Monday, February 6, 2017

LOVE and WAR Valentine blog hop prizes galore


 During World War One (1914-1918), wounded soldiers, recovering in hospitals made Sweetheart Pincushions. It was a way to pass the time while recuperating from war wounds, and worked as occupational therapy.These little treasures were sent home across the miles, especially for Valentine's Day, to wives, mothers, and loved ones letting them know that they were thinking of them, and no doubt with hopes that someone out there was thinking of them.

"Forget Me Not" and "Remember Me" were favorite phrases, and even more elaborate verse was used to express the feelings of the soldiers far away. Now these wonderful homespun objects of art have become pieces of history.   

When the golden sun is sinking,
  And your mind from care is free.
  When of others you are thinking,
  Will you sometimes think of me.

   Some British soldiers stationed in India even made quilts, and throughout history sailors of all kinds often extended their sail-making efforts to recreational handiwork including putting needle and thread to work. 
Some were purchased as kits containing printed fabric, threads and beads – all the materials a soldier would need to handcraft a memento for his loved ones . Some were made from whatever fabric and doodads could be scrounged up or bartered for, even feed sacks and reused thread. 
So lovingly made in the midst of the horror, tragedy, and chaos of war, they are truly a symbol of the human spirit and resolve. What hope and love must have gone into each stitch. 

Two chances to win a 
Just leave a comment at Rafflecopter!

go here for Rafflecopter giveaway

To WIN prizes, collect freebies, and meet awesome authors simply visit each page below

1.The Perfect Time For Love ~ Casi McLean2.Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3.Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan4.Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5.He said he wasn't the romantic kind of guy, but... ~ Peggy Jaeger6.Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7.Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont8.50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9.Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler10.Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11.Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch12.Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13.Mysterious Origins of Valentine's Day ~ Barbara Bettis14.A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15.Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight16.Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17.Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott18.Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19.An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin20.Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21.Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale22.Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23.A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton24.'Out Of This World' Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25.Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt26.Valentine's Day - A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27.Historical Heartbeats

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Imbolc/ Ground Hog Day

          What do groundhogs, ewes, a Pagan goddess/Christian saint, and spring cleaning all have in common? They are intertwined in the history of Imbolc, the feast day of Brigid, on February 2nd.

     This holiday is one of the Celtic fire festivals and is also called Oimelc (Imbolc), an Irish term that means ewe's milk. This was the time of year when the first sign of spring was the lactation of ewes. 

It is a cross-quarter day signifying the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. It is also a reverse barometer. Just like the logic used on Groundhogs Day. 

If the weather is fair (sun is shining and Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow) the weather will take a turn for the worse and there will be more winter. If the weather is bad, it's good news, better weather is on the horizon.

    The Celtic goddess Brigid, was known as the Light-Bringer, so when the Christians usurped the day they tried to redirect the Pagans to worship St. Brigid, and Candlemas, and it all tied in nicely. 

    St. Brigit (Brigid, Brighid, Bride, Brigit), is known for her special cross, said to have been woven from rushes as she tended a Celtic chieftain, telling him the story of Christ. Many streams, trees, and mounds are named for her in the British Isles. The Celtic Brigid is the goddess of poetry, healing, and smith-craft. Also  the patron of other vital crafts of early Celtic society: such as dying, weaving and brewing. 
Here, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is being presented with a St. Brigid Cross on a visit to Kildare April 2011.

Myth and ancient custom, call Brigid the daughter of the Daghda, the “Great God” of the Tuatha de Danaan (faeries). She is closely connected with livestock and domesticated animals. She herself had two oxen called Fea and Feimhean.  

Imbolc is also the time for spring cleaning. Time to let go of the past and look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. So burn a candle, get out the broom, take heart, and have hope as we look forward to the rebirth of the earth and our creativity. May your spirit be renewed.

Monday, January 23, 2017


 Remembering Martha Raye

Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop. An honorary member of the Green Beret Special Forces, Raye was considered a "hawk" for going to Vietnam. Hollywood called her names and cruelly blacklisted her for more then ten years.

The following information is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane: "It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku.

We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.

All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear.

There was singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a Special Forces beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard.  Maggie' had been visiting her Special Forces (SF) 'heroes' out 'west'.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.

As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms Raye, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!"

To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said "Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty.... now, take me to your wounded!"

He said, "Yes ma'am.... follow me."

Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Wounded twice while visiting Green Beret's, Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter's Kiss by Darlene Fredette blog hop and GIVE AWAY.

     Thank you, Darlene, for including us on your
                                BLOG HOP/GIVE AWAY. 
 Nothing thaws the chill faster than a warm winter kiss.
    Return to beautiful Redford Falls: 
                        a woman who knows what she wants
                        and a man who knows what he needs

    She’s been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town’s charm…and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

   Andrew Haley’s first encounter with the buttery blonde didn’t go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, two years later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She’s determined to leave, but he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him.
   Your sweet romance sounds wonderful. Now lets get personal. I'll throw a log in the wood stove, and a few questions at you! 

What made this book special for you?
It’s the return to Redford Falls, which is my favourite fictional town. I’m thrilled to bring readers back to this beautiful place.

Was there a specific event or idea that triggered the main plot for your story?
I wanted to have an event that brought the hero and heroine together in a fun way and being caught in a winter storm seemed the perfect route.

If you could be reincarnated would you come back as a man or a woman?
A kick-a$$ woman.

Other than family members and Jesus, if you could have dinner with anyone living or dead (no not like the walking dead they’d look normal) who would it be?
Does Jesus from The Walking Dead count? lol! I’d like to meet and chat with Carol Burnett. She’s my favourite female actress/comedian.

What would you like to be for 48 hours—a rock star, butterfly, a tree etc. Maybe a background singer for Michael Buble. I love his music.

What is in your TBR pile?
What isn’t? I have so many books sitting on my eReader, but the reads at the top are: The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess by Liz Fielding, A Cowboy to Keep by Karen Rock, and Bliss by Gini Rifkin 

                                             What great answers!      
           Here's were to find a copy of Winter's Kiss

Purchase Links: 
Escape Publishing 
On my Escape page, click on the ‘BUY EBOOK’ button to find purchase links to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!

To enter the GIVE AWAY simply leave a comment here, additional chances if you also leave a comment on Darlene's blog 

Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

Contact links:


Monday, January 9, 2017

The midnight ride of ...Sybil Ludington

       Born in 1761 in Connecticut, Sybil Ludington was the eldest of twelve children. Her family settled in Dutchess County, New York, and in addition to being a farmer, Sybil's father held various positions within the small town and served in the military for over sixty years.  

He was loyal to the British crown until 1773, when he joined the rebel cause. Soon promoted to Colonel, he led his local regiment and commanded the vulnerable route that the British could take between Connecticut and the coast of Long Island Sound. 

When British troops and British loyalists attacked the nearby town, of Danbury, a rider came to warn Ludington and ask for the local regiment’s help. At the time, the Colonel’s men were disbanded for planting season, and all of the soldiers were miles apart at their respective farms.  
As the rider was too tired to continue, Colonel Ludington asked his barely sixteen-year-old daughter Sybil to ride through the night, alerting his men of the danger and urging them to come together to fight back. 

 Sybil rode all night through the dark woods, covering forty miles (a significantly longer distance than Paul Revere rode), and because of her bravery, almost the whole regiment was gathered by daybreak to fight the British.
After the battle at Danbury, George Washington went to the Ludington home to personally thank Sybil for her help. After the war, Ludington married a Catskill lawyer named Edward Ogden; they had one son.  She passed away in 1839. 
  Although Ludington never gained the widespread fame of Paul Revere, she was honored with a stamp by the Postal Service in 1975. There is a statue of her by Lake Gleneida in Carmel, New York, and there are historical markers tracing the route of her ride through Putnam County.

Monday, December 26, 2016


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 Solace Goodeve, one of Mother Nature’s favorite Fae Warriors, is assigned to Earth to help save the planet. Reptile invaders, disguising themselves as humans, are waging a takeover—and Mother is mad enough to eat asteroids. Solace is ready to prove herself as a warrior, but having a human for a partner is not in her battle plan—even if the man is rugged, ripped, and ready for action. 
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Fae Warrior, bliss Goodeve, fires up her empath skills to help Mother Nature battle the Reptiles invading Earth. But when it comes to her new human partner, Nathaniel Winston Calhoun, Bliss would rather make love than wage war. A man of mystery, he even makes horn-rimmed glasses and a white lab coat look sexy. 
                 Buy Bliss Now


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Julbocks / Yule Goaties

This Christmas season, my goats Tanzie and Tillie, 
insisted I do a blog post on
      Julbocks or Yule Bucks. 

         They pointed out the donkeys ruled the manger scene, the goose was famous for Christmas dinner (too bad for the goose, likewise the turkey on Thanksgiving), bunnies, ducks, and lambs had Easter, and doves had Valentine’s day---but goats get squat. So here goes.  

Back in the old days, the really old days, when Europeans                
hadn't heard about Christianity, the pagan folk celebrated holidays based on the wonders of nature, and their connections to harvesting and celestial events. One such ceremony involved a goat made of straw...a Julbock or Yule Buck.  

 Swedish folk-customs speak of it, and goats are common in Norse folklore in general. 
Apparently Thor had two favorite goats named Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. The figure of Father Winter also tended to be linked to Thor or Odin (often called, The Gift-bearer). And all this took place before the Christian figure of Saint Nickolas came on the scene. 

The goat is usually the the companion of the Tomte, a small mythological creature associated with the winter solstice, no taller than three feet, he has a long white beard, with a conical hat of red or some other bright color. Very much like a Gnome, the Tomte or the Tomten, are also known as gift bearers. He travels with goats to deliver his presents.


Then there is the Norwegian custom called Julebukking, where people wear goat masks and go from door to door surprising their neighbors who receive them and try to identify who is under the disguise.

                        Giving Julebukkers treats and drinks is a tradition.
Once identified and the food is consumed, they move on to the next house. Another tradition requires that at least one person from the visited household join the band of Julebukkers and continue to the next household.

  As an offering to the gods, the straw Julbock is burned in the bonfires that are set during this season. Some people write messages to the gods on a piece of paper, and place them in the red ribbon around the straw goat's neck.

                       I hope the fire department is standing by....   

    So as we celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, and Christmas, don't forget the contributions made by goats. I better go print this out. My guys offered to proofread and edit a copy as they do enjoy a tasty bit of paper.