Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Do You Use #Editing Software by Chuck Jackson


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post for author Chuck Jackson and this week I have selected a post that Chuck wrote about editing software that I am sure you will find helpful if you are looking to buy a package.

Do you use Editing Software by Chuck Jackson

 

Many of you who follow me and my blog post, know I have complained about poor sales on my second book What Did I Do? I have it listed with Amazon’s KDP as an eBook and a paperback. Initially sales did well, but after three months, they have all but stopped. I tried for two weeks doing a promotional for $.99; I sold four. I have done the sponsored ads (e.g. pay per click). I’ve promoted it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Flipboard, etc.

In my opinion there are several elements involved for the lack of sales. The prime consideration is the lack of reviews. I have pleaded and begged readers to leave a review. I get the typical promise, but they don’t follow through. I further believe the subject (e.g. child abuses) hinders people’s desire to read it. Whatever the cause, I have decided to not fret and move on.

What has been consistently selling is my first book One Month, Twenty Days, and a Wake Up. Even when I published it with syntax and grammar errors, it sells. Over the last month, I used the editing software ProWritingAid to clean up those errors. I also decided I would republish the edited revision. Since the book is selling well (for a writer at my level). I would further offer it as a paperback.

Even when it was time-consuming and demanding, I found it exhilarating going back over my work. I’m sure other writers have experienced the same feeling. My story entranced me where I had captured suspense and reality. What was embarrassing it was out in the public with all the errors.

I toyed sending it to the editor that did my second book. As an experiment, I’m trying using ProWritingAid instead. If the book wasn’t already selling, I would use an editor. Future books will for sure use an editor before publishing. I was surprised with what ProWritingAid pointed out as needed corrections. There weren’t excessive corrections, rather it pointed out corrections I had never heard before.

I never knew about ‘sticky’ words. Perhaps others call them by a different name. I never gave a thought about repeated words and the terminology of ‘echo words’. Then there were vague words. Even when it pointed out I was mixing “curly quotes with straight quotes’; I did not understand what that meant. I’m still pondering how this happened. There is an optional setting in Microsoft Word to use ‘curly quotes’ or ‘straight quotes’. When I looked I had ‘curly quotes’ turned off, yet Word was putting them in. Now I know ‘curly quotes’ are the preferred, I turned them on.

If you have used ProWritingAid, you understand its ability to go into depth in writing perfection. My opinion, if we made all the corrections it suggested, we would end up with an unimaginative writing and we would soon bore the reader. I changed my writing where it was obvious the correction made a smoother sentences or paragraphs. I made changes where the syntax or grammar was wrong. I felt sometimes you needed that adverb or adjective to show and not tell. Sometimes rewriting the passive voice sentence didn’t read well and I left it as is. My conclusion, editing software is great, but don’t take it literal.

©Chuck Jackson 2018

About Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake-Up. In July 2017 he released: What Did I Do?. May 2018 he released: Guilt — My Companion. All three books are available as an e-book or paperback.

Books by Chuck Jackson

One of the reviews for What Did I Do?

Jackson takes us back in time into his childhood where he was adopted by his parents at 14 months old. Where one would think adoptive parents would feel so blessed to have a child, this story isn’t one of them. The author opens his heart in his telling without whining or complaining of what he endured, but instead questions – What Did I Do? As we learn about the emotional neglect he suffered along with the physical attacks from his father, the author steals our heart and has us wanting to reach out and just hug the boy.

We get a good look at emotionally bankrupt parents who carry their own demons, which gives us a hint at how they project their own unhappiness in their lives on to poor Bobby (author’ name in the book). This void of love Bobby exists in doesn’t sour his desire to want his parents to love and appreciate him, but rather, disturbs him through life as to why they couldn’t give him any affection. Eventually, Bobby runs away from home with fears that the beatings won’t stop despite the apologies that sometimes come after a consequent attack.

The story gives us insight into not only what the child had to live with growing up and into adulthood, but has us shaking our heads at what on earth went wrong in his parents’ life to make them so self-absorbed and uncaring.

I would highly recommend this book to parents to have a look at what abuse can do to a child through Jackson’s eyes and words, as well as for anyone who has been abused to be inspired by how Jackson handled his life and still came out as a compassionate good person without falling victim to his upbringing and continuing the trend of abuse. #Recommended

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Read more reviews and follow Chuck on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18190755.Chuck_Jackson

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuck_cljjlk
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/?ref=bookmarks
Flipboard –  https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017

My thanks to Chuck for inviting me to share some posts from his archives. I hope you will head over and explore more yourself.. thanks Sally.

 

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #Memoir – A True Story From my Past #Funeral Home by Chuck Jackson


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post for author Chuck Jackson and I have selected a post from last year that I enjoyed very much at the time..

 A True Story From my Past by Chuck Jackson

During my adult life, I actually had three careers. First was the four years I served in the military. When I left the military, I went to mortuary school, served a two-year apprenticeship, and then became a licensed funeral director and embalmer. I worked for funeral homes for twelve years. I started out in East Texas and most of my years were in San Antonio working for a prestigious funeral home.

They were rewarding years and I am proud of my career in the business. I left when I had a death in my immediate family and I could no longer work emotionally detached. I have many memories from the years I worked in the funeral business. Some are emotionally challenging, some involved historical individuals, and some in hindsight are comical. When you worked in view of the public, your demeanor was always dignified. When handling the remains of family members we served, we gave the same dignified and respectful care. However, I have to admit, behind the scenes were a lighter atmosphere between staff members. I have many stories of my experiences that will either pull at your heartstrings or enlighten you to the lighter side of funerals. I am going to share one of my experiences, which became notorious. I’ll let you decide if you think it was humorous.

Out of respect to the family that still owns and operates the funeral home, I am changing the name and the name of the owner. However, if your curiosity is such, you can find the story on the Internet by querying the name of the deceased that I have not changed. It will verify most of the details of my story.

In was March 11, 1977 and I was busy working several funeral services. Weisman Funeral Home is the largest (by volume of families served) and the most prestigious in San Antonio. While I worked there, we conducted approximately 100 funeral services per month. We often would conduct five or six services in one day. As I recall, this was one of those days. What made it unusual, the owner, John Weisman, notified all staff, working and on day off, he was conducting a mandatory meeting. The years I worked for the funeral home, this was the first and the last mandatory meeting we ever had.

We all met at 6 PM in our small chapel. When I walked in, I noticed Mr. Weisman’s demeanor was of heightened anxiety. When he began the meeting, he cautioned us that anything discussed in this meeting was strictly confidential. Under no circumstances were we to repeat the details.

Mr. Weisman told us he had received a telephone call from the attorney of Sol West III. Mr. West was a millionaire oil tycoon and socialite in South Texas. Mr. West’s attorney was notifying the funeral home of Mr. West’s sister-in-law and wife of his deceased brother Ike West. Ike West’s wife Sandra West had died in the Los Angeles California area and she was at the time worth more than four million dollars.

Sandra West – Photo – San Antonio Express-News

Mr. Weisman continued by providing the details of his discussion with Mr. West’s attorney. Sandra West had left a Will that requested she was to be buried next to her husband, by Weisman Funeral Home, dressed in a particular gown, and sitting behind the wheel of her blue Ferrari. In her Will, it stated if the details were not carried out, her fortune would be awarded to a named individual other than Sol West. Mr. West was the only surviving second-generation West family member. Mr. West was insistent that the money would stay within the West family.

The tension escalated when Mr. West attorney announced if the detail of Sandra West burial instructions leaked to the media, Mr. West would file suite against John Weisman and Weisman Funeral Home. Now we knew why Mr. Weisman was holding the meeting. We left the meeting that evening bound in our confidentiality and wondering what more bizarre details, the family would reveal later.

We didn’t have to wait long. That night on the Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, in his monologue, Johnny talked about the unusual burial request of some eccentric millionaires. He went on to state there was a Texas oil tycoon’s wife who had died and she requested burial in her Ferrari. Twenty-four hours later, the San Antonio Express ran an article naming Sandra West’s burial request. It named Weisman Funeral Home as the selected funeral home to carry out her wishes.

Mr. Weisman contacted the West’s attorney. He knew that when Johnny Carson taped his show, the family had not notified the funeral home. We found out later that someone from California leaked the information. Now we waited for the West family to contact us to plan the logistics of the burial.

Two days later, Sol West and his attorney came to the funeral home to meet with Mr. Weisman. A funeral home in California had completed the embalming, placed Mrs. West in a casket, and they would ship her to our funeral home. Mr. West also notified us that he had filed a petition in the California courts to protest the Will. We would arrange to have Mrs. West casket temporarily entombed in a local mausoleum until the legal issues were resolved.

Several weeks later, the attorney for the West family notified the funeral home that the judge in California ruled that the Will was valid. Sol West was responsible to follow his sister-in-law’s wishes or the court would award the estate to the other person named in the Will. Mr. West requested that we prepare the logistics of the burial as detailed in Sandra West’s Will. He asked, if possible to keep the details confidential.

Mr. Weisman include me with five other funeral directors to initiate the plans. We contacted a concrete company to build a box with one end open that was large enough to roll the car inside and then seal the end. We contacted a company to transport Mrs. West’s car from California. We also contacted a crane company to lift the concrete box with its contents into the grave.

Mr. Weisman asked me if I would come in the following day wearing something other than a suit. I was to go to Alamo Masonic Cemetery where the family had their plots. I was to measure to see if the box would fit in the area next to the grave of Ike West. He also wanted me to be discreet hoping someone from the media would not spot me. The San Antonio Express had already reported the intended grave site.

The next day I went out to the cemetery to measure. I had parked my car a block away and walked in hoping to not be spotted. As I returned to my car, a man came over to me and asked if I was from Weisman Funeral Home. I denied it and left the area. It never crossed my mind that I might be followed. When I pulled into the funeral home parking lot and got out of my car, the same man pulled his car behind mine.

I went in and immediately met with Mr. Weisman. I told him about the guy catching me. He laughed and said; “I didn’t think we could pull it off without the media finding out. At least they don’t know when it will happen. When we start digging the grave, they will be all over it.” He then changed the subject and asked, “What did you find at the cemetery?”

He motioned me to sit down and as I did, I told him, “On the left side of Ike West’s grave there is a curbing, which outlines the family’s grave sites. There is room enough between for a regular grave, but not the size we need. We could remove the curbing and then replace it afterwards. I know you told me her Will states she is to be buried next to her husband. There is more than enough room to put the box at the foot of his grave. If we did that, would it still meet the guidelines of the Will?”

Mr. Weisman took a moment to think, he said, “Good point. It is not our decision to determine whether it is or not. I’ll call Mr. West attorney and let him know of the options and let them decide. Thank you Chuck, you did a good job.” I smiled and left his office.

By the first week in May, we had received the car from California. They had completed the concrete box large enough to house the Ferrari. The crane company was ready to put the crane in place. The construction company that would be digging the grave and filling it with concrete was ready. In addition, we had rented a warehouse in a secret location to house the car, the concrete box, and eventually used to place Sandra West behind the wheel of her car. Mr. Weisman notified the family we were ready to proceed. The location of the grave was to be at the foot of Ike West’s grave. The judge in California ruled that the location met the detail of the Will.

There are discussions on the Internet about the Ferrari, in which we buried her. The argument is the year and model of the Ferrari and whether it was the Ferrari, she drove in California. I cannot verify or do I remember the specifics of the car. I do recall, the Ferrari was blue and they told us it was not the original, but one she had purchased for parts. The full interior was intact and we reclined the driver’s seat before placing Sandra West’s remains behind the wheel.

Lowering the concrete box – Photo – San Antonio Express-News

On May 19, 1977, with all preparations completed, a flatbed truck with the concrete box containing the Ferrari and Mrs. West pulled up to the gravesite. Without any ceremony, the crane lifted the box and placed it into the grave. Immediately, the construction company began pouring concrete partially filling the grave. They placed earth on top of the concrete completing the grave.

Filling grave with concrete – Photo – San Antonio Express-News

Texas State Law requires a licensed Funeral Director to be present for the burial of human remains. Weisman Funeral Home sent one man to follow the law. Otherwise, no other members of the funeral home staff were present at the cemetery. To my knowledge, none of the West family or their friends attended. However, the San Antonio Express wrote that there were three hundred spectators and members of the media present.

Sandra West had her final wishes fulfilled. Sol West received the remainder of Ike West’s estate. Mr. Weisman instructed his staff to keep the details of this burial confidential. Confidentiality was the tradition then, and as it is now of Weisman Funeral Home. I have only shared with my readers those details that I recall and you can verify on the Internet. Consequently, I feel comfortable that I have not broken the confidentiality entrusted to me.

Photo – findgrave.com

©Chuck Jackson 2018

She was awfully young but clearly attached to her Ferrari… if you have some stories about funerals or funeral directors please tell us in the comments.

About Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake-Up. In July 2017 he released: What Did I Do?. May 2018 he released: Guilt — My Companion. All three books are available as an e-book or paperback.

Books by Chuck Jackson

One of the recent reviews for One Month 20 Days and A Wake Up.

Bill hodges 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent February 11, 2019

A great book about a very small group of people in the Air Force whose track record is stratospherically impressive if people knew about it . As an Air Force retiree myself , I have visited the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base a few times . The last time I was there it was with my great-nephew who I had custody of due to family issues . He was nine years old and really loved seeing all the exhibits . There was a gentleman who came to give a lecture /demonstration he had the Air Force ABU uniform , and the distinctive PJ beret. When I explained to Anthony James ( AJ) just what the significance that very simple piece of headgear represent to all of us in the Air Force. Needless to say he was impressed .

There is a section of the museum devoted to the Air Force para rescue force . We did spend a lot of time there , and maybe I have generated a new recruit in a few years . I also explained to him that the selection process is extremely discriminating and they take only the best of the best of the very best . (oh yeah school is important) . That’s sort of put him off a little bit , but time will tell. As far as Vietnam is concerned , I joined in 73 , even had base elections in Southeast Asia , but things had shut down by the time I finished basic training . It is hard to believe that that conflict is so far in the past now , but if nothing else illustrates just how much faith we in the military have in a system that squandered so much priceless wealth as our very best and brightest were fed into that mess . For all of you served in Vietnam you have my highest respect and admiration and a heartfelt thank you and God bless you all for holding the line .

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Read more reviews and follow Chuck on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18190755.Chuck_Jackson

 

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuck_cljjlk
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/?ref=bookmarks
Flipboard –  https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017

My thanks to Chuck for inviting me to share some posts from his archives. I hope you will head over and explore more yourself.. thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Chuck Jackson, Karen Ingalls and Allan Hudson


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author that I would like to share a review for is Chuck Jackson... for his novel – One Month, 20 Days and a Wake Up.

About the book

One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up, follows a young man’s account of his four years serving in the Air Force. This novel follows him and his best friend as they volunteer to cross train into the elite career field of Pararescue. They spend 14 months of grueling special forces training whereby only the best and those with the desire to push themselves to the limit, become a PJ.

When he graduates and proudly wears the burgundy beret and Pararescue Flash, he knows it’s only a matter of weeks the Air Force will assign him to a Pararescue flight crew in Vietnam. The book follows his 13 months in Vietnam where he quickly learns the horror of war and how he must adapt to not only keep his sanity, also return alive. His story contains several of the rescue missions he and his PJ brothers complete where not all the rescued return alive. When he faces personal bereavement, he must reach deep to restore his integrity, and keep his oath, “These things I do, that others may live.”

A recent review for the book

Bill hodges 5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent February 11, 2019

A great book about a very small group of people in the Air Force whose track record is stratospherically impressive if people knew about it . As an Air Force retiree myself , I have visited the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base a few times . The last time I was there it was with my great-nephew who I had custody of due to family issues . He was nine years old and really loved seeing all the exhibits . There was a gentleman who came to give a lecture /demonstration he had the Air Force ABU uniform , and the distinctive PJ beret. When I explained to Anthony James ( AJ) just what the significance that very simple piece of headgear represent to all of us in the Air Force. Needless to say he was impressed .

There is a section of the museum devoted to the Air Force para rescue force . We did spend a lot of time there , and maybe I have generated a new recruit in a few years . I also explained to him that the selection process is extremely discriminating and they take only the best of the best of the very best . (oh yeah school is important) . That’s sort of put him off a little bit , but time will tell. As far as Vietnam is concerned , I joined in 73 , even had base elections in Southeast Asia , but things had shut down by the time I finished basic training . It is hard to believe that that conflict is so far in the past now , but if nothing else illustrates just how much faith we in the military have in a system that squandered so much priceless wealth as our very best and brightest were fed into that mess . For all of you served in Vietnam you have my highest respect and admiration and a heartfelt thank you and God bless you all for holding the line .

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IPNO68U

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Month-20-Days-Wake-ebook/dp/B01IPNO68U

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Read more reviews and follow Chuck on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18190755.Chuck_Jackson

Connect to Chuck via his website and blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

The next author a recent review is Karen Ingalls with a memoir that shares not just the struggle to survive, but the hope for those who have received this devastating diagnosis Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a writer, I have immense respect for fellow writers who share their personal journeys and challenges with the sole intent to help ease the burdens of others. In Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, Author Karen Ingalls not only shares her very personal journey of diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer, she does so with an enlightened, grateful heart. This is an incredibly personal read and one that offers guided hope and encourages discussion and advocacy for women’s health.

Our lives are shaped by our experiences; every encounter, every moment holds the capacity to change us. Our resiliency to endure and overcome, in large part, correlates with our faith and the unconditional love of family and friends.

Ingalls doesn’t profess to be an expert on this topic; the value of this book lies in the authentic approach in which she shares her personal journey. Our ability to celebrate all that we are, and embrace life in all its splendour is a powerful message resonating throughout this poignant memoir. Ingalls eloquently shares her journey back to wellness and her words are an offering of solace and hope for those who are battling cancer and to their dear loved ones standing beside them. A powerful and highly recommended read.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com

The final author today with a recent review is Allan Hudson for his recently released collection of short stories based on memories of his life or events he has witnessed. A Box of Memories

About the collection

Many of the short stories herein are inspired by memories I have of events in my life or related events I’ve witnessed or read about. Family is important to me so many stories are about relationships, love, sharing and giving, overcoming difficulties. Read about an older man and an abandoned baby. His last days. Three men acting like boys. Ten year old boys and the trouble they get into. The grueling work of dismantling ships by hand. Retirees with too much time on their hands. The dangers of shopping in Outer Space. Visiting a Food Bank. A covered wagon with a family and all of their possessions. Escaping slaves. Seniors with nothing to eat. The revenge of the wasps. Returning to the country of your birth. A Honey Trap. A detective that discovers crimes too close to home.

A recent review for the collection

Full of short stories inspired by memories or the related events of the author’s life, A Box Full of Memories is an entertaining read that is a pleasure to read. Some of the characters are found in more than one story, each of whom the author bought to life from the way he described them.

Although some of the descriptions were a little overdone, I still found myself immersed in the stories. There was only one story I couldn’t get into, but it did not stop me reading the rest.

Of all the stories, Wasps! was my favourite, as it geared towards the types of stories I enjoy reading.

Buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Box-Memories-Allan-Hudson-ebook/dp/B07Q7VMHGL/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Box-Memories-Allan-Hudson-ebook/dp/B07Q7VMHGL

Also by Allan Hudson

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI

Read more reviews and follow Allan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7738610.Allan_Hudson

Connect to Allan via his website: http://www.southbranchscribbler.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Memoirs – Brigid P. Gallagher, Chuck Jackson, Karen Ingalls and D.G. Kaye


Today I am featuring some of the memoirs in the Cafe and Bookstore. Until the publishing revolution which gave back the power to writers.. memoirs were tell-all stories, often ghost written, by the rich and infamous. Today we can all tell our stories, and these true experiences are invaluable to others who may have gone through something similar. From overcoming disease, abuse, life threatening events, these memoirs inspire, inform and encourage others to speak out or to accept that they are not alone and help is available.

Memoirs can be tough to read, but so many of us carry a burden that we would like to lay down, and discovering other’s courage can help us do that.

The first memoir is by Brigid P. Gallagher and shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robert Fear 5.0 out of 5 stars 5* Absorbing Read 11 September 2018

I finished this absorbing read in two sessions.

Brigid Gallagher’s memoir is a well-written book, full of beautiful descriptions, and tells of a life full of trials and tribulations. These include the childhood tragedy of losing her mum and the untimely deaths of her dad along with other family members in later life. She also experiences serious health struggles and learns how important it is to slow down.

The author’s travels in Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes and Bali were of special interest. I also enjoyed her descriptions of the many homes she lived in and the way they represented different phases of her life. In addition, I felt a close affinity through her love of cats and the way they played an integral part in her life.

There were many other things I learned that I knew little about. The book shed a new light on areas such as auras, spiritual healing, crystal therapy, colour therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy. These played an important part in the author’s life development and working career.

Born in the same year as me, I found it interesting to read how her life progressed compared with mine. There are lessons on life and coping mechanisms she has learned to use I now want to apply to my life. I was left with a sense of positivity when I finished reading her story.

Thank you for sharing your life with us Brigid Gallagher. Many of us will learn that key lesson of the ‘Importance of Slow’.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

and more reviews at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

The next author who also shares her inspiring story of overcoming ovarian cancer is Karen Ingalls with a memoir that shares not just the struggle to survive, but the hope for those who have received this devastating diagnosis Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a 2x cancer survivor myself, I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book. The author provides an honest, personal, and inspiring account of her battle with ovarian cancer that includes heartfelt insights into the emotional side of dealing with a potentially deadly disease. From diagnosis through surgery and chemotherapy to recovery and remission, Mrs. Ingalls’ journey can bring hope and inspiration to anyone who is battling the disease or knows someone who is. The feelings experienced by cancer patients tend to be unique and it’s important for caregivers, family, and friends to understand this emotional rollercoaster so they can provide the love and support the patient needs.

Mrs. Ingalls’ positive attitude, spiritual development and quest along the way, as well as her employment of general health measures, undoubtedly had a bearing on her successful recovery. She sets a beautiful example of a survivor, someone with much to live for and the benefits of a proactive approach to conquering what can be a deadly affliction. I suspect that her attitude was paramount to her recovery and can provide an inspiring example to others.

She ends each chapter with an uplifting thought and also includes a wealth of information in the appendix of cancer symptoms to watch for and various resources. Highly recommended for cancer patients and their loved ones.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

The effect of abuse of any nature in childhood is devastating, and can leave scars that last a lifetime. It can be extremely difficult to talk about and it is why memoirs that share experiences but also the transformation into a better life are so important. Chuck Jackson shares his childhood in his memoir What Did I Do?

About What Did I Do?

What Did I Do?  is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, What Did I Do?

A recent review for the book

Jackson takes us back in time into his childhood where he was adopted by his parents at 14 months old. Where one would think adoptive parents would feel so blessed to have a child, this story isn’t one of them. The author opens his heart in his telling without whining or complaining of what he endured, but instead questions – What Did I Do? As we learn about the emotional neglect he suffered along with the physical attacks from his father, the author steals our heart and has us wanting to reach out and just hug the boy.

We get a good look at emotionally bankrupt parents who carry their own demons, which gives us a hint at how they project their own unhappiness in their lives on to poor Bobby (author’ name in the book). This void of love Bobby exists in doesn’t sour his desire to want his parents to love and appreciate him, but rather, disturbs him through life as to why they couldn’t give him any affection. Eventually, Bobby runs away from home with fears that the beatings won’t stop despite the apologies that sometimes come after a consequent attack.

The story gives us insight into not only what the child had to live with growing up and into adulthood, but has us shaking our heads at what on earth went wrong in his parents’ life to make them so self-absorbed and uncaring.

I would highly recommend this book to parents to have a look at what abuse can do to a child through Jackson’s eyes and words, as well as for anyone who has been abused to be inspired by how Jackson handled his life and still came out as a compassionate good person without falling victim to his upbringing and continuing the trend of abuse. #Recommended

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/What-Did-I-Do-Memoir-ebook/dp/B073R2B3RK

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Did-Do-Chuck-Jackson/dp/1548327166

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Connect to Chuck via his website and blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

And last but not least is one of the memoirs by D.G. Kaye which shows the way to forgiveness for those who have found it so difficult to cherish a child and can only inflict pain. P.S. I Forgive you: Broken Legacy

About P.S. I Forgive You

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

One of the reviews for the book

This powerful memoir by DG Kaye speaks of a childhood wounded by her narcissistic mother, a woman whose “empire crumbled” when family and friends and acquaintances began to see her for what she truly was and abandoned their relationships with her.

The author’s painful journey through emotional and spiritual anguish is laid out for the readers in an artful, honest, reflective manner. Too many years spent beholden to a woman unable to be generous, kind, loving, or selfless. At the center of this story is courage, a need to find self-love and forgiveness despite the hurts inflicted upon her by the one person who naturally should have been her biggest and loudest cheerleader.

Kaye’s story is well-written and poignant. She unravels the ball of pain nestled deep inside her, describing emotionally traumatic events that shaped her life and her relationships. But woven right along with this story of anguish is her search for forgiveness, understanding, and personal growth.

P. S. I Forgive You is a tremendously moving story of the author’s struggle to overcome a domineering mother so that she can pursue a life of art, healthy relationships, and self-respect. Anyone who has cowered in the dark shadows of manipulation and egotism will find inspiration among these pages.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LWOYPRP

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/P-S-Forgive-You-Broken-Legacy-ebook/dp/B01LWOYPRP

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.https://www.dgkayewriter.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. More Christmas gift ideas tomorrow. thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #RecentReviews Chuck Jackson, Annette Rochelle Aben and D.Wallace Peach


Welcome to Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore update and the first author with a review is Chuck Jackson for his memoir What Did I Do?

About What Did I Do?

What Did I Do?  is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, What Did I Do?

A recent review for the book

Jackson takes us back in time into his childhood where he was adopted by his parents at 14 months old. Where one would think adoptive parents would feel so blessed to have a child, this story isn’t one of them. The author opens his heart in his telling without whining or complaining of what he endured, but instead questions – What Did I Do? As we learn about the emotional neglect he suffered along with the physical attacks from his father, the author steals our heart and has us wanting to reach out and just hug the boy.

We get a good look at emotionally bankrupt parents who carry their own demons, which gives us a hint at how they project their own unhappiness in their lives on to poor Bobby (author’ name in the book). This void of love Bobby exists in doesn’t sour his desire to want his parents to love and appreciate him, but rather, disturbs him through life as to why they couldn’t give him any affection. Eventually, Bobby runs away from home with fears that the beatings won’t stop despite the apologies that sometimes come after a consequent attack.

The story gives us insight into not only what the child had to live with growing up and into adulthood, but has us shaking our heads at what on earth went wrong in his parents’ life to make them so self-absorbed and uncaring.

I would highly recommend this book to parents to have a look at what abuse can do to a child through Jackson’s eyes and words, as well as for anyone who has been abused to be inspired by how Jackson handled his life and still came out as a compassionate good person without falling victim to his upbringing and continuing the trend of abuse. #Recommended

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/What-Did-I-Do-Memoir-ebook/dp/B073R2B3RK

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Did-Do-Chuck-Jackson/dp/1548327166

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Connect to Chuck via his website and blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

The next author with a review is Annette Rochelle Aben for A Tanka Picture Book.

About A Tanka Picture Book

Life is alive with poetry; all the sights, sounds and smells. Blend it all together in your mind and you will begin to sing songs in your heart. You deserve a reason to smile, to feel good while pondering the magic of your world. You are closer than you think.

Open, A Tanka Picture Book! Consider the story each picture shares through its visual. Enjoy how each is enhanced with a tanka poem. Engage your senses while on a journey of passionate creativity. To feel the excitement found in even the simplest of sights is why A Tanka Picture Book was created.

Tanka is a form of traditional Japanese lyric poetry that uses 31 syllables spread out over 5 lines, to convey its message. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” The short songs of this book elevate what may be considered average, to a new level of appreciation by connecting imagination and emotion.

Those wishing to be inspired, those seeking an uplifting read and those who are simply curious to see if they might enjoy poetry will love A Tanka Picture Book. You can add this happy, little book to your print or electronic libraries. Be sure to pick-up an extra copy for someone who can use a thoughtful gift.

A recent review for the collection

Annette Rochelle Aben writes the most beautiful and heartfelt poetry, most frequently in the form of tanka and haiku verse. Annette bares her thoughts, feelings and soul to the world with her writing and enables you to experience her joy and delight at living with her. One identifying feature of Annette’s poetry is that she appeals to all five of the senses. I frequently find that poems focus on the visual, what the writer sees, but not that many poets manage to capture the smell, sound and touch of life in quite the way Annette does. One of the poems in this book that filled me with delight is this one: We found paradise Filled with rolling hills of green Houses so cozy Paths strewn with flowers fragrant Watercolor painted skies

Buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Tanka-Picture-Book-Annette-Rochelle-ebook/dp/B077MWZXVQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tanka-Picture-Book-Annette-Rochelle-ebook/dp/B077MWZXVQ

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Connect to Annette via her blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is D.Wallace Peach for Legacy of Souls (The Shattered Sea Book 2)

About the book

Peace descends on the Ravenwood freehold, and Raze Anvrell trusts that as love lays open his life, the turmoil of his past will loosen its grip. But in the halls of Avanoe and catacombs of Ezar, political intrigues thicken. Deflection and secrets manipulate the truth, assassins whet their blades, and more than one ruler stakes a claim in the quest for power.

A swallower of multiple souls, Sajem files his teeth and inks his eyes. Tentacles of madness slither deeper into the slaver’s afflicted mind. His raids grow brazen, tactics harsh, and conscience stripped bare. Alliances fracture and form, and no one is too old or young, too wealthy or beautiful to spare.

As his father’s health fails, Raze accompanies his brother to Ezar to plead before the Empress for slavery’s end. When death strikes, he and those who stand in the way of ruthless ambition must battle for those they love, the principles they hold dear, and the world they desire.

While heirs compete for the Ezari throne, slavers plot each other’s demise. The future of the Vales depends on the outcome. And if Raze wishes to save his family, his freehold, his chance at love, and his life, he must swallow one more soul.

A recent review for the book

“Legacy of Souls,” begins where “Soul Swallowers,” left off with Raze fully immersed in the expansion of his freehold into a larger operation for farming and raising horses. His heart is full as he pursues the lovely Bel who has miraculously healed his broken heart.

Because of Bel’s love, Raze finds the courage to move past the differences that controlled his relationship with his father. Even so, he keeps a careful distance as he retreats back into his life avoiding the political overtures that normally occur from a noble birth.

However, when his father begs him to attend a royal wedding with him, Raze stalls filled with guilt, not willing to give up either his lifestyle or his newfound reconciliation with his father.

Finally, Raze agrees to accompany his father and brother to the wedding when a horrible crime is committed, leaving his family accused of the murder while the royal family hunts them down.

By the time Raze escapes to the freehold, he finds most of his beloved family killed, and Bel kidnapped by the slavers. It is the death of his friend, Samoth, that changes the man forever. Raze chooses to swallow his soul which adds the necessary soldier’s skills he needs to survive and to save his family.

Once again, this author has waved her magic wand and created a world like no other. Here, life is filled with danger where human souls are bought and sold by the rich to increase their power. Political motivations and shifting loyalties explode within the schemes of the governing family, while the slavers do their bidding.

The characters and situations within these pages are unforgettable. For me, it was the philosophical dilemma of absorbing another person’s soul that I found so intriguing. Think about the possibility of accepting the soul essence of someone else into your existence. New skills and knowledge would have to integrate, for better or worse. If you swallowed too many souls, disaster would ensue as the personalities clash for control with possible madness being the end result. Would you swallow a soul?

This is a brilliant two book series that will keep you guessing until the end. As with most literature penned by this author, I could not put the story down. I read into the wee hours until the last closing chapter came to a satisfactory end. Now, I can’t wait to see what D. Wallace Peach conjures up next for me to read.

RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS

Read the reviews and download the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6HYFQK

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Souls-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6HYFQK

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

Read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website/blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and explore these authors and their books further.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Chuck Jackson


It is my pleasure to welcome author Chuck Jackson to Getting to Know You. Chuck is the author of three memoirs including his latest Guilt: My Companion. On his blog you will find posts on writing, book marketing and also mental health and social issues such as this recent article: https://chuckjacksonknowme.com/2018/06/13/did-someones-suicide-influence-you/

Before we find out more about Chuck and the questions he has chosen to respond to, here is his official biography.

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.

Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.

Now time to find out which questions Chuck has selected to share with us.

Welcome to Getting to Know you Chuck and can you tell us what was the funniest moment of your life?

I have had so many, but I’ll tell you one that happened a few years ago. When Florida delayed legislation to legalize marriage between same sex couples. My now husband and I traveled to Connecticut to get married. We arranged a Justice of the Piece in Stanford to conduct the ceremony. We stayed with our good friend Casey in Stanford. He was the only one in attendance and acted as our witness. The Justice of the Peace owned a flower shop and when we arrived she escorted to a side room she set with a gazebo where she conducted the ceremonies.

She was short, wearing a robe with a lace collar, and with reading glasses on the end of her nose. She instantly reminded me of Judge Judy. She brought a thick book with her and stood behind a small lectern. She opened the book and began reading some beautiful quotes and poems about love and marriage. We waited patiently but wondered where this was going and when would she get to the actual legal vows.

After five minutes of her reading from the book and we were no closer to what we were here for, Casey said, “Excuse me.” She stopped reading and looked up at him over her glasses. “Are you planning on reading that whole book?”

Puzzled she replied, “Well yes.”

Casey continued, “Have you looked at these two? They are old. They will be dead before you finish.”

Her face flushed, “OH—OH yeah.” She quickly thumbed through the book to the back on began our vows.

I was laughing so hard, I don’t remember anything said after that, but she signed the license and we got our certificate.

What is your favorite TV show and why?

From back in the 70’s I have always enjoyed MASH. I was infatuated by Alan Alda and I thought he was great looking and his character was so witty. Yet, each of the characters added to the humor and sometimes seriousness of the show. Radar with being so naïve and Klinger with his cross dressing kept me laughing. McLean Stevenson as Col Henry Blake stole the show. Each of the characters added to the success.

Sally here: MASH was one of our favourites too, and here is a snippet with most of the stars in action

Even though the show took place during the Korean War, it was a parody of the Vietnam War. Since I was a pararescue medic in Vietnam, the humor and the serious side made the show more personal to me. I don’t ever recall seeing or hearing of a MASH unit in Vietnam. We used medivac helicopters to bring the wounded into area hospitals. Yet, these hospitals weren’t much different from the tent hospital portrayed in the TV series.

What was also similar was the non-stop wounded and KIAs (killed in action).

For me, MASH was able to take the seriousness of war and poke fun of its reality. They did it without losing the dignity of those that actually experienced it. The things portrayed in humor most likely never could happen.

What is your favorite childhood song and why?

In 1954, my dad, a sergeant in the Air Force, was sent to Okinawa. After a year, we joined him. That year we were separated, my mother, sister and I lived with my grandparents in Ft. Worth, Texas. At age eight, my grandfather was the most important person in my world. When he returned from work, I went everywhere with him. He didn’t drive a car and we walked most places. As we walked he would talk to me, tease me and always hold my hand.

One of our favorite TV shows to watch was Francis the Talking Mule. Granddad would imitate Francis and it would send me into hysterical laughter. Even when Granddad would tease me about it, he would sing along with me to my favorite song, “Teddy Bear Picnic”. I don’t think or hear the words without thinking of Granddad and the love he gave to me.

Sally here: I have found one of the original recordings of Teddy Bears Picnic by Henry Hall and his orchestra for you Chuck.

Do you prefer the big city or country life?

Growing up, I had the opportunity to live both places. From 1956 to 1960 we lived in a rural community in Iowa. My dad was stationed at the Air Force base that was ten miles away. Every summer beginning when I was twelve, I worked on a farm. Rural life was simpler, yet everyone worked hard to provide the essentials.

In 1970 after leaving the military, I moved to Dallas Texas and later years to San Antonio.

My years in the career as a mortician were in those cities. I also attended and graduated for the University of Texas at San Antonio. I have many memories of the long hours of working and going to school to accomplish my goals.

In the 80’s I moved to South East Florida, where I spent the remainder of my working years as an accountant. Our area would be considered suburban with the majority of the population retired. I’m retired myself and this area is conducive to my current lifestyle. We have great restaurants, recreation (golf, tennis, theater, etc.) and medical facilities. I doubt I’ll live anywhere else.

If I could choose to go back and live in one of the three types of communities, I would choose the urban city life. No one likes the traffic, but the life style is so vibrant, and the opportunities are endless if you are willing to challenge yourself. If I had the money to afford it, I would live in downtown Chicago or New York. These cities literally have a pulse and are alive twenty-four/seven.

Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?

Starting in fourth grade, I think I was eleven, I began playing the trumpet. To this day, I have no idea why I had a natural talent for the trumpet. We were living in the rural area of Iowa and I played first chair trumpet in the band. When my dad was transferred to other Air Force bases and we moved to other areas of the country, I continued playing in school bands.

I had one music teacher that gave me the opportunity to learn other brass instruments. I learned to play the tuba, French horn, coronet, and trombone. In high school I also played in a dance band. We mainly played for high school dances, but we occasionally played at the NCO and Officer’s Clubs on base. I’m not sure we were that good, but we did have fun and made a few bucks.

In 1970, when I left the military and went to mortuary school, I put my trumpet in the closet and quit playing. I thought at the time I was too busy going to school and then later working to practice and keep my talent fresh. I would occasionally bring it out, but with each absent period, my talent and desire dwindled.

This is one of the things in my life I regret. I loved playing music and the self-satisfaction I received. I had a gift for playing and I allowed other things to take precedence over my passion.

I still have my trumpet. A few years ago, my husband had it restored hoping I would start playing again. I have lost all ability to play and I don’t have the desire it would take to relearn how to play. My trumpet sits beautifully on display, but silent.

Sally here: I am sure you were an amazing musician Chuck, and whilst your creativity now moves in another direction.. here is Satchmo with When the Saints Come Marching In to celebrate your trumpet years..

Chuck Jackson’s latest book was released in AprilGuilt – My Companion – A Journey of Healing.

About Guilt – My Companion

Guilt—My Companion is a story based on the author’s strength and recovery from a dysfunctional family. It begins in the ‘60s during a period filled with social and personal injustice. It tells the struggle of his conscience against societies’ ignorance and prejudice. It follows his journey to recoup from personal tragedy and grief. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live is a journey, not a destination.”.

But for this story, the journey is the destinations he took. It wasn’t where he intended, and he had little control of the paths he took. Along those paths were heartaches and defeat. He found deception, prejudice, and hate. Lay in waiting was his companion, guilt; the robber of personal pleasure. Follow his story and discover when he conquered guilt, there was nothing inhibiting his self-growth and happiness.

One of the early reviews for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The epilogue best describes the outcome June 20, 2018

The book stayed true to the title. I found it gripping and, in many cases, difficult to comprehend the cruelty imposed upon the author. The epilogue best describes the outcome: (1) Healing involved a desire to change the habit of carrying baggage, and (2) professional help. The author, Denis Waitley, wrote that “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” I believe that the author’s journey possessed all of these.

Without grace, he would not have made the remarkable life he has lived. Without love, he couldn’t fight against the emotional abuse of hate. Without gratitude, he couldn’t have written his books.

This book is for all of us; for the times we’ve allowed ourselves to wallow in the darkness of resentment and anger, guilt, and subsequent depression. By sharing this journey, the author opened up his heart with love, grace, and gratitude and gave us this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing/dp/1717393012

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing-ebook/dp/B07CPZJ4BQ

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuck_cljjlk
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/?ref=bookmarks
Google Plus:   https://plus.google.com/105624026158453424361
Flipboard –  https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017

Thank you very much for dropping in today and Chuck would love to read your comments and answer any questions. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Sale – #FREE Books #Adventure #Children’s #Memoir – Mary Smith, Annabelle Franklin, Jemima Pett and Chuck Jackson


Welcome to the Summer Sale in the Cafe and Bookstore and today it is the turn of the FREE books currently available either on Amazon or Smashwords.

Whilst there is no pressure to review books that you download especially when they are free, I hope that you will enjoy all the selection today and share that with others. Thanks Sally

The first author who would love you to download and read one of her books is Mary Smith with No More Mulberries… I loved this book and can highly recommend it.  There are an impressive number of excellent reviews for the book which continues to delight readers. It is FREE from 14th to 18th inclusive.

About the book

No More Mulberries is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

British-born Miriam’s marriage to her Afghan doctor husband is heading towards crisis. Despite his opposition, she goes to work as a translator at a medical teaching camp in a remote area of rural Afghanistan hoping time apart will help are see where their problems lie. She comes to realise how unresolved issues from when her first husband was killed by a mujahideen group are damaging her relationship with her husband and her son – but is it already too late to save her marriage?

One of the recent reviews for No More Mulberries.

No More Mulberries is more than just a love story but a tale of hardship, loss, survival against all odds, and the importance of family. It is a story about two people who are different as any two can be. Miriam, from Scotland meets Jawad, an Afghan, and fall in love. She moves to his country and begins a love affair with Afghanistan.

When Jawad suffers an untimely death Miriam must decide whether to go back to her own homeland of Scotland with her son or stay. She meets another Afghan man, Iqbal, and sees a way to stay in this country with her son.

The cultural differences are numerous and difficult for the couple to overcome. They must come to terms with complicated problems in her new husband’s past in order to continue with their life together. All couples, no matter what culture they come from, have similar setbacks to deal through.

The author takes the reader on a journey through this backward country and all its antiquated beliefs about medicine and education for girls. The reader is drawn to all the beauty that the author is detailing which shows the love she has for this country.

Although I have never traveled to this part of the world I felt an empathy for the people and their remarkable ability to survive. With the Taliban at their back door they are forced to escape or stand against evil.

This is an unforgettable story about the resilience of one woman to conquer what many could not fathom. An enjoyable book and a must read for all! Kudos to the author for an outstanding novel!

 Read more of the reviews and download the book for FREE 14th to 18th July: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith/dp/1849234205

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith-ebook/dp/B005RRDZ12

A selection of books by Mary Smith

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Connect to Mary via her website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

Now time for some children’s books beginning with The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin which is on Free on Smashwords for all of July.

About The Slapstyx

The sea is dying, poisoned by greedy businessman Zachary Zigstack, who has enlisted the help of the Slapstyx goblins to make sure everyone buys his highly toxic detergent. These grubby goblins fill human homes with grime that can only be removed with Zigstack products. Psychic twins Georgie and Gem must use their magical skills to put an end to Zigstack’s unholy alliance with the Slapstyx.

Twin sisters Georgie and Gem care about the environment and are deeply ashamed of their stepfather Geoffrey, who sells detergents made of bad chemicals that fill the sea with toxic slime.

The twins try to convince Geoffrey to get another job, but he refuses. ‘ZOOM’ is the world’s best-selling cleaning product, and Geoffrey loves being a superstar salesman – even though his boss, Zachary Zigstack, only pays him peanuts.

Together with a tribe of grubby goblins called the Slapstyx, Zigstack has hatched an ingenious plan to make sure everyone buys his dastardly detergent. He has promised the Slapstyx a mountain of gold, which he has yet to deliver.

Georgie and Gem can leave their bodies at will and fly around in an astral vehicle they call their ‘dreambody’. This ‘dreamwalking’ enables them to travel to other dimensions and meet the creatures that live there. One night they dreamwalk to the goblin dimension and rumble Zigstack’s pact with the Slapstyx. The goblins threaten to kill them if they tell anyone about it.

The twins make friends with a mermaid called Eltra whose tribe – known as the Delphinae – look after the dolphins. The ZOOM overload in the sea has created toxic plankton-based monsters called Sloyds who are out to destroy all the other sea creatures. Eltra begs the twins for help.

Though they are terrified of the Slapstyx, Georgie and Gem promise Eltra they will try and stop them working for Zigstack. But can they do it before the world’s oceans are turned into toxic plankton soup?

More to the point, can they do it before the goblins put them out of action for good?

One of the reviews for the book

I have an eight year old step son who I think would absolutely adore this novel! It is a middle grade story about twin sisters who can leave their bodies and fly as spirits, and in Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin, the twins are on a mission to stop an evil magician and his goblin cohorts from selling their uncleanly and unsafe “cleaning” product to the world.

Zachary Zigstack wants to take over the world with his product ZOOM!!! which is apparently going to rid the world of dirt and grime. In reality, he wants to pollute the ocean, and make the entire planet as unsanitary as possible. the twins, Gem and Georgie use their magical projection powers to spy on Zachary and his evil goblins and try to find a way to stop them from polluting the planet.

This was a cute book for a pre-teen, I definitely think that my step son would enjoy it. It’s clear, concise, and has a message that all kids should learn about. The characters of Georgie and Gem were likable, though I felt that the girls weren’t strong in their differences, and they were kind of paper dolls (meaning that they didn’t have very distinct personalities that a pre-teen would look up to), I did think that they were fun and enjoyed their relationship with each other. I however did enjoy the character of Zachary much more, I could just seem him using his dark magic, and bent over himself rubbing his palms together.

One of my favorite things in movies, television, and even books, is when the title is odd, or doesn’t make sense, until you watch or read, and this is the perfect example of that! Slapstyx is an interesting title, but works great with this book! I give this a 4 out of 5 stars, a fun, charming adventure that any kid would love to go on, it’s a socially conscious one too.

Head over and get your FREE copy at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546261

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0/

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle through her blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com

The next children’s author with her books free in July is Jemima Pett with four books to be snapped up. Starting with The Princelings of the North – ( Book 8 of the Princelings of the East)

About the book

Dylan and Dougall are princelings at Castle Haunn, a remote place to the far northwest of an island off the coast of Scotland. So when they discover a prince locked in a tower, their thoughts turn to rescue and returning him to his rightful place in a castle hundreds of miles away. But nothing is ever that easy, and what starts as a simple mission turns into a nightmare that rocks the foundations of the Realms.

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 18, 2018 Ahdev rated it it was amazing  ·

A very nice read. Adventurous ride which adults can enjoy as well!

This is the book 8 in the series but one can even read it as a standalone, as the author has given character introductions in the beginning itself. It’s very easy to grasp the story and get engrossed with the Princelings Dylan & Dougall and exiled Prince Kevin’s journey!

The writing is simple and neat, engaging throughout. The chapter drawings and its one-two line details are great ideas! I loved the story and all the characters, a nice travel with fantasy and kingdoms and power games! And happy with the good ending too!! Recommended for all :

Head over and download your FREE copy from Smashwords (the first 50 to apply): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/732380

Also FREE for July on Smashwords.

The Book Elves Anthologies Volumes 1 and 2: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493196

The Perihelix (book 1 of the Viridian series) FREE for the first 50 readers https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/607252

A small selection of other books by Jemima Pett

 Read all the reviews for all the books and buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jemima-Pett/e/B006F68PVE

Read more reviews and follow Jemima on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5388872.Jemima_Pett

Connect to Jemima via her blog:  http://jemimapett.com/blog/

The final author today with a FREE offer is Chuck Jackson for his new release Guilt – My CompanionA Journey to Healing. Chuck has asked for some feedback on the book should you download it, and has a couple of other requests if you would like to take advantage of this offer between now and the 17th of July. You will need to go to Chuck’s website to get the link which takes you to the free giveaway for US residents only I am afraid. Chuck Jackson’s Free Guilt – My Companion

About Guilt – My Companion

Guilt—My Companion is a story based on the author’s strength and recovery from a dysfunctional family. It begins in the ‘60s during a period filled with social and personal injustice. It tells the struggle of his conscience against societies’ ignorance and prejudice. It follows his journey to recoup from personal tragedy and grief. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live is a journey, not a destination.”.

But for this story, the journey is the destinations he took. It wasn’t where he intended, and he had little control of the paths he took. Along those paths were heartaches and defeat. He found deception, prejudice, and hate. Lay in waiting was his companion, guilt; the robber of personal pleasure. Follow his story and discover when he conquered guilt, there was nothing inhibiting his self-growth and happiness.

One of the reviews for the book

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The epilogue best describes the outcome June 20, 2018

The book stayed true to the title. I found it gripping and, in many cases, difficult to comprehend the cruelty imposed upon the author. The epilogue best describes the outcome: (1) Healing involved a desire to change the habit of carrying baggage, and (2) professional help. The author, Denis Waitley, wrote that “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” I believe that the author’s journey possessed all of these.

Without grace, he would not have made the remarkable life he has lived. Without love, he couldn’t fight against the emotional abuse of hate. Without gratitude, he couldn’t have written his books.

This book is for all of us; for the times we’ve allowed ourselves to wallow in the darkness of resentment and anger, guilt, and subsequent depression. By sharing this journey, the author opened up his heart with love, grace, and gratitude and gave us this book.

To get your free download of the book in the US: Chuck Jackson’s Free Guilt – My Companion

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing/dp/1717393012

And buy Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing-ebook/dp/B07CPZJ4BQ

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

Connect to Chuck via his website/blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will take advantage of these free offers and enjoy the books… If you have any of your books FREE in July then please let me know on sally.cronin@moyhill.com as soon as possible. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the #Book #Reviewers – Chuck Jackson for Paul Kalanithi, Olga Nunez Miret for Guillermo Stitch and Robbie Cheadle for Teagan Riordain Geneviene.


Welcome to the post where I celebrate those who take the time to review books that we write. The other posts are usually focused on the authors and their reviews, so you are most welcome to contact me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com with a link to your review on your blog or on Amazon. I will make every effort to feature you.. thanks Sally.

  • If you click the images of the books you will be taken directly to Amazon.
  • Where an author or reviewer is in the Cafe and Bookstore I will include their entry.
  • If a review has been posted to Amazon directly without a blog post, I will share the entire review with a link to the reviewers blog.

The first author with a review of a book that sounds amazing is Chuck Jackson with his views on Finalist for the PulitzerWhen Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. Here is an extract from Chuck’s post and I do recommend that you click the link to read more.

When I studied and enhanced my writing, I found successful writers’ advice was to expand my reading of books. I always have loved reading books, but it had been for relaxation and enjoyment. An escapism from career stress and life’s challenges. Now I have added another aspect to my reading. I am learning techniques, styles, and methods to gain writing credibility and reader’s attention.

If you are an avid reader, periodically you come across a book that talks to your psyche and leaves you emotionally moved. Sometimes it will be joyful, anger, or sadness. Whatever the emotion, it stays with you for days or months. I finished such a book and I want to share my feelings. If you haven’t read it yet, I wholehearted recommend you put it on your must-read list.

When Breath Becomes Air details Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s life as a neurosurgeon and his fight against advanced lung cancer. Yet it goes beyond his struggles, it challenges us to look at our own mortality and contemplate the way we look at our life. Does our life have the significance that will continue after we are gone? Did we spend our days, months and years on meaningless self-serving ambitions?

Dr. Kalanithi writing talent is formidable and belongs alongside the best authors of our time. Often I had to reread a passage to make sure I understood its deep meaning. What astounded me most was his desire to understand death and its respective placement in life. He felt it would enhance his career if he could help his terminal patients handle their mortality and convey the meaning of death

Please head over to Chuck’s website to read the rest of the review:  Review When Breath Becomes Air

Chuck is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Chuck Jackson, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/

The next reviewer is Olga Nunez Miret who  has a regular feature on Tuesdays. This week a novella by a new author Guillermo Stitch – Literature

An extract from Olga’s Review for the book.. please follow the link to read the rest..

Today I bring you a book that is due for release early next month (the first of July) but is already available in preorder, and as there is a Goodreads giveaway you can access here, if you live in the USA, I thought I’d share it ahead of time, so you can be prepared. I hope to read more books by this new author, and I wonder if there will be more books about this very peculiar world he introduces us to in this novella.

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (author, check here if you’re looking for reviews) and thank Rosie and the author for providing me an ARC copy of this novella, which I freely chose to review.

It is difficult to describe the reading experience of Literature. I have read reviews comparing it to noir novels (absolutely, especially the voice of the characters and some of the situations), to Fahrenheit 451 (inevitable due to the plot, where fiction has been banned and nobody can possess or read books) and 1984 (although we don’t get a lot of detail of the way the world is being run, the sense of claustrophobia and continuous surveillance, and the way terrorism is defined are definitely there), and even Blade Runner (perhaps, although Literature is far less detailed and much more humorous). I did think about all of those while I read it, is true, although it is a pretty different experience to all of them.

Billy Stringer is a mixture of the reluctant hero and the looser/anti-hero type. The novella shares only one day of his life, but, what a day! Let’s say it starts badly (things hadn’t been going right for Billy for a while at the point when we meet him) and it goes downhill from there. The story is told in the third-person but solely from Billy’s point of view, and we are thrown right in. There is no world-building or background information. We just share in Billy’s experiences from the start, and although he evidently knows the era better than we do, he is far from an expert when it comes to the actual topic he is supposed to cover for his newspaper that day. He is a sports journalist covering an important item of news about a technological/transportation innovation. We share in his confusion and easily identify with him. Apart from the action, he is involved in, which increases exponentially as the day moves on, there are also flashbacks of his past. There is his failed love story, his friendship with his girlfriend’s brother, and his love for books.

Read the entire post and review: Literature by Guillermo Stitch – Revew by Olga Nunez Miret

Olga Nunez Miret is also in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009UC58G0
Blog: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Please visit Olga’s blog or Amazon to view all her books

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The third reviewer today is Robbie Cheadle who has enjoyed The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story by Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

Here is an extract from Robbie’s post.

Teagan Geneviene is an amazing writer and has an incredible blog where she shares highly entertaining episodes of her latest “pantser” story. Here is a link to a recap of her latest story, Hullaba-lulu https://teagansbooks.com/2018/06/02/hullaba-review-and-review-hullaba-lulu-9-1/.

The Three Things Serial Story: A little 1920’s story has a little bit of everything in it – a touch of a romance or two, stolen goods, a kidnapping, a gang of ruthless men and a satisfactory ending. Teagan manages to achieve all of this in a well written and interesting way based on three word prompts provided by readers of her blog each week. I am frankly quite incredulous that a writer can weave three prompts into each episode and still come out with a story that makes perfect sense, entertains and flows. This approach has the added appeal of resulting in quite a unique story line.

Head over and read the entire post and the review: Robbie Cheadle – Review Teagan Geneviene – Three Things Serial

Teagan Geneviene is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Teagan Geneviene – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Blog: https://teagansbooks.com

at-paperback

Robbie Cheadle is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Robbie Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

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Thank you for dropping in today.. and if you have recently reviewed a book, then please let me know so I can feature both you and the author.. Thanks Sally (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Guilt – My Companion by Chuck Jackson


Delighted to share the news of Chuck Jackson’s latest book that was released in April – Guilt – My Companion – A Journey of Healing.

About Guilt – My Companion

Guilt—My Companion is a story based on the author’s strength and recovery from a dysfunctional family. It begins in the ‘60s during a period filled with social and personal injustice. It tells the struggle of his conscience against societies’ ignorance and prejudice. It follows his journey to recoup from personal tragedy and grief. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live is a journey, not a destination.”.

But for this story, the journey is the destinations he took. It wasn’t where he intended, and he had little control of the paths he took. Along those paths were heartaches and defeat. He found deception, prejudice, and hate. Lay in waiting was his companion, guilt; the robber of personal pleasure. Follow his story and discover when he conquered guilt, there was nothing inhibiting his self-growth and happiness.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing/dp/1717393012

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing-ebook/dp/B07CPZJ4BQ

Also by Chuck Jackson

One of the recent reviews for What Did I Do?

This is a very touching and beautiful story. I broke into tears during some of the chapters because I felt so sorry for this kid growing up in such an unloving and unsupportive home.

If you plant a seed in asphalt, it will not grow. Not because something is wrong with the seed, but because the environment around it does not allow for it to grow. We need healthy supportive people around us. A healthy community of people who encourage us and show us love and compassion.
I am very thankful that the author took the time to write this book and share it with us.

For people recovering from TRAUMA, childhood neglect, anxiety or PTSD I recommend 2 books that have helped me profoundly –  The body keeps score – The boy who was raised as a dog

I hope the Author has settled into a life of more joy with a healthy and supportive community surrounding him.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

About Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.

Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuck_cljjlk
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/?ref=bookmarks
Google Plus:   https://plus.google.com/105624026158453424361
Flipboard –  https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Chuck’s new book.. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas posts from Your Archives – The Significance of Christmas by Chuck Jackson


Delighted to welcome Chuck Jackson with his Christmas post from 2016. He shares his experience of Christmas through his childhood, parenthood and to the present time.

The Significance of Christmas by Chuck Jackson

I am not sure when we age if the Christmas holidays become more or less significant. As a child, I couldn’t wait for December 25th. It seemed after Thanksgiving, it would never get here. The excitement was waking up Christmas morning to experience what Santa Claus had brought. Even when I knew about Santa, my family continued to celebrate his arrival. We exchanged gifts within the family, but Santa still took center stage.

When I became a parent,Christmas excitement returned. I was just as excited as when I was a child to give my daughter that magical time of Santa Claus’s arrival. Sitting next to the tree until late hours, assembling those toys, bicycles, etc. was never a chore; it was fun. I always made sure I consumed the milk and cookies she set out for Santa. I always left one cookie with a bite taken out as evidence of Santa’s arrival. To watch the excitement on her face when she saw what Santa had brought created memories never forgotten.

When my daughter left home, my Christmases changed and we created new traditions. Mid-night Mass took precedence over anything else. A Christmas without going to church seemed empty and incomplete. Waking up Christmas morning without Santa’s visit also left a void. Not every year did she come home for Christmas, yet when she did those seemed extra special.

Next, were the years when my daughter became an adult and she lived in the area. Christmas tradition changed again. Church services on Christmas Eve remained foremost. Nevertheless, we always shared Christmas dinner with her. When she became busy with her friends, she often cooked the dinner and she invited us. If she had a special person in her life, Christmas dinner was at our house and we invited him.

A few years ago, my daughter married and she now lives a distance that makes it difficult for her to return home. To visit her is equally problematic. Christmas tradition has changed once again. What hasn’t changed is going to Mid-night Mass. We still feel it isn’t Christmas without attending church. Christmas Day finds us having dinner at a friend’s or our home, and sometimes we go out. The exchanging of gifts is now absent.

The money we would spend, we use to buy something special we both want.
This year, my daughter and her husband have a new son. It will be interesting to see what traditions she chooses. Will she carry those traditions I experienced as a child and carried forward to her childhood? Will she create her own? When my grandson gets a little older, that excitement of Christmas morning will return and maybe I might get to experience it with him.

For the last 33 years, what has been significant is the person I share Christmas with. My life partner and now husband has been that solidarity in my life that was missing. Beginning with our first Christmas, what contributed to making them special was sharing them with him. He adapted to the changing traditions as I did and we made each Christmas that special time of the year. Spending a Christmas without him is a tradition I hope I don’t experience for a long time.

Now I ask again, does the Christmas holidays become less significant as we age? For me the answer is no. Our traditions have change, but the significance never wavers. Santa through the years took on an important role. However, celebrating the coming of Christ each year by attending Mid-night Mass will always be a significance and a tradition that will never change.

May the Blessing of Christmas be with you and your family. God Bless.

©Chuck Jackson 2016

Chuck Jackson shares his story of child abuse at the hands of his parents and also the damning statistics that identify that little has changed in the last fifty years. What Did I Do was published on July 4th and is a memoir that lifts the veil of secrecy about not just the American family but the Universal family.

About What Did I Do?

The veil of secrecy over the American family prevails and the covertness of child abuse continues. According to the National Children’s Alliance, approximately 700,000 (683,000 in 2015) children are abused each year. Child Protective Service (CPS) reports they investigate 3.4 million children and place them under the care of the CPS. These are frightening statistics attesting that child abuse is not in decline, but rather the opposite.

Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Have you ever suspected or even witnessed child abuse in public or in a home? If you did and did nothing, you are condoning the act and its effect on the child. Child advocacy groups are begging for the public involvement. Yet, little is being done.

What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, what did I do?

Two of the recent reviews.

This story is a remarkably sensitive account of how a young man who travels on his own personal journey of acceptance while dealing with his own parents’ prejudices and bigotry. Any person coming out of the closet and any parent dealing with a child who is different need to read this book.

Knowing the author and then reading his story is incredibly enriching. That anyone could go through what Chuck Jackson went through is a miracle in itself. It is a powerful and fascinating story that parents AND children of age should read. Abuse seems to seep from generation to generation and it destroys lives in the process. It has to stop. Books like “What Did I Do?” help immensely. I feel enriched that I have heard his story.

 

Read the reviews and buy the memoir: https://www.amazon.com/What-Did-I-Do-Memoir-ebook/dp/B073R2B3RK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Did-Do-Chuck-Jackson/dp/1548327166

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG

And Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
 

About Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.

Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuck_cljjlk
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cljjlk/?ref=bookmarks
Google Plus:   https://plus.google.com/105624026158453424361
Flipboard –  https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017

Thank you for dropping in today and we would love to get your feedback.. Thanks Sally