Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: How the Octopus Got Eight Arms

how the octopus
A New Whimsical Children’s Book: How the Octopus Got Eight Arms
 
How the Octopus Got Eight Arms brings together story, poetic rhythm and brilliant illustration to spin a whimsical tale.
 
Vacaville, CA – Oscar didn't always have so many arms to hold all that's dear. The evolution of this fantastical creature of the sea is told in rhythmic poetry and dazzling illustration in the newly released book, How the Octopus Got Eight Arms.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: Threaten the Body Destroy the Mind

threaten the body
Air Force Videographer Deployed to Iraq Faces Threats from Within and Without in the New Autobiography, Threaten The Body, Destroy The Mind
 
When Joseph Givens signed up to fight the War on Terror, he had no idea the threats would come from his own comrades. He recounts his story in Threaten The Body, Destroy The Mind.
 
Huntsville, AL – A fresh-faced airman joins the United States' War on Terror, bent on getting the bad guy. Little did Joseph Givens know, he'd be facing a different kind of terror from his own military comrades and commanders. His story is told in vivid detail in the newly released Threaten The Body, Destroy The Mind.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels

Top 5 Graphic Novels: 
Hardcover:
1. A Game Of Thrones, Vol. 2, by Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson
2. Pacific Rim: Tales From Years Zero, by Travis Beacham and Sean Chen
3. Primates, by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
4. The Silver Age Of DC Comics, Paul Levitz and Others
5. Solo: The Deluxe Edition: by Various
Spotlight:
A GAME OF THRONES, VOL. 2
 by Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson

You've read the books. You've watched the hit series on HBO. Now acclaimed novelist Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson bring George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy masterwork "A Game of Thrones" to majestic new life in the pages of this full-color graphic novel. Comprised of the initial six issues of the graphic series, this is the first volume in what is sure to be one of the most coveted collaborations of the year.

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse--unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.

Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen's brothers Jamie and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister--the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.

Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki--whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.


Monique Domovitch Tour: Getting SKinny

Getting Skinny by Monique Domovitch

 
Owning a restaurant is as crazy for Nicky Landry as an alcoholic owning a bar. But despite having to cram herself into a body shaper to look decent in a dress, life is pretty good. She's throwing the party of the year for her graduating doctor boyfriend, Rob, who she's sure is going to propose—until his new girlfriend shows up at the party.

After ordering Rob to get his stuff out of her house and get lost, Nicky finds him faceup with her expensive Chroma knife sticking right out of his cheating heart.

As the prime suspect, Nicky is in hot water. And no matter how hard she tries to clear her name, her problems only mount. She's convinced she can solve the murder—if only she can figure out the identity of the skinny person seen walking away with Rob after the party.

Getting "Skinny" won't be easy for Nicky, but she never imagined it would be life or death…

SHELLY HICKMAN TOUR: Somewhere Between Black and White

Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?

When approaching life's problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they're someone else's problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.

Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she's known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.

As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam's ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate.

Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgments aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as an illustrator for a contractor for the Nevada Test Site. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer applications and multimedia at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dog, Frankie.

Who's On Top: Children's Books

Top 5 Children's Books:
Picture Books:
1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherrie Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
2. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherrie Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
3. A Big Guy Took My Ball!, by Mo Willems
4. Poems To Learn By Heart, by Caroline Kennedy and Jon J. Muth
5. This Is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen
Spotlight
How To Babysit A Grandpa
by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish
This is a hilarious and accessible picture book about a child spending time with his grandpa. Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for "babysitting" a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play).

Filled with humor, energy, and warmth, this is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Who's On Top: Nonfiction

Top 5 Nonfiction:
Hardcover:
1. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
2. American Gun, by Chris Kyle with William Doyle
3. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
4. Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
5. Keep It Pithy, by Bill O'Reilly
Spotlight:

Keep it Pithy
Bill O'Reilly

From the bestselling author of Killing Lincoln and host of Fox News' top show The O'Reilly Factor, the best of Bill O’Reilly’s provocative writing—reflecting his ideas, wisdom, and core values
Bill O’Reilly is one of the most recognized and talked-about journalists of our time. With an unparalleled track record as an author and with the #1-rated Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly has become a veritable institution of political insight and keen advice. In Keep It Pithy, O’Reilly offers a classic collection of the most memorable writings from his bestselling books, and looks back at how his opinions and ideas have been proven right or wrong by the passage of time. With his trademark candor and no-nonsense approach, each chapter focuses on a core theme as it gathers O’Reilly’s thoughts on the most compelling issues of our time and provides readers an illuminating guide to the American cultural landscape.

A spirited and personal book, Keep It Pithy is the perfect addition to an O’Reilly fan’s library, or the best introduction for the few left uninitiated.



The Louisville Crashers: Music Spotlight

By JccKeith

I'm very excited to get to do a music spotlight on The Louisville Crashers.  They're such a great band and put on a great show every time.  Over the last few years they've played all over the Louisville area and nationwide even performing at the NBC pre-game show for Super Bowl XLVI.  How awesome is that!  

For those who want to learn a little bit more about the band, who they are, how they got their start, what's coming up next and more importantly where and when you can get your hands on their music - here's your chance:


1. How did the band originate?

          We all worked (at one time or another) at Mom’s Music. Whenever the store would have a special occasion, like a charitable event or a Christmas party, we would throw together an “all-star band” of players that worked in the store to play a few songs. After a while (and after lots and lots of pestering from Howard), we decided to make an actual band. The plan was to learn a ton of really great cover songs and play for weddings, corporate events, local festivals, etc., but before long the project took on a life of it’s own. We worked hard at our craft and were very fortunate. Soon we had to start turning down gigs because the venues weren’t big enough to hold all of the people who came out to see us. Life was great, but after 4 ½ years we realized that it was time for a challenge, and since we’ve had so many people ask us about when/where they could buy a CD, we decided that the challenge would be for us to write and record an album of original material. So here we are!

Book Cover & Blurb: Fiend

fiend
Terror Is Young Boy's Unwelcome Guest in Newly Released Thriller, Fiend
Nights are terror-filled for young boy in the suspenseful new thriller, Fiend, by Toletha J. Dixon.
Sumter, SC – A child's worst fears are brought hauntingly to life in the newly released thriller, Fiend.
Nine-year-old Jacob Setherman's childhood innocence is shattered when he begins receiving frightening nightly visits from a strange and menacing entity. Neither his mother nor step-father seem able to help him as the visits grow more and more insidious, devolving into torture from which Jacob must somehow defend himself.
What is the purpose of the fiend's hateful visits? Will Jacob get out of his terrifying and perilous situation before it's too late to save himself?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tara Thompson Tour: MELTDOWN

You're in for a treat! Thanks for stopping here along Tara's Tour! Here you'll get a chance to meet Tara as she shares some personal words as well as an exerpt from her novel MELTDOWN.

Support her by checking out her book at www.amazon.com/meltdown and we'd love, as always, to hear from you. Authors love more than anything else, reviews from their beloved readers. It's better than TWO cherries ontop a sundae! I can promise ya that!
 
Meltdown by Tara Thompson
 
NYSSA, internationally renown supermodel, is accustomed to turning heads. As a young girl, her flawless face attracted the wrong kind of attention. She escaped an abusive father and successfully navigated life’s seedy underbelly to become a runway renegade, although not without leaving her share of enemies behind. Lately she’s caught the eye of....

STEVE, handsome hometown hero and soon-to-be Governor of Texas. Unfortunately he’s already married. As Steve publicly dumps his perfect, former Miss Texas wife for Hollywood’s latest ‘It’ girl, his state faces the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Will he be able to turn things around, or is he too embroiled in his political sex scandal? His good friend and business partner....

DEMETRI, sexy hedge fund manager, is at the top of his professional game and tries to save his friend from near financial ruin. Yet he’s distracted by Steve’s new girlfriend, who just happens to be Demetri’s old flame. Years ago, Nyssa ran from him and he’s never forgotten her. But why is he still interested? Demetri’s dating....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who are the Abductors? Part Three “The Inscrutable”

 

On the Eve of Publishing

By JccKeith

On the eve of publishing my very first ever book I find myself in a very familiar situation.  The feelings of doubt, the feelings of wanting to give up because I’m just not good enough to pull this off, the feelings that I won’t succeed, my work won’t be good enough – they all linger in my mind and hold tightly to my heart.  Like a strangling grip around me, they act in a coordinated effort to prevent me from actually publishing the book.

It is frustrating because this is my mind working against the desires of my mind.  I am sabotaging myself.  All of the hard part is done.  All of the story has been typed and edited.  I have printed it out in its entirety just to hold it in my hands to make sure I can do a final edit and see it in front of me on paper rather than a computer screen.  For all intents and purposes my book is finished and ready to be published, the front matter is done, the cover is done, the back is done.  I am waiting on my final once over to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Who On Top: Fiction

Top 5 Fiction:
Hardcover:
1. Inferno, by Dan Brown
2. And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
3. Bad Monkey, by Carl Hiaasen
4. The Silver Star, by Jeannette Walls
5. The Eye Of Moloch, by Glenn Beck
Spotlight: 
THE SILVER STAR
by Jeannette Walls

The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls has written a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world—a triumph of imagination and storytelling.It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who “found something wrong with every place she ever lived,” takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations.

An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Because money is tight, Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town—a big man who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister—inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz.

Jeannette Walls, supremely alert to abuse of adult power, has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love each other and the world, despite its flaws and injustices.


Who's On Top: Movies

Spotlight:

Monsters University

What are little boy monsters made of? In Pixar’s “Monsters University,” they aren’t made of slugs, snails and puppy dog tails — they’re monstrous versions of those ingredients, only cuter, fuzzier, brighter, wilder and woollier. A stomping, creeping menagerie, they embody a Popsicle-hued rainbow of seeming diversity, from their googly eyes to their hydra heads and sticky tentacles. In this passable prequel to Pixar’s magical 2001 film “Monsters, Inc.,” anything and every being seems possible. Or so believes the young Mike Wazowski (voiced by Noah Johnson and Billy Crystal), who thinks that if he studies hard enough, he too can become one of his world’s Scarers. Scarers are the heroic frighteners who, by traveling through literal doors into the human world, are able to terrify children, inspiring the kiddie screams that literally light up the monsters’ world. Among the greatest Scarers is Mike’s B.F.F., the mighty Sulley, a k a James P. Sullivan (John Goodman), a mammoth teal fur ball adorned with violet spots, horns and claws and the serrated tail of a stegosaurus, who is basically the Bing Crosby to Mike’s fast-talking, schtick-slinging Bob Hope. In “Monsters, Inc.” their Dorothy Lamour (kind of) is a human toddler, a wee girl nicknamed Boo, who inadvertently crosses over into Monstropolis, a transgression that instigates madcap shenanigans and some heart-swelling observations about parents, children, the origin of fear and the mercy of love. Directed by Dan Scanlon, who shares writing credit with Daniel Gerson and Robert L. Baird, “Monsters University” relates a more predictable origin story for Mike and Sulley. Although a line in the first movie suggests that they met in sixth grade, the new one traces the roots of their friendship to their university days and that special moment, ahem, when Mikey met Sulley. The first encounter happens in a scaring class, when the hard-working Mike — who looks like a cross between a walking eyeball and a spit-polished Granny Smith apple — is overshadowed by Sulley, who’s arrived believing that he can coast on his family’s frightening good name. Like many bromances, theirs will be a relationship built on initial mistrust, dawning mutual appreciation and only a token female presence.


Top 10 Box Office:
1. Monsters
2. World War
3. Man of Steel
4. This Is the End
5. Now You See Me
6. Fast & Furious 6 
7. The Internship
8. The Purge
9. Star Trek Into Darkness
10. Iron Man 3

All information comes from NYTimes.com

Blog Tour: Rise of The Magi


Rise of the Magi
Lila Gray, book #3
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  J. Taylor Publishing
Release Date:  June 4th, 2013
 

Book Blurb: 

In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?

In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?

For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Painting

Painting by English painter Josephine Wall 
picture from www.deshow.net

Doctor Who Tidbit: Matt Smith Leaving

By: William G. Muir
This is going to my first post addressing Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who. I have waited this long to say something because honestly all I would have had to say is how much I have enjoyed watching Matt as the Doctor and that I am going to miss him. Matt has done a great job of making the role his own. Which I believe was a difficult task for him since so many David Tennant fanboys/fangirls were willing to write him off before his first episode had aired.

There is one thing I have been wondering about, when did Matt Smith decide he was leaving the show? Had he planned on this being his last season before the it began? Did Steven Moffat know this would be Matt Smith's final season before he started working on it?

I would have to think that Matt Smith did know he was leaving before this season began and that he told Steven Moffat about it. I just wonder if the departure of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill had anything to do with his decision? They had all come into the show at the same time and from behind the scene stuff and public appearance they looked like they were really close friends. With them gone did he feel like the job was just not the same?


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who On Top: Music

Top 5 Charts
Pop:
1. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton 
2. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
3. Come And Get It - Selena Gomez
4. I Love It - Icona Pop Featuring Charli XCX
5. Just Give Me A Reason - Pink Featuring Nate Ruess

Spotlight: 
Get Lucky 
Daft Punk Featuring Pharrel Williams




Goldilocks And The Three Bears

By William G. Muir

So my friend Julie is always sending me links to writing contest that she has come across. I have to say this is the most unusual one she has sent me to date. The rules were pretty simple. Find a classic fairy tale, change it around and make sure it is no longer than 500 words. I wasn’t sure if I would do this one. I liked the idea, I just didn’t know if I could pull it off. It is not that I didn’t think I could mess with a fairy tale. I have done that on more than one occasion.

It was the 500 word limit that bothered me. My writing partner Michala will tell you, I don’t know how to write anything short. Of course she says that in jest. But I do have a problem limiting myself when I am writing. But I gave it a shot anyways and managed to come in under 500 words.

I hope you enjoy my take on….


Who's On Top: Graphic Novels

This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
The New Teen Titans Omnibus, Vol. 3
by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

A New York Times Bestseller

In this third massive collection of the hit 1980s series from the acclaimed team of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, the Teen Titans - sidekicks of DC's greatest heroes, including Nightwing, Wonder Girl, Aqualad and more - battle the villainy of H.I.V.E., face the evil Dr. Light, witness the trial of Deathstroke, and try to rescue the dark hero known as Raven from her own father, Trigon.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Loving Your Job

The pay is good and I can walk to work. 
- John F. Kennedy

By: William G. Muir
I presume that President Kennedy made the above statement in response to the question how does it feel to be President of the United States. How could President Kennedy, or any of the men the men that have held that office not feel honored to have done so? Being the President has to be a feeling that none of them can find the right words to describe it. How can they related such an experience to people who will never get that chance in their lives. Words do not do the emotional high justice.

The President's words do bring to mind what it is like to had a job you love doing. I am a writer. At times I struggle admitting this fact. Part of me believes you cannot properly claim to be a writer until you have had a work published. But as Michala has pointed out to me I am as much a write whether I am published or not. I have a finished manuscript under my belt, last November I planned and wrote the bulk of another manuscript (50,000+ words) in 30 days. And I write for two blogs.

I have earned the write to call myself a writer!


Who's On Top: Children's Books

This Week's Spotlight:
Picture Books:
This Is Not My Hat
Jon Klassen


When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened...

Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Improve a Classic

By JccKeith

To be honest, I don’t really know how you improve on any of the classic fairy tales or nursery rhymes.  I entered a contest where in 500 words or less, you are supposed to revamp/alter/twist/mess up a classic fairy tale or rhyme.  500 words is not a lot to work with.  It is hard enough being all witty and entertaining without a word limit but to do it in only a few paragraphs?  Ha!

So the immediate question was, which classic do I choose?  I figured in less than 500 words, it would have to be a short one.  My first thought, I don’t know why, was something like Humpty Dumpty.  It’s cute, it’s short and surely there are plenty of ways to mess it up or throw in a twist or two.  I mean, the very premise is silly.  What would an egg be doing up on a wall anyway?  Everyone knows you can’t balance an egg on a wall.

And who said humpty dumpty was an egg guy anyway?  According to Wikipedia, he is usually portrayed as an anthropomorphic egg – although it is unknown exactly why.  I believe the poem just says humpty dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall and then some junk about the king’s horses and the king’s men not being able to put him back together.    Now exactly why horses would be able to put an egg guy back together again is beyond me but hey, I didn’t write it.

Whatever, enough about humpty dumpty and his balance issues and fondness for walls.  I didn’t choose humpty dumpty.  I considered Jack and Jill but who cares why they went up a hill or came tumbling down later?  They’re klutzes plain and simple.  Come to think of it, humpty dumpty sounds like a bit of a klutz himself.  What’s with all these nursery rhymes being about people falling and tumbling?  Humpty dumpty falls, Jack and Jill tumble, London Bridge falls down, ring around the rosey and everyone falls down, etc.  What’s going on with these people?


For anyone interested in what I finally went with, it was the Princess and the Pea.  I altered it a little to make it more modern, threw in a disgruntled postal worker and a little deviousness.  You can read it here: The Princess and the Marble.

Who's On Top: NonFiction

This Week's Spotlight: 
Hardcover:
The Boys In The Boat
by Daniel James Brown

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's The Amateurs.

The Antihero In Wrestling


By William G. Muir

The other day I was clicking around Youtube, as I do several times during the day, when I come across several shoot interviews of form WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase (The Million Dollar Man). DiBiase wrestled in the WWF, as it was known at the time, from 1987-1996. (He also had a brief run in the company in 1979.) His gimmick was what his name implied it was, he was a wrestle who was worth a million dollars. Naturally that kind of character in any age would be a heel. Would you cheer for a guy who looked down on you because he had more money than you, thought he could buy and sell anybody, and would shove a one hundred dollar bill into your mouth when you where passed out?

He wasn't a very nice individual, or at least his character wasn't.

When DiBiase returned for his second run in the WWF I was in middle school at the time. Back then I always rooted for the babyface characters and despised the heels. Or as my friends and I thought of them, the good guys and the bad guys. We all cheered on the Hulk Hogans, Ultimate Warriors, and Macho Mans. Guys like DiBiase and Mr. Perfect we hated. Of course this was back in the days before the internet, weall assumed that wrestlers were just like their characters outside the ring. 

The Million Dollar man was one of the wrestlers I hated the most back then.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who's On Top: Fiction


This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
REVENGE WEARS PRADA
by Lauren Weisberger 

The sequel youve been waiting for: the follow-up to the sensational #1 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada.Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job a million girls would die for working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazinea dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her hearts content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karmas a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy cant shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothingnot her husband, nor her beloved careeris as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years agoand directly into the path of the devil herself..


Who are the Abductors? Part Two: The Bequest

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What They Said: Me and Everybody Else

By JccKeith

“Just be yourself.”

It sounds like a fairly plain and simple thing to do.  Just be you.  Don’t worry about what others are doing or thinking.  Worry about what you are doing and thinking.  The problem is, how do you be, just you? 

You are made up of pieces of everyone else.  Your thoughts and your reactions are based on your experiences with everyone else in this world.  What you have seen, what you have heard, what you have participated in have all made you who you are.  These things have shaped your personality and your perception.

I bring this up to point out that we are all made up of the same things just in different arrangements.  We are all part of the same basic group.  There are profound differences in our realities based on our perception and preconceived notions but at our core we are all the same.  As members of humanity we share a bond.  So you can be just you but always remember that you are part of a greater whole.

As John Donne put it so wonderfully:


No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee. 

Cover Reveal: Darkest Day

Cover Reveal Date : Monday, June 17, 2013


Darkest Day

Release Date: January 6, 2014
Target Reader: Young Adult

Back of the Book
Mac Thorne’s time as a Changeling is coming to an end.
It may have taken eighteen years, but Mac did finally manage to do what the Council wanted: she chose a teacher and renounced the in-between.
There’s just one last step. She must say goodbye to her human. Forever.
After being challenged in every way possible, Mac leaves what she thought would be the easiest task for the last possible moment. As midnight on July fourth draws near, though, she hasn’t found a way to give up Winn Thomas.
Nor does she want to.
With time running out, Mac stands at a literal crossroads.

Who's On Top: Movies


This Week's Spotlight:
Man of Steel

At once frantically overblown and beautifully filigreed, “Man of Steel” will turn on everyone it doesn’t turn off. Summer blockbusters have a way of encouraging multiplex Manichaeism, though I propose a middle way. It won’t be easy. Even those who patiently ride out the bludgeoning excesses of the film’s final 45 minutes may wonder what happened to the movie — the one about human and humanoid struggles — they watched for the first 100. They may also wonder why no one, anyone, smacked the director, Zack Snyder, in the head and reminded him that he was midwifing a superhero franchise, as the film’s first image, of a yelling, straining woman signals, not restaging the end of days. — Manohla Dargis

Top 10 Box Office:
  1. Man of Steel
  2. This Is the End
  3. Now You See Me
  4. Fast & Furious 6 
  5. The Purge 
  6. The Internship
  7. Epic
  8. Star Trek Into Darkness 
  9. After Earth
  10. Iron Man 3
Disclaimer: Blurb & list comes from NYTimes.com.

Book Cover & Blurb: The Land of Coral Seas

o'brien 05 20 13
New YA/MG adventure book: The Land of Coral Seas
Marathon, FL – Author Ryan Obrien has released the second book in the Land of Whoo YA/MG series, The Land of Coral Seas.
Michael Henry and Savannah James continue their adventure in The Land of Coral Seas, the second book in The Land of Whoo Series.
Michael Henry thought he and Savannah would enjoy the rest of their summer vacation, but now an urgent message from King Vincent will require him to assemble his team from two different worlds – including his favorite dragon, Cornelius – and venture to the Land of Coral Seas. Will he be able to rescue Princess Ariana before the incoming tide floods the Moon Room, her underground prison? What death traps have been planted by the Wizard of Pisode to prevent Michael Henry and his team from successfully navigating through the labyrinth of ten caverns leading to the princess? Will Savannah and Princess Lizzie survive their own rites of passage as time runs out and the roaring water rises in the Moon Room?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Painting

No big explanation today just a cool painting I found at wallpaperpassion.com. Copyright is theirs:


Who's On Top: Music



This Week's Spotlight:
Pop: 
Cruise
by Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly



Is it Corrupt or Is it Destroyed?

By JccKeith

In ending my work in progress, I have reached a point where I have to make a decision.  Is it better for an organization to be corrupt and the main characters to take moral offense and leave the organization?  Or is it better to just wipe the organization off the face of the planet?  Should I corrupt them or destroy them?

The Benefits of Corruption:

  • I have weighed this carefully and I have decided on the following reasons why corruption would work in my episodes:


  • The main characters would have a valid reason to leave the organization


  • The main characters taking moral offense to the practices of the organization adds to their character and gives them a certain depth and helps define what they consider right and wrong and how they respond to good and evil


  • A corrupt organization offers the possibility that, like the mob, once you’re in you can never really get out so the characters will have a constant foe or a foe that can be brought in and out of the story conveniently when needed


  • A corrupt organization offers an unlimited supply of new characters that can be introduced at any time in the future



Now, on the other hand, the following are the benefits to simply destroying the organization with some outside attack:

Benefits of Total Annihilation

  • The organization would no longer exist



  • The destruction of the organization would offer a common bond between the main characters due to their shared loss


  • There would be no wrapping up any connections to the organization, no problems with character interactions, no explanations


  • It frees the plot for other good or bad guys to enter


  • It can be a really cool way to introduce a new bad guy by their destroying the good, noble organization


So there it is, laid out plain and simple.  So which do I use?  I think the answer lies in whether or not I need to lean on the organization as an evil entity in future story lines (I am working on a series of episodes for a show so each episode has its own story).  Do I need a source for future bad guys or would I rather be free of the burden of continuing the story of the organization?

Which do you prefer as a reader?  Do you like large corrupt organizations in the background?  Do you like the consistency of the characters always fighting against the same overall enemy?  Or do you prefer variance and unpredictable bad guys?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

WillseyeREview: Wild Girls

By: William G. Muir

So the other day I did something that I have been failing to do more of lately, that is read a book. I know I just read and posted a review of Solstice Magic not to long ago, but seriously I have been way behind in my reading. I have Lord knows how many books just sitting in my Kindle waiting to be read. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point they all chose to protest and hold my Kindle hostage.

That would teach me.

So instead of using my Kindle as a portable way to play Sudoku when I am away from my computer. I actually clicked on the book option and looked through my library. Sitting there, untouched for well over a year was the book Wild Girls by Lisa Morton. I had never heard of Ms. Morton before, but evidently she has been around for a while. I happened to come across this book when my friend Ray Garton had posted on his Facebook page that free copies of the book were available on Amazon. 


Book Cover & Blurb: Nothing Down

reuther 05 21 13
New baseball fiction book : Nothing Down
Montgomery, PA – Author Mike Reuther has released his fictional sports book for baseball fans, Nothing Down.
A nobody from nowhere given little chance to ever play Major League Baseball, he was taught not only how to pitch, but to respect the game, by an uncle who dies before ever seeing Homer play professionally, When he gets his chance to pitch for the New York Yankees after long years in the minors, Homer seems to have everything he wants.
He has little idea of what forces he will come up against when he makes it known that he is willing to play for nothing. In a baseball era dripping with big money, steroids, scandals and overall cynicism, many wonder if Homer is for real.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels


This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
BATMAN INCORPORATED, VOL. 1 
by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham


Grant Morrison continues his earth-shattering run on the Batman titles with this exciting new series illustrated by hot artist Yanick Paquette that features the next stage of evolution of the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne publicly announces that he is the financial backer of Batman and establishes a worldwide franchise of Batmen that will protect the entire globe. This is the beginning of a stunning direction for the world's greatest detective that will team him with Catwoman, Batwoman and Batman Inc representatives on international crime fighting missions against Lord Death Man in Japan, South America and Argentina.

Death of a Rat

Not my Rat
Mine Don't Play the Banjo
By JccKeith

I had the most brilliantly written piece of literature ever to grace the screen of a laptop prepared to post today.  Stay with me… really.. I did.  Then tragedy struck.  I was informed, but not much to my surprise, that one of my daughters’ rats had died.  To be honest, I knew it was coming.

There is something about a sick animal, about the way they behave and about the way the other animals near them behave that lets you know it’s their time to go.  For the last two weeks, I had taken an unusual notice of this rat.  She was not the oldest nor the oddest of the rat trio.  Up until recently, she had been the fattest but over the last month she had lost a little weight to be the same weight as the oldest rat.  This is not in and of itself noticeable.

Her subtle weight loss accompanied her sudden distance from the other two rats.  Rats are social creatures.  The trio could usually be found lying in a heap atop each other either all together in the bottom of the cage or on one of the levels.  They all rush up to the cage bars to take any food offered at the same time. 

Recently, Jewy, the now deceased, had begun sleeping alone.  She had taken to sleeping atop the food dish all three shared.  She also appeared to be breathing heavily.  To me, it seemed odd that she no longer slept with the other two and no longer rushed to the cage bars to grab whatever food I offered.  She was just distant.  Also, the dog, who normally plays with the rats by sitting right next to the cage and sniffing them and making them squeak as they often do – she had kept her distance.  The cat on the other hand, had begun to take more interest in the cage. She usually ignores them.

As I said earlier, this rat’s death was not a big shock.  Fortunately, it was also not a shock to my 7 and 9 year olds.  They had lost a hamster last year suddenly.  That seemed to disturb them and had brought on numerous conversations about small rodents as pets.  I have had several conversations with them about the short lifespan of small pets.  My daughters were completely aware that rats have an average lifespan of only 5 to 7 years. 

Most pet rats die from cancers, oddly enough.  That is why rats are used so frequently as lab subjects because they have similar DNA to humans and because they have a very high rate of developing cancers.  My husband and I have had two previous rats, years ago, that died from large tumors.  Actually, rats are social creatures and when the first rat died from large tumors, most likely cancerous, the second rat who until that time was healthy, stopped eating and interacting with us and just gave up and died shortly after.  Animals are like that – loyal till the end.


Anyway, I found today’s death very sad.  It is always depressing to lose a pet, even a rat. That is all I have to say about that.