Pray to the Shadowman; Part 3


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Been working on the story again and I keep thinking this thing over and over. Charlie and I are having the same thoughts. We know how well a story can really get into our lives and become very real to us. I just hope that this one doesn’t affect us in a bad way.  I hope you enjoy the excerpt and please feel free to leave feedback. Thank you!

All excerpts from Pray to the Shadow-man, copyright 2015 by Wendy Siefken

How do you stop something not borne of flesh and blood but of thought, need and prayer? 

A shrill scream from a child from down below sent John and Dan racing back down the stairs to find the locked door now open and police officers backing out of the room. John pressed forward until he stood in front of everyone and froze. A young boy lay tied to the bed in the middle of the room. His small frame showed malnutrition and wounds from his restraints. It was obvious by the smell he had been tied to the bed for several days.  Right now, he was screaming staring with terrified eyes at the men gathered at the door. Continue reading

Fear the Walking Dead episode 4


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This weeks episode of Fear the Walking Dead opens with Chris up on the roof recording with his camera what has been happening to the city around them. The burning of houses, the putting up of the fence to keep them all safe. The military taking over their area and doling out rations to each family who are considered the “Lucky ones” to be living in the safe zone. It’s been 9 days since the military arrived and still no more medicines, no steady electricity and no outside news or contact. He sees a reflection from a house outside  in the dead zone.  Continue reading

Pray to the Shadow-man.


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Well, here is the next portion of our story that we are working on. I hope you like it.

All excerpts from Pray to the Shadow-man, copyright 2015 by Wendy Siefken

Six months later,

Detective John Casey stood in the middle of the living room looking over the gruesome scene. A chair sat in the middle with what was left of an adult torso while body parts were scattered around the room from floor to ceiling. The torso showed signs of torture like cuts, burns, whipping, and others he couldn’t quite identify just by looking at them. It looked like every one of them were inflicted antemortem. The police and techs were going over every inch of the house trying to find out who the victim was and why he died like this.

“We need to find out who owns this house and who this might be.” He motioned to the corpse. Looking over at the new rookie he said, “Rick, why don’t you run down the information for us. The letters in the foyer were addressed to several different people; we need to nail this down.” John said.

“Yes Sir, I am glad to get on that.” Rick turned to the door, looking a little green.

A call came over the radio, “John, you need to come up to the third floor in the attic.”

John headed to the stairs as another rookie came charging down with a hand over his mouth.

“Don’t contaminate the crime scene!” John yelled after him. He shook his head as once again he started up the stairs. The stairway was wide and carpeted with what had once been a luxurious red runner held in place with a brass rod now tarnished and faded. The hand railing was a dark mahogany that had seen better days. The house at one time had been a grand place but had now fallen into disrepair. Reaching the second floor landing he walked down a hallway looking at the police as they went about their work collecting evidence. In the first room he came to a detective was putting C.D.s into an evidence bag with a T.V. and a blue ray player. Techs were dusting for fingerprints everywhere, on doorknobs, dressers, bed railings and anywhere that a hand may have touched a surface. The next room he passed was dark inside due to the windows covered with what looked like tinfoil. A flashlight shone around illuminating pictures taped to a wall next to a bed.

He passed a bathroom where items were being placed into an evidence bag from the medicine chest as well as the counter tops. There were two other doors across the hallway, one room held chains and hooks as well as other shiny metal items that John didn’t want to contemplate right now. The last door was locked with several keyed deadbolts and a master padlock. A tech kneeled in front of the door with his lock picking kit laying open. A sign on the door read “Favorite”.

Shaking his head, he finally reached the stairs leading up to the attic. A smell of mothballs and rotting flesh assaulted his nostrils as he placed his foot on the first step. Bracing his hand on the wall a moment, the odor alone told him, it was going to be bad. John reached the top step where he paused long enough to pull out a handkerchief to cover his nose and mouth. A stocky man stood by a doorway leading into a room. John looked around and could see several doors leading into rooms with the stairway being the central spot.

“Jesus Dan, it smells horrible up here! It must be a hundred and twenty degrees up here to boot!” John said.

“Through here John, brace yourself; it’s a regular chamber of friggin horrors up here.” Dan said as he led John into the first room.

A table sat in the middle of the room with decorations for what looked like a birthday party with six chairs sitting around it. In the chairs were six little bodies posed in different positions and different stages of decomposition. The warm dry air had mummified them, forever freezing them like a picture from a nightmarish postcard. It was very evident even to John that these children had been tortured before they died.

“There are two more rooms like this one up here. Each staged with six little bodies.” Dan said with disgust.

“What kind of place is this? How is it we have never known about it?” John said as he bent down looking at one of the bodies and continued. “I’ve been a cop for over ten years and you Dan, for what like fifteen?”

Dan shook his head, just as puzzled, “None of this makes any sense.” Dan said.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Fear the Walking Dead; Premiere episode


Nick sees Gloria

The show has arrived! finally in all it’s glory we feasted on the excitement and the drama that can only be associated with Robert Kirkman and the whole crew’s brilliant genius! If you haven’t seen the show, please stop reading now. MASSIVE spoilers ahead. O.k you have been warned.

The first show starts with Nick (played by Frank Dillane) waking up from a heroin induced sleep looking for Gloria Continue reading

Fear the Walking Dead, Part 6


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The first of August has finally arrived and with it the ever plodding along of days until we can finally watch the first episode of “Fear the Walking Dead.” There still really isn’t any new information about what is to come other than a few comments from the directors saying it will fill in the gap of when Rick was in a coma. We already knew that part of it. They are calling it a “Live and not die in L.A.” type existence for the first few episodes.

Continue reading

Fear the Walking Dead, Part 5


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Slowly, ever so slowly the weeks are slipping by and only four remain until that lovely night we have been awaiting for to arrive! When the premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead” will air and millions of people across the world will be tuning into watch and see if the spinoff will be wildly successful or not. The sneak peaks and news has dwindled to almost nil these last couple of weeks. There haven’t been any more new sneak peeks or still photo’s from the show. Continue reading

Fear the Walking Dead, Part 4


Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris and Cliff Curtis as Travis - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris and Cliff Curtis as Travis – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

The Cast of characters have been set and now it is time to discuss who will be playing the main characters. Plus since there are no new videos showing any more sneak peaks, because, hey, too much will give it all away! We should discuss the cast of characters and take guesses on what we see for them in the show. So let us begin with the male Character of;

Cliff Curtis

Cliff Curtis who plays Travis Manawa, a high school English teacher, Madison’s fiance and a divorced teacher who shares custody of his son Chris with ex-wife Liza,  is a native New Zealand born actor who has been in several movies such as  Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors, Blow, and The Dark Horse. His television roles include NBC series Trauma, and Body of Proof, and starring in ABC’s Missing. He has played both Latin and Arabic characters in his career. I have seen him on the show Trauma as the character Reuben “Rabbit” Palchuck. I really related to his character as he played an emt who had a traumatic childhood. Cliff plays, in my opinion, strong characters who most people wouldn’t suspect of having the depth that he does. He may not be Clint Eastwood strong or Mel Gibson strong but I definitely see a quiet strength and determination that I feel will be a blend of Rick and Morgan from the original show, The Walking Dead. He has a petulant son who defies him, just as Carl does at times with Rick. Cliff’s character Travis will have his work cut out for him in keeping his blended family together in the crumbling world around him. 

Kim Dickens

Kim Dickens who plays Madison Clark, a high school guidance counselor and is the single mother of Alicia and Nick. Kim is an American actress who is best known for her roles in the HBO dramas Deadwood (2004–06) and Treme (2010–13). Dickens also had supporting roles in films Mercury Rising (1998), Hollow Man (2000),House of Sand and Fog (2003), The Blind Side (2009), and Gone Girl (2014). Madison has had her “Flu shot” so continues to attend her duties as a guidance counselor. She has the tough job of keeping the kids from getting scared and spreading potentially false rumors, and keeping everyone calm as the world seems to fall apart around them. I see a possible blend of Lori and Andrea in her character Madison. It will be interesting to see.

Frank Dillane

Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, Madison’s college-flunk out son who is battling a drug problem. Frank Dillane is an English actor, known for playing Owen Coffin in In the Heart of the Sea and Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This young man  has grown so much since his days on the Harry Potter Franchise as young Tom Riddle. He has changed and seems to have immersed himself in the character wholeheartedly. He is a stereotypical  blend of young college dropout with a drug problem and  one of the first to see the feeding frenzy going on at the drug house. His character Nick, has a lot of developing to go through during the show, what with trying to get people to believe what he saw and also go through drug withdrawals as they begin the fight for their lives.

Alycia debnam Carey

Alycia Debnam – Carey who plays  Alicia Clark, Madison’s high-achieving and ambitious daughter who is in a relationship with her jock boyfriend Matt. She is able to read situations well and often finds herself at odds with Nick due to his unmotivated nature. Alycia is an Australian actress. She is best known for her roles in the 2014 films Into the Storm and The Devil’s Hand.[3] Debnam-Carey is also known for her current portrayal of “Lexa” in The CW series, The 100. Alycia’s character is the opposite of Nick in that she is an over achiever looking for solutions. I see her as a wonderful blend of Beth and Maggie. She has a quiet strength and determination that Beth seemed to lack at times but Maggie had in spades. It will be interesting to see her character development as well going from someone who knows the rules to living on the run and off the grid so to speak.  

Elizabeth Rodruiquez

Elizabeth Rodriquez as Liza, Travis’s ex-wife and mother to their son Chris. A free-spirited bohemian type, she is attempting to rebound from her disastrous marriage. She is in nursing school. Elizabeth is an American actress. She received a Tony Award nomination, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award, as well as a Theatre World Award, for her performance in Stephen Adly Guirgis 2011 play on Broadway, The Motherf*cker with the Hat. Rodriguez is best known for her role as Aleida Diaz in the Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black (2013–present). Elizabeth’s Character Liza will definitely be of great use  with her nursing skills in the coming apocalypse. She is a woman who already has a lot on her plate and is about to be overloaded with even more bad news when her son Chris, seems to be swallowed up by the chaos that ensues. Will she have the strength to carry on like Michonne? Only time will tell.

Ruben Blades

Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, Ofelia’s father. He is a barber that moves his family to LA from a different culture decades ago to start fresh. Ruben is a Panamanian salsa singer, songwriter, actor, Latin jazz musician, and activist, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres. Ruben is a true heavy hitter with the star power in that he has appeared in many movies and television shows spanning a career since 1983. He is a world renowned Latin Jazz singer, who has been active since 1968 in the music industry. Ruben’s Character Daniel is a force to be reckoned with. He has a quiet strength who will stand by his family and defend his own. Reluctantly he accepts Travis’s family during the fallout but make no mistake. He will protect his own.

Mercedes Mason

Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar, born and raised in the U.S. and protective of her immigrant parents. Mercedes is sometimes credited as Mercedes Masohn, is a Swedish American actress known for playing the role of Zondra in the American television series Chuck and the role of Isabel Zambada[3][4] in the American procedural drama The Finder.[5] She starred in the 2011 American horror film Quarantine 2: Terminal. She played Louise Leonard in the 2012–13 American supernatural drama 666 Park Avenue. Mercedes character Ofelia, is another with a strong familial protective side to her. It will be interesting to see who will help keep this main group of characters together as the show progresses beyond the first show. Could she be a love interest for Chris or Nick? Or will she become a strong independent woman who looks for more character and strength in her partner than what the two young men show at the beginning.

Lorenzo James Henrie

Lorenzo James Henrie who plays Chris Manawa, Travis and Liza’s son, who resents his father for their divorce. Lorenzo is an actor, known for Star Trek(2009), Almost Kings (2010) and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Lorenzo’s character Chris looks like, in the beginning, that he gets swallowed up by the crowd and is lost in a sea of chaos. It is very plain in the previews that Chris resents his dad for the divorce and leaving both him and his mother to start a new family with Madison and her kids. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how the teenage and young adult kids work out their differences to work together for survival.

There you have it, the main characters that are to be seen during the first season of the show. Who will survive and who will thrive in the newly developing world. I am looking forward to this show and have high hopes that it will be able to catapult itself into the cult status that The Walking Dead has become. With many awaiting with baited breath, (pun intended) for the sound of walkers to fill the screen and a refreshing look at the collapse of a large city like Los Angeles. What are your thoughts and do you think it will be a hit or a miss?

Fear the Walking Dead, part 3


This week we have finally, finally gotten a date for the new show “Fear the Walking Dead”! Cassidy Frazee called it saying the show would start on August 23rd! Cassidy has been writing for Rachel Tsoumbakos and giving his insight to the show “Humans”. So our hats are off to Cassidy for calling this one and being absolutely correct! The weeks are counting down rather quickly and with each new preview we get to see a bit more of the big picture. We even get to see a couple of walkers munching away!

I like how it shows everything falling apart and the descent into the madness that Rick and the gang have been living in for the past 6 years. It will be interesting to see who the core actors are who manage to survive season after season. I saw a brief glimpse of the principal of the school and it doesn’t look like he makes it to the second show. That, however, remains to be seen on August 23rd. I know I am looking forward to how they will spin the whole falling apart and am greatly interested to see if any people group together to help each other out for the greater good or if it is basically every man or woman for themselves.

It will be interesting to see how fast the scenery changes as well around the characters. Will it take quite awhile to have things start reverting back to nature or will people struggle to continue their lives as they knew it before, basically struggle to stay in denial. I see portions of the show that almost make you want to scream at the t.v. Nick is telling the truth about what he saw in that druggie house! The kid, Tobias, is on to something teach, you better listen! We all know how much the government always tells us the truth as well. Will the kids adapt faster than the adults? Up until now we have really only had Carl to base our reactions on and how he has adapted. Will the new teens with family struggles with newly joined families be able to cope better than the parents?

What questions do you have about the new show? What do you see as a big difference from the original show, “The Walking Dead.” The biggest question I have, will Chris Hardwick be doing a Fear the Talking Dead after the show? What do you think?

Fear the Walking Dead, part 2


This past week went way to fast for my liking. Once again I am here to give you new updates on new teaser trailers for the upcoming show, “Fear the Walking Dead.” There is one out about a soccer mom who is shutting a van door and in the reflection you see a walker, but unfortunately you had to be watching Humans to see it! The teasers for this show have been described by many  as vastly different than the Walking Dead premier teasers. Fear the Walking Dead is full of sunshine and light along with color and beautiful who are clean, showered and well groomed. The walking dead was dark and dreary and had a heavy, foreboding feeling to it.

The one thing I have noticed is that the scenes that are shown are so tightly closed in on the particular shot that you almost feel like pushing the boundaries of the shot and seeing what is the bigger picture. What is just out of sight of the camera that could be dangerous or a walker just out of sight. These kinds of shots that are in movies or tv shows tend to frustrate me because I can’t see what they are afraid of or what they should be running from. So I seriously hope they don’t do that all the way through the new show.

I have been very lucky to be one of the fans of the Walking Dead and get a chance to see Michael Cudlitz at Comic Con this year in Des Moines. The Wizarding Worlds Comic Con is set to come back next year to Des Moines as well and I look forward to possibly getting to meet some of the cast of the new show “Fear the Walking Dead” as well.

Still no word as to the actual date of when the show will start in August. I do hope they come up with a date soon so we can count down the days until it starts and get our recorders set to record it. You know we are going to want to watch the premier a couple of times before the second one even airs.

In this show it is said the walkers will be all freshly turned so we will get to see just how fresh they will be making them in costuming. In The Walking Dead they have had to keep aging the walkers and showing more decomposition where “Fear the Walking Dead” will have all newly dead people. I really do love the costuming aspect of it and see the creativity they come up with to keep the shows fresh and your attention on the detail.

Well that wraps it up for this week, I hope everyone has a wonderful week and watch out for new trailers to be released!

What questions, thoughts or ideas do you have about the show? Post your comments on what you would like to see as well below.

Fear the Walking Dead


This show is set to air in August sometime. We don’t have a concrete date yet but I wanted to give some insight to what I think the show will be like. I am a huge fan of the original show The Walking Dead and have mixed feelings about whether or not it will live up to its predecessor. The previews so far have been pretty minimal and leave a lot to the imagination. The cast of characters are shaping up to be some pretty good characters with actors such as Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, and Frank Dillane.

The story settings are completely different from the Walking Dead in that it takes place in Los Angeles where it is as different from Atlanta, Georgia as Iowa is from Hawaii.Los Angeles has a landscape that just goes on and on with one city running into another for miles.

The interesting thing I find even in my research of the cast of characters and their jobs in real life or their skill sets, none of them so far are survivalists in the apocalyptic sense. No Dooms day preppers or wilderness survivalists, just ordinary teachers, students and such. There is one military person who will have a recurring spot on the show but not even that guarantees a good set of survival skills. I like how they take the ordinary people, like you and I, who have not prepared for this type of situation and throw them in there and just wait to see if they can survive it. The people chosen to tell the story give a wide variety of opinions from “The Government would tell us the truth” to  “It’s just the flu, right?” It will be interesting to see what finally happened in the days following Rick Grime’s shooting until he awoke. Finally we will get to see how things got so bad. For now, we see people who are safe in their normal everyday lives with just a hint of what might be coming just over the horizon.

I sincerely hope that Fear the Walking Dead lives up to its predecessor, The Walking Dead. Maybe that is why they are holding previews to a bare minimum in case it doesn’t get received as well. Time and opinions will tell.

I will be doing a weekly blog update as more previews show and a set air date arrives. I look forward to your comments and questions and I will do my best to answer them.

A new start to our publishing!


We have been going to fairs and book signings this year and have really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people of Iowa! IMG_20141025_103704

We have been to several places and even started selling cookies and baked goods for my daughter! We have three books completed and published with two more in the wings. Kai’s Journey 3, A home at last should be done by Christmas. We already have pre orders for it and I’m excited to get them shipped out.

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We have come a long way since just having a presence on line. I still think the online presence is very important but it is also important to have one where you get to meet people face to face. Talk to them and give them a chance to get to know who you are as an author. It has been a busy time with attending classes and keeping up with finding places to vendor and do book signings at as well but I am really enjoying the whole experience! 0928141235

We have also taken pictures of other people at different events to showcase authors as well as other vendors at the different events. What a way to get a chance to help support different causes, different towns and charities around your area. It’s a great way to give back and get involved with people around you. I hope you all enjoy the pictures, more to come in future posts. We are also signed up for NaNoWriMo as well to help push the finish up of book 3. Stay tuned!

90 sites to advertise your book


going to have to check with my own list to see how it compares.

James Calbraith

kindle

As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her!🙂 she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of updating this on April 17th 2016, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

Don’t forget you can also promote your tweets and Facebook posts on Twitter and Facebook, though that is known to be not very effective unless you know…

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Reestablishing a Writing Routine


I need to re-establish my writing routine for sure.

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

We go through great changes in our lives. It’s frankly inevitable. In fact, I remember someone telling me once in high school that in a twenty-five year period, it was likely that we would change our city/town, home, job, education status, socioeconomic status, political party, religion, and/or a whole bunch of other stuff. And when that happens, writing routines established over time and perhaps uninterrupted for years, are suddenly thrown out the window. And then where are you?

A couple of months ago, I moved into a new apartment so I could start a new job after a job search that lasted several months. Now, prior to this move, I would’ve said to anyone who asked that I didn’t really have a writing routine, that I just wrote wherever I could. Well, that is kind of true, because I do tend to write whenever I can if it’s convenient for…

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Plotting, Planning, And Outlining.


Holly Evans

NaNoWriMo Prep a guide to outlining

If you’re reading this, you’re probably getting ready to embark on the amazing adventure that is NaNoWriMo!

That’s fantastic, I adore NaNoWriMo, the atmosphere is addictive, it’s such a buzz.

You’ve probably been told that your best chance of succeeding at NaNoWriMo is to have at least some basic idea of a plot before you dive in. I’ve got to be honest, I agree. Now don’t get me wrong, pantsers have and do win NaNoWriMo! I’ve done it myself. It is easier if you have some form of a plan though.

Outlining is a huge topic, there are so many methods, and this is the quick guide. I’m going to break it down into the broad strokes, starting with the simplest most bare-boned outline, and going more and more indepth from there.

The very barest of outlines. 

The very barest outline, to my mind at least, is going to be…

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You Need Mini-Goals to Write Your Novel – Guest Post…


Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

33548399 - graphical presentation of the working process in five steps with puzzle elementsSource: Free to use image Copyright shalom3 123RF Stock Photo

You are ready to go. You have always wanted to write a novel and can’t wait to get started. You will be producing at least eighty thousand carefully crafted words. It is an enormous challenge and we all have busy lives. That is why so many people start to write a novel but never finish.

Now for some very simple mathematics. Write down your goal and decide how many words you might be able to write each week. Make it realistic, remembering that your family and job may still take up much of your time. Don’t aim to go without sleep, sacrifice exercise or neglect your loved ones.

Work out how long it will you take to reach your goal. That is your finish line, but the race is long and slow and can be frustrating. How can you stay…

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