The Great Valley Bookfest was a huge Event and a Huge Success!
If you did not get a chance to come out and visit the event this year, you definitely need to plan on doing it next year.
All the authors were located in one giant circus like tent. I had the absolute pleasure to personally meet and talk with so many of them. It was almost overwhelming, but in a fun way. My assistant wouldn't let me leave the table for very long as there were so many people stopping by to look at my books and talk with me personally. It was WONDERFUL!
The event wasn't just for authors, there were many other vendors there as well. Everything from the local school district to BBQ and food trucks.
There was a a kids costume parade. Cooking competitions, Superheros a talking robot trash can. There was a really long extended bounce house for the kids.
I don't even thing I can describe everything this event had to offer. You should go to their website and check it out and plan on being there next year. I will be!
My assistant has been on vacation lately, so we will have some pictures up in the next few days.
Sorry I haven't posted on my BLOG in a while. I caught that nasty virus that has been going around this area. It totally kicked my arse.
So, I had to cancel my book signing that I had planned for the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Antioch, CA for today. The manager was so nice about it. I felt so bad. I hate canceling or even being late when I am expected somewhere, but, alas, it was out of my hands.
Please check back often as the manager has allowed me to reschedule for a future date.
And don't forget to come visit me at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, CA on Saturday, October 14th.
Check out my new trailer for my latest novel "Feathers in the Wind"
Here is a new Book Trailer for Fears Revenge. Hope you enjoy it.
Let me know what you think.
Viking skeleton’s DNA test proves historians wrong
New York Post
September 8, 2017
By Natalie O'Neill
The remains of a powerful viking — long thought to be a man — was in fact a real-life Xena Warrior Princess, a study released Friday reveals.
The lady war boss was buried in the mid-10th century along with deadly weapons and two horses, leading archaeologists and historians to assume she was a man, according to the findings, published in in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
“It’s actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall, too, measuring around [5’6″] tall,” archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University, who conducted the study, told The Local.
And she was likely in charge.
“Aside from the complete warrior equipment buried along with her – a sword, an axe, a spear, armor-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields, and two horses – she had a board game in her lap, or more of a war-planning game used to try out battle tactics and strategies, which indicates she was a powerful military leader,” Hedenstierna-Jonson said. “She’s most likely planned, led and taken part in battles.”
The discovery marks the first genetic proof that women were Viking warriors, according to science publication Phys.org.
The viking grave was first found and excavated by Swedish archeologist Hjalmar Stolpe in the late 1800s.
But a few years ago, osteologist Anna Kjellström of Stockholm University, noticed its skeleton had fine cheekbones and feminine hip bones, researches said.
They conducted DNA-analysis and confirmed it was a female.
“This image of the male warrior in a patriarchal society was reinforced by research traditions and contemporary preconceptions. Hence, the biological sex of the individual was taken for granted,” Hedenstierna-Jonson and other researchers wrote in the report.
The research was lead by the Stockholm and Uppsala Universities.
I found this article fascinating and thought I would pass it along. Kinda makes you rethink all those romance books with Vikings doesn't it? LOL
Good morning blog readers.
First of all important news.
The location of the Great Valley Bookfest has been changed (Date and times are the same). It is now taking place at:
Great Valley Elementary School
4223 McDougald Blvd
Stockton, CA 95206
Exhibitor will showcase a fun-filled festival for all, great food and beverages as they meet authors, savor cooking demos, attend live performances, and browse diverse vendor displays, Gourmet food trucks and workshops, a variety of vendors, reading and writing in public schools, many activities for teachers and students, a bookmark design contest and plenty more.
Hope to see you all there.
My day started off with a bang! Or rather, a loud tractor breaking up concrete in front of my house at 7:30am. Argh!
It's that point in the morning where you are somewhat awake but not quite ready to climb out of bed. Then a guy in a cowboy hat rings your doorbell twice (dogs barking uncontrollably each time). The first ring you just let it go hoping whoever it is will go away. Then he rings it again. So you drag yourself out of bed, put on a robe and answer the door. Only to find a guy standing there asking you to move your truck so he can get to work.
First of all, it's not my truck, but my husbands and he has the key and he is at work. So sorry buddy, you should have told us a day in advance. So the guy proceeds to maneuver his huge tractor around my husbands truck and breaks up the concrete gutter. Took him all of 3 minutes and he was gone. But not before my wonderful neighbor across the street came out and told him a few things. It's great when you have neighbors that always have your back. I'll have to make him and his wife some cookies or something.
Have a Great Day Everyone!
By Newsner August 2017
Elizabeth Cochran Seaman was born on May 5, 1864, but if you don't recognize that name, she's better known as the journalist Nellie Bly.
She grew up in Pennsylvania and as a young teenager she already wanted to work and have a career.
Elizabeth's dad died when she was young, and after his death, Elizabeth helped support her mother and her 14 siblings.
Elizabeth didn't like the idea that women could only benefit society by working at home, so, she decided to make a difference out in the world instead.
After reading a column in the Pittsburgh Dispatch called "What Girls Are Good For," Elizabeth got so upset that she wrote a letter to the editor.
The editor, George Madden, in turn, was so impressed by Elizabeth's submission that he asked her to write an article for the newspaper.
She did, and after Madden read it, he offered Elizabeth a permanent job and gave her a pen named: Nellie Bly.
As Nellie Bly, she wrote about women's issues and women's rights, which was unusual because back then, articles intended for women were normally about fashion, society, and gardening tips.
Elizabeth often wrote investigative pieces where she went undercover to places like sweatshops to expose the poor conditions that women worked in.
But after a while, Elizabeth's editors moved her to the women's pages and she decided to leave Pittsburgh for bigger opportunities in New York, writes Biography.
Life in the big city started out difficult. Elizabeth went four months without work. But then, she managed to get a job at the New York World newspaper. One of her first assignments was to go undercover at an infamous mental hospital.
Almost no one who was admitted to the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island left and there wasn't really any other way of finding out what conditions inside were like.
Although the infamous hospital's employees had long been rumored to be abusive, no one dared testify to that effect.
So, with the promise of being released after 10 days, Elizabeth took on the hardest assignment of her life.
But even though she knew it would be awful, Elizabeth could never have imagined how bad it would actually be.
The hospital housed twice as many patients as it had room for. Meals consisted of dried uncooked bread, spoiled meat, watery broth, and dirty water. And there were rats everywhere.
Elizabeth pretended to be mentally ill, but she described the conditions at the hospital as being so bad that it was enough to make a person actually insane.
In addition, Elizabeth met several women who weren't at all mentally ill, but were just poor or unable to speak English.
Patients were abused, beaten, tied up, and forced to endure being doused with ice water in place of showers.
Doctors refused to believe patients who complained about the abuse, and those who did complain were punished.
Women who were actually metally ill weren't given the care they needed.
As promised, a lawyer came for Elizabeth 10 days later.
After Elizabeth's groundbreaking book on her time at Blackwell's Island, "Ten Days in a Mad-House," was published, the government enacted the changes she recommended and the patients' situation improved significantly.
Elizabeth, herself became famous around the country. She continued to write important articles, and thanks to her celebrity, her articles helped change society. She continued to write about poverty, politics and other issues that women previously had no opinion about.
Elizabeth inspired many young women before dying of a stroke in 1922 at the age of 57.
Two years earlier, she experienced the joy of seeing women finally get the right to vote.
Elizabeth accompished a lot in her short life.
Wonderful story. Full of intrigue and history. Thought I would share it with you all.
Today we tried a new place, for us anyway, for lunch. While we were out running some errands, my Mom wanted something to eat. A burger, is her usual request. We did not want to eat her usual request. Burgers get a little tiring after a while. Even a chicken or turkey burger.
So my daughter has been bugging us to go try this place in San Leandro. Which isn't to far from our home in Hayward. So we headed off in that direction.
Parking lot was full, but we were able to get a spot not to far from the front door. Nice older gentleman sitting on a bench near the front door greeted us warmly, as he was waiting for his daughter to meet him for lunch. We asked him oif the place was any good as we were just trying it for the first time.
He assured us that the food was good and we would love it. So we walked into the front door of Mel's Diner.
The 50's decor was fabulous! The music nostalgic and the smells from the kitchen reminded you of the show "Happy Days". If your old enough the remember that show. The decor is based on the movie American Graffiti. The movie was actually filmed at the original Mel's Diner in San Francisco, which is just across the bay.
We were shown to a table and handed our menu's. The menus are full of delicious items that are reminiscent of the good old foods of the 50's. Burger, Shakes, Omelettes, Fried Chicken, Prime Rib (which surprised me) and tons more! It took us a good 20 minutes to decide on what to order.
The waitresses and waiter, checked in on us quite often to make sure we had everything we needed. Other people sitting around us noticed it was our first time there and struck up a conversation with us about a few of their dishes. They also assured us that we would love the food.
We finally decided and placed our order. We sat around looking at all the memorabilia hanging on the walls and listening to the old music. Time flew by. Next thing we knew, they were delivering our food on small platter sized plates. My Mom had the ordered the Club Sandwich and fries. Let me tell you, this was no regular Club Sandwich. This was real sliced turkey breast piled with bacon, cheese and all the normal fix-in's. Most places use turkey lunch meat, Mel's does not. I had the Chicken Fried Steak and eggs (I was in the mood for breakfast since I had not eaten yet and it was almost 1:00 in he afternoon.
Eggs cook perfectly, crispy (but not burnt) hashbrowns and a golden brown chicken fried steak in a crispy brown crust covered in a out of this world breakfast gravy. I could eat a bowl of the gravy all by itself! I wouldn't though, that would be bad, right? LOL
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and are looking for a great place to eat with that comfortable welcoming atmosphere, step into Mel's Diner in San Leandro (or one of their other locations) and enjoy!
The book signing in Roseville started off badly, but got quickly better.
Due to our GPS telling us wrong information, I arrived there a few minutes late. Which anyone that knows me, knows I hate to be late. So I felt bad walking into the store. That feeling quickly changed.
There were people actually waiting for me to arrive! I couldn't believe it! That just made my day! The whole day was like that. people stopping by and talking about my books, and buying them. LOL They actually stayed and talked awhile, even taking the seat next to me. It was great!
The people in Roseville are so friendly and easy to talk to. I may have gotten there late, but I stayed a lot later than scheduled due to the wonder folks and great time we were having. Needless to say, book sales were pretty good as well. LOL
That day will be hard to beat!
Next stop on the Mystery Book Tour:
Saturday - Aug 19th Barnes and Noble Bookstore
2:00 - 4:00pm 6825 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95020
If you live in the area or will be in the area, stop on by and check out my latest book "Feathers in the Wind".
Like I said in my last post "Times flies when you're having fun." This week has gone by so fast.
As many of my dedicated readers know, I care for my Mother (who has stage II Alzheimer's) and my Grandfather, who will be 101 years old next month. So my days are pretty busy now. I haven't had much time to write. LOL
I have been mulling a few ideas around in my head for a new episode of "Mika's Time" I will let you know when that is posted up on my web site. I still have 2 novels partially completed "City Girl" and "The House on Dusty Hill". I promise I will finish those eventually.
In the mean time, On with the book signing tour! Next stop is tomorrow,
Saturday - Aug 5th Barnes and Noble Bookstore
1:00 - 3:00pm 1256 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
A little unknown fact for all of my fans. There are four ( yes 4! ) production companies in Los Angeles that are reviewing my first novel "Fear's Revenge" for a possible Movie!!!! How great is that?
I am not holding my breath, but to even catch the attention of movie producers tells me I did something right! I was also contacted by a distribution company that tells me that there are multiple traditional publishing companies bidding on the same book. "Fears Revenge" and that I need to get an agent.
So I guess I better start the hunt for an agent again. maybe now since one of my novels it catching attention I might have a better chance than I did a few years ago at getting one. LOL
Hope to see you tomorrow at my book signing in Roseville, CA
Had a blast yesterday at the Barnes and Noble in Merced, CA. It was hot as H@ll down in the Central Valley tho. Now I remember why we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area years ago. To escape the heat!
The staff at the book store had me all set up. Even got me a cookie from their cafe. That was nice. Of course the cookie monster, my husband, got it.
Pictures should be up in a few days.
The day went by so fast. I ended up staying an extra hour. To much fun. Met a lot of really great people. So friendly down there.
Next stop on the tour,
Saturday - Aug 5th Barnes and Noble Bookstore
1:00 - 3:00pm 1256 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
Hope to see you there.
On to the next stop of my Mystery Book Tour!
This Saturday July 29th, I will be at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Merced CA between 1:00 - 4:00pm
Come on out and join me for a mystery fun afternoon.
Saturday - July 29th Barnes and Noble Bookstore
1:00 - 4:00pm 1720 W. Olive Ave
Merced, CA 95348
Hope to see you there!
Just so you guys and gals don't think I haven't been busy. LOL
Here is a new recipe I came up with that was a HIT!
I will definitely, according to the family, be making this again.
Chicken Breast Saute'
6 Chicken Breast
5 Strips of hickory smocked bacon (diced)
1 Large yellow onion (diced
2 TBSP Minced or chopped Garlic
4 TBSP Butter
2 Cups sliced mushroom
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
1 Cup of Heavy Cream
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 TBSP Chicken Boullion
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (shredded) Grated works as well.
Salt and Pepper
Brown bacon in large frying pan until slightly crispy. Remove to a bowl and save.
Place chicken breasts in pan on med/high heat.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook on each side until golden brown. Turning as needed.
Remove chicken to a plate and save.
To the frying pan add diced onion and garlic. saute' until onions are slightly brown.
Add butter to pan and melt.
Add in Chicken Stock, Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, Bacon, Parmesan Cheese and chicken bouillon.
Whisk until blended and sauce is smooth.
Add Chicken back to pan and simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked through.
Serve with rice or noodles.
We had it with Greek Rice and fresh green beans. Like I said earlier, it was a big hit.
Sorry no picture to share. They ate it to fast. Couldn't get a picture. LOL
Just got home from Chabot College Book Signing. MAN! It was hot out there today. Got a bit of a sun burn.
I was really happily surprised to see a lot of people bring their dogs out there today. Got to meet the cutest red full size poodle. It was adorable. He was so well behaved.
Sold quite a few books as well. That's always a plus. Met a few up and coming authors. One had written a few books already about the Egyptian era, quite fascinating. I will be looking up his books for my Mom who is into Egyptian tales.
A quick not to the lady that took a copy of Fears Revenge off the table when you thought we weren't looking, shame on you. I hope you at leasst pass it on to other readers when you are through with it.
Next stop on the book tour.
Barnes and Noble in Merced, CA on July 29th. Hope to see you there.
Been a very busy week for me. At least the weather here in the Bay Area has been really nice.
Warm with a cool bay breeze. that is the reason we chose to live here in the first place.
Getting things ready for tomorrow's book signing event at our local college here in Hayward, CA.
Come on out:
Saturday - July 15th Chabot College
8:00 - 4:00pm 25555 Hesperian Blvd - Space 297
Hayward CA 94545
So come on out and spend the day looking around all the event tents and craft items.
Make sure to stop by and see me in space #297.
Simone Veil, dead at 89, survived the Nazis and then spent her life fighting for women’s rights
“I have survived worse than you.”
Updated by Sarah Wildman Jun 30, 2017
Few Americans probably know the name Simone Veil. But ask almost any French woman about the 89-year-old who died today and she’ll tell you that perhaps no modern woman in France is more revered. She is considered the very symbol of courage.
A feminist icon and Holocaust survivor who spent a year in Nazi death camps, Simone Veil championed the rights of women and forever altered French society. Most of what you probably picture when you think about women and their status in France was at least in some way influenced by Simone Veil.
Veil was the author of the 1974 French law legalizing abortion — it is literally called “Veil’s Law.” She was a champion for not only the right of women to control their pregnancies, but also to control their fertility. She long advocated for universal access to contraception.
Trained as a lawyer, she became a judge renowned for her concern for human rights, particularly the rights of prisoners. As a parliamentarian and a health minister, she battled for the rights of women. She then served as the first president of the European parliament. And, in the last decades of her life, she emerged as a tireless lecturer and advocate for the preservation of Holocaust memory.
And none of it came easy.
Veil is perhaps best known as the architect of legalized abortion in France
In her iconic 1974 speech in front of parliament right before a vote on legalizing abortion, Veil spoke passionately on why the right to terminate a pregnancy must be awarded to all women. “I apologize for doing it in front of this assembly comprised almost exclusively of men,” she said that day, underscoring with a single phrase exactly why her presence was so crucial. She added, “No woman resorts to abortion lightheartedly.”
It was a struggle that earned her the vitriol of the extreme right, who accused her of wanting to murder babies like the Nazis murdered their victims. A fellow parliamentarian claimed her law would “each year kill twice as many people as the Hiroshima bomb.” Another said the law was “genocide.”
And yet, the law passed.
For many years, Veil was the constant target of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s far-right National Front party. She refused to stand down. In this archival footage from 1979, a brawl broke out when National Front supporters attempted to disrupt a meeting she was speaking at in Paris. Veil can be heard shouting, “Vous ne me faites pas peur! J'ai survécu a pire que vous!” — “You do not frighten me! I have survived worse than you!”
“She is revered, but she was also hated. She was under attack by the right and extreme right,” explains Jean-Marc Dreyfus, a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Manchester. Dreyfus describes the verbal assaults Veil weathered and her reputation for tireless advocacy. She was a staunch opponent of the National Front, he says, from its creation until the end of her life.
“She was known first as a magistrate and an advocate for human rights,” Dreyfus continues. “She advocated for the rights of prisoners. She wanted the living conditions in French prisons to be improved. She would stop to visit prisons as she left on holiday —- she would leave her family and say ‘I am just visiting a prison to see if it’s okay.’”
Dreyfus notes she did not, at least initially, publicly link her wartime experiences with her work. But when she ran for the European parliament in the early 1980s, she began to clearly, vocally connect her desire to build a united Europe with the horrors of the Holocaust.
Her past was never very far behind her
Simone Veil was born Simone Jacob in 1927 in the Mediterranean city of Nice to a middle-class, assimilated — in other words, non-religious — Jewish family. But the Nazis cared about Jewish blood, not religious identity.
In the spring of 1944, at the age of 16, Simone and her family were rounded up. First she and two of her sisters were taken, on March 30, then her father and brother and finally a third sister — the last was also a resistance fighter. All were deported to Eastern Europe.
Veil was sent by closed cattle car to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. There she received the indelible number 78651 tattooed on her arm — the Nazis tattooed the inmates, taking away their identities and rendering them simply numbers.
"From then on, each of us was just a number, seared into our flesh," she wrote later in her life. "A number we had to learn by heart, since we had lost all identity."
Veil, her mother Yvonne, and her sister Madeleine were together in Auschwitz. When the Nazis dismantled the camp in January 1945, the three were forcibly marched for days only to be incarcerated again in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Madeleine and Simone survived Bergen-Belsen; Veil’s mother did not. Veil’s other sister Denise, held with other resistance fighters, survived the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Her father and brother were never heard from again.
Veil and her sister were liberated in April of 1945 and Veil returned to France. After the war, she attended the prestigious French school Sciences Po and studied law. She met and married a fellow student named Antoine Veil who later went into business. Together they had three sons.
Veil’s wartime experience propelled her European parliamentary career
Simone Veil did not discuss her Holocaust experience much in the early years of her life. But by the end of the 1970s, she began drawing a clear line between the horrors she had observed and been a victim of and the need for a peaceful, unified Europe.
She set out to work for the European Economic Community — which later became the European Union. She became the first president of the European parliament. In her first speech before that body, in 1979, she nodded to the past that had destroyed her family and nearly destroyed Europe.
“[T]his is the first time in history, a history in which we have so frequently been divided, pitted one against the other, bent on mutual destruction,” she said, “that the people of Europe have together elected their delegates to a common assembly representing, in this Chamber today, more than 260 million people.”
Veil would serve as president of the European parliament until 1982, and a general member of that body until 1993. She then reprised her role as French Health Minister in the early 1990s. Later she held a variety of other positions including integrating immigrants, on the High Council for Integration, and did a nine-year tour as a member of the Constitutional Council, the highest court in France tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of laws. At the turn of the century she turned in earnest to the job of Holocaust memorialization, serving on the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (Holocaust) for seven years.
I shared this story not to say whether I was for or against abortion. Nor do I post it to declare that I am a feminist, but I shared it to show that this was one strong and courageous woman. She overcame tremendous odds and fought for the rights of others.
We have the strength within us to do almost anything. We need to just tap into that that inner strength and courage and we can overcome our obstacle in life. Just as Simone Veil did.
Saturday's book signing at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in San Mateo, CA was fantastic! I am so loving this books tour!
I have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful people from all walks of life. I have met many young children that want to be writers, when they grow up. I just ask them "Why wait til then?" As well a a few adults currently working on a book. Always love to talk with other writers (an cooks).
I have met husbands that will walk past my table and stop and pick up a copy of "Feathers in the Wind". Apparently the dream catcher cover appeals to men. Plus the story is a murder mystery. I guess men like that genre more, or sports. At the last stop on the tour (San Mateo) Fears Revenge outsold Feathers in the Wind by almost 2 to 1. Love it!
This coming weekend is the 4th of July weekend so I didn't schedule any stops on the tour. Time for some family fun.
Next stop on the tour is;
Saturday - July 15th Chabot College
8:00 - 4:00pm 25555 Hesperian Blvd - Space 297
Hayward CA 94545
Got my white event tent all ready to go. All four of my books will be for sale in paperback. As well as a free logo items and possibly some autographed coffee mugs (if I can get them done in time).
Paperback books are $18.00 each (autographed if you like).
If you purchase all four I have a special price of $64.00.
That's a savings of over $2.00 per book.
You say your not a Mystery reader?
Well, if you know someone that likes to read, these make a great autographed and personalized gift.
Also, I would like to welcome another new stop on my Mystery Book Tour.
Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Gilroy, CA (Garlic Capital of the World!)
I will be at their store on August 19th from 2:00 - 4:00pm.
So come on out to one of the remaining stops on my tour. Check out my EVENTS page for locations and dates.
Check the page often as I am always adding more dates and locations as they contact me!
It has been one busy month for me and my little helpers. The Mystery Book Tour of 2017 has been a load of fun and excitement.
Last weekend we were at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Stockton, CA. There were so many events going on that it was difficult to get pictures.
This weekend we will be at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in San Mateo, CA from 2:00 - 5:00pm. So come on out and have some fun. Enter my free raffle to win a Barnes and Noble Gift card and come autographed items from yours truly and get your picture on my website.
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
11 West Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94403
I also want to say a big THANK YOU to the Barnes and Noble Bookstores in Merced, CA and Roseville, CA for allowing me to schedule a book signing at their stores.
Please check my EVENTS page for dates and times. You can also check out pictures of passed stops on my tour on the PHOTO page of my website.
Please come on out this Saturday at the Barnes and Noble in San Mateo, CA and have some fun.
San Mateo - Barnes and Noble is the next stop on the Book Tour
This Saturday June 24th, I will be at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in San Mateo, CA between 2:00 - 5:00pm
Come on out and join me for a fun afternoon and enter my free raffle to win a Barnes and Noble Gift card and a few items from me.
Saturday - June 24th
2:00 - 5:00pm
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
11 W. Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94403
Hope to see you there!