“Amuse the Muse” Guest Blog by Jeff Hargett

My fellow North Carolinian writer friend Jeffrey Hargett was kind enough to guest blog for me, but we expected to get it out a few months ago. I’ve had a tremendous amount of sickness and deaths in the family this Autumn season, so I’ve fallen off the grid for awhile. I’m back feeling somewhat renewed and refreshed. Jeff always makes me giggle even when times are particularly bleak. Without further adieu, welcome Jeff Hargett.

Amuse the Muse


Jeff Hargett

I’ve learned a secret.  It’s simple really, but priceless.  And now that I’ve learned it, I’ll never again sit and stare at my monitor with its blank, white page mocking me.  No more will my thumbs tap the rhythm of Afternoon Delight while I watch the cursor heckle me with disdain in its every blink.

I shall always be inspired.  Impressive vistas will fill my mind’s gaze.  Characters will beat at my front door, begging to be written into my tales.  I’ll weave plot through my fingers like yarn.  I’ll foreshadow my foreshadows and care not one whit if my participles dangle.  For I shall have story.

And my story will cause men to weep, women to squeal and children to shout.  My readers will scour the internet, vainly searching out my abode and demanding more.  “Sequels!” they’ll scream.  “A series!” will be the cry of others.  “More!  More!  More!”  Their chants will deafen.  Their pulses, throbbing with insatiable dependence upon my every word, will race unchecked.  Their pitch a frenzy, I shall peer down upon them and bless them with what they crave most.  More.

All because I’ve learned the secret.  For only this secret can guarantee that creativity and inspiration will surround me like the very air I breathe.  Manuscripts nigh unto perfection will wash out from me like an eternal wellspring.  My readers shall love me.  For I, humble I alone, know the secret.

But no longer.  She tells me I must share.  I must impart to other writers the wisdom of this secret.  I have no choice but to comply for I am at her mercy.  She knows this, uses this against me.  I know and cannot care, for I am her captive.

She is my muse.  It is from her the wellspring flows.  The vistas in my mind are what she has painted.  She breathed life into my characters.  The tapestry of my plot, I wove solely from threads that she shared.  She births the stories that I tell.

But for this she demands payment.  And her price is high.

She leans over my shoulder and whispers in my ear.  “Amuse me, Jeff.  Amuse your muse.”  I’m fully dependent upon her.  Obliging her is my only option.  With her in my midst, I bleed prose.  Without her, I merely bleed.  Profusely.

“That won’t work,” I tell her.  “It contradicts the scene in chapter twelve.”

Her stern eyes widen.  “Details, Jeff.  Details!  Don’t bother me with such drivel.  This is good stuff I’m giving you.”

“So was chapter twelve,” I mumble, then wince, realizing that such behavior doesn’t amuse my muse at all.  Will she vanish now?  Fly out of the room and slam the door behind her?  Pull from my mind the gems she just bestowed?  “I’ll make it work,” I cry in desperation.  “Somehow, I will.”

The fury fades from her eyes.  A sadistic grin curls her lip.  But I love her.  I need her.  And she knows it.  Amuse her, I shall.

About Jeff Hargett:

Jeff is a middle-aged nerd who has convinced himself that he writes epic fantasy.  His wife enables him.  His daughter encourages him.  And his oldest grandson loves his dragons.  Can life get any better?

Connect with Jeff at:

His blog: http://strandsofpattern.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JeffreySHargett

Google+: https://plus.google.com/118375252229614964109/posts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffreySHargett


Cristian Mihai

It’s irevuo week here at my… uhm.. blog, and I thought it would be cool to introduce you to the crew. You know, the guys who are going to write the articles, interviews, and stuff.

Of course, the best way to do this is to interview them. So say hi to Ioana. She’s Romanian, and she doesn’t like long walks on the beach. I’ll let her tell you more…

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Cancer and Christmas

All proceeds for the week of Nov. 24- Nov. 30 will go to a Cancer patient at my work who has no insurance. The cancer facility will not start treatment till she has $400. Please help me reach this goal. She will have surgery to remove part of one of her breasts and then will undergo major reconstructive surgery beyond that. Thank you for all you can do to help me in this cause. This is one of the most devastating things that could happen to someone at Christmastime. I can’t imagine going through it myself. Send up prayers and share this blog with anyone you can. Thank you. Sorry, I’m not more articulate today, as tears fill my eyes. Love swells in my heart for humanity, and I can’t sit by and do nothing if there’s a way I can be involved. Let’s make someone’s Christmas a little less bleak.


“Black” Friday

Every year, the Black family does pretty much the same thing. The safe thing.

We stay home.

One year, my hubby and I were hungry for a snack at midnight on Friday after Thanksgiving, so we headed to our local Walmart at which anyone at anytime can normally frequent and get in and out in a few minutes. We’d forgotten the dreaded Black Friday was upon us. The whole place was lined with cars from the handicapped spaces to the green grass bordering the parking lot. Cars were even perched on the curb in the green grass skirting the store. We parked in the neighboring gas station, not to be swayed from our craving of chocolate and pizza.

Once inside, humans had been reduced to zoo animals picking through racks, tossing merchandise on the floors, and lining roped off areas holding tickets hoping for the best deals of the season. I’d never witnessed such behavior. People fought over toasters priced at $2.67. Really? Who wants a toaster that much?

Obviously these people. We shoved through the crowds, found the chocolate ice cream, pizza bites and soda and zig-zagged back to the front. On the way, we heard of people finding deals all over the store. Still yet, deals that didn’t sound like that big of a “deal” to me.

Christmas is about a gift.

A gift God gave us.

A gift that was a big deal.

When the holiday is reduced to fighting over a piece of merchandise like a piece of meat in a barren desert, it loses meaning. Remember to spend time with your family. Rest knowing the gift you gave wasn’t the one you got at the best deal but the one you put thought and time into– not a brawl.

Black Friday isn’t sinful; don’t get me wrong. There are deals to be found. Just don’t lose yourself over a cheap toaster.

The Next Big Thing

Thank you so much, Joanne Wadsworth, for inviting me to the Q&A session in the “The Next Big Thing” blog! This is a wonderful idea. I hope to meet many new friends as I share details to my current work in progress.

What is your working title of your book?

SoulEaters Book One: Black Soul.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote the book over two years ago when unspeakable atrocities befell children, especially little girls, in my area. Child molestors, rapists and murderers got only a slap on the wrist. So, to deal with my outrage, I created a SoulEater. One of these dark but alluring creatures looks just like us, but they can see aura’s–a color surrounding each human detailing their character make-up. A black aura belong’s to a human condemned to death by God. A judge can’t see the atrocities the human has committed and more times than not, lets the waste of space off without any ramifications. A SoulEater takes a more direct and lethal approach at cleansing the earth of the criminal. Each novel in the series explores the life and forbidden loves of the five SoulEater brothers.

What genre does your book fall under?

Paranormal Romance. The heroes are dark, vampiristic beings–equal parts human and angel.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is always one of the harder questions because it’s difficult to find an actor you’re sure can display the qualities your characters have. It has to be a perfect match. My main character wasn’t a hard choice. Hands down: Ian Somerhalder is my Noah Kavanaugh. Noah is the perfect mixture of smart-aleck and brooding, remorseful criminal. He’s lived in indulgent pleasure long enough to know that it only brings gratification for a short while only to wear off leaving him empty and forlorn. Cursed to live till he ends his life in a slow, three-year-long starvation, Noah is sure he’ll never find anyone to fill that void till he meets Caroline Clark.

Caroline is an in home health aide with an irritatingly pleasant bedside manner. Noah is the first terminal patient she’s ever had. Once she finds there may be a cure for his illness, she’s determined to love him into fighting for his life or aggravating him endlessly till he has no other choice.

Caroline. Good question. I’ve pondered this one for awhile. Dark hair, cobalt blue eyes and someone who can go from happy to stone cold in seconds: Jennifer Lawrence. She’s one of the most phenomenal actresses on the big screen right now. I’d do things just short of illegal to sign her.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What do you do when living kills the ones you love, but sacrificing yourself isn’t enough?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?


How long did it take for you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took about two months to write the first draft, but that draft has changed drastically since I’ve met and been mentored at different levels by wonderful writers like Joanne Wadsworth author of the upcoming novel Protector; Cristian Mihai the author of Jazz, The Writer and many others; Margaret Stohl author of the Beautiful Creatures novels (on the big screen in 2013); and Cassandra Claire author of The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones due out on the big screen in 2013). Speaking with these great artists have shaped my writing and continue to influence everything I write.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Shiver, The Hush, Hush, and House of Night series.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The teens in my neighborhood, Chasity Moss, Chance Moss and Maria Marshall have urged me since four years ago to put the pen back to the paper, but with modern technology a staple as it is, I’ve grown to love (and name–Allie) my laptop. My motivation to guide teens into a more moralistic future drives me every day. So many have no one to look up to. If I can reach just one, my life means something and my art has purpose.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Here is a little excerpt:

Two years and 49 weeks into the slow excruciating death, his room was the sterile, bleach soaked environment Noah Kavanaugh had tried to avoid by dying at home. Now he was a twisted, twig figure lying askew on white sheets and down comforter, but a young girl who was not his nurse let herself into his room, uninvited. Her aura’s blue flash hit him like a wrecking ball, its scent jerking his attention to her. She absorbed all the air in the room. He couldn’t tear his eyes from her.

“My name is Caroline. Gertrude fell and broke her hip in three places last night, so I’ll be your caregiver until she gets back. She told me about your preoccupation with death. Just so you know, no one will be dying on my watch.” She tapped her bare arm and moved cautiously toward the bed to assess her patient. The cobalt blue determination springing from her eyes. A foreign object lodged itself in his chest.

Make her leave, Noah. Just three more weeks, he told himself, as his emaciated lower torso threatened to rejuvenate. His fading core swelled inside him and a need he’d long buried reached out. One soul and his life would be restored. Noah’s head swam on his weak neck and his fingers ached to reach beneath her warm floral scented hair and take her skull from its base.

“If you stay, I’ll probably kill you. I’ll suck the life from your body before you can scream. Just so you know.” His dry voice cracked.

Caroline pressed a few loose chocolate curls toward the nape of her elegantly curved neck. “So, now you’re a vampire or something?”

“Or something.” His voice was a warning.

SoulEaters Book One: Black Soul has been accepted to the Premium Catalog at Smashwords.com lending the novel the opportunity to be shared with over 50 countries. It will soon be featurned on Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Sony and Apple Book stores, among others. It can be purchased at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248545.

I am currently working on a few different projects, but Tortured Soul, Book Two of the series will be out sometime next year! Stay tuned.


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