Sunday, November 24, 2013

Do You Think Robots Can Be Made Human?

Good Morning,

First of all, I want to wish everyone a 'Happy Thanksgiving'.

Okay, now down to business, there's a new television series about robots.  I haven't watched it, but I've seen it advertised and that was enough for me.  I'm not into sci-fi and futuristic things.  Okay, back when I was a kid there were comic books about going to the moon, and it happened. 

Every time, I saw the advertisement for this show I kept thinking this is a bunch of hooey.  lol   But, then I would think, anything you can imagine or invent can be done if the creator keeps working to find a way to do it. 

We've all seen the little toy robots with the gravelly voices moving around.  We know about the robots in manufacturing plants, warehouses, etc., but they aren't even human looking. These items don't even look like a person.

Proceed forward a few days, and I happen to walk in to the room where my husband was watching the science channel.  He's big into history, science, sci-fi, national geographic and other learning channels.  Lo and behold; they were talking about making human robots and that caught my attention.  I sat down by him to watch and listen.

Here's what I learned, they are making human looking robots with normal sounding voices.  The one I saw was a beautiful woman, and you would never know she was a robot.  They are giving these robots knowledge of everything, and I would be willing to bet they're going to be smarter than most of us. 

Not only that they're teaching these robots emotions.  You might ask how they're doing that, and I don't blame you, but as I listened I realized they had a good plan for making a robot feel.  It's through touch.  Now, writers know all about touch; showing and feeling emotions, so you wonder if an author, movie maker, or some type of artist came up with this idea.  Remember this channel was the science channel and these were researchers working on this project, and they're people, too, and they're creative. 

As I watched this program, I became a bit anxious. I'm thinking if these scientists can come up with a robot so human that you can't distinguish them from a real person, give them intelligence and feelings what's to keep them from replacing real people?  If you aren't afraid yet; you should be.  Do you think there's a need to worry?

Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe trip to your destination if you are leaving home.  See you next weekend. 

Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What is the Importance of a Title?

Does the title of a book influence whether you buy it or not?  I've been thinking about this ever since a prominent author told me the title to my short story, Hitting Bottom, should be changed.  The reason she gave is people looking at the title might think it meant slapping the rear (I'm paraphrasing).

Does the title, Hitting Bottom, make you think of erotica?  It didn't to me, but then I knew my story was about gambling and how some people have hit bottom meaning they lost everything.  So now, I'm wondering if I should change the title to Losing Everything.  I suppose that might clarify what the story is about.  lol   Do these two titles have different meanings to you?

I'm not sure if I'm going to change the title, or not, but it is certainly something to think about. 

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next weekend. 

Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day Blog

Hello Everyone,

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and I'm donating my blog to veterans.  I hope if you know a veteran that you thank her/him for giving time to our wonderful country.  Here is an inexpensive way to help veterans.  Click on the blue button at The Veterans Site and help a homeless and hungry veteran get a free meal, at no cost to you.

I have invited Author, Robert Thornhill back to my blog today because he has written a book titled Lady Justice and the Vet.   I thought his book was appropriate for Veterans Day.


About the Author

Award-winning author, Robert Thornhill, began writing at the age of sixty-six and in four short years has penned fifteen novels in the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series, the seven volume Rainbow Road series of chapter books for children, a cookbook and a mini-autobiography.

Lady Justice and the Sting, Lady Justice and Dr. Death, Lady Justice and the Vigilante, Lady Justice and the Candidate, Lady Justice and the Book Club Murders and Lady Justice and the Cruise Ship Murders won the Pinnacle Award for the best new mystery novels of Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Spring of 2013 and Summer 2013 from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.

 Many of Walt’s adventures in the Lady Justice series are anecdotal and based on Robert’s real life.

Although Robert holds a master’s in psychology, he has never taken a course in writing and has never learned to type. All 26 of his published books were typed with one finger and a thumb!

His wit and insight come from his varied occupations, including thirty-three years as a real estate broker. He lives with his wife, Peg, in Independence, Missouri.

Visit him on the Web at:


           Men have been fighting and slaughtering one another since the beginning of time.

            Brave men and women leave their homes, friends and families and travel thousands of miles to foreign lands to fight for liberty and justice.

            Soon they find that the realities of war are far removed from the recruiter’s hype.

            Many die on the field of battle; many more return home with wounds both physical and psychological.

            For those that make the ultimate sacrifice, the war is over, but for those that survive, it is far from over.

            Those who have served bravely and risked their lives deserve the opportunity to return to their homes, find jobs, have children and enjoy the life of freedom for which they fought.

            Too often, it just doesn’t happen.

Ben Singleton, a Marine veteran, had returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and was having difficulty adjusting to civilian life.

Fate, coincidence, or something else thrust him right into the heart of some of Walt and Ox’s most difficult cases.

Our heroes find themselves knee-deep in trouble as they go undercover in a nursing home to smoke out practitioners of Medicaid fraud, meanwhile, Islamic terrorists with ties to the Taliban are plotting to attack one of Kansas City’s most cherished institutions.

Join Walt and his band of senior sidekicks on another emotional roller coaster ride that will have you shedding tears of laughter one minute and sorrow the next.




            “WHAP, WHAP, WHAP”

            Ben Singleton heard the blades of the big choppers.

            “Help! Over here! Archie’s hit! He’s hurt bad!”

            “Shhh, Ben,” Tracy Singleton whispered, putting her arms around her husband. “It’s okay. I’m here. You’re home and safe.”

            “The choppers,” he muttered. “I heard the choppers coming.”

            “You were dreaming again, Sweetie. It’s just the ceiling fan.”

            Ben lay very still and as he awoke from his recurring nightmare, he realized that she was right. He wasn’t in the dusty road outside the village in Zad Valley. He was safe and sound in his home in Kansas City.

            “It’s just so real,” he whispered. “I could taste it, feel it, smell it --- I wonder if it will ever go away.”

            “Dr. Fletcher said it would take some time ---”

            “Time! How much time? It’s been four years!”

            Immediately, he regretted his outburst. “I’m sorry Tracy. I didn’t mean to snap at you. You’ve been so great.”

            “It’s okay. I understand,” she said laying her head on his chest. We’ll get through this --- together.”

            Ben looked at the clock. “I’d better get going. We’ve got a big landscaping job in Brookside today.”

            Before his tour in Afghanistan, Ben was being groomed for a management position in a large brokerage firm, but after returning home and healing from his wounds he discovered that he just wasn’t comfortable in the confines of an office. He felt enclosed and trapped.

            After what he had seen and experienced in the Marines, his co-workers in their suits and ties seemed so shallow. Some had been curious about his tour of duty, but there was just no way that he could make someone that had not been there understand the horrors of battle.

            He had taken a job with Empire Landscaping that gave him the freedom to work outside with minimal contact with the other members of the crew. It didn’t pay all that well, but it was hard physical labor which was what he needed to take his mind off of the images that kept forcing themselves back into his consciousness. Most nights, he would tumble into bed exhausted, and fall into a deep sleep --- most nights, but not all.

Folks, give your veteran a hug today, tomorrow and every day, especially those who have been in a war.  Also, Mr. Thornhill is offering a free copy of both digital and print copies of his book from November 7 to November 11th.  Go to this link for digital:   

To learn more about Robert Thornhill and to see all of his books go to his website:

Thank you to all you veterans out there.  I wish that you may find peace. 

Have a wonderful week, and I'll see you next weekend.

Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Romance Books 4 Us Contest and Other Things
Hi Everyone,

All you have to do to learn about this contest is click on the turkey above you.  One person will win all of the prizes, and there a lot of prizes starting off with a $50.00 gift card for Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  The others are too numerous to mention. 

You know by now that I have been on a blog tour this week for The Catalyst.  Some of you may even know about the wonderful review I received this week.  If you haven't read it yet you can go to this link:

I will be starting another blog tour at the end of November.  This time it will be for Addiction; the second book in The Riverboat Mysteries.  It will start November 26 and end on December 3rd.  Sometime after that I will have another blog tour for The Deceived; the last book in the series. 

Have a great week, and I'll see you next weekend. 

Sandra K. Marshall, author at Eirelander Publishing