Friday, December 20, 2013

Featured eBook 12/20/2013

The Winter Prince

$2.99 from Smashwords.com and Amazon.com

 Sixteen-year-old Margaret Bentley, an Ozark country girl, journeys to the Summer Lands to save her father from an evil spell. There she meets all kinds of enchanted creatures and people including the Momme tribe, a sea witch, the Green Man, a mysterious magician, and eventually, the Summer Queen herself.    

Featured eBooks have not been read or reviewed. They are merely eBooks that have grabbed my attention and are now on my "to be read" list.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Guest Blogger's Book is Now Available!

Spirit Vision

Morgan Straughan Comnick

If God gave you a deadly mission, would you answer His call?  Once you do…you can never go back…

High school freshman Stary Moon never imagined that her strange visions of lights and shadows, the dead body of a young unknown girl, and past connections to the otherworld meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God.  The Lord has given Stary a mission: to find the murderer of the dead girl, named Maren, and her friend, Umbra, who were both killed by the same person, and extinguish the evil out of their killer.  Stary’s powers are now activated, but  she must be trained to use them…and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the unworldly ability to hide and conjure up dark powers from the fallen angel Lucifer.   On top of this, Stary is just trying to be an average high school girl with a dad for her teacher, protecting her friends, and ignoring the tingling, melodious sensation she gets when near the short-tempered, handsome Umbra and her timid classmate Credence.   If Stary fails, Maren and Umbra will not only lose their entry into heaven, but the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born, and Stary will lose her life… High school drama is nothing compared to facing a murderer bent on destroying you!
Published by Paper Crane Books and available from the their online store.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Featured eBook 12/15/2013


The Ice Dragon


by Lauren Scharhag


$2.99 from Smashwords.com and Amazon.com

There's nothing Kenneth Vogel hates more than Christmas. Then he meets a dragon.
Suddenly, Christmas doesn't seem so bad . . .

Featured eBooks have not been read or reviewed. They are merely eBooks that have grabbed my attention and are now on my "to be read" list.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Real Problem With Healthcare

If you want to know how Obamacare is going to fix healthcare, it isn't. The truth is that it can't; it only attacks health insurance and not the real problem. This sign, written by a healthcare professional and posted in the bathrooms of a Dialysis Clinic, illustrates the true problem with the US healthcare system.

You will also notice it was composed on a computer. Apparently, the grammer and spell checkers were not functioning.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Questions, Questions, Questions!

Allegedly, Steven Moffat will be tying up all the loose ends from Matt Smith’s era in The Time of the Doctor. Now it occurs to me that as big a feat as that is I will probably still have other questions. So here, in no particular order, are a list of some questions that I’d like to ask Moffat. Most of which I suspect will not be answered on Christmas day.

  1. How did Prisoner Zero escape through the crack when the cracks deleted people from ever having existed?
  2. If the Doctor rebooted the universe, why did everything that happened in the old universe happen in the new?
  3. What happened to the Angel that zapped the Ponds?
  4. Are UNIT and the Zygons still locked in the Black Archive negotiating?
  5. Why create the War Doctor instead of just using McGann?
  6. Were you tempted to name the Gallifreyan General Maxell and have Colin Baker play him?
  7. Why not have surviving Doctors supply new dialog instead of using recognizable bits from past episodes? (After all he did have 1st Doctor dialogue dubbed by a voice artist.)
  8. Why not have McGann film a new bit instead of using TV Movie footage? (He could have done it while filming the minisode.)
  9. Who was the girl in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number?
  10. If Jack’s Vortex Manipulator was disabled by the sonic, where did he get the one he left to UNIT that only needed the code entered?
  11. Come to that, What happened to River’s Vortex Manipulator?
  12. Who blew up the TARDIS?

There are so very many more, which is funny because I used to just watch Who and enjoy it. Of course that was before I started writing. Now I have questions that will never be answered, from Davies as well as Moffat, and I guess I shall have to learn to live with that.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanks For Giving

I hope everyone has enjoyed Thanksgiving. I just want to take a moment to share what I am thankful for this year.

My new wife and my family.
My readers. (Thank you all).
Those moments of silence when you can almost feel creation around you.
Writing.
Those moments when the child who just caused the most trouble looks so cute and innocent that you have to laugh.
50 years of Doctor Who.
The realization that without the bad stuff there would be no good stuff.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Guest Blog: The Year of the Shinigami

Today is the second of two guest blogs on the theme of Thanksgiving. It is a non-fiction story by Morgan Straughan Comnick who is an educator of young minds by day, a super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, and a lover of cheese, she has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.You can find her on the web at http://morganscomnick.com/. Her book, Spirit Vision, will be published by Paper Crane Books and will be available, upon release, from the publisher’s online store.

 

The Year of the Shinigami

By Morgan Straughan Comnick
When I was young, I was taught all about Thanksgiving. The pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower and settled on Plymouth Rock. How harsh the winter was. How many got sick and perished, never achieving their dreams. Then, almost out of thin air, almost like they were a dream, a phantom from beyond, Native Americans came to help the pilgrims, teaching them to take care of themselves. To thank their new friends, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated, a great feast held. In every picture book I recall, there was turkey, corn on the cob, pumpkin pie, yams, mashed potatoes, and a long table where this plentiful food is being passed around, everyone having a smile plastered on their face as the background trees are an array of brilliant fall colors. Happy ending. The end. Now, we make pilgrim hats, hand turkeys, and teach children to write in pictograms as they wear handmade Native American headbands. It is adorable, a sweet part of childhood. Thanksgiving never stayed with me though. It never rested inside my heart. I was thankful every day for what I had. Why did I have to celebrate it superficially with a big meal, the only time of year we used our good plates, and watch a parade I get bored with?
I now get to educate young ones about the ways and importance of Thanksgiving with the same books I was read to, the same craft projects I did, and the same celebration I attended where the gym coach dressed and spoke like a Native American chief, dancing around. The children are delighted by all this, their eyes aglow. I smile, absorbing their warmth like sunshine, hoping I had that look on my face once upon a time. Still, I cannot join in the dance as I observe how thanks is slipping away. I just got finished with an assignment I was aiding a teacher with. The students had to tell me one thing they were thankful for. A few said family, but most said things like video games, vampires, or werewolves. We had explained to the children several times what thanks meant and the teacher had to have a stern talk with the class of how we cannot be thankful for superficial things. The glitter and gold of life makes it more enjoyable and I am grateful for the chance, the freedom, to see it, but I agree with my mentor and with each generation, thanks, what is important in life, is slipping away. This is why I cannot join in the dance although I am singing my dad’s favorite song, “Turkey day,” as I am thankful for him, my mother, and brothers for getting to share this experience with me, my dad’s favorite holiday (no school/work for him and lots of good food).
My Thanksgivings are pleasant, but nothing fancy and the years roll by like that. Simple. Then, 2011 hits. November, Thanksgiving season. I am now working for my local middle school and we receive news that one of our students who had been fighting cancer for two years had lost his fight. Good students yell in my face when I make a request. Some lock themselves with the guidance counselor in her office. Cards are made, regards passed. Some people go on with their routine. The day of the visitation is pouring cats and dogs, high school boys holding umbrellas for visitors. The line of mourners is never ending, the air thick in the church. Thunder cracks, shattering our already dampened souls. I see the boy’s mother ahead, hearing an echo of “I’m sorry for your lose…” Her face is solemn, pale against her black attire. I shake her hand, a message coming into my head. It was if someone was telling me this story must be told:
“I met your son when he was in the third grade, just once. I was a junior in high school and was finishing a dissection lab I missed in your husband’s class. I had a week old fish. I had to cut it open and it was so dried out, my knife barely went through it. I tried for twenty minutes until I got fed up, which never happens. I started using my fingers to rip open the fish. It helped a little, but not much. I then stood up on the table, ripping and clawing at the fish like a maniac, screaming at it. I was in a frenzy. All of the sudden, I heard a small thud and I turned to see a small boy, his face wide with shock. His eyes were glued to me and his backpack was dropped on the floor. I got down fast and just looked into his eyes. I straightened myself up and combed my hair with my fingers. All in my hair were white fish scales. I was so horrified at this point, but he didn’t say a word, just looked at me and then sat down at his dad’s desk going about his business. His dad laughed and his sister pointed at me. But, the whole time, I thought of how this kind little boy who was helping his little sister with her work, did not judge me, did not run away no matter how scary I looked, how unknown I was. I think that is amazing. Your son is amazing and I am sorry I did not have the chance to truly have him in class.”
She stared at me, her eyes as round as her son’s had been on that day. Then, she nodded and said, “Yes, he is an amazing boy and not judgmental. Thank you for saying that.”
I am not sure if I helped at all, but she did not look any sadder.
The next week, I got an e-mail in my inbox stating that two of my students had lost an uncle. It was the day before Thanksgiving break. I blinked, rubbed my eyes, slapped my head a few times, twirling the name in my head, praying that it was wrong. I went to my principal and asked her about the uncle and she confirmed the name. I was surprised I was able to stand as the world sucked me into a tunnel so fast. The world was in slow motion, sounds muffled although I was near the crowded gym.
It was my classmate. He was my cousin.
He had committed suicide.
He was the type of guy everyone loved. He got along with everyone. He had so many talents, so much love, so much…life. No one expected he was so lost. No one knew he had so many demons surrounding him. No one expected him to do the one thing that hurt him so badly ten years earlier; copy the death his older brother, his hero, had given to himself. Maybe he wanted to be a hero too. Maybe he thought it was the only way out. Maybe. Maybe…Too many maybes! It shocked my class to the core. None of us will ever be the same.
At his visitation, I decided that for every hurt, every confusion, every doubt he had, I would find a gift in life, a thanks, that he can see, he can hold on to.
The line of people crying, saying their respects.
I give thanks for all the friends we have in our lives.
Shaking your siblings’ hands as they force smiles.
I give thanks for siblings, for play mates, for best friends we call brothers and sisters.
Your mother’s words of kindness on a facebook post I wrote about you.
I give thanks for the comfort of words, the magic of piecing them together to make something amazing.
Your father’s hand in mine when we embrace
I give thanks for loving parents, parents who give us this rare chance at life and the gift of experiencing it.
We stare at you together, your body still
I give thanks for the Earth that will cradle your body like a mother does to their darling child
Your father points out your brother’s Superman decal that you also wore at graduation
I give thanks for heroes, role models, morals, peace, and hope
My friend’s shoulder taps mine, giving me a reassuring smile although she is scared, it being her first time at a visitation.
I give thanks for emotions, for the ability to read them, experience them, and to have people understand them
We depart, the sky dreary, the wind chilly
I give thanks for nature and the Heavens, your soul’s paradise, who on this day were sharing in the sadness we all felt at your early end.
We are told the weapon you used to take your life
I give thanks to the human mind, it’s ingenious and scary way it creates
We watch a movie and bake, trying to dull the pain
I give thanks for food, shelter, clothing, and simple comforts
I make you an origami swan and write a message on it in your honor
I give thanks for other cultures, how we are unique and united at the same time
My voice chokes as I absorb my parent’s faces when I tell them the news at our first Thanksgiving in my apartment, my first Thanksgiving as a married woman.
I give thanks for being able to see the beauty of the world, hear the world’s callings, taste its nectar, touch every inch of it, and smell the aromas of life as I fill my lungs with precious air, hear the heartbeat like a melody, and move my muscles to go forward on my journey…
I never did give his family the swan. I meant to, but my heart would not allow it. I placed it in my living room. It is beaten up now, but still, to me, it is priceless, like him.
Thanksgiving has now reached its way into my heart.
Two years have gone by. I still work at the middle school. I am used to being on my own with my husband in the apartment. My Thanksgivings are now split in two since my parent’s separated. I have gotten older. I am stuck with the memoires of us dipping chips in mustard as you called me cuz and how you would shout lines of Shakespeare randomly in the hall. How opposites our lives are.
Two years have gone by and you have no job where you can use your skills, no life partner to love. Instead of a split home, there is an empty chair at the table at your parent’s place, a chair waiting for a phantom guest that will never appear. You are forever 22. Your memories have gone with your soul, your body no longer needing them. How opposite our lives are.
I am still thankful to have had you in my life, no matter how small. I am thankful for how you opened my heart up to Thanksgiving, how me being grateful for all I have every day is not crazy. I am thankful that you gave me the legend of the shinigami.
In Japan, a shinigami is a death spirit and in one version, they are the death spirits of people who committed suicide and since they ended their gift from God, life, early, they must serve the Lord or their boss (depending on the version) forever by releasing souls to Heaven or Hell when it is their time. I reread this legend after my mother told me she swore she saw a younger version of my cousin run past her in a coat, laughing as he reached for the clouds. This scared me for I kept hearing your laughter for days as I looked at the sky, it filling up the world. Your laughter, something I am sure you did not do your final seconds, comforted me. But my mind was ringing with shinigami.
You are gone, but maybe you lead others to find their way. Maybe like my student who died too young of an illness he could not control? Maybe that was your place? Maybe you are now a hero? We feel you lead us still, especially during this time of year, the time of thanks, the time you went on your way.
Maybe Shinigamis have been a part of Thanksgiving since the start. Maybe the Native Americans who helped the pilgrims were death spirits as well, guardians who refused to take more souls of this brave group of men and women? Maybe the Native Americans were led by their own version of shinigami? Phantoms from the mist, balls of light, beings with wings and halos. No matter what version you see them as, I believe they are telling us we are not alone, that we need to reach out to those who are lost, those who are sick, and be thankful for everything we have.
The year of shinigami was one of the hardest of my life, but I still give thanks to it.
 
Copyright 2013 Morgan Straughan Comnick

Coming Soon

Spirit Vision

Morgan Straughan Comnick
If God gave you a deadly mission, would you answer His call?  Once you do…you can never go back…
High school freshman Stary Moon never imagined that her strange visions of lights and shadows, the dead body of a young unknown girl, and past connections to the otherworld meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God.  The Lord has given Stary a mission: to find the murderer of the dead girl, named Maren, and her friend, Umbra, who were both killed by the same person, and extinguish the evil out of their killer.  Stary’s powers are now activated, but  she must be trained to use them…and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the unworldly ability to hide and conjure up dark powers from the fallen angel Lucifer.   On top of this, Stary is just trying to be an average high school girl with a dad for her teacher, protecting her friends, and ignoring the tingling, melodious sensation she gets when near the short-tempered, handsome Umbra and her timid classmate Credence.   If Stary fails, Maren and Umbra will not only lose their entry into heaven, but the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born, and Stary will lose her life… High school drama is nothing compared to facing a murderer bent on destroying you!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guest Blog: Premature Christmas

Today I present the first of two guest blogs on the theme of Thanksgiving. This one is a poem with a very loose grip on the Thanksgiving theme written by my daughter. You can follow her blog by clicking here.

 

Premature Christmas

By Kayleigh Foland

Snow is falling

Sleigh bells ringing

But that can’t quite be right

 

Santa’s calling

Not yet Thanksgiving

Sure makes for an interesting sight

 

Turkeys and snowmen arguing over their shelf space

Ornaments arguing inside the carts

Turkeys and hams arguing inside the ice chest

Greed and charity arguing over our hearts

 

Why must we rush Christmas?

It’ll be here soon enough.

Take the time to smell the roses.

Can’t you wait just one more month?

 

Copyright 2013 Kayleigh Foland

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Blogs

Next week I will be having some guest bloggers posting on the theme of thanksgiving. I hope you will all enjoy them.

Now On Amazon

Despite the fact that I don't much like the fact that Kindle chooses to only use proprietary formats, my ebook At What Price? now has a Kindle edition available from Amazon.

First Anniversary

One year ago today my first ebook was published.

Now I have three books out and am working on more. I can't wait to see how many I finish this next year.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Revised Edition Released

A revised edition of my eBook, At What Price? was released today.  Some readers had had trouble with the twist ending, claiming that it wasn't clear enough. Around the same time I had resurrected and old story idea and was kicking it around as a possible basis for a series. I therefore used that idea to help clarify the twist ending and set up the series. This effectively makes At What Price? the first book in that series. I also took the opportunity to add in the original flash version of the story as bonus material.
Copies can be purchased at Smashwords and readers who have already purchased the previous addition from there can download the new version free of charge.




In 2012 Alexander Vernick killed his fiance after someone proved she was stealing from him. That person then turned him in and he was arrested and tried. He managed to get off but has spent the better part of a decade looking for the person who ratted on him and he's found him. Now he can have his revenge. But what price will he have to pay another ten years down the line?

While not containing explicit language or descriptions this eBook explores mature themes of vengeance, rape, torture and murder and may not be suitable for children under the age of 14. Parental discretion is advised.                

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Angry American: Government Ordered Purchases

Obamacare forces the american people to buy health insurance that meets specific guidelines or pay a fine. This is supposed to make healthcare affordable for all. How does it work? It doesn't.

As an example let's look at a similar law. Union City, Pa has an ordinance that says everyone must purchase trash removal services from Waste Management and only from them or pay a fine. If you live in Union City and also have a buisness there you must buy services for both addresses. Waste Management provides the police with a list of addresses purchasing services. If you are not on the list (even if you actually are paying for trash removal and there was a "clerical error") you get a threatening letter from the police chief, followed by a visit and then a fine.

When asked why this law was even put into place the police chief has said that it is because the borough gets a discount. Meanwhile the citizens who live in the borough do not and since there is no competition Waste Management can charge whatever they like. It seems lately, according to residents, that the price goes up almost monthly. Soon no one will be able to afford the service and will be forced to move or pay the fine.

Obamacare will work the same way. The insurance must meet specific guidelines, so the insurance companies can charge whatever they want for that insurance and the people, because our representatives are exempt, will have to pay or be fined. Unless they move out of the country.

Some will, no doubt, point out that it doesn't specify a specific company and therefore there will be competition. I say however that there is no regulation in place to keep the competing companies from colluding with each other to keep the price high.

The government should have no right to make you buy any pruduct or service. Nor should they be able to "tax" you for not buying said product or service. Whether it is the Federal or Local government it is a violation of your right to choose. Some of these same representatives will argue that a woman has a right to choose to murder her unborn child but they won't defend your right to choose not to buy something. Sounds like they're a bunch of hypocrits if you ask me.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Angry American: Federal Shutdown

Some readers of this blog may recall that I had originally planned for it to be political and carry the name "Angry American" but decided to drop that partly because I didn't think I could comfortably confine myself to just politics and partly because I despise the fact that we refer to people from the USA as americans when that is incredibly inacurate. Now fast forward to the present and I suddenly have a lot of political ranting I wish to do. So the next few posts will be more in line with what I had originally envisioned for this blog. For those of you outside the US and those who hate politics, I should apologize in advance but I won't, I'll return to my usual ephemera in a week or two.

So the Federal government is shutdown. I don't know nor am I a non-essential government employee so the only effect of said shut down that I personally have noted is that gas (petrol) prices have dropped somewhere in the area of 40¢ per gallon. This is either a huge coincidence or the people who artificially inflate gas prices are considered non-essential.

I have heard other stories of course. A school that had to suspend bussing because the only safe bus route was closed because it ran through a national park. Disabled veterans kicked out of the national monuments and memorials in DC. I have no proof that these are true stories or not though.

The Republicans blame the Democrats of course for standing their ground and failing to compromise and the Democrats not only blame the Republicans for doing the same but are being extremely venomous about it. The truth is they are all to blame. Republicans and Democrats. House, Senate and President. No one wants to try to compromise they just want to yell, scream and point the finger. It reminds me of the end of my marriage.

So what is the solution? Get them all out of office and start over might be a good place to start. Unfortunately, for the moment, that isn't an option but they should probably watch their backs come re-election time. They need to compromise and get back to work on the real issues and not focus time and attention on what a certain pro football team is named (I'm looking at you Obama). Basically, it is time for our Federal Representatives to piss or get off the pot.

Monday, September 23, 2013

TARDIS sighting?

Is it just me or does this logo on a buisness' sign near Waterford, PA appear to have the TARDIS in it?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Day Of The Doctor

A promotional poster has been released for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary episode which airs in a mere 73 days. The clean image is below for those of you who want it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Free Book Binge Week – FREE BOOKS!

Today, I’m pleased to bring you 10 permanently free science fiction and fantasy books. Don’t forget to leave the author a review on his/her download page if you enjoy the read!



Since before recorded history, the Order of the Four Sons has existed. From their beginnings in ancient Egypt to the boardrooms of modern times, they have fought a covert war against the enemies of humankind. Theirs is a world of magic, mystical creatures, and immortality. But now, after 5,000 years, their greatest battle is about to begin.




Dark twist on faeries. For Shade, a chance meeting with a powerful Teleen Faery warrior who wields electrical currents and blue fires along his skin, has her joining him on a treacherous mission for the good Seelie Faerie Court across the land of Faerie. Magic and malice abound and nothing is what it really seems to be.Download this free fantasy novel from Amazon.





A doomed kingdom, a young queen’s sacrifice and a killer who will bring an empire to its knees... In a world where men share kindred with beasts, an ageless seer predicts a child who will end the Endless War. One man is the instrument who will change fate. He will usher in a time of strife and pain that will live in legend, and forever bear his name... the time of the Queen’s Blade.







A man scarred by bad deeds answers the call of a heroic cause. An unconventional heroine will tug at your sympathies as she bravely faces adversity with all the strengths and vulnerabilities of her womanhood. And overarching it all are the rys. Their magic makes them superior to humans, but they are not above employing humans in their deadly schemes. Union of Renegades begins the love story between Dreibrand, an ambitious military officer, and Miranda, an escaped slave. They'll become a power couple that rules a vast kingdom, but only after grim struggle and terrible sacrifice.

Download this fantasy novel from the author’s website.




In his search for the origin of the human race, Liam MacAskill travels to another planet and comes face to face with the Devil himself. He’s driven to claim sanctuary from the monks and nuns at Tridor Monastery, where another stranger to the land lies in a coma.





The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year
2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world
into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and
small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements
students. Mark Eblin is one graduate who's never been amazing...and
now he's been had.





Michael is just an ordinary, average, normal, everyday middle schooler in the perfect town of Lincolnshire, a town that happens to have more superheroes per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. What could possibly go wrong, surrounded by so many people who could destroy the town with a snap of their fingers?





With so many humans focussed on snakes on July 16 each year, World Snake Day, the snake god Calebius gains more power. Power that builds over the years until one day, 16 July 2013, he’s finally powerful enough to free himself of the curse that, millennia ago, rendered him incapable of achieving physical form. Now, he seeks revenge on those who trapped him, but they are long dead, so their descendents will have to do… Only one person can quell his thirst for blood, but can Lily learn to trust her heart in time to save the human race?





When Queen Tassin is forced to flee her kingdom on the backwater planet of Omega V, she has no idea that the strange warrior who helps her is a cyborg; the deadliest hi-tech killing machine ever created. Her world has forgotten the technology that almost destroyed it, but then a freak accident damages the micro-supercomputer that controls Sabre, and he is free to take charge of his destiny…






"Are you reading The Tower of Boran, or any of the books in The Caillte Cycle, but finding certain aspects a little hard-to-follow, or just want to delve deeper into the world of Caillte? Well, not to worry, that’s what this book is for. If you are unsure how to pronounce a name, or you just want more information on a specific subject unique to the world, look here first." 





If these free books whet your appetite for more, visit the other participating blogs below:
Toni Plaisir’s blog

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Special Birthday Promotion

It's my birthday coming up later this month and to celebrate I am happy to announce a special limited time price for my eBook At What Price?!!

For the rest of the month you can purchase it for just 99¢. Happy Birthday to m... Well to you, I guess.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Now Available

Way back in the mists of time, or the mid to late 1990s, there was a Highlander fanzine called Highland Blades. I was fortunate enough to have three stories published within its pages between 1996 and 1998. Now I have collected them together along with a fourth that was written for the final volume but did not appear.

Highland Blades Quartet

A quartet of Highlander stories written for the fanzine Highland Blades. Richie Ryan stumbles into an all night café only to find there are worse things than being Immortal. Or is it Tessa that learns that lesson? Connor MacLeod and his new student Ian Andrews are being investigated by a New York Police Detective who may be in for some unpleasant surprises. Connor, Ian, Methos and a couple other Immortals search for the missing Duncan MacLeod. However, the group is being hunted and they may not even be safe On Holy Ground! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reviews For "At What Price?"

Three reviews for my eBook "At What Price?":

Review by: Yurika Kotzé on Aug. 17, 2013 : star star star star
Wow - the imagery really got me going! I can see this book successfully be extended into a full-length title, no problem. Richard manages to describe scenes and even futuristic objects with ease. I am a big fan of authors who are able to capture atmosphere - well done! I have to add that I got lost once or twice and I would have liked to know more regarding the details of the big twist, but I really enjoyed it. Even completely forgot about my cup of coffee (a rare occurrence).
                                                                                
Review by: Artie Margrave on Aug. 15, 2013 : star star star star star
This is a good and complete short, free of errors and very properly formatted. The author's style was very good, the words easy to read, and painted the details in my head without stress. The pace was brilliant, had a desirable cadence. The story itself was a bit complex but had an interesting plot. A lot was told, done, explained with an appropriate amount of words. Then there was a twist at the end that took me by surprise! I enjoyed it. Really enjoyed it.                                                          
Review by: Jammie on July 22, 2013 : star star star star
Interesting story line. Has a plot twist I didn't see coming.                                               

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thank You, General Mills!!!


General Mills have announced that this year they are making all five monster cereals available. For those of you who only know the usual three, pictured above, the other two are Fruity Yummy Mummy (mummy themed, of course) and Fruit Brute (werewolf themed). The mummy has been buried for twenty years and the wolf was caged twenty-five years ago. Looks like I'll be hiding a lot more cereal from the kids this year than usual!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: The Easiest Way To Survive The Undead

The Easiest Way To Survive The Undead
Artie Margrave

Having been born and raised in South Western Pennsylvania and having missed a chance to be a zombie in Romero's original "Dawn of the Dead", because I was too young, it takes a strong idea or strong execution for me to invest in a zombie story. This has both. It feels like you're reading a hurriedly penned notebook, complete with strikethroughs. I did see the ending coming, but that in no way diminished the story.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Wife's Vows

Last week I posted my wedding vows. Now in the interest of being fair and balanced here are my wife's vows.

"As I stand here today I am humbled by all that God has given me in you. I Love You Richard I know you are a gift from The Lord, and I am confident that He has led us to this day.
God knew the deep longing in my heart for a man of Godliness, a man of gentle strength and strong character, a man of loyal devotion. He has given me that and so much more in you. You have loved me with the sweetest love a love like I have never received from a man, and you have loved my children and begun to guide and mentor then, leading (teaching) my boys in the way a man of God should live. You allowed each of us a time to know the character of your heart to see the integrity in your life and to trust the love you have for all of us.
What an incredible blessing you have been.
I promise to love you always, to lift you up when you lack the strength and encourage you to reach for your dreams, I know I’m not perfect but with God’s help and your love I promise to love you always through All Time and Space."

Awesome! with a Capital Chainsaw!

Scott Dow at Animalistic Chainsaw Carvings in Corry, Pa does some exquisite work which you can check out at the Animalistic web site. My favourite is the T-Rex above. I've now stopped in twice to look at it, the second time with some of the kids.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Cover for "At What Price?"

Above is a side by side comparison of the new (left) and old (right) cover images for my eBook "At What Price?" Which one do you like better?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: The Unsheathed Key

“They’d made the legend out to be nothing but a silly story... the entire Realm’s beliefs were built upon what Súiribhán wanted them to believe...” Twelve years after the Fall, the Freed Realm is still recovering from the devastation sown by the rebellion. However, in the very house of one of Súiribhán’s most trusted workers, hope is hatching once again for the supporters of the Lost King.
The orphan Ileana starts to uncover the many lies embedded into her life, and she just might hold the key to the undoing of the new ruler. Will she choose to use it?  Suddenly, the girl finds herself at the centre of an impending war and she has to decide where to place her allegiance: with Súiribhán, the Lost King... or herself.
Guided by the wise maid Gwen until she makes her decision, Ileana will have to run. From her family, the terrifying flying beasts called hrakar, and the blood-eyed Captain who has haunted her dreams for years... 

A wonderful read! I was up until 4 in the morning just so I could finish it! "The Unsheathed Key" is an epic fantasy quest in the tradition of "The Lord of the Rings". A word of warning though, this is not one of those stand alone, read in any order series starters, it does cliffhang. Which begs the question... Where are the other two books? I need to see what happens next.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vows

I just married on Monday August 5th, 2013. It is my second marriage. After the first one ended I was never going to go through it again. In fact I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to get married ever. I have obviously changed my mind. A fact I touched on in my vows which I thought I'd share here.

"When we met I was done with marriage, love and companionship. They were failed and flawed concepts to me. However, over these last 3 years you have made me realize that it wasn't the concepts that were flawed. It was just that something was missing, someone was missing... you. I know now that companionship is only possible with someone who shares your interests, love only with someone who shares your passion and marriage with someone who shares your faith. You are that threefold someone for me and I am here today to affirm in front of those present that I will be your companion, your love and your husband for as long as the Lord blesses us with life. I will stand with you through everything that that life will throw at us and more. You, me, our children and our God united for His purpose. Forever."

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Intimacy

Recently I started reading the bible with my fiance. We snuggle up and we read my daily reading, out loud. Some times I read, sometimes she does. But the best is when we alternate, whether by verse, chapter or just when one stops the other starts. It has brought us closer to each other and to God. Try it with your significant other and see what it does for you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Now Available

At What Price? by Richard L. Foland Jr.
eBook Price: $1.49
In 2012 Alexander Vernick killed his fiance after someone proved she was stealing from him. That person then turned him in and he was arrested and tried. He managed to get off but has spent the better part of a decade looking for the person who ratted on him and he's found him. Now he can have his revenge. But what price will he have to pay another ten years down the line?
While not containing explicit language or descriptions this eBook explores mature themes of vengeance, rape, torture and murder and may not be suitable for children under the age of 14. Parental discretion is advised.

Why Bother?

I've been wondering more and more lately why gay marriage is such an issue. Firstly, why would someone want to pay more in taxes by paying the marriage penalty tax. Yes I do know that they don't actually call it that. Secondly, given that 2 out of every 3 marriages end in divorce why would someone demand to be able to have someone legally take half their stuff and make them pay spousal support. Seems self destructive to me.

The other thing that makes me wonder about the issue is why would someone want to have the government decide the issue. Yes the courts are part of the government in case, like most politicians, you don't know that. When has the government ever done anything that did not benefit the politicians themselves.

Not to mention the fact that marriage is a religious institution. So since the courts have already set up this whole seperation of church and state principle the government has no business doing anything with or about marriage. Of course, seperation of church and state was only put into existence to limit religious freedoms so it probably wouldn't matter anyway. (More rant about that another time.)

Lastly, ever since Roe v. Wade the entire country has been divided over abortion and the Supreme Court is probably acutely aware that that is the court's fault. Now this issue has similar potential for such divisiveness which means that the court may not wish to make a ruling that would cause another split. However, I don't see how they could possibly avoid it.

The bottom line is why even bother? Why divide the country? Why risk losing the stuff you worked hard for to someone who probably never really loved you anyway? Why ask the government to rule on a religious issue? Why? Why? Why?

It might be easier to just create a goverment recognized civil union that carries with it all the alleged benefits of marriage. Naturally, it would also include all the inevitable drawbacks and problems of marriage too, but there is no way to avoid that.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anything Can Be Found On The Internet

I used to joke that you could find anything on the internet but last week the joke became reality. Or it least appeared to. I was surfing when I stumbled on this photo.

I didn't even know where my mother was buried until I found this photo. I don't, in fact, really remember her. So you can imagine my astonishment that not only did someone, who is not even a relative as far as I know, not only took this photo but also posted it online.

So I would like to thank the photographer, Rebecca James, for posting the photo this past November.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Amazingly Easy

Lately I've noticed how amazingly easy it is to get so wrapped up in what you think you have to do that you let the things you want to do slide past, virtually forgotten.

This blog, my next ebook and my 365 day chronological Bible reading plan have all taken a back seat to work, dishes, laundry and many other things that seem to be important. But in the long run what they are is distractions.

I have been extremely fortunate that the most important thing, family, has not been too adversely affected, thus far, by what I have begun to see as an error of priorities. I did make modifications to my visitation schedule this week though and I seem to see less of my fiance at any given time than I did before we lived in the same county.

So it has become obvious that I need to make changes. Get a new job, focus on what is really important and let the other stuff take care of itself. Hopefully, I'm not to far gone to do that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Featured eBook 02/26/2013

 
Crockpot Recipes: Quick, Easy and Delicious Slow Cooking Recipes - The Top 50 Healthy Slow Cooking Recipes For Your Whole Family To Enjoy by Jennifer Lyons. $3.99 from Smashwords.com
As more and more persons purchase Crockpots for the convenience of it, they are also looking for great recipes that they can use to prepare not only great tasting but healthy meals as well. Of course, there are a lot of Crockpot recipe books on the market but some are better than the rest. One such book is “Crockpot Recipes - Quick, Easy and Delicious Slow Cooking Recipes.”
Featured eBooks have not been read or reviewed. They are merely eBooks that have grabbed my attention and are now on my "to be read" list.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ignorance Is Bliss

It was a calm, clear night. The moon was full. The town was quiet. A candle burned serenely in a large bay window, giving off a steady glow she could be proud of. Her color was bright and her sides smooth as she sat in her sparkling lead crystal candlestick holder.

Now, candles are internally oriented most of the time. Not necessarily because they want to be, but because they must be. They have to concentrate on staying lit and shining brightly, which takes a lot more work and concentration than one might think. As such, the candle didn’t notice the destruction that had ripped through her home that evening.

She didn’t notice the lock hanging flimsily from the front door, the overturned armchair, or the open bottle of red wine emptying itself onto the white carpet. She didn’t notice the skipping record that should have been playing soft jazz or its broken brothers lying on the floor nearby. She didn’t notice the blood splatters, the broken bathroom door, the knife lying in a corner, or the overflowing tub. She didn’t notice the shadows under the water or the limp pale hand hanging over the side. Nor did she notice any of the loud sounds that had surely occurred earlier; the shouts or crashes.

She didn’t notice any of these things because they were not important to her. She just kept on burning brightly in her window like she was supposed to. And because she didn’t notice, she was content.

Copyright 2013 Kayleigh Foland

Posted with kind permission of the author.

Featured eBook 02/16/2013

 
Fine Tuning Fiction by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. $3.99 from Smashwords.com
Acclaimed, best selling author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro guides you effortlessly through the trials and tribulations of creating your own best-selling work.
Featured eBooks have not been read or reviewed. They are merely eBooks that have grabbed my attention and are now on my "to be read" list.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just Another Day

I watch the snow fall as I walk and muse how appropriate the season is. As I get inside, I go to my calendar, like every other day, and draw a line through the square that represents today, through the picture of a party hat with my name on it. I check my phone, more out of habit now than anything else. No missed calls. I go to the kitchen -the fridge is empty except for a gallon of milk and some sweet tea. The freezer is full of TV dinners. I sigh as I make one. Just another day.

Copyright 2013 Kayleigh Foland

Posted with kind permission of the author.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Almost (A First Doctor Story To Celebrate 50 Years Of The Doctor)

Ian watched as the Doctor puttered around the hexagonal control console. The flurry of activity was enough to indicate to the school teacher that the TARDIS was landing, but where were they this time? Not to mention when? The central column ground to a halt and the Doctor activated the scanner. The view on the screen was of Big Ben, but Ian dared not get his hopes up, after all they had seen that the edifice was still intact in the twenty-second century. They where in the right place but who could say if it was the right time.

'There you go, young man. Twentieth century London.' The Doctor looked almost smug.

'So what if it is, Doctor? It's not much good if we've arrived before we left.'

'Or thirty years afterward,' added Barbara as she entered the console room from the TARDIS' interior.

The Doctor snorted. Barbara smiled and Ian laughed aloud. The Doctor's ability to operate his TARDIS was a touchy subject and Ian loved to poke fun at the old man. The corners of the Doctor's mouth twitched upward as he fought to keep from smiling.

'Very well, Chesterton. Let's see when we are, shall we?'

***

Ian and Barbara couldn't believe it. After all the disappointments, they were finally home. True it was five years after they had left, but for them it was only a little over a year. Looked at it that way, they had managed to extend their lives by the difference. The Doctor appeared to be happy, but Barbara couldn't help wondering how he felt. Susan was gone, left behind in the twenty-second century, and now she and Ian were home. The Doctor would be continuing his travels alone. A small lump formed in her throat.

'Ian, let's take the Doctor to dinner to celebrate."

'Worried how he's going to handle being alone?'

'Aren't you?'

'You know, I hate to admit it, but I'll miss the old bird.'

The Doctor graciously accepted their invitation and they soon found themselves in a nice little restaurant in the shadow of Parliament. As they ate the Doctor regaled them with stories about his travels with Susan before they had all met. Barbara was convinced that he kept talking to keep from feeling the loneliness that was surely closing in around him. Her discomfort grew as she remembered what she had said to him on Venus. She'd been very angry and the Doctor had never mentioned the argument since, but she couldn't help to feel as if the poor old man's heart had been pierced by her words.

'A toast,' suggested the Doctor. 'A toast to your return home; I told you...'

Barbara looked at the Doctor's suddenly lined face. She knew he'd finally lost his composure. This was it; he was going to start sobbing any moment now. She wondered for an idle second what people would think, but quickly pushed the thought aside.

'Doctor, are you all right?' asked Ian.

'I think we should return to the TARDIS immediately.'

'Why? Are you ill?'

'I'm sorry, my young friends but you can't stay here. We have to leave at once.'

Barbara could see the anger on Ian's face and she understood it. They where finally home and the Doctor was demanding that they leave with him again. Not just demanding, ordering. She could tell that Ian was going to explode, so she laid her hand on his arm to quiet him.

'Look, Doctor. I know you're feeling a little lonely and all, but we can't go with you. Our lives are here, this is our home.'

'Young woman, you can't stay. You're right, your lives are here. In fact they're right over there.'

Ian and Barbara turned to look in the direction the Doctor had indicated. At a small table across the room sat Barbara. Ian was on one knee holding a jewelry box in his hand. The two school teachers stared at themselves across the room. The Doctor was right, they couldn't stay. However, they both knew now that they would get home, eventually.

***

The Doctor stood in the darkened console room. His companions were sleeping by now; that would make it easier. He reached out and operated the telepathic circuit. He stood there solemnly as the TARDIS altered his companions' memories.

'Too bad they won't remember how close they came to being home,' he muttered to himself.'

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Church And State

You know this whole seperation of church and state thing is a crock. Firstly, it is taken out of context as Jefferson was referring to keeping the state from intefering with the people's freedom of religion.

Secondly, the federal government would never take it to the logical conclusion. If the church has no place in government then government should not take off for church holidays. They won't give up days off like that. Also anyone who makes a living from the church, ie pastors and church staff, could not pay taxes as that money would have come from the church and would have no place in government. They're not about to let tax money get away as they would have less to line their pockets with.

The conclusion is obvious. Seperation of church and state is only used to curtail the individual's rights. Or that's how it appears to someone who isn't on the government's payroll.

Happy New Year Birthday

Just taking a moment to wish my daughter Kayleigh a Happy 21st Birthday and everybody else a happy new year.