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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bucking the System

I repriced my ebooks on Amazon from $1.00 to $3.00. The concept of the x.99 pricing was to subliminally suggest the item was cheaper by a buck when it was only cheaper by a penny. I decided to "buck" the system. I'll work on the print books next.


Witches of Galdorheim Series (3-Volume Book)

   Bad Spelling

   Midnight Oil

   Scotch Broom

   Spellslinger

Faizah's Destiny

Setara's Genie

Missing, Assumed Dead

Eagle Quest

First Duty

Ultimate Duty

Tales of a Texas Boy

Mixed Bag Short Story Collection

Mixed Bag II: Supersized












  Lemons and Other Kid Tales
(Now Free on Smashwords)

  Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler
(Free on KindleUnlimited)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Oh, Right! About Those Audio Books

Time to mention the audio books again. Write a comment and get a free one of your choice. You already missed your chance to get them for $1.99 each. You snooze, you lose. But don't snooze now. Here's your chance to get a freebie.




Spellslinger on audio - Listen on SoundCloud Free!

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim

Midnight Oil - Book 2 of Witches of Galdorheim
Audible  

Scotch Broom - Book 3 of Witches of Galdorheim.
Tales of a Texas Boy
Amazon
Audible 


Missing, Assumed Dead

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review of The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip

The Desperate Case of the Diamond ChipThe Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip by Pendred Noyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See that cell phone sitting next to you like a 24-hour a day nanny? Your iPad, computer, laptop, even your flat screen TV?

None of those things were around in 1967 when the computer chip (integrated circuit) was created by Robert Noyce (and some other guys). But it didn't just appear out of thin air.

This is where "The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip" fills in the history of the invention ranging all the way back to Mendeleev's creation of the first Periodic Table in the 19th Century. Discovery built upon discovery in a lightning fast journey from "what's an atom?" through to your multiple electronic devices.

I mention Robert Noyce particularly because he was the father of author, Pendred Noyce. It must make her proud her father was in the thick of discovery, working at the top electronics companies in Silicon Valley.

Anyway, that's not about the book, which is about the journey explored by Mae and Clinton, two school kids looking for a science project. They had a little help from a future organization named G.A.S.--Galactic Academy of Science--which provide them with a time machine allowing them to go into the past to talk to famous people for brief periods.

Beginning with Doctor Mendeleev (remember the Periodic Table?), Nils Bohr who refined the elements table and figured out the makeup of atoms, and the brilliant scientists, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, Robert Shockley (a major jerk, but no dummy), and Robert Noyce who joined with others to build Intel, the largest chip manufacturer in the world. I'll bet your computer has an Intel Inside sticker on it.

Since my own computer background began shortly after the beginning of Intel, I was delighted that I was "there" when it all happened. Like many others, we just couldn't conceive how far the technology would go. But what we were doing would have been impossible without those who came before. Well, we know how far in 2015, but what's ahead of us in 2050, 2100, and onward? I wish I could be a member of G.A.S. so I could find out.

The G.A.S. series are always a delight to read. Meant for kids, the books will aid parents to keep up with their children as the new discoveries occur. And you can learn all about zombies (in another of the G.A.S. series).

I look forward to reading the entire series. Even us old folks can learn a thing or two. Put on your thinking cap and dive in.

View all my reviews

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy Excerpt #15

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY

Frank Norfleet - Detective

Oil became big business in Texas. Confidence men came with the wildcatters and sometimes regular folk fell for some scheme or other. When it happened, it was nice to have a real detective as a friend.

Mr. Norfleet was an important man in many ways; he was the first foreman of the Spade Ranch, started up his own ranch, raised racehorses, and was a darn good detective. The FBI even gave him a special award for bringin’ in all sorts of lawbreakers. His specialty was confidence men, because that’s what got him started as a detective.


In 1919, Mr. Norfleet was back east and got taken in by a gang claiming to be mule brokers. He was told he could make good money in the cotton business, but he had to put up a lot of money, near forty-five thousand dollars. Well, he was a successful rancher, so he had that kind of money to invest. The con man and his partners ran off with the money and left Mr. Norfleet high and dry.

He did not take well to bein’ gypped, so he went after the men. He followed them all over the country, even into Canada and Mexico. He wore disguises to help him meet up with other bad men to get information. Eventually, he found all of the men; three in California, one in Salt Lake City, and the last two in Georgia. Catchin’ those crooks made him famous and a lot of folks started comin’ to him for help. He had a reputation of always gettin’ his man, just like the Texas Rangers. He even wrote a book about it, Pa said. Pa tol’ me the story, but he says never to bring it up to Mr. Norfleet, as it was a raw spot for him.

Pa knew him because Pa was a good horse doctor. He’d gone down to the Norfleet Ranch and helped out when a sickness was takin’ the horses. Pa managed to save a few of Mr. Norfleet’s racehorses and that not only made Pa some money, but also made the two of them good friends.

Now, Pa needed a favor back. He’d wrote a letter to Mr. Norfleet and was invited to come down to the ranch to lay out the whole story. So, that’s how come we were driving over a hundred miles: to get help from one of the best detectives at findin’ grifters, swindlers, and all-round no-goods.

* * *

Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.
Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. 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, July 17, 2015

Tales of a Texas Boy Excerpt #14

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY
One Fine Dog

It was about a quarter mile across the pasture, so we’d have to walk on over to get them movin’. Pete, Mr. Braddock’s dog, would do most of the work, but even a real good sheepdog couldn’t move the whole flock all by hisself. And, we’d need to cut our own outta the flock.


First, we’d have to figure out which were our ewes. We’d docked their ears with our mark, but you had to get close enough to read it. Since the ewes were skittish right after lambing, jest like moms everywhere, they worried about their young’uns. We were countin’ on motherly love to help us match the lambs belonging to our ewes.

Finally, Pa and Mr. Braddock were done talkin’, so we commenced to walk across the pasture. Pete knew what was up so he took off runnin’ toward the flock. The ground was still spongy with the spring rains, so it was hard goin’ for us. We squished along as best we could. I began to get the idea this wasn’t goin’ to be so easy after all.

Pete was near the flock by now and he started barkin’ up a storm.

“What’s got into him? He knows better’n that,” Mr. Braddock said with a puzzled look.

Then I saw what was gettin’ Pete so riled up. I pointed up and Pa’s and Mr. Braddock’s eyes followed where I was pointin’. A big golden eagle was soarin’ above the herd. He was circling round so it was clear he was lookin’ to take a lamb. The sheep got wind of him and started to get excited.

A flock of sheep on the move is like a school of fish. The front ewe turns one way and the whole bunch of them turn with her just like they were readin’ her mind. It’s quite a sight to behold. First they swarmed one way, then Pete came up to the flank and turned them the other. They were weavin’ back and forth across the field with Pete doin’ his durndest to head them toward the pens. We were helpin’ as much as we could with our boots stuck in the mud as they were.

Suddenly, the eagle nosed down and dove right for the sheep. He disappeared in the middle of ‘em, but you could see where he’d gone ‘cause the sheep at that spot were not only runnin’, but now they started jumpin’. So, if you can picture this, there’s this big wave of wooly sheep zigzaggin’ across the field with the middle of the flock eruptin’ like a wooly geyser. I didn’t know they could jump that high. I started to runnin’ for the flock to see if’n I could chase off the eagle, but the durned muddy ground tripped me up. I felt flat on my face after only a couple of steps. All I could do is watch.

The eagle took off again and he held a lamb in his claws. This near gave Pete a fit. After all, this was his bunch of sheep and no eagle was goin’ to take even one! Pete leaped up on the backs of the flock and jumped from sheep to sheep to get to the middle. The eagle was strugglin’ to hold on to the lamb, but hadn’t got much altitude; it was more than he could carry off easy. When Pete reached the middle of the sheep geyser, he jumped up himself and grabbed the lamb’s leg. Well, that was just too much for the eagle, so he let go of the lamb and took off.

Pete and the lamb came down and disappeared in the sheep wave. We just watched as there wasn’t a thing we could do.

The sheep started to slow down since the eagle was gone and pretty soon, Pete popped up in the middle of the flock and jumped out just like he’d jumped in.


“I ain’t never seen anything like that before,” Pa said, shakin’ his head.

* * *
Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.
Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. 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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Time for Another Excerpt. Here's #13

Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy

THE LUCK BROTHERS

Fred and Frank Luck were identical twin brothers. They co-owned the farm inherited when their Pa died. Trouble was, those two hated each other somethin' fierce.

Pa turned to me and says, “Wanna go for a drive, Eddie?”

“Sure, Pa.” It was fine with me as I’d been cleanin’ out the chicken yard and anything’d be better than that chore.

Pa and I pushed the Model A out of the barn and cranked her up. We jumped in and proceeded up the road to the Luck’s farm.

It didn’t take but a half hour to drive the six miles. When we were gettin’ close, we heard the sound of a shotgun firin’ off. As we pulled off onto the road leadin’ up to the Luck’s house, we heard shoutin’ as well.

Pa looked at me and says, “Be sure to watch close and be ready to duck down behind the truck.”
It made me a little nervous. It was well known Fred and Frank would go at each other just about anyplace they happened to be. Once, they both spent a night in jail when they got into a fist fight at the General Store. The Sheriff didn’t much care which one started it, so he just let them both spend the night in the pokey. He let ‘em out early enough to go take care of the livestock and didn’t do anything else.

Now, they pretty much kept their fightin’ at home. Most often they’d just flail at each other for awhile and then one or t’other would go off in a huff. Hearin’ gunfire made me think the feud was only gettin’ worse.

When we get up to the farmyard, we saw Frank, or maybe it was Fred, standin’ by the corral kind of hid behind a post and he was firin’ off shotgun blasts toward the granary. We could see the wood splinter as he fired. I glimpsed the other one, most likely Fred, around the side of the building.

“Frank, you cut that out!” Pa shouted.

“I ain’t Frank, Mr. Perkins,” the shotgun holder answered back.

“Well, then, Fred, you cut that out.”

“But, Mr. Perkins, that no-good brother o’ mine called me a dirty lowdown skunk. I can’t rightly take it without answerin’!”

Pa motioned to me to stand behind the truck bed and I went round as quick as I could. Pa started walkin’ slow toward Fred movin’ his hands in a placatin’ way.

“Well, I’m sure you two can work it out if’n you’ll just put the gun away, Fred.”

Then, Pa calls out louder. “Frank, come on out.”

“No sirree! I ain’t crazy, Mr. Perkins. That idiot will just shoot me if’n I come out,” Frank yelled, peekin’ round the corner of the granary.

While the talkin’ was goin’ on, Pa kept gettin’ closer to Fred until he was an arm’s reach away. He grabbed the double barrel of the shotgun and snatched it away and tossed the gun behind him about ten feet.

“All right, Frank, you can come out now. Fred doesn’t have the shotgun anymore.”

Frank come out slow from behind the buildin’ lookin’ hard to make sure what Pa said was the truth. When he seen Fred didn’t have the gun, he walked on over. He gets up a couple of feet away and he lunged out at Fred and grabbed him round the neck.

The brothers fell down on the ground and started wrestlin’ and screamin’ some pretty bad words.

“You low-down weasel!” Bam! Frank smacked Fred right in the eye.

“You yellow-bellied hornswoggler!” Whap! Fred hit him right back.

Pa stood there a bit with his hands on his hips. He looked to be ponderin’ whether or not to separate them. Finally, he bent down and grabbed both the Lucks by their collars and hauled them right up on their feet. My jaw dropped as I didn’t think Pa had it in him. He held ‘em both at arms length until they quit strugglin’, then he let them go.

* * *
Read the rest of the story and more in Tales of a Texas Boy.
Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. 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.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Prices Reduced for Most Books

Ebooks from #free to $2.99 (most are .99 and $1.99) at Amazon and Smashwords. Note that the Smashwords price also applies at all Smashwords distributors such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd, etc. Coupons available for half price on several books. See the page Ebooks with Coupon Discounts.

Witches of Galdorheim Series $1.99 each (boxed set $2.99)
Smashwords             Amazon
   Bad Spelling           Bad Spelling
   Midnight Oil            Midnight Oil
   Scotch Broom         Scotch Broom
   Spellslinger             Spellslinger  $0.99

The Tales of Abu Nuwas Series $1.99 each
Smashwords             Amazon
  Faizah's Destiny      Faizah's Destiny
  Setara's Genie          Setara's Genie

Mystery/Adventure $0.99 each
Smashwords                       Amazon
  Missing, Assumed Dead    Missing, Assumed Dead (Adult)
  Eagle Quest                        Eagle Quest (Teen Adventure)

Science Fiction
Smashwords                       Amazon
  First Duty                          First Duty $0.99
  Ultimate Duty                   Ultimate Duty $1.99

Miscellaneous
Smashwords                       Amazon
  Tales of a Texas Boy         Tales of a Texas Boy $1.99
  Mixed Bag Collection        Mixed Bag Collection $0.99
  Mixed Bag II: Supersized  Mixed Bag II: Supersized $1.99








On Kindle for $0.99 and free in the Kindle Unlimited Program for now:

  Lemons and Other Kid Tales $0.99
  Lemons and Other Kid Tales Free at Smashwords


Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler $0.99 on Amazon only.

Friday, July 03, 2015

I Put the #Free in Freedom

For the 4th of July, I've freed some books from those nasty old prices. Here's what's #free from July 3rd through July 5th.

On Amazon:
Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler
Three short stories from the collection, "Mixed Bag II: Supersized." 
Fish Story - Colonists to a distant planet find salvation in a fish. 
The Vision - Charlie can't get terrifying images out of his head, but why? 
Chilpequin 22 Miles - The bartender is big and hairy. Could it be? Nah, it couldn't. Could it?






On Smashwords:
Lemons and Other Kids Tales (always free)
Three stories for kids of all ages.
LEMONS: Karen is horse crazy. One day, it seems like everything is going wrong. She's determined to make lemonade out of the lemons.
ONE FINE DOG: Pete, the sheep dog, knows his business is to protect his flock. He'll do anything to make sure the sheep are safe. 
A PRACTICAL CAT: Boots is living the good life, but the Bigs won't let her out!


Eagle Quest
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. When Mitch, a half-breed Indian, decides to check out Bear Valley as a site for his Vision Quest, the other three accompany him. It turns out to be more than an overnight camping trip as the friends encounter a bear, an old man, and poachers.





First Duty
Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.


Missing, Assumed Dead
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. 

En route, she runs afoul of a couple of hillbillies in an accident that doesn’t seem . . . accidental. Kam has to reveal the town's secrets before she ends up missing, assumed dead herself.



Mixed Bag
A little science fiction, a bit of fantasy, plenty of humor, and some really shocking horror. These are tales to suit any mood. All stories in this book were previously published in on-line or print publications. 





Spellslinger (Book 0 of The Witches of Galdorheim)
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?