He’s never studied music, and indeed, can’t read a note. It comes to him down in his soul – a true gift from God…
Click on the image to hear him…
This morning, I (and I’m sure you did, too) crawled out of a warm bed, had a hot shower, and shuffled into the kitchen for a hot cup of coffee.
On this day of rest, we sleep in, prepare a huge feast, and either welcome others into our home, or are ushered into one. At some point or another, you are likely to see a family member who you don’t care for much, and who you do your best to avoid at all costs.
When you feel that evil little devil telling you to run and hide in the kitchen, close your eyes and say a prayer for the 18,000,000 children in the U.S. who have neither parent and are living in orphanages, or in the streets – and who would give anything to have a roomful of aunts, uncles and cousins.
The time has come to share that sumptuous repast, and you gather around the table to pray.
In those prayers, please take a moment to remember the 31,000,000 Americans who live in or on the edge of hunger.
After dinner, the kids go upstairs to play video games, and the “grownies” sit around to catch up on times. You regale your Uncle Pete with the story of how little Bennie broke his leg in football practice, and what a brave trooper he was at the hospital.
Pause in that moment and breath a sigh of relief you aren’t one of the 50 million families without health insurance.
And when the big game comes on TV, and the guest performer clears their throat to sing the National Anthem, please stand. We live in a country who has a military that is willing to sacrifice time, family, and their very lives in order to preserve our freedom. Standing isn’t silly or pretentious – it’s respectful.
We have so many ways in which we are blessed. On this day of Thanksgiving, come correct – bow your head and give praise.
A safe, warm Thanksgiving to you, one and all…
All genres will be judged independently, and the winner of each will receive a $5 Amazon gift card and a bundle of ebooks. An overall winner will be chosen from among these and the grand prized is a Kindle Fire, a huge book bundle, and a banner for your website, designed by the incomparable Danielle DeVor – not to mention, bragging rights to the “Golden Shorts.”
So. The deadline for entry is November 30th. You gotta short in a drawer somewhere, drawing dust? One that’s been bugging you to be written? Now’s the time, bucko. Throw it out there and take your chances…if you have the nerve…
Click on the contest banner (designed by Danielle) to read more, and to enter:
Over the weekend, I had the rare luxury of buzzing around the net, just browsing for this and that. I came upon Ms. Collier’s site, and I have to say, her work is impressive. She runs DLC Designs out of her blog, and has quite a number of cover samples listed, along with client feedback and some other useful info. I have to say, her cover samples are fantastic, and she’s received glowing marks from past and current customers. Why not go have a look yourself? Click on the image to go to her site:
By Ms. Jennie Haskamp
After signing my Pop, EM2 Bud Cloud (circa Pearl Harbor) up for hospice care, the consolation prize I’d given him (for agreeing it was OK to die) was a trip to “visit the Navy in San Diego.”
I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who’s currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.
(Click on the photo to read on)
Click on this one to read part I
Click this one to read part II
Click this one to read part III
And now, the saga continues – Part IV -
The lowlifes that I have been blogging about have, it seems, joined forces and published one-star reviews for my novel “The Clearing.” They are infantile, and not very authentic, but still, they are there. My publisher has already drafted a letter of complaint and sent it off to Amazon, including some interesting information. Here’s the letter:
“With regard to four 1-star reviews given against The Clearing by Thomas Rydder (ASIN B00BMEVA0W) on October 11th & 12th 2013, I request that you consider removing them as I believe they are fraudulent, being a revenge attack by a group of authors who give each other 5-star reviews on Amazon against an author who exposed them.
There are four reasons why I believe these reviews are fraudulent. Each on their own is highly significant, but taken together the fact that 1-star reviews were made from these particular four Amazon accounts about that specific book and in that particular 48 hour period goes beyond any credible possibility of coincidence.
Here are my reasons for thinking these reviews are abusive:
1. The 1-star reviews did not match the previous reviewing trend. For its first 24 reviews and seven months the lowest rating for The Clearing was 3 stars. Then there were suddenly four 1-star reviews within 48 hours.
2. The 1-star reviews came with 48 hours of the author exposing a scam review group. On October 10th a Facebook 5-star fraudulent review group contacted the author and was firmly rebuffed. Thomas Rydder (the author) named and shamed the instigator, Ben Harris Jr. (here: http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/scam-alert-i-was-approached-by-a-5-star-review-exchange-group-on-facebook) There was clearly some animosity at that time. On the assumption that Ben Harris Jr operates the Amazon Account ‘Karrine’ (see example quotes below for why this looks likely) he has a history of reacting in an angry and threatening fashion to any criticism, and this fits the idea of these reviews being a revenge attack. The 1-star reviews appeared over the following two days. The same request to join the Facebook reviewing group was mentioned by another author: http://williambryanmiller.com/?p=630
3. The reviewing profile of at least three of the four reviewers is simply not credible, with two of them giving at least 60 5-star reviews within a 42 day period.
I looked at past reviews for the four people who gave The Clearing 1-star reviews. I looked at the reviews they had made from September 1st through October 12th. During that 42-day period:
Marshall Hanks reviewed 62 books. 60 were 5-star reviews. One 4-star and The Clearing 1-star.(Over a slightly longer time period, Marshall also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
Count reviewed 9 books. 8 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing 1-star.
(Over a slightly longer time period, Count also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
J Maurice reviewed 39 books. 38 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing 1-star.
(Over a slightly longer time period, J Maurice also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
Karrine reviewed 64 books. 61 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing and two others 1-star.
(Karrine also made angry comments about low-rated reviews of the books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews. Karrine’s wording suggested that Karrine and Ben Harris Jr are the same person)
4. Overlap: these four reviewers are frequently giving 5-star reviews to the same books.
A Lucrative Vengeance (NADIA’S GOOD PUSSY) by Ben Harris Jr, who was exposed by Tom Rydder and at least one other author as soliciting authors to join the scam
Count, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks all gave 5-star reviews.
Karrine did not review but did write an angry comment on Sept 4th to a 2-star review made on July 7th by Read73. Karrine wrote as if he/she knew Ben Harris Jr personally.
A Lil Nasty Book (An Urban Novella) by Ben Harris Jr, who was exposed by Tom Rydder and at least one other author as soliciting authors to join the scam
5-star reviews from Count, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks.
Karrine did not review this book but was ready to comment on anyone giving less than 5-stars.
Karrine wrote this threatening comment to a 1-star review by Paul Meredith:
“Ha! I’m sure the author does not give a rip. Clearly you have an agenda! The other reviews speak for themselves. Remember that what goes around comes back around.”
Karrine wrote an angry comment in response to a 3-star review on Sept 2nd: “
It’s “Urban” Fiction not Hemingway Desmond! This Author did a damn good job. And you must have gotten the unedited “FREE” version that the author’s assistant accidentally uploaded. The author has since updated the file. Clearly, you did not purchase the book if you saw mistakes because the $0.99 version is edited. And furthermore $0.99 is actually a deal for such a great novella. Everyone is allowed their own opinion but it’s quite strange that this book has 29 Five star reviews and you are the only one who decided to mess up this authors perfect rating. Oh well, some people just don’t want to see others succeed.”
It does sound very much from these comments as if Karrine and Ben Harris Jr are one and the same person.
“80 Ultra Hot & Spicy Sex Stories: Mega Collection of Erotic Sex Stories for Adults”
Was given 5-star reviews by all 4 reviewers: Count, Karrine, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks
“Story Tellers: in pursuit of happiness” http://www.amazon.com/Story-Tellers-In-Pursuit-Happiness-ebook/dp/B00FITBON0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
This was reviewed and given 5 stars by Marshall Hanks, Count, & Karrine
This was reviewed and given 5 stars Marshall Hanks, J Maurice, Karrine
Children’s Book: “Eric the Medic” (A Fun Illustrated Children’s Picture eBook) (Perfect Bedtime Story for Ages 2-8)
This was reviewed and given 5 stars J Maurice, Marshall Hanks, Karrine
Now, I need YOUR help. Please go to the link below and click “not helpful” next to the one-star reviews from “Count”, “Marshall Hanks”, and “J Maurice.” They are all in the crew…
. I truly appreciate any and all who do so
If any of you missed my two original posts, I was approached by an “authors” group who participate in 5-star review exchanges. You can read the original post by clicking the images below:
Click on this one to read part I
Click this one to read part II
I had originally thought I might infiltrate this band of idiots and expose them all, but as a result of some very sage advice from writer friends, I decided to abandon that idea, and expose just one of them on my blog, “Author” Ben Harris, Jr. Mr. Harris became, shall we say, very upset, called me a liar and charged me with manipulating the message (even though I have the message archived, and it’s intent is very clear.)
Anyway. Now, it seems, things have been ramped up another notch. I have received four 1-star reviews on my book “The Clearing” over the last several days. I can I say I’m delighted.
See, my publisher Tim Taylor, is a very, very intelligent guy. He did a little research on Mr. Harris and the others who “reviewed” my book, and emailed his findings and conclusions to Amazon in the form of a letter of complaint.
Kinda turns out that some of the fine folks who had been in the shadows and unreachable have very kindly implicated themselves in this whole sordid affair. Oh, yeah!
I’m not worried a bit about the 1-stars. For one, none of them sound authentic, and for two, by the time Tim and I are done, they will all be discredited. Told ya, Mr. Harris, but you wouldn’t listen…
Now the shit storm is a tornado…:)
I posted this once before, and received a lot of “likes”, but I’m unclear whether any of you who did so actually wanted to review it. Please COMMENT on the post, if you’re interesting in doing so…thanks so much
1. “Do Unto Others” (short story) – Jeremy is a street hood, lawless and unchained. When he is wronged by a local businessman, it becomes his mission to seek revenge. But his new enemy has friends – ones that don’t take kindly to intruders.
2. “Colors” (short story) – Harrison Street. attorney, biker wannabe, coward. When he finds the bike of his dreams, it seems too good to be true. It is.
3. “Simona Says” (novella) – Simona has had it rough. Death, disenchantment, and disappointment are all part of her life. She wants to be happy for a change, and she’s willing to do just about anything to find some. Anything.
Click on the photo to read one homeless man’s incredible – and tragically short – story….
Use your mighty imagination!
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