Friday, September 16, 2016


I think I'm safe in saying that just about everything happens because of something else ("...for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction"). Take a look at the picture on the right. Without the ball the dominoes would simply stand there. But because the ball happened to move in just the right direction at just the right speed and bumped into the first domino, the entire line of dominoes reacts. The ball was the action--the catalyst--that created a reaction.

Catalysts are generally encountered in and associated with chemistry. According to, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. In literature it is something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected; a person or thing that precipitates an event or change. It can be a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic. The catalyst can be thought of as an instigator whose job it is to keep the story moving using action to further accelerate conflict. These guys love to create disturbances in the story’s flow, and they can sometimes be quite annoying! 

The catalyst in literature is usually a character, but it does not have to be. In The Perfect Storm the weather is the catalyst that creates the premise for the entire outcome. In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series multiple catalysts exist, both characters and non-characters, that motivate actions: Worm Tail, Sirius Black, Luna Lovegood, Rita Skeeter, George and Fred Weasley (the twins), magic and spells, to name a few. Think about these characters' and non-characters' roles. They are definitely more than merely flat characters (as discussed in last week's blog), as they actually move the story along and are a part of the plot. They appear over and over throughout the entire series, though they are not the main characters.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy 91st Birthday to WWII Navy Veteran Carl L. Young!

WWII Navy Veteran Carl L. Young
Sailed the Melvin R. Nawman DE-416
Welcome blog fans! We're so glad you stopped by this post. It is a very special post as today is Carl L. Young's 91st birthday, and he is still with us to celebrate such a milestone!

Who is Carl L. Young you ask? He is a WWII navy veteran and is the true-life author of the journal from which our author, J. D. Karns, crafted his first novel, 28 Months of Heaven and Hell. 

28 Months of Heaven and Hell is a hot title that is receiving attention in the veteran world and rave reviews from all walks of life. 

Karns pulled actual facts from Carl's WWII navy journal (that he kept while sailing on the Melvin R. Nawman DE-416), and stunningly wove them into a historical fiction novel that takes the readers not only into the Pacific, but also the challenges and emotions that arose in the home-front back in his home state of Ohio.

When Carl returned home from the war his youngest brother, Charles, asked him to tell him all about it. He told Charles, "Some day, little brother, some day." 68 years later Charles began receiving emails from Carl...but they weren't just any emails. The emails were journal entries. It was 168 emails later that 28 Months of Heaven and Hell was written. JLB Creatives Publishing was honored to work with this family and their project plus publish J. D. Karns for the first time in his life...he was 82 years old, and still lives today.  

Carl's actual journal lying atop a copy of
28 Months of Heaven and Hell
(All rights reserved)
This novel has achieved more than rave reviews. When you understand the back story you'll find it is a heartwarming story far beyond the pages. 28 Months of Heaven and Hell not only holds the haunting tales of war-life, but it also has brought a family back together. Charles and Carl had lost contact with each other for over 60 years. Thanks to social media and email they found each other once again. 

When the novel was released, Charles was re-introduced to numerous family members he hadn't seen for many years and introduced to several he didn't even knew he had. Charles now stays in contact and communicates with many of them. His oldest nephew made a special trip to Florida to let Charles hold Carl's actual journal in his hands. Needless to say the moment brought tears of overwhelming emotion to everyone's eyes. 

Both Carl and Charles were thrilled beyond belief when they had the chance to Skype with each other for the first time this past July.    

Here's a couple of excerpts from 28 Months of Heaven and Hell. Both excerpts are based on information straight out of Carl's journal.

Carl L. Young 1945
Excerpt 1:

BAM! The big wave hit. Chester felt the ship list, and he checked his gauges. He quickly made peace with his maker when he saw that the Nawman was listing at sixty-plus degrees! Strapped in his chair, on his way to being upside down, he detested the thought that his gut feeling had been right many weeks before. He thought of the box of letters he had left with Jeb. The radio went dead, and he was certain this was the end. The Nawman’s creaking, snapping, and low rumbling brought him to tears. He closed his eyes and whispered, “I love you Mom, Dad, Mike, Jeb, and especially you, Sue. I’ll see you in Heaven.” He braced himself for the worst. 

The Melvin R. Nawman rolled back upright. 

Chester sat in awe. He screamed as he banged on the radio, but no sound returned. He felt he could do no good from his chair now, so he unbuckled his seat straps and jumped from his chair, his feet landing flat on the starboard bulkhead. From below deck aft he walked, stumbled, and crawled back and forth from the starboard bulkhead to the port bulkhead while the ship continued through the waves. Somehow he made it topside and into the pilot house. He grabbed Randall’s leg for balance and pulled himself up. 

“The mast! We’ve lost the main mast!” Randall shouted. Chester now knew why the radio had gone dead. He peered through the driving rain as best he could and saw the enormous mast dangling over the side of the ship with cables still attached, making for a dangerous situation. 

Excerpt 2:

As the ship drew closer to the island, Chester said to Randall, “It’s hard to imagine we were just watching whales on a calm sea, and now we’re watching this.” 

A call came over the radio from the observation plane, letting the big ships know that their salvos and explosives were making direct hits; they were doing great. Chester looked at Randall when the sounds of the bombing began to escalate. 

GQ sounded, “Red alert! Bettys have been reported in the area.” Chester and Randall knew the kamikazes had to be close to the Nawman because of all of the extra fire power that opened up immediately after the alert. 

Chester walked to the porthole to see for himself, and what he saw shocked him. Rapidly the sky was filling with flack from all of the ships firing their big guns. Black smoke began to cover the water’s surface, and not long after the fires ignited, the faint smell of gun powder seeped into the sonar room. 

Randall squeezed his face next to Chester’s to take a look. “Looks pretty bad out there, but we’re winning, I just know it!” He stepped back, leaving Chester the full view once again. 

“OH MY GOD!” Chester stood motionless, his face glued to the glass. “She’s coming right at us. We’re gonna die. We’re really going to die. Right here. Today.” He reached his hand out. Randall grabbed it and pushed his face back onto half of the glass. Chester could feel Randall shaking. They put their arms around each other and stood in awe. Chester barely squeaked out, “That Betty’s too low. Our boys can’t gun her down.  She’s too low. She’s too low. OH MY GOD! SHE’S TOO DAMN LOW!” He could not close his eyes. He and Randall braced for the impact.


J. D. Karns
To learn more about our author, J.D. Karns, click here. To purchase a print copy or an ebook of 28 Months of Heaven and Hell from Amazon click here.

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 16 "Paddling Back In Time"

Janet & Don Beasley
Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 16: "Paddling Back in Time"

Castaway Cay Beach

While going through our photos, we stumbled upon a kayaking adventure we had taken in 2009 while on a #Disney Cruise and wanted to share the moment with you. It was a lot of fun, and is a really fun trip for beginners and up. 

We began our journey by hiking to the beach where the kayaks were. It was a beautiful hike on Disney's private island, #CastawayCay , and when we arrived at the kayaks we couldn't believe how far we had actually gone by foot. It didn't seem as far as it looked; the ship was an amazing site to see over the water and island.

The hike was not only beautiful, but also educational. We learned some neat nuggets about the island and all it had to offer. 

Looking Back at the Ship from the Kayak Beach
In 1983, while still known as Gorda Cay, the island and its pristine beaches were used to film portions of the 1984 classic Splash starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, and the 2003 action - adventure - fantasy Pirates of the Caribbean:The Curse of the Black Pearl starring the popular Johnny Depp.

The Flying Dutchman at Castaway Cay
It's always fun to walk where the "stars" have walked, and experience the same places they have had the privilege of seeing. 

Ready for Action!

In 1783 Gorda Cay became a settlement.An airstrip on the island became a stop for bootleggers in the 1930's, and sadly later on by drug runners. But along came Disney in 1996 to save the day, and Gorda Cay was purchased and renamed Castaway Cay.

Starfish Under Water
There's some other cool facts about modern day Castaway Cay. Did you know that it took 18 months and $25 million to get it looking like it does today and allow Disney's cruise ships to safely dock at the island? And that's not all. There is a post office on Castaway Cay that visitors can use to send "snail mail" letters back home. The letters will arrive with exclusive, Disney Cruise Line Bahamian postage and a Castaway Cay postmark.

Sand Dollar
Another cool fact about the island is that is has 3 beaches: the family beach, the Cabana beach, and a beach reserved for adults only complete with massage services...yes, you can get a relaxing massage while overlooking the beautiful, tranquil waters of the Caribbean.

If snorkeling is your game you'll be thrilled to know that there are two retired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarine-ride vehicles in the snorkeling area. And those are the only artifacts that have been known to be spotted on the island. The Flying Dutchman pirate ship from the film series stood as though appearing to have run-aground until November of 2010. 

There is a crew of around 145 who live on Castaway Cay that includes boat captains, landscaping professionals, and maintenance personnel to name a few. These people receive their supplies from the ships when they dock. And the drinking water is desalinated using reverse osmosis water processors.

When we reached the kayaks the view was nothing shy of amazing! We couldn't wait to get paddling over the top of the crystal clear Caribbean water.

We loaded up what few items we had brought with us: bottled water, sunscreen, sun glasses, and extra shirts in case the sun got too intense.

Don and Janet Beasley in the Bahamas
on Castaway Cay
It was our first experience in using "sit on top" models of kayaks. This kind of kayak is perfect for fishing, or for beginners just getting the hang of the sport. Many recreational (or occasional) kayak lovers prefer to use the "sit on top" models all of the time. It's really a matter of use and preference. For us, we enjoyed our time in the "sit on tops," but were happy to return to our "sit in" style kayaks back home. 

Once we launched and began cruising across the crystal clear water's top, we were greeted by such incredible sea life. We saw sting rays, star fish, fish, and plants. We couldn't believe how the time flew by. It's always a thrill to kayak in new realms of the world. We can't wait until retirement so we can travel a bit more with the kayaks and see what this incredible planet has to offer, in addition to starting our private kayak tours, "From the Nose of A Kayak."
Janet in the Clear Water of the Caribbean
Don at the Shoreline on the Kayak Adventure

The "long" walk back seemed even shorter than when we were hiking to the beach, probably because we were both so excited and sharing with each other all of the goodness the adventure had to offer. We couldn't wait to share the fun with our family back on the cruise ship.

Once we arrived back on the ship we relaxed for a few hours by the pool, then headed to our cabin to prepare for the evening's agenda including a fabulous dinner and a show. 

We have to admit, a walk around the deck of a Disney Cruise Line ship in the moonlight, after a late dinner, is just as awesome as kayaking the Bahamas.  


Kayak Tip of the Week: When participating in a guided tour always stay alert and listen to what the guide is saying. In addition to the guidelines (which you need to follow) you'll be surprised at how much you will learn about the area. And don't be afraid to ask your guide questions. They love to share their knowledge!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Excerpt Extravaganza! Today's Excerpt Is From "Whooo's Coming to Dinner?"

Welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where an eclectic team of creative geniuses share their fantastical imaginations. 

On Mondays we are featuring an excerpt from one of our creative authors. And what makes this feature so fun is that we publish a wide range of genres. You'll never know what to expect for the excerpt.

To read all of our excerpts thus far, we invite you to visit our blog archives and look for our first Excerpt Extravaganza! that began on August 1, 2016.


All previous excerpts are available in our archives. We began this Monday series on August 1, 2016.

Today's excerpt is from 5 star author Amy Sellers's Miss Amy's Rhyme Time Collection - Whooo's Coming to Dinner?

Jelly Beans, Jelly Beans in a jar, 
Billy thinks the BLACK ones 
taste like TAR! 
Whitney wants the WHITE ones, 
PURPLE is for Paul, 
Rhonda likes the RED ones, 
and Andy eats them ALL!
Jelly Beans, Jelly Beans in a jar, 
Billy thinks the BLACK ones taste like TAR! 
Oliver eats ORANGE ones, 
Grant gets the GREEN. 
In just one day 
the kids will eat the whole jar clean!

Jelly Beans, Jelly Beans in a jar, 
Billy thinks the BLACK ones taste like TAR! 
Yolanda likes the YELLOW ones best so far. 
But where has little Billy gone? 
To find a CANDY BAR!


To discover more about our children's author Amy Sellers or to purchase her Miss Amy's Rhyme Time Collection of books we invite you to visit Amy Sellers's author page at JLB Creatives Publishing

JLB Creatives

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)