Packrat’s Book Give-Away

I’m a disorganized writer. My den, and especially my book shelves, is a mess. When my publisher sends me free author’s copies of my books and/or I order books for gifts, reviewers and book signings, I often order more copies without checking to see how many I already have. Extra copies are everywhere.

Here’s my solution. The following is a list of extra copies of some of the books I’ve written. All of them are available on Amazon, Smashwords and OmniLit so you can check them out. If you decide you would like a copy mailed to you (continental U.S.), you can have one at no charge. Limit is one per person on a first-come, first served basis.

With the exception of the last item on the list, all of these are from Vanilla Heart Publishing.

If you would like a copy, send me an e-mail with the title of the book you want, your mailing address and whether or not you want the copy signed. If you have a second or third choice, include those titles in case somebody else gets to your first choice before you do.

Send the e-mails to me at malcolmrcampbell [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Offer expires May 30, 2014

Titles and Copies Available

  • Emily’s Stories (three short stories set in north Florida) – 1 copy
  • The Seeker (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 4 copies
  • The Sailor (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 3 copies
  • Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire (comedy/mystery, original cover) – 2 copies
  • The Sun Singer (fantasy) – 3 copies
  • The Sun Singer (fantasy, iUniverse edition; same as VHP edition except that it blurs the real locations used in the story) – 2 copies

If you find anything that sounds like your cup of tea, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. There’s no obligation, but if you love it, an Amazon review would be nice.





Eagle Scout Goes to Hell

Olongapo as it was then

Everyone aboard every Navy ship that cruised between California and Vietnam in the late 1960s knew about liberty in Olongapo, Republic of the Philippines. The city stood just outside the main gate of the U. S. Naval base at Subic Bay, a regular port of call for Western Pacific (WESTPAC) ships.

Old salts called the town “hell” and promised Seaman Recruits coming on board the carrier USS Ranger out of bootcamp that anyone leaving the main gate of the base on liberty would be corrupted immediately by booze, drugs, girls, gambling and crime. They called the drainage ditch separating the base’s main gate from the town “the shit river,” though I saw it as the River Styx.

I crossed the shit river multiple times and found the world there to be everything the old salts described. As a former Eagle Scout, it crossed my mind on more than one occasion, “if only my Scout master could see me now.” Our Scout troop was sponsored by a church, so the Scout master was the least of my worries when I thought of how the deacons, elders and Sunday school teachers should they ever see a photo taken on Magsaysay Drive.

As a writer in training, I saw Magsaysay Drive and the Galaxy Bar and the touts and the constant ruckus in the streets as “research.” But I doubt my Scout master would have understood, or anybody else I knew, for that matter. Luckily, webcams and cell phones hadn’t been invented yet. There was no Facebook either in 1968. This meant that no pictures of me crossing the shit river appeared anywhere–and since a lot of time has gone by since then, I doubt they ever will.

Everyone who might know the Eagle Scout and paperboy who went to hell and then put his research into a novel called Garden of Heaven is long gone by now. So, I think I can safely post this excerpt without word getting back to the old neighborhood.

Excerpt from Garden of Heaven:

Standing on the bridge over the Shit River listening to the half-naked children in flimsy boats below shouting for a handful of centavos, the city in his face was—with more pride than apology—very much a city with its tattered underwear showing. If Magellan only knew what was here now. If Dad only knew David was here now.

Night was settling down over the hazy first lights of the bars and hourly rate hotels along Magsaysay Drive and the razor-sharp edges of Kalaklan Ridge like an old whore.

David dropped several 25-centavo coins over the railing, heard an explosion of whitewater, heard the laughter and the shouting, ‘Salamat, Joe, Salamat.’

He crossed Perimeter Road, ignored the hopeful greetings of the money changers behind their well-caged windows, then dodged a badly mixed throng of sailors, girls and honking multi-coloured jeepneys that swelled out into the Gordon Avenue intersection. He cut across the street, smiling, waiving at imagined friends in the distance, and moved with the deliberate intent of a man who had crossed this street hundreds of times.

‘Casual alertness, that’s the key to surviving Olongapo’s jungle of thieves, gangs, girls, high-strung Marines, bored Shore Patrol and Hard Hats, and drunk boatswain’s mates and snipes,’ Lowell had said.

“Hey Joe, cold beer cold beer cold beer, nice girls.”

Touts were everywhere below the slapdash smorgasbord of disheveled signs and awnings, leaning telephone polls, and the rag-tag assortment of buildings with upper floors stacked up in odd strata.

Assorted conversations flew past, barely audible in the close heat… ‘Hintayin mo aki,’ …‘Magandang amaga, Carlo, kumusta ang bagong sanggol?’… ‘Hey Joe’… ‘Tao po! Tao po!’… ‘Hoy, tulungan mo akong magdiskarga sa trak na ito, pwede ba?’… ‘Good food here, Joe!’…Galing akong Maynila. Nasaan ang Zambales Bank?’… ‘Balut, Balut!’… ‘Tayo na’t kumuha ng makakain’ ‘Magandang ideya, handa na ako sa napunan’… ‘Nagustuhan mo ba ang bago kong kamera?’

The sign for the Galaxy Bar was plainer than most. An unadorned interior stairway led to the second-floor club, a large room strewn with tables occupied by sailors, many with girls whose eyes caught the low light like predators or gods. David didn’t see anyone he knew. He had a small envelope in his back pocket for Maria.

Two girls who had bathed in perfume and spackled their faces with makeup were leaning against the bar watching a waitress organise a tray full of San Miguel beer bottles.

“Maria, tingnan mo itong malambing na lalaki.”

“Lamayo ka sa kanya, Adelaide.”

Assuming he’d actually heard her name in those quick Tagalog comments, Maria was the one wearing a red dress, thrusting herself forward to him as he approached, posing her sweet curves, allowing her long hair to seductively frame her face, smiling as though they were friends with a history. He could almost see himself in the high gloss of her lipstick.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Malcolm R. Campbell

USS Ranger (CVA-61)

Ranger - Wikipedia Photo

The USS Ranger has been decommissioned. The USS Ranger Foundation is working diligently to convert the aircraft carrier into a museum on the Columbia Driver near Portland, Oregon.  The effort requires multiple phases, the next being a comprehensive environmental site analysis of the propose mooring location.

The Foundation is seeking donations to help pay for its on-going work. If you would like to contribute to the $15 million dollar fund raising project to bring a historic ship to Oregon as a museum, please click on the link above. Once you’re there, you’ll find some handy PayPal buttons.

2010 in review – stats and more stats

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2010. That’s about 19 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 183 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 488 posts. There were 311 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 36mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 21st with 119 views. The most popular post that day was Songs and Whispers of the Living Earth.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,, WordPress Dashboard,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for wicked leeks, the last templar, earth day 2010, “big bad slam poet”, and uss ranger fairview oregon.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Songs and Whispers of the Living Earth November 2010


Fairview, Oregon selected for Super Carrier Museum July 2010


Book Review: ‘The Last Templar’ October 2010


Glacier Centennial: Heavens Peak Fire Lookout April 2010


Wicked Leeks Site Under Fire for Leaking Leek Recipes December 2010


Cleaning Up the Blog

I haven’t dusted or vacuumed anything around here for a couple of months. But now, company’s coming via Blog Jog Day on November 21. I hope to see a lot of new readers and I hope they will think this is a class place.

First off, the ABOUT page needed some work. Previously there wasn’t about on the about page. Now there’s more. Hope you like it.

Next, I added a new page called MY BOOKS. Since I spend a lot of time talking about books, I decided it was appropriate to say a little about my three novels and my publisher.  I hope you like that, too.

As always, you can find my satirical Jock Stewart posts on my Morning Satirical News weblog. The most recent one is “End of Earth Rescheduled.”

Most of my writing tips, ideas and reflections appear on Writer’s Notebook. The latest is “The Flexibility of Our Stories.”

My author’s blog is called Sun Singer’s Travels. It’s named after my first novel “The Sun Singer” since it’s more or less an account of my personal journey as a writer. My recent post there is called “Smoky Interviews Me While I’m Interviewing Lauren.” I enjoyed interviewing author L. E. Harvey here on Malcolm’s Round Table last Friday as well as being interviewed by author Smoky Trudeau on Smoky on Books.

Getting back to Blog Jog Day, you’ll see on November 21 that some new readers will be coming here after reading a previous blog in a rather wide circle of blogs. Then, they’ll have an opportunity to jog on to the next blog which, in my case, will be to send you to a book blog called Mysteries and Musings.  Today, Mysteries and Musings has an interesting interview with author Sally Goldenbaum.

Meanwhile, I promise to wash the windows and and sweep the front walk around here more often in the future.


An Immodest Proposal

The SPAM I Grew Up With
During the three years I’ve had this blog, I’ve made 415 posts, received 1,527 real comments and watched the Akismet filter trash 22,014 attempted SPAM comments. Without a doubt, none of the trashed comments were about the Hormel product I grew up with.

I’ll stipulate that I feel a slight–but fleeting–sense of embarrassment having to report that spammers have been busier trying to add their thoughts to the flow of words on Malcolm’s Round Table than I have.

And they’re bolder. I post something about Glacier, a spammer says, “Hi Dude, this reminds me of a place to get cheap Viagra.” I post something about one of my books, and here comes a long spam message about an automotive training school in London.

Most of these comments don’t see the light of day, thanks to Akismet.

I know this might sound like bribery, but I have a proposal, one that may sound a bit vain and immodest. When I see virtual SPAM, I ask “what’s in it for me?” That is, why should I provide free Internet space to somebody I don’t know who sells Viagra for a living?

But there could be something in it for me. For each spammer who buys a copy of one of my books (you have three to choose from), I will make a deal with Akismet to let you tell the world about your Viagra, downstream Internet marketing system, or your teliseminar about weight loss in the comments section here.

Simply buy a book, read it, enjoy it (or else) and post a glowing review on Amazon that proves you really know what the book’s about, and then send me your SPAM. You help me, I help you.

Send me a comment with your real name, picture, home address, Amazon account number and tell me what you think.

Otherwise, I much prefer the SPAM I grew up with.


Experience the magic of Robert Adams' Quest

How influential are you?

FastCompany Magazine is using social networking to learn more about influence via The Influence Project. (Story is here.)

Once you sign up on The Influence Project (it’s free), you get a unique URL and you send that around in blogs, tweets and facebook status updates to see how many people will click on it and also sign up. Obviously, the more people who click on your link to the project, the more influential you are. Participants might just end up with their photo (I have a feeling it will be part of a collage) in FastCompany Magazine this fall.

So, are you tempted? If so, I hope you’ll click HERE to get started.

About 6,000 people have signed up so far–in about 24 hours. I wonder what it will be by the end of the week.

Each purchase of this adventure story benefits Glacier Park

Weight Loss Club Uses Novel as Diet Aid

from the Morning Satirical News:

Athens, Georgia, July 7, 2010–The Athens-Clarke County Lard Ass Club (ACCLAC) celebrated its one-year anniversary at the Krispy Kreme on Atlanta highway this morning by announcing they were changing the club’s name to The Buttless Wonders. The club’s one thousand members have lost a combined total of 75,000 pounds during the last 12 months.

According to ACCLAC president Bob “Big Daddy” Horton, club members are now petite enough to carpool to meetings.

“We owe it all to Malcolm Campbell’s novel Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” said Horton. “Last summer when Campbell spoke to our friends of the library group, somebody in the back row shouted out ‘what’s in it for me?'”

“You’ll laugh you ass off,” replied Campbell. “By the look of you, you need the therapy.”

Instead of getting mad, that guy in the back row had an epiphany along with his box of doughnuts: he didn’t need as much ass as he had.

“The greatest moment of my life,” said ACCLAC recording secretary Sue “Big Mama” Patterson, “came during our New Year’s Eve pilgrimage to Junction City, Texas, where we met Jock Stewart. I kissed him on the mouth when he said, ‘Nice to meet you, Little Lady.'”

According to sources at the Junction City Star-Gazer, Stewart “got those ACCLAC people” drunk on cheap Scotch, and then he gave them some words to live by.

“My Dear Old Daddy always used to tell me that it’s a plain and simple fact of anatomy that an asshole is going to be on your tail for your whole life. That being the case, you might as well make it comfortably fit in one chair,” said Stewart.

“We wanted to take those words sitting down,” said Patterson, “but we couldn’t. The chairs in Jock’s house were just too small. Right then and there, we resolved, to start laughing our asses off.”

ACCLAC meetings begin and end with a reading from Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire. The club’s personal trainer, librarian Naomi Clements, estimates that the club loses an average of 98.6 pounds per meeting even though everyone is “slamming down doughnuts like there’s no tomorrow.”

Small-assed sources in Washington, D.C., claim that ACCLAC has sought FDA approval to start marketing the novel and its special Lard-Ass Reading Guide as a prescription diet aid.

“Laughter really is the best medicine,” Horton said. “Now, when I haul ass, it doesn’t take two trips.”