Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Taking a Hiatus

I am going to take a hiatus from my blog for a few months.  It's not that I don't enjoy it and I hope everyone enjoys reading it but trying to think of a new topic everyday, and then actually putting together the information, doing research, searching for photos, etc., it is all very time consuming and it has taken time away from my actual writing which is where my passion lies.

My third book, Reflection in the Mirror, is now in the editing stage and will require quite a lot of my attention before it actually goes to print.  I will post updates about the progress and will share the cover design with all my readers before anyone else gets to see it.  This is a very exciting time and it is an honor to share it with all of you.

May your new year be filled with love, happiness and good health.  Drop me a line anytime at rkavery@rkaverybooks.com and I will respond.  I will continue to post things on twitter and my blog will return in full force in a few months and until then, posts will be scarce.

Take care!

R. K. Avery

Friday, December 27, 2013

Best Christmas Gift!

I've been very blessed in my life.  I've always had plenty of food to eat, a nice warm place to rest my head and the love of family and friends.  I can't ever remember going without.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not spoiled.  I don't get everything my little heart desires but I am very blessed that I have everything I need. 

You see there is a huge difference between WANTS and NEEDS.  As I grow older, I'm trying to remind myself of that everyday.  Do you really NEED those new boots or do you just WANT them?  Do you really NEED that snowman to add to your collection of thousands or do you just WANT it?  Do you really NEED a puppy, that will turn into a dog, to join the other four you already have or do you just WANT it? (I'm not doing a great job of convincing myself here as I think I NEED the puppy -- No, no you don't, you just WANT it.)

That being said, Christmas is the time of year when wants and needs get tossed out the window and this year was no exception.  I got the most wonderful Christmas gift from my husband.  It was not something I needed but every now and then it's okay to splurge and go for the unexpected. 

I had a book signing in the summer and our local TV weatherman was there.  His name is Dick Goddard and he's been a staple of the Cleveland airwaves my entire life.  He sat a few booths over from me and I noticed he had a bobble head--a Dick Goddard bobble head--a little miniature version of himself.  I said out loud to no one in particular, "I want a bobble head." 

Well, my husband was taking notes.   For Christmas he got me my very own R. K. Avery Bobble Head!  She is beauty-full and not just because she looks like me, but because she is.  So much thought and time went into getting her just perfect and I appreciate it more than I can say.  And look how skinny she is!

Thanks hun!  As always, you did a wonderful job of getting me the perfect gift.  And thanks to your little assistants who helped you pull it off.  I do love you guys!  This is even better than saying, "He went to Jared!"

R. K. Avery

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas, 2013

I hope everyone had a great holiday and it lived up to your expectations.  Sometimes we put such added stress on ourselves trying to make everything picture perfect, when in reality, if humans are involved, life is seldom perfect.

If you ever notice in all those pictures in magazines were the table is set just so with matching linens and china and candles are lit and the centerpiece looks like something Martha Stewart herself created from scratch.   The food is piping hot and just the right proportions fill each dish and bowl making them so inviting.  Something missing from all those pictures is people.  There are no people.  If there were people, the table would not be perfect.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the ones I love surrounding me than the perfect table setting that no one can touch.

Yesterday was a first for me.  My family has been battling that dreadful stomach virus.  My son had it first on Saturday.  Being the good mommy that I am, I cleaned up after him and washed all his bedding to get rid of the germs.  Along with being a good mommy, I got it next.  I was sick all Sunday evening and it just wiped me out.  I slept for 2 days.  My husband, being the good husband he is, helped me wash our bedding and he sanitized all the dishes with extra hot water to kill any lingering bacteria.  Well, he got it yesterday.  He spent most of Christmas in bed battling the stomach demons.  In our family, when we share, we share! 

It was the first time in my life I did not see my mom, dad and sister on Christmas.  It was the first time in my life I didn’t wake up to the anticipation of presents and boundless food.  Instead, I sat around all day watching holiday movies on TV.  And you know what?  Even though I missed seeing everyone, it was nice.  (I did talk to them on the phone.)  Seldom do we have the time to just sit around and do nothing.  I took the time.  I shared precious time with my daughter.  It was a great day. 

So, do what makes you happy and even if things don’t turn out like you had envisioned, embrace the change and enjoy.  Oh, and Happy Boxing Day Canada!

R. K. Avery

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Day for Contest

Yesterday my daughter came to work with me.  I have a day job as a Payroll Accountant (gotta love this time of year - N O T - I won't see daylight until February 1st).  I remember when I first started working here.  She was 9 years old.  When her and my son would come in to visit mommy, they loved everything about it.  I remember my son telling me he wanted to grow up and get a job just like me.  Of course I was so flattered thinking he actually understood what I do but I couldn't leave it alone.  "Why is that?" I asked with a huge smile on my face.  "Because you get to ride in an elevator every single day!" was his response.  So much for the understanding of what I do.  :)  Gotta love the innocence of little kids.

Oh well.  I enjoy having them come in.  I love introducing them to people as my children because I am so proud of them.  They are intelligent, respectful individuals and I am so lucky to be their mom.

This is just a reminder that TODAY is the last day for my virtual book tour.  If you haven't already, check it out and register to win either a $25 Amazon gift card or an autographed copy of Not My Mother's Son.  Here is the link:  Book Blast  Over 18,000 entries so far which is awesome!

Take care and have a great weekend.

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Blast - First Position by Author Prescott Lane

About the Author:

Prescott Lane is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College in 1997 with a degree in sociology. She went on to Tulane University to receive her MSW in 1998, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She currently resides in New Orleans with her husband and two children.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, First Position

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About the Book:

Emory faces life’s challenges at the one place that never failed her, the ballet barre. But even the barre can’t steady her when fate brings her face-to-face with her old college flame, Mason, who’s hoping to return to the NFL after a career-threatening injury. Before they can surrender to their sexual desires and find salvation in each other’s arms, they need to come to terms with their past. Mason must confront the demons that have set him on a path of self-destruction, while Emory must decide whether to keep her painful secrets locked away, or expose them and risk losing the love of her life. But nothing can prepare Mason for what Emory has kept hidden, or the possibility that he himself may be to blame for the very secrets she keeps and why they continue to haunt her.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Title: First Position
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Prescott Lane
Publisher: Prescott Lane
Pages: 283
Language: English
Format: eBook

Book Excerpt:
      “So, little miss, want to fess up to what you were doing yesterday?”
“Well, it depends,” she said.  “Before or after, I threw my half-naked body at Mason?”
Wesley dropped the knife.  “Excuse me?”
Tomás raised his eyebrows and gave her a smile.  “It was just for a little while,” she said playfully.
“How little?” Wesley munched on his biscuit.
“Not too long.”
“How naked?”
“I told you -- about half.”
“Which half?”
“A little of both.”
“Both breasts?”
“No.  Top and bottom.”
“Is that so?”  Wesley took a sip of his drink, thoughtfully considering what she’d said, like he was some kind of philosopher.  “Any action?”
“I tried.”
“How hard?”
“Pretty hard.”
“Was he?”  Wesley grinned at Tomás and took another bite of his biscuit.
“Shut up,” she said blushing.  “We decided it was best to take things slow.”
“That’s too bad,” Wesley said, and Tomás slapped his arm.  “In all seriousness, I’m happy for you.”
“Me too,” Emory said, rising from the table with her and Tomás’ plates. 
Wesley grabbed her shoulder and whispered in her ear, “Did you tell him?”  Emory shook her head walking to the sink, and Wesley shot her a disapproving look.  Tomás eyed them both curiously.  “He deserves to know!”
Tomás mouthed to Wesley, “Know what?”  Wesley shook his head that it was none of his business.
“No lectures, Wesley.”  She scrubbed the plates.  “Let me enjoy myself and Mason before I ruin it.” 
“You need to stop running,” Wesley said.
“I’ll stop when you stop.”


R. K. Avery

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Origin of St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th and even though it’s not widely celebrated in the United States, in Northern Europe St. Nicholas Day it is a really big deal. Traditional celebrations include gifts left in children’s shoes which many say is where we got the idea for stockings from.

Good children receive treats – candies, cookies, apples and nuts – while naughty children receive lumps of coal. In Germany, children still put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, and hope to find candy, coins and maybe a small gift in them on Dec. 6. In the Netherlands, children put their shoes in front of their chimneys in hopes of finding chocolate or a small toy in their shoe when they wake.

Can I just say ewwww?  Candy and cookies left in stinky shoes?  No thank you.  I will stick with our traditions that don’t involve making me gag. 

Regardless, celebrate however you like but if you ask me if I’d like a piece of candy, I may think twice!

R. K. Avery

Monday, December 16, 2013

True Meaning of Christmas

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . ."TEACH THE CHILDREN!"

I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a toy bag from behind the tree.

As I stood bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children!  Teach them the old meaning of Christmas, the meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten." 

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle.  "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who replaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes.

He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."

R. K. Avery

Friday, December 13, 2013

Priceless Holiday Memories

I haven't given a twitter update in quite a while, have I?  Well, total twitter followers:  644  followers.  Ya hoo!

When my daughter, who is now 19, was in the first grade, after the Christmas break, they were given the assignment of writing a story about their holiday.  Being only in the 1st grade, her vocabulary was much better than her spelling skills.

Anyway, she turns in her story and it comes back home in her “take home folder”. 

I read it and just about die laughing wondering what in the world her teacher must think of us.

Her story was a list all the nice toys she got from S A T A N!  Yes, you heard correctly.  Old Lucifer himself brings presents to our house on Christmas.  lol

I saved that story and put it with my other mementos.  Even though she still gets embarrassed to this day when I bring it up, I think it is priceless!

When my son, who is now 15, was little, he was obsessed with vacuum cleaners.  I don't mean he liked them, he was obsessed.  When most kids go to the store, they want to go to the toy aisle.  Not him, he wanted to go see the vacuum cleaners.  So Santa brought him a little Dirt Devil vacuum and he played with that thing more than I've ever seen a kid that age play with anything.  It actually "sucked" up dirt, not a lot, but it did. 

I was hoping that was a sign of things to come and when he got older, he would love to vacuum the house.  How delusional I was but it's still a great memory.

Happy Holidays to you!  May your home be filled with priceless memories.

R. K. Avery

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's so cold outside...

Today is December 12th and it is really cold where I live.  The thermometer in the house registered 9 degrees.  At least it’s not windy which would make it much worse but I did hear on the radio the weatherman said it is the coldest it has been in 20 years.  I find that hard to believe but that’s what they said. 

Anyway, this got me to thinking.  People have sayings that have been passed down from generation to generation and I was curious about the “It’s so cold outside …”sayings.

So I went in search of some cute sayings just to explain exactly how cold it is.  One good one I heard just recently (and this may be a little PG rated) is “It is so cold outside I accidentally keyed someone’s car with my nipples.”  It’s cute.  Admit it.  You smiled.

But let’s get on with some more cute sayings that will hopefully make you smile.

It’s so cold outside …

I’m shivering like a mobster in a tax office.
We had to chisel the dog off a lamp-post.
A local flasher was caught describing himself to women.
You light a candle and the flame freezes.
You open the refrigerator to heat the house.
Your shadow freezes to the sidewalk.
Mailmen and paper boys look out for both dogs and polar bears.
Igloos come with a lifetime guarantee.
The fire hydrant is begging for a dog to pee on it.
The snowman begs you to take him inside at night.
The rock rattling around in your shoe is your toe.

Okay, that’s about it for today.  Stay warm!

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Blast - The Flight of the Griffin by Author C. M. Gray

About the Author:

Born in England, C.M. Gray spent most of his youth growing up in the Essex countryside. A beautiful part of England, close to the Suffolk border, but he was born with the need to expand his horizons, so as soon as he could get a passport at the age of just seventeen he packed a backpack and went exploring!

A slightly risky decision, and one his parents were not too taken with, yet a number of years later he is still traveling…. but with a slightly larger bag. Over the years, C.M.Gray has been lucky enough to live and travel in many many parts of the world, met some incredible people and experienced some amazing places. In fact, he has now lived for more years outside of England than he ever spent living there – It is, after all, a very big and exciting world!

During his journey he worked and trained as a carpenter and a house restorer… picked more types of fruit over the years than he knew existed - from grapes in France to avocados in Israel. After living in Israel for a year, he was lucky enough to be invited to travel with the Bedouin in the Sanai desert for several months and then moved on travelled around India and then called a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayan Mountains home. A short while later he had changed tact, bought a suit and did a stint as a stock broker in the clamor of central Hong Kong.

To celebrate the millennium he traveled back to Europe, then found and restored an old farmhouse in deep rural Burgundy, France… but then looked to the open road and spent an number of years in Amsterdam… but the winters were cold so he went south again in search of the sun.

Always vowing to return and sink some roots back in English soil... he hasn’t quite got there yet, but maybe someday, it seems there are just too many interesting places out there to see first! He does, however, live a little closer to England now, just outside of Barcelona in Northern Spain, in the middle of the forest with his dogs and two wonderful children, he claims the Pyrenean mountains and forests of northern Spain are a great place to write and let his mind do the traveling.

As you will have noticed, his writing is mostly fantasy and he says that many of his experiences in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East come to life in his writing. He has seen and done some pretty strange things on his travels, and bumped into some amazing characters, so writing fantasy is almost like writing fact for him… you just wouldn’t believe it if he presented it as fact – there are people and things out there in this world of ours that would simply amaze you!

His latest book is the mystery/thriller The Flight of the Griffin.

To explore his life and writing more, please visit his webpage and blog at https://author-cmgray.blogspot.com

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About the Book:

Title: The Flight of the Griffin
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: C.M. Gray
Publisher: C.M. Gray
Pages: 219
Language: English
ISBN: 9781471750359
The Kingdom is dying…

The Darkness is coming… the balance between Order and Chaos is rapidly shifting and the world is falling towards evil and horror, and all misery that Chaos will bring.

But there is hope…

Pardigan’s had enough, he’s only 12, but he’s breaking into the home of one of Freya's richest merchants... and he’s doing it tonight…

A burglary that will change their lives forever sets four friends upon a quest, a race against time, to locate three magical objects and complete an ancient and desperate spell.

Sailing their boat The Griffin, the crew are quickly pursued by The Hawk, an evil bounty hunter and master of dark sorcery, and Belial, King of Demons and champion of Chaos who seeks to rule the world of man… yet first he must capture the crew of The Griffin and end their quest… 

Purchase your copy at AMAZON US or AMAZON UK

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Happy reading and remember, books make wonderful Christmas gifts!

R. K. Avery

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Origin of Why Christmas is Celebrated on December 25th

No date is given in the Bible as to the actual birthday of Jesus but we have decided to celebrate it on December 25th each year.  The first record of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD.  A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared December 25th as the day of celebration for the birth of Jesus.

There are many different traditions and reasons why December 25th was chosen.  Some say Mary was told on March 25th she would have a very special baby and his name would be called Jesus.  Nine months from March 25th is December 25th.

December 25th also might have been chosen because the Winter Solstice took place in December around the 25th so it was a time when people celebrated anyway.  The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year so to the pagans, this was a sign that winter was over and spring was on the way so they had a huge festival to celebrate it.    

The Jewish festival of Lights, called Hanukkah, begins on the 25th of Kislev (the month in the Jewish calendar that coincides with December). Jesus was Jewish so this could be another reason December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth.

The name 'Christmas' comes from the Mass of Christ. A Mass service is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people write X-Mas instead of Christmas.  In my opinion, that is taking “Christ” out of Christmas and without him, there would be no holiday to celebrate. 

All I can say is Happy Birthday Jesus!

R. K. Avery

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Blast - Wifey by Author Fey Ugokwe

About the Book:

When life as a curiously paired, young married couple in California--in the midst of a growing state and national economic crisis--becomes literally unworkable, Rodney, an earnestly toiling, playboy of a husband, unilaterally determines that he and P.V., his ambitious but naive, exotic wife, should relocate to Texas. So P.V., a struggling sophomore realtor and avid foodie, and Rodney, a newly unemployed marketer and sports addict, sell virtually everything they own and embark upon a downsized existence in the heart of North Texas--Dallas. But an eerie and horrifying morning dream that P.V. previously experienced becomes a dark and ever-unfurling, pain-filled prophesy that ultimately threatens the very foundations of their humanity. Sex, depravity, despair, and an uneven pavement of good intentions lead to a black, one-way road with a shocking and hair-raising end.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Title: Wifey
Author: Fey Ugokwe
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Pink Purse International
Pages: 154
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615764908
ISBN-13: 978-0615764900

Purchase at AMAZON

Book Excerpt:

But then one day, unexpectedly, the sun rose sweepingly black upon the state—and it wasn’t the only one—and they awoke to find themselves holding onto nothing but what was standing in three dimensions, and what little they had jointly saved. They had eagerly spent—as if single college co-eds—without much store-housing, always encouraged by the reality that together, they could easily generate sufficient and more. So, in the fresh darkness, their carefree, economic togetherness began to crack, splinter, web. It all started when on a Monday, Rodney’s bosses assigned him to train a new marketing team member from their New York office, and then summarily that Friday, swiftly laid him—and his entire marketing unit—off, except for the one employee he had been forced to mentor. The fragmenting downspiral continued with P.V. realizing that the once flock of eager, wild-eyed buyers had run, scattering well deep, into hiding. Accordingly, she helplessly—an additionally, inexperienced one—watched as her real estate-for-sale listings inventory rolled and aging sat, month after nail-biting month. Resultantly, for income, the two began to snatch away anxiously at the rest of their dwindling, pea-sized savings, and at the vapors of P.V.’s plummeting realtor commissions. 

Suddenly, the two together were thinking older, living older—too much older than their individual years. They began redefining the meaning of frills, and withholding those like penny-pinching pensioners, things they once thought of as basics, that they used to, in better times, allow themselves without blinking. And so, they were struggling to maintain no longer the burgeoning, middle income luxe that they had begun to build, but dearly, just the very safe that they had at least, once been. Yet, somehow, the very last to be redefined—to go—were Rodney’s expensive man-crew weekends away to revel, and the first to be jettisoned, long before the redefining, P.V.’s buffering girlfriend trips to cook and soothingly dine. And then one day, in the choking grit and dust wake of it all, for the first time—inclusive of the days of their respective singlehoods—they were broke, miserable, and officially stuck with someone. They were left id-minded, like runaway children caught up in a typhoon at blind-side—force-dragged into an undertowing cycle downward and downward still, eyes squeezed shut intermittently and little arms looped, each round the other’s, league by league in the under together.


Rodney awoke with a jolting, eyes-up-open-in-a-flash, start. It was as if a hypnotist had bid him loudly, firmly to wake up—snapping fingers together with an equal harsh force, to facilitate his return to full reason. His eyes were the only part of him that first moved, and he let them do the work as he lay there—rest of body static—by increments perceiving, breathing in the morn. Yellow-white rays of California sun were just beginning to stream slightly in through the luxe, half-slanted open, teal linen blinds. They shifted to illuminate too, the lower tips of the matching, clean-lines-contemporary window treatments that neatly boxed both windows. At an angle out like a tipping domino, the elongated shadow of the window loomed on the pristine—and real—white oak floorboards. Rodney twisted slightly to ease a twinge of pain, the minor injury a result of having slipped and almost fallen the night before, on the pristine, white and grey marble tiles that paved his and P.V.’s master bathroom. P.V. was a heavy head to his chest, her mass of black, medium-length, hot-curled hair almost neatly contained in the crook of his elbow. She was still breathing in the realm of sleep, but her little body was tossing and gesturing at intervals, as if walking and acting in that unseen world. And at that very moment, in fact, forever unbeknownst to him, P.V. was indeed dreaming—of Nani. 

In the dream, Nani appeared physically as her normal self: she was a beautiful—almost brown—bent-forward-midway-at-the-waist and thin, but wide-bodied, woman. Her parabolic bearing always made her seem as if she were perpetually giving salaam, a condition caused by her incorrigibly poor posture as a girl, and the late stages of osteoporosis in her end years. Her smooth, black hair was parted in the middle, and streaked with coarser, fly-away strands of white, all disappearing into a long braid that peeked out again near her waist. She was standing in Trinidad, outside P.V.’s parent’s first home together, in an alcove portion off the veranda that was sheltered by the low, Spanish-tiled roof of the house. In the distance, P.V. could see the blanched sands of the beach, and the sparkling, green-blue waters rolling and retreating on its thin lip. But Nani was oddly barefoot—and alarmingly sheathed from top to bottom in a white sheet that was wound about her body in sections, as if on a mummy. She was muttering and curved over a roti flat pan and board, spindly fingers slightly floured and glistening from the oil mix. One roti was already sizzling on the flat pan, and to her left, there was a large, white china plate with a royal blue pattern, heaped high with all that she had previously cooked. 

The sky suddenly darkened into a night, with a large, spinning patch of daylight in the distance—and bright, rich, almost blindingly deep-blue flowers began to fall out of the air to everywhere. The blooms, each as if clovers springing out their vivid blossoms from a single stalk, dropped on top of Nani’s head and onto her shoulders, immediately bouncing off on impact to the area around her. And they fell onto the food and preparation table, sticking into the mixing bowl containing the remainder dough, and blanketed the entire surface of the ground and tiled veranda floor. One huge stalk fell violently and lodged behind Nani’s ear, its tip caught in her hooped, gold earring. 

And Nani seemed to abruptly become aware of P.V’s presence—whipping about sideways to face her, straightening completely up from the waist as would have been impossible for her, braid jerking to and fro with the immediacy of the motion. In her right hand was the stack of roti, topped with the new roti that had been in the pan—which was still gleaming—a flaky, beckoning nourishment, slightly charred and golden in spots. And grunting, face ashen and gaunt, she extended the breads to P.V., wrinkled right hand shaking out an urgency for her to take them. But when P.V. reached for that right hand, Nani moaned and extended her left, which—flesh inexplicably missing in parts—began to gush a dark red blood, thick from the palm and up over like discovered crude oil, from deep within its center.

About the Author:

 Fey Ugokwe was born in Washington, D.C., to immigrant parents--one from British Guiana, South America, and the other from Nigeria, West Africa. She was subsequently raised in Pennsylvania, and attended both college and law school in Massachusetts. Fey is an attorney, and the founder of a socially-conscious media activity. At the age of three, she was taught to read and write by her maternal grandmother, a British-trained schoolteacher, and has been writing fiction and poetry since a child. She received her formal training in novel writing, genre fiction writing, contemporary fiction writing, and political fiction writing in Massachusetts, where her professors included renowned authors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interests are, namely, in genre, contemporary, and political fiction, and she has a strong interest in uniquely combining the essences of the three, in order to highlight the underpinnings of the human experience.

Her latest book is the contemporary fiction, Wifey.

Visit her website at www.pinkpurseinternational.net.

Connect & Socialize with Fey!

R. K. Avery

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Origin of Mistletoe

I found an awesome website that has explanations of all things Christmas.  Snippets of today's post can be found at http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/mistletoe.shtml

So what is Mistletoe and what does it have to do with kissing?  Mistletoe is a plant that grows on willow and apple trees (really?) The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It was thought it possessed mystical powers which brought good luck to the household and help ward off evil spirits.  It seems people back in ancient times were very superstitious and always worried about evil spirits, doesn't it? 

So where does the kissing fit in?  Well, in Norse mythology it was used as a sign of love and friendship so that's where the custom of kissing under the Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in churches but many still used it.  In fact, a church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries were gone, there could be no more kissing!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words 'Mistel' (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

May you end up under the Mistletoe with someone worth kissing!

R. K. Avery

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Origin of the Holiday Wreath

With the holiday season upon us, there are so many things that we do just because we always have.  Why do we put up a tree?  Why do we put lights on the tree?  Why do we hang a wreath on our door?  Why do you have to kiss if you get caught under the mistletoe?  Who is Santa Clause?  Why do we only see poinsettias at Christmas time?  I thought it might be a good idea to do some research and find out the answers to these questions.  So hold on to your undies as today’s post is the origin of the holiday wreath. 

In ancient Rome, people used decorative wreaths as a sign of victory. Some believe that this is where the hanging of wreaths on doors came from.  The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light. Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world.

Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a fifth candle in the middle. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal-- one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. A short prayer may accompany the lighting of each candle. The last candle is the middle candle. The lighting of this candle takes place on Christmas Eve. It represents Jesus Christ being born.

Today you can find wreaths in just about any color and theme.  I hang a spring wreath on my door with brightly colored flowers.  In the summer I hang a wreath that is red, white and blue in honor of our country and freedom.  I have a fall wreath that has pumpkins and gourds.  Finally, I have a Christmas wreath that lights up and is filled with gold ribbons and bulbs of holiday colors.  My sister has one that has snowmen on it and my mother just hangs a douglas fir wreath that gives off a pine scent. 

May you find the perfect wreath that warms your heart!

R. K. Avery

Monday, December 2, 2013

Black Friday Shopping

I remember the first Black Friday I went out shopping.  It was 1998.  We were in southern Ohio visiting my parents for Thanksgiving when we looked at the ad papers.  We saw that Wal-Mart had Ferbies which were the HOT toy of the season.  Our thought was we would go and each of us buy one and then try and sell them for a profit. 

Four of us got up at some horrible early morning hour, dressed for the frozen tundra and set off to get in line at Wal-Mart.  We got there around 4 AM and the store opened at 6 AM.  At that time this was not a 24/7 Wal-Mart so we actually had to stand outside, in twenty degree weather, in a mass of people seemingly with the same idea as conversations could be overheard. 

Surprisingly time went quickly and I still remember when those doors opened.  You’ve heard the phrase “door busters” well we were a bunch of door busters.  I can still hear the sound of my feet hitting the tile floor as I ran the most important race of my life.  Everyone’s faces were filled with determination and I can see the entire event unfold in my mind in slow motion.  Wal-Mart workers were standing off to the side watching the race with huge smiles on their faces.

Of course where we were all running to, we didn’t know as they didn’t have them in TOYS like you would suspect.  Instead someone was standing nearby in electronics with boxes full of the highly coveted Ferbie.  My group was still together, with the exception of Mom who got lost somewhere.  We stood in line hoping to get what we came for and we did.  Three of us got Ferbies and we took whichever one was offered; this was no time to be picky.  Mom said she was laughing so hard she had to step aside as the crowd threatened to mall her in a stampede. 

Then, once we got a Ferbie, we had to guard them with our life as people were stealing them out of other people’s carts.  But we made it out alive, three Ferbies in hand at a cost of $29.95 each.  Now to find someone who might want to take them off our hands for a slight profit.  Of course this was before eBay and other on-line auction sites so I had to place a classified ad in the newspaper.  Talk about old school; I placed an ad in the Plain Dealer asking $50 each for the Ferbies.  We had one taker.  Another I sold to a co-worker for $39.95 and the last one we gave to my sister-in-law since her daughter had asked Santa for one and they couldn’t be found anywhere.

So that’s my story.  Now each year, instead of Black Friday, we call it Ferbie Hunting Season.  We look at the ad papers and set off to find the perfect “Ferbie”.  This year my daughter and I went Ferbie hunting at Kohl’s.  They had a Gloria Vanderbilt duffle bag, regular price $99.99 on sale for $19.99.  They opened at 8 PM on Thanksgiving and I could not believe the amount of people standing in line waiting for the doors to open.  It brought back fond memories of my first Ferbie Hunt; and as the case with the first one, I bagged a “Ferbie”.

May you find the perfect “Ferbie” and have memories that last a lifetime.

R. K. Avery