Welcome to my web site!
Sermon at Deadman's Bend  is now available for those who wish to purchase a printed copy. Click here.   It is necessary that you sign up for an account with CreateSpace (an Amazon company) to purchase from the web site. If you are reluctant to do this, you can often purchase a copy via special order from a local book store. The e-book version remains available at Smashwords.

I recently posted a new item in the Poems and Essays section. I had fun writing this and there is info for the writers who may not know about versions.

Intrested in publishing your own e-book?  That means selling it, also. You publish it, you sell it -- or it doesn't sell. Still interested? Your first step is to go the the Smashwords web site and read the very helpful "how to" material written by Mike Coker.  I'm a "do it yourself" kind of person. I'm fluent with Microsoft Word and not intimidated by the process to place a book on the Smashwords Premium list.

If you are not Microsoft Word-fluent, or if you don't have the inclination (or time) to usher your own book through the process, you can pay someone to do it for you. Depending on various factors, the price I charge my friends for the service ranges from under $100 to maybe $300. Illustrations, section headings, and indexes are the usual factors causing higher cost. If you are serously tempted to pay a "professional" service several thousand dollars to do this, go back and read what Mike Coker has to say on that subject.

Authors pay a modest commission on Smashwords sales. The books are available wherever the Internet reaches in a format for almost every device. That is a huge benefit to writers. On the downside, the fact that it is free and wide open tends to put a burden on Smashwords' readers. Readers must sift and sort to locate the good books. This space will feature links to recommended e-books.

Project Gutenberg.

Go To Project Gutenberg
If there is a more valuable resource on the Internet, I have not discovered it. Using this site, readers are only two or three clicks away from downloading to their computer or reading device (Nook, Kindle, i-pad, whatever) thousands of free e-books. A large portion of the Project's books are classics. Here is a free library. I urge you to visit this site. I encourage you to offer your services as a worker to help maintain and improve the site.

Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain. Project Gutenberg. Free, of course. I don't intend to highlight a great number of the Project Gutenberg classics. You need to browse that site on your own. But I simply cannot resist featuring this obscure little book. I found it in a Mark Twain collection when I was a young adult intent on reading everything by Mark Twain. Many years later I became interested in religion, specifically Christianity. In C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, I was reminded of Captain Stormfield's Visit. I don't know if Lewis ever credited Mark Twain. Perhaps Lewis was not even aware of Captain Stormfield. But the similarities in these two works are quite apparent. Both writers envision heaven as a massively huge place, populated with people we can recognize. Lewis emphases both how small a place hell is, and how large heaven. Twain's focus is the immensity of heaven.

Nigel & Jinx by Penelope Merrell.  Free when I read it. Delightful illustrations. A touching story about a pet dog and cat. Short. Quick.

The Backworlds by M. Pax. A space opera. Well developed story line and characters. Well drawn setting. Strong female characters. There are three short books that form a "trilogy." That word is in quotes because it is a transparent mechanism to increase revenue by hooking a reader with the short free first volume and then selling the remaining (also short) volumes. It worked on me. Download the first volume, "The Backworlds," for free. Chances are you'll be happy to purchase the other two volumes.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.) Ms Walls wrote this in the voice of her Grandmother. It is a marvelous family history about love, hard work, family values.

Land of Desire by William Leach. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.)  Part an economics primer, part a social commentary. I plowed through the free sample (100 pages) and found the material timely, compelling, and instructive. In the first chapter, the author describes the stunning speed with which America migrated from rural oriented craftsmanship to urbanized industrial manufacture. The writing predates the great recession of our times.

The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.)  Professor Diamond draws parallels and highlights contrasts between the hunter gather societies that, he argues, formed the basis our early human evolution and cultural development, and our  contemporary lifestyles and cultures. An interesting factoid: In primtive societies, the greatest risk to all people, males and females of all ages, is/was warfare. Despite death tolls in the millions inflicted upon one another by 20th century nation-states, death  by warfare is a minimal risk to those who sumbit to the discipline of citizenship in the nation states. Without recommending that we abandon benefits such as easy access to food and relative safety from death or mutilation in warfare, Diamond suggests that there may be lessons in areas such as diet, exercise, child rearing, care for the elderly, and language. He is especially convincing on the subject of the benefits to indiviudals from multi-lingualism.

Cick on this link to view my Smashwords page. In order to purchase e-books, you need to set up a Smashwords account.

More e-books are being published than are printed on paper. Leading booksellers have embraced the technology. But here is the cold, hard truth: Readers are the ones who "sell" e-books. If you read an e-book, you need to let your friends know that you did so and what you thought of it. This is truly a "Power to the People" technology. Most people have no idea a book exists nor what it is about unless a friend tells them.  So, be a friend!

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