Just a reminder...

Free Friday extended for all of August!

I received a lot of emails from people who missed last Friday's giveaway, so we're extending the Free Friday program for the rest of August. Just click on the ad below to go to the book listing on (price will show 0.00 each Friday). Please leave a review on Amazon if you can. Happy reading! 



Apparently the "Wicca Cookbook" is NOT about pasta recipes as I thought.

A rose by any other name?

A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better. Ray Bradbury


You know the smell. It’s nothing you can buy to use as a perfume, though I’m a bit surprised no one has ever tried, and it is uniquely identifiable to anyone who has ever handled an old book. It’s easy to understand that the smell of a new book is a combination of fresh paper and ink (mostly), but what gives old books their unique, slightly acidic odor?


A team of scientists from major European and UK universities wondered about that and did an extensive study. This is what they came up with...more....


Thanks Will...


Monday Musings...

A side of history about The Great War that you won't get from the History Channel.

Bodies of War

Bodies of War  by Lisa Boudreau: 

Behind the scenes of today's centenary is the story of how next-of-kin and others tried to honor those killed in the Great War. In the book she describes how the politics of creating memorials often conflicted with the needs of veterans and relatives. A good read about an often neglected aspect of military history.


Quote for the day...

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. - James Whistler


One cartoon is worth a thousand words too...

Shameless Self-Promotion: Today is FREE FRIDAY - Get a free ebook from Amazon!

Today is FREE FRIDAY when you can get a completely free, no obligation, no spam, no scam, no phone calls, no email, no ads, no anything bad - just a new book that I hope will keep you entertained this weekend.


All you need is a Kindle or Kindle App for your tablet or iPad, click on the photo below to go to Amazon, and download the book. It's yours to keep, it won't time out, it won't disappear, it will live forever...just like Lilith. And if you want to know who she is, you will just have to read the story!


PS: You can also find Stepping Out of Time using Booklike's handy search feature.


aug 01 ad with label


A quick thought at halfway through the workday...

July 30: Paperback Book Day

Photo: Samantha Simpson, Flickr


I have not been able to track down the origin of Paperback Book Day, but it takes place on July 30th every year in celebration of those wonderful little 4x6 bundles of paper originally named Pocketbooks. It all started in 1939 with Robert Fair de Graff, who convinced Simon & Schuster to back his idea for a small, inexpensive book design that would only cost .25-cents.


Within two years de Graff sold 17 million paperback books despite frowns and leers from the literary elite. Much of the success, aside from the low price, was his ability to get them sold in places that never before carried books, including grocery stores, drug stores and magazine kiosks.


The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Paperbacks, the kind that actually fit in your pocket, are still around but not as popular as they once were. Now they sell new for an average of $7.95, though you can still find them used for about a dollar. Like hardcovers, they are also giving way to e-books and the larger, trade paper sizes such as the popular 5.5x8.5 (half a sheet of typing paper) that sell for $14-$16. Modern publishers would never sell anything for $7.95 if they think they can get $14.95. 


Ah, progress. I am curious about one thing. Is it just coincidence that July 30 is also National Cheesecake Day? 



Free Friday! Free Friday! No, not THAT Friday, THIS Friday…

After six weeks, seven support calls, five technicians and two psychotherapy sessions, I finally worked through Amazon’s Kindle promotion program and am (very) pleased to offer a FREE digital copy of Stepping Out of Time this Friday, August 1st. 


All you have to do is go to the Kindle Store on, sort through 4,567,326 book titles and download my book, or you can just click on the ad below to go directly to the more...



Or maybe not so surprising?

Alphabet Soup...

The Second Battle of Marianna

Marianna-Sign-Drop-ShadowThe other day I went to my favorite indie bookstore in the nearby town of Marianna, FL, to drop off some copies of my new book Stepping Out of Time.What I found was a big sign in the window that said, “Going Out of Business Sale,” and a normally meticulous store in disarray inside.


I did some browsing, bought a box full of interesting used books and gave a copy of my book to the owner, Mike Downum, to read while flying to a funeral in California the next day. I also got a brief history lesson about a Civil War battle that I never knew had taken place right in front of the store 150 years earlier.


historical-marker_595_FPAN logo-white-outlinedIn mid-September, 1864, US Brigadier General Alexander Asboth learned that some Union soldiers were being held prisoner in the tiny town of Marianna, FL, several days to the east of his position near Pensacola. Assembling a force of about 700 men, cobbled together cavalry units plus the 82nd and 86th US Colored Infantries, Asboth headed east along the Gulf coast.


The mission was to retrieve the few prisoners, loot the rich plantations of cattle, free slaves and destroy property in the town. Several days later, on the morning of September 27, 1864, Asboth’s force prepared to take the town from the north with a flanking unit to the west.


The town’s defenders consisted of  a small force of regular cavalry plus the Home Guard, a local militia of several hundred elderly men and school boys either too old or too young for the regular army. Added to that was a handful of wounded Confederate soldiers recuperating from battles further north. Despite being badly outnumbered, the ragtag group fought bravely for their homes and families, down the main street and into a church cemetery.


The battle ended after fierce, in-close fighting that resulted in both sides losing about a quarter of the men they started with. That was the furthest incursion into northwest Florida ever made by the Union army.


marianna_001More than a century later the second battle of Marianna is winding down. Chipola River Book & Tea will be closed in another two weeks. Mike, a woman by the way, told me that a continuing bad economy and competition from Amazon forced her to finally surrender after many years of being an established fixture in the small town. She resisted closing for a long time, but like the Home Guard years earlier she found herself surrounded and outgunned by a larger and more powerful force.


Small town businesses live a precarious existence in today’s world and they have to rely on a small population of regular customers to survive. Mike, like her forebears, will attempt to rebuild but with an entirely new business model. She is already retired and it will not be an easy transition, but I admire her tenacity and drive. She hopes to reorganize her inventory and sell used books on Amazon. I wish her every success possible as she endeavors to restart in a whole new direction.


cover 1If you have a small independent bookstore near you, please help to keep them open by shopping there. I had hoped this article would be to announce that my book was now available in Mike’s shop, but like her I have to adopt the Amazon model as well. However, I will donate free copies to any other indie in this area to sell as they see fit. And of course I will never slow down buying books as long as there are brick and mortar stores to buy from.