A GREAT-ER kind of movie….

Good morning all. I’m here to share an amazing movie with you. If you haven’t heard of it, then please take the time to look it up, rent it, watch it. You will not be disappointed. The movie I’m talking about is                 

                          GREATER

The story of Brandon Burlsworth, possibly the greatest walk-on in the history of college football.

You do not have to be a football fan to enjoy this movie because although Brandon’s goals were to become an Arkansas Razorback and eventually for an NFL team, the movie is about much more than that. 

It’s about faith, family, ambition, determination, drive, and beliving in yourself when no one else does. And if after watching it, you aren’t touched, then you better check your pulse because you may not be alive.

Brandon Burlsworth worked hard for everything he had and everything he wanted. But one of the best things was that unlike a lot of people, he was not only focused on himself but also on his friends and family. He made those around him believe not only in him but in themselves as well. 

He was living his dream-playing for the Razorback team, graduating with a master’s degree, and signing with a NFL team when out of no where, tragedy struck.

Sadly, Brandon was killed in a car accident one day in April 1999 while on his way to pick up his mom for church services. 

His death rocked not only his family, friends, fellow players, and coaches but also the the entire football industry and fans. 

It was a tragic loss of great man. A kind and and gentle giant with the biggest heart and soul anyone had ever known.

In the months following his death, there were several things done to honor Brandon:

  • Brandon’s jersey #77 is retired at the University of Arkansas. It is only the second retired football jersey in school history.
  • His locker is enclosed in a glass case in the Razorback locker room.[7]
  • The Harrison Youth Center in Harrison, Arkansas, was renamed the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center in May 1999.

The Indianapolis Colts wore his initials, BB, on their helmets for the 1999 season.


In addition to these, Brandon’s family and friends created several charities and organizations in his name:

  • Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brandon-Burlsworth-Foundation/191029321118

In honor of his work ethic and Christian values, the Christian organization’s mission is to support the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities. The foundation’s logo prominently features Brandon’s signature boack-framed glasses. 

  • Burl’s Kids

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/burlskids.html
For this program, the Burlsworth Foundation provides underprivileged youth a chance to attend Razorback and Colts football games. Since 2000, the Foundation has bought 30 tickets to each Arkansas Razorbacks home football game. The tickets are distributed through Razorback Clubs across the state. The children are a big part to the foundation. The children are given an official “Burls Kid” T-shirt and replica glasses similar to what Brandon wore on the field.

  • Eyes of a Champion

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/eyeschampion.html
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in partnership with Walmart/Sam’s Optical Department and independent optometrists across Arkansas, provides eye care to thousands of pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Primarily they come from working families that cannot afford extras like eye care and do not qualify for state funded programs. Applications must be submitted by school nurses or counselors and are available in English, French, and Spanish.

  • The Brandon Burlsworth Football Camps

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/footballcamp.html

These camps are for youngsters going into 3rd grade through 9th grade. They are held once each summer at F.S. Garrison Stadium in Harrison, Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Children are given a chance to learn from former Razorbacks. Past participants included Anthony Lucas, Clint StoernerJoe Dean DavenportMadre Hill, Grant Garrett, Russ Brown, Barry Lunney Jr., Chad Abernathy, Michael Smith, Lucas Miller and others. The campers learn football skills but more importantly, they are taught throughout the day about character, attitude, morals, priorities and the desire to do it “The Burls Way.”

Memorial ScholarshipsEdit

Each year the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation gives out several awards and scholarships at various school levels. Eighteen students at the University of Arkansas who are primarily from smaller towns and who are characterized as academic “overachievers” receive $5,000 scholarships. Additionally, a Razorback football player who began his career as a walk-on, but then earned a football scholarship, is honored as the year’s Burlsworth Athletic Scholar. The students are selected by the University of Arkansas Scholarship Committee and are recognized in a ceremony in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

High School Football AwardsEdit

High School awards include the Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Awards. Every high school football coach in Arkansas has the opportunity to nominate one player from the team. Those players receive a plaque and a copy of “Through the Eyes of A Champion, the Brandon Burlsworth Story” autographed by Brandon’s mother, Barbara Burlsworth. An even greater honor, the Brandon Burlsworth Championship Award is presented at the Arkansas state football championships games to one player from each team for conduct above and beyond expectations.

State Championship AwardsEdit

Harrison (Arkansas) High School continues to award the Brandon Burlsworth Award to one male and female athlete who best exemplify the strength of character and work ethic known as “The Burls Way”.

The Brandon Burlsworth Award is given out yearly to a male and female at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas.

In 2010, the Burlsworth Trophy was created and named in his honor.[13] The award is given yearly to the most outstanding Division I FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

TO SOME, BRANDON BURLSWORTH WAS A HERO. TO MANY, HE WAS AN INSPIRATION. TO ALL, HE IS GREATER. 

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This Week’s Read-C.D. Hersh!!

Hi Everyone,

This week I have C.D. Hersh on my blog and their book, Son of the Moonless Night. This is the third book in the Turning Stone Chronicles. This newly released book has everything. Fantasy, romance, suspense, and most of all, believable characters. And the cover is absolutely breathtaking. This book is definitely worth picking up today!  Please take a moment and read more about this book and the wonderful C.D. Hersh below. Enjoy!

SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825            

Son of the Moonless Night

Title – Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three

Author – C.D. Hersh

Genre – Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance

Heat Level – Sensual

Release Date: May 27th, 2015

HOOK:

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

BLURB:

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

EXCERPT:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619353504

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619358271

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172

A. What made you decide to become a writer?

Catherine became a paid writer because she thought she could write as well as the reporter in the local paper. So she wrote an article, which they accepted, gratis. Then she managed to get a job as a freelance reporter for that paper. While writing non-fiction, she decided to pursue fiction, which she had written, but never published, since she had been a teenager. Donald on the other hand, had written what is now called “Fan Fiction” off and on over the years. But with a day job, and writing technical manuals, he wanted to relax at home. After we began writing plays and skits together for church, Catherine gave him a romance novel she thought was good. Donald couldn’t finish the book because he said the male was unbelievable to a man. We decided to take a whack at writing romance as co-authors. The rest is history.

 

B. What gives you the most inspiration to write?

Deadlines, because there are so many other things we like to do that we need the deadlines to put our butts in the seats.

 

C. Who are some of your favorite authors?

We like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Stan Lee, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Diana Gabaldon.

 

D. If you had a soundtrack to go along with your book, what songs would best tell the story? 

We have no idea about soundtrack songs, but the music would be in a minor key with a dark overtone from stringed instruments. Some places would be very fast paced, and there would be sections with melodic, sensual, and sad movements. Something like the sound track from Doctor Zhivago, which we just realized in describing the music. Thank you.

 

E. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

No matter what genre you want to write in you have to learn the craft. Find out what organizations are out there that represent the genre you want to write in and go to the conferences or meetings. Get together with other writers of the same cloth and help each other. Ultimately, you have to make your own decisions on your work. Looking at the writing of others will help you grow as a writer. Last you should just keep writing. Get the ideas out on paper or in the computer so you can share them.

 

And just for fun:

F. If you could have any super power of your choosing, what would it be?

Donald would want to fly like superman, not like some of our characters who have to change into hawks. Catherine would like super speed so she could clean the house really quick and eat anything she wanted since she would be burning so many calories.