The Pink Bonnet

The Pink Bonnet

I’m guessing you know what it’s like to lose sleep when you can’t stop reading and you need to know what happens next to your hero or heroine. You can’t possibly wait till the next day to find out. Imagine waiting six weeks! When I first got the Kindle version of The Pink Bonnet,   I didn’t realize it was a sample,...

The Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon

In rural southern Appalachia, there’s plenty of friction from distrust of outsiders and city folk. Author Pepper Basham brought some of that to life in Laurel’s Dream, reviewed on December 7. But regardless of outsiders, family feuds sizzle within many communities. One of those feuds led to the 1912 Hillsville...

All That Is Hidden

All That Is Hidden

I’m thrilled to feature other authors and their novels on my Standout Stories blog. But today, please allow me the indulgence of sharing my own. Two months ago, I re-launched All That Is Hidden with a fresh cover and revised content---new and improved!   It’s still the same compelling story, but now it has...

Under a Cloudless Sky

Under a Cloudless Sky

When I first picked up Under a Cloudless Sky, I thought it was about the 1920 miners’ massacre known as the Battle of Matewan, a shootout between local coal miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency in West Virginia. Ten men died as a result of this fight for miner’s rights. I was intrigued to learn about this from a...

A Piece of the Moon

A Piece of the Moon

Will the real Mack Strum please stand up? While reading Chris Fabry’s A Piece of the Moon, I stumbled across this character Mack Strum, a country singer. The story’s setting is a country radio station in rural West Virginia. Waite Evers, the manager, recites beautiful, touching lyrics from Mack’s song “A Piece of the...

Laurel’s Dream

Laurel’s Dream

Like millions of others, I long ago fell in love with the book Christy by Catherine Marshall. I read it in middle school about five years after publication (1967). That was my first introduction to the Smoky Mountains, delving into 1912 southern Appalachia, seeing the world through the eyes of newcomer Christy...

Stories That Bind Us

Stories That Bind Us

When my daughter got married, I made a recipe book as a gift. In scrapbook fashion, I assembled recipes and anecdotes that told the story of our family in terms of special meals, snacks, holidays, and celebrations. I had a blast making it, recalling the times we enjoyed Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole with company, or made...

All Manner of Things

All Manner of Things

In Michigan in the 1960s, I was a kid with little understanding of the world outside my small town other than TV news footage of hippies, flower children, race riots, and the Vietnam War. I attended kindergarten with both black and white children, with no clue why some grown-ups hated dark-skinned people. The only...

The Nature of Small Birds

The Nature of Small Birds

A funny thing about stories--within ten minutes of starting a good one (whether reading a book or watching a show), I’m compelled to find out what happens to the protagonist as soon as possible. I’d be perfectly fine without meeting said hero or heroine, but once I’m hooked, I’m not satisfied until the tale ends.  No...

Welcome to Standout Stories!

Welcome to Standout Stories!

At the beginning of each middle school and high school writing class, I ask my students: “If writing were a food, what kind of food would it be and why?” Here are some answers I’ve received: Writing is like spinach. It’s good for me but I hate it. Writing is like pizza. I enjoy it but it depends on the...

Coming soon: A Hundred Magical Reasons, a novel

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