The Martian the Movie?

Should you go and see The Martian the movie? Pay the $11 per person just to sit in a germ infested theatre next to a bird flu carrier just to see the movie before it’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Video or Netflix?

Um… Yeah! It’s that good. And even though there are a few differences in the ending and they left out a few little bits of humor, it’s still very good and you should totally pop for the exorbitant fee and buy the popcorn because when is there going to be another movie that I recommend you see before waiting for the cheaper less germy version? Like never! I’m a huge proponent of homemade popcorn and the comfy couch version.

Though there are a few changes in the storyline, it’s extremely entertaining and well done.

Hurray for Andy Weir and Ridley Scott!

I do however, hope you’ll read the book before you see the movie. If you haven’t done so, you’ll still enjoy the movie immensely but you won’t be able to detect how great or how funny the Mars inhabitant is.

 

In My Garden


When I’m not writing, I’m in my garden.

flowerpotWhen you work from home and from coffee shops, sometimes you need an outlet. You need to think and to do that you need to be away from your desk. I often take drives through Idaho back roads when I’m trying to figure something out; some conflict that weighs on me. But, before I get to that point, I find refuge in my garden.

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I have this wonderful husband. He accommodates my quirky personality and helps me with anything I need. He knows I need to be alone and have my space at times and that’s usually in the evenings or the early mornings when he finds me tending to my flowers, my chickens or our dog Oakley.

This year, I tried something new with my containers. I mail ordered from Proven Winners  (I’m not an affiliate) and wholly moly, that was a success though I will do a few things differently next year. All of these container designs came from Proven Winners. (I seriously need to pick up some decent drip saucers for these pots.) I went with fuschia for the front porch and royal purple for the backyard and I think this was the best year for my containers by far.

flowerpot2My backyard looks amazing with these beautiful purple pots. These photos don’t do it justice.

flowerpot9flowerpot8They are mostly filled with Supertunia Royal Velvet Petunias and Superbena Large Lilac Blue Verbena. It’s a grand combination and I’ll certainly replicate that in the future.

The first purple photo contains a variegated upright purple verbena with the Purple Snapdragons and Royal Velvet Supertunias on the side. I’m not sure I’d do the Snapdragons again. They come and go, but overall I was happy with this combination.

My patio is flanked by these two large containers with again the Royal Velvet Supertunias and the Purple Verbena and they turned out spectacular. You can’t really tell from the photo, but they are huge and lush; I love them. flowerpot6

I also have a thing for hydrangeas this year and for Mother’s Day my family picked up a few for me and they are all turning out flowerpot11beautifully.

Anyway, I like to pass on good things when I find them. I mail order most items because I’m not a great shopper. I always feel like I should be home writing. So finding a reliable mail order source for flowers, well…I’m hooked.

All of these posts were purchased as a combination from their website. They even have preset flower combinations to go with. You just need to plant them and feed them once a month. Easy and gorgeous.

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The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway


The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway

As promised, the last book in the Graham’s Resolution, The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale on Amazon. You can purchase it now and it will magically appear in your Kindle Reader upon release, however, if you are a Newsletter Recipient, don’t buy it now!

Newsletter recipients get special pricing dates, so if you’d prefer to only spend .99 on the new release please wait until I tell you of the special dates via newsletter.

Also, The China Pandemic, the book that started it all, is currently on a .99 special until the 12th of July so if there is anyone you know who has not read it, please pass on the good news to them.

Now what? Well, I’ve got a few short stories to work on, one of which will be a Kindle Worlds sequel to Deception on Durham Road, and the other??? I’m also working on a Kindle Worlds addition to the hit series by Black Crouch, Wayward Pines. More to come soon… Beyond that, I’m working on a stand-alone idea. One that I think will be well received. Thank you for sticking with me on this journey into my fiction worlds. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have finished a series.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to run a little giveaway. Below, enter to win a signed copy of The China Pandemic. To enter, just tweet or visit my FB page. Very simple. Please share away as well. Thank you!
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Graham’s Resolution has an Ending


The Graham’s Resolution series is complete. It’s a bittersweet realization that you’ve finished a series you love.
Malefic

Like naming Sheriff, picking the virus, the position of Hope; everything seemed to fall into place as if it was meant to be there. So too was the finality of the last line I wrote today; it felt right. It’s the end of the Graham’s Resolution series. And, I’m a little crushed.

I’ll move on. I’ve got more ideas. But, I think I’m mourning a little over it all. Of course, I left a little opening to go  back and do a sequel for the next generation at a later date, but it won’t be the same and I know this.

To me, this story was one bursting to life. There were times, I couldn’t keep up. My characters let me know when I went off track. My fan encouraged me to go on. And I did…until it was done and now I’m a little at a loss. I think it will take me a day or two. I’ll clean off my desk and wait for the Beta readers to finish and offer any suggestions, then it’s off to my editor. I’ll implement the edits and then The Malefic Nation will become live, the last in the series of Graham’s Resolution.

I don’t think I could have made the story better. Of course, in the beginning the editing could have been a lot better. But the story itself, it’s what it needed to be and I hope everyone enjoys the ending as well. I believe in human evil and I believe in the human spirit. The battle of good and evil is real in fiction and it’s real in reality. Either can win. My hope is that no matter how evil the world becomes, there’s a way to win it over and strong people willing to make the sacrifice to bring it back at any cost.

Now what? Now, I think I’ll take a long walk and try to let those old ideas flood back in. I’ll let you know. Perhaps a quick sequel to Deception on Durham Road before I start the next big novel? Apparently, I need to blow up the neighborhood on my way out. 🙂 Might be fun.

In any event, I’ll keep you informed.

Lazy Summer Lake Vacations



I had one of the most relaxing stressless vacations last week. It was pure bliss I tell you.


Most of the time when my husband suggests a vacation, I cringe a little. I’m a creature of habit. I like my own surroundings. I’m comfortable where I am. We’ve been on Alaskan cruises, where I became extremely sick, not from sea sickness, but from a virus. We often fly to Texas to visit family and stay in hotels . We stayed in a bed and breakfast once in Virginia near Williamsburg, but mostly we’ve rented homes on the Oregon coast where after a few day, the sound of the see slowly drives me insane. Each time, I felt stressed while on vacation. It’s probably not suppose to be like that.


So, this time when my oldest daughter and her fiancée came up to visit us from Texas, my husband rented a house on Twin Lakes in Rathdrum, Idaho. It’s only 45 minutes away from my home and let me tell you, I LOVED it. The little green house wasn’t fancy. It was built in the 1920s and had only one bathroom, but it was remodeled and it suited us just fine. It had the original indoor siding. I wish I’d taken more pictures, but I was relaxin. I spent most of my time on the deck or fishing on the pier. We also had use of the canoe and floating over the smooth water was a treat. We saw a few cabins reminiscent of Graham’s cabin. And, we also saw an eagle peering down at us while he plucked the little fish out of the lake that we were throwing back. That’s him in the center of the tree. You’ll have to trust me, that was as close as I could get.



I caught a few bass and a small trout, but we were throwing most of them back to live another day.


In the middle of the afternoon heat, the canoe ride towards the shady side was the coolest spot to hang out. There’s no air conditioner in the little charming green 1920s cabin, but who would want to be stuck inside when you have all of this right outside your door.


Here are two of my lovely daughters who attended our vacation. Melanie, on the right, loves fishing. She caught the most. While Wendy, on the left, is more of a catch and release tender soul.


In the evenings, I would sit out there on the dock and watch the ducks swim by while Melanie continued to coax out one last fish from the lake. I could live like this. I dare say, I could write more eloquently if I had such beauty at hand. We’ll return to this lake soon and it will be a vacation like home away from home for me. A place that doesn’t push me around, instead it accepts the simple person that I am. I can relax here.
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The China Pandemic Giveaway!

Because it’s Monday after my vacation, I thought I’d start it off by doing a Giveaway.

Enter below.
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Wayward Pines Night!

Today is Thursday. You know that means? Wayward Pines night!

D1JLaCrfAiS._SL250_It’s funny how it’s the little things you look forward to during a repetitive week. I mean, The Walking Dead is out of season, Doc Martin is over for another year, and Downton Abbey is also in a lull. So what a treat it was to find out one of my favorite book series was becoming a TV show!

Tonight is the fourth episode of the series, and although I know what should happen next, they’ve skipped around a little and now I have no idea what’s in store. So it’s fun to enjoy the series after I’ve read it, in a different light. This is the TV producers version of Wayward Pines, and though many things are different, it’s still very entertaining. The one thing that’s a little cumbersome to me is the son. Why did they go with an older teen? Perhaps it’s because they needed to show a really dark side of the school, and they needed a perspective of a teen for that instead of an eight-year-old boy. Who knows?

One thing I do know is that I’ll keep watching. In the meantime, did you know there was a Kindle World’s for the Wayward Pines series? There is, and my friend Steven Konkoly wrote a three novella series highlighting the FBI guy Hassler. It’s really awesome. I’ve read them all.

In fact…(I’m saying this quietly; almost a whisper.) I’m working on a novella outline for one of the Wayward Pines characters to submit to Kindle Worlds too. Of course, this is on the side as I finish up Malefic Nation. It may be a few months before that becomes a real thing and I’ll be certain to announce it when it does come out.

 

 

May Newsletter & Random Musings

May Newsletter

Signings, New Vendors & More

Hello. I have a few updates to share about the series.

Availability – I’ve often received emails expressing issues with the ebooks lack of availability beyond Kindle. In the past, I’ve only listed it exclusively with Amazon Kindle however, that has changed this week and The China Pandemic eBook version is now available at most major retailers. Kobo, BN.com, Scribd, Page Foundry, Tolino and of course Amazon. By next month, The Cascade Preppers and The Last Infidels will also be available at these retailers.

Book Signing – I will be reading from The China Pandemic on May 28th at 6pm at the Liberty Lake, WA Library. If you’re in the Spokane area, I’d love to meet you. Bring your paperback book for signing or you can purchase one there. (No purchase necessary) We’ll talk about the series, the publishing world and any other topics that arise.

Editing News – This has been a long journey. One of the most major issues in indie writing is finding a professional editor. Though I’ve had The China Pandemic edited five times, I knew it still needed polishing. So, I finally tracked down the best possible editor with fantastic credentials and he accepted me as a client. He has worked for major publishers. He’s worked for Amazon’s imprint 47north. And he’s worked on many major bestsellers. His name is Brian Bendlin and he just completed The China Pandemic. He is now re-editing The Cascade Preppers and so on and so forth. I’m finally relieved that when I publish something, it will be in it’s best form, from now on and I know you are too. 🙂

In other news, I’ve received a few contacts who are interested in representing the series as literary agents. This means, that possibly in the near future, Graham’s Resolution will be professionally Published. This is something I will only agree to if I do not have to sign a no compete clause which limits the number of books an author can produce in a year. If so, it means the series will be more broadly available and I can focus on writing instead of business; which would be nice…

Last but not least, I’m taking a trip soon to Hope, Canada. Though I’ve traveled to every destination in the series, I haven’t been to where the group is fleeing. I feel no matter how much research you do online, nothing compares to the impression you get gleaning from the place you’re writing about. So next month, off I go and I’ll take pictures to post. (Now I just need to write about Hawaii or France…)

Also, The Malefic Nation is coming along well though I don’t anticipate it release date until the end of summer, I’ll keep you posted. The manuscript is over half way complete and I want the story to end the best way possible. After completion, I’m leaving the series for a while. I may come back and write a prequel and/or a sequel, but I have a few stand-a-lones that I’d like to get out of my system first.

One thing I could use your help with, if you haven’t left a review on the series, please do. I would appreciate reviews on all the books I’ve written including Deception on Durham Road. This is one way you can support your favorite authors.

Thank you for all you kind notes. I welcome them anytime.

Until later!

A. R. Shaw

First Farmer’s Market Trip of the Season

 
I knew it was going to rain today. In fact, we were expecting thunderstorms by the afternoon. So I coaxed my husband to join me for the opening day of the Farmer’s Market in Liberty Lake. As soon as we got there, the first thing I noticed were these beautiful, lush, giant peonies  everyone carried around. I only hoped there was enough for me. 

I didn’t expect to get a ton of seasonal vegetables this early but we did buy some green onions, a few heirloom tomato plants and a rustic pizza…

  
  
Oh and yes, I found the peonies. 😊 I hope you got out and did a few thing today too.

  

Sight Unseen

download (3)So it’s my favorite and only son’s birthday today, and I wanted to send him a cake. What do you do when your son is studying abroad? You resort to the internet and beg the local baker, by email, to make and deliver the cake. After several random searches, I settled on Angel Food Bakery. I wish I lived there locally after perusing their menu; I’d be huge.

I might point out, there was no order form or way to pay online, only really for local phone orders. This is a small lovely bakery in England. So I resorted to old school tactics, I emailed. It worked! I had no idea what would arrive. I got an email back the next day saying I needed to pay by 5PM. With the time difference of 9 hours that meant I only had four minutes to complete the transaction. I speedily typed. There were no directions other than I requested vanilla with vanilla icing and seasonal adornments. Viola! Happy Birthday, Son. It turned out beautifully too, with strawberries atop white icing and blue decorations, perfect for a young man.

He texted back, possibly a little astonished his mother’s reach is so far. Muhahaha!

Have a wonderful weekend!