Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who's On Top: Fiction

Top 5 Fiction:
Hardcover:
1. The English Girl, by Daniel Silva 
2. Inferno, by Dan Brown
3. The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
4. First Sight, by Danielle Steel
5. And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
Spotlight:
The English Girl 
by Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon: The English Girl.When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister's career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth._

Silva's work has captured the imagination of millions worldwide. His #1 New York Times bestselling series, which chronicles the adventures of art-restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon, has earned the praise of readers and reviewers everywhere. This captivating new page-turner from the undisputed master of spy fiction is sure to thrill new and old fans alike. 

Interview W/the Author: Gary Bickford

Interview with the Author

We are gifted to have the author Gary Bickford visiting us today to tell us about his book and a bit about himself as well. Gary, thanks so much for allowing us this interview. Please, tell us a bit about yourself.

How old were you when you first knew you wanted to be a writer?
I have always been a reader and even received discipline in the lower grades for hiding my library book within my text book that I had open and standing on my desk as if I were reading the text book instead of the library book.  When I discovered Dr. Seuss’s wonderful books I saw that reading could also be fun. I continued to be a prolific reader and then years ago I decided that I should also write because I had information that others might enjoy as I had enjoyed reading others work.

Dr. Seuss’ books have been an inspiration for many! In fact, he is a hero in my book for sharing the passion of reading with the world. Do you have a hero?
My hero is anyone that does something for others that cannot reciprocate.  My local hero is a man named Stan Brock that was the “muscle man” on Wild Kingdom many years ago, but not because of his notoriety as a TV star, but because he started Remote Area Medical Corps (RAM) here in Knoxville.   He does not draw a salary nor does he even own a car.  In addition he lives in an old school house that serves as the headquarters for RAM.   Another local hero is Dr. Tom Kim that operates several free medical clinics.  My boyhood hero was Roy Rogers because he was a cowboy and a good horse back rider.  There was never any scandal about him.

Who's On Top: Movies

#Spotlight: 
The Wolverine

Though I sometimes tire of the sufferings of superheroes, I have a permanent soft spot for the Wolverine, the Marvel mutant whose indestructibility causes him endless physical and existential pain. As played by Hugh Jackman through six “X-Men” features (including one about the Wolverine’s origins), he is a shaggy, soulful, perpetually roughed-up character, and a bit of a misfit even among his peers. “The Wolverine,” directed by James Mangold (“Walk the Line,” “3:10 to Yuma”) and written by Mark Bomback and Scott Frank, is also something of an anomaly in the current, unstoppable wave of comic-book-based movies. It has all the requisite special effects and big-ticket action sequences — including a fight on a moving train and a climactic punch-out between the hero and a villain in an oversize metal suit — but it also has an unusually intimate, small-scale feel. Inspired by a series published by Marvel in the 1980s, it has more old-style comic-book atmosphere than “Man of Steel” or “Iron Man 3.” Instead of expounding a tedious origin story or staging an epic battle for apocalyptic stakes, “The Wolverine” focuses on a specific and self-contained adventure in a richly imagined place. — A. O. Scott

Top 10 @ Box Office:
1. The Wolvernie
2. The Conjuring
3. Despicable Me 2
4. Turbo
5. Grown Ups 2
6. Red 2
7. Pacific Rim
8. The Heat
9. R.I.P.D.
10. Fruitvale Station

Disclaimer: All information comes from NYTimes.com

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: Our Stress is Killing Us

Our Stress is Killing Us : Money-Back Guaranteed Solutions by Gary Bickford, Ph.D., FNP
 
A medical self-help book in which the author has so much experience and confidence in his solutions that he is offering a money-back guarantee.
“While low-level stress can drive us to achieve, too much is not a good thing,” said Bickford.
 
Knoxville, TN - In his latest book, Our Stress is Killing Us: Money-Back Guaranteed Solutions nurse practitioner Gary Bickford, Ph. D., FNP offers well-proven steps to managing stress and enjoying life.

Cover Reveal: Beasts of Burdin



Beasts of Burdin by Alexander NaderBeasts of Burdin

Release Date: February 10, 2014
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Urban Fantasy

Back of the Book
Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.
In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.
No demons.
He’s retired from that. Remember?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night

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New children’s book: An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night
An Ordinary Toad’s Extraordinary Night is the story of a young toad named Andrew, pondering whether his life would be more interesting had he been hatched a frog. Andrew embarks on his first solo hop to ask his grandpa some questions about what it means to be an amphibian. The story is blended with factual information that compares and contrasts the similarities and differences among toads and frogs. A young reader’s curiosity will be piqued as they consider the unique attributes of the individual creatures that make up a species, perhaps sparking the light of conservation in their hearts and minds.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: God's Big Secret

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Colo. author shares ‘God’s Big Secret’ in new book
 
SEDALIA, CO – Wouldn’t it be nice to have a magical Genie that could grant all our desires in life, make us happy no matter what conditions we live in, and help us through any situation we are faced with?
 
In his new book, God's Big Secret: You are Designed to Succeed, Colorado author W. Thomas Richards says everyone has access to such a power. Unfortunately, the majority refuse to believe it and lead lives of scarcity and desperation.
Richards says it took him many years before he discovered why he was so lucky. He explains through his life experiences how and why God has been so good to him. He also explains why he knows it is how God has designed each and every individual.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels

Top 5 Graphic Novels:
Hardcover:
1. Daredevil: End Of Days, by Brian Michael Bendis and Others 
2. A Game Of Thrones, Vol. 2, by Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson
3. Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre, by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner
4. Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, by Travis Beacham and Sean Chen
5. Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair, by Len Wein and Jae Lee
#Spotlight:
Daredevil: End Of Days 
by Brian Michael Bendis and Others  

Revealed at last...how it all ends for the Man Without Fear! In the near future, the Kingpin and Daredevil have been murdered - but that's just the beginning of the story. Investigative reporter Ben Urich has one last story to write...what was Matt Murdock's final secret? Ben digs deep into the seedy underbelly of the Marvel Universe, tracking down Matt's buried sins and past loves to discover the secrets behind his death - but who is the new Daredevil that's tracking Ben? You won't believe your eyes when the mystery behind Daredevil's final days stands revealed! It's a story years in the making, brought to you by some of the greatest creators in Daredevil history! COLLECTING: Daredevil: End of Days 1-8

What's With All the Drama?

By JccKeith

Reality is harsh.  Sometimes there are no happy endings.  Sometimes suffering is unavoidable.  The best we as humans can do is make the best out of the hand we are dealt in life.  That is sound advice and has a nice ring to it.  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade… or throw them at people who say things like, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade – but that is a whole other post.  All I can say about that is you never know how deep someone’s suffering is, how much they hurt, how affected they are or even what is really going on so telling others who are having a rough time to ‘make the best of it’ is not as helpful as it seems to the outsider.

Why am I bringing up the cold, hard truth about life today? Well, I wasn’t wallowing in misery or anything like that.  I was actually thinking about the plot of a story I was working on.  In the plot, things are fine and then something terrible happens, things look bleak and then just like that – with some more fortuitous turns of events and actions by the main characters, things turn around and it all works out.  Sounds like the plot of most stories.  This made me wonder about humanity.

Why does every story have to have something terrible happen?  Why does there always have to be some not so pleasant turn of events?  Why do we need the drama, the conflict, before we can have a satisfactory ending?  Why does the human mind crave problems?  Is it because deep down we need something to occupy our time?  Is it because the human mind enjoys solving problems?  Is it just a desire for adventure?


When writing a story, no one would ever consider just telling a tale with no ups and downs and ultimate resolution.  It wouldn’t be very compelling or satisfying.  It wouldn’t be exciting.  Nobody would read it.  But why is this?  Why are people only interested in hearing or reading stories that have problems and the excitement of how it all works out in the end?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What They Said: H.P. Lovecraft



"Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.  To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form - and the local human passions and conditions and standards - are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes.  To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all.  Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities.  These must be handled with unsparing realism, (not catch-penny romanticism) but when we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown - the shadow - haunted Outside - we must remember to leave our humanity and terrestrialism at the threshold."

-H.P. Lovecraft in note to the editor of Weird Tales on resubmission of "The Call of Cthulhu"

... or in other words, you can only place human values and human passions with humans.  You can't give humanity's concerns to beings/entities/gods from other worlds or universes because it just doesn't make sense to do so.  Humans act the way they do, think the way they do and have the concerns they do because of our particular plight on our world, in our solar system, in our universe. 

Also, Lovecraft points out that humans have a limited capacity to understand things beyond our universe - as he frequently illustrates in his stories where humans come across forbidden knowledge of some other god or presence or entity of some kind and subsequently go insane.

A brilliant insight from one of the most influential writers of horror and science fiction in the 20th century.


Who's On Top: Nonfiction

Top 5 Nonfiction:
Hardcover :
1. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
2. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
3. Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
4. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
5. I Wear The Black Hat, by Chuck Klosterman
#Spotlight: 
I Wear The Black Hat
by Chuck Klosterman 

Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness—but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? How does the culture of deliberate malevolence operate? 

In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the modern understanding of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O. J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985?

Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and imaginative hypotheticals, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the antihero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is a rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny. Klosterman continues to be the only writer doing whatever it is he’s doing.

Why What They Said

By: William G. Muir

Usually once a week one of the bloggers here on Bite My Book will look up a quote from someone famous and write what it brings to mind. I don't know about my colleague here, but this is something I enjoy doing. For years now I have spent countless hours looking up things that people I have admired have said. I feel like it gives me a peak into who they were as a person. Though I don't think it tells me everything about who they are/were.

Whenever I run across a quote that I particularly like I will often times post it to my Facebook news feed. On some occasions I have even found a photo that I think illustrates what the speaker was trying to say, and I will place quote onto the photo.

What types of quotes do I like? What kind do I post on my Facebook account? I like quotes from tv shows and books that I enjoy. Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series have all been fertile ground for quotes that I have passed along to those on my friends list. There is always something clever, or witty said that I just have to share with others. I also like to quote scientist such as Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Albert Einstein, and far to many more to list. These people have made it their life's work to understand the world, the universe that we live in. I feel like it is my duty to help pass along to others what it is they have learned.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who's On Top: Fiction

Top 5 Fiction:
Hardcover:
1. Inferno, by Dan Brown 
2. Hidden Order, by Brad Thor
3. And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini 
4. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman 
5. Bombshell, by Catherine Coulter
#Spotlight:
Hidden Order
by Brad Thor

High-profile kidnap victims in Washington, D.C. start turning up dead. When the ransom demand is made public, panic turns to terror. Scot Harvath standalone from series. Settings travel to Somalia, Boston, South America with history from the Federal Reserve and Colonial America. The problems reflect present USA - Evil prevails when good men do nothing.





Who's On Top: Movies

#Spotlight:

The Conjuring

The dread gathers and surges while the blood scarcely trickles in “The Conjuring,” a fantastically effective haunted-house movie. Set largely in 1971, it purports to tell a story based on “true case files” about a family of seven whose pastoral dream became a nightmare soon after they moved into a Rhode Island farmhouse. One day, Mom, Dad and the girls are settling into their conveniently sprawling, creaking, squeaking two-story house — the rooms quickly become a disorienting maze — and the next, they’re playing hide and creep with a mysterious, increasingly malevolent force. — Manohla Dargis

Top 10 @ Movies:
  1. The Conjuring
  2. Despicable Me 2
  3. Turbo
  4. Grown Ups 2
  5. RED 2
  6. Pacific Rim
  7. R.I.P.D.
  8. The Heat
  9. World War Z
10. Monsters University

Disclaimer: All material come from NYTimes.com.

Horrible, Soul Decaying Boredom

By JccKeith

“…which leads to horrible, soul-decaying boredom.”
-Allie Brosh on Hyperbole and a Half

Today is, for me anyway, What They Said Monday, or at least it was about thirty minutes ago.  So I’m a little behind.  I really had nothing to write today so I wasn’t going to write anything.  Then I came across the words ‘horrible, soul-decaying boredom’ and they were just so noticeable I couldn’t leave them alone.  Some words are like that for me, once I read them or hear them I can’t get them out of my head.  I’ve been known to write entire stories based around one single line.  It’s just how my brain works sometimes.  When it works.

The problem recently is, among others, that my mind has been on the fritz.  I have a few decent ideas here and there but nothing like the free flowing inspired thoughts I have had at other times.  It is more than frustrating.  Wanting to write, having a deep passion for writing, for creating things with words – and not being able to is horrible. 

Going about my day, reading books, watching television shows and movies, having conversations and just doing the daily things I do used to be enough to send my mind to all sorts of unusual places.  The slightest thing could spark amazing ideas.  Now it is all a humdrum existence.  My mind doesn’t take flight off to new horizons.  It doesn’t create interesting characters anymore.  It doesn’t see the silver lining or the hidden sides of everyday things.

Knowing the ability lies within you, knowing you are capable of greater things and not having any way to access those capacities leads to what I consider soul-decaying boredom.  Without the creation of new worlds, new characters and new dramas I feel depleted.  I feel like I am wasting precious time that I could be using to write.


So what do I do when I am stuck in the gray fog of no ideas and nothingness?  Well, for starters, I try not to give up.  I know that, like all things good and bad, this too shall pass.  Nothing stays the same, everything changes so I know that things will happen and things will change as they always do.  Sure there are times when I want things to stay the same, like when I’m doing really well and can’t type fast enough to get all my ideas down but they never do.  So I remind myself of this simple fact.  I remind myself of that and I keep trying to write.  You just never know when something will take off and become better than you expected.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels



Top 5 Graphic Novels:
Hardcover:
1. Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre, by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner
2. Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair, by Len Wein and Jae Lee
3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea Of Monsters, by Robert Venditti and Attila Futaki
4. Superman, Vol. 2, by Dan Jurgens and Others
5. Wolverine By Mark Millar Omnibus, by Mark Millar and Others
#Spotlight:
Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre
by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner   

The controversial, long-awaited prequels to the best-selling graphic novel of all-time are finally here: BEFORE WATCHMEN! For over twenty years, the back stories of the now-iconic characters from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's landmark graphic novel had been the subject of much debate and theorizing. Now, DC Comics has assembled the greatest creators in the industry to further paint the world of WATCHMEN, starting with this first volume starring MINUTEMEN and SILK SPECTRE

The critically acclaimed and Eisner Award-winning creator of DC: THE NEW FRONTIER Darwyn Cooke lends his talents MINUTEMEN. As the predecessor to the Watchmen, the Minutemen were assembled to fight against a world that have more and more rapidly begun to spin out of control. Can these heroes from completely different backgrounds and with completely different attitudes on crime come together? Or will they fall apart before they begin?

SILK SPECTRE takes an introspective look at the WATCHMEN feature player's struggles with her overbearing superhero mother and her scattered path toward taking the mantle of the Silk Spectre. With gorgeous art by co-writer and illustrator Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL, The Pro), SILK SPECTRE takes a very different perspective at the world of BEFORE WATCHMEN.

Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN 1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE 1-4.


Ideas Left Abandoned

By JccKeith

I was driving today and as so often happens when I drive any decent distance, my mind wandered.  It crept past the usual thoughts of “What is up with this road construction?  When will it freakin end? and What the hell are they playing on the radio?  Who sings this garbage?”  Here recently, my mind has avoided or at least it hasn’t ventured anywhere near any creative thoughts.  It has continually drawn a blank – which is all fine and good if I were meditating.  Unfortunately, when I’m trying to come up with something to write – drawing a blank is not good.

So today, my mind was wandering and it came across a lyric from a Linkin Park song New Divide.  The lyrics say, “... nothing in sight but memories left abandoned.”  It sounded so profound, or at least it struck a chord and made me think of what exactly might constitute “memories left abandoned.”  I couldn’t help but think that abandoned memories weren’t the same as those locked away forever for fear of being remembered.  They also weren’t the same as things accidentally forgotten.  Miriam-Webster defines abandoning as “to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in.”

What memories would one abandon?  Why would one abandon any memories when it is our experiences that make us who we are, that make us behave the way we do towards others?  I think the song is about a relationship gone bad and memories of the relationship/the lies/the hurts being abandoned.  I can see that, I can understand abandoning all things associated with a bad relationship.  Makes sense.  A person might abandon such things in an effort to escape the control or influence of those memories.  But that is not what this post is about.

The thought of abandoned memories made me think of the many, too numerous to list, abandoned ideas I had lying around in my head and physically in my clutter filled areas where I toss old stories I never finished.  In my haste to think of new characters and new story ideas, I had completely forgotten about the idea of revisiting abandoned ideas.  They were decent, some of them, and could lead to something worthwhile. 


When I got home, I sorted through some of my past attempts.  Abandoned ideas are a common site and can be easily found piled up in a mountain of paper in a corner of my house.  Stories are kept together in binders or for smaller versions, stapled together.  The revisitation of old ideas did spark some interest and a few new ideas so today – on my day to rant or rave – I’m raving about abandoned ideas.  They are not as useless as I had so deemed them to be.  

AToMR Tours: THREE DAVES


Author: Nicki Elson 

Title: Three Daves

Release date: February 16, 2010

Publisher: Omnific Publishing 

Age Group:  New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
 
 

Book Description


 Jennifer Whitney was the last American virgin. At least that’s what she felt like in 1986 as she began her sophomore year at Central Illinois University. She was proud of her decision to wait for the right guy, and yet she was getting restless. It seemed like everyone around her was doing it... and having fun doing it, too. She didn’t want to become the campus slut or anything, but surely there was a difference between a trashy skank and a nice girl with a little experience. Perhaps it was time to stop relying on fate to guide her and instead take matters into her own hands. And with that realization, Jen decided to find “the one” and lose her virginity, although not necessarily in that order...

 




Friday, July 19, 2013

Who's On Top: Children's Books

Top 5 Children's Books:
Children's Picture:
1. The Day The Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
2. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site,, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
3. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
4. Pete The Cat: The Wheels On The Bus, by James Dean
5. A Big Guy Took My Ball!, by Mo Willems
#Spotlight:
If You Want To See A Whale
by Julie Fogliano

If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.
Pink roses, pelicans, possible pirates . . .


If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes on the sea, and wait . . .
and wait . . . and wait . . .


In this quiet and beautiful picture book by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead, the team that created the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book And Then It's Spring, a boy learns exactly what it takes to catch a glimpse of an elusive whale.


Candy Crushing my Way to Inspiration

By JccKeith

What makes someone a writer?  Hold on, I got this one, wait… could it be… possibly… writing?  My money’s on writing.  I would think that is what makes someone a writer.  Playing Candy Crush on Facebook all hours of the day and night certainly does not qualify one as a writer.  For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s fairly simple.  You are presented with a board full of different colored candies.  You line up three in a row to eliminate them or more than three and you gain some prize candy that does something special to eliminate more candies.  The goal varies but it is usually about eliminating a certain number of marked candies or candies set in gel or achieving a certain number of points.  It is a simple game but one that has addicted millions in its simplicity and appeal to our most basic nature of wanting to form patterns.

I’m not here to judge those who play games on Facebook.  I didn’t start writing this post with the intention of saying anything bad about Candy Crush.  Crush away fellow gamers!  The problem I wanted to write about tonight is more about allowing oneself to become sidetracked.  I identify myself as a writer... or at least I claim to be a writer… or at the very least I tell people that I write.  I write therefore I am a writer.

Recently, I have not been writing.  I have been playing.  I have had a very long case of writer’s block and have allowed myself to become endlessly sidetracked.  It started out with my playing Facebook games as a way to ‘keep my mind alert’ or so I told myself.  Then I started searching the internet for ideas that might inspire me.  I failed to turn up any leads as to the whereabouts of my inspiration but I kept reading and seeking anyway.

It wasn’t until tonight that I realized I was wasting an enormous amount of time online.  I was stuck in a candy coated side track.  I had allowed my mind to sink into a despair I couldn’t get out of by not writing.  As a writer, I need to write.  I need to write even when I have nothing to say because it is in writing that inspiration is found.  It is pushing through the despair of having no words come to the page that allows one to get to the other side of writer’s block.

The despair for me is the let down, the long sigh, the great pause that occurs when words are not forthcoming.  It has a way of making me feel like maybe I am not destined to be a prolific and amazing writer.  It makes me think that I might never write another word.  It makes me feel like maybe I am not, in fact, a writer at all.  Here lately, it is making me feel like instead of a writer, I am nothing more than a candy crusher.

Then something happened… tonight I was forced – and by that I mean I was sitting here like every
other night playing around on my laptop crushing candies when my husband came into the room and put in a movie he wanted to watch and I was too lazy to get up and move to another room – to watch Skyfall.  Skyfall is like the millionth bond movie made or something like that (actually I think it is the 23rd to be exact but I’m too lazy to look it up).  Anyway, Skyfall began to play.  I am not an avid James Bond fan but tonight I half watched the movie.

Now the thing that happened was, well, I just told you, I half watched the James Bond movie.  It was incredibly uninteresting and had a typical plot – you know the whole bad guy tries to be bad and James Bond saves the day and what not.  It was completely uninspiring and has no real relevance to this post whatsoever.  But at the beginning of the movie, they played that Adele song titled, wouldn’t you know it, Skyfall.  Her singing is very moving… not moving enough to really inspire me but moving enough to make me remember watching her perform this song at the Oscars (I think, it was one of those big timey award shows).  Back then, I was inspired.  I was amused by all the famous people patting themselves on the back for being famous.  Adele reminded me of my posts about Where are my stalkers and another one about how I was snubbed at the Oscars (because I didn’t get one or even get nominated). 

Thinking about the Oscars made me think about screenplays and that made me think about books.  Books made me think about people who write, which I believe I established earlier on qualifies them as writers.  This made me think, you know if I am going to be telling people I’m a writer, I should probably be writing instead of spending hours and hours crushing candy.  So I said goodbye to Candy Crush and played a game of Words of Wonder because it has words in it and I was out of lives on Candy Crush.  Then I closed out the internet and actually wrote something. 

It was an amazing journey I thought I’d share with you. Writing makes you a writer – Candy Crush makes you a candy crusher – wasting time makes you a time waster – being lazy leads to watching crappy movies – movies lead to opening songs in movies – which in turn leads to Adele – which of course leads to the Oscars – Oscars include screenwriters – screenwriters are similar to people who write books – books are written by writers – I call myself a writer so I should write – after I crush some more candy and identify a few words – and viola!  Here I am writing.  Marvelous I tell you, just marvelous.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: Run to Ground

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Award Winning Mystery Thriller for review : Run To Ground, a Dub Walker thriller
2013 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SILVER AWARD WINNER
2012 USA BEST BOOK AWARD FINALIST
Lake Forest, CA - What would you do if someone brutally murdered your only child, got off on a technicality, serving only months for a minor infraction, and continually taunted and threatened you from behind bars? Could you hide your growing rage from family and friends? Could you wait, and plan, and then gun the killer down as he takes his first breaths of free air? Could you change your ID, leave behind your entire life---family, friends, jobs, home---and disappear?
For Tim and Martha Foster the answer to each of these questions is yes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Who's On Top Nonfiction

Top 5 Nonfiction:
Hardcover:
1. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
2. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
3. Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
4. Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
5.Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
#Spotlight: 
Gettysburg 
by Allen C. Guelzo 

From the acclaimed Civil War historian, and coinciding with 150th anniversary of the legendary battle: a brilliant new history--the most intimate and richly readable account we have had--that draws the reader into the muck and grime of Gettysburg alongside the ordinary soldier, and depicts, as never before, the combination of personalities and circumstances that produced one of the great battles of all time.

Though the Battle of Gettysburg has been written about at length and thoroughly dissected in terms of strategic importance, never before has a book dived down so closely to the individual soldier to explore the experience of the three days of intense fighting for the people involved, or looked so closely at the way politics swayed military decisions, or placed the battle in the context of nineteenth-century military practice. Guelzo shows us the face, the sights and sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the stone walls and gunpowder clouds of Pickett's Charge; the reason that the Army of Northern Virginia could be smelled before it could be seen; the march of thousands of men from the banks of the Rappahannock in Virginia to the Pennsylvania hills. What emerges is a previously untold story: from the personal politics roiling the Union and Confederate officer ranks, to the peculiar character of artillery units. Through such scrutiny the cornerstone battle of the Civil War is given extraordinarily vivid new life.

Book Cover & Blurb: Thick Fog in Pacheco Pass

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New Murder Mystery Thriller From Author R.P. McCabe: Thick Fog in Pacheco Pass
Tonasket, WA - Author R.P. McCabe has released his new novel, Thick Fog In Pacheco Pass. Thick Fog is Mr. McCabe’s second novel and his first in crime series genre: The Charlie Caldwell Series.
 
Set in tiny Divina, California in 1972, the novel begins the saga of Charlie Caldwell, a returning Vietnam Vet with a chip on his shoulder and plenty of baggage from the battlefield jungles of Vietnam and host of demons from his youth that have followed him into adulthood.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Who's On Top: Fiction

Top 5 Fiction:
Hardcover:
1. Inferno, by Dan Brown
2. And The Mountain Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
3. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman
4. Second Honeymoon, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
5. Affliction, by Laurell K. Hamilton
#Spotlight:
Affliction
by Laurell K. Hamilton

Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.

Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.

Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”

Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes…

Where will it stop?
Even Anita Blake doesn’t know.


Shelly Hickman Tour: Somewhere Between Black and White

Somwhere Between Black and White

Shelly Hickman


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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Who's On Top: Movies

#Spotlight:
Pacific Rim

Viewed from one angle — from below, say, as you cower before the Imax screen, your 3-D glasses digging into the bridge of your nose, condensation from your Diet Coke dripping onto your leg — “Pacific Rim” looks a lot like other movies of its type. So consider yourself warned. If you walk in expecting subtlety, or even novelty, you may find yourself more tormented than entertained. But “Pacific Rim” is also a reminder — either just in time or much too late — that this kind of movie can and should be fun. The director, Guillermo del Toro (who wrote the script with Travis Beacham), is an unabashed genre enthusiast and a feverish inventor of fantastical worlds, enchanted by the visual and symbolic power of monsters and intoxicated by his own imagination. It is true that he has employed that imagination to more memorable effect in other movies, notably the wonderful “Hellboy” pictures and the shattering Spanish Civil War horror-allegories “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone.” Admirers of those films may find this one crude and overscale by comparison. Still, “Pacific Rim,” with its carefree blend of silliness and solemnity, is clearly the product of an ingenious and playful pop sensibility. —A. O. Scott

Top 5 @ Box Office:
  1. Despicable Me 2
  2. Grown Ups 2
  3. Pacific Rim
  4. The Heat
  5. The Lone Ranger
  6. Monsters University
  7. World War Z
  8. White House Down
  9. Kevin Hart : Let Me Explain
  10. Man of Steel

Disclaimer: All info comes from NYTimes.com.

Book Cover & Blurb:The Plague Within

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The Plague Within (Brier Hospital Series) by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.
Grass Valley, CA – Dr. Lawrence Gold has released his newest psychological medical thriller from the Brier Hospital Series, The Plague Within.
 
Even in the age of the genome and sophisticated biotechnology, medical progress still moves at a snail’s pace. Seasoned investigators are matured by experience, and they accept the virtue of the too-slow scientific process. The young, however, having been brought up in a world of instant gratification, barrel ahead never looking back to see the havoc in their wake.
 
So it is with Dr. Harmony Lane. In her single-minded obsession to cure her patients, she cuts corners and treats a desperately ill woman with an experimental viral vector provided by an unscrupulous research scientist. While he shares her impatience, he cares nothing for her humanistic sensibilities. She uses a similar vector on her patients with lupus, an autoimmune disease.
While the vector has remarkable curative properties, it soon becomes clear that it has devastating and lethal side effects.
The race is on to cure or at least control the vector before it kills again.The novel proves, once again, that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
 
About the book:

The Plague Within by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.
ISBN: 978-1489534521
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publish: June 2013
Pages: 364
S.R.P.: $14.99
 
About the author:

Dr. Gold is a retired physician (nephrologist) and long-distance cruiser. He is the author of First, Do No Harm (2007), No Cure for Murder (2011), For the Love of God (2012), and The Sixth Sense (2013). Dr. Gold is the author of four screenplays. Rage won an honorable mention in the 80th Writer’s Digest contest.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels






Top 5 Graphic Novels:
Hardcover:
1. Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, by Travis Beacham and Sean Chen
2. A Game Of Thrones, Vol. 2, by Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson
3. Batman And Robin, Vol. 2, by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
4. Hellboy, Vol. 6, by Mike Mignola and Others
5. Solo: The Deluxe Edition, by Various
#Spotlight:
Hellboy, Vol. 6
by Mike Mignola and Others

Mike Mignola returns with his first new Hellboy collection since 2002's Conqueror Worm. After leaving the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Hellboy's travels take him briefly to Africa, then for a two-year stint at the bottom of the ocean. An ancient witch doctor, a giant fish woman and keeper of the secret history of the universe force Hellboy to either accept his role in the coming apocalypse, or have that role stolen from him. Weird undersea creatures and talking lions populate this turning-point adventure, which reveals secrets buried since Hellboy's very creation. This volume collects Harvey-and-Eisner-award winner Mike Mignola's Hellboy series The Third Wish and The Island with over a dozen unused pages and a new epilogue. 

Book Covery & Blurb: Slaves Chronicles

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New book of poetry highlights the days of slavery, Slave Chronicles
Denver, CO – Author Kirk Yancey has released his latest book of poetry, Slave Chronicles.
Life has evolved in many ways from shackled and chains to just chains. This book delivers a variety of emotions in poetry that ignites a nation with words of history attached to the coat tails of life’s movements. Poetry is an intensely personal glimpse into the history of a writer’s life, past to present and nowhere is this truer than in Slave Chronicles written by Kirk Yancey.