Friday, June 29, 2012

So, I started a new blog

Yep, another blog. But this one's a bare bones blog under my other pen name, C.A. Masterson.  It has only pages for the few books I have out under that name, and a Coming Soon because I'll have more mainstream/literary stories at some point. At least one, Wild Life, will be sooner rather than later.

It seemed necessary. I know readers have certain expectations from authors, and it's probably time to separate my two very different writing identities.

Do you have multiple pen names? If so, how do you handle it?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review blew me away!

With so many authors out there vying for reviews, I am always grateful when a reviewer takes the time to read my work. But when the reviewer uses descriptions like those quoted below, it's a feeling beyond description.

Here's what Desere at Bitten by Love Book Reviews had to say about Dead to Rights in her 5-star review:

Imagine waking up in a mental asylum with no memory of how you got there or any part of your life for that matter !  Yes I have heard about body snatching and also identity theft but imagine not only your life being stolen but your body too and you have no memory what so ever of what you were where you came from.

Dead to rights tells a beautifully written story of rediscovery, really gorgeous heavenly angels and one woman determined to get her life back. But to do so she will have to fight off a kind of evil unlike you have ever read before.

The author totally blew my mind on this one. After reading it I actually had to sit back and just take a moment to come back down to earth.  I was completely entranced and could not put the book down,I simply had to know what happens next.

The author at all times kept me on a fast pace action packed rollercoaster and never once could I guess what was coming or who to look out for next. Each and every character was a mystery waiting to be read and discovered.

If you’re not a Cate Masters fan yet you have no idea what you’re missing. Go out and get it immediately I can guarantee you will not be sorry!
I admit - I, too, had to take a moment to gather my wits. And then, of course, I happy danced everywhere! You can read it here, but I quoted it in full because I love it so much. :) Thank you, Desere, from the bottom of my heart. This came at a perfect time, when I most needed to hear it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Supernatural Saturday wrap-up

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Supernatural Saturday event planned by Debbie Beamer of the Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop. It was an intense but wonderful day, and hopefully Deb will be able to hold another next year, maybe in another haunted location. :)

Deb invited me to be part of a panel of authors for a session called "Werewolves, Zombies, Apparitions and the Gates of Hell." Pretty much covers the paranormal, doesn't it? (At least I thought so, before the other sessions!)

That's us, above - Jennifer Harlow, Larry Kerr, Regge Episale, George R. Appelt, Jr., me, and Dennis Royer.

Dennis Royer moderated the panel, and asked some great questions. I didn't take notes for this one, but hopefully it was as much fun for the audience as it was for the participating authors.

I knew Dennis and George Appelt, Jr. from my Pennwriters days, years and years ago. I was very excited Dennis finished a post-apocalyptic novel, Earthburst, and had copies there. I snapped one up, naturally.

Likewise with George's release, Shepherd's Fall, a horror novel. I'm looking forward to reading both!

Jennifer Harlow's books look like fun reads, but unfortunately my funds ran out!

Regge Episale's Waking Up Dead looks interesting as well. Striking and beautiful black and white cover, isn't it?

Larry Kerr is a bit like me - he writes a little of everything. His latest is a werewolf tale, By the Light of the Moon.

George and I hung out with Patty Wilson afterward to hear more stories about demonic possession - the thing that scares me the most!

By the way, if you own a ouija board, toss it out. Better yet, burn it. I had no idea Toys R Us still sold them! I thought they were long gone. Patty said it causes more problems than anything because people call upon spirits and have no clue how to handle it when they respond

So that's the wrap-up. Debbie Beamer's planning another Mystery Conference in September. Keep an eye on the events page of the Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop's web site's events page for details! Last year's conference was also wonderful.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Supernatural Saturday opened new worlds for me

More about Supernatural Saturday! This was the June 16 event organized by Debbie Beamer of the Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley's presentation, The Interdimensional Earth, was another that kept every person in the room glued to their seats
Rosemary's research uncovered 11-12 dimensions on Earth, occupied by beings both light and dark, and all are interconnected. If you visit her web site, you can get an idea of the depth of her research.

Rosemary covered so much in her talk it's impossible to capture it all here, so again, I encourage you to check out her books. Here's a link to her Goodreads page or you can view the Bibliography under her Wikipedia page.

I came away from her presentation both frightened and intrigued. And, like many of the other authors there, with new story ideas. :)

Portals were one of the more benign aspects.

All over the world, people come across portals. Usually they appear a lot like the one in the photo, called King's Chamber in Fahnestock Park, NY. Dozens of similar portals dot the Hudson Valley.

The creepy part is, no one can find any historical evidence to explain their existence, and many unexplained activities occur near them, and often peak 1-2 days before and after a full and new moon. These activities include hauntings, mysterious creatures, UFOs, which usually are reported about the same time as bigfoot sightings, orbs or mystery lights, and - the most creepy of all - shadow people. More about them later!

All the portals contain strong magnetic fields, and some produce feelings of comfort, such as the Mother Earth chamber in Putnam County, NY. At others, like the Solstice Chamber, also in Putnam County, people often feel disoriented or dizzy. Some have mystical or visionary experiences in or near portals. In one of Rosemary's photos, a shaman called upon the spirits of the rock, and a craggy face appeared.

Under certain conditions, Rosemary said, entities can pass through these bleedthroughs between worlds.

What sort of entities, you ask?

Are you sure you want to know?

Okay, but if you have to sleep with the lights on, don't blame me!

Here's a list:
- ghosts
- fairies, or nature spirits
- mysterious creatures such as dog men, big foot, or any unexplainable creature
- demons
- djinn
- other visitors or unknown entities

Of all the entities Rosemary discussed, two I found very scary. First, shadow people. It's difficult to find a good photo depicting them because they are, basically, shadows, but are solid, and many times will wear a hat as in the graphic. They appear at your bedside. They don't speak, but stare. Anyone who's reported having been visited by a shadow person says they had a feeling of malevolence or ill will emanating from them. Why? No one knows. And I certainly don't want to find out first hand!

Second, the djinn. No, not the Robin Williams funny kind of Aladdin cartoon genie. These djinn don't welcome people with smiles and hugs. They've been around thousands of years and have claims on land, which because of population growth, people are intruding upon. And the djinn are pissed, and they're not going to stand for it! Mwahahaha.

No, seriously, I have abandoned any notion of ever building a house in the wilderness now. I never want to encounter a djinn, like the workers at Skinwalker Ranch in Utah (though you think the name might have been a clue!).  All manner of nastiness happened there to the ranch hands, people simply trying to carry out their duties. Rosemary actually visited, and saw a catlike shadow face watching from the window. She and her crew were inside the house and attempted to get out, but the doors were not just locked but sealed from top to bottom. With no cell service in the remote area, she tried the house phone, but of course it went dead. Enough to give you the willies, isn't it? Then don't read on, because more happened - cattle mutilations, space craft in the sky, a hole opened up in the sky to reveal an alternate reality, and through the hole, an immense black creature descended onto the ranch. (Not all while Rosemary was there, but throughout its history.)

All because the djinn didn't want to share the land with humans.

Needless to say, I was too frightened to buy Rosemary's book, The Vengeful Djinn, but if you're a brave soul, you should. :)

The wrap-up on Wednesday will be a little lighter! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SSS: Life goes on?

Hey Sixers! I'm not an "official" participant today because I didn't sign up on the site. I'm under the gun to get some writing done this weekend. But if you leave a comment, I promise to catch up to you later this week. :)

Here's another six from Orion Rising. Written from Mary's viewpoint as a girl, after her youngest brother is lost in a flood.

During the weeks that followed, time was imbued with the same hazy quality it had held that day at the river, when everything seemed slightly out of sync. When they were not at the hospital visiting Percy, our parents seemed themselves to be in a fog, unless the telephone rang or someone came to the door – then their attention snapped sharply into focus. But no one brought any news about Aurie; it was always a neighbor checking in, dropping by with a casserole, or else the captain of the River Rescue was at the door, saying he had no new evidence, no sign of Aurie other than a sneaker whose lace had snagged on the tree limb, found the day he disappeared.

Grandmama had come to look after us, arriving the following day with two large suitcases. She bustled about the house, making meals, doing laundry, making sure that Allie and I dressed and ate. She was a presence of life, of movement, when everyone else acted paralyzed.

Thanks so much for visiting, and especially your comments. You guys rock. And as always, you'll be amazed by the Six Sentence Sunday range of talent. Have a great week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another TBR blurb fest!

This weekend, I'm hosting a Women's Fiction Blurb Fest at TBR.

If you write women's fiction, please share your blurbs! If you know an author who writes women's fiction, please spread the word. And if you love to read women's fiction, I hope you'll find some new books to add to your TBR list!

Friday, June 22, 2012

On Blogtalk Radio tonight

Tonight, Renee's Reviews invited me to be part of its Blogtalk radio show to talk a  bit about Orion Rising. Renee gave the book a wonderful 5-star review. If you haven't read it, it's here, if you care to.

The talk begins at 6:00 p.m. EST. I'd love for you to call in and chat! Here's the link:

Or just call in: (646) 595-3025

It would be great to talk to you. 

And there's more about Supernatural Saturday in the post below! Don't miss it. 

More Supernatural Saturday

Did Wednesday's post give you more to think about regarding ghosts, spirits and apparitions?

Well, after reading this post you'll lock your doors at night!

Patty Wilson has written many fascinating books about her experiences - Where Dead Men Walk, Boos and Brews, Pennsylvania Ghost Guide Vols 1 and 2, Totally Bizarre Pennsylvania, Monsters of Pennsylvania and UFOs in Pennsylvania. 

During Saturday's talk, she focused on the monsters and UFOs. If you're anything like me, you approach these subjects with a certain skepticism. After hearing Patty discuss them, I'm a believer!
Again, I won't give away too much, because you really should read Patty's books.

I'd never heard of bigfoot in Pennsylvania, but apparently more than one variety roams through Penn's Woods. Sightings were documented in the 1800s of "monkey men" who stood about 5-6 feet tall, and were covered in fur. One occurred in Gettysburg, a little too close for my comfort! The monkey man raided spring houses for milk and butter, hen houses and meat houses. I hope he didn't discover the orchards behind my house! I don't want to run into one.

Enough people have reported sightings, apparently, that there's a Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society. Wow. Who knew? Now I kind of wish I didn't. :) 

It was Patty's UFO stories that really got me. So compelling, I actually stopped taking notes to listen. So did everyone else, apparently - except for Patty's voice, the silence in the room grew palpable. So I'll have to skim over those parts and simply relay that her stories are based on first hand accounts from people she'd known or been acquainted with for a long time, people who had no reason to make something like that up, and people who were genuinely terrified to tell their tales. 

One woman thought her terrible dreams were just that - nightmares. Until she shared them with her sister, who verified her worst fears were true. They had both been taken. So had their mother, who tried to protect them. And later, her son was also taken, and she could do nothing to stop it. *shudders* The worst nightmare of all.

One woman remembered being taken late at night, and a man helping her walk because she was so tired, and after she was on the ship, he was there, too. He encouraged her to keep fighting against their experiments, which she did. Years later, she walked into a shoe store and there he was. A shoe salesman. They exchanged a look of shock, and then he ran into the back room, and she ran outside, uncertain what to do. After gathering her courage, she went back inside, but the man had abruptly left the store. He never came back.

That's a brief overview of the story. It's much more compelling to read in detail, I'm sure!

Next up on Monday, I'll share some of Rosemary Ellen Guiley's eerie stories. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Supernatural Saturday was super!

Since Blogger posted my Wednesday post on Monday (yay for my 4th blog birthday!) I will share the first session of Supernatural Saturday, a writers conference which took place last Saturday. Debbie Beamer of the Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop did an amazing job of organizing it, bringing together some fantastic speakers, and overseeing throughout the day. She was so efficient, buzzing here and there, I thought she might have had a little supernatural help that day. :)

I'm especially grateful to Deb for including a copy of my paranormal novella, Soul for Sale, in every goody bag! Such a thrill for me! And she was wonderful to let me bring copies of Surfacing, my mermaid fantasy, along as well. It's an incredible high to see people walking around with copies of your books in their hands.

The half-day conference was held at the Holly Inn in Mt. Holly. I've been there a few times before, but never realized the inn had a ghost story of its own. I couldn't find anyone who knew the actual story, so Googled it and found this story, which interestingly enough, is about a soldier in the Civil War. From the orbs in the photo below, it appears he may have attended the conference, too. :)

Kicking off the conference, Mark Nesbitt presented "The Ghosts of Gettysburg: The Evidence." Oh yeah! Exactly what I've been needing. I've been reworking my Gettysburg ghost story I don't know how many times, and always felt it was missing something. So I bought two of Mark's books - his most recent, Civil War Ghost Trails, and The Ghost Hunter's Field Guide (I'm giddy with glee!).

I literally have pages and pages of notes because every session was riveting, but I'll condense for these posts, and I also won't give away too much of what the speakers said. You should really buy their books!

Here's Mark Nesbitt with his latest release, Civil War Ghost Trails, so new he actually hadn't seen the cover until that day. His publisher hurried so he'd have copies to sell. Cool for us!

I may have mentioned I live about 20 minutes from Gettysburg. I really should go there more often, but it's in a direction I don't normally travel, and you know how life gets crazy. But now I'm determined. I'd love to go there during the anniversary of the battle in early July, when paranormal activity's supposed to become very active.

Gettysburg's one of the most active haunting sites. Maybe, Mark said, partially due to the 1.6 million visitors each year, whose visits may help hold the spirits there. Any protracted sadness or grieving may hold a spirit to this world.

The battle grew especially intense, and during 24 hours, claimed 35 casualties per minute -- or one every two seconds. That's a huge amount of deaths in one place in a short time. Of the 400 buildings in Gettysburg standing during the Civil War, about 200 of the original structures are still standing, which may also play into the fact that such a large number of spirits remain attached to the town.

About 300 to 1,100 bodies remain unaccounted for - and the lack of a final resting place is another contributing factor to why spirits don't move on.

There are several types of hauntings:

intelligent, during which spirits interact with humans
      I read elsewhere that Gettysburg has one of the highest number of intelligent hauntings)

residual, in which events are replayed over and over again as if recorded
     for instance, Mark shared one haunting that visitors may catch sight of and think it's a group of reenactors, but it's not! A unit of soldiers will come marching out of the woods, perform maneuvers, and mark back to the wooded area - or else, if interrupted, will simply vanish!

warp, or a tear in the fabric of time, during which present-day people may actually glimpse events of the past
     this was one of the creepiest stories - Pennsylvania Hall was used as a hospital during the battle, and surgeons often tossed limbs out the window or piled them up in a gory pyramid. Employees who worked at the Hall in modern times worked late one night, got on the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor, but it took them to the basement instead. The elevator doors opened onto a scene in which people in 1800-era clothes were working in a makeshift hospital. The women pressed the "close" button like mad, but the doors wouldn't budge. An orderly walked by, made contact with the women in a beseeching manner, and then finally the doors closed and they ran to the security guard. Brave souls that they were, they went back down, but the basement was again just a storage room. This event happened at least one other time to another person.  I asked Mark after the session what might have happened if one of those people had stepped off the elevator into another time. It's anyone's guess!

poltergeist - sometimes associated with younger spirits, but can be any energy

Spirits can make themselves known by touch, sight, sound or sometimes smell. Mark played a chilling recording in which a woman visited Iverson's Pits, and said a blessing before leaving. The answer? A man's scream. I still have goosebumps from that one.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP, captures sounds the human ear can't hear in real time, but when you play it back, you can hear the all-too-accurate responses to the questions you ask. (I need to buy a tape recorder.)

There was much more, but I won't give too much away. Mark has written several books detailing accounts of hauntings. I bought a few of these books (novellas, really) years ago, so can truthfully say they're well worth a read if you love true ghost stories.

The Ghosts of Gettysburg ghost tours are spooky fun. Check out this link, and if you can't visit, you can download a virtual walking tour.
You can find Mark's books at the same site, as well as another presenter's, Patty Wilson. I can't wait to share her session. Everyone there was riveted during her talk, and you could literally hear a pin drop.

On Friday, I'll share some of Patty Wilson's session, so stay tuned. You'll want to keep the doors locked at night afterward!

Special thanks to Diane DeLucca Appelt for two of the photos.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giveaway at An Eclectic Author!

My posts are not showing up when they're supposed to this week, sorry. Still wrestling with Blogger!

This week, you have a chance to win an ebook of my dark paranormal romance, The Magic of Lavender. Just leave a comment at An Eclectic Author's blog by this weekend.

The Magic of Lavender is the first book of The Goddess Connection series. Each book introduces a new goddess as well as a new heroine, and if you love mythology as much as I do, you'll love The Goddess Connection too.

You can read the blurb, excerpt, view the book video, reviews and more here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Case for Creativity in Words

I missed my blog's birthday! On June 16, 2008, the post below was my launch into the blogosphere. Four years ago! So I thought I'd repost it in commemoration.

Writing always came naturally to me because I love words. Finding a combination of words that, when linked together, expresses a thought in its truest form is a zen-like experience.
As writers, we’re told to stay away from “million dollar” words, which basically means anything more than two syllables. Why? Isn’t writing referred to as a craft? Isn’t the challenge of any craft to use the most exquisite means to achieve the final work of art? Why use the language of a fifth-grader when another word will better fit the context, and ultimately, enhance the meaning, of whatever the writer is attempting to convey?
As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”
So why not fortify a story with a few well-chosen “million dollar” words that will make readers think? After all, isn’t that the point of any writing? To zap readers’ brains with those bolts of literary lightning?
By expanding our vocabularies, we expand our understanding of the world.
Words of quality get inside you, become part of you. Sometimes they shimmer and zing around and ignite new sparks of thought, new inspiration, begging to be reshaped into a new string of language, fortified with a few lightning bolts of its own.
Which is only right, of course – for anyone who dips from the writerly well of thought must then replenish it to keep the flow eternal, to prevent stagnation.
Language is an art too precious to be lost, a vast playground for the imagination. One way to build your word toybox is by subscribing to A Word A Day. Sign up at

Live forever, Ray

Ray Bradbury died a hero to so many writers. Readers, too, but I imagine writers felt the impact of his loss a little more deeply.

I found an old Writers Almanac entry providing a little about Ray's childhood, and thought you might find it as fascinating as I did.

When Ray was 12, a traveling carnival came to town, and he met a magician named Mr. Electrico, who believed young Ray was the reincarnation of a friend who had died in his arms in World War I. Later, at the show, Mr. Electrico touched people in the front row with his electrically charged sword, making their hair stand on end. "When he came to me, he touched me on the brow, and on the nose, and on the chin, and he said to me, in a whisper, 'Live forever.' And I decided to." 

Without a doubt, he will.

Here's a great clip of Ray speaking to writers:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

SSS: Snow thaw, a flood, and loss

Thanks so much for visiting! If you're a dad, Happy Father's Day! Otherwise, just give your dad a big hug. :)

Here's another six from Orion Rising, my literary family saga - today's the last day to snag your free copy from Amazon, so go get yours now! :) The father in this story was a bit of a dreamer, with his head in the stars.

The footfalls of Persephone, our father had always called it: the slow, steady patter of rain across the roof; the spring rains that, like Persephone, awoke the sleeping bulbs in the earth, the buds on the trees, unfurling, petal by petal, a world of color and life.  Persephone’s glad return to Earth from the dark depths of the shadowy, lifeless underworld of Hades signaled the beginning of a season of rebirth. I listened to the soft footfalls across the roof, wide-eyed, hoping to catch a glimpse of the fair maiden. She was more real to me than Santa Claus, whose gifts were only for one night; Persephone’s gifts changed the dreary winter world to spring.
But this spring was different. After a particularly long winter, a foot of snow remained on the ground for what seemed forever.

Don't forget to visit the other Six Sentence Sunday authors. I'll catch up to everyone later, after my grandson's birthday party. :) Have a great week!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Supernatural Saturday!

It's today! I'll be at the Holly Inn in Mount Holly with lots of fantastic authors and excellent sessions.  If you can't join us today, I'll try to snap as many pics as I can, and provide some highlights next week.

You can find more info about this event, and all of the events planned by the Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop, on its web site. There's always something cool going on. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Orion Rising's free starting today!

Today begins the Amazon free days for Orion Rising, my literary family saga spanning the Sixties through the Nineties.

I hope you'll download a copy! It's very special to me, and I'd love to hear what you think of it.

You can find the blurb, excerpt, book video and more here.

It's available free through Sunday.

Thanks so much for your support!

Monday, June 11, 2012

PW reports on self-publishing

A recent Publishers’ Weekly article provided some interesting statistics on self-publishing from BookExpo America:

In 2011, authors released 211,269 self-published titles (based on ISBNs). Compare that to 2010, when 133,036 self-pubbed titles released.

Wow. Quite an increase.

I was surprised that, on average, a self-pubbed fiction book costs $6.94 (none of mine cost more than $3.99 – a bargain!).

With all those other titles flooding the market, no wonder my books are like droplets in the ocean. But readers in the U.S., U.K. and even Germany are finding my books, and I'm getting wonderful feedback. I'm so grateful to you all.

Other news

It will be a slow blogging week. On Wednesday, I'll provide the link and a gentle urging for you to download Orion Rising during its free run on Amazon.

I'm excited that Dancing With the Devil's now available on Smashwords, and will soon trickle out to the affiliate sites like B&N and Sony, etc. It's no longer under the exclusive Amazon deal.

Unless I receive news on one of the subs currently out there, I probably won't have a Friday post. I may be taking a hiatus soon. I haven't been able to come up with interesting news for posts, and always feel like I'm blogging on the fly with my crazy schedule. Or I may recycle some older popular posts. I'm kind of in a bleh place right now and don't want to drag anyone along with me.

Saturday I'll be part of the Supernatural Saturday event at the Holly Inn, and I'll be focusing on preparations this week.

Busy busy! But I'll catch up with you at some point. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SSS: Mary's story begins

Yay, another Six Sentence Sunday. Thanks so much for visiting, and especially for your comments. You guys rock.

Here's another look at my literary novel, Orion Rising. I hope you'll grab a copy from Amazon - it will be free Wednesday through next Sunday.
Our Victorian home sat at the very end of Buttonwood Street, perched between civilization and wilderness, at the edge of a field lined with patches of buttonwood and birch trees. Beyond, the Orion River endlessly flowed. I’d always considered our house to be the beginning of the world rather than the end of the street.

From within the attic observatory my father built, space seemed to begin, with the heavens stretching away into infinity. Above our little world, slowly rotating within the heavens, were the figures of heroes and maidens and beasts that seemed like old friends. My father had given life to these celestial stick figures by filling our heads with their fantastic myths.

Sounds almost idyllic? Too bad it doesn't last. 

Check out the fantastic super-authors of Six Sentence Sunday, and have a great week! (And don't forget to mark your calendar so you can grab a copy of  Orion Rising this week!)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

YA Blurb Fest at TBR

This weekend, TBR celebrates Young Adult reads with a YA Blurb Fest!

If you know any YA authors, please encourage them to participate. And if you're a YA author, please come over and share your blurb. The blurb fests have attracted a good number of visitors, so you may find a few new readers.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Casting Call: Orion Rising

The cast of characters of Orion Rising has lived in my head so long, it's wonderful to be able to finally share them

The story spans three decades, so I'll focus on the Byrne family after the children have grown. I've told it through each of the three perspectives of Percy, Allie, and Mary. It always felt more like Mary's story, so her POV is in first person, but I also wanted the others to have a chance to tell their story, too, because the loss of their youngest sibling affects each in a distinctly different way.

Mary was closest in age to Aurie. Because they never found his body, Mary holds out hope the longest that someday Aurie will return.

Naomi Watts is one of those actors who's a chameleon - she can play poignant, complex roles with seeming ease. She's not your typical Hollywood beauty, which makes her all the more appealing.

Naomi would be perfect as Mary.

As a kid, Jack Ellis looked for trouble, and if he couldn't find any, he caused it. Always in a fight, he had rough edges that smoothed only a little as he grew into a man.

Clive Owen has that look about him - scrappy, handsome in a regular-guy kind of way.

He'd be great as Jack, and he and Naomi would make a nice couple. :)

Percy's the eldest Byrne, the only boy in the family after Aurie disappears. He and Aurie had never gotten along, maybe because Aurie was too young for Percy to relate to, but Aurie's disappearance haunts Percy into adulthood.

I've always imagined Percy as Owen Wilson - again, not your traditional "handsome" guy, but someone you might run into on the street. Owen's known for his goofy roles, but after seeing him in a few serious movies, he's more than capable of giving life to Percy - haunted by loss, floundering in relationships, but searching for redemption.

Allie's the middle child, but boy does she exhibit the qualities of a first-born. Intelligent to a fault, she's driven by demons as much as ambition, though she'd never admit to the former. She strives for success, and perfection, and when it doesn't come... well, you'll have to read the book to find out. :)

Amy Adams has a brittle quality about her that makes her perfect as Allie. She may look wide-eyed and innocent, but don't get too close, or you'll feel her claws.

Daniel Byrne is their father, raised by a dad who loved astronomy, the constellations and their myths, and he passes that passion down to his own kids. First by naming them after constellations, and then through their family outings to the banks of the Orion River, where he shares those age-old tales of adventure, romance, danger and tragedy. Little does he know how close to reality those tales are, but he finds out first hand.

Robert Redford has the same sensitive, intelligent, thoughtful, caring qualities as Daniel.

Celeste Byrne is the mom, wife to Daniel. She once had artistic aspirations, but after marrying, settled for raising their kids and satisfying her love of music by giving piano lessons to local kids. Things affect her deeply, and when tragedy strikes her family, she's not quite equipped to deal with it without a crutch.

Katharine Ross has the same haunting beauty as Celeste, and her artistic sensibilities and intelligence.

Obviously, with a book spanning three decades, there are many more characters than these few, but you've seen the major players.

Pick up a copy of Orion Rising and the rest will come to life for you!