Monday, January 19, 2015

Zombie Influences with Loni Townsend, Ninja Plays Marillion’s Easter, WhatAreTheKargrandes, Predestination Movie Review, and Ninja News

Rocking into Mordor today! But first…

I am excited to welcome author Loni Townsend as she talks about zombies. And her list of zombie influences rocks!

First off, a big thanks to Alex for letting me on his blog today.

In This World Bites, Michael gets bitten by a zombie. So naturally, I should be able to come up with my top ten zombie movies, right? Turns out that I haven't actually seen ten zombie movies. But I've compiled a list of media that impacted me in some way while writing This World Bites.

10. The Grudge - The image of the babysitter wandering down the street with a missing jaw is forever engrained in my mind.
9. Warm Bodies - Who doesn't love a love story?
8. Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides - It's on Wikipedia, so it must count, right?
7. Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Alright, so they aren't zombies...
6. Serentity - My friend assures the Reavers count as zombies
5. Video Game: Left 4 Dead - Fighting off zombie hordes with friends? Sounds like a good time.
4. The Mummy - Zombie bugs!
3. Game: Plants vs. Zombies - BRAINS!!
2. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - Yes, it's cheesy, but his sidekick, Marcus, played a lot into my imagination
1. Zombieland - By far, my most favorite zombie movie of all time.

My friend insists I must watch the Resident Evil movies. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Loni Townsend
Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.
Find her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

What Are the Kargrandes?

Thanks to everyone who spread the word about the special site for Dragon of the Stars, What Are the Kargrandes?

Remember that there is a new clue and piece of the puzzle every Monday morning up until release day. So, check it out today!

Several of you asked about pre-written Tweets. Yes, something I should’ve done last week! Below are a couple you can use and save – adjust as necessary. Thanks!

What are the Kargrandes? New clue every Monday! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

Solve the mystery – what are the Kargrandes? #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

Rocking Into Mordor

The moment you’ve all been waiting for – I have one minute of me playing Marillion’s Easter. I wanted to pick a more complicated song than what my band plays and it took me many tries to get it right. Here you go – listen to it while you read the rest of the post! (Or watch on You Tube)

Movie Review

Staring Ethan Hawke as a time-traveling Temporal Agent. His final assignment involves tracking down a criminal and bringing in a new recruit.
Where to begin? This movie is a total mind-mess. Think Memento and Looper. I can’t tell you much about the film without giving it away, and you need to discover the twists and turns for yourself.
It’s a quiet, slower-paced film. Reviews online are mixed, so it’s either a love it or hate it kind of film.
Ethan Hawke and the other leads do a fine job in their roles.
You want a film that will make you think, and possibly blow your mind, this is it.

Ninja News

Roland Yeomans has a new site - Return of the Last Shaman. If you’re into weird occurrences in the natural world, he offers some cool stuff.

Lisa at Flash Fiction posted her Annual List Of Possible Topics For the #AtoZChallenge. If you’re still searching for a topic, check out her suggestions.

Found a new website - Indie-Visible
We define “Indies” as those authors who independently publish books with skillful handling of all phases of the writing and publishing process. Our PubHub is where Indies can access expert advice and trustworthy freelancers, and ultimately build their dream teams to help them write, edit, proof, publish and market high quality books.
Thanks to Leandra J. Wallace for the tip!

New releases!

52 Likes by Medeia Sharif
Find Medeia – YA and MG Author
Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

The Anime Way by Nigel Mitchell
The next book in the TOONS series.
Find it on Amazon


What zombie things have influenced you? What are the Kargrandes – any clues yet? Have you seen Predestination? Need some topic ideas for the A to Z Challenge? And now you’ve finally heard me play – what did you think?

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Are the Kargrandes? Plus Ignore the Captcha, Movie Reviews, A to Z Challenge, Dragon News, and Ninja News

The special site for Dragon of the Stars is open -

The site is just one page with two images that rotate every seven seconds. Every Monday morning, a new clue will appear, and a piece of the puzzle will fall into place, all the way up until the day before Dragon’s release.

This is where I need your help – spreading the word about the site on social media. For Twitter, the hashtag is #whatarethekargrandes. I’ll be sending out Tweets and posting on Google+ - please feel free to share there and elsewhere.

What are the Kargrandes? You’ll find out on April 7!

Dragon of the Stars is now available for preorder on Amazon! It will soon be available for pre-order at other book sites, so keep watching. Today is also the last day of the Goodreads giveaway.

Thanks for all of the amazing comments last week for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! And the introductions were awesome. It was cool to read a little bit about each member. (If you missed it, add your introduction to February’s post.) It’s always so amazing to hear how many of you find IWSG your favorite post day. You guys rock!

And thanks to everyone who visited my interview with Chrys Fey - AND went back to comment on my very first blog post! It doesn’t look so lonely and unloved now.

Ignore the Captcha!

Did you know you don’t have to fill out the Captcha letters OR check the box saying you are not a robot?

That’s right – you can just ignore them and hit publish comment!

Thanks to The Happy Whisk and Father Dragon Al for pointing out that trick.

I will be going back to the pop up box soon!

Movie reviews

The Wolf of Wall Street
I’m not sure of the purpose of this film. Don’t do a ton of drugs without expecting something to go wrong eventually? If you are looking for a movie with redeeming values, this is NOT it.

Latest Schwarzenegger film and it’s really violent. Certainly one of the bloodiest films I’ve seen in a long time. Plot was disjointed and odd. It’s passable if you just want mindless gore.

Favorite Album and Book of 2014

You got my favorite movies last week – this time, I’ll just give you one of each.

Favorite album was Voyager – V.
Every time I listen to it, the music sounds fresh.

And these books didn’t come out this past year, but that’s when I began reading the series – Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law. The man is a master with character development. Excellent fantasy series!

Ninja News

At the A to Z Blog today is Sharon Arthur Moore with her theme of all things food related.

The 2015 A to Z Challenge sign up list opens in two weeks! Are you ready for the sixth Challenge? I have my theme and the basics for each letter already picked out.

Available now!
Loose Corset by Christine Rains
Her blog tour is already in progress and you can win some cool, custom geeky dice.
Check it out!

SC gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you! I’ve received it before, so I won’t list my seven things.

Rocking Ninja


I hope to have a recording of me playing guitar next Monday. I have selected Marillion’s song Easter, a favorite of mine.

Because yes, I do intend to simply rock into Mordor!

Can you help with the #whatarethekargrandes campaign? Did you know you could ignore the Captcha? Seen either of those movies? Ready for the A to Z Challenge? And who’s ready to see me rock into Mordor..?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Plus January Movie Preview, Goodreads Giveaway, New Releases, and Snarky Blogfest

The lovely Chrys Fey is kicking off the new year with an interview and feature, and I am her first guest! Please visit her site to learn some interesting things about my blog and posts.

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard, Chrys Fey, and Michelle Wallace!

We asked IWSG members to introduce themselves today. Here’s mine:

I work in web design, graphics, and technical editing. I’m also a guitarist in a band. Online I’m the Ninja Captain, founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and an A to Z Challenge co-host. My genre is space opera and I’m author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. My next book, Dragon of the Stars, comes out April 7. And I never even wanted to be an author…

It looks like everything is falling in place for the release of Dragon of the Stars. My publisher sent out review copies and is sending a lot of promotional material to upcoming science fiction conventions. My blog tour is mostly set. And I have a secret project I’m working on with my publisher that involves a website and a grassroots movement. When it’s all set, I hope to get help spreading the word.

And there’s another Goodreads giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Dragon of the Stars

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Giveaway ends January 13, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

New Releases!

Sudden Secrets by C Lee McKenzie
Find it on Amazon
Enter the Goodreads giveaway

This one came out last year, but it slipped in under the radar…
Rainbow: Poetry & Prose by Hank Kaykuala

Sarcasm, Snark, & Sass Blogfest

Hosted by LG Keltner, who is celebrating three years of blogging.

On Friday, January 9th, 2015, give me a post that celebrates something sarcastic, snarky, or just satisfyingly sassy. You can give me an example from real life, a favorite film or book, or you can give me an original piece of fiction. The sarcasm can either be well understood, or hilariously misunderstood.

Here is my snarky offering:

Hey, Johnny Football!

Eddie Munster called.

He wants his haircut back. 

January movie preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for January! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

9 –

Taken 3
Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.
Director: Olivier Megaton
Stars: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
They’re going to tone it down for Taken 4. Someone will take his sandwich from the lunchroom.

16 –

A man is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber criminal. The dangerous search leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong.
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang, William Mapother
The preview looked cool until I saw it was directed by Mann – then it looked uber-cool!

A young English boy befriends a talking bear he finds at a London train station. A live-action feature based on the series of popular children's books by Michael Bond.
Director: Paul King
Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
Why wasn’t this released over Christmas? Would’ve been perfect timing.

23 –

Art dealer Charles Mortdecai searches for a stolen painting that's reportedly linked to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
Director: David Koepp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow
Just when you thought a Depp character couldn’t get more cartoonish or annoying…

What are your writing insecurities today? Did you introduce yourself? Entering either Goodreads giveaway? Feeling snarky? And what films do you want to see in January?

Be sure to visit Chrys Fey!