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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A soup common to Eastern Europe from Stella May that keeps in a refrigerator for several days.

Borscht is the most famous Ukrainian dish. It is kind of a sour soup common for Eastern Europe. It is low on calories, full of vitamins and minerals, and can be served hot or cold. And you can keep it in your refrigerator for several days. The flavor will only improve. Serve crusty rye bread and butter to complete a terrific dinner or lunch.

There are literally hundreds of different recipes for borscht. Here is my family’s favorite version. I hope you like it too.

BORSCHT

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

1 celery stalk, diced (optional)

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp. fresh dill, minced, or 1 tsp. dried

2 medium beets, washed, peeled and shredded

1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced

salt/ pepper to taste

dill for serving

sour cream for serving

Arrange the ingredients listed above through the fresh dill into a large pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add beets and cabbage. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.

When the soup is almost done, add salt and pepper.

Serve with additional dill and sour cream.

Enjoy!

Here is a little from my latest time travel romance for your reading pleasure.

The only way to save their future is risk a journey back to her past.

Time is running out. The message rings in Abby Coleman’s head as clear as the chime of the grandfather clock, her time portal on Amelia Island. Her instincts scream that she must move. Act. But where? And why?

Through she leaped forward a century in time to live an independent life, she reluctantly admits she needs Alex, the insufferable thorn in her side who had the audacity to make her hope. Dream. Yearn.

Alex is through waiting for Abby to come to her senses. And to his complete surprise, the maddening, beautiful woman admits she loves him. Yet to his everlasting frustration, she refuses to marry until she solves her mystery.

In a blinding flash of light, the portal spits out a desperate, heavily pregnant Nika, and the reason becomes all too clear. With Abby missing from her own time, Eli stands accused of her murder. The only way to clear his name is for Abby to go where Alex can’t follow—back through the portal. And one passionate night together may be all they’ll ever have.

AMAZON BUY LINK E-BOOK

AMAZON BUY LINK PAPERBACK

Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website.

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of ‘Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean with her husband. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 25 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

The Eighth Element

By Donald Maass

As you can imagine, I’ve read a lot of manuscripts. How many? Many thousands, certainly. Generally, they are good, just not ready. Why not? There are eight common lacks but the last one is the hardest to pin down. It’s not so much a craft technique as it is a quality.

The missing quality is . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Writer Unboxed blog

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Poetry

by

Emma Lane

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. At this time of the year his poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening warms me and makes me long for spring. I hope you enjoy the poem and my short inserts.

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

Acknowledge we all long for warmer weather. In the depths of winter with no hope as yet for spring, we assess the year’s past.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

Take stock. What plan worked; what was a dismal failure.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

Taxes loom, but not yet as the spring catalogs have started to arrive. For this household, it’s time to plan, to dream, to make notes, to check budgets. While the snow whirls and the winds blow, the photographs of new varieties of plants sparkle on the brightly colored pages and wish lists grow down the page.

Out my window I see long whips of forsythia, buds protruding, waiting for the first peep of spring breezes. I feel a slight thump of adrenalin race through my veins. Am I already behind on my paperwork? Hard winter, after all, lasts only a few weeks. I finish the last stanza of my favorite poet, Robert Frost. He was an avid nature lover as am I. Best ignore those dark, snowy mornings and get to work. The upcoming warm breezes are sirens of temptation and I’ll want to be outside and doing soon.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Here’s a peek at Emma’s winter anthology for your reading pleasure.

A Wild Wicked Duke
After a cruel family betrayal, Caroline Engelson vows the wicked duke will never regain her love unless he first earns her respect, no matter how fervently she longs for his kisses.

A serious accident delivers the wicked duke into Caro’s care, but she is shocked and hurt when he refers to her teen years as the ‘brat with tangled curls.’ Caro is all grown up now when the wicked duke tries to take advantage of her emotions, even as he turns the orderly household into total chaos with his ducal roars. To his astonishment, his best friend’s sister is made of sterner stuff. The situation changes drastically when Caro learns of a shocking family secret..

A Duke Finds Love
Young love is disrupted and the couple parted, but their unsympathetic parents fail to extinguish the strong bond between the two.

Roseland, left pregnant by the duke’s son, weds a neighbor, mistaking that her lover has been forced to marry another. A war and five years later, the two face a second chance, but despite their deep love for one another, impediments must be faced before happily ever after will be theirs at long last.

Beloved Soldier Returns
A wounded British soldier faces amnesia and frustrating dreams, but is finally well enough to reclaim his fiancée and his heritage when a gypsy woman arrives to share an important secret.

Robert Cooper-Hanton, a soldier who fought against Napoleon at Waterloo, is seriously wounded and suffers amnesia but survives in a gypsy camp for three years. Pockets of memory are still missing, leaving him with dreams of people with no names, when he makes the decision to begin his journey home. He has no conscious remembrance of a fiancée he left behind but is not surprised to learn that a cousin has usurped his property. When neighborhood friends reveal the fact of his engagement to Lynda Clarington, his memory of her returns in a flash and he recognizes the woman of his dreams.

Lynda had struggled without much success to accept her loss and is overjoyed to learn that Cooper is alive. She has loved him since childhood, but can she adjust to a man who seems irrevocably changed? When a gypsy woman shows up searching for Cooper, Lynda is plagued with doubt. Will Cooper manage to reunite with his old life and the woman he loves or will he remain lost in his hazy memories, dreams and a changed reality?

Dark Domino
Sarah Louise and Ethan have loved each other all their lives, but a war and time apart may have jeopardized their relationship.

Ethan has been away at war for six long years—without a single letter to the young girl he left behind. He is certain she has forgotten him, but he is still drawn to her. Dressed for a masquerade in a dark domino, he leads her to the garden and tries to steal a kiss. Sarah does not know why the man in the dark domino is so familiar, and why a stranger should give her a feeling of home. When Ethan reveals his identity, Sarah’s anger and hurt overwhelm even her love. Can a new life be built on the foundations of a first love? Or will the Dark Domino remain alone forever?

BUY LINK

Emma Lane lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous color.

Emma is a gifted author who writes under several pennames. She writes Regency Romance as Emma Lane, but also delights in dipping into a Contemporary Cozy Romantic Mystery as Janis Lane.

Her day job is working with flowers at the plant nursery where she is part owner. Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face. Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A recipe from Helen Carpenter that will warm you up during a cold winter’s day.

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in a pot nine days old. Remember the Mother Goose “pease porridge” rhyme? While today we may think of porridge as cereal, in the sixteenth century, “porridge” was a derivation of “pottage” or “potage” meaning cooking pot. “Chowder” also comes from the word pot, via the French “cauldron.”

However you like your soup—hot, cold, or nine days old—combining savory ingredients in a pot and letting the flavors mingle is a time-tested menu favorite.

But what if you want your soup NOW? Well, you’re our kind of person, and we have just the recipe for you. Using already cooked ingredients makes this soup a quick lunch, ready in twenty minutes or less.

Corny Ham Chowder

1 cup milk
1 can cream style sweet corn
1½ cups cooked ham, cut into chunks
1½ cups cooked potatoes, drained and cut into chunks (canned works too)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Green onion or scallion slivers (optional)
Salt or chicken bouillon to taste

Mix milk, corn, ham, and potatoes in medium pot. Cook, be sure to stir occasionally until heated through.

Add cheese. Cover pot and let cheese melt completely.

Serve with a chunk of hearty bread.

Bonus Goodness:
Crave added richness? Substitute ½ cup of cream for ½ of the milk.

Are you a vegetable fan? Toss in the veggie of your choice, either frozen or fresh. We like frozen carrots for the added color—and the nutrition too of course.

No ham? Smoked sausage is a nice substitute.

Bland potatoes? Mix in sweet pickle juice. A teaspoon gives the soup zing.

Need more soup? Add more stuff. The converse works too.

Fighting off vampires? Switch out the regular salt for a teaspoon of garlic salt. If you have a bad infestation, add ½ teaspoon crushed garlic to the soup and serve with a wood spoon.

Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. The Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-if, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning.

Helen Carpenter loves liking and sharing blog posts from other authors. She lives in Florida with her husband of many years and appreciates every day, especially those without hurricanes.

Stay connected on her blog and Facebook.

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Writing Tools: Great Programs for Making Book Ads

By Susan Hanniford Crowley

Why is one of my books against a rainy background? I’ll get to that. While today’s post is mostly for authors, there is a part that the general public can appreciate.

There are various ways to be published: traditional with advertising included, traditional without advertising, and self-published. If your publisher doesn’t include advertising, then it falls to you. Knowing when to do it yourself and not is key!

It is worth it to have professional editing and a cover artist do your book cover. Book covers are tricky things with the different possible sizes and spines. It’s worth the money to pay these people. My editor also formats. My book cover artist is now working on the cover for the sequel to EverWarm.

Now for the programs. . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Nights of Passion blog

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Literacy

by

Sharon Ledwith

In book two of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Blackflies and Blueberries, I wrote about Hart Stewart—a teenage psychometrist who has no problem ‘reading’ the absorbed energy from an object like a ring or watch but struggles with the most basic reading skills. He finds a ring that pulls him into the past to witness a woman’s murder that has gone unsolved for over a year. That woman was Diana MacGregor’s mother, and when she discovers that Hart is in possession of the ring and he shares the intimate details of her mother’s murder through his psychic ability, Diana strikes a deal with him. She’ll teach Hart how to read and write if he helps find her mother’s killer.

I’ve had the privilege of being a tutor with the Literacy Council in the northern tourist town where I used to live. It was quite a humbling experience. I was truly amazed how many people fell through the cracks of our society without basic math, reading, and writing skills. I honestly don’t know how they survived, but they found ways to cope, to blend, and to adapt. One of my students had such a backward life, living in the bush with six siblings and parents who did their best with the life tools that they had acquired. He never knew anything different than to buck the system. On welfare, with no skills except as a delivery driver, he managed through life memorizing road signs and maps to keep his job. During one session, I asked him how he had been able to get his driver’s license? He confessed at the time he wrote the test (late 1970s), someone could sit with him and read the test to him. Wow. The times have sure changed! On social assistance for most of his life, he came to the Literacy Council with dreams of getting his A-Z license so that he could drive trucks. A lofty, but attainable goal in his eyes.

So, what are some of the causes of illiteracy?

Problems are almost always a result of difficulties in the early school years, prior to grade four. Some reasons for falling through the cracks are:

  1. The high mobility of our society (family moving around) and the fact that school curricula are not standardized from school board to school board.
  2. Child immaturity (not interested in learning) compounded by lack of parental involvement with early education.
  3. Intellectual limitations.
  4. Teachers are overburdened by large classrooms and integrated special needs, as well as lack of time, opportunity and resources.
  5. Generational illiteracy—illiterate or non-English speaking parents at home—no books, no role model, reading has no importance.
  6. Undiagnosed visual or hearing impairment or learning disability.
  7. Trauma—lengthy illness, death of a close loved one, parent’s divorce, etc.

In some cases, the bleak future (dead-end, low-paying jobs, frequent unemployment, utter dependence on others) causes anger, frustration and hopelessness, which in turn often leads to violence and crime. Today, in the jail system, studies are revealing the reading level of the average inmate to be at grade two. I’m not sure if my student ever did achieve his goals as a truck driver, but hopefully I gave him some basic skills that would serve him for the rest of his life. Each one, teach one starts in the home by doing something as simple as reading to your child at bedtime. And if you ever get a chance to volunteer at your local literacy council, take a chance and change a life! You’ll be glad you made a difference.

Here’s a snippet of my latest novel, Blackflies and Blueberries, the second installment of Mysterious Tales from Falls teen psychic mystery series…

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

Here’s a glimpse of the premises of both my young adult series.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with its freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Until mysterious things start to happen.

Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book #3

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the award-winning teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, reading, researching, or revising, she enjoys anything arcane, ancient mysteries, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The ever-engaging Sharon Ledwith who brings us her oatmeal cookie recipe.

These are the best oatmeal cookies you’ll ever eat. Perfect for serving with tea or coffee during unexpected (or expected) visitor drop-ins and it’s also great for a dad’s birthday surprise. This recipe is guaranteed to make you smile with each bite.

BIG DADDY’S OATMEAL COCONUT COOKIES

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies®)
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

Beat sugars and butter together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, allowing the first to blend into the mixture before adding the next. Add the vanilla.

Stir flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Beat into the butter mixture until just incorporated into the dough.

Fold oats, crispy rice cereal, and coconut into the dough. Mix just enough to evenly combine.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonful onto baking sheets.

Bake until browned, 8-9 minutes.

Cool cookies slightly on baking sheets before moving to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

I recommend you sample the cookies along with your favorite beverage and crack open the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. You may just find yourself wanting to visit Fairy Falls.

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking…

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

BUY LINKS

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

How To Instantly Grow Your Blog

By Pooja G

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I grew my blog and how others can grow theirs. I get emails, DM’s and comments asking me about this a lot. I already have a lot of posts about this topic. And I have shared a lot of my methods on here before. But I thought I would share some more since I have gotten more followers since my last post on a similar topic.

I know that I may have shared some of these in other posts but today I thought I would share the methods the are the fastest and most effective way . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

LIFESFINEWHINE blog

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Friday Features’

Guest tells a

Story

by

Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist

The one-room, Cedar Fork schoolhouse across the holler from the little log cabin on the near side of Peach Mountain was a tolerable two-mile walk-in good weather. It was an enjoyable walk actually, if one had time to swing from a grapevine on top of a high cliff and drop into Cedar Fork Creek for a lazy dip or stop by the Workman’s place for a quick smoke of their cornsilk tobacco. But in snowdrifts as tall as thirteen-year-old, Lee Greene, in threadbare clothes, thin hand-me-down coat, and barely covered feet in holey socks flopping in an old pair of secondhand shoes that were several sizes too big for him, the walk that frigid morning was worse than pure misery.

Lee’s chronically aching stomach was hollow and rumbling. His meager breakfast of cornmeal mush and sugar water was quickly wearing thin, but he had more important things than his stomach to worry about that morning. He was stewing about the paucity of milk he had drawn from his family’s cow tethered in the yard just beyond the lean-to kitchen at the back of their tiny log cabin. The two-story structure, built by Lee, his older brother, Bill and their father only five months before, comprised a common, or front room, on the main level, a primitive lean-to kitchen at the back, and a bedroom where his parents slept. The room housed the only closet in the place. A rough-hewn timber ladder gained access to the upper deck, where, in an open-to-the-front loft, all the many children slept on crude cots, or thin pads on the floor. A large ceiling-to-floor fireplace of indigenous stones in the common room on the first floor was the only source of heat in the place. Felled tree trunks supporting its roof, a porch spanned the width of the front of the log cabin.

The soil on Cedar Fork, thin, hard, and dry, a crusty layer of sediment topping a bedrock of limestone, dolomite and shale, made for poor farming and gardening, posing a formidable challenge for growing adequate crops. Squirrels, rabbits, opossums and birds, hunted and brought in by Lee and Bill, the insufficient supply of milk from the cow, and scant eggs supplied by their paltry flock of scrawny chickens in the yard, were the only sources of protein for the family. In season, a large vegetable garden and a stand of corn were coddled into fruition in the poor soil, but only if they were favored with enough rain.

His nose and eyes crusty from yet another head cold, gloveless hands thrust into the pockets of his thin coat, and his feet turning to blocks of ice, Lee trudged on to school, his white-blond head under his hat hunkered into his shoulders. Despite the fact that he might not make it through the perpetual hardships of his life, much less that cold, windy, and snowbound morning, his soul was full of dreams, his mind of intention, his body of vigor and endurance, and on the strength of pure power of will alone, and maybe some help from the man upstairs, Lee was determined that if he got out of his childhood alive, nothing would ever encumber him again.

The schoolhouse was dark and frigid, and Lee, by design, was the first student to arrive. The door was unlocked as it always was, and Lee, halting for a few minutes to give his blood a chance to circulate again in his frozen limbs and digits, sat down on one of the benches. He would have wept if he had allowed himself to seriously consider his unfortunate circumstances—but not Lee! No, not Lee! Not the boy/man who five years in the future would be my father. He had a chance to earn fifty cents that week, and every week for weeks to come, fifty cents for building a fire in the “Warm Morning” coal-burning, heating-stove each morning before school, and that was exactly what he was going to do.”

***

“Life is difficult,” renowned psychotherapist, M. Scott Peck states in his groundbreaking book, The Road Less Traveled. The above excerpt from Guardians and Other Angles, my novel that is based on the true story of my grandparents and parents and their immediate families illustrates that my father’s early life was a testament to Peck’s pronouncement. Born in the midst of the Great Depression, my dad was the third of twelve children. Few were the hours, or even minutes, of every day that were not devoted to details of survival: scouring for food, maintaining shelter, searching for work of any kind. Like millions of others among the “Greatest Generation,” the extreme difficulties of the times forced my father to grow up on his own, primarily. Through the perils and pitfalls of life as he encountered it, he survived and thrived, and in the process evolved into perhaps the most disciplined person I have ever known. Don’t get me wrong—my dad was a fun guy. Sharing a beer or fishing with a buddy or two was high on his agenda; he was a shark at Euchre; he knew a million jokes and delivered them like a pro; he played the guitar and sang with the best of them. But getting the job done always came before pleasure. Peck calls it “delaying gratification,” which is one of the essential tools in the development and maintenance of discipline. Growth absent a consistent basis of discipline sputters and then stalls sooner or later.

My father gave me many priceless gifts during his lifetime, legacies that have endured these many years since his passing. One of the greatest of them was his talent for discipline. I am not as good at it as he was, but I will die trying.

Guardians and Other Angels, multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s novel, chronicles the story of two heroic families played out against the bad and the good of the early to mid-twentieth century, years of worldwide economic depression and war, as well as the spawning of the “Greatest Generation.” Firsthand accounts of the times in authentic letters written by members of the families are peppered throughout the book.

Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon

Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.

Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The book promo from Stella May who brings us her latest book, Rhapsody in Dreams. Be sure to get your copy today!

** HOLIDAY PROMO **

He saved her life. She became his muse.

Transcending time, their love was absolute—and always out of reach.

Is it too late, or do they have one more chance?

Rhapsody in Dreams is a modern-day love story with a slight mystical twist.

**

You can read the excerpt on Stella May’s blog.

**

An ebook is available now at any digital bookseller of your choice.

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