Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Giveaway Update

We are only seven followers away from the goal of thirty followers. Remember to continue spreading the word!

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Unbroken" - a poem

Here is a poem I wrote yesterday. :) Enjoy!


I was broken, lost, alone.
I wore scars as emblems of past mistakes.
I blocked others out, made my heart like stone.
I silenced myself, afraid to further break.

I pleaded for death to take me away
I pleaded for the Grim Reaper to steal my soul
For I had nothing further to say
I didn’t think I could be whole

But One whose mercy was everlasting
Whose love was never-failing
Saw my pain and sorrow
And kept me from the passing

His hands reached out to me
His eyes bore into me
His grace uplifted me
His mercy redeemed me

He kissed my scars and told me,
“These aren’t emblems of sorrow,
But of what I saved you from.
They’re a promise of tomorrow.”

Brian McBride 2012 ©

Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Spiderwick Chronicles" - Movie Review

From the moment the Grace family moves into a secluded old house, peculiar things start to happen. Unable to explain the accidents and strange disappearances, the Grace children, Simon, Jared, and Mallory, start to investigate and find the unbelievable truth of the Spiderwick Estate and the amazing creatures that inhabit it. 

    I recently ordered The Spiderwick Chronicles, in anticipation of a fun, clean, modern fantasy, family-friendly movie.
    I got everything I expected and more. This movie is thrilling, mysterious, and fun! I enjoyed every minute of it.
    Though I didn't find myself attached to the characters - I rarely do in movies anyways - I did find myself rooting for them and concerned as well as being mad at them at some points.
    The main character, Jared, however, is somewhat of a brat, as he talks back to his mother and at one point says, "I hate you!", he also has anger issues, which causes him to hit things.
    Often times, though, I wonder why it is that in movies like these, the parents are always oblivious and don't believe in things abnormal. I was happy when the mother finally believed her children.
    There was one minor, notable part that questions an off-screen character's morals. It is implied, and eventually proven, that the kids' father had an affair and has moved in with his new girlfriend. This disturbed me, though I was thankful that there wasn't much more.
    As for language, "Oh, my g--" was used a few times; "fre---ng" was used once; and it was implied that one of the goblins was about to use the S-word, but was killed before he could finish the vulgar statement.
    The violence in the movie was definitely deserving of its PG rating. However, it didn't start getting really violent until nearly the end. The Grace family threw a tomato sauce mix, which is deadly to the goblins, at them, causing the goblins' skin to char and explode, which sent green blood and body parts flying. Fingers and appendages were severed, a monster was hit by a car, birds are eaten by a pig-like creature, the evil ogre, which disguised itself as the kids' father, was stabbed by Jared when he realized it wasn't his father.
    Yes, there were some disturbing images. The goblins, the ogre, a Brownie that, if not soothed by honey, or if it gets made, turns into a big, ugly, Boggart, the shape-shifting ogre turns into a gigantic snake that tries to kill Jared in order to get the Spiderwick field guide.
    In the end, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will be keeping it to watch again.
    I give this movie 4 of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid of a little language, violence, or semi-disturbing images.

4 of 5 stars!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Interrupted" by Rachel Coker - Review

Can love really heal all things?

If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept.

Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only thing keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved. 

    Interrupted is Rachel Coker's debut novel.
    To be honest, I was never one for Historical Romance - or rather, I'd never been interested in trying it. But this book shocked me, and not in a bad way.
    It took me a bit to get into it, but when I did, I enjoyed every page. However, as enjoyable as it was, I could definitely tell that the writing was that of a first book. The first 82 pages were spotty, jumping from scene to scene, place to place.
    The main character, Alcyone Everly, was very realistic to me. She had bursts of anger, sadness, and in the end, happiness. It frustrated me, however, when she wouldn't tell the people who cared about her how she truly felt, but that was just part of the story.
    The next 165 pages were intriguing and enjoyable, though it was much to short and, once again, spotty to span the three years that it covers. Had the years been stretched out - just a little - in pages, then it would have been less spotty, but it is what it is.
    All in all, I found this book a thoroughly excellent and enjoyable read and I am glad to say that Interrupted was the first ever historical/romance novel that I have read and I will anticipate my future re-read of it.
    I give this book 4 of 5 stars!

4 of 5 stars
Note: I received this book, free of charge, from Zondervan's Z Street Team in exchange for an honest review.

Updates and whatnot.

I have two pieces of very exciting news that I would like to share!
1. Precisely Terminated by Amanda L. Davis came in from Amazon (finally) and I cannot wait to read it.
2. I am deep into the planning of the spin-off series of The Starcrafters' Saga! Is that awesome or what?! I have written nearly 2,000 words already.

Also, the blog only needs NINE MORE PEOPLE to follow it. Remember, if you want me to do the giveaway on May 7, we need to get this blog to THIRTY FOLLOWERS! So start sharing!

Signing off,

PS: I think I'm starting to commercialize my blog posts? O_o

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Starcrafter pendant!

[ Warning: short post ahead! ]

    Lately, I have been looking into getting an awesome pendant made for the Starcrafter emblem that I designed a while ago.
    Moments ago, I requested a price quote for one. Hopefully the cost will be low enough to have at least one or two made.
Here's the sketch I sent, though I removed the red stones inside the infinity symbol.

    Check out www.paynesjewelry.com!
    *raises glass of water* Here's to hoping!

Adios, Amigos!

The Power of Prayer

    I'd like to share a few thoughts on prayer, a crucial element in every Christian's life.

What is prayer? - Prayer is God's way of allowing us to communicate with him. Some people think prayer is words that you recite in an attempt to get it over with. But prayer is much more than that. It's what helps us form a relationship with our Savior. If we couldn't talk with God, what kind of relationship would that be? It wouldn't be.
    What would your relationship with your parents or other family members be like if you couldn't communicate with them? It would be dull. You could never tell them your feelings and emotions toward them, and vice versa.
    Relationships require communication. Communication opens the door that allows for trust, faith, love and openness. That is what God was looking for when He created prayer.
Why do we need prayer? - Like I said previously, we need prayer to communicate with God. Prayer is a way for us to tell Him our problems, to cast them on the cross, to get a load off, so to speak. We need prayer because it helps us to not only talk to God, but to also listen to His instruction and guidance.
What does prayer do? - Prayer opens the doorway of communication between us and our Savior. With it, we can intercede for others, pray for healing, salvation, redemption, etc...
    I'm going to tell you a story about a result of the prayers of a Christian girl.
    This past Saturday, when the tornado swept through Woodland, Oklahoma, where friends of my church lived, there house was destroyed, save for the four walls around their bathroom.
    The previous night, a friend of the family felt the urge to pray for - I'll call the woman in question 'Sally' - Sally and her family. She kept telling her mother, "We need to pray for Sally. We need to pray for Sally." Finally, the mother said okay and they prayed for Sally and her family.
    It was later reported that a tornado was on its way, but had passed safely by Woodland.
    The following day, Saturday, the same girl had another urge to pray for Sally. Her mother said, "Well, we just prayed for her." But the response remained the same. So they prayed.
    The sirens having been damaged by the tornado that occurred the previous night did not alert the citizens of Woodland. There was no warning, but Sally and her family heard the 160 MPH winds and rushed to the bathroom with the dog and their newborn baby just as the tornado swept through their home. The roof was torn off of the bathroom, the family could feel the water, smell and taste the dirt.
    When all was said and done, the only thing remaining was the four walls of the bathroom. 
    The prayers of 'Sally's close friends ended up protecting her and her family, and even her dog from the tornado.
Does God hear my prayers? Are they worth my time? - Yes, God hears your prayers, and yes, they are worth your time. He always answers your prayers. Sometimes, however, the answer is 'no'.
    For years, I've been praying for healing for myself for my eyesight and the hearing loss that I endure. Yes, I've wondered if God hears me, but I know now that, having had my ears healed once already, He does hear those who cry out to Him.
How do you pray? - Praying is easy. All you have to do is talk to God like you would talk to your family or friends. The Bible, after all, does say "I no longer call you 'servant', for I now call you 'friend'."
    Remember, pray is communication of the relationship between the Creator and the Created.

Well, that's all for now!
Signing off,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What I'm giving away.

So, it's April 15, the day I reveal the prize that I will be giving away starting May 7.
Do you want to know what the trilogy is???
Do ya?
What do ya say?
Fine, fine! I'll tell you!

The winner will receive all three books in hardcover format. They will look like those in the image above.

Remember, if you want a shot at winning these, then invite your own blog followers to come and follow this blog. The goal is to get my blog to up to 30 followers.

1. Start inviting people through Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc...
2. Repost this blog post to your own blog
3. Follow it yourself!

Good luck, my loyal followers, family, and friends. 

PS: no special treatment will be given to my acquaintances, family, or friends. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Banners - Choices, Choices...

So, I've been checking out several blogs today and I've noticed that quite a few have created some quite unique banners for their sites. So I've made up a couple. What do you think?

#1 -


Giveaway update!

    So, it's been a few days and Starcraft has gained but two followers, whom I'd like to welcome!
Welcome, Pathfinder and Douglas Farrington!!!
    Now, down to business. In two days, April 15, I will reveal the trilogy which I will be giving away starting May 7.
    I have lowered the goal follower count to a mere 30. So, your goal is now to get fourteen more people to follow this blog!
    Good luck and Godspeed!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mega Giveaway!!!

    What? You thought that this was the giveaway post? Nah... Here's the goal, though.
    If you help me reach 50 followers on this blog by May 7 (my birthday ;) I will give away a complete book set!
    Yep! You heard right. I will be giving away THREE books! A trilogy!
    In case the instructions were unclear, let me explain it further: if my blog, Starcraft, gains fifty followers by May seventh, then I will post the official giveaway post in which you can comment on in order to enter. No, commenting on this post doesn't enter you. You will have to comment on the official giveaway post, which will be dated May 7!
    You have 27 days to recruit as many followers as you can so get cracking! ;)

PS: I will reveal the trilogy I will be giving away on April 15. That's five days from now.

Starcrafter Logo!!!

So I was working on a logo for Starcrafters in my book based upon the medallions they wear and here is what I came up with:

image copyrighted (please do not copy without permission. Thank you!)

What do you think?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Writer's Journey - Part One: The Birth of the Idea

My father, assistant pastor at my church, did a series a while ago about sharing our spiritual journey with other people. Honestly, I found it very helpful.
    But what I want to share with you isn't my spiritual journey, it's my journey as a writer from the time one year and five months ago when I started my book to the time I wrote that grueling final sentence a little over a month ago.
    For this post, I will share part one of my journey: the birth of the idea.

                                 Part One:

    I had come to the realization that I was a writer. It was natural for me to write. I always enjoyed writing reports and essays for school and I had attempted to write several novels, only one came close to being finished, but I decided to scrap it due to too many similarities between it and books I'd read by other authors.
    One night, after a long break without writing, an idea hit me while I was watching television with my family.
    "What if I could create a story where a race of people from another world lived on Earth, but stumbled back into their original world, oblivious to the powers the wielded?"
    And the name of the race randomly popped into my head. "Starcrafters" (originally spelled StarCrafters).
    That night, I began world-building. I asked my mother what "Paradox" meant, because that was the title that had come to me.
    At the time, I thought the title was suitable for a story about two worlds, but for now it is the working title.
    After deciding upon a name for the planet, Paragon, I realized that there were no red lines beneath it saying that it wasn't an actual word. I looked it up in the dictionary and found out that it meant "perfect pearl". Which I thought to be interesting and ironic, for Paragon was to be - or rather have been - a planet perfect in God's eyes.
    So, that night I started chapter one the character development and their stumble into Paragon.
    Within a week, I had written three chapters and introduced several original themes, which throughout the course of writing the book, gradually changed.
    And thus was the birth of the idea!

to be continued............

The War Horn by J. Tobias Buller

Check out The War Horn by J. Tobias Buller.

Only $2.99!!!

(Image provided by www.teenagewritingrocks.blogspot.com)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter - Resurrection Day

    What is this holiday called "Easter" all about? Is it about candy? The Easter Bunny perhaps? Maybe it's about the rainbow-colored eggs we can hunt for?
    But no. None of these are what Easter is all about.
    Easter is, in fact, a celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    Easter is the Resurrection Day. It is the day that Jesus became champion over hell and stole its keys. It is the day resurrection - new life - for us, sinful man, became available unto us.
    Jesus' death at Calvary tore the veil between us and the Father, and His resurrection fulfilled the path to everlasting life through the one and only Way, Jesus Christ.
    Easter: new life; resurrection; eternity in heaven.
    Easter is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without it, what would Christianity be? It would be just another religion and not the relationship between God and His people that it is destined to be.
    1 Corinthians 15:14 says: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
    Verse 17 also says: "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."
    If the resurrection never happened, then there would be no hope for us to be saved. we are "still in our sins".
    Easter isn't about candy, eggs, or even the Easter Bunny. It's about Christ's raising from the dead.
    On this Resurrection Day, remember the price Christ paid and the magnificence of His miraculous resurrection!
    Remember: The tomb is empty! He is risen!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Cyberbully" A special movie review!

I don't normally do movie reviews, but the movie I am about to review was so amazing and touching that I just had to share something about it, at the least! So, give it up for the movie of the day: Cyberbully starring Emily Osment and Kay Panabaker.

The film follows Taylor Hillridge, a teenage girl who receives a computer for her birthday from her mom. Taylor is excited by the independence of going online without her mother always watching her. 
    However, Taylor soon finds herself the victim of cyberbullying when she becomes a member of a social website. She becomes afraid to face her friends, including her best friend Samantha, and is pushed to a breaking point.
    Taylor almost commits suicide by overdosing with pills, but cannot get the lid off, and is sent to the hospital. 
    Taylor's mom learns from the incident and takes on the school system and state legislation to prevent others from going through the same problem as her daughter.

First, I'd like to say that this is the best movie I have seen in a long time. It was touching, heart-wrenching and provoking. I immediately felt connected to the character as though I, myself, knew her. At one point in the movie, I was worried about what she might do next. My heart picked up pace as she was attempting to commit suicide. My head was screaming "No!".
    This movie, in my own opinion, is like no other. I'm sure there are others of its kind, but I strongly doubt that there are many more that achieved the same level of connectivity with its viewers.
    I can personally guarantee that anyone who watches this movie, which is available on Netflix, will cry with Taylor and feel everything she is feeling. I guarantee that this movie will pull you in and leave you feeling sad that you finished it. Cyberbully will be a movie that I will watch again and again.
    I fully recommend this movie to people of all ages, but be aware that there is some minor language throughout the movie.
    I give this movie a 10 stars out of 5. ;)

10 of 5 stars!