End of the year surprise

A wonderful way to end the year!

Orphan in America was one of the “2015 Reviewers’ Choice” selections of Indie releases this year. “… the most beloved books among the best we’ve read.” – Foreword Reviews

Orphan in America

foreword review

List of Titles!



Esteemed thinker: Dian Fossey

gorialla baby

Popularity is not always an indicator of the best nor should we assume that the most popular were raised to the top on account of an even start. An example of what one may considered “a staked deck” is the phenomena of voting for your favorite singer or dancer via social media (which includes television). Isn’t it likely that the winner may indeed have generated their own pool of supporters who may have “turned the tide”?

So it is here where I take us to the animal kingdom where there are animals that have always been considered ‘the most popular’. The giraffe, the tiger, the lion, the elephant, the gorilla, and of course the ever-adorable panda are just among the few that lead the pack in popularity. Even the dinosaurs, which have never been seen nor heard by anyone, ranks highest in the list of “favorites”. So why is it that the tapir, a most unusual looking fellow, the mountain bongo (a fancy looking antelope), or the red river hog (who makes a pig of himself at night) haven’t been able to tip the scales in their direction of popularity.  Perhaps it just might be that they need to get a new “press agent”!

Dian fossey  Today’s blog brings you the esteemed thinker: Dian Fossey, (1932-1985) American primatologist, zoologist, and naturalist was born in San Francisco, California. She is noted for her tireless and heroic struggle to preserve, protect and study the mountain gorilla.

Fossy grew up aspiring to work with animals however, after changing her major in college, she earned a degree in occupational therapy. Working in this field for several years, her restless spirit and affinity for animals drew her to the continent of Africa. In 1963, after taking out a bank loan and spending all her savings, she traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and the Congo. In her travels she meets the renowned archeologists, Mary and Louis Leaky. It is here where Fossey learns of Jane Goodall’s research with chimps, which was at this time in its infancy stages.

Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda’s Virungas Mountains in 1967 with a main goal in mind: to protect and study the endangered mountain gorillas. Fossey not only observed and studied, but she lived a secluded life among the mountain gorillas. She brought over thousands of hours of new information to the scientific community.

In 1983 she wrote and published her autobiography Gorillas in the Mist. Fossey’s research and conservation efforts for the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest from the 1960s to the ’80s brought her life to a tragically early end when she was murdered presumably by poachers.

I now bring to the profound words of the late Dr. Dian Fossey; a simple lesson for all of humanity.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.



Featured Today! Orphan in America

Orphan in America featured on www.ebooksoda.com… a terrific UK site! 


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ebooksoda link to Orphan in America 🙂


Esteemed thinker: Emily Post

eating toddler

Long ago in the Medieval days, when tapestries were hung on castle walls to keep in the heat and moats were built to keep out the unwelcome, there were celebrations of revelry. During such events, not unlike our banquets today, people gorged themselves on the delicacies of the time. Servants brought out huge helpings of food and set them on long tables where the festivities would go on for all hours of the night and into the morning. However, unlike our table setting, there lacked some useful implements. Napkins were not a staple and instead a woolly dog would travel round the seating permitting the hosts and guest to use its fur to wipe the grease off their hands. Fingers were often used rather than forks, bread sopped up the liquid, and bowls were picked up instead of using spoons.

Fast forward to the 21st century and take a walk down the grocery aisle; a revolution of sorts has infiltrated our eating habits. More foods are prepackaged that require little use of utensils and not much more effort than opening the package. Now very common, it appears that like the days of yore, we have accepted the use of our fingers to pick up our food and eat with. Toddlers are seldom required to learn at an early age to use a spoon but rather drink their yogurt from a plastic tube and finger out from a container their peas. Finger food has become the norm, not the exception. And while germ phobia may be a sign of the times, the hysteria has seemed to dodge our shared eating habits.

So while fads come and go, it just may be that using utensils has become a dying art, one that has been replaced with a simpler method; just be sure to pack the hand-sanitizer.

emily post

Today’s post brings you the esteemed thinker: Emily Post (b. Emily Price 1890 – 1960) Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Emily came from high society, educated in private school in NYC. She was a well-sought after debutante who married financier Edwin M. Post in 1921. However, after a scandalous divorce a few years later, she found herself having to help support herself and her sons. To supplement a small income Emily Post wrote short stories which were published in the popular fiction magazines Ainslie’s and Everybody’s.

Now as a successful writer and a woman of social position she was encouraged to write a book on etiquette with emphasis on graces. Etiquette—The Blue Book of Social Usage was published in 1922, quickly became a best seller. It went through ten revisions and 89 printings and bringing her fame and fortune. Her “Blue Book, ” earned the title as an American standard of etiquette and was reported to be second only to the Bible as the book most often not returned or stolen from libraries.

And so, I now bring you a snippet from her 1922 book titled ETIQUETTE IN SOCIETY, IN BUSINESS, IN POLITICS AND AT HOME. The portion you shall find is a bit of advice regarding children at the dining table; taken from the chapter “Kindergarten Etiquette”.

“Elementary Table Manners

Since a very little child cannot hold a spoon properly, and as neatness is the first requisite in table-manners, it should be allowed to hold its spoon as it might take hold of a bar in front of it, back of the hand up, thumb closed over fist. The pusher (a small flat piece of silver at right angles to a handle) is held in the same way, in the left hand. Also in the first eating lessons, a baby must be allowed to put a spoon in its mouth, pointed end foremost. Its first lessons must be to take small mouthfuls, to eat very slowly, to spill nothing, to keep the mouth shut while chewing and not smear its face over. In drinking, a child should use both hands to hold a mug or glass until its hand is big enough so it can easily hold a glass in one. When it can eat without spilling anything or smearing its lips, and drink without making grease “moons” on its mug or tumbler (by always wiping its mouth before drinking), it may be allowed to come to table in the dining-room as a treat, for Sunday lunch or breakfast. Or if it has been taught by its mother at table, she can relax her attention somewhat from its progress.

Girls are usually daintier and more easily taught than boys, but most children will behave badly at table if left to their own devices. Even though they may commit no serious offenses, such as making a mess of their food or themselves, or talking with their mouths full, all children love to crumb bread, flop this way and that in their chairs, knock spoons and forks together, dawdle over their food, feed animals—if any are allowed in the room—or become restless and noisy…”

First image: Title: Puffed Rice, c1918.  Child in high chair eating at dining room table.