Sunday, December 18, 2011

Interview with Margaret Millmore

Thank you for joining us today, I’m so excited to have you hear and know my readers will enjoy it as well.

About you:
Can you tell us a little about you? I’m a native Californian and have lived in San Francisco for the last twenty years. I’m married to a wonderful man (19 years now) and enjoy reading and writing fiction.
What quality do you most value in yourself? The world is a brutal place and at every turn in life, there is something or even someone that wants to knock you down, but I won’t let it happen, my glass is eternally full and I thrive on optimism. In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about? Reading, creating art via painting (canvas and furniture and anything else that will stand still long enough to be painted) and my family and friends, they are my lifeblood.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? My marriage and my relationships with my family, and of course completing and publishing my first book.
Why do you write? Fictional thrillers, with a touch of the paranormal What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’m not sure yet, but I hope it’s the ability to entertain the reader and keep them turning page after page.
Is there any new or established author whom you feel deserves more attention, and what is it that strikes you about his or her work? My cousin, Sharon Owens, she is an Irish author of 7 books (2 of which are best sellers), they’re wonderful journeys of life and love. Although she’s quite popular ‘across the pond’, American readers are missing out on her wonderful works. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing? Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz, there are others but those are the top three.  

About Writing:
Do you follow a regular routine? I try to write in the mornings and do any promotional work in the afternoons, for the most part that is my routine, but life often throws me a curve ball and it only works about 2/3rds of the time.
What motivates you to write? I’ve been making up stories in my head since childhood, when the opportunity to write came about, I jumped at it, and I love it. The very act of getting these pesky stories out is my motivation and of course I have an enormous support structure in my family and friends and they are amazing in their encouragement to me.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Yes, when I get stuck, I stop and re-read what I’ve written, then I ponder it for a day or two, more often than not, the block disappears and I can continue.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t give up! Its hard work, but anything worth doing always is.
What are your current / future projects? I’m currently working on my next book, a fictional thriller based in San Francisco, but it’s too new to discuss at this point, so stay tuned...   About your book: Can you tell us a bit about your book? It’s a thriller based in San Francisco about a woman who wakes from a coma to discover her life is not what she remembers. As she tries to put the pieces back together she discovers clues to horrible experiments that had been and could still be taking place. Murder, distrust and a husband she doesn’t know drive her to discover and stop the horrible things that are happening.
What is the message in your book? What are your readers’ reactions to it? Aside from the good versus evil aspect, there really isn’t a specific message. The reader’s reactions have been positive so far, many have enjoyed the fast pace and unpredictable ending. 
What do you think readers will find most notable about this book? I hope it’s the entertainment factor that the story provides, that was my goal. I didn’t want to bog down the reader with deep thoughts and complicated jargon, I just wanted to take them away for a while, make them care about the characters and what happens to them.
What would you most like readers to tell others about this book? Naturally I’d like them say they loved it! But I’d also like them to say they couldn’t put it down, that it entertained them and that they would recommend it to others.
How can readers help you promote this book? By spreading the word of course, currently the e-book is on sale at Amazon for $2.99 through the holidays, if that’s a success I would consider extending the sale.  
Where can readers find you and more about your book(s)? Where can they purchase your book(s)? www.margaretmillmore.com, FB: Margaret Millmore, Twitter: mmillmore My book is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, World Castle Publishing and just about all other online retailers.

Thank you again for joining us today, I've been looking forward to reading your work. I wish you much success and happiness. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and I think your books will be a great addition to any book lovers shelf. I hope you will come visit us again.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hearts of Fire Romance: YA Romance, Charlotte Blackwell's Embrace Series!

Hearts of Fire Romance: YA Romance, Charlotte Blackwell's Embrace Series!: Forbidden Embrace by Charlotte Blackwell My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book picks up where the first one, Immortal Embrace, left off. I...

Bad Reviews - How to deal

If you are in the entertainment industry in any way, shape, or form, you know about bad reviews. We all get them, writers, musicians, film makers. The thing is no matter how many great, good or even okay reviews you get, it's the bad ones that stick with you. Sometimes it's just someone who didn't like your work. That we can handle, because not everyone is going to love or even like what we put out. We pour heart and souls into our work and when someone doesn't "get it", or love it like we do, well lets face it, it hurts! 

Now comes the question, how do we respond to bad reviews? Easy answer is we don't, we call our friends and complain to them, or even better just let it roll off our back. It's not always that easy though, because some are really mean and nasty and will do evyerything to make you fail. The good news is, sometime bad reviews are the best kind. Why you may ask. Again a simple answer is, because any publicity is good publicity. Take Stephanie Meyer's Twilight. one of the hottest book franchises out right now. She has gotten tons of bad reviews, and some nasty one from high profile people too. Take Stephen King for instance. He tore her apart and continues to do so. One comment he made, (and for give me as i am paraphrasing here) along the line of Harry Potter is about overcoming challenges, growing and discovering ones self, Twilight is about boyfriends. Now I do completely agree with this statement, but I don't take it as bad, because sometime readers want something easy, lighthearted and just fun to read and yes about boyfriends. How do bad reviews work for us, well when some one sees a bad review, sometimes it drives them to want to see what was so bad about the book, movie, album ect. It also lowers their expectations and more times than not they will enjoy it even more and wonder what the reviewers problem was. 

Does any of this help us to deal with bad reviews? Probably not. Would we love to tell the bad reviewers where to shove their review? Most defiantly. Can we? Not a chance, responding to a bad review can be suicide in the industry. Even more so if you respond poorly. Credibility can be lost very fast and is difficult to get back. Now my question is, what do you do when a reviewer takes things to far? When they begin verbally attacking the artist and or their fans. To me that is uncalled for. If you don't like an artists contribution to society, so be it, but why attack those that do enjoy it? 

Another good example is the Canadian band Nickelback. I love this band, not only for their music, but because they are home grown. I don't understand why so many people are hating on them and anyone involved with them. They have been boycotted and petitions signed to prevent them from playing certain venues. What the heck is up with that? I follow a friend and co-worker of the lead signer and he fights back some of these comments. I love it. He stands up for himself and the band. After all why should he be trashed just because he is friends with the band? He shouldn't. Another example of this is the Dixie Chicks, they received death threats because of one comment made by Natalie the lead singer. What ever happened to freedom of speech?  

Freedom of speech allows someone to give us artists a bad review, and we have to take it. It also allows us to write and publish our stories and tales. It also allows our fans to enjoy our work and stand up for it. I just don't agree with being attacked for that. Now after all this you most likely didn't learn anything new, we still can't respond to bad reviews. BUT reviews please don't attack us or our fans because you are allowed to voice your opinion, does't mean everyone is going to agree with you. The same goes for us artists, as I said before, not everyone is going to like our work. So I guess the moral of this post is, don't fret a bad review...we all get them and they can't stop us.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Full Moon Bites: 1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway!!

Full Moon Bites: 1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway!!: Hello, my Zombies! As you may have noticed today is my 1 year blogoversary! :) And I have all of you to thank for making this one year a ve...

Guest Post with Author Debbie Kump

I would Love to welcome the fabulous Debbie Kump to my blog today. She is one of the many authors I have the pleasure of teaming up with at World Castle Publishing. So let's see what Debbie has to tell us about.


First Time on the Ice
By Debbie Kump

Four years ago, I stepped out onto the ice for the first time…not as a Hockey Mom attending an open skate with my son’s Mites team, but as a Coach.
Back then, I decided to volunteer as a coach after noticing not a single female coached in our hockey association’s co-ed developmental Mites program, despite that fact that girl athlete enrollment had reached an all-time high.
Granted, I was a little nervous about my decision; I was no hockey expert by any means. I’d never played hockey before and didn’t follow the sport professionally. To top it off, we’d moved from Maui, Hawaii (where the only ice rink in the entire state is located on a different island) to Minnesota (where people live and breathe hockey for six months straight). Before my son donned his own pair of skates, my hockey experience was worse that limited; it was virtually nonexistent.
I felt like I was breaking ground in a field that had been previously dominated by men. But when our Mites Program Coordinator encouraged women to coach (“This isn’t just a guys’ thing!” he declared), I hopped on board. Our girls needed a role model out there to let them know that they weren’t alone in this sport.
Needless to say, I was still apprehensive. The night before our first practice, my dreams were disastrous. I was plagued with nightmares of making a complete fool of myself by wiping out within seconds of stepping onto the ice.
Fortunately, my fears of falling didn’t come true. (Though I have taken my fair share of spills in the years since!) Not only did I love my first year of coaching youth hockey, but encouraged other women to volunteer coach as well. Today, our association has women coaches at all Mite levels plus requested me to lead coach our Mite program and assistant coach at the Squirt level.
These experiences not only introduced me to an entirely new sport (especially having personally competed as a swimmer throughout high school…the polar opposite of hockey, I’m convinced!) but inspired my writing as well. My Young Adult Romance, Exiled to the North, builds on my love for the sport of hockey and the extreme winters we encounter here in the far north…
When fifteen-year-old Sydney McMillan moves from Maui to Minnesota in the dead of winter, she is heartbroken to leave her classmates and the island she adores…especially after surfing pal Alika becomes more than a close friend. Upon arriving at her new home, Sydney sinks into deep despair. She misses her friends, loathes the extreme cold, and falls behind in school. But a hockey player and a pair of rescued huskies prove that Minnesota has more to offer than she first imagined. In fact, Sydney may learn to love being exiled to the North.
Thank you, Charlotte, for inviting me to join you on your blog! Wishing you, your family, and all of your fans a very Happy Holiday Season!
Debbie Kump


Debbie Kump is the author of the Apocalyptic Thriller, 7G, the YA Romance, Exiled to the North, and World Castle Publishing’s December 15 release of the Middle Grade Paranormal Adventure, Transformed.
For more information, please visit Debbie’s website:

Or find her on Facebook:


 Thank you so much for joining us today Debbie. I wish you and all yours a beautiful and Happy holiday season filled with blessings. I do have to add that the Husky in the center of your picture, looks like mine, Nanook. Beautiful dogs, and full of energy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vampires In Fiction - Where did it all begin?

Vampire novel are hot, let's face it Twilight helped knock them into the stratosphere. As a vampire novelist I know the criticism that other authors face regarding the similarities to Twilight. This is also similar for books about magic and Harry Potter. I thought it would be a great post to put some of these misunderstandings to rest. Although Twilight and even Vampire Diaries are great books as are the film/TV adaptations, they are not the first nor will they be the last vampires around. Now it is also common that vampires from various stories can use other things to decrease craving, some even use tomato juice. Here are a few facts and some similarities between various books, movies, TV, and myths.


Vampires that drink animal, synthetic or donated blood: 
  • The Littlest Vampire (2003) Film - cows blood
  • Underworld (2003) Film - artificial blood 
  • Blade (1998) Film - Blade
  • Twilight saga(2008) Film, (2005) Literature - The Cullan's
  • Interview With A Vampire (1994) Film,  (1976) Literature - Louis
  • Doctor Who (1963) TV - Nyssa Tried to create a synthetic blood
  • True Blood (2008) TV, Sookie Stackhouse (2001) Literature - Drinks synthetic Blood
  • Vampire Diaries (2009) TV, (1991) Literature - Stefan
  • Forever Knight (1989) TV - Nick
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel (1997) TV, Literature (1992)
  • Kindred the Embraced (1996) TV - Julian
  • Hellsing (2006) - Seras drink blood bags
  • Dark Shadows (1966) TV (1991) TV - Barabas
  • The Embrace Series (2011) Literature - drinks a combination of animal and donated blood prepare like gourmet meals

I only posted some of the more known/popular credits, but as you can see there's many fictional vampire that drink blood other than directly from a human.Another thing I would like to point out as similarities is the methods to destroy vampires. Many fictional and mythical vampires can be destroyed by wooden stakes, decapitation, burning, the sun and so on. These are not new to only this generation of vampires, it goes back to the beginning.It is also common for vampire to live away from busy cities, choosing smaller cities and towns in order to hide from the masses. Most vampires want to remain unknown and the best way to do so is to seclude themselves. This is done in Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Immortal Embrace, My Blood Approves (their house is away from the city center and secluded) as well as many others. 

Now many complain the Edward (Twilight), Nathanial (Embrace Series) and even Stefan (Vampire Diaries) are far too romantic. My response is these along with others that are similar is simple, these are all romances. Romance books are there to take the reader into a fantasy world where the man is chivalrous and the woman has class.As a woman, we all want the romantic man, the one that does everything right and holds our feelings higher than any other....even if just for a day. We want to be spoiled and loved and yes respected. Now in books like this (even without a vampire) someone always has to stay away from someone else for one reason or another. If could be a disapproving family as in Romeo and Juliet or even a best friend's ex. The list can go on, but forbidden love is what makes it exciting. 

Years ago family crests and talismans were common, today they can still be found, but for the most part and old fashion.Would it not make sense that these vampire families, clans, covens would have something of this sort. It's something to tie their old life with their new life, giving them something to remind them of who they are or were. Some talismans were commonly blessed by witches. This could be for many reasons and still used in common pagan/wicca (among other) religions. Think about the rosary that Catholics use, it is a special item that is blessed and helps the carrier to feel secure, faith and hope.    

Definition:  pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting outside the body of the secreting individual to impact the behavior of the receiving individual.There are alarm pheromonesfood trail pheromonessex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. This is common with humans, our partner releases pheromones that appeal to us. So what does this have to do with vampires? Well it is also common that vampires are attracted to the blood other their mates, victims, food sources. This can also be explained to pheromones.

So when did vampires first appear in fiction? (Taken from Vampiric Studies)
 ~ 1819 ''The Vampyre'', a short story, written by John Polidori. It is believed to be the first vampire story in English literature. Polidori was Lord Byron's friend and physician. It is said that he wrote ''The Vampyre'' in response to Lord Byron's "We shall each write a ghost story.'' The same literary challenge that inspired Mary Shelley to create Frankenstein.

~ 1845 - 1847 ''Varney the Vampire'' or ''The Feast of Blood'' made its appearance. It was published as a series of stories called ''penny dreadfuls''. It was incredibly popular at the time and the series ran for a total of 220 chapters. Originally published anonymously, and in 1847 re-published in book form. The author is now believed to be Thomas Malcom Rymer. The original edition was an epic sized book of over 860 two columed pages.
Varney had a lasting impact on vampire fiction being the first to have many of the traits and abilities of today's fictional vampires. He had superhuman strength, fangs that left two puncture wounds on the neck, and he had the ability to hypnoticly control others. Also poor Varney was the first vampire to hate being a vampire. Another trait that has carried over into a lot of modern fiction.
~ 1872 ''Carmilla'' by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. ''Carmilla'' tells the story of Laura, a young woman who finds herself the object of Carmilla's attentions. Carmilla being, of course, a female vampire. The fact that Carmilla is a lesbian vampire is not difficult to figure out considering her intentions toward Laura aren't all for blood, it seems, and all of her victims are female. While Carmilla is noctunal, she can go about by day, she can change form into a huge black cat and pass through solid walls. Carmilla does sleep in a coffin.
Written some 25 years before Dracula, Carmilla had a strong influence on Bram Stoker's work. ''Carmilla'' was first published in the magazine ''The Dark Blue'', in three issues (January, February and March of 1872) and in the same year it was published in Le Fanu's collection of short stories ''In a Glass Darkly''
~ 1897 ''Dracula'' by Abraham ''Bram'' Stoker an Irish novelist and short story writer. ''Dracula'' has to be one of the most popular horror stories of all time. Since its publication, it has never been out of print! Only a very few books can boast that claim. Although Stoker appears to have taken much of his inspiration from ''Varney'' and ''Camilla'' he spent years researching the remote mountains of Transylvania as the setting for his tale. He studied the Eastern Eurpoean vampire legends and gypsy folktales as the basis for his Count even though he did not strictly adhere to those legends and tales in the creation of his charactor.
Since its publication, ''Dracula'' has inspired countless novels and stories, plays, and movies.
For some 57 years no vampire novel even came close to the popularity of Stoker's ''Dracula''. Vampire fans found the tales they loved as short stories in the pulp magazines such as ''Weird Tales'' which had become the home of many noted authors of vampire short fiction. Authors such as C. L. Moore, Manly Wade Wellman, Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, Seabury Quinn, Henry Kuttner, Robert E. Howard and a host of additional writers.

 I could go on for pages (okay, more pages) proving my point that many vampire myths and traditions have been around since the beginning and used by various writers, producers, directors and so on. I think I've made my point and hope you all enjoy my thoughts about vampire fiction and the similarities within it. Someone once told me "There is no new ideas only extensions of old ones." 

I found this great chart on Wikipedia that I had to share about vampires and powers. I also added the Embrace series for comparison . Thanks for joining me and I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Immortal
Unnatural strength
Unnatural senses
Unnatural speed
Unnatural healing
Flight
Shapeshifting
Mind Powers
Telekinesis
Pyrokinesis
Other
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Vast number of potential Disciplines
Immortal Embrace
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted
Various power are gifted or gained 
No
Yes
Yes
No
Spirit users can heal.
No
Yes
Some, not all.
No
Vampires that are fire users.
All Moroi have an extra power: water, fire, earth, air, and sometimes spirit.
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Only Markus in his winged creature form
Limited
Through drinking their blood
No
No
?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted vampires can have a variety of different abilities.
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gifted
Uncommon
Can "Glamour" humans, erase memories and possibly bend their will
No
No
Can feel the emotions of whoever has drank blood from them, such as if they are in danger. They can also feel when their "maker" is in trouble, and a maker can feel the same thing for their progeny (vampire children).
Television Series: Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Dream Manipulation
Novels: Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Only in bird form
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
They can control the elements, animals and the weather
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Can climb any surface and may hang from the ceiling to sleep
North American folklore
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Nocturnal animals, fog
Yes
No
No
?
Yes
Stronger than humans, but not unnaturally strong
Yes
Fast, but not unnaturally so
Depends on vampire affinity
No
No
No
Depends on vampire affinity
Depends on vampire affinity
Most are specially talented or have an affinity for one thing or skill
Yes
?
Yes
Faster than humans, but not unnaturally so
Depends on affinity
No
No
Yes
Depends on affinity
Depends on affinity
Most are specially talented or have an affinity for one thing or skill
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes, but it resembles teleporting
Yes
in winged creature form
Winged bat/demon-like creature
?
No
No
?
Yes
Yes
?
Either this or teleportation
Yes
Yes
Bat
Hypnosis
Yes
No
Time travel, necromancy,possibly teleportation
Yes [27]
Yes [27]
Yes
Only Dracula
Gifted
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wolf, bat, dust, fog
The hunters track Dracula through his telepathic link with Mina
 ?
?
control of nocturnal animals - wolves and rats mentioned specifically
Yes
Yes
Mostly smell
Gifted. Kain gains mastery of time
Yes
Ancient Vampires were able to fly, Kain can levitate, Raziel can glide
Wolf, bat swarm, mist
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted
Corruptions caused some clans to gain abilities others did not. Some powers are also granted by the Reaver or by consuming the blood or the soul of some characters
Yes
Yes
Enhanced sense of smell
Yes
Yes
No
Only Dracula
No
No
No
?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gifted
No
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted
Gifted vampires are able to walk on walls and ceilings.
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes, but wounds from silver heal slowly. Holy water inhibits healing
Gifted
Rare
Telepathy is stronger after biting, can enthrall with eyes
Gifted
Gifted
Call animals, drain power from sired vampires, rot without damage(dependent on bloodline)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes