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Book For A Smile Exchange!

Anyone Know any Administrators at Children Hospitals or Children Homes for Abused Kids?

Okay, here’s the deal…at one time I thought I could design my book covers as well as any person that does it for a living. I learned that this is not so. It’s blurry and, most importantly, not something the distributors want to list on their book fairs….

Final Cover Rougarou

However, the story remains the same and I know for a fact that it can bring a smile to a child’s face and, occasionally, a jaw dropped to their chest in amazement or fear for our young heroes of the story!

As I write this post, three boxes of this first edition constantly aggravate me because they are stacked under my writing table, perfectly poised to block any attempt I might make at stretching my legs! You see…my books have life, and they do not like being locked away in these Amazon boxes, unable to spread joy to individuals as they were created to do. WHAT HAVE I CREATED!!! Please help me by re-blogging and/or contacting me with the name of a facility, phone number, and contact person.

Let’s do our part in helping a sad child smile a bit during an otherwise crummy day, okay?

 

Lonely child photo credit to:    Jesús Rodríguez

 

Update: Book For A Smile Exchange

When I started this project back in early October, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. The joy I feel in knowing that I have actually brightened a kid’s day in a small way is not something small to me. It’s a big deal.

My original plan was to get rid of the left over 1st editions of The Adventures of Nick and Billy I had stored in boxes under my writing table (click here to see the first post I published announcing Book For A Smile Exchange). I think this project has the potential to be a big thing and I plan to see it through; to continue it for as long as I am able.

Hopefully, a child somewhere, whether it be the hospital in Montana, the detention center in Florida, the school in Connecticut, the makeshift tent-city in the Keys, or several other place that recently received my book, a kid has a grin on his/her face as they read about the two boys preparing their camp in the swamp for an upcoming camp out.

Today I had the honor of meeting two women whose lives are dedicated to helping children. They were kind enough to accept a donation from A Book For A Smile Exchange for the children that pass through their facility daily. Meeting these ladies only strengthened my resolve to bring a smile to children through this project.

Orange Regionl CenterMichelle Rogers, Pediatric Nursing Director (Left), Myself (Center), & Michelle Ferguson, Child Life Program Coordinator (Right), at Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY.

I ask, that if any of you know of a place similar to what I’ve listed above that can use good wholesome reads for teens and young adults to please respond by listing the facilities name and contact information, Thank you!

FYI: The book these kids will be receiving is an award winning book. As one reviewer put it, “ …is a real page-turner with one dire event building on the next, making it exceedingly difficult to not consume this tale all in one sitting. Charming, funny, rugged, and terrifying—“The Adventures of Nick and Billy” is certainly one coming-of-age novel I highly recommend for young (over 12) and old alike!”.

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Lonely child photo credit to:    Jesús Rodríguez

LAST DAY to register for the Author/Blogger Halloween Hop!

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Want to increase followers/traffic on your Facebook page?

Authors and bloggers are bringing a spooky good time to Facebook for Halloween! JOIN US!

The Facebook Halloween Hopfest runs from Friday, October 27, 2017 through Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Register today by:

– Adding the direct link to your Facebook AUTHOR page (NO groups, please!)

– Adding the type of giveaway you’re sponsoring.

– Adding the type of prizes in your giveaway.

REGISTRATION CLOSES FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017!

On Monday, October 23rd (or sooner) you will be sent the complete list of participating authors/bloggers. When you create your Facebook post, YOU MUST INCLUDE THE NAME AND PAGE URL OF THE NEXT PERSON ON THE LIST (after you) for this to work. If the hop is broken and readers cannot advance to the next page, they will give up. Take advantage of Facebook’s option to pre-schedule your post. With respect to time…

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Sharing Memorable Moments From My Past

When I started writing this post I had a thought, Why not change things up with a Video Blog showing people the memorable moments you happen to have caught on tape! So I went through my files and found a few that I think you might enjoy. The moments you will see are glimpses into my past when I was at the most peace with myself and the world we share. Of course, there are so many more events that I truly want to share but can’t because I had no Go Pro on my head:) Hope you enjoy these!

PLEASE CHILL PEOPLE! – America’s Future is in Good Hands.

“The kids today have no…,” has been the first words in various sentences far too often in my lifetime. I, too, am guilty of this…

But never again will I say this…I had an eye-opening experience this weekend, thanks to a couple of Scouts and their fathers that I met outside Lowes in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Boy Scouts 1Meet Logan (to my right) and Jack (to my left). Hope you boys learn a little something from Nick & Billy! May your lives always be full of adventure!

MY OBSERVATIONS

The first observations I want to make are directed to the fathers, who were out there helping their sons earn money for this great organization. I didn’t say this, perhaps I should have, but you two deserve a big congrats for standing beside your boys and teaching them how to become great men! It’s not easy in this day and age but you are proof that it can be done. You were an inspiration to me and hopefully to everyone else that had the pleasure of meeting you guys this day!

Now, on to the future of this great nation: Logan was very proud to share with me that he will be an official Boy Scout next month. My impression of him is that he will be a leader. He had no problem voicing his thoughts and intentions to me. I believe that as Logan grows older and adds experience to his life he will use this knowledge to help others and be very effective at it. He is friendly, very sociable, and carries an aura about him that thirsts for adventure.

Jack, on the other hand, seems to be a person of few words. He is a Webelos (I sincerely hope I am getting this rank correct guys!) Scout. He might be shy, as I was at his age, but make no mistake! Those eyes are very observant and taking in everything. He seems to be an observer, perhaps a scholar. There is a bright mind in his little noggin that is taking in all that his eyes show him. I couldn’t help but get the impression that one day he will become a problem solver in whatever field or path he decides to take. And of course, because he is a scout in reality and heart, he too, thirst for adventure!

As I was driving away from Lowes that morning I couldn’t help but recall the days of my youth when I would over hear old timers making comments that started with, “The Kids today have no….” These boys helped me to remember that this hurtful line is not new, but has probably been repeated for centuries. With guidance, children become great adults. It’s as simple as that.

As I write this post I am chewing on some caramel popcorn that I bought from them. No surprise…it’s the best dad-gum caramel popcorn that I’ve ever eaten! Geez, why cant Orville Redenbacher make it taste this good! Okay, I’m getting side-tracked – food always does that to me! As a former scout, I remember the challenges these boys are given. It’s not all fun and games. It’s about learning skills and becoming a better person. It makes a youngster WANT to become a better person. The Boy Scouts of America would not exist if it weren’t for people like these fathers I met and donations. I would like to ask that you make a $5 donation to this fantastic organization by simply clicking here.

And I would like to also ask that when you see these youngsters standing outside a store trying to raise money help them out. These are good kids that are trying to make this world a better place. Please show them how much they, and their beliefs, are appreciated!

THANK YOU LOGAN AND JACK!!

 

 

 

The Mystery of the Rougarou

Here is a blog from someone working on his first novel to publish (I can’t wait to read it!), thank you for the awesome review Jim G. Black!

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When I was a kid I played outside most days. Home video game consoles were either not on the market, or were a new concept (did anyone else have Pong?). I remember playing hide and seek, kick the can, touch football and other games, when I wasn’t jumping my bicycle over earth ramps and riding through the woods. This was also before mountain biking became popular. Well, I recently read a great young adventure book, The Adventures of Nick and Billy: The Mystery of the Rougarou, written by another man whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, Michael Hoard. Curious to know what a Rougarou was I Googled it. It is a beastie, well known of in Louisiana folklore, with the head of a wolf and the body of a man. Being a lifelong wolf man fan, and occasionally looking like one myself, when I get a little lax…

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Free Kindle Book for Review Exchange

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If you like to read, why not do it for free in exchange for book reviews!

For a new author it is imperative that their books receive as many reviews as possible. Unfortunately, because people do not leave reviews, there are countless award winning books out there just gathering dust. The reason reviews are necessary is because as your reviews grow in number, so to does the position of your book on search list from online stores such as Amazon.

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I am offering a free Kindle gift code to anyone interested in reviewing my Award Winning book, The Adventures of Nick and Billy: The Mystery of the Rougarou! Although the award is a huge step to getting my book out there, a greater number of reviews is imparative.  I am asking that reviews be left within a month of receiving the Kindle Gift Code. At the very least, I would ask that your review be placed on Amazon and, if you don’t mind, I would really love for you to follow the links to the other sites I have listed below: 

To signup for my special reviewers list please send me an email through my website’s ‘contact’ page by clicking here. Just fill in the required areas and write “book  for review” in the comments section. I will send you a Kindle Gift Code very soon afterwards.

 

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Thank you all so much for following me!! Much

 love image_book!!!!!!!!!!

 

The Fish Whisperer

Has this ever happened to any of you? You do a little something – an everyday something to you – involving a friend (or not-friend) and it ends up being something much, much more? Well it happened to me this past summer and I just feel the need to share it…while acknowledging just how big a deal this average day became to me.

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Bill man-handled this beautiful Walleye on board that first day we went fishing! Not bad for his 1st ever Wally!

William Lobb (Bill to his friends), is the author of one hell of a book, The Third Step. It is a recommended read for anyone that has struggled with addiction.

The Third Step Cover

 

Well, Bill is a friend that I met a few months earlier during one author event or another. After learning that he hasn’t taken a vacation since 2009, or some god-awful amount of time like that, I asked him to join me for a day of fishing. I chuckle to myself as I remember back to just how difficult that first fishing trip was to schedule. He’s very busy with family events and work so it was easy for him to be too busy for a day on the lake.

That was the case until the first fishing trip happened. I broke him in easy by picking him up at 6:00 AM. I usually like getting to the boat landing around 5:00 AM this time of year. I really think if I had started him off with a 4 AM pick up he would have suddenly had an urgent business matter to attend to that day…so, alas, I decide to relax my strictly, self-imposed rule of an early departure.

We had a good time, but I’m not writing this post to tell you about it; I’m writing this post to share a very special gift I received from Bill. It ended up being a much more important day to him than I could fathom. I do this all the time, so while I still love to open the throttle up on my bass boat heading for the first of several fishing holes I like to try early in the morning, I forgot just how therapeutic a good day on the lake can be. Bill wrote an article for his blog, titled The Fish Whisperer. It was an account from him of what he thought of our day on the lake and I have included it for you guys to read, and hopefully enjoy as much as I did:

 

The Fish Whisperer

Saturday I did something completely out of character… I went fishing. I don’t fish. I’d not gone fishing since I stopped drinking and taking any chemical I found laying around (many years ago).

I’m way to busy for fishing and such things. I spend most of my life wondering where all my time goes. You find out on a boat, on a lake, completely disconnected.

My friend and fellow author, Mike Hoard, took me. The dude can fish. I swear to God he’s the fish whisperer. I mean it was spooky. On a nine mile long lake he knows where the fish are. He knows. I never have ever seen anything like it. He doesn’t know the general area, he knows on what side of the log and how deep. Seriously spooky stuff.

The fish must be terrified when they hear Mike Hoard’s pickup driving up to the lake…

I spent a few hours with my phone in his truck glovebox. That was the closest to withdrawal I’ve felt in almost twenty-four years.

It was nice, it was freeing, once I stopped sweating. Other than pondering how the hell Mike could possibly know the location of every fricken fish on a thousand acre lake…

“Bill, we are going to find some crappies here…let’s fish for some Walleye here… some rock bass over there.”

I pondered what life was like before I was married to this device in my hand right now.

I remembered acid and amphetamine laced trips into the backwoods upstate where I’d disappear for a week or more with no outside contact, just a verbal agreement for someone to pick me up at an appointed place, at an appointed time.

Somewhere between those days and now is a better place to live. Thanks Mike, it was an eye opening Saturday. And damn, Sam, them Louisiana boys can fish!

 

Pretty freaking cool, huh? I guess I wanted to post this because I wanted to remind you all, and myself, that it’s the little, everyday things in your life that can often times brighten another persons day to the point that they will never forget it.

The second time Bill and I went fishing I picked him up at 5:00 AM without hearing any complaints. Even though this day wasn’t as successful as the first he agreed to allow me to pick him up at 4:30 AM on our third fishing trip. But that was not to happen. Personal issues have caused this trip to be postponed, but by-golly, it will happen again soon!

Thanks for the new title you have given me Bill! It really is cool. You would be surprised at how often people call me the Fish Whisperer now!

What an Autograph Meant to Me at 12…and Now?

It was the summer of 1979…I stood in a line that was at least a football field in length. I was attending The World of Wheels auto show in Baton Rouge, LA, with my brother, Paul, and best friend, Creig. We were not fazed in the least by the long wait. To us boys, ranging in age from 11 to 13, there was no place we would rather be! The long, meandering line of people zigged and zagged through Stingray Corvettes, Mustangs,  cameros, and Trans Ams. At the very end of the line, barely visible, and sitting next to our ultimate destination, a bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger. The General Lee! Just to the left of this awesome super car, an elevated stage. Every minute or so, the bodies ahead of me would part just enough to allow me to see the long, dark, flowing hair of Daisy Duke!

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The thought of meeting a famous person, and not just any famous person, but the person that every boy my age had a crush on in 1979, was almost too much to handle. My imagination was in overdrive as I made my way down this trail flanked with hundreds of petro-guzzling beasts. My teenage hormones were in full overdrive. Would she give me a kiss? Should I ask her to marry me? Would she!? Silly questions like these permeated my thoughts.

We continued on our trek through the maze of priceless automobiles, but to us three boys, these marvels of human engineering might as well have been piles of schoolbooks. They were invisible. As we drew nearer, I noticed brief glimpses of her forehead…and then eyes! Somewhere along here I noticed her eyes for the first time and I swear she stared right at me and smiled!

Finally, after nearly an hour and a half, we three stood at the foot of the stairs leading up to the stage. I’d noticed by now how the workers keep the line moving at a pretty brisk clip. Every person I’ve watched comes to a stop in front of Daisy, hands her the sexy poster we all had to buy if we wanted her autograph, a brief hello might be exchanged, and the poster is handed back…next in line repeats, and repeats, and repeats. But I just knew she was going to halt the entire line to ask me questions and get to know me better!

My brother and my friend are ahead of me. They hand over their posters, with grins on their faces from ear to ear. Neither says a word. I am shocked! How can they not at least say hi? Well my moment has arrived. I step in front of her and hand over the poster. I’m waiting for her to halt the line…but she quickly scribbles her name and hands the poster back. Everything is happening too fast! I go to say something – perhaps hello or I love you or will you marry me. I will never know and neither will she. My jaw froze in the open position and something sounding a lot like “duh” came out of my mouth before a gentle hand placed on my elbow ushered me toward the steps leading down.

Well, you would think that my day would be ruined after making a complete fool of myself and having the woman of my young, adolescent fantasies all but ignore me, but no! I had the poster with the ink on it that Daisy Duke herself had placed there! I must have looked at that signature a thousand times during our remaining time at the show. And I never once took my eyes off of it for the entire drive home. And for weeks, I would stare at the signature on the poster as it hung on the wall of my bedroom.

Dukes of hazzard Catherine bach daisy signed 8x10 photo w/coa Jsa

Over the years I’ve collected autographs from several different people, but none of them are as special to me as that one was. Autographs to a youngster are like hard evidence of a superhero. Movie stars, sports stars, reality TV stars, the news anchorman, and yes, even authors should realize the honor being bestowed upon them when they are asked to put their signature on something for a fan.

When I am asked to sign my work I can’t help but wonder if I’m delivering the same delight to this child that Daisy Duke did to that 12-year-old boy back in 1979. Judging from the smiles I’ve received when handing over the book I think, yes, I am making this person happy.

And this makes me happy!

 

Autographed Copies Available: THE ADVENTURES OF NICK AND BILLY: The Mystery of the Rougarou

Order this Award Winning Adventure directly from the author using PayPal! Please leave the shipping address and any special inscription instructions in the comments section on PayPal. My standard inscription, unless told otherwise is, “May your life always be full of adventure!” Orders will be shipped within 2 weeks of being received. No additional shipping fees for orders inside the Continental United States.

$12.00

 

 

Award Winning Author, Michael Hoard

The magnificent distinction  I have added before my name (above) is something so new to me that it hasn’t completely sunk in yet! It is so new in fact, that I have not yet received my 1st Place badge for winning the Young Adult Category of the 2017 Summer Indie Book Awards with my latest release, The Adventures of Nick and Billy: The Mystery of the Rougarou! Hence, the image below proudly sporting the nominee badge that I was so proud to have received.

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To purchase a copy of this adrenaline-producing, nail-biting, heart-warming, and wholesome tale of friendship and adventure, click one of the following links: Amazon, Biblio Publishing, or Barnes and Noble.