Framing the Dialogue

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Habit Stacking

“Imagine what life would be like if you began each day with small actions that created a chain reaction of positive benefits throughout your life.”

That’s just what author S.J. Scott suggests in his book, Habit Stacking. The program in simple terms is to create stacks (or groups) of habits to create improvements in your life.  Scott advises that habit stacks, at least initially, should be rather short in duration and generally built around existing things that you do.  As an example for me is my home morning routine…you know get up shower, brush, etc.  I added a daily reading that I had been wanting to consistently do and to weigh myself daily (I need to lose a few pounds).  The stack has been effective as I even do the stack on weekends when I get to sleep in a bit.  I’ve created another stack for when I first get to work.

Ultimate Betrayal

In Ultimate Betrayal we meet David Hood from South Philadelphia who survived serving in Afghanistan and has come home to own a very successful business.  All things seem great as he marries his dream girl and they have two beautiful children.  David has struggled and has lost the belief that good will triumph. Upon the deaths of his family he is left with nothing but revenge.

“Hood was a pissant. A small businessman who had neither the skills nor the resources to go up against a powerful man. If Toney performed, Hood would be an insignificant casualty no one would miss. In the general scheme of things, a thousand Hoods would always be sacrificed so leaders could prosper. That was the natural order of the universe.”


In Shakedown , FBI Special Agent Jack Davis is trying to solve a series of seemingly drug-related murders including the murder of a very young boy and his mother.  Davis desperately tries to keep hold of the investigation while dealing with what seems like a debilitating illness that physically makes him unable to safely do his job.  He fears that his estranged daughter is somehow link to a bad cop and maybe worse.


About a year ago Ms. H. R. Puffnstuff (Clinton) called Trump supporters deplorable.  It would have been nice if she would have looked up the definition before she stereotyped roughly half the country. But she is a liberal so that’s okay and even funny to her followers.

There is some good news for Hil as one of her biggest fans demonstrated the definition so there’ll be no need for getting out her bound copy of Websters famous dictionary (and you know that she still uses a paper copy).  Kathy Griffin demonstrated what being deplorable is in just so many ways.  Below are some headlines from Breitbart.


In WIRED former (retired) special operations soldier, David Desh, is brought back by a former commander to track down a very dangerous person bent on causing thousands or more deaths.  Desh’s prey, however, proves to be more than a match for Desh as she seems to be playing chess to his game of checkers.  Kira Miller is a brilliant…no genius genetic engineer whose discoveries could make her extremely wealthy, extremely dangerous, and extremely wanted.  It doesn’t take very long for Desh to wonder who is the enemy.

Don’t Stop Me Now

In Don’t Stop Me Now  we meet an almost thirty year-old Poppy Bloom as she finishes up her PhD.  She has done well; she has done really, really well and she cannot help but bask in her dream to walk straight into a job at her university. Unfortunately for Dr. Poppy things didn’t work out as she envisioned.

“What is going on? Not even a week ago, I was planning to spend the rest of my professional life less than five metres from Dr Burley’s desk. I thought we were partners, a team; I thought we were friends. Sure, I know we were officially student and tutor, but surely, after more than ten years working closely with someone…”

High Heat

When a young woman is brutally murdered by three jihadists in the name of Allah in the middle of New York City, Nikki Heat is tasked with finding the killers.  Worse for Heat is that the terrorists claim their next target is someone very close to Heat.   This threat puts Nikki in some High Heat.

“These men—and there had to be at least three, since there was someone behind that camera—would do whatever it took to get their hands on Rook, even if it meant martyring themselves. Especially if it meant martyring themselves. They wouldn’t stop until Rook’s head was the one bouncing on the floor.”


Where I’m from, a rubbernecker is someone who is not involve yet takes a long look at some activity (e.g. an accident on the other side of the road).  They often impinge upon the flow because of their nosiness.  So I’m reading this novel, Rubbernecker, by Belinda Bauer and wondering where the rubberneckers are.  I never did find them.

This novel seemed to me to be a bit disjointed until the author started tying things up with the characters.  The two main characters in the story are a man who had suffered from an accident and is in a coma.  The other is a bright young man who has Asperger’s Syndrome.  A bit of a mild case at that.  One is really not in coma and understands everything around him.  He even witnesses something that scares him to death.

Stay Close

In my opinion, Harlan Coben is one of the better thriller writers out there today.  In Stay Close we meet Megan, a suburban mother of two who seems to have it all.  Unfortunately for Megan her past has caught up with her and she needs to face her skeletons…quite literally.  Can she face the past while protecting her hard won “soccer mom” life?  Can she atone for her past and still keep her marriage?  Does she want to?

Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said

“And while it’s true that a drill sergeant’s larger-than-life persona and “motivational style” may incorporate some, or all, of those panic-inducing, gut-checking, strength-building forces, you might not know one other important thing . . . drill sergeants are some of the FUNNIEST people on” the planet!”

This compilation book by Dan Caddy lives up to its title, Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said: Wit and Wisdom from America’s Finest.  This is not one for the kiddies, but it is chock full of life lessons and hilarity.  I’ve not been in the military, but my confirmed sense is that drill sergeants differentiate themselves from officers and it’s out of pride in what they do.  They transform a mishmash of raw recruits into decent fighting units in just a matter of weeks.  Oh, they seem to yell a lot too.