Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Net Switch!

The time has finally come. My debut novel, Net Switch, a dark, psychological suspense is now available on Amazon in paperback and Createspace (subsidiary of Amazon). Please check out my Author Page on Amazon. Here’s the synopsis:

“In the dead of winter, Sydney Hayes finds herself in an internet chat room in hopes of expelling her loneliness. Enchanted by a stranger, she soon finds herself caught up in an affair that spills over into her everyday life. Within a short period of time, the stranger captures her mind, her body and eventually her heart, but excitement turns to terror and Sydney must abandon the life she built in Chicago and assume a new identity.

A fragile woman in a new city, Sydney tries to put it all behind her as she makes a fresh start in Seattle, but her troubles follow her and she is running out of time. Feeling as though she has no other choice, Sydney is determined to destroy him before he destroys her—unaware that her journal holds the key.

Will she discover the secret before it’s too late?”

Stop by YouTube to check out the Net Switch Book Trailer, and if you have a moment, like it or add a comment.

Thank you all for your support.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Love that Lasts Forever

It’s true—no one will ever love you like your mother. On December 7, my mother left us to be with God, but she was not alone. Her three children and sister kept her company. My mother watched her children take their first breaths and we saw her take her last. Today, we put her to rest.  

Life wasn’t easy for my mom. Divorced at age thirty with three children, like all single mothers with an absent ex-husband, she sacrificed a lot for her children and never once stopped us from following our dreams. I admire the strength it must have taken to divorce when divorce was frowned upon, along with her and my grandmother’s hard work in giving us a good life. I remember her telling me that she kept her married name because she didn’t want her children to have to go to school with a different last name. Her decisions were always for the good of her children. She believed my brother, sister and I were her biggest accomplishments in life.

When my brother lived in New York, she would collect what monies she could to send him care packages, and when I lived in Germany, every day she would stay up to the early morning hours just to make sure she got a chance to talk to me on Skype. When her other daughter fell upon hard times, she would send text messages to let her daughter know that she loved her. As many reprimands as she dished out, she more than made up for with love.

I remember when we were young, my brother, sister and I would kneel around the manger at Christmas time to say our prayers before bed. On Christmas morning, my mom would have one of us put baby Jesus in the crib. It was a big deal to us and a memory I will treasure forever.

My mother was…creative when it came to pulling baby teeth. She would tie a string around our tooth and the other end around the refrigerator door and then slam it. But it was our job to find the tooth.

Then we grew up and had our own lives, and my mother bought a Maltese she named Buttons, to keep her company. He became her little baby.

She was a great cook, and come Thanksgiving, the entire family couldn’t wait to eat her turkey dressing. It was the best in the world. Then on Easter, she made her lamb cakes for friends and family. And in August, she made cold beet soup for the three Leos in her life.

There was one thing about my mother that many can agree with and that was her laugh. It was a hearty one. Not a wimpy, fake laugh, but one that made you feel like you could possibly be a comedian one day.

She loved football—most of all—her beloved Chicago Bears. We would either get together to watch the games, or call each other throughout the game with our comments. Even though she was very sick, she asked to have the Bear’s game on the Sunday before she passed.

It was this time of year, Christmas and snow, that my mother loved the most. If she could sit with a cup of Starbucks while watching a snowstorm, she’d be happy.

Merry Christmas from Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes and all of your cares
I’ll even remind you to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment, to stay in His grace
I came here before you to help set your place

You don’t have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue to climb

To my family and friends,
Please be thankful today
I’m still close beside you,
In a new special way

I Love you all dearly,
Now don’t shed a tear
Cause I’m spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.
 by John Wm. Mooney, Jr.

My mother was religious, felt strongly about family and tradition, and made sure those around her were happy. Because of her devotion to friends and family, I don’t think she realized how many people truly loved her.

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets [their] wings.” I believe my mom already earned hers.

Merry Christmas and Sweet Happiness, Mother…until we meet again.

Love your ‘precious baby’, Denise

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 25 Days of Christmas!

the First
day of Christmas
we had plenty of snow,
I would have much rather had
hangings of mistletoe. On the Second 
day of Christmas I drank some eggnog brandy.
A wonderful substitute for peppermint candy. On the
Third day of Christmas I sent out Christmas cards—just me
and a wine bottle sending my best regards. On the Fourth day
of Christmas I decorated my tree, after a few days, it became 
home to a flea.

On the Fifth
day of Christmas I
wrote my wish list, hoping
more than ever, to finally be kissed.
On the Sixth day of Christmas I received
a secret gift, an IOU and a request to work
the night shift. On the Seventh day of Christmas
the grocery store ran out of brie, which I had
planned to eat while playing my Wii. On the
Eighth day of Christmas I got my hair
done, she apologized for making
me look like a nun. On the Ninth
day of Christmas I had a colonoscopy.
The procedure wasn't fun, but the drugs made me
feel free. On the Tenth day of Christmas the carolers did
sing, it wasn’t as good as getting a ring. On the Eleventh day
of Christmas I ate a chocolate chip cookie, then later that night,
my lover wanted some nookie. On the Twelfth day of Christmas I
went to plow. The snow was much higher than the Dow. On the
Thirteenth day of Christmas I went to a holiday festivity, and got
stuck talking to someone about radioactivity. On the Fourteenth
day of Christmas I cooked a Cornish Hen. I couldn't finish
eating it because of too much cayenne. On the Fifteenth  
day of Christmas my ceiling started to leak
The repairman who came, had a
very nice physique.

On the Sixteenth day of Christmas I went sledding with the little ones. By the time we got home, we all had frozen buns. On the Seventeenth day of Christmas my work had a food fest. I ate too much and now I'm unable to digest. On the Eighteenth day of Christmas arose several family dramas. I ignored the calls, and drank in my pajamas. On the Nineteenth day of Christmas my Christmas lights went out. I couldn’t fix them because of my gout. On the Twentieth day of Christmas I watched a holiday flick, about a man, who falls in love with some chick. On the Twenty-First day of Christmas I ate ten candy canes. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, to enjoy some Mary Jane’s. On the Twenty-Second day of Christmas I put the logs on the fire, and thought about the day when I can retire. On the Twenty-Third day of Christmas I thought I heard reindeer, but it was only coming from the computer engineer. On the Twenty-Fourth day of Christmas I made my love dinner. He looked at it and said, “This definitely won’t make you look thinner.” On the Twenty-Ffth day of Christmas we all went to mass, to pray for our shortcomings, and wish for some class.

Mistletoe and Ho! Ho! Ho!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Liebster Blog Award!

A few of my blogger followers bestowed upon me this awesome blog award. Please take the time and stop on by Let go of the Past, live Today and create Tomorrow where you will find wonderful inspiration. You won’t be able to stop smiling after reading his blog. Also, please head on over to Mainely Mugups for soothing music and diverse blog posts that leave you feeling good.

What’s awesome about this blog award is that Liebster is a German word that means dearest/love. And since I refer to the love of my life as Mein Liebster, and lived and plan to go back to Germany, I can’t help but have a greater appreciation for this award.  

But there are responsibilities that go along with such an honor.

1)  I need to link back to the person(s) that gave me the award and thank them. WilyBCool and Belva’s blogs share positive insights, so please click on the above links and start following them.

2) List 5 of my favorite blogs with under 200 followers, and let them know you awarded them with the Liebster award. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s just a great opportunity for me to reach out to others and maybe receive a few more followers.

3) Post the award on my blog. I’m all about bragging.

4) Be thankful for your blogger friends.

Here are my picks:

1) Stop on by June Kramin’s aka Aunty Bug’s blog. She is a writer friend of mine with several books coming out. Find out when and what June is publishing and read some funny snippets of her life.

2) My next blog is attorney/writer, Melissa Sugar-Gold’s. Every time I stop on by, I laugh out loud reading about her writing escapades. Make it part of your daily reads.

3) I want to refer you to my writer friend, Barb, and her blog, Written Not With Ink. Barb’s posts are interesting and thought provoking. She provides a new and refreshing outlook on things.

4) I’ve recently had the privilege to connect with Ramblings of a Peacock. Head on over there and see what she’s rambling on about.

5) Another blog I’ve recently started to follow is The 20th Century Man. I always love hearing about life from a man’s POV.

For wonderful reads, head on over to the above blogs and fill your days with laughter and inspiration.

Sharing and following,

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Beginning of the Season!

This is my favorite time of year; holiday cheer, winter gear and the anticipation of a new year. Not to mention, Santa’s reindeer, Leinenkugel “Fireside Nut Brown” beer, and for some of us, a bigger rear.

So to kick off the holiday season, I decided to post some Christmas trivia questions and add more every week. You can post your answers in the comments or shoot me an email.
1.  In Frosty the Snowman, who brought Frosty back to life?  Santa Claus
2.  Who lost $8,000 in It's a Wonderful Life? Uncle Billy
3.  In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean? His heart was two sizes too small
4.  Who tells you she's in town by tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane? Suzy Snowflake
5.  What is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time? White Christmas
6.  What was Scrooge's first name? Ebenezer
7.  Where was I when I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus? On the Stairs
8.  What was the name of Rudolph's dogsled driving friend? Yukon Cornelius
9.  Who said "God Bless Us, Every One!"? Tiny Tim
10. What carol contains the line "O tidings of comfort and joy"? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
11.  In The Night Before Christmas I sprang from my bed to see what? What was the matter
12. Name the three reindeer whose names begin with a "D"? Dasher, Donder, Dancer
13. In the song "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer" what did Grandma go to get? Her medication
14. What was the first gift my true love sent on the sixth day of Christmas? Six geese a-laying
15. In what city did Miracle on 34th Street take place? New York
16. In It's a Wonderful Life, how did Clarence cleverly save George's life? He jumped in the river first
17. Who kept time with the Little Drummer Boy? The ox and the lamb
18. In The Night Before Christmas, where were the stockings hung? By the chimney
19. What is the name of the little girl in most versions of The Nutcracker? Clara
20. What is the last ghost called in A Christmas Carol? The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Prayers and Miracles,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It’s all about Appearance

Since I’ll be doing some book promoting, I’ve recently looked back at past marketing and promotions that did and didn’t do so well. It’s interesting how marketing/promoting a product can increase sales or cause its collapse.

We’ve recently heard some debates regarding the marketing of Dr. Pepper Ten. “It’s only ten manly calories.” “It’s what guy’s want.” “Dr. Pepper Ten. It’s not for women.”

I’ll be honest, this didn't upset me that they wiped out a very, very large demographics, but I did watch the video wondering, “Do guys really care about calories? Is there such a thing as ten womanly calories? Are they trying to use reverse psychology to get more women to buy the product?” Most household shoppers are women, and if these women are out shopping for pop (yes, I’m from Chicago) for husbands and kidlets, do they really think the women will head straight for Dr. Pepper?

Then there’s the Abercrombie & Fitch, Summer 1999

Does A&F own an island? Did you see all their cool clothes? Because I didn’t. There’s nothing about that video that screams clothes to me.

Ayds Diet Candy

Unfortunately, the ad came out when AIDS was becoming the scariest thing in the world. And a double whammy was that AIDS was known to eat away at the body, and AYDS Diet Candy was a weight loss product.  

Now for a few of my favorite marketing/promotions.

Joe Boxer

Every time I saw this commercial I couldn’t help but smile. I wanted to go out and buy Joe Boxers for someone. I wonder what happened to this guy. I miss him.

I don’t drink J&B, but because I thought the advertisement was cool, I thought about getting a bottle.

Do you know of any good or bad marketing/promotion campaign ads?

Audience and sell,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boom, Boom Weekend!

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you think you haven’t achieved a thing, but you actually did? Where you’re up early and turning in late and at the end of the weekend nothing looks disturbed…other than you maybe? I had one of those weekends—one filled with surprises to say the least.

BUT...I did get my book cover completed. I’ve been preparing for this publication for a long time, yet it didn’t seem real until now. My dark, psychological suspense, Net Switch, is coming alive. I am very pleased with the cover, and I’m even more excited to be able to say my cousin, Brian Baer, did the cover art. If you want to see more of Brian’s artwork, head on over to his website: Danke schön, Brian.

Since I created my poetry book trailer, Sipping a Mix of Verse, and enjoyed doing it, I wanted to tackle this book trailer. Of course, I had to make this one different to keep with the theme of my novel. Like movie trailers, book trailers promote books to intrigue enough of people into buying it.
Net Switch

Tempt and catch,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran’s Day!

For the first time in a long time, I’m glad to see the media focusing on our veterans and doing stories about their sacrificed. I want to take this time to thank all the veterans and their families for their sacrifices, along with those in active service From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the service you’ve given to your country in keeping the United States free. God Bless every one of you.  


The camera’s angle
twists and swings to the voice
of the broadcaster. 
Bloody boots resembling
yours appear on enemy streets;
gunfire lights up the sky.
I can smell the smoke drift
in the night air even thousands
of miles away.
Trepidation moves me closer
to the screen looking for a sign,
such as crow color hair,
with a spray of warfare sweat.
Or a calloused hand, tattoo
on thumb, symbolizing courage.

Nothing revealed you were among
the dust, broken buildings or
bodies.   I shift away
then walk to the window.
Looking up, a bright sun warms
my worried face; wonder if
you’re safe, tucked in
a hole away from harm’s way.
But this feeling belongs
to me alone.
I don’t know where you
rest your body, hoping it’s
still breathing—
just like you didn’t know my crush
on you—since childhood cavorting.

Sacrifice and Freedom,

In Memory of my uncle, John Maluska.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Express Yourself!

I wanted to be a rock star when I was young. I sang in plays, around the house, and in high school, I sang with a band, but my dream slowly faded. Smoking didn’t help my voice and I had too many lost years, so now my singing is limited to the shower and in the car. But I do have “recording a song in a recording studio” on my Bucket List.

Even though I don’t have a voice to be a rock star, I love music and appreciate great talent, which is why I’m a fan of “The Voice” and “X-Factor USA”. All of the contestants on X-Factor are great—really great. I’m not a big fan of rap or hip-hop, but that Astro is a talented little man. Both of the groups, Lakoda Rayne and The Stereo Hogzz bring their own style to the songs, and although very different, I enjoy their performances. Rachel Crow is adorable and can knock out a song like older contestants.

However, my two favorites have such control of their voices, and literally make my stomach flip and my eyes tear up when I hear them sing. One is beyond her years, and the other makes every existing song his very own.

Drew Ryniewicz, a 14-year old from Arizona, has control, honesty, creativity and a folksy, raspy voice that I love. She makes singing look so effortless. When I first heard her sing, I heard a mix of Alanis Morisette and Jewel.

Josh Krajcik, a 30-year old from Ohio, is a fusion between Andrew Strong and Bruce Springsteen. I love his strong voice, yet he can sing loud and high with smooth transitions.

What about you? Do you watch X-Factor? Who is your favorite and why?

Singing and dancing,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview with David Delaney!

I want to introduce you to today’s guest blogger, David Delaney. Instead of me telling you who David is, I’ll just let him do it.
I am a former Brisbane boy but now currently live and work in Cairns with my very patient, and darling wife. I sometimes wonder where I get the time to write but always seem to manage to pen something. Also I am a member Tropical writers group Cairns, Arts nexus Cairns & Australian Bush Poets Association

Having had no formal education in writing and now into my 50's, I wanted to show that someone like myself without higher schooling could write and enjoy it. For me school, Rocklea State School (when I was there) was a place to 'hang out' with my mates and I actually only completed 3 months of high school (Salisbury) before leaving at the age of 15.

After numerous jobs throughout my youth, I eventually moved into Furniture Removals where I stayed for approximately 25 years. For 17 of these, my wife and I operated our own removal business, and was able to travel extensively throughout N.S.W and Queensland.

Since leaving the removal industry several years ago and having some 'thinking' time, my experiences, memories of driving the highways and tracks, the vast and beautiful outback, my wife, daughters, grand children and family, stories from mates, work colleagues and close war veterans have given me the inspiration for my writings.

Hello David,

Thank you for taking the time to do this guest interview. I first would like to congratulate you on your poetry book, Out of Australia, and your poetry award.

Thank you Bea and it's my pleasure to do this interview with you.

Could you please tell us about your latest book, Out of Australia?

My new release "Out of Australia" is a compilation of 100 of my poems consisting of, Australian bush poetry, free verse, traditional rhyme and sonnets, my book is also a journey the reader takes with me as I progress with my writing through the years of 2007 up to and including 2009.

You recently won the 2011 Open Poetry Award organized by the Reef Writers & Port Douglas Gazette. It’s a wonderful experience to win an award by prominent writers. Has this changed anyone’s perception and interest in your writing?

It is a wonderful but humbling experience to win any competition especially when competing against some very talented writers and if this win has changed anyone's perception of my writing I can only hope it is a positive one, but, we as writers never know this until told by someone.

This wasn’t the first award you’ve won—you have many to your name. We all know that awards are special, but is there one in particular that made things right? One that validated your hard work?

Agreed, this was not and any other award I have been recognised with is a wonderful experience be it a commended place or a 1st or 2nd place but if I had to pick one I would have to go with my Commended place in the Eastwood/Hills region of the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2011 literary competition, traditional section for my sonnet ‘Why’ as the calibre of writers including academics was a great challenge for me.

You started writing poetry later in life with no prior formal education. Have you ever come across bias in your works because of your education?

I suppose I have with a couple of academic types, who think writing rhyming poetry is 'futile' and 'old hat' and believe free verse/prose is the only poetry that should be written or published, I honestly believe "A true poet is one who writes and understands the disciplines involved in any genre of poetry" not just one style, but in saying that my 1st love is Australian bush poetry.

How do you hope to differentiate yourself from other poets?

I'm not that interested in differentiating myself from other poets, I would rather be accepted by other poets, as a poet, and be known for what and how I write. I also know I'm not the best or greatest poet in the world, but I, (and so many others) enjoy what I write and as I continue reading and learning new styles, I can only improve as time goes on.

Is there anyone else in your family who shares your love of writing?

Not that I immediately know of, but you never know, one of my grandchildren might take up the cause.

Some of your poetry is called Australian bush poetry. Could you please explain what Australian bush poetry is?

I am a member of the Australian Bush Poets Association, and by definition, Australian Bush Poetry is good metred and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life. Bush poetry is very much on par with the American Cowboy poetry.

I love that you sprinkled some pictures throughout your poetry book. Did you add the pictures to help the reader visualize the poem or did you add them for pure enjoyment purposes?

Yes! There are quite a number of "Aussie" photos which have been donated by friends and family including some taken by my wife and myself, it was enjoyable adding the photo's but mostly to help the reader visualise the Australian landscape because I know there would be many American friends who do not know how vast and unpredictable our country can be, for example America's state of Texas fits approximately 7.9 times into my state of Queensland.  

I love “In the Shadow of Ghosts” and “Cracker Night”. Both of these titles capture the entire poem and made me want to read your poetry story. As writers, we are proud of our writings, but are there any poems you hold closest to your heart?

I love all my poems but I must say you have picked one of my favourites "In the Shadow of ghosts" this is my small tribute to our great Australian poets, there are a number of poems I just can't or have great difficulty performing as a huge number of my poems could be classed as memoirs and are so close to my heart, for example a number of my tributes to our veterans like "Villers-Bretonneux" "Heroes of Gallipoli" or "An Old Vets Christmas" and of course some about my family.

Aside from poetry, have you written any other genre, such as short stories, novels, etc?

Yes, in 2010 I ventured into short story/memoir writing and almost immediately had wonderful success with these including my memoir "Tony the Wogs Mango Tree" accepted by a panel of academics at James Cook University for publication in their journal LiNQ  also my humorous/fiction/memoir "Duffel Bag of Poetry" received 2nd place in Scribbligums short story competition 2010 and "Encounter of a Different Kind" received a Commended place in the same competition, which was fantastic considering the international submissions I was competing against. 
Could you share one of you poems with us?

Since you mentioned one of my favourites earlier here is "In the Shadow of Ghosts"
To all and sundry I hereby attest
when writing stories, I will pen my best
to literary heights I will aspire
and write like poets, those that I admire.

To stroll with Lawson under silver moon 
and sit with Dennis in the early noon
ride with Morant along the Condamine
inspired by Parkes, my rhyme I will refine.

Then walk with Kendall , hear the bell birds song
stand with Ogilvie, view the rushing throng 
watch Evans write his women of the west 
read Boake, great poet and one of our best.

There’s Esson’s tribute to the shearer’s wife.
the convicts who sang their rum song of life
then Song of Australia was Carleton’s view
I hear Paterson, and that Geebung crew.

Verse caught the time, the man rode Snowys side
viewed Sydney town when ships moved with the tide
rode Cobb and Co. along a dusty track
travelled the bush, where some never came back.

All master poets, experts in this craft
read so many, I smiled, I cried, I laughed
published in many a books well read pages
their words are still resounding through the ages.

I’ll keep on writing well into the night
knowing one day, I’ll pen the metre right
the flow of my rhythm will be like a song
the beat will sound its perfect soft and strong.

With help from writers, present or the past
my writings' true perfection, I will grasp
when all’s left are my poems and my rhyme
I would love them remembered for all time.

Thank you for this interview. Congratulations and much success on your writing.

It has been my pleasure Bea, all the best to you and your readers.

You can purchase David Delaney’s book by visiting the below links.

Metre and emotion,