Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolution

As an expert at New Year’s resolutions, I have tried them all.  After all my research, I am here to tell you there is only one New Year’s resolution that can really change your life for the better. Are you ready to change your life?

You must learn to love yourself like a precious child. The lack of  self- love is the root cause of all of our problems.  We neglect ourselves, sometimes to the point of abuse. We work hard, skip meals or eat junk, don’t have time for exercise, fun…the list goes on. The fact is that many times we put ourselves last. We ultimately end up treating ourselves pretty badly.  We would never treat a precious child this way.

So let’s describe this as though you are now the parent of a precious child (which is you). This child is going to have to rely on you and your knowledge for everything.  You are going to embrace this child for the precious soul that it is, and teach the child how to live a happy, healthy life, rich with all the good things the world has to offer.

Forgiveness- not Judgment:  This is very important. You will need to be gentle and kind with your precious child (PC).  Be forgiving of mistakes.  We all make them and hopefully learn from them.  The key is to move on and do better! You must also make sure that other people do not mistreat the PC. There may be negative people who don’t add anything positive to your life. In fact, these people might even make you feel bad about yourself.  They can suck the joy out of living. Don’t expose your PC to these types.  Sometimes you have to just let go of those toxic relationships. Even though it might be painful-it’s sometimes necessary. Surround yourself with positive, happy people that make you feel good.

Social Interaction: You want your PC to have a happy, balanced life and you know that the social aspect is very important. Studies have shown that this is one of the keys to staving off dementia, as well as living to a ripe old age.  Interaction with others is another important part of a healthy and happy life. It could be meeting a friend for lunch once a week, joining a book club, doing a wine tasting,  taking a class, getting involved with your church, temple or mosque. It’s important to have something fun to look forward to least once a week.

Making a Contribution:  The key to feeding your soul is to do something that you believe makes a difference. I’ve always believed that the best way to make you feel better is to help someone else to feel better.   Make sure that you help your PC find their passion.  Maybe it’s visiting a pet shelter to show some love to lonely dogs and cats. You can touch many lives. Maybe it’s volunteering at a nursing home and spending some time with some elderly folks who feel as though they have been abandoned by the world. You can bring great joy.  Maybe helping to build a house for humanity is more your style.  Or perhaps you can find satisfaction in writing some letters to find justice for a cause that you feel strongly about.

Nurture: You must make sure that your PC gets enough sleep. Sometimes they will need a nice warm bath and a cup of tea to relax.  Maybe even a fragrant candle. Sometimes treating PC to a matinee is just the cure. PC might really enjoy a dinner date at a favorite restaurant.  A nice massage is always a treat. Dear little PC deserves only the best.

Nutrition: You know that good nutrition is important, so you will be sure that your PC get’s healthy food, full of fresh fruits, veggies, grains and lean protein.  Maybe it would be fun to join a group like Weight Watchers, so you can learn about a healthy diet and also have that group support. You want your PC to be at a healthy weight so that they never have to suffer from weight related health issues like Diabetes, heart disease and so on.

Exercise:  To keep little PC healthy, you will also make sure that exercise plays an important role.  We all know that exercise is imperative to a healthy body and life. You can cut your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and even cancer!  It doesn’t matter where you start. Even if you have to start with 5 minutes of walking a day, that’s a start.  You can slowly work your way up to 20 minutes a day.  You can actually choose whatever you and your PC enjoy.  Maybe swimming or dancing would be more fun.  Or perhaps a zumba or yoga class might appeal to you. How about a weekend of Ski Lessons? The sky is the limit!

It’s really all about loving ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then who will? Do you care enough to try?

Happy New Year to all and may 2013 be the best ever!

Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This book really opened a new world! @clrdougherty DUNGDA DE ISLAN'

Books can open new worlds. It’s kind of my mantra.

Dungda de Islan’ is one such book.  Bud and Leslie allow us to stow away as they set sail on the journey of a lifetime.  Aboard their 35 foot yacht, The Play Actor, they travel through the Caribbean, experiencing the islands in a way that a typical tourist never will. 

I was completely enthralled. Bud described the scenes so vividly I could smell the sea. I wanted to swim in the clear water with the colorful fish, to feel the warm sunshine, to see those incredible sunsets, to laugh as the dolphins put on a show… I was delighted to visit islands that I had only heard of…Antigua, St. Lucia, Martinique and so many others.

While visiting the islands, once the Play Actor was anchored in a nice spot, it is very common for various vendor boats to stop by to present their goods or services.  They offered fresh baked goods, fruit, freshly caught fish and even laundry service.

While they are all lovely, each destination is distinctive.  The citizens enjoy their own unique culture and culinary delights. Bud and Leslie,  being respectful of this, always blend right in. The locals acknowledge this and embrace them.  Bud spoke of the philosophy shared by many of the island dwellers. He mentioned that although they are hard working people, they are happy to have "enough" They live in Paradise after all.  They don’t have the compulsive greed that seems to be rampant among the “dirt dwellers”.

However, I must warn you: this life is not all fun in the sun.  Like any home, the yacht requires maintenance. It also experiences its share of mechanical problems. Then there is  the challenge of fixing them and finding the parts. Scariest of all, the sea can turn deadly and storms can become life threatening.  Bud and Leslie are very knowledgeable in taking proper precautions, but it takes some real courage to ride out a hurricane. Luckily, they make an excellent team.  They compliment & respect each other in a special way that makes a solid, lasting marriage. Many would aspire to such a marriage
 They have been able to weather the storms aboard the Play Actor for twelve years on the great blue sea.  God willing, they will continue to do so for many, many more. 

You can find Bud here on the web at  His writer’s blog is there, as well as information about his books.  There is also the sailing blog – that’s at Voyage of the Play Actor.  He has an author’s page on Facebook here, and you can follow him on Twitter @clrdougherty.  Email is welcome at

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What’s the Next Best Thing to being tagged in the Next Big Thing?

'Tis better to tag than be tagged.  When you get tagged, the work is ahead of you...

But don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more delighted!

Here are my answers about my next book:

1)What is the working title of your next book? I have not made a final decision, but I’m thinking of, The Bullying Epidemic: eradicate this and save lives. I’d love any feedback or opinions on that.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? I wrote a book called, The Bullying Epidemic- the guide to arm you for the fight.  It is a short handbook on the growing bullying epidemic. There is information on the various types of bullying and tips on how to recognize the signs and act on it. Additionally, there is a list of resources to get help quickly.  After writing the book, word got around and I started getting invitations to speak at different schools and churches. I realized the only answer to this dilemma is to create awareness and to educate all involved.  This new book goes deeper into psychology behind it and dealing with the bullying as an environmental issue. There are specific does and don’t that are vital to the outcome.  The proceeds of the first book go to 'The Bullying Epidemic Foundation' to create and implement educational programs on bullying awareness for teachers, parents & students. I will do the same with this new book.

3) What genre does your book fall under? I believe it fits best under Education and Counseling

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?  Funny you should ask that.  There are skits in the book, meant to be interactive in illustrating different bullying scenarios.  I would want to choose regular kids to play the roles.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? This is how we stop bullying and save lives.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I will self-publish. I’m an indie at heart : ))

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? It took several months.  There is so much research involved, it’s quite time consuming.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? This is a unique genre. There are not many good books that give answers to this growing problem. 

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? I wrote the first book because I feel strongly about this problem.  I was bullied as a child and I know those scars run deep.  I have young nieces and nephews and I would never want them to go through such torture.  No child deserves that.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? This book is going to educate the reader on bullying. It will teach them the types of bullying, how to spot bullying, both from the perspective of the target as well as the bully & the bystanders.  It will illustrate how everyone is affected negatively by bullying. It creates a toxic environment. This book outlines exactly how to address it and finally put an end to it. It’s not as obvious as it may seem.  
I can’t believe I was lucky enough to have been tagged by two incredible authors for The Next Big Thing. I’m so honored and grateful.  Here are their links:

Diane Rapp :
Charles Dougherty:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

She's a Mystery, Science Fiction Writer and the Next Big Thing! @DianeRapp


This is from Diane Rapp's Blog: 

I can’t believe it! I’ve been tagged by four people for this blog. It’s lots of fun and here are the links to the four great authors who tagged me.

Jaq Hawkins:
Allison Bruce:
C.J. Sullivan:
Charles Dougherty:

Other talented authors who agreed to participate in this:
Regina Puckett:
Kathleen Patel:

Here are my answers about my next book. I’ve started writing, and it’s coming along (I’m on chapter 4 so far.)

What is the title of your next book?

I recently published Dragon Defense, the third book in my Heirs to the Throne sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. Now I’ve shifted focus back to my High Seas Mystery series, working on Murder For Glacier Blue.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I always planned to take my characters cruising up the Alaska Inside Passage. A wedding is planned for the main characters and I hope events don’t mess with their plans too much.

What genre does your book fall under?

The book is a “cozy” mystery with a female sleuth (but it’s also a romance).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie

I’d like Piper Parabo to play Kayla and Matt Bomer to play Steven. (What a sexy combo.) Of course Matt would need to learn a saucy British accent (be still my heart). 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Kayla and Steven encounter rough seas as an art heist, murder, and an ex-wife generate "wedding turbulence" in the icy waters along Alaska’s coastline.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will self-publish. I’ve been down the agency route and have greater success on my own.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m in the planning stages right now, working on an outline and doing research on landscape artists of the Northwest. I never look at the “how long” just concentrate on the “get it finished.”

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I read other authors who write cruise ship mysteries but we’re all different. My books are light and romantic, like Romancing the Stone combined with The Love Boat. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My daughter Laura gave me the idea for the first book in the series. After we wrote a guidebook to the Caribbean together, Laura started to write a mystery novel. She hated writing fiction so she gave the idea to me. Now I've completed two books and have plenty of places to send my characters. I recently cruised Alaska for "research"—it's the part of the job that I love!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I live in a small subdivision in East Texas where retirees play golf every day. I decided to add a crazy bunch of golfers decide to take the Alaska cruise so they can play golf at midnight in Denali National Park. There really is a golf course where people can do just that. I expect my golfers to have lots of fun on the ship—maybe a rich Texan will be one of the murder suspects? When I took my recent cruise, various people volunteered to be the victim in the book--one offered to be the womanizer playboy but my husband steered me clear of that one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bud Dougherty- The Next Big Thing- he's awesome!

The following has been re-posted from Bud's blog:

The Next Big Thing is that I’ve been tagged by the talented Elizabeth Amisu, the author of the young adult series, The Sacerdos Mysteries.  Thanks, Eliza!  If you haven’t encountered her before, be sure to visit her at
How does The Next Big Thing work?  Remember chain letters?  For those who don’t remember, letters were words written on paper, enclosed in an envelope, and delivered by government employees.  People used them to communicate before email came into being.  A chain letter was a way to get lots of visibility for a project – perhaps raising money for a new bicycle.  That was before iPads had been invented.  If you were the lucky recipient of a chain letter, you sent money to the person who sent it to you (tagged you, in effect) and copied out the letter and sent it on to several friends, who would then send you money.  Everybody got rich without doing anything further, unless someone broke the chain.  Dire things would happen to someone who broke the chain.  This is the cyber equivalent of a chain letter.  Notice, I’ve sent the equivalent of money to Eliza, by including a plug for her blog in the first paragraph.
In this post, I’ll answer a few questions about my current work in progress and tag 5 more authors.  Then, on Wednesday, December 5,  those 5 authors will make posts on their blogs thanking me, answer the same questions on their own blogs, and tag 5 more authors to keep the chain going as long as possible.  If no one breaks the chain we’ll all have a shot at the number one spot on the Big Best Seller list.  If any writer breaks the chain, all of the electrons in that person’s eBooks will lose their charge.  Paperbacks probably won’t be affected, but who reads them anymore?  They’re like letters – an artifact of life before the web.

And now for the questions and answers:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
I have two that I’m working on now.  The one which I expect to finish first is titled Life’s a Ditch.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea came from readers’ reactions to my nonfiction book, Dungda de Islan’.  The blog post immediately before this one goes into more detail.  Just click Life's a Ditch: How one review inspired a new book for more details.

3.  What genre does your book fall under?
That’s always a tough question for me. I suppose that it belongs under nonfiction/travel/sailing, like Dungda de Islan’.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
My wife and I are the main characters.  Who could be better suited to play us than ourselves?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Life’s a Ditch tells the tale of the changes that my wife and I coped with when we abandoned our comfortable, upper middle-class existence in favor of exploring life from the deck of our sailboat twelve years ago.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took a lifetime to do the research and about 4 weeks to produce the first draft.
8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The ready comparison is to my own best-selling Dungda de Islan’, which although I wrote it first, describes the phase of our evolution to seagoing vagabonds that came after we learned that Life’s a Ditch.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A large share of the credit belongs to fellow writer Kathleen Patel, whose recent review ofDungda de Islan’ opened my eyes to what a number of the other reviewers were seeing in that book.  Again, my recent blog post Life's a Ditch: How one review inspired a new book covers that in more detail.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
At its core, the book tells the story of how one couple coped with abandoning their life of comfort and privilege to pursue a shared dream; we were married for a long time before, and we’ve been married for a long time since, even though our life today bears little semblance to our early years together.

It’s my pleasure to tag the following five talented writers, in no particular order, to carry this forward:
Kathleen Patel
Kathleen is the author of several fascinating books, and she wrote the review that inspired my current work.  She has a broad range of interests, and I encourage you to visit her blog at to learn more about her and her books.
 Diane Rapp
Diane has written nonfiction, a series of mystery / thrillers set on cruise ships, and a science fiction series that I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few months.  Take a look at Diane and her work at

Alethea Williams
Alethea writes fiction that also portrays the interesting history of the western United States.  You’ll find more information on her and her work at

Joan Szechtman
Joan, an engineer by education and inclination, writes time travel books featuring Richard III.  Visit with her at Random Thoughts of an Accidental Author.

Ann Swann
Ann is a West Texas-based writer with several books and short stories to her credit.  You’ll find more information about Ann and her work at

So, that’s the Next Big Thing.  Please take a few minutes to visit Eliza and the 5 authors I’ve tagged; you might just find your next favorite book.  There are some good ones in this collection – I’ve read some of them, and my wife has read others.  Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Men: Something you should know about women

With the holiday season upon us, I felt it was the perfect time to share some vital information.  This is not my opinion, this is a universal truth. No matter where I have traveled in the world I have found that there are certain traits, needs, desires and demands that women share universally.

There is one trait that stands out among all women. It's something we feel strongly about and yet men continue to be oblivious. I'm talking about food containers.

There is an unwritten set of rules when it comes to food containers. The first time you share food with someone you generally use a very nice container, perhaps Tupperware or Pyrex. You are giving the recipient the benefit of the doubt that it will be returned…promptly. If the container is not returned in a timely fashion, or at all, it may be unlikely that you ever share food with this individual again. If for some reason you decide to give them another chance, they will be demoted and  the container that you use this time will be of a much lower quality. This is not to say that you do not expect them to return it. If this foolish individual does not return your container once again, stricter action is enforced.  They are either being blacklisted, meaning you may never share with them again, or they will be demoted to the lowest level. In these cases the next time you share and every time after that, the food will be given in recycled spaghetti jars, or perhaps yogurt containers.
Now that I have explained the basic rules, you can understand the importance of keeping track of these containers. Please allow me to illustrate:

In celebrating a recent holiday, Diwali, it is traditional to make treats and share distribute them to your friends and family. One evening last week, my husband brought home at least a dozen containers of goodies. What started out as delight as I perused the treats, slowly turned to terror when I said to my husband, “Everything looks delicious! Who made all this?” He responded, “Some of it is from Uncle Kishore, some is from Parita and Nehal, some from Amit…”

I was starting to feel a little nervous when I cautiously asked him, “So which dishes are from who? I have to know who to return them to…” I looked at him hopefully as he poured a glass of wine. He took a sip and said, “Who knows?”

I felt the blood drain from my face. How would I be able to return these to the right people in a timely fashion? I would be downgraded to the list of yogurt container recipients. I tried to question him further but he brushed it off as he opened one of the nicer containers and helped himself to a snack.
As the panic began to rise, I started to feel slightly light-headed. The last thing I remember was hearing him laughing in the distance as he said,

“Don't worry so much they’re only containers.”

Picture courtesy of 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The incredibly talented Charles Dougherty shares his inspiration

The blog below was written by Charles Dougherty. It is an excellent blog and today Bud (as his friends call him) raises some fascinating points. In addition to that,  I was so honored to be mentioned, I'm just over the moon!  
Please enjoy:

“I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”  I’ve always enjoyed that quote, attributed to Robert McCloskey, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department during the era of the Vietnam War.  It came to mind most recently in the context of one of my books.  Most of us who have written for publication have received reviews that surprised us.  I’m not alone there, but a recent review by fellow-writer Kathleen Patel of my non-fiction book, Dungda de Islan’made me see my own book in a completely different light.

I wrote the book with the intention of sharing some of the experiences that my wife and I enjoyed (or endured, in a few cases) when we sailed off into the Atlantic from North Carolina headed for the Caribbean several years ago.  The book I wrote was a true-to-life sailing adventure story.   The book that Kathleen read and reviewed was something different.  I don’t mean that she misunderstood what I had written; she just saw beneath the surface, and read the story on a level that was meaningful to her.  I’m thankful for her review, because she said just enough in it to make me go back and look at some of the other reviews I’ve received for Dungda de Islan’.

There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on the topic of reviews recently, and I’m not going to weigh in on any of the questions that have been raised.  Reviews are useful to folks shopping for books and a source of pain or pleasure to writers, but to me, every review I’ve received has been interesting from the perspective that it gave me a clue as to what the reviewer saw in my book.  Often, there’s useful information to be gleaned from an unemotional reading of your own reviews.  In this case, I got a bolt of inspiration that sent me back to the other reviews for Dungda de Islan’, and I realized that Kathleen’s reaction was mirrored by others.  I began to understand why the book was appealing to a non-sailing audience.

When I wrote Dungda de Islan’, I wrote it as a promotional giveaway; I wanted to make myself visible to readers in the hope that they would enjoy my writing and buy some of my other books.  I chose the topic because it was an easy one for me, and because I was planning to write a series of thrillers set in the yachting world of the Caribbean.  I hoped that I could give away enough copies of the ebook version of Dungda de Islan’ to establish a base of readers in the sailing community.  This was before the day of free promotions in the Kindle store; I published the book everywhere I could for free, and for 99 cents in the Kindle store.  In the first month, I managed to move a couple of hundred copies without any real marketing effort, so I raised the price to 99 cents everywhere and managed to stop the momentum.  That’s a digression from the topic at hand, but it illustrates my intentions for the book when I wrote it.

That was 18 months ago, and the book has become a consistent seller at $3.99.  Usually, it’s on the Amazon best seller list in two or three relevant categories, and that, while gratifying, has puzzled me.  Now, after reading Kathleen’s review and rereading some of the others, I’m beginning to see that there’s a hidden story in the book; a story that appeals to a broader audience, and a story that has only an incidental relationship to sailing.  In telling the story of our adventure, I shared our experiences as a couple coping with a dramatic change in our lives; a change that a lot of people contemplate, but that few of us actually make.  It’s the story of tossing aside the accumulations of a lifetime to pursue a shared dream.

Thanks again, Kathleen, for the review, and thanks to all of you who have read the book and reviewed it or written to me about it.  My next non-fiction book is for you all.  My working title is Life’s a Ditch It tells the tale of our experiences exploring the East Coast via the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, or “the Ditch,” as it’s known to sailors who have traversed it.  This book takes a similar approach to that of Dungda de Islan’ in describing our life in “the Ditch.”  It’s not so much about where we went and what we saw during our time in the Ditch, but about how we reacted to it and how our lives were changed by our experiences.  The personal choices are as endless in this arena as they are elsewhere, and trying to enumerate them is fruitless, but you might enjoy sharing the choices that we made as we discovered what we got ourselves into when we abandoned our comfortable life ashore to become seagoing wanderers.  Life’s a Ditch will be coming out in the next few months.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

To Honor Veterans and Soldiers

I would like to share a heartwarming story and the opportunity to do something nice for the soldiers who are risking their lives to protect our country.  Here's how it all came together:

Smashwords author Ed Patterson met a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq who wanted to download ebooks for his Kindle, but  his wireless download service didn't work in Iraq. So, Ed offered to email the soldier all 13 of his ebooks, for free. The soldier gratefully accepted. And this got Ed thinking...

Everthing happens for a reason.  This  was no chance encounter with the soldier &  Ed,  who was himself an Army veteran.  This was the inspiration and the conception of  "Operation Ebook Drop". 
Ed got to work contacting  other indie authors on the Kindleboards message boards, asking if they too would be willing to offer their ebooks for free to troops deployed overseas.  Soon he had a couple dozen authors who volunteered their books.  Simultaneously, Ed began receiving additional requests for ebooks from soldiers and their families.

Ed and some of the authors started using Smashwords as the platform for distributing the ebooks to soldiers. Using the Smashwords Coupon Generator feature, authors are emailing 100%-off coupons to the soldiers.  As luck would have it, he got the attention of Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords.  When Mark learned about Ed's project, he wanted to do more to help.

And so the humble "Operation Kindle Ebook Drop"started in 2009, has now morphed into something much bigger - "Operation Ebook Drop," and as of 1/22/2012. there are 1,235 participating authors.

Here's how you can get involved:

Authors and Publishers - If you're an author or publisher, email Ed and tell him if you'd like to offer free ebooks to participating troops. His email is ed#w#pat# @ #att#. #net (remove the #s and spaces). To create a 100%-off coupon, log in to your Smashwords account and click on the Coupon Manager link. Ed will email you book requests, and then you simply email the soldier a hyperlink to your book page, and the corresponding coupon code. From your Dashboard, coupon redemptions will show up in your Sales & Payment History Report, and you'll also receive instant email notification. If you're not yet a publisher with Smashwords (why not?), you can learn how publish with us by visiting our How to Publish with Smashwords page.

Deployed troops - All coalition military personnel deployed overseas who need multi-format ebooks are eligible. According to Ed, "If you're overseas and away from your home and loved ones, your dependence on reading might increase - and so we a gifting you ebooks for Kindle, Sony, iPhone, Blackberry etc." For free ebooks, please email Ed at the address above. Please note that the ebooks you receive may be shared with fellow deployed service members, but may not be distributed or shared elsewhere. Please also consider the coupon codes you receive as privileged information, not to be shared elsewhere. The participating authors are pleased to offer you their books.

Where to Learn More
The unofficial staging area for Operation Ebook Drop campaign is over at the Kindleboards message boards. Check it out, help out, and support the young men and women in uniform with some great reads! Operation Ebook Drop also has its own web site, here.

What a great opportunity to do something really meaningful.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bloggers, help OMAR by @craigt1 hit bestseller status again

Bloggers, help OMAR by @craigt1 hit bestseller status again. (via The Masquerade Crew)

Buffer OMAR By Craig Thompson Follow @craigt1 Synopsis: In 1995, CIA/FBI jointly discover plans to recover a trove of priceless treasure from deep below the North Atlantic Ice Barrier, aboard RMS Titanic. Ultra-zealous terrorist divers compete against others, and set off a complex web of international…

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The review I was afraid to write~ Nonofficial Asset by William Sewell @1BillSewell

I find myself looking over my shoulder as I write this.  This whirlwind experience has left me a bit shaken. I have taken a trip with Mr. Sewell to some of the most dangerous, war torn parts of the world and have been privy to some incredibly frightening government secrets.  

You see, Mr. Sewell has lived much of this story. A veteran clandestine contractor, he has applied his intelligence experience behind-enemy-lines. Many of these scenarios are real, along with all the government agencies, military staff and mind blowing technology

His tautly written, thrill-a-minute book takes you on the roller coaster journey of a lifetime. You’ll infiltrate and exfiltrate in and out of Islamabad, Iran, Shanghai, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Langley.  The story is quick moving and danger lurks around every corner.  The incredible detail and vivid descriptions of these locations and circumstances make everything seem a little too real.

Peyton Stone is spy, one of the best.  He works for the CIA, but under the radar. They call him a nonofficial asset.  He handles operations that may become so ugly that the government needs complete deniability.
He finds that there is a high price to pay when his past comes back to haunt him. He is barely over the shock of the murder of his best friend, when he finds his own life in danger.

Without any choice in the matter, Peyton is in the middle of a deadly covert operation. It’s the kind of scenario that nightmares are made of…a stolen nuclear weapon, a fanatical, rogue Iranian admiral and a plan to rule the world.

Will Peyton be able to stop this ungodly chain of events? He’s good, but…

Interview with William Sewell

K: Thank you so much for joining us, Bill. I absolutely loved ‘Nonofficial Asset’.  As I had mentioned to you, Nonofficial Asset was such a thriller, I could feel the tension in my neck!

The book was very intriguing and scary.  I wonder if I am going to be tagged on some government watch list(s) for even writing about this!  

Were you concerned about writing this book, especially with the backlash recently for that YouTube video? And, may I ask if there any personal inspiration for this story?

B: You probably won’t be on a watch list.  I’ve read your dossier from the headquarters files…just kidding!!  Over my many years in this environment, I’ve learned what can be revealed and what can’t.  I’m always, above everything, careful to protect people and technology from compromise.  I also want to make it as real as possible and maybe push the edge just a little bit so there’s a balance.  At the same time, this is a work of fiction and I always want to make it clear that the characters may do bad things but it’s no reflection on real people’s culture, faith, or anything like that. 

My inspiration came from my wife who was also in intelligence for a time and when we swapped stories of our work she said, “You know, most people don’t do those kinds of things.  You should write them down.”  So I began figuring out how to tell a story based on my adventures.

K: Okay, first of all, about my dossier: I joined that IRA website by accident.  I just wanted to connect to my heritage…just kidding! (Laughing nervously)

I think your own life story would probably make an exciting book as well.   Husband and wife spies...that's really cool. It reminds me of the movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Your book is incredibly well written. I can’t believe it’s your debut novel.  Do you have anything exciting coming up in the near future?

B: This is the first of a series.  I hope it’s a long series.  The next book, due out in the spring, is called Critical Asset and has to do with cyber security and what can happen when the right people and technology come together to attack our country’s critical assets.  It will of course be the same Peyton Stone characters and they’ll move quickly to try and stop the bad guys.  I just hope they get there in time.  LOL

K: That’s great news; I want to see more of Peyton Stone.  I have faith in him.

What’s a typical day like in your world?  Do you write daily?

B: I try to write every day.  I get up at 5am and write until 8 when I have to start my day job.  Then I spend evenings sometimes editing, sometimes marketing my current book.  I try to sleep at least once a day.  J

K: You keep a busy schedule; it makes me wonder about the amount of caffeine involved. ☻ (feeling guilty about my own caffeine intake)
If ‘Nonofficial Asset’ was made into a movie, who would you like to see cast in the roles? 

B: I’ve always thought the cast should be Dennis Quaid as Peyton and Claire Danes as Rachel.  Harry is a little harder to cast but John Goodman might be a starting point.  Of course, I’d have to take a “Hitchcock Walk” through some random scene.

K: LOL- I would probably do the “Hitchcock Walk”, too!
I like your casting choices, but I could really see Pierce Brosnan as Peyton.  Maybe it’s that “James Bond” thing. J

I like to engage my guests in a little game I the “writing exercise” I give you a scene and you rewrite it in your own fabulous style.  Are up for it?

B: Wow, I’ve never run into that before but sure, why not?

K: Okay, here is your scene:

Anil sat quietly in the dark room, staring down into the amber liquid in the glass he held in his hand. He quickly swallowed the whiskey, in one gulp. Then he screamed out filthy obscenities, while he hurled the glass to the floor. He grimaced as a large glass shard bounced up and lodged in his bare ankle. He reached down and grabbed the glass shard, and pushed it deeply in to his skin, and then pulled the shard through his leg, all the way up to his knee. 
He screamed out in pain and then grabbed the glass shard and threw it back on the floor. He didn't notice the blood gushing down his leg and pooling on the floor. He felt a little better now. He had discovered that cutting himself seemed to calm him down. Sometimes he became so irate and agitated it took more than just a few cuts. It was starting to escalate. Like a drug, he needed more and more. The month before he was not able to soothe himself until he had sliced off his pinky finger
(Note: Just a, FYI: Anil is a bad guy. He was a jilted groom who vowed & took revenge in my book, ‘Hiren’s Magical Adventure’. )

B: Anil stared at the floor.  The slow burn of the whiskey warmed his stomach and spread to his chest.  At least there was warmth in the drink.  Warmth against the cold that blew in from his beloved’s betrayal. Alone, alone!! Always alone. The voice in his head screamed and the scream slowly made its way from the bottom of his gut to his lungs, to his throat, and into the room, “Arrrrrgh!”  How could she be so cold?
He felt the glass in his hand, felt his hand tighten around it, felt his arm move and suddenly the glass was in pieces on the floor.  One shard lodged in his ankle.  The physical pain replaced some of the mental pain.  It started again.  That same thirst for pain that took his pinkie finger a month ago.  It was a drug.  He needed more.  He pushed the shard through his ankle and sat back, breaths coming in short gasps. He knew what he had to do.  She had to feel his pain and he knew he was the only one who could gauge that for her.

B: Now that’s one twisted bad guy.  I think I need a drink.

K: Whew!  Me too…darn, it’s only noon! That was deliciously sick.  You’re an incredibly talented writer.
Once again, thank you so much, Bill, it was great having you here.  I hope that you’ll come back when you release Critical Asset.   Where can your fans find you on the web?

B: Thank you for your wonderful review and this fun chat.  Here's my website, , Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and Facebook.  Just search for Nonofficial Asset.
Thanks again!!