Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dew Drop Dragonfly

That is not my dragonfly nor is it my water. I got this picture from  I thought it was just a spectacular photo.  Nature can be amazing at times.  If only we were always able to see things so close up.  

Maybe it's just me but as incredibly beautiful as this picture is, that dragonfly looks a bit miffed.  No doubt the dew drops on his head are annoying.  And then to add insult to injury someone is there taking a pic of the humiliation of it all.  Oh well.  I'm sure the dragonfly will get over it.

Enjoy this Sunday photo.

Raving for a Change: Amazon

By JccKeith

In the last two days I have downloaded more books than I have over the past year.  Over the past year I have read what I consider to be a very small number of books.  To put it in a way most can understand, I just didn’t have the money to buy any new books.  I was too busy spending it on other things like food, my mortgage, utilities and clothing for my children.

Times are tough.  It is hard to find justification for spending even a few dollars on a book I may or may not like in addition to shipping costs.  Back in the day when times were great I would have gladly handed over whatever amount for the simple joy of holding a new or used book in my hands. 

I love books.  I like the smell of ink off the pages of a book.  I like the way words look printed on the pages of books.  I like flipping through the pages.  I like earmarking the pages.  I like placing a bookmark between pages.  I like the way books look on my shelves.  I even like the way books look stacked up on top of things because I have no bookshelf space remaining.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Who's On Top: Music 3/30/13

This Weeks Spotlight:
When I Was Your Man 
By: Burno Mars

Doctor Who Tidbits: 50th Anniversary

By: William G. Muir
So today I learn that both David Tennant and Billie Piper are going to appearing in the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. Really? In the shows 50 year run on television you thought it was best to bring back Rose Tyler? Really? I thought we had finally gotten rid of Rose when Russell T. Davies left the show.

I am tired of having this character rammed down my throat. Don't get me wrong at first I liked Rose, that was until R.T.D. ruined her. I am sorry, a person who doesn't have an education beyond high school doesn't gain the kind of knowledge that Rose did during her time on the show. She came to know more about the workings of the universe that scientist that have spent their whole lives studying the cosmos.

Interview w/the Author: HELEN DOWNING

It’s time to tell the truth…but don’t forget the fun part! Lie Lie Lie! (But only once.)  

-I have six tattoos, one of which is in Elvish (JRR Tolkien) and one is the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
-I had been fire walking, sky diving, and bungi jumping before the age of 30 but I was terrified of roller coasters, and had never ridden one until I turned 40.
-After touring a chicken plant, I became a vegetarian at age 15 and have not eaten meat since then.

Oh my gosh…how fun is this. Um…I would like to believe you had a tattoo of the TARDIS. How cool would that be? I can see someone being afraid of roller coaster, but not after doing all that you’ve said. I could completely understand becoming a vegetarian after visiting a chicken plant. I watched a few films and have trouble eating much meat and poultry now. I’m going to have to go with never riding a roller coaster until 40.  

Why don’t you tell us something about yourself.
I love Wales. First, I adore Celtic men. Second, the weather there is conducive to wearing big, forgiving clothes. I feel at home when I’m there.  I particularly love the authors Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins, Neil Gaiman...authors who bend the English language to their will!  When I was nine years old I wrote a short story that me and a few classmates turned into a film. It won a bunch of awards, and we got to take it on tour, got our picture in the paper...That was probably when I knew I wanted to write. The color orange  makes me happy!  My mom and my dad have always been my Dad is the best with people. Every social skill I have I owe to my father. My mom is the bravest person I know. She lives her life fearlessly. I wish I could be half as courageous as she is.  About eight years ago I had a massive stroke. It took away my ability to speak and to write. That was the scariest time of my life. For a couple of years I was stuck in a body that did not always listen to my brain...and did not always cooperate with me. The thought that I may never get it back was terrifying.

Music: Meaning and Value

By JccKeith

Music is a very crucial part of society and something many take for granted.  I typed ‘music’ into the yahoo search engine and was surprised to find no Wikipedia articles pop up on the first page.  I was looking for any articles on what music means or rather the effect or value it has. 

I was curious about the relationship between music and writing.  I had to type in more information to find anything other than websites for free music downloads.  I find the lack of abundant websites on the value of music disturbing.

Music, I would say, is just as powerful, if not more so, than the written word.  A great writer can motivate, inspire, sway opinion or create images in a mind.  A great musician can do the same and more.  Music is a means of communication, relaxation, incitation and a way to understand human nature.

Let’s start with the incitation, or for the purposes of this post, more specifically the altering of brain chemistry to produce a trance like state.  Rhythmic drumming, rhythmic prayer and rhythmic chanting are not done just for the sake of repeating some words or singing some words to others or to gods, spirits, whoever. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels 3/29/13

This Weeks Spotlight:
By: Ben Katchor

From one of the most original and imaginative American cartoonists at work today comes a collection of graphic narratives on the subjects of urban planning, product design, and architecture—a surrealist handbook for the rebuilding of society in the twenty-first century.

Ben Katchor, a master at twisting mundane commodities into surreal objects of social significance, now takes on the many ways our property influences and reflects cultural values. Here are window-ledge pillows designed expressly for people-watching and a forest of artificial trees for sufferers of hay fever. The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption deals with the matter of products that outlive their owners; a school of dance is based upon the choreographic motion of paying with cash; high-visibility construction vests are marketed to lonely people as a method of getting noticed. With cutting wit Katchor reveals a world similar to our own—lives are defined by possessions, consumerism is a kind of spirituality—but also slightly, fabulously askew. Frequently and brilliantly bizarre, and always mesmerizing, Hand-Drying in America ensures that you will never look at a building, a bar of soap, or an ATM the same way.

Book Cover and Excerpt: Awake in Hell

Helen Downing


Meet Louise Patterson. She is dead. She has been dead for a while. And she is in Hell. Join our foul-mouthed hero as she embarks on a Hellatious adventure; Filled with demons, ghosts, dreams, magic, temp jobs, wardrobe malfunctions, and quite possibly redemption.

When I was very young, I remember my maternal grandmother telling me that my grandfather had such a hard time when he turned 35 that it became a bit of legend in the small town of Seaford, DE where they lived. Everyone knew that “Pop-Pop” had just had a big birthday and his reaction to it was pretty foul. Pop-Pop was one of my most favorite people ever. I didn’t get to know him until he was much older, and to me he was bigger than life. Self-confident to the point of being a bit of a bastard, a caustic wit that some found to be borderline insulting but always had me rolling on the floor, and he was the only member of my immediate family who was a businessman instead of clergy (my interest always lied in business. The clergy seemed entirely too full of poverty and humility for my taste). He was my hero, and the thought of him having a hard time turning a particular age was so foreign to me I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Now of course, I know. Each of us have a number in our head that will make us freak out when that number becomes our age. It probably lies between 30 and 50. But regardless, it’s somewhere in the middle. Once we reach “middle-aged” by whatever standard we’ve set, the words “Happy Birthday” becomes much more ominous, at least for that one year. Middle age is not for the weak of heart. In fact, middle age sucks.

My 40th year was the worst of my life. Not turning 40, that was fine. But that year I found my self-esteem and identity truly tested. It is not that my life, as every other person’s on the planet, did not have plenty of tragedy, trial, and tribulation, previously. I had failed relationships, sickness and death around me, a few times when I was so broke I considered selling blood for cigarette money, and lots of other things that just come with being a breathing entity on the planet. However, when things happened to me or around me, I would react based on who I thought I was, which had always been a strong, independent, intelligent woman who can talk her way through a keyhole and who could fall into a pile of shit and come up with an ice cream cone. That version of me could handle anything that comes down the pike.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good vs. Evil: Reality or Fiction?

Good vs Evil by Sugargrl14

By JccKeith

“No man considers himself a criminal; no man can conceive of himself as a doer of evil; the mind is generally incapable of such realities and would rather condemn the society or the powers-that-be as persecutors and too dull-witted to understand the essential good of the acts.  And when you find a man incapable of understanding the depth of depravity of his own acts, then how can you, in all good conscience, kill him?  He then becomes an object of pity, a figure in need of help.”
-Controversy: Sharpest Sword of the Paperback Novelist by Harlan Ellison

I was scanning through the book Legends of Literature when I found this article by Ellison.  It struck a chord in me enough to turn to my husband and repeat the above paragraph.  The actual paragraph sounded vaguely familiar, if not in word for word citing then at least in subject matter.

I asked my husband what he thought about the paragraph.  Personally, I felt it was bunk.  I mean, in all reality, I feel most human beings have an inherent sense of right and wrong.  Granted there are sociopaths who lack such innate sense but I don’t believe such people are who the paragraph refers to at all.  I think the paragraph is slightly more general on the subject of right and wrong as a whole.

Who's On Top: Nonfiction 3/28/13

Spotlight On Nonfiction:
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to LeadLEAN IN
Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sherlock Holmes: Still Classic Literature

By JccKeith

I was perusing Goodreads today and recalled my joining a group called Classics without all the Class. This month they have been reading Sherlock Holmes.  I have read a few Sherlock Holmes stories and although interesting enough to read, they weren’t stories I ran out to the nearest bookstore to track down a copy of my own to, well, own.

In fact, as I sat here to begin typing today’s post on classics, I tried to recall if I owned any Sherlock Holmes books. I knew I had at least one but I wasn’t sure which stories were in it.  Combing my bookcases, I at last found two books featuring Sherlock Holmes.  I found them relegated to my spare bookshelf.  By spare bookshelf I mean the one where I pile books up that I will probably never read again. 

These books may have been purchased but were more than likely acquired as gifts, donations, unwanted book club offers or giveaways.  I won’t get rid of them but I have a tendency to forget I own them.  But that is neither here nor there (whatever that phrase really means.)

Book Cover Revealing: The Last Hour

The Last Hour

By: Charles Sheehan-Miles


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who's On Top: Fiction 3/26/13

In The Spotlight:

By: C. J. Box

The thrilling new Joe Pickett novel from the New York Times–bestselling author.

It was always good to see Lyle Pendergast, Joe thought—a hard-working, upright local business owner whose daughter was friends with his own. Little did he know that when he
talked to Lyle that day, the man was about to disappear. He was heading into the mountains to hunt, he said, but instead he was running. Two EPA employees had just been murdered, and all signs pointed to him as the killer.

As the manhunt organized itself, Joe heard more of the story—about the tract of land Lyle and his wife had bought to build their retirement home on, until the EPA declared it a wetland. About the penalties they charged him when he balked, new ones piling up every day, until the family was torn apart by debt . . . and finally, it seems, the man just cracked.

It was an awful story. But was it the whole story? The more Joe looks into it, the more he begins to wonder—and the more he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected and never wanted. Powerful forces want Lyle not just caught, but dead . . . and the same goes for anyone who stands in their way.

USA Today Attacks Kim Kardashian's style

Judging the Fashionistas

USA Today’s last page boasted six varying images of Kim Kardashian. Now, I’ll admit, I’ve never seen anything on television with her on it. I’m not really into watching stuff on tv really. And although I do try every now and then to catch up my beloved series on Hulu I don’t do television. But I am off on a tangent and need to get back to the point.

Kim is shown in six outfits. The first sentence of the article states “Leave the prim, classic A-line ensembles to the expectant Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton” (USA Today, 2013). They later call her outfits, “at best, dramatic, but all too often ill-fitting and strange”.

I am so far away from being a fashion guru that I’ve begged my loved ones to hire me my own personal….anyway…I’m not great at fashion.  But as I look at these outfits I don’t see anything bizarre or strange or really ill-fitting at all. In fact, besides the one pair of jeans that are okay…maybe a bit different I think for the most part she’s dressed very nicely. The outfits look comfortable and pretty.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Creativity Bites

By JccKeith

Take a bow
Solemn cow
Your spots, they are morose
Just as is your ghost

You cannot eat the grass
That lingers at your feet
You can only share the past
That strangers sometimes eat

It's What They Said Monday.  I found this great quote by Sylvia Plath about writing:

"And by the way everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt"

While I can appreciate Ms. Plath's view, I can also disagree.  You see, I was sitting around last night trying to get to sleep when something came to me.  It was the beginnings of a tid bit of poetry.  It was so persistent I got out of bed to grab a pencil and scribble it down. 

As I began typing last night's poetry onto the laptop, I realized it wasn't all that great.  Sure it rhymed and sure it was decent - it just wasn't anything worth posting online.  Then I began researching quotes about writing for tonight's What They Said post.  I found Plath's quote.

Who's On Top: Movies 3/24/13

This Weeks Movie Spotlight:
The Croods

“The Croods” makes a better study of Stone Age sociology than it does a children’s movie. But it’s colorful and has an appealing central character and — who knows? — might even give the little ones something more challenging to think about than its tired main plot. — Neil Genzlinger

Top Ten Movies From This Weekend:
  1. The Croods
  2. Olympus Has Fallen
  3. Oz The Great And Powerful
  4. The Call
  5. Admission
  6. Spring Breakers
  7. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
  8. Jack The Giant Slayer
  9. Identity Thief
10. Snitch

Disclaimer: Top Ten list and blurb come from NYTimes,com,

Do You Ever Wish...

By JccKeith

Do you ever just wish you could smack the crap out of someone and scream, "SNAP OUT OF IT!"

Unfortunately, I have that feeling quite a bit.  Over the last couple of days, I've felt that way about one person in particular.  Me.

Maybe it's the fact that winter has returned even though it is supposed to be spring.  Maybe it's lack of sleep.  Maybe it's lack of alcohol.  Or maybe, just maybe it's just me.  I'm just not feeling it.

What is it?  Inspiration.  Motivation.  Determination.  Any of those three or all three combined are what I lack right now.  I've tried to talk myself into ideas.  I've tried to type myself into ideas.  I've tried sleeping on it.  I've tried meditating on it.  I've watched all my favorite shows and even a few not so favorite shows.

I've even been watching Say Yes to the Dress.  It's that show about women picking out their wedding gown.  They are seeking "The One" dress.  It's kind of like the one ring to rule them all concept.  Some demon designer somewhere made some dress that costs an unseemly amount of money. The dresses are coveted by all.  They are treated like the most valuable things on Earth.  And when a woman finds 'her dress' she starts going all gollum about it.  It is now "her precious."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Interveiw w/the Author: Hazel Osmond

Let's Meet Hazel Osmond!!!

Well, let’s share some truths…and a lie.

I’m allergic to tennis balls
I have played the part of Helen of Troy at the Edinburgh Fringe
I once took some clothing back to a department store in a bag, to get a refund, not knowing  my husband had used the bag to cut his toenails in.

Oh my…I wouldn’t dare think number 3 is a lie. It’s way too crazy to be a lie. I think being allergic to tennis balls is the lie. We shall see. So tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been married for 29 years! My favorite place would be the beach– many beautiful ones I can think of but my favorite one is in Northumberland where I live. It’s called Low Newton and I set two of the pivotal scenes in my second book there. My favorite author- it does change a bit. At the moment I’d say Elizabeth Taylor (not the actressy one). I was probably about 18 when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. I took a wrong turn though and didn’t get writing books and short stories until I was 45. My favorite holiday so far, technically isn’t a holiday but it was for me was the time we went to Japan. I cried when I got on the flight home. It was beautiful and mad and friendly in equal measure. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Moore, an English teacher in secondary school. She was so enthusiastic about literature and poetry and a real stickler for good grammar. One of the reasons I’m a writer today.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Free Book!!!!! Daughters Of Night: Possession

Title: Daughters of Night: Possession

Blurb: Carmen's family is being threatened by a new group of vampires, and she is forced into another battle. Only this time it's not just her life on the line. Now she must face an evil unlike any other. One that is dangerously close to consuming her, and Carmen's only hope of succeeding is in the hands of a girl she doesn't know. Will the demons inside Carmen bring her down before she and Gaviyn can save the delicate life of the mystery girl, or will they all fall over the edge into a pit of death and despair?

Book Link:

Book Release Set for TOMORROW!!!!!

Claire C Riley, is a mother first, a wife second, but a writer at heart.

Claire likes to break boundaries with her writing, incorporating an old school style of horror and romance. Sexy and dark. (Think Bram Stokers Dracula, but for the 21st century!) She is trying to mix things up a bit by introducing more women into the horror genre and more men into the romance genre, and show people that you should never stick in your comfort zones.

Claire is a mother to three amazing little girls who hold her heart. She hopes to make them proud, and show them that if you work hard and believe in yourself... then, as Cinderella once said... dreams really do come true.

She is an avid book collector and has a great zombie apocalypse plan in place thanks to a questionnaire she asked her readers to fill in for her from her blog.
Claire is currently working on the sequel to Limerence, and also a dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novel called- Odium. Think Thelma and Louise but with zombies ;0)
She actively encourages reader participation on her blog and author Facebook page, with questionnaires, quizzes, and fan art. So get in touch!

Book Cover & Blurb: Who's Afraid of Mr. Wolfe?

Who's Afraid of Mr. Wolfe?
Ellie Somerset is a great advertising copywriter going nowhere fast - a boyfriend who is always at work, a tendency to dress like a short-sighted bag lady and a Creative Director who rejects her fresh ideas - they all conspire to keep her just treading water. Even her Great Aunt Edith, a demon at filthy scrabble, has a better social life than she does. All that changes when Jack Wolfe becomes her boss. Whilst everyone else at the agency thinks he's Heathcliff in jeans, Ellie just sees a stalking, scowling Alpha male with a nasty redundancy plan up his sleeve. As Jack makes it his mission to smarten up Ellie's attitude and her appearance, it's time for her to prove herself. But that means getting closer to this very sexy, very wicked man, and as she does Ellie discovers that this particular Heathcliff has an awful lot to hide

I See What You Did There

One of My Works in Progress
By JccKeith

Normally I write a lyric review on Friday but recent events have altered this.  I was researching something earlier this week and discovered a few blogs on copyrights and watermarks and other such related information.

In the back of my mind somewhere, in my years on this fair planet, I have encountered the terms on prior occasions.  I was already somewhat familiar with copyright laws, piracy and the like.  I’ve seen enough movies and television shows with that same warning to let me know all about it.  I’ve also looked up copyrighting for writers.

Watermark was a new one.  I had seen it previously in reference to photos and artwork but dismissed it as I wasn’t posting artwork online at the time.  Now that I do post my original work online, I am more interested.  I understand that watermarking your work does not guarantee it won’t be stolen but then neither does copyrighting.  It just makes it more difficult for those wishing to steal it or use it without giving you credit for your work.

Basically, copyrighting, watermarking and name branding are all similar in function.  Name branding is a little different in that it identifies you or your product as unique.  It is the concept of creating an image that people can readily identify and that has authority in some way or commands respect.  Watermarking is more about labeling something as your work.  Copyrighting is the act of legally protecting your original work or ideas

Friday, March 22, 2013

Falling in Love With a Mystery Woman


Mark Gilroy

She was across a crowded room. Or was it on the platform as my train sped away? (Or was I on the platform and her train sped away?) Maybe it was her I saw on that late night stroll down the Champs d’ Elysee. She was on the other side of the boulevard. When I rushed to her side she had disappeared. (Mysteriously, of course.)
I can’t remember where I first saw the mystery woman I fell in love with.
Actually, my wife doesn’t have too much to worry about. She knows that two years ago I fell in love with Detective Kristen Conner, the lead character in my novels Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath You Take (and Cold as Icethis fall), so I’m not going anywhere.
Coming to love my own novel heroine may still might seem a little bit strange, but I suspect I’m not the first writer or reader to fall in love with an imaginary character.
I have a long history in publishing and as a writer but don’t consider myself to be an expert on the craft of writing. I’ve taken classes and read books on the subject, but most of what I know about writing comes from my passion as a reader.
So when people ask me questions about how I went about writing my novels—for example, how in the world did you write first person in a woman’s voice so convincingly?—I just shrug my shoulders and say, “I’ve read an awful lot of books and that sure helped.” (By the way, as the father of three daughters, writing in a young woman’s voice wasn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. I’ve witnessed and experienced a lot of dramatic material just from keeping my eyes and ears open.)
One question I’ve been asked a lot is, “Where did you learn to write to get your character to come to life?”
            I loved the question and took it as a great compliment, but I didn’t have an answer, so I puzzled over that one for a bit.
            I finally figured it out. Kristen Conner came to life (along with a really interesting serial killer who likes to keep a journal) and then I wrote Cuts Like a Knife.
           I’m not a good enough writer to make a character come alive. I never had an imaginary friend as a kid, but apparently, I have enough voices in my head that a character can rattle around in there, come to life, and write herself onto the pages of a book for me.
           Whether you are a reader or writer, next time a person from the book—notice I didn’t say character—walks off the page and into your heart, there’s a good chance you or someone else didn’t write a real person, but discovered him or her. AUTHOR BLOG PERSONAL "GENERAL" BLOG
@markgilroy TWITTER

The Sisterhood of the Not Going Anywhere Pants & A Little Writing

Yes, actually me in my jeans

By JccKeith

Giving up, throwing in the towel, surrender, cashing in your chips and calling it a loss – all ways to say “It’s over.  I quit.”

So what does that have to do with a picture of my jeans?  Well a lot actually.  You see, those jeans are practically antiques.  They are seven years old and they have been worn ragged.  They were ripped in half at the knees.  They have a barbeque stain on them from a cookout four years ago.

So why do I keep these barbeque stained ragged old jeans around?  I like them.  They fit just right.  They are exactly long enough, go right down to the bottom of my foot.  Not long enough to walk on but right there at ground level.  That is a tough feat to accomplish.  Being exactly 6’ ft tall, my legs are about 34 ½ inches long.  Finding jeans long enough has been an epic, lifelong quest.

Those brightly colored things are flowers
Why is this important?  It is relevant because they are just like everything else in my life.  I have a hard time giving up on anything.  I may take longer to accomplish things but I don’t call it quits. I eventually reach my goals. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Who's On Top: Children's Books 3/17-23/13

Spotlight Children's Books Of The Week:
Children's Picture Books: 
By: Hervé Tullet

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who's On Top: Nonfiction 3/17-23/13

Spotlight Nonfiction Of The Week:
Hardcover Nonfiction:
By: Pat Summitt with Sally Jenkins

Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history aad bestselling author of Reach for the Summitt and Raise The Roof, tells for the first time her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women's basketball team. For 38 years, she has broken records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She has coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women's Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and has been named Sports Illustrated 'Sportswoman of the Year'.
She owes her coaching success to her personal struggles and triumphs. She learned to be tough from her strict, demanding father. Motherhood taught her to balance that rigidity with communication and kindness. She is a role model for the many women she's coached; 74 of her players have become coaches.
Pat's life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible brain condition that affects 5 million Americans. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she led the Vols to win their sixteenth SEC championship in March 2012. Pat continues to be a fighter, facing this new challenge the way she's faced every other--with hard work, perseverance, and a sense of humor.

Cover Reveal: Nissa

Nissa by Bethany Lopez

This is a YA Contemporary Fantasy ~
Release Date: April 2013

At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother's path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.

To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she's met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren't meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?

Bethany Lopez

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Time Well Wasted

Actual grass from my backyard

By JccKeith

There I was sitting around watching the grass grow.  As enthralling as it is to watch nothing happen, I decided I might find more productive uses of my time.  I decided to invest a little time in discovering a few simple joys in life.

I thought, you know there are probably a lot of things in my very own house that are quite fascinating.  I took the camera with me to document my progress.  I decided I’d become one of these people who posts photos of everyday things and calls myself a photographer.  Although for the record, I have no desire to be a photographer.

I find photos depressing in many ways.  Every photo is a moment in time that will never happen again.  Every person in every photo will never be exactly that age again.  Photos document the passing of time, the aging of loved ones and are a reminder of the constancy of change.  It is sad to see a beautiful photo and then to compare it to the way the subject looks now.  Things change, things degrade, things cease to be.

A post in my backyard
Take this post for example.  Not this post I am writing but this post in the picture.  This is actually the top of a post along the fence in my backyard.  When I bought this house that post… well actually that post looked exactly the same from that viewpoint.  Not a good example.

Take this leaf.  This is the bright green leaf of one of my banana trees.  It is brilliantly colored today.  Tomorrow it will probably still be brilliantly colored but in a few days, maybe a week, it will turn brown.  It will shrivel and crumple to the dirt.  Then all I have left is a photo to remind me that it was once so lively and green. 

Banana Tree Leaf
For anyone paying attention to this negative nelly view of photography, I am being facetious.  Photography is one of the marvels of the modern world.  How incredibly amazing is it that thanks to the invention of photography we can see into the past?  We can look at the faces of distant deceased relatives.  We can see images of far away places we might never visit.  We can get a glimpse of the world as it was a hundred years or more before our own birth.

Photography allows us to capture images of our world and share them with each other and with future generations.  It is a portal to the past and a message to the future.  Entire lives can be documented on film to be shared with countless others.  It is no mystery why this technology was invented.  Since the dawning of mankind, humans have attempted to immortalize their lives with images.  First attempts were drawings on caves and then much later through paintings and now photography.

What is it that prompts us to do this?  What is it about humanity that compels us to relate to each other through images?  Is immortalization of the world around us through visual means preferable to written documentation?

Who's On Top: Fiction 3/17-23/13

Spotlight Fiction Books Of The Week:
Hardcover Fiction:
By Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson returns in the seventh novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Interview w/the author: Allison Cosgrove

Shall we begin with a lie? Of course…let’s sprinkle some truth into it.

Please do tell us

I am 5 feet 10 inches tall.
I own two retail stores.
I drive a Dodge Charger.

Ooohh….This one is fun! My illogical sense of reasoning is being harnessed, give me a minute. I am only 5’2” and I think if you were 5’10” you would not write but instead…model. Two retail stores? Is not one good enough for you? I love the Dodge Charger and I cannot see why anyone would NOT be driving one…unless they couldn’t afford it. But you are a writer and of course you can afford it…  Okay my Yoda senses say Two Retail Stores you do not own. J  Haha!!! 

Please, tell us something about yourself.
I am married to a wonderful and supportive husband who is the reason I have the courage to put my work out there. The first book I remember reading is Dr. Seuss’  The Foot Book…. Left foot left foot right foot right! Feet in the morning and feet at night! I loved that book. I was four when I first started to read and those were the books I learn on. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love spending time with family and friends, and spoiling folks rotten. Oh and baking with my daughters! My favorite teacher was my grade 11/12 English teacher. She was an incredible source of inspiration and support to me growing up. I remember writing my first “book” at 12. It was a crime novel much like I write now only considerably more tame. My pet’s names are Smokie and Jonsey … those are my two remaining cats. Raised them since birth basically! And the three think I always keep close to me are my coffee cup, my phone, and a computer.

Wowza! That’s a lot of neat stuff. I wasn’t all that into Dr. Seuss books but I LOVED the Foot Book. And I think I hated all my English teachers but two. And the two I liked were also great sources for encouragement. I too wrote my first book at age twelve!!! How neat. So where do you find inspiration for your writing? For this book in particular.
 From reality. Most of my “bad guys” are based on real criminals and their crimes. I just change a few things to make them my own brand of creeps.

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels 3/17-23/13

Spotlight Graphic Novels Of The Week:
Hardcover Graphic Novels:
By: Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Hit-Girl spins off into her own blood-soaked saga! Mindy McCready tries to settle into life as a regular school-girl, but wants nothing more to be dispensing hot justice to the scum of New York City. Her mother thinks she's doing her homework, but in reality she's taken Kick-Ass on as her sidekick and training him up to punch, shoot and stab ... just like Daddy would have wanted. And in return, Kick-Ass is helping her learn to survive middle school - without spilling anyone's blood. But when Kick-Ass gets benched, leaving Mindy to take on the mafia solo, even Hit-Girl may be in over her head. Meanwhile, Red Mist pursues his goal of becoming a super-villain ... and faces a final test of his own.
COLLECTING: Hit -Girl 1-5