Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Setara's Genie: Promo Codes Available

Setara's Genie, the audio book is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

Audible.com - Start your free trial of audible and get this book free as well. Best deal if you get a promo code. Check out AudioBookBoom for free promo codes.
Amazon along with the ebook and print editions. darned good deal
iTunes link - worst deal

Audio Book Sample


About the Book

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 has been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother. 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. While relating the fantastical accounts, the old man grows to admire the spice girl, and vows to find a way to help her. Listening to the stories of evil genies, demons, flying horses, dragons, viziers, princes, pirates, and nomadic raiders, young Najda finds her salvation with the help of Abu Nuwas, the teller of tales.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The End is Nigh

Books available in the Kindle Owner Lending Library until January 4, 2021. If you have a Kindle, take advantage of the free reads for the next couple of weeks. 

* * * INSTRUCTIONS * * *
To borrow a book, Open the Amazon Kindle Store on your eReader, Fire tablet or Fire Phone, and from the Settings menu select Lending Library.

You’ll be presented with a range of genres, so select the one that takes your fancy. Then scroll down the list presented and tap the book you’d like to borrow.

Two options will appear, the price if you wanted to buy the book and an option that says Borrow for Free. Select this option and the book will begin downloading to your device. Press Go to Library and the book you borrowed will appear in your library.
* * *

The Witches of Galdorheim Series

The Tales of Abu Nuwas
Adventure and Mystery

Science Fiction
First Duty  (note: this is a "clean" version of Ultimate Duty for kids)




Short Story Collections

Mixed Bag 2
A little science fiction, a bit of fantasy, plenty of humor, and some really shocking horror. 

Mixed Bag - The PG-rated collection. All stories are in Mixed Bag 2, but the naughty ones are omitted.

Lemons and Other Kid Tales
Lemons - Lemons: Karen is horse crazy. One day, everything seems to go wrong.
One Fine Dog -  Dogs weren't just pets, but working members of the family. Some, they could do amazing things and perform feats almost like magic.
Practical Cat - Boots wanted to explore outside, but finds out there's no place like home.

Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler
Fish Story - Colonists to a distant planet find salvation in a fish.
The Vision - Charlie can't get terrifying images out of his head.
Chilpequin 22 Miles - The bartender is big and hairy. Could it be? Nah, it couldn't. Could it?


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tales of a Texas Boy - Full Story Excerpt

COVID-19 has closed many an annual celebration. In particular, I believe most people are going to miss their County Fair the most. Eat fried and sugary food, throw up on the Tilt-a-Whirl, check out the homemade food competitions (pies, cakes, canning) and ponder how that heifer got the blue ribbon when the one in the next pen over is much more friendly.

Here's a humorous County Fair story from the 1930's to fill in the empty slot just a bit. Enjoy.

There are has plenty of weirdos who amuse, baffle, and set Eddie to wondering. One of those weirdos is a man named Cage McNatt. See, even his name is kind of oddball. But it's his actions that take the prize, 'cause his prize sow sure didn't one year at the County Fair.

Tales of a Texas Boy is available in ebook, print, and audio formats.

Large Print at Amazon - Very popular now. Lifts your spirits with sweetness and humor.
Regular Size Print
Ebook at Amazon
Audio Book at Audible
Audio Book at Amazon 

Cage McNatt and His Prize Sow

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.

The sow made up her mind. She whipped around like she was a cuttin’ horse and headed in the opposite direction. I think Sophie was gettin’ curious about this activity, so she went along after the pig. We took out runnin’ as well. Dad Boles didn’t want to risk Sophie harmin’ any livestock, so he was in a big hurry to catch up with her.

I was runnin’ right behind Dad Boles and I heard Cage McNatt’s footsteps right behind me.

The sow headed straight for the Ferris Wheel. I could see one of the cars was at the bottom and it was open. I think you’ve guessed what came next. The pig jumped up into the car and it shuddered like it was hit by a tornado. The gate on the car slammed shut and the pig was jumpin’ around and the car was rockin’ somethin’ furious.

Sophie followed on up the ramp to get to the pig. I don’t think she meant any harm but was just curious. Sophie went to one side of the ramp then to the other lookin’ for an opening to the car. As she stepped to the right, she pushed up against the lever that ran the wheel. The Ferris Wheel started up and the pig was bein’ hoisted up along with it. That seemed to baffle Sophie, so she just stepped off the ramp and walked calm as you please back to Dad Boles.

All three of us stood and watched the car go up with the pig in it squealin’ like she was bein’ introduced to the slaughterhouse.

Dad came to his senses first and ran up the ramp. He hit the lever and the wheel stopped with the pig’s car about halfway up. Now, he wasn’t sure what to do as it seemed the only way to get the pig back down would be to start the wheel back up. I think he felt sorry for the pig as it was cryin’ like a baby and was clearly real scared to be up so high.

By this time, the carnival folks had come out of their trailers to see what was goin’ on. The head man ran over to the wheel and started it back up again. He’d already seen the only way to get the pig down was to run her clear round the circle ‘til the car come to earth again. Unlike Dad Boles, he didn’t mind givin’ the pig the rest of the ride.

The sow made the trip safe enough. When the car reached the bottom, the carnival man opened the gate and she took off like a streak of lightnin’. Dad Boles started laughin’ so hard he could hardly stand up. In between his guffawin’, Dad Boles couldn’t help but say, “Well, I never figured I’d ever really see a pig fly.”

Monday, December 21, 2020

Holiday Oddities - Part 3

Continuing the Weird Christmas Traditions for your entertainment.
 Kallikantzaroi
  • Latvia: A group of "mummers" travel from house to house where they are given a treat in return for their blessing. This sounds more like Halloween to me.
  • Guatemala: Folks sweep out their houses and put all the dirt in a communal pile with an effigy devil on top which is then burned. This must be an "out with the evil" gesture.
  • Cuba: Every December, Cuban city Remedios hosts the Parrandas Festival. The city splits in half, with each side building the biggest, baddest, fanciest light sculpture display ever. My husband does this by himself every year. No competition so far.
  • Bavaria: Bavarian Highlanders dressed in lederhosen fire mortars into the air. Sure, why not? 
  • Greece: The evil goblins, the Kallikantzaroi, lurk in the depths of the earth until Christmas Eve, when they spring up to create havoc. I wonder if anybody has seen this. It seems it'd be a great tourist draw.
  • Slovakia: The most senior man of the house takes a spoonful of loksa pudding and flings it to the ceiling. The more that sticks, the better. What is it with weird things to do with pudding?
  • Japan: Christmas cards are also a Japanese tradition, but they never ever are red. Red, of course, is the color for funerals. I suppose that means the cards could have lots of black, making them dual purpose for Halloween as well.
  • Canada: The Canadian postal service recognizes the address "SANTA CLAUS, THE NORTH POLE, CANADA HO HO HO." Letters addressed this way are opened and replied to by the well-known Royal Canadian Mounted Elves.
  • Finland: Holiday cards have tributes to the dearly departed. Finnish Cemeteries are lit with Christmas lights, making them a lovely sight on Christmas night.
  • Iceland: The kids leave a shoe on their windowsill for the 12 Days of Christmas. Each night, some Finnish elves fill the shoes with candy and other goodies. I like the Finnish elves. They're a generous lot.
  • England: Stockings are hung by the chimney with care with hopes St. Nicholas doesn't just leave a lump of coal.
  • South Africa: A little rotter named Danny ate all of Santa's cookies, the legend goes. Granny wasn't happy about this and killed Danny for being a greedy little punk. This is far worse than getting a lump of coal.
  • United States: In many cities, the Running of the Santas, draws a large crowd of spectators as the Santas rush from pub to bar to tavern getting as drunk as they can on the free drinks provided by the owners of the establishments. Of course, they sell a lot of drinks to the folks who want to watch the Santas get smashed.
That's all the weird stuff I have for now. If I find more, I'll most certainly add it to the lists. In the meantime, consider books as the perfect gift for any friend or member of the family.

How about some Science Fiction? These two books have the same plot. One is not the sequel of the other. Here's the difference: Ultimate Duty is R-rated and has some additional space battle scenes. First Duty is PG if you're looking for the same fantastic plot but without the sex.

Ultimate Duty and First Duty 

FYI: Tall, redheaded heroines kick ass. 

Yes, they do. But mostly only in fantasy and science fiction. When I wrote a redheaded heroine in my books "First Duty" and "Ultimate Duty," I used as my model a real-life person I had known years ago. She was a natural redhead, close to 6' tall (and more in her Frye boots), and she kicked every single ass while barely moving a muscle.

ULTIMATE DUTY:  A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties.

Facing a life of drudgery on a repressive factory planet, Remy Belieux longs to escape. Her only option for release is to enlist in the Space Service, becoming a soldier for her own world’s oppressors.

She receives her first assignment: guarding a charismatic rebel leader being transported to a prison planet. When rebel troops surprise them, Remy fails to thwart the ambush. Despite a commendation from her Captain, she feels she must redeem herself by recapturing the handsome fugitive.

Shocked by what she learns during the pursuit–her own family’s past involvement in the rebellion–Remy faces a dilemma: remain loyal to the oath she swore as a soldier or join the rebel cause and condemn herself to a death sentence for treason. What is her ULTIMATE DUTY?

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 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 first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds. What is her FIRST DUTY?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Truth About Santa

Yes, I can use a movie still without
copyright notice. This is from "Bad Santa."
I know, I know. Yule (you'll--get it?) have dozens of posts related to the inception of Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Pere Noel, Joulupukki (yes it is, look it up), Ded Moroz, Sinterklaas, Julenissen, and even Odin, etc. Many cite Saint Nicholas, the Greek Bishop who supposedly gave gifts to the poor. All this is set around the time of the winter solstice (also called Christmas, Solstice, Midwinter, Saturnalia, Letha, etc.).

It really doesn't make any difference since, of course, Santa is a delightful fiction for children to believe until their six or seven (some are duped for longer periods, some less).

When writing my Witches of Galdorheim series, I envisioned Santa as "that fat elf at the North Pole." the witches' complaint being that the dive bombing sleigh left reindeer manure all over their houses on the arctic island the witches made home. The result was a war between the witches and the Fat Elf until a truce was asserted.

Other than the mention of the fat elf, none of this side story made it into the series. Since I believe deeply (as much so as I believe in fairies), I wanted to resurrect this missing piece of the manuscript. It's too late to include in "Bad Spelling," since it's been published umpteen times. Still, I like it and I want to share it with you as a Holiday Gift. My writing unsullied by an editor's hands.

From the original (almost lost) text of "Bad Spelling"

The fat elf living at the North Pole flew his reindeer-driven sleigh over the island once too many times. Aunt Thordis had enough of reindeer manure sprinkling the rooftops.  The fertilizer mixed with the grain the reindeer ate sprouted a fine crop of grass on their traditional thatched roofs.  It was almost impossible to clean off.  Magic could clean up after real reindeer, but the enchanted ones left droppings that the villagers had to remove by hand.

The supposedly jolly elf just sneered at Aunt Thordis when she asked, ever so politely, if he’d take a different route. She returned to Galdorheim swearing revenge.  She got it on the next December’s flyover.  Blasting the sleigh, the elf, all nine reindeer, and a huge bag of gifts out of the sky gave the witch tremendous satisfaction.  She chased the red-suited little twerp all the way back to the North Pole and the coven got a good supply of reindeer meat.

The fat elf retaliated, of course.  He’d fly his reindeer sleigh over on the off season and encouraged them to let loose right over the village. The war escalated for several months.  Finally, each side sent emissaries to settle for peace.  Fatso (who went by a variety of aliases), promised to take a different route and not fly over the island.  Aunt Thordis promised she wouldn’t kick his fat butt to the South Pole: an equitable agreement in Thordis’s eyes.

* * *

You can get your very own copy of "Bad Spelling" and the rest of the books in the Witches of Galdorheim series. Or you can just buy "Bad Spelling" then work up from there.

COMPLEAT AND TRUE HISTORY OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM FOR ONLY $5.99 (that's a lot of discounting)

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

In Paperback (Amazon enjoys discounting this book without telling me, but it's discounted at the time I wrote this post).
Audiobook (Also on Amazon)


Monday, December 14, 2020

Holiday Oddities - Part 2

Continuing the Weird Christmas Traditions for your entertainment.
Mary Lwyd of Wales
  • Estonia: The whole family hits the sauna on Christmas Eve.
  • Wales: Someone is chosen to play Mari Lywd who walks through town with the skull of a horse on a stick. I'm baffled by this one.
  • Iceland: I like this one. If an Icelander doesn't get new clothes before Christmas, the killer mountain Yule cat eats them. 
  • Czech Republic: Desperate for marriage it seems. Czech ladies throw a shoe over one shoulder from the door way. The direction the shoe is pointed determines if they'll be married in the coming year.
  • Estonia: The whole family hits the sauna on Christmas Eve.
  • Sweden: Authorities in the village of Gävle decided to install a straw goat statue in the town square. Every other year, somebody burns it down before Christmas. Both are fine traditions.
  • Sweden (again): Rice pudding is standard fare for dessert. The Christmas special has an almond buried somewhere in it. The lucky person who finds it will supposedly get married within a year. I assume only single folks of marrying age have a go at the pudding.
  • Great Britain: Speaking of puddings, tradition calls for each member of the household to stir the pudding in a clockwise direction while making a wish. I guess that's better than a lump of coal.
  • Italy: A witch named Befana is the deliverer of presents to children (not that stodgy Santa). But the kids have to wait for the blessings of Befana until January 6th.
  • Ethiopia: Christian Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Everybody wears white and the guys play ganna, a fast pace game of ... hockey?
More weird stuff coming here in the next couple of days.

How about a complete series about the Witches of Galdorheim for a Christmas present? The compendium of the four books and one short story of Kat's adventures learning her witch powers is now available in a single ebook. However, all the separate books are also in print. All are available through:

Amazon, of course

The books and stories are:

BAD SPELLING (Book 1): A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

MIDNIGHT OIL (Book 2): Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

SCOTCH BROOM (Book 3): A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

BLOOD TIES TESTED (Book 4): Written by popular demand of readers who want to know what happens to Rune after the Book 3 conclusion. Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Spellslinger (Prequel Short Story): Written by popular demand of readers who adore Kat's smart-aleck brother. It's a short story prequel to the Witches series is dedicated to Kat's brother, Rune. A super speller, he's plagued with his half vampire heritage. This story gives a bit more of his trials growing up on the Witches' Island.



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Are You Listening?


Click any of the following to get the audio book of the title free when you sign up for a free trial of audible. Don't want to continue? Just cancel at the end of the month, but you still have the free audio book to enjoy.

Many of these are discounted for an unknown period of time around Christmas. The price shown in bold face is what I saw when I checked the links on Amazon.Note that there are promo codes for most of these books for US and UK. Just ask if you want a promo code (1 to a customer).

Tales of a Texas Boy
Amazon $1.99
Audible  

Missing, Assumed Dead 
Amazon  $7.49

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim 

Midnight Oil - Book 2 of Witches of Galdorheim
Amazon $7.49

Scotch Broom - Book 3 of Witches of Galdorheim 
Amazon $7.49

Blood Ties Tested - Book 4 of Witches of Galdorheim 
Spellslinger (Witches of Galdorhim prequel story) 
Amazon $1.99

The Tales of Abu Nuwas 1: Setara's Genie:
Amazon $7.49

The Tales of Abu Nuwas 2: Faizah's Destiny
Amazon $7.49














Monday, December 07, 2020

Holiday Oddities - Part 1

Christmas, Noel, Jul. A pagan holiday preempted by Christian monks to make their story more palatable to the heathens. Well, Christmas is even weirder than that. Check out Christmas traditions around the world you might not know. Then, look at the bottom of this post to get the links to my book which is the absolutely most fantastically wonderful present you can buy for cheap. Trust me. Aunt Mabel will love it. So, on to the weird with this from Faux Channel. TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is just the right present for that hard-to-shop-for relative.
    Mattak from Greenland
  • Greenland: Their own version of a Turducken is a Mattak. That's raw whale skin served with blubber) or Kiviak: 500 Auk birds stuffed into a sealskin and fermented for 7 months. I think I'll skip Greenland's Christmas.
  • South Africa: Sauteed caterpillar of the Emperor Moth is a Christmas treat.
  • Austria: Krampus! See my previous post on the esteemed Christmas guy worse than the Grinch.
  • Catalonia: The Nativity scenes includes a picture of a pooping man. Um. Along with the pooping guy, they have a pooping log. Now, I don't know about you, but I think Catalonia got too much bug spray sometime in the past.
  • Norway: Brooms are hidden away so witches can't claim possession. What's a witch without a broom? Kelly Conway?
  • Japan: The dine-out place of choice is KFC. Makes sense to me.
  • Venezuela: The religious go to Mass on roller skates.
  • Germany: They hide a pickle in the Christmas tree. The kid who finds it gets an extra gift. Also, kids leave a sneaker outside to be stuffed with candy. Bad kinder get a twig instead.
  • New Zealand: Not so weird, they use a Pohutukawa tree rather than the standard Douglas fir. They're actually kind of pretty with red flowers.
  • Portugal: The Deceased are invited to dinner and have places set at the table for them. What the heck? They don't eat much.
  • Ukraine: Trees are decorated with an artificial spider and a bunch of spider web. Sounds like the Trump Whitehouse decor.
  • Czech Republic: Desperate for marriage it seems. Czech ladies throw a shoe over one shoulder from the door way. The direction the shoe is pointed determines if they'll be married in the coming year.
More weird stuff coming here in the next couple of weeks.

Now, back to my book, which is much more important.
  • It's nostalgic
  • It doesn't have any sex (well, there is that thing with the jackass)
  • It's in LARGE PRINT
  • It's funny
  • It's poignant
  • It has lots of animals
  • It's a bargain in the books section
Buy the Large Print it at Amazon for only $9.99 and make everybody happy. Now isn't that a better gift than cologne? Oh, you can also get the book for your Kindle or for your listening pleasure in audio format. Gotcha covered for Christmas.

Amazon Kindle Ebook $2.99
Large Print Paperback $9.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book at Audible - Free if you're a subscriber

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the corn patch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Monday, November 30, 2020

Happy (Insert Holiday Here)!

Tis the season, as they say. Say what? A surprising number of holidays celebrated around this time of year. So, no matter what persuasion you follow, there's got to be something to brighten the soggy/cold season.

Milad-un-Nabi: November 9th-10th is Muhammad's Birthday celebration. A bit too early for this post, but it's also a winter holiday and needs mention along with all the others. The holiday is celebrated by exchanging gifts and giving to the poor.

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 or Jölföðr. 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 - December 21st to 25th (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 falls on December 22nd. 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 is on December 26th (like the British Boxing Day). 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.

If you're staying home, as many of us are, then you might need some reading material. Find all of my books in all formats on Amazon (and Audible for audio books).



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Vets of WW I

Large Print Paperback Supposed to be on Sale $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors.
NOTE: Amazon has not updated the discounted price yet in the Amazon main store (.com). 
Prices in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan 
are all for sale with the correct reduced price.
But the Ebook IS FREE TODAY.

Here's an excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy. This story has information I learned from my father about his father - my grandfather, Louis. He had quite an interesting life. As a veterinarian, he traveled to Mexico with Black Jack Pershing, and a few years later served in France as a veterinarian with Pershing again.

Pa's Story

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.

* * *

Read more stories in Tales of a Texas Boy.

Great Book for Dad or Grandpa 
Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor

 
Amazon Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book  free if chosen as the first book when joining audible.com

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.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Vets Day Menagerie

Large Print Paperback On Sale $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors
NOTE: Amazon may not have updated the discounted price yet. 
Please be patient and come back when the discount is recorded on the product page.

What book has jackrabbits, chickens, sheep, rattlesnakes, cattle, dogs (several), mules, horses, a jackass, blackbirds, a bear, a bobcat, pigs, an eagle, skunks, coyotes, fish, a mammoth, and a curious and mischievous boy? 

There might be only one in the world, I reckon. That'd be TALES OF A TEXAS BOY. Featured this month in honor of Veterans Day. The Large Print paperback is very popular with folks who lived a rural life and remember it with fondness. This book will take them back again to those golden days.

 
Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor


TALES OF A TEXAS BOY holds these stories forever. I hope you might enjoy them.

Amazon Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book  free if chosen as the first book when joining audible.com

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.


Saturday, November 07, 2020

Happy Veterans Day to My Father

Large Print Paperback On Sale $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors
NOTE: Amazon may not have updated the discounted price yet. 
Please be patient and come back when the discount is recorded on the product page.


This is the real Texas Boy during WWII. Handsome devil. I can see why my mom accepted his proposal within a month of meeting for a blind date. 
“We saw that big sign there and it said ‘Free College’. I’d never heard of any such thing, so Red and me, we thought maybe we’d try it out. But, we didn’t after all, ‘cause we saw we could pick tomatoes. We went down there and signed up for a while. We went to the World’s Fair, you know, in San Francisco. Later, me and Red enlisted in the army.”
Animated now, my father, who isn’t much of a conversationalist, was telling me about things he did in 1939. He and his buddy, Red, were on a road trip in a new 1940 Ford. They’d just graduated from high school and wanted to examine the world a bit beyond the tiny world of Salem High School. He’d told me plenty of stories and I hurried up and wrote them down. Why hadn’t I started this long ago?

The stories flowed, backtracked, started up again somewhere else. Sometimes, he was back in high school on the football team, sometimes in grade school, then forward again, bouncing wherever his eighty-four year old mind led him. His high school yearbook showed his picture with the words ‘Ed the Cad’. Quite a heartbreaker back then, he was. The cool dude, sports jock, class president, too. Who was this guy?

As a kid growing up in West Texas, he’d gone on a cattle drive, collected bones to sell, encountered skunks in cornfields, went fishing with special Arkansas cedar floats. Good stories. Real life stories.

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY holds these stories forever. I hope you might enjoy them.

Amazon Kindle Ebook #FREE
Large Print Paperback $7.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book  free if chosen as the first book when joining audible.com

How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Wartime - Boy Becomes a Man

In TALES OF A TEXAS BOY, I included stories up through my father's high school career as the star quarterback and President of the student body. He was trying to decide what to do next, so he and his best buddy, Red, decided, as teenagers will, to go on a road trip instead. I wrote this poem, which is not in the book, to commemorate my father's decision to defend his country as a soldier just as his father had. This poem was published in a magazine written by and for veterans.

So, Happy Vets Day to both my father and my grandfather, and all the veterans out there on this day in their honor.

Signin' Up

"Free school" the sign said. I never heard of such a thing.
But Red and me, we moved on. We picked tomatoes in the fields.
We drove from place to place, seein' what we could.
Across Highway 66, we seen a lot along the way.

My brand-new Ford ran smooth, but after awhile we heard the news.
Germany didn't look too good. Pa said there'd be war.
So, we went off to Denver with those two blonde-haired gals.
I handed them the keys and told them take the car to Amarillo.

Me and Red joined up, but Pa said don't sign 'til they told me what I'd do.
Red signed ahead of me and he went off and peeled potatoes.
Me, I just hung around 'til they said, how about San Antone?
That was good with me, so I signed on the line and got the uniform.

I ended up on a ship, heading out to Manila Bay.
But, it was December 7th and the ship turned round along the way.
Nobody said what was goin' on, but they give me a coupon for the train.
I headed up to Seattle and, along the way, I heard the news.

I might've got to the Philippines and been killed on Corregidor.
As it is, I watched for the Japs along the Pacific shore.
And that girl seemed just right to marry.
I ended up in Oregon workin' the big trees.

If it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor, where would I have gone?
Maybe that free school down in Fresno.
Maybe I'd signed up to ride fence down at a ranch.
Maybe I'd worked the oil fields like my uncle John.

But the world was what it was and I married that Oregon gal.
I saw the big trees and I liked the logging.
I stayed and sent money to the folks. Come on up, I said.
Where would I have gone, if it hadn't been for Pearl Harbor?

* * *

Great Book for Dad or Grandpa - 
Surprise them with a Veterans' Day Gift of Old-Time Humor



Amazon Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback $9.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book  free if chosen as the first book when joining audible.com

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.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Happy Vets Day to MY Special Vet


I'd be remiss if I didn't include a mention of my very own veteran, Jack (cute, wasn't he?). He served in the Philippines before Vietnam became "official."

He was in Intelligence, which meant he spent his time listening to communications between Viet Cong who were already fighting with South Vietnam for the unification of the country into a single Vietnam under the Communist party. Heaven forbid the US would allow people to choose their own system of government.

Anyway, the US was listening in while only a few "advisers" were on the ground in South Vietnam busily trying to prop up the puppet government.

The result: Millions of Vietnamese dead--soldiers, fathers, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters. More than 58,000 American dead. And none of the killing did anything useful at all.

Nevertheless, whether the fighting and deaths were senseless or not, US military put their lives on the line and many died. That's why we salute Veterans. They did all that was asked of them and did it well, but the war was never going to change Vietnam unification. Vets are not saluted for winning, but for giving their all for their countries. This they did with honor.

In honor of all vets from all wars, I hope you'll give the gift of Tales of a Texas Boy to a veteran you love from Amazon.

Amazon Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon and other distributors
Audio Book  free if chosen as the first book when joining audible.com

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.

Here's a bonus feature. Little Eddie telling another of his stories in his own words. Turn up the volume, the recording isn't the best.


Friday, October 30, 2020

A Teenage Witch Finds Her Power

FREE THROUGH HALLOWEEN - SAVE $9.99

The Witches of Galdorheim series is about a witch named Katrina (fondly known as Katwitch by her Orca buddy) who feels she can't stay on the little Arctic Island, Galdorheim. Protected by the community of witches, the island is a sanctuary for any witch who's just had enough of real world nonsense.

Kat has a brother. His name is Rune. It's cute, funny, and can spell up a storm (literally), but must constantly be on guard against his father's legacy. Rune is half-vampire and half-witch. Kat thinks he has all the breaks.

Kat, on the other hand, has difficulty learning and executing even the simplest spells. She blames this lack on her human father. She feels if she can't succeed as a witch, she should go find her father's family and see if they'll take her in. As nomadic Sami fishermen, they might be a bit hard to find. She gets help from an unlikely source or two. Mordita, the local crabby old witch, helps Kat and Rune prepare to cross the icy arctic seas to Norway. Why is Rune going? He finds his sister to be very entertaining in her magical failures and he loves her. He wants to help. The siblings get last minute directions from Kat's not-quite-dead father (frozen in a ice cave..don't ask, it's a long story). 

NOW, you can get the rest of the setup to Kat's adventures in BAD SPELLING. Then, you can follow Kat, Rune, and her grandfather seek the mysterious MIDNIGHT OIL. At last, Kat is ready to go on her summer abroad to visit Stonehenge for Samhain. She just has to drop off a note to the Trow King in SCOTCH BROOM. As with all Kat's adventures, her little brother just has to come along. This trip that might be a horrid mistake.

That's a heck of a lot of set-up to let you know the COMPLEAT AND TRUE HISTORY OF THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM. One volume with all three books, a bonus prequel short story (SPELLSLINGER), and what happens to Rune once Kat has left the island (BLOOD TIES TESTED).

Excerpt:

Turning away from Merry, Kat finished the final leg of her pentagram and set the bunny in the center. “Stay right there, Teddy,” she whispered to her little brown rabbit, setting a chunk of carrot in front of him. He made a dash for the edge of the desk. Kat hauled him back. “Cut it out. You’ll smear my chalk lines.” She stroked his soft fur for a moment. “Hope this works.” He twitched his nose twice, closed his eyes, and hunkered down.

Kat checked her spell book one last time, took a deep breath, and completed the spell with a loud “Fullgerður!” and a dramatic sweep of her arms, just missing Merry’s head with her wand.

Merry shrieked and jumped out of her chair. She glared at Kat while wiping green goo off the side of her face. “Your rabbit stinks. Just like your spellcasting!”

Kat’s mouth hung open for a moment; then she clamped it shut when she glanced down at what was left of Teddy sitting in a pool of slime dripping onto the floor. Merry was right about one thing. The goo smelled like pond scum.



Thursday, October 29, 2020

Special LOW Price for the Compleat and True History

The compendium of Kat's adventures learning her witch powers is now available for only... wait for it... FREE October 29th-30th. This is a ridiculously low price. Zero does include clicking a couple of times, but that's something you'll be doing anyway somewhere on the web. So, I can't think of a reason why you would not want to GRAB this complete series for free free free. So where is this special deal?

On Amazon, of course

The books and stories are:

BAD SPELLING (Book 1): A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

All of Kat’s family are either witches or warlocks, depending on their sex, of course. Kat is fourteen and really ought to be able to turn a rabbit into a toad, but things just don’t work out for her. What she gets  is a slimy green hopper. That’s the good part. Unfortunately, it also has long ears and fur. That’s bad spelling.

MIDNIGHT OIL (Book 2): Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are capant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

SCOTCH BROOM (Book 3): A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’s minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger, too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

BLOOD TIES TESTED (Book 4) Unfortunate events lead a half vampire boy into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?

Following the events in the series Witches of Galdorheim, this additional tale relates what happens to Katrina the Witch's younger brother, Rune. Half vampire and half warlock, he faces life with a wisecrack and some powerful magic. Whatever happens, he does not want to be a vampire like his father. Unfortunate events lead him to fatally call on his vampire half. This failure leaves him in anguish. How can he assuage the guilt he feels? His mother thinks he needs to visit dead old dad, a vampire residing in the Tatras Mountains of Slovakia.

SPELLSLINGER (Prequel Short Story): Written by popular demand of readers who adore Kat's smart-aleck brother. It's a short story prequel to the Witches series is dedicated to Kat's brother, Rune. A super speller, he's plagued with his half vampire heritage. This story gives a bit more of his trials growing up on the Witches' Island.



Monday, October 26, 2020

Not Free to Read, But You Can Listen for Free

There are five books in the Witches of Galdorheim series. So far this month, I've made four of them free for 3 days. One is really just a short story, a prequel to show Rune--the self-confident, smart-aleck, super speller--before he was any of those. I would like to provide the audio file of the story if you'd like to listen.

Try it out right here compliments of SoundCloud for hosting big audio files for free. If you'd like to read the story, you can buy it at Amazon for only 99 cents. Or ask me to send you a copy in whatever format you'd like.

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?