The Awards Are Piling Up

I’ve won another blog award! The Fabulous Blog Ribbon! This great honor was given to me by Karen at http://karensdifferentcorners.wordpress.com . Please check out Karen’s blog and books. She does reviews, interviews, brings in great guest blogger and is so supportive!

For this award I am to tell 5 Fabulous moments, 5 things I love, 5 things I hate and then nominate 5 more Fabulous friends! 5 is one of my many lucky numbers so here goes:

Moments:

  1. Finding out love-at-first-sight is real. I can honestly say that seeing my future wife for the first time was a real soul-mate kind of love. We could barely speak to one another. She’s from Thailand and when I walked into her little shop in Bangkok… well, it was all over for me. After 36 years of marriage, I think she’s finally coming around to loving me back.
  2. I’ll combine three into one: Seeing my children for the first time, each time, scared the crap out of me because they put their trust in me to be a good dad. I hope I did okay.
  3. Stepping off the plane after returning from war and seeing my family waiting and so happy to see me.
  4. Finding out that the Social Media was not a thing to fear and meeting so many wonderful people I now call friends—real friends!
  5. Publishing my novels and watching as readers bought and actually liked what I wrote was a piece of apple pie(with cream on top) for my soul.

Things I love:

  1. The moments I mentioned above.
  2. People. As a self-proclaimed recluse you make it hard for me to stay in hiding.
  3. The Sea. I lived in the Marshall Islands, on a very small island, for 2 years and the sea was everywhere I looked and I’m pretty sure some of the salt is still in my blood.
  4. Writing puts me in a place that allows me to be someone else and live lives I could only dream of. It also keeps me sane—an important fact for my family.
  5. Reading—for the same reason as above.

Things I hate:

  1. This is a tough one. I’ve found through living that hate is an emotion that only sucks the life out of the hater. So maybe hating hate—does that make sense?
  2. I used to have a great dislike for other drivers, but living in Thailand has taught me to join in and have fun. It’s also taught me patience.
  3. Politics. In today’s world it’s all about popularity. We can get trodden down and still turn around a vote for the person because of the magic lies that come out or how they look or even because we afraid to voice an opinion that doesn’t run with the crowd. No matter where you live.
  4. Narrow-minded thought.
  5. Stubbing my toe!

Nominees:

This is hard because I could nominate so many great bloggers. So if I pick you don’t get mad—just be happy like the people I didn’t pick! And I’m going international because the world deserves this award. Please take the time to check these great people out—you’ll find new friends!

  1. Sandra Valente http://ssbookfanatics.blogspot.com/ Sandra is a book reviewer living in South Africa. She is so supportive of writers. I’ve also gotten to know Sandra on a personal level—with the approval of her black belt husband. She is funny, caring and has a great family!
  2. Suletta. http://suletta.com/  She is a South African living with her family in Zanzibar, operating a dairy farm. Frist, just reading about someone living in Zanzibar—I mean come on! I have childhood memories of strange, magical places and just saying the name gives me a thrill. But the best part is Suletta’s blog about life and views from this incredible place. I’ve only been following her for a short time but have already found out how much she and her family love and care about the people in beautiful Zanzibar—had to say it one more time.
  3. Eden Baylee from Canada http://edenbaylee.wordpress.com/ Now, Eden is really a special friend and I feel so lucky to have met her. She’s also one of the busiest people I know, but only a little of her efforts are for her. She is the most supportive person I know; helping independent authors, friends in need and just doing all she can to see things through. She’s also an erotic writer! She has opened my eyes to the world of writers in this genre. She is a world class writer!
  4. Virginia Lee http://dagonsblood.wordpress.com Virginia is from the States and is another person I consider amazing—as a writer and friend. She writes Historical Romances and her words take me to long ago Scotland and I love it there. She too is supportive and caring. Do you see a theme developing?
  5. Robert (Sharky) Pruneda  http://sharkbaitwrites.com/ I threw Sharky in so you wouldn’t think all I thought about are women—did it work? Just kidding. Rob is at the top of my list of bloggers who writes novels, great blogs and supports others in so many ways! Find him on Twitter and have a laugh or two with him. He’s almost too witty for me.
  6. Lisa M. Stull (LM Stull) http://lmstull.com/  Okay, I’m adding one more just because I’m so impressed that this talented writer talks to me once in a while and she happens to be another beautiful lady. And the very fact that I know what the M stands for in her name! Honestly, when I first started reading Lisa’s blog I was in awe of her talent and not a little afraid of her. I would comment and Tweet with trepidation in the hopes she wouldn’t see me—she’s that powerful. As it turns out she is also so sweet and kind and it thrills me when see turns her eyes my way. Her books, poetry and blog are treats to behold. Did I mention her support is amazing.

I hope you’ll check all of the great people and their sites out. For all the people that I left off this list, please keep your thank you emails to 500 words—I’m a busy guy, lol!

Paradise Found

My special place

Special place

I miss the forest where I used to live in Georgia. We had a home with trees all around that connected to a large plot owned by a paper company. My dog and I would take long walks in the solitude of giant oaks, dogwoods, redbuds and fields of twenty year old pines. The pines waited patiently to be harvested then to be turned into news print, books and whatever the need of the day. I only thought of them that way when I heard trucks moving in to pillage the forest. I enjoyed their company and silence.

Here in Thailand, even with a small farm, solitude is a commodity in short supply. For a people who cherish being around one another it’s the perfect place. I enjoy it too, but there are many times I want to go about unnoticed. When I step out my door I know someone somewhere is watching to see what I’ll do next, so I look for some small place I can sit and think without eyes watching. I don’t have any bad thoughts about the villagers observing me—after all I’m unique, to them. I enjoy the attention most of the time.

We purchased a small plot that adjoined our land in the back. I didn’t think much of buy a big hole in the ground but my wife said I would like it. At some point in the past the owner had sold the dirt for a pittance leaving a very large hole in the ground, but it helped that family survive.

The hole gathered rain water and had a small pond, so we set about clearing the weeds and unwanted scrub trees

Hidden from view

and what we found was a land of large igneous boulders and petrified wood. Many of the boulders have the trees turned to rock running through them. I was fascinated. There are pieces of this rock-wood strewn about. We’ve planted bananas and improved the pond and it worked out well. The pond attracts dragonflies, frogs, small lizards, birds and we raise fish in the clear water.

What I really found was a place below eye level I can abscond to, leaving only wondering from those that watch. My mind flies free and I think of forest and writing; thoughts of places I’ve been and childhood dreams, but more often than not I set my mind free—not always seeing what’s around me. It’s a place I go when heavily into a manuscript and I need to relax my eyes and allow my muse to sprinkle a bit more magic dust in the new world I’m building.

I always return from my little spot refreshed and think how lucky I am to have a small bit of paradise. I hope you have a place you can go to release worries or just let your mind soar free. I’d love to hear about your secret place.

All photos are untouched and taken by me.

Back in America for an interview by Louise James

The fabulous Louise James has posted an interview with me on her great site; Murder, Mystery& Musing. I am honored for the support I’m receiving from so many great writers. Louise is right there at the top of my list!

Please take a look at Murder, Mystery and Musing Leave a comment too! Soon I want have any secrets, lol.

Dannie and the winged beast

South Africa to the States– you can find me there

This is a good week. I get a book promo from my great and pretty friend, Sandra in South Africa, and the wonderful, beautiful, renown L M Stull allowed me to do a guest post at her site about what it takes to make a Manuscript a Novel- The Editor. Please take a look a both great sites!

Sandra: http://ssbookfanatics.blogspot.com/2012/08/book-promo.html?spref=tw

L M Stull:
http://lmstull.com/2012/08/01/manuscript-to-novel-the-editor-a-guest-post-by-dannie-hill/

It’s friends like these that makes me smile and fills my day with joy!

Here’s a flower you both,

Beauty for beauties

A New Book is Born!

I want to introduce my latest novel- DEATH’S DOOR– A Thriller filled with action, suspense, humor and a touch of romance.

To a writer a newly published book is akin to the birth of a child. The writer spends hours and hours writing, nurturing, rewriting, getting input from First Readers and others and like a child; we then send them off to let them grow and improve and return to us to see what the editors have done. And don’t forget getting the perfect cover designed! I’ll write more about this process at another time, but for now I want to tell you that this book I present to you is a great story that has been professionally prepared just for you—the reader.

Of course, most writers will gush and exclaim about how great their book is—it’s expected. But I have read this book in manuscript form at least 50 times in preparing it for you and I enjoy it each time I read, even while looking for errors. Death’s Door is my fourth published book and I learn more from each manuscript I write. I will make you a promise: Read Death’s Door and you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t like it I will send you another of my works—your choice—at no charge! I don’t expect to give any book away with this claim. And by the way, my Muse is well pleased.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen. I present to you Death’s Door:

Back cover description:

 When a terrorist’s dirty bomb threatens to contaminate the United States heartland, only pure American courage can disarm and disassemble the threat of Death’s Door. 

New Jersey State Police Detectives Dell Sharpton and Bill Anders have been supporting the state’s Terrorism Task Force by using their Arabic language skills to gain trust and solve crimes within the tightly knit Arab American community.  When officials at the National Security Agency learn of Dell’s remarkable courage and odd but proven ability to “see” the immediate dangers facing his tactical operations team, he and his partner Bill get caught up in a secret government run counter-terrorism mission that leads both men—and the ones they love—directly to Death’s Door. 

Death’s Door is a fast paced thriller with non-stop action, suspense, humor and a touch of romance.

Due to contractual agreement with Amazon Books; Death’s Door is only available as an Ebook through Amazon.com for the next 90 days. As a paperback it is available everywhere—just ask for it by name and author.

Have I told you lately—the readers—that I love you!

Get Death’s Door in Ebook at Amazon for $2.99

Death’s Door in Paperback, also at Amazon for $10.95

Monsoon Winds

Monsoon Winds

In the lower latitudes there is a particular wind that changes directions twice a year, almost as predictable as the phases of the moon. These are the monsoon winds. Most of us who hear this word think of torrential rains and hot humid days. This is only half true. There are two monsoons; the dry monsoon and the wet monsoon. I never knew this until I moved to Thailand.

In history these wind changes set the trade routes to India and Africa, then on to or from Europe. Even today sailing vessels are bound by the rules of these winds.

As a young boy I heard the word and it imbibed an exotic world that I longed to see. My first experience of the monsoon winds was many years ago in Vietnam, where I was a soldier. Even then the monsoons only meant wet flooding rains and an ease in the tensions of war. I witness Noah’s flood-like rains where 30 or more inches of rain would fall in a 24 hour period—amazing! On one occasion at night during one of these torrents of rain in which I could only see a few feet around me we were overrun by a small group of the enemy. Men moved past me that I could have reached out and touched. At the time I couldn’t tell who they were—only to find out later they were VC soldiers. The attack failed because they also couldn’t see and soon faded back to where they came from. Not one shot was fired.

Now, living in Thailand the word Monsoon still sweeps my mind with the exotic thoughts of the East. Some years you can feel the wind change directions and know that the cool dry or the heavy, hot wetness is on the way. My daydreams play on the wind and my muse sings of strange new things and then implants them in my every thought.

In the main part of Thailand the dry wind come from November to around March. Of course there are religious celebrations for both seasons. The dry brings the cooler weather and easy living to the farmers, but the wet winds bring a time of hard labor to grow crops and a time to endure the heat.

Here in Thailand I live dreams of my youth and it fills my mind with wonder.

Have you ever experienced the monsoon winds? I would love to hear about your experiences.

Life on the Farm in Thailand

Tapioca harvest and me

I have a big announcement to make—but not today. I feel bad about ignoring my blog for so long. I’ve actually been busy with my writing but that’s a poor excuse—since a blog is about writing.

Our little farm is the one thing that brings me back to earth when I don’t seem to have any time. Plants have their own schedule and no manner of prodding, enticing, rushing about or pleading will hurry them along. It’s a lesson I’m trying to learn. As the pressure builds in what I do all I have to do is walk out to our plants and listen. They whisper and chatter and are happy to see me. They ask for nothing but love and care and offer sustenance and beauty in return. I come away from the fields, having left the weight of my problems in the deep rich soil, and I feel relaxed in a way that always makes me smile.

We don’t have some great expanse of land but we use every centimeter in hopes we return goodness back to the earth and gain pleasure in watching neighbors and others enjoy the products of our labors.

If I were better at manipulating my webpage I would offer many more photos of Life on the Farm. I have a way with words—or so I think— but the magic world of the internet is still… magic to me. I seat like a child and watch the wonders of things that seem impossible appear right before my eyes.

Please enjoy a few pictures of some of the things we grow and I hope you can see the contentment on my face.

Julee and the two headed pineapple

Jackfruit and me

Orchid

Kids love to watch the tapioca being harvested