Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Oops is Your Gain

One of the books I scheduled for the big July FREE EVERY DAY blowout got scheduled JUNE 28TH through JUNE 30TH, instead of July 28-30.

Have a treat right now with a free copy of MIDNIGHT OIL from Amazon.

MIDNIGHT OIL - Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim Series
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff.

When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding 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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Penny's Got Ghosts!

Read Marva's review of Ghostly Visions on Goodreads

Marva, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I know you write fantastic books for the tween audience yourself, so I’m doubly thrilled to be your guest. In April, 2016, I released my two middle grade novels for grades four, five and six, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, in a two-for-one edition Ghostly Visions, published by 4RV Publishing LLC.

My main character, Wendy Wiles, attracts ghosts, first in Ghost for Rent, when her parents separate and she, her brother, and mother move into a haunted house. The story begins in Portland, Oregon and quickly moves to small town, Scappoose, Oregon. Miserable at leaving her friends and beloved Portland behind, Wendy meets her neighbor Jennifer who tells her the house Wendy’s mom rented is haunted. After two of the ghosts appear to Wendy, the girls find themselves tracking down the mystery of who the ghosts are and why they "live" in the Wiles' home.

The idea for Ghost for Rent came from a neighbor. She mentioned hearing piano music playing in her rental home although no one was near the piano. It was easy for me to find a house to use as inspiration since there are many older farm homes in need of repair in the area. Wendy’s school, Otto Petersen, is the elementary school my children attended. I have fond memories of bringing my children to what was at the time, one of the smallest libraries I had ever seen. It was tucked into a back room of the fire station, but it had plenty of books for kids and access to research materials. I loved being able to include this small-town library in my books.

In Ghost for Lunch, Wendy’s friend, Jennifer, moves away, leaving Wendy sad until new neighbors and their restaurant in St. Helens bring ghosts back into Wendy's life. She, her brother, and their new friend discover the two cases are connected. Once again, the young sleuths use clues and lots of brainstorming to figure out who is haunting the restaurant.

The inspiration for this story came from a news article about one of the local restaurants that is reported to be haunted. Since I worked around the corner from this restaurant and have eaten there numerous times, it made sense to have Wendy’s adventures take place there.

Set in the early1990s, both books take the reader back to simpler times when kids researched information at the local library instead of searching on Google or looking it up on Wikipedia. While both books center on the mystery of the ghosts haunting Wendy, they are also stories about the importance of family and friends.


Penny Lockwood (Ehrenkranz) has published over 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She is a former editor for MuseItUp Publishing, 4RV Publishing, and Damnation Books. Visit her web site at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com and her writing blog at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com.

4RV Publishing has joined her two middle grade novels (Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch) as Ghostly Visions. She recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has one other children’s picture book under contract with them: Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Alban Lake Publishing and Smashwords

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kindle Unlimited/Lending Library Books

I gave the Kindle Select program a six-month tryout. I pulled all of my books out of every other ebook venue and let Amazon take the wheel. Amazon failed me.

Now, I've stopped the automatic renewal to the Kindle Select program for all my books. MOST of them will still be in the program until the end of July. During July, I've scheduled the final freebie days for all the books. A couple of the books are already off the program and are now available via Smashwords to all the distributors. Some, like Barnes & Noble, are already carrying my books through the Smashwords catalog.

Watch for the free book days coming in July. In the meantime, here are all the books still available on Amazon free on the KU/KOLL programs.

Reviews are always appreciated, of course. Retail prices are listed, but Kindle Unlimited is always free to subscribers. Amazon Prime users can borrow them from the Kindle Owners Lending Library, and the Matchbook prices are always less than the retail. Bonus deal: If you gain possession of certain books, you can also buy the audio book for a cheap $1.99.

Witches of Galdorheim Series (3-Volume Book) $6.99
   Bad Spelling $2.99 (Buy the ebook, get the audio book for $1.99) - Now FREE on Smashwords and other distributors like B&N.
   Midnight Oil $2.99 (Buy the ebook, get the audio book for $1.99)
   Scotch Broom $2.99 (Buy the ebook, get the audio book for $1.99)
   Spellslinger $0.99 (This short story is in audio format to listen free on SoundCloud) - Now 'Name Your Own Price' on Smashwords and other distributors.


The Tales of Abu Nuwas
Setara's Genie $2.99







Science Fiction
Ultimate Duty $2.99
First Duty $1.99







Oregon Set Mystery/Adventure
Missing, Assumed Dead $1.99 (Buy the ebook, get the audio book for $1.99)


Eagle Quest $1.99 - Now free on Smashwords using coupon code LD28T at checkout.





Collections and Short Stories
Tales of a Texas Boy $2.99 (Buy the ebook, get the audio book for $1.99)
Mixed Bag Short Story Collection $0.99
Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler $0.99
Lemons and Other Kid Tales $0.99

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Spirit Quest (A Conversation)

First Nation Canadians celebrate National Aboriginal Day today. Since Renee Duke and Marva Dasef both have Native/First Nation characters, we thought it would be nice if they had a chat. Here's Mitch from "Eagle Quest" and Skookaweethp from "The Spirit Rose."

Bear Friend: Hi, I’m Mitch, also known as Alisoqualvdi Unalii. That’s in Cherokee and kind of hard to say, just call me Bear Friend. I didn’t know what it was until long after the events we’re describing here.

I couldn’t tell my friends the whole story of my encounter with the bear in the Wildlife Refuge. What I could tell them is in the book, “Eagle Quest” by Marva Dasef.

There are a couple of reasons I haven’t told the whole story. First off, Fiona, Hap, and Billy wouldn’t believe I sort of spoke with the bear in my mind. They let that go, figuring if I wanted to believe it what was the harm.

The main reason, though, is a lot weirder than that. To explain what happened, I needed to have a special person here to help me out. Someone you can read about in another book, “The Spirit Rose”, by Renee Duke. I didn’t quite know how to ask this person here. I mean, it’s not like I could call her up on my phone. But she must have known I wanted her help again, because she talked to me in a dream. She said, if I sat real quiet, and really concentrated, she’d come through to my mind. So that’s what I’m going to do…Are you there, Sk…um,,,Skoo…?

Skwkwwilp: I am here.

Bear Friend: Can you help me pronounce your name and then explain what went down when I met the bear in the clearing?

Skwkwwilp: My name? Hmm. You would perhaps find it easiest to say Skook-a-weeth-p. It is good to be with you again, Alisoqualvdi Unalii.”

Bear Friend: You pronounced my name right and everything, but maybe just call me Bear Friend or Mitch since this is in English. Could you tell the readers who you are, where you’re from, and, for that matter, when you’re from?

Skookaweethp: If by where I come from, you mean a location, I am from what people of your time know as the Okanagan Valley. As to when…just think of it as long, long ago. Millennia ago.

Bear Friend: Before you describe your part in this incident, I’ll set up the situation. Basically, my friends and I were wandering around the wildlife refuge when we come to a clearing. There’s a huge tree fallen in the way. Before we could even get to it, a big black bear looked up over the log. It scared all of us. The others took off, but I heard, maybe that’s not the right word, I felt something that made me stay. That’s when you showed up, out of, like, nowhere, which was a really good thing because, otherwise, I think that bear would not have listened to reason. I didn’t hear you say anything, but the bear sure did. Right after you talked in its head or whatever you did, it came right up to me, sniffed a bit, and looked me right in the eye.

Skookaweethp: The bear was wiser than you think. And not there by chance. It was looking for you. Your spirit guide, the friendly spirit which now protects you and seeks to help you find your way, required a living form. I had asked the bear to allow it to take its form.

Bear Friend: Yeah, when the bear talked in my head, it said we’d be connected from then onward. All other bears would recognize me and think of me as their friend. It just about blew my mind!

Skookaweethp: Through your spirit guide, all bears are now indeed connected to you. This is because the manner in which a bear lives its life is one which you, too, should follow. A bear is strong, and fearless, but not constantly active. Just as a bear goes off to hibernate, you, too, should withdraw from others from time to time, to contemplate your life’s path.

Bear Friend: Cool. I wanted to learn more about spirit animals when we met, but you said you had to leave to help some other kids from this time. Did you have a bear go to them, too?

Skookaweethp: Yes. Though it was not, like yours, a black one. A bear and other creatures protected Paige, Dane, and Jack from the disruptor, thus enabling them to reach me and claim the power of the golden circle long held for them.

Bear Friend: The disruptor?

Skookaweethp: He who sought to interfere with their destinies. And still so seeks.

Bear Friend: So, they’re not through having trouble with him yet?

Skookaweethp: Alas, no.

Bear Friend: Too bad. He must be a really bad dude if it took a lot of spirit animals to see him off. I’m glad I’ve got a bear for mine.  I’ve got a lot to think about. I hope we can connect again sometime in the future. See you later.

Skookaweethp: Past, present, and future are as one, Bear Friend. Until the time of our next connection, farewell.


SPIRIT ROSE Buy on Amazon
Paige, Dane, and Jack’s spirit animal adventures are recounted in “The Spirit Rose” (Book 3 of the Time Rose series), which is available through Chapters and Barnes and Noble bookstores, or at:
http://www.redtuquebooks.ca/publishers/books/distribution/1203
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-spirit-rose or
https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/the-spirit-rose 

The discovery of an old book provides more information on the medallion, but Paige and Dane will soon be returning to Canada and know it will be several months before they can make another time trip with their cousin Jack. Then, amidst all the preparations for Grantie Etta's one hundred and fifth birthday party, strange things start to happen.

As a result Jack, too, must go to Canada. Once there, it soon becomes apparent that the only way for the Time Rose Travellers to stop the increasingly distressing alterations to their modern-day lives is to venture far into the Okanagan Valley's past and locate the syilx girl who has the legendary Arcanus Piece.

EAGLE QUEST Free on Smashwords with Coupon LD28T
(Free on Amazon June 21-22)
(Free on Amazon July 11-13)
A Vision Quest turns deadly when four friends confront eagle poachers in a wildlife refuge.

Fiona, Hap, Billy, and Mitch make an odd set of friends, as different from the usual junior high school crowd as they are from each other.

Mitch, the oldest of the four, is a half-breed Native American, adopted by white parents. Troubled that he doesn't know his tribe, he avidly studies Native American history and lore. Learning the nearby Bear Valley Wildlife Refuge is a bald eagle nesting site, he wants to add an eagle feather to his medicine bag and explore the refuge as a site for his Vision Quest, a Native American rite of passage. He and his three friends get far more than an overnight camp out as they encounter a black bear, a retired forest ranger living in the refuge, and a pair of eagle poachers. Bringing the poachers to justice, they test their courage and gain confidence in themselves and each other.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Why Midnight Oil? It's All About the Solstice!

Summer Solstice – More Than Just the First Day of Summer

In historical terms, the Solstice is the exact point of time when the daylight outstrips the night in length. That’s hard to reckon, particularly since the exact point in time depends on where you live. Why should that be?

Take a look at model of the solar system, specifically look at earth. If it’s properly oriented, then it’s a bit tilted, not straight up and down as you might think. Stand back a bit further, and you can see the earth doesn’t travel in a circle around the sun, but in a big oval called an ellipsis.


Since the Solstice varies when it occurs (anywhere between June 20th -23rd), most people won’t know exactly when the earth moves from Spring to Summer. Instead, a variety of festivals from different countries and people celebrate Midsummer. Fortunately, astronomers are available to let us know exactly when the solstice occurs.

This is an even more exciting Solstice since it will also have a full moon! This is the first full moon Solstice since the Summer of Love in 1967. It won't happen again until 2062! I hope your skies are clear tonight.

Many cultures celebrate the Summer Solstice. A few of these celebrations are: Adonia, St. John's Feast Day, Jani, Liða, Midsommar, Ivan Kupala Day, Juhannus, Mittumaari, Alban Hefin, Gwyl Ganol yr Haf, Sankthans, Jaanipäev, Keskikesä, and Rasos. Oh, my. That’s a lot of celebrating! Wherever you live, you can have a party.

Another group of professionals other than astronomers who can tell you when the solstice occurs are witches. No, not the evil witches with warts and ugly noses, but the Wiccans who inhabit my books and Galdorheim Island in the Barents Sea. This is a fictional place, but is quite close to some very real islands in the Arctic with very real people who live on them.

Midsummer for Wiccans is called Litha. Just like every people who had some means to really look at the movement of the stars and planets Well, the earth is moving, but from where we stand, it appears the stars are the ones in motion. They are, but I’d refer you to Doctor Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the narrator of the Cosmos series, for exactly what’s going on in the universe.

In the second book of my Witches of Galdorheim series, “Midnight Oil,” the exact time the Solstice occurs is crucial to the plot. The magical midnight oil is a curative required by a tribe of mutant Nenets tribespeople to heal the radiation poisoning which deformed them. It must be administered at the exact time the Solstice occurs. The year I selected had to have that event occur (somewhere in the world) at almost precisely midnight on June 20th. Some confusion about the exact moment of the Solstice almost leads to the restorative oil to arrive late at its destination. After all, the Solstice usually occurs on the 21st (in this century).

A lot happens to thwart my heroes from delivering the oil on time and in good condition. An evil forest spirit happens to possess the oil. But this isn’t simply a “find the magical thing and deliver it” plot. There’s a lot going on in “Midnight Oil.” A kidnapped boyfriend, mutant tribesfolk, Ajatar the forest spirit, a man who was tragically disemvoweled (lost the ability to pronounce a, e, i, o, or u and sometimes y), a witch trapped on the lost island of Atlantis with the Loch Ness monster, and, um, there’s lots more to discover in the book.

So, back to Litha, the Wiccan midsummer celebration. One of the most famous places in the world to observe the Solstice is at Stonehenge in England, but only if the Solstice occurs during daylight hours (not this year). Nevertheless, the midsummer celebrations (June 25th) take place no matter what time the Solstice actually happens. Stonehenge would be a great place to party. The Solstice occurs at 10:34PM Greenwich Meantime on June 20th (today!). Don’t forget to celebrate no matter where you live. Where I live, it occurs at 3:34PM PST this year.

Fun thing to do: Find out when the Solstice occurs where you live (compare your local time to Greenwich Meantime).

BAD SPELLING FREE on Smashwords $2.99 on Amazon
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.


MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook Free on Amazon 20th-21st
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff.

When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding 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.

SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook $2.99
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’ 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.

SPELLSLINGER Kindle Ebook 99 cents, Smashwords 99 cents/Pay What You Want
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.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Fathers Day!

I hope you've enjoyed the excerpts from Tales of a Texas Boy scattered over the last couple of weeks. There are more stories in the book you might also like to read. Find them all on this blog over the last couple of weeks.

The last free ebook day was yesterday, so you missed out on that, but it's still not too late to buy the Large Print paperback at Amazon. So you're a couple of days late with the Fathers Day gift. No problem. Your dad will probably be surprised you remembered him at all. Poor dads. They always get edged out after Mothers Day.

So, here are the links for  Tales of a Texas Boy.

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending library on Amazon. And if your father has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Are You a Listener?

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is a wonderful nostalgic trip for folks who grew up on a ranch or farm, and if they lived during the Great Depression, it'll be like going home again. The audio book is a wonderful gift for dads who like to listen to books while doing other things or, like my own father, was blind. He was a big reader of his beloved westerns. Audio books meant he could still enjoy a good story. TALES is definitely his kind of story since he's the Texas Boy featured in this book. It's available in Large Print paperback and ebook, too. Here's an excerpt spoken by the talented Donny Baarns.



Large Print at Amazon - Perfect Dads' Day gift for only $8.99

Ebook at Amazon Free June 16th-18th for everybody. Free all the time for KindleUnlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (Prime users benefit)

Audio Book at Audible Only $1.99 if you buy the ebook from Amazon. It's available as an add-on even if you get the ebook free.

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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Free TALES OF A TEXAS BOY - June 16th-18th

Fathers Day is coming up quick (June 19th). If your dad is in the same generation as my father who grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book he will enjoy. Also, if he's sight-impaired, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book.

These are stories about my father, which also plays into the "great gift for Fathers Day" concept. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.

*** EBOOK FREE JUNE 16TH-18TH ***
Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback Amazon $8.99
Audiobook (also available through AmazonAudible.com $6.95

BLURB
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.

EXCERPT

One Fine Dog

Dogs weren’t just pets, but working members of the family. Sometimes, they could do amazing things and perform feats that were almost like magic.

Ma yelled loud enough for me to hear into the next state. “Edward Preston! Get yerself in here right now!”

I wondered what it was I done now. I didn’t recall any particular mischief I’d been up to. At least, not today. I finished throwin’ the hay into Beau’s corral and went on the run up to the house.

“Yes’m,” I said soon as I got to the porch where Ma was standin’ with her fists planted on her hips. I reckon you know the look she was givin’ me. If’n your mother called you by your first and middle names, then you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about.

Then, she surprised me ‘cause she smiled. Now, that sure weren’t the normal expression she’d have if she was about to give me what-for. I thought maybe she was just havin’ some fun with me.

“Your Pa is goin’ to pick up the ewes from the Braddock’s place, so go help him get the truck out of the barn.”

I grinned myself and almost shouted “Yes’m!”  But, I caught myself in time as Ma doesn’t like us to be yellin’. I took off to the barn to find Pa. He was already pullin’ the tarp off the truck, so I went about helpin’ him finish up. We got behind the truck and pushed ‘er out of the barn. I jumped in behind the wheel. Like Pa taught me, I checked to make sure the hand brake was on, then I checked the spark and gas levers on the steering column. I pulled up on the spark and pushed down on the gas. Pa gave a mighty pull up on the crank. When the engine roared, I pushed the gas lever up a little more.

“You gotta give it more gas a little faster, Eddie.” Pa was tryin’ to teach me how to operate the truck as I was goin’ on eleven, which is plenty old enough to drive. He was takin’ it slower than I’d like. I thought I had the basics down already. Brake. Spark. Throttle. Crank. Throttle. Take off the brake and go!

“Yessir, Pa.”

Then, I got my second surprise of the day when Pa went to the passenger side and got in. Now my grin was gettin’ even wider, but I tried to tuck it down and act growed up. Pa was goin’ let me drive!

I steered out to the road half expectin’ Pa to only let me take the truck that far, but he waved me ahead and we turned left toward the Braddock’s.

I should explain what we were doin’. We have some ewes, but we don’t have a ram. So, in the fall, we bring the ewes to the Braddocks, who do have a ram. We’d just let them winter over with the Braddock flock. Now, it was spring and the hijadores, who came round to help with the lambing, had finished their work. It was time to put the ewes back into our own pastures.

* * *
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "Tales of a Texas Boy" and consider purchasing an ebook, paperback, or audio book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Heads Up - Free Ebook Flying Your Way

Tomorrow (June 16th), Tales of a Texas Boy will be free in ebook format. Grab a copy from the 16th-18th. While you're at it, you can add on the audio book for $1.99. Pretty sure they'll let you have it even if you get the ebook free.

If you're shopping for Fathers Day and your Dad is Korean War vintage or older, HE might be happier with the paperback. It's a large trim size with 18pt large print. It also has fun vintage photos illustrating each story. The ebook doesn't have the pictures. Kindle barfed at the low-res of grainy photos, but I was only warned about them in the print book.

*** EBOOK FREE JUNE 16TH-18TH ***
Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback Amazon $8.99
Audiobook (also available through AmazonAudible.com $6.95

BLURB
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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

For Step-Dads on Fathers Day

To all you guys who are taking the job seriously. Special kudos to step-fathers who treat their lady's kids like their own. Also, adoptive dads, a big huzzah for not believing your genes are all that special. You've proven how special they really are.

My husband, Jack, is both a step- and adoptive dad. He went well beyond the call of duty when he not only took on an 8-year-old and 11-year-old as a stepfather but also adopted them when their own biological father (boo on you) signed them over to avoid paying child support (he never did pay any).

I wrote TALES OF A TEXAS BOY  in honor of my own father. I figured the best I could do for him is to immortalize his tall (and partly true) tales. I call it fiction since I can't know exactly what happened when Dad Boles brought his bear to town, when the little red hen took up residence in Ma's kitchen, or how he really met May West in a little diner in East Texas.

On the other hand, nobody else was there, so how I wrote the stories might be the honest truth. Who's to say?
HAPPY FATHERS DAY, JACK!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY, HON!*
* In our family, my brothers and I called my father Honey just like Mom did. Okay, so we were a little whacky; we admit it freely.

Want to get your own father a great gift (or your step-father or your brother who is a great dad or for yourself whether you're a dad or not)?

Large Print at Amazon - Perfect Dads' Day gift.

Ebook at Amazon Free KindleUnlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (Prime users benefit)

Audio Book at Audible Only $1.99 if you buy the ebook from Amazon.

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, June 12, 2016

Seven Stones: Alone No More (Seven Stones #1)Seven Stones: Alone No More by Dave Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm quite enjoying this series. Well, let's call it more like a set of episodes. The only problem with the Seven Stones Vol. 1 is that I thought it would contain more, um, material. It's really a novelette with the first few chapters of the series.

But, Dave Higgins is offering free reads on the series on his website. I do like writers to make a bit of pocket change from their books, so I paid the Amazon's going price for this. I really wish it either contained more (like volume 2) or was priced lower (like 99 cents).

Nevertheless, I will be reading the continuing adventures of Reverend Kobb.

Read the entire series free, one episode at a time at https://davidjhiggins.wordpress.com/s...

Thank you, Dave, for giving us some neat sword and sorcery for free. I'd encourage everybody to buy at least one of the volumes just so Dave can get a few cents from his efforts.


View all my reviews

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Every Dad Can Be a Legend


TALES OF A TEXAS BOY

You've heard the phrase "A Legend in His Own Time." That's when somebody does something so extraordinary they create a legend around themselves. As time moves on, the legendary aspect grows and morphs into something bigger and, well, more legendary. That legend is helped along by authors writing about the person. Some people have reputations built on very little reality.  19th Century writers hungry for audience share exaggerated the feats of such legendary characters as Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody. These mostly untrue stories made good press for the city folks back east.

Then there's another type of legend. It's when an author bases a book on a real person nobody has ever heard about, but exaggerates the person's feats to make for good reading; the writer creates the legend. Can you think of a case where this has occurred? I imagine there are many, considering possible biographers who hero-worship their subject past the point of reality.

Then I come to my own mini-legendary person: Little Eddie from Tales of a Texas Boy. The stories in this collection are mostly based on some brief vignette passed to me from my father. Those of you who have read the print edition might have slowed down enough to peruse the Foreword where I lay out that Eddie is my father and some additional background on his life. Nothing too exciting there. He just happened to have a few incidents in his life that I could turn from a passing comment into a short story.

I made my father a legend. The stories I wrote about his experiences are so enhanced, they have become the stuff of legends. Yes, a very small part of the population know the stories. However, how long will the Tales books be out in the world? I published the first edition in June, 2007. Coming up on the 3rd anniversary next month. In three years, more than 2000 people have had possession of the book in some form. They may have even read it. If I keep the book in print, how many people will get to know Eddie in ten years? I should mention that the majority of those potential readers picked up the book in the last year.

What's my point here? Not sure other than to state my realization that even not so famous people can become legendary to some extent from some author deciding to write about them.

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in ebook, print, and audio formats. Side note: this book in large print is a popular Fathers' Day gift for those who may have lived through the Great Depression themselves or simply grew up in a rural area. They'll feel right at home.

Large Print at Amazon - Perfect Dads' Day gift.

Ebook at Amazon Free KindleUnlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (Prime users benefit)

Audio Book at Audible Only $1.99 if you buy the ebook from Amazon.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Great Dads' Day Gift

Fathers Day is coming up (June 19th). If your dad is in the same generation as my father who grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book he will enjoy. Also, if he's sight-impaired, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book.

These are stories about my father, which also plays into the "great gift for Fathers Day" concept. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.

*** COMING SOON: EBOOK FREE JUNE 16TH-18TH ***
Here's a bit on some of the stories. Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook - Buy the ebook for only $2.99 and get the audio book for $1.99 only at Amazon.
Large Print Paperback Amazon
Audiobook (also available through AmazonAudible.com $6.95

EXCERPTS

Rattlesnakes and Jack Rabbits

Domestic livestock weren’t the only animals that the farmers and ranchers had to deal with. The wildlife of the region didn’t hide out in the bushes all the time. Sometimes they were pretty much in your face. Rattlesnakes came to the farms to catch the rats and mice that populated granaries. Rabbits also took a liking to the easy pickings. Both animals, rattlesnakes and jackrabbits, ended up being a nuisance that the local farmers and ranchers had to control.

I was going along pretty slow, so I wouldn’t step in a snake hole when I heard the squeal of a rabbit in pain. A lot of folks don’t realize rabbits make a sound like that. It’d send shivers up your spine. I went quick toward the sound and found a bullsnake at least six-foot long if he were an inch. He was all coiled around a baby cottontail and his mouth was gaped open holdin’ onto the rabbit. The poor little rabbit was half down its gullet, but the snake made the mistake of tryin’ ta swallow it from the rear instead of the head. The cottontail was strugglin’ and screamin’ so much the snake looked downright annoyed.

Now, we don’t hunt bullsnakes, as they’re the natural enemy of rattlesnakes. And, we don’t hunt cottontails, as they weren’t big enough to do much harm. We pretty much left them both alone. The sound of the little rabbit’s screaming just ‘bout broke my heart. I run up to them and stepped down on the snake’s neck just back of the lump that was the rabbit’s rear end. That stopped the swallowing, but now I wasn’t sure what to do. I laid down my .22, grabbed the cottontail by the ears and commenced pullin’. A bullsnake’s teeth point backwards, so the rabbit was pretty much stuck in the snake’s mouth.

I was tuggin’ and the rabbit’s cryin’ and the snake’s whippin’ round trying to get my foot off’n his neck. No progress was being made by any of the three of us.

My Pa heard the rabbit, too, and he came running over and saw the fix I’d got myself into. He started to laugh some, but when he looked me in the eyes, he stopped right quick. He started pryin’ the snake’s mouth open trying to unhook the teeth from the rabbit. I let up pullin’ to allow Pa to work the rabbit loose.

Soon enough, we’d got the rabbit out of the snake’s mouth and Pa set the little guy down easy. I reached down and grabbed the bullsnake by the neck where I’d been standing and flung him as far as I could. He hit the ground slithering and was gone in a second. Pa and me took a look at the cottontail, which looked somewhat bedraggled. He was laying there pantin’ and started tryin’ to pull hisself with his front legs. It looked like he’d got a broke back and I thought we’d have to put him out of his misery.

Pa picked up his .22 and started to draw a bead on the cottontail’s head when it looked up at him with those big ol’ eyes. He stayed his hand. “Maybe he’s just stunned,” he said.

While we stood there watchin’ the rabbit, a couple of the men came up to see what we’d found. Pa told them about the bullsnake and they thought it a pretty good joke I’d try to save a rabbit from a snake.

* * *
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "Tales of a Texas Boy" and consider purchasing an ebook, paperback, or audio book.