IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://tinyurl.com/AtoZ22 (sign-ups are closed)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Road Trip Pit Stop - Time to Refuel Your A-to-Z Engine!

Beep, Beep! Who else is still awake on this alphabet route? 

Photo by Little Peppercorn
After running low on gas and making multiple pit stops, I nearly fell asleep at the wheel. Good thing I have two partners – Tina Downey at Life is Good and Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse to share in the driving duties as we move along through the A-to-Z Challenge list, stopping by the blogs we missed in April, to pay them a visit before the next challenge rolls around. Although I put the car on cruise control, I did manage to read more A-to-Z Reflections posts and visit some blogs located in the first half of the sign-up list.

During my visits, I found that some people either stopped blogging after the challenge or kept new blog posts coming sporadically until early-to-mid Summer. Still, the last posts that were published on these blogs were worth a looksee. I also came across some places on the list with blog posts that were cool to read, yet, difficult to leave a comment on. For those of you who are still on this Road Trip with Tina, Shannon and I, this is likely not a surprise, as you’ve probably encountered similar situations during your blog visits. 

When I started this road trip, I planned to visit at least five blogs per day, keeping in tune with the recommended visits of the April challenge. Now, I’ve reduced that number to one blog per day. I figure that way, it will be much easier to fit a visit to a new blog into my schedule – and – if I encounter non-active blogs or blog posts where leaving a comment feels like I’m participating in some type of three ring circus with no instructions, my Road Trip efforts are still time well spent.

Photo by Hayley Bouchard
As co-host, I want to try to also make sure that your time is also well spent, so in the name of efficient fun, here is some roadside assistance to stay on course if you find yourself running low on gas or hit something on the road that caused a flat in your tires at this stretch of our Post A-to-Z Adventure. 

Now, I’m no Allstate or AAA, but these blog visiting methods can be especially useful if you’re taking the one-and-done approach, or a similar one, that I’m using for the A-to-Z Road Trip.

Pick a Number – Think of a number…any number during your day and then visit the blog on the list that corresponds with this particular number.  You could also make this a theme and visit all of the blogs that fall under a specific area of the number table such as every hundredth or so (102, 202, 302, 402 and so on).

Heads or Tails? – Visit a blog that is among the low numbers (1-100) on the sign-up list and then visit another blog that is among the high numbers (101-500 and up) on the list. The number range doesn’t matter…you determine what is considered “low” and what is considered “high” just so long as two blogs on both ends of the list get a visitor today (or tomorrow or whenever you’re doing your A-to-Z Road Trip visits).

Hit the Reflections – If you haven’t read all of the 2013 A-to-Z Reflections posts, visit blogs on that list. That way, you’ll know that the blogs you’re visiting are run by people who finished the challenge – or at least attempted to complete it.

Funny Names – Scroll through the signup list and visit blogs with names that either make you laugh or fill you with curiosity. These are usually the types of blogs where, at first glance, you have no idea what the topic or theme of the blog is about such as Big Girl Panties (#264 on the list), Buttered Toast Rocks! (#365) or Cabin Goddess (#432).

Photo by Zach Dischner
It’s all about making it fun. If we make this road trip as simple and as fun as possible, we’ll have enough gas to keep our cars steady and well maintained…at least until the next Check-in. Now, the only thing left to do is call Allstate and tell them that you don’t need them because you’re in better hands. Ha!

Cheers to all!

~Nicole

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Should We Return To The Moon

Should We Return To The Moon?
This post is brought to you by writer Stephen Tremp, author of the Breakthrough trilogy.
Listening to the latest and greatest on a return trip to the moon, you would think you were reading an executive summary of an important business plan.
 
A return trip to the moon actually makes a lot of sense. A lot has happened since the six manned U.S. Apollo landings between 1969 and 1972.
 
New and innovative technologies will be able to utilize lunar resources to supply and replenish oxygen (found in the lunar soil), volatile gasses, fuel, water, and construction materials. We won’t have to haul all off this to the moon and worry about replenishing supplies vital to sustain life. 
 
• The moon could hold secrets regarding our world.
• Lower gravity means it’s easier to launch ships to other planets and moons.
• Telescopes would have a better view to see deep into our universe as there is no atmosphere to interfere with observations.
• And the moon holds vital resources. We know there is water on the moon in the form of ice. And the hydrogen and oxygen atoms could be used as rocket fuel.
 
At least seven major potential lunar construction materials have been identified. These include:
• concrete
• sulfur concrete
• cast basalt
• sintered basalt
• fiberglass
• cast glass
• metals
 
Add new and innovative technologies with the moon’s natural resources, and it’s not difficult to imagine one giant leap for mankind toward self-sufficiency and independence from the Earth.

Sure, more leaps need to be taken, such as producing a steady flow of food. Maybe Quisp and Tang grows there in abundance. But for now, it’s easy to see how making return trips to the moon makes a lot of sense.
 
The U.S. does not have concrete plans to return to the moon any time soon. China plans to land an unmanned exploratory rover on the moon by the end of this year.
 
The Question Is: will private industry beat governments to the punch?
 
Let’s take a quick look at private industry on the cusp of taking man and supplies into space and the moon. I’ll refer you to an earlier post on Space X, headed up by Elon Musk: CLICK HERE.
 
Also check out my article on LEO (Low Earth Orbit), the first private space telescope launched by Planetary Resources.
 
Do you have time for one more? Check out my article on Virgin Galactic, headed up by Sir Richard Branson.
 
You can visit Stephen Tremp at his blog by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Taking the World by Storm

CassaStorm

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.” – Edi’s Book Lighhouse

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together." - Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…” - Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and Goodreads.



Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Find Alex - Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads

Visit Alex's blog for your chance to win some awesome prizes - books, mouse pads, mugs, magnets, posters, swag, and more!