Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Couple of New Cool Things

X-RAYS! Well, not as cool as they show in the comics, but a nice feature of Kindle books. You know, the books sold by Amazon. Now, x-rays for ebooks are only available on the Kindle versions you buy at Amazon (or get for free). The author or publisher has to go through a grindingly painstaking process of trying to decide what Characters or Terms the reader might click to find out more about, then decide to write an original definition (generally for characters) or pulled right off Wikipedia (generally for terms or place names).

The entire Witches of Galdorheim series now has x-ray available. If you already have any of the ebooks from Kindle, just kick it off your reader, then re-send it to get the updated version.

Other books with x-rays include "First Duty," "Eagle Quest," and "Missing, Assumed Dead." I'm hitting the Tales of Abu Nuwas books next. My gosh, is there ever a ton of characters and terms to define in those! For one thing, the books have a lot of middle-eastern mythological characters. Sometimes, the English/American spelling varies from source to source. That makes that much harder to locate and either select a decent Wiki article or find some other source and grab it for inclusion.

In addition, I've applied to make The Witches of Galdorheim an official series which allows it to be bundled. Bundling allows a reader to grab all the books in a series at one go. I'd love everybody to do that. I have not yet heard back from Amazon on how this will work exactly. There should be a series product page at some point.

The other good part? It appears that Amazon is giving discounts on the books in the series already. For example, Bad Spelling is retail $3.99 (inflation!), but being sold for $3.14 on Amazon. Hey! Another cool thing (I think), Amazon has also discounted the paperback price to less than the ebook price ($2.95). I assume I'll still get the full royalty if any are sold, so go buy a paperback when it's discounted!

So, here's the Witches of Galdorheim bundle. Retail prices shown are for the individual books. I don't know how much the bundle will be. Also, note that the short story Spellslinger is included in Bad Spelling, so all five are included in the bundle.

Witches of Galdorheim Series
Bad Spelling $3.99 (Discounted to $3.14)
   Midnight Oil $3.99 (Discounted to $3.35)
Scotch Broom $3.99 (no discount yet)
As I find more information and link to a bundle page, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Nyra Hutchings and Remy Belieux

*** I just heard from Dawn after years apart and decided to re-run this post in her honor. She didn't know she was a role model.***

In honor of my friend Dawn, I've lowered the price from $2.99 to $0.99 on
Amazon:  First Duty and Ultimate Duty 

Tall, redheaded heroines kick ass. Yes, they do. But mostly only in fantasy and science fiction. When I wrote a redheaded heroine in my books "First Duty" and "Ultimate Duty," I used as my model a real-life person I had known years ago. She was a natural redhead, close to 6' tall (and more in her Frye boots), and she kicked every single ass while barely moving a muscle.

I hung out with Dawn a few years of my college life. Her brother was a temporary boyfriend of mine (also a redhead and quite tall). When that relationship ended, I kept his sister. One excellent reason for doing so beyond her being a funny and witty woman, was her ability to attract men. They flocked to her, growling at each other like the wolves they thought themselves to be. Dawn would laugh.

She flat out told me she could get any guy (who was looking for a hook up, and some that weren't) just by standing up in a room. As that magnificent mane of red hair rose above the crowd, it was as if somebody threw a bucket of chum in the ocean. The sharks circled for a few moments then moved in for the kill.

Dawn would laugh. Place her ringed index finger gently on the chest of the closest and give the guy a tiny push. She had just kicked his ass...big time.

When I released "Ultimate Duty" after it ran for more than three years under the Eternal Press banner, I found another kick-ass redhead to adorn the cover. She looks a lot like Dawn. Dawn would laugh.

So all you other SF/F writers with your tall, redheaded kick-ass heroines, find yourself a real live one like my friend. I have the rights to her (whether she knows it or not), while you all are probably just thinking how cool a tall redheaded kick-ass heroine would be. Have you actually met one? I thought not. Dawn would laugh.

If you have modeled your tall redheaded kick-ass heroine after a real person, tell us about her in the comments. I'll give you a copy of both of my tall redheaded kick-ass heroine books.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Going to War

In TALES OF A TEXAS BOY, I included stories up through my father's high school career as the star quarterback and President of the student body. He was trying to decide what to do next, so he and his best buddy, Red, decided, as teenagers will, to go on a road trip instead. I wrote this poem, which is not in the book, to commemorate my father's decision to defend his country as a soldier just as his father had. This poem was published in a magazine written by and for veterans.

So, Happy Vets Day to both my father and my grandfather, and all the veterans out there on this day in their honor.

Signin' Up

"Free school" the sign said. I never heard of such a thing.
But Red and me, we moved on. We picked tomatoes in the fields.
We drove from place to place, seein' what we could.
Across Highway 66, we seen a lot along the way.

My brand-new Ford ran smooth, but after awhile we heard the news.
Germany didn't look too good. Pa said there'd be war.
So, we went off to Denver with those two blonde-haired gals.
I handed them the keys and told them take the car to Amarillo.

Me and Red joined up, but Pa said don't sign 'til they told me what I'd do.
Red signed ahead of me and he went off and peeled potatoes.
Me, I just hung around 'til they said, how about San Antone?
That was good with me, so I signed on the line and got the uniform.

I ended up on a ship, heading out to Manila Bay.
But, it was December 7th and the ship turned round along the way.
Nobody said what was goin' on, but they give me a coupon for the train.
I headed up to Seattle and, along the way, I heard the news.

I might've got to the Philippines and been killed on Corregidor.
As it is, I watched for the Japs along the Pacific shore.
And that girl seemed just right to marry.
I ended up in Oregon workin' the big trees.

If it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor, where would I have gone?
Maybe that free school down in Fresno.
Maybe I'd signed up to ride fence down at a ranch.
Maybe I'd worked the oil fields like my uncle John.

But the world was what it was and I married that Oregon gal.
I saw the big trees and I liked the logging.
I stayed and sent money to the folks. Come on up, I said.
Where would I have gone, if it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor?

* * *

Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor
SPECIAL PRICES FOR EBOOKS THIS MONTH

Amazon Kindle Ebook - $0.99
Photo Illustrated Ebook Free on Smashwords
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book only $6.95

How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Free at Smashwords

Saluting My Own Vets


I'd be remiss if I didn't include a mention of my very own veteran, Jack. He served in the Philippines before Vietnam became "official."

He was in Intelligence, which meant he spent his time listening to communications between Viet Cong who were already fighting with South Vietnam for the unification of the country into a single Vietnam under the Communist party. Heaven forbid the US would allow people to choose their own system of government.

Anyway, the US was listening in while only a few "advisers" were on the ground in South Vietnam busily trying to prop up the puppet government.

The result: Millions of Vietnamese dead--soldiers, fathers, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters. More than 58,000 American dead. And none of the killing did anything useful at all.

Nevertheless, whether the fighting and deaths were senseless or not, US military put their lives on the line and many died. That's why we salute Veterans. They did all that was asked of them and did it well, but the war was never going to change Vietnam unification. Vets are not saluted for winning, but for giving their all for their countries. This they did with honor.

In honor of all vets from all wars, I hope you'll accept the gift of Tales of a Texas Boy from Smashwords (through the end of the month).

Amazon Kindle Ebook 99 cents 
Smashwords - FREE to the end of November
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book $6.95

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.

Here's a bonus feature. Little Eddie telling another of his stories in his own words. Turn up the volume, the recording isn't the best.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Tales of a Texas Boy - Pa's Story

Here's an excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy. This story has information I learned from my father about his father - my grandfather, Louis. He had quite an interesting life. As a veterinarian, he traveled to Mexico with Black Jack Pershing, and a few years later to France with Pershing again.

Pa's Story

IN 1916, I was still a young buck and not yet married, so I signed up with Black Jack Pershing to go after Pancho Villa. Ol’ Pancho and his banditos came into US territory and killed a bunch of folks in Columbus, New Mexico.

I was real good with horses, so soon I was the veterinarian. This was just as well, as I didn’t take well to using a gun. I’d never studied vetting in school, but I’d grown up on a farm in Nebraska and knew just about all there was to know about horses and mules. We chased Pancho and his gang just about all over Mexico, but never did catch up with him. A couple years later, I was still in the service, so I ended up goin’ to France with Black Jack when he got to be a General. I could have decided not to go as I’d done my time, but I knew Black Jack could put me to good use.

We were on the troop ship for weeks. Everybody was seasick for the first few days. The horses seemed to fare fine in that regard, but I was worried we couldn’t exercise them enough. We brought them up from the hold, a few at a time, and let them stretch their legs. We’d lead them in a quick walk around the deck. With the metal decks, we didn’t want them to move very fast for fear they’d slip and fall. I’d hate to have to put down a horse with a broken leg, so we took it real easy. As a result, the horses were not in good fightin’ shape by the time we landed in France.

It took some time, but me and Joe, who got assigned to be my assistant, got them in shape again. Mostly the horses were used to pack gear, but a few officers still rode them. Black Jack Pershing liked to ride on occasion, as did Captain Patton. I thought we should only have mules, since they make better pack animals than horses, but there were never enough mules to go around.

We weren’t in too many battles directly as we were the supply line for the army, but in 1918 it turned pretty bad when we went into the Argonne Forest. They called this an ‘offensive.’ I can see why as it offended me a lot. The fighting went on for nearly two months and only ended in November when the big guys signed the Treaty at Versailles.

In that short two months, it was hell on earth. Thousands of men died. One whole division, the 77th, was cut off for near a week and held out surrounded by the German forces. It was some battle, I can tell you. Almost all day long, I could hear the shells bursting and the sharp reports of rifle fire. And I heard the screams of dying men and horses.

The worst part for me was the horses being swept up in the middle of the battle. It broke my heart to go out on the fields after the fighting passed by and after the dead and wounded men were collected. Sometimes the ground was so soaked with blood that my boots were covered before I got back. A horse with an artery torn open bleeds gallons of blood; men only a few pints. It angered me when I thought how much the horses gave. They didn’t even have a say in goin’ to war. Men, at least, had a choice.
* * *

Read the rest of this tale and many more in Tales of a Texas Boy.

Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor
SPECIAL PRICES FOR EBOOKS THIS MONTH

Amazon Kindle Ebook - $0.99
Photo Illustrated Ebook - $0.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book only $6.95

How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.




Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Menagerie Available

What book has jackrabbits, chickens, sheep, rattlesnakes, cattle, dogs (several), mules, horses, a jackass, blackbirds, a bear, a bobcat, pigs, an eagle, skunks, coyotes, fish, a mammoth, and a curious and mischievous boy?

There might be only one in the world, I reckon. That'd be TALES OF A TEXAS BOY. Featured this month in honor of Veterans Day. The Large Print paperback is very popular with folks who lived a rural life and remember it with fondness. This book will take them back again to those golden days.


















Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor
SPECIAL
PRICE FOR EBOOKS THIS MONTH

Amazon Kindle Ebook - $0.99
Photo Illustrated Ebook - $0.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book only $6.95

How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.





Sunday, November 04, 2018

Audio for Tales of a Texas Boy

Vets' Day Specials (all of November)
IF YOU'RE A VET OR KNOW ONE YOU WANT TO GIFT WITH A FREE EBOOK, CONTACT ME AT MY EMAIL ADDRESS (mgdasef@gmail.com)

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY
How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. 

Twenty-one nostalgic stories based on the real life Eddie's adventures growing up in West Texas during the Great Depression. But the stories are not depressing at all! If you like animals and stories of farm and ranch life, this is a perfect book for you.

Watch the Book Trailer on YouTube.

Listen to the audio excerpt at SoundCloud.

Friday, November 02, 2018

November is for Veterans

Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor
SPECIAL PRICES FOR EBOOKS THIS MONTH

Amazon Kindle Ebook - $0.99
Photo Illustrated Ebook - $0.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book only $6.95

How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.


Tales of a Texas Boy

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Did You Wait Too Long?

WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM POST-HALLOWEEN SALE

The entire series 99 cents each. C'mon, less than a buck a book? Who can pass that up? This is the last chance until I get bored and decide to have another sale. The rest of the year will be devoted to Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas sales. Here's a reminder of all the books in the series.
* * *

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

All of Kat’s family are either witches or warlocks, depending on their sex, of course. Kat is fourteen and really ought to be able to turn a rabbit into a toad, but things just don’t work out for her. What she gets  is a slimy green hopper. That’s the good part. Unfortunately, it also has long ears and fur. That’s bad spelling.


Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are capant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’s minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger, too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.

That things will go horribly wrong is a given. But how does Rune get into and out of the predicament? This prequel story to the Witches of Galdorheim series gives the reader a chance to get to know the smart-aleck kid, Rune, before he got his magic down pat.


BLOOD TIES TESTED - Sequel and Final Book of the Series: 99 cents
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

One last day free for the last book in the Witches of Galdorheim Halloween Celebration.

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED FINAL DAY

The rest of the books in the series are only 99 cents each, so all is not lost. C'mon, less than a buck a book? Who can pass that up? Here's a reminder of all the books in the series. I hope you have a very witchy Halloween.

* * *

What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.

That things will go horribly wrong is a given. But how does Rune get into and out of the predicament? This prequel story to the Witches of Galdorheim series gives the reader a chance to get to know the smart-aleck kid, Rune, before he got his magic down pat.

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

All of Kat’s family are either witches or warlocks, depending on their sex, of course. Kat is fourteen and really ought to be able to turn a rabbit into a toad, but things just don’t work out for her. What she gets  is a slimy green hopper. That’s the good part. Unfortunately, it also has long ears and fur. That’s bad spelling.

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are capant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’s minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger, too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES AND THE LAST DAY FREE
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween is for Ancient Vampires

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED OCTOBER 27TH-31ST

THE VAMPIRES OF THE F.O.B. CLUB (Forever Off Blood)

ELIZABETH BATHORY
She’s a little old-fashioned and wears clothing appropriate to the 17th C.

Elizabeth Bathory regretted she had thrown away the chance for herself. She had forever forsaken the idea of a family. Her mind cruelly flashed to the sight of her lounging in a bathtub, the water crimson with blood. She shook her head to relieve herself of the flashback to her evil days. She had used the girls brought to her from the village. She paid well. The peasants didn’t want girls anyway and turned a blind eye to the Countess’ dire use. When the girls disappeared, their parents accepted the gold purse and the lie that their daughter had gone off to the city to find work. They accepted they shouldn’t expect to hear from them again.

Finally, the other nobles could no longer turn a blind eye. Tried for murder, she stood mute while the servants who had aided her begged for their own lives with their testimony. It did no good. They were hung in the village square after the jury announced the guilty verdict. But she was a noble and the rope wouldn’t cut her life short. She knew it wouldn’t in any case, but pretending to be dead, getting buried, then having to claw her way out again would have been annoying, but survivable. Instead, they put her in a high tower with the windows and door closed with bricks. One small opening, just big enough for a plate was left to serve her meals.

ANGUS MAC BEATHA
Scottish, 11th C., Mac Beatha - means "son of life." The ancient Scottish Vampire was Glaistig's lover. Glaistig, the Gray Lady, met Rune in Scotch Broom. Angus departed from Scotland when he failed to control his vampire tendencies.

When he learned of Glaistig's death, he was devastated. When her killer arrived on Drakos' castle doorstep, he vowed to kill the youth.






COUNT LYONEL PERABO
:
Lyonel Perabo, with his long black hair, goatee, and mustache was tall and elegant—the consummate Frenchman, except for one little difference. He had left France to join the Viking raids a thousand years before. He had thought it a convenient way to sup on humans since the battle fields were strewn with the near-dead lying in pools of blood. When the Norsemen settled treaties and stopped their raids, Lyonel had to go elsewhere for his supply. To his perplexity, a draugr followed Lyonel from the battlefield. Eventually, he spoke to the monster and discovered he was a man turned to monster called Thorolf Draugr. The two became friends and hunted together—Lyonel for the blood and Thorolf for the flesh.

It became more difficult as the years went by. Lyonel and Thorolf had stumbled on Drakos’ villa whilst stalking a Gypsy caravan. They thought it would be nice to stop in for a visit with Lyonel’s own kind, and stayed, converted to Drakos’ philosophy. Thorolf didn’t want blood, so it made no difference to him. Eating an entire elk at a sitting suited him fine.

The Legend of Thorolf Draugr
Drauger- Icelandic Saga- this is an animated corpse that comes forth from its grave mound or shows restlessness on the way to the burial place. This creature is also know as an Aptrgangr (after-goer or one who walkers after death.) The Draugr is the roaming undead most frequently encountered in Icelandic Sagas. Whichever name used, the undead of Scandinavia was a physical body, the actual corpse of the deceased.


TAO LUNG:

Tao Lung, like the others, had spent years terrorizing the Chin villages for victims. He came across a scholarly man named Zhu Xi sitting silently in a beautiful garden. He crept toward the man, believing him to be asleep. Tao Lung was surprised when the Confuscian philosopher raised one hand, palm outward. Tao froze, unable to move and realized he was in the presence of a powerful magician. The old man allowed Tao to sit cross-legged before him, arms resting on his knees, and strangely his index finger and thumb touching forming a strange shape. They remained in this position for days. When Zhu Xi allowed Tao to move again, the vampire felt at peace. He was no longer driven by blood lust. Zhu Xi died, as humans do, and Tao Lung wandered through the countryside imparting the same peace of mind Zhu Xi had given him. His wanderings brought him eventually to Drakos’ door. As their spiritual guide, he was the key to the family’s success. When the others waivered in their resolve, they went to Tao Lung. He need say nothing. The one who needed strength sat with Tao Lung as he had sat with Zhu Xi. When their mind was at peace, he released them. They bowed, and went about their daily business.

The Legend of the Ch'iang Shih
In China, vampires had long, hooked claws and red eyes. They were known as ch’iang shih, which translates to “corpse-hopper.”

* * *

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Halloween is for Creatures

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED OCTOBER 27TH-31ST

Creature Feature

I'm done writing the fifth book in the Witches of Galdorheim series. Maybe it's the 4th, since one of the volumes--a prequel short story--is outside the activities of the other three books. This one is Rune's book. It's what happened to Rune at the end of "Scotch Broom." Rune not only connects with his father, but meets a variety of other interesting beings during the visit.

Biel the Mahr: The Mahr are a race of giant vampire moths that dwell in the Carpathian Mountains. When a person was bitten by one of the Mahr, the creature would host the body of that person. A Mahr can be killed, and thus returning the soul to the original owner, by driving a wooden stake through its heart, or by finding its lair and exposing it to daylight. In Poland, they are called Mora and in Bulgaria Morava. The Mahr needs substantial quantities of blood to survive cocooning for several years.

Early on in the book-which-will-not-be, Rune and Drakos must fight off a Mahr named Biel. Not usually enemies, Biel is upset because Drakos has banned blood-taking in the area enforcing the rules via his control of a variety of folkloric creatures which were to be determined if the book had been written.

Igosha: In Russian folklore an Igosha is a household sprite, a handless and legless monster. Legends say that an Igosha is the spirit of a new-born baby who died without being christened. I thought Igosha would be a nice addition to the house of vampires. He is cared for by Tao Lung, an ancient Chinese vampire.

Excerpt:


Botchling from Witcher Game

Tao Lung had found the poor creature in his travels and, at first, believed it had been grievously injured. Igosha was not injured but created from a dead baby, a cruel joke of an evil wizard. He had promised to bring the baby back to life for a huge fee. He performed the spell. The sad couple were overjoyed and paid the wizard with their entire life savings. After the wizard departed, however, the baby’s arms and legs shrank, its hands and feet disappeared, and its tongue removed so it could never speak.

Tao Lung adopted the creature, of course. While Igosha could not speak, having no mouth thanks to the wizard, it could understand and faithfully served Tao Lung in any way it could. The company of vampires had accepted the deformed creature as one of their own.

Thorolf Draugr: Thorolf also came to the vampire castle with another. Lyonel Perabo, a French vampire, joined forces with a Draugr from Norse tradition. The Draugr is pretty much a flesh-eating zombie, but Lyonel is so charming, the two become friends and fellow hunters. 

Excerpt:

Tall and elegant, Lyonel Perabo, with his long black hair, goatee, and mustache was the consummate Frenchman. Centuries ago, he decided to leave France to follow the slaughter of the Viking raids. He had thought it a convenient way to sup on human blood since the battlefields lay strewn with the near dead. When the Norsemen stopped their raids, Lyonel moved on.

To his perplexity, a deformed creature followed Lyonel from the battlefield. Eventually, he spoke to the being and discovered it was a man morphed into monster called Thorolf Draugr. The two formed a mutually beneficial partnership. They hunted together—Lyonel for the blood and Thorolf for the raw flesh.

More wars and years went by. They roamed the lands from south to north. It became more difficult as the years went by. Lyonel and Thorolf had wandered into Slovakia’s Tatras Mountains whilst stalking a Gypsy caravan. Unfortunately for Lyonel, the gypsies were well-versed in vampire ways. Turning the tables on Lyonel and Thorolf, the gypsies cornered the pair shouting curses and holding up crosses sharpened into wooden stakes. Thorolf, however, roared and attacked, unfazed by the anti-vampire talismans. The gypsies had never encountered a creature like the Draugr before. Thorolf attacked the attackers, throwing bodies, alive and dead, every which way. Realizing the monster was beyond their abilities, the gypsies turned tail and ran. Lyonel called off Thorolf, not wanting to lose his dear companion.



* * *

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Halloween is for Fathers and Sons

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED OCTOBER 27TH-31ST

It's all about the blood.

I'm done writing the fifth book in the Witches of Galdorheim series. Maybe it's the 4th, since one of the volumes--a prequel short story--is outside the activities of the other three books. This one is Rune's book. It's what happened to Rune at the end of "Scotch Broom." You might not know who Rune is either, so I'll first introduce him a bit, then talk about the characters you'll have the opportunity to meet in this final book: BLOOD TIES TESTED. If anybody wants to read it, let me know.

Rune: Half vampire and half warlock, Rune has adventured with his sister, Katrina in the first three books  of the Galdorheim series. With his double-dip of magic from both his mother and father, Rune is bound to be the most powerful warlock to come out of Galdorheim. First, though, he has to learn how to control his vampiric urges. This is an on-going battle for him throughout the series. In the third book of the series, he is forced to use his vampire's bite to save himself and his sister from the evil winter goddess, Cailleach. After that battle, he returns home distraught and suffering from PTSD.

Barnabus from Dark Shadows
Drakos: Rune's father. Drakos was a human warlock when turned into a vampire. Because he has strong magical skills, he is able to moderate his vampiristic tendencies. He does like to play the part, however. Living in a chalet in the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia (not every vampire lives in Transylvania in a dank castle) with a few other vampires, he ensures the surrounding villages are safe from his companions.

When first turned, however, he didn't have proper control. He attacked Rune's mother intent on taking her blood while they engaged in a bit of hanky-panky. Ardyth, a powerful witch, nipped that in the bud (so to speak) and returned home carrying Drakos' child, Rune.

* * *

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Halloween is for Fearless Vampire Hunters

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED OCTOBER 27TH-31ST

FEARLESS VAMPIRE HUNTERS - HELSING AND LIEBCHEN

You can't have vampires without somebody thinking they need to be hunted. In Blood Ties Tested, the hunters consist of the team of Liebchen the Lundehund (no, really! it's a real dog) and a descendant of Bram Stoker's vampire hunter, Van Helsing.

Helsing is a distant relative of the famous Van Helsing who took on Dracula in Bram Stoker's seminal work. He isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, but desperately wants to make a name for himself as a vampire hunter to follow in his ancestor's footsteps.

He does have a secret weapon at his disposal: Liebchen the Lundehund. The Norwegian Lundehunds have six toes on each foot that allow them to climb on vertical cliffs and their neck joints enable them to bend their head backward over their shoulders so that their forehead touches its back.

The hound can also close their ear canals at will (to protect them against dirt and moisture) and are able to bend their head 180 degrees backwards over their shoulders. Their fore-shoulder joints are extremely flexible and empower both front legs to be stretched straight out to both sides, for greater ease in swimming and maneuvering in the narrow crevices in Norwegian seaside cliffs where their avian prey lives.

The dog, for all its traits and talents, has a flaw of its digestive tract which requires an almost 100% protein diet. Thus sensitized to detect protein sources, the Lundehund is ideal for seeking out creatures which also require high protein foods, such as vampires. Blood calories are almost all protein. It does contain a high salt and iron content, which might be detrimental to humans, but vampire and Lundehund physiology can counteract the potential poisons.

Excerpt

Ivan Helsing stood with hands on hips. A frown contort his features. “Var ist das hunde?” huffed out a disgusted breath. “Ach! I take mein eyes off her for one minute and off she goes mitout a tot in her brain.”

He lifted the binoculars to his eyes and scanned the tree line of the thick forest. “Dark soon. Der wampires should be coming out any time.”

Finally spotting his dog trotting back through the underbrush, Helsing lowered the binoculars. “She vill find da wampires.” He sat on a rocky outcropping and slapped his thigh. “Liebchen, come.” The small brown and white dog raced over to Helsing and sat, her tongue lolling, and her tail whipping side to side. “Ist she a gut girl? Ya, she ist.” He patted the dog between her overly large pointed ears.

The vampire hunter sighed. “Dat gypsy woman said da wampires live in these woods, but dere ist no sign of anyting here.” He scanned the treetops below him again. Liebchen followed suit, her head turning 180 degrees to look back over her body toward the woods.

The lundehund was a lucky find for Helsing. Liebchen was just the dog he needed to track down the bloodsuckers. Without her, he’d never find the vampires on is own. He wondered if his great-uncle Abraham Van Helsing had some wizardly way to hunt vampires. Ivan had inherited his great-uncle’s Vampire Killing Kit, but hadn’t caught any vampires to practice with it. Still, he wanted to be the Helsing family’s next heroic monster hunter.

Liebchen was almost magical. Her large ears picked up sounds as aptly as any other dog’s nose picked up scents. The lundehund was bred to hunt puffins on the rocky shores of Norway. Most dogs would have to shake their heads to clear out the seawater. The lundehund just shut its ears.

Her special secret was a strange genetic flaw. A lundehund needs a very high protein diet. No veggies for them. Straight meat, raw from the butcher shop. Fortunately, dried meat was a viable substitute along with LundePup dog food made with animal blood to provide the specific enzymes required to keep Liebchen healthy and happy.

The reason this genetic defect was a strength is that a lundehund could sniff out vampires who happened to have an almost identical genetic flaw. Takes one to know one.

Helsing and Liebchen sat on the hill trying to make out any hint of a vampire presence. The dog scanned the entire forest with her handy 180-degree view, but it was her nose doing most of the work. She did not scent a vampire, or she’d let Helsing know.

The binoculars provided Helsing a close-up view. Something appeared behind a particularly tall stand of trees. At first, Helsing thought it was just another rocky outcropping like the one they sat on. As he stared, more of a pattern emerged, an unnatural pattern of stone. Could this be the vampires’ hideout?

He began picking his way down the hillock’s grassy rock-strewn slope. Liebchen, still on the job, bounced left and right around the boulders, running one way a few yards, then zigzagging down the hill.

A half an hour and two scraped palms for Helsing later, the two had made their way to the stone building. Helsing slammed his pack on the ground and grunted. It was nothing but a crumbling abandoned abbey. The four walls were decaying in several places and there was no roof. Grinding his teeth, Helsing shook his head. “One more dead end, Liebchen.” He picked up his pack and turned to hike back to their viewpoint. Then he noticed Liebchen had not moved but was standing still with her nose wrinkling and un-wrinkling as she sucked the smells into her sensitive olfactory organs.

“What ist? Do you smell someting? A wampire maybe?”

* * *

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.



Halloween is for Vampire Hunters

FREE BLOOD TIES TESTED OCTOBER 27TH-31ST


You can't have vampires without somebody thinking they need to be hunted. In Blood Ties Tested, the hunters consist of the team of Liebchen the Lundehund (no, really! it's a real dog) and a descendant of Bram Stoker's vampire hunter, Van Helsing.

Excerpt

Ivan Helsing stood with hands on hips. A frown contort his features. “Var ist das hunde?” huffed out a disgusted breath. “Ach! I take mein eyes off her for one minute and off she goes mitout a tot in her brain.”

He lifted the binoculars to his eyes and scanned the tree line of the thick forest. “Dark soon. Der wampires should be coming out any time.”

Finally spotting his dog trotting back through the underbrush, Helsing lowered the binoculars. “She vill find da wampires.” He sat on a rocky outcropping and slapped his thigh. “Liebchen, come.” The small brown and white dog raced over to Helsing and sat, her tongue lolling, and her tail whipping side to side. “Ist she a gut girl? Ya, she ist.” He patted the dog between her overly large pointed ears.

The vampire hunter sighed. “Dat gypsy woman said da wampires live in these woods, but dere ist no sign of anyting here.” He scanned the treetops below him again. Liebchen followed suit, her head turning 180 degrees to look back over her body toward the woods.

The lundehund was a lucky find for Helsing. Liebchen was just the dog he needed to track down the bloodsuckers. Without her, he’d never find the vampires on is own. He wondered if his great-uncle Abraham Van Helsing had some wizardly way to hunt vampires. Ivan had inherited his great-uncle’s Vampire Killing Kit, but hadn’t caught any vampires to practice with it. Still, he wanted to be the Helsing family’s next heroic monster hunter.

Liebchen was almost magical. Her large ears picked up sounds as aptly as any other dog’s nose picked up scents. The lundehund was bred to hunt puffins on the rocky shores of Norway. Most dogs would have to shake their heads to clear out the seawater. The lundehund just shut its ears.

Her special secret was a strange genetic flaw. A lundehund needs a very high protein diet. No veggies for them. Straight meat, raw from the butcher shop. Fortunately, dried meat was a viable substitute along with LundePup dog food made with animal blood to provide the specific enzymes required to keep Liebchen healthy and happy.

The reason this genetic defect was a strength is that a lundehund could sniff out vampires who happened to have an almost identical genetic flaw. Takes one to know one.

Helsing and Liebchen sat on the hill trying to make out any hint of a vampire presence. The dog scanned the entire forest with her handy 180-degree view, but it was her nose doing most of the work. She did not scent a vampire, or she’d let Helsing know.

The binoculars provided Helsing a close-up view. Something appeared behind a particularly tall stand of trees. At first, Helsing thought it was just another rocky outcropping like the one they sat on. As he stared, more of a pattern emerged, an unnatural pattern of stone. Could this be the vampires’ hideout?

He began picking his way down the hillock’s grassy rock-strewn slope. Liebchen, still on the job, bounced left and right around the boulders, running one way a few yards, then zigzagging down the hill.

A half an hour and two scraped palms for Helsing later, the two had made their way to the stone building. Helsing slammed his pack on the ground and grunted. It was nothing but a crumbling abandoned abbey. The four walls were decaying in several places and there was no roof. Grinding his teeth, Helsing shook his head. “One more dead end, Liebchen.” He picked up his pack and turned to hike back to their viewpoint. Then he noticed Liebchen had not moved but was standing still with her nose wrinkling and un-wrinkling as she sucked the smells into her sensitive olfactory organs.

“What ist? Do you smell someting? A wampire maybe?”

* * *

BLOOD TIES TESTED - FINAL BOOK OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM SERIES
Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.