Thursday, January 22, 2015

Black Ice: the story of Val James - the first black ice hockey player

Every now and then I like to spread the word about new books. SInce I love ice hockey, I thought this might be a good one to pass on.

"I am pleased and proud to announce the pending release of Black Ice: The Val James Story, a book I wrote with and about Valmore James, the first black American to play in the NHL. Val was the son of migrant farm workers from the Deep South who moved to Long Island during the JFK years to work on the farms that then filled large swaths of Long Island. Val was introduced to ice hockey at the late age of 13 when his father was hired as a night watchman at the Long Island Arena, home rink of John Brophy and the Long Island Ducks of the old Eastern Hockey League. From these humble roots, Val worked his way up through the lowest minor leagues to a place in hockey history as the first American-born black player to skate in the NHL as a member of Scotty Bowman's Buffalo Sabres. He would also become the first black player of any nationality to play for the Maple Leafs in the hockey mecca of Toronto. Val is remembered as a legendary enforcer and beloved teammate but the untold story of the abuse he had to endure and overcome on the way to his impossible dream is shocking and inspiring. Val's own recollections are joined by those of Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, John Muckler, John Brophy, Lou Vairo, Nick Fotiu, Kevin Lowe, Paul Stewart, Ted Nolan, and many other hockey "names" on whom Val made an impression over the years."

Black Ice is being published by ECW Press of Toronto. The hardcover release date is February 1, 2015, however, I am told that Amazon pre-orders have already started to ship.

The following link to the publisher's webpage for the book contains an internal link that will get you to an excerpt of the first 30 pages of the book:

I hope you will consider reading this book.

Warm regards,

John G in PA

Official Press release:

LEASE February 1, 2015
Publicity Contact: Sarah Dunn
ECW Press
Tel: 416.694.3348 ext. 158
Email: sarah@ecwpress.comValmore

James was born in Ocala, Florida, and raised in Long Island, New York. After 15 years of junior and professional hockey, Val hung up his skates and settled in Ontario, Canada, where he and his wife, Ina,recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.John Gallagher was born in New York City, where he worked as a police officer and an assistant district attorney. He later served as a White House Fellow in Washington, D.C. John now lives with his family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he works as a federal prosecutor.

Title: Black Ice: The Val James Story
Authors: Valmore James and John Gallagher
Publisher: ECW Press
Canadian distributor: Jaguar Book Group
U.S. distributor: Legato Publishers Group, a PGW affiliate
Publication: February 1, 2015
Price: $24.95 U.S./CDN
Specifications: 6 x 9", 228 pages, cloth, photo section
ISBN-13: 978-1-77041-201-

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Giving to a good cause

Just a quick post...Nevada Dept. of Wildlife Law Enforcement's division Captain (Game Warden) Kristy Knight is hoping to get sponsors for the annual AIDS Lifecycle bicycle ride. They start in San Francisco and ride to Los Angeles.

Any help would be fantastic.

Let's gt behind Kristy, a wonderful co-worker and all-around nice person.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Horns, boats, and battle: the Vikings

Vikings are popular subjects for the media in general. Two successful recent movies focusing on Vikings are from Disney: ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ and its sequel ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ (and associated shorts). Let’s not forget the History Channel’s series’ Vikings’ and big screen productions The Vikings, Beowulf, The Thirteenth Warrior, Eric the Viking, Thor, Kingdom, and Arn – The Knight Templar. Multiple documentaries examine the people as a whole, swords (Ulfberht), and their travels across the world.  Numerous authors have focused books on the raiders including Bernard Cromwell and Sandra Hill. Even corporate America embraced the seafaring raiders for the famous “Capitol One Barbarians”. A search for Vikings on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble reveals thousands of entries. The books and videos range from children’s stories, fiction (romantic & historical), to non-fiction.

Vikings were known as Norsemen or Normans. The word Viking originates from the Norse word Vik, which refers to creeks, inlets, and small bay. The word Viking comes from fara í víking, which means to gone on expedition.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Thaeliana: A Thaelia's World story

20th day of the Dog Moon, 1192

It was the day before Thaeliana and the residents within Karivane Castle prepared for the Thaeliana celebrations. Queen Gaelynn of Greycliff, formerly the Countess of Faucione, was busy wrapping gifts. She had tried her best since her arrival in Thaelia’s World from the modern USA to fit in with the various holidays. Thaeliana was just another name for Christmas as far as she was concerned.
Outside the keep, a fierce winter storm dumped a heavy snowfall on the land. No one went outside unless absolutely necessary. In the mornings, servants broke a thin sheet of ice in Gaelynn’s wash bowl. Even with the stone walls covered with a fine wainscoting and heavy tapestries, the chill of the season drifted inside. Every available fireplace or brazier was home to a blazing fire. This didn’t stop the people from walking around with cold hands or chilled flesh.

Sipping from a mug of mulled spiced wine, Gaelynn studied the pile of presents. Her dog, Pu Li curled up on a lush carpet in front of the fire.

Only half were wrapped.

“Pu, I’m never going to finish my Christmas preparations if I don’t get these gifts wrapped. It’s just so cold, I don’t have the energy. I wish Chris was able to get a break form his training with the Silver Serpents. It would have been nice to have my brother here.” She let out a big sigh. “I’d love to have all my children home. I hate fostering them out.” She stood up and stretched her back.

Suppressing a shiver, Gaelynn tightened the sash on her rabbit-lined silk robe. It has been, what, 14 years since I arrived here. I was a naive girl of 19 who only wanted to be a knight. I never believed I would end up a Queen.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

San Jose Sharks update: what's going on?

What’s up with the San Jose Sharks lately? They win a few games then lose a few. I don’t see any consistent play. The team management has yet to name a team Captain preferring to keep four ‘Alternate’ Captains instead: Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, and Vlasic. At least in December, they have won more games than they have lost but to date (12-10-14) they stand in 8th place.  The team has played 30 games with 15 wins, 11 losses, and 4 overtime games for 34 points.