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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good morning all!!! Looks like it's going to a wonderful Thanksgiving in North Texas this year. I hope eveyone is dong well and will be spending good times with friends and family over the festive holiday.

If you have the time after a full belly of fine food and arent' too exhausted from the coming shoping spree, stop by and check out the interview and NEW book trailer for Occupation from renown book reviewer Joey PInkney.

Have a great and safe weekend.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Over the last few months I've had the great pleasure to be introduced to many new and exciting authors from Jim Burkett to Regina Puckett. In between them are Alex Lukeman, Norma Budden, Micheal Rivers and host of others. Today, I want spotlight Norma Budden. The first book I read of hers was Hershey Falls. It is a very moving story as are most of hers. Norma writes from her soul and holds nothing back. For you gals who have endured great hardships and heartaches from abusive relationships, you will enjoy her stories. Have a great weekend!

Hershey Falls

This is a very short story followed by a most thought provoking dialogue from the author. I can relate to this story in that I lost the love of my life to cancer back in 2009. How does one carry on after a tragic loss? Will they ever be able to open their heart again and let the feelings of love and warmth replace the emptiness that ways so heavy on the heart and in the soul? The answer? You'll have to get a copy for that determination.

Very enjoyable.


Parents worse nightmare
This a real quick read. As a parent, this one of our worse nightmares; one of our children being kidnapped. Norma does a good job of relating the fears a parent feels when a child goes missing. The plot however far fetched, sends a message. What would you do if you noticed a child acting odd around adults? Would you question the child or the parents? Would you go about your daily activities and shrug the incident off as a child not getting their way, or would you notify the authorities? Those are the tough questions she addresses.
She has since released three other books I haven't had the opportunity to read yet. The TBR is growing at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saw a post this morning on FB about the disease which took three very dear people I spent many wonderful days together, My partner, Larry Smith (1990), my father Ralph Dawson (2005) and my one true love Debbie Beck Larson. Not a day goes by I don't reflect back and remember all of the fond times I spent with these three. Most of the memories are fond, but yes, there are the sad ones that keep resurfacfing reminding me how much I really miss and loved them. Below is a poem I wrote about Debbie a few years ago. It is the opening for the book I wrote about our thirty year love. In those thrity years, Debbie and I spent only two years together. Year and a half in high school and her last seven months. So why is it a thirty year love affair? I never forgot her and once every ten years I would strike out ot find her.Love is worth a second chance.

Where Have You Gone?

I remember those care free days,

The girlish happy smile,

The days of high school,

Where only our love mattered.

The bus rides to the games and back,

Trips to the river bridge where our thoughts were one,

The nights filled of passion in the truck,

The moonlight dancing off our sweat covered bodies,

Where have you gone?

Our paths parted in a sea of tears,

The hurt, the pain of the past,

Always just under the surface,

A flash of sunlight, a familiar smile met with pain and hostility.

The smile vanishes, the pain and hurt boil up,

Yet the feelings of love never lost just suppressed,

Where have you gone?

A trip to Tulsa,

A business card in a mailbox,

A phone call two weeks later and the past awakens,

The smile, the pain, the hurt, the memories;

pour in like a raging river out of its' banks.

Is it worth the chance?

Is it worth opening the heart again?

Is it worth another trip to the unknown?

Where have you gone?

The smile is the same,

The feelings of love spring up,

The past is forgotten,

The present and future are all that matter,

Or is it?

Where have you gone?

Seven months of life together,

We laugh, we cry, we love,and we kiss,

Chasing children, sharing their lives,

Strawberry shake in the face,

Movies from a Galaxy long ago,

Steaks, chicken and seasonings,

grilled to perfection with love,

A snowball fight,

A walk in the white soft flakes,

A pause on the sidewalk,

We embrace, kiss long and deep

letting our bodies provide the warmth.

Where have you gone?

The diagnosis, it's back.

Consoling the daughters,

A call to the parents,

A call to the EMT'S,

The present and the future are slipping away.

Where have you gone?

The final hours of life,

Only the sounds of deep painful breathing.

The halls are silent,

Nothing but thoughts for thirty years circle.

The end is closing in,

The cancer is tracking its' deadly course.

Where have you gone?

A warm hand rubs a chest going cold,

The breathing has stopped.

The pain is flowing out of her face.

The Doctor comes in,

The verdict is quiet with compassion,

I'm so sorry, she's gone.

Where have you gone?

Life has come to a stop,

There is nothing that matters anymore.

A never forgotten love has been taken in the prime of life,

A bench in a cemetery with no one else around.

The tears pour uncontrollably,

We cry, “Where have you gone?”

A voice, soft and tender floats down,

I'm fine.”

Where have I gone?”

Where there is no pain, no sadness.

A place where the cancer has healed.

A place where mistakes of the past have been forgiven,

A place where I can look down to watch and help.

A place where only love resides,

The place?

"Heaven, that is where I have gone.”

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sometime ago I sat down and attempted to write a poem worthy of all our veterans from the Revolution to present day conflicts. I hope I've done them justice.


So young,

So full of life.

Their dreams would have to wait.

They took up arms when called.

They vowed to protect the innocent.

They promised to return.

They never looked back.

For God, Country, Flag and Family,

they marched off.

They filled the depots with excitement and awe,

Many had never left home.

They did not shirk a duty.

They embraced it with the gusto of youth.

The training was hard,

but they nary complained.

They had been called and would not fail.

Righteousness and justice would be served.

Steamers, transports, and planes departed

to destinations foreign and unknown.

Did they tremble? No.

Did they fear the unknown? No.

Their mission was for freedom from oppression.

Their youth would bring order to the world.

It was time to right wrongs.

It was time to free the down-trodden.

Belleau Wood, Flanders, Bastogne, Guadalcanal.

The names are so strange yet not a complaint is filed.

Normandy, Tarawa, Iwo Jima.

With gusto and grit they fought on.

Caen, Kabul, Baghdad, Tunisia, Metz and Arnhem

They fought on.

Too many friends were dying or maimed.

The sound of shells and bullets were frightening.

Never knowing when one might pass struck no fear.

The mission must be accomplished.

They fought on.

Okinawa, Burma, Bunker Hill, and Charleston.

Saigon, The Iron Triangle, Kason The endless Deltas.

The message the same.

Right the wrongs and don't stop til the deed is done.

How many have died? Too many!

How many have been freed? Not enough!

How much longer? Til the job is done.

They fought on. Freedom will reign.

Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, The Somme.

They fought, they bleed and died,

All in the name of freedom.

The smoke has cleared.

The losses are tallied.

The camps are empty.

White crosses mark the path of youth lost.

The survivors wonder why?

Why did Joe and Bill die so young?

Why did I live?

Why me?

For Freedom.

To remember the past.

To remind generations to come the price of liberty.

The thought provides minor comfort.

They survey the battlefields and remember.

The long cold nights,

The days filled with rain,

Endless guard duty,

Mess kits filled with mush.

A smile creeps across a grizzled hardened face,

Freedom, that is why we came,

Liberty, is why we fought.

Justice, is why they serve.

A last salute to the fallen but not forgotten.

The men and women who have given all.

The veterans of the United States Military.

It's Veterans Day here in the states. A day that was suppose to be an end to Wars of All Wars. Yes, for those that don't remember or know, this was the day the Armistice was signed to end World War I. My grand father served as a nurse in a hospital during this terrible war. Never had the entire world been embroiled in what would be called "Total War." I never understood what my parents and grand mother kept saying about my grandfather. Even in my dad's waning years, he would occasionally talk about how the war changed his dad. He wasn't the same man who went to the field of France to stem the tide of the German onslaught.

Grand Dad Dawson never talked about the war, ever. How did the war affect him? After years of listening to the story, I remember sitting with my dad on the porch talking about his dad. Ralph Sr. as a, for a better term, vagabond. He could never sit still. He was always on the move. When he came back from the war, he went into the restaurant business and never stopped. He started many successful ventures and then sold them off. He never allowed them to blossom into his utmost dream of success. His crowing achievement came in Oklahoma. He had three of the best hamburger stores in Tulsa. Dad really thought his dad was on his way until he came home one day and notified the family he was selling out and moving. Dad was very distraught. But in retrospect, perhaps his dads unwillingness to settle down was a result in seeing how fragile and precious life was. How many thousands of boys and men did he tend to in the wards, never able to completely heal their wounds, both mental and physical? How many screams and cries echoed through his memories? How much death did he witness? We would never be able to answer those questions.

I remember his  love of fishing and showing his grandson that art. I don't know how many trips he took me through the years, I just remember, I always looked forward to it. Unlike my own father, his dad and I could spent an entire day on the banks or in docks drowning a worm or a minnow or perhaps that wonderful "stink bait" in search of the elusive "big one." Those are fond memories I shall never let go. It was a time of passing the torch and listening to his silent thoughts.

I remember receiving the phone call back in 1971 that grand dad had passed, peacefully. He laid down to nap before his favorite show came on, "Gun smoke." He never caught the last episode. I was very saddened as I got on my bike and rode to tell mom and dad the news.

For years, I missed my fishing buddy, but as time passed, I only hoped that Grand dad Dawson was finally able to let his restless soul find peace and the horrors and cries of young men dying were eased.

RIP Ralph Henry Dawson Sr. Veteran of WWI.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Let's see. It's Saturday the 10 of November. What to do this fine day in Dallas,Tx? Well, need to get a new jean jacket, some jeans, a labotomy and perhaps some new shoes. Wait? Labotomy. Might have to go to Target instead of Sears for that one. Then, off to pick-up edits (argh!!) and dinner with Mr. Brown. Been too long since we sat down and solved the words problems. Hm. We'll see how that works.

What else? Reading? Writing? Arithmatic? Well, one out of three ain't bad. I know. It's time ot spotlight an author I've grown fond of over the past year: Tim Greaton. I came acroos his name about a year ago and decided to give this new author a try. I was not disappointed at all. All of the books are well written and thought out. Each one has its own unique plot and message. I hope you'll take a chance and look into his works. His news book series is Zack Pill. Sadly, I haven't had the time to look into this one yet, but then, time is on my side and it gives something to look forward. Okay, here are the books and the reviews I posted.

Bud's Garage :
Bud's Body Shop
Short and Sweet
A little too short and unsatisfying. Mr. Greaton gives us a very small, small glimpse into his upbrining working for his dad. The content provided is good and well written. Another story or two would have been very helpful.

I can see this turning into a very good biography when all of the pieces are in place.

Not just for Christmas

What happens to an up-and-coming attorney when he chooses to attend the firms Christmas party without his wife and son who perish in an apartment fire? What strange road leads him to standing on the ice laden metal bridge in Gray, Vermont on Christmas Eve staring down at a torrent of black cascading, rushing water hoping to redeem his self-worth (in some bizarre way) to atone for the untimely death of his wife and son? You'll have to read this fine work to obtain the answers.

I could relate to this telling story on too many experiences. This story is for any of us who have every contemplated taking their own lives thinking there is nothing left for us to live for.

Mr. Greaton's tale will prove it otherwise. There is always something to live for no matter how sour the cards have turned.

Thank you Tim.

Under Heaven

Worlds Collide

This is the third book from Mr. Greaton I chose to read. How does it compare to the first two? Completely different-in a good way. Of all the books I've read and reviewed over the past few years, this one falls into its own category-of which I'm still trying to place.

This book reminds me of a fine Cuban cigar, perhaps a glass of Dom Perigion or a well aged Brandy. Each are to be savored and enjoyed, not rapidly consumed waiting for a refill. Relax and enjoy the moment.

The story starts out a little slow with two diverging story lines. I went back several times to make sure I was reading the same story. I thought maybe a chapter or two were inadvertently snuck in. Patience. The two stories are paralleling an unseen time line. The lives of two boys Nathaniel (who was murdered and caught in under-heaven, a sort of weigh station between Heaven and Hell) and Jesse, who is very much alive (hoping his parents reunite) are going to collide in a most unusual way. I was twenty-four chapters into the read and still had no idea where the story was going. For some, that can be frustrating, Refer back to how I described this read. It's not a six pack of Miller-Lite or a Pack of Marlborro Light 100's that the users frequently can't get enough of. This is a story for savoring and reflecting. Believe me, there is so much extra activity surrounding these two boys, one will need to regroup and reflect before moving forward. Enjoy the moment, then move forward. with caution.

In the end you will be shaking your head in stunned silence and asking the question, "No way!" I know I was.
A great read for all.

I have enjoyed all of his stories to date. Mr. Greaton possess a wonderful writing style for all readers. So, if you get a chance, check out his books and enjoy his well crafted stories. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to? Many of you know I'm a bit technoligically challenged. I perform brilliantly until I hit the power button and it turns on. From that point, well, I think you know what happens next. My pleasant demeanor turns into, let's say Jekly and Hide. More "Hide" to say the least. Okay, what's my point? Oh hell, need to reboot, repower--up, recover sites........ I'm losing my mind. Perhaps another pot of coffee will settle the nerves. NOPE!

Back on point. How do you post pictures and your books on the right or left side. I've tried everything with ZERO luck.

I await your suggetions as I navigate these trying waters. OH H...l not again. RE-boot....recover.....ARGHH!



Over the past year, I have noticed many different trends and marketing strategies of Indie authors (including myself) to get the word out and increase our readership. Some have had great success, the majority of us are in a log jamb scrambling to hit as many sites and and blogs and threads and bookstore sites. Others have used fliers, shirts, posters, bookmarks, coffee-cups and other promotional devices. But one the that stands out if the freebie program whether it be through Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Smashwords, Goodreads or even the Google Bookstore (I will admit, I have no books on Google. I found their site confusing, frustrating and very limited support from non-existent customer service).

Should we offer our works for free? Good question. Is there a definitive answer. Not that I can see at this time. I know I have over 4000 titles snatched-up during the promos. Sounds great right? How many reviews or comments have the give aways provided? Take a seat and take a deep breath. .001% have submitted reviews. Yep, that would be FOUR! Look, I'm not against doing a promotion but if you think it will translate into a slew of reviews and accolades, do this. Unlike Amazon, Goodreads shows what readers downloaded the book. Take a real close look at some of those numbers. 1000 to 3000 in the TBR column. Wait a minute, did I see that right? One to three thousand TBR? Hm, not encouraging. I guess its human nature to want something free. I know I do, however if I can't use it ,I'm not picking it up just in case I might use it in the next the ten years or on a rainy day. Personally, I only download a free book if I know I have the time to read the book and thank the author for the opportunity to preview their work. I believe it's only fair.

Okay, should you offer your hard work for free. Absolutely! It does get your name out, but if you are looking for overnight success and gratification, stick with the other promotional items. At least someone will think of you when they are drinking from the coffee mug.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012