Saturday, 30 July 2016

Smashwords Sale Ends Soon!

We're at the last couple of days for the Smashwords sale of the ebook editions of my books from Five Rivers Publishing. If you're needing some good ebooks to read this summer, look here for not only my novel Tower in the Crooked Wood, and King Kwong (my biography of hockey hero Larry Kwong), but my biography of Pierre Trudeau that's due to be released in December.



It's always fun to have plenty of ebooks on a reader. When you go to the link, be sure to look at the other fine titles from Five Rivers too!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Smashwords Sale of My Books at Five Rivers

Another great ebook sale for this summer! Five Rivers Publishing has just announced a half-price sale of all their ebook titles on Smashwords, for the month of July. Time to load up on summer reading.
The ebooks on sale include my novel Tower in the Crooked Wood, which makes excellent summer reading as a novel short enough to read while you can still remember the beginning. Or if you're into print copies, it's a book slim enough to fit into your lunch bag or beach bag.


For those who are more sports oriented, my bio of hockey hero Larry Kwong will score. King Kwong is also available in print copies that fit neatly into a sports bag for moments when you're sitting around waiting for the game to start or your ride to get there.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Kobo Sale of my books at Five Rivers!

Five Rivers Publishing has announced a Kobo Sale. All their titles are being sold at 50% off during June 25 to 27. This is an excellent opportunity to pick up e-book copies of my two books at Five Rivers. One is my novel Tower in the Crooked Wood. The other is King Kwong the biography I wrote of Larry Kwong, the Canadian hockey hero. Here's a link to Five Rivers Publishing's announcement of the Kobo Sale. Don't miss it!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Trudeau Biography Announced!

Good news came today! My biography of Pierre Trudeau is scheduled for release from Five Rivers Publishing. They've got a great cover for it, one that fits well into their series Prime Ministers of Canada.


What can you say about a prime minister for whom suspending civil liberties with the War Measures Act wasn’t even his most controversial decision? At least, it wasn't to those folk who are still stuttering mad about his National Energy Program or White Paper on Indian Affairs, forty years later and counting. This book was fascinating to write! I hope that canoeists and outdoor enthusiasts will like the focus on Trudeau's wilderness interests.

Click here for a link to their listing. The book will be available December 1st,  2016, but orders can be taken now.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Rocket ships, telescopes, and astronauts! My computer brings me NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day and Image of the Day. NASA's space program has been fascinating since I was a child. These days, it's interesting in more ways, and the information is much more accessible than it ever was. 

Mike Collins in a command module simulator on June 19, 1969 during a practice rendezvous
 and docking maneuver with the lunar module. Credits: NASA
 

Did you know that since it was founded, NASA makes heaps of learning materials available for free? Fifty years ago, there were only newspaper articles for me and my brother to read about the Apollo program. We watched the moon landings on our family's black-and-white television. Then in a science magazine we found the mailing address for NASA. In reply to our questions about astronauts, NASA sent us free pamphlets and posters and booklets. We sent blank videotapes and got back recordings about Mars and Venus probes. We were the space program experts at our school back then! 
 

That same feeling of “kid in a candy store” is what I get today at NASA's website at nasa.gov . It's wonderful to see the photos and videos of images from telescopes and from probes that visit other planets. Banners at the top of the screen organize links to many pages on different topics. When I wanted detailed articles to read on Curiosity Mars rover, it was easy to find information. Social media links are there, for daily updates from NASA on current events such as the Pluto fly-by. I even found podcasts and ebooks to download for my phone and tablet, and ringtone mp3s for my spouse to mix into Acid music loops! There is material of interest for people of every age or reading level, and particular attention is paid to teachers and students. For young children, there are NASA Space Place at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ and NASA Kids Club.

This Jan. 19, 2016, self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle 
at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel 
and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis.


I'll never forget watching the dawn sky from an isolated farm north of Edmonton as the space station went by, and feeling connected to the space program because I looked it up at https://spotthestation.nasa.gov . The information NASA gathers on Earth and in space is for everyone. International scientists study data and draw conclusions that are wide-reaching. Doctors in Canada's North use monitoring and communications systems originally developed for astronaut safety. Artists are inspired by images and ideas from programs that study the solar system and galaxies.


We may never know how many people are helped by NASA making this knowledge available. You can look at NASA's web pages on Benefits To You to get some idea of the impact. The weather data alone is priceless. As for my brother who made an astronaut costume for Hallowe'en, he grew up to test computer games and security programs, and edit Neo-opsis Magazine. I'm the author of over two dozen books on science for educational publishers. With my friends and colleagues I write for our blog Sci/Why which has a list of family-friendly science books you can find in the left-hand column on this page. Whenever someone says they want to know more about astronomy and the space program, I send them to NASA's website for all kinds of information.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Vegan Brunch, or How I learned to stop worrying and promote my books

There's a lot to learn about what a writer can to to promote book sales. One of the techniques that I've been working on is using social media to increase the chances that a reader will have heard about my books. As Cory Doctorow says, of all the people who didn't buy my book today, the majority didn't buy it because they never knew it existed.
So I'm learning Twitter in hopes of helping people who are interested in books find out that my books exist. I'm finding it fun. There are some commercial comments people make, so I'm learning how to make them. That's why I posted on Twitter and here on my website a note about Kobo's ebooksale, with a link to my books.
There are some funny & interesting comments people make, and when I know how to make them everyone will know it because my fame will spread far and wide on Twitter. So far, I've made Krista D. Ball laugh once, so that's something.
And then there are things I learn, such as the fact posted by
The phrase "vegan brunch" is googled 74,000 times per minute in the Vancouver area
Sounds to me like a niche that needs to be filled with a book titled Vegan Brunch. Opportunity is knocking! I need to write a small ebook that's easy for someone to download and read on a phone. Now THAT'll be a fun thing to do.

Friday, 29 January 2016

yay!50% off ebook sale!

I just learned there's an ebook sale at Kobo that ends January 31!
Go to  for my ebooks & use code JAN1650 for 50% off my ebooks! This is your chance to read King Kwong! or Tower in the Crooked Wood! & more.
The code works for other ebooks as well. Check 'em out!