Saturday, December 15, 2012

Paw Nation!

I've been approved to write for Paw Nation! Whoot - whoot!

I'm really excited about it, a whole new world of critters to write about. This is going to be fun!

Speaking of critters, here's a cute little picture of my poopies...

As you can see, I have a whole little pack of my own!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Exotic Erotic Ball Returns in 2013!

That's great news!

I was totally shocked when I heard that they'd canceled the event last year. People fly in from all over to attend.

Unfortunately, it's not likely that I'll be able to attend. I live 7 hours away by car and it's hard to get away. (Self-employment doesn't mean that you can just pick up and go!)

But here's a little memory from the past...

 And yes, I know, you can't see the thigh-high black leather boots that match the jacket.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Selling ebooks to Libraries!

What a concept!


Joe Konrath has this GREAT idea about selling one copy of his ebook to a library and they can lend out as many copies as they like in whatever format they like. FABULOUS!

I'm a huge supporter of libraries and I think this is a fabulous idea. Libraries would get one ebook at $3.99 and be able to lend it out to readers. No more waiting for a book, or even going to the library. You could simply download it and read it. Due date comes -- poof, it's gone from your reader. It would save the library an immense amount of money that they currently spend on trying to recover overdue books. It would save the reader money, since he/she doesn't have to worry about returning the book, it's all automated. And authors would get more of their books "out there" for readers, building a larger fan base.

I think this is freaking awesome!

And check out the comments, there are some great ideas on how to do this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Glowgems for Profit - 5 Stars!

This is another of the books provided to me for review. I really, really liked it and gave it 5 stars! I also added it to my book website,, on the "Black" page. I have no qualms about a teen reading this book, what little sex there is, well, it's the "she came to me in the dark" and boom, next chapter. No vivid descriptions of sex. A bit violent, definitely a grittier universe here, but teens see worse on their video games and movies...

Let me just plunge right into the review:

I'd read the sample, so I picked up where I'd left off and the next thing I knew, it was very, very late and I was done with the book. All I can say is WOW!

This is the action adventure sci-fi that hearkens back to an earlier era, when science fiction was a rip-roaring, wild ride through the universe. There's not a bit of magic in this book to muck up the science, nor are there long boring explanations of how futuristic gadgets work -- a sci-fi fan's dream of the perfect science fiction novel!

Refreshingly, Davis' universe is diverse, with good guys and bad guys of every ethnicity and race, and often you have to guess by the last name or a bit of a description to figure it out. Zack himself is Black, an unusual feature in science fiction in general -- a Black main character -- and he doesn't even get killed off. I can't call him African-American, he's from Mars. With his crew/partner, Deuce; an intelligent artificial intelligence (AI), Sylvia, running the ship; a wheelchair-bound sidekick/hacker, Rabbit; and an Asian love interest, Cleopatra Lee (hmmm, makes me think of Cleopatra Jones), and an assortment of bad guys, they leap from one situation to the next, never quite stopping between.

I haven't read good, action-packed sci-fi like this in a long time. I liked the main character, Zack. He's flawed, hard-headed, haunted by the past, a war and an experiment that he survived -- more or less intact. He's not perfect, he loses his temper, he gets it all wrong at times and he'll hit a girl. And I still like him. I also like that the nanos inside his body aren't all perfect, he uses them and sometimes they use him, but there's a price to pay, IE pain. The science is just "there", he doesn't worry about how this or that works. No boring explanations in this book, the author jumps right into the story and off you go!

The bad guys are bad guys, his disabled sidekick who also survived the wartime experiment, but not so well, is a computer genius. And the good guys? I questioned as I read, wondering who was a good guy and who wasn't. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the book to see what I mean.

Several times I was expecting the plot to go in one direction and it made a sharp turn, leading in another direction entirely. Interesting! The story kept me riveted until it was over. It's obvious that this is the first of several titles and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.

I was so busy reading the story, I didn't really notice the few typos that had crept in despite careful editing by the publisher. The book is well formatted, none of those weird glitches that plague e-books.

(I was provided a free copy of the book by the publisher. Other than the book, I received no compensation for this review.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review - Children of Destruction

My book website,, is doing pretty well, drawing some attention.

In fact, recently a small publisher contacted me, submitting books for inclusion on my website. In addition, he asked me to read and review a couple of books.

I must say, after reading the first book, those of you who are hesitating to dive into the self-published book market, you need to take a deep breath and go for it. Just be sure to read the samples and reviews so ensure that you have an idea of the author's ability to write an interesting tale, and then get the darn book! You can't go wrong, the prices are darn near used book prices and you can read them on a Kindle or Nook, on your home computer, or depending on the publisher, download a pdf that you can print out a few pages at a time and read at your leisure. (Use the fast draft option on your printer and print two sided to save paper!)

One of the books provided to me (I haven't read the other yet), the Children of Destruction by Al Philipson is a good read, coming to a very satisfying conclusion.

Here's my review, posted on

I really enjoyed this adult romp that extends from the deaths of darn nearly everyone on Earth to a distant planet, spanning 200 years. A new beginning for both societies, leading up to a violent and satisfying conclusion.

Like another reviewer, I felt like the Matthews family saga dragged a little in the middle of the story, until it jumped 200 years into the future. I would've like to have read about their first contact with other groups of surviving humans. On the other hand, I liked the way the author mixed a bit of social commentary into the mix, in a very Heinlein-like way, and the solutions to their continued survival. I was a bit concerned at how few survivors there were, as I know a lot of very, very intelligent people who have high IQs; it seemed a little unrealistic on that point. But then again, this is science fiction so perhaps some didn't survive due to their mental quirkiness. A little more diversity in the original disaster would've been nice too. Only two children survive to join the Matthews family, one a teen, and they're both white. Hmmm. Surely there would've been more highly intelligent children who lived, some of them children of Color? And no gays or lesbians?

I would've also enjoyed reading a snippet about the alien's evil wife and her reaction when she found out how she'd out-smarted herself. And too bad they didn't take a few slaves along, it would've been cool to see how they'd have adapted to space and a new world. However, the callousness in how they were abandoned highlighted the aliens' brutality and inhuman (and yet all too human) disregard for other species. I did see some irony in the alien protagonist's situation and the end result, 200 years in the future. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the story to see what I mean!

On the formatting and grammar end, there were actually very few typos and misused words. A few places where there was an extra space between a word and a comma, and the smart quote problem where the single quote faces the wrong way on shortened words like 'em. (You have to put two single quotes in, then delete the first one. Write ''em and then change it to 'em) In general, nothing that held up the progression of the story or made me groan in frustration. One more proofreading pass through the book would've taken care of those small issues.

All in all, I'd recommend this very creative and practical science fiction adventure to adult sci-fi fans. Due to the sex, I'd say it's definitely an R-rated adult book. Some scenarios, including the sex and group marriage, may be disturbing to more conservative readers.

Please note that the book was provided to me at no charge and I received no other compensation for reading and reviewing it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Where Does The Time Go?

I sit at the computer, day after day, week after week, working away at articles. I often wonder where the time goes, how can it take so long to write what appears to be simple little articles.

Well, you know, they really aren't all that simple.

I have to provide reputable references and resources for each article. I have to figure out my own original view for each topic, making sure that I'm writing in a clear, concise and friendly, yet authoritative manner.

It's not as easy as it looks.

Where does the time go? Between researching, thinking, writing and rewriting, it goes very, very quickly.

But the good thing is that I keep writing steadily, so I must be doing this right...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Move to Oregon Is Finally Finished!

Thank the Good Lord and my parents.

We rolled out of here at 5:35 am, got to West Sacramento, loaded the big trailer in an hour (hey, when everything is in a storage and neatly stacked, it's a whole lot easier than moving out of a house), spent the night in Woodland and drove back here. We did have to stop and tarp the trailer south of Redding. I didn't expect it to not only rain, but come down in buckets.

So, well, honestly, the stuff is still on the trailer. I've decided that Monday, my son and I will dedicate a day to rearranging the entire garage and unloading all the boxes and bins from the trailer.

It's a good feeling.

Although on a sad note, just so you all know, my friends, the freaking bank turned down a CASH offer on my little house. So it's not my little house anymore. They have it up for sale for only 8K more than the cash offer. Are they crazy or what?

I'm going to settle in here for a few years, get my life in order and save money. I WILL buy again. But by then, I'll really just need two bedrooms, an office/library, and a nice big garage for my stuff. A finished attic would be very nice, then I could manage with two bedrooms, one for me and one for my library and set up the attic for my guests/kids.

Life is still good.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Importance of Your Book Cover

Yes, I know, it's "JUST" for your new e-book.

Don't discount the importance of a flashy cover.

I've been playing with text and simple graphics to make some fun covers for my future projects. (NOTE: These are MY covers! If you want a book cover, you can contact me, if it's a simple e-book, I don't charge much to put it together for you.)

For example, this is a book that I haven't actually written yet. Murder mystery for sure, but urban fantasy with vampires or pseudo-vampires? What do you think?

Continuing with the midnight murder mystery theme:

Of course, some of you might be a little too young to know the Oasis reference. Lets just say, it was a very popular song and I'm showing my age that I even remember it...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My New Website!

OK, this is the project I've been working on ever since I made the mistake of asking for referrals to good science fiction and fantasy for Teens of Color.

Oh my goodness! There was some not-nice comments and one person even accused me of wanting NO White characters at all.


Are you kidding me? Are people really that threatened, that they can't share the future with Teens of Color? That all protagonists must be the traditional, stereotypical, White male hero? Really? REALLY?

So amid encouraging private messages and referrals from fellow writers, educators and parents, I took the info and started a website featuring short book reviews of science fiction and fantasy books with protagonists of Color. It's going to take a lot of work, but I've gotten a lot done already and went live because, well, I could work on it forever and it'll never be finished.

Alien Star Books,, is all about reading!! I'm reading and reviewing as fast as I can so I can get short reviews of the books up ASAP. Next to the reviews, I have the book cover images that are also links to Amazon. (In the interests of disclosure, I DO get a couple of nickels if you order using my links.)

And before anyone goes off about the focus of the website, yes, there is an "Everybody Else" page that features good sci-fi/fantasy with protagonists that might be a clone, disabled, female, genderless, Gay or Lesbian or White. Why? Because my purpose is to INCLUDE, not exclude good books that are appropriate for teens and young adults, featuring characters that they can relate to. So yes, that includes Tolkien and Asimov and Bradley and Norton and all the other classic works.

I'd like to invite you to submit referrals to science fiction and fantasy books, including your own published works. But be warned, I will review the book and I reserve the right to speak my mind...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Incredible Cubes in France

These are incredible! I'd love to have one in my backyard as a guest house, or an office. Very cool concept and implementation!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Frederik Pohl's Rules for Writing

1. Write every day. Yes, that means that you must write 365 days a year. No excuses.

2. Write 600 words a day. If it takes you 45 minutes, fine. You are done for the day. If it takes you 18 hours, fine. That's how long your writing required that day.

3. Finish every piece you start. That way, you never fail as a writer since a writer's only real failure is the abandoned piece.


I got this from Writer's Delight blog and it sure resonates!

If you write every single day, you'll have that story finished pretty darn quickly. 600 words multiplied by 30 days is 18,000 words. So in two months, you'll have at least 36,000 words on paper. That's a novella already! In six months, you'll have 108,000 words -- a novel!

And to think, you started your novel with only 600 words a day...

(Note: In general, under 80,000 words is a novella or juvenile fiction and over 80,000 is a novel. Traditional publishers like seeing novels between 80,000 and 120,000 words. However, you should write until the story is done, then worry about word counts!)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making A Few Nickels While Posting Online

Now, I'm not going to pretend that you make a lot of money posting to forums. It's basically pennies per post and to do well, you must write good posts. That means more than one sentence and sharing relevant information and/or opinions in a well organized and well written manner.

Having said that, if you're the kind of person who spends a lot of time online and "talking" in forums, why not get paid for it?

I'm hooked up with PostLoop. If you're interested, hey, I wouldn't mind if you used my link so I could make an extra nickel now and again:

There are a number of forums hooked up with PostLoop and a significant amount of activity, so you can select topics that interest you and have some lively discussions. It's actually a nice break from your regular writing routine and a better use of your "spare" time than Facebook or craigslist!

And hey, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Classic 2011 in San Jose, CA

Our first ice hockey tournament. It was a good experience.
I took snippets of video with my Blackberry and this is what my son put together.
Yes, he's the goalie!