Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween! I Didn't Know Its History! You?

Halloween began centuries ago as a pagan holiday that honored the dead that warned of a netherworld of spirits and ghosts. Today, Halloween has morphed into a day for breaking rules, pushing boundaries and wearing disguises. But Halloween remains a time for us to deal with our own mortality. Our modern Halloween traditions have ancient roots – people were going door to door and begging for treats on Halloween night as far back as the Middle Ages. We may think our Halloweens are crazy, but Halloweens past have been wilder and more dangerous than they are now. During the depression, Halloween became so violent and destructive that civil authorities had to step in and prevent wide-spread vandalism in cities across America. Their solution, the ritual of "trick or treat," now generates $2 billion dollars in candy sales each season. And these days adults get dressed up for the holiday almost as much as kids do. But no matter how many jack-o-lanterns get carved or kids yell "trick-or-treat!" Halloween is still all about the "scare." Two thousand years and counting, and we still like to be scared on the night of October 31.

Interesting? I thought so!

Enjoy your Halloweening!

Now...here's some music to listen to until you sleep...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Extraordinary Approach to Writing Guide by Diana Raab, PhD

Writing for Bliss is a Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life... One of the results of reading this book may be that readers will decide to write their memoirs...

That may be what you buy the book for, and I believe, if you do write that memoir, you will succeed using this book...

First, I was surprised at the content. Yes, this is a book about writing, but it is so much more! I've read a number of books that technically helps you through the mechanics of writing... Raab, though, uses her professional credentials and research in the fields of therapy, psychology and more to merge with her own writing development and reading to create a truly extraordinary nonfiction book about writing...about bliss... Emphasis on Bliss!

With that I point out that, although I write continuously as a book reviewer, I don't consider myself a writer, one who wants to write a book, although after reading this book, I just might! I point that out because there is so much more in this book that I will recommend it to anybody who wants to know more about...yourself...

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are--if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
--Joseph Campbell

Most writers will confess that they write because they have to write, not necessarily because they want to write. They write out of necessity because either it makes them feel better or they want to share their story with the world. I fall into both these categories: writing makes me feel good; when I don't write, I feel as if something's missing from my life, plus I also yearn to share my stories with others in the hope that they will resonate in a way that brings healing and a deeper way of knowing and understanding...

Basically, my research examined how life-changing experiences have inspired some well-published authors to write the narratives of their lives... The actual decision to write a memoir depends on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors on both related to the individual's emotions, and the extrinsic factors may pertain to what occurs in his or her world. Writing about certain experiences helps provide an understanding of one's unique self, as well as of one's relationship with others and the world at large... --Diana Raab in the Preface

Beginning with her introduction of Maslow into her conversation, I began to see how Raab would begin...to help individuals know more about their inner needs and goals...their secrets, their inner thoughts...and, yes, that outer individual we all present to others.

Keeping a journal was the beginning of Raab's writing. Her first journal was given to her by her mother on the event of one of her most traumatic early experiences. As well as throughout the remainder of her life. Many of her journals were the beginning of books she has published, merging writing into a number of different issues that could or would face many of us.

Writing for Bliss. I had never used the word before reading this book. As I thought about it, I can name only one time when I would consider I was in a state of Bliss... Perfect Happiness... Great Joy... Raab suggests that readers go through her book the first time without taking the time to go through the numerous writing exercises that is inserted frequently. That's what I did, but I also read the exercises of what readers who use the book as a study guide would be involved with. 

Diana Raab's first journal included the writings of Kahlil Gibran; I bought mine in 1978 and did start to use it as a journal, but I've spent more time reading his wonderful words while I began working and following Maslow's guidance in loving work that energized me and which I enjoyed. Raab speaks of many authors, including Rumi, Jung and many others, quoting their words as it relates to you, to her life, and to life itself... 

If I were to say, that Raab uses her writing as a tool, in order for each of us who is interested and willing, to help us in getting to know ourselves, it is the best way I can think of to share the magic she presents as she guides us to write that which is inside each of us, that which needs to be acknowledged by ourselves, first...and, perhaps, then, to be shared with others. She is striving to do just what her title says, transform your life. Doing this by guiding readers through our life's joys and bad times, remembering our own stories, recognizing them as our truth. If we decide to share those truths, she then proceeds to help you do that as the book comes to a close...

This book may have a profound impact on your life, what writing you may do. In my own life, for instance, I had two books in my mind to write but the material was so traumatic that I could not deal with it without flashback and nightmares... Raab noted that this often happened and she'd known writers who had not been able to write their book for years...and that was alright! Suggesting that writing about it in a journal could help bring the reader to the point of acceptance of what had happened, even if a book was never written...

Raab presents an excellent study guide for early writers as well as the experienced. but it is in the area of self-help that I found my interest, more to garner and experience. Writing may be the tool she uses for those who don't have that desire to write books. Her guidance in journal writing is superb and her expertise in therapy and self-help is extraordinarily well written. I strongly suggest that, in considering this book, you check out the extensive table of contents. Briefly, here are the seven steps to be used: One, Preparing to Write; Two, Cultivating Self-Awareness; Three, Speaking Your Truth; Four, Examining your Life; Five, Finding Your Form; Six, Unleashing with Poetry; and Seven, Sharing Your Writing. There was much in her book I had discovered in my own reading, but her merge of sharing that through our own writing was entirely new for me.

The appendix includes an extensive Writing Prompt List in addition to what you'll find in the book. A Reference list of her research, a further reading of books on writing list, as well as recommended Memoirs to be read for those wishing to write their own. The all-important index for non-fiction books is also provided. 

The writing is exceptional as she merges her research into the specific topic she is covering. The attention to detail and the inclusion of additional references is the best I've seen in recent nonfiction books - an impressive display of her caring contributions. For me This book will stay as an active book...now taking the time to reread and consider the suggested activities... but also considering what she has to teach me about my own transformation based upon her much broader knowledge and expertise she shares to readers! This book is added to my personal favorites for 2017...

Highly recommended both as a writing study book as well as a self-help book on getting to know more about ourselves and possibly transforming your life...no matter what age and whether you are a writer or not.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Writer Alert, Out Now: Writing for Bliss by Diana Raab

Reflective writing and personal narrative can truly have healing and transformative powers. In her inspirational new book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life (Loving Healing Press), Diana Raab, PhD offers practical steps for discovering and writing the story that is inside you and yearning to be told. A valuable how-to guide for anyone interested in growth and personal transformation, Writing for Bliss explores the process of writing a compelling narrative about life-changing experiences. Suitable for emerging writers, seasoned writers, students, and academics, this book leads spiritual seekers down the path of self-discovery through writing prompts, tools for journaling, and embodied and reflective writing techniques, offering ways to find the best vehicle for profound self-expression.
Writing your story is a way to reclaim your voice, reveal a family secret, or simply share your story with others. Journaling is a cathartic and safe way to work through your feelings and direct your rage to the page. With the help of this indispensable guide to therapeutic writing, you’ll understand yourself better, learn to honor the good times, be able to deal with various challenges in your life, such as depression, anxiety, illness, loss of a loved one, job loss, early life trauma, addiction, and life transitions. Offering step-by-step hands-on exercises for journaling your thoughts, emotions, and memories, along with techniques to jump-start your writing, Writing for Bliss will help you use self-expression to transform your life in a meaningful way. Writing for Bliss is available through local and online bookstores including Amazon, Powell’s Books, and Blackwell (UK).

Questions & Answers 


When and how did you begin writing? 

My passion for writing began at the age of ten when my mother gave me a Kahlil Gibran journal after my grandmother/caretaker committed suicide in my childhood home. Journaling was instrumental in helping me heal from my loss. Since then, my journal has been my confidant and best friend. I’ve used it to navigate difficult times, and it’s also a place to store memories and creative ideas that later result in poems, essays, and books. 

What inspired you to write this book? 

Writing for Bliss is a culmination of my life’s work. Ever since my mother gave me my first journal, I have used writing for healing—also the subject of my doctoral work—which focused on the transformative powers of writing a memoir. After getting my PhD, I continued my path of teaching writing-for transformation workshops. Many participants told me that I inspired them to write, and asked if I would write a book they could use as a reference after the workshop ended. 

How has your life story shaped your writing of nonfiction and poetry? 

I have encountered many losses in my life, and since it has been said that survivors are very often seekers, my experiences compelled me to record my feelings and impressions. For me, writing is my spiritual practice. It’s my “go to” place during both good and bad times. My journal is my friend and confidant, helping me release whatever is bottled up inside of me. It is liberating for me, because by releasing my secrets and sentiments, I become free and have more control over my life. 

What are some unexpected benefits of writing about one’s life? 

In addition to being a container for one’s thoughts and a way to release tension, writing about feelings and experiences is an excellent way to find out what you don’t know. In my research of writers who have written memoirs, many confessed that they began writing their memoirs for one reason, and during the writing process realized they were writing for a completely different reason. For example, one author wrote in order to figure out why his brother committed suicide, but by the time he’d made it to the end of his book, he realized that writing about his brother was a way to keep him alive. 

Why is writing healing and transformative? 

Writing is healing and transformative because it’s a way to nurture yourself. Free-writing, in particular, which is writing without lifting your pen off the page, can be liberating and healing because you go wherever your mind takes you. If you share your writing, others can be transformed by your words, especially if your story resonates with them or they have navigated similar journeys. Ultimately, healing, transformation, and empowerment are all parts of the same path—leading to self-awareness, self-discovery, growth and, eventually, bliss. 



“Through my writing, mentoring and workshops, I guide others to discover and tell their own unique stories and abiding truths. The craft and practice of writing can be transformative and empowering—a cornerstone for emotional and psychological well-being, and a way to tap into one’s true inner voice and passions.”

Diana Raab

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dinner with King Solomon - Another Book of Wisdom by Matshona Dhliwayo...

I met Matshona Dhilwayo through another book, Lalibela's Wise Man, which I thoroughly enjoy. When I posted my review, I bought this book and think many of you will find it as inspiring as I did. I read many books related to the work environment when I began working many years ago, but had never studied King Solomon.  Spending time with him at dinner was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend to each of you...

Kevin peered out his driver-side window.  The new owners of his beautiful home appeared to be happy.  The young children were playing on the lush, green lawn that he had meticulously maintained for the past twenty years to please his ex-wife Dianne.  Sitting in his parked car, he realized he would give anything to spend one more day in that house with her, living their old life. Memories of the good times they had shared were all he had left now, but the more he held onto them, the more it hurt. Life had been too cruel to Kevin—it had plunged a knife into his heart that twisted with every passing minute of the day, reminding him that pain was his new existence.  Oxygen had been replaced by despair. 
What am I going to do? Kevin thought.  At forty-five, he had lost everything: his successful business, his wife, his two children, and his reputation.  Everything he treasured had been taken from him.  His business partner had swindled every single one of their customers and disappeared, leaving behind debts Kevin couldn’t pay in two lifetimes and a reputation that he couldn’t restore in three. Kevin knew he had reached the noose of his rope.  He had no one to turn to; all his friends deserted him.  Those he’d supported during times of trouble were nowhere to be found, and his own family no longer returned his phone calls.  They were too ashamed to be associated with him. “They love you when you’re up,” he mumbled to himself, remembering how they would beg him to come to every party and event.  Now, he was sure they wouldn’t notice, or even mind, if he changed his last name...
Kevin slowly climbed out of the car and scrambled over to the edge of the bridge.  A few wispy clouds interrupted the blue sky, and a flock of birds flew near the horizon.  The clear waters below were calm.  Everything, except him, seemed to be at peace.  As Kevin looked down, he remembered what his mother always used to say: “Everything happens for a reason.” Could this be why I ran out of gas? he thought.  Maybe this is a sign.  What have I got left to live for?  If I were gone, wouldn’t everyone be better off?  I could finally rest… Kevin shut his eyes and spread his arms to embrace his fate.  A gentle wind blew his hair away from his face.  Kevin leaned into it, gathering his strength. “This is it,” he said, as he began to take one last step. 
“Excuse me, sir?” Kevin opened his eyes.  
“Heaven?” he whispered in hope. 
“Sir, are you looking for this?” Just like a moment ago, the sky was blue, and the clear waters below were calm.  Kevin was confused.  His surroundings looked more like Earth than Heaven. He turned around to find out he was still on the bridge. 
But... I jumped...  Perhaps the angel behind him would explain why he wasn’t wet.  He turned around and squinted at the figure in front of him.  It was no angel.  The little boy standing in front of him was no more than nine, short and skinny without any wings or a halo.  Kevin stretched out his hand, hesitantly accepting his car keys from the boy’s outstretched palm. “Thanks,” he struggled to say, confusion clearly written across his face.  “I must have dropped them.” 
“You’re welcome,” the little boy replied.  With a big smile, he ran back to the Dodge van, which had pulled off to the side of the bridge.  His mother smiled at him, and the little boy waved as they drove away. Kevin looked around, re-examining his surroundings...
Death is never around when you need it, he thought...

Kevin had reached his lowest point and could see no way out, no future for him that could be worked out. His partner had betrayed him as well as their customers and he had no way to pay back what had been stolen. This family, ashamed, turned away from him...

He tried suicide, but, somehow, he even failed at that...

So he went home to his depressing apartment...and began to try again... He was interrupted again by someone knocking on his door, and kept on knocking until Kevin answered... King Solomon introduced himself and wondered if Kevin would invite him to have dinner with him...

Have we met?” Kevin asked hesitantly, shaking the man’s hand, without a word.
 “No, we have not,” the man replied.
“I was just in the middle of something.  What can I do for you?”
“I have come to ask you to invite me to dinner.”

Kevin had some time before his dinner was scheduled with King Solomon and he decided to learn enough to be prepared to talk with him in an intelligent manner...

The meal was going well or, at least, Kevin hoped it was. He watched throughout to make sure that King Solomon was enjoying his dinner, but remained uncertain. He wanted to know more. “Time travel is impossible, so how are you here if you lived three thousand years ago?” 
King Solomon sipped his fruit juice simply. “What is impossible for man is possible for God. God can make even the heaviest object travel at the speed of light,” he said. 
Kevin was amazed. 
“Don’t be surprised. Angels travel faster than the speed of light. They are everywhere around you but too quick for the human eye to see.” 
“To be honest, I have a hard time believing anything my eyes cannot see,” Kevin admitted. “I guess I’m just not spiritual enough.” 
“How can you not be spiritual? Is it not your spirit that makes you who you are?...

What would you want to ask of King Solomon? Of course, one of the first questions in most of our minds is why so many bad things happen to good people... Many hours go by as Kevin learns how he can turn his life around...

I couldn't help but think that God puts many people in our lives with wisdom, sometimes specifically sent to help, others sharing their own experiences of what happened in their lives. We may not often really get to meet an angel or King Solomon, but writers such as Dhliwayo, a philosopher who works to inspire and share, can help you better understand written texts that can be applied to your own life... just as Kevin was able to do after spending time with King Solomon and the God who had sent him...

This was inspirational to me, as I learned more about the application of King Solomon's wisdom. It was said that only God was wiser...Solomon was just a man, but we can also learn from our fellow man with God's discernment and guidance. In that light, I recommend you check this one out, especially if you might need life guidance at this time...


Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian based Philosopher, Entrepreneur, and author of books such as The Art of Winning, The Little Book of Inspiration, 100 Lessons Every Great Man Wants You to Know, Dinner with King Solomon and Lalibela's Wise Man. He is a regular contributor for The African Leadership Magazine, The CEO Magazine, Health Magazine, The African Union, and other internationally renowned magazines.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Ghost of Mavis...A Unique Experience Brought by Mary Lynn Plaisance

"It says right here that you should have married
James Windsor after Charlie. It's written very simple and clear.
Maybe James passed you by and in a split second, you didn't
notice him. That's called missing your lick. You missed
your lick, Mavis. This needs to be sorted out before you
can be reincarnated..."
"Calling Mavis Brook to Corridor M."
"My turn," Mavis whispered as she walked down the corridor. "I have a few questions I hope the angel I get is as nice as Mercy's angel."
"Come in. Take a seat in the white cloud chair over there near the corner of my big cloud desk."
"Thank you, sir. Everything is so white in here. I see only clouds here...and look at me all in white too with this wedding dress and veil. I tried to take the veil off, but it's stuck in my hair. I'm guessing it was a strong holding spray net."
"And... you're Mavis?" asked the slim looking young man who had big wings.
"Yes, I am Mavis. I can tell you're an angel by your wings. They're so big and fluffy." Mavis was so nervous.
"Yes, I'm an angel. I chose to stay here and help the ones who want to go back to earth."
"So, that's how it works. If I stay here. I become an angel? That's good to know. I hope I remember that next time I die...

The Ghost of Mavis

By Mary Lynn Plaisance

If you're confused about what happens when you die, you're not alone. Even Mavis, the main character... And she'd been through it several times before--she'd always been placed with a poor family in the past and this, time, she was going to ask to be born into a rich family...

But that plan, that is already written in the book, according to the angel who was greeting her at the gates, indicated that she was going back... she should have married a second time, to James Windsor, after her first husband, Charlie, had died. Instead she had lived to the age of 88 and had once again said goodbye to the living...

In creating her fantasy, Plaisance has taken considerable liberty in exactly what happens upon death...Basically, heaven is the place where you go, either to stay, or to get reincarnated. In Mavis' case, however, her life plan had been unfulfilled as Mavis. In fact, as soon as Mavis had died, she had donned a wedding dress, appeared as a young woman about 25; and, Danson, the angel, was explaining to Mavis that she needed to go back as a ghost and search out the man she was to have married... A guiding angel would help her during this time period and, once James would be found, Anna would handle the details at that time...

And the mystery begins...

Mavis awakes as the wife of James, married for a year, and we pick up the happily married couple at that time. 
"James, where are you? You know, we need a swing in our bedroom. That would be fun." she giggled.
"I'm right beside you, my darling. Adding some soul to our sensual mood. Hear the music?"
James undressed himself.
There was a stereo system next to the bed and James clicked it on to the tune of Barry White music. She sound was low... but loud enough to hear...My First-My Last-My Everything. It was their song.
James slowly unbuttoned her blouse...while he began saying the words of Barry White's song to Mavis. "We got it together, didn't we? We definitely got our thing together, don't we? Isn't this nice?"
Mavis was letting him do anything he wanted...

James has just become a full professor and Mavis is enrolled in business classes. Readers peek in on their lives which is still in the honeymoon stage...

Until one day Mavis mentions having a child... James adamantly refuses to consider becoming a father.

I draw your attention to the strangely intriguing book cover at this point... We were told that Mavis had the wedding gown on when she returned to heaven, but who was the little girl off to the side behind the bride? With a bit of serendipity, I had to look twice...and...more... at the picture... You see, she looks very much like me when I was young! Of course, I was immediately curious to find out more! Who is the little girl who appears throughout the book? First in a picture that Mavis carried. Next inside a haunted mirror at an antique store. Then in a family picture... And then in person... She is Sophia and is waiting...

I was enchanted by the beautiful cover... I was amused at the confusion Mavis faced at 88 and arrives at heaven's gate in a wedding dress... And I was hooked as Mavis, without any knowledge, except intuition, works to solve the mystery of the little girl, who we learn is called Sophia... Even with clues along the way, I really was not prepared for what could be called a major traumatic ending...

This was my first book written by Mary Lynn Plaisance and my emotional responses were moving up and down continuously. Plaisance is a writer that is not afraid to fly her wings in her fantasies... In this book she's tackled death...and life... and gave her readers much to think about. Surely each of us has considered what we might believe happens, but this author pops up with options that are fun to watch as they happen, forces us to wonder about predestination, and in the end gives us a possible reality if there is a book of life for each of us... I found it intriguing, not quite believable, but a rare challenge to each of us as we look forward to where and how we might spend eternity...

Me? I was left wondering if Sophia was my great-great-grandmother! That's part of the options at death, to come back in the same family... LOL! Cool premise for a plot and the author carried the storyline through in a consistent, suspenseful manner that keeps readers interested... If you are open to exploring death and the hereafter, this is a fun read that I highly recommend.


Mary Lynn Hebert Plaisance was born in Mathews, La. and grew up in the true Cajun style of the 50's. She married Teddy Plaisance in 1964 and became the mother of 4 sons. Her interest was always in writing since she was 10 when she saw the bookmobile pass in front of her home. When her grown up sons left the home, she went back to her favorite hobbies, writing stories and sewing. In 1992, she had her first Sha Bebe cloth doll copyrighted. In 2004, she self-published her first fairy tale story book about her precious Cajun Sha Bebe Dolls who live in the sugar cane fields of Louisiana. Today she has 18 doll characters in her books and has 4 volumes in The Chronicles of Sha Bebe. All of her life she felt like she lived in a fairy tale. She sees no reason to end that fairy tale anytime soon.
--You've created a Cajun fairyland, much like Walt created a Disneyland. Your characters feel like a Disney scene set in the sugarcane fields. Mary Lynn, keep weaving the threads of your wonderful creativity into a tapestry of magical tales. The pen is your loom, the paper your wool. A MUST READ. It's not only a Louisiana story.
Visit Mary Lynn on Facebook @

Monday, October 23, 2017

Carl Brookins Presents Grand Lac

The two main characters are a delightful personal and professional duo...old enough to have much experience, but also old enough to be experiencing some of the aches and pains of age... especially on this trip which takes us up in the mountains of northern Idaho... Here's a brief sketch provided early in the book... 

The airport operates during daylight hours and the train arrives from east or west around midnight, assuming it's on schedule. Apart from the resorts, logging and a little mining, ranching and associated business activities keep folks busy and mostly out of trouble. There are a number of retirement establishments as well. Once Kane an Lockem arrived, they noticed that their age cohort fit in pretty well.
There are advantages to being members of the younger geriatric set. Retirees are often considered harmless, having lost their edge, and most of their influence, if they ever had any, and are likely to be targeted as victims. Fit as they are, governments and many people tend to ignore or dismiss them. But as Marjorie Kane once remarked, "We develop magical powers, because we become invisible." It's a mistake many people make.
In the case of Lockem and Kane, truth was a whole different circumstance. True, they looked aged. Well preserved, perhaps, but older. Lockem sometimes smiled at the idea. If you could see those tanned and toned long legs my companion wears when she dances, he mused or practices her Tai quou do, or wraps them around my waist in the shower, you'd change your mind. As for Lockem, long years of many jobs plus some specialized training helped him keep his edge. He was, Lockem might say immediately, still quick on his feet...

Grand Lac
By Carl Brookins

It doesn't take long for the action to begin once Alan Lockem and this partner, Marjorie Kane, reach Grand Lac, Idaho. They had been asked to come and help Marjorie's cousin Edie, whose son had been arrested for murder. Neither Lockem or Kane are officially licensed as PI's...they've built a reputation from what they've been doing to help people, and the word has spread... In Idaho, they were readily accepted as part of the defense team for Samuel Black, who had been accused of shooting Jack Ketchum, a rancher in the area...

Let me say upfront that the book description in no way illustrates the complex investigation that will be tackled within the book... Yes, it is correct that Jack Ketchum had gone on what you might call a rampage when he finally got around to wanting to use property he had purchased on one mountain within the Rocky Mountain Range...

Other buyers on the mountain had formed a home owners' group and had worked together to lay out plots. roads, and made decisions about tree retention and the views of each owner. Ketchum had been invited to be a member and when he didn't come, they had always sent him minutes showing what was going on... Edie and Sam, Marjorie's relatives owned one of the homes...

Then when Ketchum was ready to build on his property, he built his own road...through property that belonged to other people! He was murdered soon afterward...

Ketchum, being a sort of bluff, abrupt, independent cuss, did what a lot of people like that do. He acted first, apparently planning to say he was sorry later, if anybody objected. In the dark of the night the previous year he'd driven across two adjoining properties he didn't own with trucks hauling earth moving equipment which he proceeded to unload. Then, about three in the morning, according to police reports Alan had already seen, he took the controls of his biggest dozer and bladed a twelve-foot-wide swath through the underbrush, whacking off a couple of medium sized trees in the bargain. Now he had a crude road, access of a sort, to his property. But it ran across other people's properties...

Readers will discover as the investigation proceeds that there are things happening in Grand Lac that are beyond the charge of murder against Sam. Marjorie and Alan was there to ensure Sam was freed, but they quickly realized that to do it, they would more than likely have to identify the real killer! With that, I enthusiastically watched these two individuals begin to work...Marjorie did a lot of research while Alan met and talked to many of the locals... 
While investigating the members of the owners' association, more comes out than was needed, LOL, especially involving the hot tubs available, but this type of social interaction provided light humorous breaks at times, creating a more enjoyable setting...

And that was especially important when the true criminals realized that Lockem and Kane were discovering quite a lot...and murder attempts began, especially on Lockem!

Brookins keeps readers in the dark throughout the action, providing few, if any clues, of what was really happening. The suspense proves to be high while the detail of the storyline gets more involved and dangerous as the story goes along. I was hooked from the beginning through to the ending... In addition to the main characters, I was also impressed with Sheriff Carter who proved to be an exceptional cop, sure of himself, and grateful for assistance offered...

Now Lockem and Kane were ready to be grateful everything was over...but they decided to stay awhile in Idaho... The beauty of the mountains deserved more than just brief excursions up and down Baldy Mountain... I enjoyed the trip and highly recommend you check out this dynamic duo!  Hope we get to meet these two in upcoming books!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Selections from Nellie Wasilewski - With Complementary Music... Enjoy!


Brisk air forces the sun

to hide its carefree

summer face.

Lack of light 

Ignites the fires of fall,

leaving a blazing trail 

of vivid colors behind.

Chill winds blow,

carving paths to winter.

September is the gateway

to cozy fires, 

and homemade soup.

A brief respite before 

winter clutches the earth

in its icy fingertips.

*Published by Poetry Quarterly
Winter 2014

Fall on the Mountain 

Mountain breeze begins to blow
bright colors drift slowly down
sunbeam glitter sparks each leaf
silence and peace abound--the
changing season--a  gift from
the Master of all beauty

Nells Wasilewski lives in a small southern town, seventy miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Walter. She retired from the mortgage industry in 2011 and began pursuing her lifelong dream of writing. Her writing has been greatly influenced by her faith in Jesus Christ, her own experiences and nature. She is currently working on daily devotionals.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ever Met a Klepto Cat? Check out Rags, the Cat-Eye Witness presented by Patricia Fry

Savannah glanced up and saw her friend rushing toward her. "Iris, what's wrong? You look pale. Are you okay?"
"The money's gone," she said breathlessly.
"What?" Savannah moved closer so she could hear her above the hustle-bustle of activity behind them.
"The money's gone," Iris whispered loudly. "Someone took it."
Savannah froze in place, squinting her green eyes in disbelief. She motioned for Iris to follow her into the dining room, where they wouldn't be overheard. "Are you sure? Could you be mistaken about where you left it? This is a big house, you know."
"No," Iris hissed. "The box is there, but the money's gone..." she wailed....
"I'm just sick." Iris said as the two women ascended the staircase.
Savannah squeezed her friend's arm. "It'll be okay." Okay? How can it be okay that someone took the money we all worked so hard to raise for the neglected and abused horses? she thought. And how is it okay that there's a thief among the guests in my home?
..."Iris, you're babbling."
"I know. I do that when I'm nervous or scared." She crossed her arms tightly across her chest and shuddered. "Right now, I'm both," she said, tearing up again...

Cat-Eye Witness:
A Klepto Cat Mystery

By Patricia Fry

When I need a break from world issues, I turn to my TBR bookshelf for one of my waiting cat mystery books. I thoroughly enjoyed this one by Patricia Fry! It is a light murder mystery for which you can take a cup of tea and sit down to relax and read...

I liked the main character, Savannah, and her interaction with Rags... And also enjoyed the family and other characters developed for the series...

Interestingly, there is also quite a cat community involvement that shows the author's vision of a small-town setting where I'd love to live! In fact, it is a fundraiser sponsored by the Hammond Cat Alliance at which all the trouble began!

Savannah and her friend Iris were very involved with the activities and it had been Iris who had handled the money and then had counted and put it out of the area where people were congregating... When later she went to check, the money had been taken, leaving the box!

But that was only the beginning, because soon, a body had also been discovered in the bedroom across the hall! And nobody knew who that man was... Following the clues was a fun exercise and keeps readers involved... However, there is lots of 
action outside of the crime...

For instance, how about having a cat whisperer be called in to spend time with Rags? Well, Rags had been safely tucked in that bedroom in which the murder occurred! Savannah had realized that something was wrong... She learned that Rags had been kicked...and...that Rags had seen the murderer!

Both Savannah and her fiancee Michael are veterinarians and so we have the opportunity to be involved with the birth of a new baby... It was an interesting side plot that the Cat Alliance was helping to raise funds for abused horses... The pregnant mother was in such bad shape that they feared she'd not make 
it through the birth... Then Savannah takes some times to get back into riding...

But no matter what else was going on, Klepto solved the case, first by her natural kleptomania and then by her own personal identification of the killer! I loved it!

If you enjoy cozy mysteries, especially starring cats, I highly recommend this book! It was easily free-standing, but I'll be checking out the series as well... Would you believe she has 25 books in the series since I bought this second book! I picked up the latest to see how things have changed for Rags!


Patricia Fry began writing articles for magazines in 1973 and that's how she earned her living for decades. Her first book was accepted by a New York publisher in 1978. Every five years, or so, she'd evaluate the potential for her writing business and make adjustments accordingly. In 1983, she established a publishing company (Matilija Press) and began producing her own books. By the late 1990s, she was teaching publishing workshops. She wrote her first of many books for authors in 2000 and she also became a speaker at writers' conferences in many cities throughout the US. Around the same time, she hung out her shingle and started working with other authors on their book projects. 

Nearly forty years after she began writing for publication, with forty nonfiction books to her credit and after working with many dozens of clients on their fiction and nonfiction books, she felt she was at a crossroads. Patricia reminisces about that period in her life. "All my friends were retiring. I wondered if I should, too. But how does one retire from something they love? Writing is not just a job, it's my passion."

The year was 2012. Patricia knew it was time for another career shift and she asked herself, "What writing dreams have not been fulfilled?" The answer came in one word: FICTION. That year, she gave herself a birthday gift--the time and space to write a novel.

She says, "The idea came rather quickly. And within a relatively short time, I was the author of a published novel, "Catnapped", the first in the Klepto Cat Mystery series." Every two or three months since, Patricia has produced a new book in the series. While you're urged to read these books in order, many readers agree that each book can be read as a standalone.

"I write these cozy mysteries with love and hope that you enjoy my stories." (Patricia Fry)

The Klepto Cat Mysteries 

The Klepto Cat Mysteries are light, fun cozy mysteries full of adventure, intrigue, and a little romance. They feature Rags, an ordinary cat who just can't keep his paws off other people's things. Often, the treasures he finds are clues in a mystery. Follow Rags's fascinating life path from when he and Savannah were single and he roamed the neighborhood stealing everything from toys belonging to large dogs to jewelry and bathing suits. 

Rags and Savannah don't stay single long. After meeting Michael, a handsome veterinarian, Savannah settles down, but the cat doesn't change his thieving ways. Even though his kleptomaniac habit is annoying and embarrassing to his family, he has earned the respect of the local sheriff's department and he was even asked to star in a documentary.

Find out more at: http://www.matilijapress.com