Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Affordable gifts for book lovers on your Holiday shopping list!

Scratching your head, wondering what to get your favorite bookworm this holiday season? Well, a book, of course. Not sure of the genre? No problem. From historical fiction to contemporary short stories and science fiction, author Mary Ann Bernal’s books fit the bill. Whether holding a print edition or digital reader or wearing headphones, there is a story that’s perfect for your device. Something for everyone with a click of the mouse. Affordable gifts for people who love to read.

Purchase Links
          Amazon US   Amazon UK   Smashwords   Barnes and Noble   iTunes   Audible
Science Fiction/Fantasy

Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire 
An innocent romance tainted by deception. A universe enslaved by a tyrant. A crisis of conscience to admit the truth. A choice to be made, but which path to follow?

Historical Fiction

The Briton and the Dane
Alfred the Great has successfully defeated the Danish King Guthrum, but warriors from the Viking homeland threaten to undermine the fragile peace. Wounded in a skirmish, a feared Northman is given succor by a young Saxon woman as King Alfred’s soldiers prepare to defend the kingdom from a new Viking threat. Yet deception and treachery festers in the soul of men who would swear their fealty while plotting to usurp the rightful ruler of the kingdom. One woman would be the catalyst for discovering the truth, but who would prevent the ultimate betrayal?

The Briton and the Dane: Birthright
It has been two years since King Guthrum was defeated by King Alfred of Wessex, but there is one man who would wear the Danish King’s crown. Two former adversaries would unite to quench the latest threat, as the Viking King’s illegitimate son raises an army to usurp his father’s throne. Would the son defeat the father in the battle for sovereignty or would the unlawful son suffer the ultimate betrayal when loyalties are proven in the heat of battle?

The Briton and the Dane: Legacy
Four years have passed since King Alfred thwarted the Viking conquest of Wessex, but the feared Northman continues to batter Britannia’s shores. During this time of unrest, a visionary King institutes a cultural renaissance not seen since the days of Charlemagne. But hatred festers, and the need for vengeance overshadows allegiance as a plot to depose of the rightful ruler is discovered. Would this latest threat be repelled or would the truth destroy the dynastic heritage?

The Briton and the Dane: The Complete Trilogy
Three novels in one collection .  
Intrigue, treachery, betrayal in ninth-century Britain.

The Briton and the Dane: Concordia
In Anglo-Saxon Britain, amidst the Viking threat, a woman comes of age. Captured by Saracen pirates and taken to Muslim Hispania, enslavement or death is her fate. Fearing for her life,
she plans her escape, but will she succeed?

The Briton and the Dane: Timeline
Obsessed with a haunting portrait of a Saxon nobleman, an archeologist searches for the truth. Alone in the castle ruins during a fierce storm, Gwyneth is swept into eleventh century England. Amidst the political unrest, she is enmeshed in the intrigue as foreign contenders vie for the throne. Will she be caught up in a conspiracy for which there is no escape?

Contemporary Short Stories
Crime, Fantasy,  Historical, Horror, Mystery, Occult,  
Romance, Spies & Espionage, Thriller & Suspense

Scribbler Tales Presents: Escape from Berlin
Featuring Betrayal, Deadly Secrets, Murder in the First, The Ritual

Escape from Berlin 
Mark Dresdner’s cover is blown.  Fleeing East Germany, he finds the border crossing closed.  With the enemy closing in, his fate is sealed, or is it?

Aelia shares a confidence with her husband, putting her life at risk.  Her trust is misplaced, and she faces execution in the arena. Will Gallus have a change of heart before it’s too late?

Deadly Secrets
Lysandra finds a new life in America by marrying an unsuspecting college professor, unless her past catches up with her at the altar.

Murder in the First
Bethel takes matters into her own hands, seeking vengeance on the man who ruined her life.  But something goes seriously wrong and the predator becomes the prey.

The Ritual
Pagan worshippers embrace All Hallows’ Eve, initiating new members with a blood covenant.  Fearing for her soul, Devona runs away, but will she survive the raging tempest?

Scribbler Tales
Volumes One - Five

Scribbler Tales Volume One

Desperate Measures: What happens when Audrey learns of Paul’s duplicity? Cloning experiments have gone awry.

 Forbidden Lore: Arianna and Ethan are locked inside a haunted cemetery. Will they survive the night?

Forever Lost: Rina and Adrian are star-crossed lovers. Will love prevail?

Sail with Me:  Aaron reflects upon his childhood. Confessions of a military brat.

The Hourglass:  A covenant with the Devil. How far will Flair go to keep Brice alive?

 Scribbler Tales Volume Two

Broken Promises: Madeline’s love for Nathan clouds her judgment as the Wall Street titan denies any wrongdoing.

Deception: Vigilante vengeance. The criminal justice system fails when the guilty walk free.
Endgame: It was a dream government job until Sandy learns the truth. Covert operations shrouded in secrecy.

 Malice: Proving innocence. Andrew’s life falls apart when he is falsely accused of rape.
The Portrait: Demonic possession. All Geoffrey wants is a family, but Holliday and Olivia have other plans.
Scribbler Tales Volume Three

Hidden Lies: When classified schematics are stolen, evidence points to an inside job. Industrial secrets compromised.

Nightmare:  Phantom Legacy. Melanie wants to sell her ancestral home, but the specter of her dreams has other plans

Payback: A psychopathic killer is on the loose. Detective Newport must stop an assassin
targeting prosecuting attorneys.

The Night Stalker:  Deadly Obsession. Pamela must prove her suspicions before the police can protect her

Turning Point: Personal vendetta. Is a decorated firefighter an arsonist? A Fire Marshall wrestles with the truth.

Scribbler Tales Volume Four

Abducted:  Threatened with death. When Katrina Cooper is kidnapped, can the money be raised in time?

Cunning: Lethal folklore. Charlotte stumbles upon the truth behind Transylvanian vampires.

Enamored: Pursuing love. Aging Lady Margaret is besotted with a much younger man.

Reckless: Eluding capture. Peter’s latest victim survives, informing the authorities.

Safeguard: Self-defense or Murder? Sarah awakens covered in blood.

Scribbler Tales Volume Five

Bloodlust: Lilly considers a Satanic covenant on All Hallows’ Eve as she seeks immortality.

Illusion:  Felicity stumbles upon tomb robbers in the Valley of the Queens. Dream vacation has gone awry.

Manhunt: Perilous flight. Tami and Mick plan one final heist, but will it lead to their downfall?

Pandemic: Facing extinction. Dr. Lancaster must find a cure for a mutated virus strain.

Revenge:  Criminal behavior. Can Angela rid herself of her abusive husband? 

Thank you for visiting.
Happy Holidays

Monday, November 12, 2018

7 things you might not know about the history of Thanksgiving

History Extra

It is one of America’s most celebrated public holidays: a day of feasting, American Football and family. But how much do you know about the history of Thanksgiving? Here, we bring you some facts that might surprise you…

1) Tradition has it that the first Thanksgiving – a celebration of good harvest – took place in 1621, when English Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts shared a meal with their Native American neighbours. However, historian Michael Gannon told Florida Today that the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America actually took place in Florida half a century earlier.
On 8 September 1565, he says, following a religious service, Spaniards shared a communal meal with the local native tribe.
2) According to the US National Archives, on 28 September 1789 the first Federal Congress passed a resolution asking that the president of the United States recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. A few days later, George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday 26 November 1789 as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” – the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new Constitution.
The dates of Thanksgiving celebrations varied as subsequent presidents came and went, and it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation – in the midst of the Civil War – that Thanksgiving was regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday of November.
3) The US National Archives says that in 1939, with the last Thursday in November falling on the last day of the month, Franklin D Roosevelt became concerned that the shortened Christmas shopping season might dampen economic recovery. He therefore issued a Presidential Proclamation moving Thanksgiving to the second to last Thursday of November.
Some 32 states consequently issued similar proclamations, but 16 states refused to accept the change. As a result, for two years two days were celebrated as Thanksgiving.
To end the confusion, on 6 October 1941 Congress set a fixed date for the holiday: it passed a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal Thanksgiving Day.
4) The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is televised nationally on NBC, has been marching since 1924. That year, the department store’s president, Herbert Strauss, organised a six-mile procession from Harlem to the Macy’s store in Herald Square. The parade featured animals – including elephants – from the Central Park Zoo, and was nearly three times as long as it is today: for the purposes of television filming, the route was later reduced to 2.5 miles.

25 November 1937: balloons float down Broadway in the 13th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Seven musical organisations, 21 floats and balloon units and 400 costumed marchers participated in this the event. (Photo by Walter Kelleher/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
5) While turkey is today the bird of choice for Thanksgiving dinners across the United States, this was not always the case: according to History.com, for the first ever Thanksgiving in 1621 the Indians killed five deer as a gift for the colonists, meaning venison would most likely have been the dish of the day.
6) Each Thanksgiving, the president of the United States ‘pardons’ a hand-selected turkey, sending it to a farm where it lives out the rest of its days. But, contrary to popular belief, President George HW Bush was not in 1989 the first president to grant such a pardon.
According to the White House, the tradition dates to Lincoln’s days, when his son Tad begged him to write a presidential pardon for the bird meant for the family’s Christmas table, arguing it had as much a right to live as anyone. Lincoln complied, and the turkey lived.

November 1985: President Ronald Reagan with a Thanksgiving turkey and farmer John Holden and his wife, who raised the bird. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
7) Each Thanksgiving, millions of Americans tune in to watch the Detroit Lions play American Football. This tradition dates to 1934, when the team took on the undefeated, defending World Champion Chicago Bears of George Halas. Despite losing the inaugural game, since then the Lions have played football every Thanksgiving except between 1939 and 1944.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Kicker (The Forgotten Front) by R. Grey Hoover, sheds light on our forgotten veterans of the China-Burma-India theater.

 As a tribute to the veterans of the China-Burma-Inda theater, author R. Grey Hoover is offering his novel, Kicker (The Forgotten Front), for free on Amazon on November 9, 10 and 11, 2018.

World War II is raging. A young father must choose between his family and duty to his country- a decision that could cost him everything.
Based on actual experiences of United States veterans and official military aviation history records from World War II, this is the thrilling story of a family’s journey into war. While his loved ones struggle with shortages and rationing at home, Sam endures relentless Japanese attacks against his unarmed aircraft over the treacherous mountains and torrid jungles of Asia. His job is to drop supplies to Merrill’s Marauders and over 750,000 allied soldiers fighting in the perilous jungles of Burma. If the enemy is not stopped, the American way of life will end.
If you like non-stop action with a touch of humor and romance and the chance to learn about the “forgotten front” of WWII, then this is the book for you. 
 Sam and Bobby Joe were totally exhausted when they crawled into their charpoys. The harrowing events of the day had taken its toll on them physically and mentally. In spite of the heat and noise of the jungle, Sam felt the blessed relief of sleep approaching soon after his head hit the pillow. However, as he drifted off, a feeling of unease came over him. It was a feeling that something was wrong, not here in India, but at home. He didn’t know if he felt uneasy because he still hadn’t received mail from home or because of some unknown reason, but the feeling stayed with him until he finally succumbed to his exhaustion and slipped into a deep sleep. 
Thankfully, his slumber was not disturbed by his recurring nightmare, and he slept soundly until the wee hours of the morning when he suddenly awoke not knowing what had disturbed him. A light rain was falling outside, and except for an occasional flash of distant lightning, the basha was in total darkness. He lay very still, listening to the sounds around him. He strained his hearing, but no sound came except for the steady breathing of the sleeping men around him. After several minutes, he relaxed, thinking his imagination was playing tricks on him. He was almost asleep again when he thought he detected a faint unfamiliar sound coming from somewhere in the basha. Once again, he listened intently, not sure he had heard anything; but then he heard the sound again—only this time it seemed closer, and he was sure it came from within the basha. He couldn’t quite place the sound, but it seemed like something soft brushing against an object. He listened closely, but all was silent. None of the other men in the basha stirred, and after an extended period of silence, he relaxed once again in anticipation of sleep. 
He was in that dreamy state just before slumber when he felt the presence of something or someone nearby. Once again, his senses came to full alert, and he made a conscious effort not to move. He listened carefully, bringing all his senses to bear. He could see or hear nothing, and yet he was sure something was there. He was startled when someone at the other end of the room moved, but then all was silent once again. He was lying on his back, so he slowly moved his head to the right and scanned the darkness. 
At first, he saw nothing, but then attention was drawn to a slight movement at the foot of his bed. He couldn’t make out what it was. It appeared to be an undistinguishable shadow against the darker background of the room. As he watched, the shadow moved, and he held his breath as it silently glided along the side of his bed. There was no sound as it moved, and it slowly drew nearer and stopped near the head of his bed. He could tell that it was something large, but due to the extreme darkness, he was unable to see what it was. His instincts told him this was something dangerous and evil, and the hairs on the nape of his neck stood erect. At that moment, a distant flash of lightning faintly illuminated the scene, and in that instant of light, Sam could see the large form of a tiger standing beside him.
 The animal’s head was enormous. Its eyes, momentarily reflecting light from the faraway lightning, gave the beast an evil, devil-like appearance. This was death incarnate staring directly at him.
Sam was frozen with fear, and his heart seemed to stop. His .45-caliber pistol hung on the wall not three feet away, and he cursed himself for not keeping it inside the mosquito netting with him. He knew the tiger could see that he was awake, and he feared any movement would cause it to attack. The animal stepped closer, and Sam could see its dim outline and smell its damp fur and the fetid odor of its breath. The tiger appeared to know its victim was helpless. The great beast took its time as it sniffed the mosquito netting as if testing its strength. Slowly it raised a huge paw and placed it against the puny impediment. The tiger’s claws caught in the netting, and with a mighty swipe, it ripped the flimsy material away from the bed.

About the Author

R. Grey Hoover is an Air Force veteran with a family tradition of military service that dates back to the American revolution. He wrote his book “Kicker the Forgotten Front” to honor his father and the other veterans of World War II who fought in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre.  During the war, the European and Pacific theatres got most of the supplies and media attention leaving the CBI theatre with the leftovers. Even in today’s media coverage of World War II, the CBI theatre is never mentioned. The author’s book is an attempt to correct this gross oversight.

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