A New e-book

Two years ago I pub­lished A KNUCKLEHEAD IN 1920s ALASKA, aA Knucklehead in 1920s Alaska mem­oir of my father’s expe­ri­ences when he went to Alaska hop­ing to earn money for col­lege expenses. I’ve now pub­lished it as a Kin­dle e-book.

Here’s the blurb: At age eighty-eight, William (Bill) Collins recorded his adven­tures as a young man who trav­eled to Alaska to earn money for col­lege. In the 1920s he found adven­ture, but not much money work­ing in the rail­road yards, in mines, as a pearl diver (dish­washer), and any­thing else between.

Dur­ing three sum­mers and one win­ter, Bill sur­vived hunger, earth­quake, stomp­ing cari­bou, and ici­cle frost. He learned about stopes, sluice boxes, pow­der smoke, and the Fes­ti­val of the Mid­night Sun. He found friends who would face a bear for him and ene­mies eager to knife him or smash him with a twenty-pound sledge. Bill had one lucky day and more than a few really bad days.

This is the story of one hot-headed young man deter­mined to earn his own way. In his own words, he was a true knucklehead.

~ ~ ~

I’ve included a bonus short mys­tery at the end, “Yesterday’s News,” pre­vi­ously pub­lished by Futures Mys­te­ri­ous Anthol­ogy Mag­a­zine. Even bet­ter, the entire e-book is free for those who pur­chase, or have already pur­chased, the paper­back from Amazon.

Now for a ques­tion: Do you know any inter­est­ing sto­ries from your par­ents or grand­par­ents that your chil­dren might be inter­ested in?

And another ques­tion: Have you ever con­sid­ered telling that story to a wider audience?

And a hint: Those were the ques­tions I asked myself a few years ago, and with a bit of encour­age­ment, this was my answer.

A Tropical Thanksgiving

Kait Car­son lives in and writes from Florida. Her lat­est book, DEATH BYKait-cover BLUE WATER, was released by Hen­ery Press on Vet­er­ans’ Day 2014.  In it, para­le­gal Hay­den Kent dis­cov­ers a man’s body at 120’ beneath the sea. She thinks she is wit­ness to a tragic acci­dent. Instead, she becomes the prime sus­pect when the vic­tim is revealed to be the brother of the man who recently jilted her, and she has no alibi.

A year ago I spent Thanks­giv­ing in Florida, but this year I’m at home in Penn­syl­va­nia. Unlike my guest, that was only a some­time visit. But Kait remem­bers past Thanks­giv­ings and has her own way of cel­e­brat­ing in the trop­ics. Let her tell you about it…

Tomor­row is Thanks­giv­ing. Known to my fam­ily as Turkey Day, it was a favorite child­hood hol­i­day. Whether it was at home or away – there were two con­stants. A groan­ing table of food (fol­lowed by groan­ing fam­ily mem­bers), and cold weather—sometimes snow. SNOW, what has snow got to do with a trop­i­cal thanks­giv­ing? Well, noth­ing. But my child­hood turkey days were usu­ally spent in the north. Some­times on my great grandfather’s farm. He was a hardy soul who lived into his 100s. Fam­ily his­tory varies on whether it was 103 or 106. I doubt he knew. He was born in the ‘old coun­try’ at home on, yes, a farm. No records were kept, or no records that he kept were kept.

Turkey day on the farm in upstate New York was spe­cial. All of the din­ner was home­grown. Since both of my great grand­par­ents were immi­grants, keep­ing Amer­i­can hol­i­days, espe­cially Thanks­giv­ing, was a reli­gion with them. Our loca­tion made snow a fre­quent vis­i­tor on Thanks­giv­ing Day.

Fast for­ward to my late teens. Here comes the trop­i­cal part. I fell in love with Miami as a five year old when we vis­ited cousins. I never fell out of love. When the time came for me to go to col­lege, it was UM or bust—Go Canes! Once planted, my roots grew in the warm, sandy soil, and I’ve never left. My adult real­ity has Thanks­giv­ings far removed from any­thing resem­bling snow, unless you count white sandy beaches. Tem­per­a­tures of 80 and above are the norm. But it’s Thanks­giv­ing! It’s autumn. It needs to be COLD. I don’t know who invented air con­di­tion­ing. I could prob­a­bly Google it, but that’s been my solu­tion since I moved here. Crank the A/C down to 60, pull on a sweater, turn on the oven and have at it. Turkey, brus­sels sprouts, yams (a South­ern sta­ple I might add), mashed pota­toes, green beans, sweet potato pie (nod to the South) and pump­kin pie. It all pours out of my oven and on to the table. I close all the drapes to block out the green grass and palm trees, light the fire­place, and voila, a cool, Florida, Thanksgiving.

Hay­den Kent, the hero­ine of DEATH BY BLUE WATER, would never under­stand. Hay­den is a Conch. Born and bred in the Florida Keys. Her idea of Thanks­giv­ing runs to Florida lob­ster stuff­ing (very good by the way) and ambrosia (also very good). She’s prob­a­bly going to spend her early morn­ing SCUBA div­ing to cel­e­brate hav­ing a day off, and then host­ing a din­ner for her friends Mal­lory and Jan­ice, and maybe her boss, Grant. Any way she slices it, the pie will be from the bak­ery, and every­one will have a late night, a great time, and left­overs to go.

Come to think of it, that sounds like the per­fect turkey day. No mat­ter where or how you cel­e­brate, I hope you have a won­der­ful day.

Kait-photoBIO: Kait Car­son lives and works in South Cen­tral Florida. She shares her home with her pilot hus­band, a Chero­kee Six air­plane, eight res­cued cats, and three birds. So far, there is no par­tridge in the avo­cado tree. Kait is a rabid SCUBA diver and can be found under­wa­ter most sum­mer week­ends. A self-styled warm water wimp, the div­ing stops on Colum­bus Day and the day trips by air begin. Visit her at www.kaitcarson.com, or on Face­book at facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor.

Kait’s men­tion of her favorite foods, espe­cially that ambrosia, reminds me of our fam­ily specialty—a neces­sity for any hol­i­day meal, offi­cially known as apple pud­ding, but also known as red stuff. Do you have a favorite for hol­i­day meals?

Saving Dogs

Dogs on a plane. A mercy flight for ani­mals fac­ing death in over­crowded shelters.

Recently our news­pa­per told the story of the Pitts­burgh Avi­a­tion Ani­mal Res­cue Team when they brought fif­teen dogs to the Lan­caster County SPCA shel­ter. The PAART began when a cou­ple of new pilots wanted a mis­sion other than just fly­ing around Pitts­burgh. After one trans­ported a dog for a friend, the idea took hold. When the group hears of an over­crowded shel­ter about to euth­a­nize dogs, they fly in and col­lect up to one thou­sand pounds of ani­mals and take them to a shel­ter that has room and peo­ple who want to adopt dogs.

Since 2006, they’ve moved more than 600 dogs. They’ve also shifted cats, ducks, even pigs and a python. Some­times the dogs are in crates, other times they are loose. The alti­tude makes them sleepy. The only prob­lem has been when an affec­tion­ate dog wants to sit on the pilot’s lap. (The only dam­age to a plane was when one Great Dane chewed up the co-pilot’s seat.) Many of the dogs are puppies.

The team of pilots has gone out nearly every week­end for the last two years. On occa­sion a pilot will adopt one of the dogs. But they know the dogs face a bright future. Locally, the Lan­caster shel­ter had pre­vi­ously taken twenty-eight dogs from the same over­crowded shel­ter in another state, but these were the first that came by plane. All of those those taken ear­lier have been adopted.

Our turnover has been phe­nom­e­nal,” said Lancaster’s Susan Mar­tin. “We live in such a great county. There are so many dog lovers.”

The full arti­cle with pic­tures is here.

Wild Fire Release Party and Settings Hunt

Ally-WildFire_Cover-453x680Wild Fire released Novem­ber 7

I’m happy to be part of Ally Shields’ Release Party. She has a great event planned. Keep read­ing to learn all about it. Here’s Ally —

Thank you so much for being part of the  release party and give­away for the sixth book in my Guardian Witch series!

(See con­test details at the bottom.)

Book Blurb: A vision. A lost tal­is­man. A dan­ger­ous jour­ney through time…

A month after their bond­ing, Ari and Andreas are still adjust­ing to mar­ried life when they learn the hard way that the O-Seven, the ter­ri­fy­ing and bru­tal vam­pire elders, still have them in their sights. A three mil­lion dol­lar bounty hangs over each of their heads, and there’s no lack of assas­sins eager to collect.

When the local seer has a ter­ri­fy­ing vision of the destruc­tion of Riverdale, it’s up to Ari—as usual—to keep every­one safe. Only this time, an enemy from the past has bound her fire pow­ers, and the city’s string of arsons seems connected.

Daron, the vam­pire prince in Toronto, has infor­ma­tion that two of the vam­pire elders are on their way to Riverdale. Which can’t be good. Only a risky and unprece­dented jour­ney through time can pro­vide the help they need. But that will leave Andreas to face the O-Seven alone…

Buy Links

Ama­zon:  http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Fire-Guardian-Witch-Book-ebook/dp/B00NWX6Y7K

Also avail­able at most online booksellers

Book Trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/nGO1wudi7xQ

Author Bio: Ally Shields was born and raised in the Mid­west, along the Mis­sis­sippi River, and con­sid­ers her­self a “river rat.” The set­ting and folk­lore of that area are often incor­po­rated into her Guardian Witch series. After  a career in law and juve­nile jus­tice, she turned to full-time writ­ing in 2009. She loves writ­ing, read­ing and trav­el­ing. Way too often she can be found on Twit­ter. @ShieldsAlly

Author Con­tacts:

Web­site: http://allyshields.com

Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html

Face­book: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor

Twit­ter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields

Ama­zon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields
Other books in the series:

Awak­en­ing the Fire (#1); Fire Within (#2; Burn­ing Both Ends (#3); Blood and Fire (#4); Fire Storm (#5).

Com­ing Soon: Eter­nal Fires (Guardian Witch #7) (TBA)

Also by Ally Shields: Cross Keys, an Elven­rude novel (Octo­ber 2014)

Blog Tour GIVEAWAY: Nov. 7–10:  Read­ers and writ­ers always talk about char­ac­ters in books, but set­tings are almost as impor­tant, and they play a huge role in the Guardian Witch series. Wild Fire is no excep­tion, and this blog tour is reveal­ing sev­eral set­tings that are the back­drop for major events in this new release. In fact, I think they’re so impor­tant that I’m run­ning a spe­cial contest.

If you col­lect the names and num­bers of all ten set­tings, you could win your choice of three ebooks in the series (includ­ing this lat­est release) or a $15.00 Ama­zon gift cer­tifi­cate. It’s easy to do. Here are the rules.

Visit the blogs on this list — or enough to col­lect all ten set­tings — then email me at allyshieldsbooks@gmail.com by 9:00 a.m. EST, Mon­day, Novem­ber 10, 2014 with your com­pleted list. You will auto­mat­i­cally be entered in the ran­dom draw­ing (two winners).

NOTE: A set­ting may appear on more than one blog, so be sure you have 10 dif­fer­ent set­tings before turn­ing in your entry.

Here is the list of par­tic­i­pat­ing blogs*:

AJ Locke
Angela Myers
Brinda Berry
Car­men Ste­fanescu
Danielle Devor
Dani-Lyn Alexan­der
DL Richard­son
JL Buck
Joyce Lav­erne
Kath Marsh
Kirstin Pulioff
Lind­sey Loucks
Norma Huss
Sue Roe­buck
Tina Gayle
Erin Moore

(*If you can’t find a post, return to allyshields.com for updated links and blogs.)

Now for the set­ting: #10

Set­ting #10:  Vic­to­rian Man­sion — Andreas’s Vic­to­rian home in Olde Town, which Ari now shares. The well-preserved res­i­dence and its spa­cious lawn is sur­rounded by a six foot wrought iron fence and par­tially lined with well-kept shrub­bery. It is fur­nished pri­mar­ily with antiques from the 1700s and 1800s.

Halloween Countdown-YA Ghost Reads

Vala-Ghost_Writer_300dpiIs there any­thing bet­ter than a ghost story for Hal­loween? Yes—two ghost sto­ries. One is mine, but first, let me tell you about Vala Kaye’s Ghost Writer.

Tech-savvy teen Malden Mont­gomery leaves New York City antic­i­pat­ing noth­ing but bore­dom when her artist-mother brings her along on a two-week vaca­tion to a fam­ily inn in rural Virginia.

What Malden doesn’t expect is the owner’s 17-year-old son, Jack­son, who is totally to-die-for cute. But does she dare believe him when he tells her that her room at the inn may be haunted by a young woman named Emily, who died there more than 150 years ago?

Then Emily begins to com­mu­ni­cate with Malden and she and Jack­son real­ize they have to find a way to help Emily’s ghost come back home or risk a spirit’s wrath if they choose to leave her lost in the dark­ness forever.

Vala Kaye — ABOUT THE AUTHORVala Kaye

Vala Kaye grew up in Texas as an avid reader of sci­ence fic­tion, romance and his­tory. Her favorite writ­ers ran the gamut from Robert Hein­lein to Mar­garet Mitchell, and included side jour­neys with Louisa May Alcott’s “Lit­tle Women” and The Hardy Boys mysteries.

After grad­u­at­ing from col­lege with a dou­ble major in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and His­tory, Vala now lives and writes in warm and sunny south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is addicted to movies, live the­ater, word games and salsa dancing.

In her first pub­lished YA novella, Ghost Writer, Vala explores what hap­pens when the human ‘spirit’ meets com­puter tech­nol­ogy. Vala’s newest title is Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence, book #1 of “The Super­hero Next Door” series.

**************************************

Get in the mood for Hal­loween with this fast, fun YA para­nor­mal novella! “Ghost Writer” is now avail­able in print or as an e-book. Check it out at these online retail­ers: Ama­zon | B&N.com | KoboiBooks

**************************************

The sec­ond YA ghost read is mine, Cher­ish (A YA Ghost Mys­tery). You can read all about it here: The e-book is free for five days from Octo­ber 28 through Novem­ber 1 at Ama­zon. But, before you do any­thing, com­ment below. Maybe you will win Ghost Writer.

An Historic Blog Visit

I love to visit Suzanne Adair’s blog, Rel­e­vant His­tory. There’s always some­thing new to learn about his­tory. Her guest blog­gers tell some of the unknown sto­ries, that hap­pen to be true, about var­i­ous times in the past. All that his­toric lore is really a by-product of research an author has done for his or her book. Some­times, the his­tory is more recent, and includes mem­o­ries never before writ­ten. And some­times, the com­ments by read­ers of the blog add to the history.

Suzanne’s own spe­cialty is the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, espe­cially in our south­ern states. But she wel­comes any area and time as her guest blog­gers. Right now I’m a guest, which com­pletely thrills me. My newly pub­lished book is a ghost story, with a ghost from 1946. Since I’m old enough to remem­ber that year (I was 16), much of my post is mem­ory. But, when one is writ­ing a book, one can’t depend on mem­ory, so, of course, I did research too.

Come visit my guest post, Civil­ians and Internees in World War II. Suzanne will choose one who com­ment to win a copy of my book, Cher­ish (A Ghost Mys­tery), just in time for Halloween.

Shadows Over Paradise

Emmons-CoverAnne K. Edwards writes mys­tery (and I love mys­tery). Her book, Shad­ows Over Par­adise is the story of com­pli­cated char­ac­ters intent on achiev­ing their own ends, some heed­less of the cost to oth­ers. Action and ten­sion blended with a brood­ing house set on a vol­canic island with soar­ing cliffs and few mod­ern ameni­ties, along with tur­bu­lent emo­tions offer a per­fect cat­a­lyst for the storm that is about to break over the Man­tuan Islands.

I’d like to quote from a four-star review on Amazon.

Julia’s been invited to her friend’s wed­ding on an exotic island but noth­ing seems to go right in Anne K. Edwards’ Shad­ows over Par­adise. Even the boat­man on the way to this island par­adise says Julia shouldn’t be there. Still, the location’s great, the peo­ple are full of char­ac­ter, and, being a writer, Julia’s sure she’ll build a won­der­ful mys­tery novel from the expe­ri­ence. Mean­while she’s liv­ing a mys­tery of her own.”

There’s quite a bit more to this review, but this is the way it ends — “An excit­ing end­ing is filled with fear and adven­ture plus the sav­ing hands of good tim­ing and true love. While I guessed some of what was going on, I cer­tainly didn’t guess it all, but I might avoid island par­adises after this tale.”

Oh, that does sound like a sure-fire read! Love that kind.

Here’s all the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion: Avail­able in paper­back and e-book formats

Order this book via check or credit card, aStore
~ or visit ~ Ama­zon; Barnes & Noble; Bamm.com; Indy bookstores.

Anne’s Ama­zon author page

Ghosts Writing Notes

I’m trad­ing blog posts with Donna G. Dri­ver. I’ve writ­ten a YA with a ghost and her YA with a ghost has just been accepted for pub­li­ca­tion. She told me what inspired her plot. So, here’s her fas­ci­nat­ing story…

Ghosts Writ­ing Notes, by D. G. Driver

If a ghost from the past wanted to com­mu­ni­cate through a series of hand­writ­ten notes, would a teenager today be able to read them? This was the orig­i­nal premise of my soon-to-be-released YA novella Pass­ing Notes.

A cou­ple years ago my 17-year-old daugh­ter was in a rela­tion­ship where I swear the only way she and her boyfriend com­mu­ni­cated was through texts – end­less amounts of non­sen­si­cal (and in my opin­ion, not very roman­tic) texts. I’m pretty sure they never actu­ally talked to each other. At the same time, my younger daugh­ter, who was nine, was learn­ing to write cur­sive. She was in the rare 3rd grade class­room that still taught cur­sive writ­ing, as most ele­men­tary schools have pulled that cur­ricu­lum, edu­ca­tors claim­ing it to be unnec­es­sary. Between the two expe­ri­ences of my chil­dren, I came up with a story idea: a boy is try­ing to win the love of a girl but is fail­ing because he keeps send­ing awk­ward and stu­pid texts or emails. Sud­denly, he begins get­ting a series of hand­writ­ten notes giv­ing him advice about how to write love let­ters and win the affec­tions of this girl. He first has to learn how to decode these mys­te­ri­ous notes, and then he tries to fig­ure out who is send­ing them and why.

I orig­i­nally wrote Pass­ing Notes as a short story, but ear­lier this year I felt inspired to take another look at it and stretch it out to a novella. Revi­sion is my mantra, and I am a big pro­po­nent of never throw­ing away a story idea, because you never know when the muse will visit with the per­fect solu­tion to “fix” what might be going wrong. In this case, my muse told me the story just needed more to it. I wanted to really explore who Mark’s girl Bethany was. Why would actual love let­ters appeal to her more than the ordi­nary texts and emails that every­one else gets? I intro­duced the rival boy at school, and added a cou­ple of Bethany’s girl­friends who aren’t par­tic­u­larly on Mark’s side either. Most impor­tantly, I wanted to build the rela­tion­ship between Mark and the ghost. How are the two of them related, and why does it mat­ter to the ghost so much that Mark win Bethany’s affec­tions?  And then, of course, if he fol­lows the ghost’s advice, will it work?

DonnaD-cryofthesea4 (2)

I was thrilled that Fire and Ice, the pub­lish­ers of my mer­maid novel Cry of the Sea, agreed to pub­lish Pass­ing Notes. It will be released on Jan­u­ary 24th, 2015. In the mean­time, do check out my cur­rent novel about a girl who dis­cov­ers real mer­maids washed up on the beach dur­ing an oil spill. You can sam­ple the first two chap­ters at the publisher’s web site: www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html Fol­low me on FB or Twit­ter to keep up to date on the release news for Pass­ing Notes, and read some of my other sto­ries for free on Wattpad.

www.dgdriver.com

www.facebook.com/donnagdriver

Twit­ter: @DGDriverAuthor

www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com

http://www.wattpad.com/user/DGDriver

www.pinterest.com/dgdriver

www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#

 

Buy Links for Cry of the Sea:

http://www.parnassusbooks.net/book/9781612357867

(It is my under­stand that if you buy from this indie book store in Nashville, you can request an auto­graphed copy. They will email me, and I just have to drop by the store to sign a copy before they mail it)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/view-cart.ep

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IM0JF06

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867

http://www.bookdepository.com/Cry-Sea-Driver/9781612357867

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Cry-Sea/D-G-Driver/9781612357867?id=6119232814287

Goodreads Giveaway

Cherish-FrontI’m run­ning a Goodreads give­away through Octo­ber 7, 2014. Cher­ish (A Ghost Mys­tery) takes place in cur­rent time, and in 1946. (Things like that hap­pen with ghosts, you know.)

Sign up for the give­away here.

Read the first two chap­ters here.

It’s the sopho­more Local His­tory ceme­tery visit. Sure, it’s almost Hal­loween, but Kayla has seen that teen-age ghost for years. Why won’t she leave? When the dreamy senior asks Kayla for a date, she decides to prove to her­self that she’s mature and in charge. She’ll tell that ghost to go away. But Kayla shouldn’t have touched the ghost’s cold hand, because that’s when every­thing changed.

Sud­denly, it’s 1946, or is Kayla dream­ing? Is she crazy? Why is her name Cher­ish? Why is her mother at home bak­ing cook­ies when she should be at work? And, she has a father? Didn’t he die years ago? Why is her best friend Trudy instead of Dani? And the thing in her pocket is not a com­pact with a bad mir­ror. DON’T TRY TO OPEN IT!

Text mes­sages do travel across the years, judg­ing from those on her cell phone. But why is Dani mad at her? She isn’t there, is she? It can’t be, but it must. Some­one is tak­ing Kayla’s place in the twenty-first cen­tury. Who?

Fact: Cher­ish is ruin­ing her life in two cen­turies. If Kayla doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die in 1946 with Cherish.