Thursday, February 27, 2014

Help Me and Win a Book

Hello to my friends, family and friends I’ve yet to meet. I’m getting book one of my apocalyptic series published this year. It’s called Roof Oasis and it’s a tale about star crossed lovers, an evil tyrant, bio warfare, wormholes, aliens, and of course, zombies. I’m very excited about this book and I can’t wait for you to read it.
One of the things I needed to do for this book was get a decent photo of myself. That meant a professional and there was only one person I trusted to do my author shots, the marvelous Mandy of Bombshell Pinups. I wanted a photo that would represent me and what I loved to do and Mandy had just the set for me.

There are four pictures to pick from, but I can’t make up my mind which picture should go on the back cover of my book. I need your help. I’ll show all four pictures and all you have to do is send an e-mail to telling me which picture you liked the best.

Once the book is published, I will pick three names from a hat. The three winners will be sent a free book. Sound good? Okay, here we go….

                                                                           Picture #1



                                                                            Picture #4
Miss Monroe and her Bombshell Pinups is moving to the SoHa Arts Building on 1001 White Horse Pike and will be open for business in April.  Once her doors open, you’ll want to visit and have your picture taken. She works miracles and made this old bag of bones look pretty damn good.

My friends and fellow members at South Jersey Writers' Group are getting ready to publish two more books. This is so exciting especially after the success of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, our first anthology. I will keep you updated on our group's progress.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Zathura, A Space Adventure


I was fighting off a sinus infection and camping out on the sofa, flipping randomly through all my cable stations, bored out of my mind and upset that I had missed another trip to the monthly meeting or gathering of the Liars’ Club, which is a group of very talented published writers. Darn this sinus infection!

I was about to give up on finding anything watchable when I came across a movie called Zathura. “What is this and is it worth me giving up a nap?” I asked myself. Snowflake, one of my little Chihuahua made the decision for me when she hopped onto my lap and snuggled under the blanket.


This movie came out in 2005, but I never heard of it before Sunday. It an adventure fantasy film based on the illustrated book by Chris Van Allsburg, who is also the author of Jumanji. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Jonah Bobo as Danny, Josh Hutcherson as Walter and Kristen Stewart as their teenaged sister. Tim Robbins plays the part of the sibling’s divorced father, who they are spending the weekend with.

The boys are your typical brothers with the older brother picking on the younger brother and both brothers teasing older sister. When Walter is shoved into the dumbwaiter and banished to the scary basement by Danny, he finds a board game called Zathura, A Space Adventure. From that moment on, reality takes a vacation and the boys are thrown into non-stop adventure.

The Game

The board game is clockwork driven and only two people can play. Sounds good so far for two brothers to spend the afternoon playing peacefully, right? Wrong! They continue to bicker as little brother Danny takes the first turn and winds up the key. After the two metal space ships race across the board, a card pops up. It warns of an impending meteor shower, which the boys shrug off until big boulder size meteors almost destroy their home, which by the way is no longer on the planet Earth, but floating through space.
Their older sister, unaware of what her two bratty brothers are doing, is put into cryonic sleep mode; frozen like a Popsicle during the second spin and by the third spin; they are attacked by their now larger than life and angry as all hell, toy robot.
It’s about this time that Walter and Danny realize that the game is not a game and that the only way to return home is to play the game through. The game proves to be too much for the brothers especially when an alien race decides to attack them. Luckily on one of the spins, an astronaut (Dax Shepard) comes to their aid.
The brothers have a lesson to learn, but what is it? What secret is the astronaut holding back? That robot was one hell of a scary robot as were the alien Zorgons. I really enjoyed this movie, and strongly suggest you watch it if the film shows up on cable again.
This film was much more enjoyable than the recent Lego Movie that I went to this week…but from the responses to my blog, there were lots of people who enjoyed the Lego Movie. To each his own and live and let live and all that jazz.
With Zathura, a board game was released by Pressman Toy Corporation and it worked just like the game in the movie sans the live aliens and angry robots and frozen siblings. I’m going to see if I can find that game it looked like fun. Want to play?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life with Fred & Lucy, Part 19: A Day in the Life


Woke up, fell out of bed dragged a comb across my head…no, I’m not channeling the Beatles, but that song from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to describe a typical day working in the store with Fred and Lucy. My parents were both up before 5a.m. in order to receive the fresh milk and bread from the delivery men.

My mother had Jane and me up by 6:30 in order for us to have enough time to get dressed and help out with the morning hour business before grabbing our schoolbags and running off to school.  I hated working the morning. Our customers were tired and anxious to get back home to get the kiddies off to school. Why they waited until morning to realize that they were out of lunchmeat and bread to make lunch for the kids, I’ll never know.
Fred wasn’t in a good mood either that early in the day because as soon as the milk delivery was made, Fred, who was the poster child for OCD, had to rotate the milk as soon as it arrived. That meant Jane and I would be on our knees pulling out the day old milk to the front and placing the fresher milk to the back.

                          Mom was always dressed nice even for the store
The flooring behind the counter was hard wood, but because it was in bad shape, Jane and I were always pulling out splinters from our knees. We had to do the same routine with the sliced bread; moving day old bread to the front and fresh bread in back, but the customers weren’t dumb and they would just toss the older bread to the side and grab a fresh loaf.

                    Aunt Helen and Jane with our cousins aka The Stock Boys
After school, Jane and I would change into our work clothes and either help out behind the counter or go help the stock boys bring up the cases of soda or canned food. Yes, Fred called my cousins, Jerry, Michael and Anthony the stock boys, but when they messed up or broke a bottle of soda (the bottles were made of glass back in the days) then he would call them, “Dumb asses.”
Jane and I worked out a technique of doing our homework in between waiting on the customers. I would sit on the edge of the potato bin and do my homework while Jane would do hers sitting on the freezer that held the ice cream. After homework was completed and while there was a lull before the next rush of customers, Jane and I watched American Bandstand and practiced all the new dances.

Michael and Lucy were still young, so they helped my mother in the store while Jane and I danced to the music on TV, and Fred took his nap upstairs. My father was very protective of his naps and heaven help you if you disturbed him during this time.

There was only one reason he would allow for his nap to be interrupted and that was only if “God himself needed to ask Fred a question.” All other interruptions were discouraged at the risk of early death.
When Fred was rested and back at the store, Jane and Lucy would help mom with the cooking while Michael and I worked the store. When it was time to eat, we ate in shifts and took turns waiting on the customers whenever the bell rang as a person entered the store. We learned to eat fast or suffer a cold dinner. Some things stay with you forever, and unfortunately, I find myself still speed eating.
Jane and I being the oldest worked in the store until 10 p.m. and then we went to bed to start all over the next day. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure and sometimes I feel that we four kids missed out on our childhood…that could be why we were so wild when we did get out.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Death by Legos


With nine grandchildren, I’ve been dragged into some pretty wild adventures. Some are fun and I mark off these outings as a day well spent. Some adventures I try to forget ever happened as soon as possible. Today was one of those days. I was feeling a bit under the weather and wanted to spend time with Nathan, my youngest grandchild.

As soon as I entered the house and before I had taken off my coat, my grandson runs up to me and announces that we are going to a movie. My daughter and Nathan hustle me out of the house and into her car before I can ask, “What are we seeing?”
In the car and after we are half way to the theatre, my daughter finally confesses, “Nathan wants to see the Lego Movie.”

“Are you nuts?” I counter, trying to open the car door a jump out while the car is doing a good 40 miles an hour. “I thought you loved me,” I say to Nathan as he and his mother pull me back into the moving car.

“Mom, it might be good,” ReRe lies with a straight face.

“Come on Granny. I want to see this with you.”

I must have done something to piss off the kid. Why else would he drag me to see a Lego Movie? My daughter treated me to the movie and snacks. I’m calling it a bribe.
We took our seats and the movie came on. The Lego Movie stars Chris Pratt as the voice of Emmett, Will Ferrell is the voice of President Business and he also makes a cameo appearance, Morgan Freeman is the voice of Vitruvius. There are lots of big star names and superhero characters in this movie, but I don’t care; it stinks.

Ten minutes into the movie, Nathan turns to me and says, “This is stupid. Let’s go.”

You think?
“You picked it and you’re stuck with it,” Re and I both reply just as the song started.

I have this picture in my mind of Hell. Everyone who is banished there will have to listen to this song for all eternity. Thankfully, the movie ended before I went comatose, but now the dumb song is stuck in my head.
As we were leaving, I said to Nathan, “Next time, let me pick the movie. I wanted to see Robo Cop.”

There are probably plenty of little children who will like this movie, God bless them, but to me, the Lego Movie was nothing more than an advertisement for toys with bad music. Here is the song, but I warn you, it sticks in your head.

Helix, True Detective and "The Walking Dead

If you’re a connoisseur of oddities and you need the latest "It" to add to your collection, why not make it heads? You don't have to be a Governor to collect human heads and you don't have to keep them in fish tanks
I’ve been hooked on Helix which you can catch on Friday nights on the Syfy channel. This science fiction thriller takes place in the Arctic and stars Billy Campbell, Kyra Zagorsky, Mark Ghanime and Hiroyuki Sanada as the mysterious Dr. Hiroshi Hatake.
I’m not quite sure if Dr. Hatake is really the bad guy or not, but like our departed governor from The Walking Dead, Dr. Hatake collects heads. Instead of fish tanks, Dr. Hatake keeps his collection hidden under the ice; headsicles, if you must call them something. On last night’s episode, he added the head of Constance Sutton played by the kick ass, ex-Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan. I was sorry to see Jeri out of the show so soon…or is she?
True Detective

I can’t get enough of this show or the two actors of True Detective. Matthew McConaughey (Detective Rust Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Detective Martin Hart) are two dysfunctional homicide detectives who are trying to track down a serial killer. They are so mismatched in personalities and beliefs, that I’m surprised that they haven’t killed each other, but this is exactly why this show works. We, the audience, are pulled into their private lives and even if we don’t like them, we find ourselves cheering for them.   

Fellow Biff Bam Pop writer and close friend, Glenn Walker, posted his review of the show here.  Please read his review and then catch up with the show on HBO. The next episode airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. but I’ll have to wait until Monday to catch up because I’m watching….


Nothing keeps me from this show, not even vacations. Season four part two picked up with our friends of Team Prison, scattered by the now dead Governor’s attack on the prison. There is a lot of stuff going down and three new characters are now part of the cast.

 If you want to know what’s happening to Rick and his merry gang of zombie slayers, then watch the show. You can catch up with my recaps on Biff Bam Pop. One word of warning…watch out for little Lizzie.
You have the scoop on good shows, now watch them and tell me what you think:)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updates on Book, BOO's, Boo boo's and Boot Camp


Well, my novella, Roof Oasis, is in the hands of Amazon Create Space and I have my own team. I get to do the second meeting with them on Monday. Oooh la di da!  I had my futuristic zombie story professionally edited and I well have a pro do the cover. Patti O’Brien and Shelley Szajner are both part of the South Jersey Writers’ Group and they rock!

Our group published a short story anthology, Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, last year and we did so well with it; promoting and selling, that there will be two more books coming out in the not so far future. I’ll keep you posted on SJWG’s progress.
                                                                    one of the proofs
I also had the professional photographer and owner of Bombshell Pinups do my author pictures. I should be getting the final prints, soon. I will post them on my blog and see which of the four poses is the most popular.  You can contact Bombshell Pinups at   She does marvelous work.
A fellow ghost hunter and I recently investigated a private home where the owner was afraid that the spirits there were harmful, but after we did a full investigation, we came to the conclusion that the spirits haunting the home were quite nice if not a bit confused. Suggestions were made and we are waiting to hear from the owner. Since this is still and open case, no other details can be given out.

Husband is still in the process of healing from the snow blowing incident and finding out what is wrong with his knee. MRI will be done next week. Hope there is no surgery required. Now if we could just get that blood pressure down.

In a few weeks, my grandson Jimmy, who is at Parris Island doing Marine Boot Camp, will be graduating. I miss that kid and can’t wait to see him. We’re driving out to South Carolina to pick him up. I’ll be one of the drivers. I hope I don’t get us lost. I have a reputation of always taking the wrong turn.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Promoting Tethered by L.D. Davis

My friend and fellow member of the South Jersey Writers' Group has a new book out. Check out this amazing trailer and then buy the book when it comes out!!!

Life with Fred & Lucy, Part 18: Fred's Posse

                                      Uncle Pat and Fred                                                        

Owning a grocery story was a lot of hard work. My father and mother had to be up before six in the morning in order for the milk and bread delivery men to drop off the needed daily supplies. Our customers were at the door by seven.

We were busy with the morning rush hour as men stopped by for their lunch and pack of cigarettes or the mothers stopped in to buy lunchmeat, bread and milk for their children’s lunches. Back in the day, children came home for lunch. In South Philly, you went to the neighborhood school and everyone walked. 
In the afternoon, after lunch and before dinner, my father and mother had a chance to unpack stock, eat lunch, prepare dinner, and get rested and ready for the dinner rush. The dinner rush lasted until after six in the evening and then my father had time to spend with his posse.

Yes, indeed, Fred had his own groupies! These men and young men were neighbors that took a liking to my father and they would hang around until closing time, which sometimes was close to ten at night. The posse would talk about everything from who was making money on the Vietnam War, to the Russian sputnik, to advances in science, world news, you name it and they conversed about it. These posse members were intelligent and well-read neighbors who brought my father a welcomed break from the monotony of the long hours he toiled in the store. 
Joe Short was the mystery man of the group. No one knew his past, or what he did for a living, but he spent a lot of time at the library and was an expert on military information. I often wondered if he was a spy because he knew a lot about covert activities.

George was a young man who like Joe, kept well abreast of what was going on in the world, especially with the space program. George was in the Air Force and knew plenty about area 51 and the history of the United States involvement in Vietnam. 
Uncle Pat was my father's childhood friend and even though he wasn't related, we called him uncle. We loved Uncle Pat because of his sense of humor and because he read newspapers from all over the world just like my dad, and was knowledgeable on all foreign affairs.                                   
                               The Fabulous Bob Charger of WOGL 98.1                              

Carmen was the youngest of the group, but he was Mr. Music to us and knew everything about the singers, record companies, latest dance craze; he was the music expert of the posse. He went on to become a well-known radio personality on WOGL 98.1 and is now known as Bob Charger.
When we four kids worked with my father in the store at night, we would listen to these guys talk and we learned a lot from them. Like I said they were smart and a lot of what they predicted has come to roost. Working those long hours in the store, made my siblings and me strong physically and emotionally, but being surrounded by my father’s posse; made us smart.
Sometimes, all four members of Fred’s posse were in the store at the same time. Those nights were a special treat for my father and whatever customer happened to be shopping at the store. Instead of rushing home with their bags of groceries, the customers would linger and join in the conversation.
There were times that my father didn’t lock the doors until way past closing time because the posse and fellow shoppers were deep in debate over whatever political, scientific, or world event topic was being discussed on that particular night. You can’t do that today, not in the supermarkets we now shop in for our food. Today if Fred and his posse gathered in a supermarket isle and debated over world events, they would be viewed as revolutionists or loiterers and thrown out.

Thankfully, we have coffee shops today and after I go to church with my sister Lucy on Sundays at St. Monica’s, we stop at the Dunkin Donut on 18th and Oregon Ave. There you will find people from all walks of life in deep debate over today’s world events. If I close my eyes, I can make believe that I’m back in Fred’s store with the posse.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Writing and Sharing Ideas Over Coffee

I'm having some "me" time with my fellow members of the South Jersey Writers' Group. We are at Audubon, New Jersey's Treehouse Coffee Shop and we are all either working on our blogs, or learning how to set up a blog, or writing period.

Our President is at one table helping new bloggers set up a blog and giving helpful hints on how to manage and share their posts. While Amy Hollinger is busy doing this, Glenn Walker is doing his normal saintly duties by helping the rest of us bloggers who are a bit tech challenged.

All in all, it was a very productive day for all who attended our monthly Blog Fest. If you want to learn more then check out the South Jersey Writers' Group Blog

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hubby Update Part Two



We were back in the emergency room again, but this time because Dan's blood pressure was through the roof. I don't think he can blame this on my driving, although, I've been using his car to get us all over town.

No, I think his high blood pressure was maybe due to the leg pain.This has not been a good month for my husband, but... we did learn that there was an Urgent Care next to the Wawa's on the White Horse Pike .


Having worked in the medical field for twenty plus years (Intensive Care, Operating Room, staff for Chief of Urology of Pennsylvania Hospital) before starting a new career at the Academy of Natural Science, I know good health care when I see it and so does my retired Philadelphia Fire Fighter/Paramedic husband. But, we had never been to an Urgent Care Center before. Who would take care of us? What if the doctor's name was Frankenstein?


I had this false assumption that these Urgent Care Centers were...I don't know....staffed by Joe Blow who never really passed the medical board's stringent requirements, BUT, I was wrong!!!


The reception staff, nurse and doctors were the real thing! They did the necessary tests while keeping us updated on their findings and they even touched base with our family doctor before ordering the needed blood pressure medication for Danny. They are part of the Cooper Health System and were able to pull up my husband's x-rays and blood pressure data from the day before. I have to say that Dan and I came home feeling a lot safer. We visit our family doctor in Philadelphia on Monday and hopefully get hubby's body back in working condition.


When we left the Urgent Care it had started to snow. Can you sue the weather? No! But, it doesn't matter. We were feeling pretty good with the courteous and professional care that we had received from the Cooper Urgent Care Staff. Thank you Cooper Hospital.