Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Terra's Wrath by Meaka Kyel


I am honored to be a part of Meaka Kyel's blog tour for her latest release, Terra'sWrath. I'm a big fan of Meaka's, and I've been waiting for this book to come out. I mowed through it in two days because I had a hard time putting it down.

Meaka is going to be giving away a signed paperback of Terra's Wrath to a lucky winner here on my blog. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your email address or Twitter name, so I can contact you. That's it. I'll pick a winner on the 4/27. The giveaway is international too. For other stops on the tour, check out Meaka's blog here.

"Get on with it!" Max paled.
The shop shook with a sudden burst of lightning and the ensuing thunder.
The man looked up to the ceiling. "Your mother knows I'm talking to you. She's very upset. Max, please. You need to hide."

Freak storms, changing climates...they're all proof that global warming is starting to change our planet. It was only a matter of time before Mother Nature got upset with the damage we were causing. What we never could have anticipated, was how she was planning to get rid of her problem.

I'm happy to say, Lane, from Terra's Wrath, agreed to bend the new "no technology" rule to do an interview with me. It was approved, but if the weather gets too strange. Keep an eye out.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Lane. I know you guys have been busy since the near apocalypse. I love your relationship with Gabby. What is your favorite memory of her before all of this craziness started?

Wow. That's a hard one. Most of my memories involve Gabby. *laughs* Hmmm...I'd have to say the one that comes to mind often now that things have calmed down is the day we got Iggy. We'd just moved into our first apartment, and we went to the pet store because I wanted a cat. She saw Iggy and fell in love. I pretended to argue, but I'll admit now it was just for show. *grins* The look on her face when we put him in his tank at home was priceless. I never regretted not getting a cat.

I've had two iguanas myself, so I don't blame you. Way better than cats. Sorry about Iggy, by the way.

You are surrounded by an amazing group of young people who may not have been able to accomplish what they did in their lives without you and  Gabby. What made you want to work with troubled kids?

Without a doubt, it was because of the lives we had growing up. It was never even something we discussed. It was just a natural step in our lives. I come from a broken home. My dad left when I was young, and my mom did a fantastic job of providing for us until I was old enough to get a job and help her out. Gabby was bounced around from foster home to foster home since she was a baby. We had each other and because of that, we made out okay. Not every kid is that lucky. We just wanted to give that family, that stability, to as many as we could.

Well, I have to say, I'm very impressed. Those kids rallied together like family to help each other. You should be proud.

Now that your lives have changed so drastically, what has been the hardest to adjust to?

No cell phones, no ATMs, no real medical equipment. It's really amazing how we as a human race had come to depend on technology. It's like being stuck in an old western movie. *grins* I have to admit, though, that it's better than being stuck in a zombie movie.

Man, I hear that! Those yellow eyed freaks scared the crap out of me! Can't imagine trying to get along without technology, but I imagine it might not be as bad as we think.

If you could go back before all of this craziness started, would you change anything?

I'd have kissed Gabs on the beach when we were eighteen. It's the only thing I regret.

Yeah...that's what I would have guessed...*sigh*

Now that humans are trying to recover and rebuild, do you think they will make the same mistakes over again?

I sure hope not. The planet is on the mend and as long as we don't do any more damage, Terra has promised to leave us alone. It's actually kind of nice, really. The connection between people has seemed to strengthen even though it's harder to get a hold of people. There's no such thing as a quick text anymore. If we want to talk to Pete and Marie, we saddle up the horses and go for the day. Everyone meets in the city on Saturdays and brings whatever they want to trade. In the evening, it's a huge potluck. To make the same mistakes all over again? Well, I can only hope it never comes to that.

That actually sounds really nice. I think humans would be a lot better off if we turned off the electronic equipment and spent more face to face time.

Now that you aren't running for your life, how do you stay so fit? *shy fan girl smile*

*grins* Chopping wood, fixing fences, hand baling...the usual.

Chopping wood...that would work. Um...I have more questions,,,*awkward paper shuffling* 

*clears throat* What are your plans for the future?

Well, there will be a wedding in a few weeks. We have the cutest flower girl. You should see baby Ashley walk around now. Other than that, it's a day by day operation. :) Enjoy the sun when it's out, Stay indoors and cuddle when it storms. *wink, wink*

That doesn't sound bad at all. *winks back* Congratulations on the wedding! Be sure to tell Meaka all the details, so she can share with us!

I most definitely will. She mentioned something about following up on us in a second novel... Oops. I don't think I was supposed to say anything. That's just between us, right?

Sure. *wink wink* I won't say a word about a second novel that I already can't wait to read!

Here are a few quick questions...Favorite post apocalyptic drink?

Well, water for the most part. LOL Gabby attempted to make some dandelion wine, but, um... yeah.

Dandelion wine...would love to hear that story some So what do you miss most?

Tim Horton's double double coffee and bagel in the mornings. *laughs then sombers* And Iggy. I miss Iggy.

Man, I didn't even think about coffee. Sigh... Aw...Iggy *cyber hugs*
Weapon of choice?

Rifle. There's less chance of getting hurt if you're far away.

Good call. Ok, last but not least...If you could have one pre-apocalyptic day, what would you do?

I'd do what I used to love doing the most in those days. I'd sit on the couch and Gabby would lay with her head on my lap and we'd watch a movie. We'd make nachos and drink a beer. But this time, when we said goodnight, I'd make sure to kiss the hell out of her.

Sounds like a perfect evening, Lane. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. Enjoy your wedding day with Gabby and the rest of the crew! I meant what I said about keeping in touch with Meaka. I want to know how you guys are doing. Say hello to Gabby and the rest of the bunch for me!

Thanks for having me, Michelle! It was great. I'll let the crew know you say hey, and if Meaka says anything to me about the new book, I'll be sure to sneak the information over to you. *grins*

I would love that! Thank you! *big fan girl smile*

Connect with Meaka Kyel on
And on her blog

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Ghost Adventure at Preston Castle

Let me just say first off that I don’t believe in ghosts. However, my best friend, Shelbi, is a huge fan of Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, etc., and I have to admit, I love to watch the shows too.

The guys from Ghost Adventures (see episode here) and Ghost Hunters (see episode here) happened to investigate a place called Preston Castle, which was originally called the Preston School of Industry that opened in 1894. You can read more about the history of the school here. They took in male juvenile delinquents and orphans. Preston certainly saw its share of violence, including the brutal murders of the head housekeeper, Anna Corbin, and one of the male teachers. Several of the boys also died under suspicious circumstances, and one young man was shot trying to escape.

Preston Castle has been closed since 1994, and has been a very popular spot with paranormal investigators. It is now a California State Landmark and is undergoing repairs to the extensive damage inside the building.

Since it's within driving distance of us, Shelbi talked me and our friend Angel into going on one of the tours (they also offer and overnight ghost tour). I decided to humor her and go along for fun.

I brought my digital camera to take pictures of our tour. Oddly enough, orbs started showing up in some of the shots. The only other time an orb has appeared in one of my camera shots is when Shelbi dragged me on a ghost tour in San Francisco, and I took a picture inside a hotel that was reportedly haunted. So, that’s a little strange. Here are some of the pictures I took at Preston Castle.

There was nothing in the initial pictures I took, but at one point in the tour, we were in one of the typical employee rooms, when I took a pic and noticed an orb over the tour guide's head. From then on, I got some really weird pics.

Here is the kitchen. Through that door is the storage space where they found Anna Corbin's body in. She had been strangled and bludgeoned beyond recognition. There were three orbs in this shot.

Here are some various pics I took while we were on the tour.
Poor unsuspecting people.

I took this picture because I loved the woodwork on these doors.

These two orbs appear to be playing musical chairs.

Spooky random stairway orbs.

An orb taking a bath.

Orbs hanging out in the basement that has been converted to a wine tasting/event room. Who can blame them?

And this pic, I like to call The Gates of Heeeeeeeeeeell 
using my best epic scary demon voice.

We also saw some of the X's placed by the 
Ghost Adventures guys for the show.

At Preston, they run some of the paranormal footage while people wait for the tours to start. They had a recording from the infirmary of the gurney below moving on its own.

Ghosts? I'm still not a believer. Shelbi is trying to talk me into getting some ghost hunting equipment and doing the overnight ghost tour. I'll let you know if we decide get that crazy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Signing - San Jose Fantasy Faire

I'm going to be at the San Jose Fantasy Faire selling and signing my books on April 13-14 along with several other authors. You can get more information on the faire website It looks like it is going to be a lot of fun. If you're going to be in the area, I would love for you to come by and say "Hi!" 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cyber Bullying on Goodreads: Take 2

Wow…ever write a blog and accidentally kick a hornets’ nest? That’s what happened to me with my original Cyber Bullying on Goodreads post. The point of that particular article was that Goodreads didn’t really respond to my questions about how they deal with people who abuse their review policy. I have heard terrible stories about cyber bullying (against authors and reviewers/readers alike) as I’m sure most of you have. In that blog, I was trying to point out that Goodreads may not be addressing the issue as well as they should.

Now with 16 million users on Goodreads, there are bound to be a few mean people in the mix. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of cyber bullying in general, and to encourage people to be respectful towards each other and report abuse if they happened to run across it. I don’t think it is possible for the people at Goodreads to police 16 million people without some help from their users. It was never my intention to single people out, name names, or point fingers. My point was more general: cyber bullying is an issue we all need to be concerned with.

While I did mention one site that reports on alleged bullying incidents, it was never my intention to support or validate any one website or promote any one single side of this topic. Again, my focus was on my issues with Goodreads lack of response to my questions, and I was wondering aloud what effect, if any, Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads might have on the future of that site.

I really appreciated the responses to that post, and those of you who commented. It made me realize what an incredibly sensitive topic this is. I knew that before, but I was a little overwhelmed by the emotional responses I received. When things got personal between some of the people commenting, I opted to remove the post. I don’t mind respectful discussion or dissenting opinions. I love to hear what other people think. I have learned a great deal from the comments people have left on my blog, but I didn’t want my post about cyber bullying to turn into a perfect example of it.

We only have each other…play nice.