Blogging to A to Z: Day 26 – Zigzagging to the Zoo

Over on my puzzle page Paws4Puzzles I’m running a contest. You’re chance to win an ecopy of P.A.W.S. or Fauxpocalypse or a personalized Word Search. Come join in the fun!

Paws 4 Puzzles

Z

Contest!

Are you ready to Zigzag to the Zoo?

Welcome to the final day of Puzzling from A to Z. I hope you had fun and will continue following this blog after the month is over.

What better way to celebrate the end of the A to Z challenge but with a trip to the zoo.

We will zigzag our way back through some of the months puzzles and collect animals along the way. You’ll want a piece of paper to write them down and don’t worry if you don’t get them all today, the contest will stay open for a week.

We enter the zoo, by a large letter A.

A

There are 7 animals hidden in this puzzle all starting with the letter A – can you find them all and don’t forget the bonus animal.

AtoZBubbles

Now who is greeting is from behind the letter O? Write down her…

View original post 411 more words

Guest Post: Laura K. Cowan “On Fear and Spirit”

Dara Rochlin Book Doctor

41I4Y1fyH8L

Music of Sacred Lakes Blog Tour

Laura K. Cowan, The Dreaming Novelist

On Fear and Spirit

Dara’s Ramblings…
I’d like to welcome my friend Laura K Cowan to the BookDoctor blog, as our guest poster for the day.  Laura and I met on Facebook in a group for writers.  She, being the writer, and I, being the editor.  We collaborated on the Shades of Fear anthology (which I’m sure you’ve heard me type about once or twice here).  Her story, A Testament of Finer Things has such vivid imagery, you feel like you are right there with the family as the hurricaine bears down on them, and his desire to throw himself into the sea to pay for his forefathers’ sins. But, enough about that… More about Laura.  She is an amazing writer of magical realism, speculative fiction, and about the connection between the natural and the spirit worlds. I…

View original post 1,048 more words

Cover Reveal – Falling Back Together – Kristen Hope Mazzola

Cover reveal

Falling Back Together (Crashing #2)

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

ETA: May 20, 2014

Cover Artist: Cover it! Designs

blurb

“I don’t know if it’s fate, coincidence, or my curse, but I’m still breathing, and my breaths are for you.”

Mags McManus is far from a normal woman in her mid twenties. Being a war widow, a business professional, and a brokenhearted train wreck only skims the surface of the layers of who Margret McManus truly is. Waking up in a hospital bed, alone and confused, Mags once again has to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. With her best friends by her side, Mags slowly starts to learn the answers she so desperately longs for. But is everything going to continue to spiral out of control? Or is there a light at the end of this dark, twisting tunnel where all the broken pieces can finally fall back together?

A portion of all royalties from Kristen’s Crashing Series are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

**18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***

{{ Please note: this is the second book in the Crashing Series, and should be read after Crashing Back Down }}

Add to Goodreads
Crashing Back Down (Crashing, #1)

Also by Kristen Hope Mazzola:

Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1)

Publication: November 4th 2013

Crashing Back Down is Kristen Hope Mazzola’s debut into the literary world. It is a New Adult Novel, with hints of contemporary romance and thriller.

Blurb:

Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy’s best friends and parents.

Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.

Hi! Thanks for dropping in…

You want to know more about me? Well, let’s see…

I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.

Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.

giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Falling Back Together by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Falling Back Together

by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Hosted by

Say Howdy to Stance Bingham

Stance Bingham

 
Today on Paws4Thought I am happy to welcome Shades of Fear author and radio presenter Stance Bingham. Tell us a little bit about yourself Stance.

I was born in the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood. My father is a retired highway patrolman. I played trombone in the Greenwood High School band and won every award that was available. I was also placed in the International High School Hall of Fame.

I was the Louisiana State Director for the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (3rd Degree) for a number of years as a much younger man. I was also a 1st degree in Tang Soo Do. All of my black belts come from J.C. Penny these days.

I had a twin brother, Stanley, who passed away in 2002. We had bands together through grade school until his passing. I was his bass player. He was a great guitarist. I started doing radio in high school and have continued in broadcasting till this day. I am currently on the air on the MS Gulf Coast.

How did you get involved with Shades of Fear?

One of the other Shades of Fear authors, Roxanna Mitchell, and I became friends over Facebook. She was writing a story about the Gulf Coast and wanted some info on the people and places here and got in touch with me. I told her of a story I had been writing for a number of years and she encouraged me finish it. Through her I met Dara and the rest is history. I am very thankful and amazed they wanted me to be a part of such a wonderful project.

Who are your favorite authors?

That’s a very hard question. I wasn’t into reading like a lot of my peers here. I read what was required by school or a lot of current event stuff for my job. I was more into the music scene than writing. This story just came to me and I wanted to put it down on paper. I wrote it like I would see it in a movie. I did read a very famous Mississippi author once and to be honest I didn’t enjoy his writing very much. I did enjoy William Faulkner as a young person.

Tell us a bit about your story Repeater Offender: A Fictional?

It’s about a man that, through a series of events in his life, goes to prison in the Mississippi Delta in the late 40’s and the things he experiences there. The story has evolved quite a bit since Shades of Fear. My Shades story was a series of early excerpts from the first draft. The final book is currently being edited by Dara Rochlin and should be ready for publication sometime in the next few weeks.

I am really happy with the turns and twist that developed during its writing. This is my first attempt at writing and I can see how people get hooked on it. It’s fun to see how things progress during the writing process. It also very amazing to see what comes out of one’s own imagination and through one’s own life experiences.

What kind of research did you do for your story?

All of my writing for this book came from a combination of my imagination and things I learned as a young man through my father. He was interim warden at Parchman (Mississippi State Penitentiary) a few times during his career and he told me many stories from that period.

Tell me a little more about your radio show.

I am the afternoon radio personality for K99 Country in Biloxi, MS. I am also the Music Director here and work with the record companies and their labels. I am on from 3 to 7pm. You can hear me at k99fm.com or on IHeart Radio.

 What are your own greatest fears and how do you deal with them?

My biggest fear is heights. I don’t like to get any higher than my deer stand. I force myself to hold it together when I have to fly. I only fly when it is essential.

What do you like to do to relax?

I love to fish the gulf and hunt. Deer hunting is my favorite, but I will hunt almost anything.

Who are your favorite bands and musical artists?

I love everything from Abba to Zappa. My favorites are Gino Vannelli, Steely Dan, Yes, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Keith Urban, Marc Broussard, Blackjack Billy, and a guy down here named Brandon Green who is one of the most incredible songwriters and vocalist I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I love to sit at home and play my bass along with all of their songs. I have written a few songs myself, mostly instrumental.

What are you currently working on?

I am developing a couple of other stories. Through my first story I have learned the importance of setting up a framework to write by. A timeline if you will… It’s all in progress, but more crime/action fiction.

Connect with Stance on Facebook.

And check out Stance on the radio on K99 Country.

Pick up your copy of Shades of Fear from Amazon today. All proceeds go to pediatric cancer research and treatment.

ShadesofFear

 

Dimension-Shifting Mice, Redemptive Ghosts, Werecats and Nazis: A Guest Post and Interview with Laura Cowan

Today on Paws4Thought I’m pleased to welcome Laura Cowan. Laura stopped by to chat with me on her blog tour celebrating the release of her new fantasy novel, Music of Sacred Lakes. Laura and I have worked on a number projects together of late and she begins by talking a little bit about these.

Laura-k-Cowan-headshot

There is just nothing like the stories being published these days. Genre-bending fantasy is top of my list, as an author and as a reader. Take the work that you and I have coming out this year, for a quick example. We’re both taking part in a historical horror anthology called Sins of the Past, where your story Griddlebone, about genetically modified werecats fighting Nazis, and my story Good Puritan, about a preacher laid out on the meetinghouse floor by visions of the devil and suspected of himself being possessed, can play side by side with other stories of the fantastic and strange. We have both written stories of secret powers and secret dimensions. Heck, I even just wrote a story about a magical swinging pair of bellbottoms that tries to pick up a girl in a bar. It’s a great time to be a reader and a writer. Anything goes, as long as it works.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Laura.

I call myself The Dreaming Novelist, because all of my work involves dreams, as well as various aspects of consciousness, the imagination, and the intersections between the natural and spiritual worlds. I write everything from supernatural stories with religious themes to imaginative books about dreams bleeding into waking reality.

When did you first start writing?

I wrote my first story, about animals playing a spy game over a stolen motorized grocery cart, when I was eight. I don’t think my stories have gotten any less crazy since then.

Who are your favorite authors?

Jorge Luis Borges, Lewis Carroll, Italo Calvino, Neil Gaiman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Margaret Atwood, Alice Hoffman, oh I could go on. Basically, if it’s imaginative and spiritual, I’m in.

What inspires you to write?

The inspiration comes from a love of the natural world and some pretty inexplicable spiritual experiences I’ve had. I suppose I’m always exploring the world.

What attracts you to fantasy?

Fantasy is the only genre with few rules, where almost anything is possible. It’s also a friendlier place for me than literary fiction, even though a lot of my writing is quite literary in style, because literary fiction is controlled by the gatekeepers of the publishing world, and I don’t think playing by existing rules is particularly good for creating new forms of art. Also, I have a rule I adapted from my late mentor, the famous automotive journalist David E. Davis, Jr. He always said “No Boring Cars,” and I say, “No Boring Stories.” Fantasy is a great genre because you can’t write a story where something amazing doesn’t happen.

Tell us a little bit about Music of Sacred Lakes.

Music of Sacred Lakes is a story about a young man in crisis, who feels cut off from everything he should love and doesn’t know what to do with his life. Just when he’s trying to figure out how to solve this, he gets in a distracted driving accident and kills a young girl. His friend sees he is suicidal and takes him to his uncle, a pipe carrier of the Odawa tribe, who tells him he must live by Lake Michigan until the lake speaks to him. He only goes because he has no other options left besides putting himself out of his misery. So he’s not in great shape as he heads off on this vision quest of sorts. He makes a terrible mess of a love triangle he gets himself into, and he breaks his mother’s heart when she tries to help him. It’s really a story about hope for an unlovable mess. But in the end, he does find his answers, and they come to him in the form of the girl he killed rising out of the lake itself and trying to give him a message.

Tell us about the two anthologies you are involved in.

I’m a part of several anthologies right now. Sins of the Past is a historical horror anthology, so the closest I can come to that is psychological horror, of course. My story is set in Puritan New England, about a preacher laid out immobile on the meetinghouse floor by visions of the devil, in an attempt to understand how Satan has infiltrated his community. His parishioners begin to wonder if he might be the one possessed. It’s a romp through shifting landscapes and a realization that the scariest part of meeting the devil is seeing him in the nature of humankind. (Sins of the Past will be released later this year.)

 Shades of Fear is a unique anthology whose common thread between stories is simply dealing with the subject of fear in some way. My story, A Testament to Finer Things is about a young boy named Alice, who finds himself facing down a hurricane threatening to swallow his already flooded post-apocalyptic New York City. He struggles against the urge to throw himself into the sea as a sort of human sacrifice for all the suffering caused by his forefathers who caused the changes to the natural world. He imagines the ocean as thrashing mermaids and grasping octopi reaching for him on the pier, so the story has a magical realism or contemporary fantasy flavor to it.

ShadesofFear

What are you currently working on?

Oh my. Here’s the good news about the changes in the publishing industry. I don’t get put on medication for my current work pace. I wrote 6 full-length works of fiction in the last year and a half, and my rate of output is still increasing! So, right now I’m working to publish my first short story collection, The Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen, a book all about the different ways the natural and spiritual worlds might intersect, and I’m editing Lone Cypress, a novel about a ballerina on the run whose nightmares are bleeding into waking reality. I’m writing a novel in the shamanic storytelling style about suffering (always something light and fluffy with me!), a story about a woman resting in heaven and talking to God, and I’m editing a psychological murder mystery, a set of fantasy stories about being lost and found and the nature of the universe that involves dream mazes and dimension-shifting mice, and a story for younger people about what happens when people’s nightmares capture them and take them back to a world that is built out of their worst fears. So… yeah.

With all that you must need some down time! What do you like to do to relax?

The beach! That should be no big suprise, lol. You can tell from the language in Music of Sacred Lakes that Lake Michigan has been a love affair of mine for a long time.

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook  and I blog at LauraKCowan.com. I love to hear from readers and meet new friends!

Music of Sacred Lakes, book signing, Laura K. Cowan, magical realism, ghost stories, new fiction, literary supernatural novel, metaphysical fiction, magical realism, Michigan fiction, Mackinac Island Fudge, fudgies, Petoskey, Charlevoix, East Jordan, Ojibwe, Odawa       Music of Sacred Lakes Book Cover