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Re-Covered: Atomic Medium

Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Get New Look!

How can an old man in a wheelchair be so frightening? But Rachel is even more terrified by what his assistant does inside the building that once housed the Manhattan Project, the secret government project to build the first atomic bomb. What he does makes the old man young again and may change history forever.

 

 

 

To get your copy, just click on the cover above.

Cover design by Tatiana Vila of Vila Design. Check out all her designs at https://www.viladesign.net

 

 

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Christmas in Santa Fe

Happy Holidays From Santa Fe!

And the Reluctant Medium

Santa Fe Christmas Door

Santa Fe Christmas Door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Humor in the Bathroom: Good, Clean Fun!

Excerpt: Atomic Medium

Or, Rachel Takes a Shower

by G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

Chapter 11

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

After a short drive to Chloe’s much more upscale neighborhood, Rachel parked in front of the garage and walked to the back door. At first she knocked tentatively, but panic flooded her body and she began pounding.

“Chloe! Chloe, are you home?”

“Is that you Rachel?” Chloe asked from inside.

“Of course it’s me. Who else would be screaming out here holding a cat?”

“Come in.” Chloe opened the door. “I’d ask if you are alright, but I can see you’re half-crazed. Sit down, let the pretty girl out and I’ll get her some food and water.” Chloe opened the fridge, took out a new bottle of Evian and poured it into Chile Pod’s bowl—which she had bought just for her—followed by some expensive gourmet cat food.

“I told you not to give her that,” Rachel protested knowing it was futile. “I can’t afford to feed it to her regularly.”

“That’s okay,” Chloe said petting Chile’s head as she lapped up the pricey treat. “She deserves to be spoiled when she visits Auntie Chloe.

“Now, the baby is taken care of, what happened to you?”

Rachel related the incident she experienced minutes ago. From Chile’s first alarm, to Kiyiya’s warning howl, to the frightening man who appeared and threatened her; it all spilled it out.

Chloe was thoughtful for a moment.

“Rachel, there’s one thing I didn’t understand. What was on the pin or cuff link he was wearing? You said it reminded you of something. What was it?”

She went back to the confrontation and searched her mind for what she wanted. When she found it, she wanted to forget it.Manhattan Proj Nazi Swastika

“Chloe, it was a swastika!”

“What’s going on?” she asked. “Wait a minute. Remember you said when the two men went through the fluid curtain the room looked older; the big black phone, the vintage clothing?”

“Yes, but what are you getting at?”

“Don’t you see Rachel, it sounds like you’re saying he’s from that era you saw through the stargate.”

“I didn’t say that at all.”

“Yes, I’m afraid that’s exactly what you are saying. If this man belongs in the 1940s, then that room must belong there too.”

“But that could make him a, uh, Nazi?” Rachel didn’t want to deal with that. It was too grim to even consider. She ran her hands through her brown hair pushing the natural waves out of her face.

“It would make him a Nazi,” Chloe echoed. “I’m going to make us hot toddies.”

“I don’t think that will solve anything,” Rachel said hoping she could put off accepting this hypothesis.

“No, it won’t, but maybe it will be less frightening through a nice fuzzy haze.”

“But why would a Nazi from the 1940s materialize here and now?”

“That’s what we need to figure out.” Chloe warmed some water, this time a bottled water called Saint-Géron which her parents shipped her from Paris. They told her the mineral mix was better for women. Rachel didn’t know about that, but it was about $35 a bottle. When hot, she poured it into mugs, added some A. H. Hirsch and squeezed in some fresh lemon juice. Rachel blanched. The amount she paid for the bourbon would make a down payment on the new garage.

“Here you go, get comfy and let’s see what we know.” Chloe set a cup in front of Rachel.

Rachel pushed back into the banco that made a “U” around the kitchen table. The structure was stucco with the traditional rounded walls and a high back. Chloe had added long plush flame-stitched cushions in southwest colors on the seat and back. It was comfy and felt tucked away. A flat screen hung overhead and beautiful native pottery added a decorative, earthy touch to the shelves on the wall.

The friends sipped in companionable silence for a few minutes.

“He told you to stay out of their way,” Chloe said thoughtfully. “Who do you suppose they are and how could you possibly get in their way? In the way of what?”

“I don’t know. I’m writing a story on The Manhattan Project, but that’s as close as I get to WWII and Nazis,” Rachel said. “That was 70 years ago for god’s sake. I’ve no idea if that’s the connection or if there is a connection.

“There is something else,” Rachel said. “It could be significant.”

“And that is?”

Rainbow Man, Former Location of the Manhattan Project Office

Rainbow Man, Former Location of the Manhattan Project Office

“The Manhattan Project Santa Fe office was located in that building now occupied by Rainbow Man.”

“Oh my god,” Chloe sputtered. “How could I have forgotten that!”

“As soon as the word Nazi came up I remembered,” Rachel said. “I’ve been trying to consider other possibilities, but not coming up with any.”

“That’s because there aren’t any,” Chloe said definitively.

“But I still don’t know what it means. Okay, let’s say the big, scary guy is a Nazi and he kind of disappeared inside Rainbow Man, the former Manhattan Project office. So what? What does it have to do with the time of day or the price of gasoline?”

“And why is he threatening you and defacing your office?”

“We don’t know with certainty who graffitied the office. So we really don’t have anything?” Rachel said.

“Oh, we have something, we just don’t know what,” Chloe said stifling a yawn.

“Yeah, time for bed,” Rachel caught the yawn. She finished her toddy and rinsed out the cup.

“Night,” Chloe said. “And don’t worry; the alarm is set, the doors are locked.”

Rachel walked down the hall to the guest bedrooms. She and Chile Pod had a dedicated room of their own. When she entered, there was Chile curled up and fast asleep encircled by pillows. She knew there would be more Evian and luxury cat food in the bathroom, along with an automated litter box. There were toys scattered about and she could see that Chile had already picked out a soft, leopard print ball of fabric. It was lying on the bed next to her. Rachel sighed. Auntie Chloe could make almost any bad day better.

On the bedside table Rachel found her favorite chocolate in a Nambe silver dish. There was a small fridge in the dressing room which she knew would hold bottled water, juices, fruit and power bars. Chloe did her best to keep her healthy despite Rachel’s penchant for green chile cheese burritos. And there was a variety of teas on the counter next to the microwave and a small table cupboard that held cups, glasses, plates, napkins and some stevia. Chloe was trying to get her off sugar too. Even she had to admit that staying with Auntie Chloe was like living on Easy Street.

Chloe had thought of everything. There was a computer and printer/copier/fax on the desk should Rachel need them. A TV and stereo in the sitting area completed the suite’s accessories.

The only thing that bothered her was where in the hell to put all those pillows! Rachel took the larger ones and filled the two chairs, and then arranged the medium-sized ones on the desk until the top was covered. She left a couple of small ones around Chile, as if she could fall off, and began flipping the smallest ones across the room. This activity shortly lost its amusement factor.

She trudged into the bathroom where she came face to face with a new shower. Rachel stopped in her tracks, and evaluated the addition.

It had been installed since her last stay over. She had to admit it was beautiful; glass with wood panels covering the floor. Rachel stripped, placed a cushy bath mat on the floor and stepped inside the enclosure. After failing to find the usual knobs and levers that one used to perform a rather simple task like a shower, she saw there was a control panel.

“Oh no,” she grumbled. “I see Chloe is competing with NASA again.”

Staring at the array of options, she could see tiny pictures. Apparently one had to punch one to get water flowing. However there were also 20 of them—she counted—jets in the front and back of the stall. To further confuse the issue, there was a handheld shower head. She thought this to be the most straightforward way to get clean.

The panel also touted a radio, steam, aromatherapy and something called chromatherapy lighting. “Geez,” Rachel looked at the waterless shower head in her hand. “I just want some fucking water to come out of this thing.” She shook the nozzle. Nothing. She was getting cold.

Consulting the controls again she saw an image that might be water spraying and pushed it. Nothing at first. After a few seconds, steam began filling the stall.

“No, no, no!” She touched it again and tried another. Instantly, she was engulfed in loud music. Electric guitars screeched; drums pounded so hard she could feel the shock waves against her chest. She turned it off. “Dammit! The guy who installed this must have been a sadist!

“Something must turn on the water.” She puzzled over the panel again and chose another icon. Nothing happened. She sniffed. Fragrance was being released from some secret source. She took another whiff. Yes, that was definitely sandalwood. “Ugh, that’s the most suffocating odor.”

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Doug Coldwell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“One more time for the team.” She poked another symbol. Suddenly she was deluged with water from overhead. “Oh crap, I didn’t want to get my hair wet,” she moaned. Too late to worry about that now. The tropical rain feature was a real drencher.

Now that she had water it was time to soap up. Luckily, she found a low-tech bar of soap on the built-in shelf. Once the paper covering was off she noticed the strobing effect. Somewhere lights were flashing. All she needed to make this experience complete was disco music.

Rachel looked up and saw the water falling from above was constantly changing color. “Well how do I stop that?”

Please select a color. She was prompted by a voice coming from the entrails of the control panel. Her fingers pressed more buttons. The jets came on full force hitting her body front and back.

Please select a color.

“Holy shit, I don’t want any color.”

Rachel began banging on the panel. If it had been a person, they would have called 9-1-1 to press charges.

Please select a color.

By now, she had soaped most of her body if you didn’t include her back or feet, but if you counted the pulverizing her back had taken, it had probably blasted off even the smallest microorganisms. In her frustration, she had managed to bash her elbows while thrashing around. There would be bruises.

Please select a color.

Was there no “Off” button? Apparently not.

Rachel tried to ignore the infuriating voice and rinsed off. Certainly she had enough water gushing at her from all directions to accomplish that.

Please select a color.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” She finally found the right button to turn off the water and the annoying voice stopped. Oddly, no water had ever come from the shower head she originally wanted to use, the one lying on the floor where she dropped it in frustration.

“Well, that was relaxing.” She opened the door and there sat Chile Pod, eyes big as saucers, ears cocked forward looking at Rachel as though she had completely lost her mind. Could a cat look flabbergasted? Yes, this one definitely did.

“Okay, so I didn’t do such a hot job of working the damn thing. So what? I’m mostly clean.” Chile Pod decided her person must be okay and headed back to her warm spot on the bed.

Rachel pulled a towel off the warmer and dried with Egyptian cotton so thick the water beads didn’t penetrate to the other side.

With the stink of sandalwood following her into the dressing room, she thought a tea, having finished her evening ablutions, would be just the thing to relax her. Once ensconced cross-legged on the bed, she opened her notebook with Emma Perkins’ interview. The envelope with the photos fell onto the bedding. She picked them up and absently thumbed through them. And then her heart nearly lodged in her throat.

There was the man; Mister Tall, Blonde and Scary!

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Author Patrick Parker Talks Suspense Thrillers

Welcome Author Patrick Parker

From GG: There’s no one better to tell a story than someone who has lived much of it. Patrick Parker’s military career took him to Southeast Asia, Europe and Panama. He drew from his defense experience and the many locales where he was stationed and fashioned them into fast-paced thrillers. His wife challenged him to write the his first book, Treasures of the Fourth Reich, and he was hooked. In his second novel, War Merchant, Parker wrote about a woman assassin and weapons broker. Let’s see what else he has to say.

You have written two suspense thrillers, Treasures of the Fourth Reich and your latest, War Merchant. What is your background and how did you come up with these two exciting books?

Author Patrick Parker

Author Patrick Parker

During my army career my family and I lived in Italy for five years and traveled extensively during my off duty time. We spent many hours visiting museums, castles, cathedrals, churches and historical sites in Europe. I was fascinated with the history. The Nazi lootings of treasures became the catalyst for Treasures of the Fourth Reich. I was sent to Panama before the invasion and, while there, I met a fascinating art dealer. She formed the basis for my character Maria in that story.

After retiring from the Army, I worked in the defense industry for fifteen years. I continued to pursue my writing and developed the concept of War Merchant. This story is taken from my corporate experience and coupled with my military background. After retiring a second time, War Merchant came to life.

Neither story is about war but about espionage, deception, betrayal, terrorism, and murder.  All the elements to make a good story coupled with a real world environment.

As a man, what were the greatest challenges in writing your female lead character in War Merchant and why did you choose a female protagonist?

War Merchant is available at Amazon.

War Merchant is available at Amazon. Click on the cover.

Dydre Rowyn, my female protagonist, is a combination of several women I knew from my corporate career.  She was definitely a challenge as I wanted her to be smart, cunning, very attractive, and deadly.  She also had to have a mother’s instinct.  A woman can be more dangerous than a man which I knew.  But it was her feelings, emotions, and knowing just how far a woman would really go to get her son back and protect him.  That was the challenge.

I received counsel from several mothers and from my wife.  I did drive my wife crazy trying to get it right.

In a story like War Merchant, people would typically expect this to be a male protagonist.  I thought it would be a lot more fun and exciting to have a female protagonist.

You used several locales for War Merchant. These included Africa, Europe, Central America and the States. How do the varying countries contribute to the story? You live in the US, but have you traveled abroad?

In the real world of government contractors and arms brokers, it’s a world-wide business. Every country has a military of some type. Countries hire government contractors (mercenaries, trainers or contractors, they are all basically the same) when they don’t have an army large enough to fight the conflict; a government cannot garner the political nerve to answer the call; or simply don’t want to get their hands dirty.

Dydre works for a black arms dealer in Germany.  Clay Zsigmond. Zsigmond, who became corrupted by money and power, is a consultant, supplier of arms, trainers, and services to the countries around the world. He brought a young defenseless and naïve Dydre into his business to do his dirty work. When she finally realized it, she was in so deep she became vulnerable if things went wrong or she crossed him.

I have traveled extensively internationally and believe it adds to the realism to incorporate international locations into the story as that is real world.

How has your military background helped you in your storytelling? Does it add depth to your story through shared experiences with your characters?

Yes, it gives it depth and adds realism. My characters and their environments are based on real places, people and events.  Even my FBI agent is based on real female FBI agents—tough as woodpecker lips.

My military background and defense industry experience has given me insight as to how things really work. I want my stories to be plausible and based on real events.

What do you see as the essential elements of a good suspense thriller?

First of all it should be believable. The details make a difference and must be right.  The protagonist should be faced with some sort of disaster or death and insurmountable odds.  Just as in our real world, all choices have consequences based on current circumstances.  The wrong decision can be disastrous.

I believe pacing is very important, use lots of action verbs and keep the story moving.

I like to use real events in the story.  For example in War Merchant, the assassination of the President of Rwanda which sparked the Tutsi and Hutu war, was a real event.  No one knows who was responsible for downing of his plane. This provides a glimpse of what Dydre does and what she is capable of doing. The action starts immediately.

Treasures of the Fourth Reich available at Amazon. Click on the cover.

Treasures of the Fourth Reich available at Amazon. Click on the cover.

In Treasures of the Fourth Reich I used the real events of Nazi looting as the basis for that story. We are still seeing today real stories related to the looting as I have shown in my blog (http://bit.ly/1tTUjjv).

My next book is based on current events, ISIL, terrorists, and a real man-packed nuclear bomb.

Real life can be stranger, more complicated and more amazing than fiction.  This all makes for good story telling.

Why did you publish an e-book first instead of paper? What do you enjoy about self-publishing?

Once I received my manuscript back from the editor and finalized, it was very easy to publish as an e-book. The paperback edition required a little more work getting it into the format and the back cover completed.

Treasures of the Fourth Reich was first published by a royalty paying publisher. I didn’t have control and things I was promised never materialized. The publisher talked a big story and delivered a small package. Self-publishing gives me the freedom to do things that need to be done to market my books. If something isn’t done it is my fault and I have fewer frustrations.  Although I am a lot busier, I am a lot happier. I am getting more done and making better progress now as a self-published author. My royalties are much higher as well.

For more information and updates, please see:

Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/1izsnBH

Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1pnfAoM

Twitter https://twitter.com/pparkerntx

Google + http://bit.ly/1xQof6e

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1pnLth0

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Quirky Santa Fe

Keep Santa Fe Weird

by G G Collins     (Copyright 2014)

Every city has its quirks. These are some of my favorites in Santa Fe.

Every Year We Burn Zozobra Copyright G G Collins

Every Year We Burn Zozobra
Copyright G G Collins

This strange looking guy wearing the dress is Zozobra. This petite version can be found at the Convention and Visitors Bureau on Marcy Street. Every autumn Santa Feans burn him–along with their worries. The next year, he is constructed and once again set on fire to screams of “Burn him, burn him!” For more on Zozobra see https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/?s=Zozobra here on Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Current by Colette Hosmer Copyright G G Collins

Santa Fe Current by Colette Hosmer
Copyright G G Collins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fish might be the last thing you’d expect to see in downtown Santa Fe and yet, here they are. The monumental sculpture is “Santa Fe Current” by artist Colette Hosmer. It features Rio Grande Cutthroat trout. Each granite fish is 2′ x 3 1/2′ in size. Right outside the Convention and Visitors Bureau on Marcy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ojo Optique Sign

Ojo Optique Sign

You might find a sign in New Orleans that includes a skull, but this one uses the Spanish word “ojo” which means “eye.” But “optique” is French, meaning vision, so go figure. Find it near the Plaza on Lincoln Ave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the Crows Eat Chiles!  Copyright G G Collins

Even the Crows Eat Chiles!
Copyright G G Collins

 

In Santa Fe even the crows eat chiles. This guy, who lives in a sculpture garden along Canyon Road, appears to have a notoriously hot chile called a scotch bonnet (100,000 – 350,000 Scoville Units). Turn onto Canyon Road and make a quick left. There is parking, shops and art everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prairie Dog Enclosure at Jackalope Copyright G G Collins

Prairie Dog Enclosure at Jackalope
Copyright G G Collins

In a region where prairie dogs are sometimes cursed, this lucky family of the little “dogs” lives at Jackalope. Find it at 2820 Cerrillos Rd. Pottery, rugs and furniture doesn’t begin to describe everything that you’ll find here.

To learn about the history of Jackalope, click https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/reluctant-medium-virtual-treasure-hunt-tour-july-8-2012/

The Shed Restaurant Copyright G G Collins

The Shed Restaurant
Copyright G G Collins

The Shed restaurant is famous for its excellent New Mexican cuisine. But did you know that The Shed serves French bread with every meal? It also offers a decadent Italian dessert called a zabaglione, a rich custard made with Cointreau and white port. Find the shed on East Palace just steps from the Plaza.

My characters Rachel Blackstone and Chloe Valdez meet at The Shed often to solve paranormal mysteries.

Learn about the humble beginnings of The Shed at https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/on-location-with-the-reluctant-medium-week-two/

Santa Fe is one of those places with lots nooks and crannies. Don’t be afraid to explore. You’ll miss the most beautiful places and its quirky surprises.

How is your city “weird?”

 

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Are You A Bohemian?

Bohemian, X Person, Cultural Creative, Creative Class?

By G G Collins (Copyright 2014)

Bohemian Beatnik Girl Wikemedia Commons

Bohemian Beatnik Girl Wikemedia Commons

Test Yourself: Are you fond of the color black and wear it often? Do you cut your hair with full bangs? Do you share your life with a cat, ferret or duck? Has the dust on your furniture achieved new heights? Is noon an early call for you? Have you written across lines, rather than between them? Can you find lavender oil on your shelves? Do you pursue creative work?

If you answered affirmatively to several of these questions, you are quite possibly a Bohemian.

Bohemian Manifesto by Laren Stover

Bohemian Manifesto
by Laren Stover

In Laren Stover’s Bohemian Manifesto: A field Guide to Living on the Edge, she suggests that there are five distinct Bohemians: Nouveau (they are the only Bohemians with money), Gypsy, Beat, Zen and the Dandy. This is a fun book to read even if you’re not the slightest bit “X.” If you recognize yourself, you can’t wait to turn the page. The illustrations by IZAK are a delight.

An archetypal book on the American class system is Paul Fussell’s Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. Go straight to Chapter IX, “The X Way Out,” and then read the rest. Fussell pokes fun at everyone and you can’t help but enjoy it—although the occasional stab can hurt a little. Learn how to tell what class a person is by how he pronounces words, what she drinks or wears, even the knickknacks found in their house (never home). Although a little dated, this book is a hoot!

Richard Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class, is a thought-provoking read about the revolution in the workplace and the importance of place (first, second & third). Often considered a business book, it nevertheless belongs on the shelf. For a more collegiate read try The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D. and Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D. It defines the cultural creative and takes an in-depth look at the serious side of this renaissance, from ecology to corporate greed. See if you agree with them from the luxury of hindsight.

Bohemian VW Wikimedia Commons

Bohemian VW Wikimedia Commons

Throughout contemporary history there have been people who challenge the norm: the Impressionist artists, the Flappers, Beatniks, Hippies. Today’s young adults are invigorating downtowns in cities left empty by the White Flight of the 1960s. Once again our American downtowns are becoming vibrant and yes, creative.

Going against the tide takes courage. Stover had this to say: “Bohemians have the courage to reject mainstream society; to follow an ideal and forsake praise and security; to alienate family; to be, as Jack Kerouac put it, ‘yourself at whatever cost.’” Does that describe you? If so, you just might be a Bohemian.

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Bibliography: 

The Cultural Creatives by Ray and Anderson

The Cultural Creatives by Ray and Anderson

Class by Paul Fussell

Class by Paul Fussell

Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge by Laren Stover, Bulfinch Press, 2004.

Class: A Guide Through the American Status System by Paul Fussell, A Touchstone Book by Simon & Schuster, 1983.

The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida, Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2002.

The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D. and Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D., Harmony Books,  2000.

The Art of the Book Review

Both Reviewers & Authors Can Benefit from Thoughtful, Kind Reviews

by G G Collins     (Copyright 2014)

There is a discussion on the Shelfari forums about the book review rating system and the best way to review a book. If you want to read or take part:

http://www.shelfari.com/groups/101046/discussions/486865/5-star-rating-system

Here are my thoughts on the art of book reviewing.

I’ve been on both sides of publishing; working at a book publisher and as a writer. I began writing jacket and PR copy, then book reviews, moved on to reporting and now I write books too.

Mystery Scene Ed Gorman BookNo one ever sits down to write a bad book. Ed Gorman who is an award-winning author and former editor-in-chief of “Mystery Scene Magazine” once said: “You have to give the writer something.” Not just because that author may someday become famous, or that word will get around about your reviews and publishers will avoid you, but because it is the kind thing to do.

Book reviews should never be emotional in an angry or punitive way. Think how that author looks forward to seeing those reviews–with great anticipation! Having someone enjoy your book is better than money. It validates your hard work–and writing a book can take months, even years. Even fiction involves research.Book AP Stylebook

That said, you should be kindly honest. If the punctuation is poor (and make sure you’ve checked the “Chicago Manual of Style” or the “The Associated Press Stylebook” or some other good reference), then say something. Keep in mind not every book is meant to be “literary,” but it also shouldn’t be illiterate. Some books are written to be fun or adventurous or even fluff. That’s okay. If it’s not your thing it’s alright to state that, but don’t down grade for that reason alone.

I’ve never given a book less than 2 stars (or chiles or martini glasses). If a book is very poorly written, I don’t review it. And even if I do (rarely) give only 2 stars I always find something good to say about it too. So here’s how I assign stars:

1 star   –  I never give them. When I’m asked why by the publisher or author, I explain kindly–but not publicly.
2 stars – I explain what needs work and find something wonderful to say too
3 stars – Enjoyable and why, criticism might be a lack of research
4 stars – Good with a small criticism, maybe a chapter or plot element lost its way
5 stars – Excellent and why, what was that extra something that made it 5 stars?

Authors need to know what they are doing right as well as areas for improvement. If an author knows that readers really like their characters, that’s helpful. She/he will know that’s a strength and flesh them out all the more. If readers comment on the location, great, the author will dig out more local color. Maybe the climatic scenes are especially compelling. Terrific, add more suspense.

Book Tombstone CourageAnd if you’re a reviewer here’s a tip for getting “blurbed” on jacket copy and promotional materials: Always write a short catchy line that encapsulates the story. This is one of mine and it was blurbed over and over: “Every woman in America is obviously not a sheriff, but Joanna Brady is every woman.” (From J A Jance’s Joanna Brady mystery series.)

Reviewers and authors need not be an adversarial relationship, but a nurturing and helpful one that both can enjoy and learn from.

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Lemurian Medium Released

Rachel Blackstone’s Second Adventure Begins in “Lemurian Medium”

Lemurian Medium Copyright G G Collins

Lemurian Medium
Copyright G G Collins

When a friend vanishes into a painting at a posh Santa Fe gallery, reporter Rachel Blackstone travels the astral plane in search of her. But first she must meet her most frightening nemesis and defend herself on the Terror of the Threshold. Will it be the Mesoamerican deity who enjoys human snacks or the evil spirit she crossed paths with before? What she doesn’t expect is to land in an ancient civilization intent on keeping her—and her unproven powers. Part of this territory is inhabited by gentle people, flora and fauna that communicate telepathically. But the other residents are decidedly ruthless.

Legend says the lost continent of Lemuria sank eons ago. Rachel’s visit must be brief or she could be caught up in the cataclysm. She employs crystal power to help her communicate with friend Chloe back home in New Mexico and to defend herself from cosmological attacks.

In Santa Fe, Chloe and soul navigator F Dominic Magellan search frantically for the body of their friend in its altered state. They must return it to the art gallery so she can reclaim it. That proves difficult when they run across someone, or something, who will do anything to stop them.

Meanwhile back on the astral plane, Rachel is dodging Dracs and learning to ride a dragon by the seat of her pants. She has to multitask, coping with earthquakes and volcanoes as the end of the long-lost culture is set in motion, all while staging the rescue of her friend. Catching the red-eye home to the 21st century could prove difficult as she desperately looks for a way to escape a violent reptilian society. They must find and reattach Rachel’s silver cord or they cannot return.

Can Rachel become a successful astral-naut? Or will she be forever lost in the cosmos?

Extras: Christmas Eve Canyon Road Farolito Walk, a ghost hunting assignment.

Contains: mild horror effects, profanity, humor.

For more information:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HE18XES

Link to Meet the Characters Blogfest

Meet Rachel Blackstone, the “Reluctant Medium.”

http://delshereegladden.blogspot.com/2013/10/character-interview-rachel-blackstone.html

This link becomes active at 10:00 a.m. October 23, 2013.

Until then, you can check out all the books and authors at:

http://delshereegladden.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your interest.

— G G Collins

Lemuria: Lost Continent of the Pacific

Reluctant Medium to “Discover” Lost Lemuria

By G G Collins (Copyright 2013) Copyscape Do Not Copy

Much as Atlantis is the enduring mystery of the Atlantic Ocean, so Lemuria is to the Pacific Ocean.  I suspect that in the coming decades as deep underwater exploration improves, we may learn the truth about these fabled lost continents.

The Lost Continent of Muby James Churchward

The Lost Continent of Mu
by James Churchward

Much has been written about Atlantis, and so I turned to the lessor studied Lemuria for my next book, Lemurian Medium. One man, James Churchward, has studied Lemuria extensively. However, Churchward always referred to the continent as Mu. He wrote several books about the subject and maintained that tablets in India were his source of reference.

Most interesting was the knowledge that Asian countries such as Japan and Thailand recognize Lemuria as their Motherland, much as western culture believes the origins of mankind are found in—what is to us—the Middle East.

Ruins have been found off the coast of Japan near Yonaguni. Here’s a short video of the discovery. Notice that a large sculpture of a face is quite similar to those on Easter Island. There are other longer videos for a lingering look at this fascinating underwater city:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBZvAsxcnzI

Easter Island Statues
Public Domain

Further, some of our Native Americans are reputed to be descendants of Lemuria, particularly those in the southwest United States. But also the Mayans and Aztecs. It is believed by some researchers these people are of Lemurian heritage and either traveled by sea to settle in the Americas or were lucky enough to escape the great cataclysm that sunk an entire continent and killed millions.

English: The Lost Continent of Mu, by James Ch...

English: The Lost Continent of Mu, by James Churchward. Português: O Continente Perdido de Mu, por James Churchward. Alguém alterou a imagem original. Onde está escrito Lemuria deveria estar escrito Mu, pois são “continentes” distintos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was so taken by the research and the stories of Lemuria I wanted to use it in one of my books. If Lemuria was the Motherland, it would be interesting to see how it would change, not only the history books, but the great religions of the world and even how we think of ourselves.

It certainly will be interesting as more of our undersea mysteries are solved. In the meantime, it has been a pleasure to learn about Lemuria and use its mystical and mythical—but are they really?—elements in the  forthcoming Lemurian Medium (due out December 2013) as Rachel Blackstone travels the astral plane in search of a friend.

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For more information:

Check out the History Channel’s Ancient Discoveries episode called “Lost Cities of the Deep.” I tried to find a free site to watch it, but couldn’t. It’s available at the History Channel and Amazon. Or catch a rerun. This episode includes the Yonaguni discovery.

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