Friday, November 22, 2013

#GF_17 Mark Diehl and his new #YA book Seventeen

Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.

After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Author’s Website:

One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

Most of the world's seventeen billion people are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, and corporations control all of the world's resources and governments. A bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet predicts nineteen year-old waitress Eadie will lead a revolution, but how can she prevail when hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?


The man’s mouth hung open as he stared at her face. His long, ashen hair had shifted, revealing a smudge of grease or dirt that made an almost perfect circle on his forehead.

 “Sir? Are you all right?”

His eyes widened. “It is you,” he said. “At last. I have been looking forward to meeting you for such a long, long time.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry it took me so long to get to your table, sir. I just clocked in.”

He blinked slowly, pondering her response. “Ah,” he said. “You are a waitress, still.  Well, then, General, I would have a cup of Vibrantia, if it pleases you.” The man’s expression never altered and his lips remained mostly still as he spoke, making it seem as though his voice was coming from somewhere or someone else.

Eadie clenched her teeth, trying not to laugh, though his words made her feel as though she was being tickled with a feather along her spine. “I’m sorry, sir. This is a corporate restaurant owned by McGuillian Corporation, so we synthesize only McGuillian patents. We have Synapsate but not Vibrantia. Would that be all right?”

“Of course, General. That would be lovely, if it pleases you.”

 “Okay, sir. And my name is Eadie, by the way.”

 “Thank you, General Eadie. And, if you like, you may address me as many have lately come to do. I am the Prophet.”

Monday, November 4, 2013

#Guest Karen Dove Barr and her ecological book: Wild Times on Skidaway Island

Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members.  She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.

What’s the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?

            All over North America humans are committed to protecting and fostering the existence of other species.  Deer, gray wolves of the northwest, the almost extinct bison, the grizzly bear, the ubiquitous coyote, and that great nuisance animal, the American eagle, are returning in droves, adapting to life in a world full of human neighbors.
            Excited as we are that animal and plant species almost exterminated by unthinking expansion of human control are returning, the adjustment for humans is not as simple as restoring the animal populations.  Humans must adapt to life with the animals as well.
            The pressures that led us to limit coexistence with undomesticated animals return as populations rebound.
            As beautiful an animal as is the white-tailed deer and as sentimental as we become after watching Bambi, the reality of life intermingled with a thriving deer population makes humans want to reach for their guns and blast the annoying, rose garden-eating, tick-infested animals back to the forests where they belong.
            But there are no forests.
            Deer, once we stopped trying to exterminate them, are perfectly happy to change their diet to roses and day lilies.  Ospreys and eagles prefer to build their nests on cell phone towers instead of swaying treetops, if only the cell phone companies weren’t compelled to clean up the nests sites at the end of each season. No raccoon ever turned down the opportunity to frolic overnight in a hot-tub.
            If humans want to share the world with animals, we must adjust our expectations for a sanitized environment and learn to coexist.
            On Skidaway Island we are doing just that.
By Karen Dove Barr

Karen will be awarding a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia's Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes. 

Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.


When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years.  Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology.  Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated wookpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population.  Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.

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