About Me

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My name is Sandra Madera, and I am a recent college grad, obtaining my bachelor's degree in science. However, my true passion has always been writing. Growing up watching soap operas and playing with doll houses, I dreamed up hundreds of stories in my head everyday. I began writing in the second grade when I was honored with a prize after writing a fun short story about animals playing baseball. I have recently self-published the sequel to my first full-length novel entitled Lament: A Restraint Novel, released several short stories, and finished working on Wicked Magic: A Weeping Willow Novel. Now I am working on my latest novel. For more information, please visit my website www.sandramadera.com or http://sandra-madera.blogspot.com.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Does Someone Else's View Affect YOURS?

Recently, I read an article where a well-known author was shaming a Christian Church for basically not allowing homosexual unions, and it got me thinking... why do celebrities think we care?  Now, the moral issues/flawed rational of the statement has been addressed by me on Google+, so I don't really want to get into here.  This post is more about why certain people in the public eye think they are a moral authority.

There will always be those who genuinely want to share their views, believing their views are righteous and correct.  However, no one's views are always accepted 100%.  Why?  Because someone will always have a contradicting view!  No one thinks exactly like you.  This is why communication is such a big problem in all  forms of relationships.

Now, one has to have an ego the size of Texas to believe that their beliefs trump a religion that has existed longer than them, trump a God who has handed down moral laws going back thousands of years, but hey, they're a celebrity and people will have to listen to them.  Nope.  I know many people that do not care about celebrities or their voting habits or their opinion.  I mean... many celebrities can't even bother to sign autographs for us common folk.

So, who can "celebrity" have an effect on?  The young.  Young people want to be like their favorite personality.  They want to dress like them, smell like them, do the things that they do, etc.  They do not know that the perfumes that are being marketed aren't actually worn by the personality.  They just want it.  They want clothes from their favorite celeb's clothing line.  They do not realize that some of those designs, probably most, were thought up by young designers and the celeb just approves them, putting their name on the label.  Even those charity events you see on television that cement your belief in the caring generosity of that public figure is an act.  Some celebrities get paid big bucks to be at those events.

The young are the most impressionable and many in the public eye know how to use media to sway public opinion.  They will say that religion is outdated, and those who do not know better would agree.  They will say "I believe this, so it is right", and those who do not know better would agree.  But no celebrity should be the moral authority of your life.  Consider the rampant drug use in Hollywood or the philandering.  The rich and famous use and exploit more young girls than small countries.  Drugs are offered at Hollywood parties like candy.  These people are human and flawed.  They shouldn't be the voice of morality for anyone, perhaps many need to seek out someone to help them.

So, the next time your favorite author, actor, or musician asks you to vote for something or support a cause that you are not actively pursuing already, take it with a grain of salt.  Remember, many celebrities supported Obama and got him into the White House for two terms... What a raging success that has been!  Many journalists and political science specialists say that he will go down in history as the worst president ever!  But, hey, celebrities dig him.  I hear some visit him for private meetings in the White House.  Why not?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wicked Voices: Prologue Preview

Hello, everyone.

I have begun writing Wicked Voices.  I thought I would share the Prologue as a teaser of what is to come.  It is not fully flushed out and edited, but for those who read Wicked Love, it is a look into where the story continues.  Wicked Voices: A Weeping Willow Novel is scheduled to be published in 2016!  But if you haven't read Wicked Love, the prologue may contain spoilers, so read the other books first!

If you haven't read any of the books in the Weeping Willow Series, I invite you to read the two FREE short stories available, Weeping Willow - Part One and Part Two, available now at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and other online retailers.

P.S. Wicked Chemistry is in the process of being edited and will be available in paperback format soon.


Scattered: KDP and Free Promotion!

So, I have been looking into removing Scattered from KDP's select program.  As apart of the publishing program, I have to keep that specific work exclusive to Amazon.  There is nothing wrong with exclusivity if you have a killer marketing team or great promotional skills.  However, I feel that exclusivity has its drawbacks.

For one, your work only appeals to those with Kindles or Kindle apps.  Now, I happen to know that the Kindle app is very popular among android users.  That is a plus, but I have found that I receive the most sales from Barnes and Noble, not Amazon.  While being enrolled in KDP Select is supposed to change that, giving you work more exposure, it hasn't for me.  I made it onto a list of highest downloaded shorts with a mere 24 downloads.  That is nothing compared to the readership on Barnes and Noble.

Another drawback is that on Amazon your work has to be sold at a price.  I prefer my short stories to be free, but in order to do that, I have to space promotions that last only 5 days over a few months.  My short stories allow readers to get to know my writing style and so they become promotional tools within themselves.  If people like my shorter works, they are more likely to buy my novels; however, if I can't give them away for free, it defeats the purpose.  I do like that if I post this particular short to other outlets, Amazon should have a price match, making it fee on their site permanently.

Looking into my arrangement with KDP Select, I can place Scattered on Smashwords and other outlets in August where it will be FREE!!!  Right now, I decided to use my five days of free promotion.  So, from 5/22/15 to 5/26/15 Scattered will be available to download for FREE on Amazon.com.  Please take advantage if you are interested in reading it.  Otherwise, the next time you will see it free is in August.  Click the link below tomorrow for a free download.

Link: SCATTERED on Amazon

Friday, May 15, 2015

Scattered Short Story Trailer

Hello!

I have been working on updating my video trailers, especially for my short stories.  It has been slow going lately, because I am actually working on my next book.  I just finished updating the new trailer for Scattered, and to give a bit of a comparison, I also posted the old one.  My short stories are always free, but Scattered was exclusively published on Amazon and they do not allow works to be published for free.  I am considering publishing this work elsewhere, but for now, it is only available on Amazon.

OLD

NEW


Thank you to all the artists at DeviantArt who have put up their free .png images for the use of artists.  I gave them all credit in the description box on Youtube, but I thought I would also add some information on the short story and the artists.

DESCRIPTION:

Rebecca Ardsley was a witness to a traumatic event that she cannot remember. All she knows is she was found wandering in the woods in the early morning hours, suffering from shock. She hasn’t seen her friends and family in months. When she is released from a recovery facility, she finds it hard to adapt and return to the friends she has known her whole life. Feeling like a stranger in a foreign land, Rebecca realizes the only way to settle what happened is to release the memories that are trapped in her own mind. Even at risk of her own life.


*****


CREDITS:

Music entitled "Bump In The Night" (http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100789)
Special Thanks to iNCOMPETECH for royalty free music.

Special thanks to artists from Deviant Art for free png images used in this trailer and all artists who made the free clipart I used.
- MOONGLOWLILY for gazebo - http://moonglowlilly.deviantart.com/art/Png-Gazebo-335486645
- CYBORGEROTICA for handprint - http://cyborgerotica.deviantart.com/art/Hand-Print-269439100
- SHADOW-STOCK for cabin - http://shadows-stock.deviantart.com/art/Cabin-515819249
- ISOSTOCK for hand - http://isostock.deviantart.com/art/Hand-014-117765297
- MOONGLOWLILY for grass - http://moonglowlilly.deviantart.com/art/PNG-GRASS-323097493
- GOTH-GIRL16 for running girl - http://goth-girl16.deviantart.com/art/Running-Away-PNG-479841063
- DBSzABO1 for fire - http://dbszabo1.deviantart.com/art/misc-fire-element-png-310036058
- IVAXXX for fire - http://ivaxxx.deviantart.com/art/Fire-PNG-494691785

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Anti-Catholic Joke In The Age Of Ultron?

So, has anyone seen the new Avengers movie?  I typically like superhero movies.  At the root of them, there is the age old battle of good versus evil that enthralls us as a people.  I really liked the movie.  It had action from beginning to end, and even some clues about the next villain they will face off with.  It was good, but... it wasn't great, it wasn't epic.

I rarely talk about my faith on this blog because its purpose is to share my writings.  Yet, I must share my experience with all of you.  As I watched the movie, I noticed that there were some Christian elements that, for the most part, seemed to really smack me in the face, rather than make me think about my religion in a new light.  I don't think that they were meant to be obvious, and I'm not saying that they meant be disrespectful, but you be the judge.  Now, I won't give away the movie, but I just want to talk about two parts which caught my attention and why they did in a negative way.

For one, Nick Fury who is played by Samuel L. Jackson, and although he is hardly in the movie, his character manages to make an impact for the wrong reasons.   In a scene where all the avengers are meeting in the safe house with Fury, he talks about how Ultron is everywhere, saying "[Ultron] is spreading faster than a Catholic rabbit."  Now, I couldn't trust my ears when I heard this, but I looked up the joke, and it was definitely said in the movie.  Sadly, my ears heard correctly.

But, anyway, what is wrong with this?  First of all, there are no such things as Catholic rabbits.  Animals do not have a religion or freewill to believe as they wish.  Not that Catholics see our Catholicism as a religion.  Catholicism is a way of life which connects us to God of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

So, what was the joke really about?  Could it have been about Catholic views of procreation?  I think so.  I think this was some script writer's idea of a brilliant joke that fell flat.  Or perhaps Mr. Whedon's atheism, coming into play.  After all, he has frowned upon Catholic views on morality.  Why?  Why would anyone refer to a human being as a rabbit, because it is actually prejudice and insulting in a society which wants everything to be kosher.  But why is this particular joke acceptable?  It isn't to me and it is full of Anti-Catholic bias that it makes me want to puke.  Catholics have long held the belief that children are blessings from God, and we must be open to all life.  That means that Catholics, true and faithful Catholics, do not use contraception.  Now, many people think that no contraception means that couples are having a hundred kids, but that is not the case.  Catholics believe in Natural Family Planning, so that we can space out children.  Also, not all Catholics have been blessed with a lot of children.  There are just as many Catholic families with small families as there are big families, perhaps more small ones.

Another issue for me was... Ultron (James Spader).  The character seems to quote scripture throughout the movie, although the use of it seems out of place.  When he found vibranium, he quotes Matthew 16, "Upon this Rock I will build my Church."  What church is he talking about?  The vibranium could be the rock, but the church is a mystery.  The bible quote was out of place without context which the movie does not give.  He also compares himself to God by talking about the extinction of the human race... basically, saying the equivalent of "Well, God does it all the time, so I am going to take it upon myself to do it again."  Also, Paul Bettany's character, which is a benevolent, organic robot, also calls himself "I am", but again the words for this character also seem unworthily used. The Vision (Paul Bettany) seemed less effective as a character as he was obviously intended to be.  So, when the Vision called himself "I am" I was a little perturbed.

What is with all these robotic characters seeing themselves as gods and why does this theme continue throughout the movie?  Now, any Jew or Christian who knows their bibles knows that "I AM" is what God calls Himself when questioned by Moses.  It is the sacred name of God.  Furthermore, Jesus, the Son of God and sharing in His divinity, also calls Himself... "I AM".  So, was this meant to draw a parallel between a robot and God?  I didn't like the parallel between any of the characters and God.

Ultron does make reference to God when he talks about the destruction of life on Earth several times, including the extinction of the dinosaurs.  But the movie makes no parallels to the loving God who helps and blesses His creation, time and time again.  I found any association between Ultron and God rather out of tune and disrespectful as a Catholic Christian.  I mean... what are movie makers trying to tell us?  That God is so evil that He destroys and remakes His creation whenever He feels like.  If that were true, we are far passed redemption... wouldn't He have done it already?  This view of God as a chastiser, as an evil deity is common among atheists who know nothing of biblical history or the covenants within the bible.  They have never read a bible, or if they have, read it without context and form opinions based on one or two verses.  But as I said... if you don't read the chapter and know about the context through history, you are as good as a blind man trying to read a book without braille... and that was how the usages of the bible quotes felt.

Who is God and why does He punish His creation?  The God which is revealed in the Old Testament is our Abba (Father).  The bible says that He is "slow to anger", yet He punishes as any loving father would.  Why?  Humanity was not made to run amok.  We were meant to be holy and have a beautiful relationship with our Creator but like all things... we as a people mess things up.  The hearts of men are prone towards evil acts and the Old Testament details a barbaric time in human existence.  People were being killed, wars were being waged, many were captured and enslaved.  God chose a people (the Jews) and entered into a covenant with them that would be good until a Messiah would come to free the people from bondage and sin.  When Jesus was born, God became man and took on human flesh, living a humble life among God's. But God's plan was to redeem humanity and create a new covenant, a covenant with the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus (the Son) sacrificed himself as the new Passover lamb, freeing the people from the bondage of sin, so that man can enter heaven and dwell with God there forever.  See, salvation was now open to all of humanity, not just one group.  Where are those references in Ultron?  Where is the God who would allow Himself to be handed over, beaten within an inch of life, crucified, die, and resurrect in His glorified body?  Ultron is a poor imitation.  Even the Vision is not up to par.  The religious elements in the movie were lackluster and failed to evoke deep thought and for those reasons failed... miserably.

It was a good movie, but those minor parts that would have just been laughed at or overlooked for some just really threw me off.  Some will say... "Well, it is only a movie."  But movies are meant to reflect the culture, whether in the past, present or future.  Movies speak to our inner selves in a simple way, through moving pictures.  So, when I see movies that seem disrespectful to my God or my Church, it saddens me, because I see that people have fallen to the point of indifference, a loss of faith, or a complete loss respect for their fellow man.

Wicked Chemistry

Hello, readers.

I have finally finished Wicked Chemistry, and it is in the editing process.  It will be available only in paperback format, because it contains the original Weeping Willow Short Stories that anyone can download free from most online bookstores.  It will contain a new short which is longer and talks about the missing months between the shorts and the novel.  It is pretty interesting and will be dealing with Willow's fears, coming into this new world.  To read the blurb for the new short, click on the Weeping Willow Series tab above.  Now, my time will be mostly devoted to writing Wicked Voices which is the next installment of my Weeping Willow Series.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Author Interview

Hello, readers!

So, I just found out yesterday that Sandra from Jeanz Book Read and Review Blog put of a series promotion for my Weeping Willow Series, but also an author interview.  Check it out here.

Being sick has taken a lot out of me, but I'm trying to get fully back into writing the new short for the paperback of Wicked Chemistry which is almost done.  Those on my mailing list will receive a free e-copy which will not be available at any online bookstore.  So, if you have read the Weeping Willow Short Stories and would like to see how the story continued before Wicked Magic, add yourself to my mailing list and find out for free.

Also, I haven't finished all of the updates on my video trailers.  It is going to take time, but hopefully, I can work on Scattered soon.  As soon as any are done, they will be posted on Youtube, my blog and my website.