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In the next Installment of The Judas Curse, Detective Ben Stanford is ready to put the past at rest. Without warning, he’s pulled down once again into the chaos of gods, theology, and mystery. Told that his sister is alive and the two immortals, Mark and Judas, have been kidnapped by the treacherous goddess, Nike, Ben must find a way to rescue the pair before she can harness their powers.
While Mark waits alone, forced to write out the story of how their powers came to be, and Judas lay tortured by the angry Goddess, a reluctant Ben must enlist the help of a hesitant being from the ancient Norse Pantheon.
Time is ticking, and the hard-headed detective must use everything he learned in the past to prevent another disaster, which could potentially wipe-out the human race.
TR: Angella, good morning. Let me first say I’m thrilled to be hosting you for one of your stops on “The Judas Kiss” tour. Welcome!
AG: Thank you, Thomas….I’m very pleased to be here
TR: So, let’s not keep your future fans waiting. How old were you when you wrote your first piece?
AG: The first time I wrote anything of substance, I was about fifteen and co-wrote a seven-hundred page epic about a world of dragons. Ha. My first published piece I wrote last year, so that would make me thirty—it had been a goal of mine to be published before thirty. I was a few months late.
TR: Ah well, not by much. What was it, and in what genre?
AG: It was contemporary literature/literary fiction, and it was just a basic story about a man in a troubled relationship and how he grew out of it and learned how to look for what he really wanted in life.
TR: That sounds pretty interesting to me. What made you write it?
AG: Honestly, it started out as a short story, and it sort of expanded. I drew on my experiences being married to a person who was not so nice. I sort of gender-switched the roles to see if I could write a believable male character, and got pretty decent response from it. By the end it was a test to see if I could actually compose a novel with a beginning, middle, and end.
TR: Sounds like you had success with that. Seeing things from the other gender’s point of view isn’t the easiest thing – very good! What have you written since then?
AG: Since then I have started a Contemporary Fantasy/Mythology series, “The Judas Curse”, and the first two books- “The Awakening” and “The Judas Kiss” have already been published. “Cry, Nike!”, which is book three, is set to release sometime in May.
I’m also about half-way finished with the first book in a paranormal YA series called “Alexandra Fry, Private Eye”, about a young girl who solves crimes for the ghosts of history’s most famous icons. The ghost in the first book is a teenaged version of Queen Elizabeth I.
TR: Wow, you’re staying busy. Your new series sounds wonderful! “Cry, Nike” – the title makes me curious enough to look at it. So, What was the inspiration for “The Judas Curse” series?
AG: The “Judas Kiss” is a continuation of the series. I’m delving further into mythology, and twisting the ideas of mythos and religion to give a different experience to the reader instead of the old traditions. I’m really enjoying drawing on my studies of Theology and Mythology from when I was a university student.
TR: Ah. That is a different twist – fascinating. Tell us a little more about it, and where it’s available.
AG: The book starts off where book one left off. Ben is dealing with a death, Mark and Judas are trying to escape the Greek gods that kidnapped Judas, and things just sort of get out of hand, as usual. Mark and Judas are taken by the villain again, and Mark is forced to write out his history.
Right now the book is available at amazon/amazon UK
And on Createspace:
And I also ship paperback books from my website athttp://angellagraffbooks.wordpress.com through paypal.
TR: Very good – thank you. Now, is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
AG: It depends on what I’m writing. Often times my ideas sort of develop organically as I start to write. I’ll have one small idea and suddenly it will explode and evolve into something I had never intended to write, but it’s fascinating to see what comes from that process.
TR: That’s thrilling isn’t it? Following your mind down a path to somewhere you never knew existed. Okay, so you’re an indie writer. What made you choose independent publishing?
AG: I chose indie publishing for several reasons. I get to publish on my own schedule, and I like having control over everything. I’m a total control freak, God bless my husband for putting up with it – haha. From what I’ve seen, traditional publishing requires you to do most of your own marketing anyway, so I’d rather not be contractually obligated to another company for my own writing if they don’t offer added perks. Of course, I’m speaking from assumption as I’ve never gone through a traditional publishing house—but I will say I am very proud to be an indie author.
TR: As you should be. Handling all the attached duties for putting a quality book out isn’t easy. So, tell us – if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
AG: I would say networking. The writing community is very tight knit, and while I thought it was going to be overly competitive, it’s not. I was pleasantly surprised by that fact, and even more pleasantly surprised by how helpful and wonderful the friends I’ve made have been. We market each other, we support and promote each other, and the advice I’ve been offered in how to make my books available and noticed by the right audience has been invaluable.
TR: I agree with you. The folks I’ve met online have shown me nothing but grace and compassion. What a wonderful lot, aren’t they? So, what mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
AG: The first mistake I made is not creating a network before I published. I’d never done anything like that before, so I had no idea what to do. I published my book, got a few downloads from family and friends, and then… crickets. Then I started networking with authors on twitter. That was chaotic, but when I discovered the author communities on facebook and goodreads, and places for me to be able to market, things took off.
The second big mistake was being impatient, and putting out a manuscript that I wasn’t 100% satisfied with. There were some things that could have easily been prevented had I just had a little more patience, and I’m learning that the hard way.
I’m trying to take my time now, to be less eager, despite that fear (the one my husband insists is typical) that the moment I take too long to publish my next book, I’m going to be completely forgotten.
TR: Crickets – HAH – I like that. Wonderful advice, on both counts! Do you have an idea for your next book?
AG: I have several haha! I’m never short of ideas, and right now I have some literary fiction ideas simmering while I get my second series started. I’m thinking about making a themed series, not cohesive plot or characters, just a general theme about relationships—but portrayed in a more realistic, less fantasy type of way, to remind people that actual, real life love can be just as beautiful and fantastic, and heartbreaking, as any romance novel out there.
TR: Angella thanks so much for stopping by today. I had a ball – and best of luck with the rest of your tour, and “The Judas Kiss”.
AG: Thanks Thomas…I had fun too
Folks, if you want your own copy of “The Judas Kiss”, the link to rafflecopter and a chance to win a copy is below. Click it to win it!
W ow. What a way to start a morning – reading an email from Greyhart Press telling me an invoice is attached, and he’s waiting for my Paypal info so he can deposit money in my account.
Now – how cool is THAT?
And you know, the money is great. Not going to get me rich. (Okay, okay, I know you’re dying to know, so I’ll tell you. I sold 63 books! I’ll not tell you the royalty amount, onaccountabecause it ain’t none o’ yer bees wax.)
But, I find the money doesn’t thrill me as much as knowing that 63 folks decided to spend their hard-earned money on my work…
Now THAT is a high you can’t get from a bottle
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As the first hint of light began to peek over the trees, Lizzie appeared in the snug kitchen. “Is he here? Where is he?”
Wiping her hands with a kitchen towel, Beth moved over to her daughter. “He never came back last night. But it’s almost light out. We’ll take a walk right after breakfast, and I’m sure we’ll find him.”
“No! No, no, no! We have to find him now!” The little girl dashed the door. Beth hastily grabbed two coats from the hook beside the door and bolted out after Lizzie. As she emerged onto the porch, her daughter was standing frozen at the top of the steps, staring toward the corner of the yard. Glancing that way, Beth saw a brown heap leaning against the outside of the chain fence. “You stay here—right here, understand?” Beth raced to the fence and climbed over.
The dog was a mess. Dried blood cascaded down his neck and over his chest and front legs. Burrs and twigs covered his coat, and he was filthy front to back. She laid her hand on his chest. Breathing, but just barely. Turning toward the house, she issued quick instructions.
“Get the blanket off the foot of my bed, and grab the car keys. We have to get Flapjack to Doc Barchfield. Quickly, now!”
As the little girl disappeared, Beth turned her attention back to the injured animal. If he lived, he would be one lucky dog.
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Think about this. Since the beginning of recorded time, man has had a whole love/hate thing going on with ol’ Beezlebub – and you know what? It’s still raging, and the lines between good evil and bad evil are getting badly smeared.
Good evil and bad evil? Let me explain.
Consider these gentlemen:
James Arness and Christopher Lee. What do they have in common?
Answer: They both played a monster in a movie. James Arness, sheriff Matt Dillon in the hit TV series “Gunsmoke”, played the monster in the equally popular movie “The Thing” in 1951. Christopher Lee – That’s Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee – has been in 276 films, including major roles in both the Star Wars saga and Lord of the Rings trilogy – and also played the Lord of Darkness (that’s Dracula to you youngsters) a total of five times.
Okay, now another question. What do actors Tony Curtis and Brian Dennehy share? Answer: They both played monsters too. Except – they were cast in roles depicting real monsters.
The legendary Tony Curtis played in over 120 films over 50 years, and has shared the big screen with such stars as Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and Gina Lollobrigida.
And he also played Albert DeSalvo – also known as “The Boston Strangler” – who was tried and convicted for slaughtering 13 women over the period of a year.
Then we have Mr. Brian Dennehy. Monsieur Dennehy is the proud owner of two Tony awards for his work on the stage, has had roles in countless TV shows and almost 30 movies, his most remembered part likely being Sheriff Will Teasle in “Rambo: First Blood”.
And while he was at it, he took a few months to play a guy by the name of John Wayne Gacy (aka “The Killer Klown”), who was put to death by lethal injection in 1994 for the sexual assault of at least 33 boys and young men from 1972 to 1978.
So. What’s the difference between these two groups? The answer is, of course, nothing. At least not to the media moguls. Allow me to give you a few more statistics, from a couple other sources.
Movies first. I’ll pick one of the most popular horror movies ever – “The Omen”. That’s right, the blockbuster that described the coming of the anti-Christ. It came out in 1976, grossed over $60,000,000 and was the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Oh, and it was re-made in 2006 (that brilliant group decided to launch it June 6th – that’s 06/06/06. Better yet, kickoff time was 6:06:06 a.m.), and was subsequently followed by four more “Omen” movies. Now, if cranking out a full-length feature (better yet, five of ‘em) about the coming of someone who’s going to cast darkness over the entire earth ain’t just lovin’ evil, I really don’t know what is.
In fact, it’s a little disturbing how we fail to delineate between the baddies who are a direct result of a writer eating pizza too late in the evening, and nutcases who go off their rocker and start running around and killing people indiscriminately with rifles from overpasses. (“D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear” – launched in 2003). That’s becoming more and more prevelant, if you ask me. Too prevelant.
An even more recent example – the trial of Casey Anthony from May to July, 2011. For those who don’t recall, Ms. Anthony was brought to trial for murdering her three-year-old daughter Caylee. For a number of reasons, Casey was found not guilty, to the outrage of many. In fact, it’s widely believed that during the time of the trial, Ms. Anthony was the most hated person in the country. And in 2013, only 18 months later? Rob Lowe played head prosecutor Jeff Ashton in the Lifetime movie “Prosecuting Casy Anthony”. Funny, huh?
Now, the case can be made that it’s all just entertainment. That even if the story is about a real life horror, it’s interesting to see how some of the most vicious killers in history came to perform their agregious deeds. Okay, fair enough. I have to admit that peeking behind the curtain to see what makes a man (or woman) morph into a murderer can be a fascinating prospect. But, we’ve blurred the line and allowed the dark world of genuine villians to meld in with ours.
Maybe this will show you what I mean. The video game has become one of the most prevalent pasttimes for young folks from five to 25. And you know, they’re fun. My son is 16, and when he was younger, he and I spent many an hour battling nazis (no, I’m not going to capitalize the term – sue me), and blowing zombies to Kingdom Come. But, I find it disturbing when a game that allows you to execute cops, women, and old people is one of the highest selling video games ever.
(Grand Theft Auto, all five versions of it). In fact, Grand Theft Auto IV sold 3.6 million copies the first day, and sole 6 million over the first week, garnering $500 million in sales. And I’ve played it. You think a game about World War II is violent? Picture a city street crowded with people and a guy with a shotgun, machete, and basball bat running around and shooting, beating, and slicing anybody he wants. Complete with blood, screaming, the sound of the blows and crunching of bones. That, my friends, is brutal.
Can I hear you say Columbine? Virginia Tech? Sandy Hook?
Now, I’m all into the supernatural monster stuff. Let’s face it – if werewolves didn’t exist (at least, in legend), I’d have had to write about the Grand Canyon in my debut novel. Or maybe the mating habits of the Great Horned Owl. Compelling, huh? Nope, I’m lovin’ being smack dab in the middle of a writing world that embraces any book that will scare the snot out of you.
But all that other garbage? I say we take all the real-life stuff I’ve mentioned here, add in any I didn’t, set them on fire, and sip a crisp Chardonney while we watch it burn. Because, see, all the folks who step across the line and kill don’t deserve to be glorified. They need to be put away (either for life or without one, either way suits me ) and forgotten. Let the scientists and psychologists figure out what went wrong. We’ve already smeared the line between the imagined evil and the real McCoy for far too long.
Trust me, my friends, werewolves are a lot less dangerous.
Tim and Melia are going through a tremendously difficult time right now. Melia is battling a disease that I’ve come to hate with a red-eyed fire – cancer. In fact, she’s going under the knife tomorrow in an attempt to rid herself of it, and she could use all our prayers. I would ask that you comment on this post in a show of support and love. Thank you so much.
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After twenty years in the Marine Corps, Major Frank Cutlip comes home to the quiet hills of his beloved Pennsylvania to take up a new life as the sheriff of Allegheny County.
Professor Beth Lowe took up a post at Paxton University because she became enamored with western Pennsylvania’s charms, a more enduring love than she thought she would ever feel for a man.
When Beth’s dog is savaged by wolves, their peaceful lives are shattered, and their fates entwined. On the brink of death, the dog not only survives but grows larger… and more vicious. A thousand-year cycle of carnage is reaching its climax once more, and the peaceful wooded hills will soon be smeared with blood.
Sheriff Cutlip leads his community in a hunt for the hidden terror, but then his own brother is bitten, his blood corrupted by the ancient evil. The sheriff must confront terrible choices, and he can’t do so alone.
‘The Clearing’ — a novel of ordinary people thrown together in extraordinary circumstances.
Beth punched the sheriff’s number into her phone as she pulled out of the parking lot. “Sheriff’s office,” came a high, evenly modulated voice, “Deputy Gibbons speaking.”
“Good morning, Deputy. I wanted to report that my dog has been bitten by a wild animal of some kind.”
“Yes, ma’am. Your name, please?”
“Alright, Ms. Lowe, when did this happen?”
“My dog got out of the yard last night, and was gone all night. When he came home this morning, he had been bitten on the neck. He seems to be fine, but I thought you should know.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line. “You say it happened last night?”
Something in the deputy’s tone rang an alarm, “Yes, that’s right. Why?”
“Nothing, ma’am. What’s your address and phone number please?”
She recited the information, and the deputy thanked her, told her the sheriff would be in touch, and hung up. What was with him? she thought. He had sounded so spooked.
Back at the house, the ladies laid extra blankets in the dog’s bed, filled his food bowl, and attempted to put Flapjack down to rest. He would have none of it, and bounced around the room, mouth a’barkin’ and tail a’waggin’. As he paused to catch his breath, Barlow the cat strolled in casually. The moment his eyes fell upon Flapjack, he froze. He didn’t hiss, fluff up, or bare his teeth. He remained in position, one paw poised in mid stride, his yellow orbs fixed upon the dog. Flapjack slowly turned his head. Rising to his feet, he gradually lowered his head and regarded the feline with a level stare. They both remained in their respective positions while both Beth and Lizzie sat transfixed.
The ring of the telephone jarred everyone, and Beth stood to answer it, her eyes on Flapjack as he shook his head slightly, as if waking from a trance. For his part, Barlow seemed content to offer Lizzie an opportunity to scratch his ears, but he cut a wide circle around the dog to do so. Beth would later recall this was the last day she would see her two pets in each other’s company.
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