Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Legend of the Gray Man: Web-find Wednesday

The South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands are known for their stories of shipwrecks, pirates, and haunted plantations. Seriously, the area seems to emote a haunting presence to me, and I can't help the feeling I'm not alone as I walk through the ruins of old Low Country cemeteries, mansions, and slave quarters. 

This week's Web-find is The Gray Man, also known as the Pawley's Island Ghost.

The Gray Man is probably the most famous South Carolina ghost story. Pawley's Island is a low-key resort island, also well-known for its hammocks and has been struck by five deadly hurricanes which were predicted by The Gray Man. According to legend, the apparition of the Gray Man appears to people, warning them of impending hurricanes. If you're lucky enough to see the ghost and follow his warning, your house is spared. The first instance of the sighting was said to have been in 1822 when a disastrous hurricane struck and killed hundreds in the Charleston area.


Video: The Legend of The Gray Man (8:53min)

More info: 









Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Dream to Some, a Nightmare to Others


From the movie GOTHIC, inspired by the events behind the writing of Frankenstein


Hey, guys. I’m away at a conference this week, but I managed to find something cool to share. Since I'm on the road, I thought now would be the perfect time for a post on nightmares. I usually have a least one when I’m traveling, but that's a good thing. Some of my favorite story ideas originated from my nightmares. I find it hard to recreate the same fear that I experienced--heart palpitating from some bizarre scene that had felt so real--but I do my best.

In fact one of the scenes I’m writing for Prometheus Unbound (Book 2, The Prometheus Order series) came from a nightmare I had while writing Byronic. For those of you who don’t know, the premise of the Prometheus Order series came from the actual events and nightmares that inspired the creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Nightmare: Horror and Dark Fantasy

Today’s Wednesday Web-find is another online magazine, Nightmare

From the website: Nightmare is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In Nightmare’s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror.

Edited by John Joseph Adams, the site offers award-winning stories, podcasts, ebooks, and some of the most amazing, disturbing art.

Enjoy visiting Nightmare!!!!


Friday, July 4, 2014

BYRONIC $25 Amazon/B&N Giftcard Contest!





Thanks you for your interest in The Reading Romantics--a group of readers who are excited about my books and who want to spread the word about upcoming events and releases. I would be honored if you joined my team. 

Sandi Beth Jones


NEW!!!!!!!!!!!
STREET TEAM EXCLUSIVE CONTEST:

Each member will receive a free ebook copy of BYRONIC. 
Then every member who posts an honest review of Byronic on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads (and emails me a link to their review) will receive ONE entry into a drawing for a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card plus a BYRONIC skull necklace!!!!! 
Post reviews in all three places for 3 entries!

Sign up on the form below to join my team, THE READING ROMANTICS today! 
Contest ends September 30, 2014




Street team members typically support their favorite author online by:
  • posting reviews
  • sharing reviews
  • talking about the book online
  • share links on social media sites
  • visit blogs during book tours/guest posts and comment
  • share favorite quotes, dream cast, etc. on social media sites
  • like 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon, B & N, and Goodreads

    I’m very grateful to my readers. You are the reason I write. The street team will be among the first to know about upcoming events. Sign up for any event you'd like to participate in or simply help to create a buzz about the event on the social media of your choosing. 

    What active members get in return:
    • exclusive look at up and coming works (teasers, snippets, 1st chapters)
    • swag featuring the gorgeous cover art from my books. Anyone national and international may join the team, but due to the cost of postage the swag packet will only be mailed to locations where postage is reasonable from the US.

    Please click the link to fill out the following form:


    If you have any questions about the street team, please email me: sandibjonesya (at) gmail (dot) com 







    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Got Ink?: Web-find Wednesday


    I'm a sucker for bad boys, so naturally I gravitate toward a guy with a tattoo (or 20 tattoos!). For me they conjure up an image of rebellion, attitude, and self-expression. When I see one, I wonder what the story is behind the art and why did they choose it? Certainly, Geoffrey Ramsey, the main character in BYRONIC (YA supernatural romance) has one. Geoff's a little aloof, so he hasn't shared much about his ink yet. But a girl can hope!

    Today's web-find:


    The website includes a handy interactive map of tattoos of the world. It highlights history, culture, and more. It features the Maori, Borneo, circus tats, and the ink of North American cultures.

    The museum is connected to the larger Vanishing Tattoo site, which also shares celebrity tattoos, symbols, facts, and more.

    Some of the images were beautiful and fascinating to me, others were more cringe-worthy. Just depends on a person's taste. 

    I can tell you that Geoff's tat is Native American, so it would probably be more like one of these:


    If you visit the site, let me know, or share any tattoo history sites you've found.






    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Literary Road Trip

    Have you ever traveled to a destination simply because you read about it in a novel?

     

    The hubs and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary, and I chose the destination for our celebration. I've been all over the South visiting places I've read about. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? Savannah, Georgia--been there. The Water is Wide? Beaufort, South Carolina--been there. Interview with a Vampire? New Orleans--been there. The Gold Bug? Sullivan's Island--been there. You get the idea. 

    So where hadn't I been? 

    The home of Ernest Hemingway. Old Man and the Sea? Key West, Florida--now I've been there, too.


    This is the paw of one of the 40+ cats roaming Hemingway's property. Many of the cats are descended from the author's famous unusual 6-toed feline, including this one.


    I love traveling and seeing the places I'd only imagined when I read about them. Occasionally my travels lead to my writing, too. That's where I got the inspiration for my YA supernatural, BYRONIC, which comes out tomorrow. ((YAY!!!!!)) There's just something compelling and mysterious about the old live oaks and their Spanish moss--not to mention the historic plantations.

    Now that I've finally visited Key West, I guess I'll have to find a new literary town to visit. :-) 

    About BYRONIC:
    When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

    Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make her feel any more at home.

    Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." She's determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.

    It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.

    Add BYRONIC on Goodreads









    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Win EVERNEATH, THE GATHERING, and BYRONIC!!


    The BIG Byronic Giveaway!

    To celebrate the release of my young adult romance, BYRONIC, I'm giving away books! In May I was fortunate enough to attend the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans where I met some of my favorite paranormal YA authors, including Kelley Armstrong and Brodi Ashton. Now I'm giving a lucky reader two free autographed books from the authors themselves, along with an ebook of BYRONIC from my publisher!! To enter, simply follow the steps on the Rafflecopter below.

    About the book:
    When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

    Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make her feel any more at home.

    Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." She's determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.

    It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Mad Scientists: Web-find Wednesday


    This week, I'm working with a favorite old trope of mine: Mad Scientists. I've always adored Victorian gothic stories of scientists with their mysterious and creepy jars of specimens. Although I've never fully sympathized with the crazed, work-obsessed scientist, I've been fascinated by their psyche. This interest has carried over into my current WIP, the sequel to BYRONIC. So while researching mad scientists this week, I made a list of my all-time favorites. Can you guess which one I liked best?

    Mad Scientists (or maybe some who were just a little misunderstood!)

    1.     Dr. Warthrop from Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
    2.     Dr. Moreau from The Island of Dr. Moreau byHG Wells
    3.     Dr. Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
    4.     Dr. Jekyll from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    5.     Mistress of Mayhem from The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell (haven't read this, but really, really want to!)


     And now for the Web-find of the week:

    A quiz! Visit the link to find out: Which mad scientist are you?




     Available June 24, 2014 from Omnific Publishing
    Add on Goodreads!!

    About BYRONIC: 
    When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

    Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make her feel any more at home.

    Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." She's determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life. 

    It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.


    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    COVER REVEAL and a Trailer!!

    So happy I can finally share my book cover with you all!!!! And now that I can, I'm also sharing my BOOK TRAILER!!!

    I think my publisher and cover artist did a fantastic job. What do you think??



    So what's BYRONIC about, you say? Read on, McDuff:


    When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can't help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

    Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom's snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn't make her feel any more at home.

    Troubled and reckless after his brother's mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." She's determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.

    It's clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.

    Available June 24, 2014!!

    And now for that book trailer preview I promised you:




    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Creepy Quickies

    I love the way a good horror story can be created with the right tone and just a few words. For today's Web-find Wednesday, here are some creepy quickies, because one can never have too many...

    From Two Sentence Horror Stories (reblogged from Policymic.com)




    Ever hear a kid say something incredibly frightening?

    From 20 Creepy Things Little Kids Have Said To Their Poor Babysitters. (reblogged from HYCS)

    1. A few years ago, I was putting my friend’s daughter to bed for the night.

    She was about 3 at the time, and she was fighting going to sleep. She asked me why she had to go to bed, and I said “Because it is late and it’s time for little girls to get a good night’s rest.” She then pointed at nothing across the room and said, “What about that little girl?”

    2. Two years ago, I was looking through my elementary school yearbook with my 5 year old cousin…

    When we came to a page with a 2nd grade class, she pointed to a boy’s photo and said, “That looks just like Nicolas!” When I asked who Nicolas was she just said “The boy in my closet,” and kept on looking through the pictures. I almost died.

    3. Little kids know stuff, man.

    My niece is 4 and talks about her “older sister” constantly. She is always talking to her too. She is an only child and has no idea her mother had a previous pregnancy a few years back that was a mid-term loss. Weirds me out something major.

    4. I was heading to the bathroom on the second floor of my aunt’s house when I saw my cousin, April, on the stairs.

    April was four and very animated. She was busy making funny faces while sitting on the stairs. I asked her what she was doing. She said, “I’m copying the lady with the braid.”

    I looked around, there was no one else but us. I asked, “where is the lady, April?” She pointed to a beam running parallel to the stairwell.

    I asked April, “what is the lady doing?”

    She said, “Makin’ funny faces.”

    I started walking up the stairs again when April said something that stopped me in my tracks.

    “Her braids is around her neck.”

    I turned back and asked April to repeat herself.

    April pointed, “the lady is hanging by her braid… She’s making funny faces.” Then April started making a face which I then realize was it someone gasping for air.

    5. I was looking after Jack (A five year old) who said a man named Jacob who dressed like a lumber jack was sitting next to me on the couch.

    He must have seen the shock in my face, and said “Don’t worry, he doesn’t have any arms.”

    *****


    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    An Artsy Fartsy Word Site

    Here's a website that's new-to-me for today's Web-find:

    Tagxedo.com

    One of my students introduced me to the site and now I'm hooked. Similar to Wordle, another great word webpage, Tagxedo appeals to me on many levels. First, I can import text from whatever I'm digging at the moment. Second, it lets me manipulate the text into images of my choice. And last but not least, I can change colors, fonts, etc. in a very user-friendly format. It even lets you see your history just in case you change your mind and decide to return to a previous masterpiece. I found that posting to social media is easy, and you can download without any problems in a variety of file sizes.

    Here's my masterpiece…

    TA-DA!!!


    Lord Byron in text from the description for my YA romance, BYRONIC. 

    Isn't he handsome??? (Squint just a lil' bit.)


    Have fun with some word art!




    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Weird, Bizarre, and Unexpected


    A wonderful TV show called Tales of the Unexpected, created by Roald Dahl, was one of my childhood favorites. I love the twisted endings and dark humor.

    This week's Web-find Wednesday is an online magazine that reminds me of that show: Weird Tales Magazine. With its bizarre artwork, creative fan fiction, and little-known facts, I've quickly become a fan.

    Weird Tales Magazine

    Like them on Facebook to get more fantastically strange posts.


    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    O Death


    The Funeral of Shelley by Louis Édouard Fournier
    Today's Web-find Wednesday is all about the dearly departed. These are some of the fantastic sites I ran across this week while researching death rituals for my work-in-progess.


    1. Those crazy Victorians are at it again. It's hard to believe that people once wanted a mold of a dead loved one's face. Here's a great post I found on Victorian death masks:

    http://onelondonone.blogspot.com/2010/10/macabre-look-at-death-masks.html


    2. This one is a little more disturbing and realistic than I can handle. The macabre practice of photographing the dead:

    http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/memento-mori-victorian-photographs-of-the-dead


    3. And from the Americas, the rituals of Voodoo, because there ain't
    no party like a zombie party: The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

    http://www.voodoomuseum.com



    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Web-find Wednesday: Edward Gorey

    Welcome to the first "Web-find Wednesday," a new regular feature here on MB&DTK for weird and wonderful things found on the Internet. Expect to find the bizarre, the gross, the disturbing…everything from websites to videos to Tumblrs, you name it. Today it's...

    Edward Gorey!


    Guys, I lovvvve Edward Gorey. Years before Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes took over PBS, I was watching Masterpiece Theatre. In particular, Masterpiece Mystery with its kitschy intro--those creepy, gothic black and white illustrations and the quaking damsel in distress. The amazing artist Edward Gorey created those wonderful characters and illustrated many books for children.

    Some of his books are a bit disturbing to me as a former school librarian, with skeleton teachers embracing wee innocent babes (Gashlycrumb Tinies) ... but who am I kidding? I would've loved having any of his picture books as a kid!

    "K is for Kate. Killed with an ax." (Yeah, I was a little morbid.)

    The man himself was amazingly eccentric, loving fur coats and cats, and supposedly inspired Tim Burton.



    There are lots of licensed products with Gorey's images. Visit www.edwardgoreyhouse.org for the official website, biography, museum hours, and products.

    Go forth and enjoy Edward Gorey!!


    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    My news!!!


    Dusting off the old, bringing in the new. I haven't posted in a while, but there's been a good reason for that. A VERY good reason--I've been writing! I've sold a couple of adult books, which was exciting. Meanwhile, I kept working on my YA writing. It's been a long and rocky trip, full of revisions and rewrites. Over the past two years I've had great help and advice from more people than I can possibly thank in one post. Now, finally I have the news I've been waiting to share:

    My first YA Gothic novel will soon be published with….


    OMNIFIC PUBLISHING!


    I'm over the moon and can't wait to bring this story to you!!!!!!!! Until then, I'll return to regular posting here on the blog. 

    What can you expect to see on MAD, BAD, & DANGEROUS TO KNOW? 



    Nightmares,

    The grotesque,

    The frightful,

    The Romantic,

    The lovely,

    The desolate,

    and above all… the unexpected.