Welcome to Awesome Wednesday!
This is where I’ll share a few cool, awesome things that I’m currently into. So…. occasionally on Wednesdays (although this week is a day early to kick things off), I’ll post a blog about a couple of awesome things I’ve been doing, reading, playing, watching, or a cool thing to share with you guys. This week I’ve got 2 very cool things!
What I’m Playing
I’ve been a Mac user for over ten years now, but I recently needed a Windows computer to run dictation software for my writing (it’s less of a headache on Windows). Thanks to that, I’ve discovered the awesome and vast world of PC gaming and WOW! I’ve been a die hard console gamer my whole life (I won’t say how long, but let’s just say I grew up with the Atari 2600!). It’s not that I’ve purposely avoided PC gaming–I just never had a computer powerful enough to run any of the AAA games in all their high def glory… until now. I just finished Doom (2016) and hated to see it come to an end. We need a sequel to that STAT!
But one really great thing about getting into PC gaming now is the vast catalog of past games I may have skipped–not to mention all the mods available. I love going back and reliving the old Dooms and Quakes–games that I only briefly dabbled with years ago.
One such game from a few years ago that I’ve been playing is Crysis 2. I’ve never been one to demand the best graphics–I’d much prefer solid gameplay over better graphics–but I admit I’ve had to wipe up the drool from my keyboard while playing Crysis 2. The lighting and particle effects in that game are… breathtaking.
How a game that’s six years old still looks like it was released last month is mind boggling. Thankfully, it plays awesome, too! I’m digging the sci-fi, nano-tech filled story. For anyone who hasn’t played it, it’s like taking the single player gameplay of Call of Duty and infusing it with nano technology and tossing in a little Predator for flavor. I can’t wait to play parts 1 and 3!
For the techies: I’m running Crysis 2 on a Asus ROG laptop with a nVidia GeForce GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, i7-6700HQ, all Ultra settings, and 1080p.
What I’m Watching
Have you seen the newest trailer for Stranger Things Season 2? If not, stop reading and go watch it! Don’t worry, I’ll wait. I’d go play a round of Crysis, but the trailer is only 37 seconds long, so I’ll sit here pondering the juicy goodies it teases.
You’re back? Was that awesome, or what? Did you see the tentacles? Think there may be a touch of Lovecraftian monsters in season two? Oh, I hope so! I know where I’ll be this Halloween!
That’s it for this week! Let me know what you think about any of the cool stuff I mentioned, or leave a comment and share a cool thing you’re into! I’ve gotta run… gotta save the eastern seaboard from an alien invasion!
Just in Time for Halloween!
After months of writing and preparation, I’m happy to announce that Wanted Witch, book one in the Daughter of Darkness series is ALIVE!
Origin of Zee’s Magical Abilities
As most of you know, I play a lot of video games. The idea for this series started from me wondering what it would be like to have multiple lives–like a video game character. I began forming the image of Zee in my head as someone who discovered she had this ability, and I wondered how she would use it. Would she save everyone she came across–like a superhero? Would she be able to use the Konami code and add 99 extra lives? Would her extra lives be unlimited? If not, would she know how many she has? If her lives are limited, would she have to be selective in whom she saves?
Does Zee Know If Her Next Life Will Be Her Last?
With limited lives, it would inherently cause conflict for Zee. Conflict within herself from dealing with not only her newfound ability but knowing the next person she saves could be her last, as well as conflict with those closest to her.
Zee Kicked and Screamed Inside My Head
For several weeks before I started writing the prequel, Zee was all I could think about. I got the idea for the series as I was finishing Zombie Boy 2–(another series with a video game theme). I couldn’t just abandon Zombie Boy, although Zee would have probably preferred that, so I finished book two in the Zombie Boy series while discovering the ins and outs of Zee’s abilities. Then, I immediately began writing Reborn, the prequel to the Daughter of Darkness story. It wasn’t until I got to book one, Wanted Witch, that things really got fun!
When the Magic Happens
I hate when cool stuff gets spoiled for me because I like to discover secrets as I go, so I won’t do that. However, I will say that while Reborn gives us the backstory of Zee’s magical abilities, Wanted Witch is when Zee learns to deal with her magic and the power it gives her. It’s also when she discovers several truths she wasn’t looking for. I will give one hint–in Wanted Witch we learn why Zee and Alexa are enemies… and it’s a a doozy!
You can get Wanted Witch here for $.99 for a limited time. And the prequel, Reborn, is available FREE. There are three books (plus the prequel) planned for the Daughter of Darkness series. If you guys like it, I’d love to write more!
Stay tuned for the cover reveal of book two!
Today I have a couple of cool things to share. First up, news on my new Urban Fantasy series! The Daughter of Darkness series will debut on October 25th with Wanted Witch. You can get the prequel, Reborn, FREE which includes a sneak peek of book one by visiting Instafreebie. The cover was designed by the talented Lou Harper. I can’t wait to show you the next two!
The Daughter of Darkness series is an adult coming of age story about Mackenzie Adams, a young woman whose life is turned upside down when she discovers she is not only a witch but can cheat death.
And speaking of Instafreebie…. Reborn and Zombie Boy are both part of a major exclusive giveaway today! There’s everything from Game of Thrones to various Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and even a few gaming related books in honor of the NYC Comic Con!
After you get your FREE copy of Reborn, head on over to this list of awesome books. It’s such a huge list, there’s something for everyone!
The sequel is finally here!
Well, almost, but you can pre-order it here. Zombie Boy 2: Level Up will be released on September 27th… that’s NEXT Tuesday!
The cover was illustrated by my talented artist/musician friend, Jason Whitt. I think he captured the essence of Zombie Boy perfectly! I can’t wait for you to read it! The synopsis is below, but be warned… if you haven’t finished Zombie Boy: Press Start (book 1), there are SPOILERS ahead!
Trapped in a video game overrun with zombies, Katie’s life is in jeopardy.
Liam Walker, a now leveled-up zombie hunter, suspects that HoriZon Corp, the virtual reality game developer, is somehow behind it all. Liam must use the experience he gained from the first adventure and return to the video game world that took his best friend. With new foes threatening their plan at every turn, Liam and friends battle mini-bosses, giants, and hordes of zombies across many familiar video game settings in search of Katie.
Can he and his friends escape the zombie apocalypse and get out of the game world alive… once again?
Twice the action, double the adventure!
Don’t forget, you can pre-order your copy today, and it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle or Kindle app on release day!
From Death Claws to Floating Gold Orbs
Welcome to my list of favorite video games of 2015! You’ll notice I used the PS4 covers for the games (were applicable), that’s because that is the console in which I played the game.
1. Fallout 4
Honestly, does this game need any explanation? If you love Fallout, then you know why I love it so much. When Fallout 4 was announced at E3 2015, I just knew – I had a feeling – that we’d get it the same year. You’d better believe I was stoked when it was made official! I got my Pip Boy Edition pre-order in the day it went on sale.
I could list many reasons why I love the Fallout series so much, from its rich story history and its wacky characters to the varied missions (have you played U.S.S. Constitution mission? OMG that was hilarious!) and the little details I find in the huge wide open world. But my biggest reason for loving it so much? The total immersion factor. No game, other than one (keep reading), has the power over me to zap me into its world and not let go until many hours later like Fallout does. Seriously, it’s like being in a casino with no windows or clocks – when I’m wandering the Wastelands, nothing else matters. That escape is why Fallout – and specifically, Fallout 3 – is my favorite game series of ALL TIME. (For the record, The Elder Scrolls series is a close second, and it, too, has that same escape magic hold over me. More on Elder scrolls in a minute.)
And I get that many fans feel like Fallout 4 is just more of the same. Duh! I mean, I’m personally very happy they didn’t stray too far from what we love. Were the side missions as cool and lengthy as they were in Fallout 3? No, but I still feel like we got a full experience. Wandering around and discovering this little nods and references were also fun. Personally? I can’t wait for the DLC! Bring. It. On!
Interesting tidbit – I earned the Platinum trophy in 150+ hours *and* by some miracle published my third book during that time.
Some things I hope we get in the DLC:
1. More of the Glowing Sea. Such a fascinating place and very much reminiscent of the look and feel of Fallout 3. There were several little things to find in the Glowing Sea that just begged for more exploration – the half buried Super Duper Mart, the underground bunker – they just called out to me.
2. Underwater. You’ve seen the pipeline, right? Who knows? Maybe there’s a secret cover up story that goes along with it!
3. Salem area. Meeting Barney Rook and helping him out was nice, but while walking around the little town, I couldn’t help but wish there had been more to do there.
On with the rest!
2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D – Absolutely beautiful on the 3DS. I never finished Majora’s Mask on N64 (I know, I am ashamed), but I really dug the heck out of this one.
3. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – Not without its issues, but I still really enjoyed wandering around (there’s that phrase again) and learning about these people’s lives.
4. Until Dawn – A surprise that was a blast to play! It felt like I was not just watching a movie, but was right there with the characters. And it was so easy to get immersed in each character and their stories.
5. The Elder Scrolls Online – Oh, Elder Scrolls. I’m torn. I loved being back in Tamriel, with just one caveat. I don’t need other players in my Elder Scrolls game. I am enjoying the familiar world and the missions, but I’m a soloist at heart. Just give me Elder Scrolls 6.
Honorable Mentions (sort of):
You may be wondering why The Witcher III isn’t on my list. And I have an answer. I did play a few hours of it, but it honestly didn’t grab me. I make no apologies for the fact that my love for Fallout, the immersion I feel when playing it and its play mechanics, has me spoiled. Other open-world RPGs just don’t compare. One day I’ll give it another chance. I liked it, I just didn’t love it.
Normally, a Tales game (like Tales of Zestiria) would make my list, but due to it coming out right before Fallout 4, I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t even broken the seal yet. But since I’ve now Platinum’d Fallout 4, I’ll be diving in soon!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite games of 2015. I’ll try to report in throughout the new year whenever a new game tickles my fancy. In the meantime, press start…
Today marks the two year anniversary that I became a writer.
It could be debated whether the anniversary should fall on the day I started writing my first book or the day it was published, but I choose the former because it’s the day I took action. – from my one year anniversary blog 1-12-15
Looking back over the last year I had a few ups and downs. The ups were:
– Publishing Monster Girl: Ghost in the Attic (Feb)
– Writing 4 fun horror shorts that I planned to release as an anthology (March)
– Writing my first horror novel (March-May)
– Creating a daily word count goal (Sept)
– Writing Zombie Boy: Press Start, book 1 of a trilogy, using the above daily word count goal (Sept-Nov)
– Publishing Zombie Boy: Press Start (Dec)
When I look at that list of accomplishments, do you know what stands out the most? The period between May and Sept. I hate to admit it, but I did nothing to speak of writing-wise during June, July, or Aug. Not only that, but the horror short anthology and the horror novel did not get published last year. As humans, it’s so much easier to focus on what we didn’t do, which brings me to my downs from last year. Basically it consists of one thing – I let various things in life, both good and bad, interfere with my writing. During the months of June through August, I let a lot of negativity in, and it affected my getting things done.
Thankfully I recognized this, and in September, after reading two books that encouraged the process, I created my first ever daily word count goal. It was small, 250 words per day, but it got me focused. I was able to write Zombie Boy: Press Start in just shy of two months thanks to this goal.
The take away here is, every little bit counts. No matter how small, it adds up. If there is something you’re struggling with (saving money, writing a book, etc.), my advice would be to create a daily plan to get it done. Plan out a small step for every day, stick to it, and I promise it will add up before you know it!
You can check out my latest book, Zombie Boy: Press Start, now! It’s available at all your favorite retailers!