Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Interviewed on Caitlin Stern Writes

 

interview

My friend and editor, Caitlin Stern, posted an interview with me this morning with a few fun questions. It’s also a heads-up that Book 2 in my Wake-Robin Ridge series will be available for FREE download tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, 2/27, 2/28, and 3/1. Check the interview out here: Caitlin Stern Writes.

For those who have already read Book 1, (Wake-Robin Ridge), Book 2, A Boy Named Rabbit will be available for free download for those three days only. Mark your calendars! If you haven’t yet read Book 1, you can also download the boxed set, containing both Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit for FREE, as well.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy my interview with Caitlin. Thanks for reading.

A Boy Named Rabbit

Boxed Set: Wake-Robin Ridge & A Boy Named Rabbit

Win a Free Signed Copy of Swamp Ghosts…

 

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Big Blue

…just for being among the first twenty people to sign up for my Mail List.  Yep. Sign up for my monthly mail list, and you’ll not only be the first to know about promotions, contests, and news from Wake-Robin Ridge, North Carolina,  and Riverbend, Florida, but you’ll win a signed copy of Swamp Ghosts, which is Book 1 of the Riverbend series. Don’t miss out. Click on the link at the top right of this page, and sign up today. (The winners might even find one or two little surprises tucked in with their copies of Swamp Ghosts.) Do it today! You KNOW you wanna! :)

Swamp Ghosts Excerpt

A man was walking down the floating pier, reading the name of each boat he approached. A really big man. Big enough that his weight caused the pier to bob up and down, which seemed to worry him, if his frown was anything to go by.

Billy and I watched his cautious approach with curiosity. The tours were over for the day, and he just didn’t look like he belonged here at the marina. When he spotted my boat, he smiled and picked up his pace, causing the floating pier to dip sharply. He lurched to a stop in front of us.

“Hi, there,” he said, holding on to the railing to catch his balance. Not a boater, then. He gave Billy a nod. “You must be the man I’m looking for…Mr. Devlin? Oh, I guess it’s Captain Devlin, sorry.”

The expression on Billy’s face was priceless. He looked at me as though he figured there was about to be an explosion of Vesuvian proportions, and he couldn’t wait to see it. I stepped forward and looked the guy up and down. When I said “big,” I wasn’t kidding. This man was 6’5” if he was an inch, and he was almost as wide across the shoulders as he was tall. He had on faded jeans and an acre of navy blue t-shirt, stretched across a chest the approximate width of the prow of my boat. His hair was longish, and very blonde, and his eyes were a bright clear blue, with a hint of laugh lines at the corners. He looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted. Give him a helmet with horns on it and a magic hammer, and he would have been Thor, personified.

I hated him on sight.

“Captain is the correct form of address,” I bit off, “but I’m afraid that would be me. I’m Margaret Devlin. Who are you and why are you looking for me?”

Thor had the sense to be thoroughly embarrassed. He actually blushed. “Oh—I’m—I’m so sorry,” he stammered. “It just said M. Devlin, and I assumed…”

I raised one eyebrow. “Yes? You assumed?”

“I mean, I guess I just pictured…I thought…” He stopped. “I apologize.”

I felt merciful. Slightly. “Apology accepted. But what do you want with me?”

Thor tried smiling again. It was a nice smile. It even looked sincere. I bet he used it on every woman he met.

I still hated him.

“I have a business proposition I’d like to discuss with you.”

I hated him less.

“Business? What kind?”

Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher

cursor's fury

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Can’t imagine what took me so long to start on Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. I guess I never figured I’d really enjoy epic fantasy, but I figured wrong. These books just keep getting better. Butcher’s writing gets stronger and stronger, just as it does during the Dresden Files series, and the characters become more engaging and interesting as the stories progress. 

Due to the scope of this tale, I’m not going to try to go into very much detail in this review, but I will say that Tavi is turning into a hero for the ages, and his journey is amazing. Amara and Bernard are a couple to reckon with, and there are villains both evil and complicated to stir up trouble in every book. Some very interesting clues have been laid out like a trail of breadcrumbs, and I find myself thinking ahead to what they all mean. I’ve been right at times, and surprised at others, and I’m eager to read the last three books and see the whole back story unraveled before me.

If you’ve never tried epic fantasy before, this could be a good place to start. If you are already a fan of the genre, but haven’t read the Codex Alera books, you should check them out. They are fast paced, full of adventure, and a lot of fun. And oh, yeah…there’s a bit of love thrown in for good measure. I highly recommend these books, and this third of the series is the best so far.

Cursor’s Fury

Interview with Jen Rasmussen

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Jen Rasmussen, one of our wonderful members at The Write Stuff, has posted an interview with me this morning. Hope some of you will check it out, and perhaps  some of you writers will consider doing one with Jen, yourself. It was great fun!  My Interview with Jen Rasmussen

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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Thought I might share a poem today, about love missed out on, never acted upon. We all likely have someone we remember, wondering what direction our lives might have taken had we pursued that relationship. Just a little thought from Sara Teasdale. Enjoy.

The Look

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
      Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
      And never kissed at all.
Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
      Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
      Haunts me night and day.

 

The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

furies of caderon 2My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Well, I finally got desperate waiting for the next Dresden Files book to come out. (It’s still a long way off!) I’ve never been a big follower of anything that smacked of epic fantasy, but beggars can’t be choosers. So I downloaded Book 1 of Butcher’s Codex Alera series, Furies of Calderon. And guess what? I liked it. A lot, actually, especially considering that Butcher’s writing has improved greatly over the years. Still, the concept was good, the characters engaging, the monsters nice and scary, and the action fast and furious. All in all, I was so pleased, I immediately downloaded Book 2, Academ’s Fury, and started right in on that. And now, I’m reading Book 3, Cursor’s Fury. Read more…

A few things writers and superheroes have in common

Marcia:

Have to share this hilarious post with you this morning. Ned’s got my number, all right. He knew just how I’d react to the image he added to his post. Hahahaha. LOVE it!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

imageBy Ned Hickson
As I’m sure you’ve already gathered from the title of this post, yes: I look really great in tights and a cape. At least on paper. In fact, all writers do. However, the power writers wield with words (such as using four “w” words in a row) — whether (make that five) for inspiration, contemplation or revulsion — got me thinking about the things writers and superheroes have in common. And I don’t just mean how often people confuse me for Chris Hemsworth. At least on paper.

To begin with, like any superhero, every writer experiences a transformation process before going into action. Sure, it doesn’t involve hastily peeling your clothes off to reveal a fancy costume (depending on your genre and dedication to research), or a blinding flash that changes you from street clothes to colorful tights — something for this reporters in my newsroom are…

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Thor’s Day Joke #2

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Thor’s Day Joke #1 (Just under the wire!)

*Snort*

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Book Review (of Sorts): Swamp Ghosts

Marcia:

Very cool review of Swamp Ghosts, by A Chaos Fairy. I really needed something to perk me up today, and this did it. Check out the rest of her blog while you’re there. :)

Originally posted on The Realm of the Chaos Fairy:

Swamp Ghosts (2014)

Marcia Meara

Available in Kindle and Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Swamp-Ghosts-Marcia-Meara-ebook/dp/B00K0QXLCS

~~~

I don’t usually do book reviews, as books are generally this introvert’s only friends, making each read a unique, private journey together. However, I just finished this book that I really liked (although I like 99.9% of the books I read), Swamp Ghosts. Swamp Ghosts initially won me over as it’s written by a fellow born-and-raised Floridian [though she’s a lot less bitter than I am about the changes the influx of snowbirds and tourists are having on Florida (increasing proliferation of mega-homes and McMansions and an unfortunate, growing trend for perfect, albeit toxic, green lawns) and and yet still manages to capture the essence of the Florida I loved as a child.].

The book is set in a small town called Riverbend that is very evocative of  “old Florida” and captures what it was like growing…

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I Should Have Told You

Marcia:

Joanne Clancy’s latest sounds good! I’ll be checking it out.

Originally posted on Joanne Clancy:

I am thrilled to announce that my latest book, I SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU, is available now!

Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/lykxdwv

Amazon .com: http://tinyurl.com/nxq7uam

Blurb:

The truth changes everything…

HE WATCHES
It was a dangerous proposition: sex for money with a complete stranger. Cold, scared, and alone: just where the killer wanted her. She had smiled her most beguiling smile at the driver who had picked her up, and now she was dead. The fog that clung grimly to her frail corpse as she lay on the edge of the riverbank shrouded her body.
HE WAITS
When a serial killer goes on the rampage in Dublin, Detective George Ellis must delve inside the mind of a murderer to discover what is driving him to kill and why. However, every lead comes with its own sinister undercurrents, and as the body count rises, he begins to unravel the shocking truth.
THEY…

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St. Cloud Author Symposium

Marcia:

Authors, and Readers, and COWS, Oh, my!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

mesmallMe, Pretending to Be A Real, Non-Sick Author

Went to my first Author Symposium and Book Signing yesterday, even though I was still dragging around in a semi-stupor of lingering exhaustion resulting from my five-week battle with the flu. I won, though you can’t tell it to look at me!  I have to say that even though I wasn’t functioning at 100%, I had a wonderful time, and got to meet some super nice people that I hope to stay in touch with.

For some reason, author Eldon G. Brown and I had to share a very teeny-tiny table, which wreaked havoc with my carefully planned display (most of which stayed in my tote bags), but we made do. We’re authors. When something goes awry, you just yell, “Plot twist!” and forge ahead, right?

Eldon has written several books, available on Amazon. I was really intrigued byDead Girl in a…

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Boxed Set: Wake-Robin Ridge & A Boy Named Rabbit

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Off today for my first real book signing in St. Cloud, Florida. (If you are in the area, it’s being held at the library. Come by and say hi. There will be over 50 authors there.)

But before I leave, I just had to let you know that my first Boxed Set, Books 1 and 2 of my Wake-Robin Ridge series, is out! For those of you looking for a bargain, here it is. You can get my newest book, A Boy Named Rabbit, of course, and for only $.99 more, you can also get Book 1 of the series, Wake-Robin Ridge, normally $4.99, itself. Hope you’ll check it out!

Boxed Set: Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit

What Are You Reading?

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As I get my life back under my own control again, it’s time to continue our regularly scheduled features. Friday, as always, is What Are You Reading day. Me, I’m more than halfway through Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon epic fantasy novel. So far, I am finding it absorbing and filled with characters I am becoming invested in, though I can’t say it pulls me in like Butcher’s Dresden Files series does. But then, that’s my favorite urban fantasy series of all time, so not much does.

I just finished reading False Awakenings by Callum McLaughlin, and will be reviewing that soon, and I’m starting on Pack Princess, by Aimee Easterling. Will be reviewing that one soon, too, if I’m allowed a bit more reading time next week than I’ve been getting lately. So stay tuned for new reviews and updates on various other bookish things.

Now it’s your turn. What are you reading? As always, inquiring minds wanna know! Let us hear from you…

A Boy Named Rabbit Is Out On Kindle!

 

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Now Available on Kindle

Wooohoooo! Finally, in spite of all kinds of obstacles in my way, I was able to upload A Boy Named Rabbit to Kindle last night, and it’s live and available for purchase today!! Those of you who have been asking when it would arrive…it’s here! Lots of launching bells and whistles have fallen by the wayside, due to my long bout with the flu, but no matter. Nothing can make me feel sad today! My third novel, the sequel to Wake-Robin Ridge is out!

If you are one of the ones who read Wake-Robin Ridge and asked if the sequel was coming, you’re in luck. Check it out here! If you haven’t yet read Wake-Robin Ridge, hang in there another day or two, and a boxed set with both books in it will be available at a special, discounted rate, so you can read Book 1 and Book 2 at once. :)

A Boy Named Rabbit is very dear to my heart, as it features an extraordinary little boy’s lonely journey through the wilderness on a quest to find the Good People. Rabbit was more fun to write than any character I’ve attempted so far, and his insights on the world (which he has been hidden away from for his entire life) vary from funny to surprisingly profound. I never knew what words were going to come out of Little Rabbit’s mouth until they fell off my fingers and onto the page.

Of course, there’s plenty of drama and danger involved, a few spills and chills, loads of worry from the ever angsty MacKenzie Cole, patient understanding and kindness from Sarah, and plenty of the kind of love only an adorable ten-year-old boy can inspire.  Hope you’ll cheer for him, laugh with him, cry with him, and most of all, never, ever forget him.

Join Rabbit on the journey that begins with his gran’s dying gasps: “Evil’s comin’, Boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies…an hair like…a crow’s wing. He’ll keep you safe…from bad people. He’s the one…you gotta find.”

A Boy Named Rabbit

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Shifting Shadows is an anothology that includes every short story set in Mercy Thompson’s world from older collections, plus four brand new stories, two of which are actually novellas. For me, the new stories alone were worth the price of admission, but I also like having all of these stories in one very nice collection.

I enjoyed revisiting some of the older tales that I had forgotten about, and I like all of the new ones, but my favorite of all is “Silver,” a novella that goes hundreds of years back in time to tell the story of Bran and Samuel, and the witch who made them werewolves. It was sad and dark, but beautifully done, and I will look at each of those characters a bit differently in future books.

If you are a Patricia Briggs fan and already familiar with Mercy Thompson and friends, Shifting Shadows should be part of your library. Yeah, another cover I don’t like, but that’s an issue for some other time. I can overlook that in favor of the solid writing inside, and a chance to spend an afternoon with old friends, and new. Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Shifting Shadows

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin It, its a great way to let me know! Thanks!

Thor’s Day Joke #2

Okay, Maybe This One is a Little Better?

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Thor’s Day Joke #1

Okay, this may not be my funniest Thor’s Day Joke, ever, but it IS the first one
I’ve been able to muster up the energy to post since the stinkin’ SWINE flu stomped all over me.
Therefore, try to be amused!! :D

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Sign Up For Mail List

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Each day, I’m feeling a bit more like myself as this mutated swine flu slowly disappears. Today, I’m ready to tackle something I began before the holidays, and then let sit idle while I tried to cope with Christmas, a rush on editing A Boy Named Rabbit, and a four-week (so far) bout of this wretched flu: My new Mail List.

I’m really looking forward to getting this off the ground! My Mail List will be THE place for the latest news on sales and other promotions, plus a spot where I can share lots of other fun stuff that would normally fall between the cracks and not get blogged about. It will go out once a month or so, and I’ll have contests from time to time, and more. 

I’m starting with a giveaway today: the first ten people to join my mail list today will receive a free, signed copy of either Wake-Robin Ridge or Swamp Ghosts, their choice. And they’ll be all set to receive future giveaways, too. I have LOTS of plans along those lines. SO…easy-peasy…click on the link at the top right of this page and join my Mail List. Once or twice a month, you’ll receive a fun newsletter and be alerted to upcoming giveaways and promotions.

Please consider signing up today. Remember, the first ten people who do will receive a free, signed copy of either Wake-Robin Ridge or Swamp Ghosts, their choice. 

Thanks!

Personal by Lee Child

personal

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

For my money, the latest Jack Reacher book, Personal,  rates a solid 5 stars. Reacher is ALWAYS a  4 or 5-star read for me, because Reacher, himself, is one of the best-drawn characters out there. Yes, I know some readers thought this book fell short, but when I read their reviews, it was almost always because of such things as Reacher not stopping often enough to discard his clothing in a dressing room somewhere, and walk out with his next outfit, designed to be worn for a few days and discarded as well. What? Yes, that’s an interesting and amusing aspect of Reacher’s nomadic lifestyle, wherein the only possession he carries with him is a folding toothbrush, but counting the number of times it happens in a given book? I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong–I love Reacher’s quirks as much as the next person–but if you are reading these books to see how many times our indomitable hero changes his clothing, you’re missing the whole point of these stories.

For me, huge and imposing though Reacher is (and so DEFINITELY not Tom Cruise!), the most impressive thing about him is his analytical mind. Throw Jack Reacher a mystery wrapped in an enigma, tied up with yards of twisted yarn and bloody twine, and then sit back and watch as he teases out every single little thread and unravels the whole convoluted mess in a way that makes you wonder why you didn’t see it sooner, yourself. Yep…it’s all about the way his mind works–with a bit of kick-butt action thrown in for good measure. Nobody who tangles with Jack Reacher gets out unscathed, physically or mentally. Quite simply, he rules! And if it’s all more or less formulaic, who cares? It works for me every time, and as we say down here, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As for complaints that this time around, Reacher didn’t get the girl, hello? Younger than his daughter would be? I think having Reacher and Ms. Nice end up in bed would not only have been unbelievable, it would have been downright creepy, in a major “Eeew,” sort of way. Not that he isn’t a sexy man who should still get the woman on occasion, but the “girl?” I don’t think so. Happily, even Reacher knew that would be wrong.

Bottom line, Personal hits all the right notes for most Jack Reacher fans, and I enjoyed every page of it. I hope Lee Child never changes a thing about this series, and I also hope the series keeps on truckin’ for a long, long time. The world needs Jack Reacher.

Personal

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin It, it’s a great way to let me know! Thanks!

 

 

Siren by Jennifer Melzer

siren
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Jennifer Melzer’s latest novel, Siren, is a fun, though certainly dramatic, romp through an ordinary world, where extraordinary things happen. Our heroine, Siren, spends much of the book convinced that she’s going crazy, especially when her beloved aunt and her best friend don’t understand what’s happening to her. And indeed, how could they? They’ve been manipulated to believe and feel exactly what Prince Less-Than-Charming wants them to.

I really enjoyed watching Siren finally come to terms with the terrible things that had happened to her, and make her stand beside the one person she’s always known she could trust. All she had to do was listen to her heart. And, oh yeah…to the talking cat, too. You romantic fantasy fans out there will love this, and I’d like to think there will be more to come, since Siren’s own powers have only just begun to show themselves. Check it out!

Siren

Beta Readers?

 

 

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If you would like to be part of a Book In Progress, I’m looking for you. I need a few new Beta readers for Hunter, the sequel to Swamp Ghosts. I’ve already written the draft for the first 6 chapters, and will be getting back to the story before long. I like having Beta readers as I go, giving me feedback on the draft, and keeping me on track. Of course, when the project is finished and edited, my Betas all receive either a free download for Kindle, or a signed copy of the print book, their choice. If you think you’d be interested, contact me via the link in the menu above, and I’ll give you more specific information.

Be the first to know what happens next in the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida, where not all is as tranquil as it seems on the surface. Contact me today, and I’ll even throw in a free download of Swamp Ghosts, Book 1 of the series, in case you haven’t read it yet. Hope to hear from some of you soon! Thanks!

I’m Still Standin’!!

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(Just Because This Picture Makes Me Smile)

Okay, some of the time, I’m not quite vertical, but by golly, I have survived this latest mutant spawn of the Swine Flu, and I’m here to tell the tale. My first advice…DON’T GET IT!! This is wicked, wicked stuff, and can be fatal for the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. So, avoiding is a good thing! And if you DO get it, for the love of everyone you know, stay home. HOME! Sleeping alone. Washing your hands about a million times a day, and trying not to cough on anyone. AND…if you go from well to sick in about sixty seconds, head straight to your doctor for Tamiflu to try to knock this stuff out. (It only works within the first 48 hours or so). Then pray.

Today is the first day in well over two weeks that I am actually thinking I might be recovering. And I’m SO happy to see that light at the end of the tunnel. I have things to do, stuff to say, and most of all, a brand new book to get published! Yes, A Boy Named Rabbit is now ready to be formatted and sent out into the world, hopefully to reach lots of people and make them smile…or cry. I’m pretty excited about this third novel. It’s a sequel to Wake-Robin Ridge, and I hope readers who enjoyed that one will find a place in their hearts for a little ten-year-old boy, unlike anyone else you’ve ever met. I know he shakes up Sarah and Mac’s life pretty thoroughly, and I hope he’ll have an impact on yours.

Also, I’ve been reading whenever I can, so I have lots of reviews I need to get posted for you. Just finished Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher story, Personal, and have a few things to say about my beloved Reacher, and about Lee Child’s way with words. I finished what should have been a light fantasy series by Lindsay Buroker, The Emperor’s Edge, but which turned out to pull me in and make me crazy for each succeeding book in series. Also, a review of The Thorn Prince by Mark Lawrence is coming up…truly one of the darkest and most disturbing books I’ve ever read, for so many reasons.

Currently, I’m reading Jennifer Melzer’s latest, Siren, and so far, it’s proving to be very intriguing. That will be on my agenda, too. And I don’t want to forget Karen Yankosky’s wonderfully funny Good Luck With That Thing You’re Doing, a book sure to brighten your spirits and make you laugh out loud.

Last, now that I’ve gotten Rabbit’s story told and into publication mode, I can get back to writing the sequel to Swamp Ghosts. I’m pretty excited about this story, too. The book tells the story of Maggie and Gunn’s best friends, Hunter and Willow, who live in the same little Florida town of Riverbend, but it’s a very different kind of tale than Swamp Ghosts was. Fewer reptiles, for one thing. :) And more romance, with a pretty large helping of human tragedy to complicate things. And of course, humor, because Hunter Painter is nothing if not a weirdy-weird guy, with a very quirky way of looking at things. Hopefully, Hunter will be out this fall.

So that’s all the news from me–the good, the bad, and the unwritten. What’s yours? Anything new in your lives that I need to know about? Let me hear from you. I’ve missed you ALL, and I’m so glad to be back!

Books for the troops

Marcia:

Please consider doing this! It’s a wonderful way to support our troops!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Books for troopsMy husband spent a few years in the military right after high school, and he tells me that books were a very important part of his life at that time. Civilians take for granted the nearly limitless entertainment available on our smart phones, computers, and ereaders, but many American soldiers are stationed in parts of the world where they have very little access to even something as simple as reading matter. A good book can make all the difference.

Enter Authors Supporting Our Troops, a project spearheaded by Armand Rosamilia. Armand collects signed books from authors and publishers, packages them up in big boxes, and mails the texts out to soldiers in remote locations, who then spread the books around to their friends. All you have to do to be involved is to email armandrosamilia@gmail.com and ask for his mailing address, sign your books, and ship them out. (Be sure to…

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Still Alive & Kicking…Feebly!

Originally posted on The Write Stuff:

Just wanted to let you guys know I haven’t abandoned you. Went to the doctor yesterday to see if my bout with what was probably the flu had left me with a sinus infection. It had. But it also HADN’T left!! Turns out, after ten days of misery, the flu virus…yes that very strain that’s in the news…is alive and well in my system, STILL. :( But I am now armed with serious medication. And I will take the dang stuff. I have a presentation to give in ten days, and I must be well!

I did learn something I want to share with you guys. If you get to the doctor immediately upon coming down with the flu, there IS something they can do, besides give you antibiotics, which don’t work on viral infections. Tamiflu can help you kick the flu, if you get to the doctor within the

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