Blog Tour Day 1: “Top-Notch” Review and Giveaway at Bookish for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM

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Today is the first day of the blog tour for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM! 

On bookish.com there are quotes, a book review and even a giveaway for my novel. Here is an excerpt from the very flattering review:

The author brilliantly re-imagines the life of our beloved Jane Austen, weaving in facts, names, dates partly just fiction but some real based on the facts we know of Miss Austen’s short life. He even tucks in quite a few quotes/book references, as to keep us on our toes.

Firstly, the quality of his writing is top-notch. From the opening sentence to the last word, I was captivated.  I felt the author knew where he wanted to take the story and did so in an authoritative as well as engaging way.

Secondly, Scott Southard is an expert at writing in such a fashion as to induce feelings of hate, love, joy, sadness, and righteous fury. I wept, I laughed , I talked back at the characters making foolish decisions, I even rallied against those standing in the way of Jane’s happiness.

You can read the rest of the review here. Also, on that same page, one luck reader can win an eBook copy of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM.  Check it out!

Published by Madison Street Publishing, A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM can be purchased in print ($13.46) or as an eBook for the outrageously low price of $3.99 for Kindle. You can find it on Amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU).

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New WKAR Book Review: Francine Prose’s Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review, this time reviewing Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose.

You can listen to my book review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-francine-proses-lovers-chameleon-club-paris-1932-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM in the virtual world! The blog tour starts on September 1!

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From September 1 through 12, my novel A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM will be taking part in a blog tour sponsored by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour (more info here). There will be reviews, interviews, and even a giveaway. Here is the itinerary (with links):

On each of the days, I will share links and updates on the experience. I hope you will follow along (or maybe even read along)! 

Published by Madison Street Publishing, A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM can be purchased in print ($13.46) or as an eBook for the outrageously low price of $3.99 for Kindle. You can find it on Amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU).

Dragons, trolls and cubicles! Win an autographed copy of the real-world fantasy MEGAN!

Starting August 26 and running through September 16, there is a book giveaway for my novel MEGAN on goodreads.com (here). Right now! Go for it! What are you waiting for!? Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of the book! You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Megan by Scott D. Southard

Megan

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends September 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win

To me and you, Megan is just a normal worker in a drab office, but in her imagination there exists an entire world, one she has escaped into ever since she was a child. It is the land of Prosperity and it is filled with dragons, castles, trolls, moon people, and wizards, And in Prosperity, Megan is a princess and a super hero. MEGAN is the story of her worst day and how Prosperity saved the real her.

Published by I Publish Press, my novel MEGAN was recently released for the kindle and includes an exclusive introduction only for that version. If you want to check it out as an ebook, you can do so here.

If you will like to learn more about this novel you can do so on my site. There is an excerpt as well as a post about the writing of it (here).

I hope you will enter the contest and pick up a copy of the new eBook today! Good luck!

I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. I enjoyed it! -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

Flashback Monday: “Disneyland’s Silent Gift” from ME STUFF

ResortThis is the eighth and final entry in my Flashback Monday series. I created the series to showcase some of the posts you will get if you pick up my new book Me Stuff, which contains 40 different quirky tales from this site! You can check out the other Flashback Mondays here, herehere, here, here. here, and here.

I always knew I wanted to end Flashback Monday with this entry. Some might roll their eyes seeing Disneyland in the title (or if you follow the site, not surprised I am writing about the park again), but there is a reason why it is here. Why? Well, I really love the writing in it because for me it captures a magical moment with my family and in my life, that even then I could tell was slipping away.

There is this time when you are staying at the Disneyland Resort Hotel when you can have it all to yourself.

It’s quiet, with the faint hint of music playing in the hotel lobbies in the background. I first discovered it when I offered to grab my wife one early morning a coffee at the shop in the hotel. But the moment I exited the elevator (and the haunting overture from The Jungle Book was playing in the speakers), that I realized I had discovered something unique.

It was still dark outside and I was alone.

I walked along the pool, passed the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant (with its fireplace still ablaze). There is a smell to Disneyland that I have yet to put my finger on, but the blossoms around the hotel and the restaurant added to its intoxication.

It was so peaceful that I almost felt a tinge of regret when the coffee shop finally opened at 6 AM and I had to make my purchase and return to the room and the excited kids. Dawn was approaching, a new day of adventure. Holding sweaty palms, wondering about bathroom breaks, and taking a lot of pictures.

That pre-dawn walk became a little ritual for me during my stay, and I picked up a coffee for my wife every morning at the same time. She always said thank you, but she didn’t need to.

It was for both of us.Me Stuff, front cover

You can read the rest of the post here. Or, better yet, you can grab a copy of ME STUFF which contains 40 editorials like this one and it is super cheap-o.

The eBook version of the book is only $1.99 (here on Amazon) and in print for only $8.99 (here on Amazon).

New for Kindle! MEGAN, a real-world fantasy adventure with a big imagination!

MeganI’m proud to announce that my novel MEGAN was just released for the Kindle! It can be found on amazon via this link (http://amzn.com/B00MUEAW48).

I love the format of this book.  I’m sure most of us—as children or even now as adults—have made up worlds within our imaginations and spent hours daydreaming or play acting what occurs in our imaginary worlds.  Our protagonist, Megan, is stuck in a boring job, with coworkers she barely coexists with, with a boss she hates, and nothing interesting or exciting happening in her life.  She escapes this monotony and the dreary reality of her life by imagining the world of Prosperity. -Definitely Not For the Birds

Published by iPublish Press, MEGAN is the story of Megan Wane. To me and you, she is just a normal worker in a drab office, but in her imagination there exists an entire world, one she has escaped into ever since she was a child. It is the land of Prosperity and it is filled with dragons, castles, trolls, moon people, and wizards, And in Prosperity, Megan is a princess and a super hero. MEGAN is the story of her worst day and how Prosperity saved the real her.

If you will like to learn more about this novel you can do so on this site. There is an excerpt as well as a post about the writing of it (here). And, as AN EXCLUSIVE for the Kindle version, it contains a brand-new preface to the book written by… well… me.

I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. I enjoyed it! -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

Grab a copy today, tell a friend, tell a dozen! You can get your copy on amazon here. I hope you like the book!

In Defense of JUMANJI

JumanjiWhen you visit rottentomatoes.com, they only give Jumanji a score of 50%. Ouch. Roger Ebert called it “gloomy” and Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave it only a C+ implying that the story did not live up to the special effects. Double Ouch.

Yes, Jumanji is not a perfect film. There are moments that make me squirm, like when Robin Williams is attacking some wild vines with a sword and shouts “Harvest time!” That is not the only embarrassing shout in the film, later Judy (played by a young Kirsten Dunst) holds a checkout lane gun up at a person’s eyes and shouts “Price check!” To help emphasize the bad joke, the camera cuts to the cash register where it declares “no sale.”

Not to be a grinch, but many of the classics we love aren’t perfect. I’ll even give you a cherished example. In The Wizard of Oz, when the witch orders out her monkey army to get Dorothy she references a scene that was edited from the film. She explains to her monkeys that she had sent out bugs to tire them out first. Of course, we don’t see the fabled “jitterbug” scene happen (and probably for very good reason, it sounds incredibly cheesy). But, unless you know the history of the film, this really doesn’t make any sense at all. What bugs? What did the bugs do to them? How does a bug bother a scarecrow and a man made of tin?

Now in saying all that, I’m not comparing The Wizard of Oz to Jumanji, even though they both have many similar themes (returning to a home, forging a new family, friendship, etc.) and buy into the great myth that underlines most children stories (a normal child swept away into an adventure to find they are special). The Wizard of Oz is a classic and will never disappear. I can’t say the same for Jumanji in the future, and that makes me a little sad. There is a good chance that over time it might become nothing more than another chapter in all those future biographies of Robin Williams that are certainly being planned right now.

I love the film Jumanji. It is comfort food on the screen for me. And since the tragic death of Robin Williams (our hero Alan Parrish) I have watched it three times… and there is a good chance I might be watching it again soon.

- Continue reading

Our Oscar Theme Summer (Part 3)

FamilyI’ve said it before (and many have said it before me) but parenthood changes you. My wife and I joke all the time about how we have no idea what we used to talk about before we had our kids.

We had to have talked about something!

We were married for five years before the first one arrived, there had to have been some kind of a conversation going on.

Another sign for me on how things have changed is the tally for me around “Oscar Summer.” Before kids, we probably would have done a different movie a night, maybe even an extra one on weekends. I could almost imagine us hitting anywhere between 80 and 90 movies by the end of the summer. Yeah, that high.

Yet, with kids around and them biting into our evening time and because we can sometimes be so tired in the evening (especially after chasing them all day) and everything else that comes along with life our tally is a little over 20.

It is nothing to write home about.

The hope when we began our Oscar Summer was to hit some of the big Oscar films, but really in the end it became kind of scatter-shot. In a way, I was almost drawn to watching the films that didn’t win, or the ones forgotten. But even in that, we didn’t do much. Again, 20.

Seriously, only 20? Continue reading

Flashback Monday: “Cereal, Milk, and a Bank Loan” from ME STUFF

Bag of MoneyFor today’s Flashback Monday, I’m diving back into my experience in banking. Well, a bank at a grocery store, which to me still seems a weird idea. But this article has bank robbers, psychics, strippers, everything you could want in a story about high finance… or grocery financing.

This is the seventh installment in my doing these Flashback Mondays. You can check out the others installments here, herehere, here, here. and here. They are all included in my new book ME STUFF. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of my banking misadventures:

I own a copy of The Satanic Bible because of my time working at a bank.

Let me begin by pointing out that this was not a normal bank. For some reason, the higher-ups in the banking world (who I always like to imagine as fat pigs in suits with cigars) thought it would be a good idea to have a bank in a grocery store. Really? Okay, sure. This grocery store was also in the heart of a more struggling community, so the idea of a bank being in that store in that area made the entire experience that much odder.  Sometimes it would leave me feeling like we were taunting the more struggling citizens (those shopping with food stamps). Not for you…

No one that knows me would have argued that banking is the best career choice for me. Yes, I enjoy interacting with people and customer service to a certain extent, but numbers are not my thing. The one time I had ever (ever!) needed a tutor was for a beginning college course in Accounting. I remember the tutor having a hard time explaining something to me and so she would talk slower and slower as if it was the speed of her explanation that was the problem. For all I know that tutor is still sitting someplace trying to finish that sentence.

I was in grad school at the time (working towards a master’s in English Literature), and the job worked around my busy classroom schedule, so I couldn’t say no, no matter how off this position was for me.  It almost made me feel like I had a secret identity. At school I was in cool t-shirts and hoodies, talking about Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare; at work, I was a business professional talking about mortgages. I was the English major’s version of Clark Kent.Me Stuff, front cover

This article was presented in two parts on the site; the first part can be found here, and the second here. Or, better yet, you can grab a copy of ME STUFF which contains 40 editorials like this one and it is super cheap-o.

The eBook version of the book is only $1.99 (here on Amazon) and in print for only $8.99 (here on Amazon).

New WKAR Book Review: Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review, this time looking at the new novel by E.L. Doctorow, Andrew’s Brain.

You can listen to my book review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-andrews-brain-el-dotorow

You can also read my book review below.

Andrew’s Brain can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review!

Continue reading