Monthly Archives: September 2013

Monday is for Doing

I like to start out the week doing the good deeds that God has prepared for me to do.

Can’t always be sure of particular deeds, but I know that if I am putting others in front of me, loving others as we are directed, then my faith is in action and I am probably on the right road. Pass on this example to your children. It’s the best lesson you can give.

So excited! Ben Steelman featured my book today!

Letters from Korea received a positive review from the Wilmington Star News’ reviewer today!

The book is 4.99 on kindle (He said 3.99 which is the price for Giulia Goes to War, the first in the series). I am hard at work on the third volume, Bowl of Rice in the Legacy of Honor series. My publisher is Desert Breeze, a well-respected publisher of ebooks.

Review! Comments!

Comments on Works  in When Women Waken

By Joan Leotta


When Women Waken is a new online journal. These works appeared in its May 2013 issue–I do not have permission to copy the works , but here is what I have to say about them.

Read these and many other outstanding works at


Running with Snakes by Alice Osborn

Admission: I’m a fan of Alice’s work. I found this poem to be the sort of” slice of life that makes you think” poem I love but was a bit confused–her marriage is a snake–are we to think that this walk with a male friend without her husband is another secret, a snake in and of itself since she is on precarious grounds by doing so. She says she avoids the reptile–but does she avoid the emotional snake that awaits her with her own marriage shakey (according to this poem) and his as well? I would have liked more clarity, but perhaps she just wanted to leave us with hidden snakes/questions!




Where the Heart Is by Nettie Thoompson

Flash Fiction. As far as I am concerned, Nettie Thompson has mastered it!!!! The emotions ar eshapr and the story line terrific and amazing. She is victim and then victor! In pieces. Wow! Different ending than just the line above leads us to think and great summary line at the end. Outstanding.

My face is red

No matter how many times I read my book, Letters from Korea, and how many times my editor  and others who have written to me have read it, we all missed one thing–that only my daughter caught.  I name a mountain–in the US–and I gave it the wrong name!!!!!!  Not a “real” error because I have seen this mountain and know where it and the other one are. I have seen the view I describe in the book. For some reason or other I was thinking about the other state and used its Mountain Name.

I guess after writing the wrong mountain once, I continued to read the right mountain into the scene, time after time. I’d feel worse except for the fact that I just caught two big publishers in similar oops! moments.

So, if you find the error,  and leave a comment telling me which mountain goes where, I will send you a copy of my family’s secret tomato sauce recipe–it’s the secret recipe Giulia and Gina use too.

Eating Oats–Yes, not neeiiiiighhhhhhh

So, with the high cholesterol rating I received I am trying to shift to a more healthy lifestyle pattern. Changing to a more oatmeal intensive breakfast is pretty easy to do. I eat Cheerios and mix it with some other cereals, like honey oat cheerios and sometimes Kashi cinnamon harvest. Cinnamon is always a good additive to any carb breakfast because it helps the sugars in the carbs digest less harmfully.

(a shortcut way to talk about what cinnamon does with sugars)

My fave thing is Coach’s Oats–only problem, I have to order them from California because I don’t think my local Costco is handling them anymore.  These are steel cut oats that are cut again–very nice flavor, easy to cook, with water, in the microwave. I use a large pot with vented lid to prevent them from going over–oats bubble a lot in microwave cooking.

And no, I don’t feel like a horse–in fact, I’m hoping to lower my weight and that lowering my weight will have its own good effect on my cholesterol–count this as the Thursday cholesterol report too

no excuses

I simply forgot to post on Monday.

A good lesson for children–no excuses!

Exciting News

Exciting News! Main Street Rag has put Voices from the Porch, it’s dynamite anthology of stories, poems and memories of that authentic southern family and neighborhood icon–the front porch–on sale! Special advance price for those who order soon–ohm did I mention I’m one of the included authors?
Hit this link and get out your credit card–bargain!
Here’s a link:


Guest Blog –Interview with JoAnn Matthews



My Guest for today is JoAnn Matthews!   Be sure to connect with JoAnn on her website at:


JoAnn, a friend and award-winning writer, has agreed to tell us a bit about how she got into writing and what she does as a writer. She has shared the story of her successes with you in this interview. I hope that her success inspires you, my readers to greater success in your own work.


Q. JoAnn, Please tell us when you first wanted to become a writer?

A.I first wanted to become a writer when I was 12 growing up in Joliet, IL. I read all the Nancy Drew mysteries and any other novel available. That’s when I told myself I would write a book.

become a writer?

Q.What career path did you follow to become a writer and when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

A. I wanted to go to college but didn’t want journalism, so I gravitated to teaching. I majored in English and minored in Spanish and education at University of St. Francis because I could live at home and work to pay tuition. I went on for my master’s at Notre Dame immediately after graduating college, which proved to be one of the best career moves I ever made. I taught English and reading in high school and didn’t think of writing to publish. I took a leave to have children and never went back full time. When my youngest son started kindergarten, I started my writing career in earnest.


Q. Before you became a full -time writer, did you do any writing on the job or your spare time then? What helped motivate you to start and continue to write even while you had another job?

A. I wrote every single day–a journal, short stories, essays, opinion pieces, anything that came to mind–for two years and spent a ton of money on paper, envelopes and stamps before I got a humorous piece published in the Chicago Tribune in a guest column. A few months later I had another humorous piece in “Grit,” then articles in “Liguorian” and other religious magazines. At the same time, I wrote a novel and started querying agents. I got one, but nothing came of that novel. I sent him another that he said had great promise. He was circulating it when he died suddenly.

  Members of my writers’ group told me I’d have more success writing articles, so I wrote a feature story on local pro football wives and sent it to the area’s biweekly newspaper. They accepted it and asked me to be a freelancer. Word went out that the school district where I lived needed a writer for its newsletter. I stepped forward and got the job. The town where I lived asked me to do its newsletter. The local community college needed someone part time to do its newsletter, so I applied and again got the job. I quit the college job and took one at an area hospital. Again, writing newsletter pieces.  I was doing this all at the same time then got a job teaching part time. I gave up the newsletter jobs but kept the newspaper one and continued writing novels.   

   Our move to North Carolina in 2000 didn’t change my determination to write for publication. I was hired as a freelancer at The Sun News. My niche continues to be feature stories. I have written three novels since we moved, none of which has been published. I’m working on another.


 I knew I couldn’t teach full time, take care of the kids and the house—not with my husband’s job taking him across the U.S., so I took a job teaching night classes once or twice a week. That left most of the day free to fulfill my dream of writing.


Q.What else do you do now, besides writing? Is your writing a business or a hobby?

A.My writing is a business. I play bridge and do needlepoint, digital scrapbooking and photography for hobbies.

I have won several awards from Illinois Women’s Press Association, North Carolina Press Club and National Federation of Women. They are all for feature stories and photojournalism. My most recent award was for “Old Friends/New Friends: A Veteran Reunites with a Vietnamese Friend” that appeared in South Brunswick Magazine in Spring 2012.



Q.What else would you like to tell about getting started in writing?

A.Writing is a tough business. Determination and study bring successes.

Get in touch with JoAnn through her links (see below) and be sure to check out her review of my newest book, Letters from Korea on Amazon.
Here are JoAnn’s links Jo Ann A. Mathews Twitter: Jo Ann_Mathews

A Week of Eating Out

We were in Hilton Head last week and ate out almost every night. Yes, we did have a full kitchen in our condo, but there are so many great places on HIlton Head!

Started out with One Hot Mama–BBQ at its finest. Delicate, delectable pulled pork plate for me and pulled pork taco (A-mazing) for Joe and excellent beef brisket. Monday night’s dinner was a comedy of errors, each one trying to pelase the other in our group of four so I ended up not getting my sunset shots and we ate in a place no one wanted to eat.; Mediocre.

Tuesday–Black Marlin- tuna sashimi with seaweed for me and lobster tacos (could have used more lobster) for the others.

Wednesday–The Jazz Corner–live music and great food. I had the appetizer platter and watermelon arugula salad. Wonderful!l And the live music was just as good.

Thursday—Ombra, terrific Italian food ,l had grouper over tomatoes and garlic and a beet salad that was so thinly sliced, you could see through the slices .Wonderful food by the man who used to be chef at Michael Anthony’s and now has his own place. Fab!!!!!!

Friday we went to Dafuskie for the day and picked up takeout from Publix grocery. Saturday we caught local wild caught shrimp and I made linguini with tomato shrimp sauce–also very good.

Every morning we walked to Java Joe’s for a chai spice latte and I avoided the luscious muffins due to my high cholesterol rating.



Today’,s post was going to be different but once again we are left to deal with a tragedy .
At our house, we pray for the victims and the police.