Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coprophagia and a visit to Spacedock 19

From Wikipedia -- Coprophagia or coprophagy is the consumption of feces, from the Greek κόπρος copros, "feces" and φαγεῖν phagein, "to eat".

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV-TR), it is classified under 302.9 Paraphilia.

Although not all coprophiles would necessarily be sadomasochists, little data on the prevalence of this behavior is available except from studies of the sadomasochism (SM) community. A study of 164 male sadomasochists from Finland from two sadomasochism clubs found that 18.2% had engaged in coprophilia; 3% as a sadist, 6.1% as a masochist, and 9.1% as both. 18% of heterosexuals and 17% of homosexuals in the study pool had tried coprophilia, showing no statistically significant difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals.

In Literature:
  • Thomas Pynchon's award winning novel Gravity's Rainbow, contains a very detailed scene of coprophagia.
  • The 120 Days of Sodom, a novel by the Marquis de Sade, is replete with detailed descriptions of erotic sadomasochistic coprophagia.
  • Consider Phlebas, a novel by Iain M. Banks, contains depictions of a tribe known as the Eaters, who repeatedly engage in coprophagia.
In Filmography:
  • 2 Girls 1 Cup <== Daniel Tosh makes fun of this one on Tosh.O
  • August Underground
  • The Green Elephant
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
  • The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
  • Vase de Noces
And that's it for my Halloween Fetish Countdown. If you have the time, please stop by Mary Pax's blog. I'm a guest at Spacedock 19, and I'm talking about one of my favorite things just in time for Halloween: 

Kaiju 怪人

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Menophilia and the Cuckold Fetish


Menophilia is a paraphilia that effects mostly men (and a very small group of women). Basically, this is the closest humans might come to "actual vampires" as a menophile is a person that loves to suck on used tampons, lick maxi pads, and basically have unsanitary sex during "that time of the month." And I'm not making this up...these people do exist.

The Cuckold Fetish

This is "fetishized infidelity." Basically this occurs when a man becomes aroused by the knowledge that his wife is having sex with another man. In some cases, this may actually involve the man going to great lengths to set up the affair but being absent when the actual act occurs. In other situations, he may even join in or take on the role of a voyeur. The female version of this arrangement is called a cuckquean fetish (and is less common.


Tomorrow is the last day of my Halloween Fetish Countdown. I've saved the best for last (I think). If you watch Daniel Tosh on Tosh.O, you may already know what I'm going to highlight tomorrow since Daniel has no issues talking about this particular fetish on Comedy Central (and makes fun of it).

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Discussing Mental Illness in Teen Fiction with author Cally Jackson of The Big Smoke

Please welcome author Cally Jackson from the "down unda." Her book, "The Big Smoke" is commercially available right now and this is the first stop on her blog tour. She wants to talk about some research she did regarding a topic that all of us can probably relate to.

Mental illness in teen fiction

Thanks for hosting me, Michael!

As Michael said, I’ve just launched my debut New Adult novel, The Big Smoke, which is extremely exciting, but I’m here to talk about a serious issue that is covered in The Big Smoke – mental illness.

Although things have improved a lot in the past decade, mental illness is still quite a taboo topic in many societies. I’m Australian and my experience of this is mostly home grown, but from what I’ve read and seen, the reluctance to discuss mental illness is also paramount in other parts of the globe.

I’ve read a number of books that deal with cases of extreme (and often sudden) bouts of mental illness, but very few that feature characters struggling to manage less intense mental illnesses on a daily basis. When I wrote The Big Smoke, I decided this was something I wanted to challenge. So I gave one of my main characters, Ceara, a generalized anxiety disorder, which is one of the many obstacles she must overcome to find happiness in this new phase of her life, studying at a city university away from her country home.
An excerpt from the first page: 
What the hell was I thinking, going ahead with this crazy move? I should’ve put an end to the idea the first time Mum mentioned it. But I didn’t, and now I was moving into a share-house with Cindy Carter and Robert Grey – two people who thought I was as worthwhile as a smear of dog shit on one of their shoes. 
My breathing hitched up a notch. I tried to get myself back under control but felt like I was edging towards hyperventilation. The last thing I needed was a panic attack.

I slid down the wall between the stacks of boxes and concentrated – breathe in, breathe out. Why wasn’t my daily anxiety medication helping me deal with this? Maybe I needed to up the dosage.

Shit – the tablets were still in a pocket of my suitcase. I crawled over, grabbed the tablets and hid them inside a pair of socks, which I buried underneath my neatly folded clothes. I didn’t want to risk Mum finding the tablets now. How typical that would be – I manage to hide them for all this time, only for her to discover them the day before I move out.
Why did I inflict a mental illness on Ceara? Because the number of teenagers on anti-depressants continues to rise, but you rarely see these teens represented in fiction. I wanted to create a character that those young people could relate to. A character that I could relate to.

I’ve suffered with mental illness on and off throughout my life, but it doesn’t define who I am. In many ways, I believe I’ve become a happier, less judgmental person because of my experiences with mental illness. And I thought that could be an interesting character trait to explore in fiction. Hopefully Ceara’s journey is one that many young people can connect with, and maybe The Big Smoke will help, in some small way, to break down the silence around mental illness.

What about you?

Have you read any Young Adult or New Adult books that deal with mental illnesses like anxiety, panic and depression? Do you think it’s an area that needs to be explored more in fiction or do you think it’s adequately represented?


Thanks so much for doing a guest post, Cally. I found the above gifs and thought they'd work with the theme of what Cally is talking about here.

Buy The Big Smoke on Amazon for $2.99 HERE.
Checkout Cally's Goodreads page HERE.
Visit Cally's Blog HERE.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Emetophilia and Abasiophilia


From Wikipedia--Emetophilia is a paraphilia in which an individual is sexually aroused by vomiting or observing others vomit. Also referred to as a Vomit Fetish. Emetophiles put emetophilia into practice by actually vomiting, especially on a partner. This practice is sometimes called a Roman shower, after the commonly-supposed (but mistaken) belief in the frequent induction of vomiting at Roman feasts.

Some emetophiles find the act of vomiting arousing; for them, the sequence of "spasm, ejaculation, relief" in vomiting is erotically charged. Other emetophiles are aroused by seeing and/or hearing others vomit. Some desire a partner who will vomit on them, while others wish to induce vomiting in a partner, or even force them to vomit (wanting to be vomited on may be related to a desire to be dominated, while wanting to make someone else vomit may stem from a desire to dominate the partner - see erotic humiliation). Emetophiles may have any combination of these desires at a time.


From Wikipedia--Abasiophilia is a psychosexual attraction to people with impaired mobility, especially those who use orthopaedic appliances such as leg braces, orthopedic casts, or wheelchairs.

While some of these fetishists just like to look at people trying to get around in their orthopaedic appliances, some of them like to see a disabled person struggle without these devices. In videos produced by these fetishists, one might find a quadriplegic person trying to wriggle up the stairs, never quite making it to the top.

Interesting eh?

If you have the time, I was wondering if you could help me try to get Amazon to price my short story "The Insanity of Zero" for free (right now it's listed at 99 cents). My story takes 15-20 minutes to read, so given that there's little time investment involved, I'm hoping people will actually "read" it especially if it becomes free (I know from reading blogs that a lot of people "collect" free books but don't actually read them).

To do this is simple. Follow these steps:
Image and instructions courtesy of Callie Leuck.

1.  Go to the Amazon page located HERE.
2.  Go to Product Description section as pictured above.
3.  Click on "tell us about a lower price?"
4.  Select "website (online)".
5.  Drop the URL for the Barnes and Noble price match (Amazon may price match B&N more readily than other retailers)
6.  Insert "0.00" in the other two fields.

Thanks in advance for anyone that is willing to take the time to do this. :)

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Erotophonophilia and Crush Fetishists

I kind of fell behind on my schedule for my creepy fetish countdown. If I'm going to meet my October 31st deadline, I need to double up today, Friday, and Tuesday. Monday I'll be hosting Cally Jackson for the beginning of her "The Big Smoke" blog tour.


From Wikipedia -- A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone. Lust murder is synonymous with the paraphilic term erotophonophilia, which is sexual arousal or gratification contingent on the death of a human being. Commonly, this type of crime is manifested either by murder during sexual intercourse and/or by mutilating the sexual organs or areas of the victim's body. The mutilation of the victim may include evisceration and/or displacement of the genitalia. The mutilation usually takes place postmortem.

It sometimes includes such activities as removing clothing from the body, posing and propping of the body in different positions, generally sexual ones, insertion of objects into bodily orifices, anthropophagy (the consumption of human blood and/or flesh) and necrophilia (the performing of sex acts on a human corpse).

Most cases of lust murder involve male perpetrators; however, accounts of female lust murderers do exist. In general, lust murder is a phenomenon most common among serial killers. These offenders have made a connection between murder and sexual gratification. When this type of offender chooses a victim there must be something about that victim that the offender finds sexually attractive. This attractive trait might be common among all of the offender’s victims and is called the offender's Ideal Victim Type (IVT). There might be many potential targets that an offender passes by because they do not meet his IVT. Once the offender has found a victim who is ideal he might engage in stalking or other predatory behaviors before acting out his fantasy on his victim. Fantasies are a key component in lust murders and can never be completely fulfilled. The lust killer will have a fantasy that continues to evolve over time and becomes increasingly violent as he struggles to fulfill it.

Some of history's most notorious erotophonophiles are Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy.

Crush Fetish

From Wikipedia -- A crush fetish is a paraphilia in which one is sexually aroused when usually someone of the opposite sex crushes objects, food and sometimes small animals or insects with their body, usually under their foot. The term soft crush refers to the more common fetish surrounding videos involving invertebrates (e.g. insects, worms, spiders) being crushed, while the term hard crush refers to such videos involving larger animals, (e.g. reptiles, birds, mammals). The preference could be barefoot, high-heels, flip flops, and so on, depending on the fetishist.

Crush films depicting anything other than insects are banned in the U.S. and U.K. although internet access to crushing sites (yes they exist) make these laws difficult to enforce.

From the Darwin Awards of 1999--(June 1999, Florida) Okeechobee County investigators believe the death of Bryan, 28, was related to his wife's habit of stomping rabbits and mice for sexual pleasure. Stephanie, 29, was sentenced to two years of probation and community service for the death of her husband Bryan, who was found in a pit with a board over his body, crushed beneath the rear wheel of his sports utility vehicle.

Stephanie did not deny that she drove over her husband, but in her own defence she released tapes to the police showing her stomping small mammals to death. She was identified by a cryptic tattoo on her lower leg.

If you are particularly brave, you can do a google image search of "crush fetish" and you will see hundreds of pictures of women engaging in horrific animal cruelty to rabbits, mice, and baby birds wearing high heels. There must be some market for this stuff. *shakes head

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bug Chasing

Bug chasing refers to a fetish where someone intentionally tries to sleep with a person infected with AIDS in an effort to contract the disease. Although there are some straight men and women who may fall into this group, the majority (by far) identify as either bi-sexual or gay. Some people admit to doing this in order to receive free government benefits. However, I think most are after some kind of "thrill" that I cannot explain. Perhaps they are sex addicts who are bored with less risky behaviors.

Interesting, don't you think?

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rubber Mask Fetish

Have you heard of "Kerry"? He runs a website that has videos featuring feminine rubber masks. This particular fetish isn't dangerous per se. So why am I featuring it here?

Perhaps the reason I highlight it is because of the imagery it conjures ala "Buffalo Bill" from Silence of the Lambs or the creepy, expressionless mask worn by the serial killer in Halloween (Michael Meyers?) I guess I consider this extreme, because most people I know would not be "turned on" if someone were to don a rubber mask to "get it on." In fact, most people I know would immediately leave.

So yeah, I think this one is really weird. And you have to admit...the whole "latex mask" thing definitely fits with Halloween which is at the crux of my countdown.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Do you believe in djinn? Laura Eno does in Wish, The Awakening

"Show me wonders..." said the sultan.

"As you wish," said the djinn.

         1990's horror flick

It's launch day for Laura's latest novel. Let's welcome her with a big "Congratulations" and if you have the time, be sure to check out her book or download a free sample.

Most residents of Pine Hill shy away from seventeen-year-old Lelah without knowing why. It's the Djinn magic surging through her blood. She lives in a world where wishes are really curses, dark power meant to twist and deceive in unimaginable ways.

When a fit of temper exposes Lelah for what she really is, she must flee to a sanctuary only whispered about, before her family is exposed and enslaved by their ancient enemy. What she discovers is a treacherous path filled with power, lies, and betrayal – a path that's destined to ensnare her and destroy a civilization.


Laura Eno lives in Florida with a very tolerant husband, three skulking cats and two absurdly happy dogs. After spending years immersed in college but never figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up, she now writes novels late at night with the help of muses from the underworld. And, no, she still hasn't grown up but that's okay.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Symphorophilia and Mina Lobo's blog fest

From Wikipedia -- Symphorophilia is a paraphilia in which sexual arousal hinges on staging and watching a disaster, such as a fire or a traffic accident.

The term was coined by John Money in his 1984 paper Paraphilias: Phenomenology and classification, formed from the Greek root "συμφορά" ("symphora").

A special form of sacrificial paraphilia, for which a suitable name is symphorophilia (being erotically turned on by accidents or catastrophes), culminates in an arranged disaster, such as an automobile crash. Like a game of Russian roulette, it may end in death — alone or with the partner. However, flirting with disaster, rather than suicide and murder is the trigger responsible for autoerotic arousal and excitement. Being the daredevil who will live to risk a love-death again is an essential part of this paraphilia.

As a photographic print is the positive made from its negative, so also the positive of self-crashing is arranging for a disaster to occur on the highway, and then watching the carnage from a pre-selected observation post. Disasters other than on the highway may be arranged — catastrophic fires, for example. For those members of the general public who have a touch of sadomasochism in them, disaster as an unrehearsed event is often a large part of the appeal of entertainment stunts and sports, from the circus to stock-car racing.

My commentary: I think this is a very dangerous fetish. The idea that someone could intentionally create a horrific accident so that they could get off is disturbing and incredibly scary. And this fetish is REAL. It'll make you think differently next time you see a terrible accident where multiple people may have died. You may ask "did someone plan this?"
I want to give a shout out to Mina Lobo who is having a "Resurrection Blog Fest" on November 7th. Please check it out HERE and sign up if you are interested in participating. Have a great weekend. On Monday, I'll be participating in the release day blitz for Laura Eno and her book "Wish."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Acrotomophilia and Apotemnophilia

From Wikipedia -- Acrotomophilia (from the Greek akron [extremity], tomein [to cut] and philein [to love]), refers to a paraphilia in which an individual expresses strong sexual interest in amputees. It is a counterpart to apotemnophilia, the sexual interest in being an amputee.

Do you fantasize about rubbing nubs? I think out of the two of these, apotemnophilia seems the worst because it's the desire to have healthy limbs cut off. There are a handful of people that have had limbs permanently removed in order to better suit their fetish. If I were a doctor, I'd have a serious issue with this kind of request.
Here's Rose McGowan as a sexualized amputee in the movie "Death Proof."
Have a great Thursday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I noticed Disciple by L. Blankenship

Today I'm participating in the "Did I Notice Your Book" blog fest orchestrated by the Queen and King of Fabulous:

The book that caught my attention today is by science fiction author L. Blankenship. It is called "Disciple" and has some amazing cover art. She says that it will be available on November 1, 2012. But I did a quick search for it, and it's already up on Amazon! I hope she doesn't mind if I spill the beans.
What really got me to notice this book aside from the astounding cover art is her wonderful blog which you can visit HERE.

The saints favor her, else-wise a peasant girl like Kate Carpenter would never be apprenticed to the kingdom’s master healer. But her patron saint also marks her ready for the duty of tending to a mission that must cross the ice-bound mountains. Their little kingdom faces invasion by a vast empire and desperately needs allies; across the snow-filled pass, through the deathly thin air, is a country that’s held off the empire and may be willing to lend an army.

Kate knows about frostbite and the everyday injuries of wilderness travel. She can heal those.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though.

And she isn’t ready for the monsters that harry them night and day, picking off their archers first, wearing the party to exhaustion, pushing Kate beyond the limits her healing abilities.

She must keep them alive, or her blood will be on the snow too.
Her book could use some love on GOODREADS with a "Want To Read".

And if you want to download it now, it's on Amazon for $4.99. CLICK HERE TO BUY.

I bought my copy yesterday and started reading it.

Thanks to everyone who complimented me on my new blog banner. My skills with Adobe Photoshop are getting better and better AND I just got myself a copy of Adobe CS5.5. Soooo excited to play with FLASH and After Effects.

Have a great Wednesday

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


If you don't like bugs, then this fetish will probably really creep you out. Formicophiles are not just turned on by insects, but the idea of insects biting them or climbing all over their bodies.

From Wikipedia--Formicophilia, a form of zoophilia, is the sexual interest in being crawled upon or nibbled by small insects, such as ants.This paraphilia often involves the application of insects to the genitals, but other areas of the body may also be the focus. The desired effect may be a tickling or stinging sensation, or the infliction of psychological distress on another person.

My mind is unable to comprehend the enjoyment of this one. I smash anything that dares to crawl on me as soon as I'm aware of it.

Have a great Tuesday. I hope no tiny spiders drop on you today (especially in great numbers) unless of course that's what you want. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Win a FREE copy of A Hero's Journey by P.T. Dilloway with one comment

Isn't the cover fantastic on this? That's cause it's by the blog world's very own
RUSTY WEBB (or RUSTY CARL) or whatever he calls himself these days. He
blogs at "The Blutonian Death Egg." 

I'm friends with Patrick who blogs over at his website: P.T. DILLOWAY. He's a man of unflinching honesty. He never sugar coats anything, and I kind of like that "confrontational" style that he embraces when leaving comments on the web. And a lot of them are funny. Anyway, Patrick has written another book. As an author, he's quite prolific so this may be his fourth or fifth published novel. You can check out my five star review of it HERE on GOODREADS. If you want to be supportive, please mark it "to read." I end my review by saying:
"A Hero's Journey is appropriate for any age level. Children should have a lot of fun with it and be inspired by Emma in her fight against the forces of evil. I hope that when you finish it, you'll join me in my desire to return to Rampart City soon. There's definitely enough source material to keep the story of the Scarlet Knight going for many books to come."
Now I'm going to turn my blog over to Patrick who is exploring a comparison with A Hero's Journey and my favorite television series, "Breaking Bad" which (I have to say) I'm solely responsible for getting him hooked on.

MR. WHITE Vs. MR. X by Patrick Dilloway

First of all, thanks to Michael for hosting me today!

As a longtime reader of Michael’s blog, I know one of his many favorite TV shows is “Breaking Bad” on AMC.  Unlike most of his other favorite TV shows, I actually watched this one recently on Netflix.  As I did, I noticed some similarities in the show’s main character, Walter White, and the villain of my novel A Hero’s Journey.

When the series begins, Walter White is a pretty normal guy.  He teaches high school chemistry and works on the side at a car wash to make up a few extra bucks. He’s got a teenage son with cerebral palsy and another kid on the way.  So what makes him decide to join forces with a junkie to cook crystal meth out of a Winnebago?
Mr. White reminding all of us why chemistry teachers
have the most fun.
It’s because he’s diagnosed with lung cancer and given only a short time to live. Walter wants to provide for his family, and he knows he can’t do that on $40,000/year from teaching and whatever pocket change he gets at the car wash. Cooking meth seems like a good way to make some quick cash that can provide for his family after he’s gone.
Aaron Paul who plays Jesse Pinkman has the ability to look sexy in anything. That includes
a chemical suit in a New Mexico desert with a shitty Winnebago in the distance.
In my book, the villain “breaks bad” in a different way, but it’s very similar.  It starts out with just a small idea.  In this case a tragedy befalls Mr. X’s family.  He’s able to convince himself that putting on a suit of cursed armor and becoming an ancient monster known as the Black Dragoon is a good way to get justice for his family, especially when it becomes clear the police are not going to be of much help.

In both cases it starts with a little rationalization and then it snowballs.  Mr. White says, “I’ll just make a little crystal meth and then get out.”  Mr. X says, “I’ll just kill these people for my family and then I’m done.”  Except it’s not that simple.  Because as Yoda said, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it control your destiny.”

Or in other words, once you’ve done one bad thing, it becomes easier to justify doing another one.  You might start out wanting to make some money or avenge your family, but soon you become drawn into lies and murders and so forth.  Eventually you start to lose sight of what caused you to break bad in the first place.  All that nobility becomes washed away in a sea of blood.
This is kind of the point where Walt's "Breaking Bad" has consumed him, and he
is now completely and utterly EVIL.
As they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

If you want to see Mr. X break bad, you can buy my book from Solstice Publishing here for only $2.99.  The book is also available from other retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  To find out more about A Hero’s Journey including character bios, deleted scenes, and a visitor’s guide to Rampart City visit my blog located HERE.


And thanks again to Michael for hosting me!


Patrick is giving away a free .pdf copy of his book to one lucky commenter that wants it. Please indicate in the comments whether you would like one or not by leaving your email address. That way he knows to send it if you are a winner.

If you wouldn't mind doing so, please TWEET about this post so that Mr. Dilloway gets as much exposure as possible.

Have a great Monday

Friday, October 12, 2012


From Wikipedia -- Vorarephilia (often shortened to vore) is a paraphilia where arousal occurs from the idea of eating, or being eaten by, another person, by an animal, or by a plant. The fantasy may sometimes involve the victim being swallowed dead or alive, and may or may not include digestion.
Cool statue, eh?
Ever heard of Armin Meiwes? He's serving a life sentence in Germany after he killed and ate a willing victim that he met over the internet. The case got a lot of attention as people debated whether it was truly murder given the victim's conscious consent to the act. Here's the link to his Wikipedia page.

Can you believe that this fetish is real? That there are actually people out there who want to get eaten because it is arousing? Clive Barker could not top this real life story.

That's it for today's entry. I hope I didn't scare you too much.

On Monday, I'm hosting author Patrick Dilloway as part of his blog tour. So you'll have to wait until Tuesday for number 2 in my Halloween Fetish Countdown.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

13 Disturbing Sex Fetishes to celebrate Halloween

Because it's October, (and I'm inspired by Jay Noel who is blogging about real life creepy things) I'm going to post about 13 disturbing sex fetishes that just may leave you sick to your stomach, incredibly intrigued, or generally frightened for the fate of human kind. I've researched these bizarre things (in part) as a writer because when you create villains, it serves you well to have a full toolbox. I'm going to design a badge and change the number each day for my mini-blog-a-thon. And for my badge, I have chosen the image of this woman: 
Her name is Wu Zetian.

Wu Zetian was Empress of China from October 690 to February 705. She is the only woman in Chinese history to rule in her own right. She was a ruthless, cruel, sadistic and sexually depraved murderess who drove her people into chaos. She ordered tortures, executions and forced suicides on a daily basis. She had all of her rivals exiled or executed including the ex-empress Wang. She also had members of her family executed including her niece and nephews. She also killed her newly born daughter. Other family members were exiled including her sons, in which one was eventually ordered to commit suicide. Wu had thousands of her people poisoned, strangled, mutilated, burned and boiled alive. Others had their noses, ears, feet and legs cut off. She died in December 705 at age 81.

I think Wu Zetian shall be a fine icon for this strange countdown of the extremely bizarre.

I will attempt to keep my descriptions of these fetishes very clinical. But all of them are real (I won't be posting many pictures). I'll let your imaginations do all of that for you. I hope you will join me and not be too scared.

I'll start with number 1 tomorrow :).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson

Yes, yes dear blog follower. I plowed through some books recently. And I'm not done telling you about them. Here is my five star review of Cally's debut novel The Big Smoke. In short, if you like new adult stuff in a pseudo present time (it's within a decade of 2012) then you'll like this story. As a heads up, Cally will be guest blogging here as part of her tour on Monday, October 29th.



I received an Advanced Reader Edition of Cally Jackson's debut novel, and I read it in just a few days. It was THAT good. As a warning I want to say that my review may contain some spoilers, because I can't think of a way of talking about this tale without discussing what goes on in Ceara and Seb's lives.

"The Big Smoke" has two narrators. We've seen this plenty of times before most notably used by William Faulkner in "Absalom, Absalom." However, it is also used to great effect by George R.R. Martin in a "Song of Ice and Fire" and by countless other writers who use it to find a means of perspective in a story that is too big to encompass just one point-of-view. Cally's take on this is to use first-person, and it works wonderfully as a vehicle to tell her story. So expect to be inserted into the heads of Ceara and Seb alternately throughout the book. Cally does tell you which head you are in because the chapters are labeled with their names, and they both possess a very distinctive voice.

Cally Jackson is a great writer. The first character I want to talk about is Ceara. Her narrative can be summarized by something her friend Kristi says to her. "You're so desperate to be in a relationship, you fall in love with anyone who gives you the slightest bit of attention. You seem to think your life will only be complete when you have a boyfriend."

And it was at that moment in the book that I finally understood that behind the angst of being a new adult is often the search for validation, because we (guys and gals) go into college without a sense of identity. And maybe that's what college is supposed to do: give us time to find ourselves. I can comfortably say that Ceara definitely understands who she is by the end of the book, and it is through this vehicle that she attains happiness.

The second narrator, Seb (short for Sebastian) is told in an authentic male voice that oftentimes left me in awe that Cally could capture so perfectly how boys feel in the first year of college. Do we think about sex all the time? Absolutely. I often lament when looking back on my college years about how difficult the curriculum was because I had too many distractions caused by raging hormones. Sebastian really connects with this feeling. As well, she gives us a very human side to Seb by showing us the many rights of passage that men must attain to reach adulthood, the compromises of living with a roommate, and ultimately how every story has multiple points of view.

And it is in this that Cally is amazing. Seb's parents are divorced and there are two sides to that story. But the deconstruction doesn't stop there. "The Big Smoke" also has two sides (the tale of Ceara and Seb). Cally brings these two ships together by the end after they have each worked through their myriad issues and are now ultimately ready for a true relationship that will stand the test of time. And I just want to say, I love the way these two narratives interweave with each other through events like Seb saving Ceara's life, to mutual acquaintances and friends, to the university they both attend, and to the city they both call home. We know from the beginning (of course) that boy and girl will eventually come together. But the fun is finding out exactly how that's going to be done. And I liked that it happened naturally through time as they both became adults and knew exactly what they needed to make them complete.

This book is difficult for me to classify in terms of genre. I think it fits soundly into "New Adult," but I have no idea if that is an actual genre yet (even though more and more people are talking about it).

I think "The Big Smoke" would appeal to those who like "Literary Fiction." If you have read Michael Chabon (author of "The Wonder Boys") you would like this book, or perhaps readers of "The Ice Storm" might find similarities that they would enjoy. "The Big Smoke" is a complex look into the lives of college freshman that tackles issues of body image disorder, anorexia, abandonment, sex, relationships, and loss. This is a great book, and you would do good to read it for yourself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A review of Distraction by J.L. Campbell

SPOILER ALERT: READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HATE HEARING PLOT DETAILS. Oh what can I say about "Distraction" that won't make me come across as judgmental because of the subject matter? First off, I want to say that J.L. Campbell (or Joy as some may know her), is a great writer. She has paid meticulous attention to providing what I think is a genuine representation of Jamaican culture in this book. And "Distraction" is a physically beautiful novel, providing Jamaican proverbs at the top of each chapter and a corresponding translation as the accent may be difficult for non-native peoples to understand. Additionally, the book has wonderful prose and in my reading, I don't think I spotted a single error. Also, each chapter is graced with a silhouette of palm trees. How can one not be pleased with palm trees?

"Distraction" is a book that follows the lives of three very interesting but destructive women. Their names are Kyra, Justine, and Dionne. And when I say "destructive" what I mean is this: they are liars, cheats, and victims who make choices that are a little difficult to get through without squirming. I had an impulse to invite them into a room, sit them down, and then stand before them on a soap box to make them accountable for all the things that they are doing while others chanted "preach on brotha!" in the background.

Kyra has trouble with an abusive man named Warren. He's a deadbeat that insists on sucking her dry of all monetary resources, on basically raping her, of trying to sabotage everything in her life, and on top of all that, he's a criminal. He's a pretty dispicable character in just having those qualities. I kind of question why Joy also decided to make him bi-sexual and then use that as a tool to paint another man, Milton, in a really unsavory light (Warren and Milton have been doing it, but more on that in just a bit). And of course, the fact that Milton is hiding a same sex attraction from his wife leads to his impotency in bed (well he's not attracted to girls) and to the willingness to destroy his family's financial security by giving Warren TONS of money for his silence. All this says to me is that in backwards Jamaica, two guys kissing is a fate worse than death. And if this is true, I guess I won't be visiting Jamaica anytime soon DESPITE my love of palm trees and my respect for Usain Bolt.

So Milton's wife is of course, one of the three women named Justine. And by the way, she's an adulterer. So it's not like her lies are any better than Milton's. And then we have Dionne who's also a liar, having an affair with a guy that's basically a stalker by the name of Alex. But she must be attracted to stalkers because her husband has serious trust issues, answering her phone, calling her to make sure he knows where she is, etc. But I guess he has reasons for having trust issues...his wife really is sleeping around. I hate the fact that Clayton is basically clueless. You'd think that at least one man in this book wouldn't be a complete douchebag. But that doesn't happen. Oh and Alex, he's a rapist on top of being a yeah.

Did I like "Distraction"? Yes, I did like it. But these characters are not good people. Are they real? Probably. I think there's a huge dose of reality in these books and toward the end, a statement that people still believe WRONGLY that AIDS is a deadly disease. AIDS is not fatal anymore. That may be a news flash for some people, but we have drugs now that do perfectly well in controlling this disease. I have a friend with AIDS, and he's a successful college professor in a happy relationship and has no problems in living a great life.
I guess this bigot is representative of Jamaica. Buju Banton, the anti-gay Jamaican dance hall,
 ragga, and reggae singer, whose song “Boom Bye Bye” advocates killing gay men with
 submachine guns and by pouring acid on them. If I had to guess, he probably uses
"The Bible" to justify his hate speech. I can't say that I'd be surprised by that either.
If "Distraction" is a slice of life of what it is to be Jamaican then all I can say is, "Jamaica needs a better public education system." I would recommend this book to anyone that might be attracted to stories where characters make destructive decisions. For example, if you liked "Closer" with Natalie Portman and Jude Law, then you'll probably like "Distraction." For the record, after I got done with "Closer" I secretly wished that all those characters had gotten crushed under a bus.

I give four stars out of five simply because there were parts of this book that clearly irritated me about the characters. But aside from that, it's a great, page-turning if not emotionally frustrating read. And if you like hot but sensual sex scenes, Joy accomplishes that better than just about anyone I've read. her amazing skills made me feel like I was there in the character's skin, enjoying the naughtiness of every single action.

Buy it on AMAZON for $3.99 HERE.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why is fear such big business?

I couldn't ignore the fact that October is here. The month of Halloween is always awash with scary movies (just for the record, I plan on seeing Frankenweenie tonight). But I have a question: why is fear such big business?

Here in Utah, Halloween is huge. People go all out, and it's easily the most decorated and celebrated holiday outside of Christmas. They have corn mazes and haunted houses galore. There's even a paranormal investigative team that will take you to haunted locations for a fee so you can experience "real" ghosts.

And you can't dispute the profitability of what I'm starting to call really bad movies. These are "found footage" type movies. You know the kind..."Blair Witch Project" created a demand when they made a movie for $50,000 and turned it into $150,000,000. People took notice of that in the movies looking for a way to make huge bucks off of essentially nothing. Why does this work? Because people like to be scared.

Scientifically, fear has a reason. We experience fear as a survival mechanism. In other words, something threatens us and then we connect with an adrenaline rush and hopefully, survive the experience. But I'm  kind of baffled as to why we seek this kind of thing out (myself included). Why do I pay to see a scary movie knowing that I'll probably watch it through my fingers?

Check out this account of a person that paid $50.00 to be scared in a haunted house (copied from io9):
Each TV was on, and showing video footage of me walking down the hallway. On the floor of said hallway: condoms, just crap loads of condoms. They were wet. I followed the TVs into the biggest mind fuck room of all. I pulled back a curtain and someone screamed "STAND ON THE X!"
I spied the 'X' and stood there. Behind the curtain was a room covered in condoms and shoes. There's a dirty mattress on the floor, and a dead naked woman lay on her back. In the corner a skinny man stood with his back to me. He turned around, and revealed that he was really not wearing any clothes at all. None. Full dong. Out. It's something. He started walking right towards me. My brain started rattling, I could actually hear my own insides rattling around inside my skull at the sheer confusion of the condom parade naked basement man. He started walking towards me, and horror set in as I realized: He has my shoe.
The Naked Man got closer and pointed to the bed. "Nope!" I said, turning around.
Naked Man said, "get on the bed." I sat on it. He grabbed my feet and pulled them up, so I'm now laying on the bed. He sat at the foot of the bed, holding my shoe while staring down at me. It was dead silent. Then the Dead Naked Girl woke up, and flipped over on top of me. She started screaming, "HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME!" I screamed back, "IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY!" The naked man was rubbing his face on my exposed foot the whole time. Finally, after an eternity of nakedness, the Naked Man thrust my shoe onto my chest and yelled "GET OUT." And I got the f*ck out.
Why the hell would someone put themselves through this? But this haunted house is really popular according to the article. Do you like to experience fear? How much would you pay to be scared as long as you knew that it was "safe" or that you could have a "safe word" that you could use if it got to be too much? And do you think that fear evolves over time? I've noticed that what scared my mother when she was still a young woman would scare no one today. These days, people seem to want in your face sexuality or the impending threat of being sexually violated as a means to channel fear.

And why do you suppose fear is such a big business?

All you have to do is look at the incredible monetary haul of Resident Evil and Paranormal Activity.

Here's the trailer for Sinister (a horror movie that's getting rave reviews). I think I may be too chicken to go and see it, but I may try really hard! Have a great weekend. I'll be taking Monday off from blogging (it's Columbus Day).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I don't think I like time travel without Michael J. Fox

Here's a spoiler alert for any of you that are going to see Looper. I left confused at the ending, and I blame it on poorly designed time travel tropes.

I'll keep Marty McFly and the Back to the
Future paradoxes over those ones
that drove me insane by watching Looper.
This weekend, I saw the film. It had one of the most horrific scenes in it that left me haunted for a couple of days afterward. Basically, I kept thinking of the horrible implications of torturing a young person and watching those wounds instantly appear on the older (but same person) who existed in the same timeline.

But aside from that, the ending left me really confused. JGL's character commits suicide at the end of the movie to PREVENT his older self from performing an act that sets the future on a course that he does not like. But I don't get how this solves anything? By killing himself, his older self doesn't exist thereby creating the reason for him taking this action in the first place.

Plus, the whole "kill yourself to change time" trope has been done a lot. Dr. Who's "Angels take Manhattan" did the same thing. Star Trek did it in "Yesterday's Enterprise" and in "Year of Hell." It happened in Terminator 2.

So on another level, the trope was incredibly unoriginal.

I don't think I like time travel without Michael J. Fox. At least then it was funny and Michael was charming.
This remake handled time travel really
well, even if it was underwhelming
(and short) as a film.
One show that I think handled time travel really well was the Time Machine. In it, Guy Pierce invents a time machine in order to go back into time to save his beloved wife from an untimely death. Well he does so, but she dies a few minutes later from something else. To understand why, he travels into the future and discovers that in creating a time machine, he created a paradox. The moment that he saved his wife, the motivation for the creation of the time machine evaporated and hence, wouldn't be invented.

Why couldn't Looper embrace this? Why couldn't Looper have seen that JGL needed to stop Bruce Willis in a way that didn't kill himself. And why the hell wouldn't Bruce Willis have JGL's epiphany suddenly pop into his mind so that he would know that what he was about to do would set the future on a course that his younger self did not like?

Anyway, overall I think I liked Joseph Gordon Levitt and that's about all I can say that's positive about this movie. I think before any writer tackles time travel and expects me to swallow it, they need to think really really long on it, or I'm most likely going to be frustrated, confused, and just simply prone to not liking it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Abandoning your book

I don't like the quote, "A book is never finished, it's abandoned." I don't like it, because it's true. I think that if I never sat down at a keyboard and tried to type out a manuscript, I might have been blissfully ignorant of this. But, as most of you know, this isn't my fate. And it's probably not yours either.

Writing brings out in me a horrible obsessive compulsive disorder. And I know that this sounds familiar to all of you. You go back over your manuscript once, twice, three times, a fourth time, an eight time, and a twentieth time.

With each pass, you think, "It's perfect" and then on page 2 you notice an error you somehow missed all the nineteen other times. It's maddening.

And even really good editors don't catch all the mistakes. And your prose could always be tightened, reworded, it seems endlessly.

"It was a dark and stormy night."

"Dark clouds and lightning streaks reduced the night to highlights and shadows."

"A storm rolled in and the night wept under its caress."

And on and on and on and on and on.

You could say the same frickin' thing a million different ways.

And thus, you could rewrite every sentence in your book a million different ways. And one of those might be slightly more perfect than the one that you chose.

This is what happens to me sometimes. So eventually, I abandon my work. But I never stop feeling insecure about it. And of course, the reviewers pick it up and point out things as if they were obvious to anyone with an IQ of 80 with an almost condescending "I'd never have this in my own manuscript" tone to their commentary.

So yeah, I'm insecure about abandoning my books and moving on to other stories. But it needs to be done. If you don't let go, you could spend endless years writing and rewriting and editing things. I think I need to be more like my friend Michelle Davidson Argyle. I need to just be happy when I send the manuscript flying out the door and resist the urge to try and revisit it. Oh writer OCD, how I loathe thee *shakes fist at the screen.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3 Webisodes are here!

EDIT: Well all the YouTube videos got taken down because of a copyright complaint made by AMC. However, you can watch them on the AMC network's website located HERE.

Thanks, Andrew for the heads up.

Gotta love The Walking Dead Season 3 Webisodes. So what do you think?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cover Reveal for The Magic Wakes by Charity Bradford

I'm proud to be able to present this beautiful cover by sci-fi author, Charity Bradford. I have to say, it's absolutely stunning. The elements that I especially like is the city in the background (which I know is extremely important) and Talia's eyes. The color is very special to the character (and that's all I'm going to say about that). I won't reveal more as Charity has allowed me to read some of it before it got picked up by a publisher.

I honestly can say that this novel is one that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on next year. Her writing is amazing.

It comes out FEBRUARY 19TH, 2013.


Talia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.

Talia's work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He is looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.

Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

Charity Bradford
The Magic Wakes--Coming Winter 2013 from WiDo Publishing
Blog-My Writing Journey
Facebook Page

And don't forget to mark it "To Read" on Charity's Goodreads page HERE.