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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gotta Call BS on That One by Dr. Gerry Steiner Blog Tour [Guest Post]

Welcome, Today I am part of the Gotta Call BS on That One by Dr. Gerry Steiner blog tour, put together by the wonderful Tribute Books. This post is filled with a lot of stuff today; a guest post, a Q&A session, and a Giveaway! I would say this is a pretty well rounded post, and a great way for you to learn about this book and it's author. I hope you all enjoy this post and feel free to leave comments and tell me what you think. I think this will be an interesting read and I can already think of a lot of BS that makes me angry...

Gotta Call BS on That One by Dr. Gerry Steiner

Was missile defense started to save the free world or start a new empire? Do religions help us understand God or help keep God a mystery? Do schools prepare us for life or delay our lives? Does Congress help protect us or help exploit us? Has there ever been any BS involved in any of the above? Have we embraced or challenged the BS.? Could we make a difference? Would we want to make a difference?

Whether reading a newspaper, watching TV, or listening to a song, we are probably observing and absorbing a certain amount of BS. Do we recognize it, realize it, reject it or absorb it. This book provides a beginning to considering these questions. It can provide a basis for understanding, a basis for action, a cause of laughter, a foundation for tears, or some combination. This book often states the obvious, but it’s the obvious that often we collectively don’t seem to own up to. Much of the strife of life, the inequities of the world, even the causes of wars and disasters of the economy might be rooted in our collective self-deception.

The adventure starts with a reflection on a fairy tale from our childhood and one from Washington. It then joins a pair – a professor and his young assistant on an American adventure. They look at such topics as social interaction, sports professional and local, and our individual fitness. Business and education provide many examples and insights. Next, religion and science provide contrasts and similarities.

Government, politics, the legal system, and military service complete this brief trip. In each area, the presence and effects of BS are noted. The final section is devoted to the three greatest downfalls of society in the last century. They are identified and their drastic effects on our society are briefly examined. [ For Excerpts click HERE] Buy Now: | Kindle | Nook | Paperback |

Guest Post:

Have you ever wanted to stand up during a speech, lecture, sermon, advertisement and just yell. You weren’t being directly harmed or attacked.  Nothing was physically being stolen from you.  No one was demanding your mind or your money.  Just the same, you felt violated in a very real sense.  BS steals from us all.  Pretending to accept the false makes it harder to trust the authentic.

It seems very important that we know what is real and what is BS.  It is also important that those that generate BS,  (we all do some) realize that they’re not fooling anyone.  It would really mess things up if all BS were challenged and rejected, but it might be useful if it were identified and acknowledged. As I started to collect my thoughts, I was almost overwhelmed by the examples and challenges that life presents us. Almost every area of our experience is affected.  In the book I have not put much emphasis on politics. As we proceed in this election year I am sure that we will have ample opportunity to find “sterling” examples.  (Sterling BS is sort of an oxymoron!)

As we proceed we’ll need active participation to make this the best experience.  Maybe we can have some awards on the blog for different classes of BS. Your suggestions are encouraged.  As with any blog, it is your participation and our interaction that will provide the richness.

I have spent much of my life being frustrated by the BS and by the frequent pretense that the BS is reality.  Through the book and this blog I want to challenge this.  I believe most of us recognize BS when we stop and think about it.  I’ve often felt that putting up with BS is societies definition of maturity and wisdom.  I don’t think most of us really feel that way.  This is an effort to observe, laugh and possibly change. 

Throughout the book you will see a wagging finger beside the text. There was a small group of us at work that would silently use this finger wagging as means to silently, but visibly, point out BS when we see or hear it.  It would be great to establish this as a nationally recognized and accepted symbology,  It might even become an effective way of communicating our knowledge and feelings to those that provide the BS. 

Maybe we can also create a list of BS. Postulates.  The first might be: “If you wonder if it’s BS, it almost certainly is!”

Please enjoy.  Laugh at the BS, act but don’t get mad!


Please tell us about your current release.

Gotta Call BS is a first installment of the story I have continued to tell throughout my life.  I have always said what I thought and objected when I saw other playing games, especially games that affected me.  My fourth grade teacher told me I was wrong on my explanation of how to divide fractions.  At the time I still believed teachers  and it was some time before I realized I had actually been correct. 

Similar events occurred when the High School principal tried to convince me that an absence excuse slip was more important than the band practice I had gone to first.

Ten years in the Navy gave me many examples of BS but less freedom to address them.  Following that time at a University research lab, then a Navy research lab, and finally with a major defense contractor. This gave increasing evidence and examples of the bull that controls much of our life.  I never learned o really keep my mouth shut.

This book tells this story in many different areas.  It is told with the investigations and discussions of two individuals.  While guided by reality, the details are fiction, but fiction with a message.

The reader will find many things that he has always known but never said.  He might be challenged to address things ignored.   

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

The journey through life has always disturbed me by the plan that we are supposed to pretend that we don’t know what is really going on.  When you challenge things you generally loose and nothing is gained. The more successful learn to keep quiet.  That was never a real possibility for me.  This book is a first step at identifying some of the BS we all know is there with the hope of reducing its influence.  More than that it provides a chance for us to enjoy the humor that we collectively generate!

What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

I haven’t found a directly parallel book.  I started looking a lot at Why We Suck. by Dr. Denis  Leary.  I find my writing more upbeat and positive despite the BS.  It’s been a year since I read Dr. Leary, but I think my memory serves me correctly.  The book gave me ideas of what I wanted to say differently.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Some of my discussions tend to be monologues divide between the two gentlemen.  I had to work at keeping it a real conversation.  Sometimes I did give in to short monologues.

Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.

The two travelers are in Denver and are visiting churches to observe their commonality and differences.  Marv asks the secretary at the Lutheran church, “What separates them?  Don’t they all believe in the same God and the same Bible?"

The secretary responded that they need to look at the details. She mentioned that sometimes the way you prepared the bread and wine seemed more important than the service itself.

In a later discussion, science is examined.  “Well, Marv, let’s look at some specific examples to see how science is really doing.  They discuss Feynman’s claim that no one actually understands quantum mechanics.  The general observation is that science is not exempt from BS either.

Do you plan any subsequent books?

I am considering a follow-on book charting specific actions we can take to demand less BS in the world.  I am hoping that his will be fostered by many discussions in the related blogs.  I may attempt one on physics in the meantime.  This will be along the lines of challenging what we actually know and what is just theory, a possible scientific synonym for BS.

About Dr. Gerry Steiner:

Gerry Steiner has enjoyed a life that is varied in location, vocation, and activities. He started in the land of tradition and history, Hampton, Va., the oldest continuous English speaking settlement in the United States. After high school and eighteen years surrounded by history. Gerry was ready to venture away from Virginia. After considering Cornell, he caught a train to California and went to Caltech. He left Caltech after a couple years to work in seismic oil exploration. His Uncle invited Mr. Steiner to visit Asia. Gerry picked the Navy as the best way to get there. This kept him busy for ten years. A year of Navy school as an electronics technician started the process. Fortunate circumstances led him to his wife and “stability?” for the next 40 years. Gerry then finished his BS and an MS in oceanography before sailing for Vietnam, There gunfire support and chasing aircraft carriers kept him in touch with the real world. Receiving fuel and supplies at sea gave him an appreciation for close quarters’ steerage. A pleasant break provided a week in Olongapo followed by a week in Hong Kong. His wife, Marilyn joined him.

After the Navy and back in Seattle he continued his work in sonar research at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory. He started work on a PhD in electrical engineering. He made sonar measurements from an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean north of Barrow, Alaska. Two visits by polar bears approaching to 20 ft. added to the excitement Dr. Steiner moved to Ridgecrest, CA where he held a position at China Lake Naval Weapons Center. Several years in automatic target recognition included radar field measurements from Pt. Loma, San Diego. Next he started the Airborne RF Targeting Branch. Gerry also completed his doctorate in electrical engineering.

From China Lake Dr. Steiner ventured off to Denver, Colorado to join Martin Marietta. The initial year in Denver was focused on space based radar plans. A movie and a president changed his focus. The movie was Star Wars, the president was Reagan, the focus became the Strategic Defense Initiative. He spent the next decade on issues related to SDI. After the space based interceptor there was a space based laser concept. His efforts contained analysis, management, design, and testing. A couple years were spent developing a new rocket to provide a re-useable single stage to orbit vehicle. Only physics stood in the way.

Gerry’s wife was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and given six months to live. They had great times that were ended. Dr. Steiner moved to Maui five years ago. He has written this book to share his observations on how the world works and how it could work better.

Find Dr. Gerry Steiner:

There is a huge giveaway going on for twenty paperback copies of, Gotta Call BS on That One by Dr. Gerry Steiner. To enter just use the rafflecopter form below.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to Find the Right One by Charles Johnson Blog Tour [Spotlight]

Welcome to the How to find the right one & Make it last  by Charles Johnson blog tour. Are you looking for a relationship book? If so I have one to feature for you today! I'm excited to be a part of this blog tour and share this one with all of you. Love and relationships, I am there. I'm totally a hopeless romantic so I was happy to host a stop on this blog tour. Relationships aren't easy, so what is a better way to get some tips than a book, at least for the book lovers reading this. Below you will find an excerpt to get a taste of the book and a Q&A with the author to find out more about him and his book. Thank you Tribute Books for setting this up, and thank you Charles Johnson for being on my blog today.

How to Find the Right One & Make It Last! by Charles Johnson
We all want that special someone in our lives. But isn't it odd that one of life's most important lessons tends to receive the least amount of focus. It's no wonder why we have so little success attracting the love, passion, romance and fun that we all need and desire.
The problem for many busy and successful people is that they do not know where to find and meet the right partners, how to approach dating, or what it takes to build and sustain a healthy, loving relationship. To address these issues, I have taken a unique approach and have written this book about real people, like you, who struggle with finding love and the right companionship. Many who have used my techniques have been able to find happy rewarding relationships.
This book provides real world experiences and proven dating strategies and techniques. It's a guide that can be used to change your life and bring you the romance and love you've always wanted. [Goodreads]

Book Trailer:

Many people are unsuccessful in finding the "right partner" because they do not know what they are looking for in a partner. They have not spent enough time clearly defining what traits, characteristics, or features they prefer their future partner to have. Equally—if not more importantly—people also need to decide which traits they do not want in a potential partner. Let me introduce you to my friend Michael, who found himself frustrated and wondering about his future and finding the right person.
Michael had just completed graduate school in Texas. He was handsome, smart, well dressed, and equipped with a master's degree in hospital administration from one of Texas's most prestigious universities and a new high-paying job in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One night not long after graduation, Michael found himself with his old college buddies in a local bar, enjoying a night of drinks and hoping to find a great woman to be with.
After Michael surveyed the bar scene, he quickly realized this could end up being his daily personal life going forward. He had already achieved great scholastic and initial career success but found his life lacking in the personal area. He started talking to himself, saying, "Am I going to spend the rest of my life looking at barflies, hoping to find the right woman to complete my life and raise a family with?" Michael suddenly became depressed and quickly realized he was going to have to put some serious time into his personal life if he was going to escape the life of a single professional who cruised the bars nightly, looking for someone special. He knew he needed to sit down and determine exactly what he was looking for in a woman and where best to find her. 
He did not want just anyone; he wanted someone special to love and spend the rest of his life with. Michael knew he wasn't about to find that kind of woman in the bars he and his friends frequented. Michael identified the traits and qualities that were important to him and ended up getting back together with his college sweetheart. He realized that she had everything he was looking for. He married her after recognizing she would complete his dreams, love him faithfully, enhance his life, and build the family he imagined. 
The moral of this story is quite simple: Michael took the time to discover what he didn't want, which made it much easier to determine what he did want in a partner—and then he could make the right decision in his selection. 
So many people make the mistake of trying to find the right partner before they determine what they are really looking for. You have to start by doing a little homework—nothing too difficult or time-consuming but something that will improve your search and selection efforts by at least tenfold. With that kind of increase in your chances for success, isn't it worth doing a little up-front work? You do it all the time in your job, so why not do it in your personal life as well?


Please tell us about your current release.
For the millions of singles around the world who have struggled to find the right one or to maintain a lasting relationship, my book, “How to Find the Right One & Make it Last,” provides a tutorial on the lost art of dating.  “How to Find the Right One and Make it Last: Bring Love and Romance Back to Dating” offers practical advice for both men and women about how to initiate interaction as well as how to respond in various dating situations.
In addition to the book, I created a website,, where my readers can have easy access to relationship advice and personal coaching at any time.
I have been officially and unofficially helping clients and colleagues find personal success. Over the years, I have developed a proven set of principles and concepts that have helped singles looking for love not only find their ideal life partner, but also to keep the relationship fresh and thriving.
Over the years, I have watched my colleagues work incredibly hard to achieve professional success, but often struggle to find that same level of success in their personal lives. By applying the same discipline from their professional development to fine-tuning their dating skills, these colleagues transformed their lives and found the personal fulfillment that had previously been so elusive.
My book provides step-by-step guidance starting with how an individual can make small changes in their personal style and appearance or to their daily routine to improve the odds of finding their ideal partner. I walk readers through the first call, planning the perfect date, and what to say and do on the date.  Everything first starts with a clear idea of what each individual is looking for – as well as what they’re not – to provide a guide along the way. 
The principles don’t stop once a match has been made.  The book provides advice for nurturing relationships for the long run.  By walking readers through the seven phases of relationships, I explain how and why they change over time and how to keep them growing strong.

I draw on personal experience, primary research, and the stories of more than 500 singles I’ve connected and 118 who I’ve helped marry and continue to help. I’ve have peppered their stories throughout the book to highlight the principles in action. 
Also included is a chapter to help unravel the mystery of Internet dating sites. I outline practical guidance on how to get the most out of the Internet dating site as well as what to be weary of when using the various sites. 
Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

As a corporate senior executive I had the responsibility of taking new young talent and developing them into executives. For 15 years, I groomed hundreds of men and women in the boardroom and thought them the principals that would help them achieve all their professional and financial goals. I was honored and enjoyed mentoring them and watched their careers grow. But, I discovered, as my successful executives matured they would turn to me for guidance in their personal lives. Most of them who were in their early 30’s had achieved all their financial goals but lacked a personal life and wanted someone special with whom they could share their life. Many of them had been so focused on building their professional skills that they lacked the social and personal skills required to connect with someone special. That was the beginning of my unofficial matchmaking business. Over the years, I mentored my up and coming executives and helped them first determine what to look for in a partner and then helped them execute a plan of action. I would run social scenarios and conduct role-play to help them become more confident in social environments. I’ve worked with over 500 people and been able to connect and help marry 118 couples. And, to this day I continue to help the couples to keep their relationship alive and fresh.

When I left the corporate world five years ago, many of the people I mentored and their friends still called for guidance. I decided to write a book that would help everyone in similar situations to give them a starting point to change their personal life and give them a road-map to “How to Find the Right One & Make it Last.”

Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?

I wanted to have the book cover to convey an emotion in people. We wanted the book cover to convey passion and we chose the burnt orange as the color for the cover of the book because it’s the color of fire.

What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

I cannot think of a book that is anything like the book I’ve written. In my years of mentoring and matchmaking I found that there was nothing in the market that gave single people practical tools and a step-by-step guide in how to find the right person and make their relationships last. I found that many professional adults needed to learn the skills and gain the confidence that would improve their dating prospects and I don’t believe there is anything in the market to help them. That’s part of the reason I decided to write the book. Finding the right person that will be a life partner is a process and no author has ever written about that process.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I am a retired Air Force and senior vice president from the corporate world. My writing style and quirk is my ability to write in a very conversational and relatable manner.

Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening?

I’m on page 32 where I describe how one can meet quality people by taking a dance class. People always wonder where they can meet new people who can be potential partners. I always tell my clients to change their routine. One way to do that is to take a dance class in your local community college or dance studio.

Do you plan any subsequent books?

I am currently working on a workbook that will be an extension of “How to Find the Right One & Make it Last!”

I am also working on a teen book based on a similar topic.

Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it?

I am re-reading “You Can Heal Your Life,” by Louise Hay. The book gives people great insight into how they can change their life and make it the life they always imagined. It helped me re-invent my life and myself after leaving corporate America. Using the principles in Hay’s book, I have been able to take my experience from my military and corporate life and show people how to be successful in their personal lives and relationships.

About Charles:
After more than 20 years in the military and 16 in a corporate environment, Charles Johnson found another calling in life. In both the Air Force as well the many companies he founded or worked in, Charles managed and mentored diverse teams across Europe, Asia and North America. But he wasn’t your typical corporate manager. 
Charles always focused more on the whole person and how to help those who worked with and around him find balance and achieve both personal and professional success. He found that he was helping people not only get well-deserved promotions or the financial recognition for their work, but he also helped them identify and realize what makes them happy. 
Helping others create a life and a lifestyle where their happiness is a priority and life balance is the primary goal became Charles’ new life work. He became a certified life coach and author and has dedicated himself to helping single people find and select the right life and marriage partners and make it last. 
Surrounded by three sisters and eight female cousins, Charles had a significant female influence growing up. With the knowledge he gleaned from that experience, he spent the last 25 years coaching and mentoring hundreds of single professionals and up-and-coming, career-minded men and women -- including his own four daughters. He found himself providing guidance to help these otherwise successful individuals improve their personal confidence by updating their image, polishing their social skills and providing insight into the art of establishing and maintaining relationships. 
Charles has connected and helped hundreds of couples find marriage or committed partners and coaches them on how to make relationships last. He has been married for more than 33 years and three of his four daughters are now married. 
Charles has found happiness and balance in his own life as well, pursuing his passions as an avid traveler, photography enthusiast, art collector and a supporter of various charitable causes. He enjoys basketball, football and tennis. His greatest passion is writing about hope and how people can achieve their dreams and still have a balanced and complete life.

Find Charles:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Victorious Woman by Annmarie Kelly Blog Tour [Guest Post]

Today I have a special guest post on my blog for the Victorious Woman by Annmarie Kelly blog tour. The author agreed to give me a post about cancer which is good timing since this month is Childhood cancer awareness month. This story isn't about a child with cancer but the cancer part is close enough.  I'm always interested in stuff that has to do with cancer because I want to  become a nurse and help people with cancer. This book isn't all about cancer though, it is about Strong woman dealing with different difficult situations and coming out on top and that is a great kind of book, for a woman at least. Here is a big welcome for Annmarie Kelly and her book Victorious Woman, thank you for giving me a special guest post.

Victorious Woman! by Annmarie Kelly

Real Women – Real Stories – Real Challenges – Real Victories

What’s a woman to do? If she makes a bad choice or gets thrown one of life's curveballs, is she forever doomed?

Author Annmarie Kelly says "NO!" and proves it with compelling real life stories of women who faced and overcame seemingly overwhelming life challenges. This powerfully moving book overflows with intelligence, understanding, emotion and true grit.

Kelly explains victory as the stretch you make out of your comfort zone and into the greater, fuller expression of who you really are – your authentic self. She demonstrates victory by taking you inside the lives of nine distressed women and showing you how they became victorious. You are likely to recognize something of yourself woven in each of these stories; each one will inspire and encourage you to forge your own victory over whatever is challenging you right now. At the end of each woman’s chapter you’ll find soul-searching questions that you must ask yourself to insure your own victories.

Author Kelly concludes the stories with a "lessons learned" chapter. Gleaning the best from each Victorious Woman, from the many other women she interviewed and from her own intriguing life challenges, Kelly describes the FOUR LIFESTYLES that either support you in victory or sabotage you, and the SIX SKILLS every woman has to learn to be in control of her SELF. She also gives you, her readers, the Victorious Woman Model to help you figure out what you need at different stages of challenges. The result is a book that is part inspiration, part motivation and part skill building. Some have called Victorious Woman "a blueprint for life" and "a practical approach to taking control of your life."

Since its first publication, many women say that they keep Victorious Woman! on their book shelf for reference or on their nightstand for comfort at the end of a long day. This "celebration of life" is an encouraging and enlightening read for women who want to create their own personal and professional victories.

Book Trailer:

Guest Post:

Patti Painter is a quiet powerhouse of a woman.

Her backstory: Patti was married to a man with whom she had three children. She thought she had a “normal” life but then she found out that there was another woman – and that woman had been around for most of her marriage. She divorced and he moved to another state. She raised her children as a single parent, getting a job with a large Delaware company and going back to school. By the time she married Tom, both their children were teens and they had a couple interesting “blended family” years. One by one the kids left and she was looking forward to the empty nest with Tom.

Patti was always diligent about “doing her regulars” – mammogram, pap, etc. One year, when she was in her mid-fifties, all the results were bad. She was diagnosed with multiple cancers, including cervical and colon (which her mother died from). She was in and out of the hospital for over a year, one surgery after the other.

Patti compared and contrasted those two experiences, infidelity and cancer, and said, “You don’t die from desertion, even though you think sometimes you might want to die. When you have a diagnosis of cancer, you definitely know that there is the possibility that you could die…it was certainly the greater threat.”

It was a long haul for Patti, but she’s doing well now. She easily could be retired be an empty nester and grandmom. But she felt there was more for her to do. For a while after cancer, she did some public speaking and singing (her passion). But those morphed into a life reinvention as a wedding celebrant. She works mostly in the mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. and LOVES what she does.

Because we’re only one state apart, I meet Patti for lunch from time to time. We usually talk about business and she often inspires me with her wisdom and good thoughts. She still pays attention to her “regulars” but she’s been cancer-free for over ten years! Her wedding business takes her to interesting places with interesting people, and grows more and more each year (

About Annmarie:

Author Annmarie Kelly is a professional speaker, workshop leader and victory strategist, who has firsthand knowledge of the transformative power which determination and motivation, the stuff of victory, can have in a person’s life.

Growing up in her Italian-Catholic home, Kelly wasn’t a natural go getter but rather a shy and introverted girl – a “good girl” who felt invisible and insignificant and powerless to deal with family problems including alcoholism, sibling abuse and mental illness.

In her early twenties, a broken engagement and her father’s reaction to it, caused Annmarie to look at her life and where she was going. After a couple “dark” years, she realized she had a purpose but that she was following a path that would only give her more of what she already had: disappointments, regrets and lost opportunities. Annmarie understood that she needed to make a change; she decided to start on a new track.

Through the rest of her twenties and thirties, step-by-step, she changed the way she thought about herself and her future, set major goals, and let go of many of the limitations that were holding her back, from kicking the undesired habits of smoking cigarettes and being a couch potato to getting honest about her own sabotaging behaviors. She also let go of people and environments that became obstacles to her efforts.

While leaving the comfort of the familiar for something better was what she wanted, it wasn’t easy. But in time the effort paid off. The decisions Annmarie made then have enabled her to BE more and DO more than she ever thought she could and HAVE more of the kind of life that, on her old path, would only have been a dream.

Not content to keep that kind of empowerment and success to herself, Annmarie Kelly has made it her life’s mission to help other women find the same confidence, inner power, and most importantly the “feminine victory” within. Whatever she does, whether she’s speaking, teaching, writing, blogging or coaching, she shows women just how much power they have over their own lives, encourages them to LIVE VICTORIOUSLY - out loud and in living color – and shows them the skills they need to do it!

Annmarie Kelly owns and manages SkillBuilder Systems, a training and development firm specializing in management development and communication skills. She is also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project which focuses on the information, resources and skill building which help women empower themselves so they can live their best life.

Annmarie is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTDPhl), The Press Club PA and the National Association of Female Executives.

Her services include:

- Keynotes for Corporate Events and Association Conferences

- Training Workshops (SmartWoman@Work and New Beginnings)

- Retreats

- Seminars, Teleseminars, Webinars

- Individual coaching

- Group coaching (Victory Teams)

Annmarie Kelly is available for interviews in the Greater Philadelphia area, New York, Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC, and by phone anywhere.

Find Annmarie:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Opal by Jennifer Armentrout COVER REVEAL

Today I am super excited to be a part of the Opal by Jennifer Armentrout cover reveal. Not only is the cover revealed today but the book blurb is also being revealed. This is enough to send Lux series lovers running around jumping up and down and screaming. I may have done one or all of those things and more. I cannot begin to explain how excited I am about this book. I absolutely loved Obsidian, Shadows and Onyx and have been dying to get my hands on the next book. If you haven't read these books yet STOP whatever you are doing and go read Obsidian NOW. No seriously, go read it now. Well maybe after you finish reading this post. Book bloggers can appreciate that Katy is a blogger, I know that made me excited. There is also this gorgeous drool worthy guy named Daemon, I may be in love, just saying. I can go on and on about how awesome this series is but I will stop since you probably just want to get to the part where you get to see the cover. I would love to hear your thoughts on this gorgeous cover, leave some love at the end of this post.

Without further ado, the Opal  cover Reveal!

Opal by Jennifer Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

About Jennifer:

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn Blog tour [Spotlight]

Welcome! Today my blog is a stop on the Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn blog tour. Tribute Books has set up this blog tour, and as always it is a pleasure to work with them. For this tour I'm hosting  a spotlight which includes the book blurb, excerpt and questions and answers with the author. This book sounds interesting, once I have more time I will have to check it out. I'm happy to enjoy the excerpt with all of you until I get to read it.

Back To Bataan by Jerome Charyn

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

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Mauricette told Harriet Godwin I was the pig of the class. I had treated her like garbage. Mauricette wouldn't answer my phone calls. She wouldn't read the notes I dropped inside her desk. But Arturo Fink kept reminding her who she was. “Fiancée,” he said. “Jack’s fiancée.”

I promised myself I wouldn't write anymore compositions, but how could I graduate from Dr. Franklin's class and join General MacArthur?

It felt lonely without a fiancée.

Mauricette began seeing Barnaby Rosenstock after school. They were holding hands and having chocolate malteds at the Sugar Bowl on Seventy-ninth Street. Fat Arturo was eating two ice-cream sodas. The Sugar Bowl is our hangout. It’s the official candy store of Dutch Masters Day School. I didn’t have money for ice-cream sodas. I didn’t have money for malteds. I'd buy a Hershey bar or some Chuckles once a week. I'd peek at the comic book rack and wonder what was happening to Captain Marvel or the Sub-Mariner. Marvel and the Sub-Mariner were already at war, fighting Japs. And when Mauricette was still my fiancée, I'd sit with her over a glass of water and treat her to some candy whenever I could. But now she was sucking malteds with Barnaby Rosenstock. I could hear her from my corner, next to the comic book rack.

“Oh, Jack Dalton,” she said. “He has a wild imagination. He likes to fling words around. He thinks half the school is going to marry him.”

She didn’t have to shame me in front of her friends. Arturo was laughing into his fat cheeks. Barnaby had a chocolate rainbow on his lips. I didn’t even bother with the comic books. Marvel would have to fight the Japs without me. I walked home.

Mama was at the factory. She makes parachutes. Sometimes she’d bring home a little piece of silk left over from one of the chutes. That's how I get my handkerchiefs. Not even Arturo with all his father’s money has a handkerchief of genuine silk. But handkerchiefs couldn’t make me feel good. Silk is only silk. I wondered about the American fliers who had their planes shot down and had to fall into the dark wearing some of that silk.

I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. It didn't seem important when you considered all the Japs and Germans out there. I hope General MacArthur takes me with him to Bataan. I’m not asking for a Purple Heart. I'm only asking to kill Japs. And if I have to die, I want to die near my dad...

Mama came home at seven. The streets from my window looked so dark, I thought the world had gone gray. I didn’t care. I wouldn’t mind going to school after midnight.

“Darling,” Mama said, “what’s wrong?”

I couldn't tell her how I lost a fiancée, because she would have figured I was insane.

“Mama, I’m blue...that's all.”

“You’re still dreaming of the Army, aren’t you? We'll have dinner and listen to the radio, my little blue boy.”

We had soup and bread and boiled potatoes and peas out of a can. It’s not Mama’s fault if meat is rationed and sugar is rationed. No one can inherit ration stamps, not even the President or Arturo’s dad.

We listened to Jack Benny. He played the violin and talked about the Japs. Mama laughed, because Jack Benny is the biggest miser in the world. He would never spend a nickel. But he told everybody to buy war bonds.

“What about you, Mr. Benny?”

Mama told me it was time for bed.

I put on my pajamas. But I didn't feel like sleeping. I dialed Mauricette’s number and let the telephone ring. Somebody picked up the phone.

“It’s me,” I said. “Jack Dalton. Your former fiancé. Coco, are you there? I wanted to—”

Mauricette hung up. And I wondered who was lonelier. The dead cowboys on Bataan, or young Jack Dalton.

Q&A with Jerome Charyn

Q: What are your thoughts on the explosion of popularity concerning the YA genre?

A: I think it might very well be that it started with Harry Potter, that young adult writers are trying to tell good stories and adults have moved into that kind of dream.

Q: You are the master of writing across a realm of different genres, what excites you about connecting with different audiences?

A: I’m not so sure that these are different audiences, I think we all love stories, whether we’re children or great-grandfathers, and when you move from genre to genre you are still telling a story like Scheherazade - and the king is always waiting for the next tale.

Q: Your writing is so precise, yet evocative - how do you work at crafting your unique style of prose?

A: Everything begins and ends with the word, with the music of the sentence and as Tolstoy once said, “I’m always composing.”

Q: Being a published author for nearly 50 years, what do you think of eBooks?
I think that this is a kind of logical step as we move from the internet into eBooks. 

A: Publishing is changing even as we speak. I think there now will be a more complicated dance between the eBook and the printed book, and as we’ve seen recently, successes in eBooks allow the author to move into print.

Q: What would be your advice to young people who aspire to a literary career?

A: It’s not worth the money – only write if you’re absolutely in love with it.

Q: How much of your life is in Back to Bataan? How did you personally experience New York during World War II?

A: I think so much of the source of my writing comes from my childhood, I grew up during the War  - so many of the terrors and the magic of certain films have remained with me.  And all of this appears in the character of Jack.

Q: Your older brother was a detective. Did your experiences with him influence the plot?

A: Not really, I think all writing is crime writing. And Back to Bataan is a crime novel with a very original twist.

Q: Why did you decide to include the fascination with the famous as a theme - Gary Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.?

A: These people were heroes to me as a child, particularly Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of the most extraordinary women who ever lived, and of course as a child I fell in love with Gary Cooper’s face and with his very slow drawl, that seemed so exotic to me.

Q: Jack finds acclaim through his writing, yet feels guilty for exploiting other people (Mrs. Fink). How does a writer starting out work to bridge this gap?

A: You’re always cannibalizing other people and writers when you start to write, so it’s natural that Jack should be a young cannibal.

Q: How important is the New York Times in your own life? Why did you decide to make it a form of connection between Jack and the Leader?

A: As a child, I didn’t even know that the Times existed – I grew up in a neighborhood without newspapers and books, so that when I first fell upon the New York Times, I was very very greedy, and wanted to include it in Jack’s middle-class life.

About Jerome:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

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