NEWS

News & Updates

Finally, the long anticipated second installment in my Sand Mountain Tales series is hitting the virtual shelves. Currently, it is available at Amazon, soon to be followed by the paperback version as well. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Read below for a sneak peek !!

“Andrew Benson is a young man who has little hope for a future outside his small southern town. He is bright and ambitious but, without funds, he will never attend a university.

Enter his black sheep uncle, Herbert Benson, who provides him with the resources he needs for his education, but unfortunately he later finds that there are some strings attached…..Deadly strings.

Uncle Herbert calls in the favor and Andrew finds himself drawn into a dangerous situation with no way out. He must surmount incredible obstacles finding the means to solve the horrific problem his uncle has set before him, one that could condemn life on earth. For unbeknownst to the rest of the world, his genius uncle has managed to bring back a deadly virus from the future, which Andrew is given the task of destroying before it begins on its relentless march across the planet.

In a race against the clock, Andy will embark on a mission that leads him to many destinations around the world. Along the way he encounters danger, deceit, betrayal and romance, with an unlikely cast of characters who come together and combine their talents to prevent a global disaster.”

After more than twenty thousand years of travel across the vastness of space Mylea has finally arrived at its new home – in an outer band of the great spiral galaxy, our Milky Way. Mylea: Rebirth is the next exciting chapter in the Mylean Chronicles and it is our hope that it will be published before the end of the year.

Maxx, the computer colossus that has been in command of the relocation is busy cloning the next generation of Myleans, but in his spare time he has made a monumental discovery. Scientifically, it is still impossible for physical matter to travel faster than the speed of light. But Maxx has found a unique way to accomplish the impossible under certain circumstances. He can hardly wait to tell John Scott about his new discovery.

Many families have at least one member that is considered to be a little off. Some families have one that is widely known to be strange. But once in awhile along comes a family that has a member that is undeniably, no bones about it, downright weird.

My name is Andrew Benson, but most folks around Campbell Crossing just call me Andy. I belong to the extended Campbell Clan that pretty much founded our little town. We are a close knit bunch when it comes to outsiders, but think of ourselves as independent in dealing with locals. .

My Uncle Herbert is our family’s weird one. I did not have the money to go to college after high school and my weird Uncle Herbert promised to pay for my education. Not even my father, his brother, and the only one in the family that really would have anything to do with him, believed that Uncle Herbert could – or would come through with the money.

Well, they were wrong – he did come through after all. And I got a great education in Computer Science at the University of Alabama.

Then Uncle Herbert asked a favor of me. Sort of a payback, I guess. That is when I found out how really weird my Uncle Herbert actually was.

Writing is easy compared to selling!

Indie authors must learn to market and sell their books. It is apparently much easier to write a good book than to sell it. My personal experience so far is that I have a lot to learn about book selling books (and yes, I am still learning the craft of writing).

Advertising with Amazon has been successful, but unfortunately it is costly and to date the money spent on advertising hasn’t produced the net sales sufficient to cover the costs. Perhaps the residuals over time will pay off, but the idea that I am losing a little money on every book I sell is not appealing. I do not subscribe to the theory. “lose a little on each sale but make it up in volume.”

We are currently turning our attention to Books go Social and experimenting with a bricks and mortar store that caters to indie authors. If you are not familiar with Books go Social you can check them out at www.Booksgosocial.com. You can check out the bookstore by visiting www.PJboox.com. I like the concept and hope that it spreads around the country.

We are using our website www.pcelrod.com as much as possible and also have a Twitter and Facebook presence – links to those are on our website.

We have gotten above ten reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for most of our books, so far, and are actively seeking other reviews all the time. If you would like to review one of my books, and don’t have the three bucks to spare, just email me and I will send you your preferred eBook format.

A new novel is in the works, and will be available in a few weeks. It is the second in our Sand Mountain Series and be titled Uncle Herbert. Many families have a weird member, but Uncle Herbert may just be the weirdest of them all.  Not long after that we will publish the third on our Mylean Chronicles series, Mylea:Rebirth. I hope you get the chance to read both.

I would love to hear from any indie authors out there that have other unique ideas about marketing their books.

World War II was a dark and chaotic period of history that has always fascinated me. That is why I have truly loved Ellie Midwood’s novels about the period. The three Girl From Berlin novels and the first book of the sequel, The Austrian. I am anxiously awaiting the second book of the Austrian series.

If you are a fan of World War II, or just curious, I highly recommend you read Ellie’s series. She really nails the struggles facing those involved with the horror that was Nazi Germany. Each book is more or less self contained, but read sequentially adds to the continuity of the story.  You can get the first book in the series by clicking the following link: The Girl from Berlin: Standartenfuror’s Wife.

How utterly delightful that a technology I outlined in my Mylea series book one, based on gravitational waves may actually be somewhere in our future here as well.  Especially now that they have actually been discovered by our own scientists !!

According to numerous news outlets “It lasted just tenths of a second, a ‘blip’ sound from far, far out in the universe. It took more than a billion years to get here.

It was the sound of two black holes colliding at close to light speed, 1.3 billion light years from Earth. It confirmed the last piece of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity — that something called gravitational waves exist and can be detected.

Who knows?  Perhaps within the next century, maybe even sooner, our technology will be equal to that of Myleans, but what will be really interesting to see, is if we evolve as humans into a more harmonious people as well.

Thirty POW camps were built in 1942 to house the onslaught of captured enemy soldiers. McClellan’s POW camp was completed in 1943. By mid-1944, German POWs had become a significant part of the labor pool at Fort McClellan. In their off hours and in jobs assigned to them on post, POWs created a substantial legacy at Fort McClellan in masonry and art as well as more invisible improvements. Two hundred prisoners were detailed daily for excavation, drainage, and clearing operations on the main post; 170 were involved with food preparation; and others worked on vehicles on post. POW labor is responsible for numerous examples of stonework on Fort McClellan, including stone walls, chimneys, a patio built behind the old Recreation Center, drainage ditches, and landscaping. The carved bar at the Officer’s Club (Remington Hall) and the exceptional murals which dress the club’s wall are also credited to POWs. The camp at Fort McClellan not only acted as the processing center for all prisoners interned in the Alabama camps, but was the last camp to be deactivated on April 10, 1946.

In my novel “Secrets of Sand Mountain”, there was an escaped German POW as one of my characters. But did you know that there really were German POW’s being interred here in the United States during the War?

In the United States, at the end of World War II, there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps containing over 425,000 prisoners of war (mostly German). The camps were located all over the US but were mostly in the South because of the higher expense of heating the barracks in other areas. Eventually, every state (with the exceptions of Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, North Dakota, and Vermont) had POW camps. Some of the camps had to be designated “segregation camps” and used to separate the Nazi “true believers” from the rest of the prisoners, whom they terrorized and even killed for being friendly with their American captors.

Just one of many caves located on Sand Mountain.  Caves, spelunking and time travel are the interconnecting theme behind my latest book in progress, Uncle Herbert.  I explored many a cave as a young boy growing up on Sand Mountain in Alabama, and they have always held a certain fascination with me, as has the infinite possibilities regarding time travel.  How cool would that be, to step into a subterranean world, totally apart from the surface world and encounter a portal through time.  What?  You can’t imagine it?  Well, then stay tuned and keep an eye out for Uncle Herbert.  In the meantime, check out my recently released book, “Secrets of Sand Mountain“.  Enjoy !!

Most families have that one relative, you know the one, their different, quirky, sometimes weird. Well, in my family, that was Uncle Herbert. But we had no clue just how weird, until he was gone. Gone, but not forgotten is often used to describe the dearly departed, those that leave something unique behind to make people remember them. My Uncle did more than leave something unique behind. He left something so terribly unique, that every single person in the world could be affected, and it’s my inheritance to prevent it !!

A companion to Secrets of Sand Mountain – Coming Soon !!