Thursday, November 19, 2015

God Bless the Family! Linda Massucci

I am often asked why I choose to write family sagas. My response is simple- I think a family is the most valuable possession one can have in their life.

I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of houses and other children to play with after school & during the summer. Between five o'clock and six o'clock, the neighborhood became quiet. There wasn't a disaster occurring. Everyone was inside having dinner with their family.

When I was in elementary school, I was a walker. That meant my sister and I walked to and from school. Our father often walked with us to school. He took the time to ask about our teachers, friends we had in school, and the importance of getting good grades so we could be anything we wanted to be when we grew up. Our mother was waiting at home for us every day at 3:15. We knew my mother would ask about our day, what homework we had to do, and refuse our whines when we begged to play outside- instead of doing our homework first.

The weekends involved visiting relatives, going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and playing with my cousins. Imagine, children playing together without any structured activity, athletic uniforms, or driving to an amusement park for entertainment. We had one ball and everyone had to decide on the game we were going to play. If your game didn't get chosen, you told yourself to get over it...or your cousins would call you a whiny baby.

Families come in many shapes and forms. We can be raised by one parent, live in a home with cousins & aunts, or regard close friends as siblings. A family is a circle of people that care for each other, no matter the distance or misunderstandings that happen along the journey of life.

In a world where we pay people to listen to our problems, expect schools to raise our children, or blame society for life struggles- why don't we start preserving the family unit. It's family that teaches the important things in life- without many of us even realizing it. Those family dinners taught me the art of conversation & story-telling. Whenever my idea for a game with my cousins wasn't chosen, I learned acceptance & patience. The summer vacations spent at home, taught me the importance of creativity & imagination. The morning walks to school with my father provided me with the self-esteem to dare to take risks in life, and that I was important enough to be listened to and respected by any man. My mother's rule of doing homework before play taught me the importance of perseverance, and sometimes you have to do things you don't like- but you will live, so stop whining.
God Bless the Family.

Linda Massucci writes family sagas with a constant theme of the importance of family, faith and values. She also dabbles in short stories, educational literature, travel journalism and photography. Linda is presently working on the sequel to her 2015 novel, ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The sequel will be called ‘Mama’s Bookends’ and continues the story of Elizabeth Manciano, a young lady who realizes that family & faith are the most important things in life from her wise & charismatic Grandpa Frank.

Linda Massucci writes a monthly blog about her dog, Maggie- the smartest dog in the world. She also blogs about her travels across America and the importance of family. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please visit her website at www.lindamassucci.wordpress.com to find her social media links or purchase her writings.

Meet Crystal Anne and her storybook persona "Huggy Dougie"!

Crystal Anne is a children's book author that is just beginning her adventure with her storybook persona, Huggy Dougie, based on her son’s journey through life with Down syndrome.

Huggy Dougie’s adventures are the result of Crystal Anne’s adaptations of her son’s life as seen through both of their eyes. The author hopes that these adventures will provide entertainment and learning opportunities for both parents and children. Her hope is to inspire a passion for reading and creativity.

Being a parent of a Special Needs son is the greatest honor I have every experienced. Every day is full of surprises. Through my relationship with my son, I have learned so much about life and what it is that makes us who we are later in life. The wonder and innocence I find in my son's world is the inspiration for Dougie's adventures. Dougie is a loving boy, full of emotion and always seeking friendship. Thank you for taking the time to live in my world and help us introduce Dougie to your family!



To follow Crystal Anne, please visit the following social media outlets:

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Crystal-Anne-1683301065260657

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Huggy_Dougie

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/crystalanneauth

Blog: https://www.blogger.com/profile/05853611757835621448

Opening Prayer by Patti J.Smith for "Thirsty Thursday" 11/19!


The Perils of Procrastination - Flora Reigada

The editor's eyes lit up with interest as he read an excerpt from the devotional on which a friend and I were collaborating. This was years ago at a Christian writers conference.

"Email me a copy," he said, sitting across from us. "I'd like to review it."

The words echoed in my mind. They were a writer's dream-come-true. A big smile spread across my face until my friend's hesitant expression made it fade.

"Let me give the book another quick edit," she said. "We'll get it to you soon."
Although my heart sank, I told myself my friend should know. She had worked as an editor.
However, her "quick edit" stretched into endless rewrites for both of us. We emailed excuses instead of the book.
Over the next several years, we submitted it for consideration at two more conferences. Editors expressed interest and each time, my friend declined for one more "quick edit." In her "professional" estimation, our devotional was never good enough.
Eventually, I gave up in disgust and moved on to other projects.

The devotional was relegated to my all-but-forgotten archive files. It never went anywhere; at least that's what I thought until a lazy afternoon found me flipping through devotionals in a Barnes & Noble bookstore. One title stopped me short. It was nearly identical to the devotional my friend and I had written.

I sat down for a closer look, reading devotions with the same message and composition. But when I recognized a name in the credits, my mouth popped open. That name belonged to one of the editors who had expressed interest in the devotional. She had obviously contracted another writer to deliver what we had not.

Turns out, the book was an international best-seller, translated into several languages. It became a series.

I briefly considered legal action, but then remembered the Parable of the Talents, related in Matthew 25:14-30. In the parable, a wealthy man gave three servants talents (money) to invest in his absence. Two invested wisely, but one hid his talent. He was called wicked and lazy and his talent was given to another. That had a familiar ring.
Believing the book contained a message God wanted proclaimed, I declined legal action.

Still, it was a hard lesson and one reiterated in a dream as I heard these words repeated: "We don't get things by wishing."
We get them by being faithful and following through.


Flora invites you to visit her blog: http://florareigada.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flora.reigada
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FloraReigada
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/florarei/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Flora-Reigada/e/B00IQK4C5A?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Read the 1st Chapter of Clay More's "Mistletoe and Crime" RIGHT NOW!!!!!

SEALED WITH A KISS

London,
Christmas Eve, 1882


Toby Winstanley had been desperate to leave Chimneys Hall to snatch a few precious moments with Rosalind in the snow-covered grounds before the gong for dinner.
The snow had been falling for several hours and the roof of the Elizabethan home that he shared with his father, Sir Roger Winstanley was covered in a thick white blanket through which the half dozen tall, graceful chimneys, so typical of 16th century manor houses and halls, rose to send streams of smoke upwards into the falling snow. In the moonlight the hall and the gardens sparkled like an enchanted landscape.
And that was how it felt to Toby as he made his way to his tryst.
He was seventeen years old and utterly in love. His life had totally changed in the last year, when his main interests had been sport, art and all the other pursuits of a youth of his class and breeding. Christmas too now held a different magic for him, for he was eager on this Christmas Eve to give the present he carried inside his coat and to see the effect it would have on his beloved.
The ground was covered in four inches of snow and the tracks he left from the house, across the lawns and into the copse of yew and oak trees would be obvious for anyone to see from the house.
His breath came fast, condensing into puffs of steam in the cold atmosphere. Then he felt a momentary sense of disappointment, for Rosalind had left no trail.
Why, has she not come? He thought to himself. But she must! I have to see her.
He trudged through the topiaried box hedges, covered in a patina of snow and entered the copse of trees that contained the private family graveyard of the Winstanleys. It was a place that he had loved since he was a small boy, for he had enjoyed climbing in the trees and pretended to be an explorer. Of late, it meant much to him, for his mother had been laid to rest there a mere year before.
It had worried him that Rosalind might not care to meet him there, but she had smiled and told him she would meet him anywhere, so long as it was private.
But still no tracks. She could not have forgotten their appointment, surely? That would be impossible. Unbearable, even.
He moved through the trees to the tall iron railings that enclosed the cemetery and there, standing waiting for him under the canopy of an oak tree, was Rosalind.
“My darling,” he said, rushing to her and sweeping her into his arms. “When I didn’t see your footprints I thought you had not come.”
She was a head shorter than he, who was already six foot tall and broad of shoulders. She was dressed in a black cloak with the hood drawn up over her head.
“I came the back way, of course,” she said. “I worried when the snow started to fall, lest my footprints would show. But I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
He raised a trembling hand to touch her face. “Do you mind if I touch you?”
He could see her tremble, too. Her full red lips quivered and he could swear that in the moonlight she blushed.
“I think…I think, you are so beautiful. I love your blonde hair and those dazzling blue eyes and this,” he touched her retrouss√© nose, “lovely, beautiful face.”
She sighed and raised her hand to touch his face. “Just as I think you are so handsome. I love your hair that is as black as coal, your smiling mouth and that dimple in your chin.”
He laughed. “It is from my mother’s side, God rest her soul.”
His eyes momentarily strayed to the marble gravestone on the other side of the railings. “How I miss her, Rosalind.”
She squeezed his hand. “As do we all, Toby. All of us.”
He shook his head as if dismissing any further thoughts. “But we have so little time, my love. Here,” he said, reaching into his coat and drawing out a small wrapped package. “I have a Christmas present for you. Open it now.”
“But it is not yet Christmas day,”
“I will not be able to see you open presents on Christmas day, so humor me and open it now.”
Her mouth broke into a smile. “Only if you will open the one I have brought for you.” She reached inside her cloak and drew out a small rectangular package.
“Together, we open them together,” he said with a smile. “That is how I want us to do things forever, Rosalind. Together.”
She gave him a wan smile and tears formed in her eyes. “This place is so beautiful, so magical,” she said as carefully she opened the wrapping to reveal a small box. She opened it and gasped with pleasure to see a small gold locket studded with diamonds. “It is beautiful!”
“It was my mother’s, given to her by her mother. My grandfather brought it back from India and gave it to her.”
“But Toby, I cannot…”
“You can, Rosalind, and I want you to wear it always.”
She acquiesced and clipped it around her neck as he continued to unwrap his gift.
“My goodness, a fountain pen. This must have cost…”
“It is worth every penny if it pleases you, my dearest Toby.”
“It does and now, do you know why I asked you to meet me here in this very specific place?”
“Is it so that your mother’s spirit could see us? Bless us in a way?”
He laughed. “You are right. But look up above.”
“Why, the tree is full of mistletoe!”
“It is. Very apt for Christmas Eve, don’t you think? It is so right for me to kiss you and for us to plight our troth.”
“But Toby, we cannot. We are both only seventeen years old.”
Before she could say anything further he slid his arms around her and kissed her passionately.
“That is true. Yet when I am of age it is you that I will ask to be my wife. Only you. Until then, I want us to meet whenever we can, but especially under this mistletoe every Christmas Eve to reaffirm out vows. This mistletoe shall be a symbol of our love.”
“Our eternal love, Toby.”
They kissed again.


What do think? Clay would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment here at the bottom of the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar of the blog. Thanks You!!!!!!

Drop by Clay More's Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Clay-More/e/B0034P9WDO/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1447950315&sr=8-2-ent

Saturday, November 14, 2015

We LOVE Twitter!!!!!!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Please HELP Clay More chose a cover for "Mistletoe and Crime" - A Victorian Christmas Tale


MISTLETOE AND CRIME - a Victorian Christmas tale

By Clay More

It is Christmas 1882 in London and Sir Roger Winstanley has died suddenly, leaving his fortune to his 17 year old son, Toby. But Toby is in the first flush of love and dare not allow his uncle and guardian, Tremaine Winstanley to know about the girl he adores. A kiss and a pledge under a very special mistletoe will change his life forever.
At least for as long as he can stay alive.
?

Which one do you like and WHY???????

Please leave your thoughts here under the blogpost in the comment section,in the "Contact Form" on the blog sidebar, or leave a comment on Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest,wherever you find this post.We value your opinion! Thank you very much!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nothing New Under the Sun - Peggy Blann Phifer

Solomon wrote: “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 [NKJV]

By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation. We spend hours upon hours trying to come up with something new, something to challenge Solomon’s observation.

Yet, he’s right. As writers we depend on our creative imaginations to take something old and make it new. And that’s the fun–and frustrating–part of being an author.

So, how do we do that? A few notable examples: Liz Curtis Higgs wrote a series of books retelling the story of Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob and Esau, and Leah and Rachel. She set the stories in Scotland’s Lowlands in the late Eighteenth Century and into the Nineteenth. Different character names, of course, and I loved them! If you’re curious, the titles are: Thorn in my Heart, Fair is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince.

Remember the account in Genesis 34 where Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, (from Leah) was violated in Shechem? Well, Liz wrote a book about that, with a twist. The Bible says nothing about Dinah, and she’s only mentioned in this one chapter. However, Liz makes Dinah unable to speak. I’ll not spoil the rest for you. That title is Grace in Thine Eyes. Excellently written.
Another excellent retelling is from Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love, which presents the story of Hosea and Gomer in a more modern setting. This one I could not put down. I believe it’s a book everyone should read.
Can you think of any others you’ve read–not necessarily Biblical stories–that fall into this type of taking the old and making it new? I’d love to learn about them.

A little something about me

I came to writing late in life. Oh, I dabbled with it through the years, even took the Institute of Children’s Literature course. But I quickly found out that writing for children was not my cup of tea. Though I finished the course, I searched for that special something that would spark my creativity.

It wasn’t until I reached the half-century mark that I discovered my niche, so to speak. Yet it took twenty-three years to see my first book published…Indie published, that is, through CreateSpace and Kindle KDP.
Since then I’ve had numerous short stories released in anthologies, penned a Christmas novella, and am currently under contract to write a series of short stories of my own.

But it hasn’t been an easy road. A series of optic TIA’s have left me with several permanently opaque spots in both eyes through with I cannot see. That resulted in losing my driver’s license two years ago. I can no longer read print books, so I rely on my Kindle and Kindle apps to feed my voracious reading appetite. Thank goodness for computers which allow me to enlarge the font in my documents to enable easy writing!

Drop by Peg's Amazon Author Page to see all of her wonderful titles and much more! http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-Blann-Phifer/e/B006UU9RQ2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1446844512&sr=1-2-ent

Where Did “SLIPPERY WILLIE” Come From? By Larry Peterson@slipperywillie

Way back “in the day” when I lived in New Jersey, the wife and I decided that it would be nice to share our home with some less fortunate children. So we became foster parents. We had no agenda save ‘sharing’ ourselves and our home and what we had with others. However, we committed to sharing our two young sons also. Their ages were six (6) and almost three (3). Yes, at that point in time our decision making was somewhat “Pollyanna-ish”.

We were supposed to have a boy of 12 come to live with us. At 2 p.m. on the appointed day, the caseworker, Deirdre, pulled up and two boys, aged six (6) and three (3), jumped out of her car. I said nicely, “They don’t look like a 12 year old. Do the two of them even add up to being 12 years old? Now we have two sets of twins. This is a trick, right?”
Overworked and obviously stressed she assured me it was “no trick”. Plus, she was rubbing a big, red welt on the side of her face the result of being whacked by three year old Brian with his shoe. But I digress. Suffice it to say, for the next two years our family life was, to say the least, somewhat unconventional. Now you might be asking, what does this have to do with Slippery Willie? Well, here it is.

Brian was one month shy of being three and was hyper-active, possessing scant self-control in any of his behavior. He did not even speak. Rather, he growled. He would put anything that would fit, into his mouth. He chomped on tree bark, dirt, leaves and even swallowed rubber bands (we discovered that after one of his adventurous potty visits).
Besides the child’s bizarre penchant for eating all sorts of junk, munk and gunk, Brian would get up and just run across the room. He would smack into the wall and fall backward onto his butt. He would bounce back up and keep on going. He would run out the front door and stumble down the steps. And, he would bounce back up and keep on going. Bottom line—he NEVER got hurt. It was amazing. Then his big brother, Joey, says, “I think Brian got slippery feet.”
That six word sentence is what spawned my children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. Here is the description from the back of the book:

“Willie Wiggles hates his slippery feet. He just slips, slides and spins all over the place. But what he hates even more are the special shoes that have been made for him that will help him to walk just like all the other kids. Willie thinks that they are the ‘stupidest, ugliest shoes in the whole world.” Come and discover how sometimes we worry about things about ourselves when actually there is nothing to worry about in the first place.

The publisher of that book set up my Twitter and Blogger sites using the words, Slippery Willie. That publisher (traditional) went out of business last March and all rights reverted to me. The Twitter username and my web/blogger site has been using Slippery Willie since it was published in 2011. And there you have it, the birth of “slipperywillie”. Anyway, the username at Twitter remains @slipperywillie . Slippery Willie also lives on in his book and on the blog; http://www.slipperywillie.blogspot.com

Final thoughts: Joey and Brian, our foster boys, lived with us from 1974 thru 1976. They became part of our family. Our kids morphed into being their brothers and they called us ‘mom and dad’. They had no contact with their mom and after two years we inquired about adopting them. That is a whole other story but, when the adoption process was initiated, their mom resurfaced and they were removed from our home and returned to her. She moved to Florida and managed to place them in a foster home somewhere near Fort Lauderdale. When Brian left us he was behaving as a normal five year old and attending kindergarten. We heard that he reverted and was placed in a school for developmentally disabled kids. That was very sad news. We did try to keep track of their whereabouts but after some time passed we lost all contact. Funny thing is, even after 40 years I do not believe that story has reached its conclusion..

Larry is the author of "The Demons of Abadon" series that is available on Amazon Kindle,Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link to "Volume One-Shadows and Light":http://www.amazon.com/Demons-Abadon-Shadows-Light-ebook/dp/B0146QWGB4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446843917&sr=1-1&keywords=larry+peterson


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Read the 1st Chapter of Larry Peterson's "History of Invidia" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Back at the police station Ed Martin was sitting on the edge of his desk. He was looking down at Micah Lightfoot who was sitting in the chair nervously looking up at him. His thigh was pressed into Micah’s shoulder. Ed ran his hand over his head combing his fingers through his hair. He slowly said, “Look Micah, the Great Festival of Torment is Monday. Our mission is almost complete. Leviathan has waited one hundred years in earth time to be adulated by his followers and presented with the oblation of a pure soul. You and I are still in our earthly state and, as the chosen mortals, we are in the forefront of this celebration. We have pledged ourselves to Leviathan himself. So Micah, tell me, please , please tell me, does ANY of this ring a bell with you?”
Ed’s sarcasm wrapped itself around Micah and he answered, “Don’t be ridiculous, Ed. I know what’s going on.”
“You do, do you? Well, we have less than a FREAKIN WEEK TO GO!”
Having screamed that at Micah he pulled his right arm over his left shoulder and then swung it down at Micah, back handing him across the right side of his face. Micah’s head spun and he fell from the chair. Ed stood over him, glaring down. Then he lifted his head, extended his arms and let out a blood curdling growl/scream that was more animal in sound than human.
Micah was terrified. “Please Chief, please, I know all of this. I look at that kid every day and I am reminded of that pledge. I know full well what I have pledged. Don’t worry, don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
Ed lowered his head and shook it back and forth. He opened his eyes and looked at Micah and said in a low, deliberate voice, “Okay Micah, okay. Just remember, his earthly sycophants will be begin arriving any day now. Preparations are almost complete. There can be NO screw ups. Do you understand, Micah? NO SCREWUPS!”
“Yes Ed, I know. I know. You do not have to be telling me these things. Don’t worry, nothing will go wrong.”
“Then what is going on with Jacob? You tell me. Why is he visiting those people? He never visited anyone before. ”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how that started.”
“Well, you know why Jacob has been entrusted to you. The time has now come to honor your word to our Master. A few days from today Jacob becomes oblation. Just a few more days. We have kept him isolated for all of these years. We have prepared him. He knows fear. He knows misery. He knows torment. We have kept him pure and Satan will be proud. And now, when we have a few days to go, he starts visiting folks. This is not good. You had better make sure he goes nowhere. You know the consequences for screwing up.”
Micah summoned up a bit of courage and said, “The hell with you, Ed. I got no more time for this. I am going to find Jacob.”
Micah Lightfoot had treated his son as if he were nothing more than a stray mongrel that he allowed to hang around his house. No child should have ever been subjected to such mean and callous treatment. But Micah knew no other way. When Ed Martin had ‘converted’ him he had agreed to offer his boy to the world of the “ungood”. Upon doing so he had tried to make himself hate his own son. The extra money, good health, cushy jobs and even all of his women “friends” were perks Micah received for trading his son to Satan. He was even given many extra years of a healthy and prosperous earth life. Ironically, all of these “perks” had brought him nothing but a deep sense of self-loathing.
There was another problem conflicting Micah. Down deep inside of himself, under the feigned hate reinforced by continual drinking, he could not truly hate his own son. He had tried to bury the love that was inside him. He had almost quenched the flame but a spark still remained. Now, with the Festival of Torment only two days away, that spark was flickering brighter than it had in a very long time.
Micah was having doubts erupt deep within him. He was a prisoner of the ultimate paradox; he was trying to hate and love someone at the same time. He needed a drink. He had no idea that his wife, before she died, had baptized her son against his wishes. Jacob’s soul was a thing of pure beauty and the love that came from it was something Micah never could truly escape.

What did you think? Larry would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar of the blog! Thank you!!!!!!

If you would like to try the series, and start reading from the beginning with Volume One,here is the Amazon Kindle link.It is also available on NOOK and KOBO:http://www.amazon.com/Demons-Abadon-Shadows-Light-ebook/dp/B0146QWGB4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446684864&sr=8-1&keywords=larry+peterson+the+demons+of+abadon+volume+one