Guest Post

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Sunday, May 28, 2023

May 29, 2023, a Day of Remembrance

cj Sez:  Because I believe this info needs repeating . . . 

All sacrificed some; some sacrificed all.

   Many people confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day and think of the two days as being interchangeably one and the same, but there is a difference between them. Do you know what it is?

   Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military—in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all who served—not only those who died—have sacrificed.

   Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring those who died in the service of their country, particularly the military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In England, it’s known as Remembrance Day.

   It wasn't always called Memorial Day…it was once known as Decoration Day. Then the name changed again and became Poppy Day. When I was little, we bought and wore little red, paper poppy flowers as a remembrance. I believe the flowers were made by disabled Vets back then. Whatever the name, it's a day to remember and honor all those heroic men and women who have died in service of the United States of America.

  Born of the Civil War, Memorial Day began as a holiday honoring Union soldiers. The date of the first Decoration Day, the 30th of May, 1868, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular Civil War battle. 

  Inspired by the rondeau poem “In Flanders Fields” (penned by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while still at a World War I battlefront), Moina Michael, a University of Georgia professor, came up with this simple idea: Sell poppy flowers to raise money on behalf of soldiers killed and injured in World War I--the red of the petals representing the blood of heroes shed on those fields of war. Michael was the first to wear one, and she sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

   In my original Lyrical Pens post a few years ago, Janie Delchamps Zetsch of Dauphin Island, AL, a veteran and member of AL Post 250, shared insights on how to honor our fallen heroes. Janie told me then that what follows here had been a Facebook repost and gave me permission to use the words. Please take a minute to read it all the way through. It says everything.

“Just a reminder of what we celebrate next weekend. I am but one of millions of proud veterans, however it is not about us. It is to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice during battle, and to honor those that served and have now gone onto their eternal rest. The following, pointed, reminders are provided for your use, knowledge and perhaps to teach a child what we celebrate and honor on Memorial Day. 

Here's some ground rules:
1. Don't wish me a Happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about brave men and women dying.
2. It's not a holiday. It's a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning, visit Arlington or your local VA, not Disneyland.
4. Don't tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about Chesty Puller, George Patton, John Basilone, Dakota Meyer, Kyle Carpenter, Mitchell Paige, Ira Hayes, Chris Kyle and any other heroes too numerous to name. Attend a Bell Ceremony and shed some tears.
5. Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I have carried the burden all too many times for my warriors who now stand their post for God.
6. Say a prayer... and then another.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Vet know you're there, we're losing too many in “peace”. God Bless those who fought and died and served this nation for our freedom.”

   cj Sez:  I owe an awesome debt, one which can never be repaid, to the thousands upon thousands of heroic men and women who died so that my family and I live in freedom. I pray God’s blessings and comfort rain down on the grieving families and friends they left behind.

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


   The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my paperback books in stock and ships everywhere. To order contact:  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

You-all guys know . . .

cj Sez: . . .  that authors often include bits and pieces of personal experiences in their stories, don't you? I’ve included at least a small part of my life experiences in all of my stories. A couple of my favorite adventures are written into DEATH ON THE YAMPA. 

   You may have read about this before because I’ve told it many times, but let me tell you again a little backstory about my first-person research for DEATH ON THE YAMPA.

   Way back when I was a younger, more adventurous woman, and in the throes of a mid-life crisis, I spent five-and-a-half days on an Outward Bound, white-water rafting trip down the Yampa River.
   At 250-miles long, the Yampa—a lazy float trip struggling through low water in the summer months—surges to life when Spring melts the mountain snows and roaring water rushes boaters through awesome, sandstone canyons in Dinosaur National Monument.

  There were four huge, silver rafts in our Outward Bound convoy, each carried eight to ten people, and a flotilla of kayakers ran the biggest rapids ahead of the rafts and waited in the eddies downstream, ready to pick up anyone who had the misfortune to fall overboard.
  I traveled alone on this Springtime snowmelt trip, didn’t know anyone who was going to be there, had never rafted before, and what was even wilder, I didn’t know how to swim. (Still don’t.) Our rafts entered the Yampa River in Colorado and ended the adventure five days and seventy-five miles later in Utah.
  The Yampa trip turned out to be part one of my research.
  The following year, I volunteered to do a Jeep Jamboree off-road adventure on the Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and write about it for my company’s newspaper. The Jeep Jamboree grades the Rubicon Trail as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty for off-road enthusiasts.
  I joined two professional writers in a Jeep Wrangler that, like many of the Wranglers on the trail, had its doors and hard top removed and a skid plate welded to the undercarriage to protect the engine when driving over boulders.

  I was the only novice driver/writer in that Jeep, and I sat, mouth agape, when the driver ahead of us miscalculated and rolled his Jeep off the two-track, boulder-strewn trail. We waited until Jamboree trail guides rolled him upright and sent him on his way again. 

  We drove onto the Rubicon Trail from Georgetown, California, and drove off the trail above Lake Tahoe, the city that straddles the border between California and Nevada. After one night of bathing in an icy mountain stream and sleeping on a deflated air mattress in a pup tent atop a granite boulder, I was extremely happy to spend the next night soaking in a hot tub and sleeping on a slightly lumpy mattress in a hotel.
  Both of those trips became the inspirations for the settings in DEATH ON THE YAMPA as well as my personal essay, “Don’t Ride the Clutch,” published in CUP OF COMFORT FOR DIVORCED WOMEN. (The anthology is free on Kindle Unlimited at the time of this post.)

  To read more about the exquisite mountain settings I experienced, eBook copies (on sale for $2.99) are available on Amazon. Autographed paperback copies are available from The Haunted Bookshop (link provided below). 

  (If you’ll take the time to write a brief Amazon review, let me know. I’d love to send you a neat surprise gift as a please and thank you. Bribery anyone?)
  That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Little note: The Haunted Book Shop has signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice, mine or any other author.

➜ Follow me on . . .  
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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Today is simply a designated reminder that . . .

cj Sez: Every day is Mother's Day! I read someplace that love is the deepest emotion we share with one another, so to all the Moms out there, I pray your Mother’s Day is filled to overflowing with love.

A bit of Mother’s Day history (from

  In 1908 Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families, and it was declared a U.S. holiday in 1914. Her idea was to wear a white carnation as a badge and visit one’s mother or attend church services. She originally worked with the floral industry to help promote Mother’s Day.

  That turned out to be a bad idea because by 1920, she had become so disgusted with the holiday’s commercialization, she urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards, and candies. 

  In the U.S., people spend more money on Mother’s Day than on any other holiday.

  When we lived many miles apart, I would send flowers to my sons on Mother’s Day. I got a big laugh out of Jeff’s predicament one year as his co-workers teased him about his happy girlfriend when the flowers arrived at his desk. He gave me a beautiful and colorful bouquet this year. He could have given me a dandelion blossom, slightly crushed and moist from a sweaty little palm, as he did when he was little, and I would not have felt more loved. Precious memories, indeed.


  I can’t end this post without remembering my Mom, as I do most every day. 

  Mama was the mother who soothed my fears, dried my tears, and patted my rear when I needed it. No matter what mistakes I made, she was a lovely, non-judgmental, and gentle soul who believed in me. 

  Thank you, Mama. You are forever in my heart, and I miss you and your sweet smile dearly.


  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for your health and safety.

cj’s Tip:

  Here’s a tip to help you out for Mothers’ Day gifts…a book has got to be the perfect gift. It’s always the right size; it’s non-fat, non-carb, gluten- and sugar-free; plus it doesn’t need watering yet doesn’t turn brown or wilt too soon. And it’s reusable!

P.S.  The Haunted Book Shop has signed copies of my books in stock. If you order one that happens to be off their shelf, tell them you want a signed copy—I’ll pop down to the shop to sign it for you. TO ORDER, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

➜ Follow me on . . .  
➜ Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
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Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ways to encourage authors...and answer my question to enter a contest

cj Sez: What follows is a stream of consciousness post about how to Support Your Favorite Authors, whether you’re a writer or a reader.

   I re-post these comments every so often, to remind everyone how important even a brief review is.

If you’re a writer . . .

   If you have your own blog, invite guest bloggers. When you have a guest, send out “Coming Attractions” promotions on Facebook, Twitter, et al. Lyrical Pens does do that, so if you’re promoting a book right now or just want to blog about something, send me an email.
   Join a critique group and be willing to give your fellow authors’ work a fair critique. Be kind but be honest. Start your review with a positive comment.
  If a writer-friend wants to just sit and talk, grab a chair and listen. Writing is a lonely occupation, and most other people don't understand.
   Encourage each other. Writing is not a competition; everyone can be successful.
   P. S. If you’re a yet-to-be-published writer and don’t have a business card, support/encourage yourself and get one. Hand it out to agents, workshop instructors, fellow writers, wherever you have an opportunity to network. Get your name out there as early as possible so they can watch for your new release. It’s a way to build a platform and gain a fan following.
Now, if you’re a reader (and since writers are also readers, this applies to everyone) . . .

   If you’ve read one of their books, post a review…please. Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, Twitter, and wherever you can. Even a few words“I like this book”are helpful.

   Like and comment on authors' posts on their Facebook pages. Facebook's algorithms only show posts that FB thinks other members would like to see. That means the more likes and comments a post gets, the more people will see it. 
   Go to book signings, even if you can’t afford to buy the book at that time. Your attendance is encouraging. I’ve been to book signings where the author and I were the only two people there. I’ve been the author at signings where . . . well, never mind. With a little planning, you might be able to keep that from happening to another author.

Now for a contest . . .
I went to my very first Kentucky Derby party on Saturday. Created a new hat just for the event.
Photo Credit: Author Rebecca Barrett

 Good food, wonderful conversations with new friends, lots of laughter, a good time.

 My horse didn’t win, but I had great fun cheering. Next year “they say” is the 150 th  anniversary of the famed Run for the Roses, “The most exciting two minutes in sports,” and I’m looking forward to it. But please, I’m obviously not a math major: Can someone explain to me why 2024 is a sesquicentennial run when the first race was held in 1875? What logic am I missing? 

   Send me the correct answer, and I’ll enter your name in a contest to win a paperback copy of CLASSICS PIECES RETOLD.
   There are 26 tributes to classic novels, short stories, and poems in the CLASSICS PIECES RETOLD anthology. The variety of author voices is awesome. What a treat. This anthology is one of the Mobile Writers Guild best productions.

   You can order your copies through The Haunted Book Shop , a Mobile indie bookshop, or from your favorite book seller.
   For Amazon purchases, click here: Buy CLASSIC PIECES Now
   That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for your health and safety.

   No inflation here: THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA, fast-paced, exciting suspense/thriller ebooks, are low-, low-priced at $2.99.

P.S.  The Haunted Book Shop has signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

➜ Follow me on . . .  
➜ Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
➜ Facebook:
➜ BookBub:
➜ Goodreads: