Okay, Break’s Over.

Hello, everyone! I want to first welcome you all back. I know I kind of dropped off the face of the earth for awhile, but it has definitely been for good reason. The last year and half I have faced many, many, challenges in my life, most unexpected. However, I put my big girl pants on and endured! I am back to work full-time as a deputy sheriff at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and no words can explain how happy I am to be back with my second family. I missed law enforcement more than you know; it has literally been the backbone of my existence since I was a child. Those few years I spent writing full time made me realize that law enforcement is what I do. Period. I can write on the side like I used to, and it all balances each other out. Searching for Sandra If anything, being off the job full-time made it harder for me to write “all things crime,” I began to feel somewhat detached from it. To say I feel back in the saddle again is the understatement of the year.

What can I say about “Searching for Sandra?” It was mentally and emotionally draining—3 years later and I never thought I would see it come to fruition. Now that it has, the final product is more than I could have imagined. It is truly a heartbreaking tragedy, a tragedy that is somewhat eclipsed by the outpouring of love and support from an incredibly close community. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the CeeCee Gallagher books have found a new home. With amazing new covers, you can find them in bookstores and online. As for a new CeeCee book, I’ve started 4. However, there is one in particular that I am hoping to finish by summer. I’m really excited about it, and I hope my faithful readers hang on just a short while longer.

Expect a new true crime book out by late Spring, early Summer. “Have You Seen Me?”—a compilation of the nation’s most prolific child abduction and murder cases will be a must read. I know people tend to think that our current state of affairs is the worst it’s ever been. But when you read, for example, the case of little Charlie Ross who was kidnapped and murdered in the late 1800’s, you’ll never look at a Barnum and Bailey Circus the same. Why? Because PT Barnum offered the family of Charlie Ross a substantial amount of money to display Charlie’s body in his circus. Some of the cases in the book include Albert Fish, Leopold and Loeb, the Atlanta Child Murders, Madeline McCann, and Etan Patz to name a few. A compelling introduction from Marc Klaas, who lost his daughter, Polly in a horrific child abduction, brings home the need for further awareness and prevention.

I’m staying hush-hush at the moment on a future television project in the works. I’ve learned not to get too excited about these until they actually appear on the screen. Been down that road several times, but will keep you updated. I will also be blogging more, including a “Roll Call” blog that will give you a humorous and sometimes shocking account of law enforcement. And, as always, I will continue to give my sarcastic opinion on just about everything.

Thanks to everyone for sticking around☺

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Technology and Information Overload? I’m There.

 

Last week, due to events out of my control, I spent an entire week away from my computer, and did little on my Blackberry (an event that hasn’t occurred in years). At the end of the week something funny occurred. I felt relaxed. I felt better. I slept better. And, my mind didn’t feel like a washing machine in the rinse cycle that doesn’t have an off button. It made me really think about what my days consisted of over the last few years.

First thing, in the morning, I would grab my coffee and Blackberry before heading to my office. Once there, I’d snuggle up in my “fat” chair and start perusing all things news. Since I do commentary for radio and television, I have to keep updated on everything. My “perusing” starts with Fox News, to CNN, to Reuters, to The Wall Street Journal, to The New York Post, to The New York Times, to The Huffington Post, and so on. Then, it’s off to the gossip sites to see which celebrity of the month is getting their ass thrown in jail. So, I start with TMZ, to Popeater, to E!Online, to People, to USWeekly, to DListed, to The Superficial. Keep in mind, as I’m doing my “research” my television is blasting the news—feeding my brain even more unnecessary info.

After this it’s onto my 7 pesky email accounts, one of which currently has 18,186 emails in my inbox. 16,167 of those remain unread. Everything from radio/TV requests, fan mail, kook mail, agent and attorney mail screaming “Why aren’t you answering my email?” hate mail, mail from producers, directors, web manager, book promoters, book editors, book publishers, book fairs, book scammers, and book wannabees. Then it’s time for the phone conferences.

From here, I rip myself off of my comfy, fat, chair, throw on my tennis shoes, and head to the park for an exhilarating walk/jog (more walk than jog, trust.) Sweating and breathing like I need a permanent oxygen tank, I leave the park to pick up my kids from school where I’ll then spend the next two hours shuffling between sporting events. During this shuffle, Blackberry is permanently embedded in hand, texting, emailing, and checking breaking news. Back home. Back in the office, and back in front of the computer. Now I’ll spend a few hours writing chapters in my new book and writing blogs, before switching over to the social media sites to Tweet, Facebook, and Link myself In with others.

Finally, time for bed.

Blackberry still in hand, or right next to my head, I close my eyes praying my mind goes into a coma and I can sleep. Almost there until…bing!…text message coming in. Okay, it can’t be that important, it can wait until tomorrow…reaches over and grabs phone checking message. I swear I will ignore the next one…blip!…this one’s an email. I toss and turn, knowing it can’t be anything important…again reaches over and grabs phone checking email. Oh, it is an important one from the West Coast who consistently fails to realize the time difference. But, it must be answered now. Finally, convinced I can get myself to sleep, I drift off to slumber land for 3 hours…ding!…Damn Facebook. Alright whoever you are, I’ll accept your request before going back to sleep.

Before my eyes even open in the morning I am subconsciously reaching for my Blackberry. Eyes opened, I see there are already 33 text messages, emails, and Facebook messages that need answered. It’s a brand new day; time to do it all over again.

Technology. My older daughter texts me from upstairs to bring her a glass of water. She and my younger daughter text each other from their bedrooms. “Honey, remember 2 let the dog out,” my husband text’s me from the basement. “Mom, can you come here?” my oldest Facebook’s me from one room over. Driving my daughter and her friends to the movies recently, I noticed an unusual quiet coming from a car full of teenage girls. Looking around, they were all focused and texting on their phones. Some were texting each other! My oldest was nervous when her first boyfriend was coming over. “Why?” I asked. “Well, we’ve never talked before, Mom.” “Whaaat? You’ve never talked to him on the phone?” “People don’t do that anymore, Mom! We text and talk on Facebook!”

I fear the next generation is going to be completely face-to-face-communications-disabled.

But, I’m clearly not helping matters either. Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post on the subject of information overload. In it she wrote:

The “live stream” of tools like Facebook and Twitter can have an addictive quality. Many executives facing this tidal wave go in one of two directions: complete obsession (checking the Twitter feed when you wake up in the middle of the night) or panicked paralysis (avoiding all social media like the plague). Try to find the golden mean. Schedule your social media time and stick to it so it gets done but doesn’t take over your life. Thirty minutes a day, split between following others and your own “content creation,” should be just fine. Over time, you can find the amount that works for you and the best time of day to fit it in. The first step is recognizing that you’ll never be able to keep up with all the information that comes across your transom – so don’t even try. (See Tim Ferriss’ interesting discussion of the “low-information diet.”) But with a strategy and focus, you’ll at least be in the game.

 I think I will definitely take her advice. I realized after last week that I didn’t drop over and die because I wasn’t completely informed about EVERYTHING. In fact, I have made a personal vow to take “information vacations” frequently. I found my peace of mind, my sanity, and most importantly, sleep.

Oh, equally important if you don’t mind; click here to follow me on Twitter, here to friend me on Facebook, and here to join my LinkedIn Network. Think I’ve covered them all…

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Good Times: Apocalypse 2.0

Watching the Middle East is like watching an adult version of Hungry Hippos—they’re eating each other into the point of oblivion.

 Egypt fell. It’s anyone’s guess who is going to run it in the end; Muslim Brotherhood-Schmotherhood. Young, inspirational, democratic Egyptians are being hailed for removing their evil dictator from 30 years of rule. Oh, did I mention they also gang-raped and beat the hell out of an innocent CBS journalist during the course of this? “An overblown assumption,” according to an NYU Professor and journalist, Nir Rosen, who also called the victim a war monger.

(An afterthought: I wonder if protests like this would work in ousting Obama? Scratch that—Obama’s ouster puts Biden in the Oval Office). I’ll wait until 2012.

Iran is moving war ships into the Suez Canal, with a stern condemnation from Israel. I hope Israel blows them right out of the water. World War III, pheesh, we can handle it. Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is oblivious to it all. He’s too busy attending “bunga bunga” parties with Ruby the Heartbreaker (both pictured right). Currently, he’s fixing his broken heart from being bunga’d to death. Not to be confused with Zumba. Oh, and he got indicted to boot.

Some economists are predicting a world-wide food shortage—resulting in mass hysteria and war by April. We should be good though. The “doomsday” vault in the Arctic Circle just got another deposit of pea pods last week from the Australians, bringing the total to 250 million specimens. When they start banking farm animals there, then I’ll worry. Dead birds, crabs, cows, and fish are turning up in masses across the country. No need to panic. That’s just the “doomsdayers” stocking up for the food shortage. Other economists are predicting we’ll run out of gas by summer. That’s okay, too. My bike needs a good dusting off and I definitely need the exercise.

My horoscope predicted a huge financial windfall at the end of January. I waited. It didn’t happen. All I received that week was even more snow and ice. Thanks, Al Gore. The US Education system is in the toilet. If I had the money I would hire a tutor and home school my kids. I can’t, because my horoscope was wrong.

Scientists are predicting a Super Storm to possibly hit California this year. Who’s going to dry out all that pot?

The Apophis Asteroid may hit the earth in 2036. Good. Now I don’t have to quit smoking. We may not have to worry about the asteroid though, since some believe The Big Bang could occur in 2012. Another bonus; I can quit working out and live out my days eating In and Out burgers.

Just last week The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were spotted having a vanilla Soy Latte at a Starbucks in NYC.

Lastly, (wait…wait for it), the finale. A UFO was captured hovering above the Dome of the Rock in Israel and—in more ET news; several UFO’s were seen hovering over Utah.

Good Times.

“Swing away, Merrill…Swing away.”

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Publishing Industry Hits a New Low with Snookie

I literally spent 2 years, 3 agents, a pound of lost hair, and several ulcers trying to get published. It was truly, truly, a nightmare. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, and my heart aches for those aspiring writers out there whose dream is to have their visions on paper and read by the human race. I was one of the lucky ones. I have been able to sustain an income from my books, but I sure as hell am no bestseller.  No beachfront dream home in my immediate future, but I love what I do and count my blessings.

 Now, onto Snookie.

This half-pint, Oompa-Loompa, whose claim to fame is doing failed gymnastic routines while drunk on a Jersey beach just made the NYT Bestseller List. Actually, she’s not even from New Jersey. Like the rest of the cast, she’s from New Yawk. This is a gal (I think. She doesn’t appear to be a tranny, but I could be wrong) who walks into a room with her stick-straight dark hair, (minus the poof), and captures the attention of those in attendance. Most think it is because of her uber celebrity status and hit show. I, personally, think that people immediately look at her and drop their jaws because they genuinely believe she is “Samara” from The Ring, or that creepy chick from The Grudge. They scatter in hoards with the notion that if they stay, their soul will be sucked out of their bodies and they will forever wind up with contorted faces.  

Actually, I could probably sit down on a bar stool next to ol’ Snooks and have a damn good time. However, the notion that she has crushed thousands of authors with PHD’s, Master’s Degrees, etc. in her climb to the bestseller list is simply astonishing.  Furthermore, it’s a NOVEL! I could see a tell-all or a “behind-the-scenes-of-the-Jersey Shore-train wreck-type- book.” But, a NOVEL? Does this girl have a clue to the meaning of the words, “protagonist, plot, suspense, resolution, climax, character development, and all-around WRITING LIK U HAV A HI SKOOL DEEPLOMA?”

I think not. Snookie’s editors, undoubtedly, have resorted to smoking crack.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve watched “The Jersey Shore” and kind of like ol’ Snooks; but, to punch a hole through the publishing industry and become a bestseller? This is comparable to the end of days. Snookie has truly shattered the American publishing industry; kind of like Madonna did when she put out a “children’s book.”—another total WTF?

I have been slowing stewing and quickly flicking a middle finger towards the publishing industry; lack of timely royalty statements, inaccurate numbers, dealing with asshole editors that were literally born without a soul or personality, etc. (Yeah, that was directed at you, C, you disgusting-lazy-worthless-piece-of-garbage-claim-to-be-editor-who-if-I-had-enough-$-I-would-hire-someone-to-break-your-legs). Of course, I would never do that—but this is a blog, and I’m allowed to say what I’m feeling at the time, yes? Please, don’t all of you get your knickers in a bunch—I’m clearly not a violent person, but seriously, this guy is the biggest, arrogant, asshole I’ve seen this side of the Iraqi border.  And, he’s a New York editor…unbelievable.

 Famed author JA Konrath felt the same and decided to take his followers and do it on his own terms. I say, “Kudos, JA.” With the publishing industry tossing themselves off the cliff and putting out books written by “Snookie,” I have one question.

Can you say, “Desperate?”

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Announcing Murder Mountain

Due to the overwhelming demand we are thrilled to announce the release of Murder Mountain this December—just in time for Christmas! As you know, Murder Mountain is the very first book in the CeeCee Gallagher series. This is where you will be introduced to all of the incredible characters that you continue to follow throughout the series. Oh, and we have just one more announcement to make. How would you like to see CeeCee on television? Yes! The books are currently under production for television by Fremantle Distributing, Porchlight Entertainment, and producer Peter Bergmann. Make sure you get out there and catch up on what’s happening with CeeCee and the gang.

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