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#BlogFlash Halloween

BlogFlash Halloween (#BlogFlash1031)

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Emeline and the Mutants - Free for 24 Hours ONLY!

Recently, I blogged about my publisher Fantasy Island Book Publishers doing an awesome Christmas freebie promo - well my time has come! For today only, you can download my novel, Emeline and the Mutants, straight to your Kindle for FREE.

Make sure you get in quick, because the clock is ticking, and you don't want to miss out on this fabulous chance to read my book. Here are the list of the other books on offer free for today only, so if zombies aren't your scene, there is plenty of variety to chose from! Clicking on the book covers will take you straight to the Amazon purchase page. Enjoy!

Sons of Roland: Back StorySons of Roland is a group memoir about the birth, life, death and resurrection of The Visitors, a 1960's rock & roll band hailing from Brooklyn. It follows bass player turned music mogul Edward Houlihan as he recounts The Visitors' meteoric rise to greatness, their wild escapades and their tragic demise. It's a story that must be told, and there is no one better to tell it than the Sons of Roland themselves... Forty years of sex, drugs and rock & roll explode to reveal the secrets and mysteries surrounding the most bizarre chapter in the history of rock & roll music, proving that Elvis is Dead, Paul is Alive and so are the Sons of Roland.

Beloved: A Paranormal RomanceGuardian angels are all around us. They watch us, protect us, guide us and some even fall in love with us. And so begins the story of Nena Moore, the teenage girl beloved by an archangel, as she discovers the true meaning of pure and unconditional love.

TERPSDeafness is perceived as a culture and not as a disability in the world of "Terps" and interpreters comprise the subculture that can only exist where Deaf and hearing overlap. That's the backdrop, but the story is about a marriage. An interpreter marries the only hearing member of a famous Deaf family. The interpreter has chosen to build her life around the Deaf world, but her husband was born into it and would rather do just about anything else.

SakuriLife as a package courier might not be the most glamorous of lifestyles; but for Sakuri it certainly comes at no shortage of thrills and dealings with the city's underbelly. So when an ex-mob boss requests a delivery through Sakuri's work it appears just to be an average job; right down to the attempt on her life to assure that package isn't delivered. 

Silent No MoreSilent No More is the story of Elisabeth Bauer, a modern young woman side-tracked by a freak twist in time to 1942-era Munich, Germany, where she unites with a rag-tag group of medical students bent on bringing Germany back from the brink of Hitler’s insanity. On the desperate journey to find a way back into her own world, she begins to see that life is not all black and white, and that sometimes even the most courageous can falter.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Freebies from Fantasy Island Book Publishers!

It's time to get into the Christmas spirit - well so says Fantasy Island Book Publishing. At the moment they are doing amazing Freebie promos via Amazon on all their books. It only lasts for 24 hours per book, but so long as you get in quick, you have the chance to snap up some AMAZING titles by their fabulous authors!

Check out today's specials:

 The Last Good Knight - Connie J Jasperson (I have read this one and it has made it to my list of all-time favourite novels)
 The Last Guardian - Joan Hazel
 Sin - Shaun Allan
 Losing Beauty - Johanna Garth
 Last Kiss In Tiananmen Square - Lisa Zhang Wharton

Make sure you 'Like' Fantasy Island Book Publishing on Facebook to keep up to date on the newest freebies as they appear!

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Returning From the NaNoWriMo Land of Insanity...erm....Creativity......

So, I haven't blogged for a while. I have a reason for that. You see, I went on an adventure to NaNoWriMo Land. I got lost for a while in the wild abandonment that is writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Did I make it? Yes I did. I went 10K over, in fact. Is the novel any good? Well, only time will tell, but you can check out the details of 'The Ring of Lost Souls' here. All I do know for the moment is that it took some stupendous and completely unexpected turns, which I never even saw coming.

And this is why I love November and National Novel Writing Month - you get swallowed up by the enormity of it and as a consequence, not only creative magic happens, but crazy risk taking also happens. This in turn seems to lead to even more creativity.

So, since I have finished a few days early, and now no longer know what to do with myself, I have compiled a list of interesting (in my eyes anyway, you may just be lulled into a sleepy land filled with numbers) statistics:

  • Number of words written in November: 68,387 
  • Actual word count as per NaNoWriMo validator: 60,387
  • Words lost due to laptop malfunction: 8,000 (Yes, I am STILL feeling ill at this. All I can say, is back up your work more often than once a day)
  • Number of days it took me to re-write above mentioned words: 1.5
  • Kilograms of red bullets eaten during the month of November: 1.4
  • Average words per day (as per NaNoWriMo website):2,012
  • Most words written in a single day: 8,000
  • Least words written in a day: 0
  • Day I reached 50,000 words: 21st November
  • Day I actually finished my novel: 28th November
  • Days it would have taken me to reach 50,000 words if all the days of no writing were taken out: 16 (Holy smoke, Batman!)
  • Number of plots thrown in because I couldn't think of anything else to add: 6
  • Number of above plots that were useful: 1
  • Number of covers designed: 2 (And thanks again to Jade Zivanovic for the best cover art EVER!)
So, there you have it! For those of you who are still writing furiously, may you creativity flow while your hands keep up. And for those of you who are writing you NaNoWriMo novel free-hand: are you INSANE?!?!?! No, just kidding ;-P Here's hoping your pen flows as freely as your creativity and your hand cramps up only after the 1st of December!

Monday 31 October 2011

Fantasy Island Book Publishing: Scare Our Pants Off Competition

Fantasy Island Book Publishing: Winner of the Scare Our Pants off Contest:

Congratulations to Jared Loper, who is the winner of Fantasy Island Book Publishing Halloween horror short story contest!

Jared wins a full edit of his story, a shelf full of horror, and a place in every blog of every FIBP writer with a link to his full story.

Here is his super scary entry:

Boogeyman by Jared Loper
Everything had been going well the day that it all happened. Surprisingly well, even. It had been a crisp, fall day. As Miguel walked home from his job at the Indianapolis Child Support-Prosecuting Attorneys, he could smell the moisture in the air. It would snow soon. If not today, then sometime later on in the week. The walk to Ransom Street wasn’t very far. It also wasn’t the most pleasant walk in the world. The neighborhood had been pretty run-down and was only getting worse. (More at

Saturday 29 October 2011

Halloween, NaNoWriMo and a New "Friend"

Here in Australia, Halloween is not so much of a big deal - or it wasn't a few years back. When I was a child, we never celebrated, mainly because my mother was religious and she didn't want to encourage the devil. So, of course, as soon as I was given half a chance, I stuck to Halloween like warts stick to witches.

This year I have been lucky enough to score tickets to possibly the best fun that can be had on Halloween eve - Club Fangtasia. This is a True Blood inspired party. There are plenty of Sookie's (myself included), loads of vampires and enough blood on tap to keep those vampires away from the humans. This event is so popular, that it is now sold out. Make sure you pop back here later on next week for all the photos in their gruesome glory!

Once Halloween is over, it is time for NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month to the uninitiated). This time last year I had absolutely no idea that the 80,000 word novel I was about to churn out in 29 days would be be picked up by publishing co-operative Fantasy Island Book Publishing. And such is the joy of the wild abandonment that is NaNoWriMo - anything is possible.

This year's theme is just as dark as last years, 'Emeline and the Mutants,' but nowhere near as bloody. Or so I hope. You see last year's novel was supposed to be urban fantasy, not fantasy/horror. Who knows which way the winds of creativity will flow once I start. I have tentatively titled this novel, 'The Ring of Lost Souls.' It will be based around an evil entity that has been trapped in an abandoned mental asylum. It's only point of contact with the 'real' world is via a ring. Needless to say my main character will be stupid enough to put this ring on and come in contact (read: possessed) with this entity.

Just like last year, my main character has graciously decided to set herself up with a Facebook account. So if you want to follow her life story as it unfolds during the month of November, then make sure you send a friend request to Isobel Claudette Smith.

Happy Halloween and good luck to all my NaNoWriMo friends - may all your plot bunnies be well behaved this year ;-)

Friday 14 October 2011

Fantasy Island Book Publishing: Scare Our Pants Off Contest

Fantasy Island Book Publishing: Scare Our Pants Off Contest:

Just in time for Halloween, FIBP announces the Scare Our Pants Off Horror Story Contest Deadline: Submit your stories by October 22nd...Maximum word count is 3,000.

Win a copy of Emeline and the Mutants, Black Numbers by Dean Lappi and Harbinger in the Mist by Anabell Martin. ALSO, there is Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars!

Monday 10 October 2011

How I Published My Novel by Rachel Tsoumbakos | WriMos FTW!

Check out my latest article on NaNoWriMo. Hope you all enjoy it! Who is attempting NaNoWriMo this year? Is it your first time? Let me know, and feel free to track me down via the NaNo link above, I go by the username 'barefoot writer'

How I Published My Novel by Rachel Tsoumbakos | WriMos FTW!

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Here, There and Everywhere!

It feels like it's been a million years since I blogged. And, honestly, it has been a while, but September is a crazy, busy month for me. I have roughly 1,865,778 things on my list of "Stuff to finish before NaNoWriMo."

So here is a really brief breakdown of what I have been up to:

  • School - yes, I am a mature age student. I am currently studying to become a hot librarian. Or so my hubby seems to think. Hopefully I will just be one of those regular types that don't have to wear glasses and swish my hair ridiculously every time someone enters the library.
  • TrueBloodNet - this is an all year gig (I write articles for them), but the True Blood season finale is in September, so I have a legitimate excuse to be all fangbangery, just like a goth teenager
  • Club Fangtasia - this ties in with True Blood also. It is an awesome Halloween party being held at a local pub. So I also have an excuse to splatter red paint at a white Merlotte's t shirt and call it a costume
  • Getting Emeline and the Mutants into print format - Now I can hear you all squealing with excitement (and I know some of those squeals are coming from men, so I will be discrete and not mention any names *cough* Gary Hoover *cough*). For those of you who are not yet lucky enough to own a fabulous eReading device, you will be able to purchase my book in paperback very shortly. Of course, this is another excuse to splatter red paint: this time at a book cover. By the way, watch this space for an exclusive sneak peak of the new cover artwork
  • School holidays - my kids are on holidays. Some days I do nothing but separate the pair of them. Once of these days I will video it, YouTube it and let them have to face the fact that their mother is very good at embarrassing the crap out of them
  • NaNoWriMo - Emeline and the Mutants was last year's NaNoWriMo. This year I have been researching a story that will be entirely different. So far I have bookmarked about 100 websites that deal with the paranormal, ghost hunting and deserted mental institutions - can you guess what my book will be about? It has a current working title of 'The Ring of Lost Souls'
Phew! I'm exhausted...time to go back to studying......(read: watching Ghost Hunters for 'research')

Thursday 11 August 2011

New Superdrug Developed...Can Anyone Say "Emeline and the Mutants"?

It's name is DRACO (double-stranded RNA activated caspase oligomerizers). I wonder if the person who named it wanted it to forever be associated with the bad kid in Harry Potter? Is it an indication of what might happen to this new wonder drug?

So what does it do?

Basically, scientists at MIT are on their way to creating a treatment that will be as effective with viruses as penicillin is with bacteria. Trials have shown that it is helped annihilate the common cold, H1N1 influenza, dengue fever, a polio virus, a stomach virus and several types of hemorrhagic fever.

How far away is this cure-all?

Scientists are testing on lab rats at the moment, so an actual drug that can be purchased, is still a long way off. The next step in the testing road is to now license the treatment to use in larger animal trials, and then human trials. So anyone who is suffering the flu right now, don't go holding your breath, since it may be a decade before we see any drug in a form that may be beneficial to humans.

Science vs Science-Fiction

In my book, Emeline and the Mutants, a miracle AIDS cure is found - with disastrous results. Anyone who has read Mira Grant's Feed, will find a similar tale, but this time woven around a cold wonder-drug that turns everyone into zombies.

Is this even possible?

Well, probably not, but then again, who's to say what sorts of complications will arise from taking the body's own living cells defensive proteins and making them commit suicide (this is scientifically known as 'apoptosis') in a bid to kill the virus?

Want more info?

Try these websites:

Sunday 7 August 2011

I Have Found My Happy Place...

...actually, it's been found for quite some time now.

Besides writing and reading anything I can get my hands on, I thoroughly enjoy growing things. Well, edible things anyway, I don't really see the point in flowers, as anyone who has read my other blog, The Barefoot Gardener, would know.

Every year I tend to go AWOL around this time (well, normally a little later than this, but it's an Spring this year). I get out there in the garden and frolic in the dirt. I pull weeds, I rediscover the good growing spots in the garden, and I plants bucket-loads of seeds. I have such an addiction to buying seeds that I am no longer allowed to enter Bunnings with my credit card. In true addict-style, I bought four packets of seeds from my fave eBay seed seller, Lil Miss Seedy, this morning to celebrate the fact that I would be dedicating my blog to gardening today.

This year, besides the obligatory vegetable seeds, I have also promised my daughter her very own secret garden. Shock Horror! That means flowers, and LOADS of them. Luckily, it is a secret garden, and can be hidden behind the orange trees, otherwise my friends and family may pull me up on the fact that I have finally caved.

My daughter, on the other hand, is terribly excited about having a new garden. She has decorated it with all her fairy statues that she has been collecting for this very purpose. While it is endearing, it is also distracting. As I plant, I have to keep rescuing the poor dears from being buried alive. I have also had to explain where fairy heaven is after stepping back to admire all my hard work and accidentally squashing one into oblivion. Interestingly enough, my daughter has announced "Don't feed the fairies." When I prompted her, she replied with, you'll get taken back to fairyland and you can never escape. Erm, think she's got her fables mixed up there!

Wednesday 27 July 2011

True Blood Interview on Triple J Radio Station

So, you may have noticed that i am a bit of a True Blood fan. I also write for a US based True Blood fansite called True Blood Net. Recently, my hubby was listening to Triple J on the way home from work, when a conversation was started about True Blood, and all things relating to vampires. So being the opportunist my hubby is, he insisted that I send them a text about the show.

So I did.

And this is what happened (you can listen to the whole podcast, but my interview starts around the 29 minute mark):

Thursday 21 July 2011

It's Been a Promotional Whirlwind of a Week!

Last week I announced that an excerpt from Emeline and the Mutants had been added to the Indie Book List blog. Well, this week that same excerpt has been added to a new blog called eBooks of Horror. It is run by the same fabulous lady, but it's main focus is the very specific genre of horror.

So you can imagine my excitement when I also got the news that my interview with fellow author, Gary Hoover (also from Fantasy Island Book Publishers), was going to publish my first ever author interview on his blog, The Artist's Studio. Make sure you check out not only my interview, but all the other great author interviews on his blog!

And to finish up my week, I have FINALLY started editing my vampire trilogy. It has been sitting there on the shelf collecting vast amounts of dust while I worry about how much needs to be slashed from it to make it readable. The first in the series, Indiana Meets A vampire, was the very first complete novel that I wrote, so while I know I need to be brutal in this edit, it also holds a dear spot in my heart.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Indie Book List Blog

So I got my first official mention on a blog today.

Make sure you check out my Emeline and the Mutants excerpt on the Indie Book List. For those of you who don't know much about my book, the excerpt involves Emeline, her vertically challenged friend, Gwennie, a troll and a riddle. Emeline is finding the riddle rather challenging and decides to deal with the troll in a different manner.

Don't forget to share the link to Indie Book List if you feel inclined :-D

Emeline and the Mutants Book Excerpt On Indie Book List

Sunday 10 July 2011

Manu Wins Dancing With The Stars *yawns*

So it was the most expected win on Dancing With The Stars. Channel 7 love him. The audience love him. So why do the Manu-haters appear like rats on a sinking ship as soon as he had won last night?

I'll tell you why: people don't like it when channel 7 celebrities win the show *scratches head* Am I the only one who realises that the only people allowed on Dancing With The Stars are either channel 7 personalities or people who are not contracted to other networks? I mean, wake up and smell the coffee guys - who else would win?

Yes, I was disappointed when Haley Bracken lost to Many Feildel, but it was exactly what I expected. People who watch channel 7, are familiar with the people who appear on that network. While I would like people to use their 25 cents to vote for the person who has the most talent, realistically this isn't the case.

And, on the subject of viewer votes, I must say that I was overly impressed with the order in which people were voted off this year. For the vast majority of the season, viewers got it right. We didn't see anyone in the final who was abysmal. Each celebrity deserved to be there. The only thing I would have changed, voting-wise during the season, was to vote Samantha Armytage off before Lara Bingle.

So congratulations to Manu, and I hope you sober up quickly. Did anyone else watch his drunken interview on Sunrise this morning?

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Dancing With The Stars - Aussie Final This Sunday!

Being a ballroom dancer, I normally relish this time of year, since it is the Dancing with the Stars finale.

Not so much this year.

Instead I feel as though I am emerging white-knuckled from a ride on which I never asked to be placed. There have been so many deviations from the successful format, that many people are now starting to predict the demise of the show. Which, personally, I agree with. While the ratings last year were just as high as normal, Channel 7 seem to think that that is not enough. So lets see what has gone down this year:

Brynne Edelston

Brynne was the American that was married to an older wealthy man. We made many assumptions about her. Mostly she turned out to be sweet and so much more adult than we ever expected. While she couldn't dance, it turned out that she was voted off half way through the season, even though we all thought her rich husband would have a crew to keep her in phone votes (can anyone say 'Veruca Salt?')

Joshua Horner

Josh replaced Mark Wilson as the new judge this season. There appeared to be no reason to replace a judge who has ballroom experience and a strong fan base, but Channel 7 did anyway. Josh has LOADS of ballet and choreography experience, but no idea when it comes to ballroom dancing, which is why I created a facebook page in a bid to get Mark Wilson back on Dancing With The Stars. He actually referred to New Vogue steps as 'that free stuff.' He also admitted on the DWTS message boards that ballroom dancing is a social style and not disciplined like ballet. Needless to say he developed a lack of fans among the fans and judges alike.

Todd McKenney

Todd is the mean judge on DWTS. Josh, not being happy with only replacing one judge, tried to also claim this role. It resulted in some magnificent hissy fits from Todd. It also lead to Todd making more sense from a technical point of view than ever before.


Once again, there has been plenty of complaints about the lack of 'real' celebrities on the show. I'm not sure why star-status is more important than being able to dance, but apparently it is. It turns out that a sport star's wife who can dance well, is ridiculed because she isn't a real star {shrugs} I hope Haley wins, personally.


So far this season, we have had a dance-off, a surprise music segment and a re-dance. The dance-off involved all the remaining stars dancing the Jive while the judges picked them off one by one, until a victor was left. The surprise music segment was a fizzer. The stars knew what dance they were dancing, had a routine choreographed, but had only an hour to practise it to music - sounds like an average medalists or competition day to me! The re-dance entailed the remaining four stars having to dance a Cha Cha Cha each. Two were eliminated and the remainder had to repeat their dance. The judges picked the winner. None of which added to anything spectacular or 'new' to the show.

Sonia Kruger

Sonia is the queen of foot in mouth disease. This year she possibly topped the cake with her comment about Brynne and her 'dad.' In true Sonia-style though, she apologised profusely when her she realised that her comments had offended. Fans of Sonia found it funny. Enemies of her, rang the network and complained.

Message Boards

This year Channel 7 and Yahoo finally listened to the fans and upgraded their message boards. They look incredibly pretty now and are loads more user-friendly. Except no one really uses them much any more. They are too busy ringing the network and trying to find the complaints department (of which there isn't one).


So who will win? My predictions are that Manu Feildel will win because he is loved by the fans of My Kitchen Rules as well as being actively promoted by channel 7. Damien Leith will come second. Haley Bracken will be voted first by the judges, because she can actually dance, but since it will fall to public vote, she will be placed in third position.

Sunday 26 June 2011

It's True Blood Time!

So I am a Trubie through and through. I have the blood spattered t shirt a la Sookie in episode 2 of Season 1 to prove it! Which means that as I write this, I am doing so with trembling fingers and a blood pulse that could quite frankly be dangerous. When blog goes live, True Blood will be screening in the States: Season 4, Episode 1. Unfortunately, being here in Australia, I will have to wait quite a bit longer to view this episode. Or watch it illegally and then suffer the guilt of robbing HBO and the actors of their royalties.

But, for a True Blood inspired blog, I thought I would bring up the subject of vampires. Being a writer for True Blood Net, I have had a while to ponder this very matter, and in particular, why True Blood works so well. Is it because of the current infatuation with all things fang related? Or is it the fact that most things HBO touches turns to gold? It's probably a bit of both. But I think it has more has to do with the fact that True Blood is glorfied porn. Blood-spattered vampire porn, to be exact. So many of my friends what this show in secret. They never bring the topic up unless someone else mentions the show first. It's all a bit naughty - even for grown ups. It's completely childish of us, watching it in the dark and behind closed doors. Possibly with a bottle of wine and a whip (or is that just me...) However, that is the one thing that seems to make us love the show even more than the books by Charlaine Harris that the show was based on.

As an author of a book that contains vampires (but not hotties of the Eric Northman persuasion) and *hopefully* enough gore to make HBO and Alan Ball proud, I would like to think that, as adults, we are more mature that that.

But I don't think so ;-P

Happy True Blood Day Fangers! V""V

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Social Media for Authors Part 3: Facebook for Beginning Authors

Social Media for Authors Part 3: Facebook for Beginning Authors
As an author, Facebook can be an important tool. So many people use this social network now that people just as often ask if you have a Facebook page as they ask for your website or blog address. And there is now so many ways in which as author can promote their books with this tool.
So what can you do with your Facebook account?
Facebook under your author name
This may be different to your actual name, and sometimes this is better. While, at first, it may be pretty awesome to have people friend requesting you because you are an author, sometimes you may not want to share everything with strangers. There is an option to categorize everyone into different groups and then prioritize what these groups can and can't see on your Facebook page. Now that you have a Facebook account, it will be invaluable to announce to all your friends when and where books can be purchased, links to blogs and news, as well as little snippets of what is in the pipe works.
Facebook Pages
These are pages that are designed so that people can 'like' them, and therefore follow them. Pages can be set up under your author name, your books name and even your character names. This is another valuable tool where book launches etc. can be announced. These pages can also link into the roleplaying aspect mentioned further on. Take Maggie Stiefvater, fabulous auther of the 'Shiver' series, for example. Her Maggie Stiefvater (It's really me) fan page has a fabulous photo of her characters having a chat on Facebook. It can be viewed here.
Groups is a function that is not as often used by authors to promote their product. It has a little more functionality than a Facebook page and it can be set to 'secret' if required. It's a great place where your fans can ask you questions and start up topics of discussion about your books.
This aspect of Facebook is not used a lot by authors. Personally, I have one set up for my current main character, Emeline Hart. It is also against Facebook policy. Why? Because, basically, you are setting up an account for a character, not a real person. It is a fun way to promote your book though. There is a very active roleplaying world on Facebook. It is a great way for fans to follow yet to be written story lines. Also, it is a valuable tool that can be used for character development. By the time you have set up a character account, put a list of their favorite pastimes, movies and books, you as an author, have a much better understanding of your character. Just be prepared for regular culls of roleplaying accounts though. While it is great fun while it lasts, it is heartbreaking when you go to log into your account and it has been disabled.
If you are interested in following some other character pages, try these (just be aware that some are not run by the authors, so their storylines may diverge from the story you are familiar with:
So there are some ideas to get you started in the world of Facebook!

Rachel’s book Emeline and the Mutants is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, coming soon to print!

Thursday 28 April 2011