Monday, December 6, 2021

Your Novel Starring...

Catherine Zeta-Jones: Bad Sister Lavinia
Halle Berry: Good Sister Olivia




















When asked what my favorite novel is that I have written, I say Masquerade because my bad girl protagonist was so much fun to write! Masquerade was published a while back 2013 as the second book of my Unchained Trilogy. I certainly enjoyed writing all three books, but I loved writing Masquerade the most! 

A friend of mine asked if the story were ever made into a movie, who would I want to star in it? Well, we can all dream, so keep reading to see who I envisioned acting my story!

Lavinia Taylor Hargraves, my bad girl protagonist, is originally introduced in the first part of the trilogy, EscapeShe passes as white, despises her sister who is kind and good, and hates her mother for being a former slave. At seventeen, Lavinia runs off with fifty-four-year-old theater magnate Vernon Hargraves, only because he can make her a Broadway sensation. Although Vernon truly loves Lavinia, the feeling isn't mutual on her part.

If Lavinia had lived today, she'd probably be diagnosed with Narcissistic personality disorder.  According to Wikipedia, this "is a personality disorder  in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population. First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and is severe egocentrism."

In addition to her megalomania, Lavinia suffers from severe sibling rivalry issues. This is seen in Escape when we meet good sister Olivia.

Although Masquerade is Lavinia's story, Olivia, to Lavinia's dismay, also makes an appearance.  As I wrote the characters, two beautiful sisters of mixed race ancestry, I envisioned beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones as Lavinia and gorgeous Halle Berry as Olivia.

Who do you imagine as some of your favorite characters in novels you've read or written?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week! 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Willie O'Ree: The Jackie Robinson of Ice Hockey

Cold weather is quickly approaching, and with it, winter sports. I posted this story about three years ago, so if you missed it then, I hope you'll enjoy it now.

Hubby and I went to an ice hockey game over the weekend, and I was surprised to see some African- American players. I'm black, and I hate the cold, so I suppose I'm stereotyping by believing that all black people hate cold and cold weather sports just because I do.


Recently, however, I learned about an athlete named Williw O'Ree who was known as the Jackie Robinson of Ice Hockey.  Here's an article from Bleachreport.com that tells his story:

Back in 1958 the world was a different place. Racism was more openly rampant and no black person had ever taken the ice in the NHL. But Willie O’Ree came along and changed all that. He broke the color barrier and became known as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”

It wasn’t easy for O’Ree, who had to endure the racially tinged chants from fans, as Mike Walsh recalls O’Ree saying in Walsh’s “Soul on Ice” story on Missioncreep.com.

"Fans would yell, 'Go back to the South' and 'How come you're not picking cotton?' Things like that. It didn't bother me. I just wanted to be a hockey player, and if they couldn't accept that fact, that was their problem, not mine."

While a lesser man might have caved in under the weight of those difficult times, O’Ree didn’t let it bother him. He used his love of hockey and his strong will and character to persevere beyond what many others could have accomplished.

But it wasn’t just his color that he had to overcome. During the 1955-56 hockey season, O’Ree played for the Kitchener-Waterloo Canucks, a junior league team. He was struck in the right eye by a puck, and the injury was so bad that he was legally blind in that eye. Though doctors advised him to quit playing, O’Ree persevered.

In eight weeks he was back on the ice.

But he was a left-winger, so his eye problems forced him to switch to the right side, a move that he made with the same grace and success he did with everything else.

O’Ree’s history day came on January 18, 1958, in Montreal. He took the ice with the Boston Bruins, becoming the first black player to make it to the NHL. He expected a stronger reaction, hopeful that the publicity could help other young black athletes, but the story was handled with little fanfare.

Life was hard for a black hockey player, but O’Ree never backed down or let it stop him.
Guys would take cheap shots at me, just to see if I would retaliate. They thought I didn't belong there. When I got the chance, I'd run right back at them. I was prepared for it because I knew it would happen. I wasn't a great slugger, but I did my share of fighting. I was determined that I wasn't going to be run out of the rink.
One night, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Eric Nesterenko butt-ended O’Ree in the face with his stick. He knocked out two of Willie’s teeth and broke his nose. O’Ree didn’t back down, however, hitting the Hawks player over the head with his stick.


After being traded by the Bruins following the 1961 season, he never again played in the NHL despite his talent. To this day he is regarded as a footnote in the sport, which isn’t right. What O’Ree endured was more than what any single hockey player has ever had to endure. There will never be another such first in the game. Fittingly, it was Willie O’Ree, a fighter to the end.

Had you ever heard of Willie O'Ree? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Take time to be thankful for all of your blessings, love on your family and friends, and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner! I'm off from blogging this week but will be back next Monday. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Aliens and Race Relations

There's been a lot of talk lately about UFOs and extraterrestrials, so today I thought I'd republish a post from a few years back.

I'd never heard of Betty and Barney Hill, but if you're familiar with UFO trivia, you might know of them.  This article is from ListVerse.


Betty and Barney Hill were from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Barney worked for the post office and Betty was a social worker. The Hills were also members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and community leaders. On the night of September19th, 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were heading back from a vacation in Southern Canada to their home in New England. They claimed to have observed a bright light in the sky that appeared to be following them. They arrived home at about 3 am and realized (later, when it was pointed out to them) that they had lost about 2 hours of time. Two weeks later Betty began having nightmares. In her nightmares, she described being taken aboard an alien spacecraft and then having medical experiments performed on her. Betty and Barney then decided to undergo hypnosis.  
In separate sessions, they described some similar experiences of being taken on board an alien spacecraft. Betty said she was shown a star map which she was able to memorize and reproduce later, which some believe is showing Zeta Reticuli as the aliens’ home. Under Barneys hypnotic session he said a cup-like device was placed over his genitals and thought that a sperm sample was taken. He also said he heard them speaking in a mumbling language that he did not understand. The UFO incident was distracting and embarrassing for Barney Hill. He feared that the tabloid publicity would tarnish his battle for equality and dignity. The Hills eventually went back to their regular lives but were always willing to discuss the UFO encounter with friends and UFO researchers. The release of the book “Interrupted Journey” in the mid-1960s, and a movie called The UFO Incident, starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons turned Betty and Barney Hill into the world’s most famous UFO “abductees.”

Interesting Fact: Some psychiatrists suggested later that the supposed abduction was a hallucination brought on by the stress of being an interracial couple in early 60s. Betty discounted this suggestion, saying that her relationship with Barney was happy, and their interracial marriage caused no notable problems with their friends or family. Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1969, and Betty died of cancer in 2004. Many of Betty Hill’s notes, tapes and other items have been placed in a permanent collection at the library of the University of New Hampshire, her alma mater.

Had you ever heard of Betty and Barney Hill, or have you ever known anyone who claims to have been abducted by aliens?  Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Sad Life of Audrey Munson


Audrey Munson
I'm a history buff and I love research, so whenever I read something interesting in a novel that's based on fact, I enjoy looking it up so I can read more.

Today I'm recycling a post from a few years back that I wrote after learning about Audrey Munson. She's mentioned in Linda Fairstein's Hell Gate, a novel filled with all kinds of New York City history and trivia.

The tragic life of this model and silent screen actress intrigued me, so I had to do a little research on my own to satisfy my curiosity.

Audrey Munson (June 8, 1891 – February 20, 1996) rose to fame prior to World War I.  She was  known as "Miss Manhattan," "the Exposition Girl," and "American Venus." She was the model or inspiration for more than 15 statues in New York City.

Fountain of the Setting Sun
Ms. Munson, who posed nude and clothed, was eventually involved in a scandal. While Munson lived in a rooming house, the married owner of the house fell in love with her.  To be with Muson, he killed his wife.  Munson was never interested in this man, who was eventually convicted of murder, but the scandal ruined her career.

Munson began suffering from schizophrenia, and at age 39 was committed to a mental institution.  She remained there for the rest of her life, dying at age 104.

As many monuments and statues that Audrey Munson posed for, it's ironic that she herself, is buried in an unmarked grave.

Do you have some interesting trivia you'd like to share that you've found in fiction?