This is not a foodie blog, although I may talk about food from time to time.
It is not a rant blog, although I may do that, too.
It is simply a sharing of my thoughts because we all need an audience who responds to us,
to validate that we mean something, that we are alive.
Enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

New Anthology Released!

OKLAHOMA—The writing group Prosateurs announces the publication of the judged anthology Prosateurs: Tales & Truth. The anthology features short stories, recipes, humor, memoirs, poetry, devotionals, articles, and other works from the group’s members. It’s now available from Prosateurs members and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and other retailers.

Author Kathy Akins won Best of the Book with a memoir of her mother’s battle with dementia. “It was honest, sincere, and well-written,” said Submissions Judge Gail Henderson. “A reader both sympathizes and learns from it.”

Henderson co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. She collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography that explores the enigma of womanhood in the world. She wrote Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry under the name Gail Wood. Her work has appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, Creations 2012-2014 and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Lake Superior Writers, Duluth, Minnesota.

For more information, visit Prosateurs.blogspot.com.
Purchase on Amazon here!
Purchase on Barnes & Noble here!
Purchase on BooksAMillion here!
Purchase on Lulu here!

The anthology authors include:

Kathy Akins has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. Her works were published in Blackbirds Third Flight and the Creations anthologies 2014-2015. A love for history, family, and animals inspires her stories. She lives in Oklahoma and shares her home with miniature long-haired dachshunds and a rescued Catahoula. Her dachshunds assist her when she presents educational programs for children in her capacity as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Ambassador. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit kathyakins.blogspot.com.

Debbie Anderson wrote the novel Friend or Foe in 2018. A longtime storyteller, she has written stories since she was a child. The oldest of eight children she used these stories to entertain her siblings. She spent eighteen years in the travel industry. As a result she has been to nearly every state and six countries. She left the travel business after 9/11. Since then she has written business documents such as manuals and procedures for the electronic and oil industries. She writes short stories, memoirs, novels, children’s stories, and how-to books. She has been published in Creations 2017.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote the poetry collection Undying. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. He wrote the plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout, Hogwild, and There’s A Body in the Closet. His writings have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Blackbirds Third Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Tulsa World OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Kelley Benson is a pastor who has a passion for using everyday opportunities to help people recognize how God works in their lives. He and his wife Jade are raising their  children to see how God should be part of everything people do. Since 1997, he has participated in a wide range of ministries and been involved with the investment industry, the insurance industry, teaching, and carpentry. He published On Target, a book of devotionals, and writes a weekly newsletter. His articles were published in Creations 2013-2015. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit kelleybenson.blogspot.com.

Nita Beshear began writing as a young child. If her family wasn't moving from one state to another, they were moving across town. Stories gave her continuity. Her friends in her stories went with her to every new home. Beshear writes nonfiction, historical novels, and short stories. Her books include Devoted to Quilting and Beyond the Grief: A Widow's Survival Guide. Her fiction appeared in Romance-The Spice of Life. She is a member of the Material Girls (the Allen Oklahoma Quilters), McAlester McSherry Writers, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., and Duncan and Okmulgee Toastmasters. Visit nitabeshear.wordpress.com.

Wendy Blanton published the novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy. Her short stories appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, and Blackbirds Third Flight. She writes novels and short stories in several genres. She graduated from the University of Mount Olive, North Carolina, and served in the United States Air Force. An apprentice bard, she tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. She and her husband are members of the Clan Campbell Society. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit wendyblanton.wordpress.com.

D. E. Chandler wrote the thriller Bone Sliver. In 2013, her poem, “Oppenheimer” and her short story “One Way Window” won honorable mention and publication in Outside the Lines. In 2015, her poem “Carroll After Dark” won first place and publication in the Tulsa Review’s 2015 Spring contest issue. Her works were also published in Blackbirds Third Flight, The Green Country Guardian, The Sapulpa Herald, and Sapulpa News and Views. She graduated from Rogers State University. She lives with her husband Tom in Oklahoma. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Oklahoma Women Bloggers. Visit dechandlerwrites.com.

Barbara Shepherd has received more than 300 writing awards. She is the Oklahoma 2017 Voice of the Fair Poet, a Lone Stars Poet, a Woody Guthrie Poet, and a former Nominee for Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma. Shepherd served as a field editor for Taste of Home and contributed to other magazines, including: Outlook, Oklahoma D.O., Oklahoma Woman, Edmond Life and Leisure, Bella, and ArtBeat. Her books include: The Potbelly Pig Promise, River Bend, Vittles and Vignettes, and Patchwork Skin. Her writing appeared in: Women’s War Memoirs, Heavenly Patchwork, Voices In Time, and numerous other publications. Visit barbarashepherd.com.

Joanne Verbridge was born in Oakland, California, spending her early life experiences in Northern California. Family brought her to Oklahoma where she enjoys writing memoirs and crafting. She works to inspire her young nieces to take an interest in story telling and writing. Her memoirs, short stories, and articles have been published in Oklahoma newspapers and in the Creations anthologies 2012-2015.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Perfect for Halloween!


Blackbirds Second Flight 
Perfect for Halloween! 
Featuring thrilling stories and poetry from Stephen Bagley, Wendy Blanton,
Gail Henderson, Ken Lewis, 
Jean Schara, and Heath Stallcup!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A bit about Blackbirds

The anthology Blackbirds First Flight featured stories from Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones.

To quote Pru Simmons: “Blackbirds First Flight is an anthology of stories and poetry with a dark, sensual twist. The stories run the gambit from thrilling Gothic adventure to modern urban fantasy to fantastic encounters with the macabre. The poetry is uniformly excellent and tells dark stories of its own, many related to mythology.”

Here's a bit about the authors:

Stephen B. Bagley wrote Tales from Bethlehem, Murder by Dewey DecimalMurder by the Acre, Floozy & Other Stories, and EndlesS and co-authored Undying with Gail Henderson. His works have appeared in Writer's Digest, Creations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, ByLine Magazine, Free Star, Nautilus Magazine, OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit https://stephenbbagley.blogspot.com for more info.

Kent Bass enjoys writing Gothic action/adventure stories. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and from the University of Oklahoma, with a Master of Science in Accountancy. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas, where he works for the nation’s leading tax software company. Blackbirds First Flight was his first publication.

Wendy Blanton published three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard under the pen name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive and served in active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. Visit https://wendyblanton.wordpress.com for more info.

Gail Henderson co-authored Undying with Stephen B. Bagley. She collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography. Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry, was published in 2013. Her work has appeared in Creations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. Visit https://redbirdwoman.blogspot.com for more info.

Tamara Siler Jones is a wife, mom, writer, quilter, and cat-wrangler from rural Iowa. She has numerous novels in print/eBook, including Ghosts in the Snow, winner of the Compton Crook Award for best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre; Threads of Malice; Valley of the Soul; SPORE; and the newly released Morgan's Run. Visit http://www.tamara-jones.net for more info.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University with a Master of Science in Adult Education. She has had several book reviews published in the Air Power Journal and several articles published in Vision: A Resource for Writers. Visit http://pmtoo.jeanschara.com journal for more info.

Blackbirds First Flight is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu, and other online retailers. Visit https://blackbirdsflights.blogspot.com for more info.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Blackbirds Third Flight On Sale!

Blackbirds Third Flight is now available at 
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Lulu, 
& other online retailers!
Enjoy these dark fantasies: 
➧ A dead girl asks one final question. 
➧ A young man rides a forbidden dragon. 
➧ With claw and fang, Malone will fight. 
➧ Justina Grave battles a dangerous witch. 
➧ A father faces his family's terrible secret. 
➧ The end of the world begins in a backyard. 
➧ A predator prowls on Halloween night. 
➧ Thunder Mountain will kill the careless. 
➧ Learn the final truth of the Tooth Fairy. 
➧ A wolf reveals the face of the true beast. 
     And much more in this anthology of thrilling tales and poetry from Kathy Akins, Stephen B. Bagley, Wendy Blanton, Michael Canton, D.E. Chandler, Erin Cochran, Gail Henderson, Mariana Llanos, Jean Schara, and Heath Stallcup.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Signing Slated

ADA—Ada Public Library will host a book signing for the new Many Rivers Harbor anthology Blackbirds Third Flight on Thursday, October 27, 4:00-6:30 p.m. The anthology features stories and poems from area author Kathy Akins, Ada author Stephen B. Bagley, Wendy Blanton, Michael Cantin, D.E. Chandler, Erin Cochran, Gail Henderson, Mariana Llanos, Jean Schara, and area author Heath Stallcup.

The signing will offer signed books, Halloween candy, special gift bags for the first 25 customers, giveaways, special pricing on the authors' other books, and author presentations. The book will also be on sale at that time for $12.  

Blackbirds Third Flight is an anthology of stories and poetry with a dark, adventuresome twist,” said Kyra Childers, Many Rivers Harbor associate editor. “The stories run the gambit from thrilling urban fantasy to fantastic encounters with mythical creatures. The book includes a new story in the Justina Grave Mysteries™ and a new dragon rider adventure in the World of Balphrahn. The poetry is dark, funny, and excellent.”

The authors featured in the anthology include:

Kathy Akins began writing when she retired from a 30-year career with the United States Postal Service. She has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. A love for history, family, and animals touches her everyday life and inspires her story ideas and characters. She lives in Oklahoma and shares her home with miniature long-haired dachshunds and a rescued Catahoula. Her dachshunds assist her when she presents dog-related educational programs for children in her capacity as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Ambassador. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with Gail Henderson in 2015. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimaland Murder by the Acre. His other books include Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. He wrote the full-length plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World OKMagazine, Free Star, Dark Prairies & Deep Rivers, and other print and online publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. Visit his website at StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Wendy Blanton started writing when she learned to string words into sentences. She published three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. Currently, she writes novels and short stories in several genres. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive, Mount Olive, North Carolina, and served on active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and specializes in telling Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. She and her husband are members of the Clan Campbell Society of North America. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three rescue cats. Visit her website at wendyblanton.wordpress.com.

Michael Cantin is a poet and sloth fanatic residing somewhere in the wilds of Orange County, California. He writes fitfully between bouts of madness and periods of lucid concern. You can find him in dark corners where weird fiction and stiff drinks are most readily available. His poetry has appeared both in print and online publications. You can find his work in The East Jasmine Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, 50 Haiku, several anthologies, and other venues.

D.E. Chandler released her debut novel, Bone Sliver, in October 2015. In 2013, her poem, “Oppenheimer” and her short story “One Way Window” both won honorable mention and publication in Outside the Lines. In 2015, her poem “Carroll After Dark” won first place and publication in the Tulsa Review’s 2015 Spring contest issue. She is currently a senior at Rogers State University, in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Creative Writing and TV/Radio Broadcasting. She lives with her husband Tom on a beautiful lake in Oklahoma. Email her at tcmedia@hotmail.com or connect with her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Erin Cochran writes dark fiction including everything from classic horror to literary thrillers. Her love for the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, and later Stephen King, began early in life with bedtime stories from her dad and listening to Mystery Theater on the radio while nodding off to sleep. She has numerous short stories and offerings of dark poetry, as well as her first novella in the genre, Of Noble Blood. She lives on a homestead farm with her family and all manner of animals from a pet snake to milk goats. She is writing a collection of horror short stories based on mythology and a vampire novel, The Sang Fye of New Orleans. Connect with her on Twitter @ep_ferguson and Facebook.

Gail Henderson co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with Stephen B. Bagley in 2015. She collaborated with noted photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography that explores the enigma of womanhood in the world. She wrote Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry published in 2013 under the name Gail Wood. Her work has also appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Creations 2014, Creations 2013: 40 Ways to Look at Love, Creations 2012, and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma. Visit her website at RedbirdWoman.blogspot.com.

Mariana Llanos was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She has written poetry and short stories since she was a young girl. Hoping to give a voice to the many characters that lived in her head, she studied Drama with the prestigious company Cuatrotablas, based in Lima. After moving to Oklahoma, Mariana worked as a preschool teacher, standing out for her creativity and passion for arts education. In 2013 she published her first book, Tristan Wolf. Now she has six titles under her name, four of those also in Spanish. Mariana visits schools around the world through virtual technology. She finds it to be a great way to reach children and spark their passion for reading and writing. Visit her website at marianallanos.com.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Central Texas. Since then, she’s been writing and helping her husband with the never-ending To Do list under the guidance and direction of their nine rescue cats. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University, Montgomery, with a Master of Science in Adult Education. In the summer, she is primarily occupied with yard work while her husband paints their Queen Anne Victorian home. She has had several book reviews published in the Air Power Journal and several short articles published in Vision: A Resource for Writers. Visit her blog at pmtoo.jeanschara.com/journal.

Heath Stallcup was born in Salinas, California, and relocated to Oklahoma in his teen years. He joined the US Navy and was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Bangor, Washington, shortly after junior college. After his second tour, he attended East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He then served ten years with the State of Oklahoma as a Compliance and Enforcement Officer while moonlighting nights and weekends with the local sheriff’s office. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three of his seven children. His books includeWhispers, Caldera, Forneus Corson, and the continuing Monster Squad series: Return of the Phoenix, Full Moon Rising, Coalition of the Damned, Blood Apocalypse, Homecoming, Wayward Son, Obsessions, and Specters. Visit his website at heathstallcup.com.


Blackbirds Third Flight is available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Lulu.com, and other online retailers. For more information about the book, signings, and the authors, visit blackbirdsflights.blogspot.com.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Author Spotlight on Stephen B. Bagley

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Stephen B. Bagley co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with Gail Henderson in 2015. He wrote Murder by Dewey Decimal and Murder by the Acre. His other books include Tales from Bethlehem, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. He wrote the full-length plays Murder at the Witch’s Cottage and Two Writers in the Hands of an Angry God and co-wrote Turnabout. His poetry, articles, short stories, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, ByLine Magazine, Nautilus Magazine, Pontotoc County Chronicles, Tulsa World OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Visit his website at http://StephenBBagley.blogspot.com.

Read his stories "The End Begins" and "Grave Fortunes" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu for a limited time. Click here to buy! Save 30% thru Monday, Oct 10, by using Lulu discount code: OCTSAVE30


Friday, October 7, 2016

Author Spotlight on Jean Schara

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Central Texas. Since then, she’s been writing and helping her husband with the never-ending To Do list under the guidance and direction of their nine rescue cats. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University, Montgomery, with a Master of Science in Adult Education. In the summer, she is primarily occupied with yard work while her husband paints their Queen Anne Victorian home. She has had several book reviews published in the Air Power Journal and several short articles published in Vision: A Resource for Writers. Visit her blog at http://pmtoo.jeanschara.com/journal

Read her story "Malone Stakes A Claim" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu for a limited time. Click Here to Buy! Save 30% thru Oct 10 by using Lulu discount code: OCTSAVE30


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Author Spotlight on Gail Henderson

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Gail Henderson co-wrote Undying, a collection of poetry with Stephen B. Bagley in 2015. She collaborated with noted photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography that explores the enigma of womanhood in the world. She wrote Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry published in 2013 under the name Gail Wood. Her work has also appeared in Blackbirds First Flight, Blackbirds Second Flight, Creations 2012, Creations 2013:40 Ways to Look at Love, Creations 2014, and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma. She and her husband enjoy life in beautiful Minnesota. Visit her website at RedbirdWoman.blogspot.com.

Read her poems in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu for a limited time. Click Here to Buy!   Save 30% thru Oct 10 by using Lulu discount code: OCTSAVE30


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Author Spotlight on Wendy Blanton

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Wendy Blanton started writing when she learned to string words into sentences. She published three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard, under the name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. Currently, she writes novels and short stories in several genres. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive, Mount Olive, North Carolina, and served on active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and specializes in telling Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues. She and her husband are members of the Clan Campbell Society of North America. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three rescue cats. Visit her website at http://wendyblanton.wordpress.com.

Read her story "Mage Hunt" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu for a limited time.
Save 30% thru Oct 10 by using Lulu discount code: OCTSAVE30


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Author Spotlight on Erin Cochran

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Erin Cochran writes dark fiction including everything from classic horror to literary thrillers. Her love for the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, and later Stephen King, began early in life with bedtime stories from her dad and listening to Mystery Theater on the radio while nodding off to sleep. She has numerous short stories and offerings of dark poetry, as well as her first novella in the genre, Of Noble Blood. She lives on a homestead farm with her family and all manner of animals from a pet snake to milk goats. She is writing a collection of horror short stories based on mythology and a vampire novel, The Sang Fye of New Orleans. Connect with her on Twitter @ep_ferguson and Facebook.

Read her story "Music of the Nightingale" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu for a limited time. Go Here to purchase!
Save 30% thru Oct 10 by using Lulu discount code: OCTSAVE30


Monday, October 3, 2016

Author Spotlight on D.E. Chandler

Later in October, we will mark the official release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

D.E. Chandler released her debut novel, Bone Sliver, in October 2015. In 2013, her poem, “Oppenheimer” and her short story “One Way Window” both won honorable mention and publication in Outside the Lines. In 2015, her poem “Carroll After Dark” won first place and publication in the Tulsa Review’s 2015 Spring contest issue. She is currently a senior at Rogers State University, in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Creative Writing and TV/Radio Broadcasting. She lives with her husband Tom on a beautiful lake in Oklahoma. Email her at tcmedia @ hotmail.com or connect with her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Read her poem "Corvus" and short story "Her Last Question" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu.com for a limited time HERE.
Save 20% thru today (Oct 3) by using discount code: SAVETODAY


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Author Spotlight on Mariana Llanos

October will mark the release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors. 

Mariana Llanos was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She has written poetry and short stories since she was a young girl. Hoping to give a voice to the many characters that lived in her head, she studied Drama with the prestigious company Cuatrotablas, based in Lima. After moving to Oklahoma, Mariana worked as a preschool teacher, standing out for her creativity and passion for arts education. In 2013 she published her first book, Tristan Wolf. Now she has six titles under her name, four of those also in Spanish. Mariana visits schools around the world through virtual technology. She finds it to be a great way to reach children and spark their passion for reading and writing. Visit her website at marianallanos.com.

Read her poems "Wolf" and "Bird" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu.com for a limited time HERE. Save 20% through Oct 3 by using discount code: SAVETODAY


Friday, September 30, 2016

Author Spotlight on Michael Cantin

October will mark the release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting stories and poems. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Michael Cantin is a poet and sloth fanatic residing somewhere in the wilds of Orange County, California. He writes fitfully between bouts of madness and periods of lucid concern. You can find him in dark corners where weird fiction and stiff drinks are most readily available. His poetry has appeared both in print and online publications. You can find his work in The East Jasmine Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, 50 Haiku, several anthologies, and other venues.

Read his poems "Tooth Fairy" and "Carcosian Love Poem" in Blackbirds Third Flight, now available exclusively from Lulu.com for a limited time. Click here to purchase!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Author Spotlight on Heath Stallcup

October will mark the release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting works. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Heath Stallcup was born in Salinas, California, and relocated to Oklahoma in his teen years. He joined the US Navy and was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Bangor, Washington, shortly after junior college. After his second tour, he attended East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He then served ten years with the State of Oklahoma as a Compliance and Enforcement Officer while moonlighting nights and weekends with the local sheriff’s office. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three of his seven children. His books include Whispers, Caldera, Forneus Corson, and the continuing Monster Squad series: Return of the Phoenix, Full Moon Rising, Coalition of the Damned, Blood Apocalypse, Homecoming, Wayward Son, Obsessions, and Specters. Visit his website at https://heathstallcup.com.

Look for his haunting short story "Rats In The Attic" in Blackbirds Third Flight coming soon!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Author Spotlight on Kathy Akins

October will mark the release of Blackbirds Third Flight, which features 10 authors and poets sharing dark, twisty, and exciting works. Here's a bit of info about one of our authors.

Kathy Akins began writing “for real” when she retired from a 30-year career with the United States Postal Service. She has won several awards with her poetry, devotionals, and short fiction. A love for history, family, and animals touches her everyday life and inspires her story ideas and characters. She lives in Oklahoma and shares her home with miniature long-haired dachshunds and a rescued Catahoula. Her dachshunds assist her when she presents dog-related educational programs for children in her capacity as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Ambassador. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

Read Kathy's story "Peril on Thunder Mountain" in Blackbirds Third Flight coming soon!


Friday, April 24, 2015

BSF launches for Kindle!

Blackbirds Second Flight now available for your Kindle!


Enjoy these dark fantasies:
A writer challenges her murderous muse.
Dragons and riders stage a daring rescue.
Gangsters face off over the world's fate.
Warriors duel to their deaths in the sky.
A dad battles ghosts to save his daughter.
The sidhe never forget nor forgive.
It's Malone's way, or the fur will fly.
A shaman invades Tulsa on a killing hunt.
And much more!

Kindle version!
Print versions!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Cheeseburger Incident

I consider myself a fairly rational adult, not given to drama or impulse, although that wasn’t always the case in my tender years when, if I didn’t get my way, I would throw myself on the ground and flop around, screaming like an unhinged banshee. My dad helped me grow out of that phase by falling down and wailing and flailing right along beside me. Sheesh. Throwing a temper tantrum loses its appeal when done in tandem with a grown man who is so obviously bad at it that even a five-year-old gets thats she’s being made fun of. So I gave up the practice. For the most part.

Many years later, as a high school teacher, I found myself in situations that would have unbalanced a person with more delicate sensitivities. There was the time I unlocked my classroom door, which was locked mostly for show since any kid could jiggle the knob and pop the lock open, and found a little styrofoam cup filled with soil and a tiny plant sitting in the middle of my desk. How nice—one of my students had brought me an addition for my flowerbed. It looked a little anemic, but with a little sunshine it should green up nicely. While I busied myself with the housekeeping that begins a school day, something picked at the edge of my consciousness. I stopped in the middle of writing the date in the top left corner of the chalkboard—what was that little gnat of thought? Had I forgotten something? Was there a teachers’ meeting this morning? Nothing on the calendar. Did I forget to put on underwear? I checked. No, I was fully clothed. So what was bothering me? Nothing was different in the classroom except that puny potted plant. Bingo. Why would a student sneak into my room so early in the morning unless he or she didn’t want to be seen? I took a closer look, and the light in my consciousness went on high beam. It wasn’t just a potted plant; it was a pot plant.

I knew the culprit would be watching for my reaction, like a kid pushing buttons on a battery-operated toy car, hoping I would go into overdrive. Never one to give attention seekers what they want—I was much practiced at ignoring my little sister who insisted on being the center of the universe—I tucked the baby marijuana plant into my book bag and headed to the principal’s office. Still early, there were a few students in the hall, and I spoke to each one or stopped and chatted for a minute if one was so inclined. None of them seemed curious about what might be in my bag or why I was headed in the direction of the office, and I certainly didn’t give any indication that I was in possession of an illegal drug.

Principal Stewart gave me a quizzical look when I set the marijuana pot on his desk. Not an incredibly bright man, he likely wondered why I was gifting him with a scrawny little plant in a throw-away coffee cup. Always for the underdog and those a bit dimmer than the average primate, I gave him a clue: “I found this marijuana plant on my desk this morning. I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I brought it to you.” Then I walked out of his office. End of incident. Not one word about it ever again from anyone. No police, no drug-sniffing dogs, no red-faced adults lecturing about the evils of smoking pot. Nothing. Principal Stewart and I didn’t have much in common except a love of low-key problem solving. He followed my lead and never acknowledged the anonymous locally sourced gift. I felt great delight in thwarting some kid’s attempt to create an adult drama just so he (she?) could stand back, look wryly amused, and say, “Some of my finest work.”

My aplomb was tested again several years later by a new generation of students who took a more direct approach to exploiting teachers as entertainment, which could have been the undoing of my composure had my mother not been a biology major who used every hapless woodland creature she came across as an opportunity to teach my sisters and me up close and personal lessons about wildlife. How could my students know I didn't meet the criteria for the stereotypical fastidious English teacher? How could they know cleaning chickens for the dinner table was also a lesson in poultry anatomy? (Cleaning a chicken isn’t about bathing a hen. It is about your mother wringing its neck, ripping its feathers off, and gutting it carefully to avoid strewing internal nastiness all over the flesh that would soon be fried up and served with gravy.) My students did not perceive the barefooted farm girl under my well-cultivated teacher facade. When a group of junior high thrill-seekers trouped into my room and said, “Mz. Woods, we wanna show you somethin’” and one of the boys thrust a wiggling, green garden snake under my nose, I reached for it with an admiring “Oh, how pretty.” They had been holding their collective breath in anticipation of Mrs. Wood’s scream. Their disappointed exhalation was audible. With simulated sternness, I handed the snake back to the leader of the group and exhorted him to return it to its home fully intact. They trouped out, heads down, and properly chastened. My pride swelled. I had just trumped a bunch of seventh graders. I could handle anything.

Although maintaining my composure in surprising situations has been a source of pride for me, it doesn’t require much effort on my part since I am naturally shy and displays of drama make me cringe. I am, however, embarrassed to admit there have been times that reason abandoned me, and my reactions were out of character. Those times always involved Ex-husband.

I can’t even remember the topic of the argument that caused me to go berserk the first time. Mostly, when Ex-husband and I had a disagreement, I went into quiet mode. He was brought up in an arguing family; I was not. If it was unpleasant, my family didn’t talk about it. In his family, however, the more unpleasant the topic, the more likely they were to scream at each other about it. Even though I lost my cool during this particular argument, I didn’t scream. I did think about running over him with my car, but I didn’t want to do it in front of our children. Anyway, I couldn’t think of a way to induce him to stand outside the garage while I backed the car out. So I did the next best thing. I threw bricks at his new shop building. He was proud of that building and for convenience had built it close to the house. Too close to suit me. It was a big, tin monstrosity with a tall, rust-coated diesel fuel tank parked in front of it. It was a perfect target—the building, not the diesel tank. I might have been crazy angry, but I wasn’t stupid.

With Ex-husband still yelling at me, I walked out of the house gritting my teeth and headed to a pile of bricks stacked against the shop. With very little thought and a great deal of focus, I picked up a brick, backed away just far enough to get good leverage, and heaved the brick smack into the shiny new tin. At the same time I let out a bellow that came from the pit of my stomach and made the hair on the back of my own neck stand up. My God, that felt good. So I did it again. And again—until my arm ached and that brand new, heretofore unsullied eyesore sported at least three brick-sized gashes.

Spent, I sat down on the ground and sobbed—not because I was sorry I had damaged Ex-husband’s building or because my two children, ages fourteen and eight, had seen their mother lose her mind. No, I cried because I’d forgotten how good throwing a temper tantrum could feel. Only running over Ex-husband could have topped this.

That’s the only time my composure completely abandoned me. Well, there was the time I threw a cup past my ex-husband’s head, and shards of glass stuck in the dining room paneling, but I don’t think that counts since I didn’t actually aim for his head. He was lucky. My imperturbability probably saved his life several times.

My psyche does have a dark and somewhat melodramatic side when it comes to food. I love food and will try almost anything edible. That doesn’t mean I will like it or ever eat it again, but I will give it a chance. I ate sushi when it was real and raw, long before the civilized California roll that appeals to the palate of European origin. I was attending a conference in Denver, and my cousin, who grew up on brown beans simmered all day, cornbread baked in an iron skillet, and potatoes fried in lard, wanted to show off his new-found sophistication. He took me to an Asian restaurant and ordered sushi. (I have since learned that sushi was not the correct name for the slices of raw salmon, tuna, and octopus served on a wooden board with a dab of sinus-clearing wasabi on the side—not that calling it sashimi made much difference.) I did not want to appear squeamish about eating something that looked like fishing bait, so I ate with gusto. Well, maybe not gusto, but I ate it. It was okay. It was certainly not the cornmeal-crusted fried catfish I grew up with. The salmon sort of fell apart in my mouth. Some might say it was so tender it melted in the mouth. They would be more diplomatic than I am. It was mushy and raw. I prefer my salmon mixed with egg, cracker crumbs, and onion and made into patties fried in hot grease—if I got one of those soft bones in the middle of the patty, that was an extra treat.

The raw tuna was firmer than the salmon. I could actually chew it, but I’m not sure that was an advantage. Tuna from a can is much different than tuna from the ocean. Maybe that’s why the octopus was my favorite of the three; I had no reference point for it. I had not yet enjoyed the delight of fried calamari or squid grilled in garlic butter, so without comparison raw octopus wasn’t too bad although I can say I have never craved it since. Regardless of my internal misgivings, I managed not to embarrass my cousin. I thanked him profusely for expanding my gustatory horizon. The next time he came to visit me in Oklahoma, I repaid his kindness by throwing sophistication out the window and serving him brown beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes. He ate four helpings.

While I try not to show prejudice against food I have not yet tasted, I do have my food preferences. I’m a big fan of anything hot and spicy. If it doesn’t sear my tongue, it’s probably too bland. As a child, I did not like raspberries or avocados, but I knew I would someday so I kept trying until they made a positive impression on my palate. It hasn’t worked for Brussels sprouts. I just don’t like the taste of those nasty, little cabbages.

Disliking something for its taste is not irrational; disliking it for its emotional value is very irrational. And I am thoroughly irrational in my dislike of cheeseburgers—to the point of rudeness (and I am never rude). I have embarrassed my children by complaining to a waiter about the intrusive cheese on my hamburger. I have returned hamburgers that came with mayonnaise instead of the preferred mustard. A hamburger is a sacred flavor of my childhood, a flavor accompanied by a chorus of angels. The patty must be good quality meat squashed thin on the grill so it can reach all the edges of the bun which has been toasted in hamburger grease and flattened with the same spatula used to turn the patty. That way the bun soaks up all that lovely caramelized meat flavor. Each half of the bun must be slathered with a layer of plain yellow mustard, then beginning with the bottom half, the burger must be assembled in this order: thinly sliced sweet onion, dill pickle slices, hot meat patty, homegrown tomato slices, and a crisp leaf of iceberg lettuce. This is the way God intended for us to eat hamburger meat. I’m sure it’s in the Bible—something about a fatted calf.

Anything that pretends to be a hamburger or a variation thereof cannot be justified. Call it an educated hamburger or a cheeseburger, I still don’t like it, and I am determined that I never will. Even my passion for Sweden couldn’t mitigate the horror I experienced when hamburgers there were served with globs of mayonnaise. In defense of their food—and there is not a lot to defend—the Swedes really know how to fry potatoes. Still, that doesn’t make up for what they did to hamburger meat, which I suspect was a flattened meatball.

My intense animosity toward cheeseburgers became apparent when Ex-husband brought one home to me for supper. There was a bag from Braum’s on the kitchen counter, and I thought, “How uncharacteristically sweet of him to bring me a hamburger!” Since this was a rare occurrence, I wanted to reinforce his behavior so I began silently rehearsing a warm but not too effusive thank you. “Oh, sweetheart, thank you so much for bringing me a hamburger for dinner.” No, that wouldn’t work. I never called him sweetheart. He would question my motive. He might even get up out of his recliner and come to the kitchen to see if I were alright. How about, “It was nice of you to pick up hamburgers for supper. Thanks.” No, couldn’t do that either. The word nice would stick in my throat and probably choke me. Better stick with “Thanks for the hamburger.”

While ruminating on the appropriate response to this unexpected windfall, I set out a plate, opened the bag, and inhaled deeply. Hmm. Not quite the satisfying mustard-onion smell I had anticipated. Maybe the cook had skimped on the condiments a little. No problem. I had plenty of mustard in the fridge, and if need be, I could slice up an onion. I unwrapped the burger. Something akin to electric shock skittered down my spine. Was that cheese stuck to the wrapper? Oh, dear. There was cheese on my hamburger. I breathed deeply. I could handle this. I would scrape it off and apply mustard. I could manage to eat it. No need to hurt Ex-husband’s feelings.

I placed the flawed burger onto the plate and lifted the top half of the bun to scrape off the offending cheese and to add extra pickle slices. This time I actually stepped away from the counter. Mayonnaise, ugh. No way I could eat that thing. It was an abomination. My composure dissolved. Had the server at Braum’s gotten the order wrong? It had happened before, and I always politely returned the alimentary mistake. I had to know the truth. Had he actually ordered me a cheeseburger? Well, yes, I liked cheese didn’t I? After forty-one years of marriage and my vociferous dislike for these culinary mistakes, he ordered me a cheeseburger?



Something in me snapped. It was as audible as a snake-wielding seventh-grader’s disappointment. I gripped the cabinet and counted to ten, but the dismembered cheeseburger taunted me. I thought about bricks and his shop building. I thought about my car, but it was a Prius and running over him would probably do more damage to it than to him. So I did what any woman whose childhood food fixation has been debased would do. I divorced him, but not once did I yell.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Blackbirds Second Flight On Sale NOW!

March 30, 2015

MANY RIVERS HARBOR PUBLISHES NEW FANTASY ANTHOLOGY

ADA, OKLAHOMA—Many Rivers Harbor announces the publication of Blackbirds Second Flight, an anthology of thrilling fantasy stories and chilling poems by new and established writers. The book is on sale now at Amazon, Barnes and NobleLulu, and other online retailers.

“We're proud to publish Blackbirds Second Flight,” said Kyra Childers, MRH associate editor. “This book follows last year's Blackbirds First Flight and features fantasy stories and poems with a dark twist.”

Childers said the book offers short stories that continue several characters' lives after their appearance in Blackbirds First Flight. "Both Stephen (Bagley) and Wendy (Blanton) return to characters first seen in last year's anthology. Stephen gives us another story about monster hunter Justina Grave, and Wendy tells us about another man's encounter with the powerful fairy Maeve."

The book retails for $12. For more information on Blackbirds Second Flight, readers can visit blackbirdsflights.blogspot.com.

The book features works from Stephen B. Bagley, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Ken Lewis, Jean Schara, and Heath Stallcup.

Stephen B. Bagley wrote Tales from Bethlehem, Murder by Dewey Decimal, Murder by the Acre, Floozy and Other Stories, and EndlesS. His works have appeared in Blackbirds First FlightCreations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, ByLine Magazine, Free Star, Nautilus Magazine, OKMagazine, and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.

Wendy Blanton published three fantasy novels, The Dragon’s Lady, Rogue Pawn, and Sword and Scabbard under the pen name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive and served in active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues.

Gail Henderson collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce Bare, a book of poetry and photography. Red Bird Woman, a collection of her poetry, was published in 2013. Her work has appeared in Blackbirds First FlightCreations 2014, Creations 2013, Creations 2012, and ByLine Magazine. She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.

Ken Lewis's articles, memoirs, short stories, and poems appeared in Creations 2014, Creations 2013, and Creations 2012. He graduated from East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He is also a graduate of the Long Ridge Writers Group, Danbury, Connecticut. He is an amateur astronomer and is currently involved in a global effort to gather visual information of double stars. He enjoys handcycling and has completed numerous marathons.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University with a Master of Science in Adult Education. She has had several book reviews published in the Air Power Journal and several articles published in Vision: A Resource for Writers.

Heath Stallcup was born in Salinas, California, and relocated to Tupelo, Oklahoma, in his teen years. He joined the US Navy and was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, and Bangor, Washington, shortly after junior college. After his second tour, he attended East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma, where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He then served ten years with the State of Oklahoma as a Compliance and Enforcement Officer while moonlighting nights and weekends with his local sheriff’s office. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three of his seven children. His books include Whispers, Caldera, Forneus Corson, and the continuing Monster Squad series: Return of the Phoenix, Full Moon Rising, Coalition of the Damned, Blood Apocalypse, Homecoming, and Wayward Son.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

BSF book trailer!

Book trailer for the new dark anthology Blackbirds Second Flight from Many Rivers Harbor. BSF features dark fantasy stories from Stephen B. Bagley, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Ken Lewis, Jean Schara, and Heath Stallcup.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Video Chat!

The first Many Rivers Harbor Video Chat. A few minutes of fun and information about the new anthology "Blackbirds Second Flight" with authors Stephen B. Bagley, Wendy Blanton, and Jean Schara in which they discuss their short stories, feral cats, murderous muses, fairies, dragons, and a few other oddities they didn't expect.<br />
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