Saturday, February 11, 2017

Exodus by Kimberly Bettes

Anne, John, and baby James Carlson are on a journey to a better life in California, everybody is doing it. There's nothing left from where they came, it was the great depression.
Anne didn't consider herself lucky, but she knew for what she had she wasnt going to complain.
John was a hard working man for his family, he didn't want his son and wife to suffer the hunger or thirst of the time, so when he saw the sign for Exodus he knew he needed to stop to get gas and water, he really didn't have a choice when their truck stopped running now he really needed gas.
These few events set off a terrifying journey for the Carlsons. Will they still just be passing through? Will they be leaving the way they came? Whole? This book is one of Kimberly Bette's best books scary, gruesome, and a little bit of brotherly love! Enjoy (on an empty stomach or else).


Kimberly A. Bettes was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1977, completely ruining any chance her mother had at enjoying a delightful dinner. At the age of 12, Kimberly began writing poems, essays, and short stories. At 14, she began her first novel, a project that would take two years and many sleepless nights to complete. Since then, she has written more than ten novels, dozens of short stories, and hundreds of poems and essays.

She currently lurks in the Ozark Mountains of southeast Missouri with her husband and son. It's there she terrorizes the residents of a small town with her twisted tales, most of which focus on the dark side of human nature.

In addition to writing, Kimberly is also a freelance photographer and life-long chocolate enthusiast

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgivings!! Have a Happy and Safe day! With love Kellie

No animals were hurt in the production of this picture.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

8 Hacks for Mother’s Day (For When You Really Wish They Wouldn’t)

8 Hacks for Mother’s Day (For When You Really Wish They Wouldn’t)


By Pauline Daley-Parril


1. Breakfast in Bed


It’s five minutes past dawn and you hear your kids banging cupboard doors down in the kitchen. Soon there will be syrup and pancake batter dripping from the walls, floors, countertops and overhead fixtures. Worse yet, you are about to be compelled to consume a plateful of cold pancakes that are burnt black on the outside while still remaining uncooked on the inside, all swimming in a bathtub’s worth of syrup.


The Hack: Quick. Hide the syrup. Give them a bag of chocolate chips and a package of paper muffin cups. Ask them to count all the chips into the cups. Tell them you would like a banana and twenty-thirteen chocolate chips for your breakfast. Ask Daddy to supervise. Hurry back to bed.


2.  The Card


Did your kids spend all of 47 seconds last week pouring school glue and dropping pieces of macaroni onto a piece of heart-shaped construction paper? Now you have to store that adorable handmade creation at the back of your closet for the rest of eternity with the rest of the collection of Penne necklaces and pasta shell pencil holders, right? That proves you love them right?


The Hack: Feeding them proves you love them too. Boil up a large pot of salted water, drop in the collected works, put your feet up and wait till all the noodles are al dente. Drain, toss in a handful of shredded cheese and voila! An easy mother’s day dinner is served. Don’t forget the paper plates.


3. The Husband With a Poor Sense of Timing


The minute you launch the kids on their way with the bag of chocolate chips, guess who slides back into bed beside you with less-than-minty morning breath and rough unshaven chin? Did he just scrape/nuzzle the back of your neck and offer you a “steamy” Mom’s Day present in the shower?


The Hack. You do want your pillow back right? If you want to unpoke his tongue from your ear fast, tell him he is a sweet boy and then remind him to call his Mom today to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Point out that an early call might be bad timing as maybe his Dad is also giving his Mom a steamy morning kiss right about now too. Use descriptive adjectives to make sure he gets the picture. Then punch him playfully in the arm and cackle, “Aren’t you just a chip off the old cock?” As he begins to gag a little, mention that you just downed a handful of chocolate chips. Mistake! Aren’t they just ripping right through you! Yell “outta my way,” jump out of bed and hop towards the bathroom with your hands pressed against your backside.


4. The Spa Day: Did you get a gift certificate for a day at the spa? Nope, neither did I. Don’t let that stop you.


The Hack: Of course the answer is to book your worthy self in for the salt scrub flotation cabin, lotus glow massage and mani-pedi with truffles as soon as possible.


5.  The Flowers: Every mother loves getting a gift of cut flowers right? Trouble is now you have to clip the stems properly on a 45 ° angle with a sharp florist’s knife, creatively arrange the blooms in a vase like the Pinterest people are watching, and change the slimy water everyday. As if you didn’t have enough to do. The baby is teething and the toddler is trying to flush the cat down the toilet and now you are in charge of freshening up those candy-pink Carnations.


The Hack: Fill a carafe with red wine and let it aerate for five minutes. If the baby is crying very loudly, feel free to skip the breathing step. Carefully arrange the blooms in the empty wine bottle. If you have too many stems, you may open a second bottle.


6. His Mother


There is no known hack for your Mother–in-Law. Deal with it.


7. Your Mother


In all the bustle and fun of enjoying your special day, did you forget to call your own mother to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day? I know. I forgot too. Kill me now.


The Hack: Google images to the rescue. Spice up your apology message with some links. Recommended search terms: “shirtless hot dudes.” “Old Spice Guy + snake. For a few blessed moments, she will probably forget that she ever had you. Of course you still owe her chocolate.


8. The Hugs and Kisses


Who needs to hack a Mother’s Day kiss and hug? It’s totally the best part. Take all the sweet squeezes and smacks that you can get—even if the chubby fingers are smeared with chocolate chips and the bearer of the lips still needs a shave.



Collette Yvonne has written more than 150 articles published in Ontario's Dailies.  Her short story, Snapshots for Henry, was made into a short film directed by Teresa Hannigan and received a 2007 Genie nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama.  More of Yvonne's short stories, including From the Cottage Porch and Wild Words 2010 appear in published anthologies.She is a graduate of Toronto’s York University with a BA degree in Creative Writing, creating both fiction and non-fiction works. Her latest novel, The Perils of Pauline was published by Astor + Blue Editions in January 2015. For more information visit






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Coming tomorrow

Tomorrow come back for a little humerous Mothers Day, the usual gifts we get!

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine Catholic Church is located on Northern Ave. Augusta Maine is a beautiful church that rises high above as you come up a long hill. I can just imagine how beautiful it is inside.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


SPRING!!!! Its here says this guy. He's hiding his identity in case it snows again. Most of the country watches the groundhog, but we have a guy in disguise.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day To The Greatest Man I know!
           Randy George Hirtle
I love you with all my heart my Turkey!

Let the dad that you know how much you love him! I don't know what I would do with out my ole dad.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Grip of God By: Rebecca Hazell

Read from May 08 to 10, 2014

This book takes place in the 13th century and is about a princess named Sofia a wonderful soul from Kievan Rus a stunning and well educated girl she was. Her father sent her away to Constantinople to her uncle, Sofia was excited at first but her father said he wouldn’t be traveling with her disposition turned dark. The Tatars were on the move toward Rus and her father had to stay.
So her voyage began, and it went well for a while and she was adding pheasants all throughout her travels. Then she was woken up one morning and she heard a peculiar noise, she looked for her servant and couldn’t find her, she peeked out of her tent and saw the sound was arrows whistling through the air, she couldn’t find Oleg her protector, or Alexander her educator. Bodies were everywhere and there were men with torches, then she found her maid Kateryna, with a slash across her breast. Just then someone grabbed her they finished Kateryna off with a knife across her throat. And then she fainted. She was alone except for some pheasants. These men who were attacking were so smelly, brutal, and talked in weird tongue, she knew some languages but she didn’t recognize this one. This one guy he seemed he was in control started to brutalize Sofia, he did some unimaginable things to her. She figured these people were the Tatars, they rape the woman, the men forced to watch then they kill them. But little did she know these were the Mongols an equally brutal clan. She found the man who made her a woman was Argamon and he was working his way up to be a great warrior.
Argamon treated Sofia ok when she started understanding what she was supposed to do and do it right she was his concubine, a slave she had to do what he demanded of her. As time went on they got to be like they were in a regular relationship, However she didn’t want her servants to have all the household responsibilities so she would help and when Argamon would find out he would get truly angry.
Sofia had made friends with Q’ing-ling Argomons mother they were best of friends they sewed together rode together and just spent so much quality time with her. Unfortunately Q’ing-ling died and Argomon was never the same because his brother and fathers other wife had a hand in her death the other wife poisoned Q’ing-ling and Argamon’s father had her put to death.
Sofia no matter what happened to her she was a gentle person willing to help anyone and her religion played a big part in her life, being with the Mongols they let her practice her faith, she learned the language of the Mongols pretty fast and Batu Khan wanted her to be his translator for newly captured individuals to find out about their armies, soon she was writing up the plans of attacks for Batu Khan. While this all was happening she was becoming a young woman and was falling for Argamon and he brought home an additional concubine. She was reminded of herself at the beginning the girl Anna was so young and afraid Sofia knew the brutality her man had in him and she was hurt.
At the conclusion of a celebration Batu Khan gave Argamon wealth and sent him to Rus, Sofia’s homeland to supervise tax collectors and Batu Khan was sending word to Argamon’s wife and son to start off where they left off before he went to war. And Batu asked for Sofia and of course Argamon couldn’t decline. Sofia was crushed. Find out what Sofia does when she is to go to Batu Khans ger to make a home for herself.
This story is AMAZING I loved Sofia, I went through the emotions with her. Sofia grows up in front of us and she has a beautiful disposition to anyone in her life. Rebecca Hazell has left my mind blown with this story, some of it is Historical facts, and in my interview with Rebecca she tells us she is related to Sofia. For a 1 through 5 scale I give this a 9. I don’t know what else I can say without repeating myself. Thank you Rebecca!
Win the kindle edition of Solomon's Bride here!
 Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

Just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Historical Fiction is. Have your comments in by June 13th 12:00 am and i'll pick a winner. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Interview with Rebecca Hazzel

The Grip of God          
The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.


Solomon's Bride 

Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order. The third book in the trilogy,Consolamentum, will be released soon.

Rebecca Hazzel

Hello, Rebecca. Thank you for stopping by. I have read The Grip of God and Solomon’s Bride. They were amazing books.

Thanks for inviting me. I'm so glad you liked both books.

What kind of schooling did you receive and how long did it take to learn this extensive history and become a senior teacher in Shambhala? I must say I’m impressed.

I received an honors BA in Russian and Chinese history from the University of California, Santa Cruz. I never went for further degrees because I was tired of not getting to read whatever I wanted to read, mostly historical fiction!

Researching and writing the three novels took about 17 years once I got going. I wrote the first few pages of what I thought would be one novel when still at university, but then I set it aside for years, promising to return to it someday.

Becoming a senior teacher in Shambhala came about because I wanted to pay forward the kindness of my teachers. After so many years of teaching Shambhala Buddhist meditation, I guess I finally got good at it and was appointed a Shastri, a senior teacher and mentor for other teachers. I had to retire from that role after three years in order to get these novels published. But certain core values crept into them from my Buddhist background, not only about meditation but about empathy and broad perspective.

What made you want to write about the Mongols? They were such a brutal clan. Were any of the Mongols in the story a part of history? And if they were, were all their conquests in the book in history?

I can't imagine why I thought writing about Mongols was a good idea! I had no idea they were so brutal until I started seriously researching them, but my favorite period in my studies at university was Kyivan Rus', which fell to the Mongols. And once I got into the heart of the writing, things began to take shape. By the final novel, Consolamentum, out soon, it becomes apparent how the entire story hangs together and why the Mongols' brutality is integral to it.

All the major Mongol leaders were real historical figures, and many details about them are on record: like the color of Berke Khan's boots! And the big quarrel between Batu and Kuyuk is what they actually said to each other. The surprise true historical figure is Argamon, though I invented his life and his family. 

All the battles and conquests really happened as I described them. Or as close as my imagination could take me to how it would have been.

Sofia…what a beautiful soul. Is she written from history?

While Sofia is fictional, and also a rarity among noblewomen of her time, I tried to create a realistic picture of a young, sheltered princess embedded in that time and place, but who is also a typical teenager. She is both a dreamer/idealist and also quite sure of her moral high ground, which is a common phase in growing up. And when she grows older and loses some of her connection to the earth she loves so much: that's something I've observed.  

What's truly uncanny about her is that I am related to her, as I have royal Rus' ancestry, something I didn't know when I was writing the series. I found that out when researching my family tree.

What rights did woman have in this era? It seems they were of a lesser human compared to the men of this time.

Alas, women were treated pretty badly then from our point of view, as they were more like childbearing property with few rights. Be a good child, wife, parent, and you are taken care of, so within those bounds you are powerful if you're in charge of the household or some aspect of it. So it was a funny mix: everyone knew their place and noblewomen took pride in theirs, and maybe others did, too. But there were serious limitations, like the way men all across Europe assumed that beating their wives was a good thing.

Sofia was incredibly smart. Did she have special privileges to learn because she was a princess, or was that a good parenting choice from her father?

That was a good parenting choice, though Rus’ noblewomen would be literate enough to read the Bible. And being a princess was why her father educated her; on one side, she was all he had once he was widowed, and he was more sensitive than the average warmongering prince, more truly devout. On the other side, she was a bargaining chip for him in Rus' politics, so polishing her up was a smart move. Motives can be pretty ambiguous.

Would Sofia lead a good life with Batu Khan or would it be a disaster? Did she make the right choice to flee?

Batu Khan truly did have so many concubines that once he'd tired of her, she'd have been seriously at risk for a dismal future. Certainly she wouldn't have experienced the good things that came her way later, like her daughter. It would have meant a much shorter story for her to tell, though!

How did Sofia’s enslavement make her react in future situations?

She really saw the other side of life, and because of her tender heart, she identified with others' suffering. So she became a champion for both justice and mercy, at least when she could. Of course that also led her into serious danger at times.

I always like to ask…what does your writing space consist of?

I don't like to write in just one place. My husband and I share a big basement room that is office for him and computer space/art studio for me. But I also go outside with my laptop in good weather or hang out and write in our 'cozy area', a seating area with fireplace right next to the kitchen, handy for remembering to eat!

What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Read, read, read and learn from the greats: how they frame a story, choose points of view, choose what to describe, etc. Then write, write, write, perhaps in the same style as your favorite authors, just for practice. Then write from your heart and fiercely edit from your intelligence. Some people think The Grip of God is a bit too long, but I cut out sooo much! Like how to cook marmot; I took it out because it didn't promote the plot.

About the author
Rebecca Hazell is an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created bestselling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases.
She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca: