Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 22nd, 2013

Doing Max Vinyl – This Week’s Winner

This week’s winner in the Doing Max Vinyl Trivia Contest is Naznin A. Congratulations! You correctly answered the question about Tris’s favorite perfume being Passion, by Chanel. $5 Amazon gift card for you, Naznin!

And here’s the week 12 question: In the early days of Alden and Deborah’s marriage, what was the one thing that bothered Alden the most? You’ll find the answer in part 38, 39 or 40 of the serialization of Doing Max Vinyl here on Venture Galleries. Enjoy the read!

Once you’ve got the answer, send me a mail on The deadline for the week 12 question is Sunday, November 3rd at 12 midnight PST, so hop on over to the serial now.

I leave you with a shot of one of my favorite new buildings in Basel, Switzerland. This is an office building near the train station.

October 16th, 2013

Swan vs. Dog

Zwei is the German word for two, and it takes 2 to tango, right?

Why are we talking about fighting?

I saw this blissful scene on the Rhine River yesterday. Two swans going about their business.



Even if you don’t like quaint and beautiful river scenes, the sight of two swans has a relaxing effect. Mating for life, and all that, right?

Bull Terrier, enter left. The dog went in the water up to his knees, barking. I could see how he wanted to sink his teeth into that swan’s long, slender neck.

Even though you can’t see it or hear it here, that swan hissed like a cat. If you’ve never heard a swan hissing, it sounded like that thhffffffft! when you open a new bottle of soda.

Like the never-ending flow of the river itself, the conflict ended in a mellow way. The dog was called off by its owner as the swans drifted further downriver.

October 13th, 2013

Kitten Kongratulations

Kongratulations to Marjorie R., who won in week 10 of the Doing Max Vinyl Trivia Contest with her correct answer that Ike and Tranny shared a sixpack of beer between them. Way to go, Marjorie!! Marjorie wins a $5 Amazon gift card and now has yet another entry in the grand prize drawing at the end of the contest. That’s when the $200 grand prize Amazon gift card, the $100 second prize gift card, or the $50 third prize card will be awarded.

Right, and HOW can you win those big prizes? Simple enter the contest with a correct answer in any of the 30 weeks. Every CORRECT answer equals one entry in the big drawing at the end. And every correct answer gives you very good chances to win the $5 weekly prize. Imagine winning it two weeks in a row! Way to go, Marjorie …


And now it’s time for the week 11 Doing Max Vinyl trivia contest question: Which brand of perfume does Tris wear? Yep, it’s a doozy, and you’ll find it in parts 35, 36 or 37 of the serialization HERE on Venture Galleries. I like this question, because it points to one of Max’s character quirks — he has a very sensitive nose. Smells awaken strong feelings in him and even stimulate him to take action, sometimes recklessly. Happy reading!

For those who are new to the contest, all you have to do is read the parts of the serial mentioned above to find the answer. It’s a way of reading Doing Max Vinyl for free. Once you’ve got the answer, send me a mail on The deadline for the week 11 question is Sunday, October 20th at 12 midnight PST, so hop on over to the serial now.

Time marches on — my kittens are getting bigger (you were wondering about that picture, weren’t you?) Plus, in a few weeks I will be announcing the first book of my new series. My editor is going through it now with a fine-toothed comb. Let’s hope it doesn’t come back in tatters, drenched in red ink … in the meantime, let’s see if you can win some cash money just by doing a little reading!

October 9th, 2013

Meet Gary Henry, Author

Until you’ve had the pleasure of meeting the man behind the mug, you won’t know what you’ve been missing! I have the pleasure of featuring author Gary Henry this month, as part of my Independent Authors International collaboration.

Read Gary’s book AMERICAN GODDESSES, and you’ll be in for a roller-coasterish treat.

Before you read the elevator pitch or the prolog, you might be interested in this interview with Gary Henry, conducted by Scott Bury.

Each of us has his reading preferences, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll want to read more, after this:



When two small-town women find themselves with nearly unlimited paranormal powers, their lives get complicated. Things turn nasty as a shadowy organization attempts to use Megan and Trish for their own evil ends, and destroy them, their town and the USA in the process.



Democratic Republic of Congo — The dusty green war trucks rumbled into the sun-baked central square of the small village, gears clanking and brakes squealing.

Villagers peered from their wood, straw and mud huts, where they sheltered from the midday heat. They saw the convoy of half-a-dozen flatbed trucks and hum-vees, bristling with armed men in green camouflage and purple berets.

“Into the square! Everyone! If you value this worthless village! Now!” roared the unit’s leader. He stood in the lead humvee beside the driver. He watched like a raptor, as the men, women and children of the unfortunate village shuffled fearfully into the square.

Papa Rosie, village mayor, rushed into the cool dimness of his own home, furthest back from the square.

“Mama Rosie!” he cried. “The soldiers are back! The soldiers are back! We must hide!”

Mama Rosie, an immense black woman cloaked in an orange and blue muu-muu, looked up from the cassava root she was grating for sweet pudding.

“Calm yourself, Papa,” she said to her thin, wizened husband, a serene smile on her generous features. “We will go speak to these soldiers.”

“Speak to the soldiers! Don’t you remember last time?”

The big woman took the hand of her quaking husband. “This will not be like last time,” she said. She led him like a child out of the house and into the square.

The appearance of the large, colorfully-clad woman and her small mate caught the leader’s eye and he barked a command. On one of the flatbeds, a soldier knelt by his M2 50-caliber recoilless rifle, tripod mounted, loaded with armor-piercing rounds.

The soldier swiveled the weapon toward Mama Rozie and lined her up in the crosshairs of the gun sight.

“Make an example of this large woman!” the commander shouted, and the gunman squeezed the trigger.

Derbyshire, U.K. – The tall man, dressed in black, stepped up to the bank teller’s window. “Look,” he said to the small woman on the other side of the counter. He moved his jacket aside, revealing a large-caliber hand-gun in his waistband.

He handed her a cloth bag.

“Fill this with money,” he said. “Do it quietly. If you hit the alarm, I’ll shoot you in the face. In the confusion I’ll get away. I’ll shoot a few of your customers on the way out.”

He stared directly into the teller’s intense blue eyes, taking in her tousled mop of white hair and handsome, regular features.

She smiled.

Ueno Zoo, Tokyo – A series of mishaps and at least one failure to precisely follow transport protocols, and the two tigers leaped to freedom into the crowded pedestrian avenues of the zoo.

People screamed and scattered as the 10-foot-long, 600-pound cats stalked warily past the lion enclosure toward the nearby souvenir and snack shop.

Spying a group of school children paralyzed with fright, the two animals charged with light leaping bounds that appeared to defy the constraints of gravity.


About the Author, Gary Henry

Grew up at the beach in Virginia. Discovered the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Rockies in college, where I studied journalism and theater. Honed my writing craft in the military as a “Navy Journalist.” Taught journalism at the Defense Information School.

Discovered spelunking while stationed in Nashville, Tenn. Love the AP Stylebook. Retired from the Navy, live in Lawrence, Kansas with spouse Karen Ann and dogs Sophie Jones and Lambchop.

Write marketing copy and technical for a manufacturer of construction products. Enjoy running all day and night on trails in woods. Wrote my first novel a couple months after discovering Smashwords. Now living happily ever after.


October 5th, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Love Fall

Sunshine. The sun feels so good on my back, sitting on my balcony or walking.

Trips. I like to take trips in fall when the sights aren’t quite so crowded with tourists like me. Last fall I visited Eastern France and Istanbul. Not sure where my path will take me this fall!


All those Fall colors. Those symphonies of red and yellow and purple out over the hills look almost like painted scenery.

Random feelings of nostalgia. Fall makes me think of old times, the places of my childhood.

Kickoffs. When the Bears are on again, you might find me in front of the TV.

Escapes. I like to take walks, and the fall weather is perfect for a good walk.

Frost in the air. You know the heat and humidity of summer are finally banished.

Recipes. Baked lasagna or au gratin potatoes or stuffed baked acorn squash are back in style, after having kept the oven off all summer.

Autumn leaves. Raking leaves up into massive piles and then playing in them.

Understanding new beginnings. Maybe it goes back to when school started and I could see my friends again. Fall seems like a time of new beginnings.


Which season do you like best, and why?