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Remembering John Lennon, with Bonus Track

Today is the 37th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. I thought it would be appropriate to re-share last year’s blog. Thanks. Sharon E. Cathcart Photo by Jack Mitchell, via Wikimedia Commons.  Licensed for non-commercial use. There are certain moments in our lives that stand out keenly in our memories.  For me, one of those was learning that John Lennon had been murdered.  I was a high school senior, performing in “Fiddler on the Roof.”  I had a quick-change to do in the wings, because I was not only a villager but also Grandma Tzeitel.  I was in the middle of it when my best friend came in from the wings; she had ushered for the show and had gone home because it was snowing … but turned ar...
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Blogmas Bonus Track: Blue Christmas

To round out the week’s Million Dollar Quartet theme, here’s Elvis Presley performing “Blue Christmas” live on the 1968 “comeback special.”  Enjoy!   Original link

Weekend Reads: Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Let Darkness Bury the Dead (Murdoch Mysteries)
Let Darkness Bury the Dead by Maureen Jennings My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s been a decade since the last William Murdoch mystery was published, and this return to the series is first-rate. Author Maureen Jennings brings us into the year 1917. Murdoch is widowed, now a senior detective at downtown’s police headquarters, and his son returning from World War I. Young Jack is only 20, and dealing with demons of his own. I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t fond of Amy, the woman Murdoch married in the previous book. So, I wasn’t disappointed at him being widowed. He is also feeling the stirrings of middle age interest in a woman named Madge Curnoe, who seems far better suited to both his temperament a...
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High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center: Meet Amazing Melissa

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on an incredible riding center called High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Are you familiar with therapeutic riding? Did you know riding helps children and adults with numerous disabilities such as; autism, cerebral palsy, and even blindness. I’d like to introduce you to a young lady who rode at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center for many years. She’s totally blind. Isn’t that incredible? I watched the video about Melissa’s experiences at High Hopes Farm. Her beautiful position, and skills will amaze you. In the video, Melissa explains she began riding at “About four-years-old.” She states riding appealed most to her because of the”Fr...
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Steamy Romantic Suspense GRAY'S PROMISE by Anni Fife

GRAY'S PROMISE A King Security Novel, Book 2 by Anni Fife Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Zoey Morgan seems to have it all as a successful surgeon in Boston. However, perfection lies only on the surface. Plagued by nightmares and amnesia from a tragedy that ripped her family from her fourteen years ago, she finds the courage to reach out to the only man who can make her feel safe. She’s buried the memory of their love, but her heart—and her body—responds to the ex-marine in ways that are all too familiar. Grayson “Gray” Walker’s heart shattered when Zoey chose another man over him. Since then, he’s built an impenetrable wall around his emotions. But from the mo...
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Special Guest Interview with Author Tracey Warr

New on  Amazon UK  and  Amazon US 1107. Henry I finally reigns over England, Normandy and Wales, but his rule is far from secure. He faces a series of treacherous assassination attempts, and rebellion in Normandy is scuppering his plans to secure a marriage for his son and heir. With the King torn between his kingdoms, and Nest settled with her Norman husband, can she evade Henry’s notice or will she fall under his control once more? As her brother Gruffudd garners support in an effort to reclaim his kingdom, Nest finds she cannot escape the pull of her Welsh heritage. While the dissent grows and a secret passion is revealed, the future of Nest and her Norman sons is placed in dire peril. In...
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The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways – Day 4

Visit the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways blog to win great prizes including eBooks, gift card, swag, and more! Today’s featured giveaway is a $10 Amazon Gift Card from Kyra Jacobs. Our grand prize giveaway is a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Visit each day for more chances to win! Original link

Wrapping my arms real soft, around me around him

“What matters is only what’s here. I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one’s curled, and where he kicks, ‘cause he has to. Like, he don’t feel so cosy no more. Here, can you feel it? I reckon he wants me to talk to him. He can hear me inside, for sure. He can hear every note of this silvery music.   It ripples all around him, wave after wave. I can tell that it’s starting to sooth him. It’s so full of joy, of delight, even if to him, it’s coming across somewhat muffled. Like a dream in a dream, it’s floating inside, into his soft, tender ear.   I close my eyes and hold myself, wrapping my arms real soft—around me around him—and I rock ever so gently, back and fo...
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Review: Christmas Stalking Selena Kitt 5

Christmas Stalking
Christmas Stalking by Selena Kitt My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. I always enjoy reading Selena Kitt's books, and this was no exception. From the beginning I was engaged, wondering what had happened to this broken young woman, and her ultimate fear, and paranoia of others,especially those dressed in blue. As the storyline progressed, I learned a lot more about Ginny, her sister Maggie, and Maggie's children, along with Brody the stepfather , as a new character is introduced. The plot carried through with suspense, entanglement, fear , excitement, and more as Ginny faces true evil, leaving us with a perfect amount of bliss , and...
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Therapy horses: Healing powers

Deanie and Do All picture from “My Life at Sweetbrier” You may have heard about therapy dogs, but what about therapy horses?   Do you know what their job is? They help children to have fun and experience the thrills of riding.  Not only that, but riding horses improves their motor skills and muscle strength. Today I read about a brother and sister who ride at an equine therapy center. Their parents remarked about how much riding has helped their children. In fact, their son is in a wheelchair, but he loves riding horses. It has built his confidence and self-esteem while he’s having fun relating to his horse. If you have a child with a disability, it’s a great idea to support a therapeutic ri...
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The Singing Mummies

singing mummies
Fiendish Yen Sin! I should have thought about Singing Mummies in AMARNA! Original link

Do You Balance Honesty with Negativity?

  While honesty is always the preferred route, a negative attitude will drive people away. It is possible to deliver a less than enthusiastic opinion with a positive outlook. The difference is the invitation to discuss the matter openly rather than dismissing the topic in its entirety. My Story Diplomacy takes practice; perhaps years of trial and error. In the end, the due diligence becomes well-worthwhile. The best example is that of attempting to have a conversation with Karla. Whatever the subject matter, she tore the thought down. Her negativity was methodically followed by idle chatter. There was little opportunity for me to provide input. After ending the seemingly very long monologue,...
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Holiday Gifts – For YOU!

I have the warmest memories of Christmas at my grandparent’s home in San Jose, California (if you’re LDS, imagine Christmas in the temple—with lots of goodies!). My Grandfather would gather us and read the Christmas story in Luke 2. We would sing, play games, and exchange gifts. My favorite treat was the rocky road candy my grandmother made with marshmallows and nuts covered in chocolate. This year, I’m participating in a Christmas Giveaway Dec. 11th – 18th. You can visit a selection of super authors, download their FREE ebooks, and enter to win a $60 Amazon gift card. You can even enter if you are in the UK! I am offering two free ebooks (pick one): Anna’s Prayer and Muffy & Valor: A Tr...
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Hope & Glory, Analytical Engineer

analytical engineer_matite
Work on the basic handbook for Hope & Glory has accelerated as the end of the year approaches, and I receive daily sketches that will become interior illustrations. So, why not share? This one, for instance, is called Analytical Engineer, and is the work of the excellent Alberto Bontempi. In the world of Hope & Glory, analytical engines based on Charles Babbage’s designs are commonplace, and drive the march of progress. Original link

Getting personal with Josh Schlossberg

Josh Schlossberg Is a new friend for me so we are learning about him together. He plays guitar, has a great sense of humor and is very friendly. He is also an investigative journalist. If you go to his Facebook page you will see some the art that inspires him to write the dark horror stories and poems that you will love. If you don’t know him or haven’t read his stories then please make sure you change this quickly. Please help me welcome Josh Schlossberg to Roadie Notes………….   1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story? In my teenage years, I wrote a lot of depressing poetry, mostly about pining after sexy elves and smothering to death under snow banks. I only got semi-seriou...
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George Mayes’ Autobiographical Novel

Recently I’ve been reading novels by newer, largely unknown indie writers. By way of helping them along, I’ll be introducing some of them here. These authors are up-and-coming, at varying stages in their development as writers. They may not all have the polish of traditionally published authors, but I think they all have potential and deserve encouragement. Pen, Please is an intense coming-of-age novel set in Oklahoma. We meet protagonist Andre Young at age sixteen when he returns home from a summer leadership program in Texas to find his father hospitalized with a blood clot in his lung. The first of many trials Andre faces in the novel, it’s far from the first in his life. Through flashbac...
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Naughty or Nice Audiobook Giveaway!

It’s the holiday season, and I’m giving away FREE AUDIOBOOKS! But like Santa, I’m basing your present on whether you’ve been naughty or nice.   How do you play? Simple! If you think you should get the “nice” prize (an audiobook of Winter Oranges), post something nice in the comments. If you think you need the “naughty” prize (audiobook of One Man’s Trash), post something naughty. There are, however, a few RULES: NICE: I’m looking for stories that give us the warm fuzzies. I w ant things that help restore our faith in humanity. People being nice to other people, or to animals, or… whatever. These don’t have to be personal stories (although they can be). You don’t have to tell the whole story ...
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Silent Song coming to life by Jaci Wheeler

A guest post by Jaci Wheeler , author of Silent Song, giving us an insight into deafness. Well worth the read even if you’re not into YA books. Many authors I know pull from events or people from their own lives for inspiration or storyline. I’ve never been that way personally. I’m an extremely private person by nature, so it’s very unusual for me to use any of myself in my books. That is actually my favorite thing about writing, I’m able to fully create worlds and people out of thin air. It allows you to become whoever you want for the moment. I usually create a main character who is nothing like me because it allows me to be and do all the things I’ve always wanted to. I’ve had a very even...
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Our dark winters feed the soul

My daily walk in a vast open field with nothing but the sky for company. This is what I see morning and night while our winter has forced the sun into hiding. The short, dark days where our eyes are dazzled by the faintest ray of sunlight, are the perfect time to commune with our inner being- that true self which is concealed beneath the façade we present to the world. I LOVE my solitary walks where I can distinguish the crows, finches and wrens from the sparrows in the dark as they rustle branches on their return to roost. I feel safe despite being alone or perhaps my age means that I am prepared for anything. A lack of fear is not courage but a knowledge that the universe is more in contro...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

Spirit animals: Eagle

Aren’t eagles beautiful?  As the symbol of my country, I wondered what the animal means to those of us who have an attachment.  The eagle is another one of my son’s spirit animals.  So, as we delve into this study, be sure to note the reference section for proper crediting. When the eagle arrives in your life it is time to find courage and to really reach for the stars.  Don’t accept the words, “It can’t be done.”  Defy them.  this symbolic totem tells you to believe in yourself, and try to see things from a brand new perspective.  However, the eagle also tells us to be patient with what is happening in our lives right now.  It can reassure us that although the current situation is hard, wha...
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