Posts Tagged With: Christmas

Cover Reveal! A Vampire at Christmas (Anthony Renfro)

Today I’m happy to help out fellow self-pubbed author Anthony Renfro with his cover reveal for A Vampire at Christmas. 

Here’s a brief synopsis:

A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

And here’s an excerpt:

Talan Gawayn became a vampire in the 15th century on a cold, starry, full-moon night just after the first big snow of November. He was walking a less traveled path, on his way home from seeing his fiancé, whom he planned to marry the following spring, when three men stepped out of the shadows to rob him. He fought them at first, but they soon overpowered him, beat him ruthlessly, laughing as they did it, drunk and looking for someone to rob. They had found it in Talan who was so hopelessly in love he hadn’t seen them sneak up on him.

While he lay there in the snow dying from his injuries, one eye shut and swollen, the other able to see only a blurry vision, he thought he saw something, something moving quick and fast. The men who had beaten him were counting out their stolen money when this thing attacked them. It tore through their flesh, ripped out their throats savagely; and didn’t just drain the robbers of their precious blood, but this thing seemed to almost be bathing in it while it fed.

Talan tried to stay focused, tried to see what this thing was, but his will gave out and his good eye closed. He passed out into an injured slumber.


Something heavy was straddling him …

And here’s the cover:

Vampire at Christmas - High Resolution (1)

Check it out here!





Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Holiday Writing Update

Happy Holidays, dear readers!

Since Christmas is tomorrow and I’ll probably be busy with presents and turkey and so on and so forth, I thought I’d check in tonight to A) wish every Happy Holidays, and B) do a quick little update on my current writing adventures.

Writing Adventure #1: Proofing Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It

I’m now on Round #3 of proofing the shiny new edition of Imminent Danger. Originally I was just intending to do a quick run-through of the iUniverse version, add in some commas, chop out some adverbs, and then repackage it and call it a day. But once you start revising … well, let’s just say I ended up doing a bit more editing than I expected. The story is still the exact same, the scenes are the exact same, it’s just a few phrases and wordings that have shifted to enhance clarity, enhance humor, etc.

First proofing round was about checking formatting and typos. Second proofing round went to my mother (aka my editor extraordinaire) who found some extremely minor logical flaws that needed correcting — plus typos and some more wording changes.

Now I’m on the third round, which I’ve given to my little brother Jesse to read through for typos. I don’t know if he’ll actually read it, as he’s very busy playing computer games (*cough*sarcasm*cough*), so I’ll probably have to end up scanning it for typos again myself. I’ll probably employ the “read it backwards” technique to make sure I’m not distracted by the story. There’s also a weird formatting issue where the text on some pages are higher than on other pages, giving the book a lop-sided appearance — but since this only happened on this proof round, I suspect it’s an issue with the printing process. I’ve emailed Amazon, and we’ll get it sorted out before the book goes live for sale.

Writing Adventure #2: Editing Chasing Nonconformity with Linda Schneidereit

Mom and I are back into our “SHWOOP sessions”, which basically means we’re video chatting via Google Hangouts and I share my screen with her so we can edit the book page by painstaking page. It takes forever and is very frustrating (mostly because, as mentioned, it takes forever), but each page is way better once we’ve SHWOOP-ed it, so it’s definitely worth all the pain.

Hopefully we’ll get at least halfway through the book by the end of the holidays, although that might be a bit optimistic. Ah well. Fingers crossed, my friends!

Writing Adventure #3: Writing the first draft of Cerulean Bound

I started this back in November for NaNoWriMo, and got about 20k in by the end of the month. I’ve since added another 5k, and will hopefully get another 10k-20k knocked out over the holidays. I’ve got Act 1 pretty much sorted out, so that should be easy enough to finish. Once I get to Act 2, though … well, it’ll be fun to see where it goes, let’s just say that, lol.


That’s all from me! What writing adventures are you getting up to over the holidays?


Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Give the gift of reading this Christmas …

… by buying a copy of my debut novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It!

That’s right, folks, it’s shameless self-promotion time! For all my lovely readers who haven’t yet read my book, why not give it a shot this Christmas? Or if you have read it and loved it, how about grabbing up a copy for your friends, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, alpacas, rutabagas … whomever in your life you think might enjoy a little science fiction fun!

Click the gigantic book cover in the sidebar to get links to all the various online retailers that carry the book. Or just click here to go straight to

Now, sadly I can’t actually offer any discounts, because iUniverse controls the pricing, not me. I know, I know, I’m working on it! In the meantime, while I can’t offer a price drop on book, I can offer a signed copy (sort of) if you buy a softcover or hardcover. Basically, I’m using this newfangled contraption called a “bookplate” (also known as a “sticker”). The idea here is that you buy the book, you send me an email letting me know you want a signed bookplate (along with your mailing address), and then I send you a bookplate free of charge, along with some Imminent Danger swag (bookmarks, stickers, personal thank you note for supporting me, etc.) Here’s a picture of a hastily done up bookplate that I totally didn’t just make five seconds ago:


I promise I’ll get a better gold marker so it isn’t all fuzzy looking. And if you want me to address the bookplate to a certain individual, or write a custom message or whatever, just let me know.

Anyway, that’s my shameless self-promotion for the Christmas season! If you’ve got a spare minute, please consider spreading the word about this whole “bookplate” thing … or just about my book and how awesome it is in general. And if you already bought a copy and want a bookplate, shoot a message/email my way and I’ll hook you up!

Unrelated media of the day:

As always, I can’t remember if I’ve already shared this or not, but either way, enjoy!

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What should I call my book series?

As work on the sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It proceeds at a glacial pace, my thoughts turn to the series as a whole and what it should be called. Considering that the first two things that draw me to a book are 1) the cover, and 2) the name, I want to make sure the series name is just as catchy as the book names themselves.

So to recap you, the two books currently in the series are Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It (published) and Chasing Nonconformity (not yet published). The genre is young adult space adventure / romance / humor. And now I need a series name.

The obvious choice is to base the name off of “Imminent Danger”, since that’s the first book in the series. But that could look a bit silly. Imagining browsing through Amazon and coming across this name:

Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It (Imminent Danger, #1)

Seems a bit redundant. Then again, that sort of thing happens to Twilight, Divergent, The Hunger Games … lots of popular series. Hmmm …

Time to draw inspiration from popular book series! Let’s see which popular YA series have “series names” that differ from the name of the first book in the series …

  • The Mortal Instruments (first book = City of Bones)
  • Caster Chronicles (first book = Beautiful Creatures)
  • The Infernal Devices (first book = Clockwork Angel)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians (first book = The Lightning Thief)
  • House of Night (first book = Marked)
  • Lunar Chronicles (first book = Lunar)
  • Gemma Doyle (first book = A Great and Terrible Beauty)

Time to analyze! Weeeeeeeeeee …

So it seems like most YA series go with whatever the name of the first book is. Probably makes life easier. The series that don’t do that seem to draw their names from either the protagonist, important items in the story, or … well, whatever the heck “House of Night” means. The word “Chronicles” also seems popular.

Either I go with something slightly dull, like The Imminent Danger Series, or I spice it up and capture the essence of the book with something a bit more vague, like The Lamri Chronicles or The Reluctant Xenophile Saga or Abducted! (I quite enjoy the gratuitous exclamation mark in the last one).

Hmm … what do you guys think? What’s a good series name for my fledgling YA space adventure / romance / humor series? All suggestions welcome, no matter how silly!


Unrelated media of the day:

I may have already shared this last Christmas, but whatever. It’s a lovely Christmas medley shot in a very cool way, so listen/watch and enjoy!

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

A haiku for every occasion

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but haikus are “the shizzle”, as teenage hoodlums like to say. For many years I lived in ignorance of this fact, fruitlessly pouring my heart out into birthday and Christmas cards, desperately trying to convey my thoughts and feelings in blathering prose that left everyone involved exhausted. Then I discovered haikus.

They are simplicity brought to life. They are the spark of human imagination, codified into lines of 5, 7, and 5. They are, quite simply, perfection.

Also, they’re super handy. It is a universally known law that when confronted with a haiku, the reader will be far more interested in counting the syllables of each line than in, say, the actual contents of the haiku. This can work in your favour in multiple ways. The most obvious, I think, is that eternal problem of what to write in greeting cards.

Take birthday cards. You could spend half an hour gathering your thoughts and putting them to paper, cringing at each cliched sentence, well aware that the person receiving the card will be utterly unimpressed by your half-hearted babbling that inevitably uses the words “happy” and “birthday” seven or eight times over the course of the message. Or you could write a haiku, and watch in peaceful contentment as the card-receiver discovers your haiku and happily sets about counting the syllables. It’s a win win! You spared yourself the time and agony of etching out a heartfelt sentiment, and you gave the card-recipient a fun little game to pass the time.

Now, I’m very proficient at knocking out haikus left and right, but I know some people aren’t. Therefore, I have helpfully created a series of “Happy Birthday Haikus” for you. Simply pick the haiku that matches the number of syllables in your birthday boy or girl’s name, slot in the name, and you’re good to go!


1 syllable

Happy birthday, _____

Of all my friends in this world,

None compare to you!

2 syllables

On this day, _____

Eat cake, laugh and shout hurray,

For it’s your birthday!

3 syllables

My dear _____

On this most birthful of days,

I shout hip hurray!

4 syllables

Oh _____

I think you know what I’ll say,

Happy birthday! Yay!

If you know someone with a first name longer than five syllables … well, tough. Ditch them and get friends with more manageable names.


Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Re-blog: The Worst Christmas Story Ever Written

Courtesy of Eric John Baker, the worst and most hilarious Christmas story ever written:

The Worst Christmas Story Ever Written.

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy End of the World!

Okay, not actually. But you were a little worried for a few days there, weren’t you? Admit it!

Since the world hasn’t ended, I guess it’s time to accept the fact that the apocalypse won’t conveniently excuse me from my responsibilities. Dang.

In my infinite wisdom, I’ve been lax on keeping up with work hours this week, which means that I’ll be spending most of the holiday catching up. Le sigh. Not quite the Christmas I’d imagined, but it’s my own fault, so I guess I can’t complain.

In other news, I’ve officially submitted my edits for the first proof round iUniverse sent me for Imminent Danger. This means that, once the design team gets done going through them and making all the changes (and believe me, there are many changes, especially to the cover design), they will send me a final proof copy. Hypothetically this “final” proof will have incorporated all my changes, which means I can sign off on it and then Imminent Danger will go to print! Woo!

So we’re still on track for the January 2013 release date, although Santa alone knows when in January that release will actually be. Still, considering that my tentative release date for the last six years has been “sometime”, narrowing it down to a month is pretty fantastic in my books.

But enough about me. I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be getting done over the holiday, especially due to my excessive work overload. Therefore,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Unrelated image of the day:


Related video of the day:

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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