Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Truth About Self Pub and Other Lies

As some might have heard, I write. As less may have heard, I have released a book.

Don't believe me? Well, here it is:

See? What more proof do you need?

I thought it might be a hoot to post on some finer, funnier points of self-publication. Also, in case you missed it by a couple inches, I can promote my book again, like so:

Seeing as I've transitioned from writer to author for all of four days (meaning, you can buy my book, as shown twice above), I figure I'm now something of an expert and can share what I've learned about self-publication.

1)  There's always something you find wrong with your MS within ten seconds of submitting it for sale. You can fix it, but it takes twelve or more hours to update and in that time you'll find something else wrong.

2)  Hype, networking, creating buzz and pleading can work, unless they don't. The fun part; you're never really sure what worked and if it will continue to work.

3)  Self Pub is a valuable lesson in rationalization. For example; if ABADDON ARMS is ranked #113,467 in sales out of 7 million books, it must mean it's better than 6.9 million other books. Is that factual? Well...probably not, but it sounds nice.

4)  Fellow writers are a wonderful source of support – to an extent. Just bear in mind they have their own problems and are looking to kick your ass by ranking higher than #113,467.

5)  There are many ways to get word out, including giveaways, review sites, book trailers, fancy websites, free books, social network posts, shared social network posts, re-shared social network posts and skywriting. This is a terrific mechanism to attract other writers, but in many cases, actual readers are elusive as unicorns.

6)  Reviews give an air of legitimacy to a book, with more being better. Happily, writers (oops, authors) are a mentally rugged breed who never take negativity to heart, no matter how scathing. Yes, I write fiction and obviously, I'm pretty damn proficient at it.

7)  Writing more stuff can be negatively impacted by obsessively checking your sales 12,000 times a day. It can also lead to depression, chocolate, alcoholism and public begging.  Of course, since that's the stereotypical view of writers anyway (oops again, authors), no one will notice.

8)  Writing more stuff is good, and can geometrically increase your chances of being ignored by a broader range of readers.

9)  Connecting with readers is good, especially if they liked the book. It can provide valuable insight about your talent. Licking their face and pestering them for more input is bad, and how restraining orders are generated

10)  You cannot escape the stigma of being a first time, self-published author, especially when you're a first-time, self published author. The best you can hope for is avoiding being institutionalized so you can become a second time, self-published author. No, confetti does not fall from the ceiling then, either. Deal with it.

11)  Social Network book release parties are a mixed bag, but the romance crowd has the most fun BY FAR. If you need to pattern your attitude (for survival sake), these are the folks to emulate, which brings me to my summary of all these rules.

Write because you enjoy it. The respect, success, endorsements and trying to figure out where to get your Bentley convertible serviced are byproducts.

You can't tell readers what they have to read and it's stupid to try. Many Writers (oops, I, forget it) LOATHE books like Twilight and Fifty Shades, mostly due to jealousy. But these examples show how significant a writer is in the mind of readers, meaning; not very.

Readers want the juice, an escape for a day or two. Then they skip to the next book for more of the same. If you think you're constructing a towering monument to serve mankind, you're wrong. Even if you succeed in your own mind, pigeons are going to crap on it anyway.

Sure, some have read 1984 or Atlas Shrugged without a peer-pressure gun to their head, but it's summer, lighten up.

And buy my book. It also makes a great gift. Your friends and family will thank you. No one reads War and Peace on the beach or while waiting for a flight.

Once again:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Revo's Bookshelf: Blood Leverage by JS Hazzard

A friend of mine took a leap, a big leap. She polished up her baby, set the plan in motion and kicked it out of the nest. Thus far, Blood Leverage by JS Hazzard was been well received, well reviewed and reasonably well purchased.

Sounds simple, right?


I was present for much of the final stages of this event, and saw the monumental effort and stainless steel guts it took to bring the product to market. Every detail imaginable was agonized over, repeatedly. Decisions were questioned. Approaches were studied. Between graphics, giveaways, conversions to ebook and print, marketing philosophies, and hundreds of edits, the process appeared never ending, like a torturous mobius strip of decisions.

Thus far, the work paid off. Blood Leverage is a sharply written and packaged story that can stand square with the best the modern traditional publishers offer – except JS Hazzard did it all the heavy lifting, with an occasional assist help from her friends. I glad to be one of them.

Not that anyone asked, but since I'm in a giving mood, I'll share what I've learned about self publishing:

- Nothing is easy.

- Quality is king.

- Friends make coping and execution easier.

- Marketing has no one 'sure-fire' method for success – but can be tweaked in-flight.

- Reviews are good. More are better.

- Product is good. More is better.

- The best appear to be having fun with what they're doing.

JS and several other self-pub acquaintances I know have these elements covered. It works. As an added bonus, my friends are supportive with advice, promotion and getting in on the fun as a group. Though our genres are varied, we share a common bond. No one is out to assassinate the other and we share the joy of each other's success.

But back to Blood Leverage. Take a minute to look at it, read up on JS and check out the sample pages. Don't worry, I'll wait.

See what I mean? This is quality stuff and done the way JS Hazzard wanted it done. Every decision was hers, and she bears responsibility for its failure and full credit for its success. There is no corporate marketing push behind her, as well as no advance to earn back. There is no multi book deal requiring 'approved' subject matter or genre, as well as no rigid schedule for when JS releases her next work. She has no group of Manhattan-savvy insiders and no one with their hand out for their share. JS Hazzard has become an island, one of many in a helpful, coexisting chain.

Sound wonderful, and to a degree it is, but never think it didn't require daunting amounts of work.

I won't go into detail about book specifics, mostly because it's not the point of this post. Many others will handle that task. My intent is to inform and celebrate the determination of an author who picked up the shovel and dug the damn hole, without any guarantee of reward besides self-satisfaction of doing it her way.

She's got guts and ability, and like me, should not be underestimated.

Besides, she has friends. Lots of them.


Want to learn more about JS Hazzard? Here's a few links:

(Twitter feed)  @JSHazzard

Saturday, May 25, 2013

J Lea Lopez and the spice of romance

Howdy Folks!

As my regular (and irregular) readers know, my tastes and opinions are eclectic (i.e. all over the map).

With that thought in mind, let’s move on to justifying my point as stated above. I know, that’s new for me, but bear with me on this. There are some things I’d like to discuss.

Subject: J. Lea Lopez aka Doc Luv   

Occupation: Author

R2R (Relationship to Revo): Friend, audience and occasional consultant

From her AQC Profile: “I am a novelist and short story author who is passionate about sex in fiction, hates writing dialogue, gets her life lessons from jello, and expresses her creativity through her hair when it isn't coming out in her words.”

Okay, right off the bat, I admit; I don’t get the jello thing. The hair I understand. It is, in her profile pic, an electric shade of violet. But I digress.

I met Ms. Lopez, or as I call her, Doc Luv (only I get to call her that), on Agent Query Connect. She is a moderator for that site. Her responsibilities consist of providing guidance, advice, encouragement and keeping me from carried away with – me. The first three things she’s pretty good at. The last thing…well, no one has much luck with that.

Anywho, Doc is a patient and kindly person that once gave me a bit of guidance on a scene in KEEPERS that had me concerned enough to consider cutting it. I didn’t and am happy with what I feel is now the eeriest and most tantalizing scene in the book. That’s when I came to notice that she had a talent for giving credibility to a genre I call romantic erotica. Now you get why I call her Doc Luv. ‘Nuff said.

The good Doc has a new work coming out this weekend, titled; Sorry’s Not Enough. Unlike her collection of short stories as linked above, this is more romance that erotica. Knowing Doc as I do, however, has me suspecting it will still be steamy enough to fog your contact lenses. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

This brings up the question; what is erotica?

These are J. Lea Lopez’s thoughts on the subject:

What? It doesn’t bring up the question? Tough, get your own blog. I’m running this show. That’s the beauty of the internet. It lets you sound off on stuff you don’t know a whole lot about.

My take: Erotica is a type of romance with a more intense focus on the expression of intimacy. Done right, it’s engaging on several aspects of that hard-to-define subject we call love. Done wrong and it’s a play-by-play manual that is as chillingly unsexy as Pamela Anderson in Barb Wire. Were Doc in the latter category rather than the former, I wouldn’t have even bothered to write all this stuff.

Let’s be real here; though it isn’t the flashiest genre at the moment, romance is the absolute bedrock of fiction. Much like beer, when times are good, people consume it. When times are bad, people consume it. Erotica needs no such validation from me, seeing as its sales are measured in the gazillions.

You’re asking; then why’d you bring it up…bonehead?

Don’t be so impatient. I’m getting to that.

Here is a small sampling of some romance sub-genres: Historical, Contemporary, Category (or series), Regency, Futuristic, Fantasy, Paranormal, Time-travel, Gothic and Suspense.

Wow.  I don’t have half that many pairs of shoes.

If the tamer of the species can be considered a strawberry and mineral water, and the more risqué a milk chocolate-covered strawberry with white wine, where does erotica fit in?

Easy; it’s a dark chocolate-covered Jalapeno served with a shot of tequila. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but damn, is it ever a rush.

The esteemed Doctor Lopez appears to be bridging the gulf between romance and erotica in her full length work, but I’ll let her tell you about it:

Sorry's Not Enough

Contemporary New Adult

Charlotte learned at an early age that people – including family – are capable of hurting you so bad "sorry” will never be enough. The obvious solution is not to let anyone close enough to do any damage, and she's doing just fine with that until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life. Seemingly immune to Charlotte's Stay the Hell Away from Me pheromones, he uses his wit and good looks – or what Charlotte would call his obnoxious ego and his stupid good looks – to win her over. The unexpected summer romance screeches to a halt when Steven's job creates an ethical dilemma for the couple. Sorry doesn't begin to cover the hurt feelings.

Despite the secrets Charlotte's keeping and the renewed passion with which she pushes him away, Steven can't let her go. And so the cycle of their relationship begins. Over the course of four years they share moments as passionate lovers, periods of warm friendship, as well as months of barely-civil tension.

When no amount of time or distance, and no number of men, can make her forget the comfort of Steven's arms, Charlotte must dig into her painful past and face the man whose betrayal destroyed her capacity for trust to begin with. And by the time she finds the courage to do so, will “sorry” be enough to get Steven back?

You got all that? Good.

What is ‘New Adult’? It’s an age group, representing individuals old enough to know better but young enough to continue mooching meals and laundry off their parents.

Yes, I’m one of those parents.

No, I’m not that thrilled about it.

But I digress. As you can see, J Lea Lopez is a woman of considerable talent. If you’re a romance fan, check out her works. If you’re not, check them out anyway – especially if you’re male. We can never learn enough about our counterparts. Besides, you might pick up a trick or two.

Guys, don’t take this the wrong way but there are a few out there that can use all the help they can get.

Anyway, buy the book, read it and leave your review
What the hell, you can review this blog post too. I don’t mind. There's even a little comment doohickey right down below, somewhere.

Peace out and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Next Big Thing; Week 28

A special thank you to Kmom, one of my very first pals from AQC and a warm person that kindly greeted me. Future generations may hold this against her, but she has my gratitude.


(for those under 30, Abaddon is a synonym for ‘Purgatory’. Arms is the same for ‘Hotel’. Purgatory Hotel was a dud title, hence the different wording)

2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

…From being on vacation and looking at a house. I know that sounds weird. While the wife and I were on our long delayed real honeymoon we had this place close by that we thought was a hotel. It turned out it was an over-the-top house for some very rich dude. But it had an ominous look, with its stucco walls, Spanish flair, ground level lighting and high walls. Next thing I knew, little bits of story were starting to filter and accumulate in my head. Personally, I think rum had something to do with it.

3- What genre does your book fall under?


The genre dartboard says Paranormal Thriller! My heart says horror. We’ll see which is right when I’m done and if I trigger some sleepless nights for my betas.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Seeing as the main character is a chameleon by nature and vocation, I believe Sam Rockwell would be an interesting choice. His co-protagonist has to balance strength, vulnerability and brains. My pick right now would be Gabrielle Anwar or the wonderful Mila Kunis.

The antagonist has Julian McMahon springing to mind. Suave yet sleazy.

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Leave it to a born loser like Jake Lane to find humanity at Abaddon Arms, the very last place on earth.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’d like to be psychic or arrogant and say ‘it will be represented by an agent’ but understand that decision isn’t entirely up to me. What is my call is that, one way or the other this book will be available to readers.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ll let you know when it’s completed. For now, I predict three months.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Within my genre is a little dicey, given the subject matter. I’ve read some pretty gory horrors that run along similar lines, but don’t feel this story applied to that model. I know there’s nothing new under the literary sun, but this comes pretty damn close.

I’ll let others be the judge of just how close.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?

They still haven’t gotten rid of this redundant question, I see. How many times do I have to say ‘I dug a cool, creepy big house’?

Okay, I’ll try to drill down a layer. I’m a horror fan but firmly believe that no walking mosquito (vampire), biped angry puppy (werewolf), overgrown lizard with halitosis (dragon), or any other fantasy tormentor can match the depravity or nobility of the human species. With that in mind, I wanted to generate a scene and mood to adequately represent the duality of man.

The setting is a perversion of purgatory, used by the antagonist as a placement service for those that would fit in with hell’s management structure. Bad people with depth fascinate me, and if one baddy is fun, a whole cast of them is better.

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

If you like the irony of the human animal, satire on corporations and ambitions, tenuous relationships created in extreme conditions and a cast of characters with precious few redeemable qualities, then have I got a story for you…

Tagged for next week are some of my very talented writer friends. Check out their blogs next Wednesday, December 19th, when it's their turn to post answers to these same questions about their own works-in-progress!

First up, a terrific YA Fantasy writer (who let me beta read) and creator of sci-fi. Let’s hear a round of applause for a great AQC bud, Lucid Dreamer!

Not to be outdone, I'd like to also give a shout out to Mia, currently struggling with which project to share with us all. I'm sure it will be intriguing, no matter what she decides on.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So You Think You Can Write a Novel: The Next Big Thing (week 24)

I’d like to open with thanking Debra McKellan for this opportunity to entertain myself and (hopefully) a couple readers. Thanks again Debs for the So You Think You Can Write a Novel: The Next Big Thing inclusion.

I guess I could go on a bit about the allure and intricacies of literary creation but instead I’ll sum it up thusly; I enjoy writing and would love to have it entertain others.

There, I said it. If you were looking for deep insight…sorry.

Instead, I’ll use the opportunity to dwell on a piece of work I’m rather fond of – mine.

1- What is the working title of your book?


2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m a huge horror and thriller fan and had an idea that brought something different to the table. I love the seashore, isolated old houses, hidden dark history, complex relationships and emotional triumph. Once I had all the ingredients, I diced them up to share the stew and spiced liberally with paranormal horror and friction.

3- What genre does your book fall under?

Paranormal Romantic Thriller. I understand this is probably a mish-mash of genres but the overall balance of Keepers supports this. The story, for me, is the story. The genre is the end product and generally as indicative as referring to Dom Perignon as ‘carbonated liquid’.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Being a movie huge fan that likes to pick out underappreciated actors, were I given the option, I’d love to hear Taylor Kitsch read for Mark Grady. I like the roguish swagger he brings and feel the poor guy could use a break after John Carter (I know I could have used one).

The real draw would be Kate Mara as the tormented and complicated Valerie Sheldon. I feel she has that balance of beauty, ability to translate the fragile and varied moods of the character, with the stylistic grace to pull it all together. The eye and hair color is wrong but I don’t care. She is the mental image that springs to mind when I envision Keepers as performance art.

For the other roles I’d like to draw upon the talents of those with experience and distinctive style. Zooey Deschanel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helen Hunt, Willem Dafoe and Edward Burns would effectively round out the cast.

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A withdrawn home renovator and his complicated tenant discover far more than love within the sinister embrace of Haven House.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I am notably impatient and would love to gauge reader’s reactions as soon as possible while setting my own price, simultaneously building my presence for future works. I understand this is a profit based industry (otherwise, it wouldn’t exist), and a first time author with a complicated story faces an uphill battle on all fronts. Were an agent to approach, I’d listen. But for now, I like the idea of guiding this ship with my own hand.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Approximately two months for the first rough. After that, it took about a year to polish with a bunch of help.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Seeing as I feel I’m on uncharted ground, the comparisons would be varied. The physical conflict of Haven House is a hybrid of Robert Marasco’s Burnt Offerings and The Shining by Stephen King. Both had an interesting view of that ‘Cursed Place’.

The Haunting of Hill House by the great Shirley Jackson brought the overall theme from slash and burn horror to suspenseful / creepy.

None of these had much in the way of romantic development, so that was drawn from the work of Nelson DeMille in general and The Gold Coast in particular. My focus was refining the growth of the main characters and their relationship while keeping it edged with conflict. 

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Short answer:

I challenged myself.

Long answer:

As stated above, I’m a thriller junkie and I’ve read a ton of them. What I’d discovered was those that had complex characters and relationships were more satisfying than those more dependent on some impending catastrophic event.

With Keepers, I sought to draw the ‘relationship created under fire’ aspect more to the forefront – rather than have it as subtle character shading.

Balance was the challenge. I did my best to tread the line, stressing Valerie and Mark’s dynamic without setting up camp on the turf of contemporary romance novels. At the same time I strove to create a perilous situation to be dealt with by real people, not standard thriller protagonists.

And therein lay the rub. I’m more than satisfied with the final product – but will anyone else say the same? Have I successfully straddled genres, or have I created something perceived as neither fish nor fowl? There’s only one way to find out, and it isn’t by keeping this story locked away on my hard drive.

Motivation and encouragement from close writing friends also helped drive the story during its creation, with inspiration being maintained as the word count piled up. Special thanks to my close AQC buddies for their cajoling, taunting, brainstorming and chiding.

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

This is not a horror story written for horror’s sake. Things happen for a reason and everything is interconnected. What I strove to bring to the table is the tension of love, family, tormented past and supernatural evil. Relationships are of paramount importance in Keepers, and I feel I captured their depth in a way that makes this a unique read.

The paranormal aspect is also relationship based, using a mirror image to pervert the love embraced by the two main characters. Lust, greed and domination are the antagonist elements that seek to short circuit healing, trust and growth.

My mission was to captivate the readers with my characters so that they feel they are behind the steering wheel. When they put it down upon completion (and buy copies for friends and family), I’d like to imagine them letting out a slow breath, smiling contently while saying “What a ride.”

Immediate enjoyment is nice, but what would truly flatter is if the story moved them enough to resonate for years to come.

Tagged for next week (Week 25) are some of my very talented writer friends. Check out their blogs next Wednesday, November 21st, when it's their turn to post answers to these same questions about their own works-in-progress! For Brighton (formerly the Lord of Awesome, now just Awesome)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day Six: Mourning Thoughts

Day Six: Early Mourning

‘Tis almost that time, folks. One more day of Jensen Beach and Hutchinson Island remains before we depart for the one day stay in Orlando. After that, home and real life awaits.

Coffee will no longer be sipped while sitting on a sixth floor deck, overlooking the surf and commuting with the pelicans and other cool birds. Instead it will be drunk from a giant travel mug while planted behind my desk. Showers will no longer be lackadaisical, when-I’m-ready affairs, returning to a rigidly timed routine. Breakfast and lunches will be packed cold cuts, no longer the delicious leftover fare prepared by others. The scent of ocean spray, the intensely warming sun, the ever ready pool and hot tub shall be replaced with falling leaves, autumn chill and…ah, screw it, I’m going to screw up our last day here if I keep this shit up.

It’s time to dwell on the few things that irk, out of mental self-defense more than anything else.

What I won’t miss:

1)      Taxes; as a New Hampshirite, we have taxes and I believe in paying my due, but vacationland has raised the stakes to greedy levels.

2)      Traffic circles: What the hell is up with that? Haven’t traffic lights been around a while now? Do you know what a pain it is to try to spin around these things, looking for a street sign that is, 50% of the time, non-existent while avoiding getting t-boned by a jeep jacked up to the lower ionosphere?

3)      Margaritaville: Okay, okay. I get it. Nothing supposedly sells a vacation retreat like the constant strains of an old fart pseudo beach-bum with 1.5 hits in thirty some years. But get real, folks. This guy makes Chris Isaak look like Elton John. I’ve had endure this leather skinned wrinkled anthem in reggae, elevator muzak, calypso, country and its repulsive original variation. Break it up. Someone go out and buy a Roy Orbison CD or something, will ya’?

4)      The parking space glare: This is restricted to where we are staying, so in the defense of native Floridians, they are completely excused. No, this is directed at the bitter pool vultures that stake out one of three tables by the pool since 7 am and look at me like felon when I get a good spot in the carport. Why do you people give a shit? By the salt encrusted windshields you’re vehicles sport, it doesn’t look like your cars have moved since the Bush administration.

5)      That bitter envy: I’m a lucky guy. I married a woman that easily looks 10-15 younger than her actual age. For this area, that means it looks like we just graduated High School. My wife is a quiet type that manages to carry herself with a certain aristocratic grace, accented by a heavy collection of jewelry. I like the look. I like it a lot. Unfortunately, around here, her looks have come with a few snide remarks spoken under the breath of blue haired ex-receptionists while their over-nagged hubbies are checking out her chest.  Another week here and some fossil is going to wind up calling the hotel staff to get their false choppers and 75 pound handbag out of the bottom of the Jacuzzi.

Okay, that’s enough venting for today. Instead I will focus on bronzing up flesh a bit more, breathing in the slat air and desperately trying to keep this relaxed state of mind in place for a few weeks when I go back to reality. Other than my self-indulgent travelogue, I haven’t read a blessed thing. Hopefully the creative batteries are recharges as well.

This is your intrepid explorer, signing off for another day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day Five: Field Trips

Day Five: That Tuesday state of mind

                Steel gray clouds and high winds had us on the move, pushing back the plans for a solid total beach day. For the most part, it was time well spent.

                The Florida Oceanographic Institute wasn’t exactly Sea World, and I mean that in a good way. Small and not exactly jam packed with marine life, it was nonetheless staffed with courteous and informative people that provided us with a great deal of information in regards to the areas ecosystem. I don’t need bribed mammals jumping in the air to entertain me, I can get that at any local restaurant that advertises an all you can eat buffet.

                Since the FOI’s stingray feeding tank was being refurbished (not that I ever wanted to feed a stingray), our admission cost was cut from $10 to $7 per person. Regardless, it was money well spent.

                The main area had a collection of smallish aquariums, each showing the diversity of marine life, segregated so no bad-ass fish goes gladiator. There was probably only about twenty minutes of entertainment and educational value here, but it was a pleasant opening act for what lay beyond.

                Outside, in the 43 acre campus, a variety of displays, tanks and informative placards awaited us. The wife and I lingered by the mollusk petting tank longer than expected, mostly due to the chatty and charismatic lady manning that station. I got the distinct impression this place is more used to occupying bored schoolchildren on field trips and doing their jobs in saving and studying fish. Regardless, they also appeared anxious to strut their stuff when an eager couple comes along, looking to actually learn something. We were two of only about ten people there, and were treated like royalty.

                Once we got our fill of touching sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other sea things that look completely unappetizing, we were called over to witness the daily feeding of the game fish in a 75,000 gallon protected lagoon. Hungrily awaiting their daily meal were a vast collection of Tarpon, spadefish, nurse sharks and other large things I forgot the name of. Most impressive were the four sea turtles that were being treated for ‘buoyancy issues’, meaning parts of their anatomy were damaged by boats and were un-releasable into the wild for concerns of their survival. This convalescence home was a heartwarming, and after seeing some of the local menus and if I were them, I’d be milking this recovery thing as long as I could.

                After another round of comprehensive information, presented by the kind of smart and no-nonsense pretty young girls I wish my sons would bring home, we blew a wad at the gift shop, knowing the proceeds would be funneled back into this impressive facility. The staff bid us farewell and Angie suddenly lost the appetite for seafood.

                Another round in the hot tub and pool on our return, it was decided the very local color restaurant should be frequented. I was in the mood for sandwich fair. Thankfully, my cynical radar did not fail me as soon as we walked into one of the close by eateries.

                It should have been alright. The place was well decorated and was the first establishment we experienced that had cloth napkins, but something was amiss.

                For starters, the large and well decorated place was nearly empty, possibly due to being a Tuesday night but curious nonetheless considering this time-share neighborhood had to have at least 30,000 vacationing folks within a mile radius. Also, despite the fact that there were only 8 people in the place, the waitstaff and associated workers outnumbered the patrons. Not a good sign.

                We kept it simple and cheap as I suspected watered down drinks were the house specialty.  Since you can’t water down a martini, I started out with that while Angie tried the diet coke and rum. Sure enough, her drinks couldn’t get a fly high and though not diluted, my martin ran about ¾” shy of the rim of the glass. My next drink was a draft beer as we skipped dessert and escaped far wiser.

                After another stop for a ‘real’ drink, we came back to home base. My wife had suddenly become addicted to the hot tub/Jacuzzi. We now visit it three to four times a day. After ten minutes each time of being boiled like Maine lobster, we’ve discovered the invigorating practice of jumping into the close by poll immediately after, enjoying the slamming shut of our pores while tempting hypothermia.

                To close the out-of-room evening, we attempted a game of pool on the outside billiard table, a futile exercise as the table was as off as our aim, the balls were as out of round as our sobriety, and the cues were more crooked than the bartender from our meal. Two things became apparent; we can’t play pool worth a damn and Wednesday will be spent on the beach, recovering.