Elizabeth Melton Parsons



Books and Blossoms

blooming appleGood morning, all. Don’t you just love spring? Everything changing from shades of gray and brown to soft colors. Remember in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps into Munchkin Land and the film goes from black and white to color?  We watched that movie on TV every year when I was a child and I always watched it with my own children too. Several years ago I took a trip into the Adirondacks of New York, up to the St. Lawrence Seaway and then over into the Green and White Mountains. From there into Main and up into Southeastern Canada. It was early March and when I left  everything was still wearing it’s winter garb. On the way home everything was still wintry looking until I entered Ohio. It was like the scene from that movie. Instantly it was spring with flowering Dogwoods, Redbuds, apple and cherry trees. Absolutely breathtaking. Now every spring when the colors come alive, I’m reminded of that incredible experience.

monkey_readingAt that point in time I was still reviewing books for different publications so I had a box of books stashed in the back and at night, I’d read. I was a voracious, little, reader monkey and took every opportunity to read. For the past few years I’ve gotten away from that. If I read a book a month I was lucky. This hadn’t stopped me from buying books though. Every time I’m out I buy books from used bookstores, thrift shops, library sales and of course new online. My ‘to be read’ pile has turned into a mountain.

Last month I decided I’d remedy that. I didn’t really hold out much hope of this plan having any kind of success. I always seem to be too busy to read more than a few minutes a week. I do ride my stationary bike almost every day and it’s a great time to read, but I was having a terrible time with getting books to fit. My hardbacks were too big and interfered with the movement of the handlebars. My paperbacks were too thick and I couldn’t easily turn the pages.

As I stated in a previous post, my dear hubby bought me the new Kindle Fire. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a physical book, but this thing is perfect for my bike, which allows me a lot more reading time. It’s also great for reading in bed. I’m able to read more times during the day now, thus increasing my books to be read to books finished. Unfortunately my new Kindle didn’t help me do as well this month because of all the work on the house. Last month I managed ten books, all hardbacks I bought except The Eye Dancers.

Here’s the list for March:

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

Secret for a Nightingale by Victoria Holt

The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi

Whispers by Belva Plain

The Eye Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

Woman Without a Past by Phyllis A. Whitney

Ghost Moon by Karen Robards

Courting Emma Howe by Margaret A. Robinson

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick

Here’s the list for April:

Long Time Coming by Edi Claire

In The Company of Others by Jan Karon

Still Reading  (Unlike most folks I never read one book until finished. I read several.)

O Pioneers by Willa Sibert Cather

Echoes by M. Jean Pike

Out in the Country by Kate Hewitt

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

So, my friends, read any good books lately? 

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Things That Go Bump In The Night

When it comes to reading, I love romance–romance with a kick. This can encompass many different elements, time travel, suspense, paranormal, even sci-fi. But there has to be something more than just the romance. I used to consider myself a true romantic, but considering my choice of reading material and the stories I choose to write, maybe I’m not.

If I’m out driving and spy an abandoned cabin in the woods or I hear about a haunted house or location, I want to investigate and the wheels in my head begin to spin with stories and characters. Here where I live, there are many such places and stories to go with them. We have people who have mysteriously disappeared and never been seen again, haunted houses and graveyards, as well as unsolved murders. All great fodder for the mind of a writer like myself who thrives on such things.

My love of the paranormal probably began as a child when for a time, my family lived in a haunted house. This huge, old house built some time in the early 1800’s sat on large piece of land in South Florida. A black panther lived in the woods behind the house and many times while playing in these woods myself and my siblings would look up and see him stretched across a branch watching us. We weren’t afraid of him and he never did us any harm, so I assume at one time he’d been a pet.

Nothing unusual ever occured in the house while my parents were home. That wasn’t the case whenever they were absent, especially if they happened to be gone after dark. My older sister was always left in charge of us younger children, but the first time it sounded as though someone was dragging a log chain down the open, winding staircase, she’d lock herself in her room. We got used to this horrible noise and soon paid no attention. But the grand parties that took place were another thing all together. I remember one night, I could hear glasses clinking together, loud laughter and music. Those spirits were having a good old time.

I went to my sister’s room and knocked. Of course she ignored me, so I pounded harder. When she asked what I wanted, I asked if she could hear the sounds coming from the lower floor. Her answer was yes, she heard them and then she ordered me to go away and leave her alone. I decided I’d go downstairs and see what was happening, but when I made it halfway down the stairs, all sound stopped. When I’d get back up the stairs, it would start again. I even tried sneaking down on my tiptoes, but it was all the same. I remember becoming angry that I wasn’t allowed to see the party. As a child, I felt they were having a lot of fun and I wasn’t included.

I believe this experience instilled in me a love of books with elements of the unknown and all things that go bump in the night. I’m not as brave as I was as a child, but as long as it’s fiction or a good nonfiction ghost story, I’m all for it.

Elizabeth Melton Parsons