I’m so fortunate to be one/fifth of this dynamic group of authors called Dames of Dialogue. It’s so much fun and such an honor to take turns writing blogs with them. My talented co-Dames are Maggie Bishop and Christy Tillery French who founded this site, Cyndi Hodges (aka Caitlyn Hunter) and Laurel Rain Snow. While Maggie, Christy and Cyndi are Southern Belles (Tennessee and North Carolina), Laurel Rain and I represent Sunny California. We all enjoy introducing new authors to you and I also interview celebrities from all the arts from time to time.

We also get to have occasional Brag Blogs where we are rewarded by talking about our own books. I have five books in print (three fiction; two nonfiction), with three of the five now in eBook format too. Here’s a montage of my books:

For this special series, each of the Dames was interviewed by another Dame, so Laurel Rain-Snow interviewed me in June. Here is the link: https://damesofdialogue.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/betty-dravis-reminds-us-to-never-stop-dreaming-june-8/ Now I get three Mondays in a row to share about my books. Since a special sponsorship by Kindle Nation of my Young Adult (adult crossover) book The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley also starts today, I am starting off my books by talking about the Toonies.

The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley just started its E-incarnation as an electronic book recently; please visit this link to see what Kindle Nation has to say about the book: http://tinyurl.com/3v2d2wo I’m elated to share that news and would appreciate it if you could leave a comment over there as well as at the end of this blog. Thanks, friends…

And now without further ado, I would like to share the Dedication as it has special meaning to me:


This e-Book edition of Toonies is dedicated to the memory of my beloved daughter Mary Lee Francis who went to be with the Lord in 2007. Mary Lee spread happiness and cheer all the days of her too-short life and is remembered as “the girl with the heart of gold” by all who knew her. She loved the Toonies and encouraged my writing, making life a daily pleasure. Mary Lee joined her sister Denyce “Neecee” Dravis in Heaven. The first print edition of Toonies was dedicated to our “Neecee.” I suspect those precious daughters of mine are happily romping around Heaven, whipping that place in order with their own hilarious adventures…when they’re not busy guarding their family and friends down here on earth, that is.

Toonies is also dedicated to Apple co-founder Steve “The Woz” Wozniak who graciously permitted me to use him as a fictitious character in this book. His presence added greatly to the flavor of the adventure and enhanced my joy in writing it. With the purchase of my very first Macintosh in 1984, I became an Apple aficionado. Apple has opened many creative doors for me. Thanks, Apple, not only for the user-friendly Mac but also for the myriad of cutting-edge software.

My Toonies chapters tend to be short as befits a Young Adult book, so I hope you enjoy this chapter:

Is Jeremy Going Nuts?

The day the Toonie leaped out of Jeremy Kern’s computer and landed smack-dab in the middle of his life, he thought he was going nuts. Was he imagining things? Or was the funny little cartoon character for real?

The Toonie’s name was Doog and if he was real, Jeremy had a big problem. Doog was the main character in a popular cartoon strip he had created called “Doog Days,” which dealt with children’s problems.

At the young age of twelve, Jeremy was already well known in Silicon Valley, and Doog was very popular with the Valley kids. They followed Doog’s adventures in the cartoon that was featured weekly in the San Jose Mercury News, the closest large newspaper to the Kerns’ rambling hillside home in Los Altos, California. When Jeremy had created Doog with Wise-guy––his pet name for his Orange computer––the boy never dreamed that anything like this would happen.

But here Doog sat, staring at Jeremy with a big, bold, mischievous grin. And he wasn’t INSIDE the computer. How could that be?

Angry voices echoed down the hallway, pulling Jeremy back to reality. He frowned as he thought of his parents, Arthur and Jessica Kern. They were always arguing these days and when they raised their voices, it frightened him. Shut up! Shut up! he wanted to shout at the top of his lungs, but he couldn’t bring himself to defy them.

This had been going on for five killer weeks. Weeks that pitted his father against his mother, with him in the middle. Weeks that only saw an end to the raised voices, slamming doors and banging cupboards when one of his parents stormed out of the room…or the house.

Jeremy got upset every time he heard his parents arguing.

The atmosphere in the house was so oppressive, Jeremy stayed in his room most of the time, escaping into his computer. He couldn’t face his parents or his friends, so avoided everyone. And he missed them, especially his best friend, Buddy O’Hara. And, yes, he had to admit he missed Buddy’s little tag-along sister, too. Ashley was Buddy’s twin and the three had been friends since first grade.

Jeremy knew he was chicken for not talking to his parents, or at least sharing his problem with his friends. But he just couldn’t talk about it yet.

Sheesh!… Would he ever be ready?

Up until they began the constant bickering, his parents had been so perfect he was the envy of all his friends. Jeremy had everything he could want: decent, successful parents, good friends, a good education and plenty of good food…lots of pizza.

But now he was so confused he didn’t know what to do; so sad he’d bet a CD that even Buddy couldn’t make him laugh. Every time his parents raised their voices, his pulse raced, his stomach churned and sharp pinpricks of pain stabbed him behind the eyes. He was afraid they would do the ugly thing–the divorce thing–like so many of his friends’ parents.

Jeremy was pleased with all the attention his cartoon strip was bringing him, but his parents’ arguments were really getting him down, making it almost impossible to be creative.

How could he think straight when his life was such a mess?

That had to be why he was imagining things now. How else could he explain the twelve-inch Toonie with the bushy red eyebrows that was standing beside his computer? – END OF CHAPTER ONE –

Betty Dravis "Talks Toonies" with kids at Barnes & Noble, San Jose, Westgate

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