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?

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.

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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

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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 … Con­tin­ue read­ing

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.

Writes of Passage

Writes of Passage

Writes of Pas­sage

There’s a new book com­ing out from Hen­ery Press on Sep­tem­ber 9. It’s a col­lec­tion of essays from Sis­ters in Crime mem­bers, all designed to por­tray per­son­al sto­ries of authors from mul­ti-pub­lished best­selling to wannabes. The sto­ries span most any expe­ri­ence of a writ­ing jour­ney.  Any writer will find pas­sages of sup­port, laugh­ter, and under­stand­ing. Here’s the Ama­zon page for Writes of Pas­sage. (Should I men­tion I’m one of the 59 con­trib­u­tors?)