Come on over to the New Website: AUTHORAPPLETON.com

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014... Looks like a good year!

For a recap of notable The Sword of the Dragon occurrences in 2013:
  1. Contract signed with AMG Publishers/Living Ink Books for In Search of Dragons
  2. www.TheSwordoftheDragon.com re-built and looking sharp!
  3. Neverqueen 1 released on readers and in Paperback
What we are looking for in 2014:
  1. In Search of Dragons paperback published by AMG/Living Ink Books (hopefully in the Fall)
  2. Neverqueen 2 release in Fall/Winter
My goals:
  1. Write new fantasy novel Soul Of Ironwing
  2. Finish writing sci-fi/steampunk novel Star Train 
If there is room in my busy life after all this I hope to start the ball rolling on audio books for Swords of the Six and Neverqueen.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas-- What a crazy month! (and The giveaway winners!)

First off, I have yet to write a new blog post on a particular subject related to fantasy and so I want to send you over to Speculative Faith's site. I wrote a guest article for them and have enjoyed the feedback I received from it. The post is here: http://www.speculativefaith.com/2013/12/20/will-the-real-master-stand-up/

This month has been C-R-A-Z-Y
  • Neverqueen released on Amazon in print and kindle editions (Very excited about it!)
  • Christmas 31 author scavenger hunt ended
  • I moved my family down to Groton CT into a nice townhome (Which we love!)
  • My wife is due with our third baby on Christmas Eve (Hoping baby waits until next week)
If you entered the giveaway for Donita K. Paul's book or the necklace, I have announced the winners in the comments on that post. And I wish to repeat that information here as well. My apologies for this taking so long. I should have had the winners selected a couple weeks ago but with the move things have been hectic around here.

WINNERS OF MRS. PAUL'S GIVEAWAY
Book winner is... Angie
Necklace winner is... Rachel Meyer
CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS!
Please email me with your full name and address so that Mrs. Paul can send your prizes! Email the information to: spappleton@gmail.com

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"NEVERQUEEN" NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!

Looking for that perfect gift for your fantasy-loving reader? Neverqueen now available in paperback on Amazon for only $9.49

In time for Christmas, folks, the first book in a new series of fantasy novels! If you have a reader who liked my The Sword of the Dragon series, then order this book. It is part of the same story world!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


http://www.amazon.com/Neverqueen-Sword-Dragon-Scott-Appleton/dp/0615935001/ref=la_B002ECOL2U_1_6_bnp_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386998071&sr=1-6
Purchase on Amazon.com

Saturday, November 30, 2013

#31AuthorGiveaway Scavenger Hunt Begins!

For my part in this Christmas fun of giveaways, I am hosting Family Fiction and giving away free copies of Key of Living Fire to the winners. Here is a note from them:

Want to stay up on all news concerning your favorite Christian fiction authors? You should join our family!

No matter the genre—we’ve got you covered—from Amish to Contemporary, Speculative to Young Adult. FamilyFiction is an information hub of author interviews, news and updates. Stop by our site and sign up for our email newsletters. http://www.familyfiction.com/newsletter-signup/ Our monthly magazines FamilyFiction and FamilyFiction Edge will keep you updated on the latest and greatest Christian fiction happenings.

Peruse author interviews, find your next great novel, or watch book trailer for upcoming releases all at http://www.familyfiction.com

You can also stay current with us on Facebook and Twitter and participate in giveaways and contests!


First I want to thank Deidre at Family Fiction for participating in the 31 Author Giveaway and Scavenger Hunt, and thank author Brock Eastman for organizing this.



For all the readers that are on the hunt and want to win that iPad Mini, here is your next clue: "and Merry". For the next clue you must follow this link from Family Fiction.


Please follow the link to Family Fiction's site. Or if you've collected all the clues you can go HERE to enter the full mystery phrase and bring your scavenger hunt to a close.

Don't miss entering the giveaway for Donita K. Paul's book (in the blog post just previous to this one).






Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Giveaway! & Donita K. Paul discusses her new trilogy



I recently requested an interview with Donita K. Paul who is well respected for her Dragon Keeper Chronicles books. She has announced a new series and the concept was so unique that I just had to pose some questions to her.

Note: After you read the interview, please post a comment to be entered for the Christmas Giveaway!
 
Q: Lately the Christian fiction market has announced a couple new fantasy novels that are original in their concepts and well-written. Can you tell us what prompted you to write "One Realm Beyond" and what most excites you about this story?

Mrs. Paul: I’m always excited when I get to let my imagination loose. I’ve incorporated images from fantasy movies that I love. You want to know what they are? Stardust, Ella Enchanted. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Return to Oz, and Enchanted. Not that a reader would be able to pick something out of the book and trace it back to a movie, but when I watch something like those wonderful movies, sparks fly in my head. I’m visual so Pinterest is very good for me. I see pictures that make ideal portals, or stunning backdrops, or hint at character and personality. I think the thing that most excites me about this book is the changing relationship between Cantor and his dragon and between Cantor and Bixby.

As to what prompts me to write a particular story, it’s usually characters chattering inside my skull and never leaving me in peace.

Q: How long did it take you to write "One Realm Beyond"?

A: About a year. It usually takes me a year to write a fantasy. I can write a romance in two months and a picture book in about six weeks. But fantasies need time to brew in the pot. More interesting things bubble to the top if I allow time for the mixture to age. Also the sharp flavor of Christian fantasy needs to mellow. I hope my work is not didactic, and I think the time element has something to do with not coming across as proselytizing.

Q: Because you target the Christian fiction market, what is your response when people ask why you write fantasy?

A: I’ll let the greats say it for me.

G. K. Chesterton:
• Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

C.S. Lewis:
• Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
• Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.

Chesterton tells us that stories allow our imagination to conceive what we cannot physically see. In that abstract determination, we can also see how to remain upright in fighting of overwhelming obstacles.

Lewis tells us that through story we experience more than our everyday world and while engaging this literary world we discover attributes which are needed, such as courage, integrity, persistence, hope, compassion, and a host of other noble traits. Having plowed the field and planted these seeds, the story encourages our desert soul to bring forth a triumphant character.

And, Lewis also reminds us that truth can be represented in facts, (one plus one equals two) meaning is rooted in imagination (if I have one apple and you give me another, I have two apples to make an apple tart).

Q: You have become a household name with many readers. What components do you feel have made your writing career successful?

A: Well for one thing, I didn’t have anything to do but invest time in my career. The old adage
“Don’t quit your day job.” is sound advice. However, my day job kind of quit me. I had a crippling infection in my leg and couldn’t teach full time anymore, and then I couldn’t teach at all. So I was at home, driving my mother batty. (She lived with me and my two teens, or we lived with her.) She was used to having the house to herself all day. In order to protect her sanity, she ordered me to my room to write a book. I had always wanted to and now was my chance. Bless mothers! So years of being a Christian, years of reading, and obeying my mom opened the door to being an author.

Q: So many readers have loved your Dragon Keeper Chronicles. Are you finished with that storyworld, or is there a possibility you will revisit it in new books?

A: I’m afraid so. There are a couple of short stories on the website under Librettowit’s Library.
 I may write more of those, but I’ve met these other characters and we’re exploring a different world together. 

Many thanks to Mrs. Paul for answering the questions! You can learn much more about her and her books on her website www.DonitaKPaul.com 

Now, on to the Christmas giveaway. Two random comments will be selected by a random generator on the internet, and those two individuals will win one of these two items from Mrs. Paul:
1st Prize: a copy of "Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball" 

2nd Prize: a fairytale necklace (if a guy wins he can give it to a girl as a Christmas gift!)
I will announce the giveaway winners Saturday December 7th. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Monday, November 18, 2013

31 Authors and an iPad Mini giveaway!

Christmas is coming! and fellow author Brock Eastman has engineered a scavenger hunt and giveaway. Details below:

Welcome to the 31 Author Scavenger Hunt. Let’s cut to the chase. The rumors are true, you could win an iPad Mini and 31 books from your favorite authors. What did I just read? Well let me explain.
31 Authors have teamed up to provide tons of awesome prizes just in time for Christmas. There are many ways to win something. First the #31AuthorHunt. This is the big one. There are three prize packages:
Grand Prize: an iPad Mini and 31 Books (one from each of the authors)
2nd and 3rd Prizes: 31 Books (one from each of the authors)
Plus some if not all of the Author Stops will have some sort of giveaway, signed books, giftcards, gift baskets, or maybe even your name in one of their books. Who knows, but here it goes.
So get ready and mark the date 11/30 on your calendar. That’s when it all begins. One week, 31 Authors, lots of prizes! Be sure to share the love with your friends and family.
Download the Christmas Tree image and make it your facebook profile image to show your support.
See below for a list of the amazing assortment of authors you’ll learn about and who want you to win their books. Here’s who you can expect:
Brock Eastman, Alexander Marestaing, Karen Whiting, Nancy I. Sanders, Simonetta Carr, Donita K. Paul, LB Graham, Robert Treskillard, Douglas Bond, Morgan Busse, Rachel Starr Thomson, Serena Chase, Jenelle Schmidt, Amy Green, Chris Miller, Jonathan Friesen, RJ larson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Shannon Dittemore, Kerry Nietz, Jill Williamson, C.A. Beninati, J. L. Mbewe, Matt Mikalatos, DJ Edwardson, Robert Liparulo, Ronie Kendig, Heather Burch, James L. Rubart, Evan Angler, Scott Appleton, and we’re joined by Family Fiction.
A list of websites with links will be coming soon. Get started now by facebook posting, tweeting, or pinning the below text with the Christmas Tree image above:
Warm Fire. Free #Books. #Free #iPadMini. You could win by joining the #31AuthorHunt. Sorry Warm Fire not included. http://wp.me/p1qRlu-X6

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Interview with Debut Fantasy Novelist "Just B. Jordan"


Always on the lookout for a good fantasy book to read (for I consider myself a picky reader) Marcher Lord Press's feature on their new release caught my eye instantly. Never To Live by debut author Just B. Jordan (yep, a pen name, but we'll learn about that in the interview). First, here is a blurb for her novel to whet your appetites:

Imprisoned, Elwyn endures torture so horrific she drives herself insane to elude true madness. 

When she finally escapes, unless her broken mind is playing another cruel trick, she discovers she is turning into the monster she despises most of all.


If you love a good fantasy story, folks, you have got to try this one. I got the Kindle sample and now I am hooked. I am going to purchase a copy for my bookshelf.

I contacted the authoress, Jordan, and she graciously answered my interview questions. Here is the interview:

Thank you for taking my questions today! I found your novel Never to Live on Marcher Lord Press's website and my first thought was "Wow! A Christian Fantasy novel with a great cover that catches my eye!" I immediately downloaded the Kindle sample onto my iPad. Commendably, your prose is very solid and the story feels original rather than pieced together from well-known novels.

Q: What inspired you to write this story? And how long did it take you to finish the manuscript?
A: Initially it started with a scene in my head that I couldn't get off my mind, and it grew from there. I had always thought a lot about the bad life stories I heard others share and how it took forever for them to realize they didn't have to let their past shape them. Those stories stayed with me. I found myself writing that type of story into my world; a character who was told she was horrible and had horrible life experiences, yet she wanted to be something different than what she was told she would be and already was. Originally I thought this story was going to be very different from the story it became. While I was writing it, the song "Set Me Free" by Casting Crowns became some of the inspiration that shifted it to what it is now. As time went on I even started thinking of it as Never To Live's theme song.
The manuscript was finished about two and a half years after I started it. I only dabbled around with it in that first year. Most of it was written in the second year, and it was finished up in the months after that.

Q: Would you like Never to Live to be a stand-alone novel, or the beginning of a series?
A: I hope for it to be a series. I have ideas for at least 7-8 other books in this series circling around in my head. We’ll see where it goes.

Q: Why write fantasy? Did you read fantasy novels as you were growing up?
A: Actually, what I read most of growing up was historical fiction and classical literature. The fantasy novels I did read stuck with me though. I almost became obsessed with some of them. I think the reason I chose to write fantasy was because it can be so magical and unreal, and there are no boundaries to what a story can be or where it can go. The possibilities are endless. I like that.
Q: Now, the other thing that caught my eye about you was the pen name that you chose. Do you mind revealing what led to the decision to use a pen name?
A: From the time I started writing I knew I wanted to use a pen name. I didn't like the idea of my real name floating around in cyber space, I guess. I also wanted a name that would catch people’s attention and that would (hopefully) be remembered. Sadly my real name isn't very memorable, so a pen name was the way to go. I knew I still wanted to incorporate my first and middle name into it, though. One morning my mom hunted me down and said that she had woken up in the middle of the night with an idea: Just B. Jordan. (I had always been worried about being myself around people, so my mom would say “Just be Jordan!”)  The pen name uses my real name and my middle initial “B”, so I feel like it is still my name, with a twist. :) I thought it was a little odd for a pen name at first but it quickly grew on me. And it stuck.
Q: Do you plan to make writing your career?
A: I certainly hope so. :)

Q: Marcher Lord Press has been established as one of the go-to markets for Christian speculative fiction. Did you initially intend to seek out publication there? Tell us a little about your journey from writer to published author.
A: Originally my plan was to self-publish my novel. I knew my manuscript wasn't anywhere near being publishable yet, so I began looking to hire a freelance editor. I looked up lists of recommended editors and rifled through their websites. Among the dominating swarms of romance editors I found a link to Where The Map Ends. I read through some pages on the website and noticed that this guy also ran his own publishing company. I thought that was cool, but I didn't give it much thought. I was still planning on self-publishing my book. I hired Jeff for a 4 page editorial review. He came back with 17 pages and an offer for a publishing contract. At first I was going to decline the offer. I was pretty set on self-publishing. But then my gut intervened and I knew becoming a MLP author was what I should do. So here I am.
Q: What is your favorite novel (that you have read of course!)?
A: Oh dear. That's always a question I dread. I have way too many favorites! But I think I have to say it's Just David by Eleanor H. Porter. It's not a well known story and it's not a fantasy, but that book is connected to a lot of good memories for me.
Q: I have to ask the question that everyone is probably curious about: What other books are you working on that are 'in the pipeline' so to speak?
A: I have started working on a book that's in the same series as Never To Live. The MC in this one is the character named Jasper in Never To Live. His story isn’t quite what people might expect it to be. I'm really happy with how it’s turning out so far.

LEARN MORE ABOUT "NEVER TO LIVE" AT THESE LINKS:
Author's Website: http://www.justbjordan.com
Publisher's Website: http://www.MarcherLordPress.com

Facebook Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-B-Jordan/478299992225683

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diminished Christianity

I wanted to write a note of spiritual encouragement:

There are so many religions in the world and such confusion on what is morally right and wrong. Many young people of my generation have embraced the lies of the world. I find this sad, especially because we live in a time when a plethora of information is available to those who are willing to research and study out the philosophies we are encountering.

Jesus Christ is the stone over which which everyone stumbles. A short time ago I had a religious discussion with people at work. Represented were the Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, and Muslim faiths, as well as an agnostic. Everyone united on certain points, but as soon as I expressed conviction that everyone must accept Christ or suffer eternal damnation I was roundly rebuked by the other faiths.

The civilized western world grew out of the faiths that sprang from Abraham's sons. But if you accept the truth of Christ you can't avoid the fact that there is only one way to enter God's rest, and that requires repentance and faith in Christ. This is offensive to other faiths. They turn and look at us Christians with disgust. If you hold to the truth in the public workplace I am certain you know what I mean because you, too, have been in those conversations with coworkers.

But too many of us get wrapped up in the arguments as to "how we know the Bible is true" and "how we can prove it."

All we need prove is Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul stated, without the resurrection our faith is vain. The resurrection is a validated historical event, thus proving Christ's deity, which proves the authority of his teachings, and when his teachings are proven valid then the sources he referenced are valid (namely the laws of Moses the teachings of the prophets).

It is all so simple, so why is it so hard?

We are sinners and finite human beings. We don't want to accept full accountability to a holy and righteous God who must have vengeance on the wicked. And it is not our definition of wickedness that matters, it is his. He is the authority.

My advice: ignore the push for psychology and instead look for wisdom. People are hung up on the way that people are born. Well, we know that we are all born into a sinful world and we all fall into it, but we don't have to be casualties in this spiritual war. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

The Devil is alive and well, Christian. (Yes, he is). But I am guilty of neglecting that facts. He is the prince of this world, working constantly to deceive us.
Truth does not relate to the way we feel about it. It is true whether we want it to be or not.

So let's not be discouraged or go on the defensive. Remember who the enemy is. It is not the people we encounter. Our enemy is not fleshly, but spiritual.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Warm up your digital reader!

Lord Ostincair's child is waiting for you in the wild forests that grow along the Eiderveis River...
At long last Neverqueen is ready for your Kindle and Nook readers! Look for it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.

Print edition coming next!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Neverqueen will reveal...


Among the characters revealed in The Sword Of The Dragon series are three who will have appearances in the new fantasy series Neverqueen.

Enlightenment (the prophetess) is an intriguing hermit. She lives on the banks of the river Eiderveis. Previously she hosted the albino dragon's daughters and now she takes the orphaned Violet under her roof.

Besides her will be an appearance by Albino (the dragon prophet) and Patient (the shepherd).

The Neverqueen books will focus on the adventures of a new character Violet and her companion Valor. At some point in the next few years I plan to draft a Specter series as well, to expand upon the story after Key of Living Fire. More on that later!
Coming November 5th 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Introducing the dark fairy

In my upcoming novel Neverqueen a new villain enters The Sword of the Dragon story world. A dark fairy by the name of Genj.

Do you remember Hermenuedis, the Art'en wizard? If so, you will find this new entree fascinating. He was the wizard's right hand, as thoroughly corrupted as the Art'en himself. But after an absurdly long time has passed this dark creature has latched on to a new master, none other than Turser. In Swords of the Six we watched Specter slash Turser's face with the scythe blade, and now it is time to reveal Turser's later fate.

I do love creating memorable characters, and in Genj I believe I have accomplished that goal.

Look for Neverqueen to arrive on your Kindle, Nook, and in Print on November 5th!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why I love writing

Often the question is posed to me: "When do you find time to write?" or "I don't know how you can do that. I could never finish something so large."

But the truth is I love to write. It is part of my soul. If I don't write, all of my emotions bottle up and I feel trapped. My imagination and my creativity hammer at my mind telling it they need to be let loose.

I love to write because I know that after I am dead and buried future generations of readers will come to know me and my convictions. I hope to leave timeless stories that will make people think and strive to be the best they can be spiritually and to their fellows.

...That's all I have to say for now. TTFN (-:

BTW... Don't forget NOVEMBER 5th 2013 is the date for the NEVERQUEEN book release! Hardcover, nook, and kindle, with more formats to come.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The shift in American culture

In my experience in the general workplace I have found that people expect more of a Christian, even demand it. Unfortunately this also comes across as an attitude of belittlement and scoffing. I am appalled at the lack of respect for the name of Christ and for those who follow His teachings.

Don't people realize that the freedoms they enjoy in western civilization come directly from the teachings of Jesus?

They think that they can live without God. They don't need Him and He doesn't matter to them or (in their opinion) doesn't exist. I am weary of the way in which people so liberally talk about sin, treat it as if it is not wrong, and constantly belittle those who are conservative and especially those who are homeschooled.

But this is the battle that we have signed up for when we accept Christ's call to repentance and salvation. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that the cost in this life may be the companionship of those around us, alienation from society, and even sometimes humiliation. But if those things are taken in the cause of Christ they are worth enduring.

The secular work environment is rapidly degrading and so many Christians are now caught in the middle. The things we say are used against us as "non-inclusive" and the actions we take are re-interpreted as coming from selfish motivations. They want everyone to be like them so that they can feel good about themselves. They HATE their morals being questioned.

I just witnessed the filthiest conversation that I have been unfortunate enough to hear in a long time. I had to walk away because it bothered me so deeply. A few guys were swapping jokes and stories revolving around individuals being taken advantage of sexually and they really seemed to think them funny.

What has our society come to when people think those things are acceptable jests? They are hurtful and sinful.

I want to encourage my fellow Christians to stand up in the workplace, especially you men out there. The people in this country need to hear the voices of reason and righteousness that demand God be heard. But if we sit quietly by the Devil is eagerly waiting to pour in more filth and greater damnable acts. And the more we are surrounded by it, the easier it is for the world to corrupt our minds and those of our children.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A word to the wise: when you write an email...

With the advent of phone texting it seems that people everywhere have trashed well-written sentences and thoughtfully-composed emails. I recently pointed out to my wife the difference between two emails I had received. One was from an individual looking for professional advice, and the other was from a reader of my blog.

The first individual wrote in complete sentences but never capitalized and grouped all sentences into one very long paragraph. Considering that this individual was looking for my advice it would have come off far better to me if he had taken the time to make his message look professional. It is possible that he supposed it would seem less imposing and more friendly... I suppose.


On the other hand, the second individual wrote in a well-formatted manner with capitalizations. And the impression I had of this individual was that he wrote to me with great respect and consideration of my time.

Of the two individuals I would have expected the first to take the greater care with the composition of his email. He needed questions answered and I was willing to give him advice.

(Please note: I am not saying this to bash the first individual. I just want people to think about something many take for granted nowadays). In fact, I have received many other emails formatted in a similar fashion. But an email can and should reflect the nature of your attitude when you are approaching a professional.

A word to the wise: When you write an email consider how it will appear to the editor, agent, or author who is receiving it. We do notice those seemingly mundane details and they can make a world of difference in the validity of your correspondence.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why Windows 8 is frustrating

Windows used to be a practical interface for the desktop computer (which is my machine of choice). But with the introduction of Windows 8 Microsoft has earned my ire. Why?
  1. I am not a touch-screen person when it comes to my desktop or laptop experience. Win8 is all about the touch-screen experience. I do not want to be constantly cleaning my Work Machine of fingerprints and the like. I want to interface with a touchpad and/or my mouse because I am working with text for hours at a time.
  2. TOO BUSY! Win8 operates on an app-style platform, thus when I open my computer it keeps active apps updated in the background while I run other programs. But I want my computer's power dedicated solely to the programs I have instructed it to run.
  3. Swiping shortcut gestures are frustrating, to say the least! At one point I was working in three windows: Photoshop, MSWord, and Internet Explorer. Every time I swiped for a certain action in Photoshop the program would close and open the previous program because its "intuitive" system determined that is what I wanted.
  4. SIMPLER IS BETTER and Win8 is like a toy with too many buttons designed for the hobbyist, not the professional
My conclusion: if Microsoft continues in this direction they will lose my business, and if an upstart company can come up with a smart alternative to Windows they can gain the edge in this limited market. I am seriously considering downgrading to Windows 7.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Strange moments in the sentimental zone

I just had the strangest thing happen to me, well, I think it was strange. The timing was too perfect, so I think it was a God-sent test.

I grew up in a rural home in northeast Connecticut and I have always had this dream of buying back that house someday if it ever became available. Today I found out that the house is on the market for a great price. It caused a wild rage of emotion. I deeply wanted to make it happen: buy the house so that my wife and I could raise our kids in the same surroundings I so loved in my growing up years. But as many of you know, God has led my wife and I to set out Full-Timing in an RV motorhome. It seems like the timing of this was perfectly tuned to test my resolve as to what I would put first: the spiritual benefits to the lifestyle we've chosen, or settling down in a comfortable house. It was a battle for me to stick to my conviction that materialism can stand between my family and God.

But my wonderful wife (even though she was as tempted as I was by the promise of stability) reminded me of the reasons we are going to RV. I am so thankful to God for her.

Come 2015 we will be hitting the road on non-stop book tour and neither of us can wait. We have been hunting for the right RV and researching like crazy. Here is our favorite so far: 2008 Damon Astoria Bunkhouse Pacific Edition

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Neverqueen" A new series ready to begin!

That satisfied feeling I have right now is because Neverqueen the first book in the new series is finished today!


Also, the cover underwent a minor change that has made it 'pop' better. The heroine's eyes needed to be glowing. All part of the story. And a key part of the story!

Story pitch line is next and a summary to tease all the Fantasy lovers out there.

Coming November 2013!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Getting rid of it!

Clutter. We have so much of it in our lives, don't we?

In preparation for creating a mobile family lifestyle, my wife and I are de-cluttering. Really we do not have a lot of stuff, but even so it is amazing how many things we do have! (-: Does that sound conflicted?

God is glorified more the less value we place on material things. This is one reason we are excited to live out of an RV beginning in 2015 and travel the country again selling books while I speak wherever the opportunity is presented. In preparation for that we are starting to get rid of things we do not need. I sold a couple of PC games for $10 and that modest amount is the start of our "RV Fund." I also have a violin to sell and a loveseat. We are going to digitize my very large movie collection, so I will sell the DVDs, too. I am even going to make a valiant attempt to get rid of a large number of my books, but we'll see how that goes.

I am excited about this. I place a lot more value in my possessions than I like to admit. Some of these things are gods in my life, and God will only bless as we seek to follow His will in our lives. We want to turn away from the material to better focus on connecting to God and the world around us.

BTW, we watched the movie "RV" last night (Robin Williams). Yep, that was a funny movie!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The G-word

Our culture thinks it is becoming so good. After all, it will no longer tolerate racial slurs. Yep, I am thinking of Paula Deen. A lawsuit because she used the n-word. That is good, right? It means that people are becoming more ethical. The US is becoming a tolerant culture that does not discriminate.

Let me point out one sad fact: I have never heard of a lawsuit over someone using the name of God in vain, and I have never heard of one in association with the blaspheming of the holy name of Jesus Christ.

The other day at work I was utterly horrified to hear an employee combine a crude word with the name of Jesus Christ. It sank so ugly deep into my gut that I immediately confronted the individual. But the sad thing is, I don't think they fully realized what they had done even after they apologized to me for using those words.

Our culture has backslidden so far that even many professing Christians think nothing of using OMG in their vocabulary.

We need to stand up for the name of God and the name of Jesus Christ for what they are: Holy and Sacred. Do not desecrate the very name that has given you hope of salvation! Do not stand by and let those around you think that it is ok to use those names in derogatory, offensive, or crude manners. Stand up to the fallen world around you! Let them see the light of Christ with patience and authority.

"... the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is a discerning reader?

"A story for discerning readers." This was something that I wrote as part of the original marketing material for my first novel. In my mind I was trying to catch the eyes of conservative Christians who should "discern" that my book was wholesome. However, many people were confused by that phrase and, in fact, took it to mean that my novel contained material not suitable for many readers... So I disposed of that marketing line in favor of a more simple approach! But to this day I still am creating books for discerning readers.

While it is not possible have an ideal human culture in this present world, I like to look for the things in life that better our society and make us better human beings. We can and we should strive to become the godly culture that leads people toward high ideals of justice, love, and commitment.

That is part of why I write fantasy novels. I can create characters that stand up for what is right no matter the cost to themselves and show the contrast of those who make wrong choices and follow the wrong ideals. Sadly I often fail to meet that ideal in my personal life but I have discovered that the more I look up to those who are stronger than I am spiritually, the better a person I become. And the more I participate in the culture of worldliness when I am away from home, the more I despise that culture and the person it pushes me to become.

The old testament prophets stood out as examples to the people to whom they ministered and led them to desire righteousness. Today we need more than ever to glorify the pursuit of righteousness. Think on those things that are good and noble.

So here is my encouragement to readers everywhere, and to the other writers out there: Put forth the good stories, challenge yourselves with righteous characters, and learn to discern the bad from the good. Do not accept everything at face value; instead analyze the books you read and the entertainment you watch. Do not always drink only the milk, but eat the meat as well. There is right and there is wrong in all of our entertainment, and that is the way it needs to be... so that we can be intelligent in our approach to this Ever Fallen World.

For parents: consider that if you are not teaching your children about the Wrongs in this world, the people in the world will. So teach them to discern with a godly understanding. The world is waiting for your children and it is adept at taking the naïve mind and twisting it toward the devil's path with promises of pleasure. Show them those pleasures for the superficial things they are and the eternal consequences they bring.

Thoughts anyone?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

God's crazy plan!

My wife and I have struggled the last several months to determine exactly what kind of lifestyle we want to lead in the coming years. We have looked into buying a house up here in Connecticut, buying down in North Carolina, renting in either of those states, and hitting the road full-time in an RV motorhome.

We feel strongly that I need to be around the kids a lot more as they are growing up, instead of being away from home five days a week at an hourly job. Also I find great spiritual fulfillment in sharing my books with people all over the country and I have been unable to do that for the last year.

God has laid it on our hearts to hit the road again in another year, maybe two. That way Daddy's career can involve the kids and my wife. They can learn business practices and logistics alongside of me, see new places, meet fascinating people.

This will also be the best move for my writing career. We can hardly wait! But this will take time to prepare for. We need to slim down our worldly possessions and pick the RV that will work best for our lifestyle and our budget (they are not cheap). So if you want to meet me on the road, just wait a little while... I'm coming! (-:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Have you ever watched Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn? In my opinion it is one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made. The heroes and the villain are original and fantastic in their roles.

...But that is an older movie and a new generation is making its attempt "To explore new worlds and new civilizations... To bravely go where no man has gone before."

Enter this year's theatrical release, (unlike its predecessor) Into Darkness was stellar! The cast did a phenomenal job and the story was a clever re-imagining of Kahn. They inserted a lot of elements that only Trekkies would pick up on, and I enjoyed that, too! I won't give any spoilers but I felt it was worth recommending this film. I am definitely getting a copy of this on DVD.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cloud Atlas... Changing the face of mortality

Having come down with a cold yesterday I had trouble sleeping last night, so I used some iTunes money to purchase the relatively new sci-fi that I have heard very little about: Cloud Atlas. I was curious, as the previews looked intriguing and I knew that it had been made by the Matrix trilogy masters.

Visually, this movie is stunning. The special effects truly dazzled, especially in the looks in the world of the future.

Plot-wise, however, it seriously lacked and contained what seemed to be major omissions and errors. And I must say that I was unpleasantly surprised by some of the more adult content. Do not show this to your teen! I was expecting an original sci-fi classic with perhaps a few liberal characters, but instead the film was awash in anti-traditional messages.

The main characters appear to be reincarnating. They lived in the past, they live in the present, they will live in the future. In this storyworld mankind is immortal, and not (it would appear) in spirit only, but in body as well. We see each of the main characters in the same body in each era of time. This is particularly noticeable in Halle Berry's character as little changes other than her wardrobe.

At one point a character is asked if they believe in God. The character deflects the question by stating a belief that love continues forever, for she loved, loves, and will love the same man. Her answers leave you believing that she expects to see him after death and not in a place of eternity, but back in a temporal existence. Humankind are corrupt gods in this film. There are no eternal consequences to their good deeds or their evil outside of passing into the next life.

A large part of the film is devoted to a gay man whose life is truly tragic in that his only happiness seems to be found in his lover.

Cloud Atlas shows a life without God, without the moral strength of a people that are accountable to their creator. Unapologetic, it shows a never ending cycle of humankind in their depraved condition. The heroes are those who are able to look past their own meaningless existence and accept death as one step on their endless journey.

I could not help but feel as I watched this film that the producers are only showing the mindset that they themselves believe along with a large portion of the world. They want no accountability to God, therefore their "morality" becomes a farce. Instead of advancing Civilization (by the only means Civilization has advanced through history, which is Christianity), instead of recognizing that we are degressing into a modern-day Rome where all kinds of sin are accepted (homosexuality, infanticide, abortion, polygamy, etc.) the makers of this film make this present world their Utopia.

Would I recommend this film? No. But I will say that it paints an accurate picture of how people without God are now viewing the world around them, and the hopelessness of their philosophies. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oz The Great And Powerful: who stole the show?

Visually charming and clever in an odd sort of way, Oz The Great And Powerful nevertheless lacks in several key areas. After his powerful performance in the Spiderman trilogy (in my estimation anyways) he fell short in his new role as Oz. Instead of running the "show" he played second fiddle to a secondary character: the china doll! This movie is definitely worth a watch. There are slow-moving scenes created exclusively for the movie-goer's 3d experience, and chunks of misplaced humor, but the plot is sound and the finale offered originality.
*****

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stumble and fall, but rise again

Doesn't it often seem that just when life is rolling in a direction that you can predict and control, it gets knocked off kilter by something unexpected? I know it does for me.
Recently I received majorly disappointing news from my publishing sources. Due to financial difficulties the publishing house had decided not to go forward with a contract.
I found myself really knocked low by this news until I knocked some sense into my head and realized that I should not give up after the first disappointment. After all, that has been a great part of my success in these last few years; I don't give up on my dreams, I look for new avenues or angles by which to attain them.
So I recently approached my publisher with an offer that I think will be difficult for them to refuse. God willing we can move forward as if nothing ever happened.
I say all of this to encourage anyone out there, especially authors struggling in these hard times. Don't give up! We were created to be creative. Think creatively and get yourself out of that self-pity box. Praise God for the good in your life, and then be encouraged by any and all past successes that you've had. Because someday, you will see new successes... that is, if you persevere.
If you stumble. Rise again!

WELCOME TO THE WRITING SITE OF SCOTT APPLETON

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.