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Monday, March 23, 2015

Good News, AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal and Hats Off Corner Welcomes Nick Wilford

Good News

Principal Kyle Niederman deserves a pat on the back for putting his Cincinnati school kids at the forefront of concern. The school was to be closed for the 5th day in a row due to severe weather, and many of his students depend on free or subsidized lunches to guarantee one meal a day. No school. No lunch. So this principal asked his staff to deliver bags of food to those kids most in need. Now that's a caring kind of guy.

 And Now. . . The AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal!


If you've been here a few times this past year, you know I was in Burma (Myanmar) in November. Some of you who've stuck with me for a few years know I have the travel bug, and it bites quite frequently, so it can't be any surprise that my theme this is going to be. . .Burma from A to Z.

I've added a small T/F quiz at the end of each post, so you can test you knowledge about this part of the world.  No grades. Just a bit of a challenge to pique your interest.

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Nick Wilford

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behavior under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humor, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armor of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.


Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Quote for the Day "The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball." Columnist Doug Larson

Will you be AtoZing? Does learning a bit about Burma interest you at all? (Lie if the answer is no.) Was the news good enough about the principal? 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Good News, More Good News with the Muffin Commando Squad, AtoZ and Hat's Off Corner Welcomes Heather Gardner

Good News

James Robertson's car gave up the ghost ten years ago, and James had no way to replace it. Then Detroit cut its bus services and James had no way to get to work--no way except to walk. And he did, everyday--21 miles to and from. He got very little sleep, but he never missed a day of work, and he was never late. The good news is someone heard about it and now James has over $300,000. because people cared, because people admired this man. Read More

More Good News

Some of you may have heard about the #AtoZChallenge 2015, right? If you haven't signed up yet, now's your chance.  If you want to read a little about what make good THEMES, I've posted about them today.

And look who's here to help your AtoZChallenge experience be the very best. The Muffin Commando Squad. Today you have a chance to meet four members of this amazing team. Please visit their sites and read their answers to all of the questions. Each of us will answer 3-4. Stay tuned for the rest of team!

(Kind of :-)
We're the muffin commandos. 
As delicious as we can be.
Mixing it together to whip the A-Z. 
Fully baked, crispy crusts- we'll make it to the end.

We're the muffin commando, the net's sweetest blend.

Q. What was your theme last year. Why did you choose it?

“ My theme was writing inspiration. I wanted a theme specific enough to interest me, but broad enough to help other writers. I have links to last year's posts here and on Pinterest.”
Find out more about
Yvonne Ventresca, author of Pandemic

Q: What’s your latest book, short story, publication?
"LOYALTY (Mark of Nexus #3) is slated for March 7th release
the pre-order is available now!—with the series’ boxed set hot on its heels."

Find out more about Carrie Butler

Q. You have to evacuate your home in three minutes. What would you take?
"My children, hubby, pocketbook and my favorite Graf von Faber-Castell pen."

Find out more about Donna McDine, and her Award Winning Books

Q. If you really were a muffin, what kind of muffin would you be?
"There are so many different kinds of muffins. I have a cookbook devoted to them and cupcakes. I would be a mixed berry muffin with a hint of lemon (that's because I LOVE lemon in dessert.)"

Find out more about  Patricia Lynne, author  of Snapshots (Patricia Josephine)

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Heather Gardner 
The cover is here! Ta da!

Quote for the Day: "You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute." Tina Fey

Does good news make you feel that some things are right in the world? Are you ready for April 1? Are these AtoZ team member top notch or what? Hope you'll give Heather a hand with her new book.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Some Good News, Hat's Off Corner with Angela Brown and AtoZChallenge!

Some Good News

Yes, there is some. It doesn't hit the headlines all the time, but it exists and it makes me hopeful that more will follow because of it. So here's one bit of good news from Kentucky.

Raymond Burse, President Kentucky State University
The President of Kentucky State University took a pay cut of $90,000 (imagine that salary). That meant that all the minimum wage employees got a $3.00/hr. raise. 

Now on to the. . . 

Hat's Off Corner

Here's to Angela on her latest Evernight Teen book. Here's her character having a bit of a chat with that hunk of a Vampire, Edward Cullen. Shiver me timbers. A vampire on my blog!

Beacon and Twilight
I want to thank C. Lee for making the magic happen. My name is Macie Breen. Angela Brown is the author who created me. I’m not sure what she was going through when she wrote Beacon. Are all authors so cruel?

Wait, will Angela see this? Because, if she can… I think you rock, lots and lots, Angela!! (Please don’t torture me so bad in the next book).

Anyway, C. Lee asked me here to have a chat with a character from one of the books I recently read from the banned books list. Hey, if The Colony wants to censor it, I HAVE to read it. I chose Twilight. Some of you know of this novel, maybe? Vampires that sparkle, werewolves that seem to always be shirtless, and a girl who is sought after by both a were and a vamp. I would not want to be her, all confused behind two guys. Give me Thane any day. 

Wait… there is Rig…
Yeah, let’s not go there. Oh, look, Edward Cullen just arrived.

*Macie stands up, offers her hand, but Edward quickly settles into the chair opposite her.*

Macie: Uh, okay.

*She drops her hand and sits back down.*

Macie: Nice to meet you, Edward.

*Edward sniffs the air a couple of times then dissolves into an even more pale state.*

Macie: I hope the lights are okay. C. Lee said she adjusted them so they are dim enough for you. 

Edward: The lights are fine.

Macie: Oh, good. So let’s get started. Now, I have to know, do you and Bella really - 

Edward: What are you?

*Macie’s mouth is left wide open by the sudden interruption but then she closes it.*

Macie: I’m a character in Angela’s novel, Beacon. It’s a YA urban fantasy dystopian. I think it’s pretty cool but I’m probably a little biased.

*Edward leans forward, eyes narrowed.*

Edward: C. Lee told me that. But she didn’t tell me what you are. 

Macie: I’m just a girl nobody likes. That’s all.

*Macie’s eyes widen.*

Edward: No. You’re not. And that’s a big problem.

*Macie visibly shivers*

Macie: Uh…why?

Edward:  Because I was also told that you liked Jasper so I brought him along to surprise you. One whiff of you and he will go berserk. Honestly…

*Edwards casts his eyes downward.*

Edward: I’m having a hard time holding my bloodlust back.

Macie: Uh…wait…what?

*Edward jumps to his feet, breathing hard.*

Edward: Seriously, what are you? You smell so… delicious.

*C. Lee enters the chat*

C. Lee: And that will be all for now folks. Edward, thank you for coming today. Macie, I suggest we find a different exit for you. And for anyone wanting to know what Macie is - which I better go find out myself - check out Beacon.

Enter to win a $75 Amazon or B/N GC by clicking and entering. Rafflecopter.

Be sure to stop by the OTHER TOUR HOSTS to increase your chances  of winning this great gift. 

My Quote for the Day: "Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." Thoreau

Any good news in your part of the world? Would you chat with a vampire? Are you entering to win Angela's GC? Hope you've already entered the #AtoZChallenge. If not, sign up now!