Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scotch Broom Characters - Cailleach


SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.


Cailleach the Winter Goddess

Cailleach is a goddess in the Scottish Celtic pantheon. Descriptions of her looks and personality run the gamut from ugly monster or beautiful protector of the land. This split personality goddess is the winter counterpart to the beautiful Bride (Bridget), the goddess of spring.

Living in the Otherworld after the Celts have stopped worshipping the old ones, Cailleach has let herself go to seed. She spends her days attempting to make sense of the hags’ potion in MacBeth (Double, double, toil and trouble). When she hears that a witch has come into the Otherworld, she begins to scheme. If Cailleach can only steal the witch’s magic, she can be young and powerful again. But the crone is cautious, she sends her minions out to learn more about the witch and to lead her to the goddess. While waiting for news, she learns that yet another witch has entered the Otherworld, but this one doesn’t make any sense. Cailleach determines this being is male, thus a warlock, but also smells of vampire. She decides to draw in this one like she plans for the first. But first, she decides to do a little homework.

She sends Bodach, the black giant, to give a message to Glaistig, the only Scottish vampire, to scope out just exactly who or what this male is: warlock, vampire, or both.

From the Monstropedia on Cailleach (http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Cailleach):
She is depicted as as having an eye in the middle of a blue-black face, long red teeth, and matted hair. In several stories she appears before a hero as a repulsive hag and suddenly transforms herself into a beautiful girl. At winter’s end, some accounts say the Cailleach turned into a grey boulder at Beltane until the warm days were over. The boulder was said to be “always moist’, because it contained “life substance’. The Cailleach Beara is ever-renewing and passes through many lifetimes going from old age to youth or flesh to stone in a cyclic fashion.
The Cailleach is seen as a seasonal deity or spirit, ruling the winter months between Samhain (October 31st) and Beltaine (April 30th), while Bride rules the summer months between Beltaine and Samhain. Some interpretations have the Cailleach and Brìde as two faces of the same goddess.
She is a bringer of snows, death, and sharp storms. On Samhain the Cailleach leaves her mountains and walks the Land. The Cailleach then proceeds to "wash her plaid". Her plaid represents the sand. When the Cailleach is done the plaid is white and the Land is covered with snow. She is said to ride on the back of a wolf carrying a wand made of human skin, that she uses to strike down all signs of growth. Behind her follows cold winds, blizzards, and ice. In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter.
It’s easy to see why Cailleach is so interested in regaining her strength, to be come what she had been in the olden times.

Excerpt

Cailleach groaned when she leaned over and lifted her bare foot high enough to clip her toenails with the gardening shears. She looked up and sniffed twice. The hag dropped her bare foot, stuffed it into her flipflop, and shuffled to the door. Throwing it open, she held her head high, closed her eyes, and sniffed some more.

“Drat! Not another witch.” She sniffed again. “Wait, a warlock. No, a vampire. Hmm.” She closed the door and slumped into a chair. “This is confusing. Maybe there are two.” She went to the woodshed door. Cailleach rapped three times and then stood back as it creaked open.

Bodach, her roommate and minion, dragged his crippled body out of the small hatch. “Yes, Mistrezz,” he slurred, casting one protruding eye upwards.

“We have another foreigner in the swamp. Get out there and find a skrat to check. No, not a skrat. I smell vampire. Find Glaistig and send her to investigate.” Cailleach patted him on the head. “There’s a good boy.”

“Can you tell me where Glaistig is hiding?” Bodach examined his armpit and sniffed.

“Go to the standing stones on the north side of the loch. She has a cave there.”

“Yes, Mistrezz.” Bodach dragged his limp legs behind him. He began to unfold in a way the eye could not follow. When he reached the door, he needed to bend and shuffle through sideways to fit.

“Bodach, stay with Glaistig and do as she says. She might need some muscle.”

“Yes, Mistrezz.” Bodach ducked and went to seek Glaistig, the Gray Lady.

Cailleach closed the door behind the giant and sat again. She twanged the long hair protruding from the wart on her chin. “This is all very disturbing. Two foreigners stomping around in my bog within hours. This second, though, he’s strange. Yes, male. That much is clear. But I smell on him both warlock and vampire. Very odd, indeed.”

She went to the dusty bookshelf beside the fireplace. As she tapped each book with her gnarled finger, it spoke its title aloud. The Compleat Book of Bats. Care and Feeding of Monsters. Selling Love Potions on the Internet. Vampires: The Myths and the Facts. She took this one off the shelf and flipped through the pages. An occasional groan or scream emitted from the book, depending on the chapter topic.

“Ah, here it is. ‘Vampire Half-Breeds.’ Hmm. ‘Cross breedings with werewolves, ghouls, and Sasquatch have been cited, although most of these stories are second-hand accounts at best. It is believed that vampires could breed with any species; however, it is most likely this only occurs when the other creature is in an altered form. The werewolf, for example, must be in its wolf mode, not its human aspect.’”

Cailleach stuck her finger in the book to hold her place and plopped down on her rocking chair. She must be mistaken about the invader. This was a scholarly work, although a little dated having been written in 1549. But it seemed to deny the possibility of a warlock-vampire mix. She’d have to study this a bit more. Still, the vampire smell was strong. Without her power, all she could do was wait for Glaistig to report. The only known true vampire in Scotland, Glaistig wouldn’t waste a minute of darkness beating feet to catch up to the male, determine what he was, and report back.

Satisfied she could do nothing more, she leaned back in her rocker, intending to read the rest of the chapter. But sleep overtook her, and she was soon snoring in her chair.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scotch Broom Characters - Glaistig

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim 
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Glaistig the Scottish Gray Lady

In Scotch Broom, I present Glaistig as a vampire woman who has entered the Otherworld because she no longer wanted to live from the blood of humans. Within the magical realm, she can safely feed on the various magical creatures without killing them. Once I discovered her, I knew she had to be part of this story. While a vampire, she’s got a soft side that appeals to Rune. In other words, she’s not all bad; she’s just been fabled that way.

I discovered Glaistig at Monstropedia, a must-have link for paranormal and fantasy writers (http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Glaistig)
According to one legend the glaistig was once a mortal noblewoman, to whom a fairy nature had been given or who was cursed with the goat's legs and immortality, and since has been known as The Green (or Gray) Lady.
In most stories, the creature is described as a beautiful woman with dusky or gray skin and long blonde hair. Her lower half is that of a goat, usually disguised by a long, flowing green robe or dress.
In the diverse and changing traditions of the Highlands, the Glaistig was seen as both benevolent and malevolent towards humans. In one aspect she even takes the role of the Banshee, wailing at the death of important people.
The glaistig may take the form of a beautiful woman, especially one already known to the male victim; after offering sexual favors like a camp follower, she leaves her male victim with his throat cut, every drop of blood sucked from him. Other such tales have her casting stones in the path of travelers or throwing them off course.
In some variant stories the glaistig may be seen as benevolent, fond of children and a protector of old people. Libations of milk were poured for her, especially on selected stones; this veneration may be linked with older fertility customs. The glaistig has been described in some folklore as watching over children while their mothers milked the cows and fathers watched over the herds.
The glaistig frequented the lonely lochs and rivers in the Highlands of Scotland, such as Ardnacaillich, Donolly Castle, Loch Fyne, Crathes Castle and in Wales at Caerphilly.

Excerpt

Rune, Kat’s brother, is searching for his sister while Cailleach is searching for both Rune and Kat by sending one or more of her minions to find them. Glaistig’s job is to find Rune, determine whether or not he’s a vampire, and to bring the boy to the goddess.

As the sun eased down to hide behind a mountain range to the west, a movement to his left caught his attention. It looked like a tendril of smoke rising from the swamp. Since it was unlikely anything could burn in the bog, he watched the gray mist with interest. He notched up his vampire vision to watch. The smoky mist grew opaque then solid. A figure formed, but as if a statue made of granite, it was solid gray. Watching closely, Rune waited to see what this might be. He had studied all types of magical beings and couldn’t recall one like this.

The smoke woman, for he now recognized the shape as female, wafted toward him on the air. When it stopped a few feet away from him, it slowly gathered color from the moors. Heather green, water blue, dried grass yellow. The colors mixed and swirled and finally settled on the figure, giving her the approximate colors of a woman with blonde hair, a pale, gray face, and dazzling blue eyes staring at him in silence. She wore a long dress and cape, both the color of morning mist.

Rune ventured a greeting. “Hello?” The woman didn’t speak, but she moved again, this time circling him. Rune turned to keep her in his sight.

“I am Glaistig.” Her voice was as soft as the smoke from which she formed.

Without his vampire hearing, Rune wouldn’t have been able to hear the whisper. “Ahem. I’m Rune. Nice to meet you.” Rune wondered whether to offer his hand to shake and decided not to risk it. He’d heard some magical beings poisoned those who touched them.

The pale woman looked him up and down and then nodded slightly. “You are vampyr?”

“Um. Is that a problem?”

“Not at all. I am also.”

“Oh. I should have guessed. Night. Smoke. Oh! I remember who you are!” Rune snapped his fingers. “Glaistig, the Gray Lady. But you’re not a true vampire, are you?”

“It depends upon my mood and how a person treats me. If I meet a man on the road, and he tries to grab me, I dance away and let him follow. I lure him to my lair. Then, I take his blood. But if a man tips his hat and wishes me a good evening, I leave him with a smile.”

“That’s a relief. My name is Rune, and I’m here looking for my si—” Rune stopped and considered that if Glaistig was a vampire and thought he was too, he shouldn’t mention he had a witch sister. “Uh, a female friend. Have you seen a girl with black hair?”

“I have not, but Cailleach may be able to help you.” Something darker than the blackest shadow lumbered out of the night. Glaistig glanced at the giant coming up behind her. “It’s all right, Bodach. This man is a vampire.”

The giant halted by her side and glared down at Rune, who swallowed hard and craned his neck to look up at the ugly face on top of the nine-foot tall body. The giant sniffed. “As you say, Glaistig. We take him to Cailleach?”

“Yes, we do.” Turning to Rune, the Gray Lady beckoned with her index finger. “Come, Rune. We shall visit the goddess.”

“Well, that’s okay. I’ll just look over there,” Rune replied, pointing in the opposite direction of where Glaistig appeared to be headed.

Bodach took two long strides and grabbed Rune’s arm before he could react.

“Uh, since you put it that way.” He pulled his arm away from the giant and followed Glaistig.

The Gray Lady smiled at him. “I’m so happy you agree. Bodach is Cailleach’s very faithful servant. I doubt he would take no for an answer.”

Rune nodded glumly. It looked like he was stuck for now. Still, it might be a good thing. This Cailleach might be able to help find Kat. But why would being a vampire all of a sudden be a good thing? He could sense that if he had not been a vampire, Bodach the giant, would now be crushing his skull between his two gigantic hands. And who was this goddess Cailleach? The name didn’t ring any bells.

Rune followed Glaistig, with Bodach close on his heels. Over the thumps of Bodach’s heavy footsteps, he heard the skittering sound of a small animal in the grass as they walked away.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scotch Broom - Characters and Topics

I wrote a bunch of posts for blog visits, most of them appearing in May. Since we've moved on, I decided to waste not and post many of them here again. I think they're entertaining, and I hope you do, too.

The first post (coming on the 25th of June at Midnight) features Rune, a favorite of many readers. He's cute, sassy, smart, a great spellcaster, and half vampire. What more could you want in a teenage boy? Tune in on the 25th for a series of posts appearing every other day or so.

Other topics:
Glaistig: Scottish Vampiress
Caiileach: Has-Been Goddess and Villain Extraordinaire
Sianach and Cusith: Hart and Hound who help the MC along the way
Cait Sidhe: A cat fairy with a bad attitude and sharp claws
Diamond: A Lonely Unicorn
Others to be determined



SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/ScotchBroomMGD

Blurb:

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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare - Penny Estelle


Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare is the first book in The Wickware Sagas. This 99-cent eBook can be bought on the following links:
* * * Here's Penny! * * *
Hi everybody! First, let me thank Marva for having me on her blog today. I’ve been lucky enough to visit with her before, and being able to make a return trip just puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face!

I wanted to tell everybody about what I overheard the other day at Langdon Middle School while chatting with one of the teachers. Some 7th graders were sitting in the quad area, talking to a student who had just moved into the area. This was apparently his first day.

He was a clean cut looking kid with dark hair, brown eyes, and expensive clothes, but his expression of complete boredom is what caught my eye. He grudgingly answered some of the questions that were asked by the other kids and, from my point of view, this kid wanted no part of this new school.

“Who did you get for English?”

“When do you have PE?”

“You better hope you didn’t get Smith for math.”

New Student took his schedule out of his pocket and tossed it on the table without a word. All the kids gathered around, talking at once about his assigned teachers.

“Uh oh,” said a redheaded boy, pointing to the bottom of the schedule. Everybody stopped talking and looked at New Student.

“What?” he asked.

“You have old lady Wickware for history,” Red replied.

“Aaaaaand…she’s strict? Mean? Oh, I’m so scared.”

“Oh no, she isn’t mean or strict. She’s okay. It’s just that…uhm…stuff happens in her class. Weird stuff! Kids are kind of afraid to talk about it out loud.”

New Student’s eyes quickly scanned the faces of the other kids. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

The morning bell rang and the students headed to their first hour class. Red yelled over his shoulder, “Oh you’ll see!”

“That was interesting,” the teacher said. “I need to get a move on.”

“Yes you do, old lady Wickware. Have a great day.” I’m certain I heard a hint of evil in her giggle as she walked away.

Excerpt

Billy jumped up, took two steps backward and fell hard on his back from about four feet up, knocking the wind out of him. He was seeing blue sky and rolling green hills. An old, two-wheeled wagon was what he had fallen out of.

The old man hurried over. “You alright, lad?”

Billy jumped to his feet before the old man could help him up. “Who…who….who are you? Where am I?” Billy stuttered, panic shooting through his body.

“Easy lad,” the old man said. “I was to bring you here.”

“Bring me where? Who said to bring me? Who? This is crazy! I’m not supposed to be here!” Billy’s voice got louder.

The man pulled out a satchel of coins, smiling. “Your mother paid me well to bring you to your aunt in Uri.”

“Uri?” Billy asked. “Dude, there’s no Uri in Arizona, I don’t think, and my aunt lives in Cottonwood.”

“Jonathan is my name, lad, not Dude.” The old man reached for Billy’s head. “Maybe when you fell you became…addled in your thinking.”

“I did not become…whatever. You’ve kidnapped me! I want to go home!”

****

Marva here: I already got my copy of Billy Cooper and read, so here's a mini-review to go along with this post.

Review - 4 Stars


Billy Cooper's homework assignment lands him in William Tell's front yard. While we have no idea how (but I kind of suspect that Mrs. Wickware has something to do with it), Penny Estelle gives the reader a fun mini-history lesson of the best kind: entertaining, not boring.


I'm happy to see that this will be a series of short stories continuing the time travel history lessons of Billy Cooper. This will be a wonderful set of books to use in grade school classes. Fun and fantastic make history easy to take and memorable. Well done.




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Point of View - Japanese Cinema Style

I'm on Cheryl Maladrinos' blog today blathering on about multiple points of view in my mystery novel, "Missing, Assumed Dead." Please drop by to say Konnichiwa.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heather Haven - Pitfalls of Creation



I’m in the process of creating a protagonist for a new humorous mystery series, called Persephone Cole And Halloween: Colder Than A Witch’s Mitt. Getting to know a person — even a fictitious one — takes time, thought, energy, trial and error. Sometimes they get pissed off and you don’t know why. Sometimes they laugh when you think they should cry. You thought they’d like bagels in the morning but they don’t. A living, breathing character, even one on paper, has a will of his or her own. It’s maddening.
It brings to mind the latest of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, Death Runs in the Family, which came out last week. One of the central characters takes off for Rio de Janeiro, just like that, out of the blue. I mean, excuse me? I don’t know anything about Rio de Janeiro. I’ve never been to Rio de Janeiro. I’m sure it’s a terrific place, but come on; I’ve got a novel to write. Then this character has the effrontery to park herself in Ipanema, a fancy schmancy beachside community, and at a pretty posh place. What now? So I did scads of research, which took me weeks and weeks, cursing the day this character was born, even though I birthed her. Some kids are really ungrateful.
Thank Gawd, Lee Alvarez, the protagonist for the Alvarez Family series, has never betrayed me like this…yet. I’m waiting. I need to be careful. Every now and then Lee does something I’m not expecting her to do. She isn’t your typical protagonist and it’s starting to worry me. She’s funny, impulsive, smart, talented, loves dancing, handbags and a good joke. She knows her own worth, but has moments of self-doubt. She also has a mind of her own. These are all recipes for danger for the wretched author.
Agatha Christie hated Hercule Poirot. She wanted to dump him like crazy, unwrite him, banish him. She was sick and tired of him going his way when she wanted him to go hers. Like Arthur Conan Doyle, she even killed him off. But Holmes came back four years later and I suspect Poirot is wandering around London searching for an unsuspecting author to give him voice. I say, be careful England’s writers. Avoid any egg-shaped little guy with a mustache.
But back to me and my characters. I keep creating these strong women with minds of their own who breathe disdain for anyone who tells them what to do. Pity this poor novelist. I’m in for it, I can tell.
Death Runs in the Family Blurb
Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick -- a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees. Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace footrace in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line as dead as her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s 12K race with death.

Buy page for Death Runs in the Family: http://tinyurl.com/87fbjn3

Heather's blog at: http://tinyurl.com/4nensnp
Twitter@HeatherHaven
Twitter@PILeeAlvarez


Monday, June 11, 2012

Anne E. Johnson Travels Through Time with SCAT


Backwards SCAT: Can You Do That?

One of the challenges I set for myself when writing Ebenezer’s Locker was to come up with an original approach to time travel. It took some serious thought, since the topic seems to be covered from every angle in fiction.

Of course, you’ve got your standard walk-in box that takes you forward or backward in time, as in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, or the TARDIS in Doctor Who. There the external device that pulls you through time when you’re near it, like the gadget in Joe Haldeman’s The Accidental Time Machine or the antique radio in Edward Bloor’s London Calling. And there’s space travel that unintentionally turns into time travel (thanks, Einstein), which is the premise of Planet of the Apes. There are even time travel spells in some fantasy literature.

The key for completing my task was to find the essence of my story, and convert that somehow into a time travel technique. Ebenezer’s Locker is about psychical phenomena, or the existence of spirits separate from the body. That was my answer.

And so I invented SCAT, Semi-Centennial Astral Transport. Well, I had one of the characters invent it. The idea is that, by using a spell, a psychic can order his spirit to jump forward in time, letting it visit the future after his death. But the time travel must be by chunks of fifty years (hence the “Semi-Centennial”).

That was half the challenge taken care of. But I needed living characters to be able to use this technique, and I needed them to go into the past. Although I won’t give details here about how it works, I’ll just say that this is how “backwards SCAT” was born.

Unfortunately for Rhonda Zymler, the main character in Ebenezer’s Locker, backwards SCAT is kind of a stressful experience.

About Ebenezer's Locker

A hundred years ago, Corbin Elementary School's building housed Dr. Ebenezer Corbin's School for Psychical Research. It seems that a couple of old spirits are still wandering the halls. It's up to Rhonda Zymler to find out what they want.Ebenezer's Locker follows the adventures of Rhonda, a sassy sixth-grader who's having trouble finding her place and identity. Getting to know these spirits becomes Rhonda's quest. The more she digs, the more perilous her task becomes, and to complete it she must take two trips back in time. This story blends the realities of an economically-challenged modern American town with supernatural elements. What Rhonda finds not only gives her life a sense of purpose, but changes the fortunes of her entire town.

Excerpt

One last thought passed through my mind before I was SCAT-ted a hundred years into the past. I tried to say, “Do we know how I’m going to get back?” But I couldn’t force my mouth to move.
The world went fuzzy. My heart crashed and banged like a rocker’s drum kit. I felt lifted and pressed down at the same time. There were colors, every possible color, swirling everywhere, and then forming sharp-edged shapes, and then sprayed like fireworks. I heard sirens, screaming, a thousand ambulances, and a million dog whistles.
Then silence. What I noticed first were the smells. Men’s cologne. Old wood. Mothballs. Then the sounds. Creaks and scrapes and breathing and talking and wind and plumbing and birds and footsteps and someone slurping a soda. I had superhero hearing.
At last my vision started to clear, but nothing looked right. I saw the little room through a giant magnifying glass. There was too much detail. I could count the stitches on the blanket over the cot and see three layers of varnish painted on the desk. Yet, in the mirror opposite me, I couldn’t see myself. Looking down at where my hand should be, I saw only the floor. I tried to pinch my cheek. I couldn’t feel anything.
Footsteps and floor creaks grew louder, and I heard a deafening CLACK as the lock turned. The door opened inward.

As you can see, SCAT is not an ideal method, but time travel never is. Even Doctor Who often has trouble controlling his TARDIS.

* * *

To learn more about Anne E. Johnson, please visit her Website: http://AnneEJohnson.com

For updates on her publications and appearances, please like her Facebook Author Page:






Sunday, June 10, 2012

Smashwords Coupon Sale

You don't even need a pair of scissors. Just select, copy, click, buy, and paste to get these books free on Smashwords:


Eagle Quest Coupon: ZD57S
First Duty Coupon NR84N
Mixed Bag II Coupon TZ72D
Quest for the Simurgh Coupon GZ88F
Tales of a Texas Boy Coupon LS64Y


First Duty Print Tales of a Texas Boy EagleQuestCover Quest for the Simurgh MixedBag II

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Need a Father's Day Gift Book?

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon for $8.99 and standard trade paperback for $7.49. It's also in ebook format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for 99 cents.

Tales of a Texas Boy is a series of related short stories loosely based on my father's stories about his boyhood in West Texas during the Depression.

It all started with a cattle drive. Yeah, right, pop. Nobody had cattle drives in the 1930's. Well, yeah, they did. My father, Eddie in the stories, got to ride herd when he was only eleven years old. That was sure the highlight of that year.

His father, Louis (my grandfather), had been a veterinarian with Blackjack Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces. That's what they called the army during WWI. In the service, he became friends with an interesting old guy who happened to have a bear. When Dad Boles brought Sophie to the annual fair, Eddie loved to sit by the campfire listening to some dandy whoppers.

Eddie had a pretty busy life for a boy who lived miles away from the nearest neighbors. He managed to find plenty of trouble to get into, but had a big heart to soften his bad boy image. No matter that he loved to aggravate his sister, he took care of her when she and her pony were almost swept away by a flood.

The boy cared about the rattlesnakes, the jackrabbits, the jack asses, even old Cage McNatt's prize sow. He went fishing with a special borrowed float, then proceeded to lose it, find it, then give it away.

These are simple tales without any big events, unless you consider the despair of the Great Depression hanging over everybody's lives.

Yes, I made up some aspects of the stories, and I even made up a few completely, but most of the book is as true as a Texas Tall Tale can be.

If these kind of stories appeal to your father, your mother, uncle, aunt, or even yourself, I think you'll be glad to read my father's stories. Since he died last August, I'm proud and relieved to have gotten around to writing the stories, having several published separately, then putting all of them together in one book. I decided to feature Large Print since my father's eyesight was failing.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Lorrie Struiff's Gypsy Blood (and a rant about e-readers)


Thank you Marva for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today. I really want to vent about E-readers. I think many of your fans will agree with me.

WHY I HATE E-READERS
  
So, with all the fuss about E-readers, I broke down and bought one. Now this has to be the sorriest thing I have ever purchased.

I read the instructions. I played with it, got on a book buying site and lo and behold. There were four books by one of my favorite authors, Ginger Simpson. Well, I just had to push the buy buttons.

Next, I saw four by you, Marva. Hmm. And I know you are a fantastic writer. Oh, a mystery and a YA trilogy. Bet I’d like the mystery and my kids would enjoy your YA novels. Not expensive at all. I pushed all the buy buttons again.

Oooh, I ddn’t know Cate Masters had e-books out. I love her romance novels, but these are only in e-book format. Oh what the heck, I may as well add a few more books to this new contraption.

Oh my, look at these books by Tabatha Shay. I love series. They look pretty good. And what hunks on the covers. Push, push, push, push, push.

Margaret West. Name seems familiar. I went to her site. Wow, paranormal. I love paranormal. Push, push, push.

I was having such a grand time finding my other favorite authors, and ahem, some I didn’t know, but the covers and blurbs tempted me beyond my rational judgment.

Feeling smug, I settled down and started reading the many, many wonderful bargains that I found, and I enjoyed them for weeks—being the avid reader that I am.

Hey, this was neat, fun.

It was neat and fun until I received my charge card bill in the mail. Did I really purchase all those books? Where are my brains?

Then I began to hate the E-reader. It’s like an addiction you can’t quit. Maybe I should start an addiction to an E-readers group. Learn to fight our impulses.

Well, it’s something to think about while I just peruse the buy site again.

Oh my, a new one by Jude Pittman.

Push.
***

Do you like mysteries? Paranormals? Romance? Thillers? Gypsy lore?

Well, how about all of those genres rolled into one?

Meet Rita and Matt in GYPSY BLOOD available today at

And inexpensive too. All you addicts out there, just hit push.

(Instead of a blurb, let me tell you a little about the book.)
Rita Muldova, my homicide detective has pure Roma blood. She wears a mystical crystal amulet that gives her the power to see in a dead victim’s eyes the last image the deceased had seen. What a career boost. Now, with the task force, she is hunting for the “Ripper,” a serial killer loose in her town that is targeting prostitutes. But, oh, oh, for this murderer, the crystal has stopped working.
A yummy FBI agent, Matt Boulet, has been on the Ripper’s tail since the killings started in New Orleans. He has a yen for Rita and they have a weird connection. Plus, Rita would like to jump his bones.
Rita’s mother, Anna, is a great seer whom Rita turns to in time of troubles, but Anna can’t offer Rita an explanation of why the crystal has stopped working. Anna does tell Rita the lore of their clan. Rita is both shocked and horrified of the tale.
Filled with gypsy customs and lore, the novella takes you on a wild ride into the mystical world of the paranormal with plenty of thrills and chills.
(Excerpt)
Chief Lipinski rose to his feet. “Back off, people! I have my orders, too. We follow Boulet’s plan. Hank, you and Sully hand out these sketches to as many girls you see walking the streets before Della and Rita start their rounds.”

Della nudged Rita. “Guess we get our ‘Sluts R Us’ duds out of mothballs.”

Rita nodded. She would follow orders, but too many unanswered questions floated in her mind. She raised her voice. “Since he’s such a big, strong, badass, who lived to provide the sketch?”

“Me.”

The way Boulet uttered that one word made her teeth click together.

Boulet tugged down the ribbed collar of his sweater. A red scar marred the cords in his thick neck. “My partner and I were doubling him. We were too late to save the woman. He nicked me first. While I was trying to stop bleeding, he took out my partner.” He studied the floor, then his eyes hardened as he made eye contact with everyone in the room. “But now I know this bastard, and I’ll be ready for him.”

“Sounds more like a personal vendetta,” Rita said.

“Yeah, that too.” His lips pulled back with an ironic chuckle. “More than you can imagine.”

For more details and reviews, visit my website at http://struiff.wordpress.com/

Thank you for reading. 

Friday, June 01, 2012

WINNERS! of Summer Teen Read Party

Individual Prize Winners for the Summer Teen Reading Party. The winners have been contacted for their choice of books from the Witches of Galdorheim series. 

Conda Douglas
Sheila Boneham
April Alvey
Beverly McClure
Lysette
Lorrie Struiff
J.Q. Rose
Wendy Laharnar


The Grand Prize Winner for the complete set and gift certificate to MuseItUp Books store is:


April Alvey



Tales of Abu NuwasTales of Abu Nuwas Free today on Amazon.