Friday, December 15, 2017

Weird Christmas - Part 3

Continuing the Weird Christmas Traditions for your entertainment. See the First Part here and the Second Part here.
  • Latvia: A group of "mummers" travel from house to house where they are given a treat in return for their blessing. This sounds more like Halloween to me.
  • Guatemala: Folks sweep out their houses and put all the dirt in a communal pile with an effigy devil on top which is then burned. This must be an "out with the evil" gesture.
  • Cuba: Every December, Cuban city Remedios hosts the Parrandas Festival. The city splits in half, with each side building the biggest, baddest, fanciest light sculpture display ever. My husband does this by himself every year. No competition so far.
  • Bavaria: Bavarian Highlanders dressed in lederhosen fire mortars into the air. Sure, why not? 
  • Greece: The evil goblins, the Kallikantzaroi, lurk in the depths of the earth until Christmas Eve, when they spring up to create havoc. I wonder if anybody has seen this. It seems it'd be a great tourist draw.
  • Slovakia: The most senior man of the house takes a spoonful of loksa pudding and flings it to the ceiling. The more that sticks, the better. What is it with weird things to do with pudding?
  • Japan: Christmas cards are also a Japanese tradition, but they never ever are red. Red, of course, is the color for funerals. I suppose that means the cards could have lots of black, making them dual purpose for Halloween as well.
  • Canada: The Canadian postal service recognizes the address "SANTA CLAUS, THE NORTH POLE, CANADA HO HO HO." Letters addressed this way are opened and replied to by the well-known Royal Canadian Mounted Elves.
  • Finland: Holiday cards have tributes to the dearly departed. Finnish Cemeteries are lit with Christmas lights, making them a lovely sight on Christmas night.
  • Iceland: The kids leave a shoe on their windowsill for the 12 Days of Christmas. Each night, some Finnish elves fill the shoes with candy and other goodies. I like the Finnish elves. They're a generous lot.
  • England: Stockings are hung by the chimney with care with hopes St. Nicholas doesn't just leave a lump of coal.
  • South Africa: A little rotter named Danny ate all of Santa's cookies, the legend goes. Granny wasn't happy about this and killed Danny for being a greedy little punk. This is far worse than getting a lump of coal.
  • United States: In many cities, the Running of the Santas, draws a large crowd of spectators as the Santas rush from pub to bar to tavern getting as drunk as they can on the free drinks provided by the owners of the establishments. Of course, they sell a lot of drinks to the folks who want to watch the Santas get smashed.
That's all the weird stuff I have for now. If I find more, I'll most certainly add it to the lists. In the meantime, consider books as the perfect gift for any friend or member of the family.

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is just the right present for that hard-to-shop-for older relative. Kids like it, too, but the main character's Texas drawl might be a hard read. They would like you to read it to them OR get the audio book edition and let the talented Donnie Baarns do the narration honors.
  • It's nostalgic
  • It doesn't have any sex (well, there is that thing with the jackass)
  • It's in LARGE PRINT
  • It's funny
  • It's poignant
  • It has lots of animals
  • It's a bargain in the books section
Buy it at Amazon for only $8.99 and make everybody happy. Now isn't that a better gift than cologne? Oh, you can also get the book for your Kindle, other ereader, or for your listening pleasure in audio format. Gotcha covered for Christmas.

Amazon Kindle Ebook $2.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book only $1.99

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Weird Christmas - Part 2

Continuing the Weird Christmas Traditions for your entertainment. See the First Part here.
  • Estonia: The whole family hits the sauna on Christmas Eve.
  • Wales: Someone is chosen to play Mari Lywd who walks through town with the skull of a horse on a stick. I'm baffled by this one.
  • Iceland: I like this one. If an Icelander doesn't get new clothes before Christmas, the killer mountain Yule cat eats them. 
  • Czech Republic: Desperate for marriage it seems. Czech ladies throw a shoe over one shoulder from the door way. The direction the shoe is pointed determines if they'll be married in the coming year.
  • Estonia: The whole family hits the sauna on Christmas Eve.
  • Wales: Someone is chosen to play Mari Lywd who walks through town with the skull of a horse on a stick. I'm baffled by this one.
  • Iceland: I like this one. If an Icelander doesn't get new clothes before Christmas, the killer mountain Yule cat eats them. 
  • Sweden: Authorities in the village of Gävle decided to install a straw goat statue in the town square. Every other year, somebody burns it down before Christmas. Both are fine traditions.
  • Sweden (again): Rice pudding is standard fare for dessert. The Christmas special has an almond buried somewhere in it. The lucky person who finds it will supposedly get married within a year. I assume only single folks of marrying age have a go at the pudding.
  • Great Britain: Speaking of puddings, tradition calls for each member of the household to stir the pudding in a clockwise direction while making a wish. I guess that's better than a lump of coal.
  • Italy: A witch named Befana is the deliverer of presents to children (not that stodgy Santa). But the kids have to wait for the blessings of Befana until January 6th.
  • Ethiopia: Christian Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Everybody wears white and the guys play ganna, a fast pace game of ... hockey?
More weird stuff coming here in the next couple of days.

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is just the right present for that hard-to-shop-for older relative. Kids like it, too, but the main character's Texas drawl might be a hard read. They would like you to read it to them OR get the audio book edition and let the talented Donnie Baarns do the narration honors.
  • It's nostalgic
  • It doesn't have any sex (well, there is that thing with the jackass)
  • It's in LARGE PRINT
  • It's funny
  • It's poignant
  • It has lots of animals
  • It's a bargain in the books section
Buy it at Amazon for only $8.99 and make everybody happy. Now isn't that a better gift than cologne? Oh, you can also get the book for your Kindle, other ereader, or for your listening pleasure in audio format. Gotcha covered for Christmas.

Amazon Kindle Ebook $2.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book only $1.99

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Saturday, December 09, 2017

Weird Christmas - Part 1

Christmas, Noel, Jul. A pagan holiday preempted by Christian monks to make their story more palatable to the heathens. Well, Christmas is even weirder than that. Check out Christmas traditions around the world you might not know. Then, look at the bottom of this post to get the links to my book which is the absolutely most fantastically wonderful present you can buy for cheap. Trust me. Aunt Mabel will love it. So, on to the weird with this from Faux Channel. TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is just the right present for that hard-to-shop-for relative.
  • South Africa: Sauteed caterpillar of the Emperor Moth is a Christmas treat.
  • Austria: Krampus! See my previous post on the esteemed Christmas guy worse than the Grinch.
  • Catalonia: The Nativity scenes includes a picture of a pooping man. Um. Along with the pooping guy, they have a pooping log. Now, I don't know about you, but I think Catalonia got too much bug spray sometime in the past.
  • Norway: Brooms are hidden away so witches can't claim possession. What's a witch without a broom? Kelly Conway?
  • Japan: The dine-out place of choice is KFC. Makes sense to me.
  • Venezuela: The religious go to Mass on roller skates.
  • Greenland: Their own version of a Turducken is a Mattak. That's raw whale skin served with blubber) or Kiviak: 500 Auk birds stuffed into a sealskin and fermented for 7 months. I think I'll skip Greenland's Christmas.
  • Germany: They hide a pickle in the Christmas tree. The kid who finds it gets an extra gift.
  • New Zealand: Not so weird, they use a Pohutukawa tree rather than the standard Douglas fir. They're actually kind of pretty with red flowers.
  • Portugal: The Deceased are invited to dinner and have places set at the table for them. What the heck? They don't eat much.
  • Germany: Kids leave a sneaker outside to be stuffed with candy. Bad kinder get a twig instead.
  • Ukraine: Trees are decorated with an artificial spider and a bunch of spider web. Sounds like the Trump Whitehouse decor.
  • Czech Republic: Desperate for marriage it seems. Czech ladies throw a shoe over one shoulder from the door way. The direction the shoe is pointed determines if they'll be married in the coming year.
More weird stuff coming here in the next couple of days.

Now, back to my book, which is much more important.
  • It's nostalgic
  • It doesn't have any sex (well, there is that thing with the jackass)
  • It's in LARGE PRINT
  • It's funny
  • It's poignant
  • It has lots of animals
  • It's a bargain in the books section
Buy it at Amazon for only $8.99 and make everybody happy. Now isn't that a better gift than cologne? Oh, you can also get the book for your Kindle, other ereader, or for your listening pleasure in audio format. Gotcha covered for Christmas.

Amazon Kindle Ebook $2.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book only $1.99

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Kramping My Style

Of course, we all love Santa Claus (or Santa Claws from "Nightmare Before Christmas"), but leave us not forget the adorable Krampus. After all, without Krampus, bad children wouldn't just get coal in their stocking, but they'd also be kidnapped, thrown into a sack, and eaten by the lovely Krampus. The Grinch ain't got nothin' on Krampus.

Here's some stuff from Wikipedia:

In folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.
Krampus is one of the companions of Saint Nicholas in several countries including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, South Tyrol and parts of Northern Italy. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated its pre-Christian origin.
In traditional parades and in such events as the Krampuslauf (English: Krampus run), young men dressed as Krampus participate; such events occur annually in most Alpine towns.
As evil as jolly Saint Krampus is, his role of getting naughty children to behave has worked wonders in the Slavic areas of Europe.

Now, if you don't have a child to traumatize for life with the story of Krampus, maybe you'd rather give a very nice present to an older person in your family (Grandma or Grandpa). TALES OF A TEXAS BOY is just the right present for that hard-to-shop-for relative.

  • It's nostalgic
  • It doesn't have any sex (well, there is that thing with the jackass)
  • It's in LARGE PRINT
  • It's funny
  • It's poignant
  • It has lots of animals
  • It's a bargain in the books section

Buy it at Amazon for only $8.99 and make everybody happy. Now isn't that a better gift than cologne? Oh, you can also get the book for your Kindle, other ereader, or for your listening pleasure in audio format. Gotcha covered for Christmas.

Amazon Kindle Ebook $2.99
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book only $1.99

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Sunday, December 03, 2017

Audio Books for Christmas (or Hannukah)


Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
Listen to free snips on SoundCloud
Amazon Only $7.49 ($1.99 if you buy the ebook)
Audible Only $7.49 (or get it free if you sign up for free)

Midnight Oil - Book 2 of Witches of Galdorheim
Audible  Only $7.49 (or get it free if you sign up for free)
Amazon Audio Link  ($1.99 if you buy the ebook)

NEWEST: Scotch Broom - Book 3 of Witches of Galdorheim.
Audible Only $7.49 (or get it free if you sign up for free)
Amazon  ($1.99 if you buy the ebook)

Tales of a Texas Boy
Amazon ($1.99 if you buy the ebook)
Audible Only $1.99 **** BEST DEAL ****


Missing, Assumed Dead (KindleUnlimited Ebook)
Audible Only $7.49 (or get it free if you sign up for free)
Amazon Only $1.99
iTunes $14.95

Spellslinger on audio - Listen on SoundCloud Free!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Gift Idea - A Little Downhome Nostalgia

Have an elderly or sight-impaired relative who could use a little Holiday Cheer? Consider this Large Print book as a gift.

Tales of a Texas Boy - Large Print  makes a really great Christmas present for those who are still spry, yet their danged glasses don't work as well as they should. My mom's like that. With her progressive lenses, the world in general is more or less clear, but the tiny spot left to the reading part of the lens is difficult for her to find.

The 18Pt type is eyesight-impaired friendly. I can even read it without my glasses.

The trim size (dimensions) is an easier-to-hold 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.3 inches with 138 pages. It's eligible for free shipping and handling from Amazon Prime.

The big news for Tales of a Texas Boy is that it's in audio book now. It's discounted to only $1.99 at Audible.com (also through Amazon). And, of course, the ebook is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and lots of other on-line stores in various ebook formats.

Here's the blurb for the book:

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.

Here's a brief excerpt to give you an idea of what you might expect to find in "Tales of a Texas Boy." In this story, ten-year-old Eddie is left home with only his sister. Without Ma and Pa around, Eddie usually finds some way to get into mischief. This story is titled, "No Angel."

I noticed a flock of blackbirds lit on Ma's clothesline, so I went in and got the shotgun. I loaded it with smallshot and snuck around the side of the house so's not to scare the birds. I figured I could get the whole flock of birds if I shot straight down the clothesline from one end to the other.

I had to be real quiet, so's I thought I'd sneak up on 'em like I was a Comanche. I got down on my belly and rested the shotgun across my arms. The grass was high enough so I'd not be seen. I dug in my elbows and pulled myself real slow around the corner of the house. When I got to the lilac bush, I got up behind it and checked if the birds had a notion I was there. They just sat on the line and didn't even look my way, so I hunched over and ran lickety-split to the oak tree. From there, I was right at the end of the line and no more'n ten feet away.

I leaned around the tree trunk and eyed the line. Yep, I could see right down it. My hands aren't big enough to span both triggers, so I pulled them one at a time. I figured I'd shoot the first barrel and then real quick-like, fire off the second. That way, I'd get to hit the flock twice.

I eased the shotgun up to my shoulder and pulled back slow on the left-hand trigger. The first shot blasted off and knocked me back a few feet where I landed on my rear end real hard. I still held the shotgun in my hands, but I wasn't in any position to fire off the second barrel. When I sat up and looked to see how many birds I got, I was in for a shock. All that noise and not one feather to show for it. But Ma's clothesline...now that's a different story. The durn thing looked like a dead snake layin' there.

I knew right away Ma would not be pleased with this.

I got myself up and was wonderin' what to do next when I looked up and saw the blackbirds flyin' in a circle like they were waitin' for the clothesline to be put back up for 'em to light on.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday

I hope people I know don't need a day telling them it's a good day to give. However, people get wrapped up in holiday plans and can think, "I'll be sure to do that soon."

Today's the reminder day: November 28th, 2017 is Giving Tuesday.

Join me and help @EnvDefenseFund raise $250K for climate action, habitat conservation, & more. All #GivingTuesday gifts are being matched $4-for-$1. 



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Sports on TV Day

HAPPY SPORTS ON TV DAY!

Have a great Thanksgiving or a decent Thursday the 23rd if you're not in the US.

Also, Happy Birthday to my mom on her 94th birthday coming up on November 27th. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tribute to Turkeys Everywhere

My favorite Thanksgiving Greeting song. Have a nice Thanksgiving day and be kind to turkeys!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

#Free Books on Smashwords

All of the following are free because I'm a nice person or I'd just like people to be able to enjoy the books I have published already.

From the Witches of Galdorheim Series:

BAD SPELLING (Book 1 of the Series)
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.

SPELLSLINGER (Bonus Short Story)
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.



Short Stories Series


TALES OF A TEXAS BOY (Illustrated)
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. 


MIXED BAG (Previously Published Short Stories)
A little science fiction, a bit of fantasy, plenty of humor, and some really shocking horror. These are tales to suit any mood. 







Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: The Volcanic Rose by Renee Duke

The Volcanic Rose (Time Rose Book 5)The Volcanic Rose by Renee Duke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The time-traveling saga of the Wolverton family comes to an explosive end in "The Volcanic Rose." I'm not giving any spoilers you can't get off the cover. Yes, Mt. Vesuvius is involved.

One thing about the Wolvertons, there are plenty of them to get involved in fixing the things that go wrong in the past. Featured over the four previous books, we follow the current generation of time travelers, siblings Paige and Dane, and their cousin, Jack. In the third book (Spirit Rose), they meet Skookaweethp, a syilx (First Nations tribe) girl from centuries before, who knows not only they are time travelers, but that another time traveler, the evil Khatcheres, wants to disrupt time to his own advantage.

The Time Rose travelers learn they are tasked by time itself to thwart Khatcheres' plot, but in doing so, their ability to time travel will end.

The cryptic writings of one of their time traveling ancestors, Aurea-Rose, leads them through the steps they must take, which involves returning their Time Rose and other time artifacts to a girl named Varteni who awaits them in 79 AD at Ercolano, known now as Herculaneum. Varteni and the town lie in the direct path of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius. To be sure, time is more of the essence than usual.

This is a great setup to end the series with both dramatic flair, but also to make sure we readers of the series will (sadly) know this will be the end of the Time Rose tales.

It is best to read the books in order even if the travelers are hopping around in time themselves. Lots of clues are provided throughout the series which make the conclusion logical and inevitable.

My only complaint is the cast of characters within the Wolverton clan alone is numerous. However, five plus generations of the family are represented, so it's not surprising there are tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grand-parents, great-grand-parents and even a great-great-great-grand-aunt. It's a bit difficult keeping track of who's who. I'd love to see the Family Tree.

It'd be great if the publisher now puts the entire series together as a boxed set. It'd be a wonderful gift for middle-grade kids who like a rousing fantasy tale.

Highly recommended for kids of all ages. I'm giving this five stars to include the entire series. I'm usually stingier with stars.


View all my reviews

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day

Vets' Day Special  - TALES OF A TEXAS BOY

#FREE Amazon Kindle Ebook - Final Day
#FREE Photo-Illustrated Ebook at Smashwords - All November
Large Print Paperback Book $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback Book $6.99 at Amazon


This is the real Texas Boy during WWII. Handsome devil. I can see why my mom accepted his proposal within a month of meeting for a blind date. 
“We saw that big sign there and it said ‘Free College’. I’d never heard of any such thing, so Red and me, we thought maybe we’d try it out. But, we didn’t after all, ‘cause we saw we could pick tomatoes. We went down there and signed up for a while. We went to the World’s Fair, you know, in San Francisco. Later, me and Red enlisted in the army.”
Animated now, my father, who isn’t much of a conversationalist, was telling me about things he did in 1939. He and his buddy, Red, were on a road trip in a new 1940 Ford. They’d just graduated from high school and wanted to examine the world a bit beyond the tiny world of Salem High School. He’d told me plenty of stories and I hurried up and wrote them down. Why hadn’t I started this long ago?

The stories flowed, backtracked, started up again somewhere else. Sometimes, he was back in high school on the football team, sometimes in grade school, then forward again, bouncing wherever his eighty-four year old mind led him. His high school yearbook showed his picture with the words ‘Ed the Cad’. Quite a heartbreaker back then, he was. The cool dude, sports jock, class president, too. Who was this guy?

As a kid growing up in West Texas, he’d gone on a cattle drive, collected bones to sell, encountered skunks in cornfields, went fishing with special Arkansas cedar floats. Good stories. Real life stories.

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY holds these stories forever. I hope you might enjoy them.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Saluting My Own Vet

I'd be remiss if I didn't include a mention of my very own veteran, Jack. He served in the Philippines before Vietnam became "official."

He was in Intelligence, which meant he spent his time listening to communications between Viet Cong who were already fighting with South Vietnam for the unification of the country into a single Vietnam under the Communist party. Heaven forbid the US would allow people to choose their own system of government.

Anyway, the US was listening in while only a few "advisers" were on the ground in South Vietnam busily trying to prop up the puppet government.

The result: Millions of Vietnamese dead--soldiers, fathers, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters. More than 58,000 American dead. And none of the killing did anything useful at all.

Nevertheless, whether the fighting and deaths were senseless or not, US military put their lives on the line and many died. That's why we salute Veterans. They did all that was asked of them and did it well, but the war was never going to change Vietnam unification. Vets are not saluted for winning, but for giving their all for their countries. This they did with honor.

In honor of all vets from all wars, I hope you'll accept the gift of Tales of a Texas Boy from either Amazon (through the 11th) or from Smashwords (through the end of the month).

Amazon Kindle Ebook Free Through November 11th 
Smashwords - FREE to the end of November
Large Print Paperback $8.99 at Amazon
Regular Print Paperback $6.99 at Amazon
Audio Book only $1.99

Little Eddie tells some almost true Tall Tales set in West Texas of the 1930s. Guess what's true and what Eddie fudged on. Was it about the bear? Cage McNatt's prize sow? The skunk in the cornpatch? Guaranteed for a chuckle and maybe a tear here and there.



Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Veterans Day Specials

Vets' Day Special (all of November)
IF YOU'RE A VET OR KNOW ONE YOU WANT TO GIFT WITH A FREE EBOOK or AUDIO BOOK, CONTACT ME AT MY EMAIL ADDRESS (mgdasef@gmail.com)

TALES OF A TEXAS BOY
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. Twenty-one nostalgic stories based on the real life Eddie's adventures growing up in West Texas during the Great Depression. But the stories are not depressing at all! If you like animals and stories of farm and ranch life, this is a perfect book for you.

Watch the Book Trailer on YouTube.

Listen to the excerpt at SoundCloud.