Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 19, 2017

Blog Hop for Twenty-four Days

twenty-four daysThis week, my wonderful efriends here in the blogosphere are helping me get the word out about my second novel, Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the sentient artificial intelligence who thinks he’s human. And for us Navy folk: much of the setting is on a US warship, the USS Bunker Hill, with a cameo from the famous F-15 Eagle:

I’ll be visiting blogs to chat about the book, the process, and anything else on their minds. Some of the questions we’ll cover:

  1. Can science make a warship invisible? 
  2. Exactly how cool is Otto, the AI? 
  3. What is an ‘AI’?
  4. What pick-up line does the story’s geek,  Eitan Sun, use to attract his first wife? 
  5. Are there drones in this book? 
  6. Is the submarine’s invisibility shield like the cloak in Harry Potter? 
  7. Do you have to read the prequel, To Hunt a Sub, to understand this book?
  8. How does Otto find submarines anywhere in the world? 
  9. Is this a romantic thriller? 
  10. Is the tech included in the book really possible? 
  11. When is Book 3 in the Rowe-Delamagente series out?

Here’s the schedule of who’ll I’ll visit. I haven’t included the question–you’ll just have to drop in to see the answer:

Date

Blog

Blogger’s Books

5/15/2017 Michael W Smart Amazon page
5/15/2017 Jessica Marie Baumgartner Amazon page
5/16/2017 Stephanie Faris Webpage with books
5/16/2017 D. Wallace Peach Catling’s Bane
5/17/2017 Juneta Key
5/17/2017 Ken Meyer
5/18/2017 Grace Allison Do You Have a Dream?
5/19/2017 Andrew
5/19/2017 M. C. Tuggle
5/19/2017 Jill Weatherholt Second Chance Romance
5/19/2017 Tyrean The Champion Trilogy
5/19/2017 Heather Erickson Facing Cancer as a Friend
5/20/2017 Carolyn Paul Branch Tangled Roots
5/21/2017 Betsy Kerekes 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage
5/21/2017 Robbie Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook
5/22/2017 Glynis Jolly
5/22/2017 Erika Beebe
5/22/2017 C. Lee McKenzie Double Negative
5/22/2017 Sharon Bonin-Pratt
5/22/2017 Bish Denham Amazon page
5/23/2017 Cathleen Townsend Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie
5/24/2017 Chemist Ken
5/25/2017 Wendy Unsworth Amazon page
5/25/2017 Rob Akers
5/26/2017 Don Massenzio Amazon page
5/27/2017 Annika Perry
5/28/2017 Jean Davis Sahmara
5/29/2017 Jennifer Kelland Perry Calmer Secrets
5/31/2017 Carol Balawyder Amazon page
6/4/2017 Ronel Janse van Vuuren
6/9/2017 DG Kaye Debbie’s Amazon page
6/16/2017 Laurie Rand

Please join me whenever you can. I’d love to see you.

Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 25, 2017

Didn’t Get in? Try NAPS

update
naval academy prep schoolFrom the USNA website:

The Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) is located on Naval Station Newport in historic Newport, Rhode Island. The Naval Academy Preparatory School is the Navy’s fourth oldest school; only the Naval Academy, Naval War College, and Naval Post Graduate School are older.

The mission of the Naval Academy Preparatory School is to enhance midshipman candidates’ moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the U.S. Naval Academy. The ten-month course of instruction at NAPS, lasting from August through May, emphasizes preparation in English Composition, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Information Technology.

Demanding military, physical and character development programs complement the academic preparation to fully prepare students for the challenges of life at a service academy. As part of the physical development program, NAPS offers a varsity athletic program that competes against other preparatory schools, junior colleges and college junior varsity teams.

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 22, 2017

Herndon

The USNA Herndon Monument is a 21-foot-tall grey granite obelisk. It was erected in memory of Captain William Lewis Herndon, who courageously decided to go down with his ship, SS Central America, and the men left aboard rather than save himself on September 12, 1857.

Every year–this year, May 22nd, 2017 at 10:30 am–it is coated in lard and the USNA Plebes try to climb it using a mixture of ingenuity, physics, teamwork, and muscles. The goal: Place their cover on the top.

Here are some images from my daughter’s year:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And her are some videos that do a darn good job of describing it:



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 22, 2017

Are You Going SWO After USNA Graduation?

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update

More than half  USNA graduates matriculate to the Surface Warfare community where they become Surface Warfare Officers onboard Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, Frigates, Dock landing ships, and other surface vessels, and manage professional and highly trained Sailors to maintain and operate the ship’s systems.

What do they do? Surface Warfare Officers are involved in virtually every aspect of Navy missions. Antisubmarine warfare, anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, land attack, theatre air missile defense, support for Marine Corps and Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) missions, communications, damage control, and shipboard management all rely on the knowledge and expertise of Officers in the Surface Warfare community. During a sea tour, Surface Warfare Officers are in charge of any number of shipboard operations and activities and work with or within the following forces:sw-o1_small1

  • Aircraft Carrier Forces: Provide and coordinate air defense from conventional and nuclear-powered carriers
  • Cruiser-Destroyer Forces: Provide ship attack and defense measures with a wide array of missile and fire power capabilities providing antiair, submarine, and surface warfare support
  • Amphibious Forces: Embark and transport vehicles, cargo, and troops for amphibious assault operations
  • Combat-Logistics Forces: Provide combatant ships with fuel, ammunition, food and supplies, and provide repair, maintenance, and rescue capabilities through fleet support ships
  • Mine Warfare Forces: Detect, identify, and neutralize threats to maritime forces from hostile use of mines

Shore duty may involve a tour-of-duty at the Pentagon, a student assignment at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, or command and management positions at shore bases and stations across the globe.

Before the Surface Warfare Officer earns his/her pin (showing s/he has accomplished all hurdles toward this moniker), they attend the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) located in Newport, R.I., where they are trained to navigate a virtual vessel through any number of simulated hazards in the school’s full-mission bridge.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 20, 2017

Armed Forces Day

Many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May.


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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 10, 2017

Commissioning Week 2017

From USNA Website:08graduation_0251

May 19-26, 2017 (Parent packages to be mailed in early March)

Please see the Commissioning Week Schedule of Events

Gate Information During Commissioning Week:

  • Gate 1 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (1:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
  • Gate 1 – pedestrian access from 5 a.m.-midnight (2:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
  • Gate 3 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-9 a.m./egress 3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Tue – Fri ONLY
  • Gate 3 – pedestrian access from 6 a.m.- 10 p.m.
  • Gate 8 – pedestrian/vehicular access 24 hours

View Graduation On Your Computer

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 8, 2017

May is Military Appreciation Month

I love America. I love our military. I love my Navy daughter and my Army son.





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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | May 1, 2017

May To Do List for USNA Applicants

get into usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next:

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment in time and money because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more before achieving your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy their first choice college. Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | April 1, 2017

April To Do List for USNA Applicants

usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy their first choice college.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | March 1, 2017

March To Do List for USNA Applicants

usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy their first choice college.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 20, 2017

USNA and Summer STEM

stemSummer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), is a week-long, overnight camp at USNA each June. It is available to students who are currently in the 8th-10th grades.

Here’s information from the USNA website:

Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work – even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering.

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 14, 2017

The USNA Love Formula

I post this every year, but it drives home the point that Naval Academy applicants must be cerebral–because your future classmates will be. Look at this:

If you’re applying to USNA, do you wonder how you’ll spend Valentine’s Day? Here’s what some of them did (I love these guys):

USNA valentine day Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 8, 2017

How I’m Doing on Twenty-four Days I

indie authorI’m getting close to launching my latest military tech-thriller, Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

If you read my debut military tech-thriller, To Hunt a Suband loved the AI Otto, you’ll be pleased to know that Otto gets not only a voice but a body. Also: Eitan falls in love, the only bad thing that happens to Sandy (the Labrador) is he gets locked in a closet, and another fearless woman is tasked with saving the world.

Twenty-four Days was briefly represented by a wonderful agent who put an awful lot of work into editing and rewriting, making the story tighter and more exciting than when he first became involved. Ultimately, we parted ways, but I’ll always appreciate the time and effort he expended on me.

With a planned publication date of May-June, here’s how I’m doing.

  • I’ve completed substantive changes like checking timelines, plot points, and character development (thanks to my wonderful former agent).
  • I’m self-editing using Grammarly and Autocrit, in preparation for submittal to my editor. This includes spelling, grammar, word use, adverbs, dialogue tags, and more.
  • My cover folks are working on a spectacular cover, with an expected completion date in February (the cover on this blog page is simply a place-saver).
  • I’m having banners, logos, and that sort of marketing created, to be used as needed.
  • I’m getting pre-reviews that will inspire readers to purchase.
  • When the book is complete, I’ll submit it to Kindle Scout. Lucky winners there get free publication!
  • I’ll have a blog hop to officially release the book to the world in May/June. Want to help each other? I’d be happy to trade honest reviews when you promote your book.

If you have any steps that help you get your book out, please share in the comments. I just know I’m missing something.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 1, 2017

February To Do List For Military Academy Applicants

usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be

happy you’re done. Move on to the next

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice. Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 23, 2017

5 Critical Skills to Accomplish During High School

Lou Holtz, the University of Notre Dame’s erudite ex-coach, entrusted with turning UND football players into graduates, once exhorted, “How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”

High School is like the second half, and you’re about to find out if you’re a winner. At the starting line, all students are equal, crossing the freshman threshold with the same opportunities, and same possibilities for their future. The 4.0 student stands shoulder to shoulder with the star athlete, and the C student who aspires to nothing more than minimum wage work has an equal chance that inspiration will strike. Every one approaches the starting line, not knowing if the race will be won with brains, hard work, willpower, or intensity of desire.

But you’re different. You know what you want: USNA. There are five general skills you’ll have to learn over the next three years (if you don’t have them by the time applications go out, prior to senior year, it’ll be too late).

08graduation_0251

Maybe you’re thinking, that’s easy. I do it every day. Or maybe you’re wondering: How do I make this happen? I can answer both: It’s not easy or everyone would do it. The only thing easy is the instructions for making it happen.

Vigilance. That’s right. Be vigilant. Every time you’re faced with a problem, try to solve it first. Every time you meet a person you just don’t like, figure out how to get along.

More on this later. For now, know that these are skills the Naval Academy values so they’re worth learning. You either learn them now, in high school and in time for the USNA application, or you’ll learn them later in the School of Hard Knocks that is life.

Not to fret, though. I’ll give you lots of ways to accomplish this. If you want to, you can do it. They only piece that you must be born with is the desire to attend USNA.

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 16, 2017

10 Great Books (plus 3) to Read Before You Become a Midshipman

military booksI review a lot of military books every year. these are selected as great reading to prepare high schoolers for the USNA or a life in the military. Here are the top ten based on reader observations:

  1. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
  2. Galloping Ghost by Carl LaVo
  3. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
  4. Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton
  5. No Easy Day by Mark Owen
  6. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian–in fact, read the entire series. So much great information on *** warships
  7. Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer
  8. Big Red by Douglas Waller
  9. One Hundred Days by Sandy Woodward
  10. Fortunate Son by Lewis B. Puller Jr.

There are also three more–all that I’ve written. Check them out and see if they’re right for you:

Building a Midshipman–the story of one woman’s journey from carefree high school student to United States Naval AcademyMidshipman

To Hunt a Sub–By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided by the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.

Twenty-four Days–(publication date: Summer 2017) A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 8, 2017

Valentine Greeting for Your Soldier

Looking for the perfect Valentine gift for your warrior? Check out Bake Me a Wish. It’s the only company I know that will deliver to bases overseas.I shipped to my son in the Middle East and it arrived safely, fresh, and tasty!

Here’s their Valentine collection:

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Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 2, 2017

January To Do List for Future USNA Mids

photo adapted from one by NemoDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list.

Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next:

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.

A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 16, 2016

Happy Holidays!

HappyHolidaysUSNA-NetI’ll be taking a week (or so) off–until after the New Year–to rework my website, work on writing projects with a deadline, and wish my military children could be with me, here. I may drop in on you-all as you enjoy your holidays, but mostly I’ll be regenerating.

I wish you a wonderful season, safe and filled with family.

See you shortly!

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 14, 2016

Christmas Like a Soldier

Part of joining the military is placing yourself second to America. Her needs exceed yours. This Holiday Season, many of our own friends and family won’t be home in the warmth of family events. Watch these videos. Remember them…



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and To Hunt a Sub, her debut thriller. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB, a program reviewer for CAEP ISTE, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. She is the parent of a Naval Officer and an Army Sergeant. Currently, she’s editing the sequel to To Hunt a Sub–Twenty-four Days–which should be out next summer.

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