Saturday, October 29, 2016

Kitchen Apparition  My Mozart  ISBN:  1927476364

What we’ve had here today has been sun, clouds, and a sort of golden light falling through autumnal trees that I think of as Don Giovanni weather. And what, you ask, makes me call it that? Well, it’s the end of October now and we are approaching Halloween, the time of year, when, in 1787, to thunderous applause and many encores, that opera was first performed. The city was Prague, not Vienna, because by that time the arbiters of taste in the latter place had decided that Mozart was no longer cool. The infamous con man, Casanova, may have sat in with Lorenzo DaPonte and Mozart, while the libretto was written, lending his own unsavory life experiences to the twists and turns of the plot.

When I entered one of those OCD states of mind to which I am prone, in the mid-eighties, it was All Mozart All The Time at our house. I began to write two Mozart novels, “Mozart’s Wife” and “My Mozart.” Wouldn’t want anyone checking out the titles to wonder what the subject was.  Mozart’s Wife  ISBN:  1461109612

This happened on a late October Saturday. The silver maples were raincoat yellow. The sky had been clear blue all morning until after lunch, but after, the wind rose and a fleet of puffy, gray-bottomed clouds began to put  a lid on things. I was doing housework, still attempting the working woman’s bit where you go double time and do lots of housework and cooking over weekends. Of course, I was blasting Don Giovanni, saturating my cells with every chord—just as I used to do all through the '60's and ‘70’s with rock’n’roll.     

Husband was off somewhere, and the house was empty of teenage sons, too, so the only nerves I was fraying were my own. In those days I had a fabulous pair of pink high top sneakers that looked ever so good with jeans. Jeepers, this was a long time ago--back in the last century...

What happened in my kitchen that afternoon is the only supernatural encounter I’ve had in this house. I think there genuinely are no ghosts here; the house was built in 1948. There has been anger, violence, and grief, but no deaths. So, in this case the "supernatural" experience focused on me.
Looking back, I can see that I'd overdosed on Mozart. And, on this day, too much Don Giovanni, too much dwelling in and on the stories of Herr WAM in which I had been immersed, re-imagining and writing in a Sheldon-Cooper-like spasm of self-indulgence. This led Mozart's dynamic, charismatic spirit, drawn by womanly hero-worship as well as the sound of his music, to pass the gate.
Nanina contemplates the skull of her maestro
The Stromboli dough I'd prepared earlier lay ready to roll out, ready to receive meat, cheese, tomato sauce, and sweet pepper, when my progress was interrupted by a loud creak followed by an unearthly groan. It was that old movie sound effect of the hinges of hell—or heaven—swinging open. It was so loud it overcame the flood of opera, pouring from the kitchen speakers.
I spun around and there he was, standing on my 1948-era brick pattern linoleum. Needless to say, after so much time he looked ghastly—the “great nosed Mozart” as a contemporary called him—shrunken, frail, his face lined with his final suffering—but undeniably present.


From "The Mozart Brothers" 

I saw him clear as day. My reaction—I'm not ashamed to admit—was fear. When the door opens at 3 a.m. in a dark bedroom while you are still half asleep, well, that's something you can explain as "dreams intruding upon reality." When, however, the door opens at 3 p.m. on a sun-through- clouds-afternoon, while you construct a mundane kid-pleasing Stromboli it was darn alarming.

I leapt backwards, reaching gazelle-like heights* I've never before achieved, landing all the way across the kitchen. By the time the time those pink shoes hit the vinyl, though, my ghostly idol had gone.  

~~Juliet Waldron

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween for Skittish People by Connie Vines

We all know my Zombies (Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow) are not The Walking Death type of Zombies.  Everyone who has attended my yearly Spooktacular Dinner, know it’s not at guts-and-gore type affair.  I’m not a scared cat, exactly.  I simply have the gift of a very vivid imagination.  The type of imagination that produces a nightmare when I watch “Meerkat  Manor”, “Fantasia”, or any war movie.
Connie's gone blonde!

So what movies are recommended for skittish people?

1. Hocus Pocus
2. The Addams Family
3.  It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
4. Ghostbusters
5. Frankenweenie
6. Halloweentown
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas
8. Little Shop of Horrors

What move do I always watch?  It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I love, love this movie.  Snoopy in the pumpkin patch always makes me smile.

What Halloween movie is your favorite?  What movie frightens you out of your wits?  What movie give you nightmares?

Well, Frankenweenie did it for me.  With The Nightmare Before Christmas came in a close second in the ‘giving Connie a nightmare’ category.

The crazy thing is, I can read and re-read the novel Dracula by Braun Stoker and watch the 1990’s movie version of Dracula and I am fine.  (Dracula, like The Phantom of the Opera, falls under the umbrella of tortured hero and love story –in my mind anyway).

I’ve posted pictures of a few party ideas and treats I’d like to share.  (visit my Pinterest page).


Please ‘treat’ yourself to a book from BWL this Halloween!

Link to Connie's Books  Click  Here

See you next month,


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ancient Aliens: Theory or Ancient History? by Vijaya Schartz

Have we been visited by alien species in the ancient past? Are we the product of genetic manipulation by technologically advanced ancient visitors in need of labor? Are the gods of so many different Earth cultures aliens who, in ancient times, came down from other star systems to teach, nurture, and facilitate the evolution of the human race? All these questions might seem outrageous to many people

Of course, the mainstream scientists refuse to examine the evidence for fear or being mocked, and governments are quick to deny and dismiss any theory that doesn't fit the accepted standard. Their very secrecy on the topic shows they know more than they admit. Few have enough courage to tell the world that our history books should be rewritten. Recently, however, some eminent government officials came forward after retirement, and are now speaking up in many countries, and if you research and consider the evidence, the ancient alien theory is not farfetched at all.

Ancient texts, like the Mahabarata in India, describe the gods waging war in the sky, flying Vimanas, shooting arrows of light and thunder that destroyed their flying chariots of fire. Ancient cities of India, like Mohanjo Daro, are still radioactive from their destruction by a nuclear blast thousands of years ago.

The ancient Vikings believed their gods came from another world through a rainbow bridge reminiscent of a wormhole. Could the stories of Odin, Thor, and the entire Norse mythology be relating events from the past, when powerful beings came to Earth from another planet?

Could it be that the ancient texts we consider as mythology, are actual records of historical events lost in the night of time? Even the ancient testament speaks of beings coming to Earth from the heavens. God came with legions of angels and archangels organized in a very military order... they landed in devices with wheels turning inside wheels, like an anti-gravity craft.

Why is it that ruins in Puma Punku, in Bolivia, dated 20,000 years ago, show industrial tool marks, and the stones are cut with a precision we cannot achieve today even with lasers? These precision cut stones stack up like Lego pieces to form indestructible walls. The traditions of the local tribes say these were built not by human hands, but by the gods.

Photography has improved in giant leaps over the past few years, and pictures of other planets are becoming clearer. Are the structures on Mars and on the moon left over from an ancient civilization, dating from when the red planet was green with life? What caused its atmosphere to thin and its water to dry up? Is it what will happen to Earth if we are not careful?

I am only scratching the surface here. This world is full of mysteries, and if we bother to investigate them, we might very well discover the secret of our origins, and embrace the fact that we are not alone in the universe.

As a science fiction writer, I find this inspiring, uplifting, and I sincerely hope the people of this world start looking closely at all these clues. Now that we have the technology to analyze the evidence, we should not be afraid of the results. The truth will prevail in the end, so why resist it?

In the Ancient Enemy series, the Anasazi return from the stars after 800 years, to enslave the human race.

 In Alien Lockdown, man has established bases throughout the universe.

In the Archangel books, bad boy Michael is in deep trouble, and being half alien doesn't help at all.


Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, swords, Romance with a Kick

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Randall Sawka, Still On The Road.......

Randall's newest release, a traditional Western for true Western fans. Click the Amazon link to purchase your copy. 

The fall weather in England is late arriving. I don't have a problem with that. it gave me more time to write outdoors. However, the trees are changing colour, the air is cooler, and my iPad is cool (and cool).

The "Goodrich Coffee & Tea" I found online was just outside Buffalo, NY. We decided it was a bit far to walk. So, we strolled back home. Oops.

We have reach the halfway point in our three months stay near the town of Ross-On-Wye. It has been amazing.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tis the Haunting Season - all of these are new from Books We Love

Don't go out there and get caught in the maim and miasma, stay in and read!!!


I'm Graduating from Feminist to Nasty Woman by Sandy Semerad

“Are you a nasty woman, Mama?” daughter Andrea asked me recently.

Her question took me off guard. Then I remembered the third Presidential debate and knew exactly what she meant.

Following that debate, the “nasty” comment became a “feminist battle cry,” on social media. T-Shirts with “Nasty woman” printed on them are now in demand, as are hats emblazoned with, “Make America Nasty Again.”

Streams of Janet Jackson’s song “Nasty” skyrocketed after the debate, according to Spotify. In the song, Janet calls men, who display bad behavior toward women, “nasty boys.”

No question the “nasty” comment has struck a powerful cord. I’ve never seen so many women open up and describe in detail how they’ve been discriminated against and treated differently than their male counterparts. Women are sharing their stories as never before. They’re talking about how they’d been grabbed and abused. How they were told to be nice, not bossy and to smile, not frown. They’ve shared their stories about being sexually harassed, and how they were shamed, demoted or fired when they reported the harassment.

All of these conversations have sparked my own painful memories, and I’m thinking it’s time to share two of those memories with you.
        At 19, I was sexually assaulted in New York City, where I was living at the time.  My attacker was a successful businessman and owner of the business where I’d worked. Ashamed and traumatized, I left NYC without reporting the assault.

Fast forward many years, I’m walking to the Marta train in Atlanta. It’s the end of the day, and I’m heading home from Georgia State. It’s raining. I’m in a great mood, happy I remembered to bring an umbrella.

A strange man steps under my umbrella and says, “Are you from out of this world?”

I’m caught off guard, but I sense he’s a psycho, his eyes wild, glassy. “Get lost,” I tell him.

He grabs my boobs, squeezes them brutally. I yell out in pain and horror and swing my open umbrella to defend myself.

He runs inside the nearest building and disappears.

I’m shaken, but I continue on to the Marta Station, hop on the train and go home. Once I feel safe, I call the campus police to report this psycho and try to stop him from hurting anyone else.

I describe to the officer what happened, but before I can give him a description of the man, the officer asks, “What were you wearing?”

Stunned, I don’t how to respond at first. “Dressed casually, like any college student.”

I should have demanded to speak to his supervisor or to a female officer who would empathize. But I didn’t, I played nice, when I should have been assertive and nasty.

It’s interesting how that word “nasty” has changed through urban interpretations, but it appears more complimentary when referring to men. Men can be nasty cool, skillful, as in “He plays a nasty guitar.”

While with women, the urban definition usually refers to sex: “freak-nasty, blatant, unhindered sexuality, and has an undertone of kinkiness.” Unlike the traditional definitions, which are: “smelly, bad, filthy, repulsive, malignant, ugly, spiteful, disgusting, incredibly mean and stinky, very loud, obnoxious.”

But getting back to the question Andrea asked. In answering her, I said, “Yes,” although I prefer the “cool, skillful” definition of the word, and hereafter I’ve decided to graduate from feminist to nasty woman.

For Halloween, I’m leaning toward dressing up as the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, with a hat that reads, “Good Witch, aka Nasty Woman.” What do you think?

As an afterthought, Andrea sent me this recipe for The Nasty Woman drink, a Quartz cocktail, created by Jenni Avins:
        Three parts silver tequila (made by the “bad hombres” of Mexico)

Two parts cherry juice (Avins likes the one from Trader Joe’s)
         One part lime juice
         Pour over ice and top it with sparkling wine or sparkling limeade.
        This drink should get a wedge of lime, but Avins says she too nasty to fuss over a twist.
        Whatever you prefer to drink, be sure to enjoy it like a nasty woman should.
          To read more, please visit my website:
         Also would love for you to purchase my latest novel, A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES. This story is loosely based on a murder trial I covered as a newspaper reporter in Atlanta, and it’s also a love story.
                              Buy Link: A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Reflections on Moose and Writing by Victoria Chatham


I've lived in Canada now for 26 years. In all of those years I had never seen a moose. Black bears and grizzlies, skunk and porcupine, whitetail and mule deer, elk and big horn sheep, foxes, coyotes and wolves. I've even seen free ranging buffalo near Waterton National Park. Yes, I've been quite fortunate to see all of those over the years. I live close to the Rocky Mountains and enjoy camping and hiking so there have been plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife, except for that darn moose.

On a long distance drive one September travelling through much of Alberta and northern British Columbia, I watched avidly for moose, especially when we saw the road signs warning to beware of them for the next however many kilometres, but no, nary a one. On a research trip on another occasion, I happened to mention to the rancher I was interviewing that I had never seen a moose.

"Oh," he said. "I saw a big old bull down in the muskeg this morning. Let's go find him."

We set off in a vehicle that was so cobbled together I wasn't sure if it was a pick-up, jeep or ATV. What I was sure of was that it could never go off the ranch without risking any one of several motoring and vehicle infractions. It was also a testament to the strength of baler twine, as that was all that was holding the passenger seat in place. These anomalies not withstanding, said rancher toured me around the muskeg, brushed through undergrowth and never once did we see any sign of that old bull.

I can't tell you why moose fascinate me so. It may be because they are so big and ugly that only a mother could love them, or it may be that I have always felt slightly cheated and in turn envious of those who have said "Oh, I had a moose in my yard this morning", or "I saw a moose on my way to work". What did they have that I didn't? The closest I had come to a moose was the Fawlty Towers episode where Manuel was practicing his English. The mounted moose head that Basil Fawlty had so much trouble with remains a long standing family joke.

Now however, I have achieved that ambition in the past few weeks - not once, but twice and in the least
likely places. The first, a bull close to a town, the second a bull and two cows on the railway tracks running through a town. Their sheer size is impressive. The lore concerning moose as riding and draft animals is well documented. They have the reputation of being the most dangerous animal in Canada, largely because of the number of road accidents in which they are involved. As their heads tend to be higher than the average car headlights, it is difficult to see any reflection from their eyes, which are widely spaced on the sides of their head making it difficult to see both eyes at once. But now my patience has finally been rewarded!

So you are now probably confused and wondering how on earth my quest for a moose and writing can possibly be connected? Such are the workings of my mind that I equate my patience in finally seeing a moose  to the patience required in writing a book. My very first editor said that writing a good book is an exercise in patience and not giving up. Those days when you think you really can't write, or that what you have written is worse than anything you've ever written before have to be worked through. If you are a writer, there's almost a hundred percent guarantee that you know exactly what I mean.

There is no point in sitting around waiting for inspiration. That may take forever. In the meantime you have a book to write, so having the patience to sit every day and allow yourself to simply write until the words gel and begin to flow is an exercise in patience, although you may at times feel quite the opposite. I can't tell you how many times I nearly threw in the towel when my words would not come together and form the pictures on the page that I had in my mind. There are still times when I look at a phrase or a paragraph and think 'that won't do'. My method then is to copy and paste the offending lines to a blank sheet and play with them until they feel right and I'm comfortable with them. Then they get copy and pasted back into my text. It may sound like hard work but it works for me. Oh, did I mention that I'm a Virgo and was once referred to as nit-picking Virgo?

Patience is a virtue so the medieval poet William Langdon (or Chaucer depending on which you read) says, but if you stick to your guns, if you keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard have patience and do not give up, at the end of the that you will have a book. And I can tell you there is no finer feeling than when you have delivered that baby and finally hold it in your hands.

Victoria Chatham’s passion for the romance genre goes back to when she read her first Regency romance as a teenager. Now retired, she writes historical and contemporary romance. Her other passions include a love of animals, especially horses and dogs. She lives near Calgary but spends as much time as she can with her family in England.

Titillating preview by J.C. Kavanagh

WINNER Best Young Adult Book 2016, The Twisted Climb I've been prepping for Autumn book signings and excited to meet new and...