Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Author: David Coles

Creating an eBook: How To Kindle Yourself

The following means of creating an eBook is offered by David Coles, one half of the David Coles and Jack Everett partnership and author of several novels including : Jihad-Britain, the Last Free Men, Merlin’s Kin, Last Mission, The Abbot & the Acolyte, Venturer, Faces of Immortality and To Rule the Universe. Their latest book The Tourist is due out in August, 2011 and is a thriller involving an American Special Forces soldier on a killing spree in England.

It’s easy to create an eBook: type your manuscript in a word processor and save it as a Word .doc file, then upload it to the CreateSpace website where it will be converted to Kindle format.

Of course, your Kindle eBook will be in plain vanilla format. At this time of writing, much of your style and formatting will be ignored, chapter headings may not be emboldened or centered, italics or bold text may remain plain and so on. In short, you lose control of the formatting. These details can best be satisfied by converting the text to a HTML file. Warning - not by saving it as HTML straight from the word processor! That way lies madness and a file big enough to fall into and drown!

No, there’s an easier way where you control exactly what you need. It’s not difficult, you can do it within the word processor and save it as a Text file and then merely change the .txt extension code to .html and that’s it. We have a free document describing how to do it in detail, it’s available as a Word .doc file or as an Adobe .pdf file; you can choose which and download from the home page at .

This is not a cut and dried issue though. The technical aspects and possibilities for eBooks are changing weekly. The Amazon/Create Space converter available at the Kindle upload page appears to be getting smarter and there is talk behind the scenes of the Amazon Kindle reader being upgraded to display .ePub format books.

The situation is a little like the early days of compact disc recordings when there were several competing formats; ePub books seem to be gaining in popularity, the format is used by Barnes & Noble, Apple and the Sony reader to name only three while Kindle is Amazon only. Unlike the Kindle format though, where the author/producer can centralize chapter headings and separators and force a new page start at chapter headings and so on, the common ePub formats do not provide for this. This is disappointing because use this sort of design element makes a rather satisfying product; however, as mentioned, the situation is evolving.

The freeware Calibre eBook management system will produce ePub format files using many other file formats as input. The simple HTML file described at the beginning can also be used as input to the Calibre software and can produce a highly compliant ePub eBook file which passes stringent verification tests - check out the suggestions for both ePub and Kindle files at the DavidBColes homepage.

Useful internet resources…

Amazon/Create Space:
… select “Bookshelf” to go to the upload section to try it out
Calibre eBook System:
ePub verification Test :
Free ‘how-to’ doc      :

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Lakebridge Spring by Natasha Troop

Title: Lakebridge Spring
Author: Natasha Troop
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 25, 2011)


★ ★ 

My thoughts:

This review is not for the entire book as I have only read the first 50+ pages. I tried reading this many times, and I really could not get into the story. 

The introduction was way too long for me, like a never ending one. The book has a lot of long narrative paragraphs (like 1-2 pages long) with very little dialogue, thus making the story hard to follow. It would have been better if there were more character dialogues instead of just narrating the whole story for the readers.

The book didn't work for me. Please note that what bothers me might not bother other readers at all. Here are some positive reviews for this book. Read here.

About the book:

Vermont, picturesque and lovely, attracts visitors from across the country in search for the perfect picture, the perfect fall foliage or perhaps a taste of maple syrup. Stansbury is best known for the odd covered bridge that spans Stansbury Lake and goes nowhere, connecting no roads and serving no known purpose. The locals call it the Lakebridge. Very few know of its mysterious origins and fewer care to know more.

Those visiting the town perhaps take a few snapshots and leave, their curiosity quelled by an uneasy feeling that they shouldn’t think on it anymore. The tourists will eventually leave Stansbury, but its residents strangely linger, seemingly held captive by a force they barely recognize. They also do not think about the town’s mysterious artifact much except in passing, all but Gil, his father, Ben, and a few others. They know of the bridge’s dark history and understand that it is responsible for every horror that ever befell the people of Stansbury: the people who fear the bridge but will not speak of it.

The bridge makes people do things – bad things – so that it can continue to love and care for them all. Some have tried to destroy the bridge, but as long as the bridge is fed with the lives of the innocents of Stansbury it will go on – loving the people of Stansbury.
Lakebridge: Spring is the first of a four book cycle revolving around Stansbury and the Lakebridge.- Goodreads

About the author:

Natasha grew up in Southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Comparative Literature. She also holds a Masters’ Degrees in both Secondary Education and Creative Writing. Natasha currently lives in the Phoenix area with her spouse, son, daughter and menagerie of pets, including one very overprotective collie dog. Aside from writing and teaching high school students to love theatre, she is a attempting to become a professional baker. - Goodreads

I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Natasha Troop. The review posted above is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Best Books Blog Award

I recently received this award from Deidra, an author, illustrator and a blogger 

Thanks Deidra for visiting my blog and for this wonderful award! 
You definitely made my day! 

Succubus Revealed Chapter 2

It was announced in Bloodlines FB page that Richelle Mead had her baby boy today! 
Congrats congrats!! ;) 

Succubus Revealed Chapter 2

It took me a moment to really comprehend that in 30 seconds, the conversation had gone from a deeply seriously mystery about my love life to bowling for demonic bragging rights.  And yet, this wasn’t a particularly unusual pattern in my world.

“And by ‘we,’” added Jerome.  “I mean you four.”  He nodded toward Peter, Cody, Hugh, and me.

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Let me make sure I’m following this right.  You’ve signed us up for some sort of bowling league.  One that you aren’t even going to participate in.  And this is somehow going to prove your employees’ ‘evilness’ to the world.”

“Don’t be silly.  I can’t participate.  Bowling teams only have four people.”  He didn’t comment on the proving evilness part.

“Well, hey, I’ll totally yield my spot to you,” I said.  “I’m not that great a bowler.”

To read more, click HERE

Georgina and Seth Revealed!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hop! Hop! Hop!

It's time for the weekly hop!
If you want to join the fun,
visit Parajunkee's view for the linky . . . .

 Book Blogger Hop

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Vampires, vampires and vampires. Oh and dhampirs ;) Anyone from the Vampire Academy series would be great, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Vampire Chronicles), Quinn (Riley Jenson series). Would also love to meet some shifters too, Kade the horse-shifter in the Riley Jenson series and OMG, Richard Zeeman, the wolf king in the Anita Blake series!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Author: T.P. Boie

A lot of people ask me when I came up with the idea for “The Eye of the Crystal Ball”, and I answer them that the story is very new, but the main character - the gypsy-girl Sara – has been with me always. She appeared in my head when I was still a child.

Where did she come from? Well, my parents actually. It is kind of strange I admit, but I think it is part of the reason why I have such a great imagination still as an adult. The thing is, my parents (mostly my dad – but my mom didn’t contradict him) used to tell me that I wasn’t their child. According to their story I was left on the doorstep at their house as an infant. They found me there in a small basket with a note on the pillow telling them to take good care of me. They told me I was a gypsy girl and that my real parents were going to come and get me one day soon.

I know it sounds like a horrible thing for parents to say to their child, but it wasn’t like I was young enough to really believe them. But I loved the story, and it made me very interested in gypsies and whenever we went on vacation to the Southern of France – where we went every year because we had an apartment there – I would always go out looking for gypsies and try to get in contact with them. I didn’t believe the story – but I think maybe a big part of me wanted to. And that is where I think my love for storytelling began. My dad would tell me vividly about the gypsy way of living (in order to prepare me for when I had to go back, he would say while winking his one eye) and I would get drawn right into these stories of the dark and mysterious people from distant and exotic places. Stories filled with music and dancing and fluttering skirts. And my new best friend became Sara, the gypsy girl in a long red dress that would dance in my mind and make me dream of being different, or at least something else than the pretty ordinary girl from a middleclass family in Denmark that I really was.

As I grew up she followed me. I knew in my heart that I would one day write her story, and after having written four mystery novels, three in Danish that are published in Scandinavia and Germany, and one in English, I finally realized some time this spring that Sara had returned and she was getting ready to go on a dangerous quest to find a cure for her little brother’s strange illness.

I told my parents that I had written the story and they laughed a lot about it. So did I. To their defense I can tell you, that they told my older brother that he came from the monkeycage at the local Zoo, so I would prefer my story anytime over his.

But to be honest I loved that they gave me a world of imagination and they made me believe that I could do anything. Even fly. Yes, you heard me. Fly. My dad told me that he could teach me how to fly and every weekend for a long period of time we would practice in the driveway. My dad would put me on our garbage can outside and then he would have me jump towards him while he yelled: Flap your arms, flap!
And I jumped, of course, and flapped firmly believing that I one day would fly over the top of the roofs and look down at the small world underneath me.

Some small part of me still believes that one day it will happen. As long as I keep flapping … and believing.

When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider’s house. 

When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was – or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.

When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness.

To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure – well knowing that it will cost her dearly.

Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother’s strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

Meghan is 16 when she dies. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. It is a school everybody has to go to before they are let into Heaven. One day she finds a mirror in the cellar of the school and goes through it. She ends up back on earth where she meets Jason and soon Meghan will have to choose between the two worlds.

The Academy is a Y/A paranormal romance and the first book in T. P. Boje’s Afterlife-series.

T. P. Boje is a mother of two, a stepmother of another two and a hardcore cartoon lover, Tim Burton enthusiast, and enjoys any movie the Coen Brothers have made (with the big Lebowski being her favorite strongly followed by Burn after Reading). She is also a Y/A fantasy and mystery-writer. She is originally from Denmark but currently living in Florida, USA. Her books are translated into several languages. 

To learn more follow her on Twitter, visit her fansite on Facebook or check out her web-page:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bloodlines: Jill Mastrano, Teaser Trailer #5

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bloodlines: Sydney Sage, Teaser Trailer #4

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Merciful by Casey Adolfsson

Title: Merciful
Author: Casey Adolfsson
Paperback: 504 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 6, 2011)


★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

Acacia Moirgetes lives a boring life. When she turned seventeen, she began to experience weird things.. like disappearing from her apartment or from her work and finding herself in a middle of nowhere. Mostly,  it's just a short trip, minutes, hours, nothing else to see except she kept on appearing in front of an Acacia tree. One day, she could not go back home. She met a man named Blaise and told her that she is a goddess, a Goddess of Fate and her father Zeus, is constantly searching for her. Her memory quickly returns, that she left Olympus but she could not remember the reason why she left her world. Now, she must remember everything as someone is plotting to destroy the people of Olympus. 

I loved the story. Merciful started out pretty slow but eventually picked up after the first two chapters. The story is well-written. Loved the way the author wove the story with the Greek myth characters. It was really entertaining, if you are into Greek mythology, you'll love this too, I guarantee you.

Though there's one thing here that made the story a bit annoying for me. There are two heroes in this story, Blaise and Ash. They are both in love with Acacia and yes, Acacia loves both guys. I'm nearly hating stories with conflict in love triangle, especially when the heroine is indecisive. Twilight Saga's Bella and Calla Torr of Nighshade series to name a few. As for the book/book series that I enjoyed such conflict, these are Vampire Academy's Dimitri-Rose-Adrian, Sookie Stackhouse's Bill-Sookie-Eric and JeanClaude-Anita-Richard for the Anita Blake series. I can't tell exactly how I feel about this emo conflict but I would rather the story has a different conflict than a love triangle.

Overall, aside from the love triangle I mentioned above, it's still a great read. This book will be included in my "re-read" list. If there's book number two, I would definitely read it!   

About the book:

At 17 years old, Acacia Moirgetes is starting to feel like her boring, lonely existence is something of a tragedy. A Greek tragedy, that is. Acacia quickly learns that the life she thought she knew is a lie. More disturbingly, it’s a lie she’s been telling herself to avoid the terrible truth. Now she’s on a mission to corral the Greek gods of myth back to Mount Olympus before all Hades breaks loose. With the help of her guide, a curmudgeonly former goat named Amal, and her two Pyroskia— devastatingly handsome bodyguards, Blaise and Ash, whose devotion to Acacia runs deeper than either ever imagined—Acacia must follow the truth to its darkest ends. Along the way, she’ll have to recover her forgotten powers, come to terms with the woman she once was, and perhaps most importantly, discover why she left Olympus in the first place. Love, betrayal and mercy come to the fore in Merciful, an epic fantasy novel for young adults.

About the author:

Not long after I began my endeavor, I had the pleasure of conversing with an actual real author, Lauren Groff. When a New York Times Best Selling Author tells you something… listen. The single most valuable piece of advice I received I got from her.

“Write every day. Do something, anything with your work every day.” I did and it kept me close and tuned into my characters, no matter where I went they stayed with me. I wrote something new, edited something old, thesaurused things I’m not smart enough to know synonyms for, but I stuck with my story and I never let my characters or myself down.

As a mother of two, and an over volunteerer (is that a word?), I should put achiever… or “can’t say no’er” , there were a lot of nights I wanted to slide under the sheets, pull them up over my head and tuck them in enough that no one would notice I was there. I didn’t fool anybody with that trick and so… instead of hiding under the covers I hid behind my notebook and… I wrote.

My husband has been extremely supportive of my writing, but I don’t think he took me seriously until after I told him I had over a 100,000 words in my document. He peeked over my shoulder several times after that, I think mostly to be sure I wasn’t writing, “I love donuts. I love wine. I love cheese. I love chocolate” over and over. Ask him to name my four main characters… I dare you.

If you’re reading this it’s because I want you as a fan or you already are one. So it’s probably just you and my four closest friends.

I hope you enjoy Acacia and crew as much as I do.
P.s Amal wants to know if you have anything to eat. Specifically a taco.

I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Casey Adolfsson. The review posted above is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Post: Jeffrey B. Oddo

In writing my book, THE 10 KIDMANDMENTS, I learned more about myself and being a parent than I ever realized I would.  One of the most gratifying things about being a published author and having others read, review, and comment on your work is often the affirmation of the things you are doing right.  This has certainly been the case for me in reference to the portion of my book discussing FAMILY MISSION STATEMENTS.  This simple suggestion has been one of the most popular aspects for readers to both relate to, and one of the easiest and most fun things to implement into their families.

As the CEO of a very large company, I recognize the relevance of a company mission statement.  It gives us direction, reminds us why we do what we do, and allows us a guidepost  to which we can refer in times when things do not seem to be properly aligning.

Having a family mission statement could be the single most important take-away from my book THE 10 KIDMANDMENTS. I can certainly attest that it is a huge part of what makes my own family (me, my wife and three daughters) a successful and a powerful, cohesive team.  If you have not identified what is important to you and your family, now is the time. Once the kids become teenagers, the chances of making an impact are greatly diminished. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it if your kids are teenagers, I would just encourage you to do this sooner rather than later.

Why a FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT?  If your children are struggling with being respectful, motivated, ethical etc, chances are they don’t understand their purpose in life - Kidmandment #1. If this is the case, and they are living someone else’s dream instead of their own, problems are certainly going to be part of their life path. Uncertainty about one’s purpose causes unnecessary challenges that ultimately create negative energy and negative results, neither of which do you want in your home. The solution to these unwanted problems is to teach your children AND personally live a life dedicated to serving others while being clear about your respective purpose in life.

Remember, selfish living (your actions) on a parent’s behalf will always out trump anything you say. If you think happiness can be found in the next pair of shoes, a luxurious vacation or a new car, you are demonstrating to your kids the opposite of a life that we teach in the book. True happiness can only be found when we have something in life that allows us to focus on serving/helping others rather than living a life serving ourselves.

How To Create a FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT: Sit down with your family and explain to them why you want to do this exercise.  It is not because you want to fix them; that will go over like a lead balloon. It needs to be presented as something you have been thinking about, something that has been missing in your life, something that you need their help with to become a better parent and spouse, and so they can be the best siblings.

Like most things in life, timing is everything; too young and they don’t understand what you are talking about; too old, and they think you and this exercise is stupid. Emphasize that this a family discussion about what we want to accomplish as a family, what we want to be known for in our community, what values we want to seek and create in our friendships.  Remind our kids that a cohesive understanding  about what is important to the entire family is necessary to living fulfilled lives individually and together, allows us to settle problems more seamlessly, and offers us a reference if we question our decisions or motives.  It is a manifesto that is collectively shared and sourced by the family.

Benefits of a FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT: Once done, it can be used to “referee” almost any family problem. It becomes the guidepost by which you live and resolve problems that arise within the family, or within our respective selves.

You can all refer back to the basics of the Family Mission Statement and see that, for example, we agreed that we value honesty and integrity, so the reason she is not necessarily a good friend is because she doesn’t share the same vales that we do.  Or, let’s look at what we agreed to and we can see that “that” is not acceptable in our family because it contradicts our mission in life.

Sit down THIS WEEK and create a Family Mission Statement with your spouse and children. It will change your life, Guaranteed.

-          Jeffrey Oddo

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bloodlines: Adrian's unreleased first chapter

Bloodlines - Original Chapter One Link Exchange With Bookingly Yours

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bloodlines: Adrian's Teaser Trailer #3

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Author: Dennis Danziger's How to Write and Publish a Novel in Only 12 Years

How to Write and Publish a Novel in Only 12 Years

Writing my first book, Daddy, The Diary of an Expectant Father, was a breeze. From the day I was married until the day my son was born, I wrote one page day. Eleven and a half months later I had a kid and a book.  My agent sold my manuscript on the 33rd try, and after I received my advance and paid my taxes, I handed the rest over to a publicist who booked me on Good Morning America and the Phil Donahue Show.
My book was excerpted in magazines, written up in US Today, and translated into German and Korean.  I was a TV writer at the time and was hired to write a sit-com pilot based on my book.   
A decade later I was divorced, teaching public school and responsible for  200 students, leaving me little time to write.   Divorced and ready to re-enter the dating pool I decided to keep a journal focusing on my proactive search for the last great love of my life, who I imagined I would marry and who would be become a loving stepmother to my two teenage children.
Off I went seeking romance and writing about it. I figured my worst case scenario was that I would not find the woman for whom I was searching; but I might end up with another book.
And I did. But not the way I planned.  
After a year, neither the romance nor the literature was working out.  I gave up on both projects.

Weeks later, a high school friend wrote and informed me that he had given my email address to a beautiful, single woman who he had been friends with 25 years earlier. She wrote and suggested we correspond. 

Amy, my new correspondent, lived in Ottawa, Canada and believed that I lived in NYC, within visiting distance. But I lived in LA, a mere 3200 miles away. I figured there was no harm in continuing our on-line relationship since I rarely fly and doubted we would ever meet.       
Fifteen months later Amy Friedman, whose syndicated children’s column, Tell Me a Story, has been running for 20 years, moved to LA and we married. 
A month after “I do,” I showed her my dating journal and asked if she thought there was a book in it. “Absolutely,” she said, “except you should turn it into a novel.”
“I’ve never written a novel,” I said.
“I have.” And she gave me a tutorial in fiction. 

Five years later, I completed my dark, romantic comedy, A Short History of a Tall Jew. I wrote some mornings before work. Some afternoons on my lunch break. Some evenings when I did not have too many papers to grade. Always on weekends and holidays. Six months after completing my fourth draft, a NYC agent agreed to represent me.    Six months and 26 rejections later he quit representing me. Every winter break and summer for the next five years I re-wrote. 

I could not imagine dying with this manuscript unpublished. So I did something I had vowed I would never do: self-publish.

That process took another five months.      

My first reading was held in May 2010 at The Village Bookstore in Pacific Palisades, CA and since then I have been invited to read/discuss my book at the Houston and Ft. Myers Jewish Book Festivals. I have given readings in bookstores, theatres, salons and saloons in LA, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Cleveland, Ohio, at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on a February night when it snowed 19 inches and at a pool party/fundraiser in Northridge, California. I have received positive reviews (and one really ugly negative review). I have been invited to write for blogs like this one. I have been signed by an agent who is trying to sell the TV/movie rights. A blog I wrote for Huffington Post’s Divorce section quotes heavily from my novel.  One can buy my novel on and on Kindle.

From the day I put pen to paper until the day I held a copy of the A Short History in my hand, 12 years elapsed.

I have yet not recouped my investment; maybe I will; maybe I won’t. 

But other than running the AIDS Marathon (very slowly) in Hawaii, at age 53, writing and publishing my novel is the coolest thing I have ever done. And I am glad that when my agent quit sending it out, I overcame the depression that always comes with such rejection, and pushed on.  

The difference between allowing my manuscript waste away in a desk drawer and preparing for the three readings I have booked this fall was never, never, never quitting.  

Purchase your copy

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: The Man In The Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal

The Man In The Rockefeller Suit: 
The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter 

 Mark Seal
Hardcover:  336 pages
Viking Adult (June 2, 2011)


I received a review copy of this book free from the publisher, Viking Adult (Penguin Group U.S.A.). The review posted above is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.


★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I'm not really into non-fiction books so I tend to avoid them. When the publisher approached me, I was hesitant at first but I was glad that I accepted the request.

The book is about the "real" story of the "fake" man named Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. A German who first came to the United States posed as a foreign exchange student in 1978. He was able to manipulate too many people. He first disguised himself as Christopher Mountbatten Chichester, a British baronet, who made the whole town of San Marino loved him. And then Christopher Crowe who was able to get a high paying job in one of the Wall Street investment firms, and then finally Clark Rockefeller who managed to deceive and marry Sandra Boss, a wealthy woman with Harvard MBA from New York. All these lies were believed for thirty long years! 

Just imagine, he duped a lot of people including the whole town of San Marino (a whole town!), the Wall Street's super intelligent geniuses and his lawyer wife. I could not believe he was able to fool Sandra Boss for more than ten years.  The only mistake that ended his lies was when he kidnapped his own daughter and his wife had him investigated. 

I loved it, it was a well-written non-fic book. This is the one book that will certainly entertain you from the first page to the last.  

About the book:

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

About the author:

Mark Seal has been a journalist for more than thirty years. Currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has written for many major magazines and served as a collaborator on almost twenty nonfiction books. Although he has written thousands of stories, Seal says none has struck a chord with readers more than the story of the incredible life and brutal death of Joan Root, which he originally reported in the August 2006 issue of Vanity Fair. He lives in Aspen, Colorado.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Friday!

It's time for the weekly hop!
If you want to join the fun,
visit Parajunkee's view and Crazy for Books for the linky . . . .

Book Blogger Hop

“What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?”
Of course it's Bloodlines by Richelle Mead!!! I miss Rose and Dimitri.... and oh my... I miss Adrian too!!! Wish I could have it now!!!


Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

Not a book but books. The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien) and the Vampire Academy series (Richelle Mead). Those books make me smile every time I see them in my book case. Those are my two favorite series. I even named my son and daughter after the LOTR's characters. Another one is the Anita Blake books. Whenever I'm in the car, I've never failed to wear seat belt because of Anita. The author, Ms. Hamilton's mom died in a car accident so she used Anita as fictional equivalent of her mom's death.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Author: Gerard de Marigny

My Heroes … My Dad and Cris De Niro
There’s a difference between heroes and superheroes.
I was a boy in the 1960’s, which means as a child I was inundated with scores of superheroes, mostly from comic books. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America … the list goes on and on. They each had two things in common – some type of super-abilities and they did something ‘righteous’ and usually on a grand scale - i.e. protected Metropolis or Gotham City, America … or the world.
I was always more impressed with less stupendous characters - ordinary people that did extraordinary things, not by superpowers but by valiant traits - traits like drive … perseverance … selflessness … and ‘a need to succeed!’
My Dad was a humble man but he was my hero. To me, what made my Dad a hero wasn’t some superhero quality, it was the way he lived his life. I grew up in a mostly Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. I used to see how many of the Italian Dad’s would do things that they thought were macho, but I thought were vain. Most of them sat in the first pews in Catholic Church just because the first pew was considered the place of honor during mass. These were the same men that, every Wednesday, would take their ‘gumadas’ (mistresses) out to restaurants and clubs in our neighborhood.
Their values weren’t my Dad’s values or mine. They considered vendettas honorable, but God considers forgiveness honorable. They considered the people that had the most were the most powerful; God considers the people that sacrifice the most to be the most powerful … and on and on.
My Dad wasn’t Italian. He was French and Spanish, but honestly, I describe him more of a “John Wayne” American. He didn’t act like most of the Italian men did. For instance, when he went to church he would sit in the back pew. The problem with that was that he had a hard time hearing – but that was okay – my Dad wasn’t an overly religious man. He believed in God but he was more a man to ‘live his faith’ than to be able to spout Biblical verse. When these men would invite him out on Wednesday’s, their day to take their mistresses out, my Dad would always refuse. He told me when I was older that he thought it was “… despicable for a man to take a vow and then not to live up to that vow.
My Dad had no mistresses. He placed my Italian Mom on a pedestal. He worked hard, never missed a day of work, had almost no vices (except for his cigarette smoking – Camel cigarettes – a habit he picked up in the Marine Corps), and had no hobbies to speak of – his work was his hobby. His virtues were selflessness, consideration and humility; his demeanor was quiet, affable and gentlemanly; and his achievements were more about reliability and loyalty then they were about saving the world.
I know … my Dad doesn’t sound like much of a hero, so why was he my hero? He was my hero because of his humility. He was the man to always give his seat to strangers (a lesson he taught my brother and me). He was a man to take the last seat in a movie theater or church … even though he couldn’t hear very well. He was a man who would talk about others as if they were geniuses. “That man is so smart …” and “That lady is amazing …” I have never known or met another human being more humble.
My Dad was the type of person that made you feel good about yourself. He was the type to bring the best out in you, by offering tons of praise along with some tactful constructive criticism, when necessary.
My Dad could ALWAYS be counted on – no matter what was needed – money – time – or action … and those things weren’t just afforded to family. Friends and even strangers could rely on my Dad … and they did.
My Dad wasn’t a talkative man, but people loved to talk to him. He wasn’t a comedian, but he could always make you laugh with his dry wit and he was the type that would make people smile when they saw him. He wasn’t a loud man, but he could get your attention with what he said, not how loud he said it. He wasn’t a flashy man, mostly living his life in one pair of dirty shoes, the same jacket and driving the same, old van but people still perceived him as being as debonair as Cary Grant. He used to joke about looking like Cary Grant. He didn’t look like the classy star but he certainly had the same charm.
My Dad died in 1998. He was more than just a Dad to me. He was the Best Man at my wedding … he was the most reliable man – the person that took me for my radiation treatments (I had cancer in 1996) … he was my best friend … and he was the humblest human being I ever knew. That’s what made him my hero and he remains my hero, to this day.
When I set out to create a fictional hero, I wanted to create one that emulated my Dad in certain ways … primarily his humility. Not exactly a heroic quality, especially by today’s standards. Heroes nowadays seem to border on cold-blooded killers and sociopaths. In fact, I can hardly distinguish the qualities of heroes and villains in too many of today’s modern thrillers.
I wanted to create a hero that cherishes his faith, family and friends. I wanted to create an ordinary person who was driven to do extraordinary things – not a super-human. I wanted to create a person whom you or I would be honored to know.
I’ve told you about my Dad, now let me introduce you to another hero of mine. His name is Cris De Niro.
Author Bio
Gerard de Marigny is the author of the geopolitical thriller, _The Watchman of Ephraim_, Book 1 of THE Cris De Niro series. The sequel, _Signs of War_ is scheduled for release in September 2011.

Gerard de Marigny resides in the beautiful foothills of Las Vegas, NV with his wife Lisa and his four sons. When not bending an arm with friends at the local pub, he's putting to paper the stories and characters that are alive in his mind.

Author/Publisher Sites
Author's Website:
Author's Blog: SelfPubber's Pub

Social Networking Sites

Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: Gerard de Marigny Books
Smashwords (all eBook formats): _The Watchman of Ephraim_
Personalized, signed copies are available at the author's website: (all transactions secure via PayPal)

Related Posts with Thumbnails