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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

November 2014

A Reminder for Black Friday

It's Black Friday, and the Black Cat of Katzenhaus Books would like to remind you that we have two bargains on Kindle today. 

The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese is on sale today for $.99, but time is running out on that Countdown deal. The price will increase to $1.99 soon. Order it for someone you know who wants to write a book. http://www.amazon.com/Second-Mouse-Gets-Cheese-ebook/dp/B0076B1TE2/






Better yet, Teddy Takes a Road Trip
is available today for FREE! Order it now for someone you love, or add it to go along with that new Christmas bear


Another Deal for Early Christmas Shoppers

My Second Deal for the Opening of the Christmas Buying Rush

This past summer, I completed my first children’s book, Teddy Takes a Road Trip. It is a story about a lost teddy bear and his adventures as he tries to find his way home. Along the way, he learns an important lesson about what to wish for. The story is based on something that happened in my own family and is illustrated with photographs my husband took on our own travels. The reading level is designed from children from 3 to 7 years.

Because I am not usually known as a children’s author, I am hoping to start building a new audience by offering this book in one of Kindle’s five-day free promotions. Do you know a small child who has a beloved stuffed animal? This happy-ending story will have her clutching that bear from start to finish. The book is currently available for $3.99 at http://www.amazon.com/Teddy-Takes-Road-Carolyn-Schriber-ebook/dp/B00NCCFD28

Starting on Thanksgiving Day, this book will be available for  a once-only free promotion.  it will return to its original list price of $3.99 on Tuesday, December 2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals don’t get any better than “FREE.”

A Deal New Authors Can't Afford to Miss

Announcing a deal you can’t afford to pass up.

I’ll be taking some of the Thanksgiving holiday off, but in case some of you are already in a Christmas-gift-buying mood, I’m leaving a couple of Kindle deals to keep you shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

First comes The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese: How To Avoid the Traps of Self-Publishing. This handbook is based on my own experiences as I made the transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing. By 2010 I had published three books with traditional publishers, and I was well aware of the delays and frustrations that accompanied those ventures.

When I started to consider self-publishing I learned three things:  (1) Self-publishing is quicker—much quicker. (2) Self-publishing gives the author complete control over the content and appearance of the finished book. (3) In most cases, an author makes much more money from a self-published book.

What’s not to love? Well, as in any business, you need to know what you are doing if you expect to be successful. “The Second Mouse” lets the reader in on all the mistakes I made along the way and offers some tips on how to avoid  the pitfalls of the publishing world. The book is currently available at:

On Thanksgiving Day at 8:00 a.m. PST, its price will drop to $.99 for a countdown period through Black Friday.  (Your savings amount to 67%) On  Saturday, Nov. 29 at 8:00 a.m. PDT, the price will increase to $1.99 and remain there for a second countdown period through Cyber Monday. (Your savings amount to 34%) It will return to its original list price of $2.99 on Tuesday, December 2 at 8:00 a.m. PST.

Don't miss out on this one!

Why Does this Chicken Keep Crossing the Road?

Dear Chicken,

I saw you for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  My husband called you a rooster, but I was pretty sure you were just a Rhode Island Red hen. You were puttering around our yard, digging the live bugs out of our fresh flowerbed mulch. I asked you where your home coop was because I knew you didn’t belong in this fenced-in condo community.  Our residents are mostly senior citizens, and they frown on any sort of animal life, except for their own leashed dogs. Cats are not allowed outside, and I know neighbors who nearly have  a heart attack if a mouse  or a water bug crawls under their garage door. I knew you would not be a popular visitor. And I can’t imagine what they would do if they found an egg in their yard.

That day, you took my suggestion and went clucking off toward the fence. I worried about you a little bit. I knew you could get past the fence. It is, after all, only a symbolic fence, with two rails. You probably walked right under it. On the other side of the fence, though, there’s a road, and I knew you were going to cross it. Oh well, I reassured myself, chickens have been crossing roads for a very long time. She’ll know what she’s doing. That was the end of our brief acquaintance. Until this morning!

What were you doing hanging around the Club House? The swimming pool is closed for the season, and even our resident wild duck family (with all their 11 ducklings) left last week for a warmer location. You were close to the road again —(See, I still worry about you!) — but you seemed quite pleased with the chance to investigate our flower beds. You were kicking dry leaves, too, and I know how much fun that can be.

But that’s not the real problem. Has no one told you that Thanksgiving will be here in three more days? It’s the most dangerous day of the year for poultry, as any turkey would tell you. And in this little community, where most houses have only one or two residents, a nice fat chicken like yourself would make an appealing substitute for one of those bigger birds. So please go home! Scurry back across the road and into the woods on your way to your home coop. I don’t want you to end up on a platter.



Soup is Better Than Lemonade

You've probably heard the old adage about making lemonade when life hands you a lemon.I admit it has its points, but for me, when I hit a rainy day, I want to make soup.

It's been raining here ever since we had breakfast and is showing no signs of letting up. The little ditch behind our house has turned into Schriber Creek, and the neighbor's soccor ball that landed in our yard yesterday is getting ready to float away. It's cold and damp, and the only thing I want to do this afternoon is make a pot of soup. 

Luckily, the fridge is full of odds and ends--half a bag of mixed vegetables left over from a recipe that turns canned biscuits into little chicken pot pies; a cup or so of diced ham, left over from a cobb salad; half an onion and some minced garlic from last night's been stroganoff recipe. I also have on hand a bag of frozen vegetable soup mix (lots of veggies including potatoes and turnips), a good supply of chicken broth, and some cans of stuff in the pantry.  

There isn't a recipe for this sort of day. It calls for invention. So I'll start with some water and the soup mix, which comes with its own seasonings. Then into the pot will go all the left-overs, along with about a quart of chicken broth. Cans? Maybe some white beans and diced tomatoes. And after a while, a handful of barley to add some starch and pull the broth together. Add that to a couple of other leftovers -- a heel of a French baguette and a half-opened bottle of this week's treasure, the first wine from the 2014 French harvest -- Beaujolais Nouveau.  Then let it rain!