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Sale! Read something today.


Summer sale going on right now at Smashwords! Come check out Temperature: Dead and Rising for half off.

Use coupon Code: UX24E

Expires: August 8, 2011


I know it is redirecting you to a different blog, but please understand. Thank you. http://adam-santo.blogspot.com/2011/07/does-dictionary-carry-standards-anymore.html


I was asked by the author of this blog to consider a question he wrote, “What if a Christian book has sex and violence in it, but it’s not graphic, and the emphasis is on the redemptive theme of the story rather than showing the brokenness of the characters?”
Well, my answer would be the Bible. We can read the Bible and know when a lamb is sacrificed that blood will be everywhere; however, in today’s Christian Fiction we will know the blood spilled because the writer will describe it in detail. I think that is where the line is crossed for this genre. Authors of this genre do it to sell books, period. There’s no other reason to write in this manner besides the almighty dollar. Just my thoughts on the subject. Please read the original post to form your own opinion. Ben Erlichman did a great job with his blog.

Violence in Christian Fiction How much is too much? Obviously some of that depends on your genre, right? For example: if you're writing a cozy romance or Amish fiction, there's probably not much room for violence in the story because it will likely not fit with either the genre or the premise. Also, readers of such genres won't expect much violence in the books they read, so too much (maybe ANY) might turn them off to your writing. What about mysteries, suspense, or even roma … Read More

via Reflections In Hindsight


Religious symbols from the top nine organised ...

Image via Wikipedia

I see it more and more. A cry goes out that the world is going to end … soon. Someone claims the world will end and we must tie up our loose ends quickly before 6:00 pm this very night before the savior comes. I am sure your boss will let that important fax slide, which could have made the company millions all because the rapture was upon us.
Does it make much sense to wrap-up a life that continues in the afterlife? What doesn’t make sense to me is the repeated doomsday deadlines being set and nothing ever happens. Is it me or does that create an implosion for religion itself? Crying wolf as churches have done is an age-old tale of a child repeatedly saying the wolf is here to the village. What came of these lies the child told? The village no longer believed him. The story ends with him finally telling the truth, but no one is listening now. I feel this is how the churches of the world are being looked at, too.
Any religion teaching good moral standards is a good religion and we cannot afford to loosing them to fabricated lies. If the world ends – so be it. What regrets will you have if the world ends? You already live with past regrets of not doing something or someone, so I think it will OK when the end comes. For now live a happy life with the ones you love.
For the churches of the world I say this – leave the end of days to whichever God you believe in. He or She knows when it will happen and all you do is cause chaos in the living world. I am sure spreading such doom does NOT create the oneness with thy neighbor as you had hoped. What a way to spend the end of life by collecting old debts or borrowed tools. Those things will sure help out in the afterlife.
I am blogging about this because if they don’t stop preaching the destruction of this world, then people will find something else to believe in. Religion as we know it will die and who knows what will grow from the aftermath. Pretty soon we might be praying under the golden arches in the shape of an ‘M’. Lunch anyone?

What could be in the works


Free place to sleep

I have added some parts of my manuscripts to Authonomy for people to read for free. I plan to add some short stories along with what I already have there soon. Please stop by to check out what I’ve written so far and come back to see what else I add. Thank you for your support. BTW, I have a few backers now for getting my next novel out. You should stop by and drop some of those coins stuck between the cushions in the tip jar, too. Have a great day!

Be prepared for the coming sequel.


Intentionally blank pages at the end of a book.

Image via Wikipedia

If I can raise enough funds at KickStarter, then this sequel will make it to print. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I would like to share an unedited first draft excerpt for you to enjoy while you mull over clicking the KickStarter link and support an indie author get published. Please read the following with a thought in mind, the parenthesis holds a place for the lucky ones to have their name immortalized. So here we go:

A hand grabbed hold of his shoulder and pulled (him) into that menacing darkness. The sure grip held tight as more hands balled up swung at his upper torso. They rained down on him like jack hammers beating concrete. (He) tried to block as much of the punches as he could but it brought stinging pain to his arms where they hit.

Barely able to stand on his own two feet, the one holding his shoulder let go to watch him crumple to the ground. He could not believe that one hand was the only thing keeping his body from falling the whole time. “That was for ruining our beloved man-servant,” a hauntingly cool voice spoke out. The man speaking brought uncontrolled shakes to (him) after a glint of white flashed sharpened teeth for just a second, “Now, we take out our own vengeance on you!”

Beneath the sinister depth of those shadows grew a growl deep within it’s chest. He was not sure what to make of this man, but he was sure human no longer had anything to do with it. Abruptly, silence prevailed and (he) felt the last moments of life tick loudly in his ears that never came.

A quick flash of light was barely visible beneath his tightly shut eyelids as he had prepared for the killing strike. Heels scraping across asphalt urged his curiosity to break the hold the fear had of dying and open his eyes to see what was happening. The bright light earlier had only lasted a few seconds dropping everything black into pitch blackness – apparently to daze (his) attackers. Faceless shapes stood out from the opening leading to the street beyond, lit by stray headlights of a passing car. He counted four shapes instead of the three originally there.

Another set of headlights revealed one person fending off the others.

To his eyes the bodies of these attackers blurred in an out like a bad twilight zone episode. One minute standing out of reach, the next minute dropping out of the sky to pounce. The weirdest thing to (him) was the almost complete silence of the whole fight. A swish of clothes here or a faint grunt there could be heard above the otherwise din of silence.

It was eerie.

The occasional smash of a body hit the brick wall or a trash can collapsed under the weight of a fallen body was the only other sounds made. They all moved too fast for his eyes to keep up with the action. He just hoped the stranger came out on top, Unless he also means to harm me.

The lone savior to his predicament fought valiantly against the malevolent shapes.

Shapes.

(He) could no longer bring himself to call them human any longer. When the things rebounded off the walls to attack they crouched down on all fours before pouncing toward the prey. No human could do that, thinking in amazement as he watched it unfold before him.

When one appeared in midair, the stranger drove an object from somewhere in his jacket, sharpened to a point at its tip, into the creature’s chest. It was the only time any of them made such a distinct sound. Nails scrapping across a chalkboard could not compare to the ear-piercing howl it made after the stranger’s deed. A second leaped out of the air appearing like the rest in blurred fashion to find the same fate as the first. The third tried to escape with little success. A brilliant bar of blue light shot out from the stranger’s hand disintegrating the body in seconds.

It has to be some military style laser gun to do that. Seen it in movies I think, (he) mulled over in his head.

Then it was over.

Please don’t forget to leave comments below.

Payout is coming soon.


I am putting up for all to see an excerpt from the first draft titled Payout. I am a third done with the manuscript and might be completed by the end of the year. Please take the time to read it and possibly leave a comment after. Thank you.

Payout

He should have kept to himself, working the sure bets instead of taking the job tonight. Joe Brinston always took extra care to check out the jobs before signing on as a precaution to his well-being. He never got the chance. The night air held promise of a heavy down pour. He hated working under the cover of rain; always leaves a wet trail for anyone to follow in the dry confines of a heist.

Joe came to loathe the idea of doing this job. Repeated calls from the employer, hassles from the “partners” about not stepping here or there without giving up why they knew this, and waiting for someone else’s timetable became unbearable. Keeping the employer’s name in the dark was just good business. It bothered Joe to no end still not knowing his or her name this far into the game. In his line of work knowing who was flipping the bill meant getting a callback for another job or jail time from working with an undercover agent. Not the best scenario for getting the job done.

Another reason stood out, two other people got hired on. There would be partners joining and no room for negotiation. He worked alone most of the time, limiting the hands digging in his pockets for a cut. Plus, alarms tended to get tripped when too many feet were involved. These partners of his were said to be knowledgeable about the item they needed to find. Joe wanted to know what the object looked like. That would help, he thought. His employer refused to describe it over the phone. Just rely on your help for that, his boss told him. Unlikely, but where was the choice.

The location was not given until the last minute. Nothing went his way after the first meeting. They were going in for an object kept at random locations for safe keeping. Again he wasn’t given a choice, not even on how to complete the job. Had he been in control, everything might have went smoother.

They just had to break into the store and snatch the pocket-sized object, removed some other items to cover up what was really taken, and hightail it. Simple, except not knowing beforehand what the layout looked like. Everything had been orchestrated on the onset with phone conversations replacing face-to-face contact. Joe still didn’t really know who he worked for after a few meetings. Phone numbers used by Joe’s employer all came up untraceable. He wished he never heard of the mysterious object, let alone the job. Now he ran, the enlightened pair his employer brought in never made it past the door of the store.

An unassuming enough looking necklace sat tucked in his pocket as he ran. What happened back there did not seem natural. No laser light show he knew of could do the things he witnessed. Their flesh seared away by inches at a time when they tried to get away. The bluish flash that came with it didn’t seem right either. It all made no sense to him. Scared him so bad he didn’t look back until clearing the door jamb. He wished he hadn’t now. What happened to those poor guys won’t ever leave his memory now. There wasn’t any looking back now.

Skirting across the pools of light with the smallest parts of him breaking the invisible plane between light and dark should have helped Joe evade the people from the store; his pursuers’ were still hot on the trail. Flashlights flared down the alley after him shining off brick walls in jagged movements. Headlights flashed past the entrance of the alley less than fifty feet away. If he could make it clear into the street Joe might lose them in the crowded sidewalks.

Burning sensations ran down his leg where the necklace rested, feeling nearly white-hot against his skin. He was too afraid to look down, wasting valuable time and possibly tripping over any unseen objects by doing it. Right when his feet touched the sidewalk a voice called to him. Joe Brinston.

It said his name, intense pain growing from the necklace forgotten. No one on this job knew his real name just in case someone was caught in the act and ratted the accomplices out to the cops. The people behind him surely couldn’t know it.

Joe.

An odd feeling came over him to turn back, turn around from where he just came from. It was so strong Joe almost listened to the siren’s calling. He was pretty sure not a single one of them was female, but the voice he heard could be no other.

Joe.

Momentarily distracted by the sounds of a woman calling might have been the intent of the people chasing him. Maybe one of them had a high-pitched voice mimicking a woman to cause him pause. That didn’t explain his name being called out. Rolling fear taking over he bolted from the alley into a sea of people. The theater had just let out giving him cover one could only wish for.  Cover at last and her voice stopped calling to him.

Joe didn’t waste any time thinking. He dove for the next unlit alley a few streets down and ran the center of it as fast as he could. If it had not rained earlier he might have been able to run faster, so staying on the side of caution Joe kept to a jogging pace praying it was fast enough to lose them. Slowing to a walk Joe took the chance to look back feeling safe of further pursuit. Sure enough, the chase was over. This street he’d cut back to had less businesses tailored to the night crowd as the other street had been.

Doubling back now might bring him face-to-face with the people he had swiped the necklace from. Better to continue cutting down alleys, sidestepping the main streets, before heading back to the car. Joe took the good fortune of being the driver tonight for what it was worth. If one of the others drove, walking would be the only alternative and it was a long way to go. There wasn’t anyone he trusted enough to call for a pickup.

Now, more than any other night, left Joe disbelieving he could trust a soul with what happened; not even his closest friends. The necklace nagged at him from the interior of the pocket. Such a big payout for a chain with some kind of ridiculous pendant hanging on it, Joe didn’t dare pull it out to inspect it. Here in the open where anyone could see it and possibly remember him carrying it so close to where he stole it. Thoughts drifted in and out as he walked slowly down the street. The car was up ahead parked out of reach of any street lamp keeping the car mostly in darkness, secluded from other cars parked in the security of light.

Joe fished out his keys with a watchful eye scanning the curbside for anyone following. His hand brushed up against the necklace searching for them sending a cold blast up his forearm. Chills raced throughout his body. That infernal pendant, Joe hissed in his head at the pain.

Joe’s steps staggered as he tried to control the shivering that necklace caused. First it got so hot he thought it would burn right out of the pocket and now Antarctica would be a warm place compared to touching this thing again. Without knowing what it was Joe could see why the payout was so much. There was something unique about the necklace making it seem priceless no matter the simplicity of the design. Unlocking the car door while shaking from the cold left by the necklace’s touch, he dropped into the seat and cranked the engine up before getting the door closed. Putting the heater on high didn’t seem enough to ward off the cold. At the same moment he thought about the cold, the point under the necklace touching skin carried warmth now. He took the chance to retrieve the pendant and immediately dumped it in the glove box. At least there wouldn’t be any more of those freaky happenings if he couldn’t touch it.

More relieved to be rid of the thing, thoughts wandered back to what happened at the store. Throwing his head back against the headrest and closing his eyes to the world, Joe tried to recall what happened from the safety of the car. Its not something I want to remember but what I saw must not have been real, his head reeled from seeing again the blue flash of light disintegrate his partners.

Everything was moving so fast adrenaline spiked in him at the mere thought of how close he came to being like the others. That stuff came out of nowhere like magic. It was hard to believe! After they entered the room where the necklace had been, a search for surveillance equipment gave them nothing at all. Nothing on the property had the slightest appearance of high-tech besides the magnetic alarm strips set on the windows and doors. Even a first time thief knew how to pull a heist this simple, but Joe had missed something. Security cameras tucked away or motion sensors must have been hidden from sight.

How else do you explain a quick lockdown of the premises as it happened there? Joe began to feel exposed sitting in the car still too close to the building he just robbed. Turning the keys in the ignition with a satisfying rumble from the engine, he checked the street for flashlights before pulling away. Put the past behind him he always said. Forget what went on and focus on the prize. Joe would make the call in the morning to the contact to exchange the pendant for cash. It was all that was left.

Joe.

The voice came back. He sat in a car driving with the windows rolled up. This day just gets better, Joe repeated to himself several times.

Faint streamers of light emitted from the glove box as he heard the woman again, Joe.

The disembodied voice echoed through his head. Refusing to enter the highway while some woman called out his name, he pulled up to the curb under the overpass. Hands shook when he let go of the steering wheel. The events of the day just got worse. He was delusional. Joe hoped to God this job paid out like he was told. How could he continue if melting walls, disintegrated bodies, and phantom voices plagued him?

From the outside of the car, the inside looked like an overhead light was turned on to read a map. Inside the car Joe pulled on the door handle until it broke off, windows didn’t roll down. He screamed at the top of his lungs. He knew the end must be near.

Take a Peep at This.


Just added an excerpt to the project I’m working on at the moment. It is raw, unedited, and in it’s first draft. You can find it at Kickstarter to read it. Also, if there is loose change laying around waiting to be spent, this is a great place to drop it off.

What Is Text-to-Speech Good For?


I know it is a bold statement to make. Text-to-speech is good for a great many things,  but one I never thought to use it for came to me last night.

Proofreading.

Sounds so simple that I should have thought of it already? Why try to re-read your manuscript out loud when something can do it for you. Now you can listen to what you wrote while running errands or the dishes (if they piled up while writing and trust me they do). Sometimes a friend will let you know how your book is, but that takes time away from them and they sometimes don’t always read quickly. I am not saying a fresh perspective on what you wrote isn’t worth the time; however, hearing what you wrote first might save your friend’s writing hand from cramping after noting all the incorrect uses of grammar.

Some places say to use a text-to-speech for creating audio books. For me it sounds too monotone to be enjoyed properly. Better to have a real voice create the emotional points and hear a flat voice try to express excitement. If nothing else please consider using one of the many text-to-speech programs out there being offered for free. It will save you endless hours of editing the manuscript or help you simplify a sentence.

Waiting is Almost Over.


So I don’t have to retype this blog please follow the link to “The Waiting is Almost Over“.