Two days of frustration and muddling through html, xtml, tutorials, and starting over from initial html document (always! always! make an extra copy so you can go back to page one), I discovered (er...learned)the difference between "align" and "valign" and the whole time I knew it had to be some simple design layout thingie. Yep, just the letter "v" made my stuff go where I wanted.
Working with publisher has spoiled me. I like to be able to click and drag something where I want it. No resistance.
After all the searching the web for some great tools, tutorials, etc...I found a great software that is completely free. Microsoft offers it as a free download. Download, agree, and then select all four installs, then explore the wonderful world of website building.
I may just forget about writing books and start designing websites using that little baby.