Monday, December 30, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!








I know this is a bit early, but I want to wish you a Happy New Year, in case I forget on Wednesday.

I had a wonderful Christmas with family from as far away as Charleston, as well as local. Looking forward to a super 2020.

Hope your New Year is filled with blessings and your heart's desire.

Do you know any of the songs on the poster?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

I no longer put up a Christmas Tree. Do you wonder why?


"Trees are for climbing," Tiger says.

I am not going to disagree. 

This is from several years ago. Since I no longer furnish him with a tree inside, he goes outside and climbs as many trees as he wants to.

"That was a fake one, anyhow," he says.

He's right.

WISHING A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Patches and Happy send their best wishes too.


Monday, December 16, 2019

A GREAT DAY!

Welcome to a new Monday. Hope you had a super weekend. It's cold today, with a 13 mph wind. I'm staying in the house after we got home from church.

Yesterday was an exciting day. We had a book and craft event at Tom Burnett Memorial Library.  Our librarian does such a great job with events like this. Every space downstairs and upstairs was filled. From food to all sorts of lovely handmade products were available, along with books.


The Library!

I sold more books than I expected and also gave away a couple of titles that no longer are in print. 
Some of the money raised will go for good causes, like gifts for children at Christmas.
Such fun.

Wish you were there, but hope you had a super weekend too.

Must get organized. Ha, ha.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December IWSG

A new month begins and you know what that means. Yes, Insecure Writer's Support Group.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG.


DUE TO NEW YEAR'S DAY FALLING ON A WEDNESDAY, WE WILL BE POSTING JANUARY 8 RATHER THAN JANUARY 1!


Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG

His awesome co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Tyrean Martinson!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Mm, interesting question. The first thing that comes to my mind is perhaps I'm doing a little of both. I'm living the dream of writing my stories and having a great time doing it. But, I am not really there yet, if I consider how well my books sell and if anyone has ever heard of me. Being there, in my interpretation means having books that sell thousands of copies and people recognize your name. How many authors can say that? I can't. But, you know what? I'm not going to give up. So, with each story I tell, I try to improve it by making the characters more interesting, or making the plot more exciting, or writing to reach the age group my stories are aimed at. I know I have room for improvement, and I'm trying. If God gives me enough time on this Earth, I might just make it. There's always hope. And lots of writing. And thinking. And dreaming. 

How about you?

Happy Writing!














Friday, November 29, 2019

DANCING LEMUR PRESS HAS A GREAT DEAL



A great time to get some new books for gifts and for yourself.
And some of them are free. What a deal!



Happy Reading!




Monday, November 25, 2019

WHAT IVE BEEN READING!


It's no secret, I'm interested in the Orphan Train Movement. From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 children, most of them from New York, rode "Orphan Trains" to points west to find new homes. I had never heard of such a thing, until, one day I discovered my mother and aunt were Orphan Trian Riders. That's when I got involved in genealogy, and I'm so happy I did. And, now, I'm happy to discover a lot of books about these children, most of them fictional, but also quite a few true stories.

But enough. Back to reading. The latest two Orphan Train stories I've read are ORPHAN TRAIN ESCAPE and ORPHAN TRAIN TRIALS, the first two books in a series by Rachel Wesson. They are fictional and I enjoyed them. I also have a stack of books about the trains that tell the good side of the story, and also the sometimes bad side. And, of course, you knew I wouldn't forget this one.


Fiction, but based on my mother's story of being an Orphan Train Rider. She never told me, but sometimes memories are too painful to remember.
AMAZON

I'm also a member of NOTC, National Orphan Train Complex, an organization formed to keep alive the stories of these children and the agents who rode the train, as well. It's located in Concordia, KS

I'll be looking for more to read. I have a very good one about the man who started all this, Charles Loring Brace. THE DANGEROUS CLASSES OF NEW YORK, A TWENTY YEARS' WORK AMONG THEM

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 15, 2019

FAVORITE HOLIDAY MEMORY BLOG HOP







Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory?

(This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)

My Memory:

This isn't an easy question to answer. I have so many fond memories of Christmas from the time I was a child to when I had children and grandchildren. One special Christmas comes to mind, however. The year our youngest son brought our new granddaughter to celebrate the holiday with us. She was only two months old, and they traveled from California to Texas for Christmas. She was adorable and still is beautiful as a teenager. She met her uncles and aunts, along with her grandpa and grandma. She was the star of the holiday. Santa didn't stand a chance. I treasure the pictures from all our Christmases. It's such fun to go back and look at them. Boy, have we changed.  Oh, and her middle name is the same as mine. 

How about your Favorite Memory?

Now, we have a new book to look at.


New Picture Book Release from Elaine Kaye:




BLURB: On Christmas Eve, Gregory and Sammy get a special visitor—Santa Claus! Santa brings them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world and to the North Pole. Bundle up and come along for the ride!


General Age Range - Kids 4-8 (Story Picture Book)

Book Links:



PLUS, A FREEBIE!



Get Pea Soup Disaster now!
Kindle / Nook / Kobo







About the Author: Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools. She currently lives in Florida, but has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.

Website / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram / Facebook

Thanks for stopping by.


Hop around to the other blogs participating:













Wednesday, November 6, 2019

NOVEMBER IWSG





The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG.


Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG


 His awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patrici



Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!


November 6 question is  What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?


Mm, interesting question.

I've searched my brain. Nothing's there. Can't think of a thing. So, I have no answer today.

Happy reading and writing to all.






 





Saturday, November 2, 2019

A VISIT TODAY FROM AUTHOR MELANIE ROBERTSON-KING

I'm so excited to be part of Melanie Robertson-King's tour for her latest novel, IT HAPPENED IN GASTOWN. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy meeting the author and her characters.




Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit...

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital. When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?




EXCERPT


Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.
Originally they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter more appropriate.
Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”
“Likely just garbage.”
“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”
Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.
Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The farther into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there wasn’t rubbish, as Luke said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.
Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him.
A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely discernible.
The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted the medication. Luke was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled the wrapper open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.
She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”
By now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.
Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.
“He’s alive ... just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”





All right. Now I want to know what it was.




And Here She Is!


Everything you wanted to know about Melanie but were afraid to ask ...


A native of eastern Ontario, during her pre-school years, Melanie Robertson-King lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St Lawrence River. Before starting school, her family moved to Brockville, where she received her education, including a post-secondary degree in Computer Programming.
Growing up as an only child, Melanie was an avid reader and remains so to this day. She knew then one day she would be a writer. When she wasn’t talking about her dream of becoming an author, she wrote stories and began honing her skills at an early age.
Melanie’s father was a Scottish national. He came to Canada as a ‘Home Child’ through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland. She promised herself that one day, her feet would touch the soil in her father’s homeland. That first trip was in 1993, and she’s not looked back since, having returned to the auld country many more times and is looking forward to her next trip, possibly as soon as 2020. On one of her many trips to Scotland, Melanie had the honour of meeting Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) at the orphanage where her father was raised.
Encouraged to study Highland Dancing, she competed locally. Her final competition took place during the summer of 1969, a few short months after her father’s death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games. In that last event, she won the Silver Medal in the Sword Dance.
Melanie began her professional writing career in non-fiction. One of her articles graced the cover of an international publication. At the same time, she continued to develop her writing voice: short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) as well as novel-length work.
Since her debut novel was published in the summer of 2012, Melanie has written seven more books (including two for children) and released the second edition of her first.
It Happened in Gastown is Melanie’s ninth book, and the second in the “It Happened” series of sweet romances set in picturesque locations across Canada.
Her short story, Cole’s Notes, has been re-edited and is available as a free read through her website and blog.
When not sequestered in her cave writing, plotting or editing, you’ll find her out and about. Favourite haunts (pardon the pun) are cemeteries (the older, the better) since they have more character, and perhaps a few more characters. She also loves travel and photography.
Melanie and fellow authors, Wendy H. Jones and Chris Longmuir, make up the infamous trio – the Princesses of Pandemonium.



Melanie is having a giveaway: an e copy (mobi, epub or pdf) of the first book in the series - It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. The draw will take place on Dec 1st. Everyone who comments on any of the blogs will have their name entered.

Sounds like a good deal to me. Happy Reading.


Monday, October 28, 2019

NOT GUILTY BY C LEE MCKENZIE

Welcome to a new week. And do I have a treat for you. Have you read C Lee McKenzie's latest YA novel, NOT GUILTY? Yes. Great. No? What are you waiting for?  Here are my thoughts to maybe let you see what you're missing. (If you've already read the story, good for you.)




A Great Cover!




NOT GUILTY


By C. Lee McKenzie




Have you ever been accused of something that you didn’t do? How did you prove your innocence? Or did you? C. Lee McKenzie's latest novel, NOT GUILTY, deals with a situation
that tears a family apart and almost destroys a young man's life.

Take a lie, a broken heart, and a mystery and you have a world spinning out of control.  Devon Carlyle has a dream. His chances are looking good to make his dream come true, until the unthinkable happens. Instead of the prospects of a basketball scholarship he ends up in Juvenile Hall, although he’s innocent of the crime he's charged with. Can Devon find a way to prove he’s not guilty? Or will he always be remembered as the boy that almost killed another boy, as well as losing his friends and the scholarship?

Devon’s story touched my heart. He isn’t perfect. Who is? He has a temper that adds to his trouble. Then there’s the girl problem that he doesn’t need at this particular time in his life. Can matters get any worse?

C. Lee McKenzie’s characters seem real, like the kids you might meet in you own town. They make mistakes. They laugh. They fight. They love.  And I so wanted the guilty party to get what he deserved. Does he? You’ll find out when you read NOT GUILTY. I recommend NOT GUILTY for your private library and also for high school and public libraries. So, pick up a copy and  see how Devon's story ends. Happy Reading! 


And here's where you can find NOT GUILTY.



Monday, October 21, 2019

OCTOBER IS DYSLEXIA AWARENESS MONTH

I was reading my SLJ Teen magazine on line when I made an amazing discovery. October is not only the month of Bully Prevention but the month of Dyslexia Awareness. I had no idea, but it's perfect.

Karen Jensen, TLT wrote an interesting article about the research she did to find books about the subject of dyslexia. Here's the link:
http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2019/dyslexia-awareness-month-books-featuring-main-characters-with-dyslexia/

In her research for books with dyslexic characters she found a few books but they they were mostly for young readers. She found very few for teens. She lists some of the books and is working to discover more books, especially YA stories, with main characters that have dyslexia to add to her list.  I left a comment about my forth coming novel. Maybe Karen Jensen will be interested in Gabe. 
I hope people will understand about people that have Dyslexia and not laugh at them or bully them.


We still have National Bullying Prevention Month. Here are some suggestions I found for the week of October 21st. From the National Bullying Prevention Month Stomp Out Bullying site.

For students: If you see someone eating alone in the cafeteria, ask them to eat with you.
If someone is just watching a school activity or something after school invite them to join in.
If you're an adult and at work, do the same. Ask them if you can eat lunch with them or invite them to eat with you. Few people enjoy eating alone. Be friends. 

Send a note to a social media friend saying to have a good day, or something to let them know you're thinking about them.
I'm sure you can think of some great ways to show a person they are important and not alone.

Boy! October is a busy month.



Tuesday, October 15, 2019

AUTHOR CHARLES SUDDETH'S TOUR FOR STONE MAN AND TH E TRAIL OF TEARS


I am so excited to host  Author Charles Suddeth and his latest novel today.  As a lover of history, this story sounds so intriguing. So, here it is.





This is a gorgeous cover.


Where the story idea for STONE MAN AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS came from

I have known for years that the Trail of Tears was complicated and not everyone traveled west. Escaping from soldiers with winter coming on fascinates me. Many of those who fled died of starvation and exposure in the mountains. Some were caught and executed. But a few were able to evade soldiers, weather, and starvation. Many of the Cherokees living on the North Carolina Cherokee Reservation are descended from those who escaped.

Years ago, I met Mack Pennington, my triple-great uncle. He told me the story of his father, Bill Pennington, my great-great grandfather. Bill lived to be a 100, dying in 1930, passing on the story of his early life. Bill was born around 1830 in a Cherokee village in the mountains, possibly eastern Kentucky. The family moved north about 1838, probably leaving to avoid the Trail of Tears. Most of the village moved with them to a rural area between Charlestown and Henryville, Indiana, about 30 miles north-east of Louisville, Kentucky where a mixture of whites and Meti (French/Shawnee mixed-bloods) lived.

When I decided to write about the Trail of Tears, I chose to write about those who fled into the mountains. Their story has not been told. And I wanted this as tribute to Bill Pennington. Though he never contacted the Cherokee tribe and lost his tribal identity, he never forgot his Cherokee heritage. I also wanted to show that kindness and decency have no racial boundaries. Most of all, I wanted an adventure, something children could thrill to.

I camped 4 nights with my 2 young sons along the Mississippi River at Columbus-Belmont State Park in Columbus, Kentucky. I learned that the John Benge detachment of 1,100 Cherokees stayed here in November 1838 during the Trail of Tears. A ferry took them across the Mississippi to Belmont, Missouri, but it took several days. Cherokees camped all over the area, including my camp site (one photo shows the fortifications where I camped).

Thank you for telling us your story.

Bio and Links:




Charles Suddeth has published poetry, picture books, middle reader’s books, young adult thrillers, and adult mysteries in English, Cherokee, and Turkish. He is active with Green River Writers and leads a monthly SCBWI Social. He lives in Louisville and teaches for the Jefferson County Schools.




Find Stone Man: And the Trail of Tears at:





 Congratulations on a wonderful book.

Happy Reading!






Monday, October 14, 2019

WEEK TWO OF NATIONAL BULLY PREVENTION MONTH

Welcome to October 14. I hope you had a nice weekend. How is your preventing bullying working out?  What do you have planned for this week? 

Here are some suggestions from  the online site:: October is National Bullying Prevention Month. They're calling it "Be brave. Stand up for for someone you see being bullied."
I'd like to add to that. "Be very careful how you do it because you don't want to put yourself in danger." Bullies have been known to back off, though, when others stand up for victims.

They also suggest to make friends with those who might be different, whether African American, Asian, Muslim, disabled, or someone you don't know.

How can students or people at work do that, or when you're shopping or wherever you might be? See suggestions from the Website.

Students or workers can give kind notes to classmates or co-workers. Stay at home moms might call a friend or someone they've just met with kind words of have a good day or do they need  anything..

I bet you can come up with a lot of other fantastic ideas. Make others feel like you care about them. And we really should care about everyone.

I was at the library Saturday at a book signing with lots of authors from the area. And you know what? I never saw any act of bullying. There were children and adults present, but everyone got along. That was neat. And it is possible to be friendly. So be aware if you notice someone picking on another person. Think how you might stop it, and then do so. Kindly, gently, which might be something the bully really needs. We don't know why he/she is the way he/she is. All we can do is try to help them see that they are important and friends are wonderful.

Have  a good week. Oh, and tune in tomorrow for Author Charles Suddeth's visit here on his new novel's tour. He has an interesting story to tell you. Thanks


Happy Reading!

Monday, October 7, 2019

NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH

When I was a kid in the dark ages, I never heard the word "Bully." I did hear about boys getting in a fight sometimes or in other sorts of trouble. But today, the term "Bully" is quite common. And it is getting out of hand. So something had to be done. 

In 2006, Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center founded National Bullying Prevention Month, the month of October.


You may ask, "What exactly is bullying?"

It's unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that includes a real or perceived power imbalance.  To learn more about what is considered bullying, check it out here:


You'll find a long list. There is so much involved in bullying. It's not simple. So, next week, we'll discuss what we and the children can do to stop this horrible treatment. If, you're interested in learning more details, you'll find almost anything you want to know by searching for it online.

Gabe says, "Being tripped, your hair cut, and laughed at is not fun. Help stop the bullies."

Thank you!



Have a Good Week!




Wednesday, October 2, 2019

OCTOBER IWSG

Good morning. I'm running late. Will catch up soon. Have a great day.




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG

His awesome co-hosts for the October 2 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!

October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I don't think I agree with that. When I read, I learn so much and my mind starts to thinking about the characters and their story and ideas will pop into my head. Not copying the people and stories that I read but going off in a different direction that I think of when I'm reading. I don't know if that makes sense. I don't copy the ideas, but they give me a new outlook on life.

How about you?

Happy Reading!