Guest Author Andrew Joyce

I am thrilled to feature Andrew Joyce, author of the newly released “Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups“.

Hello, my name is Andrew Joyce and I’m here today to try to sell a few books.

I have a new book out entitled Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. It is a collection of short stories I’ve written over the years. Inside Bedtime Stories you’ll find tales of fiction and nonfiction. There are all sorts of genres within its pages, from westerns to detective stories to love stories and just about anything else that you can imagine. One of my stories—included in the book—was granted the honor of being included in a print anthology entitled The Best of 2011. Some of the stories are dark and some are lighthearted, but I hope you’ll find them all captivating.

There’s a whole lotta material in the volume—700 pages; enough to make sure you get your money’s worth … and enough to keep you reading for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, here’s one of the shorter stories from the book.

Treasure

He stumbled upon the treasure quite by accident. He was exploring the vicinity when he happened upon it. His first thought was, This cannot be real. He cautiously approached it. Someone might be playing a trick on him. Maybe he was being observed. But no one sprung from a concealed location—no one yelled for him to halt his advance. It seemed safe to move forward. When he arrived at the treasure, he bent down to touch it, just to make sure it was real. After one touch, he fled to better-known and safer environs.

That night he could not sleep for thinking of what he had discovered. He thought and thought of ways he could explain it to members of his tribe. If he suddenly showed up with the treasure, anything he said would be suspect. One does not find treasure of this sort every day. No, he would have to think this through.

The next day he went back to where he had found the treasure, but dared not get too close. Instead, he peered at it from a distance. It was still there and untouched. But for how long would it stay undiscovered? A fire burned within him to possess it. If not for the taboo placed on matters of this sort by the Law Giver, he would claim the treasure as his own. But no, the Law Giver would never allow it.

As he tried to sleep on the second night after his discovery, he thought perhaps the Law Giver would understand. Perhaps he should approach her, and tell her of his find. No! If she forbade him from keeping the treasure, it would be lost forever. Conceivably, he could bring it to his village and hide it from the Law Giver. But … where could he hide it? The Law Giver was all-wise; she knew the secrets of his heart.

Quite unexpectedly, he overheard the Law Giver speaking of the place he had found the treasure. This is what he heard: “When they moved out, they told me they left a few things behind, and if we wanted anything, we were welcome to it. I’ve been too busy to go over there, but I think I’ll take a look this afternoon. Maybe there will be something Billy might like.”

Something I might like. Something I might like! Was she toying with him? Did she indeed know of the treasure? Later that afternoon, his mother called Billy to the front of the house. He was not allowed far from home because he was only five years old, so he appeared right away. His mother said, “Look what I found next door where the Simms used to live.” And there it was—the treasure!

His mother handed little Billy the bright red toy fire truck that had caused him to lose so much sleep. You see, Billy had been afraid his mother would think he had stolen it, even though it seemed to have been abandoned. And in his home, stealing was the one thing his mother, the Law Giver, would never tolerate.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups cover image

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

 

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

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Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.

Meet the Author! Andrew Joyce

Biography:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

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How he came to write this book:

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Angela for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the research that goes into writing an historical novel or an action/adventure novel that uses an historical event as a backdrop.

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I want to say that I learned the hard way how important proper research is. But it wasn’t really that hard of a lesson. In my first book, which takes place in the last half of the 19th century, I made two mistakes. I had the date of an event off by one year and I had my hero loading the wrong caliber cartridge into his Winchester rifle. I would have gone blissfully throughout life not knowing how I had erred if not for my astute fans. Both mistakes were quickly pointed out to me in reviews of the book. One guy said he would have given me five stars if not for the wrong caliber bullet mistake. I had to settle for only four stars. Lesson learned!

Before I get into telling you about the year-long research I did for Yellow Hair, I’d like to tell you how I researched my second and third books and describe what that research entailed.

My second book was a western and the protagonist was a woman. The research took about three months. I had to know everything from women’s undergarments of the late 19th century to prison conditions for women in those days. (I sent my heroine to jail.) That kind of research was easy. Thank God for the internet. But then I had to do some real research. Molly (my protagonist) built up her cattle ranch to one of the largest in Montana, but she and her neighbors had nowhere to sell their beef. So Molly decided to drive her and her neighbors’ cattle to Abilene where she could get a good price. She put together the second largest herd on record (12,000 head) and took off for Abilene.

That’s when I had to really go to work. I wanted my readers to taste the dust on the trail. I wanted them to feel the cold water at river crossing. I wanted them to know about the dangers of the trail, from rustlers to Indians to cattle stampedes.

This is how I learned about all those things and more. First of all, I found old movies that were authentic in nature. I watched them to get a feel for the trail. Then I read books by great authors who had written about cattle drives to soak up even more of the atmosphere of a cattle drive. That was all well and good, but it still did not put me in the long days of breathing dust and being always fearful of a stampede.

That’s when I went looking for diaries written by real cowboys while they were on the trail. After that, I found obscure self-published books written by those cowboys. Then it was onto newspaper articles written at the time about large cattle drives. That’s how I had Molly herd the second largest cattle drive. I discovered that the largest was 15,000 head, driven from Texas to California in 1882.

My next book took place in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. Here new elements were added such as wolves and the extreme weather as adversaries. Dogsledding was also involved. I have seen snow only three times in my life and I have never dogsledded. I knew even less about wolves. I had to learn about those things. I had no idea what it was like to travel across a wilderness on a dogsled at seventy degrees below zero. I also had to acquire knowledge about the dogs themselves, especially the lead dog. I learned about all that by doing the same things I did for my second book. The old diaries were the most helpful. As to the gold rush, there was plenty of material in the form of self-published books by some of the participants. Some were never even published, but I found copies of them in the archives of universities and historical societies. Again, newspaper stories printed at the time were very useful. Concerning wolves . . . I read everything I could get my hands on about wolves—their habits, the pack hierarchy, the alpha male, and the different jobs or tasks the males and females have while hunting.

Now we come to Yellow Hair. As I mentioned above, the book is about the Sioux Nation from 1805 to 1890. I had to know both points of view, the white man’s and the Sioux’s. Getting to know the whites’ take on things was easy. There are many, many books (non-fiction) that were written at the time. I even found a book written by Custer detailing his strategy for wiping out the Sioux entirely. That was hard reading. And, again, there were universities and historical societies whose archives were a great help.

As to the Sioux’s point of view, there are a few books that were dictated to newspapermen years later by the Indians that took part in the various battles that I weave into my story. I found a lot of material from Native American participants of the Little Big Horn, written twenty to thirty years after the fact.

But I wanted to immerse myself in the Sioux culture and I wanted to give them dignity by using their language wherever possible. I also wanted to introduce them by their Sioux names. So, I had to learn the Lakota language. And that wasn’t easy. There is a consortium that will teach you, but they wanted only serious students. You have to know a smattering of the language before they will even deign to let you in. I had to take a test to prove that I knew some Lakota. I failed the first time and had to go back to my Lakota dictionary and do some more studying. I got in on my second try.

I’m running out of space, so I reckon I’ll wrap it up. I hope I’ve given you a little insight into the research process. It’s time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. But it is also a blast. Every new discovery is like finding the motherlode.

I’d like to sign off with another commercial. The three books I alluded to above are:

I would like to thank Angela once again for having me over and you good folks for tuning in.

Andrew Joyce

Why I Will Not Review Your Book

It really is nothing personal, and I do not turn down the opportunity to read a new story very often, but sometimes I do. And then the author takes it personally. Like I did not feel their story was worthy of my time, or I felt the description was so bad that I could not even stand the thought of opening it.

That is not the case. 99% of the time it is because they have written a book on a subject that I have no knowledge of, and my lack of knowledge is not going to allow me to write a fair review. I will get to that other 1% in a minute. But if you have written a book about birds of South America, or Buddhism, or aliens, you do not want me writing a review. Do I have anything against the birds of South America, or Buddhists, or aliens? Nope. None of the previously mentioned have ever done anything to me. But I do not know anything about them. So no; I do not generally read science fiction. There are some Sci-Fi stories that I have read, but the story was also steeped in other information that allowed me to get lost in it, and enjoy the story the way the author surely hoped I would.

It has nothing to do with the story, or the author, or the quality of their writing. It’s not you, it’s me

Now; about that other 1%. I have read a couple completely unbearable books in the past year, and most of you know that I really do not try to say bad things about writers, or their stories. If I can’t say anything nice, I prefer to keep my mouth shut. But once I tell you that I will not be reading and reviewing your book, you should probably just leave it be. It is the unfortunate author who feels the need to blow up my email account and say unkind things that is likely to get an honest, horrible review of their book posted for the whole-wide-web to find and read.

Those of you whom I have been in contact with, whose stories I have purchased or you sent to me, and have not seen a review yet; I have not forgotten. And I will get it done. Sometimes life just happens to get in the way of my free time. Many do not realize that I have a full-time 45+ hours-a-week job, am the single parent to 4 daughters (3 still at home), and go to college when it strikes my fancy. I also have a couple other pans in the fire that need my attention from time-to-time.

I want, and appreciate, the gentle nudges you send me to ask about your review. Please continue to do so. I love to read. It is my one escape that allows me to relax, unwind, de-stress, and forget about my 17 year old driving my car all over town, my 23 year old stressing over paying for college classes, my 13 year old video chatting with 16 year old boys 3000 miles away, and my 10 year old who has no more responsibilities than to feed her guinea pig, yet gets mad at me because I forgot to do it for her.

I am grateful for my patient and understanding authors and followers, and it really is my goal to help promote and encourage as many of you as I am able to. Your stories truly do bring me joy, happiness, and adventure, and without them, I cannot even begin to imagine how much more difficult I would be for others to have to deal with!

So please keep writing, so I can keep reading!

Coming Soon; To A Blog Near You…

…Well, okay; this blog.

Book reviews, suggestions, interesting facts, quotes, and author features.

Yes; I have been reading (very slowly). No, I am not feeling better. Still trying to crawl out of the winter blues, and a trip to the doctor’s and chest x-rays today have not given me an answer yet for what is physically been ailing me since I woke up Thursday.

So I am arguing with myself about using the next 2 vacation days I put in for at work; just-in-case. Or, going to work like I really should, even though I desperately need the rest.

So I will get those book reviews posted again. I will pick back up with my author features. And most of all I look forward to the great comments and insight from all of my followers!

Here’s to books, and all the happiness they bring us!

Don’t Miss Out On This Free Book by Caryl McAdoo!

Another fantastic story by Caryl McAdoo, Hope Reborn is a Texas Romance set in the mid 1850’s. I read this story and really enjoyed it, and if you like historical novels, romance novels (clean romance novels!), or just a story that will make you feel good, you should give this one a try!

Hope Reborn-Caryl McAdoo

You can’t beat free, and once you get a taste of one of Caryl’s stories, you will be wanting more! Stop by tomorrow for my review of this book!

Get your copy from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Hope+Reborn+Caryl+McAdoo and be sure to let me know how you enjoyed the story!