Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Burnt or Blood #Orange

Smiling orange teapot

Beware! This post has something for everyone today, including cute dogs, pumpkins, and lots of orange!

I don’t know what it is about October that it seems to represent the various shades of orange. Perhaps it’s the variety of the fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween jack o’ lanterns. Hence our color challenge this month, focusing on burnt orange or blood orange. Those names just sound like October!

Burnt or Blood Orange Pallet
Orange Color Palette

Any shade of orange will do! I’m easy. I read somewhere that orange is the color of joy and creativity. I definitely agree.

Orange is the happiest color.

Frank Sinatra

Sinatra was right, especially when this image of my orange kettle smiled at me!

Smiling orange teapot
Do you see its smiling face?

That Hometown Feeling

We were ecstatic to learn that there is a local nursery/farm down the street from our house, about a quarter of a mile away—easily within walking distance. The owners sell trees, plants, shrubs, etc, and we have purchased a few items from them. When I discovered the farm puts on a harvest festival every year, four weekends in October, I almost died from excitement. The manager asked us to volunteer which gets us a deep discount on the trees we want to buy and plant! Just the small town feel we had hoped for when we moved here.

A few miles away in North Spokane, GreenBluff Growers Association boasts over 60 farms, wineries, breweries and event venues. When we visited there two weeks ago, stepping into the various farms felt like we were right at home during the harvest.

As much as I enjoyed what Greenbluff had to offer, our neighborhood Fall Festival is on par with any of those farms with vendors, entertainment, kids activities, pumpkins and food. Did I mention their homemade pumpkin donuts? Amazing!

Dogs Love Orange Too!

My liver brown dogs look darling in their orange attire. Aero seems to love his orange harness…because he know it means a walk is imminent…

Aero ready for walkies

I’m not sure Brodie is too thrilled pictured here 4 years ago in his life vest. Now he swims without it. He loves the water.

Brodie, Boykin Spaniel in life vest
Brodie not too sure about his life vest

Needing More “Orange”-spiration?

Smoky Suns

Smoke during the summer from nearby and distant fires in the west gave us unhealthy air quality but strangely beautiful orange sunrises and sunsets. Our firefighters worked overtime and we are grateful for their efforts.

Fabulous Flora

The trees and wildflowers are showcasing their orange right now. My neighbor’s maple tree is orange now but will turn bright red in a matter of days.

Even the Rocks Cry Out in Orange

While we visited Sedona, Arizona, in August, the “red” rocks for which Sedona is famous, showed their joyous orange hues in certain lights.

A Past Look at Orange

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.

Nova Bair

Photography Challenges this Week!

As always, I appreciate the inspiration and dedication necessary by bloggers who host their weekly and seasonal photo challenges. This week I’m inspired by the following challenges:

More Fun

A shout-out to successful blogger (and friend) Janice Wald at Mostly Blogging in her article Blogging for Fun . Last week I posted about leisure, sports and hobbies and most of us who blog fall into the category of hobby blogger. We do this for fun and a variety of other reasons. And its nice to get validation from Janice. Her blog started out as a hobby blog but moved on to helping bloggers with her experience and words of wisdom.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills if you share on social media.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Busy Bloggers’ Who Love Their Hobbies

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite photos of their hobbies, sports, and leisure pastimes.

Bushboy’s World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Deb’s World

Equipoise Life Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Geriatrix Fotogallery

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Now At Home

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Picture Retirement

Stevie Turner

This is Another Story

NEW Toortsie.com

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

A Young Retirement

I can’t wait to see all your joyful orange colors this week! Remember you can link to Sunday Stills all week and feel free to link to other challenges in the same post. Next week we’ll be “in the pink” as I make my annual nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with current and past pink images. Pink works for Becky B’s Past Squares challenge, too. Have a wonderful week!

Autumn SIGNature

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Feeding Those Birds!

Grosbeak Feeder

February is National Bird Feeding Month if you are wondering what inspired the Sunday Stills challenge theme this week.

Black-Billed Grosbeak

I shared a similar post last year about the need to provide food for the birds, especially in the winter months. By February in the northern hemisphere, seeds, grains and other feed are buried under snow and mud or already eaten.

In addition to sharing some images of birds at their feeders, I have a a couple of hawk images to share, in response to Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge. The image is of the White-tailed Kite family we had living in our former neighborhood in Sacramento.

At twilight, as many as 20 kites would fly in search of their food–rodents, small birds, and small dogs (just kidding?). Make no mistake, these are medium-sized birds of prey, with wingspans from 35-40 inches.

Kites sharing the top of a tree

I posted this image of this Red-Tailed hawk flying high above the Valley of Fire State park near Las Vegas, Nevada. In search of a tasty rodent, no doubt!

Hawk flies over Valley of Fire state park

Now that the hawks are feeding, here are some images of birds in my former backyard in Sacramento.

No new bird photos yet from Spokane, except a few bald eagles.

Waiting is For the Birds

If we were having coffee today while waiting to feed the birds, I use the above expression to punctuate the slowness of waiting for our home to be built. Yep, every week I have an update, but this week, things finally got moving! Four weeks after our contractor scheduled the electrician to install the meter, the pedestal was set at the end of January. But, I still had to put in a new residential application with our electric company. I could not apply in early January because, as our address is brand new, it did not show up in Google Maps so the electric company had no way to verify the address. Um, really? What did the world do before Google Maps? This application process only took two days, but it took another two weeks to schedule a meeting with the engineer. On one of the snowiest days of the year so far, was the day we met him at the site.

During that time, the state of Washington inspected and passed the work. This week, the engineer approved everything, and gave our contractor the green light to install the conduit to the electrical box on the property, which was placed Wednesday. The crew was also busy working on the home, attaching plumbing lines and other work. I almost cried with relief to see work being done for a change.

I paid the construction fee Thursday morning to the electric company and the construction office called me an hour later and is in the process of scheduling someone to run the wiring. Keep your fingers crossed this happens within a few days. I still predict that it will be the end of March before we can completely move into the home. Did you enjoy some hot coffee while reading? Sure looks cold, doesn’t it?

Feeling Drained and Bird-Brained

As if this wasn’t enough, two major life events happened this week. Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away peacefully in her sleep on Valentine’s Day, at age 89, after suffering strokes and living with Alzheimer’s for several years. We attended a viewing on Saturday and a more formal memorial service is scheduled in March.

On a happy note, I started a new part-time job at Spokane Community College working with disabled students to help them integrate into the community. And you thought I was going to stay retired…nope! More about this in another post!

I’m adding this post to Denyse’s link up Life this Week!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links on the following post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

A Rosy Round-Up

Pease visit these 35 bloggers who shared their rosy-red images last week, and welcome our new friends to Sunday Stills!

Remember to feed the birds the rest of this month and beyond! I’m looking forward to your creative images and ideas!

Bitmoji Birding

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills Color Challenge: A #Rosy Outlook

Rosy Quince blossom

It is time for another Sunday Stills monthly color challenge! This one is rosy red. Just in time for Valentine’s Day (if you celebrate), you can show us your favorite things that are rosy red. “Rosy” implies a little pink in the red, but the range can be dark pink to deep burgundy for this challenge.

Here’s an actual rose to get you started!

Rain-soaked rose glistens
Rainy rosebud

Rosy Florals

All the years I lived in Sacramento, mid-February was the time that many species of trees would bloom, breaking up the dreary, gray landscape with the promise of spring, and thus providing that rosy outlook. Few, if any were red in color, except this one of a Flowering Quince blossom that I took two years ago in February.

Rosy Quince blossom

Living here in Spokane, WA, where winter holds on tight, I won’t see many blooming trees until April or May.

In the meantime, I will share some of my favorite florals from past posts. Bougainvillea are beautiful climbing plants that thrive in warmer climates. Just about any time of year, I would see them while visiting San Diego.

Pink and white bougainvillea
Beautiful bougainvillea

Two years ago, I bought plumeria stalks to plant at home. The pink one flowered within three months of planting (almost unheard of!). I enjoyed its rosy pink blooms for several months, taking endless photos of them.

Rosy pink plumeria

I was quite proud of the plant and the seemingly endless blooms it produced. Last year, the same plant did not flower at all but grew nicely in its pot. As our pending move to Spokane loomed, I re-homed the two plumeria plants, the other a yellow one that never bloomed, to my daughter’s home in San Diego. Plumeria LOVE it there and the plants, especially the pink and yellow variety, thrive in the temperate climate.

All florals are shared today on Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Riotous Red Leaves

“Rebellious leaves going out in a blaze of glory, setting trees aflame in riotous color.”

John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems

I had a beautiful Japanese Maple planted in my front yard in my former house in Sacramento. The tree never failed to impress me with its magnificent, rich rosy-reds. I will miss this tree I planted 20 years ago.

Red Maple Square

But I have stunning maple trees to enjoy once we get into our new home and can begin landscaping. This one lives in my sister-in-law’s backyard.

Red Maple
Red Maple

Maples, aspens, and pines are my trees of choice and will do well in the various climates here in Eastern Washington.

My Birdy Valentines

I’ve been remiss in joining Lisa’s Bird Weekly lately. This week, her challenge is “birds you love.” So of course I have to share one of my Anna hummers at the red feeder …

hummingbird ready to feed

I dearly loved this little family of hummingbirds. They stayed around all year (in mostly mild Northern California) and nested in the trees with the promise of new generations to visit the neighborhood feeders.

… and while we are on the theme of rosy red, I had to share this redheaded woodpecker from my archives. Captured when I was learning to shoot with my Lumix!

Redheaded Woodpecker

A Rosy Outlook

Despite the bitter cold snap we are having this week, and managing to do so in our RV, a rosy outlook is at hand!

Rosy sunset RV park

As we settle in to accept the slowness of the building of our manufactured home, we have an appointment with an engineer from the local power (electric) company this Monday. Hopefully, this next step to get power officially connected to the home will go swiftly!

I’m also linking this to Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

I like to think Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links on the following post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

New Bloggers to Sunday Stills I Failed to Welcome:

A Fallen Round-Up

Please visit and connect with other bloggers who participated in Sunday Stills last week.

I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend here in the US, or at least Valentines Day today. I’m looking forward to your creative ideas for rosy red!

have a good week

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: We Are #Thankful Through it All

sunday still banner

As folks prepare for Thanksgiving in the US this week, it will be a completely different holiday this year. As we navigate through a pandemic that has sickened millions and taken the lives of loved ones, we stand in fear of continuing the spread of the Covid virus by reducing our time spent with family and friends. Some have found it difficult to be truly thankful.

For Sunday Stills, this week, let us all reflect upon the things for which we can truly be thankful.

Our road trip to San Diego this past week was emotionally and somewhat physically taxing. We needed to bring some boxes of items to our children and grandchildren while picking up a few things to take back with us. Our plans were not just to visit with our families, but for me to say goodbye to our family home that was recently sold and to visit my mom’s commemorative brick placed in a local city park.

While driving, we had phone conversations with family. I have two younger brothers; one still lives in the San Diego area and the other recently moved to Arizona. When I mentioned that a few of us were going to visit my dad next week in his rural town in Northern California, the oldest brother chastised me pretty good by stating, “if Dad gets Covid, he’ll die! Do you want to lose both parents in 2020?”

“Umm, no,” I answered contritely (my mom passed in March of this year). Sadly, many rural areas of California are seeing a rise in Covid cases as new people merge with locals, who haven’t practiced good social distancing.

To protect my 84-year old father who has COPD, I had to be the one to tell the family over the course of days that we were not going to converge at his home for Thanksgiving.

Despite the disappointment, it is better to miss one Thanksgiving in order to enjoy many more in the future.

Thanks for the Memories, San Diego

I was born and raised in the San Diego area in southern California. I moved north to Sacramento when I was 20 and never moved back. I am thankful many family members still live there and I can visit most any time.

My brother and his family want nothing to do with COVID-19 and to see them, we stayed behind their driveway gate while they sat on the other side a few feet away. I brought some books and other goodies for them. No doubt my brother will spray everything with sanitizer, but we enjoyed family time. Better than Zoom for sure!

No covid allowed here!
Thankful for family!

It was time to say goodbye to the family home I had lived in since I was 10 years old. Once my mom entered the nursing home in 2010, my brother moved in and lived there for a while. We eventually rented it to my stepson and his family, and once Mom passed this year, we opted to sell it earlier this Fall. We drove over to the house and the owners had not moved in yet, so I was grateful to get this pic of me hugging the house goodbye.

House hug
Hugging my family home goodbye

The next day, I met my childhood friend in the park to visit my mom’s brick and we shared a few memories of days gone by. This image was set up by my daughter and shared in an earlier post.

Mom's Brick

Thankful for Home

The week prior to us leaving for San Diego, we listed our house in Sacramento and potential buyers visited Saturday through Monday, while we were away. By Tuesday we had several offers and decided to go with one, in particular, that was solid and over the asking price!

After signing several online disclosures, my husband and I are grateful that a young couple is excited about the house and wants to start a family in it, just like I did 32 years ago.

Before the family home in San Diego was sold last summer, my daughter transplanted my mom’s favorite roses into two pots for me to take. My mom would be happy knowing her roses will continue to bloom in another state.

Mom's last rose

I dropped off my beloved plumeria plants to my daughter since they will not grow well in the cold North (Spokane, WA). I had just planted four plumerias from stalks in 2019 and one flowered. I will ever be grateful I got to see these plumeria grow. For some reason, the same plant did not produce in 2020. Here is one shot from 2019.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Autumn is finally in full swing in Sacramento. My Japanese maple frames one of the last looks at the front of my house, soon to be occupied by a new family.

Japanese Maple Fall

This is submitted for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves. Flowers and leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

My daughters are visiting over Thanksgiving to eat a small meal and say goodbye to their childhood home. We are keeping it simple and ordered a turkey dinner from a nearby grocery store. Trust me, with few dishes left in the house, I’m thankful someone else is doing the cooking!

And I’m sure this suburban turkey is grateful it escaped this year’s Thanksgiving table and my Boykin Spaniel’s greedy jaws. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge.

suburban turkey
Turkey in my front yard

Thank You to My Fellow Bloggers

I want to thank you all who continue to support Sunday Stills and share images every week, and those who continue to read my ramblings.

I have a long list of loyal bloggers who post every week for Sunday Stills, but I also want to acknowledge bloggers who took a break and are back to share their talents!

And a hearty shout-out to Joe at Easin’ Along and Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views and News who often share their photos of the themes in the comments! Not that easy to do!

Please show us what you are thankful for in 2020. There is more than you might think. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but we will prevail!

Have a wonderful week and if you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, please stay safe and make the best of these unprecedented times in which we live.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: For the Love of #Reading and #Books

Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books
Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books

April marks our 12th month of Sunday Stills since I reinstated this photo challenge last May, 2018. A huge thank you and shout out to all bloggers who have faithfully posted Sunday Stills images since the beginning and to those who post regularly!

Let me take a moment to share some stats!

We’ve Come a Long Way

Our first month saw over 3300 visitors to my blog (not bad after my 4-month break)! The inaugural post had 95 likes, 15 pingbacks (links) and 3 re-blogs! The total pingbacks for the month of May was 44, and that was still during the WordPress WPC’s last month!

We started with the Inlinkz sharing app, which allowed folks to share their posts in the thumbnail gallery. The intention was to somewhat replicate the Weekly Photo Challenge’s thumbnails of images posted. It cost a few dollars a month, but many bloggers did not choose to use the feature. As a result, I ended the subscription in December.

Pat yourself on the back, lovingly clean those lenses, and congratulate yourselves for being inspired by photography!

Let’s Get to Today’s Photo Challenge

Today, April 7 marks the beginning of National Library Week! This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “For the Love of Reading and Books.”

Random Assortment of Books
My random assortment of books on one shelf

This is indeed a challenge. How often can images depict “reading” or “books?” Surprise me and take a look at some of my images and my interpretation of the theme throughout this post.

Do You Frequent Your Local Library?

Three years ago, I visited my local library to get a library card mostly to rent audio books for my two-hour weekend delta drives. Not only did I get a new card and tour of my neighborhood library, the librarian helped me subscribe to the Overdrive App where I can borrow e-books (read on Kindle—so convenient) and audio-books! All FREE! Yay! No wonder I love reading!

Reading and lounging
Yep, that’s me reading outside on my deck!

Because I teach at a university, I also get to enjoy its vast library.

Library books on university shelves
A long shelf of university-worthy books

To help celebrate books, and the love of reading, please visit these bloggers.

Paperback Book More Glimpses_HRoberts

Fellow blogger/author Hugh Roberts recently launched his newest book More Glimpses!

The signed paperback arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon! This is my photo of the cover.

If you are looking for inspirational reading and books to motivate you, my blogger friend Michele recently posted this book list on her blog!

I just finished blogger and self-published author Jacqui Murray’s wonderful book, Born in a Treacherous Time (Book 1 in the Dawn of Humanity Trilogy). An excerpt from my review Amazon and Goodreads… “That Lucy has the capacity to learn and understand her environment, as well as to befriend an orphaned hominid child and injured proto-canine, speaks to the humanity in all of us and our innate need for love and acceptance.” Check out her newest book Survival of the Fittest.

Are you on Goodreads?

Visit These New Sunday Stills Participants

March’s Sunday Stills themes attracted 5 new bloggers to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. Please drop by their blogs and say hello!

Light Motifs

Wild Daffodil

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Minding My Ps with Qs

Little Borneo Girl

Do you enjoy reading and books? Show us your interpretations! You can link all week!

Camera graphic

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops sit delicately atop a spring rose bud

The WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to…

…”celebrate the end of the year, by sharing the most meaningful (or favorite) photo you’ve taken in 2017.”

It has been a great year for photography buffs. I certainly was excited to get my first “real” camera, although I have great success with my mobile phone!

Today I am sharing your favorites and mine through the beloved song lyrics of “My Favorite Things” sung by my favorite singer, Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. You might have to use your imagination for the exact image to match the sentence.

All of these images were shared in 2017 on my blog and received the most pages views and “likes.” I threw in some of my own favorites, too.

Please feel free to sing along!

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Raindrops sit delicately atop a spring rose bud

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 

What are the odds of finding a rainbow in my hand?

Brown paper packages tied up with strings,  These are a few of my favorite things.

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells, and schnitzel with noodles;

Bright orange door graces Sutter Creek Inn
Bright orange door graces Sutter Creek Inn

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, these are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver-white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things.

Snow falls for a brief time in Lake Tahoe in May
Snow falls for a brief time in Lake Tahoe in May

When the dog bites 

Fast friends, Boykin Spaniels

When the bee stings 

Bee on Lavender

When I’m feeling sad

My Haiku: Spring blossoms flutter, whisking away winter blues, hope springs eternal.

I simply remember my favorite things, 

Gideon sits and chats
Gideon (dog) thinks he can just sit on the sofa like a human and chat with my hubby!
Sunflower and worm love a summer day
See the green worm in the bottom left?

and then I don’t feel so bad!” 

Original lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, published in 1959, used in part here.


My Top Posts for 2017

These three posts rose to the top of the list of most viewed in 2017.

My favorite high school teacher:  Reconnecting with My High School Teacher

My photo sharing service: How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog

I wrote this post about my niece Tiffany at the infamous New York Fashion Week, and I STILL get new followers to my blog because of this post. Not too bad for someone who is not a fashion blogger: Tiffany’s In New York:  A 10-year Old Fashionista’s Perspective on Fashion Week

My Favorite Photo Challenges

A huge Thank You to these bloggers who take the time to host photo challenges!

Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments
On Butterfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, Sunday Trees
Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors

Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

Submitted for 2017 Favorites

This may be my last post for 2017! Enjoy your holidays and savor the time with your friends and families!

Terri_holly

© 2017 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

My Book Review of Journey To Aviad

Book Review Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid

Book Review Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid
original image by Allison Reid

I am pleased to share my review of Journey to Aviad, Book 1 of the Wind Rider Chronicles, by fellow blogger and author, Allison D. Reid.

Allison D Reid photoAbout the Author

Allison D. Reid is a Christian Fantasy author with a fondness for Medieval history. Her first published series, the Wind Rider Chronicles, embraces traditional fantasy elements but is also infused with deeper spiritual themes.

From the Author

“Real, three-dimensional, lovable characters are a must. A good story also has layers of meaning, so that you can read the same book more than once and catch different things each time. There should be an element of beauty and hope, but also plenty of mystery and suspense. I want to be moved by a story without being traumatized by it. I don’t deal well with dark, graphic, or tragic stories—they haunt me without mercy to the point where I wish I had never read them. The real world has enough trauma of its own!”

5 stars

My 5 Star Review

If you have ever read Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, you will enjoy Reid’s fantasy tale of two sisters who embark on a journey of survival and spirituality. This is an allegorical tale set in what may be medieval times. Whether it is in our Earth’s ancient past or far future isn’t clear, but the world and setting Reid builds is consistent and believable.

Reid’s writing is eloquent and riveting—I was drawn in to the mystery after the first few sentences. Her female main characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, with the capacity to grow and learn as the story unfolds.

Reid deftly weaves in scriptural themes and concept such as— “you must drink from my cup, for it is filled with living water, and you shall never thirst again”—without alienating the reader’s existing faith or lack thereof. She introduces the “Ancients” much later in the story as the counterparts to the Biblical Jesus, Satan and the Holy Spirit. Of course, Aviad is God, the Creator. You will begin to see the parallels as you read deeper into the story.

I recommend this book and series to young adults and those of us adults who have been around the block once or twice.

Here is a Synopsis of Journey to Aviad:

Young Elowyn, content with gardening, exploring the outdoors and climbing trees, is drawn to a shiny medallion lying in the shallows of the river. Upon closer inspection, she comes upon a tragic and frightening sight in the Shadow Woods not far from her home in Tyroc.

The Shadow Wood?
image by Allison D Reid

At the gruesome scene lies a slain bowman. Terrified of the wolf-like creatures only steps away, she snatches up the bow and medallion and quickly runs home. A severe storm erupts in the night feeding her unsettled visions of the bowman coming to her door. Upon awakening, she vows to return the items thinking she has unwittingly disturbed his haunted spirit.

The next day, back at the grisly scene, she sees the bowman’s body is gone, amidst large footprints and damaged underbrush. She encounters one of the wolf-like creatures but is saved by a stranger named Einar, who eventually proves to be a friend and mentor.

Elowyn’s adventure and ultimate journey begins as she realizes that a dark evil is slowly descending on Tyroc and into the Shadow Woods. Even at home, she feels unsafe, under the tyrannical influence of their greedy, over-worked mother, a weaver by trade.

Instructed by Einar to meet him deep in the woods, at an ancient shrine dedicated to Aviad, Elowyn waits for him, spending several nights alone. Here, she dreams and has visions instructing her to “wash in the temple basin to be ready for her journey.”

The story continues to unfold using narratives and back-stories to discuss the history of the Ancients, the coming evil, and the prophecies to which Elowyn and her sisters are linked.

Meanwhile, her older sister, Morganne, works endlessly with their mother to sew and weave fine, royal clothing for the Sovereign’s bride-to-be. Once their royal contract is finished, Morganne wants nothing more than to escape her life. Finally fleeing the abuse and disinterest from their authoritative mother, the girls take their baby sister and set out to escape the evil that is manifesting in their city of Tyroc.

As they journey over hundreds of miles, Elowyn confides in Morganne about her visions. Morganne, who studied the Ancient Scrolls briefly as a young girl, knows something of the scriptures, legends and prophecies, and confirms Elowyn’s visions likely come from Aviad.

At River's Edge
image by Allison D Reid

In one dramatic turning point near the end of the novel, Elowyn is led to an abandoned shrine in which the basin has been dry for millennia.

She cleans the basin and places Morganne’s old drinking cup and some herbs in the basin, as reverent awe wells up inside her, remembering the words “If only this basin was filled with living water, I would gladly drink.”

With nothing more to be done, she quickly leaves to finalize their preparations for the next part of their journey.

As they leave the next day, people are shouting the news that the once-dry shrine is alive! A monk tells them that it is a “wondrous sign from the Ancients…the restoration of the shrine was foretold in prophecy, and I never thought I would see it fulfilled in my lifetime.” But Morganne cautions Elowyn not to tell anyone about her part in this.

Once Elowyn understands who Aviad is and her place in the prophecies, she asks Morganne to read more from the ancient texts.

“They were no longer simply ancient tales meant to be quietly kept in leather-bound volumes on dusty shelves. They were lessons in history that had begun to merge with the present in ways (Elowyn) could not have imagined.”

The more Morganne reads, the more she believes the words are written on her heart where they shall live and grow, and cause her to grow.

Like many chosen heroines, touched physically and spiritually by their Creator, the sisters are led to the point where they can begin to fulfill the ancient prophecies. As dark forces conspire around them at every turn, so do the forces of Good as Aviad sends visions and spirits to gently guide them on the right path.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, you as the reader will easily empathize with Elowyn and her sisters as they continue their mysterious and mystical journey upon which Aviad has set them.


I hope I have intrigued you to visit Allison on any of the sites listed below.

Where to find the book: Amazon Kindle and paperback

Follow Allison’s Blog:  Allison D. Reid Christian Fantasy Author

Allison’s Goodreads Page

Facebook: Journey to Aviad

 

I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter. Currently, Journey to Aviad is free to new subscribers and she may still offer a coupon for the second book in the series, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths.

Allison is also a photographer in her own right, as you can see by the images used in this post. In fact, she donated a huge folder of wonderful images of trees and forests to my shared folder where all bloggers can use free of attribution.

You can check this out here: Free Photos for Your Blog. Click the DROPBOX LINK then look for the file “Donated Images.” These are all free to use and other files were recently updated!


As I begin the process of writing my next book “No Excuses Fitness” I am developing a mailing list and newsletter with a focus on fitness. I think her newsletter and posts serve as a great example for other authors of how to engage readers, new and current, to keep them interested in her books.

Read my book reviews on For the Love of ReadingI am one lucky blogger to know so many of my peers who are writing and have written books in a variety of genres. Are you a blogger with a story to tell? Let this blogging community be an encouragement to you!

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Eight Simple Ideas to Inspire Your Blogging

8 simple ideas to inspire your blogging

8 simple ideas to inspire your blogging

Another New Year’s inspirational post? Not exactly…

The blogosphere is full of inspirational New Year’s posts. And why not? It’s that time of the year to dust off the good ideas you may have left behind last year and refresh them. Or not.

This post is about finding new inspiration for your blog and its care and feeding. Can you believe some folks’ resolutions are to STOP blogging? Oh, the horror!

Well, that could have been me!

In 2016, I left the comfort of blogging on WordPress dot com, for the world of self-hosting. I envisioned taking my blog to a business level (with no real plan in mind, other than tying it in with my consulting business), having been inspired by many fellow bloggers who have done so. For many, self-hosting is a wonderful and valuable experience. However, there are limitations. Losing your followers is a big one, followed by endless social networking and just plain work!

I retired for a reason!

In September, shortly after re-launching my eBook, my images slowly and systematically began disappearing off my posts. Because I was still associated with WordPress dot com, I successfully used their happiness engineers to aid me with the problem, as well as migrating it all back to dot com. I am much happier here. Since I “came back” I now have almost 300 new followers.

For most of us, blogging is a hobby, a creative outlet for writing, sharing and connecting. Overall, I want to be able to simply blog about what I LIKE and not what some random “how-to” book suggests to be successful. Just what IS success anyway? A blog with 20,000 followers? Sure. A blog where the writer happily posts whatever they feel inspired to write? Another yes.

Whatever the reason you blog, is yours alone! Own it and be happy to share your thoughts.

However, if you are looking for a little inspiration, try one of these simple ideas now.

8 Simple Ideas to Inspire Your Blogging

Start with the easy ones first!

1. Spruce up your blog site with a new theme, or simply add a new header and fresh color schemes! When I moved back to WordPress dot com, the Premium package was discounted, so I splurged and have many more options for customizing the look of my blog.

  • Debby at DGKaye Writer just posted helpful blog information using widgets.  Small changes make for big differences in the appeal of your blog and help motivate you when you look at your own blog!

2. Reach out and leave comments on other blogs rather than just pressing “like.” (I know, sometimes I do that too when I am in a hurry and want to acknowledge the post). It might take an extra moment or two, but we bloggers ALL love comments!

3. Take part in WordPress challenges. Many bloggers offer their own challenges, whether it is photography, flash fiction, coffee chats, etc. Challenges help you focus on a subject and provide a daily or weekly structure to your posting schedule, while providing subject matter for your blog.

Try these intermediate ideas for sharing and networking!

4. Start your own link-up. Or partner with another blogger who does link parties. Link-ups are a great way to network your blog. I have met countless bloggers through this system.

  • Inlinkz seems to be the easiest method for offering link-ups.

5. Get more involved in another social network—for example, if you don’t tweet, try it!  I recently flipboard started Flipboard, a magazine-style app for saving and collecting articles. I added a button for Flipboard for easy sharing at the bottom of my posts. It’s doable for WordPress dot com users. If you are using Flipboard, please follow me here! If not, at least check it out.

  • Janice at Mostly Blogging turned me on to Flipboard with this post.

6. Explore a local MeetUp with other bloggers.

MeetUp is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.

Because of my growing photography interest, I recently clicked on MeetUp’s explore page and found a local, nature-event photography club. Even if you don’t meet other bloggers, connecting with others in a leisure interest may inspire you in ways you didn’t imagine!

If you REALLY need inspiration, try these more advanced tips!

7. Start a specialized Facebook group tailored to your blog. I am surprised at how many bloggers do not use social media to promote their blog posts.

Facebook groups are more complicated but yield great results for networking. The newest one on the block is Big Up Your Blog hosted by Suzie Speaks. Visit her blog where she has instructions on how to join.

Is starting your own Facebook group a daunting task? This IS the advanced section after all. However, simply joining a Facebook group should be much easier.

I haven’t started a Facebook group yet, but I do have a Facebook page. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, is set up just for my blog and its posts. It is meant to be separate from my main Facebook page. These are all simple to set up via WordPress.

If you take photos, Instagram is an easy way to share photos from your blog or just for fun. Instagram allows you to share the photo through Facebook and Twitter as well. All of these social networking sites are accessible from my blog’s sidebar and can be set up on your blog site in a similar fashion.

8. Do you have a lot of posts centered around a particular subject? Consider using those to create and write your own eBook. My eBook was inspired by this post, How to Use Your Photos to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers.

Better Blogging coverFrom this and other posts, I was able to write my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography. Perhaps my eBook will provide some inspiration for you. Click the above which will take you straight to the book on Amazon. It’s on sale for 99 cents for the month of January!

I am proud to know a growing number of bloggers who have self-published books within the last year. There is an incredible amount of inspiring authors in this group: Glimpses Book Review and Author Round-Up

What will inspire your blogging this year? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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Glimpses Book Review and Author Round-Up

Glimpses Book Review and Author RoundUp

Glimpses Book Review and Author RoundUp
original cover image used by permission

If we were having coffee today, I would share with you my review of a fabulous new book from one of my favorite bloggers!

To me there is nothing like enjoying a few moments with a hot beverage while reading a good book.

Hugh Reading Glimpses
This may be YOUR reaction while reading Glimpses. photo used by permission

Let me introduce you to Hugh Roberts, blogger at Hugh’s Views and News.

Roberts says that he chose the title Glimpses because “that is what you are about to get—glimpses into the everyday lives of people who are about to be led up a path they were not expecting.”

Not only is he a brand-new author, fellow bloggers tell me he is possibly the nicest gentleman you will ever meet in person or in the blogosphere!

You can view his book on Amazon.

5 starsHere is my 5-star Amazon review:

Glimpses is a delightfully twisted set of short stories inspired by author Roberts’ blog. If you follow his blog, you may recognize a few of his terrifying tales reminiscent of stories in the sci-fi genre of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits peppered with a dash of horror. “The Truth App” is the piece de resistance in this collection of 28 stories. Roberts’ biting wit and deft tale-telling will have you reading on the edge of your…well, your reading device! A great read that will have you begging Roberts for more!

If we were having coffee today, I would urge you, readers, to support your fellow bloggers’ publishing endeavors. I am proud to know a growing number of bloggers who have self-published works. Not only am I astounded by their writing abilities, but also by their encouragement of my writing as well. Many of these bloggers self-published their first book within the last year!

Judy Martin
Janice Wald Mostly Blogging
DG Kaye Writer
Ali Isaac
Sally G Cronin
Marsha Ingrao
Jo Robinson
Ronovan Writes
Toni Pike
Margaret Andrews
Marcia Meara
Tina Frisco
Linda Bethea
Jessica Edouard
Kathy Gottberg

And publishing in 2017:
Colleen Chesebro

Please stop by and visit their blogs where you will find links to their books. Give yourself or a friend a lovely holiday gift of a book. And if you enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon! We authors really appreciate those reviews.

coffee cup celebrates weekend coffee shareJoin Part-Time Monster’s blog for the Weekend Coffee Share!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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