Sunday, June 24, 2012

TTVBT - A Mixed Bag of Reading Material

By: Brad Fleming

I’m one of those readers who usually has at least three books going at the same time. There’s always at least one by my bedside, one in the lounge, another in the conservatory and most likely one in the loo as well.

The only exception to that is when I pick up a book which really grabs my attention. When that happens I tote it round with me everywhere I go until it’s finished. I’ll read it until the wee hours, or, if I awake early, I’ll squeeze in a chapter or two before rising.

Last time that happened was about a month ago with Jeffrey Archer’s latest book The Sins of the Father. It’s a sequel to Only Time Will Tell. The third of the trilogy is due out next year and I’ll be sure to have my advance order in with Amazon in good time. 

The sage follows the fortunes of Harry Clifton, who grew up in the back streets of Bristol, England, won a scholarship to Oxford and quit a promising academic career to serve with distinction in World War II. He was branded a deserter and a murderer and fought to clear his name in the boardrooms of Manhattan and the law courts of London.

Lord Archer, to give him his due title, may not be everybody’s cup of tea – indeed his career reads like one of his own thrillers – but he has an easy, relaxed style and his stories have enough twists and turns to keep his readers on their toes. He’s produced a score of books and I’ve read them all.

My second current book is The Mafia – a compilation by Nigel and Colin Cawthorne, subtitled A First-hand Account of Life inside the Mob. I bought this by way of research for a series of short stories I’m writing. It’s by no means my usual type of reading material, but I’m finding the nineteen fact-based tales quite absorbing.

I’m just getting into Michael Wolff’s The Man who Owns the News, an absorbing and penetrating look at what he calls “the secret world of Rupert Murdoch, “If Murdoch isn’t making headlines,” Wolff writes, “he’s busy buying the media outlets that generate the headlines.”

Although published four years ago, the book is amazingly topical, with the Leveson Inquiry, set up to investigate the role of the press and police in a phone-hacking scandal, still sitting in London. The adverse publicity directed against the Murdoch group led to his decision to cease publication of his flagship Sunday paper The News of the World and to abandon his attempt to obtain a controlling interest in SKY Television.

Now questions are starting to be asked about his News Corporation holdings, including The New York Post, Fox News and the influential Wall Street Journal. The British Prime Minister and Chancellor have been dragged into the mix and the revelations keep on coming.

About the Author

 Brad Fleming has been in journalism, broadcasting and public relations all his working life. Born in the small fishing village of Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, in the shadow of where the famous Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, he served his time in local newspapers before moving on to a National daily paper in Belfast and later covered news and sport for the BBC. Later he made a career switch to join the British Government Information Service in London, working principally with the Ministry of Defence, a job which took him to many corners of the world. He lives in the pretty County Down village of Hillsborough with his American-born wife Nip and their border collie Sparky.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

TTVBT - Ellie's Inspiration.

Introducing Ellie Mack and Her Favorite Author!
This week on the Tasha Turner Virtual Blog Tour I am proud to present my guest, Ellie Mack. Ellie is an aspiring author who is currently working on two books. Today she talks about an author who has inspired her. Take it away, Ellie!

My current favorite author is Karen Marie Moning. I’ve read every book in Karen’s Highland series as well as the Fever series. As much as I enjoyed her well written romances, the Fever Series was phenomenal.  The Fever series consists of five books, which should be read in order: Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, and Shadowfever.  These are dark, gritty, urban fantasies that got me to read outside the box of my preferred genre.

I have never been so completely transported into a fictional world as I was with the Fever series.  Mackayla Lane or Mac for short takes a journey to Dublin, Ireland in search for answers about her sister’s murder.  What she finds is the greatest challenge of her life, and two mysterious men that are vying for her attention.  Jericho Z. Barrons, a mysterious, wealthy, powerful man that evades questions and Fae prince V’lane, a ‘death by sex’ Fae, use every weapon in their arsenal to win Mac to their side. Her true mission becomes clear, to obtain the elusive all powerful Dark Book, the Sinsar Dubh.

The first line in Darkfever, the first book in the series is:  My philosophy is pretty simple, any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.
Later in the series, Mac states:  Although it may not seem like it, this isn’t a story about darkness. It’s about light. Khalil Gibran says, “Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.” If you’ve never tasted bitterness, sweet is just another pleasant flavor on your tongue.  One day I’m going to hold a lot of joy.

Author Karen Marie Moning
Karen’s ability to draw me completely into her character’s world has caused me to examine my own writing, digging deeper, tapping into the dark places to eventually produce the joy.  I’ve survived a few darknesses in my own life, and if I can use that to produce a better story for my readers, it makes my scars a badge of honor.  It’s the victors that tell history, not the defeated.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think on some level I could relate to the character of Mac, realizing that I was made of stronger stuff than I thought I was.

Have you ever read a book that made you really think?  Made you examine yourself in ways that you wouldn’t if you had not read the book?   Who is your favorite author or book?  Why? Was it simply a great story, or something more?

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie Mack
Ellie Mack lives in a small town near St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in geography/cartography. She has worked for Department of Defense, county government, as a substitute teacher, and various other jobs.  Her hobbies include reading, bicycling, playing Tombraider, and Dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and Zumba. Between being a mother to two teenage girls, a wife, homemaker, and a mortgage loan officer, Ellie writes paranormal romances.
Ellie’s first erotica piece can be found at:
Ellie’s blog can be found at:

Her current works in progress are Kiss of the Dragon and Faere Guardian.

Kiss of the Dragon is a paranormal romance about Isabelle Lennox, an interior designer from Texas.  She falls through a mirror to end up back in medieval times where she meets Zanathrus Fallon, Lord of the Green Dragons. Everything that she has thought about who she is, is about to be shattered.  When she is thrown into Zane’s world, it “wakes her up inside” awakening her true being. Like a Celtic knot, her life is interwoven intricately into the tapestry of life, prophecy, and destiny. The hidden truths begin to surface as their relationship develops. The ordinary existence she had is nothing compared to the grandeur of who she really is. In a world of dragons, wyverns, mages, and warriors; Isabelle discovers her own strength and purpose. She is either the destiny or destruction for the dragon world.  Which will it be?  Either way, there’s no turning back to the darkness that was before. Reality has never been as good as fantasy.

 Faere Guardian, is the first book of a trilogy known as Celtic Ties.
Lexy Barton is an average midwestern girl, mostly.  She is unaware of the powers she has been given by he Tuatha de Danaan, or Faeries  When Lexy runs into Kyle McAlister in the bookstore where she works, her world begins to spiral out of control. Mystical ties to her ancestral land and to the Fae hurl Lexy and Kyle into a world of chaos and danger. As Guardian to the Seelie court, Kyle has been charged with the responsibility to keep the gateways in his region closed to the Unseelie who are hell bent on destroying humans and regaining their footing on Earth. Someone is determined to allow the Unseelie access.  Will Kyle manage to prevent it?  Ties are much deeper than Kyle or Lexy ever could have imagined.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shawnee Allies: A Bond Between Brothers

Up Close and Personal with the Shawnee
Part Three: A Bond Between Brothers

Before the white man ever set foot on North America the native inhabitants already had a complex system of trade, government and intertribal relations. The Shawnee were not any different. As we learned last week, the Shawnee believed the red man had been spared in Noah's Flood by the Great Spirit (Moneto). All red men were descended by one woman and made the great tribe. This belief influenced the Shawnee and their relations with the other tribes.

The Shawnee and Delaware (Lenni Lenape)
Called the grandfathers by the Shawnee people, the Delaware (known as the Lenni Lenape) shared a close bond with the Shawnee. The Shawnee showed this group of people the utmost respect because they believed the Delaware had been the first tribe to be created after the flood.

"Curiously enough, Our Grandmother did not create the Shawnee first, but they began with the Delaware. When she completed a Delaware man and woman, she put them on the east side of a fire which she had kindled. Then she created one Shawnee division, in the form of an old man and an old woman. After this she created a young man and young woman who were expected to have children who would constitute three of the Shawnee divisions. Here, apparently her interest in creating people ceased..... (Told by Mary Williams, an absentee Shawnee in the book Shawnee by James H. Howard)
Like the tale of the "Roasted Bear Feet" between the Kickapoo and the Shawnee, there is a story that was once told by the Shawnee and Delaware in Pennsylvania of how the Shawnee and Delaware were once one people. The story was lost to both tribes but had been recorded by a white person in the time it was told to him by the tribes. The story is known as "The Grasshopper War."  The story is still told today at Native American PowWows. It goes like this:

Deep in the Pennsylvania wilderness, before any white man ever set foot on the land, were two villages. The inhabitants of each village liked to visit one another. The men would hunt together and the woman would share their work. Each village enjoyed the company of the other. One day while a boy was visiting he found a grasshopper near a river. He played with his little friend until a group of children came upon them. He showed the grasshopper to his friends and they were all happy playing with the insect together. But one of the boys wasn't happy with the visiting boy's discovery. He thought to himself, "Shouldn't the grasshopper be mine instead of his. This is my village after all." So the upset boy snatched the grasshopper from the visiting boy and ran away with the insect. The children and the boy gave chase. They soon caught up to the thief and the children began to fight, each siding with the boy of their own village. Now the women heard the fight and came out to see what the argument was about. Seeing the blood and bruises of their children they joined in the fight to defend their child and village. The screams grew in the air. Later that day, the men had returned from hunting when they found the females of their family and their children huddled on the ground injured and bloody. The chiefs of both villages wanted vengeance. They declared war upon each other and the men joined their wives and children in battle. After the battle was over, everyone was repulsed by what they had done. A simple argument between boys had led to a battle between friends. Quilt filled their hearts. They decided in order to keep the peace it was best if the two villages went their separate ways. Thus began the Shawnee and Delaware.

The Delaware originally lived along the Northeast Coast of the Atlantic between the Hudson and Delaware rivers. They were one of the first tribes to come into contact with the white man in the early 1600's.

 A loose confederacy of clans, the largest villages at the time of contact had a population of two to three hundred people. Most of the villages, though, only consisted of 25-30 people. Like Shawnee divisions, the Delaware had three major groups. These were" Unalachtigo(Turkey)
Unami(Turtle) and Munsee (Wolf). Each group spoke their own dialect.
Like the Shawnee, the Delaware also has a clan system. Unlike the Shawnee, the Delaware were matriarchal. A child would inherit their clan identity from their mother. Hereditary leadership passed down from mother to child. If the women elders did not approve of any leader they could remove that leader from their office. Agricultural lands were controlled by the women but the Delaware did not recognize ownership of the the land. Land was collectively owned by whichever clan occupied that area. Unlike the Shawnee, the Delaware did not travel with the season from village to village.
Whenever a young woman married the couple would reside with her family so her mother and sisters could help with the family. After she gave birth, the most important person in a child's life was his or her mother's eldest brother. The mother's brother would become the child's mentor and would be from a different clan.

The Shawnee and Delware enjoyed a friendship from long ago. While the Shawnee were in Pennsylvania, they were closley associated with one another. Like the Shawnee, the Delaware were affected by the outbreak of Smallpox during the 17th century. After the Shawnee left Pennsylvania for Ohio, the Delaware stayed behind briefly. Conflicts with the Europeans and the Iroquois contributed to the Delaware abandoing their homelands. In 1766, through a peace treaty with the British, the Delaware moved west across the Allegheny Mountains into Ohio using Shawnee trails. This pattern would continue until the Delaware were removed by the United States to Oklahoma in the 1860's. The Shawnee would always move first, establish the trails then the Delaware would follow.

The two tribes often joined forces to fight a common enemy together. In 1776, the combined forces of Shawnee and Delaware forced the Cherokee to move deeper into the south. The Shawnee and Delaware fought together in the French and Indian War but not the American Revolutionary War. While the Shawnee were helping the British fight against the newly formed American army, the Delaware were one of the first tribes to sign a peace treaty with the leaders of the future United States. In the treaty, the Delaware promised they would aide the patriots by providing food and supplies. The future United States agreed to grant them a place of importance at the head of the new country in return. Although they fought on opposing sides, the Shawnee and Delaware never lost the close relationship. Even today, the Shawnee honor the Delaware.
The Shawnee and the Kickapoo

 Although the Delaware and Shawnee people shared a closed relationship, it is with the Kickapoo they resemble more closely in culture and language. Both the Kickapoo and Shawnee people assert that they are related. This comes from a shared myth describing how the Kickapoo and Shawnee had split from a larger tribe. The story is known as "Roasted Bear Feet".

The Shawnee used to be a part of the Kickapoo Nation. One day ten hunters went bear hunting together. They had killed the bear, taken it back to their camp and decided to celebrate their victory by roasting and eating the bear's feet. So the men placed the feet to roast. As the feet were roasting all the men fell asleep. Later three of the men awoke very hungry. They decided, instead of waking their comrades up, they would eat some of the meat. After they ate some of the meat, their friends awoke from their sleep only to find the hind legs had remained. The seven hunters were very upset. They drove the three hunters who had eaten the meat away telling them to get their families and leave them forever. The three hunters and their families became the Kickapoo.

When most people hear the tribe Kickapoo they often think of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Northern Mexico. The Kickapoo are not native to those lands but moved to those areas during the mid - nineteenth century. The descendants of the Kickapoo are scattered throughout regions I mentioned above. Their ancestors were members of a larger tribe that once inhabited the Great Lakes region. The French first encounter the Kickapoo in the early 1640's between Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. There is strong archaeological evidence to support that the Shawnee occupied the same area as the Kickapoo, Delaware and other groups along the Great Lakes region during the first French contact. When the Kickapoo had encountered the French, like the Shawnee, they were very independent and self-sufficient. At the time of contact the Kickapoo were members of a confederacy of tribes known as the Wabash Confederacy. Like the Shawnee's conservatism that sets them apart from other tribes the Kickapoo also had an attitude that set them apart. They were self-reliant. It is a characteristic that continues even to this day. And like the Shawnee, they established trade relations with the French. The Shawnee did not remain by the Great Lakes for long and moved southward.
The Kickapoo lived a transitory lifestyle that mirrored the lifestyle of the Shawnee. Both groups would move from village to village according to the seasons. The lifestyle suited the Kickapoo well.
By the 1660's the Beaver War with the Iroquois had driven the Kickapoo away from their ancestral homelands into Wisconsin. In Wisconsin they formed a loosely based alliance with other displaced Algonquians. Some of these may have been Shawnee. The Kickapoo had always enjoyed a close alliance with the Shawnee. The Kickapoo participated with the Shawnee and other Algonquian groups in Pontiac's Rebellion. They played a large role in aiding Tecumseh during the War of 1812. Their participation in these efforts not only affected their relationship with the white man but also splintered their own tribe. By the mid-19th century there were three distinct groups of Kickapoo, each living in different areas. These were the Oklahoma Kickapoo, Mexican or Texas Kickapoo and the Kansas Kickapoo.
Not much is known about the Kickapoo. The Shawnee have always kept a close alliance with the tribe. In 1900, when the Shawnee chief Big Jim had led some of the Absentee warriors to scout for land in Mexico they had encounter an epidemic of smallpox. The Mexican Kickapoos offered to aid the Shawnee but Chief Big Jim decided he would return with his men to Oklahoma. After he left the Mexican authorities quarantined the Shawnee party. Big Jim and all but two of his men died from the disease in September of 1900.
One of the cultural aspects that the Shawnee share with the Kickapoo is a society known as "Miseekwaaweekwaakee." Unlike most Algonquin groups the Shawnee did not employ societies (secret men's clubs) into their organization. But there is one society that did exist. The Man Eaters. The Man Eaters were also found in the Kickapoo culture. The Man Eaters were a military society yet unlike any other military society membership was inherited and the group was led by four women. The Man Eaters would get rid of the body of a male captive by eating it.

Next week we will explore the Shawnee's enemies - The Cherokee, Iroquois and the Sioux

Question: What is your favorite state in the United States and why? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

TTVBT - Summer Planning by Cathy Brockman

Planner or procrastinator?

Hello everyone! How are you all today?  Spring has sprung and summer came in like a lion. I still haven’t gotten my spring cleaning done. I had as usual the best of plans all laid out for me.. Written in usual style pages of pages of lists to do  clean out the closet  toss the old stuff clean the kitchen drawers.  Then the outside list.. Weed, rake, cleanup. Plant. Yeah you get the idea.  I plan everything. I have weekly to do lists daily to do lists. Monthly to do lists, seasonal to do lists.

It is June now and I still haven’t done any of the above. Well maybe the weeding, and planting, but now you can’t tell I weeded at all.

I guess the world won’t end because I didn’t do any of this stuff but as I stumble through all the clutter I wonder.  So I make a new list for July. Yeah I said July since I will be gone in June. *muses start putting away winter stuff and pulling out summer stuff* I’m going to go stay with dad for a month, and hopefully get caught up on a book or two that I am writing.  Then I will go home and tackle that spring cleaning or should I say summer cleaning now.   By the time I get that closet cleaned out and summer clothes out and winter clothes packed it will be time to start over and pull out the winter stuff.. *muses look at me unamused as they start pulling the winter stuff back out*

So maybe we should just leave things like they are. *muses nod* but I can’t. That’s just how I am I guess I procrastinate more than I thought. I am an awesome planner though its just carrying out those plans I’m not so good at.  How about you? Do you plan your days, weeks, months?  DO you make lists for everything? Do you actually follow through or are you a procrastinator?  We would love to hear your thoughts on this.

- Cathy Brockman

Cathy is fifty years old (don't tell anyone!!) though she refuses to act it. She prefers to play with clay and write on the sidewalk with the Grandies (she has 10 of them). She lives in the hot and sticky mid-south and dreams of a cooler climates and making snowmen. She retired from her everyday job of 19 years, selling jewelry at Wal-Mart, to spend time writing books and creating her own jewelry and other cool stuff.

She likes to garden, cook, sew, and craft. When she isn't creating new recipes for her home-grown goodies, or making some cool plastic canvas creation or a pretty piece of jewelry, she can be found hiding in one of her many garden getaways, creating new worlds and getting lost in a hot and juicy romance. She also hopes to get to travel a lot soon to get more inspiration and ideas for even more great stories to share with all of her friends. If you would like a free sample of her writing, go see Storytime Trysts for weekly episodes of her latest short-story.
Storytime Trysts:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tasha Turner Blog Tour: It's Truly Madly!

Guest Blogger: Cathy Brockman

If I had to choose a song that describes one of my books, I would choose Truly Madly Deeply by Savage garden for Ninety Days the story I lovingly call thing 3. 

Ninety days is about a women in her middle age, going through a phase where she doesn’t  want to get caught up  in a serous romance. She has always dreamed of prince charming and happy ever-after but has been let down too many times. She has always said if you aren’t ready to make a serious commitment and know for sure one is right for you in ninety days.. No use to keep wasting time so all her relationships never goes past three month. She has a friend with benefits and is quite satisfied with her life as it is she even considers it perfect.  Then she meets Gabriel, a coach at her daughter’s high-school. He falls in love with her right away, but he is younger than she is and she has never gone for younger men. He is relentless and also has some issues of his own.  All the words in here describe how Gabriel feels and how Cat denies she feels..   Does Cat finally give in to Gabriel? Is Gabriel’s wounds healed?  Does HEA really exist?  I don’t know yet, but it’s fun finding out..  What do you think? Have you read a book recently that reminds you of a certain song? Why? Leave your ideas in the comment section below!


"Truly Madly Deeply"

I'll be your dream
I'll be your wish I'll be your fantasy
I'll be your hope I'll be your love
Be everything that you need
I'll love you more with every breath
Truly, madly, deeply do
I will be strong I will be faithful
'cause I'm counting on
A new beginning
A reason for living
A deeper meaning, yeah

I want to stand with you on
a mountain
I want to bathe with you in the sea
I want to lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

And when the stars are shining
brightly in the velvet sky,
I'll make a wish send it to heaven
Then make you want to cry
The tears of joy for all the
pleasure and the certainty
That we're surrounded by the
comfort and protection of

The highest powers
In lonely hours
The tears devour you


Oh can you see it baby?
You don't have to close your eyes
'Cause it's standing right
before you
All that you need will surely come

I'll be your dream I'll be your wish
I'll be your fantasy
I'll be your hope I'll be your love
Be everything that you need
I'll love you more with every breath
Truly, madly, deeply do


I want to stand with you on a
I want to bathe with you in the sea
I want to live like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

- Cathy Brockman

Cathy is fifty years old (don't tell anyone!!) though she refuses to act it. She prefers to play with clay and write on the sidewalk with the Grandies (she has 10 of them). She lives in the hot and sticky mid-south and dreams of a cooler climates and making snowmen. She retired from her everyday job of 19 years, selling jewelry at Wal-Mart, to spend time writing books and creating her own jewelry and other cool stuff.

She likes to garden, cook, sew, and craft. When she isn't creating new recipes for her home-grown goodies, or making some cool plastic canvas creation or a pretty piece of jewelry, she can be found hiding in one of her many garden getaways, creating new worlds and getting lost in a hot and juicy romance. She also hopes to get to travel a lot soon to get more inspiration and ideas for even more great stories to share with all of her friends. If you would like a free sample of her writing, go see Storytime Trysts for weekly episodes of her latest short-story.

links:  Facebook pages

Facebook: Cats reviews!/CatsReviews

Sian and Cathy’s chattime radio!/SianandCathysChatTimeRadio

Blogs and websites

and my book under Cathy Boyd  my children and Ya page