Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Audies are Coming!



Audiobook narrators, authors, publishers and producers will gather in New York City on Thursday, May 28 to celebrate the 2015 Audies Competition. Often referred to as “the Oscars of Spoken Word Entertainment,” this prestigious event honors the top audio books produced each year.

I was thrilled when Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book became a finalist in the Original Work Category. I would personally like to thank my fabulous cast: Garry Morris, Andra Harbold, Lesley Mendenhall, Abby Elvidge, Rhett Guter, Melissa Sandberg, Kent Hayes, Jack de Golia, and Steve Campbell. In my mind, these talented actors are already winners! I truly appreciate all the skill and passion my actors bring to every audio book I produce.

I am honored and humbled to have Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book even listed along side four very notable and impressive titles in the Original Work Category:

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson; Narrated by Richard Armitage; Audible, Inc.

Mandela: An Audio History; by Nelson Mandela; Narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and Joe Richman; Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books

Transparent: Behind the Scenes; Narrated by Jeffrey Tambor; Audible, Inc.

The Child; by Sebastian Fitzek; Narrated by Rupert Penry-Jones, Jack Boulter, Emilia Fox, Stephen Marcus, Robert Glenister, and Andy Serkis; Audible, Inc.

I would like to extend my most heartfelt wishes to the authors, narrators and producers of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Mandela: An Audio History,Transparent: Behind the Scenes, and The Child. Best of luck to you all during the upcoming Audies Competition. Thank you for setting the bar of excellence so high!

Want to hear the results from the Audies as they happen? Tune into the live streaming service provided by the Audio Publishers Association http://adbl.co/AudiesAPA


Monday, May 25, 2015

Fresh off the Press: The Wheel's Final Turn


Today I'm pleased to be brining my readers a sneak preview of Author Monica Brinkman's final book in her Karmic Wheel Series.  Brinkman's latest project is called The Wheel's Final Turn and is available for sale on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Wheels-Final-Turn-Monica-Brinkman/dp/0990715884/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432463541&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wheels+final+turn

In The Wheel's Final Turn, the sequel to The Turn of The Karmic Wheel, Angela, Euclid, and Karman once again find themselves thrust front and center into the battle between good and evil. One man finds pleasure in torturing animals; another fights the demons of past hate crimes. From the governor's mansion to the highly competitive beauty industry to the hidden closets of memory, no one is safe from the grasp of the darkness that wants to take over the world. Can the forces of Light find the inner strength to save humanity, or will the world fall eternal victim to evil as the karmic wheel makes its final turn?

All About Monica

A member of The Missouri Writers Guild, Writers Center and former columnist for Authors Info, Monica’s articles and stories can be found in TheWriteroomblog, A Word With You Press, Broowaha, and All Voices, among other places. The highly rated reviews of her first novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, prove that readers embrace both her creativity and unique story line. Along with writing, Monica co-hosts a weekly internet, on-camera radio show, It Matters Radio. Each broadcast showcases talented musical artists as well as authors, non-profit organizations, political/news figures or celebrities. “If we find something important and meaningful, we will bring it to our listeners.” Viewers say her hearty laughter fills the air, and, friends say, warms their hearts. A former director, singer, and actress, Monica spends her time, when not writing, assisting new talent gain exposure. She lives in Missouri with her husband, five cats, and two dogs. Visit her web sites: On The Brink: http://itmattersradio.wix.com/on-the-brink A Touch of Karma: http://theturnofthekarmicwheel.blogspot.com/ It Matters Radio: www.itmattersradio.com

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Injoy Life!


I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a Journaling

Hike organized by Life Coach Cindy Clemens.  Find 

out more about Cindy's Injoy Life and Pink Box 

Programs: http://cindyclemens.com/

Life is short -- get out there and have some fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review of John Grisham's Sycamore Row



Let me begin my review of Sycamore Row by stating that I am a big fan of John Grisham, devouring nearly book he's ever written. Sadly, this wasn't the case with Sycamore Row

I think I would be remiss as a reviewer if I failed to express when something didn't meet my expectations. Given the fact that John Grisham penned this book, I had high hopes going in. Unlike other authors, I judge Grisham's books based on my opinions of his other work (which has been almost exclusively good). If I were to hold Sycamore Row up to novels written by other authors, I wouldn't have been nearly as disappointed.

Sycamore Row is sometimes described as a sequel to Grisham's A Time to Kill

Like A Time to Kill, Sycamore Row is a courtroom drama involving a lawyer named Jake Brigance. The story opens with a very intriguing look into the suicide of Seth Hubbard, a wealthy man who, at the last minute, cuts his family out of his will and gives his fortune to his African American housekeeper. Thus begins a very heated court battle. Unfortunately, the plot line fizzles out from there, at least in my mind.

One of the things I admire most about John Grisham is that he takes on the issue of racial discrimination in many of his novels http://www.jgrisham.com/
I appreciate that Grisham is able to make a point about social injustice without getting too preachy. However, some of that was lost on me in Sycamore Row because I thought the plot moved too slowly.

If anyone but John Grisham had written Sycamore Row, it probably would have garnered a higher rating on my GoodReads Page. However, because I think so highly of Grisham's writing, I'm only going to award Sycamore Row two stars because I just didn't think it stacked up to his other work.

Ending on a happy note, I'm looking forward to reading what Grisham comes up with next!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Equality Utah 2015 -- Say Yes!


Equality Utah 2015 began like a line out of a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "If we're ever gonna see a rainbow, we have to stand a little rain."  In this case, it was a lot of rain, which is really saying something given that we live in a desert.  Nonetheless, right before the event was set to begin, Linda Stay, Equality Utah South Coordinator, entered the scene.  As if by her command, the rain abruptly ceased, the clouds lifted, and, if the media is to be believed -- and in this case I have no reason to doubt -- a rainbow appeared.
  


To commemorate the fifth anniversary of this event, it was held in Kayenta, a gorgeous artistic hotspot in Southern Utah where the group held it's first Equality Celebration. 



Kristin Hunt, a Kayenta resident who also happens to star in my promotional videos, arrived at the party in style.  Kristin and her husband, John, have been supporters and volunteers for numerous activities in Kayenta as well as for Equality Utah.  It was therefore fitting to have the Hunts accept a gratitude award from Equality Utah on behalf of the entire Community of Kayenta.


I was happy to run into several of my friends and neighbors who turned out to celebrate Equality and Diversity in our state.  The evening was capped off by a performance from Andrea Gibson, an award winning poet.  Generally speaking, I'm a bit too unsophisticated for most poetry, but Andrea's work literally moved me to tears.  



Andrea's poems reminded me of how fragile people are, and the devastating effects bullying can have.  Andrea's work illustrates how those who have been wounded can lift themselves and others up by sending love to those who move to oppress them.  Funny how that works.  



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Equality Utah -- Glitter in the Gulch


This weekend, I'll have the honor of attending the Equality Utah-South Celebration for the third year in a row.  The event has been moved back to its original stomping grounds in beautiful Kayenta, Utah.  The event begins at 6:30pm on Saturday, May 9 in Coyote Gulch with a reception and silent auction http://www.equalityutah.org/equality-events/equality-celebration

The honored guest speaker will be Andrea Gibson whose iconic poem, "Say Yes," resonates with those involved with the movement for Equality.  Also on tap for the evening:  a live auction and an after-party with music and dancing.

I am not a member of the LGBT Community, but some of the people closest to me are so I feel a moral obligation to speak out against discrimination.  In addition to working towards civil rights for all, Equality Utah also gets involved in policy initiatives, keeping tabs on laws the Utah State Legislature is working on, and addresses topics like income equality.  

Transgender and LGBT Youth also have a place with Equality Utah, with several programs set up to assist those in need http://www.equalityutah.org/issues.  

There is still time to purchase tickets for this Saturday's event https://equalityfederation.salsalabs.com/o/35063/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7888

I hope you'll join me in Saying Yes to Equality!