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.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - Eagle Quest

Did you know that Oregon's official state song was written by Woody Guthrie? Pretty classy, eh? Here are a few lines to get you revved up about exactly why Oregonians love their state song:

Roll on, Columbia, roll on.
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Other great rivers add power to you,
Yakima, Snake and the Klickitat, too,
Sandy Willamette and Hood River, too;
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

We don't burn coal to make power. We use our amazing waterways to produce hydroelectric power. My home city's electric company (EWEB, a publicly owned entity) also offers wind power as an option. Costs a few cents more, but wind is a good thing, eh?

In honor of Oregon's commitment to clean energy and just being an all-round cool place to live (yes, I was born here), I've got a couple of Oregon-based books to give you a tour of a some of those really cool places, or really hot if it's summer. I mentioned "Missing, Assume Dead" a couple of days ago. The next Oregon-based paperback is:

Set in the Klamath Wildlife preserves in Southern Oregon, this book is about the Bald Eagle flyout area in Bear Valley. Yes, we have Bald Eagles like they were pigeons in the park around Oregon. And we're danged proud of our big birds. The cover shot was taken by Coralie, a professional wildlife photographer and my long-time friend. See her work on her website at 

Fiona, Hap, Billy, and Mitch make an odd set of friends, as different from the usual high school crowd as they are from each other. Mitch, the oldest of the four, is a half-breed Native American, adopted by white parents. Troubled that he doesn't know his tribe, he avidly studies Native American history and lore. 

Learning the nearby Bear Valley Wildlife Refuge is a bald eagle nesting site, he wants to add an eagle feather to his medicine bag and explore the refuge as a site for his Vision Quest, a Native American rite of passage. He and his three friends get far more than an overnight campout as they encounter a black bear, an old man living in the refuge, and a pair of eagle poachers. Bringing the poachers to justice, they test their courage and gain confidence in themselves and each other.

On sale for 99 cents at Smashwords until 12/31/2013 using coupon code DK72Q.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - Missing, Assumed Dead

While my Oregon-based murder mystery with amateur female sleuth is happily ebooked with MuseItUp Publishing, I've decided to go with the print edition myself. The main reason is that I've learned over the last couple of years, ebook is becoming predominant over print. But, there are plenty of people who still prefer to hold that paper in their hands.

For them, I have provided printed books at the lowest price I can sell the book and still make a small profit. That's fair, right? Here's the cover and blurb to get started. Throughout the next few weeks, I'll put up some additional posts with articles about the book and excerpts to illustrate its wonderfulness

Now in Print at Amazon  and discounted to $6.48
Available in Ebook from MuseItUp Publishing

Prejudice, murder, insanity, suicide: Every small town has its secrets.

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.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - Matchbook Discounts on Amazon

Amazon, in it's continuing quest to conquer and own the entire publishing business of the world, has offered a new way for customers to get a twofer deal. Matchbook allows a customer to buy the print edition of a book and get the ebook anywhere from free to $2.99. Here are the links to my special Matchbook offers. The first link is to the ebook. The second link is to the print edition(s).

Buy the print book and get the ebook FREE:


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Early Christmas Ideas - Tales of a Texas Boy

I know. I know. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but the merchants are already pushing their Christmas deals. I'm joining in because I've got a couple of paperback books which make great Christmas presents. I'll be posting about these books over the next few weeks.

Tales of a Texas Boy - Large Print (discount priced at only $7.64 right now) makes a really great Christmas present for those who are still spry, yet their danged glasses don't work as well as they should. My mom's like that. With her progressive lenses, the world in general is more or less clear, but the tiny spot left to the reading part of the lens is difficult for her to find.

The 18Pt type is eyesight-impaired friendly. I can even read it without my glasses.

The trim size (dimensions) is an easier-to-hold 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.3 inches with 138 pages. It's discount priced at only $7.64 (regular price $8.49), which is a freaking bargain for a print book these days. And it's eligible for free shipping and handling from Amazon.

Tales is also available as a regular print trade paperback discounted to $6.29 as of today and the $2.99 ebook of course.
Buy either print book and get the Kindle ebook for 99 cents.

You can get the book at Smashwords for 99 cents using coupon code LS64Y. This offer is good until 12/31/2013.

The big news for Tales of a Texas Boy is that it's in audio book production right now. If things go smoothly, the audio book will be available just before Christmas. I don't know the price yet. It will be available through and have a link to it on the Amazon product pages for Texas Boy.

Here's the blurb for the book:

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.