Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho

I walked into Barnes and Noble the other day and on their "featured" table was the new novel by the Kardashian sisters. The bile started to peculate, but with great concentration and a strong constitution I was able to hold it down. I turned around and walked out of the store. I promised myself I wouldn't write this blog until my emotions calmed down, although I don't think time has changed my opinion at all.

I didn't think the publishing industry could sink any lower than when Snooky "wrote" a book, but I guess I was wrong. We, all of us who are somehow connected to the publishing industry should be ashamed.

We can look at this in two ways. The first is that money and greed have overtaken the industry. The other is that publishers put out this garbage knowing that there are people foolish enough to buy it in order to have the funding to support new, lesser known writers who might not get a chance otherwise. I hope their reasoning is the latter, but...

I think what amazes me the most is that people will pay good money to buy this junk and worse, they actually think these airheads write these books. Think again. You need to be able to spell and put a sentence together in order to be able to write. Not to mention, having talent. Believe it or not, whining and showing cleavage is not a talent.

Purchasing a book for a loved one is a great gift to give during the holidays. It is something they will always cherish. If you do, please look at the new and upcoming authors and give them a chance. I know you'll be happy for that choice. Whatever your choice, even if it is trash written by trash, at least someone is reading, and that is always a good thing.

Merry Christmas,

J. M.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween: One Christian's Opinion

     It's that time of the year again. A time for children of all ages to dress up and either go trick or treating or to a party or maybe both.

     For those of you who may not know, I am a Christian. That word brings with it many positive and negative connotations. For me, personally, it means that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, was born a man and led a life that was to be an example to all of us as to how we are to lead our lives. I also believe that he died willingly, not because the Jews or Romans were responsible. He died in order that our sins which kept us from having a relationship with God would die with him. I further believe that he rose from the dead, sinless, just as we will someday when we are born into the kingdom of heaven.

     Don't leave me yet. There is a reason for all this "religious" stuff, and I promise to get to the point. I have found the growing trend that Christians will not use the term Halloween, nor will they let their children partake in the traditions of the holiday. Instead they have a Fall Festival, where their kids still dress up and still get candy, it's just not Halloween. "Huh?" I'm I missing something?

     From my time in many Christian churches, I have found that Christians have come to believe that Halloween is Satan's day. A day that is high on the Wiccan calendar. A day when human sacrifice occurs. This made me do a little research into the roots of Halloween. I don't want to bore you with all the facts, but I do think a few are necessary. Halloween's origins date back over 2000 years ago to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was held on October 31, the day before the New Year, November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and ushered in the cold dark winter, a time known for its many deaths
     The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year the boundaries between life and death were blurred and that the ghosts of the dead came back to life. To ward off the ghosts, the Druids or Celts would wear costumes of animal heads and skins and light bonfires. Let's jump ahead...Pope Gregory III (731-741) moved the observance of all Saints and Martyrs from May 31 to November 1 to coincide with the Celtic festival whom many were now Catholic. All Saints Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with bonfires, parades and dressing up in costume, especially, saints, angels, and devils. All Saints Day was also know as All Hallomas (from Middle English alhalomesse, meaning All Saint's Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain, began to be called All Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween.

     Moving ahead to the second half of the Nineteenth Century when there was a great European immigration into the United States, the Irish and English traditions came with the people. Americans began dressing up in costumes and going door to door asking for food or money. This tradition eventually became "trick or treat".

     So, getting back to the subject of this post. In my research of the true holiday, I did not find Satanism, nor any holiday in the Wiccan religious calender. I am not saying that I may not have missed something, but the point is, today Halloween is just a day when children of all ages can play dress up and pretend to be something or someone they are not and have a little fun for a few hours. Don't we all need a little escapism?

     If we as Christians want Christmas called "Christmas" and not a "Winter Holiday" then don't we have to bestow the same attitude on those holidays that we may or may not agree with?

     Christ told us to treat everyone as He has treated us. Just a thought.

     Happy Halloween,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As I promised over the weekend, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a great young author, Ms. Stephanie Campbell.

A Guide to Dreams—and Why the Bigger the BetterBy Stephanie Campbell

I’m a young writer, only twenty, and ever since I was twelve years old, I have wanted to be a writer. I see myself in the limelight, waving “hello” at the camera on the Today Show and posing sexily for the New York Times. When I was younger, people called me crazy constantly, even my own friends.

At the time, I had been hurt and embarrassed and learned to keep my big dreams to myself, but I never gave up on them. I wrote everyday, no matter what. My friends would go off to parties and I would reject invitations, writing at my computer. Once again, I was crazy.

I wrote my first book, six hundred pages worth, at the age of sixteen and sent query letter after query letter. I got enough rejections to wallpaper my room with. I cried a lot. It was a very painful experience, and sometimes I wonder how my soft adolescent heart ever got through it.

When I was seventeen, I published my first novel, Until We Meet Again. I got my first copy just in time for graduation. I was proud of that book, editorial mistakes and all.

Fast forward time three years and you get where I am now. I have yet to stand on the set of the Today Show and I’ve never even been to New York, but I am a lot farther today than I was then. I have many publishers, over six books in production in the next couple of months alone, and I am in the middle of interning with a publisher so I can start my own publishing house.

Nobody calls me crazy anymore.

Maybe I’ll never get my big dreams, but I will never give up on them no matter what. My dreams taught me how to live. I grew stronger with every rejection, I learned the meaning of the word persistence after the first hundred query letters, and I give one hundred and ten percent every single day.

Dreaming isn’t a crime. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a burger flipper or a rock star. The biggest stars in the world started as a regular human being. The bigger the dreams the better, because they teach you how to live.

You can find my guest blog on her site at 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


     In the past week, I have sensed the change of seasons starting to happen. Living in South Florida, this can sometimes be a subtle change. There is no changing of the color of the leaves. The mornings aren't brisk. Clothing doesn't change; well not for most of us. More on that in a moment. No, the changes aren't that overt. I wish they were. As a male member of our species, I don't do well with subtle. It takes us a while to catch on.
     That being said, I have sensed the changes that go along with summer morphing into fall. The temperature has dropped from 90 to a cool 85. The meteorologists have lost some of their zeal for putting the word tropical in front of every breeze that blows or rain drop that falls. We used to have showers or thunder storms, now we have tropical disturbances. Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yeah...changes in the seasons. Other signs that fall is here can be seen in the stores. The Halloween costumes are on display next to the Christmas decorations. Is there really any doubt why more 'sane' people seem to go postal as the holidays approach? By the time December 25th has finally arrived, the sensationalism and commercialism of Christmas has been shoved down our throats for so long, that one more version of "I Wish You a Merry Christmas" or "My Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer" could turn anyone into a raging wacko.
     Sorry, there I go again. Back to the signs of fall. One of the biggest signs that the seasons have changed is that the humidity is no longer 90 percent or above and finally the biggest sign in South Florida that the fall has arrived...the elderly have multiplied and they are wearing jackets, hats and gloves because the temperatures have dipped below 90... brrr!
     Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I have some exciting news. On this coming Wednesday, you will find a guest blog from a very talented young author on "Phantom Phrases." So please check the blog on the 19th or soon after to learn more about Stephanie Campbell.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Beginnings, Great Endings, and What Comes In Between

     As some of you may know, I am a professor at a nursing school as well as being a full time writer. This past week a new class entered the school and one graduated.
It is always exciting to see new students arrive. They show up full of positive emotions and excitement. They haven't yet been throttled by the immense amount of work that they will putting forth. They see the eventual outcome through rose colored glasses...and this is good! It's great to see people who are only able to see the adventure and hold their desires close to their heart.
     It's even more exciting to see a class graduate. I have watched them go through the process of working toward their degree and even more importantly, their nursing license. The look on the faces of those who have been through the battle, didn't give up, stayed true to themselves, and found victory in the end is a wonderful thing.
     This sounds a lot like the writing process. When the idea for a new plot line or new character is first established, writers become very excited. They see the beginning and they can envision the end and it all looks amazing. Putting the first words to paper and knowing they are good is thrilling, but soon comes the hard work. A writer must find a way to engage the reader in the first few sentences or most will look elsewhere. They must make the plot flow seamlessly and have the characters connect to the reader. Sometimes, on very special days, this can be endless, joyful bliss, but on most days the process is hard work.
     In the end, when you have a final manuscript that you are proud of, you find that all the emotional and physical toil was worthwhile.
     Both of these scenarios could relate to anybody starting out on a new adventure, whether it be a new career, home or relationship. As we all know, the beginning is always exciting and full of promise, but to get to the best part...the end, we must work hard and keep our vision on the reason we started it to begin with.
So when you wake up tomorrow, try and see it as a new adventure, one with the promise of new beginnings. With hard work it will bring the satisfaction of a great ending.
Until next week,
J. M.

Cursed Blessing; Book One of the Trilogy of the Chosen is published by Suspense Publishing and can be found where ever e-books are sold.
Your reviews are always welcome. You may find yourself and your comments written in the Reviews section of the next book, Cursed Presence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Struggles of Changing One's Inner Clock

How many of you have had to switch from working days to nights or vise versa? In the past six months. I have gone from working a twelve hour day schedule to working a fifteen hour day and night schedule to working a twelve hour night schedule to now having to switch back to a twelve hour day schedule. Wow, even when I look at it, it seems extreme.
Don't get me wrong, all these changes were good and necessary in order to bring me where I am today. I am now on the same work schedule as my wife for the first time in the twenty-three years we've been married. I am looking forward to the extra time we will have together.
All this being said, I find it hard to continually change my sleep pattern to match my schedule.
At this point, you're probably thinking, why are you talking about this? Because, I think that it is something that most of us deal with at some point in our working life and because it entails changing all other aspects of our lives. Think about it...when you change your work hours, you change your meal hours, your sleep hours, your relationship / communication hours and your social time. For me, it has meant all those things, plus finding the time to write and answer emails. So, now that I will be back on a "normal" day schedule, I am hoping to have more time to write and to blog and to answer emails from those who follow J. M. LeDuc. If you have any advise on how to make these changes easier, please let me know. You can comment on this blog or email me at
Until next week,
J. M.
Below, you will find the link to "Cursed Blessing". Check it out and let me know what you think

Sunday, September 4, 2011

After Every Storm a Fresh Wind Blows

Life is a never ending series of storms. Like bad weather, we muddle through the storm or suck it up and fight. Although it's hard to believe when we're in the midst, there is always a calm, fresh breeze on the other side.
We all fight through the typical storms of financial worry and trying to balance the different aspects of our lives; work, home and relationships, but there are times when other storms blow in. So it has been in my life for the past year. I have been fighting a congenital, physical demon that has plagued me since I was a child. Since it is progressive, there is no winning, just the struggle of coming to grips with it. I can now feel the warm breeze of acceptance.
I have also fought the storm of career change. I birthed a Chiropractic practice twenty-seven years ago and had to fight through the reality that it was time to let go. The warm breeze of teaching blew into my life and I am very grateful.
Finally, thee was the storm of writing. My first novel was originally published in the spring of Two Thousand and Ten. It had great reviews, but little distribution and even less marketing. Recently, the warm wind of a new and exciting publisher, Suspense Publishing, blew my way. I have never been more excited about a new beginning and the prospects of a great future. "Cursed Blessing" has been reedited and was re-released on August Twenty-ninth, Two Thousand and Eleven with a great new look. You'll find it in all e-book formats and at the low price of $1.99. I welcome you to take a look on Amazon, or Smashwords or any other e-book seller. If you like what you see, download it and give it a read. I invite your comments and reviews, whether they be a storm or a warm breeze. If you like it, you won't have to wait long for the sequel. "Cursed Presence" is scheduled to be released three months from now.
You may be asking, why e-book? Simple. It is the present and future of publishing. Although, I do not think print books will ever go away, the reality is e-books are growing and will be the primary format before long.
I hope you all have a warm, calm, tropical wind at your back. If not, know that the storm will pass and the calm breeze is yet to come.
Until next week
J. M.