It’s Monday! What are you reading? The Gerson Therapy

2a2

I just finished reading

The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses

by Charlotte Gerson and Morton Walker

 

 

coverThis is a different book than the sort I usually talk about. It’s a juicing book to heal your body. Dr. Max Gerson (1881-1959) was a pioneer in using nutrition to HEAL every chronic illness from arthritis to diabetes to cancer. After losing my son-in-law to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February, I spoke to so many people who knew people who beat cancer using this program. They swear this program works. I also saw a TV special on Dr. Gerson and found him quite amazing. Well, heading into the second half of my life (if I live that long), I have some health concerns and thought I’d take a look at this book. I’ve fought blood sugar problems my whole life and was told by a physician that I would probably be an insulin dependent diabetic by the time I turned 50. I hasn’t happened yet, but I do feel it sneaking up on me.

I found the 2-year-long nutrition program to be quite intensive, but if it’s a matter of dying of cancer or following a strict diet for two years, I’ll go with the diet. There are some quirky things like coffee enemas that I won’t go into, but the science that backs it in the book is quite convincing.

My only problem with the book is what it said at the end. It said the diet should NOT be followed by healthy people. I don’t get that at all. You have to come down with a chronic illness before you can get healthy? I understand it’s a radical diet, but something about that didn’t make sense to me, and they could have told me that BEFORE I bought the book.

So, long story short, I’m sticking with my basic pyramid diet and hoping for the best.

The Backstory of the STUCKEY’S BRIDGE TRILOGY

Here’s a little background on the Stuckey’s Bridge Trilogy. 

stuckey's bridge from VA Iron and Bridge Co on wikiMy childhood: I grew up in Meridian, Mississippi and heard the legend of Stuckey’s Bridge my whole life. It actually began in a book about the area written in the 1970s. The local paper, The Meridian Star, picked up on the legend from the book and the story spread like wildfire. The bridge instantly became THE place to party on the weekends, searching for ghosts and frightening girls into cuddling closer. (If you want to go there: head south out of Meridian on Interstate 59. Turn right at exit 142, then a quick left onto Meehan-Savoy Road. Travel 2.2 miles until you see a dirt road on your left. That is Stucky Bridge Road. The bridge will be about two miles down the dirt road. It is now closed, so you’ll have to turn around to leave. After you read the following legend, you may not want to go.)

The legend goes: In the late 1800s, a former member of the Dalton Gang came to Lauderdale County, Mississippi to find his fortune. He opened an inn near the Chunky River and stood on the old wooden bridge at night, flagging down merchants with his lantern, offering them a warm bed and a hot meal. Supposedly, he murdered his victims in their sleep and buried their bodies on the banks of the river. In 1901, the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company began rebuilding the old bridge and the bodies were discovered. The innkeeper, Old Man Stuckey as he is known to the locals, was hung by a posse from the iron rails of the new bridge.

Stuckey's cover_webIf you know me, you know I couldn’t stop searching until I figured out who this Old Man Stuckey really was…that became the first book in the Stuckey’s Bridge Trilogy, THE LEGEND OF STUCKEY’S BRIDGE. (Check out the book trailer…creepy!)

unnamedWhile writing the story, I didn’t want Old Man Stuckey to be alone all the time, so I had him run across a young boy named Levi. In the story, young Levi took on a creepiness all his own, and I received tons of emails and messages asking what Levi’s past was. As usual with my crazy brain, I was more interested in his future than his past, so I wrote STUCKEY’S LEGACY: THE LEGEND CONTINUES. At the end of that book, Levi “got his” and the story focused on the young woman he met during the story, Penelope Juzan.

Back to my childhood: There was a second legend around the area where I grew up. Supposedly there was an inn on Lake Juzan in the 1840s where an innkeeper murdered his guests for wealth, much like Old Man Stuckey. The man’s name was Pierre Juzan, and he dumped the bodies in the lake with the help of his Indian sidekick. Toward the end of the legend, one of them killed the other for the wealth of gold they had confiscated.

Side note: There were also a couple different accounts of trunks of confederate gold disappearing as they traveled through the area during the Civil War.

I thought all these stories had a similar thread, and I wondered if I could separate them.

stuckey Gold Cover smallBack to the trilogy: I came to the conclusion that these legends were indeed different stories, but thought they were probably connected in some way. Those ideas in my crazy head became the third book in the trilogy, STUCKEY’S GOLD: THE CURSE OF LAKE JUZAN. 

These tales tickled me pink while writing them, and I hope you enjoy them too! 

On This Day in 1905

On This Day in 1905, my 2nd great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Crane, died.

Jack, as he was known, was born January 8, 1852 to Jeremiah William Crane and Sarah Frances Grimes in Clarke County, Mississippi. He had one brother and three sisters. When he was 21, on December 4, 1873, he married Martha Jane “Mattie” Mercer in Clarke County and had three children: Ella Jane, Minnie Lee, and my great grandpa, Amos Bolivar.

To understand his generation, one must remember Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, Mississippi seceded from the Union in 1861, and the country went to war. election1860mapJack was an impressionable youth during this period and probably watched many of his neighbors go off to fight with the 37th Mississippi Infantry. One must wonder if he was a frightened young boy, hiding behind his mother’s hooped skirts, or a feisty lad, anxious to grow up and go too. As with most of the South, cotton was the main economy of the area, and railroads had been built during the 1850s to transport it, but in 1864, General Sherman’s troops marched through the area and destroyed nearly everything, including the railroad tracks. Once the war was over, the tracks were repaired, but the farmers no longer had slaves to work the fields and cotton harvests diminished. Somehow, through the next 40 years of reconstruction, the economy grew quickly. Homes began adding electricity, running water, and paved streets. People weren’t driving automobiles yet, as the Model T wasn’t introduced until 1908, but the wagon riders were now subjected to less dust, and the roads didn’t wash away with heavy rains. The population of nearby Meridian tripled from 1870 to 1885, doubled again by 1898, and doubled again by 1906. Jack lived through a horrific childhood of war and change, but in his later years, he witnessed amazing growth and technology. I wonder if the electricity reached his house before he died.

crane a j and wife obeliskJack passed away at the young age of 53 on August 25, 1905 and is laid to rest near his home at McGowan Chapel Cemetery in Harmony, Mississippi. His wife, Mattie, didn’t die until November 28, 1945 at the age of 93. She never remarried.

This post brought to you by On This Day available on Amazon.

Saturday Snippet – Stuckey’s Gold

Here’s a snippet from my coming release:

STUCKEY’S GOLD: THE CURSE OF LAKE JUZAN

stuckey Gold Cover smallBlurb

In 1840, Pierre Juzan was an innkeeper on the shores of Lake Juzan. His business was successful, but he wanted more. One day he got wind of a coach transporting a trunk of gold near his home, and his actions on that fateful day would spark an Indian curse that would haunt his family for four generations. Seventy years later, can Penelope Juzan break the curse, or will she suffer the same tragic fate as her forefathers?

“The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” and “Stuckey’s Legacy: The Legend Continues” told tales of the gold leaving a trail of destruction from Meridian, Mississippi to Jekyll Island, Georgia. In “Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan,” we may find the victims in the original tales were merely bit players in a story that is far darker and more sinister than one could imagine.

“Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan” is the final installment in the “Stuckey’s Bridge Trilogy” and is the tale of four generations struggling to escape a curse caused by greed.

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The sun had already reached its highest point and was slowly beginning its descent behind them. By the look of the shadows, Leon guessed it was around three o’clock. He knew the traveling distance from the county line, so he figured the coach would be arriving at any moment. As he recalculated its arrival time, he heard horse hooves on the road. The two sat silent and still on their horses and watched the man from last night trot past them. Their plan was to let him travel by unharmed as to not warn the drivers of impending danger. They would take care of him later.

Not more than a few minutes had passed before they heard the grinding of wagon wheels. Two men sat in the driver’s seat of the wooden coach. One was whistling a tune. Leon was feeling anxious and wanted to get on with it, so he decided to make the annoying whistler his first target. He pulled out his bow, armed it with an arrow, took aim through the trees, and let his arrow fly. It hit its intended target and the whistling abruptly stopped. The whistler slumped in his seat, an arrow through the left side of his neck. The horses didn’t flinch, but the man’s partner looked over at him and his jaw dropped. Leon quickly pulled out another arrow, aimed, and put it through the chest of the second man as he still stared at his partner in disbelief. The second man slumped in the seat.

From higher up on the hill, Pierre rode his horse out of the woods and fell in line behind the wagon. He gave Leon a nod. Leon nodded back. Leon tucked his bow away and emerged from the woods, trotting alongside the wagon. The wagon’s team kept pulling the wagon forward, oblivious to the fact they no longer had a driver. They began to pick up speed as the road began to slant downhill. Leon grabbed the side of the wagon and pulled himself onto it, abandoning his own horse on the road. He crawled across the canvas back and climbed over the rail, into the driver’s seat. He grabbed the whistler by the shirt and pushed him over the side. The man plopped onto the road like a sack of potatoes, and Leon felt the coach jostle and heard bones snap as the back wheel of the wagon ran over some part of the whistler’s body. He grimaced at the sound.

Behind him, Pierre grabbed Leon’s abandoned horse’s reins and continued down the hill, pulling Leon’s horse along with him. Leon glanced back and saw both horses neigh and rear up when they approached the whistler’s body unexpectedly sprawled in the middle of the road.

He turned his attention back to the coach’s horses. They were now nearing a gallop down the hill. He reached down on the floor of the wagon and fumbled around until he found the reins. He grabbed them and was about to pull back on them when the butt of a gun came down on top of his head. He saw stars as he fell to the floor of the coach. He turned his head and saw the whistler’s partner pointing a revolver at his face. As the driver clicked the hammer back, Leon kicked the gun out of the man’s hand. He heard it bounce off the edge of the wagon then discharge as it hit the ground. The sound echoed through the trees, startling the wagon’s horses who took off at full gallop.

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STUCKEY’S GOLD coming Sep 1 to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBooks!

On This Day in 1891

On This Day in 1891

My great great grandparents, Joseph Lawson Pickett and Caledonia D Fisher, were married in Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

pickett, joseph lawson sr, son of rt and lucyJoe Lawson was born Jan 1866, son of Robert Theodore Pickett and Lucy Ann Rackley in Alabama. He had four older sisters and four younger brothers, all born in Alabama. Sometime between 1880 and 1890, the family moved to Mississippi. At age 25, he married 21-year-old Callie. They had five boys and one girl: Benjamin Berry (1893-1973 my great grandpa), Robert Elbert (1897-1978), Joseph Lawson Jr (1901-1928), Florence (1902-1990), Mark Joshua (1905-1949), and Clyde (1907-1993). From the stories passed down of the four boys, including moonshine stills, shootouts with local authorities, going to prison for murder, and young Joe Jr. being shot by law enforcement at the age of 27, they were obviously a wild bunch. I don’t know if the parents didn’t discipline the children or if the boys were just uncontrollable. Joe Lawson died at the age of 44 in 1910. The exact date of his death is unknown at this time, but it was after the 1910 census was taken which was April 20th. Callie never remarried.

pickett, caledonia d fisher, wf of joe lawson srCallie was born 12 Jul 1870 to William Thomas Fisher and Ann Eliza Butler in Mississippi. She had six older siblings and four younger ones, totaling six boys and five girls. Her father was a Civil War soldier and owned quite a bit of land in the Zero Community near Meridian. He was just as much a character at those Pickett boys. Perhaps that’s why Callie liked Joe so much. Callie’s father was in jail at the start of the Civil War for shooting a man over a poker game, but they released him so he could go fight. Having children born in 1860, 62, 63, and 65, I’m not sure when or where he actually fought. A portion of Fisher land was designated as Fisher Cemetery, holding the remains of many Fisher and Pickett descendants, but Joe and Callie are both laid to rest down the road at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Meridian. She died 26 Aug 1931. Her obituary in the Meridian Star Newspaper is as follows, but notice the marriage year is different, probably told to the paper by a member of the family. I have the Lauderdale County Marriage Records transcribed which say, “1891, Marriage Book 2, page 368.”

Mrs. Caledonia Fisher Pickett, 61, died Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. at her home on Rt. 3. She was born and raised in Lauderdale County and in 1889 was married to the late Lawson Pickett. She was a member of the Zero Methodist Church. She is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Florence Harper; four sons; Ben, Elbert, Mark, and Clyde Pickett; one sister, Mrs. Ada Purvis; three brothers, Thomas, Jeff, and Jim Fisher. Funeral services will be held from Pleasant Hill Methodist Church Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Revs. J.W. Ramsey and Ed Grayson officiating. Interment to follow in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Active Pallbearers: Lester Walker, Earl Dawes, George Gay, Charlie Molpus, Dan Covington, and Dan Rolling. Honorary: Martin Miller, C.S. Dearman, John Robinson, Ed Culpepper, Elmer Brown, and Monroe Sims.  ~Meridian Star

This post brought to you by On This Day available at Amazon.

 

On This Day in 1909

On This Day in 1909, John Francis Burke, passed away. He was 62 years old. He was my great great grandfather.

1847 Ireland

imagesI can’t post a photo to go with this story. The images are too horrific.

In 1847, the great famine in Ireland was in full swing. Food prices had skyrocketed and those who needed food the most, couldn’t afford any. The summer’s crop of potatoes survived, but the crop was inadequate to feed the masses because everyone was afraid to plant. The British Relief Association raised money throughout America and Europe to send assistance. Soup kitchens opened, and people actually collapse and died of starvation trying to get to them. People poured onto ships bound for Canada and America. One shipwreck in April, killed 250 emigrants. In May, one sailed to Canada and was the cause of a typhus epidemic. When all was said and done, between 1845 and 1852, one million people died of starvation and another one million emigrated from Ireland.

This was the atmosphere John Francis Burke was born into. He was born in Dublin on February 27, 1847. One can imagine that his parents were very resourceful, perhaps with the negative connotations of that trait: stingy, tight-fisted, and ungenerous. They spent years struggling to feed their children, and when the potato blight was over, they probably didn’t break the cycle of struggle, just in case it should happen again.

merchant ship replicaNot much is known about his parents or his childhood. A family member told me his sibling had the same names as his children, so I expect there was a Patrick, Robert, Emmett, Nina, Virginia, Kathleen, David, and/or an Edmond somewhere in the bunch. When he was a young lad of 15, he snuck down to the shipyard and stowed away on an American-bound ship. After they set sail, the captain found him en route and told him the ship couldn’t take him back home. He replied to the captain, “If I wanted to go home, I wouldn’t have stowed away.” We don’t know the relationship or lack of one he had with his parents and siblings, but we can imagine his mother searching for her fifteen-year-old son and being heartbroken. I don’t know if he ever contacted his family after leaving Dublin.

The ship dropped him off in Miami, Florida in 1862. Yes, 1862, during the middle of the Civil War. Confederate War Records show a couple men with similar names that could be him serving in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. The 1870 census shows a couple names that could be him: one in Florida and one in Alabama. He finally shows up in the 1880 census as being a “ditcher” and living with his new in-laws, the Spencer family.

On December 10, 1879, at the age of 32, he married Nancy Didama Spencer in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Over the next fourteen years, they had six children: John Patrick 1880, Robert Emmett 1883, George Washington 1886, Nina Virginia 1889, Kathlene L 1892, and David Edmond 1894. These children prove John and Nancy must have liked each other a little bit, but a new snag appears in 1900.

burke JP Burke Sr headstone 2The 1900 census shows Nancy living at home with all the children and listed as a “widow.” I didn’t understand this because John’s headstone clearly says he died in 1909. Finally a cousin told me Nancy did not believe in divorce, but she and John lived in the same house and did not speak to each other for the last fifteen years of their marriage. This also explains why they are buried in different rows at the cemetery. From a psychological standpoint, I wonder if he left Dublin because of his father’s personality and then became just like the man, causing his wife to dislike him. What could someone do that was so bad to tell a census taker he was dead? After John’s death August 18, 1909, the 1910 census shows Nancy as a widow with five children still at home. John is laid to rest at Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Duffee, Mississippi, among children and grandchildren.

On a lighter note, I know his son John Patrick “Pat” (my great grandfather) was a fiddle player on the weekends at barn dances. I wonder if Pat learned to play from his father. Playing the fiddle is such an Irish thing to do, don’t you think?

Brought to you by On This Day available at Amazon.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? “A Newfound Land”

2a2I’m reading yet another of my favorite authors…

Anna Belfrage

“A Newfound Land”

 

 

 

 

 

91lWunghvPL._SL1500_“A Newfound Land” is the 4th in the Graham saga. I would suggest you start at the 1st book, “A Rip in the Veil,” and set aside some time, because once you get caught up into the world of Matthew Graham and his time-traveling wife Alexandra, you will not want to stop reading. This story takes up where the 3rd book left off. Matthew and Alex were having trouble in their homeland of 1670 Scotland. Religious and political turmoil gave them no option but to pack and leave, and what better place to travel to than the new world – the Colony of Maryland? Unfortunately, some of their former adversaries make an appearance and the reader is left gripping the arm of the chair as the suspense builds, and new complications arise to increase the tension. We know these two are strong and steadfast, but we wonder how in the world they will make it through. It is a pleasure to see their children growing, and I look forward to reading the 5th book in the series, “Serpents in the Garden.” Keep ‘em coming!

 

“A Newfound Land” blurb

It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland.
Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives.

Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all.
Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes.

Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest?

A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

downloadAnna Belfrage

As a child, I spent a lot of time trying to find ways of travelling through time – always backwards – and somewhere along the way I concluded that while real time travelling is as yet (sadly) not possible, it is always possible to leap through time by using that most powerful tool, imagination.
I don’t know how many hours I’ve whiled away submerged in one daydream after the other, all of them set in the misty past, all of them starring yours truly. As a matter of fact, I still daydream, and my hourly walks with the dog tend to be one long delicious escape from the world of today to another place, another time.

The books in The Graham Saga (so far I’ve published A Rip in the Veil,Like Chaff in the Wind,The Prodigal Son, A Newfound Land, Serpents in the Garden and the NEW Revenge and Retribution – more is to come)are the products of very many hours of daydreaming – although at times I’m not entirely sure who is doing the actual daydreaming, my characters or myself. Alex(andra) Lind and Matthew Graham have grown into most tangible beings, people with likes and dislikes – and very exciting lives, putting it mildly. Which is why the story developed into a whole series, six of which have now been published (two more to come).

The latter half of the seventeenth century is rife with dangers, and even more so when you’re a woman who has been yanked out of your comfortable, modern timezone and dropped into 1658. But Alex is lucky; she lands at the feet of Matthew, a man most women would give an arm and a leg to get to know closely. Things, however, are complicated by the general political unrest of the times and Matthew’s present status as convicted (but fugitive) royalist. Phew; at times I almost feel sorry for all the situations I land Alex in.
“Tell me about it,” she sort of growls, “and it’s not you who’s got the bruises to show, is it?”
Erm, no; but I’m the author, remember?
“We can trade anytime,” she says.
Ooh yes, please! I nod eagerly, throwing Matthew a longing glance. Alex follows my look, and two well-formed brows come down in an impressive scowl.
“He’s mine,” she says.
Matthew raises his face and looks at her. Those magical hazel eyes shine gold in the afternoon sun, and a slow smile spreads across his face. She sort of dances towards him and I sigh; he’s definitely hers, I can see it in the way his fingers graze her cheek, in how he laughs at whatever she’s saying. Shoot…

The Graham Saga is a heady mix of romance, swashbuckling adventure and emotional drama. while each book has been written so as to make it possible to read them as stand-alones. I believe the experience is enhanced by reading them in order. Alex and Matthew have more than their share of adventures, both in Scotland and in the New World – more specifically the Colony of Maryland.

I like my female protagonists strong and capable, and Alex is nothing if not resilient, no matter what full blown punches fate throws her way – and they are many. And as to Matthew, well… the man is stubborn and brave, rarely back downs when it comes to issues of faith and integrity and is at times more than a little frustrated by his opinionated, time travelling wife.

It isn’t always easy, to bridge the divide of three centuries in perceptions and ideas. Some days, Alex wants to kick Matthew in the butt for being a old-fashioned jerk. Other days, Matthew is sorely tempted to belt her, this woman with eyes the colour of the deep sea. But the moment his fingers graze hers, the instant she steps into his arms, none of that matters: She is his woman, and he is her man – that is the way things are, that is the way things will always be!

Oh; BTW. For those of you that want to know when the next book in the Graham Saga, Wither Thou Goest, will be out, it is planned for November 2014. (The paperback will probably be available somewhat earlier than the e-book version)

I hope you choose to buy my books and that you find the reading as enjoyable as I’ve found the writing!

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