Farfetched Story Sounds Familiar

 

Someone has been reading my short stories or so it appears.

An article was posted in the Facebook news feeds and I had to go and check it out. The story does sound a bit farfetched but hey, I suggested this in my short story that I wrote years ago, Bed Bug Ridden.[1]

Apparently, some woman decided to burn down her house because of a bad infestation of bed bugs. I wrote Bed Bug Ridden back around 2010 as a short story and you can read it in my Time Pieces Collection which has stories that are funny, simple, short and sweet with a touch of some suspense. There are 13 stories in this collection.


[1]  (Jennifer Baker 2017)

 

References

 

Jennifer Baker, Digital Content Produce. Woman trying to kill bed bugs accidentally sets multi-family home ablaze. December 9, 2017. (accessed December 9, 2017).

 

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Newest Release from DL Jackson is ready for Pre-order on Kindle

A writing comrade from New Hampshire is releasing her newest book on Friday, November 10. She writes Urban Fantasy, science fiction, and military romance. Since she is looking for help getting the word out about her latest book I agreed to give her a bit of my blog space.

Let me introduce DL Jackson as she explains how her latest story was inspired.

DL Jackson

Eight years ago my oldest son was talking to a marine recruiter about his options for jobs he could do in the service. He’d always been an adrenaline junkie and gravitated toward the dangerous things. When he wanted to explore EOD, my heart dropped into my stomach. My first reaction was to steer him away from that career path. But being an army vet, I knew the value of Explosives Ordnance Disposal, and I knew many brave men and women lived because of those who served in ordnance.

So instead of discouraging him from choosing EOD, I encouraged him to research it, and in doing so, ideas for a series sprung to life. He decided to go infantry in the end.

At first, I thought about writing a contemporary military romance, but a publisher I had at the time, warned me nobody would want to hear about bombings and terrorists, with our service members deployed and terrorist acts increasing all over the world.

But I didn’t want to write about the bombers and terrorists. I wanted to write stories about men and women who stopped them. So, in respect for those dealing with the very real and dangerous situations, I chose to take the series off Earth and into space and on alien planets.

Science fiction has always been one of my favorite genres, and the first novel wrote over sixteen years ago, when I decided to pen my first romance, was a beastly 100k novel which will never see the light of day. Since then, I’ve written in many of the romance genres, but I always seem to come back to my first love.

Science fiction and I have had a mad romance. We’ve seen the ups and downs in the industry, and the neglect of attention this wonderful genre deserves. Now I’m being told science fiction romance is the next hot thing. I’m not surprised. I’ve always felt it was a hot thing and it would only be a matter of time before readers discovered everything it had to offer.

So, on November 10th I will release the first book in my multi-book Blown Away series. I hope you’ll grab a copy. You’ll get a little military and a little science fiction. Action, adventure and fantastic worlds that will beg you to explore more of them. Be sure to check out the second book, Explosive Affairs, which will be up for preorder as Blown Away goes live.

Each of the novels in this series are stand-alone but linked by common denominators. No cliffhangers here and a happy ever after is guaranteed.


Blurb:  One man and one woman, both on a collision course with a mad bomber and the past.
Trios Space Port City is a busy place. MacKay and Boomer must stop a bomber before he strikes again, this time closer to home. Failure is not an option. Success means they get to live another day. But more than the danger is heating up. Their attraction has grown to explosive levels, and it’s become a major distraction. Not good when they need to keep their heads.

Buy Links:

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The Book of Eva by Paxton Summers is ready for Pre-Order on Kindle

Paxton Summers has a new release available for pre-order at Amazon.

The Book of Eva

Blurb:

When a world leader’s daughter meets a clone, a doomed love affair begins.

In the year 2087, a great war erupts on the planet and a struggle to survive begins. One-hundred-fifty years later, the continent of America is divided into two factions, Aeropia and The United Regions. There is a shortage of food and an abundance of illness, leaving most to live on the scraps of the wealthy, who wallow in excess.

This is the world Olivia Braun inherits. Sick from birth, she wakes up from surgery with a new heart, only to discover she is the youngest president of Aeropia, an empire that has created and used clones to maintain its position of supremacy since the war. However, Olivia’s rise to power is no accident. Before her transplant, she conspired with a clone to free those enslaved, but the outcome is not what she expected.

Now, enemies hide among the population, and even friends can no longer be trusted. Olivia must make a choice that will decide the fate of an empire. Before her tale of corruption, forbidden love and war ends, the mighty will be brought to their knees.

By a clone.

Buy Links:

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Bio:  Paxton Summers loves to incorporate crazy plot twists, comedy and the unexpected into her worlds. As a U.S. Army veteran, she naturally adores men in uniform and feels the world could always use more. She does her part by incorporating as many sexy soldiers in her novels as she can. When she isn’t writing or running the roads, you can often find her online chatting with her peers and readers. Grab a cup of iced coffee, pull up your virtual chair and say hi. She loves emails and blog visits from her readers. http://www.paxtonsummers.com

 

Book of the Month for September 2017

The latest book to make my read pile is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People written by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Many times I’ve heard my co-workers complain that they don’t feel appreciated in the workplace which is why this particular book caught my eye and became my next to read selection and it offered a strong insight to why they were probably feeling this way for some time.

Title: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Author: Gary Chapman and Paul White

Pages: 222

Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2012)

Publication Date: September 1, 2012

ASIN: B00887P9L2

Rating: 5/5.0

The title says it all. There are 5 languages identified for giving appreciation in the workplace. Employees need to be appreciated to be encouraged to perform at a productive pace. When they don’t feel appreciated production falls communication falters and the organization loses sales and profits.
Dr. Gary Chapman, one of the authors of the book, has a BA and an MA degree in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University. He also has an MRE and a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. His expertise is in marriage counseling which led him to write his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The series is a huge success leading him to write many others.
Dr. Paul White is a psychologist that graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College majoring in Christian Education. He then earned a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. He is not only a psychologist but also a speaker and “consultant who “makes work relationships work””.
The explanations of what the five languages of appreciation are and why they are so important is the greatest takeaway from this book. If you are like me, as you get deeper into reading this book you will begin to notice the different languages of appreciation your co-workers speak every day whether they are aware of it or not. Dr. White indicates that 75 percent of the population will use their main language of appreciation when giving appreciation to others. Many people, even when they are complaining will complain about not receiving appreciation will indicate in the complaint their main appreciation language.
The information given in the book makes sense after working in a positive workplace many years ago this sort of appreciation in the workplace was exhibited. Many toxic workplaces don’t provide any form of appreciation to their workers. Wage increases and bonuses only work short term to give employees a boost to their work productivity. But, when they feel they are appreciated in their workplace there is less bicker among employees, attitudes become positive, loyalty is created, workers are retained, and productivity increases across the board.
No one likes to be employed where they don’t feel they matter. No one likes to be just another number. We call employees resources when in fact they are more than just resources without them the company wouldn’t be able to function. No work would be done. No profits made. No sales taken.
When was the last time you felt appreciated at your workplace?
Do you know what your main language of appreciation is?
Mine is quality time!

How Many Secrets does Wonder Woman Have?

Image courtesy of Bing Images creative common license via http://orig10.deviantart.net/89a0/f/2010/003/2/c/wonder_woman__by_jpspitzer.jpg

 

For the last three weeks, I busied myself reading a book assigned to my America’s Themes and Dreams class. I must say, for a non-fiction book, this book was a great read. The book I’m talking about is The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. I never knew that Wonder Woman has been around since the 1940’s. She disappeared for a little while and even had a meek side to her, but now I understand why she is a stronger Amazonian than Zena the Princess Warrior.

Wonder Woman got her start from William Moulton Marston who was the first person to attempt to create a lie detecting device though he never received any credit for his experiments, that may have been due to his own follies. Marston was born in 1893 and grew up in the Moulton Castle, Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was a student at Harvard during the Women’s Suffrage Movement and attended a lecture by Emmeline Pankhurst. “Marston was fascinated; he was thrilled; he was distracted.” (Lepore 11)

And so, life’s stage was set in motion for the actions of William Moulton Marston who became the creator of Wonder Woman about 30 years later.

Secret Identities of Women Hidden Behind the Lies of a Man

The charade of secret identities began with Margaret Sanger and Ethel Byrne. Ethel wanted more in life than to be a mother and attributed her oldest sister’s death with having had too many children of her own even though it was said that Anne Higgins died of tuberculosis. Ethel struggled to be a mother but her daughter, Olive Byrne, was a very fussy baby. Apparently, the child cried a lot which is why when Olive was two, Ethel decided there was more in life than being a mother and left her two children with her husband’s parents and disappeared from their lives.  (Lepore 82)

About this time Ethel’s lies began so she could pretend to be someone she was not all because she wanted to be a nurse like her older sister Margaret. So, she lied about her marital status so she could train as a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital. To be a student at this hospital, a woman needed to be single. At a young age, Olive noticed the lies of her mother, Ethel, and also for her grandparents too. Her grandparents lied by saying Ethel was dead. But Olive knew better. She knew her grandmother lied to her. ““Deceit comes easy to the Irish,” Olive Byrne liked to say.”  (Lepore 83)

The character of Wonder Woman was created to reflect the lives of the women in William Moulton Marston’s life. Wonder Woman’s identity was to be hidden in the same manner the lifestyle of Marston, Olive, Holloway, Huntley, and the children were to be hidden. ““Either hide this well or destroy it. It was the family motto.””  (Lepore 319)

The adults lied about who the children’s mother and fathers were and the living arrangements during their entire lifetimes. Even to their death, they were reluctant to tell anyone about how Marston had taken two wives and not just one and how they all lived happily ever after underneath one roof. They were living secret lives by hiding behind different identities to explain their living situation. Their identities became so confusing toward the end even to them that later in life when relating stories to their grandchildren sometimes Olive Byrne could be heard whispering, ““Those stories were about me.””  (Lepore 321)

Margaret Sanger encouraged the charade to continue when Ethel Byrne became involved in the Birth Control Movement. Ethel was arrested for distributing birth control paraphernalia to women which was against the law at that time. She was sent to prison. While there Ethel went on a hunger strike. “Byrne’s inspiration was Emmeline Pankhurst.” (92) Margaret feared her sister would die in prison from the hunger strike. She pled with the governor of New York to pardon Ethel so she would not die. The Governor agreed but only on one condition. Margaret had to promise that Ethel would not break the law from that time on.  (Lepore 95)

The day after Ethel was pardoned Sanger was found guilty of providing birth control products and information just like Ethel. The only difference was, Sanger did not take part in a hunger strike. She did her time and went on her way. (Lepore 96)

When Olive was sixteen, she visited her mother who was living in New York under strange living arrangements. Olive knew her mother was sleeping with someone even though they weren’t married. When she inquired about the arrangement, Ethel laughed and told her, ““Margaret was known to invent ‘nice covers’ for circumstances that she thought might become a matter of scandal at stake, embarrassing to herself.””  (Lepore 99)

The living arrangement of Ethel, Margaret, and Bob Parker might have taught Olive that this sort of arrangement was acceptable if the details were kept from anyone’s knowledge. Hence where her secret identity began along with Holloway, Marston, and Huntley because Holloway wanted to be a career woman and have children. Marston wanted to have two wives, and Olive wanted to be part of a family. “They’d find a way to explain it, to hide it. The arrangement would be their secret. No one else need ever know.”  (Lepore 123)

Olive Byrne wore bracelets on her wrists which gave Marston the idea to have Wonder Woman wear those same bracelets that could fend off bullets. The bracelets became part of Wonder Woman’s identity just as Olive began creating her own fictional story to explain her pregnancy situation. Olive created William K. Richard on November 21, 1928, when she married a man who didn’t exist and became Olive Richard, her new identity. When her children began asking about their father, she told them he had died because of gas from the war and had suffered lung problems. No photos of him existed. “Byrne and Donn’s father was William Moulton Marston.”  (Lepore 143)

Olive began keeping diaries which she used secret codes. “Olive believed the truth was best kept secret: in particular, she didn’t want her children to know about it, ever.” (147) She had to create layers of deception which was why she created William K. Richard. Whenever she wrote about Holloway’s husband, she referred to Marston as “W.M.M.” and when she wrote about the father of her sons she referred to him as “R” or “Ri,” for “Richard.”  (Lepore 147)

Batman and Superman comic characters were popular when Wonder Woman was created. They both had secret identities. So, didn’t Wonder Woman. Her identity was Princess Diana who became Diana Prince, a secretary for the U.S. military intelligence.

Writers tend to write about what they know most. Marston knew about lie detecting and deception. He created the very first model of the lie detector machine but never was credited for his work outside of the credits he pitched to the world. Trouble began for Marston January 1922. “Marston was charged with two crimes: using the mails in a scheme to defraud, and aiding and abetting in the concealment of assets from the trustee in the United Dress Goods bankruptcy.” (74) He was no stranger to lies and deception and aided in his ability to write the Wonder Woman stories. Marston also based the story on the women in his life who were all strong women involved in the woman’s movement. Even today, Wonder Woman makes her appearance every time Woman’s Rights makes a resurgence in the political atmosphere such as happened during the 1960’s and 70’s and is happening again today with the recent release in the movie theaters of Wonder Woman that debuted June 2, 2017. (Lepore)

The world of today is much different from that of the 1930’s and 40’s. Women’s Liberation has made leaps and bounds. From women holding careers and maintaining a family lifestyle to same-sex couples living the lifestyle of traditional couples and a woman’s ability to choose when to have children and how many children she wants to have. Back when Holloway struggled to have a career and a family at the same time she wanted both and but, to do this Olive needed to become part of the game plan. In today’s world, there are live in Nannies, nursery care, and babysitters while soccer mom not only manages to look after the family but she also doubles with her own career as well. Housework has been delegated to the older children, housekeeping services or shared by the couple. Back in the 1950’s, men were reluctant to fold a towel or mop the floor while nowadays he too shares multiple roles such as his wife. Not only have women become liberated by birth control, but they are also free to choose a career path or family life, or better yet – both.

 

Works Cited

Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. New York: Vintage Books A Division Penguin Random House LLC, 2015. Print.