Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome Back Author Catherine Cavendish!

 I'm so happy to welcome author Catherine Cavendish back to the blog today to discuss her newest novella The Second Wife.  I am reading and loving this right now and personally highly recommend it!  Take it away Cat...

My latest paranormal novella – The Second Wife – is a ghost story. In it, a photograph of Emily Marchant – the deceased first wife of my main character’s husband, features prominently. There is just something about that photograph. Something haunted and deadly, as Chrissie is about to discover.

Recently, I came across some famous photographs that, so far, have failed to be exposed as fakes. See what you think:

Here is a photograph of Freddy Jackson. The late Freddy Jackson to be precise. You can see him, standing behind one of his comrades in this group photograph taken in 1919. Freddy was a mechanic, serving in the Royal Air Force aboard HMS Daedalus. Sadly, he was killed when an aircraft propeller hit him. Yet here he is, two days later, smiling and recognized by his comrades in this photograph. How did he get there?

This photograph was taken in Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Illinois by a respected paranormal investigator in August 1991. Several people were present at the time and all swore there was no one there when the photo was taken. Yet, you can clearly see a woman, dressed in white, sitting alone on a tombstone. Parts of her are almost transparent and she is dressed in a style more reminiscent of the 1920s than the 1990s. Bachelor’s Grove has been the site of a whole range of paranormal phenomena including ghosts, strange lights and sounds. Is this doctored? It is certainly very clear, but, so far, no tampering has been proved (to the best of my knowledge)

Finally, here’s a curiosity. The chair in this photograph belonged to Lord Combermere, who died in 1891. While the staff attended his funeral, a photographer set up his camera in the library and left the shutter open for an hour. When the photographer developed the plate, the image of a man’s head and arm appeared and he seemed to be sitting in the chair. Members of the household said the figure closely resembled the deceased lord. And the chair just happened to be his favourite.

Now I’ve got you in the mood for ghostly tales, here’s the blurb for The Second Wife:

Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead...

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…

Thank you so much for joining us today, Cat.  I absolutely love the photos you've brought to us!  

I know our readers will enjoy The Second Wife as much as I do.  It's easy - just click on one of the following links to purchase The Second Wife and you can start reading right now!

The Second Wife is available now from:


You can find Cat here: as Catherine Cavendish

Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome Contributing Editor, Dan Matlaga!

Last month I received a wonderful letter in the mail (a real letter, not an email!) from Dan Matlaga.

Dan explained that he read about the publication of The Kabrini Message in The Newark Star Ledger and went on to tell me that he, along with another friend, David Van Pelt, and Joe were good friends in our hometown of Garwood, New Jersey back in the 1960's, where they shared a mutual love of astronomy.

The three close friends lost contact when they attended colleges in different parts of the country, but each, in their own way, continued to "follow the stars".

Dan graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in Astronomy and Geology and went on to work at the National Radio Observatory in Greenbank, West Virginia and later as Curator of Astronomy at the Newport News Planetarium in Virginia, followed by a 36 year career teaching Astronomy at Arizona State University.

Dan was also invited to present a paper at Oxford University on his research concerning the role astronomy plays in Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick.  It is fascinating how when the sky is factored into the novel, the entire book opens up.  There will be much more on this later, but for now...

I am excited to introduce you to Dan who will tell us a little about his, Dave and Joe's friendship and hopefully will be a regular contributor on the subject of astronomy, more early "Joe stories", the book he is writing  (An Astronomical Companion to Herman Melville's Moby-Dick) and anything else he'd like to share!  Welcome Dan, the stage is yours....

I knew Joe Egles.  We were introduced through the third member of the group, David Van Pelt. Dave lived behind Joe, I lived several blocks away. We grew up in the all but invisible town of Garwood New Jersey, population about 5,000.

What held our trio together was our insatiable curiosity of the world around us and astronomy. We were for example, frequent visitors to the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium.
During the summer, late Friday afternoon,  we would begin our five mile trek from Garwood to Surprise Lake in the Watchung Reserve for the weekly observing sessions of the local amateur astronomy club. Hours were spent with a dozen or so telescopes giving us great views of wonders of the summer sky.  We usually left the observing party at about midnight to begin the treck home.  I recall one such return trip.  It must have been about 1 a.m, when a patrol car pulled up.  The officer fires up his five cell flashlight into Joe's face and asks: "What is your name?"

"Joe Egles."

"Who are you?" he asked me with what seemed like the light of the sun in my face.

"Dan Matlaga," I replied.

It was Dave's turn.  "What's your name?" the officer asked.

In a perfectly normal, serene voice Dave replied, "Diogenes."

I started to laugh uncontrollably.  I had to lean on the patrol car to prevent my falling over onto the curb.
Joe was shaking his head in a "no” gesture with his eyes shut, his hand covering his mouth to conceal laughter.

"What's so funny?" The officer inquired.

His question raised the ante such that by then I was holding my side.  My laughter made it difficult to get a breath of air. I thought my heart was about to stop.

Joe was now standing off to the side with both hands covering his face.

When I recovered from this farce, I told the officer: "You stopped us because it is 1 a.m. and three teenagers are walking through a neighborhood.  We are not a band of marauders, we are not coming from an orgy nor were we drinking.  It is Friday night/Saturday morning. You stopped three nerds who spent their Friday night up at Surprise Lake with Amateur Astronomers Inc., studying the stars, with an array of various sized telescopes. We are walking home."

The officer called into his dispatcher giving the dispatcher our descriptions and names: "Joe Engels, Dan Matlaga and Diogenes."

This was a source of great discussion for the rest of our hike home.

The trio held together from the very early 1960's to 1968 or so when Dave left to major in astronomy at the University of Arizona. I left a year or two later for the University of Texas.

Communication between us was lost in the late 1960's.  Ten years ago I received an e-mail from Dave.  He was married and living in Chicago.  He was retired, having been placed on disability due to a work related accident.  Dave and I tried to find Joe but with no success. From my side I believe I was misspelling Joe's last name as Engles.

To be conversant with my family still in Garwood, a few times each week I would look at the electronic page of the Newark Star Ledger.  It was on January 26th I read the article of Joe's book and the efforts of his sister Marie to get the book published. 

All this was and still is quite a shock to me.  Joe's interests included astronomy, photography and ham radio.  I do not recall Joe ever expressing any interest in literature.  I find it unusual Joe did not try and contact either David or myself, because he knew of my interest in literature. I've been reading Moby-Dick since fourth grade elementary school and in fact named my old 1957 Buick Special "Pequod."

Joe Egles passed away in January 2010, David Van Pelt followed just two months afterward.

I'm so sorry the three of you didn't have a chance to reconnect before, but so happy that you are here now!  Thank you for sharing with us Dan and we look forward to hearing more!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nicolaus Copernicus!

Much thanks to Pamela Dollak for pointing out that this week (February 19th) was the birthday of famed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus!

Nicolaus Copernicus

In the early 1500s, famed Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus first proposed that the Earth was not the center of the universe — a revelation that, more than 500 years later, has catapulted the 16th century scientists into the center of the Google-verse.
Google's Copernicus "Doodle"
The Internet search giant Google honored Copernicus' paradigm-shifting model of the cosmos with a unique dynamic "doodle" that animates the motion of the solar system's planets around the sun. The Copernicus doodle went live on Copernicus' 540th birthday.

Birthplace in Torun, Poland
February 19, 1473

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on Feb. 19, 1473, and traveled to Italy at age 18 to attend university. At that time, the prevailing theory of the cosmos stated that the planets (not to mention the sun) all circled the Earth, which was at the center of the universe.

At the University of Bologna, Copernicus studied astronomy under professor Domenico Maria de Novara, during which time he helped observe the night sky. After return to his native Poland to serve as a cleric in Frauenburg, he continued his astronomical observations using a observatory in the tower in which he lived. [The Greatest Astronomers of All Time]

Copernicus is perhaps best known for his work on the motion of solar system planets. The prevailing model — that the Earth was at the center of the universe — resulted in a complicated view of the solar system in order to account for the apparent backward motion of some planets across the sky. This "retrograde motion," as it was called, was explained by confusing circles within circles (called epicycles) by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy.
But Copernicus' model streamlined the solar system by proposing that the Earth was not the center of the universe — a heretical view at the time. Instead, Copernicus proposed that the center was near the sun, and that all the planets (Earth included) revolved around it. He also proposed that that it was the Earth's motion around the sun that caused other planets to appear as if they moved backward — a theory later proven correct.
The Copernican model of the solar system is also known as the heliocentric model. While Copernicus still got some details incorrect (he assumed the orbits of planets were perfect circles, not the ellipses we know today, which still required epicycles), it did lay the foundation for future astronomers.
Copernicus documented his theory in handwritten notes to friends in 1514, when he would have been about 41 years old. It was not until he was 70 and near death that Copernicus formally published his proposal in the book "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres."
Despite Copernicus' work, nearly 100 years later Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei found himself in trouble with Catholic church authorities in 1632 when he also proposed that Earth orbited the sun. Both astronomers were ultimately vindicated, leading to the modern understanding of solar system mechanics scientists have today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Author, Meredith Towbin

Good Morning Meredith and thank you for joining us today.  First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the brand new release of Straightjacket last Friday, February 15th!

And next, please tell us a little about yourself and the genres you write.

I’ve been writing fiction for three years now.  Before that, I had lots of jobs—high school English teacher, newspaper editor, magazine editor, freelance copywriter, and copyeditor for a medical journal.  I also dabbled in the world of grocery store cashiers throughout college.

STRAIGHTJACKET is my first novel.  It’s dark contemporary young adult.  I’ve also written one adult novel, THE DEPENDANTS.

I see from your website that you and I have something in common:  We are both big Cary Grant fans!  On a side note:  The Kabrini Message was released on Cary Grant’s birthday, January 18th.  I take that as a very good sign!
But back to you…(lol)…

I heart Cary Grant.

Your new book, Straightjacket (release date February 15th) includes the character of a young man who insists he’s an angel.  What influenced you as you wrote the book?

Music was a huge influence on me.  I drive a lot (my two kids keep me constantly on the move) and always have the radio on.  So basically I drive around daydreaming about my characters and all the trouble they can get into with the music blasting in the background. Song lyrics, the music itself, even the mood it evokes help shape my ideas.  Death Cab for Cutie, the Killers, Mumford and Sons, and Vampire Weekend were big time influences on me.

Your second book, The Dependants, was recently completed, too.  What was the inspiration for The Dependants?

Every year around Halloween the fam and I take a trip to a pumpkin patch.  It’s this whole farm complete with a corn maze and a little shop that sells squash and apple cider.  I've always loved that place and a couple years ago while we were there I found myself wondering about who the farmers were, what they were like, what they did when pumpkin season was over.  I took a bunch of photographs—the farm house, the shop, the fields, everything—and THE DEPENDANTS just started to take shape.

Is there an underlying theme or thread that connects your books?

For some reason I like to write about crazy people.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because they are way more interesting than “normal” people.

I also like to write about relationships—romantic, family, whatever.

 If you could spend a day with one of your characters, which one would it be and why?

Hmm, that’s a hard one.  I would probably want to spend a day with Caleb from STRAIGHTJACKET.  I may or may not have a crush on him.  I’ll never tell.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of writing?

My favorite part of writing is when it’s over.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There are some rare moments when things just flow and it’s easy.  Other than that, writing can be very difficult, especially when I’m starting a new book.  There are also a couple times during the course of writing a book where I get totally stuck.  I have no idea where to take the story and I stress out for days.  That’s not fun.

If you could go back in time, what historical period or event would you most love to visit?

This might sound kind of weird, but I’d like to go back to early prehistoric times.  That stuff just fascinates me.  A few years ago I read a couple of the books in the Clan of the Cave Bear series, and the way people lived back then is amazing.  It would be a tough life, but very cool to see firsthand.

Tell us about your experience with the road to publication?

The road to publication was not easy for me.  In fact, I never thought STRAIGHTJACKET would see the light of day.  Originally, I signed with an agent and she submitted it to quite a few editors.  No one was interested, and after a few months my agent and I parted ways.  A year later, I got an email from my former agent saying that someone who had read my book as an intern was now an editor at Etopia and had contacted her asking if the book was still available.  One thing led to another, and STRAIGHTJACKET was acquired.  I had really resigned myself to the fact that my first novel would never get published.  It was a huge surprise.

Thank you very much for sharing some insights into your novels and your experiences as a writer with us, Meredith and the very best of luck to you!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Marie!

You are very welcome and hopefully all of our readers will join me in ordering Straightjacket today and The Dependants as soon as it's available - please keep us informed!


Eighteen-year-old Anna has lived her whole life in shame, losing herself in books to cope with crippling panic attacks triggered by her abusive parents.  Forced into a psychiatric hospital, she can’t imagine a future that’s anything but bleak—until she meets Caleb, a gifted, 19-year-old artist who insists he’s an angel.

He swears his mission is to help Anna break free from her parents’ control and fulfill a destiny that she can only dream of.  The doctors, however, are convinced that Caleb is delusional.
Anna doesn’t want to be that girl who’s in love with the crazy guy, but when she sees his stunning portraits of her and the way he risks everything to keep her safe, she can’t help but imagine a new future for both of them, filled with hope.  But just when it seems they’ve created heaven on earth, Caleb’s past emerges full force, threatening to destroy their tiny, blissful world.  And Anna has to decide if she should follow her heart, or if Caleb’s really as troubled as his doctors say…

Twitter: @mtprose

Monday, February 18, 2013

This Week In The News: Science Discoveries & Meteroite Explosion!!!

This Week In Science:  Just found this on-line update of scientific discoveries and advances made literally "this week", reported every week - all good!

Also this week, but not so good (tragic, in fact), meteorite shower wreaks havoc and injures hundreds in Russia.  This video is by RT (Russia Today).  What does it mean?

Join us on Wednesday to meet Guest Author, Meredith Towbin, who will tell us about her brand new release, Straightjacket, just released Friday, February 15th!  You can get to know Meredith right now by checking out her website and be sure to stop back on Wednesday for one of her first author interviews, right here!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Check Out The Kabrini Message On Goodreads!

We are finally on Goodreads!

I never knew a book had to be physcially "listed" on Goodreads.  I thought it somehow magically appeared there as soon as it was published.  Surprise!  

With a little help from Etopia Press Senior Editor, Laurel Kane and the librarian at Goodreads, we are finally listed and have a 5 star rating!

Goodreads - The Kabrini Message

Goodreads - Author Profile, J.R. Egles

Please check out Goodreads and leave a review, comment, recommend, start a discussion or all of the above!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guest Author Angela Parson Myers: A Behind-The-Scenes-Look At Researching A Novel!

Today I am turning the blog over to, Author Angela Parson Myers, for a special insider's look at just some of the extensive research that goes into writing a novel.  Most of us don't realize, when we are engrossed in reading and loving a book, the exhaustive, yet fascinating work that took place to get all of the details just right.

I get very strange looks from people when I tell them I’m doing research for a novel. I can almost hear what they’re thinking: “You write about werewolves, for Pete’s sake!”

But the truth is, even fantasy often has years of research behind it. Think Lord of the Rings. JRR Tolkein served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College, Oxford. I studied some of his scholarly works when I took a course in Old English at the University of Illinois. His worlds of Middle Earth and the invented languages spoken there came from deep knowledge of language and the ancient stories written in them.

I wish I could say I was as knowledgeable as JRR Tolkein, but of course I can’t. I can, however, say that I researched several points in my novel When the Moon Is Gibbous and Waxing. First, of course, I researched legends of werewolves. Like Natalie, I was shocked to discover how few serious works were listed in the U of I Undergraduate Library, so I turned to popular literature. Neither she nor I liked what we found there.

So I invented an inherited condition that would enable people to shape-shift—not to the extent of the legends, but enough to give rise to those legends. I tried to keep the genetics as simple as possible so as not to go beyond my 1960s college biology classes—just dominant and recessive genes. I was fortunate to have a professor friend whose specialty was the breeding and raising of sheep at the time the spider leg defect was discovered in the U of I flocks, and I used that to help Bobbie figure out Natalie’s “problem.” I also had a childhood friend whose daughter was a graduate student in biology at the U of I. She was able to confirm several of the tasks Natalie performs in her master’s research.

I talked to my pet’s veterinarian to learn the components of canine blood. Then I compared them to the components of human blood listed in a medical text from the library, only to discover that Natalie probably would not have been able to tell the difference. I also discovered that medical blood tests were largely automated by 1989. So I dropped a scene from the novel in which she tested her own blood, and changed the scene in which she talks to the doctor about her amnesia.

I found an emergency room nurse whose husband was a police officer to interview about Bobbie’s and Michael’s injuries and how debilitating they would be and about both hospital procedures and police ranks and procedures. I also attended many writers’ workshops from which I learned a little about guns and gunshot wounds. I talked to my husband’s nephew, who had been shot during the Viet Nam War, about how it felt.

I’m now working on a sequel, much of which takes place in Scotland. I took notes when I traveled there a couple of years ago, but I’m having to research accents, especially Glaswegian accents, police ranks and procedures, and hospital procedures. I’ve spent one very late night—actually a very early morning—emailing the Glasgow police already. I’m afraid (read that hoping) that I might have to visit again to make sure I get my facts straight.

I know that when it comes down to actually writing the book, I’ll make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean I won’t do all I can to ensure the facts I use are accurate. It’s the duty of the writer to be as factual as possible because facts are the threads that lend strength to the lies that make up the fabric of the fantasy. And that requires research.


Graduate student Natalie Beres can't remember who attacked her that autumn night under the full moon. She can't remember anything between leaving her lab in a secluded building at the south end of campus and arriving at her apartment in the wee hours of the morning. Covered in blood. Not her own. Other than the loss of memory, she's completely unharmed.

She can't say the same for the men who attacked her. The grisly campus murders force Natalie to dig deeper into what happened that night, to force herself to remember. But what she learns about herself is horrifying. When the police officer investigating the murders tries to get close, Natalie is caught between her attraction to him and her fear of discovery. But worse, can she avoid being found by the young man with a similar problem who's on his way from the West coast to find her...leaving a trail of shredded corpses along the way...?




Monday, February 11, 2013

Who's To Say What Is Possible? You Are!

I came across this poem over the weekend and thought I'd share it.

It Couldn't be Done
Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't" but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, as he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one we know has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That cannot be done, and you'll do it

Be sure to join us on Wednesday for a visit from Author, Angela Parson Myers!  You can get to know Angela and her work right now at Angela's Blog Site

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another Short Story, "The Long Way 'Round"


J. R. Egles

The crippled ship, dead in space for the last three days, began to move.

Jarrel's eyes bugged out as he read the motion indicators in total disbelief.  He stabbed the intercom button.

"Stop it!  Stop it!  It's not working!"

"I can't stop it, you know that, Jar.  We knew going in that if we tried it and it didn't work the effects would probably be irreversible."

"Poor choice of words, Morty, because that's exactly what it’s doing.  It’s pushing us backwards!  We’re getting farther way!"  Jarrel pleaded with the voice in the box, “Do something, Morty, something -- anything.  Being stuck dead in space is better than this.  At least then we had a chance of eventual rescue -- we weren't that far away.  But now ....  what now?”

"Well goddamn, Jar, I never thought it would go into reverse!" shot back Morty.  "That's not supposed to work.  These ships were never meant to be able to travel in reverse.  I don't know how the hell it's doing it now!"

Meanwhile, the small tanker, halfway back from the Titan mines, raced back towards Titan and the outer points of the Solar system.  Previously the ship and its crew of two had been stuck, motionless in space just beyond the orbit of Mars, attempting to repair, convert, modify, or otherwise fix a slightly out of date Star Drive that neither of them was qualified to work on.  In point of fact, the term Star Drive was a trade mark and was not technically accurate.  The drive system in question was one of the early models of the Star Drive Company's first working models, a prototype, suitable for pushing a tanker around the Solar system at a moderate speed, but hardly suitable for interstellar travel.

As the distance between the tanker and fuel mines on Titan began to lessen, the automatic tracking system at the mining station, which was fully aware of the ship's plight when it became stuck in space and had reported the situation to the appropriate authorities, now began to draw attention to itself as it entered the ALARM mode.  The tracking system informed the main system computer, which contacted the Chief Administrator, who was asleep at the time.

"Yes ....  yes, what is it?  ... and what time is it?" inquired a mostly awake Chief Administrator Bromsgrove, as he began to realize that he had just been awakened during his scheduled sleep period.  He did not like being interrupted during rest periods, and if it had been a human rather than computer who had bothered him he would have added "and it had better be damned important!", but he knew that the effect of that statement would be lost on the total logic of the machine.

"Sorry to awaken you, Chief Administrator,” said the computer.

"Bullshit," said Bromsgrove to himself.  He knew the computer didn't care about anything.  It just did what it had to do.”  But”, continued the computer, "tanker Bravo Lima Six One Nine is in reverse at maximum speed and on a collision course with this station".
Now the Chief Administrator was fully awake.  “But that’s impossible," he argued.  “Class Four tankers don’t have a reverse, not even Class Two -- only Class One, and they never need it."

He knew there was hardly ever a need to maneuver a tanker very much from their usually straight line course, so little maneuverability was built into them.  They mostly just moved from the orbit of one planet to another.  “Re-evaluate your data, Computer”, he ordered.  “What you report must be in error”.

The computer, programmed never to argue with the Chief Administrator of the Station, and, dealing in total logic, re-evaluated the information and reported the only other logical conclusion.

"Then, Sir, someone has repositioned the fore and aft transponder beacons on the tanker and the tanker is travelling in a forward motion at maximum speed and is on a collision course with this station."

Bromsgrove grimaced at the absurdity that he had forced the computer into, and cursed himself for arguing with the computer in the first place.  It was, of course, ridiculous to think that anyone would, or even could, reverse the fore and aft transponders, but if that absurd conclusion was the only alternative that the computer could come up with, then, as impossible as it seemed, that tanker must be returning and in reverse.

"What about communication," he asked.  "What do they say?"

"There is no response to our call, Sir," replied the computer.  "All communication appears to be out, except for the transponder beacons.  The ship seems to be engaged in major malfunction."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interview With Gwen Jones, Wife of Author J.R. Egles

Joe and Gwen
Taken around the time of the writing of The Kabrini Message, c.1987
Surf City, NJ
Notice the ham radio equipment on the left and the telescope on the right!

Today we have a Special Guest with us, Gwen Jones, wife of Author J.R. Egles, who has a unique point of view of The Kabrini Message as she was there during the entire time it was written.

Thank you so much for being with us today, Gwen and for sharing some of your insights with us.  Tell us a little about your involvement during the writing of The Kabrini Message and the process itself.

Joe always wanted me to read what he had written each day and to hear what I had to say about it.

What are some of your fondest memories from the time of the writing of The Kabrini Message?

Joe always asked my opinion about his writing and after listening intently, he would ignore all of it...LOL
Did Joe always want to write a book?

Joe was always a creative person and I think he was looking for an outlet to show his creativity.

Did he do much other writing in addition to The Kabrini Message?

He wrote some short stories and music lyrics. 

How did you feel about the character of the news reporter being named after you and do you remember how that came about or have any special memories regarding the writing of that character?

Actually, I asked Joe to put me in the book and he loved the idea. I think he nailed it...LOL

Who would you want to play “Gwen Jones” in the movie version?

Hmmm...Kate Hudson

What character, dialogue, or parts of the book in general seem the most like Joe?

I think the book as a whole is Joe.  Reading it I can hear his voice saying the words. 

Can you think of anything in particular that may have inspired all or parts of The Kabrini Message?
Joe had many different theories on many different subjects and was open minded to unlimited possibilities.  There are messages all around us; some people are just more tuned in than others.  The main character in the book, Jeffrey Driscoll, has that in common with Joe.  Jeffrey always sensed when he was looking through his telescope that someone or something was looking back, which is why the Kabrini chose him to get their message out. 

Do you know where the word “Kabrini” came from or why that particular name? 
That’s just their name.  Just like it says in the book, that’s what they call themselves.

Did Joe ever speak about perhaps writing a sequel to The Kabrini Message or what he felt happened to the characters beyond where the book ends?

I think there would have been a sequel to it.  Joe had a lot more to offer.

What “message” would Joe most want us to take away from The Kabrini Message?

I think Joe made his message clear in the book.  It's all in there and he said it best.

What else would you like people to know about Joe? 
There was so much more to Joe than most people ever realized, I hardly know where to start, but I'll try.

One thing that comes to mind was his ability to reinterpret something difficult to comprehend - anything from bible verses, Shakespeare, complicated scientific theories – anything at all really, and restate it a way that was easily understood and suddenly made perfect sense.  He was great at teaching.

Also, he was very interested in reverse speech and the messages within. He did a lot of research in that area with fascinating results.  That’s just another, separate example that messages are all around us and we are all capable of receiving them…if we listen. But to certain individuals, it just seems to come naturally.  Joe was one of those people. 

In closing, is there anything you would like to add? 

I think we lost an amazing man way to soon, as he had so much more to offer.  I miss him everyday.

And finally, here are two of my favorite quotes I'd like to share.

Joe in 2006

"In my  solitude I have pondered much on the incomprehensible subjects of space, eternity, life and death."
                                               - Alfred Russel Wallace

"We love our dear ones deeply and miss them when they leave us.   But we know that the bond of love is greater then death."
                                               - Harold Klemp

Monday, February 4, 2013

Things Are Made To Happen!

Things are happening!  Here are just a few updates:

  • We have a 5 star rating on both as well as
  • I am in the process of setting up a blog tour and book blast, more info. to follow soon.
  • There will be another interview and photo shoot in a local newspaper this week, details to follow.
  • Promotional items (known as "swag" in the industry...I'm learning all sorts of new things!) are on order and will be available shortly.

Also, coming up on Wednesday, we will take a break from our on-going Guest Author interviews and instead have a Special Guest interview with Gwen Jones, wife of Author, J.R. Egles!  Make sure you stop by on Wednesday, you will NOT want to miss it!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Short Story: "COPIES"

J. R. Egles

2117 AD
9:15 AM

"Of course it's illegal!  But how can we stop them?  They've got everybody!"
The Prime Minister sat back.  "Sorry, Inspector.  I didn't mean to imply that you or your people weren't doing your job, but ....”

“I should hope not, Mr. Prime Minister," the Inspector cut him off.  "My department is doing everything possible to control the situation, but people are starting to panic.  There's practically no limit to what they can do.  Everyone is just damn scared."

The Prime Minister of Trade, the man who held the highest office on Earth, cleared his throat nervously.  He, more than anyone else on Earth with the possible exception of Transporter technicians, had the most opportunity and need to make use of Transporters, those marvelous devices that make possible traveling from one place to another without moving, and he just knew there would be an incident soon.  It was just a matter of time.  He looked down at the news magazine in his hands whose cover depicted the First Lady of the Common Market nude (but for appropriate pictorial censorship) attempting to solicit the entire men's Discus team in the locker room after a recent match.  He shuddered and asked, "Is there any accurate estimate as to the number of Copies, Inspector?"

"No, Sir," replied the Inspector, "because there is no way of telling how long they've been copying.  And storing”, he added.

"Yes, damn it," repeated the Prime Minister a little weakly, "and storing”.  He had a brief vision of a Copy of himself standing at attention, or perhaps in some more embarrassing pose, in a hidden storeroom somewhere, just waiting to do ....  what?

The Inspector continued, "We must assume the worst, Sir.  They've only just begun using the Copies but we must assume that they have been making Copies of everyone who has ever used a Transporter since they were first put into public use almost seven years ago.  So far we've been lucky.  Except for that Eiffel Tower incident, no real harm has been done."

The Prime Minister knew the Inspector referred to a ceremony at the top of the Eiffel Tower, after which the President of France and several members of his personal staff, followed by video cameras and most of the eyes of the world, walked pleasantly over to the railing, removed their trousers and dove over the side, singing "I Love a Parade" all the way down .  Several people were trampled as the crowd at the base of the Tower scrambled to avoid the plummeting president and his entourage, and one elderly cabinet member had a heart attack at the top.

"How did they manage that?" complained the Prime Minister.  "I mean, I know you can't tell a Copy from the real person even up close, but how did they make the switch?  Where was the real President of France?"

"On his way," replied the Inspector.  "That's how they did it.  They simply sent in the Copies a half-hour before the real President arrived, knowing no one would question the President of France about being early.  The President announced he had a busy schedule and wished to proceed with the ceremony immediately and they did."

"But what about his staff, his guards”, persisted the Prime Minister.  "Where did they get Copies of them?  There were at least a half-dozen other personnel that accompanied the President."

"Most of them have Transported with him at one time or another”, reminded the Inspector, "so they had Copies of them; and for the odd man or two they just dressed up Copies of Transporter technicians or other non-famous people that they have made Copies of and kept handy for just such a need."

"What a mess”, said the Prime Minister, shaking his head slowly and again looking down at the magazine.  He noticed for the first time that the First Lady had money rolled up, poking up from between her bosoms.