Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

If you're like me, you love tearing off the wrapper of surprise packages. 

Today, I'm honored to reveal the book cover for Jolene Haley and Brian LeTendre. First a teaser or two. The suspense might just kill you... 

Intrigued? How about some more info?

Harrowed (The Woodsview Murders #1)
By Brian LeTendre and Jolene Haley

Journalism Rule #1: Always report the story. Never become the story.

Avery Blair has accepted the fact that nothing exciting ever happens in her small town of Woodsview, Massachusetts. As the editor of the high school blog, she prays for something—anything—to come along that would make for a great headline.

When Beatrice Thompson’s body is found in the girls’ bathroom, Avery has her biggest story ever. The rumors circulating the school say that Beatrice took her own life, but Avery doesn't believe it for a second. Her instincts prove true when the next day brings another body bag.

The tiny community of Woodsview has become the hunting ground for a killer known as the Harvester. The killer targets Avery and her classmates, stalking their every move and terrorizing them with morbid messages.

With the help of her boyfriend Jason, her best friend Quinn, and an aging detective who can't keep her off the case, Avery dives head-first into her own investigation. She discovers that the secret of the Woodsview Harvester is buried in the town's history and its annual Harvest Festival celebration. With every clue she uncovers, Avery grows closer to unmasking the killer—and becoming the next victim.

Avery Blair has finally found a story to die for...if she can stay alive long enough to write it.

Was that a shiver that went up your spine? 
The cover for your next Stay Up All Night Read...

Goodreads Cover Art by: Hang Le

Mmm, doesn't that just make you want to curl up by a warm hearth, with hot chocolate and fuzzy blanket? Harrowed will be available 09/22/15 by Horror Twins Press. Put that on your wishlist at all your favorite book sites! 

About Brian LeTendre:

Brian LeTendre is the writer of the Parted Veil horror series, which includes Courting the King in YellowLovecraft's Curse, and Lovecraft's Pupil

A gaming, comics and horror lover, Brian has co-hosted and produced a podcast about geek culture called Secret Identity since 2006, producing well over 1000 hours of programming. He also hosts and produces three other podcasts about writing See Brian Writedesign and small business Kitbash Radio, and gaming Co-Op Critics.

In addition to podcasting, Brian has worked as a freelance games journalist, and currently writes a webcomic called Mo Stachewhich can be read for free online and will be collected in print in 2016. 

Brian lives and works in Massachusetts.

Brian on Twitter
Brian's Blog
Brian on Amazon
Brian's Podcasts

About Jolene Haley:

Jolene Haley is the author of the Woodsview Murders series and Haunted coming fall of 2016.  She’s also the curator of the best-selling horror anthology The Dark Carnival through Pen & Muse Press. 

She runs a YA horror blog, The Midnight Society, the author resource site Pen & Muse, and Hocus Pocus & Co., a small horror press. She writes every genre under the sun, but prefers horror. 

When she’s not writing she can be found cuddling her two dogs and enjoying the beach where she lives. 

Jolene on Twitter
Jolene's Blog
Jolene on Goodreads
Jolene on Facebook

Join the book buzz using hashtag #WoodsviewMurders 
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Grab Yourself Some Sizzle!

Hi My Friendly Rocket Squirrels, (if you don't like rodents, choose a favorite animal of your choice)...

I've been away at a Supernatural Convention in Minneapolis. No shame. That convention was one of the best things I've ever done with my daughter... Anyway, I get home from one level of hotness to find this amazing lady, Kristen Strassel has a book birthday, and it's another whole level of hot. I had to fan myself and stare at her book cover for a nice long while.

So, before the summer is out, and to keep that heat alive, treat yourself to a little something seriously hot and steamy! Links are highlighted, dears. You'll thank me later!

Cheers Critters,

Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Fictional Pets I'd Adopt

I just ran across this while partaking in my daily Twitter Therapy. (Not even kidding, Space Squirrels, the past two weeks would have seen major calamities if I hadn't been hiding my face in Twitter, Magic the Gathering® (the cards, not online, and the Original cards, too...), and the sadly obsolete (in the US) iPhone app Tavern Quest® by glu.) I really want to jump on the bandwagon, so I apologize to this blog chain if I am screwing up any rules. (I pinched the banner from the tweet I saw.) Please let me know if I should be doing anything differently. Disclaimer taken care of,  I give you my five fictional pets I would adopt in a hot second. 

First and foremost my ultimate forever favorite: Silver, from The (original) Lone Ranger. When I was 2 people would ask me how old I was and I would stomp my foot twice and whinny. I lived in Silver's head until I was probably 5 when I could be The Lone Ranger's partner instead of his horse. This will forever be my first and forever fandom.

Someone seriously buy me this comic! Please? I can offer rainbow colored lint that might be Neapolitan flavored.


# 2 Fizzgig from the Dark Crystal. Who wouldn't want a manic ball of fluff with a huge maw to scream out our crazies? 


# 3 Ambrosius from Labyrinth - This directly relates to my Silver fixation.


#4 Gruff from Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast - I cried my eyes out at this movie.


And #5 - (This one comes with a bonus, because really these two are a pair.) Appa and Momo from Avatar - The Last Airbender (the Show! NOT the movie!)

Sense a theme? I guess I like big fluffy things and little slightly annoying things, and things to ride... (er, that came out badly...ahem, carry on.) If you enjoyed my list, or especially if you didn't, please go visit these other fine blogs with lists of their own! Thank you! I really enjoyed doing this post. 


Katya Owu

Thanks to #5FandomFriday #FandomFive Creators, The Nerdy Girl and Super Space Chick!

Happy Friday Space Squirrels!

Captain Risurocket
(commanding my own rocket of squirrels since 1992)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Emergency Twitter Lists Tutorial

(Disclaimer: I have an iPhone and a Mac. So this is a bit Applecentric, but I have endeavored to get some Android info too. I also use the Twitter web site in my Chrome browser. If you use a different app or browser, I may not be able to help. Lastly, if you're completely unfamiliar with Twitter or I'm just confusing, please leave your questions in the comments, or tweet me @ risurocket, and I'll do my best to clarify things.) 

I've had a request to do a tutorial on how to use Lists in Twitter. I'm a HUGE advocate of Twitter lists. The home feed is too overwhelming and when I want to meet and interact with people, the home feed tends to be a running series of retweets and ads, instead. I highly recommend Adblock if you use Twitter on your desktop.

Lists completely saved Twitter for me. They are customizable, and you can make them public or private. If public, other users are able to subscribe to them.

Step #1:
Finding Your Lists:

Go to your Twitter profile page on your desktop. (Mac)

There you see LISTS and the number of them you have. Click on that. Or you can click on your profile avatar in the upper right (Mac browser only, as far as I know). 

You can also find the lists on your iPhone or Android phone. 

The iPhone Twitter App gives you the lists by clicking on the little gear next to your tweet and message menu selections. 


Android: (The drop down comes from tapping three little dots.)

Next Step:
Step #2: Creating Your Lists 

Once you've found your lists, you'll find a page very similar (I hope) to this on your desktop. I can't vouch for Android/PCs here, but it can't be that much different (I hope).

You see on the right (your right), that there is a create a list button. Click that. You are now free to create a list. Once you've clicked on that, you'll get this (or something similar) on your desktop. 

On your phone you'll get this or something similar: (Sorry no Android shot.)

The plus sign in the upper right will allow you to make more Lists on your iPhone. (note: Twitter limits created lists to 20. You can subscribe to as many as you want, I think.) As you can see, all my lists have little locks by them. They are private. You're getting a rare glimpse of my Lists' page. ;)

This is what it asks you to do on the iPhone when you hit the plus sign: 

Next Step: 
Step #3: Adding your Tweeps (those you follow or if you just want to read tweets.) 

This is one of the nice things about Lists. You DON'T need to follow the person to read their tweets. You can put them in a list and you get most of their tweets in one nice organized feed. 

For example, you can put a bunch of promos or news bulletins in a list and not have to follow them. You'll still get all the tweets, but you can stick to following real live people. Take advantage of this now. Not sure Twitter will continue to allow the "not-following" option, but here's hoping.

Once you have your list, you'll want to populate it. So, choose a person you are following or who's following you, or someone/thing you're interested in. Click on their profile, and find the gear on a desktop,  iPhone or other indicator, (three dots?) on an Android and you'll see "Add to List". 


iPhone: (I'm going go out on a limb and say that an Android would look similar to the only Android shot I have...)

Once you've got the Add/remove from lists selected you get your personal list menu up again as a checklist and you select which list you want and hit done. 

And that's that. You can have all your favorites sorted out of the Home Feed Frenzy and never miss a tweet again! You'll meet awesome people and connect all that much easier. 

You can find your lists from any part of your Twitter screens on the desktop by clicking your profile picture which will bring down a drop down menu. On an iPhone, you need to be on your profile page to have access to your gear settings. Android may give you the option from anywhere if that menu bar is always showing for each screen.

It looks like this on a Mac Desktop from my Notifications page: 



This appears to be from any Android Twitter page, not just your profile page.

I hope this helped. Please tweet me @ risurocket or leave a comment here if you have any questions. Twitter will get you a faster response. Thanks so much, and please respect everyone's efforts for letting me use their photos! Thanks to everyone who participated in this tutorial!

Be Kind, Find Peace, Give Love!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Need for Positive Energy

Positive Energy by Uribaani

Anyone else out there tired of seeing horror stories, doom and gloom blazoned across the media? Has anyone ever thought "What if the news showed more positive stories than harrowing stories?" "What if the news shifted its focus and put the emphasis on hope in humanity instead of disasters and terror?"

Of course we need to stay informed. People need to be aware of events and natural disasters and world community. But what if media shifted the focus and put those stories on the back page? What if news spent 20 minutes on mission works and charities and things that ordinary people do for ordinary people? Sandwich the terror, doom, gloom and war in the middle of hope. We all know the terror is out there, but we need examples of hope, we need things to emulate that aren't violent, aren't based in anger and frustration. We need to be taught by the media that it's NOT ok to take out your frustrations on a church full of people. Because face it, we are TAUGHT by the media, we are taught by example. We see things being given attention that are horrifying and if we want attention, maybe we should do something horrifying. 

*sigh* This is one of my most devastatingly painful convictions. I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers and internet headlines years ago. I stay informed, don't get me wrong, but I don't need details. We are tuned in to be negative. Sure there are positive stories of hope and goodwill out there, many many stories. But how many times are they given the back page, or made into memes to chuckle over, or tucked away as some kind of fantasy that isn't achievable by the ordinary person? Doom, gloom, terror, violence toward our fellow man, that's what shapes the overall reality of society through the media. IF you pay attention to that. If you are one of the people who seeks out the positive and digs it up and uses it to bolster your hope in humanity, I salute you! If you're like me and must limit all media to a bare minimum or suffer deep depression over the state of the world, then hear me out. There needs to be a balance. 

I'm a writer. I write mysteries, and I fight with my conviction over writing the types of things that happen in mysteries. I'm an unashamed mystery junkie. How can I promote those things in my books when I don't want that kind of focus in the media? How can I read mysteries? But I don't write "Thrillers". I don't write current events. You will never see me dabble in real politics. My subjects are fairy tales dotted with bad things that good people triumph over. At least that's what I strive for. The triumph is the key. Not triumph through violence. Not triumph of an eye for an eye. Triumph over solving a puzzle, giving the needy the edge, and show that the bullies aren't the ones getting attention. Or something like that.

Let's face it, bad things happen. The key is balance. The key is knowing how to get positive attention, and knowing positive ways to get what you need emotionally, physically, and spiritually. There is a huge deficit in this balance. The weights are on the negative side. We are losing our ability as a world community to feel like The Good is even possible; that everyone has the right to have their needs fulfilled in non-violent, humanity promoting ways.

One phenomenal author who I aspire to emulate and have failed, is Nancy Atherton
If you are looking for good puzzle mystery mayhem without the murder, I recommend all of her superb books. 
We need to band together to promote positive energy, positive stories, stories of real heroes, real stories we want our children to go to bed with at night. There is a need for some level of awareness, and there is a need for children to feel like they can conquer the world and fight back, but we don't give our kids the proper tools. We give the violence toward our fellow man attention. We give our lurid sides and our vices attention. How is anyone supposed to learn that getting attention through those means is bad, if it's what we are giving our attention? We all want attention. Social media is the backlash born of that need, and even that has been a field for attackers. Please, people. Stop the bullying. Everywhere. One way to stop it, is to shift the focus. Rewrite those stories to show people doing good, even if there are bad things happening in the story. Give the power to the good.

Let's give our attention to our families, our friends, our loved ones. Let's show how humanity can give attention to love. Love of everyone. Tolerance of everyone. People are who we have to live with. We don't all agree, but we all have a right to live and be happy. (I am not getting into judging crime or politics. That's not my point. My point is going to the core, so the power goes back to what is really good.) And if anyone is overwhelmed by the thought of taking on the media, like I am, focus on your families. 

Love your people! Show them by your example and explain that what the world lens focuses on, is not how it has to be.

Rant over. 
Live simply that others may simply live. 
Show a person how to hug and say, Hello Beautiful. 
Be kind. Find peace. Give love.
(I encourage readers to check out the links under the graphics I put in this post.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Raindrops on Roses

I'm going offline (unofficially) for awhile in order to focus on the world on the other side of the screen.

I decided to leave any interested readers with a few of my favorite things. I got an amazing compliment on my blog the other day, and it inspired me and reminded me that I need to pay homage to the nicest and most creative people I know.

Without further adieu, I encourage you to explore.

Valerie Baber Designs ©

Valerie Baber Designs  One of the most gifted fiber artists I know. She inspires me every day with her new designs and she's incredibly prolific. If you ever need just the right unique accessory to go with your new outfit, her shop is the one to go to. The scarf in the photo is one of her gorgeous designs. Thank you again, Valerie, for the compliment on my blog.

Susanna Kearsley  My favorite author and an inspiration to my wayward attempts at getting my author feet off the ground. She writes timeless suspenseful stories that you will lose yourself in and not want to return from. I've read each of her books so many times, I've lost count, and they never lose their impact.

Deanna Raybourn  My other favorite author and truly another inspiration to me. She writes delightful mysteries and novels that take you back in time and also keep you in worlds from which you never want to return. Her characters take up residence in your favorite reading nook and never leave. Her website and blog are also delicious and will make you crave tea and crumpets.

Victoria Laurie  Yet another of my favorite authors. Her characters inspire my characters and I strive to emulate her charming wit. I can devour her M.J. Holiday ghost hunting books in a day, which always leaves me craving the next book.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries ©

Phryne Fisher  This one is a combination of a favorite TV series, and a new favorite author, Kerry Greenwood. I adore Phryne as a character in both, and the duo that created the TV series did an amazing job. These are mysteries that take place in the late 1920s in Australia. I've never wanted to visit Melbourne so much in my life. I'd trail in the glamorous Phryne's wake any time. The first link goes to the author's page, which is set up for Phryne. The TV series is aired by Acorn TV, and is available on Netflix.

Film Noir  I love the look and feel of the film noir style. I'm not as big of a fan of the depressing stories. I prefer the mystery/private detective versions. My blog is based on an attempt to capture the style and mystery of film noir without the depressing character flaws and crushing consequences of misguided decisions. However, film noir is a fantastic character study genre, and I endeavor to explore all its avenues in order to add depth to my own writing. I also enjoy how film noir, despite its origins, can be applied to any time period.

Shana Logic  Another site for unique gifts by independent artists. I turn to this shop first when looking for something to cheer me up or a gift for my eclectic friends.

May not be raindrops on roses, but I wanted to share my favorites with you while I take some time off from social media. I hope you enjoy exploring and perhaps find some new favorites of your own!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Silent Treatment

Writers' block feels like a dozen or more pens and pencils are poking through my skull in all directions but never breaking skin.

I know I'm not supposed use writers' block as an excuse not to write, but I can't seem to get a single satisfactory idea out of my head. I've got piles of blurbs. I've got a couple of finished draft manuscripts that need editing and aren't drawing my attention.

The block might as well be a literal piece of wood or concrete to beat my head against. The silent treatment, a form of subtle torment not unlike Chinese water torture. My muse seems to be an expert. I know the things that have been said about not waiting for inspiration to come, and that I'm supposed to go out and get it. I have tried to plot and jot. I've only managed to clot the blood flow from the figurative beatings.

I feel a little like I'm doing everything wrong. The whole thing is starting to feel a bit surreal. Maybe my muse is starving, but lately, when I should be getting encouragement from my all time favorite and incredible authors, I'm feeling discouraged instead. I certainly get lost in their stories and enjoy my time reading (I've read some truly fantastic books lately), but there's that left over feeling of why can't I write like that? Why am I not going out and grabbing research by the horns and writing something so awesome? What is wrong with me? That's a rhetorical question.

So, I am lurking about, waiting for that spark to jostle my muse out of the brooding silent treatment. I know, not supposed to wait for the spark either. Go out and find it.

Where? (Another rhetorical question...)

Is it too much to ask for an explosion? A really pretty one?

As I write this out, it has become a therapeutic exercise. You've all been partial to my writer's struggle and I thank you for your wandering eyes and patience!

Happy St. Patrick's Day