Thursday, February 27, 2014

Favorite Fictional Pets: Enter to Win!

To celebrate the release of The Best Victim,
which features an adorably feisty old dachshund named Dumpling, I'm giving away another $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book to readers who tell me the name of their favorite fictional animal.

To enter this week's contest, please follow the link to my Rafflecopter giveaway! Best of luck to you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

To celebrate the release of The Best Victim in paperback, audio, and full e-book editions (April 22nd, Montlake) I'm running a Rafflecopter drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card and a free download of the Kindle edition. Please visit my Facebook author page to enter and find out more about how you can increase your odds of winning!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Notes from the Research Vault: Can you trust your Caller ID?

In my upcoming release, THE BEST VICTIM, (earlier releasing as a Kindle Serial from Montlake) the protagonist is fooled into picking up the telephone by a "spoofed" Caller ID, which makes it look as though the other party is a trusted caller. The truth is, it's all too commonly done, and so easy to do that anyone with web access can pull it off completely legally--as long as one claims it's being done as for "prank" or "entertainment" purposes. I've even done it myself while researching the book, calling a friend who was rather confused as to why she was getting a ring from The White House. But can you imagine the harm a stalker or scammer could do with this technology?

Read more about spoofing in this article by David Lazarus of the LA Times.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Need a creative kick in the head? Read this bit from David Bayles' ART & FEAR

From Art & Fear by David Bayles:
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right side solely on the its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scale and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A". 
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
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