Saturday, August 18, 2012

Making A Change In The World! Chatting with author Cindy Vine - C U @ 8

Cindy Vine is chatting with us today. She is the author of titles C U @ 8, which she is currently touring with and also Defective, free today on Amazon. Check out all of her books on Amazon. Welcome to Mass Musings Cindy :).

MM: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

In C U @ 8 I have definitely based the characters on people I know and Fenella does have a lot of me in her. Most of the characters in my books are based on bits and pieces of people I know. It’s actually become a family joke, careful around Cindy as you never know if what you say or do might find its way into a book!

MM: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character in C U @ 8 is Suki, because she is trying so hard to change her life but in doing so has become a little fragile and needs protecting. She’s also so naïve. I just find something quite lovable about her.

MM: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

My most all-time favorite character is Jenny in Not Telling. She endured so much growing up, but always managed to rise above it all. She was a fighter and never gave up hope her life would get better.

MM: If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I would dive into The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I’d be Katniss making a change in the world, leading the rebellion against oppression.

MM: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

Ah great question. Meryl Streep could be Fenella, Sandra Bullock could be Suki, Alec Baldwin would be Declan, Katherine Heigl would be Kirsty.

MM: What can we expect from you in the future? Any new projects?

I’m going back into the dark with Hush Baby. It’s a story about a man that separates from his live-in girlfriend and fights to see his 2 year old son who then dies mysteriously. He starts investigating the death and comes up with some secrets he never dreamt he’d find. I don’t want to say too much as I’m still writing it and who knows whether it might veer off in a different direction. I’m also working on Diary of a Dancer which is about a man’s struggle with AIDS. This is based on the diary my late cousin kept the last year of his life.

MM: Where can readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with me on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Shelfari. On everything my username is cindyvine. Also on my blog and my website

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

Do your kids ever really leave? 

Fenella Fisher and Suki Rabinowitz are middle-aged single mothers whose children have left home and started on their own lives and careers. But Suki’s son Josh is a cocaine-addict who supposedly fathered a baby on a visit to the UK; and Fenella’s daughter Kirsty has just been dumped and is feeling miserable. Fenella and Suki decide they need to step in to help their children and hatch a plan to sort out Josh’s mess and find Kirsty a suitable man, with some hilarious consequences. After interviewing prospective husbands for Kirsty at Waves Restaurant and Bar, they discover that a good man is hard to find.

Chapter 10

Fun-loving, creative free-spirited young woman looking for a life partner. Travel, art and adventure are my middle names. Conservative is out and not in my repertoire. Control freak does not feature in my life dictionary. Cheap and miserly are not welcome in my universe. If you are intelligent with a sense of humour, a stable job and a six pack, then please contact me so I can get to know you.’
Suki had said short and sweet was better. Men on dating sites couldn’t be bothered to read long diatribes; they were in too much of a hurry to meet their ideal woman. So Fenella had complied. With quite a bit of eye rolling and laughter, the two had bandied about words until they were satisfied. “Leave it to stew for 24 hours before we check for any bites,” Suki had suggested and Fenella had done just that. Twenty-four hours had passed. Throughout the day Fenella had kept looking at the clock on the kitchen wall. Since the invention of cell phones she had stopped wearing her watch. In fact, she had no idea where it was or where she’d last seen it. It had been a gift, she couldn’t even remember who’d given it to her. It had been about a decade ago for a birthday, she thought. Suki was late. Before she left the day before she’d made Fenella promise not to open up Kirsty’s profile page and look at the replies. She wanted to be a part of the action, which Fenella supposed was only fair seeing that this whole internet dating thing had been her idea. Where the hell was Suki? Fenella was just about to succumb to temptation and open up the webpage when the doorbell rang.
976 replies! I told you!” Suki had an excited sparkle in her eyes. She looked quite animated, Fenella thought, feeling less excited herself. Well, maybe she was a little excited, but quite a bit apprehensive as well about the whole damn thing. “So what we need to do first is delete the weirdoes and creeps.”
I thought you said there weren’t weirdoes, creeps and psychopaths on this website!” exclaimed Fenella feeling rather naïve about that kind of stuff.
Um, not really, well some but sort of. They are far less weirdish and freakish on this site than on some of the other sites,” said Suki clicking on links and deleting emails at quite a pace. “Yuck! Yugh! Ugggg!”
Fenella peeped over Suki’s shoulder only to see a picture of an erect penis filling her screen. “And you were saying?”
Some creepos still slip through, like that one. So what we do is reduce these responses to our top few hundred.”
Few hundred? Few hundred!” Fenella was in shock. There was no way she was interviewing a few hundred young men. “I’m not sure about this Suki. I’m not sure if it’s worth it. These interviews…I don’t think I can do it.” Falling back onto her chair Fenella began to fan herself. A panic attack seemed to be developing as the heat started from her head and seemed to spread down to her toes. It was either that or a hot flush and the start of menopause.
Suki sat upright on the dining table chair glaring at Fenella with her hands on her hips. “Do you or do you not want Kirsty to give you grandchildren and make you a granny?
For someone who wasn’t that tall Suki could be quite intimidating. “I…er…do want Kirsty to have children one day. But Suki, there has to be another way. I can’t sit through a date with a few hundred men and interview them. My school holiday doesn’t last forever and I don’t want to use it all up on…this!” Fenella pointed at the computer screen. If she didn’t go and fetch herself some ice water from the fridge she was going to self-combust.
Suki folded her arms and scowled. “You may be right. Logistically and time-wise to set up a few hundred dates is improbable. You wouldn’t be giving each applicant the attention they deserve. And if we do a rush job then we won’t get the best. Let me think a minute. We probably need more coffee,” said Suki draining the dregs from her mug. Fenella had hardly touched hers. Coffee was the last thing on her mind. The last thing she felt like doing was pouring more heat into her already overheating body!
You want that special blend again?”
Yeah, that East African one again. I love the taste, the aroma. Can’t believe you never brought me back a bag!” The truth was that Fenella had spent ages dithering about what to buy Suki. It was so hard to buy a gift for a woman who had everything and was fussy to boot. She often criticised Fenella’s style choices, although to be honest, baggy t-shirts and track pants were probably on the unflattering side. After wandering around browsing for what seemed like hours, she’d settled for an ornately carved wooden box similar to the Swahili carved wooden doorways she’d fallen in love with. It was always risky buying Suki jewellery as she tended to only wear pieces completely out of Fenella’s price range. So a box it had been but in retrospect coffee would have been better. Fenella hadn’t even thought about coffee as a gift.
With the coffee brewing and the machine making its happy sounds, Fenella joined Suki in front of her laptop at the dining room table. “Any bright ideas yet? Or should we just delete this profile?”
Glaring at Fenella Suki leaned forward to hug the keyboard protectively. “No don’t touch! No deleting, I have an idea as surprising as it may sound.”
Fenella gave an eye roll. “Seriously Suki, covering up my keyboard like that. How old are you?”
Never trust a woman who tells you her age,” Suki countered. “I know what we are going to do. It’s perfect. In fact so perfect, I think I should patent the idea.”
Fenella groaned. This wasn’t sounding good. It was building up to one of Suki’s hare-brained schemes she could tell. “Okay, stop keeping me hanging in suspense. What’s the idea?”
Suki gave a little shake of her shoulders and sat up straight. “We,” she paused dramatically for effect, “Are going to set up a mass date.”
Groaning out loud Fenella held her head in her hands. “Don’t tell me you are suggesting what I think you are suggesting.”
We email our top few hundred, say something witty, hook them further. A little saucy repartee. Not all will reply, but many will and then we suggest a meeting. We give all our short list the same date and time to be at a venue we pick.”
A few hundred doesn’t sound like a short list to me!”
Oh stop being negative,” Suki pouted. “Then we casually wander among them and check them out. We can take a notebook and make notes. We might even strike up some idle chit-chat with some of them.”
Are we going to introduce ourselves and tell them why they’re there? Some of them might be pissed to find they’re part of a mass date. I’m not sure about this.” Fenella chewed on her lip. Suki’s plan sounded very flawed to her ears.
No silly of course not! We’re not asking for trouble. We check them out like we just coincidentally happened to be there at the same time. They’ll think their date stood them up. We can make up some excuse when we email the ones we liked later. Do you think we might need a checklist for our prospects?”
Suki was on a roll and Fenella knew she would not be deterred. This plan would go ahead even though Fenella had grave reservations about it. “So where will we meet them?”
Suki threw her arms around Fenella, giving her a suffocating hug. “I knew you’d come on board! I was thinking that new restaurant/bar on the beachfront we’ve been going to. Waves. It’s quite big inside and should accommodate all our prospectives. We should get the owner to give us commission as we’ll be increasing his business on a normally quiet week night. Don’t look at me like that I’m just joking. About the commission part, that is.”
Fenella gave a thin smile. She felt quite drained. This reminded her of why she hated dating and was content to remain single. It was just too much hard work and unnecessary stress. No wonder people elected to stay in bad relationships. “Let me pour that coffee. You sure this will work?” Suki nodded, grinning and humming to herself as she turned back to scroll through the responses to the ad on the dating site. In a way Fenella was glad that finding Kirsty a man had made Suki’s other problem with that woman in Cornwall, take a back seat. She felt bad keeping Kirsty’s news about Josh a secret from her friend. But then again, she was sure that Suki had kept secrets from her about Kirsty she’d heard over the years. Lying by omission. It was something everybody did to protect those they cared about.

A teacher, writer, mother - Cindy Vine was born in Cape Town, South Africa and has lived and worked in many different countries around the world. She currently resides in Tanzania at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Cindy has three children, two of whom have already left home. Writing and reading has been a passion of hers since she was a young girl.

August 6 - Introduction at the VBT Cafe' Blog
August 8 - Author Fav Recipe & Fun Facts at Writing Innovations E-zine
August 10 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
August 14 - Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
August 16 - Review & Ebook Giveaway at Books, Books, and More Books
August 18 - Interviewed at Mass Musings

August 18 - Ebook Giveaway & Excerpt at Mocha Girls ReadAugust 20 - Guest Blogging at Cafe' Creations
August 22 - Guest Blogging at SheWrites Blog
August 22 - Interviewed at From The Mind Of OmegiaAugust 24 - Interview & Giveaway at The Bunny's Review
August 28 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
August 30 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

Friday, August 17, 2012

To Live Our Fantasies! Chatting with Author Jason Macumber - Never After

Today we are excited to have had the chance to chat with author Jason Robert Macumber, and introduce you to him and his new release - Never After, which I just know you're going to love. Welcome to Mass Musings Jason!

MM: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

I would definitely say that I see myself the most in Snow (as scary as that seems). Snow allows me to say and do everything I fantasize yet could never do in real life. I love that I can just unleash when playing in her world.

MM: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I have a special place in my heart for Ike. He originally played a much larger role in the novel but I realized with his friendship to Snow being so deep I needed to use him as a plot catalyst. I missed writing him as his interactions with Snow are hilarious. Expect A LOT more Ike in the sequel.

MM: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

That is a tough one as I love so many books. I would have to say one of my favorite characters who ended up ultimately inspiring Snow, is Anita Blake from the Laurel K. Hamilton series. She is a strong woman who makes no apologies. I like that.

MM: I love that series myself Jason :). If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I would say Twilight as who doesn’t want to run through the Washington forest in search for a sparkly vampire? Seems appealing to me.

MM: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

I honestly don’t believe Never After would work as a film due to its episodic nature. I would say I envision this as a show on HBO with Ellen Paige starring as Snow.

MM: What can we expect from Jason Macumber in the future? Any new projects?

I am currently at work on Deliciously Wicked which is the sequel to Never After. That is due for release April 2013. Due to the two books per year release schedule I am on, the Ever After Chronicles will be taking most of my time for the next couple years.

MM: Where can readers connect with you?

My FB fan page and twitter!

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.


Jason will be giving away an ebook PLUS you get a chance to win one of 2 signed paperbacks just for following. To win an ecopy, simply leave a comment for Jason with your email address. To enter for the paperback, fill out the Rafflecopter below.

The world of fairy tales is twisted and corrupted. Two years after her entrapment and torture at the hands of the Seven Deadly Trolls, Snow White now works as an assassin for hire. Rude, crude and with her princess status long revoked, she has become a dark angel for the Ever After's damsels-in-distress.
A game of cat and mouse soon begins when two of the Deadlies, Pride and Wrath, return to exact revenge on the fallen princess for the murder of their brothers.
Armed with her trusty dagger carved from the magic mirror, Snow finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that involves an ancient relic from beyond her world's borders and the destruction of her world.
Taking perversion to a whole new level, NEVER AFTER is an estrogen-filled romp to save the Ever After as Snow slices and dices her way through beloved characters leaving no talking animal safe!

Genre: Dark Fairy tale/Fantasy (Warning: Extremely Mature Content)
Publisher: Melange Books
Release Date: July 31, 2012

Author Links:

About The Author:
Jason Macumber has been writing since he could first hold a pen, weaving stories so grand his teachers would usually have to pull him back down to earth on more than one occasion. After beginning his writing career in the Young Adult genre, he found that the medium did not suit his more mature tastes and tones that were dying to rip free from the far reaches of his mind. Thus, Snow emerged and became a force to be reckoned and the Ever After Chronicles was born. He is currently living in Florida where he is finishing his graduate degree and punching out the sequel to NEVER AFTER in the company of his three dogs and one mischievous cat.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

VBTC Interview with Author Jean Mckie-Sutton - The Fruits of Our Sins

Welcome to Mass Musings Jean. Today we are chatting with Jean on the last day of her tour about her book, The Fruits of Our Sins.

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

I’m not like any of the characters in my story, however I do admit to stealing bits and pieces of character traits from the women in my own family, especially in regards to the main characters, Madeline and Sybil. Otherwise, all of my characters are entirely fictional.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

         My favorite character is Madeline. Although she makes many mistakes throughout her life, she ultimately overcomes the sins of her own parents, and goes on to live a life that breaks her family’s generational curse. Her own daughter begins life’s journey free of the ties that bound her ancestors.

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

         I’d have to go all the way back to my favorite childhood book, A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeline L’Engle. Meg was my favorite character. I still remember the battle between darkness and light and the love that allowed Meg to free her brother Charles from the grips of evil.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

There are two characters that appeal to me:
I’d love to be Max from Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. I’ve read this book to my children countless times, yet it has never lost its magic. When Max visits the land of Wild Things, he discovers he is the wildest of them all. I envied Max’s boldness and reckless abandon as he danced with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”.
The second character is Jane Eyre. The novel, written in 1874, was ahead of its time. Although Jane suffered oppression at a very young age, she develops into a strong individualist who values freedom and independence.

MM:  What can we expect from Jean Mckie-Sutton in the future? Any new projects?

I’m in the middle of writing a collection of short stories focusing on family relationships - mostly mother/daughter relationships - that involve transformation after overcoming steep obstacles. I hope to finish the collection later this year.
The second project I’m working on is a sequel to The Fruits Of Our Sins. I hadn’t initially planned on writing a sequel, but so many people have asked me to consider it that I’ve decided to take a stab at it.  I’m in the process of writing the opening chapter now.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

Amazon Author Profile:
Amazon Print:
Amazon Kindle:
Barnes and Noble Nook:

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

The lives of Madeline and Sybil become intertwined in heated confrontation by the birth of a child - a child that each claims to have a right to.  For one woman, possession of the child represents redemption; for the other, the repetition of generational sin.  
The Fruits Of Our Sins chronicles the deeply flawed relationships these women have with their parents, the impact of those relationships on the direction of their lives and ultimately the lives of their children as they attempt to flee from, yet reconcile, the betrayals and abandonment of their youth.

Genre: Fiction; Ethnic Fiction
Publisher: Red Lotus Press
Release Date: June 4, 2012

After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College with a dual degree in Spanish and Government, Jean rose through the ranks of the insurance industry for twenty years before heeding her own heart and pursuing her passion for writing.

She grew up listening to the stories that elders recounted about the women in her family, and it is from these dominant, yet richly flawed matriarchs that she draws inspiration for her writing.
In addition to “The Fruits Of Our Sins”, Jean has published two short stories, “Stella’s Silent World”, and “When The Bough Breaks”. She is also a featured author in “Sister To Sister, Black Women Speak To Young Black Girls.”

Jean lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

Visit Jean's website at:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eden:Regaining Our Spiritual Freedom by Chet Shupe

Chet Shupe’s professional background is in Electronics Engineering. As a young engineer never did he imagine he would someday be developing a thesis that addresses a broad spectrum of sociological issues. At some point at mid career however, he was inspired to apply his background in control theory to the human condition by looking at the brain as the controller of the life of the species. This has led to an engineering based, rather than a religious, sociological, psychological, or philosophically based assessment of the human condition. Out of this has come a unique perspective addressing the perplexing issues that increasingly face us, including, among others, our lack of intimacy and habitat destruction. Why is our world essentially without relational intimacy, when that is what we want most is to love and be loved? And why are we destroying the habitat that we need to survive?
To Shupe, the two issues are related, plus myriads of other ills from which our culture suffers. Shupe offers his answer regarding the source of these issues, and also suggests a path by which to recover our natural state of intimacy in our relationships and of harmony with the natural world.

Genre: Non-fiction Self-Help
A sociological view of the world we live in.

Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: Acacia Publishing, Inc.


Amazon Print Book Link:

Amazon Kindle Link:

Featured Essay published in Palo Verde Pages – October/December 2010 issue, available on Kindle at:

Eden- Regaining our Spiritual Freedom  -  By Chet Shupe
Spiritual freedom, as presented in Eden, is rooted in brain dysfunction—mine.
Eden is an engineer’s perspective on the human condition—based on system control theory, not sociology.
What we each are looking for is to Love and to be Loved, but have created a world that offers only wealth and privilege.
In Eden we lived in the moment — according to the sensibilities of our souls
·         Loving and being loved is attending to one anther’s present needs
·         Seeking wealth and privilege is attending to the future
We expelled ourselves from Eden by trying to secure the future
·         Subjugated ourselves to legal systems—Kings, Gods, States, Institutions
·         To control our future we must that take care of ourselves according to the law of the land

In our natural state we gifted our brothers and sisters with our presence and unique skills
·         We didn’t worry about ourselves. Our brothers and sisters took care of us
·         To take care of life, and allow ourselves to be taken care of by life, is what intimacy is about. It is how we become part of the web of life. By trying to control the future we have separated ourselves from life.
What is happiness?
·         Happiness is intimacy. Given basic needs, if you have intimacy then you are happy.
·         Without intimacy, life is largely an issue of pain management – via religion, ideology, entertainment, technology, etc. Without intimacy, we live in pursuit of happiness.
Intimacy requires that we trust our lives to the human spirit.
Our spirits have existed for as long as our kind, upwards of 200,000 years, most of which was without legal systems. As such, our spirits are uniquely equipped to manage the future by attending to the moment.
Natural families are the key to intimacy
Trust our lives to others without separate legal and monetary identities, and without rules on the wall or on file that specify how we will serve one another.
The nucleus of that family, I speculate, will be a sisterly bond. The men, the brotherhood, will join, by the grace of the women, to help, support, and protect them and their children.
Eden is accessible to any body of people, who, having seen through the illusion of future control, are ready to trust their lives to the human spirit as manifest in one another.

Questions and Answers

Q: When we lived in Eden, spiritual freedom – i.e., being true to our feelings – may have worked, but hasn’t the Earth’s population become too large to even consider it?
A: Nature will eventually determine if the human population is too large. The decision is not yours, mine, nor that of any government. One thing is certain: If we were attaining our needs directly from the land, our per capita requirement for resources would be miniscule compared to now.
Q: One of the most severe issues facing our society is the dysfunction of the modern family. How would spiritual freedom change that?
A: Humans are members of a social species. Were we bonded according to our feelings, rather than legal arrangements, we would form extended families referenced in our material and emotional need for one another. Based on the examples of other social species, a female bond would likely be the nucleus of a natural human family. The men would be there, by the grace of the women, to protect the women and their children.
Q: Presuming basic needs, what we want more than anything is to love and to be loved, yet we live in a world largely without relational intimacy. Why?
A: Intimacy results from interdependent relationships. In our natural state, before there were monetary and legal systems, we lived in intimacy, as we depended directly on others to secure our material needs. Now we depend on money and law, instead of on one another, to survive. The result is spiritual alienation and estrangement, not intimacy. Love is the reward we receive for being true to life in our relationships with one another. Love is not intentional, but instead happens to us. Were our survival dependent on those around us, we would find ourselves loving our brothers and sisters. But we depend on money and the law to survive, not on one another, which explains why we love our money and institutions, instead of people.
Q: Will spiritual freedom result in a utopian or ideal existence?
A: No. Until someone can provide a generally-agreed-upon notion of what a utopian existence is, the question is meaningless. To seek a world where nothing bad happens, is to look for one that is void of creaturely existence. If by an ideal existence you mean a place where there is never any hunger, disease, anger, rejection, hurt feelings, armed conflict, or cause to mourn, then spiritual freedom will not result in Utopia. Furthermore, what we really want is intimacy, not perfection. In a world where everything was taken care of, there would be no need for one another, and thus also for intimacy.
Q: You say in spiritual freedom we are agents of our species. How could we be free if our behavior is dictated by the needs of our species?
A: If by the term “free,” you refer to absolute freedom, no such freedom exists. Without a transcending purpose to serve, life would be meaningless. By a woman realizing her desire to have and raise children, she finds her life meaningful. But our species needs the children, not her. Her children are meaningful to her only because our species expresses its needs through her – rewards her for serving it. We have only two choices: Remain a slave of the system, or become a slave of our species. The system rewards success with wealth and respectability. Our species rewards success with relational intimacy – the sense that we are as one with those around us, with our surroundings and with the essence of life itself. We would find enslavement to our species far more rewarding than enslavement to money and institutions.
Q: Spiritual freedom sounds like communal living. What is the difference between spiritual freedom and a commune?
A: By imposing rules, communes become spiritual prisons, just as states do by imposing laws. Communes soon evaporate because, when choosing between prisons, the spirit will always opt for the large one, like the state. A larger prison offers the spirit more places to drown its pain. Actually, the state is nothing other than a massive commune. It would evaporate also. The problem is, states now rule the world; there is no place to go.
Q: Two terms central to your thesis are the soul and the human spirit. What do you mean by these expressions?
A: I sometimes use them interchangeably – along with innate awareness, the heart, and instinct. But to be specific: The human soul is the accumulated body of information by which our species has, over evolutionary time, learned how to survive the natural world. It is genetically transferred from generation to generation and is the basis for our innate awareness. The human spirit is the expression of that knowledge. Innate awareness expresses the human spirit through feelings by which we – our conscious minds – are compelled to have us behave in ways that, presuming we are spiritually free, sustain our species.
Q: How did we lose our spiritual freedom?
A: To fix the future by social and material contracts, we were forced to outlaw most of the feelings by which our behavioral nature realizes its natural expression. Though we did not know it at the time, when we outlawed our behavioral natures we, in effect, decided our species’ physical nature could continue indefinitely despite having been stripped of its behavioral nature.
Q: What about head-hunting and other such practices we find in primitive cultures?
A: Once sisterly bonds are destroyed by allowing men to make exclusive and lifetime claims on women, all sorts of weird things begin to happen, head-hunting and civilization being only two. Of the two, civilization is more threatening to human existence. Head hunters do not destroy their habitat nor do they deploy atomic weapons.
Q: Don’t humans have a dark side from which we need protection?
A: Anything out of control is dangerous, even a machine. Out of control behavior certainly represents a dark side but, by destroying our natural families and communities by force of law, we create the very behavior we fear. As a result of destroying our natural homes, human behavior has been out of control since our expulsion from Eden – since we first began imposing social and material contracts. We then use the law to try to corral the danger we have thus created. By our legal systems, prisons, police and military forces we invest major resources in our effort to protect ourselves from our out-of-control behavior. But, because human behavior not governed by instinct is so destructive, our legal systems and police can’t even protect women and their children from rape and violence within their legal homes. Furthermore, historically, habitat destruction has been a major cause of civil failure. Combining that with the likelihood we are denaturing the Earth’s habitat as I write this, implies that life sustaining order, despite our massive investment in maintaining order, remains infinitely beyond our grasp.
Q: You say that female bonds form the nucleus of natural human families. What makes you believe female bonds are the reference for order?
A: Let me answer by asking, what do you think it is? Is the reference for order a king, a god, a religion, a constitution, an institution, money, a Supreme Court, some magical combination thereof, or what? Is the reference for order living, and thus an expression of life’s process, or dead, fixed for eternity by the written word? If you believe our species has a future then surely you have an answer to that question. You know mine.
Q: Is this thesis testable?
A: Sure. Should groups of women spiritually bond – trust their lives to each other without separate bank accounts and without rules that prescribe how they are to serve one another – where their wellbeing becomes one with the wellbeing of their sisters ; then the proof, or disproof, of Eden would be in the outcomes of those bonds, the issue being, do they experience intimacy, are continue to exist in a state of spiritual estrangement.
Q: But how could women ever get along with each other?
A: They can’t as long as they have separate monetary and legal identities. Women are territorial. In our natural state – no monetary or legal systems – they bonded with their sisters to form a home for their children and the men who joined to support them. Women were bonded by their territorial instincts. But now to establish a home, a women must bond with a man. As a result, women have become territorial enemies over men. In a world governed by edict, instincts have no natural outlet for their expression, and therefore express themselves in weird ways. Considering how often men fail women, emotionally and otherwise, for women to have become territorial enemies over men is the most confused expression of instincts imaginable.

E D E N – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom
by Chet Shupe

            In a world where people want nothing more than to love and to be loved, why do we live virtually without intimacy?
As a young engineer, Chet Shupe never imagined he would someday develop a thesis that addresses a broad spectrum of sociological issues. At some point in mid-career, however, he was inspired to apply his background in system control theory to understanding how all species are self governed. The result is a unique viewpoint addressing issues that increasingly perplex mankind including, among other things, our lack of intimacy. Intimacy—that sense of being as one with others and with our surroundings, where living in the moment is as natural as breathing. If we want to love and to be loved, what is there about our way of life that prevents it?
From Shupe’s point of view, our loss of intimacy was concurrent with our metaphorical expulsion from Eden. At that point our rational minds usurped our intuitive minds’ authority regarding our relationships with one another and with the land. We thought, by authorizing contracts, both social and material, we could bring about the futures we had in mind. But reality resides in the present, not in imagined futures. All images of the future that supersede the normal rhythms and seasons of life, are fabrications of our imaginations. Trying to realize imagined futures by force of law has resulted in a way of life that is, in essence, a cerebral fantasy. Little wonder our habitat is at risk while billions suffer the isolation of lives lacking intimacy. Only by our intuitive minds can we save the habitat and return to a state of intimacy.  According to Shupe, to honor our intuitions, we must anchor our lives in relationships, as we did in Eden, not in money and law.
After thousands of years of worshiping institutions, what might inspire us to again trust our lives to one another? The reward is intimacy.  Indeed, spiritual trust is the only path to intimacy. But to do so, we must first understand how our loss of intimacy happened. In Eden—Regaining our Spiritual Freedom, Shupe strives to offer the reader the comprehension required to know the boundless love that comes of being true to ourselves in our relationships.

Eden – Regaining Our Spiritual Freedom
By Chet Shupe
Retail price: $19.95
ISBN 978-1-935089-27-8
For review copies or interview requests, contact
Karen Gray

Excerpts from Eden – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom
To be used as promotional materials – All rights reserved by the author and the publisher.

Eden – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom pp 210
Without our spirit’s freedom to prove its worth, we aren’t really alive. Spiritually, we are in survival mode.
Chet Shupe, Acacia Publishing, 360 pages, $19.95, online at or by phone at 866-265-4553
Eden – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom pp 244
To be spiritually free is to live in intimacy. Presuming access to basic needs, like food, shelter and clothing, if we have love then nothing else really matters. And if we do not have love, then nothing else really matters anyhow.
Chet Shupe, Acacia Publishing, 340 pages, $19.95, Available at bookstores and Amazon.
Eden – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom pp 232
To savor a glass of wine, we select a wine in which we find pleasure. As spiritual prisoners, on the other hand, we routinely choose to behave in ways that don’t taste (feel) right, and then rationalize to explain our behavior. We sip a lot of bitter wine.
Chet Shupe, Acacia Publishing, 360 pages, $19.95, online at or by phone at 866-265-4553
Eden – Regaining our Spiritual Freedom pp 274
When first considering spiritual freedom, the idea of spiritual trust may seem ridiculous, if not outright offensive, relative to the value we place in our bank account. But as we become increasingly aware of how that bank account enslaves and isolates us spiritually in virtually every dimension of our existence, there may come a time when those imagined brothers and sisters look like pure gold relative to anything our bank could possibly hold in store for us.
Chet Shupe, Acacia Publishing, 340 pages, $19.95, Available at bookstores and Amazon

August 10 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
August 14 - Review & Interview at A Book Lover's Library
August 16 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
August 17 - Author Fav Recipe & Fun Facts at Writing Innovations E-zine
August 20 - Guest Blog, Book Feature & Excerpt at Whoopeeyoo
August 22 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chatting & Giveaway with Veteran Jesse Holder - Chutes, Beer, & Bullets

Today we welcome Veteran & Author, Jesse Holder. We had the chance to chat with Jesse about his new book, Chutes, Beer, & Bullets: Not Your Grandpa's War Story and this is what he had to say...

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

Well all my characters are people I know. My book, Chutes, Beer, & Bullets: Not Your Grandpa’s War Story follows me through three years of my life. The reader actually gets to meet all of my crazy friends.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Well I have to say my favorite character in my book is me because I took the time to write down events and take pictures. All of the other characters were to drunk most of the time to think or care about doing it.

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

I think my favorite character off all time is Roland Deschain from Stephen Kings Dark Tower Series. He is purely a gun slinging badass!

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

Well now if you’re talking about time travel and stuff I would like to dive into the Bible and its book of Revelation. I think seeing how the world is going to end would be pretty cool. I don’t necessarily have to be a character, more like an extra.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

If my book was to become a movie, I think I could play myself. I would like too, that way I know its right. Kevin Dillon could play the part of Clark and Jerry Ferrara could play the part of my friend Archie.  I don’t know that’s a good question. There are solid 12 parts or more that would need to be filled.

MM:  What can we expect from Jesse Holder in the future? Any new projects?

Well I’m currently not working on any projects. I am starting a book tour on August 31st and it goes through September 26th. I will be in Valdosta and Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Seattle Washington, and Annapolis Maryland.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with my by fan e-mail:\
 Or Twitter: @Jesse_Holder

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

Jesse Holder (1986- ) was born in Valdosta, Georgia. He quickly became known as a "class-clown" throughout his school years. After putting college on hold, Jesse joined the United States Army. He graduated United States Infantry and Airborne School in the spring of 2006. He served in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team in Italy from June, 2006 to July, 2009. He has completed two combat tours, the first being a fifteen month deployment in Afghanistan with the 173rd ABCT; the second being with the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Jesse is very passionate about friends, family, food, beverages, traveling, and University of Georgia football.

Chutes, Beer, & Bullets: Not Your Grandpa's War Story is a humor filled narrative that takes place during the peak of The War on Terror. Follow Jesse is this uncut and unscripted adventure as he leads you through United States Army Airborne School, Europe, and ultimately to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Chutes, Beer, & Bullets is assured to have you laughing, sighing, looking away, and possibly even shedding a tear as you connect with the real life characters within. No doubt you will be longing for more as you turn the final page.

Book Genre: Military, Humor

Purchase Links:

Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing Company
Release Date: May 19th, 2012


            The door of the C-130 Hercules flew upwards as the hot Georgia air poured into my nervous lungs. The continuous bump of the aircraft was not helping the situation...the sting of diesel nipping at my nostrils. The Black Hat yelled, "Thirty-Seconds," holding up his index finger and thumb. We all replied "thirty-seconds" as was taught to us for the past three weeks. I could feel my right hand tighten around the yellow rip cord. The only thought circulating through my head since I hooked up was, "Is the yellow cord really going to open this parachute that some nut packed?" This was by all means a new experience.
            "Standby!" the Black Hat barked, and the number one jumper turned to face the rustling Georgia Pines, pissing his pants as he did so...the Black Hat stepped back. I was the #4 jumper, or the fourth person that would jump from the plane. I was just close enough to the door to see the ground zipping by. The planes altitude hit 1,200ft and all I could think was, "What in THE HELL am I doing here?" "Green light go!" The Black Hat responds in a roar, and like ducks following a seemingly retarded mother, we all exited the aircraft.
            What I confused for the wrath of God was actually the prop blast from our C-130, throwing my ragged body through the air much like your cat does with a cheap toy. I felt my T-10 Parachute opening, "Praise the Lord!" too bad Jesus didn't warn me of the opening shock on my gonads. The straps dug into my legs, and the risers were twisted behind my head. As I am bicycle kicking through the open air to untangle my straps, I see the Georgia clay approaching with terrifying speed. Which way am I supposed to pull the risers again? As I am looking toward the horizon, I hear my 1st Lieutenant yell in agony accompanied by a sickening pop, which was his femur snapping. I try not to focus on the ground, staying as loose as possible. Feet and knees together! Then, as if the entire world is quiet except for the breeze though the pines...I hit like a ton of bricks thrown from the Empire State Building. Hey that was easy; only four more jumps, and I'm a paratrooper!
            After one more jump that day, we run back up to the Airborne barracks at Fort Benning, Georgia. I'm in Delta Company 1/507th. Having just graduated Infantry School on good ole Sand Hill, I am with at least a platoon size of my buddies. One in particular, Clark, is a character from Seattle, Washington. The guy had nothing better to do than join the Army and see where that took him. In between serving time for high-speed chases across Washington State, and almost getting killed by his own dad for walking into the family business un-announced (AHEM...meth lab), he figured why not try something a little less dangerous.
Being from Georgia myself, I had my own vehicle there at Airborne School. A black 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee named "darkie", my first ride. Clark and I often took it for a spin to my hometown on the weekend or around Columbus to see what kind of shit we could get in. Clark is notorious for getting to drunk and making outrageous claims about spaceships or how he can beat you in any event you think of. Plus, he likes to walk out on usually Captain Shitstorm finds us.
            That evening we decided to go to The Chop house in Columbus. Clark and I frequented this establishment. I heard the food was amazing, but we went for the beverages. The bartender, whose name has slipped my mind, was a hipster kind of guy. He wore a red goatee and one of those damn hemp necklaces, and he drove a 1979 Blue Chevy. Mr. Barkeep claimed he obtained a degree in bartending from one of the wacko colleges that specializes in such things. The steak house was small and sat in the corner of strip mall across from the fabulous Sheraton Hotel, where I had vomited many times in the past and even jumped in the hot tub with my clothes on, but that's a different story.
            Clark and I sat there drinking a beer. He preferred German beer; I'm a Coors Light man myself. A shot was sitting in front of us, Jaeger-bombs no doubt; Clark would stroke the side of his shot glass like some perverted serial killer until it was time to drop the Black Death into Red Bull. I swear God smites a kitten every time one of those is drunk. Conversation in the establishment was entertaining as usual. Clark was trying to hit on a waitress who was way out of his league, hell out of his division; Clark wasn't much of looker back then, even less so now.
            An unusual cat sat down beside us with jet-black hair slicked back and stripped polo on. He obviously knows the bartender as they exchange words, slaps, punches, and play grab ass a little longer. Meanwhile Clark is eyeing me, like "If you so much as slide a hand on me that's going to be it!" I have been known to throw a few lisps on my words to make the gayest man seem straight. Rex, the gelled-Guido grab asser, turns to us and says, "What are you soldier-boys havin?" Now I may have looked young, 19 at the time, but Clark was by no means a boy. Clark, in his usual forward manner, "Well...what are you buying?" I had another Coors, the grab-asser and Clark did shots of Johnny about a lush.
            After some interesting conversation, we found out that Rex was a geologist for some institute that was going out of business, and I thought the business of being a rock whisperer was booming! Of course Clark in his infinite wisdom knew all there was to know about geology from volcanic ash to the sand in his vagina. Then as if Gabriel himself blew the golden trumpet, Rex and Mr. Barkeep looked at each other and wink. Rex turns to us, " you guys play poker?" Now I am a hell of a rummy player, I use to beat one of my best buds every Sunday afternoon but I have never played poker; much less gambled for it. As I am sure you are imagining now, Clark once again in his most matter-a-factual tone, "Oh I'll murder knowledge of the game and the quickness of my hands...c'mon." I sat there pondering on the meaning of Clark's statement. It was too late though, the gauntlet had been thrown. "Well come on over, Mr. Barkeep will be joining us. I have ten beers and Kevin will be there too." Rex informs us.
            I don't know who keeps the count of beers in their fridge, or who the hell Kevin is but before I could swipe my handy-dandy debit card, we were out the door, already at a BP gas station picking up a twenty-four pack of Bud Light; neither one of us keeping in mind that we have to do two maybe three more jumps tomorrow. No that never occurred to us. What a grave miscalculation.
            Clark and I arrive at Rex's one-story brick suburban home. One of the older models you saw built in the 70' and 80's, a nice home for a Guido bachelor. The back door opened up into the outdated kitchen, a large wooden dining room table was in the dining room to my immediate right. The table should have given Rex plenty of room to count his beer on. Speaking of beer, low and behold, ten nicely arranged Bud Lights in the refrigerator. I'm no doctor, but I think someone had a touch of O.C.D. Only about five minutes had passed when Mr. Barkeep arrived. Rex had given Clark and me the grand tour of his lair, surprisingly not brandishing a plate of Fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti.

3 signed paperbacks

August 9 - Interviewed at From The Mind Of Omegia
August 13 - Interviewed at Ink in the Book
August 15 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
August 17 - Review & Interview at A Book Lover's Library
August 20 - Interviewed by Louise James
August 22 - Review & Interview at Infinite House of Books
August 24 -  Guest Blogging at Wise Words

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