Reading Your Fellow Bloggers

One hundred thirty-two.

I was surprised to see I was following 132 blogs. Thankfully, some of the bloggers don’t post very often, and one hasn’t posted a single word yet, but I’m waiting. That seems kind of stalkerish, doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, I like the mix of people I follow. There are wonderful photographers, and I enjoy seeing their work show up in my reader. I lean heavily toward the humor blogs. I do enjoy a good laugh, and it’s fun to interact with witty people. (Christopher De Voss, I’m looking at you. I can’t even begin to tell you how much mileage my husband and I have gotten out of the fireflies story.)

But I enjoy the writers as well. I learn some things from them when I want to, I enjoy their posts, whether personal or about writing, and some of them have published books. And that’s where I want to go today. Even though I’ve only known the following people a short time, I consider them friends, or at least acquaintances whom I enjoy. I want to show you their books. I like the idea of supporting other WordPress authors, and I hope you’ll consider reading one or more of the following books.

I’m not giving reviews, because even though I own four of the noted books, I haven’t finished any of them yet. Read the shortened blurbs and choose a book of interest to you. You’ll be able to read the full descriptions when you click on the book cover.

Image The Valley Walker by T. W. Dittmer  – Special Investigator Teri Altro is a hard-driving member of the new Drug Interdiction Task Force. … When Altro first notices the man staring at her, he doesn’t seem like anything special… just some guy in the drugstore. But when three men walk in the door to assasinate her, he kills them all with fluid ease, and so quickly that she doesn’t even have time to pull her own gun. The confrontation is so eerily violent that it leaves Altro wondering just who… or what… the man is. (This is an amazing scene in the book.)
T.W. Dittmer’s Blog

Image Puppet Parade by Zeinab Alayan – The life of a puppet master is never ordinary. Oliver Deere knew this when he ran away from home to take up the trade of puppetry, but he had no idea just how much his life would change. After his puppets come to life and flee town, Oliver meets up with a masked girl who hides a mysterious past. … As they travel together in search for Oliver’s lost puppets, they find that the line between puppet and master is becoming much less clear – and much more deadly.
Zen Scribbles

ImageThe Ohgood Caristic by Lightning Pen aka John Buckley – A coup is nearly successful leaving ruler Dr. Famaron Venge to deciver what went wrong. He also has the added charge of taking care of his friend’s kids, as they are besieged on all sides by murderers. And his world of Parscan suddenly has all the trappings of an all out civil war, with rival factions fighting for control. (John has several books available.)
Lightningpen’s Blog

ImageZippin Pippin, Elvis Has A Son by Benjamin Grant Mitchell – After moving from Memphis to Melbourne as a seven-year-old boy, Angus Flynn quickly got used to being invisible. Growing up, he kept to life out of the spotlight, working backstage for his father, the once mega successful country singer, Finn ‘Killer’ Flynn. … But when the stage-shy roadie learns his ageing dad is in debt to a gang of bikers, he reluctantly agrees to perform in a one-off tribute show as ‘Killer’ Junior, in order to save the family home. However, before he leaves for his Hollywood debut Angus’s world is turned upside down when an ailing Finn makes a confession that, although difficult to believe, rings strangely true: Elvis Presley was Angus’s real father.
Indie Thinkin’ – B.G. Mitchell

ImageAcceptance by Keri M. Peardon – For more than two thousand years, a small community of humans has lived in harmony with vampires, giving their blood and obedience in exchange for protection. … When Kalyn Reid comes of age and pledges herself to the vampires, she has no reason to worry. … But before she has a chance to learn her new responsibilities – or get a date – her idyllic life goes up in flames. Without warning, the humans and vampires in her group are murdered by a strange new type of vampire and the few survivors are forced to flee.
Vampires, Ladies, and Potpourri

ImageKnight’s Big Easy (The E-Z Knight Reports) by Gordon A. Kessler – Voodoo, hoodoo and a girl named Poodoo make this year’s Mardi Gras the most fun but also the most dangerous party of all for E Z Knight! … Knight goes to New Orleans to find Parole Officer Tamara White Cloud’s AWOL USMC son, and finds out L/Cpl Billy White Cloud isn’t the only one who’s gone missing. … He uncovers the largest human trafficking organization since the US slave emancipation. Led by a Voodoo King named Papa Legba, the slave ring preys not only on young runaways and homeless children, but also kidnaps them from their own homes, and then sells them into prostitution and sweat-shop labor.
(Gordon has a lot of books. This is the one I’m reading, and it’s quite a ride!)
Gordon A. Kessler – blog

ImageFae Hunter (Soulstealer Trilogy #1) by Nicolette Reed – Valora Delos is a Hunter, charged with tracking the treacherous Soulstealers and bringing them to justice. She descends to Earth and finds herself trapped in suburban Seattle after the portal to her world closes. Uncovering who the Soulstealers are and who is behind the destruction of Dell’Aria brings Valora a truth she may not be able to handle.
Nicolette Reed


ImageBetween Fear and Love SELF-WORTH: The Tie that Binds by Lauren Cropper – The book chronicles the author’s journey as she learns to survive and overcome the world of fear she’s been living in. After the murder of a family member, fear became the deciding factor in her everyday lifestyle. The pursuit of a life-change ensued. After ending up broke, alone, and a single-mother, the author finally came face-to-face with the source of her problems, as well as the solution. And it came in the form of self-worth.
(Lauren was an early follower to my blog, and I have appreciated her Likes over the past two months.)
Between Fear and Love

And last, but not least, is a children’s author. We’ve haven’t chatted much, but I already know I like him, and his book is wonderful:
ImageSarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday by Mike Allegra – This story depicts how Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned to make Thanksgiving a holiday in the 1800s.


There you have it! At least nine books from fellow WordPress bloggers. If you’re looking for a tenth, just click on my home page. In preparation for my release of Big Easy Hunter next week, I’ve priced the first book in the series, Sunshine Hunter, at 99 cents (Amazon and Smashwords; other outlets will follow soon).

Happy reading!

Would You Wife Swap?


Several years ago, we were contacted by ABC Television with an invitation for our family to appear on Wife Swap. They thought we would be a good fit.

I was horrified.

I didn’t for one nanosecond think this was a good idea. How dysfunctional must my family have appeared online to be contacted? I had seen the show a few times, and there was always a little bit of the crazy train in each episode.

But I knew what caused them to seek us out. They wanted a family who homeschooled. In some way, they were going to show us as a crazy homeschooling family.

Homeschooling was a lot of things, but crazy it wasn’t. It was one of the best things I ever did in my life. No one ever asked what we were doing or what our son was learning. All they ever wanted to know was, “What about socialization?”

Their children should have been so lucky! It was wonderful. Not only did we have homeschool groups to interact with, but our son practically lived on his bike and found every kid around in a three mile radius. He not only knew every child who would have been in his public school classroom, but he knew all of the children in the few grades above and below his as well.

I could write a blog about homeschooling. It wasn’t something we planned to do; it came out of necessity. When our son was screened by the public school system for kindergarten, it was strongly suggested we take him to our doctor as the screeners felt he would need medication for school. I quit my corporate job to stay home and school him myself. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when we started, but I figured it out.

I thought about the Wife Swap invitation again today as I scrolled through the books on my Nook. I don’t often think about homeschooling now that our son has graduated, but the books brought up memories. When I first looked for books to download, I didn’t go for the free books from today’s authors; I went right for the public domain books. There are still so many I want to read.

We read aloud for years – way beyond when our son could read for himself. It was simply enjoyable for us to share a book together. We bypassed dry history texts for wonderfully told history from wonderful writers. Even though most of the authors are considered juvenile authors, the enjoyment an adult derives cannot be argued.

Some of my favorite vintage authors:

– Charles Carleton Coffin … Through the day Marion remains in the swamp. His men rest beneath the leafy shade of the oaks. Long trails of moss hang pendent from the trees, waving in the summer breeze. So deep the shade, that at midday there is only twilight where the brave men lie concealed. At night, no one could find them there. ~ The Boys of ‘76

– Jacob Abbott … The news of this battle spread everywhere, and produced the strongest sensation. Hannibal sent dispatches to Carthage announcing what he considered his final victory over the great foe, and the news was received with the greatest rejoicing. At Rome, on the other hand, the news produced a dreadful shock of disappointment and terror. It seemed as if the last hope of resisting the progress of their terrible enemy was gone, and that they had nothing. ~Hannibal

– James Otis … The night was cold indeed and we suffered not a little before morning; but, as Ben said, it was better to be a trifle chilly than to feel ourselves beholden to anyone, even for that which we covered ourselves. ~Benjamin of Ohio

– Joseph Altsheler … Henry Ware walked to one of the windows and looked out for a long while. He relished little the idea of being a prisoner for the second time, even if the second imprisonment were a sort of courtesy affair. He saw from the windows the roofs of houses amid green foliage and he knew that only a few hundred yards beyond lay the great forest, which, now in the freshest and tenderest tints of spring, rolled away unbroken, save for the few scratches the French or Spanish had made, for thousands of miles, and for all he knew to the Arctic Circle itself. ~ The Free Rangers

– Elbridge Streeter Brooks … The moon struggled out of the flying clouds as Ned, for the fortieth time, slipped aside for the litter bearers to pass. And as he did so, he looked upon the face of the still form on the litter and his young heart fairly burst over the sacrifice he saw. For the moonbeams fell upon the face of the dead Colonel of the Ninth, the brave Liscum, who obeyed orders even though he knew them to be a blunder, the gallant veteran of four wars, dead in his fifth, unconscious of his country’s reward for gallant service, slated for the promotion that was never to come to him on earth. ~ Under the Allied Flags

There are many, many more vintage authors whose works we enjoyed. Their styles of writing varied. For some authors, the descriptive writing was lovely and flowing; for others, it was chopped and halting. Some authors wrote with simple words and painted simple pictures; while others used more complex wording, and we gleaned some of our understanding from context. It was, after all, no fun to read with a dictionary at your elbow.

I originally told myself I would read a book from a current author, and then read a book from a vintage author. I forgot my plan. I’ll have time again to read this winter. I think I’ll start with A Loyal Lass, A Story of the Niagara Campaign of 1814 by Amy E. Blanchard. It’s a romance.