Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Happened to David Lang, A Strange Disappearance by Eleanor Stem




Farmhouse 1880's
September 23, 1880 on a farm near Gallatin, Tennessee, USA 

David Lang had just returned from Nashville that morning. He had brought his two children, George & Sarah a toy of a wooden wagon pulled by wooden horses. He and his wife talked to the children, then David set off across a pasture, scorched brown from a hot summer and no rain. No trees or bushes marked the place. His family watched him enter the field and hike across it. 

The open field David walked across
At that moment, Judge August Peck and David’s brother-in-law were riding in a rig to the farmhouse. The judge was about to hail David when the man vanished. He had been standing in the open field, a plain of short grass, with no rocks or fences.

If, as they thought in the medieval days, he stood on the edge of the earth, he had somehow fallen off. He had vanished in full view of his wife, his children and two men.

“Mrs Lang and the 2 men went to the spot where David had disappeared, thinking he might have fallen into a crack in the earth but they found no such crack. Mrs Lang became hysterical and was led, screaming, into the house. Someone rang a huge bell, which brought the neighbors to help. Soon scores of people were searching the field and nearby land, but to no avail.

A surveyor and geologist who examined the field later found limestone bedrock just a few feet underground. There was no fracture in the bedrock.

For a month the search went on. Curiosity seekers came to gawk. All the Lang servants except the cook quit in fear.

A year later, the grass where Lang had disappeared had grown high and thick in a circle 20’ in diameter. Not one of the farm animals would graze there, and it seemed free of insects. It was as though an ominous presence hovered over that piece of ground.” 

In August 1881, the two children approached the green circle of high grass. “The daughter called out, ‘Father, are you anywhere around?’ There was no answer but she repeated the question 4 times. They were about to walk away when they heard a faint cry for help, a cry that came out of nowhere. Quickly the children ran and got their mother who returned with them to the spot and called as they had done. Her husband answered. For several days, the family returned, and each day when they called, the answering voice became fainter, until finally there was no response at all.”

So, what had happened to David Lang?

Since the UFO sighting in the 1940’s, one would think he’d been snatched by alien beings, but that doesn’t answer the question of his voice drifting to them over a year later. He could have slipped into another dimension like an episode of Twilight Zone back in the 1950’s or early 60’s where a little girl fell out of bed. Her father had to get her through a strange dimensional entry in the wall. Or, as a time slip author/reader would say, he could have found a time portal and slipped into another time. 


A time slip portal?

Whatever happened to him, David Lang never returned to his time, his dimension, or his farm. 

For more information on this, the internet is filled with this type of strange phenomena. 





Many thanks to:
The People’s Almanac by David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace, Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY, 1975.
Wikicommons, Public Domain 
 


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Monday, May 30, 2016

Books We Love's Tantalizing Talent ~ Author Sheila Claydon


 
I was 7 years old when I cleared out the bottom half of my toy closet and, using the shelf as a desk, set myself up as a writer. I’ve been writing ever since: poetry, non-fiction, stories for children, but my absolute favourite is contemporary romantic fiction.

I truly believe that ‘love makes the world go round,’ so weaving stories around characters who are falling in love is what keeps me writing. Sometimes I become so engrossed in what is happening in their lives, that what was intended to be one book becomes a series. My When Paths Meet trilogy is an example of this. When I finished writing Mending Jodie’s Heart, I wanted to know what happened to her younger sisters. Finding Bella Blue (Book 2) and Saving Katy Gray (Book 3) were the result.

Falling in love should be about far more than the romance and my stories always are. Far from being perfect, my characters frequently have to face up to some uncomfortable truths before they can learn to truly love. I hope you will check them out, and enjoy them.

I write contemporary fiction. My books are listed below:

When Paths Meet Trilogy:
Mending Jodie’s Heart            (Book 1)
Finding Bella Blue                   (Book 2)
Saving Katy Gray                     (Book 3)

Miss Locatelli
Kissing Maggie Silver
Double Fault
 Reluctant Date
Cabin Fever
The Books We Love Special Edition

Miss Locatelli
Amazon
Arabella knows her audacious plan to save her family’s century old jewelry business doesn’t stand a chance without Luca Ezio. She just wishes he wasn’t helping her because her grandfather asked him to, but because he wants to. 

For his part, Luca can’t remember when he was last so turned on by a woman and he doesn’t like it one little bit. Apart from being way too young, Arabella is the granddaughter of a client whose relationship with his family is complicated. The right thing to do would be to walk away but his heart has other ideas. Then Arabella’s life begins to unravel in a way that affects both of them and suddenly Luca finds himself fighting for his future as well as for her heart. 


Amazon
Mending Jodie’s Heart
When musician Marcus Lewis buys the derelict farmhouse next to Jodie’ Eriksson's riding school he doesn’t know whether to be amused or irritated by her angry reaction to his plans. Then her sister Izzie visits him and makes things a whole lot worse…or is it better…because now he has an excuse to see Jodie again. Although, when he sees her, it’s not exactly a meeting of minds, they do discover they have one thing in common; they both believe they know what’s best for Izzie, and for Marcus' son Luke. 

It turns out they’re wrong. The children they thought they were protecting need to be set free. It’s Jodie and Marcus who have the problem; but can two broken hearts make one whole one? The battle lines that were set when they first met have long since been breached but the war won’t be over until Jodie learns how to trust again, and until Marcus allows himself to believe in his son.


Kissing Maggie Silver
Amazon
Maggie Silver intends to put as much space as possible between herself and her family just as soon as her parent’s ruby wedding celebrations are over. She is fed up with their constant advice and her never-ending babysitting duties. There’s a great big world out there and she wants to see it before she settles for suburbia. Then Ruairi O’Connor turns up at the same time her sister-in-law goes into labor, and suddenly everything becomes a lot more complicated. 

As for Ruairi, in a few weeks time he will be on the other side of the world, so now is not the time to fall in love, especially with Maggie. Until now he’s thought of her as little more than a child so why has he suddenly discovered she is very grown up indeed and the only thing he wants to do is kiss her.


 

Song of a Whip-Poor-Will


by Kathy Fischer-Brown
Louis Agassiz Fuertes - Birds of New York 

I’ve never ceased being amazed at how a sound, a smell, or an image can set off a chain of memories. Often these are deep-seated, long forgotten memories tucked away among recollections from earliest childhood. Sure, there are photographs stored in boxes or old slides whose colors have faded that I’ll take out and once in a blue moon to share with family, or scan to preserve for the future. But every so often, something totally unexpected tickles a nerve, stimulating the mind to take a trip back in time.

Take the song of the Eastern whip-poor-will, for example. Too many years had passed since I last heard its distinctive call, making for a completely unexpected moment of nostalgia one late spring evening about a year ago. Well over sixty years, to be precise. 

I was a city kid. We lived in a one bedroom apartment in The Bronx—my mom, dad, two-year-old sister, and I. Some years earlier, my paternal grandfather had bought a property in Plattekill, NY, a picturesque spot in Ulster County on the Hudson River, with acres of land on which stood an old and sizeable stone and clapboard Dutch farmhouse. It was to have been Grandpa Ben’s retirement home, but a massive heart attack felled him at the age of 48, a month after my sister was born. Subsequently, the house, along with its abundance of trees and assorted wildlife reverted to my dad, his sister and my grandmother. I don’t remember much of my life before the summer after I turned three. But that summer was memorable.

As a toddler my world consisted of our small one bedroom apartment on University Avenue, where a grassy esplanade down the center of the street held groups of benches for sitting and shooting the breeze on sunny days in all seasons; a small playground with swings and seesaws, and a movie theater were within walking distance. Family and friends all lived close by. But starting some time after I turned two, we began spending our summers at the house in Plattekill. 

My sister and me (right) in the haystack, circa 1954
Even now I remember how much I loved the place, although I can’t really visualize much of it, and after a futile search for it online, I wonder if it’s still standing. There was a certain smell, of pine and cedar, the coolness in the shadows of wide elms and oaks, from one of which my father hung a tire on a rope from a hefty bough for us—and the many cousins who came from the city in an endless stream—to swing on.  We had a beagle, Taffy Lou, who, it seemed, had a litter of fat, fluffy puppies every summer—brown ones, black ones, spotted ones…. Her beau was a neighbor dog named Fido (no kidding), who came to visit alone or with his owner, a freckle-faced girl named Terry, who was about seven or eight. Down the country road was a dairy farm. I had a particular favorite among the cows; her name was Elsie (or at least that was what I called her).

On warm summer evenings, we’d sit outside in the newly mown grass on folding chairs with striped canvas slings and watch what seemed like hundreds of rabbits hopping along the edge of a copse of tall trees at the edge of the property. We had a small tractor that one of my older boy cousins liked to drive over the acres of tall grass, with me and his younger brother dangling our legs off the back platform. Afterwards, we’d rake up the cuttings and build a gigantic haystack, which provided hours of jumping and burrowing fun. Our next door neighbors behind a palisade fence were a family who owned the Freihoffer Baking Co. They had an apple orchard, and by summer’s end, there were more apples than they could shake a stick at. Around this time, the sweet cinnamon aroma of simmering apple sauce and apple pies in the oven filled the place. 

And, of course, there were whip-poor-wills. Every evening and well into the night, I'd stay awake listening. A kid from The Bronx never heard such a thing.
After my family sold the house following the summer of my fourth year (because we had outgrown the small apartment with the birth of yet another sister), we moved from The Bronx to Long Island. I remember being sad over not having the old house to summer in anymore. Even the thought of having grass and trees (and bugs) year-round was of little consolation. And for the next 12 years, I didn't hear a single whip-poor-will. Not even once. Then, after we moved again when I turned 16, this time to Connecticut, the whip-poor-will and its singular sound had faded from my consciousness.

My dad was glad of the moves. He owned a printing company in The Bronx and during those summers in Plattekill, he’d stay in the city and join us for weekends. I missed him, just as years later I’d wait up for him and worry on especially snowy nights while he made his onerous nightly commute home.

Which brings me back to that elusive bird. Sadly, its numbers are in decline, and as I mentioned, I hadn't heard one in over half a century. So, you could say, I was exuberant on that evening in early June last summer when its unmistakable warble broke the settling silence in the wooded area near my house. It was probably just passing through, for its call was unusually brief, and I haven’t heard it since. But in the moments following, I was transported back to a Friday night long ago, when, unable to stay awake long enough to greet my dad following his weekly commute, I fell asleep. The bird’s song was a sweet reminder of that night and of my dad, all of about 29 at the time, sitting at my bedside, gently waking his sleeping child with the song she had grown to love over a few short, unforgettable summers.

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Kathy Fischer Brown is a BWL author of historical novels, Winter Fire, Lord Esterleigh's Daughter, Courting the DevilThe Partisan's Wife, and The Return of Tachlanad, her latest release, an epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers. Check out her The Books We Love Author page or visit her website. All of Kathy's books are available in a variety of e-book formats and in paperback from Amazon and other online retailers, as well as a bookstore near you.




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