Monday, December 31, 2012

Provex City on Tour!

I hope your holidays have been full of fun, family, and fantastic food. I'm still recovering from all my family events of the Christmas holiday. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful, so I'm surely not complaining. My little one decided to start crawling three days before Christmas so she could be the life of the parties. It was pretty exciting. I can't believe it's already New Year's, with 2012 coming to a close tonight.

I am starting the new year off right, sending Provex City out on tour from January 3rd through the 25th. I have to give a special thanks to Candace @ CBB Book Promotions for putting this tour together and finding a lot of great book bloggers to host stops along the way. Below is the complete list of participating bloggers.

Provex City Blog Tour Stops

1/03/13 - Candace's Book Blog
1/03/13 - Reading and Rising With the Sun
1/04/13 - The Bookie Nook
1/04/13 - Snarky Bird Book Reviews
1/07/13 - Nazish reads
1/07/13 - Becky's Barmy Book Blog
1/08/13 - A Diary of a Book Addict
1/09/13 - I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
1/10/13 - Pages of Forbidden Love
1/10/13 - Tabitha's Book Blog
1/11/13 - Donnie Darko Girl
1/11/13 - Ivy Book Bindings
1/14/13 - Lizzy's Dark Fiction
1/14/13 - Mr. Book Wonder
1/15/13 - Mr. Book Wonder
1/15/13 - Get Lost in Fiction
1/16/13 - Oh, the Books You'll Read
1/17/13 - Book Labyrinth
1/17/13 - Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
1/18/13 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
1/19/13 - Reader Girls
1/20/13 - Jean Book Nerd
1/21/13 - Forever 17 Books
1/21/13 - Vy's YA Book Blog
1/22/13 - The Howling Turtle
1/22/13 - Supernatural Snark
1/23/13 - Literary Rambles
1/23/13 - Amethyst Daydreams
1/24/13 - Escaping... One Book at a Time
1/24/13 - Anatea's Bookshelf
1/25/13 - My Guilty Obsession
1/25/13 - Insane About Books
I'll be back on Wednesday for the first IWSG post of 2013. Have a safe and happy New Year's. Cheers! What are you doing to get the new year kick-started with a bang?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Stop in the Oculus Virtual Book Tour

I am honored for my blog to be a stop on the Oculus Book Tour. Oculus is Michael Offutt's second book and the second book in A Crisis of Two Worlds series.

Goodreads Description of Oculus...

Autumn has arrived in New York, and Jordan Pendragon is a freshman at Cornell University. Gifted in mathematics, he balances life as a research assistant with that of a student athlete.

But Jordan also has a quest. He must find the Black Tower, a monolithic edifice housing a thing that defines the very structure of the universe. Jordan believes it is buried somewhere in Antarctica under miles of prehistoric ice.

October finds Jordan earning a starting position with the Cornell hockey team. But a dark cloud gathers over his rookie season. Unexplained deaths, whispers of a cannibal cult, a prophecy, and a stone known only as the Oculus, cast a shadow over his athletic ambitions. It is the start of a terrifying journey down a path of mystery, murder, and to a confrontation with an Evil more ancient than the stars.

My Humble Opinion...

Michael Offutt’s Oculus picks up where Slipstream left off. Jordan and Kathy are starting their freshman year at Cornell and have brought along their significant others, Kolin and Dylan. They know their futures are uncertain and Jordon is in search of the Black Tower, but they want to attempt normal lives for the time being. Jordan has joined the school hockey team and Kathy has joined a sorority, shooting for typical Ivy League college experiences. But the dark forces of Avalon have followed them back to Earth.

The adventure really beings when Jordan is introduced to one of Kathy’s sorority sisters, Myd, and awakens the stone on her necklace called the Oculus. Jordon discovers the mystery behind his father’s murder and Kathy gets the opportunity to speak with her dead mother, which is all part of something greater that we only get a glimpse of in this book. King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur, and the Lady of the Lake are more than fairy tales, but secrets that Jordan and his group must unlock to uncover his ultimate destiny and aid in his search for the Black Tower.

There are many pieces coming together that will most likely reveal a sublime picture of the Black Tower itself. From the Horcus to the cannibal cult, from the gruesome discoveries in the asylum to revelations from deceased parents, from the court of King Author to angels and demons, we are given glimpses into very exciting elements to where the series is going. The bloody climax in Hell’s Kitchen is a hell of a rush and my favorite scene in the series thus far. I am also really intrigued with the growing relationship between Jordan and Alex. With Oculus taking place solely on Earth, it may be more approachable, but there also seems to be filler scenes slowing us down from the real adventure. I want to know more about the mysteries plaguing these two worlds!

Oculus is a big setup for Caledfwlch, the third book in A Crisis of Two Worlds series. There are some great revelations in this book, but few resolutions. I think the true adventure is just beginning and I can’t wait to find out how all the pieces fit together and where Jordon’s journey ultimately leads. If you are a fan of Slipstream, then Oculus is a must-read. But if you’re just being introduced to the series, then you really should start at the beginning.
A few minutes with the author...

Thanks so much for joining me today! I very much appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your busy day to talk with me.

What is your dream cast for you’re A Crisis of Two Worlds series?
I’m actually not sure. I’ve drawn pictures of Jordan, so I’d want an actor that looks like the guy does in my picture. I’ll include it with this as an attachment.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Probably William Gibson.
What is your writing space like?
I just have an office with a window that’s right off the kitchen. I use a computer with three big monitors. It’s a gaming computer with two NVIDIA GPU’s, is liquid cooled, and has an i7 processor with RAID linked solid state drives.
Which character do you relate to the most in your books?
Jordan. What he thinks about is basically what I think about.
What is your favorite scene in Oculus?
I like the climax of the book. I think I pulled that off really well, and it has a great “epic” feel to it.
What is the next book on your TBR pile? 
By the time this gets posted it will be Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor.
What book do you feel deserves more hype? 
Provex City by author Michael Pierce J Seriously, people…if you are reading this, read Mr. Pierce’s book!
What other genres would you like to write? 
Fantasy. I’m posting one on a free online website that has lots of readers. I post about 2000 words every weekend and let it sit for a few days before writing more. I like the fan mail I’ve been getting.
Can you tell us anything about the third book in the series, Caledfwlch
LOL sure, but SPOILER ALERT: It picks up where Oculus leaves off. We are introduced to an assassin from the same order as Kolin who goes by the name Genesis (I do love my biblical allegory). He has a neck tattoo of a red rose (Kolin’s is purple), and we find that the tattoos have a kind of magic to them (each color does something). Kolin’s gives him heightened reflexes and extreme touch sensitivity (which is why he’s so good at what he does). I go on to explain that Kolin can even feel a person’s body heat from across a dark room. I explore Kolin’s background: he’s actually a genetic experiment done in a test tube on Avalon for a project that wanted to create a perfect man and a perfect woman in order to start life over with two people that have perfect genes.  Genesis is hired by Charon to kidnap Robbie to be the vessel of the Horcus.  Robbie in the meantime has essentially gone insane because his resurrection permanently “opened a door” that allows him to speak with the dead. The only peace Robbie gets is when he’s around Jordan because ghosts are afraid of Jordan for good reasons. Additionally, Andy has changed physiologically from the Life Green he got injected with near the end of Oculus. He basically can’t die of natural causes. His skin regenerates almost instantly if cut. It also gives him a sex addiction that leads him down a destructive path of self-gratification that ends with him getting the skin off his back flayed off. It’s a very bloody scene. It regrows, but with a strange and picturesque tattoo that covers his whole back. This tattoo whispers to him of Eden driving him to bouts of painting that consume his nighttime hours. There’s very little hockey in the third book. This is intentional because it is apparent to Jordan by the end of Oculus that he cannot live a normal life, or for that matter, the life that he desires to live.
Write a Tweet about Oculus that readers can copy, paste, and Tweet (and RT)! 
I’ll just ask anyone who reads this to tweet this post by clicking on the twitter button. That’s probably easiest.
Thank you again, Michael! It has been a real pleasure to be a part of your tour. Below are links to Michael's blog, Goodreads, and Twitter, and links to get Oculus and Slipstream for yourself. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Oculus tour (click on the tour badge at the beginning of the post).

Michael Offutt writes speculative fiction books that have science fiction, LGBT, and paranormal elements. His first book, "Slipstream" has received some critical acclaim and was published by Double Dragon in the spring. The sequel, "Oculus" came out in November 2012. He has one brother, no pets, and a few roots that keep his tree of life sufficiently watered. By day, he works for the State of Utah as a Technical Specialist. By night, he watches lots of t.v., writes, draws, and sometimes dreams of chocolate.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the World Giveaway Hop!

December 14th to 21st
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & My Life With Books

The Mayan calendar ends! Does it mean the world's going to end, too? Probably not, but just in case, which books would you like to save in the end? If the world is still here on December 22nd, then I'll be excited to offer a lucky winner one of the books listed below that I can't live without!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and there are spells to be learnt, potions to be brewed and Divination lessons (sigh) to be attended. Harry is expecting these: however, other quite unexpected events are already on the march ...
~Go to the entire Goodreads description of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)
Here is the highly anticipated second installment of Philip Pullman's epic fantasy trilogy, begun with the critically acclaimed The Golden Compass. Lyra and Will, her newfound friend, tumble separately into the strange tropical otherworld of CittĂ gazze, "the city of magpies," where adults are curiously absent and children run wild. Here their lives become inextricably entwined when Lyra's alethiometer gives her a simple command: find Will's father...
~Go to the entire Goodreads description of The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

A modern classic, "Carrie" introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction -- Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time. Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is..."Carrie"
 ~Go to the entire Goodreads description of Carrie by Stephen King

Provex City (The Lorne Family Vault Series, Book 1) 

Forgive me, but I had to save my own book, too! :)

Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?...

~Go to the entire Goodreads description of Provex City by Michael Pierce

Here are the official rules/guidelines for the giveaway:
  1. You must be a follower of this blog. Just click the Join this Site box below "Followers" on the sidebar.
  2. You can gain extra entries by following me on Goodreads, Twitter,"liking" my Facebook fan page, tweeting about this giveaway, or leaving a comment below.
  3. This is open to international followers. (Only if The Book Depository ships to your country; please check this link to see if your country's included.)
  4. This contest runs from December 14 - 21.
  5. The winner will be selected on December 22nd via Rafflecopter random selection and announced in this post. You will have 48 hours to respond or I will draw another winner. 
***As the winner, if you are just dying to get another YA book, then you may substitute one of the books listed above for another of similar value from The Book Depository***

Thanks Again & Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also, make sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Giveaway Hop, too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest!

Welcome to the “Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.”

Thank you to Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King and Stephen Tremp for hosting this blogfest, which runs from December 10 - 12. And thank you to Capt. Ninja Alex for being such a good sport!

So, here are my answers to these questions four:

1.      In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like? Like any good ninja, Alex is a master of disguise. One day he’s clean-shaven, with long hair, and the next he dons a straggly beard and nose prosthetic.

2.      In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.) Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting.

3.      In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of? Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting. He’s the lovable mentor.  

4.      In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

·         Cavanaugh
·         Ninja
·         IWSG
·         Cosbolt
·         Guitar

Cavanaugh & the Ninja

The ninja pushed open the batwing doors and strolled into the saloon. Conversations stopped and everyone except Cavanaugh looked over. The musician in the corner put down his guitar, leaving the bar in sheer silence.

Cavanaugh continued to sip from his Cosbolt. He couldn’t hear the ninja approaching, but he could feel him—feel him drawing closer.

The sharp sound of unsheathing steel rang through the quiet saloon.

“IWSG!” a lady in a crimson dress screamed.

Cavanaugh eyed her suspiciously. She’d had more than her share of Cosbolts.

“I mean, OMG!” she said, correcting herself and flushing the color of her dress.

The ninja was now just a few steps away with his blade raised and gleaming.

“This ends now,” Cavanaugh growled, slid his hand to the revolver on his hip, and finally turned to face the masked man.

For Bonus Points:

In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Thank you, Mrs. Cavanaugh, for sharing your husband with us crazy blogging folks. I’m sure it’s hard at times to pry him away from the computer, from his countless adoring friends and fans. The blogosphere wouldn’t be the same without him!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG Wednesday: Year End

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

So a month ago I had just submitted SUSY Asylum to my editor. I guess it's safe to say I've been more than a little anxious. Well, he finished over the weekend and I will get the manuscript back this week. I spoke with him briefly about general stuff, and his overall critique was thankfully positive!

Judging by the corrections and suggestions I received for Provex City, I'll have plenty of work to keep me busy for the next few weeks. One suggestion I already received that I'm rather excited about is trashing the present preface for a new idea. I love the one I wrote, but the new idea is undoubtedly better. Now I just need to write it. That happened to me with Provex City, too. The original prologue is still sitting on my desk top, replaced in the available book by a new prologue that was the last thing I'd written for the book.

I feel like I've learned a lot this year with releasing my first book, finishing my second, and creating a blog. My time has been spread thin, promotion's been a challenge, and words have been hard to come by at times. But I'm still here and still going. I have high hopes for 2013, starting the year off with a blog tour for Provex City, releasing SUSY Asylum, and getting into the thick of book three. Thirteen's my lucky number; we'll see if that remains true.

Are you ready for Christmas yet? Care to share a New Year's resolution? As always, thank you for reading!
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