Author Andrea Buginsky on Saving Nature

Today author Andrea Buginsky discusses the critical importance of environmental awareness!

Help Save Nature

During a time of celebration for The Chosen, a mysterious force appears on Phantasma, threatening to destroy Nature and all of her creatures.
Will The Chosen find and defeat this force, and save Nature before it’s too late?

Nature is something we must all work together to protect. Things aren’t so different on Phantasma. The Chosen must work together to save Nature from a very destructive force that’s threatening all of Nature’s creations. By working together, we too can save our own Nature and her wonderful creations. Nature is something we sometimes take for granted. We assume she’ll always recover from everything we throw at her, but that’s not necessarily the case.

In our own history, we have seen destruction and devastation to many of our wonderful feats. There has been pollution, deforestation, global warming, and too many other destructive forces to mention. We must now act like The Chosen and band together to save our Nature from this destruction. It’s not too late to save her, and there are plenty of things we can do for her. Despite what you may already be doing to help Nature, there’s always room for improvement.

Start with the basics: do you recycle, reuse, and reduce? Do you dispose of garbage properly? Do you save water by turning it off when you’re brushing your teeth, reducing your shower time, combining multiple small loads of laundry in fewer large loads? These are only a few actions we can take to help save Nature.

So become like The Chosen and do your part to help save Nature today. For more information, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency to learn what you can do, and become a Chosen one!

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen” was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea plans to write more in the series. She’s already done with the first draft of book 3 and has a concept for book 4. You can find Andrea on her website, Andi’s Realm. Her books are available at Amazon.

THANK YOU Andrea for stopping by The Mountain Muse today and helping spread the word on protecting our world.


Guest Author Melissa Foster: How Does Your Environment Affect You?

The Mountain Muse welcomes best-selling author, Melissa Foster!

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, an anthology. Melissa is on the advisory board for the Alliance of Independent Authors and is a touchstone in the indie publishing arena. When she’s not writing, Melissa teaches authors how to navigate the book marketing world, build their platforms, and leverage the power of social media, through her author-training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is the founder of the World Literary Café, Fostering Success, and the Women’s Nest. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa is currently collaborating on the film adaption of Megan’s Way.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she’s written for Calgary’s Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa’s interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

How Does Your Environment Affect You? By Melissa Foster

Angela, thank you for sharing your blog space with me today. I love visiting the blogs of other authors—there is so much wonderful information and it’s always so different. Since your blog is the “Mountain Muse,” I’ve decided to write about the environment, and how it affects us.

I noticed an interesting thing this past weekend. I tend to work very long hours. Often times, I won’t leave my desk for twelve hours straight. Yeah, not very healthy in many regards—I have that writer’s butt making itself known recently, but that’s another story all togetherJ This weekend, I decided to push my computer work aside, print out a friend’s manuscript that I had promised to beta read, and head outdoors. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze, and within fifteen minutes of being away from my keyboard and monitor, a few very exciting things happened—I was breathing deeper, my mind was wandering into unchartered territory with story ideas, and my shoulders climbed down from their new residence, just below my ears.

I’m a visual person driven by my senses, and I react to my surroundings on many levels. I think we all do. I have to be surrounded by windows when I write, or I feel like my mind is too closed. I need to drink ice water, or my insides feel constricted. And, I discovered, that even though I love writing and working on the World Lit Café or the Women’s Nest, I need the time away from the computer in order to rejuvenate my mind.

We have a relatively short amount of time on this earth, and while the social media side of life is exciting, and new avenues for meeting other writers, and connecting with readers, are opening up every week, I fear we are becoming so closed off that we forget what life is really about. Life is not lived within four walls. Life is what happens around us, it’s the growing trees, the bees and the yes, even the stink bugs and flies. Life is the scent of pollen that makes us sneeze and the tickle of the wind on our arms. Life is the smile my son has on his lips that dances all the way up to his eyes when I chase him around the yard. Life is also what we do when we’re indoors, but for me, I’ve discovered, the indoor life cannot be as rich and fulfilling, if I’m missing out on the outdoor life.

What rejuvenates you? What makes your mind wander and your senses heighten? Keep it clean, no x-rated answers here, this is a lovely blog, let’s not hog it up. Seriously, folks, when you have the chance to dance in the rain, do you take it? I get the stink eye for dancing in puddles with my children. But what are those puddles for if not for experiencing them?

What have you done to rejuvenate recently?

Where to Find Melissa:

My Books

My Website

Follow me, Facebook, Twitter, FB Fanpage

Chat w/me on The Women’s Nest

The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!

CLICK HERE to enter Melissa’s summer giveaways – TWO WINNER EACH WEEK!

Pete, Jen, Les, and Melissa – July 2011

Thank you, Melissa, for stopping by The Mountain Muse!

If you enjoy Melissa’s suspense-driven novels, check out BENEATH the MAYAN MOON  and LUCIDITY by Angela Burke.

ONCE-LOST Reflections: The Complexities of Jack and Emma

By Angela Burke

For the heartbroken LOST fans out there, ABC’s Once Upon a Time is a new chapter in riveting, mind-provoking television.  And have you noticed the interesting parallels between Lost’s protagonist, Jack Shepard, with Once’s Emma Swan?  Both characters are deeply conflicted and broken, and yet their inner strength to survive allows them to be natural-born leaders. But the most profound comparison between the two characters is their need to see proof in order to believe.  Both Jack and Emma are logical in nature and this creates inner turmoil as they search for truths that are not tangibly apparent.

This leads to the latest episode, “Hat Trick”.  Emma is forced to question the reality of Storybrooke, and although her logical mind seems to prevail, her walls are gradually crumbling.  Much like Jack transformed from a man of science, to a man of faith, I think that we will begin to see this transformation in Emma as the series continues.

We all have Jack and Emma’s logical side within our own selves.  I think this rational side of us intensifies as we transition from childhood to adulthood.  We are bombarded with the “realities” of the world – many of them too cruel to comprehend.  We begin to believe we are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough…the list goes on and on.   We become broken, much like Jack and Emma.  We deal with our damaged selves in not-so-great ways.  Jack turned to alcholol and drugs.  Emma was a non-committing drifter until she came to Storybrooke.  The point being, we need to reconnect with that imaginative, creative, unique aspects of ourselves that allows us to believe in a different reality than what we face daily in the chaotic hustle and bustle.  We need to laugh.  We need to play.  We need to keep dreaming because it is through our imagination of what is possible, that an alternative reality of hope emerges.

Jennifer Morrison plays Emma Swan.

Visit to find out more about author Angela Burke.

Guest Author Gerald Griffin

 Welcome to our guest author, Gerald Griffin, author of Of Good and Evil.  Enjoy the exclusive interview!

Gerald was born in Flint, Michigan. After obtaining his AS and BBA degrees in his home town, he received his MA and Ph.D. in psychology from Michigan State University.  Upon graduation, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, there joining the private practice of another psychologist. A year later, Gerald set up his own private practice as a consulting psychologist, his professional activities including marriage counseling, psychotherapy, psychological evaluations and executive consultation. During his 18 years in private practice, he was listed in WHO’S WHO in Georgia; Marquis WHO’S WHO in the South and Southwest; Outstanding Atlantans; Personalities of the South; Personalities of America and Notable Americans. Over this same period he wrote the published non-fiction book, THE SILENT MISERY — WHY MARRIAGES FAIL, followed by the three published novels, THE CORRUPTORS, THE DEATH DISCIPLE and THE LAST COMING. Easing out of private practice to enter writing full-time, Gerald moved to Gainrsville, Georgia, there producing two published ghost written non-fiction books. Then he wrote the published novel OF GOOD AND EVIL. Presently, he is putting the final touches to its sequel, A TIME OF RECKONING.


What inspired you to become a writer?

I think I was a born writer, with the inspiration to write already in my DNA. Reading books at an early age set this inspiration loose, this becoming evident in the 9th grade. At the time, while reading about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, I said to myself, “I can write like that.”  And I did. Beginning right then, I wrote a book with a similar theme entitled, “Sir Griffin and the Fair Princess Velva” — Velva a girl in my class whom I had a crush on. My teacher found out about the book and read it chapter by chapter to the class, a new chapter each day. She was so surprised by the creativity of the story, my classmates so amazed, that from then on my inspiration to become a writer some day was never in question.

Define a great book.

If you’re speaking of fiction, assuming the book has intriguing substance, in a nutshell, I’d say a book that is crisp, clean and clear, with vivid and vibrant characters resonating perfectly with a galloping plot without a dull moment so as to keep the reader on edge and glued to the book from start to finish.

Where did the inspiration for OF GOOD AND EVIL come from?

Several places. Initially it came from events at home and around the world affecting our national security, especially the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and from the difficulties of returning war veterans to adjust back to normal society because of unresolved combat trauma. These were the inspirational seeds!  But for the book to work also required  incorporation of love,     friendship and other vital aspects that would give the novel the needed life to round out the hard-hitting theme I wanted. But, as the writing progressed, came the biggest challenge. To pull off the theme’s message in a spellbinding manner, I had to take an approach to good and evil never before attempted, inspiring me to achieve a sense of nobility with the novel going beyond the trappings and cliches of the genre, giving the novel its soul.

Can you share a little about your novel with us?

Of Good And Evil is a hard-charging suspense thriller— vivid characters, harrowing action, international locales, captivating love story.  The protagonist, Ron Sheffield, a gifted but troubled Green Beret, is discharged form the army for going “crazy” and from there the fireworks begin. Ron is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia, and is hospitalized near death. His life is dramatically saved by Amber Ash, a wealthy young woman with “special abilities” similar to Ron’s. They fall in love and from there the two are propelled into unending danger, among them battles with mobsters, terrorists and a government cell out to kill them over alarming Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. During these battles, with surprising twists at every turn, Ron is forced by his own mental demons, oddly helped by Amber’s estranged billionaire father, to savingly become a specialized hit man for the Mafia. Through this unlikely contact with her father, Amber and Ron are brought to face a powerful and noble secret society with a different mind-set than theirs, and a different type of conflict ensues. Eventually, Ron is faced with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city — and Amber and the secret society as well — by a  suicidal terrorist cell that only Ron can possibly stop, but finds it impossible to do so.  A cliff-hanger ending! Throughout the book the reader is engrossed in humanity, hate, love, villains, friendship, tragedy, sorrow, all intermixed in one enticing conflict keeping the reader on edge and unable to put the book down.
Can you tease us with a short excerpt from your novel?
Certainly. From Chapter 6:
Now Ron stared at the door with a feeling of revulsion. It grew the longer he stared. A loathing of those inside suddenly surface then intensified; an overpowering emotion he couldn’t control. A powerful hatred etched his face. He had to have catharsis.  Blowing up the place wasn’t enough.
It has to be eye-to-eye.
    Looking at him, Amber knew what he was about to do, and shivered, horrified. “Why are you going in there?”
    “Just making sure there’s no patrons or innocent staff around,” Ron said, cognizant of how lame that sounded.
“That’s ridiculous! You know there aren’t.”
Amber knew there was no stopping him.  She watched apprehensively as he opened the passenger door and got out. With an inscrutable smile, he looked at her. “Relax, this has to be done. Keep driving around the block until I come back out.”
A shadow clouded her eyes, the pulse beating densely in her throat. “What if you don’t?”
“Then you’ll know hell has frozen over.”

If you could use five words to persuade us to read your book, what would they be?
And if I could add two more words to these: UNENDING SURPRISES

Since women are a large readership, what’s there about your book in particular that will appeal to them?
It’s as much a woman’s story as a man’s tale.  To begin, the novel has a beautiful, unusual and captivating love story. One reviewer stated that the love between Amber and Ron is, “…by far the most genuine romance I’ve ever read about.”  Also, the novel has strong, vibrant women characters whom are essential and pivotal to the story’s plot.  Women readers will be     caught up with these female characters, identifying with them, living through their emotions.  Several women who have read the novel  have let me know that they, “Love it!”  The question of what’s there about the book appealing to women is thoroughly answered by my New Year’s resolution  for women who love to read, the latest posting on my blog, .

What are the most gratifying things that have happened with your book so far?
Tremendous reader feedback — Powerful reviews — My novel presently being explored for a movie/TV series
My film representative said of the novel: “You have the best novel I have ever, ever read and had the pleasure to work with and on. I am honored.”
Of the reviews, I will quote from three of them:
“Of Good And Evil is the very embodiment of what a paranormal thriller should be.  It truly boggles my mind the sheer caliber of talent this author possesses. His book is not only the best paranormal thriller I have ever read, but also the best book I have ever read. Of Good and Evil is such a marvelous tale that you don’t even have to be a fan of its specific genre to enjoy it, and to me that is the mark of a brilliant story.”     Shane Porteous, Author (RASCISS, GRAVE CALLER, HOW GODS BLEED)
“In creating the character of Ron Sheffield, Gerald Griffin has proven himself to be a writer of extraordinary skills. Of Good And Evil is a novel that is so finely written, so well plotted and paced, that the reader is immediately drawn into the book from the first page. That Mr. Griffin is able to use mere words to introduce the reader to Ron Sheffield is nothing short of breathtaking—  it is not often that a writer can make so complex a character, a person with such internal torments and external gifts, resonate  so perfectly with a plot and locations that keep the reader glued to the book from start to finish.  A MUST READ!”     Rick Friedman, Founder, The James Mason Community Book Club
“With the real world as his background, Gerald G. Griffin, in his brilliant thriller Of Good And Evil, takes the reader on a wild ride, giving his audience a well-conceived story delivered with the talent of a born writer. Ron Sheffield, Gerald’s gifted but tormented main character, has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is the gift of a truly great story-teller, and with this book Gerald has gone that step further that separates writers from great writers. I am to be able to tell you a little about Gerald and his novel….”     Tracey Alley, Author (ERICH’S PLEA, URSULA’S QUEST)

What is your website and/or blog?
Website:     Blog:
Where can OF GOOD AND EVIL  be purchased?
Online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and other online sites, including the publisher.
Amazon: (use search box)      Barnes & Noble:      UK:      Publisher:

THANK YOU Gerald for stopping by The Mountain Muse and providing us with a very interesting interview!


Last July, I just happened to have the opportunity to cook for Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos.  He was up shooting a Jockey advertisement at the C LAZY U ranch north of Granby, Colorado.  Afterwards, he pulled up in a big, black limo to the restaurant I was currently working at and yep, there he was!  A nice perk to a long day’s work…including the #15’s autograph!

So, what did I cook for him?  Here’s the scoop…healthy and simple to make.  You can do it at home!

Caprese Pasta

2 cups of Penne Pasta

1 grilled chicken breast

3 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

1 diced roma tomato

1 tsp. of freshly chopped garlic

Large pinch of freshly chopped basil

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Simply cook the pasta, add the grilled chicken, then toss with oil, tomato, garlic and basil.  Finish by sprinkling the parm on top.

Until the next meal….Mark
Also, warm up to the newly released suspense novel, BENEATH the MAYAN MOON by Angela Burke!

Guest Author – R.S. Guthrie

R.S. Guthrie

Welcome Colorado Author – R.S. Guthrie

The Exclusive Interview…

Where do you live? Have you always lived there?

I currently live in Colorado. Grew up in both Northeastern Iowa and Northwestern
Wyoming, so there is a lot of Smalltown, U.S.A. in my blood. Love the
mountains—can’t live without ‘em!

When and why did you begin writing?

I dabbled in high school but I really started writing in college. I think I
started because I had all these stories in my head that needed release. Not

What inspired you to write your first book?

I love police drama. When I was a kid, it was Hill
Street Blues
. Then NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Southland. I’ve read

the entire Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald. I just had to write a
detective story!

Are there messages in your novel(s) that you want readers to grasp?

Not messages, really. I think the reader will take away what they need to, based on
their own lives, experiences, emotions. I always try and write from the heart.
Try to touch on things everyone thinks about deep inside.

What books have most influenced your life?

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad. Pure brilliance. I actually listen to an audio recording of
it—the reader is sublime, the prose eloquent. Also Night by Elie Wiesel. Within the genre, anything by John D.
MacDonald and James Lee Burke.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

John D. MacDonald. He was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Not
just Mystery writer, but writer period.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

My favorite author does not write in my genre: Jonathan Lethem. Gun, with Occasional Music is one of the
most fascinating contemporary works of fiction I’ve ever read. Motherless Brooklyn, As She Climbed Across
the Table.
Incredible work. Lethem bends the line between the real and

imagined like no one I have ever read. He is so gifted.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on my opus, a book set in my home state of Wyoming called Dark Prairies. I hope to have that out
by Christmas. Then I will be finishing the second book in the Clan of MacAulay series.

Do you have advice for other writers?

Here is something I tweeted the other day; I think it summarizes the best advice I
could give to other writers:

“Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that
the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you
eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove
somehow remain.” ~Elie Wiesel

Take away from your writing. See how much better it can be.

Other than the present, which time era you would choose to live in, and why.

The Wild West. Hands down. I know it would be a hard life, but I would love to give
it a shot!

Best day of your life.

The day I married my wife.

Worst day of your life.

The day our son died.

Favorite pet

I shouldn’t play favorites with our dogs. But since none of them can read yet, my
wife teases me that my girl, Elsa, is my favorite. She really is some kind of
sweetheart. One of the best dogs I’ve ever known. I love them all dearly,
though. They are our kids now.

Current book purchase (Black

Author website:

Author blog:

Thanks, R.S. Guthrie, for visiting The Mountain Muse!

Guest Author – Jeanne Bannon

Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular.
Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that…



For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life
is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes
her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the
support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.


Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big
girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp
counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally
vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.


Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to
control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be
abused, too…


Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must
summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for
herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power.


A coming-of-age story that will warm the


Bio and links

I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over twenty
years. I started my career as a freelance journalist, then worked as an
in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada and currently work as a freelance editor
and writer.

I’ve had several short stories published and won first
place in the Writes of Caledon Short Story Contest. My novels, The Barely
and Dark Angel were finalists in the 2010 and 2011 Strongest
Start Contests. One of my short stories “Thom’s Journey” is part of an
Anthology entitled A Visitor to Sandahl and is available at

Invisible, my debut novel,
is about a teenage girl who isn’t happy with herself and wishes she could
disappear. And one day she does. Invisible is available on Amazon,
Smashwords, and the Solstice Publishing website.

When not reading or writing, I enjoy being with my
daughters, Nina and Sara and my husband, David. I’m also the proud mother of
two fur babies, a sweet Miniature Schnauzer named Emily and Spencer, a rambunctious
tabby, who can be a very bad boy.





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Book trailer: