Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Announcing the Launching of The River Time, a Blog of Essays on History

The host-authors of the new blog The River Time are stoked by the line-up of distinguished guest writers who will be featured in the coming weeks.  The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III of England has created quite a stir among interested people, and one of them is the blog’s host-author, Stuart G. Yates.  On March 1st he will kick off the blog’s essays on history with his composition about the unearthing of Richard’s bones titled, Some Mysteries Surrounding Our Kings.  During the same week, Yates will host the journalist and blogger, Nicholas Wade with his essay Richard at Bosworth.   In addition, on this 50th anniversary of James Bond and his various Cold War opponents, Yates will bring you author Brian M. Hayden and an engaging excerpt of Hayden’s new book, Memories of the Cold War.

March 8th will mark the debut on the blog of host-author, Linda Lee Greene.  She will take readers to World War II with When the Lights Went Out in America, which is an excerpt of her book-in-progress, “I Received Your Letter….”  During the week of the 8th, Greene is so excited about the fact that her first guest will be the gifted author, K P Kollenborn with yet another essay on the Second World War titled, Japanese American Internment.  Greene’s second guest, author John Paul Catton, coming to us from present-day Japan, will enlighten us with a bit of the history of Japanese historical dramas in his fascinating piece, Jidai Geki.     

Author Dixon Rice and his guests will unveil week three of the blog; author DeEtte Anderton and her guests will do the honors on week four, as will author Allison Bruning and her guests on week five.  Stuart Yates will come back at the opening of week six and down through the line again.  Guest appearances by other great authors, historians, and history buffs are already in the works and will be announced as we near their assigned days.  

There are countless messages in history for us to discover if we stop and pay attention.  And if we yield to history’s call, if we allow it to enlarge our humanity, we will bring about an improved history-at-large that is unfolding in our time, as well as enrichment to our personal lives.  The host-authors of The River Time invite you to help us to get the blog going with a great send-off by joining us as followers and by leaving comments.  The link to the blog is    

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Reminiscent of Steinbeck's, Grapes of Wrath

A Review by Diana Hannon Forrester
Guardians and other Angels
Linda Lee Greene

Guardians and Other Angels is a saga of the Gaffin/Greene family set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and World War II.  Author, Linda Lee Greene’s prose has the texture and depth of the times she writes about.  Greene gets inside the heartbreak and humor of the people who grace her pages.  The story is reminiscent of Steinbeck’s, Grapes of Wrath and calls those same times to mind; times when young men considered themselves lucky to secure a job away from home in Oregon or California for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) or the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and made enough money to send home to feed the family; times when half-grown children were turned out to make their own way in the world and often failed; times when sudden death lurked in the shadows of freight train cars and the dark corners of hobo jungles.

            This was life before we got so smart – before cell phones, television sets and reliable birth control.  It is the story of four generations and how they made a mark on life in Southern Ohio during times nobody thought were good, of how people stuck together and supported one another day after endless day.  Greene gives us the details of how Lena’s hopes to become a carpenter were dashed by her mother’s desire to protect the family name from disgrace.  She gives us animal-killing snow storms and the 1937 Ohio River floods when flood stage reached 70 feet. She gives us dear, sweet Bussy’s cock fights with a rooster named Tarzan, and a hilarious but  ill-fated plan of Uncle Dick’s to touch his teacher, Peggy Sue Heatley’s voluptuous breasts, and so much more.

This story is not lighthearted by any test, but it is one well worth reading as it gives the reader an inside look at what many of our ancestors survived so we might follow them.

Author Greene puts it this way:

“Despite the tragedies, the hardships associated with farm life, and the ravages of the Great Depression, there was an underlying quality of buoyancy to the spirits of those remarkable people. Even though I carry in my cells the unfortunate imprint of my many nights in the rocking chair with my grandmother as she cried for Bussy and Bob and her other departed loved-ones, my cells also carry the much deeper and more influential legacy of the resilience, the optimism, and the gaiety of my ancestors.”


The direct link to Guardians and Other Angels is   

Friday, February 15, 2013

First Award! Very Special Blogger Award

 I was honored when my good friend and fellow author, DeEtte Anderton informed me she was nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I was so blessed! Her novel, Victory is available in eBook format and print at 

Of course, there are RULES for accepting the nomination:

1. Display the award on my Blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated me.
3. State seven things about myself.
4. Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Here are seven questions that will help define who I am, and what I do best.
Seven things about me....

1.       I was born in a farmhouse bedroom of my maternal grandparents, a farmhouse that sat on the rim of the star-wound that forms the bedrock of the world-famous, Great Serpent Mound in the blink-and-miss-it-town of Peebles, Adams County, Ohio.  Of course, it was even smaller back in my day than it is now.  When I was a toddler, my parents, my baby brother, David, and I moved to Columbus, Ohio’s capital city.  Other than about fifteen years of my early adulthood when I resided in Queens and Long Island, New York, as well as in Pompano Beach, Florida, Columbus has been my home.

2.       I am the divorced mother of two grown children and grandmother of two grandsons.

3.       Among many other things, I love to read and write about history.  I have recently invited a group of fellow writers to join me as administrators of a new blog titled, The River Time.  It is still being set up.  All of the posts on the blog will be related to the subject of history.  Each week, the blog will feature compositions by one or more of its administrators and by guest writers.  If you like to write about history and want to secure a guest slot on the blog to write about one of your favorite historical events, persons, places, or whatever, please private message Linda Lee Greene.  

4.     In addition to being a bestselling author, I am an interior designer educated at the Columbus College of Art and Design and at the Interior Design Institute of Columbus where I graduated as the valedictorian of my class.  I am also an award-winning artist, and in that capacity, I keep a busy schedule of exhibiting at art shows and art festivals.  My online art gallery is at   

5.       My latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels was published in May, 2012.  Based on a true story, it is categorized as historical fiction.  It chronicles significant portions of the lives of three generations of my family primarily during the Great Depression and America’s early involvement in World War II.  Although much of the story is based on family legends, I broadened the storyline by creating fictional situations in which to place the characters in the novel.  Included in it are transcriptions of dozens of authentic personal letters the principles of the story wrote to one another during those momentous eras.  The direct link to it is
  6.       Recently, I became involved with the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the capacity of an artist on exhibition in fund-raising art shows.  They are venues designed to kick-off the MS Awareness month.  Titled An Orange and White Affair Art Show, Cleveland will host the first art show on Friday, March 1st from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Around the Corner, 18616-20 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, OH 44107.  Show number two will be held on Thursday, March 7 from 5:00 to 9:00 Pm at The Bluestone, 583 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 216-503-4183.     

7.       I am serving my second year as the treasurer of the Grove City (Ohio) Arts Council.  We are a group of fine artists, photographers, craftspersons, and art enthusiasts who organize and support programs that promote art awareness in the Central Ohio area.  On a yearly basis, in addition to coordinating art shows and other special events, we raise funds for scholarships that we award to graduating high school seniors who are pursuing a college education in art.  I am also an active member of the Grove City Writers’ Group.  This organization is instrumental in supporting aspiring middle-and-high-school-age writers in our community by funding and promoting a yearly publication of their essays.  The first, second, and third place winners receive cash awards.    

I would like to take this opportunity to nominate some of my friends who are bloggers that I feel have made a positive impact on my life.  I hope you will visit their blogs and leave a comment.  In alphabetical order, they are:
Jared Anderson –

Dixon Rice –

Emily Wheeler –

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's What We Eat That Counts!

If a certain 50+ female told you that she had lost in excess of fifteen pounds in the 32 days between December 31, 2012 and February 1, 2013 (I'm still losing but haven't weighed myself since the 1st), and she had done it without the aid of increased physical activity, HRT therapy, pills, powders, or any other weight-loss concoction, or without rubberized sweat apparel, or magnetic belts, or pins in her earlobes or nostrils, you’d probably think she was lying or dying – or both.  On my honor, it happened to me, and I’m pretty sure I’m not dying.  Well, of course, all of us are dying a little bit each day, but you know what I mean.  That works out to be about half of a pound per day. 
                Let’s say you are one hundred pounds overweight.  A weight-loss of a half of a pound per day gets you back to your healthiest and most attractive size in a little more than six months!  If you begin today, you can be ready for your bikini next summer!  You won’t have to go on America’s Biggest Loser and run the gauntlet every day, nor bare your misshapen body and tortured soul humiliatingly before millions of television viewers each week.  All you have to do is to throw out the food pyramid that has been sold to us for decades, an every-day-meal-plan concocted by an agricultural industry that has been, and still is, getting filthy rich off of the fat of our bigger butts and bellies, and the older we get, the bigger they get, and the fatter the wallets grow of the movers and shakers of the industries who put the food on our tables.
                The culprits are grains, legumes, corn syrup and corn starch, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, processed oils, packaged food items, and soda-pop, even diet soda-pop.  But how can I live without my breads, my baked goods, and potatoes, oh my?  How will I satisfy my sweet tooth, and the convenience of packaged foods and drinks?  you are lamenting right now.  What if I told you that I eat as much bread, muffins, tarts, pizza, and similar things as I like on my current nutrition plan, and that I have syrup-laced pancakes piled with plain, fat-free Yogurt, blueberries and strawberries for breakfast several times per week.  The key is to substitute white and wheat flour, or any grain-based flour, with almond flour (protein).  I actually mix almond flour with garbonza/fava bean flour (more protein) to give my flour a more neutral taste and a finer texture.  You will note that all of these flour-based foods are made from scratch.  You get to cook again!  But when I set aside time to bake, I make enough extra batter to last for several days.  The same batter for bread is used for all of the others…I just doctor portions of it with nuts and fruits for muffins and tarts,  and sweeten portions of it for pancakes, etc. 
               Almond or coconut milk replaces dairy, although I do have plain, fat-free, dairy Yogurt once a day, and fat-free cottage cheese once in a while.  When I find goat Yogurt and cheese, I will make the change.  Potatoes are replaced with sweet potatoes and cauliflower.  You would be amazed at how much cauliflower tastes like potatoes when you cook it the right way.  Sea salt takes the place of refined salt, maple syrup and blue agave syrup of refined sugar, and pure oils of processed oils.  Honey is called for in most recipes in the meal plan, but maple and blue agave syrups are lower in the bad stuff that makes us fat and sick.  And because they are more liquefied, they are easier to fold into flour. 
             I eat lots of lean meats and fish, as many fruits and vegetables as I want, as well as nuts.  Instead of buying ready-made peanut butter, which is laced with cane sugar, corn syrup, and preservatives (really bad things), I make my own.  Oh, stop it now…it’s so easy.  Just put half of a cup of unsalted peanuts in your processor or blender; add one to one and a half teaspoons of peanut oil and blend on low until it’s crunchy or smooth according to your preference.  Since it lacks preservatives, you have to store it in your refrigerator.  That’s it!
                If you think that cream- and flour-based soups are one of the things you have to give up when dieting, think again.  Try this creamy recipe for the most delicious and the healthiest soup you’ve ever consumed.  In twenty-five minutes, you can gobble it up to warm your bones and tickle your tummy on these cold, February days:

Cream of Any-Vegetable Soup
Chop into small pieces a stalk of celery and three-quarters of a small onion (I like to use red onion), and cook with butter in a heavy saucepan until tender.  Stir in four teaspoons of almond flour and garbonzo/fava bean flour mix, ½ teaspoon of granulated, or one cube of instant chicken bouillon, a dash of sea salt, and a dash of pepper until blended.  Add more butter if mixture gets too thick.  Add two cups of almond milk and two dashes of Worcestershire sauce.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, then cook and blend for one minute more.  It won’t get as thick as if made with white or wheat flour, but don’t sweat it.  It’s okay!  Remove from the flame and let it cool slightly. 
             In a separate saucepan, cook one cup of vegetables, or two cups if you have a guest (I buy shredded veggies for convenience).  Place all of the ingredients in an immersion or a container blender and blend for thirty seconds, or until smooth.  Return to the original saucepan and heat until warm.  I like to serve it with an iceberg lettuce, non-fat cottage cheese, blueberries, and strawberries salad sweetened with blue agave syrup.  The sweet salad is scrumptious with carrots as the vegetable of choice for the soup.  
          I’ve treated myself to a new set of ceramic cookware.  I couldn’t be happier than if I had received a diamond ring.  The ring on my finger might get me married, but the healthy food I cook in my new pots and pans will keep me slim and well – an easy choice in my book.  If you want to make the switch to a meal plan like mine, I suggest that you begin with a couple of cookbooks, both of them written by bestselling authors, Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass.  They are Everyday Grain-free Gourmet, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, as well as Grain-free Gourmet, Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living.
The direct link to Linda’s latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels is

To read excerpts of Linda’s current and future books, please log onto
To view Linda’s online art gallery, she invites you to visit 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Glory by Diana Hannon Forrester

Lucy and Ethel would have had a ball (pun intended) adapting this story to an episode of I Love Lucy.  And like the famed twosome in the beloved television series, the wacky team of females in Glory, by Ohio author, Dianna Hannon Forrester makes a case that good girlfriends, like good husbands, are hard to come by.  I’m talking about the kind of girlfriend who will go through anything for, and with, you, even if it puts her in the line of fire of a demented killer.  Kate Marcum, best friend of Glory Pruitt, passes every test, and more, of such a girlfriend in this entertaining book.  While a mystery novel, it is at the same time a lighthearted and fun romp with a beautifully crafted setting and a cast of captivating characters, especially Glory and Kate, the pair of them prattling in snappy dialogue and conjuring harebrained schemes while all around them people are dropping like flies by baffling means in the small, Central Ohio town of Camden.
                Just to give you a sneak peak at the canny writing of Mrs. Forrester, this is the opening paragraph of the book: 

My name is Glory Pruitt.  The Glory came from my father who was a Methodist minister.  He was one of the Central Conference’s worst ministers of all time, but God’s glory was his bread and butter.  He’s retired now and living homeless on a beach in Florida.  The Pruitt came from Charlie whom I met at the Ohio State University in 1976.  I was eighteen at the time and Charlie was a senior in agriculture, which I think they still teach at Ohio State, even today.  Charlie was recently buried in the Greenlawn Cemetery south of town.  I’m not convinced of natural causes.
                Day after day, a shame-faced and bewildered Glory hides away in her house and drains Charlie’s wine cellar of his stash of vintage reds and whites and tries to wrap her head around the fact of Charlie’s having dropped dead of a presumed heart attack while in the bed of one of her girlfriends.  Despite Kate’s daily drop-ins, her mind fruitful with ideas for outings, nothing pries Glory out of the house, nothing but the news one day of the suspicious death of the friend in whose bed Charlie had taken his final tumble.  But was it his first two-timing tumble? Glory and Kate begin to wonder, as clues, like the bodies, begin to pile up, hints that Charlie was up to much more no good than being a no good husband.

                As Lucy and Ethel would have done in their high-jinx ways, Glory and Kate uncover the villain in this one, and it proves that one way or another, it never pays to be undercover under the wrong covers.  My prediction is that you will lose yourself between the covers of this delightful book.  Therefore, unlike Charlie’s inconvenient pastime, this is a diversion I highly recommend.    

Glory in paperback is available at

The direct link to the paperback or eBook of Linda Lee Greene's latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels is at

To view an online exhibition of Linda Lee Greene's artwork, please log onto

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Fender-Bender With a Message Written All Over It

The ring of my cellphone exchanged itself for the voice of the receptionist at the company for which I work.  “Your afternoon appointment just called and canceled.  She thinks she might have the flu and will call to reschedule when she feels better.”  Unfortunately, I was already within hailing distance of the location of my appointment.  It is situated in a busy urban area that hosts two huge shopping malls on both sides of the main thoroughfare leading to the address.  Traffic there is thick and threatening no matter the time of day.  The parking lots of the malls add to the problem—they are mazes of sudden and twisting cut-throughs where moving cars show up unexpectedly.  In short, to maneuver this area safely, you need eyes in the front, sides, and back of your head. 
                I had arrived in the neighborhood early in order to have lunch at Sonic, America’s Drive-in which sits within the boundaries of one of the mall’s parking lots.  It was there that I received the call about the canceled appointment.  Although its bill of fare falls just a hair’s breadth above the category of “fast food,” I like Sonic’s because it’s a throwback to the drive-in restaurants of my teenage years where carhops brought your food to you on a tray that was affixed to the door of your car.   Inevitably while chomping away at my food, Sonic’s turns me wistful with memories of the good old days, and despite the menu, it’s always a happy experience for me. 
                I had received a new pair of glasses the day before—lineless trifocals, where the correction is limited to a small circular area in the center of each lens and in essence renders your peripheral vision a complete blur, and therefore, useless.  In order to see peripherally, rather than moving your eyeballs and slightly shifting your head as usual, you have to turn your head completely to the right or left to keep the circular section in the your line of vision.  Learning to see through lenses such as these takes the discipline and practice-routine of an Olympic athlete, and since I had worn them for fewer than 24 hours, I was still slave to my old habits.
                The canceled appointment set me at liberty for the balance of the afternoon, and despite the freezing temperature outside, how best to kill a few minutes of it than to drive through the next-door Dairy Queen and to treat myself to a whopping big vanilla ice cream cone, I ask you?  I was in the frame of mind of treating myself that mid-December day because the 31st of the month, when my New Year’s Resolution to make 2013 my year to slim down and shape up, was bearing down on me like an out of control locomotive. 
I pulled out of the Dairy Queen, the top-heavy treat teetering dangerously in my right hand.  Lick, lick, I went at it as if I were a prisoner on death row eating my last meal, and at my last mid-lick, I eased to a halt at the stop sign at the terminus of one of those treacherous little cut-throughs.  I looked to the left, then to the right, and to the left again before pulling out and onto the busy street, and WHAM! the right front fender of my pristine car made hard contact with the back left fender of another car, a car moving far too swiftly for the conditions of the traffic.  Nevertheless, I literally did not see it—not at all!  For all I know, the driver might have failed to yield to me in an attempt to get ahead of me in line.  Although my gut tells me that he did dish me, I just can’t say for sure.
                Everything in the universe has its purpose, and there is a purpose for everything in the universe, and knowing this to be true, I set to wondering to what end this accident occurred, the first one I have encountered in all of the many decades of my driving history.  It’s easy to say that the spectacles and the ice cream cone were the culprits (or maybe Speedy Gonzales in the other car), but at my core I recognize that they were mere props in the opening act of the spiritual play that was unfolding before me on that day.  In the words of Dr. Deepak Chopra in his breakthrough work, The Book of Secrets, Unlock the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, “This accident was no accident; it’s a reflection of myself.  This stranger is a messenger.  When I find out why this event happened, I will uncover some aspect of myself.  I need to pay more attention to some kind of hidden or stuck energy.  When I deal with it, I will be glad this accident happened.”
                When I set my mind to analyzing it, the notion of hidden or stuck energy called to a knowingness at the deepest part of my soul.  Although it was clear to me that the other driver had been chosen as my partner in this drama because he also had some energy that needed to get unstuck (possibly an issue surrounding patience), still I didn‘t want anything of the sort to happen again.  Therefore, it behooved me to pay attention and to decipher the message written on the bent fender of my car. 
The universe had been whispering in my ear for a long time about my future path, but I couldn’t single out its words above the non-stop ego-din in my head.  My mind was like an out-of-control classroom of kindergarteners fighting over a position in line.  “Teacher said I can be first!”  “No, she said I can be first!”  “No, it’s me!”  “Me!”  “Me!” and on and on until I couldn’t take it anymore and I just shut out the voices.  But I was able to figure out that the fender-bender was my signal that my mind was ready to transcend the cacophony and to recognize the one voice that spoke my truth.  After all, our minds want to transcend—minds abhor statis.  In medicine, statis is a condition in which body fluids such as blood or the contents of the bowel are prevented from flowing normally through their channels.  All of us understand what that portends in terms of the well-being of our bodies.  Minds are subject to the same principle.    
Dr. Chopra’s directive that “Insight and release go together,” is proving valid for me because now that my energy is unblocked, I’m beginning to wade through and hone down the competing options.  Plans are taking shape in my mind.  I’m like Michelangelo chipping away at the block of marble until the authentic and glorious David took the form of the picture in the master’s mind.   I couldn’t accomplish that before.  I couldn’t do it until I was able to see that the message on the bent fender of my car said, “Let go, be still, and let the universe do the driving.”

To read excerpts of my current and future books, I invite you to log onto 

To view my online art gallery, please click onto