Saturday, November 17, 2012

EMBERS

 
I've been hunted by a predator. One who wants me dead for reasons unknown, motivations driven by events of a foretime I cannot and care not to remember. I've been saved by an enigma, one who I've doubted, questioned and blamed--one who needs my very existence in order to survive. You tend to see yourself in a different light when you face odds stacked so high against you. You adapt in the panic, t...
hrive in the heat of defiance. In the end, you either stand up for yourself and fight back--

--or you live only long enough to wish you had.

I haven't escaped the Lynx's clutches, not yet. Even though Albert saved me, even though we've decided to work together, that doesn't mean the danger has passed. She's still out there watching, waiting. She's contracting the best of the best to come find me, and end my life once and for all.

There are too many variables to consider, her army is too great for me to have any hope of this ending well. I'm tired of living in the past, I'm going to take my future and shape it into a world without her alive to do me harm. It figures I only realize what I have when it's on the verge of slipping away.

She's taken what I love, what I need. I am going to get it back. They tell me that hiding is futile, that they'll find me eventually.

I'll make sure they won't have any difficulty with that.

And when all is done, I'll snuff out the last Ember myself.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Dimensions Of A Stories Idea. TWINED Revealed!

The idea for Twined really came quite suddenly. Usually I don’t do romance books. Well, I don’t do books that are entirely romance. It’s just not a strong suit of mine to focus on love or lovers alone. But with Twined I wanted something different. I wanted something new.

I thought of the premise of love. How risky it is to bank all of your happiness on a variable such as another person. You don’t know how they’re going to act, react or even what their motives could be. How can we know, for certain, what their intentions are? Do they truly love you? Do you truly love them back? Do you want to? These are all questions that lovers are forced to decipher on a daily basis. That’s what makes love exciting. That’s what makes it dangerous.

I always thought of romance as one person needing another; one person needing another in order to have true happiness. It’s as if we’re made incomplete, and we can only finish our design with the help of another, or in some case several other, human beings. That concept intrigued me. And then the core idea of Twined hit me. What if there were people out there who literally needed another person to survive? What if there was a species identical to humans that thrived on partnership to exist? To truly be happy? That’s when I thought of this book.

The idea of the book is that the Twined are a species that parallel humans in many ways. However in order to survive past their early twenties, they must perform a ritual called a Joining with another human being. Through this ritual the Twined enters a symbiotic relationship with a human of their choosing, allowing them to live a full life and giving them access to supernatural abilities. The Twined literally need other people to survive. If they don’t form a bond, then they wither and die as their bodies prematurely shut down.

Now the Twined are known as creatures that distort reality. In their hidden language they are called the Sathantia, or the “seam rippers”. They have been around since the beginning of time, hidden from the world. But the secret is slowly revealing itself in these modern times. It is thought that the world is on the cusp of an all-out Twined revealing. However for the time being, the existence of the Twined remains a carefully and well-guarded secret.

The core idea of Twined is that often you must find the other half of yourself within the love of another person. Be that through friendship, true love or fate. There’s a whole dimension to a character that can be studied based on how said character treats other people. Relationships are a powerful thing. And it’s interesting to see a man like Albert, who so desperately needs someone to Join with, wind up with Avalin who wants anything but another complication in her life. The chemistry in this book I think is great and I believe it will only get better with time.

The inspiration for Twined did indeed stem from the idea of love. There are a lot of key social values in this book, like loyalty, honesty and trust. We’re a social species by nature. Forming bonds is coded into our brains, into our DNA. I think that we are meant to love for a reason. Because sometimes you have to look through someone else’s eyes to truly realize the best things about yourself.


Think back for a moment on that one person in your life that just made your heart pause a split second. The one who made you take that proverbial double take while walking through the mall or sitting at a stop light. Maybe you had your eyes on them for a while, maybe it was a meeting of chance, but you'll never forget that first magical moment. Now, what if your very existence on this earth depended solely on becoming bonded to that person?

The book Twined is a fresh and new concept that will have you turning pages and absorbing their contents at a rapid pace. Before the world get's in your way, give it a try, it's only .99 cents on kindle available at the link to your right.
 My very best to you and yours,
A.L.
http://www.amazon.com/TWINED-ebook/dp/B007QQBPAA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339872365&sr=8-1&keywords=twined

Thursday, June 7, 2012

TWINED and SCARLETT'S Available FREE as e-Book Download from June 7th to June 11th!!!

Fiction Author A.L. Collins is offering his two newest Y/A novels TWINED and SCARLETT'S for FREE from June 7th to June 11th as e-book downloads! Just go to the links below and download them onto your computer, kindle, I-phone, I-pad or any other device that supports the kindle app. You won't be disappointed!
http://www.amazon.com/TWINED-ebook/dp/B007QQBPAA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338962567&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Scarletts-ebook/dp/B007K9COLW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338963899&sr=8-2

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Upcoming Events and Appearances for A.L. Collins!

 HAMPSTEAD DAY 2012 - Saturday May 19th
A.L. Collins will have a booth at this years Hampstead Day in Downtown Hampstead, Maryland. Just look for his banners and stop in and say hello! A.L. will be signing copies of his most recent novels... Scarlett's and Twined!

NORTH CARROLL PUBLIC LIBRARY - Saturday May 26th 2:30pm - 4:00pm 2255 Hanover Pike  Greenmount, Maryland  21074
(410) 374-1212
 A.L. Collins will be having a book signing and meet and greet for friends and fans. Light refreshments provided. Come and mingle!

THE BOOK WAREHOUSE
BOOK SIGNING
Saturday June 2nd
                           From 2:00pm - 5:00pm
The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg
1863 Gettysburg Village Drive
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
(717)334-2829


Monday, April 9, 2012

Scarlett's And Twined Piling Up Five-Star Reviews On GoodReads!!

 Well it now April 9th. Scarlett's has been officially released for  16 days! It has sold quite a few copies (especially on Kindle for .99 cents) more importantly Scarlett's has been gaining momentum with SEVEN 5-Star 5 of 5 stars Reviews!! Over One Hundred peolpe have added it to their To-Read List and on the Scarlett's Book Give-away Contest 417 People have requested a copy. This contest doesn't even end until April 26th!

Twined Has officially been released as of April 4th. It only has two reviews but both are 5-Stars! 5 of 5 stars  Twined remember has only been on GoodReads for five days and has already had 94 people add it to their To-Read list! As of today the Twined Book Give-Away has had 371 people requesting a copy!

Two different genre's of books and both are gaining great reviews! It's just a matter of time until people start to discover this uniquely talented young author! Oh and for all those that may be wondering, the answer is YES! Both Scarlett's and Twined have the second books in their series being worked on as we speak! Twined Part II should be available sometime in May of this year.

Scarlett's second book should be available in July of this year!
A.L. is the hardest working person I know. Although I spend countless hours marketing and trying to get the word out about him, he far surpasses me as his fingers fly on the keyboard of his laptop churning out one Fantastic Story after another!  He is definately dedicated to what he loves, and he truly loves writing books!

We are always looking for Book Reviewers, and would gladly send out copies of A.l.'s books in exchange for an honest review.  if you are interested or know someone who might be, please reply to this post at the bottom and I will get back in touch with you right away!

Thank You and Happy Reading!
J.S.Huntington ~ Publishing Manager
Personae Publications


Posted on behalf of A.L. Collins   All Rights Reserved 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taking Those Timeless Less Than Classics To Another Level. Not Cut Out For Reading...How About Art?

You’ve probably seen book carvings before, but Long Bin-Chen’s works are definitely in a league of their own.
Taiwanese artist Long Bin-Chen uses discarded old books to create incredibly detailed sculptures that look like they’re made of marble or wood. Although all his artworks are made out of several books, he carves them all in such a manner that they fit together in a seamless manner. While he could use any books he gets his hands on, Long Bin-Chen only uses those that are relevant to his sculptures. For example, for one of his Buddha heads, he used New York telephone books. This way, the head will represent a caring Buddha from the East who came to take care of the west.

Bought from trash collectors or collected directly from the streets, the books and magazines are first carved with a band or chain saw and then with a dental sander, for finer details.
  Okay very interesting really... I'm sure that many of the authors out there are secretly hoping that their books are read and kept intact instead of being mutilated in the name of art!
I must admit though that I have read some books that would serve the masses much more as a beautiful piece of art rather than a literary time waster! It just goes to show that those eccentric ones, those that everyone look at a little differently surely have proven if you can dream it you can build it. Beauty and art for that matter are truly in the eyes of the beholder. Yes, I believe it is impressive. Hours upon hours of tedious time consuming work.  So attention all you authors who believe they have written the next best-seller, it might just show up on a pedistal at your local art museum instead of the shelves of the local library!

Written by J.S Huntington  copyright 2012 with contributing text from Spooky copyright 2010

Scarlett's New Book Trailer Video


video
Thanks to Colbie Caillat for the perfect Feel-Good song for A.L.Collins New Novel Scarlett's! Sit Back Relax, Smile,Laugh and Sing Along! If this video doesn't bring a smile to your face then....Buy The Book!!
Available at http://www.amazon.com/ in paperback or e-book and www.createspace.com/3804256  Also, check out the Scarlett's Blog at http://www.thebookofscarletts.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 26, 2012

A.L.Collins To Be At The International "Day Of The Book" Festival in Kensington, Marlyand on April 22nd.




Join me For a day of Music, Food, Fun and Books!! For more information click on the link above the picture to the official "Day Of The Book" website!

Comedian Jim Gaffigan with Author A.L. Collins

I gave Jim an autographed copy of Bastion: Prequel To War after his show Sunday night in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. "Jim Gaffigan is BY FAR my favorite comedian!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bastion Tales: Syrius

They call me something and I don't have a sodding clue what it means. I mean they always told me what it meant. But I never really understood. Not until today at least.
"You're the prodigy child," Torris would say to me. "You are the future of the Quiric kingdom. You embody the purity, and controversy, that all humans must understand."
They treat me like a king, but I have as many rights as a pauper. They say that I'm a ruler, but I feel like a prisoner. They tell me I'm an idol, a symbol for our people.
And every person I've ever met thinks I'm a monster.
I've never set foot outside of Themsen, the Quiric capitol. That's generous actually. I've never stepped outside of the Royen, the church-like castle of which I was born. I rarely see the outside. I was always told that our white hair was given to us by the sun, since we had gained its favor by worshiping it. But I've rarely seen the sun. So that doesn't seem necessarily true. My people all have white hair. I've learned it's just the way we are born.
I don't know any of my family. I don't know what happened to them, if they're alive or dead, how many brothers or sisters I have. If they remember me or if they don't. I remember one time when I was about thirteen years old Torris and the other Watchers told me someone had come to see me. They let him in and he was familiar. I noticed his jaw was rigid like mine. His eyes were blue, like mine. He looked at me humbly, like he didn't deserve to be in my presence. I didn't think that way. I just wondered who he was.
They told me he was Cirric. They told me he was my father. I'd seen him once in my life. I think he remembered me. I think he realized who I was. And he looked... he looked proud of me. I don't know why though. All I've done in my life is pray, meditate and study. I didn't see what was so blighted special about that.
They left me alone with him. And we talked. He asked me mindless, trivial things. What my favorite foods were and such questions. I didn't know how to answer him and he wasn't allowed to stay long. But before he left he hugged me... I think he said he was sorry. I don't know what he was sorry about. It's not his fault I was stuck in this fortress.
Years passed by. I think I'm sixteen now. That's what they tell me. I was asleep in my bunk, dreaming of less creative things because I don't know what to dream about other than studies. All of a sudden a light shines in my room. I squint against the illuminated entrance. And I see Grand Watcher Torris standing there.
"It is time young Rivinon." That was the word they called me. The one with no meaning to me. "Please awaken. I pray you have your wits about you today."
I rubbed my eyes. "Torris? What hour is it?"
"It is time, as I said."
"Time for what?"
He looked at me with eyes that I could see even against the darkness. It made me nervous. Nervous... that would be a feeling I would beg for opposed to what I'd feel later on.
And I think Torris knew that. His face showed it to me. "It is time for you to prove yourself to the Gods, Syrius."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Bastion Tales

The second Bastion won't be out for a while because the first installments of other series are my priority at the moment. But that doesn't mean I've forgotten about my first ever series! In fact I'll be writing up a series of short stories set in the Bastion universe that gives some ideas to the pasts of some characters. These books will take the point of view from several people such as Syrius, Meriah, Tavis and Zaveena. Their points of view will give a lot of detail and insight on the lore of Bastion. Unlike Bastion, these short stories will be written in the first person narrative. They'll be posted on this blog ever so often and will be open for everyone to see. And I can say that happily!

After Twined is done the first short story will be posted. It will be called "Rivinon: He Who Has Sacrificed" and will be written from Syrius' perspective, detailing his life in Quires, the sacrifices he made and how he eventually came to make his escape from his island home.

Also I may note that based off of my alternate story theme, Bastion will eventually partake in the trend of having a branched storyline. Since there will be so many Bastion books, however, the branched portion of it will take place later on in the series. It will differ in two major ways based on Rigil's decisions, the friends and enemies he makes and who he falls in love with, if he falls in love at all. And everything will factor in to decide if the world of Bastion is saved, or if it crumbles into nothingness at the hands of shadows.

I've learned that while people like to be told a story, sometimes its nice for them to have a bit of power and choose how Bastion ends for them. While there is an extent of how personalized a story can be made in writing, I think the option to choose gives readers a sense of power, and makes them feel that the characters they love and the world they admire also belongs to them. Because let's be serious, if people didn't enjoy reading my stories, and they never got told, I'd lose what being a writer is all about. So I can't wait for people to make these crucial decisions. My worlds belong to them, they deserve to be happy with how the tales begin, carry on and end.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Future Of Print On Demand Is NOW!


It's no secret that the traditional publishing market in the United States, and around the world for that matter is rapidly changing.  Technology has now made it possible for a consumer to walk into a book store with a hard to find or out of print title that they desire and have it printed within just a few minutes! Now the bookstore has to have it in there data base, but if they do "Presto" within a few minutes (seven minutes actually!) you have a book from raw stock to finished product, gorgeous color cover and all! Wow who would have thought as recently as just a few years ago that we would be at this point in the book publishing market! It's exciting for book lovers and equally as exciting for authors.
   Now I've heard from all sides of the issue on this topic and passion runs deep from all sides.  New authors who have spent years submitting query letters and manuscripts only to be rejected time after time are hailing this as the "miracle" that they needed. The traditional publishing houses are scurrying to adjust and adapt. I spoke with a traditional publishing executive in Chicago who wished to remain anonymous (I guess so not to be perceived as raising the white flag) He told me that the whispering and talk around the water coolers are, that the traditional publishing houses are dying. "Giving way to technology" is how he put it.
   I believe there will always be a market for the traditional publishers and the fact is they still at this point in time hold a more esteemed status as far as published authors go. However as more and more indie authors rise on the ranks of the best seller charts that status may be waning. Authors who at one point in time were traditionally published have actually been dropped by their publishing houses. Some have even picked themselves up off the floor, dusted themselves off and self published their own works! Paul Mann author of "Season of the Monsoon" and many others for example. After selling thirty to forty thousand copies a year, he was dropped by his publisher. After taking almost ten years off and the emergence of the Kindle and Nook readers for e-books he has started writing again and quite successfully at that! "It was the arrival of Kindle that saved my life... as a writer." Mann said.
   The fact is that more books have been published in the last three years than in the previous 100 years alone! Traditionally published authors are saying that this is diluting the quality of the books that are on the market. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can write a book and get it published now! While this may be true, it doesn't mean that they will sell! "They should have to go through the same school of hard knocks that we did!" One traditionally published author said.  We could probably argue this back and forth forever. Although I admire the traditionally published author's fortitude and perserverence, I'm sure many very good authors fell through the cracks and were never noticed due to the previous publishing industries system.
 The bottom line is, no matter what side of the fence you are sitting on. Self-publishing is here to stay. E-books and digital publishing are also here to stay.  Check out the videos below for further insight on the new print on demand and e-book directions that we are already engaged in.
Also Check out the video in the link below. It talks about the emergence of eBooks.

By: James Huntington ~ Publishing Manager for Personae Publications

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scarlett's, Twined and Kensington

A.L. has been working hard to finish Scarlett's and Twined. Scarrlett's is finished and is currently being edited. It will hopefully be published by the end of the month, and Twined will hopefully be finished shortly.

A.L. will also be attending the Kensington book fair on April 22. We will be selling copies of all 3 books. Come out and meet A.L. We will post more information about it in April so keep checking the blog for information about the book fair and to find out when you'll be able to purchase Scarlett's and Twined.

If you haven't already, you should follow A.L. Collins on Twitter (ALCollins2011)

-Brooke L. Breen; P.R. Rep.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The ME3 Launch Tonight!

So this is exciting. The video game series that helped inspire my writing is releasing the final installment of the Shepard story arc tonight! I'm going to the midnight release and I'm way excited. Time to fight off the Reapers with Vega, Garrus and the crew at my side!

Check out the trailer. It's quite good. This one features female Shepard (FemShep)!


Friday, March 2, 2012

SCARLETT'S IS COMPLETED ~ TWINED ALMOST!!

Twined- A high school escapism fantasy about a girl named Avalin Marsh. On her eleventh birthday, a day that was supposed to be so perfect and filled with happiness, her mother murdered a woman. Avalin was scarred seeing her mother do such a thing. But when the police arrived there was no body, no blood, despite what she and her father saw. Her mother was taken to a mental institution and Avalin and her father lived alone in that townhouse for six more years... and Avalin thought the worst of her life was over. But after she begins to imagine these strange things, such as hallucinations, hearing voices and seeing people's faces change in front of her, she becomes terrified thinking that she's becoming just like her mother. But when a strange young man named Ashur comes to her and tells her of the Twined, mythical beings that survive off of forming pacts with humans, she begins to realize maybe her mother wasn't the insane one to begin with... that maybe everything her mother claimed was real from the start

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Two Paths of Utopius

So after Twined is finished, the next book is going to be a wee bit different in certain aspects.

Utopius is going to be a dark medieval fantasy that is pretty gritty, pretty brutal... well for my style. It's going to be different in the fact that for once the "hero" of the story is anything but. In fact he's more of a selfish prick than anything else.

Desmonde, a knight templar looking for the lost city of Utopius leads with his self appointed second in command Tristian, a mischievous witch with a sharp tongue, in order to save the land of Theros from mutated creatures they dubbed Blackrot. Now Desmonde is in no way a good guy. He's doing this for the money, the fame, all of that. He belittles women, takes whatever he deems is his and finds pleasure in killing anything he can in battle.

Now the thing about this book is there will be two versions. One is called The Crusader and the other is called The Heretic. Each one represents the same core story, but some details may be changed between the two. It's sort of like a pick your own adventure story. You can choose to purchase and follow either the Crusader or the Heretic version of this book throughout the entire series. Some events may happen one way in the Crusader while in the Heretic things may be different. Someone may die in the Crusader where that same person may live in the Heretic. The core story won't become so muddled and confusing that it feels like two completely different books, but you'll be able to see enough differences to give you an "alternate reality" kind of feeling to it.

So as to lessen confusion, all the sequels to the Crusader version will have WHITE covers and all sequels to the Heretic version will have RED covers. You can pick one version or the other and follow the story or get both and compare the two of them. We will make them extremely affordable. We are publishing our books differently now and all of our merchandise will be very obtainable, both versions.

Anyway I think this will bring a cool new flavor to reading and we'll see how this goes. Things are going to be exciting!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Theme of Twined

So I was thinking that if I ever made a theme song or a video for Twined, I would definitely pick this older Paramore song. It's called Fences.

Since Avalin is thought to be "a walking crazy" by many people in the book, I think that the rocker vibe combined with the awesome lyrics are perfect for the book. It definitely describes Avalin to a tee. Her defensive and loner attitude, her sarcasm, her troubles, it's all described perfectly in the song. It's also how Avalin feels once her world changes and she meets Albert for the first time.

But why don't you tell me what you think? Here's the song. I don't own anything in the video, the song or Paramore. I got the vid from Youtube. Check it.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Excerpt From Twined

So now that Scarlett's is done and my identity crisis is over, I think it's time I gave you a taste of Twined. Now the book Twined is in third person but each book in the series will feature the first chapter in Avalin's point of view, filling the reader in on events that have occurred prior to the book's beginning. So here's that first chapter.


It was my eleventh birthday when everything went to hell. I was a little girl, a simple girl. I favored tea parties, pigtails and the smell of cotton candy on a warm summer day. I, like most girls, could never understand why my barbie’s hair wouldn’t grow back after I cut it with my TommyGirl scissors. I was simple in my wishes and simple in my dreams. I remembered one time my father asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. I told him I wanted to be a giraffe. It was a simple wish and I of course thought it plausible. But he merely patted me on the head and told me, “That’s stupid honey. Grow up some.”
            I was eleven years old, just turned. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to stay in my little townhouse and write on the sidewalk with chalk. I wanted to sing while I dreamed on what color giraffe I was going to be the day I possessed the knowhow to actually become one. I just wanted things to be simple. I didn’t understand why things had to be so complicated for all the grown ups. And I decided that if growing up meant things got confusing, then I would stay little forever. I would stay simple. But unfortunately everything around me did its best not to be. The world liked to be complex. It liked to twist, to distort. To bleed you dry of whatever feeling you could muster while still letting you hold on to your sanity so that you could experience heartache at its prime. I didn’t know how cold the world could be when I was eleven. If I would have known… then maybe I would have packed a sweater.
            But on my eleventh birthday everything changed. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary at first. If anything it was a day supposedly destined for nothing but the extraordinary. I had sent out my invitations to everyone at school to come to my house for what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I got up at six in the morning on that cold rainy day with nothing but sunshine in my eyes. I looked through my dressers and put on my nicest skirt and my favorite sweater that was decorated with tiny little kittens. I brushed my teeth with my favorite toothbrush, of course shaped like a giraffe, put the cutest shirt on my teddy Dr. Snuggles and donned my favorite bows and wrapped them in the most perfect pigtails I had ever crafted in my life. I put on the glitter that shined the brightest, wore my shoes that looped the tightest and of course prepared my arms for hugs that would no doubt be the mightiest.
            I looked out my window that entire day as the rain came cascading down. At first it came in small drops. And I could count them, one by one. I thought maybe for every raindrop that fell, my door would open and another happy party guest would arrive. That made me happy. I loved people. I loved the kids at school. And they loved me, I thought. But soon the rain started falling harder. And the amount of party guests wasn’t keeping up with the number of raindrops. Mostly because the number of raindrops had probably reached the thousands, where as the number of friends who walked in the door had remained at zero. The splatters of the drops started to sound like the sky’s plummeting tears. I held my bear in my arms the entire day. I did not eat. I did not nap. I did not comb my barbie’s hair.
            I looked out my window for what seemed like forever. And as the entire day went by… no one ever came.
            My heart sunk like Titanic. I sat on my bed and just stared at my shoes with the perfect loops fastened so nicely. I just felt how useless it was to get all dressed up and all excited when nothing was going to happen. But how was I supposed to know?  I didn’t know what to think. I guess I was just cocky enough to assume that everyone I invited would come. I made excuses. Maybe they’re late because of the rain. Maybe they all just forgot about me. And the most outlandish, maybe they’re all planning a special surprise party for me somewhere else. Maybe they all cared that much.
            But they didn’t. On my most perfect of birthdays I, Avalin Marsh, was alone.
            With no one.
            I remember the sky turning dark and the rain still beating down against the house. I hadn’t moved from my spot on the bed, the mattress dipping and sinking under my small little rear oh so slightly. My dad stood at my door for a good while. I didn’t see him come up. He was always quiet when he was sad. I had been crying for a good while and he just stood at the door. He held his large hands together; his expression was as dismal as the stormy weather. He didn’t know what to do, really… and I couldn’t blame him for his silence. After all, what do you say to your child when none of her friends show up for her birthday party? Not much it seems. Even at that age I knew this must have been hard for him too. I knew that as my daddy, he was hurting like I was. At least that much I understood.
If that happened to me nowadays then I wouldn’t care if nobody showed up. I don’t like people anymore… but back then it meant the world to me. Every person was like a little piece of my heart. And when none of them came, it’s like my heart skipped out as well. To a little girl life is all about those friends and fairytales and extravagant wishes that seem too big to fulfill but still find a way to come true. But I thought this request was reasonable. And it hurt a lot; I’m not going to lie anymore. That day hurt me… maybe even caused my dislike of crowds. And my father seemed to hurt for me almost more than I did.
So he took me downstairs with my small hand in his. My other arm gripped against my teddy with all the sadness my little body held that day. I took each step down those wooden stairs while tears dripped off my cheeks. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to be mad at my friends. I didn’t want to be sad, either, and I didn’t even want an explanation. All I wanted was for my day to be perfect. That’s all I wanted. But I didn’t know where to go from here. I didn’t know where to turn.
            It all seemed so out of my control. But that would feel so insignificant compared to what else was going to happen.
            We came to the kitchen of our small little house. My dad had just managed to get a small smile out of me. He promised me something. He said that one day he, mom and I would go to the beach and just play all day in the sand. I loved the beach because it was fun and the sand reminded me of dad’s blonde hair. He told me I could bring Dr. Snuggles if I wanted. I wanted to badly. He had never seen the beach before because mother feared it would ruin his stuffing to get sand inside. But dad said I could bring him. And a promise was a promise. I started getting so excited that I smelled the beach and the salt of the tears I tasted reminded me of the vast blue ocean that would soon be my personal playmate. Because when you’re at a beach, it feels like the world belongs to you.
            But then my father stopped moving. I looked up at him and his face morphed into an expression that I had never seen before. It never occurred to me to look at where he was staring. I was just so perplexed, so captured by his expression. It was the first time I couldn’t tell what he was feeling by looking at him. I think for the first time, my father couldn’t tell what he was feeling to begin with.
            I would be able to relate soon enough. I finally brought my gaze over to my mother. She was a pretty thing, dark brown hair usually pulled into a bun and always wearing very conservative, motherly clothes. But her hair was wild and loose today as it flowed down her shoulders and over her pale blue top. She was standing with her back to us. And in her hand she held a pan, which was actually a very common situation.
            And that’s when I saw it. I saw a body. I witnessed a dead body at the age of eleven. And it was lying in my kitchen… bleeding on my floor.
            My father yelled out mom’s name. She turned around like lightning and her eyes were on fire it seemed. They widened in horror as she saw us standing there. She screamed for me and my father to stay away. She said we were in danger. In danger of things that we didn’t understand that would be caused by things we could never fathom. The look in her eyes was pure terror. Not terror from what she was doing. It was terror for us. She was scared for us. And I truly believed that we were in danger… because she believed it. But the woman on the floor was the one who had been in danger… until my mother killed her.
            I didn’t understand any of this. And for once my father and I were coming from the same place.
            But she didn’t drop the bloody pan. She didn’t try to explain herself at all. She made it clear she owed us no reason, no explanation and had no time to talk. She bent down in front of the body right in our presence… and began to search it. My dad released my hand and ran for the phone. He began dialing it as I stared at my mother with the blood in her hair. I couldn’t move. I only heard the rain hitting the roof in soft pitters and patters. It was like I was deaf to the world… alive only to the horror I was seeing.
            Then my mother pulled something from the body. It was a strange thing. I didn’t realize what it was but now that I think about it, I believe it was a peacock feather. But it was a pen. A peacock feather quill pen, that’s what it was. My mother’s body shuddered and she started speaking in a way that I couldn’t understand. While my father was busy calling the police, my mom whispered to the air. Her words seemed to speak to me the most, like the lullabies she used to sing to me.
The words weren’t English. I thought back then that they were just words I hadn’t learned yet. Later on I believed they were something of another language. But they weren’t. To this day I’ve never heard those words from any language at any time, uttered by any person. And I know this because for some reason those very words never left my mind. They’re embedded in my brain. Maybe it was because of the emotion I was feeling, but they just never left me. I remember them perfectly. Every syllable, every pronunciation… I even remember where to take the breaths. 
            And as she speaks these foreign words the peacock feather catches fire, like her sayings took the form of a match against something covered in gasoline. It burst into a rainbow flame and the feather dissolved in my mother’s hands as the ash dispersed to the sky like the pen had never even existed to begin with. And then the body in front of her did the same. It faded away like an illusion, like an old-time projector displaying an image on a tarp that was slowly catching flame. The woman disappeared, completely and as a whole. And the body left absolutely nothing behind.
            I would realize years later who the woman was. She was Cathy Harolds, the mother of one of the girls I invited to my birthday party. Her daughters’ names were Amy and Rebecca Harolds, Rebecca being the oldest and the one in my class. Rebecca’s mother’s blonde hair was soaked in her own blood… blood that my very own mother had spilled. And after the woman’s body burned into rainbow fire and turned to ash that scattered in the air in exactly the same fashion as the peacock quill, I began to realize that this was real. It wasn’t a dream, despite the fact that in a few seconds my kitchen was empty. Even the blood had disappeared from my mother’s body and clothing. The pan, the bludgeon I would say now, was stripped clean. Nothing was amiss in the kitchen… besides my hunched over mother wielding an object used to murder the parent of one of my classmates.
            And she looked at me. The last words I ever heard from mom came paired with the most sorrowful look I had ever seen in her eyes. They began to well with tears as she shook her head slightly at me and I just froze, staring at her like she wasn’t even human. Her lipstick-traced mouth formed the words “I’m sorry” as I began to realize right there… that things were never going to be the same.
            It was my eleventh birthday when everything went to hell. As my father scooped me into his arms and bolted out the door with my frozen body, I saw my mother fade away from me in the distance, standing there with a pan and a look of regret. They took my mother from me that day. The police came and shipped her off to a place for people who suffered from a lack of… mental stability. No charges were pursued because there was no body, no blood. Only my mother’s crazy ranting and my father’s push to have her institutionalized came from this ordeal. And I would later face years of psychological observation to make sure I didn’t suffer from the same affliction as she did, whatever that may have been. My father and I lived in that house alone for seven years. We never moved. Don’t ask me why.
I had been changed forever that day… and no one ever mentioned my eleventh birthday again.
            We don’t celebrate birthdays now. We don’t really celebrate anything anymore. My life has been hollow, been empty and filled with broken promises and destroyed dreams, so nothing nowadays receives much glee. Coming up on the end of my junior year in high school it seemed like few things really comforted me or brought me significant happiness… not since before that rainy birthday which took my family and broke it into little unsalvageable parts and pieces have I ever felt complete.
            I longed for something, anything that could put my shattered heart back together. Anything that could bring out that small little pigtailed girl from before and leave this cold, dark-haired outer shell behind… but I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see what else there was to live for. I simply existed at this point… as I searched for something that would breathe life back into me. Something that would bring back whatever it was my mother took away.
            I cursed her, blamed her, hated her… and I missed her so much.
            But I missed me even more.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Moral Alignment System

So I've been researching the moral alignment system. It's a system that judges a person's habits, personality and morality based on how they feel about honor, love, society and so on. There are several different combinations. There is the Good versus Evil, which is about altruism and love versus killing and hate. There is also the combination with Lawful versus Chaotic, which is basically views on order versus chaos particularly in society. So since this system is used in Scarlett's, after I study this system more I'm going to find out if my characters are morally aligned, whether that be Chaotic/Good, Neutral, Lawful/Evil, ect. It's a really interesting point of view and I'm going to see where most of my characters reside. Mua ha ha. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Meaning of Scarlett's

So book #2, Scarlett's, is ALMOST done and I'm so happy with the end results. It's my first time writing something not so fantasy, despite the fact that it is still fiction. But I wanted to give people something to make them realize that although there is a lot of questionable people out there, the good ones are the ones you need to find. Because they leave quite the lasting impression.

Now I'm quite the open minded person. Just because I don't deal with a lot of bullying or discrimination against women doesn't mean I can't write about it. I've heard about it or seen it enough to have formed my own opinions on things. That's what this book is about. The characters deal with everything from loss to sexual identity. And the message here is that things don't have to be so complicated even when everything around you does its best to be. I want people to find their purpose in life, and hopefully this book will at least crack a smile on someone's face. That would be awesome.

The characters are a sprinkle of people that I know and love. While not everything is exactly the way my life went, some events are pretty close. But no, I'm not any of the characters really. My profession and situations are in some of them, but not my personality for the most part. I wanted to show the base of what inspired these characters, but I wanted them to become their own identity in the way that they... let's say emote.

Also, what is different about this story, is that there really is no "main" character. There are about... eleven major characters that the story revolves around. Each with their own problems, strengths and personalities, some more fleshed out than others. And while the events in the story revolve around Jaime and Ashton, many of the books shining moments are with some of the other characters and that's really when the heart and the messages of the book come out.

So there we go. Scarlett's will be done soon and it'll be off to the printers. I'll give you guys a more accurate release date when things get nearer to release time. I'm excited about this one. Then again I get excited about all of them so you know, no big surprises there. I'll post some excerpts once I polish up and EDIT EDIT EDIT and then I get started on my next project. TWINED!!

Happy reading. Relax. Be merry. Eat pie. I'm so bossy.

-A.L.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Suicide Mission

So in honor of Mass Effect 3 coming out in EXACTLY one month (sci-fi buff squeal!) I'm going to give everyone a taste of my ME2 Suicide Mission run.
So in case nobody knows, ME is my favorite game series E-V-E-R. It's part of the reason my ideas met paper in the first place. SO WITH THAT BEING SAID... I'm going to give everyone the perfect way to get through the Suicide Mission without losing ANYONE or ANYTHING to the battle. So that all of you can flip the bird to T.I.M and have the best possible crew standing for ME3. I'll also tell you how to keep your favorite characters and love interests alive during the game's climax. I've seen people do this before but there have been small bits and pieces here and there that were missing. So here's the word peeps.

BEWARE: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

The first thing to realize is that time is of the essence. In order to have the best possible outcome, make sure you have done the following things.
1. You have gained the loyalty of every squad member possible, especially the ones you could possibly fail. Meaning you had enough Paragon to sway Zaeed if you let Vido go, you stopped Thane's son from assassinating his target in time, you were able to draw out Morinth and picked one of the asari for your team, you gained Tali's loyalty in the trial by not showing the data of her father and you solved both arguments between Jack and Miranda and Tali and Legion.
(Note: If you don't side with Miranda, the look she gives you is... TERRIFYING O_o)


2. You have upgraded all three necessary parts of the Normandy. That means the Thanix Cannons (obtainable from Garrus) the Cyclone Shielding (obtainable by Tali) or the Silarsis Armor (obtainable with Jacob) have all been upgraded. The Argus Scanners, Med Bay Dermal Regeneration, Helios Thrusters and Modular Probes have no effect on the final mission.



3. You have embarked on the Suicide Mission RIGHT AFTER THE NORMANDY WAS ATTACKED BY THE COLLECTORS. This becomes critical in rescuing your crew after they have been abducted. If you want the best possible ending, LEAVE FOR THE OMEGA 4 RELAY AS SOON AS IT IS AVAILABLE. However if you have things that still need to be done, you will have to balance losing your crew against the fact that your team or ship is not entirely prepared. That is a decision you must make.



Once you're ready, head through the Omega 4 with the Reaper IFF in place. EDI will advise you to make sure everything that needs to be done is done. After you have chosen your destination you will engage in a romance scene with the character you have been faithful with (if you have romanced at all). After a brief discussion with the Illusive Man, Shepard and his crew arrive on the doorstep of the collectors. Thanks to Joker the debris they are greeted with is avoided and the Normandy is assumed safe.
However not all is well. The ship is suddenly is attacked by cyborgs called Oculi. They storm the Normandy and fire at the ship with their beams of death.



SQUAD DEATH: Based on the decisions you have made regarding NORMANDY UPGRADES, one character will die here if you have not purchased the SILARSIS ARMOR UPGRADE from JACOB.
If you did not upgrade the ship's armor, a beam of fire erupts from an Oculi and pierces through to the inside.


Jack (Subject Zero) is Terminated- Jack falls victim to the laser strike if the armor does not hold.

After the laser strike, the Oculi do not give up. One breaches the hull of the Normandy, causing terror in the cargo hold. Shepard takes a squad of two down to the hold to deal with the intruder.
SQUAD DEATH: Based on the upgrades made to the Normandy's shielding, the drive core may explode resulting in the death of a squad mate if the CYCLONE SHIELDING is not installed by your tech expert, TALI.
NOTE: Based on who Shepard takes with him, the fate of the dying squad member is altered.



Shepard and his team stumble as the Normandy collides through a debris field. EDI advises Joker that the Normandy's original shield systems and drive core cannot sustain impact with debris that size. Depending on if you upgraded, someone perishes here.



Kasumi Goto- If Kasumi is not taken by Shepard to the battle with the Occulus, she will find her way down to the engineering sector attempting to maintain the engine systems. But the ship overloads its shields and the drive core gives way to the pressure. It explodes and sends a wave of destruction throughout the engineering sector. With Gabby and Kenneth missing, Kasumi was in the sector maintaining the systems. She is not able to withstand the explosion, and your favorite tech thief is killed in the chaos.


Legion- If Kasumi is busy helping Shepard take down the Occulus in the hold and Legion was not recruited for that battle, the geth synthetic will be busy in the engineering sector when the Normandy enters the debris field. As the ship rocks, the drive core begins to overload and Legion senses danger. However the impending shockwave decimates Legion as he attempts to escape, destroying the geth this time for good.


Tali'Zorah- If Legion was sent to Cerberus for study and or both Legion and Kasumi are engaging the Occulus in combat with Shepard, Tali will take their place near the drive core. Comfortable in the engineering sector, Tali was down in the area maintaining the necessary systems to survive the trip to the Collector Base. However the lack of multi-core shielding gave way to the strain the ship was taking and the drive core erupted in a massive explosion. Although the damage has been contained, it is noted by EDI that Tali was vaporized and did not survive the trip.


(The order of deaths after these three are: Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt, Jack and Samara/Morinth)
NOTE: All of these outcomes also exist if Kasumi was never downloaded via the STOLEN MEMORY DLC. However since Kasumi will not be part of the team if not downloaded, she will not take the place for Tali or Legion if the drive core fails. It is highly recommended you purchase that DLC in order to gain the full Mass Effect experience.

After the Occulus is destroyed, the Normandy makes way to the Collector Base. However an old friend decides to greet the N7 crew. The Collector Ship heads to the Normandy, firing beams of lasers at the shuttle. If the guns are upgraded, this fight is much simpler and the Collector vessel is destroyed. However if not, the Normandy must do battle the hard way... right down their enemy's throat.
SQUAD DEATH: If the Normandy's weapon systems are not implanted with the turian designed THANIX CANNONS installed by GARRUS, the Normandy is impaled by a damaged support beam after engaging in close range battle with the Collector Ship.



Thane Krios- Thane is caught in the way of a collapsing support beam when the Normandy comes face to face with the Collector Ship.


Garrus Vakarian- Garrus falls victim to the protruding metal when the Normandy comes into contact with the Collector Ship.


(The order of deaths after these are: Zaeed, Grunt, Jack, Samara/Morinth)

As the Normandy recoils from the destruction of the Collector Ship, the true mission starts. As Joker and EDI attempt to get the grounded vessel back online, Shepard and the rest of his team trek further into the base. The outcomes of who you pick for each assignment is now critical in the survival of your crew.
And that part of the post will be listed later on! PART 2 and PART 3 will be crucial in your Shepard's success in this mission, as well as the survival of your crew!


The Heroes of Worlds II

So things have been CRAZY busy as of late. There hasn't been much time for anything. Whether it's doing taxes or thinking up creative story ideas, I've had almost no time to myself. I just had my pictures taken for something very special, but I'll only tell you about that if it goes the way I hope. Surprises, you see? So just cross your fingers for me.

And while I've been on this mini hiatus (I think I'm using that word right but I'll admit I'm far too tired to look it up so bear with me) I've learned the importance of blogging and keeping up with my work. Balance is key so that you make your fans happy without running yourself ragged into sickness, which I've been known to do. So I wanted to get on track with several new posts to thank all of you for dealing with my absence. So here's part two of the Heroes of Worlds post.

So you all know characters are COMPLETELY my obsession. And on top of editing Bastion to perfection, I've started three new projects for my first triplet release bundle. Scarlett's, Twined and Utopius. I think that now Scarlett's is in the final editing stage, you'll be seeing those characters soon. So now I'm going to lay down the characters of my next supernatural adventure/romance Twined.

Avalin Marsh- When she was eleven years old, Avalin's mother killed a woman in the kitchen of their home. After her mother was taken away and institutionalized, Avalin did all she could to bottle up and bury the unpleasant memories of that fateful day deep into her being. She's hidden them from the light and lost what really made her who she is. In the place of her innocent former self, a sarcastic, witty and sometimes cold outer shell has arisen. But underneath her snarky demeanor, her obsession over her 1967 Camaro and the Rolling Stones or her direct and critical opinions on many a topic, Avalin has a secret. A dark secret that terrifies her to the core. She sees things that no one else sees. Feels things that other people simply can't feel. And most importantly is able to do things that neither she or anyone else can explain.
Avalin fears that she too is mad. She fears she is an insane woman capable of horrible acts, just like her mother. She subconsciously attempts to prove to herself and others that she is as normal as anyone else in her hometown of Michigan. But when you wake up in the middle of the night halfway across the county or see a girl's face shift right in front of you, how can you not worry of the possibility of insanity?
But everything in her life changes when she meets Albert. He's a mysterious figure who somehow knows of all the strange happenings that seem to be occurring of late. Avalin doesn't trust this man. But when he is able to make sense of everything that Avalin deems as insanity, she begins to realize that her past stems from a world that is beyond the scope of anything she's ever dreamed.
And that the danger, ever present, is terrifyingly real.

"I'm not going to back down. She wants me. She wants me to lose... wants me to die. I won't let her win... I refuse to let her kill me. Plenty of other things in my life are waiting to do that."

Albert Huntington- Albert is a young, mysterious and (although Avalin will never admit it) handsome man. He's dedicated to his cause and knows a great deal about Avalin... about what she truly is. Although he is fascinated with her and desperately needs her in order to survive, Albert and Avalin often cannot stand one another. Her snippy and sarcastic attitude against his passion and persistence usually puts the two at odds. Where he sees a necessary partnership in order to further common goals, she sees a bossy stranger extremely talented at keeping information from her. And his many secrets do no favors in gaining her trust.
He is a being called a Twine. Human in appearance but unique in chemistry, he requires a blood pact with a living human in order to survive and grow. He not only needs a symbiotic relationship with her to keep from perishing, but also to fight an order of dangerous individuals out to destroy everything his ancestors have created. As the two of them face many difficult situations, Avalin begins to realize that she may need Albert almost as much as he needs her. But in order for either of them to survive, they'll need to put their differences aside... and gain each others' trust.

"It's not a matter of what you want. It's not even a matter of what I want. We're fighting an entire organization bent on destroying everything my people have ever aspired to become. I'll be damned if anyone will stop me... including you, Avalin."

Prajna Sarasvati- A petite girl of Indian heritage, Prajna is immersed in a world of her own. She usually spends her time surfing the web... at least that's what she'll tell you. On the inside she's memorizing code, creating firewalls, organizing information archives. She's an analytical genius, a technological prodigy. She's most comfortable behind her computer hacking sites and playing online games. With plenty of trash talk of course.
She admires Avalin. She enjoys the intrigue, the danger, the excitement that she brings. Avalin was the first to see past the once shy exterior of this "nerd girl". In return some of Avalin's backbone has rubbed off on Prajna. Without Avalin's direction, Prajna sees that she might not have ever branched outside of her own world... and would have remained blind to the outer one that she is so able to enjoy now.
But now as things begin to gain momentum... Prajna sees her friend mingling with Twines and being chased down by assassins. However none of this would even begin to scare Prajna away. Loyal to the core (and of course refusing to miss out on any of the fun) Prajna lends whatever help she can to her friends whenever they need it.

"I'm the best at what I do. Give me a profile to hack or something and I'll show you where reality ends. You'd be surprised. I'm also a part time Dusk Elf."


Lyle McCormick- For what Avalin lacks, Lyle makes up for in full. He's sensitive, empathetic and dependable. He's the stabilizing constant who always knows the right thing to say. He formed a loving friendship with Avalin after he consoled her with his friendship after her mother was taken away. He feels for Avalin and the hardships she has endured. He tries to make life easier for her in whatever ways he can.
When the two of them were younger, Avalin was chased by a group of people who wanted to do her harm. Lyle, fourteen at the time, defended her. The attackers hurt him... almost beating the boy to death. Since then Avalin has felt for Lyle the way she has felt for no other. She truly finds a safe haven within his trust. And he, without mentioning word of it, finds love for her.
Now things are becoming dangerous. Dark figures are looming, and now Albert has inserted himself in an equation that was already unstable to begin with. And when threats begin to loom over every rooftop, Lyle begins to worry that this time Avalin has gotten herself into something that not even Lyle can protect her from. However... that won't make for a lack of trying.

"Just be careful. I believe that you're trying to be cautious... and no offense I also believe that you suck at it. Terribly."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fans and Friends Meet Teen Author

   Okay so here is the last picture you will see of Teen Author A.L. Collins in his Wendy's Uniform! He has put away the blue polo to focus on his writing.  With several projects under way it just became a time issue. Being the manager of such a young and talented author has given me the opportunity to sit back and watch from a distance as A.L. has grown with each event and situation that he has been involved in along the way on his writing journey.
    I'm happy and proud that he always takes the time to talk to anyone who will listen about how thrilled he is that he has found his passion in life at such a young age.  Most teens these days struggle with the everyday decisions that are necessary to merely survive in this rat race.  Setting goals and having a vision are hard to do and for most unrealistic.  A.L. is always there with an encouraging word, a handshake or a hug. He has proven time and time again that we are all in this together and many time it's the little things that make the biggest difference.
     Giving much more than you take, smiling when no one else is. Laughing when the room is silent. Sometimes wisdom isn't always reserved for those that have been here the longest.  I'm proud of my friend A.L.Collins for not being afraid to be a little eccentric. For realizing that there is so much talent that never gets discovered in the minds of teens just like himself. Most of all being willing to share the gift that he has been given so unconditionally. Hats off my friend!  By Jim Huntington ~ Publishing Manager of Personae Publications for A.L. Collins

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Jacket Looks Nice...

Hey all. It's been a busy week. A lot of stuff has been going on as of late. I had to spend my day going out and buying some decent wares. Normally I don't give too much thought into my clothing. I'm usually a big pick it and go guy. But lately it's been different. Now I'm learning how to present myself and stay clean cut and professional. It's been tough. I don't have the best sense of style. But thanks to Kayla, Deb and Jim it's getting easier to look clean and shaved. It felt weird today. I was walking around the mall with pride in what I was wearing. I splurged on a few nice pieces of clothing for the first time in my life. I'm not the biggest shopper or a materialistic person. But I had to say it was also kind of fun finding a sense of style. I hope I look good for this photo shoot. I'm not good with pictures. So I hope some nice clothes will give me the confidence I need to take these pics. Because who knows who might end up seeing them in the long run...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bastion Prequel to War Available On Kindle!

Well we can finally announce that Bastion Prequel to War is available as an e-book on Kindle!! After numerous inquiries and requests I guess they got sick of us bugging them. Chuckle-Chuckle. Anyways we did a test download onto our kindle and it works and looks great! So there you have it, I really hope you enjoy the book. Happy Reading!
http://www.amazon.com/Bastion-Prequel-To-War-ebook/dp/B0072BEEAW/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_img_2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Work Day

A.L. has been in the writing studio for ten to twelve hours a day churning out his next several projects.

Scarlett's - A Young Adult/Teen inspirational and motivational book about a girl named Jaime Williams who searches for the happiness that seems to elude her. A.L. is finishing up his storyline and timeline editing before we ship the manuscript off to our editor in Atlanta to have the final proofing done. We were hoping for a mid to end of February release but it is looking more like a mid March release date.

Twined - A Supernatural Romance about a headstrong girl named Avalin Marsh who realizes her fate when a young man with supernatural powers offers to make a blood bond she cannot refuse. A.L. knows there is still a good bit of work to be done on both this book's storyline and editing. However the release date is still up in the air. This project is recieving much attention second only to Scarlett's, so we are trying to shoot for a release date closer to the mid March release of Scarlett's.

Utopius- A Twisted Dark Fantasy, A.L. unleashes his sinister side with a mature rated story about a selfish knight templar named Desmonde and his convoy of followers as they attempt to save the land of Theros from a horde of all devouring abominations known as the blackrot. This book is writing faster than A.L. had anticipated so many of the details are falling into place nicely. The book itself will most likely be released towards the end of March, beginnnig of April. A comic book and video game are also scheduled to be made following the Utopius storyline, but at this time deveolopment is in the beginning stages and there is no telling when either of them will be released.
Utoipus is unique in two aspects. One, it appeals to a demographic far older than any of A.L.'s previous novels. While Bastion and Twined are fit for fourteen and older and Scarlett's suitable for pre-teens and up, Utopius is slated to appeal to late teens due to the mature topics in the book. It is also unique in the fact that two versions of this story will be released. Utopius' branching storyline will be carried through into the sequels with both a canon and an alternate storyline. A.L. hopes this will let readers have a sort of "pick your ending" take on the book while offering his audience a new way to become immersed in a series.

We hope you find that these stories take you on wild and exciting adventures.
Best Regards,
James Huntington

Its Official! The Land of HARRY POTTER Coming to California

 Wizarding World proved an instant hit when it opened in June 2010 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park. Crowds often grow so thick in the detailed 20-acre land that visitors are slowed to a shoulder-to-shoulder crawl. The Harry Potter-themed land in Florida includes three attractions: the new Forbidden Journey motion-based simulator ride and a pair of re-themed coasters, the dueling twin-track Dragon Challenge and the family-friendly Flight of the Hippogriff.
While some answers will be revealed soon and others much later, let's tackle a few questions about what's in store for fans when Wizarding World of Harry Potter debuts at Universal Studios Hollywood.
When will Wizarding World open in California?
Announced in 2007, the Florida WWHP was originally scheduled to debut in 2009 but ended up taking three years to complete. Universal officials wouldn't get more specific on an opening date for the California land but Wizarding World isn't expected to debut before 2016.
Where will the land be?
Universal Studios Hollywood doesn't have much wiggle room, which means planners will have to tear down existing attractions or expand outside the theme park's traditional boundaries to make space for Wizarding World. Universal's 20-year vision plan calls for the replacement of the Terminator 2: 3D attraction and the Water World stunt show. And then there's always the possibility of taking over a part  of the studio back lot.
What will the new land include?
Conventional wisdom holds that the California park will feature a replica of the Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts castle found in Florida. Forbidden Journey is generally considered to be the best ride in the amusement industry and a likely addition. Hogwarts was purposely built a few feet taller than the castle down the road at the Magic Kingdom. Expect a similar nose-thumbing in the general direction of Anaheim.
How will the two Wizarding Worlds be different?
The California park has no existing outdoor coasters, so the Hippogriff and Dragon overlays won't work here. There's a good chance some existing attraction will be repurposed with a new Harry Potter theme (like, for example, an action-adventure show in the Water World theater).
Will we see any new Wizarding World attractions or locations in California?
It's possible the California Wizarding World could be completely different from the Florida version. One possibility: an authentic re-creation of Diagon Alley complete with a Leaky Cauldron restaurant, a Gringotts Wizarding Bank indoor roller coaster and an Ollivander's wand shop (misplaced in Hogsmeade village at the Florida park).
How will the California expansion affect Florida?
Theme park fans have been expecting Universal Orlando to expand the wildly popular Wizarding World since the day it opened. Those hopes may have to be put on hold while plans are developed for the California expansion. The California addition is unlikely to substantially affect attendance in Florida. On Tuesday, officials also announced plans to expand Wizarding World in Orlando.
 

How will Wizarding World change the Southern California theme park landscape?
Like an 8.0 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. Wizarding World altered the competitive Orlando marketplace, cutting into attendance at virtually every rival park and forcing Disney to unveil two massive counterattacks: a reinvention of Fantasyland for 2012 and the creation of Avatar Land for 2016. Expect the Boy Wizard to steal second-day visitors away from Disney California Adventure and force Mickey Mouse to respond with some new magic of his own. Second-tier parks such as SeaWorld San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm will have to step up the competition.
How much will the new land cost to build?
Universal reportedly spent between $200 million and $265 million on the Florida Wizarding World. Presumably there will be fewer start-up costs this time around, assuming the West Coast gets a carbon copy of the East Coast version. Officials said the California Wizarding World will cost more than $200 million.
Any hope for Muggles outside the United States?
Universal has indicated that the Harry Potter brand could eventually spread to its theme parks in Japan, Korea and Singapore. The key question is whether the most popular book series and movie franchise in history has the staying power to draw visitors to Universal's theme parks for decades and generations to come.
Just how good is the Butterbeer?
The frothy shortbread and butterscotch flavored drink is the most popular food item sold at Wizarding World. And at $10 a pop with a souvenir mug ($11 frozen), a certified money-making phenomenon for Universal. No trip to the Potterverse is complete without a creamy pint of Butterbeer goodness.
 By Brady MacDonald | Los Angeles Times staff writer

But of course the Hogwarts ride, called “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” is the centerpiece of the attraction, and I must say it is very well done. The story is that muggles (meaning you, of course) are being allowed into the school for the first time, and so before the ride you’re brought through several rooms in the castle, spoken about by paintings of the four founders of the school, and allowed to meet Dumbledore, Harry, Ron and Hermione, sort of. The projections of the characters are less well-done than they might be, but if you can’t suspend your disbelief a millimeter further than you already have by that point in order to invest in them, you shouldn’t go. The ride itself is a bit jerky, but is the only way to see into parts of Hogwarts (and its grounds) you otherwise can’t. Not far from Hogwarts is a sort of stage area where a chorus of “students” and large “frogs” sing the Macbeth-derived song from the Prisoner of Azkaban movie and various a cappella tunes, and actors dressed exactly as the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students from Goblet of Fire perform acrobatics.
 By Matt Blum.

Photo By J.S.Huntington December 2011