Trailers and Books

I thought I’d share some recently created book trailers with you… :)  Please feel free to share the link to this post with anyone you think might be interested… And stay tuned for the announcement of a total make-over of www.esthermitchell.com

This first one is a series trailer for my Underground series, available from Under The Moon (www.underthemoon.org).  This is a Speculative/Science Fiction series that’s received quite a bit of praise, including a Recommended Read from Fallen Angels Reviews, several years ago:

If Science Fiction isn’t your thing, and you prefer a Fantasy world, full of swords and sorcery, quests, warriors, and magic… Have a peek at the following trailers, for my Legends of Tirum series, available from Desert Breeze Publishing (www.desertbreezepublishing.com):

And, as always, you can find out more about any of these books, and more, at www.esthermitchell.com

Tearing Down the American Dream: How American Tax Law Has Failed Creativity

From President Obama’s speech on Intellectual Property:

“We’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property. Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people…It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century.”

While I know that his speech was in regards to Intellectual Property Rights, with such a bold declaration on the part of President Obama, it comes to my mind that part of protecting the innovation and creativity of the American people comes in offering them some protection from the government, as well.  Namely, protection in tax classification.

Why is there no separate governance for those involved in the creative arts, such as artistry, music, writing, and invention?  These are career fields which more often post high losses long before they post any significant income.  Among authors, the current statistic to post even moderate income (barring a fluke runaway success) is an average of about ten years.  For many, however, this is an optimistic figure at best, and they can go much longer before finally getting to the point where their writing turns more profit than they put out in expenses.

For artists, the window can be even longer.  For singers and musicians, it’s about the same “magic window.”  And inventors can literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in development of ideas that never actually make it onto the shelves, before they finally hit on something that is marketable.

Authors, artists, and musicians who aren’t already making big money are often responsible for between 75-100% of their total advertising costs.  They’re also responsible for the costs of any research required in the production of their art, the transportation costs of getting said art to whatever destination it may be showed at, or contracted, with not even a promise that it will indeed be shown or contracted.  They are responsible for all costs of getting their name/brand out to the businesses that might be interested in carrying or producing their works, and for all other expenses incurred in pre-contract/sale as well as many of the aspects of post-contract/sale.  They can rack up literally thousands of dollars in debt, all focused on the belief that their art will one day turn a profit, and all with the belief that they are, in fact, operating a business.  They’re certainly doing much more work than many people who operate “traditional” businesses put into their own businesses.

Yet, the IRS and government want to consign these overworked, often struggling souls, who work long hours at jobs they seldom enjoy, just to pay living expenses and the expenses of their true careers, and who put in even longer hours pounding paths over and over in the hope of getting that elusive contract, to the category of “hobbyist” if they can’t manage to turn a profit for three out of any five years.  They can’t be involved in a real business if they’re not turning a profit, according the government.

It is a mockery of the American Dream, of the ideal of being able to make something of yourself from nothing, to call people who are pouring so much of themselves into a dream they firmly believe to be a business venture, nothing more than tinkering hobbyists.  It cheapens the whole experience of being an American, and makes the ideals for which this country was supposedly founded fail the litmus test for creating successes from ashes.

My challenge to the government of the United States, its taxing agencies, and to each and every American citizen, is to combat this inequity.

To the people, it is time to stand up, and demand that the government re-examine and revise current tax laws, removing artists, artisans, inventors and published authors from the IRC 183 clause of tax law, making all arts and inventions that can be substantiated with evidence of business endeavors to be considered a “for-profit” business, no matter the length of time it takes them to actually turn a profit.

To the Lawmakers and the IRS, I issue this challenge: Support innovation, creativity, and ingenuity — the building blocks of our great nation.  Give artists, artisans, authors, and inventors protection under tax laws, so that they can continue to create, without the costly interruptions of such ridiculous clauses as IRC 183.  Having to deal with the audit processes and headaches involved in the current reading of this particular tax law stunts the flow of creativity, and could make the next great American author or artist give up long before they ever reach their potential.  I challenge you to remember that some of the greatest artists and inventors of all time were largely unknown and uncelebrated in their own lifetimes.  But had they been forced to give up their art due to ridiculous taxation laws that could so easily be amended, we might never have Van Goethe or Da Vinci to admire today, or had Beowulf or King Arthur to read about.

It’s time to stop minimalizing people who are fighting with their every breath for a dream that props up the foundation of the American Dream to which we all aspire.

“Calm Before The Storm” – Excerpt from TERMINAL HUNTER (Underground)

   Forged in the fires of a war that forever changed their world, these ten men and women are highly-skilled operators who have taken the rally cry of “Never Again” as their own.  Theirs is a world where the lines between military and civilian have blurred, and the difference between life and death could be as simple as the next breath.

They are Commandos, and they are the last line of defense between peace and chaos, where love has become the greatest strength, and fear, the most devastating weakness.

                                            UNDERGROUND

                                                         Book 3

                                         TERMINAL HUNTER

Commando Tamia Kuan hasn’t had an easy life, but she’s never made excuses for making the best of what she has. Her life is beginning to come together… Until the loss of a friend drives home the one lesson in life she’s been hiding from — no one is invincible. Now, she’s faced with the very real possibility of losing everything she holds dear. Can a dangerous past be unmade, before it brings any hope of a future crashing down around her?

Excerpt from Underground #3: TERMINAL HUNTER

Tamia leaned her head against the cool, tiled wall of the bathroom and let the murmur of Rick’s voice wash over her. He had a very calming voice, and the light flavor of a Boston-born accent made her feel as if she was wrapped up in a warm blanket. She felt better, just knowing Rick was there.

The baby shifted in her womb, and Tamia smiled. She’d told Rick the truth, she was willing to pay any price for the child growing inside of her. Love swelled in her heart. Someday very soon, she’d hold her baby in her arms. It was a dream she hadn’t believed she’d live to see become reality.

“Good morning, Mikey,” she whispered as she stroked her belly gently. She and Rick settled on Michael as the baby’s name after her last appointment with Faulker. Her hand rose to the silvery hololocket around her neck. She didn’t have to open it to know what would appear if she did. A holographic image of the Archangel Michael, watching over a soldier carrying a child in his arms. The image was a special message from Rick to her – the promise of a protector for the defender.

“Sweetheart?” Rick’s hand squeezed her arm gently, and her eyes opened to the worry in his. “Are you okay?”

She nodded. “Michael just said good morning.”

His hand moved to her belly, rubbing gently, as he murmured, “Good morning to you, too.”

Their eyes met, and Tamia smiled softly, blinking away tears. Then she noticed how he was dressed, and uneasiness shot through her. Rick hardly ever wore his uniform, unless… “What’s going on?”

“The Tribunal wants me to testify, at ten. I hate to run off on you, but—”

“Go,” she urged. She knew how important this was, and if the tables were reversed, she’d expect the same understanding. Their jobs didn’t end because they were married. The same responsibilities, and the same dangers, remained.

He dropped a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be back as soon as I’m done.”

As she heard the door lock’s tone sound a few moments later, Tamia’s stomach clenched in fear, and she aimed for the toilet again as bile rose in her throat. She was frightened of what could happen if the Tribunal quashed the charges, and she was terrified that, by testifying, Rick was putting himself squarely in the cross-hairs of an assassin’s gun.

Like what you read here?  Pick up your copy of TERMINAL HUNTER today, at www.underthemoon.org/terminalhunter.html or check out other Underground books at www.esthermitchell.com

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