Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mike & Barney's Life in the Circus

One glance at Barney, and the dog trainer knew he was looking at something special.
He convinced Big Bob The Clown to let Mike and Barney try out for the clown act.
Barney was a natural. He even gave a better performance than all the other dogs that’d been in the circus for years.

Compliments from the trainer and other performers caused Mike to forget about his home and parents as he thought that life in the circus might be for him.
That's when Big Bob told Mike about his tragic past.

Find out what happens next in the new book, Barney and the Runaway, by Max Elliot Anderson. Available March 1 from a store near you or online.
Come back here tomorrow
Launch Day!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Midwest Book Review - Barney and the Runaway

A fine and thoughtful read...Rebelling against one's parents is rarely thought out the best it can be. "Barney and the Runaway" tells the story of Mike Ellis, who flees his parents with his dog, sick of their rules. Ending up in a circus, Mike soon learns that parental love may not be obvious, but it's always there. A story of a child coming to understand their parents, "Barney and the Runaway" is a fine and thoughtful read.
Midwest Book Review
March 1, 2011 Release

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just an empty box car...right?...Wrong!

At first it looked like just another line of empty railroad cars near Mike’s house.
When they walked to the end, and around to the other side, Mike noticed that one of them was filled with hay and the door had been left open.
This’d be a perfect hiding place, Mike thought. It won’t be long till my parents start missing me. Then things will be different. He’d had enough of their discipline and telling him what to do.

Mike and his little dog Barney climbed in and flopped down onto a soft bed of fresh hay. A sweet aroma filled the box car, making it impossible for them to keep their eyes open. Later, a sudden crash from a train, hooking up to their car, sent these two crashing to the floor as the massive door to their hideaway slammed shut. Now they were prisoners.
Things will be different all right! But not in the way Mike had planned.
Find out what happens next in the new book, Barney and the Runaway, by Max Elliot Anderson. Barney and the Runaway releases nationally on March 1. Find it in a store near you or online. And look for more books from this author in the coming months.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


R u n a w a y s !
There is nothing funny about young runaways in America today. The National Runaway Switchboard is a hotline that handles more than 100,000 calls each year. It is with this alarming statistic in mind that a new book, Barney and the Runaway, is published.

Author Max Elliot Anderson tells us, “The idea behind this action-adventure for readers 8 and up is to draw attention to runaways. I thought it would be interesting to show a character who started out pretending to run away so his parents would miss him and stop telling him what to do, or punishing him when he disobeyed.”

This story becomes more complicated when Michael Ellis and his little dog Barney climb up into a railroad box car filled with hay. They intend to stay there only long enough for his parents to start worrying about him.

“But things get much more complicated,” Anderson continued, “when the boy and his dog fall asleep in the soft hay. A freight train backs into his car, to hook it onto its long line of other cars. The force of that impact jolts Michael’s box car, slamming the massive sliding door shut. Now he and Barney are prisoners.”

The train caries Michael and Barney clear across the country until they finally stop somewhere in Georgia, in the middle of the night. There Mike meets a grown up runaway who is now a clown in the circus. Big Bob helps to teach Mike that you don’t always know how good things are until they’re gone.

“Barney becomes the star of the circus,” Anderson said, “and this causes Mike to think about staying in the circus for good. And it’s Mike and Barney who save the circus from men who intend to destroy it. Then Big Bob reveals a secret about his life that changes everything for Mike.”

Wayne Walker says, “There is much to commend it. Of course, it is filled with action, mystery, and excitement that will keep both boys and girls turning the pages to see what happens next. But there are also important lessons that children will be able to discern along with Mike, such as the importance of family and the fact that we often don't appreciate what we have until it's gone.”

Lin Harris adds, “Mr. Anderson packs into this superb 5-star story the intrigue, mystery, and timeless life lessons that "tweens" will enjoy and parents will feel comfortable to read aloud.”

And Viviane Crystal said, “Barney and The Runaway is a great adventure story that is unpredictable and fascinating on every page. It's a great addition to the already terrific novels written by this very talented YA fiction author!!!”

Barney and the Runaway releases on March 1 from Comfort Publishing. Mr. Anderson’s Books for Boys Blog is located at  
and his author Web Site can be found at  

Reading level: Ages 8 - 13

Paperback: 130 pages

Publisher: Comfort Publishing (March 1, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0984559841

ISBN-13: 978-0984559848

Max Eliot Anderson

P O Box 4126

Rockford, IL 61110

Be sure to come back tomorrow for an update.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just 7 Days Away From Barney and The Runaway!

We are now only seven days away from the national release of Max Elliot Anderson's latest book, Barney and the Runaway. Be sure to return to this blog over the next few days for more developments.

Here are some of the early comments from readers and reviewers.

• Author Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader and knows exactly what will grab the attention of “tween” boys. I did this book as a read aloud for our fourteen-year-old son who said that it is great. There is much to commend it. Of course, it is filled with action, mystery, and excitement that will keep both boys and girls turning the pages to see what happens next. But there are also important lessons that children will be able to discern along with Mike, such as the importance of family and the fact that we often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Wayne Walker

• Max Elliot Anderson is a master at giving us exceptional characters and fast moving, exciting adventures that are inspirational and still encourage reluctant readers to enjoy books that teach them the importance of doing what is right. The very special relationships of a boy and his dog, and then an old clown and a young boy, make this a heartwarming story along with conversation starter ideas about the love of parents you will want to share with your family. Beverly J. Rowe

• Barney and The Runaway is a great adventure story that is unpredictable and fascinating on every page. It's a great addition to the already terrific novels written by this very talented YA fiction author!!! Viviane Crystal

• “Barney and the Runaway” is a meaningful story about doing what one is told to do. Parents often punish their children, but only because they love and want what is best for them, not because they don’t care. Even though the life of a circus performer with a circus family may appear fun, if given a choice, most would agree that living within the confines of a warm home with loving, caring parents is the preferred choice. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” After Mike overhears some unsettling news and both he and Barney are involved in a scary and dangerous crime, Mike learns his lesson before it’s too late.  Kelli Glesige
Barney and the Runaway
available March 1

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daytona 500 - 2011

This past Friday I left the frozen North and made my way toward sunny Florida where our daughter lives. Our son joined us on Saturday as well as my older sister.

We had arrived for the Daytona 500. Weather couldn’t have been better with full sun and temps in the 70s each day.

The crowd was estimated at 200,000 race fans and the pre-race activities are always exciting.

Jeff Gordon is the driver I follow.

This year he was on the pole because of an earlier crash in practice by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

His father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., had lost his life in a crash 10 years ago at Daytona. There’s a nice statue of him at the track and a special race tribute was planned.
The car he drove was a black # 3, so on the third lap of the race, the crowd was instructed to raise 3 fingers as the cars came by.

Jeff Gordon was involved in the largest crash of the day. He managed to come back onto the track but was 30 laps down at the time. So I switched my allegiance to Dale Jr., who did well until a tire went down near the very end of the race.
Sprint Cup Series driver Bayne celebrates in ...
The biggest story of the day surrounded the winner of the race, Trevor Bayne, who just celebrated his 20th birthday. Not only was he the youngest driver to ever win The Daytona 500, it’s the first time he ever ran in it.
I’ve returned again to the frozen North – it snowed overnight –

– as I prepare for the national release of my new book,
Barney and the Runaway. Look for it in stores or online beginning on
Tuesday, March 1.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Win a FREE Copy of Barney and the Runaway

Win a Copy of This NEW Book!

You could win a copy of my newest book,
Barney and the Runaway if you go to  and leave a comment there. Barney and the Runaway will be released on March 1, and your copy would be mailed after that date. Selection of the winner of the free copy will be determined by the blog site owner. Enter now!

"Max Elliot Anderson brings a lifetime of dramatic film and video production to the pages of his action adventures and mysteries."

Author Jerry B. Jenkins

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

When The Lights Go Out - Contract Signed

When The Lights Go Out 
A book dedicated to the
memory of 9/11 for kids

I write action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 and up, especially boys. It's in that context that I discovered something over recent months when I've spoken in elementary schools. A couple of my previous books - Secret of Abbott's Cave, and Mountain Cabin Mystery - touched on what happened on 9/11, but only in passing, as part of a larger plot.

As I’ve spoken to students who are 9, 10, and even 11 years old, I've found that they know little or nothing about what happened on 9/11. Parents have written to tell me it's the same where they live. 

So I decided to write a book with the purpose of not letting the next generation forget what happened.

The title of this book is,

When the Lights go Out.
Here's how the dedication reads at the front of this book:
To the memory of 9/11,
and the people who lost their lives that day,
so we never forget.

I’ve signed the contract so that When The Lights Go Out will be published by Comfort Publishing and released in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this September.
This information is being posted with the hope that you will become interested in When the Lights go Out, and will let others with whom you communicate know about it. If you have any questions, my contact information follows.


Max Elliot Anderson


When the Lights go Out
Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Audience: 8 and Up; especially boys
Words: About 36,500

Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father was sent to such a run down place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who had completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.

Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that he couldn’t even tell his own family.

Peyton idolized his father. One day, he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.

Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the base’s motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission they could go on. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs, of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base, on its way across the country.

There was no way he could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave had to take matters into their own hands, and they do.

Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?

When the Lights go Out. A story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget.

Max Elliot Anderson P O Box 4126 Rockford, IL 61110 (815) 877-1514  

Author Web Site  



Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Final Check Copy of North Woods Poachers

Yesterday the final check copy of North Woods Poachers arrived in the mail. I'm reading it to look for any last minute changes or errors.

This is one of my previously published titles which is being republished by Comfort Publishing this year.


It was that time again—the annual fishing trip. Every summer was the same. The two Washburn families packed up their identical over-sized pickup trucks and headed for Canada. Only this time Andy Washburn determined it was going to be different. He didn't quite know what, or how he was going to work it out, but he was not going to spend two weeks in a boat, fishing this year. There had to be something better they could do up there instead. Even if they had to include Sarah, Andy's nine-year-old sister, and Jessica, CJ's sister, they'd do it.

Andy and CJ, his cousin, both approaching their twelfth birthdays, tried to find ways to get out of all that fishing. CJ is a computer whiz, and tests new products for his father's company, so he brings this year’s newest games and gadgets along, and they sure come in handy.

After arriving at the lake, the boys made a deal with their dads. They'd fish for the first couple of days then the boys could go off and explore the area. This becomes even more exciting when two, identical, black float-planes landed on the lake, after dark, and disappeared into the cove around the bend from the Washburn's cabins. Then they took off again before sunrise the next morning.

The boys determined to find out what that was all about. When Andy remembered that, at the Canada/US border, they'd been stopped and searched, another vehicle had been found to have illegal turtles hidden in the spare-tire well. Andy was sure these planes were poachers landing and taking off in the dark.

When the four children set out on their mission, they have no idea what they're getting themselves into. They find an old forest watch tower which, of course, they have to climb. From there they can see into the lodge on the other side of the cove where the two strange float-planes had gone. They return to the tower the next day with a telescope that belongs to Andy's dad. What they see and discover turns into sudden danger for these four kids. They uncover the answer to the mysterious, black planes, but they also stir up some serious trouble when they discover that there is an international ring of wild animal poachers operating out of the old abandoned lodge.

Watch for the release of this book later in 2011.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

My Private Interview With President Ronald Reagan

As we mark President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday on February 6, I'm transported back to a day during the fall of 1990. At that time I had the unique opportunity to spend much of a day with him as he visited his boyhood home in Dixon, Illinois. This turned out to be the last time he would visit there.
The original video is now housed at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. The following pictures were shot off of my TV screen from a VHS copy of the original material so the quality is diminished.

Along with the rest of the video crew, we were given Secret Service clearance for the day and shadowed him where ever he went.
We began at the river where, as a lifeguard, he saved many lives. There he skipped stones on the river and talked about his experiences.
We walked up to the thirdfloor gym where he had played basketball. Mr. Reagan took a few shots from the free-throw line.

We covered him with video cameras as crowds pushed toward him and made the Secret Service people nervous. For most of the day I was never more than inches or a few feet from one of the greatest men I believe this country has ever had as its leader.
A group of schoolchildren recited the Pledge of Allegiance as he stood out in front of the house. He went to the garage in the back of the house and then on to the statute of himself.
Mr. Reagan spoke to a full house that had gathered in the high school gym. There he was presented with a letter jacket. He proceeded to the football field and threw passes to some of the team.

The most unique experience came when we traveled to the actual house. There we set up for the only video interview that he gave that day. I was able to ask him a number of personal questions about growing up in that house.

After the interview, President Reagan was kind enough to send me a personal letter of thanks.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snow Place Like Home

Special Note! On Feb 6, we will mark the 100th birthday of President Ronald Reagan. I had a private, one hour video interview with him on the last visit to his boyhood home in Dixon, IL. I'll have a special post here on his birthday.

Let me begin by saying that this winter would be a good time to order a copy of Lost Island Smugglers, turn the heat up, sit by a fire if you have one - please don't start a fire in your house if you don't have a fireplace - and curl up with a copy of Lost Island Smugglers. Why? Because the story takes place in sunny, HOT, Florida.
The reports are that we received more than 13" of snow in this storm. But it was the howling winds that we heard all through the night that did the most damage.
Here's what I was faced with when I opened the garage door to begin shoveling.

A really big driveway drift

Snow hanging off of my roof 

I had to dig my way through this monster 

Just getting started


The last stretch was complicated because the plow only went down the center of the street. That gave me a drift from the end of my driveway, clear out to the middle of the road. Fortunately, a neighbor came over with his snow blower and we finished the job. Whew!
Speaking of the newspaper, neither the Chicago Tribune nor the Rockford Register Star showed up this morning. And whatever happened to the post office's slogan, "Neither rain, nor snow...?" The report today is don't necessarily expect to see your mail.

Since the plow only went down the middle of our street, there's still a 10' drift to our mailbox.

Our tabby cat, Aubie, is an indoor-outdoor cat. Today, she's decided she'd like to be an indoor cat.

If you'd like to see more pictures, our newspaper has them at Rockford Register Star pictures