Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What do you like about people? - Guest post by Terri Giuliano

What do you like about people?
By Justine Tyler

Because I’m young and sort of reserved, people often assume I like everyone. Maybe it’s because I try to give everybody a chance. It’s unfair to judge people you hardly know. My sister bends a lot of rules, but it doesn’t make her a bad person. She just wants to be independent. I don’t always agree with how she behaves, but I respect her. When I overhear people talking, judging her, I just want to punch them.  KIA-AH. Left, right, uppercut. Pow, pow! Ha! Knock some sense into their peanut-size brain.

Not everyone’s like that, of course, so I have to be careful. Some people – my friend Holly, for instance – live in their own little world, isolated from the rest of us. They hardly notice anyone else, which is a little annoying. At least they don’t hurt anyone. Sometimes I wish I were more like Holly, but if I were, I suppose, I wouldn’t be me.

What do I like about people? Let’s see: Given a shot, most people are kind. If a small animal or a child is in trouble, they do what they can to help. Maybe they sense the vulnerability and shut down their defenses. Really, I’m not sure it matters. It’s the act, what you do, right? How you behave? Not whether you think about it or not.

People are generous, especially with their time. Take Officer Johnson. He’s got a tough job and two babies at home, yet he finds time for our family. Leah thinks he’s got the hots for our mom. I don’t believe her. Even if it’s true, as long as he doesn’t act on it – I really can’t imagine him doing anything – he’s still a good person. He doesn’t have to check in on us, but he does. Whenever I see his cruiser, I smile.

I like that people try. Life can be rough, you know? Hard to get out of bed every day, put one foot in front of the other, go to school, study, do your chores, make an effort to be a good friend. Look at Hope Lansdown. She’s fat—not chubby, fat. If that’s not bad enough for a girl, her dad left when she was a baby. She and her mom live in this  falling down house – Mom and I drove by one day and she showed me – with dirty windows and a ratty front yard. She was kicked off the soccer team in ninth grade, has no extracurricular activities. Her boyfriend, this big scary kid named Lupo, sells drugs. With her life, why get out of bed in the morning? What’s the point? Yet she does. People, all kinds of people – young, old, middle age – do the same every day.

Once, in Boston, my mom and I saw this guy with a transplanted face. A nurse held his arm and they were out walking. I cried. I didn’t feel sorry for him. No, not at all. Last year, watching the Kentucky Derby with my dad I bawled my eyes out. The horses are so beautiful, so powerful. And they have so much heart. It’s not always about winning, you know? Mostly, it’s just about being there, playing the game.

Big things, winning, heroics—this isn’t what counts. On any given day, under the right circumstances, anybody could be a champion. It’s the everyday things - being kind and generous, giving of yourself, going out on a limb, getting out of bed every day, pushing yourself—the connections that make people special. That’s what I love.

Who is Justine Tyler? She is Leah’s sister in the novel, In Leah’s Wake. Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler - until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?


Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a lecturer at Boston College. Terri loves meeting and connecting with people who share her passions. Visit on 


Guest Post by Author John G. Pedicini

I am happy to provide this guest post to Books Are Magic on my children's book, "Which Way Is My Home ?"

The idea for the book comes from my interest in seagulls which started during family vacations to Maine in my youth. As a Dad, it continued with family vacations to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward's Island. In Canada, I followed the Ivory seagull which is the only seagull that lives on sea ice. This fact formed the basis of the story, whereby the Ivory seagull loses his home when the iceberg melts. Along his journey to find a new home, he is treated badly by fellow Ivory seagulls who, at one point, push him off a dock. There is a subplot to the story. The Ivory seagull never finds another iceberg to call home. But, he does find a group of friends who love him. Their friendship and love really represent his new home.

I am a former free-lance writer for the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper. Currently, I am working on a young adult nouvella due out in July 2012.

My favorite book at age 5 was "Cat In The Hat". At age 11, I loved the children's book, "Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer" based on the television show featuring Burl Ives' songs. At age 15, I started turning to sci-fi with Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. At age 20, the sci-fi interest continued with "Star Wars".

WWW Wednesdays #5

WWW Wednesdays is a Wednesday meme, hosted by Should be Reading.
 To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My Answers:

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading three books:

1.  Pretty Flamingo by Perry Martin
2.  Zombie Love: The Outbreak by Eric J. Sabolik
3.  Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) by Tamora Pierce

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading "Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson #1)" by Molly Harper.  It was an enjoyable read and I am still due to write a review for this one.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This time I think I know what I will read next.  :)  I have an ARC of Shifting Light - Prequel to Promising Light (The Protectors #1) by Emily Ann Ward.  This book was not released yet and the author sent me a copy for review purposes.  I hope this one is as good as Promising Light.

So, what are you reading and what is your next read?

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #5

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop conducted by Pen to Paper, where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

The book on my wishlist is "Backstage Pass" (Sinners On Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning.


Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin..


This book was receiving very good reviews in Goodreads and I thought I should read this, when I saw those reviews a year back.  And now, that's the story of this book, being in my wishlist.  :)

What is on your wishlist?

Teaser Tuesdays #5

Teaser Tuesdays... is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I am currently reading two books "Pretty Flamingo" by Perry Martin and "Zombie Love: The Outbreak" by Eric J. Sabolik.

Here is the teaser from the first book - "Pretty Flamingo" by Perry Martin.

By the time they’d finished eating, and most of a second large bottle of beer had been consumed, David was feeling a warm glow. Looking across at Lisa, her cheeks flushed a rosy red, he could see she was probably feeling the same.

‘Tipsy?’ he asked.

She gave him a wry smile. ‘Definitely. Probably a bit drunk, actually. It doesn’t take much for me. I feel nice, though. Warm and fuzzy.’

‘Me too.’ David reached across the table and took Lisa’s hands in his. ‘This was perfect, Flamingo. You did a great job on the food. And the candles were a nice touch.’

‘The best is yet to come,’ Lisa said, winking at him.

David poured the last of the beer into their glasses. She picked up her glass and started to drink when David reached across and stopped her. ‘Hold on a sec! I want to think of a suitably poetic toast to end the meal with.’

Here is the teaser from the second book - "Zombie Love: The Outbreak" by Eric J. Sabolik.  I am enjoying this book, more than I thought.  Zombie lovers, you have one more book you can rely on!

She put her free hand over his and gave it a soft squeeze.  She knew now that the feelings they had for each other had swelled to love.  You don't go through something like this with another person you care about and not fall in love.  She could see it in the way he looked at her, when he finally stopped looking at the corpse.  They were in love, and now was the time for Summer to show it.

"I'm sorry I got involved with the whole Mr. Franklin thing," she said as she dropped her chin, feeling ashamed and sheepish.  Out of her peripheral vision, she could see he was trying to act cool, shrugging his shoulders and smiling awkwardly.  It just made her love him even more.

"Don't worry about it.  I was happy to help...thank you...for...I don't know...going all warrior woman on this guy."

So, what are you currently-reading?  Anything interesting?  Do you love my new zombie book? :)

A Reader or a writer, which would you rather be? - Guest Post by Perry Martin

   As much as I love reading - - and I do love reading - - I'd have to say that I'd rather be a writer.  Why?  Well, in order to explain that I'll have to take you on a trip back in time, to the days of my youth when I was a full-time musician.

   When I first started performing in public I got a big kick out of the applause and admiration I received.  I mean, who wouldn't?  What a validation of your abilities; to be good enough to elicit a positive reaction from a huge crowd of people. Especially when you hear cries of, "Encore! Encore!"  It at once tells you that you were right about your own estimation of your talents.  It's also addictive and is probably part of what keeps some of our senior citizen rock icons going.  I know it kept me going for a long time.

   But I suspect there's more to it than that.  Certainly in my case, there was.  I know that, as I matured and started writing songs I began to be interested in how I was affecting people with what I wrote.  It wasn't all about me at that point.  Sure, it's still cool to be appreciated.  Even on a non-creative level we all like to be acknowledged for a job well done.  But now I wanted to know that I'd stirred emotions in people, made them think, possibly even affected their lives positively with my art.

   Eventually there came a point in my life when I realized that, as good as I was (and I had a fair degree of success) I wasn't ever going to be "the next big thing".  Music became a more of a paid hobby for me.  I still play once a month, and I'm a pretty dang good guitarist, but I needed an outlet for the creative urges that were still rolling around in my head.  I still wanted to affect people emotionally, make them think, etc.  And, of course, entertain them.  So, I decided to become a writer - - and I've discovered that I love doing it.  It affords me the opportunity to do everything I'd ever hoped to do with the songs I wrote, except now I have a lot more time to say what I want to say.  I mean, let's face it, how much can you say in 3:45 - - which is the standard for what they call "radio friendly songs" these days. 

   This is not a knock on songwriters who can do that.  Far from it.  I'm always impressed with people who can compress a whole story into a 3:45 song.  Country writers are particularly good at that.   I can't do that.  I admit it. I need more time than that. Which brings me back to why I became a writer. I want to take my readers on a journey and I want to spend more than 3:45 with them.  So, as much as I love reading, and listening to good music and well-written songs - - I'd rather be a writer.


In his long and varied career as a musician, songwriter and producer Perry has worked with such people as Lefty Frizzell, Hank Snow Jr. and Sheb Wooley. Over the years as a solo performer or with a band he has also been the supporting act for such show biz luminaries as the Bee Gees, Ambrosia, Little River Band, B.J. Thomas, Hal Ketchum and Lonestar - - to name just a few.

More recently he completed his first novel, "Pretty Flamingo". Based on actual personal experiences the book is essentially a mystery/love story that takes some very unexpected twists and turns.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Review Copy Cleanup

There are recently a lot of review copies keeping piling up and I decided to join this challenge to finish up most of the review copies and also, enjoy reading them.  It would be a great month to read along with so many of the other bloggers/friends, who also signed up for this.  Thanks to 'Books, Biscuits and Tea' for hosting.  Come and join the challenge!  Let's read together!

Monday Musings #5

Monday Musings is a meme hosted by Should be Reading.

This week’s musing asks…
• Do you read books that are part of a series?
• Do you collect all the books in the series before starting? What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book one? As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books?

My answer:

Most of what I read are series.  And no, I don't have the habit of collecting the entire books in the series before starting, unless the book is written by a trusted author and I loved the first book immensely.

If the series is brand new and only one book has been published so far, I will read the first book.  If I enjoyed it, I will definitely go back for the next book.  And re-reading the books are only for some special books like Harry Potter.. ;-)

What's your answer? :-)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book excerpt and interview: Pretty Flamingo by Perry Martin

Today, we have Perry Martin, the author of Pretty Flamingo, a beautiful love story, in our blog for the interview.  Before the interview, here is a brief excerpt from the book.


He was crying—sobbing, actually. His chest was heaving, and hot tears were streaming down his cheeks. He was still half-asleep and not quite sure if it was the crying that had woken him up or if, in waking, he’d been torn from somewhere that he didn’t want to leave, and the leaving had brought on the tears.
Pulling himself out of the clutches of sleep, he wiped his eyes with his hands, turned his head, and squinted at the luminous dial of his bedside clock. 5:00 a.m. He’d been asleep for just four hours. With one hand, he groped around on the bedside table until he found the Kleenex box he knew was there somewhere, tugged out a couple of sheets, and blew his nose. Then, closing his eyes again, he lay there in the predawn dark and tried to recall what he might have been dreaming about. All he saw was blackness. And yet . . .
He frowned. There was something there, he was sure of it, but the memory of it seemed to be just out of reach.
Concentrating his efforts, he tried to recapture anything that might give him a clue as to what had caused the crying, but all he felt was a longing that surprised him with its depth of emotion, and he felt tears welling up inside him once more.
“Okay, David,” he muttered to himself. “Get a grip!”
He reached over, turned on the bedside lamp, and sat up
in bed. As he looked around the room, his eyes fell on the walk-in closet. He’d left the louvered doors open late last night when he’d gone to bed, exhausted from two marathon sessions in a row at his recording studio. Only his clothes remained. There were empty shelves and hangers where Sandy’s things used to be.
Sandy—the latest addition to his unbroken record of failed relationships! Was that what he’d been crying about? He’d felt bad about it, admittedly. Mostly for her, though. She’d been justifiably upset when it finally became apparent that their relationship wasn’t headed down the aisle anytime soon, if ever. There’d been tears and some mention of his “inability to really commit himself to a relationship,” and then there’d been the leaving.


Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing?

I wanted to write from about 9years old on.  My dad gave me a Zane Grey western to read at that age and it was the first book without pictures that I'd ever read.  At first I started reading it to feel grown up and be like my dad, who was an avid reader.  Then the story caught hold and I became an avid reader myself.  After that I remember deciding that I wanted to write stories and did actually write a few short ones. I also started work on a novel when I was 12.   Then, I saw all those girls screaming for the Beatles and I changed my mind and became a musician for most of my life so that I could have girls scream for me.  Now they look at me and scream for a different reason - - so I decided it was time to go back to my original childhood dream of being a writer.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

I get up around 7 am.  Do stretches and an ab work out.  Then I handle all my e-mail accounts, Twitter, Facebook stuff.   Work my day job all day (I'm a self-employed house painter) then come home and do a little work out in the gym.  Shower. Eat dinner.  Practice on my Fender Telecaster for about an hour - - or until my fingers bleed.  Do the e-mails,  Twitter, Facebook thing again and then work on my next novel until my head hits the keyboard.  At which time I brush my teeth - - and floss - - hop into bed and read whatever novel by one of my self-published peers I happen to be reading until the Kindle falls out of my hand and I fall asleep.  Weekends are a little more exciting - - but only a little.  There'll be time for excitement when I hit the bestseller list. Right now I live vicariously through the characters I write about.

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is....

"Shogun" by James Clavell

What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

My first novel, "Pretty Flamingo", a dramatic love story, is completed and on sale most everywhere online in e-book format, softcover and hardcover.  I am halfway through the first draft of my second novel, "Savannah" and I have a complete outline written for a third novel.  There's a preview of "Pretty Flamingo" and "Savannah" at

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, Steven Speilberg, James Horner.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
"Reason Why" by Sleepthief.  The most hauntingly beautiful song you've probably never heard of.  Check it out, it's gorgeous.  The first verse and chorus would fit perfectly at one of the most devastating parts of the story.  I'm hoping to use it in the movie version of "Pretty Flamingo".

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

"Love Story" by Eric Segal.  Book and movie from the 1970's.  I cried at both.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Having an Aussie film director (whose name I can't mention at present) tell me he thought my book was "Fantastic" and that my writing style reminded him of Nicholas Sparks and that he'd love to direct the movie when we have a screenplay.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Write from the heart. Don't hold anything back. Open your soul and let it bleed into the pages. 

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

John D. MacDonald's, "The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything".   The protagnist comes into possession of a watch that causes time to stop for everyone but him, giving him the power to influence events. 

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Stranger than Fiction.

Hidden talent?


How do you react to a bad review?

I try to ignore it.  You know what they say about opinions? :-)  Plus, I know it's going to be impossible for everybody to like my books.  As long as  enough people like them to make it worth my while to continue writing that's all I care about.

Which authors have influence on you most.. how?

Probably Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks.  They are not in any way alike, I know, but there are separate elements of their writing that have influenced me.  Stephen King always made his characters seem so real; he gave them inner dialogue that made you privy to their thoughts. I really like that. Plus he writes such interesting and unique stories.  Nicholas Sparks manages to reach people emotionally with his often heartbreaking romance/dramas; he's made me cry more than once.  I wanted to try and combine those elements into what I wrote.  So far, from the reader reviews and comments I've seen, it looks like I've succeeded with "Pretty Flamingo".

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

The power to heal people and take away their pain - - emotional as well as physical.  Is that technically a superpower?  Well, it would be a cool power to have, anyway.


Favorite place?
Southern California

Favorite pastime?
Playing guitar

Favorite book?
The Ninja by Eric Von Lustbader

Favorite author?
Elmore Leonard

Favorite smell?
Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee

Favorite series?
Friends ( I know that's so 90's)

Favorite genre?
Any, as long as it's well-written.

Favorite writing spot?
Home, surrounded by candles, soothing music and a bottle of Chianti Classico.

Favorite movie?

Favorite dish?
Anything exotic.  I do love Panang Curry.

Favorite color?
Depends on my mood.  Sometimes red, sometimes blue.

Favorite quote?
"When I'm good I'm good, but when I'm bad I'm better!"

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Hagen-Daz's Dulce De Leche

Your best trait?
Persistence.  I will not give up!

Your worst trait?
Persistence.  I will not give up - - even when I should!  :-)

Thanks a lot, Perry, for this awesome interview.  It really was great knowing you!
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