Category Archives: FREE

Celebrate the launch of Vision 111

Bent Banana Books is offering the third installment of Jane Sharp’s Vision III psychic mysteries free for five days. Flight of the Reluctant Psychic is free from the Kindle store from December 10 to December 15.
Mark your diary or return to the  website below  regularly, click on the Amazon link of any book in our gallery to see if one of summer holiday promotions is available on it.

If you have an Amazon account in the UK or US, you will soon find the promotion of Vision II Return of the Reluctant Psychic.
From December 10-16, US Amazon customers will be able to buy Vision II Return of the Reluctant Psychic for $.99c.
The free copy of Vision III should be available in most Amazon markets, so check the price at the side of the book.

For UK Amazon customers, Vision II Return of the Reluctant Psychic will be on sale for £.99  from December17-23.

UK and US should check the £.99 $.99c promotion of Iraqi Icicle.

Please write a review if you are able after buying a BBB.

The UK and US £.99 $.99c promotions of Vision I The Reluctant Psychic are in January for readers who can wait that long to have the three volumes.

And now for our song

Good Vision means I can see clearly…

Lazarus Syndrome inspires comic short story

Return from the dead: read a fictional short story about a true-life medical condition

Belinda Janz
DEAR Aunty Jo,
This last fortnight has been such an emotional rollercoaster ride that I have decided to write this letter as we can hardly believe it. Really, it’s too much to relay to the Captain of your ship.
As you know now, Mum passed away Monday two weeks ago while visiting her doctor.

She had been saying for some months she felt it was time to move on and I had taken to passing off her feelings as just old-age thoughts. Mum had been so well for so long that it seemed strange that she should even think she was about to die. Initially, I looked for signs and asked her doctor if there was anything I had not been told about but the doctor only supported my idea that, the older you get, it is natural to think that any day you could die.

At 68-years-old Mum was still well enough to live here at home. She moved into rooms downstairs without any fuss after Dad passed away last year saying she wanted her space and it was her time now; after all, if I wanted her, she was only a walk down the stairs away. Nothing had changed with her daily routines or her pace except her new blood pressure medicines. The specialists assured us this was not the cause of Mum’s sudden death but merely that her heart had given out with age.
We tried to contact you almost straight away even though we knew you were away on the last part of your around-the-world cruise. It wasn’t till Wednesday morning that we were able to speak to the Captain and have the message passed on. At that point the family had decided to have the funeral last Friday knowing that you most likely would not be able to make it.
Allison said she would go in to dress Mum for the burial Wednesday afternoon and there was to be a private viewing after this. I wasn’t sure about the choice of coffin. Both Allison and Tom insisted we should look at environmentally friendly choices in cardboard.

I initially laughed out loud at the very thought that was conjured up in my mind. When Tom produced a booklet on some styles and designs, I have to say, I was surprised at how they looked just like regular wooden coffins in the photos. I wasn’t into the weird designs but we laughed at the thought of Mum being buried in a present style box that looked like an oversized box of chocolates complete with painted bow design on top. Allison told me that Barbara Cartland had been buried in a cardboard coffin and I had said jokingly, ‘What? Was it made out of her books? She hardly wrote anything that I know that wasn’t worth burying!’
Anyway I gave into my older brother and sister’s choice. After all, it was lined inside with a blue padding and looked presentable enough. I figured Mum wasn’t ever fussy about spending unnecessary money on things.
So Wednesday, after a long day at work, I drove to the funeral home and met up with the rest of the family for the viewing. Uncle Ted and Aunty Jean, on Dad’s side, were also there as they had remained close to Mum after Dad had died. I don’t know how well you know Uncle Ted, but it was no surprise to us kids when, after the viewing, Uncle Ted suddenly produced an Esky from somewhere and announced, ‘Time for a drink! In honour of your mother and a good woman let’s all have a drink to celebrate her good life.’
As he was saying this, he produced shot glasses out of his pockets. He handed us a glass each and then pulled from the Esky several cocktail shakers sitting in ice. With a shake and flick he poured us each a dark amber coloured drink.
‘Ted what on earth is this?’ asked Aunty Jean, as she cautiously sniffed the glass.
‘It’s called a Closed Casket and how appropriate I thought for today. You know how Ann liked a nip of rum every now and then and I think now is an ‘every now and then’ type moment. She would see the funny side to it – you know Closed Casket – get it?’ Uncle Ted poured himself a second oblivious to us all standing there hesitantly holding the cold drink and wondering if here and now was the time for such frivolity. We did drink it though and I was surprised how nice it tasted but then felt guilty with feeling pleasure at such a time. Uncle Ted had begun pouring us all another drink when suddenly the lid of the casket flew off landing with a dull thud to the floor.
Startled, we all turned to see Mum struggling to try and sit up. I bet I wasn’t the only one who wondered what we had just drunk. Aunty Jean screamed so loud the funeral home attendant came in and was just as bewildered as we were to what was going on. By this time Aunty Jean had slumped to the floor dropping her glass which snapped us out of what seemed like a slow moving dream. We didn’t know where to go first – to Aunty Jean or to Mum but it seems we all hung back in shock more than anything until Mum snapped at us to get her out of this box. She proceeded to continue to yell even as the funeral home attendant assisted her into a chair before saying he was going to call for a doctor.
It was later explained to us by the doctor on Wednesday night at the hospital, that Mum appeared to have experienced what is known as Lazarus Syndrome – something bought on by the attempted resuscitation after she had passed away at the doctor’s surgery. Lazarus Syndrome is a rare condition where the heart rate and breathing drop below measurable levels before returning to normal. It is understood that a spontaneous return of circulation happens after attempts to resuscitate fail with times varying with each case.
In all the kerfuffle we didn’t even think to try and contact you to tell you what had happened.
The doctor said he was going to keep Mum in overnight much to her disgust. It seems she was also expressing disgust with the choice of casket or was it just that ‘we had tried to bury her alive’ as that also seemed to be a part of her angry words whenever we tried to speak to her.
Mum was only home a little over a day when, in the early hours of Friday morning, I awoke to her yelling from below. I went downstairs to find her doubled over on the floor and appearing to be unconscious. She was clutching at her chest with one hand and I wondered if she had had a heart attack and ran back upstairs to ring for the ambulance. I then rang Allison and Tom and they all seemed to arrive at the same time. I’d left the front door open so that I could stay with Mum and had her head resting on a pillow and a blanket over her as they all filed in downstairs one after the other.
The ambulance officers told us they were sorry to say that Mum had passed away and they offered to contact the doctor for confirmation and the necessary procedures that needed to be followed up on.
Allison looked at me, then at Tom, and we all looked back at Mum lying in a peaceful form on the floor now.
‘Are you sure? I asked, explaining what had just happened over the week.
‘Yes without a pulse after all this time we are sure, sir. The doctor will confirm it all with you.’
So off Mum went back to the same funeral home but this time we chose a wooden casket and lined it with pink so that it didn’t resemble the last one in any way. Then around the time when her first funeral had been set for on the Friday morning, Mum again awakens from this phenomenon which I can’t say I have heard of till now. Can you believe it, Aunty Jo? I was beginning to think Mum had more than one life like a cat! Again she shocked the staff at the funeral home by walking out telling them that they were all in the plot to get rid of her.
I got the call from the home and found Mum walking along the side of the road. In the car I tried to explain to Mum what the doctor had tried to tell us but Mum would have no part of it. She said she was only getting a lift with me so she could go home and ring the police and report us all for what she thought was a plot to bury her alive. Mum seemed to have become quite confused and suddenly very old with all the dying and rising up again that had been going on.
Mum stopped eating over the weekend and spent most of the time in bed either asleep or staring at the ceiling. I was really worried that she seemed to have lost it and wasn’t sure if she knew what was going on. She hadn’t talked to any of us since we had got home Friday afternoon. Uncle Ted tried to offer her a nip of rum telling it would be all right but she just lay on the bed staring at the ceiling and didn’t respond to his attempts at humour like she used too. In fact, if her eyes weren’t open, I would almost say she had passed away again.
And then she did. Aunty Jean while sponging her down noticed that she had no pulse and called the ambulance and then the doctor. This time the doctor had Mum put into a private room in the hospital while we waited for what we thought would just be a repeat of the last times. We took it in turns to stay with Mum but after the third day the doctor declared Mum had indeed passed on this time and wrote up a Final Decease certificate there and then. The funeral home had already been put on notice but this time, given how things had ended up, it somehow was decided that Mum should be cremated immediately putting an end to it. I’m not sure what was being put an end to and didn’t want Mum being burnt alive and said as much. The doctor assured us that there had never been a case yet where a person had come back to life after being dead three days.
So it is with much sadness I write to tell you about Mum’s passing again but relief I guess that she is finally at rest. I know you will receive this letter when you get home – hardly a welcoming home letter but we just wanted you to know how difficult it has been this last fortnight. Can you believe it – this has happened to about 38 people around the world over the last thirty years? None of us had heard about the others but the doctor assures us it is a recognised medical syndrome and not some witchery or trickery or dare I say ‘spirit’ thing. I don’t believe in ghosts even though I know Mum did and always said she would come back to haunt me to see if I was looking after myself.
Well Aunty Jo, I hope you had a lovely cruise and I still plan to fly down and see you at Christmas if that’s alright. But for now I’ll end off here as I’d best go and check out the house again;
I keep getting the smell of smoke or something burning when I sit around too long, so take care,
Love from Anthony.


Buy it HERE

Autistic boy teaches colorful magic

Enjoy this illsutrated short story from the anthology

Kay Curran
THERE are many ways of experiencing colour! The artist and the poet express the colours around them in amazing ways. Some people see their feelings in colour from the golden joy of a parent when they hold their child for the first time to the red of frustration and tiredness as their special child grows up.
My grandson, who is 6-years-old, going on a hundred, was taught about the meaning of colour for him when he was only 3-years-old. His mother realised he was different, special, and a friend suggested he could be Asperger’s when she heard one of his meltdowns over the phone.
The meltdown comes with a blood curdling sound, very red and frustrated. Not just a tantrum that the average child will throw but different, signalling absolute anxiety, fear or terror of whatever makes his world almost unliveable at the time. It can be something as simple as a decision to walk down the steps that day.
We were fortunate enough to find a very good psychologist who worked wonders with him. However it caused all our families’ bank balances to turn red! You can believe that!
‘Doc’, as he called her, taught him that if he had red thoughts he would have red feelings and he had to learn to turn them into green thoughts and feelings. It was fascinating to see how this came about. One day, he came for his session, and, hardly able to pronounce the words, told Doc that he had white thoughts and feelings. ‘Mmmm, tell me about it,’ was her amazed reply. It was not something you heard at a psychologists’ conference or found in any research books.  He explained patiently that ‘angry, cranky and scared were very red feelings’ and he understood he had to make them green. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there is a different feeling altogether and it is white.’ Well the psychologists of Queensland have learnt something new and colourful.

At home with me one day he announced our dog Dove was very sad. I dismissed it by saying, ‘Oh go and give her a hug.’ Then I heard chattering coming from behind my chair, and there was my little man explaining gently to the dog, ‘Now Dove, your white feelings are coming from your white thoughts and you need to make them green.’ Can you believe it?
It has been, and I am sure will continue to be, a fascinating journey with this young man who has been on this earth a mere six years. Doc calls him her ‘little old Einstein!’ He has now been diagnosed with autism “officially” and like other special children we are given to nurture, he will make his own special mark on the world. We are blessed that he is classified as a “high functioning autistic”. He is able to talk and has a habit of doing so constantly. This can cause the listener to have feelings tingeing on the red! You can believe that!
When he started Prep School last year his grandfather asked him if he liked school, and he replied ‘Of course!’  His thinking was that if you go to school you like it – a green thought or rule he has set up?
He may be a book critic in the making.  Given a Prep book to read he said it was silly as they only changed one word in the whole book. The Year 1 book received a similar critique. The Year 2 book was considered ‘not bad’ but, when they took him back to advanced Year 1, he had comments coming from feelings bordering on the red. He said, ‘This book is rather silly; do you think I am a child?’ spoken politely but definitely.
As part of his therapy he gets to go horse riding each week and I am sure his horse Sugar, has been given the ‘white thoughts’ lecture in his own special gentle green way.
His twin sister has now been diagnosed with Asperger’s but, just to keep the teachers hopping, girls with Asperger’s present differently.  I pray every night for their teachers because their big brother who is 14 months older than the twins is also on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.
I think the difficulties they have, and will continue to have, probably make them even more wonderful. Their proud grandparents spruik about them constantly. Don’t ever ask grandma and granddad about the kids or you could end up with tired ears and red thoughts. You can believe it!
The latest is that when his mother told him the hug he gave her was ‘a real hug’ she was asked, ‘What are the elements of a real hug, Mummy?’ The next day when he was giving granddad his new real big hug I noticed he was also patting him on the back.  I leaned over and quietly asked, ‘Is the patting part of a real hug?’ In his own special way he grinned and answered, ‘Of course!’
He had said a year or so before that he had ‘blue’ thoughts for ‘special circumstances’ and I gather the ‘real hugs’ come under that colour. 
However they are very ‘normal’ children and drive their mum and dad often to ‘red thoughts’ each day.  But at night, when they are asleep you cannot stop smiling at them with loving golden thoughts. Many thanks to God for lending them to us in all their brilliant colours of red, green, white and the occasional blue.

I will use a metaphor or more

On a bright sunny morning, 
Elmore suddenly spoke bravely!

AUTHOR Elmore Leonard is not gunning for metaphors in his witty advice on writing style.

Leonard’s bum rap on this may come from confusing the author’s dicta with another piece of counsel from George Orwell, the Master of the Metaphor.

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print,’’ Orwell wrote. He could have saved himself a stack of words by saying never use a cliché.

Editor Scott Burt says Canadian writer Tom Gallant, author of The Lord God Bird, was saying he had gone through his book in advance of a radio interview and found no metaphors and only one simile.  HERE

I suspect Gallant was being facetious as most books contain hundreds of metaphors. Almost every invective and profanity is a metaphor.
Here is one line from The Lord God Bird.
They sat in the gentle light of the fire, strangers, but the 

hint of friendship was there.
It has two metaphors “gentle light” and “hint of friendship.” They are the two powerful images of the sentence. Methinks, Mr Gallant makes mischief with his metaphoric comment.
So what is the valuable advice to writers about metaphors? Orwell’s is for a start. Over my years in journalism, I have lost count of the times newspaper editors have “improved” my copy with the insertion of clichés in my intros.
The second is metaphors and especially similes can break the golden rule of “show don’t tell’’.
Kira McFadden has a handy example HERE :
For the record, here are Leonard’s 10 rules:
1 Never open a book with weather
2 Avoid prologues
3 Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”
5 Keep your exclamation points ­under control.
6 Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose”.
7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9 Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
He could have added rule 11 “Every literary rule needs to be broken”.
Today, Friday, 25 January, (US time) is the last free day for the ebook of my novel Iraqi Icicle. You have probably guessed the title is a metaphor.
You can help by downloading and spreading the word across your social networks.
Below are the links you can insert in tweets and posts. Thanks.
UK Amazon
Amazon US, Australia and others
Amazon France
Amazon Germany
Amazon Japan members
Amazon Italy
Amazon Spain
Amazon Canada
Amazon Brazil
All week, Iraqi Icicle has been in the Kindle Top 100 for humor Freebies. Let’s finish with a bang and I will be King of the Read.

CAN you help me achieve 1000+ free downloads of Iraqi Icicle this week through your social media contacts?
I am not begging, though I will if I have to.

The great attribute of my anti-hero Steele Hill is that once he commits to something he is in boots and all.
The world is full of wishy-washy middle managers. Vacillation is at the heart of their powers, as their lack of commitment appeases all sides.
At the heart of the novel Iraqi Icicle is Steele’s full-bodied engagement of a deadly enterprise he is sure will fail.
Thus it is with my decision to give away copies of Iraqi Icicle for five days. If you have not read my previous post on The Whole World Loves Freedom, please do so. After this join me on my Quixotic and Dulcinean quest.
Please contact your social media contacts to achieve this noble if doomed quest.
Here are the tweets for US, UK Australian and French account holders at Amazon.
US Amazon customers DOWNLOAD FREE TODAY Controversial comic thriller IRAQI ICICLE
UK Amazon customers DOWNLOAD FREE TODAY Controversial comic thriller IRAQI ICICLE
AUSTRALIAN Amazon customers FREE TODAY Controversial comic thriller IRAQI ICICLE
Amazon France members Gratuit aujourd’hui Controversial comic thriller IRAQI ICICLE
You can re-post my fun GoodReads blog for more on Amazon estores. My paperback is out Saturday.
BTW, I am at 150 downloads.
Thanks and cheers Bernie.

The whole world loves freedom

Handmade notebooks from  Libre Livre

I TRY not to trouble myself unduly with matters of commerce.
For five days next week, I am giving away my enovel Iraqi Icicle. I do this not because I think it makes a lot of commercial sense but because others tell me it does.
It seems the Amazon algorithms will discover me this way.

I HAVE a theory that in a thousand years’ time, a new set of gods will live on Mt Algorithm. Amazon will be the god of Books. Google will be the god of Discovery. PayPal will be the god of Commerce.

PayPal has proven a great boon for commercial Luddites such as myself. The payments take but a few minutes and the commercial records are somewhere on the internet.
I have spent about $5000 through PayPal. That I am a commercial publisher and have received not one cent into my PayPal account is a bit of a worry. But not too much.
One day, I will get around to sticking an estore on my website. Watch the cents roll in then!
In the meantime, I am content to give away my novel for a week. No paperwork there.
The print version of Iraqi Icicle will be unleashed on the world on January 26.
Here is the blurb to show you just what a fantastic novel it is. At the very least, it shows my editor Eoin O’Brien can write a great blurb.
A dead actress, a dead gambler, a dead professor, a dead fisherman …
With murder following his every step, determined under-achiever Steele Hill is tangled in layers of intrigue and deviousness.
Pulled from his cosy world of the racetrack, the rock-music pub and the gambling den, everybody the wise-cracking Hill meets is in danger, as he is sucked into the undertow of forces beyond his understanding. One ally is a reclusive teenage maths whiz, channeling Hendrix, and tapping into military software and magic mushrooms.
The fix is in and the bodies are piling up.
Leaping off the shoulders of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Iraqi Icicle is a wild and hilarious ride through the dark and murky worlds of gambling, drugs, politics and rock’n’roll.  
The comparison with Catch-22 was my idea. As you know I am a humble style of fella. I asked Eoin if it was not too much and he said we could scale it down later. Eoin left it in so it must be true.

The paperback is priced at US$14.99 plus shipping and is available from Amazon and book stores, if you ask for it. (Please do.) Amazon will not make it available for libraries because I refused to surrender the Bent Banana Books ISBN. As always, the fabulous Maria from Thorpe-Bowker Australia got that ISBN for me. I was not giving it up.

I am not sure why Amazon will only deliver to libraries under its own ISBN. It is probably a commercial thingo and as you know I do not worry unduly about commerce

Iraqi Icicle is about 380 pages of near-perfect prose and $14.99 seems a fair price. For the technically minded, it is set in an 11-pt font. If I had put it in 12-pt and created two-page chapters as some of the best sellers do, that sucker would have been 500+ pages and a real bargain at $14.99.
The eBook comes in at 406 pages and it’s free. Now that is a bargain! I should make a killing from that. Just not sure how.
To obtain, your free copy during Jan 21-25, go to your local Amazon estore and download. If your country, such as Australia, has not got an estore, I think you can download free from Amazon US. But again that is a commercial affair, so I would not completely take my word for it. Worth a try but.

The US link is HERE
And HERE is the UK site

“Iraqi Icicle 2 nd edition  (48の検索結果をすべて見る)


Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition Bernie Dowling (Kindle版 – 2012/12/17)

購入:¥ 411


(The Japanese will so get the rock-music references in Iraqi Icicle. That is not a joke; they will.)

I could not find my eBook on Amazon India.
They tell me Iraqi Icicle might struggle in India because they do not get hard-boiled detective yarns. It seems they are into the ideology of “anyone can make it”. Goddamn Bollywood – it should be Mullywood, anyway – they need Martin Scorcese over there making films.
Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition

Voir une image plus grande (avec un zoom)

Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition [Format Kindle]

Bernie Dowling  

(The French will love Iraqi Icicle. It would not surprise to see them start making the movie next week No-one’s ‘jáime-d it yet but it is only a matter of time).

No Curtirs in Brazil for Iraqi Icicle, yet, but I am sure Olympic Games visitors will be clutching a paperback to read during the boring bits of the synchronized swimming.

Fellow Aussie author Ryle Winn says his books sell well in Germany perhaps because so many Germans enjoy the  backpacking experience in Oz. 

Inspector Rex is an Austrian production but I might put a police dog, a german shepherd named Rex, in the sequel to Iraqi Icicle.

I have never been to Canada but the people seem warm and the climate cold. Bit like Iraqi Icicle – cool title, hot novel.

Lots of people of Italian origin are in Australia and some of my important supporting characters are Italians. I love Amazon Italy because they call me the Autore which sounds so much sexier than the English translation.

Amazon Spain is running the American reviews of Iraqi Icicle which is nice of them.

“iraqi icicle 2 nd edition  (查看所有 27 个结果)


Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq, Including: Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion, Iraqi Special Operations Forces, 1st Division (Iraq), 2nd Hephaestus Books Hephaestus Books (2011-09出版)


购《波莉安娜》再优惠6元 查看详细资料


“Me old China (plate)” is a great Aussie expression for “mate’’. I am afraid me old Amazon China has let me down. Iraqi Icicle is described as a book of

Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq.”

That’s not quite a reliable synopsis of my novel and I will see if I can have that fixed.

Update on China and India
Amazon is impressive in answering queries within 24 hours when you can spend that long on a telephone call to an Australian enterprise. The big A tells me the Indian and Chinese operations do not have their on-line operations sorted yet. Citizens of both countries can buy my paperback which must be a great relief for them and certainly is for me.

All right, go to any of those countries where you have an Amazon account and download the eBook Iraqi Icicle for free January 21-25. If it is China, do tell us what the book on Iraqi military units is like.


Today’s video explains why my forebears emigrated from County Cork, Ireland, and I am therefore trying to flog books from Australia instead of living the pleasant life of the gentleman Irish farmer.