Monthly Archives: March 2008

Authors recently featured on Share-a-Vision Radio

Here are some recent author interviews on Talking Television with Dave White (Share-a-Vision Radio,

Herbie J Pilato, author of NBC and Me: My Life as a Page… In a Book:

Jon Provost and Laurie Jacobson-Provost, co-authors of Timmy’s in the Well: The Jon Provost Story:

Tom Lisanti, author of Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood:

Eddie Lucas, author of Close-Ups: Conversations with Our TV Favorites:

Gordon “Whitey” Mitchell, author of Hackensack to Hollywood: My Two Show Business Careers:

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Co-Host, Talking Television with Dave White
Share-a-Vision Radio,

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Filed under Annoucements, Book Reviews, Entries by Ed Robertson, Events, Nonficition

Promotion for this Writers

Once again we got up at 3 a.m. in order to catch a plane in Bakersfield. This time we were headed for Portland, OR to Epicon, the organization for electronically published writers. This is one my husband really looks forward to. We flew to San Francisco, then on to Portland, both planes were dinky, but I really like flying on those, they get right up into the air and land nicely.

The ride in the taxi to the hotel was downright scary, so scary I held onto my hubby’s hand all the way. First person we saw when we entered the hotel was Lee Emory, publisher of Treble Heart Books, who published two of my Christian horror novels. She’s also a very good friend. The conference itself was great. I learned lots more about Internet promotion–though I’ll have to find some more time to do everything I learned.

Other friends we enjoyed being with were Larry and Lorna Collins, fellow Californians and John Schembra (also from California) who is a member of Public Safety Writers Association too. We were delighted to see Ginny and David McBlain (Omaha). Hubby and I both enjoyed his talk on Military Intelligence. John Taylor is another Epic friend and I took notes during his Thriller Writing presentation. I gave to talks, one on Creating Memorable Characters and another on Promoting Trade Paperbacks. Always the highlight of the conference is the Awards Ceremony. Jeff Strand is the M.C. for life for very good reason–he is so funny! My book Judgment Fire was a finalist in the mystery category, but it didn’t win. I’ve been a finalist several times and never won. I’m beginning to feel like Susan Lucci. Our flight home was strange–Portland to Phoenix, then on to Bakersfield.

I was invited to give a workshop for Writers of Kern on Plot or Character, Which is Most Important in a Mystery. This is a great group of folks. Though I belong to this chapter of California Writers Club, I never seem to make it down there unless I’m invited as a speaker. Hubby went with me which was great–I didn’t have to drive. Plus I had a great time and sold a few books. Mike Russo, of Russo’s Books, spoke about the state of the book industry which isn’t all that great right now. Steve Mettee, publisher of Quill Driver Books, talked about what it takes to be a successful writer.

I was all set to give a talk at the Hanford branch of the Kings County Library when I got an email for Gail Lucas, the librarian, asking me if I’d like to go to Fresno to a TV station and be there by 6 a.m. to be interviewed for a 6 minute segment the same day as the talk. If I drive really fast and there’s not much traffic, I can make it to Fresno in 1 ½ hours–but think about what time I’d have to get up–and I did–I decided I’d rather be coherent at the library then to be on TV. My daughter-in-law was kind enough to drive with me to Hanford (another 1 ½ hour drive) and we went early enough to eat dinner there. We went to a lovely Italian restaurant and ordered hors’doerves–an antipasto plate and sweet potato fries. Way too much food but definitely delicious.

When I walked into the library after I met Gail, the first face I saw was someone from the Visalia Writers’ group. That definitely brought a smile to my face. Another woman who has come many times when I’ve spoken to the Visalia group was also there. You have no idea how wonderful it feels to have that kind of support. Though it was a small group they listened to me talking about what inspired me to write mysteries, looked interested, and laughed in all the right places. And I sold some books–always a good thing. I hope the library will ask me back some day–I had a terrific time.


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It may sound odd but accurate to say, a gorilla changed my life. I find myself looking back quite often when I think about why I do what I do for animals and why I choose the topics I write about. Sometimes I’m asked those very questions at readings or book signings. My mind always goes to the same time and place; that warm, spring afternoon in Washington, DC more than twenty-five years ago when I shared meaningful moments with a massive, Silverback Gorilla. You must be thinking, “a gorilla . . . in DC?” No, there wasn’t anything “King Kong – Faye Ray” going on. I was at The National Zoo. Since childhood, everywhere splendid animals are I want to be. I had reached adulthood by then and was engaged in an activity seeking excitement, exhilaration and entertainment, all for me but found so much more that day; an enlightenment that changed my life forever. While walking a zoo path, I noticed a khaki, uniform shirt pushing a cart of vegetables and fruit toward a side door and realized I happened to reach the gorilla’s public viewing enclosure right about feeding time. I walked inside the visitors’ entrance and straight to the glass for an up close and personal look. Everything behind the glass was gray, expect for a few mountainous black gorillas. Although the enclosure was not esthetically appealing, it was probably easy to hose down. There were steps to different levels, resembling a theme park attraction, very Disney World or King’s Dominion like, which is far different from the tropical or subtropical forests of a gorilla’s homeland. The outside area, I remember, was more closely habitat related, although small. I don’t know what about me, since there were so many people there, caught a large Silverback’s attention, but he slowly knuckle-walked toward my way and sat down right in front of me. He remained quite still and my surroundings became quiet. We just looked at each other for the longest time, as though he was studying me just like I was studying him. Most wild animals don’t make eye contact with humans, it’s too confrontational. His gaze lingered on my face. He was magnificent and appeared gentle, although I was not naive to the ferocity a gorilla is capable of. I loved looking at him that close, but his speckled, brown eyes, although studious, seemed sad to me. They never turned away until the food was introduced through a gated window. (I’m happy to say, feeding time for wild animals in captivity has become a more enriching experience over the years than just plopping food in front of them.) Two gorillas quickly surrounded the pile and began to eat. My gorilla’s giant torso turned to look at the colorful food presented and then back to me for another minute or two. I cocked my head and gave him my best non-confrontational, Mona Lisa smile. He stood, towering over me, becoming a dark, massive wall. I moved back a step. He lifted his left hand and with gently curved fingers, his forefinger extended towards me, like he was pointing at me. I was stunned. He turned, and I watched him slowly head for the food. Only then do I remember hearing anything around me; the noise of the children and other visitors echoed in the vacuous round room. The Silverback selected his food carefully. He picked up cantaloupe, bananas and cucumbers, as well as a pile of greens that I’m not quite sure what to call. He held all the food in one arm close to his chest and climbed to the highest level in a corner of the display area, then turned his back to everyone to eat his lunch in peace and privacy. That’s the moment that sticks with me the most. I realized he wasn’t so different. I found myself grappling with the assessment of the truly higher order animal, whether it’s the one who chooses to cage other animals or those who are caged. Over the years and in light of the animal atrocities occurring worldwide, I’ve grown to justify the Zoo system’s existence because, at least, the animals are physically safe there. I still visit Zoos or Sanctuaries and love seeing the animals, but my main focus now is to ensure habitats are appropriate, animals look healthy and are well treated. If not, I move to action. Looking back is a good thing if it helps you look forward.

Happy Easter Everyone and have a Gorilla of a Special Day!!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Wildlife Rehabilitator and

author of “Save Them All

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Filed under Articles, Blogroll, Essays, Nonficition, Stories, The Writing Life, Writing


-Llego tarde… Sí, bien, ¡hasta luego, cariño!
Acababa de hablar con ella cuando las primeras gaviotas de la tarde se posaban en la orilla. Las olas elevaban una tenue cortina de bruma entre los acantilados y dejaban su rastro iridiscente sobre la arena mojada. Era la misma playa en que se conocieron, donde transcurrieron sus cuatro veranos de noviazgo enamorado. Después de casados también siguió siendo aquel escenario el testigo de su amor, pero sólo durante el primer año, en los otros cuatro siguientes se hicieron mayores, se volvieron más serios de repente.
Sin embargo hoy no se bañaría como venía repitiéndolo con regularidad cada viernes noche desde hacía casi un año. Siempre había mantenido esa sana costumbre de rubricar con deporte la jornada semanal, primero en la piscina y, avanzada la primavera, en su playa preferida. A Nelly, sin embargo, aún no le había confesado que de nuevo frecuentaba la playa, ella seguía convencida de que acudía al polideportivo municipal. Desde que se trasladaron a Thöodar para estrenar aquella reciente urbanización algo comenzó a cambiar, empezó a sentirse incómodo dentro de aquel enorme chalet, como si tanta confortabilidad no compensara lo suficiente el sacrificio al que la cruel hipoteca le sometía. Así empezó a engañar a Nelly, con pequeñas mentiras, por ejemplo en el precio de la casa, la cantidad excesiva de dinero negro que hubo de entregar previo a la compra siempre fue un hecho oculto para su esposa. Por supuesto que también permaneció ajena a los favores cobrados por la secretaria de la Promotora. Monique era una secretaria especial, con un tipo más apropiado para modelo de pasarela que para dejarlo macerar tras el despacho de una oficina, no era extraño por tanto que crecieran los negocios de la inmobiliaria. Además sabía emplear cada uno de sus convincentes recursos a la perfección, desde el principio dominó y estableció las cláusulas pendientes de aquel nuevo contrato.
Llevaban viéndose y manteniendo aquella relación escondida durante todo ese tiempo, sin que su mujer tuviera siquiera la más leve sospecha. Hacía apenas una semana que Nelly le había descubierto restos de arena en los bolsillos del pantalón, también en los zapatos; a él no le quedó más remedio que traer a colación el recuerdo de la cercana playa de Thöodar y los inolvidables veranos disfrutados allí. Pero en el fondo le molestaba tener que mentir así. Se encontraba acosado, de un lado, por la extorsión sexual de la secretaria, ávida por satisfacer los beneficios de su tributo y, de otro, por el asedio moral que se infringía a sí mismo, que le removía las entrañas y hacía tambalear sus cimientos al no hallar escapatoria posible…
-A nadie le amarga un dulce… -pensó en un principio, pero a Nelly la amaba y aquella situación amenazaba con transformarse en una insoportable indigestión.
Aquella sería la última vez, había decidido poner fin a aquel chantaje consentido, así que esa tarde se citaron como un viernes más al borde del acantilado, sobre la playa. Llegó antes que ella y se cuidó mucho de dejar visible el automóvil en lo alto, luego se alejó un poco para esperar junto a los arbustos. Aquella lenta eternidad no le pareció tanto cuando escuchó a lo lejos el motor del coche que llegaba, como siempre había aparcado fuera, al otro lado de las dunas. La última luz del día se apagaba, difuminada entre la película de bruma que ascendía, espesa. Las siluetas del vehículo y de la chica se recortaban, oscuras, sobre el acantilado, contra el cielo del horizonte… Fue entonces cuando saltó de su escondite y, en apresurada carrera, arremetió desde atrás contra el cuerpo de la mujer. La empujó con un golpe sordo, con fuerza, contra sus espaldas desprevenidas. La noche le impidió verla caer por el acantilado, ni siquiera oyó las olas en su batir incesante, abajo sólo imperaba un silencio frío que le hizo estremecer…
Regresó a casa por la carretera vecinal sin lograr reponerse, era pronto aún para percibir el alivio de haberse desembarazado de Monique y su malévola tiranía. Ahora nada impediría la completa dedicación a su familia, lo había hecho por Nelly, por la felicidad de su amor naufragado, no habría nunca nada que explicar. Trató de inspirar hondo al volante para calmarse, sin conseguirlo. Las luces de Thöodar tiritaban, intermitentes, cuando entraba ya a la población, ni siquiera el escaso tráfico nocturno le devolvió la sensación de tranquila serenidad que ahora necesitaba. Estaba tan nervioso que hasta le pareció cruzarse con el coche de la secretaria cuando ya enfilaba la avenida de entrada a la urbanización. Aceleró mientras su inquietud iba en aumento y un largo escalofrío tomaba forma de mal presentimiento. Acabó por aparcar de cualquier manera, se apeó y entró en la casa como una exhalación sin dejar de gritar…
-…¡Nelly, Nelly! …¡Oh, Dios mío, Nelly, no, no!…
Notó el vibrador del teléfono móvil en el bolsillo de la americana…
-…¡Llego tarde, amor! -al otro lado la voz de Monique sonaba cadente, sin estridencias.

El autor:
*Es Una Colección “Son Relatos”, © Luis Tamargo.-

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Recommended reading: “Far From Home: Latino Baseball Players in America”

Spring training is in full swing this month, with the start of the new baseball season just two weeks away. After a tumultuous offseason that saw the indictment of Barry Bonds, the release of the Mitchell Report and the implosion of Roger Clemens on Capitol Hill, baseball fans could use a feel good story. They’ll find that and more in Far From Home: Latino Baseball Players in America, a new coffee table book that chronicles the ups and downs of the many Latinos who have come to the US to pursue the dream of baseball stardom.

The book comes out this Tuesday, Mar. 18, but I had a chance to review it last week for The Wave Magazine; click here for more details.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian

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Filed under Articles, Book, Book Club Suggestions, Book Reviews, Contributor Authors, Entries by Ed Robertson, New Book Release, Nonficition, Vida del Escritor

En la Fuente de La Nogalera


…Donde quedó grabada la huella
del pie de mi infancia.
La piedra suspira, nerviosa,
cuando regreso, recordándome.
El mismo pájaro en
la misma rama, sonríe, canta y
me observa de reojo,
aunque no es el mismo sí lo es.
Se cansa de soplar el viento
de la tarde, en aquel recodo
guarecido del camino,
antes de llegar al río.
Me saluda el árbol, socarrón,
después de asustarme, y
se despide, educado, hasta mañana.
Cuando se despierta el sol,
hasta las flores, azoradas y
engalanadas del mejor olor,
amanecen murmurando y alegres.
La música del sapo y de la cigarra
hacen sonreír a la luna.
Y las estrellas le hacen guiños
al búho que, soberbio,
se calla todos los cuentos
que la noche le susurró al oído.

*Son “POEMÁGENES”, (c) Luis Tamargo.-


Filed under Luis Tamargo, Poemas, Poesia, Poetry

What’s Next?

Sometimes trying to think up what to write on a blog is daunting. You’d think a writer wouldn’t have a bit of trouble coming up with something. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy.

This week has been filled with the piddly things that take away from what I’d really like to be doing–working on my own novel, of course.

Instead I’ve made trips to the bank–twice for the church. No I’m not the treasurer, nobody in my right mind would let me take care of figuring out the church’s finances–but I am the church clerk which means I’m the second signer on all the checks. Ever so often, the treasurer has me sign about a hundred checks so they’d be ready when she pays the bills. While I’m doing that, I’ve often thought how marvelous it would be if I were autographing my books instead.

Having said what I did about the church finances, I also must admit to finishing with my income taxes. Yes, I do them myself. These wonderful program to do your taxes on the computer have made it almost like a game. (I did say almost.) My biggest problem with math has always been adding (even with a calculator), but the computer takes care of all that.

I’ve also been to the grocery store, done the laundry, written a newsletter I get paid to do, attended a meeting, got my hair cut, done some promotion on the Internet, read a zillion emails (almost an addiction), and started packing for Epicon. Yeah! I can hardly wait.

Oh yes, I’m also busy with a ghost writing project that’s taking a lot of time. Not really something I would write on my own, but rather fascinating just the same. And yes, I do get paid for doing it–actually much more of a sure thing than what comes in from my own writing.

And by the way, the virtual book tour I’ve been on has paid off–at least the Amazon numbers for Smell of Death are far lower than any of the rest of my books, except for Deadly Omen which continues to do well.

So, now that I’ve bored you with what a mystery writer does when she’s not working on her own mystery, I’ll sign off until next week.


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