The Launch of Half Appy Press

Half Appy Press is a DBA for Jackie Anton and will include the adult works as J. M. Anton. HALF APPY PRESS SMALL LOGO The logo was designed by illustrator Sandy Shipley.   April is coming to a close and May is fast approaching. Five months into the 2015 marketing shake up and things are progressing at a slow but steady pace. It occurred to me at the beginning of March that if my books were going to get exposure it was up to me.

Marketing is a time consuming endeavor, which can also eat up your cash flow and strain your credit cards. Many years of supporting POD Publishers have set back my marketing efforts. Two years ago I joined IPBA and began researching the possibilities of publishing my own books.

The result is a total revamping of my business plan as an author. Having found myself in a constant state of dissatisfaction with the in-house designers and interior formatting to the point that the release dates were delayed while I spent valuable time hashing things out with these folks. At that point, I decided to spend my time and money using freelance formatters and designers.

Results of my collaborations with my illustrator, e-book formatter, book designers, and several editors were all positive experiences. Next step, I needed to find a good interior layout formatter. Still looking for that person who will hear or see the vision. Backyard Horse Tales 3: “Don’t Call Me Love” is the critical test. Loves tale, like the two previous books in the series will be a fully illustrated chapter book.

While searching for the interior designer I found an automated formatting service and used my rewrite of “Fateful Waters” as book one of the new “Trouble in Love-Land” series to test it out. The PDF is with Ingram Spark awaiting the completion of the cover template. I forwarded the template and the instructions to the book designer a few days ago. Below is the 2015 cover that will grace the book and is already live for the e-book. Fateful Waters 2015 FINALCoupon and direct e-book link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/532509 Coupon code :LW86Q Enter the code at checkout for a free copy, then pick your download. If you don’t have an e-reader, download the PDF to read on your computer.

 

All is much better on the financial end of things, since making the self-publishing move, and I should have more dollars to spend on promoting my books.   I hope the new book is ready to take with me to the Medina County Library’s Local Author Expo on May 9th. Please join us if you live in the area. I will be in the Children’s section, on the main floor. There will be 28 other authors at this event.

LocalAuthorExpohttp://www.mcdl.info/authors

Marketing 101 at odds with writing……

Time for an update on my 2015 marketing exploits. Earlier today I read a post on another blog where advice was given to an aspiring writer who wanted to know where to start with a published work. The blogger’s advice was to “just write.”

That sounds kind of trite, but then the pearls of wisdom, “hold yourself accountable.” One thing that I picked up on was to create a blogging and writing calendar with project deadlines.

Okay, I created this blog and my writing project calendar. Writing related topics on Thursdays, Sunday odds and ends, and Tuesdays horse related topics. Wednesdays are usually my marketing day. Since each week only has seven days that leaves me only three to dedicate to develop new manuscripts,revise existing works, and edit. Somewhere five books are waiting to be reviewed.

Oh! I forgot that I have to finish the book trailer for “Uncharted Storms.” A small disclaimer here: the collection of short stories and its stormy cover had absolutely zero to do with the record-breaking winter and early spring of 2015. I will cover some of the problems involved with making your own video book trailer in a later post.

Uncharted Storm FINALFreebies for Readers:

I uploaded a free story from the paperback version of Uncharted Storms yesterday. Here is the link to “Wicked Winds.” http://www.wattpad.com/110305926
A few months back I uploaded “Terra Beyond 2012.”
http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/21257202

Vote for your favorite.  Then comeback to this blog to let me know what you think of the Wattpad experience.

On my Calendar for the last half of March.

A six week fiction workshop begins at the Brook Park Library next Wednesday evening. In addition to learning and networking with other writers, which I hope will prime the writing pump, this workshop could also fall under the marketing end of things.

US March PC

Valley Tack Shop’s annual midnight sale. Friday March 27th will mark the fifth year that I will participate and sign books for repeat fans and meet new ones. This is always a fun evening with wonderful savings, door prizes, and more.

Sign up for my newsletter by emailing me at talesbyjackie@gmail.com type in the subject line 2015 Newsletter sign me up. Leave me a message if you would like the first chapter of the soon to be released novel “Cassandra: Night Shades.
Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com

 

Autographed Print Books:

Janton’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/jackieanton

Valley Tack Shop, Inc. Valley City, Ohio

E-Book Links:
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton

iBook Links: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/uncharted-storms-short-stories/id842923962?mt=11
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/backyard-horse-tales-2-frosty/id570906228?mt=11&uo=4

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wind-river-refuge/id666563515?mt=11&uo=4

Backyard Horse Services include design work and more…

Another Set of Eyes editing services offer busy writers and authors a selection of services at affordable prices. Need a simple proofread of that first draft? Check out that option and the others at my new marketing services website.) http://www.backyardhorsetales.com/
Contact page is secure and all inquiries are confidential:

Samples of bookmarks and postcard announcements are listed under the Services tab on the website. The samples are designs that I came up with for my books to defray the high cost associated with ordering these marketing tools from publisher’s in-house offerings.

The post card below went out to family, friends, and fans who live within driving distance of my mini-tour to promote the print release of “Uncharted Storms.

US March PC

I only required fifty cards for this localized announcement. As part of my 2015 marketing overhaul I developed a cost effective way to design and print a card that would jump out of the heaviest mounds of mail to grab the recipient’s attention.

Many authors and writers have helped me along the way in my publishing journey. My new author services website is a way of paying that forward.

Note: Only one more week remains for my online marketing course. More on that experience in a later post.

Think Spring!

Jackie Anton

Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com

Autographed Print Books:

Janton’s Square Market Place: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/jackieanton

E-Book Links:
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton

iBook Links: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/uncharted-storms-short-stories/id842923962?mt=11
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/backyard-horse-tales-2-frosty/id570906228?mt=11&uo=4

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wind-river-refuge/id666563515?mt=11&uo=4

 

Book Marketing 2015 Style

It’s hard to believe that almost a month has past since my previous update: Marketing efforts for the year are off to a decent start. Uncharted Storms is finished and in print: The PR Campaign on the publisher’s end kicked off with this press release: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/awardwinning-author-releases-new-collection-of-short-stories-400815.php

The 24-7 original press release has been picked up and distributed by media outlets around the US. I’ve only visited half of the sites at this posting, and my current list is slightly over one hundred. This is the first publisher that has had a marketing plan that included this as part of the book release without an extra charge.

“Uncharted Storms” the paperback is being offered at a pre-order discount thru February at an introductory discount. More information on this will be in a separate post.

Pre-orders are being taken at Valley Tack Shop, Inc, and customers can pick up their autographed copies and book mark the week before, or at, the annual midnight sale on March 27th. I am looking forward to visiting with all the great folks who have purchased my books at past midnight sale events.

Sharpening skills:

Marketing is not this writer’s preferred way to spend precious hours, which I would be much happier spending on writing or working with my horses. Marketing ranks up there with cleaning out the dog pen.
Not being Mrs. Money Bags, hiring someone else to do this isn’t going to happen in this life time. On February second I singed up for an intensive four week marketing course.

My project for Marketing 101 is “Cassandra: Night Shades.” This novel has been going through some growing pains and plot changes since it was originally conceived in late 2012.One of my homework assignments is to decide who my potential readers are and what will interest them in my book as opposed to thousands of other books offered in a genre.
Okay readers here is a chance to weigh in. The book trailer was linked in the previous post. Take a look at it on Youtube, or view it and some excerpts on my website. http://talesbyjackie.com.

Add your comments at the end of the post.

Did the trailer and excerpts intrigue you?

Are you a lady or a guy?

Demographic: Age 20-30, 31-49, 50 or over?

Do you own an e-reader? If so what price point attracts you?

Thanks for whatever help you can offer this struggling author in my attempt to get the word out.

cassandra FINAL copyGenre: Contemporary Murder Mystery with a bit of Romance:
Adult Read 18+ Some violent scenes as well as tasteful sexual encounters.

Short Description from Youtube trailer:

Cassandra Hoffman orphaned at the age of five was raised by her maternal grandmother. Two decades pass when she is confronted with her father’s attorney.

She comes to realization that her dad lived through the car crash that took her mother and brothers in 1985.

Casey meets a previously unknown nemesis as she searches for answers, but she also finds the love of her life.

Will the lovers be able to stave off the influence of a powerful enemy who’s determined to keep them separated?

Beta Readers Wanted:

Please leave an e-mail address and name at talesbyjackie@yahoo.com if you would like to be a beta reader for my rewrite of “Fateful Waters.” The 2015 version will be the first in a series featuring the characters introduced in Fateful Waters.

Fateful Waters Cover   Look for the 2015

cover update to be featured

on this blog soon.

 

What is New with Author Anton for 2015?

This is the year to shake things up a bit. This writing blog will be undergoing a content change: More book updates, excerpts, and short stories. Old favorites like Bella’s Journal, Buddy’s Blog, and occasional items of interest to my faithful followers will still be part of this blog. Author Interviews will be handled on the A to Z Review Blog along with Author Blog Tours.

The new look and content on this blog will be an extension of my website http://talesbyjackie.com, which will also be getting a facelift for 2015. This blog will be easier to update and interact with my fan base. My news letter will be posted here, fans can e-mail me at talesbyjackie@yahoo.com.

A New Publishing Adventure for 2015.
Uncharted Storms is in the print process with Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, and a print proof is on its way to me as I post this. Some problems have popped up with compiling the six short stories. It seems that several stories in one book are harder to layout than a single novel, or illustrated chapter books. I mean who knew? Not me for sure.
There is always a learning curve with a new publisher. I am a hands on kind of person and a bit of a control freak, but the folks at PRPP have been patient and very helpful. Stay tuned for the release date of the paperback.
I am working on a book trailer for Uncharted Storms, and it will air here soon.

Uncharted Storm FINAL

 

 

 

 

Fateful Waters 600_819 Final

 

A Rewrite for Fateful Waters.
“Fateful Waters” was released in 2012 as an e-book and later that year as a paperback. It was my first adult novel published. It is getting a facelift and some new content. Watch   this blog for release of the new free e-book and the plans for the print book.

 

 

cassandra FINAL copyCassandra: Night Shades will be a pre-order on Smashwords.

Cassandra has been over two years in rewrites since it was my 2012 NaNoWriMo project winner. Cassandra is with the final editor and proofreader. It is in the hands of several beta readers. More on this release and pre-order information in a few weeks. Here is the book trailer link. http://youtu.be/_kF_zqq0Uus

In the works for 2015.
“Backyard Horse Tales 3: Don’t Call Me Love” is slated for release in 2015. For those who have been waiting the release of Love’s completed tale and read the prelude, as you know this filly can be unpredictable. She decided that she wanted her story to depart from the two previous books in the series. So the little stinker got herself horsenapped in an effort to top Sox and Frosty’s tales. Is it any wonder this author’s hair is gray?

Don't Call Me Love new typeface 4
The cover and interior illustrations for Love’s tale are again the work of Sandy Shipley who did such a fantastic job on “Frosty and the Nightstalker.

 

 

 

Sandy is also working on a concept for a new trilogy. The working title for my 2014 NaNoWriMo winner was Annie O Book 1. Annie’s story begins in 1980 Cleveland. Take a sneak peak at Annie O by reading a “Tumble in the Snow” one of the short stories in Uncharted Storms. The e-book is reduced until 1/25/15 as part of the contest to win the print version. (see the previous post on this blog for the entry form and details. Go to this Smashwords link: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton click on the Uncharted Storms title, at checkout enter coupon code YN42D, then pick your download.

Jackie Anton 2015author photo  2Updated Author Photo:

Next blog: Marketing 2015 Style.

 

 

Contest Entry for new YA Book

new year 2015 1

Answer the questions below to win an autographed copy of the 2015 paperback version which includes bonus short story:

Uncharted Storm FINALCopy the questions and instructions below for some holiday fun.

A winner in each age category.
14 to 19
20 to 35
36 to 40
41 to 55
Prime Time readers 55+

Fun Facts
from
Terra Beyond 2012

1. How old is Erica when her story begins?

2. Where was she when the ground began to quake?

3. Something fell on her there. Do you remember what it was?

4. What color was the Earth the last time Erica viewed it?

5. Who’s voice keeps Erica calm when she realizes where she is?

6. Do you remember the name of the new world where Erica ends up?

7. What is the name of the ambassador sent to greet them?

8. What do you think the ambassador really looks like?

9. Eric’s adventures are just beginning. What other strange aliens do you think she will encounter, and will they be friendly or present a danger?
10. Most of the passengers who arrived with Erica are in their early teens or younger. Do the aliens have a sinister reason for the young age of the new arrivals? Also, do you think that only Earth Children and animals were transported to the new world?

Questions 8 – 10 are fun questions. A chance for you to help shape Erica’s adventures and destiny. Use your imagination and picture yourself on the new world with Erica. What will you find there? Note: If I incorporate one of your ideas, I will credit you in the extended version of Erica’s tale and see that you receive a copy when it is finished.

Attach your numbered answers to an e-mail with your name and age group. Winners will be notified on Jan. 31, 2015 by e-mail and posted on this blog http://jackieanton.com/
Email: Entries to: talesbyjackie@gmail.com

Go to the Smashwords link below, click on the Uncharted Storms title, and enter the code YN42D at checkout, for a 33% discount on the e-book, if you don’t already have it. Increase your chances to win the new print release by returning your entry before the code expiration date. Coupon code expires 1/25/15.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jackieanton Once you are finished at checkout you will be able to pick the download of your choice. You will also find instructions to gift the e-book to a friend or family member.

Book Trailers vs Teasers

A winter clip taken on the last lake effect snow that hit parts of Ohio’s snow belt and buried parts of the Buffalo area.

IMG_0526      This clip along with flood scenes and video clips of storm clouds are the visuals for the teaser that I am creating for the print release of “Uncharted Storms.”

The first interior draft of the book was presented to me by my new publisher last week and scheduled for release after the first of the year. Most of the elements for the visual part of the video are complete. My youngest daughter took some awesome footage of the clouds from the vantage point of a plane. Waiting to see what my nephew comes up with. I wanted some snow footage of city streets at night. He is the only one of us who lives in the city near Lake Erie.

      Okay, so now do I shoot for a book teaser, or a book trailer? Trailers are more complex and can run upwards from two to six minutes. I did a lot of research and watched oodles of book trailers before working with the producer of the trailer for “Fateful Waters.” We whittled it down quite a bit before it sang to me.

What I wanted to avoid was boring music and the attempt to tell the story on Youtube, which appeared to be major pitfalls to many of the trailers that I researched. After three minutes, I began to wonder if this was going to end soon. After five minutes, I had lost interest.
My attention span is a bit longer than the average video browser. If it couldn’t keep my interest why could a potential book reader be expected to sit through it? Worst of all the trailers that go on and on gave me the idea that the author probably wrote the same way, which isn’t necessarily true, but it is perception.

Being a hands on type I decided to try a short trailer for “Backyard Horse Tales: Sox 2nd Edition.” That went pretty well it is less than a minute and catchy. Will my target readers, animal lovers and horsemen ages eight and up, find it interesting enough to find out more about the book? (Sox’s Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/ZDGRfxDzOvs )
I liked the addition of the video clips in the Sox’s little trailer. So my youngest daughter helped me put together short teasers for books that were still in the works. The program on her laptop is much better than my older version. We added more video clips to the Wind River Refuge. It took several uploads to get this one.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig3jvBzFKsE
The bugs out of the way and our learning curve improved, we created a teaser for “Cassandra: Night Shades.”

Back to the issue with Uncharted Storms. The collection of short stories was published as an e-book March of 2014, which calls for more of a trailer, but the new paperback has a bonus short story added and the teaser aspect comes into it. Also under consideration is a suggestion from a fellow author that adding a voice over is advisable. Back to research. I found some that were okay and others where the voice over was annoying.
At this point, you are probably asking yourself is it worth the time and effort to create a book video whether it is a teaser or a trailer? I honestly don’t know, but it is a marketing stone that can’t be left unturned. We learn as we go, and I will keep plugging away at it. Perhaps investing in a new software program will help me out.

OMG! More research.

  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Max Blizzard and the Gem of Camelot by Patrick Hatt

A Fun Read for the Young Adults on your gift list!

SBB_MaxBlizzardAndTheGemOfCamelot_BannerFollow the Rafflecopter link at the end of this post. Patrick will be awarding an Amazon gift card or $25 Paypal cash, winner’s choice to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

The tour link is also at the end of the post; check out the other blogs and comment often to increase your chances to win.

BLURB:

Max Blizzard was like any other drone living in Earth’s realm until the arrival of his eighth birthday. On that day his imagination awoke and Max started thinking for himself. He was an outcast the moment he let people know about his imagination. That moment also unknowingly set forth a chain of events years in the making. By having imagination, Max had given Sir Dreadvent exactly what he wanted, a way into Camelot’s realm.

Now Max and his friends, Trudesile and Lester, must complete the quest that Max’s father, Merlin, set out for him years ago. They must find the Gem of Camelot to defend the realm from Sir Dreadvent’s and his sevesties. Their perilous journey will take them from the shores of Merlinia and the ship of Davy Jones to the fields of Avalon, in the hope that they can save Camelot, save Earth and save all the lost realms that have been consumed by Sir Dreadvent and his sevesties on their quest to remake the universe.

A tale about where your imagination can lead if you choose to follow it, with creatures large and small joining Max Blizzard on his journey. King Arthur, Oberon, Hercules, Apollo and other heroes of imagination believed to be myth will become truth as Max and his friends face the trials ahead. Let your imagination lead the way to Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot.

Cover_Max_Blizzard  EXCERPT:

“Young Mr. Blizzard, the objective is simple. The first to extinguish the flame of the other’s Camelot Candle wins. You are only limited by your own imagination.” King Arthur knew Max got the rules as he watched him nod, and sat back down alongside Pemestra and Lempilightess.

“Arthur, do you think it is wise throwing the boy in the deep end so soon? Vlad has been at this for years.” Pemestra did not want to see Max hurt or his spirit broken in his first outing.

“Merlin constantly surprised me. Let’s see what the boy can really do.”

Max stared down Vlad, trying to ignore all the prying eyes that were upon him. He waited for the match to begin, listening for a bell or something, and watched as Vlad begin to concentrate, knowing that there was no bell and that match had begun.

“I’ll make sure your first loss isn’t too painful, runt.” Vlad grinned and gripped his Camelot Candle; a huge fan appeared out of nowhere in front of him and began to blow. Before Max could do anything, his flame had been put out.

“I think that was the easiest and quickest match in history.” Vlad threw his arms in the air and the crowd cheered while Max stared at his blown-out Camelot Candle.

“Don’t let him get to you, dearie. The boy needs to be taught a lesson in humility. Shake it off and come out fighting,” Bandaid whispered, while lighting Max’s Camelot Candle again and then running back to the sidelines.

(INTERESTED?)

 START CHECKING OF GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE YOUNG READERS

 HERE IS ANOTHER QUICK PEEK:

“The name is Davy Jones and I’ve been the keeper of Merlinia and the entrance to Davy Jones’s Locker for many years at Merlin’s request.” Davy Jones bowed, hoping he would get some recognition from his name.

“Davy Jones? Wasn’t he a pirate who stole everything he could get his hands on? At least that is what the stories tell,” Bandaid questioned, looking to Arthur for verification.

“I see my name precedes me.”

Lempilightess! Pemestra! Take him!” King Arthur ordered, having heard the stories of Davy Jones and not trusting him whatsoever.

Lempilightess and Pemestra readied their Camelot Candles as Dregg stood between them and Davy Jones.

Dregg not let you take little blob man.” Dregg clenched his huge fist and readied for a fight.

“Now now. There is no need for a fight. What is it with everyone not wanting to trust me? First those three kids and now you. All I did was what Merlin told me to do.”

“Wait! Kids? You’ve seen Max, Trudesile and Lester?” Bandaid waved for Lempilightess and Pemestra to halt their attack.

“Yeah, I’ve seen the supposed high and mighty trio. I wasn’t sure they were any better than the heroes I locked up. But when they stopped Titania, I became a believer.”

“So the dearies are okay?”

“I let them in Davy Jones’s Locker, so they could…” Davy Jones took a few steps closer to Bandaid and King Arthur and lowered his voice to a whisper, “Go after the Gem of Camelot.”

AuthorPicAUTHOR BIO:

Patrick Hatt can be found in the East Coast of Canada. He hates writing these things but doesn’t mind talking in the third person. He dabbles in a little of this and a little of that, not afraid to attempt something new.

He is owned by two cats, one of whom has his own blog, It’s Rhyme Time. Yeah a rhyming cat, who knew? He would be considered a both person when it comes to cats and dogs.

He is also quite the movie and TV buff. As you can probably tell does not take himself seriously and has more stuff in his head than is needed. Thus the novels as just one more form of release. Thanks for the visit and enjoy!

LINKS:

http://rhymetime24.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/PatHatt24

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451538.Pat_Hatt

http://www.pathattbooks.com

Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot

Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot

Buy from Amazon

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/patrick-hatt

RAFFECOPTER LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f450/

Goddess Fish Tour Link: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/book-blast-max-blizzard-and-gem-of.html

 

A Rookie Deputy’s Halloween Report

ATT00004Tricks, Treats, Hauntings, and a long night of Crazies:

That is how rookie Deputy Candy Pumpkin of the Spector County Sheriff’s department started her report of the 2013 Halloween patrol.

Department budget cuts were the cause; the effect was that for the first time she was on patrol alone. Last year she rode along with a veteran of the department. Sargent Duncan Cookies was a bit wide around the belt area and his grey hair was a bit thin, but he had steely blue eyes and great reflexes. Candy was not yet thirty. Though, she stood eye to eye with her old partner she was reed thin with a big mop of curly orangish red hair that was difficult to subdue. Braid, pony tail, or bun some wild tendrils would always escape confinement. her eyes were a deep dark chocolate. She had empathy for most of the human world and every animal large or small. As for Duncan, his people skills weren’t exactly up to today’s media driven standards. He took early retirement the end of 2012 and never looked back.

Candy sighed as she worked on her report. She sure missed partnering with Duncan when she got behind the wheel of the beater of a cruiser that she’d been assigned. It was the rural areas of the county that the sheriff and his deputies patrolled. Most of the cities, towns, and a few of the more affluent townships had police departments responsible for maintaining the peace and making the streets and walks safe for trick or treaters as well as party goers.

When she’d started out that evening daylight was already fading. The first call she received involved some tween and older bullies snatching little goblins and princesses treats from their small hands. They were brazen and pulled off their heists under the watchful eyes of parents. The trio of candy snatchers was hitting the few developments that had sprung up recently in her patrol zone. She spotted the described small red SUV witnesses had provided entering a development of modest sized homes.
She blocked the escape of the vehicle and subsequently cuffed the driver. However, the other three made a huge mistake by targeting a pair of twin girls who belonged to a soldier home on leave with his canine partner. It was the easiest apprehension on record. The band of bullies all but ran to the safety of her patrol unit.

After dropping off the four offenders at the county lock up, Candy headed back to resume her assignment for the night. It was pitch dark on the country roads with only brief spotlight from the moon filtering through thick clouds. Trick or treat curfew was at 9pm and she only had an hour to go on that front. Her next call was to assist a township police officer on a drunk and disorderly at a private party.
That was a parents worst nightmare. What had started as a small private party for their teens and a few high school friends was tweeted several times. Uninvited guests from the cyber world began showing up with beer, harder alcohol, and the officers confiscated small quantities of drugs. Turns out it was the home owner who called the township police for assistance.
Candy was helping round up the most impaired of the group when her portable radio unit alerted her that she had an urgent call to deal with.
Candy figured she must have heard the message wrong. “Excuse me? Dispatch, will you please repeat that?”
“We have a report of a pair of ghosts over on County Road 20 just east of the Booker Road intersection. Several drivers have been so startled they nearly went off the road.”
Candy shook her head as she turned her vehicle in the directions. “Heads are going to roll she mumbled.” She was of the opinion that this was another prank by her male counter parts.

She drove the described section of road twice before she spotted any abnormal activity. An overhead light lit the drive of a long brick ranch house which sat back several hundred feet from the road. A van pulled up the drive and a load of kids disembarked with large plastic pumpkin carriers and decorated trick or treat bags. Then she saw the ghostly pair, who appeared to float in the darkness. The children were squealing with delight. As the pair of spooks passed beneath the light Candy broke into a fit of laughter. The human ghost was riding a black horse, the rider was wearing a white sheet and a black cowboy hat. The ghost rider was handing out treats from a pillow case attached to the saddle horn. The ghostly canine was wearing a skeletal doggie costume with bones that glowed in the dark.
Candy introduced herself and was invited around the back of the house for some cider and donuts. It seemed this horse farm was a regular stop for Sargent Duncan. The owners invited the local 4-H Clubs and Scout Troops that their children belonged to for a Trick or treat stop with a small party for parents and children. It was a tradition that was skipped last year because the daughter of the house was down with a terrible case of the flu. The influx of city folks in the area were the gawkers who reported ghosts to 911 where the call was routed to the Sheriff’s Office.

Things quieted down a bit after 10pm. with only a few incidents of pumpkins splattered on the roads, some TP reports, and a few calls of boys in the back of pick up trucks mooning folks in the developments. The elementary school principal stomped out a flaming bag of poo left on his front steps.
Candy was patrolling one last time before calling it a night around two in the morning. She slowed up and turned on the spotlight to identify movement in the road. “Crap!”
She called it in. “Dispatch, this is Deputy Pumpkin.” The woman actually laughed. Candy took a deep breath, counted to ten, and responded. “I need back up on County Road 115 near the Interstate overpass. There are about thirty head of Angus beef cattle in the middle of the road. I have blocked the southern end of the road about five hundred feet from the overpass. Some one needs to do the same at the north end.”
“Officer, it’s late and I’m tired of all these prank calls.”
“Hello!”
She called her old partner, and after apologizing for the hour, she explained her dilemma. “The old witch just hung up on me!”
“Call the State Patrol. They may have an officer they can send over since the cattle are so close to the Interstate.”
“Will do. Thanks Duncan.”
“I’ll call in a few favors to see if we can add a few cattle wranglers to the mix. Hang tight kid. Help is on the way.”

Candy clicked enter and sent in her finished report. She rested her head over her desk on her crossed arms. Duncan had come through and then some, he was among the cattle herders that showed up. The State Patrol sent over two officers to assist in rerouting any traffic. They also made an arrest of two inebriated twenty something guys who had been using mail boxes for batting practice when they lost control of their Nova and crashed into the fence confining the cattle.

Well, she figured that she made it through Halloween night. If she could muster up some energy to go home to sleep, Halloween night 2014 should be a peace of cake. At least she won’t have to battle with the dispatcher witch from hell next year. She got on her broom and left after the Sheriff got an ear full from retired Sargent Duncan Cookies.

Invitation to a Children and YA Author Party 9/6/14 – 9/11/14

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Young readers, parents, grandparents, and qualified authors. Please consider this as a personal invitation to join us.

Authors may respond to my talesbyjackie@gmail.com account, which will allow me to send detailed information and access links to participants. Please check back on this blog late Friday or early Saturday when I will add the access link to this post.

Please feel free to invite others who cater to children and young adult readers. Beginning on Day 2 publishers, illustrators, editors, photographers, and book designers will be able to join in the promotion party.

I look forward to meeting many new authors and writers. Join in the fun. Make some new contacts, and hopefully snag some new fans.

Note: This is for family friendly material only. If your YA book contains drug use, elicit sex scenes, or foul language, save it for the October Adult Book Author’s Party. All you have to do is mention the October party in your e-mail response.

 

Carol Upton was a dear friend, my online publicist, and a friend to countless writers and authors. She is riding around in heaven now, but she is still here in our hearts. This author party is a way to give back and pay forward some of the kindness shown me by Carol and many others.

Saturday, September 6th update:

The children & YA Author Party event begins at the stroke of midnight, which begins Saturday September 6th. The event will run through 10:45 pm Eastern Time on Thursday September 11th. Each day will have new categories and players. Visit when you can during the six days to catch up on what’s new.

Here is the link to follow to the party: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Backyard-Horse-Tales/190283981002767

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