Archive for January, 2018

This first book in a series is a fine tale and a great beginning. The characters are well developed and it has a well-written plot. I also love the cover so kudos to the artist.

Ellie, the space girl of the title, learns some life-changing facts about herself and her family and has to come to terms with that all while dealing with a nefarious enemy out to conquer the galaxy. There’re aliens, action, surprises, a little romance, and the feel of a good old-fashioned space opera.

What’s not to love?

I recommend this book to anybody who likes a good science-fiction story (or wants to read one for the first time!)

(Click image to see excerpt at Amazon)


Want a good short read? “A Price to Pay – A Short Story from the Dark Realm” is now released and is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. Get it today for only .99 cents.

So I Wall-mounted my TV…

Here’s the TV that I actually mounted on the wall (in a niche)



But before I did that…

I had a forty-three inch TV sitting in the niche above my fireplace which is where the cable comes into the family room. It fit in there quite well and the DVD player sat on the mantel right in front of it. However, the cable box was too big to fit so the coaxial cable went over the mantel and down the wall to where the box sat on a cabinet on the floor. With the cable hanging down and that box with lights that are pretty tempting to a little guy, when any small kids came to visit – and I have a number of great-grands – it was a constant battle to keep them away from the box and cable wire.

Since they were coming for Thanksgiving, I decided I needed a way to place the box so it would fit under the TV up in the niche and out of reach of curious little hands. One of my daughters bought a small cabinet that she thought would do the trick but being genetic procrastinators, we didn’t get around to trying it out ‘til the night before Thanksgiving. It was ‘way too big and there was no way to get anything else before the next day.

So, staring at the box in which the cabinet came, and realizing it was made of sturdy, heavy-duty cardboard that would hold the weight of the TV and was just about the right length and height, I got a brilliant idea, and whipping out my handy-dandy box cutter, I cut openings in the box, made some air holes and, voila, I had my storage “cabinet”.


Okay, so it wasn’t pretty. And my daughters laughed at it. And my family that came for Thanksgiving dinner kept giving it – and me – raised eyebrows and funny looks, and my sister suggested that it might look better if I covered it in Christmas wrap but hey, it worked. In spite of the complaining of one of my daughters (she called it “hainkty), there it stayed right on through Christmas. I figured I’d find something better after the New Year but I wasn’t in a hurry.

It might’ve gained itself a much longer stay if we hadn’t gotten a fifty-inch TV that wouldn’t fit inside the niche. The only other suitable wall in the room was going to require that I buy a stand or have the thing mounted on the wall plus I’d have to get the cable company to put an outlet there.

Well, I thought about it and considered the hassle of actually getting the cable company to come out (no mean feat around here) not to mention it would likely cost more than I wanted to pay. So I went looking for a reasonable solution… and found one in an Aeon heavy-duty wall mount with a thirty-two-inch tilt and swivel arm that can remain permanently extended. Perfect for a twenty-four-inch deep niche, right?

Then, I discovered just how much it would cost to get it installed in that particular spot. I got the mount at a discount but to get it installed was going to cost more than the mount. I did some more considering and being a long-time (ago) DIYer, I watched the Youtube video that I found and decided to do it myself.

So, I read all the instructions that came with the mount and it came with all the hardware I would need. I did discover that there was no paper template and the heavy-for-an-old-lady back bracket was to be used for that but I figured I could handle the job since the bracket wasn’t that heavy. I rounded up my ladder, drill, ratchet screwdriver, socket wrench, stud-finder with a leveling laser, and had at it.

The first thing one has to do in order to put a mount into a niche over a fireplace is to climb up, or as my daughter put it: “In order to mount the TV you have to first mount the nook” (her words, not mine!). So, with some judicious placement of ladders and a lot of huffing and puffing (and grunting), and going back to get something with which to pad my arthritic knees, I managed to get up there.



So, there I sat resting for a few (yeah, my Christmas tree is still up; we’ll try to get it down sometime before Valentine’s Day), then I got down to finding studs, measuring stuff, and preparing to put the thing up. And after much marking and careful leveling and drilling of starter holes (and scowling and wishing I’d taken time to make a paper template because I kept losing my grip on the bracket and pinched some fingers which was accompanied by some saying of words that I definitely can’t put here), I finally got the lag bolts in. One of my daughters handed up the (heavy) extended arm, I slid it in, screwed it down and the thing was quite sturdy… but not level.

It would seem that I’d not paid attention to the fact that I’d gotten just a hair off during one of the times the bracket slipped, so the starter holes for the left lag bolts were not exactly where I’d intended, and having put the bolts in, no way could I remove them and put them back that close without splitting the stud. But, thank God, the mount has a feature that allows it to be leveled in spite of such minor mishaps, so… all was good.

My daughters helped place the TV on the mount and after the three of us got through saying more bleepable words (a lot) because it was ‘way harder than we’d thought it would be (not because the TV was heavy – it’s not – but the two bottom screws that attach the mounting plate on the back of the TV to the mount were a real pain in the, um, posterior to get in!) we levelled the TV, stood back, and admired our wonderful handiwork.

Then we turned on the TV. It was a beautiful picture… with what appears to be a permanent two or three-inch diameter blank spot on the right-hand side denoting missing pixels. It doesn’t show up in this photo but it’s there. So, we’ll have to take the TV down and return it to the store.

Ah, well. At least I got the mount up, and though I was sore the next day, as my daughters said, I didn’t kill my old self doing it.

Available for pre-order at B&N, Amazon, Apple, & Kobo

Jack Warslow is a run-of-the-mill thief who considers himself to be quite competent – until he breaks into a house in an affluent neighborhood where he picks up a cat and finds himself in a situation he never could’ve imagined. He’s a long way from home, and now, his dilemma is to figure out how to get back without having to pay the price of overconfidence.


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