Author Archives: Cindy

A Reading Challenge Mashup

Magic of reading

From Bigstock photo – copyright Sergey Nivens

Before I talk about reading I want to tell you about music mashups. I love song mashups. My husband got me into them and they’re a lot of fun and can be very creative. There are music mashups I’ve listened to so many times that when I hear one of the songs on the radio I automatically go into the second song at the appropriate places. The songs just don’t sound right anymore unless they’re mashed together. What do song mashups have to do with a reading challenge? I’m getting to that.

So one of my goals for the year is to read more. It’s always a goal and I usually set my target at twenty-five books read for the year. I originally was only going to do the Read Harder Challenge but then I found the Alphabet Soup Challenge. So I’m doing both! Before you think I’m completely crazy the Read Harder Challenge allows you to double up categories. Demon Seed that qualifies for a horror novel also fits the criteria for book published in the decade I was born. And that means for the Alphabet Soup Challenge I have my D novel. With no crossover books the mashup will mean reading fifty books. But with the crossovers I’m hoping it will be around thirty. It will depend on how many books I can add to the Read Harder list with different letters.

Last year out of the twenty-five books I wanted to read I actually read six. Yes, six. I can blame the horrible things that happened last year. I can blame work. I can blame a lot of things but the truth is I didn’t make time for reading. As a writer I need to read to keep on top of the market, not to mention the pure enjoyment factor of plunging into different worlds. I schedule time for writing but I didn’t schedule time for reading. My eight year-old niece reads like I used to read. At every opportunity. She will be my new reading role model.

A new year means a new chance to accomplish goals. When I told someone my reading goal for last year and what I actually read she asked me why I was doing this mashup this year. If I know I can for sure read six books why not make the “challenge” six books? But where’s the challenge in that? The purpose of a challenge is to push yourself to do more than you thought you could, expand your horizons. I achieved that in spades with the writing last year. And there was a time when I could read two books a weeks. Other writers manage to read one hundred books a year and still write, still have a family who remembers them. I can too!

So this year the goal is between thirty to fifty books. Check out my Goodreads Challenge Shelf to follow along.

First book up (because it’s the January book for book club) is A Wise Man’s Fear. It satisfies the book over 500 pages criteria.

Any suggestions for books for either challenge? Throw them at me!

Until next time…



It’s a New Year – Time to Get Focused

Copyright jamesstar on Depositphotos

Copyright jamesstar purchased from Depositphotos

Happy New Year everyone! I’m so happy that 2015 is over. Last year was incredibly sucktastic with a lot of things going on that crushed my spirit. It took a while to get it back and it’s still not 100% back to normal. Despite that I wrote more last year than I had in any year before that. But it was all over the place. In my quest to diversify my writing I was all over the place. Though I have twenty-two works published on Amazon (and other retailers) I will only publicly claim five of them and two of them are under a pen name. I improved my craft and had fun but I have nothing to show for it really.

This year will be different. I’m determined to make 2016 my year. It’s time for me to focus on my stories. Novels and series I’ve had in the works and can’t wait to see available online. Standpoint, the first book in my dystopian trilogy still isn’t finished so I need to finish writing that as well as the other two books in the series. It’s time I finished revising Almost Normal and released that as well as book two. I have plans for a non-fiction book about my time in Citizens Police Academy.

Out of necessity last year I started ghostwriting. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve expanded the kinds of stories I’m able to write because of it. I will continue to ghostwrite while also working on stories that will be released under my name.

Because of my new focus this year’s goals will be short and sweet and totally doable.

1. Stick to a writing schedule to get my target 85,000 words a month written
2. Read 26 books (I’ll be posting about my reading challenge later this month)
3. Release Standpoint Trilogy
4. Release Almost Normal
5. Grow ghostwriting business
6. Exercise and eat better
7. Spend time with family
8. Blog regularly (one day a week to start)

Anyone else out there have goals for this year? Anyone refuse to do goals?

Keep up to date with my releases by signing up for my mailing list here: Mailing list

Until next time…


Zombie Crawl 2 – My First Zombie Movie

Copyright clearviewstock

Copyright clearviewstock

I’m excited to be participating in the Zombie Crawl this year. I have to admit that I had no idea what I was going to write about. I don’t have a zombie story out yet. And I don’t have one in progress either but I do have an idea simmering on the back burner. So with no zombie fiction in my immediate future what would I write about? It got me thinking about zombie movies. Of all the ones I’ve seen I still love the one that got me started on the genre to begin with. The first zombie movie I ever saw was Night of the Comet. It’s been ages since I’ve seen it so I don’t remember all of it. It’s a horror comedy about Valley girls who survive a comet that turns people into zombies. The ones it didn’t kill and turn to dust that is. I remember why the survivors of the comet survived. The things that stick out the most are the sisters hitting the mall. I remember the guy they find when they think no one else survived. I vaguely remember the end of the movie. I think I remember the sisters the most because I watched the movie with my sister. We talked about it a lot over the years because we loved the mall scenes. What teenage girl wouldn’t love to go to a mall and be able to take anything they wanted with no consequences? I’d looked for the movie on DVD after we watched it but didn’t find it until at least ten years later. I did buy it. We both liked it but she didn’t move on to other zombie movies like I did.

Of course I like the classics – Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead. New classics – 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Shaun of the Dead. I loved Warm Bodies. After watching, and liking World War Z I want to read the book. With today being Halloween it’s the perfect day to get comfy on the sofa, make some popcorn and throw on some zombie movies.

-Now for the GIVEAWAY!-

PRIZE: $10 Amazon gift card!

Three ways to enter:
1. Like my Facebook OR Twitter. (one entry per follow)
2. Sign up for my newsletter (one entry)
3. Leave a comment telling me what steps you’ve done above and tell me what your favourite zombie movie is. (one entry)

NOTE: The contest will stay open through out the blog tour, ending October 31st.

Make sure you visit ALL the participants throughout the tour to get your complete zombie fix!

z crawl schedule

Zombie Crawl 2 – Blog Party

October 22 – 31, 2015

by Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans

How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! If you would like to be emailed links to the new posts each day, join this Zombie Crawl Daily Digest list which will ensure you don’t miss a post (or join the party on Facebook to get notifications). Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Thanks for joining the party!

The Schedule:

OCTOBER 22 – Thursday

Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans (Party & Grand Prize Host)

Jo Michaels Blog (author)

Rissa Blakeley (author)

OCTOBER 23 – Friday

Claire C. Riley (author)

2 Girls & A Book (blog)

Emily Shore (author)

OCTOBER 24 – Saturday

Kathy Dinisi (author)

Us Girls & A Book (blog)

The Voluptuous Book Diva (blog 18+)

OCTOBER 25 – Sunday

Casey L. Bond (author)

THE KATY blog (blog)

OCTOBER 26 – Monday

Saul Tanpepper (author)

Warren Fielding (author)

The Leighgendarium (blog)

OCTOBER 27 – Tuesday

Kody Boye (author)

Rhiannon Frater (author)

ER Arroyo (author)

OCTOBER 28 – Wednesday

Allen Gamboa (author)

Armand Rosamilia (author)

Ethan @ One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads (blog)

OCTOBER 29 – Thursday

Kate L. Mary (author)

aftershockzombieseries (author)

Eli Constant (author)

OCTOBER 30 – Friday

Aria Michaels (author)

Brian Parker (author)

Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps (blog)

OCTOBER 31 – Saturday

Cindy Carroll (author)

M. R. Pritchard (author)

Toni L.H. Boughton (author)

Digital Dirty Girl (blog)

To learn more about Band of Dystopian and/or to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway, visit and don’t forget to join the group on Facebook!