Saturday, January 19, 2013

A whole bunch of us entered into some writing contests around Halloween. Some time after the contest started we all thought it was a good idea to turn them into a book. All of the contest entries became part of quite a compilation of short stories and here it is for free.

It is also up on Amazon but there it is 99 cents.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Island of Secrets by Tammie Clarke Gibbs

This is one of the featured books of the blog hop.

I was going to look up my review on Amazon but its been removed. The one I put up on Goodreads is still there though so I looked that one up and here it is:

4* This book has some very interesting concepts, not exactly sure I would call it time travel. Its more living in two different times and there are times I wish I could do that.
My wife, Brandy, when she read it more recently she didn't get some of it though. Don't think she's read much of anything with time travel in it. She also liked the sweet romance (not as much my thing though) that builds between the main characters and the fact there wasn't any explicit sex in the book. Both of us had to agree that it's a good, clean romance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From the wild African adventures of Dame Daphne Sheldrick to my very own Facebook page

This is not a tip of the hat to how Facebook has become an expedient facilitator for good, keeping us informed and connected. This is a tale of how small efforts from ordinary people can transform the world and in turn, transform the transformer.

We are all aware of electric names on the world stage that easily draw attention to their noble pursuits; Bono, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, etc. Their efforts are always accompanied by great fanfare and noisy attention, bringing the needed awareness to their cause. They are stars.

Let me tell you about another star. She certainly didn't start out that way as she grew up in the wilds of the colonial days of East Africa. Her family members were expats from Scotland who settled in Kenya when it was still raw and untamed. As she grew up and fell in love, she followed her first husband and then second husband wherever their careers with the Kenya Wildlife Service took them. That led her to the kind of unique wildlife relationships an animal lover could only dream of. To her, it was a normal life as she learned all she could about the emergency care of anguished creatures that befell the vulgarities of the life and death struggles needed to stay clear of the African food chain. Worse yet, the deadly two-legged predators that plagued her beloved elephants.

Decade after decade saw the slaughter of mature tuskers, herd matriarchs and new moms that left their orphans calves, some only days old, to huddle in shock against the cooling carcasses of moms with massive holes in their faces, where today, chain saws hack away the ivory tusks that are a siren’s call to poachers anxious to sell to the Asian world the precious ivory nature gave the elephants to help them survive. Is there any more tragic irony than this?

Out of this adversity, Mrs. Sheldrick, a quiet Kenyan wilderness bushwife, patiently and with many tears, rescued hundreds of her beloved babies, one at a time.

Today, she is herself, the matriarch of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, named in memory of her beloved husband that tended many an orphaned baby with her.

My husband and I had the distinct pleasure to stumble on the successful orphanage over a decade ago on our first trip to Africa, when we fell in love with a tiny baby named Wendi. Wendi is the inspiration for the character of Tobi, the self-sacrificing elderly matriarch in my fourth Book, titled Hive in the series, Species Intervention #6609.

On Amazon:
Armageddon ComethBabyEchoHive

Today, the Sheldrick Trust is known world-wide for their hand-rearing of orphan elephants and rhinos. Hundreds of individuals all over the world have adopted orphans just as my husband and I did so long ago. Many of you may be familiar with Dame Daphne’s work through her many appearances on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic, The Elephant Diaries shown on Animal Planet or the 3D Warner Brothers film, Born to be Wild, shown across the world in IMAX theaters and science museums.

My husband and I had one further honor. We were invited in 2006 to attend the reception for Dame Daphne in London at The Royal Air Force Club after she was made Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. Quite an honor for a woman that started out as a wilderness bushwife with a developing passion for elephants and rhinos.

We all will most likely live our lives quite differently from Dame Daphne. Our worlds are different, our responsibilities are more mundane, our spheres of influence smaller. But even in our small worlds, I see real stars. And so do you, even if you don’t recognize them. They are in your community, at your jobs and your churches. Your children went to school with their children. Maybe you went to school with them. Maybe they are even on your Facebook page.

Let me tell you about a few of the stars on my Facebook page. They post a lot. Some say too much. Some turn away and say, “Don’t depress me.” Some are touched by their posts and give verbal support. Some give desperately needed money. And some cry. I’m one of those that cry. How can anyone look into the eyes of a skeletal dog that was beaten, starved and abandoned without chocking up? These stars of my Facebook page go on the front line every day to confront some of the worst victims of evil human abuse you would ever see. The deliberate pain, torture and neglect these creatures of God are assaulted with is endless and diabolical. Someone must pick up the pieces and try to put them back together. Someone must harden their heart so they can be strong as they beg for donations, homes, transport and medical care for this endless and overwhelming torrent of abused pets and wildlife.

The stars on my page might be familiar names. Tony Robertazzi in Colorado, Ian Redmond in Gloucestershire, U.K., Rhonda Baiz in Calf., Hilary Hynes, Laura Cattlerton and Jill De Opsomer in Fla., Coty Hohanshelt in Iowa. You don’t want Coty on your tail. She will haunt you and track you down. She deals with the worst underbelly of scum known. Her visuals are shocking and eye opening. They are meant to be. How else to break through the constant assault of our overwhelming media to be heard? And heard they must be; for they save lives. The lives of the silent intelligent creatures we call part of our families…. our pets. They do it every day as they themselves silently cry and bleed inside. They are our quiet stars. So if you get tired of reading about the latest atrocity, scroll away. Our stars don’t need negativity, they need encouragement. And money; always money. Patching knife wounds, bullet holes and broken bones does not come cheap.

These are small heroic efforts done over and over. I see it in my small world and find it transformed. Just ask my 5 doggies. Hopefully, these stars efforts and those like them, might transform yours.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The scariest thing....

I decided that I would like to do something a little different than what happens during a normal blog hop. As authors, there are numerous things that come together to make us who we are and how we write. In some cases, what we write also. These are some really great answers and underneath each of their posts is at least one of their books.

What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?

Raebeth Buda: My battle with depression and cutting. I was on a self destruct path until my daughter was born. She saved me.


SJ Byrne: Waking up out of surgery after having my daughter to find it wasnt the next day but two days later! And remembering a foggy few minutes when I couldnt move a single muscle - not even an eye lid - but heard everyone talking around me.

Tammie Clarke Gibbs: When I was around eight years old, my dad when on a fishing trip and didn't come home when he was supposed to. That was very unusual for him. It had NEVER happened before. My mom was going crazy, and eventually they called the sheriff's department, and the civil service organized a search for him and the friend he went with on the river where they went to fish. The whole night was very scary and the next morning when we were driving down that dirt road to the boat landing and seeing all those sheriff cars and flashing lights was enough to stop your heart. Praise the Lord, they found them. The boat they were in had motor trouble, and they had no choice but drift dead in the water all night. That was the scariest time I can remember.

Island of Secrets

Gillian Schafer: I was walking home from the station after work one afternoon and a guy asked me if I had a light, I didn't smoke so my answer was "no" I tried to be polite but non commital as he continued to follow me trying to chat to me. Then he started getting nasty, making snide and rude comments. I walked faster trying to ignore and get away from him when he called out to me "Do you want to be the next Anita Cobby?" Google Anity Cobby for the full story but long story short she was a young woman who was kidnapped while walking home from the railway station and brutally raped and murdered by a large gang of youths in the 1980's, and I remembered the story well. Luckily he was all talk but I was petrified walking home



Brian Bigelow: All right, here is mine and it’s a little eerie.

We had just moved into a new apartment downtown. The next day I was sitting on the sofa when the door opened from the outside. I could see a hand that wasn't attached to anything else. Couldn't even hear footsteps since it was only a hand. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. Went to the door and looked both ways and there wasn't anyone in the front passageway.

We had a lot of those type of visitors in that apartment during the entire time we lived there. They would walk through the apartment and I got used to them. Guess it was a matter of time before I started writing horror stories.

Horror Bent

Trace HappyforFootball: Scariest experiences are relative aren't they? I have had close calls, two stalkers and odd, inexplicable things but my scariest was when a former boyfriend stalked me. He did not accept the end of the relationship very well and took to following me, showing up places he knew I would be, threatening me and ultimately followed me home with a car full of friends - tailgating me, swerving around me, trying to run me off the road. I sped hoping a police officer would pull me over but it was dark and all of the businesses were closed in the area and of course, when you need a cop you can't seem to find one. I didn't have a cell phone at that point. So, I sped all the way to my parents' house, honked the horn as I pulled in the driveway and my Dad was out in the yard before the guy could get to my car and they opted to take off thankfully. It took a while to stop shaking after that.

Ryder on the Storm


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Advice for Beginning Writers

This is some great advice from Raebeth Buda and I wholeheartedly agree with it.

Being an author, I am asked so many different questions by those who have crossed my path. I’ve taken time before writing this post to seriously think about the advice I would write about. Through out the four years of writing Silenced, I have been given so much advice. So, here is the advice I found helpful within that time.

Write and write everyday. To better improve your craft, a writer should write everyday. It doesn’t have to be within a novel. It can be within a blog post, journal, etc. Those who are serious when it comes to writing always make time for it. It’s one of the most simple ways to get better. It’s a way to keep your writing flowing smoothly and will help you spot your weak areas when writing.

Start off by writing what you’re familiar with. It’s hard when you come across something you’re not familiar with and you need to write about it. This tends to stress new writers out which may tend to make them think they don’t have it in them. Everyone can write when they try and practice.

Read. I think one can’t write without reading. A writer can’t write without the ability to read their own work. This is helpful when it comes to proof reading to find mistakes within their books. It’s helpful to see what books are selling and which ones don’t. Therefore, giving the writer an idea of where their book may fall.

So in closing I feel these are the most important: WRITE AND READ!!!

Silenced is available at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback versions
Also at Smashwords and Sony.