Hysterically historical

It’s no secret that I LOVE history (or at least it shouldn’t be). History was one of my favorite subjects in school. In fact, I liked it so much that I took it twice on year. (Who knew that World History and World Cultures were the same thing? Spoiler alert: Not me.)

If, like me, you love history, then sit back and relax – you’re in for a treat. But if when you think of history, you think of Professor Binns droning on about some battle or other that no one still living even cares about, then I’m here to tell you you’ve been doing it wrong.

Don’t believe me?

Well, why not? 😛

hhmrhAllow me to present Exhibit 1 in my defense. I give you Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At Allby Mark R. Hunter. This entertaining look at Indiana’s history had me laughing out loud as I read. From paleo-armadillos to Mad Anthony Wayne, from beets to presidents (no presidents were beaten in the making of this book – at least, not that I know of), this book’s got a little bit of everything. It’s even got…

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Review time!

sotmOver the weekend, I read the latest from Mark R. Hunter, Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns.  With columns on everything from politics to the weather (one of my own favorite topics), this book was chock full o’ laughs.  I was crying with laughter within minutes of opening this book, and I elicited strange looks from my family as I continued reading.

At 190 pages, it was a quick read, and I finished it within a day.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, and this was just what I needed to cheer me up.  So if you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.

Go on.  You know you want to. 🙂

Mark R. Hunter is an author, firefighter, humorist, dad, and self-proclaimed home maintenance failure from northeast Indiana. His weekly humor column “Slightly off the Mark” appeared in three newspapers for over twenty years, which is coincidentally the age of his first grey hair, before being unceremoniously cut short in 2014. This volume collects his previously unpublished and “leftover”columns.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Book promo round-up

rowlingbookI was trawling through Facebook Friday and ran across some excellent words of wisdom from Lucas Hargis:

BUY BOOKS TODAY FROM YOUR COUCH
1. Go through your “Friends” list
2. If any are published authors, click their links
3. Buy their books
4. Help authors on Black Friday, too

I spent last week promoting books in anticipation of Black Friday.  There are so many great books out there, and this is a great time to pick up a whole bunch of them to either keep for yourself or share with others as Christmas gifts.  It was seriously hard to limit myself to the books I did promote, and, as evidenced by my last post, I completely failed at the whole limit thing.

But with tomorrow being Cyber Monday, I thought this would be the perfect time to collect all those posts into one big one, a sort of one-stop book-shopping list, if you will.  So, without further ado, a list of all the books I’ve featured this month and where to find them:

Just in time for the holidays…

mark-in-gear-editedMy friend, Mark Hunter, is having a books signing at the Noble County Public Library in Albion, Indiana.  He’ll have copies of all his books on hand, including his latest, The Notorious Ian Grant.

The library is at 813 E. Main St. in Albion, and the event will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 17.  Stop by and pick up some great books, chat with the author, and maybe even learn a thing or two about the history of Albion.

For more information, check out the Facebook event page or Mark’s blog.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

No campfire? The horror!

mark-in-gear-editedToday, I’m happy to have Mark R. Hunter here to talk a little about his newest book, The No-Campfire Girls.  A fellow member of the Ink Slingers League, he’s a pretty funny guy with a pretty insightful take on that most dreaded of questions posed to writers: “Where do you get your inspiration?”

 Take it away, Mark!

Sometimes I’ll finish a manuscript, look back over the story, and think: “Where the heck did this come from?”

On the other hand, sometimes it’s pretty clear where I got my story idea.

Storm Chaser? “Hey, I think I’ll write a story about a storm chaser.” Of course, after the initial idea things went wildly out of control, starting with the fact that my storm chaser became, technically, a disaster photographer. But Disaster Photographer didn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Coming Attractions? My unpublished novel about effort to save a drive-in movie theater was birthed while I was sitting in a drive-in movie theater. Usually in those places it’s not birth that’s going on, but conception.

Okay, maybe I do know where most of my ideas come from. The newest book, The No-Campfire Girls, can be traced easily to its source, which was an attempt by the Girl Scouts to shut down my wife’s beloved childhood camp.

I don’t use the word beloved lightly.

And she’s not the only one: A grass roots campaign sprung up, probably from the roots, of people across the area who wanted to save their camp. My wife and I came back from a visit determined to find a way to help them.

The problem: