Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Favorite Season Is Fall


I love fall for so many reasons, but most of all because of the colors.  Red, yellow,  orange, wine and greens are just gorgeous mixed together in the trees and on ground bushes.  Their beauty is wonderful to see. 

It's fantastic to ride the trails on horseback, or on the road by car, truck and motorcycle while enjoying the sight of the fall colors around you.  The air is brisk and to me it's energizing.  Even a nice long walk along the river can be invigorating, and a enjoyable way to get your exercise.  Wink!

The anticipation of hot apple cider, hay rides, cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over bon fires is high for  kids and adults.  Going to pumpkin patches to pick out pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving is a thrilling treat for everyone.

Pumpkin Patch in Weston, Missouri

The Ozarks
Just to give you an idea of how beautiful it is here in Missouri in the fall look at the photos below.  Even the photos don't do the season justice.
Along the Missouri River


Park College in Parkville, MO
 
The only drawbacks to fall is the ragweed and the coming of winter.  I don't even mind the coming of winter because all seasons are beautiful, and as long as I can stay inside when it's freezing out I can still enjoy the beauty.

Now you know my favorite season, what is yours?

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sandy-marshall/1a/851/a04
U-Tube - - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jvpp21_WME
and http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=e684nldayz0
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Authors Who Make Mistakes Always Get Caught

Hi Everyone,

When writing a story even though it's fiction you need to be accurate.  In my short story, All Bets Are Off, I made a mistake. This is the first time I made a serious mistake and was caught.  It could be I've made others, and I didn't get caught.  I hope not. 

One thing I noticed is that the person who reviewed All Bets Are Off talks about the story as if she read it in print, but she really listened to an audio copy. 

This review was not horrible, but it was embarrassing.  After all I'm seventy years old and I should know my anatomy, but I failed and was told about it in a public review.  The below review is only a partial. 

The set up was good, the story OK. Contemporary romance isn’t my favorite genre, but because of the addiction angle I wanted to give it a try. Then there is the sex. I enjoy sex scenes in my stories and this book has 2 such scenes. The first is the better of the two. I was thoroughly getting into it but then the man stuck his tongue in her uterus. Yep. Uterus. Briefly, I hoped the story was going to take on some mutant scifi elements, but alas, it did not. To get to the uterus, you have to travel the entire vaginal canal and then get past the cervix. The cervix doesn’t let just any old object enter the uterus, being perhaps 1/8 inch opening nearly all the time (common exception is when a baby is headed out). So either the man had a very long and narrow tongue, or the woman had some mutant uterus that sat in the vaginal canal with the wide open cervix. Anyway, here is the Wikipedia article - and yes, it is safe for work. So I was totally into this sex scene – there was heat between the characters, great descriptors, etc. and then he sticks his tongue in her uterus. I giggled, totally taken out of the moment. At best, this is a big typo. At worst, the author is not well informed on the female genitals/reproductive organs. But, other than this one typo (I will be generous in my thoughts), the story flowed smoothly and was fun. 

If you would like to read more go to this URL: 
http://dabofdarkness.com/2014/09/15/all-bets-are-off-by-sandra-k-marshall/

Many authors get ridiculed and torn apart for mistakes they make in their stories, so most of us work very hard to try to be accurate.  This means we do our research.  Unfortunately, I didn't this time.  The reviewer was honest about All Bets Are Off not being her usual genre. 

You can bet, I will do my research in the future. 

Have a great week and I'll see you again next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com

 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Where Were You On 9-11-2001?


Twin Towers
On 9-11-2001, I was listening to CNN news at home when the breaking news came on about the first tower being hit.  I was stunned and sat in shock watching the plane hit the tower.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  It seemed so unreal, and I just sat there and stared at the television.  I felt like I was in a stupor. Finally, I ran into the bedroom where my husband was watching television and told him to watch the news. 

I went back to my television on the big screen and kept watching; still shocked. Then, a short time later, I saw the second tower hit.  It finally hit me when the towers came down; this is really happening.  A short while later, there was news of the pentagon being hit, and then a plane in rural Pennsylvania was prevented from reaching its' destination by heroic passengers and crew members.

Pentagon

Flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania
As I sat and watched these events I was so sad and full of disbelief.  How could anyone hate so much?  What is wrong?  We try to help so many and look what it gets us.  I couldn't take my eyes off the television all and for several days after.


By the third day, I was becoming angry.  I paced up and down in front of the TV ranting and marched into the bedroom to rant some more to my husband.  I was so pissed that this had happened in our country.  I wanted to reciprocate what they did to us even though it doesn't make sense to lower ourselves to their level.  Yes, I was that mad. 

Today, I'm still angry, especially, as I see Americans being beheaded by these fanatics.  Religious wars go thousands of years back, and they have always been barbaric.  I hope we can get through this period in history and still retain our humanity.

Here are a couple of sites to visit if you want to know more about 9/11.  http://time.com/3304315/september-11-articles/ and http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

Leave me a comment about how you heard the news of 9/11 and how it made you feel.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.google.com/+SandraKMarshall
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Hello Everyone,

How many of you watched Stand Up 2 Cancer on television Friday night?  I bet many of you saw it because it was on nearly every channel.  Some of you missed it because of all the sports activities revving up for the fall season.

 
Stand Up 2 Cancer is an organization raising money for research to eradicate all kinds of cancer.  Their research does not just take place in this country, but around the world.  The countries involved in Stand Up 2 Cancer Friday night were the United States, Canada, Great Britain and The Netherlands. 

Anyone who would like to donate to research can go to https://www.standup2cancer.org/ and for Canada residents go to https//www.standup2cancer.ca/. 

All of us have been touched by cancer in some way by either family or friends.  My mother died of ovarian cancer April 4, 1998.  It was a day I'll never forget.  Other members of my family have died of other types of cancer as well.  This month is ovarian cancer month, so lets figure out how to stop cancer.

To learn more about cancer go to the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org/.

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
http://www.skaymarshall.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Redeeming The Billionaire by Christina Tetreault

Hello Everyone,

Welcome my friend and author, Christina Tetreault today.   She has a new release coming up in September.
 

Author Bio:

I started writing at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When I am not driving my 3 daughters (ages 7, 5, and 5) around to their various activities or chasing around our two dogs, I am working on a story or reading a romance novel. I just finished Redeeming The Billionaire book 5 in the Sherbrookes of Newport series, and I have started book 2 in my new series Love On The North Shore. You can visit my website www.christinatetreault.com or follow me on Facebook to learn more about my characters and to track my progress on my current writing projects.

 
Author Links:



Twitter: @cgricci

 
Sexy!

Blurb:

Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now.  Intent on making his way into the United States Senate, Trent hires campaign advisor Marty Phillips. A ruthless force in politics he’ll stop at nothing to get his candidate elected.

After a chance encounter throws local small business owner Addison Raimono in Trent’s path, Marty believes he’s found Trent’s ticket into Washington.

Ignoring his conscience that insists he leave Addison alone, Trent sets out to win her over. Soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?

Link to book trailer:



Available everywhere in September

Excerpt:

Marty folded up the sleeves of his shirt. “It’s all a matter of importance. The who doesn’t matter. The wonderful opportunity it presents does. Now, I need to know everything. How did you meet her? How long have you known her? Have you slept with her yet?”

Trent pinched the bridge of his nose. Christ, couldn’t he have a cup of coffee with a woman without someone assuming he’d slept with her? “I met her just before we met last week. I bumped into her on the sidewalk and spilled coffee on her. When this picture was taken I had stopped in the bakery and when I saw her again I said hello. We talked for a few minutes before she left.”

As Marty chewed he jotted notes down on a legal pad. “That’s it? You didn’t ask her out to dinner? Get her phone number?”

Did the man think he asked out every attractive female he met? “More or less.”

Marty looked up at him. “More or less, I need to know everything. And when I say everything, I mean it.”

“I told her I wanted this office redecorated and asked if she might be interested. Shirley called and set up an appointment with her.” After giving Shirley the instructions, he hadn’t thought anymore about it.

“Excellent. When?”

“I’ll have to check my calendar.”

Marty tapped his pen against his pad several times before he spoke. “We might have to change our time table a little, but I’d like to keep to it if possible. A wedding at the end of next summer is ideal. That would give you a solid year of marriage before the actual election.”

Caution flags jumped up as he listened to Marty. The advisor’s original plan had been acceptable. A marriage to a wealthy socialite who viewed their relationship as a way to achieve her own goals was one thing. What Marty proposed now was entirely something else.

“Perhaps we should stick with what we originally discussed. Why don’t I go through these and pick a candidate.” Trent reached for the binders Marty had put together. “Then they’ll be no need to adjust our timeline.”

“You hired me because you want to win.” Marty pointed his pen at the picture of Addison. “She’s your ticket to the Senate.”

Trent’s eyes focused on the picture. What had she just said to him when the picture was taken? It must have been funny because he had a huge smile on his face. Come to think of it, he’d smiled through much of their conversation. She’d had an easygoing nature with a great sense of humor. There had been no awkward moments or long gaps of silence. Under different circumstances he wouldn’t mind getting to know her better.

“The women in here may help repair your reputation.” Marty pointed to the binders he’d put together of potential wife candidates. “This one though will win the hearts of voters.” He nodded toward the newspaper on the table. “I don’t understand the problem. She’s beautiful and well-educated.”

Marty had him there. Addison was attractive and, from all he could tell, intelligent. Even with that knowledge, a corner of his conscience prickled at the idea.

Across the table Marty popped a pickle in his mouth and chewed as he waited. “If it helps look at it this way. Her involvement with you will put her business on the fast track. The whole thing will still more or less be a business agreement.”

Trent nodded. Marty had a point. If he and Addison became romantically involved it would do more for her business than an ad during the Super Bowl.

“If you’re going to make it in politics you need to learn to do what’s right for your career, everything else comes second. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know that few politicians make it with their conscience intact.” Marty pushed the paper closer to him. “So what’s it going to be?”

Addison’s face beamed up at him. “We’ll try it your way, but if it’s not working we will fall back to our original plan.” Sure, they’d had an enjoyable conversation over coffee but he was not prepared to wager the rest of his life on that. He picked up his untouched sandwich. “I’m assuming you made sure she’s not involved with anyone.”

The look Marty gave him said it all. “Unless she’s got a secret lover tucked in her closet, she’s single and has been for over a year.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know how things go. But in the meantime, keep working on who leaked this picture.”

Be sure to visit, Christina's website at www.christinatetreault.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Special Ed Teachers and Police Officers

I know you are already wondering what these two groups have in common.  Let's start with the fact that both teachers and police officers are required to take so many classes every year to keep updated. 

Did you know all law enforcement across the country are being required to take classes how to handle a person with autism spectrum disorders?  They are taught to recognize the symptoms and how the officer should act with an autistic person. 

Special ed teachers work daily with special needs kids, but it's only been in the last few years when officers started coming in contact with young adults with these symptoms.  Most officers didn't recognize what was going on unless they knew someone who had these kind of stressors. 

Even so teachers are the first line for working with special needs kids, and they deserve a lot of credit for working with these kids and still remaining sane.  A family may have one child like this and work with them 24/7, but a teacher may have many kids like this in her class room for eight hours. 

Working with a special education child takes a family, teachers and a community in order to help them live normal lives.   

Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
Twitter @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quakers, Amish, and Pennsylvania Dutch Are Often Confused


As a child, I lived in a small farming community, and all my life, I was told our family was Quaker and Pennsylvania Dutch, so I decided to do some research on this subject.  I have totally confused myself because it doesn't match up with what I've been told.  I do remember attending a Friends church in this area and the women wore little white hats tied on their head with long skirts or dresses.

My great-great-grandparents on my grandfather's side were from England and were Amish, and on my grandmother's side they were Quaker, and she referred to herself as Pennsylvania Dutch because her family migrated from Germany near the Dutch border.  Of course, I'm still confused.  lol

Let’s get one thing straight: Quakers are not Amish, Amish are not Quaker, Amish are usually Pennsylvania Dutch, and Pennsylvania Dutch are sometimes Amish.  Got it?  Nothing irritates a member of one of these groups more than when the three terms are used interchangeably.  So who are all these people, and what are the differences between them?
Amish not Quaker

The term Pennsylvania Dutch refers to descendants of German settlers of Pennsylvania (the German word for German is Deutsche, which is probably why others picked up the word Dutch).  The Pennsylvania Dutch do have their own language — a derivation of German — but that language is virtually extinct at this point, and modern Pennsylvania Dutch are indistinguishable from other modern Americans.  Pennsylvania Dutch are a variety of religions, including Lutheran, Mennonite, Baptist, Amish (yes, that’s a religion — more on that in a minute).  The Pennsylvania Dutch are similar to any other ethnic group whose relatives came in the 18th century…They may have some lasting cultural traditions (certain foods, for instance), but they are in other ways much like any other Americans.
 
The Amish (at least the Old Order ones, which is who most people think of when they think of the Amish) do very much stand out from other ethnic and religious groups in the U.S.  Amish is a Protestant religion (a particular denomination of Mennonite, actually), and most Amish are actually Pennsylvania Dutch — meaning (as you now know) they are descended from Pennsylvania Germans and spoke that particular dialect of German.  What makes the Amish stand out is that the rules of their church prohibit many modern conveniences, including electricity and more modern technologies.  They still drive horses and buggies (they will get in a car if necessary, but only if somebody else is driving); they wear old-fashioned dresses and overalls with bonnets and black hats; they value farm labor and de-emphasize education.  They are very much an insular community, as marriage outside of the church is forbidden.  Your child’s college roommate will most likely not be Amish, though there’s a chance he or she will be Pennsylvania Dutch — or Quaker, for that matter.  Oh, and the Amish don’t like to have their pictures taken, so please don’t run up to them, mouth agape, snapping photos.
 
Quakers have nothing to do with either of these two other groups.  Well, okay, Quakerism is a religion, and Quakers came to North America in the 18th century (and earlier), but that’s where the similarities end.  Quakers are Protestant; they are one of the many religious sects that emigrated from England searching for religious freedom.  Quakers are unusual among Christians in that they worship without any form of priest or pastor.  They believe that anyone can communicate with God or be in touch with “that of God within himself,” hence Meeting for Worship consists of sitting in silence together, with individuals speaking when they feel moved to.  Quakers are pacifists and believe in simplicity and humility, so their places of worship are quite plain.  While Quakers did once dress in simple, old-fashioned clothing, they long ago abandoned those outfits.   In short, much like the Pennsylvania Dutch, Quakers are indistinguishable (on the outside) from other Americans.  You might be sitting next to one right now.
 
How did these three different terms come to be confused?  You’ve got me.  It’s probably because they all live in eastern Pennsylvania.  Lancaster has enclaves of Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch stretch across much of eastern and central Pennsylvania.  Quakers were Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers (William Penn converted to Quakerism, much to his father’s dismay), and Quaker schools offer some of the best educations in Philadelphia.  But beyond their geographical proximity, these three groups are quite different, and one of the best ways to seem like a real Philadelphian is to not get them confused.
 
1. Amish is a belief based on simplicity and strict living, unlike the Quakers who typically are liberals.
2. The Amish religion has priests, while Quakers believe that as everyone has a connection with God they don’t need a priest to preside over any ceremony.
3. The Amish believe in maintaining the ways of the past and don’t consider using modern amenities.
4. Though their beliefs lead to different lifestyles, both believe in God and in peace.
 
What do Quakers believe?
They believe that every person is loved and guided by God.  Broadly speaking, we affirm that "there is that of God in everyone." Everyone is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship.  They are called to attend to this relationship and to be guided by it. Quakers use many words to describe the Divine.  Some of them include: God, the Light Within, Christ, Spirit, Seed, and Inward Teacher.
 
Are Quakers Christian?
The Quaker way has deep Christian roots that form our understanding of God, our faith, and our practices. Many Quakers consider themselves Christian, and some do not.  Many Quakers today draw spiritual nourishment from our Christian roots and strive to follow the example of Jesus.  Many other Quakers draw spiritual sustenance from various religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and the nature religions.
 
It sounds like Quakers can believe anything they like―is that so?
Quakers invite the word of God to be written in our hearts, rather than as words on paper—they have no creed.  But they also believe that if they are sincerely open to the Divine Will, they will be guided by a Wisdom that is more compelling than our own more superficial thoughts and feelings.  This can mean that they will find themselves led in directions or receiving understandings that they may not have chosen just from personal preference. Following such guidance is not always easy.  This is why community is important to Quakers, why they turn to each other for worshipful help in making important choices, and why they read the reflections of other Quakers who have lived faithful lives.
 
Can I attend Quaker meeting?
Yes!  You are welcome to attend Quaker worship.  There are Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and classes.  All are welcome. You can find meetings in your area at http://www.quakerfinder.org
Below are sources you can go to learn more about these religions.
 
Okay, people, I hope I have shed some light on this topic and not confused you as much as I am.  lol 
Sandra K. Marshall, Author