Subscribe to darkmuse, my mailing list!
Interested in posting your reviews or guest articles at this site? Then fill out the form HERE.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Next Big Thing

Thanks to the wonderful Faith Van Horn (her post) for tagging me to post about my next big thing.

What is the working title of your next book?
Sevenfold

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
It's a collection of seven horror stories based off the song titles from one of my favorite rock bands, Avenged Sevenfold.
 
What genre does your book fall under?
Horror

 How long does it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
That depends on the length of the manuscript. If it's a short story, I can write it in a couple of days. Novels take months to complete.
 
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That's hard to say. There are so many books that could be similar.
 
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
 I haven't thought about it since the stories in this book are so short.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The rock band Avenged Sevenfold

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
While horror, the stories all encompass real people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and must conquer their fears to survive.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Seven stories including marrying into the wrong family, a heist gone horribly wrong, a heaven of our own choosing, coming back from the dead with murder on the mind, being stalked by a faceless assailant, sinners confronting their worst punishments, and bad deeds breathing living nightmares.

Tag, you're it! Want to get in on the Next Big Thing? Contact me and I'll add you to the list.
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Ditch a Cyber Stalker



After you've contacted your local police department it's vital to stay off social media to remain safe. Take down your Facebook, stop posting on Classmates, and delete your Tweets. The stalker doesn’t have to be a hacker to find your personal information online. Depending on your privacy settings, a site like Facebook can be a gold mine for stalkers. If you’ve defriended the stalker, he/she could always friend your friends and family or attempt to friend you with a dummy account. Deleting your social media presence can prevent the stalker from finding the names of businesses you frequent, places you hang out, and people you spend time with. Before you get off social media, inform everyone you know that the individual is dangerous and no longer welcome in your life.

Most people who are serious about finding you can also use public records, credit reports, and utility statements. Some stalkers could go as far as lying to extract information from phones companies and banks since if he/she is seriously after you they’re probably not going to care whether they’re breaking the law. If you want to get away from a stalker of this stature then you have to be every bit as creative as they are.

A successful escape is all about doing the best to cover the path you’ve taken while creating false trails to throw off the stalker. We’ve already discussed destroying your social media footprint. If you decide to move to a different home because of the stalker, provide the utility company with contact information to a women’s shelter or police department. Then if the stalker has hired a private investigator, the investigator might think twice about helping him/her.  If you’re not relocating it’s important to find the information a stalker could use to find you, get in touch with the people who provide that information, and tell them they’ve got the wrong information on file and you want to “correct” it. For example, say the stalker knows you like gardening. He/she could call gardening magazine companies, claim they are you, and check what address the magazines are being sent to. The goal is to mislead anyone trying to snoop through your records. At best, the stalker will be stumped. At worst, he/she will have to take additional time to find you. With some luck your stalker could run out of patience. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: When Angels Sing

Thanks to my assistant, Adam, who is helping me get some very much needed reviews to help promote my books. Check out this review of When Angels Sing.

http://book2review.tumblr.com/post/37634738909/when-angels-sing-by-shelby-patrick-when-jenna

Not too shabby. Outside of it being called offensive to some, which it may very well be. :-)

This book is intended for mature audiences and yes, the main male character is a bit rough around the edges (probably an understatement) but my editor claims out of the few books he's edited, this one is my strongest so far. So if you can get past the oversexed and overbearing Blaze Kerrigan, you'll be able to step into the world of suspense and danger of When Angels Sing.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pros and Cons of Meeting Someone From the Internet in Person

Shelby's When Angels Sing takes the reader through an online-to-person meetup gone wrong. This opportunity that social networking sites create is a double-edged sword. Here's a look at my thought process:

Pro: Meeting people from the internet is one of the best ways to meet like-minded people.
Con: Something like 93% of communication is physical - eye contact, the way our body moves, etc. This can lead to someone easily manipulating you with words. Put yourself back in English class and read between the lines of chat messages and emails as much as you can.

Pro: It's easy to connect with someone when you're first exposed to them via texts and the like. They're like a voice in your head without the real-life quirks that can end up driving you up a wall.
Con: Ultimately, you never know what kind of person you're going to meet until you meet them. Even then, their true self may stay hidden for a while. Some people may mention that you take a chance whenever you meet a stranger. While that's true, when you meet someone from the internet, you may end up meeting someone that doesn't go out much. This makes the dynamic different than say - meeting someone at a city's fireworks show.

Pro: If your real life social network is boring you, meeting a new, like-minded person can breathe fresh air into your social life.
Con: If you start meeting many people from online, the convenience of this process could make you treat people as disposable. For example, if you're looking for Mr. Right, a minor drawback may be a deal breaker because you can always meet another someone else online.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vampire on the Loose in Serbia?

Vampire on the loose in Serbia?

By DUSAN STOJANOVIC Associated Press

ZAROZJE, Serbia (AP) — Get your garlic, crosses and stakes ready: a bloodsucking vampire is on the loose.

Or so say villagers in the tiny western Serbian hamlet of Zarozje, nestled between lush green mountain slopes and spooky thick forests. They say rumors that a legendary vampire ghost has awakened are spreading fear — and a potential tourist opportunity — through the remote village.
A local council warned villagers to put garlic in their pockets and place wooden crosses in their rooms to ward off vampires, although it appeared designed more to attract visitors to the impoverished region bordering Bosnia.

Many of the villagers are aware that Sava Savanovic, Serbia's most famous vampire, is a fairy tale. Still, they say, better to take it seriously than risk succumbing to the vampire's fangs.

"The story of Sava Savanovic is a legend, but strange things did occur in these parts back in the old days," said 55-year-old housewife Milka Prokic, holding a string of garlic in one hand and a large wooden stake in another, as an appropriately moody mist rose above the surrounding hills. "We have inherited this legend from our ancestors, and we keep it alive for the younger generations."

Vampire legends have played a prominent part in the Balkans for centuries — most prominently Dracula from Romania's Transylvania region. In the 18th century, the legends sometimes triggered mass hysteria and even public executions of those accused of being vampires.

Sava Savanovic, described by the Zarozje villagers as Serbia's first vampire, reputedly drank the blood of those who came to the small shack in the dense oak tree forest to mill their grain on the clear mountain Rogatica river.

The wooden mill collapsed a few months ago — allegedly angering the vampire, who is now looking for a new place to hang his cape.

Some locals claim they can hear steps cracking dry forest leaves and strange sounds coming from the rocky mountain peaks where the vampire was purportedly killed with a sharp stake that pierced his heart — but managed to survive in spirit as a butterfly.

"One should always remain calm, it's important not to frighten him, you shouldn't make fun of him," said villager Mico Matic, 56, whose house is not far from the collapsed mill. "He is just one of the neighbors, you do your best to be on friendly terms with him," he said with a wry smile, displaying garlic from both of his trouser pockets.

Some locals say it's easy for strangers to laugh at them, but they truly believe.

"Five people have recently died one after another in our small community, one hanging himself," said Miodrag Vujetic, a local municipal council member. "This is not by accident."

Vujetic, however, said that "whatever is true about Sava," locals should use the legend to promote tourism. "If Romanians could profit on the Dracula legend with the tourists visiting Transylvania, why can't we do the same with Sava?"

Richard Sugg, a lecturer in Renaissance Studies at the U.K.'s University of Durham and an expert on the vampire legends, said the fear could be very real. Stress can bring on nightmares, which makes people's feelings of dread even worse.

"The tourists think it is fun — and the Serbian locals think it's terrifying," he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 Killers who made Headlines as Vampires

1) Vampire of Hanover - Police began coming up with human bones from a nearby river. They ended up arresting sexual predator and petty crook Fritz Haarman. Haarman had picked up at least 25 young men, including street urchins and runaways, and killed them by biting their throats during sex. He then went on to sell their meat and clothes in Hanover's markets.

2) Vampire of Dusseldorf - In the late 1920s, numerous bodies of women and girls were found in and around Dusseldorf. The bodies were often slashed or bludgeoned by hammers. Peter Kurten, a lifelong criminal, was arrested and charged with the murders. He was unable to resist obtaining sexual gratification from the spurting blood of his victims. As he was led to the guillotine, he hoped to hear the sound of his own blood gushing from his neck.

3) Vampire of Nuremburg - Kuno Hoffman drew blood from buried corpses. One night he shot a couple and lapped up their blood, which was much fresher than the blood he usually dealt with. Eventually, a potential victim survived a shooting and reported him to the police.

4) Vampire of London - John Haigh claimed to have killed nine people and dumped each body into an acid bath. The bath would reduce each victim to a sludge that could easily be disposed of. Eventually he was caught and at his trial, Haigh confessed to having cut his victim's throat in order to get glasses of blood to drink.

5) Vampire of Sacramento - Richard Trenton Chase was a paranoid schizophrenic who believed that either UFOs or Nazis were poisoning his soap dish. He murdered two infants and two adults, afterwards eating their brains and drinking their blood from used yogurt cups. To escape the electric chair, Chase overdoses on antidepressants.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Psyche of a Serial Killer

In the last few years, I have taken an interest in serial killers and what makes them tick. Because of this strange fascination, I turned to writing thrillers, mostly about serial killers. The following is information on the psyche of a serial killer. Thanks to my assistant, Adam, for researching and sending this information to me. This post was authored by him.

-------------

Most serial killers are psychopaths, which means they are impulsive, narcissistic, with a tendency to blame others so they come out looking like the victim. They fail to completely comprehend the emotional content of situations, such as concern, empathy, and gravitate towards arousal and stimulation. Their offenses are more aggressive and diverse than other criminals. Serial killers are resistant to therapy and don't handle frustration effectively. It's not about whom they hurt; serial killers are all about getting what they want, whether it's fame, money, thrill, or gratification. They find victims easily because they are charming while their prey are trusting and naive. Serial killers are good at disregarding consequences.

Externally and experientially, however, serial killers don't fit into neat categories. Serial killers with above-average intelligence, sexual motivations, and abusive fathers are not representative of serial killers as a whole. There is no profile of a serial killer, no set of characterizes or causes that provides us with a way to set them apart. For every "truth" about the psychology of a serial killer, one can find counterexamples that refute it. Some serial killers were abused as children, but many were not.

The wide range of attributes serial killers can have makes it possible to befriend a killer and have no hint about his/her darker deeds. It doesn't help that they are skilled at hiding their brutal fantasies and behavior. Serial killers like this can be compared to Jekyll and Hyde with an ability to adapt and deflect suspicion. For example, John Wayne Gacy threw fundraisers for politicians and Ted Bundy worked a crisis hotline while murdering people on the side.  Serial killers are good at manipulating others because they fail to think of other people as human. The best defense is to realize they're among us and understand their ability to deceive and deny.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Things Every Ghost Hunter Should Know

 For those of you embracing a predator's perspective this Halloween!

1) Forget the popular belief that ghosts are always dangerous, fearful and hurt people.
2) Ghosts don't travel, follow people home, or appear at more than one location.
3) The entities on the other side are the ones who decide that they want to contact us, not the other way around.
4) Ghosts can't be explained away nor will they disappear. They continue to appear frequently all over the world, to people from all walks of life, in old houses and in new houses, on airports and in streets, and wherever tragedy strikes man.
5) The fewer physical disturbances there are, the easier it is for ghosts to communicate themselves to the outer world. A quiet moment, such as is more likely to be found at night than in daytime, is the period when the majority of sightings are reported.
6) Ghosts are nothing more than a human being trapped by special circumstances in this world while already being of the next.
7) It is important not be influenced by popular renditions of ghostly phenomena. This holds true with most movies. Television, where distortions and outright inventions abound, is especially troublesome.
8) Where an objective manifestation takes place, and everybody present is capable of hearing and seeing it, energy drawn from the living is used by the ghost to cause certain phenomena, or perhaps the movement of objects, doors opening by themselves, and other signs of a presence.
9) Ghosts do not fade away over the centuries; they are, in effect, present for all eternity unless someone makes contact with them through a trance medium and brings reality to them, allowing them to understand their predicament and thus free themselves from their self-imposed prison.
10) The worst reaction is to become panicky in the presence of a ghost, since it will not help the ghost and will cause you unnecessary anxiety.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top 5 Disturbing Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

In the spirit of Halloween we've cracked open some poems by Poe. Here's several that we recommend for the chilly days ahead:

5. Alone
The speaker of Alone describes how he was an outcast as a child. The dread from childhood ends up following the narrator wherever he goes.

4. Dreamland
Picture a place that exists outside of space and time - all ruled by a phantom named Night. The narrator is exposed to ghosts of his late friends as he travels through the ever-mutating Dreamland.

3. The City in the Sea
The City in the Sea describes a city that is ruled by death. No rays of hope shine on this place. There isn't any movement in the city until the end of the poem as a wave signals the arrival of Hell.

2. The Raven
The rapping at the chamber door is like a cloud of sadness ready to pour. The sorrow catches the narrator and all he can do is wish for tomorrow. The raven's repeated chime of "Nevermore" always bests the author's pleadings for it to fly away. In the end we find that the sorrow is here to stay indefinitely.

1. Annabel Lee
This poem starts out innocently with the love between Anna Bell Lee and the narrator. Then angels, jealous of their love, decide to take Annabel Lee's life. Annabel Lee being out of the picture doesn't tame the intensity of the narrator's love. The poem ends with the narrator telling us that he always sleeps next to her tomb.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pulling off a successful Halloween prank

Last week on Wednesday, October 24th, police in Illinois responded to a potential homicide. The parents of two kids between the ages of six and eight, decided to get the Halloween season rolling by staging a fake murder. The kids thought an actual murder was occurring, beat their parents to the neighbors house, and called 911.

Here are 3 tips to effectively stage a Halloween prank while keeping yourself out of news headlines:
1) Pull the prank in an enclosed area so your target stays in your realm of control.
2) Try and conduct your prank as close to Halloween as possible. This will decrease the risk that people take it too seriously.
3) If your victims are as young as in the news story we talked about, it's best to have someone with them that's in on the prank. That way if the situation gets out of hand, the double agent can smooth things out.

See the full story at http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=13403578

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Touching Evil by Kay Hooper: Book Review


Touching Evil: A Review
by Alina Jackson

Touching Evil tells the tale of Maggie Barnes, a telepathic police sketch artist that is determined to stop the evil that is terrorizing the streets of Seattle.   Knowing that it will be her personal responsibility to stop this madness, Maggie puts herself in life threatening situations.  With no clues or description of the perpetrator she must rely on her own special talents and the information a blinded victim can recall.  While pursuing the mad man she meets John Garrett, a self-assured successful business man, who finds it hard to believe in Maggie’s talents but begins to fall deeply in love with her.  As time progresses John becomes more convinced that Maggie is in serious danger.  Since no new leads develop,  John, with the help of the lead investigator, convince the Chief of Police to call in the little known special unit of the FBI to help end this terror.  Can this psychopath be caught before the evil touches more of Seattle’s young women and destroys the woman he loves? 

The opening prologue grabbed me from the first sentence but as the chapters continued I found it harder to get excited about the story. I kept turning the pages but I think that was due more to my determination than the thrill of the story. The characters in the story were flat. The supporting characters lacked depth to the point that I often forgot who they were and why they were there, making it necessary to go back a few pages to refresh my memory.  John Garrett, the love interest, seemed nice enough but I wanted to fall in love with him.  I knew little about his personality except that he didn’t believe that it was possible to possess any of the paranormal talents described in the story.  I would have liked to know where he came from and what drove him to be successful.  John and Maggie’s relationship could have used a more in-depth description.  What about John did Maggie love?  What about Maggie, other than her talents, did John love, hate, or fear?   Also, Maggie’s brother Beau added little to the story and didn’t show a side of Maggie that made her seem more real.  I was puzzled why he was even mentioned.  Then the villain came out of no-where.  It felt as though it was an afterthought where the author had to find a way to end the tale.  All I could think about was if John was a powerful and smart business man then why didn’t he see anything unusual when his sister became a widow?   The story ended with too many questions left unanswered.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zombie Excerpt -- Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator


Thanks to Karina Fabian for sharing this with us. Visit her online at http://fabianspace.com . Happy Halloween!

When I wrote *Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator,8 I decided to do something different.  Since the plot took place in Hollywood at a reality TV show, I had one of the writers working on his documentary about zombies.  It turned out to be a really fun way to introduce people to my world, crack a lot of jokes, and do some fun things with zombies that did not fit in the events of the novel.  I’d like to share a bit of that with you.
Incidentally, both this incident and Gary Opkast make an appearance in *I Left My Brains in San Francisco* as well.


Notes for: The Zombie Syndrome
A Documentary
By Gary Opkast

Episode: Zombie Zero

Film clip of a zombie clawing its way out of a grave (NOTE: Check YouTube; InsaneCandid is supposed to have a good one, and his family may sell the rights to pay for his funeral expenses.)
NARRATOR: The world has been living under the zombie threat for over two decades, yet where did this threat originate?  Did it begin with a single human, or a simultaneous uprising?  Did the zombie syndrome migrate to other countries, or did it spring simultaneously, as it were, from the grave?  The answers to these questions could give scientists a much-needed break in isolating and resolving the cause of zombie-ism.  So the search continues for that elusive first case--the one scientists call "Zombie Zero."
Cut to DR.  BEN HANSEN (CORRIANDER SPICE) (Need background visuals--something non-zombie-ish but interesting enough to detract from digitized face effect): "The problem we're coming up against is in the reporting.  Sure, now, you call 9-1-1 and tell them there's a zombie on your lawn, and the Z-mat team comes right away, but who would have believed this twenty-three years ago?"
Cut to re-enactment of 9-1-1 call.  Note on bottom: 9-1-1 call, Pleasantville, KY, Oct 31, 2019, 11:35 p.m.
"9-1-1, how may I help you?"
"Please!  Help me!  There's a, a zombie and it's--"
"Where are you?"
"I'm in a barn off Countryside Lane!  My boyfriend and I were on a drive and we ran out of gas and now--"
"'Ran out of gas'?"
"Shut up, okay?  There's a zombie and it broke the window and pulled Billy out of the back seat and--"
"Miss, have you been drinking?"
"Shut up and help me!  I'm in the barn and it's coming after me and I think Billy is too!"
"Miss, could it be they're just playing a joke?"
Screams.
Cut to clips of the barn, the bodies with sheets over them, one hand, obviously zombified, peeking out.
NARRATOR: "It was no joke.  Barbie Munchausen, 17, and her boyfriend, Billy Stakes, were discovered by police officers lurching hand-in-hand down Countryside Lane.  When they attacked Policeman Lance McRue, his partner, Dougie Marsh, a longtime fan of zombie films, decapitated them with an ax.  Even so, officials were slow to believe the zombie story until McRue himself re-animated an hour later.  This was the first confirmed case of zombie-ism in the United States, but was it the first?"
HANSEN: "Not a chance.  We have found veiled references to the undead back to the mid 2010s.  Before that, we had some vampire sightings, but we're pretty sure that was part of the Twilight craze.  Vampires!  Come on--who's going to believe that old tale?"



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel -- Review

Sylvia Day certainly keeps you on her toes with this first installation of the Crossfire series. I was captivated from the first moment Eva and Gideon meet, although I still find it fascinating at the intense animal attraction in that very first meeting. I understand that some people can have outstanding looks but is it really possible for one man to attract women to him like flies to honey? It seems every woman in this book can't keep their eyes off him as if he was a real modern Greek god come to life. I don't believe that can be possible. Yes, maybe a few women may have their heads turned and their legs go weak from one man but every single woman in the city that enters this novel? Hmm...

The book opens with a bang. Eva and Gideon meet but neither know who the other is only to find out that they work together. The attraction continues and heats up but then again, I have to ask the fans: The character's first exchange of words goes something like this:

Gideon: Are you sleeping with anyone?
Eva: I don't see how that's any of your business.
Gideon: I want to f*** you so I want to make sure no one else is in the way.

Hmm, makes you wonder. No small talk, no getting to know you stuff, he just gets blunt and to the point. Ladies, even if you were immensely attracted to the man, wouldn't you slap a guy for talking like that if it's almost the first thing out of his mouth? Although, if Ms. Day was going for shock value, it worked, and it did get the juices flowing to start this sensational erotic trek.

This book keeps you going from chapter to chapter. The characters had a strong chemistry that kept the pages hot. It's the ultimate in dom/sub relationships and Gideon Cross is definitely overpowering.

I enjoyed the story and couldn't wait to get the second in the series. If you want a good erotic tale, I would highly recommend this one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Left My Brains in San Francisco -- Author Interview


Welcome to Karina Fabian, author of the zombie exterminator series. I am happy to help promote, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, on her virtual book tour this month. 


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 I’m an author who prefers to talk about her books and writing than about herself.

2. Your zombie exterminator series sounds exciting. Please describe what "I Left My Brains in San Francisco" is all about.

 It’s the 2040s, where the government subsidized everything including protests, the cars run on manure, and zombies are the latest household pest. Neeta Lyffe is an exterminator with a license to re-kill the undead.  She’s taken out dozens of the shambling undead and even hosted Zombie Death Extreme, where she trained up apprentice exterminators on a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like dodge ball.  This week, however, she and her business partner/boyfriend, Ted are on the way to San Francisco to an exterminators’ convention.  She’s hoping to relax, meet up with old friends, and pursue her relationship with Ted.  When the undead rise up from watery graves to invade the Bay Area, she’ll have to drop the fun and pick up the chain saw!

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

 The romance.  Neeta, while being a kick-butt exterminator and normally a very confident woman, nonetheless was insecure about her relationship with Ted.  However, when I wrote it the first time, I made her too insecure and kind of whiny.  Fortunately, I have terrific critiquers, several of whom are guys and let me know it was too chick-lit.  It took a couple of rewrites, but she’s back to being kick-butt while still not sure where she and Ted stand.

4. What books have had the greatest influence on you?

 The Bible, first and foremost. Do It: Let’s Get Off Our Buts still motivates me, though I’ve not read it since college.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy still provides a quirky wisdom and random snickers. A Wrinkle in Time got me started writing fantasy.

5. Briefly share with us what you do to market your book.

 This book tour, obviously. I have over 30 stops; you can find the full schedule at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com.  I am giving away 3 copies via Goodreads.  I send out press releases, and am doing a signing Oct 27 at the Provo Zombie Run.

I also have a singing contest going for my book trailer, which I hope will get folks interested.  Check that out at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html.


6. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

Cooking, cleaning, loving my dogs and cat, playing with the kids, watching movies on Netflix, reading, and chatting with my husband on Skype.  I also take haidong gumbdo, which is Korean sword martial arts, but I don’t practice nearly enough.


7. What are you working on next and what's in store for Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, in the future?

Actually, I can answer both at once.  My next story is “Shambling in a Winter Wonderland,” in which Neeta and Ted will take on zombies on the ski slopes!  It’s a fundraiser story for Operation Homefront, so what I do is post an episode and ask for donations.  Once I earn $10 in donations, I post the next episode.  All the money goes to Operation Homefront, which provides financial and other assistance to families of military members and wounded warriors.  It’ll start in November at http://skizombies.karinafabian.com
  

8. Where can people go to find out more information about you or to check out your books?

 The easiest way is http://fabianspace.com.  I have my books listed by genre, or you can look at my master list under the About.  I also have some useful stuff for authors, like were to ask for reviews and how to do a virtual book tour like this.

9. If you had to suddenly evacuate your home/country, what one book would you make sure to grab before you leave?

 Scrapbook—just about anything else, I can get on Amazon once I settle back in.  Which scrapbook would be the hard question.

10. Would you like to add anything that I may have missed?

Just thanks for having me on your blog!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: A Book Review

I have always loved the tale of Sleeping Beauty. In fact, that is my favorite story of all time. I guess you can  call me a hopeless romantic. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the erotic novel, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, by Anne Rice (writing as A.N. Roquelaure). The most romantic story with an added edge of eroticism? I couldn't resist.

Now I wish I had.

The book opens with a bang. The Prince (who never has a name throughout the entire story) finds Beauty (who also is just known as that and no other name) and awakens her, but not with the usual tale of a kiss. This sleeping princess requires more hardcore stuff to open her eyes and so we get right down to the nitty gritty; however, something bothers me in this opening and continues until the end.

According to the book, Beauty fell asleep when she was 15 and slept for 100 years. Since she has not aged, I have to assume she is still a mere fifteen when the prince, who is 18, finds her. So basically he rapes her? Not as romantic as I first thought the story would be.

Anyway, he makes her his personal sex slave and demands she remains naked at all times. They travel back to his castle, all the while she's completely naked and on display for the public.

Other slaves, at the castle, are in the same predicament, but we also find out that they are young teenagers being used for the pleasure of the lords and ladies. Under age entertainment? Not my idea of a book that's supposed to excite me.

This book seemed lacking. The sex was rare and when it came, was fast; torture so constant that it was amazing any of these people survived more than a day; and no emotional commitment at all. The characters seemed dry. I couldn't get involved with them and as my editor told me, the reader needs to care about the character whether it be hating them or loving them. I didn't feel anything except horror. I didn't care what happened to the people in this book and I found it amazing at some of the things that were done.

I was sorely disappointed with this first book in the trilogy. Although I would like to see what happens, I don't know if I want to spend the money to get the second book. It certainly wasn't anything I expected an erotic version of a romantic story to be about.

The writing was less than stellar and some of the wording in the sex scenes was laughable. I have read quite a bit of erotica in my time and I can honestly say I haven't ever read passages like that.

How can you get involved with an erotic story if there's no emotion? There's a lot of telling and not enough showing, except for the punishments. This book is all about the punishment and not so much anything else. Personally, I think it should have been a story of Beauty and the Beast, not Sleeping Beauty.



Monday, October 1, 2012

FOR SALE: Short Horror Story for Halloween

Have you always wanted to be the star of your own story? Do you love Halloween and horror as much as I do? Then here's a unique opportunity to be the hero of your own making.

I will write a piece of dark fiction, up to 1,000 words, based on your idea.

Send me an email at blackwidow@shelbypatrick.com with the subject "Custom Story" briefly summarizing your idea in 100 words or less. Since this is meant to be a horror story for the Halloween season, please let me know if you want to be the hero or the villain and provide me with a location (preferably your own or some place you always wanted to go but isn't too exotic).

For example, your email may look like this:


I would like a custom story featuring me as the hero, where I’m tormented by the soul of a little girl who died in a fire at my apartment house in Manhattan over thirty years ago.

OR

I would like a custom story featuring me as the villain, in post-apocalyptic California, and it’s a fight for survival to not only defeat healthy survivors of war-torn America but to stay alive from the diseased souls that have been re-animated.

In your message, please state how much you want to pay for this story. I will take submissions from now until October 20, 2012. I will announce the story I have chosen, contact the winner by email and arrange payment. Story will be delivered via email before Halloween.

Winner must agree to allow his story, or part of his story, to be posted at my website.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sevenfold contest

Anyone who joins my mailing list now through October 15, 2012 will be entered into a drawing to win my upcoming horror anthology, Sevenfold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zombie Idol singing contest


I Left My Brains in San Francisco
The second Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator book
Author Karina Fabian
Special Favor to Ask:
“Are You the Next Zombie Idol” singing contest?  Damnation Books and I are looking for someone to sing the theme song I wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco.  I have the words and the tune; but we need a singer.  We are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book.  The details are at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rejections

Okay, so I'm used to getting rejections that say stuff like "not the right fit for them" or "does not meet their needs at this time", but this is a new one:

"We enjoyed your work but we don't have the resources to make it the success it should be"

So what exactly does that mean? Is this simply a nice way of saying my story wasn't good enough? They did say they enjoyed it though.

Hmmm...


Monday, September 10, 2012

Doing Research before Writing your Fiction!


How to Do Research

            The writing is in the details. In order to prepare a piece of fiction set in a real world, the author needs a semblance of reality. To make that happen, extensive research is oftentimes necessary. However, not everyone is capable of such feats. It involves much more than just visiting a site and saving the link for future reference or copying and pasting a long block of text into a word processing program. Here are some tips to save time in order to help with detailed research projects:

  1. Select your topic(s) and list keywords related to them.

    1. Ex: Cursed object brings an ancient Egyptian goddess to life. Keywords: Egypt, tombs, Egyptian mythology, archaeology, dig sites, curses.

  2. Search for resources, both offline and online, to get an overview of the topic.

    1. Websites, Encyclopedias, Maps, History Books, Myths and Legends, Archeology Magazines, similar topics in literature and the media.

  3. Take notes. Can be created as complete background information, but later needs to be condensed into bulleted facts that relate to the specific topic.

  4. Find experts who can handle answering questions you can’t find anywhere else or who can fill in the blanks with their knowledge. Visit forums or ask around. You just may know someone who can help. For example, let’s say you are writing a forensic detective novel and need first-hand knowledge of forensic technology. You may not know someone who does that but perhaps the second cousin of your best friend’s wife does?

  5. Only look at information from verified “true” sources. A lot of information circulating is not entirely true. How do you know for sure? Look at WHO wrote it and WHEN it was written. If you are planning a story that takes place in 2012 and find a book written by some unknown author in 1962, take another look. Things may have changed based on what you’re looking up. Does the author CITE any sources or have a degree/well-educated title? Is he/she well respected in his field? For instance, if you are writing the next medical thriller, a great resource would be a doctor who has had reports published in a medical journal on the specific trauma, disease, chemical, etc. you plan to use.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kerrytown Book Fest

Heading over to the Ann Arbor farmer's market today from 11 am to 5 pm. Come down and check out the book festival.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Haunted Castles

World's 5 Most Haunted Castles - as part of the travel series by GeoBeats. Given their history and events, many believe castles to be among the most haunted places on Earth. Here are 5 of the most haunted.

World's 5 Most Haunted Castles

Blogger Laws

12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know

While the Internet still retains some of the "wild wild west" feel, increasingly Internet activity, and particular blogging, is being shaped and governed by state and federal laws.

Click here to continue reading this article

Monday, August 27, 2012

5 Reasons why you don’t need to write a book

I was searching online today for some stuff and I came across this cool blog. The headline caught me immediately, so I had to read it. Good stuff! Check it out:

Five Reasons Why You Should Not Write a Book

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I am registered for the Kerrytown Book Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Come on out and see me on Sunday, September 9, 2012, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. I will be promoting/selling all my books: Writing exercises, anthology of horror stories, two thriller novels, and my latest creation: Fetch, the Journal of a Genius Dog (as dictated to me by my precious and very intelligent Border Collie).

My next book, Sevenfold, will be available (hopefully) in October. I will start taking pre-orders for it soon.

Until we meet again!

Shelby

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Interview with a Zombie

In lieu of all the recent zombie scares lately, I went on a search to locate such a creature and found out what they are really like, and I have to say, some of them are just scared citizens who had a tripwire released inside their brains and are now poising a non-real threat to local communities everywhere. I was fortunate enough to find a zombie willing to talk, and not eat, me. It's not as bad as we thought. Here is how it went:


SP: When did you first realize you had become a zombie?


ZOM: I woke up one morning with this horrific headache. My alarm had been going off for some time, so I reached over and ended up smashing it to pieces. I felt real sluggish and didn't want to get out of bed. Work was calling, but seeing as how I was already late, I just didn't care. I ambled my way down to the kitchen and had trouble processing where I was and why I was there. It didn't matter that a plate of eggs and bacon was waiting. I ate with ferocity, turned to my significant other, and said "I...I...no work...today." And I didn't go ever again; instead, I found new friends and hung out in the park, apparently scaring people with my lifeless eyes and gaunt expression.


SP: Is anyone else in your family or circle of friends a zombie?


ZOM: Absolutely not! I spent years of misery with them. Why would I want to spend the rest of my zombie years like that?


SP: Can you tell us what being a zombie is all about?


ZOM: I stumble around, half the time not knowing where I am. It's the all-time high. I feel invincible. The only time I feel any emotion at all is when people are running scared when they see me. Sometimes I get the urge to feed upon that hunger, but as long as they stay away during those times, I'm good.


SP: What kind of effect has the media "zombies" had on the real zombie community today?


ZOM: It's horrible, I tell you. They portray us as brain-eating undead animals who should be taken down with a bullet to the head. 


SP: And you're not?

ZOM: Would I be sitting here talking to you now if I was? I'd be smacking on your flesh right about now. We have gotten a poor rap because of television, books, and newspapers. I'll agree, though, that there are some renegade zombies out there who enjoy ripping chunks of flesh from their victims faces, but most of us are just regular citizens who want to be left alone. We get hungry and can't help it, so share some food with us, and we'll be good, or else we have to hunt and grab our own, if you know what I mean.



SP: What do you like best about being a zombie? What do you like the least of?

ZOM: The best thing is not having a care in the world. No responsibilities; no jobs; no relationships. It's just me and the world. As for my least favorite thing is the kids who throw stones at me and the gun-toters that try to kill me.



SP: There have been several zombie-related stories in the news lately. Do you have any comments about that?


ZOM: It's the drugs, man. Kids, stay away from drugs or you just may end up eating someone's face off.


SP: How did you become a zombie?

ZOM: I don't know. Something inside my brain just snapped and I didn't want to do anything anymore. It's like lying on a beach watching the ocean come rolling in day after day. I'm at peace now and it feels really good. 



SP: Thank you for a wonderful interview. Do you have any last comments to share with our readers?


ZOM: Yes, as a matter of fact I do. Stop the stereotyping. We are just like any other group. Some of us are bad to the bone; others just want go about their business. Don't hunt us down like dogs just because we choose to wear the title ZOMBIE. We are ordinary citizens like you, except that we are lazy and sluggish -- the bane of all human existence. So what if we look scary? I've seen some pretty mean looking lawyers in my time but we don't go around shooting them, do we? A few bad apples may spoil the bunch, but if people keep doing what they are doing, eventually the bunch will turn sour and then there really will be a zombie apocalypse to worry about.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

School Texts Claim Loch Ness Monster Is Real In Effort To Disprove Darwinism


Some students at private schools in Louisiana are being taught that Scotland's fabled Loch Ness monster is real, a claim that is then held as evidence disproving Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, the Scotsman reports.

Thousands of students across the state are eligible to receive publicly funded vouchers to allow them to attend private Christian schools where textbooks published by Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) claim the monster was actually a dinosaur that existed at the same time as man, an assertion which conflicts with the theory of evolution.

The Times Educational Supplement, a British publication for teachers, published an article in 2009 that included an excerpt from Accelerated Christian Education's Biology 1099 textbook, which was published in 1995:

Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the `Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? `Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.
Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

Loch Ness monster tour guide Tony Drummond, 47, told the Scottish Sun the curriculum is "ridiculous propaganda."

And Bruce Wilson, a researcher specializing in the American political religious right, told the Scotsman that one of the texts also claims "dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons."

"It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism," Wilson told the paper.

According to Scotland's the Herald, one of the textbooks also provides a somewhat controversial look at the Ku Klux Klan.

"The [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross ... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians," the textbook reads, according to the Herald.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/louisiana-students-loch-ness-monster-disprove-evolution_n_1624643.html


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Writing and Marketing Resources

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing: Resources: This is the Writing and Marketing Tool Page. You'll find some helpful resources, groups, sites, books, and article links.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event


Bestselling fantasy author Gail Z. Martin is holding a sneak peek for her new book, Ice Forged, and we’ve got the goodies! Gail Z. Martin is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, published by Solaris Books, and The Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books. Her short stories have appeared in numerous U.S. and UK anthologies.

Gail is unveiling the new cover for Ice Forged (coming from Orbit Books in January, 2013), and throwing her annual Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event, which includes more than a dozen partner sites with exclusive excerpts, author and character interviews, audios, and more!

Ice Forged will take readers to an entirely new world with completely new characters.  “It’s a totally different series,” Martin says.  “I’m having a lot of fun building it and I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers.

Here’s the story: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

Get your exclusive excerpt from Ice Forged here:  http://www.4shared.com/office/VJ9BoRdD/Ice_Forged_Excerpt_3.html

To get in on all the action, including the other three unique excerpts, find out more on Gail’s site, www.AscendantKingdoms.com


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mars One: One-way ticket to the red planet

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/mars-one-one-way-ticket-red-planet-192011042.html

It sounds like a science-fiction fantasy, but the company Mars One says it's for real—and that it will really establish a settlement on the planet Mars by 2023.

The privately financed Dutch company has a plan. All it needs is a lot of cash, equipment and four Mars-bound astronauts who are willing to take a one-way trip to the red planet.

The idea is to first send rovers, which will stake out a good site for a settlement and then build out living units. In 2022, the crew will take a "transit habitat" for the seven-month trip to Mars and settle in to their new home. The intention is that the crew will live on the planet for the rest of their lives. Every two years after that, another group will join the settlement to populate the colony.

Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp has a very modern approach to funding the project: media exposure. "We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it." He said in a company video, adding, "Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars."

Think of it as a "Big Brother" for outer space. Lansdorp explained to Yahoo! News, "This would be 'real' reality TV -- adventure is automatically included, we don't have to add fake challenges." He added, "By sending a new crew every two years, Mars will have a real, growing settlement of humans -- who would not like to follow that major event in human history?"

Who, indeed? The other-worldly idea has certainly intrigued the Web. The Mars One video has received over 232,000 views on YouTube since it launched less than a week ago.

Beyond entertainment, some scientists certainly seem intrigued by the possibility of interplanetary travel. Theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gerard 't Hooft, a "mission ambassador" for Mars One, endorses the plan. He says, "This project seems to be the only way to fulfill humanity's dream to explore outer space. It's going to be an exciting experiment."

Next year, according to its website, the company will begin an astronaut selection process. Those who have the right stuff will then undergo a decade of preparation. And, we assume, the Mars travelers will be ready for their out-of-this-world close-up.