Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Marguerite Henry

Marguerite Henry

Christina Weigand

I can’t believe I took so long to write about Marguerite Henry. As a young reader I read many of her books. She fed my passion for horses (Something I wrote about before. You can see that article here.) I even contemplated sending her a fan mail asking for advice on how I could love and care for my pony more.

Marguerite Henry (Breithaupt) was born the youngest of five children on April 13, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At six years old she caught rheumatic fever which left her bedridden and unable to attend school. It was then that she discovered the joy of reading. Her love for animals also started when she was a child. One year for Christmas she received a writing desk and her love of writing was born. 

Later in life she was heard to say about this gift, “At last I had a world of my very own—a writing world, and soon it would be populated by all the creatures of my imagination.” (From Dear Readers and Riders, Rand McNalley, 1969, page 200).

At the age of 11 Henry sold her first story to a magazine that had solicited stories about the four seasons from children. The story was entitled Hide and Seek in Autumn Leaves.

She went to Milwaukee State Teachers College and in 1923 she married Sidney Crocker Henry. They didn’t have any children, but instead numerous pets who served for the inspiration for many of her books.

In 1945 when she finished writing Justin Morgan had a Horse, she began her search for an illustrator.

 She had seen and loved the work of Will James and Wesley Dennis in her library search of horse books. Upon discovery of James’s death she sent her manuscript to Wesley Dennis. Henry and Dennis would go on to collaborate on nearly 20 books.

In 1947 Misty of Chincoteague was published and was an instant success. The story features the annual pony penning of feral horses from Assateague Island. There were several Misty sequels including two more illustrated by Dennis, Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague and Stormy, Misty’s Foal. Tourism for the pony penning almost doubled after the publication of the books.

 Misty went on to be adapted for film along with Justin Morgan had a Horse and Brighty of Grand Canyon.

San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion was adapted for television.

She received a Newberry Medal from the American Library Association in 1949 for King of the Wind: the story of the Godolphin

Other books including Black Gold, 

Gaudenzia: Pride of the Palio,

and Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West received numerous other awards.

In the 1940’s she wrote texts for the first and fourth sets of the Pictured Geography series published by Albert Whitman and Company of Chicago. These were children’s books about world nations and other territories.

In 1996 her last book Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley
was published and was a girl meets horse story with the horse being replaced by a mule.

On November 26, 1997 she passed away at home in Rancho, Santa Fe, California after multiple strokes.

I know I haven’t read all of her books, but she was one of my favorite authors while growing up. Seeing her books and reading about her life has brought up fond memories. Her animal stories leave a lasting legacy that will travel through the years and delight many children.

Photos, Quotes and Bio from:



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Do Authors Need a Portfolio?

The portfolio of author Erika M Szabo

Just like every author, I introduce my books on my WEBSITE and on social sites such as FACEBOOK TWITTER and LINKEDIN.

Is it enough? My website is organized and readers can find every book with a click.
But on social sites, which most author is focusing on, the reader have to sift through  a lot of posts.

So, I decided to create a condensed, online book that contains the highlights of what I create and what I write.

You can find my portfolio on this link:
Hope you will enjoy it!

A few pages from my portfolio:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Winners of the 6 Day Blog-Hop

Congrats to the Winners!

During the 6 days long event, a group of #OurAuthorGang authors posted about their books on their own blogs and hid a secret word in the post.

In order to find the 12 hidden words, the contestants "hopped" from blog to blog to collect each word that made a quote at the last stop:

"Every author knows the easy read books are the hardest to write"

23 contestants entered the correct quote and the author group, not knowing who the contestants were, picked 4 lucky numbers. The winners claimed their prizes yesterday and only their first names are posted for privacy reasons.


#22 contestant
Winner of $30 gift card

#19 contestant
$5 gift card

#3 contestant
$5 gift card

#8 contestant
$5 gift card

The contest is over, but you can still visit the blogs, meet the authors and check out their books:

#1 blog
#2 blog
#3 blog
$4 blog
#5 blog
#6 blog
#7 blog
#8 blog
#9 blog
#10 blog
#11 blog
#12 blog

Friday, May 24, 2019

Animals in Folklore Part 2

Wolves in European Mythology

Wolves play an integral part in European mythology. They are found in almost every major culture in European history. I thought I would wrap up this small sample of their role with what I thought was the most interesting. 


In Celtic mythology the wolf plays many roles. As in other cultures the wolf was seen as a bringer of death and destruction. The Celts never feared them though. These things were necessary for new life and re-birth to occur. Wolves had their own month at the end of winter, which they ruled over, called Faoilleach. This was a time of death and purification. To the Celts though death was celebrated, their loved one's spirit was free and living a better life.

In Celtic mythology the wolf was associated with several famous figure. They are the companion Cerridwen, the goddess of fertility and the moon. Brighid is the goddess of flame, hearth and a patron of warfare and has a wolf as one of four sacred animals. The Morrigan, the goddess of war, death and destruction also took the form of a wolf. The Celtic hero Comac was raised by wolves and was said to speak their language. All his life he was seen with at least four wolves.


The founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were rescued by a she-wolf after the king ordered them thrown into the river Tiber. The river god, Tiber, slowed the river and the basket eventually stopped on the roots of a fig tree where the city of Rome was eventually founded. It was the she-wolf, Lupa, who found them in their basket and saved them and subsequently suckled them. Eventually, a couple of farmers finds the wolf with the boys and adopts the children.

In Roman culture wolves are also associated with the gods, more specifically with Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, and Leto. They typically act as divine messengers. There is also a legend of Zeus transforming a king that tried to trick him into a wolf as a punishment.

Lupercalia, is a religious wolf festival, that had strange rites. It was primarily a fertility festival held on February 15th that included a chase through the town. It started at Lupercal, which was supposedly the site where Romulus and Remus were suckled by the she-wolf. It was suggested that a dog, and even puppies were sacrificed for purification.


While Britain has a vast amount of folklore that stems from it the most well known is the Legend of King Arthur. Merlin the king's friend and loyal advisor lived as a hermit for a period of his life and kept an old grey wolf for a companion. To this day both Merlin and the wolf are known as guardians of Britain.

A wolf plays a key role in my newest paranormal romance Honor Bound. If you want to see how my great white wolf features in my story you'll have to read it to find out. The book is featured in the Moonlight Mystique anthology so you'll get 9 other steamy romances as a bonus.

I am a mother, pharmacist and author. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi. Romance is always a welcome bonus. I have two little girls and I love dogs, I have two of those as well, a Boston Terrier and a Pittie mix. So technically some would say I have four kids. I am currently on a writing hiatus but hope to get back to my romance series or my fantasy series soon. Right now my girls are my priority. My all time favorite series of books is the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I've read all 12 of the original series at least twice and some 3 or 4 times. I know I'm a little obsessed but who doesn't like a normal guy that becomes a hero. Oh Richard Rahl! If you'd like to know more about me or my books please see my website. If you would like more info about my books you can find it on my store.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Stakes Have Been Raised

The Stakes Have Been Raised!

Lorraine Carey

Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be twenty years ago. Reading Readiness and many concepts that were taught in grade one are now expected to be in place by the start of kindergarten.

As a veteran teacher and reading specialist I have been involved with teaching kindergarten, testing and working with students who were left well behind their peers in kindergarten. This has only resulted in frustrated children who lack self-esteem and begin to have a negative response to literacy when this should be a time to set the tone for a great reader and lifetime lover of books.

I was trained in The Collaborative Literacy Project, which is very similar to Reading Recover, which is taught in many schools. It’s proven results have had students retaining grade level status or above up to grade four.

This can be easily remedied with knowing exactly what is expected of your child prior to kindergarten. Here in my book, A Rock Star Reader Before Kindergarten I divulge my secret sauce for success. In these easy steps practiced daily your child will not only learn to read but become that lifelong successful reader.

The Reading Experience is a Bond~

We have many qualified teachers out there, but the most valuable instruction will come from you! If your child sees you reading he or she will know this is a valued concept.

Set a special time each day to read with your child. Try to set a schedule and make it fun. This is where you will set the tone for a love of literacy.

A Rock Star Reader By Kindergarten is always 99cents for Kindle. It is available in eBook and print. I want every child out there to have a chance to go to the head of the class!  School is about to be out for the summer and there is not better time than now to get this process in motion.

I have two videos to assist you with this book. The links are below. And I am always more than willing to aid in any questions for assistance you may have.

Now Let’s Get Rockin’!

 Buy Link ~

Instructional Videos~


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fake It Till You Make It

Is it a good advice?

I wrote this short story remembering all the seemingly perfect families I've met in my life.
They show a picture perfect family life but hide the struggles, heartache, compromises, and sacrifices they made to get there.
People are not perfect and we all come with a baggage. We can live a happy life or a create a chaotic life. It all depends on the choices we make

Nancy arrives home from a long day at work. She kicks off her high heels and walks into the kitchen. Bruce lights the candles on the dinner table and embraces her in a warm hug. Her two girls, ages five and six, are running from the playroom to greet her. Their handsome seventeen-year-old boy looks up from his computer and smiles at her.
A beautiful picture, isn’t it? The man plays the role of the happy househusband and the wife is the breadwinner. Nothing is wrong with that. But, let’s just see how they got to this ideal picture of a happy home.

A short snippet from the book
Bruce remembered a conversation he had with his father a long time ago.
They were sitting at the kitchen table having a beer when he was just a teenager. He felt so grown up and important because his father let him drink a beer. He asked his father if he ever loved his mother. He had watched their relationship since he was a small child, and he couldn’t sense any devotion on his father’s part.

“She’s a dumb bitch. What’s there to love? But she’s a good mother and a good provider. I find my love elsewhere, son. The home is for security and comfort while I’m looking for a job,” he said, winking at Bruce. “She’s well trained if you know what I mean,” he continued.

Bruce wanted his father’s approval desperately. He was the role model for absentee fathers, but occasionally they had a moment together when he felt some closeness to him. All his life he believed that his mother and, as a matter of fact, every woman was just a meal ticket to an easy life. That’s what he saw, and that’s what he learned. He thought about relationships rationally: have fun with a girl but marry a steady woman on whom you can depend, as his father said. He had many girls to have fun with, and when he was in his early twenties, he began looking for a wife. He moved in and out of fleeting relationships, and he was surprised in the beginning that after four or five months, the women threw him out. They saw right through him and they refused to be used. He asked his father about it.

“Son, you have to be smart. You can’t just sit at home watching movies all day. Of course, they will find out you have no intention to work. You must ‘fake it till you make it’ Take a job, do it for a couple of weeks, and then get yourself fired. Find a way that makes it look like it wasn’t your fault. Then you’re okay for a couple of months; they will leave you in peace to look for another job,” his father advised him.
It worked for years, and he could stay in a relationship longer and longer.

My published fiction, children's books, and audiobooks:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Palace of the Three Crosses

Palace of the Three Crosses

Christina Weigand


A loud, obnoxious soldier on the other side of the room loudly expressed his feelings about the recent war and the funeral. “I think things’re going to get a sorry sight worse now that Theodric’s left us. Those boys of his couldn’t rule their way out of his crown. Joachim may be a small site better than his brother, Brandan, but I still think we’s in serious trouble ’fore things get better. Only Asha knows what’ll happen in Mahorg, ’specially if they send the whelp Brandan back there. He's already betrayed his family and Crato and run away with his tail tucked ‘tween his legs. Who's to say he won' do it again? Sides, I heard tell he was in bed with Sidramah along with his minion Waldrom and those dirty little Mantions. Yessir, this country's headed for trouble with those boys running it.”
Visibly incensed, Brandan stood up, took a swig of goll, and marched over to the blowhard. “You should watch what you say and where you say it. Your job and life could be called into question.”
“And who are you to question me, whelp? Maybe you should run back to your mother’s skirts and leave this business to us grownups.”
“Do you know who you are talking to, soldier?”
“Get on with you, back to your mummy.”
Brandan reached for his sword, but Joachim grabbed his arm before he could draw it. Brandan swung around and knocked Joachim to the floor. Joachim came up swinging and hit his brother in the jaw. Brandan punched him in the stomach and pushed him into the bar. The soldier grabbed a walking stick leaning against the wall, raised it over his head, and brought it down on Joachim's right arm. White hot pain screamed through his body as Joa slumped to the floor only vaguely aware of the action around him. He cradled his injured right arm with his left hand. Lukan came up behind and grabbed the man’s arms. He pinned them behind his back while Brandan hit the soldier in the stomach. The barkeep came out from behind the bar, seized the walking stick, and threatened to hit anyone who moved.
“Lukan, you had best take your guests home.”
Lukan released the drunken soldier. “Oliver, it’s time you get home to your pregnant wife. You don’t know whom you have insulted here, and if these boys want, they could see you lose your job or your life, for what you have said and done here tonight. This is Prince Joachim and Prince Brandan you've attacked.”
The barkeeper bent down and looked at Joachim. “Lukan, better get a healer here fast. He's not looking too good.”
Lukan ran out the door and soon returned with Rupert, who immediately bent down and examined the injured arm.
“Sire, I think we need to get you to a master healer. Your bone appears to be shattered, and there is extensive bleeding from the gash in the back of your head.  You need the attention of someone who can do more than I. Lukan, carry him to his horse. Brandan, come on and help out here.”
The agony in his arm intensified with the movement, and Joachim welcomed the darkness of oblivion.
* * * *
Lukan left the room carrying Joachim, with Rupert and Brandan following. Once outside, they found a wagon parked in the alley beside the tavern and gently laid Joachim in it rather than heave him onto his horse. Lukan got in the driver's seat.
Rupert patted the horse and directed him toward the palace. He turned to Brandan. “What happened? What are you even doing out here without an escort? Have you no sense in your fool head? Your brother could be crippled for life and all because of some foolish plan of yours.”
“No, Rupert, it was Joa's idea to come here. He needed to get away from the gloom and doom of the palace. He invited me to come along. That big oaf, Oliver started mouthing off about how we couldn’t even rule our way out of Father’s crown like we were a couple of spoiled brats without the good sense Asha gave us. I couldn’t listen to it anymore. I tried to convince him to be quiet…then Joachim came over. I pushed him out of the way to protect him from Oliver, and he came back and hit me. I pushed him away again. Then that crazy Oliver grabbed a walking stick and hit Joa as his arm landed on the bar. Lukan grabbed him and stopped everything. It was only then I realized how badly Joa was hurt and sent Lukan to get you.”
Watching Rupert’s silent reaction, Brandan was relieved. He had dodged another swipe of the sword.
When they got back to the palace, they found Joachim already in his quarters being tended by the royal healer with Maeve at his bedside. When Brandan came in, she ran over and hit him on the chest. “What were you thinking? How could you do this to him? He may never be able to use his arm again.”
“I didn't do it.” Brandan grabbed her wrists. “It was a drunken soldier who started everything. If he had kept his big mouth shut, none of this would have happened. This isn't my fault.”
“How can you say that? Even if you didn’t hit him, you caused this. He was probably trying to keep you out of trouble. You are so good at deflecting blame and not taking responsibility for your actions. I think you should leave.”
“He’s my brother. I have more right than you do to be here. You aren’t married to him. You're a Kningrad, no more; maybe you should be the one to leave.”
Master Adept Rupert stepped between the two of them. “If you don’t stop this bickering, both of you will leave. Let’s wait and see what the healer can do. In the meantime, you both can remain…but quietly.”
The prince took a seat in a nearby chair. Maeve went back to Joa's bedside, but soon moved a bit farther away to allow the healer more room to work.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, the healer moved away from Joachim. “I have done all I can. The radius and ulna bones are shattered. I’m not sure whether he will ever regain full use of it. There is too much damage for me to repair it all. Fortunately, for him, he’s left-handed; so once his right arm has sufficiently healed, he’ll still be able to fight along with other things requiring arms.”
“Are you sure there is nothing more you can do, not even some magic?” Rupert asked.
“No, Master Rupert. You should know better than to ask. I have done all that is humanly possible. He’ll live, if that is the will of Asha. I cannot do magic requiring extraordinary measures that go beyond ensuring his survival. If Asha wills it, then the arm will heal properly, but it is not for me to say or do.”
“You’re right, and I know it. Wishful thinking on my part. He will live, and that’s what is most important. The rest is up to Asha.”
The conversation did not satisfy Brandan. Why couldn't they perform a little magic and heal Joa's smashed arm? If Sidramah were in control, he would heal Joa's arm and make him better than ever. How could the healers settle for only partial recovery? Why didn’t they want it all?
Brandan stood and stalked out of the room. 

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Nature's Beauty

Waterfalls sing the songs of my soul

I love waterfalls from a trickle cascading down the side of a rocky cliff  to the thundering majesty of a raging river.  Each has a unique beauty that speaks to me.

My job as a truck driver, I had the opportunity to see a lot.  It was one of the few benefits of traveling the 48 contiguous states. It is also the only thing I miss as I still drive but on a designated route.  

I would watch the mountain sides as my husband drove looking for them.  Tall falls at the beginning of spring filled with winter melt-off were spectacular. 

Sometimes the rocky ledges carved out for the road to pass held mini ones especially after a storm.

Hidden cascades deep with forests are my favorite.  Easily I envision fairies and elves dancing among the spray. The sound itself is peaceful. All worries lost, they slowly float away.

I find myself amazed at how pictures of them affect me the same way being near one does. I can almost feel the spray as its music fills my ears.  From roars to tinkling bells, the sounds are clear.

Most enchanting is the way frozen falls reveal a life put on pause. Beauty for all to behold.


In town the icicles
Finally began to melt
From the caressing warmth
Of the Spring sun I now felt

On snow-capped mountains
The thaw had also begun
Drops becoming trickles
Joining together in fun

Rivulets meandering
Along worn ancient ways
Searching for shallow pools
Joining together to play

Levels growing slowly
Water-drops’ excitement strong
Knowing that their parades
Would be starting before long

The final drops get added
Causing the pools to overflow
All vying to be first
To begin annual show

From the high mountain top
To the valley far below
The drops now becoming
A cascading water flow

Magnificent Spring falls
For all in nature to see
The mountain was ending
Winter’s hold most gracefully

© Cindy J. Smith
from Voices In My Head

Twitter: @cindysvoices