A mix of reality and science fiction, The Secret in The West Woods pits two unlikely heroes against a force which is out to capture fame and fortune at the expense of a defenseless creature. Get this for your Kindle, iPod, or iPad from Amazon.com for only $1.99.
This chapter book is sure to bit a hit with young readers, especially boys involved with hockey, as they find out whether Jeremy is successful in getting the new skates he knows will make him the star of the team. From Amazon.com for only $.99.
Seventh grader Ray Brennan has a lot on his plate. A major trumpet solo in the school jazz band’s spring concert is in serious jeopardy, things aren’t going well at home, and to top it off, there’s the question of who’s been watching him. Add a mysterious girl who nobody seems to know and a best friend who’s no help at all, and Ray wonders if things can get any worse. As it turns out, they can. Ray eventually learns that help can come from very unexpected sources, but that it’s not always easy accepting it. Available as a $3.99 download on your computer and for Kindle, iBook, Nook, Sony Reader and other readers.
MY FRIEND, O'CONNELL
Even though it isn't summer (far from it here in Ohio!), bring back some memories of July and the celebrations that highlight the birthday of the United States of America. Bradley and O'Connell are front and center. And in light of it being close to Valentine's Day, you can read (or reread) #7 in the O'Connell series, A Good Knight's Work.
One of the great inconsistencies of the writing life is that, faced with a blank page, we can come up with all kinds of excuses why we have writer's block, can't think of any ideas, need to run a load through the washing machine RIGHT NOW!, etc., etc., etc.
It's been a doozy of a winter. Actually, doozy doesn't even begin to cover it. Schools have been closed almost as much as they've been open, a gazillion airline flights have been cancelled and I am really sick and tired of being stuck in the house. But wait! Doesn't 'stuck in the house' mean you have lots and lots of time to write?
Uh.. .yeah. But there are other factors at play this year, namely adjusting to retirement life. I can't seem to get into any kind of a schedule, and the snow and cold isn't helping.
I had good intentions. I signed up for a web challenge called Start the New Year Write--a series of prompts for every day in January, starting with the 5th. How did I do? About half of them.
I signed up for 12 x 12, an online group for writers of picture books. Have I done anything yet beyond thinking about it? Not so you'd notice. Sigh.
One day, in utter frustration, I grabbed some paper and my iPad and drove over to a very roomy and comfy Starbucks store nearby. All the couches and chairs were taken, but there was a high bar with stools and I plopped myself there. I ordered myself a Gigante cuppa tea and then proceeded to bury myself in some writing. The sounds of the baristas and customers faded away and before I knew it, an hour had gone by. Now why, I ask myself, can't I do that at home? Answer? The number of possible distractions is higher there.
Punxatawny Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter. Drat! Well, as soon as I can get out of the driveway, I know where I'm going!
Summer has finally arrived. The gardens are doing well, except that I can't seem to grow anything edible without attracting the attention of a whole host of critters who seem eager to dine. I think I may have found the solution, though--a table top garden. I put a bunch of dirt and some seeds in a large plastic container, put it up on an old wooden platform and everything is sprouting away. Netting keeps the deer out of there and my friends Chuck and Chip can only dream.
Family outings on the calendar include the Ryan clan this weekend and the other side next month. It will be good to see everyone again. Amazing how fast the kids grow up while we never get any older.
I have been working on my book and I like what I've done so far. Still no idea of what it's about, which is strange. If I keep plugging away, though, it's sure to materialize. That's the secret of this writing business. Saw an ad recently where someone wanted to hire a freelancer to write his/her novel based on a general idea. Wanted it done in six weeks and was willing to pay $500 - $1000. I'm not sure there will be any takers, but if so, it's bound to end badly. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It's the execution that matters.
I'm finally getting out of the winter doldrums. Everything is blooming in shades of pink and green and white. Mother Nature has a wonderful way of refreshing one's soul. So I thought I'd do a little refreshing of my own and took out some of my writings with an eye toward submitting them. I managed about six queries and submissions and already have two rejections. They weren't bad rejections, however, so I take heart that the next time will be the charm. That's a big part of the writer's life--hope!