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Friday, May 29, 2015

Perma-#free at Smashwords - Tell Amazon

I'm making Bad Spelling, Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim series, free on the off chance somebody might be interested in books 2-3, or 0 (a prequel short). Only on Smashwords now, the price should percolate down to the distributors in a few days. I will then let Amazon know that the book will be permafree.

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

Download it free from Smashwords at:
  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/490994
Then click on over to the book at Amazon. After the description, click the button to tell them it's available for a better price (e.g., zilch). Insert the link above to say where.

Another freed book: the Little book of Lemons. It'd been sitting on Kindle Select, but I'm tired of waiting for them to give up some free days. It's off Select in June, but it's free on Smashwords right now. It's very short and experimental in combining photo illustrations with the text. MY GAWD, that is hard to make work. Looks perfect in the doc file, then the MOBI file (which is the Kindle version) has one letter of a paragraph sitting on the top of the picture, with the rest of the paragraph below it.

Three cute animal stories for kids of all ages.

Download it free from Smashwords at:
  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543315
Then click on over to the book at Amazon. After the description, click the button to tell them it's available for a better price (e.g., zilch). Insert the link above to say where.



Monday, May 25, 2015

Digit Guessing with a BIG FAT HINT!

One More Time With Big Fat Hint!
The Powerball Numbers are 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9.


I still have dozens of coupons available for anybody who would like to try out audiobooks for free. Of course, I prefer you use the coupon (if you win one) to get one of my audio books (instructions below). If you don't want one of my books, I do question your ethics in obtaining a coupon from me, then buying somebody else's books. Nevertheless, that's between you and your conscience.

Here's the catch: The coupons are not complete as shown. In each one, I've put an # in a random location replacing a number between 1 and 9 (the numbers are 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9, but not in that order) . Tell me which coupon you want to try and a guess at the missing number. I've replaced only numbers, not letters. Get it right, and the coupon is yours. Be sure I can reach you to let you know if you've guessed right.

Oh, yeah. I prefer you use the coupons to get my audio books, but you can use them for any book you want. Let's see how well this works.  The coupons are numbered 1-5. In the comments (either here or wherever you read this post like G+ or Facebook), say "I want coupon 2. and I'm guessing # is 9." (those are just examples).

Guess as many times as you want, but only one guess per comment. If you finally hit the jackpot, I'll let you know. If two or more people guess right on the same code, I'll provide extra codes for multiple winners.
  1.     PWUN#ZLZG2FR
  2.     2UZH#ZQCW3XUN
  3.     2ER92#YSCJ6CH
  4.     KEA9Z#STM7BXS
  5.     TR8PJG#EQPPBF
This is how you use them at Audible.com to purchase one of my books:
  1. Go to any of my books' pages on Audible.com. You can get to them using this link (scroll down to see the books): Marva Dasef's Audio Books.
  2. Add the audiobook to your cart.
  3. Enter the promo code, and click "Redeem" on the cart page to change the price from full price to $0.00.
  4. Create a new Audible.com account or log in (your Amazon login will work here).
  5. Complete checkout, and start listening to the free copy of the book.
I won't know whether you used a code for my books or someone else's. I'd just appreciate if you leave a review on Audible.com if you grab one of mine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Let's Try This Again - With a Twist

Another audio book coupon giveaway.
This is not a promotion.
I just have lots of coupons and don't want them to go to waste.


I still have dozens of coupons available for anybody who would like to try out audiobooks for free. Of course, I prefer you use the coupon (if you win one) to get one of my audio books (instructions below). If you don't want one of my books, I do question your ethics in obtaining a coupon from me, then buying somebody else's books. Nevertheless, that's between you and your conscience.

Here's the catch: The coupons are not complete as shown. In each one, I've put an # in a random location replacing a number between 1 and 9. Tell me which coupon you want to try and a guess at the missing number. I've replaced only numbers, not letters. Get it right, and the coupon is yours. Be sure I can reach you to let you know if you've guessed right.

Oh, yeah. I prefer you use the coupons to get my audio books, but you can use them for any book you want. Let's see how well this works.  The coupons are numbered 1-5. In the comments (either here or wherever you read this post like G+ or Facebook), say "I want coupon 2. and I'm guessing # is 9." (those are just examples).

Guess as many times as you want, but only one guess per comment. If you finally hit the jackpot, I'll let you know. If two or more people guess right on the same code, I'll provide extra codes for multiple winners.
  1.     PWUN#ZLZG2FR
  2.     2UZH#ZQCW3XUN
  3.     2ER92#YSCJ6CH
  4.     KEA9Z#STM7BXS
  5.     TR8PJG#EQPPBF
This is how you use them at Audible.com to purchase one of my books:
  1. Go to any of my books' pages on Audible.com. You can get to them using this link (scroll down to see the books): Marva Dasef's Audio Books.
  2. Add the audiobook to your cart.
  3. Enter the promo code, and click "Redeem" on the cart page to change the price from full price to $0.00.
  4. Create a new Audible.com account or log in (your Amazon login will work here).
  5. Complete checkout, and start listening to the free copy of the book.
I won't know whether you used a code for my books or someone else's. I'd just appreciate if you leave a review on Audible.com if you grab one of mine.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Run #Free, Little Books, Run #Free!

I'm making Bad Spelling, Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim series, free on the off chance somebody might be interested in books 2-3, or 0 (a prequel short). Only on Smashwords now, the price should percolate down to the distributors in a few days. I will then let Amazon know that the book will be permafree.

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

Download it free from Smashwords at:
  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/490994


Another freed book: the Little book of Lemons. It'd been sitting on Kindle Select, but I'm tired of waiting for them to give up some free days. It's off Select in June, but it's free on Smashwords right now. It's very short and experimental in combining photo illustrations with the text. MY GAWD, that is hard to make work. Looks perfect in the doc file, then the MOBI file (which is the Kindle version) has one letter of a paragraph sitting on the top of the picture, with the rest of the paragraph below it.

Three cute animal stories for kids of all ages.

Download it free from Smashwords at:
  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543315




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Native American Mythology


Copyright Mrsroadrunner,
Wildlife Photographer
It would take hundreds of pages and a lot of research to even scratch the surface of Native American mythology. No way would I even attempt that. But I did learn a lot for my middle-grade adventure, Eagle Quest (99 cents with Smashwords coupon SV86F). Also available at Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

I wanted a half-breed Native American boy searching for his roots. Mitchell, who calls himself Black Crow, believes that a Vision Quest will help him discover his true self. He and his friends decide to visit the Bear Valley Wildlife Preserve, which is one of the several preserve areas in the Klamath region in southern Oregon. This particular area is a nesting place for bald eagles. Mitchell would also like to collect an eagle feather for his medicine bag. He didn't know that collecting any eagle parts is illegal without permit. Enough about the story (please read it if you'd like to learn more).

Native American mythology sets great store by the animals around them. The stories imbued each animal with certain spiritual traits. The following information was derived primarily from the Encyclopedia Mythica.

Wakan: Wakan or Wakan Tanka is the name the Lakhota Sioux use to specify the general spirit of god. Every creature and object has its own wakan, a spirit without limitation. Wakan tanka kin, the wakan of the sun, is the most important in the Sioux tradition.

Bear: Bear plays a major role in many Native American narratives. The animal represents the west and thoughtfulness. Many tribes tell narratives with Bear as the central figure.

Crow: Crow is one of the most prevalent mythological trickster characters, particularly for the northwest and Alaskan tribes.

Coyote: Coyote is the trickster character in southwest cultures, but is also sometimes portrayed as the creator, but he may at the same time be the messenger, the culture hero, the trickster, or the fool. He is also a power transforming character. In some stories he is a handsome young man, in others he is an animal, and others present him as a sacred power.

Eagle: Eagles are a powerful medicine. Elaborate headdresses of chiefs and leaders often feature eagle feathers. Sometimes equated to the Thunderbird, eagles are a symbol of strength.

Inktomi (Spider): The Spider, although most tales involve the trickster nature of the spider and center on morality lessons for the young, Inktomi also created Lakhota culture. Interestingly, the Spider has almost identical role in the myths of African cultures (Anansi).

Vision Quests: The Vision Quest is a rite of passage tradition for many North American tribes. Vision quest preparations involve a time of fasting, the guidance of a tribal Medicine Man and sometimes natural hallucinogens. The quest is undertaken for the first time in the early teenage years. The quest itself is usually a journey alone into the wilderness seeking personal growth and spiritual guidance from the spirit Wakan Tanka.

Traditionally, the seeker finds a place that they feel is special, and sits in a 10 foot circle and brings nothing in from society with the exception of water. Occasionally the seeker will urinate in the water as a means to purify it. A normal Vision Quest usually lasts two to four days within this circle, in which time the seeker is forced to look into his soul. It is said that a strong urge to leave the Quest area will come to the seeker and a feeling of insanity may set in. However, the seeker normally overcomes this by reminding him or herself of the overall outcome of the quest, causing the mind to stop wandering on random thoughts. The individual can generally find solace in the fact that he or she will not die in just two to four days. It is noted that few have claimed grand visions on their first Vision Quest. Native American spirits or wakan are said to be capable of speaking through all things, including messages or instructions in the form of an animal or bird. Generally a physical representation of the vision or message such as a feather, fur or a rock is collected and placed in the seeker's medicine bag to ensure the power of the vision will stay with the individual to remind, protect or guide him.

Medicine Bags: Medicine items attributed with various supernatural abilities for the bag would often be procured in a tribal custom known as a vision quest. This ceremony includes personal sacrifice: fasting and prayer over several days in a location isolated from the rest of the community, often involving hallucinogens. The purpose was to make contact with natural spiritual forces that help or guide people to reach their potential. The spirits, or totems would aid the individual to gather magical items, increase knowledge and aid personal growth.

* Note: Any corrections to these definitions are welcome. I use the term "mythology" when discussing all religions, since none are proven by facts, but only followed by faith.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Did You Know?

Do you ever get tired of the same old fairies (fey), dragons, norse gods, greek gods, roman gods?

I try to find stuff that's not completely shopworn. Yeah, I do use some of the good old standards, but I also try to bend and twist them a bit. Other writers more famous than me do the same. Otherwise, nothing would ever be fresh and new. Sometimes I disagree with certain re-interpretations, but I appreciate that they're trying to change it up.

I thought I'd post some tidbits of mythologies that I've used in my books.

The Tales of Abu Nuwas - Setara's Genie
Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HW6AWY/
Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35634
(Find coupon codes for discounts here)

Throughout the seven (that's a magic number, you know) tales, I've tossed together a mixed salad of middle-eastern mythologies and just some plain old nonsense. However, things I have appropriated from the real mythologies include:

Azhi Dahaka

A storm demon from Iranian mythology. He steals cattle and brings harm to humans. It is a snake-like monster with three heads and six eyes who also personifies the Babylonian oppression of Iran. The monster will be captured by the warrior god Thraetaona and placed on the mountain top Dermawend. In a final revival of evil, it will escape its prison, but at the end of time (fraso-kereti) it will die in the river of fire Ayohsust.



My Mashup:

The Great Vizier (now entombed, waiting for something interesting to happen) had used Azhi Dahaka's blood to create a flying, fire-breathing horse. Excellent for combat, I'd imagine. Unfortunately, the Franken-Horse could only levitate a few inches and puff a wimpy flame when startled. However, Azhi escapes his imprisonment (see above) and knows this horse named Hasib is his umpteen times grandson and wants to find him.

Our erstwhile heroine, Setara tries to protect Hasib from the dragon only to learn that Azhi just wants a family reunion.

Excerpt:

As the two horses and the djinn soared upward, some people stopped in their tracks to stare. Setara almost laughed. As if a dragon demon perched on the palace tower wasn’t enough, the sight of a winged horse, another flying horse with a girl on his back, and a genie was more than they could stand. Those who were not already running away from the tower decided now would be a good time to do so.

The ground around the tower was littered with fallen arrows and men. Some brave souls attempted to save the wounded men. However, the flames were pouring down so fast they had to weave and dodge to reach them.

She gripped Hasib’s mane with one hand and worked to load a bolt and get the crossbow in position with the other. It wasn’t working, so she let go of the mane, gripping tight with her legs. She didn’t even think about looking down. Her whole attention was focused on the roaring demon wrapped around the tower. They flew directly into the path of its flames.

Hasib fought back with flames of his own. However, he was much smaller than the dragon, and his flame was not big enough to have any effect. Setara fired a bolt toward Azhi, but it fell far short. “We’ll have to get closer!” she yelled over the roaring of the dragon. Hasib spiraled upward, taking a path around the tower. Azhi twisted his body to face the flying horses, the clearest threat to him.

Setara managed to reload the crossbow and turned the winch to draw back the bolt. She held the crossbow up, aiming along its shaft. The dragon demon’s head reared up directly in front of her. She fired. The bolt shot through the air, hitting the dragon’s head. It seemed to stick for a moment, then fell off. Setara groaned. She didn’t think she’d get another chance.

“My blood!” Azhi Dahaka cried out. Setara looked to see if the bolt had done some damage, but she couldn’t see even a scratch on the dragon’s shining scales. Of course, while Hasib circled and soared, getting a close look wasn’t easy.

She saw Nasreen turn in mid-air and begin to circle the tower in the opposite direction from Hasib.

“Good girl!” Setara called out. The mare was exposing herself to distract the dragon’s attention away from her and Hasib. The dragon twisted toward the mare and drew his head back to spray flames at Nasreen.

With the dragon’s attention elsewhere, Setara loaded another bolt into the crossbow and pulled it back. Hasib drew his legs up and shot toward the dragon. As he brought her next to the dragon’s side, Setara loosed the bolt. It bounced off his scales to no effect.




Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Mamas and the Papas

Two books #free with coupons at Smashwords. Click the book link, select the format you want, check out, enter the coupon code for the book to set the price to $0.00 (free). You'll receive an email with the download link (or you can just go back to the book's link immediately). Download the format you want.

As a bonus, let me know if you bought either of the books with a comment here, and I'll give you a coupon for a free copy of the matching audio book. Give one away and keep one for yourself.

For the Mamas

MISSING, ASSUMED DEAD - Murder Mystery/Romance
COUPON: UB23Y
LINK: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/445366 

When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the last living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. But since she’s the only one available, she grudgingly agrees.

En route, she runs afoul of a couple of hillbillies and their pickup in an accident that doesn’t seem . . . accidental. Especially when they keep showing up wherever she goes. Lucky for her, gorgeous Deputy Mitch Caldwell lends her a hand, among other things. Her suspicions increase when the probate Judge tries a little too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property.

Working on a hunch and trying to avoid the Judge’s henchmen, Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. With Mitch’s help, she peels away the layers of prejudice, suicide, murder, and insanity. But someone in town doesn’t like her poking around, and when they show their intentions by shooting her through the police chief’s office window, the stakes are raised. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.

And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.

For the Papas

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY - Homespun, humorous short stories set in Depression Era Texas
COUPON: HL34R
Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3816

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, May 07, 2015

Happy Mothers Day from a Texas Boy

Mothers Day is coming up. If your mom is in the same generation as my mom 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 she will enjoy.

These are stories about my father. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. I think you'll enjoy them too.

Here's a bit on some of the stories. At the end of the post, you'll find links to the ebook, print, and audio book.

The Luck Brothers

While nobody lived so close by you could talk over the fence, there were neighbors. Some of them were just a bit stranger than the others.

FRED AND FRANK Luck lived up the road about six miles. We didn’t have much to do with them, but one time we, meanin’ Pa and me, had to go visiting. They was an odd pair, bein’ identical twins who purely hated each other. Their ma died when she birthed them and their pa pretty much let them go wild. A few of the womenfolk hereabouts helped out when they were just babies, but once they got to ten or so, they pretty much did what they pleased.

Ma’s Story

Mothers have their own joys and sorrows. Too often they keep their feelings to themselves and even their own families don’t know.

WHEN I WAS a boy, my Ma was a woman of few words, which surprised quite a few folks. The town ladies came out to visit on occasion and she’d go to town to return the favor, but mostly she listened. That did set her apart from the gossipers and them that just liked to talk to hear themselves.

Cage McNatt’s Prize Sow

Even small towns can come up with odd characters. Cage McNatt had to be one of the oddest.

I’VE HEARD OF men gettin’ all fired up about their horses. I’d even heard of a man who had a steer he took with him duck huntin’. But, I still can’t understand how Cage McNatt was so taken with a pig. After all, a pig generally ends up bein’ ham and pork chops, but Cage McNatt was mighty fond of his sow. He even named her, which is unusual right there. He called her Petunia, which I thought was a darned silly name for anything, even a pig.

Crossin’ the Creek

Kids went to school, but they didn’t exactly catch the school bus outside the house. Getting to school could be an adventure.

IT’D BEEN RAINING forty days and forty nights is what Ma said, but I only counted up eleven days myself. She did tend to put things in Bible sayin’s, so I won’t say she was lyin’, just exaggeratin’ for effect.


The Thief

The Great Depression was beginning to seep into the lives of the people in West Texas. Insulated to some extent, they began to see the repercussions of the droughts by the people who came south from Oklahoma for relief from the dust storms.

IT ALWAYS MEANS a good time when Pa lets me go with him in the truck. I liked the truck a lot and sometimes he’d let me drive a ways, too. This time, Pa planned on goin’ further than Hereford. We were goin’ to go to Amarillo, the trip some fifty miles. It would take us most of one day to get there and do what we needed to do, so we’d have to camp overnight somewhere along the way.

Chance Encounter

All kids eventually grow up, but in that in-between time interesting things can happen. When Eddie moved to East Texas and began High School, he joined the football team. The team was good enough to go to the State Championship. Along the way, he meets a woman who turns his head around.

LIFE WAS TOUGH in the 30s, but people didn’t complain, they just tried to get along as best they could. When I was gettin’ in my teen years, times were tough enough that Pa decided we’d move the family to East Texas. The reason for this is in one word: oil. My uncle Alex started up in the oil business and he’d invited Pa to come help out. This was fine with Ma, as Uncle Alex married her sister Alma. 


Ebooks:
Smashwords (all formats) $0.99 using coupon EC36P

Large Print Paperback Amazon

Audiobook (also available through Amazon) Audible.com $1.99

Saturday, May 02, 2015

New Cover - Otherwise the Same

Since I had some Shutterstock credits, I thought I'd put up a new cover for my short story collection, "Mixed Bag 2: Supersized." I don't need anybody's opinion on it. I just don't want anybody fooled into thinking it's a new book. It isn't. It's from 2011. All I did is change the cover and add a table of contents.

SAME OLD BOOK WITH AN UGLY NEW COVER


Kindle Ebook and Print: Mixed Bag II: Supersized $1.99 for ebook

Smashwords:  Mixed Bag II: Supersized  Use coupon XY88V for 99 cents