Today’s Featured Author: David A. Kersten

Today, I welcome author David A. Kersten to my blog. Please enjoy this excerpt from his book The Freezer.

Excerpt: Chapter 14

The past few days had been a whirlwind. Jack hadn’t even come to terms with having cancer, let alone everything since waking up in this strange environment. Before leaving him alone with his thoughts, Teague gave him one of the ‘clipboards’ he had been using. “I will show you more of how to use it later, but for now, if you want to make notes on any questions that you come up with, just write them on here as if it’s a piece of paper.” He showed him by writing a few words. As he wrote them on the surface of the pad, they appeared at the top of the page, neatly typed and even formatted properly.

“Jesus Teague, make this thing answer the phone and you could eliminate secretaries altogether.” He said it offhand, but two things hit him as the words left his mouth. The first was that this was no longer 1966 and he would no longer be able to use that time frame as a reference for pretty much anything he thought he knew. Second, it dawned on him that he could probably not even comprehend the way society changed in the years immediately following his death, let alone the changes since the war. He voiced his concerns.

It was obvious Teague didn’t want to get into it right now. “Look Jack, you’ve been bombarded with information, and it will take some time for your brain to process it all. Just write down any questions that come up and we can talk about them later.” Teague then walked him down the hall to another room. It was a bedroom, about ten foot square, with a small bed, a table and chair, a small set of drawers, and a sink and mirror like the one in the restroom, only this one had regular water faucet. The mirror opened to reveal a small cabinet built into the wall. It was filled with toiletries. He showed Jack how to use the light switch, and how to control the temperature in the room. “Feel free to explore the complex, or just go back to your room and lie down. This is a small community, and for all intents and purposes, everyone knows everyone else. Most people like to meet the latest reborn, so don’t be surprised if those you meet are interested in getting to know you. Just carry your datapad with you; with it we can locate you if something happens or contact you if we need to talk. I would probably recommend just getting some rest if you can, however. It is amazing what the brain can do subconsciously to process stuff like this, especially when you are resting. If you need me for anything, just tap the icon I put at the bottom left of your datapad.” He pointed to a little symbol that looked like a stethoscope wrapped around a red cross.

“Is that what you call people like me? Reborn? And this is called a datapad? And the symbol here is called an icon?” The terminology was completely new to Jack. “I can see that I’m going to be learning a new language.” He said it in a lighthearted fashion, but he knew it would be tough for the first few weeks.

“Jack, I know it will be difficult, and the learning curve will be high, but I can assure you that not only will you pick it all up fairly quickly, but you will be a great asset to us. Is there anything else before I leave you? I have some work to attend to – saving humanity is a busy business.” Teague chuckled at his own grim humor but Jack’s attention was elsewhere. His mind was already wandering back to the many subjects they had discussed.

“No, no, I think I can handle it. Thanks Teague.” He didn’t even notice the man leave.

Book Blurb

The Freezer1966 has been a bad year for retired Army officer Jack Taggart. Still reeling from the loss of his wife and daughter, a visit to his doctor reveals the worst possible news: cancer. Going in for surgery, he is uncertain if he can, or even should, face the fight for his life. When he wakes up to find over three hundred years have passed, an entirely new set of challenges lay before him. Now he must fight to save a devastated world and the few people who remain on this scorched planet. His first battle: to figure out where he is, how he got here, and how it all ties back to the Freezer, a 20th century underground military facility that could very well be the key to the future of humankind.

About the Author

davekDavid Kersten was born in Minnesota but spent most of his life in Montana. An IT Manager for his family’s business, David enjoys just about anything having to do with technology. He also enjoys creating things, whether it involves writing fiction, writing software, woodworking, carpentry, or electronics. As an avid reader since the age of 11, one of his long term goals was to try his hand at writing, and as with everything, when he dove into it, he submerged himself for many months. Although he enjoys many different fiction genres, his first novel, “The Freezer”, is set in his favorite genre, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and is a proud accomplishment for him.

When he isn’t writing or working in his shop, he can be found spending time with his 3 children, sitting at a computer playing games, enjoying a good television show or movie, or out with friends at the bowling alley or favorite bar.

He intends to continue writing novels and has already started on a sequel to his first book.

You can find out more about David on his website.

You can purchase The Freezer on Amazon.

Short Story, Novella, Novel – what’s the difference?

Many new authors ask, “How long should my story be?”

The simple answer is as long as it takes to tell the story. Unless you are specifically looking to write a novella or a short story, you should be more concerned with telling the story than the word count.

But in case you are wondering, here is a guideline for story lengths. Note though that there is no unanimous consensus on the length of each of these.

Flash Fiction – under 1000 words

Short story – 1,000 to 7,500

Novelette – 7,500-20,000

Novella – 20,000 – 50,000

Novel – Over 50,000

After looking over this list, I decided to take a look at my own books. My full-length novels definitely meet the guideline for novels. Quietus (Book 2 of my trilogy) is the shortest at 81,800 words. My latest release, The Heir to Alexandria, is the longest at 95,800 words.

Book lengthsBut I wrote what I considered a short story as a prequel to my The Elemental trilogy. And compared to books that are on average 88,000 words, a mere 12,200 words is short at about a fourth the length of my novels. But according to the list above, my “short” story, The Search, is actually a novelette.

Be that as it may, I am still marketing it as a short story. I don’t figure many readers will know what a novelette is. (Either way, The Search, is FREE everywhere except for Amazon. Who can turn down a free book?)

But it is more than just about word count. Each of these classifications brings about different images.

Short Story

Often these are meant to explore a particular situation or set of circumstances. Of course, there may be no “purpose” to the story. It could be a simple sketch of characters or situations. They are short enough to be read in a single sitting and typically only have a handful of characters.


Unlike a novel which may contain more characters and subplots, a novella focuses on a particular point or single issue. It typically does not contain the variety of subplots found in a full-length novel.


A novel is a long fictional narrative and usually involves more than just a few characters. Compared to a short story or novella, it has a complex plot.

When looking at word length, the genre of the book should also be taken into consideration. Young Adult books tend to be shorter (50,000 to 80,000 words) while science fiction and fantasy tend to be longer (up to 125,000 words).

If your story goes over 110,000 words, you might consider either cutting some words or perhaps splitting it into two books or even expand it into a trilogy.

Remember all of these are merely guides. The most important thing is telling a good, compelling story.


Just out last month – The Dating Game: Short Stories About the Search for Mr. Right. 

Book Blurb

tha dating game coverFrom fairytale romances to dating disasters and everything in between, The Dating Game chronicles the stories of hopefuls on their journey toward happily ever after.

In this compilation of dating stories, sixteen writers share tales of adventures and experiences while on the quest toward finding Mr. Right. From Tania Renee Zayid’s story of what happens when one woman becomes determined to keep the perfect man that she met online . . . to Natalie Leffall’s hilarious look into the dating world of a plus-size girl . . . to Keleigh and Gina’s rib-tickling and surprisingly dangerous, speed dating fiasco. . . and Gina Torres’ tale of love, heartache, and the power of letting go . . . these diverse stories will make you laugh, cry, and root for the characters to land Mr. Right.

Here are just a few of the included stories…

Open by Victoria Kennedy

Karim is stiff and formal. Deanna is saucy and down to earth. The come from different cultures, religions and pasts. When they answer the call of attraction, will they be able to bridge what separates them and submit to the desire they can no longer deny?

Victoria Kennedy is a writer and singer. She is currently pursing an MFA in Creative Writing and the Publishing Arts. To find out more about her, check out her website

Mixing Business with Pleasure by Richelle Denise

Kennedi Tyler is a businesswoman who finds love in the most unlikely place…the arms of her boss. But when she makes a shocking discovery, she realizes everything isn’t always as great as it seems.

Richelle Denise is an aspiring author who has always had a passion for reading. When she is not writing, she is most likely spending time with her two sons. 

A Beautiful Letter by Cheryl Ashford Daniels

Elle all but gives up on love after her husband dies. Especially since dating proves worse than being alone. When she receives a mysterious letter inviting her on a blind date, she almost throws the letter away. Who would dare invite her, the ice queen of the century, on a date? After receiving another letter from the same incredulous author, she opens herself up to the possibility of love again.

Cheryl Ashford Daniels is an aspiring writer what has a passionate love for reading and writing. She woke up one morning and decided that instead of reading another book, she wanted to write one. You can find out more about her on her website

You can purchase The Dating Game on Amazon.

Planning a Caribbean Cruise with the extended family  

For several years now, my parents have talked about taking the family on a vacation for their 50th wedding anniversary. Well, my mom decided that is still too far away (Dec. 2017), so she decided this summer would be a good time as my husband and I celebrate our 20 year wedding anniversary in June, and my dad turns 80 in October.

So, in August, my parents, my brother and my family (me, hubby and the two kids) will be taking a Caribbean cruise. The last time the adults took a trip together was in 1997 when we went to Washington DC for my grandmother’s funeral.

It should be an interesting trip. The kids are excited about it. Of course, I first had to convince Jase that the ship was unlikely to hit an iceberg and sink.


Passports are not required when taking a cruise even though it stops in Mexico, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. You can get by with just a driver’s license, but a passport can make departing the cruise ship when we return to Galveston easier. And if there is ever a reason that you need to fly back, you can’t do so without a passport. And with traveling with Lexie, who has multiple allergies and very sensitive skin and traveling with my parents who are getting up there in years and have their own health issues, we thought it would be better just to go ahead and get passports. Better to have them and not need them than to be kicking ourselves if an emergency does come up.

Our local post office only does passports between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which typically would mean that I have to take the kids out of school. When I called, they were booking appointments at the end of February, which actually worked well for us as the kids had early school dismissal and didn’t have to miss school.

The actual passport appointment was quick. It took about 20 minutes for all four of us. Now all we have to do wait for the passports to come in. One thing we did do is we took our own passport photos. Places like Walgreens offer to do it for $12 but when you have four of us that would be $48. Instead, I followed the direction from this website and printed our own from Walmart for less than $1.

Shore Excursions

The kids were excited about the different things that we can do in each port. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with too many choices, so I picked ten options – swimming with dolphins or stingrays, tours of turtle farms, submarine ride, trips to private beaches, horseback riding, climbing up a river/waterfall, buggy trips on the beach, glass bottom boats, and a pirate adventure.

Based on which ones they liked best – and what worked with the others on our trip – here is what we picked.

Cozumel – Trip to a private island. For the younger set (my brother and my family) we are taking a speed boat that does 360 degree spins and twists and turns – sort of like a roller coaster on the water. For my parents, there is the much calmer catamaran to the beach. It is all-you-can-eat and drink on the island. There are water sports, kayaks, snorkeling, water trampolines and slides, hammocks, kid activities and of course the beach to keep us entertained.

Grand Cayman – We are going to swim with the dolphins. Yes, we are actually going to be in the water with the dolphins and pulled across the water with them. Afterwards, we get to go to the neighboring turtle farm where you can pick up baby turtles.

Jamaica – This is the one location where instead of going as one big group we will be splitting up. My parents, the kids and I are going horseback riding, which includes riding the horses in the ocean. My husband and brother are going on an adventure package. They are going to ride a Jamaican bobsled and zip line over the trees.

This is shaping up to be quite the adventure. (And with all these cool excursions, it is shaping up to be an expensive one too.) I am sure over the next couple of months I will have some more posts about our upcoming trip and the fun of taking the kids on a cruise.