Sunday, September 21, 2014

Early returns: what are readers saying about Two Worlds Daughter?

Excerpts from readers at Amazon:

1. This is an excellent continuation of the Distant Cousin Series. We've watched Ana come to Earth, cause some trouble, get into some trouble, settle down, get married, get into more trouble, have two wonderful kids, etc., etc. I've really enjoyed watching the characters grow and become part of my family. Al Past can really spin a yarn.

2. Unbelievable! Just when I think the series has come to an end, wow!! another book that I can't put down but don't want the story to end! I just love the progression and growth of all the people involved in this book.

3.Well worth the wait, this sixth book of the Distant Cousin series is great reading for a rainy Saturday afternoon, a snow day or just any day you want to escape into a cleverly created, thoughtful new world. Combining current headline news, cutting-edge science, tantalizing possibilities of future space travel and emerging technologies, along with the refreshing inside look at a warm Hispanic-Thoman family in New Mexico, the reader must ask, "Why aren't there more current books that give us such satisfying reading experiences?"

4. For those of us who like South Eastern New Mexico and West Texas, Mr. Past depicted community life there admirably. I'm sure tourism has increased because of these books.

5. I think this may be my new favorite of the series! I have read the Distant Cousin series from the beginning and have loved each one; I really feel that the Mendez family is my family too! I have watched Ana and her family deal with trials and tribulations and heartbreak, and come out stronger. I love watching the unconditional love, support and encouragement Ana and her husband give their children and I have enjoyed watching the twins grow up into amazing independent people. In this sixth book of the series, Clio manages to overcome some serious trouble with the help of her ex-Seal bodyguard. The science background is very interesting and seems to be meticulously researched (as usual),

6.The main character, who is from another planet, and her children have a spiritual nature that makes you want to hold them close, the way a child hugs her doll. The action is swift and intense. I was on the edge of my (dining) chair the whole time until the last gulp that left me immensely satisfied!

7. And now from a friend and fellow writer, first this:

I'm really enjoying DC 6. In fact, one of the highest compliments I can pay to an author is the admission that I nearly missed my subway stop on the way to church yesterday morning! Of course I like all the characters and situations, etc. but the main thing is just that you know how to spin a story. That's really the bottom line for me.

And then, later, this:

Well, I'm pretty far along. Just finished the scene where Clio visits the old dying rich guy. I don't mind telling you my eyes misted up a little. Maybe even better test of a book than almost missing your stop is getting teary-eyed on the subway!  Anyway, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'll be sorry when I finish it. I do like the way you have all these different situations going on, and yet I know somehow they're all going to dovetail in the end.

Anna's Hummingbird (honest!)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Distant Cousin a movie? It could happen! (PART 2)

Announcing the purchase of the movie and television rights to the Distant Cousin stories by an agent in Hollywood!

The many readers who said they saw a movie playing in their heads while they were reading may some day get the chance to compare visions. Those who are not readers may come to see the fun they have been missing!

It's wonderful that an agent in the entertainment industry believes the Distant Cousin books would make a terrific movie. He also says the set contains enough material to supply a whole television series. As an extra plus, his wife loves the chronicles of Ana Darcy's family too!

There is no movie deal yet, to be sure. All the daunting caveats that were mentioned in Part 1 remain. Many, many steps must be completed before anyone goes to the theater.

BUT: note that the same advantages mentioned in Part 1 also apply! We readers have a screen between our ears, perhaps the best screen there is--it enables us to enjoy our personal movie or movies any time we wish.

Best of all, for Kindle readers and readers using other e-devices, you can be reading Distant Cousin in one minute for less than the cost of movie theater popcorn. In fact, the six volume Distant Cousin set, a whole television season at least, can be enjoyed for about the cost of one movie ticket, a drink, and popcorn!

For more information contact Jack Silver, Silver Management, 310-889-7939 or

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What do a ten year old and a journalist have in common?

Both are fans of Distant Cousin, and Ana Darcy!

The column above explains how Ana's stories prompted the reporter and her daughter to vacation in West Texas, where they had a wonderful time seeing the McDonald Observatory, other places Ana has been, and some she has not been (yet). Quite a few readers have commented on how West Texas and southern New Mexico come alive in her books. Ms. Jackson goes on to say she's no sci-fi devotee, but that the Distant Cousin stories are "more a mirror in the face of humanity than a loving gaze at the stars," something noted by other readers as well. She also points out "there are government shenanigans. And there's treachery. And there's romance."

The ten year old, an avid reader and happy Kindler, found himself on vacation with quiet time to read before bed. As far as we know he is the youngest reader yet to enjoy Ana's adventures. The oldest fan is ninety-five. That's quite a range!

Monday, June 2, 2014

News got you down? Not feeling that great? Need a pick-me-up?

1. “Things have been extremely difficult around here…. The adventures of the Mendez family provided a wonderful distraction. And the ending filled me with hope, for some inexplicable reason. I love the warmth and togetherness of the family.”

Here are a baker's dozen comments from readers and reviewers of one or another of the six Distant Cousin books to date: the stories of the human extraterrestrial Ana Darcy and her family. Not only have many people have found them refreshing and uplifting, more than a few have come to think of the characters as members of their own families!

2. “Toward the end of this novel I found myself thinking I was reading about my good friends and not some characters in a novel. I'm hoping there is a 5th in the series, I'd like to know that my friends are OK. This is a fun and exciting series to read.”

 3. “We've watched Ana come to Earth, cause some trouble, get into some trouble, settle down, get married, get into more trouble, have two wonderful kids, etc., etc. I've really enjoyed watching the characters grow and become part of my family.”

4. “It's always a pleasure to read a book where the character is so fleshed out that I feel I would know him/her if I met them on the street. Not only would I know them, I'd have invited them to lunch so we could chat!” 

5. “The books flow so easily you feel like you are a part of the family. You want to be a part of the family. However I am so sad that I have read the last one. My mom loved them and has read them all 3 times already.  I will be taking them on my vacation with me so I can read them all again.”

6. “I stayed up and read the last half of DC4, really enjoyed it. I love her kids! and that cat. I want that cat but no way I could sneak it in past my neighbors LOL.... My sister wanted me to let you know that she has read DC1-DC4 in less than a week. She really enjoyed them and said if you weren't already writing DC5 she'd hunt you down....  We both were getting a kick out of Darcy and Matt.”

7. “I love Darcy. I can’t wait to see what happens next. It is indeed a page turner, a cute and funny book with lots of laugh-out-loud parts.” 

8. “Awesome!!! I am 3/4 through this book and am literally dragging my heels about finishing it. I ration myself. The story and characters are just so captivating.”

9. “I have truly enjoyed Ana's adventures. It leaves me wishing I could meet her. I love how you bring seemingly unrelated things together so neatly.”

10. “I like stories that focus on the characters, and not around a central plot. It makes the characters seem more real and it's easy to become emotionally invested in their well-being. How can you not like a story when you are actually worried about the characters?”

11. “I would recommend the book to any of you who like science fiction with some romance and adventure thrown in. No little green men/women will be involved, but there will be characters about whom you will care a great deal.”

12. ”A couple of huge successes that are excellent movies are E.T. and Close Encounters. These have a strength of character and plot that pushes your intellect forward while engaging your heartstrings at the same time. Distant Cousin does it, too.”

13. "I loved the storyline for Distant Cousin. I fell in love with Ana Darcy."

All at Amazon, inexpensively!
Excerpts, photos, & maps in right column, 2/3 down the page

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Distant Cousin: Two Worlds Daughter now published!

Distant Cousin: Two Worlds Daughter is finally published!

Somehow (?), a friend of my wife learned of this: 

"AWESOME!!!!!!!  I will download it on my iPAD* this weekend.   DH and I are heading to New York city for some work and for some fun with B____ and family.  AND I need my Distant Cousin nearby on the airplane :)


An ER surgeon friend emailed at 4 a.m.:

"Damn! The first chapter got me hooked (again). Hopefully I'll have the fortitude to wait till tomorrow to continue. I still have some work to do."

That's the whole idea-->

"I think that having fun is a social function.... I think about the reader who has to put up with these pages.  He needs to have fun, he needs gratification; this is my moral.  Someone bought the book, paid money, invests time: he has to have fun." 

                                                                  --Italo Calvino

For those unfamiliar with Ana's stories, a quick intro:: 

"The most distinguishing trademark of Al Past's Distant Cousin books is their obvious similarity to some of Steven Spielberg's best movies. Ana Darcy is much like E.T. without the Disney cuteness or childhood orientation. She is an E.T.-type character for an adult audience. The sense of wonder we all had the first time we watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind is magically reincarnated. Reading all the Distant Cousin books is like playing a movie in your head. This is the way we want life to be. This is the way we want Americans to respond to aliens if they ever arrive on Earth. Life should always be like this." (Floyd M. Orr, PODBRAM) 

In the sixth tale of Earth's first extraterrestrial and her family, Ana Darcy Mendez finds herself on the other side of the world with her husband and children out of town, when both her extraordinary children suddenly face major life decisions--even deadly danger. We have all heard of teenagers who did things they barely survived, that shaped their characters--and that their parents never knew of. What sort of decisions will Ana's children make? And will their parents ever find out?

Available for Kindle, in a fine trade paperback, and Amazon UK in paper.
Kindle edition $2.99 (free for Prime), $12.42 in paper

NOTE! The Kindle editions are now $2.99. You can enjoy the entire set for less than the price of volume 1 in paper! See Amazon!

What are readers saying already?

For more information:

The covers make the Distant Cousin books look like science fiction, but the author disagrees...mostly. 

Why would Kindle Board members tell the author "You suck?"
 Why would another Kindle Board member say it again

What do authors and writers say about the books?

What's the deal with the series' main character?

You can "Look Within" at Amazon for a few pages if you like, or you can read the whole first chapter, which sets the main story nicely:

To those who have enjoyed the books, and to those who discover them and enjoy them, please pay it forward and tell others. I'm a terrible messenger and anyway, I have more stories to write.  Thank you so much!