Friday, 28 December 2012

Ever Wanted to Grow Palm Trees?

Hi Dudes,

For the avid gardeners amongst us there is a great book on how to grow palm trees here.

Grow Great Palms  contains everything you would need to know about growing palm trees.

Why should you bother?

Palm trees help to make your garden look exotic. They also create great dappled shade for an understorey of shade loving plants like camellias.

Of course, those waist deep in snow will want to give it a miss - unless they have gardening friends in more temperate climates.

Enjoy the holidays,

till later dudes

Zack

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Buy Ebooks as Gifts

Are you one of those people who leave your gift shopping till the last minute - often because you don't know what to buy? Or maybe you do it early, then after some thought decide it's not enough and you need a last minute gift or two?

Don't get int a flap if you need some more gifts. Buy something online and you won't even have to leave your home. And you can get great gifts at a small price when you choose ebooks from Amazon. These are totally appropriate to go with that new ereader that you bought. Or if you didn't buy one, simply download a Kindle app from Amazon for free and then you can access as many ebooks as you like - some are even free.

You can do this for your children who have their own laptops and are allowed on the Internet. There are many great kids ebooks on Amazon.



Try Aisle Five, a time warp story about two kids who fall through a time warp onto a 1951 farm and why one chooses to stay there. And why the other is running down a street carrying the oldest chook in the world.







Or you might like a story about soccer for girls, Stinky and the Permission Note - Will Stinky ever get that permission note signed?






Or a short futuristic story with environmental themes Matt Moonrunner Saves an Alien. Who kidnapped all the Chewmushies from Moon City and Can Matt and Malla save them?

All good fun.


Till Later Dudes

Zack

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Do You Read to Your Toddler?

Hey Dudes,

As parents we usually like to ensure our child has everything they need, but don't stop at physical things such as food warmth and clothing. Of course they are important, but so is your child's emotional development.

Fostering imtimacy with your child can be done in many ways. Hugs and kisses, helping them play and reading to them are all part of it.

Introducing them to the wonderful world of stories from the time they are tiny will help to instill a love of reading - which will in turn help them to become good students and creative people as they get older.

 It teaches them many things about the world around them in an atmosphere where they can feel safe and loved.

To give your child a love of reading is to give them a gift that is priceless.

Read your child a book today,

Till later, dudes

Zack

Friday, 30 November 2012

As an Author, do You Read?

Many authors get so caught up in writing that they stop reading. Why do you need to read?
  • You need balance in your life and reading is one way to establish it.
  • You learn from other authors.
  • You get good ideas from other authors.
  • It's fun
  • It teaches your kids to read if they see you enjoying it
  • You learn lots of stuff.
I am a real bookworm. Here is a funny story. One day I was walking across the paddock reading a book, put my foot on some hard cow dung, sprained my ankle, fell over and bounced downhill, dropped my book and lost my place in the story. Of all those things, losing my place was the worst. lol. Later I was glad it was hard dung and not soft.

till later dudes,

Zack

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Shortest Story Ever

"They met, loved, parted. Died brokenhearted."  

Hey dudes, beat that! write your own short story

Which famous story could it be a synopsis of?

If you can guess, leave a comment; the first one to guess right will get a copy of Jed's Escape for Free!



Till later Dudes,

Zack

Monday, 5 November 2012

Do You Write with a Pen?

That may seem a silly question, but these days you don't actually need to use a pen or pencil to write. I really asked that question of authors. How do you like to write? Do you sit at the computer and stare into the screen while your story takes shape and your characters go off on their adventures?
Some authors feel that the pc kills creativity. They much prefer to curl up in a warm corner with a pillow and an apple and wield magic with their trusty pen. My warm corner is usually filled with ants that bite or ticks that sneak up on me only to inject their poison in the dead of night.

Years ago I wrote longhand on a large A4 writing pad. The finished ms was almost impossible for any but me to decipher. Then I discovered that computers had a delete button and that you could move anything from one letter to a whole paragraph or more from one place to another. This would be like heaven! Yay for technology!

Here is a litle ditty I wrote in those days just for fun. It is not quite true for me as my imagination often goes into overdrive while at the PC, especially now that I can type faster than I can write.

Computer vs. Pen

  © Zack A Tack

Computer hums, keyboard clicks,
Mouse darts busily to and fro
Deleting blocs of prose
Or moving single words into position.
Business-like, efficient
And cold.
Imagination dies.

Sunny corner, paper flips.
Birds dart busily building nests
Lines write themselves, ideas flow
Teeming, jostling, pushing in delighted haste
Through my pen to paper.
In warmth
Imagination lives.

Wish my pen
Had a button called Delete.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How I Started the Jeddon Series


It's all very well to say how you started writing as a career, but how you started each book you wrote is different again. So how did you start your last book? Did a name jump into your brain and demand attention? Or did you start with a plot, an idea or even just some kind of emotion that needed to be expressed?

When I started ESCAPE it was emotion - maybe I wanted subconsciously to escape from that isolation I mentioned in my last post. RETURN just begged to be written to resolve a few of Jed's problems, and in fact started off as part two of Jed's Escape, but certain editors thought it would be better as a separate story.

But I started writing QUEST, the third in the Jeddon Series, because suddenly there was a boy running from danger - and it was not Jed! So who was it? The scene was viewed through Jed's mind and thoughts, so it was someone he knew without knowing that he knew them, if that makes sense.

 In fact, I discovered once I started writing that the boy was actually Jed's identical twin brother. So why didn't Jed know who it was? You can find out by reading the first few pages of QUEST on Amazon.

Till later Dudes

                                           Zack

Sunday, 28 October 2012

My Writing Journey

Hi Dudes,

How did your writing journey start? My writing journey started because I was alone and broke, living on a farm with no car, no public transport and no phone - so no interruptions. Hey, that is soo good for thinking - and those thoughts just took off and created another world where Prince Jed - and many others - had lots of adventures.

When I say I was broke, I did have enough money to buy a thick writing pad and some pens. Later on I bought a non-electric typewriter. Computers were way out of my budget for many years. But finally some clever person made me one out of his bits and pieces, left over from various upgrades to his own. Wow! I was in heaven.

Being able to move whole blocks of text around the screen instead of having tiny handwriting going up the edges of the page with arrows to show where they were meant to go was something else.

Finally I got hooked up to the Internet and found out ways and means to make money with my writing. So even when stories were rejected I still had some kind of income.  I had started on the rocky road to becoming a freelance writer. Writing articles is not nearly as much fun as writing fiction, but it meant the added satisfaction of money in my bank account.

Why not share your writing journey in the comments box?

Till later, dudes

Zack

Monday, 22 October 2012

Will Girls Rule the World?

Most people embrace the digital revolution for all the wonderful opportunities it presents. It is certainly true that it has changed the way we do things and mostly for the better – but is it ruining your child’s future?

With the upsurge in computer games, most kids are spending the biggest percentage of their free time playing games where the only mental effort they need to make is to tell their thumb to press a button. Okay, that might not be quite true, but this world still requires human beings to be able to read and write well, if they are to do well enough at school to get those high paying jobs.

And I’m sorry folks if you disagree, but developing those skills takes time and effort. When kids do not make this time and effort they will fall through the cracks of education and end up out on the streets – or with some low-paid job they hate. Few children will turn to books and writing unless they are encouraged to do so by their parents. Boys especially would much rather play sport or computer games.

This poses the question: will the world soon be run by women as the only ones who can read and write sufficiently to do the necessary things? What do you think?

Till later dudes,

Zack

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

How Your Child Can Ace Those Exams

School exams are often dreaded by both children and parents alike. They seem to cause a great deal of stress and strain in the average household. But guess what? You as the parent can work towards eliminating that stress or preventing it altogether. How? One way is to ensure that your child becomes a good reader. Too simple? Not really and here is why.
  • When children are fluent readers and writers they will find their schoolwork much easier to handle. When something is relatively easy you do not hate or fear it.
  • When you know you are good at something you enjoy doing it.
  • You can then enjoy the challenge of exams, rather than looking forward with dread to that time of year.
Parents can ensure that their children become good readers simply by encouraging them to read. If this means buying books so be it. Books are a good investment in your child's future. However, you can always join the local library and borrow books or get used books from garage sales if you are on a budget.

Its not just the reading that must be encouraged, but writing too. Give your child pencils, pens and markers at an early age. Provide lots of paper and other media such as a blackboard or whiteboard to write on. Encourage them to write by any means possible. You can even have writing competitions at home for which children get prizes. Show your children that their schoolwork is important by displaying it on the refrigerator; don't screw it up and throw it in the bin.

To ensure your child reads and writes well, you may have to limit access to those popular computer games. Don't ban them altogether, but certainly do not allow your children to spend all their time clicking buttons. Get them enjoying other more creative forms of expressing themselves.

Till next time dudes,

Zack

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Get the Girls Reading Too

I might have seemed to be pushing the fact that boys need to learn to be fluent readers because in my experience it is the boys that lag behind in this field. However, it is certainly still important to get your daughters reading.
No matter what gender your child is, it cannot be stressed enough that being a good reader is the way to a well-paid career when they grow up. To that end, I thought I would bring to your attention a shorter e-book for younger girls on the hot topic of sport.

Stinky Green wants to play soccer and is good at it, but her parents would rather she played tennis like they did when young. She has to get them to sign her permission note somehow, but most of her plans fail dismally. Will Stinky ever get her note signed in time for the match?







   $0.99 Add to Cart

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Will Your Child be a Good Scholar?

Once a upon a time there was no need to worry about your kids having a good education because there were plenty of jobs around for which minimal training was needed. That was a long time ago. These days the only way to break the poverty cycle is to ensure your child becomes a good scholar so that they can get training for a highly paid job.

But when you hold your new-born in your arms, you don't usually think this far ahead. Often it is not until the child becomes a teen that you suddenly realise that their grades are not good enough to train for that dream job. What can be done?

It is important for parents of younger children to instil into them a love of reading. When a child loves reading they will do it a lot and so become very fluent readers - and writers. This will quickly trainslate into being a good scholar because the child who can read quickly will grasp the meaning of the written word quickly. They will then easily keep up with their studies as they get older.

So how do you instil that love of reading?

  •  Make sure that they have books to read right from a young age.
  •  Read them books that they love.
  •  Play games that enourage them to recognise letters and words. You can buy or make flashcards to do this, or use their favorite book. make sure the books have lots of good quality pictures, especially for little ones.
  •  Visit the local library often with your child and let them join in any activities run by the library.
  •  For the older child, find out what they love most and provide books on that subject.
  •  Girls who love ponies or boys who love trains should be give books on those topics.
Many parents buy their kids computer games as these are the in thing at the moment. But you can also get computer games that are educational. They teach reading and spelling skills.

However, often the cheaper way to get your child to love reading is to provide them with e-books or hard copy books. Responsible parents who want the best for their child will see to it that they learn to read well, instilling into them a love of books from as early as two years of age.

Scroll down to find ebooks for boys and girls on this website. Click on august and September to find more. Follow the links and purchase a suitable book as the first step in your quest to make your child a good scholar.

Till next time dudes,

Zack

Friday, 5 October 2012

Odd One Out

 Odd One Out is a novel for girls of 9-15.

Fourteen-year-old Zoe, city girl and loving it, is uprooted to live on an isolated dairy farm. An outside toilet, pigs, leeches,and possums on the roof are only a few of the problems she has to deal with.
She hates being on the farm, but when she discovers that Ben Crawford, the boy from the farm next door, lives alone with an alcoholic father who beats him, she decides to fix his problems in spite of having her own, even though both Ben, his father and her parents object to her interference.
Click on the link to read the first few pages.

$2.99 Add to Cart

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Aisle Five

Here is something a little different from my usual sci-fi. It is a time warp story for girls aged around 9-12.

Zoe and Jack fall through a time warp in aisle five of the local supermarket. They end up on a farm back in 1951. Jack is happy to stay there forever. How can Zoe find the way home? And what can she do about Jack?

Parents, get your kids reading. It's the best thing you can do for their future.

Buy it Now
Only $00.99

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Excerpt from Jed's Escape

Note: Jed's Escape is the first in the Jeddon Series. These ebooks are suitable for boys 9-15. Since there is also a girl as a major character, girls may also enjoy them.
..............................
Jed turned to face the old man again.“I will be ruler one day, Dirnll. See?” He pulled the Badge of Ruling up from where it hung. “Zarine will have her freedom, but you won’t, unless you help us now.”“You think you’ll rule just because you have the badge?” Dirnll sneered. “Vexson has all the power of Jeddon behind him.”“But he is not heir to the throne. It is mine by right of birth.:
Dirnll’s laughter sent shivers down Jed’s spine.“There is no way I can help you, even if I wanted to,” he said. “If I allowed you back to the desert, Vexson would take the knowledge of the paths from me and follow you. There is no safe place for you anywhere, Jed.”
It was true; Jed could see that. The only place he could go was into the starship, but how? Could they jump? Jed looked down.  The invisi-shield shimmered just below them. Where would the hatch be? He tried to envision the exact position, but could not.
“Go down, Jed. You are finished.” Dirnll raised his knife. “Vexson will kill you, or I will. Which is it to be?
Anger coursed through Jed. “You – if you dare!”
There was a flash of silver as Dirnll threw the knife.


Monday, 1 October 2012

Matt Moonrunner Saves an Alien


After failing his space cadet exams Matt Moonrunner flies his new spacerunner to Moon City to visit his friend Malla, only to find the city in ruin and an injured Malla the only resident left. Did the space troopers kidnap the Chewmushies? Matt and Malla devise a plan to rescue them, but it goes badly wrong. Find out what happens to Malla and Matt as they try to outwit and outfly the space troopers.

This story is around 8,000 words and suitable for kids 9-12 yrs. Click on the link below to read an excerpt.

$0.99 Add to Cart

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How to Get Free Books

Sure we all know you can get free books from the library, but this post is not about that. Many people find it difficult to get to their local library anyhow. And then they have to take the books back again. So how else can you get free books? It's super simple - all you need is a computer.

Simply go to Amazon.com and download their FREE Kindle App. for your type of computer. Then you can simply click on the link on the top right of the app and it will take you straight to Amazon.com. Type "free ebooks" into the search bar there and you will soon have so many books to choose from you  won't know what to do with them. Once you choose which ones to download look for the download link on the right of the screen, click on it and the book will go straight to your kindle app. Open it up and get reading!

You do have to set up an account with Amazon.com first, but that is free. When you see a free book, you still have to go through the process of 'buying' it. But the amount will be $0.00. You will then get an email from Amazon.com thanking you for your purchase of $0.00 - lol.

This is a good way to keep the kids happy over the holidays. Get 'em reading fun stuff! They won't even realise that their reading skills are improving.

Zack

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How to get Your Child Reading

How well does your child read? The only way anyone can become a good reader is to practice reading. If your child cannot read well, they stand to get poor grades in high school or college. This will severely impact their ability to get the kind of career they want. In fact, almost every job requires you to read to some extent.


So if your child does not show much inclination to read, how can you encourage them?
  • Firstly find out what they like and buy or borrow books on the topic for them to read.
  • Join the local library and take them there regularly. show them how ot choose a book.
  • Buy them books for Christmas and birthdays. 
  • Even comics can help a reluctant reader get going.
  • Let them know how important it is to become a good reader.
  • Get them tutoring if they are very poor readers.
  • Buy them the latest e-book reader to download free and low-cost books to.
  • Buy books they like that are part of a series because then they will want to get all the rest and so have even more practice in reading.
While ebook readers may seem expensive, you will soon recover the cost because ebooks are so much cheaper than hard copy books. However you can get a free kindle app for the computer and download books onto that.

So what does your child like to read? They might like an adventure story for boys set on another planet, or a book for girls with a feisty heroine who is determined to get what she wants. Take the first step in getting your child to read well.

Zack

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Why Parents should Encourage Their Kids to Read

Some parents don't ever think to encourage their children to read. This is a big mistake because reading skills are so necessary in this world. Your kids won't be able to hold down a good job unless they can read well. They stand to get scammed by anyone if they cannot read properly.

Learning to read well starts in primary school and the best way to get them reading is to offer them reading material that excites or interests them. Some kids like how to books that teach them about a sport or a hobby. Others like the world of fiction. Many like to read about a character that they can empathize with. They virtually become that character while they are reading.

Certainly, they do this when watching television and dvds, but those forms of media do not help them practice their reading skills. They can do this best by reading books. Many boys like adventure books such as Jed's Escape and the others in the series. Remember that when your kids are reading they are not wasting time, but developing skills that will make their life better when they grow up.

Till next time dudes

Zack

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Jed's Rescue - Sixth in the Jeddon Series


When Jai flies to the planet Rarnj with Lawler to help rescue Reidjar, heir to the Oban throne he does not expect it to push his planet to the brink of war. But Jed, posing as King of Jeddon to cover Jai’s absence, learns that his brother has fallen into the clutches of his mortal enemies. He insists on taking the ransom to the planet Rarnj in person, even though he knows it is a trap. Can he free Jai and get them both home to Jeddon before the war he declared on Rarnj begins?



Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Jed's Dilemma - Fifth in the Jeddon Series


Jed knows he is a seer, but he must still undergo tests to prove his mental power. However, the greatest challenge of his life lies ahead. With his father Ankzar, King of Jeddon recently dead and Jai, the rightful heir to the throne of Jeddon gone missing, the elders offer Jed the Badge of Ruling. Should Jed become King to save his beloved planet from chaos? But where is Jai, and why is Jyari their sister missing too? Jed risks his life in an attempt to find out, but the peril is greater than he thought.


Get Jed's Dilemma Here!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Jed's Trial - Fourth in the Jeddon Series

                                                                                            

Jai saves Jed’s life after a transmod crash, so Jed is dismayed to find his twin still cannot trust him fully. Even though with Jai’s return Jed will no longer inherit the right to rule Jeddon he is happy to step aside for his brother. Jai is the eldest twin and the right to rule will one day be his. But knowing that trust must be established before they truly can be brothers, Jed forms a daring plan to make Jai trust him. But it goes terribly wrong; Jai is badly injured and Jed finds himself on trial for attempted murder.
 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Jed's Quest - Third in the Jeddon Series


Jed finds out he has an identical twin brother who was stolen at birth and never found. Is this the boy who has faded in and out of his mind for all these years? The one who is deep trouble? Now he has his Fifth Bloc of Knowledge, Jed may be able to find Jai through mental telepathy - if he still lives. But what if Jai does not want to be found?


Jed's Return - Second in the Jeddon Series

Feeling that his father, King Ankzar of Jeddon might still be alive, Jed risks returning to Jeddon to find out for sure – and challenge Vexson for the right to rule if he is not. But everything seems to go wrong. Jed crashes his transmod on the dark side of Jeddon, is badly wounded by Vexson, adopted by a wild borjon and eventually found and taken to healers by Zarine and Darien. He now knows his father is alive, but in desperate straits. Can Jed depose Vexson and find his father before it is too late?  



Click here for Jed's Return

Jed's Escape - First in theJeddon Series

 Prince Jed of the small planet Jeddon flees from his Uncle Vexson’s coup and assassination attempts. Betrayed at every turn, Jed vows revenge over his mentor’s fresh grave. He must fight back and snatch the Badge of Ruling from his uncle.  Yet the only way he and his friend can survive is to flee from their home planet on an illegal star-ship hidden in a secret valley. But first he must rescue his sister. Will the star-ship still be there when he returns?