Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do you find this amusing?

Today, my wife and I took my three youngest daughters to Carowinds, a Disneyworld wannabee near Charlotte, N.C. Soon after arriving, we waited 45 minutes in 100-degree heat to get on the Rip Roarin' Rapids, only to have the ride shut down about 20 people from our turn to get on.

Later, we bought and shared two seafood platters at $12.99 apiece, six bottled waters at $3.75 apiece ($4.06 after taxes), and six Diet Cokes at the same price. We tried to buy two margaritas at $7.49 apiece, but they couldn't sell them to my wife and I because they had no one working the cash registers who was 21 or older. Overall, we spent more than $100 on food and drink and were still hungry. And I can tell you, it's not because we're pigs.

I actually enjoyed the hokey ice skating show, but only because the theater was air conditioned. Anything with either air conditioning or shade was awesome.

Overall cost: just shy of $300, not including gas. And there was nothing priceless about it.

Ironically, we all were in great moods on the ride home, simply because we were riding home (and my Honda CRV has great air conditioning).

As you can tell, we're just not amusement park people.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Flashes of brilliance

What is it about fireflies that is so fascinating? For me, there's almost a supernatural allure. The way they come and go, flashes of temporary brilliance, unplanned, unpredictable.

Though I was born in New York, I spent most of my life in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, where there are no fireflies. Since I've been in South Carolina the past few years, I've been reintroduced. They never cease to amaze me.

My daughters love them too. They chase them down and capture them in glass jars. I only allow them to imprison the fireflies for a minute or so before letting them go.

As if mere glass could contain them.


The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

-- Please go to for more details.

About Me

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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.