Saturday, March 30, 2013

Support your local author

Good morning the blessed Easter Sunday.

We have another entry into the 'support your local author' promotion. This week, meet Barbara Mack. This novel is a quarter-finalist in the CreateSpace 'A Breakthrough Novel' contest. It hasn't gone any further simply because semi-finalists haven't been announced yet! Barbara's entry has received acclaim among the ten-thousand total entries. Yep, you read that right, ten-thousand entries.


Desperate to escape the memories of an abusive marriage, Maggie flees to the wilds of Missouri and her Uncle Ned. He is the only family she has left, and she needs his help.Nick Revelle's marriage had taught him plenty about the perfidy of women, and since his wife's death he has lived a lonely, solitary life. Everyone except his closest friends thought that he'd killed his unfaithful wife. If it wasn't for the testimony of his head stableman, Ned, he might even have hung for a crime he hadn't committed. So when Ned asked him to employ his niece, the answer was a resounding yes, even though he knew that women were not to be trusted. He never imagined that hiring Maggie would start a fire inside him.Nick needs a housekeeper and Maggie needs a quiet place to heal. It seemed the perfect bargain, but neither took into account the nearly irresistible heat they generated together. Maggie dares to dream of starting a new life with Nick. Unless, of course, he discovers the real reason she fled St. Louis and that she'd been lying to him from the very beginning...In this stirring novel of redemption, two lonely, damaged people find salvation in the very emotion they swear doesn't exist - love.

Friday, March 29, 2013


How do you live your life? What kind of image do you project? What kind of image do you THINK you project? I think it's interesting how we all see ourselves, or would like to see ourselves. Yet, how does your persona change?

Say what? I'll say it again another way. Does your persona change based on where you are? Does it change depending on the group of people you are around? I like to think of myself as a fairly laid-back kind of person. I'm usually quick with a harmless joke around friends and family. In that arena one is normally more their own self than in other places. That is assuming strong family ties. Most can let their hair down around the house.

Most people at work likely tend to be a little more reserved, especially if one is a leader or a supervisor in charge of others. I tend to be that way as I manage many others in a retail environment. It's not that I'm a hard-headed jerk who is hell-bent on enforcing every rule in the book. I like to have a good time on the job as long as the job gets done. That's what we get paid for afterall.

This week we have a newer associate who has been in the fold for less than two weeks. She is more in my age range which is something of a rarity. Most are usually several decades my junior. Perhaps that is why I was startled when after a brief exchange about something, my new employee said,

                                                             "oh, so you're Gibbs".

Not sure if I should be insulted or not.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday late night books


Welcome to the Saturday Late Night Book feature. Yes, most of the time I do this in the morning but as a retail kinda guy, sometimes it just doesn't work into my schedule. But what does work is this book. As an author myself I like to pass on works from other authors I know.

This weeks feature is from Jess Mountfield where the reader is thrown into the ago-old battle between science and religion.

Sherdan has spent many years planning for the future. Now he's in control and he is expected to forge a fresh new start for the people in his program, people he has shaped and can’t abandon, but Britain's PM has other ideas and Sherdan must face the full might of the UK. On top of all this he has to face the one thing he never expected to feel; love.

Anya is on a mission from God to find out why she has been sent to the heart of Bristol, and what she can do to stop the world being plunged into war. When she finds herself forced to pick a side and join the fight, only her faith in God can see her through.

Sherdan's Prophecy is a tale of high stakes and political intrigue. A science fiction novel where faith and technology come together to take the human race another step closer to the final showdown. Where a few select people make decisions on behalf of many. A gritty account of power that shows both the best and the worst of humanity.

I hope you enjoy this book. Happy reading!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Danger Will Robinson

There is a new commercial out I have now seen twice. It is an ad for the Chevrolet Sonic, a slick-looking little car that is marketed to the younger generation. The action, because all good car commercials must have action, shows the driver riding this car down the street like a skateboarder bouncing off every object in sight. At the bottom of the screen the words suddenly pop up something to the effect that the Sonic is not a skateboard. Do not attempt.

In our country, yes and the world, we are facing the burdensome problems of population. We are projected as having over seven billion people alive and consuming the raw materials our blue marble offers, pushing it to the brink. I have a solution to the problem. Take away all the warning labels and messages that litter every product you can buy. The issue isn't excessive birth rates. The issue is we have taken away nature's level; due to warnings of every little thing, and most of them stupid, we have eliminated the process of natural selection. Too many stupid people survive to breed and create more stupid people because we have too many warnings.

If you can't figure out you're not supposed to cut your bushes with a running lawn mower, well, you get my point.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Back, back in the USSR

It was an early morning at work as I joined my fellow associates to do some of the dirty work before the customers get there. Two of us are a little older as the third is a college student at Ohio State. I made the comment that one of them must be a communist. The youngster looked at me and was just puzzled. He didn't understand why we belittled communism. I had to explain that in the present day world that is simply an American joke.

My young associate didn't understand. He had not lived through the times when it was us vs them in everything. It was ingrained in us as Americans. Then we started talking about why the USSR fell in the first place. I think one of the problems is simply the aspect of human greed. The Soviet system was fine in theory but not in practicality. The power structure evolved in such a way as it was completely top-heavy. All the power was locked into a small, elite group of people who put themselves completely above the rest. Within this power base came the enforcement of their wishes by a brutal police structure. Unlike the populace of the US, our citizen base is still able to exert their own skills to improve their lot in life.

We must now ask ourselves, how close are we to going down the same path as the Soviet Union? We now have one aspect of their past in our present; we have an elite power structure where the government officials have set themselves above their citizens. Congress has not been subject to their own laws in many years. And although they are routinely replaced by the electorate, then are still a highly privileged group with perks the rest of us could not dream of.

What's worse, much of the troubles we now face are a direct result of our elected officials. They are the ones who spend the money on whims. They are the ones who regulate us yet they take none of the blame for the mess they have created. If it was up to me, I would recall every elected official in our nations capitol and simply start over, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, every last one.

The first new rule would be to make all elected officials subject to their own laws. Let's see how they like it when they are out of a job in four years and don't have a pension to fall back on. That $350 per week unemployment check doesn't look so good from the cheap seats now, does it? It'd be a brave new world and I'll bet the problems would magically begin to fix themselves in short order.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mix 'em up

I'm not really much of a 'gotta have some chocolate' kind of guy. I do indulge in the occasional candy bar but that is more than likely because I am stuck at work and can't leave the store because I'm the only manager in the building. That will then involve a quick candy bar just to get something in me. The thicker and nuttier the bar the better under those circumstances. That's where a Snickers comes in handy.

As I rummaged around in the pantry today looking for something different, I came across a box of chocolates left over from the holidays. It was a nice little sampler type box where you lift the lid and, wha' la, they have the type of nougat listed on the lid. Now, this is really handy as I detest the taste of coconut. There's nothing worse than biting into a coconut by mistake. My favorites are the caramels. Then there's the challenge of how do you eat this wonderful mix. Do you eat all your favorite ones first and slowly settle for the others because they are the only ones left? Or, do you start with your favorites and sprinkle in the lesser ones so you still have some of your favorites at the end of the box? Of course you could eat the ones you don't prefer first, but that's just crazy talk!

Many years ago when I was a much younger lad and my family still celebrated Christmas Day in my parents home, there was often a Whitman's Sampler involved in the festivities. One year I purchased a larger box and placed it under the tree without a tag noting its giver. When my family finally got around to opening it they were surprised when nothing they painstakingly sought out seemed to be correct. Little did they know I had secretly opened the box, mixed up all the pieces and had the box shrink wrapped again.

It took them awhile to figure it out but they still remember it to this day. Of course I'm always leery now when I get that as a gift.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Saturday morning bookstore

It's the Saturday morning book show once again. (Okay, so it's really Friday night. Too bad. I have to be to work at 6 a.m. so I'm putting this wonderful story up now.)

Today we bring you another wonderful story from indie author Jess Allison. This trip into the bookstore brings out a fantasy / sci-fi tale set on the mysterious world of D'Az.

THE ROAD TO CORDIA by Jess Allison
In the country of Cancordia, on the planet D’Az,  set on the edge of the sea, is an isolated  Fisherfolk village. In this village people are dying who could have been saved. Ja'Nil (very much against her will) is sent to the Royal Court in the city of Cordia to find a healer.
  At one time the country of Cancordia was known for its safety, but now you take your life in your hands when they travel the roads. There are slavers, tricksters, dragons, and werewolves, powerful warlords, and ladies with mysterious and terrible gifts.
  One of the people Ja'Nil meets along the way is a handsome young man named Ee'Rick. They decide to travel together. Only much later does she discover Ee'Rick's secret.
At the Palace, the Queen is having troubles of her own. Before Ja'Nil and Ee'Rick reach the city, traitors put their plan into action. Suddenly the two travelers find themselves caught up in the middle of a deadly political coup.
Instead of finally being safe, the most dangerous part of their adventure has just begun. But Ja'Nil is developing a little magic of her own, and Ee'Rick is an incredibly efficient warrior. Even so, Ja'Nil’s journey to Cordia is turning into an experience she may not survive.
  The Road To Cordia is the first in a series of Cancordian Fantasy Adventures.

Hope you enjoy this work and don't forget, support you local (or favorite) indie author.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

At the threshold of change

As most know I am and have always been Catholic. It is as much a part of me as my hair color. And like hair color, over times it changes shades. I'm not the little kid with straight blonde hair any longer. That was many years ago. And as I have grown, so too have by beliefs. Neither am I the curly-headed auburn colored lad of times gone by. At this time in my life, I'm more blondish-brown with a touch of gray blending in on the sides. As I have changed, so have my thoughts on my Catholic faith.

The election of a Pope is something that happens several times within our lives but I think the termination of this conclave could have far-reaching consequences within the Church. With the subsequent election of a new Pope to sit in the seat of Peter, we are on the threshold of the possibility of monumental change in the Catholic church. There has never been a doubt for me as to the tenets of the faith I have lived my life by. I think most Catholics believe their own experiences within the Church would fall into that type of scenario. That's not to say we all don't struggle with what we are asked to do within that faith. We are human and subject to the frailties of the human spirit.

I think what most of the faithful struggle with is the framework of the structure the Church has built up around itself. The padgentry and rituals of the Church are there to help give permanence and history to us commoners. Unfortunately that structure gets in the way in the modern world. The faithful are simply no longer a flock of sheep to be herded into heaven without comment. The Catholic populace is highly educated and this is where the conflict with Church structure begins. We challenge this hierarchy as outmoded in a world where we are as educated as those who lead us. In the past, that was not the case.

Whoever is elected to sit in the chair of St. Peter must begin to look not at the doctrine of Church teachings but the structure of how the Catholic church is built. That is the threshold that we as a faith should step over. Hopefully our new Pontiff has the courage to break with traditions that, though in place for two-thousand years, simply have no place in the modern world.

Monday, March 11, 2013


As it has been mentioned previously in this ramble, my knowledge of music is somewhat limited. Although I have never had a particular favorite style of music, I do have a wide variety of styles in my limited collection. I have everything from hard rock to early 50's and 60's rock (except for the British invasion stuff), to jazz and swing. I even own an Andrea Bocelli cd. Truth be told, I don't own 40 cds.

The one thing I never listened to was country music. It just never appealed to me. I used to say the only time to listen to country music was while you were in a bar swilling beer. And then, a funny thing happened; since the first of the year the radio in my car has only been on one of the two local country stations (except for sports-talk). The kicker is, I have absolutely no idea why.

One day I just tuned in and I haven't left. At this point, I couldn't tell you who was who, other than recognizing the names, I have no idea who sings what. After about two months I am at least beginning to recognize a few of the voices. I THINK I know Carrie Underwood's voice, Toby Keith is an easy one, unless of course there is someone out there who sounds just like him. Could be; many of the artists all seem to sound the same to me. I better be careful as he might put a 'boot up my ass', it is the American way, you know. And then there is Taylor Swift, although I can't decide if she is really country or just a grown-up whiny teenager.

And then there is the differences with country music. There are two stations that play this genre in our area. One has a playlist of more modern artists while the other, as my wonderful nephew points out, is 'older' country. That definitely has a different twang to it. Yep, it's much more twangy. I tend to listen to the 'more current' playlist. station. Another thing I noticed today on the way home from work was that Chevy trucks appear all the time in these songs. I can't say I've heard anyone singing about sliding into the cab of a Ford pickup with a girl yet. Perhaps the word Chevy just rhymes with more stuff than Ford...bored, floored, doored (is that a word)?

My awesome nephew, Handsome Son has tried to expand my listening tastes for a couple years now. I have just been hard-headed about my preferences. Now, I'm not saying he's right...I'm just sayin'. With recent events in my life perhaps it is just that country music is settling; comfortable; speaks to me at a different time in my life.

Or, maybe I just grew into it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Saturday morning mystery

 Product Details

When her best friend is murdered, Julie O'Hara, a body language expert, packs up her suspicion and flies to Boston for his funeral. Who could have killed rising artist Marc Solomon, and what does Castle Cay, the Solomon's mysterious Caribbean island, have to do with it? Before long, Julie's sixth-sense pulls a hidden string that unravels a deadly conspiracy...and her own troubled past.

"A superbly plotted murder mystery..." - Aman S. Anand
"Page-turning suspense novel..." - Dr. Beth Cholette
"Loved this book!" - Veritas

What a beautiful cover. That's a place I'd like to be. Winter is feeling old and cold in these parts. Meet author Lee Hanson as she takes the reader deep into a murder mystery in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Treat yourself to sunshine and warm waters in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Up hill both ways

Well, here in the Midwest the latest killer storm to pummel the countryside landed last night covering the ground with winter's blanket.

Then it happened; the city shut down. With no more than three inches anywhere all the schools closed, the bottom of the television was festooned with a litany of closures, one after another after another. Well, what's so bad about that you ask? We have become a society that cowers at the slightest sight or sound of bad weather. Yeah, I might be a crotchety old geezer but even now in the world of global warming where we haven't had a foot of snow in two years more things close down now than ever before.

I understand wanting the children to be safe, and there are more autos and trucks on the road than ever before, but really. Schools and nearly everything else close down if two snowflakes have a conversation. Schools in a single year have cancelled classes more times than the four years I was in high school. It happened once if anyone is counting.

I have been a retail manager for thirty years and in all that time the stores I have worked in have closed exactly twice due to weather. Here's the issue, once everything is closed and the public is told to stay off the roads they do the exact opposite; they go to stores, banks and everywhere else. Gee, it's too difficult to go to work in bad weather but I can still run to the store to get some beer, or cigs or just about anything else.

Have we changed so much in this society that we can't have a normal day with two inches of snow on the ground? That's a sad situation I find us in. Sad indeed.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Cover for 'The Dream Valley'

It's a fun ride to be an author. It's a constant challenge to develop the stories and the characters but the payoff is tremendous. Just to feel that book in your hand and that it is yours! You created it. Well, mine actually. It's an accomplishment and one I am very proud of.

However, it helps if someone actually reads what you write. Here is another chance to pick up a freebie from me. Yep, zilch, zippo, nada, two bits minus a quarter. Can you say FREE?

Just go to and enter the coupon code RW100. You'll then be able to download The Dream Valley for free. It doesn't matter what device you read on because there are all the formats you'll need, anywhere from iPad to Kindle to Nook, Kobo and others.

The Dream Valley is book one of The Crystal Point Legacy series, an epic fantasy book.

I truly hope you enjoy this work. This promotion runs through Saturday, March 9th.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday morning authors tour

Good morning readers! It's snowing outside my window today. Next weekend is daylight savings time so it will be snowing an hour earlier. (Ha, ha). It's a good thing I don't write comedy. I don't write contemporary romance either though I do know a few who do. One successful young lady is Suzie O'Connell. She is currently promoting her book, 'Summer Angel' of her 'Angel Series'. Take a look at her works here:

Five years ago, Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Conner killed a man.  If that were the worst of it, he could have swallowed the guilt, but the man had a son—an eleven-year-old boy who was now no one’s son.  Ben buried himself in shroud of self-loathing and pushed away everyone, even his best friend June Montana, the one woman who might have been able to help him.

 Set in the breathtaking mountains of Montana and spiced with a balance of humor, suspense and characters that will steal your heart, Summer Angel is a classic story of friendship and love.

If you are a fan of contemporary romance with a bit of suspense and intrigue, take a look at the Angel Series. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

For those left behind

It has now been two weeks since the death of my brother. It is a disconcerting time for us all. We are a close family and generally always have been. As we grow older through our twenties and into our thirties, families do tend to slip away from each other  however I believe as the new challenges of raising our own families takes hold, we tend to find our way back to each other as siblings.

When you lose someone close, someone you're not supposed to lose so early, your equilibrium of sorts, gets thrown off. It's similar to watching one of those movies where the main character is out of sequence with the world he or she lives in. Perhaps those he knows don't recognize him. Perhaps he is only able to look in on the others he cares about, like an angel, but can't reach out and touch them, can't reach out and influence them. He stares at the world as he moves through it, numb, apart.

For the past two weeks that is how I have felt as I returned to work, gathered with family and tried to get on with life. I am sure my brother's wife and children feel much the same way, though I am sure to a much greater extent. His children have been remarkably strong facing such a tragic turn and although they are parents themselves, I think they have taken another step in growth and love and their bond has grown with each other and their families.

I think the human heart has an incredible ability to heal itself. It will take time to fully re-engage with the world and feel the sights and sounds of place as I once did. It will happen and the more I am around my family and my brother's family, the quicker that will happen.

We share a bond of tremendous love, we just have to let it slip back in to our consciousness and the laughter will return and the memories of our loved one will be those we cherish.