Friday, October 23, 2015

Steve Jobs - Movie - 2015 - Review





What can I say about the movie, “Steve Jobs.”  Well…. Have you ever heard that old motherly expression, “If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.”  Well… my Mom… She may not have watched this movie.  That being said, my mother is a very good woman who prays for me every Sunday and six more days too.  To honor her, I’ll give the movie this…. For what little they had to work with, the talent of the actors and actresses will continue to get them more work in the future when most have forgotten about this movie.

Now, nice time is over.  Let’s say that you are given a choice between going to see this movie, or using a power drill on your own skull… Just choose the power drill.  It will be less painful

What more can I say than that?  Well… I’m guessing you’re not one to trust so easily.  So, let’s take this a bit further and be done with it.

Steve Jobs plays out on the backstage of every Apple product release show from 1984’s Mac, to somewhere beyond the iMac Gummi computer.  There is no inspirational story, only a fleeting few flashbacks to fill in the blanks of a two hour argument, with various people Steve had wronged.  The conclusion of each comes with either the witty comment by Jobs saying, “Go f*** yourself,” or “I will get you some money.”

If you go to see this movie then expect a long elevator ride with Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) listening to nothing you say, but constantly explaining why you are wrong.

I sat in that theater last night, and when it finally ended and the credits were done.  The screen turned dark and the lights came up and with a blank stare of disbelief, I said to the emptied theater, “What the frak, was that?”


You have been warned.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Door in the Woods

By Michael L. Turner 


Every day, I walked those woods.  From here to there, and back again, but never the same way twice.  Then one day, when I was less than halfway between here and there, I chanced upon a door.  Such an ordinary thing it might have been, and this might have been just an ordinary place for such a thing to be, but standing part way open, it was a calling to any curious soul that happened by.  At its threshold I stood, staring at the darkness beyond.  I leaned left, and I leaned right, but the light of day did not stretch far.  Into my pocket I reached and my last night candle I found, but only a single match for a single light.  Caution urged me on, but curiosity asked me to stay.  I looked upward at a sun, tilting toward evening.  I was only halfway there, and still far from back again, but I never traveled the same way twice.  The match was struck, the candle lit, and through the door I stepped. 




Art by wyldraven




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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Join the Relaunch


 

 

Before I start, I'd like to thank Michael for inviting me here to his blog. I am relaunching my Artesans of Albia fantasy series now that the first trilogy is complete (yes, first - there are two more trilogies to come!) and I hope you will take advantage of the special offer prices that are available from 12 - 19 December, while this blog tour lasts. Links below! And don't forget the Giveaway - you could win all 3 of my books, both signed print copies and e-books, plus all the books in the BookBlast!





Where I Find Inspiration.


People are always asking where I find the inspiration for writing fantasy novels. I have mentioned many times in other blog posts how the initial idea for the series came about (if you don't know, it was from watching a kids' 1970s TV program called 'Tarot - Ace of Wands),  so I'm not going to ressurrect that theme here.  I always find it fascinating to read where other writers get their ideas, so here are a few of mine.

I own two rescue dogs, Milly and Milo. They are technically Lurchers. Milly, we believe, is Whippet/Border Collie cross (you can't see the Collie, it's in her brain - she looks like a golden Whippet) and we believe Milo to be a Short-Haired Saluki (according to a retired dog show judge who lives in our village). What has this to do with inspiration for writing, I hear you ask? Well, I find walking a great way to clear the mind, and when my mind is clear, all sorts of weird things pop into it. When I began writing my Artesans series, many of the ideas for the plot came to me while out walking in the woods. I found this extremely frustrating at first, until I learned to carry a notepad and pencil!  

We live in the North Hampshire countryside in southern UK. It is mainly farmland, with a few copses and small woods. There is plently of wildlife - pheasants and other game birds (put there for the farmers to shoot, poor little things), badgers, rabbits, deer, and foxes. In the winter, if we get snow, I love tracking these animals by their footprints. If you look with an artist's eye, you can see patterns and even messages written across the white pages that the snow creates out of the fields. How could you not be inspired by such sights? Sometimes I wish I were a poet - our landscape would have me writing endlessly.

My Artesans of Albia fantasy series has songs associated with it. There is a song for each of the books currently published, and I'm now working on the music for Book 4, which will be published in Spring 2014. Because the "magic" system in Artesans is nature-based (my Artesans channel the elements through their own souls and life forces), I found plenty of inspiration for these songs by walking around our local lanes, woods, and fields. Natural music is all around us, you simply need receptive eyes and hears to be aware of it. We are also on the top of a hill, and Nature's elements often make themselves felt - even when you wish they wouldn't!

Farmers are, by necessity, practical people, and I think it would be quite reasonable to view farmyards as generally lacking in inspiration for writers of fantasy. Yet round here, you'd be wrong. I remember the day I went for one of my normal walks, one that took me past the grain store sheds, the tractor with its covering of mud, and the long-forgotten, rusty farm implements. Not the kind of place you'd expect to be suddenly confronted by a stone circle. Yet that's exactly what happened. There, next to the track leading down to the sheds, stood a stone circle that definitely hadn't been there the week before.

And it was beautiful. Some of the stones were upright, some flat on the ground. Some had holes bored through them, some not. They were different kinds of stone too, and different colors. It was a wonderful experience, walking around the corner and seeing this ethereal sight. I remember being captivated by it, and wondering what had made the farmer do it? The stones were  large - they would not have been cheap to buy! There is no quarry nearby, so they had to be transported. I guess the farm tractors would have been used to 'plant' them, but I'm sure they cost our farmer a portion of his profits. And he's added to them lately as well - the circle still grows!

 
So as you can see, I find our beautiful local landscape a brimming rescource of ideas and images when I need inspiration.


 
Artesans of Albia series synopsis.



 On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff.

Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran's actions, Major Sullyan of the High King's forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.

Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.

Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan's greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan's life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.

The race for the Staff has begun.

Here is the YouTube link to the new Trilogy trailer:


 

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR King’s Artesan

 

“One of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. The balance between background story and action is just perfect. I’m very glad I found this author. You won’t want to miss this series!” ~Denyse Cohen, author of Witch’s Soulmate, Book 1 of the Living Energy Trilogy

 

“Splendidly written in a wonderful voice, drew me in immediately. Ms. Peace’s imagination alone gets 5 stars. Spectacular worlds and enchanting scenes. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a world of a charming fantasy with plenty of layers and a host of intriguing characters won’t be disappointed!” ~Rosary McQuestion, author of Once Upon Another Time

 
“As soon as I finished this book I was eager to start the next. I highly recommend this book. Great Job!!” ~Janus Gangi, author of Elizabeth Rose and That Morning After


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.

 Cas's other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing. Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:









Giveaway

It is scheduled to start on December 12th and run until December 19th:

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway




 
 
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Rules #3


 

Behind the Closed Door
Sleep, you no longer can.
A scratching at the door you hear.
Down the steps you walk.
That damn dog wants in.
Your hand is upon the handle.
An animal’s whine echoes from the other side
Then the awake, little voice in your head speaks up.
“You don’t have a dog.”
Then a hoarse voice calls from beyond the door.
“Let me in.”
Rule #3 – Do not open the door.  You will find no escape.  You will only let them in, and then you will die.
 Halloween is Coming!!!
My Home:
 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Developing a main character by Dianne Gardner






“Where did you get your idea for your main character?”



Ian Wilson is the main character in Deception Peak. Once you read how I came up with him, you’ll know a little bit about the story. Just read on and see…

Writing a novel is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together and the most difficult part is the beginning. If you’re like me you’ll take the border pieces and fit them together first because they’re the easiest to find. They have flat edges and they frame everything in. Once you have them in place you can pretty much group the other pieces by color, patterns and design and get an estimate of where they might fit in the picture.

A novel is pieced together much in the same way. You have to find the framework. I’ve heard this framework called a plumb line, and other people call it a premise.  Basically, you have to ask yourself the question…what is this story going to be about?

 
The way I work, before I can think about who is going to be in the story, I need to know something about the story.


Deception Peak is about the adventures of a boy who is faced with the impossible task of removing a dragon from a magical world.


There is the framework.


Now that I have the premise, I see that there are at least three things that have to be created in my story: i.e. the dragon, the magical world, and the boy.


Now everyone knows that novels need conflict and tension otherwise we’d have nothing more than a boring piece of text sounding much like the diary I wrote when I was younger.


Dear Diary, nothing happened today.


Here are a few things I took into consideration while creating my main character.


·         In order for the story to have a lot of tension, I knew I couldn’t make the boy a super hero. It’d be too easy. One fight and wham, you’re out.

·         The boy had to come from some place other than the magical world because I wanted to put some adventure in the story, some wonders.

·         I also wanted to have a boy that my readers can relate to. A typical teen. No one special.

·         Other tension creating dynamics would be a personality that isn’t used to taking on odd obstacles in his life, like a dragon.

·         Someone who doesn’t ordinarily take risks.

·         A homebody who doesn’t normally go traveling into strange worlds.

·         A boy who needs to grow up.


For those who have read Deception Peak, do you see an Ian Wilson taking shape here?


Ian needed to be different physically too, just to make things harder for him! And since all the tribes I was creating in the Realm were based on the physical characteristics of Scandinavian people, Ian needed to be dark and I chose a young lad with dark bushy hair, Hispanic in heritage, on his mom’s side.


Ah! I knew just the boy to pose for young Ian’s illustration--the son of a friend of my daughters’. He was thrilled and was even invited to play the part of Ian in the first book trailer.


By the time I figured out who my main character was, I also created some of the plot line, the events, and the relationships. It was a fun process!



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Happy Anniversary to Deception Peak!!



Topping Amazon's Paid Best Sellers list in children's Sword and Sorcery
Nominated for The Endeavor Award 2012

"Within seconds, the light show vanished and Ian opened one eye. What he had experienced was not at all what he had expected. No unusual sensations fizzled through his body. He hadn't felt like he was plummeting in an elevator, or blasting through space like in a rocket ship. It didn't even feel like he might be racing down an escape chute on an airplane. No jet sounds, or hums, or buzzes, rattled in his ears."

And so young Ian Wilson enters the Realm.

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. 

 

But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It's then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.



Book 2 and 3 The Dragon Shield and Rubies and Robbers are available now!

If you enjoy dragons, sorcery, wizards, magic, legend, and fantasy adventure, than this series is for you!
 


Dianne Gardner, an award winning author, is also an illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA. She's an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women.  She is author to The Ian’s Realm Saga, Tales of the Four Wizards and is currently writing a screenplay of her fourth book Cassandra’s Castle all published by PDMI publishing.

You can see more of Dianne’s work on her website http://gardnersart.com


Dianne's Links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Time for the Giveaway!!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The One More Thing:  I would to say, “Thank you” to Dianne for her visit today on her tour, and to everyone else that dropped by.   New and Old friends are always welcome here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Rules #2: by Michael L. Turner




The old fears are always with us.  They were there at the beginning, and they will follow us to the end.  You know what I am speaking of.   I see it in your eyes, and you see it too whenever you look in the mirror.  You have hidden the memories well as you’ve aged, but a younger part of you remembers.  Thoughts that have been ignored for too long are now screaming to be heard. 
You know what you saw.  It was the shadows that hid in the corners of your room, that noise under the bed, the persistent tap at the window, and that thing in your closest.  In these places they waited, they listened, and they watched.  You were right to fear them, but then came the lie with its warm caring smile.

“There is nothing there.  You only imagined it,” both your parents said.  “Go back to bed.  It was just a bad dream.”

How many have been blinded by such comforting words, and were they truly comforting?  Those dismissive words echo in the dark places.  The intrusion by those who dwell in the shadows has been pardoned.  The child is sent back to bed.  The young one will repeat the lie to them self, and tries to forget.  The watchers and listeners are pleased.  They won’t be rushed, and their time can now be taken.

Rule #2 – A lie cannot hide you from the truth.  The fear is real.

Now they are coming for you, and you are not prepared to meet them.


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Halloween is Coming!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Rules #1: By Michael L. Turner



At the turning of the year that time has come again, and we face the setting sun.  While we cling to its last rays of light, behind us we know the darkness waits.  Soon it will beckon us to turn, and that moment we do, there is hope that we shall see only the dawn.  It is a fleeting hope, for that hour has moved further away as each night draws longer, and the days are cut short.  In this the darkness finds amusement, and smiles at us.  We see its teeth, and we hear the clicking of claws, and then finally the screams that might be our own. 




 

Rule #1 – Be afraid of the dark.  You have no idea what’s waiting for you.

Halloween is coming!














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