Monday, December 3, 2012

Those Irreverent Catholics

I have met some French Canadian, Irish and Italian Catholics who have a love-hate relationship with the Church.

This is reflected in the novel although names have been changed to protect the innocent - or the guilty.


Recently, I had the opportunity to visit and experience a local pub that was well decorated yet seemed a little irreverent towards the church and its many accoutrements.


 
 You can see more pictures in this other blog post.  

The Year of the Rabbit - a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness contains a lot of reference to the Roman Catholic Church.  One of the main characters is an Italian-Canadian priest.  The other is his biological daughter.  Do I have your attention now?


When you purchase the ebook version through Smashwords, you get to set the price.  How does that grab you?


Thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ancient Traditions and Research

After attending a Feng Shui workshop this weekend, I wonder if I did justice to settings in the novel.

I know, it's after-thoughts like these that can trouble an author's pretty little head. 

Perhaps I can review the descriptions of the Red Hare restaurant, the apartment above then update in a new version of the novel.  I understand the importance of proper research on certain subjects if you're going to write about them - even in a general sense.   When I first wrote these passages, I didn't want to complicate the story with technical details. 

I have been considering options for ebook updates, a fresh printed version (sorry, trees) and plans to translate into FrenchPerhaps when I have a bit more energy and better resources.

You can read the detailed account of the recent Feng Shui workshop in the deep blonde thoughts blog.  The lovely Tree of Life print is featured.  So are the cats - especially that Tabby
 


Don't be offended by my thoughts on out-dated religious texts although the subject does emerge during various scenes in the Novel. 
  
Speaking of, drop by the Year of the Rabbit domain for updates, Tweets and distractions.  Oh, yes...  Remember to buy a gift copy of the novel at Smashwords where you set the price. 
 
T
 
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Tree of Life

My favourite version of the Tree of Life is that from Egyptian mythology.

If you have read The Year of the Rabbit, you will notice an influence of Egyptian art and mythology as well as a constant and near-obsessive tree theme.  

The Tree of Life could have been a good title for the novel.  Since there was also a strong theme with the Chinese Zodiac, a little girl's evolving belief system and coping methods, I chose to use The Year of the Rabbit instead.

During manic cleanup and re-organization activities in le petit apartment this Thanksgiving weekend, I ventured deep into the storage caverns of our dwelling and retrieved one of my favourite pieces of art.  It now decorates one of our bare, bland living room walls. 


I had purchased this print while on an outing in Gatineau with a friend many years ago.  Unfortunately, it remained wrapped in old blankets along with other paintings in storage after our move to the smaller, safer dwelling.  The print nicely displays the stages of life, represented by five birds perched at different positions in a tree. 

If you tread on the interwoven strands of my ancient web presence, you will become entwined in quite the list of observations, inspirations and poems about trees.   

When you read the novel, you will notice a strong tree theme.  You will be introduced to the cherry tree when Father Gio meets Sera, his newly discovered daughter.  You will encounter several passages featuring this tree - especially  one pivotal day in the lives of the Fletchers.  

If I wrote the final chapters well enough, you will be touched by the full circle, the representation of the cycle of life and death.  

If I wrote those final chapters well enough, I will have made you cry.  Goodness knows I cried enough while writing them!

Have I enticed you to read this bittersweet story or gift it to a loved one?  Visit the novel's page at Smashwords.  You get to set the price when purchasing the eBook. How do you like them apples?  Apples... another theme.

Thanks for dropping by.  Visit the novel's domain for fresh announcements, links and tweets by Florence T Lyon. 

T




Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanksgiving and Beyond



It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  Sure seems that it took Parliament a while to declare the holiday and actually settle on a date.

This intermittent writer and author is happy and thankful because I have enjoyed my first week of vacation plus I am hosting a small dinner gathering of family and friends.  Soon I will be performing more tidy-up tasks and getting the petit cuisine organized for some preparations from scratch and.. a little cheating by pulling stuffing from a box.  

I was hoping to escape to a restaurant and have someone else serve us dinner - plus clean up afterwards.  One of the resident offspring insisted that we have Thanksgiving dinner at home.  Hmm... I wonder who will be helping out with the preparations and cleanup here? Does anyone remember the story of the Little Red Hen?  

The Red Hare restaurant would have been a nice place to host a family gathering.  Enjoy an excerpt where Sera and her extended family share in a Thanksgiving meal. 



Sera soon learns news that will add to her sadness and feelings of abandonment.  


It's a good thing she had Edgar and Jenny Young to give her some comfort



Drop by the novel's domain for links to other blog entries, reader comments and deep dark secrets.  You will have to dig a little for those...  
 
Giving thanks every day - 
beginning, middle and end.  
Waking from a dreamy state 
The cycle starts all over again.

T

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last day for a freebee epub or mobi copy of the novel

It's the last day of September.

It's also the last day for a free Epub copy of The Year of the Rabbit.  While we're at it, you can also obtain a free copy for your Kindle.

  • Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others) [Link]
  • Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps) [Link]


A young priest goes through the motions of following the teachings of the church in a small Muskoka town during the 1970s. He finds his true calling through unexpected encounters with his precocious love child.

A little girl tries to make sense of her lonely world and sees the Year of the Rabbit as one of hope due to the birth of her illegitimate nephew.


Thanks for dropping by! 

T

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Abuse of Power and Trust

I am troubled by more worldwide reports of abuse cases involving priests

Does it make you wonder though if their sickness was already present and they chose this vocation or profession because of opportunities to abuse while in a position of power?  Do not forget that we have seen reports of abuse by teachers and other professions. 

Yes, the novel leans towards the suggestion that priests should be allowed to marry.  Who knows if that would have prevented the actions by some sick individuals. Would they have eventually abused their own children? 


The Year of the Rabbit is loosely based on my experiences growing up in the Catholic Church in a small town and questioning the rules at many turns (but apparently not as spicey and humorous as those by Jenny McCarthy).  It is not intended to insult or show disrespect but demonstrate a growing need for change as was seen in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  

Yes, I am a Lapsed Catholic.  

Yes, I believe in a woman's right to make choices for her body, her reproductive system.  
 
I knew some interesting priests in my early years.  One who performed the wedding ceremony for one of my family members eventually left the church and got married.  
 
I wanted people to see Father Gio as a lovable, trustworthy character - a human male.  He regrets not acting sooner to prevent abuse in the small town where he served and questions his future in the Church. 
 
Let us not judge Gio for his moment of weakness, a brief encounter with a married woman in 1962.  If he didn't have that night of passion, we would not have gotten to know Sera, to watch her grow and cope through difficult times.  Was it fate or just coincidence?
 
 
Excerpts featuring Father Giovanni Vinoletti:
  1. Gio Meets Sera  (An excerpt from Chapter 1 where Father Giovanni Vinoletti meets Sera Fletcher, his newly discovered, biological daughter)
  2. Parish Picnic  (A priest's joy and shame. A child's innocent view on life after death)
  3. The Red Hare  (Traditions, community and home)
  4. Zodiacs and the Bible (A continuation of Gio and Sera's debate at the Red Hare) 
  5. Sudden Loss (Halloween night - Sera loses her friend and Gio regrets not acting sooner)   
  6. A child is born  (Birth, joy, teen pregnancy)
  7. Wine (The results of patience and loving care) 
 
You will grow to love Gio.  I have.   
 
Thanks for dropping by and reading this far.  Comments are welcome!
 
T
 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Anniversary

This is a celebration of sorts.

It has been a year since the e-book version of the novel was released.  It has yet to achieve national recognition or international acclaim.  Since Flo is so darned shy and couldn't afford an agent or publicist, it has been more of a small town, home team effort.  We still have hopes for this bittersweet, quirky tale.


Thank you to the people who paid the full price of $3.99 for the e-book download from SmashwordsThank you to the people who took advantage of the coupon offers for free copies.  You all went through the pain of creating an account with Smashwords.  The way I see it, you also opened up your e-shelves to a world of promising indie authors. Thank you for making the effort.

As of September 8, 2012 Flo has decided to allow potential readers to set the purchase price, starting at the Smashwords recommended minimum of 99 centsThank you to Smashwords for enabling a world of indies and satisfying my tree hugging sentimentality. 

Still not sure?

Thanks for dropping by.  Do come back to read about le petit project for the next two years.  


T

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Année du Lapin Un roman

Mon Dieu!  As if I don't have enough projects on the go...

During 2013 and 2014, Flo would like to translate The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness to French.  A grand idea?  Crazy or what? I am going to need the help of kind, skilled people (for free).

Je voudrais traduire le roman en Français.  Ce sera un projet durant 2013 & 2014. Grande Idée?  C'est fou, non?  J'auras besoin des gens gentils avec des compétences (gratuit). 

Apologies for the weak translation.  I am learning. Excusez-moi pour la traduction mauvais. J'apprends.

This project is intended to improve my skills in speaking and writing in French.  It will connect me with nice, talented people.  It will keep my mind busy and hopefully improve my grey matter well into old age

Follow this web page for updates. Suivez-vous cette page pour lire quoi de neuf. 

Thank you.  Merci.

- - - - 

The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness  is indeed a story about fate, family and forgiveness.  It is about friendship, loneliness and hope. It is about teenagers, pregnancy and adoption.  Visit this page for a list of themes within the story.  Follow Flo for Twitter updates




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Small comforts

In times of sadness, all we may need for comfort is a familiar face, reassuring voice or gentle touch.  

Children will likely seek out a favourite toy, a trusted friend or adult. The following is an excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit where Sera Fletcher is saddened after hearing about more loved ones planning to leave town.

- - - 

Summer 1975 at the Red Hare restaurant:

Sera folded the stroller and leaned it against the back wall before heading upstairs to the apartment.  On her way up, she straightened the picture frames of her railway friends. She entered her room to change into her pajamas and prepare for bedtime wash-ups. When she returned to the room, she tidied up her clothes and folded them neatly on the chair for wearing another day. 

She thought about the events of the day.  Dela and Amy were leaving town and taking Harry with them.  Matthew wasn’t getting better.  He was selling their family home.  


She reached for Edgar, her stuffed bear and pulled him in for a hug.  She squeezed him tightly for reassurance.  The music box in his torso made the familiar chiming sound.  She sat on her bed and held him in front of her.  His brown and black glass eyes stared back at her, as if showing concern.  She gently squeezed his stomach with both hands in tempo to the rock-a-bye-baby rhyme.  She played it over and over again, as if in a trance, seeking comfort.  Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top…

How stupid, she thought as she continued squeezing.  This song is about a baby falling out of a frigging tree!  How is someone supposed to fall asleep with THAT image in his or her head?  She thought about Harry in the tree today, how happy and carefree he was and how she held him safely so he would not fall. 

She started to cry, suddenly realizing that he was going away, far away and that she would miss the little guy.  She pulled Edgar in closer and hugged him tightly then burst into sobs and lay down on her pillow.

Why? She thought while sniffing and sobbing.  Why am I losing people I love?  I’m losing my family.  Where is my family?  Who is my family anymore?  Who is my real father?

There was a gentle knock on the door then Jenny’s voice, “Sera? Sera?”

“Yes?” she answered.

“May I come in?” asked Mrs. Young.

“Yes,” Sera responded without moving.

Jenny entered smiling then suddenly changed her expression when she saw Sera’s tear-stained face.

“Oh, Sera!  What’s wrong sweetheart?”

Sera rose on her side to meet Jenny in a hug as the woman sat on her bed.

“I’m so sad, Mrs. Young,” she sobbed, “I’m so sad about everything.”

“Everything?  Why is that?”

“Well,” she sniffed, “Amy and Dela are going away and they’re taking Harry with them.”

“Yes, I know.  I’m sad about that too.”

“I’m going to miss him so much.  Taking care of him makes me happy.  I feel grown-up and… like a kid all at the same time.”

Jenny stroked Sera’s head and ran her fingers in and out of the unruly, dark curly hair.  “I know, Sera.  It’s hard for us to see them leaving too.  We have to remember that Amy is eighteen years old now and is a young adult who can make her own decisions. Dela is mature and responsible at sixteen.  We trust them with taking Harry.  They’re going on a journey to visit family in Alberta.  They’ll call.  They’ll write.  Understand?“

“I know…” Sera looked at Jenny momentarily, noticed grey strands of hair forming at the front of her hairline.  She felt a bond of love and trust between them.

“They’re going to visit my family, my parents and siblings in Edmonton.”

“Why aren’t you going too?”

“Well… There’s this restaurant to run, and you to look out for,” she smiled at Sera, “and.. relations between my parents and me have been strained since I married Carl and moved way over here.  We’re letting Amy and Harry warm the ice.  My mother seems very happy to have them visit.”

“That’s nice,” said Sera sleepily, “It’s nice to have family.” 

“What else is bothering you?” asked Jenny.

Sera wasn’t sure about mentioning the fact that Amy and Dela were lovers and how Jenny would respond. There was no way she could mention her resurfacing guilt about the crime she and Gwen committed.  

“I’m worried about… my Dad and that he’s not my Dad anymore.”

Jenny suddenly stopped stroking Sera’s hair then spoke, “Oh, Sera.  That’s okay.  It’s good to show your concern about his health.  He has been through a lot the past few years.”

“It’s hard to understand, to accept these things that happen around us,” said Sera.

“Maybe you will find comfort with talking to Mr. Young and me.  Think of this as your second home, okay? We’ll be here for you when we can, understand?”

“Yes.  Thank you,” Sera smiled, a little tired-out from the day.  She recalled the Buddha statue and the secret cabinet in the living room.  This seemed like a good time to work it into the conversation. 

- - - 
End

Thanks for reading.  Drop by www.yearoftherabbit.ca for more information about the novel. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

July Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords

Smashwords is the publisher of the ebook version of the novel.  Many of their authors are participating in a July Summer/Winter Promotion.  

Do drop by to save 75% off the purchase price of "The Year of the Rabbit".  Drop by this page to get a FREE copy by July 1st. 

Do you like stories where the good and innocent overcome evil?  Do you like a little mystery?  How about a bit of romance mixed in?  

Get to know Father Gio Vinoletti, his daughter Sera Fletcher and her sexy Aunt Georgette. Learn how characters experience fate, family and forgiveness.  


There are many themes and symbols in this bittersweet story.  Some were intentional; some emerged from the author's subconscious as the novel progressed: 

  • Apples
  • The Church 
  • Confession 
  • Domestic Abuse 
  • Family 
  • Fate 
  • Forgiveness 
  • the Knife 
  • Libraries 
  • Nature 
  • Seeds 
  • Sexuality 
  • Teen pregnancy 
  • Trains 
  • Trees 
  • The cherry tree 
  • Wine

Read a few excerpts.  See what others have offered after reading the book.  Follow Flo on Twitter.  

Thanks for dropping by.  Remember to +1, Like, Share or submit relevant comments. 

T




Friday, June 22, 2012

Refreshing reading from Georgian Bay

Come meet Gio, Sera and Aunt Georgette in The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about fate, family and forgiveness.  

Save a tree and read the Ebook. Save your money and get it for free - until July 1st. 

Write to Flo if you liked the book and follow her on Twitter.  Drop by the Facebook page and give a little love - or Like.  Thanks!


Free ebook copy:

Your coupon code: CG92S

Start here and follow the instructions:
The Year of the Rabbit
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86160

Hop in before July 1, 2012.


Enjoy!




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News overload and media cuts

This blog entry touches on the theme of "confession" in the novel.  It also provides a good opportunity to comment on the recent Sunday edition newspaper cuts at PostMedia. 

PostMedia cutting jobs, Sunday editions
Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal papers affected
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/05/28/postmedia-job-cuts.html

The novel's author has not read a Sunday paper in years.  That's right.  There has hardly been a print edition newspaper in this household for ages.  She obtains most of her news online from credible sources or from that old thing called "radio".  At times when the news is overwhelming, she shuts everything off and cocoons to read or write. 

Summer 1975 (correction) 1974. Gio has arrived after a couple of parishioners depart from visiting Father John O'Reilly at the hospital.  Father John is recovering from a stroke. 

- - -

The elder priest slumped in his chair, in a seemingly act of relief.

"Are you tired, John?" asked Gio quietly, leaning toward his mentor. 

"Oh... sort of," he responded, "Those two sure can talk."

"So can you, Father O'Reilly, " quipped Gio with a wink and smile.

"I suppose so..." He gazed around the room, out the window then smiled wistfully at Gio, "So, how are you holding out?  Have you heard from Toronto yet if you can get some help?"

"I'm doing well, Father.  Well and busy.  No, the Arch Diocese hasn't found anyone yet.  But hopefully, you will be back on your feet soon?"

"I sure hope so.  I just get tired easily and..." lowering his voice and leaning forward, "a little confused at times."

"That's just part of the recovery, as the doctors told us,” assured Gio.

Father O'Reilly smiled weakly and gazed out the window longingly, "I miss my work, Gio.  I miss saying mass, giving communion and being with the congregation."

Gio lowered his gaze to his hands, folded on the table.  "I understand, John."

They were approached by a candy-striper pushing the coffee and snack cart. 

"Hello, Fathers,” she greeted them with a perky tone, "Would you like some coffee, cookies or something to read?"

Gio recognized her as Janice Foley, the young girl with whom he had seen Daniel at the picnic a few years ago.  How she had grown.

"Oh, hello, Janice," said Gio, "Nothing for me thanks.  Father O'Reilly, would you like something from the cart?"

The old priest seemed awakened from a daydream.

"Huh?"

Janice leaned over to him with a cheery smile and spoke a little louder, "Would you like something from the cart, Father?"

"Jeez Louise! I'm not deaf, dear girl!"

"Sorry, Father, " her face flushed, this time speaking normally, "Would you like something from the cart?"

"Oh. Any newspapers?  Any recent newspapers?"

Janice bent to retrieve one from the lower shelves, "How about yesterday's Toronto Star?"

"That will have to do, I guess." his hand shook as he reached for it, "Thank you very much, my dear.  How much do I owe you?"

Janice darted her eyes to Gio who was smiling at the exchange between old and young.  She smiled, "There's no charge, Father."  Before she turned to wheel her cart to the next table, she chirped, "Have a nice afternoon, gentlemen."

"Nice girl," said Father O'Reilly as he slipped on his reading glasses and opened the paper.

"That was Janice Foley, John,” said Gio, "She goes to Saint Pete's.  You saw her through first communion to confirmation."

"Oh."  He looked over to the girl across the room, "Sure grown up now, eh?"

“They sure do.”

Gio sat quietly, nodding as the old priest leafed through the newspaper, making one-sentenced comments about the news, voicing his opinion from time to time and muttering away. 

“John,” Gio spoke to get the elder priest’s attention, “Father O’Reilly,” Gio said louder then leaning in with a whisper, “I would like to make a confession.”

- - -
 
If you found this to be an intriguing blog post, taste a few other excerpts.  Explore a few clippings from the Seguin Sounder a fictitious newspaper that evolved after the novel was published.  We don't have a weekly crossword to offer yet could entice you with a word search puzzle.





Come support efforts to reduce paper waste, to save a tree or two by purchasing an Ebook version of The Year of the Rabbit.  Even better?  Get a free copy by May 31st.

Thanks for dropping by.

T

Saturday, May 26, 2012

They seemed like a happy family...

Domestic Violence is an undercurrent in The Year of the Rabbit.  

Although Sera Fletcher, her mother or other family members were not victims of abuse, they experienced a ripple effect when the abuse next door presented a crossroad.  Sera's friend Victoria and her mother were spirited away to a safe location by the people who suspected a problem but did little to address the situation prior.  

Of all the people, young Sera is the most affected and sinks into a depression from missing her best friend.  At least near the end of the novel, readers encounter the theme of forgiveness and promise of a reunion. 

Perhaps it is a coincidence but I have noticed the subject of Domestic Violence showing up more often in the news lately.  Have you noticed it too?

99,000 Canadians reported family violence in 2010
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/05/23/ottawa-family-violence-canada-statscan-report.html

What keeps me hopeful is the fact that people are talking about it, raising awareness and even making efforts to educate others through art.  

As a survivor of domestic violence, I do as much as my anxieties will allow in raising awareness and educating.  I don't think I could bring myself to watch a ballet, play or movie on the subject though.  When I have tried, the imagery and sounds brought back bad memories. 

I invite you to read a bittersweet tale of Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  You can download a free copy of the Ebook before May 31st.  

Thanks for scrolling this far.  Feel free to submit relevant comments below and give feedback after reading The Year of the Rabbit.  

T


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hide and Seek with Words

Too old for hide and seek?  

How about something that requires less body movement but well-acquired hand-eye coordination?  You can likely play this word search puzzle on your new tablet computer or use the traditional pen and paper method.

Perhaps you would like to read a hide and seek excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit? 

Thanks for dropping by.  Feel free to comment or ask questions.  Remember to follow Flo on Twitter

Since you're here, why not get a free Ebook copy of the novel?  Valid until May 31st

T


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Springing into Love

Ah, Spring.  It's when a young man's fancy turns to love - or something... something like that.    




What a lovely time of year for scantily clad youth to run freely, roll in the grass and climb trees.  The warmer, dry weather also provides a good opportunity for young lovers to slip away while playing hide and seek with their chums.

Here's a snippet from The Year of the Rabbit where carpentry apprentice Walter George is deemed "it" for a game of hide and seek:

As Walter snuck down the path and up towards the forest, he saw Gwen racing from the garden towards home base, touching the shed and shouting "Home free!"

Whatever, thought Walter as he prowled and crept up the slope, I've got bigger fish to catch.

Deeper into the pine forest he crept, from tree to tree, bush to bush.

As he peered out and down towards the place the kids called ‘Rabbit Hollow’, he saw Amy and Daniel lying against one of the sloping rocks, nicely revealed by the reflective light of the gibbous moon.  They were kissing wildly and Amy's hands were all over Daniel's body — rubbing stroking and clawing.  Walter could hear their hushed voices just enough to know what would happen next. 
 


So what happens next?  Read the full excerpt and perhaps another describing the result.

Teen sexuality is a sticky subject.  Young people need to be gently yet intelligently educated about their changing bodies and raging hormones.  Sometimes though it's difficult for parents to deliver the talk.  

Recently, the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology opened an exhibit about sex, providing information from a scientific perspective.  It caused a bit of a furor and got plenty of news coverage but some parents recanted their complaints after visiting it themselves.  

One teen even said, "I think they're showing us healthy sexuality ...they aren't sexualizing it.  I mean they're showing the facts, we all have bodies and we all go through this stuff." 
 
We all go through this stuff.  So true.  

If you want to read about a few young people who went through this stuff and came out okay after a few conflicts and disappointments, you may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  Be quick and you can download a free copy of the eBook by May 31, 2012.  Start here

T

Friday, May 11, 2012

Your Mother may approve


Last year around this time, I offered a post on feminine archetypes

In The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about fate, family and forgiveness readers will encounter a few motherly characters:

  • Marie Fletcher was a caring mother figure despite her struggles with mental health issues and a deep, dark secret;
  • Margaret MacDonald experienced deep guilt and regret that she did not prevent the abuse of her daughter;
  • Jenny Young struggled with supporting her pregnant teen and understanding her husband's disappointment;
  • Amy Young became a teenage mother who learned how to be responsible with the help of her own family and friends;
  • Gio's mom was the typical doting mother and eventually an exuberant grandmother.
Mother's Day is coming Sunday, May 13th. I hope you've already thought of a gift for your Mom.  She may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit if she doesn't mind a few references to teen sex, infidelity and murder. 

You can feel confident that you have purchased her an environmentally responsible gift by getting the Ebook for only 99 cents.  This offer is good until midnight May 13th.  

If your mother has already left this earthly domain, please accept my condolences.  Perhaps you may relate to young Sera Fletcher as she realizes the impending death of her own mother.   That scene brought tears to my eyes while writing the novel, recalling emotions felt when I lost my own mother many years ago.

Thanks for visiting,

T
 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Beltane, Nature Lovers

Darn it all! Can't find my Maypole

Happy Beltane all you nature lovers!  Enjoy an excerpt from the novel about young love (err.. lust) and a recycled blog post

You will enjoy The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.

Learn about the novel's author, Florence T. Lyon.  Follow her on Twitter as she explores and flounders with modern technology. 

Follow the wall posts on Facebook and contribute to the discussions.  Like it!  Share it with your friends but NOT your dear, sweet Mother.  This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Get  20% of the Ebook for free.  No trees were harmed during the creation of this edition.  

Buy the Ebook from Smashwords, an awesome publishing platform for indie authors.  

Thanks for dropping by.

T




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Free ebook copy

Your coupon code for a free copy of the novel: MQ29Z

Start here and follow the instructions:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86160

Hop in before April 30, 2012.

We want to hear from you after you have read the novel!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

All the world's a stage


In this excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit, young Sera Fletcher is once again saddened by the news of more people moving away - one of them is Gio, her biological father.  

Her mother is dying from a rapidly spreading form of cancer.  Twin sisters Dela and Gwen try to cheer Sera up.  With approval from the adults and costumes from Aunt Georgette's burlesque trunk, they and friends work magic to create a live performance in their back yard.

This excerpt represents one of the final stages of life for Marie Fletcher and the beloved cherry tree.  Readers with sharp perceptions will catch the reference to "All the world's a stage" and … the Tree of Life

T

~ ~ ~

Sera changed into her jeans and T-shirt. She fixed herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grabbed a glass of milk, clenched the book under her arm and went to sit on the patio.  Tiger, the tabby cat was sprawled out in a sunspot along the bench.  Ringo sat in the shade.

She felt some comfort chewing on and savoring the flavors from her sandwich and taking occasional gulps of cool milk.  With the help of an occasional breeze, she leafed through the book on the patio table while tonguing peanut butter from the roof of her mouth.  Through the screen door she could hear the others arriving home from lunch and heading upstairs to change.  She heard Aunt Georgette ask Mrs. Johnson how her mother was.

Sera finished her sandwich and gulped down the last of the milk.  She licked her lips and wiped the remainder with her hand. 

The dwindling aroma of lilacs wafted in from the nearby bushes.  A few honeybees buzzed back and forth between the clusters of flowers, then randomly flew away and headed towards the cherry tree.  She followed their flight with her gaze.

“It looks sad,” she thought.  “It looks like it’s dying too.”

The twins came out in their jeans and light spring tops to join her.  At sixteen years old, they were filling out nicely and shooting up in height — almost as tall as their father. 

They had heard from Mrs. Johnson that Sera was feeling down.

“Hey, Sera,” said Dela, patting her little sister on the shoulder, sitting beside her and pulling the cat onto her own lap, “So you know about Mrs. Johnson moving.”

“Yeah.”  She responded, still staring at the cherry tree.

Gwen piped in, “I just learned about it on Friday.  It’s a good thing her house didn’t catch fire last night too.”

Sera stayed silent.  She almost stopped breathing. 

Dela responded, “They think it was the oil furnace.  Apparently, dickhead Daryl didn’t drain it properly.”

All three girls snickered at the nickname.  Sera breathed a sigh of relief. 

“I heard him give the constables a verbal lashing this morning,” offered Gwen, “He was yelling at them to do their jobs in finding who —” she lowered her voice in a mocking tone, “did this to me  — and — you useless faggots couldn’t even track down my family … and they’re saying back to him, it’s not our job to investigate fires and…”

Dela was sensitive to Sera’s feelings about the ‘family’ comment and interrupted her sister’s portrayal, “Okay, Gwen.  We get the picture.”

Sera just sat staring at the tree and nodded as if to acknowledge the conversation.

Dela gently dropped the cat onto the patio floor and wiped the loose fur off her lap, “Sera?  What’s up?  What are you staring at?”

“The tree.”

The twins turned their gaze to the cherry tree.

“It looks like crap,” commented Gwen with a sad tone.

“It looks like it’s dying,” said Sera in a monotone voice.  “It looks like it’s suffering.”

“Like Mom,” added Dela quietly.

“Yeah.”

Georgette came out in her house clothes to check on the girls.  She kissed Sera on the cheek. 

“Qu’est ce qui se passe, mes petits choux?” she asked.

“We’re just talking about stuff, trying to cheer up Sera,” replied Dela.

Gwen suddenly bounced in her seat, “Hey, Aunt Georgette!”

Georgette laughed, startled,  “Mon dieu!  What is it?”

The red-headed teen smiled broadly, looking at her sisters then her Aunt, “Can we put on a show?”

“A show?”

Dela grimaced at her sister, wrinkling her freckled nose, “What do you mean?”

“Can we set up a stage under the cherry tree with sheets for a backdrop and curtains, you know… and put on a little show for our Mom?”

“I-I-I don’t know.”

“We can ask Dad and the boys to carry her bed out,” offered Dela, being sold on the idea.

“Dela and I know some songs and a few dance steps from our lessons,” continued Gwen, “Dad will be happy to see that money put to good use, right? You know how he teases us about it.” 

Georgette cocked her head and made a funny face.  She straightened up and said, “Well, why don’t you ask her? Go ask your Mother if that is what she wants.”

The twins raced from the benches towards the door.

“Quietly!” Georgette shouted then realized the irony of her own loud outburst and shook her head, exasperated. 

The girls slowed their pace and walked quietly into the house then to their mother’s room in the front parlor.  Marie responded that she loved the idea of an impromptu performance in the backyard! 

~

Family and friends worked magic that afternoon. Walter and Sera expertly climbed the tree to tie a half-dozen bed sheets from the branches and pin them to each other.  Matthew and Perry laid planks down for the small stage and dance floor. Georgette pulled out some of her costumes. Dela and Gwen were pleased to explore the contents of her theatrical trunks.  Amy brought Harry; Jenny and Carl arrived to set up chairs and watch the show; they had even closed the restaurant for the evening. 

As the western sky glowed azure blue and orange, Perry and Walter hooked up the service lamp to the side of the shed.  Once the stage was set and the performers were ready, Matthew, Perry and Walter were on hand to transport Marie’s bed and attachments out to the back yard.

Sera forced her imagination to compare the scene to that of an Egyptian queen being carried by her servants to some grand performance along the Nile. 

The events of the day gave her a bittersweet feeling.

~ ~ ~

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