21 December 2015

KAPOW!


It's here! Just in time for last minute holiday gifting--KAPOW! (Kick A** Powerfully Original Women)-- Bad Girls Edition from 7DS Books:
Seven authors, seven different short stories celebrate the modern uprising of strong female role models. Super female main characters. SUPER comic book-worthy POWER. Inspired by the classic tales of super heroes and heroines with the bad women setting the stage for the opening of this dual anthology with their wicked ways, super strengths, and master plans of domination and demise. If hell hath no fury like a woman scored, imagine what one with super powers can do...
Celebrate with my fellow authors and me at the KAPOW! Facebook Release PAR-TAY! Now through December 24.  There will be numerous giveaways, fun contests, and all sorts of shenanigans! In fact, I'll be giving away CDs of the Authors' Inspirational Playlist, a collection of tunes we chose to get into the mood of writing Super Villain Women. Here are just a few of the songs I listened to as I created the story of Vibora, a powerful sorceress who has an affinity for serpents of the venomous kind:
Bach: Toccata & Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565 - Toccata                 NICHOLAS DANBY
Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...)                                                           QUEEN
American Woman                                                                          LENNY KRAVITZ
Had Enough [Explicit]                                                            BREAKING BENJAMIN
Everybody's Fool                                                                               EVANESCENCE
Face Everything and Rise [Explicit]                                                   PAPA ROACH 
So What (Main Version) [Explicit]                                                                 PINK
Suffragette City                                                                              DAVID BOWIE
Harder to Breathe                                                                                MAROON 5
PLUS I personally got a make-over by our awesome cover artist, Olivia Destiny:


So come on over the PAR-TAY and revel in the Bad Girl Edition of KAPOW! And if you're looking for a last minute storcking stuffer, it's available for instant download on Kindle, Kobo, and other ebook formats.

Happy Holidays,
~Jude

19 November 2015

End of an Era




On November 30, 2015, my contracts with Champagne Books will be finished. It's been a decent run, but with life moving onward and upward, it's time to close the door. Dragon & Hawk, Out of Forgotten Ashes, and Dragon's Legacy will not be available for some time after November 30, so if you've thought about buying a copy, best do it now.  Save the Last Dance and its component novellas -  A Dangerous Dance, A Wicked Waltz, and A Torrid Tango - will likewise be unavailable after the end of this month.

I will likely republish these books independently after New Years. I'm working on fleshing out my short story about a selkie and her English lieutenant in Nelson's Navy to novel length, hopefully for Twisted Core Press. And yes, I am still working on the Revolutionary War novel. promise.

Life has through a few extra "stepping stones" my way this summer. Let me tell you, skin cancer is not fun. After removing a big ugly turnip under the surface of my face that required reconstructive plastic surgery in August, I'm dealing with another one on my shoulder. The dermatologist assures me this is all -- for now. All those happy days at the lake as a child of the sixties (Sunscreen? What was that?) have come due with a high cost. But that's a piddle compared to what other folks have had to deal with. All it has cost me is time (and a few Ks) and not threatened my life or my livelihood. I am quite grateful.

My other books will still be available on Amazon.  PLUS I have a new project with 7DS Books; KAPOW! (Kick Ass Powerfully Original Women) --Super Villianesses and Super Heroines! Keep your eyes open for that one soon!

Happy Writing,

~Jude

23 October 2015

It's Been A Cruel, Cruel Summer

My deepest apologies for slacking on this blog all summer (and now giving you a Spice Girls earworm). Summer in the desert isn't the most productive time as it's usually so hot, every living creature finds rocks under which to hide. While that's not a good excuse, I'm going with it.

Still, I did get a few things done. A new project with 7DS Books called KAPOW! (Kick Ass Powerfully Original Women) is finished and in edits. This is a two-fold project with seven different authors writing short stories of Super Villains first, then the Super Heroines who vanquish them. My baddie is Vibora (Spanish for viper) who rather enjoys playing with poisonous serpents. Her counterpart is Diamante, Bearer of Light. They are sisters; in fact, they are twins. Opposite sides of a coin from a marriage gone horribly wrong. Fun to write, I can hardly wait to see the finished product.

I have a NEW website [which will eventually link to my old domain name]on Wix: http://judejb.wix.com/jude-johnson.  I like how clean and professional it looks, and was fairly easy to set up.  Feel free to let me know what you think about it.

Next, I finished my four short story collection, Key Connections, which is now available on in print and Kindle formats. These are tales of when people find a link to one another, either by friendship, mentoring, or love. Some stories have been previously published and are no longer available while one is totally new. A book for those whose time is limited, it will make you smile, tear up, and hopefully laugh.  If you read it, please be so kind as to leave a review.

Thanks for sticking with me through the long, hot dog days.

Happy Writing and Reading,

~Jude

25 June 2015

Marketing Too Much?

Hi kids,

I've been perusing my Facebook and Twitter feeds the past few days and noticing a frustrating trend. There are far fewer funny quips from people I follow and a crapload of plugs for books.In fact, that's pretty much all I see on Twitter. It's reached the point where I don't even look at them.

I've never been a fan of what's called "hard sales." Constantly in your face with, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" tends to elicit a, "No! No! No!" from me. It's possible that I don't market enough because I resist the hard sale so much. Weekly tweets are fine with me. Occasional requests for reviews, okay.

But those who make the most noise are those who are heard.  At what point does bombardment become irritation for readers? I'd like to hear from you about this.

Happy writing and reading,
~Jude

04 May 2015

Damn, Time Flies...

Wow, did I truly miss the entire month of April here? I have good reason. I'm TRYING to finish two projects and reality keeps getting in my way. I won't promise to keep up on a weekly basis because obviously time has a way of evading my brain, but I will try to not go an entire month.

Project #1 is still my Revolutionary War historical fiction with lots of action and dirt on what really went down in the Colonies.

Project #2 has a real deadline at the end of May and that is the Babes Who Kick Ass Project, aka the Super Villain vs Super Heroine short stories for 7DS Books. This is a completely different experience from anything I've done before so it's occupying every possible writing moment I get. Which, as you can tell, isn't much lately...I need a good dose of insomnia.



Happy Writing,
~Jude

30 March 2015

Support ALL the Arts...

At the urging of my lil' sorority sister, Lori Edwards Goldman (yes, I was in a sorority, no, we were not mindless bimbos), I went to SAACA Park Place Chalk Art Festival yesterday.  One of her friends from back East, Linda Harrison-Parsons, is an artist and would be participating.Since I love art of many mediums and hate housework of all sorts, the decision was a no-brainer.

Well, maybe not a total no-brainer. Park Place is a mall, and I abhor malls. Park Place is also across the urban sprawl that is Tucson from where I live. I do love to drive, but on Sunday at the peak of Snowbird-where-am-I-going-oh-I'll-just-turn-left-from-the-right-turn-lane season? The dust bunnies under my computer desk snickered viciously, so I bounded into the garage and into my son's car because that's another story.

So I drive across the city fairly unencumbered and unperturbed. I should not have thought, "Wow, that was easier than I expected," for no sooner do I pull into an aisle of the dreaded parking lot of Park Place than an urban assault vehicle ahead of me decides to stop and wait for someone else to back out of a space. Not usually a big deal, but evidently those particular people had just arrived at their vehicle and were talking to Great Aunt Bitsy in Indiana. So we sit. And sit. And now there are vehicles behind mine. I have no where to go. Could the urban assault vehicle pull ahead and to the side to allow others to move on? That would entail thinking of other people so...no. Could the people behind me back up and let me out? Uh, same reason, no. Ten minutes go by. I put down the window and wave--politely, using all my fingers--to move up or go around. The urban assault vehicle remains unmoving, right turn signal blinking, taunting. In the side mirror of the humungous SUV, I see the petite, upwardly mobile, Baby Boomer white-haired demon-driver blankly smiling while the car for which she is waiting remains parked, unmoving. My playlist of fourteen three-minute songs on my iPod finishes. I My blood pressure now resembles the Dow Jones Index on a record breaking day, I'm hot-flashing, and there is no way in hell the air conditioner in this damned ancient car can possibly keep up. I'm hanging out of the window yelling now, "MOVE IT, GEEZER!" Finally, at long last the vehicle behind mine reverses and I do the same--just as White Hair's behemoth inches forward.

It takes me all of forty-five seconds to find a space and park my car. Why the hell White Hair couldn't was beyond me. But, okay, I'm here, I'll go and find Ms. Linda. Of course, just as I get to the front of the Macy's entrance of the mall, who steps right in front of me rather rudely? White Hair! GAH! However, I don't look good in orange and I hate jumpsuits has become my new mantra. I let her pass, hoping that someday she gets stuck in an elevator for many hours with a vegan suffering from uncontrollable flatulence.

Linda Harrizon-Parsons at work
So on to The Arts! Linda Harrison-Parsons is one talented lady. (No, she wasn't White Hair Boomer Babe. She'd already been inside the mall, working.) Her theme for the weekend was The Zoo, so she created a beautiful tableau of zoo denizens. Luckily for her, she was given an indoor location and her "canvas" a large box covered with tar paper instead of the floor tiles.

I'm so glad I went and met her. But next time, I do hope the exhibition is nowhere near a mall. Support the Arts!
Happy writing,
Jude

                                  Details of her piece included a peacock and a Bearded Barbet
 

The nearly finished piece! Isn't it amazing?

16 March 2015

Free Book for St. Partick's Day!


March 16 through 17, Walkabout Willie / Mucky Karms will be a FREE Kindle download --and you don't need the Luck O' the Irish to snag  it! A wonderful read-aloud for children of all ages, Mucky Karms is especially fun for St. Patrick's Day, seeing as it's a tale of a greedy leprechaun, a silly unicorn, and the witch in the deepest, darkest part o' the forest...

 

Get one for your favorite little lad or lass today!
~Jude

18 February 2015

Oh The Weather Outside

I feel really sorry for the folks who live in the Eastern half of the U.S. this winter. Slammed with storm after storm, then topped with an icing of Arctic blast, it must seem they are frozen in time. Kids stuck at home because schools are closed, parents stuck at home because roads to work are impassable...talk about a recipe for disaster. I don't think I could stand more than three days of being shut in.

So not to rub it in that I live in the desert sun but to give hope that Spring is eternal, let me share a slideshow from The Arizona Daily Star of Presidents' Day in Sabino Canyon.Otherwise, here are a few photos from around my place:
Cats lounging in afternoon sunbeams

Pedestrian bridge over the Rillito River

Just another Tucson sunset


Happy writing,
~Jude


19 January 2015

Dancing in the Car

By now most everyone has seen the dash cam video of the cop dancing to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", but just in case you've missed it, you can see it on You Tube.  Yes, it was staged but it's funny, cute, and a welcome reprieve from negativity for  a few minutes.

Which brings up the subject of singing/dancing in the car. Are you a steering wheel drummer? You know, where you perform the best damn drum solo ever while waiting in the left turn lane? Or do you sing the various harmony parts building up to the crescendo of "Bohemian Rhapsody"?


I love this scene. First, yes, that is a cassette tape cartridge, and secondly, it's almost impossible not to head bang at the appropriate point. Plus, it's Freddie Mercury. Freddie "Freakin' Eight Octave Range" Mercury, may he rest in peace.

But I digress. Sidestepping the safety issue of driving while distracted (we never do that, no, not any of us), singing, drumming, and/or dancing in the car is one way to express a little joy at being alive. Whether it's Taylor Swift or Meghan Taylor, "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Death on Two Legs" (now those are great lyrics when you're pissed off), go ahead. Sing, howl, or punish that steering wheel like you're Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues:


Life is too short not to rock out whenever you can. And if you see me head bopping and slamming those imaginary cymbals at a stop light, feel free to join in.

Happy writing,
~Jude

05 January 2015

Happy 2015!

Copyright Hanna-Barbera, via fanpop.com
Didn't you think we'd all be living like The Jetsons about now, up in the stratosphere with flying cars and robot maids? Or as Yogi Berra said, "The future ain't what it used to be."

Isn't it amazing how so many tools we use today were figments of sci-fi imaginations? That's the great thing about the genre: it has to be based in current science knowledge and then extrapolated onward. You don't have to look too far into the past to see what was once fantasy has already become reality. Just look at old, original Star Trek episodes. "Communicators" became flip cell phones. "On-screen" conversations--even in The Jetsons-- have now become routine with Skype. Computers, microwaves, The Internet...all these ideas have become staples of our present. It's fantastic!

Yes, one could argue that the negatives have also become reality with Orwellian corporations, "Big Brother is watching" surveillance [Good morning, NSA! *waves madly*], and the general populace of the US dumbed-down into mindless sheep happy to feed on a diet of stupid reality television and politicos who tell them what to think, but that's rather depressing. Yet this is also part of fantasy's legacy, realizing the negatives of the present and creating hope for a better world. As another example, in the late 1960s Star Trek depicted a future in which a black woman would not only be an officer but so intelligent and adept in her field that she more than occasionally had to enlighten the men. Two stereotypes combated in one fell swoop! And while we are nowhere near a prejudice-free society, laws prohibiting racial discrimination have made definite headway and laws banning interracial marriage are gone. Attitudes take longer, true, but we can continue to work on that.

Neil Gaiman posted a lovely New Year's wish on Facebook the other day with which I will leave off. Magic and what is considered madness in the present can indeed become reality. We have seen it made so.



Happy writing,

~Jude