Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meet the Author


Meet the Author-- hosted by nature and chidren's books, Author Bette A Stevens as she interviews  Micki Peluso. Drop by and learn about this unique and wacky family as related by the author in her three time award winning book . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang. The interview will be up  for this entire week or more. Meet some of Micki's delightful now grown kids who are the primary characters in this book which has the humor of "Cheaper By the Dozen' with the heart of ' To Kill a Mockingbird. Get involved with some of the incidents in this book and ask questions which Micki will honestly answer in spite of some of her kids insisting 'it isn't true.'  Who would you believe? Micki, of course, inspite the protests made jokingly by some of her more precocious children.
 
You will also be moved by the impact that losing one of the children in the family had upon all members of the family which is clearly shown by the childen, now adults with children of their own. Surely the one lost, the comical, beautiful Noelle, is smiling down upon her family during the interview about this book dedicated to the celebration of her life.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

EARTH DAY 2015--PROMISES TO BE KEPT


This particular Earth Day is important because we can no longer Ignore the obvious – the Earth is in the midst of a severe environmental crisis and the time for correcting the nearly insurmountable problems is long past. The first Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, 1970, initiated the Environmental Protection Agency and was instrumental in the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Yet in spite of this, worldwide pollution is overtaking the globe faster than we can find the means to stop it. Apathy, disbelief, and big business, intent upon getting bigger, are some of the many reasons for this. But the main culprits are overpopulation especially in industrialized nations along with modern technology. And from the same technology which created most of the problems must come most of the solutions.

We have become a throwaway society, thoughtlessly piling up mounds of garbage, some which will take hundreds of years to decompose; some which will never decompose. Even as technology continues in its efforts to halt the ongoing destruction of the planet, Earth citizens must undergo radical changes in both their thinking and their living habits.

In rural areas waste control is much easier. Newspapers are rolled into fireplace logs, food waste, such as egg shells, vegetable and fruit peels and even coffee grounds are composted for summer gardens. Cut grass is used for mulch and while in some areas garbage can still legally be burned, it's no longer a viable option. One of the ways we can cut down on waste is to buy fresh foods whenever possible and avoid products with excess packaging. Removing purchases from their boxes and leaving the packaging in the store might convince manufacturers that over packaging is not only unnecessary but can no longer be tolerated. Refusing to buy aerosol cans cuts down on damage to the ozone layer, and if done consistently can be a deciding factor in having them removed from store shelves. Industry produces what the consumer purchases. Boycotting is one power that consumers can use effectively. Carpooling has become popular reducing automobile emissions and savings on gas. Eating less red meat is healthy and would save some of the tropical rainforests in Brazil, where the forests are being converted to pasture land for that country's beef production. Within the United States, less beef consumption would free land for agriculture, instead of growing grain for cattle feed. Planting shrubs, bushes and trees creates oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide from the air.

In Nebraska, Arbor Day, the forerunner of Earth Day, was a day set aside for the planting of trees. One million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day which fell upon April 10. Planting trees and replenishing the earth was well-established in Europe long before this continent was settled. In colonial times, trees were cut down to clear the land for agriculture and homes, and housing itself consisted mainly of lumber. Native Americans respected the Earth, taking only what they needed to live on and replenishing  the lands, as opposed to the settlers who killed massive herds of buffalo for sport, and until more recent years, never replenished the soil by crop rotation. Before the Industrial Revolution and the onset of mass production, people recycled out of need because there were no other options.

In order to live on a healthy planet we need to reestablish the law of supply and demand, only this time in relation to the Earth's priorities not our own. The Earth does not need us to do these things, as it is capable of adjusting to all manner of change and adapting to it. The Artic seas freeze in some periods and melt in others; the Earth cares not if the oceans rise up and flood coastal areas.  People, animas and vegetation can be destroyed but the Earth will persevere. “Saving” the Earth perpetuates our own existence upon this planet.  

Not all Earth changes are caused by civilization or industry. Many are natural cycles within the planet’s routine which changes according to its own inner and outer workings; sometimes over thousands of years and other times seemingly without warning. As Earth citizens it is imperative to live within our planet’s needs sometimes putting them before our own. We cannot stop all catastrophic Earth events, but we can do our part to undo the extensive damage that we have inflicted upon our earthly home. Our lives and the lives of future generations are riding on the hope that it will not prove to be too little, too late.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

DOG BONE SOUP, A Boomer's Journey


Dog Bone Soup A Boomer’s Journey

By Bette A. Stevens

Author Bette A. Stevens writes a debut novel taking place in the 1950s and 60s, filled with Americana and historical fiction. Referred to as ‘Boomers,’ the people of these decades set the pace and tenor of future generations.

Shawn Daniels might have been a typical boy in the ‘good old days’ had his father not been an abusive, wife beating drunk, spending his money on liquor, while allowing his family to live in poverty, lacking indoor plumbing and electricity. Still Shawn has dreams and fortitude enough to withstand the bullying by his peers, being called ‘white trash’ by his community, and is able to withstand all the obstacles thrown in his path. His brother, Willie, tends to be lazy and a dreamer, but still helps out when the family is starving, by chopping wood, and helping his mother manage the house and care for his younger sisters, Annie and Molly.

The author deftly flashes forward as the story opens. Shawn is preparing to head off to Army boot camp during the Vietnam War. Enlisting might keep him from being sent overseas and give him some job training. After a life of struggling, Shawn sees the light at the end of his personal tunnel. As he stays up with his Mum through the middle of the night, looking through old family pictures, his story unfolds.

This is a realistic charming, yet heartrending story reminiscent of  ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ by Mark Twain. Author Stevens manages to portray this period of history with clarity and truth. Most amazingly her characters, while suffering more than today's civilization, enduring a myriad of harsh circumstances, there is little self-pity among them. If ever a people made lemonade from lemons, it was the boomers.

Amidst the hardship, including the nightly Dog Bone Soup, there are also times of adventure, playfulness and fun — as if Shawn and his generation are blessed with an innate ability to cope with daily setbacks; never losing hope and continually forging ahead aiming for better days.

Author Bette A. Stevens writes a book full of heart and wisdom, a book that YA/adult readers will treasure and cherish. This generation in particular needs to read the book to learn what hard life was like, giving them the skills to adapt to the problems of their own generation. Dog Bone Soup, A Boomer’s Journey is a journey that the reader wishes would never end.

Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang          

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

THE SCENT OF MY SON, IN GOD WE TRUST


THE SCENT OF MY SON, IN GOD WE TRUST

By Adrienne Miranda

In the heat of the summer on July 20, 2006, a mother's life is forever changed by one phone call. Her ex-husband says the words no parent can bear to hear; “Our beautiful baby boy is gone." Their son Joseph Anthony Miranda has just been run over and killed By a Bobcat on the construction site where he works. His mother, brother Rob, and family's grief and agony know no bounds, as they are held together only by their deep faith and trust in God.

Later as Joseph's mother begins to ask questions of the police, the company he works for, and his coworkers, there is a veil of silence and denial of wrongdoing which clearly implies to Adrienne that something is amiss.

And so begins her years of searching for the truth behind her beloved son's untimely, horrific death and what she feels and knows in her heart is a homicide. The author takes readers on a heartbreaking journey through grief, flashing back to the years of Joseph's life before he was killed. There can be no closure for this family until the truth behind Joseph's death is uncovered and brought to light.

Adrienne works tirelessly, strengthened only by God and the Scriptures she's memorized from her Bible, in her ongoing search for truth and justice. It helps keep her busy as she suffers through the sorrow that only the death of a child can bring; yet she is continually blocked by deceit and lies, even from police and investigators that she trusted. The deeper she digs, the deeper the mystery and suspense grows, reaching into Mexico, and involving the FBI and high government officials. While the coroner confirms assault and homicide, both upper and lower arms of the law and courts refuse to accept this as truth. Local police initially agreeing, change their stories. Calls are not returned, cooperation from all avenues is denied.

Author Adrienne Miranda writes an intense account of the injustice which destroys a young man so full of life — with plans for a happy future — as she continues to this day to demand justice and dignity for her son. How deep does this outrageous cover-up go and how far-reaching, implicating officials right up to the higher levels of government. Yet Joseph's death certificate confirms “that his manner of death is homicide and his cause is assault."

This is a story worth reading as author shares not only the life and death of her precious son but details an incident which could happen to other parents. Her story is meant to eradicate the wrong done to her child and warn others of what might someday befall them. The author feels that with God on her side, justice will prevail.

Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING . . . AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG


I'm happy and excited to announce to all my friends and followers who have not yet had the pleasure of reading my book . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang that the book will be available for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle beginning: March 30th 8AM PST through April 6th PST. Be sure and grab your copy before Kindle runs out — just kidding — electronic books can't run out. Those preferring the print version can find it on Amazon for around $13. Try to take advantage of the offer before the craziness of Passover and the Easter Season begins.
This is the story of two teenagers in love. Micki’s dysfunctional mother convinces the two of them to elope to Elkton, Marylyn and marry in a double ceremony with a man her mother barely knows. This begins the story of Micki and Butch, who go on to have six children and an outrageous life, filled with animals both tame and feral, and wild escapades including a cross-country trip to Nevada in which everything that can go wrong does.
Returning to their home town in Pennsylvania, they buy 100-year-old farmhouse complete with rats, bats and wasps as well as their own ghosts. Life is wonderful for this family filled with laughter, filled with love. On a sunny summer day in late August, their 14-year-old daughter, Noelle, the child whose wacky sense of humor and love, wove the fabric of the family together, was killed by a drunk driver. That day the laughter died.
Micki promises her dying Noelle that she will make sure that the world knows who and what she was by writing a celebration of her life rather than a eulogy of her death. The result of this promise is . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang, a story of love, loss and survival, with the humor of ”Cheaper by the Dozen,” and the heart of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
For those of you who choose to read this story, please let me know what you thought of it and if you can leave a short review. You can use the links below to order from Kindle and use the fan facebook page to watch the video of the characters you will be meeting in this book.

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AN EXCERPT FROM . . . AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG


     School started and Fall, as always, descended upon us at once, mourned again by the whippoorwills, that who had to migrate to warmer lands. I had come to grips with the ghosts; whether true ghosts or poltergeist activity by my wacky teenagers. The house blew a lot of fuses that strangely, flew clear across the large basement, a good thirty feet—which baffled Butch. It happened mostly on weekends when he was home to change the fuses and always in the middle of a good television show. 

Butch had traded the white pickup truck, aka camper, for a ridiculous looking UPS truck, painted a bright orange. Inside, it was nicely furnished as a large camper, with a kitchen, bed and bath. It had two comfortable, large swivel chairs in front which made for comfortable driving. He’d had enough of New Jersey and took a job in Massapequa, Long island, working for a Ground Round Restaurant, as General Manager. It was about an hour and a half from our old home in Island Park, Long, Island. Our friend, Danny, from Benny’s, had also moved back to New York and told him about the job. The traveling time was longer than from New Jersey, but Butch was more comfortable and loved the job. It was similar to what he did at Benny’s, except more a family style restaurant—a cross between fast food and fine dining.

     That Sunday he left early for his long ride back. The younger girls and I were all home watching the movie,”Halloween,” when we heard odd thumping sounds from the basement. The ghosts never appeared there, and I feared an intruder had come in through the unlocked basement door. I grabbed the shotgun and put a shell into it, hoping not to have to use it and break my shoulder or hip. I peeled Nicole, who had wrapped herself around my legs, to keep me from going downstairs, off me and made her sit down and be quiet. I snapped my fingers for Sheba to follow me downstairs, although the usually good watchdog hadn’t barked at the noise. I quietly opened the door to the basement, warning all the kids to stay on the couch. They actually obeyed. Maybe it was the sight of me brandishing a shotgun. Sheba stayed behind me, brave dog that she was—watching my back, I supposed. I tiptoed down the steps, scanning the basement, shotgun ready to fire, when I saw a large potato at the bottom of the steps. I held my fire. The menacing spud had fallen off the pantry shelf and thumped down the basement steps. I tried to bribe the kids to secrecy, but never lived down the story of the night that Mom nearly shot an Idaho potato.

 

AN EXCERPT FROM . . . AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG