Wednesday, August 29, 2012

David Stearman
I’ve always loved hummingbirds. There’s something mystical about them. Maybe it has to do with their diminutiveness, or their seemingly spiritual manner of movement, I don’t know, but I’ve always found them captivating. I feed them. I photograph them. I study them. As a result of all this, my new novel Hummingbird has just been released. The back-cover blurb goes like this:
“She feels like a misfit. Who is she? Where does she belong? Is she Lexa, Alexandra, or someone else?
Forced to commit a crime, she flees south of the Border–and a vindictive bounty hunter follows her.
Will she escape? Find redemption? Learn who she really is and where she belongs?
The answer lies hidden in a tiny seaside village where wandering hummingbirds rest their wings.”
Here’s the video trailer:
Now you might ask, what does a book about a criminal-on-the-run doing on Gay’s blog? Here’s the answer: my protagonist Lexa’s life, and the little coastal town in which she lives, changes dramatically through her interaction with hummingbirds (not to mention the eighteen-foot shark she adopts and names “M.C. Hammerhead.”) In fact, Lexa’s life becomes entwined with them to the degree that the villagers begin calling her Colibrí, which is Spanish for you-know-what bird.
So if you like Hummingbirds, feel free to check this story out. It’s a sometimes sweet, sometimes scary, always uplifting read I think you’ll enjoy. You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks etc. Here’s the Amazon link:
David Stearman

Ministry Website:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest blogger: Pola Muzyka

Hi there, fiction suspense lovers. My name is Pola Muzyka and I've been writing on-the-edge novels for quite some time now. Two of these novels are set to release this year in four volumes. Find them at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and ebook stores throughout the world.

The release began with Abducted to Kill, Volume I, The Terror Regime. Purchase at Amazon: or Barnes & Noble or other fine ebooks stores.

See what AssistNews press has to say about me and my work:

Be on the lookout for three more books planned to release before fall falls. They are: Abducted to Kill, Volume II, Sleeper Cells; The Freedom Inside, Volume I, Delicate Cargo, and The Freedom Inside, Volume II, Sober Vigilance.
Today, I write about strongholds, but my life wasn't always this intense--it was worst. As an actress, model, and producer I was on the edge most of the time, so naturally my writing follows suit--it keeps you moving forward. My books, Stronghold Smasher Suspense, where faith and hope shine a light on evil, unravel some of the basic laws of spiritual defence. Hope you'll delve into them and discover how others overcome evil and how you, too, can be prepared for the unnatural disasters of this world while you learn about the world that lies beyond.

Okay, now onto the good stuff: I'm going to share something with you that may surprise you--I was raised on a sheep farm. My mother loves animals and if she didn't marry Dad, she probably would have become a vet. She would take out grubs from rabbits chewing at our lettuce, nurse lambs rejected by their mother in the back of our coal stove, bandage wounded birds and keep them safe until they could fly again, take splinters out of the paws of dogs, cats, and sometimes us when we were small. She would walk down our country road with three or four sheep, cat, dog, and chickens following. Course we tagged along as well--there were four of us, and we were dubbed, the Muzyka animal parade. Mom lives alone now, but not without an animal or two tugging at her pant leg. She keeps fish in a bowl and large pond on the property, feeds the birds more than they need, and even has a horse or two trotting through the grounds every now and then.

Life on the farm may have ended for me but life living with animals never ended. Even today, as I write, a little squirrel or chipmonk comes up to my window and peeks in as if to say, "come and play today". Hmmm. He's not speaking to me, but to my cat. If he only knew. Tuxedo would love to play, too, but not as he expects.

Hope you animal lovers can find the time to get a copy of my books and the books of my friend, Gay, who is posting this blog. Thanks for reading my work. God bless all y'all--that's Georgian for all of you. Until next time, by from Pola, Tuxedo, squirrelly and chipmunk.--Pola Muzyka

Pola Muzyka
Visit Writer's Notes by PolaOr visit POLA'S BLOG, Stronghold SmashersAbducted to KIill� The Freedom Inside
Stronghold Smasher Suspense--where faith and hope shine a light on evil.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Cat and Corn on the Cob

My Cat And Corn On The Cob

I love corn on the cob.  I especially love it when my brother-in-law buys it, my mother-in-law shucks and silks it, and all that is left for me is a quick 4 minute boil.  Yes, only 4 minutes is needed to bring this wonderful creation of God to its perfect point of consumption.  In my opinion, corn on the cob is the perfect addition to most any meal.  Show up at my house around dinner time, and you run a fairly good chance of having this tasty treat.
While eating on the sofa one evening, our cat, Carson, found the smell of corn on the cob to be quite interesting.  He came up to my plate, sniffed, and decided to stick around for a few minutes.  This is unusual for a cat.  Most cats are not interested in any item for an extended period of time, so his interest in my corn intrigued me.  When I looked away for a moment, he actually tried to retrieve the corn from my plate!  I was shocked.  He has never shown interest in table food.  Being the loving mother I am (just ask me – I’ll tell you!), I gave him the cob.  Oh my goodness did he have fun.  He took it to the front door rug, flipped it in the air, rolled it on the rug, chewed its wonderful remains, and smiled.  Yes, he smiled.  He was so happy with a corn cob!  Who would have guessed?
I think we can learn from Carson and his corn cob fun.  He didn’t require a store bought cat toy.  He didn’t even require a fresh ear of corn.  He was quite content with the cob only.  I hope I am good at enjoying life as much as Carson is at enjoying corn cobs.  Life is full of wonderful opportunities to stop, smile, laugh, and show enthusiasm.  Think about that this week.  Find the good.  Find the happy.  Find the unexpected.  Toss something in the air and laugh.  It feels SO GOOD!  Come back next week and Listen To My Brain Rattle.

Carol Howell is from Rock Hill, South Carolina.  Her book, If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts?, is available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kitten Love

Life is a bit of a struggle these days as I run my gentle-lady’s farm by myself.  The grass keeps growing; the horses keep eating but can’t gorge down enough grass to begin to keep the pastures tidy.  I’m trying to be true to my truck patch engulfed in weeds, but writing, riding, mucking horse stalls, fixing fence, and dealing with other things that go wrong here on a daily basis is getting in the way of “putting up” my specialty garden produce such as salsa, spaghetti sauce, and sauerkraut.  But I’m trying as best I can and am adamant that all the summer work here won’t get the best of me.

            The other day as I was mowing around the horse pastures with the farm tractor,  I noticed something black amidst the sea of green.  What is that? I thought, shocked.  The mower continued to purr, slicing the stalks behind, and I stopped the tractor and squinted at the dark lump.  A black and white kitten, no larger than a Campbell soup can, lay there.    I jumped from the cab, leaned over the fence, and scooped the kitten into my arms.  He  looked up at me with pitiful, glassy eyes.  It’s backbone protruded.  I ran down the driveway, into the house, and set him on the kitchen counter, where he lay, looking drawn and disoriented.

            Always prepared for a kitten or wildlife emergency, I went to the freezer for the KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer), which had always come in handy for raising baby raccoons and abandoned kittens that people dumped at my door.  This kitten had been left just inside my horse pasture—in the hot sun.  Had I not noticed it, the poor soul would have died there overnight or been carried away by a night creature as a meal.  Thank goodness I had seen it.  In minutes the kitten was sucking frantically on the titty bottle I had had tucked away in the medicine cabinet.

            Afterwards, I wiped the kittie’s face, lay him on a blanket, readied a litter box, and walked back down the driveway to finish mowing.  And then I had a fleeting thought: There’s never one kitten in a litter.  Where’s the rest of them?  Dread washed over me: I couldn’t afford to add one more animal to my critter family until the divorce was settled.  What if more kittens needed my help?  How would I afford them?

            Before I got back into the tractor cab, I looked up and down the fence line on the inside of the split-rail fencing.  My guts sank: two more kittens curled together on a pile.  So, I ran them into the house, fed them, and lay them next to the other kitten. 
            As I continued with my mowing, I wondered who had planted those kittens in the pasture next to where I had been mowing.  Surely the culprit had seen me driving around, had noticed that as I drove I had to keep an eye on the fence-line so as not to hit it with my wheels or the finish mower behind.  Whoever the kitten dumper was knew that I’d be looking in that direction and would probably notice the black kitten-lumps amidst the green, like red rescue rafts amid the blue ocean. 

            And whoever left those kittens for me to raise had a decent heart—a soft spot for those babies, so vulnerable, so weak, so undeserving of death by drowning or being taken to a kill-shelter.  Whoever it was knew that I would sustain them and allow them life, even at my own expense.

            That afternoon as I was taking a break on my swing, a truck pulled into the driveway.  A man carrying a white plastic bucket stepped out.  He said, “I have something for you?”  I didn’t recognize him.  I stood up, went up to him, and he tilted the bucket for me to see inside: two more kittens.  I looked at the guy, cursed him—a total stranger.  After all, I wasn’t the local humane shelter, and now my kitten stash would add another five cats to my already burgeoning feline crew.  But I knew if I’d refuse them, he’d probably leave them somewhere to die an excruciating death.  So, I reached into the bucket and took them into the house.

            Over the past week, my five charges have thrived under my care.  In fact, two of the kittens found a good, loving indoor home, thanks to other good-hearted angel-people.  The other three remain with me and always will if I cannot find good homes for them. 

            No one—not any human or any creature—should suffer a life unloved or uncared for.  Existing without love is worse than having a leaky roof or little food.  No one should have to endure lovelessness.  I believe it is that concept that the owner of the kittens realized, and that realization prodded him or her to place them at my doorstep.  And my dear friend, Terri, who put out feelers to her relatives and to their friends realizes, too, that all creatures deserve love and a chance at life.  I am so grateful for having a wonderful friend like Terri in my life, one who cares and loves innocent creatures.  And I’m lucky to have met, through her, a whole team of good folks who came together to make good things happen for these kittens.
            Thank you, Terri and Steve, Brandy and Joe, and Christen and Ryan for caring about and carrying out this kitten adoption.  Your actions will not go unrewarded.  Those kittens will continue to entertain you and love you in return for many years.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What is Dystopian Literature?

When I set out to write the America II trilogy, I wasn’t thinking in terms of a genre, especially not a genre within a genre. Sci-fi-speculative-futuristic-political-thriller-dystopian and all those labels were something I hadn’t anticipated. I merely entertained the idea: If societal trends that exist today continue full speed ahead, what would the world look like in 2073?
Then someone reviewed my book and called it dystopian. Someone else said it reminded them a little of Hunger Games, a book I hadn’t even read. I’ve heard other writers refer to their book in the same manner. So I did some research, and sure enough, America II falls within the definition of Dystopian Literature, although, it really is vastly different than Hunger Games, though it does contain some of the elements commonly seen in Dystopian books.

With the onset of the wildly popular The Hunger Games, dystopian literature is now the fastest growing preference in young adult fiction. Some experts argue the reason is because today’s young people are disaffected with today’s culture. They see little hope on the horizon.

Such was the climate of George Orwell’s 1984, written in 1948, a poignant story of a totalitarian government, a few years following the end of World War II. People were frightened of the growth of communism as well as the advent of the Atomic bomb. Hysteria and fear were rampant. World War II vets, returning from their service, could not get jobs.

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, written post World War II, also explores this loss of hope in the world as it is an allegory of the fall of mankind. Narnia was once Utopia (The Garden of Eden) but became Dystopia, ruled by an evil Snow Queen.

With a stagnant economy, housing crunch, and wide unemployment, not just in America but world-wide, I wonder if we have not grown into another aura of paranoia regarding our future.  Hence, the resurgent popularity of Dystopian topics.

Dystopia is derived from the Ancient Greek and means a bad place. By definition, Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia which is a derivative of the Greek word meaning place and sounds like the English homophone (eutopia) which is derived from the Greek to mean good or well. In combination then, Utopia, has come to mean a good place. Utopia is often thought of as Heaven on earth, paradise today, where the world lives in peace and no one dies of hunger. Where there is no such thing as crime. In the classic, The Time Machine, a scientist creeps into the future to see if the world can cure its ills. He stumbles upon a seeming Utopia until he realizes human beings are being raised as food for underground monsters.

According to Wikipedia, Dystopian literature has these in common: idea of a society, generally of a speculative future, characterized by negative, anti-utopian elements, varying from environmental to political and social issues.
Most Dystopian themes will characterize society as oppressive or totalitarian. While the world seems dark and unappealing to the reader, the minor characters or society sees nothing wrong with the way things are. There is generally a character or characters that is dissatisfied and wants things to change. Therein is the conflict, the character pitted against society, like Don Quixote, flailing his sword at windmills.
Other classic dystopian literature includes: Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and The Iron Heel.
Unlike most Dystopian themes, and more like Chronicles of Narnia, America II: The Reformation offers hope for an improved society. It also reminds the reader of God’s continued interest and involvement in the affairs of His creation.

A native of Central New York, Linda Rondeau met and married Steve Rondeau, her best friend in life, and managed a career in human services before tackling professional writing. After thirty-four years of marriage, they have relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, leaving rural America to live in a city of one million.

While writing is her greatest passion, the more favorable temperatures of Florida allow her to follow another great passion--golf.
Linda is the wife of one patient man, the mother of three, and the grandmother of nine.
An award winning author, L.W. Rondeau first book, The Other Side of Darkness (written under Linda Wood Rondeau), released Fall 2012, and won the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel. America II: The Reformation is L.W.’s debut sci-fi book and is the first of a futuristic, political thriller trilogy. A prequel is planned in the form of serial editions.
America II: TheReformation is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
You can reach L.W. through Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Linked In. Soon to be on PInterest. 
Or visit L.W.’s website:
            This Daily Grind