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Leaders A Twin-Bred Novel by Karen A Wyle

LeadersCommunication is something so much of us take for advantage. One must ask themselves how they would survive if suddenly they couldn’t reach that person they are used to communicating with on a daily basis. A great example is imagine how you would deal if suddenly all the cell phone towers stopped working. I can imagine there would be some panic as so many have gotten rid of their land phone lines. There would be no internet access to talk to someone either. There would probably be some major panic across the world if this happened.

I know this is something easy to grasp but image it one step further and mankind had people living on Mars. Communication has gone blank and neither planet can talk to each other. The thought of concern for those on each planet would be tremendous. Who would send a rescue mission first, Earth or Mars? It’s the type of problem we find the Twin-Bred of Tofarn having to deal with.

Leaders is the latest entry in author’s Karen A. Wyle’s Twin-Bred series of books. I will admit it did help me to have read the first two books in the series before this one. I say that not because Twin-Bred and Reach are great books but the great work Wyle uses in creating the characters and world that is used within the pages of all three books.

The Tofa are different then man and events from the previous book saw much of the twin-bred rocketing into space leaving their home world of Tofarn behind.  Only one of their number had stayed behind and he, and his offspring, are seen as outcasts among those around them. They get second glances from others and hear whispers behind their backs. Some would plot to end them or change how society thinks of them. There of course are others who feel the offspring, Lan-sol, is their future leader. Those that have left the planet are also reaching out to Lan-sol inviting him to come and join them.

This problem communication will suddenly stop between the two worlds. Those who blasted into space have landed on a planet they are calling new Landing. Mara, a scientist behind the twin-bred experiment went with her twin-bred and is trying to live a quiet life. As one can imagine, when things go wrong people look to their heroes to save them. Thus, the twin-bred on New Landing turn to Mara to help solve what has happened with communications. They must also decide if it’s really worth the trouble to try and talk to those back on Tofarn. They chose to leave and other than friends what is there back home to really worry about.

It actually is interesting how events on both planets in a way mirror what is happening on the other. There are of course different characters along with different motives, but the main thing is do we care what happened to the others. This is where author Karen A. Wyle’s talent shows through as she is able to blend the events and stories so well throughout the book. Her character development will leave you wanting to take crib notes to ensure you don’t miss a thing as you read the story.

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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Fall and the MSonster

 

Msonster

The change from spring to the fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves turn from their summer green to hues of yellow, orange, and red before they fall to the ground. It’s beautiful to see those colors as they hang from the countless number of trees, at times it looks as beautiful as a sunset. The one drawback the leaves falling gracefully to the ground, and creating a carpet of color is raking them off the yard. This brings me to the main topic of this long promised post, The Fall and Multiple Sclerosis.

As mentioned this is my favorite time of years as I’ve always loved the cool down in temperatures and the brisk feeling of the air. The day’s sunshine becomes shorter as the progress towards winter continues, and for some the end of daylight savings happens as well. You may wonder why I said some, well not all have to suffer through the fun of the time change.

As all of this happens there are other changes that many are impacted by. In truth this is also the time of year the barometric pressure changes, less humidity in the air, and that chill gets much colder at night. These are all changes that many accumulate to easily, but for this person it’s not so easy. Yes the humidifier is broken out at home as no one likes waking to a bloody nose in the morning. (ICK) There is also the dry cracked skin on the hands and the way the heat dries out the eyes. It’s troublesome but there are remedies such as lotion and eye drops that can help for those issues.

It’s hear when I remind myself on how Multiple Sclerosis is different for each person diagnosed with the disease. If I’m asked about MS I like to remind people how in the movie Forest Gump the main character says, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.” I may be paraphrasing a bit but that is so true when it comes to life, and for MS it’s like a candy store of chocolates. As fall hits for me it becomes a store the size of a huge mall. This means I do not know what the MS Monster will bring me from day to day.

It is one of the many reasons why I do my Halloween open blog as it gives me a break from having to write of new content. I get to relax a bit, and recharge the batteries. However, this year was one for the books as I lost nearly a full day thanks to the MS and how it handled the change in weather. I can still remember the day in question, as it was a Thursday. I was due to volunteer in at a local school in the Junior Achievement program. I got up and found myself having trouble walking. My legs hurt and my arms felt like Jell-O. There was more to my issues but thank goodness I can work from home or I’d have called in for that too. I realized at that moment I would not be standing in a class room, or heck walking into the school alone was a challenge.

You take those physical issues and add them to the one big issue this year and that is the Cognitive problems. My focus has been lacking, I’ve been unable to read much at all as I’ll start and forget what I had read. I was making notes at work for the things I had to accomplish for a day.  I found myself looking at the list many times. I could try typing a sentence and like a child with low attention span forget what I was doing. This was driving me insane and my blog suffered, hell I was suffering as I hated feeling like this.

As someone who prides himself on having a sharp mind I found myself comparing myself to those with early onset of dementia. I was getting frustrated with myself, I mean how do you do book reviews when you cannot read  paragraph before losing where you are. I was fortunate work did not suffer too much as many duties are almost like muscle memories.  The problems came when trying to engage in things like writing, or reading. I mean after I had that bad Thursday I was outside raking by the weekend so the muscle issues where short lived.

I eventually overcame the cognitive issues and was finally able to write this piece. In truth I went to something I knew would help me refocus and increase my cognitive skills. What you ask? I started playing some video games on my computer. I played several Call of Duty games and recently I have been playing Diablo III and this has been helping tremendously.  You are made to focus, and watch your surroundings in those games. If you fail to watch what is going on your character is killed and you have to go back and start an area again. It can get very repetitious as you do this. So,  you must focus watch what’s going on and learn what not to do to end up having the character die again. I felt my focus coming back and my cognitive skills returning.

This of course was all helped as the weather normalized, the last of the leaves floated to the ground and it got cold. It’s why this post was finally finished after working on it for almost two weeks. I could go into more of the issues brought on with the weather change but that is not the purpose of the post. I wanted to peel back a bit of the layer of my life to show I struggled but DID NOT let it stop me. I found a way to overcome the problems to get back to my sense of normality.

I think that’s the biggest thing I can tell people about getting a diagnosis of a disease. It’s not always a death sentence. You can feel like your world is ending, it will change and nothing will be the same again. I call BULL SHIT to that type of thinking. Life is what you make out of it and I think it’s important to work through the challenges life can bring. As for me, yes I have Multiple Sclerosis, but I WILL NOT LET IT HAVE ME! I will keep doing as much as I can and fight what it may bring at me. Yes I was down for a few weeks, to a month, but I am back and stronger for it. I found another way to refocus my energies and another way to fight the disease. I know what I went through may be nothing compared to others who have it much worse. The fact is just don’t give up to the crap that life brings.

I’m sure there are those who will read this and go, “What you complaining about, you didn’t have things that rough.” I realize that may be but to one who works to engage his mind I was scared.  So, I invite people to take what they want out of this as it may seem small to you but to me it was major. The fact is I again would not let the monster change my life. I will keep fighting against everything that the MSonter throws at me, just like I do against the negative life brings at me as well.

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Multiple Sclerosis, Uncategorized

 

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Halloween Poetry by Jo Ann Gilbert Stover

Poetry

The first of the 2015 Halloween Week posts is a unique submission, as this is poetry. The two poems below will be sure to engage the reader and are a great start to this week. Please enjoy, and thank you to author Jo Ann Gilbert Stover.

 

If I Was

‘Cause it’s HALLOWEEN! A Halloween Poem

By Jo Ann Gilbert Stover

If I was a ghost

Would I cause you great fright

If I crept up behind you

And yelled BOO! In the night?

If I was a black cat

Back arched and teeth bared

Would my loud YEOWW!

Cause you to be scared?

If I was a witch

Flying moonlit nights on my broom

Would my cackling laugh

Bring you horrible gloom?

Would a vampire bat

With teeth bared and bloody

Scare you to death

Or at least frighten your body?

Do Jack O’ Lanterns

Grinning on a fence post

Make you shiver and quiver

Thinking it might be a ghost?

Or

Whenever October 31st

Comes on the scene

Do you revel like the devil

 

Bored to Death

By Jo Ann Gilbert Stover

The walking dead

Werewolves and ghosts

Vampires and witches

Jack O’ Lanterns on posts

Weird scary music

Filling the air

Blood on the moon

Giving everyone a scare

But here I sit bored

In front of my TV screen

Watching everyone else having fun

On this Halloween

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Ten +1 Questions with Author Anne Montgomery

Anne MontgomeryBelow you will find the Ten +1 Questons from author Anne Montgomery. As I was loading the links into this post I found out about her Wikipedia page. I did some quick reading and I must her name may seem familiar to people. Why? Well you will see that she was at one time an anchor on SportsCenter on ESPN. So, without giving to much more away check out Anne’s responses to the questions below.

 

 

 

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?

The thought never occurred to me until I was in my late 30s. I didn’t read well when I was younger, as I’m a bit dyslexic, so I didn’t gravitate toward either reading or writing. In fact, I remember getting letters returned from my mother covered with way too much red ink, highlighting my spelling and composition errors when I was in college. No one ever mentioned my writing skills until I asked John Walsh, who was my boss at ESPN, why he hired me. He said it was because I was a good writer. I was shocked, but a seed was planted.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

I did not have any children when I started the first book. As I’d been a TV reporter and anchor for much of my marriage my husband at the time was used to me be gone a lot. I now have three foster sons, all of whom came into my life as teenagers. They, I think, are not quite as needy as perhaps small children. So, I don’t think anyone feels neglected. The boys are probably glad that Mom has a distraction.

Question 3: What inspired you to write A Light in the Desert?

The dedication in my book reads as follows: This book was inspired by and is dedicated to my dear friend Sergeant Don Clarkson, a Green Beret who served in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry ARVN Soldiers from December 1968 to November 1970. Don died in 2010 from complications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Agent Orange poisoning.

Don and I umpired amateur baseball together for five years. This was a time during which I was bemoaning the fact that I could no longer get a job in TV. After working at five stations, I was now too old to be in front of a camera. I was also going through a divorce and I couldn’t even get a job bartending. I was feeling pretty sorry for me. Then I met Don, a wounded Vietnam veteran with a wife and eight children. Despite his struggles with PTSD and Agent Orange poisoning, he rarely complained. Amateur umpires spend a lot of time before and after games talking. Don shared his stories with me and gradually I began to realize the triviality of my complaints and what a gift his friendship was. I wrote the book to help his children understand why their father sometimes behaved the way he did.

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?

The sabotage of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, which remains a cold-case crime, occurred shortly after the Oklahoma City Bombing and, like that event, is considered to be an act of domestic terrorism. Since the crime occurred roughly 65 miles from Phoenix, the story was huge here and I became engrossed in the coverage.

As I explained in the previous question, Don was my inspiration for Jason Ramm, though he was not a sniper during his time in Vietnam. Most of the flashbacks in A Light in the Desert were actual events in his life. Jack Cooper is based on Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff Dave Woolley, a first responder to the wreck site of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, who graciously allowed me to interview him about the experience. It’s probably obvious that the too old, TV news reporter, Kate Butler, is me, though unlike Kate, I do not have a shelf full of Emmys. Still a girl can dream. The Children of Light are real people who allowed me into their enclave. Elect Sun is based on one of the women I met there.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books?

I did not read as a child. I hated books because I struggled with reading. (I still sometimes can’t tell the difference between a d and a b, but I digress.) My dearest friend growing up was a complete bookworm. When she found out I was an author, her first response was, “How the hell did you become a writer?” She has a point. Life can be odd. In the even stranger department, while I’m primarily a journalism teacher, I’m also a reading specialist. I taught reading to high school kids – some of whom read below the third-grade level – for five years.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

I have never had any biological children, but I’m guessing the feeling is a bit like childbirth, without the inherent mess.

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

I wrote Nothing But Echoes, which is historical fiction based in Flagstaff, Arizona, in which both Kate Butler and Jack Cooper play prominent roles. (The book was previously titled The Magician, and will soon be rereleased by Sarah Book Publishing.) I also have a novel called The Scent of Rain, which tells the story of a young girl who lives in the polygamous community of Colorado City, Arizona. My agent is currently shopping that one around. My books don’t fit neatly into a specific genre. What they have in common is that they are based on real people or events. Can’t take the reporter out of the girl.

Question 8: Whom do you imagine being the people reading your book?

I have worked hard to ensure the facts concerning the crime are as they occurred, as are the military bits. The characters – some of whom who you can root for, while others you might like to run over with a truck – are realistic and relatable. And the setting in the Arizona, desert and the plot are both intriguing, so I think A Light in the Desert should have broad appeal.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

Make time to write. Be patient. Revel in small steps forward. Have another job to pay the bills. Ask people who don’t already love you to critique your work and then thank them for their time. Have a thick skin. Criticism is your friend: learn from it. Have a sense of humor. And, mostly, enjoy the process. If you don’t, find another hobby.

Question 10: When not writing how do you like to spend your time?

I’m a journalism/multimedia communications teacher at South Mountain High School, a Title I school in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m extremely fortunate that I love my job and, with a few exceptions, look forward to going to work everyday. I also have quite a few hobbies that brighten my world. I’m an avid rock and mineral collector. (All of my books contain some rock references.) I am also a scuba diver, just the thought of which drops my blood pressure 20 points. I have a desert vegetable garden with which I constantly do battle and which I refer to as my Moriarty. I have been an amateur sports official since 1979. I have officiated football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games at various levels over the years. Today, I’m an Arizona Interscholastic Association high school football referee and crew chief. And, after thirty-five years, I finally picked up my old guitar.

The + 1 Question

If your book got turned into a movie do you have any actors/actresses you’d like to see play your characters?

I do have a screenplay for A Light in the Desert. Originally, I thought I’d like Ed Harris to play Jason Ramm. Glenn Close would be perfect as Elect Sun. Alas; I am too old to play Kate Butler. (Story of my life.) Everyone else would have to be unknown, because now the budget is blown.

 

Where to find Anne Montgomery Online

Find A Light in the Desert:

 

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Giveaway Contest

AnnouncementStatic fills his ears as the radio turns on and the he searches the stations trying to find a station to listen to hitting the scan button on his car radio. All he keeps finding is the same old Top 40 hit, country or classic rock song he’s heard hundreds of times and finally the scan stops when he catches on two words. “Free book”.

Announcer: That’s right you have an opportunity to drop one of three free books on that brand new E-Reader, I-pad, tablet, smart phone or digital device you got for Christmas. Black Rose Writing has offered up three of their books for you the listener to enjoy.

Listener: Yeah right, nothing in this world is Free.

Announcer: You are asking, “what’s the catch”,  as any sane person would when they see or hear the word Free.

Listener: Oh here it comes, probably got to pay some shipping and processing. (Laughs to self).

Announcer: The catch you fear is not difficult you just read the book reviews on Shawn “Knightmist” Micallef’s blog and make a comment on any of the reviews for these books from Black Rose Writing.

Your comment will automatically enter you into the contest to win a digital copy of one of the books.   (Announcer keeps talking repeating what he just said)

Listener: Read a blog, and comment, I guess I can give that a shot for a free book. I just hope the reviews are good and the books seem interesting.

Announcer: To enter go to knightmist.wordpress.com and check out the reviews.  Again go to KNIGHTMIST.WORDPRESS.COM that’s spelt K-N-I-G-H-T-M-I-S-T (dot) wordpress (dot) com

Listener: Well that guys voice was annoying but sounds like quite the thing as all I have to do is read and comment. I think I’ll give it a shot.

 

Announcer (in a fast voice): Contest is open to all residents with a valid email address. Email address should be left in the comment to allow notification and sending of appropriate book format. If do not feel comfortable leaving your email address an email to Knightmist72@gmail.com with Contest as subject, name, and email address inside.  Only one comment per book is allowed, but you may comment on multiple books. Contest will be open for 1 week with all entries due by February 28, 2015. Versions availble are Epub and Mobi.

I-Pad is a registered trademark of Apple Incorporated.

 

Listener:  I just love how they say so much with that legal disclosure and so fast, ok so what else is on the radio. (Hits the scan button on his car radio.)

 

Disclaimer: As stated all are welcome to enter the contest and last entry must be posted by 11:59pm (Central) on February 28, 2015. All entries will be given a number and a random number generator will be used to select the winner.  Individuals are only allowed to win a copy of one of the books. If you enter for multiple books please state which is your preferred book in the comment.

For questions please send email to Knightmist72@gmail.com with subject of Contest Questions. Good Luck and if this is a successful contest there be more.

Don’t be afraid that after you enter to put a tweet, share, past on Facebook and use hasthag #knightmist. Let’s see if I can get trending.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Giveaway Announcement

This is going to be a quick and dirty post as I want to give everyone some advance notice. I just cannot contain the excitement on what is going to be a grand experiment and impact all who want to follow me down this path.

I’m sure some readers will wonder about my intentions but again this is a first. The outcome of this upcoming major event for the blog could see if I try this again.

I admit I’m not holding out tons of hope but hey this isn’t just for me, it’s for the readers out there. The open blog calls for past holidays have been mixed so as this one isn’t going to require too much hoping for a nice amount of interest and participation.

So no more dancing around, this is what I have coming up.

There are going to be two book reviews that feature books from Black Rose Writing. The publisher has been kind to offer some e-books as a giveaway. Yes you saw that right through their support readers will have a chance at winning one book, oh wait sorry, it’s two books, oh again I’m wrong. There is a chance of winning one of THREE books that will be given away after the next two reviews.

So keep an eye out as the first of the reviews happens next week and there will be a full announcement coming soon. So if you are at all interested help get word out and share this post and do not be afraid to hit the like button.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli

Death+in+MaltaMalta is a small, and I mean small, country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Its location is about 60 miles south of Sicily off the boot of Italy. The country is often a dot on maps and many have not really heard of the country. People may not even realize that the Maltese Cross is a symbol used for Veterans of Foreign Wars and often by Fireman. It’s an island I have a lot of interest in due to its rich and fascinating history and the fact my father was from the country.

Thus when I saw author Rosanne Dingli’s book, Death in Malta, I know I’d want to read the book. As I read the description of the book and saw a character shared the same last name as me, Micallef, I knew I had to read the novel even more. As I read the novel I came to find that Micallef is not the only name found in multiples within the Maltese phone book.

Death in Malta will take the reader into the world of fictional author Gregory Worthington as he comes to Malta to write his next great novel. Worthington is a writer of suspense novels and has the ability to write vivid stories that disturb some, and one of those people is his estranged wife Maggie.

As Worthington gets settled on the main island he will find himself meeting many within the small village he chose to live in. These people range from the local bar keeper, the local clergy and the blacksmith. The great thing about Malta’s past for this Australian author is at one time the country was a British Protectorate, thus many speak English. This will help him with the people, and eventually lead him to a story. A story that he will find is right underneath the roof of the small home he rents.

There is a story within the village of a young boy who one day just disappeared.  This is something that is a rare occurrence on the island and especially in a small village. People searched for the boy and he was never found. Worthington will use this as a basis of his book as he learns about the homes previous occupants. A simple wine maker and his wife who seemed a bit mad, and who had one point may have harmed her eldest son. A woman who was heard yelling at the boy leading to run from home for long stretches at a time to avoid her wrath.  She even went as far as locking the boy within a dark underground storage area to teach him a lesson. It’s this mystery that gets the writers creative blood boiling and will lead him down a path; he should possibly lie within the history of the islands.

Among the people the writer meets will be Doctor Phineas Micallef who has moved to the small village as he escaped one of the larger cities. The question will be did he escape or was he forced to leave. At a social gathering at the doctor’s home he will meet a woman, Patricia, who will take his breath away. She will help him explore the island more, help him find himself, and help him learn more about Maltese culture.

The book has no real time frame mentioned but as Worthington’s computer seems to have a dot matrix printer it must have been in the 1970’s or early 1980’s.  You get the understanding of the type of printer when there are references to perforated sheets from the printer and need to tear pages apart. This does not distract at all from the story and just puts it into a bit of perspective.

Author Rosanne Dingli does a tremendous job in pointing out the culture of many of the Maltese people. She also takes the reader deep into the psyche of the people and the customs on the islands. You will find yourself marveling at the people and what could be their “quaint” customs. You learn about the homes, festivals and most importantly the way they drive. I say this as I witnessed some of those driving skills on a visit to the island and it can cause a passenger to be a bit nervous.  The use of the busses is also mentioned and they are just as reliable and inexpensive today as the period of the book.

What really comes through in this book is not just a love of Malta, but for Worthington’s love of his homeland Australia. Dingli does a beautiful job of telling the readers about both countries, never truly painting either in a bad light. You get the feeling either place is one you would want to visit or live. As you read about the travels and searching for truth on the main characters story you wonder what happened to the boy. You discover the great character devlopment and find some great interactions and how one culture can differ from another.  You wonder about the reactions of others within the book and what mysteries may lay under the earth of this small country that is so full of history why did he chose this story. The only way to find out is to read Death in Malta, and the great addition to the novel is at times we get a peek into the story that Worthington is writing which adds to the suspense of the book.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Reviews, Uncategorized

 

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