Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Post: Author Tom McLaughlin (Borneo Tom)

Today I welcome Tom McLaughlin, author of Borneo Tom with his guest post.  Tomorrow I will also have a review of Borneo Tom so stay tuned for that as well.

Throwing all Away by Tom McLaughlin

Ever wanted to throw it all away and move to an island in Southeast Asia? Oh come on! You must have thought about it once or twice! Well, I packed it up, rented the house and had the mail forwarded.

My book, Borneo Tom, includes my travels and adventures by a retired science teacher. How did I afford that? Air Asia, Malaysia’s discount airline, offers super cheap air fares and sometimes I travelled for less than $8.00 per flight.  An ad would appear in the newspaper and for a destination and I would run and book the ticket over the Internet. It didn’t matter where the plane was going. I just got on and went.

These mini adventures brought me to exotic places where I danced naked during an earthquake, got lost wandering in former Japanese occupied caves, strolled around the rim of a live volcano, panned for diamonds and other experiences, some very foolish!

Borneo attracts some of the greatest minds in biology and I was privileged to meet some of them and my
experiences includes frog watching at night, meeting the top panda guy, learning about orang-utans and many other critters. I became a rabid fan of Alfred Wallace, the adventurer who devised the Theory of Natural Selection. Andyou thought it was Darwin.

And of course love intervened. Many kinds of love appeared including a changed and beautiful relationship with my daughters as they travelled part of the way with me. Then, there is my marriage to a local girl where I participated in a kampung wedding that has ended with a wonderful unexpected surprise.

The people and their customs are all there seen from the point of view of this wide eyed American with humour and sensitivity. The book hold sixty essays coupled with a sketch by local artist Niki who some of you may know from his work on the Kuching waterfront. Come share my adventures as I walk, run, fly and swim through the enchanted lands of Southeast Asia.

Tom McLaughlin is a biology, English and Literature in English teacher at the Lodge School in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo where he lives with his wife and six month old son. Formerly a science teacher from the Washington D.C. area, he has written numerous articles for regional newspapers and magazines. He writes every Wednesday for and has a science related blog on


In My Mailbox + Giveaway - July 11

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

I get a number of books that come in that I don't get to right away but deserve to be recognized on the blog so that is what I plan on doing.

I received some great books this week.  Tell me which one you are most interested in for a chance to win one of these books! (US/Canada only, ends 7/18/2011, book may be shipped later so I can read it)  The ARC tour books are not part of the giveaway, sorry.

Winner from week #1:   Diana at The Lovely Getaway who I will be emailing soon who unless she has changed her mind will choose Original Sin. (Diana if you see this feel free to email me and let me know which book you want from this post.

I forgot to link up week 2 so there were no entries.  Those books are open to win this week as well so you can post those as a win this week, the post can be found here.

For Review:

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
Atria Books, Publish Date: 6/28/2012

A Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time is a page-turner that boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigage purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history?

Claim of Innocence by Laura Caldwell
Mira Books, Publishing Date: August 23, 2011

It was a crime of passion-or so the police say. Valerie Solara has been charged with poisoning her bet friend. The prosecution claims she's always been secretly attracted to Amanda's husband...and with Amanda gone, she planned to make her move.
Attorney Izzy McNeil left the legal world a year ago, but a friend's request pulls her into the murder trial. Izzy knows how passion can turn your life upside down. She thought she had it once with her ex-fiance, Sam. Now she wonders if that's all she has in common with her criminally gorgeous younger boyfriend, Theo.
It's Izzy's job to present the facts that will exonerate her client-whether or not she's innocent. But when she suspects Valerie is hiding something, she begins investigating-and uncover a web of secret passions and dark motives, where seemingly innocent relationships can prove poisonous . . .

In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault
William Morrow, Publishing Date: July 26, 2011

A moody and engrossing mystery, In Search of the Rose Notes follows two best friends from childhood who once unsuccessfully investigated the disappearance of their teenage babysitter, and now, in their twenties, attempt once again to uncover the truth.  Readers who love the literary, female focused mysteries of Laura Lippman, Tana French, and Jennifer McMahon will be thrilled to add Emily Arsenault to their must-read lists.

Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog by Garth Stein
Harper Collins, Publishing: 5/3/2011

Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking?
Meet one funny dog—Enzo, the lovable mutt who tells this story. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: most dogs love to chase cars, but Enzo longs to race them. He learns about racing and the world around him by watching TV and by listening to the words of his best friend, Denny, an up-and-coming race car driver, and his daughter, ZoË, his constant companion. Enzo finds that life is just like being on the racetrack—it isn't simply about going fast. And, applying the rules of racing to his world, Enzo takes on his family's challenges and emerges a hero. In the end, Enzo holds in his heart the dream that Denny will go on to be a racing champion with his daughter by his side. For theirs is an extraordinary friendship—one that reminds us all to celebrate the triumph of the human (and canine) spirit.

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Kensington Teen, Publishing Date: 7/26/2011

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .