Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Review: The Outlaw Demon Wails

The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison is a fast-paced, action-packed book, full of demons, witches, vampires, weres and pixies, oh my! Al, a demon Rachel Morgan sent to demon jail, is back and he’s pissed. Nothing like an angry demon coming after you to keep life interesting. With the help of her vampire roommate, Ivy and her pixie partner Jenks, she struggles to find a way to trap Al once and for all before he not only kills her, but everyone she cares about. Oh, and there are several other shocking surprises along the way.

This story is very well written and Ms. Harrison creates not only characters, but a world that is so fleshed out and vivid it seems almost plausible. It was an absolute joy to read and I devoured the entire book in just a couple of sittings. I highly recommend this book to one and all.



Synopsis


To save the lives of her friends, Rachel did the unthinkable: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins are coming home to haunt her.
As Rachel searches for the truth behind a terrifying murder, an even greater menace threatens, for the demon Algaliarept will stop at nothing to claim her, and the discovery of a shocking family secret throws Rachel's entire life into question. If she is ever to live free, Rachel must first walk willingly into the demonic ever-after in search of long-lost ancient knowledge.
But when you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line . . . and there are some lines that should never be crossed.



Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars




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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dar-Wednesday and a Meme

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards.



Man sticks rattlesnake in mouth to prove a point."


(August 2007, Oregon) An amateur snake collector caught a 20-inch rattlesnake on the highway. Three weeks later, his captive took its revenge. The formerly fearless snake charmer admitted, "You can assume alcohol was involved."


He had a six-pack under his belt, and was consuming what he described as "a mixture of stupid stuff" at a barbecue. The calamity was precipitated when he handed a beer to his ex, using the same hand that held the rattlesnake.


"Get that thing out of my face," she said.


He protested, "It's a nice snake. Nothing can happen. Watch!" Famous last words. As they left his mouth, his fate was sealed.


One month later, still sore from muscle and nerve damage from the venom, the 23-year-old admitted that he stuck the snake in his mouth to prove his point. Instead, he disproved his point, for the snake bit him. He had no time for embarrassment. In great pain and gasping for breath, he asked his ex to drive him to the hospital. "She was the only one sober," he explained.


He was unconscious by the time he arrived, his swollen tongue protruding from his mouth. Physicians performed a tracheotomy to restore airflow to his lungs, and administered antivenin. He was kept heavily sedated for several days. When the swelling went down, "we let him wake up," his doctor reported.


The Poison Control Center sees about 50 snakebite victims a year. Generally they are injected on the legs while hiking, or arms while reaching under a rock. Few are bitten on the tongue.


His friends were blunt. "They were, like, what the heck were you thinking?" His answer? "It's my own stupidity."








Tag rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you. Kelly Kirch
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) List six unspectacular quirks you have.
4) Tag six bloggers by linking them.
5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Oddities:
1. When I shop, I organize things in my basket by temperature and content and I load them on the conveyer the same way.
2. I still like to play video games and I’ve also been known to play with toys with my son.
3. I can use my feet like hands. My wife says I have an opposable toe. I pick up things, and can even write with them.
4. I have a 78 inch reach, but I’m only 69 inches tall.
5. I am a huge prankster and have no qualms about setting up a prank anytime, anywhere… even in a boardroom.
6. I am perpetually early for every meeting or get together and it annoys the hell out of me when people are late.

As for tags… I tag anyone who wants to give this a shot, just let me know if you play along so I can see your answers. :D

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spell Check

A woman arrived at the Gates of Heaven.

While she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the gates.

She saw a beautiful banquet table.

Sitting all around were her parents and

All the other people she had loved and who had died before her.

They saw her and began calling greetings to her

"Hello - How are you! We've been waiting for you! Good to see you."

When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him,

"This is such a wonderful place! How do I get in?"

"You have to spell a word," Saint Peter told her.

"Which word?" the woman asked.

"Love."

The woman correctly spelled "Love"

And Saint Peter welcomed her into Heaven.

About a year later, Saint Peter came to the woman

And asked her to watch the Gates of Heaven for him that day.

While the woman was guarding the Gates of Heaven, her husband arrived.

"I'm surprised to see you," the woman said. "How have you been?"

"Oh, I've been doing pretty well since you died," her husband told her.

"I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill.

And then I won the multi-state lottery.

I sold the little house you and I lived in and bought a huge mansion.

And my wife and I traveled all around the world.

We were on vacation in Cancun and I went water skiing today.

I fell and hit my head, and here I am.

What a bummer!

How do I get in?"
"You have to spell a word," the woman told him.

"Which word?" her husband asked.

" Czechoslovakia ."


Moral of the story: Never make a woman
angry... There will be Hell to pay later!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where U B?

Where have I been? Well, let’s see… I’ve been working crazy hours at the day job during the week and going crazy on the weekends to make up for it. My Grandmother’s 80th birthday was a couple of weeks ago. We had relatives come in from Delaware for a surprise party. After the party, I took a couple of cousins and my brother and SIL out for a night of revelry. We danced, played and even managed to find a club where I could sing a couple of songs (and yes… the crowd went wild). The next day we spent at the lake, wakeboarding, swimming, tubing and even managed to work in a bit of cliff diving.

I flew back to New Orleans on Monday morning worked virtually non-stop until Wednesday morning, flew home, slept a couple of hours and spent the rest of the week working up in Ponca City.

That Friday evening we drove up to Grand Lake and stayed in a condo with a couple of friends of ours. We wakeboarded all day and partied all night. It was a… er, Grand time. I even managed to pull off a few new tricks on the wakeboard. I’m not ready for the pros yet, but there is definite improvement in my abilities.

That next morning I flew back to New Orleans and worked an insane amount of hours until Wednesday, flew home and spent the rest of the week working in Ponca City.

This past weekend, we celebrated my son’s birthday. He had a couple of friends that came up from Checotah and spent the entire weekend with him. The party was at Big Splash (a local water park) and a great time was had by all. On Sunday we loaded everyone up and headed back to the lake. I had just completed one of my most impressive runs yet, when I landed a jump wrong, dipped the tip of my board to deep and promptly sprained my ankle. All I could do was kneeboard and drive after that.

Some people might have called it a day after the injury, but we get to few lake-worthy weekends here, I couldn’t see wasting one of them because of a bit of pain. This morning it looks like someone wedged a grapefruit between my leg and foot. I can barely put pressure on it and I’m giving serious consideration to breaking out my crutches again for a day or two.

The really cool thing here? I didn’t have to fly to New Orleans this morning. Having said that, I’m flying back down there this Friday. This time, I’m taking my wife and we are going to Heather Graham’s Writer’s Workshop, where I’ve been asked to sit on a panel and I’m doing a book signing there on Sunday. A far cry from working eighteen to twenty hour days.

I should be able to get back to a more reasonable schedule after Labor Day and of course, get back to blogging on a regular basis at the same time.

So, what have you been up to while I was out and about?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dar-Wednesday

That’s right, it is time for another installment of The Darwin Awards, but first I must apologize for my sudden absence. Though in my defense, I’ve worked 54 of the last 60 hours. Sadly, that didn’t leave a lot of time for blogging.



Regarding Douglas H. Baxter's great-great-great-grandmother's uncle, William Padgett. The first article sets the stage, the second details his innovative way of killing himself.



(31 July 1878, England) William, better know as "Old Bill" Padget, appeared before Justice Brown Saturday, charged with attempting to discharge a loaded gun with intent to kill Chas. Marshman, for whom he worked upon a farm. The examination showed that on Thursday Bill became angered at Marshman and drew a rifle on him and pulled the trigger; but the cap failed to explode. Marshman struck Bill with a stick of wood, and his fists, and drove him off to the barn, where some parties took the gun away from him and he fled to the woods, where he was found by the officer. Bill is not a very handsome or pleasant looking man when he is all right, and the beating he received had not added to his personal charms, he look as though he had tempted death by tickling the hind foot of a healthy mule. It was shown that Bill did not know the gun was loaded, he having set it away unloaded, and Marshman had loaded it unbeknown to him. He was held for assault and battery, and on Monday a trial by jury was held. The jury brought in a verdict of "not guilty."



(1 February 1887) James and William Padgett were of the first who commenced the settlement of this town and voted at this first election. They settled a few miles from the village near a stream which has since been called after them. Bear Trap Falls on this same steam came by its name in the following way: A few of their neighbors constructed what is called a "Dead Fall" or primitive bear trap, built in the form of a figure four, with a heavy piece of timber made sharp on one side to fall upon and hold any large animal when caught under it. This was in the autumn of 1800. One morning William Padgett while alone examined the trap to see if it was adjusted correctly.- It was; for the sharp log fell and imprisoned the unfortunate man, and several hours elapsed before any one came to his release. He was taken out, called for a drink of water, which was brought him in a hat from the stream near by, when he drank it and immediately expired.




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Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday 55

Welcome to Friday 55. The object of the game is to write a story using exactly 55 words. If you participate, be sure to drop a comment at G-Man’s blog so others will know how to find your story.



Aroma so strong it pulls me from my long slumber. I stumble through the darkness. I find the switch on the wall. The brightness does nothing to improve my mood. Near blind, I’m attracted by the scent. I must reach the source. I sigh in relief. I’ve arrived. Thank the Gods for my automatic coffeemaker.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Feeling Good

So, I had a wonderful surprise the other day. Dark Angel Reviews gave Pixels and Pain their highest rating. If you get a chance swing by and see what they have to say about the book.



In the meantime, I’m off to New Orleans… again. I fly out today and come home Thursday. This work thing is really starting to interfere with my blogging time, lol. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Weekend Recap

Thursday was a wild day for me. I was supposed to catch an early flight out of New Orleans, have a brief layover in Dallas and arrive home before lunch. The airline was kind enough to call me at two that morning to tell me they cancelled my flight. Their suggestion was to put me on another flight that would have me home Friday morning. I called BS and insisted they get me home on Thursday as I had a very important meeting to attend. They said, “Oh, well we can re-route you through Chicago O’Hare and have you home by four in the afternoon.” That would still work for me, so I accepted.

When I arrived at O’Hare…it started to rain. They moved my gate three times, delaying the departure of my flight with each and they eventually cancelled it. No worries, they could have me back on the first flight out on Friday morning. Well, I wasn’t happy to say the least, so I got on the phone to see what I could find. What I found was that all flights out of O’Hare had been cancelled for the rest of the evening.

I made a couple of other calls and found out that Chicago Midway still had flights leaving and yes, Virginia they had one that would take me to Tulsa, though I had to have another brief layover in Kansas City. I made the reservation as I made my way out of the airport and down to the taxi stand. An hour and a half cab ride later, I was standing at my gate and secure in the knowledge, that I’d be home by seven, still plenty early enough to do what I needed to that evening.

We boarded the plane and promptly…sat there on the tarmac for over an hour. When we finally took to the air, I let out a sigh of relief and prayed we made it out of KC without any further delays. The prayers fell on deaf ears, we had another hold up there as well.

At last, I arrived in Tulsa at nine that night and I made a mad dash for the car and joined my wife just in time to hear the last few songs of a limited engagement event, I’d had set up. The Romantics played in Tulsa earlier that night, but I got us invited to a special show for less than fifty people that started at nine. We didn’t get to see the whole show, but it was still pretty cool.

Other than that, I spent most of the weekend… working. Yuk! Oh, well, sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield.

So, what have you been up to?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

And the Winner is...

The winner of the contest is Kelly Kirch. Let’s all give her a big round of applause. I hope you enjoy the book.

And now for something completely different…


A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his
wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday
was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her
Birthday.

'I'd like to be six again', she replied, still
looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose
early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then
took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day!

He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the
Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster,
everything there was.
Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her
head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a
Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her
favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure!
Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into
bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and
lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being six
again??'

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.
'I meant my dress size, you dumb ass!'

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening,
he's gonna get it wrong.

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