A Perfect Book for an Imperfect Father’s Day

Having last blogged for Mother’s Day (on my author blog), it seems only fair to blog here for Father’s Day. Not too much direct experience with the mother thing, granted, but I do have experience with being a father. In 2014, I launched my novel AIKO, about a man who discovers he is a father. However, before he can celebrate Father’s Day, he must overcome a lot of obstacles to claim his child. Perhaps it is a simple story. The details make it special. And yet, it is strangely similar to one of the grand opera stories of my youth: Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. (Here is the Metropolitan Opera’s synopsis.)

As a music student in college, I was not averse to attending an opera or two. Some were more interesting than others. My mother, who always promoted my musical interests, took me to my first opera when I was a boy: Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, about a ghost ship doomed to sail the seas forever. (Why is there no movie version today? It would make a great paranormal film.) But it was Madama Butterfly that became my favorite, and the only opera I can enjoy just listening to without having to see the stage production.

In the opera, an American naval officer visits Japan and because he is staying there a while on business, he arranges to have a “temporary” wife. The inevitable happens: his business is concluded and he leaves, promising to return, and later she discovers a child will be born. He does eventually return, but with his American wife in tow. He is surprised to find his Japanese lover has a child but he is determined to bring the child home to America. The Japanese woman is so distraught over that verdict that she commits suicide in one of opera’s most tragic scenes.

While I was living in Japan in the late 1980s and early 90s, teaching English to the students of a small city, I wrote the story of an American man who meets a Japanese woman. They have a relationship then must inevitably part. A child is born. Eventually the man learns of the child’s existence and wants to do the right thing. Despite his American wife’s objection, he goes to Japan to check things out. I’m skipping over a lot of details, of course, but you see how the plot is similar to the Madama Butterfly story. That was purely unintentional.

Seeing that similarity, I decided to exploit it and revised my story to use some elements of Madama Butterfly more overtly. First, I wanted to tell the story from the man’s point of view. The opera is all from her side. Before I knew much about Japanese history and customs, I had always wondered why Cho-Cho-san (literally “Madame Butterfly”) decided to kill herself to solve the problem. She should have killed him for trying to take away her child! Not to say killing is acceptable, of course. In my Western mindset, I could not understand her motivations. Now I do. So in telling the story from his side, I would need to show him as a rational, responsible, do-the-right thing kind of guy who has all the best intentions while dealing with the situation.
The next thing I wanted to change was the time period. The opera is set at the turn-of-the-century when American naval forces first begin to rule the Pacific. In changing the setting to the late 1980s and early 1990s (the same time period I wrote it), I could exploit the new “internationalization” focus of Japan. Because of a booming economy and criticism of Japan’s unfair trade practices, the government initiated (among other acts) the importing of foreign English teachers from the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. I was part of that influx of teachers who went to Japan. I was there at the exact time of the story, and I described the clash of generations: the older World War II seniors and the pop culture youth who knew little about the war. It was an interesting yet awkward time. And it fit perfectly for my version of the story.

So there you have it: Art imitating a life which imitates art.

Being a guy, of course I wanted my male protagonist to not be a jerk, to do the right thing. But he is human and thus has flaws. He also faces the clash of customs, lost among people who think differently, where the acts that make no sense to him seem perfectly logical to the local folk. Japan in the 1990s is a modern place, but in inaka (the rural, “backwoods” regions), the old, traditional ways still hold sway. So our hero, Benjamin Pinkerton (yes, I borrowed the name from the character in the opera, just to make the connection more obvious), tries to do the right thing: save a child he never knew he had while risking everything in his life back home. It is another stranger in a strange land scenario I like to write.

SUNRISE (Book II in the Stefan Szekely Trilogy)

For Stefan Székely it is a fate worse than death: To be dead yet stuck with his dead parents. After 13 years Stefan can endure it no longer. He wants a castle of his own.

First he must visit his family’s bank in Budapest. But with endless strife across Europe, Stefan hardly recognizes Budapest, capital of the new Hungarian Federation. Nevertheless, he embarks on his reign as a vampire playboy – until he gets a stern warning from the local vampire gang.

Will Stefan fight for his right to party like it’s 2027? Or will an encounter with a stranger change everything? As clashes between vampire gangs and State Security escalate, Stefan discovers he might be the key to changing the fate of Europe forever. If he can survive three bloody nights in Budapest.

The sequel to A DRY PATCH of SKIN (2014) continues the trials and tribulations of Stefan Székely, Vampire.

Sunrise, sequel to A Dry Patch of Skin, launches!

SUNRISE …the end of the workday for vampires…

For Stefan Székely it is a fate worse than death: To be a vampire yet stuck with his vampire parents. After 13 years Stefan can endure it no more. He wants a castle of his own. But first he must visit his family’s bank in Budapest.
With endless strife rumbling across Europe, Stefan hardly recognizes Budapest, now capital of the Hungarian Federation. The world has changed.  Nevertheless, he embarks on the reign of terror he always denied himself, living the vampire playboy lifestyle.  Until he gets a stern warning from the local vampire gang. He is not welcome – unless he plays by their rules.
Should Stefan fight for his right to party like it’s 2027? Or will an unexpected encounter with a stranger change everything? As clashes between vampire gangs and State Security escalate, Stefan realizes he just might be the key to changing the fate of Europe forever!  . . . If he can survive three bloody nights in Budapest.
Budapest at sunrise

In 2014 my medically accurate vampire novel A DRY PATCH OF SKIN came out to a couple rave reviews. My main purpose then was to counter the hysteria of the Twilight experience with some medical research crossed with an understanding of established legends. I wanted to tell a realistic vampire tale. I even set the story in my own city and the action in the story followed the actual days and months I was writing the story. The story and my writing of the story ended the same week. Of course, I revised and edited after that.

Then I thought . . . what might possibly happen next? So I chose a gap of, say, 13 years (the number seems significant in horror stories). Now, where did I leave my protagonist? How is he doing? What could have happened since the end of the first book? What has changed in the world during these 13 years? How would what’s different in the world affect his own corner of the world? How would he cope with these changes?

As I started on another vampire story I quickly realized that I had to also write essentially a science-fiction story. A futuristic story. If I were setting the story 13 years after the end of the previous novel, then this sequel would be set in 2027. And it would be somewhere in Europe, which is where our hero was at the end of the first book.

What do I know of 2027? Not much. Like many science fictioneers writing about the future, I took the present circumstances, the way things are now (good and bad), and extrapolated how they might progress. Remember that novel by George Orwell1984? It was published in 1948 just as fears of a Communist takeover gripped Europe. It was supposed to be a warning. Orwell imagined how the concerns of his present might play out in the future.

With the current strife in Europe, mass immigration, refugees coming to Europe from the Middle East and Africa, the increase in crime, warfare between left and right political groups, I could see all these happenings extending, continuing and growing through the following decade. The moral question that arises is whether an author should follow his/her own beliefs; that is, how the world should be, a Utopian view – or choose a path of development which would be the best setting for the story, however the society might become – or try to take an honest look at current events and let things fall where they might, for good or ill.

I chose both. If I have to make a choice, I will lean toward what makes a good story over what my own beliefs might be. For the sake of this story and for the way I think society will continue to progress/digress or develop or evolve over the next 10 years, I’m letting the European conflicts play out in the sequel: my now less-medically accurate vampire novel, titled SUNRISE.

In this sequel, the new Hungarian Federation is a strictly run Euro-centrist society. The State Security apparatus runs a tidy ship and getting in is very problematic. Staying in if you are a “diseased” resident such as a vampire is dangerous. However, our hero, Stefan Székely, is already within the boundaries of the Hungarian Federation at his family’s estate in the former Croatia; therefore, I, the author, must deal with the vagaries of that location. It was not an unpleasant effort. I love to travel vicariously.

Needless to say, our hero has difficulties – or there wouldn’t be a story. Yet as I charged through the final chapters and then undertook the revision stage, the look and feel, the horrors, and the dystopian ambiance seemed right. Will Stefan escape from the repressive Hungarian Federation? Or will powers greater than himself and the vampire gangs of Budapest have the final say? 
In SUNRISE the world gets darker before the light shines again. Book 3, to be titled SUNSET, picks up the story even further into the future. By then, we are in full-fledged Dystopia territory. But, hey! I’m sure everything will work out just fine…if you transform into a vampire in time.

Cantrell, David P. (Dave)

 David P. Cantrell (Dave) lives on the Central Coast of California. After a spinal cord injury forced him to retire from his CPA practice, he found writing as an outlet for his creative urges.  Science Fiction, particularly Hard SciFi, is his first love, but he also enjoys fantasy, mysteries, and thrillers. His first book, Gates of Fire and Ash, is a mix of post-apocalyptic sci-fi and epic fantasy genres.

 

Myrddin Has All your Valentine’s Day Romance Needs Covered!

find love with myrddin publishing

Here at Myrddin Publishing, we cover a lot of genres and romance is no exception. Whether you like contemporary, historical, or paranormal romance, there is something for everyone on your list. Below is just a sample of where you might find your next Valentine’s day treat! you can find the full list of Myrddin romance here.

find love with myrddin publishing

Contemporary

A Beatutiful Chill by Stephen SwartzA Beautiful Chill by Stephen Swartz

Life is impossible when every moment of the present is haunted by the past.

Íris is a refugee from an abusive youth in Iceland, further abused on the streets of Toronto – until she sees Art as an escape. With a scholarship, she drifts from depression to nightmare to Wiccan rituals to the next exhibit. There’s a lot she must forget to succeed in a life she refuses to take responsibility for.

Eric is settling in at Fairmont College, starting a new life after betrayal and heartbreak. Divorced and hitting forty, he has a lot to prove – to his father, his colleagues, and mostly to himself. The last thing he needs is a distraction – and there’s nothing more distracting than Iris.

A Beautiful Chill is a contemporary romance set in the duplicitous world of academic rules and artistic license.

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Ednor Scardens by Kathleen BarkerEdnor Scardens (The Charm City Chronicles Book #1) by Kathleen Barker

Growing up in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in Baltimore in the 1960’s was hard enough when everything went right. Kate Fitzgerald wasn’t that lucky.

Struggling to cope with unwanted attention from older boys and men, Kate’s childhood friendship with shy classmate Gabe Kelsey begins to blossom, but quickly becomes tangled when she falls hard for his darkly handsome older brother, Michael.

As the brothers vie for Kate’s affections, she doesn’t know how to choose between them without tearing their family apart. She looks to her girlfriends for advice, but the tragic death of a classmate brings them face-to-face with mortality, shattering their facade of invincibility.

Her dilemma deepens when a predatory priest with a hidden past arrives at Holy Sacrament School. And when she silently witnesses a frightening scene between Gabe and Fr. O’Conner, Kate unknowingly becomes O’Conner’s intended next victim.

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Historical

The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar by Rachel TsoumbakosViking: The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar by Rachel Tsoumbakos

 

Lagertha was known to be one of the wives of the famous Viking, Ragnar Lodbrok. But did you know they first met each other at a brothel? And just how long did their marriage last? Was Lagertha really the revered shield maiden we see her as today? ‘Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar’ aims to unravel all these secrets.

‘Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar’ is so much more than a history book though.

In Part One their story is brought to life with a historically accurate retelling. Part Two then explores the historical facts surrounding this story.

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Paranormal

Heart Search by Carlie M A CullenHeart Search (Book #1) by Carlie M.A. Cullen

One bite starts it all . . .

When Joshua Grant vanishes days before his wedding his fiancée Remy is left with only bruises, scratch marks and a hastily written note. Heartbroken, she sets off alone to find him and begins a long journey where strange things begin to happen.

As Joshua descends into his new immortal life he indulges his thirst for blood and explores his superhuman strength and amazing new talents while becoming embroiled in coven politics which threaten to destroy him. But Remy discovers a strength of her own on her quest to bring Joshua home.

Fate toys with mortals and immortals alike, as two hearts torn apart by darkness face ordeals which test them to their limits.

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Men Reading Women

With the passing of fantasy author  Ursula K. Le Guin, it seems a good time to reflect on the women authors of my life, especially in science-fiction and fantasy where the percentage has been more skewed.

When I was a young reader, science-fiction got my attention. Imagining other worlds, traveling in space, or dealing with futuristic possibilities was my thing. I started at a young age reading such sci-fi authors as Ben Bova and Robert Silverberg. Also an author named Andre Norton. Mostly these were short stories, often in an anthology edited by Silverberg. One day, though, I was surprised to learn that one of my favorite authors was a woman. I thought Andre was a boy’s name! It made me think.

Boys tend to want to read stories of other boys or men doing things, heroic things. At that age I honestly didn’t care what the girls did in stories. It was just that male authors tended to write about men doing manly things (I’m generalizing, of course), so I had no reason to try female authors. I also did not have much knowledge then of how difficult it was for female authors especially in the genre of science fiction and fantasy; I just wanted a good story. My mother pushed A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle on me, telling me it was a good story, but as a young boy I was not so interested in reading a story about a girl!

Gradually, I grew up. Focusing deliberately on a wider range of fiction, literary and decidedly non-SF works, many of them were written by women. I enjoyed them: I got to experience life as a female character, got to understand the issues they dealt with, and perhaps gained from perspective I did not previously know. It was educational. Whether or not the authors were women still did not matter to me as a reader more than what the story itself was. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books about Authorian legend interested me, not because of the author but because of the Arthur. Nancy Kress and her sci-fi and books on writing mentored me for a time, as well.

Classic women authors starting with Mary Shelley and continuing through the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen entered my experience in college by making me play along as the man in the pages of their books. I could empathize, to a point, with the women in the novels. That experience helped develop the Romantic qualities which have eventually ruined me. I can’t confidently say, just from reading, that I now “get it” or that I understand all the characters endured and could cheer as they rose up and took whatever position they deemed in the story to be a success. Yet my empathy continued to grow.

In grad school, read Francine Prose and Annie Proulx, partly to see a view of life which I could not see without the lens of a woman author writing about a woman protagonist. A couple years ago I read a teenage romance series by Stephanie Perkins, not for the thrills of young love and relationship conundrums but to understand how a young girl thinks and acts. I used what I learned from those books for my own novel which featured a young girl. More than research, I deliberately tried to learn to see what I could not with my own experiential eyes. And then a film on cable TV one night prompted me to check out Margaret Atwood’s novels, starting with The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, of course, it has returned in a new series.

Having a daughter further instilled in me the urge to seek women authors for her to read. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer became a milestone in my daughter’s life. Inspired, she even wrote fan fiction herself. No matter what word or label you may apply to me and my experience with women authors, I want the best for my daughter, and for her to understand other women’s lives and times, struggles and triumphs.

More recently, as I worked on my own epic fantasy involving dragons, I returned to the novels of Anne McCaffrey. While her dragons and their world are remarkably different from the ones I was writing about, I very much appreciated the craft, the imagination, the pure exhilaration of the world she invented in Pern.  Then the sci-fi/dystopian trilogy by Marie Lu caught my attention as something my daughter might like to read…but I read it first. Before reading these authors, Marian Perera, a fellow newbie, came out with Before the Storm, which wonderfully taught me how women think and act in sci-fi romance. It was liberating as I was composing my own sci-fi trilogy.

Now Ursula has passed on, never to write another novel. Yet we remain blessed to always have the products of her mind, the outpouring of words that frame and construct and fulfill our own hopes and aspirations for years past and years to come…for the world of make-believe is our world, today’s world, in disguise.

 

‘Twas the Night B4 Xmas

‘Twas the night before Xmas, when all through the base
Only robots were stirring, but none with much haste.
The backpacks were taped to the air vents with care,
In hopes that old Santa would find his way there;

The kiddos were tucked in their coffin-shaped beds,
As a Twix induced sugar-rush played with their heads;
Mom in her flannel and I in tighty-whites
Had just settled in after saying good nights.

When suddenly our module shook to and fro,
I leapt from my bed and was soon ready to go.
Away to the view screen I flew like the Flash,
And focused the monitor in a hurried dash.

The blue Earth above gave an eerie luster
To the dwellings that formed our lunar cluster.
Then, a vision beyond belief did appear,
A tiny red shuttle, manned by tiny reindeer.

Anon, a weird looking pilot escorted them out.
“I am Captain Saint Nick,” he said with a shout.
His four-legged crew must surely be tame,
Because clearly I heard him call them by name;

“Now, Crasher. now, Lancer. Now, Rancher and Buttless.
On, Gromit. On, Wallace. On, Dander and Gutless.
Gather your pouches, gifts stuffed to the top,
We must hurry and scurry there’s no time to stop.

And then in a jiffy, I heard from the ceiling
The clatter and chatter of eight little beings.
I stood from my perch and then turned around,
To see the pilot materialize with nary a sound.

Unsure of his purpose, my phaser at ready,
I stunned the old guy, my aim was quite steady.
His bundle of toys were thrown to the floor
“Oh no, this must be Santa,” I had to implore.

His eyes – how they twinkled, from the stun no doubt.
His cheeks soon grew as red as if they had gout.
His mouth formed a circle like a black hole,
His chest expelled the growl of an evil troll.

The sound of his anguish filled me with grief;
I feared for my life when he gritted his teeth.
He had a narrow face and surprising round belly.
Plus a wicked smile; I thought of Machiavelli.

With the wink of his eye he turned his head;
The look on his face filled me with dread.
But soon I realized I feared without reason
When he chuckled and said, “I love this season.”

He looked to the floor and gathered the toys,
Several were for girls and others for boys,
He filled all of the packs hung by the vents
Then touched his comm-unit and off he went.

From my viewer I saw him gather his troops,
The eight little reindeer were a strange group.
He walked up the ramp, his team close behind.
When the shuttle rumbled, it began to climb.

The craft hovered high over our airless dorm;
Through some unknown magic a dome did form.
These words were written on the white hemisphere,
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


By David P. Cantrell (c) 2017 with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

A Girl Called Wolf by Stephen Swartz

The inspiring true story of the poor Inuit orphan girl from Greenland who grows up and saves the world!

A GIRL CALLED WOLF
by Stephen Swartz
(December 2015)

A Girl Called Wolf (paper)
A Girl Called Wolf (Kindle)

Ice and snow are all 12 year old Anuka knows outside the hut in Greenland where she was born. When her mama dies, Anuka struggles to survive. The harsh winter forces her to finally journey across the frozen island to the village her mama always feared.

But the people of the village don’t know what to do with this girl. They try to educate and bring her into the modern world, but Anuka won’t make it easy for them. She sees dangers at every turn and every day hears her fate echoing in her mama’s voice.

Her mama gave her that name for a reason. She is A GIRL CALLED WOLF, forever searching for the place where she belongs, a destination always just out of reach, on a path she will always make her own.

Based on the amazing coming-of-age and adult adventures of librarian, boxer, and Canadian soldier Anna Good!

Minkie Monster and the Lost Treasure (A picture book with puzzles)

There is lost treasure in that there sea…

minkie-sea-1-under-the-seaMinkie is on the hunt for the lost treasure, but rough seas may stop him. With Bob left behind to look after the ship, Minkie will face rough currents and wander far, far away. Now, on top of searching for gold and jewels, Minkie has to search for a way home. Along the way, he’ll have to solve many puzzles. Will he ever find his way back? Can you help him solve the puzzles and find his way home? Under the Sea Puzzles: Minkie Monster and the Lost Treasure is both an engaging puzzle book and a riveting pre-school story. Inside you’ll find letters and numbers tracing puzzles, coloring pages, dot-to-dot, pattern matching games, a word search and of course Minkie’s friend Bob on every page!

Prepare for hours of fun and learning with your preschooler!

Available from Amazon and by special order from your local book store.

The Minkie Monster series of books are activity books for children up to the age of 6. They are designed to be a story book with puzzles which get harder as your child gets older. All the puzzle books have links and passwords to download the PDF so your child can redo the puzzles and coloring pages again and again.

Paperback

Get the paperback from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/MinkieSeaAP

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.)

Kindle eBook

Get the Kindle eBook from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/UndertheSeaAKE

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.)

 

Minkie Monster and the Birthday Surprise (A picture book with puzzles)

Minkie 1 reduced size front coverMinkie has a problem…

Minkie Monster has a problem. He’s been invited to a birthday party, but he can’t seem to remember whose. To top it all off, his best friend, Bob, is hiding – again. Now, Minkie has to go on the journey of his young lifetime to the planet Venus to find answers. Along the way, he’ll have to solve problems and follow the clues.

Filled with coloring pages, dot-to-dot activities, matching games, and word search puzzles, Space Puzzles: Minkie Monster and the Birthday Surprise will help your child develop counting, reading and cognitive skills while also giving them the opportunity to enjoy some age-appropriate fun.

Follow along and enjoy as Minkie and your preschooler follow the clues!

Available from Amazon and by special order from your local book store.

Minkie Monster keeps your little one interested…

The Minkie Monster series of books are activity books for children up to the age of 6. They are designed to be a story book with puzzles which get harder as your child gets older. All the puzzle books have links and passwords to download the PDF so your child can redo the puzzles and coloring pages again and again.

Paperback

Get the paperback of Minkie Monster and the Birthday Surprise from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/SPMMBSP

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.)

Kindle eBook

Get the Kindle eBook from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/SPMMBSK

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.

 

Minkie Monster Saves Christmas (A picture book with puzzles)

A picture book with puzzles for children up to the age of 6 years old.
A picture book with puzzles for children up to the age of 6 years old.

Oh No! Santa is missing…

Minkie Monster Saves Christmas
Minkie Monster Saves Christmas

Who will save Christmas?

Santa needed a break, but when he left, no one was put in charge. Now, Minkie has to take over or Christmas will be ruined. Join Minkie as he follows the clues. From connecting dots in magic wonderlands to following patterns and tracing numbers and letters, each step gets Minkie one step closer to saving Christmas.

Note to parents: Minkie Monster Saves Christmas is a puzzle book as well as an engaging story for your preschooler. The puzzles inside include: traceable letters and numbers, coloring pages, dot-to-dot, pattern matching, word search, and of course, finding Minkie’s best buddy Bob along the way.

Available from Amazon and by special order from your local book store.

The Minkie Monster series of books are activity books for children up to the age of 6. They are designed to be a story book with puzzles which get harder as your child gets older. All the puzzle books have links and passwords to download the PDF so your child can redo the puzzles and coloring pages again and again.

Where to get Minkie Monster Saves Christmas

Paperback

Get the Minkie Monster Saves Christmas paperback from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/XmasMinkiePA

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.)

Kindle eBook

Get the Kindle eBook of Minkie Monster Saves Christmas from Amazon:

http://minkiemonster.com/XmasMinkieAE

(This is a geographical link that will send you to your local Amazon store.

 

A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone

A Simpler Guide to Online Security
A Simpler Guide to Online Security

A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone is available as Kindle, ePub and Paperback versions. Now free as an ebook at Amazon, Apple and Kobo among other good ebook stores.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback
Apple iBooks

Are you worried about online security but don’t know where to start? Do you have a Google account and want to make it more secure? Do you want to protect your emails from opportunist hackers? Then this guide is for you!

What you will find in A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone:

  • Learn why online security is so important; protect yourself from identity thieves, fraudsters, hackers and scammers
  • Choose and change your passwords
  • What is and how to Setup 2-step verification
  • Add recovery information so you don’t lose access to your Google account
  • What to do if you find you have been hacked
  • How to protect your account while away from home and much more…

Your email is one of the most important tools available on the internet. It represents communication, community, business and just keeping in contact. It is also a big threat to your online safety. You don’t need to be a cyber expert to protect your identity online. Protecting your email is one of the best things you can do. This books shows you why it is important to protect it and more importantly how to secure your Google email. If skilled hackers want to get into an account they will always find a way but for the vast majority of users, following these tips will protect you.

What do you have to lose? Download it today for FREE at:

Amazon Kindle
Apple iBooks

…or buy the paperback at Amazon.

A Simpler Guide to Online Security for Everyone is part of the Simpler Guides Series. Other books in this series are:

  1. A Simpler Guide to Gmail
  2. A Simpler Guide to Calibre
  3. A Simpler Guide to Finding Free eBooks
  4. A Simpler Guide to Google+
  5. Email Management using Gmail

This security guide for everyone is available as paperback, Kindle and ePub books.

EPIC FANTASY *With Dragons

An Epic Fantasy* like no other!
(*with dragons)
Epic Fantasy *With Dragons
Master Dragonslayer Corlan Tang is the best in the business!
So it is little surprise that jealous Guild rivals conspired to have the sniveling Prince to banish him from the city.
Sent out into the Valley of Death – and stuck with a runaway boy from the palace kitchen – Corlan decides on a plan. He will head to the far end of the valley where he’s heard a vast marsh provides nesting grounds for the dragon horde. There he will smash their eggs and lance the younglings, destroying dragons once and for all! Then he can return as a conquering hero!
However, like any foolhardy quest, there are constant dangers and seductive detours along the way – as well as unsettling encounters with new allies, fiends, and traitors. A quest changes a man, Corlan realizes, and he finally must reconcile the dark secrets from his past.
Despite every distraction, Corlan must succeed, if only for his own stubborn sense of justice, but also so he might return home again. To achieve his goal, he must push himself onward, use his wits and guile, demonstrate his daring-do, and employ all the will and strength he can muster – for surely the gods have assigned him their harshest tests in this twisted new world, harshly cleaved from fire and quake. After all, the fate of the world rests in our hero’s hands.

[Read more about the creation of this epic work on the author’s blog.]

World of Neveyah (Book 2.5): The Wayward Son, a companion book to Forbidden Road

The Wayward Son Front Cover Cathedral Ruins 2 copyDeeds done in the heat of battle cast long shadows.

The most famous man in the history of the Temple, retired Commander John Farmer, has left the militia behind. War looms and John must answer the call to serve, but his terrible secret could destroy everything. A broken mage trying to rebuild his shattered life, he must somehow regain his abilities, or everyone and everything he loves will be lost.

John must face the crimes of the past to become the hero he never was.

Purchase The Wayward Son on Amazon for $2.99 Kindle and $13.99 paperbook

World of Neveyah (Book 3): Valley of Sorrows

VOS Final Front CoverThe thrilling conclusion to the epic fantasy series, TOWER OF BONES

A grieving man whose life has gone to hell in his absence,
A son whose action sealed his father’s fate,
A crippled warrior facing his future,
A broken soldier seeking redemption for an unspeakable crime…

Driven by prophecies and racing against time, four mages sacrifice everything in a final bid to save their world from the Children of the Bull God. Can Edwin Farmer set aside his worries and raise the new shield before Lourdan and the Legions of Tauron arrive to conquer Braden?

The Gods are at War, and Neveyah is the Battlefield.

Valley of Sorrows  at Amazon for $2.99 ebook

 

Ten Thousand Lines by Kate Bitters

TEN THOUSAND LINES by Kate Bitters

TTL Cover Front w BorderSet in the harsh backdrop of a dystopian future, an unlikely friendship flowers among the weeds of oppression. Ten Thousand Lines takes place during a time when human beings are sharply divided by class and discontentment brews under the placid surface of the city called Superbia. When a Hive 14 Worker snaps out of his drug-induced haze, the brew becomes a boil and a series of events sets into motion a witch hunt, a forbidden romance, and a revolution. But the Hive 14 Worker doesn’t care about politics and social justice. He only wants to sit quietly and watch the dusty sunset.

Available on Amazon.

Elmer Left by Kate Bitters

ELMER LEFT

By Kate Bitters

Kindle Cover“At the age of seventy-eight, Elmer Heartland packed up his things, kissed his sleeping wife on the forehead, and left. For good.” So begins the journey of Elmer, a man in his twilight years who has spent most of his life simply doing what he was told. After year upon year of empty conversations, meaningless actions, and endless Lions Club meetings, Elmer decides that he has had enough. He packs up a duffel bag, tip-toes into the night, and hops on the the 4 a.m train to the city of There. As the train gathers speed and leaves his hometown in the dust, Elmer wonders where the road will take him and what adventures his new life has in store. He is ill-prepared for what will come next. Elmer adventures across country, seeking personal meaning as he attempts to make peace with his past and grapple with his identity. Along the way, he encounters a quirky collection of people and places including two dueling soup kitchens, a pack of new-age collectivists, and a rainbow-colored meditation tower. Elmer’s tale shows us it’s never too late to come-of-age.

Available on Amazon.

Suffer the Little Children by Shaun Allan

Suffer the Little Children CoverSimon, Fey and Rebecca. An ordinary family trying to cope after the death of the girls’ mother. One day, Rebecca ‘gives’ her imaginary friend, Nathaniel, to her Simon, telling her father he can keep Nathaniel ‘forever’…

Then the phone appears. Then the lies begin. And the pain. And the faces in the photographs…

Simon asks Rebecca who Nathaniel really is. She tells him he prefers to be known by his nickname, ‘Mr. Boogie’…

Specially commissioned by Universal for the release of the movie sequel ‘Sinister 2‘, Suffer the Little Children is “genuinely terrifying!

Read it on Amazon!

Mr. Composure by Shaun Allan

Mr. Composure“Once upon a time…”

All the best stories begin that way. Once upon a time, Jack climbed a beanstalk. Cinderella did go to the ball.

Once upon a time, his parents died.

When your parents are killed in front of you on the one day of the year when all crime is legal, what do you do?

You prepare for next year. You prepare for payback…

Specially commissioned by NBC Universal for the release of the film The Purge: Anarchy, Mr. Composure is “simply superb” with the best plot twist ever!”

Meet Mr. Composure on Amazon and Smashwords.

Darker Places by Shaun Allan

Darker Places CoverWhat if you could steal the final moments from the dying? What if you had the darkest secret, but couldn’t think what it might be? What if you entered the forest in the deep of the night. Who is the melting man? And are your neighbours really whom they appear to be?

So many questions.

To find the answers, you must enter a darker place. Thirteen stories. Thirteen poems. Thirteen more doorways.

Darker Places is the follow up to the acclaimed Dark Places and can be found on Amazon and Smashwords.