Sunday, January 27, 2013

Our Gal Sal

Sally Starr

I’m totally knocked for a loop. I just found out that my childhood idol, Sally Starr died today. Yeah, I know people get old and die, but I loved her…she was a friend, even though I didn’t meet her in person until 1969.  Life in our house was not your typical Ozzie and Harriet type home, but Sally had a way of making a child feel special. Her love for her young audience came through our small screen television and right into my heart. I would sit in front of the set every day to watch “Our Gal Sal” and Chief Halftown…both loving, intelligent people, who truly understood children. I took my baby girl to meet her and Chief Halftown at a special event, and they were both so sweet and kind.

I won’t go into detail about her professional background, I’d rather that you can click on her name and read about this amazing woman.

We will miss you Sally Starr and “May the Good Lord be blessing you.”

Promoting Some Friends

All my followers are aware that I have two stories published in the short story anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, but I also have friends that are published and I want to mention and promote these authors and their books.  So Drum Roll, please!!!


Strange World is an anthology from Biff Bam Pop! I did an interview with Glenn Walker who has a story featured in the book. You can read about Glenn and how to buy the book here.

Joe Arechavala is one of the authors featured in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, but he also has a book published called Darkness Persists, and you can check it out.
Carmen DeSousa is a friend who I not only follow and buy her books, but she was so kind as to include M. J. Kane and I as contributors to her book The Pit Stop. Check out her great stories.

Jennifer M. Eaton is also featured in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey and several other anthologies, plus has her first published book out.

I will continue to add interviews of fellow writers during the next few months and remember to look for my weekly episodes of Lilith's Escape on my blog, and also my articles for Biff Bam Pop!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Interview with the Author of Jack and Jill, Volume One


I have the wonderful honor of interviewing one of the writers from the South Jersey Writer's group who is not only featured in our new short story anthology, Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, but is also published in other anthologies and now!!! drum role, please!!! has her first book published. Let's all same hello to our marvelous Jennifer M. Eaton.

         When did these characters first appear on the page?
       I found out about the Still Moments Anthology call for submissions through a friend. I wasn't a Romance Writer, so I was originally going to pass. Then I decided, "What the heck, let's see if I can do it." It was Romance, so I needed a guy and a girl (Yeah, that's a pesky requirement, isn't it?)  I decided to make Jill a single mom while I was writing the first paragraph, because a kid magically appeared, and I needed her Mommy to be "available" for the romance angle--so I decided to be mean and give her a divorce. The crux of the story had to do with a Christmas wish, and I thought it would be fun to have the wish sort-of-backfire...enter the male best friend, Jack.

          How have they evolved in this new book?
       In Jack and Jill Volume One, you see them come full circle from best friends, to making a commitment about their relationship. This is a little harder than your normal fly-by-night dating scenario, because they both know that if it doesn't work out, the chances of going back to being best friends are slim. They find out quickly that, even though they tell each other everything as friends, there are things about each of them that the other doesn't know and it will make dating not quite what either of them expected.
          Will there be another book about Jack and Jill?
      Oh, you noticed that "Volume One," did you? Yes, this is the first in a series. Moving forward, you will be able to read their story chronicled through a different holiday for each month. Volume one is December (Christmas) and January (New Year's) The next book will be Valentine's day, followed by St. Patrick's Day. You get the idea. I am not super-woman, though, so you won't see all these volumes this year. I need sleep, you know!

          What other projects are you working on?  

      Oh, tons! Like I said, Jack and Jill was a bit of a surprise, and Romance is not normally my genre, so I am busy in a lot of other areas. At the moment, I am shopping a Paranormal "first in series" called Une Variante about shape-shifters. It's great fun and I love the world I've created. I am also polishing my first Young Adult novel, "Fire in the Wood," which I hope to be submitting to publishers by Spring 2013. I have also just started a Young Adult Urban Fantasy tentatively titled " The First Day of the New Tomorrow". This is for an anthology, but if I go over on the maximum number of words, I think it will make a great stand-alone Novella. I am also flirting with an idea for a Dystopian sequel to my story "Last Winter Red." This is all on top of the ten Jack and Jill stories waiting to be written. Yep, I'm a busy gal.

             Jennifer, I want to thank you for being a guest on my blog, and I will keep my readers
             updated on  your works.

             Thanks so much for having me, Marie. I really appreciate it, and a little gnome told me that
             you picked up a copy of "Jack and Jill, Volume One". I hope you enjoy it, and please let me
             know what you think!
Yes I did, Jennifer, and you dear readers, can learn more about Jennifer, below:)

Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website aimed at making all writers the best they can be. 

Jack and Jill Volume One:  Jill stumbles back into the dating world after twelve years of motherhood.  But things have changed a lot since the last time she dated.  Jack and Jill stories follow the challenges of a woman holding on to traditional values in a world that has evolved without her. Now that she has found the man of her dreams, will Jill be able to hold on to him without compromising what she believes in?

Enclosure links: 

Jennifer Eaton Photograph,

Purchase links

Amazon Print:


Contact Links:

 Twitter:  @jennifermeaton



Friday, January 25, 2013

Episode Fifty-two of Lilith's Escape

Episode Fifty-two of Lilith’s Escape


“We’re a little short on the surgical anesthetics normally used for this type of surgery, but I have these,” Doc said to Edward.

“What are they?” Edward asked as the doctor placed the pills into his hand and then handed him a canteen to drink from.

“Something like the LSD from your time period, but just a tad stronger…you’ll be too busy tripping to notice the pain. Take them and lie down on that table.”

Edward did as he was told and then tried to get comfortable on the rather hard and cold metal table. “This looks like something they would use in a morgue.”
“It is…” That’s all Edward heard because he found himself falling through a tunnel only to land in the middle of what seemed to be a bizarre version of Alice’s Wonderland.
Lilith’s dragon was there and it wasn’t happy. Edward tried to run, but the beast blocked his way. When Edward tried to slip away, the dragon took hold of his nose and bit down hard. The pain was excruciating.

“You’ll never have her, mortal”, the creature scoffed. Edward felt his face only to find his nose was missing. “Your rescue mission will fail and you and these fools will all die,” the dragon added.
The dream was getting weirder by the minute. While the dragon taunted him, Edward could see his body lying on a burning pyre with the doctor (dressed as a knight) standing over him with a sword held over Edward’s neck. “You’re nothing but a hallucination,” Edward replied to the dragon.

“Am I?” The dragon raised its right foot and exposed its talons. As it made its move to strike, Edward heard a church bell ring out.
“They’re trying to break into our barricade,” someone yelled out over the incessant ringing. “You need to wake him, now!”

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is This True?

I don't know who sent this to my  husband and I don't know who the original author of this advice is, so don't thank me if it works.
What I do know... is that most of the old wives know the remedies passed down from generation to generation, are usually based on truth.
Garlic might not keep vampires away, but it is good for your health.
In the past when people had to rely on herbs and plants instead of Drug Stores to handle minor health problems, they knew what plants made them better.

So with the Flu going around, it would be a neat science project to see if onions do keep the flu away, but just in case they don't, keep washing your hands and using hand sanitizer after touching any door handles and railings in public places. Stay Well!
Onions and Mayonnaise- Very interesting
In 1919, when the flu killed 40 million people, there was this Doctor that
visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu.
Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it, and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer, and to his surprise, everyone was very
healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different,
the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms
of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't
believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under
the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu
virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping
the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several
years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were
many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions
around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work....
Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P.S. to this.... I sent it to a friend in Oregon who
regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this
most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story.... But, I do
know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill... I came
across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an
empty jar.....placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the
onion would be black in the morning from the germs.... Sure enough it happened
just like that.... The onion was a mess, and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around
the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful
antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note.

Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame.
Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the
reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu's and is
the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time
after it has been cut open!


I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of
Mayonnaise.. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the
Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.

Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned
from a chemist.

The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers Ed is a
chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula.
He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.

Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone
asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always
worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said
that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe.

"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but
it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at
a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked
about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on
the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials
look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came
from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as
it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the
Onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked
onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says
it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit,
that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you
put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!) Ed says if you take the leftover onion
and cook it like crazy you you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover
onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions
and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than
any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook
the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and
creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of
excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.
Please pass this on to all you love and care about.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Help Fight a Horrible Evil

Okay, I know this is a dark subject, worse than any horror story I could think of. This is a crime that takes place every day in most countries, including the United States. Learn the facts! Learn how to recognize a victim of human trafficking! Report it! Support the groups that are doing their best to bring down the slime bags that sell people.

Human Trafficking

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Goodbye Mom

Joann, Me, Jane, Lucy, Mike, Mom

Today we buried my Mom. It was her second funeral.
She died on New Years day and I went to Napa California to help my sister Jane with the funeral.
Jane and I during summer visit.
After the viewing and funeral there, I took Mom's ashes home with me.
Uncle Mario is the only one left now and I hope he and Aunt Rose stay with us for a very very long time. He was my mother's younger brother. Aunt Anna, the oldest, had died many years ago. My mom and her siblings were born in Benevento Italy.
                                   Uncle Mario, Mom, Aunt Rose and cousin Rickie                                     
My mother was fifteen when she moved to America with my grandparents, her sister and brother, which was a good thing because her childhood home was bombed during World War Two, and her cousins who were living in the house, all died.

My Mom moved to Napa when Jane and I were in our late teens and Lucy and Michael were around 12 and 13 (long story, too much drama and I really don't want to dwell on it) Napa is a fine place to live if you can afford it. When we were older, my siblings and I would try to visit whenever we could get our hands on some extra money or Mom would drive down with her new husband in their Winnebago, whenever possible.

We tried to get her to move back East, but Mom loved Napa (I don't blame her; it is beautiful) and refused to come back to the snow and slush.

My sister Jane the one that I tried to do away with since her birth, moved to California and never came back. She met a guy, they married, and had two sons. When Mom died, I was the only able to go out and although we fight like cats and dogs; this trip brought Jane and I closer to each other.

Jane is afraid that I won't visit as often because Mom is no longer there, but she's wrong. I will go when I can and as often as I can...remember I owe her a visit with the Fudgie Wudgie man.

It took Forty something years, but Mom is finally back home with us kids and we can visit her more often.

                          Although, we would have preferred it not to be at a cemetery.

                                                              Love you Mommy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Episode Fifty-one of Lilith's Escape


While Rita was going over the details of his cover, two people entered the room. The older man went straight to Lilith and greeted her, while the younger man who looked about 17 walked up to Edward and extended his hand. “So you’re the man from the past, cool! My name is Scouter.”

Edward put out his hand and said, “So you’re the one that’s stuck with me on this project, nice to finally meet you.”

“Nice accent and good to meet you too, but you’ve picked a lousy time to visit.”

“It wasn’t by choice,” Edward replied and nodded towards Lilith who was still speaking with the other man. “Who’s he?”
“That’s Doc. He’ll be doing the touch up to your face,” Scouter replied. Scouter then moved closer to Rita and made a big production of rubbing her huge belly. “So when is the sumo wrestler gonna come out?”
“When he’s good and ready, now get your grubby hands off me,” Rita snapped, but Edward could tell that she wasn’t at all upset with Scouter.

“Edward,” Lilith was now standing at his side. “This man will be doing the procedure on you.

He could smell her blood and for an instant, thankfully a fleeting instant, Edward wanted nothing more than to bite into her flesh. He stepped back so quickly that he almost knocked over Scouter. He could see the alarm in her eyes. Would he never be able to hold her in his arms?

“They call me Doc, but I was a plastic surgeon for the rich and famous and now…I mend the broken bodies of our resistance fighters, or try to.” The older man's introduction had brought Edward back from the danger zone.
“I hope you won’t have too much work to do on my face,” Edward said and then put his hand out.

“Not too much, but we’ll need to get started,” Doc said as he took Edwards hand in his and gave it a strong shake. “Lilith has a way of persuading people to join her cause, but thank you for coming to the rescue.”

 “I’m good with electronics and computers, if you’re wondering what my specialty is,” Scouter said as he and Edward followed the Doctor from the room. As the three men walked along the underground tunnel, some of the smallest children began to follow them.
“Will you bring us something to eat, Outer?” the girl who looked to be about four asked. Apparently this was her name for the young man.
“I’ll try short stuff…I’ll try.” Scouter glanced at Edward and whispered under his breath, “If we don’t get eaten first.”

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'm Back!!!

                                                                              I'm back!


and I'm now making plans for a memorial for my Mom for the East coast family.


Sounds like the mob, doesn't it? No just that most of our family lives this side of the country.


I'm spending the day catching up on all my writing assignments and also scheduling for the book promotion for our writer's group anthology, Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey.
                                               New Jersey never looked so good to me.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Episode Fifty of Lilith's Escape



“You’ll see in the documents that I handed you, that Captain Brandish is a widower, with no surviving family for you to worry about. He’s in charge of overseeing several of the prisons behind enemy lines and he has a reputation for his brutal treatment of prisoners,” Rita told Edward.
“So…he was a monster and deserved to die, but he also had friends. What’s the cover story on how I…Captain Brandish managed to escape?” Edward asked. Lilith this whole time had remained seated and silent, which was fine with Edward. He didn’t want to divert his attention away from the facts that needed to be memorized.

“That’s where Scouter comes in. When he delivered your meal to your cell, you attacked him with a weapon that you put together. You used him as a shield to escape.” Rita then pulled open a map of Philadelphia. “This was once a Naval Base but now it’s a prison for people who fight against the power of the Illuminati.”
Edward studied the map, but it felt odd to be looking at a base that was operational back in his time, but here and now, was a place of torture and death. “Rita, how am I to find your husband and Lazarus? This isn’t a small complex.”

“With this,” she replied and handed him a small ear piece.
“How does it work?” Edward asked as Rita positioned it in his ear. “Ouch, don’t push so hard,” Edward exclaimed, thinking that Rita was pushing it past his eardrum.

“It has to go in far enough not to be seen. It will pick up  signals from the implants on Roger and my husband as soon as you’re near to their location.”
“What’s your husband’s name?” Roger asked.

“His name is Tom and you better bring him back to me.”
“It was foolish to allow yourself to become pregnant in this time of evil,” Lilith said in a smug tone from the other side of the room.
Edward had forgotten that she was there, she had been so quiet. “Haven’t you also made bad choices?” Edward asked. When Lilith didn’t reply, he returned his attention to the soldier in front of him. “I’ll do my best to bring them all home.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sister Love

                              Me, my sister Lucy playing referee, and Jane
Even though my parents had four children, my sister Jane and I have always had this love/hate/love relationship that would rival that of the biblical Cain and Abel.
I’m the instigator for most of the arguments as I have been trying to do her in since the first day my parents took her home from the hospital, going as far as trying to give her away to the Fudgie Wudgie Ice Cream man at the Wildwood seashore.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Jane very much, but we’re only 18 months apart and this closeness in age, apparently became the catalyst for all our squabbles our entire life.  

Jane and I have a younger brother and sister, but our disagreements with them were far and in between and consisted mostly of whose side they were on when Jane and I fought.
I was the firstborn and the little princess for our extended Italian family. My father took me everywhere and my mother made the prettiest dresses for me and my grandmother doted on me. I was, for lack of a kinder description, spoiled rotten.

Then Jane arrived. Who was this interloper that dared to take all of my mother’s attention? Where did she come from? And better yet, how could I send her back? Remember I was only 18 months old, but I knew that this was a threat to the throne that had to be dealt with. I remember and have been told by older family members that I would try to give her away to anyone who came to visit. Fortunately for her, there were no takers.
My sister Lucy was and is today the peacemaker, always stepping in whenever the “War of the Planets” was about to begin. Lucy tends to be, middle of the road, live and let live, you’re both wrong, type of girl. And even now that Jane and I are both in our early sixties; Lucy often has to play the part of the “United Nations and send in the peace keeping troops.”
My brother wisely keeps out of the battles, thinking we’re all nuts.
With my sister Jane being hard core Tea Party and I a hard core Democrat.

 our younger sister Lucy has to play referee, but I did give Jane fair warning that the Fudgie Wudgie man still exists and can still be found selling ice cream on the Wildwood beach.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Episode Forty-nine of Lilith's Escape


“I told you to leave,” Edward repeated.

Tzaddik slowly removed his gaze from Lilith and stared at Edward. “You’re in no position to give orders here,” the old man countered.
Edward walked over to Lilith, who was barely dressed, and purposely blocked Tzaddik’s view. The tension in the room was palpable as the two men stared each other down. “I think it best if you leave, now,” Edward warned Tzaddik.

Just then, Rita entered the room. “I was able to scrounge up tea for his majesty and some bread…? Quick to pick up on the situation, she asked, “What’s going on now?”

“Tzaddik was just leaving, weren’t you? Edward replied, but the man remained where he was.
Honestly, Lilith? Don’t we have enough problems without having these two tomcats acting up?” Rita chided. She placed the tray on the table and said to Tzaddik, “Don’t be a ball breaker. Let him eat.” Grabbing the old man’s hand she pulled him to the door.

But right before he left, Tzaddik turned to Edward and said, “She doesn’t belong to you.”

“Stop teasing him,” Rita said to Tzaddik and pushed him out the door.

Finally alone with Lilith, Edward asked, “Why do this to me? Why flaunt your body for all to see?”
Edward wanted to hold her in his arms, but he was too afraid that the blood lust would return, so instead, he picked up the metal cup and drank the weak tea.

“Men are like children, fighting over what doesn't belong to them,” Lilith replied. Something had changed..she seemed different, cold. Taking a seat on the bed, she said, “Finish the food and then we’ll talk about your new identity.”
“Whatever,” Edward replied. This vixen had a hold on his heart and yet she so causally broke it. When this mission was done, Edward planned to return to his own time, away from Lilith and her drama.

Rita had returned to the room with documents and pictures. “Good you’ve finished, now we’ll bring you up to date on the man you’ll be impersonating.” Rita pulled out a photo of the man that Lilith had killed when they had first arrived. “Luckily you resemble the Captain in height and weight. You’ll only need minor surgery to your face.”
Edward looked at the photo. The captain had the same color eyes and hair as Edward and without the bruises from the beating he had endured at Tzaddik’s hands, could have passed as Edward’s brother. The only work needed was on the nose.
Edward’s was too slender. “Okay, tell me what I need to know,” he asked Rita, ignoring Lilith completely. He was angry…hurt and wanted this mission finished.