Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Setara's Genie: Promo Codes Available

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


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.
  • 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

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.