If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov
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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?

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

 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?

 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.


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.