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Author Roundtable: Positive Outlooks Interviewed by T.E. Hodden .................................................................................... 7
StreetVet—Interviewed by Hannah Howe ......................................................... 20
Peter Wolf: Stage & Forensic Hypnosis—Interviewed by Val Tobin ........... 28 Sheila Trecartin: Pet Psychic—Interviewed by Val Tobin .............................. 36 Jeffrey Siger —Interviewed by Rachael Wright ................................................. 44
Laughter is the Best Medicine! by Hannah Howe............................................. 32
Disappearances in Alaska by Cherime MacFarlane ........................................ 39
Stan Phillips .............................................................................................................. 27 Stan Phillips .............................................................................................................. 48
Memories by Jester (Age 17) ................................................................................. 14
Adobo Hotpot by GD Penman .............................................................................. 16
Classic TV — Brother Cadfael by Hannah Howe ............................................. 15 Love or Romance by Sharon Hughson ................................................................ 18 Projecting Insecurities by Anna Grace ................................................................ 22 March by Poppy Flynn ........................................................................................... 24 Benefits of Massage by Cassandra DenHartog ................................................. 30 I Rolled My Ankle Now What? by Cassandra DenHartog ............................. 33
Epiphany: George Fox by Cyril Lucas ................................................................. 34 Women of Courage: Heroines of SOE by Hannah Howe ............................... 41 On the Etymology of ’Alien’ by Millie Slavidou .............................................. 50
Chess: Pin the Defender—Supplied by Chess.com .......................................... 17 Word Search by Mom’s Favorite Reads .............................................................. 40
Connections eMagazine ......................................................................................... 49 20% OFF First Book Promotion with the Fussy Librarian .............................. 51 Nicole Lavoie, Graphic Design ............................................................................. 51
Author’s Roundtable: Positive Outlook Interviewed by T.E. Hodden Welcome back to another of Mom's Roundtable discussions. This issue I will be joined by members of Mom's author group, to discuss the growing wave of fiction with positive messages, such as the Hope Punk movement. Of course, science fiction and fantasy stories with a hopeful, progressive, and positive setting are nothing new, and many of us grew up with them, and it is no surprise that in these times of political division, economic hardship, and ecological disaster, it is only to be expected that authors and creators around the world will tackle the issues facing the world. Can hopeful and positive messages make a real difference though? Let's see what our authors think.
Cassy Albee: It was anime and TV shows for me that gave me inspiration. Manga/anime especially because it's a visual novel and I always wanted to be able to capture the beauty the shows, only with words instead of art. Val Tobin: When I was in grade one or two, I read a book called The Five Chinese Brothers. This was the sixties, and I was very young, but I didn't feel right about the way the story portrayed Chinese people. I've since learned the book is controversial and removed from some school libraries. It's the first book that got me thinking about racial stereotypes (though not consciously).
Were you influenced for the better by art when you were growing up? This could be books, tv shows, plays, comics, or anything else that shaped your world view, or made you question the issues of the day.
The Lord of the Rings books made me re-examine my beliefs around corporal punishment, good and evil, and many of the other themes it explores. So many books and stories shaped my childhood and adolescent years: The Happy Hollisters series; Nancy Drew books; Gone with the Wind; Watership Down; Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; The Wizard of Oz; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ... so many more.
Hannah Howe: Definitely. Music, television, movies and books had a big influence on me and helped shape my world view. This influence was probably subliminal and I married it with my family’s attitudes. At base level I learned about good v evil and the need to challenge injustice. Song lyrics, especially lyrics about social issues, meant a lot to me. I’m a fan of 1960s and 1970s television and movies, and one reason for that is these programmes displayed a strong social conscienice. Art, even escapist art, has the ability to shed light on, and challenge, your views and opinions.
In television, I gravitated to anything action-packed and supernatural. Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I also loved mysteries, such as Columbo and the Snoop Sisters, as well as shows like Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice. -7-
that girls were not always portrayed as equal to boys, so it was important to me that my books proved that girls were strong, intelligent, adventurous and creative, and not just pretty little things as the sidekick to the male character. Like Rachel, I loved the Narnia series, but also books like The Animals of Farthing Wood and Wind in the Willows. From an early age these stories showed me that we need to protect animals and care for the environment.
Movies also influenced me, starting with the Disney films (cartoons and live-action) and then moving on to The Planet of the Apes movies and The Excorcist. I enjoyed horror and science fiction and fantasy, and by the time I was thirteen, I was reading it. Stephen King became one of my favourite authors. Star Wars blew me away when it came out, as did Rocky and Jaws. I read Jaws when I was in grade eight. And I loved Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They all had something to say to me that went beyond the story's surface.
Rebecca Carter: Everyone in my family read books. We had so many that people said it felt like being in a library. My favorites were mysteries (Agatha Christie) and historical novels (Taylor Caldwell). The first opened my mind to looking at the clues... not only to solve the crime, but in people--how they behaved, lied, or told their version of the "truth." The second gave me more insight into the corruption in the world of politics. It made me look at the underlying issues, and try to understand them from both side, and not simply believe in the party rhetoric or either side.
In comics, I loved anything to do with Archie and Josie and the Pussycats when I was a kid. When I outgrew that, I devoured Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, though not in comic-book form. My music was the Beatles, Elton John, Neil Young, Pink Floyd-anything in rock. I wanted music that made me think as well as moved me with its sound. U2 became my favourite band because they had that perfect combination of music, lyrics, and voice.
Cherime Macfarlane: Same here. We all read. Dad taught me before I was 5 to read the Sunday funnies.
Most of all, anything that told a story captivated me. That's why I loved Rush so much, why I loved any band's work that had depth or mystery. Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven? Captivated me immediately.
Eileen Sheehan: I was raised in the country on what might be deemed as a "gentleman's farm" in days gone by (maybe today too? not sure) by an English teacher, so reading was definitely a part of my life; as was my exposure to animals. Charlotte's Web and Watership Down were not only my favorite books to take me away while young, but they influenced the way I thought and perceived animals. As I grew into a teenage girl dreaming of love and my white knight, I gravitated more toward romantic drama such as "Gone With the Wind" and "Forever Amber." It wasn't until my adult years that I was able to get through and actually enjoy thriller and mild horror without burying my face and practically hyperventilating. Where Dracula and Frankenstein frightened the daylights out of me when I was young, I now write vampire, werewolf, etc. romance thrillers. I enjoy supernatural television
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words can paint wonderful pictures. Rachael Wright: I was influenced heavily by art growing up. The first books I can remember reading was CS Lewis' Narnia series. My family lived on a ranch and animals were a central part of our lives. Seeing animals portrayed as sentient beings with emotions and desires cemented my belief that the world needed humanity's care and love. Sylva Fae: Books were my main influence. I liked stories where there was a strong female character - feisty characters like Pippi Longstocking were favourites. Even as a small child, I recognised -8-
Val Tobin: Representation is crucial for young readers, but it should be done with an awareness of what's appropriate to the story. The controversy surrounding Ghost in the Shell when they cast Scarlett Johansson in the lead role was a reaction to Hollywood's white-washing of the lead character. Some roles can be played by anyone (a female Doctor Who works just fine), but if the story is set in a specific culture, the roles should keep true to that.
shows with a hero or heroine who has fabulous powers. I secretly want to believe that we all inherently have them but just haven't figured out how to tap into them yet... "smile".
Sylva Fae: As a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s writer, this is something I'm mindful of every time I write. The books /TV shows our children are exposed to at a young age will shape their thinking as they grow. Diversity and breaking free from stereotyped roles is crucial. I do think we've come a long way since my childhood, and I'm seeing the difference in the way my children view the world. They thankfully do not share the same prejudices that were the norm of my childhood.
In recent years several franchises have suffered fan backlash for casting women, or actors of diverse backgrounds in key roles. How important is representation, for young readers?
Eileen Sheehan: For me to write my opinion seems redundant since I agree with all of the above and would only be repeating their views.
Rebecca Carter: I don't mind the reversal of roles of stories, unless it's a historical person. I don't think it's good to make up things about historical figures. Portray them as they were; don't change their sexuality, political beliefs, or anything else because it might fit the current times.
Hannah Howe: When a character is ingrained in the public conscience itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult for the public to accept a diverse representation of that character. Would Sherlock Holmes work as a woman, for example? That said, it is important that writers introduce young readers to a wide range of characters from diverse backgrounds. Understanding breaks down fear and hatred. People with open minds are happier than those with closed minds. Young readers start with open minds and writers should encourage them to explore even further.
Some take role reversals of fictional characters to the extreme. For them, it's not acceptable to have characters in traditional roles. For example, they believe fantasy heroes have to be kick-ass females. I think we still need both: we want to encourage both boys and girls to read and discover the wonders of other worlds--real or fantasy
Rachael Wright: Everyone deserves to feel included and represented in the public consciousness. If they aren't represented it's almost as if they don't exist, or they only exist in one particular sphere and that's incredibly damaging. I'm of the firm belief that diversity of thought and representation can only lead us forward into a brighter future. -9-
Cassy Albee: I like representation but when it makes sense. Like the new James Bond, it makes sense that someone else could be assigned the 007, but it would not make sense to suddenly have Bond be a woman. The same with Dr. Who. Although I wasn't entirely pleased, it makes sense that he could regenerate as a female and that has been mentioned before in the show. Making a character diverse for the sake of it isn't enough reason. It needs to mean something to the character and the story.
and not much empathy. The global economy and its implications. We're in a state of flux more now than ever, and writers will reflect that in their stories. Stories give voice to the joy, fear, pain, and pleasure humanity experiences as a whole, and by doing so, help raise awareness and empathy. Rachael Wright: I think the movement of peoples from war and climate change refugees will become a key issue. I believe they will make a difference. Art is designed to make people think about their own prejudices and experiences and to open their minds to a new way of thinking. A survey done only a few years ago found that readers of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series were more openminded and more empathetic than children who had not read the series. Since we live in a globalized society, it is our duty to educate ourselves about the experiences of our neighbours.
Which issues do you think we will see addressed more in the future? Will they make a difference?
Sylva Fae: For my young readers, mindfulness is the key, whether that be kindness and compassion for others or making physical changes to make the world a better place. Our stories shouldn't shield children from serious issues like climate change and pollution, but show them ways that they can make a difference. Books empower people to question and believe they have a voice. This is so important to instil in our youth.
Hannah Howe: Climate change will become the dominant issue. Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generation of politicians are paying lip-service to climate change. Future generations will look back and castigate them for placing profit before the needs of the planet and people. Art will reflect this in stories written about this subject. People are content to vote for evil and apathy. Unless we change our attitudes, future writers will regard us as the villains of the piece.
Rebecca Carter: As I write with someone from a different cultural background, I have come to see this as an important aspect that will influence the future. Immigration will be a big topic in both the US and Europe. Certain political events and leaders have made a mess of the issue. Until we learn to understand the cultures and beliefs of those from different nationalities, we may never learn to live at peace with one another.
Val Tobin: Writers' works often mirror in their works what affects their lives. Tolkien insists Sauron and the war of the ring wasn't based on Hitler, but he'd have been affected by Hitler's rise. Tolkien fought in World War I, and that would have influenced him even more whether consciously or not. What influences writers today? Climate change. The Internet and rapidly changing technology. Politics and the uncertainty it breeds in our lives when those in control have too much power - 10 -
Eileen Sheehan: Compassion and Tolerance are a big thing for me. I think that it is good for writers emphasize the importance of compassion and tolerance for the myriad of differences in culture, beliefs, body composition, etc. in their stories whenever possible. Good should always win out over evil. The right to agree to be different and to disagree should be something that is accepted with joy and not frustration or anger. Portraying honesty as vital is also a good thing. It is probably one of the most important traits in a person (or story character) in my eyes. I'm concerned about the fact that slavery is more prevalent today than in all of history (so reports say it is a result of the dark web.) Compassion and tolerance promote love for your fellow man and earth's creatures. When you love, you don't hurt. With enough love, prejudice over skin color, gender, sexual inclinations, slavery, animal cruelty, etc. would become a distant memory. For years I worked as a hypnotherapist. One of the things that is noted in that field is "conscious hypnosis". An example of this is when a beauty queen thinks she's fat and in need of body improvement because her jealous friend or sister or whoever continually tells her that she is. The constant suggestion takes hold and she believes it. The same can be done with reading, television shows, television ads, news, etc. Being mindful of this as a writer can help shape the thought process and behavioral patterns of the readers into something loving and positive without detracting from their entertainment. (even horror).
Hannah Howe: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never had heroes and heroines. I respect a lot of people, but we are all human, all flawed. If you place someone on a pedestal they are likely to fall off. Respect is more important than heroic status. Young people rebel against their elders. This is natural and good because it challenges assumptions and leads to progress. Also, young people need to learn and discover things for themselves. Younger role models are important in this respect and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s refreshing to see them step forward. Val Tobin: Younger role models do resonate more with younger readers. It gives them someone to emulate and makes them feel less alone. Real world heroes are the ones who stand up, stand out, and speak up. They rail against corruption and consider consequences of actions on a personal, local, and global level. They investigate and invent in a way that contributes positively to society. Numerous young people today fit that description. Rachael Wright: There have been young role models since time immemorial and they are a vital part of society. But it's not just the young who these people, Malala and Greta for example, resonate with. That someone so young can have the courage to speak out and make a difference makes all of us feel as if we too have the power to change our lives and our world. Sylva Fae: I do not really have any heroes or heroines, I prefer to listen to all, read the facts and make my own decisions. I do think if I'd had seen a young person, like Greta, when I was her age, I would have felt empowered. I believe these young role models have an influence more on the younger generation as they can relate to someone their own age. Cassy Albee: Really, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Stewart, George Taki are my heroes. They 'use their power for good'. Young role models always look good in fiction because you get the whole story, while in real life you only get a part. Basically I'm very on the fence
We are also in an age when young role models are rising to the world's attention, campaigning against the tyrants they escaped, for the rights of refugees, for action on the environment, or against gun violence. Do younger role models resonate more with younger readers? Who are your real world heroes and heroines? - 11 -
Val Tobin: Medicine and health will be a big area. I hear about promising developments in treatments for various diseases or conditions, such as Alzheimer's, that give hope for people who had no hope.
Rebecca Carter: Being a introvert both when I was younger and still as an adult, I found that outspoken people of my own age terrified me. I looked to adults, who had lived through the hardships, for role models. My heroes were my parents. With technology and globalization today, that may no longer be the case with the young people of the world. So much more is available for them at the click or swipe of their fingers.
Translation technology has steadily improved. Imagine if it got to the point where people who don't speak each other's languages could converse smoothly using an artificial interpreter? Agriculture must develop to grow nutritious food free of contaminants. Construction might soon give us 3D-printed homes that are more affordable but better built.
Eileen Sheehan: I write for the mature adult, but I think that for a young reader to read about a young hero or heroine overcoming an obstacle that he or she can easily relate to would have a positive influence on the reader.
Technology changes every facet of our lives and it's doing so more rapidly than ever. My grandfather witnessed cars hit the roads and assembly lines when before it was just horse and buggy. I was amazed by television and computers. My kids saw the introduction of video games. My grandkids have never known a world without all these things. Now we're witnessing driverless cars as a reality. We've gone from sharing party-line telephones to carrying personal cell phones that connect us to the Internet. Who knows what else will come in my grandkids' lifetime?
In terms of science and technology, we live in very exciting times, on the verge of revolutions that could change our world entirely. What do you think will bring the best, and biggest changes in our children's lifetimes?
E-books have freed writers to publish their works without the need of a publisher. This has its cons as well as its pros, but it has meant we can publish something that, while not commercially viable, can in its creative expression provide a valuable contribution to the literary world.
Rachael Wright: Actually science fiction has been the biggest predictor of the future. We see something we like in science fiction and then work to create it. I'd really like to believe that our children will see incredible strides in how we take care of the planet and stop species from becoming extinct. Without a habitable world there's no reason for fancy technology. Beyond that I think globalization and the movement of peoples and the breakdown of old "borders" will be the biggest challenge that our children will face. The old world model of nation-states can't last forever.
Audiobooks are taking off because not everyone wants to read words. Some people are more auditory than visual, and this provides them easy access to new worlds they'd otherwise never have explored. Hannah Howe: That is the key to a brighter future: if the system wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t support them (and there are political reasons in all countries why it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t) people must educate themselves and learn to think for themselves. - 12 -
Sylva Fae: Looking at the experiences of my girls compared to my own childhood, technology is a both a curse and a blessing. They have access to knowledge at their fingertips and skills I would have deemed science fiction not many years ago, yet their reliance on technology for entertainment is impairing their development in other ways. To further scientific development, children need to develop problem solving skills, be innovative and not expect instant gratification. Yes, we're living in exciting times but science and technology should be part of a balanced course of learning, and not be allowed to replace traditional skills. Rebecca Carter: The cost of a formal education past high school has skyrocketed since I went to college, and loans for education are not affordable. I hope that technology provides a way for the young to learn in ways that they could never achieve in a brick-and-mortar university. I want them to be able to think for themselves, to search for the answers, to sort out the bits of truth among all the lies and deceit.
Any final thoughts to share? Cherime MacFarlane: I think we need medical breakthroughs and fear some will be held back because of money. I do wish certain segments of society would stop thinking we can get to another planet if we mess this one up enough. We need to fix what we have. Then we can think about other planets.
Hannah Howe: The way we access entertainment is changing rapidly. Already, twentieth century entertainment platforms look old-fashioned to the modern generation. Stories are timeless and will continue, but not necessarily in the formats we are used to. I think novels will become shorter because the modern mind is programmed towards shorter attention spans and because of time demands on future generations. Ironically, innovations donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t save time, often they take up more of our time. Holograms will replace television. Our living rooms will become a stage. The eBook allows our generation to become authors. In future, artists will express themselves through music and film in the same way. Technology, used wisely, will enhance creative expression. People have a need to free their imaginations, and for stories. Artists like Shakespeare will emerge, but probably in formats we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dreamed of yet. Eileen Sheehan: We have so many wonderful things to provide a decent quality of life and technology available to us that the majority of the public is unaware of, yet we don't use it to its fullest because the pharmaceutical companies might lose a few dollars or the doctors wouldn't see as many patients. For years I yearned to have access to a bio feedback machine that was made illegal in the USA (my home) When it finally was approved, I was able to eliminate a life threatening allergy from my body... hence, I no longer take the medication for it. There is so much out there and still more being created that will improve our health and the health of the planet if we can just move past fear and greed. Sci-fi and fantasy stories that emphasis the use (and invention) of such things help to shift the mindset of the populous into a more accepting mode.
T.E. Hodden trained in engineering and works in a specialized role in the transport industry. He is a life long fan of comic books, science fiction, myths, legends, and history. In the past he has contributed to podcasts, blogs, and anthologies. Discover more on Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/t-e-hodden/ - 13 -
Memories Submitted by Poppy Flynn Written by Jester Age 17
Every picture hides a lazy smile And old mother sofa plumps her feathers, Downy cushions to protect
Sitting here, silent
The curled-up nestling in her midst.
Happy thoughts drifting and trailing
Curling like a strain of mist
Part of the furniture.
Around the cobwebs in my mind.
A fanning warmth envelopes everything.
Lazy dogs for sole companions,
The plants whisper to each other
Lying in the pale streak of light
And the fish glide hypnotically
That reaches through the open door.
Through sensuous water
Alone, but not alone.
While the windows,
Music, soft and lilting,
The rooms eyes,
Drifting through the room
Unblinkingly watch the radiant
And touching, briefly, the ornaments
Blaze of crimson sunfire,
And statuettes with soothing fingers.
Smoothed by dusky pink
Happiness floating from memories
Before the twilight is given up
And clinging like a delicate perfume
To the streetlamp.
To the furnishings.
- 14 -
Classic TV: Brother Cadfael by Hannah Howe Created by Ellis Peters, the Brother Cadfael books are set in the 1100s during the Civil War between the supporters of Stephen and Matilda, rivals for the throne. The Civil War provides an excellent backdrop for the series, as does the Benedictine abbey at Shrewsbury. A well-rounded character, Cadfael – which is Welsh for ‘battle prince’ – was a soldier and crusader, but when the series begins, we find him at the abbey of St Paul and St Peter, content to tend his herb garden. Cadfael’s knowledge of herbal medicines is brought into play throughout the series and this knowledge often leads to the unmasking of the villain. Ellis Peters’ medieval mysteries are rich in character, not least Cadfael himself, who is a man of justice, compassion and resilience. Throughout the series, Cadfael is assisted by Deputy Sheriff Hugh Beringar, a practical man who has to balance the search for truth and justice against the political machinations of the Civil War. A number of colourful characters from the abbey also appear frequently, including the sanctimonious Prior Robert and the obnoxious Brother Jerome. The Cadfael books were adapted for television in the 1990s with a film set of polystyrene and wood constructed in Hungary. The set stood for five years during the filming of thirteen of the original twenty books. Derek Jacobi memorably portrayed Cadfael with Michael Culver, Julian Firth and Peter Copley in supporting roles. The one weakness of the television series was the constantly changing face of Hugh Beringar, who
Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael
was portrayed by three different actors. The television series, like the books, was a great success, though unfortunately high production costs brought the series to a close before all twenty books could be filmed. Ellis Peters was the pen name of Edith Pargeter (1913 – 95) and, a prolific author, she wrote around ninety books. She wrote her first book, Hortensius, Friend of Nero, in 1936 and, in the 1960s, a popular series of books featuring Inspector Felse and his family. The Inspector Felse books, like all the best crime fiction, offer a window on society and explore family life, from a policeman’s perspective, in the 1960s. During World War Two, Edith Pargeter served in the Women’s Royal Navy Service and was awarded the British Empire Medal. A lover of Czechoslovakia, she also translated many books from the Czech language. However, she will be best remembered for her classic Cadfael novels.
Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann's War Mystery Series and the #1 international bestseller Saving Grace. Hannah's books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into ten languages. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Reads website:
https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe - 15 -
Adobo Hotpot Submitted by G.D. Penman You’ve got time to kill, four people to feed and somebody made the mistake of calling you boring at some point in your life. It is time to prove how interesting you are by carefully copying a recipe from a far-away place. The trouble is, all the far-away places are rapidly becoming takeaway joints just on the other side of town. If you want to make something new and interesting you can’t just slap down some sushi, conjure up some curry or show off some Korean barbecue, you need to dig a little deeper. It’s Adobo O'clock.
Ingredients for 4 hungry people 2lbs of pork 2lbs of chicken ¼ cup of rice vinegar ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar ½ cup of soy sauce 1 cup of water 2 bay leaves, crushed 4 teaspoons of minced garlic 1 large brown onion 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper - traditionally this is made with whole black peppercorns instead, but that can spook some people
Optional extras I have never seen this dish served without rice, you could be the first to do it but I have no idea why you would want to. Mango juice is a nice accompaniment to the meal too. Step 1: Get yourself ready for the easiest meal you are ever going to make in your life. Step 2: Pop your pot on the stove at high heat. Step 3: While that warms up, chop the pork and chicken into 1 inch cubes and chop your onion up as finely as possible. Step 4: Put every single ingredient on the ingredient list, into the pot. Step 5: Bring the contents of the pot to the boil, then drop the temperature to medium-low heat and pop a lid on top. Step 6: Walk away from the kitchen for two hours. Step 7: Take off the lid and leave it to cook for ten more minutes while you get dishes out to serve your new favourite meal in. It is possible that you won’t be able to leave the kitchen for the full two hours, because you will probably want to go and make rice to serve this with, but you will get at least an hour of peace in a house that is going to gradually smell more and more delicious as time goes by. If you somehow don’t manage to devour everything in the pot, it can be frozen and reheated easily enough, just remember to defrost it overnight in the fridge. And the next time someone insinuates that your cooking is boring, ask them the last time that they had Adobo from the Philippines. - 16 -
Chess: Pin the Defender Supplied by Chess.Com You might notice that the black king is in the center and his bishop on e7 is under a tough pin. However, the bishop is sufficiently defended - it is attacked three times, but also defended three times. How can White exploit the situation to break Black's defenses?
- 17 -
Love or Romance by Sharon Hughson
Spring is in the air, and so is love. After the “romance” of Valentine’s Day last month, it could be the best time to discuss the difference between romance and love. If there is one.
Valentine’s Romance As much as women love receiving beautiful bouquets and savoring decadent chocolates (directly from a fancy box, of course), most of us don’t think that’s what makes a romance. Do we?
Because to him romance is all about the sun slipping into the ocean (among other things, obviously).
Is romance a fancy dinner date? Ladies get dressed up and go out for a delicious dinner. And then what? Come home to undress for the “romance” men are interested in?
Everyone agrees romance is nice. But what’s important in a lasting relationship is love. Real love that holds your hand when you feel lonely and holds your head when you’re being sick.
If the man brings home flowers, do we say, “That’s so romantic!”
Real love lends a hand with household chores and change dirty diapers. Authentic love is less about chocolates and flowers and more about being present for the person you love in their moment of need.
Because that sort of exclamation could set in motion a parade of flowers whenever the man hopes to be “romantic.” More than thirty years ago, my husband tried for a romantic marriage proposal. One day in the middle of a LONG work week, he asked me to drive to the beach (about 90 minutes away) and watch the sun set.
And, let’s face it, most of that isn’t very romantic at all. Romantic Love Stories
Normally, I’m all about sunsets at the beach. But I was tired. It had been a rough day at work, and the week wasn’t over yet. So I said, “How about Saturday?”
I make this distinction between love and romance to make a point: love trumps romance in my romance novels.
Well, he didn’t want to wait those few extra days to propose to me. So he improvised. And to this day when I say something about how he could be more romantic, he says, “I tried that once. It didn’t work out.”
What? You like the fluttering hearts and stomachs in your romances. Me too. I write those along with other sensations spawned by physical attraction. I’d even agree that those are the things that start us down the path to real love—sometimes. - 18 -
But romance isn’t a permanent state of being. No one is feeling romantic when their alarm buzzes at five in the morning. Especially not if they’ve been cleaning up their child’s vomit all night.
In my first Sweet Grove Romance Love’s Late Arrival, Kyanna has sacrificed much for her career, but now that she’s reached the pinnacle, the payoff is bittersweet. In contrast, Roth is barely keeping his head above water while parenting his daughter, but no matter how much he loves her, his efforts never seem to be enough.
Romance has a place in real life, but it doesn’t often look like it does in fiction. Which is the reason we read fiction, right? Or maybe that’s just me.
These two lonely middle-aged adults aren’t looking for love, but there’s a bigger plan lurking behind them. Kyanna’s loneliness and Roth’s feelings of failure bring them to a path they wouldn’t have chosen, but in the end, the payoff is love.
If I want real life, I can put the book down and look around me. In my books, I try to impart enough real life to make it meaningful once we leave the story. Maybe reading is all about escape, but if a reader wants to be encouraged or feel hopeful or reconnect with difficult times of the past, I want to offer that opportunity.
The story has some dark valleys, and everything isn’t in a tidy package on the last page. But the romance and love they’ve discovered makes the journey worthwhile.
But no matter what issues I address in the stories I write, I always give my characters a happy ending. We get enough unhappiness in life, and when I read, I want things ending on a positive note. No, everything might not have worked out perfectly, but the main characters found what they needed.
How would you define romance? What do you think is the biggest difference between romance and love?
You can find Love’s Late Arrival and ALL Sharon’s books here.
She wants to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Sharon Hughson inhales words and exhales stories. Her characters face real--difficult, and sometimes heart-wrenching—issues. Just because it’s fiction, doesn’t mean readers can’t see themselves on the pages…and find the strength to be the hero of their own story. Sharon could easily get lost in books. When her parents divorced, escaping into Narnia saved her from a fate worse than rebelling against everything. She pens her stories for that troubled teenager, seeking hope and encouragement, because sometimes vacation only happens between the pages of a book. When not immersed in the world of writing and reading, Sharon substitutes in local classrooms, keeps house for her honey and waits on her three cats. - 19 -
StreetVet Interviewed by Hannah Howe
Jade of StreetVet explains to Hannah Howe how her organisation helps the pets of homeless people. When did you found StreetVet? StreetVet developed from 2016. In 2017, I discovered that fellow vet Sam Joseph had a similar idea so we got together on Facebook to pool our resources. StreetVet became a charity in 2019. What motivated you to found StreetVet, was there one particular incident? I met a homeless man in 2016. His dog had skin problems. He had no veterinary support so I asked myself â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;what could I do to help?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I met Josh, a hairdresser who cuts the hair of homeless people, and asked him for advice. After talking with Josh, I realised that it was feasible to help the dog with skin problems, and other animals.
Where is StreetVet based?
We are based in sixteen locations throughout Britain and receive support from around 600 volunteer vets and nurses.
What kind of help is StreetVet able to offer the pets of homeless people? Anything that a vet can do in a consulting room we can do on the street. For example, inoculations, administer medicines, examinations. If necessary, we arrange with other vets for Xrays and operations.
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Do any organisations offer StreetVet practical support?
I imagine working with homeless people and their pets must generate a myriad of emotions, from frustration to satisfaction. Can you offer an insight into how your work affects your vets?
We receive great support from the general public, drug companies and the veterinary community. Through their support we are able to offer much needed care, food and toys.
One of our main tasks is to build trust and relationships with the homeless community. When you establish relationships with people it affects you on a human level. Sometimes, you feel helpless in that you can’t find a solution to their homeless problems. Therefore, StreetVet can be challenging. It isn’t for everyone, so we make our vets aware of this when they sign up.
What is the most unusual pet you have treated? The majority of our clients are dogs, but we have treated cats, plus a rabbit. We intend to launch in a new location soon where we believe a ferret will require our attention.
How do you raise funds for StreetVet?
Do you think pets are important to the wellbeing of homeless people? If yes, how do pets help the homeless?
We have been incredibly well supported by the veterinary profession and pet industry as a whole. The public has shown StreetVet incredible support. Since securing Charity registration in 2019, we are now able to apply for certain grants.
Pets greatly enhance the wellbeing of homeless people. Everyone can identify with the human-animal bond and on the streets we see this in its most profound form. An example: one of our clients came out of prison and bought a dog for £12. That dog has helped him to turn his life around and remain out of prison. Sometimes, people and their pets are made homeless together. By having a dog, a homeless person is often denied access to street kitchens while only 10% of
How can our readers support StreetVet? Your readers can support StreetVet through our website and our Amazon Wish List page. All donations, regardless of the amount, or gifts, are most welcome. Also, you can stop and talk with homeless people in your community. Often, they are ignored and feel isolated. If you talk with them you can help break down that sense of isolation. You can also introduce them to the concept of StreetVet - we have a public notifications section on our website that can request SV to visit and help a particular individual. This requires engagement with the homeless pet owner and I think is a really positive way to encourage social interaction and compassion.
hostels accept dogs. Life might be ‘easier’ for a homeless person without his dog. However, dogs give a sense of purpose, a meaning to life and help to keep their owners alive.
Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann's War Mystery Series and the #1 international bestseller Saving Grace. Hannah's books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into ten languages. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe
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Projecting Insecurities by Anna Grace Over the last 4 or so years I have tried a range of different therapies, many of which I haven't gotten along with. As part of recovery for Anorexia I have been having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and although in the past I haven't gotten along with CBT however this time around I have been finding it fairly helpful. Unlike what's shown in the movies, therapy isn't always about drastic, life changing realisations or laying down on a sofa crying. However, every now and then you learn something about yourself which, if you pay attention, could just make an impact.
that that these are my insecurities, they have nothing to do with other people and everything to do with the way that I view myself.
I had one of these moments today, without trying to sound arrogant, I view myself as quite a perceptive person, I have been aware of a lot of the unhealthy thought processes that I have but have not been able to change them. Through the last couple of years I have understood that you can notice some parts of yourself and try to fix them to no end because you haven't found the root of the problem. I know that I struggle with feeling insecure. A month or so ago I had a conversation with my therapist that highlighted the fact that I get most of my self esteem from how others perceive me which means I spend all of time trying to please other people.
So now that I know this, how do I put this into practise? Recognising these thought processes is one thing, but to actually reap the benefit of this I am going to have to find away to move through this thought process in order to start to heal. It's easy enough to say "I will not project my insecurities onto other people" but doing it is another story. For me it will be things like the photos that I post on social media, clothes that I wear or even making myself more vulnerable by reaching out to people even if I am terrified that they are going to feel annoyed that I have reached out to them. So, after this conversation my therapist asked me what my plan was moving forward, to which I shrugged my shoulders looking for some deep insight into the solution to all of my problems. Her answer was "The best thing that you can do in this situation is fake it until you make it". At first I was a bit taken back, I have spent so long faking it, isn't that what I'm supposed to be moving away from. However,
The thing is, I'm not psychic. How am I supposed to know what other people are thinking about me. I have spent so many years of my life trying to please other people by hiding the things that I feel insecure about but how do I know that these people care or even notice these things. I have been projecting my insecurity onto other people assuming that their opinions of me will be hindered by the things that I dislike about myself without ever recognising
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when she expanded, I got it. It's going to take a while for me to believe that other people aren't judging me based on my insecurities, however, if I let myself be a little bit vulnerable, I might just prove to myself that it's okay to be vulnerable and how much more I can get out of my life if I do. I struggle a lot with the idea of vulnerability, it was pointed out to me that things that I worry will happen if I let myself be vulnerable are theoretical ideas in my head rather than past realities. I am building up walls to protect myself from an abstract idea of abandonment without any evidence that that will actually happen. Also, I often underestimate my ability to deal with situations. Even if something did go wrong and I got hurt, whose to say that I won't be able to handle it? Pain is an unfortunate part of life, no amount of control, rules or walls will stop me from feeling pain; the limits I put to my life to prevent this pain however may also prevent me from experience some of the best parts of life.
The lesson that I am going to try and learn from this is; I am a strong person and therefore able to deal with a lot more than I give myself credit for, it's okay to let myself be a little bit more vulnerable than usual in order to possibly experience way more than I do at the moment, if I get hurt then I will be able to pick myself up and try again...it will not break me. I can't live my life by a series of rules that build walls around me and I can't control the pain I feel but I can give myself a better opportunity to feel joy!
Take relationships for example, I have been single for quite a while, in all fairness it's been a rough couple of years so that's not necessarily a bad thing, however, I may have missed out of opportunities and experiences because I am so afraid of getting hurt that I never let myself be vulnerable enough to let someone else in in that capacity. I could have missed out on amazing relationships purely because I was scared of hypothetical pain.
Blog: https://www.annagrace-mylifewithbipolardisorder.com/ Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUN3AwHAiB19NQez7V2lfYQ Twitter: @annagracemylif1 Instagram: @annagrace.lifewithbipolar
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March by Poppy Flynn The name March originates from the Latin word Martius, after Mars, the Roman god of War. It was so named because this was traditionally the start of the new season of warfare in the ancient roman civilisation. Something which had been placed on hold during the inhospitable winter months. While the first two weeks of the month were given over to new year celebrations, the ‘Ides of March’ signified the middle of the month, when, historically, those festivities ended, and thoughts turned instead to conquest. In the Northern Hemisphere, March 1st signifies the meteorological start of Spring. It is for this reason that March used to be considered the first month of the year; a natural progression of the seasons from the new first new growth of spring, through the abundance of summer. On to the autumn harvests before giving way to the barrenness of winter - a bleakness which remained monthless for centuries and was simply referred to as ‘winter’, before King Numa Pompilius, added January and February to the end of the calendar, in order for it to cover a standard lunar year.
and no one is allowed on the streets or beaches. Emergency vehicles carrying those with lifethreatening conditions or women who are about to give birth are the only exceptions.
While March, was replaced as the beginning of the year in around 153 BC, in the Gregorian Calendar, it wasn’t adopted by some counties until relatively recently.
In Russia the new year was celebrated on March 1 until the late 15th century and Great Britain and all of its colonies recognised March 25th as new year’s day until 1752. This is why the fiscal year occurs in April.
March has two birthstones. These are aquamarine which symbolises honesty, faithfulness and beauty and the bloodstone (also known as heliotrope) which signifies strength, vitality and fertility.
There are some cultures which still celebrate March as the beginning of year. Most notable is Iran, where thy celebrate what they call Nowruz on March 20/21st and Bali, where they celebrate Nyepi, meaning ‘Day of Silence’. This takes place on the day after the dark moon of the spring equinox, so like Easter, the date changes, but it always falls in March. The complete antithesis of Western new year’s celebrations, it is a day of fasting, meditation and selfreflection which is observed from 6 AM until 6 AM the next morning. Moreover, anything that might interfere with that is restricted. Even tourists are not excused since the airport is closed for the entire day - 24 -
On March 4th, 1681 King Charles II of England granted a huge tract of land in the New World to William Penn to settle an outstanding debt. The area later became Pennsylvania. Renaissance genius Michelangelo was born in Italy on March 4th, 1475. He became renown as a painter and sculptor amongst other things but is best known for his fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the sculpture of David.
The March birth flower is the daffodil. This symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. The zodiac signs are Pisces up until March 20th and Aries, thereafter.
March Events and observations March 1st â&#x20AC;&#x201C; St. Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day in Wales and National Peanut Butter Day. March 2nd, 1969 saw the maiden flight of Concorde, the first supersonic aircraft travelling at twice the speed of sound.
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On March 6th, 1987, The British cross channel ferry, ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’, capsized after leaving Zeebrugge in Belgium with its bow doors open. Over 180 passengers were killed. March 7th, 1876, the Scottish Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, patented the telephone. March 9th, 1074, Pope Gregory VII excommunicated all married priests. March 10th, 1862 - The U.S. government issued paper money for the first time and $5, $10 and $20 bills began circulation. March 12th, 1994 - The Church of England ordained 32 women as its first female priests. March 12th, 1879 Albert Einstein was born in Germany. His theory of relativity led to new ways of thinking about time, space, matter and energy.
There are also a lot of book days associated with March, for all you readers:
March 15th 44 B.C. - Julius Caesar was assassinated by his friend Brutus on the ‘Ides of March.
World Folklore Tales and Fables Week - fourth week of March
March 17th St Patrick’s day in Ireland.
March 4th - National Grammar Day
March 20th National Alien Abduction Day
March 5th - World Book Day
March 20th International Earth Day
March 9th - Read Aloud Day
March 23rd National Puppy Day
March 25th - Tolkien Reading Day
Read an E-Book Week - second week of March
March 24th, 1989 - One of the largest oil spills in U.S. history occurred when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It resulted in 11 million gallons of oil devastating 45 miles of natural habitat. March 25th International Waffle Day
Poppy Flynn was born in Buckinghamshire, UK and moved to Wales at eight years old with parents who wanted to live the 'self-sufficiency' lifestyle. Today she still lives in rural Wales and is married with six children. Poppy's love of reading and writing stemmed from her parents' encouragement and the fact that they didn't have a television in the house. "When you're surrounded by fields, cows and sheep, no neighbors, no TV and the closest tiny village is four miles away, there's a certain limit to your options, but with books your adventures and your horizons are endless." Discover more about Poppy on Mom's Favorite Reads website:
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Poem by Stan Phillips When we were young so long ago Watching the world go to and fro. Laughing here and dancing there With flawless skin and all our hair Songs were sung and tales were told With never a thought of growing old. And all we wanted time to do Was step aside and let us through. But life wasn't like that, was it? As I sit Right at the other end. Grateful for my years For all my deeds and doings All my griefs and glories All my tears and laughter All those friends of long ago Gone, perhaps before me. And I cherish all those good times Bad times Hard times Easy times Without quite knowing which was which as they fitted into the patchwork quilt that made this life.
One thing I know as I reflect on times gone, and that was that nobody ever really promised us that it would be easy. But it was ours And though time didn't stand aside and let us through We got here Didn't we? Well most of us anyway. And this day is wondrous And it is reality And is all I possess Other than a lifetime of unchangeable being. Stan Phillips January 2020(C)
Stan Phillips is an 80 year old poet, musical podcast maker, part-time wannabe male model, and occasional stand up comedian. “I used to be a psychotherapist/counsellor when I had an honest job. I was born into prewar London, and attended 17 schools (my father believed they couldn’t hit a moving target) and I eventually finished up here in Ireland. Still wondering what I will be when I grow up — but enjoying writing my quirky poetry as I do so.” Discover more about Stan on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips - 27 -
Peter Wolf: Stage and Forensic Hypnosis Interviewed by Val Tobin In last month’s “Interview with Peter Wolf on Clinical and Stage Hypnosis,” Peter Wolf, counsellor and consulting hypnotist, described how he found hypnosis while following the shamanic path and his experiences with hypnosis in clinical and stage settings. In this month’s discussion, Wolf tells readers what people experience when they participate in stage hypnosis and explains forensic hypnosis.
What Do People Experience During Stage Hypnosis? Val Tobin: With stage hypnosis, people really look like they believe what’s happening. Are they hallucinating? Peter Wolf: “There is a version of hypnosis which is hallucinating. The most truthful answer I can give you is that some people will actually hallucinate. Some people will just have a version of belief. Even if they don’t see an image, their mind is going to accept it as though there is something there. “They’ll respond as though it is there because the brain told them it is there. The best example I can give you is once I hypnotized a lady on a radio station. The DJ that she was with was bald. One of the jokes we were having is that he was going to have long hair. “Her belief system said that there’s no way he’s going to have hair. So she created a hallucination of one of those carnival cut-outs that you stick your head through. The cut-out was an image of this Adonis with long hair and the DJ had his head stuck through it. That’s the only way her brain could reconcile what was real and what was suggested.”
Forensic Hypnosis Val Tobin: Please explain forensic hypnosis. Does it work? Peter Wolf: “Forensic hypnosis is going back to past details that somebody doesn’t remember. You’re going through the memory to find out what is there. It’s not admissible in court, simply because it hasn’t proven to be reliable. One of the reasons why is that we can alter our memory. Somebody can remember something that wasn’t there. “With forensic hypnosis, you have to get people immediately after the incident. If you get them with nothing in between, then you can get something accurate. If they’ve had people ask them any form of a leading question, their memories will now be altered trying to fill in the blanks with what they think they remember. “When they are asked a question, the brain has to come up with an answer. With leading in any way, the brain will start to go in those directions. Eventually, they may come up with their own perceptions based on those questions. This can become their reality, because, remember, they want to find out those details. Based on beliefs, values, morality, the level of acceptance of whatever is there, the brain will fabricate the most acceptable thing. What you dig up may not be completely factual.”
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Peter Wolf: “Yes, people have come up with verifiable information. When you do past life [hypnosis], you really need to be intricate. You have to test the person, because if the person is not ‘there’ enough, they’re not going to get anything, and you do it without leading questions. But they really have to be there in first person and knowing things—not just thinking and making it up, but knowing things.”
Past Life Regression Val Tobin: In that case, wouldn’t past life regression be unreliable? Peter Wolf: “I believe past life regression can be unreliable or difficult to prove or disprove based on facts, but it is helpful in certain cases.” Val Tobin: Isn’t there a risk as well? Shouldn’t anyone who does past life regression also be a certified hypnotist?
Wolf draws on years of training, experience, knowledge and intuition to create a safe environment for people, whether they meet him on the stage or in a coaching or counselling setting. He has a strong belief in hypnosis as a tool for personal growth and development. His many clients attest to how well that tool works.
Peter Wolf: “I think anyone doing even stage hypnosis should be a licensed hypnotist. You don’t have to be a licensed hypnotist to do stage hypnosis; you just have to know what works. I prefer when there is some good level of hypnosis training, even some therapeutic training to a degree, just in case. Past life regression? My God, yes. If there is something else to deal with, you want to be equipped to deal with it. Most of the time, as you take somebody back, you hit something somewhere. There’s a reason why they want to go there and it’s not always warm and fuzzy.”
In next month’s “Interview with Peter Wolf on Hypnosis for Personal Development,” Wolf explains how hypnosis helps people with their personal issues.
References Wolf, Peter Earthtalkers Image: Courtesy of Peter Wolf
Val Tobin: Have you ever regressed anyone who has come up with things that are verifiable?
Val Tobin writes speculative fiction and searches the world over for the perfect butter tart. Her home is in Newmarket, Ontario, where she enjoys writing, reading, and talking about writing and reading. Discover more about Val on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/val-tobin
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Benefits of Massage and Dangers by Cassandra DenHartog PTA, LMT So back to water. When a massage therapist works out these knots its like taking a spill on a table and sliding it to the edges so it can run off. What that means is, the lactic acid is moved around, blood flow returns, and then your body has to pick up all this extra chemical and flush it through your body. This is where extra hydration helps, and often can make the difference between being sore the next day and not.
You think relaxation. We all do. But did you know there are many medical benefits to massage… and a few dangers. Has your massage therapist ever told you to drink lots of water to help you from getting sore? You ever wonder why? Well here’s a brief anatomy lesson. When a muscle gets tight and knotted it clamps down on the blood vessels nourishing it. Think like a clamp on a garden hose. Muscles need the oxygen and nourishment from your blood to remain tight. So, when that hose is clamped, and flow is limited, the muscle depletes the available nourishment quickly and then must seek other sources. Muscles can like little cannibals, because to continue to be tight they will start to break themselves down creating lactic acid. This is the same chemical that makes you sore after a long sports game, running a 5K, or taking long hikes you’re not used to. The longer the muscle is tight, the more lactic acid it produces, the more inflamed and painful the muscle tissue becomes.
Another benefit. You ever go to a chiropractor and then within three days all the pain comes back? That’s because tight muscles, unless treated, will continue to pull things ‘out of whack’ over and over again. The worse, or more chronic, the tightness, the quicker it will pull things back out of alignment. This can be anything from pulling on vertebra causing increased compression to causing contracture. Ever see those little old ladies all hunched over? Many times, if muscles that were tight were stretched and weak muscles were strengthened to keep proper balance, that could be staved off.
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Now I bet you’re still worried about the DANGERS. Well, it’s nothing too concerning. Massage, due to increasing blood flow, can increase blood pressure. People with high blood pressure may want to consult a doctor first. People with heart failure suffering from increased swelling in their legs should always as a doctor first before getting a massage. The reason? Pushing around all that fluid can overload the heart. Blood clots are also a risk for similar reason. With all the muscles getting worked and blood moving around it’s easier to dislodge a clot which could go to the heart resulting in death. And also, don’t forget about pregnancy. In many eastern practices it is considered dangerous to work certain areas of a pregnant women due to increased risk of miscarriage. Always make sure you have a licensed and skilled massage therapist.
For people sitting at desks for a long period of time such as office workers or authors, massage can help prevent contractures from setting in over a long period of time. Most commonly people who sit end up with tightness in the neck and shoulders, low back, and hips. Another interesting thing is women typically hold stress and tension in their shoulders while men hold it in their low back. This is usually due to difference in bone structure and a general height difference between men and women. Oh, and next massage, try the essential oils, you won’t regret it.
Cassandra DenHartog is an author of Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. Lover of fairy tales and dreams. Hospital worker and business owner. Often referred to as the crazy bird lady. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Read's website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/cassandra-denhartog/
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Contributions by Hannah Howe
You know you’ve rolled out of the wrong side of the bed when...
...you tread on your children’s Lego on the way to the bathroom. ...your goldfish are making too much noise. I phoned my husband at work the other day and he said, “Sorry, darling, I’m really busy right now.”
...you put your bra on backwards and discover it’s a better fit. ...you look for the clothes you wore at the party last night, and can’t find them.
“Oh, this won’t take long,” I said. “I have some good news, and some bad news.”
...you call the Samaritans and get a multiplechoice press one for, etc recorded message.
“Cut to the chase,” my husband said, “give me the good news.”
...the bird singing outside your window is a vulture. ...you discover that you mistakenly placed the superglue cap on your haemorrhoid lotion.
“Well,” I said, “at least we know the airbag works.”
...you wake up in a leaky waterbed, only to remember that you don’t own a waterbed. ...your car horn jams on the freeway while you’re stuck behind a posse of Hell’s Angels. ...the gypsy fortune teller offers you a refund.
I decided to try parachute jumping. However, on my first jump my parachute wouldn’t open. As I plunged towards the ground, frantically trying to fix the parachute, I met another woman on the way up. “Do you know anything about parachutes?” I cried. “No,” the woman sobbed. “Do you know anything about gas cookers?” - 32 -
I Rolled My Ankle Now What? by Cassandra DenHartog PTA, LMT Over the past few years it has become more common place to send people to physical therapy for things as repeatedly rolling their ankles or a sprained ankle. One of the most commonly asked question is, ‘Will this get better?’ The answer can be complex or simple depending on the person. In short, yes. It can get better. People usually roll their ankles for a few reasons. Let me address each one. Overall all weakness. Some people just have weak ankles which makes them prone to rolling. This can be combated by a targeted ankle strengthening program. But there are other simple at home remedies. One is not relying on those high ankle boots or braces for support. Although you think you are protecting your ankles, you are really just wearing a cast constantly and making it so you ankle does not have to work as much. This means the muscles will never grow stronger. One school of thought believes that, barring any arch problems, that going barefoot is the best way to combat this. With no man-made structural support and only relying on the natural support within the ankle the muscles will naturally build themselves up. It’s like if you lifted weights or had someone lift them for you. Only by doing the task do you get stronger. Balance issues. Some people roll their ankle a lot
because they have naturally poor balance. This is something, in most cases, can get better with practice. Try standing on one foot with no support to build up stability by activating small stability muscles. Also trying walking a straight line like walking a tight rope. Anything that challenges your balance can help improve it. Lax ligaments. This can happen after childbirth, after repetitive rolling of the ankle, or just naturally. This may seem scary and even surgery may be suggested, but one secret many don’t know is that this can be combatted by ankle strengthening. Think about dancers, especially river dances who can roll their ankles to the side and recover. This happens because there is enough muscle strength to protect the ankle. Some of the exercises listed above would be a great place to start. So, when should you do use a brace? Braces are great in high risk situation like out on ice, doing sports, or out on uneven ground for long periods of time. Also taping can help with ankle support.
Cassandra DenHartog is an author of Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. Lover of fairy tales and dreams. Hospital worker and business owner. Often referred to as the crazy bird lady. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Read's website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/cassandra-denhartog/A
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Ephiphany: George Fox by Cyril Lucas I have fact-checked the following information with a practicing Quaker and Facebook ‘friend’.
We do not know where or when George Fox (1624/1691) had his ‘revelation’. It was a period when dissenting Christian groups were dissatisfied with the teachings of both the orthodox Church of England and the Catholic Church, and broke free of their restrictions. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers as they are better known, emerged following the English Civil War in the late 1640s. Their founder George Fox became convinced that it was possible to lead a Christian life without the aid of ordained clergy mumbling Latin. He travelled around England, the Netherlands, and the American colonies as well, preaching and telling his audience they were Christ’s true followers. He came from a poor family and was profoundly interested in religion from boyhood. In 1650 he was convicted of blasphemy. According to Fox, the magistrates "were the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord". The name ‘Quaker’ began as a term of ridicule but became widely accepted by the sect, who described themselves as Children of the Light and Friends of the Truth. Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales, and the numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 by 1680. (1.15% of the population). However most Protestants viewed the Quakers as blasphemous challengers to social and political order, and official persecution began under the Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Act 1664. Fox himself was imprisoned several times. Punitive measures were relaxed by the Declaration of Indulgence (1687–1688) and ended under the Act of Toleration 1689.
With the support of Margaret Fell, wife of a prominent judge who had learned of his teachingsthrough her acquaintance with judicial proceedings against him, Fox developed new ideas of community based on piety, faith, and love. Their pioneering restructuring of family and household status brought new roles for Quaker women who were further responsible for the spirituality of the larger community which came together in ‘meetings’ to regulate marriage and domestic behavior. In search of economic opportunities and a more tolerant environment a number of Friends immigrated to the American colonies in the early 1680s. While they continued to experience persecution in some areas of New England they established thriving communities where Quakers were the political majority. Rhode Island governors were Quakers for 100 years while Pennsylvania was established in 1682 by the affluent immigrant William Penn as a colony run under Quaker principles. Penn signed a peace treaty with Tammany, leader of the DelawareTribe of Native Americans that was never broken – providing a notable historical exception to - 34 -
most solemn undertakings given to Native Indians. During the 18th century the English Quakers became more concerned with their existing communities and less active in converting outsiders. Marrying outside the Society was outlawed. Perhaps as a consequence of more restrictive disciplines numbers dwindled, dropping to 19,800 in England and Wales by 1860. I am uncertain whether my ancestor John Lucas (1724/1808) was the first Lucas Quaker, or whether his parents had also been converts; nor if he was the last. His son James Delight was given a Quaker name but may or may not have maintained his faith. It is evident that Quaker beliefs affected our family principles and conduct, for in passing down the name Delight the later members maintained some pride in their former adherence. This tradition was preserved in the baptism of my close cousin Joan, two years my senior, who took much pride in her unusual name. There are few records of John apart from the fact that he “married” a woman named Mary Delight. This was due to the practice of Quakers celebrating their weddings at their ‘meetings’ and not in Church – effectively going “off the grid” of public records.
When she was widowed Fox married Margaret Fell, one of his early converts, on 27 October 1669 at a meeting in Bristol. Wiki says: “She was ten years his senior and had eight children (all but one of them Quakers) by her first husband, Thomas Fell, who died in 1658. She was very active in the movement, and had campaigned for equality and the acceptance of women as preachers. As there were no priests at Quaker weddings to perform the ceremony, the union took the form of a civil marriage approved by the principals and the witnesses at a meeting. Ten days after the marriage, Margaret returned to her home at Swarthmoor to continue her work, while George went back to London. Their shared religious work was at the heart of their life together, and they later collaborated on a great deal of the administration the Society required. Shortly after the marriage, Margaret was imprisoned at Lancaster. George remained in the south-east of England, becoming so ill and depressed that for a time he lost his sight.” Quakerism survives on a modest scale in modern USA. Wiki Images contains a photo of the meeting house in Port Townsend, my local town. It is a pretty building fronted by a beautiful white rhododendron.
The religious dissenters of the period played an important role in developing a more enlightened social conscience in Britain, and later Lucas generations practiced employment practices which were generous and advanced for their day. In due course the abolitionists would officially win their cause against slavery and other oppressions across the world, and eventually lead Britain to the modern Welfare State.
Author of "A Blogetty Blog" (Cyril Lucas Facebook pages) and historical romance "A Windy Night". - 35 -
Pet Psychic: Sheila Trecartin Interviewed by Val Tobin Sheila Trecartin, who lives in Ontario, Canada, has helped people all over the world communicate with their pets. She has worked with all types of animals, including a monkey and an elephant. I interviewed Sheila to find out how she does what she does and to hear about her adventures with the animals. In this exclusive interview, Sheila talks about how she started talking to animals in her childhood, and how she suppressed her ability as she grew up. She also discusses the catalyst that helped her open up to her abilities again and begin helping animals and their owners all over the world.
“She hates snakes. There are a few times I brought snakes back with me and I’d say, ‘Look at that! I made a new friend. This is so-and-so.’ I’d name them. And my mom would come with the shovel and scream, ‘Get that out of here.’ I’d be panicking, saying, ‘No, don’t hurt the snake.'”
Talking to Animals Using Telepathy Val Tobin: I know you’ve been doing animal communication since you were a child. You didn’t get any training in it. It just evolved. How did you discover that you had this ability?
Animal Communication Improves Cat’s Behavior
Sheila Trecartin: “Because we lived in rural Ontario and there was not really anybody around and nothing for me to do, I would go out into the bush around our log house and I would talk to the animals. I didn’t realize nobody else could do that. It was something that I did to pass the time. It was like a hobby. I would find snakes or frogs or rabbits or birds, especially birds.”
“We often had dogs and I would help to train the dog and interact with them a lot. Sometimes we had cats too. My dad brought home a cat from the dump one time and it was totally wild. My dad wanted to get rid of it because it was scratching everything. “It would run up the stairs. We had a piece of wood underneath the stairs and it would slide down the wood. It was just really, really crazy. It wouldn’t eat cat food. It would only eat people food because it had been at the dump all its life.
Val Tobin: When you say talked to the animals, what do you mean? You would go up to them and talk to them … how? Sheila Trecartin: “I would talk to them in my head, not out loud, and I would get impressions back from them. They would often follow me back home, and my mom would often panic when they followed me home.
“So my dad said, ‘Oh, we’re going to get rid of that. It’s too high strung.’ It was crying in the middle of the night. I said, ‘No, just give me three days.’ - 36 -
“I talked to the cat and I said, ‘This is what we have to do if you want to stay here,’ and it literally turned into this pussycat, into this little marshmallow cat that stopped meowing and stopped scratching things, but only as long as I was there. If I wasn’t there, it really had a hard time.”
Opening Up to Animal Communication Val Tobin: How did you open up your abilities again and begin doing animal communication for other people? Sheila Trecartin: “I was on the phone, talking to a friend who lived about an hour away, and we were discussing different things. In my head, I kept hearing his dog. [The dog] was panicking and asking me tons of questions, so I started asking my friend questions. “He said, ‘Why do you keep talking about the dog? Where are you getting this information?’ So I bit the bullet and said, ‘Well, your dog is speaking to me.’ I really thought that he would say, ‘Yeah, right.’ But he didn’t.
Suppressing the Telepathic Gift “When I was old enough to realize that this wasn’t acceptable, I would say to my mom, for instance, ‘the frog said this,’ and she would say, ‘Yeah, whatever Frogs don’t talk.’ I thought ‘Oh-oh, they’re starting to look at me funny.’ I didn’t want to be abnormal. I realized that that’s not how people are. So, I suppressed it.
“He said, ‘Ask her this. Ask her that.’ So we talked for an hour on the phone and we talked with his dogs. Then he said, ‘You have to do this for other people.’ “He called me three days later and asked me to go out with him. It turned out that I went to read my first horse.
“When I was eighteen, I started in the holistic field. I started on a spiritual journey because I felt that something was missing from my life and it was this.”
“In the next two weeks, he took me to several different places to read all different types of animals. I read for these people and he’s really the catalyst who got me back into it.”
Val Tobin: When you say you suppressed it, do you mean you stopped hearing them? Sheila Trecartin: “Yeah, I literally turned it off. Animals would come to me, but I wouldn’t speak to them. I would speak to them in my head, just like you do out loud, and I would get impressions from them, but I wouldn’t act on them. I just stopped using it in the same way. I didn’t utilize it to its potential. “So, when I was eighteen, I started looking in the holistic field to find what was missing and it was the animal communication that I had suppressed. It wasn’t until I was twenty-seven that it all opened up again, after I learned all these other modalities.”
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What Do Animals Want to Tell Their Owners? Val Tobin: Under normal circumstances, what kinds of things do pets want to talk about?
Distance Animal Readings
Sheila Trecartin: “Sometimes they’re not concerned about themselves. They’re concerned about their owners. It depends on their personality and their perception of life and what they feel is important to them. Sometimes it’s food, their likes or dislikes, sometimes it’s their health and sometimes it’s their owner’s health. Sometimes it’s about the owner’s relationships or career.”
Val Tobin: Can you connect to an animal you haven’t even seen? Sheila Trecartin: “Yes. It’s easier for me to work through a photograph or in person. But I can, if someone gives me the name and tells me the breed and the location, tune into them that way because it’s only energetic. Telepathy is how they communicate. Because there is no time and space involved in that, the distance doesn’t matter. That’s why I have clients from all over the world.”
Val Tobin: They actually get concerned about their owner’s career? Sheila Trecartin: “Yes, definitely.”
Val Tobin: You can elicit cooperation from even wild animals?
Val Tobin: Meaning, “My owner is doing this, but his/her life purpose is something else?”
Sheila Trecartin: “Yes, definitely. Some wild animals are a little bit more difficult to communicate with because they don’t have the steady interaction with humans. A squirrel, skunk, or racoon yes, because they have interactions with humans all the time.
Sheila Trecartin: “Exactly. I actually had that happen several times, and one that I use as an example is where this guy was the co-owner in an internet business and the dog said, ‘He’s working in computers but he’s wasting his life. It’s not what he’s supposed to be doing.'”
“For instance, when I went to South Africa, we went to the game reserve, and the animals have a lot of interaction with people. The animals that live in the wild may see a jeep go by once-in-a-while with people in it, but they just ignore it. They were a little more difficult to communicate with.”
Sheila Trecartin has gained much recognition in the field of animal communication and offers courses so that others can learn this skill and communicate with any animals they wish. Trecartin says that the question most often asked by clients is if their pets are happy. People do love their animals and want to connect to them. Trecartin offers everyone a way to do that.
Val Tobin writes speculative fiction and searches the world over for the perfect butter tart. Her home is in Newmarket, Ontario, where she enjoys writing, reading, and talking about writing and reading. Discover more about Val on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/val-tobin
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Disappearing in Alaska by Cherime MacFarlane Alaska, Come Have Fun!
One very extreme case came to light when two sets of remains were discovered and before DNA tests were available, investigators wrongly assumed the bones belonged to someone else. Later, when the second set came to light and DNA revealed a huge mistake got made. He couldn’t be the person they first assumed. The poor family who thought they had closure didn’t. That man is still among the missing today.
But don’t get lost, we may never see you again. Those who have investigated aren’t sure about the reason so many people go missing in Alaska. It’s a fact; in any year 1,000 to 2.000 people go missing every year. Some think given the sheer size of the state and the huge wilderness surrounding population centers, people wander into the bush, get lost and die. Could be.
Another man entered the tough Mount Marathon Race and was never seen or heard from again. This is mind-boggling as there are usually at least 600 people enter the race each year. They monitor the racers. How on earth can one man disappear off a trail with so many people watching? The question hasn’t been answered yet.
Not to mention the density of the animal population which could easily make a meal of an injured human. Bears may kill more people than moose, but moose injure more people. We have more moose near humans than bears. The one exception may be Kodiak Island. The bear population there is amazing and the bears bigger than normal. That may be another article.
We even have the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. If you draw a line from Utqiagvik (Barrow) to Anchorage and another from Anchorage to Juneau then a straight line from Juneau back to Utqiagvik, you have a huge triangle. It encompasses most of the eastern half of the state and a slice of Canada. The country is wild. I lived in that area which included the Copper River Basin. It is huge and population centers small. It’s easy to understand how someone could get lost and vanish forever.
Back to disappearances. A hiker or someone taking a walk could encounter a cow moose, get attacked, find they aren’t able to get help and die where they fall. Given the way flora takes off come summer, the remains could get covered over in a few weeks. There are cases of bones being discovered years after the fact with no clear idea who they might be.
I’ve been in two situations in my life where I could have become one of those who vanished. Alaskans have an old saying. It’s one we rarely say to anyone but old timers; Welcome to Alaska cheechako, the bears are hungry. We all know we are only a few mistakes away from disaster. Still, don’t worry, we try hard to keep an eye on our tourists. We don’t want any of you to become another statistic. Come on up and have some fun.
Cherime MacFarlane is an award-wining, bestselling, prolific multi-genre author. She has a broad range of interests that reflect her been there– done that life. Discover more about Cherime on the Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/cherime-macfarlane/
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Word Search: March By Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Favorite Reads
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Women of Courage Heroines of SOE by Hannah Howe
I hold all the women in my Heroines of SOE series in the greatest respect, but I must admit that I hold a special admiration for Pearl Witherington possibly because her upbringing mirrored that of my modern-day detective, Sam Smith. Also, Pearl is the main inspiration for my character Mimi Duchamp in Eve’s War. Cecile Pearl Witherington Cornioley was born on 24 June 1914. She served the SOE under the code names Marie and Pauline. Born in Paris to British parents, she parachuted into France in September 1943 as a courier for the Stationer network. However, due to circumstances and her immense ability by May 1944 she was head of the Wrestler network in central France. She was the only woman to lead an SOE network in France.
Pearl’s network, which expanded to over 2,000 Maquisard fighters after D-Day, was especially efficient in sabotaging railroads and telephone lines. Pearl’s father, born into money, succumbed to alcohol and lost his way. Her mother, who was partially deaf and possessed a limited range of French, relied on Pearl to negotiate with tradesmen and creditors – without her father’s income the family slid into debt. She did this at an early age, forgoing most of her schooling. Indeed, she only enjoyed four years in school. Often, she walked miles across Paris to deal with family business and scavenge food then studied in the evenings. - 41 -
After school, Pearl found employment at the British Embassy, where she impressed and excelled. She fell in love with Henri Cornioley (1910–1999), the son of well-to-do parents. Initially, Henri’s parents rejected Pearl because of her impoverished background. The loving couple couldn’t enjoy each other’s company at home, so they met in cinemas and parks. In February 1940, Henri joined the British Army and Pearl did not see him again for three and a half years. Pearl escaped from occupied France with her mother and three sisters in December 1940. After a long and perilous journey, the family arrived in London in July 1941. Through her Embassy contacts, she found work in the Air Ministry.
When Pearl parachuted into occupied France on 22 September 1943, she joined Maurice Southgate, leader of the Stationer network, and courier Jacqueline Nearne. Southgate also reunited Pearl with her fiancé, Henri, who had escaped from a Nazi prisoner of war camp.
Determined to fight back against Hitler’s occupation of France, Pearl joined the SOE on 8 June 1943. In training she emerged as the ‘best shot’ the service had ever seen, male or female.
Over the next eight months, posing as a cosmetics saleswoman, Pearl performed her duties as a courier. Covering a vast area, she was constantly on the move, sleeping on trains when the opportunity arose. Frequently, she encountered Gestapo checkpoints where the French police examined her (false) identity papers. Her cover was based on Marie Jeanne Marthe Verges, a woman who had disappeared. The Gestapo arrested Maurice Southgate on 1 May 1944. With Southgate a Gestapo prisoner, Pearl formed and became leader of a new SOE network, Wrestler. With the help of her fiancé, Henri, and a neighbouring network, Pearl’s group attacked the railway infrastructure 800 times in June 1944 alone. Their main focal points were the railway lines between Paris and Bordeaux. By disrupting these lines, Pearl hindered the Nazis efforts to transport men and artillery to the battle front in Normandy.
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On the morning of 11 June 1944, Nazi soldiers attacked Pearl at the Les Souches chateau, her headquarters near the village of Dun-le-Poëlier. Under fire, Pearl hid the tin where she kept a large amount of money and fled to a wheat field where she hid until nightfall. Henri also hid in the wheat field where he counted fifty-six truckloads of Nazi soldiers participating in the operation. By this time, the towns and countryside were full of ‘Wanted’ posters with Pearl carrying a million franc reward on her head.
In late August 1944, Pearl’s men moved to the Forest of Gatines near Valencay. Their objective was to stop the Nazi army in southern France from linking up with battalions in northern France. After a battle on September 910, more than 19,000 Nazis surrendered. They surrendered to the advancing Americans; they were too frightened to surrender to Pearl’s men.
On 21 September 1944, Pearl returned to Britain. There, she offered an extraordinary and unique breakdown of her expenditure in the field, which amounted to several million francs. Her accounts listed everything, from cigarettes to razor blades.
The Nazis destroyed everything of value to the SOE in the chateau, including their weapons and radio. Therefore, through a neighbouring network, Pearl requested fresh supplies from Britain, which duly arrived on her birthday, 24 June, via a three-plane air-drop.
Pearl married Henri Cornioley in Kensington Register Office on 26 October 1944. The couple remained together for life and produced a daughter, Claire. Pearl published her autobiography, Pauline, in 1997.
Rearmed and reconnected, Pearl went from strength-tostrength. The number of Maquis in her region doubled to nearly 4,000 as the D-Day invasion took effect. Pearl and Henri organised their men into four subsections. Sixty planeloads of arms also arrived, along with Captain Francis Perdiset who, on Pearl’s request, assisted in the military operations. Throughout, Pearl’s men held her in the highest respect, often referring to her as ‘Lieutenant Pauline’.
After the war, Pearl worked for the World Bank. In 1991, with Henri’s assistance, she established the Valencay SOE memorial, which commemorates the 104 SOE agents who died in the line of duty. The couple retired to Valencay, one of the places she frequented during the war.
One of the most extraordinary women of her age, Pearl died, in the Loire Valley, aged 93. Hannah Howe is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann's War Mystery Series and the #1 international bestseller Saving Grace. Hannah's books are published by Goylake Publishing and distributed through Gardners Books to over 300 outlets worldwide. Her books are available in print, as eBooks and audiobooks, and are being translated into ten languages. Discover more on Mom's Favorite Reads website:
https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe - 43 -
Bestelling Author Jeffrey Siger Interviewed by Rachael Wright
Murder in Mykonos After Jeffrey Siger’s first Inspector Andreas Kaldis novel, Murder in Mykonos, was published in 2008 it quickly became Greece’s #1 bestselling Englishlanguage book. For over thirty-five years Greece had played a pivotal role in Siger’s life. “Its history, culture, society, politics, and—most of all—people draw me there like no other place on earth,” Siger said. “For a long time I wanted to write a book that expressed just how I felt about all of that.” According to Siger, Inspector Kaldis showed up on his laptop screen and announced (in Greek no less) he was the new sheriff in town. The success and attention that Inspector Kaldis and Siger received was a tipping point. Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times book review called the Inspector Kaldis series: “thoughtful police procedurals set in picturesque but no untroubled Greek locales.”
“It literally blew me away,” Siger said. Faced with the decision to go all in with his writing, or continue his career as a name partner in a Manhattan Law Firm, Siger chose the former. He made the move to Greece and is now affectionately known as “the American Mykoniate” in his adopted homeland. While colleagues in New York thought he was crazy for quitting his job and using his savings to move to a Greek island, they’ve since come around, especially after the New York Times Book Review designated Siger on its “Thriller Map” of the World in 2018 as the novelist representing Greece.
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“Having done so many things in my life, I can’t believe how lucky I am that every morning when I wake up, all I have to do is write,” Siger said. “I started writing as a child and though I abandoned it completely during high school, college, and law school, in my career as a litigating lawyer I wrote everyday, telling stories—based on facts. I cannot understate how valuable that experience was.”
a dotting father, and fiercely protective of his family and friends.” The pursuit of justice isn’t all that Siger wants to convey in his novels. In An Aegean April, Siger addresses the refugee crisis on the Island of Lesvos. The book was selected by the Library Journal as one of the best books of 2018.
Siger is sanguine about his life experiences and prefers to call obstacles precipitating events, which have led him to where he is today. Born to a working class family, Siger said it taught him the value of hard work. “I wrote three books before one was published, but that taught me perseverance pays off,” Siger said. “Bottom line, my whole life led me to where I am today.”
“I’m certain that’s because the subject matter allowed me to develop characters exploring the many dimensions of that still raging catastrophe, one that’s become a tipping point for Western society,” Siger said. Siger received so much attention in his adopted country that Greece’s General Secretariat of Media and Communication selected him as the only American mystery writer who’s stories served as a guide to Greece. “I have no idea what prompted that,” Siger said, “though I’ve received a lot of wonderful praise from the Greek press over the years. As for what it’s all meant to me, I consider Greece family, and it’s wonderful to be loved by your family.”
Siger’s commitment to hard work leeches into his writing. Inspector Kaldis is a man not without demons. His copfather’s suicide lays heavy in the first few books of the series as he balances working in a corrupt system and his own furious desire for justice. But like Siger, Inspector Kaldis refuses to remain in a place of pain.
Jeffrey Siger is the author of ten Inspector Andreas Kaldis novels and has just finished the 11th, A Deadly Twist, which is centered on the Cycladic Aegean island of Naxos.
“Like many of us, we learn not to dwell on sadder memories if we wish to create a better life for ourselves and our families,” Siger said. “It has instilled in him a passion for justice … it’s also led him to be
Rachael Wright is a Colorado native with degrees in Political Science and History from Colorado Mesa University. She is a devoted tea drinker, Manchester United fan, wife, and mother. She lives near Denver with her fantastic husband and daughter and very full bookshelves. Discover more about Rachael on Mom's Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/rachael-wright/ - 45 -
The young woman spoke with the hawkers in English and picked what looked like a charming small hotel just above the town. The man, who claimed to be the owner, promised her a room with a private bath and a view of the town—at a “special price.” He seemed very nice and with his gray hair was at least wise enough to mask any other interest he might have in her. Already, two couples from the ferry waited in his little van, so she wouldn’t be going off alone with a stranger.
Murder in Mykonos: Prologue Just past midnight the massive Rodanthi ferry silently made its grand entrance into Mykonos’ narrow, crescent-shaped harbor. Though it was still a bit early in the season for the partying crowds that swelled this Greek island’s population from ten thousand to fifty thousand in July and August, the harbor was wildly alive with lights and people. It was exactly as the young woman had imagined—a blaze of white buildings under a diamond-studded sky.
At the hotel she showed the owner her passport. He welcomed her in Dutch and told her he’d had many guests from the Netherlands, things that assured her she’d made the right choice. The room was as promised. She showered, put on her one sexy dress, and went out to wander the maze of winding, narrow paths lined by whitewashed buildings, adorned with brightly colored doors, shutters, and railings.
She’d been standing inside with other backpackers on the third-level passenger deck watching the island’s lights slowly envelop the horizon. Now she stepped outside and walked to the bow railing. Feeling the Aegean breeze in her face, she re-doubled the elastic band holding her blond ponytail in place. It was all so beautiful. She regretted only one thing: being here alone.
The town was awash in jewelry shops and bars. Vacationing families and pilgrims seeking earlymorning connections to the nearby ancient and holy island of Delos were in their beds by now. Summer nights in Mykonos belonged to all-night partiers seeking their own sorts of connections. Bedtime could wait until a much later hour. No pretty woman ever needed to pay for a drink or dinner here.
She felt as much as heard the thrusting power of the reversing engines as the ship began its graceful onequarter pirouette toward the dock. Drawing in a deep breath from the wind coming off the sea, she picked up her backpack, headed for the stairs nearest the bow, and made her way down to the exit deck. The ferry had docked at its stern, and when she reached the bottom level she had to squeeze her way past a collection of beat-up island-hopping cars, trucks, and motorcycles waiting to disembark. She knew that at six feet tall her well-toned figure was attracting a lot of attention, especially in hiking shorts and a tank top. Several drivers along the way yelled out to her in various languages, offering her a ride anywhere she wanted to go. She acted as if she didn’t understand but smiled to herself.
At one of the bars she met a local Greek about her age. He introduced her to the owner who said the young man was his son. Then he introduced her to an “old family friend”—an American painter who told her he’d been coming to Mykonos every summer for more than thirty years. They all spoke in English although the young man seemed to know enough Dutch words to use at the right time to be charming. By the time she left the bar it was nearly light and the young man convinced her to ride on the back of his motorcycle to a place where they could watch the sun come up.
Most of the passengers were off the boat by the time she was at the gangway. Now she had to find a place to stay. That was not a problem. There were dozens of people offering accommodations, literally tugging at her for attention. She was inundated with photographs, brochures, letters of recommendation, all designed to funnel weary tourists into empty rooms.
She mounted his bike and put her arms around him; the engine vibrated between her legs. For twenty minutes she pressed her body against his as he raced toward the rising sun. At the beach—deserted, he said, except for a single small house owned by a priest from England—they touched and kissed through the sunrise; then took off their clothes and - 46 -
swam naked. He tried to make love to her, but he had no condom and she refused. He pressed her; she resisted. He pushed her down, yanked away his clothes, and stormed off shouting at her in Greek.
She slept until about two that afternoon, then took a bus to Paradise Beach. She refused to talk to anyone there, but the young Greek men persisted. Eventually, she moved to the nude, gay part of the beach where macho Greek Romeos were afraid to be seen. She stripped naked and read a book, undisturbed. That night she went back into town and spent her time talking with jewelers and souvenir sellers. Enough bars boys. One of the jewelers invited her to dinner at a fashionable restaurant. She had a great time and he was a perfect gentleman.
She heard the sound of his motorcycle as he drove away, leaving her alone to find her way back. She was thankful she hadn’t been raped. Tipsy, tired, and angry at herself, she dressed and started up the steep dirt road toward what she hoped would be town. She had to take off her heels to walk, and the stones hurt her feet. She wasn’t used to this. She wanted to cry but kept on walking. It was a dry and rocky road, like the island itself. After fifteen minutes or so she heard a motor on the other side of a hill. For an instant she thought it might be him returning. It wasn’t. It was a car, a taxi bearing down toward her in a cloud of dust. She was surprised to see one out here so early in the morning but frantically waved for him to stop.
He walked her to a taxi and invited her to attend a Greek festival to be held in three days to honor a saint. She thanked him but said she was leaving the island in two days and promised to stop by his shop before she left. Then, like so many other backpackers, she simply disappeared. No one paid the balance of her hotel bill—also not unusual in Mykonos. The hotel owner simply threw out whatever she’d left behind, reported nothing to the police, and rented the room to a new pretty woman from another midnight ferry.
She spoke to the driver in English and he responded in English. She started to cry. He told her to get in and asked what happened. She told him the story as if replaying a video of her ordeal. He listened quietly, not saying a word. When they reached her hotel he said he knew the young man and she really hadn’t been in any danger; but on an island filled with so many strangers she must be very careful who she trusts—especially when it comes to young men with motorcycles. That made her feel a little better, though she still was mad at herself for thinking she was the first one he’d taken on a romantic sunrise motorcycle ride.
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Poem by Stan Phillips Beyond the window the busy world rushes by as the train goes from here to there. And the world is full of words and breaking day. Overflowing with homeless phrases seeking sanctuary. See them there through the train window. Grass, and snow. Trees and fields. Cowering sheep and huddled cows. Grey sky and white capped mountains. Early birds seeking doomed worms Hedges replete with their own unique eco systems. All spread across my ever shifting morning. All homeless words searching for sense and sanctuary.
The poet of me wants to take them, all the random words, and give them a home on a page. Make me a poem of them. But another part of me wants them to roam free, vagabond phrases, here and gone, lost on the drifting, shifting day. Floating there for other eyes to contemplate. Stan Phillips January 2020(C)
Stan Phillips is an 80 year old poet, musical podcast maker, part-time wannabe male model, and occasional stand up comedian. “I used to be a psychotherapist/counsellor when I had an honest job. I was born into prewar London, and attended 17 schools (my father believed they couldn’t hit a moving target) and I eventually finished up here in Ireland. Still wondering what I will be when I grow up — but enjoying writing my quirky poetry as I do so.” Discover more about Stan on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips - 48 -
1st Quarter Edition
The Connections eMagazine Reader's Choice Award is open to all independently published authors and their work. This is an annual award. The winners will be featured in the August issues of the magazine. Authors can be nominated by anyone who has read the novel. See our website for details. https://melaniepsmith.com/readers-choice/
Connections eMagazine | February 2020 | Vol 6 Issue 1. This is a FREE publication that connects authors with readers on a quarterly basis. The first magazine of the new year is always dedicated to spring, love, and new growth.
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Connections eMagazine is a FREE quarterly publication founded by authors Melanie P. Smith and Rhoda Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ettore. It is currently produced entirely by Editor, Melanie P. Smith. Over the years, the magazine has evolved, and it now features promos, freebies, blog articles, and short stories in every issue.
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Wordsearch: On the Etymology of ‘Alien’ by Millie Slavidou So what of the word 'alien'? In recent years, with the popularity of science fiction books and films, this word has been used more and more in the context of “extra-terrestrial, being from another planet”. In British English, it is used only extremely rarely to mean ‘foreigner’, and there are references to this in popular culture at the expense of US English, where it continues to have this meaning; such as in the song by Sting Englishman in New York, where he sings “I’m an alien, I’m an Englishman in New York” precisely because it sounds strange and amusing to the British listener. It is interesting that it should sound strange, as strange is precisely what the word once meant. You can see it in the meaning of foreigner – a person from a strange country. And what is an extraterrestrial if not a being from a strange planet? It came into English during the fourteenth century. We can see a few examples of it where it is used in different contexts, with differing meanings. Our first example comes from Guy de Chauliac’s medical text dating from 1425 Grande Chirurgie. If any man..falle fro hyȝnez &..seiþ aliene or straunge þinges , it is to suppose þat þe brayne..is hurt. If anyone falls from a height and sees alien (peculiar) or strange things, it is to suppose that the brain is hurt. In this example, the meaning of ‘alien’ is ‘odd, strange, peculiar’. Nothing to do with anything extraterrestrial or even from other countries. But if you think of it in terms of ‘foreign to me’, you can see how the sense developed. Another example, also from the same time period, is in the Wycliffite Bible.
Bifore me þou schalt not haue noon alien goddis. Before me thou shalt not have any alien (foreign) gods In this context, the word is used to mean ‘from another place, foreign’. The writers of the Wycliffite Bible were not in the least concerned with beings from another planet! So you can see that during the fifteenth century, it was used in several different ways. But where did it come from before that? Well, it was borrowed into Middle English from Old French, where it also meant strange or foreign. But Old French is not the start of the tale: it borrowed the word from Latin alienus. In Latin it meant ‘foreign, strange’ but also ‘of someone else, belonging to someone else’ – and it is not a large stretch to see that ‘of someone else’ can become ‘of another country’; someone else can be some other people. It was formed from the Latin adverb alius, which meant ‘another, other, different’. From Latin we go back to Proto-Indo-European *al - which would have meant ‘other’ or ‘beyond’ (elsewhere). We can also see words formed from this root in Greek, such as άλλος [allos], meaning ‘other, another’ or the adverb αλλιώς [allios], meaning ‘otherwise’. But we don't need to go to either Greek or Latin to find a cognate for 'alien'. We have one very obvious one in modern English: 'else' also derives from *al, and is therefore a distant cousin of 'alien'.
Millie Slavidou, author of the Lucy Evans Instaexplorer adventure series for preteens, featuring little snippets of language, and Sparky, a first chapter book for early readers. Discover more about Millie on the Mom's Favorite Reads website: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/millie-slavidou - 50 -
We are excited to announce that Goylake Publishing has teamed-up with the Fussy Librarian and in partnership we are offering you 20% off your first book promotion with the Fussy Librarian. To qualify for this promotion, your book must be either permafree or listed free during a special offer. In our experience, the Fussy Librarian is the best book promoter in the business. When we promote with him, our free books always reach the top five of Amazonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genre charts, most often they reach the top three. We promote with the Fussy Librarian every month and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Prices start from as low as $15, minus our special discount of 20%. Click here: https://authors.thefussylibrarian.com/?ref=goylake for full details. And, at the checkout, be sure to enter this code: goylake20 to claim your 20% discount. Thank you for your interest. And good luck with your promotion! - 51 -
Editor In Chief—Hannah Howe The Editor-in-Chief is the key figure in every publication. Hannah Howe works closely with the editorial staff to ensure the success of each publication. She is the author of the Sam Smith Mystery Series, the Ann’s War Mystery Series and Saving Grace. Get to know more about Hannah, her projects and her work on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/hannah-howe/
Executive Editor | Graphic Designer—Melanie P. Smith The Executive Editor / Graphic Designer is responsible for developing the layout and design of MFR eMagazine. She also works hard to create new covers each month that captures the essence of each publication. In addition to the editorial staff of Mom’s Favorite Reads, Melanie P. Smith also produces Connections eMagazine. She is a multi-genre author of Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural, Paranormal and Romance novels. Get to know more about Melanie, her projects and her work on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/melanie-p-smith/
Managing Editor—Ronesa Aveela & Denise McCabe Our Managing Editors oversee the physical content of the magazine and coordinates the production schedule. There are two Managing Editors for Mom’s Favorite Reads; Ronesa Aveela and Denise McCabe. Get to know our Managing Editor’s on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here:
Ronesa Aveela— A freelance artist and author of mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/ronesa-aveela/
Denise McCabe— A children's book author and blogger. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/denise-mccabe/
Art Director & Copy Editor / Proofreader — Sylva Fae Sylva Fae—Mum of three, fairy woodland owner, and author of children’s books. Sylva is is responsible for the amazing graphics that appear throughout the publication each month. She works hard to ensure the images capture the spirit and message our author's convey in their articles and stories. In addition, As Copy Editor, Sylva works hard behind the scenes to correct any grammatical, typos and spelling errors throughout the magazine. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/sylva-fae/
Feature Editor—T.E, Hodden As Feature Editor T.E. Hodden works diligently to provide content that is interesting, informative and professional. He is a trained engineer and a life-long fan of comic books, Sci-Fi, myths, legends and history. Get to know more about TE Hodden on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/t-e-hodden/
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Marketing Director—Grant Leishman Our Marketing Director, Grant Leishman, oversees marketing campaigns and social media engagement for our magazine. After an exciting career in accounting and journalism, he now focuses on his true calling—writing. Get to know more about Grant on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/grant-leishman/
Content Editors Our Content Editors are responsible for acquiring articles, short stories, etc for the eMagazine. They work hard to make our magazine interesting and professional. Get to know our Content Editor’s on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: Rachael Wright—https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/rachael-wright/ Poppy Flynn— https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/poppy-flynn/ Val Tobin — https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/val-tobin/ Stan Phillips — https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/stan-phillips/
Discover more amazing authors… https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/
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