Friday, November 28, 2014

Turning the Pages: Blog Tour ~ The Body by d. Nichole King

Turning the Pages: Blog Tour ~ The Body by d. Nichole King: The Body (The Spirit Trilogy Book 2) by d. Nichole King They vowed to never return. Their lives depend on it. With last summer be...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Release! Prunella Smith: World Within Worlds

Have you heard about reviewers who have endured attacks by disgruntled authors upset with their review, or about authors being hounded by other authors determined to destroy their credibility? Do you wonder how you might handle such a situation yourself?
Anyone interested in these topics and the issues they raise will find much to enjoy in AIA Publishing’s latest release Prunella Smith: Worlds Within Worlds, a metaphysical thriller. The book has an unusual structure in that it weaves together several strands of experience, tangible and intangible, that together create the rich tapestry of the central character’s life.



Description:
‘The barrier between the worlds shatters like the window. The beast is loose. My nightmare has become real. The guy has totally lost it. If he finds us here, we could die. No, I don’t doubt it; we will die.’
Author and editor Prunella Smith inhabits a multilayered reality. Physically, she lives in the Australian bush with her crazy cat Merlin. In her work world, she edits the love story of Kelee, a Magan Lord’s daughter, and in the cyber-world of social media, she’s subjected to slanderous attacks by a disgruntled author. To complicate matters further she sees things through the eyes of a Tibetan Yogi, has strange dreams and relives forgotten memories.
Separate worlds, interconnected and complementary, but can they help when Prunella becomes victim to a real life stalker and her sanity is threatened?
Worlds Within Worlds has a unique perspective on the nature of creativity. Its touch is light, its humour distinctive but it reaches deep into the nature of human experience.

Comments from readers:

“This is riveting stuff, part magical realism dreamscape, part taut psychological thriller, and I was literally on the edge of my seat when the final twist—and what a twist it is—came around. Phew, what a ride! I can honestly say it is the best book I have read this year.” Frank Kusy, author of Rupee Millionaires.
 “This book will make you think. Considering the deluge of new works streaming from authors these days, that may be the highest praise a novel can receive.” Amy Spahn, literary critic.
“A fascinating insight into the mind of someone using meditative techniques to deal with stress.” Kevin Berry, Awesome Indies reviews.

About the Author
Tahlia Newland, author of six books, including the award-winning Diamond Peak Series (AIA Seal of Excellence in Fiction and BRAG Medallion for Outstanding Fiction), writes heart-warming and inspiring magical realism and contemporary fantasy. She is also an editor and the coordinator of Awesome Indies Books, a website that accredits and showcases quality independent fiction.
Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney with her husband and a cheeky Burmese cat, who features in most of her novels.

Purchase outlets

Ebook

The paperback will be available from all outlets in early December.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Foreign Service: In Search of Diversity

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

After a big lunch

Black Friday is Bleak Friday for Many

 
 
Coined in the 1960s to mark the start to the Christmas shopping season, ‘Black Friday,’ or the Friday after Thanksgiving, is one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States. It is the period when most businesses move from ‘red’ to ‘black’ profit-wise.
While it’s not an official holiday, coming as it does after Thanksgiving Thursday, many workers (except those working in retail stores) get it off. While Black Friday might be a happy day for owners of stores that finally start to show a profit, it has to be Bleak Friday for many of their employees who often give up Thanksgiving with their families for the sales that sometimes start on Thursday. Retail giants like Walmart and J.C. Penny, for example, begin their Black Friday sales the afternoon or evening before, meaning that their workers have to give up a significant portion of their holiday. While I’m sure they get holiday pay (at least, I would hope they do), it hardly seems to compensate for the missed time with family.
Now, I have to begin by confessing that I have never done a Black Friday sale. When I do Christmas shopping, it’s either done in September and October, or the week before Christmas. I don’t really celebrate, but I do buy gifts for my children (when they were small) and now for my grandchildren.
Being aware of how Black Friday impacts many retail workers, I’m glad I’ve never been tempted. Added to this, there’s the fact that we have this period celebrating conspicuous consumption at a time when nearly 7 million households in the U.S. don’t have enough food to eat, and nearly 4 million are unable to provide sufficient, nutritious food for their children. We have more than 40 million people living in poverty, and some 20 million live in extreme poverty (making less than $10,000 per year for a family of four).
While many politicians seem to delight in blaming the poor themselves for their poverty, the U.S. political and economic systems are primarily to blame. In our free enterprise economy, companies are not creating enough jobs for everyone, and the top echelons of business tend to allocate the lion’s share of profit to themselves. Our political system, which one would think would focus on the needs of the people, tends to have other concerns. Military and security expenditures, for instance, make up half of U.S. federal discretionary expenditures; corporations and the rich have greater lobbying power, and as a consequence tax breaks and subsidies tend to benefit them more; and, the Democratic Party; once the party of the working man, focuses on the middle class, often to the detriment of the poor.

As a consequence of this, we have a culture of inequality, with people segregated by income and sometimes race or ethnicity. With jobs scarce and wages low, the lack of income leads many low income people to dysfunctional behavior, creating a vicious cycle – in other words, poverty often leads to more poverty.

With all this on my mind, I can hardly see Black Friday as a time to celebrate. If you want me to notice the day, maybe it should be changed to Bleak Friday – a much more appropriate appellation.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Intangible Hearts discusses PnPAuthors: Intangible Hearts discuss PnPAuthors online Writin...

Intangible Hearts discusses PnPAuthors: Intangible Hearts discuss PnPAuthors online Writin...: Intangible Hearts An Online Writing Group Posted: 07 Aug 2014 09:36 PM PDT Have you seen the 30 second trailer for my novel, P...

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Author Massimo-Marino's book is presented by PnPAuthors Promotions: Author Massimo Marino

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Daylight Saving Time Again - As Charlie Brown says, Good Grief!

As I begin writing this, I look at my watch, the clock on my computer, and the clock on my cell phone. They all show 11:44 a.m., November 2, 2014. The latter two are automatically set to change to Daylight Savings Time. My watch agrees with them because I changed it just before going to bed at 11:00 p.m. last night.
The problem is, my circadian rhythm insists that it’s really 12:45. My stomach is reminding me that I’ve missed my usual 12:00 lunch, and my brain keeps telling me it’s later in the day.
People blame Ben Franklin for Daylight Saving
Time, but he only proposed getting up earlier.
 I go through this twice a year when the clock changes – been doing it for as long as I can remember – because my body just doesn’t understand the concept. The concept of rising early in the spring in order to make better use of natural daylight was first introduced by Benjamin Franklin. Daylight Saving Time (DST) is now in use in 70 countries (although it’s not used by every state in the U.S., and in Indiana, it’s a county option, so there are two times in various parts of the state all year long). The purpose is ostensibly to make better use of daylight and conserve energy. The first country to actually implement DST was Germany in 1916. It was put into use in the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II from 1942 to 1945, and ended when the war ended. It is now part of our legislation, although it has changed a number of times over the years. The current schedule, introduced in 2007, begins on the second Sunday in March and lasts until the first Sunday in November, and is observed in most of the U.S. except Hawaii and most of the insular areas, and most of the state of Arizona. The justification is the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
There’s as much myth about DST as fact. Franklin, for instance didn’t actually propose setting the clocks forward – he actually suggested getting up earlier. Many people believe DST in the U.S. was intended to benefit farmers, but this is not the case. From the beginning, because of the disruptions it caused to their normal schedules, farmers have opposed it. The argument that it saves energy, while it might have had some merit in the early days, is debunked by the fact that the savings in use of lights in the summer are offset by the extended use of air conditioning. The extra hours of daylight also increase fuel consumption as more people engage in outside recreation activities. In fact, the additional demand for air conditioning makes DST an expensive proposition in most places.


My complaint, though, is that it causes me several days of disorientation every year as my mind and body adjusts to the one-hour change. I also have a problem with a bunch of legislators telling me what time to set on the clocks in my house. Before I retired from government work, I had two periods each year when my work schedule was disrupted, and now that I’m retired and writing full-time, it’s even more irritating to have to suddenly change my personal schedule – determined by my internal clock, to comply with some externally imposed law that I’ve never understood or agreed with. Having to run around the house twice a year changing every clock – think about the number of items in your household that have clocks (microwaves, DVRs, etc.) that don’t automatically reset themselves. Where’s the savings? I haven’t seen any yet. There are a lot of issues we could be spending our time on, so I’m not calling for a mass movement to outlaw DST – but, it is something to think about.