Before I Buy, by Mary S. Palmer

Probably like everyone else, before I buy a book, I check three things. First, I look at the cover, including the title. Second, I read the blurb. Third, I read the author's qualifications.
     I've never consciously thought about what I'm looking for in a cover but it's the appeal. Does the subject intrigue me? What does it call to mind? I want the title to signify what the theme of the book is and the picture on the cover to give me a sense of setting.
     I expect the blurb to provide an overview of what the book's about without revealing more than necessary. The who and the what can be set up briefly. The when, where and why should be unveiled in the reading of the book.
     Sometimes the author's qualifications matter; sometimes they don't. In John Grisham's case, it's important that he's a lawyer and is knowledgeable about legal matters. People who write mysteries may not need a college degree, but they still need to research carefully.
     What stops me from buying a book? Fallacies turn me off. For example, if a setting is a real place, such as New Orleans, Mobile or Pensacola, snow shouldn't be on the ground every day in January. If the cover doesn't fit the content, chances are it won't interest me. A dull blurb also makes me walk away.
     Nowadays, e-books are a new game. We can still see the cover and the title, read the blurb and the author's qualifications. However, on the computer, we tend to study all of those things more closely and maybe be more selective. On the other hand, with the convenience of making a purchase at a much lower price than a bookstore's hard back or paperback, we may be tempted to take a chance on books that would otherwise be bypassed.
     Who knows what's to come in the publishing market? One advantage of the availability of e-books is the ease of using them offers an incentive to read. Maybe some people who never read a book in their life will turn on their e-reader and be exposed to writers of the past and the present. Literature helps people make connections to life, thereby obtaining insight into humanity. Knowledge is power and e-books may be the vehicle to awareness.

Available from Musa Publishing

Reporter Mona Stewart finds herself in another world of warring factions and one of them holds the key to immortality and cures for fatal diseases.
In the inner space of outer space, an earthling, reporter Mona Stewart, discovers that living almost forever in idleness, and without challenges, is much worse than having too much to do. The only reprieve from boredom for the Svarians is outwitting the Aliens.
The car skidded, swerved sideways and spun around three times before cascading into the gully below. There were no houses on this stretch of the sparsely populated road in west Mobile County and traffic was light at one a.m., so no one saw the accident happen. The driver lay critically injured at the bottom of the ravine.
Mona Stewart was motionless. Life was rapidly oozing out of her twenty-eight year-old body. The thirty-foot drop had left the little red Volkswagen bug in one piece but all sides were damaged. It landed right on top of Mona and threw one sharp piece of window glass directly through her abdomen. The heavy rainstorm, which had contributed to the accident, continued. Blood and water formed a puddle of red liquid. Pep, her little Beagle who was also in the car, revived and staggered over to his mistress, sniffed around and began to lap at the puddle. It did not suit his taste, so he crawled under the car, snuggled as close as he could to Mona and lay down on the ground to stand guard.
In her unconscious state with her life ebbing away, Mona’s mind reviewed her existence. In flashes she relived the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, her parents’ untimely death in a plane crash, her marriage and divorce. A couple of dateless years for fear of having a failed relationship. Now, in the last hour, she had to face the discovery that her current boyfriend was no longer interested in her. He had even laughed when he left her apartment saying, “What did you expect? I promised you nothing and that’s exactly what you’re getting. There were no commitments.” She should have known this would happen. The notoriously fickle Lee Black, III, was chased by girls because of his rugged good looks and his charming, though superficial, personality. He had never been noted for his loyalty. 
Nevertheless, Mona was crushed and outraged. Feeling that she had to get out of that apartment, she’d hopped in her car and sped away into the humid summer night, roaming around aimlessly, not even knowing or caring where she was. When an announcer’s voice blared out of her radio that “Hurricane Dennis is on a path headed directly for Mobile, Alabama bearing one hundred and thirty mile per hour winds; please take heed and go to a safe place—shelters are open now,” thinking that it was no match for the storm going on within her, Mona clicked off the radio. She couldn’t run from either one. Then a sudden downpour made driving hazardous. She’d never been on this road before and did not even see the curve.
Now, strangely enough, as she relived the experience in her mind, she no longer felt resentment toward Lee or anyone else who had ever wronged her. Instead, she felt a sense of forgiveness toward them. A bright light seemed to hover over her. With it came a complete sense of peace.
“Gr-rrr,” Pep growled. Then he emitted a bark that sounded more like a frightened yelp than a threat. But when two people came over to his mistress, raised the car up and lifted her out of the pool of blood, the dog instinctively knew they were trying to help her. He backed off, following as they carried her to a shelter.

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