About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website

Magic for the Multitudes

When prehistoric men marked cave walls with images of animals and events, were they bragging about their kills or letting others know which four-legged food could be tracked and conquered in the area? Magic. Was this art or information sharing?

Generations later, we’re still using Magic, the media changing: oils and canvas, print and cellulose to encrypted data and electricty. We’re able to share images, thoughts, and information beyond the cave to a much broader range and more quickly, the speed not dependent on how fast a courier can transport paintings or printed works, but how fast and strong the internet connections are.

Magic: making marks that will correspond to the words of plans, pacts, and passions can be shared with succeeding generations. Egyptian heiroglyphics and Babylonian cuneiform tablet remains prove that oral histories are limited. A tangible form has always been needed.

I’m grateful to live in a time where I can share my thoughts and fantasies with people around the world via the ‘Magic’ of the internet. My daughter’s great-great-grandparents were missionaires to an isolated area in South Africa, the first white people in that neighborhood. Generations later, she can communicate, share photos, or even play games with people in that part of the world without having to travel long distances, learn a new language, or risk dengue fever, all with the Magic of the internet and digital translators.

What’s next? It seems we have it all now, save a few magic potions to cure the ever-expanding list of plagues and diseases. A cure for cancer? Let’s hope so. How about a vitamin that takes away the urge for alcohol and drug addiction, a tonic for menopause or mental illness? Scientists and physicians are working on these now.

Two ‘Magics’ on my wish list: a Fountain of Youth elixir and safe method of Time Travel. I’ve already ‘claimed’ both. Check out the Time Travel series THE FAIRIES SAGA. The prequel (a parody of Time Travel fanatics) is part of SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS, Fabulous Freebies Collection #4.

FREE! Sweet Romantic Nights! SEVEN by Seven of The Authors’ Billboard ladies.

Meet James, Leah, and others before they knew the ‘truth’ about time travel in the prequel to The Fairies Saga, LOST: THE TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE THAT STARTED IT ALL. Free as a single or in the Authors’ Billboard box set SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS, Fabulous Freebie Collection Book Four. Available all over the world via Amazon, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and a few more venues. 

Are you a reader, a watcher, or a listener?

The Authors’ Billboard: a great place to find Free & Bargain Books & Box Sets

We all love to be entertained… or to entertain. Some of us wear both sombreros. Before there were books, entertainers – jesters and gladiators of one sort or another – strutted their stuff to elicit reactions. Then folks learned to write. Can you imagine the thrill when someone figured out how to go beyond hash marks for tallying sheaves of grain and used scribbles to create words to share stories and histories?
Coming forward a few millennia, new ways have been developed to entertain us. I still like the written word, but I can’t read and drive, shop, garden, or clean house (ugh) at the same time. Well, I can – sort of – if I ‘listen’ to my book. Audiobooks are cool, but unless you have a fantastic public library that lends them, they’re pricey to buy and only a small percentage of books are recorded.

The solution to reading while driving, washing dishes, pulling weeds, swinging from the trees… whatever… is to enable text-to-speech on your phone, computer, or other smart device. Chrome, Apple, and Amazon all have their own versions of TTS. I couldn’t test Apple’s because I have a PC, but here are two other options.
The Chrome Store has a free app that will read several different formats (Kindle, Google Play, Scribd, Overdrive) to you. The reading pace is adjustable in settings, but the speech is mechanical. I’d have to be desperate or really mad at Amazon to use it.


The other way to go is with Amazon. I think all their Echo and Fire devices are now Alexa enabled. I love my Echo units. I can start ‘reading’ (listening) to a book in the car, walk into the store and continue listening through the wee speakers in my Echo glasses frames, come home and listen to more on the Echo Show, then fall asleep as Alexa continues to read on the Kindle Fire. No eyestrain involved plus all the devices automatically sync to each other. Alexa’s voice is sweet and the rate and manner of speech are great, too. Oh, and she also pauses, skips forward or back, or changes books when you tell her to (no fumbling for a keyboard). Awesome if you missed a passage.
Now, no excuses for not checking out a great read. Go ahead. Put in your earbuds and listen to a book while your sweetie is watching a ball game or you’re hauling kids to karate class. You deserve a break today. Just try and time it right so you’re not at an emotional moment in the story when picking out produce. The other shoppers might wonder if you’re crying at the prices or losing it completely. They won’t know it’s because Claire just left Jamie (again).

NEW RELEASE! Sweet Romantic Nights – A Fabulous Freebie Collection

A great place to start! SWEET ROMANTIC NIGHTS: Seven stories, all sweet, a few are also funny, but all were created with love by @gr8authors from The Authors’ Billboard. Available everywhere for Free. Limited Release, so grab it now.

Humorous Lessons from Home-schooling

Do you recognize any of these Words of Wisdom? Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, these HOME-SCHOOLED lessons are still heard today, a generational gift from ages past. Here are some of the topics and their one or two-sentence lessons.

1. TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. TIME TRAVEL
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. LOGIC.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me”

6. FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. The science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. CONTORTIONISM.
“Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

13. The CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…”

14. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

18. MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception)
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. ROOTS (Ancestry).
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

25. JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

If you’d like more humor, check out these sets, including the latest CUTE BUT CRAZY: UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE. NINE fresh Romantic-Comedies by some of your favorite Authors’ Billboard ladies (including me. Wink, wink).

Hear ye, hear ye: FANTASTIC NEWS!

How to listen to just about any Amazon ebook (even when it’s not on Audible)

How to listen to just about any Amazon ebook (even when it’s not on Audible)
How to listen to just about any Amazon ebook (even when it’s not on Audible)

I have found several ways to listen to an Amazon ebook (that’s not on Audible). I believe the best #FREE way is to listen to your book on an Echo device.

Say, “Alexa, read my book.” That’s it. If you are already reading an ebook, she’ll select that one. ‘Resuming your most recent book, Aye, I am a Fairy.’

If you want to switch stories, say, “Alexa, read my book, One Arctic Summer,” (or whatever title you want). She’ll reply, ‘Getting your book from your Kindle Library.’

Note: my favorite part of listening with this method is I can tell her to go forward or back if I missed something or want to skip forward. ‘Alexa, go back ten seconds’ or ‘Alexa, go forward thirty minutes.’

This method works on my Echo Dot, Echo Show, Kindle Fire, the Alexa app on my phone, and my come-with-me-everywhere buddy, my Echo Owl frames. Oh, and Alexa picks up from where she left off, synching with whichever device I was using. I don’t have to touch anything to get it to start, pause, or stop reading, either. That’s particularly handy when pulling weeds with muddy gloves (wearing Echo Owl sunglasses with built-in speakers) or answering the door when the Echo device is across the room.

Here’s the word direct from Amazon on How to with Kindle Fire

Here’s the word on how to listen to a book on your Fire, right from Amazon.

How to listen to a book on your PC

You can use the free Kindle App on your computer to hear a non-Audible Amazon eBook. 1) Open the Kindle App. It’s free to download if you don’t already have it.

2) Go to Library and search for your book title. Open it. From the Tools Folder, select ‘Start Text-to-Speech’ or use the shortcut Ctrl+T. This way of listening is like hearing a male robot. I don’t like the guy’s voice on the Kindle Text to Speech as well as Alexa’s.

Give it a try!

If you already have the books in your library, give it a try. If not, search ABB Chill Out on Amazon and see loads of The Authors’ Billboard titles. Now you can LISTEN or read!