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Book Excerpt Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Book Excerpt

From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”

 

There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.

Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”

“How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.

“I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”

“But how did you know that was me?”

“Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”

The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.

“Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”

The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”

“Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”

“Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.

“Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie.

About the Book

Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Author: Bernard Ditchik

Genre: Children’s Books

These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep.  Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these eighteen entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work.  It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges.  A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!

 

Author Bio

I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!

But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.

At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.

 

Links

Red Sky Presents Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

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Character Interview No Quarter: Wenches

noquarterwenches

I’m hosting a character interview for “No Quarter: Wenches” today. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Character Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m the widow of the pirate Rowdy Belford and I had a son who ran off to be pirate like his father. As a fem-sole, I perform laundry services to make ends meet, as a pirate widow’s pension doesn’t pay the bills. And currently, I’m looking after Boots, Dr. Strangewayes’s cat.

What is your role in the story?

I start an underground movement against the mistreatment of women and slaves.

When and where were you happiest?

In the womb, I think. Yup, in the womb was nice.

If you had one wish, what would it be?

Proper drainage. Port Royal floods a lot.

On what occasion, do you lie?

I ain’t had the pleasure of a man’s company for some time now.

Tell us a bit about the old pirating days.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, I sailed with the Samaná Bay Buccaneers, while they raided the Spanish Main chasing a treasure galleon under the pirate Laurens de Graaf.  It was all fun and games until someone lost their eye, then their arm, and their head.

About the Book

 Title: No Quarter: Wenches – Volume 1

Author: MJL Evans

Genre: Historical Romance

Volume 1 of 6 begins in 1689 Port Royal, Jamaica, where Atia Crisp is imprisoned, awaiting trial, while refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation seek their new home. Guided by Capitaine la Roche, they face pursuit by the pirate hunter Big Dick and the perilous terrain of Bocas del Toro. Their future home of Sérénité hangs in the balance, complicated by the outbreak of war with France.

Series Description:

The adventures from No Quarter: Dominium continue with wenches! In 1689, Atia Crisp finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, Port Royal, Jamaica, while the refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run and seeking a new home, deep in the Caribbean. Captain Jean-Paul la Roche must get them to safety and find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English with the pirate Laurens de Graaf.

While besieged people suffer and starve, a group of women form a secret and illegal society deep from within the bowels of the city called: WENCH. A network that deals with smugglers, merchants, cutthroats and thieves. Dragged into the struggle for supremacy of the Caribbean, the women are divided and find themselves engulfed in bloodshed. The pirates of Port Royal and former enemies may be their only hope of escape.

Hell hath no fury like a cross wench!

Author Bio

MJL EVANS wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old and in 2014 she finally got her act together and pursued her dream. No Quarter: Dominium (Volumes 1-6) is her first book series. She is currently writing the No Quarter: Wenches book series, which is a continuation of the adventures in 17th century Port Royal, Jamaica. A huge fan of Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Her time is devoted to acrylic, oil and watercolor painting, catering to her two senior cats and of course, writing.

You can connect with MJL Evans on Twitter at @artistmjlevans or noquarterseries@gmail.com

GM O’CONNOR is a huge movie fan, writer and visual artist. No Quarter: Dominium (Volumes 1-6) is his first book series and he’s currently writing No Quarter: Wenches. A lover of sci-fi and history, half his brain lives in the 17th century while the other half sails perpetually through space. He hopes to one day bring the No Quarter Series to film and/or graphic novel format.

You can connect with GM O’Connor on Twitter at @gm_oconnor or noquarterseries@gmail.com

Links

Website: http://www.thenoquarterseries.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noquarterseries/

Follow us on Twitter at: @noquarterseries

Email us at: noquarterseries@gmail.com

Where to download:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

Smashwords

Google Play

iTunes

 

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Promo The Visitor and Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

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About the Books

Title: The Visitor

Genre: Science Fiction

Tasked by the Federation of Planets to determine if Earthlings present a threat as they venture into space, Tak, an alien anthropologist, leaves her starship orbiting Earth and takes a shuttle to Kansas. Intending to study humans in the United States—as she has learned no Earth language but English—she is detected while descending through the atmosphere and only evades capture by fleeing to Europe, where she lands in Poland. There, she meets an international arms merchant, Baron Von Limbach, who becomes her guide. She studies “typical” human behavior by accompanying the baron as he fulfills his latest assignment—to get the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. His method of halting the communist takeover of Tibet is to create a race-specific Ebola that will only attack Han Chinese, giving Tak a prime example of how barbaric humans can be. However, the CIA and US military are aware of Tak’s presence on Earth and are determined to capture her. And if she is unable to complete her mission and return to her starship—her captain will destroy every living thing on Earth.

Title: Ernie and the Evils of Insurance

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Ernie, an experienced logger from rural Washington State, loses his job when the logging operation he works for is shut down due to the spotted owl. When he goes in to apply for unemployment, Ernie is persuaded to take a job out of state as a temporary insurance adjuster in Los Angeles. While he knows that Los Angeles will be a lot different than Sedro Woolley, Washington, and insurance adjusting a lot different than logging, really, how hard can it be? And there are lots of downed trees in Southern California after the recent earthquake and storms they had there. So packing up his trusty chainsaw in his saddlebags, Ernie hops on his motorcycle and heads south. But to his dismay, Ernie discovers that LA is a lot farther from Washington in more than just miles. Unprepared for the corruption and callousness rampant in the insurance industry, Ernie soon finds himself not only in trouble with his job, but on the top of an assassin’s hit list. Still, although Ernie might be a hick from the sticks, he’s far from stupid. Blessed with an innate intelligence, an abundance of common sense, and a redneck sense of humor, Ernie will give his enemies a hilarious run for their money…if he can just survive long enough.

Author Bio

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.

Links

The Visitor on Amazon (Kindle)

The Visitor on Amazon (Paperback)

The Visitor on Goodreads

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Kindle)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Amazon (Paperback)

Ernie and the Evils of Insurance on Goodreads

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Guest Post The Convenient Escape

convenientescape

Please welcome author Robert Downs to my blog. Robert is the author of thriller “The Convenient Escape”, and he’s here to talk about his editing process today. I’ll leave the word to Robert now.

MY EDITING PROCESS

My editing process begins after the first draft. Before the time of my first edits, my goal is to write as fast as I can and keep my inner-editor at bay. It’s not always as easy it sounds, because that inner-critic likes to rear his ugly little head, and during that first draft, I go through periods of euphoria along with other times where I believe that what I’m writing is a big pile of crap. But the secret is to push the inner-critic down, focus on the positives, and keep on writing. Knowing that I have finished other novels certainly helps, but I wouldn’t say it makes the process any easier, because each novel is different, and creativity is a phenomenon I still don’t completely understand.

Once I have that first draft completed, I let it sit for a period of weeks or months to gain a certain distance and help change my perspective. The time away allows me to remove my creative hat and put on my editor cap. During this time, I’ve found that writing or editing another manuscript helps me pass the time and keeps my writing or my editing skills fresh. My first editing pass is with a hardcopy and either a red or blue pen, so the changes I make easily stand out against the black font. I hack away at my manuscript as much as necessary, often cutting paragraphs, pages, or even entire scenes. During this process, and sometimes not until I complete it, I often find that I have holes in my manuscript that I need to fill. So while I’m hacking away, I’m also looking for places to add description, internal monologue, and dialogue and action tags.

Once I have this pass completed, I’ll input the changes into my computer, and I often find that there are more deletions or additions I need to make. Sometimes I make the additions in my computer, but often it’s marking the places where I believe I can beef it up, and I mark these places with an ampersand, so I can expand upon them later.

Once my manuscript is more streamlined, the addition begins, and I’m adding characters or description or scenes or even chapters, as the manuscript and situation warrant. I’ll do as many passes as I need, and this varies from manuscript to manuscript alternating between editing the hardcopy and what’s on my computer. I’ve found that I don’t always catch the same things on my hardcopy that I do on my computer, so alternating between the two helps aid whatever project I’m currently working on. Boiling this process down in the simplest of terms, the editing process is subtraction followed by addition. This process doesn’t work for everyone, but I do know it works rather well for me.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reading, reviewing, blogging, or smiling. THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE is his fourth novel. To find out more about the author, please visit his website or Facebook Page.

About the Book

the-convenient-escape-front-coverTitle: The Convenient Escape

Author: Robert Downs

Genre: Thriller

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.

Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.

But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…

Author Bio

robert-downsRobert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website: http://www.RobertDowns.net.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.

Links

Author Website

Facebook

Goodreads

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Promo Post Cubicle to Cuba: Desk Job to Dream Job

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About the Book

cubicletocubacoverhighresTitle: Cubicle to Cuba: Desk Job to Dream Job

Author: Heidi Siefkas

Genre: Travelogue

In this introspective travelogue, author, speaker and adventurer Heidi Siefkas shares her transition out of the corporate world’s Cubicle Land to life on the road in Cuba and beyond. Heidi highlights another side of Cuba as well as perspective gained from years of travel to the once-forbidden island. Along the way, she seizes opportunities for adventure in Kauai, Italy, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, and other far-flung places, but always returning to Cuba for more.

Not unlike her previous books When All Balls Drop and With New Eyes, Heidi tells this story with a good dose of sass and humor in her signature down-to-earth vignettes.

Cubicle to Cuba will teach you about Cuba, but it will also inspire you to think outside the cubicle, travel more, and embark on your own Life 2.0 full of adventure.

About Heidi Siefkas

heidisiefkasauthoradventurerphotoHeidi Siefkas is an author, speaker and adventurer.

Originally from small–‐town Wisconsin, Heidi hangs her hat in South Florida.

However, as an adventurer, she’s rarely home for long. The author of two inspirational books When All Balls Drop and With New Eyes, she has created the mantra

Look Up and speaks to groups worldwide. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Links

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

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Promo Post Protector Bug: The Tryouts

protectorbug

About the Book

unnamedTitle: The Protector Bug: The Tryouts

Author: Jason Reid

Genre: Children’s Books

“This amazing new addition to The Protector Bug series not only has new illustrations, but a fun new adventure for children of all ages to enjoy. In “The Tryouts” two best friends Sheldon, the ant, and Jared ,the mosquito, overcome challenges as they are both on their own journeys to becoming the newest Protector Bugs. The wonderfully illustrated children’s book is full of adventure and great moral lessons of overcoming self-doubt and helping those in need. The unexpected surprises of these two best friends will keep you and your children on your toes and wanting to read more!”

Author Bio

unnamedJason Reid is an entrepreneur by trade and a dad by passion. He currently lives in Murrieta, California with his wonderful wife and amazing four children.  Over the years he has written numerous business books and a novel, but finds he is most excited about his children’s The Protector Bug book series.

Links

Website

Facebook

Amazon

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Guest Post The Whizbang Machine

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Author Danielle A. Vann is here today to talk about the writing process for The Whizbang Machine. Enjoy!

Writing Process

 I start with an idea, grow that into a working outline, flesh out my characters, and start writing. I handle each chapter as though it is a book within itself. I do not like action to carry over from chapter to chapter, so I am mindful of that while writing. I edit my chapter as soon as I’m finished. I do this process several times and do it over several hours. I find that if I leave my work and come back to it, I see errors quicker. I also read my chapters aloud. It’s the only way to truly read what is written instead of what is intended. I approach all of my writing in two methods, first as the author and then as the reader. I’m very fortunate that writing is my full-time job.

About the Book

Whizbangmachinebook1_Title: The Whizbang Machine

Author: Danielle A. Vann

Genre: YA

After years of running from his tragic past, Jack Yale books a flight home. With him is a typewriter that is intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth. The minute Elizabeth’s fingers cradle the large black and cream keys the machine responses: popping, sizzling, and roaring to life with a Whiz-Whiz-BANG!

Elizabeth quickly discovers the typewriter has powers beyond anything she has ever seen. The more she types, the more the machine spells out guarded secrets. Each secret leads them deeper into a haunted past. Each secret must be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries.

To solve the mystery, Elizabeth Yale, alongside Jack, will have to crack the code of the Whizbang Machine. What they find challenges their most basic assumptions of their family, the history of the typewriter, and even Elizabeth’s father’s death. The ultimate goal is to remove the curse.

The question is: will Jack and Elizabeth be able to carry out their mission?

Author Bio

5249_f2c2Danielle A. Vann lives to write. When she was small, she spent endless days writing and crafting wild characters out of thin air. As Danielle grew, that love for writing sparked a career in journalism. She began her career as a scriptwriter and then moved into a flourishing career as a news reporter, food reporter, and morning/evening news anchor. That career earned her an Associate Press Award.

After becoming a mother, she was inspired to write children’s books for her three adorable children. While she holds children fiction especially close to her heart, she also loves to write books for all ages. These genres include Young-Adult Fiction, Adult Fiction, Young Reader Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

When she isn’t writing you can find her doing “mom” things, digging in her organic vegetable gardens, running, finding her Zen in yoga, or playing chef in the kitchen. She currently lives in Mansfield, Texas.

Danielle is also the author of Gracie Lou and The Bad Dream Eater, November 2016 release The Whizbang Machine, and September 2016 release The Very Tall Tale of Ranger, the Great Pyrenees, and his Adorable Friend, Miss Keys, and October 2016 release Building Faith Through A Carpenter’s Hands. To learn more, visit www.authordanielleavann.com.

Links

Website: http://authordanielleavann.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorDanielleA.Vann/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDanielleV

Book Trailer

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