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I want to show you how we can make Amazon Book Clubs the biggest Facebook Group in the world. If you follow the instruction given below, you will be able to get a lot Facebook likes, friend requests, and followers without any cost.

The overall process will take less than two minutes to carry out, and you must first be a JOINED MEMBER of Amazon Book Clubs on Facebook.

This Trick can work using the Google Chrome Web Browser or Mozilla FireFox.

  1. Login into
  2. Open / go to the Amazon Book Clubs Facebook group;
  3. Press the Ctrl, Shift and J button on your keyboard at the same time if you are using a Google Chrome browser. Or press Ctrl, Shift and K if you are using a Mozilla FireFox. A Console will show at the foot or side of your Facebook page.
  • You may see some precautionary clause that will warn you to stop. If this occur, refresh the webpage and see if it clears up. The warning is a script-code written by facebook developers to deter Hackers, given that he or she have - and is using - your fb email and password. Be aware that this is a top-secret code, known only to skilled web developers like myself. It is a loophole that cannot be change because of the facebook's built-in algorithm used by the developers themselves. Your account will never be detected, and you will receive massive exposure every time you post on the Amazon Book Clubs Facebook Group. Proceed to the next step if the warning continued or clears up.

4. Download & or Open this -> Script-Code, from, (

5. Select and Copy All of the texts / numbers.
6. After copying, Paste the script-code Into the Facebook Console box, and then press ENTER.
8. The Facebook automated system will take care of the invites.      


This process may take about a minute or less.

After you've done this, you will automatically start receiving friend requests and followers from the Amazon Book Clubs group every time you post a book-related message on its wall. All of your Facebook friends & followers will also be notified - as the very first subject on their newsfeed - every time you post your book-events, reviews, covers, blurbs, excerpts etc.

Join the Amazon Book Clubs Facebook Poll, and tell our group members who you are; Author, Reader, Editor, Reviewer, Publisher, Book-Seller, Amazon affiliate, or Networker? Every time you post here, the messages will automatically stream on,,,, and 10 others, effortlessly.

Check it out & See you there.

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The future of book / publishing altogether

For some reason I am inspired to share my innermost thought to you listeners on a subject concerning books and publishing, especially when it comes to ebook, self-publications, and trade publishing. You've all heard this phrase before, "you can't judge a book by its cover," but in this new age of self-publishing, we as readers would to have to be open minded to skepticism when we see a low-budgeted/self-designed book, because this output presentation immediately tells us the nature of the author's seriousness, why he or she couldn't develop an eye-pleasing graphic in this new-age, technology savvy, world. This is not to devalue the literary quote (you can't judge a book by its cover), but this quote as many of us would agree, has aged, and perhaps expired. This is not to disregard the work of any writer of value, because there are many great writers out there who had fallen victim to the traditional-publishers'-controlled-environment of book publishing, at least until the introduction of ebooks and Amazon-like outlets in the 20th century. I have attempted to become to serious at times myself, and I gave it everything that I owned, including my budgets and full-times. If you are great, only YOU can convince the world, and that mean that you'd have to be persistent. In the end, however, the persistent becomes an hard pill to swallow for many writers. But thanks to Amazon and the introduction of eBooks, many writers dream can now come true, and together we can break the bondage forced on our literary talents by the refusals from the big publishing houses.

I can honestly say that many of my best-read books were written by indie (independent) writers, and I am not only talking about novice writers, but seasoned writers as well. Traditional publishers could not handle the workload of publishing every writers out there, and that is perfectly understandable. This is why the big publishers only choose to publish the 'one-per-centers', the ones with the greatest chance of achieving a mass appeal, even if the writing is mediocre at best. Yes, this practice is unfair to many rejected writers, especially those who spent their entire adolescent studying the art and styles of writing, with little hopes of being that new voice of the generation.

If you can find that literary VOICE, then nothing can stop you.

What is this 'voice' I'm talking about?

Well, if you are still listening/reading this article right now you may not realize that you have just read a whole page of writing without pausing. The voice is that fluent deliverance that naturally comes with every seasoned writers who have perfected the art of writing and can delivering exactly what is in their mind, usually in one take, with the utmost clarity. Many writers like myself practiced on creating scenes, surroundings, dismantling and composing the scenes  like a broken pottery, to see if it can be perfected once again. Many writers would never find this voice, and would become stuck with imitations of what they'd read, hoping to make it unique with some tweaking. In order to achieve the 'voice', you would have to practice writing a lot, and with different styles. Big-publishers can immediately sense your nervousness (immaturity) through your query letters and sample chapters if you submit your work to them unprepared. A good editor can almost immediately sense what type of style you are writing with, and YOU DO NOT WANT AN EDITOR TO QUICKLY  IDENTIFY YOUR WRITING STYLE, CONSIDER YOURSELF DENIED.  Your presentation have to be unique, something never achieved, like Michael Jackson with the Pop-music, Picasso with his absurd arts, and that book 'Crime and Punishment' with its flawless deliverance.

A writing style is not something you build by chance, it has to be developed, honed, and mastered, and an editor reading your sample work can feel the story if it is good. If you want to become a world famous writer, unfortunately, you'll still have to go through a big publisher to gain that reputation. So good luck, and don't forget to practice tirelessly before approaching them.

I personally do not believe that traditional publishers are putting out the best books out there, and that their books are mediocre at best, except for a chosen few. I think that the book publishing business is going the wrong direction, and this is why the businesses altogether were loosing money before the introduction of eBooks, and the unfortunate downgrades of bookstores; Borders, Powell's etc

I think what ought to happen is individual franchising among big-money-traditional-publishers and independent writers if we are looking to expand literature through a diverse list of great talents. Big publishers franchising with indie-writers is not something unheard of. In the year 2005, Simon&Schuster acquired a small-press publishing business called Strebor, from Kristina Laferne Roberts, an author who is now famously known as Zane. Zane was a successful self-published author of many erotica books before Simon&Schuster approached her books and bought her publishing house. Now, Strebor is the largest producer of African American trade-mark books in the world. Another example is that of rapper 50 Cents, who is the owner of G-Unit Books, another imprint of the Simon&Schuster company. Oh yes, how about the shocking $119 million payout made from Penguin to to Author Solutions, the self-publishing company behind iUniverse and AuthorHouse, in the year 2012. Not bad. Another is that of Author Vickie Stringer, the CEO of Triple Crown Publishing, one of the largest urban novel publishers in the world despite its refusal to become an imprint of any big publisher. The story goes on and on.., and this leave a lot of hope for us indie (independent) writers / publishers.

Signing to a big publisher is not the only way you can achieve greatness. You can do it yourself if you are willing to put in the effort and time. Author Amanda Hocking is an example of the many independent greats who had sold million of ebooks. Time is money, and the big-publishers have a lot of them to budget out to make their chosen writers successful.

In my next article, I will show you some effective ways you can use to make your ebook widely noticed and climb to that bestsellers rank whether through Amazon or BN. For us indie writers, the struggle is real, but if you study the market, you will see that the opportunity is endless.

Tell us what you think of this article, sign-in and leave your comment for everyone to read and reply. Thank you.

P.S. If you find an error in this article, that's because it was written out in one take. I will recommend that you writers practice the same and just write. You may submit your composed article to me at, and I will approve it as a blog for all to see and read if it is properly written. 

Expand your visibility, get a contact list (emails) of 60,000 book-loving ScribdDocStoc & SlideShare members. These are book lovers who loves nothing but reading and writing. You may use Mailchimp or TargetHeroto message 5,000 at a time.

10916215089?profile=original   Download The List

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The constitution of a man is not always defined by his destiny but occasionally by the circumstances of the life he has lived.

Revel DeMarquis stood watching as the waves lapped against the shore depositing copious amounts of shells and seaweed now that the storm had lessened. The sun was beginning to rise as he lifted the window allowing the salty scent of the ocean to fill his room. The air was heavy and dense as it rolled through Royal Street and into the French Quarter, nearly so thick it was difficult to breathe. The heaviness of the waves had ceased and was replaced with the placid rolling of the inward bay. Beams of the breaking dawn shed their light across the caps coloring them with tinges of red, crimson, and orange.

His moment of bliss, enjoying the city as it was meant to be enjoyed, was broken by the harrowing screams of Remy Broulette.

It was common and occurred every morning with the same result. Revel hastened his pace, picking up a towel before exiting his room, to walk the long corridor to the room of his friend.

Remy stood in the corner gasping for air. His eyes were wild, nearly feral, as they swept the room. The full length of his hair was dripping with sweat. It was a scene Revel DeMarquis had witnessed a million times before. Remy seized the towel from his hand and stormed out of the room, slamming the door to the lavatory behind him. The sound of water was not enough to drown out his angry screams.

Revel walked to the end of the corridor and stood at the top of the spiral staircase looking at the fortune they had amassed during their lifetime.

“It means nothing without your happiness and peace remaining elusive,” Revel whispered before descending the staircase and meeting their butler at the base of the stairs.

“Ambrulle, please make Master Remy his usual breakfast.”

“Yes, sir, and what do you wish for breakfast this morning?”

“I will have the same as Remy, if you please.”

“Certainly, Master Revel; do you wish me to bring it to his room or will you be serving Master Remy this morning?”

“I will accompany you to the kitchen. It is not necessary for you to bring our morning meal upstairs.”

“As you wish sir,” Ambrulle replied courteously.

Revel followed closely until they reached the kitchen where he chose to sit at the small table that was usually reserved for the servants.

“How long have you been with us now, Ambrulle?”

“I cannot say I have tallied the years, sir. My life with you and Master Remy has been a pleasant one. The years only need be counted when the memories are unhappy ones, sir.”

Revel reached across the table, laughing loudly, and set the percolator on the silver breakfast tray.

“Is it French Roast this morning?” He asked.

“No sir, given how much alcohol Master Remy consumed last evening, I made the choice to brew coffee that is a bit more robust. It is recently arrived yesterday from Jamaica.”

The aroma filled the kitchen with a hearty bouquet that was somewhat pungent and slightly sweet. Royal Street was beginning to bustle as the city awoke. The sounds of women chatting as their laundry was hung on the balconies filled the air along with the scent of fine cigars being smoked by their husbands as they stood outside.

Ambrulle placed two linen napkins on the tray before handing it to Revel.

“Thank you, Ambrulle, I do not know if it is said enough, but you are our family.”

“Thank you sir, I shall be along with Master Remy’s suit in an hour.”

Revel’s thoughts drifted while ascending the stairs, considering how much longer they would remain in the French Quarter. It seemed they had outlived their welcome in the heart of New Orleans and were now nothing but relics. Few of the people they had once known were still alive, even fewer had stayed on in the city since the outbreak. Notwithstanding all that had transpired in their lives, New Orleans was their home.

When he reached Remy’s room, he had yet to exit the lavatory. Revel placed the tray on the small gaming table in the corner of the room and pulled open the heavy velvet drapes to allow the morning sun entry.

Remy emerged wrapped in a towel with his long, black hair hanging over his shoulders. The complexity of the meaning behind Remy’s hair and the depth of the color was still somewhat a mystery to Revel. His hair could appear as black as a moonless night or could shimmer like that of a raven depending on his mood.

The light shining between the curtains illuminated the haunting color of Remy’s eyes as he walked toward the table.

“Are we having the usual fare this morning?” He asked, handing a napkin to Revel.

“This morning is the same as every other, Remy; poached eggs, artisan bread, and coffee.”

He muttered something indistinguishable as he opened the liquor cabinet and returned with a bottle of Absinthe.

“Is it necessary to begin each and every day that way, Remy? If it were not in my better judgment, I would say I believe you wished to kill yourself.”

“Well, since we both know that is not possible, perhaps you should let me drink in peace and eat your breakfast.”

Remy placed his egg in the center of his bread but could not bring himself to eat.

“You know today is the first day of Mardi Gras.”

“Yes, Revel, I am quite aware of the date.”

“Are you not the least bit curious as to whether this will be the year she returns?”

“Not in the least. Perhaps, DeMarquis, you should consider focusing your attention elsewhere. I have given myself to failure and understand Dominique Moran is not a woman who wishes to be found.”

“Still, it would not hurt to see if Miss Moran has chosen this year as her return year to New Orleans.”

Very rarely did Revel see the darker side of his friend. It had happened on only a few occasions in the time they had been together. He realized as he looked across the table at Remy, he understood the coldness behind his unusual green eyes. There were details about Remy’s life he had not revealed to anyone, including Revel. The truth was he knew very little about Remy or his family except that his mother was a Choctaw and his father was French. That small piece of information summed up what he knew about Remy Broulette in a nutshell.

“My head hurts too much to argue with you this morning.”

“You are the only Indian in the history of man who could drink an Irishman under the table, Remy Broulette, so do not tell me a blatant lie.”

Remy filled his coffee cup with Absinthe and ignored the comment of the only man he trusted with his life.

“Do you ever grow weary of this life we have chosen?” Remy raised his cup to toast his friend. “I know I have. Were I a man of wisdom in my youth, before this happened to us, I never would have believed an existence like this could be real. Yet, here we sit, two men, who have outlived everyone we have ever known.”

“Are we a trifle melancholy today?”

“It is not melancholy, Revel, but sensibility. No man is a God. No man is meant to live forever. Immortality is a curse. At least if we were like the other immortals we have met, we could say we were part of something bigger on some far grander scale but we cannot. Our immortality came from a curse and will never be broken. You want to search for her each year in the hope she will return. I can tell you with all certainty Dominique Moran is long gone.”

The remaining few bites of egg lost its appeal as Revel stared at Remy. He had grown so bitter, so lost, over the last seven years Revel could hardly believe that same man sat across from him.

“I mean to find her, just as I promised you I would the day this all began.”

Remy stood from the table allowing his towel to fall to the floor. He stumbled naked to his bed and fell into it.

“Are you going to be like this all day?”

There was no response. Revel DeMarquis stormed out of the room slamming the door behind him. “It could be worse. We could have become those who are immortals truly cursed. Count your blessings, Remy; at least we are not Nightwalkers.” Revel screamed from outside the door.

Ambrulle was ascending the staircase and paused to look at Revel.

“No sense in taking that suit up to him. I doubt he will move from that damn bed all day.”

“Master Revel, you are going to search for her, aren’t you?”


“Might I accompany you, sir? I prefer to not be here when he is wallowing in his own self-pity.”

“I would welcome the company. Give me a moment, if you would, and I shall meet you at the Garden House.”

Revel DeMarquis stood before the Venetian mirror considering how long it had hung in that exact spot. His image, his reflection, had grown faint over the years and was nearly an echo from days long gone when gentlemen walked with canes and wore a topcoat and hat. The amulet around his neck still glistened brightly and had not diminished with the passing of time. Before tucking the talisman inside his shirt, Revel held it to his ear and listened closely.

“Still beating away, I see,” he whispered. “How grateful I am for you.”

The door closed behind him jingling the chime that hung atop the door. The walk to Garden House was not a long one but was nonetheless enjoyable. The restoration and detail that had been invested in New Orleans held a certain amount of reverence in Revel’s heart. It was where he had been born. Over the centuries, the city had gone through many changes. She had been occupied by the Natives, the Spanish, and the French; the latter two of three by force. She had been witness to being the port of call for slave traders unloading their human cargo and selling flesh until gaining her independence from France and becoming part of the great American Colonies. The very essence of her history was reflected in every piece of architecture in New Orleans. It filled Revel DeMarquis’s heart with a near overwhelming sadness to know how greatly the city had suffered yet somehow had endured.

Ambrulle sat poised and proper on the park bench outside of Garden House, one of the more popular homes in New Orleans. Thousands flocked to leave flowers along the walkway in memory of Antoinette Moran, one of the most prominent women to ever inhabit the city, despite the fact it had never been her home. Revel sat next to Ambrulle watching those who passed by.

“This house brings so much pain to him. Why does he maintain it? Would it not bring Master Remy closure to be rid of such heartache?”

“He cannot bear to let it slip from his grasp. I can only assume Remy keeps the estate in the hopes one day Dominique will return even though he would vehemently deny it if you questioned him as to why he cannot let it slip from his fingers.”

“Were it within my power, sir, I would burn this infernal place to the ground especially after what she did to you.”

“What she did to all of us, Ambrulle, what she did to all of us.”

“My fate, sir, was long sealed before you and Master Remy were ever part of the equation. There should be no guilt on your part over the life I willingly accepted. Death is what all men fear. I was weak, unable to admit that I too would fall to the same fate as all men; that I would wither and die, my bones crumbling to ash beneath the stones of some mausoleum. I willingly accepted her request to be the recipient of what she and her mother had begun in you and Master Remy. The only redeeming moment of my life was the day I found the courage to resist her and took my place with you, Master Revel.”

“You are a man with a heart as good and great as the sea is wide, Ambrulle, and should never feel remorseful over the events that transpired. Any man, no matter his stature in life, would gladly accept the opportunity Antoinette presented you. There was no way for you to know Dominique would continue what her mother began.”

Revel looked over his shoulder at the mansion. It had changed little despite the amount of time that had passed. The trailing vines of wisteria that had once been only budding plants were now aged vines nearly six inches across which scaled the entire side of the mansion and wound their way across the second level balcony. The white teacup roses bloomed in their large iron decanters on either side of the stone stairs. Fragrant thyme grew between the stepping stones leading toward the flower gardens behind the estate and released their delicate scent with each step taken. The mansion possessed the same life it had the first day he had paused before it nearly a hundred years before. His head fell between his hands in anquish...

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Now that I've published my first eBook and it's started getting some downloads, I wanted to share some lessons I learned as I went through the process of writing it. If you  haven't written your first eBook yet, I hope you'll keep these things in mind as you start writing it.

Make it a priority - If you're determined to write an eBook, you need to set aside time to actually work on  the process.  If you work full time, this means you  may have to get early or stay up late so you can put in a little time on your eBook.  I often got up at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning so I could work on writing or researching my eBook , or doing other things related to my it.

Have a to-do list - I always try to make a to-do list of what I want to accomplish for the day - that could be writing or outlining a chapter,  researching a chapter,  brainstorming ideas, or anything else that I need to do that's related to my eBook.  Then I would at least try to make a dent in those tasks during the time I set aside for working on my eBook.

Don't be afraid to ask for help - If your goal is not only to write an eBook, but actually make money off of it, there's a lot more to the process of writing an eBook than just writing it.  You also have to design a book cover and find ways to market your it.  Not everyone knows how to do all these things well though, nor do they have the time to do it, so it's ok to enlist the help of others you might know.  When I was writing my eBook, I asked a friend of mine if she could use her graphic design skills to modify a graphic that I had downloaded and was considering using in my cover.  I also had people help me with editing my eBook as well as my eBook description, and putting the description into the proper format so it would look good on my eBook's sales page. 

If you don't already have one, build a following while you're working on your eBook - When I first started writing my eBook back in 2012, I did have a little bit of a following  because I had been a contributing writer on Work at Home Adventures for a little over a year at that time, but I also decided to  start a free blog on so I could let people know about the progress I was making on my eBook.  Later when I had the money, I converted the free blog to a self-hosted website on  

Write as much as you can about your eBook's subject so you can get the word out about it  - You can write guest posts for blogs about your eBook's subject, or even write articles for sites like Hubpages and Yahoo! Voices.  If you have a blog or website, be sure to mention it in your article or blog post.

Get the word out about the articles you wrote - You can do this by connecting with others on the sites you write on, and you can also share your articles on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Create a mailing list that people can sign up for - Mailchimp is great for this - I first found out about Mailchimp from Miranda Grimm, the owner of Work at Home Adventures.  You can sign up for a free account and you'll be able to send 12,000 emails a month to a list of 2,000 subscribers.  If your list  ends up being larger than that, you may want to consider upgrading to a paid account.  Once you create a mailing list, you can copy and paste the code for the mailing list widget right into your Wordpress website, or post a link to your mailing list sign-up page on different social networking sites.  

These are just a few of the lessons I learned from writing my first ebook.  To follow my ebook progress, be sure to check out my website. 

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Big trouble and light hearted investigations…


A beautiful stage show star, come whore house madam, is suddenly foully murdered, despite her apparent gangster protection.  A disgruntled Japanese business tycoon hires a hit man to assassinate Australia’s Prime Minister.  An unbeatable game show contestant takes a recreational bungee-jump, only to have her rope break in what her friend thinks is dubious circumstances.  Enter the low-life world of Paddy Pest, sometimes Private Investigator and sometimes secret agent for Australia’s spy bureau ASIO.  Pest is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, though is very frequently an international traveler.  He is a master of dubious disguises, and often manages to solve the case despite his shortcomings.  Here is a world where virtually everybody has a rancorous underbelly, and where murder is a common life event, but where good will eventually win out (even if by fluke).  These humorous short stories will beguile you, entertain you and make you chuckle.  Gerry Burke’s Pest On The Run: More Humorous Short Stories From The Paddy Pest Chronicles (iUniverse, c2012) is ideal for the lover of crime and murder mystery tales, but will also suit busy people looking for a witty amusement to fill a free hour or two.


10916215465?profile=originalPaddy is a frequent visitor of both upper class and lower class hotel bars, and these tales have the ethos of a pub yarn: unlikely events, boisterous pride, and male machoism lubricated to dubious heights.  The style is very chatty, with Pest narrating his stories as if he is talking to an interested acquaintance.  There are asides to the reader.  When pertinent, Paddy occasionally reminisces about his past, including his childhood.  With a flair for drama he sometimes skips over the more mundane details to get to the action and juicy bits.  These stories certainly deal with the darker side of life, and a few times death is narrated, but the great majority of these plots take place after the brutality is over.  This book is about solving crime, not depicting crime and is overwhelmingly light hearted.  Paddy is certainly a ladies man and the ticklish subject of sex is often alluded to, though not specifically depicted.  In tune with the ‘pub ethos’, Paddy’s descriptions of women can be quite humorously crude, without actually being offensive, except perhaps to the conservative.  There are several laugh out loud moments and every story will leave the reader smiling.  Most stories have moments of high drama, though here the unlikeliness of the action is taken tongue in cheek.  Occasionally Burke includes good phrasing that lifts the text.  We read for example the atmospheric and slightly philosophic sentence: “Often, when you visit a country with a different culture, it is difficult to break through the veneer of reserve that camouflages a human spirit that is primed to explode” (Burke, p. 25).  More of this care in writing would make the book even better.  There is occasional foul language, but this is completely in tune with the macho low-life spirit of the book and will not offend most readers.  This is a book by an Australian author and there is quite a sprinkling of colloquialisms and cultural references which may be unfamiliar to international readers.  Some are explained in the text, which erases any difficulty, but some are not.  These are, however, in no way essential to the text and will at the most cause a moment of wondering before the reader passes on.


In his collective stories Burke presents us with an interesting portrait of “Patrick Pesticide aka Paddy Pest” (Burke, p. v).  Paddy is of Irish heritage, though primarily Australian in outlook.  Burke thus combines both Irish luck and silliness, with the Australian macho male.  He is a gambler and bets on race horses, and has quite an eye for the women.  Paddy is of dubious background.  He says of himself “I would not say I was straight or bent – somewhere in the middle” (Burke, p. 4).  On the down side Paddy can be quite sexist, seeing women in many ways as bodies first.  Full of pride Pest sees himself as a “master of disguise” (Burke, p. 37), though others are not nearly as convinced.  While Paddy is in training in New Guinea one character comments on his being “dressed in a ridiculous head-hunter’s outfit” (Burke, p. 188).  By creating this mix of good and bad Burke has created an endearing, eccentric character that we can like because he gives us a slightly spicy escape from our ‘ordinary’ lives.  Paddy reminds us of the rough, tough boy at high school who everybody admired, but who never really did anything seriously wrong.  He is a ‘lad’ and the reader is charmed.  Paddy of course comes in a great tradition of incompetent Private Investigators / Spies.   We think of Austin Powers, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, Agent Maxwell Smart and even Inspector Gadget.  Burke, however, has given us his own particular spin on the pattern, and we do not feel that we are reading a complete copy.


A few other characters pop up more than once.  There is Stormy Weathers, the totally competent ASIO agent, who has a cover job as barmaid at Sam’s Fly by Night Club.  There is Justin O’Keefe, the slacker police Inspector with an attitude.  Mostly these secondary characters are at a minimum.  Burke does, though, give them personality traits that flesh them out a bit.  Stormy, for example, is a jealous lover.  Occasionally Burke gives us a potted history of a character, giving us a summary of their eccentricities and adventures.  Murder victim Frankie Hogan, for example, is a memorable woman with true spirit.  Burke describes her in three pages giving the story depth and poignancy.  Burke is quite skilled at this kind of detail and his writing would benefit by including more of it.


As we have noted Pest himself can be quite sexist.  At one point for example he outrageously poses the equation that large breasts equals many friends (Burke, p. 200).  Much of the humor, however, arises from the fact that many women are in actuality much more competent than him.  As Pest himself says: “There had been two attempts on my life and, once more, I had been saved by a woman” (Burke, p. 77).  These stories are indeed filled with dynamic, no-nonsense women you would think twice about crossing.  There is a dangerous female assassin, successful business women, and several able female secret agents.  Frankie Hogan takes no sexual nonsense from men, has “personality” (Burke, p. 3), and is a success in all her career ventures.  Not to err too much on one side Burke has included one nasty, negatively-portrayed, female villain (Burke, p. 118).  On the whole this book will pass Feminist standards, though some may not take the humor.


Shifting to male roles and Gender Studies it should be noted that these stories are in some ways very much in the ethos of the 1950’s though they are set in contemporary times.  This is the world of the tough guy, the gangster, the merry bachelor.  Men should not really have soft feelings.  Hyman Finkelstein, a low-life criminal, doesn’t even like people looking at him (Burke, p. 151) let alone be able to have a mature relationship.  Fear is a sign that a guy must be a “nancy boy” (Burke, p. 230).  Paddy, on the other hand, is able to hug an old, male friend (Burke, p. 17).  Women are very much a sexual adjunct to the male ego.  Paddy does have a kind of steady relationship with Stormy, but even that is very much a breakable, uncommitted relationship.  This whole ‘retro’ male image is, however, held up to debunking humor.  This male world is on shaky ground.  The great male image repeatedly is out shone by women and needs females to save it.


As with the issue of women and Feminism, Paddy Pest, and those he meets, can be quite homophobic.  Paddy, for example, refers to gays by a disparaging name (Burke, p. 244), as does Hyman Finkelstein (Burke, p, 151).  Finkelstein is particularly negative about gays. The actual representations of LGBTIQ people, however, on the whole are not that negative about that aspect of their lives.  LGBTIQ people are primarily represented by two stories.  First there is The Candidate which spotlights Lindsay Dove and his life-partner Jay Sniggle.  Lindsay is a U.S. presidential candidate and Jay is an IT consultant.  Then there is Who Was That Masked Man? highlighting the ‘butch-fem’ caterer Cate Edwards.  Cate is a villain, but the story is not negative about her being a lesbian.  This second story indeed has Ellen DeGeneres making fun of Paddy’s cloddish ignorance of the LGBTIQ community.  Ellen is mentioned (as an LGBTIQ person) in another story (Burke, p. 84), as is k.d. Lang (Burke, p. 154).  Gay Mardi Grass are mentioned twice.  A number of times women are suspected to be lesbian (not in a negative way) and a ‘drag-queen’ secret agent is depicted canoodling with an unwitting male politican (Burke, p. 138-139).  On another occasion Paddy comes upon a not so pretty ‘drag-queen’ (Burke, p. 21), but this is the only negative description, and of course not all transvestites are necessarily beautiful.  Once again the issue should not offend interested parties as long as the humor is taken into account.


The often ignored Indigenous and Racial Minorities also feature.  Lindsay Dove is “black” (Burke, p. 79) as well as being gay.  In A Long Time Gone Australia’s Jewish minority is highlighted in the character of Hyman Finkelstein.  Hymie is a gangster villain, but Burke goes out of his way to point out that he is not being anti-Jewish (Burke, p. 158-159).  Louey is a successful “Polynesian” bar owner on Norfolk Island (Burke, p. 121).  In The Goodbye Wave, though, the head of Fiji is referred to as a “baboon” (Burke, p. 129).  This is a rather racist description, even for humorous purposes.  Overall this is a very multicultural book, with Chinese, Japanese, Philipino, Hong Kong, Russian, Balkan and Greeks mentioned with stories being set in many different countries.  We get a true sense of the world, rather than a monosyllabic, white Anglo-Saxon perspective.


The aged feature in a very minor way in these tales.  There is one uncomplimentary portrayal (Burke, p. 176) and one positive description of an older (though not necessarily aged) woman (Burke, p. 195).  Burke could lift his game a little here, as the world is not full of only those under 55 years, even though some agencies such as advertising would have us believe this.


From the Capitalism verses Socialism perspective wealth in these stories is certainly suspect.  These tales show only a very slim difference between corrupt businessmen and rich gangsters.  Politicians and even judges don’t exactly receive compliments.  The lower classes are not lauded, but they are not seriously criticized.  The Little people’ more often than not help Paddy.  The middle class is to a degree absent, but this is not so surprising as they are not likely to have the funds to hire a Private Investigator and are too ‘clean’ to have information on gangsters.


From the broader outlook of society in general, the Catholic Church is foot-noted as being anti-gay (Burke, p. 82 & 154) and rather a kill-joy for the more spirited members of the world (Burke, 149).  The Police are depicted as being often incompetent and corrupt.  These two institutions of society, perhaps in tune with Socialism, could be improved.


Before departing from these various social issues it should be stressed that these stories rely very much on outrageous statements and circumstances for humor.  The book is full of politically incorrect text, but we are meant to take everything tongue in cheek.  If we read these tales too critically we will be deeply offended, but Burke wants us, on the one hand to ‘lighten up’, and on the other hand to look a bit deeper.  If this is kept in mind the book can very much be enjoyed.


From a Postmodern perspective it can be noted that there are no hard edge binary oppositions in Pest On The Run.  There are definite ‘bad’ guys, but good and bad blur.  As has been noted, Paddy himself is shady.  We like him precisely because he is a ‘wag’.  In Murder Before Lunch Pest even works for a crime boss.  This blurring of categories makes for a more realistic and interesting read.  It adds ‘spice’ and avoids boring oversimplification.


10916215276?profile=originalMany stories have a mythological quality, and indeed these elements can be what attract us most to an author’s work.  For Paddy Pest we need only to turn to the Joker Card in the modern playing card pack.  As court jester, the Joker is dressed in a funny costume, and Pest similarly assumes dubious disguises.  The Joker’s cap has pretentious baubles and he holds a wand topped with a manikin of himself.   Pest is none to retiring in describing his own talents as a spy and lover.  Yet the Joker possesses almost magical powers that no other card has, and in its presence many a losing hand can be transformed into a winning hand.  Pest does solve the case, even if by sheer luck.  Of course, most of all, the Joker tells silly stories and jokes, and that is the overwhelming ethos of Burke’s book.


Gerry Burke has written a very entertaining book for the not so serious at heart.  He manages to take a look at a wide variety of social issues, such as Feminism, while at the same time making us laugh.  The dark world of crime is depicted, occasionally with the brutality described, but good always wins out and we are mostly entertained by a light hand.  Most stories are around 20 pages long, and are ideal reading if you are short of time.  Pest On The Run was a pleasure to read and I am happy to rate it as 4.5 out of 5 stars.   Pest On The Run (Book ed.) Pest On The Run (Kindle ed.)   Gerry Burke’s Facebook Author Page   Gerry Burke’s Web Site


Gerry Burke

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Helpful Tools for Freelance Writers

If you work  as a freelance writer,  there are several websites and software programs that are very helpful.  These tools  allow you to collect information you find when you're researching your articles, check your writing to make sure it's not plagiarized, and make sure your writing is clear and understandable.  The tools I'll discuss in this article are Evernote, Hemingway, and Copyscape.

Evernote - This is my favorite software program for keeping track of information I find while doing research, as well as making text notes to myself.  Evernote allows you to create notes that can have text, photos, and even voice notes in them.  In addition, you can save webpages to Evernote using add-ons for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.  You can also organize your notes into notebooks, and these notebooks can be private , or you can share them with others .  Another thing I like about Evernote is that you can not only use it on any computer, you can also download Evernote apps to your phone and tablet devices.  

To start using Evernote, go to the Evernote website and create an account.  Then choose whether you want to use the free version of Evernote or upgrade to a paid account.  I use the free version - I find that it provides more than enough space for all the information I collect and the notes I create.  However if you want more space, as well as access to additional features, you may want to take advantage of one of the paid options. 

Hemingway App - Hemingway is a website that helps improve the readability of your text.  You can copy and paste anything you're working on into Hemingway, and it will highlight sentences in different colors based on how  hard they are to read.  It also highlights words that can be replaced with simpler words, and phrases that use the passive voice.  It also shows you the word count, how many sentences, paragraphs, and characters are in your document.  It assigns a grade to your document based on how difficult it is to read. To use Hemingway, just go to the  website, delete the text that's there, and copy and paste your own text into the editor.   They are checking to see if there's a demand for a desktop version, so if you're interested in seeing a desktop version, don't forget to put in your email so you can be notified when it's ready!

Copyscape - If you write for a living,  it's important to make sure your content is 100% unique, especially if you write for the web.  Copyscape can help you do that.  Copyscape is one website that you will have to pay a small amount to use.  To check your work for plagiarism,  sign up for a Copyscape Premium account.  Go to this website and click "sign up," and go through the process.  Then you'll have to purchase credits.  The credits are good for a year - the minimum number of credits you can purchase if you're using a credit card is 100, which costs $5. However if you want to use Paypal, the minimum number you'll have to purchase is 200 credits.  After you've set up your Copyscape account and purchased credits, all you have to do is copy and paste up to 2000 words into the text box on the Copyscape website.  Copyscape will come back and show you any websites that contain any of the content you copied and pasted.  If Copyscape does find duplicate content, you can then make changes so that your writing expresses the same ideas in different words. 

These are a few tools that I feel are essential for freelance writers.  If you're interested in finding out more about working from home as a freelance writer, be sure to check out my book "Your Work at Home Journey - Three Paths You Can Take and What You Need to Know Before You Go," which is available on Amazon. 

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