Guest Post by Emlyn Chand, Author of Farsighted

Announcing the Farsighted Social Media Whirlwind Tour!As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Farsighted eBook edition is just 99 cents this week.What’s more, by purchasing this book, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 30th, so you don’t miss out. 

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of Farsighted for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!

 About Farsighted: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Farsighted is the winner of the 2011 Dragonfly eBook Awards. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads. 

Hello 2012. Goodbye World!

A Guest Post by Emlyn Chand

 The New Year is upon us. And if the Mayans were right, so is the apocalypse. Oh, man… Just when Earth was getting good.Well if I’m going to go by flame, flood, meteoric collision, or zombie uprising, I think it’s best to be prepared. No, not with a flame retardant unitard or a well-equipped cross bow, but with mental resolution—with a calm acceptance of humanity’s plight. Consider this a combo suicide note/ Dear John letter to the world. I might as well get a few final words in (just in case those Mayans knew what they were talking about). Pfffhew, here goes…

Dear World,

I wish I didn’t have to write this letter. We’ve been together some twenty-seven years, and that’s a long time. Sure, we’ve had our clashes. You’ve sent a fair share of inclement weather my way. Remember that thunder storm when the tree almost broke through the window of my apartment? I was so scared. That was totally not cool on your part. And tornados? I mean what’s that about. Control your temper!But I know I’ve hurt you too. I’ve been frivolous with your resources and have sometimes even—gasp—littered. I bought a V6 when I could’ve bought a hybrid. In fact, I think my carbon footprint is a size 12 at least—and that’s a size you have to special order at the shoe store. Yeah, I’m not saying I’m perfect. We all do things we regret, but Earth, you know I love you, right? That’s why it’s so difficult saying what I have to say…We can’t be together anymore. I’ve heard talk of a major problem. They say you’re going to die a horrific death, and since I count on you for protection, I’m gonna die too. I’d like to say we’ll be together in the next world, but do planets go to Heaven? I can’t say for certain, so I think I should say goodbye instead.We’ve had a good run, you and I. And I never regret having loved you. How I wish I could save us both, but who am I to interfere with an ancient prophecy?I’ll miss the way you spill light through my closed blinds in the early morning, gently telling me it’s time to start my day. And I’ll remember fondly the way the ground smells after a restorative rain shower—the way the pitter patter on my skin prickles like teensy weensy fingers giving me a massage, the way the earthworms come out of the ground and dance on the pavement. The songs of birds in the morning are my favorite; they always sound so happy. I wish I understood the lyrics to their upbeat symphony so that I could join in with them. And ice cream? I’ll give you credit for that, because the cows are yours, the vanilla bean is yours, the sugar is yours. The taste is magnificent! To never feel that icy sensation arouse my taste buds again is such a great shame.I’m tearing up now just thinking about all our good times together. I hope you’ll remember me with the same fondness. No matter what happens, I will ALWAYS love you.Now it’s time to say goodbye. Go out with a smile,

Festival of Books, Dec. 20-28th

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights
I’ve always been fascinated by the menorah.  According to Jewish tradition, the yearly lighting of candles commemorates the miracle when a single night’s portion of ritual oil kept the Temple lit for eight full nights.  (The ninth, central candle is used to light the others.)  I love the idea of lighting the candles not just to provide household light — personal appreciation — but to share the miracle with the whole world.

Of course, there have been times and places in Jewish history when lighting the menorah could be dangerous, even deadly. Even the dreidel, that seemingly innocuous spinning top, comes from a time when studying the Torah (the Hebrew Bible) had to be hidden. When the Greeks outlawed such study, young men gathered secretly to learn the tenets of their faith. If observed by Greek soldiers, the scholars would take out their dreidels — spinning tops — and play with them. The soldiers would assume the men were gambling and move along.

Festival of Books
For the next eight nights, I’ve joined with several other indie authors to bring you a selection of great indie offerings.  I’m also offering a $50 gift certificate to your choice of retailer — Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  All you have to do is comment on my blog during the next eight days.  Tell me what holiday lights — the menorah, the Christmas tree, or something else — means to you personally.  Each comment will give you an entry into the drawing, which will take place on 12/29.  The winner will be chosen by

You can also check out several great indie authors:

Jonathan Gould
Danielle Blanchard
Justin Dennis
Lisa Grace
Craig Hansen
Larry Kahn
Emily Ward

Last but not least, fill out the form to be eligible for the Grand Prize Drawing!

Holiday Blog Hop Winner!

And the winner of the $50 gift ecard (her choice from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble) is Jennifer Wichman of Jacksonville, FL.

Thanks to everyone who participated.  I hope you had fun and discovered some great new indie authors!

And remember, everyone who won a daily prize will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing for that brand new Kindle Fire!

Merry Christmas

I know there must be a Kindle if I look hard enough…

Merry Christmas!

Whether you celebrate or not, I wish you a happy, peaceful day. I’m grateful to all my friends on the web, my blog followers, ebook reviewers and most especially my readers.  You’ve made 2011 a year to remember.

If you’d like one last shot at a gift certificate or a Kindle Fire, please check yesterday’s post for details.  You can also skip to the 23rd’s post (Festival of Books) for another giveaway with gift certificates and ebooks.  If you’re already exhausted from eggnog, wads of Christmas paper and repeats of A Christmas Story, I understand.

Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy 2012!

Why Batman is Better than Superman (And Always Will Be)

1.  Superman flies wherever he wants thanks to the power of our yellow sun.  Batman uses super-cool technology from his own design team (Haus of Bat) to get where he’s going, like the Batwing and the Batmobile.  Even his cape has a purpose: deflect bullets, resist fire, turn into a glider.  Superman’s cape is for show.

2.  Superman has a hankering for Ma Kent’s delicious Kansas farmhouse cooking.  Batman has a burning obsession to cleanse his city from criminals like the robber who killed his parents.  Superman enjoys punch and pie.  Batman consumes only enough sustenance to keep the spirit of vengeance alive.

3.  Superman works at a day job where he is underappreciated, especially by his boss and the strident plucked chicken he wants to date.   (That might be harsh, but I’ll always see Lois as Margot Kidder.)  Batman is a self-made billionaire who naps in the board room while lackeys fight for five minutes of his attention.  By day, Batman is desired by surgically optimized gold diggers determined to show him a good time.  By night, he’s desired by Catwoman.  I mean, really — who would you rather be?

4.  Superman is known for his devotion to truth, justice and the American way.  Batman is known for being crazy.  Also, for fighting dirty.  (At least watch the video up to the point where Superman states he won’t have vigilantism in his town.  See how Batman responds.)

5.  Superman hangs out with his pal Jimmy Olsen, who looks like a snot-faced kid but is actually of age and gainfully employed.  Batman hangs out with vulnerable underaged male orphans, whom he makes legally dependent on him before embarking on an intense 24/7 relationship of … wait.  Scratch all that.

6.  Superman is a handsome humanoid alien who can do literally anything if the circumstances call for it.  Batman is a normal human who has no advantage he didn’t acquire through intellect, application, determination and dedication.  There can only be one Superman.  But anyone can be Batman — if they work at it hard enough.

Okay, now it’s time to visit the top of my site and click on the Holiday Hop!  You’ll be directed to a list of over 60 independent authors.  Take your time, click on the individual names to explore each author’s site and learn more about each book.  Then email me at the name of one book.  You’ll be entered in the daily drawing for my Naughty or Nice giveaway, plus my own grand prize (a $50 gift certificate to your choice of Amazon or B & N) and the Holiday Hop grand prize: a brand new Kindle Fire!

Howard’s Useful Tips for Kitties

No one can resist an upside down kitty

It is I, Howard.  Mother is writing her new book Blue Murder.  So today I will post one of my more popular columns: Useful Tips for Kitties!  Once you’re done, don’t forget to participate in the Holiday Hop!  You could win books from Mother, a $50 gift certificate or even a brand new Kindle Fire!

Getting Attention from your Human Staff

One trick that works really well is cabinet banging.  Even when Mother is  befuddled — wandering around at 5:56am trying to brew coffee and steel herself for another workday — I have discovered to get attention, stat!  All you have to do is find a cabinet.  Work a paw into the space between door and jamb.  Pull back and — BANG!  The humans will jump every time!  A no fail way to get talked to and probably picked up, if you’re willing to overlook a little insincere threatening.

Correct pre-bang position of cabinet
Cabinet-banging Implements


Oozling is an important skill all kitties should learn.  First, you must creep up upon your prey, silent as the grave.  Then you must gently lower yourself against said prey.  Finally, you seek to meld your own fuzzy goodness into the body of the prey, usually a human staff member or Mother.  If you oozle them sufficiently, they will pet you endlessly and do you bidding thereafter.

Me oozling Mother.  (The lump beneath the covers.)  I am overtaking her will…

Bad Cat-Good Cat

This requires another household cat to be, frankly, an irritant.  Or for you to be so relentlessly cute and cuddly the other cat slips up and looks bad by comparison.  The success of Bad Cat-Good Cat depends entirely on the other felines in your sphere.  I am lucky to have Salem for a big brother.  He stopped caring what Mother thought of him ages ago.  Look at his rude yawn as I politely greet Mother and inquire after her day:

Aren’t I a good wittle kitty by comparison to that beast?

Last But Not Least:  Like Lady Gaga, Strike an Outrageous Pose

I confess I don’t fully understand what’s so odd about the last picture.  But the human staff found it quite amusing.  Humans!  You never really “get” what they’re thinking, do you?


Interview with Gary Alan Ruse, author of THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE

Today I’d like to welcome Gary Alan Ruse to my blog to discuss his new mystery, THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE.

Gary, you’ve been a professional science fiction writer for years.  What inspired you to write THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE, a paranormal mystery?

It may seem a stretch since I’ve done most of my work in science fiction, but I’ve been out there writing mystery stories for years, too. Also, if I get an idea for a story that really appeals to me, no matter what genre it may fit, I just have to write it. It won’t let me go! I’ve long been a fan of supernatural adventure/thriller books and movies like Hammer Films’ version of the Dennis Wheatley novel, “The Devil Rides Out,” or another British movie with a script by American Richard Matheson, “The Legend of Hell House.” And, oddly enough, I have personally had a few “paranormal” experiences, so The Cross of St. Anne was not only a good fit for me, it may have been pre-destined in a sense.

We’re both cat lovers, yet the cat in your book, Sathan, is no friendly feline!  (My big black cat Salem wants to play Sathan in the movie version, by the way.)  Which character in THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE was the most fun for you to write about?

Note the terrifying eyes

Yes, I do love cats and have been blessed over the years with some wonderful feline companions, so I did have a twinge of guilt about portraying such a truly nasty one. But when you’re crafting a tale of magic and mystery the plot and the characters must be allowed to be what they must be within the context of the story, and not merely what you’re personally comfortable with. So Sathan is a meany and perhaps a bit of a demon. I would love to see a movie version. Your cat Salem has the right look for the role! (Does he have a SAG card?) As to which character was the most satisfying for me to write about, that’s hard to pinpoint. Annie McCormick is the protagonist and the character through whose thoughts, fears and emotions I navigated myself and the reader through the story, revelation by revelation, so in a way she was the most satisfying to write. But I truly enjoyed writing the dialogue and narrative for all the characters, even the villains (who are so dramatic) and the delightful Karen (even though a suspect).

Gary, your bio is amazing.  What life experiences have impacted you the most as a writer?

My childhood was filled with books, movies and TV shows. My maternal grandmother was a frustrated writer herself and always encouraged and supported my writing efforts, as did my mom and the rest of my family. Those beginnings were certainly at the core of what shaped me as a writer. I have an art background which has helped make my writing more visual. Serving in the military, especially in a war zone, also taught me a lot about human nature, interesting locales and what a real sense of danger feels like! It also gave me a chance to edit news reports written by others, and I think I learned more about writing from studying those and smoothing out rough spots than from any class or book on the subject.

I miss these old-style covers
Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I am currently working to finish a nearly done screenplay for a Steampunk (Victorian Science Fiction) movie that I think will be one of the most amazing projects I’ve done, and that I hope my agent will find a home for. Also working on a humorous SF/Mystery novel, and on assembling a collection of a number of my dark fantasy stories (some previously published, some to be seen for the first time). And I have ideas for a sequel to THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE …a new scary mystery for Annie to investigate.

Sounds great!  Check out Gary’s work on Amazon and Barnes & Noble or visit his website.

Then it’s time to start the Holiday Hop and win yourself some cool prizes.  Here’s how it works:

Go here and work your way through the indie authors.  Each website you visit will offer a different contest and a different prize.  (Don’t forget to enter mine, too, shown at the top of my blog!)  Have fun, discover new authors and WIN!