November 30, 2016

Pairs at Nationals, by author Elizabeth Weiss Vollstadt NOW AVAILABLE. Read first chapter HERE free.

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Weiss Vollstadt about her just released new novel, PAIRS AT NATIONALS, an ice skating story. Perfect for the start of our winter season. Here's Elizabeth.



Product Details


www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Pairs+at+Nationals++by+Elizabeth+Weiss+Vollstadt&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3APairs+at+Nationals++by+Elizabeth+Weiss+Vollstadt

PAIRS AT NATIONALS—Now Available at Special Price!
I’m excited to announce that PAIRS AT NATIONALS, the second book in my Pairs on Ice series, is now out and available on Amazon!  In this book for tweens, Jamie Bartlett, 13, and her partner Matt O’Connor, 15, have just won a gold medal at the sectional competition.  Now they are psyched to win gold at the National Championships.  But then an accident changes everything—and they are forced to train at a new rink with a new coach.  With skating as the backdrop, this book lets the tween reader (and older one, too) feel the struggles of training, the thrill of competition, the pain of bullying, and the power of family and friends.

For the next ten days you can download the Kindle book for only $.99.  So now is the time to buy.  You’ll not only have a fun book to read or give to your favorite tween, but you’ll help me achieve a higher ranking on Amazon.  Why does this matter?  Because Amazon gives more attention to books with high rankings—and that’s especially important to indie authors (like me) who don’t have a big publishing house behind them.  I just learned, for example, that once a book receives fifty reviews, Amazon will actually promote it.  So . . . if you decide to download Pairs at Nationals and enjoy it, I’d appreciate a review.  It doesn’t have to be long—just a few sentence is fine.

To find Pairs at Nationals on Amazon, click on the address.  Thanks!

Here’s the first chapter.

PAIRS AT NATIONALS
Chapter 1

Jamie counted to the music as she circled the rink. Five . . . six . . . seven . . . At eight, she tightened her muscles and leapt. One, two, three rotations, then a smooth landing as her right blade touched the ice in a flowing glide. A perfect triple Salchow! Even better, she could see Matt coming out of the jump in perfect sync with her. They were awesome!
            She skated over to Matt for a high five. It was hard to believe that when they started skating together last year, they couldn’t stand each other. Now he was her best friend—or second best. No one could replace Nicole. She had been Jamie’s best friend since their first time on the ice when they were six years old. Jamie looked across the ice. Nicole gave her a thumbs up before setting up for her own triple Salchow.
            “So, what do you think we should do next?” Matt asked. But he wasn’t looking at Jamie. His eyes swept the rink.
            Jamie’s eyes followed his. “Where is he?” she muttered. Cam was almost an hour late—and he was never late, not once in the whole year and a half he had been their coach.
            “Got me,” Matt said, as if she expected an answer.
            Jamie scanned the rink again, hoping she had somehow missed Cam. But no, all she saw was a kaleidoscope of skaters jumping, twirling and gliding over the ice. Cam wasn’t anywhere to be seen . . . but . . . what was her father doing here? He was standing by the bleachers talking with Bob, the rink manager. They both looked serious.
            Her dad glanced up and his eyes met Jamie’s. He waved her over. “Get Matt, too,” he called as she started skating toward him.
            She turned, but Matt was right behind her. They stepped off the ice. “What’s up?” Jamie asked. She grabbed her skate guards from the shelf around the rink.
            Her father touched her arm. “Let’s go sit in the bleachers. I’m afraid I have bad news.” He turned to include Matt. “There’s been an accident. Cam’s in the hospital. They took him to surgery as soon as he got to the ER.”
            Jamie stopped so suddenly Matt bumped into her. “What do you mean? He’s going to be okay, isn’t he?”
            Dad waited until they were seated before answering. “I don’t know. He was unconscious when they brought him in. The only reason Bob knows anything is because one of the skaters’ moms—Ashley’s, I think—works there. She called to tell him.”
            “He has to be okay.” Matt blurted out what Jamie thought. “We’ve got Nationals in two months!”
            They had almost missed gold at the Midwestern Sectional Championships last week when Jamie stumbled coming out of the twist lift. Luckily, their biggest rivals, Sarah and Sean, fell on a throw jump, which gave Jamie and Matt first place. But they couldn’t count on that happening at Nationals. They needed Cam. They had to nail that lift.
            Jamie’s father gave Matt a weak smile. “Cam may have bigger problems than Nationals.”
            Jamie flinched. It was hard to imagine Cam lying still on an operating table. Not Cam, who was constantly moving. He was more than their coach. He was like a favorite uncle, always encouraging them to be their best, on and off the ice. His thick blond hair, red Olympic jacket, and soft folksy accent were a calming machine telling them they’d be fine. Tears filled her eyes. She sat stone still. So did Matt, cracking his knuckles, a sure sign that he was upset.
            The rink’s announcer cut into her thoughts. “Skaters may now take the ice for the next session.” Everyone poured through the opening to the rink. She and Matt should be out there, too, having another lesson with Cam.
            Jamie stood and grabbed Matt’s arm. She couldn’t just sit there. She had to be on the ice, just like she had to believe Cam would be back in a week.
            “Come on, Matt,” she said. “Let’s get out there. Cam’d be really mad if we slacked off because he wasn’t here for a few lessons.”
            Matt looked at her as if she had two heads. “A few lessons? Didn’t you hear your dad?”
            “I know, but Dad’s not sure of anything. Besides, I need to be on the ice.”
            Matt stared at the skaters whirling and gliding in the rink. He shrugged. “Okay,” he said, “let’s do it.”
            He took her hand as they charged onto the ice. Jamie breathed deeply, taking in its clean, cold smell. They glided into the familiar Killian position––Matt’s right arm around her waist with her right hand over his, their left hands joined in front of his body.
            Her stomach slowly unknotted, calmed by the scrape of her blades and the steady rhythm of their strokes. What a difference from the first time they skated together. She remembered how their skates had tangled, causing a fall and a major battle about whose fault it was. Today, they moved as one person, expertly weaving in and out of the other skaters.
            “We better warm up again before we start on our lifts,” said Matt.
            Jamie nodded and they dropped hands. She got into position for the easy Salchow, doing a double jump with ease. She worked through to the more difficult Lutz, where she tapped the ice before leaping, and landed in a perfect glide.
            As she turned to skate forward, Nicole appeared. Her red practice dress looked bright and cheerful next to Jamie’s black skirt and top. “What’s going on with your dad? You guys looked so serious I was afraid to interrupt. And where’s Cam? I thought you had lessons today.”
            The high Jamie felt on landing her jumps faded away. The knots came back to her stomach. “We did, but––oh my God, Nicole––Cam’s been in a car accident, and he’s in surgery right now. We don’t know what’s going on.”
            Nicole’s blue eyes widened. “But Nationals are coming!” Nicole skated junior singles and had placed first at Sectionals. Nationals were on her mind, too.
            “I know. That’s the first thing I thought. Matt, too. Now I feel guilty thinking about us and not Cam.”
            “Maybe it’s not so bad,” Nicole offered. “Maybe he’ll be all right.”
            “That’s what I keep telling myself, but what if we’re wrong . . .” Jamie’s eyes filled again as two skaters in her class, Ashley and Megan, joined them. Ashley touched Jamie’s arm. “Sorry to hear about Cam,” she said. “My mom sent me a text.”
            Megan nodded. “Me, too.” She really did look sorry. Megan was a lot nicer to Jamie now that Jamie skated pairs and didn’t compete against her anymore.
            “Thanks,” Jamie said. She guessed the rink’s rumor mill was whirling with the news.
            She and her friends skated together silently, then one by one, they went back to practicing. “See you later,” Jamie called as Nicole glided away.
            Matt took her place. “You’re the one who wanted to practice,” he said, “so let’s do it.”
            “Okay.” Jamie wanted to keep some sense of things being normal. “We should start with the platter. I know I can do it.” She loved that lift, but it had been so hard when she started pairs. There was something terrifying about being six feet off the ground. Now she could spring into the air, confident that Matt would hold her.
            Side by side, they skated once around the rink before Matt turned to skate backwards. “When I count to four,” Jamie said. She counted off to the music, then Matt put his hands on her waist. Two more counts and she jumped as he lifted, until she was in the air, back arched, arms out as if she were going to do a swan dive. Matt turned again to skate forward. A few more beats and she came down, landing so smoothly she hardly felt her blades meet the ice.
            “Yes!” said Matt, pumping his fist in the air.
            Jamie grinned, but her grin disappeared when Matt said, “How about the twist lift?” That was where she had stumbled at Sectionals.
            She shrugged. “Okay. Maybe I can get it together today.”
            They started skating, Jamie close behind Matt. When they turned to skate backwards, Matt placed his hands on Jamie’s waist as she put hers on his wrists. After two beats of the music, Jamie tapped the ice with her toe-pick and leaped. At the same time, Matt lifted and threw her into the air. She drew in her legs and arms as she whirled around––once, twice. She struggled to complete the second turn, but her blades met the ice a moment too soon. She stumbled into Matt as she tried to control her landing. Only Matt’s hands on her waist kept her from falling. She stomped her foot. This was just like Sectionals.  Would they ever get this lift?
            The music stopped and Jamie heard, “This session is now over. Will skaters please clear the ice.”
            “What the heck’s the matter with you?” Matt snarled, as they skated to the exit. “How hard can it be to make two stupid turns?”
            “You try coming down clean every time, you’re so great.”
            “I sure wouldn’t stumble like some kid who’s never skated before.” He practically shouted the words.
            Jamie’s face flushed. “Oh yeah, maybe I wouldn’t either if you’d lift a little . . .”
            She stopped when she saw her dad talking with Bob again. Maybe he had more news about Cam. That was more important than fighting with Matt, even if he could be so full of himself sometimes.
            They stepped off the ice, still not looking at each other. But when Jamie’s dad walked toward them, his face grave and shaken, Jamie took Matt’s arm. She was over the stumbled landing.
            “Cam’s wife just called,” Dad said before either of them could speak. “She said to cancel all of Cam’s lessons.”
            “For how long?” Jamie asked.
            When her dad didn’t answer, her heart began to race. “He’s not dead, is he?”
            “No, but he was hit hard. She said the other car ran a red light and smacked right into him. The impact broke his hip and shattered his femur––that’s the thigh bone. He won’t be walking for a long time. And . . .”
            “Yeah, but he can get better,” Matt said. “Maybe he can come to the rink in a wheel chair.”
            “I don’t think so.” Jamie’s dad reached out to touch Matt’s shoulder. “You didn’t let me finish. Cam also has a bad head injury. He’s not waking up. They think he’s slipped into a coma, and they can’t predict when he’ll come out of it. The longer it lasts . . .”
            His voice trailed off as he pulled the two of them into an embrace. “I’m so sorry,” he said, holding them tight. Jamie tried to imagine skating without Cam, but the image wouldn’t come. Tears filled her eyes.
            Matt pulled away, eyes glistening. “I gotta go.” He grabbed his skate guards and stopped only long enough to put them over his blades. Then he practically ran to the locker room.
Jamie didn’t care who saw her. Her dad’s arm still around her, she sobbed into his shoulder. Cam was gone. Maybe he was never coming back. How could they skate without him? And if they couldn’t skate, what would happen to their Olympic dream?

November 13, 2016

Romance paperback now available - wrapping up those small holiday gifts....

NEW romance paperback makes a sweet gift for the reader in your life.


The publication of my paperback Dear Ann: Love Letters from Nam, which is a short story, is finally HERE. So happy. Just click the link below to go to Amazon and check it out. The story is told in letters between a young soldier in war-torn Vietnam and his bride back home in West Virginia. Priced at $5.99. I put a lot of hard work and considerable research into this story. It is a part of a much larger work - which may take the rest of my lifetime to finish or I may never. Thus, here's a portion of the story I still love! The letters make a good stand-alone story. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. If at all possible, please leave a review on Amazon. This paperback exists because of the many requests I had to turn this story into a tangible book. Dear Anne is filled with romance, and the emotion and angst that comes with war-time romance. Leaving a loved one behind to go fight in a war in a far away strange land brings the two closer together. You'll get to know the terrain, the unrest, and the heartbreak that consumes nearly every waking hour of this young soldier's life.

This little book could be the right gift for that reader on your holiday list! 

Thanks!


https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0985259132/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=1479053304&sr=1-1



Now to my love of gift wrapping!

Do you like to experiment with gift wrapping? I do. Especially when it's a small gift like the book above. Take plain brown or white paper and have fun with items such as initials, artificial flowers and greenery. I often combine lace and shiny ribbon  to match the occasion and put the two, add a few berries or greenery and you have an elegantly wrapped present. I'd love to hear your own ideas and how you do or don't wrap gifts. Nothing makes me happier than buying inexpensive ribbons and ornaments, or decorations throughout the year to put on my gift packages. I'm looking forward to the upcoming holiday season so I can once again have fun wrapping up the small gifts I buy. Buying small gifts doesn't mean you have to scrimp on the wrappings or that the wrappings and ornaments have to be expensive. You can make them elegant and lovely regardless of what you've spent. Below are some of my favorite gift wrapping ideas. I love to use buttons. I have a large collection and though I don't give away the ones I love I have many more to choose from. Craft stores are great places to score gift ideas and decorations to add to your gift wrapping supply box. Oh a good pair of scissors and a supply of clear tape help too.



Have fun during the coming holiday weeks. Barb




Me shopping in Cincinnati at the Christmas Market 2016 at Duke Energy Center with two of my favorite girls,
Mackenzie and Jillian. This market was simply amazing.





September 24, 2016

Fifties Music Cure for What Ails you


This is a blog I've revised from 2010. It's very relevant today. I've been on a search for 50s music, the music that I grew up to.

Recently I've ordered cd's and have had a great time listening to and dancing to the music. Remember Billy Joe Royal? Fats Domino? Sam Cooke? Well I remember them all and the words to their songs.
What songs did you grow up to? I'm always looking for new music to listen to. I'd love to have your suggestions, not just from the 50's but during the time you grew up. What strikes your fancy? What songs did you fall in love to?

I shop at one of those stores where you can buy everything from groceries, to the latest movie, to tires for the car.

I passed one of those machines that plays music. The ones where you punch the song you want to hear and it takes off. Mostly the machines offer Celtic tunes, or peaceful songs to lull one to sleep. Not this one. It had some great selections.

My choice was SODA SHOP CLASSICS and when it started playing, I was whisked back to the late fifties right there in the music/candles aisle of the super store. Back to when I was 12 or 13, just at the age when all of life seemed impossibly tragic and out of my reach.

WHY MUST I BE A TEEN AGER IN LOVE by Dion & The Belmonts sent chills up my spine because I remembered singing that to the Ricky Nelson and Elvis posters on my wall when my first boyfriend shunned me, pretend mike in my hand as I sprawled on my twin bed with the blond headboard. (Remember blond wood???)

Next came The Beach Boys singing, "Ba Ba Ba, Ba Ba Ba-A-RAN, Oh, BARBARA ANN," my own name. I sang along with the boys as I twirled around the room in my skirt with a dozen starched crinolines underneath, my blond pony tail bobbing against my shoulders. The ribbon from the pony tail flying around my head as I flew across the room.

Oh those were the days. And those were the songs that made my heart beat faster. Still make my heart beat faster.

Since I bought the cd's, I can whisk myself back to the fifties whenever I want with a turn of the knob on my cd player.



Blessings to you all and here's to you finding what makes your heart beat faster.

Please share the music you love with me. Thanks.

September 7, 2016

Robert Frost Poems that I love.....

Gathering Leaves

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?


After Apple Picking

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree 
Toward heaven still. 
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill 
Beside it, and there may be two or three 
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. 
But I am done with apple-picking now. 
Essence of winter sleep is on the night, 
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off. 
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight 
I got from looking through a pane of glass 
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough, 
And held against the world of hoary grass. 
It melted, and I let it fall and break. 
But I was well 
Upon my way to sleep before it fell, 
And I could tell 
What form my dreaming was about to take. 
Magnified apples appear and reappear, 
Stem end and blossom end, 
And every fleck of russet showing clear. 
My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. 
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin 
That rumbling sound 
Of load on load of apples coming in. 
For I have had too much 
Of apple-picking; I am overtired 
Of the great harvest I myself desired. 
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, 
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall, 
For all 
That struck the earth, 
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble, 
Went surely to the cider-apple heap 
As of no worth. 
One can see what will trouble 
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. 
Were he not gone, 
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his 
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, 
Or just some human sleep. 

August 22, 2016

Happy Birthday!




 Sisters and Friends Forever!

Donna Sue and Bobbie
My birthday gift of a poem to her a few years ago




Today my sister Donna Sue Null Hoffman would be 77 years old. Three years without her has left a hole in my days. She called every day to check on me. She was like a second mother when we moved from our childhood home, I was five and she was eleven, and my mom remarried and worked full time. She took me under her wing and continued looking out for me until the day she died. One of the last things she told me when she was very ill in the hospital just before her death was she needed to take me shopping at Beall's (FL) and buy me clothes. She'd learned that I had bought some clothes at a local thrift store. (I love thrift stores. Her - not so much.) I asked her then what Beall's had that she liked so much. She said, "Pretty things." I asked her how she intended to get us to Beall's since she was in the hospital. She'll said I'll call a cab. I was surprised that she didn't say my father will take us. At the end she called my brother in law, Brownie, father. He was her second skin and gave her the very best all her life. His kindness extended to me as well and continues to extend to me. I know my Susie is in Heaven with mother and daddy and our siblings. Some day my earthly ache will be gone. RIP dear Sue. We'll meet again.





Brownie, Sue, and Bobbie Ann




James "Brownie" Hoffman, Donna Sue Null Hoffman


Donna’s Birthday Poem Oh, Donna Dear, your Birthday's here, Whatever shall I do? Dance without shoes? Sing you the Blues? But, ugh, those reviews! You're near to my heart, Sister. You gave me my start. So here's a poem-present and I hope your day's pleasant. I'll start with, “I love you,” but, will that do, For a sister who loaned me her white buck shoes, And her very last bottle of Halo Shampoo? You danced and twirled and my straight hair you curled. A black-eyed beauty, you took serious this sister-duty, While I spent my days in a summer haze You walked us through that sister-maze. Can you remember the smell of that sweet clover? "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send my sister, Donna, on over!" Oh, to spend one more day of my youth with you. We'd even invite cousin Anna and cousin Sue. For old times sake, fudge and popcorn we'd make. And, to the Boogie Man an iron skillet I'd take! Maybe we'll never make it to the moon, But can you come over real ... uh, ... how do you spell SOON? In memory of my aggravating ways And our letter-writing days. I love you still. I always will. Your Little Sister, Bobbie


When we were kids, we wrote letters to my sister Ella who was in London with her husband Paul who was in the Air Force. I couldn't spell and I drove Sue nuts asking her every few minutes how to spell something. Like D-E-A-R E-L-L-A. She threatened to quit writing altogeher if I was't quiet. I NEVER was. She loved me anyway.

Happy Birthday, Susie.




Sue, my granddaughter Mackenzie, Brownie


Special Family Members who share Sue's Birthday
Our Beloved Sister In Law, Eunice, RIP Eunice
Our Beloved cousin, Dencil, RIP Dencil
Niece Tracey. Happy Birthday, dear sweet Tracey - have a
great one!

July 20, 2016

Eyebrows: Help!



Those of you who still have your natural eyebrows, please hold up your hands.
Okay. Nice show of hands.
Now, let’s see the hands of those who have eyebrows that are not the greatest but still in place and serving you well. 
O-kay. Good count. Thanks!
All those who had your hands in the air are now dismissed. Sorry.
This class is going to discuss and dis-cuss (not really! well, maybe!) the lack of nice regular eyebrows.
When I was a kid like most of you girls in the audience, I had normal eyebrows. Nice shape, nice color.
It was in my teens, when I started to pay attention to them, that they began to let me down.
I first learned to pluck and tweeze the hairs above my eyes from watching my sister Sue do hers.  She had black brows in a perfect arch over big brown eyes. Nice. 
Nice wasn’t my experience. Far from it.
I either took off too many or too little. I never got the hang of tweezing or plucking so I gave that up.
For a few years I let my brows grow in a random patch over my eyes. They were light brown and didn’t call much attention to themselves. They were happy. I was happy.
It was when I discovered waxing that things got out of hand. 

I watched the beauty operator wax patrons a few times and I was so convinced I could follow suit I purchased a large container of eyebrow wax from her. A dab here and a dab there of that hot wax and ole. Pull those hot patches off and I’d have beautiful eyebrows like every one else in that little shop. Ha.
Outcome: eyebrows crooked and eyelids waxed and red.
About that time the industry came out with an eyebrow razor. It was meant to serve those who had a steady hand and a healthy set of eyebrows. I did not possess either. Sure, the pink razor was tiny. But, oh, the damage it could do. Plus, there was blood. For the first time in my eyebrow career. I had sores and blisters. Blood should not appear anywhere near one’s eyebrows. 
Tossing the can of eyebrow wax into the trash, I went back to having my eyebrows done by a professional.
I’m still not without eyebrow dilemmas. Should one color one’s eyebrows? Yes? No? Does one color brows the shade of her beauty shop tinted hair? Do you leave them the wide mixture that they have become with age? Salt, pepper, brown, yellow? Or should one use the aged eyebrow pencil in the make up bag that is closer to auburn than light brown? Color them black as my sister did? Or purple like the girl next door colors her hair?
Or just get rid of them permanently and paint on perfect ones.
Recently, I was told there is yet another option. Tattoo them on and they last forever, ending the dilemma of tweezing, razoring, coloring.
Nope. I swore when my husband came home from Hong Kong with tats I would never go that route. 

I cannot speak to the trend of threading one's eyebrows, as demonstrated above, as I know nothing about it and from the photos I've seen of the practice I'll just stay in the dark, thanks!

How about you? Do you have an eyebrow problem you want to share? Perhaps you've come up with the perfect solution. Please share! Or have you had any other beauty dilemma you can shed light on for us. Comments appreciated.





June 23, 2016

Information about writing stories...


Ezra and Other Stories

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0985259116/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Copy and paste to go to Ezra on Amazon


I ran across this questionnaire from a few years ago. Probably when I was preparing Ezra and Other Stories for publication. The questions made me think and figure out exactly why I wanted to write the stories in the collection. Hope this will help you if you're writing a story of if you've read EZRA and want to know my process.

What is your book's tone, and how do you want readers to perceive your text?

Each story in this collection houses characters that are flawed humans dealing with both serious and humorous situations. My characters are humble people most living in West Virginia. They’re ordinary people going about their lives the best they can and in most cases succeeding in spite of the odds against them.

Provide a summary of the stories in this book of eleven short stories.
Each story is named after the main character.

Mabel and the Garage Sale is about Mabel finding hope after her home is sold when I-64 comes through Charleston, West Virginia.

Delphine and Rainelle finds Delphine trying to help her best friend, Rainelle, whose husband is a cheater.

In Hoot and Marla, Marla realizes the trip to Niagara Falls isn’t about getting engaged but about Hoot’s ego and his Elvis look-alike persona.

Joy Ruth and Minnie Hendrix find more than a burial plan when they visit the local funeral home.

Micro Wave finds acceptance only from his Pug dog after being at Kent State during the riots and shootings.

Wally and Bun are wed just as their old friend, Murphy Mohr, rekindles an old romance.

Eve and Marcus Welby leads Eve to the perfect romance with a man who is also a cat lover.

Twins, Darlene and Charlene, are as different as day and night. One is a book worm, the other “sees” things.

Vinnie asks the question: how long will money from Big Daddy’s chili fund last his two adult children who do not see eye to eye.

Macon for Georgia provides Macon with the best possible partner after an abusive relationship.

Ezra finds love and his soul mate at the end of his life.

Describe your book's theme(s). These stories give the message of hope. These characters are survivors in spite of coming from less than perfect circumstances.

What is your book's genre? Includes a mix of genres.
Romance. Humor. Appalachian.

Describe your target audience by factors such as age group, interests, education, gender, etc.
Stories appeal to adult male and females. Anyone who loves short stories, stories about hope and survival. The under dog succeeds.

What inspired you to write the book?

The characters themselves came to live in my head as I was writing slice of life pieces for newspapers and essays for college. Finally I gave them life by getting them down on paper. Most of the stories came just the way they now read. I am inspired by the stories of Raymond Carver, Lee Smith, Mark Twain, E.B. White, and others.

What distinguishes your book from others?

The humble characters and stories themselves. They are bits and pieces of people I’ve known. They come from deep inside me, inspired by the West Virginia Mountains and its people - sharing how these characters live, listening to what is important to them, believing in them as viable, important, good people.


Describe any specific design ideas for the cover of your book.

Ezra’s cover was made from a photo I bought online from one of the many online companies. I rejected hundreds before finding the right one. I knew it when I first saw it.

Comments welcome.