Category: Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley

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Read Rebecca Forster September Featured Author

September 21, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,
Picture of a woman reading a book by a body of water.

Read Rebecca Forster!

On September 15th, Rebecca announced she signed with Wolfpack Publishing. (Read about it here.) Good news for Rebecca, and good news for readers. Until September 30, 2020 Rebecca is have a sale on select titles.


On Sale Until September 30th: The Finn O’Brien Thriller Series

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

Also on Sale are Rebecca’s Single Title Thrillers

BEFORE HER EYES

Buy now!
BEFORE HER EYES

KEEPING COUNSEL

Buy now!
KEEPING COUNSEL

THE MENTOR

Buy now!
THE MENTOR

BEYOND MALICE

Buy now!
BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

Buy now!
CHARACTER WITNESS
THE DEATH OF ME: A Crime Novella

Rebecca marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then she wrote her first book and found her passion.

Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.


Remember the books are only on sale until September 30, 2020

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Eighteen and Eight by Larry L. Deibert

September 18, 2020 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Writing
Eighteen and Eight title image of a typerwriter, coffeecup, glasse and flag.

Eighteen and Eight

Since the Postal Service has been in the news recently, especially with the removal of high-speed sorting machines, I thought I would tell you all about the Jurassic days of casing all our mail by hand.

Before the Postal Service

Working at Mack Trucks was great. I made a good wage, only had to work Saturdays if I chose to do so, and after thirty or more years, I could collect a pension, including health care. I had a sedentary job for most of my thirteen and a half years, and only did physical work near the end of that short career, working on the line in Macungie.

First, I worked on the cab line where I put on door and window handles on the driver’s side, the aluminum step, and squirted sealant into the grommets and all open holes in the firewall, a not too difficult job, if one kept up, or even a little ahead.

My second job, after being bumped off my gussie, by a more senior employee, was to help another guy install the windshield of a cab, working above my head most of the time.

My third and final job, before being sent back to Allentown, was to install mufflers. I spent my working hours on a creeper under the truck as it moved down the line, picking up the muffler, bolting it to the frame, and then keeping it up by installing U-shaped hooks and attacking them to the frame. It was so tiring that most times I just laid on the creeper for my two six-minute breaks. Lunch was twelve minutes, and I would crawl out to eat my sandwich and drink a soda.

The Exam

I knew that I was going to lose my job soon, so I applied to take the exam to become a postal worker. Several weeks before the exam, I took a four-hour course where I learned the shortcuts I would need to ace the test.

Casing mail is all about speed and accuracy, and the exam tested one’s ability to perform this task. It was a two-part, eleven-minute test. Part one was about ninety-five questions, if memory serves. On the left side column was a list of addresses, on the right-side column was another list.

I had approximately three seconds to determine if the side by side addresses were exactly the same, or somewhat different. The most difficult part, after making my determination, was to completely blacken the answer circle with my number 2 pencil. That concluded the speed part of the test.

Part two dealt with memory and accuracy. There were five address blocks, with five different addresses in each block. On the test, you would see one specific address and had to answer which block it was in, A to E. I think we had eighty-eight questions in this section, and had to answer and mark your circle in about five seconds.

I scored ninety-six out of one hundred, plus was awarded an additional five points for being a veteran. Disabled veterans received ten additional points to their score.

The Job

I was hired and my first day on the job was December 16th, 1986. I was thirty-nine and a half years old, a rookie, when most employees my age were midway through their careers.

The next task I had to pass was my ninety-day probation period. My supervisor would judge my performances during the Post Office version of Basic Combat Training. As a recruit in BCT, I was fat, and out of shape, and now I was also old.

Most of my days were spent delivering routes. A carrier would case the route, pull it down, and I would grab the loaded satchel, and either be transported or walk to my first delivery point. Generally, when a professional carrier cased the route, there were few errors, and having to be quick, when we delivered, we rarely had time to check to see if we were delivering the correct mail. As long as we delivered to the correct address, we rarely got into any trouble.

The accepted method of handing the mail was to rest the flats, which were large pieces of mail and magazine sized mail, in the crook of your arm, and hold a bundle of letter-sized mail in your hand. Using your free hand, you would peel letters for a specific address off the pile, and then peel of the corresponding flats, collating both piles together to deliver to the mailbox, or slip through the door slot.

Casing the Mail

Finally, I was given the opportunity to case mail, so before leaving work the day before, I walked to the route to check out the case. A mailman’s case consisted of two or three five row metal boxes with every address, or two addresses in a section, marked off on the case and split up by metal separators.

The job at hand was to grab a handful of letters and begin sorting them into the proper divider, your eyes and hands moving all around the case until you would finally recognize where to put the mail piece from memory. It was sort of like the game Concentration.

After casing the letter mail you were going to take out, you would pick up a handful of flats and rest them on your arm. The flat case was a series of cubicles with multiple address labels—remember the test—where you would throw the flats into the proper bin, and then when finished you would have to sort them into delivery order on your desk.

Eighteen and Eight

Doing the job properly, and speedily, the speed that was required was eighteen letter pieces a minute, and eight flats. I think I used to case close to thirty letters and fifteen flats a minute once I got the hang of it.

Today’s mail sorters now ‘case’ about thirty-five thousand pieces an hour, and in delivery order. I had been retired once they began using flat sorting machines, and I know literally nothing about them.

Larry L. Deibert

Note: If you want to learn more about Larry, read his interview A Time Traveling Man


Larry L. Deibert’s Books


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Read Rebecca Forster September Featured Author

September 14, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , ,

Read Rebecca Forster!

Rebecca marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then she wrote her first book and found her passion.

Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.

Have your read Rebecca Forstest’s Witness series?

Josie Bates is back in Lost Witness the eighth thriller in the Witness series.

It’s two in the morning and an aging cargo ship lies off the Port of Los Angeles. Deep in the bowels of the vessel, an important man is dead and the woman who killed him is mortally wounded. On shore another man staggers out of the sea determined to save the woman before she dies or the ship sails. Exhausted and terrified, he goes to the only person he trusts to help, Josie Bates.

He brings with him a history she can’t ignore, a problem that seems insurmountable, and a plea she can’t refuse. But Josie is up against international law, maritime justice, a Port Authority that doesn’t want anything to get in the way of profit, the U.S. Coast Guard who dances to the tune of politics and a captain who swears the people in question were never on his ship.

With the clock ticking, Josie becomes ever more desperate to prove the woman is real and get her safely ashore. What Josie doesn’t know is that the sands of time that are running out may be her own.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple Books

Read Rebecca Forster

DARK WITNESS

Buy now!
DARK WITNESS

DREAMS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
DREAMS: The 90s Collection

EXPERT WITNESS

Buy now!
EXPERT WITNESS

EYEWITNESS

Buy now!
EYEWITNESS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGOTTEN WITNESS

Buy now!
FORGOTTEN WITNESS

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller

PRIVILEGED WITNESS

Buy now!
PRIVILEGED WITNESS

SEASONS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
SEASONS: The 90s Collection

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

SILENT WITNESS

Buy now!
SILENT WITNESS
THE BAILEY DEVLIN TRILOGY: BOOK 1-3 (The Bailey Devlin Series)
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S SHIP CAME IN
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY
THE DEATH OF ME: A Crime Novella
THE RECKLESS ONES: The 90s Collection

VANITIES: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VANITIES: The 90s Collection

VOWS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VOWS: The 90s Collection

BEFORE HER EYES

Buy now!
BEFORE HER EYES

KEEPING COUNSEL

Buy now!
KEEPING COUNSEL

THE MENTOR

Buy now!
THE MENTOR

BEYOND MALICE

Buy now!
BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

Buy now!
CHARACTER WITNESS

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Read Rebecca Forster September Featured Author

September 7, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

She marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then Rebecca wrote her first book and found her passion. Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.


The Finn O’Brien Series

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

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Rebecca Forster September Featured Author

September 1, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , ,

She marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then Rebecca wrote her first book and found her passion. Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.

Josie Bates is back in Lost Witness the eighth thriller in the Witness series.

It’s two in the morning and an aging cargo ship lies off the Port of Los Angeles. Deep in the bowels of the vessel, an important man is dead and the woman who killed him is mortally wounded. On shore another man staggers out of the sea determined to save the woman before she dies or the ship sails. Exhausted and terrified, he goes to the only person he trusts to help, Josie Bates. He brings with him a history she can’t ignore, a problem that seems insurmountable, and a plea she can’t refuse. But Josie is up against international law, maritime justice, a Port Authority that doesn’t want anything to get in the way of profit, the U.S. Coast Guard who dances to the tune of politics and a captain who swears the people in question were never on his ship. With the clock ticking, Josie becomes ever more desperate to prove the woman is real and get her safely ashore. What Josie doesn’t know is that the sands of time that are running out may be her own.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple Books

More Books by Rebecca Forster

DARK WITNESS

Buy now!
DARK WITNESS

DREAMS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
DREAMS: The 90s Collection

EXPERT WITNESS

Buy now!
EXPERT WITNESS

EYEWITNESS

Buy now!
EYEWITNESS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGOTTEN WITNESS

Buy now!
FORGOTTEN WITNESS

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller

PRIVILEGED WITNESS

Buy now!
PRIVILEGED WITNESS

SEASONS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
SEASONS: The 90s Collection

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

SILENT WITNESS

Buy now!
SILENT WITNESS
THE BAILEY DEVLIN TRILOGY: BOOK 1-3 (The Bailey Devlin Series)
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S SHIP CAME IN
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY
THE DEATH OF ME: A Crime Novella
THE RECKLESS ONES: The 90s Collection

VANITIES: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VANITIES: The 90s Collection

VOWS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VOWS: The 90s Collection

BEFORE HER EYES

Buy now!
BEFORE HER EYES

KEEPING COUNSEL

Buy now!
KEEPING COUNSEL

THE MENTOR

Buy now!
THE MENTOR

BEYOND MALICE

Buy now!
BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

Buy now!
CHARACTER WITNESS

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