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I Understand Some Guys Dream About Girls December 15, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General, Writing.
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But not me. I guess the subconscious reveals what we TRULY wish for.

Last night, I dreamt my front door had been left open, and I heard it slamming in the wind. When I went to close it, I saw a small siamese kitten meowing. I took it inside and petted it, figuring I’d better set up some food and water. Then I noticed it wore a collar with a bell, so I thought it must be someone’s lost cat, but that I’d take care of it anyway.

Woke up. Clock said 1:37AM.

Back to sleep.

New dream! I went to some giant office building, but when I went inside, there was a humongous black Newfoundland dog in the lobby. It butted its head against my legs, so I sat down on the floor, and the dog flopped on top of me and I figured I should just sit there so that the dog would be my friend.

This dream’s source was easy to figure, though – I’d just been asking Elinor Shapiro, the illustrator of my new book Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, how HER humongous black Newfie had greeted her upon her return from a month-long artist-in-residence deal in France. The answer was “She tackled me.”

This time I woke up and the clock read 4:28AM.

Back to sleep.

Last dream of the night before waking up around 8:30 was of me leaving my work, walking some Victorian-housed neighborhoods that looked a lot like Providence, and deciding to get a big pizza before having to drive all the way back to Southern California.

Got a giant pepperoni and sausage, and it was a giant rectangular Sicilian-style one like they make at Caserta’s in Providence.

Woke up for good this time.

Like I said, some guys dream about girls. I dream about kittens, dogs and pizza. The subconscious can’t lie about what I truly love, I guess.

Making some spicy chipotle chicken chili for dinner just now. I’m predicting more dreams.

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Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast Is On Amazon, In Both Paperback & Kindle! November 19, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
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Amazon finally linked up all the web pages into one. Just updated the “Buy My Books” tab up top with this…

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast

 

The first entry in the new YA scifi adventure series!

And since it’s written by yours truly, expect that special brand of Wagstaffian humor throughout! That way, kids and grownups can all enjoy it.

Phigg & Clyde are sister and brother. Phigg solves every puzzle. Clyde can build and fix anything.But all of history has changed! Breakfast has turned into garbage! Can they solve the puzzle of time and fix it?It’s usually Uncle Phineas’ job to travel through history and fix the timelines – but he’s been kidnapped! Without him, Phigg & Clyde must use The Watcher to put history right again. And evil forces within the timesphere have plans of their own – for all of history and especially for Phigg & Clyde…Join them as they journey across thousands of years, all around the world, saving what you love to eat! Recipes Included! Taste along!

That’s right – two smart little kids must learn to be Timekeepers like their Uncle Phineas – guardians of the proper timelines of history! Evil forces have changed the course of history by destroying what we’re supposed to be having for breakfast. Only Phigg & Clyde can put things right again by saving the invention of everything from cereal to the microwave oven to dim sum as they travel all over the world all across time!

Tag along with ’em to find out where everything in your kitchen came from, and pick up some recipes from foods across the world & time.

Just don’t let the Timegoblins or their evil master trick you or trap you somewhere in the past. After all, they have very special plans for Phigg and Clyde…

With wonderful illustrations by Elinor Shapiro, who also did the cover.

 

Get Your Copy On Amazon By Clicking Here!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, my new book, NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!! November 16, 2018

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Click on this text to get the paperback!

Click on this text to get the Kindle Version with a “Look Inside!” preview!

Now available in both paperback & electronic form – Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the first entry in the Phigg & Clyde series!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

In the first book of the series, the entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Join Phigg & Clyde as they journey through history –  making sure the right things get invented from Napoleonic France to Imperial Rome to Battle Creek Michigan to Constantinople to Dynastic China to Ancient Egypt and beyond!

Worldwide recipes from modern times & history included so you can cook & taste along!

I wrote this one some years ago and put myself into the frame of mind I put myself in to teach bright middle school aged kids history. All the seemingly strange and random things that Phigg & Clyde need to restore in the timeline are all true, quirky as they are!

So I guess this qualifies as “edutainment,” as it were.

After I endured what can only be described as “Hollywood Hell” as my draft bounced around various entities and unfulfilled promises, I decided to go through my original version of the story, tighten things up a bit, get some wonderful new illustrations by Elinor Shapiro to make the whole thing a better reading experience, and put it up on Amazon beside my Professor Wagstaff detective series.

Who says I can’t write two series at once?

Quinn Martin, Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco and Aaron Spelling just nodded in agreement, at least on my Ouija board.

SO THERE!

Anyway, click on the link, get yourself a copy, and write a review on Amazon! The paperback & kindle links will match up within 48 hours, they tell me… that’s when I’ll add it to the “Buy My Books” tab. In the meantime, you can switch around.

Thanks and hope ya enjoy it!

 

 

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast – A Free Sample Sneak Peek!!! Part 2 November 11, 2018

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Here’s Part Two of the sneak peek PDF for my new novel, Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast.

It’ll be available later this week on Amazon, in both paperback and electronic form!

Once it’s up on there, it will surely have a “Look Inside!” button for sneak previews, but in the meantime, these PDFs that will take you into Chapter 3 will suffice. And don’t call me Shirley.

Click Here For “Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast” Sneak Peek Part Two!

and in case you missed it,

Click Here For “Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast” Sneak Peek Part One!!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

The entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Historic recipes included so that you can taste along!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast: A Free Sample Sneak Peek!!! (Part 1) November 7, 2018

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Available very soon on Amazon – here’s part one of a two-part sneak peak at my new book, Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast.

Click on the link below to download a sample 33 page PDF of the Prologue, Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2!

Click Here To Get Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast – Sample Part One!

Enjoy!

I’ll post Part 2 of the sneak peek by the weekend!

 

My Official Author’s Portrait November 4, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, General, Writing.
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I think it captures my essence, don’t you?

This is my bio blurb pic for the interior of Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast, coming very soon from yours truly over on Amazon.

Watch this space during this week for some previews & PDFs of a chapter or two!!

And FYI: That mug will contain tea FAR more often than coffee, and NOT catnip tea either.

Perhaps dressing up the cat in a beat-up old suit and fedora & changing the mug to a half empty whiskey bottle may go well with the Professor Wagstaff series. We’ll see.

Art by Elinor Shapiro.

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast: The Back Cover November 1, 2018

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You’ve seen the front cover, here’s the back.

Art by Elinor Shapiro, copy by yours truly.

Phigg (short for Iphigenia) and Clyde are sister and brother. She loves to solve puzzles, and he loves to build and fix things. Their Uncle Phineas looks after them while their professor parents are out of town, but…

…. Uncle Phineas vanishes! And then it turns out that he is a Timekeeper – a guardian of history who maintains the historic timelines in case things go wrong.

Clearly whoever kidnapped him must be bent on altering all of time!

They must have done something… because now people eat breakfast at night, and they’re eating fish heads, soup bones and clam juice.

Yum!

Phigg & Clyde better rescue Uncle Phineas and put things right again….

Coming soon!

And my next Phigg & Clyde posts will have some chapter samples to whet your appetite, as well as more of Elinor’s art from the interior.

Stay tuned!

 

Announcing A New Book Series! Phigg & Clyde Are On The Way! October 30, 2018

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The first entry in my new young adult (of all ages, really) light adventure scifi series will be available on Amazon and elsewhere in early November!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

The entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Historic recipes included so that you can taste along!

Yes, this is the actual “kid’s book” oft referred to in both Wagstaff mysteries. I wrote it some time ago and unfortunately subjected it to Hollywood Hell™ before doing a revision and getting some new illustrations done for this new 2018 edition.

I’ll add blog entries until its release  – so watch this space for sample chapters, examples of the wonderful illustrations by Elinor Shapiro, recipes and other stuff!

It’ll be both in paperback & an e-book for the Kindle & tablets. Early November is not far away!

Thrift Store Triumph & Tragedy September 22, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, General, Writing.
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Been blog-absent for some time now, sorry. Finishing up a new book that y’all can watch this space for in a few weeks – not the new Wagstaff novel, but the first entry in a NEW series, this one a young adult scifi adventure tale that I’m sure adults can enjoy as well – and I’ve also devoted much time to work, an interesting investment exercise, and sports sports sports.

But in the meantime, a tale I’m inspired by today’s events to tell.

About a week ago while rummaging through yet another thrift store, I came across a pristine jet black 100% cashmere sport coat which I took as a sign from God to buy since it fit me PERFECTLY. The price tag was a tad steep for the thrift store universe since it had a Dior label, but between knowing the money would go to charity and a surprise $25 refund from my eye doctor the very same day, I figured I could simply average it with the other 100% cashmere blazer I found in a thrift store some months ago for a mere $3 and call it a day.

So today, I’m out running some errands and figure that I may as well hit the Goodwill to see what’s turned up in the book bin mostly, and lo and behold… another beautiful jet black blazer, only this time, 100% camels hair. I got a gray and a navy blue camels hair jacket, why not another black one? Evan-Piccone for Macy’s, too, a decent make. And this one was tagged at only ten bucks AND it was the discount color of the week making it only FIVE BUCKS!!!! This thing new would have been at least $150 or more.

BUT IT WAS A SIZE AND A HALF TOO BIG.

A 43 large, as it turned out. If I was 2 inches taller and 15 pounds heavier I might have gotten away with it, but that wasn’t happening. I’m a 40 regular and can get away with a 39, but that’s about it.

What a bummer. It deeply hurt me to have to put such an amazing bargain back on the rack even when I’ve already got a nice black jacket.

Actually, I have three. One is regular wool, and the other a velvety cotton number that I like to think of as my Dracula-as-pimp jacket. But the camels hair would have been a nice addition to the upper-end of the Wagstaff wardrobe.

AND the book selection at Goodwill was meager. Bah.

SO MY HEART WAS BROKEN.

Was this payback for my dream the other night where Fred “Rerun” Berry from What’s Happening? followed me to my car and asked me to drive him to Pasadena because there’d be “a few beers in it” for me and I turned him down, breaking HIS heart?

Yes, I really have dreams like that. Either the shrimp marinara for dinner that night, or my own insanity.

So, I’m only batting .500 for nice jackets this September.

But soon…. watch this space…. I think my batting average for novels worth reading will remain at 1.000 with the new YA entry. Stay tuned!

 

 

Another Wonderful Movie Website July 12, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Movies, Writing.
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Go check out Pre-Code.com, a nice site filled with reviews & material on all sorts of pre-production code Hollywood material.

I landed on it while reading about an old Wheeler & Woolsey comedy, Diplomaniacs, which I just sat through.

And as always, they made me appreciate the Marx Brothers even more.

But check out all the material on Pre-Code.com. I might vary in opinion with the reviews, of course, but this guy’s stuff is thorough, detailed and extremely well designed and illustrated. It’s a great place for obscure movie tips.