Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Mind Games

Being scared or wanting the fright is typical for the average Halloween celebrations participant.  The rush of knowing that something monstrous and evil lurks in the darkness sends a rush of adrenaline through the body.  Call it crazy but it's amazing how people seek out the unknown thrill within the haunted house, corn maze or horror flick.  Sure, we all know there's going to be a ski mask wearing psycho slinging around a machete and hacking up young teenage lovers; yet, what we may not realize are the sick twisted nut jobs who play the mind fucks with us. Yeah, those are the doozy ones. 

I love a good scare but the ones that really freak me out are the ones which mess with my head.  Sure Michael and Jason can send me running but after a while I'm like seriously?  That's all you got? Ooh, a beat up hockey and ski mask....and let's not forget the chain saw.  I mean what's a 'hack 'em up horror' without a chainsaw scene?  Exactly. 

Yet, the ones that leave me awake at night and begging for my momma. Well, not really, but more like a 9 MM Glock, are movies that leave me thinking...WTF?  Yeah, you know the ones. 

Some of my favorite screw with the mind movies include 'Nightmare on Elm Street'.  Let's face it, one never really knew when Freddy would show up with his mangled burned body and knife cutting gloves.  It didn't help matters that I found his humor quite intoxicating.  Yeah, just what I need to laugh hysterically while a freak cuts me up. Good going there, Kel.

Then there are 'The Exorcist' and 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose'.  When a storyline deals with the ultimate evil and faith, then the goosebumps are more than standing at attention on the back of your neck; they're battling each other to get off your body. 

Oh, I can't forget the 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Hannibal' either.  When I think of someone wanting to eat me and not in a good way, it does mess with my thoughts.  After watching a psychological thriller like that, I tend to view people differently.  I think, 'hmmmm...I hope they ate recently and so hope that I'm not their type'.   

So, those are just a few that really fuck with my head.  Which movies give you the ultimate mind screw? 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Hottie Winners

Ahem, drum roll please. And the winners of the first annual Halloween Hotties contest are:

Favorite Villain: Alan Rickman

Favorite Vampire: Alex O'Loughlin

Favorite Werewolf: Joe Manganiello

Favorite Pirates: Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom (yes, we have a tie)

Favorite Zombie Slayer: Simon Pegg

Favorite Scary Film Franchise: Nightmare on Elm Street

Favorite Fantasy Film Franchise: A three-way tie between Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars!

Thank you to all those who voted! I hope you all have a very fun and scary Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Hotties - What's your favorite?

In honor of Halloween, I thought I it would be fun to honor those villains and supernatural characters that we love so much. The rules are easy. Pick your favorite nominee from each category and tell me why he should win the honor of Halloween Hottie. If your favorite is not on the list, write in votes are allowed. At the end of the week, I will post the winners.


  1. Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter.
  2. Johnny Depp as Sweeny Todd in Sweeny Todd, Mort Rainey in Secret Window, and John Dillinger in Public Enemies.
  3. Jason Isaacs as Colonel Tavington in The Patriot, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter.
  4. Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
  5. Zachary Quinto as Sylar in Heroes.


  1. Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with the Vampire.
  2. Alexander SkarsgÄrd as Eric Northman in True Blood.
  3. Robert Pattison as Edward Cullen in The Twilight saga.
  4. Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton in True Blood.
  5. Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John in Moonlight.


  1. Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte in True Blood.
  2. Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black in The Twilight saga.
  3. Joe Mangianello as Alcide Herveaux in Trye Blood.
  4. David Naughton as David Kessler in An American Werewolf in London.
  5. Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard in Teen Wolf.


  1. Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.
  2. Orlando Bloom as William Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean.
  3. Cary Elwes as The Dread Pirate Roberts (Westley) in The Princess Bride.

Zombie Slayers (because let’s face it…zombies are not a pretty sight):

  1. Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus in Zombieland.
  2. Simon Pegg as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead.
  3. Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in Zombieland.
  4. Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.

Favorite Scary Movie Franchise:

  1. Halloween
  2. Nightmare on Elm Street
  3. Scream
  4. Saw
  5. Friday the 13th

Favorite Fantasy Franchise:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. The Twilight Saga
  5. Star Wars
Let the voting begin!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oops...Is My Optimism Showing?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Come closer.  A little closer.  *Hmmph* Okay, too close. 

All kidding aside, I love where I am in life right now.  I feel very blessed, and I can't help it if it shows at times.  Yet, I'm a humble person.  My mother taught me to be thankful for what I have been given, work hard, and keep striving.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't want anyone to think I've got it all figured out--far from it, but I'm just fine with my place right now.

The reason I bring it up is recently a couple authors have expressed some concern about where they are in their careers and in life.  One was hesitant to even try publication because she wasn't sure how to handle any fame-big or little-that might come her way if she were ever published.  The other seemed to be seriously pissed off at the publishing community and was flouting her disregard for agents and editors on her blog, no doubt gaining a little notoriety.

I sooo am not judging.  The more I research, the more I believe there are several routes to publication...or not.  I'm not sure that one version of publication is more succesful than any other unless you hit it big like Nora Roberts or H P Mallory, and publication is not a necessity if your goal is simply to write because you love it.  Whether you choose to go mainstream, indie, or not publish at all, works out in the end.  As long as you're satisfied with your choices, it doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks.

With that in mind, I'm happy with where my career is right now.  I've published a short story with an e-press, and I don't mind entering the occasional contest.  I'm not rushing to submit to agents or editors, but I will never rule that out as an option.  I've begun a short story I have in mind specifically for self-pubbing, and I'm learning to market myself through trial and error and the kind advice of other writers.

So, though I keep my ear to the ground for news on the state of publishing today, I'm not panicked, embittered, or even decided, for that matter.  Right now, I'm cautiously optimistic and taking it one manuscript at a time.

How about you?  Are you throwing your hat in one particular ring?  Are you keeping your publishing options open?  Are you happy where you are?

Happy Writing!

Cherie Marks

Into the Fire Amazon BuyLink:
Into the Fire TWRP BuyLink:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As a writer it can be challenging to keep up with blogging, facebook,and twitter just to name a few. Not to mention following your favorite writers, friends, family and their blogs and posts. Although enjoyable, and in some cases necessary, it can take away from the thing we love most, writing.

This was a big challenge for me when editing my book to send to an editor who requested it. I decided tunnel vision was the best option and for a while it was, however I discovered some hard truths.
  • Editing can be draining both emotionally and creatively
  • You miss out on what's happening with friends and family
  • Your creative well isn't renewed with just editing
Besides, if I wanted to write for a living I was going to have to juggle a lot more balls than I already was. So I pulled up my boot straps and got back in the game. I dusted off my weekly schedule that helped me cram in everything important, added a new item or two, and put it back to work.

I found I missed blogging, and all forms of cyber communication more than I realized. Especially the interaction, and not just the scroll through and quick likes during my morning bathroom routine, but dedicated time to reading and leaving comments (when blogger would allow me). Most importantly, I missed the wonderful people.

So tell me angels, what do you do to get back on track or stay there all the time?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We all have it, that certain 'something' that pulls our attention to a story. It could be a word, phrase, the snap of awareness we feel when we read the first paragraph, and we know-we just know-that this is going to be one hell of a book.

Is it the setting? 

Do you feel a rush when you know that the book will be historical? The tangy smell of a peat fire roasting a fresh kill, the soft feel of a tartan kilt under the hands of a maid that has been taken hostage by some ruffian highlander, or even the briny air that sinks into your nose as your hero's carriage rumbles to the stop of a well planned sea side  lover's tryst.

Is it a sigh of bliss when you notice a new contemporary by your favorite author? The once nerdy boy next door is now all grown up and looking for love. The rough and tumble bad boy is now the new sheriff and the good girl is setting her sites on him. Or could it be the heroine with a shady/hurtful past has sworn off men, but didn't see the impact that the hero will have on her future.

Is it the sexual tension?

Do your fingertips tingle when your heroine stands toe to toe with your hero-knowing that his control is hanging on by one fine little thread......and she's about to make him snap? Is it the attraction you can't ignore between two people, and they're doing a better job of ignoring it than you are? Or what about the one smoldering kiss they've indulged in, when you know they'd love nothing better than to tackle each other and let the fire blaze out of control.

Is it the zest for a love that will last forever?

We all want to believe that our 'one' love is out there. This world we live in is harsh and distinctly hard on all lovers. But that is what makes the romance industry THE top published industry in the world. It proves that even while we can't stand our government, the gas prices are ridiculous, and those bills just won't go can find escapism within the pages of a romance novel. There is a way to get away........and it doesn't cost you and arm and a leg to do so.......all it takes is your imagination!

So even if you can't determine the 'why's' or the 'reasons' for why you love certain romances....we can all agree that for one short span of time we have smiled, laughed, cried and loved.....whether it be the rugged highlander, the earl that we met in a crowded ballroom or the sheriff that once made our mother try to lock us away. For one moment we lived in those worlds.

Happy reading!