Music Monday: Beatles to Foster the People

Once a week, on Mondays (unless something comes up), I have a guitar lesson with Bob Bretz, a guitar virtuoso who gives lessons in my hometown.  I’m not very serious about it, I admit, and I never practice enough, but I still enjoying playing and learning.  Bob always manages to come up with something cool for me to work on, and I thought I’d share a bit in case you’re interested.  In today’s lesson, he put together a few jazz chording exercises, which are fairly challenging, plus an arrangement of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” which is easier and more fun.  Here’s the first page, which I’ve just started practicing:

2014.003.0240001Yeah, Bob’s got a unique notation style, but it really works after you get used to it.  I get a kick out of learning from him…and just listening, when he spontaneously cuts loose on a song, and I’m lucky enough to be there and hear the performance.

Music Monday was extra cool today because a new CD just arrived in the mail–Supermodel by Foster the People.  I really liked their first album, Torches, and couldn’t resist ordering the follow-up when it became available.  They’ve got a fun, upbeat style, though their lyrics can be pretty dark, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the cuts on this new recording.

Long live Music Monday!

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In a Green Dress, Surrounded by Exploding Clowns

Get ready for one of my wildest stories yet!  It’s a crazy scifi tale called “In a Green Dress, Surrounded by Exploding Clowns,” and it appears in the latest issue, number 7, of Galaxy’s Edge magazine!  Here’s the stunning cover:

Cover001You can read the whole story online by clicking right here.  You can also support this fine publication, which features new and classic stories by a roster of exciting authors, by clicking here, scrolling down, and following the instructions to order a paper or electronic copy.  In this issue alone, you can enjoy tales from Robert Sheckley, Mercedes Lackey, C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Bear, Brad R. Torgersen, and yours truly!

So drop by the Galaxy’s Edge website and see what they have to offer.  And be sure to give “In a Green Dress, Surrounded by Exploding Clowns” a read.  It’s a crazy story about a world in which life is controlled by voting via social media…a process that leads to insane consequences when a media cop confronts the trolls who are ruining people for laughs.  I’ll just say this:  the title tells you exactly what happens to the hero…though that isn’t necessarily the worst part of his ordeal.  If you like wild stories with vivid characters and scifi themes that hit close to home, this story is for you.  Enjoy!

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“The Spinach Can’s Son” Free Audio Story on StarShip Sofa

You’ve got to love a podcast called StarShip Sofa, right? It’s a very cool name for a world-renowned series featuring free science fiction tales in audio form from a wide range of authors. It’s been around for quite a while, too; in fact, the current episode is number 323…and it showcases one of my stories, “The Spinach Can’s Son.” You can give it a listen right here. If you ask me, the narrator, Graeme Dunlop, does a brilliant job of reading this story and really making it sing. Here’s the cover image from this latest edition of StarShip Sofa:

SSS-Cover-Feb-2014-500x647

“The Spinach Can’s Son” originally appeared in print in the first issue of Galaxy’s Edge, edited by mighty Mike Resnick. It’s a fun story about a “panelnaut” exploring the “Underfunnies”…a mysterious realm where comic strips come to life, though they don’t always work the way they should.  The hero’s wife, also a panelnaut, chases him from one comic strip world to the next, fighting to bring him home…but he has other ideas that could change their lives forever.

I hope you’ll give “The Spinach Can’s Son” a listen, and that you’ll stick around for more great stories from StarShip Sofa in podcasts to come. The team working on this show does a wonderful job of presenting imaginative science fiction in a professional and entertaining way.

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Once Upon an Audiobook in the West

Saddle up for the audiobook edition of my Western saga, The Slaughterers, now on sale!  You’ll be treated to a larger-than-life cowboy hero…a truly vile pack of villains…a climactic shootout in the streets of a dusty Arizona town…and more surprises than you can shake a saddle at.  Order a copy right here from Amazon, right here from Audible, and watch for an upcoming edition from Apple iTunes.  Check out the rootin’-tootin’ cover by unbridled Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

The Slaughterers ACX NewHere’s a bit about the story to whet your consarned appetite, pardner: A gang of vicious scalpers roams the Arizona territory in the Old West, slaughtering town after town. Only one man stands in their way: a sword-wielding Arabian knight named Badr al-Medina. To stop the scalpers’ killing spree, Badr makes a stand at the next town in their path, Oasis…only to find the place hip-deep in corruption that could turn his fight into a suicide mission. But surprising new allies give Badr fresh hope, as he unleashes the power of his Damascus steel sword, his six-shooter revolvers, and his fiery faith in an all-out war in the blood-soaked streets of Oasis.

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Pinstriped Finger Will Be Music To Your Ears

You’ve heard people say “talk to the hand,” right?  Well, why not listen to the finger?  The audiobook edition of one of my wildest and most exciting novels is now on sale, and it stars a finger with a mind (and attitude!) of his own.  It’s called A Pinstriped Finger’s My Only Friend, and here’s the awesome cover art by beatific Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

Pinstriped ACX Cover v2You can order a copy right here at Amazon and right here at Audible.  An Apple edition will arrive any day now, too.  The narration and production by Jeff Bower are spectacular, trust me.  This book goes in tons of fun and unexpected directions, and Jeff makes every last one of them an unforgettable experience, complete with top-notch voice acting and special effects.

A Pinstriped Finger’s My Only Friend has been described as “The Hunger Games on acid.”  Here’s a bit about the story, to get your own fingers twitching:  Judd the popular 17-year-old jock has it all figured out. He’s the star of his school, the top of the heap…but then the world starts changing around him and won’t stop. Without explanation, everyone turns into purple furries…then gas-blasting puffballs…then neurotic lizards. Every time Judd falls asleep, he wakes up in a new and crazier world–a world of godlike super-teens, teenage serial killers, duck people, monsters, and more. The rules never stop changing, and the only thing he can depend on is his talking pinky finger with a major attitude. Together, he and Pinkerton (the finger prefers the name “Killdigit”) fight through the parade of crazy realities, seeking a way to get back to normal. But what if normal just isn’t an option anymore?

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Scifi To Go With Your Sauerkraut

How about ringing in the new year with a six-pack of science fiction stories?  My latest collection, Six Scifi Stories Volume Four, is now on sale and ready to blow the lid off your pork and sauerkraut.  You can order it here for the Kindle, here for the Nook, and here for other formats…or search for it by name on your favorite e-reading device.  Here’s the cover art by the one and only blazing Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

Six Scifi Stories Volume FourAnd here’s a rundown of the stories you’ll find inside.  One of them, “Tempus Fugitive,” is only available in this volume at this time.

“Warning! Do Not Read This Story!”:  An entire town wiped out…by a rogue story? Anyone who hears or reads it launches into a murder-suicide spree, and its power is about to spread to the rest of the world. Only Carrol and Sascha LaVerge, mystic problem-solving sisters extraordinaire, stand in its way. But can they outsmart the story with a mind of its own before it comes up with a plot twist that traps them in the ultimate unhappy ending?

“Tempus Fugitive”:  In a realm where time itself comes to life, the hunt is on for a fugitive minute, 12:30 P.M. Time on Earth stands still as the hunters close in, determined to force 12:30 P.M. to take his rightful place in the timestream…but one last hope exists. Only by seizing it can 12:30 P.M. prevent one of the darkest events in human history from becoming a terrible reality.

“Luminaria”:  On a day known forever as The Silencing, millions of human colonists went missing in space without a trace. Fifty years later, a team of explorers mounts a search, riding a space elevator into the heart of the unknown. One scientist, Gabriel Shard, holds the key to the truth, the last chance to recover the missing…but he might just die before he can use it.

“The Secret of the Ultimate Male Enhancement”:  The male enhancement of tomorrow has everything from shape-changing powers to a mind of its own. But what happens when this miraculous endowment refuses to cooperate with its new owner?

“The Memory of You Lingers”:  Baird the convicted rapist knows no peace. Ten years of haunting by the digital ghost of his victim, Frieda, have left him a basket case…but freedom awaits. If he can just make it till tomorrow, his sentence will end, and the digital ghost will become vaporware. But Frieda has no intention of leaving quietly.

“Tijuana, Massachusetts”:  Why does Cape Cod, Massachusetts keep changing into Tijuana, Mexico? Don’t ask Patty, the foul-mouthed everything-hater with a memory full of holes. Every time the lump on her head buzzes, Cape Cod becomes Tijuana or vice versa. Has Patty lost her mind, or is someone–or something–driving her crazy?

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Glosser’s Christmas Audiobook On Sale Now

The audiobook edition of Christmas at Glosser’s is on sale now! Order it here on Amazon and here on Audible. The narration by the great Glenn Davis is really lovely, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s the artwork by the one and only Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

Christmas at Glosser's Cover Final New

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Christmas at Glosser’s Ornaments To Adorn Your Tree!

Order up some Christmas goodies from the Christmas at Glosser’s collection!  Click right here to find the full collection of merchandise featuring the spectacular Glosser Bros. Christmas artwork by Ben Baldwin, as seen right here:

Christmas at Glosser's backgroundYou can order up t-shirts, mugs, key chains, phone covers…and my personal favorites, the Christmas at Glosser’s ornaments and framed prints! Don’t miss out on making this gorgeous artwork, and the memories it brings, part of your Christmas tradition for years to come!

Also, remember that Christmas at Glosser’s Special Edition featuring bonus material not available in the original book?  You can still order a copy from Amazon by clicking here, from CreateSpace by clicking here, or from Barnes and Noble by clicking here.  It’s a nice upgrade from the original book, including the true story of the man behind the Bub character, my grandfather Bernard Heinrich!  Here’s the cover:

Christmas at Glosser's Special Edition CoverAnd of course, you can still order the original edition paperback at Amazon right here and at Barnes and Noble right here. The Kindle edition is on sale right here, too, and the Nook edition is right here. You can also search for the e-book by name on your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Kobo, and other e-reading devices…and an e-book edition is available on loan at the Cambria County Library in downtown Johnstown (otherwise known as the David A. Glosser Memorial Library).

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Give Kids This LUMP for Christmas!

The kids in your life deserve a Lump for Christmas!  It’s true!  Whether they’ve been bad or good, this new paperback holiday book will make the perfect stocking stuffer!  It’s meant for kids (ages 8 and up, roughly), and it’s a funny Christmas story with plenty of kid-friendly humor and adventure.  Here’s the cover of this brand-new paperback book by the one and only Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

lump2I know the cover’s a little edgy, but don’t worry: the book is safe and fun, with a positive message about tolerance and bridging the gaps between cliques and generations. You can order a copy right here from Amazon, right here from CreateSpace, right here from Books-A-Million, and right here from Barnes and Noble.

Here’s a bit about the story to whet your appetite:  Meet a kid so bad, he gets a lump of coal every Christmas…and likes it!  Neighborhood bully Buzz Scanlan takes pride in his annual lump, which he sees as a black badge of badness.  But this Christmas, when the coal doesn’t come, the ten-year-old holy terror becomes a bad boy on a mission.  He roams from one victim of his wicked mischief to the next, digging for dirt on the one nice thing he must have done to deserve no coal for Christmas.  When everyone agrees he’s been nothing but naughty, he nearly gives up the hunt…until he stumbles onto the shocking truth behind his lumps of coal, an incredible secret that just might change his life forever.  Will Buzz get his lump after all, sealing his fate as the ultimate bully?  Or will solving the mystery lead to a fate worse than death for the naughtiest boy, an unexpected good deed that breaks his not-nice record?  After this Christmas, nothing will be the same for the kid who loves lumps of coal.

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Glosser’s Special Edition Now in Paperback!

Long live Glosser’s!  The much-delayed paperback version of the Special Edition of Christmas at Glosser’s is now on sale!  This Special Edition contains bonus material you won’t find in the original version, so be sure to order a copy if you want the whole story of Bub and Jack! Here’s the beautiful cover by the one and only blazin’ Ben Baldwin his own bad self:

Christmas at Glosser's Special Edition CoverYou can order a copy of the Christmas at Glosser’s Special Edition paperback right here on CreateSpace.com. You can also place your order in person at the checkout counter in the Books-A-Million store in the Johnstown Galleria.

In other Glosser’s news, I talked about the book on TV today, appearing as a guest on Central PA Live on WTAJ-TV in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The interview was a lot of fun, and you can watch it by clicking right here. Also, keep an eye on the Thursday news shows on WJAC-TV in Johnstown, which is set to feature the book. And be sure to pick up a copy of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper on Saturday to see my print interview about the book.

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