SUPERSTITIOUS MUCH?

Hi everybody. Today is November, Friday the 13th. Yep, it’s THAT day.  If your like a large number of people, you might have some reservations about today simply because it’s Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th is considered by some to be nothing but a crazy superstition. Like a black cat,

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A broken mirror,

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Walking under a ladder,

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Or even spilled salt.

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See or to any of these things and you may be cursed to have bad luck for a VERY long time. If you believe it that sort of thing…

But belive or not, do any of you know WHY Friday the 13th is considered the “unluckiest-day” there is? If not, keep reading to discover the history behind this “bad luck” day. You might be surprised to learn how this day got it’s in ominous meaning. Enjoy!

THE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13TH:

Being wary of Friday the 13th is much more than a quaint superstition observed by a few uneducated people in distant, unreachable towns and hamlets. In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 17 and 21 million people dread that date to the extent that it can be officially classified as a phobia. This phobia is known as: friggatriskaidekaphobia 

So why is Friday the 13th considered such an “evil” day?

The origins aren’t perfectly clear, but we do know that both Friday and, separately, the number 13 have long been considered unlucky and it was around the late 19th century that the first documented instances started popping up of people putting the two together to form the unluckiest day.

The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages originating from the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion in which there were 13 individuals present in  the upper room on the 13th Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday.

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Regardless of how it got started,  the “bad luck” of Friday the 13th is dreaded into present day.

But is there any real evidence of this being a bad day? Well, actually, yes….

1. Black Friday Fire:
On Jan. 13, 1939, a bushfire tore through Australia’s Victoria province, killing 36 people in one day. This “Black Friday” fire was the deadly icing on top of a terrible fire season for the province. According to Australian Emergency Management, a total of 71 people died that January, and 75 percent of the state was affected by the flames.

2.  Buckingham Palace Bombed:
One of the most destructive of these hits occurred on a Friday the 13th. On Sept. 13, 1940, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI were at tea, according to the Archives. Five bombs struck the palace, one of which destroyed the interior of the Royal Chapel. Another ruptured a water main. Three people were injured, one fatally.

3. Kansas Floods:
July 13, 1951, was an extremely inauspicious day for northeastern Kansas. Topeka was swamped, as was Lawrence. In the Manhattan, Kansas, business district, the water stood at 8 feet (2.4 m) deep. It was the single worst day offlood destruction in the Midwest to that date, according to the NWS. Twenty-eight people died, and another 500,000 were displaced until the waters receded. The NWS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate the damage amounted to $935 million at the time, which is equivalent to $6.4 billion in today’s dollars.

4.  A Cold War Crisis:
On Friday, June 13, 1952, the Cold War turned hot when the Soviet Union shot down a Swedish military transport plane. Eight people were on board the plane, which the Swedish government
insisted was merely on a training flight. For its part, the Soviet Union declared it had no involvement in shooting down the lost DC-3.

5.  A Murder Goes Ignored:
One of New York’s most brutal and notorious murders occurred on Friday the 13th. On March 13, 1964, bar manager Kitty Genovese was stabbed and raped by a stranger, Winston Moseley. The attack took more than a half-hour, and an early New York Times articlereported that 38 people witnessed the attack and failed to call the police. The tragic case became a staple in psychology classes as a way to illustrate the “bystander effect,” or “Kitty Genovese syndrome,” which occurs when people fail to act in a situation because they assume someone else would step in.

6. A Deadly Cyclone Strikes:
The deadliest tropical cyclone in history struck on Friday, Nov. 13, 1970, in Bangladesh. Making landfall that Thursday night, the Bhola cyclone killed at least 300,000 people, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

7. An Infamous Story of Survival Begins:
team boarded a turboprop plane to travel to a match in Chile. They never made it. Because of a navigational error, the plane careened into an Andean mountain peak, crashing on a high-altitude snowfield.

But the ordeal was only the beginning for 27 of the original 45 passengers who survived the crash and its immediate aftermath. Without cold-weather gear or much food, they were forced to improvise water-melting devices and eventually eat from the bodies of their lost companions — an ordeal memorialized in the 1974 book and 1993 movie “ALIVE.” An avalanche killed eight more survivors at the end of October, and illness took the lives of others.

8. A Lesser-known Plane Crash Kills 174:
Oct. 13, 1972, was not a great day to fly. The same day the turboprop plane carrying the rugby team went down in the Andes, a much larger flight crashed near Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia, according to the ASN. The Ilyushin-62 airplane was carrying 164 passengers and 10 crewmembers from Paris to Moscow, with a stop in Leningrad. As the plane approached the airport, it flew into the ground at an air speed of 385 mph (620 km/h). Everyone on board was killed.

9. Tupac Shakur Dies:

Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, was a tragic day for hip-hop, when rapper Tupac Shakur died of gunshot injuries in a Las Vegas hospital. Shakur had been injured on Sept. 7 in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting and died from those injuries on Friday the 13th.

10. A Cruise Ship Capsizes:
On Jan. 13, 2012, a peaceful Friday of cruising off the Tuscan coast turned chaotic as the Costa Concordia cruise ship struck a reef off the Isola del Giglio and began to tilt. At first, passengers were evacuated by lifeboat but as the ship came to rest on its side in the shallow water, survivors had to be airlifted to shore by helicopter. Thirty-two people died in the wreck.

See, crazy stuff!!

But not only bad things happen on the “evil day”:

1. The HOLLYWOOD Sign Was Born:

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2. Actor Steve Buscemi, director Alfred Hitchcock, and actresses Mary Kate and Ashley Olson were all born on Friday the 13ths:

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3. 2004 Summer Olympics returned to the birthplace of the ancient and modern Olympics:

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4. A New Rock Band Add Their Sound To Rock and Roll:

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See, not all bad right? Not convinced? Either way, here’s hoping your Friday the 13th goes by without any bad luck…Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Christmas is coming…

Hi everyone! Ready or not, the countdown to Christmas is on. 🎄🎅  🎁  But who says that the holiday season has to be cold? 💨 ⛄ If you are looking for a little ‘sizzle’ to your holiday Christmas list, 📚 then get ready for a soon to be released anthology filled with holiday cheer 🎉, love 💖, and more than a little heat. 🔥🔥🔥

 
SIZZLE IN THE SNOW:                                SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

 

Eight steamy romance stories featuring eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .
This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin present Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology which will soon be available on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

• Beth Carter  http://bethcarter.com/, Santa Baby

• Amy Deason https://amydeason.wordpress.com/, Second Chances: A Christmas Story

• Crystal Firsdon http://crystalfirsdon.com/, ‘Twas the Crazy Night Before Christmas

• CD Hersh https://cdhersh.wordpress.com/, Kissing Santa

• Kim Hotzon http://kimhotzon.com/, The Snow Bird

• Ryan Jo Summers http://www.ryanjosummers.com/, Tamed by Christmas

• Tina Susedik http://www.tinasusedik.com/, Operation Santa

• Cheryl Yeko http://www.cherylyeko.com/, Christmas Eve Surprise

Get ready as we unveil new surprises with each newsletter, coming every ten days!

Check your inbox for each newsletter; inside you’ll find:
• great new recipes, tested and approved by the authors

• a sneak peek inside the favorite Christmas memories of each author

decorating tips for the holidays

• homemade, DIY craft ideas. As the weather gets colder, spend an afternoon getting into the spirit of the season with your own homemade crafts! We’ll be featuring plenty of ideas to keep you entertained.

• an excerpt from each of our featured anthology stories

• a personalized Christmas card from the authors

• links to favorite holiday songs

• festive Christmas cocktails

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, a grand prize and a personalized Christmas card from each author! Follow and join the author’s blogs!

We’ll be sending out newsletters beginning October 5th! Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party with tons of goodies to give away! We’ll be announcing the date on the authors’ blogs, so stop by for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

Vigelantes Anyone? Part One. Movies…

Hi everybody. Now that my first book, Angel in the Shadows, has been released (Aug 19th on Amazon) everyone is asking me where I get my ideas for coming up with such characters. Well, one source for my inspirations is movies. 

I LOVE movies. All types of movies. Comedy, drama, sci-fi, romance, horror, action, etc. As long as it’s good, I will watch it. But we’re not talking about all movies today are we?

 Today I am talking about those action packed movies that center around those top secret people that work just outside of the law, that take out the bad guys that fail to register on the government’s radar. Those specialized individuals that come and go as they please without ever getting caught or identified. That’s right, I’m talking about…Vigelantes

**Now before I continue, let me just stop here and say, I am not condoning vigelantism by many means. This is just about those movies that get my creative juices flowing. That being said, I will continue.**

There has always been something so intriguing to me about these movies. Maybe it’s the danger and subsequent adrendaline rush. Maybe it’s the fight for justice when there seems to be none. Maybe it’s the hero/heroine that is cold enough to shoot someone in the head like it’s nothing yet in the end reveals that they have a good heart-they may fall in love-and do in fact, have a soul. (yeah, I’m a hopeless romantic-even with these type of movies. I’m a sap, I know it. 😍) Whatever it is, these movies inspire me like no other. So I’ve decided to share with you, in order, my top 3 favorite vigelante-esque movies of all time. Enjoy!

#1. HITMAN (2007) Starring Timothy Olyphant and Ogla Kurylenko *MY FAVORITE* 

  

  
 

A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as ‘The Organization’ is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia and Eastern Europe. **Timothy Olyphant is easily one of the hottest me I have ever seen. add Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp to that, and you will have my top 3 hottest men list. Aside from my sexxy hubby Shaun of course). And in this movie, Timothy is a total badass that is highly skilled in the role of a killer but is at a loss when he begins to care for the woman that gets in his way…(Pssst, this is how I always picture my heros in The Perfect Order to be).**



#2. WANTED (2008) Starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy     
  

  

  

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father’s superhuman killing abilities. **Although the main focus of movie is on the male character and his personal journey to vigelantism, I pay more attention to Angelina’s part. Simply because:(Spoiler Alert) in book 3 of The Perfect Order series-Angel Rising-(if I can get that far), the vigelante is a woman. Come on, I can’t let the guys have all the fun now can I? 😜**

#3. THE EQUALIZER Starring Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Morentz 

    
  A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by-he has to help her. **This guy has had a hard life. He’s lost everything that matters but soon he finds something that wakes him up and makes realize that some things are still worth fighting for. I love this just because I want my characters to always fight for what is right no matter what.**

AND THE RUNNER-UPS ARE:

  • MR. AND MRS. SMITH Starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 

  A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

  • THE MECHANIC Starring Jason Statham and Donald Sutherland 

    
Follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.

  • THE BOURNE IDENTITY (and subsequent movies) Starring Matt Damon and Franka Potente 

 

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne, an elite government agent determined to outwit and outmaneuver anyone who stands in the way of his finding out the secrets of his mysterious past.

So there you have it. The top movies that are the inspiration for my Perfect Order series. If you haven’t watched any of these, you definitely should. Thanks for stopping by. And check back later for more posts about what inspires me to write vigelante stories.

 My buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Shadows-Amy-Deason-ebook/dp/B013KWTIUW/ref=sr_1_2


  
            


I Wasn’t Ready For This…

Hi everybody. Well, today is a big day. It’s my little girl’s birthday. I guess she’s not little anymore though because today at 2:09 p.m., she will turn 13. Even as I type this, I want to cry. Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy that she’s grown into a beautiful young lady. I know how lucky I am that she is healthy because there are so many others that aren’t. And even more that don’t make it to see their teenage years. So I am very grateful. And proud. 

I am so proud of her. She has been through a lot. The divorce of her father and myself, my remarriage, gaining a step father and step sister, switching schools, and coping with dyslexia. But through it all, she has been trying to be strong and move forward. And it has not been easy. But she’s keeping her head held high. 

I worked a lot when she was a baby and as a toddler and even though I was home every night, I feel like I missed out on so many things. Things and times that I can’t get back. But on the other hand, I was there for several wonderful moments that I will carry with me forever. 

Like when I came home from work and she would run to me and give me the biggest hug that her little arms could make. Or when she would wait all day to watch her favorite movie at the time, Peter Pan (the 2003 film), until I came in the door and we watched it at least 3 times a day for like 3 months straight.  And of course, there was story time, hearing her first word, bath time, watching her learn to walk, and teaching her to ride a bike. 

There were a lot of great times and even better memories. But even so, I am not ready for this. I am not ready for her to be, dare I say it, a *gulp* teenager…

She rolls her eyes and simply groans, “Mom…..” every time I get emotional about her continual advance in age. But I can’t help it. She’s my little girl. My first born. My monkey. And I can’t help but get teary eyed every time I think about how much she’s grown, every time I look at her baby pictures, or watch the hours and hours of videos that I have taken of her over the years. 

Maybe I’m just being crazy or silly but I’m sure I’m not the only parent to feel this way right? I’m not the only parent that wonders how in the world their baby got to be in their teens almost over night. How did my little girl go from this  

    
    
 
  to this so fast?  

   
I don’t know how it happened and I am so NOT ready for this but no matter what or how old she gets, she will always be my little girl. Happy birthday. I love you Hailey Grace. 

Shaving A Shih Tzu…..

Hi everybody! It’s summer time and you know what that means. Hot, hot, hot. Everyone attempts to stay cool. Now it’s your job to keep your pets cool. Like giving them cold water to drink, keeping them inside when it’s too hot to be outside, and maybe even giving them a haircut if their hair is long. But….have you ever tried to shave a Shih Tzu? 

 

Well believe me, it is hard work. The best thing, of course, would be to take your furry friends to the groomer.  
 

However, when you don’t have the $65-90 per dog to do that, your only choice is to do it yourself. It takes a lot of time and patience. And don’t forget good clippers.  


    
 

Most dogs generally don’t like being groomed and they would much rather run for the hills.  

   
Take my two for example:

 

Now Tucker tries to run as soon as he sees the clippers emerge from their case but finally realizes that it’s going to happen so he might as well just go with it. 

But Dylan on the other hand… 

 

He tries to run before, during, and after getting shaved. I guess he thinks that if he keeps trying to get away, it will eventually pay off. Wrong…

Shih Tzus have a lot of hair. A LOT. And it’s thick too. When you finally get through that dense mass with the clippers, you will probably have a pile similar to these. They may not look very big but keep in mind that they are about 5-6 inches deep in the center: 

   

  
Next, it’s bath time!   

 

Here again, my dogs are completely opposite when it comes to baths. Tucker tries to flee the tub while Dylan just takes it all in. Afterwards, Tucker just wants a good old fashioned towel dry but Dylan likes to be pampered with the blow dryer… 

   
Now that their baths are over, it’s time to let them go enjoy their new hair do. Or not…  


    
Well they may not be real happy right now but I know that if they could talk, when it’s super hot this summer, they would both give me a big, loud  

   
  Which I would of course take as: “Thank you and we love you too. “ 

Rent This Today

Hello all. Last night I watched a movie called Black or White. You may have heard of it especially if you are a Kevin Costner fan. This is a wonderful movie that proves that to some, a person’s race doesn’t matter. Black or white, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Here’s a summary:

Elliot Anderson (played by Kevin Costner) has already lost his daughter when she was giving birth to her daughter, Eloise. The fact that the baby’s father is black does not matter to him or his wife. That little girl is their grand baby. Plain and simple. The father however is a crack addict that could care less about his gurkfriend’s death, let alone the birth of his daughter. Together Elliot and his wife raise Eloise until she is 7 years old when tragedy strikes Elliot’s life once more when his wife is killed in a car accident. Suddenly Elliot is left to care for a 7 year old girl while trying to hold his grief in check. He has been drinking nonstop since his daughter died and now with his wife gone, it has only gotten worse. 

Now in steps Rowena (played by Octavia Spencer-u may know her from the movie The Help as the s**t pie maker-another great movie to check out by the way). Rowena is the other grandmother of Elolise. Since Elliot’s wife is gone, she wants custody of Eloise. Wants her to be around the “dark” side of the family. Elliot is not about to lose a third female in his life so starts a custody trial. 

During the course of this, Eloise’s father, Reggie, comes back around and  Elliot, despite his knowledge of the lowlife Reggie, tries to connect his granddaughter with her father. But Reggie is still on a crash course with drugs. A path that his sister, Rowena, refuses to see. 

Rowena’s case is loosely built on the opinion that Elliot has a problem with black people when in fact, it is just Reggie because of his actions. Right before the day the decision about custody, Reggie comes to get money from Elliot. $50,000 and he will go away forever. A fight ensues and Elliot nearly drowns while Reggie goes up to his sleeping daughter’s room. He finds photos of Elliot’s daughter on the wall and a drawing Eloise has made that brings him to tears. Running outside, Reggie sees Elliot in the pool and saves his life. 

At the trial, things drastically change. Reggie decides to get help, Rowena decides to leave Eloise with Elliot, and Elliot decides to get help with his drinking.  Eloise is to stay with Rowena for a few weeks while Elliot learns how to “breathe” again but not before Rowena gives him a big hug. 

With all of the horrible things going on about racism and hate and killing, it was nice to see a movie that reminds you that no matter what, black or white, people are just people. There are good and bad in every race. And I just think, what if we could just look beyond the color of other’s skin and saw each other for what they are-people with hopes and dreams just like us? What if we could just see people as people and not as black or white? It’s nice to know that some of us do. That means there is still hope for everyone else. 

A Hard Hitting Movie

Hi everyone. I know that most have you have probably seen this movie but if not, it is definitely one worth checking out. American Sniper

 

At first, I thought it might just be a war story and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it but I gave it a try and I’m glad I did. It is waaaay more than a “war” story.

It is a story of how one man, Chris Kyle, was determined to stand up for what he believed in but at the same time, it showed me a glimpse into his private life. A life with a wonderful wife and two lovely children. And it doesn’t stop there.


Not only does it show Chris’ story but also portrays the struggles of other military soldiers. The struggles they face everyday while putting their lives on the line to defend our country and keep us safe. The struggles they face when they return home and try to fit back into the life they left to defend us.


    
In my mind, Chris is and was a hero. For the things he did overseas and here at home. But he is one among many. It just so happens that this movie is HIS personal story.

Our military undoubtly deserve our love and respect and while this post is about the movie, American Sniper, we need not to forget all that they do for us every single day. God bless them.


Old Fashioned, Nostalgic, Or Just Plain Silly? You Decide…

Times, they are a changin’. Someone famous said that (I believe it was Bob Dylan) and it is so true.

A good explanation of this is in the song Automatic by Miranda Lambert.  Country music fans everywhere have heard this song and so they know what I’m talking about. For those that are less knowledgeable of mainstream country, the song is about how things used to be. You know, like vehicle windows you had to crank to open, Polaroid pictures you had to shake, and the such.


I love that song. It reminds me of how things have changed over the years. Everything from, well, vehicle windows to photographs. Technology gas advanced rather rapidly, in an effort to make things easier, quicker, more up to date. I am all for change, especially in this crazy, wonderful world we live in. But nevertheless, there are still some things I love to do the “old-fashioned” way. The biggest thing is reading.

Now I own a Kindle, an IPhone, and a laptop. Don’t get me wrong, they are great and I use them all of the time. But for me, there is nothing beats a real book.

Hardcover or paperback, it doesn’t matter. I love everything about books. Their smell, the weight if them in your hands, the feel of the pages as you turn them.  It’s like you are holding a tiny piece of the author’s dream, a slice of the effort and joy that each writer puts into their writing. All true book lovers know what I mean. It’s almost magical.

As a child, I loved walking into a library, selecting an adventure in paper form, and then racing home to curl up and read.

It’s the same way now of course.
Ebooks are indeed a thing of the present and the future. They allow readers and authors to connect quicker. And you can carry a whole library around in one, thin little electronic device.


And that is wonderful, great. I enjoy books no matter what format they are in. But call me old-fashioned, nostalgic, or just plain silly but when it comes down to choosing an ebook or a physical book to read, for me, the choice is simple….