Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine November 2020

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Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine is published monthly by Goylake Publishing and designed by Melanie P. Smith of

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All contents Copyright Š the individual authors and used with their permission. All rights reserved.

Grant Leishman Celebrate the Little Things ....................................................................................... 7

Val Tobin—Interviewed by Ronesa Aveela .......................................................... 9

Laughter is the Best Medicine! by Hannah Howe............................................. 13

Autumn by Sylva Fae .............................................................................................. 26 Merthyr Mawr by Hannah Howe ......................................................................... 52 Fall in Southern Utah by Melanie P. Smith ....................................................... 59

Sam and Isabella: An Encounter by Ross G. Homer ........................................ 18 Whoops by Keith Guernsey .................................................................................. 48

Breathe Deeply by Stan Phillips ........................................................................... 17 Autumn Trees by Stan Phillips ............................................................................. 30 A Walk in Cologne by John Greeves ................................................................... 49 My Imagination by Stan Phillips ......................................................................... 58

Mom’s Favorite Reads Author — Sylva Fae ....................................................... 38

Ocean Pollution by Logan (Age 13) .................................................................... 34

Classic Movies: Jaws by TE Hodden ................................................................... 14 Leaf Mandala by Sylva Fae .................................................................................... 24 An Introduction to Psychic Protection by Val Tobin ....................................... 28 Heroines of SOE: Virginia Hall by Hannah Howe ........................................... 31 Art of the Everyday by Christine Southworth ................................................... 36 Faith by Father Ian Maher ..................................................................................... 42 Windowsills Are for Cats by John Greeves ....................................................... 44 Things Children Say by Sylva Fae ....................................................................... 45 Thankful by Maressa Mortimer ........................................................................... 50 Things to Celebrate in November by Poppy Flynn ......................................... 54 Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away by Jane Alice ..................................... 60

Exploiting the Back Rank—Supplied by ....................................... 33 Word Search by Mom’s Favorite Reads .............................................................. 41

20% OFF First Book Promotion with the Fussy Librarian .............................. 25 Connections eMagazine ......................................................................................... 57

Celebrate the Little Things by Grant Leishman Regular readers of this magazine will know that in my last article I focused on life in the pandemic and more specifically in lockdown. I want to somewhat continue that theme in this piece. Most of all, what I want to impart to readers is the absolute necessity at this time of embracing the here and now – the reality — and celebrating the little things in your life.

You may remember I was describing how my wife Thess had rediscovered her joy of gardening over the time of this lockdown. Now, for me, dirt is dirt – I don’t want to touch it, I don’t want to mess with it and I certainly don’t have any desire to scrabble around in it planting various types of flowering or vegetable plants. It simply doesn’t ring my bells and whistles – it doesn’t make my heart sing, so to speak. However, this is definitely a case of “Vive La Différence” when it comes to Thess. Nothing, it seems makes her happier than pottering (literally) around her beloved tiny piece of ground which is liberally scattered with pots of every variety, shape, colour and form. She is incredibly inventive when it comes to discovering new receptacles for her beloved seedlings. No longer do we throw “cuppa noodle” cups out. “They’ll make perfect pots for my little plants,” she says. Cut off plastic bottles, old drink dispensers, troughs, half coconut shells have all been pressed into service to hold her evergrowing plant varieties. It makes me immensely happy to see her out there, the sun on her back, talking softly to her babies (when she thinks I’m not looking, of course).

I remember reading recently that a thunderstorm is neither good nor bad, it’s just a thunderstorm. Similarly, a relationship or a job is neither good nor bad, it’s just a relationship or a job. It is how we react, how we feel about everything that happens around us that makes it good or bad – for US. What I want to focus on today is the idea that if we celebrate the little things in life, our attitude changes to some of the bigger things.

God forbid if you happen to be a predator – she is out there at all hours, torch in hand, looking for those pesky slugs and snails that might munch on her precious leaves. Which brings me right back to the point of this article – GRATITUDE. Yes, we are going through a real test of our mettle right now; 2020 did not turn out in any way like we might have hoped or planned for. I would lay odds that anyone in a job interview in 2015 who was asked; “where do you see yourself in five-year’s-time,” would definitely have got the answer wrong. Despite my abhorrence of gardening as a hobby, I am big enough to allow myself to revel in Thess’ successes no matter how small they are at this time. Recently she told me one of her plants was -7-

forward to the day she actually grows something I like eating (not a fan of eggplant myself). I’m not sure if she has planted any cheeseburger bushes or better still a pizza tree but if she has, I’ll be first in line to sample the harvest. I know it’s a hard time, and sometimes it seems like this pandemic will never end, but if you focus on the little things, laugh together and enjoy your day you will keep yourself sane and those around you will be infected by your enthusiasm and not the virus. To everyone struggling out there, I send you a massive virtual hug and the hope that you can find something to grin about today, something to chuckle about and all things being equal, something to laugh out loud about. I am alive, I am with some of the people I love and I am so grateful for my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

flowering and we would start to see the fruits of her labours shortly. I didn’t exactly scoff at the time although I may have whispered under my breath, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Well, now I have seen it and it’s truly magnificent. Her eggplant is growing rapidly. I was stunned to discover that you can actually see the growth and change on a daily basis. It’s still way too small to consider harvesting (as you can see in the photo) but it is growing and it is growing rapidly. Thess is so proud of that one little fruit – the first of many and I am so proud of her for the way she has taken to this gardening with passion and love. I look

Grant Leishman is a fifty-nine-year-old full-time author and editor, domiciled in the beautiful island of The Philippines. After careers in finance and journalism, Grant finally found his true bliss in life, writing. He is happily married to Thess and they have two daughters, Rose and Angeline. Discover more about Grant on the Mom's Favorite Reads website


Val Tobin Interviewed by Ronesa Aveela End the year off with a great book. Val Tobin is here today to tell you about her series, The Valiant Chronicles. The stories are chock full of paranormal experiences.

About the Series

Title: The Valiant Chronicles Location: North America Country Setting: Canada Genre: Sci-fi Thriller/Supernatural Thriller Audience: Adult Time period: 2016+

The Experiencers: A black-ops assassin atones for his brutal past by helping an alien abductee escape capture.

A Ring of Truth: A rogue assassin returns from the brink of death to rescue captive alien abductees and triggers Armageddon.

Tell us a little about The Valiant Chronicles.

What is your passion about this country? Why did you choose it for you setting?

The Valiant Chronicles is the complete set of existing Valiant Chronicles stories. It includes The Experiencers (book one), A Ring of Truth (book two), and Earthbound (prequel).

Canada is vast and stunning and contains pockets of still-unexplored territory. The weather and the setting always become entities of their own in stories set in Canada. The weather here can be erratic and unpredictable, which adds uncertainty to stories. It can either help or hinder characters, and I’ve ventured into places that are as brutal as a Canadian winter.

Earthbound: A spirit refuses to cross over and becomes earthbound when she discovers the shocking conspiracy behind her death. -9-

Is this the country you were born in? If not, have you ever lived there?

indigenous people disappeared from the valley. This seemed the perfect setting for a novel with UFOs and supernatural happenings.

I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and have visited or lived in most of the places mentioned. The exception is the Northwest Territories. My hero ends up there in book two in a place called The Valley of the Headless Men (Nahanni Valley).

They’ll learn a lot about Ontario as well, mostly about the various small towns I explore in the story. I don’t use real names for certain businesses, but I’ve based some of them on places that exist. The King’s Castle in the story is based on one of my favourite restaurants in Port Perry. It’s a haunted restaurant, but I didn’t use the real name because I changed features to suit my story. As well, there’s no hospital in Aurora, but I put one there for my stories because I wanted a fictional hospital.

Tell us about an experience you’ve had while in this country. All my stories are set somewhere in Canada. Injury is the exception, but the main character visits Ontario during the course of the story because she was born in Toronto. Ontario locations used are primarily in and around Newmarket, Ontario, where I currently live. In the Valiant Chronicles, I also take characters through Aurora, Port Perry, Bancroft, and Algonquin Park.

What other books have you written? Injury: A young actress at the height of her career has her personal life turned upside down when a horrifying family secret makes frontpage news. Set in California, USA, it also visits Ontario, Canada.

We visited Algonquin Park so I could research the setting for my story. I’ve had to fudge a few details, such as adding in a shallow cave, which Algonquin doesn’t have but the story required. For the most part, it’s as described though.

Gillian’s Island: A socially anxious divorcée confronts her greatest fears when she’s forced to sell her island home and falls for the dashing new owner. Set on a fictional island resort near the town of Temagami, Ontario, Canada.

Algonquin is gorgeous at any time of year and worth visiting. While we were in the visitors’ station, I signed the guestbook with my characters’ names. I did the same with the guestbook at the Prince of Wales hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake when I went there to research for my novel Poison Pen.

Walk-In: A young psychic

What will readers discover about this country when they read your book?

woman fights an attraction to a handsome but skeptical novelist while she battles a centuries-old evil determined to make her his next conquest. Set in Ontario, Canada.

They’ll learn in A Ring of Truth about Nahanni, which is also called The Valley of the Headless Men. The place is real, and the history behind it is fascinating and creepy. Basically, miners’ headless bodies were found over the years, and their murders were never solved. As well, rumours have it that a tribe of - 10 -

Poison Pen: Three wannabe authors suffering from various mental disorders find themselves on a killer’s radar when they interfere in the investigation of a colleague’s murder. Set in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

The Hunted: A monster hunter revisits her terrifying past while helping a reporter uncover the origins of Storm Lake’s creatures. Set in Ontario, Canada. Storm Lake is fictional, based on the lake where my family has a cottage. The town of Ridley is also fictional, but other real towns/cities feature in the story. (Storm Lake is a prequel.)

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your books? All my books are full-length novels (Storm Lake, the prequel to The Hunted, is a short story). I enjoy fast-paced stories with relatable characters, so that’s what I strive to write. Most of my stories contain layers that may not be apparent on the first reading. Often, you’ll notice different things on a subsequent read that you missed the first time.

You Again: Complications arise when a bookkeeper is assigned her former lover as a client, and his company’s previous financial controller is found dead. Set in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, it also travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This is my current WIP and will be published in 2020.

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Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

even are and then being forced to act. This is engrossing reading …” – Amazon review

I have a master’s degree in parapsychology and a diploma in computer information systems. I worked in the software industry for ten years. Before writing fiction, I wrote non-fiction articles and am working on a non-fiction book based on my master’s thesis. The book is called Changed for Life: The After-Effects of Near-Death Experience.


“A lot of vibrations, after life philosophies, love of family, and a lost soul, all wrapped around a murder mystery. One aspect I really enjoyed in the story is the tongue in cheak [sic] humor hidden nicely behind the seriousness of the crime. A unique and enjoyable read that is more than your normal ghost story – depth – a great read for believers in the paranormal.” – Amazon review

What People Are Saying about Val’s Books … Awards

The Experiencers:

“… Val Tobin has a writing style that is complex and well researched, yet effortless to read. The pace increases as the plot develops, building tension through dialogue and clear imagery. This is a book that kept me intrigued right to the last page. It answers just enough questions while leaving the reader something to think about …” — Sylva Fae, Blogger and Author

Earthbound: ranked #23 on ReadFreely‘s Top 50 Best Indie Books 2017 Award list. Injury: winner of Connections eMagazine’s 2017 Reader’s Choice awards for Romance (Gold) and Overall (Silver). Poison Pen: #12 on ReadFreely’s list of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2018.

Social Media A Ring of Truth:

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | LinkedIn | YouTube | Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) |

“… A girl feels safe not realizing that her savior is her abductor. A wife is certain her husband is having an affair but the truth is much worse. Sex is a weapon, a tool and a healing. Revenge leads to revelation and death is not the end.

Other: Anchor (podcasts) Where to Buy: Amazon | Other Retailers

“Having to trust feelings over knowledge and memory to the point of not knowing who you

(through Books2Read) | Smashwords |

Ronesa Aveela is “the creative power of two.” Two authors that is. The main force behind the work, the creative genius, was born in Bulgaria and moved to the US in the 1990s. She grew up with stories of wild Samodivi, Kikimora, the dragons Zmey and Lamia, Baba Yaga, and much more. Her writing partner was born and raised in the New England area. She has a background in writing and editing, as well as having a love of all things from different cultures. She’s learned so much about Bulgarian culture, folklore, and rituals, and writes to share that knowledge with others. - 12 -

Contributions by Hannah Howe What do you call two witches who share an apartment? Broommates.

If toast always lands butterside down and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast to the back of a cat and drop it?

A man walked into the doctor's. He said, 'I've hurt my arm in several places.' The doctor said, 'Well don't go there any more.'

Did you hear about the actor who fell through the floorboards? He was just going through a stage.

An obnoxious man walked into the bank the other day and asked me to check his balance. So I pushed him over.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

Did you know there is a technical term for a beautiful, hot, sunny day that follows two rainy days? It’s called, ‘Monday’.

A chicken and an egg lined up next to me at the start of a charity marathon. I looked at them and thought, this could be interesting...

- 13 -

Classic Movie: Jaws by T.E. Hodden Between 1975, and 1977 everything changed about the way cinema worked. The idea of a rolling program, where one ticket let you step in and out of the rolling program of movies, shorts, B-features and cartoons faded out. The idea of buying a ticket for the one movie, and being expected to leave after, was a shocking new idea, but it was the only way to cope with the incredible demand on two of the films. A new term was coined, in 1977 to describe Star Wars: a blockbuster, so called because the queues to see the movie stretched around city blocks. Which is all to say, that in the summer of 1975, when Jaws hit the big screen for the first time, and started the sea-change in modern cinema, there was literally no word to describe its success. It hit the screens with a seven million dollar opening weekend, recouping its entire production cost in ten days, sailing swiftly past the Godfather’s previous record of eighty six million at the box office, to become the first hundredmillion-dollar movie. When it was re-released in ’76 and ’79, it still drew in tens of millions. Box office success alone, however, does not make a classic, so what is it that has secured Jaws’ enduring appeal, that marks it as a true classic? It all began, of course, with Peter Benchley’s book. Hollywood legend has it that producers Richard D Zanuck, and David Brown found the book through Cosmopolitan magazine, where Brown’s wife worked. The magazine’s book editor had concluded the book might make a good movie.

After a first read, the producers snapped up the rights, and started scouting for talent. Now, I don’t have a good source to cite for this bit, so you will have to excuse me for telling the legend, rather than sticking to the facts: When the director assigned to develop the movie kept calling Jaws a whale, the pair severed their ties, and turned instead to a talented young man called Steven Spielberg. Spielberg was best known as a TV director, with some very well regarded TV episodes, and made-for-TV movies to his name. He had the theatrical release, Sugarland Express, under his belt, but was better known for his TV movie Duel. In Duel, a businessman on his way home overtakes a lumbering old oil tanker, that harries and pesters the businessman, gradually raising the stakes to a deadly game of cat and mouse, trying to run him off the road. The film is directed in such a way that it quickly becomes easy to forget there is a human behind the wheel, and to see the truck as a monster, a lumbering, giant, force of nature, playing by the rules of hunter and prey, driven by instinct over intelligence. - 14 -

it ended up being about the town, and the people. The artful character studies highlight flaws and truths we have seen in ourselves, and our society, in dark times, over and over again, and will again. Subsequent generations will watch the film, and even if it isn’t really about climate change, corporate greed, or pandemics, people will see something familiar in the actions of the blinkered mayor insisting on opening the beaches, or the opinions voiced in the townhall meeting, or Brody’s regret for not pushing back harder, because these are truths they will see reflected time and again in the headlines.

It is easy to see why the producers were so sure that Spielberg was going to have a great eye for the key scenes of the novel.

You can also see why Spielberg quickly grew nervous about the production, worrying he might be typecast as the monster-movie guy. Nevertheless, Universal convinced him to stick with the project, so Spielberg approached Benchley to write the first few drafts of the script, before, passing the script through several other hands, to Carl Gottlieb (who also appears in the movie as Meadows), for a rewrite.

If you know one fact about the production of the movie, it is probably that Bruce, the animatronic shark, appears so little, replaced by eery and terrifying point of view shots, because Bruce was built and tested in fresh water, and malfunctioned terribly in salt water. The sense of the shark being there, as an unseen presence, much of the time certainly works in the film’s favour, and no doubt forced Verna Fields’ hand when it came to the creative editing, and cutting, that gives the movie so much of its flavour, but we should also acknowledge that so much of the film’s horror comes from the focus on the people.

The screenplay prunes away much of the novel’s background and subplots, streamlining the narrative towards the second half, the shark hunt aboard the Orca, but also giving the three leads, Brody (Roy Schneider), Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) and Quint (Robert Shaw), a far more likeable chemistry. Elements that worked well enough on the page (Hooper’s affair with Brody’s wife, or the Mayor’s mob connections) weren’t going to translate well on the screen. In their place some neat little touches were added to hint at the depths behind the character (for example Brody’s discomfort with the ocean and boats, neatly suggesting his previously citybound career).

We see the human cost, to those around the victims, and we see the absolute terror of Brody and his family after a close call, when a tragic victim could so very easily have been their own. This is the X factor, that diminishes quickly in the sequels, and that so many imitators failed to capture. Going bigger, better, and more special effects can never make us care for the characters the same way we do as we watch the three leads getting drunk, or the world shattering around the Mayor, as the consequences of his choices hit home.

The resulting screenplay is a masterclass of efficient, character driven storytelling. Film critic Mark Kermode said it best, when he pointed out that it doesn’t really matter if Spielberg thought he was making a movie about a shark, because - 15 -

Jaws rewrote the style book for movies, in a lot of ways. Yes, Spielberg drew on Hitchcock, but he set the template that every blockbuster since has tried to emulate. Verna Fields’ editing, and Bill Butler’s cinematography essentially set the bar for what the Summer’s big movie looked like. It kick started the evolution of every action movie, of the horror genre, and the idea of an event movie.

And of course, lurking under it all is John William’s iconic score. But, if I was going to boil the essential argument for why Jaws was a classic, it is this: I have been waffling on for a thousand words. I have not summarised the plot, or unplucked the beats of the story, but you have kept up, because even if you haven’t seen the movie, you still know what I was talking about, and if you have seen the movie, there is a better chance than not, that right now you are remembering how good it is.

But… and I’m sorry to repeat myself here, the very human core means that Jaws will be remembered long after many of the imitators have been and gone.

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 Mom’s Favorite Reads website:

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Breathe Deeply by Stan Phillips

Breathe deeply.

Let go of all responsibility. Feel the cares of life melt away. For this day has become history. And tomorrow is as yet unborn. So slumber soft on the wings of untouched night.

There is naught you can do about anything other than float free. Carefree. In the arms of peace. And love. Stan Phillips ©2020

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: - 17 -

Sam & Isabella: An Encounter by Ross G. Homer Well, I am not a rocket scientist and didn’t need to be to see this was a woman in a fix. I texted back:

I was driving across campus to my next class. Naturally, it’s was as far from my last class as it can be, and I was running late. I’m in my second year of my Masters in archeology and was considering my thesis when my cell phone buzzed telling me I had a text. I was expecting one from my soon to be ex girlfriend, hopefully telling me she had finally cleared her junk out of my house. It had been a tough eight months because after the lust dissipated, I was stuck with a raving bitch. I couldn’t wait to be clear of her. At the next light, luckily a long one, I opened my phone and read:

Honest! I’m just a student driving to class. I’m sorry but I am not who you think you’re texting. <send> This was getting interesting. All sorts of scenarios cruised through my mind. Was she beautiful? Fat and ugly? Old, young? Tall or short? How many kids? Two, five? How old? Ahh fantasies. Aren’t they wonderful? The phone buzzed before the light turned. I took a quick read:


I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to disturb you. Angry! No kidding, lady, I thought. I pulled into the parking lot of my next class and turned off the car. I sat there a moment wondering how to respond.

Whoa! This was one seriously pissed off woman. I assumed it was a woman because, well, men don’t usually take the kids and disappear. It also sounded like my ex-girlfriend, but kids? Nope. She had the wrong number. The light was still red, so I quickly texted back:

I texted: It’s okay. I’m not married but I’m in a similar situation. Only it’s a lunatic girlfriend. Good luck! <send>

I’m sorry whoever you are but you’ve got the wrong cell number. <send> The light changed and I immediately forgot about the text as I drove down the street. My phone buzzed again. I had to wait for several blocks before I could look at it. It was from that woman. STOP FUCKING AROUND WITH ME! I’M NOT KIDDING! I WILL BE GONE TONIGHT. I’M SICK OF YOUR FUCKING AROUND WITH OTHER WOMEN & DRINKING & LATE NIGHTS GOD KNOWS WHERE! - 18 -

Since I had the top down, I finger combed my auburn hair to get it out of my eyes. I checked myself in the mirror and then got out. Grabbing my backpack, I opened it and took out my notes and a couple of books then stuffed the pack into the trunk

Ok. I’ll text you at 3. This was one of my favorite classes and I genuinely loved the professor, a lovely woman from Greece. Great looking, great figure, incredibly sexy accent. No great surprise, I was scoring A’s throughout the semester. Liked to have scored her too.

My phone buzzed. I looked. I’m sorry about your girlfriend. Shit happens! I’m so sad for you. I just flushed 6 yrs of my life down the toilet. Fucker!

Those two hours flew by, as they always seemed to do. I walked out to the car and was putting my stuff away when my phone beeped.

Well, she could be my age; it’s twenty-three, but it was doubtful. She was probably a couple of years older.

I’ll meet you at the Evangelina’s on 4th and Broad. We can compare notes. Ok? I looked. Yep. Three o’clock on the dot. At least she was punctual.

I texted: Thanks. I feel for you. TTYL. <send>

Yes. CU there. <send>

I mean, what else could I say? Of course, there was no way I would talk to her later. Jeeze, I had no idea where she was or who she was. All I knew for sure was that it showed the same area code.

I jumped in my Miata and headed over there. I felt excitement building because of the intrigue. In a few minutes and a couple of quick lights, I found the Evangelina’s Bistro where she wanted to meet. As I drove down the street, I looked at the people sitting inside and outside at their little round tables. There was a woman, looked to be thirty or so, California blonde, doing something with her phone and she looked very unhappy. I stared so hard at her I almost crashed into the damn curb. But then…there was a good-looking redhead inside. Younger than the woman outside. She appeared to be crying into a napkin. No…she was blowing her nose. So much for my incredible powers of observation.

My phone buzzed. You sound ok. Can we meet 4 coffee? I could use a friend right now. Taking my kids to my Mom’s in a minute. Now I was getting damn curious. Did I want to get involved with someone else’s drama? Didn’t I have enough of my own to deal with? But I was intrigued. Why the hell not? I certainly didn’t have anything else going on after class. Study and too much coffee and waiting for the bitch-from-hell to clear out of my place. It might give me insight into how this woman got into the situation she’s in. Did she move too fast on the guy she’s married to? Try and date a complete stranger…like me?

I pulled over and took out my phone. I texted: I’m here. I’m in the little red Miata convertible. Top’s down. Where are you? Wave. <send>

Curious, I texted:

Nothing. I checked my reception: five bars, 4G. No problem there. Battery was good. So, I copied and pasted the text and sent it again.

Gotta class now. Free in two hours. Maybe then? <send> She replied immediately.

No reply.

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Shit and damn! What a waste of my time. I waited a few more minutes for her to respond. Nope. Not happening.

wasn’t there. I’m sorry if I wasted your time. Bye. Nope. This won’t do and now I was dying from curiosity. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I put the key in the ignition and left. I couldn’t go home because the bitch-from-hell would, without a doubt, hang around just as long as she thought she could to make me miserable. That left the library where I needed to go anyway.

I texted: Hey! It’s okay. We can try again. It’s only 4:30. Can you make it at around 5? <send>

I parked at the library and took out my notes and laptop. In the reference room, I found a quiet corner and set up for study. I liked this particular room because it was very quiet and away from people entering and leaving.

I waited so long for a reply that I finally clicked the phone ‘off’ and slammed it into my bag. Fuck this. I don’t need this kind of aggravation, especially now!

Time flew past me when I was deep in study mode. I can got so lost in early Mesopotamian culture that at times I felt like I was actually there. It was six-forty-five. My phone buzzed, pulling me out of my study coma. Shit! Okay. I am very sorry. I’ll be there at 7:30 if you can make it. I’m sorry again. I’m really curious about you! I thought about it for a moment. Do I really want to do this? But like I said, curiosity and all.

About thirty minutes later, my phone buzzed.

I texted:

I opened it and there was a text:

I’ll be there. I’m in a red Miata. Top’s down. Okay? <send>

I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I had to leave. I - 20 -

children. I’ve just called 911! Please stay with me until they get here! Please?

She replied immediately: CU Alright! Now we’re getting somewhere.

I choked on my Pepsi! Coughing, I texted:

I continued to work a little longer and then packed up and left. I hit Evangelina’s at exactly seven.

I’m here! I’ll stay with you! What’s your name? <send>

I texted:

I’m Isabella. Thank you for being there. You?

I’m here. Where are you? Wave. <send> No answer. Now I was really pissed. Then it occurred to me that my soon to be ex-girlfriend was fucking with me. She drove a beater Taurus. I knew it as well as the back of my hand. Taking one more scan at the sidewalk tables and inside, I took off. I drove slowly around the block, checking parking lots and the street for that bitch’s car. Wasn’t to be found. I expanded to several blocks, but she wasn’t anywhere around and I knew she’d have to be because she’d love to watch me come unglued. Anger crept up my neck. I could feel my face get hot. I’ve always had a wonderful sense of humor and love a great practical joke now and then, but by now, I was hungry and had lost some precious study time. I was trying to put together my thesis and I’m playing shitty games with some chick, possibly my ex-girlfriend. Maybe this was one final ‘fuck you’ before she left. Screw this. I gunned the Miata to a nearby hamburger place and ordered a couple of regular cheeseburgers and a medium Coke. I munched the burgers and thought about the day I’d had. If nothing else, it was damn interesting, anger or not. I thought, what the hell. I texted her again. I texted: Are you out there somewhere? <send> I got an immediate reply. No! I was trying to leave my house! My husband said he was going to kill us! I’m locked in the bathroom with my two

I’m Sam. Are you safe? <send> Yes. I hear sirens now. Bastard will go to jail. Good riddance. They’re in the driveway! Sam? I can’t wait to meet you. This time I swallowed my Pepsi before I texted: And me you. I suspect you’re going to be busy in a minute. Text me when you’re done. OK? <send> No reply. That was alright. She’d be up to her eyeballs with cops for several hours. I finished my meal and dumped the trash. Before I drove off, I texted her again. How’s it going? <send> No reply. Well, it was still no biggy. I’ve had my own dealings with the cops, and I know how it can be. I cruised past my place. All was dark. Good. The bitch-from-hell was finally gone. At least she didn’t torch the place. I pulled into my driveway and parked. I texted Isabella the same question again. No reply. Now I was getting worried. It had been a couple of hours by now and I hadn’t heard from her. I went into my house, flipped on the light and was greeted by a huge goddamn mess!

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The bitch-from-hell had trashed the place up to and including punching holes in some of the walls. She had torn cabinet doors off and smashed them into my parquet kitchen floor. I won’t even say what she did in my bedroom. At least she was gone. All this can be cleaned up or repaired. I’ll just be more careful whom I live with down the road. Lessons learned. Knowing how angry the bitch-from-hell could get, I had earlier stashed a backpack with a change of clothes. I took it, locked up the place and drove over to a motel. In my room, I showered, dried off and sat on the bed. I texted Isabella again. Same question. Same answer. No reply.

The cops had surrounded a house. I could see three stretchers in front, each with a covered body. Isabella had two children. I dry heaved into the wastebasket again. The crawl across the bottom of the screen talked about three people murdered in West Hollywood. More information as it became available. Next of kin were being notified. Everything that had gone wrong over the last week came crashing down on me. For the first time in frickin’ ages, I cried! I howled! I curled myself into a fetal ball and screamed into my pillow! I couldn’t believe I had gotten so wrapped in the life of someone I had never seen or met.

I felt we had a connection.

I felt the first niggling of fear. I began biting my nails, something I hadn’t done in a couple of years…since I quit smoking. The news was on, the sound turned off. I guess it was the flashing lights of the police cars and an ambulance that caught my eye. There’s this kind of dread you get when you see something that you know is totally wrong. Your stomach goes into free fall. Your knees get weak and eventually, you throw up your cheeseburgers and Pepsi.

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Eventually I cried myself to sleep and found that sleep was out of the question. I gave up trying at four in the morning. I got up, dressed, made myself one of those little cups of coffee. My stomach hurt. I ached all over from my fear and anger at losing someone I felt close to. I felt like shit warmed over.

They had my cell phone. The bastard managed to get a shot at me just as the police broke in. His bullet scraped my thigh. I’m fine. My children are fine. They are at my mom’s. Can we finally meet? Please? At that Evangelina’s where we were supposed to meet?

I was terribly, terribly sad.

Again, I found myself crying, this time in happiness.

The television was still on. I caught the crawl across the bottom. They had caught the killer trying to ram a police roadblock.



And then I saw the killer’s name on the crawl. It was determined that in a fit of tweaker rage, my bitch-from-hell ex-girlfriend had killed her mom, dad, and little sister. While that was a major shock; she’d never done meth around me, the look on Isabella’s face when she saw me enter Evangelina’s was priceless. I guess somewhere in all this I had failed to mention that my real name is Samantha.

Just as the crawl announced the killer’s name, my cell buzzed, and I looked away from the screen Sam? I’m here. I made it! Don’t imagine you’re up. I wanted you to see this first thing. We’re safe! The bastard’s in jail. I just got released from the emergency room.

Ross G. Homer was born in Florida some years ago. He grew in locations all across the south and eventually ended up in California. He spent a couple of years going to college before joining the Air Force as a photographer. After spending ten somewhat interesting years in the Air Force, he settled in Alaska where he worked in a variety of occupations before retiring and dedicating his energies to his life-long interest in creating fantasy and fiction. Other pursuits include photography, music - he's a flat-pickin' blue grass/folk singer and guitar player, bicycling, both road and mountain, hiking and cross-country skiing. He is the author of a wide range of genres: sexy romantic action-adventure, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy. His books can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. - 23 -

Leaf Mandalas by Sylva Fae I first met Brigit Strawbridge Howard, author of Dancing with Bees, when I was looking for a bee expert to check my book, Bea & Bee. Brigit was immediately recommended and kindly checked my bee facts. Since then, I have followed Brigit's adventures with joy. As well as a love of bees, we share a love of the natural world, both enjoying the beauty of the little things that most people pass by without noticing.

Brigit's Leaf Mandalas (in her own words)

I take pleasure in observing the changes from one season to the next. The shades of autumn are a particular delight to me, as the green leaves mellow to hues of russet and gold. We often collect these beautifully coloured leaves on our walks to later create leaf art. It is a simple way to creatively engage with the beauty of nature. For a brief moment, the haphazard scattering of leaves takes on an ordered pattern. Then later, the wind rearranges them with its artistic flurry, and they settle back into randomness. It was no surprise to discover Brigit also creates leaf Mandalas.

Have you ever made a Nature Mandala? If not, maybe today's your day. You don't need to be artistic, just gather whatever is lying around - nuts, berries, leaves, twigs, stones, crab apples - arrange them in a circular design on the ground, and leave for others to find & enjoy‌ Brigit Strawbridge Howard is a bee advocate, wildlife gardener, naturalist, and author of Dancing with Bees. She writes, speaks, and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of native wild bees and other pollinating insects. She lives in North Dorset, England with her husband, Rob.

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Dancing with Bees is Strawbridge Howard’s charming and eloquent account of a return to noticing, to rediscovering a perspective on the world that had somehow been lost to her for decades, and to reconnecting with the natural world. With special care and attention to the plight of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, and what we can do to help them, Strawbridge Howard shares fascinating details of the lives of flora and fauna that have filled her days with ever-increasing wonder and delight. Dancing with Bees has recently been shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize. Sylva Fae is a married mum of three from Lancashire, England. She has spent twenty years teaching literacy to adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, and now works from home as a children’s writer and illustrator. Sylva has published several children’s books and also writes a blog, Sylvanian Ramblings. Her debut book, Rainbow Monsters won the Chanticleer Best in Category award. Discover more about Sylva on Mom’s Favorite Reads website:

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 Amazon’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: 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! - 25 -

Autumn by Sylva Fae

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© Sylva Fae

An Introduction to Psychic Protection by Val Tobin Most people don’t think about protecting themselves from lower vibrating energies, entity attachments, or earthbound spirits, but this is something that should be done daily. In her book Angel Medicine: How to Heal the Body and Mind with the Help of the Angels (236 –237), Doreen Virtue says that lower energies are associated with angry or ill people, and she defines entities as “thought-forms of fear, which have a life-form.” She defines earthbound spirits as “deceased humans who haven’t gone to the light in the after-life plane.”


Aches or pains

Where do You Find Lower Energies, Entities, or Earthbound Spirits?



Obvious places you can find these types of attachments are antique stores, cemeteries, funeral parlours, hospitals, or anywhere associated with intense emotions or painful experiences. Not so obvious places would include the mall (think of the mall during the Christmas season when people are stressed and rushed) or the dentist’s office. Any public place could have them.


General malaise



Spirits can attach to objects, which is why antique stores are common places to find them. They can transfer from the object to a person who picks up the object. Spirit attachment should not be confused with possession. These spirits do not take over your body. But they can affect how you feel.

I once experienced some of the above symptoms as I strolled around an antique shop in a converted barn. After clearing and protecting myself, I felt the toxic energy flow out and all my discomfort eased. Walking through a cemetery without putting up my protections first also resulted in similar feelings. Experience is an excellent teacher. I don’t often forget to clear and protect myself anymore.

Signs of an Entity or Energy Attachment

Removing Entity or Energy Attachments

One or more of the following are signs that you may have an entity or spirit attachment, or are affected by lower energies (rule out physical or psychological causes first; do not stop or alter medications without consulting a qualified

When you have established that there is an attachment, there are some simple ways you can remove it: •

Call on Archangel Michael, who is the angel of strength and protection, and ask him to remove any lower energies.

Have an energy clearing done by someone who has training and experience in this area.

healthcare practitioner): •



Feeling down - 28 -

Use a selenite wand to sweep through the aura and remove attachments or toxic debris from the auric field (a field of energy that emanates from the body). Selenite can be used in the home as part of a protective grid (put in the corners of the house).

4. Picture this mirror ball growing larger and larger, and as it passes through and around your body, it removes any toxic debris that might be attached. 5. Visualize the ball growing until it surrounds your body completely, forming a protective eggshell around your body. Nothing can pass through this mirror ball except love and light.

Call on Archangel Raphael to remove any lower energy that may be blocking the third eye (the energy centre located on the forehead between the brows

Making sure that you are protected when you leave the house should become a daily ritual as a part of the morning routine. When you neglect it, you can experience physical symptoms that interfere with the quality of life. If you do acquire an attachment, you can get rid of it using the aforementioned techniques. Then the appropriate protection can be put in place.

Preventing Entity or Energy Attachments When you have rid yourself of all toxic attachments, put shielding in place to prevent further attachments from forming. The following mirror ball technique is one of the best ways to shield yourself, and can even be used before going into a difficult meeting or presentation, to protect against negative emotional energies released from others. Bob Holmes, B.Sc., Certified Master Hypnotist, Board Certified Past Life Therapist and Primal Integration Therapist teaches this technique to his clients, and he learned it from his teachers, Carol Clark and Grant Powell:


Belanger, Michelle. The Ghost Hunters Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters with the Paranormal, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 2009. Hall, Judy. The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals, Ohio: Walking Stick Press, 2003. Holmes, Bob, B.Sc., Certified Master Hypnotist, Board Certified Past Life Therapist and Primal Integration Therapist, The Regression Therapy Centre of Ontario (Accessed October 7, 2013). Tobin, Bob. Image: Cemetery Virtue, Doreen, Ph.D. Angel Medicine: How to Heal the Body and Mind with the Help of the Angels, California: Hay House, 2004. Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional. Before beginning any health or diet program, consult your physician.

1. Envision a ball of light in your body, at the heart centre (the point on the body located between the breasts). Imagine that it is glowing with Divine Light energy. 2. Next, draw down from above more love and light energy from Source. The ball then glows with the beautiful combined Divine Light energy from the heart centre and Source energy. 3. When the ball is filled with this energy, imagine a thin mirror crust forming around it. This crust will deflect all lower energies away from it.

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: - 29 -

Autumn Trees by Stan Phillips

We took to the open road today and meandered through golden October countryside.

This annual climax that is upon the trees as a million million leaves are thrust into the unknown in a vast arboreal orgasm.

And oh, did you see, the colours of the Autumn trees, clad as they were in browns and golds and reds?

Most will perish, inevitably, but here and there a leaf will settle, take root, and eventually become the start of the woodlands of tomorrow.

Full they were, mostly anyway, showing off their mature glory in this final moment before those leaves are shed. In this still and trembling space between the endlessly shifting seasons they are.

And what of all those lost and forgotten leaves? Maybe a price worth paying perhaps for an unknowable future. Stan Phillips(C)2019

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: - 30 -

Heroines of SOE by Hannah Howe

Virginia Hall Goillot Virginia Hall Goillot was a rare breed, an American who worked for the SOE. Born in Baltimore, Maryland on 5 April 1906, Virginia attended university where she studied French, German and Italian. Completing her studies in Europe, she travelled to France, Germany, Austria and Poland. In Poland in 1931 she secured employment as a consular service clerk at the American Embassy. In 1932, Virginia lost her left leg below the knee after a shooting accident. The surgeons affixed a wooden leg, which she nicknamed Cuthbert.

During this period, she became adept at changing her appearance through various forms of disguise.

After her accident, Virginia made several attempts to become a diplomat. However, the American authorities rejected her on the grounds that she was a woman and disabled. Consequently, in March 1939, she resigned as a consular clerk.

In common with other SOE agents, Virginia organised the Resistance, supplied agents with money, conducted weapons training, helped downed airmen to escape, tended wounds, established safe houses and recruited new members to the cause.

In February 1940, Virginia became an ambulance driver for the French army. After the fall of France in June 1940, she made her way to Spain where she met George Bellows, a British Intelligence Officer. This meeting led to an invitation to join the SOE.

Among Virginia’s recruits was Lyon brothel owner Germaine Guérin. Guérin made several safe houses available to Virginia. She also passed on information garnered from her prostitutes, tidbits gleaned from the German officers who frequented her brothel. Furthermore, while in Lyon, George Whittinghill, an American diplomat, allowed Virginia to smuggle reports to Britain in the diplomatic pouch.

Virginia joined the SOE in April 1941 and, after training, she arrived in Vichy France on 23 August 1941. Her cover story, as a reporter for the New York Post, allowed her to travel, talk with people and gather information.

Downed airmen often made their way to Lyon where contacts told them to visit the American Consulate and say they were, ‘A friend of Olivier’. Olivier was Virginia and with the help of brothel owner Germaine Guérin and others she hid, fed and helped the airmen to escape to Spain then on to Britain. - 31 -

French identification certificate for Virginia Hall as “Marcelle Montagne” forged by OSS

Unfortunately, the Nazis captured Germaine Guérin and sent her to a concentration camp, but she survived. On hearing this news, Virginia arranged compensation of 80,000 francs from Britain for Guérin. M.R.D. Foot, the official historian of the SOE, said that an agent’s motto was “dubito, ergo sum” – “I doubt, therefore I survive.” Virginia took this motto to heart. Indeed, in October 1941 she sensed danger and refused to attend a meeting of SOE agents in Marseille. That meeting led to disaster and the arrest of a dozen agents. Virginia learned that the Nazis had incarcerated the twelve agents arrested in October 1941 in the Mauzac prison near Bergerac. With the aid of Gaby Bloch, wife of prisoner Jean-Pierre Bloch, Virginia smuggled tools and sardine tins into the prison. With these tools and tins the prisoners made a key to the prison door and on 15 July 1942 they escaped and hid in the woods. After an intense manhunt, Virginia helped the men to escape into Spain then on to Britain. Later, several of the escapees returned to France to lead SOE networks.

couldn’t capture a one-legged woman with distinctive red hair. Furthermore, she spoke French with a broad American accent. Although Virginia was eager to return to France, the SOE refused on the grounds that she was known to the Gestapo. However, the Americans had no such qualms and so, by gunboat, she returned to France in March 1944 as a wireless operator for the American OSS.

Furious with the escape, the Nazis flooded Lyon with Gestapo officers. Also, on 7 November 1942, the American Consulate in Lyon informed Virginia that the Allied invasion of North Africa was imminent and that the Nazis would retaliate in brutal fashion. Therefore, she escaped by train from Lyon to Perpignan. Then, with a guide, she walked – on one good leg – over a 7,500 foot pass across the Pyrenees into Spain, covering fifty miles in two days.

While working for the OSS, Virginia fell in love with a colleague, Paul Goillot. After the war, the couple lived together and eventually married in 1957. In 1947, Virginia joined the CIA, one of the first women hired by the new agency. She retired in 1966, aged sixty, to a farm in Barnesville, Maryland, where she lived until her death on 8 July 1982.

The Gestapo referred to Virginia as ‘that Canadian bitch’ even though she was, of course, American. You have to wonder at the basic intelligence and ability of the Gestapo when they

Admired by fellow agents, Virginia did much to establish the early SOE networks in France. Quite rightly, she is remembered as a woman of remarkable ability and courage.

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:

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Chess Supplied by Chess.Com Exploiting the back rank. Can you find the moves to deliver checkmate in two?

Supplied by the #1 chess website. Used with permission. For more chess puzzles please visit You can find answers for this activity on the Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: - 33 -

Ocean Pollution Submitted by Poppy Flynn Written by

Logan Age 13 Each year tons of trash and other pollutants enter the Ocean. Where does this pollution come from? Where does it go? Some of the debris ends up on our beaches, washed in with the waves. Some debris sinks, some is eaten by marine animals that mistake it for food. Plastic pollution is becoming the biggest threat to the oceans. By 2025 there is estimated to be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish. Plastic already makes up 80% of marine debris.

1970s have not yet fulfilled their goals and purposes. The Clean Water act has yet to prohibit discharges and produce clean water because it allows pollution under permitting systems. Plastic waste is littering our oceans and threatening the lives of many of marine animals. Dolphins, whales, seals, fish, birds of the sea and many other ocean animals are dying because of the plastic in the waters. They don’t just get tangled in it or mistake it for food. Studies have

The inability of environmental law to address growing threat of plastic pollution shows the need for shift in attitude. The environmental laws of the

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shown that toxins from plastic waste causes health problems too, such as cancer, immune issues and birth defects. It also affects their feeding grounds There are many marine animals that I love, and I know other people love as well, affected by this. If we don’t stop all this plastic from getting into the sea, then we are hurting those animals and increasing the risk of extinction. There are things that we can do to stop this but it’s not always going to be enough, so act. Go beyond what you would normally do, join a charity, or try going out and picking up things that could make it in into the ocean. Unrecycled plastic, littering and stuff that goes down the drain are the biggest contributors to sea pollution. Plastic being transported to landfill is often blown away because it’s so light. From there, it can eventually enter rivers and be washed into the sea, the same happens with litter or illegal dumping. Many people still flush small things down toilets including wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton buds which are too small to be filtered out by wastewater plants.

While southeast Asian countries might be the worst contributors to plastic contamination, China heads the list for throwing the most plastic into the sea. And guess what. Two thirds of all the plastic which the UK sends abroad to get rid of, goes to China and the USA was sending 7 million tons a year as well. Recently China refused to continue receiving plastic from other countries and this is a good thing because it forces countries to be responsible for their own waste. Especially as there has been a lot of controversy recently that plastic sent abroad for recycling is just being dumped, creating huge beaches full of waste, like this one. Do you really want to swim in contaminated water or find your holiday beach full of rubbish? A global study found that the most common type of plastic litter is Cigarette butts which have plastic fibres in the filters. Next are drink bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, drink lids, straws and stirrers. Notice that a lot of these are tiny items that people don’t think twice before tossing away because they are small. But a lot of people doing this causes a big problem. Be more aware of these little things. Educate your children. Buy reusable bags for your groceries. Get a reusable drink bottle instead of buying single use water bottles, that will save you money too. You may not think you can change much, but if everyone starts doing something, then all those things add up so just try to do everything you can. Help where you are able and the animals we care about will be safer. You never know just picking up a plastic bottle could save a marine animal. And if this isn’t enough to change your attitude then, if you enjoy seafood, perhaps consider exactly what ends up in the food chain.

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Art of the Everyday by Artist Christine Southworth Art of the Everyday - the title of work I needed to complete - and the Covid 19 lockdown both occurred at the same time. Unable to go out or to my studio, I was compelled to work from home. Luckily, I had been collecting vintage books over previous months. These treasures were once loved but now discarded, and this project was saving them from their final destination - the rag man.

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The anonymous wear and tear added to their desirability and each one provided a unique challenge. Some had to be deconstructed and rebuilt with gold leaf and elaborate patterns, while others required a simpler approach, using paint and collage to restore their beauty. The original title or part of the narrative was the starting point for all, and extended into the background.

Each one had its own handmade frame which dignified and transformed this common everyday object into an object to be desired again. Books are in themselves beautiful things; I feel so sad when I see them badly treated and thrown away. Producing this work has made me feel very happy. I hope this shows in the finished pieces. Š Christine Southworth

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Mom’s Favorite Reads Author Sylva Fae Three of her books have won Best in Category for children’s books at the Chanticleer International Book Awards. She also writes a blog, Sylvanian Ramblings, and enjoys doing developmental editing as part of One Stop Author Services, and of course, writing for Mom’s Favorite Reads.

Books to date

Sylva Fae is a married mum of three from Lancashire, England. She grew up in a rambling old farmhouse with a slightly dysfunctional family and an adopted bunch of equally dysfunctional animals. She spent twenty plus years teaching literacy to adults with learning difficulties and disabilities but now lives in Cheshire, juggling being a mum, writing children’s stories and keeping up with the crazy antics of four naughty rabbits.

I Can Be Anything – two editions ICanBeAnything1

Her earliest memories are of bedtime stories snuggled up close to mum to see the pictures. It was a magical time, those last special moments before dozing off to sleep would feed dreams of faraway lands and mystical beings. She now wants to share that love of stories and inspire children to create their own magical adventures. ICanBeAnything2

No Place Like Home

Sylva and her family own a wood and escape there at every opportunity. Adventures in their own enchanted woodland, hunting for fairies and stomping in puddles, have inspired Sylva to write stories for her girls.

https:// B07JJW5G42

Sylva published her first children's book Rainbow Monsters, in 2017. She has since published 11 other children’s picture books, an anthology of Christmas stories, and has several short stories published in anthologies. - 38 -

Rainbow Monsters – Winner of 2017 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award

Mindful Monsters – Shortlisted for 2018 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award RainbowMonsters MindfulMonsters

Yoga Fox – Winner of 2018 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award and the Readers’ Choice Judges Award

Elfabet – Illustrated by Katie Weaver, Winner of the 2019 Chanticleer Little Peeps Award

That Pesky Pixie – a series of stories for a story app that-pesky-pixie • • • • •

Bea & Bee BeaAndBee

An Itchy Situation A Stinky Start! A Dastardly Plan A Feast for a Fairy Queen Three Pesky Pixies and a Monstrous Mouse

Children’s Christmas Collection – With authors Kate Robinson, Paul Ian Cross, Suzanne Downes, Patricia M Ahern and Millie Slavidou CCCBoxset - 39 -

Blog Amazon Facebook Twitter Pinterest

The Shimmer – Readers’ Choice Silver Award

Watch Shimmer eBook Trailer...


You’re Not Alone https:// B00Y5RCOOE

Depths of Darkness

Strong Women https:// B084H6QD1V

https:// B07ZBM25HP - 40 -

Time After Time https:// B08CRW1SHN

Word Search—November By Mom’s Favorite Reads

You can find the answers for this activity on the Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: - 41 -

Faith by Father Ian Maher Looking back on the time when I became a Christian, as a young man of 20, one thing more than anything else moved me from unbelief to faith. It wasn’t a sermon, or a book, or any formal teaching, but the example of a life. My parish priest, with infinite patience, listened to me rant and rage about how there could not possibly be God in a world full of suffering. He soaked it all up over a period of months, never once belittling me or making me feel that any questions or doubts expressed were out of bounds.

has been and remains an ongoing journey of discovering what this means for me and for how I live my life. That’s a little bit of my own ‘faith story’ with which you may, or may not, identify. There is a saying that faith is caught, not taught, and I agree that trying to argue a person into faith is both futile and contradictory.

More than 40 years on, I cannot remember anything in particular that he said to me, but I do remember this very clearly: there was something about him, a quality to his life, a faith which was a lens through which he saw, understood and interpreted the world.

Faith, for me, is about venturing onto a path well trodden by countless others before me who have found, for them, a way through life that offers a different frame of reference from which to face all that comes our way. My first parish priest was such a man for me.

That was something I wanted for myself, and the penny eventually dropped. I knew in my heart that Christ had risen from the dead and, since then, my life

In Luke’s gospel (10.21-24) there is a short section where Jesus rejoices that faith in God is not dependent on intelligence, or qualifications, or formal learning – important though such things are in life – but is, rather, available to infants. Jesus’ reference here is to the openness, wonder, and trust that infants have in relation to a world beyond their ability to comprehend. But he is not speaking only about children.

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Just as a child experiencing the world around them will not be able to explain everything, none of us can ever explain the mystery of God who will always be beyond us, but we can experience the reality of that God.

faith of my own. I hope and pray that my faith is, in turn, of help to others on their own journey. As I said above, faith is not something that anyone can be argued or forced into, nor should they be. But it does open us up to the reality and experience of God’s love for us, and for the whole universe.

That is where the borderland of faith is to be found: where our learning takes us only so far in understanding the purpose and meaning of our existence, and something stirs within us that there is more to life than we realise.

The signs are all around us in the lives of people through whom faith shines if only we have the eyes to see. So let’s be encouraged by their example in our own walk of faith and, and take the next step on the journey.

Authentic faith changes people and their lives then changes others. That is what I saw in my first parish priest, and the witness of his life is what brought me into a

I am a priest and minor canon at Sheffield Cathedral. My last post prior to retirement from stipendiary ministry was as the Multifaith Chaplaincy Coordinator and Anglican Chaplain at Sheffield Hallam University, where I worked for 12 years. Twitter @IanMaher7 - 43 -

Windowsills Are for Cats by John Greeves Polly is a feline creature brightest when she’s energised by the glow of the sun. She’s curled, mat-edged to the fire in winter, looking sad and distant as she yearns for spring and the coming heat of summer.

On hot July days she perches on the third storey windowsill of our flat, book in hand. She sits, back pressed to a tasselled cushion, her naked legs bent up towards her chin turning pages transfixed by the pulsing sun. Sometimes her long bronzed limbs slide room bound to the kitchen for a cool refreshing drink. If she meets me en route she’ll wrap her arms around me to share her delight. “How heavenly,” she purrs before she slinks outside to her sunny spot. I’m always warning her about the danger. “What if the unimaginable happens?” I say, giving her my most concerned expression. “I don’t think I could bear it.” She only laughs and smiles tenderly which destroys all resolve and good intentions. I’ve tried saying it with flowers, placing a window box of red geraniums where she sits, but she looked so sad that in the end I relented and carried it downstairs to cheer up old Mrs. Thompset. She hasn’t been the same since her tropical dream holiday when Fred died of beriberi. Polly was delighted by my change of heart. She stopped pacing the carpets and scratching the

sofa with her long nails and sidled up to me her green eyes full of loving admiration. Then the saddest thing happened. I heard her piercing cry and the thump of a body hitting the pavement. In a micro second she had turned my world upside down. My stomach knotted, “Not Polly,” I cried jumping out of the shower and grabbing a bathrobe. I hurled myself towards the open window. A bare sill, “Oh my god,” I screamed as my wet feet slipped and I fell through it. I remember landing on top of a passing taxi, he was very reasonable about the large dent. I remember the neck brace too and Polly squeezing my hand. “You silly thing,” she whispered in the ambulance. “All that fuss just because I dropped my book.”

John Greeves originally hails from Lincolnshire. He believes in the power of poetry and writing to change people’s lives and the need for language to move and connect people to the modern world. Since retiring from Cardiff University, Greeves works as a freelance journalist who's interested in an eclectic range of topics.

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Things Children Say by Sylva Fae My three girls have grown to an age where I can have a relatively normal conversation with each of them, but it wasn’t always that way. Lately, my illustrator friend, Katie Weaver has been sharing some of the funny comments her 4 and 6 -year-old boys come out with. It reminded me of the bizarre logic and peculiar comments my own three made as little ones – thankfully, I wrote them down so I would never forget this special time in their childhood. Here are a few examples from my girls and Katie’s boys:

S: Mummy, can you move the sun? Mum: No, why? S: It's in my eyes!

Child Logic S: Mummy, do frogs eat dogs? Mum: You mean dogs eat frogs? S: No, frogs eat dogs. Mum: No, frogs don't eat dogs. S: This one does. Mum: Why are you drawing on my mirror with a lolly? S: I saw a bear! Mum: And did this bear tell you to draw on my mirror? S: Silly mummy! There're no bears! Mum: Oh, so what about my mirror? S: The bear did it. O: Those are big wheels! T: W for wheels…. Mum: That’s right! W for wheels. T: W for wheels and W for wice! (rice) T: Mummy, Cranky just knocked over my drink, and Beary’s got a juicy bottom.

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T gets out a game and pulls out the instructions… T: I’ll just read the instructions. Actually, I can’t read so I’ll just make them up!

Cringe Moments Shouted to a full playground. “My mummy can't go down the slide because her bottom's too big!”

S: Can you take your shoes off? Mum: Why? S: I need to check your feet are still in there.

Putting a 5-year-old to bed Dad: Why do you have a pen in bed? S: I’m just numbering my toes. On a boat trip at Chester Zoo, shouting at the top of his voice: “We’re stinking! We’re stinking!” (sinking)

Mum: You can have another story if you're good and quiet. S: I can be good and noisy! Mum: No, you have to be quiet. S: Oh, I'm not going to get a story then, am I?

Sat in a café, the background chatter ceases just as my toddler points and loudly announces: “See that old woman in the corner with the silly make-up?” *Every adult sneaks a look.... “She looks just like an evil Disney villain.” And she did too!

Mum: No, you can't sleep with your sword. S: That's inconvenient! Mum: Why inconvenient? S: How am I supposed to defend myself against the bogeyman in the wardrobe? Mum: There is no bogeyman.... S: Exactly! He's scared of my sword. - 46 -

When I grow up….

Guess the Song...

T: Mummy, I can’t wait to be a police officer at my police station, and have a police car that goes, ‘Wah wah! Mummy, what do you want to be when you’re grown up? Mum: What do you think I should be? T: A firefighter, and Daddy can be a dinosaur when he grows up.

New Bon Jovi lyrics by my 6yo rock chick... “Take my head, we're halfway there Whoah oh, chicken on a chair...”

Maybe you’re reading this reminiscing about the funny things your children or grandchildren said, or maybe you are experiencing this phase right now, if so, write them down so you can enjoy a giggle at a later date. My girls are at that irritable, overly dramatic pre-teen stage but they still love being reminded of the days when Mummy could move the sun, and a plastic sword made you invincible.

S: When I grow up, I want to be a daddy. Mum: Don’t you mean a mummy? S: No, mummies have to do lots and lots of boring work, and daddies just go out to play in the park all day and eat sweeties.

Sylva Fae is a married mum of three from Lancashire, England. She has spent twenty years teaching literacy to adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, and now works from home as a children’s writer and illustrator. Sylva has published several children’s books and also writes a blog, Sylvanian Ramblings. Her debut book, Rainbow Monsters won the Chanticleer Best in Category award. Discover more about Sylva on Mom’s Favorite Reads website: - 47 -

Whoops by Keith D. Guernsey The transplant itself went fine but the night after ‌well not so much! I mentioned earlier that there were only two major problems that occurred during my nine months of treatment. The first was the fall that I mentioned above. The second was in the hospital the night after my Stem Cell Transplant. The transplant was deemed a success by the medical staff but the night after in the hospital was the exact opposite. What happened next was terrifying to Susan and me. It was Saturday night in early September and the nurse had come in to give me my medications. Susan ever the inquisitive one asked her what she was giving me she said "it's a combination of Ativan, Tylenol and Benadryl." Susan told her that my system did not handle Ativan well but that unfortunately fell on deaf ears. Since it was obvious she wasn't listening, Susan tried to get her to limit the dosage but that didn't work either. She forged ahead, ignoring Susan's advice and shot me up. The results were disastrous. I turned into a gibbering idiot almost immediately. I was unable form an intelligible sentence. Susan was beside herself with worry for me and anger at the nurse for ignoring her request. The rest of the night was a medically

induced fog so Susan had to fill me in on the details later. She said her first thought was to call one of the ubiquitous ambulance chasing attorneys we see on TV every night. Her second was that this would be permanent and I would lose my ability to speak clearly forever.

Doctors and nurses began to pour into the room and there first thought was that I had a stroke. But then they put their hands together and came to the conclusion that this a temporary condition brought on by my body's reaction to the Ativan. They said my speech should return to normal the next morning after the meds wore off and I had a good night’s sleep. Fortunately they were correct and my speech pattern returned to normal (or at least as normal as it has ever been!) For more, please visit us on the web at;

Keith D. Guernsey is retired and living on Lake Lanier with his lovely wife Susan and Zoey, his four-footed daughter Twitter=@thegurns - 48 -

A Walk in Cologne by John Greeves We walk the aftermath of war. a quiet Sunday morning in Cologne along avenues towards the Rhine.

Where a hand holds mine, ever tightly, father to son. His leather glove sleeved in herringbone, a wide brimmed trilby to urge me on. Under pollarded trees, slanted by light we stride, step by step. Past clanging trams unwavering lines set in parallel discourse.

A dog barks, racing back and forth on a moving barge.

Ever steady in our walk, past sleepy homes not awake. Until dreary buildings part like curtains, to this vibrancy of river life and colour.

Leaping like a circus acrobat spiralling all belief with somersaulting certainty.

White wake barges, Flapping tricolours from wheelhouses. Men travelling freely.

This act of tumbling dog caught for ever in wind slapped applause as I let slip my father’s hand.

John Greeves originally hails from Lincolnshire. He believes in the power of poetry and writing to change people’s lives and the need for language to move and connect people to the modern world. Since retiring from Cardiff University, Greeves works as a freelance journalist who's interested in an eclectic range of topics.

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Thankful by Maressa Mortimer Isn’t it amazing, the amount of special days and weeks we have. Mother’s Day, Book Day, and this week it’s National Adoption week in the UK, whilst November is National Adoption Awareness Month in the US. (Not sure why we only get a week!) For me, every week is adoption week, and has been for the last seven plus years. I love the idea of Adoption Month being the same one as Thanksgiving. Looking at my four precious children, I feel overwhelmingly thankful. We often joke, and explain that the reason our kids are so amazing is that we, unlike other parents, actually got to choose our children! I’m grateful for the way they have enriched our lives, as well as keep our washing baskets filled up permanently. I love to hear their chatter and laughter, making my quiet evenings very precious. My children are happy, content and lovely, but adoption is a story of grief and loss. It is proof of the resilience of our children that they can thrive, in spite of losing everything. During the Lockdown we all experienced a slither of what fostered and adopted children have gone

through. It’s losing what you have always taken for granted, helpless to prevent it from happening to you. Think about key areas in your life: family, friends, home, work, hobbies, possessions and food. If you were asked to give up one key area, which one would you choose, and feel you’d still have a good life? Familiar foods, or maybe your hobby? During the Lockdown we found certain foods couldn’t be had, so we ate a wider range of foods. Hobbies had to stop for a while, as they involved going places. It wasn’t pleasant, but life was still fine. We went for extra long walks each day, to reduce stress levels and help us all to smile. Now pick another area. Would you move away from your home, and the neighbourhood you’re familiar with? Or would you rather do without friends? And lose another key area... Would life become too stressful? We have all felt the effect in recent months, where we were unable to see family and friends, and many people shared how their mental health had - 50 -

So we are thankful, grateful beyond words. But I cringe when people say to my children, “You must be so happy that you’re in a new family!” Or they tell me that surely my kids are grateful ‘for what we have done’. Losing your life is horrendous, and the emotional scars will probably be life-long. Even now, meeting the same friends a few times within a short time makes my daughter nervous, “Are they coming round so often because they’re our new parents?”. Incidentally, my children are thankful, they love us, and they know that ultimately, it was for the best. But they still grieve the life they didn’t have; they still feel a great loss when thinking about their birth family.

suffered under this loss. We knew that the Lockdown would end at some stage though, so we were making promises to friends, to “soon catch up” or, “When this is all over, we’ll...”. When children are adopted they might lose all those key areas overnight. Suddenly they have lost friends, their (foster) family, most of their possessions, people around them sound different, the house and neighbourhood are different... They have literally lost their lives. My daughter, who was five when she came to us, hadn’t realised the scope of her move. She had been prepared by the foster carer, but hadn’t understood the words. Until she suddenly found herself in a strange house, with people she’d only met everyday for the last two weeks, with different toys, different food (we did try to cook familiar foods, but you all know what cooking is like...), and everything she knew was gone.

We loved our long walks during the Lockdown, but still missed our hobbies, friends and family. As it’s Adoption Awareness Month in November, when you feel thankful for what you have, spare a moment to pray for those children who have lost so much, and for their fraught parents who have gained so much at the same time!

I live in the beautiful Cotswolds, England with my husband and four (adopted) children. My debut novel, Sapphire Beach, was published December 2019. I’m a homeschool mum, so my writing has to be done in the evening, when peace and quiet descends on our house once more. I’m Dutch, so English isn’t my first language, so I’m using that as an excuse for any typos or grammatical mistakes.

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Merthyr Mawr by Hannah Howe

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© Goylake Publishing

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Things to Celebrate in November by Poppy Flynn Every day of month has some kind of official celebration and usually more than one! It might be big, it might be small…it might be wacky or downright bizarre! There are over 1500 National Days throughout the year, here’s just one observance of the many for each day in November 2020.

November 6th - National Nachos Day

Celebrate your favourite author by curling up with a good book.

In 1943 the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan dropped in on a Piedras Negras hotspot called the Victory Club. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed but a manager named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya decided to throw a dish together based on whatever ingredients he still had left. He sliced the tortillas into triangles, added some shredded cheddar and jalapeño peppers and Nachos were born.

November 2nd - Look for Circles Day

November 7th - International Stout Day

This is what it says. Circles are everywhere; wheels on your car, various fruits and veggies, bubbles. See how many you can find. Why? Who knows!

Celebrated on the first Thursday in November. Stouts have become some of the favourite beers around the world. So on November 3, 2011 they were recognised with the first International Stout Day. Cheers!

November 1st - National Authors’ Day

November 3rd - National Sandwich Day

November 8th National Cappuccino Day

John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich was a heavy gambler. In 1762, he asked his cook to prepare a meal that wouldn’t require cutlery thus allowing himself to remain at the gambling table and not interrupt his game. The sandwich wasn’t a new invention, but it was named after him.

Lovers of frothy coffee, this day is for you.

November 4th - National Candy Day A day for a sweet treat November 5th - National Doughnut Day And if you still have a sweet tooth after yesterday, today is for donuts. - 54 -

November 9th - Go to an Art Museum Day

November 15th - Clean out your fridge Day

Over 30,000 museums and art galleries around the world participate in this event and each year even has a different theme. So, today, go and indulge yourself and discover something new!

Guess what’s happening today!

November 10th - Vanilla Cupcake Day Dispelling the myth that vanilla is boring, celebrate by baking vanilla cupcakes and have fun decorating them.

November 11th - Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) Celebrated since the end of WW1, Armistice Day 1918, wear your poppy with pride and never forget those who died so that we could be free.

November 16th - Fast Food Day So presumably today is fast food day because there’s nothing left in your fridge lol. November 17th - National Homemade Bread Day Fill your home with that homebaked smell which is the best thing since sliced bread.

November 18th - Mickey Mouse Day On November 18th 1928, Mickey Mouse first appeared in “Steamboat Willy”. It’s Mickey Mouse’s Birthday.

November 19th - Play Monopoly Day Celebrating one of the worlds most popular board games, dust off your set and settle in for a game.

November 12th - Chicken Soup for the Soul Day Today is all about you. According to the creators of the book series of the same name, this day was created as ".... a celebration of who you are, where you've been, where you're going, and who you will be thankful to when you get there!"

November 20th - National Absurdity Day Created as a day to acknowledge some of the most ridiculous things that occur both past and present, today is also a day to have fun and get all those silly antics out of your system.

November 13th - World Kindness Day Started in 1998 by the World Kindness movement, this day is pretty self explanatory. Be Kind <3

November 21st - Gingerbread Cookie Day Not to be confused with Gingerbread Day on June 5th. A monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, brought gingerbread to Europe in 992 AD. It was often used in religious ceremonies usually moulded into images of saints, hence, gingerbread men.

November 14th - National Pickle Day Enjoy a pickle today.

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November 22nd - Go for a ride Day Not just a day for cars, buses and motorbikes. Maybe take a horse ride or a steam train, a pre-Christmas sleigh or a bicycle. November 23rd - National Espresso Day For hose who like their coffee a little stronger, than the milky cappuccino celebrated on 8th, this day is for you. November 24th - National Sardines Day Does what it says on the tin. November 25th - Blasé Day Today is a day to be blasé about all those things your not really interested in. (Except bills, those still have to be paid, sorry.) November 26th - National Cake Day ‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!’ or, (Let them eat cake!) Probably the most well known quote about cake next to Mr Kipling’s ‘exceedingly good cakes’. It didn’t win Marie Antionette any friends, but it’s still the worlds favourite desert.

November 27th - Black Friday – Day After Thanksgiving The day after thanksgiving is one of the two most lucrative shopping days of the year. (The other being Boxing Day) hence the name ‘black’, which in this context refers to profitable in accountant speak. November 28th - French Toast Day Probably dating back to at least ancient Roman times, or even before, French toast is also known as Spanishtoast, American toast and German toast. It originated in medieval Europe, where eggs and milk were often used to soften stale bread. November 29th - Square Dance Day Grab your partner, dosey doe, swing them ‘round and don’t let go! November 30th - Personal Space Day A day that observes personal boundaries and advocates keeping your distance, this is rather apt in the current climate.

# Monthly observances include: National Novel Writing Month, National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, November (No shave month) National Gratitude Month, Native American Heritage Month and Family Literacy Month.

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: - 56 -

Brought to you by...

COMING SOON—the 4th and final edition of 2020. November’s Connection eMagazine is dedicated to winter, the holidays, new releases and some amazing blog posts.

Marketing seems to be one of those areas that every author struggles with. It’s the same struggle companies world-wide have been dealing with for decades. How do I get my product in front of my target audience? Connections eMagazine can help. The publication is free to readers, bloggers and to authors looking for a little extra exposure. Visit our website for details.

Connections eMagazine is a FREE quarterly publication founded by authors Melanie P. Smith and Rhoda D’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.

Discover more about Connections eMagazine on their website here: - 57 -

My Imagination by Stan Phillips

My mind though, is young and fresh. With new songs still to be sung. Untold poems yet to be created. New thoughts to be loosed upon the world. I shall set them free then. Watch them fly. I will sit just a little longer, See where they fall.

Stan Phillips 2020 ©

My imagination is old. Filled with sin, And cynicism. And fallible memory. Second hand words echoing down all my days. All my stories told, All my races run.

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: - 58 -

Fall in Southern Utah by Melanie P. Smith

Š MPSmith Publishing

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Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away by Jane Alice Mister Sleepy likes nothing more than a good nap. Join him on this relaxing tale and find out how all that sleep lands him his dream job. It is truly out of this world!

A perfect Bedtime Story for Ages 2 and up! Mr. Sleepy wears a sleeping cap, he has a happy smile, and he is surrounded by interesting things like clocks and a pink teddy bear, and that is just the start. Mr. Sleepy takes naps in winter, summer, spring, and fall. Yes, Mr. Sleepy loves sleeping. But when he is awake – just sometimes – he was fascinated by school. He fell in love, but he left Mrs. Sleepy – he didn’t mean to be away long, rocking on the rails made him sleepy, and he missed his stop! Mrs. Sleepy was cross, and she wanted him to stay awake for an incredibly special reason. You must read Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away by Jane Alice to find out what it was because I didn’t guess.

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Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away by Jane Alice is a picture book with a difference. It is a long, long, story with lots of words on each page, so two and threeyear-olds may find they get very sleepy too. It could take a week to find out the end. It will take Mr. Sleepy even longer to get where he is going! Beautifully illustrated, Mr. Sleepy will fascinate young children, and probably their elder siblings, and if it does, parents cannot lose out. The text is perfect for young readers; very few words are difficult, and those that are, like through and thought, are repeated, so they can be learned. Jane Alice has created a ten-star story in Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away. I loved it so much I read it three times!

Reviewed By Tiffany Ferrell for Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite

Mister Sleepy wasn't lazy, he just loved to sleep. He loved naps in the winter, fall, summer, and spring, no matter the weather. Sleeping had always been his favorite thing to do. He still liked other things besides sleeping such as school, space, and when he grew up he did things that adults do. And yet, sleep was always on his mind. During the vacation, he overslept on the train and missed his stop. His goal was to see the world's biggest bed, but instead, he found himself in a place he didn’t know, and yet he still found a place to sleep. After finding a good bench at the train station, he slept all day and night, missing his meals. After more sleep, he decided that he was well-rested and headed back home. Once again though, he missed his train. His wife picked him up and reminded him of his new job...

Filled with many funny moments, Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away by Jane Alice follows Mister Sleepy as he travels for his vacation. Even as a baby, Mister Sleepy had loved sleeping, which always made him happy. He took naps on buses, on hot afternoons, on trains, and anywhere he could squeeze in a nap. For his vacation, Mister Sleepy chose to travel by train. He reasoned the rocking motion of the train would put him right to sleep, and he was right. Soon after settling down in his seat, Mister Sleepy fell asleep. Upon waking up, he was upset to realize he had missed his station. Despite the mishap, Mister Sleepy tried to make the best out of his situation. When he got back home, Mister Sleepy had to prepare for his job, an exciting opportunity that suited him perfectly.

I thought Mister Sleepy: Sleeping the Day Away was a very adorable book that is a perfect night time read to get the kids ready for bed. I thought the main character was hilarious and yet I couldn’t help but agree with his views on sleep! Author Jane Alice has done a wonderful job of creating a unique story that children will definitely enjoy. The illustrations are gorgeous and colorful which keeps young readers' attention. They also complement the story nicely. Overall, I thought this was a fun read that children will enjoy. It’s definitely a book I would recommend.

Mister Sleepy by Jane Alice is told through lively illustrations that capture Mister Sleepy’s expressions and amusing incidences. The story is light-hearted and, as the main character, Mister Sleepy is quirky and entertaining. I also liked that story provides many engaging opportunities that young readers will love. Questions are posed, for instance, and I had to guess the answers. The final answers are unexpected and humorous. The story explores different ideas that make it exciting. It starts with a description of the main character and then narrates his vacation experiences. It concludes with Mister Sleepy’s preparation for a new, thrilling adventure. Jane Alice’s children’s book, Mister Sleepy, will make a delightful bedtime story. It contains funny scenes and an easy-going, unforgettable main character.

Jane Alice Social Media Links - 61 -

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:

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:

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.

Denise McCabe— A children's book author and blogger.

Art Director & 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 authors 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.

Copy Editor / Proofreader — Wendy H. Jones Wendy H. Jones is the award winning, international best-selling author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, Cass Claymore Investigates Mysteries, Fergus and Flora Mysteries, Bertie the Buffalo children’s books and the Writing Matters books for writers. She is also a writing and marketing coach and the President of the Scottish Association of Writers. As copy editor for Mom’s, she works hard to ensure content is appropriate and free of grammatical and spelling errors. You can learn more about Wendy on her website:

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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:

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:

Young Writer Content Editor—Poppy Flynn Poppy Flynn works hard each month to generate ideas, proofread submitted content, and provide stories, articles, poems and other pieces that are creative and relevant from young writers around the world. Get to know more about our Young Writer Content Editor on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here:

General Content Writers Our Content Writers are freelance authors who contribute articles, short stories, etc. to the eMagazine on a regular basis. They work hard to make our magazine interesting and professional. Get to know our Content Writers on Mom’s Favorite Reads website here: Val Tobin — Stan Phillips — Father Ian Muher —

Discover more amazing authors…

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