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Month: March 2014

Flirty Clip Friday #25

Or, I’m Sharing My Favorite Romantic Video Montages

I’m really starting to love Caroline and Stafan’s relationship right now on The Vampire Diaries. Enjoy!

Created by KristinaOrtutova

<3 Anna

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Red Plague Series an Amazon Daily Deal!

Or, The Best Email I’ve Ever Gotten

Today my YA series was a daily deal from Amazon. I had no idea Elixir, Antidote, and Panacea would be email blasted to Amazon customers, but I’m so proud and delighted.

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<3 Anna

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My Top 4 Favorite Zombies

Or, Which Zombies Influenced The Red Plague Trilogy

The stories of risen dead originated in the voodoo religion, but they definitely got more fun when Hollywood took over. From the first zombie monster in 1932’s White Zombie to the decomposing walkers on The Walking Dead, zombies have always been my favorite movie monsters.

 

#4: Kyle from American Horror Story: Coven (2013-2014)

AHSKyle and Zoe had an instant attraction, but when he was killed the same night they met, what was a witch to do except piece him back together and raise him from the dead? He had a bumpy readjustment period, but with time Kyle learned to be (mostly) human again.

 

#3: Sophia from The Walking Dead (Current)

sophiaTechnically, all my favorite characters on the show are zombies since they have the zombie virus inside them. But of all the turned walkers poor Sophia broke my heart the worst. I really wanted her to be okay and when she re-appeared I cried for her, Carol, and all of them.

 

#2: Freddie from Return of the Living Dead (1985)

freddieThis movie gave me nightmares, and it will always be my favorite horror film. The wiggling dog corpse. The tar monster in the basement. The cemetery literally coming to life. Not only is this movie crazy scary, but I was emotionally invested in Freddie being the good guy who would get a happy ending. Nope. Zombie.

 

#1: R from Warm Bodies (2013)

warm bodiesIf all zombies were as adorable as Nicholas Hoult’s R, horror movies would be very different. First, the book was an amazing story I could not put down, but then the film was even better.

 

These characters, and countless others, inspired me to write my own zombie YA adventure, Elixir.

<3 Anna

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Red Plague Photos

Or, Things That Inspired Elixir, Maya & Ben

I live in North Carolina and everything around me inspired locations and characters in the Red Plague Trilogy, but here are some things that made me stop and imagine the series in a new way.

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A helicopter flying over a NC highway. In the zombie apocalypse, this would be one of the first signs of trouble.
RP helicoptor
Another helicopter searching for the infected.
RP smoke
I was driving on I-40 near Raleigh when I spotted smoke in the distance which made me imagine all kinds of apocalypse scenarios.
RP forest road
An empty highway in NC surrounded by thick forest, just like in the book. Can you picture Maya and her companions traipsing down the center line?
RP forest road 2
Another NC highway flanked by pine trees.
RP 40
The I-40 near Raleigh, NC.
RP McDonalds
The McDonald’s (near Raleigh, NC) that catches Hunny’s attention.
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Maya, Pollard & Hunny take over an RV similar to this one at the end of Elixir.
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Finally, the adorable, real life inspiration for Hunny Green.

<3 Anna

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Meet Maya Solomon of the Red Plague Trilogy

Or, An Interview With A Fictional Character

Want to know more about the heroine of the Red Plague Trilogy? I put together a faux interview between Maya and her school newspaper. Enjoy!

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Interviewer: This month’s Palmetto High School’s student spotlight is on Maya Solomon, 17, recent 1st place winner in the thousand meters sprint at the state track finals. Here are your five questions.

Q1: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

Maya: I have a twin brother named Mason. But nobody at Palmetto has ever met him. He doesn’t live with us anymore.

Q2: Who is your favorite teacher?

Maya: Mr. Reynolds the music teacher. He taught me a lot about songwriting and composing.

Q3: What is one thing you can’t live without?

Maya: My iPad. It has all my recordings on it, my favorite music, and pictures and videos of my family. I would be really upset if I lost it.

Q4: Who is the one person you can’t live without?

Maya: My dad. He’s a single parent now. Without him I’d be an orphan.

Q5: What are your plans for after high school?

Maya: I’m going to Meredith College where my mom used to teach (before she passed away) to study music and creative writing.

<3 Anna

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Last 3 Days to Pick up Elixir for Free

Or, Like Free Ebooks? Me, too!

My YA paranormal, Elixir, is only free on Amazon until Sunday, March 16th! Hop on over by clicking HERE and check it out. If you read it, please let me know what you think.

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Blurb:

The red plague has devastated the human race, turning billions of people into zombies with red eyes and an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

The 212R virus sweeps through the population so quickly a possible cure is left to rot. Seventeen-year-old Maya Solomon may be the only survivor who knows where it is. But to reach the lab in Raleigh, North Carolina she will have to outrun the infected boy tracking her every step and cross into a city swarming with monsters.

<3 Anna

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Grandma Abner’s Apocalypse Bread

Or, A Bonus Recipe From The Red Plague Trilogy

Pretend it’s the zombie apocalypse and you have only enough electricity in the generator to power the oven. The fresh milk and eggs have been substituted for dehydrated powder.

Ingredients

Apocalypse Bread Ingredients
I was able to make the rolls with non-perishable ingredients. And they tasted exactly like the ones I made with real milk and eggs.

2 tablespoons yeast

2/3 cup dry milk with 2 cups water (or the equivalent to 2 cups milk)

4 tablespoons egg crystals with 6 tablespoons water (or the equivalent to 2 eggs)

½ cup warm water

8 tablespoons shortening

7 cups flour

6 tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Directions

Step One: Mix wet ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Add shortening.

Apocalypse Bread Mixing
Mixing ingredients with a spoon (and then by hand).

Step Two: Slowly add flour and dry ingredients. Mix well.

Step Three: Knead dough by hand until mixed and soft. Sprinkle extra flour on hands and counter as you knead.

Step Four: Raise the dough in a bowl (covered with a cloth) at room temperature for one hour.

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The bread is rising!

Step Five: Grease inside of 13×9 glass baking dish with shortening.

Step Six: Knead dough again by hand until soft.

Step Seven: Separate dough into about 16 balls and roll smooth by hand, arranging them in greased dish.

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I miscalculated the sizes of the rolls so I only made 23, but there they are preparing to rise a second time.

Step Eight: Raise the dough in the dish (covered with a cloth) for another hour at room temperature.

Step Nine: Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Apocalypse Bread Baked
The rolls came out of the oven warm and golden brown.

Can be eaten warm or cold. Wrap them up and stuff them into your backpack before you set out on the open road to find other survivors.

Apocalypse Bread Eating
My favorite part is smelling the yeasty dough and sampling the buttery goodness.

**When I was writing the Red Plague Trilogy I wanted the survivors to make a food item that was both a little unusual but also reminiscent of home. This is a family recipe that can be found in a 1977 church cookbook of recipes handed down for generations. Read about these dinner rolls in Antidote (Red Plague #2) and Panacea (Red Plague #3).

<3 Anna

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THANK YOU!

Or, You Know Who You Are

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support during Elixir’s launch this month. Whether it was retweeting, reblogging, reviewing or buying a copy, your kindness is overwhelming. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such kind and supportive people.

<3 Anna

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