Friday, December 30, 2011

Second Nature Release Party

Contests and prizes and fun, oh my!

Welcome to the release party for Second Nature, Book two of the Forces of NAture series. Whether you intentionally visited my blog or you just happened to stumble in, you are in the right place my friend. Come on in, there's all kinds of games and prizes.

So before I get too far, I thought I'd tell you about the book.

Amelia Hoffman always knew she would be with Nathaniel Peplow forever, but after they bonded everything started to go wrong. Nate treats her like the enemy, her siblings are in danger, and an old threat grows closer. As Nate pulls away and Amelia’s burgeoning friendship with a handsome stranger blossoms, she worries she made the biggest mistake of her life. If sorting out her love life wasn’t enough, a new drug emerges that not only threatens the ones she loves, but seems to be part of something larger than she could ever imagine. Amelia’s new and old friends must work together to not only save themselves, but the whole world.

The book is now available through Amazon and Smashwords and is coming very soon at Barnes and Noble and in paperback. I will be sure to let you know when it available in these other formats.

Now on to the games. There's several ways to win.

#1 Everyone who comments answering this question will get a Natural Selection bookmark and postcard, and a set for Second Nature, all autographed. Just post your answer and your email address and you won! And the question is: If you had to flee your home and could only take one thing, what would it be? If you don't answer the question, you won't get the prize, so humor me and play along.

#2. Two randomly selected winners will receive a free ebook of Second Nature

#3. Anyone who tweets about the giveaway, tagging @somesharpwords, will get a free ebook of Natural Selection.

#4. Second Nature Scavenger Hunt
So here's a biggie. Scattered across the internet, you'll find fun facts about the characters that haven't made it into the books. Follow the links from one clue to the next, identifying each character. Once you have the name, send me a list with the name of the blog and the character on it. Everyone who gets more than four right wins an ebook of both Natural Selection and Second Nature. One lucky winner, chosen at random, will get an autographed paperback of both books. Email your answers to Start the fun here! If you haven't read either book, no worries. All the characters are mentioned in Chapters One and Two.

And finally I'm offering a special prize pack to one lucky person. All you have to do is leave a comment on my author page to win a ebook of all of 4Corners Press titles, which includes Natural Selection, Second Nature, Dark Corners and Secrets by Liz Schulte, and Legion of Bats by Shadow Stephens (when it is released very soon). There will be questions and games on this site throughout the day, so this should be easy and fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 is coming

So I try to stay positive and upbeat, because that's honestly just who I am. But with 2012 approaching, the doom and gloom is really setting my brain to whirl. I want to make it clear, I do not believe some cataclysmic event is going to wipe out the earth next year. That's not to say Mother Nature can't or won't strike, but I don't think the Mayans somehow know exactly what day this old world will stop spinning.

That said, I've learned some things recently that definitely made me stop and think. I've already told you I watch to much History Channel. And this addiction has brought me a slew of "How the World Will End in 2012" shows, though they have less ominous titles, of course. Some of these have made me stop and think,while others make me laugh. So today, I thought I'd share the top three scenarios that I think could actually happen (but probably won't).

Theory #1: Sun flares
It's no secret to most people that periodically, storms on the sun result in flares that can interfere with communication. Anyone with a satelite dish is aware of this annoyance. But what a lot of people don't know is the most active region of the sun will be pointed at the Earth like a shotgun in 2012. That's enough to make you to stop and think on it's own. But we are also due for what they call a mega-flare, which only happens every thousand years or so. What can solar flares do? No, they can not single-handedly destroy the Earth. In fact they can't directly harm us in any way. So why is this a possible scenario? Because they CAN destroy all of our electronics. And I do mean all. So not just your Facebook and texting addictions are in danger. Your car won't work unless it predates the computer era. Your faucet won't have any water for you because the pumps that send water to it are useless. No light, no communication, no grocery stores. You would have to learn to live off the land. And in some places, like where I live in Illinois, that wouldn't be too hard. But what about the folks in LA, or New York? Could you survive a winter without heat? How many of you even have a hand operated can opener. This would quickly break down the human mentality to survival mode, and that won't be pretty.

Theory #2
Global warming is coming. The ice caps are melting. This isn't Al Gore's propaganda, it's a proven fact. And because of the increased weight on the tectonic plates, world shattering earthquakes are eminent. Volcanoes will fill the atmosphere with ash, choking out the sun. Tsunamis will alter our coastlines forever, leaving large swathes of continents underwater. The raising water also raises sea level, so even more land will be lost. This actually fits the Mayan predictions.

Theory #3

The zombies are coming. Are you prepared? Forget asking Santa for a new puppy or a fast car, I'm asking for an oozie! Remember you don't have to run the fastest, you just can't run the slowest. Even now the government is working on a secret experiment that will escape sometime around Thanksgiving next year. The contagion will spread, devouring millions of people who will then help devour more. Resistance is futile and the only safe place is with those of us who saw it coming and have our zombie survival plan. And no, there's no more room in my shelter.

Of all of these scenarios, I think the final one is most likely. As a human service, I have shared this instructional video to help you survive the holidays. Also, watching Zombieland while taking notes probably couldn't hurt. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Second Nature's new release date

I have been a busy beaver and it's paying off. I'm so sorry for the delay and I greatly appreciate your patience. The new release date of Second Nature will be December 30. Please come back for exciting giveaways. Anyone who plays along can get a free copy of Natural Selection, to get you up to speed for this book. There will be games and giveaways,  so don't miss out. :D

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You have the right to remain dreamy

I am proud to be teaming up with Tiffany White today, to share ten hot television criminals. But if that isn't enough to make you drool, we're also teaming up with Liz Schulte and Cait Lavender for ten hot t.v. cops. Whether you like criminals or the men who are always chasing after them, there is sure to be plenty of eye candy on all of our lists.

The hardest part about making this list for me was trying to pick which five criminals I wanted to pay homage to. So many hotties, so little time. But in the end, I think I came up with a list of law breakers that any girl would swoon over.

1) Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) - Leverage

I've always had a weak spot for geeks, and they don't get any better than Hardison. From his witty banter to his super hacker skills, he keeps my attention glued to the screen. While I freely admit my opinion might be influenced by the fact that I met him and thought he was a nice guy, I chose him for purely superficial reasons, I promise.

Elliot Spencer (Christian Kane) - Leverage
Between his sweet moves and his solid muscles, this criminal was the first to come to mind for me. There's something about the tough set to his jaw and those gorgeous blue eyes that takes my breath away. Maybe Leverage should be on more than once a week...

Syalr (Zachary Quintis) - Hereos
I think the picture says it all, but I'll elaborate anyway. The intense dark eyes really make this criminal a spine tingler, but in the best way possible. Sylar is a predator and he's ok with that. And though the series fizzled near the end, I watched it most of the way just to spot this yummy bad guy.

Zane Donovan (Niall Matter) - Eureka
Another hot geek on my list. From the moment he appeared in Eureka, Zane isn't afraid to break the rules. His devil may care attitude and general disheveled appearance somehow make him a little bit dreamier.

Spike (James Marster) - Buffy
Spike showed up in Sunnydale as a blood thirsty vampire who enjoys terrorizing the fast food he found there. In the end he mellowed out some, but I think it was more the anti-violence ship than any true softening. At least that's what I tell myself. Maybe I just dig the 80's punk Billy Idol look, but despite the fact that he's old enough to be my father, I can't stop looking when he's on screen.

So that's my list, but don't stop now, there's so much more hotness to share. Make sure you peek to see who made Tiffany, Liz and Cait's lists.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Do YOU beleive?

As an urban fantasy author, I deal a lot with legends, myths and tales of the supernatural. I'm sure it's no surprise then that I love any shows that deal with mysteries and the unknown. I was watching a program today and couldn't help thinking about belief.

A person's beliefs are as unique as the people themselves. Everyone has their own ideas. Now I'm not talking about religion, because that's not a topic I like to talk about publicly. I'm talking the kind of elements I deal with in my stories—ghosts, aliens, mythological creatures.

Many of these stories are sprinkled liberally around the globe. The myths had to come from somewhere, so how did they spread through isolated civilizations with so many similarities? Let's take dragons, for example. I've heard all kinds of suggestions from them actually existing to ancient cultures trying to figure out dinosaur bones. The truth is we can never really know the true origins of these tales, or how much truth they hold. And we probably won't find out in this life. So in the end, it all comes down to—-What do you believe?

Monday, December 5, 2011

#WinnerWonderland Christmas Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Tanya Bright, the winner of the Winner Wonderland giveaway! Thank you so much to everyone who entered.