Every Breath You Take Reviews and Stars

Every Breath You Take reviews and ratings and reader comments continue to roll in. I’ve updated a quick highlight of what people like about the book and Detective Kristen Conner. Just in case you miss it, there are now 60 5-star ratings – and yes, there are four 1-star ratings, so a few people really don’t like it. I hope you enjoy!

Just a reminder, Cold As Ice hits the market on October 28, 2014!

I use a couple of free online presentation tools. One of my favorites is Issuu.com. All I do is build a PowerPoint presentation, then save it as a PDF. Upload, fill in the information, get the embed code or link for your blog or social media, and you are done.

I also use SlideShare, which has great SEO. What do you use?

Reflections of a Serial Killer

Kristen Conner has moved on to other cases, but the serial killer she put away in Cuts Like a Knife is still thinking about her … the Shark lives.

The Cutter Shark is a serial killer that haunts Detective Kristen Conner in the M.K. Gilroy novels.

The Serial Killer

In the first Detective Kristen Conner suspense thriller, Cuts Like a Knife, Kristen comes face-to-face with a serial killer that the Chicago press dubbed, The Cutter Shark. The Shark is now a resident of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago where he remains silent no matter how many hours a day FBI agents interrogate him.

He is on the 27th floor, which houses the most dangerous criminals. His cell has a slit window that is 5 inches wide and 7 feet high. Conner has moved on to other murder cases in Every Breath You Take and Cold As Ice, but the Cutter Shark’s thoughts remain on Kristen.

For those that have read Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath You Take, the following feature with the Cutter Shark will be a treat. For those who haven’t yet read the novels, you might want to skip this as it contains a big spoiler: the identity of the serial killer. Wondering who he is has been a big part of the reading pleasure for many mystery-suspense fans!

Weight Loss and Gain: My Latest Journey

The highs and the lows of my weight as an adult.

A look at my weight gained and lost as an adult.

It’s fun to blog about weight today because I’ve dropped 45 pounds this year, most of it in the past four months. There have been other days when writing about weight gain and loss would not be nearly so much fun. A few of you know what I’m talking about.

I’ve been trying not to be “that guy” who thinks about and talks about his diet 24/7, but two factors work against that:

  1. When you are on a strict diet, the regimen is almost by definition an obsessive undertaking; and
  2. When you lose a lot of weight, people notice, say nice things, and ask a lot of questions.

I truly admire those disciplined – or metabolically blessed – few who maintain a very trim, healthy, and consistent weight year in and year out. I’ve not been that person.

Right after college, I put on a quick 30 pounds – I worked full time, kept crazy hours, and completely stopped all exercise. After seeing a picture of myself – I closed my eyes when I walked past a mirror – I got back out on the tennis court, but more importantly, learned to work out both anabolically and aerobically.

In my early thirties I hit my college weight again (a little lower than my senior year), much of that due to becoming a biking fanatic and getting rid of most breads and sugars from my diet.

In my late thirties and early forties I put weight on but worked with some guys that were really into weight lifting, so I actually had some muscle (that showed) for the first time in my life. I mixed the lifting with racquetball, basically ate whatever I wanted, and stayed in good shape. [Read more...]

The Move From Blogger to WordPress – Why? Why Not?

I used Blogger for seven years.

Is Blogger best for you?

I just moved to WordPress.

Is WordPress best for you?

I am mostly done with moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress. Look around my site and you will find there is still a lot to update. But I’m far enough along to feel reasonably comfortable in inviting you to stop by. (No housewarming gifts needed, but thank you.)

So why did I make the move from Blogger to WordPress? I must have seen a need to change. And why did I wait seven years? I must have found reasons to stay where I was.

If you are a blogger or considering setting up a blog, my experience might help you understand the best platform for to use and a little of what goes into making a change if you determine that is the best course for you.

 

EASE OF SET UP

There is nothing easier to set up and run for a blogger than Google’s Blogger platform. I write. I don’t program and design. Blogger was the perfect place for me to start. It was so easy I actually had time to learn the features and customize my website to a reasonably attractive and professional degree. (I did pay a few bucks to a designer to create my own custom header.) Building and changing the layout and adding or moving features was as simple as dragging elements around. Because the layout templet was visual, you knew immediately and exactly what you were going to see with each change.

Another thing that made Blogger easy was it was free.

WordPress requires an immediate decision. Self hosting (.org) or free hosting (.com). If you choose free hosting, you are restricted from adding plugins or widgets like AdSense that monetize your blog. If you do the self hosting you have to install WP into your hosting service before you start setting up and designing your blog.

With WP you next decide on whether to use a free template or a premium template. Either way, the dashboard view is not nearly as intuitive and visual for building your layout and adding features. I’ll quickly note, after the first four or five hours of arranging and rearranging elements, WordPress has gotten quite easy to work with.

I chose the self-hosting option to have the most control and flexibility over my blog, whether or not monetization is a big issue for me. I chose a premium template from a company that has been developing templates for years. I think that provides better insurance that my template will always be up-to-date with the newest version of WP. [Read more...]

The Man Who Killed JFK

Roger Stone builds the case that LBJ was the man behind the assassination of JFK.

I was in kindergarten when President John F. Kennedy was shot. To say that the Kennedy brothers were popular was an understatement. The two hottest Halloween costumes at the class party that year, less than a month before JFK was shot, had been John and Bobby plastic masks. My first inkling that something big had happened on November 22, 1963, was when I got in the car and the mom who was driving carpool that day said nothing but only sobbed the drive home.

I heard Roger Stone do a radio interview on his book and realized I had read little to nothing on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I didn’t go see the Oliver Stone film. I found it strange that I’ve read books on the Viet Nam War and Watergate – the other two defining political events in my growing up years – but I had never taken the time to accept or reject the Warren Commission. It’s interesting that in the back of my mind I’ve sort of known there are two self-contradictory popular beliefs that guide popular perception on the Kennedy Assassination:

  1. the Warren Report is seriously flawed
  2. anyone that presents an alternative view of the Warren Report is a kook

So who does Roger Stone – longtime political strategist for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, and George W. Bush – say killed JFK? Since he has a picture of President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the cover and subtitles the book, The Case Against LBJ, I’m not giving a spoiler to tell you where this book is going. (Note: Stone is equally hard on Republicans as Democrats; he is an equal opportunity sledgehammer.)  [Read more...]