#HOTP (All Authors PH Summer Newsletter)

What’s sizzling everyone? The Slightly Antisocial Socialite here. The summer is almost here, which means an increase in outside temperatures and a decrease in clothing in most areas. It also means that it is time for the Summer edition of the All Authors Publishing House newsletter.

This summer, the focus will be on … insert drum roll …

So far, there are two books that are part of the Divergent Ink short story collection.

The first book is entitled “Crackles of the Heart”, focusing on short story answers to the question “Can the hot, handsome guy fall for the average, awkward woman?”

Book Trailer for “Crackles of the Heart”

The second book, entitled “Pleasure Prints“, runs more abstract, asking “Where is paradise?”

The Newsletter is an overview of how each participant (yes, I’m included) approached the questions of the books. For you reading pleasure, click on the D.I.E. (Divergent Ink Emblem).

Oh, before I step out, there is a giveaway being held where the winner receives a copy of not one, but both Crackles of the Heart and Pleasure Prints paperbacks. Just fill out the form (<—click here) for your chance to win.

Apocawhat? #NewFreeShyt

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? For me, it’s Manic Monday. You’re not familiar with it? That’s what YouTube is for (or you could just click on the highlighted words).

It’s not because Monday is my least favorite day. Or because I wish it was Sunday. It has more to do with the “manic” than anything. Seriously, it seems like the world is in a state of “mania” as it pertains to the current pandemic.

It is daunting to deal with a virus where there hasn’t been a cure found. Or one that is claiming hundreds and thousands of lives daily around the world. However, the main rule always spoken in the midst of a crisis is for folks to “keep calm” and “follow instructions”.

Some people will always do the opposite of what they are told. They are the group that believes in conspiracy theories or delves into an alternate reality (aka “this isn’t really happening”.). They go against protocol designed to keep them safe and end up being the very ones that become casualties instead of survivors.

Some people cannot keep calm about anything. They go into panic mode and start doing activities that don’t make any sense. Buy up all the Greek yogurt. Stock up on rice and pasta (except the brown, apparently no one likes those, even in desperate times).

buy-all-toilet-paper-meme

Stockpile toilet tissue. Yeah, toilet tissue.

Speaking of toilet tissue

Apocawhat

via #MyShyt or #Publisher

It was that very realization that marked the spark for my newest freebie, “Apocawhat?”

It’s grocery shopping time for socially awkward siblings Urvin and Lizzie. When they arrive at the grocery store, it’s as if the whole neighborhood is there. The two have to battle through more than just people in order to be somewhat successful at getting what they need.

Some may think it’s “too soon” to do anything closely mimicking pandemic behavior. What can I say? Some of the shyt people do is funny! My inspiration is all human behavior, from the good to the bad to the stupid. If it’s not your flavor of Crystal Light, then don’t read it. Not like you’ll be losing any money.

For my die-hards, you know me. So read and enjoy.

Da-Kharta Signature Logo

Is “The Perfection” Perfection?

What’s happening everyone? The SASS here. I confess that I’ve grown slightly bored with looking at my same favorite horror movies over and over again and wanted a break from the hum drum. So, I was surfing Netflix, because a few people had told me about Veronica as well as this movie called The Perfection.

Funny enough, The Perfection had been sitting in my queue for at least a month, but because of the little automatic play previews, I thought it was one of those apocalyptic, end-of-days type deals. I mean, why else would you show a black woman flipping shit what seems like the middle of nowhere? When a black woman flips out, it must be the end of days indeed, since they are built to survive more than most, in my humble opinion.

Then, I noticed that it’s classification is “horror”. Okay. Let me bite. Will The Perfection drag me out of my disdain of the modern day horror? Will I discover a cure for my boredom?

One of my favorite things in The Perfection is this perfection. Like, seriously, Logan Browning just needs one really good role. Sure, she’s great in this movie, and her dire straits was what kept me looking at the movie, but someone needs to cast her in a superhero movie. DC needs all the help it can get #justsaying.

There was one element of surprise, although Netflix almost spoiled it by making that precursor the auto playing snippet. Not much surprises me, but the fact that Logan’s character (Lizzie) not only believed what Alison William’s character (Elizabeth) told her but also went ahead and follow Elizabeth’s advice, knowing that it would put the main activity she loved in jeopardy. Whoo wee! Drugs and influence is a hell of a motivator indeed!

Side Note: Not for nothing but Allison Williams looks like a cross between Kristen Stewart and Ellen Page. The Ellen Page reference is made highly prevalent in the end. Think Hard Candy.

Okay, moving on.

I guess because I mentioned the pro at the start means that there are a lot of #fails making The Perfection far from perfect.

Marvin (whoever the hell that is), let’s hand that person a cookie. Well, I don’t have any cookies and I don’t share my popcorn. Just take pride in the fact that you were right.

Here’s why The Perfection fell short.

(1) Putting too much focus on certain key elements.

There is a difference between lingering the camera on certain objects and focusing the objects to the point where you’re telling the whole dang story.

I knew the moment they kept zooming in on the prescription medication that said medication was going to play a factor in the whole story. Also, the way Charlotte was looking blankly intense (I didn’t think those went together but she made it work) all throughout, as if she was constantly disengaged. Come on! If you have to practice your “cordial, friendly tone”, that means it’s not your normal and you’re up to something.

(2) Trying too hard with the girl-on-girl angle.

To me, it wasn’t organic. It felt like overkill. Sure, Elizabeth (Lizzie) could have been crushing on her from the beginning. But just because you crush on someone doesn’t mean it automatically lead to sex. Like, what if Charlotte didn’t roll that way? Then, Lizzie wasted those lingering glances and flirting for nothing. It just was overplayed. Then, inviting Charlotte on a road trip when it was really supposed to be a break from the music world. The glamorous life. I would have been like, “I know you, but I don’t know you, know you.” You know?

(3) Spelling out what you should’ve left the viewer to figure out

What is it with these movies spelling out the play-by-play with the surprise? Have the viewers really gotten that stupid?

I figured out the pill angle by myself, but then they had to pause and show all the elements which led to what happened instead of letting the viewer be surprised. That takes all the fun out of the horror film if you ask me. Once they started doing that, I was livid.

After the first play-by-play, I really hung in there just to see what would take place with Lizzie. That was it. I didn’t care that much about Elizabeth, although the movie’s goal was to make the audience feel for her. Then, they had to do another play-by-play in the later part of the movie, although I also figured out that if Lizzie didn’t kill Elizabeth, then they were teaming up for a larger goal.

Overall, this was just a different version of Hard Candy, slightly combined with Jigsaw’s philosophy (“the hurt you to save you”). The aspect of music and religious cult like jargon was just to make the concept seem unique.

Well, The Perfection, you tried.

I recommend this for the beginner paranormal drama watcher who needs slightly more kicks than the vanilla drama. To me, it isn’t really horror because it doesn’t have anything in it that’s a gross out, just elements that could have a bit of shock value.

For the hard core and those a bit more in touch with seemingly senseless elongated camera shots that are really dead giveaways, then it’s a definite pass. I am damn near hesitant to look at Veronica but I gave this person my word that I would, so when I do, I will share my views with the rest of you.

Oh well! Back to the drawing board!

P.S.: Hard Candy is a much better crafted movie, so if you haven’t seen Hard Candy, see that before looking at The Perfection if you want to do a comparison. Hell, you may not even want to see The Perfection once you see Hard Candy. Ellen Page is dynamite in the movie.

Does Creativity Now Clash with “Correctness”?

Yo what’s hot? The SASS here, wanting to spit on something different. Make no mistake, I like bragging about my craft. Every once in a while, giving dabs to authors who write well. And, on occasion, ribbing on movies or movie remakes that should have stayed unrealized.

Lately, it seems as if the right to free speech is constantly bumping heads with “proper terminology”, or as some would say, “political correctness”. Sure, there are unspoken rules on certain terms, because it would make one appear discriminatory, bigoted, racist … you get the idea.

But, what if, particularly if one is doing a historical write, for example, especially during a time where that type of behavior was taking place. Does one not use that type of dialog in the book in fear of offending those in the present? I know, that question being typed out looks ridiculous but that is the trajectory in which we (particularly us creative types) are headed.

Maybe it’s just me, but last time I checked, humans are not perfect. We are chocked full of flaws. We mess up regularly, although most of us wisely choose to not let our screw ups be filmed. Honestly, I do blame social media. I do blame one’s propensity to find comfort in someone’s tragedy. The whole, “I’m glad that didn’t happen to me”. Or not feel the impact of a situation until it’s in your own back yard.

Because when you are focusing on the screw ups of the world, you don’t have to look at your own life. You don’t have to realize that it’s less glamorous than it’s portrayed on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram … wherever you tout about your life.

Look, I’m using You in the general, so if you get all butt hurt, that’s on you.

But see, that’s the very thing I mean. If we were all proponents of true free speech, I wouldn’t have to put that there. I wouldn’t have to put some sort of disclaimer message, or any “just so you know”. Like free speech is only okay until it offends. In that case, it isn’t free … it has a price.

For me, if something isn’t for me, I don’t look at it. I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t act like I’m interested in a thing when I’m not. I’m just sick of people hopping on a thing just to be “trending” or caring more about how the people will perceive them than just being who they actually are.

Are we really going to act like there are personalities that have always acted like they haven’t liked a certain demographic? Are we going to keep behaving as if we didn’t know (especially famous people) which people had deviant tendencies?

Those just don’t sprout overnight. They take a bit of development … all that’s needed are the right ingredients, or lack there of.

The reason why the behavior isn’t stopped at the interim really boils down to …

(1) There’s enough people cosigning on the bullshit.

(2) There are enough people enabling the behavior.

(3) The antics aren’t being taken seriously.

(4) The radicals have gotten away with it for so long that they’ve gotten too big, behaving like untouchables, believing that even if word does come out that they are less than savory individuals, it’ll only get 15 minutes, 2 weeks tops, before people are on to the next scandal.

And/or

(5) Some people just don’t care that much.

I’m all for rebelling against something that is unjust. Hell, the main stuff I write about deals with my wicked sense of justice. Yet, one theme which is prevalent in my writing that isn’t paramount in how humanity conducts business is the end game.

It takes more than making people aware. It takes more than making people accountable. There has to be an action plan, how to fix the screw ups … not just in plain sight, so the world can see we are doing something, but long after the media has gone on to a new topic that’s more trending than something which happened three years ago. It’s almost like the ones who’ve been down since Day One get lost in the blitz of the individuals who expertly get social media to notice.

Injustice has always been the thread of America’s tapestry. That has lasted longer than the fight to right the wrongs. If you don’t realize that, then you truly have blinders on or you’ve been the beneficiary of such, and therefore, don’t want to do anything to upset the apple cart.

I guess the points I’m trying to make are these:

(1) I’d rather know who truly don’t like my ass than for someone to be fake.

(2) The behavior of someone has an authenticity that surpasses the words.

(3) Trying to take certain vocabulary out of circulation just to make some groups feel better, from a creative perspective, causes more harm than good. It drains the concept of literary correctness, for one, and tries to shove some into sounding all the same.

I am unlike anyone out there. I’m not about to start being mainstream now.

If my character likes using a lot of cuss words, I’m not going to censor it because someone else may find it offensive. More than likely, that person isn’t part of my core audience anyway. Nor am I going to start substituting words because a certain subset connects it to something negative.

Plus, last time I checked, it’s mainly the nonconformists that get noticed.

Guess which side I play for?

Impromptu Release: Hairy Situations by C. Desert Rose

What’s cooking everyone? For me, I’m having a waffle. Yeah, it’s different from movie butter popcorn but who eats that for a breakfast meal? Definitely not me.

Today I again play the role of a somewhat gracious hostess, giving C. Desert Rose the opportunity to talk about her newest (albeit unplanned) release “Hairy Situations”.

I admit, sometimes these random story ideas just pop into my head out of nowhere. I could be just sitting there minding my own business when a brand new character yells into my ear. This happened when I wrote “Nethanyel’s Lady Lune”, “From When Jasmine Blooms”, and now with “Hairy Situations”.

What is “Hairy Situations”, you may be wondering? Let me take a moment to fill you in.

The long and the short of it is that “Hairy Situations” is a Paranormal Comedy. A spoof on the quintessential and beloved Vampires and Werewolves.
What was really interesting was the progression of events that lead to the final product.

I had just gotten done with a long day of work and laid in my bed to relax for a little bit. Instantly, I heard the voice of the main character, speaking in first person, say this:

“Okay, so this is going to sound crazy …” I braced myself before finishing. “I’m a werewolf.”
“Oh. Okay.” Silvia nodded, her bottom lip in a pout. No sign of question, concern or insecurity on her face. Acceptance; that was it.
“Did you hear what I just said …?” I asked, confused as to her reaction.
“Mhm, yep.” Still nothing.
“I just said I am a werewolf, Silvia. I’m serious. I, like, mean it. Not kidding.”
“Okay.” She replied. No change, no denial, no inkling that she thought I was crazy.
“Silvia …? Seriously?”

“Rogg, dude, I heard you the first time! Now you’re just irritating me.”
“You’re just accepting it? Just like that?”
“Yes! For the love of God! What do you want from me?”
“Oh, I don’t know …! An accusation of insanity … A recommendation to a psychiatrist … An offer of medication … Shit if I know!”
“Rogg, are you seriously mad at me for NOT overreacting? Are you listening to yourself?”
I paused for a moment. She wasn’t wrong. “Roger, I have seen enough paranormal movies and TV shows to teach me that denial is a feeble concept. It’s easier to accept and move on. Now, can we please move on?”
Well shit, I couldn’t argue with that logic either. And here I was preparing
myself for the worst. Who knew? Finally resigned, I shrugged.

I thought it was hilarious. Could you imagine a movie starting like that? It would be incredibly fun. Before I knew it, I was writing down the lines. Just like that the words flowed. I finished the entire novelette in three days.
Roger, the main character who is also called Rogg (with 2 Gs) is basically a loser. In a tight position monetarily speaking he chooses to tell his secret. It would be the only way to get the much-needed funds. Basically, his choices were “tell it all” or “get evicted”. He chose the former.
In comes Silvia, the journalist for a newspaper called The Harbinger. She was sent on a mission by the Editor to look into the story and see if there was any value in it.
In no time at all Silvia finds herself complete sucked into the fantastic misadventures Rogg has braved throughout his life. “Is it real or make-believe”?, Silvia wonders. More than that, she is downright outraged at the ungodly and extraordinary calamities of Roger’s life.

That’s all I am going to say about that. Just know that if you choose to delve into “Hairy Situations” you’re going to laugh out loud. This is not your ordinary paranormal fiction.

BLURB:

Roger is at his wit’s end …No family, no friends, no home, no money. He has one last resort … tell the truth. Calling the local newspaper, The Harbinger, Roger does a “tell-all” story. Silvia, the journalist, is keen to find out more about this so-called werewolf. Before she realizes it, she is sucked into a tale that enthralls her completely. A comedy. An adventure. A really fascinating memoir.”Hairy Situations” is guaranteed to keep you absorbed and make you laugh out loud.

Available on Amazon:

Rising Red Light (Y. Correa)

It’s Monday once again at the cave, and I’m feeling all mad-scientist like. Not sure how long I’ll be doing this, so if you get the shine … be glad.

Today I want to talk about Author Y. Correa. Yeah, she’s affiliated with All Authors Publishing House. But, she has no idea that I’m even doing this spiel, which is the “beauty” of it.

So … why Y? (See what I did there?)

The top reason is because she doesn’t really do the overly-sappy stuff. You may be thinking, “What about that historical romance mashup called MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis?”

Okay, so it speaks of love. It has a couple behind the balcony. I get it. I was deterred a bit too, almost didn’t give it another look until I checked out the other characters, particularly Mother Haydie (#abadass) and Aishe (#abraveass). So it was the action while the love fest took place which kept me invested. I want the rumor of Book 2 to be legit because it’s supposed to be strongly about Mother Haydie. I show up for the antagonist, especially if it’s executed correctly.

The closest she’s ever come to doing romance, to me, has a splash of comedy in it. Two free short stories come to mind: “Ryan” and “Loving … Them!” Therefore, if you like a little rom-com, those are the short stories to read. The titles are hyperlinked so you can get to them … after reading this, of course.

Where Y. Correa excels at is being a Sci-Fi Samurai.

I’m not talking about the “hard” sci-fi (it feels eerie even typing that) but more of a mashup. If I were a hard core science-fiction type, I may give a fart about the craftsmanship of the spacecraft, the color and shapes of the different knobs and buttons, the nipples on the alien lifeforms, and how their sex lives are more exciting to humans. But I like my reading similar to how I do my writing: if it doesn’t serve a purpose, then why is it included?

Like, I don’t want to be snoring by the time I get to Chapter 1. No one has time for all of that. I could be popping popcorn.

The Earth 8-8-2 saga … I’m here for it. It’s one of those books a person reads and thinks … shit I can see that as a movie. No, not one of those D-rated joints that one may be able to watch on some obscure channel past eleven pm and never on Sundays. Like, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime worthy … if they didn’t mess up the casting.

Even the book trailers, which I’m about to put in, look like mini films. Peep it!

On top of that, she does a top-notch job at storytelling. There was a question that I read which stated, “If one is a great storyteller, does that automatically translate to being a great writer?” I don’t necessarily think they both come hand-in-hand. I equate it to the difference between talking about something and translating it on paper, or even intimate conversation vs doing a speech in front of a crowd.

For me, I don’t do a lot of talking. The way I express myself in my cave is the way I’d interact with you if we were on the street. But when you read my stuff, you’d think it was someone entirely different.

I know people who excel at talking. Can tell me stories, going on and on about the details. If I were to ask those same people to jot it all down on paper, so I could share it with others, there’d only be a handful that could do it with the skill of a great writer. There’s a science in making inter-connectivity transcendent, which is why some people talk so much shit about “writing” being easy … until they do the damn thing.

Y. Correa’s short story anthology “Dimensions of Literary Seduction” flexes her storytelling muscle. She’s not dropping “morals of the stories”, but more of things to make you think, going beyond just the whole “beginning”, “middle”, and “end” type spiel. She rebels against the use of simple statements, padding on a bit of antiquated wording and style, meshing it with contemporary literature. Hence, the whole “romancing the words” style Y. Correa often incorporates. It’s not my design, but I don’t think all authors need to write in the same way for people to understand them. DOLS (as I nickname) has something for everyone, even me.

Stay tuned to see if I do any more of episodes of “Rising Red Light”.

Transcendent Choice: The Update

It’s another Monday here at The Cave. I do realize there is one project I have not discussed in quite a while. So, before I satisfy my appetite, let me satisfy your curiosity.

The building blocks of the original story was a love affair gone wrong with a twist, an unthinkable twist. When the story was transferred from the pockets of my brain to a computer screen, I wanted to add additional elements, so one wouldn’t say, “This is the same old ‘boy-meets girl’, ‘situation is complicated’ type stuff.”

The elements that were added wasn’t like that little sprinkle of low sodium salt you add to a dish, just to say you added seasoning. Think Himalayan salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili pepper, and paprika. That is how it all turned out by the time I was finished.

The end dish was a story that was richer than the original three. I’ll drop the existing cover, blurb, and excerpt before carrying on.

There’s Love … and then there’s Love Beyond Limits.

Felipe and Therice had a love that knew of no boundaries. When Therice and “Mama” lose their lives in a tragic car accident, Felipe has a gaping hole that just refuses to heal and Therice has a determination to see him again that just refuses to die.

Heaven feels anything but, when Therice discovers that spirits are prohibited from visiting loved ones after they have died. Sensing that her angelic guide Amare possesses empathetic traits, Therice develops a plan of appeal in the hopes she will see Felipe near the anniversary of her death.

Grab your copy on Amazon.

Excerpt:

Light grey drained the typically blue sky. The sun was on vacation and invited moisture for an extended stay. It wasn’t the pitter patter of drizzle—bearable yet irksome—but a delicate balance between steady showers and powerful downpour. Who would want to go out in this?

Not Therice.

All she desired was to stay inside and admire the finesse of Mother Nature from afar. The warmth perfectly positioned between her thighs: her touch of Heaven on Earth. Smears of black and dried skin foiled her index finger upon wiping her eyes.

Damn, I forgot to take off my mascara once again!

Therice was slightly distracted the night before … no, very distracted. Although the relationship had just started getting hot and heavy these past few months, Therice had always belonged to Felipe. They had a connection that bypassed time constraints or labels. Her whole existence just illuminated with accelerated degrees of love.

Before Felipe, Therice’s romantic life was a dormant one. She did have her share of relationships in high school, along with a brief affair at the beginning of college. Yet, Therice believed they were placeholders for the One who would be the real thing. Therice didn’t want to acquire a harem of men to satisfy her every whim; she craved One that would fit All.

The All was Felipe. Yes he was quite older than she, but Felipe’s youthful spirit obliterated any initial concern with numbers. All she knew was that he was a handsome man who was in undeniable alignment with all she wanted. Felipe was initially quite timid in the courting process; patience was never her strong suit. Yet, each moment Therice spent with Felipe tempered her restlessness.

Once “Boundless Limits” was completed, the original plan was to have the 2nd book come out within a year or two. I got pulled in different creative directions. By the time I circled back to even thinking about the 2nd book, I didn’t hear the culprits who started the drama but the other characters who I first deemed supporting cast: Amare and Vindicta.

These two characters began to tell me their stories more so than the dangling threads of Therice, Felipe, and “Mama”. I am one that is used to order, so for characters to talk to me “out of order” is unusual for me. The disadvantage is that it can make it difficult to stay focused on the matter at hand.

I revisited “Boundless Limits” from both the creative side (author) and from the enjoyment side (reader). I realized it would be an injustice if I minimized the original gears I sent in motion with Therice, Felipe, and “Mama” just to satiate the other characters who weren’t initially in the creation in the first place. On the same token, I did not NOT (yes, I did the double negative on purpose) want to discuss the others.

By doing one story, I had created multiple stories … stories that would extend after the original three were gone. That is when the vision became clearer, and on top of that, made more sense.

The “Boundless” segment is its own entity and is the first three books. Boundless is a saga, meaning you would have to read the 1st one before the 2nd one, so on and so forth. This new structure paved the way for me to officially name the next two books in the saga: Boundless Odds and Boundless Omens.

The “Transcendent” segment is its own entity and is the remaining four books. One would not have to read one book to understand the next, but for a richer reading experience, it is recommended. The working title I mentioned in passing Efficacious Ennui will actually be better utilized here. I’m just uncertain which book it’s for at this point.

While one is waiting for the remaining books, the graphic design team is putting together a TC website. The Transcendent Choice website will not only outline each book but will also talk about the inspiration and the core characters. I was going to put the info on my author website but thought it would make my spot too cluttered, and I’m not a fan of clutter.