A Boy’s Best Friend

Hi, this is Rebecca (one of the authors who writes under the pen name Ronesa Aveela).

Today, we’re hosting Paulette Mahurin, a fantastic author and a dear person who cares about our furry friends. The proceeds from her books go to save the lives of dogs.

Animals are special pets, and are more than that to many people. I grew up with one sister and three brothers. Actually, four brothers, only one of them was my mother’s “furry baby.” He was every bit a part of our family as her human babies. My mother even got him to say, “Mama.”

What made him even more special is that he was born around the same time as my youngest brother. This puppy was the runt and had somehow gotten into a cocoa can, and his mother wouldn’t take him back. My mother put him in the crib with my baby brother and they grew up together, almost like twins. My mother had lost my brother’s natural twin early in her pregnancy. I like to think that the soul of this child made its way into the puppy.

We called the puppy Bozo, after Bozo the clown. He was part collie and part beagle.

Here’s a picture showing him off to the side, along with me, one of my older brothers, and Bozo’s mother, Queenie.

Yes, we had lots of snow back then. I often thought it was just because we were little that it seemed so high.

It was a sad day when he died of old age.

If you’ve ever had a furry family member, you’ll understand. That’s why what Paulette does is so important. She saves the lives of these dogs, who have not had the love that our Bozo and many other dogs have had.

You can find out more about Paulette on her blog and other social media sites, which you can find here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/paulette-mahurin/

And please, why not stop by and purchase one of her books to have your part in saving lives.

If you comment on this post and other posts in Paulette’s blog tour this week, your name will be entered to win a small prize. You can find the complete list of sites to visit here: https://moms-favorite-reads.com/moms-authors/paulette-mahurin/about-paulette-mahurin/

Saving Grace

The first of many articles talking about books from Mom’s Favorite Reads authors.

Glossologics

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A new feature on the blog: this article is in association with Mom’s Favorite Reads.

Mom’s Favorite Reads is an international community of readers and authors. Check out their web page above! Today’s author spotlight is on: Hannah Howe

Saving Grace

I expect you have all heard this expression at one time or another; it means “the thing that in some way mitigates all the negative points”. But where does it come from?

It’s actually quite simple to get to the origin of this phrase. But we like things to be a little more challenging. So, we are going to go first to the etymology of the word ‘grace’, and from there to the expression.

If you speak a Romance language, or even if you have just heard the Italian or Spanish words for ‘thank you’, then it may come as no surprise that ‘grace’ derives from Latin

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Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine February 2019

Hannah Howe

The February, Romance, issue of our Amazon #1, international bestselling magazine is now available featuring
 
* A must-read interview for all fans of Sherlock Holmes
 
* Romantic articles and stories for Valentine’s Day
 
* Articles for Dads
 
* Exercise, nutrition and wellbeing for you and your family
 
* Bestsellers and Hot New Releases
 
* Activities for adults and children
 
* And so much more!
 
* Over 100 pages!
 
* Advert free!
 
View our video
Then read FREE

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5 Entertaining Activities for the Whole Family to Learn about Different Cultures

January 19, 2019

Why is understanding culture important?

If you take away all the national pride, political agendas, and religious (not spiritual) dogmas, you have the core of who we are. Not that these ideals are wrong when properly understood and implemented, but they can promote so much hate and antagonism by extremists that they really don’t define who we are as individuals or as a community.

Think of all the wars started on the premise of each of those three ideologies.

Learning about cultural diversity can be such a wonderful adventure. The common experiences that people share influence their perception of the world and consequently how they behave with each other and those outside their community.

Learn about other cultures

Learn about other cultures

Since we live in a world without borders, maybe you can go outside your comfort zones by learning about different cultures!
I write about Bulgarian mythology, folklore and cuisine, so I can offer a few ideas for the summer.

Dine at an ethnic restaurant

I’m sure your first idea is to dine at an ethnic restaurant and this is perfectly fine, we all love food. This is your chance to expand your palate! See if there are any ethnic restaurants nearby that you’ve never been to. If you can’t find a Bulgarian restaurant, you can prepare your own ethnic Bulgarian meal.

My favorite is called banitsa, but since it’s summer, I think you need to try my other favorite for the summer: Zucchini with yogurt-dill sauce

Also yogurt is a known Bulgarian specialty, healthy and tasty.

Visit Maria’s Kitchen to explore more recipes and learn about different Bulgarian and Mediterranean dishes; try the taste of Bulgaria and the Balkans. To discover more recipes, you can get a copy of my book: Mediterranean and Bulgarian Cuisine: 12 Easy Traditional Favorites.

Experience ethnic music and dance

There are plenty of ways to learn more about music in other countries. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sign up for a dance class to learn flamenco (Spain), polka (Scandinavia), or the jig (Scotland or Ireland)
  • Attend a concert or music festival that showcases music from different parts of the world
  • Check out CDs of ethnic music at the library

Bulgarian Music and dance

Bulgarian folk music and dance are quite different from what Americans are used to. Dances are performed by men and women in lines or circles (horo).

Bulgarian Horo

“Na Megdana” by Nelly Tonchev-Nelinda (Nelinda.com)

I’m sure you’ve heard about some in the movie 300 (Message for the Queen) and other Hollywood movies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Uxqt1Hai4&index=3&list=RD6PP-c_-lxus

“Go down, go down, bright sunshine
Go down, hide your light
Mourn for your leafs, you forest”

To learn more check my article on Bulgarian Music and Dance.

In my book Light Love Rituals, you can learn more about the Horo and also when the dance is performed.

Learn about your heritage

Doing a little genealogical research with your family allows you to spend time together and reach out to distant family members. Creating a family record is a pursuit you can work on for a long time, and you never know what you might discover!

Even if your heritage is not Bulgarian, maybe you have a friend who is and you want to learn more. Visit my blog or my author page where you can find different books inspired by the rich Bulgarian traditions and mythology.

You can see all my books and the various retails to purchase them from here: Ronesa’s Books.

My latest book, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village, is a good summer read to travel to the mystical world in Zmeykovo (Dragon Village) and also learn about different mythological creatures.

Learn about Mythology and Folklore of other cultures while making crafts

Bulgarians celebrate name days, birthdays and they observe and practice many more rituals and traditions. In my Baba Treasure Chest series, I’ve described some of them.

My favorite tradition is making a Martenitsa, the white and red amulet of friendship. In the short story The Miracle Stork, I have activities and also steps on how to make your own.

If you’re traveling, some of my book are available on Audible, a perfect way to entertain the entire family until you get to your final destination. You can have an awesome trip while learning about another culture.

Coloring Books for the entire family

Coloring can reduce stress and be fun for the whole family! When you’re coloring, you’re not checking your smart phone, flipping channels or tweeting. In addition, my coloring books (Mermaids Around the World and More Mermaids Around the World) can help you learn more than 50 different mermaid legends.

Do you know any other ways to learn about different cultures?

Mermaids Around the World coloring book   More Mermaids Around the World coloring book

Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine December 2018

Hannah Howe

Earlier this year, in partnership with authors Ronesa Aveela and Denise McCabe, I created Mom’s Favorite Reads, one of the highlights of my publishing year.

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What is Mom’s Favorite Reads?

*It’s a community of book lovers

* A monthly magazine featuring some of the biggest names in the entertainment world alongside the best in modern publishing

*A book catalogue containing over 400 books, including many bestsellers and award-winners

*A website with dedicated author pages

*A reading group where readers can discover new authors

*A partner to major businessness including The Fussy Librarian and chess.com

* A fun way to promote books with items like our Advent Calendar and nominations to the Apple News Channel

* A community to support literacy amongst adults and children

This weekend, we published our December magazine. The magazine is available from all major retail platforms, including Amazon. You can also read the magazine, for free…

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Santa’s Name Day

December 14, 2018

Did you know St. Nick (more formerly known as Saint Nicholas or Saint Nikolas) had a name day? This is not the Santa Claus version you are familiar with, but the saint from long ago.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “name day,” it’s a festivity like a birthday, but is more popular than a birthday. Each day of the year has several related names assigned to it.

The name day in his honor, Nikulden (Никулден, St. Nicholas’ Day), is celebrated on December 6. What many people know him for is his reputation for giving gifts. The most famous story about this was that he secretly threw three purses of gold coins through the window of the house of a poor man who had three unmarried daughters. In those days, women needed a dowry to marry. Without one and with not much hope of obtaining employment sufficient to live on, most poor women ended up as prostitutes. Thus, from this generous act, Santa Claus came into existence.

Less known is the fact that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen and sailors. Since the eastern side of Bulgaria borders the Black Sea, this is an important holiday for Bulgarians. As a sign of respect to the saint, men don’t go out on the sea.

A fish — in particular the carp — is an important part of celebrations in his honor. It is called the servant of St. Nicholas and is considered sacred because a bone inside its head is shaped like a cross. The bone is often used as an amulet, sewn inside the hat of a newborn, to protect the infant.

Bread is the center of the Christmas feast. It has a coin or fortunes hidden inside. Whoever finds the coin inside his bread is certain to have luck throughout the year.

The_Christmas_Thief_CoverThis tradition is incorporated into my children’s short story and coloring/activity book, The Christmas Thief, where a seven-year-old boy named Christopher is determined he’s going to catch the Winter Monster who steals food from his family’s porch every Christmas. What he discovers instead is the meaning of sharing.

Go to The Christmas Thief page to find more information about the book.

New Release Spotlight – Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery #2 by Judy Penz Sheluk

November 12, 2018

New Release Spotlight

Past and Present

Past and Present

Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery #2
By Judy Penz Sheluk

Genre: Mystery
Release Date: September 21, 2018 Trade Paperback and Kindle

Pre-order Kindle on Amazon for special introductory price of $2.99 (reg. $5.99)

Buy link: Kindle

Or pre-order the trade paperback and in trade paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters.Indigo.

 

About the book

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

 

Early Praise for Past & Present

“Psychological realizations and self-inspection are an exquisite touch to this story that keeps readers not only engaged, but completely cognizant of the forces that motivate families, murderers, and investigators alike… The result is a tense, emotionally gripping, multifaceted mystery that serves both as a perfect continuation of Callie’s life story and as a fine stand-alone read for newcomers.” — Diane Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“A well-crafted story that keeps readers engaged as history blends into the present.” — Debra H. Goldstein, award-winning author of the Sarah Blair mystery series

“Sheluk nails it with this intriguing mystery that stitches together an investigation into the past with people’s lives in the present—including that of protagonist Callie Barnstable.  Treat yourself to a new present-day read—you won’t be disappointed.” — Edith Maxwell, author of the Agatha-nominated Quaker Midwife Mysteries

“An intriguing small-town mystery populated by engaging characters you want to spend time getting to know. Ocean liners, immigration, and family ties; the past is always present—an idea Ms. Sheluk explores to great effect.” — Micki Browning, Agatha-nominated author of The Mer Cavallo mystery series

“An engaging journey into the past that ripples into the present. Sheluk’s well-written narrative and clever banter follows protagonist Callie Barnstable as she seeks answers for a client; each photo, memorabilia, and news article reveals an intriguing picture of love, family secrets…and murder. A top-notch mystery that keeps you guessing to the end.”— Kings River Life Magazine

 

About the author

Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short stories appear in several collections.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, International Thriller Writers, Inc., the South Simcoe Arts Council, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors, representing Toronto/Southwestern Ontario.

Find her at www.judypenzsheluk.com.

 

Social

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