Archive for the ‘Leisure’ Category

On the 6th day of the 6th month for 6 hours, the Forsaken Horror Hooligans took over Facebook for our first annual Forsaken Hooligan 666 Horror Fest. So, who exactly are the Forsaken Hooligans, you ask? Dim the lights, watch the video, and then stick around for a couple of giveaways.

That was just a small sample of the 70+ horror freaks that make up the Forsaken clan. If you didn’t know about the event, or maybe you just chose not to attend (Repent now!), I thought I’d give you a little taste of what you missed. I’ll also give you a couple of opportunities to win a prize!

Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition) Cover Reveal

On the 6th day of the 6th month at 6 p.m. I officially released the new cover art for my best-selling supernatural occult horror novel Devil’s Nightmare. This new and improved edition – published by Booktrope’s Forsaken horror imprint – will be available for sale worldwide on Wednesday, July 15.

Devil's Nightmare (Forsaken Edition) Cover, designed by Laura Hidalgo

I’ve got to give a special shout out to my awesome designer, Laura Hidalgo, for the amazing job she did redesigning the cover. After reading Devil’s Nightmare, she nailed it. It is a great representation of what to expect when reading my first horror novel. As an indie author, I originally published the e-book version with a very bad cover. I did have it professionally redesigned before the print edition came out, but now it has an even better cover for the Forsaken Edition!

If you like owning first edition copies of novels, for a limited time, Amazon still has the original paperback version available for only $8.95 as of this posting. There’s also ONE copy of the sequel available on Amazon with the original cover. I’ve officially taken Devil’s Nightmare: Premonitions (Book 2) off sale in preparation for the updated Forsaken edition, which I plan to announce at a later date. I do have a few first edition signed copies available, though. If interested in buying one, send me a message via the CONTACT page.


To kick things off after the cover reveal, I gave away some advance reader copies of Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition). To win, participants posted pics of their favorite horror characters.

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YOU CAN WIN TOO! Tell me what your favorite horror character is in the comments and I’ll select one random person to win an advance reader copy of Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition). Good luck!

The Forsaken Hooligans “I AM NOT POSSESSED” Meme Contest.

I only hosted for thirty minutes, so you can imagine how quickly things went. But I did manage to get another contest in to give away “Girls Rock Horror Harder,” the first issue of the Forsaken Hooligans e-Zine. To win, participants posted pictures to go with the meme “I am not possessed . . . Trust me!” I had some great entries.  

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The little pooch in the slideshow is my dog Xena. Those eyes weren’t glowing from the camera flash, either; she was actually possessed! Shortly after taking that photo, I had to call a dog whispering exorcist. He went missing weeks ago. Xena claims she had nothing to do with it. 🙂

Forsaken Horror Hooligans Love Heavy Metal

We took a short break from the festivities to post some of our favorite metal head and creepy music videos. To go with our 666 horror theme, I posted Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast.”

What’s your favorite heavy metal band? I personally love Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queensrÿche, and Twisted Sister. Let’s get a conversation going in the comments. I’ll randomly select one of you to win another prize. It could be a book, a gift card, or maybe even a special visit from my possessed pooch Xena. You won’t know if you don’t comment.

The Horror Movie Poster Contest

What’s a horror party without some cool horror posters, right? So, for my next contest I asked revelers to follow me on Twitter and then post their favorite horror movie posters for a chance to win an e-book copy of Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition) when it’s available on July 15.

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So, what’s your favorite horror movie of all time? What sticks in your mind that got you interested in the horror genre? Post your answer in the comments for a chance to win an e-book copy of Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition) on July 15. I’m feeling very generous today, so post those comments, folks!

Short Horror Movie Time

Okay, Xena and Cujo are chasing the mailman again, so while I rescue the poor fella, pull out a comfy mat and enjoy this short horror flick I found on YouTube. I also posted it during the event. It’s out of season, but “Dark Elf” should give you a nice dose of the chills.

Ah, there’s nothing like a creepy kid and a psycho Santa to get you into the holiday spirit this summer.

The Creepy Santa Contest

All of this occurred in a span of thirty minutes, and let me tell you, my keyboard was smoking. I had just enough time to have one final contest. Sticking with the creepy Christmas theme, I asked my horror fest party goers to post scary Santa pics for a chance to win my grand prize . . . a signed paperback copy of Devil’s Nightmare (Forsaken Edition) and some cool swag.

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Is it just me, or did I see an evil version of Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause? Anyway, I had a blast during the first annual Forsaken Hooligans 666 Horror Fest, and I hope you join us next year. Mark your calendars, because we’ll be spreading our evil intent again on June 6, 2016.

Join Sharky’s Mailing List For More Fun

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep you coming back for more. I’d like to invite you to join my exclusive VIP mailing list where you’ll be the first to know of any upcoming events, new release announcements, sneak previews, and special giveaways (and I love to give away cool prizes) only available to newsletter subscribers. And don’t worry, you’ll receive the newsletter no more than once per month. No spam. I don’t like eating it, and I don’t want it in my inbox either. So, if you’d like to be a part of my exclusive club, click on the graphic below.

Newsletter (The List) by AJ Powers

Until next time, keep reading and remember to support your local bookstores.

Sharky Teeth

Profile Photo (Cropped)Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!

Pursue your dreams . . . and never look back.

To get an email about upcoming projects and new releases, be sure to SIGN UP for Sharky’s VIP newsletter.


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Michael Hicks Self-Publishing Seminar in San Antonio

You can get Season of the Harvest FREE for multiple e-readers.

Friend and fellow author Michael R. Hicks has been on the road traveling with his wife Jan in their RV for the past week or so and recently made a stop in San Antonio where Mike was invited to give a self-publishing seminar at the Forest Hills Branch of the San Antonio Public Library. I met Michael Hicks on Twitter a couple of years ago when he was in the transitioning process from working full-time for the government at the NSA to becoming a full-time writer. For those who don’t know who Michael Hicks is, he is best-selling author of Season of the Harvest and the very popular sci-fi/fantasy In Her Name series. Heck, Amazon even “stole” the cover art from his books to promote the Science Fiction and Fantasy category for the Kindle. Turns out they had the legal right to use his cover art under their publishing terms of service.

Anyway, Mike informed me of his trip to San Antonio a couple of months ago, so I made plans to attend the self-publishing seminar and then have dinner with Mike and Jan afterwards. Mike also happens to be one of my PS3 gaming buddies when we can coordinate our schedules to do so, which is hard to do since I’m typically a night owl and he’s an early bird. When we do manage to hit the Black Ops 2 battlefield it’s like the blind leading the blind. Needless to say, we don’t win very often. 🙂

I made it to San Antonio a bit earlier than expected due to the traffic on I-10 being much less congested on a Saturday afternoon than I had expected. So, I breezed through San Antonio fairly quickly. So, with about an hour to spare before the self-publishing seminar I browsed through the aisles in the Forest Hills Branch library, grabbed a book and read while I waited for Mike and Jan to arrive. They weren’t as fortunate as I was coming into San Antonio from San Marcos due to an accident on the loop, but people were just starting to trickle in for the seminar, so it was all good.

Michael Hicks Self-Publishing Seminar (by Jan Hicks)

The seminar itself was very informative. Michael covered everything from writing his first book and sending it out the traditional way, receiving rejection letter after another, throwing that book under a desk for several years and then finally publishing it himself in 2008. He talked about his experience with trial and error and gave some tips regarding writing in general, editing (and pointing out that authors editing their own work is not editing), the importance of an eye-catching professional looking cover, the various options for publishing (and avoiding vanity presses, such as AuthorHouse, at all costs), book reviews, and finally marketing. It was a lot to cover in about ninety minutes, but it was good information nonetheless.

Post-Seminar Dinner at the River Walk

Michael and Jan Hicks San Antonio River WalkAfter a brief Q&A, Mike and I exchanged books (okay, I gave him one and he gave me two), signed them and then synched our GPS units to guide us downtown to the River Walk for lunch. We stashed our vehicles on the fifth floor of the Rivercenter Mall parking garage and searched for the elevator down to the mall. After the elevator door opened and then immediately closed, almost taking my hand with it, we decided we should probably just take the stairs. As soon as we found the exit Mike, Jan and I studied the information map to find our chosen destination for lunch, Boudro’s Texas Bistro. The map wasn’t the most user-friendly guide I had ever seen to say the least. We looked for the big red dot that supposedly indicated where we stood, but instead (after doing a little eavesdropping) someone else pointed at a screw at the bottom of the map that represented us. Mike, the clever guy that he is, pulled out his smart phone and opened up his Google Maps app and activated the pedestrian GPS which pointed us in the right direction.

It was about six-thirty in the evening by the time we found Boudro’s Texas Bistro, but there was a forty-five minute wait and I still had over a two-hour drive back home to think about. So, we backtracked towards another restaurant, passing a Mexican restaurant and a pair of singing mariachis along the way. With no wait time we chose the Republic of Texas restaurant for our post self-publishing seminar meal. I had heard so much about how lean and tasty bison burgers were so I decided to try one along with some sweet potato fries. On the same token Mike had been pressed by someone on Twitter to try fried catfish for the first time and apparently enjoyed the very large portion. This catfish must have been huge! It reminded me of those chicken fried steaks that hang over the side of the plate. He only ate half of it. Mike’s wife ordered the Akaushi Burger which is a beef originally from Japan and only bred in Yoakum, Texas (very near my hometown of Victoria) and guarded by the Texas Rangers (that’s the law enforcement division, not the baseball team). 🙂

Mariachis and a Very Energetic Waiter

We had a great time socializing while eating our dinner outside on the River Walk, but we could have done without the pushy mariachis who wanted to serenade us when we were browsing the menu. After a couple of “No thank you” responses they finally disappeared into the crowd in search of other patrons to bother—I mean entertain. While the mariachis were kind of an annoyance, it wasn’t too big of a deal to me since I’m used to them. Our waiter, on the other hand, was a different story altogether. He was probably the highlight of the evening! We all agreed we wanted what he was having. I have never had such a high-strung waiter in my life. This guy was so hyper and full of energy that he could probably benefit from laying off the caffeine a bit. As Mike pointed out he must have been pumped full of Red Bull or something. The waiter did give us good service and the food was great too!

After dinner we hiked around the River Walk for about another half hour  or so. We made a quick stop in one of the gift shops so Mike could grab a t-shirt; he’s buying one in each city he is making a stop at during his summer RV trip. No gifts for the two monster cats waiting for him at the RV park in San Marcos though, but they probably ended up eating the leftover catfish and burger.

Vehicle Hunting and Surviving the Man-Eating Elevator

Back inside the Rivercenter Mall (and back in air conditioning) we hunted for the elevators to the parking garage. It took a few minutes but we eventually found what we thought was the correct one. We had to pay our parking fees first using the little kiosk before venturing off to our vehicles. I hesitated before stepping inside the elevator after the first experience I had earlier in the evening, but this one played nice and didn’t try to eat me. After a short ride to Level E the doors opened . . . to the roof of another parking garage. D’OH! Wrong elevator! The kicker is you have 30 minutes from the time you pay your parking fee on the kiosk to the time you actually leave the parking garage. So, time was of the essence. Fortunately, we found the correct elevator and our cars were still parked safely where we hid them. The Rivercenter Mall gods hadn’t zapped them yet.

All-in-all, my trip to San Antonio and time spent with Michael Hicks and his wife was relatively flawless and very enjoyable. It’s always nice to be able to physically meet friends you have communicated with over the past couple of years via social media. It’s a day and age we live in now where friendships can be built online and carried over into the real world. This brings me to a point I would like to make. As much as we enjoy chatting it up on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or whatever favorite social media site you hang out at, there’s nothing like hanging out with your friends in person. So, step away from the computer, smart phone or tablet every once in a while and go spend some face-to-face time with friends and family.

A Few More Pics From My Day Trip to San Antonio

Below are a few more pictures from my trip to San Antonio. Jan Hicks took the photo of the star, which was a decoration on the table at Republic of Texas Restaurant on the River Walk. She also took the photo of Mike and me. The only good photo I managed to take with my phone was the one with the Tower of the Americas in the background.

Hanging with Rutger Hauer

Posted: April 16, 2013 in Leisure, Movies

Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner

On Friday, April 5, I attended the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival and had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite actors, Mr. Rutger Hauer. I found out that the 69-year-old celebrity was coming to town when I saw his photo on the front page of The Victoria Advocate with the headline “‘Blade Runner’ star to visit Victoria for film fest” which immediately led to me checking out the story. This was going to be the second annual film festival here in town and celebrity visits here are very rare! So, naturally I decided to purchase the $25 ticket for the screening of Rutger Hauer’s foreign independent film Il Futuro, which would also include a Q&A session with Rutger Hauer afterwards.

I arrived at the Leo J. Welder Center about an hour early to avoid fighting for a parking space downtown and to get a decent seat for the movie and Q&A. After picking up my ticket, I turned around and noticed Rutger Hauer and his wife standing at the small bar near the entrance. PappLosAngelesThey were drinking coffee and chatting with one of the event organizers. There were about ten to fifteen other people hanging out in the lobby, mostly volunteers and “VIPs”. My natural instinct was to walk up to Mr. Hauer and shake his hand and ask if I could take a photo of him, but since he was just standing there drinking coffee and chatting with his wife like anyone else waiting for the film to start I thought it would not be in good taste and a bit awkward. I didn’t want to go all paparazzi on him and decided to do the next best thing. I walked up to the bar, stood next to the Hollywood celebrity, and ordered a soda. I paid for my drink and casually walked away and took a seat in the lobby. It still felt awkward. Can you tell I’ve never been around a Hollywood actor before? 🙂

Eventually one of the event organizers ushered Mr. Hauer and his wife to a back room for the VIP party before the movie. VIP passes were something like $200 or so for the weekend event. I ran into a former coworker of mine who was wearing a VIP pass, so naturally she went in there to hang out with the celebrity. I held my $25 ticket and waited patiently for the usher to open the doors for the movie. To my surprise about ten minutes until the movie was supposed to start there were only about twenty of us waiting in the lobby for the movie. I chatted with a lady from San Antonio while we waited. She too was surprised at the turnout. I figured people were just cheap in this town and didn’t want to pay $25 to watch the film. Heck a few people I talked to earlier in the week didn’t even know who Rutger Hauer was. Even after I mentioned Blade Runner, Ladyhawke, Blind Fury, The Hitcher, etc. it just drew a blank. Oh, well.

After the ushers finally opened the doors and allowed inside I got a great seat about three rows back for the movie and Q&A. Il Futuro was a lot better than I expected. I have to be honest that I mainly bought the ticket for the Q&A after the movie, but I was pleasantly surprised that the movie had a great story, which I won’t go into detail here. Rutger Hauer’s performance in the movie was of course superb. The director of the film festival introduced the ‘Blade Runner’ star shortly after the credits rolled and then directed him to a couch on the far end of the stage to sit down with him and another guy. Rutger Hauer answered a couple of questions from the couch, but then he decided to walk right up to the folks in the audience and answer their questions which ranged from specifics about Il Futuro and naturally segued into questions about his career and his more popular movies . . . like Blade Runner. One reporter spoke up a few too many times during the Q&A until Rutger Hauer finally told him to shut up (in a jesting tone). He basically told him, “Shut up! I know you can ask good questions, but let’s give some other people a turn.” Another funny answer was when someone asked how old he was. Rutger Hauer’s response was, “Google!” After some laughter, he did politely answer the man and thanked him for the question.

Someone finally asked the inevitable question . . . Can I have your autograph? The man had a VHS copy of Blade Runner. There were a number of other people who had brought things for him to sign in hopes that there would be an autograph session. The autograph session was apparently not officially part of the program, but the Blade Runner star said that he would sign autographs after everybody left because another group of folks were waiting outside for another movie in the same theater. He signed a few autographs in the theater, but then the director asked him to move to the lobby. So, he and a small entourage of his fans walked with him through a crowd of other people entering the theater, most of which had no clue they were rubbing shoulders with frickin’ Rutger Hauer!

Rutger Hauer Q&A. You’ll see me in the blue shirt about three rows up. Yeah, the guy with the balding head. 🙂

After roaming around the lobby for a minute or so, we found a place for Mr. Hauer to take a seat where he could sign autographs and take photos with his fans. Like a big dummy I didn’t bring anything for him to sign (because I really didn’t think there would be an opportunity), so I asked Rutger Hauer to sign the ticket stub for Il Futuro. A fellow fan was kind enough to snap a few photos of me and Rutger Hauer while he signed my ticket. I then posed for a fan photo.

Me and Rutger Hauer - Victoria Indie Film Fest 2013

Another fan had one of those old school disposable cameras and after one attempt after another of trying to determine if the darn thing took the photo I offered to take a couple of photos with my iPhone and email them to his friend (who was also in attendance). Rutger Hauer was very cool about it too. He didn’t seem annoyed at the least even after this guy took one photo after another with him. It just goes to show what type of guy he is. Aside from the autograph session and photos, he acted like he was just another guy at a film fest enjoying the movies.

Rutger Hauer spent about 20 minutes or so signing autographs and posing for photos with fans and then just hung out with us to talk about his movies and upcoming appearance in True Blood. Sometimes you get lucky and don’t need to spend $200 for special VIP badges to hang out with your favorite celebrities. Sometimes, they just break the rules and do their own thing and mingle with their fans. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

Have you ever met one of your favorite celebrities? Share your stories in the comments below.

The Bucket List

My friend D.C. McMillen posted a blog about her bucket list the other day. On that list, she included that she wanted to go skydiving. My first reaction was, “Are you nuts?” Of course, I have to admit that I came very close to actually taking part of a skydiving trip with some coworkers back in 2000 when I was working in the Human Resources Department at an inbound customer service call center.

Skydiving Not For Me

One of the escalated help desk operators had the bright idea of getting a bunch of us together to take advantage of a group rate skydiving adventure. At the time we had about 800 employees, so surely he’d be able to sucker—I mean convince—enough of us to go along with him to get the discounted rate. He recruited one of the administrative support staff to help him with this effort. She eventually got around to me and stressed how much fun it would be to go skydiving as a group. We would even get a video of us plummeting to our death…I mean they would capture all of the fun we’re having while skydiving. She stressed that we would get a great rate if we got at least ten people to go (or maybe it was eight; I can’t remember exactly). Now, I’m all for a good adrenaline rush (I’m a huge fan of high-speed roller coasters with loops), but I draw the line when it comes to freefalling from an elevation of thousands of feet.

Needless to say, I didn’t do it, and I was teased for being a chicken by those who decided to go, including the guy who organized the event. The small group of coworkers went on their freefalling adventure the following weekend. Just a mental note: if you believe in the philosophy of “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” skydiving is probably not for you.

Who’s the Chicken Now?

The following Monday morning, my coworkers that went skydiving that weekend told me all about their exciting trip and how much fun it was. One of them showed me a video of her freefall, and I had to admit it did look like fun. I asked if she had any video of the guy who organized the skydiving trip and she just laughed. Why was she laughing? This guy who acted all macho and told everybody how much of an adrenaline rush skydiving would be didn’t follow through himself. He chickened out! What’s more, is that he chickened out while he was on the plane as everyone else jumped out the plane. Yeah, I gave him hell for that! 🙂

A Perfectly Good Airplane

So, I guess part of the moral of this story is if you are going to plan some high adrenaline pumping adventure with some friends and coworkers, make sure you have the guts to follow through yourself. Otherwise, you WILL NOT be allowed to live that one down. On that note, I promise to never ask you to go skydiving with me, because of this simple fact…I will NEVER jump out of a PERFECTLY GOOD AIRPLANE!

Here’s a video I found on YouTube of people skydiving with an inflatable shark! 🙂

Video credit: joust76 /