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Seasonal Fruit

November 26, 2022 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , ,

Seasonal Fruit

in a brief burst
of fiery red and gold
we burned….

our flame
in Autumn’s blasting
wind song
as it whooshed
past our ears with barely
a tickle

ripe as apples
sweetened by the sun
we bit into the luscious fruit
of seasonal love

but fires
do not last and winter must come

yet, for that fleeting moment
we were gloriously

©Neetu Malik

Some of Neetu’s Books



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Hi, May I Help You, Please

November 25, 2022 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
Photo by Mike on Unsplash

I was sixteen and working my first job at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. We were a lively crew. Jerry had the front register, Juanita and Javier were making sandwiches and scooping fries, Greg had the grill, and I was on the back register.

It was a hot day, scorching hot, hot as only Texas does hot, when the big boss, the district supervisor, left his skyscraper in Dallas and drove down to inspect and grade us. He didn’t know, and didn’t care, that we enjoyed the camaraderie of our team, took pride in our work, and routinely invited our family and friends to come to the restaurant. His opinion of us was all too clear in the way he strutted about, his huge smile never touching his eyes. It didn’t matter that the restaurant ran like a well-oiled machine; we were lazy hoodlums that needed to be whipped into shape. After he’d chastised Jerry and the others for trivial mistakes—I believe Javier wasn’t properly using the pickles to spread out the ketchup on the bun—the district supervisor meandered on back to my register to judge me.

Just so you know, I might have inherited a bit too much Texas ornery, Texas gall and Texas stubborn. Of course, I personally don’t think a person can have too much ornery. And gall, life is just plain boring without gall. Stubborn though . . . well . . . stubborn does tend to get a person into trouble.


I stepped on the pedal. “Hi, may I help you please?”

Through the speaker came a broad Texas accent I easily recognized, “Yeah. I’ll have fries, a large Sprite, a single, with cheese, tomato, everything and extra ketchup.”

Reader, are you paying attention? The customer said, “Everything and extra ketchup.” Javier, standing not ten feet away, ears pricked to the speaker, laid a bun open on the sandwich board. Greg dropped a single patty of meat dripping melted cheese onto the bottom half of the bun.

I wrote the order down on the outside of the takeout bag. Fries, lg sprite, single, cheese, tomato, everything, no mustard, no mayonnaise.

Right on cue, know-it-all-supervisor-guy spoke, “He said extra ketchup, not no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

I didn’t bother to turn my head and look at him. No, that would’ve been polite. Instead, I opened the bag and put it on the end of the sandwich station and spoke with my back turned toward him. “But he meant no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

Without seeing the supervisor’s face, I knew his fake smile was history. Tension vibrated from his body. After all, time was running out. The car would begin rolling forward any second. If he wanted to clarify the order—

“Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

At the sandwich station, Javier never paused. He kept right on making the sandwich—with no mustard and no mayonnaise. I always liked Javier. Juanita dropped the fries into the open sack and gave me a wink.

The district supervisor repeated, “Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

“I will not,” I said, pulling the drink. “He’s already given me his order.”

The beast shoved me aside and stepped on the pedal. “Sir, would you like mustard or mayonnaise on your sandwich?”

The customer’s loud Texas twang echoed through the speaker, “NO! I told ya, I only want ketchup!”

I tried and failed, to keep the grin off my face. Javier chuckled as he put the neatly wrapped hamburger in the bag.

Yeah, we were only teenagers, working a summer job for minimum wage, but we knew how someone from our hometown ordered a hamburger.

You know, that big boss, that supervisor guy from the corporate office, he didn’t say another word to me all day. Sometimes you’ve just gotta love that Texas stubborn.

Kidd has stories in the following anthologies.

Kidd Wadsworth is also the author of the fantasy novel “The Death of Magic” which you can now read for FREE at

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November 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , , ,

The Orphans of Berlin

Jina Bacarr

ISBN: 978-1804153475

November 10, 2022

Boldwood Books

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Distance and independence from her overbearing mother are just what Kay Alexander needs to establish her life on her own terms, and figure out who she is and her place in the world. When her uncle Archibald offers her an unusual opportunity in Paris, she jumps at the chance. Fluent in French, a debutante, socialite, and heiress to her family’s Radwell chocolate business, Kay feels confident to take on this challenge.

How hard can it be to mingle and observe what goes on in the salons and grand hotels, and spy on some German leader named Hitler?

Under the guise of studying the French chocolate business, in order to open an American Radwell Chocolates branch in Paris, Kay finds her own troubles pale in comparison to the realities of German occupation, brutal Nazi soldiers, and horrific antisemitism.

Thrust into the precipice of a world on the verge of war, Kay determines to use her money and affluence to help as many people as she can; in particular three young Jewish sisters, desperate to escape Europe and the certain death camps that threaten to swallow them up.

The risks she takes, the friends she makes, and the daring pilot she falls in love with, will change her life forever.

As one of the characters states, “…we’re stronger in harmony.”

The Orphans of Berlin is a song of bravery, sacrifice, and freedom that sings out loud and strong.

See you next time on December 22nd!


This month, Jann Ryan has a fabulous interview with Jina Bacarr, the author of The Orphans of Berlin. Read it here.

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Tari Lynn Jewett: Featured Author

November 21, 2022 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , ,

Tari Lynn Jewett lives in Southern California with her husband of nearly thirty years (also known as Hunky Hubby). They have three amazing sons, a board game designer, a sound engineer and a musician, all who live nearby. For over fifteen years she wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers, wrote television commercials, radio spots, numerous press releases, and many, MANY PTA newsletters. As much as she loved writing those things, she always wanted to write fiction . . . and now she is.

She also believes in happily ever after . . . because she’s living hers.

Tari’s newest title is Love and Mud Puddles, available now for pre-order. The book will be released on November 30, 2022.

Hannah loves her accounting job, the condo that she purchased herself, and her best friend Melinda. What she doesn’t love is baking. To be fair, she’s never tried. But when her cousin shames her into bringing homemade cookies to the family Christmas Eve celebration, she begins a quest to make the perfect holiday cookie.

Paramedic Josh also occasionally teaches kids’ cookie baking classes at his family’s bakery. When a beautiful accountant mistakenly signs up for a children’s holiday baking class, he realizes immediately that she’s in the right place.

Can this local hero help to save Hannah’s Christmas? Or will it all go up in smoke?

Tari’s other Books


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#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)


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A Review of Well Acquainted by Laney Hatcher:

November 16, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight


Well Acquainted

Laney Hatcher

  • ASIN : ‎ B0B7W36RY7
  • ISBN-13: ‎978-1959097235
  • Publisher: ‎Smartypants Romance (October 27, 2022)
  • Publication date : ‎October 27, 2022

Well Acquainted is the second novel in Laney Hatcher’s London Ladies Embroidery series from the Smartypants Romance Out of this World Penny Reid Book Universe.

Widowed doctor, Eliza Morgan’s past comes crashing into her medical clinic when Nicolas (aka Silas Viso an acclaimed actor) brings young Angelica for evaluation. It’s a toss up who is more surprised, yet it’s clear from page one that they still love each other. But there are so many complications: Their shared tragic past. Angelica and her mother. Eliza’s father. Nicholas’ family. Even their professions, a “lady” doctor and an actor—both not quite proper for the time—stand in their way.

Nicolas, ever charming and sure of himself, still wants a life with Eliza. She’s much harder to convince.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Well Acquainted. It was lovely seeing Elizabeth and Nico translated to historical London. Ms. Hatcher was very clever with the plot of her re-imagined story. She developed significant reasons for the characters to act as they did—even the villain—that was true to the time period.
If you enjoy Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series and also love historical romance, then Well Acquainted should be on your reading list. You won’t regret it.

I received a copy of Well Acquainted from Laney Hatcher and Smartypants Romance in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Well Acquainted, an all-new swoony second chance historical romance from Laney Hatcher, is LIVE in Kindle Unlimited!

‘Well Acquainted’, a Penny Reid Universe Reimagining, is a full-length historical romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #2 in the London Ladies Embroidery series, Smartypants Romance Out of this World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

There are three things you need to know about Lady Eliza Morgan:

1. In addition to being a busy physician, she’s an accomplished seamstress.

2. She’s the victim of a broken heart.

3. The man who shattered it is the one man she can never have.

Some things are better left in the past, but Eliza has spent years running from hers. When the man who upended her life re-enters it in the most unexpected way, Eliza must decide if reacquainting herself with Nicolas is worth the heartache. He’s charming and irritating and makes her realize there is so much more than the life she’s been living. But first she must confront her painful past if she and Nicolas have any hope for a future.

Grab your copy TODAY!

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Audiobook: Coming this winter!

About Laney Hatcher

Laney Hatcher is a firm believer that there is a spreadsheet for every occasion and pie is always the answer. She is an author of stories that have a past, in a language of love that’s universal. Often too practical for her own good, Laney enjoys her life in the southern United States with her husband, children, and an incredibly entitled cat.

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