Monthly Archives: July 2014

Book Review: Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin

Carrie Rubin is a physician who has a humor blog here: The Write Transition

She makes me chuckle with every post. She is a most insightful person and it is a pleasure to know her.

She is also an author and has a wonderful award winning book out: “Seneca Scourge”.  If you have not read it yet, I highly encourage you to give it a read.

Seneca Scourge is a medical thriller/sci-fi. It starts off like many other medical thrillers with a terrible disease we must find a cure for. Rubin did not choose some complex disease that no one could relate to. She chose a familiar one. It is an influenza strain that devolves from an ordinary common occurrence into a nightmare with the potential to infect billions around the globe. Dr. Sydney McKnight gets assigned to do research with Dr. Casper Jones, a rather odd fellow who whose behavior sends up some red flags.

People are dying. The numbers are more than alarming. Racing to beat the clock on this dreadful disease that starts out innocently enough, Sydney is appalled when she discovers Casper Jones injecting her patient with something he passes off as steroids. Here is where the medical thriller that has kept you on the edge of your seat takes an unusual twist with a sci-fi flavor that is remarkably creative and fascinating to read. Suspending disbelief is part of the fun!

Rubin does a fantastic job creating characters and situations that touch your soul. Being a health care provider myself, I was enthralled by the realism of the hospital situation in crisis. It reminded me of the ten days we suffered in 2004 with four hurricanes back to back and overflowing hallways, only worse. There is no end in sight. When the light appears at the end of the tunnel, the book takes yet another unexpected twist. The ending was interesting and made me think deeply on the future of medicine.

If you want a fast paced, well-written read that is full of unexpected twists and turns, you will enjoy this book.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.





Old People Boat Plans

The end of an era is upon us. We have always been boat people, from kayaks to cabin cruisers; we have always had some sort of boat. The canoes and smaller craft have already been sold and now we are down to just one. A thirty-six foot Sea Ray, named Phoenix:

IMG_1174 IMG_1115 IMG_1106

It is great for cruising around the coast. But seen one coastline seen them all. One of the problems with the Sea Ray is that it is so big; we can’t easily put it in and out of the water. It can’t be hauled from the Gulf to the Atlantic and vice versa very easily. We have to have a deep water lot to moor it, or pay a small fortune by the foot to keep it at a marina.

IMG_1109Right now it is at a friend’s house 150 miles away. Not very convenient.  Owning a boat is like owning a big hole in the ocean that you can throw money into. The RS is going down to his friend’s house next weekend and cleaning it up for sale.

 Know anybody that wants to buy a boat?

boat 002We sold a smaller Key West, named Down the Hatch, fishing boat not long ago. We just weren’t fishing much anymore and it was too big for some of the places we wanted to fish and too small to go offshore. It also didn’t have a cabin.



Our plan now (the RS’s plan) is to get a C-Dory, a trailerable boat thatDCIM100SPORT photo3 we can easily haul from place to place. They have a cabin and are big enough to camp on but small enough to pull. This would be one that we can take to lakes and intercostal waterways but is also seaworthy.


I tease the rocket scientist that we could have gone on hundreds of deep sea fishing excursions for what we paid for the boats we have owned. (He likes big toys and projects.) I honestly would rather save our money and go on some nice vacation cruises…like Alaska, the Mediterranean.  I love the Gulf and the Atlantic, but there is so much more of this world I would like to see.

This is part of our retirement plan. We want to move closer to the Gulf (near Sarasota, get out of Central Florida and the city) size down and go camping on the water from marina to marina. It will need a satellite dish and I’ll need a lap top to write out on the water. Most of the marinas have wi-fi now.

Do you have a retirement plan?

Authors: What to do if Your Book gets Pirated

There is not a lot of recourse against the site itself, especially if the site is out of the country. If the web hosting site is U.S.A., you can send a DMCA take down letter to the web hosting site. They are under pressure to break the links of sites performing copyright infringement. You are also required to share some personal information in the letter which you should do with the hosting company NOT the offending site.

How do you find the site hosting company?

You can search domain registration on at:

Once you find the web hosting site look for their contact info or legal contact. This is usually an email address link.

Gene Quinn has a sample letter you can personalize (copy and paste into email) and send to the hosting company:

You will need the offending site’s URL for your work. Once you get that GTFO. Don’t attempt to download your book.

Advise all readers you know to avoid these pirating sites as they are known to send viruses, plant adware, spyware and do phishing scams for more personal information.

Often, if you use site buttons to make contact with the site itself, your IP will be blocked. It is best not to engage the site, but go directly to the web hosting site.

This information comes courtesy of:  Law Office of Cynthia Conlin, P.A.
1643 Hillcrest Street
Orlando, FL 32803
Tel: 407-965-5519
Fax: 407-545-4397

One thing you can do to help protect yourself is set up a Google alert with your book title(s) and author name.

Yes, it is true, retail platforms should tighten up their security, but this is pretty much all we can do in the meanwhile.

Copyright Infringement: A Warning to all Authors

Check it out people. This is another site scamming authors. I know it seems to be all over the place, but nothing will change if we do not take action and support each other.


I would like to share a letter sent to me by a fellow independent author, who wishes to remain anonymous, about a website claiming to be promoting independent authors, when in reality it appears that they are offering free downloads of the work of dozens of us.

If you are an author, independent or otherwise, I urge you to read this letter and investigate the site yourself. Find out if your work is posted there and take appropriate action to have it removed, or, at the very least, make sure you are willing to grant permission to the site owners to list your work.

Making money as an independent author is difficult enough without pirating sites giving our work away under false pretenses AND without our permission.

Please share, tweet or reblog this post in order to spread the word through the independent author community and, hopefully, put some pressure…

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This Old Home Prompt On the Community Story Board

If you have not yet participated on the Community Storyboard, here is a wonderful opportunity to test your writing wings.

readful things blog

If you haven’t seen the prompt on the Community Story Board yet, here is your chance to give us your best. Click the link above to find out all the details:)


Entries must be in by the 26th of July!


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Don’t Go Outside!

I’ve been obsessing over my writing these past few months (“Oh, really,” you say, “we haven’t noticed.”) So I made a personal commitment to myself that today I would get up, look around me, and write about something that is a part of my real life community. I had planned a positive post.

I live in a nice little suburb of downtown Orlando called Belle Isle. It is one of the enclaves of the city that has a small town charm to it. That’s one of the things I like most about it.

My daughter called a few minutes after I had finished my morning coffee. She was planning to take my granddaughter to a local church where the little one will be attending pre-school.  Her appointment was cancelled by the school. They sent all of the little ones home early because there was a shooting in my community today involving a police officer. Just down the street.

Here’s the initial report: involved-shooting-20140723,0,4350551.story They have an error. It’s southeast Orlando not west.

The man has barricaded himself in a local home, armed and dangerous. Authorities are advising us to keep our doors and windows locked and stay inside. There are helicopters everywhere now. I counted one local news reporter, two cop copters, and four military helicopters. Yes, that’s right, military. This has been going on all morning, and it is afternoon. They have closed all the streets. I’m thinking this really can’t be good. Never mind my errand running is ruined. (How trivial, right?)

I haven’t forgotten the fear that I felt as a teen in the streets of NYC.  I don’t know if I am capable of sharing exactly what I’m feeling right now. You always think this crazy shit happens to other people, but it sounds like a war zone out there. My doggies are going nuts. The streets are empty. It’s spooky.

An author friend, Michael Bishop, in my home town in GA sent his son off to Virginia Tech to study, and he was massacred by a deranged killer. My little granddaughter can’t visit her preschool because of a gunman. This is an increasingly crazy world to live in.







Book Tour Poetry: Love: Lost and Found by Pamela Beckford

Alone (double cinquain)

So incomplete
Gazing at the moonlight
Wondering just when you’ll be here
With me
To start our lives
Never to leave again
Becoming whole and not just half
As one

Pamela has written a second collection of love poems. Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to the reader in the pages. Love: Lost and Found contains over 90 poems representing over a dozen different forms of poetry. The poems span the angst and despair of love lost to the exhilaration and ecstasy of a deep abiding love.

Love: Lost and Found has already received a five star review that says

“Pamela Beckford writes with her heart as much as her mind. She makes me feel things when I read her work that usually stay buried beneath the surface. Her way of expressing emotions that usually aren’t captured for later evaluation is amazing.

I also enjoy that she uses a lot of different styles and forms of poetry in her collections, making the book varied and interesting. Some are shorter and some longer, but all of them carefully constructed. Her ability to say so much in so few words is a indication of her talent as a writer.

If you are looking for an excellent poetry book, look no further.”

Pamela’s other books have also garnered some great reviews and both are available on Kindle or paperback as well.

Season of Love (tanka)

First there is summer,
Followed by fall, winter, spring
But lest we forget
The season of love appears
Bringing hope for all lost souls

Naked Alliances: Book One: The Naked Eye Series, Cover Idea and New Blurb

green naked Alliances 002

A potential case offered by the former mayor of Orlando could give Richard Noggin P.I. the edge he needs to propel his business into the big leagues. Before he can get to his meeting for his new assignment, a cold case murder, he gets sucked into a crisis situation involving two women from Orange Blossom Trail in the red light district. His calm existence as a private investigator solving marital conflicts and fraud quickly unravels when a transsexual entertainer dumps an abused Asian girl on him. 

I sent off my manuscript to a couple of beta readers today. (Thank you so very much for your willingness to take on this task!!!) Now I am bored…waiting, and was playing around with cover image ideas and blurbs. This, of course, is not a professional book cover image but it works for a manuscript .mobi file pretty good.

I have Book Two in my head, so I have started roughing out a vague outline. I have always been a linear writer, but crime fiction does not lend itself well to that method. So I am experimenting. Some of what I write in Book Two will depend on characters from Book One, so I am anxious to see how the beta reading goes before I get too deep.

What do you think of the blurb?


If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong!

Keep writing!


Thank you to all the commentators. I believe we have a good gritty blurb that speaks more to the mood and genre of the book. Special thanks to Misha Burnett, who got me thinking in a different direction. That’s what I love about “social” media. People can pool ideas and creativity abounds.

“Richard Noggin, a Florida private investigator, figured that taking on a maleficence case for the former mayor of Orange County would be good for his career. Instead he finds himself in a shadowy world of sex, secrets, slaves…and murder. Drafted to solve a cold case, murder leads to murder. From Little Saigon to Leisure Lagoon, Richard works to protect a young girl and bring down a sinister crime boss.”