Author Archives: Miriam Hurdle

Give Thanks in All Things, Part I

Ganz "In All Things, Give Thanks" Hanging Wood Sign ~~NEW~~ | eBay

November 2021 proved to be an extraordinary month for me. My heart swells with gratefulness and joy.

Back in early October, I invited my daughter Mercy and her family to come from Portland, Oregon, to spend Thanksgiving with us in California. Her husband Will had talked to his cousin in Seattle about visiting her for Thanksgiving. They couldn’t decide because his cousin was waiting for her dad to see if he would visit her family for Thanksgiving. Each one’s decision was depending upon another person’s decision.

I wanted to book the air tickets early. The airfare was reasonable, and many seats were available in October. Thanksgiving is one of the two most travel holidays of the year. The closer it gets, the more expensive the airfare is, and the seating availability would be limited as well.

The last time my daughter came to visit was Thanksgiving 2018. Autumn was fourteen months old then. Autumn is an excellent traveler. She flew with her parents about ten times before turning two. She slept most of the way or enjoyed doing things even when we went to Hong Kong and Japan in January 2019. My younger granddaughter is twenty months old. I would like her to have the advantage of flying for free before she turns two.

At the end of October, I asked my daughter about their plan. She said they hadn’t heard from Will’s cousin. I didn’t want to rush, even though I was anxious. Then on November 1, she texted me, attaching many photos of Halloween trick-or-tricking with a message that they were coming for Thanksgiving.

I got on Alaska Air right away to look for the flight schedules. The airfares for the flights fitting their schedule had gone up to about $695 to $1095 each. The main cabin on several flights was fully booked. I could find a few flights with seats close to each other in the Premium section. I gathered the flight schedules and seating and emailed them to Mercy. After she passed on the info to Will, we video called to do the booking.

The anxiousness fell off my shoulder after I clicked “purchase” for the air tickets. On the flight coming, I got the only three seats together in one row. On the returning flight, I got two seats on one side and one seat on the other side of the aisle, but at least they were in the same row.

Mercy said they would check in two car seats and a Pak-n-Play. The car seats would be free, but they would have to pay for the Pak-n-Play. I remember the much luggage they took when we went to Hong Kong. It was when they had a sixteen-month-old Autumn. This time around, they have a toddler and a twenty-month-old. I can’t imagine traveling on the plane, taking care of the kids, carrying the luggage plus two car seats and a Pak-n-Play.

I got busy right away, calling my friend Rhonda and asking if I could borrow something from her. Rhonda has nine grandchildren from toddler to eleven-year-old. She said she had a toddler car seat, Pak-n-Play, and a stroller for me to use. I took photos of the items borrowed and texted them to Mercy. She was delighted to find out she only needed to bring one car seat.

The amazing thing was that I got a free infant car seat the next day. There are Facebook groups called Buy Nothing. It is a group where members post items they want to give away. Other members show interest in those items. The givers and receives make arrangements for pickups. I’m a member of one local group. I had posted many give-away items. When I scrolled through the posting, there was a person giving away two infant car seats. She said she was a foster mom but didn’t want to take any more infants. I showed interest in one and picked it up the next day. After I told Mercy, she was really excited that they could travel light.

Now I could get the house ready for their visit. Mercy’s bedroom is always kept in the same way as it was when she lived in the house. I just needed to fix up the other bedroom for Autumn. There is a full-size bed in the room. I was debating whether to put it away to replace it with a twin bed or not. I picked out a stackable twin bed and a mattress online and saved the online links. When Mercy lived in the house, I had a bunk bed for her, and it’s stored in the attic. Setting up the bunk bed was another option. It would be a lot of work. Nora won’t be ready to sleep in a bunk bed for many years. I may not want to have it open yet. After all the considerations, I used the existing full-size bed. It would be a little big compared to the toddler bed Autumn has in her house. I picked up a couple of large stuffed animals to make the bed comfy and cozy.

There are student activities in the attic from my teaching days. I found a set of six new puzzles, coloring books, simple board games, dominos, and large Legos. I also saved some of Mercy’s medium and small size stuffed animals. To complete the activities, I bought sets of 20 crayons, 10 washable markers, and four-color play dough. These would be enough to keep them busy.

There are boxes of books for Autumn also, but I took the age-appropriate books to her on my previous trips. I’ve been reading to her every six weeks except during the pandemic. I know the books she’s interested in. The local library is only two miles away. I checked out twenty-two books for Autumn and six books for Nora.

After getting all the things needed, I converted the family room into an activity room for the girls.

The next thing to do was to get the food. Mercy’s family is vegetarian, and Mercy is allergic to dairy products. I couldn’t buy some things too early because of the expiration dates. A few days before they arrived, I bought individual yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, non-dairy milk, and creamer for them. The day before their arrival, I cooked two dishes of veggie quiche and two packs of tofu. I wanted to reduce the cooking time and spend the maximum time with them.

All the preparation paid off. The kids felt very much at home. With no surprise, Autumn went to the books and picked out a bunch for me to read to her. Nora had fun playing with the play dough and building towers with the Legos. My husband played with Autumn one day before I got up. She finished four puzzles. After I got up, I watched her finish the other two puzzles.

When I’m around, Autumn prefers me to read bedtime books to her. Since it’s a special treat for her, she could ask me to read three to five books plus her devotional book. Even though sometimes my throat gets dry and sore from reading, I don’t want to stop. She likes me to read to her. On their returning trip, I went with them to the airport. Will drove. She wanted me to sit in the back seat with her and read to her all the way to the airport.

Reading to Nora
Reading with Autumn in the morning when I still had the bathrobe on
We went to a local park
Autumn was making a cake. Nora always wants to help.

One of my daughter’s best friends since third grade lives close by. When her friend went to college in New York, Mercy visited her. When Mercy got married, she came from New York to attend the wedding. Whenever Mercy is in town, they always get together. Mercy’s friend’s mom was an OB/GYN and their Girl Scout leader. She presented sex education in a mother-daughter meeting. I laughed so hard when she drew a big circle on an easel and a large almond shape in the middle. Having a childhood friend is precious. They are like your siblings.

On Thanksgiving Day, I cooked a yam dish and a corn dish. Will cooked a pumpkin pie and a mixed-berry pie. We got together at my husband Lynton’s brother’s home. With the six of us, we took two cars. Will drove my Acura. Lynton and I took the Hummer. The drive was surprisingly pleasant, with no trucks on the freeway. I found out later that most of the major stores, such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, and JC Penny, were closed all day, partly because they were open super early on Black Friday.

There were twenty-five people at the Thanksgiving dinner. My sister, Queenie, and her daughter were there. I hadn’t seen my sister for three years. She gave me the exciting news about her engagement a month prior. I was so happy for her. It has been eight years since her husband passed away from cancer. I jokingly offered Autumn and Nora to be her flower girls.

They love each other
Autumn didn’t want to look at the phone camera. She had enough photos of the day

Several days zipped by in a flash. We all had a wonderful time together. Now, I’m looking forward to Christmas.

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Day 9 of The HYPE Blog Tour @YvetteMCalleiro #Hype #NewRelease #BookPromo #YAFiction 

I’m so thrilled to have my friend Yvette on my blog today. She is here to celebrate her new release The Hype. Please join me to welcome Yvette and learn more about her new book.

GIVEAWAY:  3 e-book copies of HYPE! Leave a comment below for your chance to win! 

Before introducing The Hype, Yvette would like to share with you about Critique Groups.

Critique Groups

A writer’s life can feel very isolated, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, a writer writes the story alone, but there are so many steps between the birth of the idea and the published novel. Today, I’d like to share with you the value of critique groups. (Did I hear a few of you groan?)

Many people shy away from critique groups because they don’t want to listen to someone trash the sleepless nights, moments of writer’s block, and hours of typing they invested into the black ink on the page, but one cannot improve his/her craft without having someone scrutinize it. A critique group is so much more than people finding what is wrong with your writing. In fact, my experience has been quite the opposite.

I have been blessed to have two incredible authors join me in a critique group, Patty Perrin and D.L. Finn. We each share one or two chapters with the group and then spend a couple of weeks reading it and sending suggestions on ways to improve the story. That’s right! We don’t trash one another’s work. What’s the point in that? We find typos and grammar errors. We question character behavior and motives. We suggest ways to flush out the imagery or action. It’s about professionalism and passion for writing and reading.

Then, we meet via Zoom and review the notes that were sent to us. I look forward to each and every one of these sessions. We laugh about silly errors (like when we write that a character has his head in his hands, making it seem that his head is detached from his neck). We get into deep conversations about plot lines and ways to deepen the story. We share our frustrations with our writing and give one another suggestions to get through it. And somewhere throughout the conversations, we spark new ideas and reinvigorate our love for writing.

Here is a scene that went through a significant rewrite after my critique group shared that they weren’t sure what I meant by “play chicken.” I thought everyone knew of the chicken pool game, but after our session, I realized I needed to bring the scene to life. The original version looked like this:

We have a great time laughing and sharing our New Year’s resolutions which none of us will probably be able to keep. We attempt to play chicken, but Dee is fierce and wins hands down each time.

After the conversation with my critique group, the scene changed to this:

We attempt to play chicken. Dee sits on Sam’s shoulders, and Roxy settles herself on Gio’s shoulders. Team Dee/Sam and team Roxy/Gio position themselves in the pool’s mid-section. Sam and Gio do their best to keep their balance as Dee and Roxy try to push or pull the other off her partner’s shoulders. The guys hold onto the girls’ legs to try to give them extra balance. Ryan and I observe them try to get the upper hand for our battle.

I lean over to whisper in his ear. “Sam is slowly pushing Gio into the deep end. Look.”

Ryan chuckles. “Sneaky trick. I won’t fall for it.”

Dee gives Roxy a side push, and Gio loses his balance. Roxy shrieks as she realizes she’s going down. Dee thrusts her hands up in the air in triumph. I laugh and climb atop Ryan’s shoulders.

“Don’t get all cocky just yet. You still have to beat me.”

She cocks her head to the side and smirks. “Bring it, girl.”

Roxy and Gio sit on the small underwater bench in the pool’s deep end to witness as I get my butt handed to me. I can talk the talk, but Dee’s a beast at this game. She knows my weakness – tickling. Ryan does his best to keep us on the shallower side to control my jerks away from her tickling attempts, but it’s no use. I can’t stop laughing, even without being tickled. I get a lucky break when Gio’s foot slips, but he regains his balance before I have enough momentum to bring Dee down.

Dee feigns being tired, and I fall for it. I lunge forward to push her to the side. She grabs my wrist, pulls me in, and begins tickling me. I’m done for. She easily pulls me toward her, which pushes Ryan off balance and we both tumble into the water. Dee takes a bow from atop Sam’s shoulders, and we all clap and hail the reigning champion.

This is the value of a critique group. Through their questions and suggestions, it opens writers to view their work in a new light. It provides the writer the opportunity to grow and flourish as a writer. And it brings a more polished, more enjoyable read to the reader.

I’m sure you are familiar with the saying: it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a support system to birth a novel. I am blessed to be surrounded by supportive authors who are willing to lend a hand, whether it is as part of my critique group, as a beta reader, or as a host during a blog tour. So, when you pick up a well-written book to read, know that a lot of time and care has gone into bringing you a pleasurable read.

Blurb

Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.

When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.

Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.

Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.

Available on Amazon and Smashwords

Author Bio:

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Amazon Links:

Hype – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L7BFNXG

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I4L2Q40

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R0QI51I

The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0191O1892

The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 4) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NBKJHIO

The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 5) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0781WT73J

The One Chosen – A Diasodz Short Story – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0986Q6P1D

Breathless – A Short Story – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BLVDHQX

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Yvette-M-Calleiro/e/B00I4RJMUU

Social Media Links:

Author Blog: http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YvetteMCalleiro

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvettemcalleiro

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7800735.Yvette_M_Calleiro

To follow along with the rest of the Hype tour, please visit the author’s blog. Thanks for supporting Yvette M Calleiro and her work!

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Veterans Day – Honoring All Who Serves

America United States Flag Militarypatriotic Symbolizing Stock Photo -  Download Image Now - iStock

Remembering Colin Powell

Colin L. Powell's Thirteen Rules of Leadership - United States Department  of State

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Cairo on May 12, 2003. Powell was on the second leg of a Middle East tour to seek support for a new international peace plan. He met with President Mubarak and Foreign Minister Maher.

Even though Powell was in Cairo for one day, he took time to visit the military’s families. My brother-in-law, Ming Leung, was a Naval engineer stationed in Cairo for five years. He and my sister, Queenie, and the two girls were there in 2003 during Powell’s visit. Powell had a photo taken with them. My heart was touched by Powell’s care about the military’s families.

Ming returned to the US after his service in Cairo. He resumed his duty at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, California. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2006 and passed away in 2007 at 51 years old.

Ming Leung, Tifanny, Colin Powell, Quennie Leung, and Jojo, in Cairo, Egypt 2003
Queenie and Ming Leung in Cairo, Egypt

My brother-in-law Kevin Hurdle (my husband, Lynton’s brother) served as a reserved special force in the Army. He was stationed in Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In 2005, he was on the reconstruction team in Iraq, helping the local officials to reestablish their government. Kevin returned to the US after his term was over. We were shocked and saddened to find out the officer who replaced him was killed after five days on duty.

Kevin Hurdle (left) in Iraq, 2005
Kevin Hurdle (second from the right, sitting) in Iraq, 2005

Kevin is retired and enjoys traveling with his wife on cruises. Viking is their favorite cruise line.

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National Gratitude Month – November

November is National Gratitude Month – Royal Threads by Erica

Yvette M. Calleiro reminds me of a Calm calendar for November. You can download it if you’re interested.

National Gratitude Month is celebrated every November. It was declared the month of gratitude in 2015 after author Stacey Grewal advocated for it.

“Gratitude is an essential ingredient of a happy, fulfilling life,” said Grewal, who wrote the book Gratitude and Goals. “Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing. This challenge is a great opportunity to see if you can improve your life by getting more in touch with gratitude.” Grewal pointed out that, on average, grateful people tend to be happier, healthier; more physically fit, have a higher income and have much more satisfying personal and professional relationships. – PR Newswire

“Gratitude – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” – Oxford Dictionary

Free Thankful Printable | Thanksgiving quotes inspirational, Thanksgiving  quotes, Happy thanksgiving quotes

I will take time to relax, reflect on things I’m thankful for this year, write, and be with my extended family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

I will focus on expressing gratitude in many ways :

1. Write a daily gratitude journal (could be brief)

2. Wake up filling my mind and my heart with thankfulness

3. Be grateful for health (good or not so good) and being alive

4. Be intentional to show appreciation to family members, friends, and people around me.

5. Stop and be thankful for the safe environment

6. Appreciate the natural beauty around me

7. Be generous in giving in a tangible way

What would you add to this list? I would like to hear it.

This means my blogging time will be reduced. I have two posts later in the month. Other than that, I’ll resume posting in December, in time to celebrate Christmas.

Pin by Alyssa McCool on Thanksgiving Joy | Thanksgiving quotes, Thankful  quotes, Happy thanksgiving quotes
Editor's Note: Living Grateful and Thankful – Wisconsin Conference of  Seventh-day Adventists

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – April Children’s Book Reviews @BookTrib by Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Sally’s Smorgasbord Magazine. She featured my post from the archives. I became a member of the BookTrib Children’s Book Network beginning this year. Each month they send me a “Booster Box” with several books to read, review, and share on social media. They have books for toddlers to YA books for teenagers. People can sign up for their preferences. You don’t have to review all the books they send you. I didn’t post reviews for several months, but they continued to send me hardcover books. Anyone can sign up. Hop over to read about it.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 – details of how you can participate are at the end of the post.

This is the second post from children’s author and poet Miriam Hurdle and was published in April 2021 and is a bumper collection of reviews for children’s books.

April Children’s Book Reviews @BookTrib

I became a member of the BookTrib Children’s Book Network beginning this year. Each month the members receive a “Booster…

View original post 1,045 more words

Free Book Promotion Link

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude by [Miriam Hurdle]

Dear friends,

I’m celebrating the 3rd anniversary of publishing my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude.

The free download is for October 29, 12:01 a.m. to October 30, 11:59 p.m. PDT.

It has been my pleasure meeting many new authors and bloggers during the last three years. I would like for you to have the eBook version of my poetry book.

Hope you’ll enjoy this poetry collection illustrated with my photography and watercolor paintings.

Click Buy on Amazon Link:

~ ~ ~

Trailer created by Diana D. Wallace

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Weekly Poetry Challenge – Kindness Repeats

It’s the fourth week of the month! Harmony Kent from last month’s challenge picked the theme for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. This month’s theme is Kindness.

I chose the Alouette poetry form for this poem.

The Alouette, created by Jan Turner, consists of two or more stanzas of 6 lines each, (12 lines or more) with the following set rules: Syllabic: 5/5/7/5/5/7, Rhyme Scheme:  aabccb.

The form name is a French word meaning ‘skylark’ or larks that fly high, the association to the lark’s song being appropriate for the musical quality of this form.  The word ‘alouette’ can also mean a children’s song (usually sung in a group), and although this poetry form is not necessarily for children’s poetry (but can be applied that way), it is reminiscent of that style of short lines.  

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Kindness Repeats

Life has ups and downs

Friends will stay around

While outlook bright on good days

Who knows what’s ahead? 

When you’re half dead

Promising scenes fade away

The kindness of heart

Brought you a fresh start

Real friends hard to be found

Only wisdom knows

What tomorrow holds

What goes around comes around

One’s fate made a turn

Stumbled, fell, and churned

Drowning into ocean’s deep

You’re right around

Sensed cries without sounds

Graciously kindness repeats

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Weekly Poetry Challenge – Kindness Repeats

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Book Tour – Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Chair

It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Mae Clair. She has a very special new book. She is here to tell you about it.

Please help me welcome Mae and be sure to comment on what you think about her book.

Hi, Miriam. Thanks for hosting me today and allowing me to share my newest release with your readers. Things Old and Forgotten is a collection of short fiction that includes stories in several genres—magical realism, fantasy, speculative, even two that touch on mild horror.

When I’m writing, I often visualize in colors. My father was an artist, and although he would not consider white a color (technically, it’s a shade) it has long mesmerized me. It speaks to the ethereal, visionary, and the otherworldly. The color white floats—a wisp of the insubstantial we can never quite touch, like an echo weaving future and past.

I had all those elements in mind when I wrote Desert White which—among other strangeness—includes a white dog. When I was eight years old, I wrote my first short story, The Night Dog, about a spectral canine. It took me decades to pen another about a white canine. Below is a short excerpt taken from the beginning of Desert White.

mockup2

EXCERPT:

“His name is White.” The gravelly tone of the old man’s voice matched his lined and weather-beaten skin.

“It’s fitting.” Micah eyed the dog from his seat at the kitchen table. If not for the German shepherd’s dark eyes, he would have thought the animal was an albino. White had sniffed around his mutilated wrists in the desert, nudging him with a cold nose. Now, curled up on the floor of Floyd Henley’s trailer, the canine didn’t seem the ghostly presence it had under a pale moon. Even so, he wished it wouldn’t lie so close. Large dogs made him nervous.

The shepherd was the last of his worries.

Earlier, he’d caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror above Floyd’s bathroom sink while the old man fussed over his wounds. When he’d driven into the desert that evening, his hair had been ink-black. Now, it was the same spectral white as Floyd’s dog.

I must be dreaming – still.

“Drink this.” Floyd thrust a cup of foul-smelling liquid into his hands. The concoction looked like yellow mud threaded with licorice.

“What is it?”

“Healthy. That’s all you need to know.” Floyd hobbled a short distance away, pausing by the rear door to snatch a plaid jacket from a peg. When he returned, he dropped the frayed garment over Micah’s shoulders. It reeked of must and stale pipe tobacco, but the fabric was warm.

Grateful, he gathered it close. He hadn’t been able to stop shivering since his brush with death. “Thanks.”

Floyd nodded to the cup in his hands. “Drink.”

He forced down a mouthful of the tonic. Tasted bitterness in steeped tea leaves, caraway, and something citrusy. “What were you doing in the desert?”

“I could ask you the same, but no need.” Floyd busied himself filling a basin with water. A crisp yellow towel hung from his shoulder. “We both know what drew you there.”

Shame heated Micah’s face. Tightening his hand around his cup, he studied the dried blood beneath his fingernails. The ugly rust-colored blots on his jeans.

I should have bled to death. Would have, if not for the old man and his dog.

He forced another swallow of the abominable brew, taking perverse pleasure in the way it curdled his gut. At least he was alive to feel the acid.

Floyd drew a chair close then set his basin on the linoleum-topped table. Pale green with chrome edges, the surface had a repetitive design that reminded Micah of boomerangs. How long would it take to count all those angled wedges flying into infinity? Long enough for the blood to drain from his body after slicing his wrists?

The old man had already lined up fresh bandages and gauze pads, well stocked for a recluse who lived in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he had no choice, holed up in the run-down trailer like a hermit. As far as Micah could tell, there wasn’t another soul for miles. Damn fortuitous he and the dog had been there.


BOOK BLURB:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.

My Review

Ms. Mae Clair showed her talents of multi-genre writing in her newest book, Things Old and Forgotten. The crafting of words, the colorful, and vivid depictions were delightful. I read this book slowly. It was like trying not to swallow too fast to indulge the tongue in the sensation and richness of the texture and taste of the delicacy.

When someone’s loved one died, we’re short of comforting words to say. In Remembering Sadie, Ben did something amazing for Gordon after his wife died. He made Gordon feel Sadie never left him. I’m touched by Ben’s word – “She never left you, Gordon.”

There are treasures that remind us of our ancestors. In Yesteryear Treasures, Charlene found a clock in an antique shop. She remembered her great-grandmother had a clock like this. This story spun off to a spooky ending yet showed what the power of memory could do to our present emotions.

This folklore Kin-Slayer tells a story of the sea monster demanding the sacrifice of three virgins in five seasons. The village chose five virgins for its selection. The two virgins not picked for five seasons could be free. When E’ana was chosen, Atalayah tried all the tricks to save her sister. I held my breath for the twist of turn of the tale. Don’t we make irreversible mistakes sometimes that we may feel sorry in life?

Driven by guilt, Micah in Desert White slit his wrist. He was sure he would have bled to death in the middle of the desert. Floyd, an old man wearing white hair with a white dog beside him, attended to his wound. There was a purpose in the magical healing – Redemption.

Angie in Yellow Bird agreed to vacation in a treehouse with Joel. She complained most of the time along the hike. Her fondness for the treehouse grew within five short days because of the yellow bird. The fairytale-like ending made me want to hug her.

Robin Huntington, in this 2056 futuristic Robin Hood, pursued a mission. He pretended to be interested in a fletcher position in Nottingham. His intention was not trusted since he was a son of a nobleman. I was hooting for his success.

The seventy-seven years old Ms. Lily released a genie from a glass jar. I was afraid she would have wasted all three wishes. Wow, she was clever. It gave me a cheerful chuckle. As a painter, I appreciated Ms. Clair’s description in the genie story in all the invented shades of colors.

There are about half of the stories I highlighted. But I appreciated all the stories. I would read this book again to enjoy the richness of the writing. Lovers of myth and legend, fantasy and magic would enjoy this book.

Ratings: 

Amazon Goodreads

8

Thanks again for hosting me today, Miriam. In honor of my love for autumn—a fantastic time to curl up with a book—Things Old and Forgotten will be on sale for .99c through October 31st.

https://www.amazon.com/Things-Old-Forgotten-Mae-Clair-ebook/dp/B09HP4Q6QC

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Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Potluck – #ChineseNewYear by Miriam Hurdle

I’m with Sally at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine today. Sally features my post about the legend and traditions of Chinese New Year. I learned a lot by preparing this post. It brought back many childhood memories. Please head over to visit Sally and her rich features on her blog.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 – details of how you can participate are at the end of the post.

This is the first post from children’s author and poet Miriam Hurdle and was published in February 2021 and is a celebration of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year – Memories, Calendar, Legend, and Traditions

Chinese New Year begins on Friday, February 12, 2021. It is the year of Ox. The holiday was…

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SoCS – If I Had a Bigger Garden

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “if.” Linda invited us to start our post with the word “If.”

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If I had a bigger garden, I would plant more fruit trees and vegetables.

I have a good size garden and am grateful for all the flowers in my garden. My picture folder showed my garden was barren in 2003. I planted the flowers and trees a few at a time for the last eighteen years. I set a mental budget for gardening and didn’t spend too much money each year. Probably I spent the most this summer when I replaced many annual to perennial flowers.

Flowers in My Garden

I also tried to see what grows well in my garden. Some part of my garden gets full sun all day, while other part gets either the morning sun or evening sun. After we planted the Cypress trees in the backyard, they block the sun in the winter as the earth tilted.

Another factor about gardening is the soil and watering system. Hubby is in charge of the sprinkler system. He also takes care of the lawn while I take care of the flowers. He installed the sprinklers according to the needs of the lawn. As a result, some flowers get too much water, and some don’t get enough water. Well, I have to improvise and make change now and then. I don’t mind doing that. What I did was to plant the flowers that need more water in the areas that have more sprinkler heads and planted the flowers that don’t need so much water in the areas further from the sprinkler heads. Of course, I could ask him to add sprinkler heads in some areas.

I started with one patch of Lily of the Nile (African Lily). African lily can withstand drought because of its large, fleshy roots. Roots spread and fresh shoots grow. I transplant them on several spots and the sixty feet wide slopes in the back yard behind the retaining wall, spaced them every eight feet in eight patches. The photo below is in the front yard.

Lily of the Nile (African Lily)

When we renovated the front yard, I bought ten rose bushes, and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Then I felt in love with the white iceberg roses and bought ten bushes.

Throughout the years, I planted different flowers. As mentioned above, I experimented with the kinds that do well in my garden. The flowers above and below included in this post are what I currently have.

Year-round: Geranium, Hibiscus, Pentas, Periwinkle (Vinca) Lantana, and Snapdragon

Spring: Freesia (yellow and purple) and Clover

Summer: Daylily and Sunflower

Winter: Cyclamen and Camelia

I have planted the bulbs for Daffodil and Iris, hope to see the flowers next year.

Fruit Trees

So far, I have two plum trees, one apple tree, and one orange tree. We hope to plant a dwarf lemon tree, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are invasive, so I need more planning before planting them.

Vegetables

I planted kale, orange and green bell pepper, and squash. They are not ready to harvest yet. I love to grow more vegetables if I had a bigger garden.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

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SoCS – If I had a Bigger Garden

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