Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE FAIR: From Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal.

Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal is available in Paperback and eBook and soon in audio.

The heat came in waves one morning like nothing I had ever experienced before. Dolores came in and put our halters on us. Her excitement made me nervous. Then as she led us out of the barn, I saw it right in front of us. Waiting like an ogre, its doors open as if to swallow us, stood one of those nasty trailers. Although I could see there was hay on the floor for us to eat, it still stunk of fear, gasoline, and oil.
“This is a terrible sign, Lucky.” I said. “It’s an extremely distressing sign. Where are we going? Why do they have to make us leave our home? I don’t feel ready for more changes, do you?” He was used to my constant worry and questions, so I got no answer. “Please, don’t make us leave, we’re just beginning to feel a little safe,” I begged as I planted my hooves in front of the ramp. It was no use. They were bigger than me, and up the ramp I went.
Inside the trailer, it was even hotter. All told there were five of us—three horses, Lucky, and me—crammed into this sweat box. We were all nervous. All of us were brought to the stable by these same women a couple of months earlier. Each of us had begun to feel a measure of security in our surroundings after the trauma of losing our families. Unsure and troubled again, we waited for the fabric of our lives to be ripped apart once more.
The women had treated us kindly and genuinely seemed to care for us. They didn’t know my belly was always hungry. Nor did they understand that we had a crawly feeling inside of us.  It was probably some of those bad bugs my mother warned me about.
They were kind women. They didn’t know that the corrupt woman who owned the stable couldn’t be bothered with us. When she came around to look us over, we could tell she was ruthless. To her it didn’t matter if we survived and grew up strong. I didn’t think the nice women knew she was evil or that we had these crawly things inside of us. They tried their best to treat us kindly with love and to teach us how to be adoptable. They just didn’t know enough about horses, and they listened to the bad woman instead of trying to learn to speak horse.
Fortunately, the trip was short. Outside the trailer, it was extremely loud. There were the sounds of other horses, farm animals, music, and all sorts of other strange noises. Some of them were so deafening they made us all jumpy. The smell of grass, machinery, and humans permeated the air. We could hardly hear the sound of our own breathing over the calls of one human to another, the banging of hammers, and metal against metal. Standing and waiting in the sweltering heat of the trailer, we could barely breathe in the stifling air.
“The women are putting up portable fencing and a tent,” one of the bigger horses who could see through the window told us. “The tent is probably so they can be out of the sun during the day.”
At last we were led off the trailer one by one. Sweat dripping from us, Lucky and I were the last to leave the trailer. They led the two of us into an extremely small enclosure standing next to the tent.
At first we enjoyed looking around at all the different things going on. The thrill soon passed, as there was no escape from the sun. Humans continued to stream by viewing, poking, and prodding us in the enclosure. Some of the little children were horrid. “Cute horsey,” or “Cute pony, Mama,” they said as they poked us again and again while their parents laughed. It was the hottest day I could ever remember. From just after dawn till sunset, we stood in that pen. I began to wonder if we were to spend our lives in this small space without room for either of us to lie down, move around, or get out of the sun.
Where would Lucky and I go if it rained? Still, we wished for rain to cool us down. We felt trapped and wondered how we could have a nap. The space was too little and the noise and constant parade of strange humans too great.
“Lucky, what’s happened to the nice women? Why did they do this to us? Do you think we’ll be adopted?”

He didn’t answer me. He was afraid. Both of us were miserable. We didn’t know what would happen. Maybe, if we were truly blessed, we would meet our forever families here at the fair. Was it possible? We wondered.

Dinky's Quest is available in Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and in Audio for ages 3 to 8.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Authors and Books I read in 2014

As an author and poet, I decided to list my top favorite authors that I read their work in 2014. Equally it would probably be unfair not to list at least a few of my favorites of their work. All of these books can be found at least on Amazon, though many of them at bookstores everywhere. Some are currently only available in eBook, others in Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, as well as Ebook.

Some of these books I reread this year after having enjoyed them so much previous years, so they were included in this list.

Some authors I believe I would love all that they have written even though I have not as yet read everything of theirs. Many on this list I have loved all of their work, but I only included those that were my favorites of the ones I have read this year, even if it was in the rereading. As my tastes in books are varied, so is my list.

The authors are listed alphabetically by first name, this in no way is meant to say I prefer that author to one further down on the list.

I hope some find this list interesting, please forgive the lack of pictures, but there are too many for this post.

I can highly recommend all of these books for your own enjoyment or for gifts for the holidays.

Amanda Thrasher – The Ghost of the Whispering Willows & her Fairy in the Mushroom Patch series
Ben Woodard – The Boy who flew with Eagles and his Shakertown Series
Beth Hoffman – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking For Me
Claire Cook – Must Love Dogs, Must Love Dogs (New Leash on LIfe) and Best Made Plans
Dellani Oakes – Indian Summer, Lone Wolf, Shakazhan, Conduct Unbecoming and Ninja Tattoo
Doreen Cox – Adventures in Mother-Sitting
Ellen Dye – Ending Up and Three’s the Charm
Franki deMerle – Dragonfly Dreams and Five Flowers.
Helen Carey – The Lavender Road series
Jack London – Call of the Wild and White Fang
James Rollins – His Sigma Force series
James Strauss - The Boy
Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice
Jan Romes - Married to Maggie
Jd Holiday - Spy Games
Joseph Wallace – Diamond Ruby
Julie Hughes – Griffin Boy and Griffin Cryer
Karen Vance Hammond – Shoe Marks
Karen Vaughan – Dead On Arrival, Daytona Dead, and Dead Comic Standing
Kevin Swarbrick – Louie Has Landed Series (very steamy)
Leyla Atke - Charm: The Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat
MacKenzie Brown – Lost Boys and The Shifting, though I have a feeling I will like the rest of his books too.
Margaret Koch – The entire Barb Stark series especially Catalyst and Camp Soul
Maria Savva – Haunted, Time to Tell, and Coincidences
Miranda Phillips Walker – The Well Meaning Killer
Miriam Davidson – The Intercessor and Sand, Sea, and Meadow Muffins
Helle Gade – Nocturnal Embers

Robert W. Walker – The entire Instinct Series, Decory Series, Children of Salem, The Cannoneers, Annie's War, and Red Path.
Saket Suryesh – Rescued Poems and Death of a Soldier
Sammy Sutton – Darkening Danger, King Solomon’s Journey, and Hidden Mountain
Sherrill S. Cannon – Finger Paint Masterpiece and Gimmie Jimmie
Stuart Ross McCallum – Beyond My Control: One Man’s Struggle with Epilepsy, Seizure Surgery, and Beyond.
Suzanne Collins – MockingJay and Hunger Games
Virginia Lee – Dagon’s Blood


When I first met J D Holiday it was like meeting an old friend. She is a thrilling writer, illustrator, host of her own blog radio show, featuring Story-time for children.

J D 's goal is to promote the love of reading, while helping children to overcome bullying and other issues they have growing up. She avidly promotes other authors and is always a friend, with a heart of gold.

Author and illustrator J.D. Holiday is the host of The Authors' Words & It's Story Time on Book Garden Radio at Blog Talk Radio: an international children's Reading Story Radio Show for children. She has three children's books out: Janoose the Goose, The Spy Game, and a chapter book for six to eight year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. JD has had a chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing published. &
Her site is:

The Spy Game:
Eddie would love to have a puppy to play with. A puppy would pull on a rope, catch a ball and lick your face. But his Uncle brings Eddie an older dog named after a famous spy. 
What can you do with an old dog? It probably could not learn new tricks, and the only thing this dog did was stare. It's what they find to do together that makes them the best of friends!

Thank you J D for joining me and sharing this marvelous book with us.

You can buy Spy Games on, Barnes&, and wherever books are sold.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Introduction to Nurse Mares and Nurse Mare Foals. (Why Dinky was Born)

Dinky's First Year
The elite of the horse world are the high-dollar mares. They are show animals or racing animals, bringing high dollars for their foals because they have a history of excellence and winning. For them, time is money and it's important that the mare be kept busy birthing instead of spending weeks nursing her offspring. That job is given to a nurse mare.
Much like the old-time wet nurse employed by wealthy mothers throughout history, the nurse mare is of uncertain or unimportant bloodlines and incapable of bringing substantial income to her owner. In order to nurse the important foal, she must have recently given birth and produce the necessary milk. The question is: What becomes of the nurse mare's foal?
By many called a “junk foal,” this unfortunate newborn is considered a necessary evil, a disposable byproduct. The cost of trying to nurse this foal until it is weaned is high, so often the “junk foal” is killed outright and disposed of. Sometimes it's shipped off to auction and bought by manufacturers who use its hide to make expensive bags or shoes. Whatever its fate, the nurse mare's foal is considered an unimportant nuisance.
The nurse mare’s foal is usually taken from its mother anytime from one day to a week after birth instead of the ten to twelve weeks that foals commonly nurse. The times vary, depending on when the high-dollar mare foals. Generally the nurse mare is shipped off to the farm to nurture and foster the high-priced foal.
The horse industry benefits from this barbaric practice because the high-dollar mare gets back in shape more quickly, so she can show well and invite more offers for her offspring. While some stables allow the mare three to four weeks to recuperate after giving birth, many are sent to the stallion for rebreeding within seven to ten days of giving birth.
There are Equine Rescue Leagues that have spent their time, energy, and money to help the rejected foals. Without them, more of these small lives would be lost. Most of the rescuers are knowledgeable, but there are a few well-intentioned people who want to save the newborns without any knowledge of horses. In some cases these organizations succeed almost by accident, and in others they make matters worse for the animals in their care. Unfortunately these groups sometimes rely on unscrupulous people, self-proclaimed experts who have their own hidden agendas.
The lucky foal is adopted by people who know and love horses or who go out of their way to learn the needs and care of this fragile baby animal. Too many are adopted by men and women who know little or nothing about horses, let alone the unique care these foals require, and the new owners soon become overwhelmed. As a result, some foals are bought and sold several times before they reach maturity. Others die from lack of proper nutrition and proper parasite control. The nurse mare's foal unfortunate enough to fall into the wrong hands usually grows up with multiple deformities and bone development problems. Some have social development issues, never learning how to be a horse or understanding the role of a horse with a human companion.
This book is the story of one nurse mare's foal and its fight for survival.
Marta Moran Bishop and Toni Boyle

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Based Upon A True Story (From Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal)

The men didn’t lift me this time—not like they did when they threw me into the box. Instead, they put that same dirty rope they used before around my neck. Downward they pulled me into what seemed like an overwhelmingly large crowd of humans.
A male human took my rope and led me into a small yard where the smells were better. The smell of death was gone; in its place was the clean smell of farm life. In front of the barn stood a woman in a billowing red skirt, “Dinky little thing isn’t he? He sure smells terrible,” she said to the man.
I heard other animals calling, “Who are you?”
Still fearful and unsteady, I held my head up high and called back, “I am beautiful and strong. My mother told me so.”
So loud were the humans, I could barely hear their replies, but I thought I heard them laughing at me. That made me sad.
The man leading me wore blue from head to toe. Deeper into the dark barn he led me. Finally he pushed me into a small room with little patience for my unsteady legs or for the bruises that covered my body from falling.
In the dim light of the room, I heard a voice, “Hi. My name is Lucky. What’s your name?”
Afraid, tired, and hungry, I asked, “I don’t know, Lucky. How do you get a name?”
“Oh, sooner or later they’ll call you something. Then you’ll know your name,” he said.
“Then I guess my name is Dinky, because that’s what they called me.” I couldn’t manage anything more. Before looking around the room, I went over and drank some of the water in the pail. “I’m hungry.”
“There will be nothing more till morning,” Lucky said, licking my wounds and comforting me while I cried. We snuggled close and slept. Each time I woke up weeping, he calmed me down and reassured me.
Cock-a-doodle-doo filled the room. It was the strangest sound I ever heard. “What’s that noise, Lucky?”
“It’s called Mac Rooster, and he’s greeting the dawn and telling everyone it’s time to get up. We’ll get our breakfast soon now. It always comes after Mac Rooster calls,” Lucky said.
Lucky wasn’t my mother, nor was he an adult horse. He was too young to teach me manners or the ways of the herd, yet he’d been here longer and knew things I could learn. He was bigger than me and brown. With him near, I felt a measure of safety. Each day at the farm shortly after Mac Rooster called, they brought us our breakfast. For a while they only brought us the milky stuff, but soon the humans began putting hay and grain in our room along with our pail of milk.
“Dinky, I overheard the humans talking. Soon they won’t give us the bucket. If you don't learn to eat hay and grain, you’ll die.”
So each day I tried to chew it, but it didn’t seem natural. “Lucky, are you sure it’s normal for us to eat this when we’re so young?”
He just grunted and went on eating. Sure enough, the next morning the humans put only water in our bucket. Gone was the milky stuff.
Our room was old and smelled of other horses even through the thin layer of new shavings on the floor. That morning we woke to rain. It came down exceptionally hard, so instead of taking us out into the little yard, they tied us up inside the barn.
“Lucky, this is horrible just standing here unable to move around. Even being in the little room is better. I like it best when they put us out into the little yard, don’t you?”
 “Yes, Dinky, but I heard the woman say if we get sick we will be worth nothing, and they will have wasted their time and money on us. So we have to stay in here if it’s raining,” Lucky answered.
“I guess we are fortunate not to be on the cross ties. See those chains hanging over there on the wall, Dinky? Ole Jack told me, they are called cross ties and humans hook the chains one on each side of a horses halter. Then the horse must stand still, held between them, unable to move around much at all. We are too little for halters, so they tie us up instead.”
“I don’t think I would like cross ties Lucky. It is bad enough having a rope around my neck and tied to the post. Why do you suppose the rope is tied so high? I feel like my neck is being stretched off my head.”
“Me too Dinky, I don’t know why the rope is up so high though. I think it would be worse though to be on the cross ties.”
“What are halters Lucky?”
“I don’t know, Dinky, all I understood was they are something that covers the face. It doesn’t sound nice at all.”
Each day I learned a little more about life on the farm. “Dinky, don’t try to socialize with the chickens. They’re snobs and only like to talk amongst themselves. Besides Ole Jack told me they were just big gossips anyway.”
I wondered if there was something more to it, but I didn’t think Lucky would know. Maybe if I was here long enough, the chickens would talk to me, I thought as the woman led us out to the little yard.
“Hi, young’uns. How’s it going?” a strange looking little light-brown fellow with horns on his head and whiskers on his chin yelled from across the fence.
“There’s Ole Jack now,” Lucky said. “We better go over and talk to him, or else there’ll be too much ruckus, and they might not let us stay out in the sun today, Dinky.
“Howdy, Ole Jack. Where have you been?” Lucky asked as he trotted over to the fence.
“They lent me to another farm for breeding. Woo hoot, did I have a grand time, little ones. Who’s your buddy, Lucky?” Ole Jack asked.
“This is my new friend, Dinky.”
“Is he okay? Looks a little skinny and wobbly to me, Lucky.”
“Yah, Ole Jack, Dinky is still recovering from the trip and losing his mother.”
“Ah, another nurse mare’s foal, eh, Lucky? Hi, Dinky, welcome to the farm. I advise you not to get too comfortable here.”
“Why’s that, Ole Jack? And what’s breeding?” I asked shyly.
“Well, your mothers were bred to a stallion, and you were born. Your mothers were nurse mares. Unfortunately, a nurse mare is only useful for the milk she produces, which is why you were taken away from her. Her milk was needed to feed another horse’s foal. You two are just a byproduct of the breeding.
“Nurse mare foals have no real purpose. You’re not much use here on the farm. Chickens give eggs, goats and cows give milk, but the humans here think they can make a little money by selling you. Likely you’ll both end up at the meat market or the tanners. There are a whole group of humans here today. Likely as not, one of them will buy you, if not now then next time.”
“Does that mean I’ll never see my mother again?” I asked.
“I expect you won’t, Dinky,” Ole Jack said.
I started to cry. At least I understood why we were separated, though it didn’t make the separation any easier.
“Now don’t cry, youngster,” Ole Jack tried to console me. “It’s just the way of the world.”
I tried to think of something else instead. “What’s a tanner, Ole Jack?” I asked, because he seemed to know a lot.
“I don’t want to frighten you two, but a tanner is where they take the hide off your back and make bags and shoes for humans to wear.”
“But what does that mean? How could they take my hide without me dying? I don’t think it’s possible to live without it. What are bags and shoes anyway?” I asked.
“Dinky, calm down. I said I don’t want to frighten you, but it’s true. You’d die if they took your hide. Bags are what humans carry things around in, and shoes go on their feet.” Ole Jack answered.
“I don’t want to die! I don’t want to have my hide taken to make bags or shoes, and I certainly don’t want to be eaten,” I said tartly.

“You sure are a sassy little fellow aren’t you? Maybe that will help you survive. Sometimes, you nurse mare foals find homes. You might become one of the privileged ones, but I recommend you don’t count on it. I don’t want you to get your hopes up, little ones. You won’t stay here long.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

From Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal.

Terrified for my life, I was flung to the floor and against the walls so many times by the movement of this box I was trapped in. I was afraid to try standing again, so I cowered in the corner. On the floor of the trailer was a bed of soiled straw. I lay there watching the sunlight crawl across the dirty brown walls. The shadows from the sun hitting the bars in the window looked like enormous fingers coming to get me as they crept across the walls of the trailer.
No longer was I able to see the grass, the sky, or Mother. I lay there trembling and alone with no one to love or cuddle me—just this large space all around me that smelled of old manure, urine, fear, and death. Some of the smell was my own fright. The stench was so strong it made me sick. Where were they taking me? Without Mother to protect, nuzzle, and teach me, how would I survive? I felt so helpless.
My misery and my deep need to belong and feel loved were so strong, the solitude of my mind wandered back to the same questions. What would happen to me? Who would teach me? Would I get a chance to live as she promised? “Remember her words,” I told myself.
“Hold your head up, son, you must be strong.”
With every fiber of my being, I held on to her voice in my mind. It helped to ease the apprehension, the hunger, and the throbbing from my bruises.
The movement of this box stopped. When they opened the door, I was crouching in the back corner of the trailer like a weakling. One of the men held a bucket in his hand and the other a rope. The smell coming from the bucket made my stomach rumble. Even through my fright and the fury I smelled on these men, my stomach growled. There was no place to escape from even the dirtiest of these men.
Both of them were dirty, unshaven, and wearing blue jeans and sweat stained t-shirts. Joe’s whole face was covered in hair. I could barely see his eyes through all the hair as he crouched down beside me. The other man once again put the rope around my neck and held my head in a forceful grip. Without so much as a kind word, the man called Joe stuck his fingers into the pail and forced them into my mouth. Not even the nasty taste of his grubby fingers stopped me from tasting the flavor of the milky stuff.
Hungrily I found myself sucking his dirty fingers. Several times the exercise was repeated. I sensed the resentment in these men even as they pushed my head down into the bucket. Famished, I drank greedily.
Impatiently the men pulled the bucket away from me and carried it out the door. Still hungry, I whimpered.
The man who put the rope around my neck complained as he slammed the door, “Stupid junk foal. I don’t know why we always get stuck with this job, do you, Joe?”

The way he said junk foal made me cringe. It sounded as if he was talking about a piece of garbage. Holding my head up even in my dread, I let my mother’s words again run through my mind. “Remember, do not pay any attention if you hear the words junk foal. These are words used by ignorant humans.” For a little while, letting her voice play in my mind helped ease my panic.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Teaser: Unedited from The Hollowers Part II

On the stainless steel table lay what was left of Jerry Nilan. The empty eye sockets seemed to stare at something and a wide toothy grin stretched across the skin covering his bones. They knew it was skin, yet it appeared mummified over the bones. All the tendons and muscles were gone. Just this dried, brittle skin, stretched across the bone of his head, those empty eye sockets, wide nostrils, and that horrible grin.
Even Doctor Smelter, a veteran of autopsy felt chilled just looking at Jerry. The V-shaped cut he had made across the rib-cage of the corpse, now closed gave no secrets to the cause of death. In fact, it made everything that much worse. Doctor Smelter, still spry in his old age, turned to his tall, thin assistance and said.
“Charles, I just don’t get it. What could possibly have drained all the fluids and tissue from Jerry? Why even his eyes are missing and yet, he has the biggest grin, from ear to ear on what I suppose we would call a face. This is probably the eeriest body I've ever had in autopsy.”
“It sure is spooking me out sir, I mean how he can have died happy? Wouldn't whatever did this to him have been insanely and horribly painful?”
“One would think so! Perhaps, you hit the nail on the head though Charles, he went insane from the agony. But, what could it have been? I don’t know of any disease or creature that could have done this and so far we aren’t finding anything.”
“There’s not even an organ left in his body is there?” Charles asked.
“None that I have found. Why I couldn't even find a small puncture wound or an incision in his body that could have been used to remove them either. He is just a bag of bones with a thin layer of that horrid, dried, brittle skin covering the bones. Whatever it was even removed his muscle and sinew. It’s simply worst thing I have ever seen.”
“Do you think it would be so bad without the grin sir?”

“Well, it would still be awful, but you are right the grin makes it all that much worse. What do we know about this Jerry fellow?”

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Imagine a world where there is no middle class, no environmental controls, no education for the poor, no safety nets for the young or the old. A world with no minimum wage and no way for woman to protect themselves. A place where everyone who isn't wealthy is a number and owned by the company. Their lives and families at the mercy of the few, the corrupt, and the powerful.

As we head into the mid-term elections, so many will not vote, many will vote based upon one issue, some along party lines, and some based upon lies created to deceive and divide people.
If we become a nation without safety nets for our children and elderly, with no minimum wage, health care, or education for anyone that is not already wealthy or born into wealth. Where will we be?

If we become a nation of one religion, the question will become which denomination of which religion will become the STATE religion? What will happen to all those who believe differently?

Today there is a movement for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to succeed from the United States and form a country called Reagan and build a country based upon anti-gay, pro-life, as long as it is the fetus, without care for women, or the children, without any environmental or safety protections, and with a state religion.

We will have a nation that resembles the story I wrote called, The Between Times. It is a story of a grim world, with little hope for the poor. But, there also is a bit of hope and a bit of magic, within its pages.

In Orwell’s, 1984, he paints a picture of Big Brother in the form of the government, it is a picture that many use to try to prove that anyone who believes in safety nets and protections, are evil. In The Between Times, I see a world where the corporation owns the people and that world is not pretty. It is a world where religious wars are fought to make more money for the richest among us, while the poor are fodder for the war machine. A place where children are no longer protected once they are born, for the truth as my research shows is that those few who are throwing billions of dollars into buying elections and our government do not consider anyone who is not wealthy to be a person. No in their minds they are only fodder for their work force and their wars, which serve only to produce more power for them. It was true in nineteen thirty-three, when a few millionaires tried to overthrow the government and place a fascist regime in its place and it is true today.

Although, there are some who hear the word magic and believe it evil. In The Between Times, although it appears to be magical it can also be a metaphor for what can happen if people from every walk of life put their energy in one direction and how powerful that would be. It is a revolution of sorts, though not one that is carried out in the streets nor is a shot fired, but still hope is found in ‘the prophecy,’ begun by Jewell’s mother Rebecca, while she was standing waiting for her death.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Roman Nyle: Why I joined the Give A Book/Read A Book Campaign

Roman Nyle, began writing at the age of ten. He served in the U.S. Army, during the 1980's and 1990's. He has a passion for reading and exploring the world through watching people and the learning about different cultures.

Roman is an animal rights activist and a nature lover and he was kind enough to join me on my blog today.

He is currently working on a screen play as well as a novel and several short stories. I have been lucky to have a peek at some of his work. Although, currently not published he will be shortly and has become a writer with Katmoran Publications.

I must say along with being an interesting and kind man, he is opinionated. Some may not agree with his opinions, but he is always ready for a good debate.

Thank you for today's guest post Roman and thank you for joining the Give A Book/Read A Book Campaign.

Marta, it is a pleasure to meet you and thank you for letting me post on your blog. I have avoided the social media along with all it entails for a long time, but my wife insists it is time. She says if I am going to publish my work, I need to begin to venture out of my comfort zone. I am excited to be a part of the campaign. I remember more things I have read in books than those I have watched on television or in the movies. My reasons for asking to join this campaign are below.

Imagine a place where horses talk, other planets are populated by different species, ghosts walk, and murders get caught.

An entire universe is open to you, when you read a book.

Even though the Give A Book/Read A Book campaign began in 2013 as a way to promote books and reading, not just one authors books, but all books. Books from major publishers, small presses, and indie authors. It doesn’t matter if it is fiction or biographies and self help books, which author you prefer or if you only buy books that are traditionally published, there is a book that will ignite your passions.

In this day and age of electronics, with our world filled with the noise of television, automobiles, X-boxes, and video games, are we missing some of life's finest pleasures? The ability to allow our imagination to wander, to roam to far off galaxies, catch a murderer, and fall in love.

Are we losing the chance to sit quietly and look at the sunset or sunrise, watch a brook as it jumps over rocks on its way to its destination? Have we forgotten what it is to stop and listen to someone? To hear what they have to say or do we only hear a part of the sentence? Are we doomed to become a civilization-dependent on shopping and soundbites as our only means of entertainment or knowledge?

In the pages of a book, our eyes can be opened in ways no other medium can do. Our imaginations can soar and our minds can grow, becoming more and we can find a peaceful, quiet, place inside ourselves that is only available without the constant on-slot of electronics.

This does not mean that television, movies, video games, the internet, and shopping don’t have their place in our society. Contrarily, they offer us many other things. Yet, if they are our only source of entertainment and we are unable to put them down, what are we losing? What worlds are we not discovering, what understanding of other civilizations and cultures are we missing?

There are many theories on why there is such an abundance of Autism, in all its many forms. Perhaps, it is from an overabundance of noise and an overstimulatulation of our senses. We don't seem to give ourselves time to soak in the meaning of life or allow our mind a chance to absorb the silence and beauty around us. In our fast paced world, I wonder if we give ourselves enough time to let our imagination work,

In days past, life was lived at a slower pace, children played, using their imagination to build worlds or secret societies in their tree house. They spent time on their swing set, fishing, playing tag, and hide and seek. They began reading at younger ages, partly because they were read to or because the rest of the family read.

At the dinner table everyone’s day was discussed, the problems, the solutions, world events, what happened at school, what they learned that day, and stories of past and present adventures were told.
In my mind, I still picture these days, I remember the first books I read, the stories of my youth, and there are those books that to this day I have fond memories of. Yes, it is true, I also have a few movies that have done the same, yet more often than not many of them I can’t remember the substance or the meaning of them. Some television shows left a large impression on me too, yet this probably has more to do with the fact we watched few shows. Our days were filled with the simple games of a child, our chores around the house that made us a part of the solution in our family, and the stories my mind created after reading a book.

Give A Book/Read A Book and enter the world of the imagination.

You can find Roman Nyle on Facebook and soon in bookstores near you. We hope to convince him to join some of the other social media networks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

There is yet to be a Dellani Oakes novel that I am not eagerly awaiting. Conduct Unbecoming was not a disappointment. Filled with action packed scenes, romance that will set your heart a thumping, but not from a quivering violet. Instead, Ms. Oakes is a master at strong male and female characters, capable of going toe to toe, yet causing the heat to rise and the spirit sale.
In this Teague McGurty sequel, we Teague and friends coming to the aid of his friend Nadeya who has been framed for the murder of her fiance’.
This is a story about true friendship, modern day romance, steamy love scenes, and full of action.
It is a masterpiece of fun literature you won’t want to put down from the moment you open it up until the last page is finished. It will leave you wanting more and yet filled with the story.
Truly a story to delight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I adore Dellani Oakes, her charm, wit, and writing style are a delight. I am honored to call her friend and excited to be a part of the announcement of her latest book. It is an exciting book, filled with all of the elements, which keep one glued to their seats, up late at night, unable to put it down. Thank you Dellani for giving me this chance to help with the advance press for Conduct Unbecoming, a Teague McGurty novel.

Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska. Before that, she lived in Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts and Texas. After graduating from high school, she added Mississippi. The diverse locations gave her a unique perspective on life. Always a people watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author.
Bitten by the writing bug early in life, Dellani first pursued poetry as her medium of self-expression. Soon, she moved on the song parodies and then short stories and humorous essays. Once she got to high school, it became apparent that she needed to learn to spell when she got a paper back from her English teacher, “For content: A+. For mechanics: F.” That comment changed her life, forcing her to focus as much on how she said things as well as what she said.
Dellani took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten in 2002. Since then, she has published five books. She has two romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing and an historical romance and two sci-fi novels with Second Wind Publishing. She has also contributed to several anthologies, MJ Magazine and shares her unpublished works on her blog.
Because she loves to talk to other authors, Dellani hosts two talk shows a month on Blog Talk Radio. Listen in every second Monday of the month at 4:00 PM Eastern for Dellani's Tea Time, and every fourth Wednesday, at 4:00 PM Eastern for What's Write for Me.
Armed with bravado and wonderfully supportive friends and family, Dellani has embarked on a journey of self-publication. Conduct Unbecoming is her first venture into this new, and somewhat scary, world.

Where are you from?
I was born in Tennessee, but have lived in Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, Nebraska,
Mississippi and now live in Florida.

What components, in your opinion, make a great story?
A great story needs good conflict, a discernible opposite of the main characters. This can be in the form of an actual person, entity or group. It can also be some hurdle the hero has to overcome. With good conflict comes good characters. They must be up to the task they've been presented with, even if they don't think so themselves. Despite weaknesses, they manage to rise to the challenge and overcome it. Good plot dynamics also add to the story. No good tale can go straight up to the climax and straight down to the denouement. There have to be levels built, like steps, guiding the reader to the conclusion.

What was the hardest part of the story to write?
It was hard to keep the plot fresh and not do a rehash of The Ninja Tattoo. I didn't want the characters in hiding, as they were before. However, when I thought of a full on confrontation, the characters stopped me. Two of the bad guys were too formidable and unpredictable for a frontal assault. I would have lost all my main characters and had a slaughter of innocents on my hands. Teague was champing at the bit to take the villain head to head and I couldn't let him. Amazingly, Jasper, who is even more impetuous than Teague, talked him out of it. After that, I let them decide and I like where they went with the story.

What was the easiest part of the story to write?
The love scenes were the easiest part. I love having people fall in love and bringing them together for the first time is always kind of magical.

Was there much research involved?
Since I had already written a story with similar aspects, there was very little research involved. I did ask an author friend of mine, Seth Bailey, for advice on a rifle for one of the scenes. Though the weapon isn't specifically named, he gave me some useful information. He also told me a real sniper wouldn't be seen or miss, which was exactly what I was after.

What do you feel is your biggest strength as a writer?
Dialogue, hands down. I wrote plays in college and that has stayed with me. Info dumps, back story, characterization—all this and more can be portrayed through dialogue.

When your first started writing, did anything about the writing process surprise you?
I didn't think about how long it would take to get from the beginning to the end. I would get these fabulous ideas and couldn't type fast enough. What I thought would take an hour to write, often took 2 or 3.

Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
I do celebrate a little. I keep my book files separated by Finished and Unfinished files. When a book is done, I move it from one folder to the other and do a little happy dance. Sometimes, if it's a been a real bear to finish, I'll have a glass of wine. I love finishing a book, but once it's done, the real work—editing—begins. I give myself some down time afterward, before I move on to a new project or begin my first phase of editing.

Do you have a set writing routine?
No. My time is too broken up with errands I have to run, needs of my family (buggers have to eat, after all) and all the Mom and Wife stuff I have to do. I try to get in my office by 10:00 most mornings, and put in time on my various projects. Sometimes, it's editing, other times it's setting up my blog posts. Other days, I go on Facebook & promote my books or radio shows. I try to put that off until later in the day, though, because it's easy to get sucked in.
I write or edit awhile, break for a late lunch, watch reruns on Netflix and relax, before going back to work. I take another break to fix dinner. Sometimes, I stop and watch a movie with my family, then I'm back at my computer until around 1:00 a.m. I often have to make myself go to bed. I'm not usually sleepy, but I can't allow myself to stay up all night, even though I'd like to.

Do you listen to music when you write?
Always! I have to listen to music. It keeps me going and makes me feel energized. It also serves a more mundane purpose, it provides a screen between me and the outside world. Even in my office, the sounds of the rest of the house annoy and interfere. I've learned to filter out and ignore some, but I can't separate myself from it all. Also, I have constant ringing in my left ear. The doctors can't do anything about it, so I play music to tone that down.

You’re marooned on a desert island. What’s the one book you’d want with you, and why?
Give me unlimited paper & pens, I'll write my own. The voices in my head won't shut up just because I'm not at my computer.

What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new story in the near future?
I'm always working on something. I have several books that I've shared on my blog. I plan to get these ready to self-publish. The one I'm currently sharing on my blog, Bad Fall, is actually a companion novel to Conduct Unbecoming. The main character is mentioned in Conduct Unbecoming, and one of the villains is the same. I am also writing a sequel to Bad Fall, and it's an extension of both Conduct Unbecoming and Bad Fall. The title is A Matter of Time.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Learn grammar! I realize that makes me sound like an English teacher, which I am, but it's important. I just finished reading a wonderful book that had a great plot and held my interest, but the author kept hopping from present to past tense. There were times that she switched from first person narrative to third person in the same sentence. It was a little frustrating. Also, PLEASE learn the difference between LAY and LIE and use them right! That bugs the crap out of me. I despair of ever winning that battle, because nearly everyone does it wrong.

What made you decide to venture into self-publishing?
I love my publishers, but they are busy with other authors as well as me. I have books I really want to have published, but can't get out as soon as I'd like to. I've been afraid to do this until many of my friends encouraged me to try it. Thank you Christina Giguere, Karen Vaughan and Ethel Cook-Wilson for convincing me that I could, and should, give it a try.

Excerpt from Chapter Four

As Jasper approached the door, he prayed for inspiration. It was going to take some fast talking for Nadeya not to freak out and kill him. He raised his hand to knock. Rethinking his position, he moved so he wasn't standing directly in front of the door, but slightly to the side so the thick, log wall protected him. He tapped lightly and waited for a response. The curtain over the tiny window moved aside imperceptibly. Only someone trained to be observant would have seen it.
Jasper faced the window and smiled. "I'm Jasper Waters," he said quietly. "I'm a friend of Teague's. You hid on my boat."
The door opened a crack and one dark, wary eye peered at him. "I remember you. What?"
"May I come in? The skeeters are pretty nasty and they're feasting on me."
Nadeya took a step back, leaving barely enough room for Jasper to squeeze through. She shut the door with her foot and slammed him against the wall, one hand pulled up at an uncomfortable angle behind him. She did a thorough frisking of him, leaving no areas unearthed, before letting him go. She stepped out of easy reach, eyeing him with a neutral expression.
"I just want to talk," Jasper said, holding his hands slightly from his sides.
"You're a cop. Why should I talk to you?"
"Because I don't think you killed that man on the beach. We're both friends of Teague's, maybe we could build on that."
"Teague has lots of friends. . . ."
"No, Teague knows every damn body, but there are only a few of us the calls friends. You're one of them. He told me what happened to your fiancé."
She tightened up. Jasper took a step back, raising his hands.
"Would he share that with just anyone?"
Nadeya's lower lip trembled slightly and she blinked hard. Jasper caught the hint of a tear in her eyes.
"He wouldn't unless he knew I would help. You think I drop what I'm doing and run everyone out to a crime scene just cause I'm nice? Teague and I trust each other and I'd like to extend that courtesy to you, if you'll let me."
She stared at him several minutes, sizing him up. She gestured to one of the two chairs near the window. "Want some water or instant coffee? It's all I've got."
"Water would be good, thanks." Jasper sat.
Nadeya got two bottles of water out of the mini-fridge and tossed him one. Jasper caught it with a grin. His left hand gripped it as he twisted it open.
"Nicely done. Now you know I'm a lefty."
Nadeya smirked. "And you're not armed. I could have taken your head off."
"Yup, but I trusted you wouldn't. And I thank you for that."
She nodded as she opened her own bottle. "So, you're here, talk."
Jasper told her what he and Teague had figured out about the man on the beach. He even told her about C.L.A.D.
"You know about that?" Nadeya leaned closer, whispering.
"Bits and pieces, nothing concrete. What do you know?"
Nadeya looked furtive. "I shouldn't tell you. We could get in a lot of trouble."
Jasper held his hands out, palms up. "Who am I gonna tell? Except maybe Teague. Look, the more we know about this, the better. What do you say?"
She looked away, biting her lip. "I don't know much more than you do. The only thing I know for sure was that it's supposed to be a way to reprogram people's minds."
"Like brain washing?"
"Kind of. More sophisticated, but still a way to break them. I know that someone else got ahold of it though. They were using it on us!" Anger flared in her eyes.
"Us—as in you personally?"
"No. But some of our soldiers. There was a captain I heard of, they tried to kill him off in a raid, but he took out everyone who attacked his convoy. They stole his memories and gave him a fucking medal."
"Shit! How do you know about that?"
"The subject came up as they tortured my fiancé," she mumbled.

Excerpt from Chapter Six

"You don't mind sharing with me, do you?" Joel asked Aileen.
"Do you snore?"
"Not that anyone's ever told me."
"Joel doesn't have sleepovers often," Jasper said. "He wouldn't know."
Joel punched Jasper hard in the chest. "Back the fuck off, Waters."
Vivica interceded once more. "Do you guys need anything?"
"I've got a change of clothing in the car," Joel said, heading outside to get it. He slammed the door behind him.
Jasper watched him leave, jaw working angrily. Vivica had to speak to him again to get his attention.
"I just need a toothbrush and some boxers. I'm good to go."
"Teague has some new ones here somewhere. They should fit you. Hang on." She ducked into the master bedroom and brought out a pair of plaid boxers.
Jasper thanked her and went in the bathroom. Vivica and Aileen made the bed while he took a quick shower. Joel still hadn't come back in. Concerned, Aileen called him, but his phone went to voice mail.
"I'm going to go look for him," she said.
Vivica nodded and tucked in the blanket. Aileen went outside. She found Joel sitting on the neighborhood dock, gazing at the moon. He looked up when she sat down on another deck chair.
"He really gets under my skin," he explained. "And I let him. I want to kick myself in the ass."
"What's with you two. You seem to hate each other."
"No. Jasper's a good guy, he's just so competitive. I've been on the receiving end more times than I'd like. He's a sore loser, but he's a worse winner. Problem is, I am too." He chuckled, shaking his head. "We're too damn much alike to be friends. The only reason we tolerate each other is because of Teague."
"He's always had that effect, hasn't he? I've never seen someone who can bring people together and get the best out of them like he can. God, he had me charmed and in his bed faster than any man I've ever met."
Joel held up his hand, halting her monologue. "I can handle many things. But hearing how good my cousin is at seducing a beautiful woman is not one of them."
"As all hell," Joel admitted. He stared across the water.
"I can't imagine you've had much trouble along that line," Aileen said quietly. She scooted closer, shivering.
Joel flung an arm around her, pulling her closer. "I'd loan you my jacket if I had one."
"This is good. So, you don't want to know how he seduced me?"
"Nope. Why would I?"
"Because it might work for you too."
Joel chuckled, rubbing her arm. "There is that. Maybe I'll find my own way."
Aileen gazed into his eyes. They looked silver in the moonlight. "How would you go about it?"
"First, I'd take you for a ride in my sexy car."
She giggled. "And then?"
"Then I'd buy you a cup of coffee and a slice of the best pie in town."
"Jasper actually did that."
"Yeah, but I drove you there in my sexy car."
"Then I'd have me a temper tantrum and storm outside like a three year old."
"Oooh, be still my fluttering heart."
Joel turned his face to hers, pulling her close. "Then, I reckon I'd get you by the river in the moonlight and hope you let me kiss you."
Aileen leaned closer. Joel brushed her cheek, touching her lips with his thumb. His lips met hers—warm and soft and full. She shivered against him, but not because she was cold. Joel's tongue flickered between her lips and she opened them more. He took full advantage, deepening the kiss.
Sighing, they scooted closer together. Joel touched Aileen's cheek, his fingers winding in her hair. Gradually, his hand dropped to her shoulder before drifting down to her breast. Teasing her, he traced circles over her shirt.
The screen door of Vivica's house screeched, sounding loud in the still night. Joel's head snapped around.
"You two okay?" Vivica called.
"Yeah. Be right in, Viv. Sorry," Joel replied. He stood, giving Aileen a hand up.
Her arm slipped around his waist. "That was a nice kiss. I'd like to continue that sometime."
Joel sighed. "But I'm guessing not tonight."
"Not tonight. But soon." She started away from him.
Joel caught her hand, pulling her back. The kiss was even more powerful when they were standing. His firm body pressed against hers. It felt good to have a man show his interest so definitively. There were no games with Joel. He liked her, he was attracted. She had no intention of bedding a man she'd known less than 12 hours—though it was damned tempting.
"How long did it take my cousin," he whispered huskily. His breath tickled her neck.
"A week."
Joel nodded, smirking. Arm slung around her shoulders, he planted a kiss on her cheek, smirking as they walked to the house.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014


I first met Mary T. Bradford on the Fantastic Summer Splash Blog Tour on Facebook. I was at once impressed with her honesty, compassion, and willingness to support other authors.

As I grew to know her a bit, I discovered that my first impressions were correct, but that she was also a writer with a distinct and original style. A style that I am sure will lead her into greatness.

I am honored that this talented author has allowed me to be a part of the launch of her debut novel, My Husband's Sin.

Thank you Marta for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

It is a joy to have you join me Mary. Please tell us a bit about My Husband's Sin.

If you don't mind I will use publisher's words, they say it best.

My Husband’s Sin is the debut novel from Mary T Bradford. She is an Irish author, married and mother of four children. She has been writing short stories for many years with which she has enjoyed publishing success in Ireland and abroad. While working on a story it happened that the story kept getting longer and the word count continued to climb, resulting with Mary having her novel. My Husband’s Sin is published by Tirgearr Publishing at

Synopsis: In the weeks following Lillian Taylor’s burial, her four loving children assemble for the reading of her will. For the grieving youngest sibling, Lacey, life is about to come crashing down as a deep secret is revealed. The fall-out affects every member and they struggle to regain the happy family unit they once shared. Each of the four, now adult, children take the reader on a journey as they try to come to terms with and learn to handle this huge revelation.

Tell us what My Husband's Sin is about?

My debut novel is centered around the Taylor family. Lacey, the youngest of the family is dealt a horrible blow at the reading of her mother’s will. She is devastated and the knock on affect on her three siblings shakes the family unit. Lacey has questions that need answering and at one stage she must leave Ireland to search for some of the answers. Will the Taylor’s come together and unite or do they fall apart and remain so?

What are the main themes in your book?

In my novel, My Husband’s Sin, there are a few themes but the main one is loss. Losing a parent or indeed any family member is a difficult time for everyone concerned. Lacey Taylor, suffers loss greater than the others when after her mother Lillian’s funeral, a letter she is given destroys her life further. She now suffers betrayal as well. But it only takes a small crack to appear in a family for it all to come crumbling down.

If you were casting the movie version of My Husband’s Sin, who would you choose for the leading roles?

I would love the young actress, Amanda Seyfried, play the part of Lacey in my debut novel. The solicitor, Mr. Philip Sherman, played by Jeff Bridges, then Sally by Michelle Pfeiffer and finally Robert, by Jason Stratham. The other characters, Willow and Cora I have no idea.

Why did you write this novel?

I always promised myself that I would write a novel. I have written many short stories and had tons of ideas but none of them ever stayed with me and nagged me like this one. It started as a simple story and just kept growing, the word count grew and the characters kept insisting on me sorting out their dilemmas and after some moments of writing delights and writing disasters, I ended up with My Husband’s Sin.

How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or a complex process?

Wow what a question! I am not a plotter when it comes to writing in general. I have either an idea or a name to begin with and after some thought, I may have an end. Then to get from the start to the finish, I have no idea, honestly. I put down on paper whatever is in my head and take it from there. As I am writing, the characters or indeed objects pop into the writing and it is they that lead my stories. In My Husband’s Sin, a black metal box appeared. I had no clue why or what it represented until much further on, it turned out to be an essential part of the novel.

Whether writing a novel is a simple or complex process I think depends on the writer. Some like to do a lot of research and make maps and plans and know each detail before they commit to paper. Others, I suppose like me, put it down and get it out and then when doing the next draft, and the next, and the next... finally get to the end.

What are you working on currently?

I have my fingers worn to the bone at present because I have three projects on the go. Yes I am a nut to take it all on. I am writing my second novel which is totally different from My Husband’s Sin; it is not even in the same genre. It is a good V evil story, a priest who is sent to do battle with the devil and it all takes place inside a locked room.  So who wins? That is a question I have not yet answered LOL.
I am also writing a western novella for a group that I am involved in. The group are called Writers of the West, it is an exciting project. Finally, I am busy seeking a home for a play I have ready for production.

What would your perfect day be?

A perfect day, let me think, it would be warm, not too hot, by the sea, with a picnic of cold meats/white wine/salads. A book of course and would I want company? Well if, Kevin Costner or Charles Bronson were available, or maybe Michael Bublé, he could serenade me right?

Tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about?

I enjoy public speaking. I have my CC (Competent Communicator) from Toastmasters International and I started the advanced manuals. I also represented my local club Fáilte Toastmasters in competitions. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to participate but I may go back to it another time.

Recently Mary has dipped into play-writing and one of her plays was shortlisted in the Claremorris Fringe Festival in April of this year and was performed by the Half A Breakfast Theatre Group. Another of her plays had a Staged Reading in July at Friar’s Gate Theatre in Kilmallock, Limerick in Ireland. Her short story collection, A Baker’s Dozen, is also available on