Thursday, July 31, 2014

Author Scott M. Baker-Yeitso (Blood Bound Books) Coming Soon

Scott, I met you from Nana's Apocalypse radio show on the Prepper Broadcast Channel.  We were part of her guest panel on prepping for the End of Days.  What are your feelings about being prepared

I’m not a prepper or a doomsdayer. I do think it’s important to be prepared for a natural disaster and/or civil unrest. Living in Florida, where we’re prone to hurricanes, I’d be stupid not to. However, unless you live out in the country where you can get away with being self-sufficient, I can’t see preparing beyond any event that would last more than four weeks in duration (the stockpiling of water, canned goods, and ammunition being the exception). I know people who are preparing for civil unrest and possible military intervention by the government. Yet if the super volcano under Yellowstone erupts and covers half the country in ash, or if a super virus infects its way from coast to coast, most of those plans will be useless. Myself, I think the best plan is to prepare to be on your own for one month, to have adequate means to defend yourself from looters and criminals, and, most importantly, to be adaptable and deal with the situation as it develops if the crisis extends beyond a month.



Do you guest on a lot of radio shows? Not as frequently as I’d like to. I enjoy doing them, and hope to do some more in the coming months.

Have you always wanted to be an author?  As far back as I can remember. Even as a little kid I was writing short stories in a pocket notebook or using construction paper to make my own monster magazines. In college, whenever I was assigned a term paper my professors had to remind me to keep my project within the specified page range (though a few did let me write as much as I wanted to because they enjoyed the way I made history come alive). Being a published author is literally a dream come true for me.

How has your former position at the CIA influenced your writing? Not in the ways that you would think. I spent much of my career with the Agency proof reading intelligence reports prior to dissemination, which provided me with strong editing skills and experience in using clear, precise language. I’ve also traveled a lot for the government, and many of the locations I’ve visited have made their way into my books. Other than that, my careers in the Agency and as a published writer are two separate aspects of my life.

Why horror? With your background, I would have guessed techno/politico/historical thriller type of book like Brad Thor. Do you like CIA thrillers? Back in the late 1990s I had written a techno-thriller about North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and using them to threaten the United States (in the days when that concept was fictional) and had been shopping the manuscript around when 9/11 occurred. Several big name publishers loved the book, but after the attack on the World Trade Center the market for those types of novels had dried up. I didn’t want to give up on my dream, so I switched genres and began writing horror, which I had been a fan of all my life (I’m a proud Monster Kid). That’s where I found my niche.

I used to love CIA thrillers. In college I read Clancy, Ludlum, Le Carre, and anyone else I could get my hands on. That changed after I was hired by the Agency. While most of the books were entertaining, very few of them passed the guffaw factor (like a CIA analyst single-handedly helping a Soviet submarine to defect, then flying into Colombia to defeat a drug cartel, and then becoming President). After a while I stopped reading thrillers because I lost interest in them and concentrated on history and horror. (When we were first dating, Alison asked me why I didn’t read spy novels. I looked at her and, in my best Pee Wee Herman imitation, said “I don’t have to read about it, Alison. I lived it.”)

Do you use a lot of research for your books? I do major research, even for my short stories. Nothing turns off readers quicker than if you get the facts incorrect, whether it’s how many rounds of ammunition a particular weapon can hold, the lingo used by police or the military, or something as simple as placing a monument on the wrong side of the street in a certain city. I’ve been very fortunate in that I know scores of people who have volunteered their expertise, read certain sections of my novels, and corrected my mistakes. The plus side is that you get to see some really cool stuff. Several scenes in The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon take place in the sewers beneath Washington D.C.; I actually got to accompany one of the sanitation crews on their morning inspection so those scenes would be realistic.

Who do you read? Name some of your favorite books. What made them great? My reading is rather eclectic. It jumps from certain graphic novel series and genre magazines that I follow regularly to histories of World War II to horror novels. I’ll read anything about the Nazi occult and the senior Nazi leadership; I’m pulling a lot of this information together for a future series of books I want to write that pits Nazi occultism against the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

As for my favorite books, those would be the ones that excited my imagination so thoroughly I stayed up way past my bedtime two or three nights in a row to finish them, and can still remember them like I read them yesterday. They include:

-- Ed Lee’s Infernal trilogy: This series developed the concept of Hell as a small town Satan had established when banished from Heaven that over the millennium had grown into a thriving metropolis with a mayor, districts, police, etc. but with all the torments one would expect from the underworld.

-- Max Brooks’ World War Z: Max revitalized the zombie genre. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good zompoc novel where a small group of people in a defined location battle thousands of the living dead. By making his novel an “oral history” of the war from outbreak to final victory, Max put the zombie apocalypse on a level I had never seen before. World War Z was a major influence on my own zombie novels.



-- Ryan C. Thomas’ Hissers: All I’ll say about this book is if you like zombies and you like monsters, and you want to have no idea what’s going to happen next, then this is the book for you.

Your wife is also a writer.  Are you both competitive in terms of sales/reviews/promotion/etc.?Actually we complement each other quite well, so there is no competition in our professional relayionship. My wife, Alison Beightol, has written Blood Betrayal and Blood Beginnings which chronicles the political dealings of a secret vampire society. Alison’s vampires want to live among humans; mine see humans as blood-filled Happy Meals. Usually readers who like one subgenre are not fans of the other. When people stop by our table at conventions, if they’re interested in True Blood-like vampires I direct them to Alison; if they’re looking for bad-ass vampires or zombies, she directs them to me.


Any advice for new writers?  Write every day, even if it’s only for half an hour, and even if you think what you wrote sucks; the only way you’re going to hone your writing skills is by practicing it constantly. Learn to accept well-founded constructive criticism; nothing you write is so perfect that it can’t afford to be revised or cut out entirely. Develop a thick skin. The more you write, the more rejection letters you will get, and the more you publish, the more bad reviews you will receive. It is part of the job, so learn to ignore it and don’t take it personally. Most importantly, do not give up. Writing is the most frustrating, ego-mangling career you can choose, but if you’re good at what you do and are persistent, you will get published.

What is your typical writing schedule? Usually I get up around 5:30 AM and check my email and Facebook while having breakfast (on days when I don’t have to take my daughter to school I get to sleep in until 7 AM). After that, I write from 9 AM and 1 PM. When everyone goes to bed around 10 PM, I write for another two hours while watching horror movies, and then check out the Internet and Facebook before crashing around 2 AM. Thank God for afternoon naps.

What makes your vampires in The Vampire Hunters trilogy different than other vampire books? My vampires are pure evil, like in Steve Niles’ 30 Days of Night or John Steakly’s Vampire$. Mine have their roots in the old classic Universal and Hammer films in which they were monsters with no redeeming values. However, unlike many books that portray the undead as two-dimensional monsters, I breathe life into my vampires (pun intended). My vampires are well developed characters who are integral to the plot. They have their own characteristics, their own motivations, and their own back stories that I tell through flashbacks. I don’t expect my readers to adore my vampires like Lestat or Edward. But I owe it to my readers to give them villains who are interesting.


If....
Imagine HBO picking The Vampire Hunters for a new series.  Who would play your main characters? Nathan Fillion (Serenity, Slither) would play Drake Matthews and Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13) would play Alison Monroe.
Nathan Fillion would make a great Drake Matthews!

Would you write the script? I doubt it. I have no experience in screen writing, but I would like to be involved in the process. I would want Zack Snyder to write the script and direct it.

Where would the show be filmed? In Washington D.C. and northern Virginia.

What are you working on now?  I have the second book in The Vampire Hunters trilogy coming out this September as well asYeitso, which is my homage to the big monster movies of the 1950s that I loved as a kid. I’m finishing the first draft of Rotter Apocalypse, the third book in my zombie trilogy (the second is with the publisher). I’m also working on a series of young adult, post-apocalyptic books tentatively titled Hell Gate that centers around a sixteen year old boy, the guilt he feels over his mother’s scientific experiment having created portals between earth and Hell, and his efforts to close those portals.

Please share an excerpt and your links.

Links:
The except is from Yeitso, which will be released in September by Blood Bound Books

          “Someone’s out there.”
            Jackie wiped her hand against her pants. “Can you see him?”
            “No.”
            “Is it Red Cloud?” She slid back against the car door and cowered.
            “If it is, I’ll teach that Injun a lesson he’ll never forget.” Ben reached into the back seat, grabbed a baseball bat, and opened the driver’s door. He stepped out onto the sand and pushed the door shut. Holding the bat in his right hand, he tapped it against the palm of his left. “Who’s there?”
            A rustling came from the bushes.
            “Show yourself!”
            The noise stopped.
            “Red Cloud, come out now while you have a chance!”
            The rustling resumed.
            “That’s it, you son of a bitch! Your ass is mine!”
            Ben gripped the bat with both hands and, holding it ready to swing, headed into the brush.
            Jackie listened, but with the car windows rolled up she couldn’t hear a thing. Inching across the front seat, she turned the ignition to the auxiliary position, leaned across the driver’s side, and lowered the window. She could only hear the wind blowing across the desert. She strained to see through the dark, hoping to catch sight of Ben. Maybe she should call out to him and make sure—
            A shrill noise shattered the silence. It resembled a clicking sound, only high-pitched and rapid, constantly changing in tone. Then she heard Ben scream but not in anger. His cry had that piercing quality that only comes from fear. A moment later, a loud whoosh cut through the night, almost like a fire extinguisher going off, followed by a howl of pain.
Jackie panicked. She jammed down the window control, but the damn thing wouldn’t close fast enough. Something barreled through the brush, heading straight for the car. She pushed the control harder in a futile attempt to make the window rise faster. It slid shut just as the figure slammed against the outer surface. Jackie yelped and jumped back, cracking her spine against the passenger door. She expected to see Red Cloud glaring at her. Instead, something wet pushed against the glass. For a second, she couldn’t figure out what. Then a hand clawed at the window and a face pressed against it. Despite the melted and distorted features, she recognized Ben.
            “Help me,” he rasped before collapsing. As he slid down the side of the car, he left a streak of gore along the glass.
            Jackie screamed. Turning around, she yanked on the handle, but it wouldn’t move. She banged on the glass and continued jerking the handle. The door popped open on the fourth attempt. Jackie jumped out and took off across the desert. She had no idea where she was heading. All she knew was that she had to get away from there, to put as much distance as possible between herself and….
            The high-pitched clicking started up again, only this time much closer. Glancing to her left, Jackie saw something lumbering toward her. She couldn’t make out any details in the dark other than a large shadow bearing down on her, too close to avoid. Something wrapped itself around her abdomen and crushed. The pain was excruciating, and she was sure her hip bones shattered under the pressure. Sensory overload drove her into shock. Her screams choked off into a whimper. Her bladder and bowels emptied. Her vision went black. Thankfully, for Jackie, she quickly slipped into unconsciousness.
            The last sensation she experienced before passing out completely was of being dragged across the sand, further into the desert.
Scott, great excerpt!!!!  Thanks so much for being my guest!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

What is a Bitcoin?


Bitcoin:  "Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures."

Good ol' Frank Fontaine keeps the emails rolling in!  As discussed in The Last Degree which is FREE today on Kindle, one currency for the world is a big part of New World Order.  
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Degree-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B008GWI754/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1406308921&sr=8-4&keywords=dina+rae

The bitcoin is like cash, but cash in the cloud.  One can buy things without a trail, at least in theory.  There are bitcoin exchanges with Mount Gox as the largest one.  One can send bitcoins to others like digital cash.  One would have his/her wallet in the cloud with no FDIC guarantee on funds.  
There is an online log involved in order to purchase these coins, but again it's supposedly anonymous and without any governmental regulation.  One doesn't have to use his/her real name or provide any real details about his/her identity. China wants to become the biggest bitcoin bank or dealer in the world.  So far, bitcoins are a favorite among drug dealers, kiddie pornographers, and others who don't want a paper trail.
Some of the conspiracy behind bitcoins lie with the inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, who is as anonymous as his invention.  At first he was supposed to be a thirty-something year old man from Japan.  It appears that he is not a real person, but might be a group of people possibly from South America.
The Square App

Links to New World Order
The bitcoin is much more than an underground currency for criminals.  Give it some time and it could be every one's enforced currency.  95% of today's money is already digital and based in the Federal Reserve System.  Many businesses want a cashless society.  Jack Dorsey of Twitter also developed the Square, an app used in conjunction with a smartphone.
So what does this mean?  Is cash no longer king?  Will it be worthless paper?  Will our finances be intangible, only seen from a computer screen?  Where does gold fit into this new and growing form of currency?  Are we losing control of our money?  Signs of New World Order...  And don't forget, The Last Degree touches on this issue and much more-help yourself to a free copy this week!  Leave a comment.  Very interested in your thoughts and views. 




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Who Runs the Internet?

He who hath runneth the Internet must runneth the world... 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of guesting on Researchers' Radio Show with a fine panel of gentlemen, Joe Kiernan and Dave Stinnett along with another guest.  One of these men brought up the subject of the Internet.  I, like most Americans, was under the impression that no one owned the Internet and yet we all owned the Internet.  It's available for all to post/share/tweet/comment/blog/advertise/etc.  Of course, I have always suspected that any government had the ability to spy on our emails, postings, etc.  But spying is just child's play.  How naive I was.  Upon further investigation, I found some very interesting facets of the 'who's who' of the world's superhighway.
So who is the man behind the curtain, or, in this case, the man above the cloud?  Google would probably be my first guess, but the good people of Google are NOT alone in running the Internet.  Here are the top six companies behind the Internet.  


International Telecommunication Union or ITU (responsible for satellites, internationally funded, and considered like a court for those with Internet grievances)  This organization is part of the United Nations.
Internet Architecture Board or IAB (keep the global systems up to task)  They act as advisers to the Internet Society.
The Internet Society (enforce the integrity of the Internet, i.e. the .org websites are for noncommercial use)  This has an Illuminati ring to it.  They set up an Internet "Constitution in '97.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (routing, transport, and security issues)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN (keep addresses and links in their assigned spots)  Again, a nonprofit segment of the Internet, but reportedly worth $100 million.
This is the organization that the U.S. just gave up controlling.  It is based in Los Angeles and has been part of the U.S.'s oversight for over a decade, but will be located elsewhere by 2015.  Some believe the E.U., China, or Russia.  Republicans blast the Obama Administration for giving up control, fearing this could be the end of free speech.
Internet Service Providers or ISPs-These are the companies we are all the most familiar with-Comcast, ATT, Verizon, etc.  Let's not forget about allegations of the government spying on us via Verizon a few years back.


Other Internet Powerhouses

Google-Behind 25% of all Internet traffic and used by 60% of all online devices daily.

Amazon- Their Amazon Web Service division is bigger than their retail end of the corporation.  Some of their contracts include the CIA and Netflix.

Twitter- Not on this list below, but a growing Internet presence, especially since pictures are now easily attached.  Twitter has surpassed Facebook in popularity by teens.
http://mashable.com/2013/10/28/google-monthly-traffic/

Is free speech at risk?  Are secret societies involved?  Is the Internet really an example of free speech?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Hour Church Services: Gimmick or New Direction of Religion?

While reading today's Sunday paper, I came across an article that provoked me into a posting.  Apparently, church services at Opal Divine (Episcopal) in Austin, Texas, have added a new segment they call "pub church."  It takes place on the third Sunday of every month.  Yes, bread and wine are served, but not as part of Communion.  Refreshments also include beer and cocktails throughout the Bible service/study called "The Front Porch."  There is plenty of music, but not hymns or modern-day Christian rock songs.  Bob Dylan songs are part of the band's set.  Is Opal Divine in Austin alone in this new 'brew' of worship?

Alcohol is being used as a lure for attracting more attendees for fading church services across the country.  Some churches even brew their own beer.  At the Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, congregation members go as far as tweaking the WWJD motto into "What Would Jesus Brew".  These new churches even argue that animals have souls, a belief not endorsed in the Bible.
So is this a good thing?  Turning church into a pub-like atmosphere? Part of me thinks that if all is fair in love and war, then all is fair in attempting to spread His Word.  However, are people even going to church to hear about God or is this really just an evening out?  Is this casual, lackadaisical methodology even working?  Do these new attendees want God in their life, but prefer Him on their own terms?  
We can all agree there is nothing wrong with adults who meet in church and then socialize at bars, but what about drinking during church?  What about the states that have legalized marijuana?  Will there be services available for those to share bong hits while learning about the Bible?  Is Sunday church supposed to be all about God or all about going?  What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: Sex Tape

Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, is a simple story of a married couple who want to rekindle the flames of their once very active sex life.  Their children and the obligations of life have exhausted them to the point of an almost platonic relationship. 
Cameron Diaz gets an offer from Parker Brothers CEO (Rob Lowe).  Feeling celebratory, she has her mother take the kids for the night so that she and her husband have time alone.  They end up getting drunk and making a sex tape with his new Ipad.  They use the book, The Joy of Sex, as the basis for their recording by attempting the various sexual positions.  Segel "syncs" the tape instead of deleting it, sending it to all of his old Ipads which he gave away to family and friends.  Not realizing that he can delete the tape through his online cloud account, he systematically collects all of the Ipads he has given away.  Eventually he gets to the son of his best friends who blackmails him, claiming to have copied and uploaded the tape onto an online sex video site.  

SPOILER ALERT: (Not really an alert because the movie is so predictable.) Segel and Diaz rekindle the flames in their marriage without any real harm done to their reputations.
My review:
Diaz and Segel are likable characters with chemistry.  I liked them in Bad Teacher.  The movie has a hard "R" rating, showing the two in convincing sexual positions.  Diaz still has a body to die for and Segel is not too bad either.  
The movie is filled with the same old cliches about marriage.  The laughs are few and far in between.  My favorite character is Rob Lowe who takes the part of the CEO of Parker Brothers and becomes Diaz's boss.  The funniest scene in the movie happens when Diaz and Segel who up at Rob Lowe's under phony circumstances with the goal of getting back an old Ipad they had given to him.  Lowe originally came off as a wholesome guy in the movie, but turned out to be a heavy-metal, Disney loving coke-head.  Segel had some funny scenes with Lowe's attack German Shepherd.  After the scene at Lowe's house, the film dragged on as they continued to cover their tracks by collecting the Ipads and then getting the movie removed from the Internet.  The movie was a light-hearted comedy that held my interest, but would recommend it for PayPerView or free once dumped onto a premium cable channel.  3.5 Stars.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Giveaway: Big Pharma Big Agri Big Conspiracy Amazon Giftcards

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: The Leftovers

HBO's The Leftovers aired three episodes so far for this summer's season.  The show is about a town's reaction to a supernatural tragedy.  This is nothing like Under the Dome, a huge disappointment for me because I really liked the book and the show strays far from the original story line.  
The Leftovers refers to the people who are left over after 1% of the world disappeared into thin air.  No, this is not The Left Behind series.  The story's timeline happens three years after the tragedy, but flashes back to give us the characters' back stories.  
The first episode sets up the scenario.  A three year memorial takes place in the town square.  Those who lost loved ones are sort of honored.  A riot breaks out between the town's people and this other group who dress in white, chain smoke cigarettes, and refuse to talk.  No one gets hurt during the riot, but it shows how people are handling the tragedy in different ways.  

The chain-smoking group (as I like to call them) live together, acting more like a religious group or cult.  They refuse to talk because they don't want to waste their breathe on words.  So far, this is not fully explained, but it's really interesting.  This group also likes to recruit its members by using psychological harassment.  For instance, they stalk the people they want as members.  This is also not fully explained.  Liv Tyler's character has these people in white following her everywhere.  She finally gives in and leaves her regular life and fiancee.
There is another faction that has a Messiah figure.  This group hides out because they are wanted by the FBI.  They use violence when necessary.  The group consists of young people with weapons and connections with high-ranking politicians.  Again, this is not fully explained, but it's very interesting.
Don't waste your breath

Justin Theroux, the town's sheriff, is one of the lead characters.  His wife left him to join the chain-smoking cult.  He has a son who travels with the Messiah and a daughter who lives with him and is still in high school.  She runs with a fast crowd.  He replaced his dad as town sheriff because his dad went crazy.  
The dogs in the town have turned into rabid beasts.  Justin Theroux's character finds a man who hunts the pack of dogs down and then shoots them.  Theroux starts shooting at the dogs as well. Most of his colleagues and the mayor think he is going crazy like his dad.  They don't believe the other man who shoots dogs even exists. 
Last episode was all about the town's reverend.  This is my favorite episode out of the three.  We start to learn that some of the people who disappeared in thin air were not the kind of people that God would take.  Thus, the disappearance is not the result of the Rapture.  However, there are religious undercurrents throughout the series.  In fact, the beginning of the show opens up with modern day people floating up to the heavens resembling a Raphael painting, reminding me of all the old religious paintings you see at an art museum.
My review:  The acting of this show is more than convincing, it's brilliant.  There are no big stars in the show, but plenty of familiar faces.  The special effects are also terrific, although there hasn't been too many of them.  The effects are usually part of a character's dream.  The writing is amazing.  I can't even begin to guess where the plot is going.  The bizarre characters somehow work with the plot and the whole thing is actually realistic.  I am especially impressed with the chain-smoking group.  I also wanted to comment on the show's score. It's so sad and beautiful, like a modern day Chopin composition.  I look forward to the next episode and am an instant fan.  5 Stars.  What do you think of the show?  Leave a comment.