Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm a NaNoWriMo Winner!

Winner 2015 - Web Banner

For those of you non writers who don't know what this is, it's a sort of personal challenge to write 50,000 words in one month, the month of November. It is not a small feat, doable but challenging, especially when you have a real life that gets in the way.

I chose to take the challenge and finally get started on the third novel in my Sionian trilogy. And though I did not get the novel completely roughed out, I am now 50,000 words farther ahead than I was a month ago. I'm probably about half way through the first draft. I thought I would be farther than that but as this book brings in a lot of new things, I have worlds to build and people to introduce. This book is going to be longer than I expected. But it going to be so worth it - just saying . . .

Saturday, November 21, 2015


My how time flies. I thought I would have this news sooner. Sorry to tease for so long, but I think I can safely announce it now.


I have signed a contract with WiDo Publishing for my book called Yahhaidd. It is the first of a trilogy about the Sionian people. If it does well, I have confidence they will do the rest of the trilogy also.
I'm am more than pleased about this. This trilogy has been in the works for years. Some of you may have heard of it as the Watchers. That name, however, was too popular with other books so I scrapped it and came up with a better one. In truth this book has evolved so much it really isn't the same book anyway.

Note: If you are a fan of The Gift of Lies and have been waiting, don't be dismayed. The sequel, The Debt of Truth is very close to being finished and I will have it professionally edited and put it up on line as soon as I can.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Life In Progress

Once again I have procrastinated myself into looking bad. That last post was over and done a month ago and I just blindly sat back and let it blare to the world "This gal doesn't keep up her blog!"It's not that I have nothing going on in my life, because I do.
For one, my oldest just got back from her mission and I've really been enjoying having her home this week. We've gone to see her sister at BYUI, shopped for jeans together, ate too much junk food while watching all the Dr. Who episodes she missed and had some great talks. We've had a great time.

I've been busy writing now and then, working on The Debt of Truth which is the sequel to The Gift of Lies and gearing up to finally write the third of the Sionian Trilogy which I'm thinking will be called Phylo. I'm thinking I'll finish it for NaNoWriMo. I'm feeling much  better about my writing career and will in fact probably have some good news to share next week. Keep watching this blog to find out what I'm talking about.

The rest of my life is full of all those daily, monthly, yearly, boring things that nobody wants to read about but everybody has to do, or hire done, or wish they could hire done . . . Anyway, I've been busy, just not busy writing on this blog. So much for all those great promises of book reviews and poems and author interviews. I really need to get back on that wagon and make this blog more interesting. I owe reviews that need writing and I know authors that need interviewing. Time to stop being a slug and write.

I don't know who is responsible for the image above. I stole it off of Facebook I think. It sort of expresses my life right now.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Farewell to Summer

Farewell to Summer
Farewell to Summer $250 Giveaway - September 1st to 22nd An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!! We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $250 eGift Code! Sponsor List Thanks to these great authors & bloggers for making this giveaway possible! I Am A Reader J.L. Weil Here We Go Again...Ready? Taylor Dean Books LeahSay's Views Heather Gray, Author Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages Diana's Book Reviews Glistering Bs Blog Lori's Reading Corner Simple Wyrdings Author Deb Atwood Wishful Endings Prism Book Tours Norma's Novels Bookworm Inkorporated Crystal's Chaotic Confessions Kelly's Lucky You Unshelfish The Discerning Reader My Book Self A Tattered Copy Raven Haired Girl Ken Brosky Carolyn Cooper Rhonda Paglia ~ "Grammy Pags Stories" Laurisa Reyes - Author Author Wendi Sotis B. Kristin McMichael Literary Winner Laurie Treacy, author Nerd-Girls, Romantics, and Time-Travelers

Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card Ends 9/22/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Point of View

July is long gone and August is half over and still I'm looking at a virtual open house? Yikes! It's time to put my fingers to the keys and talk about something else.

The only thing that I've really been struck with lately, that I could talk about is maybe how point of view can totally change things. I've been reading through my latest work in progress and wondering why it lacked emotion. It finally hit me that it was written from the wrong point of view. Although it continues the story from the first book, it's really about the new character. It's her story, and through her eyes it's all new and fresh and personal, where as from the eyes of the people we already know it's rather remote.

Point of view has been in the news a lot lately as well. For example, the two "black lives matter" ladies who interrupted Bernie Sander's speech to shout about their cause.
I'm sure, from their stand point, they felt they were doing something noble and courageous. They felt it important to remind everyone about the injustice that had been done and to shame those in the group who they felt were part of the cause of all that is wrong. They felt that the incident of note was a direct assault on all black persons.
However, from the eyes of Mr. Sander's and those that were gathered there to hear him, it must have been a shining example of the reason people are antagonistic to blacks. The women were rude, pushy and arrogant. They seem to feel that because their race had been abused in the past it gave them the right to abuse others.  Although the people were gathered to hear a political platform from a current presidential contender so that they could make an educated choice in the future of our nation, they were forced to listen to rantings of racial outrage.

Okay, now I'm ranting. Here's my point of view. Think about this.
I have ancestors who were murdered just because they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons to those of you prefer nick names). Yes, in a country that was founded on freedom of religion, a group of people were persecuted, driven from their homes in the dead of winter, many of them murdered because of their religious beliefs.
Does this make me a martyr?
No. Even though I have taken some flak myself about my religion, I am not a martyr just because my fourth great grandfather was murdered by a mob.
Does it mean that the United States is a bad country, that the constitution is wrong?
No. It only means that there are sometimes miss-guided people in government and in our communities who fail to hold up that constitution.
Do I expect special treatment or government intervention because of how my ancestors were treated?
No. Nor should you.
Does the color of my skin make me more important than anyone else:
No. Neither does yours . . .
Do black lives matter?
Yes, but so do everyone else's. All lives matter. Get over it.
To expect special treatment because of the past is not justice, it's revenge.

There are just as many white's who are brutalized as there are blacks or any other race. There are people on this earth who have it far worse than anyone in this country. In fact, those two black women looked quite well off to me. They were not abused. In fact they were treated far more carefully than two white women would have been. If they had pulled a stunt like that in some countries they would have been stoned. This country still holds more freedoms than many. Lets stop pulling it apart and cleave to what is good about it.

Why can't we focus our passions and energies on things that can help others instead of scraping at the scabs of society and making everyone around us bleed?

(Hey, that's rather profound. Somebody is going to quote that some day . . . patting myself on the back now.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Publishing Independence Day Virtual Openhouse

Now that I am done mourning the death of my publisher I find that it is time to move on and embrace this new phase of my life. I want to do it in style if possible. So I've chosen a day to focus on my authorship, my books, my dreams and to celebrate life as a writer. I'm calling it my publishing independence day and I'm hosting a virtual open house, complete with prizes.

It's and odd party, I'm always here in spirit but I'm basically anti social and really don't want to do any sort of live event. So you can come, sign the book, see the exhibits and leave me a note. I may be here or I may not. In any case, I won't be hanging around all day to be embarrassed if no one shows.

I'll leave out some virtual snacks and beverages. Help yourself.

In fact I think I'll leave this open house going all month (virtual food is easy to keep hot). So July 1st is my independence day but I'm celebrating all month long. The meat is on the grill.

As with all good celebrations there needs to be presents. So I'm giving away a $25.00 Amazon gift card to one lucky party goer. Just to make it more fun for me I'm asking you to play along and help me out a little to earn your chance to win (nothing hard just a click here and there). Come on over, some of the entries for the prize can be done every day. (See the rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom.)

Also, you have all month to read my book, and if you write a review or two you can earn up to ten more chances to win!   get The Gift of Lies on Amazon   It's a light summer read and I guarantee it's clean and stress free. It would be a great gift for a young adult but we older natives can also enjoy it.

Have fun! Read through some blog posts, get to know me a little better and have a blast at my celebration. Wave a sparkler for me. Bring the kids. It's good clean fun.

But wait! There's more! Head over to Goodreads and enter to win a signed copy of The Gift of Lies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Gift of Lies by Norma T. Rudolph

The Gift of Lies

by Norma T. Rudolph

Giveaway ends July 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Goodnight Dear Void . . .

As of today my friends Creative Prose Publishing are officially no longer in business. I am now self published.

It makes me think of the movie "You've Got Mail" especially the part where Kathleen Kelly says "People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all . .. has happened."

I can so relate to that quote. I feel like a part of me is right back where I started and it was all for nothing. The optimistic, logical part of me says to push forward and maybe it's just a blessing in disguise, but my heart . . . my heart is broken and wants to sit in the corner with hot chocolate and a bag of oatmeal cookies reading tear jerking novels.

So many things she says in that movie touch me right now. Like this quote:

I live a small life, valuable, but small. Do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?

For the most part I think I like it. If I had my "druthers" I'd be a hermit in a cabin or a beach house, writing my novels and sending them out there to make a living for me. I'd only have to come forth now and then to buy food and say hi to my family and loved ones.

I never wanted to self publish. I know that I pretty much hate doing all of the things that publishers do. I want all of the things I get from a publisher, validation, editing, cover art, marketing, to name a few. So I am looking, praying and sending out a few queries. In the mean time I'm keeping my book out there in the void, hoping someone will buy it and read it. I guess that's what it's all about in the end isn't it?

You've Got Mail is, of course, one of my favorite all time movies. How could it not be? It's about bookstores, romance, and new beginnings. I love it even more now because it gives me a feeling that I'm not alone. Other people have speed bumps in their careers and it can still turn out well. Just as Kathleen Kelly comes out on top in the end, I too can pull myself up, put on my big girl panties and push on with my life.

So I'm just throwing this out there to anyone who cares to read it. Soon I will pull out a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils and get back to work on the next novel. However, for now, goodnight dear void . . .

Thursday, May 21, 2015

No Ducks

This week I have been running on left over adrenalin from LDStorymakers. I made it my goal to hit the ground running and not let life get in the way of my writing goals. This blog has suffered a little because I have been working on my book and some other issues that you will be hearing about soon.
Big things are in the works for me, but I'm not going to mention any of them until things are more settled.

This week was supposed to be author spotlight week but sadly I have run out of authors who signed up to be spotlighted and I haven't had time to read any new books for a while. I promise next week I'll have some good book reviews lined up. I have several books on my nightstand that I have promised to review. They look like good reading.

In the mean time here's a poem I wrote eons ago. It's short but fun.

No Ducks

I "borrowed this image from .

Two sunset skies
Two watery moons
Two shadowed hills
Two gliding ducks

One rock in pond . . .
One sky
One moon
One hill

No ducks

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

LDStorymakers Conference

I'm actually writing this on May 4th as I don't want to be worried about my blog while I'm at the conference. It will post the day I leave and I'll either have something else scheduled when I get back or I'll soon post something then.

Storymakers is high on my radar today as I just got my membership badge in the mail. Woo who! I am officially a Storymaker. It has been a goal of mine since I started going to the conference a few years ago and I'm proud to say I finally accomplished a goal. My book came out in February.

This year at the conference I'll be looking into the classes on self publishing. Sadly, my publisher (Creative Prose) is going out of business at the end of the month. It is unlikely, (though I am working on it), that I will have found a replacement by then, so in order to keep my book available on the market I will be forced to publish myself for a time.

As always I am super excited to go to this. My dear friend Carla and I have made plans for it all year. I've even signed us up to go to a chocolate tasting with a bunch of other authors. It's a way to make new friends and meet some of my online friends that I have yet to meet in real time.

Anyway, wish me well and I'll see you when I get back

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Miss Match, by Lindzee Armstrong

Lindzee has some great offers to introduce her new book. Check it out.

MISS MATCH is finally here! I'm so excited to share the rest of Brooke and Luke's story with the world. To celebrate, it's on sale for $0.99 this week only. Sale ends May 10th!

  About MISS MATCH Billionaire CEO Luke Ryder doesn’t want to hire his best friend, Brooke, as his matchmaker. Not when he’s been in love with her for eight years. Too bad she doesn’t see him as relationship material and is engaged to another man. If the matchmaking company she works for closes, Brooke is out of a job, and Luke is out a best friend. There will be nothing stopping her from moving to Italy with her fiancĂ©. And Luke isn’t about to let that happen. Brooke’s dream career may be crumbling, and she will do anything to keep Toujour in the black. Even recruit Luke, America’s favorite bachelor, as her next client. Surely his perfect smile and swollen bank account will send clients swarming to their doors. But when matching up Luke works a little too well, Brooke wonders if she’s with the right man. Maybe she should finally forget Luke’s playboy image and admit he’s changed. All Brooke has to decide is if she’s willing to risk her heart. Excerpt from MISS MATCH Brooke focused on her laptop screen. “I already filled in all the basics for you—name, age, occupation, that sort of thing. Hope you don’t mind.” Luke put a hand to his chest in mock horror. “I thought only a client could fill out this questionnaire. Isn’t that what you told me last night?” She rolled her eyes. “I can delete it all and we can start over.” “No, no.” He sniffed dramatically. “I can tell you’re trying to get rid of me as quickly as possible.” And there he was—a glimpse of the old Luke. Brooke grinned. Maybe this matchmaking thing would be good for him after all. “Okay, first question. What qualities are you looking for in a partner?” “Oh, that’s easy. Someone hot.” Brooke burst out laughing. “And what exactly is your definition of ‘hot?’” “I’m looking at it.” Brooke’s laughter died. Her cheeks heated, and she looked away. “Be serious.” “I am.” “Luke, you can’t tell me I’m hot.” “Why not? It’s true.” “Well, because . . .” Because Antonio would hate it. Because I’m glad you find me attractive. “Because I’m engaged.” Luke raised an eyebrow. “Being engaged doesn’t diminish your hotness. It’s not like there’s a rule against complimenting you.” “Maybe there should be.” Her heart pounded. “We don’t want to mess up our lucky number fourteen by adding another rule.” “Fourteen isn’t a lucky number.” “Relax, Brooke.” Luke motioned to her laptop. “Honestly, I want someone compassionate. Someone loyal. I want a girl who cares more about others than she cares about herself. Someone who likes me for me and not for my money.” “That’s a pretty generic answer.” He shrugged. “I could make up something better.”  

MeetMatch_CVRfinal_LRG Because I'm so excited about this book--and to celebrate Mother's Day--the short prequel novella, Meet Your Match, will be FREE on kindle from May 6th - May 10th. So you can get both the novella and novel for less than a dollar, this week only! Get your copies before the prices go up! And I hope you enjoy Brooke and Luke's story. To find out about future releases in the No Match for Love series, sign up for my newsletter on my website! website | Facebook | Amazon Author Central | Goodreads | Pinterest


Norma's Review:

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Brook and Luke are best friends and that is all Brook will allow. She set the rules back in high school and has kept them ever since. Besides, she could never trust him, especially now that his dad has died and he's let himself become rather a mess. Too much drinking and women, and too little attention to business.

Brook is doing well in her chosen profession of matchmaker for a world based matchmaking service. In fact she has even found herself the perfect match. Antonio is the one for her.
Luke, however, has never given up loving Brooke and once he gets his life back on track he makes his play to win her over. Brook, the top matchmaker, now has to decide if she is truly supposed to marry Antonio or if she mismatched.

Content: (Keep in mind that I am prudishly strict in my ratings.) There are no sex scenes but it is implied that she sleeps with her fiance and that that is normal and acceptable.There is also lot of drinking and it makes it seem that Luke can just go from being an alcoholic to sober with out any problem, which I find unrealistic.
The book is well written, so laying these things aside, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thoughts on Time


Has wings of lightning when looking back, a snails pace looking forward
It doesn't really exist, but if you speed fast enough it stops, or not.
Always wishing for more, we throw away chunks of it.
We never have enough, yet sufficient always kills us.
When it is, do it now, when it's not, hold off.
Flies with fun and drags with anticipation.
The sun and the moon mark the passage.
It can stand still, but waits for no one.
When it ends, eternity begins.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss

Probably my favorite movie of all time, Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss is a classic.

Wikipedea (the source of all things unverified) says, "Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss (1988) is a television comedy film written by Jean Shepherd and directed by Dick Bartlett, based on the 1968 short story by Shepherd. A satire of childhood recollections of annual family vacations, the film follows the Parker family (of A Christmas Story) as they travel to a Michigan lakeside camp, the eponymous Haven. It was a co-production of The Disney Channel and PBS, and aired in that order, and was released on video."

One reason that this movie is dear to my heart is that I first watched it with my hubby as we were dating back in 1993. He introduced it to me as one of his all time favorites and it has been one of mine ever since. I don't think a lot of people are familiar with this gem so I've made it my movie review for April. It's the perfect summer vacation adventure.

It's a wonderful family movie, full of laughs and situational (spell check says that's not a word but I'm leaving it) comedy that most of us can relate to. The author of the tale, Jean Shepherd, has a way of telling a yarn that tickles my funny bone every time. So if your looking for a fun summer family watch, and you haven't seen it, I recommend this one. My only reservation is that it's hard to find a good copy that's available. I don't think Disney has ever re-released it on DVD and the copies that are out there are poor at best, made from the VHS versions.

I see that you can watch it complete on Utube at the moment. It's not great quality but you get the idea. (click --  Ollie online )

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Coming Soon: The Haunting of Springett Hall, by E. B. Wheeler

This week I'm announcing the debut of a new book that comes out July 14, 2015. The Haunting of Springett Hall, by E. B. Wheeler. The newly released cover looks great.

The description on Amazon reads: "Eighteen-year-old Lucy doesn't know how she became a ghost, but the more she remembers of her life in Victorian England, the more she wants to forget. Her only hope of changing the mistakes of her past is to enlist the help of a servant named Philip- the one living person who can see her. This impossible romance story is filled with delightful period detail and plenty of mystery."

I'm looking forward to reading this book. I love a good ghostly mystery/romance. In the mean time I've asked Emily a few questions that might help you get to know her and her writing quirks.

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?

I'm a total history geek. I love stories about how people lived in the past, and I love discovering the ways they were like us as well as the ways they were different. As for goofy, I'm not a great singer or dancer, but that doesn't stop me from doing both at home or in the car. The crazy lady singing to herself in the car next to you? That might be me. :) At least when I have my kids in the car with me, I look a little less nuts, but sometimes they complain.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

I live in the mountains of Utah. It's beautiful in the summer, but bitter cold in the winter, and winter lasts about six months of the year. Luckily, that gives me lots of excuses to curl up on the couch with hot chocolate and good book.

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).

My husband and I will celebrate our ten-year anniversary this May! It's hard to believe how fast time goes by. We have two wonderful, energetic daughters who keep me on my toes. My family is super patient and supportive of my writing habit: all the frozen dinners, critique group meetings, and "Hold on just a minute while I write this idea down!"

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's 3 questions; just tell me about your writing.)

I've been writing nonfiction for about ten years, mostly about history and historic preservation. I had story ideas that wouldn't leave me alone, though, so I started writing them down. THE HAUNTING OF SPRINGETT HALL is a YA Victorian paranormal mystery, and I'm working on some other historical fantasy as well as realistic historical fiction. I love the process of getting to know my characters and working through plot problems within the bounds of history. I get a thrill from diving into historical research and finding some little detail that just clicks with the story and brings it all together. I think I'm addicted. :)

Learn more about Emily Wheeler and her new book at these links:

Twitter @EB_Wheeler
Official Web Site
Pre Order: THofSH on Amazon

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: White Plume by Niki Gamm

White Plume is a little different than the normal books I read. It’s a young adult historical thriller set in the Ottoman Empire during the 1716.

Twelve year old Charles Henby and his father are sent on an errand by the “real” king of England to take a letter to the sultan enlisting his help in regaining the throne.
His father is killed and Charles is caught up in the battle between the Ottomans and the Austrians for control of the Balkans. He is taken to the sultan’s court where he becomes a favorite. However, he is still determined that the sultan receive the letter that he and his father were commissioned to deliver. Can he survive this strange culture with it’s strict and deadly rules long enough to fulfill his commission?

Reading White Plume gave me insight into a part of history that I was not familiar with. I think it has merit, not only as a story but as an enjoyable history lesson. The Author, Niki Gamm, has obviously done a great deal of research into the Ottoman cultures of the time. The only complaint might be that it is a little too heavy on the history, but that is more a personal opinion.

The writing is easy to read, though it seems a little stilted at times. It could be that, as it was actually written in Turkey, the differences in language have influenced the meter. It was annoying at first but as it went on it rather added to the feel of the story. The boy had to learn to speak the language at court. Intentional or not, the formal, chopped, sentences worked okay. There were however some awkward sentences that didn’t work and a few things that the editors missed. These however did not distract all that much from the story.

White Plume is newly released in the United States and I’m pleased to be a part in it’s unveiling.

A little bit about the author:

1. Tell me a little about yourself; anything fun or goofy that we should know? 

What a challenge! Tell me a little about yourself. How do I shorten 72 years in a paragraph? I’m a rebel, but of the old school. My first act of rebellion was apparently staged at age 2.5 or 3 when I slipped out the front gate of our home in Seattle and was found half a block away watching a mother bird feeding her young in a tree. The family I was adopted into thought men went to college and women became were store clerks or stayed at home so I got a Ph.D. Tourist traveling was for retirement years in the family so as soon as I got a driver’s license and my own car at age 18 I took off to see friends in L.A. and four years later went on the “Grand Tour” of Europe by myself.  Somewhere along the line I fell in love with Turkey and in particular, Istanbul. Now I’ve spent more than half my life there, nearly 35 years as a journalist, although I’ve maintained contact with friends in Seattle. As you can probably discern, I love challenges (time limits, new and different subjects for example) and change for better or worse.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

As for where I live, I have an apartment in the center of Istanbul in an area called Cihangir, not on the historic peninsula with its “Old City” Byzantine and Ottoman buildings. Cihangir was full of gardens and orchards and wooden mansions in the 19th century but now is covered with apartment buildings along a hill from which you can see the Bosphorus Straits, Sea of Marmara and the Old City.  Although Istanbul has shopping malls and large supermarkets, my area has lots of small mom-and-pop stores, fast food outlets, butcher shops, pharmacies, repair shops and the like with all of them willing to do home deliveries without an extra charge. Even the veterinarians will send someone to pick up one of my cats if necessary. If a delivery isn’t too heavy, you just lower a basket from your window.  We even have garbage pickup five or six times a day.

3. Tell me bit about your family/home life (if you don’t mind).

These days I write a column once a week for the daily newspaper where I’ve worked for more than 30 years and that’s quite different from the 24/7 life as a news reporter for a daily paper.  I’m single and I share my third floor apartment with nine cats – there used to be more. It’s quite large so I’m rarely bothered by them unless they need cuddling or are hungry and what’s available doesn’t suit them.  There’s a green area in back without cars or dogs so they’re free to roam there. Two or three of them have figured out how to get down to the street in front of our building and will sit there crying very loudly until someone lets them in and I find them pawing at my door. When they let me, I monitor news reports, keep up on my e-mail correspondence, translate from Turkish to English for friends, write articles for the paper in addition to my column and work on / think about the several writing projects I have in mind, including a second and third follow-up to White Plume, which will shortly be up on Amazon. I also, with a Turkish friend, write a website ( click here for link which is a blend of information and a blog.

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's three questions; just tell me about your writing.)

When I was young, I used to write little scenarios or mostly dream them up without committing them to paper.  Since those were the days before television, I used comic books to stimulate my imagination or novels. Then my rebellion took me into academia with its quite different style of writing and eventually journalism. I kept my imagination to myself for the most part until a serious health scare made me aware of the passing time.  So I felt I should commit some of the more recent scenarios to paper and see about sharing them with others. I first wrote a trilogy, set in southwestern Wyoming about half way between Cody and Rock Springs which is still hibernating on my computer and then White Plume.  If there’s anything peculiar about my writing, it’s that I do my first draft by hand in spite of my arthritis – blank, unlined white paper and a fine-point pen, one page a day regardless of other commitments.  I don’t prepare an outline for my story but they’re fiction set in historical periods so the frame is already there.

(A note of interest to me here was that Niki has written a trilogy set between Cody and Rock Springs WY as I live in Cody and my newly released book is set in the badlands of WY. What a small world we live in to have such a connection to someone half way across the globe.) I've enjoyed meeting Niki online. What an interesting person, a true free spirit.

Look for White Plume at:
The White Plume on Amazon

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review: The Crystal Bridge, the Lost Shards, Book One by Charlie Pulsipher

My only criticism of this book is that it ends with a cliffhanger. Now I have to get my hands on the next book, fast. Ahhhhhh! Charlie Pulsipher, how can you do this to me?

At first I had a little trouble getting all the characters into my head because this is one of those epic books where several different stories are playing along beside each other. I often hate that, but in this case it was worth it because all of the stories were equally interesting. Once I got past the several beginnings, getting to know the characters in each thread I became very much enthralled in the stories.

I don’t want to put out any spoilers here, but the basics of the story revolve around a young boy named Kaden who has a secret power to travel between worlds, a girl name Aren who can see into peoples memories and a man named James who is involved with a dark, underground science project that has untold mysterious possibilities.

Put them all together with a lurking, godlike evil presence and you have the beginning of a story that will draw you in and keep you reading into the wee hours on a school night.

I recommend this book to readers young adult and up, boys, girls, men, women, anyone can enjoy this book. It also gets my G rating approval. 5 out of 5 stars

Note: I have now read the next book and it ties up all the ends very nicely, thank you Charlie.

About the author:

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?

I'm a huge biology nerd who loves woodworking, art, and funny television shows. I'm a writer. That probably makes me goofy right off the bat, but I also built a teardrop trailer from scratch and I do a mean velociraptor impression. It has been know to make grown men and women scream and hide behind large vehicles.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

I live in St. George, Utah. It's one of the most beautiful places you will ever see, stunning red cliffs, crystal blue skies, majesty and more majesty. You just have to ignore the fact that it turns into the molten underbelly of Hades every summer. No matter how hot it gets, you never have to shovel sunshine, and that makes me pretty happy. I also enjoy the hiking and camping at my fingertips year round.

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).

My wife and I have one neurotic dog that is literally afraid of his own shadow, vacuum cleaners, other dogs, people, exercise balls, and our yellow clothes hamper. He goes by Mahoney, Moopers, Honzers, Moopy, and Nugget. We spend a lot of time watching well-written television and reading when I'm not puttering around my garage.

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's 3 questions; just tell me about your writing.)

I write because I love creating something from nothing with something as intangible as words. Serious, these little letters that appear on the screen as I type are just photons that represent sounds. Can you get any more insubstantial than that? Yet, words are how we create and paint our realities. I will never stop loving these sorcerous abilities. I write science fiction, fantasy, the combination of the two, zombie humor, and health and fitness articles. It's a weird mix, I know. My day job is as a copywriter for a plant-based supplement company and then I tinker with my own stories when I get home. I don't know if I have weird writing habits. I suppose spend a lot of time not actually writing, but dreaming up scenes, conversations, histories, and just letting my characters play in my head. Anyone watching me would think I was just a lazy guy who likes laying on the couch and staring at the ceiling for hours, but I'm writing.

Links where you can find more of Charlies books:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Review: Book Of Immortals: Canidate by Kassandra Lynn

Candidate, is the second in a series. To read my review of the first book see: My review of Book of Immortals Disciple for Online Book Club

I really enjoy a book where the bad girl is seeking redemption. Preserving her soul in a crystal pendant, Shann lies dead for almost one hundred years in an apparatus that has preserved her mortal remains.
She is not the only thing that has been preserved however, her child, still in the womb is still alive. Her former master, not knowing he is the father of the baby girl removes the child and takes it as his own. He hangs Shann's pendant on the baby's neck.
This allows Shann to go out among others, to find a suitable body that she can take over.
Her spirit watches over her daughter, Eadon, for a time and she has a connection with her. Her daughter would be a candidate for her soul to intrude but she would never do that. However, through the connection that her daughter has with her the master becomes aware that she is trapped in the pendant.
He sends the pendant out to find its way to others. Eventually it comes in contact with someone that is suitable, who is also evil enough that she has no qualms about taking over his body, changing it to suit her own needs and then, because the body belongs to a devil cult leader, she has to escape and find her way back to the immortals she cares for.
She later joins a quest to find the Book of Immortals. The devils also want the book, and war ensues when it is found. Shann, who has not been able to completely annihilate the devil she shares a body with is sometimes taken over by him. In the end, well, no spoilers from me. Read the book if you want to know how it ends.
I give the book four out of five stars, you know I'm stingy with stars so that's a good score. It's reasonably clean though not squeaky, the magics are sound and well thought out. I recommend this book to fantasy readers from older young adults and up.

A bit about the Author: (this is always my favorite part)

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?

I grew up reading stories in both English and Chinese.  The structure behind fiction and the roles each characters play had intrigued me since I was a child.  Somehow, I like many of the antagonists and minor characters more than some of the protagonists—perhaps because the antagonists are the ones with the more interesting traits and strong personality?  In my writing, I want to incorporate some of the things I like about minor characters into my protagonists.  My protagonists are not always good in the traditional perspectives—some of them might be downright evil and selfish—but they're the ones I like to read about.  I hope you find them interesting too.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

I live in Vallejo, CA where the weather is always nice.  The town is not huge, but it's close to major cities and recreational areas.

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).

I live with my husband and a sister who is my first beta reader.

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's 3 questions; just tell me about your writing.)

I like to make up stories in my head when I lie on my bed at night—it's like telling myself a bedtime story.  But thinking about something in my mind can be very disorganized and illusive.  I want to put them down in writing to make them more concrete and to share my fantasy with others.

I like to read and write fantasy and romance.  My finished books include "Book of Immortals: Disciple" and "Book of Immortals: Candidate."  I'm currently working on the third book in the series.

I have so many new concepts I want to write about after finishing the Book of Immortals series.  It's hard to choose which one to do first!

I don't think I have any weird writing habits unless if you consider the fact that I never know where the plot is going to turn until it does.

Kassandra Lynn's Web Page

Book of Immortals: Disciple

Book of Immortals: Candidate

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Movie Review: Cinderella

Saw Cinderella this week and loved it.
It's clean, romantic, follows the old cartoon version but is not cheesy about it and yet it varies enough to be fresh. I love re-tellings of old classic fairy-tales and this one was well done..
The actors did a fabulous job and were well cast. I saw some familiar faces but they played their parts so well you had to really think about it to recognize them. I'm not naming names here as I'm terrible at names anyway, but you know who they are. Well done.
It's the best Disney movie I've seen in a long time, my husband even said it was good and he usually falls asleep during a movie unless people are dying.
I recommend it to romantics of all ages. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

(thank you to for the photo I 'borrowed'.)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

the Whisper of Albion by J S Watts

It's poem or short story week:
I'm pleased that J S Watts has agreed to shared a poem with you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

She says, "The poem I’ve chosen to share with you is “A Whisper of Albion” which comes from “Cats and Other Myths”. Where I live now, and in my previous home in St. Albans in the UK, there are lots of old things buried in the soil which get dug up every time you do any gardening or a farmer ploughs a field. This prompted me to write the following poem."

A Whisper of Albion

The earth was whispering

As I dug you up.

It has secrets it frets to share.

Where others see rubbish

It shows treasures:

Flints and porcelain,

Broken pots and bottles

And today a pebble;

Small round stone with no centre,

Just a hole running

All the way through it,

A tiny passageway to eternity

Through which the winds

Of lost centuries blow.

Maybe a bead, a children’s toy,

The lost link to a necklet

Worn by a princess.

Maybe just a small round stone

With a hole through its middle

Amusing my fingers

As I peer through

In search of lost lands

And the hidden whisper

Of Albion’s soil.

A little about the author:

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?

I’m a British writer and I write poetry, novels and short stories. Much, but not all, of my work, has elements of speculative fiction within it, but I’ll tell you a bit more about that later. I’m a keen amateur photographer, which I find fun and I’m also a French Horn player, which I thoroughly enjoy, but others seem to find a little goofy. I think it’s all the brass tubing that goes to make up a French Horn.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

I live in the UK. I was originally born and grew up in London, but now I live in the large-skied, flat-lands of East Anglia, in the countryside near the city of Cambridge. It is a very beautiful and open part of the countryside to live in and, as a former Londoner, I love the fact that I can walk out of my house and straight into fields and woodland. There are deer, foxes, squirrels and badgers just meandering about on their business and the bird life is extensively wonderful. In summer the fields are filled with a colourful array of butterflies, bees and dragonflies.

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).

These days it's just me and the cat and that’s great for writing, because when the words are flowing I don’t like being disturbed. The cat, however, doesn’t fully appreciate this and still yowls for food, attention and general human-slave functions at regular intervals.

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits?

As noted above, I write poetry, novels and short stories primarily for adults, but some of my short stories have appeared in magazines for young adults. I have published two books of poetry, “Cats and Other Myths” and “Songs of Steelyard Sue”, and a dark fiction novel, “A Darker Moon”. A second novel, “Witchlight”, is due out this Spring. I am hoping that a third poetry book will follow later this year or beginning of next. My short stories and individual poems are published in varied magazines, in print and online, and I also write book reviews for magazines and e-zines. Much of my work has speculative elements to it: “Songs of Steelyard Sue” combines Science Fiction with a more literary poetic style and tone (the hero of the poetry sequence is a female robot living on an Earth turned into a rubbish heap by mankind), and I like writing which crosses and mixes genre boundaries. The books I enjoy reading most are equally diverse and genre fluid. You can find out more about me and my writing at

Out in 2015 from Vagabondage Press, Witchlight, a novel by J.S.Watts. Other books by J.S.Watts: A Darker Moon (novel), Vagabondage Press 2012 - ISBN 978-0615706528; Cats and Other Myths (poetry collection), Lapwing Publications 2011 - ISBN 9781907276644; Songs of Steelyard Sue (poetry pamphlet), Lapwing Publications 2012 - ISBN 9781909252028: NOMINATED for BOTH SFPA and Saboteur Awards Best Poetry Pamphlet 2013.
Find the writer J.S.Watts on Facebook:

Book links (US):

Cats and Other Myths

Songs of Steelyard Sue

A Darker Moon

Book links (UK): (the prices for my poetry books are more sensible in the UK)

Cats and Other Myths

Songs of Steelyard Sue

A Darker Moon

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Perfect Victim by Patricia Dusenbury

I'm so glad I agreed to review this book. It was well worth the time. It was so good, I feel guilty having received a free copy.
I give A Perfect Victim 5 out of 5 stars, and I'm normally very stingy with stars.
I haven't read a lot of mysteries lately, I got bored with them years ago because so many of them seemed to follow a formula and were too predictable to be fun. This book however, kept me glued to my seat from cover to cover.
I won't recap the book, because it's a mystery and nobody wants spoilers with those. I will however say that the characters seemed very real and the situations they were in were very believable. The main character is a widow woman who suffers panic attacks. An underlying theme of the book is how she works her way out of being the helpless emotional cripple and becomes the strong woman she really is. She becomes one of the main suspects in a murder, and when she tries to find the culprit herself she gets herself in even deeper. Through her trials, she comes to grips with her personal demons.
I would recommend this book to readers from young adult up. It does elude to some bad life situations but there is nothing graphic. It does have a couple of foul words coming out of the mouth of one character, but I'm sure kids hear worse in school.
It looks like this book is the first of a series. I'm going to have to make time to read the next one and will be waiting to see the third come out.

About the author:

Patricia Dusenbury was one of those children who snuck a flashlight into bed and read mystery stories under the covers ‘til the wee small hours.  Despite this, she managed to acquire a degree in economics and a job that required writing as well as reading.  Now she’s become a writer, hoping to atone for those economic reports and analyses by writing stories that people read for pleasure. Uncial Press e-published A Perfect Victim in 2013 and Secrets, Lies & Homicide in 2014. A House of Her Own is scheduled for release in September,

In answer to some questions I asked her she replied:
After a lifetime on the east coast, I now live on one of the steepest hills in San Francisco - and only a block from the school where one of my grandchildren is in kindergarten.    I've always been an avid reader, especially mysteries, and writing them seemed the natural next thing.

To read more about her books and maybe get one, check out her Amazon Author page

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spotlight on Aften Szymansky

I've had so much fun since I started doing these spotlights and book reviews. I've gotten to know some wonderful fellow writers.

Today I'd like to tell you about Aften Szymanski.

Aften and I have traded manuscripts in the past and she has encouraged me in my writing. Although I have never physically met her, I feel like we have become friends.

She writes stories for young people that help them to deal with some of the crazy stuff that they have to face growing up. I read one called Liar Lindy Brant that brought back some of those awful feelings I had when I was in middle school and there were misunderstandings and mean kids who made the most of them.

Here are her answers to my four questions.

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?
When I make ramen noodles I add tomato sauce, sriracha, lemon juice, and a little soy sauce. Sometimes I’ll add thin sliced onion, capers, or green olives to the cooking process, or green peppers. However, if I have any kimchi in the house- it’s all about kimchi in my ramen.  I love ramen noodles.

I love to travel and have been to Germany, Haiti, Ecuador, and Mexico. I want to travel more, but since I’ve been married and had kids it’s been more difficult to find the time and money.

I startle easily. If you’ve been standing in front of me for three minutes, but I was looking down—as soon as I look up I will freak out at you. Also, don’t approach me in silence, from around a corner, or at night without first making your presence known well in advance.

When I was thirteen I purchased the script for Return of the Jedi so I could study writing from my favorite movie. I also bought Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as a script. (I loved George Lucas works until Jar Jar Binks came to be).
After reading the scripts I bought I wrote a Christmas play and somehow convinced my siblings to play parts in it. I made them rehearse for a month and a half so they could perform for our parents. It was a tragic comedy about three self-absorbed elves who scheme to overthrow Santa, who they believe gets all the credit and does none of the work. They’re later tricked into believing Santa choked to death on a tainted cookie, and then have regrets when they realize they aren’t prepared for the social skills demands of Santa’s job requirements as well as coordinating the drops worldwide. Santa later laughs at them because he ‘totally played them’. They learn that everyone has a valued role in the production of Christmas joy and Santa tries harder to show his appreciation and recognition for the elves effort.

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?
I live in Star Valley, WY where there is snow a minimum of five months out of the year. My first year here it snowed on September first and we hid Easter eggs in three feet of snow when spring came. We invest in quality hot chocolates because it takes the drab edge off of winter. I own a lot of sweaters. I own no tan lines…

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).
I’m a mom first, writer second, and part time educator third. Day starts with getting kids up and ready for school all except my youngest who gets to hang with me most days. Up at 6am, read scriptures as a family, breakfast, hair and out the door. I double check my list with things to get done and then drag around for another hour debating getting myself out of jammies.
It generally takes me until 10am to think straight. I’ll sometimes get a workout in before 10am, but not always. At 10 I get to work going over any revisions or writing done the previous day and from there plunge into the new days work. I tend to my three year old the whole time so it’s a very broken day’s effort, but I love that.
When kids get off the bus it’s homework, dinner, and reading time. We read every night. My husband’s reading The Hobbit to our kids for a second time now—it’s their favorite.

4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's three questions; just tell me about your writing.)
I write at the kitchen table. I have no office space, which works well for a mommy-writer like me. My kids constantly interrupt me with needs, questions, demands, and hugs. It’s nice to be accessible as well as let them see that I am dedicated to the thing I love—writing.
Every day I make sure to write. Even if my only time is right before I switch my lamp off and fall to sleep. I have a standing goal of writing 500 words a day. I don’t expect more of myself because I have a lot of demands throughout the day and can’t always anticipate free time. But 500 is doable for me no matter what demands are set. It’s the way I unwind.
Weird habits? I fill empty Pepsi bottles with water so while I’m writing I can reach for what looks like a soda, but it’s really water. Except that it’s clear and Pepsi is the color of bubbling manure, so it only really tricks my mind if I’m totally into a scene and reach and drink without looking too closely at the liquid inside the bottle.

Books by Aften:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

IT'S ALIVE! Thanks everyone.

My book is out and I'm so excited.
I hope I haven't been driving everyone crazy tooting my horn about it, but . . .
It's here! It's here! It's here! (excessive exclamation marks are allowed today.)
Check out the side bar for all of the great places you can buy it  now.
I still can't believe it . . . I'm an author!

And before I forget: THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me along the way. My friends from my writing group "Friendzy" Carla, Krista, Leah, Melissa, and any others who have popped in over the years. To all the people who have read my books and encouraged me. I won't list you because I'm sure I would forget some, but you know who you are. Also to my online friends and writer's groups, The old time Litopians who are now The Drunken Beagles and the new Litopians who I have yet to get to know better, the Writers Think Tank bunch, The LDStoreymakers, LDS writers and I've probably forgotten someone here too.
To Creative Prose Publishing for seeing the potential in me and helping me bring it out. Also to my fellow authors at CPP for all their help with cover reveals, blog posts and book release parties. You guys are the best.
Last but not least I would like to thank my family for putting up with me, and especially my girls for reading my books and giving me honest opinions.
There are so many wonderful helpful people out there who have helped me to capture this dream.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Movie Review: Dinotopia

Okay, time for my first ever movie review.

Just watched last night, for the second time, the movie Dinotopia.
(Photo taken from internet: maxresdefault.jpg : James Gurney illustration.)

This movie is inspired by a book written, and illustrated, by fantasy artist James Gurney. It's a beautifully illustrated book published in 1992 by Greenwich Workshop.
The movie is about four hours long, but does not drag. It takes you with a pair of brothers whose plane crashes and strands them in a strange and unheard of land called Dinotopia.

As the name implies the land is populated not only by humans but by dinosaurs. No one ever leaves Dinotopia. The brothers eventually see that they have to become a part of this society. Carl, the rebel is assigned to a hatchery where baby orphan dinosaurs are hatched. David, who ironically is afraid of heights, is assigned to the skybax riders school. He has to learn to ride large pterodactyl like birds.

Things are not as ideal as they may seem at first in this land. The prime sunstones are failing and the carnivores are on the rampage. In order to restore the sunstones and the peace, they need to go to the land beneath to get more stones. Part of the problem however is that the land beneath is forbidden and protected by carnivorous monsters.

David and Carl end up being the only ones who are not so limited by tradition that they do not dare to try. They, with the help of a rather nasty fellow who betrays them in the end, find the land beneath and restore the prime sunstone, thus, saving Dinotopia.

I like this movie. I had forgotten what a fun little adventure it was. The land created by James Gurney is delightful. The story is entertaining and it's fairly well acted. If you like Journey to the Center of the Earth, you would probably like this movie. I would recommend Dinotopia to viewers of all ages.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Bride Lottery by Kristin Holt

The Bride Lottery by Kristin Holt is a sweet historical romance set in the early western USA.
Evelyn Brandt has made a bad choice and ended up an expectant unwed mother. Her socially upstanding parents force her to take the next west-bound train to an uncle in California where she is to give up the baby for adoption and pretend it never existed.
On the way, she falls in with a group of mail order brides on their way to a mining town. Not wanting to give up her baby, she joins them, in hopes that she can find a better way.
The resulting romantic adventure is heartwarming and fun.

I enjoyed this book. It is a sweet romance, meaning there are no sex scenes. It does however, imply that both parties are experienced. It also illustrates the consequences of those mistakes which redeems it in my eyes.  I'd rate it PG on the morality scale.
I've always enjoyed stories about mail order brides. The idea of an arranged marriage that works out is sort of fun. This one is no exception.
Over all I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, and you know how stingy I am with stars. It's a good read.

About the Author:

1. Tell me a little about yourself. Anything fun or goofy that we should know?

My varied past includes:

Attending 5 elementary schools, 2 junior highs, 1 high school, and 2 universities

Working as an RN in Labor and Delivery and Certified Childbirth Educator

Delusions of Medical School

Piccolo section leader in marching band

7 surgeries (maybe 8…I’ve lost count)

Collecting enough fabric, patterns, and notions to fill more space than my card-making paper supplies—and that’s really saying something

26+ years of marriage to one wonderful guy and raising our four children

Residence in 7 states

Visiting romantic locales: Costa Rica, Hawai’i, the Panama Canal, Brussels, and Paris

Shedding 70 pounds, working for Weight Watchers of SLC as Receptionist, Leader, and ultimately, Territory Manager

2. Where do you live and what is it like to live there?

I live in northern Utah. I grew up all over the United States and have vivid memories of virtually every region. One of the things I love best about Utah: we enjoy four distinct seasons.

3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).

I count myself blessed to have been married to the same wonderful guy for almost 27 years. We have 4 kids who are mostly adults now (the 'baby', at 17+ thinks she's an adult, and the others are legally adults).

4.Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's 3 questions; just tell me about your writing.)

I write because I love it. I find the creative process of storytelling blends with the technical processes of editing, formatting, and Indie Publishing in a way that fits my personality splendidly.
I write Sweet (wholesome) Western Historical Romance--about half of which are mail order bride romances. My setting of choice is the late 19th century American west. One of my series is more Rom Com (romantic comedy) than Western or Frontier (The Husband-Maker Trilogy). Because I live near, have lived, or have traveled to the locales I set my books in, it's natural. The setting is always an integral part of my characterizations.

While I've worked set schedules in the past (as an RN, and as a territory manager), I find the freedom of working solely as an author refreshing. Quite possibly my biggest quirk about in this self-employment world is I find it either a challenge to sit down and actually write or find it difficult to walk away from my work (because I've fallen in). I may or may not have an "all or nothing" personality--the jury's still out.

Perhaps of most interest, I write sweet (wholesome) romance because I firmly believe that the tender, sweet, falling-in-love elements of a story can and should be of greater impact when sexual intimacy's not in play. It's very possible for sweet romances to show through the story, that the hero and heroine have developed a deep and abiding love for one another and are fully committed. When I began writing romance, my daughters were much younger, and my personal desire, as their mother, was that they not have to learn the hard way that sex and love are not the same thing. I chose to cater my writing to selective readers who love romance but prefer the absence of strong language and want books free of sexual content. I label my books with the familiar movie ratings (though TV or gaming ratings might be more effective). I call them G or G/PG, and have been amused when reviewers say "this book isn't PG, it's G-rated". Good. That's the audience I'm aiming for.

See more about Kristin and her books on these links: