Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Bad-Dog Book by Joni B Cole Giveaway

I can't tell you how excited I am to host this giveaway! I had featured this book on a Wednesday WAITING FOR meme. I think it is going to be a fantastic book to read.

Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior

                                    

Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love and Neurotic Human Behavior
by
Joni B Cole

Paperback200 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2011 by PublishingWorks 

Here is the description:

In this collection of twenty-eight essays, Joni B. Cole reveals a mastery at mingling low moments with high comedy; and social awkwardness with social observation. At once insecure and narcissistic, loving and wanting to be loved, Cole reveals (and revels in) what it means to be human, in a way that will make readers laugh and think at the same time. The title essay in this collection was inspired when the writer went to the bookstore and noticed all the bestselling books about adorably naughty dogs. At first resentful of these other authors' success, she eventually realized she had her own "bad dog" story to exploit, in the form of her adorable, nine-pound dog, Eli, who won't be contained by invisible fencing, and won't let anyone pet the family cat in peace. Yet, from this huffish beginning evolved a sincerely heartwarming and hilarious story about love, longing, and the adventure of midlife. The collection includes "Strangers on a Train," nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize

Back to me, (because I haven't read it yet):

I went to the author's site and read her sneak peek excerpt. I knew then I had to read this book! She is a snark queen. By now you all know I love snarky people. Humor gets you through all of  life's moments. Snarky humor sweetens the bad and/or embarrassing ones. Okay maybe not at the moment but in retrospect. Actually if your really good with snark some of those bad ones can leave you feeling pretty good, (well so long as the cops don't show up. Sorry. I'm getting off track.). So you can imagine my delight when I received the email from Joni saying she would like to give away a SIGNED copy of her book on my blog! YAY!

Winner of Joni's book is Deranged Pegasus!


The author has a website at Joni B Cole
She can be found on Twitter at @JoniBCole
On FaceBook at Joni B Cole Page
On Good Reads Joni B Cole Author Page 


She has also written
This Day Book Series
Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive   
Toxic Feedback: Helping Writer's Survive and Thrive

Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you and I am sure Joni will appreciate your thoughts.

Halloween Fun with Bret Jordan

You may have met Bret over the weekend when I posted his interview. If you missed it you can find it HERE.
Bret has written many  awesome stories and books. Information about them can be found on his website - bretjordan.comDopamalovi Books, on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. He is also on FaceBook and Good Reads. I have shared some covers with you at the bottom of the post.
Jacob’s Rising by Bret Jordan
The cat purred against Bobby’s chest as he gently rubbed the top of the animal’s head, its eyes squinted in pleasure. The cat pushed her nose against Bobby’s hand as he stroked its soft gray fur. The animal stretched, relaxed and content. At peace with the world
Just how Bobby liked them just before the kill.
A tear rolled down Bobby’s grimy cheek as he looked around the old, wooded cemetery. The grass stood taller near the back fence, where he sat. He and Jacob didn’t get the respect they deserved in life, so why the hell did he think they would be respected in the afterlife?
He stopped stroking the cat as he reached down to pat the dirt of the unmarked grave, a friendly gesture between two best friends. The soil felt cold and damp. It stuck to his fingers, brown and red grit. Bobby wiped his hand on his torn jacket, then continued to stroke the cat while thinking of the friend he had lost.
Jacob had been one hell of a fellow. He seemed to know everything. Jacob once told Bobby that he not only had a high school education but also attended college for a few years. He thought Jacob spoke bullshit until the man began to ramble some gibberish about physics, crap that sounded like Greek to Bobby. Jacob couldn’t have talked about stuff that complicated unless he had experience it. Of course Bobby had asked him, “If your so danged smart, what ya doin’ here on the street?”
Jacob had smiled and laughed. “Man, that life ain’t nothing but a trap. Do I look like I want to spend the next forty years working…no, no SLAVING…for someone else? Hell no! I’m doing just what I want to be doing right here.”
Over the course of the next year Jacob’s ideas devolved into paranoia. The craziness began with Jacob thinking the government watched him. It wasn’t long before the ‘Big Brother’ line of reasoning led Jacob to the conclusion that aliens ran the government. That they were building up the population like cattle. In the not too distant future, the little gray men with large bulbous eyes would come down and make a picnic of good old mother earth.
None of it made any sense to Bobby, but he didn’t care; Jacob was his friend. He looked out for Bobby and made life more interesting.
Shortly after the alien theory started, Jacob began asking all of the other street people about religion and magic. It was damned embarrassing, and Bobby didn’t want anything to do with it. He loved his friend, but even a homeless man had to save some scrap of his reputation. When Bobby asked him why he was trying to learn magic, Jacob just shook his head and replied, “It’s all I got. When the invasion happens and those gray-skinned bastards come to eat us, I want to give them what-for. They have the technology stuff, so I’m gonna go old school. They won’t see that coming.”
The obsession with magic continued for almost a year. Bobby supposed that sooner or later Jacob would have moved on to something else. Unfortunately Bobby’s best and only friend was struck by a car and killed. Bobby was there. Bobby lost the last good thing he had on that busy street. He could still hear Jacob’s dying whispers as he lay bleeding in the street. “Bring me blood, Bobby. Blood will bring me back. Bring me blo…”
Bobby stayed in a daze for a week after the accident, Jacob’s last words continuously looped through his mind. He wasn’t even sure if there had been a funeral. All he knew was that his friend had been laid to rest without so much as a marker to identify who he was. Jacob deserved better than that.
So here Bobby was, gently stroking a stray like himself, making its last few moments in this life pleasurable, just like he had done with dozens of other animals over the past two weeks.
His voice filled with remorse as he said, “Sorry old girl.”
He held the cat tighter and reached over for a blood-crusted rock. Wiping the tears from his cheek with his sleeve, he lifted the rock high over his shoulder, and brought it down on the cat’s head. As the rock came down, the cat shifted. Perhaps it saw what was coming, or maybe it was just moving around a bit in Bobby’s tight grip, but it moved. The rock struck a glancing blow, making the cat scream out in pain and terror.
“Awww Hell!”
The cat went crazy in Bobby’s grasp, clawing at his coat and hands. He fought to hold on tighter as he brought the rock down again. The cat’s struggles grew weaker but they didn’t stop so he brought the rock down a third time and with a high-pitched scream the fight ended.
He laid the limp cat down on the mound, hating himself for what he was doing.
Bobby knelt over the cat and stroked its soft fur one last time. He dug into the pocket of his ratty coat and withdrew a crude knife. The blade consisted of a piece of glass taped to a stub of wood, no longer than his hand.
Don’t even have a pocketknife. He miserably thought to himself for the twentieth time.
Bobby rolled the cat over onto her back, and held the makeshift knife against the cat’s throat, and felt the soft flesh press down under the fur. Without another thought he jerked the piece of glass towards him, almost decapitating the cat. Blood gushed from the wound onto the dirt-covered mound of his friend. He let it flow, holding the cat by its hind legs, getting every last drop he could…
As the last few drops pooled in the fresh dirt, a distant roar broke the peaceful silence of the night. Bobby looked up to see headlights moving down the road, blinking through the trees. He jerked the cat up and ran to hide behind a bush.
*****
Jimmy and Ray parked their dirt bikes behind some brush, hiding them from passing cars. They climbed the short chain link fence, and walked towards the back of the graveyard..
Ray heard the crisp spew of air as Jimmy cracked open a beer. Ray smiled and cracked open a beer of his own. They walked to the back of the cemetery so their drinking session wouldn’t be interrupted. There were more bushes, and the grass grew higher, not as kept up. This was where the bums were buried. Jimmy called it ‘Loser’s Row’.
As Ray neared the back corner of the graveyard, he saw a fresh pile of dirt, a new grave with a rugged little wooden cross at its head. Ray stared at the cross for a moment before his friend burst out laughing.
“What’s so funny, Jimmy?”
Jimmy slapped Ray on the back and then pointed his beer at the cross. “Read that shit, man. What a fuckin’ loser!”
Ray took a step forward to better examine the cross. The crude monument looked like it had once been two boards from a pallet, tied together with dirty shoelaces and cloth. Across one arm of the cross was written, “Jakob”, and on the other arm were the words, “my Best Frind”. The text was sloppy, drawn in dark brown paint. It almost looked like finger paints. Ray smiled back at Jimmy, though he found the whole thing more sad than funny.
Jimmy snickered and said, “Can you believe that loser. Making such a sloppy-assed cross and then being too damned stupid to spell friend right. I even bet ‘Jakob’ was supposed to be spelled with a C. What a dumbass!”
Not wanting to continue that line of conversation any longer, Ray plopped down in the grass next to the little cross and took a swallow of beer. “I can’t believe you were able to just walk out with two six packs of beer!”
“Aw hell, it ain’t nothin’. Since the store is in Wesley I don’t go to school with any of the guys working there. I don’t talk to them much, so they think I’m twenty-one. They didn’t even bother to card me. The girl that works the register must have figured since I work there I wouldn’t have the balls to buy the beer unless I was old enough.”  Jimmy grinned at his own cleverness and finished his beer.
Ray smiled, “Yea, you got the luck of the Irish alright.”
Jimmy popped open another beer and sat down on top of the fresh mound of dirt. “You got that right I… What the hell? This grave’s all wet!” He pushed himself off the grave, and wiped his hand on his jeans.
“Wet?”
“Yeah, it’s wet.” Jimmy gave Ray a mischievous grin. “You think the bum is still wetting himself from the great beyond?”
Ray frowned. “I doubt that, Jimmy.”
The mischievous grin didn’t leave Jimmy’s mouth as he reached down to unzip his pants. “Well I don’t know about him, but I sure do got to take care of a little business.” He pulled his member out and pointed it down at the grave.
“Come on Jimmy, show some respect.”
Urine began to splash into the blood-covered mound. “Are you kidding me, Ray? What sort of respect does a loser like that deserve? The guy wasn’t nothing but a…”
Ten feet away the bushes erupted with movement, and a deranged bum burst out screaming, “JACOB!”
He held a bat-sized stick in his hands, and slammed it into Jimmy’s face before he had a chance to move. Jimmy dropped like a boneless thing, blood gushing out of his nose and mouth.
Ray tried to stand up, to run, but the bum brought the stick down on his head before he could get to his feet. The night exploded into stars; he couldn’t tell up from down. Instinct or reflexes brought Ray’s arm up to protect his head. The stick hit his forearm and he heard a crack. The pain told him the crack didn’t come from the stick. He brought his arm into his stomach, and the stick hit him in the head. The night began to close in.
Behind all the pain and the disorientation Ray heard someone screaming from far away, “You don’t hurt Jacob!”
WHACK
 “You ain’t gonna disrespect him no more!”
WHACK
“You don’t hurt Jacob!”
WHACK
“You ain’t gonna disrespect him no more!”
WHACK
“You don’t hurt Jac…”
*****
Bobby sat next to the grave and wept like a baby. The deed was done. The two boys had donated their blood, their essence to bring Jacob back from the dead.
He laid his head on the soft, tacky earth. Thick blood stuck to his cheek like glue. Bobby didn’t care; he was covered in the stuff. The only part of him that wasn’t red was his cheeks, where the tears had washed the blood away.
Jacob’s resurrection wasn’t supposed to be like this. He hadn’t meant to lose control. He hadn’t meant to take the lives of two young men. His stomach tightened as the images of him beating the boys with a stick flashed through his mind.
“I didn’t mean to do it, God! I didn’t mean to kill those boys.” He screamed to the cloudy heavens.
“Boooobbby”
Someone called his name, but it was muffled, barely a whisper.
“Booobbby are you up there?”
In awe Bobby looked at the bloody mound and screamed, “Jacob! Jacob, it worked. I can hear you.”
The muffled voice became faded and hard to hear. Bobby gasped as the earth spoke. “I need more blood Bobby. I need more.”
On his hands and knees, with his mouth almost kissing the mound of dirt, Bobby cried, “No Jacob! I can’t do no more. Please don’t make me hurt nobody else?”
A voice that blended with the wind blowing through the tree limbs pleaded, “Please, Bobby, just one more. All I need is one.”
Bobby stood up. He wiped his bloody sleeve across his wet cheek and whispered, “Okay, Jacob. Just one more. For you. Just one more.”
*****
Thirty minutes later the last victim of the resurrection lay over Jacob’s grave, bleeding into the saturated soil.
Bobby put his ear to the earth. He didn’t hear anything, but that was okay. Jacob said that all he needed was one more. Just one more victim and everything would be okay. Never would he have to hurt anyone again.
“Boooobbby”
Bobby smiled, “Yeah, Jacob. I’m right here.”
“I can’t be…believe you found another one so quickly.”
Bobby rubbed his arm over the sloppy mound, like a man caressing a lover. “Yeah, Jacob. I did it. I did it all for you. All for you, my friend.”
Jacob’s voice grew stronger, though the sound remained muffled by the soil. “Man you’re a true friend. I don’t know what I would do without you. You gave me the blood to bring me back. You….”
Bobby sounded tired as he whispered, “Are you okay, Jacob?”
“Whose…whose blood is this?”
Bobby grinned, a grin of accomplishment, a grin of a job well done. “It’s mine Jacob. I’m giving it all…to…you….”
Jacob’s voice filled with panic as he screamed, “No! Bobby you can’t sacrifice yourself. Do you hear me? You can’t sacrifice yourself. Whose gonna dig me up? Do you hear me Bobby? Whose gonna dig me up?”
Fortunately, Bobby didn’t hear his friend’s panicked complaints as he lay over the soft mound of dirt with a satisfied grin on his face, his body growing cold.
Gremlins: An Anthology  Plague Alone in the Mist A Pirate's Tale The Haunted Brothel Airlocked The Witch, The Hunter and The Bride Shaylee Druid's Daughter Undiscovered: Tales of Exploration, Adventure & Excitement Pagan Imagination: Special Edition: Art and Poetry (Volume 1) The Devil's Food A Magical Summer (Volume 2) Ace Hawkins and the Wrath of Santa Claus Revenge
Please leave a comment. I am sure Mr Jordan will enjoy hearing your response to his story.


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