The Smile Ambassadors Is Now Published!

Go to  to see the book.  Use this download code good for the next 30 days  ZV87U.  Enjoy!


The Smile Ambassadors

Zack and Mack have a new book coming out.  Maureen, in  Malta is formatting the book for us.  Afterwards, it will be available at  Just type in The Smile Ambassadors in the search box.

The story revolves around Zack and Mack, a real, live, two-headed turtle that will be turning eight years old later this year.

Little Constance has lost her turtle, not just any turtle but a very special turtle.  Why does the President get involved?  What about the mysterious phone call from Mr. Moto?  What devious plans has The Potentate hatched?   Follow Zack and Mack in their adventures around the globe.

The novel is some ninety-four thousand words.   It was written as a children’s novel but, it is suitable for all humans. The downloaded Ebook will be free for the first 60 days, after that it will be priced around $2.99.  All that Zack  and Mack ask, is that you leave a kind review at

So, What Does A Two-Headed Turtle Do to Pass The Time?

This is truly one of the questions of the ages.  I am sitting here listening to Machito and His Afro-Cubans belting out some truly tasty mambo music and contemplating this question.  Indeed, what do two-headed turtles do in their spare time?

 Zack and Mack have plenty of time these days.  They aren’t on the road yet.  That will happen in a few weeks.  That routine they have down pat.  But these days, the lazy days of winter, are filled with inactivity for a turtle.  Not that there is a lot of activity to begin with.

The boys like to spend most of their day sitting atop the bricks that I have installed in their tank.  They stretch out their legs to gather the heat from the lamp above.  A turtle, like any reptile, needs warmth to aide digestion as well as perform other bodily functions.  The hot sun keeps disease away.  It also helps them covert vitamin A into vitamin D.  Which is an essential building block for young healthy turtles.  It’s good for the older ones, too.

So, what do Zack and Mack like to do all day?  They bask, as I wrote above.  They also like to sit at the bottom of the tank and watch themselves.  They will do that for hours on end.  They will swim around and return to watch themselves.  They also like to play with the various heaters, upending them and creating a commotion in the tank.  I don’t blame them for that.  It’s something to do.  I understand.

But what do they really, really, like to do?  Watch us.  Yup.  Zack and Mack will sit there facing the front door and watch us with all intensity as we go about our daily chores.  You see, during the winter, we are off the road.  We are working down in our barn most days, getting ready for the next season.  

They boys will position themselves so they can keep track of al the comings and goings through the door.  They also have a good vantage point to watch their mother cook meals.   They never knew their birth mother, so my wife had been their mother for all practical purposes.  Of course, that means I have been their father.

When Zack and Mack smell chicken cooking they get excited, because they know that they will be feasting on that juicy white meat later.  We always save some tender bits for the boys.  Zack especially loves him some chicken.  Mack tends to hold out for the shrimp.

Ah, to be a turtle!


Zack and Mack’s Second Book

The first book, The Smile Ambassadors, has been shipped off to get properly formatted for ebook publication.  The second book is currently being written.  It is titled The Smile Thief.  Currently I am writing about events that occur in the Jammu-Kashmir area of Central Asia.  To facilitate the writing, I often turn to music.  In this case, the music of the Gilgit region of what is now considered Northern Pakistan.  It used to be considered a Princely State loosely associated with India when under British Rule.  When India and Pakistan split, there was a war for control of that region.  It depends on how one looks at it in terms of winners and losers, but in the end, Pakistan controls a large potion of the region.

So what about the fascination with Central Asia?  The area becomes the scene of a plot point in the second book.  A quite study of the area and its customs as well as its music, helps an author develop a flavor for a part of the world that he or she may not have experienced.  Research is always good when writing a story.  Even if the story is fiction, research definitely helps the narrative flow.

I have found many music blogs out there that cater to the world music listener.  Stuff that is not available in America, or even Amazon dot com.  Image

Here in the Gold Country…

Sitting here in the Gold Country of Northern California going through the proofing of the first book featuring the adventures of Zack and Mack, our two-headed turtle.

The boys are about five minutes away, sitting in their tank, enjoying the day as their “dad” slaves away at the keyboard.  They like to spend their day basking in the warm light.  Tomorrow we will probably go for a walk.  What?!  You don’t walk your turtle?  Turtles like to get out and about and roam the countryside.  Terrapins like to sniff the flowers, paw for bugs and do turtle things.  If you do take your turtle out for a walk, remember to never, ever, leave them alone.  Birds can be a problem, as well as errant bobcats around these parts.  The main problem is, the little guys tend to walk away.  It’s really hard to find a lost turtle.  Readers of Zack and Mack’s upcoming book, The Smile Ambassadors, can attest to that fact.

More in a moment…