Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year’s Traditions: Watching The ball drop

NY Times Square Ball 

In America, one of our most popular traditions doesn’t include food, opening the doors, or breaking dishes – it’s watching the ball drop in New York’s Time Square.

You can find the ball on the roof of 1 Times Square. On New Year’s Eve it drops 141 feet in 60 seconds, stopping at midnight and ringing in the New Year. But how did dropping the ball come to be such a big deal?

Adolph Ochs, owner of the NY Times in 1904, celebrated with a fireworks show on the roof of 1 Times Square to bring in 1905. But after a couple of fireworks shows, he wanted something bigger with more pizazz. The newspaper’s chief electrician, a guy named Walter Painer, suggested having a ball drop.

Ochs loved the idea! The 1st ball weighed 700 pounds and dropped on 31 DEC 1907, to celebrate 1908’s arrival. It was made with iron and wood and was lit with 100 incandescent light bulbs.
Adolph Ochs
Interesting Facts:

The 1st ball was retired in 1920.

The only years the ball didn’t drop was 1942, and 1943, due to World War II.

The average temp in NYC at midnight on New Year’s Eve is 33.7 degrees Fahrenheit!

The current ball weighs 11,975 pounds!

Question: Do you watch the ball drop? If you’re not in the Eastern time zone, do you watch the ball drop “live” at 12 midnight EST, or do you watch when it’s midnight in your time zone?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is currently a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She’s been a dispatcher for 15 years. She’s also published with Desert Breeze Publishing, 4RV Publishing, and Victory Tales Press.

Her fantasy romance, The Green Rose, is published with Desert Breeze.

Teaser: Sonia's inner courage and strength are tested when she must trust Ivánstan to help her save Gaia from an evil treat.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Ivánstan whirled around and thrust his sword into the wyldebeast. His pulse thundered under his skin. Sweat beaded on his temple. With a jerk, he withdrew the blade and the creature stumbled forward, collapsing on its side. A foul stench from the beast filled the air -- copper and sulfur. Ivánstan steeled his spine and toughened his resolve, running his gaze over the creature and studying it. He had never seen the feared wyldebeast up close, but now Komodo Field was stained red with their blood. His jaw tensed and Ivánstan drew in a breath to tamp down his fear. The creature was tall, yet thin with coarse fur, long fingers, and orange eyes. Its fangs and nails were said to ooze poison. 

Amazon Buy Link: 

Review: 5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews
I don't read much romantic fantasy, but this was so well structured and so lovely, I could not put it down. 

Book Teaser:   

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My favorite books for 2015

Goodreads sent me a link for my 2015 year in review. It's really rather neat, so I thought I'd share my books with you.

Shortest book I read this year:

Longest Book I read this year:

Most Popular Book on GoodReads that I read:

Highest Rated Book I read on GoodReads:

Most Enjoyable read: 

Books and stories I Released This Year:

Question: What was some of your favorite books this year? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review for: Planetfall by Emma Newman

Book Review for: Planetfall
Written by: Emma Newman
New American Library
ISBN: 978-042528239-7
Avail: in print and as an ebook

4 Stars

Intriguing New World

Newman pens a riveting tale of humanity, imagination, and science fiction with “Planetfall.” Earth is becoming unmanageable.  Lee Suh-Mi has a vision of finding God. She strikes out with a group to find God’s planet in a spaceship called Atlas.

When Suh-Mi and her party arrive at the planet, it’s not what they expect. Mack and Renata are left to deal with the repercussions of “Planetfall.”

Now, 22 years later, a stranger, Sung-Soo, interrupts the tranquil life of the colony which Mack and Renata have built. Will his presence finally reveal God’s message or destroy the community Suh-Mi built?

Newman’s writing is easy to read. The story is told from Renata’s perspective and as the reader dives deeper into the story, they dive deepter into Renata’s character. Initially heroic and sympathetic, Renata reveals cracks that hint at the mental illness Planetfall has done to her. The supporting cast is interesting and each has a part to play. The actual science of the science fiction is easy to understand and doesn’t weigh down the storytelling. The suspense builds slowly at first then snowballs towards the end.

The book earns a solid 4 due to the ending which is a bit disappointing, given the totality of the story. “Planetfall” has a good blend of science fiction and characterization that will keep the reader intrigued and turning the pages to find out what happens next.

 Question for you: What's your favorite Star Wars movie?