“HYSRT!” or “I Feel Like Giving Some Free Books Away”


Why? Because I have a couple of free e-books to give!

You know those “Cookies and Milk” launch parties I was going on about around here, lately? (Here, here, and here, for any memories in need of refreshment.) Whilst in attendance, I won a free copy each of “Cookies and Milk”-s Volumes 2 and 3! Thing is, I had already bought my own copies of the e-books, and I really have no need to amass a collection of the same titles. Hence my brainwave: Give ‘em away!

And now for a look at our prizes…!

So, you want to win an e-book, absolutely free?

That’d be awesome!” you say. “But I don’t have an e-reader. :(”

Neither do I. And that’s okay. I downloaded my copies as PDFs, and can read them just fine on my laptop. File format options abound.

Super!” you say. “But… wait, what are these books even about?

Reviews for Volume 2 can be found here; and below is my review of Volume 3:

** Like the first two volumes in its series of three, and its parent book project (“A Cuppa and an Armchair”), “Cookies and Milk, Volume 3” – a lovingly put together trio of stories for young readers, and particularly young adults – is a collaborative work joining authors, illustrators, and the charity Equipe in a twofold mission: To relieve the suffering and poverty-stricken around the world, and to share engaging stories with readers everywhere.

Them Gates of Hades” by Melanie Kerr tells of a young girl’s first day of school at the end of South African apartheid. Simon O’Rouke’s illustration echoes the story beautifully: Both of them simple and powerful, a song of black and white.

Skyler Luttrell’s “It’s OK to Let Go” (illustration provided by Danielle Zwissler) shares the moving journey of Gracie, a girl struggling to be strong – for both herself and her mother – while her body battles leukemia. This glimpse of the physical and emotional pain she experiences is sad but relatable; and on a personal note, I really liked the character of Dr. Wick.

Danielle Shipley’s literary contribution (illustration by Sarah Marsh) casts the idea of a “fairytale romance” in a new light. A “Tale as Old as Time” it may well be, but you’ll find this account of the beast-prince and his beauty notably different from the story you know.

The cause is a great one, the price is right, and while this third volume of “Cookies and Milk” has a more grown-up flavor than volumes one and two, I trust you’ll find it to be in just as good taste. **

Alright, then!” you say. “How can I win one of these?

Easy-peasy.

A comment on this blog post telling me which book you’d like (2, 3, or “surprise me”) = 1 chance to win.

A comment plus a “like” for my Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” Facebook page = 2 chances to win.

A comment, plus a “Ballad” like, plus signing up to follow the Ever On Word blog = 3 chances to win.

And if you reblog or pingback to this post, then you get 4 chances to win for being a word-spreading rock star.

Last day to enter is Thursday, June 14, because on the 15th I’m putting all the names in a hat to find out who wins the goodies. Best of luck to all entrants, and here’s hoping that my little giveaway will bring more attention to Equipe and more aid to those who dearly need it. For that reason alone – (never mind the fact that Volumes 2 and 3 contain my illustrations and short story, respectively) – hey, you should read these books. So let’s see some action in the comments, folks!

P.S. – All three “Cookies and Milk” volumes are now available for purchase in paperback as well, for those of you with diehard love for physical books. (:

“Thresholder” or “Stuff to Tell You Before I Forget”

“And just what,” you may wonder, “is a thresholder?” Well, what if I told you this:

That thought you forgot may not be merely lost. In your very home’s thresholds lurk unseen creatures, thieves who swipe thoughts for sale in a paranormal exchange. Your missing thought evolves from station to station, the ride turning even the most mundane into magic. Where did you think artists’ muses got their ideas, anyway?

A new Danielle E. Shipley short story, “Train of Thought”, coming soon to an issue of Luna Station Quarterly near you. Stay tuned!

And speaking of Danielle E. Shipley short stories, next up in the launch queue is Volume 3 of “Cookies & Milk – the kids’ version of the charity anthology, “A Cuppa and an Armchair” – which includes my original adaptation of a certain tale as old as time.

As with the recent launch parties for Volumes 1 and 2, you’re invited to visit the book’s launch page on Facebook anytime today from 1-9pm (that’s Central Time, folks; check your local time zone) to speak to the contributors and, perchance, to win a free e-book copy of Volume 3 in periodic photo caption competitions. (Ooh, ah!) And just to give a taste of why you really ought to be there, here’s my review of the book that launched last week (currently available on Smashwords, by the by):

** Like the first volume in its series of three, and its parent book project (“A Cuppa and an Armchair”), “Cookies and Milk, Volume 2” – a lovingly put together pair of children’s tales – is a collaborative work joining authors, illustrators, and the charity Equipe in a twofold mission: To relieve the suffering and poverty-stricken around the world, and to share engaging stories with readers everywhere.

A dream birthday present grows into a big surprise for Louan and her friend Jacob in “Fluffy” by Christine Cunningham (author of Amazon bestseller “Eternal Beginning”). The flight of fancy’s colorful characters are brightly visualized by young-adult fantasy author Danielle Shipley’s illustration debut.

With the breathless excitement of a campfire tale and a hint of rhyme woven in to tickle the ear, Andrew Robson writes of Sipho and Johnny, two little boys who brave a storm to find a missing girl before anyone (or anything) else can find her first. The life and movement of “Looking for Little Nandi”s words are well matched by the multimedia drawings of Eric White (author of “I Love You Each, All, and Every Way!” in “Cookies and Milk, Volume 1”).

The cause is a great one, the price is right, and the potential for joy-filled storytime is unlimited. So for those who have brave little dreamers in their lives, cuddle up with them and “Cookies and Milk, Volume 2”! **

You totally want to come now, don’t you? Well, I’ll be there for the first couple hours, and I’d be too, too glad were you to drop in and say hello!

(Best do it while the thought’s fresh, readers; you never know when a thresholder might slip it from your mind…)

“Launch 2” or “We’ve Had One, Yes; But What About *Second* Launch?”

Yeah, that’s probably the look Aragorn’s giving me, too.

…Because I couldn’t resist a “Fellowship of the Ring” quote spoof.

All kidding aside, though:

Dear Readers by Habit or Chance,

This is a request formally welcoming and encouraging your presence or participation in the following event:

The “Cookies & Milk: Volume 2” Book Launch!

When: Today! Friday, May 25th, 2012; 1pm – 9pm (Central Time)

Where: The “Cookies/Milk, vol. 2” Event Page on Facebook

In their ongoing bid to raise much-needed funds for the charity Equipe, the good folks at the “A Cuppa and an Armchair” project is “introducing to the public or to a market” the second volume of their collection of stories for youngsters, “Cookies & Milk”, TODAY! That’s right, it’s happening very soon (or right now, depending on when you’re reading this)! And hey, hey, guess what? This volume contains the story with my illustrations in it! Oooh, I’m so excited!

As with last week’s launch for Volume 1, you’re invited to visit the Cookies/Milk” launch page anytime from 1-9pm (don’t forget, that’s Central Time; check your local time zone) to speak to the contributors and, perchance, to win a free e-book copy of Volume 2 in periodic photo caption competitions. (Ooh, ah!) And just to give a taste of why you really ought to be there, here’s my review of the book that launched last week:

** Like its parent book project, “A Cuppa and an Armchair”, the first volume of “Cookies and Milk” – a lovingly put together pair of children’s tales – is a collaborative work joining authors, illustrators, and the charity Equipe in a twofold mission: To relieve the suffering and poverty-stricken around the world, and to share engaging stories with readers everywhere.

The warmhearted text of Eric White’s “I Love You Each, All, and Every Way!” finds perfect visual accompaniment with Cara Branigan’s sweet and playful illustrations; the story is sure to bring smiles to the faces of youngsters and their narrating parental figures, as it did to mine.

Lynette Davies’ “The Not So Helpful Butterflies” has both a valuable lesson on cooperation among friends and a very special illustrative team in some lucky 5- and 6-year-olds from the Year 1 class of Middlefield Community Primary School.

The cause is a great one, the price is right, and the potential for joy-filled storytime is unlimited. So for those who have little ones they love each, all, and every way, be a helpful butterfly and sit them down with Cookies and Milk, Volume 1! **

Enticed yet? Well, what if I told you that, not only will I be attending today’s launch party, I’ll be hosting? Yes, you read that right. Surely wild horses can’t keep you away, now! Please do drop by and say hello; it will make me feel very special. (:

Spread the word! Tell your friends! Bring some hobbits! I hope to see you there!

RSVP

(You don’t actually have to reply, but you know a blog loves comments.)

“Launch” or “Not to Be Confused with ‘Lunch’”

…Because cookies and milk, though a tasty snack, is hardly a proper meal.

Yes, I am making perfect sense. Keep reading, you’ll see:

Dear Readers by Habit or Chance,

This is a request formally welcoming and encouraging your presence or participation in the following event:

The “Cookies & Milk: Volume 1” Book Launch!

When: Friday, May 18th, 2012; 1pm – 9pm (Central Time)

Where: A Cuppa and an Armchair’s Facebook page

In their ongoing bid to raise much-needed funds for the charity Equipe, the good folks at the “A Cuppa and an Armchair” project will be “introducing to the public or to a market” the first volume of their collection of stories for youngsters, “Cookies & Milk”, on Friday (tomorrow! Unless you’re reading this on Friday, in which case, today!).

As with the launch for their first anthology back in December, you’re invited to visit the Cuppa/Armchair” Facebook page on Friday (tomorrow, today… hopefully not yesterday, because that’s a tad too late) anytime from1-9pm (don’t forget, that’s Central Time, as used by me here in the American Midwest; check your local time zone) to speak to the contributors and the charity. I’ll be stopping in there to mingle throughout the day, and it would make me feel quite special were you to drop by and say hello!

Spread the word! Tell your friends! I hope to see you there!

RSVP

(You don’t actually have to reply, but you know a blog loves comments.)

“Serial” or “Hogglepot”

For once, my “Title” or “Alternate/Subtitle” words have nothing whatever to do with each other. …Unless you count the fact that both involve stories I’ve written, in which case, yay! Relatedness!

This is the Hogglepot Pig. He (um...she?) liked my story.

Working our way back to front, let’s start with “Hogglepot”. What in the world does that word mean? Your guess as to a definition is as good as mine, but I can tell you this: It is the name of an online sci-fi/fantasy magazine which publishes a new short story every couple of weeks. And y’know which story they’re featuring today through the 12th of May? “Shadow Lights” by Danielle E. Shipley – a mythology-inspired tale of great power bringing with it great responsibility and a choice that no little boy should ever have to face. I strongly encourage you to check it out. (:

We interrupt this blog post for a quick bit of other publication news: The folks at “A Cuppa and an Armchair” have a new collection of short stories for children on the way. Like its grownup counterpart, “Cookies and Milk” is a charity project with all proceeds to go to Equipe. It’s to be released in three volumes, with the current launch dates as follows:

Volume 1 – online launch May 18
Volume 2 – online launch May 25 (this is the one that will have my illustrations in it!)
Volume 3 – online launch June 1 (and this one has a short story of mine!)

I’ll keep you posted as the dates draw nearer.

We now to return to “Serial” or “Hogglepot”.

As for the word “serial”, my dictionary’s perfectly familiar with that one: “A literary or dramatic work published or produced in installments.” I’ve been following the ongoing adventures of Witt Kepler, Private Eye, over at D.J. Lutz’s Almost Out of Ink blog, as well as the mysterious links of “The Chain” in Ben Chiles’ Story Multiverse realm. And I figured, hey, I’m as cool as them, right? Sorta, kinda, almost? I can totally share one of my stories over multiple posts, too!

So, coming soon to Ever On Word: A goofy, spoofy fairytale I wrote some years ago (and, I assure you, buffed up a wee bit in prep for an actual audience), inspired by an improv game my sister and I once played (or would she not want any affiliation with this?…). Keep your eyes open for the next post, and more or less every second post thereafter, for my 8-part prose-a-palooza, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”!

“Illustration” or “A Couple Thousand Words are Worth Some Pictures”

Long before Danielle E. Shipley was a fantasy novelist and short story scribe, she was a picture-book author. Her (or rather, “my”, since narration in the third-person ends now) first literary projects, painstakingly crafted via children’s PC writing software, were only minimally about words, and might even never include any beyond the title. An actual story was all very well, but I was really just in it for the pictures.

            Obviously, things have changed. Nowadays, I’ll typically put out a few ten-thousand words before I create so much as a piece of fan art. My primary concern is to take what’s in my head and reproduce in yours via description and dialogue and something else that begins with a “D”, because I like alliterative lists of three. As the poet said, “I should be painting this masterpiece with words / Creating colors from adjectives and verbs / Every brushstroke should be a keystroke / Make you feel that you’re seeing what you’ve heard.” (The poet being me, the complete poem to be found here.) I am a writer, first and foremost.

           But I’m a visual artist, too.

            I’ve entertained brief fantasies of being an author/creator of “visual matter used to clarify or decorate a text” – a phenomenon most often seen in children’s books, but by no means always.

“The Plucker”, written and illustrated by Brom, is about the last thing you’d want to read to your little ones at bedtime. I read it in my young-adulthood, and the scars have yet to fade.

Quite honestly, though, I’m not sure how well Author Me and Illustrator Me would get along together. Author Me sees her work a certain way – a way that would take superior skill to render to her satisfaction. And Illustrator Me, though talented within her own style, is no Brom, Brett Helquist, or some other illustrator whose name begins with “Br”.

            So I’d more or less given up on ever illustrating a published book. And apparently, I’d given up a wee bit early.

            “A Cuppa and an Armchair” – which, you may recall, totally rocked my world by including a short story of mine in their December 2011 publication – has another set of stories scheduled to go up for sale any day now. One of these stories will have been written by me. Another will have been illustrated by me. I guess the sample of work in my Deviant Art gallery was less than entirely off-putting, because I was tapped to put together some images for one of my fellow “Cuppa/Armchair” writers, and I got the impression that she was pleased with my offering.

            I’ll be sure to let you all know when my words and pictures launch – which will just go to illustrate that even largely abandoned dreams may yet come true.

“Invitation”

Dear Readers by Habit or Chance,

            This is a request formally welcoming and encouraging your presence or participation in the following event:

A Cuppa and an Armchair” Book Launch!

When: Thursday, Dec. 8th, 2011; 7pm – 11pm (Greenwich Mean Time)

Where: A Cuppa and an Armchair’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ACuppaandAnArmchair )

            To summarize from the official Facebook invitation, Thursday, Dec. 8th, 2011 (that’s tomorrow, folks!), is the official launch date of “A Cuppa and an Armchair”, a collaborative venture joining writers, artists, and the charity, Equipe, in a bid to raise much-needed funds.

            On Thursday (tomorrow! Unless you’re reading this on Thursday, in which case, today!), the book will be available for purchase online – two editions of the paperback (with images, or without) through the Createspace store or amazon.com, and the ebook through Smashwords (for all formats) and amazon.com (for the Kindle).

            Visit the Cuppa/Armchair Facebook page on Thursday anytime from7-11pm (don’t forget, that’s Greenwich Mean Time; check your local time zone) to speak to the contributors and the charity, as well as to have the opportunity to win the ebook throughout the day. I’ll be there between 8 and 9, and it would make me feel quite special were you to drop in and say hello!

            Spread the word! Tell your friends! And my post’s hundred words end… oh, silly me, that was for the drabble announcement. We’ll leave it at “Spread the word! Tell your friends!”, then. I hope to see you there!

RSVP

(You don’t actually have to reply, but you know a blog loves comments, and FB events love a huge guest tally. 😉 )