Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Water is Full of Hazards – Fortunately Ike is in the Lifeguard Chair

There is one thing that every living organism on the planet needs to stay alive.

Water.

Without water our planet would quite literally die – taking all of us with it.

75% of the human body – and 90% of human blood – is water.

So, you get the picture…water is important.

So how ironic is it that water – the one thing we can’t live without – is actually being used to slowly kill the planet?

Don’t get me wrong…the water itself isn’t doing anything wrong. It’s us – the human population – that are doing the damage with water.

Bottled water to be specific.

american waterIn 1978 the United States consumed about 415 million gallons of bottled water

In 2001 we consumed 5.4 billion gallons.

By 2006 the number jumped to 8.3 billion gallons – for which the U.S. consumers shelled out $11 billion.

…but bottled water is healthier than tap water.

…bottled water tastes better.

…it’s more convenient.

If you believe any, or all, of those things, you have been duped by the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry.

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend you – but it’s true.

cost of water

The water in your Evian bottle has no more health benefits than the water from your tap. If your tap water tastes “funny” you should understand that it’s because of the government mandated procedures which eliminate any impurities – procedures the bottling plants are not required to follow. Buy a filter pitcher and you’ll get the same taste. As for convenience – buy a reusable water bottle and fill it from your pitcher.

To make matters worse – the amount of groundwater pumping done to fill those cute little bottles causes unseen damage by lowering the levels of lakes, ponds and streams…which affects the wildlife who rely on them for life…which in turn affects us humans.

Finally – the bottles themselves. Probably the worst part of the equation.

Americans buy approximately 28 billion bottles of water per year.

28 Billion.

The manufacturing process for these bottles requires 45-50 million barrels of oil.

water-picThink about that the next time you complain about the price of gas.

It is estimated that 80% of the bottles we use end up in landfills…that’s a cheerful little tidbit.

For the most part, the bottled water industry is a self-regulated industry raking in billions and billions of dollars every year and doing irreversible harm to the planet, because they have convinced Americans of the (false) value of their product.

Are you still with me?

Good – because there’s good news.

Ike is on the job.

Ike shirt front

Okay – I admit it…I used all those facts (and they are all true facts) about bottled water as a preamble to talk about one of my novels.

It’s called Water Hazard (see what I did there?).

In the story, a Florida contractor is illegally pumping groundwater and selling it to bottled water companies, making a ton of money…but in an attempt to keep his operation a secret he resorts to kidnapping and murder.

Unfortunately, he didn’t know he was about to cross paths with Ike.

When the ex-Navy SEAL, with a penchant for bending the rules, learns that his best friend is in some pretty hot water, he dives headlong into a whirlpool of greed, corruption and ecological sabotage to help.

WH cover

Water Hazard has all of the fast-paced action, great characters, humor and beautiful Flagler Beach settings that my other books have, and it also offers a glimpse into the murky side of the bottled water industry.

Click here to read the first chapter for free.

So now that summer is here—grab your favorite ice-cold beverage (as long as it’s not bottled water!) and relax with a great beach read that will grab you from the first page and keep you locked in until the last.

Download Water Hazard for only$2.99 here.

If you’d like a signed paperback version send me an email at blindoggbooks@gmail.com and I’ll give you the details.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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C’mon, Writers! 5 Reasons To Ditch The Rivalry

I’ve seen the rivalry between writers first hand – it is an ugly beast indeed.
I’ve seen friendships ruined over petty jealousy and I’ve seen writers refuse to associate with other writers if there wasn’t enough promise of a positive career boost. This sort of thinking hurts everybody.
As independent authors we should be taking advantage of our numbers and helping each other at every turn.
There is no downside to working together.
Thank you to Tara Sparling for reinforcing my thoughts!!

Tara Sparling writes

MOTHER OF GOD ALL THESE OTHER BOOKS ARE SO INTIMIDATING MOTHER OF GOD ALL THESE OTHER BOOKS ARE SO INTIMIDATING

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about rivalry in the writing and publishing industries. And it’s a sad state of affairs. Because it’s complete and utter nonsense.

Rivalry is an alluring demon for authors (and, indeed, reviewers). For one thing, the very nature of writing  – a solitary activity, which rarely if ever allows for human interaction in the physical act itself – can make the loveliest, gentlest human into a raving, paranoid lunatic.

For instance, by the time a writer emerges from the Nth draft of their novel, covered in the primordial goo of self-doubt, the blinding fog that is fear of failure, never mind that murky quicksand which is the fear of success, the public domain can look like a row of guns and spears, all pointing at you. Some of them will just shoot you where you stand. You’ll manage to run in to the spears all by yourself. But it all looks terribly nasty. (And that’s enough sloppy metaphors.)

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Let’s Get to Know Tim Baker

Thank you to Susan Holmes and the Waterside Kennels Mysteries for featuring on her blog this morning!

Waterside Kennels Mysteries

In the world of mystery writing, you’ll find all sorts of characters, settings, and story lines. This week’s featured author takes us into the world of thrillers and crime fiction.

Hanging at the bookstoreOriginally from Warwick, Rhode Island, Tim Baker is an avid dog lover who’s been a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising and socializing potential guide dogs. His passion for dogs comes through in his writing, and in his very public support of dog rescue work. Like many of the authors you’ll meet here, Tim’s career path took quite a few turns before reaching the keyboard. After 25 years in architecture and engineering, his path led to short stints in the natural gas industry, construction, and even ice cream sales. He wrote his first novel, Living the Dream, in 2007 after inspiration came in the shape of “a bizarre dream” (his phrase, not mine). Ever since, Tim’s been writing…

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Hugging Dogs, Duking It Out with Other Authors, Horror in Jersey and other Acts of Randomness

I read somewhere that a blogger shouldn’t go too long between posts lest the audience forget him/her.

The last post I wrote (Do You Ever Wonder if You’re a Good Writer?) was two weeks ago (reblogs notwithstanding) so I think it’s time for another post.

The problem is…I can’t think of a singular topic that will give me enough material for a worthwhile post. I do, however, have a few thoughts that, while unable to provide a high word count, are worth mentioning – so I’m going to share them with you.

Hopefully their combined content will be worth your time.

random

For starters – I am very pleased to announce I came up with a title for my latest novel. Up until this point I had been calling it “Protect This”, but I knew I would eventually need a better title.

The book follows a man named Martin Aquino who is convinced that the witness protection plan is the only way he can secure a “good life”. His biggest problem is that he hasn’t witnessed anything.

His plan backfires a bit and ends up putting him, and three other people, in some pretty hot water.

The official title of the book (unless I think of something better before the August 11th release) will be…

To Catch a Break

Now I need to get to work on the cover design.

 

Next on my mind – Since March 17th my novel Backseat to Justice has been in the Top 100 Crime Fiction books on Amazon. It peaked at #16 – and for most of that time it has been in the top 50.

There was a time when I gave ranking numbers very little (if any) credence. That pretty much ended when my book began its run at number one. As any writer will tell you, it’s a great feeling to know that your work is being enjoyed by others…after all – that’s why we do it.

BTJ cover

There is another reason I’m happy about Backseat’s sudden ascension. When it was released in 2011 I promised half of all profits to a Rhode Island based dog rescue operation called Golden Huggs Inc.

Golden Huggs is run by a friend of mine and I wanted to help, but the independent author’s life is not as glamorous as one might think and the sales numbers are never as high as we would like, so I haven’t been able to give GH nearly as much money as I want to.

Hopefully Backseat’s popularity will continue to rise and I can make good on my promise.

You can help a great cause by purchasing a copy here – it’s only 99 cents, and, if I do say so myself, it’s a damn good book.

 

Moving right along – This Saturday night, May 10th, I will be participating in a fund raising event called War of the Words.

The event will combine elements of an author’s open mic night with boxing and horse racing.

wotw

I, along with three other writers, will take turns reading short pieces in front of an audience. There will be four “rounds”…after each round the audience will select a winner. The last writer standing wins.

Voters will be eligible to win great prizes after each round and all the proceeds are being donated to a Flagler Beach charity called Christmas Come True.

If you can’t attend, but would like to donate you can do so here.

It should be a fun evening and hopefully we will raise a ton of money for a fantastic charity.

Read more about it here.

 

And finally – a few months back I submitted a short story for consideration in a horror anthology called State of Horror: New Jersey.

State of Horror is a collection of short horror stories released by Charon Coin Press, and each state will have its own book.

Much to my surprise, my story was accepted and will be part of the anthology. I’m not really a horror author, but I have always been a huge fan of The Twilight Zone…so my story is more twilight zone-ish than horror.

I don’t know when the collection will be released, but when it is I will let you know where it can be found.

 

I think that’s all I have for you today.

 

Oh, wait! One more thing – About a year ago I landed a gig as a disc jockey on a small AM radio station here in Flagler Beach. As of June 1st the station will be FM – and – in addition to doing 3 hours on Friday nights I will also be on the air from 10:00 to Noon every weekday morning.

SurfLogo

For an audiophile like me – it’s a dream job!

If you’d like to listen in go to www.flaglerbeachradio.com.

Check out my facebook page too – https://www.facebook.com/BlindoggsBsides

Now I’m done.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Pay it forward

I made a new contact this morning…Dylan Hearn is an Indie Author with a the right attitude.
I know there are many of us out there with the same thought…it would be nice if we could come together and let our numbers work for us!

Suffolk Scribblings

Pay it forward

I’ve been thinking a lot recently on the difficulties faced by independent authors like myself. The indie author community is very supportive of each other when it comes to the writing process. We encourage and congratulate, offer tips and advice, yet when it comes to talking about independent books we tend to focus predominantly on our own work. I am as guilty of this as many. But a number of things have happened recently that have made me decide to change.

How independent musicians support each other

As some of you long-term readers will know, I used to review the monthly Live at the Cottage gig that is held every month in my local village. These gigs attract high quality unsigned acts, most of which make a living through performing live and selling their independently produced CD’s. There are many similarities between what they are doing and what we, as independent authors, are looking…

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