July 29, 2016 – Celebrating Heat Waves and Teething Puppies


Celebration Friday!!!

Friday is the day we observe the ‘Celebrations’ blog hop founded by VikLit and now ably managed by Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits (Go visit them!)


So…  What am I celebrating?

After about two weeks of above 90 degee weather, the heat wave is breaking!  Temperatures in the eighties and then the seventies.


I thought New England was supposed to be a cool area…





Chet, small and cute

I am also celebrating the fact that my teething puppy appears to be lightening up a little.  Although at four months – approximately 5 years old in human age – he wants to romance anything on four legs at the dog daycare he goes to for training twice a week.  We are hoping for an Alpha Female to arise and knock him into the middle of next week.  That just might straighten him out.

Chet The Nuisance



  Someone commented that it might traumatize him.  I suspect that smart, stubborn puppy is about as easy to traumatize as a U.S. Army  Humvee…


The U.S. Army’s replication of a teething Labrador Puppy

July 15, 2016 – Celebrating A Wonderful Writer’s New Offering


As many bloggers know, Friday is the day we observe the ‘Celebrations’ blog hop.  It has been a joy and an inspiration (and, often, a smile-maker) for several years: you can visit Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits for more information.


There are always things to celebrate – you just have to look.

And today I am celebrating the arrival of a new book by a talented author who graces several blogs that I frequent and who, further research uncovers (well…  Not research, exactly.  She told us about this and it sounded wonderful the sort of thing to share)  Anyhow, after a number of pieces in anthologies – the sort of pieces that have interesting twists to them, stories that make you think and wonder and, perhaps, glance over your shoulder, she has he has published HEART STOPPER and other Stories. 

This collection of stories will send shivers up your spine and make your imagination work.  

This is not sledgehammer blood or gore, but the sort of tantalizing, slowly building tension that will send you groping for another pillow and eyeing your alarm clock to see if you might be able to read to the end and not be too impaired in the morning at work.

In her own words:

Heart Stopper and Other Stories
By Tamara Narayan 

One collection, four stories, 171 pages of suspense…


Heart Stopper: 

The disappearance of random household items baffles Dallas Radner and his eleven-year-old daughter, Tessa. Ten plastic bags, nine ballpoint pens . . . what’s next? This odd countdown should end on November 1, The Day of the Dead. That’s also Tessa’s birthday and the one-year anniversary of her surgery, the day her heart stopped on the operating table.

Dallas almost lost Tessa once. On November 1, one thing will vanish forever. Will it be his daughter?


Detour: 

Fed up with her abusive boyfriend, coed Chloe Langley takes off in a borrowed car for the safety of home. She’ll never make it.

One Step Away: 

Acrophobia has ruined Darryl James’s marriage and stolen his son. To get Andrew back, Darryl undergoes desensitization therapy. Just as success is within his grasp, a relapse occurs with shocking consequences.

Monitor: 

Perched on a mountain with a view to die for, Laura and Paul Alderson have it all: new house, new baby, and new challenges. But urgent whispers from the baby monitor about her infant son and the garage threaten to turn Laura’s American dream into a nightmare.

Purchase these on Amazon

Heart Stopper (click to go to the book page)  (this is a geotargeted link – it will take you to your own Amazon store):

Four tales I present to tingle your spine 
Four seasons of suspense to let you unwind. 
Lives at a crossroad, a breakdown of order 
Between life and death, it’s a tenuous border. 

Halloween comes, and the Day of the Dead 
For one man this custom brings heartache and dread. 
As belongings disappear, a child makes her shrine 
Is it a ghost? Perhaps. Or a shattered mind? 

A couple spars, and fear invades 
An abused coed flees on a spring escapade. 
Across Florida’s searing and pocked landscape 
Sinkholes will assume many a shape. 

Another dreams of feathers, wings of might 
Yet experiences terror at a meager height. 
This phobia takes every dear thing away 
Then, in a brutal twist, saves a dark summer’s day. 
You 
Peppermint, mice, and a cold-as-winter voice 
A mother must make a desperate choice. 
Heeding her instincts to save the child 
What’s lost instead, the pain won’t be mild. 

Four tales I present to tingle your spine 
Four stories of suspense to let you unwind. 
Read on to learn more before you order 
Between art and madness, it’s a tenuous border. 


You can visit Tamara at her blog HERE

And you can find her Author Page HERE

Celebrations July 1, 2016 – Choices, choices…



This is my post for the ‘Celebrating the Small Things’ blog hop.

T0day is the first day of July, which means that we are that much closer to the end of the really hot days and the beginning of autumn, my favorite season.

Things are settling at last.  My mother is in her new home and is, somewhat against her own expectations, rather happy.  People greet her, ask her to play bridge, come by to chat…  And she is walking better, as well.  I can’t ask for more than that for her.

The Jaws of  Death

For myself, I’m getting used to a new puppy:

This is Chester (or ‘Chet’ for short).  He is now four months old.  I had become spoiled by my old fellow who died three months ago.  I had forgotten how manic puppies are.  I think they could power a medium-sized city for a week on one day’s energy.

Based on Chet’s dentition and propensities, I’m thinking that he could be best depicted as a set of dentures that bounces around the house trying to ‘nom’ everything from food set near the edge of tables to used paper tissues (thought to be safely) discarded in the trash..

For Labrador Retrievers, apparently, the world is their trash bin.

Finally, I have a long weekend coming up.  Five days away from work.  And as it happens, I have to choose between three manuscripts to actually finish and set out for Beta-reads.

It has been too long since I published anything, and while I have some good excuses for standing idle,  it is time.

This means that I have to make a choice:

—Fantasy/Fable novella that fits in with my ‘Memphis Cycle’ or the Second installment of my ‘Orphan’s Tale’ trilogy.

Fable set in Egypt

Second installment, Paris 1834


The third one is a collection of shorts from different projects.  Vignettes, chapters.  Something of a smorgasbord.  I have one piece in which an elderly High Priest tells of the day that Akhenaten (Tutankhamun’s father, who shut down the worship of the various major gods) comes to the great temple of Amun in Thebes (you can say ‘Opet’ or ‘Waset’ if you prefer) with the aim of destroying the great gold cult statue of the god.  This scenario lies behind one or another of the Memphis Cycle stories.

Decisions, decisions…  But it’s nice to have options and a good, long weekend to mull them over.


…Now, do visit Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits,


Celebrating the Small Things. June 17, 2016 – Fireflies


Welcome to the Celebrations Blog Hop.

It is a good way to pause, take stock, and see that your world is actually a fairly nice place to live.  A time to focus on the small things that you tend to overlook.  


Today I am celebrating fireflies.
I just stepped outside holding a leash which had, on its other end, a three-month old puppy named Chester.  Night had fallen, but a glow remained to the west.  The moon rode high in the sky, still bright from the vanished sun.  A breeze, still carrying a touch of early spring coolness, stirred my hair.  Chester was snuffling in the grass and deciding whether he wished to ‘do his business’ or just sniff the wind.
Chester’s preoccupation with sniffing the wind was a good thing, I thought, savoring the scent of still-tender grass and flowers.  It was a perfect evening, the stars beginning to glitter in the sky’s zenith, mirroring the fireflies that sparkled below them.
I had forgotten fireflies.  I forget them every year only to remember them in the spring with a sense of finding an old friend that I had once thought lost.
I remember driving through a summer night heading toward my grandparents’ house in rural Vermont, seeing the woods so alive with the pale light of fireflies, they seemed to be full of tiny fireworks.  The woods were a sea of flickering light, and if I looked up into the sky I could see them trailing upward.

My father liked to watch the fireflies with us…  Like any child, I tried putting them in jars as night lights.  I stopped after perhaps the third time.  They always died, and they were so beautiful and so harmless, how could I put them somewhere that they could die?  Later, I learned more about them:
For example, male fireflies flash in flight, seeking females while females return the males’ flashes from the ground on the on vegetation.  Well, that may be the case.  Propagation of the species is always important, but as the years pass I become more convinced that things are often done because they are enjoyable.  The glitter of fireflies is a joyous sight for me, and I would not be surprised to learn sometime,, somehow, that fireflies enjoy flying and flickering.
If you are in Florida during firefly season, you can visit a park that features them:


,,,and do visit Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits,


Celebrations, 22 April, 2016 – getting back into things


22 April, 2016 Celebrate The Small Things


This is my first post in over a month.  I took a ‘repairing lease’ and unwound.  We all have times where we have to sit down and catch our breath, clear the cobwebs from our minds, and try to gain a little peace.

It helped, and I am glad I bowed out for this time.

And now I am back and celebrating.

I am celebrating the literally hundreds of blog posts I missed in these past two plus months. And I must admit that returning at the height of A to Z gives me a lot of good things to read.  Since I will be with my mother this weekend, I’ll be doing some catching up.

I am celebrating a book I picked up to read, which led to some truly wonderful moments, and gave me an author  to admire.

I will be working on a review for it.

I am celebrating the fact that my mother has decided, with no pushing from her children, that she will move into a condo-type place with other people, many her friends, where she won’t be isolated, will have activities, and won’t be lonely.  I could wish that she were closer to me than 250 miles, but if it allows her to stay where she is accustomed to be, with people she knows, I can certainly drive 250 miles to see her.

The move will cause headaches, of course, but she will be in such a better place that I can’t object at all.  She said “I feel so badly that you have to drop everything and come down here.”  And I say, “I seem to recall you and Dad doing the same for me.”  It gets the point across.

Treasure your nearest and dearest.  Time passes too quickly, and it’s best to say the things you want to while they are here.

Now to go off to work and to read other posts.

Do visit Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits,

Celebrations March 18, 2016


18 March, 2016 Celebrate The Small Things


Once upon a time, a lovely lady and writer and blogger named VikLit had the idea to start a blog hop commemorating the little things that make our lives (or weeks or days or moments) something to celebrate.  After some years, she turned it over to 
Lexa Cain and her two delightful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits,

I am celebrating the close of another week, the prospect of a (nearly) spring weekend, and the opportunity to get a little reading and writing done.

Spring is an important celebration, and it was heralded by 0the sudden appearance of a line of daffodils, just about ready to bloom, near the door to my garage.  They pushed up through last year’s leaves and moss and there they are, like gold-tipped spears.

Of course, Friday’s appearance is a wonderful thing to celebrate.  It is not that I grudge my day job, I simply like the time to step back and catch my breath.  Sleeping in on a Saturday morning is a prospect to celebrate.


It is nearly time to break out my quilts, one made by a very dear friend, the others heirlooms of various ‘importance’.  I have a very old one, made in 1843, of blue-dyed and white cotton muslin, celebrating the marriage of two people, their names embroidered in red cross stitch on the corner.

Incidentally, if you have an old quilt, don’t store it folded with the backer out.  The quilter friend told me that that strains the backing.  Always store quilts with the patterned side out.

Now you have something to celebrate!  (The way to store quilts that won’t strain them.) and I can lose myself in the memory of the scent of laundry drying on a clothesline.

And  the arrival of Spring!

What are you celebrating?

Buying Books – Reading List


I have been on my repairing lease for a month now, and it was the wisest thing I could have done.  No composing.  No wheel-spinning.  Catching my breath.  Catching up with people who mean a lot to me.  I will be phoning my oldest friend tonight and engaging in a long chat.  It has been too long since I have done that.My current project is a Beta-Read that is disgracefully overdue (dear Author: expect it Sunday) involving an author I love and a book that I want to review once it is published.

…and I have been catching up on books (remember reading them?  I’d forgotten).  I just ordered a copy of a book from the 1930’s, J. B. Priestley’s The Good Companions.  That should be arriving shortly.  A nice, fat hardback book to replace mine, which, having turned Australian, I believe, has ‘gone walkabout’.
At loose ends, but pleasantly so, I started looking at books.
And then, I must confess, I went a little crazy and ordered four of them:

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

This sounds delicious, with most of the elements I love in a story.  Naturally, I ordered it in paperback.  Beware when you are browsing, whether online or in a brick and mortar bookstore.  You find other things that look good.  Like this:


Http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00LEYI3PKLittle Beach Street Bakery

A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship.

To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey—courtesy of a handsome beekeeper. Packed with laughter and emotion, Little Beach Street Bakery is the story of how one woman discovered bright new life where she least expected—a heartwarming, mouthwatering modern-day Chocolat that has already become a massive international bestseller.

Well, I have never read Chocolat, but this sounds very interesting, touching, and amusing, as did this one:

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.



Bakeries and bookstores are somehow connected in my thoughts.  I don’t know whether it is because I view shelves overflowing with potentially fascinating, enjoyable, sob-worthy and laugh-inducing books as akin to a glass-front bakery counter that contains (at any given time): Italian pastries, French pastries, gorgeous loaves of golden-crusted handmade bread braided (like Challah), slashed (like baguettes), overflowing with butter (like croissants), filled with herbs or cheese or…  Well, you get the idea.  I have a terrible time leaving bakeries.

And true to form I saw this as I finished my order.

Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

Ah, Paris…  What’s not to like?  I added it to the list.  I’ll consider it part of my Repairing Lease…  AFTER the beta-read!

…Which brings me to this lovely blog hop:Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.

Check them out and be prepared to smile!

Celebrations, January 15, 2016 – Finding Favorite Music…and A Bouquet


This is the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, run by Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.


Quite a few years ago, in a late afternoon on a Friday, I was driving along an interstate highway and minding my own business when I noticed that a vehicle behind me kept coming awfully close and once or twice nearly did not stop when traffic slowed down.  He was in a hurry, and while he was not ‘tailgating’ me, he was staying very close.  Two times, three times traffic stopped and I held my breath, watching in my rear-view mirror as he closed the gap and stopped…but just barely.
The drive continued, traffic stopped – and the fellow behind me crashed into the rear of my car.  It was a heavy hit, and I was stunned for a moment.  I collected myself reached shakily for the papers in my glove compartment.  Documents that you fill out in the event of a crash.  My car was up against a cement divider.  I had not yet unbuckled my seatbelt.  I reached for the papers, turned toward the door with my hand at my belt’s buckle-
And the divider jumped at me and jerked sideways just as I was about to open the door.
What had happened is that we had stopped, and another vehicle, coming along behind us, plowed into both of us, slamming my car forward and to the side.  If I had stepped outside, as I had intended, I would have been killed. 

I stepped out of my car and saw both men emerging with cellphones plastered to their ears.  They were talking into their cellphones.  I took mine from my purse – where it belonged while I was driving – and called the police.  “Can you see police lights up ahead ma’am?” the bored voice asked.  I said that I was the front vehicle in a multi-car pileup (‘you unmitigated nitwits!’) and they needed to send someone quickly.

So, the accident.  My car was a total loss.  It was a heavy, full-sized sedan, the top of the line.  And its safety ratings were very high, one reason I had bought it.
Well, I wasn’t hurt badly, thanks to seatbelts, the Ford Motor Company and my delay in exiting my vehicle (one reason why I am posting this in the Celebrations Blog Hop).  But one very bad thing did happen: most of my prized CDs were splintered.
A family member gathered them in a bag, and there they sat, in my garage for years.
Recently, I was getting ready to take a long drive up into what the U.S. calls “New England’.  I saw a pile of CD cases sitting on a shelf, and went over to them.  Well!  It appeared that not all my CDs were destroyed.  In fact one of my favorite musical CDs was there, a group of performances by  pianist David Lanz. 
As I drove along, I remembered the CD and put it in the player.  The first was called Christophori’s Dream (Christophori being the inventor of the piano) and the second being a piano rendition of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale.

I listened and smiled. The magic was there.  It being celebration time, I will share with you.

Christophori’s Dream, performed by David Lanz:

A Whiter Shade of Pale:



They certainly livened my drive, and I’ll be delving into that bag again.

And the Bouquet:  I happened to see this on a sponsored forum on a vendor of my books:

Does anyone know anything about the next Memphis book – I was told the title was to be KADESH?

How could I not answer?  I wish I had seen the query sooner:
I apologize for the lateness of this response, but I saw your question just now and owe you a response.
Family issues delayed the release of Kadesh. I am working on it at this moment with a projected release date the end of this year. I will be releasing another Egyptian story, set a little earlier than the Memphis Cycle, within the next two months. This is a fable, and is a shorter story. The title is THE THIRTY CUBIT CROCODILE, and you can find information about it on my website, which is www.dianawilderauthor.com



And you can imagine my smile when I read this response and saw that someone had ‘liked’ my post:

Thank you. I’ll be waiting eagerly. 

What are you celebrating?

Celebrating – November 27, 2015


This is the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, run by Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.



Thanksgiving was yesterday.  I spent it with my mother, enjoyed a nice meal at the ‘clubhouse’ (it’s at a senior living condo community) and last night watched a whole lot of cooking shows including ‘Chopped’.

(‘Chopped’ involves giving people a basketful of impossible ingredients – stale cheese biscuits, raspberry jam, wild boar meat, homemade pickles and leftover tomato soup – and telling them to make an entree or an appetizer or whatever in 30 minutes)

Around 10PM I put together ham and cheese sandwiches and we watched TV.  It was a very enjoyable evening.

So I’m celebrating:

A day where we actually sit down and look at what we have to be thankful for.
Television (I don’t watch it at home, but it’s fun with Mom)
Getting some editing done on my WIP, which is coming out in April, God willing.
A beautiful moon last night
Panettone in the toaster this morning.
Thrift-shopping later today (lots of fun, actually!)

And…What are you celebrating?  

Celebrations – October 23, 2015


This is the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, run by Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.



It has been a long and hard several months.  Make that years.  Disappointments, the realization that certain things are not likely ever to happen, learning yesterday that a job for which I had a phone interview, for which my interviewer was very excited, already had an offer out on it, but she had spoken to them and was pushing my candidacy.  (With an offer already out there.)

It is a good thing to go along and count your blessings, but sometimes you can’t help feeling like someone standing at a gate and looking through the bars at a beautiful landscape that you can’t enter, no matter how hard you try.

Sometimes you have to accept that and move on without wincing at the cliche’.

It’s been a long haul and I am very tired.

But:

I signed up for NaNoWriMo and will be finishing my first draft of book #3 in my Memphis Cycle  series.  The chunk out of the middle.  I will keep it completely separate from the rest of the book.  50,000 words will be a goodly number to allow me to weave the threads together and bring all the characters and their conflicts and joys together at the battle itself, then, skipping one day (already written) continue until they circle around and head for home.  That story has been chiding me for years, and I will, by golly, finish it.  It has some of my best writing in it as it stands.  That will be enjoyable


And – my top celebration – my 88 year old mother, one of two very great joys and blessings in my life, came through her hip surgery on Monday, is experiencing reduced pain, and will be moving into a rehab center that she likes, attached to a community she knows and has friends in.  The grinding pain is gone.

Mom’s lack of pain and increased mobility trumps any sadness I’m feeling and, by golly, it’s worth celebrating.  Here’s to my mother.  And NaNoWriMo.

What are you celebrating?