Stories for the Young and the Young At Heart!

www.pennystales.com

Saturday, January 10, 2015

99 cent reads for both adults and kids!





Do you or the kiddo in your life have a new (or not so new) kindle you need to fill up?  I've got 99 cents stories for all ages and from different authors.

Take a second and check it out!  What have you got to lose?

http://www.pinterest.com/pennyestelle/



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Award winning Lizzi Tremayne stops by Penny's Tales with her new story, A Long Trail Rolling


A Long Trail Rolling By Lizzi Tremayne
Cover and Excerpt
A Long Trail Rolling
by Lizzi Tremayne
The Long Trail Book One







Escaping her father's killer, Aleksandra rode the Pony Express—full speed into the middle of the Indian Paiute Wars.
She didn’t expect to become a target, but she is one now!
Seventeen year old Aleksandra, trained in the Cossack arts from infancy by her father, finds herself alone and running to prevent her Pa's killer from obtaining a secret coveted by the Russian Czar, one which could alter the forces of power in Europe. Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860's Utah Territory, she finds herself in even deeper trouble. Her Californio boss Xavier has a strength to match her own, but can they overcome their differences before the ever-increasing odds overtake them?

With this debut Western Historical Adventure, Lizzi Tremayne won the 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award and was a finalist in the 2013 Great Beginnings A saga of the Old West with a multicultural cast of those who make up America, it would interest readers who enjoy Westerns, horses, American Indians, immigrants, and the Pony Express. It has a capable heroine, strong historical detail, period veterinary treatment and frontier-pushing characters. It compares to the work of Phillipa Gregory, Diana Gabaldon and Jean Auel, with a little Laura Ingalls Wilder thrown in.
This novel is the first in The Long Trail quadrilogy of historical adventure sagas following her characters from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.

Genre: Western Historical Adventure Fiction with Romantic Elements
Content/Theme(s): Western, horse, native American, Indian, immigrant, Pony Express, veterinary, Utah Territory, Old West
Release Date: 10 January 2015
Launch Party: 14 January 2015, Placerville, California!
See my page for details! LizziTremayne.com
Publisher: Indie, as Blue Mist Publishing
Excerpt and more: LizziTremayne.com
Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Long-Trail-Rolling/588148927951917

Excerpt:
Lookout Pass, she reminded herself as she neared the summit. Glancing north to the distant white tops of the Onaqui Mountains, she swallowed hard as she thought again of her papa and the fossil he'd fossicked for her from its rocky ledges.
The spotted pony broke into a lope over the crest of the hill and began the mile-long descent. Aleksandra's thoughts filled with memories, she was absentmindedly fingering the fossil inside the medicine bag hung about her neck when she felt the first arrow whizz past her head.
Her heart stopped in its tracks and she flung herself to the left side of the Palouse's neck in a Cossack hang, lying flat against his side.
'Yah! Yah! Let's go, Scout!' she shouted, throwing the reins at him.
He needed little urging to run full tilt down the steep and treacherously rocky trail as the yells of Indian warriors echoed through the narrow valley. The arrows came hard and fast from the southwest, screaming like a mad bunch of hornets.
Smart. Her lips curved in the hint of a wry grin.
The Indians had placed themselves between the trail and the setting sun, so Aleksandra couldn't see her attackers in the glimpses she stole,from beneath Scout's neck, of the world whizzing past. With the ground only three feet from her head, the scent of sage filled her nostrils when Scout crashed through a clump of brush. Briefly considering letting go of one of her death-grip holds onto the racing horse to pull a gun from her holster, something akin to suicide, she tightened her lip in a grimace and stayed put, trusting far more in the Palouse's speed and handiness to save them. Knowing her weight hanging off to one side had to put him off his best, she tried to stay out of his way, keeping as still as possible, tucked down on the side of the skidding and leaping beast. Praying the cinch would hold, she sent fervent thanks to the pony selectors for their choice of horses.
How I would love to have my bow and arrows, but I only need to get us through to Doc Faust at Rush—
The Palouse interrupted her musings as he threw up his head and reared, angrily trumpeting and shaking his head for a moment, nearly dropping Aleksandra, then resumed his headlong rush down the hill. When he carried on, she heard whistling sounds with every breath and turned her face forward to see where the noise was coming from.
Then she saw the arrow.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Kind regards,
Lizzi Tremayne

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sara Walter Elwood stops by Penny's Tales with a tease from Gambling On A Secret




 Book 1 of The Colton Gamblers….
In anticipation of the June release of Book 3: Gambling On A Dream, Kensington Publishing has put Book 1: Gambling On A Secret on sale!
***ON SALE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY FOR $0.99***
Blurb:
When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?
Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.
Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.
When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author.

Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.
“HONESTLY this was a FABULOUS read. Gambling on a Secret is a gripping, entertaining and an absolutely delightful romantic read which is set in the town of Colton located in Texas. Sara Walter Ellwood has scored with this book. This has been one of my favourite reads for 2013…” Read the rest of this 5 Satin Pillow review at Satin Sheets Romance  

Excerpt:
Dylan regarded her for a long moment and cocked a brow. Damn, was he making fun of her? He looked her up and down. “Wouldn’t a woman like you be more comfortable getting manicures and massages in a Dallas spa, not worrying about cattle breeds and barn roofs? It’s no secret around town you’re the heiress to the Monroe Farm Equipment fortune, and you sold a huge ranch in Oklahoma your grandfather left you. Why on Earth did you buy a dump like this?”
Now he’d pissed her off. Charli might have more money than she’d ever dreamed of having. She might like to dress in designer clothes, but it was none of this jerk’s business which ranch she bought. Or why she wanted it. She had a business plan and a vision for the ranch; what else mattered? “I happen to like this place. It suits me better than the ranch I sold.”
“Is that so? Did you bring any equipment with you? A tractor, a planter, hay mower, baler, anything?”
He would bring up one of the stupidest things she’d done. Sighing, she admitted, “I sold the equipment with the ranch when I decided to leave Oklahoma. One more reason I need a manager.” Her cheeks burned. “When I sold the ranch after inheriting it, I didn’t intend to buy another.”
“Why did you buy another ranch?” He slid his gaze back to hers and peered at her as if he could read her every thought--but what had her swallowing hard was the spark of something hot in his eyes.
She tightened her arms in the hug she gave herself--a self-protecting, insecure gesture she’d acquired while she lived with her abusive lover in Las Vegas as a teenage runaway.
“Buying a ranch the size of this one isn’t something most folks just wake up and decide to do, Miss Monroe. A ten-thousand-acre spread takes commitment and dedication and is damned hard work.”
Yeah, she knew that.
He looked down at her multicolored Manolo Blahnik five-inch heeled slides. The ghost of a smile touched his lips again, but this time little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes, which held a spark of interest she didn’t want.
Damn, he was good-looking. She squelched that notion like the roach she’d killed earlier in the house. Hadn’t her life with Ricardo taught her a handsome face meant nothing but trouble?
“I can’t imagine you stuffing those pampered and polished feet into rubber boots to muck around in the barn.”
Me, either. But she would if she had to.
She drew in a breath and dropped her arms to her sides. “I think we should get back to asking questions about you. When your sister called about my newspaper ad, she said you were exactly what I’m looking for.”
He shrugged again in a not-a-care-in-the-world way again. What was this guy’s problem? If she weren’t running out of time, she would tell him to leave. She couldn’t waste this year, which meant she had to get someone hired. And her prospects were limited.
“Can you do the job?”
“Affirmative.”
She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she frowned. “Do you have any references?”
“I expected you to ask. Everything you need to know should be in here.”
She moved closer and took the folded sheet of paper he held out the window. After glancing at it, she wasn’t surprised it was a resume, but his listed experience had her heart beating a little faster. She looked up at him. “You have a degree in agricultural business from Texas A & M, started up your own ranch and served in the Army?”
He looked off in the distance. “I was in the service for thirteen years, three years in the Corps of Engineers, four in Airborne and the last six in Special Forces.” His jaw clenched, making his face the chiseled block of cold stone again. “And I know something about building. When I wasn’t deployed, I built the house and barn on my two-hundred acre ranch.”
“You don’t own the ranch now?”
“No. My ex-wife got it in our divorce settlement. I planned to get out of the Army after my last tour in Afghanistan and raise cattle. But things never happen the way we want them to.”
The bitterness of his tone had her stepping away. She shivered again and busied herself with looking at the resume. Whatever his ex-wife had done to him, it wasn’t good. “Your reference list is pretty skimpy.”
“The first name is my old commander, but I just got word he’s shipped out on a secret mission.”
Something wasn’t adding up. Either he was hiding something or his sister had lied about his experience. “Your sister said you worked on Oak Springs Ranch while in high school, but it’s not listed on your resume. Are you related to the owner, Leon Ferguson? You said your mother grew up there.”
His eyes narrowed and his lips thinned into a tight line. “Leon is my mother’s stepbrother. While my grandfather was still alive and ran the ranch, I worked there until I joined the Army after he died. I chose not to mention it.”
But why? She didn’t press the matter. She wasn’t seriously considering him for the job anyway, was she?
She studied the resume again. “Brenda Dailey. Is this person off-limits, too? Or can I speak with her?”
“My ex-wife. I’d appreciate it if you don’t involve her. I put her on there because of the ranch.”
She looked up at him. “The divorce that bad, huh?”
Dylan shrugged and looked away. He gripped the top of the steering wheel hard enough to whiten his knuckles. “Suppose it’s no secret. Our divorce has only been final four months, and she married her baby-daddy the day after it became official. You figure it out.”
“Ouch. Okay, I won’t call your ex. Nevertheless, I’d like to see your house. Your sister mentioned you were a carpenter.” She glanced at the address of his former ranch. “Killeen’s south of here?”
He nodded. “It’s your two hours and tank of gas.”
“Thank you for stopping by. Your number’s on here. I’ll call you.”
“Thanks for your time, Miss Monroe. Good luck with this place.” He looked around at the buildings and over her before he turned the key in the ignition. The rusted bucket of bolts sputtered and the starter groaned before the engine turned over.
As he pulled away, she looked at the piece of paper in her shaky hand and studied his name at the top.
Damn, she’d hoped he was the one.
She crumpled the paper, and the memory of his weathered eyes, as dull and gray as her ranch buildings, came to her. What ghosts did he see when he closed them?
She opened her palm and stared at the wad of paper. Feeling haunted by the past was something she understood very well.
Buy Links:


Bio:
Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.
Author links:

Also look for:
Book 2: Gambling On A Heart at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo
Available now for preorder—Book 3: Gambling On A Dream at Amazon | Barnes and Noble  | Kobo


Monday, December 29, 2014

Bernard Foong stops by Penny's Tales





Synopsis: A Harem Boy Saga; A Memoir. Book 1 - INITIATION.

This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.

It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.

Author’s Note:

I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers' footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknownst to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.

My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.

www.aharemboysaga.com




A Harem Boy’s Saga – II – Unbridled; a memoir by Young

This is the sequel to Initiation - A provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.

It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother’ and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperones and mentors during the boy’s Harem services.

This book follows the teenagers’ erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at their 2nd Arab Household Harem, the Sekham. They were apprentices and models, for the household patriarch’s controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places”.

The author's experiences present facts that are truthful. Through these truths, which are often demonized by contemporary societies that deem such behaviors inappropriate, the author hopes to dispel condemnations and negativity which relate to his experiences. 

There are 5 - 7 volumes in A Harem Boy’s Saga series.





Debauchery is the triquel to A Harem Boy’s Saga, a provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society through his UK boarding school. From there, he was spirited to the Middle East to attend the Bahriji (Oasis) School in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for Harem services for the wealthy elite.

It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother,’ and his ‘Valet,’ who served as his chaperones and mentors.


Goals I hope to achieve through
A Harem Boy Saga:
  • Provide Tolerance to Sissy Boys by understanding parents/peers and the community.
Anderson Cooper 360 documentary on the devastating treatment of effeminate boys influence me to tell my story.

  • Bullying can be Avoided through Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer programs in school or outside school system. Older students acting as mentors to younger students.
  • Gay Adolescent Tolerance – parents/child/siblings relationship issues.
Support/mentorship program to all parties involved to foster understanding and acceptance of Gay kids.

  • Provide an Alternative Educational System;
Understanding Big Brother/adolescent mentorship programs in schools, BB as protector to keep younger kids from being bullied.

  • Human Relationship Building Program;
Between parents/teachers and young students on sexual topics/issues, especially when adolescent are just discovering their sexuality. They can be guided on a healthy and honest sexual journey instead of “don’t ask, don’t tell” hide it behind the closet policy.





Author’s Bio




Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.
By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

Bernard Foong (designer) – A brief history

 Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the age of 8, he was assisting his aunt and cousin, learning the art of sewing and fabrics/colors matching. He attended an exclusive private boarding school in the United Kingdom before obtaining his Diploma in Fashion Design at the Harrow College of Art & Technology in London, England.  He went on to complete his Master of Design at the Royal College of Art & Design, London, England. During his college years he won several international fashion awards and was already retailing bridal and evening dresses to several well known department stores in England. Liberty of London, Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols to name a few that carried his designs. His Royal College of Art graduation wedding/evening wear collection was sold to Liberty of London and displayed in their store windows for the entire month of June that year.

For four years, he worked for Liberty’s bridal department as their in-house designer until a trip to Hong Kong, while working on a freelance project for ‘Bird’s’(casual wear) company, he was recruited by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as their Fashion professor for the next 6 years. During his stay in Hong Kong, he freelanced for numerous fashion companies. From designing casual wear, swimwear, lingerie, and fur garments, men’s wear, bridal and evening fashions to accessories (bags, shoes, and head-wear). He also participated and organized numerous fashion shows, events, functions, and presentations in the Asia Pacific region.

Working for Keys Far East Hong Kong as chief lingerie designer - travelling extensively to the United States, he was soon  recruited as an Associate Fashion Design/Illustration Professor to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also lectured at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design for a couple of years.

Foong was then appointed as the Fashion Development Manager by an established department store – Parkson Grand (22 stores in Malaysia and one in Shanghai, China). Producing under the label, Natural Life by Bernard Foong, he designed casual-wear collections for the Parkson Grand’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur. After a couple of years later, he was invited by the Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore to join their design school to establish a Fashion Design department. For two years, he assisted several founding members of the design school - working on the fashion department’s teaching curriculum.

The Fitzgerald Theatre Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Oahu, Hawaii awarded a full scholarship for Foong to complete his second Master of Art in Theatre Costuming. Now a resident on the Island of Maui, he has assisted many charity organizations in their fund raising events with his extravagant fashion and performance shows/presentations. In 2005, he and his partner, Mr. Walter Jay Bissett opened Fire Dragon Bistro Orient & Design Shop. He also designs costumes/fashions for numerous theatrical productions in Hawaii and abroad.

 Appointed as chief lingerie designer for Cerie International Limited – Hong Kong, his lingerie designs can be found in major department stores in Canada and the United Kingdom.

He showcased the BERNARD FOONG R-T-W collections and BERNARD FOONG @ Modern Classic Ltd. (an established – Hong Kong bridal & evening wear company) collections in Hong Kong. His 2008 & 2009 bridal/evening/bridal lingerie fashion show, “Grace” & “Coming Up Roses” were premiered at Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2007 and January 2008 respectively at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, garnering positive interest in many Asian press reviews, including a China nationwide television broadcast of his latest collection. Aika (International Opera Singer) wore several Bernard Foong special occasion dresses at her Japan & European tour in September & October 2009.

Foong was the chief Creative Director for Official (Special Occasion fashion manufacturing company) Guangzhou, China  producing BERNARD FOONG Couture (specialty one-of-a-kind creations), White (RTW - Wedding/Special Occasion wear), Foxy Cute (Smart Casual/Cocktail wear), SexZ  (decorative bustier) & Diva Bitch (sexual lingerie inner/outer-wear) collections.

Besides working on his regular haute couture, R-T-W and lingerie collections he is a visiting consultant/advisor for:
·       Pivot Point fashion college, Chengdu, China.
·       Hong Kong Design Institute (fashion department), Hong Kong, SAR.
·       Hong Kong Poly/U, Hong Kong (School of Apparel Design & Merchandising), SAR.
·       Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, Hong Kong.
·       Singapore Temasek Polytechnic – School of Apparel Design & Merchandising (ADM), Singapore.

Bernard is also writing his autobiography, a seven book series of Mr. Foong’s young life:
A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young.
This provocative story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems ."
A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.

Out of his busy schedule, Bernard is also working on a mini series of three contemporary paintings for the Rathe Galleries in Dallas, Houston and soon to open gallery in Austin, Texas.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Marie Laval gives a sneak peek of A Spell In Provence




Hello Penny and thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog today. I am delighted to have the opportunity to talk about my new novel, A SPELL IN PROVENCE, which will be released by Áccent Press early in January. 




A SPELL IN PROVENCE is a contemporary romantic suspense, a new genre for me since I usually write historical romances.

I first got the idea for the plot during a family holiday in the South of France. It is obvious when you travel through Provence that fountains were very important for locals. 'Water is gold' says an old Provençal saying, and true enough, there are fountains everywhere - some were very grand like in Aix-en-Provence, others a plain stone trough with only an old tap spurting fresh water. One fountain in particular captured my imagination. It was in the lovely small town of Cassis near Marseille, where we had stopped for an impromptu picnic. As soon as I saw it and read its inscription in Latin, I knew I had the basis of a plot.

Provence is a wonderful setting for a novel. There are so many hill-top villages and old farmhouses the French call 'mas' or 'bastides' , ancient Roman ruins, and of course lavender and sunflower fields and olive groves... 



One of the most peculiar sight in Provence are 'bories' - dry stone constructions with an arched roof, which were used by farmers or shepherds for shelter. Some of them date back to the Bronze Age, others are far more recent. There are everywhere, in fields and in pine forests, or again on hill tops. You can find a whole village of bories near Gorde in the Luberon, which affter decades of neglect, was renovated and turned into a museum. I couldn't resist featuring an abandoned village of bories in A SPELL IN PROVENCE.   

Blurb
With few roots in England and having just lost her job, Amy Carter decides to give up on home and start a new life in France, spending her redundancy package turning an overgrown Provençal farmhouse, Bellefontaine, into a successful hotel. Though she has big plans for her new home, none of them involves falling in love – least of all with Fabien Coste, the handsome but arrogant owner of a nearby château.  As romance blossoms, eerie and strange happenings in Bellefontaine hint at a dark mystery of the Provençal countryside which dates back many centuries and holds an entanglement between the ladies of Bellefontaine and the ducs de Coste at its centre. As Amy works to unravel the mystery, she begins to wonder if it may not just be her heart at risk, but her life too.

Buy Links:
http://www.accentpress.co.uk/Book/13421/A-Spell-in-Provence.html
A SPELL IN PROVENCE will be available from Amazon early January 2014

Snippet
He looked down. The light of the rising sun played on his face and made his green eyes seem deep and warm. Time slowed down. The noise from the crowd became muffled and distant, and all she could hear was the crystalline spring water trickling in the old fountain. The spring that ran through the forest between Manoir Coste and Bellefontaine and bound hearts and lives together, or so the spell said … Her heartbeat slowed, or maybe it stopped altogether. It was as if Fabien and she were alone. Desire, fear and another feeling she didn’t recognise overwhelmed her and made her dizzy.




Marie Laval Bio
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie studied History and Law at university there before moving to Lancashire in England where she worked in a variety of jobs, from PA in a busy university department to teacher of French in schools and colleges. Writing, however, was always her passion, and she spends what little free time she has dreaming and making up stories. Her historical romances ANGEL HEART and THE LION'S EMBRACE are published by MuseItUp Publishing. A SPELL IN PROVENCE is her first contemporary romance. It is published by Áccent Press.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The best white elephant ever and the burning of a filthy liar!

Every year, FOR Christmas, we have a white elephant exchange at my mom's.  With there being about 30 of us, this way there isn't gift exchanges, etc.....just fun!  Rules - $10 white elephant and it can only be picked three times. 

This year we had a plethora of items from alcohol (always a good gift) to huge boxes of peanuts to scratchers!  One person got some scatchers and these knitted things.  We figured out the gift was from my mom.  "What is this for mom?"  It's a penis warmer!  Alrighty, then.

ANYWAY, I had told my hubby I wanted a digital scale as one of my gifts. 

He said, "We have a scale." I said, "It lies!"

Low and behold, there was a digital scale as a white elephant.  I ended up getting and keeping it.
It weighs 1.5 pounds lighter than our old one.  It is my new best present ever!  Come on - a pound and a half, is a pound and a half!

So, the filthy liar that lived on my bathroom floor will be added to the camp fire tonight, when neighbors come up for our after Christmas celebration!   

GOOD RIDDANCE!

2015 is right around the corner!  I'm wishing health, wealth, and happiness to you all!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

S. S. Hampton stops by Penny's Tales with his story, Better Than A Rabbit's Foot, and an important Christmas message!


A Christmas Message

By the time you read this Christmas will be only a couple of days away.
            That doesn’t mean the holiday frenzy is over, though. There’s always one more present to buy (and hopefully you won’t have to run from someone hell bent on getting that last “hot toy” that you happened to pick up), one more ingredient needed for the holiday meal, and one more effort to replenish the egg nog and rum. No matter how often you think you’re finished, you aren’t. But, that’s the way it is and always has been, and always will be.
            In spite of the commercialism of the season (corporations need profits for their executives and shareholders, and employees need jobs) intermingled with familial love for one another, there is something else that should not be forgotten.
            I do not mean to dampen anyone’s spirits during this festive season, but every year according to the Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/holiday.html, more than 36,000 people commit suicide. Surprisingly, the peak is not during Christmas, but in the spring.
            Thirty-six thousand is a big number, a cold and safe statistic, but each number represents a person. So much is lost when a suicide occurs—not only for the person who commits the act, but for those left behind wondering, “Why?”
            Having served in the Army National Guard during the Global War On Terrorism, suicide prevention was a high priority as the number of military suicides kept climbing every year. Suicide prevention included briefings, lectures, and senior NCOs reminding everyone to keep an eye on each other and their subordinate Soldiers, both during and between weekend drills.
            Sadly, such attention did not always prevent suicides—last year I stood with others behind a grieving mother as a casket containing not a statistic but a son, a fellow Soldier, and a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, was lowered into the ground.
            So, whether you are rich or poor or just keeping your head above water, step back from the holiday rat race. It’s not that important. Make the time to do something really important—remind your spouse and children, from the heart, that you love them.
            And then make the time to call or go visit a friend or maybe a social acquaintance from work just to say, “Hi. How are you?” Even, “What are you doing on Christmas Day? Come over for a drink and dinner.”
            You may never know that through such a simple act you might have made a difference to someone—but that isn’t important. What is important is that even if unknowingly, you have made a difference.
            In closing, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.





“Better Than a Rabbit’s Foot.” Ed. Joelle Walker. MuseItUp Publishing.
ISBN: 978-1-77127-078-6


BLURB: Sergeant Jerry Stanton is a young soldier serving in the War in Iraq. He is a gunner on a gun truck nicknamed “Lucky Bear,” one of those tireless workhorses that escort supply convoys from camps in Kuwait to destinations scattered throughout the war-torn country. In the early morning hours before a scheduled mission, a dust storm howls across his camp and threatens to bring convoy operations to a halt. Worse, the camp receives word that a gunner from his company was killed by an IED while on a convoy mission. Unlike most soldiers, Jerry doesn’t carry a lucky charm, but upon receiving news of the death of the gunner, he begins to mull over/ponder the merit/virtue of a good luck charm—only, what would work for him? Perhaps mail call will provide the answer.

EXCERPT: “People like a happy ending.”
Sergeant Jerry Stanton, an M4 Carbine slung across his chest, glanced at the dark form that trudged alongside him in the hot, early morning darkness. It was all the darker for the dust storm howling across the small camp, a dusty and sandy convoy support center, CSC, a mile south of the Iraqi border. He placed his hand over the tall styrofoam coffee cup from the messhall that was open at all hours to serve those about to head out on a mission. He felt the itchy dust filtering down his back, along his arms, and coating his fingers.
In spite of his short time deployed to Kuwait, he had learned that dust storms were worse than sand storms; they were hot and itchy while the sand storms stung exposed skin and chilled the air. Breakfast was good but tasted flat, more due to the question of whether their mission would be a go or no-go because of the storm that roared out of the midnight darkness hours before.
“What?”
“People like a happy ending,” the soldier repeated. He was a gunner from another gun truck as the squat, venerable M1114 HMMWVs, which were never meant to be combat vehicles, were called. He held up a rabbit foot that spun frantically in the wind and added, “I like a happy ending.  Especially now.” They rounded the corner of a small building, actually a renovated mobile home trailer with a covered wooden porch lit by a bare electric bulb. The gunner pointed to a small black flag, suspended from a log overhang, flapping furiously in the wind.
“Oh shit.” Jerry sighed as a cold chill raced through him.
“It’s been there for an hour or so,” the soldier said as he enclosed the rabbit’s foot within both hands and brought it up to his lips as if to kiss it. He glanced at Jerry. “I’m not superstitious, but still, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a lucky charm. You know?”
“Yeah.” Jerry nodded as he watched the twisting flag. “I know.”
The soldier looked once more at the black flag and then walked toward the shower and restroom trailers beyond which were the air-conditioned sleeping tents they called home…

http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museitup/mainstream/better-than-a-rabbit-s-foot-detail





            Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.
            His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.
            In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint).
            After 13 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.
            As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.
            Hampton can be found at:

Dark Opus Press

Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing

Melange Books

Musa Publishing

MuseItUp Publishing

Ravenous Romance

Amazon.com Author Page

Amazon.com. UK Author Page

Goodreads Author Page