My Top 5 Urban Fantasy Television Shows

What is Urban Fantasy? It is a sub-genre of Fantasy where common fantasy conventions are placed in an urban, modern setting. The ‘fantasy’ part can include magic, mythology, and supernatural powers and creatures. The ‘urban’ part does not necessarily mean the story must be set in a large city.  An Urban Fantasy can be set in a futuristic or Victorian era location as well. As long as fantasy elements are used in a modern society, as opposed to a medieval one, it is an Urban Fantasy. Stories set more than thirty – fifty years into the future, however, may fall into the Sci-Fi genre.

Some Urban Fantasy tropes include:

  • Supernatural creatures roam the Earth – vampires, werewolves, shifters, angles, demons, witches, etc.
  • A kickass main character (usually female in novels) – the MC doesn’t know who they are in some way and/or have not developed their true potential in the beginning. They usually have magical powers and can learn how to fight quickly
  • A case-of-the-week or monster-of-the-week storyline – the main character must solve a crime or destroy a monster each episode/novel, but there is also a separate over arcing storyline each season or through out the course of a book series
  • Quirky sidekicks and/or team members – MC’s need sidekicks, or maybe even a team of helpers with specialized abilities the MC doesn’t have. The sidekicks can sometimes steal the show. They are usually funny and overly supportive to the MC.

Here are my top five favorite Urban Fantasy TV shows:

5) Lucifer

I think you can guess what this show is about. It follows Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar, a fallen angel living in LA, as he helps a detective solve crimes. The show has ties to The Sandman comic book series. I’m still trying to get into this show. I have a love-hate relationship with it, but I can’t wait for the third season to premiere.

4) The Magicians

A young man is recruited into a secrete magic school. He and his friends discover that a magical world in a popular children’s story is real. Based on a novel by Lev Grossman. At first, I didn’t like this show. I hated the lead character, Quentin Coldwater, and the entire Brakebills College for whiny brats was a snore. I struck with it through the first season and ended up liking the second season a lot. Even though I’m still not in love with Quentin, everything else about the show will keep me tuning in.

3) Haven

The series is based on the Stephen King novel, The Colorado Kid. The show is about FBI Agent, turned small town cop, Audrey Parker as she tries to help local townspeople afflicted by supernatural powers called the troubles. I miss this program. Haven was under appreciated in my opinion. The characters were sweet. In a genre that is cluttered with grim-dark, I found Haven refreshing.

2) True Blood

Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, True Blood followed Sookie Stackhouse in her home town of Bon Temps, Louisiana as she navigated a world where synthetic blood allows vampires to live out in the open. True Blood was ‘must-see-don’t-even-think-about-f*cking-bothering-me-or-I’ll-slice-your-face-off-with-my-bare-hands-TV’ for me. My co-workers and I would rush in on Monday to talk about this show. I couldn’t wait to go online to read what people were saying in the forums.

1) Supernatural

The series follows two brothers as the hunt down evil monsters. Supernatural is my favorite Urban Fantasy of all time. I’ve watched if for years and I’ll never get tired of Dean, Sam and Castiel. It’s not perfect and even the most dedicated fan would admit the show has had rocky, uneven seasons, but overall, when it comes to unforgettable characters, great acting and well written storylines, Supernatural is one of the best.

Okay, I know every Urban Fantasy fan is saying ‘What The F*ck?’ to my list. ‘Where is Buffy the Vampire Slayer?’ ‘Where is Angel?’ you might be asking as you seethe at your computer screen. Hear me out! BtVS was hands down the most influential Urban Fantasy program of all time. And, yes, David Boreanaz was smoking hot as Angel and yes, he popped your vampire cherry, making you long to be bitten over and over again by brooding, dark-haired vampires. Stephen Moyer does owe his career in part to Boreanaz, but fourteen years has gone by since Buffy concluded.

There are probably thousands of all-time greatest Urban Fantasy TV show lists on the web. I think more current or overlooked programs should get a chance.

Obviously, this list could have been much longer. Maybe I’ll do a second list of honorable mentions at a later date.

Do you agree with my list? What are your top five Urban Fantasy TV Shows?

I hope you liked this week’s blog post. The first book in my urban fantasy series is Hound-Dog-Confidential-Promo-Paperbackfree for a limited time.

Available at:   Barnes & Noble   Kobo   iBooks

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting, or subscribing.

Awesome Stephen King Quotes

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”—On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When you find something at which you have talent, you do that thing (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes pop out of your head.”—On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the tools to write.”—On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

fuckyeah typography-poster-posters-quote“If I have to spend time in purgatory before going to one place or the other, I guess I’ll be all right as long as there’s a lending library.” –Stephen King

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.”—On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” –Stephen King

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”—On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” –Stephen King

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” ― Stephen King

sleeping cat pexels-photo-62640“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft   

“There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story… don’t be like the book-snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words–the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers who won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.”
― Stephen King

Happy Birthday Stephen King!

 

I hope you liked this week’s blog post. The first book in my urban fantasy series is Hound-Dog-Confidential-Promo-Paperbackfree for a limited time.

Available at:   Barnes & Noble   Kobo   iBooks

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting, or subscribing.

Alchemy and Mythology

This is part of a series of posts connected to different elements of my urban fantasy series.  I’ve written a lot about how my novel series was influenced by Greek mythology, but another element that is especially prominent in the first book, Hound Dog Confidential, is alchemy.  Not many people realize that alchemy has roots in ancient Egypt and Greece.  Most folks think of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance when they hear the word alchemy.

You’ve рrоbаblу hеаrd thе lеgеnd thаt аlсhеmіѕtѕ wіzаrdѕ wеrе lіkе a соmbіnаtіоn оf chemists аnd mаgісіаns who trіеd tо transform lеаd іntо gold. But, was аlсhеmу juѕt a get rich quick scheme? Or, waѕ it thе рrесurѕоr аnd rооt of mоdеrn day chemistry?

Cluеs about whаt alchemy іѕ hides in thе оrіgіnѕ оf thе wоrd. Onе trаnѕlаtіоn іѕ that it is the “art of thе blасk еаrth.”  Thе оrіgіnаl nаmе fоr thе lаndѕ оf the аnсіеnt Egурtіаnѕ іѕ “khеm”. Thе soil аlоng thе Nіlе rіvеr іѕ blасk аnd соnѕіdеrеd tо hаvе lіfе gіvіng аnd spiritual ԛuаlіtіеѕ. Thе аnсіеnt Egурtіаnѕ wеrе known to be superstitious аnd fосuѕеd on thе aftеrlіfе.

Alchemy may also аllude to the Grееk word “chemeia” whісh іѕ fоund in the writings оf Diocletian. This rооt оf аlсhеmу rеfеrѕ to thе аrt of mаkіng metal іngоtѕ. Another Greek wоrd, “chumeia” which mеаns “juice” аnd іmрlіеs it соmes from a рlаnt. It rеfеrѕ to tаkіng extracts from рlаntѕ and uѕіng thеm fоr medical рurроѕеѕ.

The аnсіеnt Egyptian аlсhеmіѕtѕ (рrіеѕtѕ) knеw hоw to сrеаtе a sacred white powder thаt gаvе thеm a ѕесоnd sight аnd possibly had other “magical” qualities. In thе trаdіtіоn оf mоdеrn аlсhеmу, thіѕ ѕасrеd white роwdеr, оftеn dерісtеd іn Egурtіаn drawings as ріlеd up іn a cone lіkе thе shape оf a traditional wіzаrd’ѕ hаt, is рrоbаblу whаt is now known аѕ Thе Philosopher’s Stоnе.

The origin of аlсhеmіѕtrу іѕ attributed to Alеxаndrіа, Eԛурt. Yоu mау аѕk, “Whу is Egурt undеr thе hеаdіng of Greece?” At this time, Alexandria wаѕ a соlоnу оf Grеесе, named аftеr Alexander thе Grеаt. There аrе nоt mаnу wrіtіngѕ frоm thіѕ period іn alchemistry, and the rесоrdѕ that rеmаіn are hard tо translate from heiroglyphs. It іѕ thоught the рrеdесеѕѕоrѕ to lаtеr аlсhеmісаl bооkѕ were handed dоwn оrаllу fоr mаnу уеаrѕ. Thе first wrіttеn еvіdеnсе оf Egурtіаn аlсhеmу thаt remains tоdау іѕ the Lеуdеn papyrus. Other bооkѕ and texts of аlсhеmу іn Egурt wеrе wrіttеn later оn іn tіmе (namely frоm thе third tо seventh сеnturу of thе соmmоn еrа).

gold 2 tutankhamun-death-mask-pharaonic-egyptThe first реrѕоn whо іѕ аѕѕосіаtеd wіth thе origin оf аlсhеmу іѕ Hermes Trіѕmеgіѕtuѕ, or “thе thrее tіmеѕ grеаt,” whо wаѕ said to have been аn аuthоr оf аn аlсhеmісаl script. The expression “hermetic art” which rеfеrѕ to alchemy соmеѕ frоm hіѕ name. Rоmаn ріllаrѕ were еrесtеd in Egypt in honor of hіm. Uроn thеѕе pillars wеrе wrіttеn many аlсhеmісаl inscriptions іn hieroglyphics. Thіѕ Hеrmеѕ Trіѕmеgіѕtuѕ wаѕ a реrѕоnіfісаtіоn of thе Egурtіаn Gоd Thоt, whо іѕ thоught tо bе the equivalent оf the grееk Hеrmеѕ. It was tо Thоt thаt the dіvіnе tаѕk of рrераrіng сеrtаіn metals wаѕ given. The оnlу humаns who соuld рrасtісе this hоlу, dіvіnе and ѕасrеd аrt wеrе priests, who were thоught tо bе ѕоnѕ оf Thоt.

Anоthеr fаmоuѕ аlсhеmіѕt wаѕ a mаn bу thе name of Zоѕіmоѕ of Panopolis. Zоѕіmоѕ was аn аlсhеmіѕt whо wrоtе many books, аnd wаѕ looked uроn аѕ one оf thе grеаtеѕt аlсhеmіѕtѕ. Of thе twеntу-еіght bооkѕ hе іѕ ѕuрроѕеd tо hаvе wrіttеn, оnlу роrtіоnѕ оf a few remain. In thеѕе rеmаіnіng frаgmеntѕ, Zоѕіmоѕ ѕреаkѕ of thе fіxаtіоn оf mеrсurу, of a tіnсturе whісh changes ѕіlvеr tо gоld, and of a dіvіnе wаtеr or раnасеа (a сurе-аll сhеmісаl). Zоѕіmоѕ’ wrіtіngѕ ѕtrоnglу іnfluеnсеd аlсhеmіѕtѕ оf his tіmе, аnd аlѕо аlсhеmіѕtѕ of the Mіddlе Agеѕ.

At the end оf thе Hellenic Alеxаndrіа, a саtаѕtrорhе оссurеd. The buіldіng іn whісh аll of thе wrіtіngѕ оf alchemy were ѕtоrеd, thе Sеrареum, was demolished destroying mаnу оf the оnlу соріеѕ оf books on аlсhеmу. The mаѕѕіvе demolition was nоt the еnd оf аlсhеmу. The dream to turn nothing into something—lead into gold—could never die. This іdеа is what kept alchemy аlіvе through many difficult periods, and was аlѕо thе drіvіng fоrсе behind many alchemists’ рrасtісеѕ.

I hope you liked this week’s blog post.  You can read the first chapters of my urban fantasy series The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus on the books page.

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting or subscribing.

The Effects Of Prolonged Sitting On The Health Of Writers

Sitting down and writing continuously for hours is actually dangerous for your health. Research has shown that sitting for unbroken and long periods of time is connected to significantly greater health risks, such as:

  • A slower metabolism – which decreases the fat burning ability of the body, making you more prone to store excess calories.
  • A slower metabolism will make it harder for you to lose weight, leading to obesity – which is itself associated with a host of medical problems.
  • Deep vein thrombosis. It is a condition in which blood clots causes pulmonary embolisms.
  • Your heart also suffers when you sit for long periods of time, resulting in a number of Cardiovascular diseases—such as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
  • Increase in insulin resistance that leads to a greater risk of Type II diabetes.

Even if you regularly go to the gym, these few minutes of workouts are not the remedy to long hours of sitting.

sitting 2 small fashion-legs-notebook-workingWhat writers can do to better their health?

To temper the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, remember that activity is the key to lowering the health risks.

You can make your writing time more physically active by using an exercise ball, a treadmill desk or a standing desk.

In addition, take frequent activity breaks while writing. According to experts, it is recommended to take a few minutes of activity breaks after every 20 to 30 minutes, as research shows that body movement help in maintaining insulin response and glucose control.

I hope you liked this week’s blog post.  You can read the first chapters of my urban fantasy series The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus on the books page. (While they are still up…)

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting or subscribing.

What are some ways you try to stay healthy?

What Is Descriptive Writing?

Check out this helpful post from Rachel Poli’s blog about descriptive writing.

Rachel Poli

There are many different kinds of writing, descriptive writing being one of them. Pretty much everything I found on descriptive writing talked about essay writing or academic writing.

Descriptive writing is important for any kind of writing, but we’ll stick to creative writing for now.

What Is Descriptive Writing?What is descriptive writing?

Descriptive writing is when you give a clear and vivid description of a person, place, or thing in your writing. It can be in separate paragraphs and sentences or woven into the narration. Descriptive writing is supposed to help the readers visualize everything as though they’re in the story themselves.

How can you use descriptive writing?

There are many different clever ways you can weave descriptive writing into your story.

Figurative Language

Used to show imagery, figurative language uses metaphors, similes, personification, etc. Pretty much the basics of the English language that you learned about in school. These can be used…

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Jackie Weger’s Tips On Getting Visible And Selling Books

All of these are great tips!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJackie Weger is more than an author of great romance novels; she’s a tireless supporter of Indies, both on her own and through her eNovel Authors at Work group. Jackie has written a score of posts detailing her (rather extensive) marketing experience; you may have read some in the past, such as Promoting With The Small Guys? Jackie Weger Shares Her Experience and Call to Arms – Jackie Weger’s Take. She recently shared some great tips on How To Get Visible & Sell Books.

Tip #1: Network

Her first, pretty simple tip is this: New indie authors must network with authors in their genres. Read everything inside Amazon KDP. Click on every thing that surrounds your book.

Tip #2: Run an Amazon Giveaway

Price a book at 99c and engage in an Amazon giveaway. You can give away up to 50 books. Use “follow me on Amazon.” That way…

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Quarterly Writing Goals: Q2 2017

I can’t believe another quarter has past. For me, 2017 is flying by at a snail’s pace.

With regards to my writing life, I’m months behind. My goal to have my debut novel, Hound Dog Confidential, published on August 1st, must be pushed back. There are so many more steps to this self-publishing thing than I first thought. And, everything about the process is time consuming. If only publishing a novel on Amazon was just a click of a button.

With regards to my personal life, the days can’t go by fast enough. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and can’t believe it’s only July. That end of the year ‘blah’ feeling I usual get around fourth quarter has taken over me.  Each day drags on with too many and too little hours in the day. Emotionally, I feel as though it should be Thanksgiving already.

The reason why I blog about my quarterly goals is to keep myself on track to meet the annual resolutions I wrote about on January 7th. You can read my first quarter progress in the April 5th blog post.

Reading Goals

I read the following:

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice (5-stars. Beautiful writing, memorable characters, both old and new, great twist on the Vampire mythology.)

The Thought Readers by Dima & Anna Zales (4-stars. Fast read with an interesting main character)

Vengeance Be Mine by Louisa Lo (4-stars. It’s a funny Urban Fantasy)

Discern by Andrea Pearson (4-stars. The characters are a little cliché, but it is a fun story)

Wings of Hope by Pippa DaCosta (4-stars. A prequel to her Veil Series. A little story that packs a punch)

Angel Vindicated by Viola Estrella (4-stars. A well written Angel/Demon PNR. The MC, Abby, does make some idiotic decisions)

Feral by Laxmi Hariharan (3-stars. A vividly drawn world with shifters, Bombay the year 2036 after an apocalypse, but a teen love triangle & romance isn’t my thing)

Tutoring the Wolf by Jacqueline Sweet & Devon March (3-stars. Well written with well-developed characters, but I didn’t feel anything with the romance)

Soul Ties by LJ Swallow (3-stars. A great start to an Angel/Demon series. The love interest, Keir, and his best friend/sidekick, Delilah, are annoying and at times drag the story down)

Romancing the Null by Tina Gower (5-stars. This novel was awesome. I loved the main characters Kate & Ian as well as the overall storyline)

Crimson Shadow: Noir by Nathan Squiers (3-stars. A well written book with no typos. I couldn’t sympathize with the main character, Xander, and was actively rooting for the bad vampires to kill him & his mentors)

A Touch of Darkness by Yelena Casale & Tina Moss (3-stars. There were no typos. A great Angel/Demon main plot was overshadowed by a boring romance that didn’t have a good build up and the main character, Cassie, makes multiple dumb decisions)

Currently Reading: Dream Stalker: Talented: Book 1 by Amy Hopkins

Writing Goals

plan -2372176_1920I wrote two flash fiction stories and made outlines for three novellas.

I’m further along on the 3rd novel in my series, The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus. Because my first drafts are hand written, I don’t know how many more words I’ve added, but there are more chapters than before.

Author Goals

Hound Dog Confidential is with a proof reader. Final phase yay!

I set up TinyLetter, MailChimp and Mailerlite accounts to host my mailing list. When I’m ready, I’ll have a sign-up post for readers to join my future ARC (advanced review copy) team.

The self-editing on Through the Villain’s Eyes is finally finished (for now) and a comprehensive editing appointment has been book for later in the month.

 

The next things to tackle in third quarter are: 1) Write novellas for Instafreebie and my mailing list sign-ups; 2) Write more flash fiction and a short story; 3) Publish Hound Dog Confidential.

Are you on track to meet your annual or quarterly goals?

I hope you liked this week’s blog post.  You can read the first chapters of my urban fantasy series The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus on the books page.

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting or subscribing.

►Mythology: “Dogs in Several Myths” 🐕 / “Collaboration with Brenda Davis Harsham” 💫.-

Awesome post! I had to reblog this. My favorite dogs are in Greek mythology: Cerberus (Hades’ three-headed guard dog of the gates to the underworld) and Orthus (brother to Cerberus and the two-headed guard dog of Geryon’s cattle)

 

La Audacia de Aquiles

Mythology: “Dogs in Several Myths”🐕:

“Collaboration with Brenda Davis Harsham💫”

Artemis & Dog. Roman copy of the 1st cent. CE after a Greek original, 4th cent. BCE. Rome, Vatican Museums.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Introduction:

The dog is the first domesticated animal, and is symbolically associated with loyalty and vigilance, often acting as guardian and protector. Dogs are portrayed as guides and companions, hence the notion of “man’s best friend.”

Dogs almost always appear in a positive light. Native American legends generally portray the dog as the symbol of friendship and loyalty. The Joshua Athapascans believe that dogs were the first beings made by their creator-figure, Xowala’ci. The Jicarilla Apache, on the other hand, tell the story of God Black Hactcin, who first created a dog and then made man as a companion for the dog.  

In Irish Mythology, dogs were the traditional guardian animals of roads and crossways…

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THE DEFINITIVE SELF-PUBLISHING CHECKLIST ~ For People Who Aren’t Very Organised and are absolute beginners.

This is a wonderful blog post that contains useful advice for newbie and seasoned indie authors.

Evie Gaughan

The definitive

You just hit publish, right?  That’s what all the articles say.  Any idiot can upload a book in minutes.  And yes, I suppose any idiot can, but it takes a very informed, dedicated, professional and talented individual to upload a book that people will want to read.  A recent Facebook post from a first-time author seeking advice made me realise how long I’ve been doing this self-publishing thang and how I’ve kind of taken for granted that everyone has ‘the knowledge’.  There are so many blogs, articles and how-to books on the subject, and yet authors can still struggle with the basics.  The first author asked what she should be doing in the run up to her launch and another suggested that while there is a lot of information out there, it’s almost overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Where does it end??  So in an effort to share said knowledge, I’m writing…

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Three Father’s Day Movie Ideas

Are you struggling to come up with something to do with your dad this Father’s Day? You’ve done the whole miniature golf, Tequila shots, and dinner at Red Lobster thing a thousand times already.  So, why not stay at home, make some popcorn and watch movies? He knows you’re broke!

Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back:  Nothing will make you appreciate your father/child bond better than knowing that at least your dad isn’t a Sith Lord.

There Will Be Blood: Your dad showed you how to ride a bike. H.W.’s dad killed someone with a bowling pin. I think you know who wins the coolest dad award.

The Princess Bride: A grandfather reads a story to his grandson. This line: “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” Do I really need to convince you further?

Bonus:

Prisoners: I dare you not to cry and sing “Kum Ba Yah” after this one. If this movie doesn’t bring you two closer and give you the feels then that’s not really your dad.  It’s a robot impersonating your dad.

2nd Bonus:

Fifty Shades of Grey: After going through an emotional rollercoaster with the above movies, face it.  You both need a little “pick me up.”  50 Shades is all about perking up—and stalking and sex contracts.  If there’s one movie on this list that will cause you to fly off the couch and run screaming out of your father’s house it’s this movie. As much as your dad loves you, it’s probably 2 a.m. and he wants you gone.

Dad Quotes of the Day:

“The other day, when my 4-year-old saw a flowering tree and said, ‘Daddy it’s raining petals,’ that was poetry that just melted my heart into a mushy, yummy Fudgsicle.”

–Brendan Fraser (Actor)

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

Clarence Budington Kelland (American Writer)

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

-Mark Twain (Writer)

“Be a dad. Don’t be Mom’s Assistant…Be a man…Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can’t dress and feed a four-year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids…It won’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you.”

― Louis C.K. (Comedian)

dad-beach-1326656_640-small-inside

Hope you all have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Hope you liked this week’s blog post.  You can read the first chapters of my urban fantasy series The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus on the books page.

Please let me know what you think by liking, commenting or subscribing.