• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Is Friday the 13th lucky for you?

by Amber Kallyn

I love Friday the 13th.

Every single one is circled on my calendar, and as soon as the month hits, I’m waiting in tingling anticipation.

1) I LOVE the memes, especially all the black cats. My two at home seem to enjoy them as well, evidenced by their cat smirks as they walk by my laptop.

2) Even though I’m superstitious about some things, black cats and 13th Fridays are not two of them.

3) It’s always an awesome, lucky day for me!

What about you? Do you love Friday the 13th, or does the day make you want to stay in bed?

 

And Happy Valentines Day tomorrow!

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

What is it about the new year that makes us want to create goals for ourselves?

For a long time I’ve been hesitant to create resolutions every time the year rolls over. If I really had something in my life that I wanted to change, or do better, then why wait until the new year? Why not do it now? Because of this I would generally avoid resolutions every year. Too often they get forgotten about, or you work really hard in January and slack off after that. To me the word resolve just doesn’t seem to have enough punch, enough measurement built-in to be worth using. For this reason I avoided new years’ resolutions for a long time.

I’ve changed my tune a little bit though. I still don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals.

Goals are things to reach for, I know fully well going into the year that there’s a solid chance I won’t complete all my goals, but they are there and at the end of the year, or other times when I feel I want some self-reflection, I can look over those goals and see how I am doing.

So what goals did I set for 2014, and did I achieve them?

Reading: I always set a reading goal, last year it was 100 books. According to my Goodreads profile, I read 71, which I think is fantastic. 2015 I again set a goal of 100 books and I will mostly likely set that as my goal for the foreseeable future. I am a bit of a fast reader, when I’m not sucked into some other media (cough video games cough), but two books a week for me seems pretty do-able.

Writing: My goal was to finish two books last year, and I “did”. Technically. Neither of them are edited, but I did at least complete them. Working on editing one of them now. I also wrote a few short stories last year. I’m currently toying with the idea of setting a goal for short stories this year, but for now I’ll leave it as-needed.

So there are my goals, at least when it comes to writing/reading. What goals do you set and why? Do you prefer resolutions or goals, or some other word, and why?

Above all, Happy New Year from the Evil Dwarves!

Waving the White Flag

whiteflag

Around this time of year I become the Tasmanian Devil. Zipping around like a whirling dervish, I try to meet the seemingly endless holiday demands. Battles need to be had with mobs at the grocery store. The house needs a spit shine because friends and family are descending. Gift shopping needs to get done. Food needs to be prepared. Undoubtedly, I’ll have to tear apart the newly cleaned house trying to locate Grandma’s handwritten sweet potato casserole recipe.

There are holiday parties, potlucks, and birthday celebrations to plan and attend. On top of this, someone in my house invariably gets sick. This Thanksgiving my son came down with a bad cold while my husband ended up with the flu.

The end result is that my carefully structured writing schedule goes out the window. I know I’m not alone in this. The holidays have a negative impact on the productivity of many writers.

In the past, I’ve fought back by sacrificing sleep to regain my writing time. Unfortunately, I usually end up looking and acting like the zombies in my novels. Stumbling through my son’s second Christmas wasn’t a proud moment.

So this year, I’m waving the white flag. The holiday madness wins. The word count loses. But come January, game on! I’ll be making up for lost time.

Do you have any strategies for writing through the craziness of the holidays?

If you get a chance, check out the latest blog post on my website (www.tararane.com).

Changes in… everything… and reconnecting with crazy people

So, long story short, there’s a person I hadn’t talked to in over 8 years.

On purpose, LOL.

But over the last couple weeks, I’ve had this feeling I needed to call her.

I fought it, believe me I did. Because when the two of us talk, or are around each other, we basically try to kill one another. Oops.

But, about a week ago I ended up picking up the phone. The conversations have gone so well, I drove the two hours (each way) to go see her yesterday – for the first time in 8 years.

And that *hugely surprisingly* went well.

some families have kodak moments others have prozac my family

Shared from http://pegitboard.com/pin/ 03056aa23aa837b508c6b305aebe1e3e

My mother is still a crackpot nut job (I come by it honestly 😉 ), but she’s stopped drinking and doing drugs, which means she’s a hell of a lot calmer, more reasonable, and now acts like a caring human being.

Whodda thunk?

I never thought I’d ever be saying this, but…

My mama is invited and will be coming to my house for Thanksgiving this year.

Here’s to hoping we won’t kill each other, LOL.

~ Happy Holidays

Happy Almost Halloween

Halloween

This year seems to be speeding past in a blur of nauseating colors. The Halloween decorations have not, in fact, been set up yet. The pumpkins are still not carved, and I have no idea if I’ll attempt to wear something costumey when I take the kids trick-er-treating.

Darn. So much still to do.

I kind of get this pang of guilt when I think of all these things. I really want the holidays to be special for my children, but my mind has been so focused on the day-to-day, I’ve completely lost sight of the big picture.

A leaky faucet? No problem, that’s what we have that home warranty for! What, the faucets are covered, but not the accessing of the faucets. What does that even mean? You have to take apart the entire tub to fix the problem? It’s going to cost a couple grand?

Sigh.

Who needs surgery?   Well, that stinks, but that’s what insurance is for! You say six grand. Really? But the surgery should be our sole focus, not the cost.

Not your problem. Understood.

And then there are the small things, like ants in the kitchen, laundry, and the never-ending pile of dishes. These are the things that have to be done, day in, and day out, or else they turn into larger issues.

If only there were four of me.

All this might make me sound like I’m not looking forward to Halloween, or the holidays in general. But the truth is, I can’t wait. Have you every seen a toddler in a duck costume? Or a baby dressed as a tiger? If not, I’ll tell you one thing, you’d have to be made of ice not to smile. I just need to really focus sometimes on the things that are not a creeping smog of problems, and instead, focus on the things that are truly important.

Like quacking ducks and roaring tigers.

Enjoy the holidays!

Equinoxes and Godesses and Autumn Creativity

This weekend everyone’s talking about it being the first day of fall. And their lovely weather.Free Danish Autumn Stock Images - 870214

Sigh.

Here in Arizona, we’re still hitting over 100 degrees during the day, but I’m (im)patiently waiting for cooler temps. Send em on over 🙂 I love sitting outside and writing in the cool air. And reading on the back porch, the kids hanging out around the trees, is a blast 😀

For some reason, this time of year–fall, cooling temps and Halloween just around the corner–makes me feel more creative. I love planning new worlds, and for some reason, I get more ideas during September through October than any other time a year. 

Of course, once November hits with the holidays, I get no ideas LOL so maybe it all balances 😀

Since I’m in the middle of such world building and researching mythology and recently came across this again, I thought I’d share this tidbit (From a post in 2012)

***

In the pagan religion, the autumn equinox (the time of year when day and night are equal), is September 21st, and is the celebration of Mabon, or the first day of fall.

Mabon is named after a Welsh god who was stolen from his mom when he was barely three nights old.

If you enjoy Greek or Roman mythology, there are similarities between Mabon and Persephone, both being taken captive to the underworld during the autumn equinox, only to be rescued and allowed to come back during the spring equinox every year.

But the main theme of the celebration was that of thanksgiving.

In older ages, this was the time of the fall harvest, and the gods were thanked for the bounty of food to see the village through the oncoming cold winter.

***

 

I love fall, we don’t get the pretty leave turning or even much of a transition here (we go straight from way-too-hot, a few days of just-cool-enough, then straight to get-out-the-jackets weather) but it does mean cooler temps finally:)

So my Q4U: What’s your favorite time of year and why? And for writers, when is your most creative season?

~ Amber

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Christmas-Tree-Nature1024-226431

I want to wish all my loyal Swamp Followers, friends, family and anyone reading this a wonderful Christmas and an exciting New Year.

Thank you so much for sharing 2013 with me.  Here’s to another year filled with joy and laughter!

And to ensure a grin, I have to share this lovely piece with you (however, I have to admit to stealing it from Ilona Andrews.)

bestchristmascard

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas! #ebook #sale #vampires and #romance

Present Stock Photo

Another year. Another birthday.

Ask my kids, Mom is 24 years old… again 😀

This year, I’m happy to give all of you a present. For a limited time only sale, you can get three of my books for only 99 cents, total!

Heart of a Vampire, Bundle (Books 1-3)

by Amber Kallyn

HeartofaVampire_Bundle_LRG If you’re interested, you can get a copy at this sale price at

Amazon     B&N/Nook     Apple

***On Sale for 99 cents for a limited time***

***This is a book bundle
of the Heart of a Vampire series, Books 1-3

Book 1 – Bloodstorm

(Available Free on all Etailers)

When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.

For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war.

When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.

Book 2 – Hungerstorm

After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?

Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.

A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life. Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions.
Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.

When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.

Book 3 – Darkstorm

After a millennia apart, can two vampires rekindle their love, or will the line between right and wrong keep them apart?

Hunted by the demon who imprisoned her for hundreds of years, Ashlyn MacDougal is fleeing with a secret which could destroy her soul. When she runs into her lost love, Connor Gregory, life twists upside down.

Thrown together by circumstance, they must resolve their past. With demons after them, Ashlyn and Connor come to find their love still burns. Yet, the secrets she hides, and his duty to his job, might just keep them apart for another eternity.

Buy at Amazon     B&N/Nook     Apple

And here’s to the upcoming holidays. I hope you and yours have a hell of a time filled with great friends and lots of love!

Spotlight’s on Bonnie Vaughan’s contribution to THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! #paranormal #anthology @spacebornishere #SciFic

To conclude our THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS spotlights, we have the talented and lovely, Bonnie Vaughan! Today she’s sharing a peek into her upcoming Science Fiction novel, SPACEBORN (coming in 2014 from Black Opal Books). Don’t forget to pick up your copy for the holidays!

3D Paranormal AnthologyAvailable now:  AMAZON  or BLACK OPAL BOOKS

Jami, thanks for hosting me on your blog and for spreading the word about THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS. It looks like the perfect extra gift. I’m signing copies and putting them under the tree for my children and grandchildren, but shh, don’t tell them before December 25.

“An Unexpected Blessing” has an ending that might tingle your spine. I can’t wait to read the other stories in the book. My husband, Lee Vaughan, says they’re very good.

Spaceborn C02-2

The following excerpt is from SPACEBORN, my science fiction novel about a pregnant astrogeologist who discovers something strange on Mars, published by Black Opal Books this year.

Michelle drove Morgan, Randy, and Vlad to the site. The others emerged from the portable habitat in their spacesuits just as the new team joined them.

Jamese walked up to Morgan and blocked her progress. “Why did you come? We can do our jobs without you looking over our shoulders.”

Morgan stopped and waited, without speaking. Anything she said would give Jamese something to criticize. It would be best to let the others handle her.

“Please move aside,” Cass said.

“We didn’t say we needed her here,” Jamese said, not moving. “She doesn’t have to take credit for everything.”

Randy stepped between the women. “We should turn on the broadcast now, Jamese. Would you mind narrating again?”

“She shouldn’t even be outside,” Jamese said before she moved out of the way and started recording.

Morgan set her suit camera and radio for broadcast as she started walking uphill. She held back what she wanted to say to Jamese so that it wouldn’t reach Earth.

“The rest of the Pax crew came out to see the remains that the exploration team found this morning,” Jamese said for the distant audience. “This discovery might prove to be the most significant of all at the excavation site.”

“Over here,” Aiden said, motioning for them to hurry.

Morgan had never seen his eyes open so wide beneath his untamed forelock, which his comm-cap could not contain. She rushed to his side, put her helmet faceplate against his, and said, “Congratulations on your amazing find.”

He jumped up and down like a child who couldn’t wait to show his mother a new drawing. His boots kicked up sprays of dust each time he bounced off the red soil.

“Come see it.”

Morgan walked over to a shallow pit and looked down. Long, tubular objects lay at the bottom like scattered pipes. Could they be bones?

She knelt and leaned over for a closer look. Near the edge of the pit she saw a tiny spot of green. “Michelle, would you please bring me the tweezers?”

“Here.” Michelle handed her the foot-long instrument.

Morgan grasped the green object with her tongs and lifted it up in the pale light of the Martian afternoon. The end of the tongs held a ring.”

vaughn-bonnie-100x150-100x150

Bonnie Vaughan became fascinated with space travel when the first lunar lander took off from the moon, a feat she had thought was impossible. As the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, her most exciting interview was with Colonel Al Worden, pilot of the Apollo 15 command module, who told her how fragile the Earth looked from a distance. A journalism degree from San Jose State University landed her a job as an award-winning technical writer, including an Award of Distinguished Technical Communication from the Society for Technical Communication in 2013. She has authored many software books for Silicon Valley companies and writes her own science fiction stories on weekends, at home in San Jose, California.

Visit her website at www.bonniegvaughan.com.

T’was The Night Before The Zombie Apocalypse

hwabutton

Greetings and Salutations,

This is the last Friday before Christmas so I’m re posting my version of The Night Before Christmas. It is in the name of fun, so enjoy.

On a serious note, remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. So be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a little more loving.

 THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

T’was the night before Christmas when all through our shelter,

Not a creature was stirring, not even the smelter.

The mac-tens were hung by the chimney with care,

For the undead horde that soon would so

The guard dogs were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of raw meat danced in their heads.

Mom and her uzi and I with my launcher,

Had just settled down to plan for the slaughter.

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket,

I leaped from the bunker and put my jacket.

Grabbing my Kevlar I flew like a flash,

Turned on the search lights looking aghast.

The lights on the breast of the new fallen dead,

Gave luster of midday to zombies in red.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight zombie reindeer.

The driver was quick, his head wrapped in gauze,

I knew in a snap it was Zombie Clause.

More rapid than missiles his coursers they came,

He grunted and slobbered, and called them by name.

“Now, Femur! Now, Sacrum! now, Kidney! and Bicep,

On, Liver! On, Stomach! On, Colon and Tricep.

To the top of the porch and over barbed wire!

Now dash away! Dash away! Far from the fire!”

Above all the landmines and away from the moat,

They went higher and higher like some flying boat.

So up to the lookout the reindeer they flew,

With a sleigh full of entrails, and Zombie Clause, too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each rotting hoof.

I switched off the safety and pulled back the hammer,

Down the chimney came Zombie with quite a clamor.

He was dressed all in fur from head to the floor,

And his clothes were all bloody and splattered with gore.

A bundle of severed limbs on his back,

He sat himself down to have a late snack.

His eyes—they were sunken, his flesh was so pale,

His nose was held on with a bright shiny nail.

The stump of a leg he held tight in his teeth,

As I pulled my new sword clear of its sheath.

He was rotten and putrid but looked quite surprised,

As I sliced off his arm and poked out his eyes.

He ran to the chimney forgetting his snack,

So I picked up my shotgun and gave him a whack.

Sticking a finger far up his nose,

Giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the led from my pistol.

I heard Zombie moan, as he flew through the night,

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite.

To You and Yours,

Have a Scary Christmas and a Happy Ghoul Year

Dave Benneman

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