Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: Best Book of July

Today I'm participating in the monthly meeting of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, where we sign up to write about the best book we've read this month.




This month I was tasked with reading 35 books for a contest, so I didn't get a chance to read much. But early in the month I finished a book I was reading in June.



I find it interesting that the book cover quotes T.S. Elliot, just as Stephen King quoted it at the beginning of the 1994 miniseries for his book The Stand.



The Stand is one of my all-time favorite books. I grew up on Stephen King novels, so he's my literary genius. If you think I should say something more socially acceptable...



I was naturally thinking of The Stand as I began reading Gone. But what was interesting was that there's a dome over their little city in the book. (You find this out early on, so it's not a spoiler.) A dome, you say? That sounds familiar, too...



It was bugging me so much, I had to look it up. Turns out, Stephen King's a supporter of Gone, which was a very popular YA series. Rightly so, since it's really, really good. Not only that--Under the Dome was released in 2009, just after Gone's 2008 release--but way too soon to have been anything but a coincidence. Even Stephen King can't write that quickly.



While the writing style is different, the story still feels very Stephen King-ish. So it's no surprise King himself is a fan.

Whether you're a Stephen King fan or not, I highly recommend this series. I, meanwhile, will be starting on book two soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some Spooky Dark-Eyed Kids

When I signed up to be a part of the cover reveal for Death Knocks, I'd never heard the story about the black-eyed kids. But as the date for the cover reveal approached, I decided to do some research.

And wow...what a chilling story.

The legend of the black-eyed kids is a fascinating one, having taken on a life of its own in recent years. It began in the late 1990s, with stories posted online about encounters. Legend had it that these children would appear at your home or business and ask, in monotonous voices, to use your restroom or phone.




People survive the encounter. In fact, they live to post detailed stories of it online. But that doesn't make it any less spooky...

The legend has been certified "false" on Snopes.com for a while, but that doesn't make it any less compelling. In fact, it would make for a great book, wouldn't it?


Miranda Hardy and Jay Noel have turned this urban legend into a fascinating book...and here's the spooky cover.



If you'd like to read a little more about the black-eyed kids, here's a little bit about Death Knocks.


Death Knocks Blurb:
Who knew a knock at the door could rupture your entire world? They don’t demand money or possessions…they want much more than that, they want your life. 
Maverick is preparing for senior year: he’s no longer stuck in the “friend-zone” with the girl of his dreams, he’s looking forward to choosing the right college and being on his own, and he plans to have a blast along the way.
But a knock on the door changes all of that forever.
Maverick begins a mind-altering, life-changing journey to discover the truth—a truth that certain individuals will do anything to keep hidden.

Death Knocks is a Young Adult paranormal thriller about the strange global phenomenon known as the Black-Eyed Kids. Take a creepy and exciting ride in a world where myth meets reality. Death Knocks is scheduled for publication on September 26, 2014 by Quixotic Publishing.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Public Speaking...Terrifying, Yet Thrilling

If you're a writer, chances are somebody is eventually going to ask you to get up in front of a roomful of people and speak. That's just part of it. If you're a writer, chances are the thought of doing that makes you feel a little like this:




So last Thursday night, as I stood in front of a group of young people at my hometown library, I realized it was go time. Speak or stand there... I spoke.



And the more I spoke, the less nervous I felt. The library was excited to have me, after all. I saw four signs from the front door to the room where the event was held. One sign:



And me with the sign:





Another sign:



Have you ever had to speak in public? How do you overcome your fear?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Year Was 1865...

Today, in celebration of the release of Elizabeth Seckman's new historical novel Bella's Point, I'm participating in a fun challenge.




With this challenge, the assignment is to write a post of any type that begins with the prompt "The year was 1865..."

The year was 1865. But I'm going to cheat and talk about what happened at the end of 1864 during the Civil War. I live in Nashville, so an area near me was heavily hit in the Battle of Franklin in late 1864--and the city spent much of 1865 dealing with the loss and destruction the battle brought. There is one home that was in the middle of the fighting, with a family trapped in the basement.



This historic family home was in the middle of the Second Battle of Franklin. The family that lived there hid in the basement during the heat of battle, listening helplessly to the sounds of war outside.




More than 20 people squeezed into this basement to stay safe. When the battle threatened to move into this dining area...



...the families moved into the tiny room beyond.



Here they remained all night, not daring to come out even after the battle finally stopped. When they did venture out, the bodies of fallen soldiers surrounded their house.

Each year, an illumination ceremony honors the fallen, which included the Carter family's son, Tod, wounded on his way home to see his family after a long absence.




If you ever visit Nashville, stop by the Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee. It's a great story, whether you're a history buff or not.



Bella's Point



Isabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way a fallen debutante knows how. She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband. 

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella's affection. He rejected her then, and he's still not sold on the idea of marrying her now.  

It’s complicated.

Though to Bella, it’s simple: make Jack love her, marry her, and live happily ever after. The plan seems to work...at least until her secret is revealed.


Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

You can find her here - Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Cover art by Sprinkles on Top Studios.

Do you like historical novels, movies, and TV shows?