Steve Alten Newsletter
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I want to thank everyone who reached out with your prayers and heartfelt words regarding my father's passing. It seems many of you have or are enduring similar situations. That you took time to wish me well speaks to the goodwill that we all need to share as 2012 approaches.

And 2012 is approaching! At times it feels like the world has gone a bit haywire. Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear reactor meltdowns (read PHOBOS in October which reveals the true cause), new military actions looming to secure our oil interests in the Middle East (read THE SHELL GAME) all while our elected leaders' sense of morality all-too-often seems to be replaced by their overwhelming need to take take and take some more in a reverse Robin Hood mentality that blames the poor and middle class for society's problems while major corporations reap record profits and pay zero taxes (read GRIM REAPER).

Is there a solution to these problems? Yes, and you demonstrated it: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF.

Thank you again for reaching out, it means the world to me.

New Website Design

Every so often my talented associate, Leisa Coffman, will redesign She's done it again, and the new site makes its debut in a few days. More of an HTML site, with great flash features, the new look allows us to add far more links and cool images and expand the site for some great future upgrades. Stay tuned!

Living Tips: Vitamin D crucial to preventing cancer

Check out the below link.

Living Tips: Text Messaging

Watch this video with your teens, it could save a life.

Recommended reading:

"Fly Me to Paradise ," Catherine Andorka, Five Star Publishing: Madeline Holt's elation at being pregnant by her late husband's sperm is short lived when she learns the lab made a mistake. The true biological father, Kurt Williams, is a pilot and in remission from Hodgkin's disease. Initially, Madeline wants nothing to do with him, though Kurt is determined to be part of this child's life. But he's coping with an unpredictable future by racing cars, jumping out of planes-whatever dangerous activity he feels he must survive to prove he can outsmart the Grim Reaper and make it to the five-year point of cure. Madeline has already lost her husband and doesn't need another chapter of living on the edge. Will their growing attraction and Kurt's involvement in her pregnancy be enough to build a future together?


My producer, Belle Avery is trekking the globe as you read this, securing financing and making decisions on talent to bring you the most amazing MEG feature possible. When something "official" is inked, you will be the first to know.

The MAYAN PROPHECY hits the United Kingdom :

This is the first time DOMAIN has been released in the U.K. , and sales are brisk. Resurrection will follow soon, then the debut of part 3, PHOBOS: Mayan Fear, the book that gives the entire series the WOW factor. My appreciation to my readers in Britain , please spread the word. And many thanks to the great people at Quercus Publishing.

Just when you thought you heard it all:
Woman accused of cop assault with sex toy says she acted in self-defense

By Megan Craig, TribLocal reporter Jan. 25, 2011.

The woman accused of attacking a Gurnee police officer with a sex toy said she was acting in self-defense. Carolee Bildsten, 57, was arrested in November after police said she raised a "clear, rigid feminine pleasure device" over her head and went at the officer. "I got a little bit afraid," she said during an interview Tuesday. "I got scared. And the only thing in my sock drawer besides my socks and my cash was a dildo." The officer was not injured, said Gurnee Police Cmdr. Jay Patrick. And that's because he wasn't attacked, Bildsten contends. Bildsten said she was lonely and hungry on Nov. 9, the day she went to Joe's Crab Shack on Route 132. She ordered a glass of wine, and dinner. And then another glass of wine. At the end of the meal, Bildsten said she reached into her pocket to grab her credit card -- she'd walked to Joe's and "wanted to travel light" without a purse -- only to find it wasn't there. "I sheepishly told the bartender that I didn't have any money with me but that I lived nearby, so I was going to run home and get money," she said. Bildsten went outside and waited for a taxi, but when the taxi didn't show, she decided to walk, she said, despite having a broken foot at the time. She got to about Great America, tripped over something, and fell down -- which is where a police report indicated the officer involved in the incident found Bildsten lying in the grass. "Partly, I was intoxicated, so that had something to do with it," she said. "But I also had a broken foot, so I wasn't walking real well."" The officer told her to pay her Crab Shack bill or risk arrest, at which point he was "kind enough to take me home," Bildsten said. Once in the apartment on David Court , Bildsten went to her bedroom to get cash out of a sock drawer, she said. "I''m counting my cash to make sure I take out enough, and the officer walks into my bedroom and startles me," Bildsten said, adding that she had recently read an article about a Gurnee police officer who was convicted of sexual assault, which made her nervous. "I don''t know, it was just this male police officer and me in the apartment, and he startled me," she said. Bildsten said she never attacked the officer with the sex toy. She just "instinctively raised it up in a defensive move." The officer walked over to her, grabbed her arm, and the toy fell to the ground. The officer then arrested Bildsten. Bildsten said she intends to plead not guilty at a court hearing scheduled for Thursday at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan . "I did not assault him. I'm not guilty of that," she said. "I simply was defending myself." Patrick said he couldn't comment on the case, which is pending in court. Because she didn't intend to dine-and-ditch at Joe's Crab Shack, Bildsten said she sent a money order the next day to cover her bill. She said it was the first time she'd eaten at the restaurant in years, and a report that she had recently run out on a bill there was incorrect. She called the whole incident humiliating. -Andrew Tallackson

Have you read a story that borders on the ridiculous? Send it to Steve Alten at [email protected]

Joke of the Month

Three guys go to a ski lodge, and there aren't enough rooms, so they have to share a bed. In the middle of the night, the guy on the right wakes up and says, "I had this wild, vivid dream of getting a hand job!" The guy on the left wakes up, and unbelievably, he's had the same dream, too. Then the guy in the middle wakes up and says, "That's funny, I dreamed I was skiing!"

*IF YOU HAVE A JOKE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at MEG[email protected] Put JOKE in the subject line.

RECIPE of the Month: Scottish Soup

It's a traditional Scottish soup called Cullen Skink. Though it can be made many ways, this is my favorite way of making it and it really is a hearty soup that 'warms the cockles' as my gran used to say! It's also a reasonably healthy option. Ingredients for the soup: Knob of butter, 5 spring onions (4 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped), 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed then finely chopped, 4 medium waxy potatoes -- peeled and cut into cubes, 2 line caught, undied flaked smoked haddock fillets (skin and bones removed), 200ml cr��me fraiche, 500ml fish stock (home-made is better, but stock cubes are fine), Freshly ground black pepper (to taste). For the garnish: Handful of the finely chopped spring onion (mentioned above) and chives.

To cook: To make the soup, put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and, when melted, add the garlic and potatoes. Cover and sweat for 3 minutes, but don't allow the vegetables to color. After that, add the fish stock and season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer until a knife slides easily through the potatoes (10/15 mins). Mash the potatoes and garlic to desired consistency (I like mine lumpy!), then mix in the spring onion and the flaked haddock. Simmer for 5 mins, then add in the cr��me fraiche and heat through (a further 5 mins max). Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls and garnish with the finely chopped spring onion and chives. --Esther Jacobs

IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at MEG82[email protected] Put RECIPE in the subject line.

Last Minute Update

Billionaire adventurer Richard Branson announced Tuesday that he plans to travel to the deepest part of the ocean in a single-person submarine. Just watch out for the GLOW!

Stay well, stay safe and know this author really appreciates you.


Steve Alten, Ed.D.