Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Night After Christmas...

The night after Christmas and all though Santa's house, not a creature was stiring, not even Santa mouse!

As you can see Santa is bushed after his long night.  Everyone, even the SH9000 needed some down time.  From what I hear, the elves did get a lot of the bugs fixed this year and she didn't drop even one present.


Happy Holidays

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Husband Enters the World Black Friday Nov 25th in E-book and Print!

I am pleased to announce The Husband, my latest book releases this Black Friday (Nov 25) in e-book and print editions!  This is a first as most of my books the print edition followed the e-book edition.  Another first, the e-book edition will be available FREE for the first week of its release.

It will be is available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords editions.  The print edition will be is available at Amazon, B&N, or anywhere books are sold.

The Husband is a Science Fiction Romantic Action & Adventure novel.  A bit different than my previous published works.

ISBN 978-0-9881783-9-7
ISBN 978-0-9881783-8-0 (e-book)

From the back cover:
One night Erin's husband returns a changed man.  He walks like him, talks like him, yet is treating her better than he ever did before.  No one believes her, leaving Erin alone to find out the truth.  Truth that could have dire consequences for the entire human race.  What happened that caused him to change so radically?


Excerpt:
The drive to Top Point was uneventful, but enjoyable.  Jack talked about work and the upgrades going on at the sawmill.  What some of the guys were up to.  She wondered what happened to Jack that changed him so much.  He didn't used to talk this much about the guys or work.  Granted he thought it would bore her, but to the contrary, she always wanted to know about his life.  She also ached for so long to be more apart of it.  Now here he was doing exactly that, and she didn't know what to make of it.

"So what do you think?"

Erin blinked.  "Hmm?"

"Earth to Erin ... Earth to Erin come in Erin."

She slapped him playfully.  "Will you stop!"

"So where were you?"

"Huh?"

"Well you weren't here with me, that is for sure.  You looked like you were million miles away."

"Oh.  I was thinking about a dress Jane was working on.  That's all," she lied.

"Hmm, here I am talking about the guys and if I should go with them to the big game next week, and you are thinking about dresses?  I didn't know I was that boring."

She grabbed his hand and squeezed.  "You aren't!  You get that thought out of your head this instant.  I love it when you talk to me.  Please don't ever stop."

Jack laughed.  "Okay, you convinced me.  You know I never could resist that look."

Erin's face cracked into a lopsided grin.  "What look?"

Jack laughed.  "And there is another one.  Geez, you have a bigger arsenal than our country does of nuclear weapons!"

"Only for you my darling."

"Good thing.  Ah here is our exit."  Jack said as he turned the wheel.  A few minutes later they were driving in a ocean of parked cars.  "See a spot?"

"Yes, I think I see one in the next row over," Erin said pointing.

"Ah, I see it."  Jack guided the truck into the narrow space.  They walked to the front gate and Jack pulled out his wallet.  Erin gulped when the price was quoted, but Jack didn't even flinch.  He even paid extra for the VIP pass, and gave one to Erin.

"Be sure to wear that all times."  The man in the ticket booth said pointing to the passes.  "They allow you to access the express lines or jump to the lead of others if there isn't one.  They also will get you two free meals.  Simply have the cashier scan the pass."

Jack nodded.  "Thank you.  Have a good day."

"You too sir."

Erin pulled him away and whispered.  "How much did you spend on these things?!  I didn't even know they had VIP here."

"Neither did I, but when I saw the perks, I couldn't resist.  We will make good use of them today."

"But--"

"Erin, I told you before, this is my treat.  Don't worry about it.  And before you ask, yes the mill is doing well.  It is not going under.  This is not a last hurrah.  I am trying to make it up to you for yesterday.  Will you please let me?"

Erin sighed.  "Sorry, I guess I am not used to you spending money like that is all."

Jack's eyebrow raised.  "Am I that bad?"

"Let's just say that you could give Scrooge a tip or two."

"I am not that bad."

"True, you are worse," Erin said with a smile.

Jack squeezed her hand.  "You are going to get it."

"Promises, promises."

"Nope, that's a guarantee.  Once I get you home that is."  Jack winked.

Erin's grin widened.  "I am looking forward to it.  Now which ride shall we do first?"

"How about the teacup?" Jack pointed to the teacups spinning around on a raised platform a few yards away.

Erin's eyebrows met.  "Teacups?  I thought you might want to ride The Warp."  She pointed to the large roller coaster on the other side of the park.

"Well I know coasters are not your thing," Jack chuckled.

"True, teacups it is."

They stood in line but as soon as the operator saw the passes hanging from their belt loops, he motioned them to come to the front of the line.  The ride stopped a moment later and they hopped into one of the large tea cups, and shut the door.  Erin slid up next to Jack and he put his arm around her.  The cups started up and they spun around the floor with increasing speed.  Erin held onto Jack.  They watched the world spin around them and smiled.

When the ride stopped, Erin stood up then fell backward into Jack's lap.  "I told you, not until we get back home."  He winked.

"Very funny.  I lost my balance for a second is all."  She stuck her tongue out.

"Careful Mrs. Winecker.  Them's fightn' words.  I might make use of that tongue."  He said closing the distance between her face and his.

She hopped up and left the tea cup before he could.  "Oh you are going to get it."

Jack grinned as he stood up.  "Promises, promises."

"Oh you will, trust me.  Now where to next?"

"Up to you my love.  I drove us here, now it is your turn."

"Hmm, how about that Haunted House ride.  If they still have it?"

Jack nodded.  "Sure, that will be fun."

They wandered around, and after a bit found the Haunted House.  The line was huge going around the building.  But once again their passes came in handy.  They were in the little car heading inside the Haunted House in less than five minutes.  "I have to admit, those passes were a good idea."

Jack leaned forward.  "What's that?  I couldn't hear you.  I thought you said I was right."

She slapped him playfully.  "Oh hush you."

"Maybe."

After the large double doors snapped shut behind them, various realistic projections of creatures appeared.  One even shot into their little car.  Erin forgot about that and she jumped into Jack's lap and threw her arms around him.  He could feel her heart pounding next to his.  "Hmmm I am going to have to remember this ride, and come here more often," he said with a sly smile.

Erin squeezed him then laughed.  "Oh I love you."

He gave her a squeeze back.  "Ditto."

They rode all different kinds of rides throughout the day.  Some were fast, others were more like attending a show with special effects than a ride.  For lunch they decided on tacos, and while included with their tickets, Jack paid anyway.  Erin's eyebrow went up and she tilted her head but didn't say anything until they sat down.  "Why didn't you want to use the pass?"

"Because I don't think that vendor is included in the deal.  Besides, he has a family of four to feed."

Erin's eyes went wide as she leaned forward.  "How do you know that?"

"Remember when you went to look for napkins?  He pointed to the extra cheese on my taco and said his kids did the same thing.  All four of them."

Erin nodded as she bit into her taco, but wondered as she didn't recall them having a conversation.  Granted it was noisy, but she wasn't that far away.  She swallowed and wiped some sauce from her chin.  "What would you like to do next?"

"I told you, you are driving.  You tell me."  Jack grinned, then took another bite from his taco.

Erin shook her head.  "Nope you have let me pick all this time.  Now it is your turn."

Jack swallowed.  "Nope."

"Okay then, The Warp it is!"

"What?!"  Jack sputtered sending two bits of taco that landed on his paper plate.

"You heard me.  Don't think that I haven't noticed the looks you keep giving it.  It's the only thing in this park that gets that look, except me!"

"Well ..." Jack looked down at his plate and moved it around with a finger.  "I do admit, I would like to ride it someday.  I mean, it has the latest in linear induction technology.  You don't get drawn up by a chain to a high peak, then dropped.  It blasts you out of the gate!  That must be wild!"

With Jack's enthusiasm for the ride, and that he was willing to put it off for her, only made her smile grow.  "I'm sure."

Jack took her hand into his and squeezed.  "Are you sure?  I mean, I know coasters are not your thing."

Erin nodded.  "Yes I am sure.  And if you think you are going in that thing, without me, you have another thing coming!"

"But I was just thinking--"

"I know what you were thinking, and while I could wait on the sidelines.  I will not be thought of as the wimpy wife that waited on the side while her husband rode The Warp."

Jack grinned.  "But no one would ever--"

"Uh huh, I can see the watercooler conversation at the sawmill now.  No way!"

"I wouldn't--"

She leaned forward and kissed his lips tasting a speck of sauce he missed.  "I know you wouldn't.  But I couldn't help teasing.  However, I'm still riding with you."

Jacked watched her unwavering gaze, and he sighed.  "Guess I am not going to win this am I?"

"Nope."  Erin popped the last of the taco into her mouth and munched.  "Not a chance."

Jack stood up, picked up their plates and threw it into the trash.  "Let's head over.  I am sure there is a long line."

She looped her arm into his.  "Right with you."

The line reached around the main entrance three times.  Even with their passes, the wait was over fifteen minutes before one of the small two seater trains were available.  They climbed in, the attendant lowered the shoulder harness, and locked them into place.  "Please remember to keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times."  They nodded and he returned to the control booth.  A voice boomed over several loud speakers.  "You are about to enter The Warp.  Prepare for launch ... 5 ... 4 ..."

Jack grabbed Erin's hand and squeezed.  "This is going to be fun."

Erin swallowed hard.  "Yeah right."

 "3 ... 2 ... 1 ... LAUCH!"  Powerful, unseen, linear induction motors powered up and they were shoved back into their seats as the small craft shot out of the gate like a cannon ball.  The craft curved as it followed the track, then spun several times entering a corkscrew.

"Yeah-hooo!"

Erin shut her eyes.  "Just tell me when it is over!"  The train continued on spinning, throwing them upside down, then back again in an eye blink.  "Ohh I wish I didn't eat that taco!"  Two minutes later they were slowing down and heading back into the building from the opposite side.  But suddenly, instead of breaking, the induction motors kicked in accelerating them at top speed.  It shot them back out of the building before the operator could blink.  With the added inertia, the train hit a sharp turn at speeds far beyond what the designers has intended.  It jumped the track and went hurtling towards a brick wall at the start of The Warp enclosure.

"Jack!"  Erin screamed and shut her eyes again.

They hit with a loud bang and the car crumpled.  The smell of sulfur stung Erin's nose as bricks and mortar rained down around them.  When the dust settled, Erin opened her eyes.  The train's front had crumpled, but stopped a nanometer short of touching them.  She looked over at Jack.  His face was ashen as he turned towards her.  "Are you okay?  Please be okay."

Erin coughed.  "I am okay.  What a ride!"

Jack threw back his head and laughed.  "Oh what a wife I have!  I love you."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nook Press goes free!

Nook Press has finally given authors a real price choice!  While it has always been possible to have a ebook set as free on the Nook platform, you had to go through a distributer.  If you used the Nook Press platform to add the book yourself, the lowest price you could set was $0.99.

Now that has changed.  I received a email today saying that Nook Press has added the ability for authors to set their books as free.  I have tested it and it does work.  Although, it may take a day or two for the change to be seen in the Nook store.

It certainly took them a long time to bring out this service.  While using a distributer worked, it took longer.  Sometimes weeks for the changes to propagate though to the Nook store.  Any change I made in Nook Press platform appeared in the store a few hours after I made it.  I have always liked the Nook platform, the hardware B&N made especially.  I don't like how B&N has managed it, they have made mistake after mistake.  This is the first positive change they have made in a long time.  Gives me a little hope for the platform.

In honor of the change and hope of the platform, my book Italian Fever is now FREE for a limited time (well once the Nook store updates in a few hours).

Friday, August 26, 2016

Time Rock Print Edition is out!

Time Rock Print Edition is out! But there is still time to lock in 33% off at Amazon  B&N  or your local bookstore.   If you like Sci-Fi and time travel then you won't want to miss this!  I don't know when the pre-release sale ends (technically it should have already) so grab your copy before it expires!

Excerpt:
A balding man wearing only a subligar and waving a branch over his shoulder so that the leaves impacted his back as he approached.  His smile could swallow a whale.  "Gellius! So glad you could make it today.  And who are your friends?"

Gellius inclined his head slightly.  "Magistrate Nigellus, how could I not come today thank you for your gift."

Nigellus waved his hand dismissively.  "Why Gellius you are always welcome you know that.  Of everyone here today, I am glad you could attend most of all."

"You honor me Magistrate Nigellus."

"What is with all the formality?  Call me Nigellus.  I may have payed for the bath today, but that does not mean you need to kiss my feet.  Just remember this when I am up for reelection."  Nigellus leaned forward lowering his voice to a notch above a whisper.  "Which incidentally is next week."

Gellius' eyes widened as he leaned back in feigned surprise.  "Oh is it?  I had no idea."

Nigellus' smile broadened.  "No of course you didn't.  And who are your friends?"

Gellius' feet shifted uncomfortably on the mosaic encrusted floor.  "Well, we just met a little while ago, this is our first trip to Rome.  He was nice enough to help us earlier today," James said.

Relief washed over Gellius like a great flood.  "Yes the lady was not feeling well and I took them to my office."

"Sounds like our Gellius here, always trying to help people.  I am sure it is why you became a doctor in the first place.  I am Nigellus, as you are no doubt now aware, and please remember me at the election."

"Someone that would pay for today on such a large scale?  We could never forget your generosity.  Thank you Magistrate Nigellus."

"Please call me Nigellus today, thank you.  I am very glad to see your lady is feeling better and you were able to bring her."

"Yes I am feeling much better, thank you Nigellus," Red said smiling.

"Wonderful, and I assume you have a place to stay tonight?"

"No, we had not found a location yet.  But we did pass several inns that should suffice."  James said holding his right hand on his toga to make sure it did not move out of place.

"A inn? That would not be wise for citizens such as yourselves.  If you didn't know, most of them are run by pleabean's and not worth your time.  I would also be wary of one's possessions in such an establishment.  Gellius has a large domus, I am sure he wouldn't mind letting you stay the night.  It would be much safer for voting citizens such as yourselves I can assure you.  Right Gellius?"

"Of course Magistrate Nigellus.  They are most welcome to stay with me for the night."

"How many times do I need to tell you, today it is just Nigellus.  Well I have many other voters, er citizens to greet, if you will excuse me."  Nigellus said as he walked towards another group of people who had entered the tepidarium then turned to speak over his shoulder.  "Please enjoy yourselves."

"Thank you for putting in a good word for me with the magistrate, now can you tell me why you are here?  Who sent you?"

Red shook her head.  "No one sent us."

"I do not believe you.  Someone must have.  You can tell them I will not do as they asked.  And in fact you helped me see that."

"Tell who?" James said blankly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Time Rock Print Edition Releases Friday 26th!

If you haven't heard before, Time Rock print edition releases a week from today Friday the 26th!  You can pre-order and SAVE at Barnes and Noble, or your favorite book store!

Excerpt:

"Professor, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore," Trisia said wide-eyed.

"What do you mean?  We never were in Kansas!"

"Well umm come look."  She said pointing out the doorway.  The temporal energy field continued to shimmer just beyond it, blocking the exit.

Keleeigan walked over and gazed out at the sand and enormous mountain of stone that formed a pyramid shape in the distance.  "It would appear that the temporal matrix is more unstable than I thought as we traveled a great distance as well as time."

"We are in Egypt!" Kim exclaimed. 

"Not just Egypt, ancient Egypt about 2545 BC I should think judging by the Great Pyramid finished and the next one under construction.  That makes this the reign of Khafre, one of Egypt's most tyrannical pharaohs from the old kingdom.  Although they didn't call them pharaohs back then."

"Oh no!  Look!  I see someone walking, they will surely spot us and we will alter history!"  Kim said as he pointed to a worker walking across the sand.  The worker seemed to pause for a moment to look in their direction, then continued on his way.  "Hmm you would think they saw a lighthouse every day."

"I suspect we haven't emerged from the temporal field quite enough to actually be seen."

Trisia's eyes widened further.  "You mean we aren't actually here?"

"Oh we are most certainly here.  But they can't see us.  And this is very bad."

"Why?  We made it here, can't you just give us a boost and emerge when the power cell recharges?" Kim asked as he turned to face the Professor.

Keleeigan sighed as his eyes drifted down.  "No."

"Why not?"

"Because the power cell is fighting to maintain this field.  And if I shut it down, we will be forced back into the warp."

"Isn't that good?  We could head back home."

Keleeigan shook his head.  "No no, you don't understand.  Based on my research, we would be trapped in the warp ... forever.  The power cell will never be able to pull us back out if we shut down now.  Thankfully it takes less to maintain the temporal field than it did to create it in the first place.  Sort of temporal inertia, but the power system is fighting a loosing battle.  It will give out and soon.  Then we will have no hope of exiting let alone returning to our own time."

"Professor I think we have an even bigger problem."  Kim said as he looked over several consoles.  "If I am reading this right, the field is also very unstable it could shift at any moment."

Keleeigan walked over and checked the various instruments several times on the console.  "You are right.  I sure hope they can find us before we slip back into the warp."

"Who?" Trisia asked as a panel sparked than another before the whole building shook.

"No time!  We are jumping!  Hang on!"  Keleeigan said before the view of Egypt with its Great Pyramid disappeared being replaced by a large wall.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Short Story: The Transport

I know I haven't been posting here much, but my latest project is taking most of my time.  I wrote this short story awhile ago in response to a writing prompt.  If you like it, let me know in the comments.  I may develop a novel (or novelette) version in the future.

Also don't forget that all of my work is 50% off or more on Smashwords for the rest of this month


So without further ado, I give you The Transport



The Transport

Kiandra swore as another blast impacted the shields. They were in trouble and she knew it. Jake pulled at the helm control adjusting their course again. "It is no good captain, I can't maneuver fast enough. The Isanguard is a transport not a fighter."

"I know Jake, just do what you can. At least we are giving them a challenge." Kiandra's face cracked into a half grin.

"Wish I could be more of a challenge!" Jake yanked the controls into a free fall spin then back up so fast even the inertia dampeners couldn't eliminate the effect on their stomachs.

Kathy looked over her screen and frowned. "They are jamming us sir, I can't get a signal past them."

Kiandra's brows met. "Even the new theta frequency?"

Kathy nodded. "Yes sir, it was the first one I tried. What I don't understand is, who are they?"

"I think I have a hunch. Jego? Did you get a scan before we raised shields?"

The blue skinned Tirsaian nodded. "Yes sir, but I couldn't determine the designing species."

Kiandra gripped the command chair tightly as another blast hit the shields head on. "Any traces of element U334?"

"Why yes. Is that significant?"

"Sadly yes, it is the Sonairans."

The whole bridge crew turned to face Kiandra. "The Sonairans?" they said in unison.

"Yes, rumors high up in Earth Force said the Sonairans might have been amassing for an attack. And I think we got too close for their comfort."

"But why now, after centuries of peace?" Kathy shook her head.

"Well, officially, we never did find out why they stopped themselves last time. But I have always suspected that another threat, larger than Earth Force, needed their full attention. And now it with that situation handled, they have decided to pick up old gauntlets." Kiandra cringed as another blast raked the ship.

"Captain, shields are almost gone. We can only take another hit or two." Brett tapped several commands into his engineering console.

"We need to get away and warn Earth Force. Head for the asteroids." Kiandra pointed to the large belt of blasted rock far off to the starboard side of the Isanguard.

Brett's eyes wend wide. "Sir? Begging your pardon, that is suicide. With our shields so low and the damage we have already sustained--"

Kiandra glared at Jake. "I gave you an order. I am confident you can out maneuver the hunks of rock in our path. The ones shooting at us may be another story."

"Yes sir," Jake said as he gunned what was left of the engines and pulled the controls to the right.

"Hey Kiandra? Earth to Kiandra? Are you in there?" Isaac said waving his hand in front of her face.

"Huh? Yes I am here," Kiandra said shifting in the uncomfortable bus seat as it hit another pot hole and shook.

"Are you sure? I was talking to you."

"I am fine," she sighed, "I just have a lot on my mind."

"Oh? I don't see how. It is only the first week of school, we haven't got into anything heavy yet."

"Just because you haven't paid attention doesn't mean that a lot has happened in the past week." Kiandra glared at the boy looking back from the seat in front of her.

"Well sorrrry. What put the burr under your saddle?" Isaac turned around and plopped back into his seat with a small thud. Isaac thought about Kiandra. Every time he tried to talk with her, she seemed to be miles away. He knew she didn't have a boyfriend, but her beautiful long blond hair and young curves had many guys interested. However, she wasn't interested in them. While many had tried, Isaac was determined to be the one that did get through.

"Captain you were right, the asteroids are interfering with whatever they were jamming us with. The theta frequency is working again," Kathy said.

"Good send Earth force of our coordinates and tell them to send everything they have. The Sonairan fleet has to be very close for them to risk attacking us like this." Kiandra sat back in her chair. "Tell them the fleet must be along our original flight path."

"But if their exposure is such a threat, why didn't they send more ships after us?" Jego checked his scanners again, making sure other ships hadn't joined in.

"I suspect they figured one ship was enough when they could keep us from contacting Earth Force. At least--" Kiandra swore in slow motion as another highly charged stream of energized ions impacted their focused energy shields. Her head turned thirty degrees as a large smooth panel, a foot to the right of her padded captains chair with its high back and captain's controls mounted into the arm rests, flickered. The flicker was slow then began to increase its deadly dance of light and dark until a spark started in the corner of the panel. It grew exponentially reaching to the center, where it joined energy streams from the other corners creating a deadly bloom of electrical energy which grew in size until the internal conduits could take no more. The blast started inside, beneath the control panel itself, then expanded outwards in a large rupture of energy that sent particles of the panel flying in multiple directions. She looked back to see the giant hole where one of the Isanguard's shield regulators called home. The alternate source, further down the rusted but worn smooth decking, tried to keep up, despite its reduced stature.

The Isanguard's edges came to life as energy shot out in a tightly focused thrust beams sending the ship in the opposite direction with a spiraling arc through space that sent every stomach into a tailspin. Another tightly focused stream missed the main energy protection bubble, but did hit the secondary one causing the reactor more of its greatly needed energy to evaporate.

Above Kiandra, hidden in the upper layer of the bulkhead, a tiny fissure started in the energy distribution web. It suddenly mushroomed into an all out leak burning through insulation and joining other lines carrying power. As they joined the level of energy begin to burst out in a cloud of particles containing gas and insulation. The bulkhead groaned under the sudden stress sending micro fractures throughout its mass. The cracks spread out in a destructive radius until several met causing the large portion of the ceiling to succumb to the gravity and inertia of the latest maneuver. It fell down behind Kiandra sending lighted, sparking, conduits swinging in her direction. She quickly ducked as one of them swung in an arc that missed her head by a micron, but a spark shot out digging into her face. The cable continued on its swing until the other end could hold no longer and the beaten and fraying composite structure ripped apart letting the cable continue on its way until it impacted the center of a status screen on the opposite side. Another spark from the cable reached into the already damaged screen circuits and overloading them, causing it to expand outward to relieve the energy that now had nowhere else to go. Acrid smoke poured from the new fissure wrenching any lungs that dared breathe it.

Throwing the bits of insulation, dirt, dust, and bulkhead aside, Brett tried to reach one of the alternate consoles that still glowed brightly. He tapped the normally smooth, but now pitted and etched glass panel as it attempted to read his quick movements. Another groan from the metal above as the thrust systems fired again sending Brett flying into the metal wall in the opposite direction.

Outside one of the thrusting beams flickered, sparked, then imploded under the unusual strain. The loss of one gave the others extra power that sent the ship in an even more erratic maneuver. Kathy's stomach could hold no longer and she leaned away from the communications controls as hot liquid splashed onto the dirty deck plate.

Jego's blue hand wiped the dirt from the glass panel under his nose, etching it in the process. The indicators showed the other ship's power systems flickering as energy built up in one area of the ship with exponential speed then erupted outward in a tightly focused blast that reached out squeezing their shields in an iron grip. The screen glowed brighter yet, wavered, then faded from existence. Jego swore in his native Tarsaian as he leapt from his console, and in a heartbeat reached another that still glowed, faintly. After a few taps the screen reluctantly brought up the flickering images of another ship as it moved faster than the damaged screen could show.

The large display screen placed carefully up front and center of the disaster that was once a bridge showed the other ships between scattered lines of static and stars then flickered and winked out as it failed completely. "Status?" Kiandra shouted as the crew turned and glared at her. "Okay let me rephrase, what do we have left?"

"Kiandra?" Isaac said looking back.

Kiandra's eyes focused on the boy's face. "Yes?"

"Can I ask you something?"

She shrugged. "I guess."

"You said you have a lot on your mind. Like what?"

Kiandra smiled. "You know, I don't think anyone has ever actually asked."

Isaac's eyes went wide. "Really? A pretty girl like you and no one ever wanted to know what you were thinking?"

"They might have wanted to know, but no never asked ... wait you think I am pretty?"

Isaac smiled. "Of course. From one to ten I give you a twenty. No one ever told you that either?"

"No."

"Then they are fools."

Kiandra's smile deepened. "Why don't you move back here with me. It will be easier for us to talk."

"You bet." Isaac looked at the bus driver then flipped back to sit with Kiandra in one fluid motion. "I think we have our first class together too today. Writing composition is my favorite class."

Kiandra's eyes sparkled. "Really? It's my favorite too."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Smashwords Summer Sale 2016

I am pleased to announce all of my books are 50% off (or lower) during the Smashwords Summer Sale.  Be sure to use the coupon codes below at checkout to get the discount.

Italian Fever use coupon NB43
Soulmates use coupon CW72C
Time Rock use coupon SP67J
Red Warp is currently FREE and no code is required!

And if you do have a moment, please remember to post a review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Goodreads, Smashwords, or the e-bookstore you frequent. Thanks!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Red Warp Print Edition Is RELEASED!

I am pleased to announce that Red Warp print edition is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite bookstore!  And the ebook edition is still available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords.

I also wish to thank everyone for their support.




Excerpt:
The air swirled as a bolt of pure energy stuck and a red rip into the fabric of space and time opened in its wake.  A moment later James fell out onto an iron plated deck with Red landing a second later right on top of him.  The warp closed behind them leaving no trace as usual.

"We really need to stop meeting like this."  James said giving Red a squeeze.

"Will you cut it out! Now where are--"  A incredible bang ripped through their ears and they smelled old fashioned gunpowder, as a cannon shell whizzed over their heads.  "Holy! They are shooting at us!"

"Not us!  That other boat over there!"  James pointed to a strangely shaped ship.  Most of it was pyramid shaped, very little else could be seen except for the large anti-ship guns sticking out at different angles and the large smoke stack in the center.  Then another explosion as the other ship fired a shell.  It whizzed over top of them and bounced off the metal covered turret right behind.  They covered their ears against the extreme audio assault.

"Where the heck are we?"  James shouted still trying to keep his ears covered.  "You landed us in the middle of a war zone!"

"I did not!  You know how tricky--" Red shouted back, but didn't dare uncover her ears.

"Well you are the one driving!"  James shouted as another shell went wild and bounced off the decking nearby.  They both were very grateful the shell did not explode or it would have killed them instantly.

"Well my driving has got a lot worse since you tagged along!"

"What kind of ships are these?"  He said pointing with his elbow to the unusual craft they were on.  "I don't recall seeing these before.  There isn't anything to this ship above the water line other than a gun turret and a smoke stack!  It certainly isn't a submarine."  He said as they uncovered their ears.

"Oh my Lord ... do you see the flag on the other ship?"  Red said pointing.  "It is confederate! ..."



Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, and Soulmates.  Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What If Barnes and Noble Evaporated?

What would happen if Barnes and Noble went out of business? There has been a great deal of discussion flying though the interwebs the last few days. It started with an article on New Republic and snowballed from there. New Republic thinks it would be a disaster, and they give a lot of stats to back up their claim. However, a lot of their data is skewed to back up said claim, rather than giving real information. For example they compare book buying orders with a small single independent store with the entire Barnes and Noble chain. To do a realistic comparison you would compare one single store to another. I would suspect they would be about the same (buying one box of a particular title or two). They also don't talk about returns (which I will cover below).

Yes I agree it would be sad if B&N folded, any reader loves to go into a book store. It is like being a kid in a candy store, and surfing a website just isn't the same. However, it would not be a huge surprise if they did close.  Back when the first nook came out (still my favorite ereader ... well after I hacked it) it was great.  But even then they didn't listen to their customers.  We wanted better indexing and sorting methods.  And what did they give us?  Games!  Eventually B&N did give us "shelves" which helped somewhat.  But then they came out with Nook Color and firmware updates for the original Nook was abandoned.  Even though they were still selling them in the stores.  If you hacked it, and used an alternate library app, WOW you could find things so much easier and could even add tags.  It would have been simple to add these features yet B&N never did.  And they abandoned the hardware right after a newer model came out.  Look at Amazon, they are STILL supporting almost every Kindle model they ever made.

Then right after the Nook Color came out, B&N borked the website. People complained, they ignored, and borked it even more.  It always seems like they do the exact opposite what their customers want.  And they wonder why they are losing money?  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

B&N customer service has fallen on its face and keeps trying to walk, pushing its face further into the sand. There are other cases of people calling in and either asking for help or better yet, asking for the reduced price of a book when the did a pre-order and B&N could only say "we don't price match".  But this was THEIR price they promised yet charged full price instead and wouldn't budge.  Amazon by contrast would say "oh sorry, here is your money".  Or "Broken Kindle?  Gosh that is terrible, here is a new one."  They get it.  And I wish B&N would.  It is a real shame too, because I would like to see them succeed not go into chapter 11.  But something will fill the gap eventually, if they do. Before Walmart there was Wards and Sears. Both in their heyday, the largest retailers in the country. Now both are struggling to survive. Markets change, and you either adapt or die. The death knell is always "we know better than our customers." Amazon knows that the customer is king and is how they are burying their competition.

And now about returns.  Most publishers give up to 90 days to return a book for FULL credit.  So while a publisher may make a big sale with B&N, three months later most of it may go poof (and cost you more in shipping to get the books returned it they are hardbacks).  While publishers can specify no returns, most book stores will not buy no return books unless they are known best sellers.  I don't know of any other industry where you can return a product (or even just PART of the product aka just the front cover of a paperback book) for 90 days if it didn't sell.  Yet that is the core of the book industry.

I really wish B&N would wake up, but after so many CEO's and other management changes, the same behavior remains. Perhaps they can pull a rabbit out of their hat, but first they would need to find a rabbit. It is funny in a way, they are bumbling around in the dark with a flashlight they refuse to turn on because they think they know what is in front of them. But paths change and one needs to learn from mistakes not continue on blindly. Regardless, if they do evaporate something else will take their place. It may not be the same, but readers, and the industry will survive.

Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, and Soulmates.  Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pre-order of Red Warp print edition is now live!!

I am pleased to announce that Red Warp print edition is now available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble and other retailers!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Castle got the axe ... what took so long?

Castle finally got the axe, and my question is WHY didn't the producers know sooner? How could a team of mystery writers not know that their series was being canceled? All the clues were there. The first big one was the MONTHS long break in the middle of the season. Which meant no traditional Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas episodes. No network does this, unless they plan on killing the series (or seriously thinking about it). The only way they could have been more obvious is if they moved Castle from the normal Monday night to the Friday night death slot.

Then you have the episodes for the past two seasons, with only rare exception ("The Nose" for example) were terrible. I couldn't help but think "this is absolute garbage" especially for the last 3 or 4 episodes for this season. My impression was the writers WANTED the series to die, it is the only reason they would put out such terrible content. The Castle character was 'off the wall' crazy. Granted he always had a bit of a crazy streak, but it was tamed by his other qualities. However, it seems that this season they wanted to release all the bad qualities of Castle onto the world unabated. And I can tell you, if they did this the first season the show would not have lasted past 5 episodes let alone all the years it has been on the air. I know I wouldn't have watched it.

I have been a fan of Castle for quite a while. A well done show about a successful writer? What writer wouldn't want to watch? But I think it started its downward spiral when the writers married the two main characters. After that they didn't seem to know what to do with them. Almost as if they had a meeting "okay, we married them now what?" And everyone said "I have no idea." And this is odd because there have been so many great books, and shows staring a married couple. Seriously, do these writers not read or watch older content to see how it is done? If that be the case, they deserved to be fired. Granted there were a few good episodes since they married Castle, but that was the exception rather than the rule. They lacked the spark of the earlier seasons.

I can't blame ABC for the last episode, instead I blame the writers/producers of Castle. For this fiasco is solely their mess. The only thing you could blame ABC for is they took so long to make the official announcement (the Thursday before the final show aired). They should have done that at the start or middle of the last season, when it was quite obvious they didn't care about the show anymore. But like I said, I can't blame them for that, why continue pay for such garbage? I know I wouldn't.

The part that really steams me: why in the world did the writers not plan the last episode better? As I said all the signs of cancellation where there. What more did they need? God writing on the wall "You are going to be canceled!" There have been many shows in the past where the future was uncertain, and they were top rated shows. So what did they do? While they did have a season ending cliffhanger (which is a personal pet peeve of mine by the way), they DID film both halves of said cliffhanger. Therefore if they were canceled, they ended the show on a good note. If they weren't, then the second half was the first episode of the next season. It is a simple concept and done several times in the past, so why didn't they do it?

Two shows that I can think of that did an excellent job of this is Star Trek Next Generation, and Star Trek Voyager. Both shows not only filmed the second half of season cliffhanger episodes in case they were canceled, but also did a wonderful job of wrapping up the show when it was canceled. Nothing half baked about the ending of these two. Castle by contrast, wasn't even a quarter baked.

I also have heard they were planning to write the Kate character out of the show due to budgetary reasons, hence her getting shot in the end. Seriously? How can you write out half of the show and expect it to survive? Another obvious example that they knew what was coming. Although I suppose you could have Castle continue with his PI work, but it would take careful balance. Something the show lost awhile back.

And now we come back to my main gripe, they knew all of this yet did nothing about it. The ending was a total joke. I am sorry but any writer worth their salt could do better in a COMA! They are both shot, the camera flies off to show the loft with kids, then a few voice overs repeating past dialogue giving the impression they survived and had a family? The ending felt forced, a last second copout, but I will admit it is better than if they left the two characters looking as if they both died as was originally planned.

Also, the previous season's episode 'felt' like a series ender. Kate was being promoted, things looking up for Castle, etc. I have to assume the writers were not sure if Castle was going to be renewed. That is fine, and that IS the way one should do it. And HOW they should have done this year. Instead they planned a cliffhanger episode??? I am sorry but if you were unsure and almost canceled last season why would you think that this year would be any different? And if they couldn't afford to shoot an extra episode, how about doing a separate ending? One where Kate takes down the bad guy, almost gets killed in the process and they both are there being thankful to be alive? Then if canceled, they show the alternative ending. This isn't rocket science people.

It is a real shame considering that there are very few good shows being produced these days. And honestly, they should have stopped last year at the train station, before having the disastrous wreck that was this season.


Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, and Soulmates.  Currently available from Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and others. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Red Warp is out in print June 24th!

I am pleased to announce that the print edition of Red Warp is out June 24th!  All of my books are being released in print edition this year as well!  Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Freewrite is wrong or how to make a $500 dust collector for writers

I am sure many of you (if you are writers anyway) have heard of the Freewrite. Now while I don't have one, I have been watching them for some time. It is (at its core) a portable battery powered type writer keyboard hooked to a Eink screen with Wi-Fi connectivity built in. The idea is if you get distracted too easily, this is the tool for you. Nothing to separate you from your words, and it runs for a week or two on a charge.

But then you get into the problems. While it is Wi-Fi enabled, it is ONE way and actually, it is also the only way since you can't transfer files via USB (yet anyway, although it was touted as an original feature). And when you do export your work, you can't reimport it back in. You also can't do italics, bold or such as the files are only plain text. You would think for a $500 price tag they would allow reimporting and use rich text formating (RTF) that can use bold/italics. Another problem is the lack of visioning. It is easy to get confused which file is the newest one if you have sent to several places. And you can't edit the file name without erasing every word in the file, further complicating the issue. It may even be part of their premise to only look forward and never back. Well I don't know about you, but if I don't know where I have been, I also can't tell where I am going either.

For a lot less than $500, go get the cheapest laptop you can find and load it with FocusWriter and yWriter. Both are free (but do accept donations). Also both have a option to go full screen being a distraction free environment. They also both have typewriter sounds if you want, and functionality that blows the pants off of Freewrite. I use both programs a lot, especially yWriter. Scrivener is another great piece of writing software, and while not free it also has a "full screen" mode for those that get distracted too easily. All three programs use RTF, or will export to different formats. But almost anything can read RTF. And all three can import back in as well.

I also came across someone comparing the Freewrite to a Alphasmart Neo. While I haven't used the actual model, I have used something similar in years past. And while it has a smaller, less capable display it also blows away the Freewrite in functionality. Personally, my similar word processor of choice is a Apple eMate 300. It is a lot more flexible than a Alphasmart Neo with its touch display, better software, and storage capacity. The battery life is also weeks at a time. The downside though is batteries for it these days are so old you have to rebuild the pack or use the AC adapter. And to connect the device to a USB port requires a copy of windows 98 in a virtual machine like VirtualPC. There are other ways of course, but that is the most efficient way I have found. At least via a cable, the other way is with Wi-Fi where you can email something to yourself. But the kicker is here, you can also transfer it back the same way. One trick that leaves the Freewrite scratching its head. And this from a device that hasn't been supported since 1998.

Don't get me wrong the Freewrite is a great idea, but they certainly didn't go far enough. And with all of the development, a couple of more features would have made all the difference in the world. Right now I would call it a $500 dust collector. Granted, they may add what is missing, after all the firmware on the unit is upgradeable, and things may change. But it should have such basic abilities out of the box. Especially for something designed for writers. Writers, by nature, are all about getting the words out in the easiest way possible. A good tool does not get in your way, it gets out of your way and lets you get the work done. If the tool gets in the way, then it is time to find another tool.

Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, and Soulmates.  Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Red Warp Print Edition Cover Reveal



 I am pleased to announce that Red Warp will soon be available in print!  Release date to be announced, watch this space for updates!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Soulmates .99 until the end of April!

I am pleased to announce that Soulmates is on SALE for only .99 on Nook, Kindle, iBooks, and other retailers from now until April 30th!  If you ever wanted to pick up a copy, now is the time!

 From the cover:
 Mechands . . . everyone has one.  The metal race built by man to serve our every need.  But Aleshia is about to find out they are not the benevolent protectors that she has always been taught.  And who is this strange man in her dreams?  The man who actually exists and reveals the whole world is not as she thought


AND not to be out done, Red Warp is now available FREE on Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Kindle (among others)!  No April fool joke here, if you like Science Fiction, then this is your lucky day. 

From the cover:
In a race against time the casualty could be your life

If you could travel through time with just yourself and no machine needed, would you?

Meet Red, a woman with a amazing gift, the gift of passing though time and space without the need of any bulky equipment. The places she has seen, the people she has helped will blow your mind.

Now meet James, just your average newly minted FBI agent minding his own business until he is thrust headlong into Red's world. A world he didn't ask for, but one that hit him in the face full force. Can they get along long enough to survive?

Flu... the three letter word...

Flu... the three letter word that strikes fear and terror into the hearts of man...

Or it should... You might have noticed the lack of activity around here, well it all started with a little twinge in my eye then a little gritty feeling then a few hours later I was blinking fast to keep the excess water from spilling out. My nose also started to run. I thought uh oh a cold is coming on. I took the usual items to combat it (in my case vitamin C, sulfur pills, and a few other natural products) and I felt better the next day. Then later that afternoon I had another bout of watery eyes and runny nose. Took them again and the next day I felt fine. I thought I had throw it off. Well little did I know how wrong I was.

This bug put me into a false sense of security and two days later it hit full force. I woke up feeling like a Mack truck hit me head on. Watery eyes, full sinuses, headache, fever, massive chills, and in general feeling like something ran over me. Don't get me wrong I have had flus before, quite a few in fact, but nothing to this level in a long long time. Temperature went up and down. First couple of days wasn't too bad, then it shot up to 103F. I managed to keep it from going any higher but it was a struggle and took several medications to do it. That was the peak thankfully, but it was still high for the next week. And the fever did not fully depart for another week after. Yes you read right, two weeks I felt miserable and got absolutely nothing done. Although I did watch a couple of things on Netflix, not sure if I remember what they were.

And dreams! Oh my word the dreams I was having (when I actually did manage to sleep). I have had weird ones in the past, but these were on a whole new level. You know the normal dream where you end up at a board meeting in your underwear but not sure why? And of course they bring this to your attention making you want to fall into a crack in the earth never to be seen again. Well not me, oh no, I was the only one dressed! Never mind it was "underwear day" (which could never happen), nope they all had to ask why I wasn't in my underwear and make jokes giving the same feeling of wanting to fall into the earth times 10.

You know there are all kinds of Flu. Horse flu, dog flu, swine flu, bird flu. But I still think the old fashioned "sneak up on you no name flu" is the worst. You think you are going to be okay, just a case of the sniffles or a minor cold. Then whamo you feel like a 40 ton mack truck hit you, stopped and backed up over you, then went froward again. All you want to do is hide under the covers sleep until it passes. But wait, you can't because you can't breathe. But even if you could breathe, the cough would wake you up. Sometimes you wonder if a lung is going to come up your throat, or something ... else.

So you drag your sick backside into the doctor and what does he tell you? Go rest and drink lots of fluids. Well I knew that but can't you give me something for this? Nope sorry it has to run its course. No cure for the flu.

HA! he has something that would help but doesn't want to give it. Well I can understand that, we don't want to make super bugs that antibiotics won't work on. But gosh darn at that point I didn't care. I wanted DRUGS! The GOOD stuff! Instead I end up getting something from the local pharmacy that could substitute for water that cost over $13. Although I admit it does taste better than water. Does it help? Well maybe, on a good day. But we all know this is one baaaad day.

I try to read, my favorite pass time, but of course my vision is so blurry it gives me a instant headache to try. So I lay back and do the only thing I can do that does not hurt ... moan.

This my friends is why there have been so many movies with people moaning in hospitals. Heck I am almost sure it is why we always see zombies moaning. They probably have the flu as well.

They tell you the best thing for the flu is sleep. And I agree 100% the problem is HOW to get said sleep when you can't breathe and you are coughing ever minute or two. They never tell you that part.

Then you realize you are almost out of everything in the house, including ...wait for it ... TISSUES! It is crisis time! So you drag yourself out of your sick bed, into the store. Everyone looks at you as though you are a leaper or Patient Zero of the deadly plague where if they are in the same building as you they will die a horrible death. Meanwhile you strongly consider coughing directly on that one cashier that wouldn't take your double coupon last week. Of course you already are without intending to, but that is beside the point.

You blink through watery eyes trying to get home and right now your bed looks like heaven. But when get there you realize you haven't yet put away the groceries. You look over the bags of potato chips, pretzles, and crackers to see that nothing needs to go into the refrigerator anyway. You grab a bag of 'flu food' since nothing else even remotely tastes good though all the mucus your body is putting out and you have to eat something lest your stomach decides to join the choir of symptoms, and drag yourself back to your sick bed.

There you remain until many days later you emerge, better but still feeling like a giant truck used you for a hood ornament right before plowing though several concrete barricades. You are on the mend and life starts to look like it is worth living after all.

That my readers, is where I was. But as Buddy said so eloquently on the 80's TV show Night Court "But I am feeling much better now."


Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, and Soulmates.  Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers.