Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guest AUTHOR POST: Mitchell Maxwell

   There is is an old adage in show business "There are no new stories just different ways of telling the old ones." It sounds rather bleak as if the artists that create what we watch and read and listen to can't come up with something original. Yet it is true. We have remakes and sequels and revivals and "covers" on old music standards. But it is not all bad. I mean when you come to think of it WEST SIDE STORY was really a redo of an old chestnut written by a guy named Shakespeare.

And so why this thought for the week? I am in rehearsal for my new musical which has an original score, an original story and a fresh as paint design. And yet it works (or I hope it does) because it speaks to today. It has resonance for today's world and should and I will do everything I am able to have it speak to today's audience so they take it home with them and can't shake it.

Thematically it is about good versus evil and although there have been tales of the same subject before it all goes back to how its told and we intend to tell it with elan, suspense, passion, wit, surprise and a score that will have you singing into tomorrow, next week and beyond.

I worked with Jerry Lewis and he could read the phone book and make it funny. The material matters but so does the performance.

I was watching an old movie with my daughter this weekend:

He says: "I have loved you my whole life"

She says: "You met me two days ago"

He says "That's when my life began"


I'll keep writing and producing and hitting the ball out of the park but I doubt I'll ever beat that one.

For more information about Mitchell Maxwell and his book Little Did I Know, please check out his website

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Little Did I Know by Mitchell Maxwell

GOODREADS SYNOPSISHere is the story of an unforgettable summer. Set in Plymouth, MA in the late seventies, Little Did I Know is the tale of a young man with an outsized dream – to refurbish a dilapidated but historic theater and produce a season's worth of vibrant musicals. A recent college graduate, he fills his cast and crew with people he has come to love and trust in his university life, and with others whose talents and personalities prove undeniable. Yet, while the productions drive his ambitions, a local woman drives his passions, and their romance is fateful, star-crossed, and ultimately more than either of them expected. Told with with, compassion, and the kind of insider's access to the theater that only someone like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, Little Did I Know is a novel about coming of age in the spotlight and embracing one's entire future in a single season.

My Review:  The year is 1976, and main character Sam August is graduating from college with his band of colorful friends. The group is unsure of what to do next, now that they’re adults. Sam finds an advertisement for the lease of theater in historic Plymouth and convinces his friends that this is what they’re next step is. They will go to Plymouth and produce musicals for the summer, restoring the theater to its former glory. The wealthy owner of the theater (and half the town), Mr. Barrows, refuses to make things easy on Sam. Throw in Mr. Barrows’ young trophy-wife, Lizzy, and Sam faces a moral dilemma – over how far he will go to get the theater. To make matters worse, Sam’s love interest Veronica and Lizzy have bad history. Will Sam be able to overcome small town politics and have a successful show? I’m not going to tell you :) The book is worth reading, and one lucky reader will win the ARC copy I was given to review.

Mitchell Maxwell is an excellent writer. His plot is well done, and benefits from his inside knowledge of the theatre. I really enjoyed the language Maxwell uses. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult books lately, some of them about college aged kids, but Maxwell’s story has more substance and more texture.

The characters are well developed and interesting to get to know. Sam dreams big and follows on his up on his dreams. He is a natural leader and good at getting what he wants. Throughout the book his dream is contagious as he sells others on it. He is persistent, steadfast, and charming. I love Veronica, and Mitchell Maxwell does a great job of making her likable, mysterious, and describing this strong female character who has endured much. Sam’s band of friends all bring something interesting and unique to the table. I like Secunda with his designer suits, trust fund, and laid-back, easy personality.

It’s an engrossing read and was hard for me to put down. I hope that you will read it and enjoy it as much as I have. For a chance to win my ARC copy, enter via rafflecopter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Beautiful Demons (Peachville High Demons #1) by Sarra Cannon

Beautiful Demons (Peachville High Demons, #1)Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was hesitant about getting a Kindle, because I felt I would somehow be cheating on real books, or that the Kindle is going to lead to the demise of real books. I ended up getting one for Christmas, and while I miss the smell of new books, and turning pages, I actually love my Kindle. One of the main reasons I love my Kindle is books like Beautiful Demons. I still refuse to buy books for my Kindle that are over $5, so I have been buying books like Beauitful Demons that are somewhere between free and $3.99 in price. Because of this, I have read some really GREAT books (many of them by indie authors), that I might not of even found otherwise.

Beautiful Demons is a well written, entertaining read that I could not put down, until I the very last page. The main character, Harper, gets bounced around a lot in the foster system. Most of it has to do with her telekinesis. People are afraid of her, because when she is angry things rattle, move or catch on fire. She is taken to Shadowford Home in Peachville, her last step before going to Juvie. Harper feels like an outcast, but quickly makes friends with another girl in the home, Agnes. Agnes has a strange obcession with cheerleaders. In fact everyone in the town does. When one of the cheerleaders, and most popular girls in school ends up brutally murdered Harper gets blamed. Can Harper figure out who the real killer is before she becomes the next victim? You'll have to read it and find out.

I really liked the book (have I mentioned that yet?) and I'm currently reading the next book in the serious. There are five in all. The characters have excellent potential, and I hope the author gives us more insight into their backgrounds and personalities in the following books. Book one leaves you with a lot of questions, but not in a bad way - in a way that makes you want to hurry up and get book two. Beautiful Demons is full of unexpected twists and turns, and keeps you guessing. I hate it when I figure out the whole plot of a book in the first few chapters, but this was not the case with Beautiful Demons. I was very surprised by the ending - I didn't see it coming. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the serious unfolds.

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop

I Am a Reader Not a Writer is hosting another one of her fabulous blog hops along with cohost vvb32reads.

I am giving away the winners choice of one of the following books:

Please click on the book for information on the book.  When you're done entering my giveaway please be sure to enter the rest of the giveaways on the hop.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GUEST AUTHOR POST: From Screenwriter to Novelist: One Writer's Journey by Jim Beck

From Screenwriter to Novelist: One Writer's Journey by Jim Beck, author of Patient Zero.

Even now, after publishing a few short books and my first full novel, I seem to be unable to consider myself a novelist. In fact, I'm not sure if that time will ever come, to be quite honest.

I ventured to California several years ago to take a crack at screenwriting. Like many writers, I had a number of people who told me my stuff was really good and that I could definitely make it, including a previously sold screenwriter from Los Angeles who had taken me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. Almost immediately after moving to the Los Angeles area, I began to creep closer to what I thought would end up being a sale. I did well in a few solid contests, which landed me a couple meetings with managers, including one of the top three managers in the industry. But I was very green and my ideas and screenplays just weren't ready for "Hollywood." I had a lot to learn, it seemed.

Through one contest, I hooked up with an immensely talented director. He basically made me a part of his family and together, we wrote a few scripts, made a couple faux trailers, and finally produced our first feature film. Admittedly, however, we made mistakes along the way, and unfortunately, those mistakes were quite large, and it's unknown if the movie will ever see the light of day. And to be honest (and he would agree with me here), we're not so sure we want it to at this point. It wasn't our best work, by far. We rushed the script, didn't have any name actors ... it happens. The project had potential, but it's nowhere near what we were capable of. And now, unless something huge happens, the idea of him taking time off of his highly lucrative editing job to direct another movie will probably never happen.

During these years, I kept writing, averaging two or three scripts a year most of the time. Each one was different than the last. I didn't believe in retreads, although I do have a few elements and themes that are pretty consistent. I got a chance to work on the Cartoon Network show Pink Panther & Pals for a short time, and although it was a great experience, it was odd to be lavished with high praise and to be told, "We need more scripts EXACTLY like this one," and then wonder -- if that was the case -- why they changed every single joke in the episode based on a script that had initially prompted one of the directors to immediately head into the executive producer's office and say, "I know we don't have any money, but we need to buy this RIGHT NOW." The industry is weird, let me tell 'ya.

I kept doing well in contests and finally landed a manager. I was TERRIBLE at marketing myself. I didn't want to send out letters and make phone calls ... I just wanted to write. But then I got a manager and thought I'd land a writing job out of it. There was a lot of excitement surrounding my scripts, enough to get me a meeting at Paramount, but nothing panned out, and then everything just kinda went stale. I thought about switching managers, and even got his blessing to do so, but after spending a considerable amount of time and money prepping and mailing more than 300 letters, I only got 4 responses. FOUR. Most agencies and management companies didn't even have the courtesy to send me an e-mail or letter saying they were too busy or whatever. Keep in mind ... the majority of these people never saw my stuff. So much for the idea that Hollywood is always looking for new writers.

Also during this time, I had a kid, found out that my (now ex) wife was having an affair and had become addicted to meth. I was awarded full custody of our son and took care of him by myself, with no family close by, until a few years later, when I met the fantastic woman who would become my new and improved wife. It all turned out for the best and provided me with a little more life experience from which to draw inspiration. So although what had happened with my ex was a pain in the ass and surely slowed down my career to a crawl, it was a good thing.

So why the switch to novels?

Honestly, there were two very simple parts.

First, I was frustrated. 300 letters and only 4 responses? It's enough to drive a person crazy. And I had realized something about breaking into the industry ... to do so, you had to mingle and go to parties and rub elbows ... and I had a son to take care of, which made a nightlife nearly impossible. Of course, I had friends who promised this contact and that contact, but never came through. Plus, I had realized something else that was very disheartening, indeed. To break in without contacts, you need to write a script that is ironclad ... nearly perfect in almost everyone's eyes. Every script is scrutinized like you wouldn't believe, but after your first sale -- as I'm sure you've seen evidence of at the movie theater -- you can write whatever tripe or mediocre story you want, and it has a high chance of selling. Then, after four or five pieces of crap, you write one solid script again, and then you ride those coattails for a few more years. That ... is ... nuts. But if you don't believe me, I give you M. Night Shyamalan, ladies and gentlemen.

Anyway ... the second reason was a recommendation from a friend. He's a novelist who was sick of the movie industry, so he pushed me to write my stories in novel form. And his suggestion has been great, because I've realized that what I've really wanted all these years was to simply tell my stories and make them available for people to read. And I've realized that I can do things in books that I could never do in a movie, and that excites me like nothing else ever has. Plus, the stories are all mine. Whether they're good or bad, I own every word, and no one is every allowed to rewrite me.

It's been a long journey. But then again, isn't everything?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interview with Jim Beck, author of Patient Zero

Jim Beck is the author of Patient Zero.  You can find my review of the book, as well as a giveaway here

 Thank you for taking the time to interview with Waiting on Sunday to Drown.  For starters, why don’t you tell us all a little about yourself?

 Let's see.  I'm a writer (obviously).  I'm married.  I have one son and one dog.  I've been writing for more years that I'd care to admit.  I've written a small creature feature, produced a feature and short, and had a brief stint writing for Pink Panther and Pals on Cartoon Network.  I love writing, movies, television, and reading.  I've had meetings with agents and producers, even at Paramount, but I'm still waiting for my big break.  Currently, I am finishing up a superhero story called Virgil: A Superhero Tale, and I have a couple of novel series (Alter Ego and Pest Control), what I call "TV in Prose," which each have a few episodes/issues published.  And I'm only getting started.

Why did you decide to write about zombies?

 At the time that I came up with the idea for Patient Zero, I had already written stories about aliens, time travel, superheroes, monsters, the devil, teens, etc.  Oddly enough, I started sketching out the story a couple years before the recent zombie craze started.  It just seemed like a challenging subject to write about, because zombies are typically background characters who only serve as fodder.  Which is why I wanted to write a story from the zombie's POV.

In Patient Zero the story is told from the point of view of the virus that causes the zombie outbreak.  I found this to be an interesting and a unique twist on the typical zombie story.  It was also interesting for me to get inside Bob’s head and read his reactions to the changes, which is something you don’t normally get to see in the movies.  What was your inspiration in telling the story in this style?

 I had written the story in screenplay form, and the original version wasn't written with any narration.  The idea for telling the story from the virus' POV came after I decided to make it my first full novel.  I knew there were a number of zombie books and stories out there by that time, so I wanted to help it stand out amongst the crowd.  And, as it turns out, it made the story more fun.

Do you have a process of setting the mood for writing? (ie. Like a soundtrack you listen to?)

I can pretty much write at any time, but I do better when there's not much sound.  I've tried writing when I have music playing, but I don't seem to be as productive.  From time to time, however, I will listen to a certain piece of music -- maybe AC/DC or an equivalent -- to get the right mood going, or to try and match what's happening in a given point of the story.  For example, if there was a bunch of action coming up, I might listen to something with a faster beat.  For a chase, I might switch to something silly like Weird Al.

What do you believe is behind the current fascination with zombies?

I really have no idea.  There have always been zombie movies and stories, but not quite so many.  Monsters seem to come in droves.  Vampires, zombies, alien invasions ... personally, I think we could use more werewolf stories (not just in a vampire-human-werewolf love triangle).

Do you believe that there is a real chance of a zombie outbreak someday in our future?  If there is a zombie outbreak, do you think it will more likely be a mutated virus, a government experience gone wrong, or something else?

Honestly, no.  In a strictly scientific sense, a zombie outbreak just isn't possible.  But the idea of it makes great stories.  If it were to happen, though, I would have to say a mutated virus.  I will also admit that out of all the end-of-world scenarios, I'd either go with this or an alien invasion.  Anything else sounds boring.

What is your favorite zombie movie?  Did you like zombie movies growing up or are zombies a more recent interest for you?

Zombies are a more recent interest.  I had the idea for Patient Zero when I met my wife, but hadn't written it yet.  My wife was a huge fan and, for the record, she was a zombie nerd (dressing up and all that) long before it was cool to be a zombie nerd.  Regardless, I scored major points when I told her my zombie idea.

Zombies have started eating people in the town next do yours.  Do you stay or do you go?  Who and what do you take with you to better your chances of survival.

That's a tough one.  It depends on the situation.  If my family was home, I might try to fortify the house.  I'd take all of our supplies upstairs, run water in the bathtub in case the water gets shut off, and find a way to destroy the stairs to keep zombies from climbing up.  If they weren't home, I'd have to go get 'em.  And of course, if I could buy some guns without a waiting period, that would be great, too.

If they ever make a movie out of Patient Zero who would be your ideal cast?  Who would be the narrator for the virus?

Well, let's see ... I've already earmarked Seann William Scott as a superhero for my next book, so for Patient Zero, it would be Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley on the Joss Whedon series, Angel.  He does extremely well as an everyman who slowly devolves into madness at times.  For Nate, I would say Johnny Simmons (from Jennifer's Body and Scott Pilgrim), because he was in a faux trailer for a movie I wrote a few years ago and he's immensely talented.  As for the narrator, is Morgan Freeman available?  He's played God, so surely he can pull off a virus.

What kind of zombie do you find scariest?  The slow moving addled ones that just want to eat everything in their path, or the fast moving ones that figure out how to open doors? 

Definitely fast, without a doubt.  Slow zombies would give us a fighting chance.  Trying to run from fast zombies would basically be an eternal game of tag.  And eventually, everybody loses at tag.

Check out Jim's book Patient Zero, and be sure to come back tomorrow for Jim's guest post. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review and Giveaway: "Patient Zero" by Jim Beck

Goodreads Synopsis of Patient Zero by Jim Beck: "Bob has a brain tumor.

Not to worry, though. He's the prime subject for a new procedure involving nanotechnology. Microscopic robots are introduced into his body and effectively destroy the tumor. Job well done.

But there's a catch. A virus lying dormant for years inside him is manipulated by the tiny machines and causes Bob to die and then be brought back to life as a zombie.
His transformation into one of the living dead is slow, first appearing as a skin rash and advanced arthritis. And if that wasn't bad enough, the virus has mutated and Bob is slowly losing control. Now, no one is safe -- not the neighborhood pets, his co-workers, even his son.

Told from the point of view of the zombie virus itself, this story of a single father, his son, and a zombie outbreak is a cautionary tale of advanced medical science and where it might lead us."

My review: I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was approached about reading and reviewing Patient Zero by Jim Beck. Though I love zombie movies, I can’t really recall ever reading any books about them. Patient Zero surprised, horrified, delighted, made me slightly nauseous in places, and also made me laugh. It is everything that a good zombie story should be.
Patient Zero is told from the perspective of the virus, a concept that I found rather interesting and different. The virus has an interesting perspective on humanity and a twisted sense of humor. The virus tells the story of how he infects the likable Robert Forrester, who happens to be having a lot of bad luck lately. Robert was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and as a last resort, in order to be there for his son, Nate, Robert agrees to an untested nanotechnology treatment. The treatment cures the tumor, but Robert slowly starts to turn into a zombie. The process is equal parts hilarity and horror.

I don’t want to tell you too much more. The book is short, only 106 PDF pages, and I don’t want to give too much more away. It took me a very short time to read, because I couldn’t put the book down. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s works. His writing style is easy to read, enthralling, and touched by a dark sense of humor (but not too dark). Patient Zero is one of the better books that I’ve read lately, and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves zombies, horror and/or humor.

I would give this book 4 stars.

Giveaway info: As part of my appreciation for this author's work, I am giving away a kindle copy of Patient Zero. Giveaway runs from now through Sunday, February 26, 2012 at midnight. Please enter using rafflecopter. It rafflecopter is being wonky, feel free to enter in the comment section and I will add your entries in by hand. Following is not necessary but is greatly appreciated. There are extra entries for following and suggesting other zombie books to read. Must be able to accept a kindle book. Rafflecopter form is below the author bio.

Author bio: Jim Beck is a freelance writer and produced screenwriter who resides in Burbank, California with his loving wife, rambunctious son, and cute little dog named Monster. He has written for Cartoon Network's Pink Panther & Pals, produced a short zombie film and independent feature film in 2011, and is currently awaiting the release of his first direct-to-dvd creature feature.
Jim's screenplays have placed very high (and in some cases, won) in contests conducted by Cinescape Magazine, Project Greenlight, Acclaim TV, Acclaim Film, and Writer's Boot Camp, among several others. In the case of Writer's Boot Camp, he was awarded a one year writer's fellowship to develop future projects.

Jim runs his own website ( and has self-published two full novels, Patient Zero and Virgil: A Superhero Tale. He is currently prepping his third and fourth, a supernatural story called Beneath and his own unique take on the classic Jekyll & Hyde tale. He is also the creator of two ongoing TV In Prose series, Alter Ego and Pest Control, which are books given the television treatment, split into seasons and episodes.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies, having open-heart surgery (though he was a teenager at the time, so not his choice), playing video games, and searching the universe hoping to find more spare time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Zombie Week

Check back next week Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week for a review of zombie book Patient Zero by Jim Beck, as well as ebook giveaway, author guest post and author interview.  Show some support for an indie author with a ton of talent!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guest Post by M.D. Cliatt on her book The Public Pretender

   I've just finished writing my debut novel, The Public Pretender. Whew! What a long and winding journey, but I like getting lost on the highways in the world of my imagination. A few times, I got off on the wrong exits--or, should I say different exits because it’s my imagination and nothing in there is wrong per se, just weird. I started writing it four years ago, and I’m glad I made it to the end.

Because I was mad about things I noticed in the juvenile justice system, I began writing a guide to educate more families in my community. As I wrote, a creative spring erupted in my mind, and I couldn’t force myself to stay within the rigid lines of legal exposition. It seemed fitting because I always found myself using analogies, examples and stories to explain to kids ranging in age from ten to eighteen what was happening to them in court.

The story is about a fiery criminal defense attorney, Maeven Dayne, who specializes in representing juvenile defendants. When it comes to her job, she’s driven and passionate. When it comes to her family, she’s devoted, but her job is demanding and distracting. She pleases her husband when she decides to quit her job to spend more time with the family. But, on Maeven’s last day at work in the courtroom, a juvenile probation officer she despises drags a weeping young girl before an irritated judge for an unscheduled hearing while Maeven is packing up her things to leave. She is walking out of the courtroom, fighting her urge to turn around when she hears the probation officer had the girl incarcerated for weeks without notifying her parents or arranging for representation. Maeven can’t resist the girl’s pitiful pleas for help and intervenes.

She discovers people are profiting from imprisoning innocent kids. A whistleblower ends up dead, but he’s left clues. When her oldest son is beaten, arrested and detained on false charges, her husband receives a message proposing an offer: Maeven must quit the girl’s case, or they lose their son. The problem? Can she sacrifice one for the other?

My book buddy and I had such different views about Maeven. We debated her methods, her motivations and how she treated friends and family. My friends had differing views too. We agreed that we were fascinated by her former client’s shady character, found her youngest son’s snarky humor terribly funny, and we really loved the way her husband loves. I cried over her oldest son’s scenes. Yes, I cry and laugh at passages in my own book; my husband thinks that’s weird. Because of the ongoing debate, I’m not done with Maeven. She’ll live on for one more book. She’ll have to wait until I’m finished writing a fantasy novel with my sons, but I’ve already have the plot for her worked out and can’t wait to get back to her.

Feel free to drop me a line.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Winner of YA giveaway Hop

The winner of my YA giveaway hop, for a YA book of her choice from the Book Depository or Amazon is Kali S.

I have sent her an email informing her of her winning. If there is no response in 72 hours I will pick an alternate.

Thank you to everyone for entering, and I hope to see you back for my next giveaway.

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: The Public Pretender by M.D. Cliatt

Maeven Dayne is a public defender, working mostly in the juvenile court system. The book starts with Maeven giving her notice, to take a position less stressful than working in the heavily flawed juvenile justice system. Maeven doesn’t yet know just how corrupt that system is. On her last day she witnesses a juvenile being tried, that wasn’t on the schedule without representation or parent, after having been sitting in Juvie without a court date for a period longer than acceptable by law. Her probation officer is up to something fishy, and Maeven steps in, to protect the juvenile, Jasmine. Unable to turn her back on a scared child in need, Maeven pursues justice for Jasmine. In the process she uncovers corruption in the probation department, the public defender’s office and the court. Friends become enemies. Enemies attempt to use Maeven’s only family to silence her.

I was really excited for the chance to review this book. I’m pursuing a criminal justice degree myself, and it was interesting to read about so many of the inner workings of the justice system and how all branches work together. I don’t know much about juvenile justice, so I enjoyed reading about the juveniles in this book and the importance of public defenders.

M.D. Cliatt is an excellent writer, who weaves a story so gripping that it’s hard to stop reading until you reach the very end. Her characters are well developed and very relatable, especially Maeven who is a strong female lead who manages to balance career and family. This book is a worthy read and I give it 4 stars.

M. D. Cliatt is a wife and a mother of two teenage boys. She lives in Central Pennsylvania where she is a staff attorney in a law school clinical program, and an adjunct law professor who teaches juvenile justice and legal writing. She used to be a public defender specializing in representing children, and for the most part, loved the work. She thrived in the heat of courtroom battle, but the highs were very high and the lows were very low and she burned out. Now, she spends time grading papers, supervising law students as they represent indigent clients in court and reading with her sister in their long distance book club.


I am giving away a kindle or nook copy of The Public Defender. Please enter using the rafflecopter. If rafflecopter is not working right, please enter in the comments and I will hand enter it in.

1 Entry for leaving your name and email.

1 Entry (daily) for tweeting about the giveaway

1 Entry for following on google friend connect

1 Entry for following on twitter

1 Entry for commenting on this blog post

5 Entries for entering my giveaway for Nuclear Romance by Abby Luby.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Nuclear Romance by Abby Luby

Nuclear Romance begins with the death of a little girl while swimming in the Hudson River. The river that she's swimming in happens to be right by a nuclear power plant. Even though no reason can be given for her death, no one at first associates her death with the nuclear power plant. Due to budget cuts and a shorter staff, sports writer Lou Padera is assigned to cover the little girl’s death. The experience haunts him. In the meantime Lou gets a mysterious phone call stating that the power plant is the reason for the little girl’s death and the story suddenly becomes an obsession for Lou. Meanwhile he meets Diana, who leads the anti-nuclear power group and develops a relationship with her that could end his career. Throw in corrupt nuclear power employee, Bob and young reporter Chrissy, who is willing to sell out her morals for a chance at the big time. When the power plant has a disaster the community is thrown into turmoil but unite to try to shut the plant down while power plant representatives try to save face.

Nuclear Romance is a well written, easy to read book that keeps you hooked from the very beginning until the final pages. Abby Luby’s experience as a journalist is seen throughout this book which gives the story the feel of reading a gripping news story. Abby is passionate about the topic of nuclear power, which also shines through in this book, drawing you in and making you want to know more. I found the subject matter so interesting that I read it in one sitting, and I’ve asked Abby’s rep if she would like to write a guest post on nuclear power. Hopefully, we will see that soon.

Abby Luby is a freelance journalist who, for over ten years, has covered nuclear power, particularly issues surrounding the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. Her articles have appeared in The New York Daily News, The Villager, The Westchester Guardian, The Real Deal, SolveClimateNews, The North County News and the Record Review. She also writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, The Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time, Valley Table Magazine, Roll Magazine, Hearst publications HealthyLivingCT, Living@HomeCT covering news, art, food and health. She teaches writing and literature at Marist College.

To find out more about Abby visit

***UPDATED 2/10/12*** - GIVEAWAY:  I enjoyed Nuclear Romance so much that I would like to share it.  I am giving away a Kindle or Nook copy of the book to one of my lucky readers.  Because I've been having so many problems lately with rafflecopter, we'll do this the old fashioned way. 

To enter please leave a comment with your name and content information (1 entry). 
You can get an extra entry for following me either with google friend connect, google +, or twitter (1 entry).
 I will also give an extra entry for blogging about this giveaway, tweeting about it or spreading the word in some other way.  Please provide the link to your sharing (3 entries).
Please leave a seperate comment for each entry.  The giveaway will go from now through March 15 at Midnight.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Free and Cheap Kindle Books

Who doesn't love getting a good deal?  Amazon has some awesome kindle books for free up to $3.99.  Here are some of my favorites:

What kindle steals and deals have you found?

Epic Deals From Harper Collins

This month only, Harper Collins has two Epic Deals for ebook readers. 

  Cold Kiss is offered for $1.99 a savings of $16.00!

 Cloaked with bonus features is only 99 cents - normally $9.99.

Also available for Pre-order (FREE!!!!) is
 The first book in Claudia Gray's Evernight series with bonus materials including an excerpt from Balzathar.  FREE!!!

January RAK Wrap Up (better late than never)

Book Soulmates hosts Random Acts of Kindness every month.  RAK is the sending and receiving of books among booklovers, for the sheer joy of sharing books.  The books can be new, used, hardback, paperback, ARC, ebooks, you name it.  If you would like to participate (which means send AND receive) head on over to Book Soulmates for more information.

The month of January was a fairly decent month for me.  Amazon had some AMAZING books on sale for Kindle, so I was able to send some great books to some great book bloggers.  Here is what I sent out:

Sent to Memrie @

Sent to Michelle at Book Briefs

Sent to Katie at Novel Society and also Jaime at Two Chicks on Books

To Jenny Connor (sorry...I can't find her blog)

To Carol Smith

I received 3 books this months as RAKs:

From Memrie @

From Katie at Novel Society

If you are interested in taking part this month sign up at Book Soulmates, and find some people you'd like to send books to.  If you would like to send books to me my wishlist is in my side bar.  I take new, used, hardback, paperback, ARC, kindle and Nook, as well as pdf versions of ARCs.

The books I want most this month are:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2/6/2012)

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme to share what you've read, what you're reading and what's up next.

I finished:

Currently Reading:

Next Up:

Giveaway Update

I just wanted to let everyone know I haven't forgetten about picking a giveaway winner.  I'm still entering everyone in rafflecopter and hope to get my winner picked out this week sometime. 

Thank you for your patience!

GUEST POST: The Unintentional Parallelism of a Puggle by W.H. Buxton

The Unintentional Parallelism of a Puggle by W.H. Buxton

A short while ago, I was working on the first of a three book series, CyberLife, (The next two being CyberSapien in 2012 and CyberSavior in 2013) which fictionally describe one man’s attempt to live in a globally integrated communication-driven world supported by his holographic best-buddy; when, without prior warning, my wife came home from one of her daily credit stretching shopping sprees with a new family member: a small, fuzzy brown female puppy she called “Boo-Boo.” Unable to recognize the breed of dog, I asked her what kind of Dog it was, and her response was “Why, a Puggle, of course!”

OK…So what’s a Puggle? My first thought (hope, really) was that it was a Virtual Pet, like a few of the characters in the CyberLife world. Not so…

A Puggle is a Hybrid Dog; an $800, hyperactive 50-50 mix of a registered Pug and Beagle. As such, it combines the apatite, personalities and physical characteristic of both dogs into one small, clumsy, vocal, digestively-efficient, always hungry and otnay-oota-itebray package of shoe-chewing fun.

As I looked at the Puggle, I saw a 15 year commitment and all the costs and expenses associated with raising another child. My wife saw a cute little puppy with big, brown eyes, a playful personality, and a total joy.

Which leads me to the question of unintentional parallelism. One Dog, Two Perceptions, and both are required to coexist and create the singular world me and this perpetual mouth are going to spend our lives life in. Which is also the problem plaguing the principle character of CyberLife. As with me and the Puggle, Jim Murphy tries his best to live in two worlds: one Physical and the other Virtual. Two different points of view, but at the end of the day, we’re both is still the same dogs living in the same world.

CyberLife describes the world of the full-time integrated communication and our daily lives within it, all told through the eyes, ears and mind of Jim Murphy, a 39 year old mediocre Knowledge Systems Architect. In his world, we “Physicals” no longer need to use laptops or smartphones to access the Internet. Most people use implanted Comderms and Vertals (Holographic projections), to access and manage all the information in the Cybersphere: a massive socially oriented network that connects everyone to everything. It’s like the Internet, but on steroids, and you can’t unplug from it…

Although not described directly, two of the CyberLife’s key concepts involve Unintentional Parallelism and implications of Sociological-Transformative approaches in ascertaining Comparative Advantage, which, coincidently, also directly apply to acquiring and training a Puggle Puppy; mastering Puggle Dynamics through an interactive knowledge system designed to enable continuous learning of the “hidden curriculum” of Puggle-Integrated adult life. Although the context of this learning mechanism described in both of us (meaning: the Puggle and me) are somewhat unique, both of ours will have to develop concurrently around the same sociological perspectives of the continuous education of the individual as we adjust to a new and ever-changing environment. For the Puggle, it is the potential increase of mastering her Canine Capital of economic advantage through repetitive occupational learning of Puggle training. This means lots and lots of snacks and treats.

For me, it is the description of intellectual capital accumulation newly stockpiled in order to help me cope with the consequence of living with a Puggle. This means hiding my shoes on a shelf at least four feet high and correctly living within the Three Laws of Puggle:
1. All food is good;
2. More food is better;
3. Your food is the best.

And for both of us, it is the continuous process of learning to understand and nurture Puggle-Human cohabitation and the coping skills my wife must learn as she strives to survive our respective educations.

So why is this of any importance? Perhaps the hidden forcing function of working to identify the elements of continuous learning in both myself and the Puggle, and for Jim and his Vertal “Jasper” in the Cybersphere stems not solely from abstract social transformational theory, but from the humanist characteristic of acquiring Competitive Advantage. I can already see that some situations resolving shared structural understanding (and food sources) where the supplying resources will be limited and any final arbitration will be deterministically derived from a decision-making third party, meaning my wife. And it will be that decision makers understanding of the desires behind individual and organizational learning incentives, which creates more social capital which leads to greater knowledge sharing and greater competitive advantage in a competing marketplace. In other words, the better I learn, the more I know, the better I can compete and cope, the more influence I have with my environment, and hence, my incentive to learn. This is important, since after observing my wife’s own interactions with this new Puggle puppy, I know that if it comes down to me or the dog, I’m going to need a massively huge stockpile of competitive advantage stashed somewhere.

Which brings me back to the Puggle. Despite the two different perspectives my wife and I have on the puppy, it is still the same dog. It’s going to require all three of us to continuously learn about each other, and it’s that interaction which will lead to developing our own unique “competitive advantages” as we learn the influences we have on each others environment. Knowing where these advantages lie will lead to better enjoyment of our interactions all the way around, and will, hopefully, result in not having to split my lunch with the dog and the saving of the rest of my shoes from a trip through Boo-Boos Alimentary Canal.

Author Bio: Winslow Buxton is a retired Navy Commander and helicopter pilot who received his Masters of Science in Information Technology and Management from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. After retiring from the Navy, he worked as a Knowledge Systems Architect Consultant, helping multiple Navy and Air Force Commands initiate and develop their Knowledge Management Programs. He currently resides in Gulf Breeze, Florida with his wife, Bonnie.
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