Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lettuce Trip

Sometimes, people don’t make a lot of sense. Did I ever tell about how I drove almost 2000 miles because of a piece of lettuce? A piece of lettuce about the size of a postage stamp, no less! It’s true. Here’s the story.

I picked up a load of recycled cardboard. Twenty-four big bales. I’m sure you’ve seen them, either being hauled on a flatbed or maybe at a grocery store, waiting to be picked up. Trucks take them back to the paper mill to be recycled into new cardboard. There are different classifications and grades of cardboard, each with their own set of rules for the minimum standard as to their condition.

I drove from Detroit, over to Chicago, and then up through Wisconsin, and finally just across the state line back into Michigan. I was supposed to deliver the load to a place in Memominee, Michigan, a 650-mile trip.

Everything went fine until I was backed into the dock expecting to get my trailer unloaded. I waited. Then, waited some more. Finally, a guy came up, knocking on the door of the truck. I knew there was a problem when I saw the white hardhat. A supervisor usually doesn’t step foot outside the safe confines of his office or the little area of which he is in charge.

But apparently, at this particular location, it required a supervisor to refuse a load. He escorted me inside to the loading dock to show me why. I was thinking there was something drastically wrong with the load, you know, like a dead body or something. But no, there was no body. In fact, I couldn’t see anything wrong at all. Not until the guy in the white hat pointed it out—a single piece of lettuce. That’s all. Just a about a one-inch square piece of lettuce. But that was enough. My load wasn’t up to their standard for cleanliness. He wrote “Contaminated” and “Refused” across my bill of lading. Evidently, lettuce is a highly toxic substance! Who knew?

I called my dispatcher and was told to take it back. So, I headed for Detroit. Another 650 miles.

The trip had covered two days. I’d driven 1300 hundred miles and the load was right back where it had started. I dropped the trailer and left. Then, the very next day, I was sent to pick up the same load again—minus the offending piece of lettuce. Another 650 miles. This time the load was accepted.

All in all, I’d covered 1950 miles in three days, for one measly load. Not that I minded a lot. I still got paid for all the miles plus, they paid me to pick it up and to unload. And then, to pick up and unload it again. And, then again. Something tells me that load wasn’t too profitable for someone.


The thing is, I could have just removed the lettuce myself. A quick flick of my wrist and VoilĂ , problem solved. I even offered. But no, that was simply not allowed, I was told. The supervisor in the white hat said we had to follow the “rules.” Yeah. Sometimes people don’t make a lot of sense.

__________________________



Current Reads

Beem Weeks
Jazz Baby



Rhani D’Chae
Shadow Of The Drill



Suzy Turner
Forever Fredless



SPOTLIGHT Author
Michelle Abbott
Just Stay


_______________________________

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com


Monday, September 8, 2014

Falling Star

They say things you’re taught in school, even grade school, will stay with you for life. That could be good or bad, depending on what you were taught. For me, I guess it was both.

Saw a falling star tonight, or a shooting star, if you prefer. That’s not really too unusual. I drive in the desert, at night, so it’s more out of the ordinary when I do not see a falling star. What made this sighting noteworthy is, it didn’t fizzle out in mid-air like many of them do. I watched it all the way to the horizon and then saw a sudden glow like there was an explosion on impact with the ground. Probably just a little fire and not an actual explosion but from my vantage point it looked massive.

The incident reminded me of a teacher from school who told us falling stars, or any other objects falling from space, NEVER make it to the Earth. The objects burn up in the atmosphere, she said. And those craters we see, they’re a naturally occurring phenomenon.

I may have only been in grade school, but I had several problems with her theory. A theory that she stated as fact. First, that a teacher, supposedly a “science” teacher didn’t know that a falling star is actually a meteor was a little odd. Equally perplexing was that she didn’t know a meteor becomes known as a meteorite when it impacts the Earth. That should be a clue that some things falling from space DO make it to the ground. And as for the craters, yes they are naturally occurring—because it’s quite natural for a crater to form when a meteor strikes the ground!

Sometimes, a guy should just stay quiet. I know this; I just never could seem to do it. I’ve always felt compelled to point it out when someone is “teaching” something that obviously they know little about. So, of course, I spoke up. I figured if a grade school kid knew about meteors and meteorites, the teacher probably should. I considered it my duty to enlighten her!

As I’m sure you have guessed, it didn’t go well. My help was not exactly appreciated. At the time, I wasn’t quite so cynical or stubborn as I am these days, so I didn’t argue the point any further.

Looking back now, I suppose the saying is true; things you’re taught in school do last a lifetime. All these years later, I think of this teacher nearly every time I see a falling star. But as it turns out, our little disagreement was not a complete waste of time. This and other like conflicts, made me learn to question what I was being taught and not just blindly accept everything—a practice I followed for the rest of my schooling and even to this day. I guess you could say when my teacher crashed and burned with her divergent theory, it had a lasting impact on me.
___________________


Current Reads

Beem Weeks
Jazz Baby

Rhani D’Chae
Shadow Of The Drill

Suzy Turner
Forever Fredless

SPOTLIGHT Author
Traci Sanders
When Darkness Breaks


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com


Sunday, August 31, 2014

My First Wife

Yes, I know; everyone who knows me is frowning at the title of this post and scratching their head. Don’t worry; it’ll make sense—maybe.

One day at work, a few of the guys were sitting around discussing their first wives, some favorably, some not so favorably. The stories grew wilder by the minute and, like they were competing in some primal contest, each one tried to top the other.

Not to be outdone, I joined in the conversation. I told them all about my first wife, how pretty she was, how loving, caring, and supportive she was, and intelligent too—after all, she did marry me. (Some would insist this would be more of an argument against her intelligence). I bragged on how well she could cook—as evidenced by my ever-expanding stomach—and how she was a great mother to our children. I kept talking for a good five minutes or better, regaling them with the many wonders of my first wife.

It must have been something in my tone, or my eyes. Or, maybe I didn’t do a very good job of keeping the smirk off my face, but finally, one of the guys said, “How come I get the feeling you’re not really being honest with us?”

I said, “What do you mean? Everything I’ve told you about her is the absolute truth.” And it was.

Another one of them gave me a disbelieving frown. “I didn’t know you’d been married before.”

“I haven’t,” I said. “Didn’t know we were talking about second wives. I’m still married to the first one. After all I’ve told you about her, why would you think I’d want to change?”

They all laughed and shook their heads. And then, they changed the subject. Guess they didn’t want to talk about wives any more, be they first, second, or even third wives.

Oh, and as for the contest, I think I won!

_____________________________________


Current Read
Her Best Match
Tamie Dearen

SPOTLIGHT Author
Traci Sanders
When Darkness Breaks


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Hugo Reward - Guest Post by Danica Cornell


Today, it is my pleasure to welcome a friend and fellow board member of Rave Reviews Book Club, author Danica Cornell. Danica is a sci-fi writer and the creator of the DARK STAR Series. I'm happy to play host for this great author. And now, here's Danica.


The Hugo Reward
By Danica Cornell

Before I begin, I would like to thank author, Bruce A. Borders, for inviting me to be a guest here today.  Shortly after meeting Bruce on Twitter, I was presented with the opportunity to join Rave Reviews Book Club, where we both currently serve as members of the Governing Board.  During our time working together, I’ve grown to appreciate Bruce not only as a fabulous writer, but also as a caring colleague, mentor, and friend...

For those sci-fi/fantasy readers who’ve been following me for awhile, there’s a pretty good chance they’ve come to recognize my deep affection for dogs.  I mean, let’s face it, I include these animals in my DARK STAR Series, and I even have a  webpage dedicated to, “Henry”, a cantankerous and comedic canine character!  


“Henry”, DARK STAR’s Cantankerous and Comedic Canine Character.


With all of this in mind, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that topping my list of favorite dogs, sits my very own dachshund, Hugo.  And for those who may be wondering, the answer is yes—I did name him after science fiction’s prestigious Hugo Award! 

In truth, my little hot dog has more personality than you can shake a fetching stick at, including heaping doses of playfulness, intelligence, and stubbornness—traits which this breed are known for.  But what makes Hugo truly endearing, is how sweet and sensitive he is.  (Not to mention, protective.)  It’s quickly clear to anyone who meets us; Hugo’s a mama’s boy!
 

Hugo with DARK STAR author, Danica Cornell.

An interesting thing about my canine companion, (other than the fact that he runs our house), is that despite being similar to DARK STAR’s, “Henry”, I actually created “Henry” before meeting Hugo.  In other words, I envisioned a character that ended up being similar to a pup, which would one day join my family!  (A case of life imitating art—or arf, if there ever was one!) 

Here are a few more fun factoids:

·       Hugo is actually my fourth dachshund!  The first three were Oscar, Sara, and Wilbur.
·       Hugo’s favorite games include fetch and tug-o-war.  He loves to play first thing, (typically while I’m clutching my morning coffee), and again right after dinner.
·       I tend to think of our evening play times as a “Hugo Reward” for a day spent writing and editing.  (Yes, he typically stays right by my side while I work.)

By now, one thing’s probably clear:  My adoration and familiarity with this breed are why I’m including dachshund characters in my DARK STAR series.  Soon, readers will be introduced to DARK STAR’s “Henry” and his younger brofur, “Hector”, who has a knack for lightening the mood at just the right time. 

And the best part of all?  As a writer, I’ve found that through bringing these canine characters to life, I’m having the time of my life.  Not bad for a day’s work!


ABOUT DANICA CORNELL:   


Danica Cornell is the PR/Marketing Director for Rave Reviews Book Club who’s busily penning the forthcoming DARK STAR Sci-fi/Fantasy Series, soon to be published by Cool Geek Books.  To learn more, please visit Danica’s website at www.danicacornell.com.


CONNECT WITH DANICA:

Website  
Blog   
Twitter  
Facebook   
Pinterest    
Instagram   
Google +     
About. Me      
You Tube   

CONNECT WITH DARK STAR’S BELOVED CANINE CHARACTER, “HENRY”!

Henry’s Website Page        
Twitter    

Danica Cornell is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club and the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network.




Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Saga Continues

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my troubles of breaking down or, more accurately, my truck breaking down at work—and quite frequently, I might add. I literally couldn’t go more than a day or two without something breaking. Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve been assigned a new truck—a brand new truck! Great, right? Maybe not.

The truck rides nice, the seat is comfortable, it smells clean and new, and the paint is oh, so shiny! So, for the superficial, and ultimately unimportant stuff, they’ve got it covered. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. The Check Engine light is constantly on, the cruise sometimes works, and the transmission well, it takes a little coaxing.

Given my recent run of bad luck, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when, on only my second night in the truck, it broke down. But not to worry, the mechanic said when he arrived, it was nothing major.

Nothing major? The truck would not run and there I sat, stranded on the highway—again! That’s kind of “major” to me. Actually, the guy did have it fixed pretty quickly and I was only a little late in getting home. Still, I would think a brand new truck would last more than a measly two days. Two days! But, as I was told, I have unreasonable expectations.

I don’t think I do. Not anymore. I fully expect the saga to continue!

______________________________________


Current Read
Inside Room 913
Bruce A. Borders

SPOTLIGHT Author
Kathryn Treat
Allergic To Life

________________________________

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com




Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Stowaway

“Just get to the point,” my wife often tells me. She doesn’t like my longwinded setups that I feel are necessary to a story. Too wordy, she says. My computer sometimes agrees with her. With that in mind, I’ll try to keep this short.

When I was a kid, during one of our family’s many travels, we saw a bum or, vagrant if you prefer, who had caught a ride inside a brand new car being transported by truck—a car hauler. Or, as truck drivers call them, a portable parking lot. A modern-day hobo who’d traded riding the rails for more luxurious accommodations. The guy seemed quite content; dry and comfortable on his journey to wherever he was going. At the time we thought it was odd but later I learned that this happened quite a bit due to the cars being left unlocked during transport— a practice that has since been changed. Apparently, the car companies didn’t like the idea of new cars showing up at the dealership with that lived-in look.

I’ve hauled cars a few times in my illustrious trucking career, and mindful of the possibility, I always made sure to check the vehicles for unwanted passengers anytime I had stopped. Like the car companies, I’m not in to giving out free rides. I never had the “pleasure” of finding any passengers, although I have seen a few from my lofty perch in the cab of my truck.

These days, with the electronic locks and advanced alarms, stowaways on car haulers aren’t much of a problem. Sure, these sophisticated systems can easily be defeated provided you have the right equipment but the typical vagrant seeking a cheap fare doesn’t usually carry an RF transmitter capable of accessing the Remote Keyless Entry. And even if they did, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have the technological knowledge to use it.

Consequently, it’s been several years since I’ve seen anyone bumming a ride in a portable parking lot. That is, until this past week. I was passing a car hauler and glanced over just in time to see the guy—stretched out in the back seat of a Dodge Charger.


And the point of all of this? (I hear my wife asking). Nothing really. Just something to ponder as you make your next vehicle purchase.

______________________________________


Current Read
Inside Room 913
Bruce A. Borders


SPOTLIGHT Author
Kathryn Treat
Allergic To Life


_________________________________

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Greatest Thing Since...

I’m sure everyone has heard the expression, The greatest thing since... (Fill in your own marvelous invention, the wheel, indoor plumbing, or electricity). I think “sliced bread” is one of the most popular. At least that’s what I’ve heard most often.

But I like to be different; to say things my own way, and somewhere back in my early teens, I decided “sliced peanut butter” was the appropriate ending for that saying. The expression on people’s faces and the puzzled looks they gave me were sometimes hilarious. Of course, those who did not appreciate my humor always made it a point to inform me that peanut better is not sliced. Really? And one person even felt compelled to enlighten me as to how dumb I was for making such a statement.

I just laughed. I’m not sure what the appropriate response to that would be. And, I didn’t let it stop me. I continued to repeat the saying—along with many others. But this was my favorite. When my kids got old enough to actually hear what I was saying, they all tried to “help” me, their “old” dad, who they must have thought was going senile.

Then one day, in the course of my travels as a truck driver, I was sent to pick up a load of snacks from the plant where they were made. The load wasn’t ready so, I had to wait. As a lot of places do, they had a driver room where we could watch the production. Imagine my amusement when I saw the assembly line for crackers and peanut butter snacks. The crackers came down a conveyor belt, where the peanut butter was then added—not squirted, as I would have thought, but in slices. Yep, slices! In order to keep a uniform consistency, I was told, the peanut butter was formed into logs, chilled, and then sliced. What a great idea!

After that, I didn’t hesitate to tell anyone who objected to my little saying that they were wrong. I think my kids were the only ones who appreciated it though. At the time, I couldn’t help but think it was nice to be vindicated. Great actually. The greatest thing since, wait—this WAS sliced peanut butter!

____________________________________


Current Read
Inside room 913
Bruce A. Borders

SPOTLIGHT Author
Kathryn Treat
Allergic to Life

_______________________________

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com





Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Ant Farm

One morning recently, I discovered an inordinate amount of ants had decided that my driveway would make a good place to build a home. And without even asking permission, they’d moved right in—all 14, 273 of them! No, I didn’t actually count. That’s just a rough estimate.

Now, in the old days, getting rid of them would have been easy—pour about half a gallon of gasoline down the hole and strike a match! VoilĂ ! No more ants! But these days, with all the goofy laws, I’m sure that method of extermination is strictly prohibited. Besides, with all the neighbors coming out to go to work, setting a big fire in my driveway is probably not a good plan. I don’t need the fire department, police, and the EPA showing up with their SWAT Teams! But leaving the ants there, to continue building tunnels and mounding up sand while their population of 14,273 increased to double that or more, was not an option.

The problem is, most of the methods I know of exterminating ants are likely illegal. Actually, a lot of things I know in general are probably illegal. When I was growing up, and learning how to deal with everyday problems, we didn’t have an insane bunch of bureaucrats to over-regulate everything under the sun. Back then, if we’d had half of the laws we do now, I’d have probably been a seasoned criminal by age 12!

Sure, there are many products available that promise to get rid of ants or solve other household problems. The problem is, they don’t work. Not effectively. For instance, the new and improved “environmentally safe” weed killers have to be sprayed multiple times. Once used to do the trick. But that was the old stuff. The good stuff. Unless you are a rancher or insecticide dealer, you can’t get the good stuff. This applies to many products these days, insecticides, pesticides, and more. Even paint thinner has been emasculated.

I just shake my head when I walk through the store and see all the “Environmentally safe” labels. All that label says to me is that the product more than likely doesn’t work. I get the feeling that the manufacturers are somewhere laughing at us; their impotent products are not cheap!

And so, I’m left to coming up with my own ways to solve my problems. Like the ants. Yes, I got rid of them. No, I’m not saying how. But, they’re gone. All 14, 273 of them!

____________________________________


Current Read
The Glade
Harmony Kent

SPOTLIGHT Author
Kathryn Treat
Allergic To Life

_________________________________

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com



Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Stealing" My Own Pickup

It’s a little-known fact that I have a stubborn streak. Okay, I may have under-exaggerated that. It’s widely known. As an old song says, I Won’t Back Down, even when threatened. In fact, I’m probably more determined when threatened. Let’s just say I was incorrigible long before I knew what that word meant.

Usually, my actions are well thought out, and at least in my mind, I have a good reason for doing whatever I’m doing. No amount of correction or punishment is going to change that. Growing up, and even after, I knew beforehand what the consequences would be for most things I did. By the time I’d actually committed my “crime” I’d already weighed any likely repercussions against the benefits. It comes down to resolve. If I believe I’m right, nothing is going to make me change course.

So, with that long and drawn out preface, you’ll better understand my position and reaction when one day I was told I couldn’t have my pickup back from the service shop until after the weekend. This was a Friday and the truck had been at the dealership for warranty work for three weeks. They’d finally fixed the minor repair but insisted that I couldn’t have it back until they got paid from the manufacturer.

I’d never heard of such a thing but arguing with them proved useless. They would not allow me to take the pickup and that was that! With a smug sneer, the service manager informed me they would hold onto the key and I could check back on Monday. Then, he said if I didn’t leave, they would call the police. There it was, the threat.

Now, there’s usually a simple solution to almost anything and it wasn’t that difficult to figure out a way around my problem. I had a duplicate key at my house!

It took most of an hour for a friend and I to make the trip and by the time we returned the dealership was closed—with my pickup locked inside a fenced-in area. But locks were made to be opened and within a few minutes, I was driving the pickup off the lot. The following week, after a call by me to the corporate offices, the dealership was happy to return my other key. They even apologized for the “misunderstanding” about not permitting me to take the truck. For some reason though, they never were too pleased to see me after that.

Recently, I had a chance to drive by that car lot. Immediately, I noticed a few changes. There was a big steel automatic gate to the fenced-in area and parked in front of the gate was the service truck. Numerous signs proclaimed the lot to be under 24-hour surveillance. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had helped himself to his own vehicle! The new features and procedures were obviously meant to prevent this. I just smiled to myself. Sure, it would make it more difficult but I’d still probably figure out a way. After all, I do have a little stubborn streak.


______________________________




Current Read
Heaven’s Waiting Room
Clare Wilson



SPOTLIGHT Author
Kathryn Treat
Allergic To Life


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shadow Of The Drill

Today, I am pleased to welcome Rhani D'Chae as our guest blogger. Rhani is the author of SHADOW OF THE DRILL, the first book of the Drill Series, available now on Amazon. She also has a very interesting personal story to tell, which she has shared with us here. After you read her story, be sure to check out her book.

I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy about six or seven years ago, which was followed by cataracts and glaucoma. I've had over a dozen surgeries and procedures since then and I consider them a success because I can still see. This is how I measure everything that has been done; not by how much better my sight is, but by how much worse it isn't. None of my doctors have given me much hope that my eyes will significantly improve but I'm okay with that, as long as I have enough sight to function. I think a lot of my animosity toward being completely blind is because I have a flash drive with over sixty works in progress and I have no idea of how to finish them without sight. I know, with technology being what it is today, that there must be a way. I just don't know what that way might be.
I have 20/400 vision in my left eye and not much better in what I laughingly call my 'good' eye. When I type, I bump my font up to 'theater marquee' and use an array of magnifying glasses in addition to my bifocals. It's a slow process, accompanied by a great deal of pretty colorful swearing and the occasional throwing of whatever is within reach. The cats have learned to duck, and they're actually pretty good at it.

I occasionally get bleeds in my right eye and they completely obscure the vision for up to six weeks until the bleed clears. It's a frustrating time because the amount of sight in my left eye is enough to keep me from walking into walls and that's about it. I generally break at least one toe during a bleed and have broken my foot five or six times over the last few years. I'm clumsy on a good day but take my eye and I'm downright dangerous! If I bump my font to 48, I can still write during a bleed, but the text is fuzzy and very hard to read. Fortunately I am a touch typist, and I can usually get my seeing-eye son to help me as long as I dangle pizza in front of him. I thank God for this kid, because I would be lost without him, especially during those times when my sight is more obscured then usual. We get along fairly well, which is a good thing since I'll probably be living on his couch once my sight is completely gone. I learned long ago to never let fear dictate my life, but I do think that once my eyes are gone, fear will be much harder to control, and at that point, I'll need my son to help keep me from slitting my wrists with a butter knife.
I currently get shots in my eyes twice a month, and though I joke about the #eyeneedles, in reality they're anything but funny. And again, my vision has not gotten better; I just don't know how much worse it would be if I wasn't getting the shots.
The last year has seen my vision drastically decline but it has also given me a much greater appreciation for what I used to take for granted. I wake up each day, grateful for what I can see while trying not to focus on what I can't. It's not an easy thing to do, and I have to constantly remind myself that God doesn't afflict us with more than we can handle even though it may seem so at the time. I know that there is a plan for every life, and I just have to take it on faith that this is part of mine. My eyes will hold until they don't, and in the meantime I will enjoy each moment of my sighted life as best I can. And when my lights do go out, I ask only to be at my computer, writing something amazing

Shadow of the Drill centers around a man whose life was destroyed by violence, who then embraced violence as a means to a very brutal end. It follows Decker and Rudy as they come face to face with their oldest enemies and attempt to close that chapter of their lives. The book contains graphic violence as well as sexual situations, and is not intended for young or easily offended readers. Shadow of the Drill is the first in the Drill series and the second book, Winter of the Drill, will hopefully be completed in the next month or two.

Thank you all so much for allowing me to share a bit of my journey with you today. To follow the rest of my tour, please visit 4WillsPublishing. Bruce, you were a great host and thank you so much for having me!




BIO:
RHANI D'CHAE spent her teen years bouncing between WA, OR, and OK, but has lived her adult life in Tacoma, WA. She likes to read, though she doesn't read as much as she used to due to diabetic vision loss, and is a fan of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Brian Lumley, and James Clavell. She loves The Walking Dead, and any zombie film with a high body count. Ms. D'Chae enjoys connecting with people on social networking sites, and loves getting feedback from those who have read her work, so please don't leave without sharing your comments.


Shadow Of The Drill by Rhani D'Chae -
"A brutal experience transformsan unproven young tough into a ruthless killing machine. For fifteen years he waited, building his body into an unstoppable weapon so that vengeance would be had through the strength of his will and the power of his hands.
On the bloodstained streets of a northwestern city the enforcer known as the Drill stalks his prey. Judge, jury, and executioner; he seeks out those who target the weak and the vulnerable, condemning them to the kind of justice that has made him a legend."


PURCHASE LINK:

CONTACT INFO:
Twitter: @rhanidchae


***This tour was sponsored by
To book your own tour, please contact us.***

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Return From A Far-Away Land

If you read last week’s installment of this blog, you know that I was on vacation. I have returned now. The plane has landed; I’m home, and ready to go back to work! Ugh! Did I just say I was ready to go to work? Can’t imagine that! Maybe, I should say I’m resigned to the fact that I now must return to work. Yeah, that’s better.

Sorry, I get sidetracked easily. Back to my blog now. Yes, I have returned from the Land of Bugs, Humidity, and Flat Ground. This far-away land is better known as Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland. Thirty years ago, when my dad suddenly decided to move to the state, I thought we’d gone to a foreign country. Really! It was quite a culture shock for a guy who grew up in the West. Since I was only 17, I had to stay. Everyone said I’d adapt—I didn’t. And, shortly after my 18th birthday, I skedaddled. Then, promptly moved back three months later. I’d decided Wisconsin had something good to offer after all—the woman who is now my wife! And now, for better or worse, I am forever bound by unseen ties to that state. I ended up spending 12 years there and made a lot of memories, most of them good ones!

Visiting the place last week brought back a lot of those memories. The places my wife I dated, where we were married, the house we lived in, and where two of our kids were born, all are meaningful. And as you can probably tell, I no longer view the far-away land as a foreign country—just America with a twist. Maybe folks were right thirty years ago when they said I’d adapt. Maybe. Can’t really bring myself to laud the state with actual praise! And while I still maintain that it’s something akin to cruel and unusual punishment to suddenly be transplanted there, I will admit it’s not that bad of a place—to visit. Still don’t want to live there! I think the state is better enjoyed from a distance, like all far-away lands!

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Current Read
Heaven's Waiting Room
Clare Wilson


SPOTLIGHT Author
John Priest
The Curse Of Sea Shell Cave



Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com




Monday, July 7, 2014

On Vacation

Bruce A. Borders (that's me) is on vacation this week. But dont worry, I have found a substitute blogger to carry on in my absence. You may have heard of him, his name is Bruce A. Borders! Yep, me. Since Im the only one here, I am my own substitute. Sorry, youll just have to suffer.

Here's the deal; A couple of weeks ago I was hosted as a guest blogger on author Danica Cornell's blog: http://danica-cornell.com/2014/06/12/not-a-famous-writer/
I have re-blogged that post here.

I promise I will return next week!


First, I would like to thank Danica for inviting me as a guest on her blog. I appreciate the opportunity!

Odds are, you have never heard of me. I'm not a famous writer - yet! I'm still one of those authors who write simply for the love of writing. Good thing too, or I probably would have quit years ago!

Part of the joy of writing, and usually my goal, is to make people think, or laugh, or elicit some sort of emotion, such as anger or frustration - not directed toward me, hopefully. Then, through reviews, email, and comments on social media or blogs, readers provide valuable feedback that lets me know how I'm doing in that regard. No matter their opinion, I like hearing from readers; their thoughts, and questions. And, sometimes there are lots of questions. I thought I'd answer a few of the more common ones I've received about my book, Over My Dead Body.

The question I get the most is if it's a true story. The short answer is no. But like many tales of fiction, it does have a basis in reality. I used several news stories I'd heard for the setting and the plot, then added my own details to finish out the story. As I moved forward with the rewrites and editing, the book took on a life of its own and the original stories gave way to a single narrative. This may not be the so-called correct way to write but it worked well for me.

A lot of readers also want to know if the book is based on what I would do in a similar situation. The answer to that is a definite yes! Not only is the story based on what I would do, it is exactly what I would do. That's what provided the impetus and motivation to write it.

If you haven't read the book, and are now squinting at the screen, wondering what in the world I'm talking about, here is a short description.

How far will a man go to protect his family? When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from the Blakes home, Jeff Blake, a financial advisor, responds to the threats in the only way he feels he can  violently. By the end of the short encounter, three people are dead and Ashley, the daughter, is still taken and placed in temporary foster care, so the tragic fiasco gained Jeff nothing. Or, so it seems. Matters are further complicated when Amy, the wife and mother, winds up for a brief stay in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in her home. It seems as though everything is against the Blakes. Understandably, the police, as well as the Courts, are not too concerned with the needs of the family. Complete with many twists of fate, the story looks at the common problems of a typical family caught between love and the law.

I tried to write the book, especially the opening chapter, as if I were Jeff Blake. The news stories I'd heard spanned a few years so, I'd had plenty of time to consider what my response would be. That part of the book was very easy to write. Admittedly, it's probably not the wisest response and I'm under no illusion that things would not bode well for me in such an event, or anyone, for that matter, who reacted in a similar manner.

From the comments I've received, I think most readers would agree, the book describes a typical father's reaction, and initially, I marketed the book to fathers. However, thanks to feedback from readers, as well as comments from friends and family, I discovered that women, particularly mothers, connected and reacted to the book much more passionately than fathers. Not that fathers didn't like the book, or that they disagreed, but their response was more matter-of-fact. Yeah, that's what I would do too, I heard more than once - seemingly without much emotion.

Mothers, on the other hand...

Mothers were extremely emotional and far more vitriolic with their fiery reaction. They were out for blood! And calling for the head of anyone who would dare think they could use a position of so-called authority to go after a child. Remind me to never make a woman angry!

Another question that often comes up is if I plan to write a sequel. Well, originally I hadn't. I think the story definitely ended in the book. But after the response from all the female readers, I have begun to consider writing a similar book with the mother being the one who exacts the vengeance. I think there is a strong potential for quite a compelling story in that.

Problem is, I'm not a woman. Or, a mother. I'm not sure I could write through a mother's eyes. Not convincingly anyway. And I'm not sure how readers would respond. They might not be interested in a guy's portrayal of a vindictive woman. Sure, a well-known author might get away with it, but me? I'm not so certain. After all, I'm not a famous writer - yet!

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Breakdown

There are many kinds of breakdowns; nervous breakdowns, fiddle breakdowns, mathematical breakdowns, and of course, mechanical breakdowns. As a truck driver, it’s the last category that affects me. Recently, I’ve been plagued with a rash of them. Not on my personal vehicle, thankfully, but on my truck. In one respect, that’s good, I don’t have to pay for the repairs. On the other hand, it does cost me an awful lot of time. And, breakdowns produce more than a little aggravation.

Among the difficulties my truck has suffered are; coolant leaks, brake problems, power steering issues, lights that won’t work, blowouts, a transmission that didn’t want to change gears, airbags that wouldn’t inflate, and a bunch of other stuff. Since I drive at night, when I break down, it means even more down time than normally would be the case. I have to wake someone up, wait for them to get dressed, drive to the shop, get the parts I need, and then drive to where I’m stranded—usually quite a few miles.

In the last month, I’ve gotten home late more often than not. Hours late sometimes. This throws my schedule off but more importantly; it cuts into my personal time! I do have better things to do than work twenty-four hours a day!

So, I’m really looking forward to my upcoming vacation. Just a few more trips to make and it’ll be here. Approximately, 3575 miles. Should be a breeze—if I don’t break down!

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Current Read
Heaven’s Waiting Room
Clare Wilson



SPOTLIGHT Author
Kenneth J. Kerr
The First Madam President


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Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com