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MASSIVE COMICBOOK SALE!!!!

I have several thousand comicbooks available RIGHT NOW FOR SALE!!

I have never done this before and it probably won’t happen again any time soon, so you should take advantage of this as I am selling my PERSONAL COLLECTION of comicbooks which vary in rarity and selection.

This sale is to take place over Read More »

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Hello, all! Been a couple of months since I posted here, so I thought I’d get back to it again with an update for everyone.

Messy Desk

Today we’ll cover several items:

General info on Beyond the Charts
The marketing book
The novel
Becoming a Publisher
David’s personal life
Conclusion Read More »

Stack of Books

I find it interesting as I talk with various writers of fiction – published and unpublished – that opinions vary as to just how many words should go into a novel of any kind. And I’ve found that a lot of it seems to depend on opinions based on whether or not you’re a first time writer, or sending it to a big publisher versus a small press, does the novel really need so many words, or can they be trimmed down a considerable bit, and the list goes on and on.

Nevertheless, there are always the novels that come out fairly regularly by different authors that easily have 150,000 to 200,000 words or more in them, with others that push it even further. And there are the authors that not only put these novels out regularly “on time” but put out a few of them each year too. Personally, I have always liked a big meaty book that I can spend many nights and days in going through whatever adventure or drama is being played out. Over the years as I find books getting bigger and bigger I’ve had equal feelings of excitement and being overwhelmed with what’s out there to read. There’s quite a few I still haven’t read that I certainly want to, and the ones I have read I have greatly enjoyed.

Let’s look at a few of them, shall we?

Big Book

One of the biggest series of books that have consistently been “BIG” books of increasing size and scope, and the one that sort of brought attention to this phenomenon in the Speculative Fiction world of publishing is Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

This series refreshed everyone on what a fantasy adventure is all about and even after the author’s passing away, the story is being completed. Now that’s a powerful story! Yet many readers of it have said that although he got off to a great start and seemed to be leading to a great conclusion, somewhere in the middle he got real draggy. Could it be that he was putting too many words in when fewer would suffice? Or could it be that readers are just unaware of how he wanted to conclude the story, so those extra things were more necessary than people at first realized? If the current writer Brandon Sanderson does a good enough job off of the notes Robert Jordan left behind, and if the notes were detailed enough to account for this, then we shall see if earlier concerns were justified or not. Of course, I’m still not into those “middle” books yet, and I’ve talked earlier about how my goal this year is to have every book in this series read before the last one comes out. You can keep track of my progress in my own ongoing journey through The Wheel Of Time series here. Each time I finish one I’ll be leaving a comment telling you it’s been completed.

Or how about Kevin J. Anderson? He pumps out books like it’s going out of style, yet he consistently delivers on story, action, intrigue, and vast scope, plus he has a way of creating characters that remain with you long after their part of the story is complete.

Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson

Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson

Ten years ago he began a seven book series set in outer space called The Saga of the Seven Suns starting with Hidden Empire. Each year he had a book out at right about the same time and since then he’s done a fantasy trilogy with the third book coming out this year. In the meantime, he’s written books set in the DC Comics universe, edited various anthologies, kept up with his ongoing collaborations with Brian Herbert including the first book of the Hellhole trilogy which just came out, and did other various projects.

I personally still haven’t read Saga of the Seven Suns, but I’ve seen the books in the bookstore. (Yes, there is still such a thing) They aren’t thin novels by any stretch even if they aren’t the biggest ones on the shelf either. But if they are anything like the fantasy trilogy he’s been doing since then and the other books I’ve read by him over the years, I know that I’ll be enjoying it and meeting a lot of characters that will stay with me.

Speaking of books not read yet, I’ve noticed another author by the name of Patrick Rothfuss. I read a recent mutual interview that he and Brandon Sanderson did with each other and people have been recommending his books to me. I’d highly recommend reading that mutual interview as it’s between two authors that have been successful in writing big books and they talk about it from several angles. It’s both a humorous and informative article.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind seems to be a pretty big book too. Maybe once I’ve gone through the books I’m reading this year I’ll pick this up and read it too. Anyone else out there read Rothfuss yet? Opinions? Is he too wordy, or are the words fitting what’s going on?

And as I pointed out, Brandon Sanderson is the heir to Robert Jordan’s legacy to finish The Wheel of Time series, but he now has his own massive multi-book (ten projected) series called The Stormlight Archive. Book One is The Way of Kings.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The hardback is on my shelf right now and it’s MASSIVE. Just over 1,000 pages. Not a quick read for sure, and one that I am definitely looking forward to getting into later on this year. I’ve been going through the PDF download of Warbreaker on my computer whenever I’m not busy with something else. It’s been a really great read so far, so if this first book of this new series of his is anywhere near as enjoyable as that one – and many have told me that this is his best work to date – then I know I’ll have a good read ahead for me.

But even before Robert Jordan, and even outside of regularly accepted Speculative Fiction, there were people that wrote the occasional massive book.

Let’s look at the one by L. Ron Hubbard that has had a lot of praise over the years.

Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard

Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard

Battlefield Earth is a massive volume that tells a complete story in and of itself. This I’ve been told by those who have read and enjoyed it. It’s a book I intend to read one day. For a long time there I didn’t want to read it because I had seen the movie and didn’t care for it, but people that have both read the book and seen the movie have assured me that the movie is a terrible adaptation and to not judge the book by that. Considering other movie adaptations of books I’ve seen over the years, I’m willing to give it a go one of these days.

But what about Tom Clancy? From the beginning with The Hunt For Red October he has consistently written big books and it just seemed for a good long while there that each book would just get bigger and bigger. When Executive Orders came out, it was dubbed “A Collosal Read” by the Los Angeles Times. The paperback version on my shelf is at 1,358 pages in length. With such a massive volume, I figured that would be his last novel. I mean, honestly, I was wondering how he could write anything bigger?

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

Fortunately, he did write more even if none have exceeded that one in size, although, the one he just put out has had mixed reviews and the one right before that was terribly thin for him. I’ve been reading Tom Clancy for over a decade now with a break that’s lasted for a couple of years or so. I’m just two books away from reading Executive Orders. I think it’s the biggest book page-wise that I have on my bookshelves. I think it even tops the master for the length of a novel.

Yep, the master.

How could I write about massive books without mentioning my all time favorite author?

Quite a few of you that know me well enough should know who I’m talking about without having to scroll much further.

But I’ll go ahead and say it.

Stephen King.

Stephen King Motivational

This man was, and still is, a writing machine. He is the only author that I’ve seen that can consistently pump out massive volumes of text and keep the reader coming back for more each and every time. And he has proven over and over again that he can write about anything. And he has written some massive tomes for sure. And his average is certainly more than “one” book per year too.

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand by Stephen King

When the mini-series of The Stand came on ABC in the nineties, I had no idea what I was going to watch. Most of my friends had read the book, but for me, it was all fresh. A few years later I read the complete and uncut version of the book, and honestly, I can’t imagine what the cut version must have been like. At this point, I don’t even want to know. These are some of the greatest characters that I’ve ever read, and there are times I swear (can I do that?) that I’ve had dreams about some of the minor characters and have even heard names mentioned and thought I knew someone just because of that book. The Stand is the biggest book he’s ever written, but it’s not the only one that’s big. No, there’s yet another that’s almost as big as The Stand, and if you’re wondering what it is, this would be:

It by Stephen King

It by Stephen King

I got through this one about a year or so after I finished The Stand. As a person that was also at the time reading through his Dark Tower novels (and boy do THEY get big near the end too) I was beginning to see some connections with his “regular” novels and The Dark Tower. That’s another blog post, but as I began to see these connections, I began to have an even greater respect for the man as an author. Wow!

But now he’s gone and done it again a little over a year ago.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome by Stephen King

I’m not even sure when I’ll be reading this one. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, and once I’ve finished some of the other books by him that I need to read first, I know that when I do read this one, I’ll be having another many days and hours of enjoyment.

Well, those are some of the books that I’ve either read or want to read that are huge in size. I prefer those kind myself. What kind do you prefer, and are you more into series or stand alone novels?

Feel free to leave comments below. Thanks for reading what I had to say about these books. 😀

This year has been an interesting year for publishing and entertainment. For me, it’s been a chance to start a blog, join a group blog, and begin seriously reading other blogs while figuring out just what to do with this Beyond the Charts thing I’m embarking on.

I’ve decided to make a list of the Top 10 Blogs I know I will be following on a regular basis in the coming year. The one you’re reading is a given. 😉

1. The New Authors Fellowship – This is the group blog I am a part of and I’ve made some good friends there as well as have read some very interesting entries over the last year I’ve been a part of it. These are some great writers with some stories to tell, and they don’t do a bad job of blogging about things either.

2. Kevin J. Anderson – Kevin and I became friends online a couple of years ago when I contacted him as a fan and that friendship has grown beyond the fan/author to where we’ve talked about deeply personal issues. He’s a really good person and an awesome author, and his blog is chock full of tid bits on writing and productivity, not to mention that he recently reposted his 11 Tips for Writers which he often cites at conventions and workshops.

3. Mike Duran – This is a blog I’ve been following with much interest this year as he writes in two areas that I am very much interested in, but rarely see blended together and done right: Horror/Thriller fiction and Christian fiction. With the way he’s talked on his blog this past year about this ghost story he’s written, I have some high hopes for his book coming out in February. I hope I’m not disappointed. The Resurrection hits bookstores’ shelves in February.

4. Dean Wesley Smith – A long time hand in the field of writing, he is keeping up on all the goings on in the publishing industry and keeping new and current writers abreast of all the scams and false hopes and then telling them what they need to know and keep track of. A true expert if there ever was one.

5. Brandon Sanderson – I’m really just discovering him. I first heard of him because he took over Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series after the unfortunate passing of the original author, but since I was still working my way through Jordan’s books, I just took that as a good sign that I could actually finish reading the series when I get to that point. Since then, I’ve discovered that he had a good reason for being picked for that task as I’ve started reading him with his free download Warbreaker. Once I’m finished, next up from him: The Way of Kings. I’m following his blog to see about news on his projects and to see what else he might say about the industry.

6. Wil Wheaton – Yes, most of you probably remember him as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but there’s a lot more to this fellow besides that role from so long ago. Read his blog to find out.

7. Michael Stackpole – I first read him with the Star Wars novels he’s done. This year I’ve looked over some of his other books online to decide what to read beyond that and have followed his blog some too. I’ll be following him even more this next year. Also, I’ve chatted with him some on Facebook and he’s a very gracious conversationalist.

8. Splashdown Books – This small independent publisher is definitely making a “splash” on the small press scene. As a publisher of Speculative Fiction with Christian perspectives, founder Grace Bridges from New Zealand talks about the themes of the novels she publishes as well as other thoughts and topics associated with the emerging genre of Christian Speculative Fiction.

9. Greg Mitchell – Much like Mike Duran, this fellow seems to have a decent story put together that combines the two areas I want to see more of. I hope he does well. I’ll be following his progress. The Strange Man hits bookstores’ shelves in February.

And what about 10?

Well, 10 will be that one that surprises me as I get into the first couple of months of the next year. It will be the one that I either had never heard of before, or will have considered for this list but didn’t think would be as “must read” as the rest I’ve mentioned and then it suddenly pops out as a winner. Number 10 is a mystery now, but before too long, I’m sure that it will reveal itself.

I hope you have found some new blogs to follow because of this list. Feel free to comment and link below to any blogs you like to follow.

Today is Thanksgiving and I hope that you have been having a good one. As such I won’t take up too much space here and just post the prizes that will be offered to the winner of the new contest.

 – The first three Terminator movies starring Arnold himself, all off my own shelf and only been viewed by me.

 – Issues 1 through 7 of the limited series Identity Crisis by DC that came out in 2004

 – An unopened G.I.*JOE action figure that was a limited mail-in offer in 2007 for the 25th anniversary of the smaller figures for G.I.*JOE. The figure is of “Doc” and is still inside the original G.I.*JOE packaging which is still inside the original plastic sealing that includes two bubbles that each have a different insignia on it: a military star and the Cobra symbol. This is a reissuing of the “Doc” action figure and was ONLY available by mail-in order. This is being touted on e-Bay for starting prices that range from $9.99 to $19.99 and Buy Now prices on the level of $39.99, but if you win this contest, you will get the one that was sent to me personally and that has never been opened beyond the white box that it was mailed in to confirm the contents.

Those are the prizes I will send the winner of the contest and I’ll probably throw in some additional extras as I feel like it when I ship it off.

The contest will run through Christmas Day. I look forward to seeing who will win this one!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts
http://www.beyondthecharts.com

From the beginning of Thanksgiving Day to the end of Christmas Day Beyond the Charts is holding a new contest.

Anyone who makes a purchase of $100.00 or more will be entered into the contest. Each additional purchase of $100.00 or more will grant another entry into the contest. Purchases of less than $100 for people purchasing Membership 2 memberships are as follows: Anyone purchasing two Membership 2 memberships that does not already have one (one for self and one for friend) will be entered one time for below the $100 amount. Any Members at Membership 2 level can purchase another Membership 2 for a friend along with $50 worth of merchandise and will also be entered one time for below the $100 amount. All other entries after that by Members must be at $100 or more.

The contest is simple: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, anyone that has been entered into the contest is valid for winning. After the contest is over, a winner will be selected at random and will be contacted privately. On New Year’s Eve the winner will be announced and will be sent the prizes. If winner doesn’t contact Beyond the Charts back by Dec. 28th to confirm, an alternate winner will be selected.

When placing an order, make sure both your e-mail address and phone number are included so that if you win and can’t be reached by e-mail, you can hopefully be reached by phone.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I will post an update and list all the prizes that the winner will get.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Space, the final frontier!

Tonight the hit film Star Trek becomes available for sale and Beyond the Charts is the place for Star Trek this week!

Tonight you’ll find the feature film for sale along with all four seasons of Star Trek Enterprise, the prequel series to the original sixties series the film is based on, so it also acts as a prequel to the film itself. These will be available at midnight tonight eastern time on Beyond the Charts. But wait!

Throughout the night watch for other Star Trek DVDs, Blu-Rays, and collections show up including the original classic series, boxed sets of the three spin-offs, and other items.

Then through the rest of the week, keep your eyes on Beyond the Charts for more Star Trek items as they are posted.

This week is the week of Star Trek!

Live long and prosper,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Hello,

It’s been a number of weeks now since I’ve seen this film and I meant to get this blog entry written much, much earlier than this, but with the movie having been released on DVD and Blu-Ray earlier today, I thought I’d whet the appetite of people who haven’t seen the film so that they would buy it now that it’s out. (Preferably from Beyond the Charts!)

In the heyday of G.I.JOE back in the late eighties/early nineties there was much talk about making a movie, but it was never done. By the mid-nineties the cartoon was found only in reruns on certain channels and the Marvel comicbook was getting canceled at the same time as the toyline was discontinued. It looked like the dreams of many had been lost.

In the intervening years following the end of the toyline, cartoon, and comicbook, the toyline was rebooted with an entirely different look to the figures and DarkHorse comics was brought on board to produce the comicbook and a new cartoon was created. Using totally different characters than the ones that had been around for over a decade, Hasbro was hoping to strike a fire twice. It didn’t happen. In just a little over a year’s time, the revamped G.I.JOE was gone and redone figures from the old line was issued, but without a cartoon or a comicbook, most of those got ignored.

Then at the turn of the century Image comics started publishing G.I.JOE the comicbook again using the same universe that Larry Hama had created in the Marvel comicbooks. Rather than just pick up where Larry left off, they jumped ahead to the modern days and created a back history for some of the major characters and revealed it in time during those issues as well as in the other comicbook they created that told various stories from the intervening years. After a lot of issues, G.I.JOE left Image and was published by the imprint that was using Image. That series ended too, but with the movie coming out this year, G.I.JOE came back strong at the beginning of the year.

The storyline of G.I.JOE The Rise of Cobra follows “Duke” Hauser and his teammate RipCord as they initially are helping transport a secure package for the U.S. that the government had gotten from M.A.R.S. a company owned by James McCullen Destro, but high tech flying craft swoop in and they wind up in a fight with Cobra. The Baroness gets the package, but they get it back with help from another team that comes in. And the movie goes from there.

Depending on if you were just a fan of the cartoon or both the cartoon and the comicbook, you’ll notice that the characters in a lot of cases are similar yet not like either interpretation that came before.

On the cartoon, Scarlett and Duke were an item, and in the comicbook it was her and Snake-Eyes; in the film she goes for another JOE.

On the cartoon and in the comicbook, the Baroness was an item with Destro. This doesn’t change in the movie, but the Baroness used to date one of the JOEs and had broken things with him when he couldn’t protect her brother from destruction in the war zone when they were both on duty in the war zone. This former relationship causes complications for her relationship with Cobra as the movie progresses. It also becomes apparent that Destro is quite jealous of anyone that gets close to the Baroness, even if she’s supposed to be posing as someone’s mistress, girlfriend, or even wife. He keeps Storm Shadow close to her and Storm Shadow is not against killing someone over even touching her.

Destro in both the comicbook and the cartoon wore a silver mask that was handed down from generation to generation in his family, but in the movie he doesn’t have anything like that until the end and the way his face is covered at the end is entirely different than anything we’ve seen before although the end result looks the same.

The relationship with Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow is still tumultuous as it was in the comicbook. The cartoon didn’t focus on their relationship until it was almost over with. In the movie, the way they meet is different than it’s ever been told before and they are much younger too. Whether Storm Shadow will ever come over to the side of good as he did in other incarnations will be revealed in future movies.

A character that wasn’t in either the cartoon or comicbooks is a doctor that apparently has been hired by Destro to help enhance the soldiers genetically. His backstory does tie in with a character from classic G.I.JOE: Dr. Mindbender, but he isn’t that character. Not only that, his history ties in with the history of a couple of other characters in the movie.

Also, Zartan makes a few appearances. It becomes apparent that the color changing and chameleon days from the old toy, comicbook and cartoon series are over with as the focus is on his ability to disguise himself as different people. There’s a nice twist at the end of the movie regarding him that I won’t ruin for you. Just be watching and listening very carefully is all I have to say. Who knows? Maybe in the next film we’ll see if he does any color changing acts.

The real surprise is at the end when the Cobra Commander is finally revealed. All through the movie you are left to wonder when he’s going to show up. Indeed, the entire time it seems as if Destro is running the whole show. The reveal at the end was both sudden and a terrific plot twist and very satisfying. On the cartoon, he was from an ancient race known as Cobra-La whose leader sent him out to conquer and control the world for the glory of Cobra-La. In the comicbook, he was a down on his luck man who left his wife and took his son with him and decided to get revenge on everyone that screwed him by setting up a bunch of dummy organizations that raked in money until he was able to build up his army and start on his plan for world domination. Here we have an entirely different take on the Commander than any we have seen before.

The events of this movie clearly shows that they are building up to a sequel and probably a nice series of films if they film them close enough together in the coming years. This one really feels like a prequel or “origin” film. If this was the beginning of the book, I’d say it was the prologue. A very action packed, story filled prologue. They might not be able to pump them out once a year like Saw does, but even once every year and a half or two years would be better than the long waits between other films I’ve seen. If I get four or five good films out of this franchise over the next decade (including the one I’ve seen), then I’ll be quite satisfied.

Tomorrow I’ll be putting G.I.JOE The Rise of Cobra on my website, both in DVD and Blu-Ray format, so if you haven’t gotten it yet, you’ll find it available from Beyond the Charts. I recommend it.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

Hi,

Lot’s of things happening.

October 1st, Beyond the Charts launches the website to the public that I’ve been hyping and talking about for some time now. It’s a Basic Launch with about 50 items to start with, yet each week more items will be added and over time I’ll build up to the Full Launch I’ll do that will have hundreds of products available.

Also, I’m going to be back to regularly putting blog entries up here on MySpace and I’ll play catch up with telling you about my experience at Dragon*Con, what I thought about the G.I.JOE movie, and the book reviews I’ve been promising you.

I’m wondering something though, how many of you are on Twitter?

If you aren’t it’s real easy to start an account and it’s fun. Just go to http://www.twitter.com to get started.

For the rest of you that are on there with followers, let me make a request of you. Since the website is getting launched on October 1st, I want to generate as much buzz on Twitter as I can. Here’s some tweets you can put on there for me to help generate that buzz:

Between now and Thursday, at least once a day you can post this to get people talking:

RT @beyondthecharts – please retweet: http://www.beyondthecharts.com launches October 1st.

Then on October 1st, I would appreciate it if you post this at least three times – or as many more as you want:

RT @beyondthecharts – please retweet: Today http://www.beyondthecharts.com launches. Check it out!

Then for as many days as you’d like after October 1st, I would appreciate it if you post this:

RT @beyondthecharts – please retweet: http://www.beyondthecharts.com has launched!

I hope that as many of you as possible can help out this way. Thanks!

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC

Okay folks, how does the following sound to you?

1) An unopened Limited Edition Widescreen 3-Disc DVD boxed set of the Ghost Rider movie that is near impossible to find.

2) All twelve individual issues of the Star Wars: Vector crossover that occurred last year in the Star Wars comicbooks put out by Dark Horse comics. This story starts a few thousand years before Anakin and his children Luke and Leia and then is brought to the time that Anakin is Darth Vader, then when Luke and Leia are fighting the Empire, to conclude over a hundred years after Luke and Leia where Luke’s descendant Cade Skywalker confronts and defeats the evil – or does he? Each has been read twice by myself, and no one else, and all are in Near Mint condition.

3) A signed copy of Field of Blood, Book 1 of the Jerusalem’s Undead trilogy by Eric Wilson. The second book Haunt of Jackals is out now, but if you win you can have this signed copy of the first book in this series about demons that inhabit the dead bodies of a family that was buried together in a household tomb centuries before in Jerusalem and now has a thirst for blood. Then they go searching for a girl of unique lineage who could stop their reign of terror and ultimate plans, but she doesn’t even know it as she just goes about her life staying away from her mother and the strange upbringing she had.

4) The first three X-Men movies, off of my own shelf and all in good condition and all in Widescreen.

5) A copy of Kevin J. Anderson’s Terra Incognita Book 1: The Edge of the World and the accompanying CD by Roswell Six, Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon produced by ProgRock Records and features the vocal talents of James LaBrie, Michael Sadler, Lana Lane, and John Payne.

Does any or all of that interest you?

If you want a chance to get all of that, and a few other random items maybe, then go to my website right now: http://www.beyondthecharts.com

Nope. Stop reading. Go back and click on that link.

Be encouraged,

David James
Founder – Beyond the Charts, LLC
beyondthecharts@beyondthecharts.com
http://www.beyondthecharts.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarkesville-GA/Beyond-the-Charts/94716168345
http://www.myspace.com/beyondthecharts
http://www.twitter.com/beyondthecharts

 P.S. You still reading? Click here and enter the contest: http://www.beyondthecharts.com