Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

THE BEST FRIEND YOU CAN FIND, a Free Speculative-Fiction Title on Kindle

April 23, 2020

 

The Best Friend You Can Find is my second  title published under the pen name Berwyd Stone. It consists of the title story and “Little Booper Becomes a Man.”

The two short stories in this pair both fall under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction. Both also deal with a main character who is coming of age, but neither is the heart-warming, made-for-television tale you might expect from that genre.

“The Best Friend You Can Find” is a fairytale takeoff on “The Ugly Duckling.” It is set on a little farm in Maine but quickly goes in a very different and much darker direction than the original.

“Little Booper Becomes a Man” is Magical Realism or Slipstream. It involves fear, courage, and the best of parental intentions.

Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢.

If anyone is interested, The Best Friend You Can Find and my previous SF title Bringing Home Our Dead are available free, Thursday and Friday, April 23-24.

You do not need a Kindle device. Books can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. These book can be reached by clicking on the images below.

 

 

Book cover for The Best Friend You Can Find by Berwyd StoneBook cover for Bringing Home Our Dead by Berwyd Stone

Bringing Home Our Dead, Free SF Story on Kindle

April 19, 2020

 

Bringing Home Our Dead is my first Speculative Fiction title published under my new pen name Berwyd Stone.

Bringing Home is a Science Fiction story of about 4000 words. It begins with a rescue and recovery team arriving at their destination in an alternate world of the past. The thoughts and flashbacks of the team’s intuitive Paul reveal past personal losses which have left him with an intense need to bring home the dead. A mission that the team hopes will be a quick in and out is immediately beset by unexpected problems.

Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢.

If anyone is interested, Bringing Home Our Dead is available free, Sunday and Monday, April 19-20.

You do not need a Kindle device. The books can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below

 

Book cover for Bringing Home Our Dead by Berwyd Stone

Story’s Opening

That morning, the rescue and recovery team’s hired truck left the dry wadi they had been following and wound up a trail to the top of a rocky ridge. Far off on the shrubby plains below they saw the skyline of the city called Tel-on-the-Plains.

“I don’t see any vehicles on the plains,” said Stan.

“No,” said Paul, “and by the end of the twentieth century, Tel must have had an electric line.”

Their driver stopped so his brother could climb up to man the machine gun mounted behind the truck’s cab.

Paul and his teammates were riding under a canvas in the truck’s bed. They were tired and sore from two days of bad shocks and the desert heat. The four men strapped on their sidearms as the driver let out the clutch and the truck descended onto the plains.

“I want this to be quick in and quick out!” announced Stan.

Paul looked closely at Stan. Not just his jaw was set. All the muscles in his body were tight. Stan reminded him of the drawn whipcord on a crossbow. He remembered the ones their escorts had used during the team’s mission to Genoa. Stan was intent on his goal and eager to act. He had always been that way, even when they were cadets.

Steve, the team’s linguist, looked old and tired. He was. This was his last mission before retirement. He was also sad, with the sadness of a man who has lost too many friends over too many years.

The fourth man, Andrew, was new to the team. He had been transferred into Rescue and Recovery from Personnel Records, to cover losses. He was a big guy and very fit, but the way he pulled in his arms and legs said he did not want to be there. He already had the start of a twitching tick below his left eye.

While his teammates studied the distant city, Paul closed his eyes to relax.

 

# # #

 

It was late November and just after dark. Paul’s parents led him, each taking a hand into the boarded-up house where his grandmother was waiting.

“You will be safe here,” his father told him.

The house had no electricity, no heat. Paul’s grandmother patted his head. Paul knew from her touch she was sick.

“We will come back when we can,” Paul’s mother told him. “No matter what happens, we love you, Paul.” His mother and father both hugged him goodbye, then hurried out to their car.

“I still have some food,” his grandmother reassured him.

Paul watched his parents’ car slip away through the dark with its lights off. He knew he would never see them, never again.

 

# # #

 

Spirit Door: A New Kindle Book of Poetry Free

April 16, 2020

 

Spirit Door is a collection of thirteen poems plus an essay on creativity. The focus is on spiritual awareness.

Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢.

If anyone is interested, Spirit Door and my seven previous Kindle books are all available free, Thursday and Friday, April 16-17.

You do not need a Kindle device. The books can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below or with my earlier books on

my Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/mikesmetzer

 

 

Book cover of Spirit Door by Mike Smetzer

Blonde with Fingers: A New Free Kindle Book

January 20, 2019

Blonde with Fingers: Poems of Love and Joy with Art Photography of Original Necklaces is now available on Kindle. This new book presents sixteen short poems. They make me happy and I hope you will enjoy them.

The text is supported by art photographs of necklaces I made. These photographs present the necklaces as still lifes rather than as fashion accessories.

Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢.

If anyone is interested, Blonde with Fingers and my six previous books are all available free, Sunday & Monday, January 20 & 21.

You do not need a Kindle device. The book can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below or with my earlier books on

my Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/mikesmetzer

 

Blonde with Fingers cover - Mike Smetzer

Walking Among the Waves: A New Free Kindle Book

January 13, 2019

Walking Among the Waves: Three Short Stories from Everyday Life is now available on Kindle. This new book features three short stories set in South Portland, Maine. The foreword is an essay on signs. The text is supported by bead mosaics from eight bracelets and a loom-framed wall hanging. Like the other books I have published on Kindle, this new book is listed at the minimum price of 99¢. 

If anyone is interested, Walking Among the Waves is available free, Sunday & Monday, January 13 & 14.

You do not need a Kindle device. The book can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below or with my earlier books on

my Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/mikesmetzer

 

front cover - Walking Among the Waves by Mike Smetzer

Judgment Comes: A New Free Kindle Book

December 16, 2018

JUDGMENT COMES: Poetry from Many Lives with Original Beadwork is now available on Kindle. This is a book of serious poetry about people living their lives, and sometimes where those lives have led them. Like the books I published earlier this year, this new book is listed at Kindle’s minimum price of 99¢. If anyone is interested, all five books are available free, Sunday & Monday, December 16 & 17.

JUDGMENT COMES consists of twenty-four poems supported by photographs of seven bead “paintings” that were created on a loom and framed using wooden hoops wrapped in leather. Some of the poems are recent. Others were published in earlier versions in Cottonwood, Chants, Hanging Loose, Kansas Quarterly, Mostly Maine, New Letters, Poetry Now, West Branch, and Wind.

You do not need a Kindle device. The book can be read on a PC, Mac or phone. This book can be reached by clicking on the image below or with my earlier books on

my Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/mikesmetzer

 

Judgment Comes cover

 

 

Report to the Air: A New Free Kindle Book

October 14, 2018

My new book Report to the Air: Poems of Loss & Change has just been published on Kindle. This is a book about home. It is also about loss and change and about life in the rural Midwest.

The book consists of fifteen poems supported by photographs & artwork. The poems included here were published in earlier versions in Cincinnati Poetry Review, Cottonwood, Hanging Loose, Kansas Quarterly, Little Balkans Review, Tellus, West Branch, and Wind. The photographs included were taken by Vera Lisa Smetzer, Bernie Smetzer and Viola Smetzer. The paintings and the chip mosaic are my own.

Report to the Air is available for free on Kindle for two days, October 14 & 15. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone.

 

Report to the Air by Mike Smetzer - cover

 

Rattlesnakes Are Fair: A New Free Kindle Book

September 16, 2018

My new book Rattlesnakes Are Fair: Stories from Where I Grew Up and Where I Live has just been published on Kindle. The book includes short stories, photographs, anecdotes, reflections, and jokes with a rural-America flavor. The photographs included were taken in Northwest Indiana, where I grew up and in Colorado, Kansas, Ohio and Maine, where I have lived as an adult. Many, including the cover photo, were taken by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Rattlesnakes is available for free on Kindle for five days, September 16 through September 20. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone. As usual on Kindle, there are many spacing and paragraphing problems that did not show up in the previewer.

Rattlesnakes Are Fair

 

My two previous books will also be available for free, but only for two days, September 16 and 17:

Mikey Works at the Grocery

 

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & George Armstrong Custer

Mikey Works at the Grocery

July 22, 2018

 

My little book of daft humor Mikey Works at the Grocery was published last week. It is now available for free on Kindle for three days, July 22 to 24. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone. Many of the photographs are by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Link to Book

 

A 5¢ pay raise! Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

A 5¢ pay raise! Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

 

An Unsettling Day at the Store

I was making jokes like usual, but no one was smiling. Like when you are reminiscing to you wife about some really fun thing the two of you did years ago. But she gets quiet and seems to be listening too closely. And you think, oh wait, who was I with?

 

I told my manager I was getting a colonoscopy. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

I told my manager I was getting a colonoscopy. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

 

Slime in the Parking Lot

During my first break yesterday I got a phone call from a front end supervisor. I heard her say, “Can you come to the front? There is slime flowing around in the parking lot.” Sounded urgent so I advised her to page my partner who was working in the backroom. “What the hell,” I thought. “Could be a septic pumper with a leaky valve!” I hurried down at the end of my break and asked if my partner was still outside. “Yes,” she replied with great seriousness. I went into the parking lot to help. Couldn’t find my partner. Couldn’t find any slime.

I went out back and found my partner at work. “What was in the parking lot?” I asked, excitedly.  He looked puzzled. “It was just one of the yellow floor cone signs we set out in the fire lane. Someone knocked it over. The front end called for me to “take care of the sign that was rolling around in the parking lot.”

I suppose I could get a hearing aid, but life would be less interesting.

 

Third Edition of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & George Armstrong Custer

July 14, 2018

The third edition of my book Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & George Armstrong Custer is available for free on Kindle for three days, July 14 to 16. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone. This new edition has a different set of 26 photos, all by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

If you got an earlier version, you may need to save it to a different account to avoid getting the new cover sent to you with the old content, even if you deleted the old.

Link to Book