Posts Tagged ‘Across the Pond’


My special guest on today’s “A Book and a Chat” is author “Jeri Smith-Ready”. While Jeri has several books and trilogies under her writing belt, her new book “SHADE” is her debut venture into the realms of YA literature.

Jeri’s early plans save the earth were ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. This did not deter her however and her first book written in 1995/6 was about an environmental crusader-type guy fighting a coal mining company. This novel never saw the light of day and as Jeri explained she now classes it as her first “practice novel”. Her second attempt proved much more successful, though being ahead of her time with EBooks did turn her novel more into a “cult” book than actually find her overnight success.

Requiem for the Devil” did however put the name of Jeri Smith-Ready onto the literature map. The book garnered a cult following (which is a nice way of saying only a few people read it, but those who did, loved it). This following included Stacy Boyd, who later became one of the editors for a new imprint of female-focused fantasy, Luna Books. Stacy asked Jeri to submit a proposal, and the “Aspect of Crow” series was born.

The Aspect of Crow trilogy proved to be a huge success, being soon followed by “Wonderful Game” the first book in the extremely popular “WVMP Radio Series”.
During the show Jeri shared with us her current work in progress as well as what might be happening in her other” Urban Fantasy” novel, before we started discussing her YA book “Shade”.

What people say about “SHADE” which will soon be follwed by her next book in the series “SHIFT

SHADE is a hauntingly good story and an intriguing beginning to a new series. Jeri Smith-Ready proves again why she is one of my very favorite reads! –P.C. Cast, New York Times-bestselling author of the House of Night series

The perfect combination of mystery, ghosts and romance, SHADE left me breathless. –Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME

Smith-Ready writes movingly and well about music, first love and the drama of having too much responsibility thrust upon your teenage shoulders. Her world is first-rate and every one of her characters rings true. You’ll want to read the next book in this exciting series immediately, but alas, you’ll have to wait. –RT Book Reviews.

Jeri proved a really interesting and entertaining guest and the show is one people of all ages will enjoy. So why not sit back and listen to today’s “A Book and a Chat with Jeri Smith-Ready.


Direct link to the show
“A Book and a Chat with Jeri Smith-Ready”

or you can download the mp3 file of the show from
“Jeri Smith-Ready”

You can find out more about Jeri and her book at:
“Jeri Smith-Ready – Shade”

Barry Eva (Storyheart)

My Blogs:

Book Information and Things UK – Across the Pond

Book and a Chat Radio Show Guests – A Book and a Chat

Funny, Weird Or Just Interesting News From Around the World – Laugh I Thought My Trousers Would Never dry

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Almost the end of 2009, and I am facing it with very mixed feelings. It has been a year when family issues, medical issues and work issues have overwhelmed the literature, radio and friendship aspects of the past 365 days.

From the very start of the year leading up to my major back surgery until today when my youngest son was back in hospital, there has hardly been a day go by when one of the family was not sick or at the dentist, doctors, doing physiotherapist or at the chiropractor.

So let’s forget about that part, let’s look at the good aspects of 2009.

What has 107, 101, 2 and 24 to do with 2009?

“107” that is the total reviews my book “Across the Pond” has received at Amazon since it first came out. I am so totally overwhelmed with the words of support, encouragement and the fact that so many people have enjoyed the book. As many writer guest on my radio show have stated, receiving reviews or an email knowing that a reader has enjoyed your work, makes it all worthwhile!

“101” is the total number of “A Book and a Chat” radio shows I have presented this year. I have had so much fun doing the shows, learnt much and made some great friends. Over the year I’ve had guests from central Europe, Australia and England as well as Canada and the US. I’ve had calls from guests parked on the side of roads, half way up hillsides, in restaurants and in the middle of forests. I can honestly say through all the time, I have enjoyed myself and from the feedback and the requests for return visits so have the people so have my guests.

“2” is the number of top ten books for 2009 that “Across the Pond” has appeared on during December, I am so shocked. As anybody knows who has listened to me chatting on the radio either as a host or a guest, I don’t class myself as a writer, I am know literary genius, just a humble story teller.

Locations of top ten mentions:



“24” is a number I’m not quite so proud of. It the meager number of chapters I have managed to write for the follow up to “Across the Pond” a book called “Across the Pond and Back Again”. This would be even less if it was not for the support, encouragement and almost bullying (I need it) I have received from a couple of readers whom I am now proud to call friends. Finally though I seem to be getting back into the stride of things and home to get the book written over the next few months.

My final blog of 2009 tomorrow I’ll be sharing with you all an event I will be running through January, that is my YA RADIO MONTH.

So check out tomorrows blog.

Barry Eva (Storyheart)

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Today’s Christmas story is from 2008, the penultimate before I share my story from this year with there will be a narrated version has been added for those who like to listen rather than read.


It had started like a distant rumble of thunder, which had grown into the roaring of a hundred jet engines. The trees, then the whole earth seemed to shake from the full force of the wind.

She had begged her husband to leave before the hurricane hit, to just save themselves. He had told her the wind would die down, the boarded house would be fine, and the water would soon go. That was before the roof began to peel off the top of the house, like a giant pealing back the skin of an orange. That was when the panic had set in. Looking back, several months later, the images of that night still sent shivers through her body. Like still photos sliding across her mind, the sound, the fear, the destruction all seemed so fresh. Hanging onto each other hoping this was not to be their last moment on earth.

They had been found many hours later in what was left of their home, still in the same position. Numb with shock and the impact of what had happened, the rescuers had taken them to an overnight shelter. That night rolled into days, and days into weeks.

Their whole world had gone, in just a few small hours there was nothing left of what once was their home and their future.

When she had eventually been allowed back to the broken timbers of the smashed building where they had planned their future together, it was like a giant hand had taken their lives and emptied them… there was nothing left.

After a few months, a family member had provided a caravan for them to live in.This was parked in what once was their driveway. Her husband’s workplace no longer existed, vanished in that terrible night. After some time, he had found work in another state, many miles away, leaving her to pick amongst the pieces of their lives and wait for whatever would happen next.

The alarm woke her from her sleep, she shuddered the cold creeping through the ill fitting windows of the mobile home. At least she had a roof over her head, more than many she thought, reaching for the kettle and hoping there was still water in the tank and she would not have to make the trip to fill the water container again.

Lighting the small gas ring she put on the kettle for a hot drink. Looking out the window she could not believe her eyes, it had snowed overnight, the ground was covered in a quilt of white.

A while later she sat sipping her coffee, wondering how her husband was getting on, hoping he might be able to make it home for Christmas. Christmas … some Christmas this was going to be.

After clearing up and making her bed… “No excuse for not caring” she had told herself when first they had moved into the caravan. She went outside to see if things looked any better under the curtain of white.

At least it hid what was left of their home, broken timbers, the scarred surfaces, all was now smooth and white. Something made her look down.

There in front of her was a set of prints in the snow. Too large for a cat, not that of a dog… sort of hoof like. She shrugged “Oh well good luck to them finding any food around here.”

Her mobile phone rang. It was her husband, her mood brightened at the sound of his voice. He had some great news, his company was going to rebuild the factory, and they wanted him to help work on the new design. He was coming home!

A silent prayer of thanks was said, he was coming home.

Throughout the rest of the morning she worked on what she could do to try and make this Christmas special for her and her husband. Despite everything, they would be together and that was a start. She was in the process of writing a list of items that she needed to try and purchase to turn their mobile accommodation, in a home when there was a knock at the door.

A man stood there, a smile on his face and an envelope offered towards her.

“I think this might cheer up your holiday plans” he said handing her the envelope.

She went inside and opened the envelope, it was a check, a very large check, the insurance had finally come through. Now, they could get on with their lives, rebuild their future.

She tried to contact her husband to let him know the good news, but could get no reply.

What a day, first her husband coming home, with a new job, now the insurance money.

Her hand brushed a small bell that lay on the table, something they had found amongst the rubble of their home. Christmas, yes, it was all part of Christmas, and this year she would make sure it would be one they would never forget.

She rang the bell again, and again, ring… ring.. ring…

She struggled through the tangled web of her dream, only to surface into reality. It had all been a dream, a wonderful dream, but just a dream all the same. She looked out the window, hoping to see the white covering of snow that had been there in her dream. But all she saw was the scarred debris of what had been left after the hurricane had hit.

Sighing she put on the kettle and opened the door to greet the day. Her eyes caught site of some prints in the mud in front of her, too large for a cat and not that of a dog, sort of hoof like.

It couldn’t be, could it? And her mobile phone rang.

Click the microphone to hear the story narrated by the author


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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For those of you who have not been reading my Christmas Story’s (normally on a Thursday) up to now, each year I write a special holiday story, and have done since 1999. I will share them each week until finally just before Christmas I will publish this seasons story.

Today’s is from 2006, and includes a narrated version for those who like to listen rather than read.


She stopped what she was doing and took a step back, looking at her handy work. The tree sparkled with multi-colored lights reflecting on the numerous ornaments that dotted around the tree. It would do.

She had only decided to put the tree up at the last moment, for her this Christmas was an empty shell of what it had been in the past. Her only daughter was three thousand miles across a stormy ocean with her family. Sure she would get the phone call, or if she remembered how to get the thing to work, a web cam session on the computer. The computer was something her husband had bought them so they would be able to keep in contact with their daughter.

Last Christmas he had spent hours teaching her how to use the computer to enable them to see and talk to their daughter and their grandchildren. It was almost like he was showing her because he knew… he knew that the next Christmas, he would not be there to create the link.

Just four months previous, she had suddenly found herself alone. One morning he had simply just not woken up. She never imagined life without her husband, but over the last months it was something she’d had to deal with.

Now being Christmas it was even harder.

She wiped away a tear that had leaked from her eye, and took a final look at the tree.

There was only one thing missing, the final star.

Every Christmas, the star had always been the final item on the tree, placed there by the two of them, as if to underline that they were ready for Christmas. This year when she had unpacked the Christmas decorations, she’d found the star broken, like her heart.

She sat sipping her coffee, looking at the tree; it looked so empty without the star. Just like her life was without her husband.

Sitting on the table beside her sat a pile of cards. She just had not been able to open the festive greetings when so many had been addressed to Mr and Mrs Johnstone. Picking the first one from the pile, she opened it and read the words inside. It was too much. Tears she’d held back for months streamed down her face. She dropped the letter and buried her face in her hands.

Why had he been taken away from her? What did she have to celebrate this Christmas?

Leaving the pile of letters unopened, she made her way to a lonely bed to cry herself to sleep.

It seemed she had only just gone to sleep when loud knocking on the front door woke her up. She looked across at the clock through heavy red rimmed eyes. It was ten past ten, who would be calling at this time of the night. The knocking came again.

“Hold on, I’m coming.” She shouted pulling her dressing gown round her as she descended the stairs to the front door. A small face was pressed up against the glass. Carol singers, this late at night???

She opened the door and was nearly bowled over as two young children jumped at her, wrapping their arms around her.

“Merry Christmas Grandma.”
“Merry Christmas Mum” came the voice of her daughter Rosemary and her husband, as they moved into the light from the hallway.

“What…. How… Why didn’t you tell me…?”

Words were lost as fresh tears spilled down her face as her daughter hugged her close.

“Mum, we sent a letter. In the Christmas card? ”

She looked back at the pile of cards, still unopened on the table.

Still in a state of shock, she led the family into the living room.

While her husband took the cases and the children up to the bedrooms, Rosemary sat with her Mom.

“You did know we were coming didn’t you Mom?”

“I did not get around… I could not…” tears once more. “Mom, we could not let you spend Christmas alone, or any other Christmas for that matter.”

“I don’t understand….”

“Mom… After Christmas, we’ll start planning for you to come back and stay with us.”

Further conversation was stopped by two children filled with the love of the excitement of the trip, the love of their grandmother and the joy of Christmas came running down the stairs.

“Grandma, Grandma” they both shouted. “We’ve brought you a special Christmas present. Dad says you can open it early.”

Eager little hands thrust a package at her.
“But… I can’t.”

Rosemary put her hand on her mother’s, as her husband came and stood behind the two children, eyes wide as saucers with excitement.

“Mom, please, the children bought this with their own money, it means a lot to them.”

Slowly she opened the package. Under the wrappings of tissue paper, she carefully removed a bright shining star.

Rosemary took the star, and with help from her husband placed it on the top of the Christmas tree.

Hugging her grandchildren to her, she looked at the star glittering at the top of tree. The final star was in place. Now she could celebrate Christmas.

Click the microphone to hear the story narrated by the author


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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I was thinking what to blog about tonight, one of the Christmas Stories or perhaps some attempt at a witty comment or even about how the new book is “not” going, when I realized I had not done a “Weird News” spot for a while. So here’s a couple of items of interest… well perhaps to some of you.

This is an “Axolotl” (there’s a good score in Scrabble for you) sometimes called “The amphibian that never grew up“. The axolotl is a type of salamander that uniquely spends its whole life in its larval form. Its odd lifestyle, features and ability to regenerate body parts make it a popular animal kept in labs, schools and as pets.

But in the wild, the future is bleak for this “Peter Pan” of animals. Now a new survey work suggests that fewer than 1,200 Mexican axolotls remain in its last stronghold, the Xochimilco area of central Mexico.

Ex “Take That” and star performer Robbie Williams created quite a stir at the end of a recent appearance on an Australian radio show. The show host thought it was a joke when on the air Williams asked asked actress Ayda Field to be his “betrothed for the end of time”. However Robbie’s mother, Jan Williams told BBC Radio 5 live that her son had revealed his proposal plans to her “a week ago”.

She said she was “really pleased” for the couple, adding: “I’ve always wanted a daughter-in-law.

Finally something that could make a huge change in the way we live, work and even drive.

A team of researchers at Stanford University have come up with a Battery made from paper.
Made from plain copier paper could make for future energy storage that is truly paper thin.

The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to “paintable” energy storage.

Because of its structure of millions of tiny, interconnected fibers, paper is a good candidate to hold on to carbon nanotubes, providing a scaffold on which to build devices.

However, paper is also mechanically tough, and can be bent, curled or folded, more than the metal or plastic surfaces that are currently used or under development.

The paper acts to collect the electric charge from the reaction. Using paper in this way could reduce the weight of batteries, typically made with metal current collectors, by 20%.

The team’s batteries are also capable of releasing their stored energy quickly. That is a valuable characteristic for applications that need quick bursts of energy, such as electric vehicles – although the team has no immediate plans to develop vehicle batteries.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

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Like an old Bing Crosby and Bob Hope movie I was off on the road to… well Corning NY, this last Saturday, which of course coincided with the first snow of the winter. While I did not meet Dorothy Lamour (am I sounding old) along the way, I did get to meet some great people who’d I previously spoken to only on my radio program “A Book and a Chat”.

The idea of the trip was to go and share the performance Tine Field Howe’s “Alysa of the Fields”. Tina received received a 2009 Artist Crossroads Grant from the ARTs Council of the Southern Finger Lakes to create an audio book of this her first book in the The Tellings of Xunar-kun Series. The second book of which “The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun” – has won First Place in The Written Art Awards, Science Fiction/Fantasy Category.

The performance of snippets from the audio book with many actors who took part in the recording was being held during the “SPARKLE FESTIVAL” at Corning, NY.

Thinking this would be a nice trip for the family to see the delights of the Sparkle festival as well as meeting Tina and the cast as well as signing a few copies of my own book “Across the Pond”. We had planned for all of us to make the 600 mile round trip to Corning. However the night before the children went down with some sickness bug leaving me to make the trip on my own.
This meant many last minute changes in plans, booking a hotel etc.

You might not think 600 miles is a huge distance to drive in US terms, however the most I had done in one trip since having my back surgery was about 90 miles. Still I set off in my little car to drive over the Catskills and make my way to Corning. Some of the towns I passed through or near made me chuckle, I passed Damascus (did not have any visions on the road to Damascus), which was closely followed by Jerusalem. I did wonder at a town called “Deposit”, did one purchase a wall or two there, then come back when you had enough money to buy the rest of the house?. The hotel I stayed in was near another wonderful named town of Horsehead, I was waiting for somebody to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

As mentioned it of course started to snow, as I started to climb the mountains, still me and my little Kia battled on eventually getting to Corning late Saturday afternoon.

The evening was great fun, meeting the author and the cast, I even joined in an narrated a little of the story, and sold several books.
A couple of hours sleep and I was once more on the road at 4am, heading back to Connecticut. Why so early? I had a DJ show to perform at a Lions Club Senior Christmas Dinner at midday…. but that’s another story.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

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Every so often some group or other reports that certain things are good for you, then a few days later another group replies that the same item is bad for you.

While it’s been noted for some time that a pint or two of beer per day is medically good for you, last week it was reported…

Drinking alcohol every day cuts the risk of heart disease in men by more than a third, a major study suggests.

The Spanish research involving more than 15,500 men and 26,000 women found large quantities of alcohol could be even more beneficial for men.

Female drinkers did not benefit to the same extent, the study in Heart found.

Experts are critical, warning heavy drinking can increase the risk of other diseases, with alcohol responsible for 1.8 million deaths globally per year.

The study was conducted in Spain, a country with relatively high rates of alcohol consumption and low rates of coronary heart disease.

The research involved men and women aged between 29 and 69, who were asked to document their lifetime drinking habits and followed for 10 years.

Crucially the research team claim to have eliminated the “sick abstainers” risk by differentiating between those who had never drunk and those whom ill-health had forced to quit. This has been used in the past to explain fewer heart-related deaths among drinkers on the basis that those who are unhealthy to start with are less likely to drink.

If that comment upset you, or has left you in a bad mood. Don’t worry because according to an Australian psychology expert, being in a bad mood could also be good for you.

In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed.

While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.

‘Eeyore days’

The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain “promotes information processing strategies”.

He asked volunteers to watch different films and dwell on positive or negative events in their life, designed to put them in either a good or bad mood.

Next he asked them to take part in a series of tasks, including judging the truth of urban myths and providing eyewitness accounts of events.

Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly – they made fewer mistakes and were better communicators.

Professor Forgas said: “Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world.”

The study also found that sad people were better at stating their case through written arguments, which Forgas said showed that a “mildly negative mood may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style”.

His earlier work shows the weather has a similar impact on us – wet, dreary days sharpened memory, while bright sunny spells make people forgetful.

Finally something I’ve been saying for some time…

Dirt can be good for children, say scientists.Messy play should be encouraged, according to the hygiene hypothesis. Children should be allowed to get dirty, according to scientists who have found being too clean can impair the skin’s ability to heal.

Normal bacteria living on the skin trigger a pathway that helps prevent inflammation when we get hurt, the US team discovered. The bugs dampen down overactive immune responses that can cause cuts and grazes to swell, they say.

Their work is published in the online edition of Nature Medicine Experts said the findings provided an explanation for the “hygiene hypothesis”, which holds that exposure to germs during early childhood primes the body against allergies.

Many like myself believe our obsession with cleanliness is to blame for the recent boom in allergies in developed countries.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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For those of you who have not been reading my Thursday Story’s up to now, each year I write a special holiday story, and have done since 1999. I will share one each Thursday until finally just before Christmas I will publish this seasons story.

Today’s is from 2001 and is basically true, as you can read at the end.

THE GIFT (2001)

Driving to work on a Sunday morning, the roads fairly empty at the time of day I started work. Christmas lights still sparkled in the early morning light as I passed by the houses, reminding me it was only 3 days until Christmas day. This was my first day back at work after several days off, and with so little time before Christmas, most people would now be on holiday for the next few days.

When I arrived at work, far from being quiet major problems were waiting for me, and those few members of my shift not on vacation. The morning went by with many conference calls and problem resolving and around lunchtime finally I thought it had all settled down to a quieter day.

Suddenly my phone rang, it was my wife. The baby was sick, she had been crying for the last hour, and in pain. Not only that but when the baby had been sick she had traces of blood in the throw-up. She had phoned the Doctor who had thought it was because of a cold and congestion. Naturally I was worried, our daughter was only seven months old after all, and so very precious to us.

I was getting on with more work, thinking about what was going on, when the phone went again. The Doctor had second thoughts and wanted us to take the baby to the hospital. I would meet them the family there.

I drove not quite knowing where I was going or what I was doing, the area was strange and the worry about what was going on weighing heavy on my mind.

I found the children’s emergency area, arriving before my family. Soon we were all there. The baby was no her normal herself at all, she would not let you put her down, and was crying in pain, as well as constantly dribbling. We were quickly looked at and details taken, then started a long wait until we could be seen. Children and families came and went and still we waited. The our other children were starting to get fractious, we had by this time been waiting almost 3 hours.

At last we were called in, and shown to the smallest cubical out of the ones there were, this was for the two of us, the baby, 2 small children and all the bags and car seats that were needed to port the family around. The staff seeing the children with nothing to do brought them gifts from the hospital Christmas tree, and so we waited.

Another hour, and at last the doctor came to see us. The baby was checked out, and nothing could be found. People still came and went and time continued to pass. At last the doctor came back and advised that they were going to take x-rays of the baby. We talked about what to do, we had been at the hospital for over 4 hours, the children were tired and hungry, and we both knew how long x-rays could take. Neither of us wanted to leave, but though it best if my wife took the baby home, and I stayed.

Very quickly we went to the x-ray area, and after just 10 minutes were back with the plates. The doctor could see nothing on the x-rays, but wanted a second opinion. The Senior Doctor came and examined the baby, and suddenly reported to both myself and the other doctor that she could see something trapped at the back of the babies throat. This explained her pain, and the soaking shoulders I now had from her constant dribbling for the last several hours I had held her.

My heart jumped into my throat, what had she swallowed, what if it moved and lodged across her throat. The surgeon was paged, and I was taken with the baby into another area. I tried to keep her as quiet as possible, the Christmas angels pinned round the walls seemed to look down at her so small in my arms and in so much pain.We moved to behind a curtain, as a major case was coming in, all the time the doctors kept checking on us. Nurses peered in at the beautiful baby, who every now and then let out such a heart rending cry that all stopped to see what was wrong.

The surgeon came and explained what he was to do, it was thought better to operate on the baby to get rid of the obstruction, rather than cause her even more distress, and possible problems by fishing for it. The theater was ready, we went up and met the operating team, where I handed over my beloved daughter to them. I waited in and empty waiting area.

Christmas lights sparkled on windows, and seasons decorations were everywhere. I phoned my now tearful wife, and explained what was going on. Thoughts went to another baby all those years ago, and silent prayers were sent to him. The last words that the anesthetist had said to me as she took the baby , swirled round my head again, and again.

“You are very lucky, 80% of babies who swallow things like this do not even make the hospital”

What would we do if anything happened to her? After all that had happened to us this last year, this would be the end of all and everything if we lost her.

After what seemed an age, but was actually only 20 minutes the doctor returned, holding in his hand a container in which was a small frog foil sticker, as used on cards and presents at Christmas. This was the offending object. The baby was ok, and was waiting for me in the recovery area.

I sat by her bed, waiting for her to recover, trying to smile at the comments of the nurse taking care of her. She was alright, she was safe, a small tear trickled down my face, and my heart smiled at the beauty that was our daughter now safe and sound sleeping next to me.

A half hour later she was awake, and her smiling self, drinking a bottle of juice as if nothing had happened. Once we had been checked out, we left for our drive back home. The Christmas lights now matching the pair of sparkling eyes that sat in the car seat next to me.

We arrived home in the early hours of the morning, safe and sound, but still the words echoed round my mind. 80% of babies never make it to the hospital.

As we hugged each other and the baby, we both realized, never mind what was going to happen in two days time. We had already received the greatest Christmas present we would ever have. The safety and well being of our baby.

Normally I write a Christmas Story, and in fact this year I already had it written just waiting for my to type it out and up load it. That was until we had our own story, this time the story was for real. Victoria is fine now, and shows no ill effects from her operation. It just showed us how lucky we really are.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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Last Friday I was invited to an event at a school about seventy miles away. The school had previously contacted me re donating one of my books “of which we’ve heard great things” as a fund raising for their school.

Being always willing to help with such donations for any charity or event I was only too pleased to send them a signed hard back copy of “Across the Pond“. Following this and some further emails passing in the night, I was invited along to the event. Then I could actually sign it then and there for the person who had one the item in the auction.

The school was only about seventy miles away but traveling in the rush hour in what was left of hurricane Ike when it arrive in CT (mainly rain) was not the most pleasant of journeys.

When I arrived at the school there were about seventy items ranging from “power saws” and “golf lessons” to a “free pass for homework” and being “principal for a day” in the “silent auction”. I am pleased to say my book managed to get at least three bids as well.

After the silent auction came the real auction, I was amazed that such a small school had so many brilliant items for auction. These ranged from a week in a vacation home for ten (went for $1300)through items like “2 round trip tickets anywhere in US that United flies” (went for $550). In amongst all these there was one item I would have liked to have won, in fact it was the final item of the auction
Zhu Zhu pets“.

For those who do not know these are the “must have… can’t get” items for this Christmas. rubbing my hands and counting what money I thought I might manage for this item, also thinking it was last item and people had already spent a fortune (to me anyway) on the other items I thought I had a chance to get this “Giant Hamster fun house and four pets” as a real treat for my children.

Was I wrong!!!!

The bidding went way pas the top end of my spending scale, in the end the item sold for $375. So it looks like an overnight queuing outside some of the stores for Black Friday is my only hope.

At the end of the day, no I did not sell any books, nor did I win any auction items.
But I had fun, I made contacts for possible future signings and I had a good time.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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While the US celebrates Veterans Day, around the world the day to remember those who gave up their lives for us is called “Remembrance Day”. Canada like the US holds this day on November 11th. While in the UK the national day of remembrance for those killed in both world wars and later conflicts, on the second Sunday of November

Remembrance Sunday is observed by a two-minute silence at the time of the signature of the armistice with Germany that ended World War I: 11:00 am, 11 November 1918 (although since 1956 the day of commemoration has been the Sunday). There are ceremonies at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, and elsewhere. The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during war. Since that time there has also been held a two minutes silence to remember those fallen hero’s.

‘Poppies’, symbolic of the blood shed, are sold in aid of war invalids and their defendants.

So why the Poppy?

The ‘Flanders poppies’ have become a cymbal for those who died defending their country originally from the World War I, as per the famous poem by John McCrae.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

John McCrae, 1915.

McCrae was a Canadian who enlisted to help the allies in the war. He was made Medical Officer upon landing in Europe. During a lull in the battle with the nub of a pencil he scratched on a page from his dispatch book. The poem found its way into the pages of Punch magazine. By 1918 the poem was well known throughout the allied world.

An American Moina Michael,adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war and also as a symbol of keeping the faith.

A French women, Madam Guerin, visiting the United States, learned of the custom and took it one step further. When she returned to France she decided to hand make the red poppies and sell them to raise money for the benefit of the orphaned and destitute women and children in war torn areas of France. This tradition spread to Canada, The United States and Australia and is still followed today. The money collected from the sale of poppies goes to fund various veterans programs.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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