Margaritaville, dreams, saving dogs, reviews & new releases
NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY
National Margarita Day on February 22nd rims a glass with salt and serves up a beverage that tastes like the summer sun.
Known to be the most common tequila-based cocktail served in the United States, the margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice. In the United States, the most common lime is the thick-skinned Persian lime. When margaritas are made with lemons, they have a much softer taste.
When it comes to sorting out the legends associated with the origin of the margarita, there are many. Two things are certain; the cocktail included tequila, and the bartender edged the rim of the glass with salt. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila (especially if the quality was bad), the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand.
It makes sense that the salt followed the lime and the tequila to the margarita glass. Today, lime is not the only flavor of margarita, and the specialists behind the bar have gotten creative mixing dried herbs, infused sugars and exotic salts to enhance both the presentation of the glass and the flavor of the cocktail.
Margaritas can be served on the rocks (shaken with ice), frozen (blended with ice), or straight up (without ice).
There are many different stories and myths, beginning as early as 1938, as to how and when the margarita was created.
In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month.” The recipe as printed was:
1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt—pour, and sip. (Wikipedia)
The margarita was further popularized with the 1977 release of Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville.”
When I first heard of the genre “Visionary Fiction” the first thing that came to mind was: this is fiction about visions. I’d had many visions in my life and had decided half a century ago (at least) that I was marginally psychic or at least intuitive in some areas. (They were not those that would make me rich or famous)
Because I love writing and digging into research, I usually took notes on any pattern of vision that came to me, whether it was a dream, a meditation, or just a random series of thoughts and images that wouldn’t go away.
That’s always been my answer during an interview or a Q & A when the question asks “How do you get your story ideas?”
My most recent story for Kaleidoscope Hearts 3 – a romance anthology dug deep into my earliest writing attempts in high school. For reasons lost to me now, I became fixated on the Appalachian Mountains. I was born there but only an infant when my parents moved to places on the coast. I was also troubled by my own mortality and began to think about ways to live past my allotted time. I thought of caves as conduits to a land of the ever-living and only much, much later realized I’d picked up on a belief in the worlds of the fae and Bright World.
The story I first wrote was about a woman running away from her past to find refuge in a mountain town. While there, she learned of a strange race of people from another world who lived in nearby caves. They were bone white in color, with white hair and silver eyes. On moonlit nights they came out and danced. They could look human enough for short periods of time to help local villagers without arousing suspicions. The town I picked was Neva, TN, an unincorporated village in the mountains. I justpicked it by placing my finger on a map.
I never finished the story, or told my parents about it, because soon I was off to writing other things, but I never forgot the images and had made paintings of the fey folk dancing.
Later I studied cultures and myths and learned of faery folk, aliens and immortals. I wondered if somehow I was being told about them via visions and dreams before I read about them in fiction.
There was one more wrinkle I’ll never understand. After my sister and I were grown and on our own, my parents decided to move to the Tri-Cities area of TN/VA . They built a house for their retirement and a place on a river for family to gather and visit them.
I didn’t say anything to them then, but I thought near Nevaand looked on a map again. Neva was 20 miles east of their new house. There were also several commercial and small private caves nearby. At that point I didsay something to my Dad, who found it interesting but didn’t make a huge thing of it.
They spent their last years there and I inherited it, but on my visits I never found the people of faery dancing at night or when I visited the caves. I was keenly aware of the mystical connection I’d found. I could sense the story and many other stories in the air while I walked the paths nearby.
In the story “The Figment” a woman is running away from an affair gone wrong. She ends up in a small Appalachian village where people are unusually healthy and friendly – kind to people in need. She meets a handsome stranger, but as their friendship takes off she realizes something’s different and magical about not only him but the others living there.
The dream and vision 55 years later had found a way to be told as a story.
Junkyard Dogs Led me to the Horrors of Illegal Dog Fighting
With my next Zak Bates Eco-adventure series book, Junkyard Dogs, due out later this month, I wanted to share a bit more about where the research for this story led me: the horrible practice of illegal dog fighting which apparently is way more widespread than most of us want to admit or have realized.
Of course, most of us know about the professional football player, Michael Vicks, who was found guilty in 2007 of federal felony dog fighting conspiracy charges. The only good thing I see that came from that is the public became more aware of the problem for a short time. Unfortunately, it continues even now some fifteen years later.
I suppose I’m particularly sensitive because, not only did I see dogs while in my veterinary practice with injuries that looked suspicious of having been in such fights, but my number one canine companion, Argos, is part Pit Bull, one of the most common breeds abused in this way.
I’ll leave a link in the comment section where you can learn more about this problem and what can be done to stop it. Meanwhile, notice how the dog with the chain in the first picture looks so much like my dog…and no, it is not Argos, but one of the dogs found at one of the illegal dog fighting locations. My pup is the one sleeping with his chew toy.
Rose is in a nursing home thinking about her best friend who has passed away two weeks earlier. They had a secret and part of it ended in a mystery. This short story about a secret letter containing the answer. There are lyrical descriptions through the story that is part memory and partly about the need to keep something secret versus the need to know. Should she open the letter and find out about that night in 1956 or let it go? Suspenseful and exciting short.
Young Cerulean loses his family and friends in a planetary extinction event. He is alone, but attempts to revive the trees that sang to keep his planet's ecological system balanced. After years alone, humans land in their spaceship to colonize, Cerulean befreinds a young girl to teach her how care for his world. Beautiful and sweep, Most emotional - You might cry.
Kaleidoscope Hearts Vol. 3: Thirteen New Stories to Fall in Love With
Around every corner and even right in front of you, love is spinning fabulous stories.
Whether it is the town's most eligible bachelor coming to your rescue, or the friend you denied your attraction to for years on end, Love finds a way to make our lives into something magical. Go for a drive down a road that leads to romance or say "yes" to a date that you can't imagine will go well. Sometimes, in the wish to have your heart's desires fulfilled, you find that what you've always wanted has been right in front of you all along.
From the pain of past romances, to the premonition of a future you never expected, these love stories will leave you with Happily-Ever-After, and so much more.
Fans of Kristan Higgins, Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber, & Josh Lanyon won't want to miss this breathless collection of romance in all its colors.
Just like a kaleidoscope, every shade and shape of love is imprinted on our hearts. Grab your copy today and find a few new stories to fall in love with!
Gina Ardito, Grace Augustine, CJ Baty, Linda Boulanger, Rochelle Bradley, Jennifer Daniels, Laura Hern, Andi Lawrencovna, Kristine Raymond, Kali Willows, SE Winters, Mary Woldering, & Beth Worsdell
There was no warning. One day the world was normal, the next, the age of the virus was upon them. With death tolls rising, governments were forced to dole out more research funds than candy on Halloween.
All she wanted was a piece of the pie...
Urina Thandal's work continually went unrecognized. Human trials were the only thing standing between her and the respect she deserved. A cure was in her grasp, but permission to move forward wasn't forthcoming. Rules and regulations were strangling her genius, all while people continued to suffer.
She needed a way around the red tape--a way to distribute her invention without raising any alarms--something almost everyone could access...
It might have been better if it was never found.
Is Strawberry Fields Dismembered fiction, the ramblings of a lunatic, or a prophecy as to what may come to pass? Pick this one up and decide for yourself.