Friday, February 25, 2011

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - book of Wilson James through first round

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – book of Wilson James through first round

What a great experience!  It certainly made my day! 

I got an email reminding me to check, so I opened the PDF with the list of authors and books that made it through the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2011.  I scanned down the list, and let out a little cheer.  My entry made it through the first round!

With so incredibly many books out there, any author loves a little recognition for the product of many long hours (days, weeks, months, years) of work.  In my case, I’m doing a modest little celebration that one of my books made it through the first round of ABNA for 2011.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games were held in Vancouver and Whistler one year ago. 

AIDEN’S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD, a young adult fiction eBook set in and around the Games, is available for Nook® at Barnes and  It is also available at, at the Sony® ebookstore, Apple® ebookstore, and Smashwords, where it is free until Feb. 28th (coupon code PP74C).

As the one-year anniversary of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games continues, I carry on marking the events that Aiden experienced in the young adult fiction story AIDEN’S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD

Of course, most of Aiden’s experiences in the book occurred before the actual start of the Games, but the start of the Games meant a lot to Aiden and his desire to honor the legacy he had been given.  In the narrative of AIDEN’S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD, we follow Aiden through events before the Games; first in Vancouver, then travel to Europe and skiing the Alps, and finally a return to Vancouver and Whistler and his intense practicing for the role he has been given during the Games.  One of the most difficult tasks was Aiden’s duty to be a forerunner for the Men’s Downhill on the Dave Murray course at Whistler.

One more thing; Aiden is not sure who he really is.  He thinks he had a life before, and he has some memories that really set him to wonder, but he’s not certain.  There are clues as to what the real story is, but each reader may have to decide for themselves if those memories are the reality of a previous life, or just Aiden’s vivid dreams.

If you want to read a tale of adventure, family, honor, courage and daring exploits all wrapped up in a YA fiction novel set in the worlds of international travel and competition in aquatics and skiing, then this is the book for you.  If you want to solve the mystery of dreams vs. reality, then you’ll like this tale.  This is truly a book for young adults and for everyone who appreciates what family and friends can accomplish if they work together. 

In my own way of honoring the legacy of the Games, AIDEN’S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD is free for the duration of the anniversary of the Games, by using code PP74C at Smashwords

Happy Reading,


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Games, February 12, 2010

One year ago the Winter Games were opened in a spectacular Opening Ceremony in Vancouver, the first such winter games ceremony held in an indoor stadium.

As I watched the ceremony, I had already written most of AIDEN’S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD.   The Winter Games of Vancouver and Whistler are the main backdrop for the book, although it includes some travel to Europe, as well.

It is somehow very fitting that most of the story in AIDEN'S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD takes place prior to the opening ceremony of the games.  The story has Aiden and the other boys and girls taking on honorary roles as ‘Faces of the Games.’  One of Aiden’s main tasks is to perform as a forerunner for the Men’s Downhill, and he works very hard to prepare for that role.  The Men’s Downhill is scheduled very early in the Games, so immediately after the opening ceremony, he and others are on a bus back up to Whistler.

How did Aiden prepare for his role in the Games?  How did he get there in the first place?  Oh, and how does he do in his role as a forerunner on the day of the Men’s Downhill?

You will have to read the book to find out, and for readers of this blog, I am making the book free, for the one-year anniversary duration of the Games (that is, until 2-28-2011), by simply entering Coupon Code PP74C at Smashwords.

AIDEN'S ARRIVAL: HONOR BEFORE GOLD...Dreams of another life; or reality? Aiden struggles to honor the legacy of his very young physical self, while dealing with memories of a tragedy that seem impossible to reconcile. At the same time, Aiden has been thrust into a public role in the Winter Games with extraordinary expectations for any boy his age. What challenges must Aiden confront? Can Aiden find the courage to meet this reality? 

If you’ve never been to Whistler, you’ll like this short video called miniature Whistler, and you’ll see why Aiden liked Whistler so much.  Want to know still more about Whistler?

If you’ve never seen what makes up a Men’s Downhill ski racing course, you’ll like this NY Times interactive view of the Dave Murray Men’s Downhill at Whistler, rated as one of the best (and toughest) courses in the world.

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

eBook software - eReaders: Nook for PC, Kindle for PC, and others

Images showMobipocket Reader on laptop screen

This is a great way to read!

With the increasing number of eBooks, the question is: how do we read our eBooks? Many people are buying a Kindle®, or a Nook®, or other similar e-readers. Many people are reading on their PDA, or smart-phone. Still others are starting to use their iPad®, and Apple is introducing their new iBookstore (including 6 of my books - thanks to Smashwords) to promote that. Those are all good ways to read eBooks, but there is still another option that is overlooked.

A great way to read eBooks is a way that has been in use for some time: a laptop (or desktop) computer. The really good news that there are really good software alternatives for using a laptop to read eBooks. Barnes & Noble® and Sony® have their own software to use with ‘ePub’ files. B&N has a Nook for PC. Amazon has Kindle software for PC. There are many other ways to get software to read ePub files.

If you’re still reading your books as PDF or similar files, there is a much better way.

From my perspective, after spending a lot of time looking for something I liked to use, one of the best choices for reading eBooks is software called “Mobipocket Reader®.” This turns your laptop into a really nice, big-screen e-reader. The price is right, too; it’s FREE. You can set the software to display full-screen, or part-screen. Any eBook can be displayed in many different fonts and sizes.

Both of the images above are from the Mobipocket reader.

This Mobipocket Reader requires ‘Mobi’ files, and the choice of eBooks titles in that format is huge and growing by the day. The Kindle® also uses Mobi files.

Most books on Smashwords, for instance, are available in multi-formats, and can therefore be read on a laptop with Mobipocket Reader software. Mobi files can be downloaded from many eBook retailers, including a store that comes with the software, but this Mobipocket Reader® will also convert PDF, Doc, and a number of other text file types into Mobi files so that the books can be read more easily.

So, what is my recommendation? Go get your FREE Mobipocket Reader software, get it set up on your laptop, and then look for eBook retailers that sell books in the Mobi format. As a start, I would recommend Smashwords, as they have over 30,000 titles available, and many of them are Free. It’s a really good way to get started reading eBooks.

If you want a really good book to get started with, I further recommend one of my books at Smashwords. Some are free. Try the software to see how it all works, and I think you’ll be pleased and impressed. I was, and I still am.

Good luck with your reading, and

Google Translation

Pictures of Lighthouses