Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Follies

Sometimes as writers we need to improvise. We are forced to be resourceful as our normal tool belt just won't do. 

My kids love the movie Enchanted watch it often. There is a scene where the Princess has to clean, but she does not have the normal Disney resources that other princesses like Snow White had access to.

So she had to improvise. Enjoy:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bits And Pieces

Black Hole Sunday: This Sunday on the Discovery Science Channel is Black Hole Sunday! Lots of programming regarding just about everything you want to know about black holes, supermassive black holes, a series on How the Universe Works, and of course Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. Cool stuff! 

If you don't have the Science Discovery Channel then I encourage you to contact your cable provider and ask them for the channel. You'll be glad you did! 

Women of Science: I have another Women of Science series coming up. I did this last year and the response was one of the best I ever had. I have five fascinating posts lined up for July. 

Attention Self-Pubbed Authors: I saw this link on Old Kitty's blog Ten Lives and Second Chances on Monday. HERE'S something for you fans of self-published authors! Nominate your fave self-pubbed author and the Guardian newspaper will interview them and highlight their novels!  

Mary Pax and Backworlds: Congrats! to MPax and her success with Backworlds and her recent Free Download promotion with Kindle. Backworlds reached #23 on Amazon's Best Seller Rank for Free Downloads and hit #1 for Adventure and Space Opera! 

Guest Bloggers: I'm lining up some really awesome guest bloggers for the summer. I hope you liked Monday's post with Timothy Ashby. And I have more open days. If you want to guest blog here, email me at 

Author Of The Week: This week it's Tyrean Martinson Dragon fold and Other Adventures, a collection of new and old stories and poems with fantasy and scifi elements. Just click the icon at the top right of my side bar.

Finally: When all else fails and you think you're out of gas and can't move foprward, take the advice from the Penguins of Madagascar. Just Smile and Wave.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Guest Author Tim Ashby and Thrills of It All Blogfest

Thrills of It All Blogfest: Sponsored by Tara Tyler and Heather Gardner. Share a big thrill with us to be entered into The Thrill of it All blogfest contest! We will judge the biggest thrills and give out some thrilling prizes. 

My big thrill is wrapping up my third and final installment of the Breakthrough Trilogy titled Escalation. Wish I had the cover art to share, but that will be coming along in a couple weeks!

Heather Morgan’s Maguire’s Corner is available now and Pop Travel will be available July 7, 2013. 

Next Up: Thanks to Nikki Leigh for extending the invitation to host Author Timothy Ashby on his Virtual Book Tour as he addresses the age old question that drive many writers today; What is good and what is evil. Take it away Tim: 

Why is Murder OK in War?  Moral Dilemmas of War Itself My new novel, TIME FALL, explores the morality of killing in war.  The hero, Lt. Art Sutton, and team of US Army Rangers have “fallen” from 1945 into 2011 and believe they are still fighting the Nazis in World War II.  The men have been ordered to assassinate a wounded German pilot and minor officials. They decide to disobey this order on moral grounds, even though one of the men – a bitter Jewish sergeant whose family perished in the Holocaust – argues that all Nazis are legitimate targets, whether or not they are combatants. 

When I was a law student I studied “Just War Doctrine” – the theory of military ethics which holds that a violent conflict should conform to philosophical, religious or political criteria.  In my opinion, World War II was a “just war,” and the killing of Axis soldiers was necessary, because it liberated oppressed people in Europe and Asia, and ended the Nazi Holocaust.  Other wars, particularly the First World War, were completely unjustified, and the slaughter of millions of soldiers by was morally and ethically wrong. 

When “a state of war,” is deemed to exist, men may legally kill one another.  The morality of peace time is suspended, and ”murder” can be exercised against enemy combatants, but not against the civilians of enemy countries. 

The First World War officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918.  If an American soldier shot and killed a German infantryman one minute before the Armistice he was killing legally.  Technically, if that same soldier fired a bullet across No Man’s Land with the same result one minute after the war officially ended, he was a murderer. 

War, by its very nature, will forever be morally ambiguous.  And “unjust” wars – which I believe include Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, far outnumber history’s “just” wars.  Another character in TIME FALL, a Vietnam veteran still suffering from physical and psychological wounds, gives voice to this. 

“No wonder I’m burned out, he said to himself, imagining the horrors experienced by teenage boys who had been drafted to “defend America against international communism.” Like all those dead and maimed boys he had known in ‘Nam. And now half the stuff for sale at Walmart was from Vietnam and the other half was from “communist” China.” 

Filled with historically accurate details, Time Fall is a complex military tale that keeps readers riveted through every surprising twist. Read an excerpt and to enter to win a FREE copy CLICK HERE . For your copy, CLICK HERE. You can also get your copy at all major book retailers. 

About Tim Ashby Timothy Ashby's life has been as thrilling as one of his action/adventure novels. Visit his author blog CLICK HERE

An international lawyer, businessman and writer, Tim Ashby worked in Washington DC as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official - the youngest political appointee of his rank - at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). 

He has lived in the Caribbean and Europe as well as various places in the United States. An avid historian, he published widely on military history, archaeology, business and international relations. A licensed attorney in Florida and the District of Columbia, Tim Ashby has a PhD degree from the University of Southern California, a JD from Seattle University Law School, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh Scotland. 

Book Details Publisher – Author Planet Press  
ISBN-10 1481026674 
ISBN-13 978-1481026673

Question: What moral delimmas do you work into your stories? Me, I use utilitarianism, that is, doing something you normally would not do for the greater good.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


W4WS: Thanks again everyone for supporting a really amazing and awesome venture! Hosted by Mary PaxChristine RainesC.M. Brown, and myself, the objective is to help other writers to succeed.

Our Mission: 

Help writers bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands of new people
Help writers reach Amazon Top 100 in at least one category (i.e., suspense, free, etc.)
Increase sales of their book(s) after the promo is over
Drive new traffic to their blog and increase following
Create verbal and viral buzz.

I love the box set! Good luck Marta!

This month's spotlighted writer is Marta Szemik

What To Do, You Ask? Simply stop by Marta's sites and copy and paste their pre-written Tweets into your Twitter account. 

Or go to #W4WS on Twitter and Retweet something. You can do this once or all week long as much as you feel inspired.

Or click the W4WS Facebook Page and then share their links with your Facebook friends and writers groups. thus enabling Laura and Marian to reach countless new people they could never before reach! 

If you want more information, CLICK HERE and sign up. Then check in every third Monday of each month to help support and promote a brother or sister in the Blogosphere. Simple. Easy. Powerful. 

Book Contract: Lexa Cain has a book contract for SOUL CUTTER! Congrats! Lexa and good luck!

Did You Know: A supermassive black hole is believed to be at the center of nearly every galaxy, including our very own Milky Way.

Fun Fact: Well, not a solid fact, but astronomers are confident that our own Milky Way galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center, 26,0000 light years from our Solar System, in a region called Sagittarius A.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

De-Extinction - Bringing Extinct Species Back To Life

De-Extinction: the process of bringing back extinct animals through various scientific methods including cloning, stem cells, cell reprogramming, ancient DNA, and hybridizing.

There are about ten animals that could possibly be brought back, among them the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon, and the dodo bird. Relentless hunting and loss of habitat along with failure to adapt are some of the reasons an animal goes extinct.

  • Scientific knowledge: De-extinction could offer insights into evolution and natural resources that are currently unavailable to us.
  • Technological advancement: De-extinction could be a big step forward for genetic engineering.
  • Environmental benefits: Threatened or damaged ecosystems could be restored with the help of certain now-extinct species.
  • Justice: If people pushed plant and animals species into extinction, perhaps we owe it to these species to try and bring them back.
  • Wonder: How cool would it be to see extinct species alive and kicking again?

  • Animal welfare: People could be exploiting animals for solely human purposes, and may cause individuals of the de-extinct species harm.
  • Health: Species could carry retroviruses or pathogens when brought back to life.
  • Environment: De-extinct species would be alien and potentially invasive; their habitats and food sources have changed, so their roles in these changed ecosystems could be too.
  • Political: De-extinction may change priorities in other fields of science, such as medical research and the conservation of currently endangered species.
  • Moral: Is de-extinction playing god, or just plain wrong? It may also have unforeseen consequences.

The Debate: Bring back extinct beasts or leave them extinct. Are we messing with nature? Are some animals and species destined for extinction? Should we rather focus on saving endangered species? Are we playing God? And just who is responsible for making these decisions? De-extinction is certain to be controversial for some. 

Did You Know? In the movie Jurrassic Park, they used ancient dinosaur blood found in a mosquito trapped in a glob of amber, extracted and sequenced the DNA, and spliced in missing parts with DNA from a frog to create the dinosaurs.  

Not So Fun Fact: In reality, dinosaurs will not be brought back because we cannot extract DNA from fossils, which are really fossil records made of rock formation and sedimentary layers. Bummer! 

You can follow the debate on Twitter with the hashtag #deextinction You can follow the latest and greatest with a debate with Ted De-Extinction conference.

Question: Do you think we should pursue bringing back extinct animals? Or should we just back off? Check out this quick clip ...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weekend Follies Old School!!!

Hi everyone, as always thanks for stopping by! This weekend we are going old school with Star Trek spoofs. Enjoy, and have an awesome and safe weekend!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bits And Pieces, A Gnome, IWSG, and Space Junk

Wifey and I saw the movie Now You See Me over the weekend. Great cast. Great show. Just a fun movie to watch on a date night. However, there is a particular scene that mirrors an event in my upcoming book Escalation. 

Wouldn't You Know It: this particular chapter was by far the biggest challenge and the last scene I wrote. In Now You See Me, at the end a lot of money rains down upon a large crowd of thousands of people in the streets, creating a major diversion, and helping the main characters to escape. Just like in my upcoming novel. My concern is readers will think I copied this scene. And I try very hard to write something original or  different. 

Not sure if I need to rewrite this problem child of a chapter, or just go with it. Has this ever happened to you? 

Maguire's Corner: Howdy, it’s me, Heather M. Gardner. Thank you for sharing some space on your blog for me, Mr. Stephen Tremp! Some of you may gnome me as the blog lady that frequently hosts Stormy the Weather Gnome. If he had his way, he’d take over the whole thing! Today, I’d like to tell you about my debut contemporary romance / suspense novel, Maguire’s Corner.  

Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy and annoyingly handsome. But, Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her. Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer. 

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist. 

Below are some links where you can find Maguire’s Corner and me! Thanks for your time!
Twitter: @hmgardner
But Wait, That's Not All! There’s also The Thrill Of It All Blog Hop, brought to you by Heather M. Gardner and Tara Tyler to celebrate Maguire's Corner and Pop Travel. There's still time to sign up. Just click the badge on my left side bar. Oh, there it is. Just to your left. And down a bit. 

Did You Know: Space debris, also known as orbital debris, space junk, and space waste, includes everything from spent rocket stages, old satellites, fragments from disintegration, erosion, and collisions. 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm are tracked with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude. 

IWSG: It's that time again for Captain Ninja Alex's Insecure Writers Support Group and to post on a common concern. I'm sure most writers like you have a fear of being hit by space junk. I do. No, really. I do. Ouch! A half eaten apple from the International Space Station just bounced off my head. Well, better than a piece of space poo.

Fun Fact: The odds of being killed by falling space debris is 1 in 5 billion. Whew! I feel better already.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Private Sector Leads The Way (Again)

Elon Musk
This summer I spot light individuals from the private sector leading with scientific breakthrough discoveries that will literally change our lives. First up: Elon Musk.

Just who is Elon Musk? Musk is an engineer and entrepreneur who builds and operates companies to solve environmental, social and economic challenges. 

Musk is South African American entrepreneur with a degree in Economics and another in Physics. He co-founded PayPal, turned it into a global payment system, then sold it to eBay for $1.5 billion. But he didn’t retire and stop there: 

Tesla: Musk is a co-founder and currently head of product design at Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors first built an electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster. The company also has  a sedan for sale and an SUV/Minivan on the drawing boards. 

Electric Charging Station
Musk  is instrumental in building charging stations for electric cars across the country.   Very cool!!!

Space X: At SpaceX, Elon is the chief designer, overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and ultimately to other planets.  

Now That's A Rocket!!
In May of last year, SpaceX made history as the world's first privately held company to send a cargo payload, carried on the Dragon spacecraft, to the International Space Station. The capsule then brought back more than 1 ton of science experiments and old station equipment. It's the only supply ship capable of two-way delivery. 

NASA is paying SpaceX more than $1 billion for a dozen resupply missions. Space X can reuse their  
SpaceX has signed contracts with private sector companies, non-American government agencies and the American military for its launch services. Check out my A to Z link for more info on SpaceX

This Makes Too Much Sense
Hyperloop: Last week Musk revealed a radical transportation idea called the "Hyperloop," which he describes as a "cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table." It's basically an underground bullet train that, freed from pesky terrestrial concerns like weather, farm animals, and friction, would zoom people across the country in hours instead of days. 

Of course, politics is the biggest challenge.  It's taken New York City a generation to break ground on its latest subway line, and will probably take another to finish it. This nation is terrible at new infrastructure. 

But leave it to the private sector to find a way. Forget about any government to lead us into the 21s century. Private sector will lead the way or we simply won't move forward. It takes a driven genius like Musk to make things happen. He has performed so far. Stay tuned! 

Question: Do you think the private sector will need to take the lead for us into the 21st century?