Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean City Maryland Beach Erosion

The so called "storm of the decade" really did a job on the shoreline of Ocean City Maryland. The worst beach erosion was north of us in the area of 143rd Street, where properties are literally sitting at the edge of a ten foot cliff. The beach was due for replenishment in 2010. Now the timetable will be sped up and the scope of the job will be increased.

Much of the beach was inaccessible but at our entrance sand was pushed into a ramp so city vehicles could have access. The area was heavily used by visitors who wanted to take advantage of Sunday's sixty degree weather to fish, collect shells or take a walk by the water.

I took lots of pictures so when I come back to watch the replenishment I'll have before and after photos. I've posted a few here. Click on the picture for a larger view.

If you look close you can see JP standing on our balcony surveying the aftermath of the storm.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


Breaking News I'm a NaNoWriMo Winner

WooHoo!! 50,997 Words with time to spare.
More on my NaNoWriMo experience to come.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Here's what's on my TBR pile. NaNoWriMo has taken over my life this month but reviews will follow - I promise.


"Savage Days Haunted Nights by Bennett Kremen portrays Dorian, a man trapped in a harrowing struggle between good and evil, striving now perilously day after day to conquer this. It's an arresting tale, suspenseful and driven by forceful action from the first page to the last. Criminals, professors, socialites, prostitutes, poets and ordinary people animate every chapter of this saga, revealing some of the darkest secrets of the back streets of Chicago and New York and, in one chapter, a breathtaking adventure on a bleak, forbidding tundra in the wilds of Alaska. Revealed here also are the very deepest recesses of human character and the agonies of love amidst the moral challenges of our age."

LETTERS TO ROSY by C. Ellene Bartlett

"An ocean apart, two elderly women, Rene Dubois, in Germany and Roselee Payton in America spent time in the late 50's and early 60's as teens in the town of Bartsville, Georgia, a small town outside the city of Atlanta. Mendy completed the terrible three. Bound together by love for each other once again became a trio. Rene's urge to write letters to Rosy and reveal the story of Ken Mitchell who lost his wife to insanity and the disappearance of his little girl Sasha. He was teetering on the brink of destruction. A year of grieving brought him back to his normal state of health. He took a cruise to Germany. At the Captain's Dinner, an unexpected meeting enhanced his obsession to find his daughter. Another unusual meeting in the park, in Berlin, ignited Ken's imagination. Bridget was elated with the turn of events when tragedy struck, driving her into the arms of a trusted friend. Rosy was intrigued and relieved by Rene's letter and was encouraged to tell her own story of Mendy's abduction and rape witnessed by her six year old daughter Misty. Mendy Arnold and Misty vanished from a busy Street in Atlanta, Georgia. At the same time Trevor, Mendy's husband was engaged in a torrid affair with an Auburn-haired beauty he met the same morning. The first letter to Rosy started a downhill avalanche. There was no stopping now; the horrors of yesteryear became a reality once again. Born Charlotte Ellene Bartlett in Clarkston, Georgia. After WWII moved to Stockbridge, Georgia. Divorced with two children was hard. Met Air Force Sergeant and spent 34 years traveling the U.S and four years in Berlin, Germany. Husband passed away in 1996 and met Donald Blatchford in 1999. Now resides in New Port Richey, Fl. Took up painting again after 40 years and started writing. "Letters To Rosy" is a first novel."

PLAGUE WAR by Jeff Carlson

"Researcher Ruth Goldman has developed a vaccine with the potential to inoculate the world’s survivors against the nanotech plague that devastated humanity. But the fractured U.S. government will stop at nothing to keep it for themselves."


"Chaos is coming, old son.

With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.

No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?

As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures- from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word "WOE" woven in it-lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling."


"Can a band comprised of six very talented but very different musicians make a difference with their music?

What made it possible for Diamond Rio to weather the storms inherent in the fickle world of fame and fortune and go more than two decades without a single lineup change? Any reader in search of transparency and a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the band as a unit as well as the individual lives of the players and singers will be well satisfied. Can true loyalty exist within the competitive, seemingly unforgiving music industry? In Beautiful Mess Marty Roe, Dan Truman, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams each has an entire chapter devoted to his personal and professional life. The book’s tone is a welcome rarity—not written from one player’s perspective, but from all six as they “meet in the middle.” Beautiful Mess is a wild ride from the edge of disaster and a little-known secret to an ongoing heart-warming revival."

COMING FOR MONEY: A novel of International Finance by F.W. Vom Scheidt

"How much money is too much? And how fast is too fast in life? Investment star Paris Smith steps onto the top rungs of the corporate ladder, only to discover he is caught between his need for fulfilment and his need for understanding, between his drive for power and his inability to cope with his growing emptiness where there was once love. When his wife disappears from the core of his life, Smith s loneliness and sense of disconnection threaten to overwhelm him. When he tries to compensate by losing himself in his work, he stumbles off the treadmill of his own success, and is entangled in the web of a fraudulent bond deal that threatens to derail his career and his life. Forced to put his personal life on hold while he travels non-stop between Toronto, Singapore, and Bangkok to salvage his career, the embattled financier is deprived of the time and space he needs to mourn the absence of his wife and to objectively assess his future options. In the heat, turmoil and fast money of Southeast Asia half a world from home and half a life from his last remembered smile Paris Smith finds duplicity, comradeship, and power. He also finds a special woman who might heal his heart."


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giveaway: Sins of the NIght by Sherrilyn Kenyon

This month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and my life is totally on hold until I pen 50,000 words. 36,507 so far. Come December I will be posting umpteen reviews once again. But for now here's a giveaway. Just leave a comment and on Friday I'll pick the lucky winner of:

Sins of the Night (Dark-Hunter, Book 8) (Mass Market Paperback)

"In the realm of the Dark-Hunters there is a code of honor that even immortal bad boys must follow: Harm no human. Drink no blood. Never fall in love.

But every now and again a Dark-Hunter thinks himself above the Code. That's when I'm summoned. Who am I? I'm the one thing the fearless fear. Step over the line and it's my wrath you will face. Nothing can touch me. Nothing can sway me. I am relentless and unfeeling.

Or so I thought until I met a female Dark-Hunter who goes by the name of Danger-it's not just her name, it's how she lives her life. She doesn't trust me at all. And who could blame her? She alone knows that I'm here to be judge, jury and most likely executioner of her friends. Yet she is my key to saving some of them. Without her, they all will die.

Dangereuse St. Richard is a deadly distraction. Something about her is reawakening a heart I thought was long dead. But in a race against evil, the only hope mankind has is that I do my duty. And how can I do my duty when it means that I will have to sacrifice the only woman I've ever loved?"


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glenn Beck's Common Sense - The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine

I recently read Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine and I found the book to be a thought provoking read. Conservative political commentator Glenn Beck hosts a talk radio show and a television show. He's an author and an entrepreneur who has become well-known for his polarizing and controversial views but his book is filled with his own brand of common sense.

Thomas Paine was an author, inventor and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. In January 1776, he published Common Sense, a pamphlet that called for colonial America's independence from Great Britain. He thought government was a necessary evil. That British oppression was inevitable as was American independence. A copy of his pamphlet is included in the book. Glenn Beck compares that crucial time in history to the erosion of our freedoms today.

His narrative is a reminder of how our rights are being constantly stripped away. Beck talks about unparalleled spending, special interest groups and insider corruption. He asks that we leave the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and devote our time and money to those who represent our values. He calls for a second revolution, but one that takes place in our minds and hearts. His book makes a case for getting involved and taking a stand for democracy and hopes his book will be a starting point for Americans to learn more about our country. A list of additional reading is included.

Glenn Beck's apocalyptic view of the future of America fuels his writing. He doesn't trust our elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, to represent the people properly - the people who elected them and pay their salaries. In today's political climate, many people agree with him. Even if you don't agree with everything he says you may be inspired to take a closer look at our political parties and their role in government today.

Publisher: Threshold Editions; 1ST edition (June 16, 2009)

ISBN: 978-1439168578

Paperback: 192 Pages

Price: $11.99

Article Source:,-Inspired-by-Thomas-Paine&id=3191613


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Track of the Cat - An Anna Pigeon Mystery by Nevada Barr

Track of the Cat, written in 1993, was the debut novel in the Anna Pigeon series. I've read and enjoyed several books in the series by Nevada Barr so I decided to back track and read the first. Those who like strong women protagonists, wonderful descriptions of setting and a good mystery will enjoy the law enforcement ranger's first adventure.

Anna Pigeon leaves New York City after her husband dies and moves to Texas. She is now working as a law enforcement ranger at Guadaloupe Mountains National Park. Anna is hiking and discovers the remains of a fellow ranger, Sheila Drury. It appears she was killed by a mountain lion and an autopsy confirms it but Anna is not convinced. She believes the claw marks and scratches were faked. Although her superiors close the case, Anna conducts her own investigation. Sheila's relationship with another woman and incriminating photos lead Anna to suspect Sheila's lover. But Sheila's work to promote public use of the park was opposed by ranchers, hunters and other park employees and suddenly Anna has more suspects than she can handle. She's a tough cookie but she finds herself in mortal danger when she

The Anna Pigeon series takes readers to various locations and provides a different setting for each whodunit. Anna is a unique and three-dimensional character with plenty of flaws. She is not always sympathetic but she is realistic and believable. The others are not as well fleshed out but the heroine and the extraordinary landscape over shadow the flat secondary cast. The plot is well crafted with plenty of twists and turns. I didn't find enough clues to help Anna solve the case but that might be a good thing because it kept me reading and I was more than satisfied with the ending. The others in the series only get better.

Publisher: Berkley (June 3, 2003)

ISBN: 978-0425190838

Paperback: 272 Pages

Price: $7.99

Article Source:


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

Dirty Little Angels is Chris Tusa's first novel and it's a doozy. The story evokes comparisons to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Both books can both be called Southern Gothic complete with flawed, off-center characters. Both give voice to the downtrodden, depressed and rejected while examining the human condition. Tusa's gritty writing style is not for everyone but it suits Hailey Trosclair, the teenage protagonist, just fine. It's all told from her prospective. Readers can easily visualize Hailey's despair and confusion.

The setting is the slums of New Orleans, where the Trosclair family lives in financial hardship. Hailey's mother suffered a miscarriage and a back injury and she's depressed. Her adulterous husband drinks, he's out of work and spending his days in the pool hall. A divorce seems inevitable. Older brother Cyrus hangs with a bad crowd and has been arrested a few times. Hailey and Cyrus spend more and more time with Moses Watkins, a preacher and ex-con, who is converting an abandoned bank into a drive through church. But Moses is not the answer to their prayers. Instead he leads them on a path to crime and violence.

Chris Tusa writes with raw haunting realism and a keen insight into human psychology. He provides vivid details about his character's lives and they're not pretty. This is not a fast paced thriller; it's all about characterization and setting. The story is bleak, the people are teetering on the verge of hopelessness, it's not a book for the faint of heart or for those who like happy endings. Despite the grim realism it's a powerful look into the struggles people face as they go through life and it will linger in your thoughts long after you close the cover.

Publisher: Livingston Press (March 30, 2009)

ISBN: 978-1604890303

Pages: 170

Price: $15.95

Article Source:


Monday, November 2, 2009

So Sue Me, JACKASS! by Amy Epstein Feldman and Robin Epstein

So Sue Me, JACKASS! by Amy Epstein Feldman and Robin Epstein is a book that will answer all the legal questions you've been afraid to ask - no matter how outlandish they may be - and it does it in a practical, easy to understand and humorous way.

Amy is a nationally syndicated legal columnist and general counsel for The Judge Group, Inc., an international business solutions provider. She's been asked every question you can imagine and then some. Friends, relatives and employees go to her for a multitude of reasons, not the least being she doesn't charge them $200 per hour for a consultation. Her sister Robin is an author, stand-up comic and former sitcom writer. She convinced Amy she should write a book - that it would be incredibly useful for people who don't have a relative who's a lawyer. Robin is a television writer but she shares a love of the law with her sister. Together they wrote So Sue Me, JACKASS!

The book is divided into topics and written in a question and answer format that is easy-to-use and fun to read. The sisters offer sanity-saving legal advice that entertains while giving you peace of mind. I was hooked as soon as I started reading Chapter 1: Your Job - Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Sell Your Soul to the Devil You Go! Amy answers such questions as - Is it illegal to make people work on National holidays? The short answer is NO. Or how about: Do you have any rights when it comes to a smelly coworker? Well, it depends where you work. The sisters offer some practical advice in case your town doesn't have an official policy for stinky employees. Boy, I could have used some of this advice in my previous life as a municipal drone. But even if the questions don't pertain to your life they're still informative and entertaining. The author's stories and humor make them a hoot to read. It's useful and fun and highly recommended.

There is a disclaimer. This book is not meant to be a substitute for getting your own lawyer should you need one. As Amy says "Let the very first piece of legal knowledge I bestow be this: He who acts as his own lawyer has a jackass for a client."

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Your Job
Chapter 2: Your Money
Chapter 3: Your Love Life
Chapter 4: Your Kids
Chapter 5: Your Online Profile
Chapter 6: Your Home
Chapter 7: Your Pets
Chapter 8: Your Ride
Chapter 9: Your Health
Chapter 10: Your Death
Chapter 11: Rights You Don't Have
Chapter 12: Our Conclusion

Check out the website at:
Publisher: Plume (September 29, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0452295742
Paperback: 320 pages
Price: $15.00