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Coming from Pagan Writers Press on March 8, 2013!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

WINNERS!!!!

Below are the winners are the HerStory Release Bash prizes. Winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to reply. After 48 hours, new winners for the prizes in question will be chosen.

Grand Prize: Strong is Beautiful T-shirt, HerStory earrings, and a paperback copy: Elizabeth Kotkiewicz Hyatt

Second Prize: Incense diffuser, handmade soap, and ebook: Niki Mattes

Third Prize: Incense diffuser, Japanese tea set, and ebook: Jeanne Jewett

Fourth Prize: A chance to be on the radio and a $25 Amazon Gift Card: Michele Lawrence *Michele, you are being directly contacted by the Michelle donating the prize as no snail mail addy is necessary.*

Fifth Prize: Each winner will receive one tin of EmpowerMints: Caitlyn Renee Minor, Maureen Carol, Heather, Karen Palmer Arrowood

Sixth Prize: each winner will receive one cross-stitch wall hanging: Cathy Brockman, Lisa Markson

Seventh Prize: Flapper hat: Heather Paulding

8th Prize: A painting from Morgan Summerfield: Bethany Jones

9th Prize: Coco Chanel quote pendant: Beth Wade

Meeting Ela by Dorothy Abrams


When Eric and I travel, magical things happen. One of them was meeting Ela of Salisbury in 2010. Of course she had been dead since 1260, but we never let a small consideration like that interfere with our adventures. When we visited Salisbury Cathedral in June 2010, I had never heard of Ela of Salisbury. I vaguely knew of her husband William Longspee, son of Henry II. Unaware of what was about to happen, we walked into the apse from the hot sun, grateful for the cool interior and a chance to sit down. The next cathedral tour was nearly an hour away. We were undecided whether to rest for a long time or wander around on our own once we found our second wind.

A group of senior citizens, tour guides for the cathedral, were discussing the day's work. A particularly tall and distinguished gentleman walked over to us and introduced himself as Roger. He said it was time for the next tour. Would we come with him? Eric hushed me when I foolishly tried to protest that it was not at all the right time. Sometimes I can be dense. What followed was a two-hour personal exploration of a great cathedral and its history, guided by a wise and knowledgeable man who knew all the secrets and untold treasures of Salisbury. If I didn't know his name was Roger, I would have thought it was William of the long spear.

I learned that Salisbury Cathedral was built rapidly between 1220 and 1258 under the auspices of Bishop Richard Poore and Ela and William Longspee, son of Henry II and half-brother to King Richard and King John. The bishop laid the cathedral cornerstone. The Count and Countess laid the 4th and 5th foundation stones. The land came from the bishop. Much of the money came from the Ela and William. I also learned that Ela had been orphaned early and subsequently married to protect her as much as for any other reason when she was 9. The young man who took her as his wife was in his mid 20's. Typically such men agreed not to consummate a marriage before the bride could conceive children, a private matter which of course is not recorded. The practice was common among the greater nobles. 

Nevertheless, William and Ela loved one another. According to Roger, William was known as Longspee because of his height and long reach with a spear. He was a warrior of great ability. He commanded the fleet and some armies for his brothers, frequently being delayed and occasionally captured or shipwreck in his efforts to get back home. Despite political maneuverings against him to get his money and his wife, Ela always believed he would return. She waited faithfully and would not heed the politicians who assured her she was widowed in hopes of marrying her. As Roger spoke, Ela came alive in my mind. I wanted to know more.

Eventually of course, lovers do die. Roger said that William had been commander of the fleet on an expedition to Gascony on the Continent in 1225. He was shipwrecked in a storm and given up for dead. The young king's regent Hugh de Burgh tried to convince Ela to marry again, but she refused. When her husband returned, he confronted de Burgh who was all smiles and apologies to his friend over dinner. William returned from dinner ill. He failed quickly and was dead to the horror of his family. 

Roger explained that although the Magna Carta of 1215 guaranteed women the right not to be married against their will, it was a new guarantee. Ela had little confidence in the law since de Burgh was the law. Instead of leaving her fate to chance, she quickly allied herself with the Church and set about founding a monastery and an abbey in Wiltshire in memory of her husband. After seeing the tomb of William Longspee in Salisbury we were encouraged to journey to Lacock Abbey founded by Ela of Salisbury in 1229. My first reaction to a woman giving up secular life to become a nun was less than enthusiastic. Surely there was another way? I have never been a friend of the cloistered life nor the church. Still, off to Lacock we went.

 Again, it was a long walk on a hot day from the entrance to the Abbey. The roses were magnificent. The shade sparse. I was a little cranky by the time I entered the Abbey door. 
Immediately I felt the peace that Ela lived with. Inside those walls was serenity. Spirituality. Centeredness and grounding. This was what Ela wanted. This is what she created. I gazed lovingly at her arches and corridors. I walked in her rooms, imagining my steps fit hers. I heard her whispers in my ear. I turned to Eric and said "I want one of these." He laughed at me. A Norman abbey would look strange in Upstate NY. I could feel Ela's hand in everything within the cloisters of Lacock. Roger admired Ela's ingenuity in ordering her own life to escape an unwanted marriage, but it was more than escape. Ela created a place for her presence. Ela lived at Lacock from 1238-1257. She is buried there with the heart of her husband. Except of course I met her in 2010, and maybe I met her husband.

***

Dorothy Abrams lives and writes in upstate New York. She met Ela when she visited Salisbury Cathedral with her partner Eric Reynolds in 2010. Dorothy's recent nonfiction title Identity and the Quartered Circle: Studies in Applied Wicca will be released in 2013. Her essay Moveren the Sea Queen appears in Sorita d'Este's anthology Faerie Queens to be released in 2013. Her current project is The Witches of Fawsetwood, a historical fantasy novel about medieval England.
Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Inspiration for Without Borders

Hello! I'm Dianne Hartsock and I'd like to start by saying how delighted and honored I am to have a story in this wonderful anthology. When I first heard about the submission call for HER STORY from a friend, I was instantly intrigued and interested. So many women have taken prominent roles in shaping our world. It would be wonderful to know them better.

I started mulling over who to write about. So many choices! Then I remembered reading several articles on 'Doctors Without Borders' and the brave, selfless men and women who devote their lives to this wonderful cause. 'Doctors Without Borders' was founded by a small group of French doctors and journalists in 1971 who believed that all people have the right to medical care regardless of race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national borders.

'Doctors Without Borders' provide assistance in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.

But whose story should I tell? Professionals and volunteers come from all around the world to help in this important cause. How would I narrow it down to one single individual?

That's when the idea to have my story take place in the future came to me. I didn't have to choose a favorite person. I could have my heroine be a compilation of all the inspiring people involved. My doctor Janet is strong and smart, dedicated to her work and to the needs of the people, regardless of who they are.

But now that I have my time period and heroine, what should the story be about? I smile when I write this. As some of you may know, I'm a huge sci-fi fan. Of course the story would have to be about an alien spaceship crash landing on earth. Time and again Janet Orbinski has risked everything for the cause she believes in with all her heart. That everyone, regardless of political or social standing, deserves medical help when needed. But does this extend to a life form she has never even dreamed of meeting? In my story, Without Borders, we have a unique individual who has to make a choice. Either look away when someone is in need of her help to stay safe, or take her life and future in her hands and step into the unknown because she believes it is the right thing to do. After all, isn't this personal sacrifice what makes a true hero?


***

Dianne Hartsock is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy/adventure, m/m romance, and anything else that comes to her mind. Currently, she works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop—the perfect job for her. When not writing, she expresses herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Truth is Love Overdue: Morgan Summerfield Talks about Domestic Abuse


The story of Adella is inspired by a real woman. As a product of the beliefs of her time, she was dealing with prejudice on two levels—she was female and of Native American descent. As if that wasn’t enough to handle, she grew up in domestic violence and it chased her into adult life. Almost 100 years after her birth the pain, despair, and devastation of domestic violence still exists. Statistics indicate that 1 in every 4 women will experience some sort of domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence is not limited to women. Men can also be victims. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with reporting any kind of abuse limits accurate statistics. Domestic violence, just as rape, is an under reported crime.
The story Adella, is a tribute to her refusal to accept her situation as hopeless and her finding the courage to remove herself and all her children from it. In those days, this was no small thing. As a Catholic divorce was a sin, being a single mother set tongues wagging, and raising children was not easy when the only jobs one could get were waiting tables, babysitting, or cleaning—all of which she often did 18 hours a day. She was one of many women of her time who set in motion the changes that have brought us to a place of more choice.
For centuries women have been treated as secondary, lesser, flawed, of no value beyond that given them by the men in a society. When one looks back through existing written history, one finds women sorely missing. Many of those who did find their way into history were representative of the male perspective. They are often portrayed as seductive, treacherous, or evil. I hope this anthology is the first of many compilations telling the stories of real women throughout the ages. The truth is long overdue.
Celebrate Women’s History Month by bringing forward a story from your family or the story of a woman from that past. Tell the story to someone. Raise the level of awareness to the fact that women, as individuals or as groups, can and have effected change. A kindness, a smile, a hug, even these things can, in a moment, change a life. As you celebrate Women’s History Month celebrate yourself as well. Every day you have the power to make change.
If you would like to learn more about domestic violence, look for my next posting in May.
***
Morgan Summerfield grew up an avid reader and by her teens was a hobby writer. As an adult she has been a teacher, a technical writer, an instructional designer, a consultant, and a freelance writer. Her recently published first novel, Blood and Magnolias, was a dream fulfilled. In a recent contest, the characters in Blood and Magnolias were given a 5 out of 5 rating. When she is passionate about something, it shows. Beyond her writing, Morgan is a painter and works with a domestic violence shelter and education council.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Pity Story: A REAL Story by Shelli Rosewarne


My submission in the anthology ‘A Pit Story’ is set in the town where I grew up and based on a local event. The Hapton Valley pit explosion is part of the local history of the area. Back when it was a mining town it was very community based. The miners on shifts would often be from the same area of town, so the people you were working with would be your friends, neighbours, relatives. Every year there is still a remembrance service for the victims, my grandma would often go and even now there’s still a good turnout for it. Last year was the fiftieth anniversary and a special banner for the pit was placed at the local museum.

It was such a sad event, but even in the midst of that kind of tragedy there was the idea of a community coming together.

I first heard about Maud in one of the press releases about it. It was a simple two line mention;
‘Maud Waggett, the resident nursing sister, went to the face to give morphia to the wounded and dying men. She was later awarded a gong from the queen for her bravery, but also faced disciplinary action from the N.C.B., because at the time, it was illegal for women to go into the mine.’

but it sparked my imagination. Everyone helping on that rescue mission was risking their life but Maud stood out to me. The contradiction if nothing else – the fact that she was seen and recognised as doing such a brave act but she was still disciplined as it ‘wasn’t allowed’. She struck me as someone who must have been very brave and strong-willed, someone who was determined to do what was right and to help people even though she knew it would have personal repercussions for her.

When I started looking into it more I was surprised how very little information there was on her. Many accounts don’t mention her at all and those that do tend to just put in a single line of basic information. I struggled to find any personal background on Maud; was she married, did she have children, why did she want to be a nurse, what was going through her mind when she went down into that mine? From living in that area for many years I had an image in my mind of what she would be like. A typical working class Lancashire woman – no-nonsense, down to earth, family and community oriented, the type of person who would just knuckle down and get on with things.

This was the first time I had written a story that was based on a real historic figure and I did find it was a little intimidating. Obviously Maud was a real person, she probably still has family left, and so it was important to me to try and do her justice and tell her story.

I really hope you enjoy Maud’s story in ‘A Pit Story’. If you would like to know more about me and my writing then please feel free to visit my Facebook page at:
Monday, March 25, 2013

Danielle Villano On "A Woman's Place"


            I feel very blessed for the life I have lived in the past 21 years.  This past December, I graduated from college (a semester early!) with a degree in creative writing.  My parents were able to give me the opportunity to pursue the major I wanted, and they supported me every step of the way.  Now, I have the bachelor’s degree that seems to be a requirement in today’s workforce, and I feel ready to take the writing and working worlds by storm.
            Imagine if I lived a few decades ago.  My creative writing degree would be laughable; why, a creative writing program would have been a distant dream!
            “You must go to school to learn a useful trade,” I would have been scolded.
            To take it even further: “A young woman shouldn’t be pursuing a college education.  She should know her place.”
            What I’m trying to say here is this: As a young woman of the present day, I often take for granted the opportunities that have been given to me, and the successes I have worked for.  Now, as I sit at my 9 to 5 job, I try to imagine a world where I may not have even been given the opportunity to sit at a desk.
            I wanted to examine a period in history where some inspiring women chose to fight against their role as a strictly domestic figure.  Not only were these women tending to children and maintaining a household – they were also carving a small space for themselves in the working world.  As my (unnamed) narrator tells her beautician: “Maybe you don’t need a man.  Maybe that idea is outdated, and maybe what you need is there, circled in the classifieds section.” 
            Just as my narrator hopes to set a good example for her daughter, my own parents worked hard to set a good example for me.  They worked hard to give me the lifestyle and education I have been so fortunate to have, and I want to do great things with this opportunity.

***

Danielle Villano is a New Jersey native. Her writing has found its way to Italics Mine, Storychord, FortyOunceBachelors, Scissors and Spackle, Marco Polo, and Milk Sugar. Danielle is the recipient of the 2012 Ginny Wray Senior Prize in Fiction from SUNY Purchase.
Friday, March 22, 2013

What Inspired They Call Her Granny?

I studied midwifery for ages. Some of it was history of midwifery, and this is what inspired They Call Her Granny. When I had my first child, it was pure luck that I was referred to a nurse-midwife. After my fourth, when I started having babies at home, I hired direct-entry midwives, who are as close as you can get to a granny midwife these days. I think midwives like these have always served women in a very personal capacity that is completely unlike you get at the hospital. They know how to connect with a woman's heart. I wanted to honor that.

***
Toni Rakestraw is an editor by day and a writer by night. She has written another short story, The Longest Night, for Pagan Writers Press. She also co-authored Titanic Deception, a full-length novel, with her husband, John.
Thursday, March 21, 2013

Women Fighters, the Marines, and Writing with Sarah Cass


These days women in combat is a hot topic. Will a woman meet the grueling standards required? Is the Marine Corps decision to let them fight wrong? Can a woman truly fight in battle as well as a man?

While I was researching the roles of women nurses during the US Civil War for An Uncivil War the Marine Corps decision was all over the news. It was serendipity to have that playing in the background as my nurse research led to the discovery that in our own civil war over 150 years ago women were fighting on those bloody fields, most of them disguised as men.

It’s a dirty little secret that never showed up in my history books during school.

If it had I might have paid more attention.

After all, for most of us the role of women in that war was reserved to pining at home for their husbands and sons. Visions of that certain iconic movie and the hospital scene of men laid out for acres in the dirt. Their roles keeping home and hearth and struggling to maintain land and keep their home free of invading desperate soldiers.

Yet now you can find reports scattered, most infamous—although some prove more known—of women’s bodies discovered dead, or wounded soldiers sent home because their femininity was discovered.

Strong, fierce, and proud women fighting alongside men that often didn’t even know who they were fighting next to.

In the past I’ve always avoided the period of the civil war. I always focused on the time after, on the frontier and the ‘wild’ west, the Indian wars that raged on for years.  The closest I came to the civil war is the psychological effects it had on my characters if they’d been involved.

Most of the avoidance came from my utter dislike of social studies and US history in school.  I liked to learn about people and fashion and customs. Wars and battles and dates never got me interested (much to my father’s disappointment, I might add).

All it would have taken was “Women fought in secret” to get my attention.

And it has.

Already I’m plotting another story. In what little spare time I have I’m researching these women soldiers, and planning what direction to take my story.

For once in my life I’m fascinated about the war for so much more than the ghosts it left behind.

***

Sarah Cass’s world is regularly turned upside down by her three special-needs kids and loving mate, so she breaks genre barriers, dabbling in horror, straight fiction, and urban fantasy. An ADD tendency leaves her with a variety of interests that include singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, and being a photographer. She fights through the struggles of the day, knowing the battles are her crucible and though she may emerge scarred, she’s also stronger. Her first full length novel, Changing Tracks, is due to release in February with another novel set for release in April. While busy creating worlds and characters as real to her as her own family, she leads an active online life with her blog, Redefining Perfect, which gives real and sometimes raw glimpses into her life and art.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vintage Things Inspire Tara

Two of my stories are in  HerStory. One is called From You No and one is Silent Suffragette 

I can see you shaking your head..."What? She calls herself an editor? From You No? You gotta be kidding me..."

Bear with me. 

I have a Votes for Women obsession and have taken to collecting old postcards from that era. I have quite the collection and some of them have messages on them. From You No was truly inspired by both the picture on the card itself and the message penned on the back sometime in the year 1916.

My first thought upon discovering the writing on the card was, "Drat! This decreases its value!" But then I closed my eyes and imagined the woman who wrote it almost 100 years ago, I pictured the dress she would have been wearing, the message between the lines as she scribbled a note to her beau. Why would she have chosen this picture?

Perhaps she wasn't the best educated as she did sign the card From You No. But it's not like women had loads of opportunities then. Perhaps she'd had to leave school before eighth grade. Some of our grandparents had to. It's not too far-fetched.

Silent Suffragette also came from a card, a card with a much longer message. Again, I just closed my eyes and thought of the woman who had sent it. Was her life so very peachy as she made it sound? Was there a hint of stress and tiredness in her penmanship?

I imagined there was.

Not all women are in positions to be amazing trailblazers. They have family, children to protect and care for. Perhaps the woman found another way to fight her lot in life, a more quiet way. 

I'm not going to reveal anymore. Do read the stories for yourself and I welcome comments. 

On that note, have you ever touched something vintage, closed your eyes, and imagined who else had touched it? Wore it? How they'd felt? Is that smudge mark from a tear?





Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.

Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She shares a website with her naughty pen name: http://tarachevrestt.weebly.com/index.html and they have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Chevrestt-Sonia-Hightower/218383211513877.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Talking About Forbidden Love With Megan D. Martin

Southern Daughter is a story that I thought about for several years, but never actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, lol). I have always been the kind of person who feels a certain attachment to stories of forbidden love. There is just something about love conquering all that inspires me—and what is more forbidden than a love between a plantation owner's daughter and a slave in the heart of the civil war?

When Tara told me about the opportunity to write a story exemplifying strength in women, this was the first to pop in my head. Standing up for the person you love is one thing, but standing up for someone who doesn’t even count as person (at the time) is another. To show her love for him, Carrie Ann has to give up everything she's ever known. Not only does she stand up for love, she stands up for what she believes in, even if it took her longer than it should have.

It was such a pleasure to write Carrie Ann's story and even more so because I got to go through this whole experience with this group of wonderful women writers. I hope you will all check out HerStory. Thanks for stopping by!

Blurb:

In 1861, falling in love with a slave was not something that the daughter of a southern plantation owner did, but Carrie Ann is not your average southern belle. She will have to make a choice between the only way of life she's ever known and the man she's come to love. Will she make her decision in time? 

*** 

Megan D. Martin is a multi-published author, mother, student, and editor. In her spare time she enjoys decorating her house with strange things that do not match, playing her old-school Nintendo Entertainment System, and buying fish for her many fish tanks.

To learn more about Megan, check out her blog http://megandmartin.blogspot.com/.
Monday, March 18, 2013

Lorraine Nelson Talks About Historical Fiction


I am thrilled to have a short story included in this anthology. Celebrating women throughout history, even though it is fiction, gives us a chance to glimpse how strong the women in our past really were.

The idea for Riverboat Queen came about one night when my friend, DJ, and I were brainstorming ideas for historical fiction. Now, anyone who knows me knows I hate history. No joke. But I do enjoy reading a good historical romance from time to time. And DJ loves history. That evening she was trying to convince me to try my hand at writing a historical romance. She kept tossing ideas at me and one clicked. No, it wasn’t Riverboat Queen, although I did file that one away for future use. J

Hawk’s Woman, a western historical short, ended up at 11,000 words and was included in an anthology released last spring. It garnered rave reviews and to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I can’t see me writing historicals on a regular basis, but to know that people read and enjoyed my story gave me quite a boost.

Lorraine Nelson
When HerStory was announced, I knew I had to write something for it, so I searched through those old files and stumbled upon Riverboat Queen. Aurora Langston, sold into slavery at an early age by her uncle and guardian shortly after the death of her parents, has vowed to work out her indenture and return home to England. Things don’t go quite as she’s planned and she ends up on quite an adventure. I hope you enjoy Aurora’s story.

I am a multi-published author living in NB on the east coast of Canada. I love to hear from readers. Please contact me at one of the following locations:

Twitter: @lornelca
Friday, March 15, 2013

A Message from Michelle

Being a female, a daughter, and a mother of a teen girl, I am very conscious of the role models and the depiction of women in books, film, and television. I remember growing up in the late seventies, and a teen in the eighties, that although there had been vast improvement on a woman’s stance in society in almost every area. By the eighties, as a country we had made our way through many of the movements that we study as historical events. Such as the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Lib….

Now, even though huge strides have been made, we are no longer strapped in an apron, chained to the stove, “barefoot and pregnant” the term I constantly heard while growing into womanhood, no, we as women are growing to the point of “choosing” careers, when to marry, many turning life events that previously, we quite possibly did not have full control over.

Also, being an African-American female had its own challenges. Yes, great strides had been taken, but still in a lot of the literature that I was reading- the stories that I loved—the great romances -Gothic tales of women fleeing across the moors with the grand old house in the back and the shadow in the windows, reflecting the sinister tone in the book. Yes, great books, but in most cases the heroines were always being “saved”….waiting for that handsome man of her dreams to save her…. That was shown in a lot of the books and movies…The women waiting on that great guy, to call, to come over, to save her, to whatever…

But what I love about the literature and the media today, that’s no longer the case. The female is shown to have a strength and individuality…meaning she is a complete and whole person. When the hot guy walks in the door, and will be a complete, and whole person if he was to leave…but hey, in our stories…still there are the happy endings, he rarely leaves…I mean who would with a catch like her! The heroines in today’s stories are saving shoot! Not only themselves, but the heroes, and sometimes whole towns!

The female is shown as fierce, capable and strong…not lagging behind or so far out in front (most of the times) but both heroine and hero are shown as equal… That is what I love now with the books and media that I see…So of course I loved the opportunity to become a part of a celebration of women who were strong and fierce! I wanted to find a subject of a woman who although a woman of history, had the mindset of today…a woman that would be an asset to showcase, not only for a Women’s History month example, but also representing a dynamic African-American woman, and yes, oh yes, I found Mary.

I actually ran across Mary Fields a few years ago, although not much was written on her. But that which was, had my mouth dropping; how could I not have known about this woman?! I had never heard of her in any of my African-American lessons for Black History month in school… She was perfect for this project. I wanted a historical figure that was little known, but inspiring, and I believe Mary Fields, a.k.a. Stagecoach Mary fits the bill. Through Internet research, I was able to uncover tidbits on this incredible woman, even actual documents penned by the Ursuline Nuns!

I am extremely honored to be a part of the HerStory Anthology and celebrating Women’s History Month and I give a HUGE thank-you to the Editor, Tara Chevrestt and to Pagan Writers Press for this opportunity! I believe you will enjoy all the stories within the cover of this book, sneaking peeks at the lives of the wives, mothers, and daughters of yesteryear that worked, cried, and maintained a life for their loved ones. It’s their stories that are affecting the wives, mothers, and daughters of today… So join me in celebrating the warriors, thinkers, and leaders that were these women…

Let us tell you a story…

Thursday, March 14, 2013

HerStory Playlist, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

I love music, I believe it a form of storytelling; it transmits passion, love,and also it encourages and inspires. I believe music transcends boundaries if Race, Gender and Age.

Music is fundamental, it seeps into your bones, tissue and blood, helps you to see the world clearer, well at least in my humble opinion.


So as it inspires, It can be inspired...there is separation  the storyteller and his/her words and the musician, I believe need the other, feeds the others, aides the other.

So HerStory, which is a collection of stories that was inspired by the strength of women in history, has a theme that I have also viewed in music.

Below are songs and artist who also carry the theme in music of empowering and celebrating women...

I found this list on-line compiled by Yahoo contributor, Kathy Heydasch and felt it was perfect!

Strong is Beautiful

10) "Video" by India Arie



9) Billie Holiday T'aint nobody's business if I do



8) So Beautiful by Superchick



7) "Nothing in Between" by Meredith Brooks.



6) So What" by Pink.



5) Independent Woman" by Destiny's Child



4)"Survivor" by Destiny's Child.



3) Strong Enough" by Cher




2)"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.



1)"I am Woman" by Helen Reddy.




Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a Young Adult/ New Adult Paranormal author. Her titles include a co-written work with Danny Jones called Reahket and her solo young adult novella series Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy.

She is also the producer/host of the online radio segment, IndieReview Behind the Scenes, where she and her co-host Jamie B Musings interview Indie authors and musicians.

Michelle has been married for seventeen years and has a fourteen-year-old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures.

Her story within the HerStory pages is Musings of an African-American cowgirl.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Alexandra Chauran Talks About Sacred Dancing

Dance, for me, has always been a sacred expression of spirituality. Dance can define itself as movement without any purpose except beauty. In my religious practice of British Traditional Wicca, dance is an important way to raise energy. Yet, sacred dance is something that is historically difficult to follow. Since the ability to record dance performances is so new, the only way that we have been able to preserve or study historical dance is through depictions in paintings or other visual arts. Sacred movement has always been passed on person to person, in the intimacy of student teacher relationships, friendships or family. In HerStory, I imagined one link in the chain of what we call “bellydance” today. 

Today, even though the power of Internet and video brings an infinite expression of dance forms before our eyes, the line of sacred dance is growing weak. Even contemporary Wiccans often do little more than run around in a circle in vestigial tribute to dance when raising energy for worship or magic. Through my fiction, I hope to inspire other women to take up dance. Pass along the art of being present in your body to your sisters and your daughters. Tell secrets without saying a word and share the gift of dance with your world and yourself.


Alexandra's story is Z'irah

See her dance:



Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mina by Laura DeLuca

1953

March 11, 1953 was a bittersweet day for my grandmother. She welcomed a child she adored, but she was told that her baby might not live. If she did survive, they said she would only be a burden. I am proud to say that my grandmother proved those people wrong. She never lost faith and she raised my Aunt Mena with all the love and respect she deserved. Mena has been a pivotal part of our family for four generations.



1976 - Maryann, Tessie, Mena and Laura
This picture was taken shortly after I was born. Tessie is holding me beside my mother and Mena. I grew up living with all these women and every one of them are a prime example of what a strong woman should be. My mother raised me alone and taught me to be independent. My grandmother not only thrived through the depression but later overcame the stigma of being a divorcee in the forties when it was almost unheard of. 


My cousin Jaimie, Mena -Sometime in the 80's.
My grandmother and Mena taught me some valuable lessons, one of the most important being to have respect for all people, regardless of race, creed, or disabilities. My grandmother's fierce protectiveness of Mena was passed down to me and I'm proud to say I was always the first to stand up to the bullies in the school yard and never shied away from reaching out a hand in friendship to anyone the other kids considered "different".


Laura, Mena & Gabby - 2012
 In 1999, less than a year before the birth of my daughter, my grandmother, Tessie, left this world. As promised, my daughter inherited her name--Gabrielle Theresa Lowe. I have also passed the lessons Tessie taught me down to my children. I am always proud to see them stand up for others and more than once I swear I saw my grandmother's soul mirrored in my daughter's eyes. She certainly loves her Great Aunt Mena just as much as Tessie did.


March 2013

Today it has been exactly sixty years since Mena came into the world. Even though my grandmother left us long ago, her lessons stay with us. Not only is Mena no burden on our family,  she is the glue that holds us together. In her innocence, she has taught us all the importance of unconditional love.
***

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She is the author of six young adult novels and several short stories. Her story within the pages of HerStory is Tessie. It's about her grandmother and Mena and their unconditional love.
Friday, March 8, 2013

HerStory is Told! Release Day Giveaway Bash!


In ancient times, women were regarded as sacred. They were thought to hold the mystical power of creation—responsible for the continuation of our species. With the rise of Science and Religion, these myths were dispelled and their plight began.

HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories from today's top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.

Grab yourself a glass of wine or favorite hot beverage and get comfortable as you read about the lives of women who will light the fire in your soul.

It's finally here. HerStory. Available to the masses. And to honor release day, we're having a party. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win some terrific prizes. *U.S. residents only*

Here's what's up for grabs.


GRAND PRIZE

First Grand Prize
First Grand Prize
Because they have the same agenda: empowering girls/women, Keira's Kollection owner Mr. Wagstaff has graciously agreed to donate a Strong is Beautiful T-shirt. One very lucky woman is not only going to walk away with a paperback copy of HerStory and be empowered through words, but she will also be showing her empowerment right there on her shirt.

And that's not all, the grand prize winner also gets a pair of earrings from Cathy from Etsy, who runs Yesware. The earrings sparkle one side and have a message on the other side: the greatest story never told.
Only, we're telling it, the authors of HerStory. We are telling it.



SECOND GRAND PRIZE


Author Laura DeLuca has donated an incense diffuser to go along with some handmade soap from Greenchild Creations.

And we're throwing an e-book into this mix. Why soap and diffusers? What does that have to do with women's history?

In HerStory, Mathilda of Ringelheim runs a bath house. It seems appropriate to honor herstory this way.

AND as Mathilda seems to know, every woman needs soap and every woman needs time to relax. So one lucky winner will take a nice long shower with her fantastic handmade soap, set her diffuser on a table, and curl up with HerStory on her kindle. Who says you can't be relaxed and empowered at the same time? (and smell good)




THIRD GRAND PRIZE

Another donation from Laura DeLuca: an ebook, a Japanese tea set, and an Oriental incense diffuser. How does this tie into HerStory?

In Please Stay, Asuka, a Japanese wife of the 1600s, is preparing the evening meal while awkwardly trying to discuss a matter--somewhat delicate--but of great importance with her husband.

As you get lost in your ebook, in Asuka's story (penned by Becca Diane), you can pretend you are there. Perhaps you feel your husband's penetrating stare. But you serve him his tea, straighten your spine, and say what needs to be said...then wait, breath held, for his reply, incense lightening the tension in the air...



FOURTH GRAND PRIZE

One lucky winner will have a chance to make their voice heard on the radio...with a $25 Amazon gift card burning a hole in their pocket!

HerStory goes behind the scenes to locate the stories of women who lived, laughed, and touched the lives of generations...

Now, here is your chance to have your story told to the world....or your mother's...it's your chance to talk about the most inspiring woman or women in YOUR life. Shout it out! Tell listeners everywhere about this amazing person. Honor her!

This prize is being donated by Indie Reviews Behind the Scenes.


PRIZE 5, FOUR WINNERS, FOUR TINS OF EMPOWERMINTS


Four of these tins of mints are being donated by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild. That means four lucky winners are going to win a tin of mints to carry around in their pockets and every time they look at the tin, they'll be empowered!

The tin is also the perfect size to serve as a pillbox once the mints are gone. This is something you can keep for a LONG time.




PRIZE 6, TWO WINNERS, CROSS STITCH WALL HANGINGS

Author and editor Tara Chevrestt has a secret addiction and hobby. It makes her feel like an old lady, so she keeps it under wraps, but now the truth is out...

She likes to cross stitch!!!

And with the suffragette tales (Sister Suffragettes by Dahlia DeWinters and Chevrestt's own From You No and Silent Suffragette) in the back of her mind, she found a pattern on Etsy by Patternbird and set to stitching.

Two lucky winners will walk away with these. They are 3.25" by 6" and have a hard backing so they may be placed on a wall.


PRIZE 7, ONE WINNER, FLAPPER-STYLE HAT

Donated from Rakestraw Book Design.


Toni Rakestraw, one of the HerStory contributors, is stitching this hat so one lucky reader can--in her mind--march in a suffragette parade as she reads HerStory. Or perhaps this is something Margaret Sanger would have worn as she leaves the workhouse in The Woman Rebel.


PRIZE 8, ONE WINNER, ONE PAINTING


You've heard the term multi-published and many of HerStory's authors can place that before their name, but how about multi-talented?

Author Morgan Summerfield can not only write as she shoes us in Adella, but she can paint too! She is kindly donating a painting 27" wide by 11" high, titled Morning Poppies. The frame is handmade with real wood and she stretches all her own canvases. It is hand-painted-by her!-in multi media.

Prize 9: ONE WINNER, ONE PENDANT

And last, but certainly not least, we have a lovely Coco Chanel quote pendant donated by the lovely Jewelry Designs by Lula. One winner will win this delightful pendant that says  A girl should be two things: WHO and WHAT she wants.

We could not have said it better.

Enter for all prizes using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is for three weeks. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond with their snail mail addresses. After 48 hours, new winners will be chosen.

Thank you and enjoy HerStory! Be empowered! Learn something. Believe in yourself and womankind.


Buy links:
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

Amazon

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