Top Ten Disney Princes (Top Ten #70) (Valentine’s) AND Small Updates

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Hello everyone! Awww, Valentine’s Day.  A day of romance, exchanges of sweet nothings, stocking the one that makes your heart race and palms sweat from afar, and the day dentist eagerly await as the start of their busy season! I have my fifth Valentine’s Day themed top ten ready for you, but I do have one QUICK announcement:

Two wonderful people in my town have opened up a DELIGHTFUL used book story AND tabletop/TCG center and it is everything my little gamer and book nerd self could want! So, I added them to the links and wanted to fully support them on here. You won’t be disappointed.  If you are in southeast Missouri, come find them. Open seven days a week: Aesop’s Treasury.

Now, on to the Top Ten!

Everyone knows I am a Disney lover, to put it lightly. The magic, the vividness, the way it weaves story is charming in every sense of the word.  Well, I may be a nerd, but I still dreamt of being whisked away by a prince charming.  I got a dorky knight in shining tin foil I am madly in love with still, but hey! I can still wish from my youth. I think deep down, most little girls wanted someone wonderful to help them live a happily ever after meant for the couple.  It may not be love at first sight or castles, but that doesn’t mean the love isn’t as deep.  So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, here are my personal Top Ten Favorite Disney Princes! Not all of them are animated, so as long as it was from a company that Disney owned or a film/show they helped create, they counted.  And I chose those who are either licensed princes or have prince in their title at some point in their life.

Enjoy and lots of love! <3

Top Ten Disney Princes:

  1. Aladdin,
  2. Flynn Rider,
  3. Prince Charming/David (Once Upon a Time),
  4. Prince Philip,
  5. Prince Eric,
  6. Hercules,
  7. Prince Edward (Enchanted)
  8. Prince Simba
  9. Prince Adam/Beast
  10. General Shang

Honorable Mention:

Prince Naveen

Past Valentine’s Day Top Tens:

Top Ten Favorite Romantic Comedy Movies (2017),

ANOTHER Top Ten Favorite Anime Couples (2016),

Top Ten Favorite Flowers (2015),

Top Ten Favorite Anime Couples (2014)

2018 Interview with Dan Wright (Author Gold A.U.)

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Our first interview of 2018 AND I got to once again interview my dear friend, Mr. Dan Wright! What has he been up to since late 2016? What are his dorky interests of the moment? What sort of mischief are we planning on getting into this year? Find out here. Take it away, buddy!

#1. Merry meet, my dear friend! It has been a long time. Since we last interviewed, you were releasing the first book in your famous and beloved “Draconia” series? What have you been up to writing wise since?

And a merry meet to you too, Morgan-Chan 😊 I’ve missed you.

Well, I’ve made a few changes to the series since we last talked. I’ve actually renamed it World of Draconica, mostly because that’s the name of my website and I found it easier to link the two together. But I’ve been working hard at it where I could, writing whenever I get a spare moment. Currently I’m working on the third book in the series, Fall of Draconica. I hope to have that out around April time. Just working on the final edits now, so fingers crossed!

 

#2. For those of you who live in their basements to binge watch Netflix all day, tell the folks here a little about Dan Wright?

Oh if ONLY I had the time to bingewatch Netflix! I got SO many shows I want to watch on it right now! XD

Anyway, my name is Dan and, as you guys probably guessed, I’m a writer! I write novels set in a Fantasy land called Draconica (more on that later). I’ve always been in love with Fantasy since reading Roald Dahl novels. My first writing experience was a comic I did at school called The Abbey School Avenger – which was pretty bad to be honest as I can’t draw for shizzle! XD But, it gave me a love of writing and later in life, I decided to give novel writing a go.

Writing for me is mostly a hobby, but it’s one I enjoy. Recently, I joined a Dungeons and Dragons group and have been roleplaying a character in that! It’s been really fun and has given me a good few tips about world building and character creation. 😊

#3. What can you tell us about the “Draconia” series that will make people excited to read it?

Well, as mentioned, I now call it the World of Draconica series. It’s set in a world where dragons used to rule as gods, but now they live on in the Dragonkin – humans with the powers of dragons. They sort of try and carry on the dragon’s legacy; but right now there are dark forces afoot – and a shadow is threatening to consume all (evil cackle here).

The story is mostly inspired by Lord of the Rings and Final Fantasy – but I include a few anime elements in it as well. I try to mix humour and action together to create something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is really epic to read. I’ve been gradually introducing some darker elements, inspired by the Dark Souls games and also inspiration from H.P Lovecraft.

I also have another series called Amanda Moonstone, which is about a sorceress that tries to make her way in a world that hates magic. This one is a bit more family friendly, but I feel has evolved into something just a little bit more mature. Not too much, but I grew to love the main character in this series and wanted to give her a strong story. I plan to have three books in that series soon.

 

#4. What books inspired you to write AND what anime help continue to fuel your writing fire now?
Lord of the Rings is the most obvious inspiration, but I also used to watch the 80’s cartoons He-Man and She-Ra (who incidentally was my first fictional crush!) so that played a huge part. I’ve been reading a few novels by Dan Abnett (who I got to meet at a con) and I love his style of writing – his novels have a natural flow that few authors can match in my opinion.

The anime influence came later, when I hired an artist that drew my characters in an anime style. I was aware of anime before this of course, but never really paid it much attention – though that has changed since.

My all time favourite anime is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (although the previous series is now on Netflix so will have to check that out), but I also watched Yu-Gi-Oh and Ultimate Muscle quite a bit. I would say some of the bigger influences on this series is the video games Guilty Gear and Blazblue series – I love the characters and story so I took them as a template for creating my own characters.

However, a lot of the history in my world I took inspiration from real world history, such as the Roman Empire (for the Baalarian Empire) and the Spartans (for the Kingdom of Leonida). Being that I work in a museum, it’s pretty easy to get a lot of history to help you out.


#5. Who did the covers for your books?
My current artist is Kirsten Moody, or Snow the Wanderer if you want to check out her DA page. I commissioned her after she did my first Amanda Moonstone novel, but she also agreed to do the cover for my World of Draconica series. Her designs are based on those by Alexis M Centeno, who originally did my artwork.


#6. What is the writing process like for you? Do you work better at your own pace or with deadlines? Do you have any rituals?

I used to set myself a target by saying “right I will do THIS much writing on these days!” and things like that. But I found that I didn’t keep to that as much as I would have liked – mostly because I choose to write after work; and when you’ve had a rough day you’re just not in the mood. I find I can write better when I’m relaxed and not worried about things.

I actually like to listen to music when I write. Some find that distracting, but when I’m trying to capture a certain mood, music is a great help. Heck, I’m actually listening to music now as I write this! 😀 It’s Babymetal in case you’re interested.

 

#7. What is one of your favorite moments that has happened to you by becoming an author?
I think my absolute favourite moment is when someone brought my book at a convention, came back the next day with her sister and SHE brought a book. She then said I was her favourite author next to Terry Pratchett. I thought that was an awesome compliment, as Mr Pratchett was an author I had complete respect for. Being compared to him in the same breath is just amazing.

Also, through doing conventions, I got to meet Hattie Hayridge, who played Holly in Red Dwarf, my favourite Sci-Fi show.


#8. How do you handle getting reviews AND reacting to reviews?

I have been SO lazy in getting reviews for my work, due to work commitments, but in the past I just approached websites and authors seeing if they’re interested.

So far I think I’ve been pretty lucky as they have been mostly positive. I had a couple of negative reviews, but at the end of the day I respect their opinions. I don’t think any author should “lash out” at people for saying bad things about their work – it just makes them come across as a wally! I’m not saying writers shouldn’t defend their work, they just shouldn’t be an @$$ about it! Sadly, there are a few writers out there that I think should take this on board, especially in the comic world.

#9. Any news about Amanda Moonstone? You know I love me some Will. I also need to get the printed copy of the second book so I can review it properly for you, my good fellow!

I’m sure we can arrange something 😉. I just recently released the second book, The Darkbane Sorceress, so that’s available! I did start work on the third (and what will be final) book, but I decided to put that to one side to focus on a few other novels first. But trust me, I don’t think you’ll be expecting how it ends!

Maybe Amanda might appear in the World of Draconica – who can tell?

 

#10. I see on your Facebook posts that there is a villain you seem to have quiet the conflict with…

You mean Gertrude von Gumbywapper? The less you know about her, the better…

Let’s just say that if you combined all the evil from every Disney villain every created – it would not come CLOSE to how evil Gertrude is!

 

#11. I know you paint minis…May I ask what they are for?
Of course! This is actually my second hobby – they are minis for the tabletop game Age of Sigmar. I also paint models for 40K. I used to be into Games Workshop games in my younger years, but kinda stopped after a few years. I got back into it in 2016 and so far I must have sunk about £1000 quid or so into this hobby! I like to collect models and paint them. I’m not the worlds greatest painter, but I think it’s fun. Here are a few pics I posted online.

  #12. The world wants to know (well, us Americans): What is up with the Earl Gray Tea and is it really that sinful to put milk and sugar in it?
Strange as it may sound, I actually don’t drink a lot of tea (yeah, I know I’m breaking a British stereotype!), but I remember drinking Earl Grey and a friend of mine giving me an evil glare when I put milk and sugar in it! I actually don’t know the reason – but to be fair, I don’t think it’s a crime to do that. Hell, there are worst things you can do when your British – like not washing your mug afterwards. I HATE people that do that!


#13. Who is the best Doctor?
Tough one! I always liked Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy. But from the new series, I really enjoyed Peter Capaldi, despite him getting to a rocky start. I am really interested in seeing how Jodie Whittaker does as the Doctor. She’s an amazing actress and I think she’ll be amazing. Plus having a female Doctor could add some interesting dynamics to the show. I’m excited for it.


#14. What shows/movies are you currently into?

I just finished watching The Punisher on Netflix and am currently watching Dirk Gently. But my girlfriend recently got me a boxed set of House MD, which I saw with her when we went to Italy and became hooked on it. Hospital dramas aren’t usually my thing, but this show is brilliantly written and House is a fantastic character.

For anime, I’m currently watching Fate/Apocrypha (which I have to say isn’t really that great) and plan to watch the original Fullmetal Alchemist after that. My girlfriend recently introduced me to two animes – School Babysitters (which is Kawaii as heck, but also quite sad) and Recovery of an MMO Junkie (which, as someone who has played MMO’s I can appreciate the humour of!)

One show I stopped watching was The Walking Dead. I just can’t get into that show anymore – it’s not a bad show, it’s just boring to watch. I watched about three episodes of the new season before I gave up. And judging my what my friends have said, looks like I’m not the only one.


#18. What was the last Disney or Pixar film you saw and how was it?
Technically that was Aladdin, as my bro really wanted to watch that film again. The last animated one I saw was Moana, which was awesome. Do Marvel and Star Wars films count? If so then I watched a lot of them last year and they were all brilliant. Yes, I even liked The Last Jedi despite it’s flaws.

The one film I wanna see is Coco. That looks so good.

 

#19. How is Penguin?

I guess I should explain to the readers that Penguin is the name of my girlfriend. I call her Penguin because she likes Penguins. XD She’s fine by the way, thanks for asking 😊

#20. So…I think Moon Panda Power needs to make a comeback! Care to please explain that MPP is and what collaboration should we do together? I’m game!
Ah yes, I had forgotten about that! MPP was a YouTube channel me and Morgan had where we did various videos about anime and Disney stuff! We had a lot of fun doing that – but real life kinda got in the way!

We should bring it back certainly! But what to do… what to do… mmmmmm. (puts thinking cap on!)


#21. Any advice for our audience here?

Write what you want to write. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, even if they are an established author. Sure, take advice from them, but don’t let it dictate how you want to tell a story. At the end of the day it’s your story and you should tell it how you want.

By the same token, also be prepared to accept criticism. By all means defend your work, but try to keep your cool during negativity. That’s a hard one to learn, and to be honest I struggle with that sometime, but trust me, it’s worth learning.

Most of all, have fun in what you do!

 

#22. P.S. Thanks for my Christmas gift, my friend!

You’re most welcome. And thank YOU for MY gift! 😊

Synopsis of “Amanda Moonstone: The Darkbane Sorceress (volume 2):

One hundred years ago, the dreaded Saevitia Darkbane – the most powerful of all dark sorceresses – was defeated thanks to a hero whose name has been lost. Now she has returned – as has her desire for revenge. Having rescued the true King of Celtland, Amanda is now a heroine in Celtland. But now she faces the biggest threat of her life – and her magic alone may not be enough to defeat her. Amanda and her friends must find the legendary hero that once defeated Saevitia and stop her – or else Draconica may burn to the ground.

Author Bio:

Born in the historic town of Canterbury, Dan has always loved Fantasy stories. A keen musician and model painter in his spare time, Dan has written the novels Trapped on Draconica, Legacy of the Dragonkin, The Gothon Campaign and two novels based around the character of Amanda Moonstone called The Missing Prince and The Darkbane Sorceress. He is also a slave to his cat, who takes up a lot of his time when he isn’t at work or writing!

URL:

World of Draconia Website:

Top Ten Anime Opening/Closing Songs Sung By Yui Horie (Top Ten #69):

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I recall when I was first introduced to this amazing singer and Japanese voice actress over ten years ago, by accident. I was working on my computer and my T.V. was right by it.  I had just finished a disk of anime and I was bored and needing background noise, needing a few minutes to work, so I clicked on the “What Else You Can Get…” feature.  All of the sudden, I hear the opening musical notes to “All My Love.” It was a music video with real actors, not explaining the anime.  I stared and watched the video, loving the song immediately. I began singing it to myself the second it was over at my computer.  Not long later, I saw a preview for “Mao-chan  Ground Defense Force” and I heard the same song as its opening! I was practically drooling at this point, enchanted by this kawaii singer.  I did some research and found out her name was “Yui Horie.”

The rest, was history!

Her light, fun, kawaii nature fills me with joy and her talent and humble nature inspire me.  She has never disappointed me as I searched the far reaches of the internet to get her CDs with my Oneechan’s help. After almost two decades, she is still a lovely force to be dealt with in the industry and gives me quiet strength in her mannerisms, fashion, songs, and acting. I respect her immensely and am happy to do this top ten for her! ^_^

You can find out more about her on her wiki page.

Top Ten Anime Opening/Closing Songs Sung By Yui Horie:

  1. All My Love- Mao-Chan Ground Defense Force opening theme
  2. “It’s My Style”- Ground Defense Force closing theme
  3. Love Destiny- Sister Princess opening theme
  4. Say Cheese- Nagasarete Airantou closing theme 1
  5. Silky Heart- Toradora! opening theme 2
  6. Coloring- Papa no Iukoto wo kikinasai ending theme
  7. Days- Nagasarete Airantou opening theme
  8. Vanilla Salt- Toradora! closing theme 1
  9. Scramble- School Rumble season 1 opening
  10. Hikari- InuKami opening

Honorable Mentions:

Koisuru Tenkizu- Nagasarete Airantou closing theme 2

I also really like all the “Golden Time” themes (she’s done all four) and the “Dragon Crisis” opening, but I haven’t watched those animes yet OR have those songs on my I-Tunes, so I didn’t feel right adding them above.

I do like “For Fruits Baskets” too, but I actually like Laura Bailey’s English version of it a bit better. “Love Hina’s” opening is great too and Yui did her own version, but she didn’t sing it first and I like the original a bit better too. There are MANY Yui Horie songs I LOVE too that are not anime songs too! =^-^=

Youtube is being not nice and blocking most of her songs now. 🙁  I found this video with snippets of 30 of her songs so you can get the idea on why I love her so much. ^_^ This Youtubber gets all the credit. Thirty Anime Songs by Yui Horie

Top 31 Anime Japanese Anime Opening/Closing Songs (Top Ten #68)

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I’m going to send 2017 out with a BANG with this lyrical and large Top Ten special! I hope everyone has a grand 2018! 😀

For this “Top Ten,” I am picking my favorite themes from animes I have watched at least a handful of episodes of, but it’s the original Japanese lyrics. Some of the songs I love are already on my English translated themes top ten here: Top Ten English Sung OR Translated Anime Themes.

Also, they have to be a theme (opening or close) and cannot be in the anime itself. I will try to be honest and only do one song per anime, but many have a lot of good themes! If they are movie themes, they are not in this list as well.

Also, ALSO! None of these themes will be sung by my FAVORITE singer, Yui Horie, who sings an array of anime openings since 2000. But, I am saving those for a separate list… 😉

These are kind of in order, but kind of not. I like so many of them! >.<

Wow…I sound like Watchmojo now… ENJOY THE LIST! Hyperlinks are attached to the titles. ^_^

Happy New Year! Looking forward to a good one with everyone! 😀

Top 31 Anime Japanese Anime Opening/Closing Songs:

  1. “Open the Door” Cardcaptor Sakura second opening theme
  2. “Let Me Be With You” Chobits opening theme
  3. “Scarlet”- Karin anime opening theme
  4. Hetilia Axis Powers seasons 1 and 2 ending theme (China and America’s are my favorite versions)
  5. “Sentimental Generation” School Rumble: Second Semester opening theme
  6. “Moonlight Legend” Sailor Moon theme song (season 4’s version is my favorite)
  7. “Moon Pride” Sailor Moon Crystal season one opening
  8. “Merry Angel” Wedding Peach DX opening (OVA series)
  9. “Cyclone” Romeo x Juliet (anime) closing theme one
  10. “You” Shuffle anime opening theme
  11. “Leave It To Me Tonight” Is This a Zombie? season 1 opening
  12. “White Destiny” Pretear opening theme
  13. “Tsubasa wa Pleasure Line” Chrono Crusade opening theme
  14. “Futatsu No Kodou To Akai Tsumi”_ Vampire Knight opening theme
  15. “Takanaru” hiiro no kakera season two opening theme
  16. “Shoudou”Junjou Romantica season 2 opening theme
  17. “Synchronicity” Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles: Tokyo Revelations OVA mini series opening theme
  18. “Let’s Fall in Love” Cute Earth Defense Club Love opening theme 1
  19. “Gorgeous 4U” Special A anime second opening theme
  20. “Brand New Breeze” La Corda D’oro Primo Passo opening theme
  21. “Can you Keep My Secret?” Maid Sama opening theme
  22. “Even If You’re In the Ends of the Earth” Sekaiichi Hatsukoi season 2 opening theme
  23. “Idol White” Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works opening theme 1
  24. “Peony Pink” CLAMP School Detectives opening theme
  25. “Genius of Smile”- Petite Princess Yucie opening theme
  26. “Shiver”- Black Butler series 2 opening theme
  27. “Be Strong” Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple season 1 opening 
  28. “The Starry Sky” Angelic Layer second closing theme
  29. “Egao ni Aitai” Marmalade Boy opening theme
  30. “19 Sai” xxxHolic opening theme
  31. “Tattoo Kiss”- Kaledio Star third opening theme

Honorable Mentions:

 

 

Top 12 Animated Cats (Christmas Top Ten) (Top Ten #67)

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Merry Christmas dear ones! I hope your holidays are bright as the star, make you giddy like the bells on Santa’s sleigh, and your fruit cake…um, edible.

On December 6th three years ago, I received the best Christmas gift I could have ever gotten: my precious cat, Socks. She is our baby and gives us such joy, entertainment, comfort, and completes our little family. =^-^= To honor my favorite Christmas present every year, for this festival top ten (or twelve this time for the holidays), I did my favorite animated felines!

From Socks and I, have a Meowy Christmas and purr-fect New Year! <3

Top 12 Animated Cats (Christmas Top Ten) (Top Ten #67):

  1. Simba (The Lion King)
  2. Jiji (Kiki’s Delivery Service),
  3. Kyo (Fruits Basket),
  4. Artemis (Sailor Moon),*
  5. Catbus (My Neighbor Totoro),
  6. Meowth (Pokemon),
  7. Puss-in-Boots (Shrek series),
  8. Garfield (Garfield),
  9. Salem (Sabrina the Teenage Witch),
  10. Kirara (InuYasha),
  11. Thomas O’Malley (Aristocats),
  12. Simon’s Cat (Simon’s Cat webseries),

Honorable Mention: Felix (Felix the Cat)- I used to watch him all the time when I was small, but I haven’t seen him in ages!

*I like Diana and Luna of course too, but out of the Sailor Moon cat trio, I had to go to Artemis. =)

A.U. Author Gold Interview: Nathan Perkins

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Hello everyone! I apologize for it being so long, but school work and life have dragged me down to their depths and now, with Winter Break, I can resurface! ^_^ I hope you will all have a very happy holiday if I don’t get to tell you before that.  I still have lots of stuff planned, so don’t give up on me yet.

I have a treat for you fine people today.  I met Mr. Perkins a few years ago. We worked at the same elementary building, him as the guidance counselor. He was always so fun, running around to help all, energetic, and kind, but he had a wacky and witty side to him with adults I adored, always and truly a pal to all. Him and his wife are both grand educators.  The district was sad to see him go, but he is doing amazing things at his new school. This book is refreshing and will make anyone giggle by the mouths of babe and still touch your heart, especially educators and those in the profession of guiding children. You will not be disappointed by these accounts in a flowing written form. So, as my holiday gift to me loyal readers, please give it up for my buddy and yours, Mr. Nathan Perkins, author of “The Chool Counselor.”

Author to Author Q and A:

  1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?- I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri in a quiet area called Jefferson Barracks. It was a neighborhood that was developed in the late 40’s and into the 1950’s and by the time we arrived on the scene it was a quiet area that was surrounded by parks and a large national cemetery. As a homeschooled kid in a quiet neighborhood, friends and a social life was hard to come by, but in my early teens I was incorporated into a small circle of friends that liked to write. I wanted to fit in, so naturally I did what everyone else in the group did and wrote too. We wrote goofy stories about family pets getting kidnapped and brothers-turned-arch nemesis. Truthfully, some of the writing ended up being pretty good and we developed a good knack for dry wit and the well placed comma.
  2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?- Really, a lot of my stuff was a brief satirical blurb or humorous anecdote. I have lots of practice with those. Writing stuff like that over and over helped to form any writing skill that I posses.
  3. What are you currently working on, writing wise?- Nothing! I am back to in school and parenting a kiddo with another on the way. Other than a paper on Educational Leadership Theory or two, I am not engaging in any creative writing exploits.
  4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why?- More situations than character. I like to use the Seinfeldian style to craft every-day interactions into humorous diatribe. Being able to recognize those situations is the trick. Finding the humor in the in a glass of jelly being dropped on the floor or a mob kindergarteners chanting your name, is a good thing.
  5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?- More the second. Write. Rinse. Repeat. Write it down and clean it up later.
  6. What was your path like until you found writing?- Hasn’t really changed. I am an educator and leader by vocation. I consider writing to be a part of that. More than a just a therapeutic outlet too (educators turned comedians are really in vogue now), I have more of a holistic view of it. Writing is a slice of the pizza that makes up my life’s calling.
  7. How is your relationship with your publishing company- Great. I self-publish. J
  8. Tell us about your covers.- Any book cover that I commission needs to have a humorous or tongue-in-cheek connection to the story. My novella, The Chool Counselor, is a picture of my feet during bus duty. Do a good job on your cover. Be professional. People eat with their eyes. The buy with their eyes too.
  9. What inspires you to write?- Life situations.. Funny observations.. a feeling like it is a part of my life’s-calling. Feeling like I am better at writing than speaking and wanting to communicate my adventures in the best way that I can.
  10. How do you get book reviews?- Ask people!
  11. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?- I would go with marketing. To market something, you have to fell proud of it. It’s risky. You are putting something out there for everyone to see and judge.
  12. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?- Mmm.. like 6?
  13. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?- It would have to be with someone I really liked. That person would also be very responsible, honest, committed, and much cooler than me.
  14. What do you do to relax?- Eat mostly. Baseball and architecture are some hobbies that I enjoy.
  15. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?- Don’t try to be so cool. Just relax and quiet down. I should probably tell myself the same thing now. Also, you can do anything. There are going to be people who say you can’t. They are wrong. Worse than being wrong, they are jerks for going out of their way and saying that you can’t. Work hard, stay diligent, find wise people to help you along the way, and it will happen.
  16. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?- Obscurity isn’t a bad thing, it gives you time to hone your craft in safety and in quiet. Don’t feel above working hard. Make yourself valuable to your employer. Make life easier for your boss and your career will grow. Growing a career is like raising a baby – it takes time to nurture and there will be birth pangs. Oh, and have integrity. That career that you spent years nurturing can come down in minutes if you do bad things.
  17. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?- Darn it. I should probably say the Bible or something. Check out authors like Tim Keller, N.T. Wright, Jay Pathak, and Mike Breen. They have made that book come alive for me.
  18. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated?- Darn it. This is where I am supposed to say “War and Peace.” Honestly, I found Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens really accessible for a young kid in the 1990’s. Kidnapped, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Christmas Carol — accessibility is a good thing. Those were the first books that I was able read front to back.. other than One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Juvenile literature has really grown in the past 10 years – its big money. I should write juvenile literature. Kids don’t really have to read the classics any more to find something of substance.
  19. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?- Alternative rock.
  20. If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? – Oh come on, you know it happens. My mom, my wife, and anyone else that lives a long life of great character, faces pain, and comes out on the other end stronger. People whose lives have ended well, having finished the race. There are a lot of people who couldn’t stick with it and go out angry, hating people, and doing bad things. Then people go to their funerals and whisper things like “I’m glad so and so is dead, it needed to happen, it was about time”
  21. Dog or cat person?- Neither? If I have to choose, a dog.
  22. What do you want to eat right now?- Cheeseburger. Topped with pub cheddar.
  23. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be?- I want to be Han Solo in Empire.
  24. What is your favorite holiday or time of year?- Fall.
  25. Anything else you would like to add?- Thanks for the interview!

About the Book:

What happens when a green 20-something leaves the city and takes his first job as an elementary school counselor in a rural community? Spend some time with the “Chool Counselor” and you will enjoy experiencing the hilarious daily happenings of an elementary school and the life of a school counselor. Only one question remains, who is the real teacher here?

You can get your copy on Amazon: “The Chool Counselor.”

 

About the Author:

Nathan Perkins is an elementary counselor in the Midwestern USA. He holds degrees from Missouri Baptist University (B.A. ’08, M.A. ’10) as well as the University of Missouri – Columbia (Ed.S, ’14). When not saving the world from Kindergartners, he enjoys time with family, friends, and traveling.

A.U. Author Gold Interview: Markie Madden

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Fall has begun friends! The leaves are changing, but it’s still near 100 degrees where I am! Goodness! But, I have a refreshing author here for us to cool our spirits. I met Ms. Madden at Cape Con in 2015 at her table and I loved her energy. She is willing to go the extra mile for the authors she works with and works so hard in her writing craft as well, along with her deep affection for horses, research, and Doctor Who. I have got to chat with her at a few cons and she always dazzles me with her displays, conversation, positive nature, and cosplay. She makes writing professional and whimsical for all who work with her. And her two daughters are dolls and love anime like me! 😀 So, without further delay, please welcome Mrs. Markie Madden!

Author Interview:

  1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing? I was born in west Texas, but grew up from the age of 10 in Flushing, Michigan. I started seriously writing in high school.
  2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not? The first full-length book I wrote was called Once Upon a Western Way, and it was the first one I published. It’s since had a makeover and has been re-released as Clash of Times: The Quest.
  3. What are you currently working on, writing wise? I have several works in progress at any given time. The first is Ashes to Ashes, book #5 in my crime/paranormal series. The second is The Pharaoh’s Decree, a historical romance set in ancient Egypt and the second in my Pharaoh Queens Trilogy. Plus, I have several others I’ve started on.
  4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why? To date, I think my favorite character is Hatshepsut from The Pharaoh’s Destiny (available now). She’s a real historical figure, but so little is known about her that creating her for the book was almost like creating a character from scratch.
  5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later? I write from start to finish for the most part, but rarely I do come up with a scene or chapter out of order.
  6. What was your path like until you found writing? I’ve written most of my life, off and on. When I worked outside the home, I was in law enforcement and a pharmacy technician for a short time.
  7. How is your relationship with your publishing company? Well, I own it, so I would certainly hope it’s a good one!
  8. Tell us about your covers. I design my own covers and I really enjoy all the work that goes into one. I love to learn and learning Photoshop was a challenge for me.
  9. What inspires you to write? I’m not sure you could say any one thing inspires me to write. I just have to write. It’s who I am, as if I was born to write.
  10. How do you get book reviews? I often gift books or hold giveaways in the hopes of getting reviews, but to be honest, book reviews aren’t something I spend a lot of time worrying about or trying to get.
  11. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing? For me, marketing is the hardest part. I’ve never been good at selling myself, like in an interview for a job, and that’s basically what book marketing is.
  12. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now? I have 20 titles already planned for my crime/paranormal series, so I’d have to say I’d probably have over 30 or 40 books published!
  13. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author? I haven’t, though my company has published three anthologies of short stories from authors all over the world.
  14. What do you do to relax? I like to play with my dogs and go horseback riding on my horse, Athena.
  15. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be? Never give up!
  16. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation? The upcoming generation has it pretty easy. Honestly, I think they need to have a better grasp of ‘real world’ situations (I say this after the recent outbursts about removing historical statues).
  17. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life? I love the Clan of the Cave Bear books by Jean M. Auel. Because it’s based in prehistoric times, but well-researched, you gain an excellent understanding of the hardships our ancestors had to endure.
  18. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated? I don’t really read classical literature or writing.
  19. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing? I often write to the soundtrack from the Da Vinci Code movies.
  20. If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? One of my heroes is David Harshfield, English teacher (retired) at Flushing Senior High School back in the early 90’s. He was a self-published author before it was ‘cool’ and always told me that what’s not possible today might be commonplace in the future (and, he was right!). He’s the reason I kept writing and trying to publish my writing.
  21. Dog or cat person? Dogs. I’m pretty sure cats are an alien species.
  22. What do you want to eat right now? Taco Bell!
  23. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be? The Man From Snowy River
  24. What is your favorite holiday or time of year? Spring

Author Bio:

Markie Madden was born August 19, 1975, in Midland, Texas. She grew up in the small town of Flushing, Michigan. While in high school, she took creative writing and was a photographer for the school newspaper. In 1993, she won the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school paper. She began writing her first novel, Once Upon a Western Way, while still attending school.

Markie is now married with two teenage daughters, three rescue dogs, and her horse, Athena, who is featured on the cover of her horse care guide, Keeping a Backyard Horse. She tried many times over the years to publish her novel, first on her own, and then hiring a literary agent, all without success. In early 2012, after getting her first smart phone and e-reader application, Nook, she discovered the world of self-publishing through a website called Smashwords. She finally published Once Upon a Western Way through this distributor in April, 2012.

In the late spring of 2013, Markie came down with a mysterious illness, which was ultimately diagnosed as leukemia (AML specifically). She underwent a rigorous treatment of chemotherapy, during which, at one point, her life was endangered. While she was hospitalized, an old high school friend who is also a published author reconnected with her. Since cancer and the treatment of cancer forced her out of the traditional workforce, Markie turned her attention back to the world of writing.

By December of 2014, Markie was the successful publisher of three books, her first published work, Once Upon a Western Way, now available in print as well as e-format, as well as a self-help guide to horse care, Keeping a Backyard Horse, available in print and e-format, and her cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer, available in print, e-format, and audiobook. Her other two will soon be available in audiobook format as well. Markie has founded Metamorph Publishing, in order to publish her own books, and she is now working with two other independent authors as well.

Currently, Markie lives in the small town of Fisk, Missouri, with her family, her dogs, and her horse. She is still writing and is working on a crime/paranormal series called The Undead Unit Series. Book one of the series, Fang and Claw, is now available. The second book of the series, Souls of the Reaper, is expected out in 2016, along with a thriller novel entitled Cured Delusions. You can find her at her website: https://metamorphpublishing.com.

Book Spotlight:

The year is 1477 B.C.E. and history is about to change… Hatshepsut, the Great King’s Wife, is thrust into a world of intrigue and politics when her husband, Pharaoh Thutmose, dies suddenly, leaving Egypt with an heir who is barely two years old. The Queen must step into the role of leader, and there are few whom she can trust. When Hatshepsut is crowned as Pharaoh, she grooms her daughter, Neferure, to take the place of heir, rather than Thutmose’s infant son from another woman. Neferure, though young, is still older than the boy who should by all rights be king. The future of Egypt rests in the hands of a single woman, the most powerful woman in the ancient world. Can Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s people accept her unorthodox reign, and her plans to usurp the men’s place as rulers of a Kingdom, decreeing that only women are suitable leaders?

Social Medias:

The Pharaoh’s Destiny 

 Facebook:

Metamorph Publishing website: 

Metamorph Publishing Facebook:

Amazon Page:

 Fang and Claw (free series starter)

 

Top Ten Favorite Songs by the ABBA (Top Ten #65)

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In honor of my hubby’s 30th birthday month, I wanted to do a top ten of one of his favorite bands of all time, ABBA! Dancing queens, let’s get some money, head to Water Loo, and recall what we did last summer. Mamma Mia, here we go again! 😀

Top Ten Favorite ABBA Songs:

  1. Lay All Your Love on Me,
  2. Waterloo,
  3. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, a Man After Midnight OR Voulez- Vous
  4. Honey, Honey,
  5. Mamma Mia,
  6. Money, Money, Money,
  7. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
  8. I Have a Dream
  9. Does Your Mother Know?
  10. Our Last Summer

Top 30 Reasons I Love Being Married to my Best Friend (Top Ten Special):

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Tomorrow is my true love’s, Derrick, big 30, and he has been freaking out over it for over two years now! For our third year dating anniversary when I was 18 in college, I wrote a list of 355 reasons why I loved him, one for each day of the year. Now, being married for six years, we have learned more about each other. Some traits are annoying, others treasures, but I am glad for each one. Here are the Top 30 reasons I love being married to my best friend on his special day (in no order):

#1. He still kisses for forehead often and its cool touch still comforts me.

#2. When he calls me his angel.

#3. How he adores and loves our kitty as much as I do. We love being her parents! 🙂

#4. How he will laugh at random things I say, cover his mouth with his hands, and when I blink confused, he just says, “Gosh, I love you” and kisses me.

#5. How he forgets to take the trash out half the time, but can tease me on funny things I said as a kid when I was like four with perfect recollection.

#6. His love for animals that makes him beam so bright.

#7. Our mutual, intense love for Pokémon and our serious discussions over it.

#8. Watching movies or T.V. shows together.

#9. How neither one of us cooks and the other doesn’t care.

#10. How we both still disagree on who is paying for who when we go out to eat.

#11. How he spoils me at Christmas with anime, manga, and POPs, and only rolls his eyes about it.

#12. How we can vent to each other about work.

#13. He’s my muscles when I need it, although he whines about it.

#14. When I am sick and crying, he holds me and supports me, but also tries to make me stand on my own.

#15. How we are the responsible couple in our group, which shocks us.

#16. That he is okay with our place being the hub for our friends to hang, something I never really had growing up.

#17. How we go shopping together just so he can carry the bags and push the cart.

#18. How he treats my family like his at work.

#19. His work ethic.

#20. How he often tells me I look cute, especially if I am being shy.

#21. How he scolds me for working too hard, but knows he can’t often stop me.

#22. How he is fine with taking me shopping to places I want to go, no matter how boring to him.

#23. Our con adventures together.

#24. How he is the driver for big trips and trusts me to plan.

#25. How he tries to help me at Pokémon events, even though he isn’t overly patient with kids.

#26. How grateful he is when I treat him and he gets all boyishly humble.

#27. When we laugh and share memories of when we first started dating and look at each other with such tenderness.

#28. The way his eyes sparkle when he looks at me and tells me he loves me.

#29. How we always tell each other to be safe before we leave, no matter how far we are going.

#30. How he, a stubborn person, is willing to grow with me into adulthood, partnership, sometimes for me. We know we make mistakes, but he refuses to leave my side, a vow he tells me during our darkest times; he allows the light to shine through.

 

Happy Birthday, my sweet! You will always be young, full of passion, heart, and nerdiness to me! <3