Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meet Author Susan Aylworth as we present her latest novel... ZUCCHINI PIE: GRANNY'S RECIPE FOR LIFE...

I am so excited that author Susan Aylworth agreed to pay us a visit! She's going to tell us a little bit about herself and her newest novel, Zucchini Pie: Granny's Recipe For Life...

(And... for all of you cooks out there? Each chapter begins with a fabulous recipe used by her characters. These recipes include sourdough bread, homemade salsa, pasta carbonara, Amish Oat Breakfast, tamales, hummus and dolma! You wont want to miss that!)

What inspired you to write your first book?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ghostly Shenanigans Aboard the USS Constellation....

Distinguished as the first U.S. navy vessel put to sea, and the first to engage and defeat an enemy ship, the USS Constellation set out on her maiden voyage, September 1, 1797.

 Navy History and Heritage Command PD-USGOV-MILITARY-NAVY.

After years of faithful service, she was decommissioned in the year 1853, and broken up for scrap material. But this was hardly the end of her life. In 1854, the navy constructed a new ship, possibly using bits and pieces of the old, and again christened her the USS Constellation. If nothing else, the name lived on. Under the command of Charles H. Bell, the navy launched this powerfully armed sloop-of-war on the 26th of August, 1854. The Constellation served in various capacities for a full century, until her final decommission on the 15th of August, 1955, when at long last, the navy removed her from the rolls.

Again, not the end of her life, though. You see, once removed from the naval rolls, the ship found a permanent berth in what is known as Constellation Dock, Inner Harbor at Pier 1 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was designated a National Historic Landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. She also has the distinction of being the last existing naval vessel from the American Civil War that remains intact.

Fully restored in 1999, the Constellation made her first trip out of Baltimore's Inner Harbor since 1955. In October of 2004, she set sail for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and this six day voyage marked her first trip to the city in 111 years.


All fine and good, but is it haunted? 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Congratulations to the Winners of our "Spirit of the Revolution" Excerpt Tour!

For all those who followed the four week tour on its various stops, made comments, and asked questions, I thank you! You made the tour really fun for me! I appreciate my hosts and the sweet ladies, Cerian, Joder, and Barbara Ann, who read my book and gave it such wonderful reviews, all of which can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and their blogs! You are all remarkable! Thank you Goddess Fish Promotions for making sure everything ran smoothly!

And now, without further delay...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Otherworldly Tales of the U.S.S. Constitution...

Constitution Underway by Hunter Stires

Fondly known as "Old Ironsides," the oldest commissioned vessel in the world’s navies today is the USS Constitution. Commissioned in 1797, and named by George Washington, the ship received her moniker during the War of 1812, while she served under the command of Captain Isaac Hull. The event took place August 19, 1812, just off Nova Scotia. One week earlier, the United States, still in her infancy, surrendered Detroit to the British. The Brits were riding high on this victory when the USS Constitution, and the British ship Guerriere, bombarded each other at close range. They were so close, in fact, that during the melee they collided once.

The Constitution, built far heavier and longer than her adversary, volleyed twenty-four pound cannonballs, which decimated the Guerriere's mast.  In return,  the British fired eighteen pound cannonballs at the Americans, to no effect. The balls just seemed to bounce off her thick oak hull. Recorded in a memoir of the incident, one British sailor hollered out, " 'Huzzah, her sides are made of iron! See where the shot fell out!" Thus the ship's nickname was born.

During her two hundred plus years of service, we find many old reports of distraught sailors, with ships in peril, who were rescued by the crewmen aboard the  USS Constitution. Once aboard they said they felt safe and at peace. Yet, at the same time, they could feel a bit of sadness lingering in the surrounding atmosphere. Whispers abounded of ethereal apparitions, from the very young to the very seasoned in years, wearing uniforms from the past still going about their earthly duties. They said if one listened closely, one could hear many different languages, antiquated in nature, yet the living were not responsible for these voices. Some reported the existence of a ghostly officer who invited various passengers to join his crew.

But what about ghostly experiences in the here and now? This beautiful old frigate, now stationed in Boston, still has a standing, living crew.  And indeed, this crew have reported brushes with the unknown. These brushes would mesh quite well with an episode of the Twilight Zone.

An unseen presence once blew on the neck of an unsuspecting female crewman... amorous ghost perhaps? After all, it has been quite awhile for some. And then one night, the watch caught sight of a 24 pound cannonball, rolling off to the left, then traveled back to its original spot, with no apparent motion of the ship to cause the event.  This particular cannonball didn't follow any natural turns or arcs attributed to the ship.