The following true story from 1938 is taken from my memoir, Why Not Me?
On their anniversary Daddy surprised Mama with a battery powered radio and she placed it on top of the bookcase. For a while we used Daddy's car battery for power, which meant he had to hook it back up to the car before he left for work.
Shaped like a cathedral covered in smooth veneer the radio soon became the center of family activity on winter nights. Daddy liked to listen to the news, and if President Roosevelt came on with one of his Fireside Chats promising an end to the Depression we were instructed, "Don't talk. Listen."
I don't know how Daddy came up with the money but within a year, the radio had a battery of its own we had to regularly remember to have it charged.
"Not everyone can afford the magic of radio," Mama told us, so most Sunday nights we invited the relatives to laugh with Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee, and Gracie Allen. And when my older siblings came home from evening church services we'd all get a taste of the cake or pie one of my aunts had baked to show their thanks.
I was too young to understand everything that came from the radio, but I'd laugh every time Daddy or Mama did. I liked all the shows except 'I Love a Mystery' and 'The Thin Man'. The background music on those shows frightened me.
One Sunday night in late October of 1938 Mama, Daddy and I took our places around the radio, ready to enjoy whatever it might say.
The program began with soft music and when the announcer started talking in a boring voice, I lowered my head onto Mama's lap. Then a frightened voice said, "We interrupt this program to bring you a newsflash from Grovers Mill, New Jersey."
I felt Mama stiffen. Where had her soft lap gone?
I tried to ask, "What's wrong?" but Daddy shushed me, sounding mad. He did that sometimes. I shushed.
Later, the same announcer said something about "forty bodies lying in a field." Mama drew in a sharp breath. The announcer's tone scared me and I covered my ears. His next words sounded like he was being chased up a hill, which scared me even more. Reaching out, Mama took Daddy's hand. I buried my face between her breasts, but didn't make a sound. I didn't want to get sent off to bed all by myself.
A knock suddenly sounded at our front door. Daddy said one of those words under his breath that Mama forbid Little Robert to use and jumped up to answer the door. He hurried back with Uncle Bernie and all the other Valley View men.
"Were you listening..." I heard one whisper, then Daddy ask, "Where do you think they'll attack next?"
He sounded frightened, too, and I burrowed against Mama soft breast, my hands pressed tight over my ears. I no longer cared to hear their conversation or the radio. Even the music was scary, and the announcer's voice--
"Where are the older children? Don’t you think they ought to hear this?" Ralph asked.
"At Training Union," Daddy said, sounding impatient, and I could tell that unlike me, he didn't want to miss a word the announcer said.
"If the world really is coming to an end, I want my family at my side," Uncle Bernie said.
"You think I should go get them, Sugar?" Daddy asked.
"Bernie's right," Mama said. "Whatever happens, I'll feel better if we are all together when it does."
Daddy pulled his cap down on his head. "I won't be long," he said, giving Mama a fierce hug.
I begged to go with him. I didn't mind missing the rest of the broadcast. The announcer terrified me and from the way Daddy looked, even he was scared.
We drove the three miles to Dawson Baptist Church in no time and Daddy climbed out of the car in a big rush. Some men gathered on the church steps beneath the light shed by a bare bulb stopped Daddy to talk.
"What brings you back so soon, Bob?" Daddy's bald friend asked.
"Some unknown force is attacking the east coast and I've come to take my children home."
"Oh, didn't you hear? That was all a hoax," the man said.
"Yeah, someone else was just here," another added. "Said what you heard was a re-enactment put on by some guy named Orson Wells. He called it 'The War of the Worlds.' You must have left home right before he explained the program was a special Halloween broadcast. It just ended."
I could see that Daddy felt foolish, letting a silly radio program scare him, but since he was already at the church he collected my brother and sisters, and on the way home told them what we'd heard and why he'd come for them. They were upset they'd missed all the excitement, Little Robert especially. He thrived on talk of war and guns.
When we reached home, all the relatives were still there talking about how the broadcast had made them feel.
"What did you think about those sound effects? The realistic sound of those tanks rumbling down the street?"
"Yes, and folks cut off in mid-scream? Even the announcer's voice cut off in the middle of describing an attack."
"It was like we were right there," Ralph said, slapping Daddy on the back. "I even looked out the door to see if the sky was red, so I'd know how soon those invaders would be here."
Not one of them thought Mr. Wells' Halloween prank was funny and when we gathered for the family feast on Thanksgiving, my uncles were still talking about that broadcast.
Seventy-five years later I still remember our fear.
Not many of the residents who helped get the San Carlos Branch Library built still live in San Carlos, so when the Friends of the Library Historian published a request for help collecting date for the upcoming 4oth Anniversary of the library celebration I sent the following information to her.
"Late in 1969 or early in 1970 I was appointed Library Chairman of the San Carlos Community Council, the predecessor to the current community planning group, after a local mother of Patrick Henry students appeared at a SCCC Board meeting and demanded to know what was being done to get the promised library built in San Carlos.
She was one of the many frustrated local residents who bought their homes on the assurance the growing community would have schools, a fire station and a library. Developers even showed potential buyers a plot mad showing the proposed library. The fire station was built on that site and bulldozers were continually flattening the most desirable spots for apartments. Soon there would be no suitable site left.
I learned from City Librarian Clara Breed that unless we brought pressure on the City Council to purchase property and build a library in San Carlos that mother and others residents would continue having to drive their students to the Benjamin Library in Allied Gardens to do their research.
She told me how to get the Council's attention and I applied a week ahead for my name to be placed on the docket for the following week's Council meeting. The Council members listened attentively, then admitted they were sorely uninformed about our community's needs and asked someone to look into the matter and bring it to the attention of the City Planning Commission.
When the subject came up on the Planning Commission's docket a large group of San Carlos residents drove in a caravan to the meeting and several other members of our group spoke before I made an impassioned plea for the Council to select a site for the proposed library before the best sites were all snapped up for service stations. The interest of our residents turned Council heads, and a week later the Clara called and asked if I would show her around the area. The site I thought best, next to our new fire station, had just been sold for a service station so I drove her around the neighborhood in my VW bus, pointing out other likely sites. She preferred a location near a shopping center, and the City soon purchased the present site on Jackson Drive.
Because of my work to secure a library site Alan Hitch, the Councilman for our District, invited me to turn the second shovel of dirt at the ground breaking ceremony for the new library. For a year prior to the opening of our library local residents had been donating books for the proposed library and I had stacks of books in my garage for the library. Prior to the opening the Librarian sent a truck to pick up the books which were sold by the first Friends of Library organization at the downtown library and the resulting funds used to purchase additional new books for the San Carlos Library."
A local committee will soon launch a fund-raising campaign to supplement City funds for the much-needed expansion of our library and since I firmly believe search engines can never replace printed books, I plan to help.
Welcome to the Cowboys and Lawmen Blog Hop!
Leave your email address with your comment for a chance to win an eBook time travel download complete with a Pinkerton man. There's also a $100 gift card of your choice going to a lucky name drawn from all the commenters.
Cowboys, lawmen and bad boys, oh, my.
I've met one real cowboy, a few peace officers and more than my share of bad boys in my lifetime, but for some reason I have a penchant for writing about cowboys and lawmen, good or bad.
In Rising Above,
a time travel released by Desert Breeze Publishing, Hal Grantham, the hero, is an undercover Pinkerton Agent tracking stagecoach robbers in a silver mining town in the mountains above Death Valley, California. He's the tall, silent type who keeps his angst-riddled past to himself and passes himself off as a misplaced cowboy working the mines who sometimes follows the trail of crooks.
The last thing this widowed lawman wants to do is marry again, but luck is not with him. Wilda Stone's hot air balloon crashes, dashing her hope of winning the race to Death Valley and dumping her back in 1874 and smack on the hero's back.
Although he rescues Wilda, fate still has it in for Hal. The high wind that forced her balloon down blows up a sand storm and Hal seeks shelter for them in a cave, where Wilda spends two nights in the cave with his horse and Hal before the wind finally dies.
To Hal's way of thinking he has compromised her reputation and the outspoken woman must marry him, but strong-willed Wilda wants no part of a marriage without love. She's planning to return to her empty house and empty life in Riverside as soon as she figures out how to get back to 2012.
The arrival of the stately newcomer in Cerro Gordo creates quite a stir among the love starved miners who see her as fair game, forcing Hal to prematurely announce their betrothal. Wilda endures the novelty of Hal coming courting while she waits to return to her time. However his first kiss changes everything. A tomboy who grew up to work with a Caltrans road crew without ever being asked out on a date, quickly falls in love with Hal.
It's said the course of true love never runs smooth. Their marriage hits a few snags. Wilda can't cook, but much of the newlyweds' time is spent in bed, and they continue to take their meals at the American Hotel. Then, while Hal is off trailing the latest stagecoach robbers, a villain from Hal's past kidnaps Wilda, counting on her husband to come to the abandoned mine shaft where he's keeping her. Then the villain will kill Hal.
Wilda has no way to warn him, but she has her trusty pocketknife, the same knife she used to beat Hal at mumblety-peg while confined to the cave after the balloon crash. Her aim is true. The gutsy heroine buries the blade in the villain's chest and Wilda and Hal escape unharmed.
No, their lives still do not run smooth. Hal lost his first wife and young son when diphtheria swept their town while he was away protecting railroad shipments for Pinkerton, so when a diphtheria epidemic hits Cerro Gordo, he panics. Wilda insists childhood immunizations given her by Twentieth Century doctors will protect her from the diseases prevalent in 1874. Still fearing for her safety, Hal repairs her balloon and sends her back to her own time in tears.
Like a lucky penny Wilda returns, allowing Rising Above
to have a happy ending. True to his promise to never again leave his wife unprotected Hal accepts employment as sheriff in a small town in the Owens Valley where he can keep close watch over his buxom bride.
Here's a buy link where you can read more about Restored Dreams http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/noel-toni/or
Or here: Amazon.com http://amzn.to/HdUpj1
Or here: Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/13prbVm Toni
hangs out here: http://pinterest.com/toninoelwriter http://twitter.com/toninoelwriter http://www.facebook.com/AuthorToniNoel http://www.ToniNoelAuthor.com/blog.html www.ToniNoelAuthor.com Don't forget to leave a comment for the chance to win the grand prize or a download of Rising Above.
Ready to return to Cowboy Charm? Here's the link:
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On my 2013 calendar, the wallpaper for the entire month of February is a big red heart. Rather appropriate for a romance writer, don't you think?
In addition to Valentine's Day I've also circled my husband of sixty-plus years' birthday, so between the birthday, spreading love around by sending Valentines to my extended family, and selecting a meaningful gifts to commemorate these special occasions for my DH, it's little wonder I consider February the love month
. I've been so busy spreading love around I didn't get this blog posted when I'd planned.
Love has been in the air all month, every store window and even the TV commercials have reminded us it's the love month
. Even the Super Bowl ads got in on the act. So is the love month
over-commercialized, or does it truly act as a jump start for flagging romances?
When we were younger, dinner reservations for February 14th were a must, and my husband soon learned if he failed to confirm our plans by the first of February, he was pretty much out of luck to find a place for us to eat out. Our favorite restaurants would be all booked. One year a local Italian restaurant advertised their special menu ahead, and we were one of the lucky couples to share a romantic dinner by candlelight and a thoughtful nosegay for the ladies to take home.
Only the pricey restaurants do that now, and since we no longer drive at night, my husband grilled tender fillet mignon for me, and wild salmon for himself, and I found this preferable to a questionable restaurant meal.
Each year I receive a Valentine from a secret admirer, and though he tries to hide his identity by sending his bundle of Valentines addressed to all his lady friends to someone in another city for mailing, we all know who he is: a romantic at heart who believes we all should mail a stack of Valentines to our friends to commemorate love month
, and keep the tradition alive.
This romantic is all for that, and I do my part.
On a related subject, I just finished reading an historical romance, Sabrina Jeffries' delightful novel A Lady Never Surrenders.
In it, Lady Celia, the gutsy heroine, insists: "A lady never surrenders. Except where love is concerned. I've come to realize that in matters of love, a clever lady always
surrenders." Right on!
Of course it took the heroine until the end of the novel to finally come to this conclusion, which is half the fun of reading romance, don't you think? Good job, Sabrina.
My publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing, has a new website, and if you've been wanting to read eBooks, but don't own a reader, Why ePub?
on the publisher's website has instructions for downloading eBooks to any device. Here's a link: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/why-epub/ And here the link where you can download my books: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/noel-toni/ and here:
Ann Siracusa tagged me for RWA-SD's Blog Hop and asked that I answer these Ten Interview Questions and Answers for the Next Big Thing in my writing career. Here goes: What is your working title of your book?
Homeward Bound Where did the idea come from for the book?
I love to watch shows on HDTV about Stagers, and the ways they can quickly change a room. What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary romance Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven't the faintest. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Some are born with a silver spoon, others with a heart of gold. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither, though not yet completed, I've already sold it to my publisher, Desert Breeze. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm still working on that, and I have to turn it in to the publisher for edits on April 1, but I typed THE END to the first draft on New Year's Eve. YEAH! Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The shows about staging empty New York City apartments on HGTV. I knew wealthy homeowners were hiring stagers to help their homes sell quickly because of the down economy, and decided to write about an experienced by trained stager, the product of foster care, and her wealthy client, a man whose Rancho Santa Fe home means nothing to him. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The heroine takes time out of her busy schedule to listen to friends and even gives some a helping hand. I tagged Rachel Davila and Jackie Allen. Watch for their blogs.
Here are a couple of examples of the Next Big Thing blog: http://lauradrakebooks.com/myblog.php?s=the-next-big-thing-what-im-working-on-next http://www.orlykoniglopez.com/blog.html
You can read more Next Big Things written by the person who tagged me, Ann Siracusa, and another member she tagged, Shirley Wilder. http://rwasd.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/the-next-big-thing-featuring-r-ann-siracusa/
This past year the local papers have been full of news stories about child abuse. Not as much has been written about spousal abuse and elder abuse. It seems these stories only make the headlines when violence erupts.
Is there nothing we can do to prevent the murder-suicide of innocent children? Not only the terrible toll in the Connecticut school shooting, but now there's an incident closer to my home, another murder-suicide that has taken four more lives.
Are you praying like I am that we'll get through the holidays without anymore tragedies?
The mental health of others is so often overlooked as we hurry about our daily lives, as is our own mental health.
Thankfully, mental illness no longer carries the scourge it once did. Once diagnosed, it can be successfully treated with therapy, drugs, and educated understanding. Anyone may suffer 'the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune,' and may become depressed and stop eating or taking their medication.
Awareness is the first step to lending a helping hand. Reach out, thenup.
Good morning! I am Gemma K. Murray and I reside in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. I write urban fantasy/paranormal romance.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself:
I was born and raised in lower Michigan to a family of dairy farmers. So, you can see where my love of animals comes from.
I met my husband when I started kindergarten and felt a connection even then. It took us several more years to fall in love, but we’ve spent the last 20 years of our lives together. In fact, we celebrated our 19th anniversary this year. We have 5 canine kids who we adore and spoil rotten as often as we can.
My books come from dreams I have. I dream the same dream every night until I begin writing the story. That’s when the characters begin to talk to me. They tell the story. I simply write it down.
Here’s a little bit about my Cedar River series:
Yes, Cedar River is an actual city in Michigan’s U.P. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that when I began writing the series. I had never been to the U.P., but my character, Bowie, told me where to set it. Lucky for me, there is a thing called creative license.J That allowed me to move the city to Lake Superior instead of keeping it on Lake Michigan.
Anyway, Cedar River is an entire community of shifters. From the dragons to the puma and wolves all way through to otters, a fischer, owls, lynxes, and few surprises, all shifters are welcome in Cedar River. There is safety to be found here.
Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart was supposed to be a one-time thing. Well, the characters had other ideas. Natural Born Enemies is the second book in the series (Fall 2012) and I’m working on the third book along with a spin-off series. I can’t tell you how many will be in the series since the number changes weekly. I’ll just say, I hope it continues for a very long time!Blurb- The Upper Peninsula of Michigan seems like it is another country. The rawness and beauty of the land draws people from every walk of life. What most people don't realize is there is a little town nestled on the banks of Lake Superior that an entire group of supernatural beings call home. Shifters of every shape and size live there. They raise their families there. Tourists come from near and far to visit the quaint town of Cedar River, Michigan. The tourists never realize they are walking among some of the most unusual beings on earth. Bowie Golden is a dragon shifter who is in charge of Cedar River's safety. Until now, the biggest threat to anyone's safety was Anastasia Plum, a witch/puma-shifter. She has been the town hellraiser since she was a teenager. Now someone has discovered the secret the residents of Cedar River keep for one another. These radicals are determined to eradicate the entire town. It's up to Bowie to keep them all safe. Ana has always idolized Bowie. She may have stirred up trouble from time to time, but Bowie or one of his brothers would always get her out of the trouble she was in. One day, it happened. The unthinkable, the unimaginable occurred. Anastasia Plum fell for the "golden" boy. What an unlikely duo- the sheriff and the hellraiser! Just as these two discover their passion for one another, a group of people is determined to keep them apart. It's up to Ana to prove that she is the only Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart.
You can view the video trailer here
Available at:AmazonLeap of Faith PublishingBarnes and NobleCoffee Time Romance’s e-bookstore
Where you can “stalk” Gemma:WebsitePinterestGoodreadsFacebookCedar River’s FB pageGoogle+
Thank you, Toni, for allowing me to spend the day with your readers! I appreciate this opportunity.
Guest author Sapphire Phelan writes the perfect reads for your Halloween pleasure, erotic urban fantasies about dark heroes and heroines with bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today. Welcome, Sapphire. There’s something about hot, humid Southern heat and romance. Maybe it’s the essence of Tennessee Williams, with his themes of repression and yet, sexual desire, like in A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Southern belles as they fan themselves, the beading of sweat—especially on a man’s hard, naked body, and the heat intensifying the passion. Maybe it’s a need to relieve the heat in the lovers more than anything else. A fleshy form of thunder and lightening. More than anything, a romance author who lives in the South, can finds inspiration writing passionate love stories, whether summer, or winter, even in fall and spring, especially when the humidity lingers in the air. Though said author admits to writing it indoors, in cool air conditioning or during winter, with the dry heat keeping her toasty warm. But with hot humidity sometimes going up to 100 degree weather lately and when storms rush in, hitting the area with violence and passion, an author can see how this would work with passions erupting between lovers in a romance. Sapphire Website Blog Newsletter Facebook Blurb: Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn't do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won't stand a chance in Hell. A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?The Witch and the Familiar is adult in nature as is the book, so only 18 and older can read.Excerpt from The Witch and the Familiar, an erotic urban fantasy for readers 18 and above.Nasty wraiths that haunted Tartarus stalked them. Not near enough to feel their rancid breath on the backs of their necks, but every time Tina glanced back over her shoulder, she caught sight of several shadows remerging with the darkness. “Keep walking, keep walking. It doesn’t do to let the monsters know you know they’re there,” Fluffy told her. She couldn’t understand why she listened to the cute little bastard. No doubt he was leading her around in circles and playing with her. She wouldn’t be surprised if they landed back at Lucifer’s place, where the depraved creature would hand her over to the Devil, being in paw and cloven hoof with the Master of Hell. It almost made her want to kick him in his perky little tail. Sure, and with no powers, the rascally demon rabbit would skewer her with his. What’s up, Doc? She bet Bugs Bunny was based on a demon like Fluffy. She halted when she almost ran into the phantoms of a skinny little man being pursued by a big-boned woman brandishing a kitchen knife. The woman was screaming at him, but no words came out of her mouth. They swished off the path and back into the darkened fields of Tartarus. Now why had she halted? They were spirits and nothing more. She could have passed right through their ectoplasmic bodies. Tina snatched Fluffy off the ground and walked faster. “Come on, my longer legs will make better time.” “You can trust me.” Tina stopped. “What?” “I know what you’re thinking.” She lifted Fluffy up by his long floppy ears to stare into his eyes. “You sneaky little monster. Get out of my head.” “I did not read your thoughts,” retorted Fluffy, twitching his nose. “I have powers, but that does not include being able to hear what you are thinking. Besides, what self respecting demon wants to know what a human thinks, even if the human is an immortal Witch? Give me a break.” She put him back in her arms and started walking again. “Then how did you know?” “A smart person would be suspicious of any demon willing to help them. I mean, look at our track records. We lie, cheat, steal, murder, commit lustful acts, and most of the time try to get humans to do all that for us. And for what—the small promise of a human soul?” He shook his head. “Human souls are like pennies to the bigger treasure. Witches’ and Angels’ are worth gold if one of us can get them to fall for our honeyed lies and be led astray. I meant it, Witch. I want out of this cesspool and I am tired of doing the Devil’s bidding.” He sounded sincere. Tina decided to take the chance that he meant it, though like she had any other option otherwise. She almost ran into another lost soul that floated onto the lit path. It glared at her and she kicked a large stone by accident. It skittered off into the murkiness off path, its sound loud like a warning that some fool that did not belong there walked through Tartarus. A bellow filled the air and she came face-to-face with some terrifying demon armed with a sword. Fluffy screeched and leaped from her arms. Cowardly demon, she thought. Frightened and powerless, she positioned herself with her arms up like a karate expert. She didn’t have one chance at survival, but she’d be damned she wouldn’t go without a fight. “Charun, wait!” yelled a familiar sounding voice. “That’s Tina!” The demon froze. She dropped her arms and stared up into its face. Was that truly…”Charun?” Yes, it was! The sword vanished in a poof of smoke. Then Charun took her by her shoulders and lifted her up to stare at her closer. She kissed him. The look of confusion in his eyes changed to a growing gleam of joy. “Tina? Tina!” She found herself enveloped in the demon’s arms and kissed deeply. She returned the kiss back just as fully. Only Charun kissed like that. Like hot chocolate and whipped cream, with a touch of wicked whiskey. About Sapphire Phelan:Sapphire Phelan has published erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance along with a couple of erotic horror stories. Her erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch is a Prism 2010 Awards winner and a Epic Awards 2010 finalist. The sequel to it is A Familiar Tangle With Hell, released June 2011 from Phaze Books, Both eBooks were combined into one print book, The Witch and the Familiar, released April 24, 2012.She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house, husband, and even the cats sometimes suffer for it!Find out more about Sapphire Phelan at http://www.SapphirePhelan.com.Buy The Witch & The Familiar at Phaze Books , BarnesandNoble.com and at Amazon . For those in Uk, it’s available at AmazonUK .