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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve!

All I have to say is have a fun and safe New Year's Eve. 

  • Don't drink and drive. 
  • Don't drink and have sex with strangers. 
  • Don't drink and set yourself on fire. 
  • Don't drink and get into philosophical arguments with others who have been drinking.
  • Don't drink and challenge your buddies to target practice with your new semi-auto in the backyard. 

Other than that, have a great time! 

I hope 2016 is going to be YOUR biggest, best year ever. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Unused Gift Certificates Available

I gifted my books all over creation and further. Some people just didn't pick up their gifted book. I guess they didn't know they could just take the credit and buy something else. Since those credits are now in my account (that'll teach the ingrates!), I can only give them away in the form of a gift audio book.

They'll just sit there all shivering and lonely like puppies chained up in the snow UNLESS you want me to use one to buy you a special book. Pick an audio book you'd like to try out from the pix below. You can also click the link to go to audible.com to read the description of each book.

Let me know which one you'd like and give me your email address so I can send it to you. Mail your request to me at mdasef(AT)comcast.net. You know how to change (AT) to @. This offer ends when I run out of credits at audible.com.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Yule (and SatPanHanKwaXAth)

Tis the season, as they say. Say what? Yeah, I made up that combo-holiday greeting. Covers just about everything celebratory throughout the winter doldrums. So, no matter what persuasion you follow, there's got to be something to brighten the soggy/cold season.

YuleA Norse mid-winter celebration of the turning of the days from shorter to longer. Yay, we made it halfway through winter! Woot! Of course, the word gave us the tradition of the Yule log, a big chunk of wood burned in the fireplace and something large and meaty being roasted over said fire. It originated from the mid-winter celebrations (see Saturnalia) and applied to the Wild Hunt and Odin. We can blame King Haakon I for deliberately co-opting a perfectly good pagan celebration and dedicating it to the fictitious birth of Christ. That was a big miss regarding seasons since everybody knows shepherds watch their flocks at night only in the Spring and Summer, certainly not in the dead of winter. Skoal to Odin orJölföðr. See how this alternative name for the Norse god being applied to the celebration?

Saturnalia: The Romans liked mid-winter to celebrate something, so Saturn got the festival. This one was usurped for the Christmas myth. Don't get all twisted. Christmas is not a celebration for Jesus. It's a way to get the Pagans to sign up.

Besides Saturn, other pagan dieties are celebrated for much the same reason. Mithra, Horus, Zeus, even Hercules. Christians didn't steal the celebration until 400 AD. Historical accounts have Christ born in the spring, but that would have interfered with the theft of Oestra, the spring festival of fertility.


Pancha Ganapati: The Hindu solstice celebration lasts five days (the Hindus really know how to party). The celebration is in honor of the elephant god Ganesha, who is the patron of arts and guardian of culture. Each day is celebrated by a different color which have special meanings for Ganesha. Golden Yellow creates a vibration of love and harmony within the family, Royal Blue for love and harmony between neighbors and friends, Ruby Red for harmony with business associates, Emerald Green celebrates art and culture, and the last day (which happens to be December 25th) is Brilliant Orange for love and harmony for all. The holiday is celebrated with lights and tinsel, but with a nice picture of Lord Ganesh rather than a tree.

Hanakkuh: This year, the beginning of Hanakkuh fell on December 6th. What a perfect time for the Festival of Lights for those of the Judaic persuasion. Since the Jewish calendar is based on different dates than the western one, liberal Jews can have their Hanakkuh, and still celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa with their friends. Anyone want a convertible hanakkuh bush? Everybody can party like it's 5775.



Kwanzaa: Created in 1966, Kwanzaa was made up by a California
guy to highlight African-american culture. Cool thought, but I'd just as soon we'd say: "What? Obama is black? Wow, I didn't know that." Keeping separate ensures separateness. Hey! Doesn't that look like a Menorah?

More recently, Kwanzaa is celebrated in conjunction with Christmas since many African-Americans are Christian. I suppose those of the Muslim faith can also celebrate Kwanzaa since the major winter holy day for Muslims was way back in November.


Christmas: A usurpation of the mid-winter Saturnalia Festival and Jule. St. Patrick was big on keeping the frolicking holidays, but bending them to his own purpose. Historical records seem to place the actual birth of Jesus in March or April. Facts don't get in the way of the commercial spending binge. All hail the Almighty (dollar/euro/pound/yen).

The big bruhaha every year in the US was all the stores who decided that Thanksgiving was a great day for their employees to not be with their family in a celebration of thanksgiving. So, they opened their doors and let the crowds rush in. Christians don't have to worry about atheists having some pretend war on Christmas. Christians are their own worst enemies. Ask the Pope.

Atheist/Agnostic/Pastafarian: The godless like holidays as much as the next person. They just don't have an official date for the FSM's birth celebration. FSM, you ask? Flying Spaghetti Monster has become the avatar for folks that think the FSM is just as realistic as any other god.


So, whatever you celebrate around this time of year, enjoy, be happy, and don't drink too much then drive around endangering others. Stay home and get smashed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bad Spelling Audio Excerpt - Speaking to the Dead


Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
Chapter 4 - Speaking to the Dead 
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time? 

Amazon $13.08 Free with Audible Membership
Audible $14.95 Free with Audible Membership
iTunes $14.95

Kat's aunt, Thordis, concerned for her niece's lack of magical talent, decides to have a talk with Kat's father. Since he's half-way between life and death, AND burined in an ice cave, Thordis has to take extreme measures to get through to Boris' frozen brain.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bad Spelling Audio Excerpt - Cry Wolf

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
Chapter 3 - Cry Wolf 


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

Amazon $13.08 Free with Audible Membership
Audible $14.95 Free with Audible Membership
iTunes $14.95



Friday, December 18, 2015

More Audio Book Excerpts - Missing, Assumed Dead

MISSING, ASSUMED DEAD (retail excerpt)
Prejudice, murder, insanity, suicide: Every small town has its deadly secrets.

Amazon  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Kameron McBride just wants to collect some old family photos for her mom. She soon finds that her strange inheritance carries some deep secrets with it. Question is, will she get out alive?
Amazon Ebook and Print
All Ebook formats at Smashwords

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chapter 1 - Scotch Broom (Bk 3 of the Witches of Galdorheim)

Scotch Broom - Chapter 1
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good. 

Amazon $17.46 Free with Audible Membership
Audible $19.95 Free with Audible Membership
iTunes $17.95


Monday, December 14, 2015

Chapter 1 - Midnight Oil (Bk 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim)

Midnight Oil - Chapter 1
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can't even phone home?

Amazon $17.46 Free with Audible Membership
Audible $19.95 Free with Audible Membership
iTunes $17.95






Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chapter 1 - Bad Spelling (Bk 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

Amazon $13.08 Free with Audible Membership
Audible $14.95 Free with Audible Membership
iTunes $14.95


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Audio Excerpt - Tales of a Texas Boy

Tales of a Texas Boy Audio Excerpt

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print paperback for $8.00 on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon ($2.99) or $0.99 if you buy the paperback. And if your family or friend has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com  or Amazon. com for only $6.95

Monday, December 07, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy - Excerpt 5

Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy

Cage McNatt’s Prize Sow

Pa let me camp with Dad Boles for a day or two as it was fifteen miles from our farm to Hereford and I liked to go to the fair on more than one day. Dad Boles didn’t seem to mind my company. He told me a few stories about his trapping business and about his time in France with Pa during the World War.

Each evening, when the fair was over, Dad would untie Sophie from her post and let her sit closer to the fire. One night, after things calmed down, Dad Boles and I were sittin’ by the fire with Sophie right next to us. Dad Boles was in the middle of a story about trappin’ when we heard something crashin’ around inside the fairgrounds. Dad decided to go check what was goin’ on, and I followed along since he didn’t say to stay put. We went into the fairgrounds to see what was up. The moon was full so we could see well enough. 

A man was goin’ toward the fairgrounds’ front gate and it looked like he was pullin’ a big dog along behind him. When I heard the squeal, though, I realized it wasn’t a dog, but a pig. I could also see the pig was white, so I knew right off it was the Luck’s sow. The trouble was that the man was Cage McNatt and not one of the Luck brothers.

Well, you might already have guessed what was goin’ on. Cage McNatt was stealin’ Whitey, or at least he was tryin’ to. The problem was Whitey was bigger than Mr. McNatt and she wasn’t of a mind to go along quiet. She was doin’ her best to pull away from the rope. She was shakin’ her head back and forth and kept up squealin’ the whole time. That was about the unhappiest pig I ever saw.

Then, she spotted the open gate. She quit squealin’, snorted a couple of times, and all of a sudden she was doin’ the pullin’ and Cage McNatt was runnin’ behind her tryin’ to keep up. She was makin’ a beeline for the gate where we just happened to be standin’. I figured we’d better just step out of the way. Bein’ run down by three hundred fifty pounds of hog flesh was not an idea I cottoned to.

What I didn’t realize, and Whitey didn’t either, was Sophie followed us through the gate. She, meanin’ Whitey, got about twenty feet from us when she looked up and saw a bear standin’ in the way of her freedom. She stopped short and Cage McNatt ran right by her as he had such a head of steam goin’. When he reached the end of the rope, it came right out of his hand. I could see her sittin’ down on her haunches and starin’ at Sophie like she was wonderin’ exactly what it was she was seein’. All she knew is it was a big, hairy critter and probably smelled pretty bad, too.


Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.

**** EBOOK IS FREE AT SMASHWORDS. Just set your price to FREE at checkout. 
You can also pay up to $2.99 if you want.****

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print paperback for $8.00 on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon ($2.99) or $0.99 if you buy the paperback. And if your family or friend has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com for only $6.95

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy - Excerpt 4

Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy

The Cattle Drive

I seen the dust cloud down the road, so naturally I jumped up to the top rail of the fence to get a better look. It took about ten minutes before I could make out a couple of drovers was pushin’ a small herd up the road. By then, Pa come over to find out why I wasn’t doin’ my chores. The two of us were standin’ on the fence rail, peerin’ down the road. Ma came out of the house, but she stayed up on the porch with her hand shadin’ her eyes.

When we saw it was a herd, Pa shook his head and grinned.

“I ain’t seen that for some years,” he said.

Well, what could we do but wait for the drovers to come on up to the gate? After all, we was the only place close by and knew these fellas would need some water, at the least, and maybe a meal to go with it.

Ma went back in the house and when I saw the little puff of smoke from the chimney, I knew she was already firin’ up the stove. The angle of the sun over the barn told me it was ‘bout four. It was close enough to suppertime I hoped the herd would have to stop for the night.

With us bein’ fifteen miles from town and six miles by road to the nearest neighbor, I’d be pretty excited we were gettin’ any kind of visitors, but a cattle herd, that was almost too much to ask for.
I jumped off the fence like a lightnin’ bolt and headed for the corral. Old Sam was closest so I grabbed a rope and threw it round his neck for reins. Sam’s really easy, so I didn’t bother with a bridle and ridin’ bareback is second nature to me. It took a little shufflin’ to convince Sam to sidle over by the fence so I could get on. After all, he’s near sixteen hands and I’m not very tall. Pa saw what I was doin’ and nodded to me. I was gonna ask before I lit out, but he beat me to it.

Sam and me trotted down the road. I was bouncin’ and grinnin’ so hard my teeth kept clackin’ together. We met the front of the herd a quarter mile later and my jaw just near dropped off my face. I couldn’t believe what I was seein’ so I shut my mouth again and looked really hard.

Yep, I’m here to tell ya and ya know I don’t lie. Every last animal in the herd was a bull. This puzzled me no end, as much as it puzzles you to hear it. Course, the herd was no more ‘n twenty Hereford bulls, but . . .well, I can’t think of what that would be. Mostly herds are made up of steers and cows. Bulls ain’t usually included as they cause troubles wantin’ at the cows and all.

Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.

**** EBOOK IS FREE AT SMASHWORDS. Just set your price to FREE at checkout. You can also pay up to $2.99 if you want.****

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print paperback for $8.00 on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon ($2.99) or $0.99 if you buy the paperback. And if your family or friend has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com for only $6.95

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy - Excerpt 3

Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy

The Bone Hunters


Moving along at an easy lope, we soon caught up with Mr. Whiteman and just rode alongside the car as it bounced over the sage-scattered flat lands. It wasn’t too long before we came up to the edge of a deep draw and Mr. Whiteman pulled right up to the rim where he stopped and let the Model T die again.

We got down off the horses, and dropped the reins to ground tie them. The horses knew what was expected and immediately started nosing around for any grass to graze on. They wouldn’t go far with the reins on the ground.

“Come along down here,” Mr. Whiteman started down a goat trail leading down the rocky side of the draw. As we scooted and slipped down the trail, I could see the walls were layered rock. This was pretty normal for a draw. As the water washed down them, the walls were dug away and you could see where layers of dirt formed up and turned to rock over the years—thousands of years. I did recall a lesson at school on the geology of Texas and learned about some of this.

Soon, we reached the bottom and Mr. Whiteman led us a few dozen feet along the wall. Some of the rock wall was chipped away and pieces were laying on the floor of the draw.
“Here,” Mr. Whiteman pointed and I was amazed to see the shape of a leg bone, but it was bigger’n any bone I’d ever seen. I figured he wasn’t puttin’ me on since a real mammoth bone was right in front of my own two eyes. I looked at Sister, but she was busy picking wildflowers again and didn’t pay any mind.

The man pulled a small hammer from his belt and started tapping around the mammoth bone. 
“Look, here,” he pointed and, sure enough, I could make out an arrow head. Little chips were knocked off along the edge to make it sharp.

“That’s called fluting,” he explained when he saw me runnin’ my finger along the chipped edge of the arrowhead.

“This is really sumthin’,” I said quietly. I hardly knew what to say, I was so flabbergasted I actually got to touch real mammoth bones.

* Note: Ridge Whiteman did discover the existence of Clovis Man, at that time, the oldest evidence of human inhabitants in North America.

Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.

**** EBOOK IS FREE AT SMASHWORDS. Just set your price to FREE at checkout. You can also pay up to $2.99 if you want.****

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print paperback for $8.00 on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon ($2.99) or $0.99 if you buy the paperback. And if your family or friend has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com for only $6.95

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy - Excerpt 2

Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy

Ma Yote and Her Cubs


Bein’s it was a fine day, I took a walk to the sandstone canyon that runs near our farm. In the summer, it gave up a good stock of lizards and horny toads. I always hoped to find a horny toad, but there be plenty of other interestin’ lizards, too. The schoolhouse has a big book of critters by some scientist. I’ll admit that the man knew his stuff, even if he lived back east. I’d look up what I found in his book so I’d know next time if I spotted the same kind again.

Anyways, the canyon starts out on one end real shallow and gets deeper as it runs west. It ends up runnin’ into a bluff that turns it into a box canyon. Through spring, it had water in the deep end, but by high summer it was all dried out. I’d walk down it from the shallow end, keepin’ my eyes peeled on the walls where the critters lived. This particular day was frustratin’ ‘cause I didn’t see a single thing until I got near the end. 

I stopped dead in my tracks. Three of the cutest little coyote cubs you’d hope to meet were rompin’ around near the end of the canyon. I looked every which way for their mama, but didn’t see her. I suspected she might be out lookin’ for dinner.

The cubs looked my way, but didn’t spook. They just looked interested for a bit, then they went back to bitin’ each other’s tails. I had to grin at the squeaky lil’ growls they let out as they played at huntin’.

I sat down partly hid by a big boulder no more’n twenty feet from ‘em just to watch. I commenced to thinkin’ that I might catch one of the cubs and raise him up like a dog. Coyotes looked like dogs, but I’d never heard of anyone who brought one home. I decided I’d try to tame one of the cubs, but I’d wait until their ma weaned them. They’d still be small enough for me to wrangle, but not so big as to be dangerous.

Somethin’ moved atop the canyon wall and caught my eye. Mama Coyote hung her head over the edge and bared her teeth. Even from twenty feet up I could hear the growling. I stood up slow and commenced to backin’ away. She jumped down and I nearly fell on my backside. I don’t know to this day how she done it, but that coyote found footholds to scramble down that rock wall what looked like a lizard might not get a grip.

She hit the bottom lickety-split, so I backed up a mite faster. Not too fast, or I knew she’d come after me. Lucky for me, she weren’t inclined to do that, so I turned around and took off. I kept alookin’ over my shoulder, but she stayed with her cubs, sniffin’ them to make sure they were alright. In that way, she reminded me of my own ma. She can sound mean enough to shake you right outta yer boots, but I know it’s generally for my own good.

Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.

**** EBOOK IS FREE AT SMASHWORDS. Just set your price to FREE at checkout. You can also pay up to $2.99 if you want.****

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print paperback for $8.00 on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon ($2.99) or $0.99 if you buy the paperback. And if your family or friend has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com for only $6.95.