Monday, February 29, 2016

March 1, 2016

Easter is one of the first signals of spring time, rebirth, and falls on the 27th this year.  Well, that and Groundhog Day, flowers peeking out of their winter homes, and Robins fluttering in the backyard.  Here in Oklahoma we turn back time on March 13. And let us not forget St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th.  The first day of Spring is March 20th.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month: 
Featured Author:  
Easter Traditions
Recipe of the Month:  
Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
Coming Next Month

Quote of the Month:  A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures.”  James E. Faust, American Clergyman (1920-2007)

Featured Author:  Brent Archer

Summer Stalked was a combination of my memories of performing in Summer Theater (also known as summer stock) during a couple of summers in my mid-twenties and my cousin telling me of some of his exploits. These things together with my love of mysteries brought about the story being released by MuseItHot Publishing on April 7th, 2016.
The character of Luke appears in several of my short stories as well as a secondary character in two upcoming sequel novels to The Bastard’s Key. He’s inquisitive, sometimes clueless to his surroundings until beaten with a 2x4, and always big-hearted. John-Michael was inspired by a young man I met a couple years ago who is a talented artist, so having him be a set designer wasn’t too farfetched for his character. The other main character, Diane, was based loosely off of one of my other cousins who is the mother figure of her family, taking in the family strays and looking after them.
I like to have recurring characters in my books, even if just cameo appearances. I remember reading a lot of Clive Cussler and Madeleine L’Engle’s works when I was young, and loved catching glimpses of characters I remembered from their other stories. L’Engle especially wove in characters or descendants of characters throughout her works, often interacting with the main characters and sharing pieces of their stories not necessarily in the main story about the character.
Be on the lookout for characters from other stories making appearances in my upcoming novels and shorts.

The first show of the summer season has closed at the Western Washington Wilds Summer Theater, and Luke Augustin finds a love interest in the set designer, John-Michael Wolfe. But things turn deadly when Luke’s nemesis, Pedro Marsing, is stabbed and killed, and his best friend, Brayden Wildman, is arrested for murder. With their cabins ransacked, and a knife firmly lodged in John-Michael’s pillow, Diane Benger, the theater’s general manager, comes to their aid. The trio become unlikely crime fighters to solve Pedro's murder before John-Michael becomes the next victim. A broken down cabin deep in the woods holds the secret, and Luke must fight for his life to bring the killer to justice.

Brayden bent to tie his shoe. “What’s your problem with John-Michael anyway?”
Luke sighed in frustration. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s his hyphenated name. I really did think his drawings sucked.”
Brayden stood up. “Well, you’re not on the production team. You’re a chorus boy. It’s not your job to have an opinion on the designs. I think you hurt his feelings, especially since he’s hot for you.”
“He’s what?” Luke’s gaze swung to the young man still watching him from off-stage. Scowling, John-Michael turned on his heel and stormed away into the maze of rigging. Luke returned his attention to Brayden. “He’s not into me. He rips apart my acting and dancing all the time.”
“You’re not paying attention to the way he looks at you. He’s got it bad, and your criticism of his art probably stabbed him like a knife.”
Guilt washed over Luke. He got that uncomfortable tightening in his gut that usually happened when he’d stuck his foot in his mouth. “Damn it, Brayden. I hate it when you do this to me.”
Brayden smirked. “What? Tell you when you’re being a prick?”

Easter Traditions:  According to the Venerable Bede, Easter derives its name from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A month corresponding to April had been named "Eostremonat," or Eostre's month, leading to "Easter" becoming applied to the Christian holiday that usually took place within it. Prior to that, the holiday had been called Pasch (Passover), which remains its name in most non-English languages.

In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

In addition, eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Romans, used eggs during their spring festivals.

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) were decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures in Armenia.

Germans gave green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday, and hung hollow eggs on trees. Austrians placed tiny plants around the egg and then boiled them. When the plants were removed, white patterns were created.

Recipe of the Month:

Easter Basket Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix   
1 (16 ounce) can white frosting
2 drops green food coloring   
1/2 teaspoon water
2 cups flaked coconut                      
1 (14 ounce) package candy-coated chocolate pieces

Prepare the cake mix and bake the cake in two 8 inch rounds according to package directions. Cool completely.

Cut a circle out of the center of one of the layers, leaving a ring that measures 1 1/2 inches from the outer to the inner edge. Place the uncut layer on a serving platter and frost the top. Place the ring layer on top of the frosted layer, and frost the sides and top of the basket. Decorate the sides and top by pressing candy pieces into the frosting.

To tint the coconut, combine water and green food coloring in a medium bowl. Stir in coconut with a fork until evenly tinted. Place green coconut grass in center of cake basket.

To make a handle, cut a piece of aluminum foil 8x16 inches. Fold in half lengthwise 4 times. Wrap with ribbon, securing the ends with tape. Insert ends of the handle into the cake top. Fill basket with Easter candy and goodies, if desired.

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances:
©     3rd Saturday of Month:  OKRWA Monthly Meeting, OKC Museum of Art
©     April 13-17, 2016:  Romantic Times Reader Convention, Las Vegas, NV at the Rio Hotel and Casino

Coming Next Month:  Feature author, Beth Overmyer

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

Above photo found on Pinterest
Easter Eggs Means Green Grass And Environment image courtsey by Stuart Miles. at