Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to family and friends far and near.  May God bless you in 2014.




God bless,
Kevin

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Helping Hand

"As you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40)

Typhoon Haiyan left thousands dead and catastrophic devastation across the Philippines.  Last weekend's storms across the Midwest left six people dead (at last count) and many without homes.  Things have been rough for many lately, so if you're looking for a way to help out, I'd like to recommend donating to Matthew 25 Ministries. They have great ratings as far as charities go with over 99% of the money they receive going to their aid programs.


I know financial times are tough these days, but please consider giving. Sometimes its hard to really grasp just how much we take the bare essentials (water, clothes, shelter) for granted. Even a small donation is worth it means clothing a victim or feeding a child.


This Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks for everything you have, because sometimes you don't really realize how much you rely on something until it is gone.

Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

God bless,
Kevin


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Be Prepared

I feel like I've been preparing for all the wrong things in life.  Or maybe not enough of the right ones.  Either way, as life rolls on and I get older, challenges arise and things change.  I knew all of it was coming.  I knew I wouldn't be a kid forever.  I knew family members wouldn't be around forever.  But I didn't realize how much the inevitable winds of change would tear a hole in my world.

When I was in elementary school, I was told that I needed to work hard and be prepared because middle school was much harder.  I'd have different teachers for most subjects, and none of them would care about my responsibilities to any class other than theirs.  I mentally prepared myself for the academic challenges that awaited.  But when I got there, it wasn't the amount of schoolwork or the complexity of the material that caught me off-guard.  It was the heartlessness of my classmates.

Suddenly, I was interacting with kids from the other elementary schools who had been combined with mine, and not many of them liked me.  At the same time, many of my old friends from elementary school turned their backs on me as new cliques were formed and old friendships were tossed aside.  Adolescence had arrived, and with it came the race for popularity that would last straight through high school.

During my high school years, I was warned that I had to take the work seriously because college would be a hundred times harder and the workforce even worse.  I ended up holding off on college and getting a job first, so I mentally prepared myself to be worked to the bone.  I wasn't going to complain about the responsibilities I was given.  I wasn't going to complain about the endless hours on my feet.  I wasn't going to stress about the workload.

But the workload turned out to be surprisingly easy.  I did really well and was promoted several times over the next few years.  The workload wasn't my problem.  It was the people and the politics.  My first job was retail, so I was given my first exposure to the heartless underbelly of humanity known as the "customer."  I had no problems helping people find what they needed - that's what I expected to be doing.  But their attitudes were not what I had expected. Customers were heartless and mean.  I honestly didn't see it coming.  The poor attitudes of many of my coworkers complicated matters as well.  I'd been led to believe that working a real job meant being a part of a team.  But I soon learned that many employees only looked out for themselves.

When I did go to college, I got better grades there than I did in high school.  The workload was almost laughably easy (with the exception of math, my weak point - curse you, numbers!).

When I moved out of my mother's house, I was warned that I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I was moving 900 miles away to a state with no family of my own.  I was told that the stress of being responsible for keeping a roof over our heads (mine and Laura's) in today's economy would crush me.  I was warned that I wouldn't be able to handle the responsibilities of living on my own and that I wasn't prepared for all of the expenses that go into independent living. 

But none of that stuff has been an issue for me.  What I now struggle with is the prospect of a life that is completely new, an unpaved road that is, for the moment, completely unfamiliar to me.  And the worst part is that it's a one-way street.  Everything I was familiar with - the things I now lack - are things that can never be a part of my life again.  Even if I were to quit my job and move back to the New York/New Jersey area, I still wouldn't be able to regain what I've lost.

I was not prepared for that.

I've always known that a day would come when I'd lose my parents.  And I always thought "I don't know how in the world I'm going to handle that."  But growing up, all I really worried about was how I'd react when either of my parents died.  What I didn't think of was how I would cope in the years that would follow.

And it's been like that for a lot of things.  We used to own a house in Point Pleasant.  It was my favorite place in the world - and still is.  I'd give anything to have that house back, but we had to sell it years ago, and it has since been renovated to the point that it barely resembles our old place.  Even if I could afford it, the house I spent countless summers enjoying is no longer there.  No matter what I do, I can't get it back.

These are the things I wish I'd been prepared for.  I miss the days when my mother, father, sister, and myself would spend a weekend down the shore.  I miss the days when Mom would make a big dinner and the whole family would sit around the table with Dad at the end making bad puns.  I miss spending holidays with my family and taking trips to Vermont to see my brother.  I miss playing video games with my other brother before he'd go out every evening.  I miss the summer nights when my father, my uncle, and our neighbor Bobby would sit outside talking about who-knows-what while my sister and I looked at stars through a telescope.  I miss Fourth of July barbeques at my uncle's pool and going to fireworks with everyone afterward.  And I miss all the family members we've lost over the years, whether by death or by choice.

I realize that I've entered the second part of my life.  I knew it was coming, and I know that it's up to me to create new traditions, new favorite places, and new memories.  But sometimes nostalgia can be a psychological tormentor reminding me that I'll never wake up in Point Pleasant to the sound of Mom returning with morning donuts, I'll never share another "Dad walk" with my father, and I'll never spend another Christmas in our house in New Jersey.

That's not to say I have nothing great in my life now.  I really do.  First and foremost, I have Laura to walk beside me, and that's the biggest blessing I could've ever asked for.  We are creating all of our own traditions as the years go by, making our own memories, and enjoying our lives together.  And, to my surprise, I actually enjoy living in Missouri.  I'm sure I'll settle in on this new path eventually, but the transition has been tougher than I expected not because of the responsibilities that come with it, but because of everything I've lost along the way.

Life has changed so much and I've just been running to catch up.  I spent so much time focusing on and preparing for the responsibilities of life that I forgot to respect the intangibles that make life worth living.  It's not that I don't appreciate the things I have now.  And it's not that I didn't appreciate the shore house or the family holidays when we had them.

I just wasn't prepared for them to be gone so soon.

So remember every day to appreciate the blessings you have, whether they are memories, family, or anything else.  Let the people closest to you know you feel about them, and cherish every moment you have with them.  After all, "Time is short, and suddenly you're not there anymore."

I love and miss you guys.

God bless,

Kevin

Monday, September 30, 2013

Author Interview - Georgina Ramsey

This week, we welcome Georgina Ramsey!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in 1978 and currently live in the North of England with my husband, son and numerous animals! I’m a teacher by day and writer by night, and love to read, cook and let my imagination run wild. I’m a big kid at heart and highly sarcastic, which is a trait I picked up from my older brother.

2. How long have you been writing?

I would say that I am a newbie to the Indie market because I didn't break through (sounds so painful, doesn't it?) until early 2013 when I published my debut book Love, Life & Cream Cakes! But, like many, I was a frustrated writer long before that. I started writing in a manner that I would say was moderately productive in my late teens, and have had articles published in the press and on the internet. Books are where my passion lies and that’s the direction I’m taking now.

3. What is Love, Life & Lettuce! about? 

This book is second in the Love, Life &… series and is about Jenny Golightly who discovers that her average and comfortable marriage is anything but. She is content with her lot, but as she struggles to lose weight her life is turned upside down. I hope this comes across as a humorous story of true friendship and love, but it’s also about being fat in a thin world and the search for happiness.

4. How did you come up with the plot?

After writing Love, Life & Cream Cakes! which has elements of my own life threaded throughout it, I quickly realized that I was attached to the character of Jenny Golightly and wanted to develop her further. I enjoy writing about your “average” person, with “average” problems because there are so many things that go on behind the closed doors of homes that we will never know. I guess I’m a nosy kind of gal!

5. Tell us about Jenny Golightly.

Jenny is overweight, a wife, a mother and a teacher in her mid-thirties who struggles with the perception people hold of her. She is quite a sensitive, some may say defensive, soul but she is just trying to get through the challenges that life is throwing at her. She is probably a lot tougher than she thinks.

6. What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre?

That’s a really hard question. I would like to say that the character of the book is incredibly “typical” and therefore there will be many women out there who can relate to her. She’s not a model, singer, politician or wannabe – just a working mother with a weight problem.

7. Did you have any specific goals when writing Love, Life & Lettuce!? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

I wanted the character to be amiable and I wanted to write about an obese woman because there are too many protagonists out there with, what society believes to be, an ideal body. I wanted to discuss issues surrounding obesity and infidelity and that, for many, life can actually be what you make of it.

8. How long did it take you to write Love, Life & Lettuce!? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?

It took me approximately twelve months to write Love, Life & Lettuce! That’s from the very first word to its final publication. I didn't hire any outside help and chose to do it all myself – it was a huge learning curve! However, I did have two fabulous beta-readers (a lady in the UK and a lady in America) who provided continuous support and feedback.

9. Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing aspirations? How do they support you?

That’s an easy question! My son and my husband. They offer constant support and encouragement and without the pair of them, I couldn't follow this dream. Writing (and all the other tasks that come with publishing) is incredibly time consuming, so you need a supportive family and someone who doesn't mind their ear being bent once in a while. When I come home from my day job, they let me sit and write. They listen to my ideas (if appropriate) and are brutally honest with feedback.

10. As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network or website links you'd like to share?

You can find me on both Facebook and Twitter if you follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/GeorginaRamseyAuthor
https://twitter.com/GeorginaBRamsey

I love networking with fans and fellow authors, and on my Facebook page you will find many links to articles and sites with useful information for the aspiring indie author.

11. What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?

Characters that you identify with and can fall in love with, and for me it’s also a plot that doesn't drag. I want to be able to visualize each scene and get inside the head of the main character.

12. Have you ever sat down to write a scene only to have the story take you in a completely different direction than you had planned?

All the time, but that’s just part of the fun. Your imagination really does take control and your fingers just have to obey it.

13. And just for fun, what's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?

Spending time with my family wins every time. I love getting away for short breaks where we can all just kick back and relax.

Thanks so much, Georgina!










Saturday, September 28, 2013

Origin

The following story is fictional... I think.

Many years ago, a man died of a severe flu.  He was an evil man who delighted in tormenting others, so it was no surprise that he wound up in hell.

As part of his punishment, his illness followed him beyond the void, sentencing him to an eternity of stuffy noses, upset stomachs, sore throats, and painful coughs.  Satan found joy in this, smiling at every sniffle and laughing with every wheeze.

After a few years, the man's relentless sickness drove him to madness.  While walking through the halls of hell, his eyes fell upon the smoldering coals lining the floor.  Desperate to alleviate the pain in his throat, he snatched up one of these coals and stuffed it into his mouth in an attempt to burn a hole through his esophagus.

Surprisingly, his plan worked. And Satan took notice.  He called the man into his chambers the following day to offer him a proposition.

"I know you have taken coals from the halls of my den and cured your ailment," Satan said.  "I will allow you to communicate with a few of my associates in the mortal realm.  They are greedy men, business associates eager to store up their wealth by any means necessary.  You will inform them of your discovery, and provide them with instructions to create their own coals.  In this, my most dastardly plan, I shall bring searing pain and misery upon the living through the promise of healing.  And the men will become wealthy and powerful servants of mine while you become one of my trusted advisers."

The man did as Satan commanded.  He appeared in a dream to one of the businessmen and instructed him how to make coals similar to those found in the halls of hell.  The businessman, inspired by his vision, followed the instructions and created a new treatment for sore throats, a red coal shaped like an oblong marble, tainted with an artificial cherry flavor to distract customers from the pain, and branded with a trademark signifying their origin.

This is the origin of "Halls" cough drops.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Author Interview - Saoirse O'Mara

Today, we have Saoirse O'Mara. She's stopped by to tell us about her book The Lost Diadem.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a German writer of children’s and YA books, and I’m home in the fantasy and mystery genres. My books are written in either English or German, depending on what the story calls for, although most of my books (all my print books and most of my ebooks) are available in English, and only my children’s book series “Miro the Dragon” and two other children’s stories have been originally written in German.

In my free time, I’m an avid reader and gamer. I usually read books in their original language and have books in six different languages in my bookshelf. They are fantasy books, mystery books, a few children’s books, and some others. They currently share the shelf space with the first eight seasons of NCIS (five of which I've already watched with my hubby).

2. How long have you been writing?

The question should be: What part of my life haven’t I been writing? And the answer would be: The first five years, until I learnt how to read and write. I've always made up stories in my mind, and with the ability to write came the urge to write those stories down.

3. What is The Lost Diadem about?

It’s about two young people, Govin and Tayla, who meet under circumstances that force them to make a choice between what’s easy and what’s right. Govin works for the City Guard, and Tayla is caught as the main suspect in a theft (after she tried to pickpocket Govin). Instead of taking the easy route, they do what’s right and decide to work together to catch the real thief. A task that isn't without danger….

4. How did you come up with the plot?

I didn't; my muse whispered it into my brain while I was typing. No, seriously, I hardly plot at all. I just sit down and start writing, and then watch the story unfold.

5. Tell us about Tayla.

Tayla is where she is due to unfortunate events in her life, not because she likes stealing. Given the chance, she’ll choose honest work above living in the streets scraping by. She doesn't trust people as quickly as others but once she has decided someone is a friend, she is loyal.

6. What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre?

I mixed fantasy and mystery, my two favourite genres, to create a series of stand-alone mystery stories set in the fantastic city of Davon, where magic exists and people still live in an aristocracy of some sort. Govin and Tayla aren't out to fight some big evil to save the world; instead, they are solving crimes and mysterious happenings in their home town.

7. Did you have any specific goals when writing The Lost Diadem? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

Yes, I wanted to get across that doing the right thing isn't always the easy way out but that it’s worth it in the end. And I also wanted to show my readers that it doesn't matter from which background someone comes as long as they are the right kind of person.

8. How long did it take you to write The Lost Diadem? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?

I think it took me only two months to write that book. I then had the help of a brutally honest beta reader and two proofreaders to get the manuscript polished since even as a professional editor, I wouldn't have wanted to publish my book without some outside help. My cover was done by the amazing young artist Svenja Liv, who also did the cover and illustrations for my children’s book Miro the Dragon.

9. Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing aspirations? How do they support you?

My biggest supporter is my husband. He believes in me, he’s my most critical beta reader, and he puts up with all my weird moods and sudden flashes of writing in the middle of doing something else.

10. As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network or website links you'd like to share?

I created a fan page for each of my two book series on Facebook since each has its own audience. You can find them at http://facebook.com/ARoguesTale and http://facebook.com/MiroDrakonia. You can also find me on Twitter: @saoirseomara

11. What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?

The most important aspect, without doubt, is a good story. Even the best story is hard to read without proper editing, though, so for a really great book, I think both a great story and good editing need to come together.

12. Have you ever sat down to write a scene only to have the story take you in a completely different direction than you had planned?

Um…actually…that happens all the time. I’m a pantser (someone who just sits down to write without plotting) and am more often than not surprised by where my story is going. It’s fun, and so far the stories have worked out well, so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

13. And just for fun, what's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?

It depends on my mood. Reading, gaming, playing the guitar, meeting friends…you know, having a life outside my books.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Purchase The Lost Diadem at the following websites!



Saoirse O’Mara is a children’s and YA writer and home mostly in the fantasy and mystery genres. Check out her website http://saoirseomara.wordpress.com for more information on her and her books, or become a fan of her two series Miro the Dragon (http://facebook.com/MiroDrakonia) and A Rogue’s Tale (http://facebook.com/ARoguesTale) on Facebook.








Monday, September 16, 2013

Author Interview - Doug Couse


This week, author Doug Couse dropped by to tell us about his book Revelation.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.  

I'm a Colorado native and still enjoying all that this great state has to offer.  I became a believer when I was around 10 years old and although the journey hasn't always been easy, I know God not only walks with me but He goes before me to straighten my path.  I've been married over 20 years and have 2 kids, a horse, a dog, a cat, a fish and a guinea pig.  Yes, my family is pet friendly...to say the least!

2. How long have you been writing?

As long as I can remember.  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I used to sit in front of a manual typewriter - yes that's right manual typewriter - and hack away, which is how I taught myself how to type.  Even worse, I used to think that the page sizes you see in books, is what you had type it on.  So my early, early writings were all typed on "pages" that I had cut out to match the paperback books of my time.  Yes.  I really did that!

3. What is Revelation about?

Revelation is a story about spiritual warfare and just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening around us all day every day.  It's also a story about God's love and how He is with us no matter what we are going through.  If you like angels battling demons and the power of prayer, then Revelation is a perfect read for you.  Throw in the fact that ground zero for the war is a Christian school and you may just be surprised what Revelation will reveal to you.

4. How did you come up with the plot?

I had thought about the plot for awhile and with all of the tragedies around schools, it just seemed to fit what I was trying to convey.  Through prayer, God had given me the beginning and the end of the book first, then helped me fill in the middle.

5. Tell us about Johnathan.  

He is the main character of the story...or the "good" guy.  He has a knack for technology and has started sharing the Word through a video blog he created as part of a school project.  He is a typical teenager with many temptations that I and my friends faced while going to school.  Some things just never change.

6. What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre?

As many reviewers have indicated, they really like the way the book handles the descriptions of angels and demons interacting with humans and in the spiritual realm.  Readers have emailed me how the descriptions of those elements have really opened their eyes to what is going on every day that we can't see.

7. Did you have any specific goals when writing Revelation? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

Yes.  My main goal was to show that regardless of what we face (blessing or tragedy) God is always present and He will walk through it with us.  He will guide and comfort us.  I also wanted Revelation to be just "dark" enough that perhaps non-believers would be interested enough to pick it up, read it, sit back and really think about what they had just read and whether or not they are right with God.

8. How long did it take you to write Revelation? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?  

Once I got serious about writing it, the project took just about a year and half.  With a full time job, I was writing like crazy on weekends, nights and holidays.  I specifically remember two times when God woke me from a sound sleep around 3:00 am to write.  I tried each time to put it off, but I became so restless with the information in my head, I had to get up and write.  That is not like me at all...just ask my wife!  Once I'm in bed, I'm impossible to get out.  I love my sleep.  I hired a local artist to do the cover who I know.  He did a great job and it really gets the concept across of the book.  The editor I hired was part of the publication package I used to finalize the book.

9. Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing aspirations? How do they support you?  

No doubt my wife and family.  They supported me by reading the book throughout the process and giving me feedback.  They also supported me while I typed away for hours on end on weekends and holidays when I should have been paying more attention to them!

10. As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network or website links you'd like to share? 

You bet!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/therevelationbook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/revelation_book

11. What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?  

The most important aspect to me is that the book needs to convey a message that you (the author) firmly believe in.  Nothing is more annoying for me to invest my time by reading a book and at the end ask myself, what was that all about?

12. Have you ever sat down to write a scene only to have the story take you in a completely different direction than you had planned?

Yes.  This book was pretty much written that way.  My main character changed from what I had originally envisioned.  Then there is the ending...well, you'll just have to read Revelation to see what I mean.

13. And just for fun, what's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?  

I'm a total gamer geek.  I grew up in the Atari age (the first game console) and have been hooked ever since. Asteroids, Defender, Space Invaders, Galaga...you name it, I've played it and love it.  My Xbox 360 is a great escape for me.  I also love to hike and run in this beautiful state.

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us!

Purchase Revelation at the following websites!






Monday, September 9, 2013

Author Interview - Sophronia Belle Lyon

Today, Sophronia Belle Lyon was nice enough to spend some time chatting about her book A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Sophronia Belle Lyon travels widely, reads 1800's classics voraciously, shoots handguns when she can, and grew up sketching and exploring in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. She dressed up and acted out scenes with friends much like Louisa May Alcott's beloved "Little Women," and got to be a cauldron spirit in Macbeth in fourth grade. She traveled to Italy by way of Iceland and Luxembourg. She has taken apart her share of clocks and vented more than one steam valve. Hundreds of cat friends informed her about Bagheera's attitudes and manners. Oliver Twist's oblivious, eccentric habits came from the Science-absorbed men in her life. She collects swords and knives and her love for weapons translated into the well-armed members of the Alexander Legacy Company.

2. How long have you been writing?

Since Junior High, over 40 years.  

3. What is A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist about?

I am writing The Alexander Legacy Series. It’s Steampunk Literary Tribute Christian Adventure/Suspense. Characters from Alcott, Dickens, Stevenson, Kipling, Doyle and more combine “What-if?” steam and gear technology with families, friendship, faith, and fortitude as Oliver Twist and others join forces to fight human trafficking and prove that no one is beyond redemption. Why does a Bohemian prince accepts a kiss from a poison maiden? How can a celebrity singer probe a web of deceit, debauchery, and domination? Multicultural, multinational heroes bring along families and four-footed allies from around the world. No one’s too old to preach a challenge or too young to fix a flying machine. No one’s too innocent to be safe from kidnapping ,slavery, and violence. 

4. How did you come up with the plot?

I was inspired by the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, but I thought I could make a series that was more true to the spirit of the authors and characters I loved. I love mystery, scifi, and historical fiction, and Steampunk blends them all.  

5. Tell us about Florizel of Bohemia.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about this character in a series of short stories called “The New Arabian Nights” or “The Suicide Club”. These stories portray Florizel as a man of the world, and adventurer, but a strongly moral crusader for the hopeless and helpless. In my book he is driven out of Bohemia by his power-hungry uncle and joins the Alexander Legacy Company as one of the few members already experienced in fighting evil.

6. What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre?

Most steampunk has a strong feminist bent and an anti-traditional morality strain. The “experts” claim the genre is about upsetting Victorian repression of women and sexual freedom. My books are designed to uphold strong morality, family and married love, and yet still give women strong roles as leaders and warriors in partnership with men.

7. Did you have any specific goals when writing A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

Never-say-die courage, love of a married couple for each other and their children, Multiculturalism without racist overtones, and the dangers of trying to upset moral and social normalcy.

8. How long did it take you to write A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?

The idea began 10 years ago but I only seriously began to work on the book in 2012, so it took less than 6 months to write.

9. Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing aspirations? How do they support you?

My husband and my daughter. Hubby got our first real computer – a Coleco Adam, with a ridiculously loud daisy-wheel printer and modified audiotapes for data storage, until we got one of the few existing 5 1/4 inch floppy drives back in the 1980's.

10. As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network or website links
you'd like to share?

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SophroniaBelleLyon

11. What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?

Characters you love (or love to hate), a story that’s more than just entertainment – something with a message – and a high moral tone.

12. Have you ever sat down to write a scene only to have the story take you in a completely different direction than you had planned?

This book is the first one I actually outlined and wrote a detailed summary for, since I’m usually a pantser and just write as I go. The original storyline had several different characters, Phoebe’s husband Archie dying and she and Florizel marrying. My Indian Poison maiden was originally going to be a Geisha, and the climax was to take place on a rusting freighter, instead of the rooftop menagerie of the Bronze Cascade Hotel. Boy, can a story change. 
  
13. And just for fun, what's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?

We travel the 48 states while hubby drives tractor trailer, and I love photographing the scenery. I also make soft sculpture, Native-American-inspired Scripture wall hangings, puppets, and costumes.

Thanks for stopping by!  Best of luck to you!

Purchase A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist by clicking any of the following links!
Ebook

Paperback

Book II: The ‘Pprentices, the Puppets, and the Pirates









Thursday, September 5, 2013

Interviewed by The Book News Journal

I have been featured in an interview for The Book News Journal.  You can check it out at the following link:

The Book News Journal Author Profile with Kevin Domenic

Additionally, tune in Monday for the start of a brand-new series of author interviews right here on Searching for Heroes! (cheap pop)

My first interview will be with steampunk writer Sophronia Belle Lyon!  Stay tuned!

God bless,
Kevin

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Vezulian Trilogy Launch

Well, it's up!

The Fourth Dimension: The Vezulian Trilogy is now available for purchase at Smashwords.com.  It is currently processing with Amazon.com and should be available there within 24-48 hours.  I'll post a link here when it's ready.

As for all other sites, it takes time for Smashwords to distribute to each of those channels, so it may be a couple of weeks before they're available.  You can, however, purchase the format required by your specific e-reader directly through Smashwords.com.

Included in The Fourth Dimension: The Vezulian Trilogy

Volume I: Key to the Stars
Volume II: Alliance of Serpents
Volume III: Eye of the Tornado

I'll bring you more links/information as it becomes available!  Thanks again for your interest in The Fourth Dimension!

God bless,
Kevin

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dawn

I've been away a long time, I know.  It's been a little over a year since I decided to take a hiatus from writing, and I have to admit that I did not expect I'd be away this long.  But after three years of working my full-time job, coming home to write, then promoting for rest of every night, my endurance was gone.  I didn't just burn myself out, I fried my brain like bacon on a George Foreman grill.  Mmmm... brain bacon.

As most of you know, I've been writing since I was a teenager.  I used writing as an escape from my miserable school life because it provided me a freedom that I didn't have in the real world.  In reality, I was a short little nerd wearing a fanny pack and sweats getting shoved into lockers and harassed in gym.  But in my fantasy world, I could be anything I wanted to be and live fantastic adventures impossible to match in reality.  It was that freedom that drew me to writing and kept me coming back.

Over the past few years, I slowly turned that world of adventure into a business, and it's a routine that had become more of a job than a joy.  I did it to myself with word count expectations, hourly schedules, blog posting routines, graphic work for my sites, obsessing over sales, and so on.  And the worst part is that it caused me to lose interest in writing altogether.  When I sat down at the computer and immediately thought I'd rather be doing ANYTHING else, I should've known something was wrong.

Time away has helped me see it clearly, though.  And I'm glad to say that I'm back to writing.  This time, however, I'm not binding myself with restrictions, goals, deadlines, or routines.  I'm writing whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like, as much as I feel like.  That could be two sentences or ten pages.  My current project is unrelated to anything else I've done - a brand new piece.  I don't yet know what it is or what it might be.  A new novel?  A short story?  Nothing at all?  Not knowing what this is or where it is going has put an excitement back into my writing that has been missing for a long time.  I feel like a teenager again - just me and my adventures.  I can't say when I'll have new material ready for publishing, but I can say that there will be new material.  Whether that will be a new story, Outcry, TFD Volume IV, or something else, I don't know.  All I can say for certain is that my adventures are far from over.

That being said, I'd like to go ahead and announce that I'm working on releasing a bundle set of Volumes I, II, and III of The Fourth Dimension.  Subtitled The Vezulian Trilogy, this set will include Key to the Stars, Alliance of Serpents, and Eye of the Tornado.  Best of all, I hired Emmy-nominated artist Nick Deligaris to create a cover for the upcoming release.

The Fourth Dimension: The Vezulian Trilogy
What do you think?  I mean, I love my anime covers used for the individual volumes, but I figured it was time to test the waters with a more traditional route.  I've had a lot of great feedback about it from my fellow indies, so I'm hoping readers will love it just as much.

While exact pricing has yet to be set, this bundle will be priced lower that the combined total of the three individual volumes, so if you haven't yet jumped into my flagship series, this will be the opportune time!

Thank you all for being so patient while I've been gone.  I also want to give a special thanks to those of you who have written to me about how Building Blocks has affected your lives.  Some of the stories you've shared about growing up in similar situations as Herbie (and worse) have been both inspirational and heartbreaking.  

However, while I appreciate your kindness, the glory belongs to God. Through the years, he has opened my eyes to the connections between the events and how he really does work all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).  So never stop picking yourselves up, and never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot achieve in this world, because no hardship can stand against the grace of God.

That's all for now.  I probably won't post as often as I used to, but if you click the "Join This Site" button on the right sidebar, you'll receive email updates whenever I have something new to share.  

I hope 2013 has been good to you all so far!

God bless,
Kevin

Saturday, February 2, 2013

One Month Down

So it's already February, 2013.  This year is gonna be gone before I realize it began.

I hope all of you are doing well.  It's been a while since I posted, and I'm going to be honest:  I haven't written a whole lot lately.

That's not to say I don't want to.  I'm anxious to continue with Outcry (I already have two more chapters written that I haven't edited yet) so I can move on to other projects.  But my mind shuts down every time I sit down to actually write something.  I burned myself out mentally last year by trying to work my full-time job, juggle writing two different books, spread the word about my published books, keep up with the blog, and so on and so forth.  I was trying to do far too much, and my brain wasn't getting any time to unwind.  Some people don't need that, I know - I envy them at times.  But I needed it.

I was speaking with fellow author Jerry Hanel recently about this very issue.  Here's what I told him:

"I think my time away has been about refocusing on why I write. Initially, I wrote because I had something to say. Because I wanted to share my world and my characters with people. Because I wanted to make people think about life, about how we treat each other in today's society, and maybe get them to consider the existence of God. But once I got a taste of paid writing, my goal suddenly became maximizing sales numbers. Public opinion suddenly mattered to me, and as a result, my mindset got away from doing what I felt God was leading me to do and became focused on pleasing the public and making money. In the process, I fried both my brain and my motivation button. My heart wants to go back, and my creative need is dying to go back, but my brain just feels like jelly whenever I try to actually sit down and type.

I need to get my mind off sales numbers and reviews and just focus on getting my work to people. I need to write because I enjoy it, write because I have something to say, and write because it's in my heart to do."

So, I'm trying to get my creative juices flowing again.  And as a part of that, I've started a little page on reddit (called a "subreddit") called "Creative Challenge."  There, users exercise their creativity by proposing and/or completing challenges based on a simple premise or idea.

For example, one might post a challenge such as: "A rosebush. The beach. A child's stuffed toy. Take those three things and come up with a plot for a short story or novel." Then, in the comments, everyone can respond with whatever they've come up with.

The challenges aren't restricted to writing either.  There are music challenges, artistic challenges, and even open challenges which allow users to respond using any medium they wish.

I started the subreddit only a few days ago, and it's already got over 140 subscribers.   I'm hoping it can become a fun little community where we bounce ideas off each other's heads, learn from one another, and make a few friends.  You're welcome to join us, too!

Creative Challenge on Reddit (r/creativechallenge)

I know I've been promising new writing from me soon.  And I have TONS of ideas (the outline for the rest of Outcry is mostly complete).  I just need to get past this slump first.  And I will, I'm sure.  I've gone through longer slumps than this before.  :)

Hope all of you are having a great new year thus far.

God bless,
Kevin

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Happy New Year, everyone!  Hope you had a safe and happy holiday season!  2013 is looking to be a great year, and what better way to start off a great year than with an awesome giveaway?  Here's the scoop.

Jerry Hanel, author of the Brodie Wade series, is hosting a Kindle Fire HD Giveaway on his website.  The winner will receive one brand-new Kindle Fire HD.  In addition to that, Jerry has assembled a collection of books from various authors (including myself) to be preloaded onto the Kindle for your reading enjoyment.  That means you'll have 22 free books waiting for you the first time you start up your new Kindle.

The rules for entry are pretty simple: Sign up for his newsletter.  That's all it takes.  Be sure to check the "Giveaway" box when signing up, and you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win the Kindle Fire HD.  Doing this will also automatically enter you to any future giveaways as well!

Along with the single entry you gain by signing up for his newsletter, there are several ways you can obtain additional entries!  For further details, check out the announcement page over at JerryHanel.com.  Click now, because you've only got until February 1st, 2013 to enter!

Good luck, and have a great 2013 everyone!

God bless,
Kevin