Clarissa Johal: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

Frightening Friday-American Horror Story

I'm probably the last to watch the season finale of American Horror Story: Coven. I love that American Horror Story makes a social commentary and constantly pushes the envelope. That's what keeps me coming back for more. Here are my picks for favorite characters and moments of each season.

Season One

Best character-Rubber Man. It's all about the costume, baby.

Best Moment: The reveal of Rubber Man. (no spoilers!)

Season Two

Best Character: Lana Winters. The definition of perseverance and strength

Best Moment-The Name Game. Surreal fun.

Season Three

Best Character: Myrtle Snow. I was secretly hoping she was Grand Supreme. Her red hair, cat glasses and bizarre clothes rocked the fashion boat.

Best Moment: Spaulding and all his dolls. Kind of an, "Um...." and, "Aw!" moment all rolled into one.

Season One was my favorite. There were numerous twists and turns that kept me guessing. Which was yours?

Which American Horror Story Season Was Your Favorite? free polls 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday-Pirates...and not the fun kind

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile and chelle
Book piracy. It's something authors rage against. Recently, I was alerted to the fact that one of my books was listed on a piracy site and available free to download.
I don't know whether to be flattered or pissed off. I'll settle for pissed off.

Do you know how long it takes to write a book? For me, it's about a year. Not a year of 8 hour work days either, but closer to 15 hour work days, 7 days a week. And for what? A book. A book that sells for a whopping $2.99.

When someone steals an ebook, it's blatant disregard for the author's work. Not to mention--it's ILLEGAL. And yes, there are people that download on these sites unaware that it's illegal. (I would say if a book is for sale on Amazon, you can guarantee it won't be free elsewhere). But there are readers that don't think it's a big deal to steal a digital copy of a book. To them I would ask: would you steal a hard copy of that book from your local bookstore? No? It kind of ranks up there with that. 

It's not about the money, it's the principal of the thing. Let's face it, unless they're famous, authors don't make massive amounts of money.
I am not famous. Yet. I work hard. I write because I love it. But I don't write free books. If I did that, I would call my writing a hobby. And it's not a hobby, it's my career and my life. 

What should you do if you find your book on one of these sites? Send them a take-down notice, courtesy of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). You may have to keep on these sites and check back to make sure they remove your book, but be persistent.

You may cut and paste, by the way!

Dear Mr. XX,

Please remove the following Copyrighted material from your site.

Search Query: (Book Title)

Infringing Web Pages: (list all sites the email is going too)

Website to prove that this book is for sale and not public domain: (full link to your books buy page)

You may Contact me at: (your email address)

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Your Name/Signature


You can also send a notice to Google requesting that the pirate site be deleted from Google search engines. Here's the Google link to that.

To readers--please support authors and acquire books legally. It's through your purchase that they are able to do what they do. Happy reading! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Keeping Up With the Blog Next Door

I've been focusing my efforts lately on getting some projects out for 2014. STRUCK was just released and will be going on tour February 24th via Goddess Fish. VOICES is undergoing some rewrites before resubmitting it to my publisher (the book I started several weeks ago is on the back-burner because of that). Blogging has been the last thing on my mind!  So, I thought I'd try something new in my blog, just for fun.

Here's what you can expect from Writing with Scissors

#MeatlessMonday:  A vegetarian recipe from my kitchen to yours.
Tangled Tuesday: Close your eyes and reach into the void! Guest Authors and Random Things
#Paranormal Wednesday: All things paranormal
Thoughtful Thursday: My thoughts on paranormal news and other topics
Frightening Friday: Fun posts on scary stuff. Look over your shoulder...

I hope you enjoy what's to come! Stay tuned for various other posts and blog hops, which are ongoing. Have a great week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Musa Publishing's Warm Up for Winter Contest!

Enter daily to win one of 17 promotional paperbacks
Outlaws by William Weldy
Only A Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus
Trusting Sydney by Helen Hardt
Taming Angelina by Helen Hardt
Treasuring Amber by Helen Hardt
2012: The Rising by Joanne Hirase
Typical Day by Gary K. Wolf
Obsession by JoAnne Keltner
Stained Glass byMindy Hardwick
Grape Bubblegum by Beth Bowland

Dragon Drop by Jerry Ackerman
New Girl by Joan B. Flood
The Fox's Mask by Anna Frost
Unforgettable You by Marci Boudreaux
Storm’s Fury by Nya Rayne

And one of 30 e-books:

3.99 by Richard Satterlie
100,000 Midnights by Aaron Smith
A Company of Thieves by David Pilling
A Place to Call Their Own by L. Dean Pace-Frech
A Reason To Stay by L.S. Murphy
A Sense of the Ridiculous by Heather King
A Willing Spirit by Cindi Myers
Alaska Heat by Vella Munn
An Incident on MSR Tampa by SS Hampton, Sr
Apple of My Eye by Elizabeth Botts
Baiting The Hook by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
Between by Clarissa Johal
Black Widow by Lena Austin
Bring Me To Life by Scarlett Parrish
Captain Westwood's Inheritance by Lynda Dunwell
Contingency Plan by Anita Ensal
Crazy Greta by David Hardy
Daughter of the Earth and Sky by Kaitlin Bevis
Deep Into The Night by Tracie Ingersoll Loy
Dragon Revealed by Nulli Para Ora
Enchanted Realms by Eleni Konstantine
Forget the Misteltoe by Lizzie T. Leaf
Her Goblin Prince by Thalia Frost
High Stakes by Chad Strong
ICE blue by Susan Rae
Identity Thief by Milo James Fowler
Keeper of Directions by L.K. Mitchell
Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
Little Bird by Liza Gaines
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Masquerade by Sloane Taylor

All entrants are eligible for the Grand Prize Drawing January 31

Grand Prize 
Warm Up for Winter Basket

Snuggly Blanket
$20.00 Musa Gift Certificate 
Starbucks Coffee
Coffee Mug
Specialty Chocolates

 5 paperback books: 
Marissa's Choice by Kadee McDonald
The Dominus Runes by Peter Lukes
Walking the Dog by Linda Benson
Love Lies Bleeding by Laini Giles
For his Love by Nya Rayne

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners of paperback books who reside outside the Continental United States will receive their prize in e-book format.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Release Day for STRUCK

The shadows hadn't been waiting. 
The shadows had been invited.

After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend and takes a job at a retirement home. She grows especially close to one resident, who dies alone the night of a terrific storm. On the way home from paying her last respects, Gwynneth is caught in another storm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift--one that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something more sinister... for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.

Buy Links:
Musa Publishing
Barnes and Noble

Excerpt Link

Friday, January 10, 2014


I've been away from my blog for awhile now. The holidays were quite busy, not to mention my kiddos were sick the whole time! I've also been working hard at finishing my edits for STRUCK and finishing up my next book VOICES so it can be submitted by the end of January. In other words, juggling life and work.
One major event that happened over the holidays, was that our dog started to have accidents in the house at night. That would be "major" for me since I'm usually the first one up--which meant I got to clean up! Thank goodness for wood floors. We've had Jasmine for ten years and this has never happened before. So, between kiddo trips to the doctor and the ER, getting my edits in on time, and trying to enjoy Christmas...Jasmine had to go to the vet. Fa-la-la.
I was crossing my fingers, hoping it wasn't her kidneys, which veterinarians really can't fix. We lucked out in a way, it turns out she is diabetic. Aside from an change in diet, we now poke her twice a day with insulin. Not a happy task, but it's made a world of difference in her quality of life (and the quality of my wood floors, haha).
So, I got to thinking. What would have happened if some other family would have adopted Jasmine? Would they have managed her diabetes? The insulin is quite expensive, as is the food. I can't imagine not going the distance on a pet, but I know that 20 years ago, there's no way I would have been able to afford to. Ten years ago, my husband "just happened" to hit the animal shelter minutes before Jasmine and her sister were scheduled for euthanasia. The sister ran away from him, but Jasmine...she gave my husband the benefit of the doubt. The shelter workers basically dumped her in my husband's arms--free of charge.

Doggie destiny. We got an awesome dog, Jasmine gets a family that can afford her insulin. Right place at the right time.