Friday, October 25, 2013

The Dead Have Risen! Alex LayBourne's Diaries of the Damned Released Today

The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal the answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors banded together, yet none of them realized, as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen. 

Crab your copy from Amazon today for just $2.99

Alex Laybourne:

Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that he became a horror writer.

Married with four children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. His biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

Diaries of the Damned’ is his third full length publication along with numbers short works.



Chapter 1 – Boarding

Paul Larkin sat in his seat and fastened his seatbelt. His body was caked with sweat and dried blood. His ears rang from the gunshots, and his ankle was swollen again; remnants of an injury he acquired jumping from the first floor window of his suburban home. At least, it used to be suburbia, before everything went to shit.

He sat back and let out a long, deep breath. Shock threatened to take hold of him, so he closed his eyes and waited. The plane filled up and the cries of those refused admittance echoed down the walkway, swiftly followed by the sound of their execution.

Paul spared but the most fleeting of moments thinking about it. He found it strange how killing and death had become such a large part of his life.

Excuse me,” A fragile sounding voice stirred Paul from the calm place he had just started to settle into. “I believe this is my seat.” An elderly woman, late seventies at best stood before him, her face was smeared with blood, while one eye had been covered by a filthy rag that had been hastily secured to her face with what looked like duct tape.

Conflicting Opinions: Why I Question Everything I Learn Through YouTube

Learning massage is not a static thing. I'm constantly researching new techniques, perpetually attempting to hone the old techniques I already know. Every year I'm required to attain at least 12 CEU's (continuing education units) to remain licensed and certified. The problem with massage is that you can't just read about those techniques. You have to see them before you can perform them. The best way to do this is to take a class with a certified instructor who knows what the hell she/he is doing. And for those 12 CEU's I WILL be required to find and pay that instructor so that they might give me a piece of paper that says I shelled out the dough and passed the class. That class will probably set me back a week's worth of pay, so that instructor better be damn good. Grumble.

If I were a rich woman, I would take a class every couple months. There are so many modalities that I'm dying to learn. Lymphatic Drainage, Table Top Thai, Reflexology, are only a few. I am not a rich woman, so I rely on the next best thing, educational videos. If things are really tight, I'll resort to the cheapest method I know, otherwise known as YouTube-How-To. It's not a method I particularly care for, however, and I'll tell you why: anyone can make a YouTube video. You could be a 20 year vet or fresh out of massage school. You could be some loser with a can of Wesson Oil and no certification other than, "Well, my girl says I rub her shoulders real good. Real good, if you know what I mean." Anyone can say they're a massage therapist and make an instructional video. Anyone. How would I know if they're lying unless they specifically give out credentials I can check?

Even when they give out their bona fides, there's no guarantee that the information they give is 100% accurate. Take these two instructors:

In the first video, massage therapist Athena Jezik suggests around 0:14 that working the sacrum for a prenatal massage is contraindicated (i.e. stay the hell away). Working around the sacrum is okay, she says, but in general, it's best not to touch it at all.

Now watch the second video. Skip ahead to 5:22 where LMT Heather Maynard says, "You can use firm to very firm pressure on the sacrum." Not "around the sacrum". Not "very light pressure on the sacrum." Firm pressure on the sacrum is A-OK. Hmm...

Both of these women are licensed professionals. Maynard has co-authored a book called Home Pregnancy Massage. Jezik has been an LMT since the mid 70's. They know what they're doing, and they know what works for them. Unfortunately, what works for them isn't necessarily going to work for me or my clients, and I have to be careful which techniques I use from either one of them. If these two were teaching me face to face, I could ask, "Well, I heard Maynard say this. What's up with that?" or "Jezik said no way to that. Can you explain why she's wrong?" I could email the quandary, and eventually I will ask for their take on the conflicting advice, but there's no guarantee they will get back to me on that or that I'd get a satisfactory answer. At least in person they could see me scowling in frustration. Frowny face emoticon over instant message just isn't the same.

Guess I'll have to make do with a Fancy Bear Meme.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Feature Interview: Author Tom Tinney

Tom Tinney is a conservative loving, hippie loathing, v-twin power riding biker and writer of the science fiction novel THREADS: FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE. He also loves puppies. Do not make him drive a Prius; he will only laugh at you.

KARMA GIRL: Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I'm glad to have you.

Before we start, I'm going to give you my USUAL UNUSUAL DISCLAIMER: No bikers or writers will be harmed in the making of this interview. No hippies either. Sorry dude.


KG: Are you ready?

TOM: Yepper. Have you turned on the "fat finger" correction feature?

KG: Oh yes. Even though I'm an excellent excellent typist....(Insert Rain Man impersonation here.)

According to an interview you did with Indie Author Land, you are a self proclaimed "Biker-Nerd". Can you explain how this concept is possible without ripping a hole in the space-time continuum?

TOM: Sure. As a biker nerd, I am predisposed to ride with a rough crowd, enjoy the freedom of the road, get tattoos of skulls and admire scantily clad women with questionable moral standards. As a nerd, I think it would be cool to be that biker guy but keep getting distracted by science fiction/fantasy, computers and scantily clad women with questionable moral standards.

KG: I'm seeing a common link between these two states of being. Interesting. It's good to know boobs can bring all classes and cultures together, though in my case, it would be men with questionable moral standards. Or as I like to call him, "My Boyfriend".
You served in the United States Air Force as a long range radar tech. Is this correct?

TOM: Yes. The service was a great experience. I scored high on the ASVAB test and found an interesting field. I was able to travel quite a bit and work on the oldest (Vacuum tube technology) and newest (Digital) systems at the time. I honestly believe more young people would benefit from a stint in one of the services. They learn chain of command, personal responsibility, teamwork, how to work in adverse conditions and come out with self confidence. I look for those qualities in a potential employee.
Plus you get to shoot guns.

KG: You sold me with the word "guns".
Would you say your service in the USAF has influenced your writing, and if so, how?

TOM: Yes. I was exposed to different cultures, political systems and personalities (Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Germany, etc.). I was also exposed to technology and adversity when stationed remotely. That all plays into how my characters see and deal with situations and give me a better world view. I can write the "military/technical" aspects of the novel accurately and push the limits. I can also flavor the intrigue and political aspects with "experience".

KG: Who were your literary influences growing up?

TOM: Asimov, Varney, John Norman, Raymond Feist, Frank Herbert, and William Gibson. They all rock for different reasons, but were huge influences. I read Dune when I was 11 or 12. I was hooked on the depth and span of the entire series of Dune books. William Gibson's Neuromancer and Count Zero changed how I looked at science fiction. I called it "techno punk" sci-fi and it was so creative and different. I paid tribute to both of them in my novel THREADS. Sometimes subtly and sometimes with out and out quotes.

KG: Can you tell us a little about THREADS? How did the idea for this novel come about?

TOM: The basic idea had been rolling around in my head for years and I had even written a few outline paragraphs when I got my first PC (like everybody else... "I have a word processor, now I can write that novel I always wanted…”). Of course, writing is work, and the project went static.
I don't want to put out a bunch of spoilers, so let’s just say the characters, plot and direction of the book were always in my head, it was just the execution lacking to finish it. Lots of surprises and "I did not see that coming, but should have" moments in the book.
Last August I was telling a co-worker about the idea of THREADS, and he kept on me to write the novel. So I did. It took me 6 weeks to write the entire book.
I realize that if I had written it 15 years ago, it would have been very "candy" sci-fi. But with more life experience and lots of writing experience from editing biker mags and blogging, it flowed out and became the interwoven "page turner" that is the final novel.

KG: I've done National Novel Writers Month for years now. I have to say, I'm impressed with your work output.
As you've said before, you've had experience both writing and editing biker mags. What was the strangest story you've ever edited?

TOM: When I say I wrote it in 6 weeks...that was beginning to end, straight through. It only took another year to go back and fix all of the grammar, missed dates, plot holes, etc. The final product is very refined for a first novel.
Strange biker stories? OK. There is a Nude Biker Rally in Missouri. Seriously. The guy that wanted to write an article about it was not a regular contributor. Instead of focusing on the event as an event (Who attended, what entertainment, what charity, how many people, etc.), he went "penthouse letter". He also submitted pictures, but they were all full frontal nudity. We could have done some creative editing with the pictures, but the story was so badly written that I had to turn it down.
I also had a regular contributor that fancied himself a "Model Photographer". He had a little digital camera and was trying to convince attractive gals to do Easyrider ( another more men's-only magazine) type poses on choppers. The magazine I was editing was oriented to go on shelves in dealerships, so we had to be a little more discerning in what we printed.
The contributor talks these gals into doing risqué shots "for the mag" and submits them with an article, which I have to shoot down. A few weeks later, I get a call from a very pissed off boyfriend of the girl wondering why she is not in the magazine. I said "We don't do risqué stuff and if we did, there would be bars and stars over the fun bits." Turns out the photographer had her do full nudity and kept the shots for himself.
On a "regular stories" note, I was with the magazine at the height of the biker craze (American Chopper, Biker Build-off, Jesse James, etc.) so I was in the thick of it. I was able to interview famous biker builders, icons in the industry and attend events that were amazing. I was even recognized in Argentina by a club owner/biker and ended up writing an article about him while I was there.

KG: Is it true that you are currently coauthoring a book with your son? What's it about, and when can we expect it to be released?

Blood of Invidia
TOM: Yep, very excited about that. He is an excellent writer. Very descriptive and a big fan of anime. It makes his writing very visual and intense. He and I have never met face to face. Skipping the bad bits, when I found out about him, I started corresponding.
We are the ultimate in "genetics vs. environment". We look very similar (tall and handsome). He is smart, creative, loves sci-fi and Fantasy. He writes and is a smart-ass with a wicked sense of humor. He is me, just 22 years younger.
He was raised in Australia and still lives there. We correspond via text, Facebook and occasionally Skype. During one of our marathon texting sessions, we started outlining a book about vampires as aliens. As it evolved, we came up with the initial arcs and characters. Since then, I have been writing the meat of the book and he has been writing the action scenes. Its very well written at this point, and the prologue and first chapters that I have shown to people has elicited an overwhelmingly positive response. It will be titled BLOOD OF INVIDIA and all funds generated will be put to he and I getting to meet face to face.
BTW, I should mention that 10% of all sales from THREADS goes to ALS research and patient care.

KG: That's amazing. And I know I enjoy a book all the more when I know some of the proceeds go to a good cause.
You have proudly proclaimed on your blog that your political views are to the far right. Have you ever met or talked with a liberal that, while they didn't convince you their position was the way to go, had you thinking that if you were to write this person into one of your stories, you totally wouldn't kill them horribly?

TOM: No.
Just kidding. I love most of the liberals I know. they are great people with big hearts for the most part. In the second novel, WEAVES, in the FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE series, one of the new characters will be a die hard liberal trying to live the utopian socialist dream. He doesn't die and is a likeable, if not misguided, fellow.
Liberalism is a wonderful idea, but the execution almost always dictates a serious intrusion into people's lives "for the greater good" and that "greater good" is determine by a politic filled with angry, ambitious and self righteous people who refuse to accept any input or reasonable argument to their world view. If you do present a fact filled reply that disproves their position, they attack the messenger, not the message. If the hippies of the free love seventies met the liberals of today who are running things, they would be disgusted and disenchanted. (And that is where I lose 47% of my potential sales. Oopsie).
This is one of the reasons THREADS has a slim to none chance of ever being turned into a movie. I would have to retain final script and release approval. The Hollywood mantra would be to turn the storyline in to something they could palate. I would end up smacking the hell out of the director and script writers.

KG: What's your deal with hippies, by the way? Are you allergic to patchouli? Did they give you a bad batch of brownies? Seriously dude, what's up with that?

TOM: Maybe it's jealousy. When I became a teen, I just missed the hippies by a couple of years and never had a chance to convince a hairy pitted, paisley sporting and completely stoned out girl to do obscene things behind the stage of a Grateful Dead concert. That must be it.

KG: Yes, you have missed much, my friend.
Now it's time for a little thing I call...THE SERIOUS THREE! This is the thrilling part of the interview where I ask my rough and ready interviewee three shockingly pensive, electrifyingly sincere questions. Are you ready, Easy Rider?


KG: QUESTION #1: You find a lost puppy on the sidewalk. It's dog tag list its name as Prius. The owner's home address is written on the back along with instructions begging the finder not to feed this dog meat as it is being raised vegetarian. What do you do, man? What do you do?!?!?

TOM: I take the dog home and feed it a nice meal of hard boiled eggs, bacon and salami. I then take the dog to the vegan home knowing that I have restored the natural order.
The vegans get to enjoy my accomplishment and philosophical triumph through the continuous effervescence my meal has produced from the puppy. Also, if they have a mail slot, I come by every few days and slip some bologna through the hole.

KG: You are truly a benevolent soul. Bacon cures all ills...except, you know, high cholesterol.
QUESTION #2: If you were a witch, how would you "soup-up" your broomstick?

TOM: BTW...Prius is Japanese for "Self righteous Douche".
You know that, right?
Soup up a broomstick? Since I would be a very cool wizard, I would trade in my broomstick at "Potters used Brooms and Notary public" shop (Seems he fell on hard times after he graduated) and get a sigil engraved staff. Then, donning my black duster and strapping on my 44 magnum, I teleport to Hogwarts and yell "fuego" until my voice gave out.
Yes...HUGE Dresden (and Butcher in general) fan.

KG: LOL. I'm going to have to check that out on Google Translate later.
QUESTION #3: Where can my readers follow/stalk/ride pillion with you (Facebook, twitter, blog, biker hangout, etc.)?

TOM: Twitter: @FOTU_Threads
For Threads:
And please tell me you read The Dresden Files....if should. They are awesome.

KG: I haven't, but I'm doing a 50 Book Challenge this year so I might include one or two for my last five.
Thank you for taking time to answer all my whacky questions, Tom. I'll be keeping an eye out for BLOOD OF INVIDIA, hopefully to be released soon.

TOM: Thanks Karen, This has been a fun interview that made me think outside the typical interview box. Have a great day.

KG: You too. And may all your rides be patchouli free!


Queen Calamitous with her right hand man, Tiny
"The Adventures of Keith Flippen, Didgerdoo Player from the 3rd Dimension," by Zombie and the Brain to premier on YouTube.

New Orleans, LA (October 23, 2013) "The Adventures of Keith Flippen" is premiering on YouTube for the first time since it's successful KickStarter concluded in April of 2013. Filmed over the summer, the six episode run was produced by Zombie and the Brain on a $9,097 budget with a cast and crew size of about 50 members.

The sci-fi serial adventure orbits around didgeridoo playing protagonist Keith Flippen (Jeff Robert) as he travels the cosmos with whacky space ranger Colonel Lance Victory (Ladson Deyne), the brilliant Professor Gunterschnitz (Frank Levy), and their plucky secretary Penelope Goodheart (Rebecca Elizabeth Hollingsworth).

Keith may just be looking for a gig, but the Colonel is focused on one mission: putting a stop to an evil queen's malicious plans. Queen Calamitous (Shelley Johnson Rucker), joined by her second in command Tiny (Matt Standley) and a hoard of zombie minions, seeks the ancient Plaught Device to spread her dominion over the Galactic Empire. Can our heroes stop her? There's only one way to know for sure...

Watch "The Adventures of Keith Flippen" at Zombie and the Brains' YouTube page:

On the set of Keith Flippen

"The Adventures of Keith Flippen" pays homage to classic serial adventures like Buck Rogers, Flash Gorden, and classic Doctor Who. The show was originally created for the 2012 New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project where it won numerous awards including best in show. It has since been shown in several film festivals including Filmapalooza, New Orleans Film Festival, Crossroads Film Festival, and the Big Easy Film Festival.
About Zombie and the Brain

The New Orleans based film troupe was founded by producers Shannon Kitchens, Kirk Stonicher, and James Huval in 2010. Since then the team has participated in the annual New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project while also producing original shorts and covering local events like Wizard World's Comic Con, zombie pub crawls, and more.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fresh Blood: A VWSG Anthology

The Vampire Writers Support Group has just put out an anthology called FRESH BLOOD: VAMPIRE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP ANTHOLOGY VOLUME No. 1...and one of my stories is in it! But don't let that stop you from checking it out. Other contributing authors include Daven Anderson, Matthew E. Banks, Lucy Blue, Jessica Cage, Danielle DeVor, Drusiana, Donna Fernstrom, Donald L. Pitsiladis, Selene MacLeod, Brian Patrick McKinley, Dan Shaurette, Tabitha Grace Smith, Emma Rawlin, and Jay Wilburn. Proceeds from the book will go to the National Hemophilia Foundation. FRESH BLOOD is now available through Amazon and Createspace. Check it out today!