Happy National Find a Rainbow Day

Today is National Find a Rainbow Day, a time to reflect upon the beauty and magnificence of those multicolored arcs that remind us of the hope and possibilities that exist in Nature and in our own lives.

Here are my 10 favorite “rainbow” quotes:

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Maya Angelou

There comes a point in your life when you realize your hardest times are your best times, too—you will see the rainbow of your life. Roy Bennett

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. G.K. Chesterton

If you want to see a rainbow you have to learn to see the rain. Paulo Coelho

When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows. Rachel Houston

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton

One can enjoy a rainbow without necessarily forgetting the forces that made it. Mark Twain

Rainbows apologize for angry skies. Sylvia Voirol

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky…
William Wordsworth

Don’t miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold. Author Unknown

Do you have a favorite “rainbow” quote?

In Praise of Spinach

Today is National Spinach Day, a day set aside to honor and consider all the delicious ways we can incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into our diets.

Here are 10 interesting facts about spinach:

1. During Catherine de Medici’s reign as queen of France, spinach was served at every meal. Many modern dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” in honor of Catherine’s birth in Florence.

2. The earliest written record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, suggesting the spinach plant was introduced in China via Nepal.

3. Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.

4. China is the world’s largest spinach producer with 85% of global production.

5. California accounts for almost three quarters of national production. Other spinach-growing states include Arizona, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Maryland, and Arkansas.

6. In the 1930’s, U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption.

7. Alma, Arkansas—the home of “Allen Canning Company” which cans and ships spinach—holds an annual spinach festival each April. Alma proclaims itself to be the “Spinach Capital of the World”…a title also claimed by Crystal City, Texas.

8. An excellent source of protein, calcium, folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K, spinach is also loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

9. A half cup of raw spinach counts as one vegetable serving.

10. Studies have found that eating cooked spinach and carrots – versus raw – results in much higher blood levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant thought to guard against heart disease and lung cancer.

On a personal note…

I look forward to my breakfast smoothie. Here’s one of my favorite recipes:

I start with one scoop of Sun Warrior Vegan Protein Powder (vanilla flavor). Recommended by my nutritionist, this brand contains brown rice protein and works well for anyone who is sensitive to eggs, dairy, and soy. I add one-half cup of blueberries, one cup of baby spinach leaves, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. I then add six to eight ounces of water and blend.

Do you have a quick-and-easy spinach recipe to share?


10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Nova Scotia

I’m happy to welcome author Luanna Stewart. Today, Luanna shares her favorite memories of Nova Scotia and her new release, If Wishes Were Earls.

Here’s Luanna!

In no particular order…

1. Except for this one. The number one thing I’m looking forward to with our move to Nova Scotia is returning home. I was born and raised in Halifax, the capital city, and have lived elsewhere more than half my life. It’s time to go home.

2. The Atlantic Ocean. Even though I’m currently living on the coast of Maine, and the same ocean is just a fifteen-minute drive away, it’s not quite the same.

3. The air. Laugh if you will, but the air is different in NS. Probably from a combination of the ocean and the large expanses of evergreen forests. That balsam fir smell, especially after a rain, smells like NS to me.

4. The air. Not a typo. My mum has a summer house on an island off the coast and the briny fresh smell of the air is so luscious you just want to take a bite. On many occasions I’ve stood in her back garden, closed my eyes, and just breathed.

5. Small towns. I like the intimacy. From our new hometown of Lunenburg, to Wolfville where Son1 attended college, to Malagash where my dad was born and where we vacationed when I was a kid, they all have a distinct character. I love exploring the local history, and there is always at least one good restaurant serving a local brew and fish & chips.

6. Camping. There are pictures in the old family album of me camping whilst still in diapers. (They were cloth diapers back in those days – my mum was a saint!) So it’s no wonder camping is in my blood. Hubby and I went camping on our honeymoon, backcountry, the site accessible only by canoe. Our favourite park is Kejimkujik National Park, known as Keji (pronounced KEH-gee). It’s in the middle of the province, full of lakes, rivers and streams, and once you paddle for a few hours to your campsite all you can hear are the loons announcing sunrise and the beavers chewing on lily pads. The night sky is overwhelming in its brilliance.

7. Hiking. Nova Scotia is riddled with hiking trails over all sorts of terrain. Along the coast, deep into old-growth forest, around bogs and marshes, the trails allow for all levels of difficulty.

8. Kayaking. Our new home is right on the ocean so we can push our kayaks into the water from our beach and paddle away, exploring the bays and inlets nearby. If we’re particularly adventurous we can paddle into town!

9. Music. Ah, the fiddle and the bagpipe. On street corners, in pubs, at music festivals, toe-tapping folk music is alive and well. The three biggest influences on the local folk music are Scottish, Irish, and Acadian. Any and all will make you dance in your chair.

10. Cycling. Along with the hiking trails there is a vast network of former railway lines that have been converted into hiking/cycling trails. A wonderful and safe way to explore the area. You can peddle for miles, and because the trails used to be rail lines into the various towns, you can travel into town and pop into a pub for lunch! The best part? No hills.

What are some things you particularly like about where you live? If you had to move away, what would you miss the most?

One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)

Tagline

A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart’s desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

Blurb

When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart’s desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda’s wish doesn’t seem so out of reach.

Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.

But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.

Buy Links

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | All Other Retailers

Bio

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Where to find Luanna…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


Happy Spring!

Last week, Mother Nature sent us a cold blast of winter. Confusion? Trickery? Passive aggressiveness? Or perhaps, a last hurrah to winter. But all is forgiven. Today marks a new beginning, a season of rebirth, reinvention, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth.

Here are ten of my favorite “spring” quotes:

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. Virgil A. Kraft

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
Pablo Neruda

Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment. Ellis Peters

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring is the time of plans and projects. Leo Tolstoy

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! Mark Twain

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ Robin Williams

The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently. Gary Zukav

Do you have a favorite “spring” quote?


Honoring President Abraham Lincoln

Born this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the country through its Civil War and preserved the Union. He also abolished slavery, strengthened the Federal Government, and modernized the economy.

An extraordinary man and leader, he is consistently ranked among the greatest American presidents.

abrahamlincoln2

I’m honoring his birthday by sharing 10 favorite quotes:

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then… find the way.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.


Plotting on the Parkway

I’m happy to welcome back C.D. Hersh. Today, Catherine and Donald share their plotting adventures and recent release, The Mercenary and the Shifter.

Here’s CD Hersh!

plottingontheparkwayhershIt’s getting kinda antsy at the C.D. Hersh household, because we’ve got book number five in The Turning Stone Chronicle series to finish plotting. We do our best plotting on the road and we don’t have any upcoming trips. Our paranormal romance series was conceived on a loooong, cross-country trip after we saw an exit road sign for a place called Turning Stone, New York. A bit of brainstorming and a series was born.

Plotting on the road makes the time go faster for Donald, who drives, and keeps Catherine (who writes the notes in longhand a lot of the time) from seeing all the crazy drivers tailgating us and zipping between semi-trucks and our safety zone. Nothing drives Catherine nuttier than watching an F-150 Ford with a full jump cab try to squeeze into a space that barely fits a smart car, without giving us a signal! She truly believes all the imaginary braking with her right leg, while in the passenger seat, contributed to her arthritis. Fortunately, we aren’t considering traveling anywhere near the Jersey Turnpike where everyone drives like maniacs, although we think quite a few drivers we’ve encountered must have had lessons from a Jersey driving school.

So what’s the point of this post, you ask?

Here’s a few things we’ve learned during our loooong drives:

1. Aging knees don’t like being cooped up in a car. Imagine that.

2. It’s really hard to read plot notes written months ago while driving on a bumpy interstate.

3. It’s even harder to write on a bumpy interstate road.

4. Catherine should really transcribe her notes as soon as we get home.

5. Especially when words written while driving on the buzz strips on the shoulder of the road make her notes look like an EKG reading.

6. The new flash stick recorder we got works better than the old-fashioned pencil and paper, although it does allow Catherine to still see all the nutso drivers, and when Donald transcribes the notes they’re not always coherent. Catherine’s a blonde. J BTW, she’s writing this, so don’t take offense, ladies.

7. We like plotting almost better than writing—or maybe it’s the traveling we like.

8. Donald plots very well—most of the time. However, Catherine always has to throw a few suggestions out the car window. Isn’t that what a collaborator is for?

9. We need more road trips because we have two more books left in this series.

10. Writing with a collaborator is fun!

How and where do you plot your books?
Or do you travel—oops, write—by the seat of your pants?

mercenarycdhersh1

Blurb

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.

buynow

Bio

cdhershPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a Christmas novella, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow, with seven other authors.

Where you can find CD Hersh…

Website | Blog | Soul Mate Publishing | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads


Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

martinlutherking

Today is Martin Luther King Day, an American federal holiday that marks the birthday of an inspirational clergyman, activist, and leader who is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights in the United States.

My favorite quotations from Dr. Martin Luther King…

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

The time is always right to do what is right.