Monday, September 26, 2016

Free to Read KU/KOLL Ebooks On Amazon

Free with Kindle Unlimited subscription. Free to borrow in Kindle Owners Lending Library. Prices reflect the retail price to buy the book.



Witches of Galdorheim Series (3-Volume Book) $5.99
 Audio books available for all three in the series.

Tales of a Texas Boy $2.99
 Audio book available.

Tales of a Texas Boy - Photo Illustrated $2.99
 Audio book available.

Fish Story: A Three Story Sampler $0.99

Sunday, September 25, 2016

FINAL Free Day for TALES OF A TEXAS BOY

All good things must come to an end. Today is your last chance to grab the free ebook of Tales of a Texas Boy.

If you or a relative grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book they will enjoy. Also, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book for the vision-impaired.

These are stories about my father. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.


Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback Amazon $8.99
Audiobook Only $1.99 on Amazon if you download the ebook

BLURB
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.

EXCERPT
Out of the Chicken Coop

Most animals on the farm were there for a purpose, rarely as pets. That meant that animals were not allowed in the house like they are today. If they got in, however, it wasn’t always easy to get them out again.

When I was just a little kid, no more’n seven if I remember rightly, I was down in the chicken yard tossin’ grain like I was tol’. This one little red hen started followin’ me around instead of peckin’ up the grain like the other chickens. I thought it strange, but just went about my business.

When I opened up the gate to leave, the red hen just whooshed right through ‘fore I could get it closed. I tol’ her, “Now you get back in there,” and opened the gate just a bit for her. She didn’t pay any mind to the invite, but just headed on across the yard as fast as two feet could take her.

I latched up the gate and took off after her. I thought I’d better grab her before she got up to the porch. Ma doesn’t like chickens on the porch ‘cause of the mess they make. So, I was runnin’ after the hen and she was makin’ a bee-line for the house.

Well, she was faster ‘n me, so she beat me handy and up on the porch she went. The kitchen door was open to let the heat out since Ma was bakin’ pies. That hen just traipsed right in like she’d come to visit. I caught up with her finally and she and me went round the kitchen table a time or two. I was glad Ma wasn’t there ‘cause I know that hen wouldn’t of lasted two seconds if that were the case. I figured I’d better catch the chicken ‘fore Ma turned her into supper.

It were a standoff. I’d go right around the table, and the hen’d go left. I’d go left, and she’d go right. When I stopped, she stopped. Mostly, chickens don’t have much sense, which is why people don’t take to them much. Except for eatin’ and eggs, of course. But, I was beginnin’ to think this was one smart chicken.

I’d left the kitchen door open so’s I could chase the chicken out, but that just perked up Ol’ Spot’s curiosity as he come in to see what was up. Of course, Ma don’t allow no dogs in the kitchen, neither, so I’d two strikes again’ me already.

The hen didn’t care for Spot bein’ in the kitchen, neither. That’s one thing Ma and the hen would agree on. So, she gave out a couple of clucks and jumped up on a chair, which was shoved under the table. So, I got down on my hands and knees and crawled under the table. Spot thought this was a good idea, so he come under, too.

The hen spied Spot and Spot spied the hen and there was a lot less room under there after that. Spot jumped at the hen and she jumped over to another chair and Spot just followed her under the table. He’d pretty much forgot I was there, too, so he scrunched his way right over the top of me, pushin’ me flat to the floor. The hen’s jumpin’ from one chair to the next and Spot was runnin’ around in circles trying to catch her.

Cluck, cluck, bark, bark. I was surprised Ma hadn’t already showed up.


Read the rest in your free ebook copy from Amazon.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tales of a Texas Boy FREE 9/24-25

If you or a relative grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book they will enjoy. Also, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book for the vision-impaired.

These are stories about my father. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.




Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback Amazon $8.99
Audiobook Only $1.99 on Amazon if you download the ebook

BLURB
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.

EXCERPT
The Corn Patch Incident

Barn raising is a community affair that takes place in almost all rural societies across the country. In Texas, nearly every community event also includes a barbecue, although it’s sometimes by default. The kids helped out by gathering additions to the dinner.

I grabbed Sister, who’s really Dorothy, but we called her Sister. Anyways, we took off to the corn field and proceeded to pull the ripe ears off the stalks. It takes the right eye to get the ripe ones. Some folks have to peel back the silk from the ear and take a look. Me and Sister had done this so many times, we could tell just by how fat the ear looked. So, we were movin’ along pretty good and had about half the ears Ma said to get.

I looked down the row to see how far we’d got when I saw a skunk traipsin’ up toward me. First off, I wondered what the little polecat was doin’ out in the middle of the day. Most often, they hunt at night. I stopped quick and looked around to see where Sister was. I couldn’t see her, so I decided just to let her know.

“Hey, Sister. There’s a skunk up here, so don’t go up the row no more,” I yelled.

“What row, Eddie?” she hollered back.

“The row I’m on,” I answered and wondered why she couldn’t have figured that out herself.

“Which row, I say-ed?” she asked again, soundin’ a little disgusted now.

“This darn row!” Why didn’t the fool girl know which row I was on? Then it occurred to me I didn’t know where she was neither.

“Say somethin’ again and I’ll find you.”

“I’m heeere!” she sang out.

I could tell she was in front of me and a row or two south. I looked back to where the skunk was, but he’d disappeared. It came to me she might be close to where the skunk was by this time.

“Look out for the skunk,” I called out.

“What skunk?” Sometimes I wondered if she thought anything out.


Read the rest in your free ebook copy from Amazon.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Tales of a Texas Boy 9/23-25

If you or a relative grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book they will enjoy. Also, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book for the vision-impaired.

These are stories about my father. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.




Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook
Large Print Paperback Amazon $8.99
Audiobook Only $1.99 on Amazon if you download the ebook

BLURB
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.

EXCERPT
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.


Read the rest in your free ebook copy from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Magical Runes in Bad Spelling


A lot of fantasy novels based on Euro-centric mythologies use Runes in their plots, be it a tattooed rune on the hero’s chest, the discovery of a runic tablet that leads a worthy band of heros on a quest for dragon’s gold, or a villain who casts his dark spells in the ancient runic language. All very cool stuff.

In my Witches of Galdorheim books, I decided to use runes as the magic language. Kat, the teen witch introduced in Bad Spelling, just couldn’t get the pronunciation of the runes right. The results she got were often spectacularly wrong. In other words, she was a bad speller.

I researched runes and found a few I could use to give some depth to the magical language of the witches. Runes are like hieroglyphics in that each run stands for a word or concept rather than a letter. I found a handy phrase chart and stole what I could. Elder Futhark is the oldest known runic alphabet. Each rune has a name. Each rune is a word of power.

My Mashup

In Bad Spelling, Kat’s teacher listens to the misspelling witch as she attempts a simple transformation spell:
Kat held her wand over the pentagram and repeated the spell, omitting the spell’s finishing word. Miss Mariah shook her head. "Katya, you said îgwaz instead of perßô."
Later, Kat’s aunt Thordis uses a runic spell to enable her to speak with Katya’s dead father. I found this spell to raise the dead on an Icelandic runic stave site (how cool is that!).
When she felt her magic to be at its peak, Thordis opened the book to the chapter titled Speaking to the Dead. She zipped through the incantation:

Þat kann ec iþ tolpta,
ef ec se a tre vppi
vafa virgilná
sva ec rist oc i rvnom fác,
at sa gengr gvmi
oc melir viþ mic.

But nothing happened. She slowed down and spoke the spell with precision, putting as much magical force as she could into it. Finally, she felt the spell break through the barrier.


Bad Spelling (Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim)
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Amazon Kindle (SPECIAL: $0.99, buy the ebook and the audio book is only $1.99)
Smashwords (all ebook formats - #FREE)
Audio at Audible.com

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home. 

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Borrowing a Box Set on Amazon

Read an entire series for free? What kind of insanity is that? However, if you're a Kindle Unlimited or Prime subscriber at Amazon, you know all about reading for free. So, how about using your super ability as a KU/KOLL know-it-all to borrow my series THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM. It's a KU/KOLL offering from Amazon.

Have you already read the individual books in the series: Bad Spelling, Midnight Oil, and Scotch Broom? Do me a favor and borrow the box set and do a leisurely flip through the pages so I'll get those valuable KENP (Kindle page reads) credits. At the end of each month, I get a small amount (like .0004/page) for pages read. That small amount can help make up for those who don't want to buy the box set because they've already read the books individually. Or maybe you have read one or two of the books, and would like to read the third without paying out any more money.

THE WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM 
A KU/KOLL FREE BORROW ON AMAZON

BAD SPELLING
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Follow the adventures of Katrina and her half-vampire brother, Rune, as they chase down an evil shaman. Dodging the shaman's curses on a dangerous trip across the ice-bound arctic seas, they meet both friends and foes. Kat and Rune must find the shaman and stop him before their beloved island home is destroyed.

MIDNIGHT OIL
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can't even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.

SCOTCH BROOM
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to a faroff land, but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Set Your Own Price at Smashwords

Twelve books on Smashwords provides multiple formats other than Kindle. See everything I have to offer on my Smashwords Author page. Prices from #Free to $2.99, but you can set the price you want to pay on checkout, including $0.00.

Witches of Galdorheim Series:
Bad Spelling
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

Midnight Oil
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Scotch Broom
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Spellslinger
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic?

Tales of Abu Nuwas Series:
Setara's Genie
A girl, a genie, a few demons. What could go wrong?

Faizah's Destiny
The gods are at war and only a farmer’s daughter can save the world from Armageddon.

Adventure and Mystery:
Missing, Assumed Dead
Prejudice, murder, insanity, suicide: Every small town has its deadly secrets.

Eagle Quest
A Vision Quest turns deadly when four friends confront eagle poachers in a wildlife refuge.

Science Fiction:
Ultimate Duty (Adult) and First Duty (YA)
A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties. 

Collected Short Stories:
Mixed Bag and Mixed Bag 2: Supersized
Collections of short stories. SF, Fantasy, Mystery, Humor--a little something for everyone. MB2 contains all the stories in Mixed Bag plus a bunch more.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Book Review: Black Horses for the King

Black Horses for the KingBlack Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not much need for a review. After all, its author is Anne McCaffrey. That's recommendation enough right there.

On the other hand, this is not a fantasy book like her Dragonrider series. While set in Arthurian times, Merlin isn't hanging around casting spells, there are no magic swords, the lake contains only fish, not mermaids.

Since this book appears to be out of print, you'll have to look for a used copy. Some are offered on Amazon. There is no ebook version I know about.

Anyway, find a copy if you're into McCaffrey or different takes of the Arthur legend.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The CEO Came DOA - New Alvarez Family Mystery

NEW Alvarez Family Mystery!

I had the privilege of reading an Advanced Reader Copy of the latest in this series. I've read them all and enjoyed every one. This book can be pre-ordered on Amazon for $3.99 or the print edition is available immediately. Following this brief description, read my review of the CEO Came DOA. It will be posted on Amazon on September 1st--the book's release date.


THE CEO CAME DOA (Kindle)
Print Edition
The CEO Came DOA (Alvarez Family Mysteries #5)Someone is trying to sabotage the Initial Public Offering of 'Read-Out', a small Silicon Valley start-up, and Lee Alvarez has been hired to find the culprit. Meanwhile, the first Alvarez grandchild is about to be born while Lee is planning her very own Christmas wedding; or rather letting her mother plan it. When Lee finds the CEO hanging by the neck in his boardroom wearing nothing but baby blue boxer shorts, she has to ask herself, was it suicide? Or was it murder? If so, was the saboteur responsible, one of his business partners, or even his famous rock star ex-wife? There are too many suspects and the bodies start piling up just in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho

MY REVIEW OF THE CEO CAME DOA

The CEO Came DOA by Heather Haven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This fifth book in the Alvarez Family series should come with stock options for readers to get in on the ground floor. The previous Alvarez novels are top notch woman sleuth reads and I've enjoyed every one of them.

How is The "The CEO Came DOA" better than the rest? It's a matter of the series' style increasingly getting better with each book. It's clear that Ms. Haven is pretty much taking on the Lee Alvarez persona in both narrative and dialogue. Practice makes perfect.

I particularly enjoyed this one with its Silicon Valley setting. I'm familiar with the area and history of the high tech breeding grounds. Even though I haven't been there for many years, the book rings true to what I do know. I love when a book sounds like the author actually knows what they're talking about. That's the feel I have here. Lee is less than a computer genius, relying on her techie brother for that sort of thing, but she knows enough to figure out the whodunnit and why.

There's some excellent action in here as well. A scene on a sailboat in the middle of the night tensed my muscles as Lee Alvarez fought for her life. The feisty PI could have stayed ashore, but just couldn't let it alone.

I can not only highly recommend "The CEO Came DOA," but also give the overall series my highest rating. Not many books hit my 5-star mark. Ms. Haven has earned top marks by consistently producing book after book in a really fun and exciting series. Her characters are engaging and the plots suitably diverse to keep a reader's interest.

My general complaint about the Alvarez series has been too much focus on haute couture. There's still a little more than this blue jeans gal likes, but I've even gotten over my completely adverse reaction to high fashion. Hey, it's just part of the Alvarez family mystique. Wear those Pradas with pride, Lee. You know when to kick them off to run down the bad guys.

Highly recommended.

I was given an advance release copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Audio Books Only $1.99 at Amazon

Buy the Ebook on Amazon, Get the Audio Book for $1.99



Note: If you buy the ebook on Amazon, you can get the audio book for $1.99. With Whispersync, you can switch back and forth between reading and listening. Or, you can listen while you read.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Excerpt from FISH STORY - KU/KOLL Free Reads

FISH STORY is a selection of three tales from my collection, "Mixed Bag 2: Supersized." Smashwords doesn't want to carry samplers, so Amazon gets to keep this one in KDP. That means it's free to Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending Library subscribers.

Today's excerpt is from the second story. It has a bit of creepiness that some readers kind of liked. I hope you'll enjoy the excerpt and borrow the book free on Amazon's KU and KOLL programs.

Do you like my fish? It goes with the first story in the 3-tale collection. I came up with something different for story #2, "The Vision." Check
out the short book and read all about an interesting inhabitant of a small town in the Cascade Mountains, "Chilpequin - 22 Miles."

THE VISION

Previously published in “Weirdly, Volume 2” from WildChild Publishing


Real Mind-Reading Magician.
Check out http://tinyurl.com/zms9pfm
Charlie just had his first real vision, and it couldn’t have surprised him more. He glanced out at Mary Beth in the audience giving him frantic, although subtle, signals. He shook his head and almost heard Mary Beth gasp. Charlie shouldn’t move his head more than a centimeter, and he’d clearly moved it at least ten. Ten left, ten right, and ten left again.

He saw Mary Beth register his confusion. “Charles the Great is tiring, so that’s all the answers for this evening, folks. Next up, Gale and Her Magic Chickens!” she said.

Charlie took Mary Beth’s hint for a way out. He bowed to the audience a couple of times to a light smatter of applause, exiting stage left as fast as he could. Charlie collapsed on the folding chair sitting off stage as the startled Gale trooped by him with her colorful box full of chickens.

“Just what is wrong with you?” Mary Beth hissed the instant she arrived behind the curtains.

“I don’t know. I just got dizzy for a second,” Charlie said, bending his head down between his knees to emphasize his statement. He didn’t feel dizzy at all, but he wasn’t ready to tell Mary Beth about the vision. He had to sort it out himself first.

The partners of the mind-reading act of Charles the Great stumbled through the dark backstage to their dressing room. Mary Beth sat at the dressing table, pulled off her costume jewelry, and applied cleansing cream to her face. By the set of her mouth, Charlie knew that the rest of the evening might not be a pleasant one.

Charlie and Mary Beth had a great little mind-reading act. Mary Beth selected a person from the audience and chatted with them for a few moments before holding up the microphone.

“Charles, are you receiving anything from this person?” she’d say.

Charlie would already have taken on the glazed look of a person in a deep trance. Staring directly at Mary Beth, he picked up the cues which provided the information he used to ‘read’ minds.

“The lady is married,” he intoned. The wedding ring on her left hand provided the clue. Mary Beth’s lips barely moved, no more than a ventriloquist. She held the mike close to her mouth, but angled slightly to one side. Her mouth formed the letters, and more often, the shorthand codes they used.

“M. I see an M. The lady’s name begins with M?”

Mary Beth’s head twitched to the right. “No, she’s married to an M.” Mary Beth smiled.

“Is it Mike?”

Mary Beth twitched her mouth to the left. “No, no. It is M A, I can see it starts with M, then A.” An imperceptible nod, and her right little finger curled a micrometer.

“Marvin!” the woman blurted.

“Yes, you are married to Marvin,” Charlie said.

Charlie loved it when the audience did his work for him. The smart ones kept a straight face and didn’t say a word.

Charlie noted the woman’s smile turning downward. Could it be? He took a stab at the meaning of the expression. “Is Marvin no longer with us?”

“Yes, I mean no. That is, he died last summer,” the woman sputtered.

“I’m very sorry for your loss.” Mary Beth moved quickly to the next person. A raised left eyebrow, and she hauled the microphone through the audience looking for the clues that told a person’s story. Wedding rings, expensive watches, callouses, scars, clothing…open books to Mary Beth and Charlie’s skills.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Excerpt from LEMONS - A KU/KOLL Kids Book

Over the last couple of weeks, I've featured excerpts from my books free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (for Prime subscribers).

Much to my amazement, some people have noticed and used the power of their Amazon subscriptions to take a look at my books. Thank you! What you have done by flipping through those ebook pages is allowing me to finally make a little money from NOT selling books, but by loaning them through the #KU and #KOLL programs,

Today, the excerpt is from LEMONS AND OTHER KID TALES. It contains three short stories specifically written for younger end of the reading scale. The stories all involve animals. It's a really short book and I hope folks borrow it. It does have color photo illustrations, but it's not a picture book. Here is an excerpt, complete with the photos. The excerpt is from "A Practical Cat," the last story in the book. By the way, the book is only 99 cents, so it wouldn't hurt to buy it.

A Practical Cat

Boots lay on her back, tucked between the chair arm and the Big’s leg. This was her favorite place to snuggle.

Spaghetti night was best. The Bigs ate dinner watching the loud bright square. Boots had no idea why. Still, it made it easy for Boots to slip a paw into the dish and snatch a piece of meat.

She just had to say mrrrow, and she got whatever the Bigs held in their hands. Sometimes, Boots only needed to stare at them without blinking and think hard.  The Bigs did what she thought and opened the treat box. Of course, the Bigs spoiled her since she was the most beautiful cat.

One day, Boots was sitting on the back of the couch watching a squirrel running up a tree. She thought she would like to play with the squirrel, but she couldn’t get outside. She could only look at the squirrels and birds from her place on the couch.

Boots looked at the big square showing the real outside. The Bigs never let her go through, but she decided that she could find a way. After all, Boots was the smartest cat in the world, and the most beautiful.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slàinte! - Excerpt from the Witches of Galdorheim

I'm featuring excerpts from my books free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (for Prime subscribers).

Lucky KU and KOLL people can read the entire three book series with a single download. The only thing missing is a prequel short story (Spellslinger) for fans of the main characters smart-aleck little brother, Rune. Hey, the short is only 99 cents, so think of it as getting the ENTIRE four book series for 99 cents. 


Today's excerpt is from Scotch Broom, the second book of the series. Hey, we've got fairies here!

Chapter 21 - Slàinte!

Cait Sidhe stood up on her hind legs and marched left and right with her nose held high. It surprised Kat that Cait seemed quite comfortable walking on two legs.

“What—?” Kat gasped as Cait Sidhe grew taller, her body wavering and twisting as she morphed from black cat into what appeared to be a human girl the size of a ten-year old. The child-like Sidhe was as black as her cat form with a spot of white running from her neck to her collarbones. Her translucent wings formed a shimmering rainbow growing out of her shoulder blades. Never at rest, the wings flashed pale flickers of rainbow colors around the fairy’s back.

“Oh! Self-transformation. I should have guessed. Sidhe does mean fairy, and fairies are master transformers.”

“Catch on fast, don’t you, witchy.”

“I see your, um, personality didn’t change.” Kat moved to slide off Diamond’s back, but he told her to wait until they got to a dry place. She settled back as well as she could behind Diamond’s withers. “Are there any dry spots in this swamp?”

Cait answered. “Yes, which is why I switched to the less efficient, bipedal mode. I must take this inconvenient form to get Seonaidh’s attention.”

“Who is Show Me?” Kat asked.

“SHOW NEE,” Cait snarled. “Can’t you get any of our names right?”

“Well, don’t get your tail in a twist. They are unusual names, you know.”

“Ha. Your jokes stink, too.” Cait said no more, but flew upward, then flitted away across the bogs.

“Why are we stopping to see this Seonaidh? I don’t want to waste time on another roadside attraction.”

“Seonaidh can see the future. Cait Sidhe believes we can find out what happens to your brother.”

“That’d be great! I want to know if Rune will be okay.”

They soon came to another pool, much like the others dotting the bogs, except the water was clear. Kat could see to the bottom of the pond, where underwater plants swayed to and fro.

“It’s beautiful,” she said and then yelped when Diamond bent his front legs. She pitched forward and planted her face in his mane. Sitting up, she threw one leg over his back and rolled off. She put her hands on the small of her back and leaned backward then forward to take the kinks out.

Cait Sidhe stood by the edge of the pool, looking down. Kat walked over to the pond. It was only then Kat noticed the fairy was naked.

“Seonaidh,” Cait yelled. “Get your ugly butt up here.”

Kat turned her attention away from Cait and looked into the pool. She inhaled and thought the sweet smell of fresh water a nice change from the constant dank smell of swamp. A dark form lay at the bottom among the wavering water plants. Cait pointed to the form. “That’s Seonaidh. If I can get him up here, he’ll want a cup of ale. You’re a witch. Can you produce that?”

“Sure, but how long is this going to take?”

“Not long if you whomp up that ale,” Cait replied.

* * *
The three books in the series:

BAD SPELLING
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Follow the adventures of Katrina and her half-vampire brother, Rune, as they chase down an evil shaman. Dodging the shaman's curses on a dangerous trip across the ice-bound arctic seas, they meet both friends and foes. Kat and Rune must find the shaman and stop him before their beloved island home is destroyed.

MIDNIGHT OIL
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.

SCOTCH BROOM
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Witch Way? Excerpt from Witches of Galdorheim

I'm featuring excerpts from my books free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and Kindle Owners Lending Library (for Prime subscribers).

Lucky KU and KOLL people can read the entire three book series with a single download. The only thing missing is a prequel short story (Spellslinger) for fans of the main characters smart-aleck little brother, Rune. Hey, the short is only 99 cents, so think of it as getting the ENTIRE four book series for 99 cents. 


Today's excerpt is from Midnight Oil, the second book of the series.

Chapter Seven -  Witch Way?

The boat slammed into another wave trough, and the block slipped a few more inches. Kat feared it would slide off the boat at any moment. She edged out of the wheelhouse and dropped to her hands and knees to avoid the worst of the wind.

Ivansi glanced in her direction. “No! Stay!” he shouted. She ignored him and continued to creep to the stern, water and wind lashing at her, holding the sides of the boat or anything else she could get a grip on. 

“Don’t, Kat! You can’t do anything about it,” Rune yelled. With both hands occupied keeping himself and Nadia upright, he was unable to stop her.

She looked back at her brother and saw the desperation in his eyes. “Got to try,” she whispered, knowing the howling wind would whip away any words she spoke.

She reached the closest line holding the ice. Thinking hard, she tried a containment spell, gesturing with one hand while she gripped the rope with the other. The ice slipped again, tugging her to the back of the boat. The rope burned her hand, and she shut her eyes against the stinging salt spray. A huge wave hit, and Kat flew through the air, following her father’s body into the angry sea.

“No,” Rune screamed as his sister disappeared behind a huge wave. Ivansi slowed the engine, but he didn’t dare stop or try to turn back. He had to keep the boat headed into the wind or risk being capsized. The boat kept pitching with the high waves. Rune strained to extend his vision in the direction his sister and the block of ice vanished, but even his vampire eyesight couldn’t find her through the tossing waves and the wind-driven spray. The salt water stung his eyes, and the motion of the boat kept him from focusing in any one direction long enough to pick up Kat’s life force.

The wind blew them farther and farther away. Ivansi slammed the throttle to its forward stop, and with the engine screaming at full power, he attempted to bring the boat about. As he turned the bow away from the howling wind, the boat heeled over until the rail was almost under water. He had to bring it back around before it shipped too much water. Freed from the weight of Boris’ ice block, the little boat bobbed like a cork. Punching his fist against the wheelhouse wall in frustration, Ivansi brought it back. It was no use. The boat was no match for the wind and the monstrous waves. The sea tossed them around like a giant slapping the boat back and forth. Indeed, it was a giant—the giant sea playing with the toy boat.

Rune squinted against the spray and then turned back to Ivansi, whose grim face did nothing to raise Rune’s hopes. 

“We go.” The old man pointed away from where Kat had disappeared. 

“But we’ve got to go after her,” Rune yelled. “We can’t just leave!”
Ivansi looked away from Rune and spoke to Nadia.

Nadia turned to Rune, her eyes sad. “No choice. Boat can’t do it.”

Rune pulled away from her and slipped and slid toward the stern, searching the crest of every wave for something, anything that might be his sister. He saw nothing but the raging sea. Rune hung his head. He could see that trying to follow was useless. He held his hands up, closed his eyes and concentrated on a farseeing spell. Again, nothing. Kat was lost.

* * *
The three books in the series:

BAD SPELLING
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
Follow the adventures of Katrina and her half-vampire brother, Rune, as they chase down an evil shaman. Dodging the shaman's curses on a dangerous trip across the ice-bound arctic seas, they meet both friends and foes. Kat and Rune must find the shaman and stop him before their beloved island home is destroyed.

MIDNIGHT OIL
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.

SCOTCH BROOM
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.