Ten Things I Liked About Transformers 3

After watching Transformers 2, I walked out of the cinema feeling cheated out of my money. Naturally, I would be weary of the third installment in the franchise. Surprisingly, the writers listened to the reviews slamming the second film and actually injected a plot (sort off) into Dark of the Moon. So, in celebration of being mildly amused, and dare I admit that I actually enjoyed myself, here are the ten things I liked about Transformers 3.

1. The whole space race connection.

One small step for man, one giant leap for Michael Bay.

2. Besides McDreamy, John Malkovich is in this movie.

No joke. He's really in this movie.

3. Ken Jeong is hilarious.

Yes, the Asian dude from the Hangover 1 and 2 is in this movie. And he's AWESOME!

4. Shia LeBeouf. Enough said.

I guess it's only fair to mention that I have a mild internet stalker kind of crush on him.

5. Despite claims that she ran around in heels the whole time, there are takes where she wears flats.

I mean Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I'm not dissing.

6. Megan Fox isn't in it.

I don't miss her at all.

7. Bumble Bee.

Again, enough said on this one. I love the guy.

8. And since we're on the topic, the CARS!

You have to see the Ferrari! Oh, and I don't know who the guy is in the photo. Just focus on the cars.

9. The twist.

Can't tell you what it is or you might kill me, so I give you the trailer instead.

10. I'm a Linkin Park fan!

Guest Post: The Pen Is Mightier than the Writer by Ron Wyn

For this week's Guest Post, I'm handing over my blog to Ron Wyn. The title of his piece alone gives you an idea where this conversation is going. Or maybe not. You have to find out by reading what he has in store for you. I, on the other hand, will be off watching Transformers 3. Yes, it's already out in my country, and I have the reserved seats to prove it. Enjoy the post as I have and don't be shy about asking questions, Ron will be glad to answer them for you.

The Pen Is Mightier than the Writer
by Ron Wyn

Writing a preface is not necessarily an easy thing to do. You must entice your readers. You must make it interesting so that they will want to continue and read the rest of your book. In many ways, the preface is the book’s mission statement—and one of its major selling points. I don’t know how other authors do it, but I generally write my preface after the book has been finished. And let me tell you, it’s hard. You’ve just finished writing I-don’t-know-how-many pages and are completely saturated. You’re tired. You want to stay away from a computer screen for a while. But you have to move on. You have to squeeze that one last bit of inspiration into your work.

Let me tell you a funny story. It was late February. There I was, first draft in hand, trying to write the preface to my first book, irregular therapy. Although I was saturated and couldn’t wait to finish the entire thing, the view of the white snow contrasting with the beautiful, clear blue sky outside my window was truly inspiring. I sat down and wrote a few pages of what I thought was pretty good “wordsmithing.” Okay, done. Great. The icing on the cake. I read it out loud and liked what I heard. My preface was funny and concise and provided just enough information to tease the reader. Or so I thought.

Satisfied, I was now ready for the next stage. I sent my manuscript to a guy who evaluates books before they are out and checks for their potential. A few days later, he replied. He liked my book very much and thought it would sell, but he had a problem with the preface. In his own words,

“I found the book compelling and easy reading…the sex angle will bring lots of readers, and it feels honest…but there's less evident emotional growth, and unless you told me in response to my questionnaire I wouldn't have known that was the book's purpose. Thus my problem with the preface. It didn't really tell me what I could expect from the book nor why I should read it. To do so it must speak openly with me, the reader. Rather, it kind of wanders around…”

Needless to say, I was kind of disappointed. I mean, I felt great because I was actually getting overall positive feedback from an expert, but I had reached the point where I was just about ready to lay my brain aside and fly to Cancun for a few days. I really could not write another word. Enough already!

But I had no way out. If the preface needed changing, then the preface needed changing. I remained with that uneasy feeling for a couple of days, wondering what to do and waiting for inspiration to strike. How could I make it better? How could I address the issues pointed out by my evaluator? I thought and thought and thought. I changed a few words around. I added new ideas to try to address the missing issues. I tried and tried and tried, but felt I was going nowhere.

Finally, out of sheer disappointment, I ended up relaxing. I gave up trying. Just then, a funny thing happened. I spontaneously started writing about my frustration. I started writing about what the expert guy had said. I started writing about the entire process, just to get it all out of my system.

A few minutes later, after I had written enough to calm me down, I noticed I might have something there! I looked it over and thought the content was bold. I thought the wording was unique. It carried the same tone as the rest of the book—it was honest, fun, and straight to the point—and it addressed my concerns. (Well, it had to, since I was writing about my inability to write about them, and in doing so I was actually writing about them!) I decided to make it my preface. Well, that’s not entirely true. I didn’t decide anything. I must confess that, much like the rest of irregular therapy, I didn’t write the preface. It just came out. And it came out the way it should. Okay then. After writing those few pages, I realized that that had to be my preface. And this is what came out:

Truth Be Told

Let me take you on a true journey. A man’s journey through the rough seas of relationships. A journey that led him to realize that real change must come from within. A journey with themes so archetypical, so universal, that although it takes place mostly in exotic Brazil, it may as well have happened in your very own neighborhood.

Wait. Hold on. What a load of rubbish. Permission to speak freely...

Shortly before finishing this manuscript, I had it evaluated by a hotshot in the book business. He told me he found it easy reading and compelling. He told me the sex angle would bring lots of readers. He told me the book was nearly ready to go. But he also told me he had a problem with my preface. He told me it kind of wandered around and didn’t really tell him what he could expect from the book or why he should read it. Shit.

You know, I’ve been working on this thing for a couple of years. I’ve reviewed it so many times I’ve almost memorized it. Yeah, you don’t have to tell me. Such is a writer’s life. But the fact is I’m completely saturated and can’t wait to see it published. So when the guy suggested that I rewrite the damned preface, I al- most fell off my chair.

But the hotshot fella’s probably right. And after all, I didn’t pay good money to teach my grandma to suck eggs. So here I go.

Let’s see. Right. I suppose I could dish out the usual plethora of clich├ęs found in prefaces and tell you this is a “coming-of-age book,” a captivating truth-told sexual romp, an honest if not a bit single-minded story of a cure, and blah, blah, blah. Yawn. Boring.

I could possibly try to make you feel some sympathy from the start and say it took me many lost years to get my emotional cards in order or that despite the relentless fun and not too troubling approach, I saw a number of hard-earned lessons, over years, and changed accordingly to display the virtues learning those lessons brought. Well, these things are certainly true for me. But you might not see my story this way, nor do I think you will much care.

I could play shrewd, aim for the masses, and reveal that in spite of the bumps along the way (or maybe because of them), I’ve managed to find my soul mate and, with secret formula in hand, I can show you by example how to attract your own twin flame. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Perhaps I could anticipate some criticism by posing as the conscientious writer and confessing that although my account may seem rather exploitative, especially from a woman’s point of view, it couldn’t be otherwise if it were to show my gradual emotional growth. Nah. Who am I to know what’s on a woman’s mind.

What if I appeal to your emotions by stating that through my troubled relationships, I’ve learned to respect and understand myself better, as well as others around me. Or that as a result of having had these experiences, I’m now able to see what was self- defeating and greedy and have been able to grow from and past it. Dear God. Too psychological.

Useless. I’m looking for something unique, something different, but the harder I try, the less comes to mind.

I hate to say it, but I feel I’ve run out of fuel. So much for telling you what you can expect from my book and why you should read it. Seems that this should be a simple enough task, but silly me. Trying to boldly write what no man has written before.

This is really getting on my nerves. And I’m going nowhere. Tell you what. If you don’t mind, I’ll just call it a day and you can go ahead and read the book. Deal?

I know you won’t be able to agree or disagree with me unless you read the entire book. But that’s why it’s called a teaser, right?

You know, inspiration is a funny thing. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But when it comes, it is like a warm feeling, it is almost an enthusiasm. And it always, always surprises you. Inspiration comes when you surrender to your own nothingness. It takes you over and you only become aware of what has hit you after it is gone….

irregular therapy: one man’s struggle to find meaning, money and a soul mate is 256 pages long and can be purchased on my website,, in several formats: paperback, ePub, Kindle, or PDF. It can also be found at major online outlets worldwide such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Write on!

Writer's Block

Happy Monday from the Tropics, everyone! Let's get down to business, shall we?

Let me know your thoughts on the phenomenon that is Writer's Block.

Do you have bouts of it?

What do you do to combat Writer's Block?

Awesome Fruits

In an attempt to procrastinate because my writing is taking a slightly intimidating turn, I've decided to blog. I know, I know. I have a deadline. But I'm ahead of schedule. I promise I am. Okay, I'm still procrastinating, so I'll get to my point.

Taking my cue from the cute watermelon baby, I'm showing all of you more amazing things that I found when I was looking for carved fruit. Some of these I didn't think were possible while the rest had me thinking: who had the freaking time? But I'm guessing, a passion is a passion is a passion.

The Death Star watermelon is my favorite because I'm not one to think Star Wars when purchasing a watermelon. Stick the neck of a full vodka bottle in that hole and you're good to go, in my opinion. 

Is a pumpkin considered a fruit? No? Oh well, it's still hella cool to have a Predator snarling at you on Halloween, I'd say.

See, now, when I saw this...I was staring at it for, like, five minutes. Watermelons shouldn't be sticking their tongues out at you when you're contemplating on eating them. 

Yes, that's a melon. And it marks the "when do they have the time" portion of this post. 

A Grecian statue out of a pineapple, you would think, is the most amazing thing in this little show-and-tell I've got for you until you see the next picture.

 Yes, folks, that's a strawberry. 

Now, I'm heading back into my cave to write the rest of chapter 26. 

Watermelon Baby

I had to share just because...

I mean, look at it!

Guest Post: Judging the Value of the NY Book Expo by Steve Piacente

Like many others, I dream of attending the BEA. To be able to step into the same building with all those writers, agents, editors. (Insert your own version of heaven here). Besides ComicCon, BEA is on the Bucket List. Anyway, today's Guest Post comes from a writer that I've had the pleasure of interviewing for his novel Bella. He, like the lucky few, actually was a part of BEA. And this post is about his experience.

Judging the Value of the NY Book Expo
by Steve Piacente

The pain and pleasure of writing does not exist in the same way when it comes to promoting and selling a work of fiction. That is why many authors find it painful to make the switch from creative writing to creative marketing.

There are many firms and individuals who will do the work for you, but of course there is a price, and there are no guarantees. Paid advertising is expensive and as alluring to the self-published author as Eve was to Adam. We would do well to remember how that turned out.
Self-publishers who are not independently wealthy must be strategic in how they spend their promotional dollars. I made one of the largest investments in my book recently by renting a booth at Book Expo America.

For two grand, I got a tiny piece of real estate in the enormous Javits Convention Center, through which 25,000 people passed over three days. I met librarians, bookstore owners, agents, publishers and a slew of others in town for the largest conference of its kind in North America.

Was it worth it? The answer’s not so simple. My story in Bella centers on an anguished widow in search of the truth about her husband’s death overseas. She drags a reporter into the investigation, and the two of them learn a lot about the power of temptation and the futility of revenge.

Bella left New York in the hands of some 200 individuals who will ostensibly take the book home to Kansas, Canada and dozens of other places around the globe, and make a decision about whether it’s right for the store, book club or reader list. That will take time; so again, it’s hard to say if the investment was worthwhile.

What I did learn – or re-learn – is that technology is not the be-all, end-all promotional tool for self-publishers. It’s just as important to look people in the eye, explain your story in person, and press your custom bookmark into their palms as you shake hands.

Peter Drucker said the most important thing in communication “is to hear what isn’t being said.” To hear what’s not being said, you need to be present.

As for the wisdom of investing in the NY Book Expo, we wait and see.

Steve Piacente is the self-published author of Bella (, a communications official at the U.S. General Services Administration, and an adjunct professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

Author Interview: Sherry Soule

Let's start the week off right. I don't know if you haven't heard yet, but there's a new book making its debut at the end of the month. Of course, many books make debuts, so why is this one special? Well, the interview below will let you know. It is my great pleasure to be a part of the Beautifully Broken Blog Tour. And without further ado, I give you author Sherry Soule...

How did you decide on the story of Beautifully Broken?

I’ve always had a morbid fascination with haunted houses and ghosts. I love all things supernatural, and I knew the market was flooded with vampires, fairies, and werewolves, so I decided to make my heroine a sassy witch. Because witches need love too!

The story ARC took a different twist once I decided to add magick to my plot. And it was super fun. The story came alive and I found my “voice.” Shiloh Ravenwolf is kinda my alter (younger) ego. On her father’s side, she comes from a long line of shaman, which are intermediaries between the human and the spirit world. (I am a quarter American Indian, myself.)

On her mother's side, Shiloh is a descendant of heritage witches who studied the craft and embraced their own version of the Wicca. In my Spellbound Series, the narrative is loosely based on the actual Wiccan Religion; however I have taken certain liberties with the portrayal of real witchcraft purely for entertainment purposes.

As a result of adding a magickal theme, I wanted my main characters to live in a spooky town, which gave birth to the idea of the setting: Whispering Pines, California near Muir Woods. A foggy, cursed town full of secrets was the perfect place to set my story. I also have a blog devoted to its haunted history.

Why did you decide to go the Self-Publishing route?

Originally, that was the idea after hearing the Amanda Hocking story, of course. I didn’t expect her wealth and fame, but I knew in my heart that my story had an audience. After many, many rejections from agents, I chose to contact several Indie Publishers. Everybody has to start somewhere and not only are small presses accessible to new writers, they also take unagented submissions.

I had a few offers from indie pubs; however, I decided to publish with Firelight Publishing, which is owned by a family member. And I’ve already blown my entire advance on promos! LOL

What's your advice for those who want to self-publish?

If you decide to go that route, I’d try submitting to indie pubs first. And please have your work professionally edited. Have at least 2 to 3 crit partners review your MS and a few beta readers read it BEFORE you publish. Then hire someone to create a professional book cover and website. Make sure your work sparkles before you publish it.

Thank you so much for having me as a guest, Kate. And I hope your followers will visit me on my blog: where I’m holding several contests and giveaways.

Tell me #2: Books

I'm thinking back. Years and years ago. The day I started to love reading. The catalyst for this love: Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. I never looked back since. Inhaled fantasy like air. Tell me, what book sparked your love affair with reading?

Guest Post: Get to know the Ice Hotel

Good day fellow reader,

Kate has graciously invited me to write this letter to you regarding "The Ice Hotel," the fantasy YA novel I wrote in memory of a friend who was taken too soon... 

In fall 2008, something happened, which changed my life, as well as the lives of many other people I knew.  For many of us, it began with a phone call.  Some of us were driving in traffic, some were at home, others were out in the city easing into a Saturday night adventure.  When the phone call came, it sounded different for each person, but the message was always the same:  He’s gone. 

In one night, we’d all lost a bright spirit who was only 31 years old.  He was a brother, a son, a friend.  And we’d never see him again.

After that night, I often found myself in conversation with friends who were stunned by the premature and shocking loss of someone so young.  There were common stories of feeling haunted by our friend, in a good way, of course.  One person saw him walking down the street.  Another person saw him waiting tables.  I, myself, woke up at 3am and saw him in a cooking show on my TV.

Within 10 days of that phone call, I began to write.  And within 3 months, I’d completed the first draft of a fantasy YA novel called "The Ice Hotel".  Fast-forward a few years and the book is on -- but it is also now being adapted to screen by 2011 Oscar-nominated screenwritersPaul Tamasy & Eric Johnson - (THE FIGHTER - best original screenplay).  

While the adaptation has already begun, the book needs help to get further out into the world...

Why, you might ask?

As a debut, self-published, fantasy YA novel, "The Ice Hotelhas made all of its progress, including attracting the attention of Oscar-nominated screenwriters, and establishing a gallery of "fans with THE ICE HOTEL" photos via word of mouth.  It has not had the help that any book backed by a major publisher would have in terms of marketing and publicity.

I am thrilled that the story of the McGarity family's Arctic adventure is already on its way to the big screen; however it was created first – as a book.  And as the typically long process of book to film adaptation proceeds (many films can take 5 to 10 years or more), my great hope is that  "The Ice Hotel" reaches as many people as possible in its original form.

Please visit this page, which raises funds for the book’s marketing campaign - It ends on June 16th and seeks funds to promote the book via print ads, twitter, live events, gifting of the book to reading/writing-oriented non profits and libraries, and more...  Even if you cannot pledge to the campaign, please consider sending this letter to others… other fantasy YA readers… others who have experienced the loss of a loved one, and who may connect to a story, which strives, through fantasy adventure, to make sense of this kind of loss.
mc foley

Marketing campaign for “THE ICE HOTEL” by mc foley
You can tour the real Jukkasjarvi, Sweden-based ICEHOTEL here.

Guest Post: Sideways – Arriving at Your Writing Destination

I love meeting authors and sharing what they have to say with all of you. Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing to you Kenya, who I met over at Book Blogs. You have to take a read at what she's written for all of you today. If you have any questions for her, please added them to the comments section and she'll be glad to interact with you.

Sideways – Arriving at Your Writing Destination
By Kenya D. Williamson

This morning in the shower, while I watched water circle the drain, I wondered what to write about on Kate’s blog. I must’ve stood there for hours – or maybe a minute or two. Water molecules bounced off my body, shouting TGINS! (Thank God It’s Not Stomach – or something far worse. Slippery ingrates.) I envied their fearlessness, diving into the unknown – and maybe even having a little fun doing it.

If I were a water molecule, I might be one clinging to the side of the tub – afraid of what could be hiding in pipes unexplored and hearing my parent molecule say, “If everyone jumped down the garbage disposal, would you do it, too?” But, eventually I’d let go. The consequences might be unpleasant or joyous. But, if I stayed, I’d know my fate would be evaporation. And while that might sound like some sort of rebirth, I’m not ready to go all gaseous just yet.

What does this have to do with writing?

I moved to Los Angeles to become an actor. But, I grew up writing poetry. I wrote a couple one-act plays in college. And I performed in theater before I made my leap to the screen. I used to be really into astrology – the charts, not the daily stuff. Still, being a Cancer was something I hid. I hated the way we were described – the CRAB – always moving sideways to get to our goals. (Did I mention the hard outer shell and squishy insides? Good, I’m glad I forgot.)

My writing evolved into screenwriting then fiction. I didn’t think I had the attention span to complete anything longer than 120 pages. (That had been hard enough.) But, ignoring the occasional shiny object, I finally reached my goal. My writing style incorporates my love of poetry. My fiction’s basically written in verse, but without stanzas. It’s a painstaking process – finding the right words to fit the pacing and give me the necessary alliteration to satisfy my carping brain. (Ex. - I need a four-syllable word that means X, that’s conversational with emphasis on the 2nd syllable and starts with the letter P. Now, you understand my sickness. Be sure to pick up your complimentary vaccine on the way out.)

After years of querying with spec scripts and going on auditions, I wasn’t looking forward to more rejection. So, I edited, sent out a few letters and decided to self-publish. I didn’t realize the amount of work I was about to take on. But, I let go of the side of the tub. Besides, I liked the idea of my book being printed exactly as I’d envisioned it. To keep the creative spark alive, I jump back and forth between projects – comedy, drama, thriller, script and fiction.

Depth of Focus: A Novel is my first book. It’s an adaptation of a script I started close to ten years ago. I wanted to tell a story about a young woman who was afraid of getting married – or into a serious relationship. I’d seen so many stories of women who couldn’t wait to meet Mr. Right. As so many kids and adults have parents that are divorced, I wanted to explore a journey where the supposed happily ever after wasn’t desired (for various reasons). The other characters support or challenge her convictions.

I’m glad I finished it eventually. Here’s a brief description. I hope you like it.

After years of taking care of others, Danni might not know how to really take care of herself. But, she's trying regardless of the consequences -- even if that means keeping her distance from the ones she loves. If everyone has his way, she'll be pulled in more directions than she can handle. Then again, if she pushes too hard, she might wind up alone. Alone and safe? Or alone and lonely? She can't decide.

Following her fifth birthday party, Danni grew to despise the annual tradition. If the aspiring photographer can't find a way to balance a meddling roommate, nosy neighbor, former lover, current lover, mostly-absent father, jealous sibling, insecure best friend and suicidal mother with the demands of her lousy job, approaching birthday party and shrinking college fund, she won't be going to school. And chances are she'll lose a lot more than her career.

Depth of Focus is 268 pages long. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook almost everywhere books are sold.

Paperback at Createspace: (Save $4.00 by using code 5F2RD3SH)
Ebook at Smashwords: (Get it for only $3.99 by using code QD35M through June 20th.)

To find out more about me or to read an excerpt and longer description, visit You’ll also find excerpts from my works in progress there. Happy writing and reading!


Are we too dark?

Someone, please, turn on the light.

There's this article published in the Wall Street Journal recently that I think you should take a gander at. It's called Darkness Too Visible. When I read it, I thought: When did reading become a bad thing?

If you've already read it, please let me know what you think.

If you haven't read it yet, click on the title of the article, then let me know what you think. 

It actually kicked up a storm on the twitterverse. And it still is. 

You have to meet her!

There are a few people in this world that I can call a writing soulmate, and you have to meet one of them:  and get a chance to win an ARC of her novel here:  So worth it! Please help me spread the word.
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