Monday, May 26, 2014

Every picture tells a story...Happy Memorial Day

    This is Grandpop Bliss' story. He is the fourth one from the left of kneeling heroes. Thanks to Joe Bliss for sharing his research about the B-24's missions. Grandpop was the kindest, gentlest soul you could ever meet. He talked about his tailgunner days rarely, but when he did, his voice was reverent. Grandpop loved the men who served with him. They were family, like brothers. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting one of his WWII family members, Don Catherman, another sweet, gentle soul. I did not get a chance to speak at length with Don. My girls were toddlers at the time, and Don had an elaborate Christmas village that he kept on display throughout the entire year. They were so excited to see that village! Meeting Don was my husband's moment so I ushered the boys outside, offered to make iced tea and prayed the girls would not break anything.
      You cannot see the complete picture, but there's a picture of a donkey's ass carrying two heavy sacks, hence the name Mi Akin Ass. After 32 weeks of basic training, B-24's crew flew their Akin Ass to some exotic locales such as Trinidad, Belem, Foralee, Dakar and then they waited in Morocco for two weeks for their orders. It was in Morocco that they received the nose art for Mi Akin Ass for the cost of a good old bottle of whiskey. They had one more stint of training in British and American techniques which they did in North Ireland before they flew to Flixton, England and became part of the 446th bomb group, known as the Bungay Buckaroos. Their mission was to slow down the german war machine by bombing oil refineries, bridges, chemical plants and aircraft factories. From December 16, 1943 to April 25, 1945 the 446 lost 58 planes and 447 lives.
      The B-24 was a heavy plane weighing at 41,000 pounds. The tailgunner position was a very cramped one, located at the very back of the plane. Grandpop was not able to stand or fully extend his arms. The cabin of the B-24 was not pressurized, and the crew had to wear ill-fitting rubber oxygen masks for hours at a time. Grandpop used to say, "now and then because of the high-altitude cold, I would take off the mask and bang it against the plane to shake off the ice that would form on it." The crew were instructed to use and dismantle the guns wearing gloves because if not their flesh would stick to the cold metal. The temperature would range from 20-30 degrees below zero. The B-24 would fly 5 to 10 hour missions with 6 of those hours directly over enemy territory.
      June 25, 1944 was Grandpop Bliss' 22nd mission. Their mission was to fly to Boulogne, France to bomb a power plant. It was this mission that explains why he never flew in a plane once he returned home. Before flying this last mission, he remembered how he flipped a coin to receive his tailgunner position. He was not very happy about winning this position when the boys first started flying their missions. Mi Akin Ass dropped their bombs then received a flak burst from enemy planes that riddled the nose of the plane. A second burst in the left rear bomb bay cut the main hydraulics. A third burst killed the left waist gunner ssgt John Tabak. The other waist gunner tsgt Ernest E. Harrison suffered a wound in the calf of his right leg. This third blast cut the oxygen to the tail and set fire to the oxygen bottles on the command deck. The ammunition exploded on the plane. Captain Laning managed to fly Mi Akin Ass back to base and made a crash-landing downwind on the runway. The bomb bay had burst into flames before the plane stopped. Grandpop crawled out of his cramped quarters, helped drag the dead body of his fallen brother, and escaped to safety. Mi Akin Ass burned on the runway.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Let's go to the HOP...

Here's my pick for the HOP...

This looks so exciting. I can't wait to read more about New Yorker Kate who is completely thrust out of her comfort zone, not to mention time zone...

and into the arms of Jamie


This Hop is brought to you by
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GENRES: Epic fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, YA
Tour Link: March Book Frenzy

Find AMAZING books of unrivaled quality,
right here on this CATALOGUE.


Check out the prizes the authors are sponsoring:
2 featured eBooks from each author.

2 X $20
in cash via paypal or gift card via Amazon (your choice)
Giveaway Link: MAY Book Festival Giveaway

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Struggles of the Women Folk, Guest Post T.M. Brown


African American fiction,
historical fiction,
women's issues.


 family dynamics,

"Struggles of the Women Folk" is based on fictional characters created from stories my grandma shared with me when I was child. It is the story of Georgie, a young Black girl in the South during the 1940s. I hope that you can appreciate her pain, suffering and betrayal as you travel with her on highs and lows you won't anticipate. This is the story of the power of a woman's courage, love, strength and faith that exists within each and every one us, whether we know it or not..


 Sissy knew she wasn’t pretty, cuz erbody told her so! She had all dem black features that erbody thought was ugly: dark skin, short nappy hair, big eyes, big lips, huge breast and a big butt. None of that mattered to me, cuz she was not just my cousin; she was my best friend.

Her momma and mine couldn’t stand each other, but we didn’t care.

We’d been friends for as long as I could remember. Every day, we walked the five miles to the little shack we called skool, carrying our books and lunch pails. Momma would always have something special in my pail. There would be bread, cheese, jelly and sometimes even a slice of homemade cake. Sissy never had anything good. Most times, she only had a piece of bread or some leftover salt pork.

“Ain’t got no money to be spending on some ugly thang like you,” her momma would say. Her momma hated her. Folks say it was because she didn’t know who Sissy’s daddy was. Her momma was walking home one night when some men jumped her in the woods and made her ‘with child’. That’s what the folks called it in 1944. No one used words like pregnant, at least, not the good girls.


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They offer a diverse range of both complimentary and affordable products to help the reach of your book go that much further.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day. Guest Post by Barbara Shoff. Check it out.

A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis (Published by LilyBearHouse, LLC.)


 On-again-off-again psychic Vay Armstrong has a plan to change the world. Following ten years of domestic violence and abuse, she struggles with post-traumatic stress, paranoia and an inability to trust others. Determined to escape her reclusive life, she enlists the help of other abuse survivors to create a utopian community within Jakesville, Oklahoma. Will Vay be able to overcome family opposition, a romantic entanglement and a homicidal stalker to make her vision a reality, or will her only reality be a cold hole in the ground?"


Excerpt 2

He stared at the photograph taped on the wall at eye level, pretending she could hear him, pretending she was with him, pretending many things that were just not true.

“You think you are so smart. You forget you belong to me.”

One hand went to his crotch, the other pointed directly at the photo of her smiling face. “You took those vows. You said you would obey… remember? You will do what I say, when I say, and no judge can change your promise. Do you understand?” He rubbed himself. “You remember I have my ways to make you do what I tell you, don’t you?” His hand pressed harder against his flesh. His breathing grew heavier, faster. He closed his eyes, perspiration dripping from his forehead; he lost himself in the memory of her cries.

“You are mine. You belong to me,” He experienced a familiar rush… the rush he had the first time his fist slammed into her face…the sight of her blood dripping from her mouth…the warm salty taste as he crushed his mouth into hers. He fell back on his bed grimacing in the throes of his bliss. “You’re mine. All mine. Only mine… or you’re dead….”

' ... just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly ... " 


About The Author

Barbara Shoff began writing before she could write. At the age of five she would make up dialogue for her friends so they could perform plays. They charged a nickle a performance to "the old people" (parents and grandparents) in the neighborhood. The stage was a front porch with a blanket curtain. Their group was quite successful which kept them in bubble gum and popsicles most summers.

In the 1980's Barbara had a column in a small town Missouri newspaper. It was called, “BJ’s Corner.” She wrote it for free. She became serious about writing and began penning articles for several women's magazines.

“I sold my first article for $25. I was so excited I screamed so loud you would have thought it was for 25 million. I have written brilliant ad copy as well as very dull assembly instruction manuals.”

Severely social media challenged two years ago, Barbara became the accidental Pundit on PolicyMic.

It was when she had her non-fiction expose’ complete and was looking for a publisher when Barbara decided it was high-time the old dog started learning new tricks.

As a survivor of domestic violence and abuse she wanted to give back to her community. “Social workers educating survivors living in a shelter about domestic violence and abuse is ass backwards. These women already know better than the social workers what happened. The ‘whys’ research is still sorting out. What survivors need to learn is how protect themselves and support themselves while they heal and transform into something stronger and more beautiful than they were before. To that purpose, I wrote a stalker thriller, A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis as the first book in a trilogy.”

Barbara has picked every brain she could find to try to figure out about the ins and outs of developing a “platform” and how social media works for writers. She took a social media for dummies class at a local technology center. “I almost learned some things about Facebook. The next day they changed it.

“I hired a fifteen year old to teach me asking, how something was done. He would shrug his shoulders and say, ‘Dunno. Let’s try this. Nope, not that, Let’s try this.’ Fifty dollars later a light went on and I decided to try stuff on my own. I watched YouTube videos until my eyes crossed, took a spiral notebook full of notes and finally built a website.

“I am still learning. Now both books are published. I am signed up on almost every freaking social media site there is and am maybe, kinda, sorta getting an idea of how they possibly work. Mostly I’m praying Oprah or Ellen will ‘discover’ me and I can concentrate on writing my books and going to shelters giving chrysalis building lessons.

“Oh, yeah. In 2013 I was honored to be a member of the inaugural cast of Oklahoma City’s production of Listen to Your Mother. You can watch me on YouTube by searching, LTYM OKC Barbara Shoff.”




Contact the Author
FB: barbarajshoff



Contact Info:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

IWSG Badge

     Okay, so this post is to announce my new membership to a very appropriately named writing group. At least, for me, anyway. Thank you for including me, Alex! You should go check it out  I'm excited to be a new member and with the results of my first mini-blog tour I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling just a tad...insecure. Honestly, my first knee-jerk reaction was that I was a huge, complete and total failure. Once I took a minute, or maybe more like seventy-two hours, I realized that I needed to re-asses my paradigm of success vs. failure. Was I really a failure? I'd written a book while working a full-time job and raising a family. I took my private idea and secret, burning, desire and shared it with the whole wide world. Was that really being a failure? All right, so I wasn't selling copy after downloaded copy and my status bar on Amazon wasn't changing often, but do those statistics equate to failure? Once I got out of my own way and took serious stock of my situation, I realized I wasn't a failure. I made some excellent contacts with many bloggers who now know who I am, and are interested in developing a working relationship with me for future books. Really? I did? Sounds pretty successful to me.
      I know I still have much to learn, ahem...make that... a lot to learn, but I'm headed in the right direction and feeling insecure is all part of the process. It's the journey that's important and the lessons you learn along the way even more important, not just the destination. Although, I can see my destination, a little more clearly now, far away on the horizon, but it's there...waiting for me to continue on my journey.