Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amazon's KDP Select Program Attempts to Squeeze Out Competition

For those authors considering Amazon's KDP Select program, this is their response to my question about NOOK and iPad versions.

"When you choose KDP Select for a book, you’re committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP. During the period of your book’s enrollment in KDP Select, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. Similarly, you cannot offer a sample or teaser on any platforms. If you are an author or publisher you'll have the remove the book from sale from other sales channels to participate in the KDP select program."

Thus, Amazon confirms their intent is to squeeze out their competition. If you're an author or publisher my advice would be to steer clear of the KDP offer and hope Amazon doesn't insist in the future that you ONLY publish through them. I suspect, however, this is their ultimate goal. EJ

This public service publishing announcement brought to you by eBook Publishing, your low-cost alternative to publishing success.

Friday, November 11, 2011

His Highway

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

Listen to His Highway - He Said

Years ago an old man approached Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the famous 19th-century poet and artist and showed him some paintings. He asked, "What do you think, Mr. Rossetti?"

Rossetti looked them over carefully. After the first few, he knew they were worthless, showing not the least hint of artistic talent. Disappointed, the old man apologized for wasting Rossetti's time. Turning, the old man began walking away. He'd only taken a few steps when he rushed back, showing Rossetti a second batch of paintings. Immediately the famous artist grew excited.

"These, now, these are good. This artist shows great potential. With enough encouragement, perseverance, and practice I expect he might enjoy a great future as a renowned painter." Rossetti, noticing the old man's pensive expression, asked, "Whose are these? Your son's?"

"No," said the old man sadly. "They're mine from... forty years ago. If only I had heard such praise then, but you see, I became discouraged and quit."

I thought of that story last week as I hiked the Kitchen Mesa trail at the Ghost Ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first part of the trail is easy enough; a slow incline leading into a canyon that abuts sheer rock faces. But the longer I walked and the closer I came to the end of the trail, the more certain I became that I was on a fool's journey. Ahead and on both sides, the canyon walls towered above me. From my perspective the only way up to the top of the mesa was to scale the ragged face. And yet, the hiking guide assured me I would reach the top if only I continued walking.

Isn't this the story of our life's journey with God? What seems impossible, isn't. What appears to be a dead end, is only a new way up and over.

God delights in dead ends, closed doors, and desperate people depending upon Him. When we reach our own flooded Jordan River, consume our last morsel of bread, and exhale our final breath, that's God's cue to intervene.

The prophet Isaiah noted the grandeur of God's methods. Who but God would suggest that His only Son be offered as a sacrifice for my sins? Certainly not me. We view our problems from ground level. God sees our potential from on high. Like Rossetti's old friend, God knows our talent blossoms when our spirits are lifted through His encouraging words.

The trail almost ended at the base of the cliff...but not quite. The path curved to my left, crossed a gully, and started up a steep rise littered with loose stones and fine dust. I crouched to keep from sliding back down. A half-hour later I found myself staring up into a narrow cleft in the rocks. Too steep to climb and facing serious injury if I fell, I assumed once more I'd reached the end.

But I hadn't. At my feet, buried under the rocks, was a rope. I took hold, pulled myself up, scampered over the edge and turned, looking down upon the valley and back on the path I'd traveled.

I suppose one day when I take my breath, I will once more scamper up and look back over my life's journey and see the ways God worked in my life; see His ways opening doors at the last possible moment.

Facing tough times? Don't give up. Look up instead.

NOTE: In my next posting I will address Social Media Marketing through the eyes of Christ. If you have good or bad experiences publicizing your book or service via Twitter blogs or Facebook drop me an email at:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bahama Breeze

Bahama Breeze
By Eddie Jones

"Success begins at the bottom." - Toilet paper salesman Sonny Cay

ANNA FORTUNE is a government intelligence analyst who longs for tropical sunsets, early morning beach walks, and a man bold enough to steal her heart.

SONNY CAY is a large, lumbering toilet paper salesman with a terminal disease, unpaid medical bills and the haunting memory of a girl he lost years ago.

She knows the location of terrorist cells, corrupt politicians and that no man can be trusted to keep his word, wedding date or promise to love forever.

He knows life is for the taking, love for the making and both end all too soon.

So when Anna is ordered to protect a presidential candidate polling in the single digits on a fund-raising junket in the Bahamas, both get a second chance at true love.

He came because he loved her, because all those years ago, she'd stirred him the way no woman ever had. She was his Mt. Everest, the pinnacle of his small world. His head told him to run; his heart made him stay. Now only the gale force winds of a "Bahama Breeze" can cool the white-hot embers of old flames erupting.

When you have nothing left to lose, dying for the one you love is easy.

Print $14.95 Buy Now Kindle eBook $5.99 Buy Now NOOK eBook $5.99 Buy Now

View the book trailer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 – He SaidSo do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34 NASV

Listen to September 11, 2001 – He Said

A little before 9 AM on September 11, 2001, I logged onto the server and began updating one of the IBM websites. For almost a year I had worked remotely from my home with just my dog as co-worker company. That morning, with my RealAudio program streaming live Calypso music, I marveled at the fact that I could listen to a radio station based out of the U.S. Virgin Islands while dressed in shorts and a surf shirt. I gave no thought for tomorrow. Why should I? Life was good.

But then some days, life is not so good.

God knows the weight of tomorrow and the worry it brings. Only His shoulders are broad enough to carry the load of sorry and the storehouse of blessings the day following this brings. Had I known that September 11, 2001 would usher in such a decade of fear, hatred, and bigotry, I might have met that Tuesday with the creased brow of a worried frown.

But I didn’t. I coded away, ignorant of the airplane descending toward the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Christ warns us to refrain from worry. Not that we shouldn’t plan for our future, prepare for success, and practice excellence in all we do. But to worry about the future is to place ourselves on God’s throne and falsely assume we have dominion over our lives. We do not. We are mortals; flawed and foolish in our understanding of His Truth. This is the message of the Gospel and the history of man.

Shortly after 9 AM on September 11, 2001, Brownine Brown announced from St. Thomas that a plane had crashed into a building in New York. I continued coding. Minutes later my IBM Sametime chat box began to blink with co-workers asking if I’d heard the news. For a few minutes I watched the television alone in my living room, unsure if I should go back to my desk.

I returned to work. Nothing I could do from Raleigh, I reasoned, except pray for the people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Tomorrow would arrive and someone, somewhere would expect those web pages to be built. Disasters strike but deadlines scream for our attention. There is never enough time to meet the demands of tomorrow—only moments of reflection for those who have died, suffered loss, and survived the tragedies of yesterday.

On this day, let us take time to remember, forgive, and pray for our enemies. Tomorrow will care for itself. It always does.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Teaser chapters of Captain LaFoote leave me wanting more!"

If the boss' desk is clean, it's a good bet the assistant is doing his/her job.

Do not say to your neighbor, Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, When you have it with you. - Proverbs 3:28

Usually a person with short views does not get along with a person who takes the long view. One will be optimistic, the other pessimistic. (One's present circumstances can sour your view of tomorrow.) A person peering into the future should prepare for both good and bad, but expect the best. This is the hope of mankind. The person who lives in the present enjoys life more, but may drift into difficulties. Living in the past is best left to historians. Take the long view. It is difficult but important.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Words to the Wise

The Curse of Captain LaFoote is the perfect fix for some swashbuckling fun!

Ask questions, listen intently and show concern. Eventually you will discover the heart of the problem: and the heart of the person with the problem.

Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. Proverbs 11:29 (NIV)

Bill Cosby's advice on parenting - When your fifteen-year-old son speaks, he often says one of two things: "Okay," which, as we know, means "I haven't killed anyone," or "No problem." "No problem" is my son's philosophy of life.

Given that we're heirs with Christ and adopted into the family of God, should it not be ours too? - EJ

Monday, August 22, 2011

Words to the Wise

The Curse of Captain LaFoote has been endorsed by Good Reads.

When you like your work, every day is a holiday. - Frank Tyger.

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. - Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NIV)

Principles of Sound Business

1. Be prompt: in attendance, payments, fulfillment of obligations and delivery of promises.
2. Do a full day’s work.
3. Invest in yourself. Read books, periodicals and articles within and on your industry. Learn new skills. Study the business in which you are engaged.
4. Make yourself acceptable; keep clean. Refrain from vulgarity and vices.
5. Make yourself available for new challenges.
6. Expect change and embrace it.
7. Above all take time for your family, friends and self. God demands it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Words to the Wise

Pirate Novel Wins First Place in the 2011 Selah Award for Young Adult Fiction
Teen / Tween & Middle Grade novel

If you drowned and the sea spit you out, thrusting you back into an age of pirates, buried treasure and beauty beyond belief… would you stay?

Like all writers, I ponder, write, edit and finally come up with a paragraph which prompts the reader to yawn and fall asleep.

Lord, lead me not into temptation. I can find it just fine.

Death and Destruction are never satisfied. Neither are the eyes of man. Proverbs 27:20

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Words to the Wise

Too many of us wait to do the perfect thing. The result? We do too little.

Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready. After that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27

An attractive widow asked a lawyer for advice on the investment of a small amount of money. He told her to go to an expensive store and buy clothes with the money.

She did as suggested and within a year married a wealthy man. She now lives happily and has everything she wants.

Moral of the story? Invest more in yourself and less in some company's promise of returns. Read, improve, travel and enlarge your horizons. You control more of your destiny than you think.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Words to the Wise

For a man to expect a woman to be excited over his cook is expecting too much.

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 25:24 (NIV)

After a long day on the course, the dejected husband turned to his wife and said, "You're the worst caddie in the world."

She replied: "No. I don't think so. That would be too much of a coincidence."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Words to the Wise

When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you're coming. - Pooh

If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. - Ecclesiastes 10:9-11

In the War of 1812, the American general William Winder had a four-to-one troop advantage over the British, but he led his army to defeat and was taken prisoner. Realizing the general's great incompetence, the British let him go. The British later attacked our nation's capitol and burned it. Again, Winder led the Americans to defeat. Find leaders who can win and give them the resources to succeed. Light a fire under those lacking skill, ability and wisdom.

He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of PassionHe Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion by Cindy Sproles & Eddie Jones

Print version $9.95

Kindle eBook $2.99

How Newlyweds, Couples and Singles Can Draw Closer to God Through Daily Devotions

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Words to the Wise

I read the first chapter of The Curse of Captain LaFoote to a group of middle schoolers, and they begged me to continue!

Nobody gets to run the mill by doing run-of-the-mill work. Thomas J. Frye

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

  • Colonel Sanders was "too old" to start a business.

  • The Wright brothers knew that no one had ever flown.

  • Florence Chadwick knew that others had died trying to swim the English Channel.

  • Henry Ford faced a "lack of demand" for his automobiles.

  • David was too young, untested and poorly equiped to face Goliath.

    What's your excuse?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Words to the Wise

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats. - Iris Murdoch

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. - Proverbs 16:24

It is the first wrong steps that count. How easy it is to go from bad to worse when once we have started upon a downward course. - Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Words to the Wise

Money can't buy happiness, but the lack of money seems to cause a lot of misery. - William Feather

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. - Proverbs 3:9 (NIV)

When George Fredrick Handle was on the brink of financial ruin, he isolated himself for twenty-one days and didn't emerge until he had completed The Messiah. When times are tough remember: you are one idea away from abundance.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Words to the Wise

Sometimes the impulse to tell the truth is almost irresistible. - William Feather

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Don't worry about your failures. Even a horse, though he has four feet, occasionally stumbles.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Been to Sheol and Back

Thanks to all who prayed for my safe delivery from the Newark Airport. Praise God, He rescued me from the abyss crammed with angry souls wandering about the Continental Concourse in search of any flight and airline that actually flies airplanes. If interested, you can have my free inflight drink voucher on Continental Airlines (whose motto is, "Work hard. Fly right: Just Not Right Now!") I don't need it. Tell me where to mail the coupon. Send your request to:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Waiting in Baggage Claim - He Said

You answer us in righteousness, with awe-inspiring works, God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas; - Psalm 65:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The journey of a thousand miles often ends without underwear, deodorant, and toothpaste. Today I'm wearing a woman's blouse. Last night I washed my boxers and socks in the bathroom sink and hung them up to dry. This morning, as a favor to herself, a friend loaned me her toothbrush. The airline has promised to deliver my luggage this evening but this is also the carrier whose motto is: "Soaring to new heights on a wing and a prayer and not much else." If God relied upon the airlines to transport the Body of Christ to heaven, the Church would arrive smelly, surly, and clutching a six dollar food voucher for a ten dollar sandwich.

Praise God He has promised our safe arrival to His heavenly throne. He is our hope and salvation and His long-distance routes span seas and heavens. But what of those we love and leave behind? Will they make their final connection or remain stranded in a terminal state of frustration. All our anxious worrying cannot save those we love, anymore than my fuming could deliver my luggage. All we can do is ask and rest in the knowledge that Christ loves those we love with a greater love than we can imagine.

A few minutes ago my luggage arrived. I smell better. I feel better. But I won't relax until I'm home with family and friends. When faced with a delay in the concourse of life take time to pray for those you miss.Then wait...and wait...and...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Daddy's Day, by Eddie Jones

Reprinted with permission from Hard Aground... Again, by Eddie Jones (Kindle version) (Print version)

We were two days out of Beaufort, North Carolina and some three hundred miles south and east of Cape Hatteras, rollicking along on a wild, lumpy sea on the fringes of a nor'easter that was pausing, not passing as predicted. Despite the low-slung storm clouds that framed the northwestern sky, the wind, waves, and boat were all moving towards the same tropical latitudes, so we weren't concerned with the growing gale - only thankful for the ride and the simple perfection of a self-steering wind vane. We had exhausted our stock of recreational diversions the first day out, so our crew had resorted to bawdy pranks with hot dogs and the Polaroid camera. Pity the poor crew member who slept in the salon.

During his morning watch, our captain had extracted a cheap boom box from behind the settee beside the quarter berth, so when I came on duty at noon I had the cockpit, rain, and radio all to myself. I was hoping for an AM station out of Nassau or Cuba, but what I landed instead was just as foreign - at least by some standards. Almost three hundred miles out to sea, where neither bird nor freighter had been sighted for days, I swerved into the Rush Limbaugh Show and another journey into broadcast excellence. Limbaugh was almost humble that day, speaking of the pride his father had felt when his son "Rusty" had finally achieved national prominence as a talk show host. The afternoon discussion centered on callers sharing their own desire for their father's approval and the importance dads make in the lives of their children.

My father never cared for Limbaugh and he never cared for sailing. Dad was a motorboat man with a special affection for outboards that were in disrepair. To my knowledge, Dad never had an outboard motor that ran for an entire afternoon, but that never stopped him from taking a chance on an overused, under-serviced Johnson. Those hot, windless days we spent on the water watching Dad tinker on his outboard helped to plant within me a love for the sea that not even trash in a carburetor can kill.

When I was eight-years-old I was sure my father was the greatest man alive. He was a tall, lanky fellow with shoulders so broad he could carry me around like a lightweight jacket. On his days off he would take me camping in the Smoky Mountains or haul me down to the coast. He taught me to bait my own hook, and when he thought I was a pretty fair fisherman, he took me to the Pamlico River where I caught twenty-six fish in a single afternoon. It wasn't until many years later that I learned I'd been catching the same tired fish all day as Dad snuck the wounded soldier off the dock and reattached him to my hook. Dad believed you could give a boy a fish and feed him for a day, or teach a boy to fish and keep him occupied for a weekend.

Dad tried hard to make me a fisherman. He'd take me out of school when the spots were running, and we'd share a small tent on Topsail Island with a squadron of mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Early in the morning, as the sun erupted beneath the horizon, we'd cast our lines past the breakers and into a school tearing at the water. That evening I'd haul my sleeping bag onto the pier to nap at the heels of my father. Dad wasn't the best fisherman ever to live, but he sure loved to fish and while I never learned to love fishing the way Dad did, I always loved fishing with him.

Dad laughed a lot back then and was inclined to build anything I wanted out of scrap plywood and two-by-fours. He built a motorboat one summer from a set of plans he found in a Popular Mechanics magazine. Mom kept yelling at him from the upstairs window to clean up the mess, but Dad wasn't easily discouraged, so within a few weeks we had a fine plywood motorboat. In the scheme of life a home-built motorboat is not much of an accomplishment, but when you're eight-years-old and enamored with the strength and wisdom of your father's abilities, it's a big deal. On the day we launched that boat and watched it float off the trailer, I decided my dad was just short of divine. I don't remember much else about the boat except that it developed a case of rot and had to be cut up and hauled off. Of course, by then I was a teenager and Dad wasn't as tall or wise.

He got another motorboat but the outings weren't as much fun. Dad would launch the boat while the rest of us hauled our gear down to the campsite. The outboard always started on the second pull because Dad worked on motors the way Limbaugh works on liberals - it was a passion with him. We'd get a little ways from shore, then throttle up and go roaring off in a puff of smoke. On a good day we'd get a hundred yards away from shore before the motor would quit.

On a bad day, we'd get a mile out.

If it was one of those good, hundred-yard days, my sister and I would jump in with our life jackets and swim back to camp, leaving dad to tinker with an outboard that ran only in the metal barrel out back of our garage. It was during this phase of my youth that I learned to loathe motorboats.

A few years before he died, Dad gave up fishing. Said they didn't bite like they used to. Dad came to like his satellite dish and cable box, and hearing from his boy when I was safely back in port. But I believe that afternoon on our way to the Bahamas, even Dad would have enjoyed fishing with his son one last time.

I was coming off watch and searching the icebox for dinner when the trolling line sang out in that octave that lets you know it's a big one. I closed the lid and ran on deck to help reduce sail and slow the boat. There may be plenty of fish in the ocean, but nobody likes losing one when you're hungry, and we were too thrilled with the prospect of fresh seafood to toy with that fish. We gaffed him and killed him and let the yellowfin tuna soak in lemon while we celebrated our catch with a round of drinks. I can't remember the last time a fish tasted that good. Dad would have loved it.

So here's to Dad and fathers everywhere, both in heaven and on earth, who push us to find our passion and explore the potential that lies within us. Happy Daddy's Day, Dad. I miss you.