Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Loving the dark of Hallowe'en

I wrote this post for another site, but I guess it was too girly for them to post ;p I like it though, and wanted to share it with you.
Oh baby, I love Autumn, but more than that, I love October! The sharp, crisp frosted air in the morning the falling leaves, the days of hot apple cider and cool nights huddled inside with a special someone. Not to mention Samhain and Halloween whichever you celebrate, this is the month it happens.
I don’t know about you, but Halloween and all it encompasses makes me a bit giddy. The costumes, make-up, strange snacks (have you eaten finger cookies lately?) bonfires and foggy nights, the pranks we pull on each other, parties that run late into the night, favorite scary movies we watch every year, the laughter and whispered stories that make the hair stand up on the back of our necks and give goose bumps all over our bodies; maybe I love this because I write horror, but I think it’s more than that.
The whole idea that the distance between the living and the dead thins on that one special night gives me, not unpleasant, chills. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have one last chance to speak to a loved one who’s passed on before their time? Again though, it’s more than that, I believe it is a visceral understanding that one day we will be the ones on the other side and that our loved ones may be reaching out across to us for comfort and that one last goodbye.
This time for celebrating the darker side of life, the fears, terrifying thrills and sweet startling scares, I believe, that they remind us of one very powerful thing. We are alive, the darkness hasn’t closed in over us . . .yet. And that is the same visceral understanding of the darkness that draws us to horror stories. We read things that, at times, leave us quaking with fear, unable to sleep, startled by shadows in the night. But as long as we feel these intense emotions, can hear the thump of our blood pounding in our ears, the harsh rasp of our own breathing . . . we are alive.
Horror, thrillers and other related writing can bring us as much gratitude for our lives as a self help book, if we stop to recognize our reasons behind our love of the darkness, and all the richness and appreciation they can bring to each of us.
So rather than grabbing “Oprah’s” pick and searching out some gem for renewed happiness, grab a book that encompasses all that the darkness COULD be, and be glad that your life holds none of it.
Happy Hallowe'en!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The last batch of Funny #amwriting tips . . . Promise

Okay, this is it. The last batch. All good, all funny. Enjoy. Stolen from

67. Strangely enough, it is impossible to construct a sentence that illustrates the meaning of the word 'irony.'

68. Consult a writing manual to assure that your English is correct.

69. It has been suggested that some words are absolute, not relative. This is very true.

70. Be careful when forming words into a sentence-all orderings are not correct.

71. Many words can ostensibly be deleted.

72. In your quest for clarity, stop at nothing.

73. Complete mastery of the English language comes with conscientious study, notwithstanding around in bars. Moreover the next page. Inasmuch detail as possible.

74. Sporting analogies won't even get you to first base.

75. If you must quote, quote from one of the all-time greats (Cedric.P. Snodworthy, 1964).

76. In the absence of a dictionary, stick to words of one syllabus.

77. Steer clear of word-making-up-ism.

78. Readers will not stand for any intolerance.

79. If there's one thing you must avoid it's over-simplification.

80. Double entendres will get you in the end.

81. Vagueness is the root of miscommunication, in a sense.

82. Don't bother with those "increase-your-word-power" books that cost an absorbent amount of

83. Self-contradiction is confusing, and yet strangely enlightening.

84. Surrealism without purpose is like fish.

85. Ignorance: good writers don't even know the meaning of the word.

86. The spoken word can look strange when written down, I'm afraid.

87. Stimpy the Squirrel says "Don't treat the reader like a little child."

88. Intimidatory writing is for wimps.

89. Learn one new maths word every day, and you'll soon find your vocabulary growing exponentially.

90. My old high school English teacher put it perfectly when she said: "Quoting is lazy. Express
things in your own words."

91. She also said: "Don't use that trick of paraphrasing...... [other people's words]...... inside a quote."

92. A lack of compassion in a writer is unforgivable.

93. On a scale of 0 to 10, internal consistency is very important.

94. Thankfully, by the year 2016 rash predictions will be a thing of the past.

95. There is no place for overemphasis, whatsoever.

96. Leave out the David Hockney rhyming slang.

97. Bad writers are hopefully ashamed of themselves.

98. Eschew the highfalutin.

99. Sometimes you publish a sentence and then, on reflection, feel that you shouldn't ought to have been and gone and written it quite that way.

100. Practice humility until you feel that you're really good at it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

33 more LOL Funny #amwriting Tips

In case you didn't get enough with the last batch . . . again, stolen from :0)

34. Take care with pluri.

35. If you can't think of the exact word that you need, look it up in one of those dictionary-type things.

36. Colons: try to do without them.

37. Nouns should never be verbed.

38. Do you really think people are impressed by rhetorical questions?

39. Pick a font, and stick with it.

40. Sufficient clarity is necessary, but not necessarily sufficient.

41. Less is more. This means that a short, cryptic statement is often preferable to an accurate, but drawn out, explanation that lacks punch and loses the reader.

42. Sarcasm-yes, I bet that will go down really well.

43. The problem of ambiguity cannot be underestimated.

44. Never appear cynical, unless you're sure you can get away with it.

45. Many writer's punctuate incorrectly.

46. Colloquialisms are for barmpots.

47. There is a lot to be said for brevity.

48. To qualify is to weaken, in most cases.

49. Many readers assume that a word will not assume two meanings in the same sentence.

50. Be spontaneous at regular intervals.

51. The era of the euphemism is sadly no longer with us.

52. Want to be funny? Just add some exclamation marks!!!

53. Want to appear whimsical? Simply append a smiley :)

54. Some writers introduce a large number, N, of unnecessary symbols.

55. Restrict your hyphen-usage.

56. Choosing the correct phrase is important compared to most things.

57. Some early drafts of this document had had clumsy juxtapositions.

58. Try not to leave a word dangling on its own

59. line.

60. The number of arbitrary constants per page should not exceed .13.

61. Use mathematical jargon if it is absolutely necessary.

62. And avoid math symbols unless ? a good reason.

63. Poor writing effects the impact of your work.

64. And the dictionary on your shelf was not put there just for affect.

65. If there's a word on the tip of your tongue that you can't quite pin down, use a cinnamon.

66. If somebody were to give me a pound for every irrelevant statement I've ever read, then I would
be very surprised.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

33 Pee your Pants Funny #amwriting Tips

I didn't come up with these on my own, I stole them from :0) But they were totally worth the theft . . .and I will be giving you some more later in the week . . .

1. Every sentence should make sense in isolation. Like that one.

2. Excessive hyperbole is literally the kiss of death.

3. ASBMAETP: Acronyms Should Be Memorable And Easy To Pronounce, and SATAN: Select Acronyms That Are Non-offensive.

4. Finish your point on an up-beat note, unless you can't think of one.

5. Don't patronise the reader-he or she might well be intelligent enough to spot it.

6. A writer needs three qualities: creativity, originality, clarity and a good short term memory.

7. Choose your words carefully and incitefully.

8. Avoid unnecessary examples; e.g. this one.

9. Don't use commas, to separate text unnecessarily.

10. It can be shown that you shouldn't miss out too many details.

11. Similes are about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

12. Avoid ugly abr'v'ns.

13. Spellcheckers are not perfect; they can kiss my errs.

14. Somebody once said that all quotes should be accurately attributed.

15. Americanisms suck.

16. Capitalising for emphasis is UGLY and DISTRACTING.

17. Underlining is also a big no-no.

18. Mixed metaphors can kill two birds without a paddle.

19. Before using a cliché, run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes.

20. There is one cheap gimmick that should be avoided at all costs..............suspense.

21. State your opinions forcefully-this is perhaps the key to successful writing.

22. Never reveal your sources (Alistair Watson, 1993).

23. Pile on lots of subtlety.

24. Sure signs of lazy writing are incomplete lists, etc.

25. Introduce meaningless jargon on a strict need-to-know basis.

26. The word "gullible" possesses magic powers and hence it should be used with care.

27. The importance of comprehensive cross-referencing will be covered elsewhere.

28. Resist the temptation to roll up the trouser-legs of convention, cast off the shoes and socks of good taste, and dip your toes refreshingly into the cool, flowing waters of fanciful analogy.

29. Don't mess with Mr. Anthropomorphism.

30. Understatement is a mindblowingly effective weapon.

31. Injecting enthusiasm probably won't do any harm.

32. It is nice to be important, but it is more important to avoid using the word 'nice'.

33. Appropriate metaphors are worth their weight in gold.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The finesse of a Blog Hijacker

Blog Hijack!!!!


Psst! Jesi Lea Ryan here.  Shannon is off writing her new contemporary romance novel right now, so while she’s not looking, I’m taking over her blog.  Hopefully, by the time she notices, I’ll be long gone.  (Hee, hee!)

I want to take a moment to tell you about my new young adult, paranormal romance, Arcadia’s Gift. 


Most people who experience death don’t live to tell about it.


When sixteen year old Arcadia “Cady” Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom’s spiraling depression and her sister’s boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan’s around, Cady can almost pretend she’s a regular girl, living a regular life; when he’s not, she’s wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

I am so excited to share this book with the world!  Cady is such an amazing character.  I think what I like best about her is that she has to deal with some seriously heavy family issues in addition to her new gifts.  Because of this, both teen and adult readers will be able to find different ways to relate to her on an emotional level. 

Where did the idea for Arcadia’s Gift come from?  I honestly don’t remember.  I knew I wanted to write a young adult paranormal, since I read a lot of young adult literature.  Vampires are a tad overdone right now and werewolves just don’t appeal to me.  (Hello? Doggy breath is NOT sexy!)  I seem to recall the character of Cady forming in my mind first.  I wanted her to be as realistic as possible.  I truly believe some people have psychic abilities, so it seemed natural to develop them in Cady.  Once I figured out what those abilities would be, the story of how she got them unfolded naturally. 

 Why set the story in Dubuque, Iowa?  My first novel, Four Thousand Miles, was set in England. While I have been to England and all of the places in my book, I had to do a ton of research into the setting, the culture and the speech.  With Arcadia’s Gift, I chose to set the story in my hometown of Dubuque where I am intimately familiar with the city.  Cady goes to the same high school I attended, lives in the neighborhood I used to live in and hangs out in the places my friends and I used to haunt on Saturday nights.  What I discovered is that I felt a greater emotional connection to this story because I could draw on my sense of nostalgia. 

 The other reason I chose Dubuque is because it hasn’t been done before.  I can’t think of another young adult novel set there, can you?  Bordered by the Mississippi River on one side and the Great Plains on the other, Dubuque is unique to Iowa for its incredible bluffs and hills.  It truly has a natural beauty.  The landscape plays a strong role in the plot of the novel. 

What’s next for Arcadia?  Nice try!  I’m not giving you any spoilers.  I can tell you that Arcadia’s Gift is the first in a planned trilogy.  The second book, Arcadia’s Curse, is planned to release in May or June 2013. 

 I think I hear Shannon coming, so I have to dash!  Before I go, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my novel.
  Tell me what you think of it in the comments and leave your email address for a chance to win a copy of Arcadia’s Gift!!

~Jesi Lea Ryan, Future Bestselling Author and International Hijacker of Blogs


It felt like ripping… ripping through me, ripping from me. A deafening roar reverberated all around as I lay flat on my back, drowning the shrieks and screams echoing on the river valley walls. My eyes were wide open, unblinking, but all I could see were abstract forms in shades of black, gray and red. A searing burn cut across both of my thighs as if I’d been struck by a flaming hot iron. My flesh melted and bubbled, absorbing the phantom burning metal and shattering my femur bones like glass. Although I was screaming as loud as I could, the sound was distant, like someone screaming under water.


A hub of activity swirled around me, but I had the distinct feeling of being alone… alone in hell. I groped around on the cool soil at my sides, sparse patches of long grass and loose gravel, trying to remember where I was and what had happened to me. The pain prevented any coherent thoughts.


Voices. Panic all around me. Yet I was alone in my hell.


A flash of heat seared through my head, pounding rhythmically. Rust coated my tongue. The heat began to sink down my torso, leaking out of the stumps left under my hips. I sucked in jagged breaths as I realized that the heat was my blood, pumping through my arteries and spilling onto the cool ground.


No! I don’t want to die! Again, the screams tore out of me. No one answered my cries.


My body grew colder. The pain faded to numbness. They say when you know that you are dying, your life flashes before your eyes. I knew I was dying, but curiously, it was my twin sister Lony’s life that came to me in last minute mourning, not mine. I saw her love for me, even if we fought more than talked these days. I saw her fierce hope that our parents would reconcile their failed marriage and reunite, before nothing remained to salvage. I saw her boyfriend, Cane, and the lost promise of young love. A swell of love and pain filled my chest when I pictured Cane. It made no sense…I didn’t even like him.


The forms in my vision began moving more slowly, becoming even darker. I struggled to reach out to them, but my arms were as heavy as iron weights. I opened my mouth to scream again, but only rust flavored foam escaped my throat and rolled down the corner of my mouth and into my hair. The skin on my face broke into a cold sweat as I steadily bled out.


It was almost over. I wanted my mom.


A shock of pain ripped through my chest as my heart raced, running out of blood.


Thump-thump. Thump-thump.


The faster my heart pumped, the less time I had left. My back reared up, head scraping the ground. My lungs heaved, panting. The forms in my vision swirled so dark they blended with the night. I reached out desperately with my hands, fingers not even finding a hand to hold. Breath rattled in my chest as it left my body for the final time and the whole world faded to black.


Arcadia’s Gift is available for purchase at the following retailers:


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Amazing Books You've Got to Have!

For two days only you can grab these 6 books for FREE, NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH!

Abby Carpenter is a woman with a few problems: a little red diary that has a way of showing up at the worst times, a creepy coworker trying to sabotage her career, and a philandering ex-husband who won't stay dead---and now, the CEO of the largest account to land on the doorstep of the marketing firm she works for, happens to be a man she made a complete fool of herself over fourteen years ago. Abby's convinced if he recognizes her the firm could lose the account, and she could lose her job.
Gage Faraday can't shake the feeling his new account manager, Abigail Carpenter, reminds him of someone, he just can't place who. As he begins working with her to develop a marketing plan for his company's new development, he realizes they've run into a snag---he's developed a major attraction for his new business associate---but, he's a man who goes after what he wants, and he wants Abby.
Just when Abby begins to think things may finally be going her way, her ex turns up dead---really dead---and she becomes the primary suspect in the murder investigation. Now she's being pursued by a relentless detective, a sleazy tabloid reporter, and a man who won't take no for an answer. Will the forces working to tear Abby and Gage apart prevail, or will destiny have its' due?


Who do YOU pledge allegiance to? After  exposing one of the most notorious rings of police corruption in history, lawyer Cruz Marquez planned on starting a new life south of the border. That plan unraveled when an extremist group of Minutemen captured and tortured him and his wife.
Will Cruz pledge allegiance to do right, or will he do anything to serve up revenge?
Michael Prim does what any good cop would do after discovering a soul reaving sorcerer is hunting on his beat, he goes to war, even as hellhounds and Rashfellen warriors come after him. He gets a little help from his friends—a tough as nails veteran and a zombie like prostitute who holds a soul trapped in a magical jar—but when the apocalypse comes, there is only his most hated enemy, the gang member who murdered his partner, to stand against Travass Isegurad and his demons.

The streets aren't safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold badge.

What if the good guys weren't good?

What if a cop went rogue and killed an innocent man?

Will justice be served?
 When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her what it is to be human or will it be too late?
The bond between sisters is stretched to the limit as they are thrown into the world of the Fae. As they learn their places in this new world, secrets and dangers from the past emerge setting them on a dangerous path; one that would see them face off not as sisters, but enemies. Add in a wicked love triangle and you have the start of a new twist on classic Irish lore.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Cover Reveal- Purgatory Reign by L.M Preston W/ Rafflecopter

Peter Saint's life stinks. But things are about to get much worst. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms. Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give—his blood. Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race. On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It's the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer that he hopes will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.

E-Book release date- March 2013
Paperback release date- May 2013

Book Trailer Link:

Read sample:

Pre-Order Link-" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway