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Project U.L.F. – Outbreak – Free Kindle Download through March 9th

That’s right folks, you read that correctly. Now through Saturday, March 9th, you can pick up a copy of my latest novel, Project U.L.F. – Outbreak, absolutely free.

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To pick up your free download, click here

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Giveaway and Blog Tour Alert

Would you like the chance to get your hands on a Kindle Fire? I might be able to help you out there.

Check out this giveaway. The contest takes place from January 1st-31st in conjunction with the Heroines With Heart blog tour. Yes, I will be doing the tour as an author 🙂

If you are interested in participating in the tour, whether as an author, blogger, reviewer, or attendee, you can learn more about it here: http://heroineswithheart.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Three Reasons Why People Think Flu Shots Cause the Flu

“I got the flu shot, and it gave me the flu.” I wish that, as a physician, I had a dime for every time someone has said that to me. I would be a rich man.
The truth is, you cannot get influenza—the flu—from the flu shot. Never. No way. Not possible. The flu shot is made from killed flu viruses. Dead viruses cannot replicate and grow inside the body, and, therefore, they cannot cause the flu. These dead viruses do, however, cause the body to make anti-flu antibodies, and this is how the vaccination works. The body builds up antibodies—immunity—to the flu.
So, why do so many people insist that the flu shot causes the flu? There are, I think, three reasons for this.
1.) The flu shot can cause some mild flu-like symptoms. About 1% of people who receive the flu vaccine get a low-grade fever, a headache, and mild body aches after getting vaccinated. These are side effects of the vaccine. People, not unreasonably, often interpret these mild symptoms as “the flu.” In truth, these side effects are nothing like getting the real flu. The real flu makes you feel quite miserable: high fevers, chills, severe body aches, muscle aches, profound generalized weakness in addition to headache, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and red/watery eyes. Flu vaccine side effects rarely last more than a day, whereas the real flu usually lasts five to ten days.
2.) You can still get the flu after getting the flu shot. There are two ways this can happen. First, the flu shot takes about two weeks to start working. It takes two weeks to build up those immunizing antibodies. Thus, if you’re exposed to the flu within two weeks following the shot, you can still get the flu. And, if this happens, it’s very natural to think the flu came from the flu shot, itself. But, this is not the case. You were simply unlucky. You caught the flu before the shot could make you immune.
Secondly, the flu shot is not 100% effective. Depending on the year and the strain of flu going around, the shot is anywhere from 50-90% effective. This means that 10 to 50% of the time the shot doesn’t work. Some people will think the shot must have caused the flu, since they got the shot and still got the flu. But, the truth is, the shot simply didn’t give full immunity. Luckily, if you do get the flu after the flu shot, you are likely to have a milder course of flu than if you didn’t get the shot.
3.) Finally, the flu shot does not protect you against cold viruses. The shot only protects against the influenza virus. There are still dozens of cold viruses floating around out there. Consequently, if you catch a cold a few days after getting the flu shot, you might well think the shot gave you “the flu” because cold symptoms are similar to flu symptoms. (Cold symptoms, however, tend to be milder than flu symptoms: cough, sore throat, and runny nose, yes—but with less high fever, body aches, muscle aches, weakness, and generally feeling like crap.)
So, given these reasons why you might think you got the flu from the flu shot, why get the shot in the first place? For anyone who’s ever had a case of bona fide flu—as I have—the answer is pretty easy: the flu sucks. It’s rather like having a high fever plus profound fatigue plus a bad cold all associated with the feeling of having been run over by a Mack truck. Not fun. The flu shot can prevent a week of genuine misery, and, for me, that alone is worth a shot in the arm.
In addition, getting the flu shot could prevent you from getting the flu plus a flu-related complication such as pneumonia or a sinus infection. It could even prevent you from becoming a flu statistic. About 25,000 people (on average) die of flu-related complications each year in the United States (worldwide, there are 200,000 to half a million flu-related deaths).
Or, if you don’t want to get the flu shot to protect yourself, you might consider being a hero and getting it to protect others. One person with the flu can infect dozens of other people. So even if you don’t mind getting the flu, yourself, think about getting the flu shot in order to protect your friends, family members, and other close contacts from getting the flu from you.

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“…gripped my attention so much that I had to finish it in one sitting…”

Just tootin’ my own horn here. Please bear with me…

5_star_review

Book Review
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers Favorite

“Familiar Origins” is science fiction story about a universe ruled by powerful dragons who submit themselves only to the supreme Creator. The universe is divided into the Debellos and the Turei factions. It is also a story of magic and of mankind. The Debellos are the aggressive dragons who want to conquer the world to feed their magic. The Tueri dragons, on the other hand, want to protect the worlds of animate beings. One of these worlds is populated with human life that is also rich in magic and is the venue of the fight between the Debellos and the Tueri. Locked in a centuries-old deadlock, these dragons know that the one who can control eight extraordinary humans will be the one who will emerge victorious. Both dragon factions patiently wait to find the humans that they can train to reach their goals and they eventually identify five young children who hold the fate of their world. These children have to face horror and deception at a tender age and have to deal with the powerful dragons. “Familiar Origins” is actually a story of humankind’s survival in the face of a Debellos dragon who succeeded in gaining control of their lives.

“Familiar Origins” is a science fiction and fantasy story. It is a tale of five children growing up under the guardianship of mystical dragons. Author B. Pine undoubtedly has a very fertile imagination. She creates a new world in this story and produces extraordinary characters. It is a tale of magic where the world is populated by dragons and epic battles are being waged. This is a book that certainly gripped my attention so much that I had to finish it in one sitting. I am fascinated by the character of Ben, the commoner who fell in love with the proud princess, Princess Jania, and kept his emotions to himself for years. The truth is that “Familiar Origins” is also a story of children who are coming of age. The five children here have to grow up under abnormal circumstances and they are forced to grow up as quickly as they can. With the children going to the academy to specialize in some skills, it seems somewhat similar to the story of Harry Potter. B. Pine’s “Familiar Origins” is not completely original but she manages to come up with a story that is riveting and exciting. It was a roller coaster ride for me, as I read the novel from start to finish in one sitting, so to say.

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And…it’s here!

Finally! Book 2 of the Draca Wards Saga is available exclusively on Kindle. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for free.

Plights

The race is on to bond with the young wards, and some of the evil Draca are in prime position to make their move. One dragon controls the Academy where most of the wards are training. Another is blindly revered by the powerful Druids. Yet another wreaks havoc with her disregard for rules and order among her kind. But the wards are unaware of the danger. As they begin to come to terms with the powers they possess, they must accept who they are, their pasts and their futures, and figure out who is a friend…and who is not.

This is an exclusive pre-release. The print edition will be released in February. And don’t forget, Familiar Origins is still 99 cents on Kindle! Happy reading!

B.

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Familiar Origins for 99 cents!

The sequel to Familiar Origins is almost here. And the Kindle version of Familiar Origins is now 99 cents for a limited time on Amazon!
So if you have a Kindle, and you haven’t read the first book, or if you are looking for a holiday gift for an avid reader, now is the time to get it.

The book is about a group of children who are being sought after by dragons. The prologue tells of two dragons confronting each other over a newborn baby. You can read the prologue and the first three chapters here:

Goodreads Excerpt

You can also visit the Draca Wards website to learn more about this fantasy saga:

www.dracawards.com

Familiar Origins has won two 2012 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. It’s also received great reviews. So If you have not read it yet, give it a shot. And if you know anyone who is looking for a good YA fantasy book to read, please spread the word.

B.

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Remembering 9/11

Nine, Eleven. Utter those words and everyone knows exactly what you mean.  There’s no discrepancy.  No mistake.  The rest of the date is irrelevant because the events of that day are burnt indelibly into our collective memory.
Nine, Eleven.  I can think of no other date in history that’s referred to in the same manner; whose numbers are steeped in so much meaning.
What happened that day unites us because we all remember exactly where we were.  Now, eleven years later I find myself exactly there, working in Manhattan, mere blocks away from the old world trade center site and the location of the Freedom Tower.
Each year, in memory of those who died in the attacks, New York City sends two beams of light skyward from the footprints of the twin towers.  It is a beautiful, yet sad and sobering sight. Tonight I took a moment to go up on the roof and take some photographs.
I’ve been to many monuments in my lifetime and of them all, I think this is the most fitting tribute.  It is so understated, so muted, so perfect in the stark and vivid contrast it provides to the horror and violence it serves to remember.  The pillars of light provide a moment of peace in an otherwise busy metropolis. A peace that we would wish upon the souls of all those who lost their lives that day.  And despite the hustle and bustle of the city’s streets, the two white shards just stand there, silent sentinels to the memory of the fallen. Because we can never forget them.

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