Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Will this work?

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Interview with Ralph Sanborn, author of China Red

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2014 at 1:44 am



China RedTitle: China Red
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Author: Ralph Sanborn
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 292 pages
Release Date: April 8, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-47598-293-0

Heroin, called “China Red” on the street, is being smuggled into the United States. Zhou Jing—who fancies himself a fifteenth-century Chinese warlord, is using Muslim Uighers in western China to produce the heroin. In exchange, Zhou arms, trains, and provides security from the Chinese government for the Uighers.

Caleb Frost is a professional assassin in a deep cover, black operations team that specializes in wet work. His team includes two ex-Navy SEALs and a Greek beauty and former New York City escort. Funded by the US government, the team operates autonomously in total secrecy. China hires Caleb’s team to destroy, with prejudice, the smuggling operation in the US.

Zhou’s partner is a brilliant, psychopathic killer—a Harvard Business School graduate named Wrath. He founded the Visigoths MC, a hard riding, vicious motorcycle gang which protects, delivers, and collects payment for the heroin shipments. When matters become personal and Caleb’s sister Rebecca is kidnapped, the team’s task gets messier. It becomes more than an “assassination engagement” for Caleb—it becomes a bloodthirsty vendetta.

“This tornado of a thriller drags the reader into a world of guns, bombs, swords and death and won’t let go.”
-Rob Swigart, Author of The Delphi Agenda

“China Red plunges the reader into a world of evil intrigue and high adventure. You won’t be able to put it down.”
-Antoinette May, author of The Sacred Well, Pilate’s Wife,
and Haunted Houses of California



Question1- Use no more than two sentences – why should we read your book

You will be entertained by an exciting and memorable cast of characters and an action driven storyline. The over arcing issues of social injustice in China toward the Uighers and the villainy of the drug business in the United States are current news.

Question2- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Despite the violence I depict in my writing, such as the scene in which Caleb slices a man’s jugular with a serrated bread knife from the inside of the man’s neck outward, I hate violence on TV and in movies.

Question3- Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?

“La rue a l’enfer est pavée avec les bonnes intentions.” The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Question4- Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?

He reviewed the past three weeks. He mentally traced his steps through his confrontation with his target, Amahd al-Tikriti.

He fully believed that he terminated only those who had done little to earn a pass in this life. That qualification was the primary consideration in his decision making process to accept or decline an engagement. He did have the unique right to refuse an assignment. His engagements would always be with individuals or groups who preyed on defenseless people. Al-Tikriti had met the criteria to a “T”. Frost knew that the father and family of the dead boy in Baghdad would learn of al-Tikriti’s long delayed death. It would appear in the Iraqi press. That is all they would ever know. Caleb wanted them to know. It was done. Closure, if that was ever possible, for a greatly bereaved and abused family. Justice for a child whose only mistake was being born into Hell.

Events such as this one caused “mental saboteurs” to attack Caleb’s mind. Saboteurs invading in search of remorse. Launching corrosive self-accusations and doubts. He shoved the event and its memories into the cage he reserved for saboteurs in his mind. Nighttime, in the early, sweat-dampened hours, was the battlefield upon which he fought them. Caleb was well aware that he was still learning to live with himself. To live with the killing.

Question5- Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you?

Elmore Leonard said at a reading to never write what the reader won’t read. I apply that wisdom when I go back to edit my work. I lose a lot of words.



Ralph Sanborn was raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and earned a degree in psychology from St. Lawrence University. He has lived in several different countries and worked in a variety of manufacturing and software enterprise marketing capacities. He currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Susan, and their two dogs.


My addiction

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Yes, you read that right.  I have an addiction.  What is it?  No, not alcohol or drugs, I’m addicted to creating blogs and websites.  This is bad because once I create them I find that they are just too time consuming for me to keep up.  But, the good news is, this is going to be my main blog, the one where I will post all my family related items, recipes, book and product reviews, you name it.  It will be a mix of all about me and will make my life a whole lot easier.  I hope you will continue to follow along this crazy journey with me and my family!

Vacation – here we come

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

Getting ready for a vacation is more work than I thought!  This vacation is different for us because we will be renting a condo on Long Lake North ( and the hardest part is making sure we don’t forget anything.  We are cooking every day up there so we had to plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Made Spam Salad, Tuna Salad, Potato Salad, and Pickle Dip yesterday.  Today it will be Cucumber Salad for my  Mini (it is her favorite) and just making sure we have our list of things ready.

Thankfully the temperature is going to drop for us a little after today – this is a week straight of 90+ temps with heat indexes over 100…I truly hate this weather.  No matter what we will have central air next week so there will be escape from the heat if we need it.

I will try to post while we are up there, and add pictures too.

Busy Life

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

So, as always life has been very busy.  We took Mini down to Wisconsin Dells for her birthday.  It’s always important to do something special for the girls because outside of some phone calls the only thing they get for their birthday is whatever we give them.  Kind of sad but what can you do?  We decided to stay at The Wilderness again because we stayed there last year and had such a good time.  We got one of the birthday packages because she was supposed to get a monkey with an eye patch (monkeys are her favorite) but instead of a monkey she got a parrot that attaches to her arm, Daddy helped her name it Petey.  She also got some other goodies to go along with it and I bought Beans a stuffed tiger so she wouldn’t feel left out.  It is go, go, go when we are there and there was no talking them into going down any of the big slides this year – I think last year scared them a little too much:)  But, we did get them agree to hop on some inner tubes at the wave pool and they really had fun…more fun than I think they thought they would.

Tonight is week 2 of their theater practice for Charlotte’s Web and tomorrow we are heading over to the Valley Academy for the Arts to check out their dance program.  We are also going to look into the Badger State Girl’s Choir for Mini (Beans is too little) and will be signing them up for swimming as well (this through the rec department).  Staying busy is always a good thing and giving the girls these opportunities is extremely important to both of us, they are so special and I want them to be as well rounded as possible.  And with Mini’s limitations when it comes to sports, I try and find things that she will enjoy that also enrich both of their lives.

So, that’s all for now but will be back soon!

8 years ago today

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

Once again it has been way too long since I have written anything here.  This week is always hard as it reminds me of the worst (and best) day of my life.  8 years ago today is the day that Grace had her open heart surgery.  It is hard to believe that so much time has passed when it is still so vivid in my mind.  How could you ever forget watching the monitors beep and drop and watch the nurses and doctors rush in to perform CPR and bring her back?  Especially when it was something that happened multiple times?  I will NEVER forget the sound the monitors make when they are hooked up in the ICU and remember turning to my hubby saying, “There she goes.” It makes my heart hurt to think too hard about it, but also remember Nana and Cari being there for us…what some angels!

Thankfully our little Mini is doing well and we have a little bit of a breather before we have to worry about whether she will need another surgery or not – this is something that will be determined as she gets bigger and her body has to start to pump the blood to a larger area.  Even though this was a horrible time for us, we are so blessed to have our little girl here with us and able to do almost everything that other kids can do (no contact sports though).  It certainly could have been so much worse.

This weekend we are heading to the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells to celebrate her birthday – we had a small cake and ordered in Chinese and just spent time together on her birthday.  It should be great to go down and spend time together, we always enjoy it down there.

So, off to play the Xbox and see if Beans can get her groove back.  I’ll try to write more often.  Here’s a recent picture of the girls:

Please visit me at my new sites!

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 10:50 am

Please visit me at

The Book Czar – this is my new site for all things book related

Scribe Vibe – this is my new site for author guest posts

Zensanity – this is my new site for author interview

The 1st Page – this is my new site for the 1st page of new books

This site will remain up, but will not be active.  Hope to see you at some of the new ones, and thanks so much for all of your support

Moving blog to Blogger

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:02 am

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to shoot off a quick post to tell you that this blog will be moved to blogger.  To visit – go to The Book Czar.  Hope to see you there!

The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2008 at 4:36 am


Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416532528
ISBN-13: 978-1416532521

Book Synopsis:

In a time of discovery and decadence, when the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself, young Juan Tenorio was abandoned and raised by nuns. He grew up loving and worshipping all women, but a clandestine affair with one of the sisters forces him to leave the Church-and his plans for the priesthood-forever. Juan becomes a spy, as well as the world’s greatest libertine. But far from the heartless seducer that legend recounts, he seeks liberation and redemption as much as personal pleasure and gratification. He begins to keep a diary of his greatest adventures and the Arts of Passion he has mastered. The most perilous adventure of all-the irresistible fall into the madness of love with the only woman who could ever make him forget all others-finally compels him to confess everything.

Douglas Carlton Abrams’s magical debut novel captures the heart of the Spanish Golden Age and the secret life of the world’s greatest lover-Don Juan-who came to embody the spirit that would inflame the modern age.

This year has really been a great one for me, and let me tell you why. In the past, if someone would have suggested a historical fiction book to me I would have told them that it wasn’t my kind of book. All of these years I have steered clear of books of this nature because while in school history was the subject that I liked the least. It is amazing what books like this can do, as now I jump at the chance to read books about history, fiction or not.

I admit going in that I didn’t know a whole lot about the legendary Don Juan. Just the same information that most of the general public knows…a true ladies man but not one to stay with one woman for any period of time. This book certainly gives the readers a new look into this man – he truly loved women and his goal was to bring them pleasure by getting them to feel confident about themselves and their bodies. I loved the way this book was written, it sheds a new light on this story and really makes me want to dig into the history of Don Juan and find out more about him.

Although this book is about Don Juan, Douglas does an excellent job of depicting 16th century Spain. One of my favorite part in the book is when Fray Ignacio comes to the convent to speak to the nuns about there being a heretic among them. After he questions the nuns, he decides to take one of them-Hermana Jeronima back to the headquarters of the Holy Office in Sevilla where she would be questioned further. She was being taken to the Inquisition…how horrifying!

This book was an excellent read, and with its fast pace made for a delightful weekend read. I would highly recommend it.

About the author:

Douglas Carlton Abrams is a former editor at the University of California Press and HarperSanFrancisco. He is the co-author of a number of books on love, sexuality, and spirituality, including books written with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, and Taoist Master Mantak Chia. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, with his wife and three children. In his life and work, he is interested in cultivating all aspects of our humanity —body, emotions, mind, and spirit. His goal in writing fiction is to create stories that not only entertain, but also attempt to question, enchant, and transform.

Doug’s desire in writing the book was not only to resurrect this greatest of historical lovers and to give voice to his true motives; he was also moved to write a book that would explore the tension between lust and love and that would confront the human question of how any man or woman can find lifelong satisfaction in one committed relationship. To find out more about the origins of The Lost Diary and the myth of Don Juan, and to learn about forthcoming novels, please visit or

THE LOST DIARY OF DON JUAN VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on September 2, ’08 and end on September 26, ’08. You can visit the Douglas’ tour stops at in September to find out more about him and his new book!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on our main blog at on September 26!

This virtual book tour is being brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson.

The Face of Death by Cody McFadyen

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2008 at 6:13 am

  • Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam -July 29, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553589946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553589948
  • To purchase, please click here.
  • Book Synopsis:

    A sixteen-year old girl holds a gun to her head at the scene of a grisly triple homicide.  She claims “The Stranger” killed her adoptive family, that hes’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her.  But Special Agent Smoky Barrett does.  Her team has been hand-picked from amont the nation’s elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they’ll have to be to deal with this case.

    For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an “artist” who’s molding Sarah into the perfect victim – and the ultimate weapon.  To catch him, Smoky is going to have to put her own fragile, once-shattered life on the line.  For The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too determined.  And when he finally shows his face, Smoky had better be ready to face her worst fear.

    Let me first preface this by saying – this book may not be for everyone.  I am a huge fan of shows like The First 48, and growing up in Wisconsin, we have had our fair share of nasty killers, most notably Jeffrey Dahmer.  Mr. McFadyen does something few authors have been able to do for me – he has actually made me cry during a portion of this book.  I will not go into details, but it involves the events of Sarah’s 6th birthday – heart wrenching, to say the very least.

    As strange as this may sound, this review is hard for me to write.  Not because I don’t have a lot to say but because I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone.  This book is being placed in my top 10 books of 2008 for sure, and without going back to check my list I would say it was in the top 2 or 3.  Even though it is almost 600 pages long, once I started reading I had a VERY hard time putting it down.  His prose, in my mind, is comparable to one of the greatest writers of our time – Stephen King.  Like King, the description of not only the events, but of the characters, leaves no room for doubt – you feel as if you are standing there witnessing things firsthand, and like these characters are people that you really know.  This is something that is a rare find in an author, and should be truly commended, whether you like the subject matter of the book or not.

    I think the hardest part for me was that initially no one believes Sarah.  This poor 6 year old witnesses something beyond my wildest imagination, and when trying to tell the police about it she is dismissed as confused.  My heart was literally breaking for this poor innocent child.  Once you read this, you will realize not only why she isn’t believed (the killer does a good job of covering his tracks and making things look other than what they are), and then you will realize how deep corruption can go.  He also demonstrates how far the human mind can go without actually breaking – Sarah’s journey is fraught with such evil, and yet she somehow keeps at least a shred of sanity. 

    Don’t get me wrong, this book isn’t ALL about murder (although to be honest the vast majority is fairly gruesome).  The relationship between Smoky and her team is fabulous – even James who is “the odd man out”.  As Smoky herself says “He can peer into the mind of a killer and not blink.  He can gaze at evil full in the face and then pick up a magnifying glass to get a closer look.”  This is the same ability Smoky has, which makes her the best in the business.  And, she needs someone with that same ability to bounce ideas off of – no matter how difficult he is to work with.  Bonnie, Elaina, Alan, and Callie are all very developed and you grow to really get a feel for the relationship between all of them.  And despite all of the horror they have all been through…literally…this has helped them to form a bond of friendship and love that is beautiful.

    On that note, I would like to talk about something in the book that I feel was my favorite part.  No, no, it really has nothing to do with the murders at all.  It has to do with Matt (Smoky’s dead husband) and Smoky’s legacy to their daughter Alexa (I must read Cody’s first book to find out what happened here…I must, I must, I must!!!).  They weren’t wealthy, but wanted to make sure they could leave her something if anything ever happened to them, something that maybe wasn’t worth a lot of money, but truly spoke of who they were as people.  And what might that be, you ask?  They create a library for her, and add to it whenever they can.  I have been doing the same thing for my daughters – granted, it started before they were born because I am such a bibliophile, but I think it is such a great idea.  What better gift to give anyone, than a library full of books?!  Love it, love it, love it!

    Truly a must read for anyone – queasy stomachs beware!

    About the author:

    Cody Mcfadyen was born in Texas in 1968. He designed websites before selling his first novel, Shadow Man, in 2005. He has since had a second book – The Face of Death – published. Both were international best sellers. He lives in Southern California with his two black labs, often referred to as ‘The Black Forces of Destruction.’ He drinks coffee (copiously), plays guitar (badly), and reads (voraciously). He abhors adverbs in writing, except when used in short bios like this one.

    For more information, visit

    I also want to thank Pump Up Your Book Promotion – you ladies ROCK!

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