Wednesday, November 5, 2014

J.T. Patten, The Safe Havens Black Ops Series & The Green Beret Foundation

J.T. Patten, The Safe Havens Black Ops Series

In the world of black operations, often neither the public nor the participants know what it transpiring as innocents can be targeted and the enemy can be allowed within secured gates of National Security. Author J.T Patten, a former guest of the show, gives us an update about his Safe Havens black ops series, which has been described by best selling authors as “Blacker than black”, “Authentic”, and a “new loud voice in thrillers”.

The first of the series, Shadow Masters, has been highly ranked and rated on Amazon and Goodreads. The indie debut novel has sold over 1,100 copies and has sustained ranking in the top Thriller categories for the past eleven months since its release. Its audiobook, narrated by actor, Charles Kahlenberg, will be released in early December.

Patten, a former intelligence specialist and special operations advisor with degrees in Foreign Languages, Intelligence, and Counterterrorism, blends espionage, conspiracy, and military thriller sub-genres in what he describes as the emotional and operational blends of realistic warrior and spy situations. Having worked integrally with U.S. Army Special Forces groups in intelligence training and operational intelligence support, this Veteran’s Day, Patten will be donating book sales to the Green Beret Foundation.

In a brief conversation with Patten about the Green Beret Foundation, J.T. stated, “Green berets have been perhaps my favorite SOF group to work with. For as much as I have had the opportunity to train and support them, they have mentored me, taught me, and included me with their team family on numerous occasions. Those members and my experiences with them have inspired many of the story scenes that I write. Despite my writings being fictional (and approved by the CIA and DOD for release), I feel that I need to give something back to that community. In Shadow Masters, there is a powerful scene that involves the loss of a special forces warrior and the ripple effects that many readers don’t realize can happen in the real world. It still gives me a lump in the throat to read.” The root of that segment, again, highly fictionalized according to Patten, was actually taken from Patten’s experience as a youth, which inspired him to seek a career with intelligence and special activities.

Learn more about the Green Beret Foundation at or visit J.T. Patten on Twitter @jtpattenbooks and at

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No, I Won’t Use an e-Reader by Mark Rubinstein

No, I Won’t Use an e-Reader

Let me begin by saying I love books, whether electronic or paper. I’ll read on my Kindle or a “regular” book. Frankly, I’ll read on whatever’s available. I just love reading and being transported to another world beyond my own. It’s pleasurable to share the domain the writer has created. It’s a realm to which I bring my own thoughts, feelings, fantasies and experiences, all of which no doubt, color my reading experience. It’s the experience of taking in the writer’s creation that’s so meaningful, not the medium by which it’s delivered.

I’ve heard many people refuse to consider using an e-reader. There seems to be an impenetrable wall of resistance to even the notion of using a reading device. It’s the usual mantra about loving the “feel” or “smell” of paper, or the pleasure derived from holding a real book in hand; or perhaps it’s the physical act of turning pages; or the heft of the book itself.

I too, love the sensory elements of reading a paper book, but that hasn’t precluded me from using an e-reader. After all, one reading medium doesn’t rule out the other.

Why do some people refuse--absolutely reject--the idea?

It’s not that they’re knuckle-draggers or technophobes because they often have smart phones, iPods, computers and Skype. And, I’ve noticed the repudiation of e-readers isn’t limited to older people. I know plenty of people under forty who, despite being completely comfortable with the technology of our times, want absolutely nothing to do with reading devices.

So, what exactly causes them to spurn this one technology?

I’ve thought about it as a psychiatrist, writer and avid reader. Maybe it’s because reading is something cultivated over the course of a lifetime, often beginning in childhood. Many book-lovers were read to as children—by a parent, babysitter, or some other adult. It was, for most of us, a very special thing.

“Read me a story” is something most of us can remember asking, if we think back to our earliest formative years. “Being read to” is an experience which becomes embedded in our psyches as a distinct and unique childhood pleasure. It’s loaded with meaning, and is suffused with memories of nestling on Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap; the look of the book with its bright, colorful illustrations; or the feel of the paper while we helped turn the pages. The physical book itself became the symbol housing the powerful emotional satisfaction of having parental attention bestowed upon us, with all its attendant meanings.

The book encapsulated a deep sense of pleasure, safety, wonder, satisfaction, and above all, love. These early experiences, and their residue, linger with us, and can have enormous emotional resonance.

On a pre-conscious level, perhaps some of us refuse to even try an e-reader because our minds view it as a renunciation of one of life’s earliest pleasures.

It’s merely my theory, but when I reflect upon how readily other technologies are embraced, none of them carry the primal significance of a “book in the hand.”

Mark Rubinstein,
Author, “Mad Dog House”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Three Lessons Learned From Adopting Older Children from Foster Care By Sue Badeau

Three Lessons Learned From Adopting Older Children from Foster Care
By Sue Badeau

1. Everyone can heal and grow. Healing and growth may look different for each individual and we may never see the wholeness we are hoping for, but we can continue to work towards it. I learned this lesson at an early age from my grandfather as he showed me how he cared differently for the various plants in his vegetable garden so that each would have the best chance of growing and bearing fruit. I have come to understand that this analogy also applies to children and teens – they are not all easy to grow – like zucchini – but then, what a boring garden it would be if we grew nothing but zucchini!

2. There is as much value in the journey as in the destination. I know, I know, it sounds like a worn cliché, but we have found it to be true. Years ago, we went on a family hike and this message came home to me in a powerful way as I saw my son who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and predicted that he would never walk, clambering along the hiking trail with his brothers and sisters. Years later as we experienced everything from teen pregnancy to a son in prison, I have had to remind myself again and again of this important lesson.

3. God makes all things new. While God does not “fix” everything in the sense of removing all obstacles, curing all diseases or unlocking all disabling conditions, He does, indeed, make all things new. I learned this after experiencing a car wreck – I still have some scars and there are things I cannot do, yet I was changed by the experience and “made new” in important ways. And as I think about some of my children viewed as most “damaged” by the world – whether physically or emotionally “damaged” by all kinds of brutal early life experiences – turning to drugs, early pregnancies or other outlets for their pain– I know that some people look at them and only see the wreck – but I like to look at them and see them as survivors. And I am always amazed how – in spite of the “damage” they have sustained they – through God’s grace and healing power – are able to find amazing new ways to do old things that many of us take for granted – communication, relationships, eating, moving, getting through the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to have a GLEEFUL Summer by Sue Badeau

Sue Badeau has had a lot of experience with children (read her bio, below!), and she has lots of wisdom to offer not just about parenting, but also about embracing life with joy. I love this super summer UPGRADE!

“As a child, I couldn’t wait for summer,” Sue writes. “What’s not to love? Fireflies. Popsicles. Campfires. Books. Barbeques. Beaches.

“As an adult I dreaded summer. What’s not to hate? Ants and Mosquitos. Oppressive humidity. Sunburns. Poison Ivy. And this body in a bathing suit? NOOOOOOO!”

HA! That’s the best description of summer—pros and cons—I (Dawn) have ever read!

Sue continues …

Memorial Day 1985. Only May and temperatures were already blistering. It was our first summer with multiple foster children—three teen boys— along with our “littles” (five kids under the age of five!). The prospect of a hot, miserable summer drained the life right out of me. Like the Psalmist said,

“My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Psalm 32:4).

And then I looked around at the gleeful faces on my beautiful children as they ran back and forth under the sprinkler their awesome dad had set up on the lawn.

I decided that I was going to find a way to change my own attitude from “grumpy” to “gleeful” and take summer back!

I developed a seven-step plan for upgrading my summer from grumpy to gleeful. Perhaps my plan will help you upgrade your own summer as well!

The underlying principle is to become like a child.

Summer was made for children and childlike wonder. “Children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in” (Luke 18:15-17, The Message).

You can do all of these things on your own, even as a fifty-something “empty-nester,” but they are better when shared with a child—so grab your children, grandchildren or neighbor’s children and get your glee on!

1. GROW something: Get your hands dirty. Experience the thrill of eating a tomato from the vine, letting the juices run down your chin. Bring new life to the lesson of the sower and seeds.

2. LEARN something: Read. Check out that museum in town you’ve never visited. Add a new word to your vocabulary every day. Practice sign language.

3. ELIMINATE something: Put the song “Let it Go!” on. Sing it loudly—off-key is okay!—and get rid of stuff. Donate. Recycle. Toss. It’s freeing.

4. EXPLORE & Experiment: Try something new. That first “gleeful” summer we boldly took eight kids on a cross-country camping trip. We explored and took risks. We experimented with the idea that we could live as frugally on the road as we could at home. And we did!

5. FLIP over something: Somersault on the lawn. Jump on the trampoline. Cannonball into the pool. Be silly and find what excites you. Catch fireflies. Watch fireworks. Be present, in the moment, completely head-over-heals enjoying the activity at hand.

6. UPLIFT someone: One year, our kids held weekly lemonade stands to raise money for earthquake victims in Haiti. Find your passion and make a difference.

7. LEAVE a lasting LEGACY: More than anything money can buy, children crave your time and presence. Sleep under the stars. Tell ghost stories by candlelight during a thunderstorm.

To this day, the memories our now-grown children talk about the most are from the lazy, hazy, crazy and gleeful days of summer. Don’t sit it out being grumpy.

Upgrade to a GLEEFUL summer—what’s not to love? Fireflies. Popsicles. Campfires. Books. Barbeques. Beaches. And always, amazing memories!

Which of these “get your glee on” ideas inspired you? How can you “become like a child” today?

Sue Badeau is a nationally known speaker, author, and child welfare and trauma expert. Sue and her husband Hector are lifetime parents of twenty-two children—two by birth and twenty adopted. They wrote the book Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting and Raising 22 Kids. Sue’s new Kindle book is Volume 3, “Never Too Old” in the Summer in Sweetland series. Learn more about Sue at and

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patti J. Smith - New Release - "Behind The Smile: Overcoming Depression through Scripture and Prayer"

Behind our smiles are tears. We are the victims of depression. We are the ones who are fighting a war within ourselves – a war that consists of many battles on many fronts. Of those won, the losses always seem to eclipse the triumphs.

This book addresses the spiritual side of the battle by utilizing personalized scripture, to bring the reader into God's word with the goal of providing serenity and hope.

We can be victorious … through treatment, scripture and prayer.

The Amazon Kindle link for “Behind The Smile” is:

Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lester Ray Tibbett, one of the characters in Tracy Krauss' fun filled romance series "Neighbors"!

Here is a fun interview with one of the characters from my series NEIGHBORS:

What is your full name?
Lester Ray Tibbett. My parents were country people - old fashioned, and they named their kids accordingly. My sister's name is Patsi Mae. She hates it and goes by Pat, but I don't mind so much. You can call me Lester, or Lester Ray - just don't call me late for supper.

Very funny. I take it you and your sister are close?
Yes. I've been her guardian for the last nine years since our parents died. She was only nine at the time. I took over both the farm and the responsibility of looking after her. I suppose you could say I'm more of a father figure than a brother.

That was quite a responsibility. Are you quite a bit older than she is?
I was twenty-three when my folks passed. You do the math.

So what brought a thirty-two year old boy from the country to the city of Calgary? (I did the math, as you can see...)
A combination of things. Bad debts (which I hate to admit) and old equipment, combined with several years of drought. Plus, Patsi finished school and it seemed like it was a good time to move so she could go to college.

What are you doing now that you've moved?
I got a job with a big construction company called 'Titan'. They're in the process of building a high rise downtown. It's new work for me, but I've always been pretty handy, and I learn fast. And you don't grow up on a farm without knowing how to work hard.

Speaking of growing up on a farm, I hear you are also quite the rodeo cowboy. Is that true?
I've done my share. I used to ride broncs, but after an injury I gave it up. There wasn't really any money in it for me and let's be honest - it's a dangerous sport. I still love watching, though, and I don't mind getting back in the saddle just for fun.

Where is your favourite place to hang out in Calgary?
I go to this pub downtown called the 'Urban Cowboy' a lot with my friend Jed Malloy. I don't drink much, but I like to play pool and it also has one of those old school mechanical bulls, which is a hoot.

Is there anyone special in your life?
You mean besides Jesus?

Is that a joke?
No. I'm a Christian and not ashamed to say it. If you mean a special woman, maybe, but that might be privileged information.
I see. If you did have a girlfriend, what kind of woman would she be?
Down to earth, I guess. I'm a pretty down to earth kind of guy myself. Not too pretentious and not too needy. And obviously she'd have to share my values.

Doesn't sound too difficult, but then again you are over thirty and still haven't found her. Do you think you're being too choosy?
Absolutely not. I've been busy looking after the farm and raising my sister. I just haven't had time for a serious relationship. Now that Patsi is grown, I'm starting to think more about my own needs for companionship. A life partner.
More than anything else, what do you want in life?
To be happy. To see my sister settled. That's about it. Like I said, I'm not a very complicated sort of guy.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
That's about it, I guess. I'm not that comfortable talking about myself. I don't like being in the limelight. I just like to mind my own business and live a quiet life.

Thanks for this interview, Lester.
In fact, living a quiet life isn't really part of the equation for Lester. See how he deals with a rebellious sister, nosy neighbours, danger on the job site, and his attraction to a woman that probably wouldn't have made his 'must have' list... All in the continuing series NEIGHBORS.

The Amazon Kindle link for “Neighbors” is:

"Homeowner With A Gun" by Samule Hawley

Samuel Hawley was on The G-ZONE yesterday, we covered a variety of topics including a new release he has coming up in October. Here is the cover, the synopsis and the link for the show:

The G-ZONE show link:
From Samuel Hawley:
It was great to be on the show, Giovanni. Thanks!
Here is a synopsis of "Homeowner With a Gun," and the cover .
“HOMEOWNER WITH A GUN” (release date- October 2014)
It’s the middle of the night. You’re awakened by a noise. Someone is in your house. What do you do?
When it happens at 148 Maple Drive, homeowner Jeff Shaw gets his gun and goes downstairs to investigate while his wife calls 9-1-1. It’s their home, after all. Jeff has to protect it. He finds two men in the kitchen and shoots them both. Dead.
The incident puts great strain on Jeff and his family. He wants to believe they just need to get on with their lives and everything will return to normal. But it’s not that easy. The dead intruders belonged to a gang, ANG, “Ain’t No Game,” that now wants revenge. And one of the gang, an ex-con who goes by the name I-Man, knows more about the break-in than he’s letting on.

It starts with a threatening phone call. Then it gets worse. The police, unable to protect the Shaws, suggest they move away for a while. What should Jeff do? Homeowner With a Gun takes the reader on a white-knuckle thrill ride as this everyman fights to save himself and his family, while something a detective said plays in the back of his mind: "Maybe the intruders broke into the wrong house. Happens all the time. You wouldn’t believe how often..."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meet Bryan Leland Tate MD from "The San Francisco Wedding Planner" by Jen Cudmore

Today I’m going to tell you about Bryan, the handsome ortho surgeon from the short stories I’ve been writing. I’m part of a 5 author team working together on the San Francisco Wedding Planner series.

I picture Bryan much like Paul Rudd. Not a total hottie but definitely a cutie pie. He’s about 6 feet tall with blue eyes and typically clean shaven. He’s 36 years old when he first meets Heather, owner of Donovan’s Wedding Service.
So, Bryan. You grew up in San Francisco?
Yes. Spent most of my childhood here, playing baseball. Mom and I moved to Seattle when I was in high school. I enjoyed Washington state, but I’m glad to be back.
And you’re much older than your brother Raul.
I was twelve when he was born. After my parents split, I stayed with my mom, so we didn’t live in the same house, but I was over there all the time. He was my little buddy until I moved away. I wouldn’t say we’re close, but we understand each other and respect our differences.
Tell me some ways you’re different from Raul.
I don’t get into as much trouble. Hehe! No, I mean, he likes to wear a ton of bling and cologne; it takes him two hours to get ready each morning. I’m more simple; I prefer jeans and T-shirts. He makes fun of my flannels all the time, but that’s what I mostly wore in Seattle. Raul has a million friends, and I’m happy to just have a few. He’s very much a people person, which is why he’s always doing karaoke. He keeps trying to get me to go, but I don’t like to be in the spotlight. Give me a guy with a broken femur or a rotator cuff injury and I can handle that, no problem. Just don’t make me give a speech or sing in public!

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy cooking. I cooked all the time for my mom before she passed. She especially loved my omelets. My favorite is lasagna – love to cook it, love to eat it! I also enjoy hunting. Just took my first trip to Alaska last fall to hunt for moose.

Tell us about the women in your life.
Well, my first steady girlfriend was Jocelyn. We dated when I was in high school but I botched that up pretty bad when I went to college. I dated a few girls in college but nothing serious until I met Mandy. I actually thought she was the one, and we spent 5 years together. But unfortunately I was wrong about her.

And now you’re dating Heather. Is it true that Raul set you up?
Hehe. Yes, actually, it was pretty much his fault we’re together. But I don’t give him all the credit. Heather is great. I love how simple she is, and yet so beautiful. She really cares about people, you know? She works so hard to give her clients what they want and make sure they have the perfect wedding. I love that. She makes me want to be a better person.

Heather describes herself as persistent and a worrier. Would you agree?
Uh, yeah, I guess so. She’s a bit too hard on herself, really. But I think we balance each other out pretty good. I hope she thinks so, too.

What do you think of her mother? And her best friend Skye?
Well…what can I say about Gloria? She’s a sweet lady – a teenager trapped in a grandmother’s body! She means well. Heather’s friend Skye is … different. I don’t know her that well, but I’m hoping to become better acquainted with her soon.

COMING SOON! All 6 stories have been combined into one book and will be released in paperback this weekend!
The next segment of short stories will be released in only a few weeks. All the characters from the series tell a bit more of their backstory – what shaped who they are today. I’ll let you know the release date just as soon as I’m informed!