Sunday 30 July 2023

On Being "Only Human" by Author and Artist Linda Lee Greene...

I am free and white and educated. I am retired from a long and satisfying career as an artist and a designer. I get to spend the bulk of my time writing. It is a dream come true. I own my own home, mortgage-free, and when I look out the windows of my condo, I am fortunate to see lush, old-growth trees, rolling green lawns, and the welcoming doorways of friendly neighbors who watch out for me as I do for them. Although I have to keep an eye on my budget, I am able to treat myself with this and that now and then. I am a born contemplative. I am a truth-seeker.

I am also spoiled!

I am spoiled, because when I am exhausted, I get to stretch out on my lovely, soft bed or my luxurious chaise longue and go to sleep, or point the remote to my smart TV, and chill-out to Robert Redford’s Sundance Kid or Pierce Brosnan’s 007, or an array of other yummy male specimens of movie-world. But I am not so spoiled that I am blind to my privileges.

I am not so spoiled that I am blind to how lucky I am that I live in the peaceful Midwest USA rather than in the Donbas region of Ukraine, that place where not a soul has the luxury of chilling out from the exhaustion of his/her war-torn days and nights. I am not so spoiled that I forget that I was born at a time when prisoners in Nazi concentration camps in areas of Europe got an immediate bullet to the head or a noose around the neck at the slightest falter in their step or swing of their pickax during their grueling, crushing workdays. I am not so spoiled that I am blind to the fact that authoritarianism is still alive and well in places over there and is rattling the gate to my peaceable kingdom here at this very moment. I am not so spoiled that I do not fret over the harsh double-standard that suffers the disadvantaged in every part of the world from time immemorial to this day.

“Linda, if you aren’t careful, you’ll make yourself sick taking on the worries of the world. After all, you are only human and there is only so much we humans can do,” I hear from the peanut gallery.

It is as if being human is the convenient off-ramp on the highway to paradise or is the excuse for plucking only the low-hanging fruit rather than reaching for the stars. Don’t get me wrong, I have had an on and off relationship with the “only human” mindset during large swaths of my life, including too often right now, to my chagrin. I find nothing pretty and nothing redeeming in it, but it is a hard one to shake. It is so hard to shake, because I am surrounded by it, swallowed up in it. Because it is the prevailing mindset of human society, escaping it is like swimming against a tidal wave.

The way I see it, species: Homo sapiens had best hurry up and evolve beyond such widespread mediocrity. We cannot go on authorizing the rightness of humans remaining stuck in a condition of “average Janes and Joes”. I am not indicting the whole human race. Throughout the ages and to this day shining examples of highly evolved human beings trod the Earth, and maybe in other galaxies, for all we know at this time. The present-day, prominent model who comes to mind is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s leader. And people of his kind are scattered everywhere, famous as well as every-day people away from the limelight, some of whom might not know who they are until and unless they put themselves on the line or are forced through circumstances to step up to it. My point is that there aren’t enough of such individuals yet among the population to lead the laggers into their personal power—and for that reason, a critical mass of us must find and then nurture our inborn magnificence, our God-given magnificence if you like, and join the ranks of people like Zelenskyy in godly causes the world over. I use the word “magnificence” in its 14
th century origin, which is defined as: “great mindedness”, “courageous”, “greatness”, “nobility”. For only our magnificence will save us.


A collage of charcoal drawing overlaid with paper and fabric elements 

by Linda Lee Greene

Here’s a peek at multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene’s latest book, Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey. It is a blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance. The story unfolds as ex-pat American Nicholas Plato journeys into parts unknown, both within himself and his adopted home of Sydney, Australia. In the end, the odyssey reveals to him his true purpose for living. The novella is available in eBook and paperback.

Driven by a deathly thirst, he stops. A strange little brown man materializes out of nowhere and introduces himself merely as ‘Potter,’ and welcomes Nicholas to his ‘Garden of the Spirits of the Pots.’ Although Nicholas has never laid eyes on Potter, the man seems to have expected Nicholas at his bizarre habitation and displays knowledge about him that nobody has any right to possess. Just who is this mysterious Aboriginal potter? 

Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties. 

A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction, and a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living. 


Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.
Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook. Linda loves to hear from readers so feel free to email her.

Sunday 23 July 2023

Cover Reveal: The Demons of Montmartre by Laurence Raphael Brothers...


Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions are excited to reveal the cover of The Demons of Montmartre by Laurence Raphael Brothers. Book four in the Nora Simeon Investigations series, The Demons of Montmartre will release on September 1, 2023.

About the Book:

Private Investigator Nora Simeon and her partner Eyre work for the Commission, the secret organization that regulates the summoning of demons in the financial industry. It’s the Commission’s job to suppress all public knowledge of sorcery. So when a mysterious letter from a person who calls themselves l’Invocateur threatens to expose the secret to the world, it’s Nora’s job to track him down.

In search of L’Invocateur, Nora and Eyre are off to Paris, but before they go, Madame Villiers, Nora’s mother and one of the Commission leaders in New York, reveals that Nora’s father may be in danger.

Nora has never known her father, a man named Simeon who disappeared when she was an infant. Spurred by her mother’s warning, Nora hunts both her father and l’Invocateur in France. From the elegant halls of the Société Générale to the altar of the Sacré-Cœur, Nora and Eyre find the threads of their search coming together in The Demons of Montmartre.

Meet the Author:

Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy's Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. For more of his stories, visit, or follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.

Meet the Publisher:

Tour Presented by:

Sunday 16 July 2023

To Boldly Go by Author Anne Montgomery...


Fifty-six years ago, the original Star Trek TV series was launched. The show survived just three seasons, still that does nothing to diminish the impact the program had. If you don’t believe me, take a look at your cellphone. Then, glance at Captain James T. Kirk as he flips open his communicator. Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

 Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise traveled the galaxy in the hope of doing good.

Kirk and his crew were tasked with exploring the universe. The opening voiceover still gives me chills. Space: the final frontier; These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!

While I was just a kid at the time the series came out, I was enthralled by the situations the Enterprise crew endured. I know what you’re thinking. The show today looks cheesy, with sometimes silly special effects and actors routinely chewing scenery. But back in the mid-1960s it was mesmerizing. And often the stories had deep sociological meaning.

While there are several episodes dealing with planetary pandemics, I will skip those since I, at least, need some rest from that particular subject. Instead, the one that sticks in my head is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” The story centers around the planet Cheron whose people have been fighting a civil war for 50,000 years. Kirk and his crew attempt to negotiate a peace with two ambassadors who are so embittered by their hatred toward one another that no one on the Enterprise can get through to them.

Commander Spock and Captain Kirk struggled with the prejudice of the people on Cheron who'd been entangled in a race war for 50,000 years.

The ambassadors insist that their people are too different to get along. Finally, Spock—Kirk’s Vulcan second-in-command—points out, “The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself.” What Spock is alluding to is the fact that all the people of Cheron are black on one side and white on the other.

I was 14 when this episode aired in 1969. Race riots had plagued the US for several years, including those in Newark, New Jersey, not far from where I lived. The TV images of the anger and destruction were frightening. Though I will admit here that I was raised in a predominately white suburb, I camped every summer with girls of all kinds—black, white, brown. We spent our days together, slept in the same tents every night, and never gave it a second thought. So, the violence I watched on the news was confusing.

Kirk has no idea why the ambassadors of Cheron hate one another. Finally, in exasperation, he looks at them and says, “You’re black on one side and white on the other.”

One man puffs up his chest. “I am black on the right side.”

When I heard that line, something clicked in my brain. I now understood the idiocy of racism. And—don’t laugh—I truly believed that soon everyone would realize the stupidity of demeaning others because of what they looked like. In my misguided innocence, I thought that very soon racism would be relegated to the past and that we would all get along. Cue "Kumbaya".

Of course, that didn’t happen. Today, at 65, I wonder what went wrong? How did so many people of my generation not get the message?

I’d like to think we can still repair the damage we’ve done to one another, but maybe we can’t. Perhaps, if we’re not careful, we’ll end up like the people of Cheron, who annihilated themselves and destroyed their planet because of their hate. My 14-year-old self found it hard to feel sorry for them. After all, they were the instrument of their own destruction.

We might be too.

Here’s hoping we come to our senses in time.

Allow me to give you a brief intro to my latest women's fiction novel for your reading pleasure.

The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.

In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Amazon Buy Link

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Sunday 9 July 2023

Author in the Kitchen: Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream served by Helen Carpenter...

I have a confession to make. Sometimes…sometimes here in Carpenter Country I am not actually sitting at my computer all day working diligently. That's right. Sometimes I…I go OUTSIDE! Into the SUNSHINE!

One of those special occasions took place in early May when my husband and I headed out to the u-pick field. Because we are serious blueberry pickers, we brought home enough berries to enjoy a few bowls fresh-from-the-field, to put a couple of handfuls on top of cereal, and to make biscuits, bread, buckles, cheesecake, coffee cake, crumbles, cobblers, donuts, muffins, pies, pancakes, scones, and ICE CREAM!

Are you screaming yet for blueberry ice cream? Us too. In fact, we're going to take a break and sample a bowl. Here's the recipe in case you want a break from your own busy day. You will need an ice cream maker (ours makes about 1½ quarts) and a blender or food processor for this recipe.


1½ cups fresh blueberries, washed, and dried (slightly less than a pint of fresh, or you can use frozen berries if you drain them well)
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk (whole or reduced fat, your choice - coconut milk is a delicious substitute)
½ cup sugar (more or less to suit your own sweet tooth -- or teeth)
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place rinsed blueberries in the blender or food processor and process for a minute or less.

Add the whipping cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract to the pureed blueberries in the blender.

Process 10-20 seconds, just until mixed - not too long, or you’ll have whipped cream.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes.

If you like soft, milkshake-type ice cream, pass out the spoons and dig in. For firmer ice cream, scoop the ice cream into a container and freeze two hours.

Okay, break's over – back to work!

Once upon a time there was a mother/daughter author duo named Helen and Lorri, who wrote as HL Carpenter. the Carpenters worked from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories was unreal but not untrue. Then one day Lorri left her studio to explore the land of What-If, and like others who have lost a loved one the magical place lost much of its magic. But thanks to family, plus an amazing group of wordsmiths named Authors Moving Forward (AMF), the magic is slowly returning.

Helen Carpenter loves liking and sharing blog posts from other authors. She lives in Florida with her husband of many years  and appreciates everyday, especially those without hurricanes.

Stay connected on her blog and Facebook.

Sunday 2 July 2023

9 Things to Keep in Mind in Your Author and Personal Life…

Lately, I’ve been decluttering to the point where for some reason, I kept old birthday cards that rang true for me upon receiving them. Some cards were sappy, others were filled with wisdom and common sense. One particular card resonated with me, and I thought I’d share this sage advice with you today on my blog. Geared to make your life a little better, the following nine things make sense and can be applied in every possible scenario and career choice. Since I’m an author, I’d thought this list would serve other writers in some manner. Enjoy!

Trust Your Instincts: If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Fun, tempting…maybe, but not right.

Remember Your Manners: It doesn’t cost you anything, but it speaks volumes about who you are. Having CLASS starts with this.

Never Let Possessions ‘Own’ You: It’s just STUFF! The most valuable things in life—friends, respect, love, knowledge—don’t cost money. Hokey, but true.

Nurture Your Friendships: The investment you make in true friends will pay huge dividends all your life. Remember, you can’t make an old friend.

Keep Your Hands Clean: This is meant literally and figuratively, and will save you a lot of regrets later. (Note: I received this card way before Covid-19 was around!)

Believe in Yourself: Yeah, this is another hokey one, but you DO happen to be the only YOU in existence, and you’re also the only person in the world who can TRULY hold you back in life. Think about it.

Be Grateful: Don’t waste all your todays in anticipation of some grand tomorrow. NOW is all we’ve got. Live in it!

Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated: Okay, so I didn’t make this one up. The point is, just because you’re smarter or richer or prettier than someone else doesn’t mean you’re BETTER. It just means you’ve been more blessed.

Always Keep Playing: Who says adults have to give up toys? Keep the little kid inside you alive. It keeps your imagination primed. Silly is good.

I hope these nine things bring a little sunshine into your life. My favorite is ‘Always Keep Playing’. Makes sense for me, especially when I’m writing and get to ‘play’ with the characters I’ve created. How about you? Which one of these ring true for you? Would love to read your choice or choices. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!