Friday, November 26, 2010

Chris Ryan's Thanksgiving Prayer...

Thanksgiving and Christmas season is upon us and I figured I'd say a prayer of thanks. 

I'm thankful that Jessica is alive, even if she isn't with me.  I'm still a little sketchy about what really happened, but I'm alive and Frank's dead and  all's right with the world. 

I'm thankful Eric was too young to understand what a monster I really was otherwise I would have died in that concrete prison.  But in his eyes, I saved his mother, so he saved me, healed me with some serious mojo that I'm still carrying around today.  I can feel it in my bones, flowing through my veins like white lightning.   

I'm thankful I'm not rotting in some prison awaiting a death sentence.  If there were any justice in this world, that's where I'd be, but for some reason, the cops believed the ruse that I am indeed Christopher Aris and I had no knowledge of what my brothers were doing.  Thank God I was able to erase any proof of Chris's participation before I got out of there.  Now, I'm just waiting for that fiction to crumble. 

I'm thankful that everyone loved my brother enough for him to be named in all their wills.  When I took on his identity, I didn't imagine I'd be a richer than God.  My first act when the money was free and clear was to make sure the victim's families were compensated, including Jessica and Tom.  I know money can't erase my conscience, but it certainly helps me to think I'm trying to make amends for all the horror.

I'm thankful I kept the tapes of Jessica and I because without them, I wouldn't have lasted five years away from her. I would have sought her out before she had the chance to marry Tom.  I would have begged for her forgiveness and I would have done something I would live to regret. 

You see, I just want her to be happy.  I'd like to believe I'm the one that can make her happy - but I know that's just a ludicruous fantasy.  Unfortunately, I now have to break my silence, because if I don't she will be devistated. 

So please God, please don't let this be a mistake. 

To find out more about Chris Ryan, pick up MIND GAMES by J.E. Taylor at!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jenny Craig Week 11

Half a pound.  Not bad considering I was in New York at the beginning of the week and didn't follow the menu and it's "that" week for me, so I'm a wee bit bloated. 

On the down side, it doesn't look like I'm going to lose the 5 pounds I wanted to this month.  Don't think that will drop in a week, especially with Thanksgiving this week.  I might hit three, but five pounds seems a little out of reach.  I could probably do it if I starved myself -but that defeats the purpose here and I don't want to run that type of marathon.  It's a cheat to the body and soul. 

So I keep on plugging away at the last fifteen pounds.  Little by little it will come off.  I'm almost at the halfway point, so that will be a win when I hit the twelve and a half pounds.  My whole goal was twenty-five pounds and when I signed up, I thought it would be faster than this.  But when I look at the goal in comparison to my starting weight - I'm trying to lose close to one fifth of my weight. In that framework, that's a huge number.

I got through Halloween without breaking stride - but November has been a challenge and a bit of a plateau according to the scale - but not according to my measurments - so the story is bigger than just the scale.

For instance:
I've lost five inches in my chest, four inches in my waist, four inches in my stomach and five inches in my hips.

My clothing fits better and I feel much better than I had carrying that weight around on my little frame.

Anyway, you folks have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Catch you next week when we find out if Thanksgiving derailed my progress or not!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dishing it up with author E.J. Knapp...

Hi folks, welcome back to another interesting Friday. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing fellow Backspacer, E.J. Knapp. EJ entered the world of thriller writers with his d├ębut novel Stealing The Marbles, which came out on September 1st from Rebel e Publishers.

EJ was born during a thunderstorm in Detroit, Michigan, several years before the Motor City discovered fins. Raised in a working-class, blue-collar neighborhood, he morphed into the stereotypical hoodlum a teenager, growing up on the west side of Detroit, was expected to be. Dropping out of high school at sixteen, he hit the road in his 1960 Chevy and has, in one way or another, been rolling down that road ever since.

He has published numerous short stories in various on-line magazines. He is also the author of a nonfiction

work, The Great Golden Gate Bridge Trivia Book published by Chronicle Books in 1987.

JET: First of all, let me say thank you for joining me on my blog. Your first full-length thriller, Stealing the Marbles came out in September. Can you tell us a little about the book?

EJ KNAPP: Glad to be here, thanks for inviting me. The book revolves around the Parthenon Marbles, Greek antiquities stolen by Lord Elgin at the turn of the 19th century and shipped to England. The Greeks have been trying to get them back for close to two hundred years with no success. Danny Samsel, thief extraordinaire and the protagonist of the story, is exiled on the island of Kefalonia because of an earlier theft. Estranged from his lover, Kaz, and desperate to find a way to reconcile, he decides to steal the Marbles from the British Museum and return them to Greece, knowing he will need her help to pull it off.

JET: Was writing thrillers a conscious choice or was it just a natural affinity? Why do you think that is?

EJ KNAPP: Probably more a natural affinity. Though my tastes in reading spans the genre spectrum, I tend to read more thrillers than any other type of book. Over all, I prefer thrillers that are more character oriented than those that are primarily plot driven. As for why, I like the pace of the thriller, the inherent danger, the many obstacles to overcome and, in one that is character driven, the emotional turmoil the characters live through.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

EJ KNAPP: Oddly enough, the writing has been the easy part. It’s been the seeking-publication part and the promo part after publication that’s been the hardest for me. My horn is banged up and I don’t toot it very well in any case, so having to pump myself up in query letters and, now, in seeking reviews and interviews in an attempt to get the book buzz, it’s a bit like climbing a mountain with my hands and feet bound and an apple jammed in my mouth.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

EJ KNAPP: Initially, it was landing an agent. However, that turned into such a fiasco that it became my least favorite moment. Firing that dude was both the worst and near-favorite moment early on. The favorite moment by far was actually holding the printed book in my hand. I’m a staunch advocate of eBooks but there is something still quite magical about holding a paper book in your hand. I would say that was followed closely by its acceptance by Rebel e Publishers, the editing process with my editor Jayne Southern and seeing the cover, created by the genius Jacques Stenvert, for the first time.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

EJ KNAPP: Early on, it was Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. I wrote a lot of really bad SciFi while stumbling my way through puberty. The greatest influence, though, was Kurt Vonnegut, who I discovered while in college. He not only influenced my writing, he gave me back my love of writing. Richard Brautigan would have to be listed as well.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

EJ KNAPP: Probably about the time I learned how to read. Reading took me out of the hostile environment my young self found himself in. In writing, I discovered that I could create whatever world I wanted, or needed, to travel to.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

EJ KNAPP: Back in the 80s, I wrote a non-fiction book on the Golden Gate Bridge for its 50th birthday. This was pre-internet so all the research for that book took place in the library. My friend Cindy Ford and I spent a lot of time in the San Francisco State library and, as it turned out, I’m allergic to book dust. I sneezed my way through several months of reading microfilm and dozens of boxes of Kleenex gathering the information for that book. As for the most interesting fact, there were many I found amusing in the GGB book the most interesting was learning that Lord Elgin did, in fact, steal the Marbles. There was no indication, that I found, that the Ottoman Empire actually gave the Marbles to Elgin, which is the prevailing belief.

JET: Of all the stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

EJ KNAPP: If we’re talking published short stories here, it would have to be a toss-up between The Dance and The Karaoke Singer, both of which can be read on my website.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

EJ KNAPP: Read. Read some more. Continue to read. Write, write, write. Read some more. Join a writer’s group or a good writer’s forum like Backspace. Get over your fear of putting your work out there. Learn to take criticism without it making you want to slit your wrists and then learn to take it with a grain of salt. Everyone’s a critic, not all of them are good critics. Pay extra attention to the writer/critics who’ve gained your admiration and respect.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?

EJ KNAPP: Paper. Why waste what little oil we have left on plastic?

JET: Steak or Tofu?

EJ KNAPP: Steak, rare.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

EJ KNAPP: Love both but if I had to choose, it would be the beach, preferably a deserted one.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

EJ KNAPP: Rock-n-Roll.

JET: Classics or Modern?

EJ KNAPP: Modern.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

EJ KNAPP: Not much of a horror movie fan so Silent Film Classics would trump Cheesy B Rated Horror. If we’re talking books, now, horror would be the way I’d go.

JET: Zombies or Demons?

EJ KNAPP: Zombies. My Latin is rusty and all you need is a good Mossberg pump with a lot of shells to kill Zombies.

JET: Paper or Digital?

EJ KNAPP: Digital. My hand writing is so bad, even I can’t read it.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

EJ KNAPP: Love both but I’m definitely a sugar addict.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

EJ KNAPP: Coffee. Peet’s coffee if at all possible.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

EJ KNAPP: It’s called Meter Maids Eat Their Young/A Love Story’s End. It’s about a journalist who returns to his home town after a long absence and must deal with a breaking story that has the town on a powder keg edge while dealing with all the memories of his past. Murder, memories, mayhem and mangled meters plague him at every turn. I’m nearly finished and hope to have it in the wind mid next year. I’ve also started work on a story titled Bad Bucket and the Church of the Dung God. I think that one will be fun to work on.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about E.J, Knapp and his work at the following places:

Join me next week when I'll have an in-depth interview with none other than billionaire Chris Ryan. 

Until next time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jenny Craig Week 10

Bust of a week.

I got sick half way through the week and while I stuck to the menu - I lost a few days of exercise. Only one of my measurements dropped by a half inch - and it's really not the one I want to drop if you know what I mean. wink-wink.

Hoping next week will be better even though I have two days in New York City.  Hopefully I don't blow it too much.  :)

Anyhow - that's my report.  Hope you all are doing well on your diet strategy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Special Agent Steve Williams discusses his most recent case.

Hi all. It’s time to throw out convention and give my blog over to one of my characters for the day. I’m leaving you in the capable hands of my favorite G-man, Steve Williams.

Thanks Ms. Taylor.

Hi folks, I’m special agent Steve Williams and right now I’m working undercover on a pretty significant case in New York. I’ll put it this way, if I get caught, I’ll end up like the dozen or so prior undercover cops - dead in an alley way or at the bottom of the East River.

This guy is the biggest cocaine magistrate on the East Coast and I want to bring him down. The only problem – there’s a bigger fish the FBI wants to fry and I’ve got to get the goods before we bring Charlie Wisnowski in.

I know what you’re thinking.

Charlie Wisnowski?

What kind of “king-pin” name is that?

Not the usual name you’d associate with a cocaine lord – but Charlie is a ‘high-end’ distributor. He doesn’t sell his product on the street like a common thug. Nope, he’s much more inventive and selective, and much, much more dangerous.

He’s been doing this for fifteen years and thinks he’s above the law, untouchable.

My boss told me to watch my back because money could be a seductive bitch and he wasn’t kidding. The amount of money and blow Charlie throws around is insane.

Insane enough to make an honest man think twice.

Anyhow, on that note, I better get back to it.

Thanks for having me on your blog and let’s hope I’m around the next time you call on me.


If you have any questions for Steve, he'll be on and off all day.  
Next week, I have the pleasure of interviewing EJ Knapp, author of Stealing the Marbles. 
Until then,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jenny Craig - Week 9

Hi all -

No change in the weight this time, but I did still lose some inches.   Busy, busy, busy and now have to start thinking about the holidays. 

Now I'm off to writing.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scavenger Hunt for $50 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Everyone likes to play games so I figured this month I'd do a scavenger hunt and the grand prize winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate and their choice of one of my books. 

In order to be entered in the contest for the gift certificate, you'll need to answer some questions and provide proof of purchase for one of my books or short stories. 

The contest rules and questions are on my website here:

Links to my books and short stories are also on my website or you can go to either of these places:

Novels in paperback or e-book:
Short story e-books:

You also have the opportunity to gain additional entries into the contest and those parameters are outlined on the Scavenger Hunt page of my website. 

The contest ends on November 30th and I will contact the winners via email on December 1st and deliver the Amazon Gift Card via email by the end of the first week of December - just in time for Christmas.

Happy Hunting!

Friday, November 5, 2010

First Friday!

Hey all –

It’s the first Friday in November and that means it’s time to highlight some of my Backspace brethren’s books as well as two of my own November releases. Remember – books are fantastic Christmas gifts!

So without further adieu…(in release date order):

Ian Barker – FALLEN STAR - November 1

FAMOUS: Celebrated. Acclaimed. Legendary. Illustrious. Popular. Notorious. Recognised. Renowned. Successful. Eminent. Prominent. Excellent. Having kudos. Being a star. The Fallen Boys were at their zenith when Zac’s luck ran out. How does the shock of being dumped from dazzling and conspicuous success into relative obscurity affect his fellow boy band members Karl, Ritchie and Leon? Accustomed to adulation, wall-to-wall glamour, sex and all the illusions of fame, the Boys find themselves in strange territory. No longer courted, with zero prospect of resurrecting the group, they find themselves facing harsh realities. Karl is driven to appear on chat shows and accept pantomime roles: all the P.R. exercises he previously spurned. Desperate for work he even auditions for a blue movie. Reluctantly, he participates in a TV reality series soon after he meets Lizzie Keating, daughter of an IRA bomber. Hormones and adrenalin surge as the challenges to their relationship surface: Karl’s father, ex-Army and implacable in his hatred for the Irish; Karl’s wandering eye; Lizzie’s refusal to play second fiddle to anyone. With gusto, humour and insight, Ian Barker entertains with this intertwined tale of discovering what is truly valuable in life.

Kim Stagliano – ALL I CAN HANDLE – I’m No Mother Teresa (A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism) – November 1

How one woman raises three daughters with autism, loses one at Disney World, stays married, has sex, bakes gluten-free, goes broke, and keeps her sense of humor. "Dr. Spock? Check. Penelope Ann Leach (remember her?)? Check. What to Expect When You’re Expecting? Check. I had a seven hundred dollar Bellini crib for God’s sake! I was perfect. And so was Mia when she was born . . ."

...and so begins Kim Stagliano’s electrifying and hilarious memoir of her family’s journey raising three daughters with autism. In these stories, Stagliano has joined the ranks of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs with her amazing ability to lay everything on the table—from family, friends, and enemies to basement floods to birthdays to (possible) heroin addictions—eviscerating and celebrating the absurd. From her love of Howard Stern to her increasing activism in the autism community and exhaustive search for treatments that will help her daughters, she covers it all. Always outspoken, often touching, and sometimes heartbreaking, Kim Stagliano is a powerful new voice in comedic writing—her “Kimoir” (as she calls it) will be a must-read within the autism community and the literary world at large.

J.E. Taylor – VENGEANCE – November 1

Living large in New York City as a corporate lawyer for the most savvy drug lord on the East Coast, Special Agent Steve Williams carefully plots Charlie Wisnowski's downfall. His plans go to hell when his wife Jennifer survives an attack by a serial killer. With her life in jeopardy and his undercover guise threatening to unravel, he orders Charlie's arrest. But the sting goes woefully wrong and Steve becomes the target of a mafia assassin hired by the biggest crime boss in America. Escaping from the city, Steve and Jennifer settle back into their quiet life on the banks of Mirror Lake. Their peaceful existence shatters with a crippling loss and Jennifer's visions escalate, forecasting a brutal assault on their family. Armed with scant details from her dreams, Steve trudges through a litany of past connections, searching for the key to stop the course of fate. What he uncovers chills him to the core - a brother with a grudge, a serial killer and a mafia assassin are all on his trail. The hunt begins . . .

Caridad Ferrer – WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE – November 23 YA

A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.

But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

J.E. Taylor – MIND GAMES – November 29

Chris Ryan doesn't understand why he's alive. By all accounts, he should have died in the prison he and his step-brother created. Dying screams and the ring of gunshots still haunt his dreams and to make matters worse, five years hasn't erased his passion for Jessica Connor. She left him bleeding on the cold concrete floor, escaping the prison that held her for close to a year. Semi-conscious and close to death, his gaze fell on an apparition of her son and white light filled his skin, healing his wounds and giving him a second chance . . . and to this day that power still rages within him. Haunting visions of her daughter's death drive him out of hiding and he shows up at her doorstep with the intent of giving her the power he safeguarded all these years. But his good intentions fall short when they realize he led the vengeful spirit of his step-brother straight to her. Cancer is no longer their biggest worry, now Chris and Jessica must battle a ghost hell bent on destroying all of them.

Next week I'll be doing a character interview - stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime - keep reading!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jenny Craig Week 8

I made my goal of 10 pounds before the end of October!  WooHoo! 

I'm cruising along with this and very happy with the results.  Anyone who's on the fence about joining Jenny Craig should take the plunge.  The food is great, the weekly calls keep you honest and the results - well, let's just say my husband has been very happy with the results. 

Anyhow, just wanted to let y'all know my progress. 

Until next week.