Sunday, November 24, 2013

Being Thankful

When I was in high school, I remember reading that the idea of the Thanksgiving Holiday originated as a day to give “thanks” for the previous year’s harvest. That image has certainly evolved over the years.
This week I was in the library while the Children’s Librarian read a Thanksgiving book to a group of preschoolers. When she was finished the story, she asked each child what he or she was thankful for. Some of the answers included, “Mommy and Daddy...” “my dog...” “pumpkin pie...“that book you read...” (my favorite!)

To all of you who follow this blog…leave comments…check out my Facebook page and Google+...send me emails, "Thank you!"

I'm grateful to everyone who followed "Magic Moment's First Anniversary Celebration Tour." Our last stop was this past Monday at "The Reading Addict." Although I've picked the gift card winner, you can still check out the post. As soon as I receive a reply to my email, I'll post the winner's name on my Facebook page and Google+. Much appreciation for the folks at "The Reading Addict" for hosting. Visit,

Also, many thanks to Robin at "Romancing the Book," for taking the time to read and review "Magic Moment." For a peak at the review and the "Romancing the Book" website,

Finally, best wishes to all of you for a safe and happy holiday.

Until next week...

                                “Happy Thanksgiving!”

                                                                                     (photos c/o

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Are You Superstitious?

Earlier in the week I received what I call a "chatty" email from one of my RWA chapter mates, the kind where we try in a few paragraphs to catch up with what's happening on each other's end of the keyboard. She asked if I was working on another book. She's not the first one to ask that question of late.

I replied "yes," told her the number of pages I've completed, then moved on to the next part of her email. I don't really talk about current projects because I'm superstitious. When I was writing Magic Moment, those around me only knew on a "need to know" basis -- for example, if I needed a proofreader. My mother didn't even know about the book until she saw the Crimson cover. I feel that if I start discussing a current WIP (work in progress), it will never materialize. Especially in light of all the stops and starts with this project because while writing a new novel, I'm promoting a current one. That's a new experience for me.

Big baseball fan that I am, I once read that during a game, if it's the sixth or seventh inning and a pitcher hasn't given up a hit, no one in the dugout will mention the possibility of a "no hitter" or "perfect" game (a really big deal -- just ask Phillies' Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz!). Everyone is thinking about it, but keeps the thought to himself. Almost as if someone utters the words...Well, I think you get my drift.

So, I concentrate my writing conversations right now on promoting Magic Moment, and my hopes that those who read the book will enjoy it.

But, it does make me wonder if anyone else out there has superstitions. Please feel free to share.

Thank you to "Book Bliss" for hosting this week's stop on Magic Moment's tour. To check out  "Book Bliss," visit,

Tomorrow is the final stop in the tour. Join us at "The Reading Addict." Please stop by and comment for a chance to win your choice of a $25 Gift Card to Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. Visit,

Since I check out tour stops throughout the entire week, I'll notify the winners on Saturday, November 23rd.

Finally, a special SHOUT-OUT "thank you" to the folks at Goddess Fish Promotions for putting the tour together. You're awesome!

Have a great week, Everyone.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Cracks in My Heart"

After mentioning a short story, I'd written, "Cracks in My Heart," during my August interview with Linda Carroll-Bradd, I received a few emails asking where it had appeared. The story was featured in Long and Short Reviews in July 2010. LASR, at one time, had a feature called the "Thrifty Thursday" short story showcasing fiction shorts of 1,000 words or less.

Since "Cracks in My Heart" takes place in Autumn, and tomorrow is "Veterans Day," I thought today would be a wonderful day to post the story. My hero is a member of the United States Armed Forces. This is one of my favorite stories. Many thanks to all who have asked for it.

And, to all our Vets out there, a huge, heartfelt "thank you," for your service to our country.

                                   CRACKS IN MY HEART


The red and gold leaves, blazing bright, swayed in the afternoon autumn breeze. Children romped in the tailored green grass. Patrons sat on wooden park benches, eating lunch, reading, or simply enjoying the sun’s rays.

Seeing the oak tree, its thick branches hanging over the iron fence onto the busy sidewalk, I managed a smile despite the usual tears blurring my eyes. Jeff and I had always sat on the bench beneath this particular old tree.

A low sigh escaped my lips as I slid onto the firm bench. My thoughts wandered, and it was two years ago. I felt Jeff sitting beside me, our thighs pressed together. He held my right hand, our fingers laced.

"I’m sorry," he uttered. "Our relationship has to end. I can’t go fight a war and leave you here, alone. Waiting. You deserve better."

We had only been dating two months when his notice arrived from the military.

"But I want to wait," I told him.

He shook his head. "No," he said, his tone adamant. "It’s not fair to you. You ought to have a life. There’s a guy out there who deserves a great woman like you. Promise me you’ll move on. Forget about me."

Forget him, he said. How could I forget a man so kind and honest? The man who made my heart race, my pulse rush, and my cheeks ache from grinning? Who made sitting in the park watching children play, tossing peanuts to squirrels, and hearing birds whistle a memorable experience? Forget him was like asking me to forget to breathe.

I had learned how steadfast he could be when he had a conviction in his head. He couldn’t concentrate on the hardship of a battle zone, defending his country while thinking of me at home, yearning, and waiting for letters that he perhaps would have no time to write.

And what if he didn’t come home? At all? Or arrived in a box with a flag draped over it? Or came back with a part of his body missing? Or his mind not fully functional?

Those factors were sometimes the heartrending outcome of war.

We had yet to say the words, and I wouldn’t pressure him with them now. Despite the short time the calendar said we’d been together, we loved each other.

Jeff believed you didn’t burden people you love.

I believed that when you love someone, pain was sometimes part of the deal.

"All right," I said, slipping my hand from his. Even as I felt the cracks in my heart, I wished him well. With tears stinging my eyes that day, I watched him walk away.

Much has changed in those two years since Jeff and I sat under this oak tree together. The war has ended. Some soldiers were coming home, adjusting to a life that would never be the same as before they had left. Others would never return. For those soldiers, it was their families who would be forced to make the adjustment.

I finished college and am teaching sixth grade. Some day this war will be in the history book I’ll teach from. I wonder how our side will be chronicled, and how I’ll feel every time I present the lesson, knowing that I had lived through history and what it had taken from me.

What hadn’t changed, what remained over time, were those cracks in my heart. They hadn’t healed. Tears streamed down my cheeks.

"Susan?" a male voice called.

My breath stopped. Jeff’s voice? Or was it my imagination? I began trembling. I was afraid to turn, fearing he wouldn’t be there. That his voice was all in my head and only a fantasy.


My head swirled toward the park’s front gate. His dark hair was cropped. He had dropped some weight, his jeans baggy, his chest lost in the khaki green T-shirt he wore. But the slow, leisurely smile that made me tingle inside hadn’t disappeared.

"Jeff!" I cried, swiping at my tear-stained cheeks with the back of a hand.

I jumped up from the bench. We ran toward each other, he with arms held wide open. I couldn’t help myself and threw myself against him. His arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me close and holding me tight. Jeff was gentle, yet strong, and everything I had dreamed of all these months. Only now he wasn’t a dream. He was real.

"You‘re home," I whispered.

"A week," he said. "I’ve been coming here every day looking for you." He eased back and looked at me. "I missed you so much." His eyes held mine and he blurted out the words. "Are you seeing anybody?"

I was stunned by the question, but couldn’t help the smile as I shook my head. "I’ve thought of you every day while you were gone. Sometimes, like today, I’d just come here and think of us being together."

With the back of his hand, he rubbed my cheek "I love you, Susan. I have since the day we met."

"If you love me, why didn’t you want me to wait?" I asked.

"Because by not asking, I had hope. That’s what kept me going," he said. "If I had asked you to wait, there was always the chance you’d get tired. I’d get the letter saying you had found someone else and we were finished. By not expecting you to wait, I always had the anticipation that you would be here when I got back."

"There’ll never be anyone else for me. You’re the one I love," I whispered.

When my arms slid around his neck, he pulled me closer and kissed me. His mouth was warm and soft. As he deepened the kiss, I got lost in him.

And the cracks in my heart began to heal.


                                                               ****The End****

Thank you to Jody at "Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess" for hosting last week's stop on "Magic Moment First Anniversary Celebration."

Visit Jody,

Tomorrows' stop on the tour is "Book Bliss."

Join us,

Have a great week, Everyone!
                                                                            ("Heart" photos c/o

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Stop and Appreciate the Autumn Leaves..."

Earlier this week I as walking through one of the many beautiful parks we have in Philadelphia and took a good look at the leaves on the trees. Although I pass by these same trees almost every day, I was amazed this particular day by the spectacular colors -- crimson red, brilliant orange, dazzling gold. I turned to my colleague and said, "Look at these gorgeous they are today. I love Fall."

My colleague and I continued our baseball conversation as we strolled, and when we arrived at the end of the park's walkway, we waved "bye." She went in one direction for the train home to the suburbs. I went in another to catch a city transit bus. While standing at the bus stop, I started making a list of all the things I enjoy about the Fall season besides the colorful leaves. I love the crisp weather...all the flea markets I attend, the pumpkin spice coffee that I probably drink too much of, the pumpkin muffins that I know I eat too many of, the adorable, smiling scarecrows decorating my front windows. These are modest items. They made me think about how often I don't stop and just appreciate the simple things around us.

I'm sure there are others like me...who don't take a few minutes and appreciate the simple joys out there. So, right now can you take a few seconds to marvel at and enjoy something simple? Like the pumpkin spice coffee I'm sipping right now...

We had two stops on this week's Magic Moment First Anniversary Celebration Tour, "Nana Prah's BlogSpot" and "Sharing Links and Wisdom."  Comment for a chance to win your choice of a $25 gift card to your choice of Starbucks or Barnes and Noble.



Tomorrow's stop is "Words of Wisdom From the Scarf Princess." Look forward to seeing you all!


Have a great week!

                                                                           ("Autumn Leaves" photo c/o