having to do with Amazon, the largest of the online eBook retailers

The Explorer’s Son Will Be On Pre-Order!

The new design for the covers!

The new design for the covers!

I’ve decided to put The Explorer’s Son on pre-order at Amazon. I will get the pre-orders set up on the other retailers tomorrow. The actual release date will be December 8, 2015!

In the coming couple of weeks, the makeover of all the covers, my mailing list, reformatted versions of the previous books, will be set up. If anyone has downloaded my books from Amazon, you will most likely get an email if you do not have your Kindle account set up for automatic updates. This is not a bullet I’ve fired before, but I think it’s really important that everyone have a chance to experience the refreshed versions of my books. From what I understand, readers who have my books downloaded from other book sellers get the changes automatically.

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Holiday Traditions of Mine, Past and Present

I had a dream last night about the Christmas Eve open house party I used to go to every year when I lived “up North.” I dreamed that I got there late and all that was left over was already on ice except for some great Italian bread that was freshly baked and still warm. What does this dream mean? I have no idea. But I thought about things I’ve done during this holiday season as compared to holiday seasons in the past. What do I do now that I used to do then? What have I dropped, and what have I picked up?

I decided to make a list of things that, for me, make this season special. Some of them are things I still do, some are things I just started this year, and others are in the past and I might never get to do them again…

  1. Driving around neighborhoods to see everyone’s decorations.  When I was a kid, there was someone two blocks away that always had Santa and the sleigh and the reindeer on the roof, lit up so everyone could see them at night. It was extra effective if it had snowed, and the light could reflect off the white on the roof. This, among other showcases, was a tradition. When I got older, we’d drive along Route 35 along the Jersey Shore, past those huge houses in Mantoloking, and a lot of them (if they hadn’t closed up for winter yet) would put on quite a display. Then, once I moved down to Florida, and started living in apartment complexes, I thought I wouldn’t get to see much in the way of holiday decorations. Boy was I wrong! It’s amazing what people can put out on a lanai to make it look like a store window!
  2. Christmas music. While I worked in that used book store, there was one of the ladies there that would bring her CD player and a lot of her holiday music albums and play them while we worked. For this reason, and no other, I’ll be nostalgic about Amy Grant’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” She had it all: Mariah Carey, Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Manheim Steamroller, The Radio City Music Hall album, and eventually, Kenny G and Celine Dion’s albums as well. When I moved down to Florida, I was introduced to Frank Sinatra’s album as well as Jimmy Buffet’s.  Now, thanks to modern technology and Spotify, I can play any Christmas song I want and avoid “Christmas Shoes.”
  3. Philosophy’s Have a Cherry Christmas Bubble Bath. This little set was an Ulta doorbuster for Black Friday. It has a small gel and a lip gloss. And it will take the place of Bath and Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple in the future, unless I can’t get it for some reason.
  4. The Griswold Family Christmas. It’s not Christmas without this movie. Bingo! This is the movie that inspired so many people to get vanity plates for their trailers that read UNCL ED.
  5. Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.   Ah yes, Starbucks… One of my newer traditions, especially this year since I was getting spammed with extra bonus stars every time I got one.
  6. Going to eat Chinese Food on Christmas Day. I started this about two years ago, when I was feeling a bit under the weather and the rest of my coworkers were getting full blown flu. I went there for the big pot of tea and the won ton soup. Now I take my mom there and we plan to go again this year.
  7. Edel-Marzipanstollen from Trader Joes. This blog post covers just about all the Xmas goodness from Trader Joes, including the stollen. The blogger, as I do, appreciates Trader Joes unabashed use of dark chocolate (not on the stollen, just on everything else)!
  8. See the Christmas tree in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was and still is a big deal for a lot of people visiting NYC this time of year. I haven’t been able to visit it in a long time, but I do hope to be able to get back to the city for the holidays someday.
  9. Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas Coffee. I have a k-cup waiting for the right moment, but it’s just not the same as it used to be when I was shopping in the mall and stopped for a cup at the Barnie’s Coffee place.
  10. McDonald’s Eggnog Shake. It’s not the same as it used to be either, especially since now they have right on the sign that the shake is 680 calories. Jeez, isn’t that what we make New Year’s resolutions for?
  11. Latkes and Hanukkah Gelt. Yes, Trader Joes has latkes as well. But nothing beats home made potato pancakes with applesauce or sour cream. We can even get fancy with this recipe from Food & Wine. And Trader Joes has the Hanukkah Gelt chocolate with world coins, but I remember these, because these have the menorah on the coins. Though they are milk chocolate, nothing quite tastes the same as these foil wrapped chocolate coins do. You can get these at Amazon, the bane of my existence  Earth’s Biggest Selection.

I’m sure there are more things I do and have done that I didn’t post about yet, but maybe I can make a part 2 to this post. What kind of traditions do you have that you miss, or have you started to take place of others?

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Calling all Cars for the Amazon Police!

The Inventor's Son: The Beginning

The REAL new cover for the “Prologue” book!

I have renamed my “Prologue” novella-length book to The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning.
And I uploaded it and published it to Nook Store. When it goes live, I will have the links to both the Amazon page and the Nook Store page.
I uploaded the new cover, but Amazon has not updated it yet as of now. Now, I have the old cover with the new title… It’s sometimes a good thing that I don’t have all that much exposure on Amazon, because sometimes they are not too quick with their updates. BTW, I saw a review yesterday (not for my book) that gave one star because, while the reviewer hadn’t actually read the book, the author made one of the words in the title with an ‘s instead of just plain s. Not on the cover, thankfully for him. But, really? I wonder if I’ll get a one-star review for my book by the Amazon police because I’ve got the cover transitioning from “Prologue” to “The Beginning.” Maybe I will, and when the new cover loads, that reviewer will look like a moron. 😉
Also, you might notice the extra details on the cover. In a few days I will be reworking the Book One cover and uploading that. I realize these updates about my book uploads and grand plans might be a little excessive, but I know that soon, Camp NaNoWriMo will be up and running (like in a week and a half!) and I want to have all this stuff straightened out by then. I also won’t be able to devote much time to blogging here, and I know you, dear reader, will miss me… Mwah!

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The Inventor’s Son Prologue has been Released!

The Inventor’s Son Prologue has been released in the Kindle Store

This prologue to The Inventor’s Son series begins with a seemingly innocuous meeting during which a promising new technology for amputees and soldiers is demonstrated. However, it is soon discovered that the mastermind who created those miraculous prosthetic limbs has only one true intention. He wants to discredit and then destroy the family of his former student, Marcus Stanwood.
A brilliant but flawed inventor and scientist himself, Marcus knows firsthand how ruthless and pitiless his former professor and mentor can be. He sets a desperate plan in motion, and the fate of his son Ethan will hinge on his success or failure.
The Inventor’s Son Prologue is an introduction to a Victorian London that could have been, and a young boy whose life is destined to change dramatically overnight.

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My Book, The Inventor’s Son, Has Gone Live!

If you like a book that’s got a Steampunk feel to it, has plenty of tension and some action, geared toward people who like YA, then check it out:

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