Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Digitus 233

My good friend and author, K. D. Emerson is visiting my blog today to announce the release on Friday, December 21 st of her latest novel, Digitus 233.  The information on how to get your copy is at the end of this posting.  I hope all of you will purchase her book and in that way lend support to one of the best and most generous persons I have ever known.

Digitus, the world’s dominant corporation, has studied human nature for centuries. Their people are experts who expand on a human’s natural gifts and talents to create supreme world leaders in all major areas of science, art, religion and leadership. A select few are hand-picked each year to join the elite.

This year, fifteen-year-old Zeph will fight to uncover the truth with the help of an old man and a monkey, while, as a final test of induction into Digitus, five teens are dropped from a specially designed Learjet and land on a barren Arctic island. They are forced to come together in an effort to survive and escape. Unfortunately, escape is shortlived when a Russian ballistic submarine rescues them and a computer malfunction threatens an all-out nuclear attack on North America. Time is running out and the sub’s programmer cannot stop the computer failure. It is up to the teens to convince the Russians they should be allowed to give it a try.

Tick tock...

K.D. Emerson's Biography:

Author, K.D. Emerson was born (or is that hatched?) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. Her first novel was written in pencil, stapled together and placed in the school library. At age 6, she didn’t have a clue that an author needed a publisher. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory.

Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda, or you can find her at www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gratitude by Arlene O'Neil

In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut on Friday, I think it appropriate to end my month-long series devoted to feelings of gratitude with author, Arlene O'Neil's story, a story that began when she was a child.  As we mourn the losses of those twenty precious children in Newtown, let us not forget the traumatic effect the event will have on the children who survived physically, but whose souls were wounded by the tragedy.  Let us also keep in our prayers the children of the adults who lost their lives that awful day.  And now I turn the page over to Arlene:     
I believe I became a writer at birth, or at least shortly afterwards.  An accident as a child landed me in a “crippled children’s home” for almost two years and on crutches for a year.  Being different, set apart, treated with kid gloves, left me with many negative messages, but also left the door wide open to my imagination.  Reading, writing, and creating became my best friends.  I would compose short stories or plays in order to try to fit in with others.  As I aged, my sense of humor expanded and so did my writing skills.  I write the truth; I write from the heart.

         While recovering from numerous hip replacements over the years, I always had legal pads and pens near me.  Two briefcases are filled with notes just waiting to grow up and become stories or books. Being different, being physically handicapped for so many years, I have developed an empathy for others in the same situation and always encourage them to write or speak of their experiences.   Physical or mental challenges are lessened when shared, just as pain and heartbreak can be divided by two if you have an understanding friend and a shoulder to lean on for support.

        Most of my writing comes from actual experiences in my own life, and when I write, I try to “touch” a reader, whether through laughter or tears.  My handicap has made me stronger than most, and although I do not possess a great confidence in myself or an even level of self esteem, readers have helped immensely by telling me that what I convey makes a difference in their lives.  My physical limitations helped expand my empathetic attitude.  So much was taken from me in that childhood accident, yet what I missed was replaced with something far greater.  I may not have been able to run, jump or play like others, but I could write volumes describing those activities!

         When I wrote “Broken Spokes,” the story of my life, it was with the intent to discard the negative messages of my youth, and hopefully to let others know they were not alone in their pain.  From emails, letters and reviews, I know I succeeded.  I have grown so much in the past years, not only as a writer but as a person as well.  I realize now that had the accident not happened, I might have become someone else altogether—someone who thinks more of herself than others—someone who is blind to those who need help.

        As traumatic as life has been at times, I consider myself to be so very blessed—blessed with an amazing son, who is a Sargeant in the Army, a host of wonderful friends, my supportive family, and many extremely loveable animals.  My work in progress is another true story written from the heart, which details my son’s past 11 years as a Soldier.  It is my dream that other parents will benefit by my experience as an Army Mom, and know they are never alone in their feelings.

       I continue to write in the hope of reaching others.  At times the writing is very painful for me, yet I strive to pull the total emotion out of myself and display it on paper.  I have been given an amazing gift, the ability to write, to touch others through my words.  It is a gift I shall never waste.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Life is Good!

Award-winning author, Paulette Mahurin lives in Ojai, California with her husband, Terry and their two dogs, Max and Bella.  A Nurse Practitioner in a women’s health clinic, she writes in her spare time.  All proceeds from her recent novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap are going to the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center  in Verona County, California where Paulette Lives.  It is the first and only no-kill shelter in the area.  This is a cause very close to her heart. 

It is my great pleasure to have Paulette as my guest today.  Although she and I only became aware of each other a few months ago, I have come to regard her as a dear friend, a mentor, and certainly, as one of my heroes.  The following is her powerful and inspiring story, imparted in her own words:    
Thank you to the wonderfully talented author and artist, Linda Lee Greene for inviting me to her great blog site to talk today.
Fifteen years ago, my life as I knew it, ended, all because I rescued a dog named Tazzie.  She came to me with ticks; one latched onto my side and infused my body with bacteria that would be diagnosed as Lyme Disease six months later by an orthopedic surgeon.  By the time I was diagnosed, it had infused through my arteries and settled in my cardiac valves, brain and spinal cord tissue, muscles and nerves, and to many other areas of my body.  I was out for the count.

There’s a Zen expression that says to die before you die, in every moment.  I never understood this till becoming seriously ill, and in that time, it was my body that was boss, not I.  I had never taken a second seat before, but now, if I did what I wanted, my body violently protested.  If I stayed up, beyond tiredness, to watch a TV show, I became worse and the bouts of illness became protracted.  I remember the night there was a movie on TV that I wanted to watch; yet I was exhausted.  I overrode the tiredness and stayed up.  That was the night my body’s protest turned into crippling meningitis; it leveled me for weeks.  The next time my body was tired, I listened to it and went to bed.  As my resistance decreased, something started to change.  At first it was barely perceptible, but within a few months, I noticed I was feeling better.  What I came to realize was, I had died.  Well, almost; but I certainly diminished.  I got out of my own way.  And what it gave way to was miraculous.

My body, this magnificent healing machine that strives for homeostasis, taught me something invaluable, it taught me that life has its own rhythm, a flow, a vastness of intelligence that I cannot begin to explain, nor fully understand.  Life just knows what it needs; every living thing has its place and purpose; our bodies know this all too well, but our thoughts get in the way, the beliefs and ideas, our little stories that we identify with.  A tree takes in carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen and we exist in beautiful balance with this wonderful part of nature.  A bee pollinates and up shoots nature in abundance; an ant does its thing; a spider weaves and catches what it needs; the weather changes and snow melts; waves move closer to shore, all occurring without any thought or intent; all simply occurring.  Before the tick bite, I never knew my place as being a part of this cosmic whole, an organism within the organism of life, in unity, all coexisting in this weird, yet magnificent, chaotic harmony.

The tick bite and all those microscopic bacteria that still live in my tissue gave me something nothing else ever has:  life and the absolute sense that I am alive.  But, first I had to die.  This carried over into my writing, and it was during my illness that I penned The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, a story about intolerance, a story that is making waves all over the place, with press and magazine coverage; a  story that is being featured by prestigious Art Center’s Literary Branch as their pick for the read of the month, and being read and reviewed all around the world.  It was during the writing of this book that I learned my most important lesson on writing, and that was to get out of the way of the story, the characters, and to not arrive back into my old ego-self of wanting to show off how much research I had done, or make it about what I wanted to say, when it didn’t serve the scene, the dialogue, the action of the book.  I’ve always loved to write, but when this happened, writing became joyful and flowed.

I am grateful beyond description for so many things.  I wake up every day to my own little gratitude prayer:  that I can see, that I can hear, that I can feel, even if the feeling is pain, and then I give gratitude for all my loving and significant relationships, including my dogs, whom I love with all my heart.  I feel alive and life flowing through me, and as long as I wake up, for me that’s a good day. There is always something I can be grateful for.  Even when the negative, shadow emotions surface, they don’t bother me as much as they did when I had a bunch of stories attached to them, and hey, if I can let go of me, I can certainly let go of them.  Life is good.


Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 1941, A Day That Will Live in Infamy

The morning of December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan, in a sneak air attack on Pearl Harbor, effectively eliminated the Pacific Fleet of the USA.   It was a battleship and a combat plane force that had been transferred there eighteen months prior by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a presumed deterrent in the east to Japan’s seemingly endless offensive that had raged on almost unrestricted throughout the Pacific rim since its 1937 invasion of China.  Not only was the bombing of Pearl Harbor a defining moment in history, but it was also the event that triggered the involvement of the USA in World War II. 

        Marlin Landon (Bob) Gaffin had been drafted into the Army under the 1940 Civil Service Act.  At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was still in training camp at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky.  Bob was to later serve throughout the war under General George S. Patton beginning with Operation Torch in Africa and culminating with the clean-up of Berlin at the end  of the war.  The letters exchanged among him and his family and friends are a vital adjunct to my latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels, letters that give the reader an unprecendented insider's view of the times.   The following excerpt of the novel includes two letters relevant to the Pearl Harbor Bombing:

                                                                                                                                                 Monday Morning, Dec. 8, 1941

Dear Son.  I will try to write you some this morning.  I was so nervous yesterday I just couldn’t write and not much better this morning.  But the children are all gone and I am here alone so maby I can write some.  Bobby we heard down at church last night that war had been declared.  It sure does worry me.  I just can’t help it.  They tell me if I don’t be careful I’ll go crazy.  But I don’t know.  They surely can’t take you though untill they get you trained.  Of course I know that I am just one Mother in thousands.  We will just have to trust in God.  Of course you know that we are praying for you, and that will help you along.  Herman preached last night.  He surely is a good man.  Well Bobby you didn’t say what they fed you.  But I suppose you have enough to eat and a good place to sleep.  If this country is in war now I expect they will call all those boys back that they let come home, won’t they?  Roma told you what Howard said.  I think that is the word he used (Detachment) Corps.  I think he said it was in the Infantry.  Berlin & Irene said that Bill told them you sure was a fine looking soldier (Ha ha).  Well Bobby I will have to close as it is almost mail time.  So write often and we will too.  There are so many people wanting to write to you when you get settled I don’t know how you will answer them all.  So Good by a(nd) good luck and R(em)ember Mother as always [is] always thinking of you and loves you.  So as always Your loving Mother & all


                                                                                                                                                                           Ft. Thomas Ky.
                                                                                                                                                                    December 9, 1941

Dear Mom & all:

                I will answer your letter I rec’d today and was more than glad to hear from you and Roma.  I got a X’mas card from Clarine & a letter from Dot too Mom [Dot is Bob’s girlfriend.  Clarine is her sister].  I sure like to hear from everyone.  I guess it’s our only mean’s of communication.  Well Mom I guess we are in a war again.  Japan declared war on the U. S. Sunday eve. at 1:30.  Followed by the bombing of Guam, Honolulu and other U. S. property in the Pacific.  104 American soldiers were killed & a U. S. ship sunk with 350 on board.  Germany the kingpin has taken action against America and is Declaring war.  Roosevelt is Declaring war on Japan.  Plane’s and ship’s of the U. S. were rushed to the danger point at once, and enemy plane’s were reported over the West Coast last night at 5:30 A. M.  The citizens blacked out San Francisco.  No bombs were dropped.  My guess is they [the Japanese or the Germans] were taking picture’s, drawing map’s and fixing for a future attack.  I hope I’m wrong.  We are being issued the strictest of order’s here, to be ready to leave here for camp anytime.  Maybe a week or in the next 10 minutes.  All furlough’s have been canceled, until further order’s.  All reserves discharged were ordered to report to their draft board’s at once.  I could run on & on Mom telling of things that took place in the last 48 hr’s.  I’ll maybe get to see everyone in 6 mo. Mom.  I hope before then.  But it may be yr’s [years].  But it takes the courage and unfaltering faith of the pioneer Mom to face such a crisis as this.  So have courage Mom as we of the Army have and we will pull through.  God is our shephard.  So we will have to do the best we can.  Tell Roma I was glad to hear from her, and tell everyone Hello for me.  And that I will write to everyone when I get settled.  And I appreciate your prayer’s Mom a lot.  Don’t worry to much.  I can take care of myself.  Oh yes, about Bill [Greene – my paternal uncle].  I guess he is doing pretty good now.  I was over there Sunday all day, and as soon as war was declared he wanted to come with me.  So he came over Sun. night & enlisted.  He won’t be examined until the last of the week.  Don’t tell Eva or Alderson [(Greene) – my paternal grandparents] yet.  It will worry them.  And Bobbie Mendenhall is here in the same barracks with me & Woodrow W. Hoop of Peebles.  Well I’ll close for now Mom.  Wishing all of you luck.  So answer soon.  XO Your loving Son, Bob.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Gift of Multiple Sclerosis

This is the second time I have featured my friend, Karen Magill on my blog.  Her story is so inspiring that I wanted to include it in my month of gratitude stories.  By the way, Karen’s blog, the Vancouver Vagabond is chocked full of great photography and short essays, and has been nominated for the prestigious Vancouver Social Media Award.  The link to the blog is http://karen-magill.blogspot.com. 

I hope all of you will come back to visit me next week to discover the incredible gratitude story of my friend, as well as one of my heroes, Paulette Mahurin.  And now, heeeeeeere’s Karen:     


On June 5, 2000, I woke to find the left side of my body partially paralysed.  Nine days later, after an MRI, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I started down a journey unlike anything I have ever been on before.

The paralysis went away but I lived in fear.  I heard all the horror stories about how dismal my life was going to be now, or how I was destined for a wheelchair, or how I was going to lose my eyesight.  I am happy to say that twelve years later, none of those things have happened.

Although I do use a cane, I walk quite well.  In fact, I walk all over Vancouver, Canada taking photos of whatever interests me, as well as historical sites.  Then I come home and post the photos in a blog entitled the Vancouver Vagabond, combining the pictures with stories of my city’s history.

 MS has been a gift to me.  I was forced onto disability, so now I am being paid to stay home and write.  The fatigue that hampers many areas of my life requires me to make the most of the time I am able to write.  I have to learn how to focus my energies on the task at hand whether it be writing, or promoting, or even walking.  That is an advantage because now I take more care in what I am getting involved with.  I can’t join every social media site or every Facebook group–I have to target my audience and find where those readers would be.  I can’t enter everything and join all sites.  I also ask for advice and assistance more than I would if I didn’t have this difficulty.

Gone are the nights when I could stay up all hours writing.  My body can’t handle that any longer. So my books may take me longer to write, but I am more careful on what I put on ‘paper’ as they say.  I do have episodes of writing wildly and ending up with a lot of garbage—most writers do since it releases the tension and the creative juices, but those times are limited.  When I work on my novels I have a pretty good idea of which scene I am going to write.

My emotions can run wild—I can’t remember ever crying as easily as I do now.  Those emotions that can sometimes be so raw and intense are translated into my writing now.  A writer has to bring the reader into the story and make them feel something.  It may take a few attempts, but I can translate the intensity of what I feel onto paper.

Multiple Sclerosis may have taken a lot away from me, yet in so many ways it was one of the best things to happen to me and my writing.  There is a new maturity and perspective to my writing.  I wonder if I would ever have reached the levels I am at now if I were still working a full time job and struggling in the rat race.  I doubt it.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Season a Reason for Gratitude

On a fateful Sunday morning in 1992, I was distracted by a soiled area on my bathroom floor and decided to clean it before stepping into the shower.  Gathering my cleaning supplies, which were housed in the cabinet beneath the sink, I lowered to my hands and knees, and as I reached forward to swipe the dirty spot, I lost my balance.  As my backside was on its inexorable course to making full contact with the hard tile floor, my tailbone struck the raised heel of my right foot.  Fire exploded in my backside.  I grabbed the edge of the bathtub to steady my reeling brain that was threatening to go black from the pain, and then all I could do was to lower to the floor, contract into a fetal position and lie on the cold tile until the throbbing lessened enough to pull myself to the toilet.  Once seated, I noticed that the designated heel was covered with blood.  At first, I thought that it was a gash in my foot, but further investigation revealed a different source.  I was aghast to find that the blood had come from my backside.

                Discomfort in my tailbone was familiar to me.  Actually, I had broken it thirty-three years earlier.  In preparation for a Saturday night date, I was soaking in the bathtub, aromatic bubbles up to my neck and my skin drinking in the generous dollops of bath oil I had added to the water.  The telephone rang.  This was long before cellphones.  Concerned that it might be my boyfriend calling me for some urgent reason, I jumped out of the bathtub, and proceeded at a quick pace to get to the nearest phone.  Both of my oily feet slipped out from under me on the bare tile of the floor, and I came down with my full weight on my backside and broke my tailbone, an injury that was a source of chronic pain for the ensuing five years.  

                For a couple of months prior to the second incident in the bathroom, I had been experiencing some discomfort in my tailbone again, and, of course, I dismissed it as just a recurrence of the old injury.  I had decided that having it looked at could wait until my yearly gynecological exam, several months hence.  But the pain grew worse, the blood didn’t go away and I had begun to experience bouts of severe diarrhea.  Subsequent to several examinations and tests, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, and for the next five years, it was treated as such.

                All of the treatments were useless, and after second opinions, third opinions, fourth opinions, and copious other tests, it was decided that it was, in fact, Crohns Disease instead, a diagnosis confirmed by one of the foremost Colitis/Crohns specialists in the world, a doctor whose practice is at the Cleveland Clinic.  In the interim, steroids were my steady diet—it was the only thing that somewhat reduced the flares of the almost constant diarrhea. 

                Three years more and additional treatments were the result, including ineffectual infusions of Remicade, as well as chemotherapy medications.  As my body blew up to almost twice its former size from the steroids, and I grew weaker from the diarrhea, and I fought constant anemia from the bleeding, my life diminished concurrently.  It was as if my former life as a socially active and successful interior designer and artist was petering out slowly.  My life had reduced to a well-worn path in the carpeting between my bed and my bathroom.  Not even sleep was my savior because I was up half of the night, every night, in the race to the bathroom, races that I didn’t always win.

                As I reach back into my memory, the only term that comes to mind germane to my emotional state is “emptiness.”  I guess it stands to reason that when a person is dealing with such overwhelming physical difficulties that the mind switches its resources to the body and away from the mind.  But I have another, more philosophical, explanation of my mind’s emptiness.  I believe that Spirit was erasing my mind like a master teacher erasing a blackboard in preparation for a new script for me to follow. 

                That script turned into a full-bodied screenplay in my mind the morning of August 10, 2000, a morning after a very bad night and another interminable day of bathroom trips and barrenness before me.  That morning, I went to the bathroom (what is it with me and bathrooms?), got into the shower, and while standing under the spray, the story of my first book, Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams flowed over me as if the words were contained within the molecules of the water.  I returned to my bed with notebook and pen in hand, and started to write.  For the following four years, the book was the center, as well as the liberator, of my life.  I recruited my cousin, Debra Shiveley Welch to work on a portion of the book with me.  To that point, we had been mere dabblers at writing, and taking on a book was a new experience for both of us.  To our delight, it was an Amazon best-seller upon its release.

The irony of the entire affair is that if I hadn’t been sick and living as a shut-in, I wouldn’t have had the time, or the inclination, to write.  In this way, my illness was advantageous to my new work.  I believe that Spirit arranged all of it to get me out of my own way and onto the path for which my time on Earth was intended all along.  I accept as my truth that Spirit grabbed hold of me by my tailbone and literally pushed me to my knees to make me wake up to my real life.  Although major surgery in 2001 restored my quality of life, I have never regained my full vitality, which means that I have to keep a lighter work schedule as an interior designer, a favorable turn of events that not only gives me plenty of time to write, but also to do artwork.  As this holiday season approaches, I feel deep gratitude for the trials in my life because I believe that all of them happened for a reason, a reason that culminated in my finding independent authenticity, meaningful purpose and dignity of a kind that would have eluded me otherwise.  I also have a profound feeling now that I am fulfilling my destiny.

Spanning this holiday season when we are reminded that a major part of its reason is to count our blessings, three of my good friends, who are fellow writers, have accepted my invitation to tell you their gratitude stories on this blog.  Like me, all of them experienced illnesses that sculpted new and wonderful lives for them.  I hope you will visit me again next week to discover the moving story of Vancouver author, Karen Magill.

My latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels is available in paperback and eBook for Kindle, or your PC and laptop, and other downloading devices at http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Other-Angels-Linda-Greene/dp/1897512562/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338336762&sr=8-1.  The book is available in paperback at barnes&noble.com.    
Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams in paperback and eBook is at http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Lee-Greene/e/B00864OVWA.  The paperback version is also sold on barnes&noble.com.

To read excerpts of my current and future books, please log onto www.booksbylindaleegreene.gallery-llgreene.com.

To view an exhibition of some of my artwork, I invite you to log onto www.gallery-llgreene.com.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

FREE eBook available of Guardians and Other Angels

The eBook version of my novel, Guardians and Other Angels will be offered FREE Friday and Saturday, November 23rd and 24th on Amazon.  You don't have to own a Kindle to download it, although if you do own one, please download it there.  Otherwise, there is a free app on Amazon whereby you can download it, and as many other eBooks as you desire, to your PC or laptop, and other downloading devices.  My hope is that you will download many copies of it.  Why not?!  It’s Free!!  To gain access to it, please click onto

It would be so helpful to me if you would please pass along the word about the FREE promotion to your online contacts and others in your sphere of influence.  It is designed to get the book into the hands of as many readers as possible, with the purpose of establishing powerful word of mouth recommendations that will ultimately result in many more actual purchases of both paperback and eBook copies of the book.  My children thank you; my grandchildren thank you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I hope you are having a happy holiday weekend.      

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mary Had a Little Lamb, But Not for Thanksgiving

Every schoolchild knows the story of the first Thanksgiving feast:  the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621.  There was sporadic adherence to it among the Colonists in the ensuing years however, usually reserved for celebrations of the endings of droughts, successful harvests, or victories in battles.  Not until 1777 did the Thirteen Colonists commemorate it as an actual day of Thanksgiving.  It was slow to catch on, though, and it continued its snail’s pace in reaching its place as an inviolable piece of American life, a resistance that held fast despite the 1789 declaration by George Washington that Thursday, November 26 would be “a public day of thanksgiving and prayer,”[1] with the distinct purpose of “giving thanks for the opportunity to form a new nation and the establishment of a new constitution.”[2]  I find it fascinating that it took an invincible midlife woman to inspire its ultimate establishment as a revered national holiday, an influence that only made its mark nearly two and one half centuries beyond the 1621 gathering of the continent’s indigenous people and their interlopers.    

                Sarah Josepha Hale was her name, and writing was her game, and hers is a prime example of the pen being mightier than the sword.  This nineteenth-century Mother of American Thanksgiving is best known as the author of the nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, but she enjoyed a diverse writing career, one spanning six decades, during that time authoring several hundred poems and two dozen books, among them her hugely successful, first novel, an accomplishment that made her one of America’s premier women novelists.  In the United States titled Northwood:  Life North and South, and in England as A New England Tale, the pre-Civil War book also established her as one of the first of either gender to espouse in print the premise that “While slavery hurts and dehumanizes the slave absolutely, it also dehumanizes the masters and retards the psychological, moral and technological progress of the world.”

                Hale was the progenitor of several other progressive programs, among them her support of equal education for American females, particularly higher education for young women.  She demonstrated her commitment through her efforts in the founding of Vassar College, a groundbreaking event in the annals of women’s rights that she upheld unfailingly in her long writing and advocacy career.  In addition to establishing the first day nurseries for working women as well as public playgrounds, she was the first editor of the first women’s magazine, a publication in which she broke tradition and featured works by American writers rather than just reprinting periodicals from England.  The prestigious literary prize, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, is named for her.

                An active and vociferous patriot, Hale understood the unifying nature of Thanksgiving better than most, and in an effort to have it designated as a national holiday, she wrote thousands of letters to movers and shakers of the country, including five Presidents of the United States, among them Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pearce, James Buchanan, and finally Abraham Lincoln.  Gaining the ear, or rather the eye, of Lincoln, her letter convinced him to support legislation establishing a national holiday of Thanksgiving.  The year was 1863, the mid-point of the Civil War.  The hope was that it would help in coalescing the nation and its culture.

In the words of my friend and fellow author, Donna R. Wood in her wonderful blog, Butterfly Phoenix, “As we gather at our tables of Thanksgiving, let us remember those who are not feasting at tables surrounded by family and friends.  Let us remember those who are gathered at tables where quarrels and discord are the norm.  And, let us be thankful for those who would lay down their lives for us, those who are taking their feast in a tent somewhere in the world; alone without the benefit of family.” 

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. 

[1] http://history1900s.about.com/1930s/a/thanksgiving.htm
[2] Ibid
My latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels is available in paperback and eBook for Kindle, or your PC and laptop, and other downloading devices at http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Other-Angels-Linda-Greene/dp/1897512562/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338336762&sr=8-1.  The book is also available in paperback at barnes&noble.com.     

My first book, Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams with Debra Shiveley Welch, in paperback and eBook is at http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Lee-Greene/e/B00864OVWA.  The paperback version is also sold on barnes&noble.com.

To read excerpts of my current and future books, please log onto www.booksbylindaleegreene.gallery-llgreene.com.

To view an exhibition of some of my artwork, I invite you to log onto www.gallery-llgreene.com.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lights! Camera! Action!

Can you imagine what a thrill it would be to be an author and to have his/her book noticed by filmmakers, asked to submit a screenplay and to have it considered for a television series (it is still being considered)?  This is what happened to my good friends, Tamy Burns and Kymber Lee Hughes, co-authors of What She Knew, and my guest authors today.  I happily turn the page over to them.  Take it away, Ladies:              


Who are you and what is your background?  I am Tamy Burns (pen named, T L Burns) and I am from Ridgecrest, California.  I am married and am the mother of two grown children.  In the past I taught at a private school, and I still enjoy mentoring and teaching.  My co-author is Kymber Lee Hughes (pen named Kymber Lee and K R. Hughes) of Amarillo, Texas.  We are both currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia.  Kym holds a degree in English and a minor in Journalism, and has published a historical romance novel titled, Treasured Love by Kymber Lee.  It is available at www.Amazon.com.  Her latest romance novel under the signature of Kymber Lee, to be released on November 15, 2012, is titled Lord Tristan’s True Love.  Our co-authored novel titled, What She Knew, also available on Amazon, is a story that offers an interesting twist to the death of actress, Marilyn Monroe.  Log on to www.whatsheknew.com and you can read the first chapter of the novel. The synopsis of it is as follows:      

While many believe that Marilyn Monroe was murdered on that fateful night in August 1962, the real question still remains: What was the actual reason for her death? Marilyn was a well-loved personality who ran in all the right (or wrong) circles. What could she possibly know that was such a threat that only her death would seal the secret? Was it Hollywood and the finishing of the film she'd been fired from and then rehired on? Maybe it was her involvement in Las Vegas with the Rat Pack and mobsters, or possibly her association with the Kennedys, especially Patricia and John F. that would lead to her death. In 1962, sinister forces were at work plotting to kill America's sex goddess to keep her from divulging deadly information.  While mobster Sam Giancana played nice with Frank Sinatra, leader of the Rat Pack and America's favorite crooner, Frank was being equally nice to Peter Lawford, JFK's brother-in-law, in order to enter the political circles that Marilyn already had access to. As this circle was being completed, one vital bit of information was passed on that would end the life of Marilyn Monroe, or did it? In this 1960's conspiracy story, Marilyn Monroe is saved by Peter Lawford and Bobby Kennedy replaces the real Marilyn with a body-double allowing the whole world to think her dead. Badly beaten and bruised, Marilyn struggles to come to grips with her near-death experience and the realization that everything she worked for is gone forever. The actress and sex goddess is dead.


What is the latest news about your book?  We just finished the sequel to What She Knew.  The title of the new book is What She Knew Too. In addition, our agent scheduled an exciting summer and fall agenda for us of book signings, speaking engagements, a book tour, television and radio interviews in Atlanta, Dallas, New York City and Hollywood and lots of other places in between.      

What inspired you to write, and when did you first consider yourselves as professional writers?  With her background in journalism and a grandmother who encouraged her to write romance novels, Hughes has written a total of five historical novels in addition to Treasured Love, Lord Tristan’s True Love and What She Knew.  I was dragged into the business when Hughes took a private writing class with a well-known author.  Actually, the idea for What She Knew was conceived while she took that class.  Hughes and I teamed up to write what is now part of chapter two in the book and she presented it in that class. The teacher loved it so much that she persuaded us to turn it into a novel.  However, it wasn’t until our first book signing for What She Knew that we considered ourselves as bonafide authors. 


How would describe your specific writing style?  Sparse in detail and rich in action and dialogue—everyone knows what an Italian restaurant or the White House lawn looks like.  People don’t always need a lot of flowery details to get the image in their heads.


What is the source of the title and of the book cover?  We struggled for the title for a long time and then one day it just popped up based on the fact that MM was an insider in politics, show business, and even organized crime.  It is completely believable that she knew all kinds of secrets.  Perhaps it was What She Knew that was the cause of her death.  Just sayin’. Kenny Burns from Amarillo, Texas rocked the cover art.


Is there a message in your novel?  If readers wonder if MM was really murdered, well, we can’t help that, now can we?

How much of the book is historically accurate?  It was my job to do the historical research and I took great pains that it squared with the historical record.  We love that if feels so real for a fictional novel.  We want to emphasize to our readers that this is FICTION – Marilyn Monroe died!  Please do not contact us and ask us where we’ve hidden her and what she is doing now.  Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 – really! 

What types of books have had the most influence on you and what writer do you consider a mentor?  Mystery/conspiracy/drama.  Agatha Christie is our mentor. 


What books are you reading now and what new writers are of interest to you?  Numerous novels dealing with the Johnson era are occupying our time.  We have come to love several authors with whom we have become acquainted through the Facebook writer’s group called Master Koda.  No names please—we love all of them.


What are your greatest sources of support and what are your greatest writing challenges?  Of course, our families and our literary agent, Janet Espy support us in every way.  Our greatest challenge is finding the time to write among all of the other tasks that are necessary in the process.  

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?  We actually got a do-over.  We wrote the pilot episode for J J Abrams, and decided we liked some of the action scenes in the script and added them to the re-release of the novel.  How blessed are we?    

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
We learned a lot about the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe as a person, and the mob.  We also realized a truth we’d instinctively known for a long time.  Not only are we best friends:  ying-yang, but we are also an excellent writing duo.  We absolutely love spending time together and we have a rhythm to our writing that is natural and easy.  We have no trouble recognizing that each of us has strengths and we play to those.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Write, write, write!  Write something every day. Give yourself a goal of one page or ten pages but WRITE!  Why do you think we’re called writers?  It’s because we WRITE.  Don’t give up on writing, all right? LOL

If you weren’t a writer what else would you like to be? Probably a critic! LOL 

Where can readers find you on the web?  www.whatsheknew.com,
www.gcaentertainment.com, www.krhughestlburns.wordpress.com .  Find us on Facebook us at What She Knew and on Twitter @whatsheknewbook.
Note from Linda Lee Greene - I know all of you will enjoy the work of these two writers.  Please join me in giving them support and encouragement.