I am going to show my age by saying that I remember when this holiday was called “Decoration Day.” It wasn’t until 1971 that it became an official federal holiday and the name changed to Memorial Day.
I’m not a big history buff, but I love finding bits and pieces of fascinating historical events that have helped to form us into what we are today.
I discovered that the first time this day was set aside to honor those who gave their lives in battle happened shortly after the end of the bloody Civil War.
(Copied from the History.com website) On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
And there you have it. When I was a kid, we would load up the car and travel from Hobbs, New Mexico to California on May 30th to visit my dad’s family. Those trips were some of my most vivid childhood memories. Little did I know the date had anything to do with veterans or war. For me, seen through the eyes of a child, it was just our time to go to California.
I’ll share a quick story from one of those trips. Let me preface this by saying that our dad did not like to stop. He saw it as a precious waste of time, so all mandatory stops were short and sweet.
We pulled into a service station somewhere in Arizona for gas. That was back in the day when a person came out, filled up your car, checked your oil, and washed your windshield. (And they didn’t even expect a tip!) So, while Dad was talking to the service station attendant, Mom, myself and my sister got out of the back seat to go use the restroom.
As soon as the car was serviced, Dad jumped back in and took off without ever glancing in the backseat. He made it several miles down the road before he realized we weren’t back there. 🙂 Needless to say, Mom was not a happy camper by the time he got back to the station, and she let him know about it the rest of the way to California.
Here is my review of this book. I read it in July of last year.
This was an enjoyable read for me. The best part of the book, in my opinion, was the climactic ending. It was totally unexpected. Early on in the story, I figured out who the arrogant young man, Christian, was and his relationship to the powerful and rich tycoon, Jonathan Barrington. With only one daughter, Christiana, to carry on the family legacy and fortune, the intrusion of the young man irked her to no end. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I could easily see this book made into a Lifetime or Hallmark movie. Lots of drama unfolds throughout the story. At times, it seemed redundant and moved a little slow, but the ending made up for it. If you like plot twists, family drama, high stakes business gambling, you will enjoy this story. Don’t spoil it and read the ending first. 🙂
Here is the Book Trailer:
Do something kind for someone today! It doesn’t have to cost money, only your effort! Let’s make the world brighter through random acts of kindness!
The month of May is designated as National Get Caught Reading month!!
What a fantastic holiday month for readers and writers! I’ve been an avid reader since I could first make out words in the Dick and Jane primary readers. The image below is me when a story captivates me!
So, in honor of this fabulous month, I’m going to list some great books I’ve read recently!
What I liked most about this book was the honest way the author portrayed the racial prejudice in the southern part of the United States in the 60s. Noemie Bellerose is a girl of mixed race and until her family moves to North Carolina, she has no idea that she is considered an outcast because of her race. With a mother of color and white father, she finds that she is not accepted in either community. But, the torture doesn’t end there. With the death of her mother, her father becomes an abusive alcoholic and does not hold back on the punches in his rages. He blames Noemie’s little brother, Gerry, for their mother’s death and often takes his rage out on the young boy. Noemie is a girl-driven. Driven to make a better life for her and her little brother, driven to get an education, and driven to look out for her father, even despite his abuse. But, when Richard Winters rides his Harley Davidson Chopper into the small North Carolina town, looking for refuge and escape from a heartache so big it forced him to run, things begin to change for Noemie. But, not just for Noemie, for Richard too. With a steel lock around his heart, he is sure nothing can get through, but Noemie does. The racial prejudice is horrific. The abuse Noemie suffers at the hands of her father and others in the small-town is horrific, but the love she finds with Richard is redeeming. I loved this story. I have to admit that I was almost ready to put the book down by the third chapter, as it got off to a slow start. But into the fourth chapter, I was hooked and couldn’t stop until I reached a satisfying conclusion. Steamy romance, racial prejudice, everlasting friendships, and steely determination drive this story.
If this sounds like your cup-of-tea, you won’t be disappointed!
I have loved every Mae Clair book that I’ve read and this one is no exception! The way she intertwines the past and present to build the entire story is fantastic! When the empathic Jillian Cley crosses paths with Dante DeLuca who communicates with spirits in the other world, things are bound to get interesting. And they do. Jillian struggles to control her sensitivities and has a service dog, a Husky, who helps to ground her. There are a lot of characters in this story. But, I never had trouble keeping up with who was who and the role each played, even as the author switched back and forth between present day and the late seventeen-hundreds. As the reason for the curse is revealed, the plot gets thickened with a grave-robber and the release of monsters who had been held in the infamous Hode’s Hill cemetery. There are nail-biting scenes and I couldn’t put the book down. I had many late nights until I finished it. Suspenseful, engaging, compelling, other-worldly, and gripping are words I’d use to describe this story. My hat is off to this author for successfully writing in two different time periods effectively! This is a GREAT read if you love suspense, paranormal happenings, and relatable characters! I highly recommend it!
I fell in love with Clay Colby’s character in Broday’s Men of Legend Series when he was introduced in book two as a ranch hand. Even then, I wanted him to have a happy ending and to know more of his story. In this book, Linda Broday did more than give Clay a happy ending. She gave him an unforgettable story! A character also introduced in the Men of Legend Series, Talley Shannon was a fugitive. Along with several other women, they hid in a canyon and existed with the help of Luke Legend. They had escaped from a torturous insane asylum. Both Clay and Tally have deep wounds and scars and their journey to redemption is not an easy one. Broday keeps the reader on the edge of their seats as they follow along with bated breath, hoping and praying that the two will finally break through the walls of their hearts to be united as one. If you love the 1800s time period, plenty of action, tension, conflict and steamy romance, you will love this first book of the Mail Order Bride series!
I read two poetry books in April and loved them both! You don’t have to be a lover of poetry to enjoy these two intimate compilations.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poetry. The author covers every subject from nature to the deepest part of the human psyche and soul. While I loved all of the poems, a few stood out to me personally like, “Splendor” where the beauty and aliveness of a spring day are expressed in flowing descriptive phrases. “The Journey” is deeply profound portraying the metaphor of life to that of a tiny bird struggling to ride out a storm. This author’s musings from the back of a Harley particularly captivated me. I went along for the ride! But, the section of the book, “The Emotions – Darkness and Light,” is hands-down my favorite section of the book. Each poem expresses life’s journey and the varying aspects of the dance. If you love well-written poetry that touches on every aspect of life and living, you will enjoy this book of poetry from D.L. Finn!
A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book!
And finally, a book that really opened my eyes to some of the unforgiving views about sexuality in the middle east.
The collection of short stories in this book from India-born author Fiza Pithan deals with a most delicate subject matter. Not only does it encompass stories of transgender people, but lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and asexual people. Two things about these stories struck me. #1 is that this author writes so well in a language that is not her native tongue. I commend her for the well-written stories. I did not spot even one typo throughout the book. The second thing I want to commend her for is the honesty and eye-opening reality of how people are tormented, tortured, ostracized and even killed in Mid-Eastern countries for their sexual preferences and/or differences. Reading these stories makes me truly glad I live in America. If you are looking for stories that, although are fiction, shed a light of truth on these issues, you will enjoy each of these!
Hopefully, you saw something here that caught your eye! It is quite a variety of genres, but I love reading all types of books.
So, grab one and let’s make May a month for memorable stories!
Authors, when you are writing about a subject that you aren’t familiar with, where do you go for reliable research?
I am writing a short story that includes a Voodoo Doll and magic spell. I find lots of what I think is hooey, in my searches, and want to make sure my facts are accurate, down to the words said when casting a spell.
So, I’m curious as to whether you have any tried and true sources you trust.
I found a good deal of information on Pinterest and a little on WikiHow about ways to construct your Voodoo doll. As far as the origin of the practice of Voodoo, I went to the Wikipedia and found some fascinating history including what it morphed into in New Orleans. Then I started searching for incantations that could be used for specific situations.
When they say you can find everything on the internet, they aren’t wrong, including bogus information. There is a lot of history, and folk tales surrounding Marie Laveau, and it’s hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t. Here a couple of examples.
So, back to my original question. Do you have tried and true resources for research. And do you get good information that you feel comfortable including in your stories?
I’m also having a hard time finding just the right free image to create a book cover for this story. But, that is just a time-consuming search. I went first to Pixabay. I find that the key to a successful search is all in what words you enter. I gave up on Voodoo and entered “Fantasy” in the search box and found some intriguing images.
Let me say that this subject and practice is way out of my wheelhouse, so I am going strictly on information I can find. I’d appreciate any tips!
You hear me talk a lot about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, and I also feature lots of authors who are members of the club.
Maybe you’ve been a bit curious about RRBC or maybe you’ve even taken a look at the website.
Well, now you have a chance to take advantage of a FREE 30 day trial membership. You can try it out for yourself and see if it is a good fit for you, and it costs you nothing!
This is not just a book club. It is a community of authors and readers who promote and support each other.
TheRAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is A UNIQUE place to be if you are seeking amazing author support for your writing. Not only are our books being purchased, but read and reviewed on a regular basis. No other international organization offers so much incredible uplifting support!
But, you need to know up front that this is not a place to list your books in the catalog, sit back and wait for the reviews to start rolling in. It is a place where you get as much as you give. Begin by purchasing, reading and reviewing other’s books, then share it all over social media and watch what happens. Every author needs more reviews. I’m offering you the solution! For the answers to all of your questions, click HERE!
I am an RRBC Recruitment Affiliate so please be sure to list my name (JAN SIKES) on your application. Please invite all your friends to join, as well, and ask that they also list my name as their referring source! ~ Thanks in advance!
Today marks the tenth anniversary of Rick Sikes’ passing. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve already lived ten years without him.
I don’t want to make this a sad post. I do want to remember, to honor a life well-lived, and found some pictures that I don’t think anyone has ever seen before.
We did lots of living and loving in the twenty-five years we got to be physically together! We built a home, raised a family, started businesses and made music. Isn’t it pretty incredible when you can cover a twenty-five year time-span with one sentence?
The first pictures I want to share were taken at Rick’s wake on May 3, 2009. The outpouring of love was overwhelming. I’m not going to put a lot of words and let the photos speak for themselves.
And now a few photos looking backward.
And that’s about it. I just wanted to share a few memories and celebrate A STORY TOLD – A LIFE LIVED…
Thank you for stopping by. I’ll leave you with this tune from Rick.