Tuesday, August 26, 2014

OMG—IT’S A COMIC! COMING SOON!!


So, some years back, I had an idea for a vampire comic book, and I worked on it for a couple of years with another artist friend of mine.  Unfortunately, that friend really didn’t love comic art, so we parted ways and this project has lived in my head without an artist for more years.

And then, upon having my cover redone by the amazing and talented Slake Saunders (some NSFW art there)—who has a wicked comic sense to her art—I had the chance to hang out with her and tell her about my sad, artist-less comic.

She loved what I was describing!

So, I sent her character descriptions and what I had for a script.  Email after email, I got to see these characters come to life through Slake’s art.  Really, it was like she plucked the faces and pictures right out of my head!  She sent me thumbnails of Aurelio’s and Sophia’s expressions for some of the scenes, and I was like, YESYESYESYES!!!!!

Now, after almost a year of prep, we’re finally ready to announce AURELIO! 

The comic pages will start going live as of Monday, October 27, 2014, and we will be hosting the comic through Patreon.  You can get to it via www.TheVampireAurelio.com

Aurelio Sangreleyes is a Justicar, a vampire whose job it is to police vampiric relations with humans and other magickal creatures.  He’s been sent by the Council of Matrons to Boca Raton, Florida, to investigate a new street drug that is being made with vampire venom. During his investigation, he grabs a bite to eat from the wrong witch and finds himself cursed by her blood—he is now the sole protector of the witch’s 15-year-old daughter, Sophia. And the girl’s father is a fallen angel, a creature vampires are forbidden against acting against.  Now Aurelio must deal with the black market venom trade while also protecting Sophia from being kidnapped and dragged to hell by her unholy father.  Oh, and Sophia has her own plans about this mess, too.

The comic, itself will be free, but if you want to help us and get more awesomeness, be a patron for as little as $2 a month!  We’ll make it worthwhile with bonus art and writing.

And if you’re going to be at DragonCon this weekend, I’ll have special Aurelio postcards at the HWA fan table and wherever I am around the con!

Thank you, in advance for any support you can give!

Love,

Trish and Slake

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pouring a Bucket of Ice on #IceBucketChallenge



Go ahead, call me a spoil-sport. I’ve got some calling out to do of my own.

First, some time ago, I wrote a blog on stupid “Awareness” campaigns for breast cancer, where people Vague-booked stuff to supposedly raise awareness of breast cancer. You might remember the color-of-your-bra campaign (which bothered several breast cancer survivors who no longer wore bras, I may add), the “where I put my purse” posts, or the random fruit posts.

Wait, you forgot about them? Great awareness, huh.

In any case, we’re going through another bout of “Awareness” raising.

Do you know what ALS is?
It’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And from ALSA.org, here is the definition:
Just what is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
It’s a horrible disease, and there is limited treatment. It is a good cause to support. I’m not arguing any of that.  In fact, if you want to actually make a difference, here’s a direct link to their donation form!

Taking five minutes to donate five dollars and sharing that you donated $5 goes way further than, say, daring someone to pour a freaking bucket of ice on their head. Really. After this fad is over, who will still remember what ALS stands for? Most people have forgotten that it’s the same thing as Lou Gehrig’s disease and what this awful disease did to him. There will be a memory of people pouring ice over their head, not what it’s for.

So, no. I don’t accept your damned #icebucketchallenge.

I’ll write a blog post that explains the disease and gives people ways to actually help. I think that is more useful than pouring ice over my head.

Furthermore, what gives you—anyone—the right to demand I give $100 to a cause not of my own damned choosing?

This is what gets me the most about this. Do you know that I’ve supported ALS already? Several times, in fact, through staying up for 24 hours blogging? Sharing other information?  And even if I didn’t, do you have any idea how much money I’ve given to animal rescue? To cancer research? To hospice care? To individuals directly who were dying of cancer, families who have lost their breadwinner, authors about to lose their homes because we get sh*t for pay and insurance? Have you any idea?

No, no you don’t. For the individuals, I give anonymously. For the stuff I keep receipts for because it can be deducted for taxes? None of your damned business.

So don’t demand I give $100 that I do not currently have if I don’t decide to do some silly action.

You want to go on a 5K to raise $ and awareness for ALS, if that’s your preferred charity, I’ll dig into my wallet and support what I can. Same for hunger. And, because I’m selfish and know even more people affected by cancer, more than a few who have recently died, I’ll give even more if you’re doing a cancer walk. Hell, I might even join you.  That gets something accomplished. And that’s YOUR choice; you’re just asking me for support. And I support a lot.

Just don’t freaking TELL me what I have to donate for! Don’t give me a freaking “do this or else” ultimatum. Don’t guilt me over it.

Then you’re just pissing me off.

I was at a party recently with someone who had a form of ALS. The person said something to the effect of, “If people wanted to really help ALS, they’d film themselves staring at the bucket of ice and then making the $100 donation.”

Do you have the spare $100? Can you do that? Then don’t assume I can, either!

I refuse the #icebucketchallenge, and I certainly am not challenging anyone to do that.

If you want to help, here’s the donation link again. ALSA has a 30% overhead for running their organization, which is a % I can live with supporting. (And if you don’t know the overhead of the charity you’re giving to, find out. Some non-profits have 80%-90% overhead, so a whopping 10 cents of every dollar actually goes to HELP PEOPLE. Research!)

I’m all for people helping fund research for a cure or helping those afflicted with the disease get through their life. Go donate.

Leave the damned ice for chilling drinks.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Character Interview: Ian from Terry Bruce's THEREAFTER



I’m very pleased, today, to have a special visitor here at A Novel Friend thanks to Terri Bruce’s Blog Tour!  Ian, the cowboy from Terri’s newest release, Thereafter, took a few minutes out of his adventures in the Afterlife to chat with us!

Thanks for stopping by my blog here, Ian! Terri and I do a lot of talking about horses, so I was excited to meet the cowboy she’s been talking about.  I know Thereafter has just come out, so a lot of people might not have read it yet.  Can you tell these folks a little about yourself in the book?

Well, it’s gonna sound mighty strange, but me and a bunch of other folks are stuck by this river in the afterlife—we’re all dead, you see. And there’s this woman, Irene Dunphy—well, she comes along with a plan to spring us all. So I end up fallin’ in with her and this other fella—Andras—and we set about trying to get on out of there.

Before you ended up where you are now, what was your life like?

I worked on a horse ranch in Kentucky. Weren’t much excitement—it was sun up to sun down back breaking work. It was hot, it was dusty, and the only good part was headin’ to Ms. Lydia’s Dancing Girls Emporium on Saturday nights.

Being a horse person myself, I’m curious to how horses are in the Afterlife. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Well, I don’t rightly know, now that you mention it. I ain’t never seen many horses running around the afterlife. There’s a few, now and again, with some of the older folks, them that died in way back times, but otherwise, ain’t too many. God only knows how Irene ended up with a horse—she don’t strike me as much of a horse woman, prancing around in that little nothing of a dress she wears and all.

What were some of your favorite pastimes or hobbies before?  How has that changed?

Outside of Ms. Lydia’s, there weren’t much time for much else in the way of hobbies. When I got hitched to Irmaguard, I had to give up Ms. Lydia’s, which was a damn shame. But Irmaguard, God rest her soul, was a sure-fired jealous woman so there wasn’t any help for it.


What did you think of Irene when you meet her?  How does that change as you got to know her?

Oooo-eeee! I was looking over this vista, admiring the view, and all of a sudden this woman, well, more of a blur, really, comes flying at me like a bat out of hell. I didn’t know what she was doin’. She tackles me, and the next thing I know I’m flat on my back, lookin’ up into a mass of red hair, the most beautiful brown eyes, and the sweetest little mouth I ever did see. She wanted to take off right after, but I sure wasn’t lettin’ her out of my sight that easy. Then I found she was fixin’ to find a way across the river, and then I certainly wasn’t goin’ to let her out of my sight! I been stuck there by that river for a couple hundred years and was mighty sick of it, I can tell you.

Something I always like to ask folks I interview is this: What is a question you want me to ask?  And what would that answer be?

Well, now, that’s a toughie. I guess, I wish you’d asked when I wish I would have lived; I can tell you that Irene told me a bit about the future and it sure did sound good. I wish that’s when I’d been born. Life sure does seem like a lot more fun.


No problem! And shoot, thanks for havin’ me!


Find out more about Ian, Irene, Andras, and Terri by picking up Thereafter!  Here are the details!

Book Details:

ISBN: 978-0991303625
Cover Price: $14.95
E-book Price: $4.95

Jacket Copy:
Nothing in life is free. Turns out, nothing in the afterlife is, either.

When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.

Boy, was she wrong.

She soon finds that “the other side” isn’t a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do.

As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

You can win stuff, too, by leaving comments!! 

Launch Party Blog Tour Giveaway  – May 1st – May 31st

2 $50 Amazon gift cards

5 signed paperback copies of Thereafter (U.S./Canada Only)

Friday, April 25, 2014

BIG DEALS... -and- FREE BOOKS!



For those of you who are Darby Karchut fans, Kelly Hashway fans,  or Aurelio Voltaire fans (and if you're a reader of this blog, you probably are), have I got some news for you!!

Aurelio Voltaire's debut novel, Call of the Jersey Devil will be an Amazon Big Deal from today, April 25 until Sunday, May 11.

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey are a wasteland - well, even more so than the rest of the state.  Few people can live there, businesses certainly don't thrive, and other than the trees that cast an impenetrable darkness over the sugar sand, not a lot of things flourish in the unusual landscape.

Except for the Jersey Devil. Hellspawn of folklore and legend.

Which makes it the perfect place for a Goth festival!

Or, at least that's what brings five disenfranchised mall rats and a washed up Goth musician to a particular, lonely cabin in this wasteland.  Where they're about to find out that it really is true: New Jersey is an entrance to Hell.

With the help of a lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic is at stake!


And Darby Karchut has TWO specials.  Right now Gideon's Spear, the sequel to Finn Finnegan is also an Amazon Big Deal from today, April 25, until Sunday, May 8!

 For Finn, it's time to Irish up.
When a power-crazed sorceress and the neighborhood pack of beast-like goblins team up and threaten both his master and his friends, thirteen-year-old Finn (not Finnegan) MacCullen does the only thing an apprentice monster hunter can do: he takes the fight to the enemy. And woe to the foe he meets along the way.


On top of the Amazon Big Deal, Darby also is doing a Goodreads Giveaway of an autographed Finn Finnegan! You can enter it here. :)


And finally, there's a great Goodreads Giveaway for Kelly Hashway's Monster Within going on until June 30. :) Go enter it now!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

COVER REVEAL: D.M. Cunningham's NILES WORMWART, ACCIDENTAL VILLAIN



I'm so excited to finally share with everyone this AWESOME cover for another of my authors, the wonderful D.M. Cunningham, by the super-wicked artist, Veronica V. Jones!

Love comic-book villains? Love mad genius and Tesla? Love 12-year-old potty humor?

Yeah, me too. :) But the cover gives you a glimpse of the super-awesome-ness of what to expect from Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain.

NILES WORMWART, ACCIDENTAL VILLAIN
By D.M. Cunningham 
In the science fair world of ketchup-spewing volcanoes and potato clocks, one boy, Niles Wormwart, plans to alter the history of science fairs with his time travel wristwatch based on Nicola Tesla's work. Unfortunately, history has different plans for Niles.

After Niles blows up his school's science wing with his project, his father, deciding his son needs to man up, make some friends, and take a break from his constant experiments, sends unsuspecting Niles off to the mysterious Camp Mayhem.

The only problem is that Niles' father thinks it's a role-playing camp. Well, it's not.
Headed up by the ominous Red Czechmark, Camp Mayhem is ground zero for training the future villains of today. A place for real kids to realize the real villain inside them. Niles sharpens his focus on escaping the camp while everyone inside wants him to sharpen his focus on discovering his own dark powers. There's a sinister plot brewing, and Niles is dead in the middle of it.
Thrust into a world he only thought existed in comic books. Niles discovers his true potential inside the walls of Camp Mayhem-the potential to become the darkest of evils or stay true to his good-hearted roots.

Title: Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain
Author: D.M. Cunningham
Publisher: Spencer Hill Middle Grade
Print ISBN: 978-1-939392-37-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-939392-38-1
Release Date: 11/25/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book
If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in September 2014.

Friday, March 21, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Daisy Whitney and BEN FOX: SQUIRREL ZOMBIE SPECIALIST AT YOUR SERVICE



I'm sooooo excited to share this cover with y'all!  :)  First, my author Daisy has been a sweetheart to work with and I just adore this book! Second, the cover is by the super-amazing Slake Saunders!

:D Now, bask in the wonderful evil cuteness of bad cat, good dog, and squirrel zombie shenanigans!


BEN FOX: SQUIRREL ZOMBIE SPECIALIST AT YOUR SERVICE
By Daisy Whitney

Ten-year-old Ben Fox has good friends, a great dog, and a lightning-fast little sister who drives him a bit batty. The only thing in the fifth grader’s life that’s truly annoying–well, besides having to wear braces on his feet every day–is the family’s wily Siamese cat, Percy. Ben has always suspected something was off about Percy...
But now he’s sure of it—Percy has raised an army of squirrel zombies in the backyard and they’re ready to take on Ben's beloved dog, Captain Sparkles.
Now Ben must figure out how to stop the dastardly cat, especially since Percy and his newly reanimated squirrel friends are gunning for nothing less than a full-scale Animal Zombie Apocalypse—when all the dogs start to behave like cats!
The battle won’t be easy though, because squirrel zombies are the most dangerous animal zombies of all…

Title: Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist At Your Service
Author: Daisy Whitney

Publisher: Spencer Hill Middle Grade
ISBN: print: 9781939392190, ebook: 9781939392206
Release Date: 10/14/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

COVER REVEAL: THEREAFTER by Terri Bruce



I'm happy to share the cover release of my friend and sister Broad, Terri Bruce on my blog today!

Terri is an amazing woman and an amazing writer, so look forward to when you can get your hands on this book! ... And if you haven't read the first in this series, Hereafter, you need to do that. Like now!

Without further ado, here is the GORGEOUS cover for Thereafter.




Now that you've seen the contest and the pretty, here are all the details to further make you want this book! Besides a medieval Spanish knight AND a cowboy!!!!

Genre: Contemporary fantasy/paranormal

Publisher: Mictlan Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9913036-2-5 (print) /
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-3-2 (ebook)

Number of pages: 318
Word Count: 99,000

Cover Artist: Artwork by Shelby Robinson;
cover layout by Jennifer Stolzer

Book Description:

When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.

Boy, was she wrong.

She soon finds that “the other side” isn’t a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do.

As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped.

Author’s Note:

I am THRILLED beyond all measure to finally be able to bring you Thereafter, and I want to thank all the fans who have waited (more or less patiently) an extra year for this book to finally come out. Thereafter would not have been possible without your support—thank you all! I hope you love this beautiful new cover as much as I do, and I hope you find Thereafter to be worth the wait.

Excerpt:

Her hand touched a rock, one of the flat beach stones she’d seen on graves. She picked it up, laying it flat in her palm. She didn’t remember picking this up. In fact, she had been careful not to take any. It had seemed disrespectful and too much like stealing to remove them, and while she’d seen a few here—both loose and piled in cairns—she hadn’t picked any of them up. There had been no point. What would she do with a rock?
No wonder her bag was so heavy.
She tossed the rock over her shoulder and heard it hit the ground with a satisfying thud some distance away. It felt good to be rid of something, to make a decision and be sure it was the right one.
She surveyed the pile again and then grabbed a small handful of paper animals. She picked one up between a finger and thumb. It was a horse. Irene had been in Chinatown during Chinese Ghost Festival, a holiday in which the living left offerings for the dead. These offerings included paper replicas of things people thought the dead would need in the afterlife—money, clothes, television sets, and even animals. Irene had admired the precise and delicate folds of the Origami figures and had picked some up to admire them more closely. Without thinking, she had dropped them into her bag and apparently been carrying them ever since.
Well, even Jonah couldn’t argue with her on this—there was no way she was going to need a paper horse on her journey through the afterlife. Plus, these didn’t hold any sentimental value. She cast the horse onto a nearby fire and watched as the paper curled and blackened in the low-burning flames.
The fire leapt and seemed to glow blue for a moment. Irene tensed—what was happening?
Thick black smoke began to rise slowly from the flames, spiraling upward in a thickening column. The smoke grew denser and then elongated sideways. Irene leapt to her feet and backed away, her heart pounding. Something was forming in the fire.
The smoke was taking shape now; there was purpose and design in its movements. She could see a long, horizontal back, four legs, a neck, and finally a head and a tail. The smoke swirled with a final flourish and then shuddered into the solidity of a smoke-colored horse. The animal blinked passively. Then it violently shook its head, blew out a breath, and delicately picked its way forward out of the fire. It immediately put its head down and began to lip the ground, looking for food.
Irene stared stupidly at it. “Are you shitting me?”


About the Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.





Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terribruce

Monday, February 24, 2014

SILENT STARSONG is Available to Pre-Order!!

I know, I know... all my blogs for 2014 have fallen under "self-promotional."  But...but...but... all these things are rocking my world and my dreams are coming true!!

Sooo... if you'll indulge me...

SILENT STARSONG...written even before THE KELPIE, who some of you have been fans of long before you met the MacArthurs...is FINALLY AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!

Here it is on Amazon!! (Already discounted!)
Here it is on Barnes & Noble!                          

 And Friends with Stores - you can pre-order your stock, too, at wholesale prices through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, or directly through the SHP distributor, Midpoint.

 Here are the details!
Title: Silent Starsong
Author: T.J. Woolridge
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.spencerhillpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-939392930
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Formats: Paperback, e-book

If the stars were singing your future, what would you do to hear it?

Eleven-year-old Kyra Starbard has proud family legacy of interpreting the future from the stars' songs.  But her deafness, incurable by the best medics, breaks her mother's heart and pushes her father to try anything—including the expensive purchase of a telepathic alien servant to help Kyra communicate on a planet inhospitable to disability.

Marne's telepathy is too weak for his Naratsset culture, so he is sold into slavery and expects to die at the hands of cruel owners—until he meets a human child who begs her father to "save" him.  Her kindness introduces Marne to a new world—one where he would risk his life to save a human from her own people's abuse and the stars' songs can touch even a deaf girl and a defective telepath. 

But there are forces that believe Starbards, whether they can hear the stars are not, should be utterly destroyed. Can the two friends, not good enough for either of their cultures or families, manage to keep each other safe when several different worlds threaten their lives?



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Trailer for... THE KELPIE!!

Noooo... not a horse trailer! He'd tear that apart!  Look, I have a cool book trailer for my first novel!!

Please post and share around?  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiLIXfO3lck&feature=youtu.be

[... Ack, sorry for just the link. Blogger is being a pain and unable to find the trailer no matter how I search!]

Thank you to Roberto Muerto for making it awesome!

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A SILENT STARSONG! My cover! Yep, that's how I'm starting 2014 blog posts...

I can't tell you how excited I am about this!!  I wrote Kyra's adventures long before I even thought about Heather and the MacArthur family.  The Husband-of-Awesome has been a fan of Kyra and Marne for years and years; they're his favorite of my literary "children."

AND THEY'RE FINALLY REAL!!

The fabulous Veronica V. Jones is the artist for this cover, and she made them EXACTLY how I picture them in my head.

E-X-A-C-T-L-Y!!!!

So, I'm thrilled to pieces to finally share this with you!

Here are the deets for this baby:

Title: Silent Starsong
Author: T.J. Woolridge
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.spencerhillpress.com) Please feel free to use any images, text. Links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 9781939392930
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Formats: Paperback, e-book

If the stars were singing your future, what would you do to hear it?

Eleven-year-old Kyra Starbard has proud family legacy of interpreting the future from the stars' songs.  But her deafness, incurable by the best medics, breaks her mother's heart and pushes her father to try anything—including the expensive purchase of a telepathic alien servant to help Kyra communicate on a planet inhospitable to disability.

Marne's telepathy is too weak for his Naratsset culture, so he is sold into slavery and expects to die at the hands of cruel owners—until he meets a human child who begs her father to "save" him.  Her kindness introduces Marne to a new world—one where he would risk his life to save a human from her own people's abuse and the stars' songs can touch even a deaf girl and a defective telepath. 

But there are forces that believe Starbards, whether they can hear the stars are not, should be utterly destroyed. Can the two friends, not good enough for either of their cultures or families, manage to keep each other safe when several different worlds threaten their lives?

If you’d like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website (http://www.spencerhillpress.com/reviewers.html). ARC’s will ship in February/March 2014.

Below is the wraparound. There have been a few tweaks to the lettering/wording, but you HAVE to see how gorgeous the whole thing is!  Veronica has outdone herself!!

 
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