Global Warming Skeptic Challenge

The Global Warming Skeptic Challenge promised to pay $10,000 (later $30,000) to anyone who, using the scientific method, could prove manmade global warming was not real. Eighty-six submissions (including some duplicates) are presented along with the response reviewing the scientific validity of each. End notes, a bibliography and an index make this a handy reference on the debate on the reality of manmade climate change and global warming. The book is free as a downloadable PDF file.

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That Which Maddens and Torments

o Black was the key to a puzzle. The only problem was, no one bothered to tell her. As a result, she found herself in a crossfire between people who wanted her dead and those who needed her alive. The people using her were ruthless. But there was something they didn’t understand - so was she. She was going to have to see this fight through to the end. And, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They weren’t the only ones that could hunt.

Fiction. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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Purple Legion

Roger Tucci was a woman whisperer. He could get women to do nearly anything he wanted and they were glad to get in his bed. And, he couldn’t resist them. Now, it was going to kill him. The throat cancer he contracted from HPV had metastasized into his lungs and he had only months to live. With the end in sight, he turned to the Patricia Kennealy to take care of his affairs when he died – the one woman he knew who never went to bed with him. The problem is he left his business affairs in a state of disarray. Now, Patricia had to sort it all out at the risk of losing everything herself.

An offbeat story about the unforeseen consequences of our actions, Purple Legion is not for everyone. While there is only one, minor sex scene, sex is a continuing thread throughout the story.

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That Which Maddens And Torments Press Release

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The public relations people I hired to help promote my new book wrote the following release. Enjoy:

That Which Maddens and Torments: Rare “Climate Change Mystery” Novel Exposes Fossil Fuel industry’s All-or-Nothing Ferocity at Defending its Interests

Masterfully crafted by professor of physics, Christopher Keating, ‘That Which Maddens and Torments’ follows the career of a passionate young climate change news reporter who finds herself pitted against a fossil fuel industry that will do anything to destroy her. While of course a work of fiction, Keating’s realistic and thrilling narrative exposes the real-world funding of the climate change denier lobby by fossil fuel giants.

For Immediate Release

Mason, Texas – While climate change seems to grace the news agenda every day, it is a topic often brushed under the rug by the world of fiction. However, in his compelling new novel, professor Christopher Keating thrusts this literally-hot topic under the spotlight in a novel unlike anything else on the market.

‘That Which Maddens and Torments’ perfectly fuses fact with fiction for a mystery/suspense adventure that will leave readers with plenty to think about in the real world.

Synopsis:
Jo Black was the key to a puzzle. The only problem was, no one bothered to tell her. As a result, she found herself in a crossfire between people who wanted her dead and those who needed her alive. The people using her were ruthless. But there was something they didn’t understand – so was she. She was going to have to see this fight through to the end. And, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They weren’t the only ones that could hunt.

“Essentially, our tireless young protagonist finds that her reporting of climate change has more than ruffled the feathers of the fossil fuel industry leaders. Her coverage could change public opinion and eventually threaten their profits; so they set their coordinates to do anything it takes to destroy her,” explains Keating, himself a round-the-clock researcher on climate change and its multi-faceted debate.

Continuing, “It is naturally fiction – there’s just enough layman’s science in there to lead the narrative – but it also gives readers plenty to chew over. In congruence with reality, the story exposes how the fossil fuel industry funds the climate change denial lobby with millions of dollars each year. It’s all in an effort to change public policy in their favor and leave their profits untouched. Few have considered this reality before, and my book shares it in all of its fierce and fascinating glory.”

Since its release, the novel has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, Joe Briggs comments, “I really enjoyed this suspense thriller. The plot is plausible, the characters are real, and the storytelling is convincing and at a pace that I just didn’t want to put it down. It’s a book that you will definitely pass on to others. It’s the PERFECT beach or airplane book.”

‘That Which Maddens and Torments’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1EUKzhR.
For more information on the author and his portfolio, visit: http://www.chriskeatingauthor.com.

About the Author:
A professor of physics, Christopher Keating spends his time in the wonderful Texas Hill Country working on climate change research, writing, volunteering as a Texas Master Naturalist and living the good life.

Book Review: Frozen Heat (Nikki Heat Series) by Richard Castle

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I don’t watch TV. I don’t even own one. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people. I had to make choices in my life and TV was something I decided I could live without. There have been no regrets.

That doesn’t mean I look on TV with disdain. In fact, there were quite a few shows I really enjoyed. The Mentalist as a good show and I loved Bones before it went weird. I used to watch cooking and gardening shows, as well. I particularly love to watch movies (How do you block TCM? I can’t stop watching!). But my favorite regular show was Castle.  I liked it so much I still watch it on line. You can catch the new shows on ABC.com one week after they have aired on regular TV.  That, and Nova, are the only shows I still watch.

If you are not familiar with the show Castle, the premise is Richard Castle is a best-selling murder mystery writer. He has exhausted his ideas for his hero, Derek Storm, and kills him off. At this time, he is called in to consult with the New York Police Department on a series of murders staged after his books. This begins a long consultation gig working with Detective Katherine Beckett and her team of detectives. Beckett becomes the inspiration of Castle’s new series of stories featuring NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat. Each episode centers around a murder they must solve, but includes the growing romance between the two, Castle’s bizarre relationships with his daughter and mother and contains a considerable amount of clever humor. The show is much more light-hearted than say, Criminal Minds.

Someone came up with the idea of actually writing the books. So, you can purchase the whole series of Nikki Heat books, ostensibly written by Richard Castle. Whoever is responsible for this idea deserves a big bonus. The series began with Heat Wave, followed by Naked Heat and Heat Rises. Each of them is quite good, if you like murder mysteries. The one I read most recently is Frozen Heat and is the best one so far.

The story starts with the finding of a murdered woman stuffed into a suitcase. While inspecting the crime scene, Heat finds out the suitcase was one stolen from her mother’s apartment after she was murdered ten years ago. It turns out, they never found her mother’s murderer and it was the event that inspired Nikki to become a police officer. This puts her on a dual investigation – one of the current murder and one of her mother’s cold-case murder. With the help of her reporter boyfriend, Jameson Rook, she then get’s involved in a series of adventures and near-death confrontations that answer’s many questions, but leaves her with others still unanswered. Hey, you need to leave something for the next novel – Deadly Heat.

So, if you are looking for some light reading, I recommend the entire series. Each book is a stand alone and you don’t need to read the previous books, but if you are going to read the whole series, I recommend reading them in order.

Book Review: Justinian’s Flea by William Rosen

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Justinian’s Flea is about the history and events surrounding the first major plague outbreak in history. Justinian was the Roman Emperor in the sixth century who ambitiously (was there ever any Roman Emperor who wasn’t ambitious?) attempts to rebuild the fading empire. He very nearly succeeded and might have reunited all of Europe, if not for the plague. Between the earliest outbreak in Pelusium, Egypt (near Alexandria) in AD 540, the plague came and went throughout Europe and the Middle East for the next 150 years, killing more than 50 million people, approximately one-half of all people living at the time.

Let me say, William Rosen must have one of the most impressive intellects I have ever come across. He is able to speak intelligently on a very wide range of topics and subjects – history, art, science, medicine, politics, religion, climate and much more. Consequently, this book is an amazing piece of work. If you have any interest in history, particularly the history of the end of the Roman Empire, I highly recommend this book. I learned something on every single page. But, it is not an easy read. Sometimes, Rosen loads the story with so many names, places and dates that it is very difficult to follow. At times, he incorporates multiple concepts and topics in a single paragraph. You really have to pay attention while reading this book, but it is worth the effort. Frequently, I found myself just blipping over some of the details that I found more in-depth than needed for my purposes. I am not interested in becoming a scholar on the names of the multitude of rulers and would-be rulers Rome went through during the period. During one period, known as the Third Century Crisis, Rome had 26 different emperors in only fifty years. Poisoning was the favorite means of dispatching them. It makes you wonder what that twenty-sixth guy was thinking when he took over. Rosen doesn’t list them all, but that gives you an idea of what the period was like.

So, if you are looking for a good historical tale about a period that shaped the modern world (even our world of today), put this on your list.

The Global Warming Skeptic Challenge

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FrontCover

In 2007, I issued a challenge to the global warming skeptic community. The Global Warming Skeptic Challenge promised to pay $10,000 (later $30,000) to anyone who, using the scientific method, could prove manmade global warming was not real. This challenge suddenly went viral in the summer of 2014 and I received hundreds of submissions (many of which were duplicates of previous submissions). Eighty-six submissions (including some duplicates) are presented along with my response reviewing the scientific validity of each. End notes, a bibliography and an index make this a handy reference on the debate on the reality of manmade climate change and global warming.

I have put the challenge into book format and it is available here as a free PDF file. It is also for sale on Amazon, if you really feel like you need to pay money for it.

I hope you enjoy it and are able to put it to good use.

Book Review: The Captured, by Scott Zesch

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The Captured – A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, by Scott Zesch.

The descendent of a ‘white Indian,’ Scott Zesch’s book is both informative and engaging.  You feel as if you were actually there as you read the accounts of the attacks on the Texas settlers by the Apache and Comanche who viewed the settlers as invaders.  Frequently, these attacks would include the abduction of the settler’s children who would then be raised as members of the tribe. It is a gripping tale, but also sad at the same time.  The clash of the cultures lead to many hardships and heartbreak – on both sides. Zesch did us all a service by researching these accounts and recording the stories before they passed into eternity.  I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of the era and to anyone looking for a good, but serious, read.

Purple Legion

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Purple Legion is done and will be published soon. Until then, you can go to Kindle Scout to nominate it for publication in their Kindle Select program. If it gets selected, anyone nominating it will receive a free copy from Kindle. If you would like to nominate it, go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3KV1JX7UZWQ8O .

 

 

Chapter 1

“Who would have ever thought performing oral sex on a woman could kill you?”

Age had not caused Roger Tucci to loose his Mediterranean good looks. If anything, maturity had made him even more handsome. He still had the dark skin and, even in his mid-60s, only flecks of grey in his naturally dark hair and moustache. Men half his age wished they had his muscular physique. Woman of all ages just wanted him and he had always been glad to accommodate them.

“Human papillomavirus. HPV,” he read from the wall chart in the doctor’s office.

Doctor Takahashi gave Roger a few seconds to collect himself before continuing.

“An HPV infection that doesn’t go away can cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the soft palate, base of the tongue, and tonsils. The technical name is oropharyngeal cancer. ‘Throat cancer’ is a general term that covers a couple of other kinds of cancer, but it’s good enough.”

Roger was looking out the office window, thinking about how lovely the blue sky was. “Is there any way to figure out when I got it?” He had been very calm as the doctor broke the news to him and he wasn’t going to get excited now.

“By ‘when’ I’m assuming you mean who you got it from. That depends on how many partners you’ve had. This kind of cancer develops very slowly and may not be diagnosed until years, or even decades, after a person initially gets infected with HPV. If you’ve had more than one partner over your lifetime it probably wouldn’t be possible to narrow it down. Even if you were to test every woman you’ve been with, they may have been infected then but are free now.”

“What’s the prognosis?”

“HPV-caused cancer is different than other forms of throat cancer and the prognosis is typically very good. If we had caught it early this kind of cancer is easily treatable. Your cancer is advanced, though. The real problem is it has spread through metastasis and isn’t just in the throat anymore. It’s in your lungs as well. We could start a regimen of surgery and chemotherapy, but I’ll be honest – your chances are not good. I’ve put together some literature for you to review.”

Tucci took the literature Takahashi was holding out and glanced at it.

“The fact you haven’t already booked me for surgery tells me everything I need to know. How much time are we talking about?”

“That is hard to say. Six months, maybe less. You should get your affairs in order.”

Tucci nodded his understanding. The doctor was being more honest than he probably should. He interpreted the doctor’s time estimate to be on the ‘maybe less’ side of things.

Roger was resigned to the situation. He had done his own research and had been pretty sure of the situation before he had first seen the doctor the week before. The problems had started with a sore throat some months earlier. Throat lozenges had helped and he hadn’t thought anything of it. Then he developed some ear pain and a chronic cough, but Dallas can be brutal for allergies and he had problems with his allergies before. Again, he treated it with over-the-counter medication and hadn’t thought anything more about it. When his friends commented on the change in his voice and how he had been losing weight, Roger began to wonder. The throat lozenges weren’t helping as much and he had developed problems swallowing. To top it off, he always felt tired. He did some searches on line for his symptoms and what he found made him call Dr. Takahashi at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for an immediate appointment.

Takahashi had examined his throat before taking a tissue sample for a biopsy and ordering a CAT scan. He had been very noncommittal at the time but Roger had become successful by reading people and the doctor’s body language was clear. Roger had known his fate long before the test results had come back, the results that were now on Takahashi’s desk.

“What can you do for me?” he asked.

“I can prescribe some pain killers. The pain will get worse, but that will be later. Right now, it will be manageable. I can also prescribe medication to relieve the ear problems and help you swallow. We can up the dosage as the cancer progresses. Eventually, you’ll need to check into a hospital.”
Roger waited while the doctor filled out the script. When Takahashi handed it over, Roger shook his hand and said, “Thank you, Doctor. I appreciate your help.”

As he started to leave he turned to the doctor and said, “In case you’re wondering, let me tell you, it was worth it. There’s nothing like having a woman lock her thighs around your head while she screams in passion. What a great time!” And he left with a smile and low laugh.

As he made his way back to his office he began a list of people he needed to call. His three children, his mother, a couple of business associates. He thought momentarily of calling his ex-wife, Kristen, and decided it wasn’t a good idea. They had been on very bad terms ever since she had decided she wouldn’t put up with his philandering anymore and had kicked him out of the house. He was afraid she would actually enjoy the news.

“Hey, Christmas is coming up,” he said to himself. “Maybe I’ll give her a present and tell her she’s the one that gave it to me. On the fifth day of Christmas my ex-wife gave to me h pe-ee-ee vee! She would love it.” Rationalizing his actions, he thought, “Of course if there had been more screaming in passion and less plain old screaming I might not have chased other women. I’ll let the kids break the news to her.”

But, there was one person in particular he needed to call – Patricia Kennealy

§§§§§

In 1919, 31-year old Conrad Hilton traveled to Cisco, Texas to purchase a bank, but the deal fell through when the bank turned out to be too expensive. As Hilton was wondering what to do next, he became aware of the housing shortage due to all of the migrant workers attracted to the town by the oil boom. Consequently, he purchased the 40-room Mobley Hotel and founded a business empire.

A town of about 4,000 in the middle of North Texas, Cisco is more reminiscent of the way things used to be in Texas, rather than the way things are now in a 21st century city. Depending how you measured it, the drive from Dallas was either 130 miles, 2 hours or 50 years.

The heavy end-of-school traffic on Conrad Hilton Blvd had put her in a bad mood and Patricia Kennealy silently cursed to herself. The knowledge she had done it to herself didn’t help. She knew she needed to go to the grocery store but had failed to take care of her chores earlier while the kids were still in school. She could only deal with it and live with the fact she had no one to blame but herself. Fortunately, the weather that October afternoon was pleasant and she was able to drive with the windows down. Texas summers could be brutal at times, but the other nine months of the year were nearly perfect and she thought of how this afternoon was a classic example.

She turned her pick-up truck into the parking lot of Brookshires, the closest thing they had to a grocery store and, just as she was parking, her phone rang. The screen said it was Roger Tucci calling.

“Roger, what a nice surprise,” she said as she answered.

§§§§§

Patricia Morrison’s childhood in Dallas had been simple and routine with nothing to set her life apart from anyone else’s. She attended the Southern Methodist University after graduating high school, majoring in horticulture with the intention of working in greenhouses. Along the way, she met and married Ray Kennealy.

Ray was a hydrologist and got a job working in the Dallas office of the Texas Water Development Board after graduation. They were able to rent an apartment in Dallas’s artsy M Streets, a short distance from the TWDB office and they moved in with the thought of starting an idyllic life.
Ray’s job began right away but Patricia was still setting up home before beginning her job. While cleaning her new home the warm May weather made her decide she would rather be doing it topless. The M Street area had very liberal standards and she thought the idea of working without her top on was refreshing. Even when cleaning the balcony of their second-floor apartment. That’s when she found out the door to the balcony locked automatically when it swung closed, leaving her stranded with no way to get in and no way to contact Ray.

After reviewing all of her options, she resolved herself to climbing down the outside of the building. Once on the street, she brushed her long red hair over her exposed breasts in the hope no one would notice then set off like Lady Godiva to find a payphone at the nearby convenience store.
Things were going well until she reached Greenland Hills High School with some of the students sitting outside while on their lunch break. Once they noticed the topless woman walking down the street the word spread quickly and before she knew it she was entertaining a raucous audience of whistling and cat-calling teenagers.

Changing her plan, she fled down a side street with laughter and whistling chasing her from behind, and rang the door bell of the first house she came to. A medium-height, dark-skinned, middle-aged man of uncommon good looks answered the door. Taking one up and down look at Patricia, he said, “Well, young lady. I think we need to find you something to wear.”

She waited in the living room while he went to the bedroom and returned with a dress shirt, discreetly looking away while she put it on.
“Thank you so much. I got locked out of my apartment and was heading to the corner to call my husband on a payphone, but the kids at the high school started getting carried away.”

“Can you blame them? They were just having a little fun, that’s all. Listen, I’m having a late lunch with some friends in the garden out back. Use my phone there to call your husband and then come join us.”

“I don’t want to sound ungrateful,….”

He interrupted her before she could finish. “I might remind you, those students are still out there and would probably love for you to make an encore.”

She hesitated and he took the opportunity to hold out his hand.

“I’m Roger, Roger Tucci.”

She took his hand and shook it.
“Patricia Kennealy. Pleased to meet you.”

Lunch turned into story telling and she was still there with Roger and his friends when her husband arrived after work. She and Ray became regulars in Roger’s circle after that, and they ended up becoming close. Roger, they learned, was a successful self-employed businessman who would build up a business before selling it for a handsome profit, simply to turn around and do it again. He would have been very wealthy except for the way he would burn through money, helping people out and supporting various causes. Over the years, he made several offers to help Patricia and Ray out with things, but they always turned him down. They spent time with him because they liked him, not because they liked his money.

The fly in the ointment was Roger’s wife, Kristen. She had been more than tolerant of his escapades with women but a woman could stand only so much and she viewed Patricia as another of Roger’s conquests. No amount of good behavior on her part was ever able to convince Kristen that Patricia wasn’t sleeping with her husband. The irony was she was probably the only one of Roger’s female acquaintances that wasn’t. Kristen stayed with Roger for the sake of the children, and the luxurious lifestyle he provided her. She would make the required appearances at parties and public functions and made the effort to present the face of a businessman’s happy wife. Kristen Tucci wasn’t the most pleasant of people, but no one could fault her for the effort she put into her role. When she split up with Roger she called Patricia and told her, “He’s all yours now. I’m done with him.” Patricia never heard from her again after that.

Ray and Patricia had moved to Cisco by then where Ray worked in the local hydrologic office. Life had been good to them and they raised a son and a daughter together.

Then, Roger told her he was dieing.

§§§§§

“He wants me to be his power-of-attorney agent.”

She had broken the news to Ray after dinner when they were alone. She didn’t want to discuss the news in front of the children. They were in the kitchen, together cleaning up.

“Why you?” he asked as he handed her a clean plate to dry.

“He didn’t say, but I’m probably the only person he trusts. I may be the only woman he has ever known that never went to bed with him and we’re the only friends he has that aren’t holding a hand out for money. It has to narrow the list down.”

“I always suspected he wanted to go to bed with you.”

“Well you can quit suspecting because he did want to go to bed with me. Ever since I showed up at his front door with my tits hanging out.”

“I’m sure he thought he had won the Lotto. Did he ever make a pass?”

“No. He was always a perfect gentleman. He never did anything improper with me. I could tell, though. It was flattering. He’s such a good-looking guy. It was nice to have a man look at me like that every now and then.”
Ray was a little hurt. “You mean I don’t?”

“Oh, you sure do. That’s the difference between us and him and Kristen. We’re happy together. They never were.”
Ray let the water drain out of the sink before asking, “What are you going to tell him?”

“If you’re okay with it, I want to do it. He has always been a good friend to us. It will mean I’ll be tied up with things at times. You and the kids will have to pick up the slack.”

He thought about it and sighed as he answered. “You’re right. He’s a good friend and now he needs someone to help out. I’ll talk it over with Greg and Chelsea. We’ll be fine. Go take care of Roger.”

“I’m sure it won’t be too bad. I’m guessing he has everything in order.”

Ray gave her a skeptical look before answering. “Dear, this is Roger Tucci we’re talking about.”

She slumped down a little and admitted, “Yeah, you’re right. It’s going to be a mess.”

That Which Maddens and Torments

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That Which Maddens and Torments is now available!

Jo Black was the key to a puzzle. The only problem was, no one bothered to tell her. As a result, she found herself in a crossfire between people who wanted her dead and those who needed her alive.

The people using her were ruthless. But there was something they didn’t understand – so was she.

She was going to have to see this fight through to the end. And, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They weren’t the only ones that could hunt.

Available in print version from Amazon for $17.99, or as an ebook from for Kindle and Nook for $2.99

 

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