31 March 2012

Hellbound Tour & Giveaway: "Manda-Rae's" stop

Today's stop is at Manda Rae's blog:

Manda has reviewed the book, and even though she's given it 3 stars, I think she made great comparison to a series of movies...
Join us, you might win
PDF copy of Hellbound
Amazon gift certificate worth $25/-

29 March 2012

Hellbound Tour & Giveaway:Nick's Book Blog

Today I'm at Nick's Book Blog:

Join us, see my answers to Nick's questions, like what inspired me to write Hellbound.
 You might win
PDF copy of Hellbound
Amazon gift certificate worth $25/-

28 March 2012

Hellbound Tour & Giveaway - Today's stop

Today's stop is at Sweet Southern Home, and Carrie has done a great job with the post's formatting. Thanks, Carrie.
Here's the link:

When there, remember to scroll down to Enter Here to go to the rafflecopter.
A quick reminder that by entering you might win:
PDF copy of Hellbound
Amazon gift certificate worth $25/-
 Good luck everyone.

26 March 2012

Hellbound Tour & Giveaway

I'm going on a Hellbound tour to promote the book (LOL, hell bound tour...get it!!!)
The tour will have combination of stops; reviews, guest posts, promo stops...etc. Follow the tour and enter the draw, you might win:
PDF copy of Hellbound
Amazon gift certificate worth $25/-

The stops are listed here: http://enchantedbooktours.eternalised.net/2012/03/tour-schedule-for-hellbound
And I will announce each post's direct link here on Vivid Sentiments
So, without further ado, here's today's link to an awesome review:

See you there!

19 March 2012

That Unnamed Feeling...ASMR

For a long time, I thought I was the only person who got tingles down the back of the neck and shots of it through the body if someone flipped through a magazine. The same happens if hair is being groomed and fixed. Lord help us if it's mine, I would dissolve.
Once a friend of mine was flipping through a fashion magazine. She became uncomfortable and was shooting me weird looks. Eventually she stopped and asked why my eyes half-closed and I stared at her hands so fixedly.
I couldn't explain what was happening to me, and I can only guess at what went through her head.
Now I know I'm not a freak of nature, there are others who experience ASMR, there are even YouTube channels dedicated to it.

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Don’t let the big jargony name fool you, I was told the other day it's an informal and non-scientific term. It refers to the tingling sensation triggered by watching or listening to particular events or activities. The tingling sensation differs from the one triggered by fear; ASMR has a definite relaxing edge to it. It was called at one stage AIHO, which stands for Attention Induced Head Orgasm; that on its own should explain part of the feeling. I'm aware of one more term for it: WHS which stands for Weird Head Sensation.
It's like those round globes with rays of light if you touch them, the Plasma Globes or balls. Picture those rays shooting out of your head and neck to different parts of your body, bringing on a sensation that will leave you caught in the moment. Your eyes or ears won't be able to release whatever causes the feeling.
Plasma ball cosmocurio
From what I watched on YouTube, there are different triggers; like listening to a foreign language or a whispering, having your or someone else's hair being massaged, tapping of nails on wood or hard surfaces, flipping of pages, watching someone perform an activity like gardening or painting or drawing. Even watching someone hand-write can trigger it. The other day I was watching an episode of Tales of the Unexpected and a woman touched a small arrangement of flowers gently, just in passing. Man, did I melt!
These are examples of many more. Mine are: 
  • Playing with or grooming my hair or someone else's.
  • Listening to someone hum while delicately performing an activity. This one varies.
  • Flipping through a magazine.
Unfortunately, if I'm the one flipping the pages, playing with my hair, or humming, it doesn't work. For these triggers to work for me, someone else must perform them naturally. In other words, a person should not be doing them slowly or gently on purpose to cause ASMR; it should be a natural process. Does that make sense? Some videos on YouTube accomplish that, others come across as forced or fake.
Sadly, every good feeling comes to an end, and with that ending some people reported headache, numbness, or irritation.
I must admit though, I never experienced any of these negative feelings after a good ASMR session. Well, perhaps only an irritation that it's over.

I'll leave you now with a sample video of turning pages, it's by Visual Sounds1 on YouTube:

So, have you ever experienced ASMR? If yes, what are your triggers?

 Image attribution: By Cosmocurio (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

16 March 2012

Book review: The Legend of Rachel Petersen

The Legend of Rachel PetersenThe Legend of Rachel Petersen by J.T. Baroni

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rachel Petersen's story takes place over many years, hundreds of them. It's the story behind the birth of Rachel's evil legend as a killer and then as a vengeful spirit who terrified the area where she used to live. When her story came to Christian Kane, he diligently wrote it as it happened. Was it fiction? Did he dream it or imagine it?

The author has created a multi-layered tale; each time I figured I figured out the truth, a new layer appeared and I sat to (reveal) read it. Each layer is as fascinating as the one before it. I had fun reading this book. It was an entertaining mix of history, murder, suspense, and horror. The words drew vivid images of the era/s, and the ending was a total surprise.

J.T. Baroni, if you ever read this, here's wishing you all of Christian's success and none of the suffering.

View all my reviews

14 March 2012

Guest blog: The Story of Vampire Blood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

This month, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith is sharing with us the story behind Vampire Blood, her release from Damnation Books.
Over to you, Kathryn!

The Story of Vampire Blood
Author’s Revised Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
A rerelease of my 1991 Zebra paperback romantic vampire novel

In 1990 or so I’d just got done releasing my first three paperback novels with Leisure Books, a romantic historical (The Heart of the Rose 1985) and two romantic horror books (Evil Stalks the Night, 1984 and Blood Forge, 1989), and because I wasn’t making much money on them, was looking, as most so-called restless young authors were doing, to move up in the publishing industry.
So I wrote snail mail letters to three established authors of the day – Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Peter Straub – asking for a little advice and a little help. What do I do next? I want to be one of the big dogs running in the big races. I want to make the big bucks. Be famous like you. (Ha, ha. I was so naïve in those days!) 
Well, Stephen King and Peter Straub never answered my letters but one rainy fall night I got a phone call from Gerda Koontz (Dean Koontz’s wife) and she said Dean had gotten my letter and wanted me to have a name of a brand new agent who I should call or write to and say I was recommended by him. If I thought it strange that Dean Koontz himself wasn’t actually talking to me I was told by Gerda that he was a shy man and had had a particularly hard couple of months because of family problems (I think it had something to do with his father in a nursing home or something, but can’t exactly recall now) and he’d asked her to call me. She often did that for him, as well as helping him with the business side of his writing career. He (through her…and I got the impression that he was actually nearby telling her what to say the whole time) said I had to have an agent (I didn’t have one) and then he gave me the name of an ambitious one, Lori Perkins, just starting out and his advice on what I should do to advance as a writer.
I do remember being incredibly touched that he, a famous busy novelist that I admired – I loved his Twilight Eyes – would take the time to talk to me, even through his wife. They were both so sweet and we talked for nearly an hour all about writing, books and everything.
I took their advice and contacted that agent and she agreed immediately to represent me on my fourth book, Vampire Blood, no doubt, because I said Dean Koontz had recommended her to me. Name dropper! But Vampire Blood was the reason I’d contacted those famous authors in the first place. I thought it was the best book I’d done so far and wanted it to go to (what I thought at the time) would be a better publisher than Leisure Books, which contracted and hog-tied their writers with a horrible ‘potboiler’ one-size-fits-all ten year contract with low advances and 4% royalties. Yes, I got a whole whopping 14 cents a book in those days, but, I must confess, they did print thousands of paperbacks each run and had a huge distribution area.  I thought I could do a lot better. Anyway, Lori Perkins wanted me to send her the book and she did like it and eventually sold it, and then three others zip-zip-zip right after, to Zebra Books (now known more as Kensington Publishing) at 6% royalties and double the advances I was used to getting. They slapped a sexy blond vampire with a low dress on the cover and a hazy theater behind her. Lovely colors. I thought it was an eye-catching cover. I was so happy. I thought I’d made it! Again, so naïve.
Vampire Blood. A little story about a family of vicious killing vampires who settle in a small Florida town called Summer Haven and end up buying and fixing up an old theater palace to run, and pluck their victims from, and a divorced, down-on-her-luck ex-novelist and her worn-out father, who along with friends, help thwart them.
Now to how and why I wrote it.
My husband and I lived in this small Illinois town, Cahokia, at the time and there was the neatest little hole-in-the-wall theater in a nearby shopping center we used to go to all the time…run by a family of a sweet man, Terry, and his wife, Ann, and sometimes their three children, two teenage boys and a girl named Irene.  Such a friendly, but odd couple. The run-down theater was their whole world it seemed. The kids helped take in the tickets, pop the popcorn and sell the candy snacks.
Now the minute Terry and Ann found out, in one of our earliest conversations, that I was a published novelist they were my greatest fans. Terry went right out and bought all three of my books and they all read them. Terry always thought they’d make great movies. Next time my husband and I went to the little theater Terry and Ann greeted us like old friends, so delighted to see us, and refused to take a dime from us for anything. We got in free whenever we went from then on. Now in those days my husband, my son, James, and I were pretty broke. I worked as a graphic designer at a big brokerage firm in downtown St. Louis (across the Poplar Bridge from our Illinois town) but my husband was in between jobs. We lived on a shoestring. Hard times. So I always was so tickled that we could get into the local movies for free. We went a lot, too, as we loved movies, especially science fiction and horror films.
One night I was watching Terry and Ann and their joy in running that little theater, with the kids bustling around doing their jobs, and I got the idea for Vampire Blood. Just like that! Use them and the theater as a backdrop for a vampire novel. Hey, wouldn’t it be neat, I off-handedly mentioned to Terry one night, if I wrote a book about a family of vampires that was trying to pass as a real human family, the man and woman wanting so badly to fit in and lead a normal life for a while, renovating and then running a theater together…but the kids are wild and, as kids always do, make trouble for them in the town…killing people? Terry loved the idea and I asked him if it’d be all right to use him and his family as a template for the vampires. He was thrilled to be part of anything to do with my books and said yes. So…I wrote this book about them (sort of), the theater (making it much grander than it was, of course), a small town terrorized by cruel, powerful vampires who can change into wolves at will….and a saddened lonely woman, her brother, and her ex-husband (who she still loves and ultimately ends up with again after he saves her life) who finds herself again, but loses a lot, as well, fighting these vampires. Vampires she doesn’t believe in at first.
I was very happy with the book when it was done and dedicated it to Terry and Ann when it came out in 1991. Terry and Ann were thrilled, too.
So Vampire Blood came out and did very well for me, second only to my Zebra 1993 Witches. As the years went by it went out of print and when, twenty years later, Kim Richards at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course) my 7 out-of-print Leisure and Zebra paperbacks – and I said a resounding yes!
So…here it is…Vampire Blood…twenty years later, alive again and better, I believe,  than the original because my writing then was done on an electric typewriter, with gobs of White-Out and carbon paper (I couldn’t afford copies), using snail mail; all of which didn’t lend itself to much rewriting. And in those days, editors told an author what to change and then the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it. Who knew what those sneaky editors were slipping in inbetween and before the final book was in an author’s greedy little hands. Hey, and I was working full time, raising a son, living a life and caring for my big extended family in one way or another, too. Busy, exciting, loving, happy and sad times.
For this new version, Damnation Book’s cover artist Dawné Dominique made me an astonishingly intriguing cover of a lovely vampire (Irene the youngest vampire who turns out to be the most brutal and ancient in the end)…but, thank goodness, without the low sexy top. And my DB editor, April Duncan, helped me make it a better novel.
A lot has happened to me and my family in these twenty years, as well. Both my parents, and my beloved maternal grandmother, the storyteller of her generation, have since passed away. Many people we used to know have. Old boyfriends, old friends and relatives. I miss them all! I no longer have that agent; she went on to bigger advances and bigger writers.  I lost my good job at the brokerage firm, bumped around in lesser jobs for years, always writing in my spare time, and now, at long last, write full time while my husband works way too hard in a machine shop to support us.
Rewriting the book brought back so many good memories…and tears over those no longer here. The theater closed sixteen years ago, the owner believing it’d served its purpose and used up its time. Terry and Ann, heartbroken, were never the same. They had other jobs, none they truly cared about.  Ann is still with us, but Terry died a few years ago, I heard from someone. We lost contact once they stopped running the theater and we moved from Cahokia to a nicer town miles away.
But I’ll never forget those early days and the stories that came with them. Days of high hopes and far distance future dreams…some of which have come true and some which haven’t. I’ve never made the big bucks, never gotten truly famous, but now, at long last and to my great delight, all twelve of my older books, from Leisure, Zebra, and The Wild Rose Press are being rewritten and reissued from Damnation Books and Eternal Press between June 2010 and July 2012. Better than ever after I’d rewritten them. I have plans to write more books and short stories, too, when they’re done. Most importantly, I’m living a good life with a husband I adore and brothers and sisters I love. Writing the stories I was born to write and happy I am. I have my memories. All in all, I’m a lucky, lucky woman.
So, all you writers out there…never give up and never stop writing!
Thank you!
Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been writing for nearly forty years and has published 14 novels and 7 short stories since 1984 with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press in the horror, romantic paranormal, suspense and murder mystery genres… and all 12 of her old books, see below, (and two new ones) are being brought out again between June 2010 and July 2012 from DAMNATION BOOKS www.damnationbooks.com and ETERNAL PRESS www.eternalpress.biz again in print – and all in  e-books for the first time ever! Learn more about her at www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or  www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or  www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith and http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486 .
Here’s a list of all my published novels and short stories:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure,1984; Damnation Books, July 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure,1985)
Blood Forge (Leisure,1989; Damnation Books, February 2012)
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books, July 2011)
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books, October 2010)
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books, April 2011)
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions;
  Damnation Books, February 2011)
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books, October 2011)
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007...out again from Eternal Press in
  August 2011)
Winter's Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008...out again from Eternal Press in
  September 2011)
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008...out again from Eternal Press in November 2011)
Don't Look Back short story (2008...out again from Eternal Press in 2011)
In This House (short story 2008...out again from Eternal Press in 2011)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (2010)
The Woman in Crimson (2010) ***

11 March 2012

Latest trailer: Night's Salvation by Laurie Sorensen

Historical Romance
Duty, love and passion take flight on the wings of destiny. Compelled by honor and duty, Night Ravenwood leaves his life on the sea to return home after his brother's death. As the new heir to Ravenwood Manor, he finds himself in an arranged marriage he doesn't want. When tragedy strikes the newlywed couple, Nights realizes he's in love with the beautiful and serene Satine. She vows to make Night understand his destiny is with her, meanwhile someone is willing to commit murder to keep them apart. Will love or murder shape the destiny of this union?

Author Website: http://www.lauriesorensen.com

09 March 2012

Latest Trailer: Death Offerings by Alicia Dean

Coming Soon


Newspaper columnist, Monroe Donovan, is haunted by the murder of her childhood friend. Twenty-five years ago, Katie Broussard was grabbed from Monroe's backyard and brutally slain. The murderer was never caught, but it's been three years since his last kill, and Monroe is hopeful that the monster has finally stopped.
Trying to generate evidence that will help identify the killer, Monroe writes a series of articles on the murders. But, rather than help solve the case, it appears the articles might have woken a sleeping maniac. Another young girl is found dead, and evidence implies the killer is trying to get Monroe's attention.
When more girls are murdered, and someone close to Monroe is kidnapped, she becomes embroiled in a game of cat and mouse. What the killer doesn't know is that this mouse knows some games of her own...and with stakes this high, Monroe is determined to come out the winner. 

Author Website: http://AliciaDean.com

07 March 2012

Latest trailer: A Year to Remember by Shelly Bell

Women's fiction

When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year. After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart's desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps towards recovery from her addiction to food.

Author Website: http://www.shellybellbooks.com

06 March 2012

Guest post: Read a spooky ghost story & help sponsor a Leader Dog!

          I have a very special guest today; author J.T. Baroni, who's visiting us today with the story behind his book, The Legend of Rachel Petersen. I have purchased the book upon its release because...well...how can I resist such a title and cover! Knowing how J.T. got his inspiration, the book has moved higher on my reading list. Read on to be intrigued :-)
Welcome, J.T.!
            Hello! And a big thanks to Su for having me as a guest on her blog!
            I am pleased to announce that my book, The Legend of Rachel Petersen, has been released through Damnation Books, and I plan on donating a portion of my book’s proceeds to The Leader Dogs for the Blind, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This organization has been training Leader Dogs and placing them with blind people, free of charge, since 1939, and they have achieved this amazing feat all from donations.
            I know all too well, both their generosity and the impact of their invaluable services. Furthering that statement, I also understand first handedly how strongly the visually impaired faithfully depend, trust, and rely on their dogs, whereas my older brother, Gene, has been blind since birth, and is on his third canine companion. As kids, my brother and I were constantly hand in hand. We went everywhere together. I was, in fact, Gene’s first Leader Dog!
            We don’t get to visit each other as often as we would like since Gene resides three hundred miles away in Philadelphia. However, the times I have visited my brother, I was impressed on how well Gene’s dog guided his blind master through the streets of The City of Brotherly Love. It’s absolutely amazing how smart these animals are. The people in Michigan do a fantastic job in training these Leader Dogs. Valor, Gene’s latest dog, is a beautiful Black Labrador Retriever, and when my brother puts the harness on Valor, that dog knows it is time to work. He even seems to enjoy riding the subway.
            I live in a rural area of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and being the avid outdoorsman that I am, I spend a great deal of time in the woods, mostly within walking distance of my home. Last year, I came upon a lone grave in the woods, which inspired my paranormal tale. From years of weathering, the inscription was barely legible, it read, “Rachel Peterson, 1801 to 1899”. I changed the spelling of the last name and made my ghost character a young girl, which I feel gives the story a more realistic touch, while making the tale that much spookier.
            But what is really ironic, and eerily enough, my story revolves around 39-year-old sports writer Christian Kane, who becomes outraged when The Pittsburgh Post Gazette overlooks him for a well-deserved promotion. Kane quits the Paper and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods, with the headstone having the dates 1851 to 1853, which means the girl died during the Civil War. He is then compelled to pen The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating and horrific story based on the dead twelve-year-old girl laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone. His book quickly climbs the best seller lists; then Hollywood makes it in to a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous only to have Rachel rise from the grave, seeking revenge on him for slandering her name! Or does she?
The Legend of Rachel Petersen is available both as an e-book at Damnation Books, http://www.damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=135, or in paperback at your favorite online bookstore such as Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Rachel-Petersen-J-T-Baroni/dp/1615725431, or visit my website, www.jtbaroni.com and check out my movie trailer on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVOmw2vH4gg. However, I forewarn any potential readers, I wrote this story with a mature audience in mind; it does contain adult content, and one scene in particular may be disturbing for young readers. Two specific stories majorly influenced my plot structure, The Devil’s Advocate and The Sixth Sense; both of which are my all time favorite movies. Therefore, two unforeseen twists come out of nowhere at the end of the story and smack you upside the head.    
            I would like to graciously thank everyone who helps support my cause; raising a puppy to Leader Dog status is extremely expensive, averaging forty five thousand dollars per sponsored dog.
            In conclusion, thanks again for having me, Su, and I hope everybody enjoys my novel!

Author Bio:
Living in Western Pennsylvania all his life, J. T. Baroni has been an avid Whitetail hunter since he was old enough to tote a rifle, which is also about as long as he’s had a fondness for word games and literature. While hunting last year, Jim actually did stumble upon a weathered tombstone in the middle of the woods. Waiting patiently for any deer to cross his path gave him plenty of time to think about that lone grave’s inhabitant and ponder her story, which he was then driven to write. Eerie enough, this is the premise of The Legend of Rachel Petersen, his first published novel. Jim has also composed several songs that are currently signed with a music publisher. His home is Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Pittsburgh. Jim and his wife Becky are both proud members of the Lions International. They share their house with their son, Skyler, and two boxers.

03 March 2012

Latest Book Trailer: Rth Rising by Donna Steele

Kat Stanis always knew she wanted to be a doctor.
Davd Palty always knew he wasn't about to get truly involved with anyone.
The computer that runs the colony has other ideas for both of them.
When Kat is assigned by the head of the Enforcers to hunt down and return a 'shirker'-any colonist who tries to escape the computer's authority-she sets out to complete her assignment.
This shirker, Davd, a handsome and mysterious fellow enforcer, is more than she bargained for, and sparks fly when he turns the tables on her, capturing and kidnapping her away from all she knows.

Author Website: http://www.steelestories.com

01 March 2012

Latest trailer: Steamrolled by Pauline Baird Jones

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
With all of time at risk, it's a bad time to fall in love...unless it's the only time...
Robert Clementyne is going on a transmogrification machine hunt. He fears finding the machine will be as difficult as pronouncing the name. How can the steam-powered device perform as advertised, and how useful can any information be, coming from a steampunk themed bowling alley/museum?
It's pretty crazy, but he's been there, done that, and thinks he can handle it.
And then he meets the proprietor/curator...Emily Babcock.
Emily grew up in crazy, still lives in it—hey, it's her freaking zip code. So no worries when Robert and his team walk into her bowling alley. The first visitors ever to her museum.
But neither of them is prepared for what happens when they open the door to the past...and the future. With a side trip through Roswell...and a face-to-face meeting with an evil genius/wannabe—who is on his way to becoming evil overlord-of-everything...

Author website: http://www.paulinebjones.com