Tag Archives: Donations to Clarity

Contests, Contests, Contests!!!

Contest! To celebrate the release of Noah Baird’s new book, Donations to Clarity, he is hosting a contest to name a character in his book and to come up with a name for a really bad 80’s rock band! Click here for rules and further information: Don’t Read This Buhlog.

Contest! To celebrate the release of Susan Surman’s new book, Dancing at all the Weddings, she is hosting a writing contest, “A Healthy Divorce.” Please write a very short story or a real life anecdote about a healthy divorce — if there is such a thing! Click here for rules and further information: A Healthy Divorce Contest.

Contest! To celebrate the release of Calvin Davis’ new novel, The Phantom Lady of Paris, he is sponsoring a contest. All you have to do is tell us in 50 words or less what is the most memorable thing that ever happened to you in your life. Click here for the rules and further information about: The Most Memorable Thing that Ever Happened to You Contest.

Contest! Dellani Oakes’ new novel, Lone Wolf is set in the year 3032. To celebrate the release of Lone Wolf, Dellani is sponsoring a contest. All you have to do is answer these questions: What do you think will be the best thing in the future? What will be the worst thing? Click here for the rules and further information about: The Best and the Worst of the Far Future Contest.

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Celebrate Our New Releases with Contests, a Giveaway, and Lots of Fun!

Contest! To celebrate the release of Susan Surman’s new book, Dancing at all the Weddings, she is hosting a writing contest, “A Healthy Divorce.” Please write a very short story or a real life anecdote (no more than 500 words) about a healthy divorce — if there is such a thing! Click here for rules and further information: A Healthy Divorce Contest.

Contest! Dellani Oakes’ new novel, Lone Wolf is set in the year 3032. To celebrate the release of Lone Wolf, Dellani is sponsoring a contest. All you have to do is answer these questions: What do you think will be the best thing in the future? What will be the worst thing? Click here for the rules and further information about: The Best and the Worst of the Far Future Contest.

Contest! To celebrate the release of Calvin Davis’ new novel, The Phantom Lady of Paris, he is sponsoring a contest. All you have to do is tell us in 50 words or less what is the most memorable thing that ever happened to you in your life. Click here for the rules and further information about: The Most Memorable Thing that Ever Happened to You Contest.

Giveaway! Please leave a comment on this blog telling us which of our four new releases you’d like to read, and four lucky people will win a coupon for a free download of the book they chose. Giveaway ends September 15, 2011.

Fun! Click on any of the following cover photos to find a wonderful surprise.

New Releases:

Dancing at all the Weddings: Vivacious and talented Elaine Richman is faced with choices: A risky life in the New York theatre; an exciting life with college sweetheart, actor/director Jake Applebaum in Hollywood; a secure life in Boston with predictable lawyer David Alter, the match anointed by her domineering mother because ‘he’s the kind you marry.’ On the way to a dream, it is possible to collide with another dream’s seduction, only to learn there is no fulfillment on the path to safety. Elaine goes through the wringer to meet herself, proving there is no expiration date on talent or true love.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Dancing at all the Weddings by Susan Surman

***

Lone Wolf: The year is 3032 and mankind has expanded far beyond Earth’s galaxy. Matilda Dulac is a member of the Galactic Mining Guild. With her lover, Marc Slatterly, she works in a small mining ship in deep space. Their well ordered life if suddenly thrown into chaos when one miner arrives with a load of Trimagnite, a highly toxic liquid ore. Enter the Lone Wolf. Wil VanLipsig, known as the Lone Wolf, arrives to take the Trigmagnite off their hands. Is it a coincidence for him to show up on Marc’s ship years after Marc thought he’d killed Wil? Or is this the beginning of something far more insidious? Lone Wolf is the first book in a new science fiction series by Dellani Oakes.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Lone Wolf by Dellani Oakes

***

Donations to Clarity: The plan was simple: hoax Bigfoot, then sell tours to Bigfoot enthusiasts. The plan wasn’t brilliant, and neither were Harry, Earl, and Patch. The three chemical-abusing friends only wanted to avoid the 9 to 5 rat race, but their antics attract the attention of a real Bigfoot. When the misogynistic Earl is mistaken for a female Bigfoot by the nearsighted creature and captured; it is just the beginning of their problems.

Between bong hits and water balloon fights, Harry and Patch come up with a plan to save Earl and the lovestruck Bigfoot. Where do you hide a giant, mythical creature? In an insane asylum, because who is going to listen to them?

Click here to read the first chapter of: Donations to Clarity by Noah Baird .

***

The Phantom Lady of Paris: In 1968, a year of worldwide explosive protests, Paul Lasser, an American educator, ventures to Paris on sabbatical to write a novel. There he encounters the mysterious “Phantom Lady of Paris.” Though cordial, she conceals a shadowy past that will change Paul’s life forever, a secret history which unfolds amid a backdrop of café bombings, Sorbonne student riots and the drug overdose death of an American “flower child.” But in spite of these events, there blossoms a soulful relationship between the American educator and the walking enigma, The Phantom Lady, all taking place in the metropolis for lovers and dreamers…Paris.

Click here to read the first chapter of: The Phantom Lady of Paris by Calvin Davis

***

Thank you!! We hope you enjoyed celebrating the release of these four wonderful books.

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Featured Author: Noah Baird, Author of Donations to Clarity

Noah Baird is a new addition to the Second Wind Publishing Family. His novel, Donations to Clarity — a humorous look at Bigfoot — has recently been released in print, Kindle, and ebooks in a variety of formats.

Noah wanted to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, but his grades weren’t good enough (who knew?). However, his grades were good enough to fly for the U.S. Navy (again, who knew?), where he spent 14 years until the government figured out surfers don’t make the best military aviators. He has also tried to be a stand-up comedian in Hawaii for Japanese tourists, where the language barrier really screwed up some great jokes. On the bright side, a sailboat was named after the punchline of one of his jokes.

He has several political satire pieces published on The Spoof under the pen name orioncrew. Noah received his bachelors in Historical and Political Sciences from Chaminade University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He knows nothing about hoaxing Bigfoot. Donations to Clarity is his first novel.

Click here for: an interview with Noah Baird.

Donations to Clarity description:

The plan was simple: hoax Bigfoot, then sell tours to Bigfoot enthusiasts. The plan wasn’t brilliant, and neither were Harry, Earl, and Patch. The three chemical-abusing friends only wanted to avoid the 9 to 5 rat race, but their antics attract the attention of a real Bigfoot. When the misogynistic Earl is mistaken for a female Bigfoot by the nearsighted creature and captured; it is just the beginning of their problems.

Between bong hits and water balloon fights, Harry and Patch come up with a plan to save Earl and the lovestruck Bigfoot. Where do you hide a giant, mythical creature? In an insane asylum, because who is going to listen to them?

Click here to read the first chapter of: Donations to Clarity.

 

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Excerpt from Donations to Clarity by Noah Baird

The plan was simple: hoax Bigfoot, then sell tours to Bigfoot enthusiasts. The plan wasn’t brilliant, and neither were Harry, Earl, and Patch. The three chemical-abusing friends only wanted to avoid the 9 to 5 rat race, but their antics attract the attention of a real Bigfoot. When the misogynistic Earl is mistaken for a female Bigfoot by the nearsighted creature and captured; it is just the beginning of their problems.

Between bong hits and water balloon fights, Harry and Patch come up with a plan to save Earl and the lovestruck Bigfoot. Where do you hide a giant, mythical creature? In an insane asylum, because who is going to listen to them?

Excerpt:

“How much do you think the average human turd weighs?” Earl asked as he sat down at the table, pulling the plastic lawn chair up behind him and reaching across the table to dig into Harry’s basket of buffalo wings.

“Are you serious? Why?” asked Harry.

“Well, answer me this: how much does an order of wings weigh?”

“Regular or jumbo?”

“Jumbo” Earl mumbled with a mouth full of meat, spraying Three Mile Island sauce across the table. Droplets of orange-tinged spit peppered the table. Earl snatched a paper towel off the roll sitting on the table and wiped the table once, leaving an arc of smeared wing sauce across the table.

“Dude! Say it, don’t spray it!” Harry yelped, holding his beer out of the mist with one hand, while trying to cover a baskets of wings and celery sticks with the other hand.

“You know: my usual. How much do you think that weighs? The parts I eat?” Earl said, craning his neck around looking for a waitress. Harry could hear the frustration in Earl’s voice. Earl hadn’t sat down with a beer, and he didn’t usually like going for very long without one. Especially in The Beaver, not because the wings were too hot, but because Earl swore Yuengling tasted better from The Beaver’s taps. Everyone else in the village thought The Brown Beaver’s draft beers tasted skunky because the staff never cleaned the lines. “That’s bullshit!” Earl would bellow to anyone who would listen. Earl had the proud distinction of having been in two fist fights and arrested once for defending The Brown Beaver’s honor. The second fight (and arrest) was with The Brown Beaver’s owner, Seamus, who refused to give Earl any more alcohol one night.

“I don’t know. Why?” Harry said, responding to the back of Earl’s head.

“I’m just trying to figure out how much I’m eating, is all.” Earl said, holding up one finger to the waitress.

“What? Can’t shop in the Miss’s section anymore, Meatball?”

“Screw you! I’m serious!”

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. Good for you! I’ll support you on your diet. I hear they can be tough.” Harry was switching gears, downshifting into sincerity drive, and hoping he sounded convincing or at least supportive.

“I’m not going a diet! I’m trying to figure out, in pounds, how much food I eat.”

“Here you go, Earl” interrupted Cindi, placing his beer on the table.

“Well, thanks, darlin’, and keep ’em coming.” Earl cooed after taking a long drink. He gave Cindi his biggest smile, like a proud little boy showing his mama he ate all of his dinner.

“I sure will, honey.” Cindi cooed back. She was a good waitress. She played along with the customers’ little games, and ignored the slurred speech and rude pick up lines. She had wide hips and full breasts, her body was often described as good breeding stock by the old ranchers and lumberjacks sitting at the bar without their wives. She usually wore T-shirts with a low v-cut neckline when the weather was warm because she got better tips when she did.

“Cindi, how much does a jumbo order of wings weigh, not including the bones?” Earl probed, trying to sound intelligent in front of Cindi while still pumping out the charm.

“Uh, I don’t know,” Cindi responded sheepishly. Why do customers always think of strange things to ask me?

“No idea? Can you ask the cook how much an order of wings weighs without the bone? Do they weigh differently depending on the sauce?”

“Uh, sure,” was all she could reply as she backed away from the table. Why can’t Earl do like Harry does and just stare at my tits instead of asking weirdo questions?

“What’s this have to do with turds?” Harry asked, watching Cindi’s ass walk away.

“I’m trying to achieve neutral buoyancy within a human vessel.” Earl deadpanned, also watching Cindi’s ass walk away.

“Huh?”

“I said I was ‘trying to achieve neutral buoyancy within a human vessel,’ that is, me.” Earl repeated with what he thought should be the impatient air of an academic.

“You see, Harry,” Earl continued after taking a long pull from his beer, “I don’t like taking shits.” Earl stated, pausing for effect. Harry raised his eyebrows. Earl mistook the raised eyebrows as a signal to continue. “I’m tired of taking shits. It is the most despicable of all bodily functions,” Earl continued, gaining speed. “Either through design or evolution, our waste disposal system is lacking. Our scatological process needs to be revamped. It’s disgusting. It smells. It can be embarrassing. Leaves you feeling uncomfortable. I’m tired of it. I’ve done some research, and the average adult turd weighs between half of a pound to about a pound and a half.”

“Really? That’s it? I’ve had some whoppers I thought must’ve been heavier than that” replied Harry, his curiosity peaked, wrinkling his brow as he pondered Earl’s latest bit of trivia. Another part of Harry’s brain was simultaneously wondering why he was entertaining this conversation.

“I know. I thought the exact same thing” replied Earl, pleased Harry was showing some interest. “Anyway, I figure the weight of turds must equal the weight of excess food we consume. Food our body doesn’t need.” Earl was now punctuating the air with the fat end of a buffalo wing as he spoke. “So, I figure, if I reduce the amount of food I eat by the weight of my bowel movements, my body won’t need to crap anymore. I will consume exactly what my body needs. So no waste. No more taking the Browns to the Super Bowl, or dropping the kids off at the pool! Close and seal the hatch. My crapping days are over.”

Harry sat in amazement by the range of subjects Earl could pull out of his ass and discuss, without fear or embarrassment, in a public place. Maybe sealing the hatch would be best? “So, how’s it going so far?” asked Harry, unconvinced.

“I’m still working on the ratio.”

***

Noah Baird wanted to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, but his grades weren’t good enough (who knew?). However, his grades were good enough to fly for the U.S. Navy (again, who knew?), where he spent 14 years until the government figured out surfers don’t make the best military aviators. He has also tried to be a stand-up comedian in Hawaii for Japanese tourists, where the language barrier really screwed up some great jokes. On the bright side, a sailboat was named after the punchline of one of his jokes.

He has several political satire pieces published on The Spoof under the pen name orioncrew. Noah received his bachelors in Historical and Political Sciences from Chaminade University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He knows nothing about hoaxing Bigfoot. This is his first novel.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Donations to Clarity

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Interview with Noah Baird, Author of Donations to Clarity

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I worked on the idea for Donations to Clarity for about two or three years. My original intention was to write a very different book which included more mythical creatures, such as the Loch Ness Monster, but when I sat down to write the book, the Bigfoot story took over. Instead of resisting the idea, I just went with where the characters took me

What inspired you to write this particular story?

This is an interesting question because I’m really not sure. I was fascinated with Bigfoot when I was younger. The town I grew up in had several Bigfoot sightings, so I think those stories fueled my curiosity at a young age. Part of the Bigfoot legend has always been the idea it was a hoax. Some of the evidence is obviously hoaxed. I’m not sure about all of it, but there are certainly Bigfoot hoaxers out there. It was the hoaxing which really drew my attention – who would do something like that and why? Then I wondered: if Bigfoot exists, what does it think of these people hoaxing Bigfoot? The novel grew from that question.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

I’m not really sure. I suppose there are bits and pieces of me in all of the characters.

Who was your favorite character?

Bigfoot was really fun to write. It took a long time for me to decide on what type of character he should be. I wanted to stay away from the typical scary-creature-in-the-woods Bigfoot. I also thought Bigfoot would be a great vehicle for looking at our world through different eyes. The interesting thing that happened when I started writing him was this misogynist pig came out. I went back through what I wrote, and I thought it was really funny. It was great to be able to shut off the filters and write from the reptile side of the brain.

How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

Very little – I start with an idea and go. I read somewhere Tom Robbins purposely writes himself into a plot corner just to see if he can get himself out of it. I found the idea – that writing didn’t have to have a regimented approach, but could be a game for the writer – really attractive. So, I sat down with the idea ‘What would Bigfoot think if he saw a Bigfoot hoaxer?’, and I went from there.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

I didn’t have people around who supported my writing. They weren’t taking it as seriously as I was. As a unpublished writer, it was difficult to convince them this was something I needed to do. It was also hard to know if the writing or the story was good. It takes a great deal of faith in yourself and the story to see it all of the way through.

What was the first story you remember writing?

I didn’t start off writing stories, but jokes. I really wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I studied comedy extensively, and trained myself to see the joke in everyday things. I was a horrible stand-up comedian. I didn’t like speaking in front of a crowd, but my joke writing wasn’t bad. It occurred to me I could write some very funny jokes – I just couldn’t tell them. In some ways, jokes are micro-novels; they follow similar trajectories, timing, etc. Some of the chapters in the book follow the framework of joke writing.

What writer influenced you the most?

I picked up Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins when I was about 21. It was the book which really spoke to me. I’d always enjoyed reading, but it was the first book I felt like it was written to me. I loved Steinbeck, Twain, etc, but they were from another generation. Woodpecker was the literary equivalent of hearing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit or Don McLean’s American Pie for the first time. I felt like someone else out there saw the world like I did. Christopher Moore, Tim Dorsey, and Carl Hiaasen are larger influences on me now, but Tom Robbins was the first to knock me down the rabbit hole.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?

I read probably a dozen books on Bigfoot and hoaxing Bigfoot. I don’t think I ended up using anything from the research. I tend to b.s. my way through with just enough facts to make it seem plausible.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely not. I write sitcom literature. It’s mental fast food. I just wanted to write an enjoyable story.

Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

I think people thought I was pretty weird before the book. They still think I’m weird, but I think I get a pass now because I’m a writer.

What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?

Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve. It is the funniest, most honest analysis of the complicated relationships between men and women I’ve ever read.

Where can we go to learn more about Donations to Clarity?

You can find Donations to Clarity at my publisher’s website: Second Wind Publishing, LLC

Click here to read the first chapter of: Donations to Clarity

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