The Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal

FINAL A to Z Theme RevealWith the greatest international blog event ever created, The A to Z Challenge *sign up here*, hovering on the horizon, you may be asking yourself, “Should I invest in a few more pounds of coffee?” or “Should I send the kids to Grandma’s for the entire month of April?” or “Should I rent a cabana on a remote island for the duration, with unwavering internet service, a full open bar and an on-call massage therapist who resembles Henry Cavill and articulates like Benedict Cumberbatch?”, the answer to all of which is a resounding YES.

When faced with a tougher question, such as “to theme or not to theme?” during the 26-day regimen, look to the Magnificent Seven of #TeamDamyanti to “unofficially” advise you.

Themes are fun. They make an impression on your audience. For instance, if you, perchance, plan on incorporating tantalizing images of attractive Australian members of the male persuasion into your “cooking up something hot” theme–chances are, I’m gonna visit. Often. Themes also make the idea of 26 consecutive posts *minus Sundays, when we swim in a vat of wine and snack on cheese crackers* less daunting.

Inspired by my talented girl, Mina Lobo, who initiated the “Theme Reveal Blogfest” during last year’s A to Z, my fellow house elves, Vidya Sury, Anna Tan, Csenge Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard, *with technical support from Jemima Pett & Mary Wallace* and I are thrilled to host a virtual social gathering where you can reveal your upcoming theme BEFORE the fun begins in April!

I know what you’re thinking? How do I pitch in for the wine & crackers? I’ll get to that later. For now, add your blog to the Linky List below, and come MARCH 21st, publish a post that WOWS us with your A to Z Theme! This is the perfect opportunity to gather drinking partners an audience before the challenge even begins. Think of it as amassing pre-orders for your new release, thus ensuring your opening week is a smashing success!

Sam’s THEME REVEAL (opens March 21st)

Grab the Great & Powerful A to Z THEME REVEAL badge above, slap it on your side bar and sign up for the party!

Click HERE to join the Great & Powerful THEME REVEAL party!

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Resurrection Blogfest

Resurrection Blogfest II - 2013In honor of Mina Lobo’s second Bloggiversary, she’s hosting a Resurrection Blogfest. Writerly folks resurrect a favorite post published within the past year that they’d like to revisit. Click HERE for a list of more fun peeps to reminisce with!

I started this blog the tail end of March, so I didn’t have to travel far. One of my favorite posts was the final “sneak peek” of my YA novel series, THE ESSENCE OF MEMORY. Zodiac was originally published April 30th, 2013.

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save_me_from_eternity_by_reyed33-d4sy6p2Listen to the music, surrender your senses and enter a world where legends are born.

Featured Artist: ReyeD33  A special thanks to the talented Roko for providing such incredible images for my tales.

Inspiring Soundtrack: Michael Danna – Life Of Pi – Tsimtsum

190 BC
Sanctuary of Samothrace
Mnemosyne

I watch him fall in the scorching path of blinding light. The last of my hope falling with him.

I run to Talos, his crumpled form empty of life. I drop to my knees, powerless to undo what has been done. His beautiful gift, sculpted in my image, lay battered and broken, never again whole.

A reflection of my shattered soul.

In that moment, with love bleeding into the earth, I prayed for death. I scream at the offending stars that dare shine their traitorous light. The scales are no longer balanced. Justice has abandoned us.

I understood, for the first time in my existence, the mercy of forgetting. I longed to be numb…to rid myself of the agony that feeds on tortured memories.

If I cannot join his soul in this life, I will follow him to the depths of the Underworld. I will quench my thirst for peace from the river Lethe.

I will surrender my immortality and slip into the comforting arms of oblivion…

Present Day
Parthenon
Nashville, TN
Talos

I watch intently as she studies each piece of antiquity in the exhibit, knowing they must tug at the deepest recesses of her consciousness. Though millennia have passed, it is no less painful, remembering what she has forgotten.

She stares at a life-size replica in the traveling display, curiosity etched on her expression. It is my sculpture, The Essence of Memory, that has her so transfixed. I shaped it in her image, on the island of Samothrace, in a time of love and legends.

It’s beauty was shattered the night of my death. An eternity of battered and broken pieces…remnants scattered across a forgotten sanctuary, never again whole.

The strewed remains of a memory. The loss of Mnemosyne…

She goes by Synora in this life. At seventeen, she is more radiant than I’ve ever seen, more like the ethereal form she abandoned so long ago.

My fingers still ache to capture her image, as I have done for centuries.

I focus on sketching her eyes, striking and unchanged with each new life.

“That’s amazing! You’re really talented” a girl declares, stealing a glance over my shoulder. “Hey, that looks just like Synora! Minus the wings and toga party ensemble,” she babbles, “Are you an art student here?” she pins me with a questioning look.

“I..I–”

“Cuz, if you’re crushing on my girl over there, she digs artsy guys. But not psycho stalkers skulking in corners, secretly observing her every move,”she says pointedly, eyeing me with an offending amount of suspicion.

Before I can react, she snatches my book and darts away. “Back in a sec lover boy,” she calls behind her back.

My gut clenches. I watch, helpless, as the scene unfolds.

“This is a token of affection from a very hot, but sketchy, sketch artist,” the girl announces proudly, shoving my notebook into her hands.

“Saras, we don’t steal from starving artists,” Synora scolds, glancing briefly at the open pages.

But then she saw it, her own face, brilliantly blended with the statue of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, making it whole, unbroken, unchanged…

She flips the pages back and gasps.

“Who did this…these…drawings?” Synora demands, shaking my book.

“Whoa!” Saras snatches the book from Synora’s grasp, flipping erratically through the pages.

I barely hear their words over the frantic beating of wings against the cage of my chest.

“These are all of you!” Saras gapes. “Oh. My. God. He is a sketchy stalker!”

“Saras, where is he?” Synora pleads, grabbing my book and pushing her friend forward, frantically searching the crowd.

Her eyes find me.

Thousands of years have passed without her seeing me

The pages of her past slip from her grasp and fall to the floor.
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© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary

That Fatal Kiss by Mina Lobo

That Fatal KissMina Lobo’s debut Adult Mythical Romance Novel, That Fatal Kiss, promises to be an enticing read! In fact, it was our mutual love of Greek Mythology, witty banter and general dislike of mornings that labeled me a fan!

Inspiring Soundtrack: ▶ Antonio Pinto Love in the Time of Cholera Soundtrack Love

Mina Lobo has long held a passion for Greek mythology. The story of the goddess Persephone’s marriage-by-kidnap to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has particularly fascinated her, and thus came about Mina’s debut novel, That Fatal Kiss. Coming September 2013, the revisionist tale features a fiery and noble heroine, a handsome and broody hero, and some heated, earth-shakin’ lovin’!

Given Mina’s self-professed neurotic nature, it took her and cover artist Steven Novak a few go-arounds before settling on the cover design for That Fatal Kiss. It had to be curiously compelling, slightly spooky, and yet super sexy—and so it is!

The compelling story:

Feared by mortals for his inexorable power, and loathed by his fellow Greek gods for the same, Hades rules the Underworld alone.  A stark eternity looms before him until he discovers Persephone. Struck by the youthful goddess’ beauty, kindness, and spirit, he must have her. But Hades believes Persephone could never love him, and so he conspires with his powerful brother, Zeus, to take her by force.

Persephone too seeks a mate but her possessive mother, the goddess Demeter, frustrates her husband hunting. Then Hades abducts Persephone, tearing her away from the Upperworld she loves to reign with him in the dank depths below. Though outraged, Persephone cannot deny the desire ignited within her by the dark lord’s touch. And even as she hopes that Demeter will unearth her, Persephone aches to surrender to the heat in Hades’ immortal soul.

Excerpt:

“Enough,” Hades said, closing the distance between them. “I have taken you with your father’s consent, as custom allows. You are in my kingdom, under my rule, and if you have any care for your continued well-being, you will get into my bed. Now.” And with the removal of the pins that held together the black cloth about his waist, he stood naked before her.

The anger warming Persephone clashed with another fire that roared to life within her. She choked on a breath and turned her face from him. “Be warned; I will resist you with the full force of my being, through violent means, if necessary.”

His large, unyielding hands encircled the soft flesh of her upper arms as he said, “If you must. Though your surrender to me would prove more satisfying to us both.

Mina LoboAuthor Mina Lobo

Mina Lobo has a lot of Scorpio action going on in her natal chart, which makes for a rather sybaritic and lust-driven Sagittarian. She aims for a wildly successful future as a writer of dark and whimsical romance while dodging the slings and arrows of her outrageous teenaged son, who’s buggered off to college (hence the “Lite” in her Twitter handle, below). She enjoys comedic horror and alt rock, goth, & new wave music, as well as quality Belgian chocolates.

Mina invites you to keep abreast of updates regarding That Fatal Kiss, as well as the development of any new neuroses, by stalking her at her usual haunts:

Her blog: Some Dark Romantic
On Facebook: mina.lobo.1
On the Twitter: @GothMomLite
And GothMomLite Will Tumblr For Ya as well

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© 2013 Mina Lobo

Many Branches, One Tree

InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG meets the first Wednesday of every month. A community of brilliant writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – Tree of Life

For this month’s post, I want to send my heartfelt thanks to the talented group of writers that exceeded the Tree of Life: Branching Out challenge I set out before them in a way I never would have dreamed.

Each of these writers possess a unique gift for the written word. They collectively merged their storytelling skills to create an overwhelmingly beautiful saga, wrought with meaning and woven with the essence of music.

With each new voice, the epic tale grew, branching out in unique ways that reflected the individual while honoring the whole.

I am in awe of their abilities, their strength, their enthusiasm and their support.

I may have planted the seed, but it is you who breathed life into it. Rooted in passion, it thrived on your imagination.

You are the branches of this, the Tree of Life.

It is an honor to have worked with you, and on behalf of audiomachine and myself, I cannot thank you enough for the incredible journey…treeoflife_branchingout_badge

Amy Willoughby-Burle, John Wiswell, M. Pax, Al Diaz, Gary Philip Pennick, DL Hammons, Susan Scott, Ruth Long, Djinnia, Daniel Swensen, KC Hunter, Shannon Kenoyer Lawrence, Tina Downey, Beverly Fox, Michelle Wallace, Mina Lobo, Gwen Gardner, Angela Brown, Lisa Shambrook, Sarah Wesson, Leighton Williams, Elise Fallson, Vidya Sury, Damyanti Biswas and C. Lee McKenzie

Tree of Life Composers:
Paul Dinletir
Kevin Rix
Danail Getz
Jeff Marsh
Steffan Michael Koch
John A. Graves

Special thanks to:

Marc D’Amour of audiomachine, for his continued support of this project!

Jennifer Redstreake Geary who gave our collaboration a visually stunning logo!

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Tree of Life: Branching Out Featuring Mina Lobo

treeoflife_branchingout_badgeWelcome to the TREE OF LIFE: Branching Out collaborative writing challenge, where creative minds meet epic movie music. To read the collective story in its entirety as it unfolds and for more details on this groundbreaking collaboration with Audiomachine click HERE.

Today’s featured guest writer is the dark and whimsical temptress, Mina Lobo. Discover the sensuous side of imagination at Some Dark Romantic.

* Listen to the inspiring track from Audiomachine’s Tree of Life album featured in the sidebar music player

Inspiring Soundtrack: Audiomachine – An Unfinished Life – Tree of Life

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And after this moment? Zoe thought. The core of me remains, so I believe I must go on, but where? To what purpose?

Zoe sensed that her new form would not last. She flew in rapid circles, uncertainty and fear roiling within. An urgent need for action gripped her. Right or wrong, her spirit compelled her to go.

She swooped and brushed a wing against Adam’s cheek. When his hand reached for her, Zoe soared away into the darkening skies.

*     *     *

Adam watched the eagle until it was barely a speck. He’d known Zoe must leave, so why this overwhelming sadness? Why did his soul groan in protest? For Zoe, he had all the answers, but for himself? None.

“You’re still here?” asked the wizened woman. At his bewildered look, she said, “An Adam needs his Eve, you know.”

At that, Adam sprinted and leapt into the air. His change instantaneous, a second eagle bolted after the first.

The horse whinnied a question.

“Yes, you can go too.” The elder swept her gnarled hand, transforming him into a silvery-grey dove. He hovered, gave an experimental swirl, then followed his master to parts yet unknown.

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© 2013 Mina Lobo

ATTENTION FANS: You can WIN an autographed TREE OF LIFE Audiomachine album by LEAVING COMMENTS! On August 17th, two lucky readers will be chosen at random from the comments section of the story excerpts. The more you comment–the better your chances are of winning a piece of cinematic history! We want to hear from YOU!

Tree of Life_Album Cover

TREE OF LIFE is available NOW! Click on the following links:

Purchase a CD from CD Baby
Download it from iTunes
Stream it on Spotify      Download it from Amazon       Purchase a CD from Amazon