Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – #Pot Luck – #Short Story – Just My Luck by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021 – details of how you can participate are at the end of the post.

This is the first post by Abbie Johnson Taylor and in this post she shares a short story that illustrates the need to be careful when sending gifts….

Just My Luck by Abbie Taylor

The weekend after I was laid off from my job as a guidance counselor at the local high school, my husband and I went skiing. I took a flying leap off a small hill and landed spread-eagled in the snow, my skis pointing in one direction, my poles in another. My right knee was badly twisted.

On Monday, my birthday, my husband announced that he had out of town business that just couldn’t wait. After promising to return late Friday night and kissing me on the cheek, he was out the door. Here I was, with no job, no husband, and no one to take care of me. I lay on the living room couch and wallowed in self-pity, as I watched a mindless game show on television.

When the doorbell rang, I struggled to my feet, picked up my crutches, and hobbled to answer it. Reaching for the doorknob, I heard a thud, then two men yelling and punching each other. When I opened the door, I gasped at the sight in front of me. A box of fruit lay torn open on the porch. Planters were broken, and pears had rolled everywhere. Two guys were fighting, yelling obscenities at each other. A UPS truck was parked in my driveway, and a sport utility vehicle stood on the street directly in front of my house.

“What’s going on?” I yelled.

The two men stopped and looked at me with sheepish expressions. One of them handed me a business card that read “Doug Ross, Certified Massage Therapist.”

“Happy birthday. Your husband arranged for me to give you a massage today.”

The UPS driver said, “I also have a delivery for you. Looks like it’s a subscription to a fruit of the month club.” His gaze shifted to the smashed pears on the porch.

“And you guys were fighting over who would make the first delivery?” They looked at each other and shrugged.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” I said. “Come in out of the cold.”

They followed me inside. I hobbled into the kitchen and started making coffee. The massage therapist put a hand on my shoulder. “Sit down. I’ll do that.”

“I’ll clean up the mess on the porch,” said the UPS driver. “You’ll be reimbursed for what was broken. I’m really sorry.”

A few minutes later, we were drinking coffee and eating pears that weren’t too badly damaged. “Would you like to tell me what’s on your mind?” I asked.

The UPS driver said, “Doug and I have been friends for years. A couple of months ago, I met the most incredible woman. I made the mistake of introducing her to him. Now, she’s seeing him and wants to break up with me. But you know what, Doug? You can have her. I found someone better.”

“Glad we got past that one, Brent,” Doug said. “Still friends?”

“Still friends,” Brent said, and they shook hands.

For the price my husband paid for one massage, Doug gave me daily treatments, paying special attention to my injured knee. Brent also came every day and brought fresh fruit he’d salvaged from other customers who weren’t home to receive their deliveries.

On Monday afternoon when the mail came, I opened my husband’s credit card statement. He usually took care of the bills, but I was bored to tears and sick of game shows, news programs, and soap operas. I was shocked when I saw charges for restaurants where we’d never eaten together, a flower shop, a jewelry store, and a hotel in a different city. I couldn’t remember the last time my husband gave me flowers or jewelry. His work often took him out of town, so the hotel charges probably weren’t anything to suspect, or were they?

On Monday night, I called my husband’s cell and a woman answered, “Hello?”

“Oh, who’s this?” I asked.

“I’m Melanie,” she answered with a giggle.

“I’m sorry,” I said, not surprised. “I was trying to reach Charles Redford. I must have the wrong number.”

After that, Doug and Brent took turns spending the night. They gave me more than massages and fresh fruit. Charles never called, and I didn’t try to reach him again.

On Friday night, when the two of them showed up at the same time, I said, “Both of you can have me tonight. Let’s get a pizza and watch a movie.”

When Charles walked in late that night, he found the three of us snuggled on the living room couch, watching Casablanca. Doug was rubbing my injured knee, and Brent’s arm was around my shoulder. An open box of oranges stood on the coffee table.

As Charles gaped at us open-mouthed, I placed an arm around each of them and said, “Hi, honey. Did you have a nice time with Melanie? Thank you for the lovely birthday presents.” I kissed Doug, then Brent.

In divorce court, Charles told the judge, “If only I’d picked either the massage or the fruit.”

©Abbie Johnson Taylor 2021

My thanks to Abbie for letting me share her posts from the first part of the year and I know she would love to receive your feedback..

About Abbie Johnson Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US: Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks to Abbie for letting me share posts from her archives and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally.

How you can feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2021. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post.
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I know that Abbie would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ – #Bookreview – The First Actress: A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt by C. W. Gortner – Abbie Johnson Taylor


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audiencemine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post by Abbie Johnson Taylor and is her book review for a book about the iconic actress Sarah Bernhardt by C.W. Gortner.

The First Actress: A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt by [C.  W. Gortner]

What Amazon Says

“This novel about Sarah Bernhardt, the iconic French actress, is both a riveting portrait of the artist as a passionate young woman and a luscious historical novel full of period detail.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of the Ritz and The Aviator’s Wife

From her beginnings as the daughter of a courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era, Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author praised for his historical novels featuring famous women.

Sarah’s highly dramatic life starts when she returns to Paris after her convent schooling and is confronted by her mother’s demand to follow in the family trade as a courtesan. To escape this fate, Sarah pursues a career onstage at the esteemed Comédie-Française, until her rebellious acting style leads to her scandalous dismissal. Only nineteen years old and unemployed, Sarah is forced to submit to her mother’s wishes. But her seductive ease as a courtesan comes to an abrupt end when she discovers she is pregnant. Unwilling to give up her child, Sarah defies social condemnation and is cast adrift, penniless and alone.

With her striking beauty and innovative performances in a bohemian theater, Sarah catapults to unexpected success; suddenly, audiences clamor to see this controversial young actress. But her world is torn asunder by the brutal 1870 siege of Paris. Sarah refuses to abandon the ravaged city, nursing wounded soldiers and risking her life.

Her return to the Comédie and her tempestuous affair with her leading man plunge Sarah into a fierce quest for independence. Undeterred, she risks everything to become France’s most acclaimed actress, enthralling audiences with her shocking portrayals of female and male characters. Sarah’s daring talent and outrageous London engagement pave her path to worldwide celebrity, with sold-out tours in Europe and America.

Told in her own voice, this is Sarah Bernhardt’s incandescent story—a fascinating, intimate account of a woman whose unrivaled talent and indomitable spirit has enshrined her in history as the Divine Sarah.

Abbie’s review of the book

When I was in college, my mother and I once had our palms read at a local fair. The palmist told my mother she had the hands of Sarah Bernhardt. Not knowing who Sarah Bernhardt was, I asked my mother, who told me she’d been an actress. Mother also loved to act and was involved in community theater and directed plays at the college where she taught English and communications. Go figure!

I must admit that if I hadn’t wanted to know more about this celebrity’s life and career, I probably wouldn’t have read The First Actress: A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt after reading Amazon’s detailed synopsis, which tells her story in a nutshell. I was intrigued to learn that one of the online book discussion groups in which I participate would be talking about this book. I’m glad I read it, long as it is. It’s one of those books that is hard to put aside once you’ve started reading it.

I love the author’s first-person narration of Sarah’s story, from her childhood, to her roller-coaster-like acting career, to her success in London, which was a major turning point in her life. It’s amazing how C. W. Gortner got inside Sarah’s head to tell us what she was thinking and feeling all the time. I found the afterword at the end, which provides detailed information about her life and career, fascinating. Even if you’re not into plays, especially older French plays, if you enjoy stories of courage in the face of adversity, you’ll love this book, as I did.

©Abbie Johnson Taylor 2020

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

About The Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

A review for The Red Dress August 2020

The following is a portion of a review from Gerardo Corripio, who listened to the recorded version from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled. (NLS) It was posted on an email list for NLS users.

This is one of those novels that’s a light read, but also has lots of little life tidbits that get you to think. The moral that comes to mind after reading the novel is something to the effect of “closing cycles”. It’s very realistically done, and I was able to readily identify with the characters, their situations and dynamics needed to cope. Forgiveness and its rewards are also a moral of the novel. How liberating it can be, not only for the ones affected, but for the families involved!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Buy: Amazon US: Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Thanks to Abbie for letting me share posts from her archives and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally.

 

Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ #Shortstories – Her First Turkey by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audiencemine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post by Abbie Johnson Taylor and is a short story about cooking that all important first festive meal..

Her First Turkey

The dining room table was covered with a white cloth. Linen napkins adorned the eight place settings that each contained a plate, silverware, and a glass. Two of the glasses were plastic and had milk in them. The other six wine glasses were empty. A bottle of wine and corkscrew were placed in the center of the table.

Pat admired her handiwork with her limited vision and hoped her mother-in-law would approve. This was her first Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and she willed everything to go smoothly. With a sigh, she sauntered to the doorway and called, “Okay, dinner’s ready.”

They all trooped in: her husband Steve, his parents Harry and Lee Ann, his brother and sister-in-law Rob and Linda, and their two children; Jayson, eight, and Ella, five. As Pat hurried to the kitchen to bring out the platters of food, she heard her mother-in-law say, “All right everyone, this is Pat’s first turkey. I don’t want anyone to say a word if it’s dry.”

“Do I have to eat the turkey if it’s dry?” asked Jayson.

Linda appeared in the kitchen doorway. “Can I help?” she asked.

“Sure,” answered Pat with a sigh of relief. “Take the turkey to Steve so he can start carving it.” She carefully removed the electric knife from a nearby drawer and placed it on the platter next to the bird. “Then you can come back and get the potatoes and gravy. I’ll get the stuffing, salad, and cranberry sauce. Oh, I still need to take the rolls out of the oven.”

“Take your time,” said Linda, placing a reassuring hand on Pat’s shoulder. “This all looks wonderful.”

After the turkey had been cut and the wine opened, and all the food was served, Pat was relieved to hear the satisfying sounds of cutlery scraping against plates. Still too nervous to eat, she stared at her food.

“Ummm, this turkey is nice and juicy,” said Lee Ann.

“I knew it would be,” said Pat with a smile. She picked up her fork and took a bite. It was delicious.

“Have you cooked a turkey before?” asked Lee Ann. “I’d think that would be hard for someone who can’t see.”

“This stuffing is delicious,” said Linda. “I’d love the recipe.”

The room fell silent, and Pat could feel everyone’s eyes on her. She didn’t want her in-laws to know that she hadn’t prepared the meal, but now that someone had asked for a recipe, what could she say? She didn’t know the first thing about making stuffing. Her mother had never shared her recipes with her.

She took a deep breath and said, “To be honest, I’m not much of a cook. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, salad, and rolls came from Albertson’s. The cranberry sauce came out of a can. I ordered the pumpkin pie from Schwan.”

“Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!” came Ella’s sing song voice from the opposite end of the table, breaking the tension. “We sang that at school yesterday, and I told everyone we were going over the river and through the woods to Uncle Steve and Aunt Pat’s house, but it doesn’t fit into the song.”

Everyone giggled, and Pat said, “You’re right, sweetie. It doesn’t, and I’m sorry I missed your program yesterday. I had to work.”

“That’s okay,” said Ella. “I really like your turkey.”

“I do too,” said Jayson. “It’s not dry at all.”

“The potatoes are great,” said Steve. “I think they’re just like Mom’s.”

“Oh you,” said Lee Ann with a laugh.

“I like the salad,” said Rob.

“The rolls are wonderful,” said Harry. “Excuse me. I’m going to have another.”

“This was a great idea,” said Linda. “Maybe the next time I host a holiday dinner, I’ll do the same thing. It would save a lot of time.”

Lee Ann cleared her throat. “Linda, surely you realize that nothing compares to a home-cooked meal. However, this is rather nice. Pat, I’m sure it would have been next to impossible to prepare a meal like this from scratch when you can’t see.”

There it was again. Pat’s mother-in-law expected less of her because she was visually impaired. Maybe she should have tried to cook a turkey. She’d seen plenty of articles on cooking in Dialogue and other magazines for the blind written by sightless cooks. In fact, there had been step by step instructions on how to cook a turkey with no sight.

The rest of the family continued eating and chatting as if nothing were wrong. But Pat put down her fork and hung her head, as shame washed over her. Her appetite was gone.

***

“What are you smiling about?” asked Steve a month later, as they were driving to Rob and Linda’s house for Christmas dinner.

“Promise me you won’t say a word,” said Pat. “I told Linda I wouldn’t tell anyone, not even you.”

“You and Linda can trust me. My lips are sealed. Now spill.”

“Okay, Linda ordered the prime rib, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and apple pie from Warehouse Market.”

Steve burst into loud, uproarious laughter. “Mom’s gonna be pissed.”

“Not if she doesn’t know,” said Pat. “If she or anyone else asks for a recipe, Linda will promise to email it to them and send them a recipe she finds online. I wish I’d thought of that last month.”

“I do too. I didn’t think Linda would ask you for that stuffing recipe. It was pretty good, though. But I think this Jell-O salad you’re bringing is going to be a hit.” He tapped the Tupperware container she held securely in her lap.

“I figured if my friend Jackie could make this recipe with no sight at all, I could make it with some vision.”

“I think you’re right, honey.”

“If anybody asks for the recipe, I have it right here.” She tapped her pants pocket that held the printed recipe. “I saved it on the computer so if more than one person wants a copy, I can email it.”

“Good for you,” said Steve. “That talking computer of yours sure works wonders.”

“I downloaded a book from the National Library Service for the Blind called Cooking without Looking. Maybe next year, I’ll feel more confident about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.”

“Maybe we could do it together. It’s about time I learned how to cook.”

©Abbie Johnson Taylor 2020

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

About The Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

A review for The Red Dress August 2020

The following is a portion of a review from Gerardo Corripio, who listened to the recorded version from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled. (NLS) It was posted on an email list for NLS users.

This is one of those novels that’s a light read, but also has lots of little life tidbits that get you to think. The moral that comes to mind after reading the novel is something to the effect of “closing cycles”. It’s very realistically done, and I was able to readily identify with the characters, their situations and dynamics needed to cope. Forgiveness and its rewards are also a moral of the novel. How liberating it can be, not only for the ones affected, but for the families involved!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Buy: Amazon US: Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Thanks to Abbie for letting me share posts from her archives and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck – #BookReview – A Snowflake in July by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post by Abbie Johnson Taylor and this week I am sharing one of her book reviews for a book on writing a novel.

Thursday Book Feature:  A Snowflake in July – How to Write Your Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing Book 1) by [Randy Ingermanson]

About the book

Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written? You’ve heard of “outlining,” but that sounds too rigid for you. You’ve heard of “organic writing,” but that seems a bit squishy to you.

Take a look at the wildly popular Snowflake Method—a battle-tested series of ten steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story. All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down on paper.

In this book, you’ll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her—turning her into a stronger, more courageous person.

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method is a “business parable”—a how-to guide written in story form. It’s zany. It’s over the top. It’s just plain fun. Most important, it’s effective, because it shows you, rather than telling you. You’ll learn by example how to grow your story idea into a sizzling first draft. before you write it.

Abbie’s review for the book 23rd July 2020

I tried the Snowflake Method online several years ago when I was stuck on a novel I was writing. I gave up after the first two or three steps, and my novel eventually became a short story. But when a fellow writer recommended the Audible version of the book, I figured it was worth a second look. I discovered that this is the best book on novel-writing I’ve ever read.

Unlike other such books that just give you information and instructions, How to Write Your Novel Using the Snowflake Method turns the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears on its head in order to explain this method. You may wonder if this book is for children, but I assure you, it’s for adults who are serious about writing novels.

After weaving his compelling story to illustrate the ten steps of the Snowflake Method, Randy Ingermanson outlines the steps and includes his own steps in this method that he followed when writing his tale. A PDF document containing the steps and his own Snowflake Method can be downloaded for free from his website here.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in writing a novel. I may try the Snowflake Method with a new novel before I write it. 

Read some of the over 800 reviews for the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

©Abbie Johnson Taylor 2020

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

About The Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

A recent review for The Red Dress August 2020

The following is a portion of a review from Gerardo Corripio, who listened to the recorded version from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled. (NLS) It was posted on an email list for NLS users.

This is one of those novels that’s a light read, but also has lots of little life tidbits that get you to think. The moral that comes to mind after reading the novel is something to the effect of “closing cycles”. It’s very realistically done, and I was able to readily identify with the characters, their situations and dynamics needed to cope. Forgiveness and its rewards are also a moral of the novel. How liberating it can be, not only for the ones affected, but for the families involved!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, BuyAmazon US:  Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Thanks to Abbie for letting me share posts from her archives and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Thank you for dropping by today and  if you would like to participate in this series here is the link againPosts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck – TMI Tuesday February 25th, 2020 by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post by Abbie Johnson Taylor and this week she shares a little more about herself in the TMI Tuesday in February this year.

TMI Tuesday February 25th, 2020 by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Hello. Welcome. Do tell because it is TMI Tuesday!

What time of the day do you feel the most energetic, and what do you usually do in those moments?

I have the most energy in the mornings. However, I’ve discovered that if I eat a light supper earlier in the evening, I sleep better at night. When I get a good night’s sleep, I’m often just as energetic in the afternoons as I am in the mornings. I spend my days dealing with email and working on blog posts and other writing projects. I also attend water exercise classes at the YMCA three days a week and occasionally entertain at nursing homes and other senior facilities.

What’s the coolest thing about your life?

That would be the fact that I’m the author of five books with a sixth one in progress. My stories and poems have been published in The Weekly Avocet, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. To learn more about me and my work, click here for my website

When are you most yourself?

Although I enjoy going out, I’m most myself when I’m at home, either working at my computer or relaxing in my recliner.

Would you rather be an ugly genius or a hot moron?

I’m not sure I want to be either. I’m happy as I am.

Would you abandon your phone, Internet, family, and friends for three months for a prize of 1 million dollars?

Never! All those things are important to me. Besides, what would I do with a million dollars?

Bonus: If you could wave a magic wand right now and have your life be perfect, what would that new life look like?

The perfect life would be one where I could see well enough to drive and maintain my own home without assistance. But there are worse things in life than being visually impaired. So, I’m not going to complain.

***

If you’d like to participate in TMI Tuesday, click here and follow the instructions. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to leave your answers to any or all these questions in the comment field below. Any way you do it, I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you for stopping by today.

©Abbie Johnson Taylor 2020

Books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

About The Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

A recent review for The Red Dress August 2020

The following is a portion of a review from Gerardo Corripio, who listened to the recorded version from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled. (NLS) It was posted on an email list for NLS users.

This is one of those novels that’s a light read, but also has lots of little life tidbits that get you to think. The moral that comes to mind after reading the novel is something to the effect of “closing cycles”. It’s very realistically done, and I was able to readily identify with the characters, their situations and dynamics needed to cope. Forgiveness and its rewards are also a moral of the novel. How liberating it can be, not only for the ones affected, but for the families involved!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Buy: Amazon US:  Blog: Abbie’s Corner WordPress Goodreads: Abbie Johnson Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Thanks to Abbie for letting me share posts from her archives and I know she would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Thank you for dropping by today and  if you would like to participate in this series here is the link again: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Sunday Author Interview – Abbie Johnson Taylor with an excerpt from The Red Dress


I am delighted to welcome back author Abbie Johnson Taylor to the Sunday Interview and before we find out which questions she has selected, let me introduce her properly.

About Abbie Johnson Taylor.

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

We will take a look at Abbie’s books later in the post including The Red Dress with an excerpt from this latest release.

Welcome back to Smorgasbord Abbie. When you look back on your life, what key elements such as childhood, education, inspiration, experience motivated you to write?

My writing is mostly influenced by memories of my younger years and stories I hear. I was inspired to write my new novel, The Red Dress, after attending a memoir writing workshop where an elderly woman shared a similar true story about a red blouse. Her story’s ending isn’t the same as mine.

How long have you been an author, and how has your writing changed between your first and most recent book?

I started writing in 2000 as a hobby while I was a registered music therapist, working full-time in nursing homes and other facilities that served senior citizens. Five years later when I married my late husband Bill, he persuaded me to quit that and write full-time, which was what I wanted to do.

Since then, I’ve published five books. Through years of participation in writers’ groups and workshops and reading books on craft, I learned when to show and not tell and how to write effective dialog. I still need to work on description, but at least I know when it’s not relevant to a story.

Are your books indie or mainstream published and please tell us about your publishing process and the pitfalls you may have encountered?

Most of my books are self-published. Only my poetry chapbook was produced by a traditional publisher, Finishing Line Press.

My first two books were published by iUniverse. I found them hard to work with because they charged way too much for just the production of the book, which did not include copyediting. The proofs they emailed me weren’t accessible to the screen reading software on my computer. After my first novel was released, I kept receiving phone calls from the same person in the marketing department, trying to sell me this or that expensive promotion package, which I thought was inappropriate.

With Finishing Line Press, everything had to be submitted in both hard copy and electronically, which was inconvenient, time-consuming and, I thought, unnecessary. They also expected to receive a certain number of pre-orders for the book. When that didn’t happen, I was expected to pay the balance for the book’s production. This is ridiculous, and I doubt I’ll work with them again.

My last two books were produced by DLD Books in Denver, Colorado. David and Leonore Dvorkin are also authors with published books, and their business helps writers with copyediting and formatting books for Amazon, Smashwords, and other online retailers. The books are made available in print and eBook formats. For the benefit of those, like me, who have an impairment that makes reading difficult, the Kindle versions are text-to-speech enabled. They do great work, and their rates are reasonable. As long as they’re in business and willing to work with me, I won’t publish with anyone else.

What would be your advice for an aspiring author before they put pen to paper?

Do a lot of reading. Read books in the genre in which you wish to write. Also, you should read books on craft in your particular genre and subscribe to such magazines as The Writer and Poets and Writers. These offer advice and information about markets where you can submit your work. And of course, learning proper grammar usage is important, maybe not for fictional characters but definitely for narrative. Find local, state, and national writing groups in which you can participate, especially those that offer feedback on your work. Don’t feel like you have to do any of this before you start writing. I’ve published five books, and I still do these things.

What is your editing process, and do you use any software that you have found particularly helpful?

Because my late husband was a baseball fan, I’ve developed the three-strikes-and-you’re-out approach to editing. I read through a manuscript three times before submitting it. Why stop there? You can edit and edit and edit until the cows come home, but you’ll never get anything published. Even now, when I read something that has already been published, I see something I could have written differently.

I use Microsoft Word for most of my writing projects. Because of my visual impairment, I use screen reading software that tells me what I’m writing and helps me navigate the screen. I also use a braille display.

About the Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

An excerpt from the book

“Oh, look at this!” said Charlene.

Eve turned and could only stare at the bright red dress she’d almost forgotten.

Charlene held the garment at arm’s length, admiring the three–quarter–length sleeves, low neckline, and gathered waist. “Oh, my God! This is beautiful! Where did you get it, and why do you keep it way off to one side in your closet?”

Eve then heard on the radio the mellow strains of “Lady in Red,” the song she’d pushed to the back of her mind and hoped never to hear again.

Charlene laid the dress on Eve’s bed and hurried to her side. Kneeling and taking her hand, she said, “Hey, what is it?”

Eve could hold back no longer. With tears streaming down her face, she said, “I wore that dress, and we danced to that song.”

“Oh, God,” said Charlene, leaping to her feet. She hurried to her side of the room and turned off the radio, then returned.

The next thing Eve knew, she was crying on Charlene’s shoulder as her roommate knelt on the floor next to her chair and held her. The incident had occurred several months earlier, but the wound was still fresh. Finally, when no more tears would come, Eve sat up and blew her nose.

Head over to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Dress-Abbie-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07VJK8S82

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Dress-Abbie-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07VJK8S82

Other books by Abbie Johnson Taylor

One of the recent reviews for My Ideal PartnerAmazon

After having just lost my husband 6 weeks ago to brain cancer and being his caregiver, I found myself in this book. Similar thoughts and feelings. I never knew before I was one how difficult it was to be a caregiver. Watching your big strong husband decline and doing everything in your power to try and ease their suffering is beyond difficult. This was a very good book and well-written. What a beautiful love they shared. Anyone who’s gone through a similar situation will relate and those that haven’t will gain some insight into our world.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Abbie-Johnson-Taylor/e/B00GDM1BWK

Read the reviews and follow Abbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/801698.Abbie_Johnson_Taylor

Connect to Abbie

Blog: https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com
Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbie.taylor.92

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Abbie would love to receive any questions or comments that you might have for her.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – The Red Dress by Abbie Johnson Taylor


A welcome to Abbie Johnson Taylor to the Cafe and Bookstore. Abbie has featured here on the blog for the Getting to Know you Sunday Interview, earlier in the year, and it is a pleasure to add her books to the Cafe. Her latest release in July 2019 is The Red Dress.

About the Red Dress

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

Head over to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Dress-Abbie-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07VJK8S82

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Dress-Abbie-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07VJK8S82

Other books by Abbie Taylor

One of the recent reviews for My Ideal Partner – Amazon

After having just lost my husband 6 weeks ago to brain cancer and being his caregiver, I found myself in this book. Similar thoughts and feelings. I never knew before I was one how difficult it was to be a caregiver. Watching your big strong husband decline and doing everything in your power to try and ease their suffering is beyond difficult. This was a very good book and well-written. What a beautiful love they shared. Anyone who’s gone through a similar situation will relate and those that haven’t will gain some insight into our world.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Abbie-Johnson-Taylor/e/B00GDM1BWK

Read the reviews and follow Abbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/801698.Abbie_Johnson_Taylor

About Abbie Taylor

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Before that, I was a registered music therapist and worked for fifteen years in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. I have a visual impairment, and during this time, I facilitated a support group for others like me. I also taught braille and served on the advisory board of a trust fund that allows persons with blindness or low vision to purchase adaptive equipment and services.

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and am working on another novel. My poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies. I belong to several writers’ organizations and a women’s singing group and take water exercise classes at the YMCA

Connect to Abbie

Blog: https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com
Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbie.taylor.92

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will explore Abbie’s books further.. Sally.