- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.UVsgb4Gv.dpuf Erin's Alter Ego Writes Books

Monday 20 January 2014

Dreams do come true - I'm headed to UtopYA Con!!

A few days before Christmas, I got an awesome Christmas present from Toni at My Book Addiction - I won the VIP package to UtopYA Con in June!! This means that I'll get to meet authors, bloggers, readers, and more all in the same place. I can't wait to meet everyone and get inspired.

Needless to say, this was me when I found out:

Hopefully this means that 2014 will be an awesome year. I can feel it in my bones.

My thoughts about UtopYA are on My Book Addiction today. Check them out.

I'm still in the process of landing a day job and finding out where Chris and I are going to be in a more permanent situation, meaning that writing and social media-ing has been a bit slower. It will get better once I can get home from work and just write.

Just bear with me. My resolutions will come true. Just like dreams can come true too.

xErin Hayes

Wednesday 1 January 2014

New Year, New Stuff, NEW GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey everyone!

Yes, I've been absolutely terrible about keeping everything up to date. We've moved back from New Zealand to the US mid-December and it's been all-go since then. I've just now been able to sit down and get some things done. Even Christmas wasn't relaxing - we were out skiing in New Mexico! No rest for the weary, right?

It's made me think about what I want to achieve in 2014. Here's what I'm planning on working on next year as far as my work as an author:

- Write 2 books, release 3 (one's in editing at the moment)
- Focus on writing better
- Be more active on social networks

SO...with that last one, I'm running a giveaway that I promised a few weeks ago. You could win a signed copy of Death is but a Dream with a bottlecap bookmark from the lovely Mayra's Dazzling Designs or a copy of Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average with it's ALL NEW COVER from Whit&Ware along with a keychain from Mayra.

Get to it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a signed copy of Death is but a Dream and a bookmark!!

Or win a signed copy of Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average and a keychain!!

Thank you so much for reading! Happy 2014 everyone!!

xErin Hayes

Friday 6 December 2013

Another short story for you. :)

I enter in some writing competitions just to keep my mind fresh and stretch it in ways that I don't usually get to do. Sometimes, just adding certain parameters and restrictions lets you run in an entirely unexpected way and the results are fun. I enjoy it immensely. And I post them here for you to read. I'm thinking about compiling them into an ebook, just so you can have all of the stories in one place.

The latest story is for the NYC Midnight 2013 Flash Fiction Challenge Round #2. This time, I was able to get first place for the first round (posted here) and I got first place for the short story below. The brief? Write a 1,000 word short story in 48 hours that is a fantasy, set at a train station, and featuring a bottle of wine. You can interpret it anyway you want.

I really enjoyed writing it. Actually, it's probably one of my favorite short stories I've written for this competition. And I hope you enjoy reading it.

The Land of Snollygolly

 Though he had spent every night of the last ten years at the train station, no one had ever paid attention to the old man. Maybe it was because his clothes were in tatters. Or maybe it was because he smelled of sweat and alcohol. For whatever reason, he was invisible to the rest of the world.
“Myrtle always made sure that I wasn't lonely,” he would mumble to no one in particular. “Myrtle loved me.”
One night, while clutching a bottle of wine in a paper bag, he fell asleep while the trains came in and left. People boarded them and got off. No one disturbed the old man.
He woke up some time later to find the train station completely empty. All the lights were off except for the lone bulb above his bench. He peered around, unable to find another soul. In fact, the station was so dark, it seemed that he couldn't see more than than ten feet from the bench.
“Strange,” he murmured to himself. He took another swig of the wine. It was okay; he still had over half a bottle to keep him company.
After a few minutes, a beagle walked in and sat beside him on the bench, not on the floor as normal dogs would. The old man scrutinized the dog as the dog watched him. He found it more strange that the dog was paying attention to him than the fact that the dog was sitting on the bench like any human would. What's more, he couldn't shake the feeling that he'd seen this dog before.
“You lost, fella?” he asked.
“Nope,” the dog said. “I'm just waiting for my train.”
Surprised, the man blinked. What did you talk about when you were talking to a dog? He didn't know. He just knew was that he was curious. “Where ya headed, fella?”
“I'm on my way to the Land of Snollygolly.” The dog looked up at the man. “The train should be arriving any minute.”
The man took another drink of his wine bottle. “What's in the Land of Snollygolly? I ain't ever heard of it.”
The dog gave a bark of laughter. “Only the most magnificent mountains!” He spread his front paws wide. “And purple canyons so deep, you can't see the bottom. There's unicorns and dragons and more. And there's every kind of candy imaginable just waiting to be eaten.”
The old man gave a toothless grin. “Like Whoopsie Rolls?” That was his favorite candy when he was younger. He sometimes dreamed about that candy.
The dog nodded sagely. “It grows on trees there! You can just pluck it off and eat it.”
“Mmm,” the old man agreed. He took another drink of his wine. It certainly didn't taste like the Whoopsie Rolls of his youth. But it at least it filled a hole.
“But that's not all,” the dog continued, getting more and more animated. “They have the most magnificent feasts waiting for you! You just wish for what you want to eat, and faeries whip it up and deliver it to you.”
“Really?” the old man asked with a chuckle. “Anything I want?”
“Yep,” the dog said. “Anything.”
“Like the pecan pies Mother used to make?” The old man's mother was a master of making pies. Pecan pies were her specialty. She had died when he was little, taking her recipes with her. He hadn't been able to find anything close his entire life. He would give anything to have a slice of one of those pies again.
“Just the ones,” the dog said. “But I haven't gotten to the best part.”
“The best part?” The old man was certainly intrigued now.
“The people there. They're the nicest people ever. Whatever you're doing, they'll give you a belly rub.”
The old man took another drink of his wine. “I don't think they'll give an old man like me belly rubs,” he admitted. He looked down at his own belly which wasn't as fit as it used to be. He'd had far too many bottles of wine.
The dog shook his head. “In the Land of Snollygolly, they give everyone belly rubs.”
“That does sound like an amazing, magical place,” the old man said. “I wish I could go there.”
“You should go there, Charles,” the dog insisted. “It's all ready for you.”
It took the man a few seconds to realize that the dog had called him by name. No one had called him by his name in years. He had become nameless, one of the many homeless people in the city. Suddenly, from the cobwebs of his memory, he recognized the brown spots on the dog.
“Nemo?” the man asked incredulously. He reached out and ruffled the dog's ears. “Nemo is that you? Why, it's been...”
Nemo gave him a doggy grin. “It's been over thirty years, Charles,” he said.
The man took another drink of his wine. It was nearly empty. “Wow,” he murmured. He put a hand to his forehead. “I hadn't realized it'd been so long...”
Nemo nodded. Somewhere in the distance, a train sounded. “It has been too long, Charles. And Myrtle's waiting for you.”
Charles couldn't believe his ears. “Myrtle?” he asked. “Myrtle's been waiting for me?”
“Yep,” Nemo said. “And she wants to give you a belly rub. Or is it a kiss? That's what humans do, right?”
Charles laughed. He looked at his bottle of wine. It was a pinot noir, Myrtle's favorite kind of wine. When she died, he took to drinking it to remember her by. But if she was waiting for him in this Land of Snollygolly, suddenly the wine didn't seem so appealing.
The train pulled up to the platform.
Nemo got up and looked back at the man. “Are you coming?” he asked.
Charles straightened his jacket and smoothed out his thinning hair. He stood up, leaving the bottle of wine on the bench, forgotten in his elation. “Yep,” he said. “I'm coming.”

Monday 2 December 2013

Where the hades did Plutus come from?

Hey everyone!

So the Death is but a Dream blog tour is over, but there are just under two days for the giveaway. So make sure you get those entries in. Again, thank you so much to all the bloggers who participated and to Xpresso Book Tours The thing I'm most excited about is all the new likers of my Author Page on Facebook. *waves*

SO. The big question everyone had while reading DIBAD is where the hades did the Greek God Plutus come from? A lot of people have never heard of him before.

Dionysus, sitting on the left, and Plutus, holding the cornucopia. Already friends.

My author's note at the beginning of the novel explains that I discovered Plutus one day while looking up the children of Hades. And while I did take some liberties with the myths, I did try to stay true to source material. Here's what happened.

The story of Plutus is not a popular myth, and many sources say that it's a misrepresentation as the Roman God of the Underworld AND Wealth was Pluto. Otherwise known as Greek God Hades' counterpart. Some sources say Plutus is Pluto lost in translation. There are, however, places where he appears in Ancient Greek text and vases.

Plutus appears as the titular character in Aristophanes' play, Plutus. Here, he is the god of wealth who appears as blind beggar (sound familiar?). He also makes an appearance in Dante's The Inferno as the demon of wealth. Obviously, his incarnation there is quite different than the one you see in DIBAD. There are also statues that feature Plutus as a baby with the Goddess Eirene.

A lot of sources say that Plutus was the son of Demeter and Iasion. According to my research though, he is sometimes considered the son of Hades and Persephone. You can find him on many vases with the King and Queen of the Underworld.

So it's that last part that I ran with. The God of Wealth is the son of the God of the Underworld. It might not be the most accepted of all myths, but it worked incredibly well for DIBAD. I even included in the book that Plutus' obscurity was by design, because you can imagine being the God of Wealth, he's a pretty hot target for opportunists. That gave me the perfect ground for which to base a mystery novel. And a great companion to Callie.

I'm not a Greek historian or anything, so I could be incredibly wrong about it. A lot of my research was compiling different sources on the internet. This is also where other obscure gods like Telesphorus and Hygeia came from.

It sure made for a fun write. And I hope everyone enjoys it.

Also, if you haven't heard of Aristophanes before, I'd highly suggest reading his play Lysistrata. It tells the story of Sparta and Troy and of a war that's been going on for years. Eventually, the women get so fed up, they get together and decide that they won't have sex with the men until the war is over. Yep, you read that right. Even if Greek mythology isn't your thing, it's a really funny read.

Until next time peeps!


Monday 25 November 2013

Death is but a Dream's Book Tour + GIVEAWAY!!

Woo hoo! So the blog tour for Death is but a Dream launched today from Xpresso Book Tours. It will be on from November 25th to November 30th, over Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. Perfect.

Which is why there's a giveaway of a Kindle Fire, 2x Signed copies of Death is but a Dream, and 3x eBook copies. It should be fun, so enter in the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck.

A special thanks goes to Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours, who has coordinated everything. And a very special thank you goes to all of the bloggers who are participating in the tour. And thank you readers.

Here's where Death is but a Dream will appear. And don't forget to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's do something slightly different

First of all, as tomorrow/today is the start of Death is but a Dream's blog tour from Xpresso Book Tours, I want to say thanks to everyone involved. It really means a lot and thank you.

Second, for the slightly different thing and to get our minds completely off Death is but a Dream, I'm going to post a short story I wrote for NYC Midnight. NYC Midnight is an international short story competition where you are given a genre, a location, and a subject in which to write a short story in 1000 words. It's a great exercise to step out of your comfort zone and just write within certain parameters.

I entered it with my lovely friend Caro and we both got top marks in our respective groups. We have a few rounds to see who's the winner, but I figured I should probably post it now. It's a bit different to my usual fare.

This time, I had: Science Fiction (yay!), an underwater city, and a priceless painting. And boy did I have fun with this one. Enjoy.

The Nursery Curator

 I feel nervous.
Mostly it's because I'm feeling too hot. The oxygen in my breathing apparatus tastes stale and I am sweating in my suit. My movements feel sluggish in the intense pressure of the sea floor.
I hope I'm not too late.
Three days ago, the entry hall to The Nursery, the gallery of art of our underwater city started leaking uncontrollably without warning. Diagnostics went down, and we don't even know if the door to the gallery is open. Thousands of priceless paintings are housed there; if the seal was open, then it would have been flooded. The worst part is The Nursery is only accessible through the entry hall.
I volunteered to repair it, and I really have no idea what I'm doing. After all, I'm only a museum curator. I have to go in through the outside to make sure I don't flood The Nursery.
The superheated blow torch is bright in the murky water as I trace a molten outline of a rectangular hole in the metal tube.
“You doin' okay there, Cal?” Reese, my director, asks me. Her voice is concerned, although she's trying hard not sound concerned. “Your temperature is elevated.”
Sweat beads on my brow. I wish I could wipe it away.
“Just dandy,” I answer. “How are you back on base?”
She chuckles softly. “We're fine, cowboy.”
My blow torch finishes its rectangular circuit, a few threads holding in place in the metal tube. Water is rushing in around the edges. All I need to do is kick it and I'm in the chamber. The water from the sea will fill the space, and I'll have to seal it and flush the water out of the tube before proceeding.
I hesitate.
“How do we know that the door to the gallery is sealed?” I ask. “How do we know that it's not open and I'm going to be the one who floods and ruins it all?”
There's a pregnant pause in my headset. “You won't, Cal.” Her voice is soft, reverent. She cares more about these paintings than I do.
But you don't know for sure. The unspoken words haunt me as I continue, using my weight to push against the opening. The weakened metal gives way and I'm sucked into the dark opening amidst a rush of water.
For a couple of seconds, it's chaotic. I fall into a pool of water about chest high. The water from outside pours onto me with such force. I just have to wait in my walkabout suit for the water to fill the rest of the hallway and the pressure to even out. It's dark and I can't see if the door is open.
It's awful.
“Just breathe, Cal,” Reese says. “Your vitals are off the charts.”
No shit.
I steady my breathing.
An eternity passes, and the chamber finally fills up with water. It's so dark here, I turn on my headlamp to scan my surroundings. Thankfully, the seal to the museum gallery was closed airtight, so the paintings in there weren't ruined.
“What do you see, Cal?” Reese asks me.
I clear my throat. “From what I can see, no water leaked in.” Small miracle, but I'll take it.
She lets out an audible sigh that I can hear. “Thank goodness,” she whispers.
I proceed to plug up the hole with the piece of metal that I had knocked out to get in there. The blow torch makes quick work of the hole. Luckily, the next part is easy: flushing it out. Each chamber in the city is built with vents to release water in case something like this happens. It's easy, I just turn the nozzle and wait.
While the water is flushing out of the chamber, I check everything and run diagnostics of my own, making sure that the doors are secure and reinforce the patched up hole. Later, repairmen will make sure that it won't buckle under the pressure, but it will hold for now.
It takes an hour to clear out the water. But it does clear out.
“Mission control,” I breathe happily. “Success.”
An overjoyed whoop sounds on my headset, making me wince.
“What are you thinking about?” Reese asks me over the happy pandemonium. In contrast, her voice is soft, reverent. Her mind is on the same wavelength as me, although she doesn't want to admit it.
“I'm thinking about saying hi to Jude.”
I hear her sniffle. She's crying. To avoid further awkward conversation, I take off my helmet. I finger in the code for opening the door. It obediently irises open and I'm greeted by the fluorescent lights flickering on. I step through and make a beeline to the one piece of art that I fought so hard to protect.
It's a piece of paper with a colorful, child's watercolor on it. It shows three vaguely human bodies, one small, the other two big. Handwritten shaky, black letters say, “Momma and Daddy and Jude 4 1/2 years old”. Even though I've memorized every line of the picture, it still takes my breath away every time I see it.
“Hey son,” I whisper. I touch the glass. “Daddy fixed the problem. And Mommy says hi.”
It's bittersweet. It always was hard for Reese to see this painting. It was just enough for her to know that our son's painting is there.
Ten years ago, the Decompression Plague hit everyone in the city. It made adults infertile. Worst of all, it hit every child under the age of fourteen with a mortality rate of 100%. So not only are we unable to bear children any more, our children died along with any hope of the future.
That's why we have The Nursery. It's a memorial to all of our children. Every child has their last drawing on the wall to commemorate their passing.

While we're hurtling towards extinction, I'm the curator of our children's memory. And I'll do everything I can to keep it alive.

Monday 4 November 2013

November and cornucopias!!

Wow, it's November already. Where does the time go?

Death is but a Dream has been released and is in all formats. The feedback has been great so far. I know what to do better next time and I know what people have liked.

The end of November is my review blog tour for DIBAD and I'm so nervous and excited. I've never done a tour for a book before, so this is new ground for me. We're giving away something exciting for old fans and new. It should be fun. I hope it gets the book into the hands of people who want to read it.

Watch this space in about three weeks. *bites nails nervously.

Love you guys.