“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” Elder Uchtdorf
I’m always amazed at the talent of people. I’m also impressed by my friends who are trying new endeavors and creating new things. Paintings, quilts, and amazing sculptures to name a few. None of us come to our tasks with instant perfection. There is always room to grow and the biggest competition is often with the person looking back at you from the mirror. Recently I finished writing a Christmas Novella with a magical twist. The story presented a new place to take my writing and stretch to my thinking. There are many different kinds of mysteries in this world and not all have to do with murder. I’m never sure when inspiration will hit me or what will stir my imagination. These two photos inspired my two Manuscripts that are under contract now.
I find solace in my happy place. A place where my imagination is free to take flight. It doesn’t make my problems go away it simply gives me a break. A chance to think of new ways of making sense of the world around me. Writing is a good way to express my emotions and to learn about what I’m thinking. I may lose myself in the pages I write but I can discover many things about myself there too.
My happy place gives me a imaginary world to retreat to if only for a few hours each day. Thankfully, new ideas continue to sprout up along the way. And there are times that I simply have to let the ides keep coming and do my best to write them down. It makes for a magical day and word count. Sure reality returns soon enough, but for a moment I’ve traveled to a new place and found a small reprieve.
I’m thankful for my dreams that were always one size bigger than I thought was possible. And for the songs in my heart that kept those dreams alive when life said they were impossible. I’m grateful for the little voice inside me that has asked me many times over what do you have to lose? And for the knowledge that failure isn’t the end, but only an invitation to keep trying. How sweet is the moment when I can finally write the words, The End!
Allan J Lewis was born in South Wales UK, a son of a coal miner, in August 1939, just before the outbreak of World War 2.
He started work underground for the National Coal Board on his fifteenth birthday. He married in March 1961 and has two children, a daughter and a son, and two grandchildren.
Deep down he always wanted to be a writer but he felt thwarted by his lack of education. He would write a few pages and give up, frustrated by spelling and grammar. (This was before the days of personal computers.) As a young man, he didn’t have much time to read or write. He was working two shifts on the coalface, and when his daughter came along he got himself another job as a part-time fireman.
By the time he was in his late forties and his two children had married, he found time to start reading again. He enjoyed the adventure novels of Wilbur Smith and the works of James Patterson and Lee Child. He loves a good crime thriller.
The pleasure he found in reading rekindled his desire to write.
He would create stories in his head but did not put pen to paper in earnest until he retired. Allan has written five books a Mystery/Thriller and five Erotic Adventures.
Get out of My Dreams is Allan’s first Psychological Thriller novel and the first in the series of Joe the Magic Man. Where the two main characters are, Joe, who the FBI believes to be a rogue hypnotist, and his friend Alice Timberlake a freelance journalist, and the two of them with Joe’s gift of getting into your mind ends up helping the FBI solve difficult crimes.
Allan’s Erotic novels are a spin-off from ‘Get Out Of My Dreams” where Joe’s addiction to getting into someone’s dreams leads him to find his dream lover Jean Thornton, who looks forward to Joe’s visits as he takes her on sexual adventures, that in her dreams where she could end up as a barmaid back in France in the time of the Three Musketeers, or back in King Henry VIII time and have two young soldiers wanting to marry her. And a few present day time dreams, but whatever dream Joe visited Jean knew it would be an erotic adventure that she would love.
‘Searching For Closure’, is the ninth book in the Blue Cove Mystery Series. In this book I am introducing a new hero and heroine along with some of my old favorites. I’m getting to know Peyton Reynolds (Jessie Reynold’s cousin), and Jaxon Kincaid along with you. Of course, they’ve been with me in my mind for over a year, and I’m getting used to them taking up space there. I like hearing their voices in my head. They both sound different to me than Jessie and Matt. It’s weird how that happens. Katie has her own way of talking and so does Reba. I love their quirks, personality traits, and flaws.
The truth is, this author leaves a bit of her own character flaws in each book along with maybe a good trait or two. Up to this point, I can distinguish between them all, but I wonder at what point it will get too crowded in my head. I have started a book of descriptions for each of them. I wouldn’t want to make some one who is blonde with blue eyes suddenly become a brunette with green eyes. It wouldn’t be good, unless they dyed their hair and wore colored contacts, of course.
‘Searching for Closure’, is dedicated to Blanche Morrison my sister in law. Born with Down Syndrome, she didn’t live nearly long enough as far as I’m concerned. Blanche was a hoot, and those who knew her loved her. She made her way into this story like she made her way into my heart.
Detective Jaxon Kincaid knows that Peyton is hiding something. But can he protect her from someone who seems to want them both dead?
An Arizona heatwave, a murder, and a ghost searching for closure give Peyton Reynolds all she can handle on her long-awaited vacation. When a body is found at the bottom of the pool of the resort she’s staying at, Peyton leaps into action, starting CPR. She stops when she sees the young man’s ghost watching her actions. And he’s not alone.
Detective Jaxon Kincaid knows that Peyton is hiding something. How did she know the caliber of the weapon which killed the victim? And why is she so nervous and combative when she talks to him? He’s fascinated but wary of this beautiful redhead. As their attraction grows, and as Peyton inserts herself into his case, can he protect her from someone who seems to want them both dead?
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did writing it! Searching for closure joins the other Blue Cove Mysteries on February 3, 2021.
As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way. ~*~ Mary Anne Radmacher ~*
This has been without a doubt one of the strangest years that I have lived through. The optimum word is lived, and I’m grateful. Everything is different, the line of normal has changed, and the world seems somehow a smaller place. More painful, and yet it has made me conscious of the fact that what we do, doesn’t only impact us but others as well. What our world needs right now is a conspiracy of love, a glimpse of the possible, and a gentle reminder that every human has value and is loved.
Recently I received a Christmas card from a friend. Her message was a simple one and it touched my heart. “It may seem like a hard year,” she said, “but I am blessed. I’m alive. Today I no longer need physical therapy, so I’m getting stronger. I will still have an RN for a while. God is giving me the blessing of life.” This friend spent fifteen days in the ICU fighting Covid-19. She’s grateful to be alive and I couldn’t agree more with her. Life is precious.
At this point, most of us know someone or have lost someone who has had the virus. We’ve all been impacted by not being able to attend funerals, weddings, or all the special moments that give life meaning. Birthdays and holidays have come and gone without personal celebrations and large gatherings. Now those seem like small sacrifices when it comes to keeping people safe. We stay a part today hoping we can be together tomorrow.
In memory of those who can’t, we can embrace each new day we are given. Each of us has our own special kind of light to shine in life. A way of being kind, a sort of magic, if you will. So keep the light on, it might help someone who is struggling to find their way, and it’s quite possible someone’s light will shine on you when you need it too. Keep the light on. No matter how small the light appears it still is a welcoming sight on a dark night. #Keepthelighton #embracethenewday
I am happy to have as my guest today Author Diana Rubino. She writes Historical Fiction. Be sure to check out her books. Remember books make great gifts. Sit back and enjoy reading about one of the Christmas traditional treats she learned from her grandmother.
Can an Italian sweatshop worker and an Irish cop fall in love on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1894? The answer is a big YES, and once they’re enjoying wedded bliss in their Greenwich Village brownstone, they spend their first Christmas together feasting on her Strufoli! (Italian for honey balls).
In FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET it’s 1894 on New York’s Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. They know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption.
When my grandparents came from Naples and landed at Ellis Island in the early 1900s they brought many recipes with them, but only in their heads. No one brought cookbooks or recipes along with their possessions. A favorite Christmas treat is Struffoli, better known as Honey Balls. One Christmas when I was a kid, I watched my grandmother make them and scribbled down the ingredients as she sifted and mixed and baked and drizzled. Here’s an accurate recipe in English!
•2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
•1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
•1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
•3 tablespoons sugar
•1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
•1/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room
•3 large eggs
•1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•Canola oil, for frying
•1 cup honey
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
•1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
•Vegetable oil cooking spray
•Sugar sprinkles, for decoration
•Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
For dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour,
lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and
pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and
vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic
wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each
piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece into 1/2-inch wide strips.
Cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a
small ball the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour,
shaking off any excess. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to
fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a
deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you
don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In
batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to
a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be
rolled on a floured work surface into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into
equal-sized 1/2-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small
balls and fried as above).
In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium
heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved,
about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and
hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool
in the pan for 2 minutes.
Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil
cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter. Using a spoon or damp
hands, arrange struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape.
Drizzle remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours
(can be made 1 day in advance). Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered
Remove the glass from the
center of the platter and serve.
Note: To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake
in a preheated 350 degrees F oven 8 to 10 minutes. Cool before using.
Total Time: 4 hr 12 min
Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings