been swept up by the air mass. The particles pose a physical threat to shell integrity.”
The bank of wind-blasted particles rushed toward them with all the force of a hurricane. Electric arcs from the angry clouds danced down into the oncoming sandstorm, crackling into a filament web that made the crystalline particles sparkle. GR3T3L could already feel the first bits of crystalline particles ricocheting off its metal skin. If they didn’t move quickly, the cumulative force would rip them to shreds. GR3T3L quickly mapped their surrounding area.
“Head West-Southwest! Take cover under the escarpment!”
GR3T3L reconfigured its motors for speed, shutting down all non-essential systems to conserve power. It could hear H4NS3L doing the same, even though the drone possessed a much larger power source. It was now a matter of survival. 
GR3T3L ran across the surface that was rapidly accumulating a dense layer of sand. A rush of air blasted particulates against its skin. The wind roared. A wave of sand crashed down upon GR3T3L’s shoulders, pushing the robot to its knees. The sand was turning the ground into a thick soup. GR3T3L braced itself with its hands and tried to haul itself up. Its servos strained with the effort, but could not move. Another heavy wave thundered down on GR3T3L’s back. Sand had gotten into its joints. A wind shear sliced through the metal skin of its shoulder. Its alarms blared. Rounded semi-silicate grains had gotten inside its shell. The wind blasted again, from another direction this time, making GR3T3L’s skin crack. It looked down and saw that the tear in its skin had ripped further, exposing more of its sensitive systems to the onslaught.
Re-routing systems, its mind raced ahead, trying to contain the damage before things became catastrophic, activating secondary systems. Calculating distance to escarpment.
Its internal display flashed.
[100 meters]
GR3T3L raised its head. Servos in its neck were starting to seize. The wind rattled against its back.
Not good, it thought, activating its radio. Before GR3T3L could send a cry for help, its motion tracker pinged. There was movement to the left— H4NS3L? GR3T3L turned its head, but its servos jammed halfway. Switching to a heat-based thermal tracking view, GR3T3L focused on the bright outline. The shape, just at the edge of GR3T3L’s field of view, was several degrees warmer than the surrounding sand-storm.
“H4NS3L!” GR3T3L called through the radio, “H4NS3L, can you see me?”
The shape shifted sideways, moving almost like a liquid despite the maelstrom. GR3T3L saw that the shape was large, but appeared hunched with a tall extension protruding from the main body.
GR3T3L froze. That wasn’t H4NS3L. Instantly reactivating its full sensor suite, the robot directed all of its power toward scanning the shape. Amorphous and ill-defined behind the shearing winds, the shape appeared to be sliding closer every minute. GR3T3L kept its gaze trained on the encroaching form, all the while calling for H4NS3L on the radio.
The shape loomed large, moving slowly and smoothly around GR3T3L, as if making a cautious examination. The robot tried to change its position, but the powerful winds forced it back down. Suddenly, GR3T3L registered a sensation on its back.
Contact. 

~About VM Sawh~
V.M. Sawh didn't always know he was going to be a writer, but from the age of six he's been putting pen to paper, creating serialized fiction. Hailing from the humid jungles of South America, Sawh crossed oceans to arrive on Canada's snow-covered shores at age nine. He continued writing, creating serialized fiction year after year until he challenged himself to write a novel. His first trilogy of novels was completed by age sixteen, but despite encouragement from his Writer's Craft professor, never published, as the publishing industry was as intimidating then as it is today. He continued writing poetry and fiction for the next decade and a half until an open call for fairy-tale submissions changed everything.

V.M. Sawh resides in a small town north of Toronto, with his beloved wife and two cats. He continues to spin fairy-tales that will haunt your dreams. 

Here are some interesting facts about me. 

 i) As part of the launch for "Cinders", I was featured in the January 2014 issue of the Toronto Sun newspaper.

ii) Announced as winner of the Ontario Writer's Conference Story Starters Contest.

iii) "Cinders" and "Hontas" have made it to #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases List.

iv) "Anastasia" has over 12K reads on Wattpad, Toronto's free story-sharing website and is currently featured on the Historical Fiction front page.

v) Completed my first trilogy of novels by age 16.

vi) Decided to publish "Cinders" after a face-to-face meeting with Guillermo Del Toro (Director of Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim & Crimson Peak). 


~Connect with VM~


Website: vmsawh.com (for The Official)

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/VMsawh/ (for The Pretty Pictures)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmsawh (for The Issue Discussions)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/VMSawh (for What Readers Think)

Twitter: @VMS_author (for the Random & the Immediate)

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/ (GR3T3L-1 Exclusive)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

We're Going to Need a Bigger Pumpkin

This is my 100th blog post. I feel like we need to acknowledge this somehow.

Woo!

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, on to bigger and more exciting things. Namely, me. That's right. Aside from being the one month with the best weather, cozy food options, and excuse to eat pumpkin pie, November also happens to be when I was born. As such, this year I decided to go full-Kanye and declare November to be National Christina McMullen Month or NaCho McMo for those of you that like short and quirky not quite acronyms.

So, what does this mean? Well, since as of the time I'm writing, no one has yet to commission a ten foot tall marble statue to be erected in my honor, I'll settle for offering a whole bunch of book related stuff. In addition to my weekly Sunday free book promos, I'm going to be...

...offering a Goodreads giveaway for Past Life Strife, which will coincide with a kindle giveaway of the same book on my birthday...

...which is also the day that Friends without Benefits is scheduled to be available. This is the fourth book in the Rise of the Discordant series. Because of this...

...both Splitsville and You Wish will be available for free, but there's a catch...

...I'm not telling you when except that it will be before the release of Fw/oB.

Sound like fun? This is just the beginning. There's also going to be some great posts by and about other Indie Authors, more stories, and lots of pumpkin pie. Well, okay, that last part, admittedly, will not be happening on this blog, but it will happen...

...oh yes, it will happen.