Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day and Anthology! Plus Books, Writing Contests, Bloghops, and a Solid Gold Godzilla

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Kristin Smith, Elsie, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue!

Today marks the one year anniversary since the IWSG site and Facebook group opened. We invite all IWSG members, Facebook members, and followers to contribute to The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, whether you are a writer on the journey or a published author. Post your contribution today or email your submission to the IWSG or me. Full details posted today at the IWSG site.
If you are posting for the anthology today be sure to include: title, topic (writing, publishing, or marketing), a one line bio (with your name, book(s), and blog), and state that you give us permission to use it. After you have posted, please add your link HERE.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I completed revisions on my latest manuscript and sent it to my publisher last Friday. Yeah, baby – done!

While there are things I can’t share yet about the story (at least until I hear back from my publisher) I can give you a few hints.

It’s a stand-alone space opera story. Set in a world different than the Cassa series.

The story was inspired by a song – the lyrics tell one story, and I just rearranged them to tell another story. (So every line of the song is in the story, just not in the same order. Don’t worry, that will confuse you even further when I post the song.)

It’s third person point of view, but told from the viewpoint of just one character. (Sorry, I don’t do first person. I didn’t want to be in this guy’s head any more than I was in Byron’s.)

I discovered that writing an entire story based on an ending inspired by a song was a little more difficult than I imagined…

There’s more than one woman in this book!

There is also a bit of a fantasy element in the story. Blame the song. It started it…

I aimed for grittier. I missed. You would think since I’ve been reading Joe Abercrombie lately some of that would’ve rubbed off.

This story has been with me for ten years, ever since I first heard the song that inspired it.

And if I have my way, it’s the last one I intend to write…

Ninja News

Don’t forget October 20 is the Survive and Thrive Bloghop. It’s all about prevention and staying healthy, so please join us.

Available today -

Hope for Her by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle 
Buy it on Kobo Amazon Barnes and Noble
There's also a great giveaway - visit Sydney's site for details.
White Lady by Jessica Bell 
Jessica will be visiting the Ninja Army on October 13!

Now open for submissions - Bold New Worlds
A National Speculative Fiction Short Story Contest for High School Students
Organized by Charity Bradford
Spread the news! If you have a high school student, encourage them to enter.
(I’m also one of the judges, which is really exciting!)

Hosted by Patricia Lynne - the Trick-Or-Treat Book Blog Hop
Authors sign up for a blog hop, write a post about the books they are handing out and post it on Halloween, people visit their blogs and comment trick-or-treat and the author gives them an ebook. EBOOKS ARE THE CANDY!

And from Blastr - if you happen to have a spare 1.5 million dollars lying around, you can be the proud owner of a 24-karat solid gold Godzilla based on the original 1954 look:

Picking up a solid gold Godzilla? Know a high school student who’d like to enter the writing contest? Anyone else base a story off of a song? What are your writer insecurities today? And are you contributing to the IWSG book…?

Monday, September 29, 2014

October Movie Preview, Survive and Thrive Bloghop, Movie Trivia Answers, Ninja News, and Writing Update

October Movie Preview!

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for October! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

10 –

Dracula Untold
Facing threats to his kingdom and his family, Vlad Tepes looks to make a deal with dangerous supernatural forces - without succumbing to the darkness himself.
Director: Gary Shore
Stars: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Art Parkinson
A sympathetic Dracula? As long as he doesn’t sparkle, I guess that’s all right.

17 –

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña
Apparently there are still untold stories about WWII as well…

The Book of Life
Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.
Director: Jorge R. Gutierrez
Stars: Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate
It looks unique, and with Del Toro’s name attached, there’s a good chance it will also be odd.

24 –

John Wick
When Russian mobsters kill his beloved dog, retired hit man John Wick returns to the game he played best - and brings bloody vengeance with him.
Director: Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Bridget Moynahan, Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane
Yes, it’s Keanu Reeves, but don’t run! The film is actually getting a great buzz. 

Personal Update

Last Thursday, I finally finished all of my edits on my next manuscript! I’d been polishing and adding small scenes for weeks and almost to the point that I didn’t want to look at the story anymore. But I completed my task and sent it to my publisher Friday morning. Will talk more about it on Wednesday for my IWSG post.

I celebrated Friday night with pizza, beer, and Godzilla in 3D. (And the film was even better the second time. So was the 3D.)

Ninja News

Tree of Life now available!
All proceeds of the TREE OF LIFE ebook will benefit the Downey Education Fund set up for Tina’s children.
Buy it on Amazon

A Whisper of Rue by Decadent Kane

Death Knocks by Jay Noel and Miranda Hardy

Nicki Elson posted her Shelfie and look what book was just over her right shoulder. Thanks, Nicki!

Don’t forget this Wednesday is IWSG post day! If you are contributing to the anthology, IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, be sure to either submit your work or post on October 1. (We’ve received a lot of writing pieces already and need more on publishing and marketing.)

Movie Trivia Answers

1 - Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer - Heat
2 - Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn – Reservoir Dogs
3 - Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci - Goodfellas
4 - Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin – The Usual Suspects
5 - John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis – Pulp Fiction
6 - Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton – The Godfather
7 - Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro – The Untouchables

Survive and Thrive Bloghop

Monday, October 20, 2014
(Yes, Mark, I did just hyperlink myself…)

The blogfest is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages. Our desire is to motivate people to go in for early screening, and if a condition is caught early and treated, then our world just became a little better place to live.

The topics are wide open. You can post about a particular cause you support. Or you can share a personal or family experience that is near to your heart. What’s great about this Blogfest is you can inspire people to take care of themselves and their loved ones early enough to make a difference in their lives.

Sign up below and join us on October 20 –

Picking up some new books? Get the trivia right? Ready for IWSG post day? Joining us in the bloghop? And what movies catch your attention in October…?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Movie Posters from Interstellar, Night at the Museum III, and The Hobbit! Plus Mob Movie Trivia, Follow Fest, and Ninja News

Cool Movie Posters

Awesome posters for upcoming movies -

And thought I’d throw in this Guardians image from HitFix:

Ninja News

At the IWSG Site today is the awesome Jennifer Hillier!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Underrated Treasures Blogfest! All links go directly to the posts, so keep looking for more unknown treasures.

New Books -

Second Death by Gwen Gardner
Book I - The Afterlife Novella Series

A Pirate a Blockade Runner and a Cat by Beverly Stowe McClure

The Inner Sibling by GB Miller

Sherry Ellis is hosting the Bucket List Blog Hop on October 20 – see her site for details.

Follow Fest

This is my entry for Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest:

Name: Alex J. Cavanaugh

Fiction or nonfiction? Fiction

What genres do you write? Science fiction – space opera

Are you published? Yes, three books:
CassaStar – Amazon Best Seller
CassaFire – Pinnacle Book Award Winner, Amazon Best Seller
CassaStorm – eFestival of Books Award Winner, Pinnacle Book Award Winner, Amazon Best Seller
And putting final touches on my next manuscript before sending to my publisher.

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I’m the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and a A to Z Challenge co-host.

Tell us a little about yourself. I’m married, a Christian, a guitar player, movie lover, Ninja Captain, and all around geek.

What are you reading right now? Joe Abercrombie’s Before They Are Hanged

Which authors influenced you the most? Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Heinlein, Preston and Child, Timothy Zahn

Where can people connect with you? Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google+

Movie Trivia

Mobster movies! Name the film from the actors listed.

1 - Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer

2 - Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

3 - Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

4 - Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin

5 - John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

6 - Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

7 - Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro

Answers on Monday!

Excited about the movies featured in the posters? Discover some cool new things during the Underrated Treasures Blogfest? Participating in Follow Fest? And do you know any of the trivia…?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest! Plus Dragon and Ninja, BOTB Results, and Ninja News

Time for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest!

But first…

Ninja News

At the A to Z Blog today is Mina Burrows, who rocked the Challenge with her theme – classic monsters!

This Wednesday at the IWSG Site is the awesome Jennifer Hillier!

Don’t forget to either submit your work or post on October 1 for the IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond!
We’ve received a lot of writing pieces and need more publishing and marketing.
Also, please do not include quotes, as there may be a copyright issue with them.

How I Found the Write Path is available now!
Put together by Carrie Butler and PK Hrezo, many of us posted for the book blogfest earlier this year, and now the book is available.
It’s on Amazon and other sites – check it out!

Thanks to these two wonderful ladies for also featuring one of my books in their entry for the Shelfie Bloghop. (Tara, is there a prize for the most features?)

CD Coffelt

MJ Fifield

Battle of the Bands Results

It was really close!! Sadly, even with my vote, Stream of Passion did not win the Street Spirit battle. Shame, because the lead singer has what I call a voice of glass. But that’s all right, it’s still my favorite (the singer is amazing) and the inspiration for CassaStar.

Radiohead -20

Stream of Passion - 18

Dragon and Ninja

I’d like to share some images of a very special gift that is coming my way soon.
I am part of a special private blog group called Fellowship of the Dragon, founded by Father Dragon Al. He started creating the dragon (made in his own image) as a reward for the person who achieved their goals on a consistent basis.
I was honored to be named that person.
But even more, I was blown away by the talent and generosity of my friend, who not only spent countless hours making the dragon, but made a Ninja to go with him.
Al, I will treasure it always. You are an amazing Dragon friend.

Underrated Treasures Blogfest! 

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

Today, September 22, post about your favorite unknown –


Post about one or all four – dealer’s choice!

Here are my recommendations of underrated treasures:

The Light at the End by John Skipp and Craig Spector
It’s been many years since I read this one, but it’s a really intense horror/suspense story. It follows vampire Rudy Pasko and the man who wants to kill him, Joseph Hunter. It was extreme back in the day (published almost thirty years ago) although a bit tamer now by today’s standards. But the vampire is nasty, as he should be! Was out of print for years, but now available as an eBook.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
Set in the Wild West, the show possessed the same humor as Firefly. It was a mix of Wild West, Indiana Jones, and James Bond. Bruce Campbell rocked in the title role and the show was a lot of fun. It only ran two seasons, 1993 to 1994, and unfortunately is not available on NetFlix yet, just DVD.

7th Wonder – Mercy Falls
A progressive rock band, Mercy Falls is their best album and probably one of the greatest albums ever. It’s a concept album – a man in a coma is trying to escape and come back to reality. The music is so amazing and catchy. I highly recommend checking out all of their albums. (And the lead singer also now sings in Kamelot.)

Edge of Tomorrow
I decided to select a film from this year because this movie just didn’t find an audience, especially in America. And it deserved one – the movie is brilliant, smart science fiction. Beyond that genre, it possesses incredible special effects, a clever storyline, solid acting, intense action and moving drama, and is a complete package. Despite what you may think of Tom Cruise, this film is awesome – watch it!

What underrated treasures would you recommend? And have you read/listened to/seen any of those?

Contributing to the IWSG book? Picking up How I Found the Write Path? BOTB results surprise you? Do you want your own Dragon and Ninja? And what are your underrated treasures…?