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DOG BONE SOUP (99¢ Holiday Sale): Remembering Thanksgiving 1963 (Excerpt)


JFK by Norman RockwellNovember 1963

It was a time in history when most American families held high hopes for their future and looked forward to enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends.  A few days before the holiday, an unforeseen tragedy struck the nation—President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd. Although families from all walks of life were in mourning, most held that year’s Thanksgiving holiday in their hearts as they enjoyed a bountiful feast together and prayed for the healing of a stunned nation. Others were not so fortunate—the ones who did not know where their next meal was coming from. They were the poor, the indigent, the invisible people. They were praying, and they were hungry.

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens is a story about those invisible people. Stevens’s novel will be on sale for only 99¢ through November 27, 2017).

DOG BONE SOUP (An excerpt from Chapter 22)

“BOYS, GET IN HERE. Hurry up!”

We set the groceries on the table and ran in to see what Mum was so worked up about.

“President Kennedy’s body’s back in Washington. Look, they’re switching from the Washington to that Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. The world’s at a standstill and no wonder. I can’t believe that someone’s gone and killed the President…Sit down. Watch.”

“What’s for dinner?” I asked when I handed her the change.

“Good. We have more than a dollar left for the week.”

“What about dinner, Mum?”

“I’ll fix us some supper, later. We had plenty of hotcakes to tide us over this morning,” Mum sat there, captivated by the news.

Coverage went on all day and long into the night. Willie and I went out to cut and split fire wood for the week. Then we grabbed our fishing poles and ran down to the brook. I figured if we caught something, we could have a nice fry for supper, even if I had to fix it myself.

Willie peeled and cut potatoes while I figured out how to mix flour and cornmeal and get the fish going. I set the fish on the stove to keep warm while I fried up the potatoes.

We never did get Mum away from the darned TV.

I wondered if it was like that for other families that night. I wasn’t up to watching TV non-stop. I’d pop in every now and then to keep track of what was happening though. I kept thinking about President Lincoln. Far as I could see nothing good came from fighting, killing and wars. Why couldn’t people just treat everyone the way they wanted to be treated.

I got the washtub heated up before bed. The girls got their baths first, like always. Then Willie and I took turns. There’d be no hair cuttin’ this Saturday. There was only one good thing about this day—Dad didn’t show up. I didn’t want to think about that shotgun, but I couldn’t shake that Saturday out of my head.

∞∞∞

By the time I got up Sunday morning, the news was already runnin’ non-stop. President Kennedy had big dreams for America. He hoped we would land on the moon; wanted Americans to be healthy; wanted Negros and poor folks to have rights like everybody else and he wanted to make peace with people in other countries. I wondered what would happen to those dreams now that he was gone.

Mum had the volume turned way up, but she wasn’t watchin’. She had the wood stove blazin’, fresh biscuits warming on the stove top and scrambled eggs cookin’ on the griddle.

“I’ve been praying for the President’s family,” she looked up and whispered. “Call the kids and sit yourself down. Thanks for fixin’ supper last night, Shawn. I’ve been walking around in a fog with all that’s been going on. I still can’t imagine why anyone would want to kill the President.”

After breakfast, Willie and I ran out to milk the cows.

“Now you boys, bundle up real good. It’s mighty cold out there.”

Two heifers started mooing real low the second they spotted us. The wind was blowing so darned hard, the pails were swingin’ all on their own, even with the weight of milk jars in them. By the time we got back to the house the sky was spittin’ out snowflakes big as quarters.

“Let’s fix us a cup a hot coffee, Willie.”

“Mum’ll have a fit if she finds me drinking coffee.”

I threw in a few small chunks of kindling and set the coffee pot on top of the stove.

“You might like it. I mix it up with lots of milk. We’ll fix Mum a cup, too.”

“Boys, get in here quick,” Mum hollered. “Some night club owner named Jack Ruby just shot and killed that Oswald guy who shot President Kennedy!”

Bad news just kept coming. Cameras jumped from Washington to Dallas and back again every few minutes. We watched the casket being carried from the White House to the Capital’s Rotunda. In between, they showed pictures of the President’s family before all this terrible stuff happened. Caroline and John-John were just little kids and the family looked real happy doing things together.

Then, reporters started talking to the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson.

I poured up coffee and went in to watch the mess. My head pounded. I closed my eyes and tried to figure out how I was gonna get out of school next week. I had to talk to that recruiter.

Just as I downed the last of my coffee, I heard a knock at the door. “Please don’t be Dad,” I prayed.

I lifted the latch, opened the door and there stood two snow-crusted ladies that I recognized from church. They were holding baskets chock-full of all the things us kids had been dreamin’ about. One had a turkey, a ham and all kinds of canned goods. The other held a plate mounded high with cookies and two pumpkin pies. I even spotted a can of cocoa.

“Come on in and sit down. I’ll go get Mum.”

“We’ll just set these baskets on the table. We have three more deliveries and we want to get home before the roads get any worse.”

“Mum, it’s ladies from church. They brought us baskets chock-full of food,” I hollered.

Mum and the kids must have flown out to the kitchen.

“What on earth are you doing here?” I thought Mum’s eyes would pop out when she spotted those baskets.

“Thanksgiving’s only a few days away and we’re out making deliveries this afternoon. I think you’ll find enough for a nice holiday feast, Mrs. Daniels. If there’s anything else you need, just let us know.”

“You have a wonderful Thanksgiving.” The ladies smiled before they turned to leave.

“You take your damned charity baskets and leave ’em somewhere they’re needed!”

The ladies spun around, looked at one another, then at Mum, then at us, then at the baskets. One of them held her hands up clutching at her coat like someone might steal it. The shortest one looked like she was ready to bawl. When they picked up the baskets and turned to leave, my stomach clenched up tighter than a double fisherman’s knot.

Annie and Molly stood there crying. Willie stared at Mum with eyes as round as donuts, shakin’ his head.

“I can’t believe you did that, Mum. You were rude and here we are starvin’ to death,” I scowled.

“I don’t want to hear any sass from you. And you girls stop your whining. We’re proud folks. We’ve never taken charity and we’re never gonna take it.” Mum shook her head and shuffled back in to watch TV.

I sat down at the kitchen table and didn’t know what to make of it. Mum couldn’t believe somebody’d killed the President. Well, I couldn’t believe Mum just killed our only chance of having a decent meal.

###

Today, more than 45 million Americans are living below the poverty line http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/poverty-household-income_n_5828974.html Most of them aren’t looking for a hand-out. They’re looking for a hand up—decent jobs that pay a living wage.

Ready to read more of Sean’s adventures in DOG BONE SOUP?

  • DOG BONE SOUP, A Boomer’s Journey (Literary/Historical Fiction/Ages 12-Adult) by Bette A. Stevens
    HOLIDAY SPECIAL—ONLY 99¢ through November 27, 2017
    OR Purchase Paperback and download
    Kindle version for FREE anytime—”Kindle Matchbook”
  • Paperbacks make GREAT GIFTS  and you can download the eBook for you!
  • Available at YOUR AMAZON

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Baby Boomer’s coming of age novel published in January 2015. You can find out more about the author and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Paulette Mahurin, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Bette A. Stevens and Jena C. Henry


Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

We have a full house today with four authors celebrating recent reviews for their work.. fantastic.

The first book to be updated today is set in one of the darkest times in our modern history. There are still people alive who remember this time in their lives all to well. But they are few and it is up to the storytellers to keep their memories alive. The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

51sem6psgll-_uy250_About the book

One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived.

This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful…

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“Style & Profile” Blog Tour – Welcome @KimCoxAuthor – #RRBC


I’m honored to welcome guest author Kim Cox who is here today to tell us about her new book.  She’ll also give us insight into writing a series. Read on to find out all about it and discover how to enter Kim’s giveaway to win a gift card or eBook, too! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Writing the Series: Style & Profile

Books so far: ALL THIS TIME and BEFORE WE WED, and coming in 2018, FOR THE DEFENSE

ALL THIS TIME, book one, was supposed to be a stand-alone, simple marriage of convenience, best friends, short contemporary romance. I’m not sure why but I can’t write a book in just one genre thus the romantic suspense and paranormal mystery books I’ve written. Short stories, yes, I can make it happen, but it just doesn’t happen in my novels. At least, not so far. I have a couple of other romance books in mind, so we’ll see what the future holds on that score.

The first book has four strong female characters and somewhere near the end of writing book one, I decided to make it a series, giving two of the other females their own books. Since Sarah started dating Jon near the end of book one, she was chosen for the next book. However, I came up with the storyline for book three before book two’s story came to me.

Before I could write book two, BEFORE WE WED, I had to figure out the storyline for these two characters. Normally, for me, the story comes to me first and then I find my characters. The reason it came to me the other way this time was because I was using characters from the first book.

So, the what ifs started. Jon Clayton owned a body shop so what if he’s arrested for some type of crime. What type of crime could he be involved in? He owned an auto shop, so what about letting him get arrested for stealing stolen goods and running a chop shop (slang for stealing cars or car parts and selling them off).

Okay, I do watch a lot of cop shows but this came from someone I knew once who was arrested for this. I didn’t know him personally or well, but he was the dad of a girl I went to school with. I remember how devastated she and her family was over his arrest. They’d had no idea.

Then I had to come up with where to start the book. Then I thought how awful it would be if they were getting married when he was arrested. After that was decided, the title of BEFORE WE WED just came to me.

Book 3, FOR THE DEFENSE is Lynsi Patterson’s and Jaxon Montgomery’s story. They first meet in book 2 when Lynsi finds a lawyer to represent Jon. The storyline for this story came from a news article I read about a woman who’d been wrongly incarcerated for something like twenty years, but was being released because a witness, one that’s testimony convicted her, was found to have lied about everything. It came out after the witness died that she’d lied.

So, I thought, what if there was more of a reason than someone lying but there was someone who’d paid her to lie and who didn’t want the truth coming out. This someone is willing to do what it takes to keep the secret, even murder again.

Now I’m thinking about writing two more books in this series, sort of spin offs from book two. One of the two books would be about Kate and Liam Roberts’ witness protection. The other would be Kara Martin Lewis (Sarah’s twin) finding love again and her small Georgia inn. I haven’t made up my mind yet, so stay tuned.

I have so many books I want to write that I’m not sure I’ll have time to write the others already planned and write those two new ideas that came to me recently while writing BEFORE WE WED.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?

Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.

Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.

Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.

She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.

Go to Kim’s Readers List and visit her at the following sites:

Social Media locations:

Follow the tour:

https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/style-profile-blog-tour-kimcoxauthor-rrbc/

“Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME.”

“To enter Kim’s giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!”

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Aside

Two More Summer Reads: Blogger book reviews


I’ve just finished reading Mae Clair’s mystery “Eclipse Lake” and have Sally Cronin’s story collection “What’s in a Name?” on my TBR. You’ll want to heck out these awesome authors and get reading! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Myths of the Mirror

I usually read in bed at night and pass out after one or two chapters. One book can easily take a whole month to read. Not so while on vacation. Here are two more reviews of blogger books that I read during my trip to Colorado. Enjoy.

Eclipse Lake

by Mae Clair

A blend of mystery and romance with strong characters.

Eclipse Lake is one part cozy mystery and one part romance. The story focuses on Dane Carlisle, a teenage lost-cause who grew up and turned his life around to become a multi-millionaire. He returns to his hometown with his adopted son, hoping to make amends with his older brother. But memories of the teenage Dane persist, and the discovery of an old skull raises more suspicions about his past. Set against Dane’s dark history and the current turmoil is his fairytale romance with a spunky photo-journalist who’s in town shooting pictures…

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Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens


New review for DOG BONE SOUP!
Thanks to talented author Cathleen Townsend for a lovely surprise! By the way, friends, DOG BONE SOUP is currently on sale for only 99c/99p thru June 30, 2017 ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Cathleen Townsend

Dog Bone Soup coverDog bone soup was the meal Shawn hated most at his house. Not only because the soup was weak and thin, but because they had to eat like this to put money away. And they had to hide it, too, since if Shawn’s dad got wind of it, he’d take it and blow it on liquor and women.

Shawn worked whenever he could, after school, Saturdays, and summers. His mom worked any housecleaning job she could find, too, and it still wasn’t enough for them to shake the specter of poverty that haunted them and made them a mockery in town. No matter that they were hard-working and sober. Shawn’s drunken father, in and out of trouble, made Shawn a constant target for derision at school.

This is a classic coming-of-age story, about a young man searching for a way to escape his home town. You can read the Look…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Kim Cox and Bette A. Stevens


Check out these updates from Sally’s Bookstore!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The first update is for romantic suspense author Kim Cox whose latest release Before We Wed (Style and Profile Series Book 2)  is on pre-order from Amazon for July 27th.

About the book

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and…

View original post 1,114 more words

DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction/age 11-adult) by Bette A. Stevens– ONLY 99¢ thru June 30


Book Promo – DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens – ONLY 99¢ / 99p for a Limited Time

True-to-life Americana

“DOG BONE SOUP is a fascinating literary study of poverty and family dysfunction in the 1950s  & 1960s. It is written in a fast-flowing, entertaining style that kept my turning pages, one after another.

“Despite the odds stacked against them, two brothers—Shawn Daniels and Willie—manage to survive, escaping the rants of a drunken abusive father and the hardships of rural life, cutting out on daily adventures and misadventures to the likes of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry. DOG BONE SOUP is about making the best of what you have. It’s a story about survival, struggle, and the human spirit—rising above it all. As with all great literature, it is underscored with life lessons particularly memorable to this generation…” –Frank Scozzari, author

Grab a copy today!

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

Literary/General Fiction

Sale dates through June 30, 2017

Sale price of book: $0.99 (Regularly $3.99)

BUY THE BOOK

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Thanks for purchasing, reading and reviewing DOG BONE SOUP; and for sharing this Book Promo post for DOG BONE SOUP on your media sites.

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