Category Archives: books

Blog Hop


What’s a blog hop? Well this one was started by Scott’s friend Arianna. It is an interview, a list of ten questions. Each writer answers the ten questions and then selects five more writers they would like to interview. While learning something about those we like to read (and what they are working on now) it introduces our favorite writers to a wider audience of others who also might like their work.

Thank you Scott, I appreciate the opportunity. So, without further ado here we go:

1-      What is the working title of your book? The Quitter.

2-      Where did the idea come from for the book? Everywhere and nowhere. The main premise just popped into my head one day and I started toying with the idea in my head. All of my work begins with just one idea that percolates in my mind for days, weeks or months. Then I begin to talk the idea out, by the time I actually  put “pen to paper” I already know the whole story, and it is just a matter of getting to the details.

3-      What genre does your book fall under? I am not sure, I usually read either non-fiction or classic fiction. If I had to guess I would say probably adventure drama.

But, the strong connection between Ron and his ex-girlfriend Sara plays a big part in Ron’s transformation. Sara intuitively and intimately knows Ron. She is the only person in Ron’s life who has ever known him this well. His loss of Sara and his desire to tell her how sorry he is pushes him as a much as his desire to live.

4-      Which actor would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Ron, Craig Sheffer as Bill and Jennifer Connelly as Sara.

I actually answered this question last. I didn’t want to give the usual Brad Pitt answer. I thought about what kind of recommendations I would give to a director. I wanted people who “looked the part.” The part of Ron I felt was the most crucial. You learn about his life through flashbacks, but the real action is Ron alone trying to survive nature while re-living a life of mistakes and missed opportunities. Ron’s attitude, emotions and drive swing quite a bit during the story and I ended up thinking no one could pull that off better than Philip Hoffman.

5-      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  A tragedy in the wilderness brings a halt to Ron’s life of running away, but is it too late to save his life, and his relationship with the one woman he truly loves?

6-      Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Neither, I have a publisher in the United Kingdom that read a sample, and wants to publish it.

7-      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? A lifetime.

8-      What other books would compare to this work within your genre? Well, I don’t usually read books in this genre so I can’t really say. But if anyone out there has any suggestions after reading it I would like to hear them.

9-      Who or what inspired you to write this book? My dad was always telling me I was a failure and couldn’t do anything on my own. Sometimes I would not try my best at the things I did. If I didn’t try, then it wasn’t that I lost, I just didn’t try, and dad was wrong. But, when I began to get over this, I saw it in other people around me both strangers and people I know. People who lack self-confidence, and don’t try their hardest because they believe they will fail before they even start. Ron is someone like that, who finds himself in a situation where he has to try or die.

I think people are amazing and that EVERYONE has a great talent within them. Most people when they lose, someone else did not beat them, they beat themselves.

10-  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think Ron’s hand-to-paw fight with a grizzly bear is a dramatic point, both for the book and for Ron. I spent a month reading nothing but grizzly bear attack reports. If Ron was killed by the bear, there would be no book. But I wanted a scene that could happen, something believable. It was a hard scene to write and took longer than any other scene in the book.

 

The writers I tagged are: Each author below is totally different from the other four. Sheri is also the only poet in the group. There were so many others I wanted to add, but I stuck with the foremat of five.

1- Sheri, The Other Side Of Ugly

2-  J.G. Burdette, Map of Time/A Trip into the Past

3- Deborah Rose Reeves, First we Read Then We Write

4- Barry, The Way I See It

5- K C Leighton

I recommend you check out all their sites as they are incredible writers and people. They all inspire me to become a better person!

Message for tagged authors: Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.


Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week and take care!

 

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The Immigrant


A replica of a cabin in which soldiers would h...

A replica of a cabin in which soldiers would have lived at Valley Forge (unknown date) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many Americans, George Goodykoontz was an immigrant. Born in Germany, he settled in northeastern Pennsylvania in Northampton County. The year before, George became an American citizen on July fourth and now he was a volunteer in the army. Normally forty-five year old men are not accepted as new recruits in the military, but these were desperate times. In just two battles the previous year, many of George’s neighbors were killed. Their regiment was almost wiped out covering the retreat of the army from New York and those who survived were killed in battle shortly thereafter. To quote Thomas Paine “These are the times that try men’s souls”.

George had only been in the military six months, having joined in June, but he already knew what defeat was like. The last major defeat took place just outside the capital on the banks of a creek. Outnumbered their commanding general organized a defensive line along the creek, believing the enemy would try a frontal attack. The enemy commander divided his forces, crossing the creek up river and out flanked them, driving the Americans from the field of battle. The capital fell. Could this army win a battle, would this young republic survive? What would happen to George’s family? He could go back to Germany, would he?

A foreign military adviser had scouted an area for the army to camp for the winter. Twenty-five miles west of the capital near major trade routes and farm supplies on the west bank of a river, this valley would be the winter encampment for an American army that was on the verge of collapse. An American army that had lost its capital and almost every battle it fought. Having lost another one thousand men in a failed attack only weeks after being out flanked on the creek, eleven thousand men trudged on foot, in a light snow, up Gulph road to the valley that would be their winter camp. The army arrived on December nineteenth; they would build cabins for the winter but this day they set their tents.

English: The headquarters of George Washington...

English: The headquarters of George Washington at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One week later, on Christmas day, the army was still living in tents and once again, the snow was falling. The commanding general was in his tent writing his resignation letter when he heard a great noise coming from the camp. He left his tent and went from campsite to campsite and found the men singing and in great spirits. At one campsite, he asked the men “Have you not suffered enough?” They responded, “With you to lead us we cannot lose”. The general returned to his tent and burned his letter of resignation. This Christmas day, living in tents and with nothing to eat except wild game cooked with turnips, these men were in good spirits. This winter would be terrible for them and two thousand five hundred of these men would die before spring, most from disease and sickness. Though they had many reasons to be fearful, Christmas day 1777 found these men confident and they would emerge from this winter a disciplined and professional army that would defeat the British.

Who was George Goodykoontz and what happened to his family? George was one of more than eight thousand men who would emerge from Valley Forge and win our freedom for us. You will not read the name of George or his family in the history books, though we all know the battles they have fought and blood they have shed. They were just typical Americans and many times in the future, when liberty would be threatened his family would again take up arms. Some would come home and some would be buried on battlefields where they fell in foreign lands. From Valley Forge to Belleau Wood to Iraq and many wars in between George’s family would continue to defend freedom, whatever the cost.

The experts have estimated that one in four Americans have relatives that fought in the American Revolution. Once again, the experts are wrong. Being an American is not a bloodline. Whether your ancestors are indigenous, came over on the Mayflower or even if you stepped off a plane at Kennedy International Airport yesterday, you are related to those men at Valley Forge. Being an American is not a bloodline. Being American is a spirit within each of us, a spirit that willingly sacrifices for freedom and for others in times of need. Being American is seeing each other and the world around us differently than the way billions of people around the world see it. Millions of our fellow Americans today are filing paperwork and paying fees to American embassies around the world. They follow the rules and when yet another fee is asked for, somehow, they find the money. They have that same determination and grit that those men at Valley Forge had, and one day they will come home to a land they have seen only in their dreams, one day they will take the oath of citizenship. One day they will have a piece of paper that confirms they are what they have always been at heart, an American.

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another Christmas finds our young people on foreign soil defending freedom. Our young men and women today continue to go in harm’s way defending freedom. Determination and freedom is their inheritance from those men at Valley Forge, the inheritance of all Americans native and immigrant alike. That Christmas long ago at Valley Forge was a turning point not just for a new republic, but also for millions of people around the world who in years to come would need us to defend their freedom from tyrants and dictators alike.

That Christmas long ago in Valley Forge was also a turning point for a general who was disheartened and had decided to resign and go home in defeat. On that Christmas day in 1777, the men of the continental army gave to General George Washington a Christmas present that we all have benefitted from. Those men gave to George Washington renewed hope, determination and cautious confidence that would lead us to independence and a new nation. That hope, determination and cautious confidence is alive today in the men and women of the military. This Christmas day as you sit down to dinner with your family, these men and women are walking the line to keep us safe. They are all Americans, though some have not yet received their official status of citizen. They are the legacy of General Washington and those men at Valley Forge. They are there in harm’s way for us. Thank you too all the George’s, whatever their names may be.

Author’s Note: George was also joined by his brother at Valley Forge. George died shortly after America won its independence. I have long said I would have liked to have been “a fly on the wall” when George told his wife he was joining Washington and leaving her with the children. Considering the many losses of General Washington, up to this point, I am sure she was not very positive about the idea.

English: National Park Service ranger in Conti...

English: National Park Service ranger in Continental Army uniform at Valley Forge, Penna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Dr. Robert Ballard: Geologist, Oceanographer, Archeologist, Scientist, Naval Officer, Discover, Explorer, & So Much More !


An incredible list of accomplishments for a man only 69 years of age (born June 30, 1942), and that’s not all.

Doctor Ballard has undergraduate degrees in chemistry and geology from the University of California and a graduate degree in geophysics from the University of Hawaii, he also received an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Science) from the University of Bath.

One achievement for which Dr. Ballard will always be known is the discovery of the R.M.S. Titanic; but, he also discovered the German battleship Bismarck, the USS Yorktown, John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 and numerous ancient shipwrecks. Ballard searched for, but did not find the USS Indianapolis.

RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic (Photo credit: paukrus)

Yorktown conducts aircraft operations in the P...

Yorktown conducts aircraft operations in the Pacific sometime before the battle. A fleet oiler is in the near background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

USS Indianapolis

USS Indianapolis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The USS Indianapolis delivered the first atomic bomb to Tinian, and was sunk by Japanese submarine I-58 on its return trip. With a crew of 1,196, only 317 men survived. Most of the crew survived the sinking (896) with only 300 men going down with the ship. It was four days before the US Navy knew the USS Indianapolis was missing, in that time 575 men died from exposure, dehydration and shark attack (four men died after being rescued).

Our understanding of the ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean has been expanded by his discoveries and archeological work on ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean.

Commander Ballard USN Reserve also explored the sunken submarines USS Thresher and USS Scorpion for the United States Navy. It was while examining the USS Thresher for the Navy that he discovered that, unlike shallow water wrecks, deep water wrecks have a debris field that fans out from the wreck. The ocean currents carry the lighter material which comes from the wreck, down stream from the initial location of the wreck. The heaviest material sinking closest to the actual wreck site. This was the discovery that, Dr. Ballard states, allowed him to find Titanic. When searching for the Titanic all other explorers looked for the ship. Dr. Ballard looked for the debris field, knowing he could follow the debris field to the ship.

USS Thresher (SSN-593)

USS Thresher (SSN-593) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was Dr. Ballard that developed a new technology he called “telepresence”. This allows researchers, explorers, and scientists to explore deep under the oceans while safely aboard a ship on the surface.

One question that had always plagued oceanographers is why does sea water contain the minerals that it does. Enter Dr. Ballard. Ballard discovered that all the water of the oceans is cycled through the earth’s crust. The water goes through cracks in the earth’s crust striking hot rocks were it becomes super-heated and dissolves the minerals from the rocks. The super-heated water then shoots through vents back into the ocean, laden with minerals.

Probably his greatest discovery is the new life forms he discovered around the vents on the ocean floor (he called them “black-smokers”). Dr. Ballard discovered new forms of life totally independent of the suns energy These new forms of life live in an environment that would kill all other forms of life on the planet. This discovery has far reaching effects, not just for the discovery of life on earth, but in the universe.

Before this discovery scientists assumed the best chance to find life on other planets would be to look for earth-like planets, the same approximate distance to their sun, as the earth is to its sun. We now know that life can exist independent of a sun, existing on the energy from the planet itself.

To learn more about Dr. Robert Ballard, I highly recommend his memoir EXPLORATIONS.

ISBN 0-7868-6042-1

You can also check out the other books by Dr. Ballard:

Cover of "Discovery Of The Titanic (Explo...

Cover via Amazon

Discovery of the Titanic

The Discovery of the Titanic, Exploring the Greatest of All Lost Ships

Discovery of the Bismarck

Lost Subs: From the Hunley to to the Kursk, the Greatest Submarines Ever Lost and Found

and others

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Congratulations to Antonio Dias … Our Second Winner!


Every Saturday from April 14, 2012 until May 5, 2012 we will be announcing a winner of a free e-book or paperback(signed and inscribed).

Antonio will get to choose from one of the four following E-books: Titanic, A Search For Answers; One Last Thought; Alexandra; or One Last thought: Behind the Scenes. After he e-mails us (at admjcc2author@mail.com ) we will send him notification and a code so he can download him choice for free.

Would you like to win a free book?

Go to the right side of the page, below the Facebook feed and the archives section, to the section that says:

“Follow Blog Via Email”

Enter your e-mail address and click on the “follow” button. Then you will be entered in all 3 of our remaining contests … good luck. (we never release your e-mail address to anyone for any reason, we respect your privacy)

While you are waiting for your name to be drawn click on the links to read summaries of the available books to decide which book you want.

Titanic, A Search For Answers https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Combs2jc

Alexandra https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62305

One Last Thought https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55228

One Last Thought: Behind the Scenes https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72025

Also, don’t forget that we have 7 books for free you can download any time you want at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Combs2jc

Once again Congrats to Antonio !

You can checkout Antonio’s web site at http://antonio-dias.com/

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Congratulations to Allie from NovelSpot … Our first Winner!


Every Saturday from today until May 5, 2012 we will be announcing a winner of a free e-book or paperback(signed and inscribed).

Allie will get to choose from one of the four following E-books: Titanic, A Search For Answers; One Last Thought; Alexandra; or One Last thought: Behind the Scenes. We will send her notification and a code so she can download her choice for free.

Would you like to win a free book?

Go to the right side of the page, below the Facebook feed and the archives section, to the section that says:

“Follow Blog Via Email”

Enter your e-mail address and click on the “follow” button. Then you will be entered in all 3 of our remaining contests … good luck. (we never release your e-mail address to anyone for any reason, we respect your privacy)

While you are waiting for your name to be drawn click on the links to read summaries of the available books to decide which book you want.

Titanic, A Search For Answers https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Combs2jc

Alexandra https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62305

One Last Thought https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55228

One Last Thought: Behind the Scenes https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72025

Also, don’t forget that we have 7 books for free you can download any time you want at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Combs2jc

Once again Congrats to Allie !

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