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Posts tagged “Reviews

Review: SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE

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sateoeThe planets must have finally aligned, because our favorite resident blogger/Photoshop terrorist/space cadet has written a book. Not just any book- but a SciFi book with a blast of fantasy and a galaxy of humor.

And toilets.

I had the privilege of reading SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE and am happy to say it was everything I thought it would be- a funny and sweet read that doesn’t take itself too seriously, just like the author himself.

A.H. Browne’s story was so irreverent that I just had to know more about the brain behind the book. Well thank our lucky stars, because today I get to bring you none other than Pouring My Art Out himself, A.H. Browne.

Why PMAO?

Why PMAO? I am assuming you are asking why I chose this as the name of my blog. I did a post in the first days of my blog explaining how I am all art-side-of-the-brain. I took a test, conceived by psychology students at a major university. I got freakishly high scores on the art side. My brain just doesn’t work like a normal person’s brain. I spend my life trying to figure out artistic solutions to logic problems. I don’t even drive like a regular human being. I don’t have my multiplication tables memorized.

So I do a lot of kinds of art. I write, draw, paint, carve tikis, write songs and play the guitar, and on and on. I have most of my art hanging in the garage. And I have drawers full of poems and stories and novels, not to mention the ones I started and never finished. The blog was originally started for two main reasons. To share all my old stuff was the obvious one, and to give me a place to vent all the crazy ideas that run though my brain, which works a little like a small cage full of squirrels… on crack. And to tell the stories that have occurred during my rather adventurous life.

But the other reason I started the blog is because someday my kids might have kids, and those kids might grow up to have kids. And sooner or later one of them is going to ask his parents why he is such a freak. And instead of explaining to them how they are just like me, they can just point them to the blog.

What is your writing process like?

My writing process in general tends to vary with what I am writing. For a song, I start with a good hook line, which might be the title, and work from there. For a poem, I just pick a topic and start rhyming from the beginning line. I can write a story based on a plot that I have already finished in my head. But for the novels, I tried something specific, both as an experiment and a challenge. I wouldn’t let myself figure out what was going to happen past the next sentence. I would invent a new character whenever the action slowed down for more than two words. Or just throw some crazy new idea into the mix.

The weirdest thing about this is that I created characters that I had no idea how important they would be in the story later. And that is what life is like. You meet someone and have no idea that they might end up being your best friend. It sort of reads like real life, but I made sure to pace it like a movie with no slow parts. So it is like my life in that way.

But I often got my hero into situations that I couldn’t figure out how to get him out of. I would get stuck for a day or a week, and then all of a sudden the answer would pop into my head. I love that moment.

What do you love most about writing? Least?

I write everything by hand in a notebook and then type it up at the end of a chapter. I love it when the ideas are flowing so fast that I can’t keep up. What I hate is when I can’t read my own writing when I try to type it.

What motivated you to write SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE?

The novels came about because I have all these ideas in my head that want to get out. And I wanted to finish a novel and actually publish it. But most of all I wanted to make fun of everything that people take too seriously. And aliens give you a good way to do that. Because they don’t put things into the same context as we do. We think things make sense just because we are used to them being that way. Aliens have to try to make sense of it from their own perspective. I can take politics and religion and nudity and morality and art and racism and war and everything that happens on this planet and look at it from new angles. It was so much fun.

Explain THE OTHERWHERE CHRONICLES.

Okay, this is tricky. My daughter, Jessica, who helped me get the first of the series published, says I need a one minute ‘elevator’ pitch. Because explaining these would take as long as it would take you to just read them. The main character is human, over 50, lazy, sarcastic, irreverent, and… oh, who am I fooling? The main character is me. But not the me in this dimension. He lives in a reality much like ours, except that Earth has been discovered by the advanced alien races.

Our hero works as a custodian at a Texas bar on an alien space station. He plays poker with a group of human and alien friends, and during one game, alien pirates arrive on a hijacked Disney cruise liner. Arthur and his friends mount a daring rescue mission, and hilarity ensues. And the entire universe is watching as the whole thing unfolds because it is being broadcast live by aliens known as the Reporters. But it is important to remember that this is just book one, and I have three more finished, and more to follow after that… because San Francisco almost gets blown up, and then there is this human/alien intergalactic corporation that might just be a front for an invasion from another dimension, and assassins, and then Arthur ends up leading a ragtag fleet of ships against… oh forget it. It would be easier to read it yourself. There is action and adventure, and humor and… stuff…

Followers of your blog know you are of lover of music. How much does music play a role in your writing?

This is sort of a funny question, because most of the time I would have said that music doesn’t play much of a role in my writing. It is more like writing plays a big role in my music. But it just so happens that music does pop up in the novels. Arthur imparts his love of classic 1970’s hard rock to some of his alien friends, and takes them shopping in Berkeley when he goes back to Earth to visit his mother, right after he saves San Francisco from being destroyed. And I actually quote the words from a song I wrote way back in the day at the very end of book four when he goes back to the Saloon to say goodbye to his old boss. Because that song is about leaving Earth on a spaceship.

How did you celebrate the completion of your book?

I did a little dance when I saw the first paperback copy in my hand. But this is very much an ongoing concern. I leave the end of the fourth book with our hero having a way to visit any dimension, any reality, that he wants to. So anything I can think of, I can have him do. I may never finish writing these. I will have to get back to you.

Who was your biggest supporter during the writing of SATEOE?

Well, Jessica helped me get it published, but she still hasn’t read it. My wife doesn’t ‘do’ science fiction. I had a friend, Dave, and a cousin, Kelsey, who I emailed chapters to as I wrote it, and they helped a lot.

Who was your biggest supporter growing up?

My parents were very much the ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ parents. But we all realized early on that the way my brain works, I can create art but I can’t market it. I really need a manager. But yeah, my parents.

Teenage A.H. Browne wanted to be…

You don’t want to know. I was a rebel. I spent my time beating my head against the walls of authority. I had no goals or plans. I still don’t really have those. My brain doesn’t work that way.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

I have had more jobs than anybody I have ever met. You name it, I have done it. And it isn’t like I have made any real money out of this yet. I am sort of stalling getting another crappy job, so let’s just pretend we didn’t hear that question.

If you could have one drink with one author- living or dead, who would it be, and what would you drink?

I would love to sit down with Winston Churchill and have a pint of Boddington’s at a pub while discussing his series of books he wrote about World War 2. And his History of the English Speaking Peoples. Man, that guy knew the English language. And he lived history.

Tell us one thing no one would ever guess about you.

You would never guess that I am shy. Once I know you, I wont shut up. But I can’t just walk up to people and schmooze. I can’t even ask the waitress for a refill of my iced tea. It sucks.

REVIEW

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A.H. BROWNE IS IN VERY GOOD COMPANY

A.H. Browne’s story begins just as all good stories do, with a reluctant hero. Our hero is Arthur Blacke, a loveable loser whose life orbits around playing poker and maintaining the status quo. That is until a hijacked cruise ship full of intergalactic pirates interrupts his weekly poker game.

Once hostages are taken, Arthur and his friends are threatened with more than just harshing their calm. Does this affable custodian have what it takes to become the Space Cowboy the Universe needs to save it?

You’ll just have to buy the book to find out.

Book one of The Otherwhere Chronicles, A.H. Browne’s SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE is a breath of freshly oxygenated air that I highly recommend.


REVIEW: Harem Master

HAREM MASTER  by R.B. Hatch

When I first chose to review HAREM MASTER I was concerned I’d find nothing more than a glorified Penthouse Forum article. Yes, it does involve a middle-aged man who is “entertained” by a self-appointed harem of females ranging from employees to contemporaries to nymphets. And yes, it is at times raunchy and raw and sexually charged. But R.B. Hatch’s development of the narrator, a man simply known as “John,” is well written and highly entertaining.

As a reader I found myself simultaneously repulsed by and sympathetic toward John’s actions that form the relationship between him and his “harem.” In “John” Hatch has created an “everyman” whose wit, intelligence and sense of mystery utterly charm the women around him into willingly becoming his objects of desire. It’s Hatch’s ability to endear John to the reader that helps to create a world that is not only plausible, but downright believable.

More than just erotica, HAREM MASTER is a plot-driven novel that delves into the mind and motives of its protagonist and speaks with a voice that will please its readers.


Confessions Of A Star Wars Virgin – Anniversary Reblog!

I have a confession to make. I’ve never seen Star Wars. Or The Empire Strikes Back. Or Return of the Jedi.

So on the prompting of a certain wunderkind who calls himself  THE ELITE I’ve decided to actually sit down and watch these movies back to back. I’m leaving now to watch Star Wars and I’ll return to the post with an assessment when I’m done.

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First, I need to apologize for all the SciFi geek jokes I’ve made over the course of my life, because that movie friggin’ ROCKED!!!!

So Han was hot and all but Luke was super annoying. I honestly don’t know how Han didn’t just kick him off the Millennium Falcon on day one. I also wanted to smack C3PO upside the head throughout most of the movie.

But if you ask me, what made the entire film was Chewbacca. Honestly, if I’d known more about his character it wouldn’t have taken me so long to see this movie. He’s the only one that makes any sense and he doesn’t have a single coherent line of dialogue! Now, onto EMPIRE!

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Totally did not see the whole Han/Leia romance angle coming, although I probably should have. Leia’s every bit the “denies/doesn’t show romantic emotions” pain in the ass I am.

Lando’s kind of a dick, but my boy Chewbacca nearly tears him to pieces so that was wicked awesome. I also wish at some point Yoda would have kicked Luke’s whiny ass right into the swamp. Best of all I FINALLY got to see the “Luke, I am your father” scene I’ve always heard people talk about.

But the part that pissed me off most was that at the end of the movie Han is still frozen. I suppose I’m not so upset about it for my sake, seeing as I’m about to watch the next movie in a moment, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like back in the day when people had to wait years for it to hit the theaters. Alright, time to bring on JEDI!

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Uh…ok…

Please all you fans out there, tell me the whole reveal of the “Luke/Leia twin” thing was a late to the table script add-on and not part of the original story arc. Because I went back and skimmed through Empire looking for a specific moment I was sure I saw and……..yeah.

As usual, Chewy rocked. Jabba was awesome and the Ewoks were…well, let’s just say they were cute, but I’m trying to understand why they were necessary. And…I kind of wish Luke didn’t take off Vader’s mask, but that’s just me.

All in all I’d have to say that the movies were excellent, even though I watched them after seeing more recent CGI fueled films like Transformers. And while I doubt I’ll be attending any conventions any time soon, I finally understand how the fans are as dedicated to the films as they are.

Now, my original plan was to watch the next three movies or prequels tomorrow; but my boys made me promise to wait a couple of days. They said they want the euphoria of me finally getting to see the original three wear off before I watched the next ones and got really, really mad.

Whatever that means.


Jazz, Jesus and the 1 Star Review

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jazzEvery so often there comes a moment when we see ourselves through another person’s eyes. Determining whether that’s good or bad depends entirely on what we see. Most of my epiphanies are delivered in the form of my sister telling me my ass looks fat in my jeans, whether I ask for her opinion or not.

Commentary on my fat ass or bad breath I can handle, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the reality of personal feedback in the form of reviews for my novella, Reapers With Issues.

Before I begin I’d like to state that every reader who reviewed my work negatively did not condemn me personally for what I’d written, despite not particularly enjoying the book. I’ve read reviews of other books where the reviewer took the author to task, and I am happy to say I’ve been blessed with a classy group of readers who didn’t feel the need to blast me.

I guess what confounds me most is that I expected there to be more blow back for subject matter. Portraying Jesus as a closet homosexual and writing a scene where Genghis Khan violates a shi-tzu wasn’t going to win me an audience with the Pope, and I knew that going in. I also prepared myself for a critique of the quality of the writing itself, which as it turns out I didn’t receive much of. What I did get was essentially the same question, asked in so many words, of what kind of person could conceive of the Reapers idea at all. Again, good or bad depends entirely on what we see.

[enter the dreaded introspection process]

The first thing I did was try to answer the question of what kind of person I am. Despite an obscene amount of navel-gazing I am no closer to that answer now than I was when I began. My motivation to write Reapers With Issues was just as strong and the subject matter just as easy to conceptualize as Gods of Asphalt’s was, so identifying a specific default in thinking didn’t pan out. The truth is that I’ve got a hundred different stories buzzing around in my head; everything from harmless children’s stories to British comedies to even more Reapers sequels (oddly there’s nothing milling around in there that remotely smacks of Erotica, but that’s a post for another day after an hour on a couch).

So after an even more shameless bought of self-contemplation I began to ask myself a different question, “Why do any of us write what we write?”

Do we choose our genre or subject matter because of who we are, or because of what we make of the world around us? I imagine it’s no coincidence that Reapers With Issues was written during the darkest hours of a friend’s battle with cancer, or that Gods of Asphalt was written while stuck in bed, listening to my two teenaged sons bicker amongst themselves and argue with their father.

It is also not lost on me that I wrote Reapers With Issues from a third-person point-of-view, allowing me to observe at a distance the story of a Reaper whose best efforts to gather souls are thwarted by a Savior, or that the overall theme of Gods of Asphalt is how brothers cope when their mother isn’t around.

I suppose in the end what we choose to write comes from the harmony of both who we are and what we see. I’ve learned that whether my writing is received as harmony or dischord depends entirely on who’s doing the reading, and no amount of alteration of my “music” will accommodate everyone.

For the record, I’m fine with that. I am a Jazz fan, after all.


Reapers With Fangs

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Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the day is nearly here when we will unveil Book Two of the four book compilation series called REAPERS WITH FANGS. The sequel to Reapers With Issues follows the Grim Reaper on his journey through middle management Hell.

For those of you who have not read Book One of the series entitled, REAPERS WITH ISSUES but would like to purchase a copy visit www.wristsaroundtheworld.com where every purchase donates 100% of the profit to a great cause that you too can be a part of. Don’t forget to visit the REAPERS WITH ISSUES website and sign Grim’s DEATH BOOK. Now onto a preview of:

 

REAPERS WITH FANGS

 

Death’s bag landed with a thud, dumping its coconut scented contents and nearly a pound of beach sand onto the cold, office floor. “When was someone going to tell me about this?” Grim asked the three Horsemen scrambling to form a line in front of him.

“What ‘this’ are you referring to?” Famine asked, backing away slowly.

Grim stepped forward and shoved a pink, bubble gum scented memo into Famine’s bony hand. “THIS is what I’m referring to. This memo that’s nearly two weeks old. I count on you three to cue me into this kind of thing when I’m gone. I shouldn’t have had to hear this from Lucifer.”

Pestilence flinched at the word “Lucifer,” but said nothing. War looked to Famine who, after returning a stony glare, reluctantly answered. “No one wanted to bother you. We all agreed you needed the break.”

“So you thought waiting until I got back from vacation to walk into this mess was the better idea?” Grim asked as he snatched the memo from Famine’s hand and tossed it atop a monstrous stack of waiting paperwork.

“No, that’s not what we thought at all,” Famine explained. “We agreed we’d do some recon first and get a handle on who this Ashli person was before we decided whether or not you should worry.”

Grim startled. “Worry? Why? Who is she?”

Without saying a word Pestilence slowly lifted Grim’s mug off his desk and then went for coffee just as Famine produced a silver flask from deep inside his cloak.

“That good, huh?” Grim asked, not convinced he wanted to know.

“I’m not sure “good” is the word you want here,” Famine said as he poured a stream of red, viscous liquid into the steaming cup of coffee. Pestilence blew the billowing smoke away before handing the mug to Grim who promptly set it on the desk behind him.

“I’m not a Cherub, Fam. You don’t have to pussy foot around me. Just tell me straight out who this Ashli person is.”

Famine took a quick sip from the flask, steeling his courage before he spoke. “From what we’ve been able to gather Ashli is…well, let’s just say word around the Cloud is that the boss has got himself a new girlfriend.”

Grim stood frozen for a moment before he snatched the flask from Famine’s hand, tipped it back and sucked it dry.

“We’re still not sure what this is, so I see no reason to assume the worst,” Pestilence said in an attempt to put Grim at ease.

“Bunch of bullshit is what it is,” War blasted. “Give me five– no, four thousand real Reapers and we’ll take care of business no problem I guaran-fucking-tee it. We don’t need no Bible bitch tellin’ us how to do our jobs. We–“

Famine backhanded War into silence just as Grim dropped the flask to the floor. “Wait–what’s he talking about?” Grim asked, wide eyed. “What did he mean by, ‘telling us how to do our jobs?’”

Famine hung his head and sighed. “Yeah…I hadn’t gotten to that part yet.”

“So what are you saying?” Grim asked. “That I finally got Skippy and his shih-tzu out of my department and now….now I’ve got the girlfriend setting up shop here? Are you telling me she is actually in command of the OHD??” Grim’s shocked reaction forced his eyeballs to pop out of his skull and roll along the floor.

Famine picked the eyes and his flask up and set them all on the desk. “I’m afraid that’s the way it looks,” he reluctantly replied.

“Well that’s just fucking great,” Grim said as he ripped off his best tanned meat suit, stopping short of revealing a heart-shaped tattoo with the words Fran Forever emblazoned across the bicep. A tattoo that for the life of him Grim could not recall getting. “I need to sort this shit out so give me a few minutes alone, please. Pronto.”

Famine nodded and then led the Horsemen out of the office. As soon as he was alone Grim headed straight to the closet to change into his regular uniform. His official cloak, Grim decided, would put him in the right frame of mind to deal with the fact that once again, God pulled the rug out from under him.

As Grim slid on the heavy, black robe he set to putting this new dilemma into perspective. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, he thought. Anything had to be better than Jesus and his Reaper disaster. After all, the Big Guy never kept a woman for long, and he was sure it would only be a matter of time before this new one grew tired of his continued absence. Running the Universe for an eternity isn’t the nine to five job most women think it is.

Still, there was reason for concern. Even though this wasn’t the first time God took a mate, it was the first time in at least two thousand years he’d been this public about it. As Grim could recall, Lucifer was the reason behind God’s last romantic debacle. Grim wondered just how deep into Ashli’s pie his demon colleague’s fingers were, and just how bad the blowback to the OHD might be if God found out.

His mind racing with new concerns, Grim threw open the office doors and called for his Horsemen. “Have any of you spoken to Lucifer yet?” Grim asked once they arrived. “He’s the one who forwarded the memo. He’s got to know how this happened.”

“We…didn’t think it was such a good idea,” Famine tentatively began. “We didn’t know how much of this action originated from the Southern offices, you know, considering how Jesus’ Reaper solution went down.”

Grim ran a bony hand back and forth along his spinal column. “I do know what you mean, but it seems like a lot of risk, even for Lucifer. This isn’t Jesus and his shih-tzu we’re talking about, this is the Big Man and his woman. Anyone remember Lilith?”

“Come on, Boss,” War interjected around a wad of chew. “You know you can’t trust ol’ whistle britches, especially when there’s a female involved. Don’t matter who she is. He nails ‘em faster than Jesus to a cross.”

Hearing his Horseman echo his thoughts reinforced Grim’s suspicion of Lucifer’s role in Ashli’s sudden appearance at the OHD. Determined to get answers, Grim reached for a phone that rang as he grabbed it. “Hello?”

“Why Grim! You’re back!” Lucifer announced with mock cheerfulness. “What’s the good news?”

“You tell me. I’ve been skull deep in sand for the past two weeks.”

“Hmm…how very odd. I’d have thought your ponies would have alerted you to the magnitude of the situation by now.”

Grim shot his Horsemen a look of death as he spoke. “Never mind all that and just answer a question for me. Did you have something to do with this Ashli bullshit or not?”

“Hold your Horses,” Lucifer snickered. “The answer’s no, I had nothing to do with this. Although I wish I had, because this is more glorious than any plan I could have concocted.”

“Plan? What fucking plan are you talking about?”

A sudden, thunderous crash resonated throughout the office followed by a sulfurous puff of smoke. Lucifer appeared at Grim’s side. “Sorry about the theatrics Grimmie old boy, but I just had to be here when you got the news.”

Grim rubbed his skinless temples in exasperation. “Fuck the news and just get to the plan.”

An expression that was both gleeful and menacing at once took hold of Lucifer’s face as he stared into Grim’s and said, “I can sum up the plan in one word-

Vampires…

FOR MORE REAPERS VISIT:

http://www.reaperswithissues.com

TO BE PART OF A GLOBAL PROJECT AND GOOD CAUSE VISIT:

http://www.wristsaroundtheworld.com


The Early Bird Catches The SPaM

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Even though I’ve been taking a break from SPaM in order to write the REAPERS WITH ISSUES series, I had to come back today in order to introduce to you all someone truly special. For those of you out there who may not know, there is a rockin’ chick among us who is somewhat new to blogworld. I’ll let her About Me page speak for itself:

Essa Alroc is an Orlando, Florida based freelance writer who published works include “The Blurb About Freshness on the Back of Your Deodorant” and “Understanding Your Utah 529 Plan”. When she’s not at work, fantasizing about setting her cubicle on fire, she is working on her first full length novel.  It is not about deodorant or financial aid plans.

With blog posts entitled TEN WAYS TO GET FIRED or HOW NOT TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND one can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of Essa Alroc.

1. Your writing style is edgy, to say the least. What influences do you attribute to forming your particular writing style?

I was born and raised on heavy sarcasm and using humor in the place of emotions. My life’s motto is if your going to bitch about something, at least make it funny. That way people will actually listen.  When I was growing up, I was an overweight kid with bad teeth, who wore my brothers hand me downs. If it wasn’t for my incredible ability to hurt someone’s feelings, I would have made one hell of a target. Luckily for me, the weight came off, the teeth got fixed with braces, but I never lost the ability to come up with some seriously scathing commentary.  I also still wear my brothers hand me downs.

2. You live and write in Florida. How does living in the south influence what you write?

Florida both fascinates and horrifies me. I have a theory that something to do with the heat makes the people here crazy and violent. What I like about this state is that things that would be ridiculous anywhere else seem normal in Florida. I draw on a lot of my experiences here for both my fiction and non fiction work and I never seem to run out of things I write about it. What I dislike about Florida is all the rapes and murders…and lack of Jack in the Boxes. I miss their curly fries.

3. Your page MAKE ME YOUR BITCH speaks to your ability to write for hire. How does writing for someone else’s project differ from writing your own, and what can someone expect in the way of services?

My first love is humor writing, but in today’s market, it’s not a viable career option. Luckily, thanks to the plethora of jobs I’ve had, I’m able to write about a large range of subjects and still make them readable (and g-rated). My goal when I’m writing someone’s page is to get them SEO hits and at the same time, give value to the reader who was searching for their page in the first place. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re not looking to get sold something. They’re looking for an answer to their question. My goal is to answer that question and still make my clients page come out on top. At the same time, I have to keep it free of my personal opinion and four letter words. Sometimes it’s easy, like when I’m writing an article about medical marijuana. Sometimes, it’s impossible, like when I’m trying to come up with 10 things I like about Mitt Romney. Number 1 was his hair.

4. Tell us about STRANGELY SOBER.

Strangely Sober was a novel born of frustration. Frankly, I was tired of reading about unworldly heroines who need the hero to show them how things are done. I’m not like that, and I don’t think most women are like that. Having a vagina doesn’t make me a bumbling, clumsy, insecure mess who can’t handle life on her own.  I’ve lived a full life and I think a lot of people have. I created my protagonist, Angelica Salvatori, AKA Sal, because of that. She drinks too much. She smokes too much. She lives everyday like zombie apocalypse is right around the corner.  She adapts and re adjusts as necessary. Personally, I think that’s what life is all about.

5. Tell us about ASYMMETRIC ANGELS.

I wrote Asymmetric because I didn’t feel ready to let go of Sal. There were some loose ends to tie up from the first novel and I didn’t think her story was over yet.  Asymmetric has been a challenge to write, because it’s got some strong religions undertones in it, despite the fact that I am not remotely religious. It’s a sequel to my first novel and its where my heroine, Sal, tries to create a shaky opinion on faith and at the same time, tries to adapt to a world that is constantly changing for her. Asymmetric is a novel about getting to know yourself. It also has explosions, a high body count and a recurring Gary Busey hallucination. Can’t disappoint my readers while I’m trying to be artsy.

6. How does blogging effect writing, if at all?

Blogging is a release for me. Its entertainment writing in its highest form. I don’t use my webpage in my portfolio, because it’s my hobby. I don’t allow marketing on it, and even my own marketing blurb for my business is kind of a joke. I don’t want my readers distracted by ads. I want them to laugh. I don’t censor myself and I don’t want to do that for a sponsor. All my blogs are born out of an everyday experience that can be made ridiculous using the right words. The world is a ridiculous place, and the ability to laugh at that ridiculousness makes us powerful.  I laugh at the Westborough Baptist Church, the economic crisis and child prostitution because I understand the power of humor. I go by the lessons I’ve learned from George Carlin and Richard Prior. ANY topic can be made funny when given the right delivery. That approach makes me fearless in my writing.

7. What have you learned most from writing your novel?

Be prepared for change. When I originally wrote ‘Strangely’, it was called ‘Unforgettable’ and it was written about a schoolteacher with eidetic memory. Two days before I released it, NBC released a show called “Unforgettable”, about a cop with eidetic memory. Instead of releasing it anyway, or trashing the whole series, I adapted it, changed it, until it was a completely different novel. Now, I’m glad that happened, because ‘Strangely” is about 10000 times better than what it was originally.

8. What advice would you give other would-be novelists?

Put your novel away for 6 weeks after you finish it and then read it again. It’s like being a first time reader. Maybe you realize your novel is, in fact, genius. Maybe you realize its crap. Maybe NBC puts out yet another shitty crime drama show and you have to start all over. Either way, you’ll be glad you did it.

9. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Jacqueline Susann, because she made trash literary genius. Read “Valley of the Dolls” closely and you realize that Neely O’Hara is Scarlett O’Hara. I love Piers Anthony because he makes sci-fi/fantasy a commentary on politics that hasn’t been met since Orwell’s “1984”. Finally, I love Tim Dorsey because he writes about Florida with tongue in cheek humor that delivers both admiration and disdain for this wild and crazy state. If Serge Storms were real, I would totally be stalking him.

10. Where do you see your next project taking you?

Well, the final book in the bar series, Gio’s Gift, is already breaking my heart because I’m murdering off a character I’ve grown very attached too. After I’ve uncurled myself from my sobbing emo ball, I’ll be working on something I’m calling the Dark/Light series, which I’m hoping comes to par with some of Anthony’s more political novels. It will be my first foray into science fiction and is loosely based on Nietzsche assertion that God is dead. Personally, I don’t think God is dead. I think he’s a sandwich artist at Subway…at least, he will be in my book. I hope eventually to make enough from my humor and fiction projects to focus on them full time. I think as long as I keep typing away and putting my best literary foot forward, it will happen.

Or I’ll wind up a sandwich artist at Subway.

 GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY OF STRANGELY SOBER TODAY ONLY BY CLICKING BELOW:


Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!!!

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WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WITNESS THE SPECTACLE THAT IS DESTINED TO BE KNOWN AS THE DUEL OF THE CENTURY! WATCH IN AMAZEMENT AS BLOGWORLDS’ OWN LILY-LADEN LOTHARIO EDWARD HOTSPUR MATCHES WITS WITH THE ENIGMATIC CLOWN PRINCE HIMSELF- LE CLOWN IN A DUEL SO INTENSE IT’S SURE TO MAKE HAMILTON AND BURR LOOK LIKE A SLAP FIGHT!

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!!!

WATCH AS TEAM EDWARD’S OWN LOVELY AND TALENTED GINGERSNAAP OF OHMYGODJUSTDOWHATISAY FAME, FLANKED BY THE VERY HANDSOME EL GUAPO FACE-OFF AGAINST LE CLOWN’S OWN WORDSMITH EXTRODINAIRES MADAME WEEBLES AND SPEAKER 7.

The winning topics:

  • Furries (fetish), suggested by Carrie Rubin (16 votes);
  • Group Sex in Retirement Adult Community, suggested by Rutabaga (10 votes);
  • Protection Identities, suggested by The Ringmistress (9 votes).

The face-offs will be as follow:

  • September 19 – Furries: Ginger Snaap VS Speaker7;
  • September 20 – Protection Identities: El Guapo VS Madame Weebles;
  • September 21 – Group Sex in Retirement Community: Edward VS Le Clown. 

All posts written by Team Iron Gonads of Iron Fire will be published on Le Clown‘s blog; posts from Team Dachshund will be published on Edward‘s blog. Winners will be crowned by the amount of LIKES each post will get. So you, readers, will have the final say as to who’s this blogosphere’s force to be reckoned with.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE EPIC BATTLE ROYALE AT THE DOOR FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!

THEY’LL SELL YOU A SEAT BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE….


Interview With…Pestilence

HE: Today’s interview has us sitting down with Creeping Death himself, Pestilence. Good morning, Pestilence. How was your trip to Earth?

PEST: Good morning, Miss Ellis. Considering I had to get a bus transfer, it wasn’t bad.  Once you make the transdimensional leap from Purgatory to the mortal realm several times, it’s old-hat.  Little known fact: Purgatory started as a sort of safe zone for travel from Earth to and from either Heaven or Hell.  It’s a sort of pressurization chamber, like divers use.

***

HE: What confounds you most about mortals?

PEST: Body odor [makes face].  I have no idea how God managed to create Humans in his image yet chose to have them excrete smelly substances.  And this is coming from me, the Bacteria and Virus King.  Eew [shudders].

***

HE: Where is your favorite place to reap?

PEST: Tropical climates are by far the best for reaping within my domain.  I mean really, I almost don’t have to do anything except follow the molds and fungi around and pick up after them.

***

HE: If you were mortal, what job would you want to have?

PEST: Oh, I don’t know.  I’m not sure I could be mortal and sit in my own cloud of stench all day.  In fact I need a shower now.  But I’ll be fair and answer your question.  I guess perhaps a lab technician at the CDC.  That or a postal worker.

***

HE: Has a mortal ever escaped you?

PEST: Yes and fiddlesticks!  Those Humans are so goshdarned clever that sometimes I think they’d do a better job than I would at reaping a la Pestilence.  Do you know why viruses mutate?  [waits for answer]

HE: Oh, you’re actually asking me [rolls eyes] – why do viruses mutate?

PEST: They mutate because I’m constantly having to make new strains to keep ahead of your best efforts to counter me.

***

HE: What’s the most negative aspect of wearing a meat suit?

PEST: Body odor.  I’m sorry, am I obsessive here?  A little Freudy-Doidy? Haaa ha  hah ha… ahem.  But seriously, body odor.  I also tend to be very disturbed by no-reason boners.

***

HE: Is it hard working for God?

PEST: I’d like to say yes, and I’d like to say no.  The sad truth is, he tends to come up with awesome creations but then inserts middle managers between him and his creation when he finds it too difficult to manage.  So for in-the-trenches marks of performance, I have to give him an ‘F.’  However, for his strategic vision, nobody beats him.

***

HE: Is Lucifer as bad as they say?

PEST: He’s a doodie head.  He does wear nice clothes though.

***

HE: What do you have to say about the Mayans?

PEST: I’d say they were pretty susceptible to infection just like everyone else.

***

HE: Your dream date is?

PEST: Hmm… so many to choose from.  I think the day the Black Death started in Europe has to be number one, and the Spanish Flu thing there I did wasn’t bad either…

What?  Oh THAT kind of date… uhm, well… I’ve never been on a date [hangs head].
***
HE: Beatles or Elvis?

PEST: Oh, I’m sorry.  Neither?  Okay, truth is I love classical music.  You Humans got that right.  I like most of what your composers created, and I am particularly taken by the Baroque artists.  Rock and roll sounds like… sweaty Humans.

***

HE: Favorite sports team?

PEST: I’m not really into sports so much.  I like watching Kasparov play chess – now that is exciting!

***

HE: Where do you see yourself in five years?

PEST: Reaping, of course, but can I sort of qualify that?  Okay.  I want to be better at what I do in five years, you know.  Like perhaps I’ll make a better form of Ebola.  It just kills me that after all that time and effort, that virus is only about 95% lethal.  I think I can get it up into the high 98% range.  Sometimes I secretly dream of creating some whole new type of pandemic… I mean, there’s bacteria and there are viruses… what if there was a whole new thing out there.  I have dreams too!

***

HE: What would mortals be most surprised to learn about you?

PEST: I like to collect stamps, and macramé.

***

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with the Reaper better known as Pestilence. Tune in tomorrow when we sit down with everyone’s favorite Horseman, War. Stick around this weekend when we’ll be sitting down to chat with some of the upper (and lower) members of the Office of Heavenly Affairs. Until then, stay well and avoid the Reaper!


Interview With…Famine

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HE: We continue our interviews with the mysterious Horseman known as Famine. Good morning, Famine. How was your trip to Earth?

FAMINE: You assume I left, ha, that’s… that’s funny.  I haven’t gotten away from Earth in what seems like eons.  Just when I think I might get away, some jack-hole gets me involved in another bunch of crap that I can’t delegate out and I can’t pass on higher up the chain.  Story of my fucking life… uh, death… existence.

***

HE: What confounds you most about mortals?

FAMINE: Toy dogs.  Fucking ‘Toy’ dog breeds.  The women and gay guys carrying these things around are the same ones freaking out and jumping up on chairs when they see rats and mice.  What the hell, man?  And cocaine.  Why the hell would anyone want to do ANYTHING faster and with more sweating?

***

HE: Where is your favorite place to reap?

FAMINE: Depends, easiest or most fun?  Easiest: L.A.  Just ask a broad if she’s expecting or if she just had a baby, *BAM*, job is done for you!  Not only will she stop eating, she’ll puke up Thanksgiving dinner from three years ago!  Most fun?  Suburbs of Atlanta.  Have you ever watched a 350 pound guy looking at a plate of ribs or chicken and waffles and suddenly realize he isn’t hungry?  Funny as shit!  They get mad.  Rumplestiltskin mad.  I could do that all day!

***

HE: If you were mortal, what job would you want to have?

FAMINE: Sales associate at Abercrombie. Every time some skinny bitch walked out of the dressing room I could say, “Uhm, Honey, you want me to get you the next size up?” I think I could be pretty happy with that.

***

 
HE: Has a mortal ever escaped you?

FAMINE: Victoria Beckham.  But the game ain’t over yet.

***

HE: What’s the most negative aspect of wearing a meat suit?

FAMINE: Grooming.  I mean, the showering, the cleaning, the de-stinking.  Really a lot of work.

***

 
HE: Is it hard working for God?

FAMINE: A boss is a boss is a boss, you know?  They give you bottom lines and you’re just supposed to run with them.  My budget barely not-feeds the westernized world!  Don’t get me started on trying to juggle maternity leave rotations for those slutty Succubi!

***

 
HE: Is Lucifer as bad as they say?

FAMINE: No.  We get each other.  He’s got a job to do, he’s got to get it done on time and under budget just like the rest of us.

***

 
HE: What do you have to say about the Mayans?

FAMINE: Fucking nutty.  I mean, I like a good party, but, to quote a well known space cowboy, “Eating people alive? Where’s that get fun?”

***
HE: Your dream date is?

FAMINE: Tina Majorino.  Freaking adorable, I love her.  She’d finally notice me, in the bushes, with the camera and be all like, “Hey! Are you the one sending me those letters? You wanna hit the Olive Garden with me?”.  And I’d be like, “Olive Garden?  Really?”.  And there would be this split second of us looking at each other and we’d both screech out “UNLIMITED BREAD STICKS, SUCKER!”  It would be awesome, you know?  Magic…

***

HE: Beatles or Elvis?

FAMINE: Uhg.  Uhm, Elvis, if I had to choose.  If I got to pick, Cheap Trick.  I’ll take Elvis because Zander kicked ass on Don’t Be Cruel.  Why always Beatles or Elvis? Beatles or Stones?  What about The Clash or Abba?  Iron Maiden or Prince?

***

HE: Favorite sports team?

FAMINE: The Eagles.

***

 
HE: Where do you see yourself in five years?

FAMINE: Probably doing the same fucking job, but with a three and a half percent increase in pay, those cheap mother-fuckers…

***

 
HE: What would mortals be most surprised to learn about you?

FAMINE: Hmm.  Not sure… Oh!  Okay, I got one!  No one ever believes me, but I had nothing to do with Karen Carpenter.  Seriously, that was all just fucked up psyche and shit.  Hell, do you have any idea what I went through over that?  Jesus loved her.  I swear, that’s the reason I haven’t even been considered for a promotion!  Hell! I was sending her fruitcakes and candy grams just to save my own ass!  And I do I ever get the credit for Mama Cass?

***

That concludes our interview with the Horsemen known as Famine. Tune in tomorrow when we sit down with Creeping Death himself, Pestilence, followed by War on Thursday and a special mystery guest on Friday. We round out the weekend with back to back interviews with the Big Man himself, God on Saturday and a one on one exclusive with Jesus on Sunday. Stay tuned!


Happy Blogiversary To Me!

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TODAY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG! TO COMMEMORATE THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION I HAVE DECIDED TO RERUN MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.

PLEASE TO ENJOY…

So yeah, I wrote a book.

I must have been high when I wrote it because there’s no other explanation I can give for my 120,000 word upper YA novel where the only noun I used more than “boner” was “blood.” It goes without saying that I’m self-published. I didn’t even try to submit it traditionally. Can you just imagine the poor agent who gets my query letter?

“My novel, THE GODS OF ASPHALT is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a series of five books that for some reason I’ve decided to write out-of-order. Each one is told from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist who has exactly zero supernatural powers (unless you consider perpetual erections a superpower). Oh, and it also has Spanish subtitles.”

Yeah.

On the good side, if you’re like me and are just a little too into music, motorcycles and all around badassery this is the book for you. If you’re not, I’m sure Jodi Picoult’s got a blog somewhere. You can find the opening to chapter one at the top of the page under the tab GOA REVIEWS and you can find my book on line at:

SMASHWORDS

AMAZON


The Gods Must Be Crazy – The Redux

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Something must be in the air, because not only am I working on a four-book compilation of short stories, my friend Dayton over at       THE FOG OF WARD has just completed a joint effort himself entitled ReDues: Divine Tales.

 

FROM THE BACK JACKET:

 

The gods have returned.

All of them!

The change promised by the ending of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 manifested itself in an unexpected manner. Every pantheon of gods and goddess, from every belief the world over, have returned … changing the world forever.

As the pantheons settle into their ancestral lands, they vie for worshippers, gaining or losing power along the way. They find the world of man a bewildering, crazy quilt, and each wishes to remake their lands in their own image.

Come and meet some of the inhabitants of this strangely familiar world in eleven new tales that explore what it means to worship in this new reality. A Knight Templar hunting mysteries. A rookie pitcher with a unique belief system. A wounded solider returned to battle by a goddess. A reporter who isn’t sure what to believe. A homicide detective on the Manhattan beat. A man out to kill the gods. A single father trying to survive in a world without Santa Claus. And many more!

Chronicling this new tomorrow are Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson, Phil Giunta, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, William Leisner, Scott Pearson, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Dayton Ward, and Steven H. Wilson. Join them and discover a world where everything old is new again—even the gods themselves.


ReDeus: Divine Tales, published by Crazy 8 Press, will premiere at the Shore Leave convention in Baltimore the weekend of August 3-5, and will be available in both trade paperback and electronic format on or around that time, as well.


REVIEW: Harem Master

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HAREM MASTER  by R.B. Hatch

When I first chose to review HAREM MASTER I was concerned I’d find nothing more than a glorified Penthouse Forum article. Yes, it does involve a middle-aged man who is “entertained” by a self-appointed harem of females ranging from employees to contemporaries to nymphets. And yes, it is at times raunchy and raw and sexually charged. But R.B. Hatch’s development of the narrator, a man simply known as “John,” is well written and highly entertaining.

As a reader I found myself simultaneously repulsed by and sympathetic toward John’s actions that form the relationship between him and his “harem.” In “John” Hatch has created an “everyman” whose wit, intelligence and sense of mystery utterly charm the women around him into willingly becoming his objects of desire. It’s Hatch’s ability to endear John to the reader that helps to create a world that is not only plausible, but downright believable.

More than just erotica, HAREM MASTER is a plot-driven novel that delves into the mind and motives of its protagonist and speaks with a voice that will please its readers.


REVIEW: Scenes From A Morning Drive

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SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE 

by Edward Hotspur

Nothing is what it seems in Edward Hotspur’s world. Inspired by the ultra-humorous author’s blog, his compilation book entitled SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE reads like a Lewis Carroll novel ghost-written by William Shakespeare as spoofed by Monty Python. More than just words, SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE is short fiction at its best.

With the weather often inspiring his moods and his esoteric musical stylings an ever constant soundtrack; Edward Hotspur waxes poetic on everything from road construction to cloud formations to office minutiae. His skillful way with words and unique perspective on love, life and laughter bring new meaning to the term “triple threat.”

Sometimes heartwarming, often tragic but always humorous SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE takes the scenic route through Edward Hotspur’s mind and shows you the world as you have never seen it before.


M3 Writer’s Spotlight

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Today I was lucky enough to score a book interview with the one and only Red from Momma’s Money Matters; a blog about, “Money, parenting, blogging, psychology…good advice delivered with a bit of snark and humor.”

In addition to Red being a blogging powerhouse and gracious post host; she managed to do what almost no one in the world has been able to do. Yes, Red convinced me to tell a dirty little secret about myself.

Yikes.


Les Broke My Cherry

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That’s right people, I have been deflowered. Les the Great over at Bestbathroombooks gave me my first interview ever for Book One of my THE GODS OF ASPHALT series. Just as you might expect, it was long and hard and filled with tires.

What?

See for yourself by taking a hop over to Bestbathroombooks for his review and my interview. Don’t forget to stop by his own book page where you can pick up a copy of TOILETRY FROM A-Z where a portion of the proceeds go to colon cancer research.

And don’t worry, he’ll be gentle.


Sandy SPaM

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As much as I blog/write/brag about being a New Englander I find it’s easy to forget that my life’s journey began in Florida, the same base of operations for this week’s featured blogger Sandylikeabeach (great name, right?). But the similarities don’t end with geography. I also suffer from her self-described “Scarlet O Hara syndrome” and could have written the following sentiment myself:

“With this blog, I hope to feed that part of my soul that yearns to create. My blog is not really about anything in particular, just recollections, memories, observations, thoughts and dreams.”

Anyone who’s had the good fortune to visit her blog quickly learns there’s more to this writer/poetess than simple anecdotes or pearls of wisdom. I give you my kindred spirit, Sandylikeabeach.

Before I answer your questions, let me say I’m delighted to be your kindred spirit and honored to be included in your roster of SPaM recipients. Now, on to your questions.

**** 1. What first influenced you to become a writer?

My high school English teacher, Mrs. McKelvy, opened my mind to the possibility of writing. I took her creative writing class and she was very encouraging. I wrote several short stories and poems, and won our school’s creative writing award my senior year. I majored in journalism in college, but never liked the “reporting” side of it. I loved the photography and editing classes.

Of course, I graduated from college during a recession so I never worked in my major field. I was just happy to get any job, much like today’s college graduates. Once I left college, I did very little writing, until I started this blog about six months ago. After decades of not writing, I’m still struggling to find my “voice.” I have been happily surprised by how encouraging and supportive my fellow bloggers have been.  It is unlikely that I will ever be a “post a day” blogger, but I am enjoying the journey.

**** 2. Where do you draw your inspiration for your poetry?

My poetry tends to be a bit dark.  When I am in an emotionally raw place, the words just seem to flow. Often the writing of the poem is enough to lift me out of that dark place.

The one poem you seemed to like the most was Longing, which ended with the line ‘Someone walked over my grave.’ That line was the starting point for the poem.  It was something I remembered from my teenage years. We used that expression when we would get a sudden chill that would give us goosebumps. I knew I wanted to end a poem with that line, so I worked backwards from there.

**** 3. Are you writing anything at the moment?

Just the answers to these questions. I do have an idea for a short story bouncing around in my head, not sure if it will ever make it from my head to the page.

**** 4. In your post ICE CREAM CONES AND RAIN – BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE you discuss a love of reading. What are you reading at the moment, and what book would you recommend reading?

Currently, I’m reading and enjoying W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.  There are so many good books, it’s hard to recommend just one. I loved Vonnegut when I was younger, and Douglas Adams.  Dune by Frank Herbert was a stand out, as were The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Just in the last few months, I’ve read and would recommend The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner and The Gods of Asphalt by you!

**** 5. I love your post DISSECTING A CRAZY AUNT about living in Florida. What do you find is the best/worst thing about living in Florida?

The best is hard to choose as we have some of the best beaches in the world (I have traveled the world so I know this to be true), the best Cuban food this side of, well, Cuba, and so many crazy, freaky people (the circus really does spend the winter here). I think what I like most about my home state is it defies generic descriptions. The southern part is different from the northern part, the coasts are different from the center of the state. The state is an ethnic melting pot with more tanning salons and theme parks than any one state should have, including water parks which is just nuts for a state that bills itself as the sunshine state and is bordered by water on three sides.  We’ve had crazy out of control growth, and yet many pristine wild places remain. Florida is a contradiction, wrapped up in a conundrum, tied with a bit of whimsy, and just when you think you have her figured out, she surprises you.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is going to hate me for saying this, but we have the worst bugs – giant, hideous, could star in a horror movie bugs. There are huge palmetto bugs that look like roaches on steroids. These things can be 4 or 5 inches long, at least,  and they fly – straight at you.  We have fire ants, scorpions, huge grasshoppers, spiders (which don’t bother me but some of them are as big as my hand), and some bugs that I don’t even know what they are but they look like they’re from another planet. Seriously, the sheer number and variety of bugs are an entomologist’s wet dream.

**** 6. What’s the best thing about spending winter holidays in Florida?

The weather! I didn’t see snow until I was 16 on a visit to Yellowstone in July so I never understood the appeal of a white Christmas.  I watch the news and see people all bundled up scraping ice off of their cars and I just cannot imagine having to endure all that cold weather day in and day out for several months. It’s not surprising that so many people move south, though don’t move to Florida because we have these huge hideous bugs.

**** 7. Quite a few of your posts feature dancing (my personal favorite is RIGHT BOOB ESCAPES DURING TANGO). How much does dance feature in your day to day life?

I don’t dance nearly enough! When I lost my job, I moved back to the little town where I now live. I can’t indulge my love of salsa, cha cha and tango as much as I would like, though I did dance salsa in my living room with the cable repair man a few months ago. I do take a couple of dance classes each week and often just put on some music and dance around my house. Music and dancing lift my spirit like nothing else.

**** 8. Many of your posts including, CLOUDS, ICE, ALASKA and CALIFORNIA DREAMING are about your love of traveling. What was your favorite travel destination, and where would you like to go that you’ve never been?

My favorite trip was a walking photo safari in Kenya about 11 years ago.  I had never camped before, at least not in a tent without electricity and running water. I went alone and had a fabulous time. Masai warriors, carrying spears, joined us on our treks through the Loita Hills. I witnessed the wildebeest migration on the Masai Mara, hyena feeding frenzies near the campsite and herds of elephants in East Tsavo. I saw Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean. The most amazing thing was just walking along and being just a few yards from impala, zebra and elephants. I also saw incredible poverty, yet these people who were living in tiny huts with next to nothing were warm, friendly and generous, welcoming us into their village and homes. They also recognized a fellow dancer, as I was chosen to join the Masai women as they danced around their campfire.  It was the trip of a lifetime and I would go back to Africa in a heartbeat.

There are only two continents I haven’t set foot upon, but still so much of the world to see. I’ve never been to the Greek Islands, but ever since I watched the movie, Shirley Valentine, a few years ago, I have longed to spend a few weeks on a sailboat gliding through the Aegean Sea and exploring those islands. Maybe someday…….

**** 9. Lastly, your post 25 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME doesn’t begin to sum up your clearly vibrant personality. What is the one thing about you most people would be surprised to learn?

Most people would be surprised to learn that I am surprising. I was surprised to find this out, too. People are always telling me that I am ‘surprisingly strong’ or ‘surprisingly athletic’ or ‘surprisingly deep.’ They are surprised by the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been and the thoughts I express. Not surprisingly, surprising is a wonderful way to be.

For more salsa fun follow Sandylikeabeach!

Next week’s SPaM features a three part interview with a special mystery guest. You won’t believe who it is!

For your own SPaM contact heellisgoa@gmail.com


SPaM and Chips

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As promised I will reveal the name of the secret admirer who wrote Friday’s LOVE LETTERS GONE WRONG at the bottom of this blog post. But first, onto some British SPaM!

I thought this week’s SPaM post featuring my Verynormal gal pal Megan would practically write itself as I consider her part of my family. But trying to encapsulate all there is to know about this British ball of wonder in a single blog post is a near to impossible task and required me to call in reinforcements. I give you Megan, as seen through the questions of my own family.

**** 1. Question number one comes from my daughter Mini Me and she asks, “When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up, and what do you want to be now?”

I wanted to be a Zoologist, I know I was a nerdy kid but I had a fascination with animals, studying them would have been my perfect job but then, I do not actually know what happened, I guess I realised that animals were just the start, Dragons and Werewolf’s were going to be the middle and who know what the end will be but at the moment writing and teaching are both my aims.

**** 2. Question number two comes from my son Junior who asks, “What made you start a blog?”

My writing, I needed a way to justify staying up till stupid hours in the morning writing words, I needed to know I was actually good at it, so far so good! I have met some amazingly wonderful people, one being H.E.

**** 3. Question number three comes from my son Prince Charming who asks, “What are you studying in school?”

I love the word school, because technically I left school 2 and a half years ago but I guess if I lived in America I would have only just left. I studied Sociology, Psychology, Biology and Chemistry at A level, which is at college here and now I am studying Childhood studies at college again ahaha I get people … I guess I finally realised animals were not my calling! I did not get into University but I guess that has been a good thing, I have time to write and that is all I need.

**** 4. Question number four comes from the bane of my existence, Just Jeb. “Where is the best place to party on a Saturday night?”

Well seen as though I can drink because I am 18 and in England that is legal… I do not actually know ahaha at home snuggled with Ben and my family. You’re all going to get an insight into where I live now ;) Leeds is an amazing night out around town, I mean in one club/pub they bring shots around too you, Hull and York are also good nights out but I do not understand all the pushing to the bar stuff and I work on a Saturday and Sunday so I do not actually go out that often … When I do … It is never good ahaha.

**** 5. Mini Me asks you to tell us about your family.

I have the most amazing family (that includes you guys :D), My mum and dad are the best, My mum had me and my sisters very young, she was 17 when she had my older sister but they worked there arses off to get where they both are now and I respect them a lot. My sisters are like my best friends and we get on amazingly well for sisters. Family is your rock … Never forget that.

**** 6. Junior asks you to tell us about your boyfriend, Ben.

Oh gosh, do you have all day, I love him so much and people do not think you can be in love at eighteen but people are wrong, he saved me, he really did. I was in a place that was not good, I had a psycho best friend and an unhealthy relationship with the wrong boy … Ben was my knight and now he is my pillow at night ahaha!!

**** 7. Jeb asks, “What is the most confusing thing Americans do/say/or think, and what assumption about England do Americans have that is completely wrong?

Erm I do not actually know, I have to Google all the food stuff you lot say like Krispy Kremes, They look yummy but I could not eat them (I am allergic to wheat) I won’t lie to you guys, I had Americans all wrong, I am going to hate what I am going to say, I thought you were all stupid and up tight… that you guys like did not get jokes and just sat eating MacDonalds all day … That is so stereotypical, I am sorry and I was wrong! Really wrong.

We do not all drink tea, I for one hate it and scones ahaha! We are mad about Rugby and Football and we all talk nowhere near as posh as you think we all do.

**** 8. Prince Charming asks, “You’ve recently discovered American football. What’s your take on our sport, and do you have a favorite team?”

You have too many breaks in it ahaha but apart from that I really like it! I mean I like sport, I am getting a New England Patriots shirt for Christmas from my mum and dad. Woop!!

**** 9. Now I ask, “You give some great relationship advice. What’s the one thing you could pass along to all the single girls your age out there?”

There is so much I would say, I mean my biggest one would be… Love yourself before having sex, that might seem stupid but too many people do it just so they can say they did it then they feel terrible after know that they would never want to remember that as there special ‘night’ another one would be guys are trustworthy, I mean you have a beautiful example in Prince Charming, from what we have spoken about anyway. Lads are not as horrible as most girls make out.

**** 10. Lastly, “What can you tell us about your book Realm Keepers, and what are your plans for the remainder of the series?”

Ohhhh I didn’t know you had all day, Realm Keepers is my Fantasy fiction love child, it was the start of getting back into writing during my ‘A’ levels and it is the best this I have written to date. I mean there is more detail on my page These Four Kingdoms.. I do not wanna bore you all but this is my dream, I love writing and I can feel myself getting better at it every day. I mean I might even let you steal some to put in your writers corner ahaha. I always think people are going to hate my writing because most people tell me I am too young but now I have started blogging my confidence has grown and I owe a lot to the people who view my blog. These Four Kingdoms is hopefully going to go far… I have hope!!

I owe a lot to you H.E. And ‘Lola’ is just the start (Introducing Lola.)

Follow British darling Megan at Verynormal

Next week’s SPaM features THE WANDERING ATAVIST

Want your own featured SPaM post? Email me at heellisgoa@gmail.com

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THE IDENTITY OF FRIDAY’S SECRET ADMIRER IS:



London Calling…Lost At Sea

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When real world me can’t sleep real world me watches late night television. The other night I caught Gilligan’s Island and it got me thinking; what would the IMONTHEBANDWAGON boys do if they were lost at sea?

So of course, I had to ask:

*** 1. While on tour your plane experiences engine trouble and the pilot advises you to prepare for a water landing. As the plane plummets toward the ocean you visualize your funeral. What celebrity would each of you want to deliver your eulogy?

MIKE: Hmmm hard questions.

JOWETT: With the amount of people you have pissed off, there wouldn’t be a point in having a funeral for you, no one would turn up.

MIKE: (Laughs)

JOWETT: People would turn up after, to dance on your grave. Mind you there wouldn’t be enough room. They would have to scatter your ashes in Ibiza.

Laughter

RYAN: I would have someone funny.

MIKE: Well if I can’t have a funeral, you wouldn’t be able to!

RYAN: I haven’t pissed anyone off.

MIKE: Well you’re always with me when I have said something.

RYAN: So?

MIKE: Guilty by association.

RYAN: What about Joel?

MIKE: Nah people like him.

JOEL: I would have Adam Brody.

Laughter

MIKE: Who’s that?

JOWETT: He’s an American actor? Isn’t he? Wasn’t he in The OC?

JOEL: Yeah.

MIKE: Why him?

JOEL: He owe’s me a favour.

JOWETT: Why?

JOEL: I met him once and I did him a favour, so he owes me one.

MIKE: Not because you think he’s a good actor then? Literally because…

JOEL: He owe’s me one.

Laughter

JOWETT: This isn’t like ringing up one of your mates that knows a bit about plumbing when your dishwasher packs in. “Right I’ll give Adam a bell, he owe’s me one!”

JOEL: I stand by it.

MIKE: Next.

 

*** 2. After the plane crashes into the ocean the three of you swim to the shore of an uncharted island. Who do you choose to be the leader, and why?

RYAN: I really don’t like the sound of this idea.

MIKE: It would be alright. I would be the leader obviously.

RYAN: That’s alright mate, I would just…. swim off.

Laughter

MIKE: It would be a laugh! I would be a good leader, Keep morale going until we were being rescued.

JOWETT: No chance, you would be a vile little bastard after about…3 hours.

Laughter

JOWETT: “I’m going to fall out with the next person that doesn’t listen to my complaints about the sand.”

Laughter

JOWETT: And what about this, the next question is…

 

*** 3. You search the island only to discover that there is a limited food supply. You come to the grim realization that once the food supply is exhausted; one of you is going to have to be eaten. Which one of you is it?

MIKE: Joel.

RYAN: Joel.

Laughter

JOEL: (Sounding offended) Awww!

RYAN: Sorry mate but, sometimes even now I forget you are around.

Laughter

MIKE: True. And I just couldn’t put up with your questions “So, what WAS Goofy?”

Laughter

JOEL: Well what was….

MIKE: I’M WARNING YOU!

Laughter

 

*** 4. Miraculously a search plane finds you before you are forced to resort to cannibalism. Once you return home, what is the first thing you eat/drink/do?

RYAN: I dunno, I would probably still be stressed.

MIKE: How you gonna snap yourself out of that? Book a holiday?

Laughter

MIKE: I would get home, sit down and think, “Life is short and you have to make the most of it and waste any moment” and then continue with my legal case against the writers of ‘Lost’ for wasting people’s time.

Laughter

JOEL: I would start on my auto-biography, early, entitled “My mates were going to eat me you know.”

Laughter

 

*** 5. Impressed by your bravery, Her Majesty the Queen invites you for tea. You are instructed that you are allowed to ask for one thing of Her Majesty. What does each of you ask for?

JOWETT: I know what this would be.

MIKE: Knight-hood!

JOWETT: Knew it. Shit answer.

MIKE: Well! Wouldn’t you?

JOWETT: For what? Living on a Desert island for a bit?

MIKE: WITH JOEL!

JOWETT: Yeah fair point.

MIKE: Failing that, I would want to have as much money as Chris Martin because, let’s face it, it’s not fair, OR I’d ask for all British money to be printed with a picture of Gwyneth Paltrow, filing for divorce.

Laughter

JOWETT: Ryan?

RYAN: Erm I’d ask her if she really didn’t have anything to do with the death of Princess Diana.

JOWETT: Well done, that sentence ensuring this whole concept will never happen.

Laughter

JOWETT: Joel?

JOEL: An hour in Kate Middleton’s bedroom.

JOWETT: Final nail in the coffin! Thanks lad’s!

 

*** CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW FOR A RANDOM POST FROM JOWETT AND THE BOYS! ***

 

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Got a question of your own?  email the boys at: imonthebandwagon@hotmail.co.uk

For more from Jowett and the boys visit LONDON CALLING and LONDON CALLING AGAIN!

 


Confessions Of A Star Wars Virgin

I have a confession to make. I’ve never seen Star Wars. Or The Empire Strikes Back. Or Return of the Jedi.

So on the prompting of a certain wunderkind who calls himself  THE ELITE I’ve decided to actually sit down and watch these movies back to back. I’m leaving now to watch Star Wars and I’ll return to the post with an assessment when I’m done.

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First, I need to apologize for all the SciFi geek jokes I’ve made over the course of my life, because that movie friggin’ ROCKED!!!!

So Han was hot and all but Luke was super annoying. I honestly don’t know how Han didn’t just kick him off the Millennium Falcon on day one. I also wanted to smack C3PO upside the head throughout most of the movie.

But if you ask me, what made the entire film was Chewbacca. Honestly, if I’d known more about his character it wouldn’t have taken me so long to see this movie. He’s the only one that makes any sense and he doesn’t have a single coherent line of dialogue! Now, onto EMPIRE!

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Totally did not see the whole Han/Leia romance angle coming, although I probably should have. Leia’s every bit the “denies/doesn’t show romantic emotions” pain in the ass I am.

Lando’s kind of a dick, but my boy Chewbacca nearly tears him to pieces so that was wicked awesome. I also wish at some point Yoda would have kicked Luke’s whiny ass right into the swamp. Best of all I FINALLY got to see the “Luke, I am your father” scene I’ve always heard people talk about.

But the part that pissed me off most was that at the end of the movie Han is still frozen. I suppose I’m not so upset about it for my sake, seeing as I’m about to watch the next movie in a moment, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like back in the day when people had to wait years for it to hit the theaters. Alright, time to bring on JEDI!

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Uh…ok…

Please all you fans out there, tell me the whole reveal of the “Luke/Leia twin” thing was a late to the table script add-on and not part of the original story arc. Because I went back and skimmed through Empire looking for a specific moment I was sure I saw and……..yeah.

As usual, Chewy rocked. Jabba was awesome and the Ewoks were…well, let’s just say they were cute, but I’m trying to understand why they were necessary. And…I kind of wish Luke didn’t take off Vader’s mask, but that’s just me.

All in all I’d have to say that the movies were excellent, even though I watched them after seeing more recent CGI fueled films like Transformers. And while I doubt I’ll be attending any conventions any time soon, I finally understand how the fans are as dedicated to the films as they are.

Now, my original plan was to watch the next three movies or prequels tomorrow; but my boys made me promise to wait a couple of days. They said they want the euphoria of me finally getting to see the original three wear off before I watched the next ones and got really, really mad.

Whatever that means.

 


I Named My Car Frank Stallone

Every self-respecting car enthusiast has a dream vehicle. Mine is the 1967 Chevy Impala. But not just any Impala; I’m talking the SS model that came with the limited edition “Turbo Jet” 427 motor and Z24 chrome-plated intakes built right into the hood. My dream Impala makes old ladies in Buicks lock their doors when I roll up at stop lights and prompts less than savory characters to ask how many bodies I can fit in the trunk. I get hot just thinking about it.

But that’s not the car I drive. What I drive is a 1968 Chevy Impala coupe with a stock 307 motor and four speed automatic transmission. A car, that if it weren’t for its more successful and popular older brother, would be considered totally awesome in its own right. A car that reminds me of Frank Stallone.

Frank, like my car, is totally awesome too (if you don’t believe me just check out his seriously catchy-ass tune below). So I wonder…would Frank have been more popular and successful if he wasn’t forced to live in Sylvester’s Rambo sized shadow? Or is the fact that Sylvester brought attention to the Stallone name at all what brought Frank his fifteen minutes of fame? It’s not like the guy doesn’t have talent (if that were the case I’d have named my car Jim Belushi) and even though he’s old enough to be my dad he’s still super cute (anyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot in my heart for Italian street boys. Do you hear that Sully? I’m talking to you). So I’m asking everyone who reads this post a question:

Do you think a person has more to gain by stepping out of the shadows of what is popular or should they conform in order to fit into the light at all?

I ask because recently THE CANARY REVIEW invited me to write a guest post for their “Best and Worst read” series. While my choice for best read was a breeze my choice for worst read nearly gave me a panic attack (let’s just say I voiced some disparaging remarks about a certain beloved protagonist). I absolutely agonized over whether or not to give my true opinion and risk inciting the wrath of literary minds greater than my own, so much so that I went as far as writing two separate guest posts. In the end I stepped out of the shadows, hit send and Frank Stalloned all over the place.

So stop by THE CANARY REVIEW this Wednesday and comment on whether or not you think I made the right decision. In the meantime enjoy the other Italian Stallion.


Keeping Karma Happy

Thanks to a British cherub named Megan sales of my ebook in the United Kingdom have positively exploded overnight. In the interest of keeping karma happy I’ve decided to use today’s blog post to call attention to one of my favorite UK authors ever.

Ray Banks.

I first discovered Banks through a friend of mine named Jeb. There was a time when Jeb didn’t read much because he said everything was, “all romance and crap.” Then someone suggested Ray Banks and he was hooked. He suggested Banks to me and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I’d put Banks in line with authors like James Ellroy and Elmore Leonard. And for those of you who don’t read (yes, I know you’re out there) his books read like Guy Ritchie movies. Not for the squeamish, but each book has many moments of classic UK hilarity. His books are for sale on Amazon and his website The Saturday Boy

Next, onto blogs.

I feel safe in saying that this guy probably forgot more about the English language than I ever learned. His blog is an absolute must for anyone remotely interested in how language works. You can find him in my blogroll to the right and at Sentence First

Lastly, music.

Once again, Jeb got me hooked on something called “Dub step.” I’m not exactly sure what Dub step actually is, but from my understanding you cannot discuss Dub step without also discussing the London underground (if any of my British followers out there wish to elaborate, please do. I cringe just knowing I’m not doing the description justice). Dub step won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I am absolutely addicted to it. Here’s a sample:

 

 

You can also find Megan at Verynormal and my buddy Jeb at Just Jeb.


I Don’t Have Balls

As I stated in an earlier post I don’t have balls. This isn’t just a literal fact, it’s a figurative one as well. And anyone in the writing world knows if you want to write you need a BIG pair. Preferably made of brass.

When the time came for me to ask for a review of my book my first inclination was to look for someone who I thought would give me a good one. But my Hemingway brand strap-on ballsack told me that if I couldn’t handle honesty in a review I might as well just give up and become a greeter at Wal-Mart (there’s nothing wrong with that, but those people are way too happy).

So I sacked up and went looking. And found Megan. Call it fate or Karma or glorious divine intervention but I was delivered to the blog of the sweetest, eighteen-going-on-thirty year-old I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting online. Megan willingly read my book and gave me an HONEST review (both the review and her blog are listed below). She confirmed what I thought was the weakest part of my book and surprisingly loved the parts that I thought were going to be the hardest sell. She didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear to make herself feel good, she told me what I NEEDED to hear to make me a better writer. Pretty ballsy for eighteen, let me tell you.

Check out her blog for some astonishingly insightful relationship advice from an up and coming writer. And don’t worry, she’ll be gentle.

Verynormal


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