Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Meet a Guy

I got married when I was 38. Before finding my wife, there was a lot of pressure to get married from friends, family members, and colleagues. Inevitably they’d say something like, “You might be able to find a girl at the supermarket or laundromat. You just have to keep your eyes open.”

I did. And going to the supermarket for 15 years as a single guy, I might have had a conversation once or twice with an eligible woman. So the book How to Meet a Guy in the Supermarket by Jessica L. Degarm grabbed my attention. Was there something I was doing wrong all those years?

Maybe, but maybe not. The book Sex in America lists the five most common ways people meet their spouses. The survey was done on people who were married for twenty or more years so internet dating sites wouldn’t make the list, yet. Here is the top five: School, work, introduced by a friend, church, and proximity (in other words, someone who is a neighbor you might see walking the dog, getting the mail, or in the supermarket). My wife and I are both teachers. We met at work through friends, so does that mean we met at school or at work or introduced? Either way, we met one of the most common ways. Obviously there can be some overlap.

Next on the list and in a distant sixth place was meeting someone in a bar. Meeting someone in a supermarket made the list but it was under one percent of couples but it was ahead of the laundromat, which also made the list. The author lumped them all together and called the category “meeting someone cold” – in other words, striking up a conversation with a stranger. Combined, it accounted for less than five percent of marriages lasting twenty years or only one marriage in twenty.

I wonder how many married people reading this met their spouse cold or are most of you like me - part of teh 95% that met their spouse the typical way?  Or through or some other internet dating site?

So why is there this big myth about meeting someone cold? It’s romantic and the thing you’d expect from a movie. Or maybe most people who met that way never get married or end up divorced before twenty years of marriage. So when I picked up How to Meet a Guy in the Supermarket, I wanted to know if it revealed this secret.

What I got was a delightful read. Quinn, the narrator, is able to laugh at herself as she comes up with one idea after another, most failing in bizarre ways. She has a personality that sets the tone and makes the book charming to read even though at times I wanted to scream at her. In a way, it reminds me Goldie Locks in the Three Bears, but you have to read it to see why I say that.

Let me get this straight, this is chick-lit romantic comedy. It is fun. Imagine yourself watching a movie like “The Proposal.” It has funny scenes that make you laugh. This book works in the same way. And I could picture it as a Hollywood movie. As long as you know what you’re getting into, this book is pure pleasure.

And what’s the key to a romance? Keep the two lovers separated. Create a lovers triangle or two. When the right guy comes along, the reader knows who it is, but Quinn doesn’t. And as long as they are apart, the book remains interesting. The story doesn’t disappoint and it stays interesting to the end.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Magic of Finkleton by KC Hilton

There is something pleasing about reading a book aimed at a younger audience. I’m reminded about why Malcolm Gladwell said Blue’s Clues is more popular than Sesame Street. Blue’s Clues is more obvious. The chair is called a Thinking Chair. Whereas Sesame Street tends to be for adults at times and is a little more sophisticated / subtle, like when Big Bird ponders what would happen if his name was taken away.  Children tested perferred Blue's Clues.

Which brings me to KC Hilton’s book.

Hemingway created a style where less is more. We are supposed to figure out every nuanced reaction. Here we are told what is going through each of the characters heads. We may know that a stomped foot means the child is frustrated, but here we are reminded. A child needs that kind of information. An adult doesn’t. But there is something pleasant, relaxing about reading a book that doesn’t require one to think too deeply about what every physical mannerism means.

And of course there is the fun of getting lost in the magic.

Finkleton is a magical place where secrets must sometimes be kept, and sometimes told. We enter a world before computers, i-pods. Well, actually this is a world before TV, telephones, and even cars. And in this world of Finkleton, everything is perfect for farming because of magic. But when the 80 year-old man passes who is keeping everything in balance, things at Finkleton start to go astray.

The three children are the heroes of this book. Each one has his or her strengths and together they can tackle the problems that they face, but can three children work together? They act like any child would, which makes this charming. And just when things start to straighten out, a new mystery is adding making me wonder if a sequel is in the works.

I’m not an expert on children’s books, but I imagine this is a good book for someone around 7 to 12. Or for adults who are looking for an escape to their inner childhood.

A Couple of Interviews

SPKG is out there and I've gotten a few reviews and a couple of interviews and a couple of offers for some more.  I'll let you know when more come in.  Thanks everyone for spreading the word.  Here are a few links:

And a slightly older one:

SPKG is also now available at Barnes and Noble as well as and at you can get for any e-reader.  Don't have an e-reader?  Download an ap and read it on your computer (or wait til it comes out in print).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How My Account Got Hacked at Twitter And How I Could Have Stopped It

I got a prive message at Twitter from HolySlushPile asking, "Is this true about you?"  followed by a link.

My first thoughts were, "It must be a link to SlushPileReader because I just got published by them and since they are HolySlushPile, they wanted to see if I was the same guy."

So I clicked on the link and it brought me to the sign-in page of Twitter.  Hmm?  How did that happen?  Foolishly, I typed in my password, went back to the message, and tried again.

Same thing.  Sign-in page of Twitter.  I tried again.  This time it said, "Page Does Not Exist."

Then I see that HolySlushPile sends me another message - this one saying he had been hacked.

And then I saw that I was sending everyone who follows me messages, "You can make 3,000 to 8,000 a day - guaranteed," followed by a link.

My hunch: if you clicked on that link, it'd send you to the sign-in page at Twitter.  If you were like me and signed in, you too would be hacked.

I have since changed my password and hope that takes care of it.  I learned a lesson.  Don't click on to links sent as messages that are curious.  And if it brings me to the Twitter sign in page, I won't enter my password next time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Frustrated Blogger in Spain

I've been trying to promotion Saint Peter Killed God from Spain via internet.  There's a lot to do on-line, but one thing that frustrates me is that every time I go to my blog, the links are in Spanish.  Instead of the .com ending, I by default get the .es ending - so instead of or - I get and - which isn't to big of a deal except for blogging.  For some reason I can't post comments on other people's blogs or even my own.  It doesn't recognize me.  I sign in, and then the comment says it's from anonymous.  Worse, it won't post it.

At least I can still post blogs.  For now.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Week Sales for Saint Peter Killed God

OK, so after the first week I sold five copies of Saint Peter Killed God. Not a bang but maybe a spark. I want to thank the five people who bought a copy and not all is bad. I’ve gotten more followers on Twitter but now I’m worried. I started to think about what happened ten years ago when I was grocery shopping. I noticed a teenager staring at me while I was picking out spaghetti sauce. He stared at me as if he were assessing me as he walked by.

I went to the next aisle over to pick up some rice when I noticed him again. His hands were in their pockets as he strolled down the aisle staring at me from head to toe. He gave me a brief smile. I smiled back.

The boy was smaller than I was so I didn’t feel intimidated by him. He looked barely old enough to be in my freshman English class. He seemed to be the type that would sleep as I taught of Romeo and Juliet. It was strange that he walked around without a cart and didn’t look at any of the food on the shelves, but was that a crime? I thought about how strange it would be if I went up to the manager and said how I didn’t like the way this young man was looking at me.

As I continued shopping, I bumped into him several more times and tried to ignore him.

I was loading my groceries in my car when I heard a scream. I saw the same teen running away from a woman with her purse.

I could have dropped my groceries and chased the boy. Tackle him. Bring back the purse. And be a hero. I thought about doing it. But I had two bags of groceries in my arms. I looked down at my shoes. Moccasins weren’t the best running shoes. As I thought about saving the day, the distance between me and the boy increased as my chances of being a hero decreased.

I’m tempted to give up. Only five copies sold in one week. But I don’t want the same regrets of what I could have done. So I’m going to keep trying. I want advice – how can I get people to enter Slush Pile Reader’s sweepstakes? I feel SPR is being very generous offering a $1,000 prize, $1,800 in all. Please, if you haven’t entered the contest, do so now. Invite friends. Help me spread the word. I know a few of you have read SPKG on-line. You can do me a favor by writing a review on Amazon or Smashwords or somewhere else. Become my friend on GoodReads or LibraryThing. Become a fan on Facebook. And please feel free to offer advice by commenting on this post.

Metaphorically speaking, I’m ready to drop the groceries and give chase. I’m just asking for a little help.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Modern 9 and 1/2 Weeks? Exploits by Poppet

Go to "Exploits" page

There’s a scene at the end of Nine and a Half Weeks where Mickey Rourke throws 100 dollars bills on the floor and asks Kim Basinger to crawl on the floor picking them up. It is too much for Kim. Being humiliated for the last time, she leaves as Mickey does something he hasn’t done the entire movie – he tries to be intimate. But as he gives these personal details of his life, it’s too late as she walks out forever.

Exploits is similar to Nine and a Half Weeks. Besides both being sexy, the Stephanie character is constantly humiliated by Gary. As I read it, I kept waiting for the scene where she breaks, like Kim crawling on the floor picking up 100 dollar bills. It happens. And then it happens again. But even after Stephanie breaks up with Gary, he still manages to hurt and humiliate her again and again.

I’m reminded of the time I went out a few times with a sexy woman. She ended up standing me up not once, not twice, but three times before I got the hint. She went on to become a soap opera actress. But why didn’t I get the hint after being stood up once? Good looks go a long way and in Exploits, Gary is so hot that Stephanie is willing to forgive him over and over again. I found myself being lulled into her thoughts as I started to wonder if Gary would change. But Gary never breaks down like Mickey and tells Stephanie his inter-most secrets. No, that comes from others making it hurt all the same.

The real strength of this book is the tone that Poppet sets. We really get into the mind of Stephanie. We feel what she feels. Every line resonates with someone of her age from the slang to her ideas. And the title is perfect as a double entendre.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slush Pile Reader Celebrates SPKG Release with $1,800 Give Away!

Slush Pile Reader is a website devoted to letting the readers choice which book they will publish.  The results are in and Saint Peter Killed God was voted number one. To celebrate it's release as an e-book (print version availabe soon), Slush Pile Reader is giving away $1,800 dollars in Amazon gift cards.  There is no need to buy the book to enter the sweepstakes.  Just follow this link:

Enter and if you get others to enter as well, you will get more chances to win!  Best of luck! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saint Peter Killed God released as an e-book tomorrow

There was a minor glitch in the formatting.  The tab key doesn't work when converting a word document to an e-book, but now that's taken care of, Saint Peter Killed God should be released by the 4th of July for Kindles at and on other e-readers at, where I already sold my first copy.  Slush Pile Reader is planning a promotion which I'll announce tomorrow everywhere I can.  Print version coming later...