Marchbooks' Blog

April 30, 2016

Why Fate Laughs?

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 10:13 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Janus Kane talks about why he chose to write such a controversial story.

This is a commonly asked question. People want to know why I would choose to write something so dark and socially unacceptable.

First – that question presupposes that I am solely in control of my story lines. Perhaps that is technically so, but for me (and I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself), for my writing process, some stories just keep banging around inside my head, clamoring to get out, until I put them on paper. To me, that is a clear sign that my muse is at work. I am disinclined to ignore her, lest she desert me completely.

Second – I don’t shrink from difficult stories, in fact I gravitate to them. There is nothing more interesting than plumbing the depths of a challenging character. It’s our highs and lows, our darkest and brightest days that are the most interesting to me. Admittedly, the characters in Fate Laughs exhibit what most people would consider to be an uncommon level of dysfunction, but is it really? It is true that, as I was writing it, I thought that the characters were certainly over the top. Sadly, in the last year, I think that we have all seen that this kind of hatred is not the anomaly that we all hoped it was.

Third – my primary goal in writing is to, of course, write a good story, but for me, it must be a story with a social conscience and a message. I believe Fate Laughs has that in spades. Certainly, the drama of the story is compelling and will keep the reader entrenched but, for me, there needs to be more or it is nothing but a car wreck attracting a lot of rubberneckers. It is in discovering what the characters do with their circumstances, do they cave in under the pressure, do they persevere or find redemption? That, to me, is the real intrigue of the story. Knowing what a character does is just the topsoil, knowing why they did it and how it changed them is the real dirt that I am trying to unearth.

Books One, Two and Three are available here:

Hope that helps, any questions, feel free to comment.

Fate Laughs Cover

February 22, 2016

Book One of Fate Laughs

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 12:06 am

‘Book One of Fate Laughs’ is a controversial but timely story about the hate festering in a small Georgia town and the way that hate causes one family to implode. Fate Laughs is a six book series, each book is from the perspective of a different character but moves the story forward in a straight line.

Book One is available now at B&N or at Smashwords where it is available in multiple formats for kindle, nook, apple…, Book Two is available for preorder and will be released on March 20th.

Buy at Smashwords


Book 1 - Wanda - Fate Laughs

Buy Book One Now

Book 2 - Shooter - Fate LaughsPreorder Book Two Now

February 20, 2016

Book One of Fate Laughs

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 1:38 am

Book One of Fate Laughs

The six books of the ‘Fate Laughs’ series are a foray into the lives of a very dysfunctional group of people.

This southern family is ruled by an authoritarian husband/father and his philosophy of hate. This toxic environment blows up in their faces, in very short order, leaving the children to pick up the pieces.

Each book in the series follows the perspective of a different character.

This story is edgy and controversial but very relevant to the political climate of the day.

eBook now available        Buy NowBook 1 - Wanda - Fate Laughs

June 27, 2010

More Questionable Banking Practices

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 6:53 pm

Someone needs to put a stop to the borderline criminal business practices of banks selling prepaid credit cards. Some of these cards charge userous monthly fees, have unreasonably short terms before they expire or unfairly require sensitive personal information in order to activate them (like this company – Netspend). These cards target poor people who cannot qualify for traditional cards.

But, the essence of this problem is this – these cards are PREPAID and should be treated with the same latitude as cash. These banks accept money up front. I dare not even venture a guess at how much of this money is STOLEN by these banks, not only in up front and continuing maintainance charges, but in dollars for cards that they just refuse to honor (at their own whim).

I cannot think of a SINGLE argument that would justify requiring sensitive personal information like social security numbers or birthdates to activate a PREPAID card such as this. These banks are not extending credit. They are taking people’s money (which they proceed to invest and profit off of) and issuing a plastic card allowing the user to spend that money which has already been paid up front. Identity theft is a reality. Encouraging people (oftentimes people with limited resources) to part with their sensitive information, before they will be allowed to access money that they have already ponied up and which is earning dividends for the bank which is not acting as a lender but only a bookkeeper, is wrong. Preventing them access to this money for failure to provide this information is criminal.

It is no wonder that banks are held in such low regard by today’s taxpayers. With practices like this, they are one step away from the crook on the street.

May 5, 2010

Economic Survival by Elizabeth Marchand

It’s no secret that keeping your finances on an even keel in today’s economy is more challenging than it has ever been, short of the Great Depression. People are struggling, homes are being lost, people are finding themselves on the streets.

It should have come as no surprise. Things had been comfortable for a long time. If we know nothing else about the market and our economy, we know that it does not continue on a straight line – especially when that line is continually rising. There had to be an adjustment somewhere along the way. And so there was.

Now it is up to each of us, as individuals, to get our finances back on track. To do that, we may have to start thinking outside the box. The time has come to look for new, safer ways to grow and protect our money. Toward that end, I have included three videos that I have found particularly useful. I hope they help you in your quest to keep your finances strong and prosperous in these tough economic times.

April 3, 2010

Remember the Other Victims

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s recession has been hard on everyone. People are tightening their belts and hunkering down like never before. It is a time when we need to all pull together and remember what is important. It is not the big screen tvs, the ipods or the gold rings. The truly important thing is what it has always been – life.

Let us not forget the smaller lives, the lives that some think of as dispensable. The dogs and cats, who are always there to give you love, need to be remembered in these difficult times. As more and more people find themselves losing their homes, the shelters will be filling up. Some people won’t even bother bringing their animals to the shelter, they will just abandon them on the streets to fend for themselves.

It is more important than ever to consider rescuing a pet and saving its life.

Tempers will run hot. People who are angry about their jobs, their finances or their living situations will look to vent their rage on something smaller and weaker. We need to be ever vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect.

Some owners will find it all too easy to neglect the care and feeding of their animals. Horses, in particular, may be left to subsist on just hay. They may be fed only sporadically or out-and-out starved. We need to all be more aware of signs that indicate that these abuses are taking place, then we must intercede and make a difference.

Be aware and, when necessary, step in and save a life. You can make a difference. Rescuing a shelter animal is good for the heart. Give your heart a treat today and adopt a pet – and be sure to have them spayed or neutered.

March 25, 2010

Vegan vs. Carnivore – The Ideal vs. the Reality

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 6:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I would love to give up my carnivorous ways. I do aspire to someday be able to follow a vegan lifestyle. But, I am realistic. I am human and I am a weak human at that. I am sorry to say that a nice, juicy cheeseburger still has a lot of appeal for me.

Having said this, I will say that I love animals. I have rescued numerous pound dogs and stray cats. I have gone to great expense for my animals. I would like to believe that there is no limit to the money I would spend for the care and welfare of any of my animals.

Factory farming is horrible. It is a mercenary business at best. I am only recently becoming educated to the true horrors of this practice. I will and have spoken out against it on several occasions. I have been successful in significantly curtailing my consumption of eggs after learning about the terrible things happening in the egg industry. I wish that I could completely wean myself from all byproducts of this hateful industry. Factory farming has gotten so far away from free range that they are almost unrecognizable as the same business. And there is the crux of the problem. As soon as you label something a business, the interests of all lesser beings fall prey to the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

It would be a wonderful thing if no living creature had to give its life to provide sustenance for the human populous. There is a reality here though. There is a HUGE population of feed animals in this country. If the world went vegan tomorrow, what would happen to these animals? Who would care for them? Who would feed them? The sad reality is NO ONE. There are huge numbers of horses that go uncared for every day because they are unwanted or considered to be useless, and those are animals that we consider to be pets. How many of us would be willing to  commit to the demands of caring and feeding  the cows and pigs that would be turned loose once their ‘usefulness’ was over?

I think it is great that the universal consciousness is moving toward a vegan philosophy. It won’t happen tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope that we can adopt a philosophy more like that of the American Indian – to be grateful for the gifts of sustenance these animals give us, to treat them with respect and to honor them during their life.

March 15, 2010

Life Interrupted Presents New Possibilities

Boy, it doesn’t take much to throw me off my mark. I have had a bear of a cold for 3 weeks – yes, 3 weeks and it’s not over yet. I feel as though the dog has been dragging me around for 3 weeks and then someone threw me in the wash cycle – wash, rinse, repeat.

Needless to say, my focus has been less than lazer sharp. But, if that wasn’t enough, my computer decided to reek havoc on me as well. A crash necessitated the replacement of both my hard drives – egads! Fortunately, I live in constant fear of losing files so I have backups everywhere. But, that does not mitigate the hassle: 3 days without my laptop and another 3 days spent reinstalling files and software programs.

In the midst of all of this, I continue to work on merging my two lives (insurance advisor by day/writer-publisher by night). Sigh! What ever made me think this would be a good idea? Trying to switch back and forth between the left and right sides of my brain has proven to be quite a challenge.

I enjoy helping people to evaluate their financial situation and formulate a plan that will help them hold onto the money that they work so hard to earn. However, it is so vastly different from writing fiction. It is more than just putting on a different hat, it is like becoming people. The author, the publisher and the insurance agent, all vying for dominance.

In an effort to resolve this conflict, I have set aside my fiction writing (for the time being) in order to work on my first nonfiction project. The working title is ‘The Cardinal Sin of Capital Gains – Leaving a Better Legacy for our Children’.

In these tough economic times, perhaps I can help, in my own small way. Let’s see how it goes.

elizabeth marchand
author/publisher/insurance professional

February 13, 2010

Another Example of Corporate Wastefulness – M.J. Claire

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 8:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

As exciting as this week’s historic ‘blizzard’ was, it paled in comparison to the water woes I experienced over the past four days. I don’t know if it was freezing temperatures in my basement or just the ravages of time on my water filtration system, but something caused one of said units to give out at about 2 a.m. this past Tuesday, shooting water all over the one finished room in my basement. Fortunately, I caught it quite early, resulting in only one inch of water covering my entire basement and soaking into my carpeting.

Early the next day, the day of our eagerly anticipated ‘blizzard’, I called all over CT looking for someone who sold the type of filtration systems I had. For those who are unfamiliar with these filtration systems, here is a picture. With my system, it was only the clear case that cracked and it stood to reason, to me in any case, that I should just be able to purchase this piece and my problem would be resolved. I quickly discovered that no one sells just the casing. This didn’t make any sense to me, as this is the definition of a replaceable part.

I then decided that all I had to do was buy a new system that matched the one I had. I could then use the clear case, thus avoiding a call to the plumber. Wasteful, yes, but it was the best I could do. Unfortunately, it was not doable. On driving to the one dealer that carried filters made by the manufacturer in question, I discovered that they no longer made the model I owned. Furthermore, neither of the models carried by this store matched the size of the case I owned. I purchased a couple of new units.

Although the snow had started to fall, I decided to drive to the nearest Lowe’s to see if they carried a brand that might match the size of the case I owned. I struck out on that score but purchased another two units in this new style. The driving was now getting a little bit slippery, but I was on a mission. Why should it be so difficult to find a case that would match the units I had? If you looked at the picture , you will see that this is not a high-tech piece of equipment. Essentially, the heart of the unit takes water in from one side, passes it through the case which holds the filter, and then sends the filtered water on its way through the other outlet. I stopped at two other hardware supply stores with zero success.

Meanwhile, I had contacted three plumbers, only to find that all were occupied with heating/plumbing emergencies. A day after the first unit was replaced the second one cracked and showered the basement with even more water, necessitating another plumbing call. Three days without water and several hundred dollars in parts and repair charges because these manufacturers make what I am sure is a very calculated decision not to standardize and sell what is, or should be, a very replaceable part.

It was expensive, inconvenient, wet and required an expert to complete a repair that I should have been able to handle myself with under $50 in parts. Yet another example of corporate, calculated wastefulness and greed.

February 6, 2010

The Problem With Government Spending by Janus Kane

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I try not to wax political too often, but that is easier said these days. The current economic climate makes it difficult not to ponder how we got here and what the ramifications will be for ourselves and our children. When one starts talking about American debt in numbers that are more suited to science fiction than real life, one can’t help but wonder what went wrong.

The U.S. government, on its face, has gone to great efforts to try to avoid the pitfalls of our predecessors. But, I don’t think you have to be a great economist to see that something is not working. I believe in Obama, I believe in his vision of change, but I don’t envy the job he has before him.

I make no claims to being a great economist or mathematician but, early in my life, I learned some basic, fundamental concepts that the bureaucrats in the White House should be reminded of. ‘Don’t spend money you don’t have’. It’s a simple concept. I’m not talking about the fiscally responsible use of credit. Banks capitalize on the velocity of money. They take your money and charge you interest for the luxury of borrowing it back. It’s a profitable business. Money sitting in a bank is stagnant money. This philosophy does not work for the consumer, even if that consumer is the American government. When you write a check, you need to deduct that amount from your check register. The fact that the recipient of that check takes a month to cash it does not entitle you to go out and spend that money again. That is economics 101.

Budgetary planning is essential for individuals, businesses and governments alike. It is not sufficient to just come up with a budget and then ignore it. Let me say it again. Budgets are only effective if you follow them. Admittedly, you cannot plan for every eventuality. No one could have foreseen 9/11 or Katrina, but you do your best to plan for the unexpected (a smart homeowner tries to anticipate the need for a new roof or furnace). When you are off the mark, you regroup, adjust your budget and move on. Unfortunately, the government does not have to worry about how they will make up a budgetary shortfall – they have us.

According to David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States, balancing the budget by the year 2040 could require cutting federal spending by 60% or raising federal taxes to nearly two times today’s level. How could the American government, arguably the single largest consumer in the world have gotten so far behind the eight ball?

I am not suggesting that our government should be run like a large corporation, but some basic business principles should be recognized. When WalMart buys product, do you think they pay a premium for it? They are a huge corporation with a tremendous amount of clout. They, for all intents and purposes, dictate terms to their sellers. Those terms are (surprise, surprise) to their advantage. And yet, this large corporation amounts to only a drop in the bucket of this country’s budget. So why is it that the American government is paying $300 for $15 dollar hammers, $75 for a screw and $3.4M for a turtle walkway? Why are contractors falling over themselves to scoop up lucrative government contracts?

It’s clear that a serious budget analysis is necessary. Politicians have to start acting for the benefit of their constituents rather than culling the favor and financial support of big business by selling the American taxpayer down the river.

If you would like to look at American debt in all its glory, go here. It’s a real eye-opener.

Next Page »

Blog at