My new release ~ “Sweet Romance “To Go”: Contemporary Short Stories for Today’s Busy Reader”

Lots of romance fans want to read…but who has the time? Families, jobs, appointments, and long commutes can keep us from having even 5, 10 or 15 minutes a day to relax and get lost in a sweet story.

I’m so happy to release this collection of contemporary clean and wholesome romance short stories, currently available exclusively as an e-book on Amazon and it’s included in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. A print version is coming soon. Please check it out today…and enjoy!

~ Kadee ❤

BUY LINK:  Amazon.com

BLURB: 

Sweet Romance “To Go” contains ten clean & wholesome romance short stories for today’s busy reader. Included are stories of various lengths for quick reads, with a happy ending guaranteed!

Misunderstandings, reunion romance, a fake relationship that becomes real, a cooking competition, a handsome pharmacist with exactly the right prescription, and beautiful butterflies are all included in Sweet Romance “To Go.”

Plus, there’s a special bonus story at the end about a family tragedy that brings a young couple a “new chance for love.”

If you love romance, and whether you have five, ten or maybe even fifteen minutes today to read, there’s a story here for you!

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Christmas traditions in the time of Jane Austen

Regency Christmas dinner complete with pudding

The Regency period of English history was technically only the years 1811-1820, but practically ran the adult life of King George IV, from the late 1700’s through to 1830, and is sometimes referred to today known as the “long Regency.” Christmas in those days was most definitely not the commercial holiday we celebrate today. There was no mad rush to shop for the latest gadgets, no stockings hung by the fire with care, and certainly no white-bearded gentleman with a sleigh and reindeer flying through the night skies.

Attending church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was a must for the English in Regency times, although only a few of the carols we sing now would have been sung in church then as hymns, such as The First Nowell.(Yes, that spelling is the correct one!)

Instead of everyone looking forward to just December 24th or the 25th, a Regency Christmas was a much longer celebration of dancing and dining spread out over the period of ‘Christmastide,’ from Christmas Eve to January 6th, Twelfth Night. (Hence, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’)

Preparations, however, began long before December 24th. ‘Stir-up Sunday,’ the Sunday before Advent, marked the unofficial start to the Christmas Season, so-called because of the traditional church service held that day, but also becoming the day that Christmas puddings and cakes were prepared, in order to allow enough time for them to ‘mature’ (which called for regular doses of brandy!)

Jane AustenChristmas was a time to reflect upon one’s religious faith and to enjoy the companionship of friends and family. Jane Austen mentions Christmas in each of her six major novels. For instance, in Emma, she wrote, “At Christmas everybody invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather.” In addition, the aristocracy and the landed gentry were expected to entertain their tenants and neighbors and show generosity through charitable acts.

During the four-week period from Advent until Epiphany, the upper classes held balls, parties, dinners and other social events, welcoming both family and friends. Since everyone was usually together, it was also a time for courtships and weddings. Even though there was no Santa Claus, December 6th, St. Nicholas’s Day, was marked by the giving of small gifts. There was no exchange of presents on the 25th itself, but giving ‘Christmas Boxes’ of food and gently-used items of clothing and household goods to servants and to charity was the custom on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, now celebrated as ‘Boxing Day.’

Holly, ivy, evergreen and laurel were brought into the house on Christmas Eve, since it was considered unlucky to bring greenery inside before Christmas. These remained in place until the Epiphany on January 6, when they were taken down and often burned to prevent bad luck for the rest of the year. Indoor decorated trees were rare and found only in a few houses of wealthy families with German connections, where they were a long-standing tradition.

Of course, we can’t forget mistletoe, although the custom was more likely practiced below stairs than above. (The requirement of plucking a berry every time a kiss was stolen beneath the bough was already in place, and once the berries were gone, alas, the kissing was over.)

Christmas Day meant Christmas dinner, with the best a family could afford…turkey, goose (the most traditional), mutton, or venison might be served, and for the rich, the table could be laden with all of these at once. A Christmas dinner would not be deemed complete without the aforementioned pudding. The pudding would be doused with even more brandy and then set aflame, a key theatrical aspect of the holiday celebration.

(For the brave of heart among you, or for those who just enjoy setting their food on fire, some traditional holiday pudding recipes can be found at: http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/a/xmaspud.htm )

Epiphany on January 6th marked the official end of Christmas festivities. It was yet another feast day to mark the coming of the Magi, and as a result was the traditional day to exchange gifts.

Joseph-Grimaldi_1630699cOne final English Christmas tradition that was present in Jane Austen’s time and is still alive today is the Christmas pantomime. The pantomime usually opened on Boxing Day. Joseph Grimaldi, the famous clown who lived from 1779 to 1837, regularly performed in one at Drury Lane Theatre in London, a theatre often visited by characters in Regency romances.

Sweet Christmas Kisses 5 – a new anthology of sweet holiday romance!

It’s Fall & the holidays will be here soon! Fill your holiday stocking with love and 9 sweet romance novellas, from USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and award-winning authors!
BLURB: Sweet Christmas Kisses 5 brings you heartwarming contemporary romances that celebrate the joy of the season around the world, including in snowy Maine and the sun-kissed skies of Florida, the mountains of Colorado, small-town Illinois and South Carolina, New York to San Francisco, and even the glittering lights of Paris and the old-world charm of Florence. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 5 bundle features all-new, standalone novellas that will make you smile and fill your heart with the Christmas spirit.

*****Christmas With The Poker Group by Beate Boeker, USA Today Bestselling Author. After losing her beloved grandmother and getting dumped by her boyfriend, Sabrina is left feeling like Scrooge this Christmas. She makes a plan to survive the holidays in Florence, only to realize her grieving grandfather has a plan of his own. One that involves the crazy Mantoni family and the distractingly handsome man she’s determined to avoid. It’s beginning to look a lot like a tricky Christmas.

About the Author: Beate Boeker is a USA Today bestselling author with a passion for books that brim over with mischief & humor. She writes sweet, sophisticated romantic fiction and cozy mysteries, many of them set in beautiful Italy. While “Boeker” means “books” in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as “Happy” . . . and with a name that reads “Happy Books,” what else could she do but write novels with a happy ending?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beate-Boeker-153573758044433/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeateBoeker
Website: http://www.happybooks.de/
Newsletter: http://www.happybooks.de/newsletter

*****Christmas With The Carmichaels by Christine Bush, USA Today Bestselling Author. Widow and retiree Gabby is ready for a rocking chair. At least according to her daughter. Except maybe she’s not. After getting stranded in a Maine snowstorm with a silver-haired fox, Gabby might find the courage to say “yes” to life once more, and find a Christmas love she never expected.

About the Author: Christine Bush is an award-winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christineabush
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Christine_Bush
Website: http://christinebush.com

*****The Mistletoe Bachelor Auction by Milou Koenings, USA Today bestselling author. When a supermodel with a string of bad news boyfriends “wins” a volunteer firefighter at a charity bachelor auction, Rose and Ryan might both discover they’ve found their perfect Christmas match. A fun and romantic holiday tale set in the fictional town of Green Pines, Illinois.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all. She’s the author of the Green Pines Romance series.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilouKoenings
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilouKoenings
Website: https://www.miloukoenings.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/milousnewletter

*****Sweet Peppermint Kisses by Josie Riviera, USA Today Bestselling Author. Sometimes the best gifts are hiding right under your Christmas tree. His emotions were once trampled flat. Can he throw his heart over the fence toward the ultimate Christmas gift—a future filled with love? A holiday tale about the healing power of love, set in the charming fictional town of Cherish, South Carolina.

About the Author: Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Josie.Riviera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Josieriviera
Website: https://josieriviera.com/

*****Christmas In Paris by Roxanne Rustand, USA Today Bestselling Author. Kindergarten teacher Heather thought all her dreams were coming true—until she was jilted by her fiancé three months before their Christmas wedding. Since the honeymoon to Paris is already paid for, Heather determines to go sans groom and have a great time, no matter what. Love is not part of her travel plans, but when a handsome young doctor literally runs into her on the street, the magic of Christmas in Paris may cause a change of heart.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Roxanne.Rustand
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneRustand
Website: http://www.roxannerustand.com
Newsletter: http://roxannerustand.com/newsletter-signup

*****Second Chance Christmas by Kristin Wallace, USA Today Bestselling Author. Ten years ago, Mia Reynolds and Win Barrington spent one magical Christmas together—until lies and manipulation tore them apart, and left Mia to raise a daughter all on her own. Now, both are back in their hometown of Palm Cove, Florida just in time for the holidays. Once they uncover the truth about what happened, can Mia and Win rediscover love and celebrate a Second Chance Christmas with their daughter?

About the Author: Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KristinWallaceAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KWallaceAuthor
Website: http://kristinwallaceauthor.com
Newsletter: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/wMWhn

*****Ghosts From Christmas Past by Mary Alford, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author. She was the love of his life, until a tragic accident on Christmas Eve left Charlotte Swenson in a coma. For eight years, Sheriff Dylan Parker of Bitter Creek, Colorado has held on to the hope that somehow his love will find a way back to him. And when Charlotte opens her eyes, just days before Christmas, Dylan can’t help but believe a holiday miracle may grant his every wish.

About the Author: Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Mary Alford was inspired to become a writer after reading such romantic suspense greats as Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith was a challenge, but 2012 Mary received “the call” to publish her first book — a dream come true. Today, Mary writes Christian romantic suspense, and small-town contemporary romances.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryAlfordAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryalford13
Website: http://maryalford.net

*****Christmas Pizza To The Rescue by Jean C. Gordon. When a freak winter storm strands them alone at the Team Macachek barracks in Central New York, champion motocross racer Royce Evans and out-of-work investigative reporter turned pizza deliverer Samantha Linder strike a bargain that benefits them both. But when it appears Sam has broken the agreement, will the spirit of Christmas be strong enough to save their blossoming holiday love?

About the Author: Award-winning sweet and inspirational author Jean C. Gordon writes what she knows best — small-town, happily-ever-afters set in her native Upstate New York.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JeanCGordon.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanCGordon
Website: https://www.jeancgordon.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2wFYzPq

*****The Love Clause by Liwen. Y. Ho. He needs a fake girlfriend to advance his career. She needs a pretend date to keep her mom off her case during the holidays. The solution to both of their problems? A contractual relationship with one clause: neither of them can fall in love. A Christmas tale set in romantic San Francisco that will cause this reluctant couple to rethink the “no love” clause.

About the Author: Liwen Y. Ho writes sweet and inspirational romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). She lives in California with her family and blogs about life as a recovering perfectionist.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2square2behip/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/2square2behip
Website: http://www.2square2behip.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bt2nEL

A new anthology “Short & Sweet” 10-minute Romances to Warm Your Heart!

I’m happy to announce the release of a new anthology that I’m so pleased to be a part of. The title is Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart. Visiting today to tell you all about it is one of my anthology partners, Yvonne Weers, who created this pretty cover and really did all the heavy lifting on this collection. ~ Kadee

♥♥♥♥♥

Thank you, Kadee, for inviting me to share the story of how our anthology came to be.

My history with these authors began a year ago, when an email went out on a writers’ loop that someone wanted to form a critique group specifically targeting a popular woman’s magazine. I expressed an interest in joining and they welcomed me with open arms.

Over the following year, five of us wrote, critiqued, and submitted many stories. Then tragedy struck when one of our members, Karen, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The shock of losing a friend affected everyone and the group’s activity came to a sudden stop. After a time of grieving, I offered to organize, format and publish a collection of our short stories and dedicate it to Karen. This project has not only provided a sense of closure for everyone but has also had the unexpected benefit of producing a joyful celebration of our collective talents.

Today, I’m honored to share Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart, a collection of short stories written by Kadee McDonald, Bonny Dahlsrud, Beth Boyden, and myself, releasing today, June 15th. I hope you enjoy our anthology as much as we enjoyed bringing them to you.

Yvonne Weers is a California transplant living in rural Nebraska with her husband of 33 years. Together they have two adult children, a daughter-in-law, and three crazy doodle dogs. She spent childhood summers lounging on beaches, riding horses, and has lived in South Africa and Taiwan. Yvonne writes wholesome romance for the cowgirl at heart. Check out her author bio at: Yvonne’s Amazon Author Page

♥♥♥♥♥

Short & Sweet: 10-Minute Romances to Warm Your Heart is AVAILABLE NOW!

Click here to download your copy today!

Do you love reading sweet romance, but can never find the time for a nice long novel or even a shorter novella? This volume of 20 quick love stories from four talented authors is the answer! Read one (or more!) at lunch, on a coffee break, while riding the bus to work, or even while waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office. a matchmaking grandma hopes to knit two hearts into one. A guy meets his dream girl on a commuter train, but a misunderstanding causes a sticky situation. Mistaken identity at a library leads to a new romance. And a meeting of The Red Hat Society brings two sweethearts back together after time and distance have kept them apart. Settle back and savor these short, sweet romances guaranteed to warm your heart. Enjoy! ♥

A Short History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has always been celebrated with candy, flowers and greeting cards, some heartfelt and others sappy, right? ??

Well, no…not exactly.

There really was a St. Valentine…at least a dozen or so of them, in fact, depending on whether one consults the lists of martyrs of the Roman Catholic or the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name “Valentine” (or “Valentinus”) is from the Latin word, valens, meaning “strong.”

The simple feast (or Commemoration) of St. Valentine in the Roman Martyrology, the Catholic Church’s official list of recognized saints, has traditionally been February 14th, reportedly the date in the year 273 when Bishop Valentine of the Diocese of Terni (in what is now Italy), was imprisoned and killed in Rome.

The truth behind the legends of this particular St. Valentine are murky, to say the least. In 3rd century Rome, Emperor Claudius II believed that young men who were single, without the encumbrances of wives or children, were more dedicated, so he forbade his young soldiers from marrying. Bishop Valentine defied this decree and continued to perform marriages, a stand that cost him his life.

The first recorded connection of St. Valentine to the concept of “romantic love” was in the poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules, in 1382, which was written to celebrate the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, who were married when each was but 15 years old. (Without doing any further research, methinks that might have been an arranged marriage.)

Later writers such as John Donne and Shakespeare (in “Hamlet”) also mention Valentine’s Day. By 1797, a British publisher printed The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, with a number of suggested verses for young lovers who felt they were not capable of composing their own. By the early 1800’s, the Regency period in England, factory-produced paper valentines became popular, with fancy ones adorned with real cloth lace and ribbons for those who could afford them. It was also common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange handwritten notes and small tokens of affection.

Real lace became paper lace by the mid-1800’s. In the United States, Esther Howland received an English valentine from one of her father’s business associates. Since her father operated a book and stationery store, Esther decided to create and mass produce valentines in the late 1840’s, using decorations imported from England, and is known as the “Mother of the Valentine.”

Hand-written valentines thus led to greeting cards, which paved the way for Valentine’s Day to become the commercialized, multi-billion-dollar industry it is today. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. Paper cards, e-cards, flowers, chocolates, and even diamonds are now necessary accoutrements each February 14th to go along with those three little words that never seem to go out of style: “I love you.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you enjoy reading traditional Regency romance, please check out my free novella, An Arranged Valentine, available only on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited. Here’s a bit about it:

An Arranged Valentine - revised 1-31-2016

In the coldest days of February, can St. Valentine generate enough heat to melt these two strangers’ hearts into one?

“…a perfectly lovely afternoon read.”

“This is a wonderful little gem of a story, heartfelt and touching.”

“Of course, the over riding situation is one where it suits both parties to be arranged.”

“An Arranged Valentine” is a traditional Regency romance novella told in 10 short chapters.

Miss Penelope Braxton has never met either sensible George Harburton or his more dashing younger brother, Henry, but she agrees to grant her dying father peace of mind by considering marriage to one of them.

The advantage of the match for the brothers is evident in the form of Miss Braxton’s substantial dowry. However, her money takes second place when the brothers realize the extent of Penelope’s courage, wit, and devotion.

Henry doesn’t plan to give up his philandering to romance Penelope. George’s days are filled with the running of the family estate and he has never put aside his duties long enough to contemplate marriage. When one of the gentlemen changes his ways, will he be able to compose the perfect poetry to win Penelope’s heart?

An Arranged Valentine can be found here on Amazon.

“Mail Order Love” – short clean western romance series from author Beth Boyden

The Gambler’s Girl

What if your long-distance sweetheart was an up-close disaster?

Ann Forsyth arrives in Texas on a hot summer day. She’s left her troubles far behind, and all she wants is to settle down with Reichard Monroe. He’s handsome, his penmanship is good, and he says he’s everything she’s dreamed of.

But the stories he told and the man she meets have nothing in common.

Ann finds herself relying on strangers and her own wits and character, as she tries to piece together a new life in the west. And when another man catches her eye, she must find her way between duty, self-preservation…

…and hope.

The Minister’s Match

Clara wants nothing more than to start over. Her Aunt Francis and Uncle Lyle have supported her since her parents’ death, but their house is a suffocating environment full of judgment and conflict.

When she begins to correspond with Rev. Holloway, a Texas minister in want of a wife, she knows she’s found her way out. Before long she’s on a train headed West, certain that she can begin a brand new life.

But with her aunt’s angry, condemning voice echoing in her head, Clara finds that it’s not so easy to get a fresh beginning. There are gossipy congregants, well-meaning friends, her sweet new husband, and her own ideals to consider, all pulling her in different directions. She’s about to find out if she can bend far enough to please everyone…or if she’ll shatter under the strain.

The Schoolteacher’s Sweetheart

Marian Yates wants something more out of life–romance, adventure, excitement. She longs to step out of the dull everyday routine of her Texas schoolteacher’s life and fall in love with a stranger.

In Brody Calhoun, she seems to have found her perfect match. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, with a thousand stories from far beyond her tiny hometown. He’s mysterious and unpredictable, exactly like the heroes in Marian’s favorite books.

But Brody is haunted by more than memories. And when his past comes between them, Marian must discover his secrets–or lose the man she loves forever.

 

Buy Links:

The Gambler’s Girl: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D0TJ0NU

The Minister’s Match: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M29ACYD

The Schoolteacher’s Sweetheart: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1ZZ1RB

 

My review of The Gambler’s Girl:

“The Gambler’s Girl” is a lovely, clean western romance. It’s short and easy to read, with characters you’ll care about and root for. Ann is pretty and sweet, and her handsome hero gallant and swoon-worthy. If you like western romance, you’ll enjoy this one, for sure. 🙂 ~ Kadee

“Trouble Cove,” sweet historical romantic suspense from author Nancy Lindley-Gauthier

Trouble Cove from Nancy 3-9-2017

 

BLURB:

Far from the all the action of World War I, in a charming tourist’s spot on Cape Breton Island, Elizabeth Eames has stumbled into the most wonderful man in the world. She’s landed herself in a world where wealth reigns supreme; where any eligible bachelor would meet her mother’s aspirations. Of course, she’s dead set on the one she’s certain should not be mentioned in her letters home. Actually, there’s a lot she’s not mentioning. Something is not-quite-right at the grand resort Oceanside, but Elizabeth isn’t giving up her one great chance…

 

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  B&N.com  Wild Rose Press-paperback

 

“Making the change to e-books” from author Carol Browne

I’m very happy today to welcome author Carol Browne, who’s here to share her epiphany about e-readers and why she’s now a believer. Carol, the site is all yours!

Photo by adamr.

Thanks, Kadee!

As a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader kindly gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how to use it (three weeks well spent), my perspective underwent a sea change.

When I bought my first eBook and saw it download to my Kindle, it was a magical moment. I was also delighted to discover the device doubles as a flash drive.

There’s something amazing about travelling around with an entire library of books at your disposal and in these days of multi-tasking, being able to read, eat and drink at the same time in total comfort is most welcome. To someone like me on a low income, the availability of cheap or free eBooks is a blessing too.

From an eco-friendly point of view, no trees are cut down to make eBooks. Digital publishing also allows more authors to put their work before the reading public, often publishing great work that traditional publishers have rejected because they aren’t commercial enough.

I once assumed the device itself would be a distraction but, if you’re an avid bookworm, the body of an e-reader is no more of an intrusion than the body of a paperback; no more of a hindrance to your enjoyment than a screen is when you are watching a good movie.

Many will disagree. A teenage friend of mine prefers printed books because he likes the act of turning the pages. For me, the Kindle’s page-turning function is quicker and easier. Plus, you can say good-bye to the exasperation of having your bookmark fall out and not being able to remember where you were up to.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine is changing her opinion about eBooks. While moving to a smaller house, she regretted her vast collection of paperbacks that would have to be accommodated in less space—and then discovered many of them were moldy and infested with mites. Yuk. She’ll be buying her first Kindle soon!

There is still a place for printed books in my home. I have about a dozen I will always cherish, but these books belong to an exclusive club. It’s unlikely I’ll be adding new members.

Unless they’re written by me, of course!

Carole Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover. Stay connected with Carol on Facebook and on Twitter.

Memorial Day in the United States

Today, let’s join with my fellow author Stan Hampton in remembering those who have served and those who have fallen in the service of the United States. We pray that everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day

by SS Hampton, Sr.

Today is Memorial Day. It is a 3-day weekend for much of the country—a weekend of family get-togethers, BBQs, and great sales. That is fine.

But please do not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Though there had been several local observances, a national Decoration Day was created by “an organization of Union veterans” on 5 May 1868, to be observed on 30 May of that year by the nation in “decorating the graves of war dead with flowers.”

It was after World War I that Memorial Day came to recognize all of those who fought and died in America’s wars. From the American Revolution (1775-1783) to Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991), the total American combat deaths number 651,031; the greatest number of war dead was 291,557 suffered by the Greatest Generation during World War II (1941-1945) .

As for the Global War On Terrorism (2001-), or the Long War as some may call it, according to the Defense Casualty Analysis System, 5,363 men and women have died in combat.

Unfortunately, the world is not a safe and secure place. Yet, we know that in our nation there will never be a shortage of uniformed volunteers willing to stand between unarmed men, women, and innocent children, and the senseless evil in the world.

On Memorial Day this year remember the “National Moment of Remembrance”—at 3:00 PM local time across the country, everyone is encouraged to take a moment to reflect on those who have given their lives for our country. Whatever war they fought in, all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice have names, whether those names loom large in history books or are known only to their families.

And some of us know the names of comrades who made that sacrifice during the GWOT.

Finally, if you have never heard Taps, the final farewell to fallen comrades, take a moment to listen. Take a moment to remember, and to whisper, “Good bye. And thank you.”

~Stan

 

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently enrolled as an art student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus PressEdge Science Fiction & Fantasy PublishingMelange Books – MuseItUp PublishingGoodreads Author Page – Amazon Author PageAmazon UK

All About April – Fools and Showers

Thanks to the “Jane Austen’s London” blog for this wonderful drawing from Regency satirical illustrator Cruickshank! 🙂

Jane Austen's London

April showers

These days April is famous for its showers and its fools, and I love this illustration by Cruickshank showing two ladies caught out in the rain while everyone else is either sheltering under an archway or buying a new umbrella from J. Gingham, Umbrella Depot. I’m not sure what the three lads are doing – possibly they are up to some kind of April Fool’s Day prank. As always with these tiny Cruickshank drawings the fun is in the details – behind the pieman with his basket is a shower bath standing outside T. Brass, Ironmonger. And, of course, the scene is set in St Swithin’s Lane. There is a real lane of that name in London, running between Cannon Street and Lombard Street in the City. St Swithin’s Day is July 15th, but the connection with rain was obviously too much for the artist to ignore.

St Swithun’s day…

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