Tag Archives: master koda

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring Blog Hop

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

So sorry there’s not much personal in this! Illness has rocked me (the flu!) and I’ve dissolved into a sneezing, tired author that has no energy! 😦

The Spring comes slowly up this way,
Slowly, slowly,
Under a snood of hodden grey.

The black and white for her array,
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up this way.

Where is her green that was so gay?
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up this way.

Unto a world too sick for May,
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up this way.

Where are the lads that used to play?
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up this way.

She has no heart for holiday,
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up this way.

The trees are out in Heaven they say.
Slowly, slowly,
The Spring comes slowly up our way.

Katharine Tynan

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Well…I have news…and good news…

My news at the moment is that my health is so so, but that isn’t stopping me from tackling NaNoWriMo at my usual breakneck pace (or faster, as I attempt 50k in 5 days!)

But the good news, I hear you all exclaim, on tenterhooks and at the edge of your seat? Well my monster-length novel, Power of the Song (the working title) has just been accepted by Master Koda Select Publishing, as have I, as one of their writers! Good vibes and with such an immense novel that I was certain no one would want…and now I join those hallowed ranks!

I’m cheering now…can you join me?

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The Best Moments of Dianne Gardner

What has been your greatest moment as a  writer?

Have you ever had a moment, even if it was a split second when someone noticed you for the unique person you are or complemented you on a job well done? Do you remember what that feels like in your heart?

I’m getting those kinds of moments more and more but I think the most heart warming moments for me is when I get feedback from  the kids that my stories target.

Dianne Gardner 1-1-square

One child I met at one of my book signings. She was clearly autistic yet very loving and I could tell she loves reading. She came up to me, wanted her photo taken in front of the dragon and said, “I am going to bring this book to all my friends. Everyone should read this book.”

A friend who bought her book for her grandson brought word back that his mom said he read it in one night.

One night!!!

My fencing instructor gave the book to his nephew, whom he said the boys parents have a hard time getting him to read. When I saw the boy shortly after that he said, “Hey, I’ve been reading your book!” I said, “Oh yeah? What do you think of it?” He said “Awesome!”

My friends daughter is a devote fan and when her daughter read Deception Peak she actually wrote a review. It’s on my blog. She said,

“The book is very in common with The Harry Potter Series!

My favorite part was when Ian and the Kaempern men go into the mountain to search for Ian’s father, Alex Wilson.

I like this book because it is full of adventure and there is always something amazing that happens around every corner.

This book is one of the greatest books I have EVER read!

I hope that other kids like me love this book. I would recommend this book for ages 9 and up.

Sincerely,

Alyson Zatt

http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/2012/11/allys-review.html

Another great moment when a 90 year old lady called me to tell me how thrilled she was with the book.

Those are the best moments as an author. Hearing directly from the readers and having them tell you what they loved about your story!

 Dianne Lynn Gardner     Dianne Gardner 1-me painting2

Author-Illustrator

Young Adult Fantasy-Adventure Fiction

Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA.
She’s been a painter all her life having started at the age of 12 under her mother’s supervision. Her first private art lesson was with a sculptress in California. Excelling in art in school and on to college, her portfolio includes portraits, inspirational works, and plein air landscapes. She was the portrait painter for the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Fair for several years painting 20 minute oil paintings during the fair. She has just recently started illustrating books, beginning this endeavor with a 9′ triptych of Stenhjaert the Dragon, the antagonist in Ian’s Realm

Dianne is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. Besides the Ian’s Realm Saga (Deception Peak, The Dragon Shield, and Rubies and Robbers which will be released in 2013) she boasts authorship to four short stories titled A Tale of the Four Wizards Series which interweaves with the Saga. She writes for middle grade and young adults targeting boys and adventure loving girls, but adults are some of her most zealous fans of all Her writing definitely falls under the ‘family friendly’ category!

Books

Dianne Gardner just cover (1)

Ian’s Realm Trilogy
Deception Peak
The Dragon Shield
Rubies and Robbers 
coming soon
Sequels
Cassandra’s Castle To be released
The Diary of a Conjurer To be released

Short Stories

A tale of the Four Wizards
Silvio
Meneka
Kaempie
Reuben

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Welcome…DeEtte Beckstead!

So today I’m hosting DeEtte Beckstead on my blog…and she’s telling us about everything to do with her writing, including a tale about a puppy mill dog and the life she had with this lovely, supportive woman as well as her tips for being a writer.

 

 

Victory cover DeEtte Beckstead

What is the title of your newest release?

 

Victory is my newest release. It came out in December 2012.

 

Do you have any books in the works?

 

I have a book called From Tinker to Belle: From Worthless to Priceless. That is the story of my first puppy mill rescue: her life in the mills, her rescue, and how she changed our family and others.

 

I have another book of stories about my grandchildren as superheros. I asked them each to tell me what they would be like as a superhero, what their costumes would be, what superpowers they had. Using the information they gave me, I write stories about them. It’s a fun project, and a gift to each of my grandlings!

 

When you read, what is your favorite genre?

 

I like to read Christian fiction, historical fiction, and classics mostly. There are some I have read by my fellow authors that I have really enjoyed, even though I wouldn’t have chosen that genre for myself!

 

Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

 

Crocheting is one of my hobbies. All my grandchildren have toys and clothes I have made for them. They will often ask me to make them something special, and I will do it. I also crochet dog sweaters, afghans, shawls, and doilies. Right now I am making a butterfly swag for one of my granddaughters with over 30 different crocheted butterflies on a crocheted vine.

 

In my free time…. what is that? I always seem to have something I need to be doing, but I like to read, watch old movies, play with my grandkidlings, or crochet. I also love to visit historical sites!

 

If you would have time travel abilities and could meet anyone from any time, who would you like to meet?

 

Oh, so many choices! It’s hard to pick just one! At the moment, I think I would like to meet Galileo Galliel. As the Father of Modern Science, I would love to chat with him about what he thought about his discoveries and where those discoveries have taken us now.

 

What is your all time favorite movie?

 

That’s a tough question. I have many favorites; it depends on the mood I am in. I love August Rush, The Sound of Music, Pride and Prejudice, but of all the movies I have seen, It’s a Wonderful Life has got to be at the top of my list!

 

The Christmas Visitors cover DeEtte BecksteadAre there any specific authors that you admire?

 

There are so many! Jane Austen, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien… Of my peers, I admire Kim Emerson, G Mitchell Baker, Joe McCoubrey, Brad Fleming. There are others, too!

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Write about what you love. Don’t worry about making it all work to start with; just write. There will be time later to go back and make corrections, adjustments, deletions. Write what you feel. There is that old saying “Strike while the iron is hot.” When you know you have something to write, get it written then. Carry a notebook and pen with you to make notes or write complete scenes if you are away from the keyboard.

 

If a word count is important, don’t fill in with words that don’t add to the story. Just write. Once the first draft is finished, you can go back.

 

Don’t be afraid of editors; they are your friends, there to help you make your story the best it can be.

 

Find the method that works for you and stick with it, even though your best writing buddy uses a different style. If you need to write an outline and character sketches first, do so. If you write better just sitting down and writing, do that.

 

Whether or not you ever get anything published, you are a writer if you write.

 

Do you plan on being a full time writer, or do you have other career plans?

How long have you been writing?

 

I have been a stay-at-home mom (whatever that means! I certainly didn’t stay at home much with six kids!), a preschool teacher, a teacher at a private school, a trainer for people with disabilities, and a group home manager…. All that was before I started writing in 2007. Now I love to be with my grandchildren and taking life a little slower.

 

Do you prefer Ebook, paperback, or hardcover?   

 

Personally, I love the feel of a nice hardcover book in my hands! Paperbacks are next, and ebooks follow that. However, since I have a limited space, I am thankful I have the Kindle app on my iPad and can carry an entire library with me wherever I go! I think the most important part is being able to read, not so much how it is available!

 

Do you have any writing rituals like a particular treat, good luck charm, etc.?

 

Not really. Before my little dog died, he used to sit on my lap or at me feet while I wrote. I would read to him and he would listen politely.

 

I do write better with some background sounds, like the TV or music. I prefer classical music. I don’t have a particular composer or show I like.

 

Do you have a set writing schedule or do you write when the fancy hits you?

 

I write when, as you say, the fancy hits me. My schedule is never certain right now, so I make use of the time I have. I carry a notebook with me to make notes when I am out if something strikes me as write-worthy!

 

Thank you so much being my guest, DeEtte! Please share your bio and links where others can connect with you and your books.

DeEtte Beckstead author imageAuthor and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.

            DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a  variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.

Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.  

 

Blog: http://deetteanderton.wordpress.com

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DeEtteBecksteadAuthor        

 

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/DeEtte-Beckstead/e/B00ADDW94Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

AuthorsdB page: http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/66-deette-beckstead

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DBAnderton

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What does America’s Next Author mean to me?

For the past two weeks (and a few days) I’ve been involved in a huge competition which makes use of your skills in social media as well as writing. I used a piece which involves characters from my upcoming book, Echoes of Winter but in a different setting where magic flows and wolves can fly. (But only if they have wings, of course!)

It’s been an interesting thing to do – I’ve asked people for honest reviews and mostly the feedback has been amazing! Short stories aren’t my forte but this one seems to have appealed to people for some reason. Some people didn’t think the pacing was too fast, or that I told rather than showed the reader what was happening/in the scenery. Some people believed that this was part of a larger piece (which it isn’t, but I do plan another short ‘installment’ to finish the story.)

Other people are fascinated by the ideas represented in the story. Two friends, close enough to call themselves sisters, are torn apart by the depression of one and her failure to care about the responsibilities she has. What made people even more interested was that these weren’t humans – these were wolves and yet they had emotions like those everyone feels.

Relying on other people to review and vote is a patchy business and yet I’ve managed to remain in the top ten for the last week and a half! I’ve had a lot of support from friends and writing groups, who often go and hit the tweet button. The reviews count as well, as I prefer honest reviews. If you love it, write that and more importantly…tell me why! If you hate it, again – I want to know why you hate it.

An author can only progress with the constructive criticism of the type I’ve received, so thank you to everyone who HAS reviewed it.

Interested in reading yourself? Does this synopsis sound like something you could enjoy?
‘When winter springs a challenging blizzard onto a pack besieged with doubt? What will happen to the wolves that have been chased from their home, have lost their Alpha male and are watching their Alpha female die? Well, if Kamduis has anything to do with it, she’ll have a lot to do with it! Read on for this tale which mentions the wolf goddess Luna, winged wolves and betrayal between two sisters who have no real bond but the love in their hearts and the song which joins them together as pack.’

If so, then take a look here!
http://www.ebookmall.com/author/dom-goodall


Dominique Goodall is the author of the soon to be released Echoes of Winter, book one in the Seasons of the Wolf series and a self-confessed wolf addict. She has currently been published in two anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and is currently working on getting herself better known by sending in manuscripts for as many different anthologies as she possibly can.

As much as she loves to admit it, she never will be able to count her wolf stuff- there’s nothing left for her to be truly able to collect without her own home.

She can be friended on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/WaterSinger

Her author page on Facebook is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dominique-Goodall-author/250907358312446

The page for Echoes of Winter is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Echoes-of-Winter/355235744499607

Her twitter name is: https://twitter.com/#!/DomGoodall

And her blog can be found here: https://dominiquegoodall.wordpress.com/

And the trailer for her book is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kix63EXBW50&feature=plcp

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Gifted…by what?

Today I’m hosting a spotlight for author Natalie Star. Her book is called The Keeper, and…well. I’ll let you read on…

The Keeper (Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/heat level 2), by Natalie Star

Blurb:

The morning of her sixteenth birthday, Billie feels blessed despite the reoccurring nightmare that wakes her. Loving parents, a caring boyfriend, and great friends surround her until an heirloom necklace throws her into a world she never imagined.
“Gifted” with supernatural powers and an unexpected destiny as the Keeper, Billie and a mysterious boy from her past must work together to find answers. But, as they begin to discover feelings for one another, he disappears leaving her to fight evil alone. Her life spirals out of control. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Tony, and alienates her best friends Arianna and Jocelyn to protect them from the truth.
As dark forces pursue her, Billie longs to run away from it all, yet a need to do what’s right compels her to face the future as the keeper of more than her own fortune.

Excerpt One:

“I have something special for you. Sit, I’ll go get it.” And before I knew it, she rushed down the hall.

“Hurry, Mom, I have to get to school!” I yelled after her. She was back in a flash. “Here, honey.” She handed me a long narrow velvet jewelry box, maroon in color, the coloring faded from age and use. I flipped back the lid and saw a gold chain with a charm hanging from it. Definitely nothing I would have handpicked, nice enough I guess, but it looked older than dirt itself. There was a yellowish gemstone, citrine I think, no larger than a nickel and it was set on top of a golden sunburst. She explained, “It’s been in our family for years. It’s been handed down from generation to generation on the sixteenth birthday.”

“Um, thank you. How old is it, and where did it come from?” I questioned because it even smelled old.

“No one in recent memory knows the answer to either question. We do know it is an honor to receive it, and you have to wear it for your whole birthday, no matter what,” Mom explained.

“Or what, I will have seven years bad luck?” I didn’t know what else to say.

“No, worse, a whole life of bad luck.” Mom said it so seriously.

“Well, if that isn’t convincing enough, put it on me!” I was not superstitious but why take chances?

I lifted my flat ironed hair out of the way, and Mom placed the chain around my neck. The second I heard it click into place, I felt funny, and I swear the jewelry’s temperature rose. I stood up in a state of a panic as it warmed and the heat spread from my neck throughout my body. Everything went white, and then pulled out.

“Billie!” Mom screamed.

Excerpt Two:

“Do I want to know?” he asked uneasy.
“Probably not, so if you want to call it quits and go on with your life I would totally understand because all of what I have to tell you is unsettling and will be life changing. If you want out, now’s the time.” I waited.
I didn’t know I held my breath until Ty stopped walking. He kept his stare on the ground. “If you don’t tell me now, I will always wonder and probably regret not knowing because it seems important.”
“You need to be absolutely sure you want to know before I tell you. So think about it for a few minutes.” I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach for him.
He nodded, and we followed the overgrown trail for a while through curves and switchbacks. The path led through all kinds of trees and wild growth. Never have I seen such beauty in autumn. I could see yellows, oranges, and reds all around us. It would have been silent if it weren’t for the fluttering leaves and nuts falling from the trees, and our feet crunching over the dead vegetation on the ground. I stomped my feet, and I liked the noise it made. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. I put my arms out and spun in a circle while crunching. I felt giddy. I almost forgot where I was and why. Ty regarded me as if I’d lost my mind, which I probably had.
“What?” I asked as I spun past him.
“Just watching you.” He continued to watch with smiling eyes.
“It’s fun. You should try it.” I grabbed his hands because he wouldn’t come willingly, and we spun and spun until we were dizzy. We fell to the ground and lay there for a minute to catch our breath and get our heads straight.
I watched him. He seemed genuinely happy, and I felt genuinely crappy. Could I really take away his happy life and innocence? That’s exactly what I was about to do by unleashing the truth. I sat up.
He too sat up and looked toward me. “You okay?” He twirled a strand of my hair. I knew which bit of hair, too; the one that always curled away on its own.
I shook my head. “Not really. I don’t want to tell you. I thought I did, but now I’m not sure.”
“I don’t want you to tell me…not yet. First let’s have a few more minutes of normal.” He reached for my chin and tilted it toward him and pressed his lips to mine. We lay back in the leaves holding and kissing one another. We were consumed in each other’s sweet perfect kisses.
I pushed away from him and lay my head on his chest. He stroked my hair as we listened to the sounds of Mother Nature. I could hear his heartbeat, and it was calm and soothing. It didn’t match mine.
I jumped to my feet in a split second. I was on total alert. My heart pounded so loud I felt it in my ears.
“What’s going on?” Ty asked. Still on the ground where I was a second ago, he swiveled his head around.
“We’re done with normal.” I reached for my gem. Yep, cold but I didn’t need to feel it, I actually sensed it beforehand. I dropped a hand to help him up. He stared at it. “Ty, come on we don’t have time for this. I am stronger than you, much stronger, so this is why you need to get out of here.”
He took my hand. I pulled him to his feet. He gasped. With a peck on his cheek, I told him, “Go. Run.” But he stood there not moving. I saw and heard nothing. I closed my eyes and went into my mind to see what might come in the near future, and it wasn’t pretty.
“I might need to take my own advice and run.” I took Ty’s arm and dragged him along with me. It was too little, too late. We were surrounded.
“What can I do?” His voice crackled in fear. His head whipped around looking from one monster to the next. The creatures completely surrounded us. There was no way out, and they were hungry, hungry with a desire to kill. I could hear them in my head: kill.
“Try to stay alive,” I said. I felt sick to my stomach because I knew he wouldn’t make it through this.

Links:

Book Trailer on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8x0K05MHWA

http://www.authornataliestar.com

http://authornataliestar.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/#!/iamjustnatalie

https://plus.google.com/u/0/116484157865842677580/posts

http://www.shelfari.com/nataliestar

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5424878.Natalie_Star

Purchase sites: http://authornataliestar.blogspot.com/2012/01/keeper-where-can-you-find-it.html

 

Author Bio:

Three years ago, if you told me one day I would love to read and write, I would have told you you were crazy-out-of-your-mind. Since then I have read 150+ books and written 2 complete novels (one of them being The Keeper) and I have 3 more in the works.

When I’m not reading or writing, I can be found with my husband supporting my two children on the soccer fields. Or maybe running around with my camera taking photos while camping and/or hiking. Or lastly, and most probable – I’m watching movies on Netflix while simultaneously perusing Facebook.

Our family resides in the state of Virginia along with our old-unintelligent-diabetic cat named Lucky.

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60 knots…

Today I’m hosting Ed Griffin on my blog – and what we’re talking about…is deleted scenes- though with Ed, his deleted scene was…about wind. Without further ado….ED!

 

This is the first draft of the first chapter of my novel. I felt this chapter was almost poetry. It was all about the wind. My friends and writing teachers told me to drop it, unless the story was going to be about the wind. This hurt me a lot. I loved this chapter. But they were right. The first chapter should introduce the hero. The wind was more of an adversary that a hero.

PRISONERS OF THE WILLIWAW

          “One of the most dangerous local phenomena occurring in the Aleutians is the “Williwaw.”  This is a type of wind which results from the damming up of air on windward slopes followed by an overflow of air down the leeward slopes.  These gusts often are in excess of 60 knots.”

U.S. Navy publication, “Welcome to Adak”

Chapter 1

Williwaw

            For centuries the Devil Wind blew across the island of Adak in the Aleutians.  Even before Adak was an island, when it was part of the Alaskan Mountain Range, the Devil Wind screamed through the rough terrain and beat to the ground any vegetation taller than tundra grass.

The Devil Wind watched earthquakes shake the land and divide it.  Adak became an island, only twenty miles wide by thirty miles long.  The cold waters of the Bering Sea met the warm waters of the Pacific and moisture poured onto Adak, rain and fog, sleet and snow.

Travelers arrived, the Aleuts, bold men and women, descendants of those who had crossed the land bridge from Asia.  They came in their kayaks and they stayed on Adak.  The Devil Wind hid in the mountains and roared down on them, smashing their tiny encampments, blowing out their fires, and capsizing their kayaks.  Sometimes it found a child alone on the tundra and in seconds it stole all the warmth from the child’s tender body.  The Aleuts put a name to this Devil Wind, Williwaw.

Williwaw, the Devil Wind, watched as Russian fur traders arrived in the eighteenth century and, in trade for seal pelts, gave the Aleuts social diseases and slavery and death.  He knew that the Russians, too, would soon be gone.  And they were.

For two hundred years Williwaw ruled supreme over Adak with only an occasional hunter or fisherman to torture.  Then on August 28, 1943 Williwaw met his match, an invasion force of the United States Government.  In ten days Army Engineers and Navy Seabees built a runway, devil wind or no devil wind.  Adak became a powerful base of ninety thousand troops bent on driving the Japanese from the islands to the west.

The war ended and the Navy stayed.  Williwaw flattened buildings, smashed aircraft, injured people, but still the Navy stayed.  In fact, they defied Williwaw.  They constructed a city of gale-proof buildings and called it ‘Downtown Adak’.  They dug tunnels between some of the major buildings and they told every child to seek shelter in a Williwaw.

In 1951 they planted twenty trees even though Williwaw allowed no trees to grow on Adak.  He uprooted every tree seedling whether brought to Adak by a bird or by the wind or by a boot.  The Navy hammered a sign into the tundra, “Adak National Forest”, it said.  The sailors nurtured and protected the trees.  No matter that generations later the trees were still no bigger than the sign itself, the act of defiance had been done.  The Navy had planted trees on Adak.

In 1958 a contractor, working for the Navy, carved a totem pole and near the top he chiseled the image of fierce Williwaw.  The Navy put the totem pole in the parking lot of the community center and Navy families would gather around it for a snapshot to send home to Aunt Gertrude.

Devil Wind indeed!

In 1985 McDonalds built wind proof golden arches in full view of the totem of fierce Williwaw.

At the Eagle’s Nest Officer’s Club, the senior weather officer would sip his dry martini and explain pompously to the new officers that, “Yes, Williwaw has been clocked well in excess of 60 knots.”  If he had many sips of the dry martini, he would dramatically show the youngsters how the wind would dam itself up on one side of the mountain and then, suddenly, – here he would often spill his drink –  it would flood over to the other side of the mountain and create a williwaw.

The ordinary sailors in the Husky Lodge on Bering Hill would drink their beer on a Friday night and once in a while a sailor with country music in his soul would strum a guitar and sing about Adak and the wind:

Well, I’m on an island in the Aleutian chain,

It’s the kind of place drives a man insane.

In Adak, that’s the island’s name;

It’s the Aleut American Rock.

 

Well, it’s chilly most every single day of the year,

And the wind’s so cold it’ll freeze your ear,

And if you don’t watch out, you’ll be crying in your beer,

Just thinking ’bout the people back home.

 

Well, the weather man says it’ll probably snow and rain and sleet,

The sun might show, but not for long,

Cause the wind’s gonna blow,

And the sky’s gonna turn a hazy gray.

 

Well, I’ve got Adak water running in my blood,

Cause I’m cold as hell and my shoes are full of mud,

And I’m out of cigarettes and full of suds,

Just countin’ all the eagles over here.

 

Williwaw was tamed; he’d been snapshoted, studied, built against and sung about until he didn’t feel much like a devil wind anymore.

But Williwaw wasn’t the only demon on Adak.  Any visitor who stayed long enough to experience a clear day – or even a clear hour – would be told to look to the northeast, “There, across Kulak Bay, do you see it?  That’s Great Sitkin, twenty six miles away, rising a mile high out of the Bering Sea.  And look there on the top, do you see the smoke?  Great Sitkin’s an active volcano!” Or as the sailors on Adak liked to say, “Great Sitkin’s a sittin’ over there, huffin’ and a puffin’.”

Tiny Adak sits on what is known as the ring of fire, a belt of active volcanoes that encircles the Pacific. Worse still, Adak rests on a line where two giant plates of the earth’s surface collide, an earthquake zone.

But it was not Williwaw or volcanoes or earthquakes that put an end to the Navy base on Adak.  It was peace.  In the early 1990s the Soviet Union fell apart.  The Pentagon questioned why they were spending millions on a base to watch the Soviets, when the  Soviets, as such, did not exist anymore.

The Navy turned the base back to the Aleuts who put it on the world wide web to see if they could sell it.  “It would make a great prison,” they said.  State legislators made speeches, “Let’s send all our inmates to Adak.”  But it was too far away.  What guard would like to leave Oregon to go to Adak?

Williwaw celebrated the departure of the Navy and the failure of the Aleuts to make a deal.  It was his island again.

One morning  at three fifteen an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Adak. Suddenly the north half of Runway B was four feet lower than the south half.  The pipeline that brought the clear, cold waters of Lake Bonnie Rose down to the Naval Station broke in three places, and the Birchwood housing area shook itself down to rubble in less than a minute, wind resistant roofs and all.

Over on Great Sitkin the earthquake put intolerable pressure on the magma chamber and Great Sitkin blew, throwing rocks and fire and ash into the Bering Sea.  A giant rock sailed through the wind-proof top of the Operations building and destroyed some of the best radar equipment in the Pacific.  Another rock destroyed the Yakutat Hobby Store which so many people had relied on to keep their sanity on this hard duty station.  Ash covered the island and the sea lions on the Yakak Peninsula snorted at the gritty substance in their lungs and rolled their fat bodies back into the Bering Sea.

But the greatest tragedy came from the  tsunami, or tidal wave, that roared in seconds after the earthquake.  The cold waters of the Bering sea came towering into Kuluk Bay and without a second’s warning fell on top of the hospital and sucked half the building out to sea.

Just to the east of the hospital, on the shores of Kuluk Bay, Petty Officer John Kerner woke suddenly, bounced out of bed by the earthquake.  Kerner’s title was liaison with the Aleuts, but really he knew he was a handy man who spent most of his time cursing Williwaw and repairing roofs.  He had moved into the best housing on Adak, a cottage on the shores of  Kuluk Bay.  Here he could watch the storms coming or going over the water and once in a great while he even saw the sun, especially in the morning.  A few steps out his back door was the beach where his two boys, Timmy, five, and Jack, seven, built forts, collected shells and watched the sea otters rolling over in the cold waters of Kuluk Bay.

Kerner ran across his vibrating floor to check on the boys. He heard a noise, turned his head and saw Kuluk Bay coming in his large picture window.  The water smashed him against the wall and pinned him there.  Suddenly the flow reversed and he was sucked to the front of the house and wedged beneath the picture window.  He opened his mouth in a desperate attempt to get air to his lungs.  As he did he saw Timmy and Jack being sucked through the picture window into the Bay.

As the new millennium dawned, Adak was abandoned as most of the Aleutians are.  Williwaw ruled supreme again and laughed as he worked at the wind resistant roofs.  The years passed and the Adak National Forest grew a few more inches and the number of Norway rats increased.  Williwaw thought highly of the rats, for they destroyed the works of man just as he did.

A few years later, on a Saturday morning, Williwaw watched a strange new invasion.  Three hundred convicts, most of them lifers, landed on what was left of Adak’s Runway A.  These three hundred had petitioned Congress to set them free on an island.  “Give us our families”, their petition read, “give us our freedom and give us just half of what it costs to keep each of us in prison for a year.  We’ll become self sufficient – and we’ll rehabilitate ourselves.”

“Bullshit!” Congressman Jack Murphy of Ohio said to the committee chairman, making sure first that his microphone was off.  “Pure bullshit!  But what the hell, give them their island.  Maybe they’ll kill themselves off.  My constituents are damn sick and tired of paying the bills for people who rape their daughters and steal their savings.  Let the sons of bitches go!  Just make sure they stay there!”

The committee chairman nodded his head at Murphy.  They both knew the real reason this island prison was going forward — a certain friend of the committee wanted to set up an electronic assembly plant where he could pay less than third world wages.

The prisoners had asked for waterless, uninhabited Kahoolawe, just south of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.  The Navy used Kahoolawe for target practice and the joke around Washington was to give the convicts what they wanted, but not tell the Navy about it.

Congressman Jack Murphy, however, heard a lot from his constituents about giving these killers a Hawaiian Island. “Hell, I wouldn’t mind having one myself,” they said.  And so tiny, treeless, waterlogged, cold, windy, rat-infested Adak was chosen as the site of this new experiment.

When the first plane landed and the convicts filed out – their arms and legs chained together –  Williwaw laughed.  No US Navy here.  These three hundred and their families would soon be gone—killers, thieves, and rapists.

The Devil Wind greeted each of them with a blast of arctic air mixed with stinging rain as he or she stepped off the plane.  “You are mine now!  We are alike!” it howled as the federal marshals removed the handcuffs and leg irons.  “You think you are free, but now you are prisoners of the Williwaw!”

 

 

 

Find Ed online at

Personal FB https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1024992482

FB page https://www.facebook.com/EdGriffinWriter

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/EdGriffin2

Personal Blog http://edgriffin.net/

Writer’s Write Daily Blog http://writerswritedaily.wordpress.com/

Prison Uncensored Blog http://prisonuncensored.wordpress.com/

Ed Griffin teaches creative writing in his community and in a federal prison in Canada. He’s written five books, three novels and two works of nonfiction. He’s an ex-everything, ex-politician, ex-businessman and ex-Catholic priest. He believes with Aristotle that “Art releases unconscious tensions and purges the soul.”

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Dog Tails and Tailgating…

So today I’ve interviewed Tara Chevrestt on dogs, stalkers and road rage. Read on to see what she says about them and other things, too!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s your favourite meal, when you find yourself writing…anything a stalker might want to know (kidding!)

Favorite meal? That’s a hard one. I like such a variety of foods. I’d have to say my own Sofrito spaghetti. I also call it Puerto Rican spaghetti. Something a stalker would like to know? I have a gun and I know how to use it.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m reading or editing or playing with the dogs. I also love watching classic movies. I’m a big fan of Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart.

What gave you the idea to write Dog Tails?

I was having a real hard time at the day job and one day I was sitting in my chair, literally dreading the idea of going to work, and I said to Lola, my Peke, who was in my lap, “I’d like to trade places with you for a day.”

Whose point of view would you say you agree with…Lola, Pudgy or Jazzy?

Lola is the most like me. She has an attitude and if you mess with her, she’ll mess with you back. Though I’m not in the habit of crapping on people’s patios…I’m not one to be trifled with either.

Do you think they’ll have more adventures you’ll need to mention in the future?

No. I’ve been encouraging them to get into LESS trouble. LOL

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?

No. If I did, it would freak me out and I would have to find the nearest restroom and fix it.

Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks?

Barefoot.

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

I don’t see the point. I know if my mother reads this, however, I’ll get an earful. Shhh.

Do you get road rage? What p****s you off the most about other drivers?

Yes! Tail-gaiting is one. I often curse at the person to get off my a**. I also hate those drivers that don’t even drive the speed limit until you decide to pass them and then suddenly, they hit the gas.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?

I am not fond of bugs. I don’t like approaching them to kill them though either. I will throw shoes at it till it dies.

What really gets on your nerves about people?

People that don’t understand pets are like children. They buy a pet and act like the pet is a disposable item. That really angers me. I don’t condone it. We need to raise pet awareness.

About Tara;

Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.

Tara also writes as Sonia Hightower. Sonia writes the racy stuff and argues that she was here first. She just wasn’t allowed to be unleashed until the last year.

While Tara and Sonia continue to fight over the laptop and debate who writes the next book, you can find buy links, blurbs, and other fun bits on their website: http://tarachevrestt.weebly.com/index.html or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Chevrestt-Sonia-Hightower/218383211513877

 

And here’s the cover for the immensely funny Dog Tails – the adventures of Lola, Jazzy and Pudgy.

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To Honor A Life

This week, I am hosting an amazing piece about Marilyn Monroe, the things people remember her for and the charities she supported. Lets hear it for….K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burnes !

On August 5, 1962 Marilyn Monroe’s life ended all too soon. She left a nation of fans who mourned her then. And now, people from all walks of life and from all around the world mourn her still today. Fan groups for Marilyn Monroe reach around the globe. On Facebook, Marilyn has three million-plus fans, 70 percent of them under the age of 24. She also has some 53,000 Twitter followers. This tells its own story don’t you think? That although she is dead in body, she is very much alive in everything else!

Marilyn Monroe is remembered for many things. Movies, songs, commercials, photo shoots, just to name a few. Stars today are claiming that they think of Marilyn before an important event trying to emulate her as much as possible. They have photo shoots copying Marilyn’s past shots and outfits. She was and still is considered the sexiest woman ever. We don’t think the world will ever be over Marilyn.

So, as the authors of What She Knew, we wanted to celebrate her ‘un-lived life’ by honoring her memory and giving the world a look into ‘what if Marilyn Monroe had lived?’ Ours is a story of what never was but what could have been if she had lived. You can check out details about our book at http://www.whatsheknew.com.

For all of August, we are honoring Marilyn . We are hosting special book signings; supporting two of her favorite charities, March of Dimes and St. Judes Hospital; sharing little known secrets on radio shows; and other signature events all this month. Here’s how you can take part.

There are several ways that you can join us in this celebration. We are hosting several contests to enable us give to lots of money to the above charities and offer you a wonderful prize for participating.
1) Submit your favorite Marilyn Monroe quote to whatsheknew@gmail.com or as a comment to this post. Winners are randomly drawn weekly for various What She Knew signature prizes.
2) Buy our book, any format; send us a screen shot of the purchase to whatsheknew@gmail.com. You will then be entered in a random drawing to take place on Sept 1st to win the grand prize.
That’s all there is to it! Easy right? And, know that by purchasing the book you not only have a chance to win the grand prize (details below,) you too are helping support Marilyn’s favorite charities.
Grand Prize:
~~One hour of Skype time with us, the authors. You can ask anything book or writing related.
~~A signed, 1st edition of What She Knew (no longer available to the general public.)
~~A What She Knew Signature Pink Purse (filled with all kinds of goodies.)
~~A Marilyn Monroe Clock.
~~Other What She Knew Signature goodies
And, as a bonus, if you purchase a paperback version of the book we will give you two entries and if you purchase a hardback version we will give three entries for the grand prize drawing! Ebooks count as one entry.

Thanks in advance for participating in this month long contest. Remember, What She Knew books make excellent gifts for others. So purchase the book(s) this month so that you have a chance at cool prizes, you can help Marilyn’s favorite charities and have your gifts for the upcoming holidays all taken care of!!

Blessings, K.R. and T.L.
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com/Home_Page.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whatsheknewbook/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrHughesAndTlBurnsAuthors
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/What-She-Knew-ebook/dp/B007P994TC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1344705865&sr=8-2&keywords=what+she+knew

About our guests today;

K.R. Hughes

Hughes is an English major from Amarillo, Texas. She now resides near Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys writing with her co-author T.L. Burns. They are currently working on the sequel to “What She Knew,” the fast paced novel that finishes telling the story.

Hughes enjoys working with budding writers and tutoring English. Her passion is for at-risk teens. She volunteers to help teens realize their potential and find their passion. Hugheshas two grown children, Justin and Kayti, and two four legged girls, MayZee and Ruthie.

Find other works by thisauthor in the Historical Romance section, pen name is Kymber Lee,”Treasured Love” is a fun romp written in Regency England in 1811.Lee (Hughes) wrote this novel for her grandmother who is a huge supporter ofher work.

T.L. Burns

As Burns’ co-author puts it “She is the foremost researcher and historical guru for our novel “What She Knew.” The novel was just released March of 2012 and they are busily working on the sequel, “What She Knew Too, The saga continues.”You can learn more about them at their website http://www.whatsheknew.com.

Burns is originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in the panhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains) and now resides near Atlanta, Georgia. In her words “Trees and flowers everywhere!! Even the weeds are green and lush! I feel like I’m living in a postcard!! And, no wind! The desert regions are sooooo windy.”

Burns passion is for at-risk families. She volunteers her time to help the needy, not wih a hand-out but with a hand-up. She is married and has two grown sons (best sons in the whole world) and one 4 legged son, Binford!

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A Trader and a Pirate walk into a bar…

Welcome to my blog as, once again, we host someone here today. I’ve got the privilege of showing off Scott Seldon’s newest book, Pirates of I’ab!

With three completed novels and a collection of short stories, I found it challenging to pick a excerpt that can stand on its own without too much explanation. I think this is probably the best one. The stage is easily set. Captain Ven Zaran is finishing out a contract for a fellow trader in a sector known for piracy. Ven isn’t easy to catch and has eluded the pirates and caught the attention of their leader. And now, from my upcoming release, Pirates of I’ab, the first face to face meeting of protagonist and antagonist.

Rather than waste their time on the return trip, Ven decided to see if there were any cargos in need of transport that were headed in their direction. As soon as the cargo hold was empty, he and Laren set off to cover the port bars to see of they could get any leads. It was worth an hour or two of inquiring.

Ven wasn’t having much luck in the bars he’d chosen to visit.

“I hear you are an independent trader,” A man said as he came up to him.

“I am. Are you looking to move a cargo?”

“I’m afraid no. I’ve been working for Sandisto Lines and I’m interested in moving to a more profitable position. Do you make good money as an independent?”

Something about the man disturbed Ven. He was about fifty with close-cropped hair and a prominent moustache. Something about his demeanor made Ven nervous.

“Yes, we make good money, but it is hard work. Like what I’m doing now. Do you know anyone where who has a cargo to move?”

“I’m afraid not. I’m just here on a commercial layover. Is being an independent more dangerous?”

“Not usually. It depends on where you do business. Like anything else, it can be dangerous if you aren’t careful.” Ven’s internal alarm was going off. Something about this man seemed familiar. Then it hit him and he went cold. That was exactly the hairstyle and moustache type that the pirate Jippol had worn. What had Jolar said, that Jippol copied everything that the Dolf did, even his look.

They were in a public place so Ven decided to bait him. A dangerous thing with this man’s reputation. “The most dangerous thing are the pirates. But if you play it right, even they aren’t anything to worry about.” Ven saw the color rise in the man’s faced and knew he was right. This was Ranmil X’lan, Dolf for the Pirates of I’ab.

“I’ve heard pirates can be pretty dangerous.”

“If you take a few precautions and have the right ship and crew, the pirates are pretty harmless, but you have run a profitable business to do that.”

“And you think you have the right business?”

“Oh yes. I have the best crew. I hired them because they are the best and they stay because I am the best captain in the business.” Ven didn’t usually brag, but he had heard some of his crew say it. He wouldn’t agree. He’d worked for Karnock and thought he was the best and still strived to be half as good as he’d been. But he knew making such a statement would just bug this pirate sitting in front of him.

He was right, he could seen the anger and frustration in the man’s eyes. “A little full of yourself, aren’t you?”

“If I wasn’t the best free trader out there, I wouldn’t have escaped from pirates so many times. I just had a run in with one of them on my way here.” Ven decided to go for a personal jab. “Whoever that was, they had to be a rookie they were so easy to get away from.”

Ven saw the man’s face virtually explode in anger. His face went dark red as his blood pressure built up. His body language spoke of rage ready to be released, but of a great deal of control keeping it in check. Ven had never seen someone so angry before and never would have imagined that he would be able to control it so completely. He finally spoke, his voice low and controlled, but without any sound of anger in it. “You tread on dangerous ground, Trader.”

“Then name is Ven, Ranmil.”

“I know your name. It’s not worth using.”

“Just the sort of stupid comment I’d expect from a pirate.”

Ranmil looked even more dangerous for a moment then suddenly relaxed. He looked at Ven for a long moment before a smile broke out on his face. “You think you can goad me into attacking you here. I have more self control than that.”

“Well, this is a public place, should we go elsewhere?”

“I have no interest in any sort of personal combat.”

“You don’t look like you are in any shape for it with that belly.”

Ranmil laughed at Ven’s continued attacks. “Oh trader,” he finally said. “You have a lot to learn. I am going to crush you. I’ll take every cargo you ever carry if I have to. You’ll be so known for losing cargos that no one will ever hire you. They’ll think you come visit me and then claim I attacked you. You’ll be finished.”

“That is a grandiose plan. I thought it wasn’t worth even knowing my name.”

“No, but I can’t have you flaunting my power in this sector.”

“I plan on leaving and never coming back.”

“It’s too late for that, trader.”

“Look, Ranmil. This conversation may be interesting to you, but I have business to take care of.”

“You amuse me, trader. Do you think you can actually escape me?”

“No, I have other plans. Right now I am due to leave. Since you’ve occupied my time and this bar is a dud, I’ll just take my empty ship back into space.”

“Fine. We’ll meet again. Next time don’t expect me to be nice.”

“I never have.” When Ranmil didn’t reply to that, Ven got up and left.

Scott Seldon lives with his family in Colorado and works as an IT administrator. Visit his website (sites.google.com/site/scottrseldon/) for the latest updates and to find where his books are sold. Watch for his upcoming novel, Pirates of I’ab, at your favorite ebook retailer

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