Monday, July 28, 2014

History - and Literature - Repeats Itself

As I delve a bit deeper in to the research aspect of my newest book, 'Lucifer's Lamp', I am appalled by what I'm finding.  How in the world could one person decree it was alright to take a person's possessions based upon their religion, orientation, culture, or political views?   And yet it happened, and right under the noses of the Free World.

If you've kept up with the news lately - and by that I mean the last few years - you know that attention has been directed to the recovery of treasure taken by the Nazis during the years preceding and during World War Two.  This travesty has been dramatized in film, covered in a myriad museum magazines, and romanticized in novels.  And  yes, I'm continuing the trend.  I'm taking it a bit further, however,  inserting small towns where most focus on the Vatican, and allowing the regular Joes (in my case, Louis Greywolf Bahe, a Navajo state mining inspector from Arizona) to play a part in the recovery.

'Legend', the first part of this story, is available online or in stores, from Amazon to Barnes and Noble, iTunes to Kobo.  Take a moment and check out Louis Bahe's part in this reverse plundering.  I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hangin' Out with the Younger Set

Monday through Friday, 180 days a year, from 7:10  to 2:20, I hang out with kids who are almost four decades younger than I.  And I do it voluntarily.  Yes, there is the paycheck, but I could do other things with my degrees.  Instead, I choose to teach.

Before you begin oohing and aahing and telling me that I'm a hero (although I suppose I am, academic-wise), know that I learn as much - if not more - from my students.  Their perspectives range from naive to informed to jaded, and I'm always amazed at the ferocity they display in defending their points of view.  It's my challenge to help them learn how to channel this intellectual energy into something productive and useful for society.  After all, they will be voting and defending this country in just two short years, and I want them to know WHY they do what they do and make an informed choice

Analysis is not something we're born with.  It's a skill we need to learn, much as sharing our toys and respecting those around us needs to be learned.  So, as another school year begins, I  take up  my challenge with new vigor.  Just check back with me in May.

And keep reading.  Books, as Guy Montag in 'Fahrenheit 451' knew, are a conduit to knowledge, and knowledge is the ultimate in power,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Just Say Thanks...

We've all heard it before:  When someone compliments  you, just say 'thank you'.  And I know this.  Why is it so difficult, then, for me to accept positive feedback?  (I'm talking to everyone, not just to writers.)

The other day I ran into someone who I know marginally: We've met before but aren't buddies.  Imagine my reaction - remember I have issues with compliments- when she whips out her smart phone bad points to one of my books that she downloaded via her Kindle ap.  I found myself looking over her shoulder for a savior which, by the way, appeared in the form of someone take who I know only slightly.  I made my excuses and hot the heck out of Dodge.

I thought about it later and was ashamed of my reaction.  After all, she said wonderful things about the book, the characters, the plot.  I should've been doing a happy dance right there!  Instead, I lost an opportunity to put into practice what I tried to drill into my childrens' heads.

I've decided that if the chance ever comes my way again, I shall smile, nod my head graciously, and say 'thank you'.  And then I'll hightail it out of there.

Keep reading, friend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Sneak Peek

I've wanted to share a bit about my books and decided that the time is now:  Enjoy this synopsis of 'Murder at the Miranar'!
If murder and mayhem were not supposed to be part of the employment package, then AJ certainly got the raw end of the deal.

Augusta Jerusha Burnette, eager to escape the dreaded Burnette Family Reunion – and a broken heart – takes a position at the Miramar Resort, a glamorous hotel located along the Southern California coast.  She’s confident that the change of scenery will do her good, but when Ellie Saddler shows up, her tarot cards spelling out a warning, things quickly go from bad to worse.

The Miramar, famous for its freshly baked cookies and elegant rooms, is hiding several secrets within its stylish walls.  Located not too far from Baja California, a location infamous for smuggling illegal immigrants into the states, the resort plays host to folks wanting to get away from the pressures of life…and those wanting to escape from a life too miserable to comprehend.  Although there have been rumors that the local immigration officials have their eye on the Miramar and other hotels along the coast, there are still those who are willing to chance being caught in exchange for the possibility of a better life.

AJ, it seems, has entered the picture just as things are beginning to heat up.  When a body is discovered during a search for a lost child, the web of lies and deceit becomes more tangled, and AJ and Ellie find themselves on the run from a killer.   Thankfully, the local police department has assigned one Detective Baird to the case, and sparks of the romantic kind soon begin to fly.  Has AJ finally found the one man who will keep both body and soul – not to mention her heart – safe?

From glamorous beaches of Southern California to the border of Mexico, AJ has to find a way to stay one step ahead of the bad guy – and to keep herself and Ellie in the land of the living.  With a few surprises along the way (no one is ever who or what they seem to be), she decides that perhaps a family reunion might be the safer choice after all.