Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: The Dragon's Call

The Dragon's Call written by K.W. Mc Cabe is a romantic fantasy focusing on the young lives of Derek, Cecily and her battle born father.  Cecily discovers a forbidden love while uncovering the hidden truth about herself.  Issues of inequality permeate a post war dragon run world while the fact that humans are disappearing after curfew remains in hushed whispers.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

     Todd was born in the year of the dragon, anno draconis.  Human weaponry awoke dragons from their sleep thus began the war.  Todd relives his memories fighting the dragons with their best weapons.  He lives with PTSD and his isolation from society became severe after his wife is snatched seconds after curfew while he and his daughter are watching from inside the house.

     Cecily is a teenager who is surprised to find a dragon attending her class because in the dragon run world dragons and humans are segragated.  Dragons live in luxury of the dragon enclave while humans live in the delapidated neighborhood.  Don't smile....don't look.  Cecily tries to act on what her father told her about dragons.  Looking at a dragon in human form means falling under their spell.

    Derek born in luxury for his mother is the queen dragon.  He has an antagonistic relationship with his half brother and his rebellious nature leads him to seek the human enclave.  Both Derek and Cecily develop an inexplicable fondness for one another.  Aknowledging their forbidden love is dangerous.  Discussions about humans disappearing after curfew make Cecily wonder if she can really trust this dragon?

Vsit the author's website.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Unbound and Reaper Cover Reveal

The world of ghosts and spirits is nothing new to eighteen year old Anora Benson; she’s spent her whole life trying to ignore them, trying to be normal. But when the Pricolici, a group of ancient bounty hunters, are sent after her, Anora realizes she is more than just a medium. 

As a witch she has power, power she doesn’t know how to use, power that makes her vulnerable to the demons that desire her gifts. Anora is alone and scared, forced to face the darkness on her own. Then she meets Ethan, a mysterious boy who shows up in her life right along with the magic, and he seems to know quite a bit about her and her legacy Coven. Will she risk everything by trusting him or risk fighting alone?

After discovering her destiny as a witch, Anora is on a mission to find out everything she can about the magical world. Unbeknownst to her, the creatures of that world are trying to find out everything they can about her…and the people closest to her.

With Ethan and Hunter to protect her, Anora feels safe and happy with her new life. That is, until she begins to be plagued with terrifying visions that only she can see, leaving her full of fear and doubt. What if the hallucinations are real? What if there is something dark out there that can attack her from within?

If Anora can’t even trust herself, who can she turn to?

Enter for a chance to win both copies of the books Reaper and Unbound.

Emily Goodwin resides in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, many four legged children and their much loved German Shepherd named Vader. Accused of being a day dreamer, Emily began writing at an early age, making use of her active imagination. She has a degree in psychology, is currently working on her second degree in nursing, likes anything paranormal, 80's rock, going on crazy adventures with her friends and is an animal rights activist.

Mischief tee shirt

Mischief tee shirt by RavenKing
Design unique customizable clothing online at Zazzle.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lovely Blog Award

Thank you Suzy Henderson for nominating my blog.

Seven random facts about me:
1. I met numerous talented writers and artists through my blog.
2.  I enjoy reading books from fiction to software. I read the Gimp Bible, Inkscape book and an Invent Games with Python.

3. I registered to take An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python course through Coursera.  I  am attending Rice University.  The course is free and this knowledge will help me explore making video games.  In my second week I have explored boolean values and made a mini text program with a variation of rock paper scissors lizard Spock.

4. I am a fan of GIMP software my latest artwork, Guinevere was done in in this software from start to finish.  I used airbrush at varying levels of opacity.

5.  I think I learn something new everyday. I am living in an allergy garden.  Why do I say that?  I am surrounded for miles in every direction by sagebrush which is related to ambrosia, also known as ragweed.  You would think with a name like ambrosia, food of the gods,  would be a super food.  Where is ambrosia?  It is here...ah...choo.

6.  I like making music from candy box, keyboard or virtual instrument.

7.  I opened a new zazzle store and you can see some of at my deviantart gallery.  I have designed tee shirts, kindle cases, pillow cases, ipad cases.

I have the pleasure to nominate 15 bloggers for the lovely blog award.  If you choose to accept name who nominated you with their link, tell 7 random facts about yourself and nominate at least 15 other bloggers and post the lovely blog award pic in pink!
One note, I wanted to mention these ladies and some of their accomplishments and that means more than one link.

Julia Hanna is an artist writer one of her latest book reviews Book Review: Our Lady of Kafeng by Aya Katz. Sweetbearies is her personal blog she writes about her her art.  At hubpages she writes very interesting book reviews and art tutorials. See some of her art here. I read her columns at the
she writes about art, writers and crafts. Here Julia interviews Aya Katz and her latest novel.

Aya Katz is a primatologist has both a newspaper The Aya Katz Daily and blog named Notes from the Pens and is a writer who illustrates her own books she runs Inverted A Press and I saw a charming photo of this author.

Mary Bookhound formed a huge an active group at bookblogs.ning where bloggers of books can post book reviews and cover real.
She has two lovely blogs.

I have had a sneek peek at  Shah Wharton's newest novel in the making Finding Esta and have attended her many blog hops which she has hosted. Her blog
Her is her book trailer.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
Claude Dancourt has a clever, lovely blog.  She has a delightful sense of humor.  Read her latest novel set in Camelot cocooned in intrigue, romance, humor and magic.

Carly Labuschagne
Her lovely book trailer has illuminated this blog.

K.W. Mc Cabe is a talented author who writes in the fantasy romance genre.  Stay tuned to this blog.  I will write a book review of her latest book The Dragon's Call. Visit her blog here
and here

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
Shanon is having an exciting contest for her new book.  Her site is wonderful with a banner displaying King Arthur and the words
"the Dark Celtic Fairytale, Creatures of the Night both real and imagined"… 

Christine Rice is an energetic writer who writes very informative books.  She edits and you can visit her site here.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Maria Luisa Arnaiz
I see beautiful yet erotic paintings and thought provoking poems in Spanish. I do visit this site, yet I don't understand Spanish. Fulva Lux is the name of this blog

Reading with Anacasia focuses on romantic sexy novels in the fantasy genre. Check out her lovely widgets.

Jesica Hische posts her beautiful designs at she invites people to visit her site and allows them to use her designs at personal (non commercial) blog posts.

Maureen writes about art in her blog Writing Without Paper.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
John Lemansey creates an image each day. View his site here. Many of the Images were created with inkscape.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
Wayne Tully captures demons and zombies on paper.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Return to Caer Lon

Return to Caer Lon was written by Claude Dancourt.  The story begins at the height of drama.  Queen Ylianor shields her young son Derek while the castle is being attacked by fireballs.  King William Pendragon sends his wife and child away from Camelot so he can fight his foe, Wolfryth a despicable sorcerer who kills him.

The story fast forwards fifteen years later.  Derek has grown to be a tall handsome man who looks and acts like his late father. Derek is eager to claim back Camelot and avenge his father's death.  He feels competing in tournaments is frivolous use of his time. Ylianor  raised her son within the Haven's walls overlooking the sea and  became an herbalist who has been treating Derek's favorite antagonist, Sacha for nightmares which are actually visions.  Sacha a raven haired young lady is a seer.  Residents of Haven snicker because Derek and Sacha would make a lovely couple, but they can't stand eachother due to their frictitous relationship.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

The adventure unfolds after Sebastian, Sacha's cousin, and Ewlyn, Sacha's twin brother,  go missing after scouting the area of Pemfro.  Sacha finds a wounded and unconscious Sebastian.  Both Derek and Sacha ask permission for a search party to find her brother, but are denied permission. The following scene made me laugh.  One night Sacha sneeks into Derek's quarters.  He was relieved that she wasn't naked under her cloak.  She wasn't sure if she should consider that an insult.  They sneek into the night on horseback.  Gee,  seems romantic, but they take turns teasing eachother and getting angry.  I think it is remarkable how two people who can't get along would decide to go on trip together.

Their relationship takes an arc from almost childish bickering to a sense of curiosity when they stay in the inn.  They sleep on separate beds.  Their relationship deepens in the cave after she almost drowns.  They develop feelings of concern and lust which they try to conceal from eachother.
This story explores magic as well as honor. Sacha has elemental powers while her bother has Earth powers.  She continues to have visions that suggest she should turn back.  They are unaware that Wolfryth is watching them through Sacha.  A riddle replays in their mind: the blood of a dragon will reveal the source.  Ewlyn is tortured and kept in a dungeon by Wolfryth.  Ewlyn tells his sister via telepathy that he is in Caer Lon, a forgotten city.  Sacha has a difficult time trying to convince Derek because he considers the city a myth and he is very sceptical of magic.
Derek and Sacha are in danger.  They travel alone without telling anyone.  Thugs with swords roam the streets.  They visit a monastery for clues to Caer Lon.  Derek peaks his interest upon learning his Pendragon heritage intertwines with the lost city.
I highly recommend this book. At times I laughed while eager to finish this book of magic and romance.

You can find Return to Caer Lon at amazon
You can visit her blog
Visit her on twitter
Goodreads...good reading!

Win a digital copy of Return to Caer Lon

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Friday, October 12, 2012

My First Python Class

I am so excited to be taking my first computer programming course An Introduction into Interactive Programming in Python.  I enrolled through Coursera at  Rice University and this is my first week.  This online class  will teach me how to make a video game! I will be learning the basics about programming in the python language which includes importing a gui, a graphical user interface and event handling which includes what happens after the button is clicked.  What will you see if you join this class?  Video lectures, course material, code skulptor which allows you to code online through your browser and online forums to ask questions or discuss issues with other students.  I found the sytatical shortcut '+=' to be an interesting feature.  Here's an example: if a = 3
                                   a += 2
The answer is 5 because we added 3 + 2.
I also found modulus math interesting, especially the remainder which is a form of division.
Here's an example: 4 % 4
The answer results in 0, because although 4 divided by 4 equals 1, the remainder is zero.  There are no left overs in this equation.
 Click  here to read more about this course. Hurry class begins October 15, 2012.
Did I mention the class is free!

I drew my second vector drawing with inkscape.  I think Lucinda is ready for Halloween and I call this drawing Lucinda's First Bite.

Lucinda's First Bite by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

I See You pet bowl
I See You pet bowl by RavenKing
Browse other cat bowl designs on Zazzle.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My first inkscape Drawing

I am beginning to learn how to use inkscape to make my first vector drawing.  Because I am so fond of entering contests I decided to enter the Mountain Dew contest so that I would have a deadline for making my drawing.  The size is small at 600 x 600 pixels and it took about four hours to make.  The palette was limited to 5 colors which they provided four along with the logo.  Restrictions help keep my design simple since this drawing could wrap around a soda can. I made a spider from the mountain ridges covered in fresh snow.  What I found interesting in drawing with inkscape is that when you draw your shape you can choose a different color for the outline than the fill.   Each shape or line is a layer and you can alter it by moving the nodes or simply selecting it to stretch it. Mountain Dew contest ends October, 10.

This is my second variation of my Mountain Dew entry. I decided to make the snow shine by changing the opacities of the snow.  Which do you think is better snow plates or snow shine?
There is one more contest that I might enter.  The author is hosting a contest on her blog to design a book cover about a samurai who travels between the living and the dead. 
Or you can see the link on deviantart.
The contest ends October31, 2012. can visit my zazzle store and flip through my calendar pages.  :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Collection

Today's post includes all the artworks I made this month.

This is Mishchief the original I drew on paper with my bic red and blue pens.

Mischief by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

This is Mischief after I enhanced in GIMP.

Mischief too by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

The effects are subtle.

This next before and after are very strikingly different.  Here I drew Sunny with my bic pens and colored pencils.

Sunny by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

Sunny becomes an icon after I used alien map in GIMP. 

Mary by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

I entered a contest Stockpocalypse and I felt it challenged me to become a story teller and try to imagine an event that could have changed many lives.  I wanted a message of hope and here are my two versions of a New Tribe.

A New Tribe Before and After Noon.

I made my first calendar. Hurray! You can flip through the pages online at my zazzle store
Source: via Ann on Pinterest

I drew Fay and Kelpie on paper and enhanced with alien map in GIMP to make this tee shirt.
Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Mary tee shirt.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

I even made a guitar out of a candy box and played music. :)

I hope you too have fun writing or creating stuff!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Contest: Stockapocalypse

I am excited by this contest because it encourages the visual artist to look outside of the form on the blank canvas to become a storyteller.  Take a moment and ask yourself the question: what if?  The contest involves the scary idea of apocalypse.  How did it happen?  If you enjoy drawing or manipulating photos you can still submit some art till October 5, 2012.  You must use one of the stock images provided and be a member which you can join for free.
I browsed the gallery and found images with zombies, alien invasion with varying shades or horror.
I was so inspired that I decided tell my story.

I made my New Tribe in two versions A New Tribe before and After Dawn where this family finds a plane and A New Tribe before and after Noon when they walk along a  train.  I drew the figures with airbrush while the sky I used cora balls brush.  I made them completely in GIMP.  The word "Air" I made with my own digital brush after I took pictures of the native sagebrush in my back yard. I made her armored bra with my digital brush which I made out of a sequin image.

A few years have passed since the incident that changed everyone's lives. Some say it was a polar shift that caused the pulse that shut down technology.  Many lives were affected.  A new tribe rose along with hope.
Elders often talked about the technology they missed, but they also explain how the event brought them together.  Some villagers moved to more fertile ground building yurts or earthbag homes, cooking with solar ovens and woodstove.  Curious to see what once flew in the sky or hauled cargo on tracks many make a pilgrimage to visit the mammoth sized vehicle covered in silence and shrubs.  A child smiles and imitates the flight of a plane which makes a poignant image in time.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Favorite Tee Shirts

Today I will be posting my thoughts and some flash fiction about my favorite wardrobe. These tee shirts are availabe on zazzle.

Gardeners Make Better Lovers
I designed this tank to be naughty for the image resembles a bandaid designed to highlight the feminine form.  A figure hides among the lush tropical flowers.  Her red lips offer a kiss to her lover, but he must find her first.

There's A Dragon In My Salad depicts a playful dragon wriggling in a green salad.  Kids sometimes pose a challenge for healthy eating habits.  "Mom, who told you I eat vegetables?"  The little buckaroo asked before inspecting a piece of lettuce. I remember growing up and wondering how many attempts till I learned to like carrot salad or brocolli.  Mom still has so much patience with me.  Thanks, mom.

If you would like to draw your own dragon with my paint software follow my link to
Draw A Baby Dragon tee

A Good Date tee shirt Star Date 2525  (a flash fiction about this tee shirt)
It had taken him about two hours to foil his hair for no dude would want to woo his date with naked hair.  Of course not.  The evning before he had gone to the gym to upgrade his calf muscles, not that he needed it, no. 
Today Ruby had her hair polished at the salon and it blazed like red satin.  The stylist threw a caveat at her feet.  "If you get caught in a plasma storm it might make your erect hairstyle prostrate.  Ruby mulled over the words.  The weather report suggested a small percentage of a plasma storm approaching the city limits. 
He came to pick her up at their first date.  He knocked on her shop door Everything Vintage circa 2050.  She dusted her funny little nick knacks.  "Let me get you your shawl."  His silk jacket whisked her bare shoulder.  They stepped one foot outside and got caught in the plasma storm.

Here is another version of my happy couple caught in a plasma storm available as a print.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
All Natural tee depicts a green pony.
I wanted to design an image that reminds me of summer meets Autumn.  I made a pony out of flowers I captured in the grocery store.  What if a topiary became a horse?  I would expect it to enter a maze, throw a look over its shoulder as if to ask,"Will you join me?"

Blue Thunder
I was inspired by the wild Nevada horses when I designed this tee shirt, but mythology also played a part in the inspiration.  Odin's horse Slepnir was an eight legged horse that came from the sky. I envisioned a moment when a brooding sky grows battlship grey clouds that creep down the foothills.  Hot flash and thunderous reverberation release a herd of electric blue horses.  I could imagine the power unleashed and their hearts racing as they make their escape.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candy Box Guitar Thoughts

You eat, bang it and pluck it.  What post consumer product is this? Answer: the candy box guitar.
What inspired you to make a candy box guitar video?  I had eaten some Mike and Ike candy and when it became 3/4 empty I discovered its musical possibilities.  I also enjoyed Good and Plenty and found the boxes had a slightly different set of notes when I hooked it up to my chromatic tuner.
What did you want to express in your video? I wanted to say you can make music with just a rubber band and an empty box. The simplicity and affordability of the instument does not make it any less fun.  Think about the possibities.  If you were stuck in an airport and had a rubber band and a candy box  you could make some music.  Your children could play their own candy box guitars as I did in this video.

Can you really play a candy box like a guitar?  Yes and some extra techniques you would not be able to do with a guitar.  The squeeze box method creates a ragtime sound when you place your thumb over one or two bands and squeeze.  The instrument forms a chord when you squeeze and release.  I have two candy boxes and I banged then together like I would a pair of erasers.  This bang method sounds like a drum with the added bonus of rubbing rubber bands together to strike random sequence of notes.  Plucking an open string produces a soothing bass sound.  I could slide my finger on the band and bend the notes.

Did you have fun making the video?
Yah, it was fun, but there were challenges. I recorded the video clips seperatly from the audio. Let's be honest, the video was not synchronized.  It took a while to set up the microphone and the audio equipment.  While I recorded I had fun and treated it as seriously as I would any instrument.  I focused on the techniques seperatly which I recorded in Audacity.  I transferred my samples to LMMS and and added effects and combined the audio tracks.  I tranferred my music back to Audacity and add  a few tracks to layer then converted it to an mp3 format.  I was amazed how many sound files I recorded to select a few for my tune.  If you would like to make your own candy box guitar you can visit my instructable for more tips.

What other post consumer items you have had a chance to work with?  Well, I collected a few empty tins which make decent shakers after I add some beads and shake it.  One of my large cookie tins makes makes an interesting drum giving it a bouncy resonance.  My windsor chair makes a decent cajon impression.  A cajon is a box that the drummer sits on and spanks with the palm of her hands.

Green horse apron
Green horse apron by RavenKing
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Book Review: Freelance Writing by Christine Rice

Freelance Writing; What To Expect In Your First Year As A Freelance Writer written by Christine Rice.  Ever wonder what it takes to become a freelance writer?  Christine Rice describes the steps from building a portfolio to ghostwriting. I am thrilled to be writing this book review.

When you embark on becoming a freelance writer you become your own boss.  Your goals include building a portfolio, polishing a resume.  Christine discusses online  publishing sites for your first articles.  Job search, free college courses and SEO  to make your writing more competitive and are discussed in this book.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes.  I learned many things including electronic signatures which include your URL and any contact information.  You might post your electronic signature in an email or forum post.  I would like to add that my blogging skills have improved since I have read Christine's book and I have increased pages views on my blog.  In Chapter Six the authoress explains that your blog is a way to market your writing  and how people will know you so get out there and write your blog at least once a week, but daily is better.  In chapter sixteen  she discusses the proper use of tags so readers can find your blog.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Freelance Writing earns a score of 5 stars out of 5.
You may find Freelance Writing; What To Expect You First Year As A Freelance Writer written by Christine Rice as well her other books: Essays For The Soul, Poetry For The Heart, My Not So Ordinary Life, An Autobiography.
Amazon  Smashwords  Lulu
Visit Chrisitne's blog

I asked Christine one question.  What is next in your writing goals?

My next writing goals for book writing are to publish Chronicles of a Troubled Girl in November 2012, Articles for the Mind in December 2012, and Freedom from Fat in May 2013.

Chronicles is a compilation of all of my journal entries from age 9 to age 30. At the moment I have one journal left to type up and then I will be finished with the first draft. It is really exciting, but I probably won't be able to continue working on it until after the end of the Freelance Writing Guide blog tour, which ends September 25th.

Articles will be a compilation of all the articles I published online as a freelance writer in 2011 (I will have gained back the rights to them all in December 2012, which is why I intend to publish the book that month). It fits into the same title theme as Poetry for the Heart and Essays for the Soul.

Freedom is a compilation of journal entries and blog posts during the most recent years of my weight loss journey. It will cover my dieting and exercising experiences from 2010-2013, which is a time when I have kept continuous track of my weight loss experiences. I plan to reach my goal weight by May 2013, which is when I will be publishing the book. Although, my true weight loss journey began in 2000, so I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share.

I also would like to write another book in the "Freelance Writing Guide" series. The next book might be about what can be expected during the second year of a freelance writing career :)

Besides the books I'm writing and publishing, I hope to increase my client base for my editing services, take on more ghostwriting assignments, and branch out to do client-based ghostwriting. I plan to continue writing book reviews and blogging.


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Trailer: The Broken Destiny

I spotted a fresh book trailer today: The Broken Destiny written by Carlyle Labuschagne.
The images are gorgeous and the sound is dramatic. 

Dreams Both Real And Strange

Dreams Both Real and Strange II written by K.W. McCabe is a collection of short stories in the fantasy genre.  Her stories have a dream like quality.

 Choices is a prequel to The Angel of Death.  Thomas is sick and tired of working for the Grim Reaper who taunts and belittles by him.  He knows the game of Choice is unfair because it lets people think they have more time and if they give the wrong answer they have to work for Death for an eternity.  His daughter has given birth and Thomas is forced to offer her the game of choice.  In order to save his daughter he must challenge Death and ask why Death chose him?

A young lady named Kara feels an unexplainable pull to the sea.  There is some tension between Kara and her mother.  What I liked about this quick read is the delicious irony Kara finds a suitor, but not one her mother expects.  After reading it I thought about it for a long while for it seems a reflection of life with differing outcomes than one expects.

Escape is a modern fantasy set in the hood where there is much suffering, shooting and dying.  The area is especially hostile to young women.  Aisha meets a stranger in the park.

Wraith Part II
This is a sequel to part I which was published in Dreams Both Real And Strange I.  Lena lived in fear all her life since she could make crops grow. Now she searches for her daughter.  The authoress explores the relationship between mother and daughter.

 Fairy Foibles is a tongue in cheek spin on Sleeping Beauty.  Three fairies, Dyna, Myrta and Flyrta attend the christening of Princess Rosalee.  The three fairies are charming and quick witted. They come to rescue Princess Rosalee after Grydela curses the baby to die on her fifteenth birthday.  The royalty gasp. What I like about this story is the more the fairies try to be helpful the deeper in trouble they find themselves.  They find themselves taking care of a charming baby while on the run.
I highly recommend Dreams Both Real and strange for it's exploration of parent and daughter relationships and the tensions involved as the daughter grows.  Why?  In growing up the daughter's desire to choose her own path some times conflicts with parental expectations and these issues are explored in landscape where magic and reason coexist.

You may find Dreams Both Real And Strange II here written by K.W. McCabe

Source: via Ann on Pinterest