Meet Callum Martindale (a character sketch – The Secret Baker)

Ten-year-old Callum is good at mazes and video games and, well, not much else. His dad was a star high school baseball player, and his mom and sister are pretty good at basketball. Ask Callum about sports and he’ll tell you, “I’m as athletic as a sloth.” People expect him to be good at more, but since it’s not sports, he’s not sure what that’s supposed to be.

Until one day, he has to stay home from school sick. He ends up watching a baking show with his mom, decides to try baking, and discovers that he is actually pretty good at it.

Callum gets the idea to secretly leave surprise treats around his school with the help of his best friend, Ryan, even calling himself Captian Cookie! The Secret Baker! But when the school bully finds out, will his secret remain a secret?

The Secret Baker is a story for kids ages 8-12ish about learning to be yourself and embrace what you’re good at, no matter what other people think. Read Chapter 1 for free by clicking here (PDF).

You can find the book on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and in paperback.

Until Summer

A story of love and hope against the darkness of trauma.

Read the first three chapters for free by clicking here (PDF file).

You can purchase the book on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback.

They were in love but that seemed a long time ago, a different life. Abused and neglected, Meredith and her brothers spent much of their childhood in foster care. Now she’s a single mom of a teenage boy and foster mom to another, trying to juggle work, children, and dating. Abandoned by his mother, Daniel was raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Now he’s an addict warring against himself as he fights not to fail a son of his own. When Daniel’s son is placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, the two are reunited but what will that mean for them and their families? Until Summer is a story of love and a longing for hope as two people battle the traumas of their pasts in search for a brighter future.

Please note: Though not graphic or explicit, this book deals with trauma and has scenes of abuse, assault, and suicide, which could trigger traumatic memories in some readers.

Follow me on Facebook.

Meet Meredith Hillis (a character sketch – Until Summer)

She was in love.

Life for Meredith Hillis finally seemed to be going the way she had long hoped. She had a good job and a stable relationship. She was mom to one teenage boy and foster mom to another. She was happy with all she had.

But when she receives a phone call asking if she has room for another boy, everything will change. Suddenly, the boy’s father, a man she once loved, is thrust back into her life, along with the memories of her broken past.

Meredith is a survivor. As a child, she and her brothers faced abuse that no child ever should. It almost cost her everything. But after her son was born, she found the help and strength she needed to face the trauma of her past and set course to her brighter future.

Until Summer is the story of how Meredith learns to love and holds on to hope even when the past once more rears its head. You can find it on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and in paperback.

“Until Summer” Available Now!

My latest novel is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RSLGHDN/

It is a story of love, hope, and finding light against the darkness of trauma. Foster care is a central theme to the book. I wrote it, in part, because foster care is important to me and there isn’t a wide selection of novels on that topic. There’s kids’ fiction and non-fiction, but it’s harder to find general fiction. The book is a love story. It’s also an ode to foster care. It’s also a book about trauma, which means some of the subject matters in it are hard. I don’t go into explicit details about things, but there are certain events that could be a trigger for traumatic memories, so purchase accordingly.

I would love for you to check it out.

If you read it and like it, I’d love for you to leave a rating or review at Amazon and tell someone else to check it out. 🙂

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

They were in love but that seemed a long time ago, a different life. Abused and neglected, Meredith and her brothers spent much of their childhood in foster care. Now she’s a single mom of a teenage boy and foster mom to another, trying to juggle work, children, and dating. Abandoned by his mother, Daniel was raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Now he’s an addict warring against himself as he fights not to fail a son of his own. When Daniel’s son is placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, the two are reunited but what will that mean for them and their families? Until Summer is a story of love and a longing for hope as two people battle the traumas of their pasts in search for a brighter future.

Pre-Order “Until Summer” (and read a sample)

My new book Until Summer is available now for Kindle pre-order on Amazon. You can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RSLGHDN

Here is the about blurb on Amazon:

They were in love but that seemed a long time ago, a different life. Abused and neglected, Meredith and her brothers spent much of their childhood in foster care. Now she’s a single mom of a teenage boy and foster mom to another, trying to juggle work, children, and dating. Abandoned by his mother, Daniel was raised by an uncle who struggled to show him love. Now he’s an addict warring against himself as he fights not to fail a son of his own. When Daniel’s son is placed as a foster child in Meredith’s home, the two are reunited but what will that mean for them and their families? Until Summer is a story of love and a longing for hope as two people battle the traumas of their pasts in search for a brighter future. 

(Note: Until Summer is a book about hope in the face of trauma. There are a few scenes in the book depicting various types of trauma. While these are not graphic or explicit, they could impact the traumatic memories of some people. Purchase accordingly.)

You can read the first few chapters for free here (PDF): https://mikebergmandotco.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/until-summer-sample-28.pdf

Cultivate Future Readers

Want to cultivate future readers, writers, and other creatives? Read, read, and read to you children.

It’s a near daily thing in our house. We read about five or six books at the start of the day. Usually, as he grabs them, runs up, and shouts, “Bookie!” as he holds it high.

Yes, my wife and I have read about Llama Llama more than any human being should. But that’s okay. He wants to read because we read to him and we make sure to act excited about it.

Read to your kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, etc. The future world will thank you.

Let’s Talk Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block.

Whether you’re a professional author or sometimes storyteller, you know it. Those moments, days, weeks, or in my worst case several years where you want to write but something is stopping you.

The imagination seems to shut off. The motivation vanishes. You hate the words you see on the page/screen, trash it all, and walk away wondering if you’ll ever write again.

Fortunately, often time will get you past. Maybe you need to drink a cup or twelve of coffee. Maybe ponder nature. Maybe take a walk.

The thing I’ve found that’s helped me most is to ask my wife for ideas. She’s good at helping me brainstorm and I can take a sentence or two from her and churn out pages. I’ve even had stories win awards that way.

What about you? How do you fight the block?

Image cred: https://unsplash.com/@florianklauer