My Email Was Hacked! And Other Tidbits

Just wanted all my friends to know my email was hacked, I’m not in Italy, but safe and sound at home. Well, at least, safe…

The culprit eliminated about 5000 emails as well as my entire address book, so I’m posting this here, on Facebook and twitter, as well as sending out emails to individuals, just to make sure I get everyone.

This is my normal day for guest bloggers, but no one volunteered for today, so you’ll just have to put up with me again today. But I do have a book review coming Thursday, and May promises to be an eventful month with reviews every week on new books, as well as more Memories of Me articles, and I’m hoping a few guests.

I’m enjoying The Artist’s Way class, though I can’t keep up with everyone. Today begins week nine of a twelve week email class where I can participate as I’m able, which is the only way I can take a class anymore.

I’m hoping to get back to writing soon, with 8 stories brewing. Shouldn’t take me more than 10 or 12 years to get them done. Hehehe.

Hope you all will join me regularly in May as I gather interesting writers and books for all of you to enjoy.

On My, I Am So inspired!

Besides reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I’m also reading There Is A Spiritual Answer To Every Problem by Wayne Dyer. In it he has a writing called The Final Analysis by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It lists eight things to do that will strengthen you. I know this is kinda long, but I had to share, so here it is:

The Final Analysis

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are succesful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone may destroy over night;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people may often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the Finaly Analysis, it is all between you and G-d;
It was never between you and them anyway.

BOOK REVIEW: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Review by Ryder Islington

Another grand slam for Ms. Gabaldon. Voyager revives the relationship between Claire and Jamie. There is not a single wasted word in this book. Everything that happens in the beginning chapters will be followed by some significant event later.

 I must say it wasn’t the story I expected. I thought I had it all figured out. I was sure certain events would occur, in a certain way. But Ms. Gabaldon surprised me over and over.

 Oftentimes in series, the first book is great, but things go downhill from there. Either the writing gets stale, or repetitive, or like on of my favorite authors, whom I won’t name here, the research shows as if the writer needs readers to know how hard she worked and how much she knows. Not so here.

 Jamie is as stubborn, and in as much trouble, as ever. Claire is so human—insecure even in those things she should be sure about. New characters are introduced and pull the readers’ strings, making us wish we could reach out and slap them, or hug them, or at least give them a good talking to. New lands are explored, and new issues arise.

 I recommend this series for anyone who loves to continue enjoying the company of old friends, while joining them on new adventure.


Welcome Guest Blogger Author Judith Marshall

Today we have a guest blogger, author Judith Marshall, with an intersting article on writing badly. Enjoy.

Take it away, Judith!

Give Yourself Permission to Write Badly

When I look back at the first draft of my novel, “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever,” I’m appalled. How could I expect to interest an agent or publisher in this drivel? But while I was pounding out the words, I didn’t know it was bad. I only knew I had something to say.

For all you aspiring writers out there, I want you to know that it’s okay to write badly. It’s okay not to have an MFA in writing or even any knowledge of the craft. The main thing is to get it down from beginning to end. Why? Because writing is about revision. There will be plenty of time to correct mistakes, beef up the plot and hone your characters later.

But first you must silence your inner critic; that voice that keeps telling you your writing is crap. This voice does not like to be ignored. She wants you to be precise, to choose just the right word, to use the proper punctuation. She wants you to be inspired, prolific and brilliant. Wouldn’t that be nice? But if you wait for that to happen, you’ll be staring at a blank computer screen most days.

If you want to be a writer, you have to start somewhere, and most often it begins with writing badly. Writing badly is the first step toward producing anything worthwhile.

Thanks, Judith. You hit the nail on the head.

Below is a great photo of Judith, with a cover shot, and you can contact Judith at



My dad was a wheeler and dealer. He was always buying things, fixing them up, and then selling them. When I was around ten, he came home with a hearse. Not just any hearse. A metallic mint green Caddie.

Turns out you can fit a lot in one of those. It was great for going fishing. We took it toSan Felipe,Mexico, eight or nine people in the back, plus fishing gear, and it made a great full size bed for camping. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t get embarrassed easily because we went everywhere in that car for quite a while.

As a matter of fact, the one and only time I ever went to the walk-in movies as a child, I went with a friend. We saw Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and when we came out, there sat that shiny hearse, right out front. My friend and I climbed in the back and were chauffeured home, like we were special, you know, like on TV. It took years for me to figure out that anyone who saw us climb in the back of that car was not envious. They probably thought we were crazy.

My parents had just about every kind of vehicle when I was young, but I will always remember that hearse. Now, when I watch one of my favorite movies, My Cousin Vinny, and they talk about a car that’s metallic mint green, that huge conveyance with the giant chrome grill, pops up on my internal movie screen, and I remember good times. How many people can say that about a hearse?

BOOK REVIEW: Paskagankee by Allan Leverone April 17

Review by Ryder Islington

 Paskagankee starts out with a bang, literally, as a battle occurs between Native Americans of the Abenaqui tribe and a group of missionaries in 1691, a story told in the prologue. The rest of the story is in modern-dayNorthern Maine, in the small town ofPaskagankee.

 The new sheriff in town, Mike McMahon, is just getting his footing, when the killing starts. Bodies are being ripped apart as if The Incredible Hulk was pitching temper tantrums. The story is imaginative, the characters somewhat rounded. But Mr. Leverone didn’t do this story justice. Major plot points are predictable. Parts that should have a reader on the edge of his or her seat, were slow. And something critical that would have made this story rich and complete, was left out. Of course, I won’t tell you what, because it would be a giant spoiler for those who want to give the book a chance. The end was a let down.

 Mr. Levarone shows a talent for storytelling, and had a unique voice, but could use a good editor, or more time to hone his craft. Paskagankee is supposed to be the first in a series. Let’s hope book two comes to life in a way book one didn’t.

Welcome Guest Blogger MaryLynn Bast

Welcome MaryLynn!

I hope everyone enjoys the character interview below, and check out that beautiful cover of No Remorse. 

Due to her unusual birth, Amber has abilities no other werewolf has ever possessed r possessed. On the run since childhood, the lone wolf avoids contact with other werewolves at all cost, continually moving, constantly looking over her shoulder and always alone. 

Everything changes when Amber saves a werewolf from the mere brink of death, Blake, the only werewolf to ever protect her. Love blossoms, but not without tribulations when Amber realizes she must help her new pack rescue a member who is being held hostage by a rival pack. 

Warring with emotions of going from lone wolf to the pack leader’s mate, Amber must decide if she is willing to risk Blake’s life to know true family and friendship despite the fact that the Council is hell bent on locating her and will stop at nothing until she is found. Will Amber’s special abilities be enough to keep everyone safe?

 Character Interview with Adam

I invited Adam from No Remorse to speak with me and surprisingly I got two for one. Adam brought a friend and I must say; I have never seen a man so big. I don’t mean weight wise. This man had to duck his head to get through the door of my office and I swear his shoulders were so broad he had to turn slightly to make it through the doorway. I couldn’t help thinking that he must pay a fortune for the custom made clothing he wore so well.

I stood and walked forward, inviting them both to sit down and worried that he might break my brand new leather armchair. I know they heard me breathe a sigh of relief when he shook his head. Leaning beside the door, he crossed one ankle over the other and his massive arms across his chest. You’ve heard theold cliché ‘I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley’? Well, that one definitely went for this guy.  Although, he was extremely good looking with his piercing blue eyes and from what I could tell, light brown hair judging by his military style haircut. I caught myself wishing I could see his smile. But no such luck, he just leaned there with a straight face,his eyes focused on me.

Then I realized I had been staring and looked at who I assumed was Adam. I had never laid eyes on either of these men until that very moment. When he smiled as he extended his hand towards mine and he said hello in the drop dead sexy voice of his, I knew without a doubt that this was Adam. On the phone he had sounded just as delicious as he looked.

A silly grin on my face, I grasped his hand in what I thought was a strong grip, but compared to his warm hand surrounding mine was, well wow! Adam was nowhere near the size of the mountain by the door, but had the same air of confidence about him. His eyes were blue as well, but pale, a really dreamy color, if you ask me. His hair a darker shade of brown, I could easily run my fingers through to feel the softness.  I couldn’t help but wonder if they were all as good looking as these two were.

Adam sat down in the chair and indicated with a shake of his head back towards the door. “That’s Marcello, my trusty sidekick.”

I couldn’t help but smile and glanced at Marcello, but he made no facial movement whatsoever. The thought crossed my mind that he didn’t approve of Adam being there and that really made me want to get him to loosen up and do an interview me too. From the look of him though, I knew that wasn’t happening.Leaving it alone, I turned to Adam while I settled in my chair behind the desk. Glad I had dressed up, that’s for sure. Tugging at my shirt I noticed Adams eyes dart quickly to my cleavage and saw a tiny lift on the right side of his mouth.

“Thank you both, Adam, Marcello for coming.” I picked up the pen, poised and ready to jot down the answers to the questions I hasalready written on my yellow pad.

“Thank you for having us here.” Adam sat with one leg crossed over the other. His long fingers tapped a muffledrhythm on the arm of the chair and I had to force my attention back to my questions.  Taking a deep breath I began.

“I would like to start out by asking how you know Blake and Amber.” I looked him in the eyes and he answered immediately with a charming smile.

“I actually met Blake a couple years before I met Amber.” Adam paused for the slightest moment as if preparing his thoughts and I wondered if he was choosing his words carefully, not wanting to disclose something accidently. The reporter in me picked up on that immediate; he didn’t appear to be nervous though. “I met Blake when he stepped in the middle of a group of boys who were kicking my ass.” A sheepish, toothless grin crossed his face. “I met Amber when I was sent to the shelter.”

Now that threw me. I didn’t know there were shelters for their kind. “What do you mean, shelter?”

“Moonlight Shelter is a place where we are sent when there is no one to care for, or they just don’t want us around for one reason or another.” Adam glanced down at his lap, then back up at me.

“So in other words it’s an orphanage?” My pen scratched furiously as I took notes, scribing word for word what he was telling me. I underlined Moonlight Shelter because I would be following up on that one.

“Yes, it’s a type of orphanage so to speak, only they don’t turn you out after you turn of age. Moonlight is somewhat of a safe haven for anyone who doesn’t have a place to go.”

“Is just anyone allowed at Moonlight?” I watched his face for a reaction.

“The answer to your real question is yes. They do accept humans, but only if they are already aware of our existence. They would accept you there if you needed to go into hiding for some reason. ” Adam spoke softly, his eyes never leaving my face when he added, “As long as you’re not running from the law.”

I already knew the answers to some of my questions. For the purpose of the interview I had to get Adam to tell me what I needed to hear. So I prodded him even though I sensed he was a bit uncomfortable. “I understand that it’s hard for you to speak so openly about this. Your, uh, people have always been so secretive.”

Adam cleared his throat. With elbows on his knees, he leaned forward and clasped his hands together while his chin rested casually on the tip of the forefingers and he stared at me.“Yes, it is very difficult for us to open up to outsiders. You are aware of what we are and for whatever reason I have been instructed to cooperate, so I will answer your questions.” He smiled to take the harshness out of his words. Lifting his hands up, spreading them apart he leaned back in the chair. “I’ll tell you what I can.”

Adam began talking after that and I don’t know how he did it, but he answered every question I had without me having to ask. Although there were times I thought I was going to have to prod him a bit. Eventually he told me what I wanted to know, and then some.

“I know you’re waiting for me to say the word. So yes, I turn into a werewolf every full moon. We have what is called a Full Moon Phase which last up to five days. It’s never exact. After the initial change with the full moon, we can change whenever we want. Younger wolves have a hard time controlling the change, but that is where the pack comes in handy and guides them. Yes, there are wolves that have eaten humans. However, we try to refrain from doing so.” Adam scooted down in the seat and got more comfortable. I wished Marcello would sit as well, but he refused to move from the door when I asked him to. I wondered if he had read my mind about not breaking my new chair, but that couldn’t be because werewolves can’t read minds.

Adam continued. “My father was friends with Blake’s family. I was living with my mother, so I didn’t meet Blake until my mother died and I went to live with my dad. I found out quite by accident that he was working for a pack of werewolves. One night I saw them all shift.” His eyes stared into mine; I think he was waiting to see if I would give any indication of being shocked at what he was telling me. I made sure to keep my face clear of all emotion as he continued. “I know what you are thinking, one of them bit me. I was bitten, but not on that night. I went to the shelter, as a human, when I was seventeen.  My dad was off doing whatever it was he was doing and the pack sent me to be with Blake. I can’t tell you why he was there, but that is when I met Amber, beautiful girl.”

Glancing over his shoulder at Marcello who still hadn’t moved, not one inch, Adam shook his head and grinned. I wondered if they were communicating telepathically like I heard they could do.

“I was there only a couple weeks before Ambergot into major fight with Stacy and ended up fleeing the school.” I must have frowned at the word, because Adam explained. “The younger people call it school, because they have teachers on staff. We didn’t leave the grounds.  After the incident with Amber, I never saw her again, not until she helped Blake at his accident.” I nodded my head. I remembered hearing about how Blake had almost died.

“So, let’s get to the main reason we are here.” I didn’t blink when Adam’s eyes flashed at me.

“Werewolves are born into packs, like Amber, who has strong ties with the Council. Because of her special birth she has abilities that not even I comprehend and she is still learning what she can do.” Adam released a sigh; he was finally getting to the part that I wanted to know about.

“Humans can be changed into wolf. There is a process called the Blood Ritual where the entire pack drinks a drop of blood from the inductee. This also happens when someone joins another pack. But there are other ways too. I was out later than I should have been. The neighboring pack invaded and one of them bit me. Instead of just killing me, the bastard left me there to bleed to death. Somehow Blake found me in time and finished what had been started, he turned me. You see, when a werewolf bites you, it is not always a guarantee that you will be turned. If he bites you in the right spot, you will bleed out, but you will not be infected with the virus that runs through our veins. Just piercing the skin and making the human bleed doesn’t do jack but cause a lot of pain.”

Then finally, he got to the point, the reason for the interview and told me what I was after. “To be turned, the wolves tooth must pierce your arterial vein. The virus grabs onto the blood cells, once it reaches the heart there is no going back. The virus takes a couple days to take over completely as it overpowers and mutates the cells. The process is very painful. You will feel as if you are boiling from the inside out. Your lungs become so tight you barely breathe; your heart racing so hard you just want to die. You know that if it beats just one beat longer you are going to. Then the heart stops for a brief moment. The human dies and the wolf is born. However, this does not always happen naturally. There are cases where the human’s heart dies, but the wolf does not come through. Unless there is someone there to help start the heart, they may die as was in my case. I owe Blake my life, he saved my life twice. Well, more than that actually since we met, but that’s another story. I would tell you more about Blake and Amber, but I don’t have that kind of time.”

He glanced at the clock on the wall and scooted to the edge of his seat. He had answered my question. But another had filled my mind. I wondered if he had other abilities and was about to ask when a brilliant smilespread across his lips again.

“Be patient love, I’m getting to it.” I heard a snort from the doorway, the first noise Marcello had made and it startled me because I had actually forgottenabout him standing there. Adam grinned and continued. “Yes, I have special abilities and no they are not a werewolf’s ability nor was I born with it.” He paused for the dramatic affect. “Iget visions, don’t always know when or where they will happen, but they always come true.”

Again he paused. I knew he would continue so I remained silent. “We don’t talk about being a werewolf because most humans don’t understand. They try to kill or experiment on us to find out why we shift. We usually hide to change and yes, we do have our weaknesses, but if I told you, I would have to kill you.” I swear his eyes flashed black then yellow when he said that. “But the one thing I can say is that as a pack, we do communicate telepathically and our bonds are never truly severed.”

Adams eyes stared deep into mine, like he was trying to get into my head. Apparently he already had since he’d answered my questions without me having to ask. But for the life of me, I had no idea how he could read me since I am not a werewolf and they can’t read minds. Then what he was saying sunk in and I felt about ten inches small. He had read my mind and had told Marcello what I had thought of him breaking my chair if he sat in it. Again, the grin crossed his face and I knew he was reading my thoughts.

 “I have to go now, but we will talk again.”

My fingers had begun to cramp from holding the pen too tight and writing so fast and I paused, glancing back up at him. The thought of talking to him again was exciting and I looked forward to hearing more of how he came to have his abilities.

“When we do, I will tell you how Blake and I met Seriana, but not now, I can’t give you any details on her, so wipe that thought right out of your head. She will be with me when we talk next and if she wants you to know, she will tell you.”

Damn, I realized that if he could read my mind, then he had heard my thoughts on how good looking he was and the naughty things that could be done to that scrumptious body of his. Adam chuckled and I smiled then stood as he did. His hand clasped mine and held on for a moment longer than he had when we met and a warm tingling feeling spread through me. I don’t know if he did something to cause that or if it was because I was attracted to him, but either way it felt good. With a grin on his face he walked past Marcello and punched him none too lightly in the arm, pushed the door open and walked out. Marcello nodded his head to me, turned and followed Adam out the door.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Marcello could even speak and why he had tagged along, maybe he was just guarding Adam for some reason? Hmmmm, there was something to think about, and another thing for me to look into. This had definitely turned out to be an interesting interview.

MaryLynn Bast is a Texas native who is currently living it up in Las           Vegas. Bast writes paranormal fantasy romance because it allows her              imagination to run rampant, permitting the characters of her stories to                 obtain abilities not possible in the real world, or is it? MaryLynn is                         married to Patrick, has three children, three step children and enjoys                   traveling the world.


BOOK REVIEW: Gods and Fathers by James LePore

Review by Ryder Islington

I was quite surprised by the interweaving of current events and believable circumstances that form not only the main plot but several subplots in this thriller by James LePore. It’s not enough that the main character, Matt DeMarco, is swimming in personal problems, including the fact that his ex-wife is married to an Arab multi-millionaire who has managed to turn Matt’s son into an entitled, arrogant, disrespectful user. Matt’s love life is a shambles, his temper has already brought about a death, and his boss, District Attorney, Jonathan Healy, is up for re-election and can’t afford bad publicity.

Then the unimaginable happens. Two cops, close friends of Matt, show up to arrest his son for rape and murder. You would think this story would work its way through the typical American criminal justice system, but add Middle-Eastern extremists, political intrigue, an old grudge, and an old flame, and Matt’s life is turned into an international issue. Though I would recommend this book to readers of thrillers, I must say it could have been better.

The writing is really good, but the editing, not so much. It’s really a shame that such a good writer of such a good story, might be held back for lack of a good editor. The mistakes are glaring and pulled me out of the story. Not being a perfectionist, I continued to read, and overall, enjoyed the experience.

BOOK REVIEW: Once We Were Kings by Ian Alexander

Review by Ryder Islington

 Ian Alexander’s award-winning ONCE WE WERE KINGS could be used as a primer for how to write fantasy fiction. The world he created is full of beauty and danger, and his characters well drawn. His voice is distinct, and yet echoes many of the leading fantasy authors of our time.

 I enjoyed the relationship between the hero, Render, and his side-kick Branson. The boys grow in battle and loss. The story is full of action, albeit, slow action, and the end predictable by any Bible scholar, but it is, after all, the journey that readers can envision, share and enjoy.

The eternal battle between good and evil is depicted in grandeur through the eyes of characters whom you can love and love to hate. I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, especially those who love shape-shifters, evil powers, and a beautiful unknown land.

Welcome Ian Alexander!

Award Winning Fantasy author Ian Alexander has graciously offered a guest post on the subject of Complications and Character. Ian is the author of Once We Were Kings.  I’ll be posting a review shortly, but for now, enjoy!

Complications and Character

By Ian Alexander

In real life, we hate complications.  We avoid them like the plague and pay good money to eliminate them from our lives.  We do all this in the hopes of reducing stress, optimizing our work, maximizing our time and productivity, and reducing drama.  If we succeed, we are happy.

But if you’re reading a book that has managed to do the same, you’ll be disappointed.  Why?  Because a story without complications may sound like an ideal way to live, but to read about?  It’s plain boring.  If every at every turn, your character succeeds, and only good things happen to her, soon enough you feel tired of reading about it.

What makes reading a page-turning, keep you up all night experience is when bad things happen to your beloved characters, and then even worse things happen.  Holiday Inn used to have a slogan: “The best surprise is no surprise.”  While that may be true of hotel quality, that certainly does not apply to fiction.  The best surprises in a novel are not simply those which catch you completely off guard—because anyone can throw a random monkey wrench into a plot—but rather, those that  make sense.  You know, the ones that make you smack your forehead and think, “Of COURSE!  I should have realized that!”

So the next time you are faced with a complication in life, rather than get upset, try thinking about the character you wish to build in your own life.  After all, character is defined by the tough choices we make under duress.  Take your emotions and harness them into action, taking responsibility, and becoming the character you wish to be.

Will you be a responder, who takes charge of his own life and makes the best of a bad situation?  Or will you be a whiner who does nothing but complain about his bad luck, how unfair everyone and life is, while waiting for people to soothe you and commiserate?

As and author, I’ve learned that I can determine what a character will be, based on their actions under duress, their tough choices.  But I’ve also learned that I can chose my own real-life character, as long as I understand that my emotions do not define me, but my choices and actions.

Think about what character you want to choose for yourself today.

About Ian Alexander:

Winner of the 2011 International Book Awards, Joshua Graham writing as Ian Alexander, wrote this book at the request of his then 6-year old son who is a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind.  The request yielded not only the first book ONCE WE WERE KINGS, but a series, the sequels of which will soon be released.
ONCE WE WERE KINGS is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, but has been enjoyed by thousands of readers worldwide from young adult to senior.  It has been a #1 bestseller on two Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy lists on Amazon and is available in Kindle Edition and Hardcover Edition as well.  
Visit the official Ian Alexander Website at:
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