Friday, December 16, 2011

SANTA'S CHOICE! Guest Post by Richard Gazala (Blood of the Moon)

Richard's chat with Santa (below) shortly follows my chat with Saint Nick in the posting following this one.

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" wheezed out of a juke box as I perched myself on a squeaky stool next next to my beefy buddy in the red suit. I ordered the bartender to mix me up something tricky. Then I turned to Nick to watch him scowl over a long, long scroll while he mumbled silently on chocolate chip cookies between sips of milk.

"Surprised to find you cooling your sleigh here tonight," I said. "Just nine nights to the big day, and you're loafing in this joint?"

"Relax, friend. I'm working," Nick grunted at me without looking up. He jabbed a quick finger at the scroll. "Going over this year's nice and naughty list."

I sneaked a peek at the list, trying to spy my name. "Well, you aren't sounding too jolly about it."

"That's because naughty is outnumbering nice in a big way." He gave me a knowing glance. "It's been a tough year."

The bartender sat a tall glass full of dark, bubbling amber liquid in front of me. Black smoke oozed over the tip of the glass and crept along the top of the bar. I raised a questioning eyebrow at the tender, but he just winked and promised me this was one very tricky drink. I shrugged and took a deep swallow. It tasted like chicken.

I tipped my chin at Nick's list. "Where's my name?"

Nick's blue eyes wandered from me to my drink and back again. "Let's say don't be surprised when Rudolph bolts past your rooftop without slowing down even a little bit."

I sighed as my fingertips drummed against the smoking glass in front of me. "I keep forgetting what a nosey guy you are," I muttered.

"Hey, what can I say? Like the song goes, I know if you've been bad or good." A grin formed under his rosy cheeks. "It's a gift."

I slurped down the rest of my slurpy drink, peering at my hefty companion through the bottom of the glass. "Okay, I admit it's been a rough year for me. Sometimes I had to go naughty. I'm not proud of it."

"So 'Be good for goodness sake' just kind of slipped past you, huh?" he said.

I gave his scroll a dimissive wave. "I'm saying you should ease off this whole list of nice and naughty thing. Give me a break! It's too much for you to leave something awesome under my tree just because my moral compass jammed a few times this year?"

Nick's considerable gut wobbled like jelly as he guffawed in my face. "A few times?" He wiped a tear from his eye.

"Just one cool gift, Nick. I'll mend my ways next year. Make you proud. You'll see."

Nick surveyed my pleading eyes while he nibbled on another cookie. He didn't say anything.

I slapped a palm on the bar, startling the tender. "Your lists are clouding your vision. Lists of nice and naughty, of good and bad..."

A huge smile broke over Nick's face. "Of Good And Evil," he said.

"Great," I mumbled, rolling my eyes. "Another list."

"No, fool," Nick replied. "Since you swear you'll mend your ways, I'm giving you that break you want so badly. Tis the season , after all. You want something great under your tree? You got it." He reached into a big red bag on the floor next to his shiny black boots and handed me a book wrapped in a gleaming gold ribbon. "Put this under your tree."

My eyes ran across the cover. It was a copy of Gerald Griffin's "Of Good And Evil." I couldn't believe my excellent fortune.

The bartender pushed another tricky drink at me. I waved it off and pointed at Nick's milk. "I'll have what he's having."

Nick nodded at me. He stood up and grabbed his red bag. "Merry Christmas," he said. Then he put a finger beside his nose, and vanished like he was never there at all.

But I know he was there. I have a copy of Griffin's "Of Good And Evil" to prove it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A TALK WITH SANTA

I had a funny dream last night. I was a kid again and sitting on Santa's lap, peering expectantly into his startling Adriatic-blue eyes. But he remained silent, the weathered ageless features of his bearded face set in disquieted resolve.

Uneasily I asked, "No HO HO HO...no asking what I want for Christmas? What kind of Santa are you? Why did all those other kids run away from you crying?!"

"Tough year, kid," Santa finally spoke, his resonant voice sad and not so soothing. "No toys --- for anyone! I had to lay off all my elves, get rid of my reindeer. Even fired Mrs. Claus, a belly full, anyway."

"But...but how can there be Christmas without your toys?" I squawked. "We need those toys as a reward for being good and nice all year. I worked dam...darn hard at that. Only a few slip-ups."

Santa looked at me solemnly. "There are worst things in life, kid, than not getting toys on Christmas. Sorry, but good or not, I've been wiped out, like untold others. These are bad times! At least I'm telling you face-to-face."

"All that goodness for nothing," I sighed, disheartened. "I should have been naughty --- like kids really want to be. No toys, no being good!"

"The true Christmas spirit is giving gifts to others. Your parents, your uncles and aunts, others."

"But what gifts can I buy? I'm just a kid. I make no money."

"You receive an allowance."

"But that's measly!"

"You can supplement it by catching crickets and digging worms, selling them as fish bait. Anyway, the gift I have in mind doesn't cost much. And it's the perfect gift for this year; highly appreciated by those who receive it. They'll be thankful to you forever."

"What gift is that?" I squinted, really not believing what I was hearing.

"Your novel. Of Good And Evil."

"WHAT?!!" I squirmed on Santa's lap. "But...but I won't write that until many, many years from now. So how can I give it to anyone as a gift?!"

Santa finally smiled. "Remember, this is just a dream. Anything's possible in a dream."

Santa pulled out a sheet of paper from inside his red jacket.

"What's that?" I asked, more astonished than curious.

He now grinned broadly, eyeing me admiringly. "A review of your suspense thriller Of Good And Evil. By Tracey Alley. Like you, an author in the future."

"You carry around reviews?"

Santa broke into laughter, a loud, naturally infectious laugh. "In this dream, yes." Then calming down, he said, "Now listen. Let me read parts of it to you." He began reading:

"In order to be able to engage the reader from the opening paragraphs and hold their attention throughout, to be able to let the reader suspend their disbelief for the duration of the novel takes a special kind of talent. Gerald G. Griffin is an author with just such talent. In his brilliant thriller 'Of Good And Evil' he takes the reader on a wild ride with the real world as his background and makes the reader believe in his plot and characters."

I gawked at Santa startled. "Gosh, I did that?"

"Quiet. There's more." He read on:

"Gerald has given his audience a well-conceived story and delivered it with the talent of a born writer. He's also gone that step further that separates writers from great writers. He's worked hard at the mechanics of the novel so that the plot flows smoothly, the characters are believable and the reader is able to sit back and enjoy this page-turning thriller."

"Wow! This Tracey thinks I'm a great writer!"

"Will you hush, kid. Let me finish reading this." Santa continued:

" 'Of Good And Evil' has received several well deserved 5 star reviews. Ron Sheffield, Gerald's gifted but tormented main character, has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is one of the gifts of a truly great story-teller."

Finished reading, Santa adamantly said to me "You see, what did I tell you? This is the gift! The gift of Christmas! The gift everyone should receive."

Santa once again broke into laughter, the laughter becoming spasms. Through his laughter, Santa quipped, "You see, kid, dreams too can become true. Merry Christmas!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A THANKSGIVING TALE

A funny thing happened on the way to the Thanksgiving festivities.

Oddly beset with the true spirit of the Pilgram Fathers, I bought a live turkey --- from quite a weird featured character, as I recall --- the day before Thanksgiving, determined to prepare it from scratch as our first settlers had done.

But the novice I was at being a first settler, the turkey got loose from its pen in the back yard and swiftly disappeared with gobbly grunts of victory into the woods.

"Gads, so much for the pilgrim spirit," I sighed heavily in disappointment. "I'm stuck with the stale chicken in the fridge!"

Following the turkey's daring escape on Thanksgiving Eve, defying all turkey lore, I sought solace by rereading my novel Of Good And Evil on the open porch in back. Laughing and crying while immersed in deep thought, I found the book still to be fantastic reading. So fantastic that the turkey, safely hidden in the woods, mesmerized by all my laughing and crying, gobbled back in a dash and strangely demanded to read the novel (this daring turkey escape artist was so bizarre that it could do this, and with amazing speed). Finishing the suspense thriller, the turkey looked at me with those flashing, gobbly turkey eyes, and in its excited, gobbly turkey sounds (which even more amazingly I could understand), said to me:

"I'm getting you a copy of this spectacular thriller as a Christmas gift!"

Needless to say, these words were better than a White House pardon.

The turkey and I ended up eating chicken together on Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NEW - Nurture Book Tour post and Q&A with Gerald G. Griffin

Of Good And Evil -- Nurture Virtual Book Tour
.......................................................................

Q&A - conducted by Rick Friedman 

Q.  How Did You Come Up With The Plot For OF GOOD AND EVIL And How Were You Able To Flesh It Out To Become A Full Novel? 

A.  "Six different desires contributed to conceiving the plot of Of Good And Evil. First, ever since dealing in therapy with the combat trauma of a few war veterans while I was in private practice as a psychologist, I've had the desire to write a book on the psyche and emotional trauma of men returning from the war front. Second, I've harbored the desire to write about the courage and fortitude of women suffering from a notable disadvantage, and how this turned them to remarkable devotion. Third, I've had the desire to write a novel about the Mafia. Fourth, I've always had the desire to delve into the paranormal. Fifth, the terrorist threat to our national security, both by events abroad and within our own country, left me with a desire to write a novel about this threat. And sixth, I've had a desire to achieve a sense nobility in my work. In writing Of Good And Evil, these six desires were combined to shape the essence of the book's plot; this nucleus of meshing these six desires together into one the beginning of the fleshing out leading to a full novel. But in addition to my imagination, knowledge and research, and in addition to adding action, mystery and a compelling love story keeping the reader turning the pages, to complete this fleshing out it was critical to come up with the right characters which, when combined with the right circumstances, gave the story its fullest intended impact. The right characters and circumstances were critical to the plot, one constantly being modified to accommodate the new and evolving demands of the unfolding story while still maintaining its integrity. So, as the plot was pieced together, sometimes taking on a life of its own, it necessitated the creation of the needed vibrant main characters, Ron Sheffield and Amber Ash; reinforced by the needed vibrancy of its secondary characters, Jonathan J. Ash, Keith Vandiver, Dominick Valenti and Rachael Di Salvo; and a third tier of vivid supporting characters. This was the fleshing out, passion and characters giving birth to the novel. A new awakening!"

Q.  Gerald, how has your educational background, specifically your PhD, helped you in creating the very realistic portraits of your complex characters? 

A.  "My PhD --- which would have to include the many years of psychological practice it made possible --- helped me immensely! You could say that OF GOOD AND EVIL is as much a psychological thriller as it is a suspense thriller or a captivating love story. But at no time in developing any of my characters did I have to ask myself, "Now, what are the psychological principles I have learned that I can apply here in developing this character?" No. Combined with my creative process, the psychological aspects I applied came rather automatically, from an immediate 'knowing' based upon my graduate training and professional experience so ingrained in me as to become second nature. I didn't have to recall. I had to create, with the help of my psychological second nature. Of course, it wasn't as simple as that, but this could be said to be the gist of it. I'm sure, at times, that my subconscious, drawing upon my graduate learning and professional experience without me even being aware of it, came into play in developing the complexity of my characters. But too, this complexity developed from the characters themselves, whom, at various points, sort of took on lives of their own. What I'm saying is that there was more than my educational background and professional experience that went into making the very realistic portraits of my complex characters. They were important, sometimes vital, but other factors had a determining role as well. What guided me in all of this was my imaginative creative process, in charge of everything, And sometime even I didn't know totally what it was up to --- until the final result, which was amazing!"


Nurture Book Tour post & Book Review - Of Good And Evil

.............................................................................

Of Good And Evil by Gerald G. Griffin
Synopsis: Ron Sheffield, a gifted but tormented Green Beret, plagued by suicidal guilt because of his “special” abilities, is discharged from the army for going “crazy.” Immediately, he is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia, and is hospitalized near death. His life is dramatically saved by Amber Ash, who also possesses “special” abilities, and from there the two are propelled into harrowing ventures against mobsters, terrorists, and and a government cell out to kill them over Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. In an ironic twist, Ron becomes a Mafia hit man to save his sanity, targeting only fallen mobsters. This brings Ron and Amber into contact with the powerful and humane gifted secret society, Eros; this contact eventually actualizing Ron’s mental gifts to a point beyond his imagination. Ron is confronted with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city by a suicidal terrorist cell that only he can stop. But against impossible obstacles, will he be able to do it in time?

Of Good And Evil - Book Review
by Camille Kelly
 
Good and Evil definitely had me interested from the very first chapter…This novel contains everything that a good suspense novel should have…Mr. Griffin has captured the essence of each character and made his readers be involved in their journey throughout the story..and a wonderful journey it is…Each chapter was gripping and as a reader, I wanted more….Every person in this story had a definite part to fulfill and Mr. Griffin accomplished that….The story was written beautifully and I felt all the emotions that each person entailed…I laughed, I cried, I was holding on, in parts, for dear life….I look forward to a sequel to Good and Evil, and am anxiously awaiting to see it on the Big Screen…A wonderful, wonderful, novel.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Tour Post - "Of Good And Evil" by Gerald G. Griffin


Book Tour post & Interview with Gerald G. Griffin
conducted by Shane Porteous


Shane: I think it is a fair statement to say that any good paranormal thriller must suspend belief but at the same time convince the reader that the written events could actually happen in real life. I know for a fact that "Of Good And Evil" accomplishes this and I must ask how did you go about ensuring this?
"I made certain that the varying degrees of paranormal perceptivity of those characters whom possessed these abilities were understated rather than bombastic, with these exceptional abilities never being flaunted but used only when needed. Otherwise these characters seemed to be attempting to lead normal lives dealing with the conflicts of the real world..To others they always appeared to be normal human beings in normal settings dealing with the normal or unusual problems presented by the world that all human beings have to contend with, and to an extent they were exactly doing this. So much so that after a while the reader  accepts their unusual abilities as a natural part of their lives and become gripped by other aspects of the story.
But who is to say that these written events don't actually happen in real life? That the characters portrayed don't actually represent real people among us? Maybe that's why the story can sound so convincing. Need I say more? In all forms of life there are surprising anomalies!"

Shane: Now I must admit that I have never been a big fan of romance in stories, but of the 100s and 100s of books that I have read in my life, the love between Amber and Ron, the two main characters of your book, was by far the most genuine romance that I have ever read about. How did you go about ensuring their romance felt genuine and not corny?
"I ensured that the romance felt genuine because it was based upon feelings taken from real life, feelings and devotion that would have naturally evolved in the given circumstances rather than being concocted to fit some writing formula. As to it not being corny, let me just say that it is beyond me to write anything corny. Love is not corny, and love is what you get in the book. That's why the romance is genuine."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

NOBILITY

I take this opportunity to be more specific about an aspect of my novel, Of Good And Evil, which previously has not been commented on. That aspect is nobility.

As an author I strive to achieve some sense of nobility in my work, and hopefully this striving results in literary growth enjoyed even more by my readers. We all have our own notion of nobility, but as a concept it is not easily defined and even more difficult to do so in a novel such as mine where nobility has to be sensed more than defined. But finally, I feel I have achieved this sensing in my current thriller.

As shown on the two previous postings here, and elsewhere on this blog, those reviewers who have read Of Good And Evil feel it to be a brilliant story reflecting extraordinary skills; one so finely written, so well plotted and paced, its vibrant characters resonating so perfectly with plot and locations, that the reader is transfixed from beginning to end. But beyond this, never mentioned by reviewers, myself nor others, the novel has a breadth of deeper meaning interweaving through it, no matter how well disguised; an intangible elixir giving soul to the story, one that has to seep into the psyche rather than be descrbed intellectually.

This elixir is emerging nobility, the integrity and heart of the novel, its force subtle and slowly seizing until its grasp becomes paramount.

But this nobility defying rote definition is a fine balance to achieve when also dealing with the evasive concept of good and evil subject to individual emotional interpretation or philosophical or religious views, which in turn is subject to convolution no matter from which view. Nobility in this convolution can take on different perspectives. One is that nobility is always inherent in good. But even when good and nobility are forced to be twisted into its own evil? Another perspective is that even evil can possess nobility when it is a small evil in the service of a much larger good. True? Mixing nobility with good and evil often evokes more disturbing questions than true and helpful answers, reducing one to dealing with the moment.

Nobility really stands on its own, independent of good and evil considerations. Nobility is a spirit; a pressing spirit seeking deserving liberation of the soul enabling one to graciously give benefit to deserving others, and this is beyond good and without evil. The catch is it can be tricky.

Read Of Good And Evil to find out just how tricky.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Powerful Review of OF GOOD AND EVIL

Following on the heels of Shane Porteous' tremendous review comes Rick Frieman's (Founder of The James Mason Community Book Club) powerful review of Of Good And Evil. It is as follows:

"Ron Sheffield, a gifted but tormented Green Beret, plagued by suicidal guilt because of his 'special' abilities, is discharged from the army for going 'crazy'. Immediately, he is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia, and is hospitalized near death. His life is dramatically saved by Amber Ash, who also possesses 'special' abilities; and from there the two are propelled against mobsters, terrorists, and a government cell out to kill them over Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. Ron becomes a Mafia hit man, targeting fallen mobsters. This brings Ron and Amber into contact with the powerful and humane gifted secret society, Eros; this contact eventually actualizing Ron's mental gifts to a point beyond his imagination. Ron is confronted with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city by a suicidal terrorist cell that only he can stop. But will he be able to do it in time? Of Good And Evil is a spiritual fight against tyranny.

"In creating the character of Ron Sheffield, Gerald Griffin has proven himself to be a writer of extraordinary skills. Of Good And Evil is a novel that is so finely written, so well plotted and paced, that the reader is immediately drawn into the book from the first page. That Mr. Griffin is able to use mere words to introduce the reader to Ron Sheffield is nothing short of breathtaking --- it is not often that a writer can make so comples a character, a person with such internal torments and external gifts, resonate so perfectly with a plot and locations that keep the reader glued to the book from start to finish.

"A JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ!"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review of OF GOOD AND EVIL

Friends, fans and followers, in my previous posting I presented my review of Shane Porteous' dark fantasy novel RASCISS. In this posting I'm presenting Shane Porteous' review of my novel OF GOOD AND EVIL . His review is as follows:

"OF GOOD AND EVIL is the very embodiment of what a paranormal thriller should be. In lesser hands a story of this scope involving government officials, terrorists, the military, the mafia, secret societies, paranormal powers, assassins and nuclear warfare would come off as confusing and muddled. But in Of Good And Evil this isn't the case.

This book is a perfectly paced accomplished mystery without frustrating the reader as to what is taking place. Revelations and twists abound effortlessly, encouraging you to read onwards. As complicated a story as this is, there is a great genuine feel to this book; nothing seems farfetched in spite of the fact it deals with the paranormal. It is firmly embedded in the real world dealing with issues that the Western world is now facing. However, the story remains highly entertaining and enthralling. You do not need to be an expert on current world affairs to really get into this story.

A common theme through this book is the concept of good and evil; more specifically, when the lines are blurred as well as the idea of who really decides what is good and evil. Though this is hardly an unexplored concept and is the foundation of many stories, it doesn't feel stale here but remains highly relatable. It is almost as if you are reading the thoughts of a great philosopher, someone who can show you such a concept in a light that you never would have thought of.

It truly boggles my mind the sheer calibre of talent this author (Gerald G. Griffin) possesses. It is extremely rare to find such a skilled writer. Of Good And Evil is not only the best paranormal thriller I have read period, it is also one of the best books that I have ever read. Of Good And Evil is such a marvelous tale that you don't even have to be a fan of its specific genre to enjoy it, and to me that is the mark of a brilliant story."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My review of RASCISS by Shane Porteous

 

For you innovative fantasy fans and lovers of good stories, I thought it would be informative and helpful to present you with my following review of an excellent novel by Shane Porteous.

In RASCISS, Shane Porteous skillfully immerses the reader in a poignant and immaginative dark fantasy tale pitting the gods against an unnusual mortal. A well-crafted action ride keeping one turning the pages.

This amazing story begins when Hollowawk, an ordinary man, defies certain death, angering the king of all gods, Ganius, who then becomes angrier when Hollowawk butchers those the gods send to kill him, earning him the name of the Red Immortal. Ganius, now apopletic, summons the gods of war to choose a being mighty enough to kill the Red Immortal in order to rectify destiny's blunder.

To escape the gods' wrath, Hollowawk, accompanied by a troop of fourteen man-creature warriors, begin a dangerous and frightening journey to seek the help of Obuvik, the last of the anti-gods imprisoned for eternity by Ganius in a hellish desert, there mourning through all the ages the loss of his fallen love, the goddess Vickeriia, daughter of Ganius. However, before traveling to this formidable desert, the Red Immortal must first acquire the crucial items insuring that he and his warrior troop will survive in its killer heat, then find the body of Vickeriia and bring it back with them to give to Obuvik for his favor.

After traveling long and far over strange terrains both treacherous and astonishing to secure these items, Hollowawk's troop wards off vicious attacks almost taking their lives before they locate the goddness' tomb and find her casket. Then through a portal provided by a mystic, the troop carries the casket to Obuvik's desert --- the 'endless barren', a sea of dead sand and furious winds beneath a fiery sun; a lifeless sinister land forgotten, uncivilized and chaotic, without nightfall and without exit.

For exhaustive months, painstakingly keeping Vickeriia's casket from sinking forever in the weak sand, the Red Immortal's troop labors on in their dreary march across the unforgiving desert in search of Obuvik. When the troop is beyond breaking point, Obuvik, pathetic and diseased, sensing Vickeriia's presence, finds Hollowawk and his warriors, breaking into uncontrollable sobbing as he gazes upon the beauty of his fallen beloved, deprived of this sight for hundreds of centuries. Contrary to what Hollowawk had hoped for, Obuvik couldn't be of help to the Red Immortal in his impossible task of defeating the gods, but does direct him to a nearby temple that possibly holds his only hope.

Once in the temple, Hollowawk is suddenly confronted with his would-be assassin, the Ghost of Grigger Grove, a damned non-mortal being even the gods dread. The two clash in a bitter battle to the death, the ghost relentless in his onslaught, easily fending off Hollowawk's best efforts, appearing too great to be bested, leaving the Red Immortal feeling he was fighting God himself and it was only a matter of time before God became bored and destroyed him!

From here, an astonishing ending.

RASCISS contains profound offerings, and yes, compassion and fleeting love, making this book a special read. Its refreshing narrative derives from excellent writing invigorating the subject matter with dynamic mood and a compelling touch.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Excerpt from OF GOOD AND EVIL



I feel the most effective promotion is the life within OF GOOD AND EVIL itself. To that end, following is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of the novel, an excerpt not before shown elsewhere:

Even before Ron made his way home from Virginia, Metcalfe's demise hit the news; briefly. Officially, his death was reported as a suicide, Sagansky's as a homicide. A homicide-suicide scenario: Metcalfe killing Sagansky, then himself, the shootings reported triggered by severe depression over career developments. Beyond that, the official account provided scant details.

After a brief thanks to Valenti, Vandiver disappeared faster than a shooting star, taking the quickest flight home to Virginia, there to be reunited with his family.

Upon Ron's return, he found Amber in their bedroom. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, engaged, rather unsuccessfully, in the persistent plucking of the strings of an old guitar.

"I'd say you're in dire need of lessons," Ron said, eyebrows raised as he quietly entered the room.

Amber jerked, looking up, her taut face immediately suffused with joy, igniting that special dimension where love rules supreme. "Darling!" She quickly set aside the guitar, leapt to her feet, and rushed over to Ron, tightly embracing him in a long hug. "You're home!" she cried excitedly. "And safe. Thank God."

"What's all the fuss?" Ron grinned, rejoicing again in her fresh, unspoilt beauty and musky-sweet scent. "All I did was kill a couple of jerks who needed killing."

"Well, I'm certainly not crying over Metcalfe," she stated emphatically. "Neither is Keith. He phoned terribly excited. So excited I could barely make sense out of what he was saying. He's on his way home."

"Don't you just love happy endings?"

"I heard about Metcalfe on TV." She looked at him questioningly. "Suicide?"

"The perfect cover-up."

Amber sighed deeply. "Is it over now?"

"Yes. With the election coming up, they won't reconstruct Metcalfe's operation."

"Thank heavens!" She felt her muscles tighten. "I never thought it possible to be thankful for someone's death. I'm still tense just thinking about that evil man."

"We can't have that," Ron said gently. "Here, let me help you relax." He began messaging the back of her neck and shoulders.

"Oh, God, that really feels good! Ummmmm."

As Ron was messaging her, he looked over at the bed. What's with the guitar?"

"Oh, my magic guitar," she moaned. "To keep you safe. I've been playing it ever since you left. ... Ummmmm, a little lower. ... Not very well I'm afraid. Awful, in fact."

"Magic?"

"Yes ... ummm. Father gave it to me when I was twelve. Told me that some day it would become magic. Encouraged me to play it, on my own. I tried for a year or so, but never got beyond that awful sound you heard. The magic never happened. So I stopped trying. I haven't played it in ... ummm ... what, thirteen, fourteen years? Not until you left for virginia. But as badly as I played, it must be magic. It brought you home safe and sound."

"Christ, it's a wonder you didn't drive away the staff." Ron ceased his massaging.

"Hey, don't stop! Your fingers have all the magic."

"I think you're becomming too damned spoiled," he grinned.

She giggled. "You're suppose to spoil me."

"How come I've never seen that guitar?"

"When I'm not attempting to play it ... ummmm, God, over to the right a little more ... I keep it locked in that old cabinet in the library. Along with a ... ummm ... few other things father gave me when I was younger. Ohhh, ummm, wow! What a treat!"

Ron chuckled. "Well, don't expect this royal treatment every time you play the guitar. The next time I hear it, I'll need the rub down --- on my ears. Playing the guitar, my love, is not your forte."

"Dominick called. I think he has your first contract."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Online Exhaustion

Rats! Another day of online exhaustion. If you're an author, and are marketing online, you undoubtedly know what I'm talking about. Now, at the end of the day and into the night, I feel fatigued and my eyes are a bit blurry. But at least I had a lovely dinner and a visit from my favorite dog.

The morning started off enthusiastically enough. For the sake of my book, I began my daily online marketing (not too blatant, of course; you must keep your promotional urges for your work under control in this sea of survival), hitting Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Librarything, Amazon, a few Groups on some of these, and other assorted sites, always wondering if I was doing myself and my novel any good. But in this world of author online marketing, you don't dare not do it. Ah, if it wasn't so. A necessary evil, but massively time-consuming; and exhausting!

But at times it can be uplifting. More so with the inspiring cyber friends I have found, sharing with me, helping me, encouraging me on, and I doing likewise with them, breaking up the tedium with spurts of appreciative fellowship. And the necessary reviews of my book, and my energetic reviews of others' books, have come from my online work.

I look forward to reviewing the books of my cyber friends. For example, RASCISS, by Shane Porteous; and THE INDEPENDENT ME, by Jude Arnold. Good books! And there are others.

However, this pace, being online day and night, does take its toll. I'd rather be without the pace, but I can't do this. I love my readers.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

IN SEARCH OF A THEME

Hopefully, eventually, these postings will coalesce into a meaningful theme. But where to begin? Let's begin with what this theme will not include: obvious self-promotion!

Self-promotion is a writer's bane, a necessary evil most writers hate, but feeling it essential to sell their books so they can survive to do the next one, often at the cost of reducing them to the level of a carnival barker or leaving them feeling as part of some high wire circus act with no net below.

Not a good feeling. But worse, far worse, is being forced by their colleagues to pretend that they are above self-promotion while continually sneaking it in, in any which way they can. Ridiculous! Pretending to be something they are not. And for what?

Fortunately, I'm at the point where I can leave the sneaking in to others --- primarily my readers and reviewers, and many times they are more direct than sneaky. Thus far, all the reviews of my current thriller,"Of Good And Evil," have given the book 5 or 4 star ratings, with much unsolicited praise from readers; promotion enough. Let me end this promotion bit by sneaking in one reviewer's (Starr Reina --- see the reviews on the "Buy the Latest Book" page) review conclusion:

"An absolute must read!"

"Of Good And Evil is my fourth published novel, my most polished novel, reflecting the creative evolution of my writing efforts to be the best I can become. It was written out of passion! If you're a writer, you need passion. Passion will sustain you. Without it, a writer will not develop discipline and dedication, that which he or she needs to survive; a shield against rejection. Passion is all-consuming, and you never know where it will lead, sort of like not knowing where the search for a theme in my blog postings will lead. But wherever it leads, let's get there together!

When I first started writing, I had no label; as I wrote, it turned out that my books were suspense-thrillers with a paranormal touch. However, I did not choose to write in this genre; in a way, it chose me. As I wrote, I read other books, some having a great beginning, but the letdown of a mediocre middle and a horrible ending. I was determined that my books would hold your attention to the end, always with a great ending.

At the risk of being reduced to a carnival barker, or being thrust into the discomfort of some kind of high wire circus act with no net below, the one aspect of book marketing I enjoy is book signings. I love book signings because they allow me to meet my readers face-to-face and answer their questions about the book I'm signing. This gives them the chance to get to know me and to see that I'm alive and well. I feel a writer belongs to his readers; they depend upon you to keep writing and you depend upon then for support. I should take care of them the best I can --- book signings help me do this.

I love my readers!

Friday, July 1, 2011

OF GOOD AND EVIL

Welcome to my Author Blog, folks! We're gong to have fun trying to make my novel OF GOOD AND EVIL a bestseller!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome!

I would like to welcome you to the Official Author Blog of Gerald. G. Griffin.

Thank you for stopping by.