Monday, October 27, 2014

Pilots on Food Stamps - Say It Ain't So

Ben Mandell recently made me aware of his new book, Pilots on Food Stamps.  I wholeheartedly expected it to be a pun, a sarcastic lark that would be all fun and games.  I was wrong.  Ben's story is true, a behinds the scene look into the aviation industry and the value they place on their pilots: the very people in whom we trust our lives.  This is a recommended read, drawing all 5 Star Reviews from Amazon readers.  Take a minute to read what these individuals are saying:

Jamie - "All I can say is wow. I'm flabbergasted, yes, FLABBERGASTED, at how little pilots get paid. These are the guys who fly countless hours, literally holding the life of hundreds of people day after day, and they barely get paid enough to put food on the table?! Ben does a superb job of exposing the ugly truth to the airline industry and its ridiculous profits and greed. This book got me fired up. This really is a travesty. If you really want to know how airlines work, read this book. "

Nita - "Frankly, I am stunned by how much pilots are being paid. This and other discouraging truths about the airline industry are being plainly unveiled by this knowledgeable author. His writing style is very detail and spot-on. Indeed this informative book holds truths that the general public doesn’t know and expels them in a very simplified manner. Overall, this is thought-provoking book is worth possessing."

Phoebe Stone - " I had the chance to live for several years in a country where becoming a pilot would be every little boy's dream, not only because of what it means but also because of the guarantee of having a comfortable life from a financial standpoint. I discovered this book on my friend's reader when she borrowed it to me as mine was broke, and I was attracted by the title - because to be honest I was shocked - I always thought being a pilot will provide financial comfort to one's family, no matter where in the world. Looking at figures, statistical measures - it seems things are not really like this in the US. On top of figures, this book is really a great journey in understanding the airport, airlines and employees of those world - what they do, how they do it, what matters and what doesn't - providing an interesting insight, on top of the main idea of the book."

Featured on for highly recommended, informative reading.

Back to Writing Sequel

Good intentions are admirable but rarely seem to get anything done.  This thought has plagued me lately as I've dealt with increased professional demands, health issues and a host of other time-sucking obligations.  However, as of today I've reclaimed my life and hope to get back to what I love - writing.
The unnamed sequel to The Living Hunger is proving to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated - not so much due to plot, dialogue or storyline but mostly time.  I'm 25K words in and hope to complete the first draft by Christmas (fingers crossed).  Thanks to family, friends, and readers who have been patient, as I've cleansed my slate to start anew.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Grey's Anatomy meets The Walking Dead

Operation Z-Day Review by Kurt Schuett (Amazon 4 Stars) 

Amazon $0.99

The first bravo I wish to extend to author Dennis Larsen is job well done in the creation of a strong female protagonist, Raven Falconer. I realize the recent trend and popularity in creating female protagonists in the action-adventure genre, especially in the apocalypse-dystopian sub-genre, but too many of the zombie-apocalypse stories available to readers lack strong female protagonists. And since this particular one happens to be a writer, I really connected well with her. One of my favorite quotes in the novel states, “An author’s ability to create, as well as destroy, had left a lasting impression with the young Raven, and she'd held nothing back in expressing her desires to her father.” The aforementioned quote is a powerful indication of not only the main character’s resilience but also of a thematic link all readers can equally relate to. Consequently, Dr. Larsen has also constructed a strong group of secondary characters that motivate, fortify, and extend the actions of the book’s protagonist, Raven—close friends and roommates to the bitter end, Bobi, Mick, and Hannah.

One of Dr. Larsen’s strengths as a writer is his ability to characterize, as I’m quite certain all of his readers will agree. Personally, I enjoyed the lead-up through Operation Z-Day’s rising action, especially when the reader was able to become more intimate with the thoughts, actions, and dialogue presented from the primary cast’s varying backgrounds and perspectives. One of my favorite introductions was to that of Ziggy, a colorful police officer who will undoubtedly play a more significant role per book two of The Raven Falconer Chronicles.

One aspect I hope readers don’t misinterpret as a caveat is the book’s length. Even though Operation Z-Day is on the shorter side, the story has multiple plots running through it. Yes, the crux may be an unconventional zombie apocalypse due to an airborne virus, but the author underlies the aforesaid with Raven’s internal conflict—a crucible of individualistic proportions. Raven must trade in her selfless optimism for realistic gut-wrenching self-preservation. As author Dennis Larsen personifies her as a “fiercely independent survivor,” Raven Falconer is a force to be reckoned with.

Since this story takes place in real-time Canada, that was another fantastic wrinkle I enjoyed; Mr. Larsen accentuated the experience with quality local color realism, highlighted with dialect and mannerisms that are characteristic of life above the United States’ northern border. Other things most readers should find appealing include Larsen’s creation of cannibalistic “huskers” (readers will have to digest the book in order to truly appreciate this label) who take on the role of uncharacteristic undead, able to hold onto some familiar memories and feelings while capable of methodical and systematic plotting.

Most of the horror element in this book is subtle, but what smash-and-dash violence that is provided is detailed and exciting. Subsequently, Larsen’s pacing is spot-on as he provides enough complications and crises that are not even zombie-related to keep readers on their toes.

The only forewarning I would extend is to readers who hold enmity toward overly-sympathetic threads, as this particular book has a few that border cliché. Even with that said, readers who enjoy this particular genre undoubtedly expect some degree of formula, which may in fact work towards the author’s advantage in terms of book sales.

If you are looking for a solidly written and fast-paced apocalyptic read, look no further than Operation Z-Day. At .99 cents per e-book, this is a solid investment that should hook you into reading its sequel.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Instagram Marketing Tool

I've written about Jenny Li's valuable marketing eBook before and will likely again, as I find it to be such a useful resource.  Anyone wishing to promote a book, product, webpage or other item will get their money's worth easily.  Instagram Marketing for Beginners is now available as an audiobook.  Listen to it on the way to work or anytime you've got a few spare minutes.  Take a look at just a few of the dozens of positive reviews she'd received over the past year.
Now as Audiobook

Amazon 5 Star Reviews:
"I have been a Facebook user for a long time and at first I thought Instagram is for a millennial generation, posting pictures and such. Since I am fairly new so I grabbed this book to see what it will do for me in using this application. Voila, I found this book. It is easy to read, simple and straight to the point. I found the interviews insightful as to it's good for all ages and different backgrounds, both personal and for business. Facebook has its place but in Instagram, you have your followers, and the book tells you to build your brand, value and maintain the relationship and be interactive with your followers - it can go viral very quickly. I find this book very easy to read, content is good and can't wait for another one to come out!" -- Mongoose JC

"As a budding entrepreneur I have been actively looking for ways to use social media to promote my business. In this category there are quite a few books that claim to help you but really most of them are full of fluff that could be easily found via an internet search. This is one of the few books that gives an easy to implement guide to utilize Instagram to promote your business. Until i read this book I really had no idea what Instagram was. I thought it was just something used to make fun pictures for Facebook. That is how clueless I was about this application. I now am armed with the knowledge to use this to drive people to my website. This is one of the few books that if used properly, can actually make you money." -- Irish Times

"Straight and to the point, with just the right amount of examples.. This book is organized very well and written in an easy going conversational style. I especially liked the interviews with followers and entrepreneurs which was insightful. Thumbs up!" -- Pete B Hom

Friday, October 3, 2014

FREE Download Oct 3rd - Unificationists: What They Believe

Have you heard of Moonies?  Most have, but have you ever known one?  Me either.  I was contacted by writer and Unificationist, Nelson Mira, and asked to promote his work.  I was pleased with the prospect and delighted to get a free copy of his book.  I look forward to gaining a greater understanding of their beliefs, doctrines and practices.  Like so many religious groups, I believe them to be misunderstood, ridiculed and pigeon-holed, but is it warranted?  I hope to find out.

This unique work is FREE today, Friday Oct. 3rd.  Please download and read about mass weddings, community service and more!

When you hear the news of “Moonies mass wedding,” where thousands of people get married at the same time in the same location and some of them meet for the very first time, what do you think? You might be thinking, “What on earth? What are these people thinking?” I am sure that those brides and bridegrooms were thinking that they made the right choice. I guess the real questions to ask are, “What compels them to do it?” and “What do they believe?”
Over the past decades, the Unification Church has become a delightful recipe for cooking attractive news, articles, and books. Many writers have feasted on their beliefs and stories, judging them as cults and calling their teachings “most bizarre.”
This book gives you the writer's understanding of how unique the church's basic teachings called the “Divine Principle” are and show you the Divine Principle’s interpretations of the Bible in comparison with conventional Christian interpretations.

Amazon 5 Star Review:
"A must if you want to know Unification Church teachings -- doesn't go deep but the main points are all there, in a very clear way."
More than just a church:
The Unification Church, also called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is a new religious movement founded in South Korea in 1954 by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Since its founding, the church has expanded throughout the world with most members living in East Asia. It has sponsored many organizations and projects over the years including businesses, news media, projects in education and the arts, service projects, interfaith events, and social activism.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Second Coming - Hot Topic

The Second Coming by Thomas Puttrich captures the essence of a great mystery and turned it into a thrilling work of Christian Fiction.  Film makers around the world are focusing on 'The Rapture' and End of Days storylines, drawing from prophesy to explain what the world is headed for.  Author T. Puttrich has envisioned a plausible story with realistic characters and an adventurous plot.  This is not to be missed.

Was the Mayan calendar wrong? What happened to the prophecies of Nostradamus and the future events foretold by many seers from the Hopi Indians to the Chinese? There is only one man who knows the answer for his discovery in the Yucat'n, which begins his worldwide journey to prove what he has known for a year: the second coming of Christ has happened! Father Jonathan DeShays' quest begins when his discovery of a rare trinity symbol on the steps of a Mayan temple matches the blood pattern on a torn piece of Christ's burial shroud. He meets three others who felt their own destinies are tied to his discovery. Together, the four men trek through Europe searching for more answers and find that the unique trinity symbol is now more prevalent than ever.

Amazon Paperback
This title is also available from Tate Publishing as a digital download, and also featured on - stop by and take a look at dozens of hot new releases by up-and-coming Indie Authors.

From Harlem With Love by Joseph Holland

Everything I know about Harlem comes from the nightly news and Hollywood -- neither source worthy to give a true, impartial history.  Writer Joseph Holland explores a story that every American should understand.  Take a look at the synopsis and reviews below:

As a diplomat's son, star athlete, and Harvard Law School graduate, in the early 1980s, Joseph Holland had a world of opportunities awaiting him on Wall Street and in corporate America. Instead, Holland moved to the inner city, driven by a divine calling full of unfolding mystery and challenge. He found himself in Harlem during the nadir of its blight and endeavored to contribute to a neighborhood that was tough in every sense of the word. A Republican among Democrats, a privileged Southern scion among working-class Northerners, Holland earned his stripes as an entrepreneur/activist embracing a vision of personal and community transformation. A five-year sojourn became a three-decade commitment, as his Harlem-based career morphed from practicing law to empowering the homeless, to running small businesses, to writing plays, to serving in politics, to building housing—all aimed at revitalizing a beaten-down, dream-deferred cultural mecca haunted by poignant memories of its glory days in the early twentieth century. Part memoir, part cultural and political history of Harlem, and part vividly depicted tour guide, From Harlem with Love is filled with wittily mordant insights into a neighborhood that has touched the highs and reached the lows, and yet remains indisputably one of the most storied and vital centers of African American culture.

Amazon $8.99

Amazon 5 Star Review by Sara Green:
"As a resident of Harlem, I am familier with the struggles and success of Joseph Holland.  In fact, I was the recipient of the apartment of J. Raymond Jones and am very familiar with Daniel Burrows, father in law of ex Mayor David Dinkins. Joe Holland lived on Convent Ave where I still reside. Not once did I pass him on the street and he didn't take the time to respond to a hello or small talk. To be as well educated and the son of such a prestigious family, I am proud to say that despite his good fortune, he fought for and received the respect of everyone who was privileged to know or be associated with him. I am so pleased that he wrote this book because now the world will be aware of his legacy. And yes, it is all true!! It is a remarkable story of his still youthful life."