Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Um...Happy New Year?

I guess all I have to say is have a fun 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. Other than that, have a great time! 

I hope 2014 is going to be YOUR biggest, best year ever.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Woot! I'm a bounty hunter. Never join Audible.com? Well, do so today, and get my audio book, Tales of a Texas Boy, for FREE! I need at least three new signups on Audible.com who get my book free as one of the first three they purchase from Audible.

The Fine Print: You need to stay on audible.com for 61 days. If you do that, my producer and I get to split a bounty fee worth way more than the royalty we give up since the book is free. Oh, yeah. You get another book free on signup too.

Audible is a membership thing which costs  a monthly amount (after you get your first month free) depending on how many books you want per month. You can access it quickly through my book link on Amazon.

Tales of a Texas Boy on Amazon (discounted right now)

Tales of a Texas Boy at Audible

Tales of a Texas Boy at iTunes

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Discounts and Freebies

Quick! Before the end of the year, pick up some of my ebooks discounted or free. 

Through December 31st on SmashwordsDon't even need the coupon until the end of the month. Just 99 cents until Amazon discovers I'm undercutting their price.

On Kobo, SPELLSLINGER is free right now. Why aren't you getting a copy of the prequel short story of the Witches of Galdorheim series? It's a mystery if you don't.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Preditor/Editor Polls Are Open

I only have one book entered for 2013: FAIZAH'S DESTINY. It's getting a lot of mileage lately. Forgot I also entered SPELLSLINGER in the SF/F short stories section. By the way, the short is available on Kobo for free until the end of the month.

Pred/Ed Poll Link: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/ 

The Preditor/Editor polls are starting again. Pop over and nominate your books if they came out in 2013. If you don't have a book to nominate, I'd appreciate your vote for FAIZAH'S DESTINY. It appears in:

* SF/F Novels
* Childrens
* YA
* Ebook Covers

They've got a menu item for the poll categories at the top of the page.

The drill is to vote in a category (for my book I hope), enter your full name and email address (don't worry, this is safe), then try to discern the info they want to confirm you're a human being. After you vote, PredPoll will send you an email. VERY IMPORTANT: Click on the confirmation to register your vote.

If you enter your book in a category mine isn't in, let me know. I'll vote in the other categories if you're the first person to ask for my vote. You can put it in the comments to this post.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Faizah's Destiny Cover in Top 10

Voted by on by the people who happened to drop over on the Friendly Book Cover Contest put up by Erika Szabo. Faizah's Destiny ended up in the Top 10 vote. Cool! See all the covers on Erika's website, Welcome to My World. Erika is a great resource for writers. I'd suggest you follow her on-line magazine "Read With Us". She has a whole page in Hungarian on her site! She also provides information on Natural Medicine. That's neat, Erika. You're truly a Renaissance Woman.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Third Free Book - Faizah's Destiny

And yet another ebook absolutely free. It was going to be on MuseItUp, but weather and other technical and nature-related problems got in the way of that. So, I'll do my own freebie. Just enter FAIZAH in the comments section of this blog post to get 100% off. Be sure to leave a bread crumb trail so I can find you to send your free ebook copy. Also, tell me if you want PRC, PDF, or EPUB.

OR.....You can also get the print edition at a highly reasonable price ($7.34) on Amazon (other places online stores don't discount the book price, so to heck with 'em).

The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon. 

The village magician has gone missing. His four pupils think he has left a clue to his whereabouts in the Magicalis Bestialis--the book of magical creatures. They must seek the help of the elusive Simurgh, the mythical birds who know all the secrets of the universe. However, this is not an easy camping trip into the mountains. Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are not aware they’re being set up by otherworldly forces for a much larger task. A farmer’s daughter, Faizah is chosen to lead the humans in the battle. She must persuade a slave, an orphan, and a rich merchant’s son to join in the battle on the side of good. Although divided by Dev, the evil god of war, the teens must band together to find the Simurgh, rescue their teacher, and stave off Armageddon.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Celebrate the Solstice with Midnight Oil!

What if a magical oil can cure a whole tribe of a disfiguring illness? The catch is it can only be used exactly on the moment of the Summer Solstice.

In MIDNIGHT OIL, a young warlock must steal the curative oil from an evil forest elemental and deliver it on time to save the Nenets tribe. But, the endangered Nenets tribe is not the only ones needing saving. A young witch is stranded on a mythical island. Her only hope for rescue is relying on a greedy arctic skua. And to make matters even worse, the forest elemental is holding the witch's boyfriend hostage.

The witch and the warlock have their work cut out for them, and they must do it all before the clock runs down to the exact moment of the Summer Solstice, but exactly when does that happen?

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

MuseItUp:  http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/midnight-oil-detail
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006UTL54A
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/midnight-oil-marva-dasef/1109231421?ean=2940033055395

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/133120

Amazon (best price at $7.19):  http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Oil-Witches-Galdorheim-Volume/dp/1481226851/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/midnight-oil-marva-dasef/1117347254?ean=9781481226851&itm=1&usri=9781481226851

Friday, December 20, 2013

Free Until December 31st at Kobo

Here's a free ebook short story available on Kobo. Since it was so short, I included the first chapters of the Witches of Galdorheim series (Bad Spelling, Midnight Oil, and Scotch Broom). Since it's a promo deal, I had to make it free and I did. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/spellslinger


Rune looked left and added a stairway going up to nowhere. He plunked a piano with a mustached player under the steps. A tinny version of Buffalo Gals overlaid the background chatter. Glancing at the bar, he added a barkeep with a white apron polishing glasses. On the customer side of the bar, he conjured a few cowboys hefting mugs of beer. Looking to his right, he set up a poker table with more cowboys. One player was garbed in a black suit, black hat, black tie, black hair, a black cigar (unlit), and a black pencil-thin mustache. The villain.

Taking a step, Rune paused, and then snapped his fingers. “Right. The saloon gal.” She appeared standing next to the villain with her arm draped over his shoulders. Nodding with satisfaction, Rune clanked toward the poker table. He had to get the action going pretty soon or he’d run out of play time.

“Black Bart,” Rune said with a throaty growl, “I told ya to stay outta my town. Now I’m gonna have ta bring ya in.”

Black Bart jumped to his feet and pulled a derringer from his waistcoat. Rune liked the brocade vest and quickly added a watch chain. Black Bart obligingly stood still waiting for Rune to complete Bart’s stylish outfit.

Rune drew his own gun from its holster. “Don’t make this any harder than it has ta be, Bart.”

“You’ll never take me alive, Sheriff Rune!” Bart pulled the dance hall girl in front of him as a shield. The girl shrieked and grasped the arm encircling her neck.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Audio Sample #2 from Tales of a Texas Boy

Here's another possibility for the short sample of audio offered where the book is sold. The idea is to tempt the listener into finding out the rest of the story. The first sample is here if you'd like to listen to it. 

So, for your listening pleasure, an excerpt from TALES OF A TEXAS BOY, coming soon as an audio book. Let me know if you prefer the first sample (from "Out of the Chicken Coop") or this sample from "Cage McNatt's Prize Sow."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Would you like a sample?

Turn on your sound or slap on some headphones. Here's one of the potential audio samples a potential buyer can listen and decide to buy or not. I'll post another sample tomorrow. Maybe I'll ask everybody to vote on which to use.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Revised Book Trailer

Since the audio book of TALES OF A TEXAS BOY isn't quite ready yet, here's the revised book trailer instead. I can hardly wait, though, for you to hear the great narration by Donnie Baarns. So, here's the trailer to entertain you in the meantime.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy ChriSatGanHanKwaAshAth!

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. Today is Friday the 13th for the superstitious amongst us. So don't BLINK!

Christmas: A usurpation of the mid-winter Saturnalia Festival. 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 this 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.

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 November 27th (the day before Thanksgiving). 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.

Ashura is an Islamic holy day observed on the 10th of the Islamic month of Muharram. That's November 12th this year, so Muslims will be moving on to Mohammad's birthday in January.

As for Ashura, this is a schizophrenic holy day for the two main Muslim sects. Shi'ite Muslims regard it as a major festival marking the martydom of the Prophet's grandson, Hussein. It's a more solemn holiday involving fasting and re-enactments of the martyrdom which includes some pretty nasty self-flagellation. Nothing says holiday cheer like a bloody back.

For Sunni Muslims this is the day that celebrates the release of the Israelites by the Pharoah. Yes, the Sunnis are pleased the future Israeli people were freed from Egypt. Not sure how this squares with the current state of affairs. However, since the Biblical Old Testament is regarded holy by the triumvirate of monotheistic world religions, there has to be some crossover of beliefs.

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 (not a problem with the Muslims).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Second FREE Book at MuseItUp - Setara's Genie

Limited time special at MuseItUp Publishing: Get SETARA'S GENIE absolutely FREE. Add the book to your cart and enter code SETARA to reduce the price 100%.

If you like to buy the kids paperbacks (quit hogging your Kindle), the print edition of SETARA'S GENIE is only $7.55 on Amazon.

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie. As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back. 

Between stories, he questions the girl about her life. He discovers that she’s been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother’s life. The rich bridegroom will pay for the doctors the mother needs. Meanwhile, Najda sells spices in the market to earn enough money to keep her mother alive. 

He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who put him in a lamp; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.

Top 100 in Large Print/Short Stories on Amazon

Tales of a Texas Boy, Large Print Edition. (discounted to $7.64 on Amazon)
Consistently in Amazon's Top 100 for Large Print/Short Stories and Large Print/Gift Ideas.

This is a popular gift book around the holidays. I managed to accidentally put a few key words in the title. To whit, Texas, Boy, Large Print. When folks are shopping for a gift for Aunt Minnie or Uncle George, they're looking for something clean (the only sex in the book is by innuendo and mostly to do with equines), with a rural or western setting, and with BIG print. Tales of a Texas Boy qualifies nicely.

The print editions (there's also a standard font size version) are illustrated with old photos. Some are from my own family albums, others I located at the University of Texas history archives.

So, go get a good deal on a book I guarantee will entertain the older folks in your family who have difficulty with tiny print, and do not want to read about fifty shades of anything.

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY: Clean, funny, large print. You can't go wrong. Oh, yeah, it's also continuously discounted at Amazon (the other on-line stores carrying the book appear not to care whether books can be gently hyped with discounts. So, good on Amazon too. I'm glad they'll also be carrying this book in audio format (at audible.com and listed on the Amazon product pages) sometime soon.

One last thing: Buy Tales of a Texas Boy for Aunt Minnie and you can get the ebook for yourself free at Amazon on the Matchbook deal.

Large Print at Amazon: $7.64
Standard Print: $6.29
Kindle Ebook: $2.99 or Free with purchase of either print edition.

Monday, December 09, 2013


Click this link for details:

My dear publisher is setting up BOGO for lots of books if purchased from the MuseItUp Bookstore. Yay! You can BOGO my Witches of Galdorheim books using code MARVADASEF (easy to remember). Here's the linky. Matter of fact, buy 4 and get 2 free. Okay, there are only three books, but remember you can buy quantities.

Select the books you want, then at the Checkout, enter MARVADASEF in the Code. The lowest price book will amazingly become zero!

Click to buy any of the three books:

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Free for the Holidays at Kobo

I'm promoting the prequel short story, SPELLSLINGER, to the Witches of Galdorheim series. It will be free on Kobo until Christmas Eve.

The ebook contains the first chapters of each of the books in the series. I'd just like to have folks take a look and consider buying the series for their kids. The books are also available in print format.

Ebook Covers (all available at Kobo, Amazon, MuseItUp, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

Print Covers (available lots of places, but on Amazon for sure)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

FREE for a Limited Time at MuseItUp

Another one is coming up next week. Now pay attention!

My mystery, "Missing, Assumed Dead," is free for a short time at the MuseItUp Bookstore. Just add the book to your shopping cart, and enter promotion code MISSING at checkout. The purchase price of $5.50 will be set to a big, fat $0.00. I just tried it and it worked! So, I've now got another ebook copy to giveaway at a later date.

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.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

My Best Seller

Okay, it's my only seller too. Yeah, a few ebooks appear on sales lists on occasion, but one single book consistently sells more than any others. Notice I have quite a few books available and some of them are pretty good. I'll chalk up the lack of sales to 1) my lackadaisical marketing and 2) none of them are erotica.

So, here's my best seller: Tales of a Texas Boy, Large Print Edition. ($7.64 on Amazon)

It seems to be a popular gift book around the holidays. I managed to accidentally put a few key words in the title. To whit, Texas, Boy, Large Print. When folks are shopping for a gift for Aunt Minnie or Uncle George, they're looking for something clean (the only sex in the book is by innuendo and mostly to do with equines), with a rural or western setting, and with BIG print. Tales of a Texas Boy qualifies nicely.

Cage McNatt's Prize Sow
The book is also almost always in the top 10 on Amazon in the Large Print/Short Stories and Poetry listing. I know people are searching for appropriate large print books. The print editions (there's also a standard font size version) are illustrated with old photos. Some are from my own family albums, others I located at the University of Texas history archives.

So, go get a good deal on a book I guarantee will entertain the older folks in your family who have difficulty with tiny print, and do not want to read about fifty shades of anything.

Twins don't always get along.
TALES OF A TEXAS BOY: Clean, funny, large print. You can't go wrong. Oh, yeah, it's also continuously discounted at Amazon (the other on-line stores carrying the book appear not to care whether books can be gently hyped with discounts. So, good on Amazon too. I'm glad they'll also be carrying this book in audio format (at audible.com and listed on the Amazon product pages) sometime soon.

There's even a story about football.
One last thing: Buy Tales of a Texas Boy for Aunt Minnie and you can get the ebook for yourself free at Amazon on the Matchbook deal.

Large Print at Amazon: $7.64
Standard Print: $6.29
Kindle Ebook: $2.99 or Free with purchase of either print edition.

Friday, November 29, 2013


My books are discounted along with everything else in the store. Stock up now. All ebook formats available. Deal is good through the weekend.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hanging It Up Until After Thanksgiving

Grocery lists to make, floors to vacuum, trying to remember how long it takes to thaw a turkey. These are a few of my least favorite things about Thanksgiving. I will, however, love to have my son and two granddaughters for at least a day. I wish they could stay longer. I'll leave you with this until after the turkey carcass is picked over, the beds remade, and I can think about blogging again. JUST IN TIME FOR HYPING THE RELEASE OF MY FIRST AUDIO BOOK coming out in mid-December (fingers crossed).

Have a great Thanksgiving or a decent Thursday the 28th if you're not in the US.

Also, Happy Birthday to my mom who'll be 90 years old on November 27th. 

Friday, November 22, 2013


Buy the paperback of any of my independent books, and get the ebook free on Amazon. Even if you bought the paperback years ago at Amazon, you can still get the ebook free NOW. Ebooks remain free through Christmas.

Early Christmas Ideas - Middle-Eastern Fantasy

Why would books based on middle-eastern myth be appropriate for a Christmas present?

Because any book is a great gift, and  my middle-eastern books are far more Disney than bin Laden.

Before Mohammad, the Aramaic people had a variety of religions. Within these religions, a pantheon of gods were worshiped, placated, begged of, and permeated the hearts and minds of those who lived in Persia, Mesopotamia, Canaan, Sumeria, Phrygia, Egypt (the most consistent of kingdom names), and many more which rose and fell.

Two of my books, I consider to be my middle-eastern cycle. Will there be more to come? It all depends on whether you, dear reader, let me know it's worth my time to continue. How will I know that? First, you could buy the books in ebook or print format. Second, you could review the books you have read (whether getting them free or by purchase). Third, you could tell me here, on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or by email whether I should or not.

No Longer Available
First, there was "Cadida and the Djinn." I wrote this short story decades ago. Back then, I wasn't submitting any writing anywhere. It was a nuisance having to print a double-spaced copy with the approved font, margins, information on the first page, titles centered just so. Also, it was difficult to find any publications that accepted submissions. Anyway, I was working full-time with two kids, and a husband often absent because his job required travel to distant places where he stayed for months blowing things up.

No Longer Available
When I could get back to writing and the internet helped me find publication submission requirements, I wrote another Cadida story titled "Cadida and the Cave Demon." Both stories were taken in by Sam's Dot Publishing (now virtually gone). The two stories were produced as chapbooks. Nobody was creating ebooks back then either. I wrote five more Cadida stories and all of them were bundled in a single book, "The Seven Adventures of Cadida."

While researching various mythologies, I was reminded of Scheherazade's 1001 Arabian Nights. While 7 is far short of 1001, I liked the idea of the frame story. I wanted a story teller sitting in an ancient bazaar telling tales for a few coins. I discovered the poet Abu Nuwas and borrowed his persona to be my storyteller.

The frame story contained the telling of the seven adventures of the adventurous girl and her genie. I'd made up my original character names, but I now wanted them all to have proper middle-eastern names. Thus Cadida became Setara, Bascoda the djinn became Basit, and so on.

This compilation became "The Tales of Abu Nuwas."

Since I had some left over demons and deities, I wrote another novella based on middle-eastern mythology. It became "Quest for the Simurgh."

I then placed both books with MuseItUp Publishing (yes, they knew these were previously published). They books became "Setara's Genie" and "Faizah's Destiny."

You can buy any of these variations from Amazon, MuseItUp, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. for various prices.

Since I produced both the ebooks and print books of "The Tales of Abu Nuwas" and "Quest for the Simurgh," I have made them Amazon Matchbooks. Buy the paperback of Quest and get the ebook free. Buy the paperback of Abu Nuwas and get the ebook for 99 cents.

Now my tale of two books becoming four books is complete. All the links to buy sites are readily available on another page of this blog and in the sidebars and on my website.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - Mixed Bag I and II

Continuing with paperback month, I come to two short story collections. Actually, there's the short, PG book titled "Mixed Bag." I give this away in ebook format a lot.

I added a dozen stories with more adult themes to the larger book, "Mixed Bag II: Supersized." The majority of the stories were previously published in either print or ezine. In other words, some editor thought they were good enough to publish.

Both books are available in Kindle and paperback formats at Amazon. You can also find them at Barnes and Noble and Kobo in other formats.

The Kindle ebooks are free from Amazon if you buy the paperback under the Matchbook program.

Mixed Bag II: Supersized

Here's what you'll find in the books. About half of them are in Mixed Bag; all of them are in Mixed Bag II.

Science Fiction
Fish Story
Published in The Fifth Di... ezine and included in Wondrous Web Worlds #7 best of anthology from Sam’s Dot Publishing.
The Delegate
Published in Lorelei Signal ezine and included in the A Time To, Volume 2 best of anthology.
The Great Writing Competition
Published in AnotherRealm

Heather's Pain
Published in Weirdly, Volume 1 from WildChild Publishing.
The Vision
Published in Weirdly, Volume 1 from WildChild Publishing.
The Hunter
Published in Weirdly, Volume 1 from WildChild Publishing.
Country Faire
Published in Weirdly, Volume 1 from WildChild Publishing.
Published in Weirdly, Volume 1 from WildChild Publishing.
Extraordinary Rendition
Published in The Deepening and November 3rd Club
No Deposit, No Return
Published in Diddledog Flash

Chilpequin - 22 Miles
Published in Lorelei Signal ezine and A Time To..., Volume 1 best of anthology.
Cursed Valley
Published in Scribal Tales, Sorcerous Signals and Arcane Whispers best of anthology.
A Visit to Potter's Field
Published in Lorelei Signal ezine and A Time To..., Volume 1 best of anthology
Jonathan Swift Finds Nemo
Published in 5th Story Review

Miscellaneous Bits and Pieces
Big Bessie's Place
Published in Green Silk Journal
If You Could See Her
Published in The Deepening and Lily Lierary Reviw.
Ma 'Yote and Her Cubs
Published in Tales of a Texas Boy
A Good, Honest Dog
Published at Wildchild Publishing On-Line
Published in Stories for Children

Drabbles and Flashes
Four Drabbles
Published here and there
Published in AnotherRealm.
Fair’s Fair
Published in Bewildering Stories.

Unpublished Stories I Happen To Like
Entomological Horror
Shasta Lake
Literary Realism

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Put a Spell on --- Renee Duke!

On Renee Duke's Blog today I talk about runes both as an alphabet and mystical words of power. I feature my own rune-casting witches from the Galdorheim Series. Check it out on TIME TRAVELING WITH KIDS.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Full Series Review

In a couple of days, I'll be visiting Renee with some information on runes which are closely tied to my Witches of Galdorheim series. Renee is one of those voracious readers. She devoured (without abdominal upset) the entire series and posted reviews for each of the books at the usual spots (Goodreads, Amazon). On her blog today, she put the best parts of all the reviews together into one post. I invite you to take a look.

If you're a history reader or writer, you might want to follow Renee's blog regularly. She always has something fun on it for her target audience - middle-graders. Now, THAT'S a level I can understand!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm Visiting Flowers and Thorns Today

I hope I'll land in a nice soft patch of pansies instead of a blackberry thicket. Please drop by Lorrie Struiff's blog to read about the Matchbook deals on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Missing, Assumed Dead on the MuseItUp Blog

It's MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER week on the MuseItUp Publishing blog. Check out my post about multiple points of view (POVs) as a technique for storytelling. The catch is some of the characters just might be lying or simply putting themselves in the best light while relating an incident. This makes for unreliable witnesses, which can drive a detective (or a woman caught up in the role by circumstances).

Read about the whole POV deal, including the use of the Rashomon technique at the MuseItUp Blog.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day Gift


I've discounted Tales of a Texas Boy to all time low prices. Buy a print book and get the ebook for 99 cents on Amazon (but you can get a free ebook at Smashwords using coupon code LS64Y). Or leave a comment to win a paperback to gift to your favorite vet.

It's available in Large Print on Amazon for $7.64 and standard trade paperback for $6.29. It's also in ebook format at Smashwords (free using the coupon LS64Y). The ebooks don't have the old-time photos illustrating each story. I got a few of them from the family albums, but I selected others from the archives of Texas University to illustrate the story themes.

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.

This is really my Dad.
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.

Excerpt - Pa's Story

World War I took many young men away from their homes and sent them off to foreign shores. Eddie's Pa was one of those young men. He has his own tale to tell.

In 1916, I was still a young buck and not yet married, so I signed up with Black Jack Pershing to go after Pancho Villa. Ol' Pancho and his banditos came into US territory and killed a bunch of folks in Columbus, New Mexico.

I was real good with horses, so soon I was the veterinarian. This was just as well, as I didn't take well to using a gun. I'd never studied vetting in school, but I'd grown up on a farm in Nebraska and knew just about all there was to know about horses and mules. We chased Pancho and his gang just about all over Mexico, but never did catch up with him. A couple years later, I was still in the service, so I ended up goin' to France with Black Jack when he got to be a General. I could have decided not to go as I'd done my time, but I knew Black Jack could put me to good use.

We were on the troop ship for weeks. Everybody was seasick for the first few days. The horses seemed to fare fine in that regard, but I was worried we couldn't exercise them enough. We brought them up from the hold, a few at a time, and let them stretch their legs. We'd lead them in a quick walk around the deck. With the metal decks, we didn't want them to move very fast for fear they'd slip and fall.

I'd hate to have to put down a horse with a broken leg, so we took it real easy. As a result, the horses were not in good fightin' shape by the time we landed in France.

It took some time, but me and Joe, who got assigned to be my assistant, got them in shape again. Mostly the horses were used to pack gear, but a few officers still rode them. Black Jack Pershing liked to ride on occasion, as did Captain Patton. I thought we should only have mules, since they make better pack animals than horses, but there were never enough mules to go around.

We weren't in too many battles directly as we were the supply line for the army, but in 1918 it turned pretty bad when we went into the Argonne Forest. They called this an 'offensive.' I can see why as it offended me a lot. The fighting went on for nearly two months and only ended in November when the big guys signed the Treaty at Versailles.

In that short two months, it was hell on earth. Thousands of men died. One whole division, the 77th, was cut off for near a week and held out surrounded by the German forces. It was some battle, I can tell you. Almost all day long, I could hear the shells bursting and the sharp reports of rifle fire. And I heard the screams of dying men and horses.

The worst part for me was the horses being swept up in the middle of the battle. It broke my heart to go out on the fields after the fighting passed by and after the dead and wounded men were collected. Sometimes the ground was so soaked with blood that my boots were covered before I got back. A horse with an artery torn open bleeds gallons of blood; men only a few pints. It angered me when I thought how much the horses gave. They didn't even have a say in goin' to war. Men, at least, had a choice.

I carried a sidearm and had to shoot more horses than I can count. Those we could save, we'd bring back to the line and see if we could treat their wounds. It was a second heartbreak when they wouldn't heal proper and we'd take them out behind the tents to put them down. We dug a deep trench to bury them for health reasons and we kept digging every day to hold them all.

While we treated the horses, close by we could see the wounded men being brought back from the battlefield. Legs and arms were already gone or had to be cut off by the doctors right there in the field. From the history I'd read about the Civil War, this was just about as bad. If the choice was amputate or die, then they had to do what was necessary. We dug another trench to hold the arms and legs the doctors cut off; the dead soldiers we wrapped in oilcloth to be sent back behind the lines, where we hoped to send their bodies back home to their families.

All told I spent twenty months in France. It was the worst part of my life and I hoped and prayed we'd never see another war like this again.

* * *

Pa's story made me sad in a way, though I was proud of him for what he did in the war. It seemed to me people should learn to get along. I never was sure why Pa had to go to France. Later in my own life, I'd learn what it was to go to war. I was lucky to not go overseas, but somethin' in me wished I had.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - First Duty and Ultimate Duty

A Tale of Two Books

Once upon a time, I wrote a short story titled "Pressure Drill." That was around thirty years ago. I didn't even submit it for publication anywhere. I just shoved it in a folder (printed on paper!) and went back to earning a living as a technical writer and, later, a programmer/analyst.

Then I got old and tired, so retired to dig out that story, along with a few others I'd written, but never did anything else. The first story wasn't bad, so I entered it into the keyboard, thus preserving it for posterity. I wrote another story about my character. I subbed them to an on-line ezine, which paid five bucks per, and I became a published author.

Eventually I used the two stories as chapters (with a bit of editing) into a short science fiction book. It was accepted by a very small press, got a cover, and I earned a few bucks. The publisher didn't produce ebooks, only print. How quaint is that in this day and age? I had the ebook rights, so I sent "First Duty" into the internet via Smashwords. When my contract expired with the small publisher, I also created a paperback version of the book.

That would have been the end of it, but all this time, I'd been reading. I discovered that SFR (science fiction romance) sells pretty well. The problem with "First Duty" is there wasn't any sex. I considered it appropriate for any audience (e.g., it was young adult). It took the basic book and added to it. I added the requite sex scenes (hot) and found a lot of other things I could enhance: space battles, hand-to-hand combat, more character development. This new book was almost twice as long. I sought a publisher for "Ultimate Duty" and it was taken by Eternal Press. It's now three years old.

One plot, two books. How is this any different from one plot ground out a dozen or more times by romance writers of the Harlequin variety? Both book are for sale (print links below). If you like SF without the sex, choose "First Duty." If you like SF with a few sex scenes, choose "Ultimate Duty." Think of them as a quarter-pounder burger or a meatier and bigger, double-pounder. The first is cheaper because it's shorter. The second is more expensive because it's longer.

YA SFR - Amazon Matchbook: Buy print, get the ebook free
Nyra Hutchings, a 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 Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

Adult SFR
Oath or love...What is her ultimate duty? Remy Belieux, a 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 Academy, 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 ultimate duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

Excerpt from Ultimate Duty:

Remy and Garrett arrived at the outer wall path that led to the dock ports. Remy hoped at least one shuttle was still attached to the station. She dropped to the floor and peered down the slope of the passageway. Two guards stood at the entrance to bay 5. Luckily, they faced the opposite direction. Remy slid back and pointed silently, then held up two fingers. Garrett nodded and pointed left and then at himself. Remy nodded.

With no way to get any closer unseen, they must use speed instead. Both stepped back a couple of paces, so they’d hit the corner at full tilt. A nod from Garrett, and they sprinted through the twenty meters separating them from the guards. One guard turned to look only when Remy and Garrett were close enough to attack. The guard yelled, "Halt!" as he raised the barrel of his blaster. The second guard turned with a confused expression and didn’t manage to raise his own weapon before Remy reached him.

Remy felt her mind and body slip into fighting mode. Time slowed for her and she noted every detail of the guard’s stance. She leaped high in the air, her legs coiled like springs. The second guard finally lifted his rifle but never had the chance to fire. Remy drove both feet into his abdomen, slamming him against the wall with the force of her strike. In the low gravity she landed easily on her feet crouched and ready. She crossed her arms against her torso, grabbing the guard’s belt with her left hand and prepared to strike with her right. The man’s eyes widened when Remy’s backhand arced toward him. The force of the blow across his jaw sent him tumbling to the floor.

She glanced over at Garrett and saw he had already disabled the other guard, now curled on the floor moaning. Garrett kicked him in the head with an almost gentle tap. The connection of his shod foot on the guard’s temple did the job, knocking the man unconscious.

Garrett walked over to Remy’s guard and bent down. He pressed two fingers against the side of the man’s neck. "Good. He’ll live."

"If I wanted him dead, he’d be dead," Remy snarled.