Saturday, August 31, 2013

FEATURED BOOK ~ The Three Kitties Who Saved My Life [memoir]

THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFEan uplifting true story of love
Mike Meyer [Goodreads Facebook Pinterest]

Losing loved ones is an awful fact of life; losing one's loving spouse, one's day-to-day partner through life, especially in the prime of life, is one of the most unbearable tolls that we humans are forced to endure. This is the true story of my journey from grieving widower, not caring if I lived or died, to the once-again happily married man I am today, a man who both loves and cherishes life. My three kitties have given me a new zest for living.

Both inspiring and entertaining, my story is filled with laughter as well as tears, and you will certainly find yourself moved by my journey.

It is amazing how time helps. In time, I have learned to overcome my own albatross. I have learned to live again, to love again. Life is a gift reads a plaque on our dining room wall, and that sums up what I have gained from the three kitties that saved my life. From Coco, I learned to care again. From Kitty, I learned to love again. From Pom Pom, I have learned how to cope with my own demons, the effects of aging being one of these. Pom Pom has taught me to accept what is and then to move onward. Yes, I have learned plenty from my three kitties.
My journey has been a long one, a difficult one at times, but it has a happy ending. The three kitties in my life have made it so. They have all helped me to become the happy-to-be-alive man that I am today. I now accept rather than cope. I live each day to the fullest, knowing full well that life is a gift, and a very precious one at that. I look back on my life and I often think that I must be the luckiest man in the world. I have so much to be thankful for. The wonderment and beauty of life are both so dear to me. 
And, to add a delicious icing to the lovely taste of my life, I can say with total honesty to the whole world, my voice booming into the sky, my dancing feet not caring in the least who might see me, that I have been very fortunate to have done something that brings more sheer delight and wonderful pride to me than anything else that I have accomplished in my life: I have fallen madly, heads-over-heels in love not once, but twice, and how many others can say that?
Available on Amazon

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Did you know? Amazon offers...

We all have favorite authors, authors we love to read, authors who write series, authors who publish irregularly but still authors we want to follow. There are multiple ways of keeping up with them (and me) - Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters and even Amazon.

Amazon? Yup, you can sign up at Amazon to get an email update when your favorite authors publish a new book!

Click on the photo to enlarge and you'll see a Stay Up To Date on the right hand side of the page. Click the link and you're ready to go! Oh, wouldn't hurt my feelings if you clicked that LIKE button while you're there. ;)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oops, I did it again...another children's story!

I decided to participate in a writing challenge with several author friends. The result is book one of a seven book series. Written for middle school kids (ages 9-12), it uses their imagination and fires off their creativity.
Monday Midnight Madness
[Book One of 7 Days of Seven: Short Story Snacks]

When Bernie Bushkin, your every day 12 year old, goes to his first day of 7th grade he has no idea his life will change completely before he gets home that night.

Follow along with Bernie as he discovers the special powers passed down from his great-great-great grandfather to him. Powers that will let him save a land he never knew existed.
Selling for .99 regularly, it will be FREE tomorrow, 8/30. Snag a copy for your favorite youngster! Don't forget to watch for the next book in the series...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My first EVER children's book!

My first ever children's book is now available on Amazon. It's a rhyming picture book, What Do I Count, and is suitable up to age five. Good bedtime or anytime reading, teaches numbers. Great as a gift to/from parents and grandparents! {Please share the link with your family and friends.}

Kara Jaynes did an amazing job on the illustrations, making my silly words come to life.

This was my first time using the new, free Kindle Comic Creator and it was easy. Now to figure out how to translate this into an appropriate sized paperback book. Anyone know how to convert a .mobi to a .pdf with odd page sizes? ;)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

NEW RELEASE: The Operator (Bruce And Bennett Crime Thriller 2)

by Valerie Laws [learn more]

‘Gripping from the very first scene.’ Ann Cleeves, author of TV’s Vera and Shetland novels.
'Intelligent, dark and shot through with sly comedy, Valerie Laws is one of those writers who consistently satisfies.' Alex Marwood, best-selling author of The Wicked Girls.

‘Now, this won’t hurt...’ In the second Erica Bruce and Will Bennett mystery, a sadistic orthopaedic surgeon is killed. Erica wades in to protect his suspected soon-to-be-ex-wife, but soon it appears someone’s giving doctors a taste of their own medicine - murdering surgeons to mimic the operations they perform in this action-packed thriller.

THE OPERATOR reunites Erica Bruce, small but fierce alternative health therapist and journalist, with tall, dark athletic Detective Inspector Will Bennett. The setting is the north east coast of England: historic castles and rural beauty mixing with seafront winebars, from the lighthouse at Wydsand, where Erica lives, to the mouth of the River Tyne itself, venue of a dramatic set piece where the mighty, hostile North Sea tests Erica to the limit.

THE OPERATOR is available at Amazon

to celebrate the publication of the sequel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's the story?

We stopped at a mini-mart for milk on our way home from the movies and parked beside this motorcycle. I had to snap a photo, I think there is a story in this picture. What do you think?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day late and a dollar short?

Yes, I almost missed several scheduled posts like IWSG and the Indelibles. Yes, I did miss my Five Friday Facts - again! Yes, I'm sorry. No, really, I am.

But right now I just have too much life going one. I'm working hard to edit my novel, "Barely a Spark". I'm getting ready for our two month motorcycle trip on Route 66 and I'm getting ready for our move to Ecuador. Phew!

I did simplify ONE thing, I'm now down to two personal blogs plus this one. I merged four personal blogs into one, that should help. If you're interested, you can find it at Our Prime Years.

One final note - THANK YOU to almost 1000 entrants in the giveaways for my copy of paperback books at And a HUGE congratulations to the winners, E. Steen (copy of Home Again) and P. Hanby (copy of Not a Whisper).

Friday, August 16, 2013

A chance to win a print copy of "Home Again"

Here's your chance to win a print copy of "Not a Whisper"!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Home Again by Donna B. McNicol

Home Again

by Donna B. McNicol

Giveaway ends August 18, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Indelibles Indie Life for August

This is the second month in the new monthly support group sponsored by The Indelibles, called Indie Life. We get to post anything we want in support of other independent authors.

 I Am Editing

Writing is hard but for me, editing is even harder. Why? First, I never like re-reading my stories. I guess if I would let them sit and stew for a bit, that might help. But no, I'm a glutton for punishment and I jump right into editing as soon as the writing is done. (Okay, I might take a few days off.)

This means two things. First, I'm too close to the story and miss things and second, my brain plugs in all the missing words and corrects all the misspelled ones. This is the third book that I've done this way and I am really hoping I've learned my lesson and will change it next time around.

When I finish this book, Barely a Spark (book two in the Klondike Mystery series), I plan to work on a trilogy of romance novellas. I will write all three before tackling editing the first one. We'll see how well that goes.

Do you ever continue doing things the wrong (or perceived wrong) way? Have you been successful in changing that habit?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I recently read a great blog post by Leo Babauta on decluttering your life. This section really resonated with me.
Decluttering Your Calendar & Digital Life
Physical decluttering is only one type of decluttering. You can also simplify your day, and your online/computer life as well.

A few simple tips:

  • Decluttering your day is about reducing commitments, and saying no to the non-essential things. So first make a list of your commitments.
  • Make a list of what’s most important to you (4-5 things) and declutter the rest. Say no to people with a phone call or email, and get out of existing commitments.
  • Be very ruthless about saying no to new commitments — and seeing requests as potential commitments. Guard your time.
  • Declutter your digital life one step at a time, just like your physical life. Email newsletters, blogs, social networks, online reading and watching, forums, etc. — are they essential? Can you declutter them?
My first step was to merge Write 4 Ten into this website but based upon participation, I feel it is time to let it go. Not only are the contributions almost non-existent, now there are several other blogs/websites using the same premise. So starting this week, there will be no more Write 4 Ten word prompts. I'll be sad to see it go but it will also remove an unneeded burden on me.

I currently maintain too many blogs and over the next couple of months, I'll be merging all the personal ones into two basic blogs. It still makes sense to keep our Ecuador blog separate from our US based blogs.

So what can YOU do to simplify your life?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A chance to win a print copy of "Not a Whisper"

Missed winning the print copy of "Not a Whisper" during the Summer Splash Blog Hop? Here's another chance to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Not a Whisper by Donna B. McNicol

Not a Whisper

by Donna B. McNicol

Giveaway ends August 18, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, August 11, 2013

NEW RELEASE ~ To Kiss a Werewolf

Molly Snow: [more about the author]
As president of Paranormal Addicts Anonymous, Stella’s got no time for popular guys. Especially the surfers who hang at Shoreline’s beach—they think flashing a sand-sprinkled, tanned chest is enough to get any girl. But when surfer-hunk Damien Capernalli crashes Stella’s PAA fieldtrip to a haunted bed and breakfast, it may be time to rethink her priorities.

...And what’s with that wolfish gleam in Damien's eye?

Now available at Amazon

An excerpt from "Barely a Spark"

I thought you might enjoy reading a snippet from book two of the Klondike Mystery series, "Barely a Spark." Let me know your thoughts....

After sending off Diana and the twins for a day of swimming at Callahan Park in Bradford, Janie cleaned up the breakfast dishes and put a kettle on the stove for tea. Sitting at the battered table, she stared at her hands, lost in thought. The knock at the door startled her but she welcomed the distraction of friends. They’d been dropping by regularly, bringing food and offering to help in any way needed.
“C’mon in, door’s open.” Smiling at the expectation of a familiar face, she frowned when she realized it was a man she didn’t recognize. She stood quickly, almost knocking over her chair. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone I knew.”
The stranger stood in the doorway, his face shadowed by the sunlight behind him. He was big, huge in fact; standing at over six feet tall and weighing in at over 250 pounds. She was surprised by the long, straight, black hair that shimmered in the bright light. As she walked closer she saw a very sculptured face with a massive scar down one cheek.
“May I help you?” Janie wrung her hands, not sure if she should let this man come any house further.
“Mrs. Crocker?” His deep voice resonated deep into her bones.
“Yes?” she answered shakily, one hand on the doorknob.
“First, I’d like to extend my condolences on the death of your husband.”
“Thank you.” She hung her head and then looked at him again, “Did you know John?”
“In a manner of speaking. We were business partners. May I come in?”
Janie wasn’t totally reassured but wanted to hear more. “Please,” she gestured to the rickety kitchen table. “I was just making tea. May I get you something?” She cringed as the old wooden chair groaned out a protest as he sat.
“No thank you. I won’t be long.” He placed his battered and scarred hands on the table as he surveyed the room.
Janie poured her tea and joined him. “I’m sorry, you are?”
The smile that crossed his face somehow made him look more sinister. “Samuel Parker. Nice place you have here.”
Janie nodded her head, not sure how to proceed. “You said you and John were business partners? He never mentioned you.”
“You have beautiful children,” he gestured to some family photos on the wall, ignoring her question.
“Um, thank you. I am blessed. Is there something I can do for you?”
“It’d be a shame to see something happen to one of them.” He turned his stony gaze to Janie, all signs of a smile now gone.
“What?” she almost shrieked, her heart raced.
He pulled a knife out of his pocket, using it to clean his fingernails.“Your children. It would be terrible if there was another ‘accident’ in the family.” The word accident was accentuated.
“I’m sorry. I think you should leave now.” Janie rose shakily, trying to ignore the knife. She opened the kitchen door and turned to him, “Please.”
He walked towards her menacingly, the knife still in his hand. Towering over her, he continued. “Your husband owed me money. A lot of money. Now YOU owe me money.” His smile was more of a smirk, “A lot of money.” Walking out the door her turned and told her, “I’ll be back tomorrow. We’ll talk again then. Oh, and you should know, my nickname is The Destroyer.”
Janie closed the door, locked it and collapsed on the floor, trying to calm herself. She eventually managed to force her wobbly legs to carry her into the living room. Her hands shook as she dialed the non-emergency number.
“Bradford Police, how may I help you?”
“I’m not sure.” Janie thought quickly, “Um, is Jim Sanders in? The Chief?”
“Yes ma’am. May I tell him who’s calling?”
“It’s Janie Crocker. John Crocker’s wife?”
“Hold please.” Molly got Jim on the line. “Jim, I have Janie Crocker calling. Should I patch it through?”
“Mary Allardt just walked in. Please tell Mrs. Crocker that I will call her back shortly. Thanks, Molly.”

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Free Ebook: "Tangling with Tania" by Suzy Steward Dubot

Suzy Stewart Dubot
[more about the author]

Tania has been a little peeved when her new neighbour's cardboard rubbish has blown into her yard. Owen has just come through a rough divorce and doesn't care for Tania's critical tone the first time they meet. 'Tangling with Tania' tells what Owen gets when he messes with Tania - an amusing tale of revenge and where it leads.​

FREE on Smashwords

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five Friday Facts for August 9th

Strange week...not sure why?

  1. Really tried hard to get the book edited, I think the time crunch is what's hurting me. I still hope to get it published in a month but am doubting now that it will happen. Feeling bad for my readers who are waiting impatiently. Had two totally non-productive days, at least professionally. Did get a lot of niggling little chores done thought. Guess that should count? Sigh....
  2. Cut down 49 Harley-Davidson t-shirts that are getting made into a queen sized blanket. Not a quilt but still very nice. Great price, $199, and it benefits a great organization. Check it out at Project Repat.
  3. I'm starting to pre-schedule guest posts for Sept/Oct when I will be traveling and not posting. If you're interested in a guest spot, post a comment with your email addy and I'll send you the details. [I'll delete the comment once I have saved your information so you don't get spammed.]
  4. I had really hoped to get back into some flash fiction but have too much on my plate right now. Sigh...maybe next year? Heck, I might even do the April A to Z blog challenge again!
  5. Wondering why my little snuggly puppy went. She turned three yesterday.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#Write4Ten Prompt - ANGUISH

The word prompt today is ANGUISH.

Go for it, fact or fiction, memories or tales - your choice. Write for ten minutes - minimum. Don't worry if you take longer, that means your creativity has been sparked...and that is a good thing.

When you're done, add your BLOG POST LINK to our new linky list below. That's it! [No blog? Feel free to post your writing in the comments.]

an·guish  (nggwsh)
Agonizing physical or mental pain; torment. See Synonyms at regret.
v. an·guished, an·guish·ing, an·guish·es
To cause to feel or suffer anguish.
To feel or suffer anguish.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

#IWSG for August - The word is...what rhymes with...

Another month has rolled around. During this past month -

  • I wondered if I was really RETIRED, getting up early every morning and working all day long.
  • All because I DESIRED to write the complete first draft of my second mystery novel, "Barely a Spark".
  • Every day I REWIRED myself with caffeine and practiced BIC-HOK-TAM (butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly)
  • I REQUIRED myself to meet a daily goal in order to meet my deadline.
  • I was INSPIRED daily by author friends who were making and keeping more ambitious daily goals.
  • I INQUIRED from online sources, trying to make my story realistic.
  • I ACQUIRED more knowledge about the Pennsylvania justice system.
  • I got my first fan email and felt ADMIRED.

So what am I now?


Oh, but I did manage to complete the first draft of "Barely a Spark".

Find other IWSG participants HERE.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School Kindle Fire Giveaway

I hope you'll join in the fun with me and a lot of other authors at the Back to School Kindle Fire giveaway, from now through August 15th.

You could win a new Kindle Fire or one of several Amazon Gift cards.

You can visit the main site where you can see all the sponsors (yes, I am one of them) or enter below.

Keep reading!

Monday, August 5, 2013

#Write4Ten Prompt - ASTEROID

The word prompt today is ASTEROID.

Go for it, fact or fiction, memories or tales - your choice. Write for ten minutes - minimum. Don't worry if you take longer, that means your creativity has been sparked...and that is a good thing.

When you're done, add your BLOG POST LINK to our new linky list below. That's it! [No blog? Feel free to post your writing in the comments.]

as·ter·oid  (st-roid)
1. Astronomy Any of numerous small celestial bodies that revolve around the sun, with orbits lying chiefly between Mars and Jupiter and characteristic diameters between a few and several hundred kilometers. Also called minor planet, planetoid.
2. Zoology See starfish.
adj. also as·ter·oi·dal (st-roidl)