Thursday, February 24, 2011

Interview with Greg Mitchell, author of "The Strange Man"

Please join me today for an interview of Greg Mitchell, author of The Strange Man.

Thanks for having me!

Who do you think would like your book? (Or alternately: Please tell prospective readers why they’d like your book.)

Much to the chagrin of “high literary” types, I tell people this is a book for “movie people”. My background is in screenwriting and I’m a “movie guy”, so the book is really designed to play out like a movie in your head. Very fast, very exciting. I’d like to think that anyone who enjoys scary stories and fun, personable characters will gravitate towards The Strange Man. It’s a very unapologetic book—I don’t apologize for sharing my Christian faith, and I don’t apologize for all my gruesome monsters :) I’m passionate about both!

What is your favorite thing about your story?

I love the characters. I’ve grown up with these guys in my head and I love moving about in their monster-filled world and living in it for awhile. It’s kind of like a second childhood as I’ve dumped all the things that I love into this series. It’s just a chance to relive my boyhood dreams.

Do you remember how long it took you to write? How about to edit and find a publisher?

I’ve said this so much people will think I’m a broken record, but I’ve been writing The Strange Man for over ten years. It started as an unproduced screenplay, then I wrote it in novel form. I had an agent for awhile and we pitched it to about a dozen different places and I got the age-old “not right for us” line. In 2007, determined to prove myself, I self-published the book through a POD company, but I wanted it to get a wider audience. I “pulled it off the shelves”, as it were, expanded it and shopped it around again. Suddenly, people were interested and the problem became finding the right publisher. After many sleepless nights, I finally settled with Realms Fiction and I’ve been happy so far—especially happy that now we can move on to the other two books in The Coming Evil Trilogy!

What is your favorite type of book to read? Do you have any favorite books or authors?

I actually read a lot of Star Wars “tie-in” novels. I know some people might not consider those “real books”, but there’s something really interesting about how the Star Wars “Expanded Universe” has evolved over the last thirty years. All these different writers with different voices are adding to this single continuity begun in the original movies, respecting each other’s work and building on this fictional universe. It’s constantly amazing to me.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

Ask me a couple years ago and I would have said my favorite TV show was Supernatural, hands down, but that show seems to have plateaued in its storytelling, sad to say. I still enjoy it, but it’s sort of a letdown—I don’t think they take enough risks anymore. Honestly, the show that’s really got me excited every week is Vampire Diaries. That’s got more twists and turns in a single episode—sometimes before the first commercial break—than some series have in a whole year. It comes back to the characters—they’re constantly changing in unexpected ways and the story just grows and grows. It’s an incredible pace and I’m not sure how long the creators will be able to keep it up, but I’ll be there to find out.

As for movies, I love the Back to the Future Trilogy, and I love the fun monster movies from the ‘80s—The Monster Squad being a major inspiration to me. I love the Rocky series, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies—especially the second two, Harry Potter (both the films and the books). I just like series, in general. I like stories that take many installments to tell and I like to see characters evolve over the course of time. Apart from that, I’m also a crazy fan of John Carpenter’s movies. There’s a certain sublime quality to them—I feel very relaxed and comfortable watching his movies. The cinematography, the music. They instantly put me in a happy mood.

Can readers contact you?

They can find me at my blog—

Is there anything else you’d like your prospective readers to know?

I hope everyone checks out the blog. The story doesn’t end with The Strange Man—aside from the trilogy in the works, I’ve also written a number of short stories that “fill out” the lives of the main characters, and I’m looking to write many more. New adventures, new insights—and all totally free! It’s my ode to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. They’re designed to be rewarding to those who have read The Strange Man, but they also don’t give anything away in case you haven’t read the novel yet.

Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.

Here’s what it says on the back cover!

Dras Weldon lives in a world of horror movies and comic books. Twenty-two and unemployed, he is content to hide in the shadow of adolescence with a faith that he professes but rarely puts into action.

But when a demonic stranger arrives and begins threatening his friends, Dras is drawn into a battle that forces him to choose which side he is on. In a race against the clock, he must not only fight these evil forces but also somehow convince his best friend, Rosalyn, to join him--before she is lost forever.

Engaging and darkly humorous, The Strange Man is the first act of a trilogy that depicts a world where monsters are real and simple men and women must overcome their doubts and fears in order to stand against the unspeakable creatures of the night.

Realms has also provided a link to read a PDF of the prologue for free. Here’s the link:

Thank you for your time, and best of luck with your book! :)


The book is available in stores or you can order direct from Amazon at:

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview of Joe Chiappetta, author of "Star Chosen"

Please join me today for an interview of Joe Chiappetta, author of Star Chosen.

Who do you think would like your book?

People who love classic science fiction will appreciate this book most. Also, those who follow Jesus will also easily appreciate this story, because it's basically like what if Star Trek consisted of a crew of Christians. However, most non-Christians should be drawn into the story as well, since it has a lot of futuristic action and clean space opera drama. As Christian sci-fi goes, it's not very preachy. Rather the emphasis is on the personal righteousness of the characters, and how they fall short. That said, anyone aggressively persecuting Christians will most likely hate this book, because the allegories are embedded in the story.

What is your favorite thing about your story?

The relationships--it's really a story about a futuristic, yet down-to-earth group of teens and their parents fighting to stay together despite all sorts of intergalactic adversity.

Do you remember how long it took you to write?

It took just over five years to write. I kept rewriting it and having people provide input all along the way. My crew of editors and proof readers was a mix of non-Christians, Christians, sci-fi fans and non-sci-fi fans from a spread of life stages (ages 20 to 60). Basically everything they advised along the way has been added into the story, so it seems to have a very wide appeal. I self-published it in 2010.

What is your favorite type of book to read?

Aside from the Bible, I like science fiction and comic books--but the content needs to be clean.

Do you have any favorite books or authors? Hands down, it has to be "The Gods of Mars" and the sequel, "The Warlord of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. After that, I would say "Out of the Silent Planet" and "Perelandra" by CS Lewis.

Anything interesting in your past you'd care to share?

Before I became a Christian in 1998, I was world renowned (for reals) in the comics community for a series called Silly Daddy. However, once I started introducing Christian concepts into my comics, I pretty much lost the majority of my fans. Since then I've built a base back up and turned Silly Daddy into an all-ages family comic, but it is amazing how many people wanted nothing to do with me after I started representing Jesus.

Also noteworthy, but in a bad way, I verbally persecuted the church with much bitterness prior to becoming a follower of Jesus. I used that experience in the Star Chosen story, because the believers in that plot are quite the segregated minority.

What's your favorite movie or TV show?

Nacho Libre--most people miss all the deep spiritual character lessons in this hilarious wrestling movie about perseverance. After that it would be the Star Wars series, with "Empire Strikes Back" as a high point. As for TV, Stargate Universe is top notch sci-fi. The lessons on leadership and loyalty are most memorable.

Can readers contact you?

Absolutely. All my contact info is listed at

If you were alive in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., did you have any hairstyles that now make you cringe?

In the early 80s I think a few times I went to a barber and got feathered hair. No, I'm not proud of this.

Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.

Synopsis: Silly Daddy dares to write apocalyptic science fiction for the whole family! Think "Star Trek" meets the Bible. Deleting history was just the beginning. Blast off with STAR CHOSEN, a space opera of post-biblical proportions! After war, heartbreak, attacks to your faith, and the erasure of all history and culture, whose side will you fight on: the Proud... or the Chosen? In a time yet to come, the high-tech Faith War threatens to destroy all religions across the universe. One small yet bold group, known as "the Chosen," survives, but will they rebuild, or be torn to space dust across a cold universe? Xeric Award winner and Ignatz Award nominee Joe Chiappetta crafts a science fiction epic of 67,000 words: Star Chosen.

Star Chosen Excerpt:
Chapter 5: Wipeout Like Never Before

Tharquinn Thane, an aspiring teenage scientist, sat typing by the window of his mother's high-rise condo. He was an average looking youth of medium height with big, wavy hair, "but not too wavy," his mother would add.

The wall adjacent to the Thane's kitchen had a number of Tharquinn's school science awards and also a hologram displaying promotional images from some of his most widely distributed theories and hypotheses. His "Virtual Reality without a Hangover" poster holographically faded into "Object Opacity Technology for Living Organisms," then "Magnetic Implants for Life," and so on, in a continuous loop of self-promotional scientific wall decoration.

The condo unit, currently overlooking the Chicago River, was set at "shuffle." This made the whole living unit physically rotate, albeit slowly, upwards and then downwards, along with a trail of other condo units. Such buildings looked somewhat like square Ferris wheels. For those who could afford this living luxury, it was promoted as a room with an ever-changing view, ideal for creative types, the adventurous, and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Combined with object opacity technology (OO Tech), which Tharquinn always set at transparent for his outer walls, this made for a spectacular living experience.

"Tharquinn, dinner is almost ready," his mother Jane called to him from the hallway. "Are you slouching again? That's bad for your back, you know. Anyway, this afternoon I met some of those 'Advocate' folks. I accidentally dropped my 3D camera down a sewer, and while I was all in a flutter, a family came up to me. The man, who was rather tall, said, 'I'm Shamus. This is my wife Sarah and our daughter Reyna. You go on and enjoy some girl talk while I go and fish out that gizmo for you, young lady. I don't believe in luck, but if I did, I would tell you that you are very lucky because I am a fisherman of sorts.'"

Jane suspected that her son wasn't listening, so she spoke louder; "Can you believe that, Tharquinn? The fisherman called me 'young lady.' Isn't that nice? So, Shamus pops open an old sewer grid and jumps in. He reaches around in the muck, bare hands mind you, and finds my camera. Now all the while his wife and daughter are talking to me about some sort of book club or something. They weren't even watching Shamus splashing around in the underbelly of Chicago. Their focus was on me. They were trying to invite me to attend their book club. The daughter, Reyna, was very cute. I think you'd like her: just your type, with long brown hair and thick eyebrows. Next term, she'll be enrolling in the science academy. You may even have a class together."

As Tharquinn's mother poured her son some soy milk, she continued talking, "Anyway, Reyna gave me an invitation to that book club. It's a handwritten note on a leaf. Can you believe it, a leaf? I kind of felt sorry for them. They can't even afford electronic paper. The girl does have nice handwriting, though. Penmanship--now that's a lost art."

"Moreover, the funny thing about this book club is that, apparently, they only talk about one book: something called the 1F8thFile. The wife even beamed me a copy over to my wrist computer and said that I had to read it and then study it with her for some sort of life-changing experience. Those people were so nice, honey. A little odd, but maybe I should read their book sometime. Tharquinn, are you even listening? Anyway, dinner is ready."

"Okay, Mom, I'll be right there," said Tharquinn, "but just give me one more minute. As soon as I finish this closing sentence, my latest hypothesis will be totally finished."

"You didn't even hear my story," replied Jane with a whine, "but I'll cut you some slack because it's not every day that my son finishes his next great masterpiece. It's about time. You've been working on that thing for, what, the whole year?"

Just as Tharquinn finished saying "not quite," an unexpected wave of sparkles crackled its way through the entire building. The air outdoors was infiltrated with sparkles as well. In every direction, the world looked to be suddenly decorated with wireless holiday lights. The sparkles lingered for a few moments and then moved onward, expanding out with ever-increasing radius from their humble beginnings at the fiery circle in central Illinois.

"What was that? Did you see that?" whispered Jane. "It's outside too. Wait. Why am I whispering?"

"Because this is freaky," mumbled Tharquinn. "It was... everywhere, but now the sea of sparkles seems to have passed through us and left us behind, like a giant wave of migrating fireflies."

"Hey," Jane added, "your hologram stopped working. And where's the hypothesis you were finishing on screen?"

Tharquinn's eyes glared at his computer monitor with extreme concern. He tapped away at his keyboard, but with undesirable results. "It's gone? No! That can't be. Computer, retrieve most recent hypothesis file. Computer, acknowledge. Computer?"

The computer gave no response at first, but then made a most dreadful sound. The generic factory default start-up jingle played, followed by the familiar default introduction: "Hello, I'm your new computer. Give me a name, followed by a few commands of your choice and let MycroMak, the universal leader in software, do the rest because we do data best."

Tharquinn hadn't named his computer when he first got it, and he certainly wasn't about to name it now. Consistent with the surveys, the majority of males tended not to name their computers, while most women tended to name their computers.

Tharquinn frantically typed away at the keys to do a manual search on his unnamed computer, this time looking for any scientific files, next for any narrative files. "No. This can't be happening. This doesn't happen anymore! Mom, everything I've ever written since... well, since I was a little kid, and every book I've ever collected, they're all gone! Our whole library, and my life's work... it's all gone. Computer, open hypothesis file 'Virtual Magnetic Skates.'"

"I'm sorry," said the computer calmly, "but that file does not exist. You can create it if you'd like. But as your new computer, don't you want to give me a name first? MycroMak computers are fully customizable for all your..."

"No. No! Computer, your name is just 'Computer!'" shouted Tharquinn. "Now search backups and sub-backups. Search remote locations as well. Search other computers and the Internet. Display all narrative files, book files, and any other text files written by Tharquinn Thane."

"No Tharquinn Thane narrative files, book files, or any other text files are found," said the computer.

Tharquinn's mind was racing. "How could this be?" he thought. "Why would anyone wipe out only my work and my collection, and how is that even possible?"

His mother responded, "Maybe it wasn't just your work. Maybe everybody's work was wiped out by those little sparkle things."

Tharquinn followed up with another command: "Computer, search for any narrative files written by anyone, anywhere in any media, on any hardware."

The computer replied, after a few moments of bleeping: "I'm sorry: none found."

Tharquinn slumped deeper in his chair during dinner while Jane pondered aloud, "Can you have a book club without any books? I guess I won't be reading that 1F8thFile after all." As Jane said this, she tossed the handwritten invitation to the Advocates' book club toward the recycling bin. However, she missed the bin and the leaf landed on Tharquinn's foot.

Tharquinn picked up the invitation and said, "I think I'm going to check out this book club, Mom. If a whole group is devoted to one book, maybe they'll figure out a way to restore their lost data, and then mine."

"Besides," thought Tharquinn, "in the company of a very cute girl who is just my type, what have I got to lose?"

End of excerpt.

Alice, Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

Joe Chiappetta

Thank you, Joe, and best of luck with your book! :)

Star Chosen ordering info:

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Interview with Steve Seitz, author of "Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula"

Please join me today for an interview of Steve Seitz, author of "Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula."

Thank you for being on my blog, and agreeing to answer some questions. :)

Please tell prospective readers briefly what your story is about.

I took Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and converted it into a Sherlock Holmes story as if it had been written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I also take the opportunity to tell what really happened at the Reichenbach Falls and during the Great Hiatus.

What’s your favorite thing about your story?

I believe I did a little more justice to Watson, and I tried to give Mina Murray her due. She is the smartest character in "Dracula."

Did you find it hard writing Sherlock Holmes as a character? Did you have to do a lot of research?

Answer to the first question: No. I've known Holmes and Watson for more than 40 years. To the second, yes, absolutely. Research is vital if you're going to get the period correct. The readers won't believe your story otherwise.

How long did it take to write your book? How about to edit the story and find your publisher?

The book started as a hobby in high school, but I kept pecking away at it until I discovered I had something like 300 pages. I reworked it into a manageable manuscript, hired Jeanne Cavelos to give it a merciless workover (Jeanne is one of the best editors in the business), and turned to two friends who have their own publishing company. Otherwise, I would probably still be circulating the manuscript.

Do you have any advice to writers of Sherlockiana? (I ask this question from personal interest!) :)

First and foremost, do the research. I must have consulted 200 sources, and I have my own Bradshaw. Second, keep the Canon handy to make sure you have the voice and Victorian-era usage down properly.

How did you discover Sherlock Holmes?

I was a high school freshman and, instead of doing my homework in the library when I was supposed to, browsed the stacks for something interesting and found "The Hound of the Baskervilles." I took it home and finished at about 3 a.m. I've been hooked since.

What did you think of the recent adaptations (the movie, and the BBC TV show “Sherlock”)? If you didn’t like them, are there any adaptations you do like?

I enjoyed both. Downey's Holmes has Canonical support, and it's a refreshing view of Holmes. I enjoy the new BBC series, as well. Nobody complained when Basil Rathbone's Holmes jumped ahead by almost 50 years.

Anything interesting in your past you’d care to share? Like have you ever worked as a rodeo clown, for instance? :)

I am a journalist, happily, so there's a lot to share. I am also my paper's film critic. In that regard, I've interviewed everyone from Jerry Lewis, James Whitmore and James Earl Jones to Matt Lewis ("Neville Longbottom") from the Harry Potter films. I have also interviewed a cast member from every "Star Trek" series, including Marina Sirtis, who shared her memories of Jeremy Brett with me. (Her first appearance as an actress was in the Brett series.)

Can readers contact you?

Best way:, which is pretty much my Holmesian address.

Is there anything else you’d like your prospective readers to know about you or the book?

Mountainside Press is unwilling to keep the book in distribution, but you can get it directly from them, or download it on Amazon Kindle.

Please share a brief excerpt from your book.
(Warning for readers: This is scary!)

In this scene, Holmes and Watson are spending a night in Castle Dracula. Watson has narrowly escaped an encounter with the Weird Sisters, but Holmes is not so fortunate:

The women hissed like cats and shied away as if blinded by a flash. I found strength to hold the icon up and then, down the hall, a door opened. Sherlock Holmes emerged from his bath, clad only in his dressing-gown.

"Holmes!" I cried. "Run! They killed Harker!"

A harsh silvery laugh greeted my sally. The women passed me swiftly and attacked Holmes, shoving him into his room and slamming the door. I heard the lock snap, and groaned; Holmes had the keyring. Inside I heard harsh, crystalline laughter, and thought of what cats must feel on capturing a sparrow.

You know well Holmes' indifference to the charms of the fairer sex, but from the lascivious sounds from behind the door, I could tell he was succumbing. I heard no resistance.

I pounded on the door and bellowed.

"Your crucifix! Holmes, the crucifix!"

More laughter, some frightening sounds of struggle, and then soft murmuring and soon, silence.

Had I been thinking clearly, I would have gone to the woodshed and returned with an axe. But bloody images of what they were doing to Holmes filled my head, and I became a crazed man.

That's when I remembered the south window. If there were handholds for one room, there must be for others. I raced upstairs, to the room above Holmes'. I whipped the window open and a pale yellow beam filled the space, a cold breeze blowing in.

Looking down, there were handholds, unless they were shadowy illusions of the moonlight. Thinking of the horrid fate even now befalling my closest friend, I tentatively dipped a toe to the first hold. It slid in smoothly. I lowered myself to my full body length. Another toehold, then a handhold. The chilly breeze frayed my face as I groped in the shadows, and the castle's stone was rough and mocking as I held my cheek to it, not daring to look down.

Thick, dark clouds blotted the moon. My light vanished, and the breeze became a chilly wind, numbing my face, my fingers, and my sense of touch.

Gingerly now, I found another handhold, another toehold. My foot slipped once and I cried out, but I did not fall. Another step, and then another. Two bats flitted by and seemed to be circling me, waiting for a mistake. They came uncomfortably close and I stopped moving, hoping they would go away.

By now, I could hear the sounds from Holmes' open window more clearly. A cold steady rain began to fall, which was a mixed blessing. Soon I would not be able to feel my fingers at all, but my presence would be harder to detect. Hard droplets pricked my face.

"Please. You must be sated by now," Holmes said in a soft, pleading voice.

"It's been so long, Englisch," said one of the women, and I heard a weak whimper from Holmes. "That child was barely enough, and the Count has abandoned us."

"If we are greedy tonight, then it might be a long time until our next opportunity," said another. "And the other one is still loose."

More chilling laughter.

I almost fell again when I put my foot to what I thought was a toehold and connected with air. The window!


Links to buy the book:

Here's the Kindle link:

Direct from Mountainside:

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have a book-review blog [], but I haven't posted on it in, let's see, five months. So I thought I'd just talk about book here today.

My dad is reading Moby Dick. Moby. Dick. I am intimidated by Moby Dick. I borrowed it from the library months ago, and couldn't get very far into it. (I thought, because I like sea stories, I'd give it a try. Now I think I'll give it a try someday in the future--maybe when my dad finishes it.)

I love the Patrick O'Brian sea stories, although I haven't read them all yet. I am always interested in finding new sea stories to read, although many of them don't appeal to me as much as O'Brian's Maturin and Aubrey books.

My dad is reading lots of long, difficult books lately. He read a gigantic nonfiction book about Bonhoeffer. Then he read Frankenstein, 1984, and Dracula (unabridged).

Lately I'm reading mostly thin mysteries. And just this weekend, I finished the first Dresden Files book, by Jim Butcher. I ended up loving it, and I want to read the rest of the series. I'm fairly picky about fantasy, so I'm surprised I liked it so much. Maybe it's the P.I. element. The narrator is very likeable.

I think the longest fiction book I ever read was The Brothers Karamazov, or else Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Interview with Terri Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon

Please join me today for an interview of Terri Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon.

Who do you think would like your book? (Or alternately: Please tell prospective readers why they’d like your book.)

This book is a different kind of book. It’s a cozy mystery set in a small town with a history professor pressed into service to help solve the crime. Of course, the “small town” is an underground habitat on the moon made to look like a small town. The clues, the politics, the technology and don’t forget the gravity make this a classic science fiction novel as well. So, mystery fans and science fiction fans both should find something to like in this novel.

What is your favorite thing about your story?

That’s an interesting question. I hadn’t thought much about it. I have to say it’s the interplay between the two main characters. They are both struggling with issues from their pasts. These struggles spill over into their working relationships leading both to conflict and healing. Of course, I also like the puzzle making. And then there is the careful extrapolation of current science to future technology.

Do you remember how long it took you to write? How about to edit and find a publisher?

It took a month to write the first draft. Then three years working off and on to edit it. This was a National Novel Writing Month novel. The idea being to write 50,000 words in a month. I did about 75,000. Then it sort of languished for awhile. Finally, I went over it and got it into some sort of shape. Didn’t really think I would find a publisher because of the cross-genre thing, but then I saw Muse It Up looking for stories and saying they “love cozies” so I figured why not try them. I spent about a month of intensive editing and tightening up the story and sent it off.

I was thrilled, and a little surprised to have my first novel picked up by the first place I sent it.

What is your favorite type of book to read? Do you have any favorite books or authors?
Well, in terms of fiction, I love classic science fiction (Asimov, Simak, Clarke, Bradbury, Silverberg, etc.) and cozy mysteries like Hercule Poirot, The Cat Who series, and Sherlock Holmes. In nonfiction, I like history and science books.

Anything interesting in your past you’d care to share? Like have you ever worked as a rodeo clown, for instance? :)

Not much interesting about me I’m afraid. I live vicariously through my characters. I have however been fortunate to often be on the leading edge of trends. For instance, back in the 70’s I helped produce Christian Rock concerts sometimes having to push my way past picketing pastors who thought all Rock was of the Devil. Then in the 90’s I began building websites. Now, I’m taking our school newspaper online and writing novels that come out initially as ebooks.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

I guess, the Law and Order, CSI and Star Trek franchises were among my favorites. Having a psych degree, I also like Criminal Minds.

Can readers contact you?

Sure they can email me at They can also “like” us at

If you were alive in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., did you have any hairstyles that now make you cringe?

Not really. My hair has always been pretty straight, unadorned and boring. Okay, at one I got a big curly blonde wig. But the less said about that the better.

Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.


When history professor and former FBI profiler moved to the moon, she was ready to start a new, quieter life teaching at Armstrong university. However, she isn’t there long before Juan McAlister, astromechanics professor and lunar independence activist is murdered. The local “security counselors” have never had to deal with a murder so they call in Carolyn and Michael Cheravik, a blunt, often offensive, former Dallas homicide detective and criminology professor, to solve the crime. However, a simple murder investigation becomes a race against time to stop a terrorist attack against earth.


The death of Juan McAlister made news on two planets, an orbiting space habitat, and of course, the Moon. His death did not make news because he was a celebrity, a politician, or a captain of industry. No, the death of Professor Juan McAlister, late of Armstrong University, made the news simply because he was a murder victim—the first murder victim on the moon in over seventy-five years of human habitation on that barren rock trapped in Earth’s orbit. On Earth, they were shocked and fascinated. On the Moon, we were shocked and embarrassed. We thought indignities such as murder only happened on our flawed mother planet. They never occurred in our more civilized community. Today, every vid-screen in the solar system told us we were wrong.

I was not watching the news. I stood where I swore I would never stand again—at a crime scene staring at a dead body. This dead body was different. All those others were bodies of strangers. This dead body was my colleague, a sometime adversary, and a friend.

I was twenty years and 384,000 kilometers away from the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico; yet, here I stood scanning my friend’s office trying once again to do the unthinkable— think like a killer.

I came to the Moon to move forward, but my advance turned into retreat, and my paradise, purgatory.

You can buy Terri's book here:

Thank you for your time, Terri, and best of luck with your book! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

fortune cookies~

Today I went out to eat at a lovely Chinese buffet.
This was what my fortune cookie said:

"He who knows he has enough is rich."

(Are you saying I ate too much??) ;)

The following belonged to the other people who were with
me. (These are exact quotes!)

"The food here taste so good, even a cave man likes it." (LOL!!!)

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things

"Fate will find a way."

"Give yourself some peace and quite for at least a few hours."

Hey, I want some peace and "quite," too! ;)

Here's hoping you have peace and "quite" today, as well! :-)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PA Dutch Pickled Eggs

This is my grandmother's recipe for "Red Beet Eggs."

It's an authentic Pennsylvania Dutch

food, that I think anyone could learn to

just love. And it's easy to make, too.

I think you would really enjoy these "Red Beet Eggs."

PA Dutch Pickled Eggs

Drain juice from 1 can sliced small

whole red beets, and combine with 1

cup vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and

1 Tsp. salt. Bring to boil and pour over

beets and 6 hard cooked eggs. Let

stand overnight.

Slice lengthwise to serve.

Optional: If desired, a stick of cinnamon

and 3 or 4 cloves may be added.


Now, I follow that recipe up to a point. I

always make a double batch (12 eggs),

but I only use a little sugar (if any). I add

Stevia for sweetener, and a little honey.

You can use something else for the

sweetener, whatever you're

comfortable with.

The eggs turn a nice pink/ purple color.

If you let them sit long enough, they change color all the way through
the white of the egg, and even into the yellow. (However, they're tasty
after 24 hours. You don't have to wait longer to eat them.)

Sometimes for this recipe, I use fresh beets, or extra vinegar. Last
time, I used ground cinnamon since I didn't have any sticks of cinnamon,
and it turned out fine. I added pepper as well, and it didn't hurt
anything. I may experiment more in the future.

Anyway, this is extremely tasty treat, authentic Pennsylvania Dutch
cooking, and very pretty to look at. It's low calorie (since it's made
from just eggs and beets), and doesn't have any gluten in it, so I can
eat as much as I want.

The eggs and beets both change flavor when pickled, and improve
immensely, I think. You might think eggs and beets don't sound good
together, but I can assure you, in this recipe, they truly are!

take care,