The Best Vampire Series I’ve Read. Ever.

This was my very first post, and at the time I had only a few followers to read it. But now that there are more of you, I thought I’d post it again. This is by far my favorite series in this genre. Historically accurate and incredibly well written, these books suck the reader in and will not let go. I nope you enjoy the replay of this post.

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My first post will introduce some of you to my favorite vampire book series, written by the amazing Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I discovered the world of Saint-Germain in the late seventies, and immediately fell in love. This is historical fiction at its best, well blended with romance and low-key horror.

Saint-Germain is not a stereotypical vampire. Crosses have no effect on him, and he can move freely in the daylight, though direct sunlight will cause him to weaken. Having watched the atrocities of man through countless centuries, he abhors violence and will not willingly participate in any form of it. He is wealthy, sophisticated, eloquent, and handsome; everything we long for in a vampiric lover. He is also lonely, which does not detract from his allure in the least. His intimate encounters are passionate, yet tender, and completely focused on his partner’s pleasure. 

My first look into the series was The Palace, published in 1979.  Set in 14th century Italy, the book tells of Saint-Germain’s arrival in Florence and his friendship with Laurenzo de Medici, shortly before Laurenzo’s death and the rise of Girolamo Savonarola.

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I followed The Palace with Blood Games, the third book in the Saint-Germain series. The story takes place in Rome during the time of Nero, who becomes connected to Saint-Germain through the latter’s friendship with Titus Petronius Niger. Convicted of crimes against the state in the Year of the Four Caesars, Saint-Germain is sentenced to die in the arena.

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When last I looked, there were almost a dozen books in the series, and there may be more by now. I’ve read several, but the two I mentioned are still my favorites. Ms Yarbro has spaced her books through history and her depiction of each period is so precise that one might think she had somehow lived through those days herself. Historical figures share the page with fictional characters, and their presence adds to the impression that she is writing from memory.

I recommend the Saint-Germain series to those who enjoy historical fiction and romance novels. Ms Yarbro is an excellent writer and these are beyond excellent books.

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Thank you for stopping by today to read my very first post. I hope to be back on Sunday with something that probably won’t be nearly as brilliant as I want it to be. 😊

Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

@rhanidchaebooks

Facebook Page:

https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

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The “100 Things We All Wonder About Nonnie Jules” Blog Tour

Today it is my great honor and pleasure to host a stop on Nonnie’s Tour. If you are not familiar with Nonnie Jules, she is the founder and president of Rave Reviews Book Club. She is the author of four books, she is an avid reader, and she is known for her no-nonsense honesty. She works tirelessly to promote Indie authors, and she is one of the most genuinely nice people that I know. I am thrilled to bring you this post, and I hope that you enjoy this time with Nonnie Jules. 

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GIVEAWAYS:
(2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards
(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card
(2) e-book copies of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…”

ULTIMATE PRIZE GIVEAWAY #1:

Anyone who purchases a copy of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND” or “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC” and send to me a copy of the purchase receipt to nonniejules@gmail.com, and also leave a comment along the tour, will get their name entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card!  One entry for each book that is purchased, whether in e-book or paperback format.  Purchases must take place between 2/14/16 – 2/29/16.  If you’ve already purchased all of my books, then feel free to gift a friend, just for the chance to win!!!  Spend a little, and you could win a lot!!!

ULTIMATE PRIZE GIVEAWAY #2:

Anyone who reads and posts a review of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND” or “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC” and sends the link to their review to nonniejules@gmail.com, will get their name entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card!  One entry for each book read and reviewed.  Reviews must be posted between 2/16/16 – 3/15/16 to be placed into the drawing.

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Q: You are often referred to as “Our Fearless Leader.” Honestly, what is your greatest fear?
A: My greatest fear…well, believe it or not, I have a few and they all involve my daughters. But, I would have to say that the greatest of them all is something happening to them and me not being there to hold their hands, kiss their brows and tell them, as I constantly do, how much I love them. Because I was present when God lent those Angels to me, it would cripple me if I wasn’t given the opportunity to say goodbye when he called them home.

Q: WOW! Nonnie that was so beautiful and powerful but how can you carry the weight of that around each day? It has to be a really heavy cross to bear.
A: It is extremely heavy, Rhani. I know I often speak on letting go, and letting God as well as those God jobs I talk about. In my head, I know that my fears are God jobs, but when it comes to my daughters, my heart doesn’t know how to take my own advice.

Q: Does your husband have the same fears as you do about your children?
A: OK, now I’m going to make you all laugh here…my husband is a Pastor! Yes, I said it, believe it or not, I’m a Pastor’s wife! OK, now that all the laughter has subsided, I will have to say that I’m sure he has his fears about his daughters, they are his world, as well. But, my husband has a faith so strong that he does what he should do…he sits, he is still, and he lets God do his job. He’s smart enough to know, that is all that he can do, because none of it is in his power to change the course of any path God has laid out for our darlings. And you all thought I was the smart one. Well, what he feels hasn’t registered in my heart yet.

Q: We’re going to have to lighten things up a bit here. I didn’t know we were going to go down such a serious path with those questions, but Nonnie, thank you so much for opening up the way you did. Random question time: What is the one thing you did today that you truly regret?
A: I ate two blueberry muffins from Panera Bread, when I should have eaten none!

Q: Random question #2: I know we don’t wake up looking for trouble, but what is the one thing you think you might do today that you will regret tomorrow?
A: I’m going to eat that little slice of cake that will come inside the fish dinner that I’m going to get from the church later, because it’s Lent and the Catholics eat fish on Friday during Lent (I guess). And no, I’m not Catholic…I just pretend to be during Lent so I can eat their fish!

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CONTACT NONNIE VIA:

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/nonniejules

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BooksByNonnie

Blogs:  www.nonniewrites.wordpress.com , www.BooksByNonnie.wordpress.com & www.AskTheGoodMommy.wordpress.com

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THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,”

 Trailer: https://youtu.be/zg15rptFN2g

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DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,”

Trailer:  https://youtu.be/qbUK3XQ5-dA

NJ Cover Design

SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS,”

Trailer:  https://youtu.be/fQBnt0wix88

1If Only There Was Music book cover

IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC,”

Trailer: https://youtu.be/g2gNns8ZVFI

* * *

Thank you so much for stopping by today to share this time with Nonnie Jules.  I will definitely be back on Sunday with another post/, and I hope you will enjoy it. 

Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

                 @rhanidchaebooks

Facebook Page:

https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back To School Book & Blog Block Party

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Welcome to my blog for my stop on the Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back-To-School Book & Blog Block Party. I’m so glad you decided to join me today in beautiful Tacoma, WA. I have some great stuff to give away, and if you leave a comment at the end of this post you’ll be entered into a drawing and might win something. Everyone is eligible, you don’t need to be a member of Rave Reviews to win.

What I’m giving away:

One $5.00 Amazon gift card

Three Kindle copies of Shadow of the Drill

One signed paperback copy of Shadow of the Drill \

One set of coffee cups with pictures of the covers of Shadow and Winter, and a signed 1st edition cover of Shadow. (Not as impressive as it sounds, although there was a limited number of 1st editions printed so the covers are kind of rare.)

There is a total of 6 winners at this stop. I apologize, but postal rates prevent me from sending anything that has to be mailed outside of the USA.
I’m so happy to announce that the winners of my giveaway are: Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Gorden Bickerstaff, Cassidy Salem, C. S. Boyack, Bette Stevens, & J. B. Hawker. It was a fantastic day here at my blog, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Today, I’m going to share one of my favorite parts of Shadow, and then give you a peek at two upcoming novels. I hope you enjoy.

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SHADOW-3d

REVIEWSEALShadow of the Drill is the first in a series of books about Decker, an unrepentant enforcer known as the Drill, and the violent life that he leads. It follows Decker as he finally encounters the men whose brutal assault of a woman changed his life. The following passage happens after an encounter with those men, when Decker is faced with the possibility that he might not be able to save his injured partner

 

   “Char, you gotta hold him!” Decker spoke louder than usual, his words coming with the crispness of a cracking whip. “Don’t let him move! I need to finish, and I can’t if he’s not layin’ still!” 

   Charlene tossed her head in exasperation. “I’m doing the best I can, but he’s a lot stronger than me!”

   Decker softened, giving her an understanding smile while selecting a different scalpel from the tray. “I know, babe. But you gotta try harder.” He waited for her to agree, but her expression clearly stated that she had more to say.  

   “Deck, can we give him a break?” She laid her hands on Rudy’s heaving chest, caressing his skin in an effort to soothe him. “I know there’s only the one piece left, but I think he needs a minute before you start cutting again. Maybe I can find something more to give him, so he won’t feel it as much.”

   Decker hesitated, torn between his desire to do as she asked and the knowledge that there was no more time to spare. The job would have already been done had the bullet remained intact, but they had not been that fortunate. Removing the fragments and repairing the damage had been a precise and exhausting task, and Decker would have welcomed a chance to rest his hands and regroup in general. But then a strangled groan from Rudy settled the issue for him. “We can’t stop now. I wish we could but we just don’t have time.”

   Charlene sighed, knowing that he was right. She moved to the head of the table, reaching down to stroke Rudy’s shoulders.                 

   “I know where it is,” Decker said with a passing frown. “I just can’t get to it when he’s movin’ around so much. And I sure as hell can’t fix anything. If we could just keep him still, I could grab it and fix whatever it broke. But he’s gotta be still!”

   His gloved fingers probed the Betadine-stained area above the wound as he prepared to make another incision, but he stopped when Rudy moaned in response. “Char,” he said without looking up, “he’s too close to the top. We need to put him back down. I know the pills are gone, but is there any more booze?”

   The woman clenched her hands together, unable to hide her stricken expression. “No. I gave him the last of it just before you started. There might be more somewhere, but I don’t know how much.” Her voice broke in a frustrated sob. “Or where it would be.”

   Decker frowned again, thinking of and weighing the options. “Well,” he said, swallowing hard against the dread that threatened the strength and accuracy of his hands, “I guess we’ll just go ahead and finish it. Hopefully, he’ll pass out before we get too far.”

   Another sentence followed, too softly for Charlene to hear. “What did you say?”

   “I said if there’s a God in Heaven, he will.”    

   The bloodstained gloves hit the floor, and Decker’s hands cupped Rudy’s face, one finger tracing the clenched jaw with a lover’s smooth touch. His lips tightened at the thought of what his friend would still have to suffer at his hands, but then he straightened, all emotion locked safely away until the job was done. “Ready?” The sound of fresh gloves snapping around his wrists accented the word.

   Charlene caught her breath, but managed to keep her voice from shaking too badly. “As ready as I’m gonna be.” She pressed her palms against Rudy’s shoulders, leaning her weight forward while bracing her feet against the base of the wall behind her.

   “Are you sure?” Decker’s voice was steady, almost as if his fright had never been. She bobbed her head in reply, and he poised his hands over Rudy’s abdomen. “Okay then,” he said, forcing his eyes away from Rudy’s face. “Here we go.”

   The scalpel slid into the skin, forcing a throaty groan from Rudy’s lips. Blood flowed, causing Charlene’s heart to skip a beat. There’s so much!

   Rudy’s legs thrashed while Charlene fought to hold his upper body against the table and she dug the heels of her palms into the front of his shoulders. “I can’t hold him,” she cried, struggling against Rudy’s greater strength. “Deck, I’m losing him!”

   “I’m almost there,” he replied as the scalpel went deeper. “Just a little more, and I’ll have it!” 

   He tossed the blood-covered instrument onto the tray before picking up the forceps. “Okay,” he said, more to himself than to Charlene. “Okay, steady now.    Easy . . . Easy . . .”

   Rudy cried out when Decker reached in for the elusive piece of metal. His head rolled from side to side while his hands flailed, even though Decker tried to hold the closest one against the edge of the table with his body. His expressive brown eyes were wide and pain-crazed, but beneath the pain was something else. Something that, to their dismay, both Charlene and Decker recognized.

   Awareness.

   Rudy should have been beyond all feeling, but instead he remained awake. Awake and aware.

* * *

Winter-new-3d

Duncan Malone sets his sights on the adult entertainment club owned by Decker and his partner, Rudy Valdez. What begins as a simple club war quickly escalates to murder when Malone sends his men after the people in Rudy’s circle. The following passage tells of one such encounter.

    Lena giggled uncontrollably when Rudy finished the story he was telling with a flourish. The two girls in the back seat leaned forward to hear, sharing the humor and enjoying the moment.

   “Oh Rudy,” Lena gasped, wiping tears from her eyes. “Decker would kill you if he knew you’d told us that. He’d absolutely kill you!”

   “Are you planning to tell him?” Rudy asked with mock concern. “I sure hope not.”           

   “No way,” she replied, resting her hand on his shoulder. “This is prime blackmail stuff.”

   “Oh, so that’s it,” he said, keeping his tone serious with effort. “Well, I can see how it’s gonna be from now on. I guess there’s no other choice. I’ll have to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep you three quiet.” His deep brown eyes twinkled merrily in the rearview mirror. “I’ll do it. I’ll be your sex slave.”        

   His words were met with shocked silence, and then all three women were laughing in unison, blushing at the thought of being serviced by such a strikingly handsome man.

   The comment had been made in fun, but Rudy allowed himself a brief fantasy as he watched them in the mirror. It would never happen, of course, but that was what made the teasing so much fun. 

   All in all, it was an enjoyable drive. The moon was full, the rain had stopped, and as Rudy began to round the curve ahead of him there was nothing on his mind other than pleasure at his companions’ conversation.

   He saw the headlights approaching, but thought nothing of it until a pair of lights flared brightly in his rearview mirror as well. Then a sixth sense came into play and he locked his seat belt, pulling the strap snugly across his chest. He contemplated calling Decker, but decided against it. Whatever was going to happen would occur long before help could arrive; there was no point in dragging anyone out of bed just yet. 

   The headlights flashed into high beam and he tightened his hands on the wheel, bracing his shoulders against the back of the seat. “Ladies,” he said mildly, “put your belts on, please. We might have a bit of a problem.”   

   “What’s up?” Nikki asked while she obediently buckled herself in, but before Rudy could answer the other car was upon them and there was no time to talk.

   He studied the driver’s face while the sedan roared toward him in the other lane, watching the man’s shoulders shift when the vehicle’s nose swung toward him. Swearing loudly, he pulled the wheel sharply to the left in an attempt to beat the other car to the bash.

   The steering wheel bucked in his hands when the vehicles slammed together. The impact threw his body forward, wrenching his neck and back when the seatbelt locked and almost making him wish that his air bag had not been disabled.  He could hear the girls screaming as they clung to each other in the back seat, and he shouted at them to keep their heads down.

   There was no sound from Lena, and when he shot a glance in her direction he saw why. Her head lolled back against the headrest, eyes closed and mouth slightly open. Blood smeared the glass to her right, and Rudy knew that she needed medical help immediately.

   “Shit,” he muttered, still fighting the wheel while the car shot out of the curve. He thought for a moment that he had it under control, but then the car that had been following slammed into his vehicle from behind. 

   “Hang on,” he yelled as loudly as he could, hoping that the two in the back could hear his voice over their own. “Here we go!”

   The car slid, turning as the tires lost traction on the wet pavement. Rudy managed to keep all four wheels on the ground, reacting with cool precision when the back end fishtailed from one side to the other. He knew that the second car was still behind him, its driver no doubt waiting for a chance to ram him again. And though Rudy’s first choice would have been to face his pursuers, beating the other drivers at their own game, he had the girls to consider. Their presence in the car meant that a round of bumper cars on the narrow stretch of road was out of the question. Therefore, his only option was to hit the gas and hope that he was the better driver. 

   The lights in the mirror grew brighter, a second pair of eyes joining the first when the car that had passed him hung a U-turn and fell in behind the other. Seeing this, Rudy adjusted his seatbelt and squared his shoulders. A quick word to the girls in the back, and then a look of fierce determination settled onto his face. Eyes focused, right foot steadily pressing the gas pedal toward the floor, Rudy began to run.

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Letters From My Father is my first non-fiction novel, and centers around the letters that my mother received while my father was away during World War II. I was supplied with scrapbooks that contained a wealth of history, and I’m hoping that other people will find this collection to be as interesting as I do. I don’t have a cover to show you yet, but here is one of my favorite entries.

GUAM SMALL

Connie Velarde, 18-year-old beautician, was the overwhelming choice of servicemen on the island for the title of “Miss Guam, 1946” in the WXLI-sponsored contest to select the queen of Guamanian beauties. Connie’s working address is IsCom Beauty shop, her home, Agana.

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Both Winter of the Drill and Letters From My Father are scheduled for a December release, and while the books in the Drill series are not intended for young or easily offended readers, Letters is completely family friendly.

Thank you again for visiting with me today. Don’t forget to leave a comment so that you can be entered into the drawing, and remember – you don’t need to be an #RRBC member to win!

 Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

               @rhanidchaebooks

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

The Poetry of GE Shaw

Today I would like to share with you the poetry of my new friend, G E Shaw. I must admit that I am not a fan of most modern poetry, but there are times when a poet’s work catches my attention and draws me in. This is one of those times.

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These particular poems come from the most recent book scheduled out later this fall (Poetry of the Soul, Prophecy)

G E Shaw

A Father’s Love

When I rest my eyes,

The fear of time,

Appears frozen in place,

And there are moments that passed by,

Like movie reels of the past,

The present and the future

That encompasses everything you are to me…

 

Years pass, months grow longer,

Days fade away,

But memories sustain the substance of time…

 

Tear drops of emotions,

Echoes loudly,

As it slices through my pain,

Nevertheless the presence of your love,

Remains translucent…throughout infinity…

 

A love that strengthens, for decades,

As it passes through the lineage,

Of our ancestral heritage;

For there is no greater power,

Than the gift,

I give to you, of a “Father’s Love”…

 

Age of Awareness

The “Age of Awareness”,

Comes too soon

For many, it represents the barriers

To a never-ending hell—

The deepest of containments

Which lacks the understanding

The maturity,

The rapid growth—

 

It is a disease environment

That houses no shelter lives

The innocence is not protected—

The “Age of Awareness”

Comes to soon for many

They aged too quickly

Society has created this oral history—

This trepidation that causes a reciprocal effect

For all generations

Entrenched within the depths

Of our seedlings

The “Age of Awareness”

Comes to soon

            For many of us—

 

From Book Three (Poetry of the Soul, Unveiled)

These short stories, represent times, and emotions that occurred during a segment of my life when I was seeking understanding or rejoicing for that moment.

If you can vividly imagine yourself sitting and chatting with a friend, family member or just sitting back contemplating with yourself on something that just occurred in your life, then these short poetic minuets has serve its purpose.

A Young Boy’s Faith

 

Hey! The other day, I read an article  

About a young boy

How old, I truly cannot say

Although, he was astonishing and enlightening to me

A person so young  

So aware of his spiritual world

The world that surrounds him  

His words, eloquently spoken

Chime with joy  

Yet, it resonated with sadness

I felt it all, you know, within that same split second—

As I read this article  

The other day  

It spoke highly of this person  

Who arouse me  

If you can understand, the deepness

The depths of where this article took me

With his soft-spoken words  

The warmness of his voice  

The words, they just lifted from the page

That captivated me—

 

As I waited for the next syllable  

Anticipating what he might say  

I dare not remove these eyes  

In fear—something might escape my sight

Then gradually, as the article open itself to me

The source of this boy’s unhappiness  

Snatched me, and it revealed itself to me

It was a lost sister

His sister, who had yet to reach the age of five,

She had passed away

Um, she had died unexpectedly, taken from this universe—

“Captivation Held on to Me”

 

Why, you might ask, was I captivated by this?

This article, I was reading

It is how, he spoke with reverence

Of a sister—who past

That astonished my whole being

(You See!)

He was buying a gift  

To comfort her loneliness…

Therefore, there would be no loneliness

She would not endure the solitude  

That would be that passenger

She would long dread

On her endless travel—

 

He wanted her evolution  

Of those last spiritual moments

Here on this earth  

To be a blissful one

A peaceful transition                                                      Through her transformation                                                     To heaven’s realm—                                                               For he just knew God’s kingdom awaits her arrival            With open arms

Man! Greg that is very deep                                                        The translation of this article                                                    You just read—

 What a powerful thing

To know her soul

Is purified—By God

With the protection of his angels

Her escorts

Accompanying her to the halls of heaven–

Yes, as I stood there in amazement

After reading that article

How he motivated me, a young boy

With his perception of death  

And his strength of faith—

 

The only answer,                                                                                                                                       I had, was that there must be a “God”                                                                                                How else can you explain a young boy’s echoing declaration of devotion                                For the love of a sister  

Who went way before her time—

From Book Two (Poetry of the Soul, Revelations)

‘Poetry of the Soul’ (Revelations) represents the second stage of my evolution of personal and spiritual growth. Along with my personal and spiritual growth, revelations look further into what makes us human. It centers on the real meaning of our existence from this writer’s viewpoint. Poetry of the Soul (Revelations) looks at women as a centerpiece or foundational soul of the universe. It is a self-reflection of life, society, and family. These selections make up the very fabric of our existence. It truly engages the perception of family, dreams, and the purity of life itself.

Revelations is the ability to look deeply into one’s soul and understand the true purpose of the human spirit. To forge ahead for the betterment of one’s self through resolve, fortitude, and vision of our own faults. My hope is that in reading these selections each individual will found their own personal and spiritual growth. The intent of this book is to incite interaction and personal growth. To allowed us to dig deep, and reveal our own personal demons and rid them through personal reflections and cleansing of the soul.

SHADOW WALKERS  

Shadow walkers  

Invisible Icons  

Hidden—un-noticed  

Imaginary replicas   

Distinguish by the light  

But, cloak by the darkness  

Mirror reflections of oneself  

No cultural identification to speak of   

For they represent, the rainbow coalition  

            Of humanity, without judgment  

                        Or persecution—  

From the Original  Book (Poetry of the Soul)

 

AGE (Transformation)

 

Age!  

It represents the continuance of time within the universe-  

        Or       

      The continuance within time itself-  

Like the dimensions of time and space –  

Age is ever evolving to higher plains of existence-  

However,

 For us simple mortals, age represents simplicity-  

The simplicity of an embryo-  

That comes with the transformation into puberty-

Through which we transition-

Like a rite of passage into adolescence-  

For through adolescence, exploration within us begins—   

  

And within this exploration-  

Our transformation into adulthood begins-  

Throughout these stages,  

We age ever so amiably,   

“I hope”  

               But none-the-less we do age—  

  

Sanity becomes insanity,  

       For age signals our time   

Our historic dialogue   

That lay within that moment-  

Like an hour glass in time-  

               WE AGE!  

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by today, and I hope that you enjoyed the poetry of G E Shaw. His work is available from Lulu at

https://t.co/HobRiSliJ7

 I hope you’re having a festive Labor Day weekend, and I hope to be back on Wednesday.

 

Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

               @rhanidchaebooks

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

 

A bit about Decker

Hello, and thank you for reading today’s post. The second novel in the Drill series, Winter of the Drill, is due out at the end of the month, and it may or may not stay on schedule. In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a little insight into the title character, Decker.

* * *

As the enforcer known as the Drill, Decker will professionally handle almost any job, up to and including murder. Logic calls his shots, and emotion has very little place in his world. Because of this, he tends to act without concern for how those actions might affect others. At one point, his constant womanizing had cost him his long-time lover, Charlene. Fortunately for him, the events that occurred in Shadow of the Drill caused him to realize what he had lost, and he was able to win her back.

 Because of the volatile and unpredictable life that he leads, Decker does not cultivate friendships. The odds are that anyone close to him will die, and he chooses to avoid the pain of loss by limiting emotional connections. One exception to his rule is Rudy Valdez, his business partner and one of the only two people besides Charlene that he allows himself to love. He and Rudy have been friends since their teens, and the subsequent intertwining of their business and personal lives has given them a unique connection that both would be lost without. Rudy and Charlene give Decker much needed stability, and together they form a strong family unit.

 The third person in Decker’s heart is Maria, a young woman who was viciously attacked fifteen years prior to Shadow, and who was left in an unresponsive state. Decker bears the guilt of his inability to protect her, and it was her assault that put him on the path to becoming the Drill.    

 Decker’s story is one of continuous violence, but it’s also the story of triumph after tragedy, and of one man’s passage from darkness into…semi-light. Above all, it’s a love story.

                  * * *

Thank you again for stopping by and sharing a few minutes of your day with me. I’m hoping to be back on Sunday with a few movie reviews for some great older films that you might not have seen.


Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

               @rhanidchaebooks

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

Winter Is Coming!

After a seemingly endless number of life-related delays, Winter of the Drill is currently on schedule for a late August release. This book has been making me crazy for months, and I’m going to be thrilled when it’s done, for a variety of reasons; the biggest being that I won’t have to look at it every time I open my laptop. Don’t get me wrong – I my boys, but after writing Shadow, and then working on the dozen or so sequels that are currently in the series, there’s a definite love/hate relationship between us. 

Today, I hope to draw you into Decker’s world by posting the first chapter of Winter of the Drill. Yes, it’s a shameless bit of self-promotion, but I’m hoping that you like what you read. Please leave a comment if you have the time. I would greatly appreciate it. 

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Winter of the Drill

Chapter One

   A slight rain misted the December afternoon and moistened the face of the young man who raced through the alley, frantically seeking refuge. A graffiti covered doorway caught his eye as he flew past; spinning on [entry. Frantic intensity strengthened his hands and he pounded on the door with both fists, even though he knew that there would be no help on the other side. For even if there was someone there to open the door, they would betray him in a heartbeat once they learned who was chasing him. Once they knew that he ran from the Drill.

   And they would find out; though Tommy had never met the man, he had heard enough to know that the Drill would tear the city apart until he flushed his prey out into the open. He was a man who took great pride in his work, and made it a point not to fail those who purchased his expensive services.  He was also a man whose vicious reputation was legend among the hookers and the hustlers who called those dark and dreary streets their home. They would never risk his anger by sheltering one such as Thomas Gaylord Jenkins III; two-bit dealer, pimp, and all around loser in spite of his pretentious name. They knew better, as surely as Tommy Jenkins had not. But he was learning fast.

   Abandoning his attempts to gain entrance to the building, Tommy sprinted for the far end of the alley. Heart pounding, he prayed desperately for enough time to reach the cross street and make his escape before his pursuer closed enough of the gap between them to see where he went. He knew that the odds were against him; the hellhound on his tail had been hand-picked by the Drill and was even more at home on the dingy streets than Tommy himself. Every turn, every shortcut would be known to him, and Tommy’s possibility of escape faded with each passing second. But knowing that his options were quickly dwindling did not destroy Tommy’s hopes completely. There was still a chance, and it was almost close enough to touch.

   The bus station! Hang a right, then two blocks up. I can do this! The thought of watching his neighborhood shrink into the distance through the tinted windows of a Greyhound caused his heart to thump with anticipation. Just a ticket away from a brand-new life! But that life was not to be. Tommy was only a dozen or so steps from the mouth of the alley when a lean figure stepped out of the shadows and held up a hand in greeting.

   Tommy skidded to a stop, his stomach clenching when he recognized the man who stood before him – another of the young thugs in the employ of the Drill. Tommy knew that the man could not be reasoned with, so he wasted no time with arguments or bargains. Turning, he raced back the way that he had come, cursing loudly when he stumbled over a small pile of debris. His shoes pounded against the damp pavement and his breath burned in his throat as he pushed his exhausted body forward. He knew that retracing his steps gave him a miniscule chance of escape at best, but to stay where he was and face the consequences of his actions required more bravery than he had ever possessed, under any circumstances.

   And so he ran.

   There was a cab parked across from the alley entrance, and he felt a sudden rush of exhilaration. Just a few more steps to the street and then –

   A fist struck him in the diaphragm, lifting him to his toes while the air was pushed from his lungs. He fell to his knees, retching, unable to prevent the flow of urine that darkened the front of his pants.

   Idiot! He screamed silently at himself, disgusted with his own stupidity. He should have known that there would be sentries stationed at both ends of the alley and he should never have gone in, should never have looked at the narrow, rat infested passage as a route to salvation. But he was tired, and the machinery that governed his rational thought was no longer operating at top efficiency. The only thing he knew for certain was that he had gotten himself into the middle of some incredibly deep shit.

   The “businessmen” that he had so gleefully cheated wanted him. Wanted him badly enough to pay the Drill and his team to hunt him down, and the Drill was not the kind to let his quarry slip through his fingers. Therefore, Tommy knew that he would most likely be dead by morning. Idiot, he berated himself again when a strong hand gripped his hair, pulled his head back, and forced him to look up into the face of the one who held him.

   To his surprise, the man who had chased him into the alley was not the man who stood before him. His pursuer had been young, of average height and build, with light blonde hair poking out from beneath a blue stocking cap. This man was older, darker, and completely unknown to Tommy Jenkins. He was also very tall, and would have towered over Tommy even if the boy had not been kneeling. But his height was not the only thing that caught Tommy’s eye. Massively built, his broad shoulders and muscular arms left no question as to the raw power that lurked beneath the surface of his skin.

   Tommy began to whimper uncontrollably as the man lifted his hand, pulling him to his feet by his hair. He dared another quick look at the stranger’s face and saw with astonishment that it bore a pleasantly amused expression instead of the scowl he had expected. And when the big man spoke, his voice was easy on the ears with a tone that was almost friendly.

   “Look at you,” he said as he released Tommy’s hair and rested a firm hand on the boy’s shoulder. “What a mess you are. Hard to believe you’re man enough to get yourself into the kind of trouble you’re in. But…stranger things have happened.” He paused briefly, eyeing Tommy without any change of expression. “So…what do you have to say for yourself?”

   The ringing of a cell phone spared the boy from having to answer. His mind raced, trying to think of the best way to extract himself from the situation, while his captor answered his phone one-handedly. “Hunt,” he said into the mouthpiece, laughing with genuine delight. “My favorite P.I.! Damn, it’s good to hear your voice. How was the flight? Are you all settled in?”

   Tommy found himself hoping that the conversation would take a while, but it proved to be a brief exchange. “Hunt” was not a man of excess words, and only a few sentences passed between him and the giant whose fingers gripped Tommy’s shoulder like talons of steel.

   “You’re sure you’re up for this? From what I’ve been told they’re just a bunch of kids but…well, let’s be real, bud. You’re not as young as you used to be.” There was a burst of indignant chatter from the cell and the man laughed again. “Okay, okay. Don’t blow a gasket. Grab a nap and we’ll see you tonight.” The stranger disconnected the call and slid the phone back into his pocket. When he turned his attention back to Tommy, his ruggedly handsome face wore the same bemused expression.   

   His smile gave Tommy the faintest stirrings of hope that this man, unlike the others who had been chasing him, might be of a more sympathetic nature. Taking a deep breath, he met the man’s gaze and prepared to plead for his life.

   But before the first words were spoken, he realized that he was mistaken, that there would be no chance of gaining his freedom.  The smile was still gentle, but from under a shock of raven-black hair, crystal blue eyes glittered like shards of the purest ice. Devoid of mercy, they were the eyes of a jungle cat, of a bird of prey. Cold as the grave, they were the eyes of the Drill.

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Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read my post. I hope you’re having a great weekend, and, if all goes as planned, I”ll be back on Wednesday.

Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

               @rhanidchaebooks

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Purchase link for Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

 

Another weekend at the movies

John was in town, and it was hot outside, so we hid out in the theatre where the air conditioning was. There were lots of great movies out, and I think we saw most of them. At least, we saw the ones intended for an adult audience. This weekend we saw: Max, Magic Mike, The Gallows, Ant-man, Trainwreck, Terminator Genisys, Self/less, and Ted 2. It was a great weekend, and I hope you enjoy the reviews.

Max – Wow, what an awesome movie! A military dog handler is killed in action, and the dog refuses to respond to anyone else, so he is given to the soldier’s brother. An unlikely but deep friendship develops between Justin (Josh Wiggins) and Max (Carlos), and their close bond allows them to survive the adventures contained in the film. The only negative I could possibly give is not about the movie, but about the promotion that it received. It was billed as the family film of the summer, and had it been about a wonderful dog who changed the lives of a troubled boy and his family, I would have completely agreed with that description. But…I’m not so sure that this film is appropriate for young family members. The sad parts are very sad, and Max faces death several times from both human and animal opponents. There are dog fights in this movie. There is gunfire, explosions, and attempted murder. I would hesitate to bring young children to this movie. Adults, and kids who are beyond the age of being frightened by loud noises and precarious situations will love this movie. I wish I could give it more than five stars, because it sure does deserve them. 5*

Magic Mike XXL– I was very disappointed in this film. Quite honestly, I was bored. Don’t get me wrong – the dancing was wonderful! There just wasn’t nearly enough of it. The film was basically a road trip with some dancing thrown in along the way, and I found the plot to be monotonous. Not to say that it wasn’t well written or that the acting was bad, because that wasn’t the case. It was just that, like most women, I didn’t go to see a well written plot. I went to see beautiful men, nearly naked and shaking their stuff. Now, there was one scene where Joe Manganiello dances in a convenience store on a bet, and that dance alone is more than worth the price of admission. I’m glad I saw XXL, because the men were gorgeous and the dancing was good, what there was of it. But it’s not a movie I ever need to see again. 4*

The Gallows – Don’t waste your time. Seriously. Twenty years after a student was killed during a high school play when a gallows prop malfunctioned the play is revived. I have no clue why. The ghost of the dead student starts killing people, but I was expecting more of a prom night kind of thing, with a fairly high body count. Instead, there were four students locked in the school overnight, so potential deaths were limited. The script was decent and the acting wasn’t bad, but the plot was more than predictable, and it was seriously missing the horror element that a horror movie kind of needs. Also, it was filmed entirely with a hand-held and cell phone cameras, which I personally found irritating. A waste of money. 1*

Ant-man – It’s a cute film, and it was a pleasant way to spend two hours. Paul Rudd turned in an excellent performance as Ant-man, and the other roles were also well cast. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly were wonderful, and Corey Stoll shone as Yellowjacket. I think people of most ages would enjoy this movie, and I do recommend it as a cute summer action film. 4*

Trainwreck – We laughed our way through this light, delightful romantic comedy. It was predictable, as those movies so often are, but we didn’t care. Not a movie for kids, but adults who enjoy a well-acted movie with some off color hilarity will probably love Trainwreck. 4*

Terminator Genisys – One of my favorite Terminator films, rating five stars because of Arnold’s stellar performance in the lead role. The action was intense, the plot fast-paced, and I have to say that I loved Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese. I’ve heard that the franchise was failing, but if so, Genisys is exactly what it needed. Humor, action, drama…this one has it all. A very strong 5*.

Self/less – Incredibly rich man is dying of cancer. Man pays the wealth of a small country to transfer his mind into a lab-grown body that will allow him to live on in health. Man discovers that things are not as they were explained to him, and it all goes haywire from there. A reasonably believable plot, good acting by Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley as Damien, Matthew Goode as mad scientist Albright, and Victor Garber as Martin, Damien’s longtime business partner and friend. Personally, I would have ended it differently so that there could have been a sequel, but I think most people will like the way it turned out. Overall, a good film and we both like it. 4*

Ted 2 – Don’t go see this movie if you are easily offended by…well, pretty much anything. Otherwise, buy your ticket, get your popcorn, and settle back for two of the funniest hours you’ll see this year. Long story short, Ted has to prove his’s a person in the eyes of the law, and sets off on a quest to accomplish that. An absolute 5*. Times 350.  

Thank you so much for joining me today, and for taking the time to read my ramblings. I plan to be back on Wednesday with a look at my upcoming novel, Winter of the Drill. I hope you will stop by and take a look.    

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Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae

                @rhanidchaebooks

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

A Weekend At The Movies

John was in town again this past weekend, and we saw Aloha, Jurassic World, San Andreas, and Spy.  It was a slow weekend for us, but the times just didn’t line up well eough for us to see more. We did hang out in Furious 7 for an hour and a half while waiting for San Andreas to start alnd that was fun. Furious 7 is one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year, so watching part of it again was a treat. Here are our reviews, I hope you like them.

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1) Aloha – This is a good film, please don’t think it wasn’t. It would have been a great romantic comedy, it also had the makings of a good political thriller, but because they combined the two genres it just seemed like they couldn’t really develop either. John and I both thought that the movie would have been better if they had chosen one of the two options instead of trying to combine the two. 3*

 2) San Andreas – Disaster movies have come so far from the days of The Poseidon Adventure and the Towering Inferno! The special effects were SO amazing in this film that even the completely predictable ending could not detract from them.  Dwayne Johnson was heroic, as expected, and was surrounded by some very good actors but for us, the star of the show was thirteen year old Art Parkinson, in the role of Ollie. Some of you may know him from Game Of Thrones, and he was an absolute delight in San Andreas. I would recommend this film to anyone who loves a great disaster film. 5*

 3) Spy – Jason Statham in a comedy role, and he was really good! Who knew? But actually, the entire cast of Spy could not have been better chosen. Melissa McCarthy was absolutely perfect in the lead role, while Jude Law, who did not have as much screen time as I would have liked, was a joy to watch simply because he was there. Rose Byrne captivated as bad girl Rayna Royanov, and Bobby Cannavale was wonderful as villain Sergio De Luca. All in all, we were in hysterics from beginning to end. As comedies go, this one will be hard to top. Oh, and if you go to Spy, you should wait around for the credits. They had us laughing too. A hilarious 5*.

 4) Jurassic World – I think I was so impressed by Jurassic Park because the special effects used to create the dinosaurs were unlike anything I’d seen before. The plot was good, the concept believable, and overall it was just a great film. I lost interest in the franchise because of the disappointing sequels, and pretty much figured that my days at the park were done. Welcome to Jurassic World! This movie revives the franchise I a big way, pun intended, and left us breathless in our seats. The special effects aren’t the new thing that they were when Jurassic Park was released, but they have improved over the years and so are just as impressive. The plot isn’t really any different from the others in the franchise, but it was well written and contained several subtle references to the original film, which I greatly enjoyed. The dinosaurs were terrifyingly realistic, and the T-Rex’s final scene could not have been done better. Long story short, you gotta see this movie! An absolute 5*!

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today and reading my movie reviews. I appreciate your support, and it totally makes my day when you leave a comment here. If you are interested in adding my novel, Shadow of the Drill, to your Kindle library, the Amazon link is below. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you on Wednesday when I post about…something fun. Lol I have no clue as of yet.

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Born of Crcumstance, Bred for Revenge.
Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

 * * *

 

Contact Information:

Twitter – @rhanidchae

                @rhanidchaebooks

 Email – rhanidchae@gmail.com

 Please join me on Facebook and

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Let’s Play A Game

Let’s Play A Game

 Today I thought I’d give you a little background on Decker, the main character in Shadow of the Drill, and in the novels that are lined up to follow it. Then, if you stay long enough to read the whole thing, I’ll ask you a question. If you know the answer, you could win either a signed paperback copy or an e-copy of Shadow of the Drill.

 Let me start by saying that while Decker, Rudy, and everyone else who inhabits the pages of the Drill Series are fictional characters, they, and the world that they live in, are composites of  people and places that I knew in my younger days. I was fourteen when I decided that I wanted to leave home and seek fame and fortune. I never found the fortune, but I did find fame, of sorts, in the world of adult entertainment. It was an exciting life, and I learned quickly how to survive on streets very similar to the ones that Decker calls his.

 During the wild years of my wayward youth I met several men who made their money as muscle for hire. Wave the right number of zeros in front of them and they could be hired to handle the various unpleasantries that someone else didn’t have the ability or the desire to do. While many of these men were simply bullies who liked getting paid to intimidate someone, they were seen for what they were and not taken too seriously. But the serious enforcers were a different breed entirely, and despite what you might think, they were not bad men. Granted, what they did was illegal on pretty much every level, but these men were governed by a moral code that was as strict as it was…unique. Crimes against the young, the old, or the impaired were dealt with harshly, as were crimes against women. These men held themselves to the highest standards of loyalty; standing by their family, their friends, and their territory no matter the cost. They were, for the most part, very honest men who knew the value of honor, and would never do anything to bring shame upon themselves, or upon the reputation that they had worked so hard to build. It was these men who gave me my boys.

 Like Rudy, Decker is a composite of two or three of the enforcers who made the biggest impression on me. From the moment of his “birth” I knew everything about him. I knew how tall he was, and that he was heavily muscled. I knew that he was half Italian, and what his voice sounded like. I knew that he was clean shaven, that his hair was black, and that he had the most incredible blue eyes I’d ever seen. Yes, I knew every inch of his body, with one exception: he had no face. And though I tried to combine the features of the men that I had based him on, the results were neer successful enough to actually use. It’s not that I couldn’t write him at a satisfactory level, because I could. But without a face, I couldn’t give him depth. I couldn’t give him life. I wanted him to be so much more than satisfactory. I wanted him to be good. I wanted to be proud that I’d written him. Because of this, I fell victim to writer’s block on a regular basis, and reluctantly considered shelving Shadow until I could come up with a workable face for Decker.

 And then it happened. I went to the movies to see a film that starred one of my favorite actors, and he was there. Second banana to the star, he was a good looking guy with strikingly beautiful blue eyes, but that was all. I don’t think Decker entered my mind until about a quarter of the way into the movie. It was one scene, about twenty seconds long, but there was something about his face that caught my attention. I can’t really to tell you what it was; maybe the lighting, or the angle of his head, but whatever it was, it reached out and locked me in a grip that I know I’ll never be free of. I finally had Decker’s face, and the minute I got back to my computer I could see the difference. Decker lived in my keyboard, and his essence guided my fingers to create a man that I am beyond proud to claim. On that day, the Drill was truly born.  

 Okay, for those of you who have been good enough to read this entire post, it’s time to play a game. Below is a picture of the actor who gave me Decker’s face. I don’t know if any of you will recognize him, but I’ll send a signed copy of Shadow of the Drill to the first person who correctly identifies him. (US residents only) And I’ll send an e-copy of Shadow to the first person outside of the states who recognizes him. And even if you’re not the first person to respond, if you have the right name and would like an e-copy of Shadow, please let me know. I’m happy to send a few more out to those who are interested in reading my work. 

 VAL

Thank you so much for stopping by today and for sharing a few minutes of your time with me. I am so grateful for your interest and your support. Please join me on Sunday for my next round of movie reviews.

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Born of Crcumstance, Bred for Revenge.
Shadow of the Drill
http://t.co/AMzFy8uiSf

* * *

 

Contact Information:

Twitter – @rhanidchae

                @rhanidchaebooks

 Email – rhanidchae@gmail.com

 Please join me on Facebook and

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