Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wolf Howl Raven Speak


Wolf Howl Raven Speak: a collection of poems, stories, and dreams
by D. Whitewolf McFadden

Mystical, funny, and mingled with Whitewolf's powerful words on the plight of the wolves, her writing is filled with inspiration and her personal view of life and purpose.

One of the the best things I did in 2014 was edit and publish Wolf Howl Raven Speak. I loved selecting the poems and stories, arranges edited, added of some of Whitewolf's delightful drawings, and formatted the print edition. I'm proud of this special gift for an awesome friend. Who knew I'd love creating a book I didn't write.

Here's a sample from Wolf Howl Raven Speak:

Shadow of Doubt
Through a window
The morning sun
Filtered in
And cast my shadow
On the wall.
When I looked at it again,
It wasn’t me - at all.

There was a shaggy mane
Around my neck,
And two pricked ears
Atop my head.
A muzzle appeared
Behind a chair.

Then I could see
When I looked again
That what was me
Had become a…

WhiteWolf is a wolf activist, dog trainer, and educator. Throughout her life she has embodied the Spirit of the Wolf, the Voice of the Raven, and the Courage of The Lone Ranger.

Remaining an inspiration to all who know her, she teaches dog training, offers workshops, and follows her lifelong interests in animals, the environment, and a creative life.

WhiteWolf lives in northern Arizona with Sirius, her retired racing greyhound.
Read other posts about my friend Whitewolf and her world of dogs and wolves:

Doris McFadden - Dog Lover and Trainer for 70 years 

 Doris (White Wolf) McFadden and the Wolves

More Wolves!

 Greyhound Rescue

  is available in print from Amazon.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Round-Headed Boy and the Magic Christmas Sheet

The Round-Headed Boy and the Magic Sheet

by Amber Polo

Once upon a time (that’s fairy tale talk for over 50 years ago) there was a round-headed boy (no, not Charlie Brown). This RHB lived with his beautiful older sister above a toystore. One Christmas their parents, busy preparing toys, hung a magic sheet across the door of one room and warned their children to never, never look behind the sheet. For, if they did, Santa would give the tree and all their presents to less fortunate boys and girls.

As Christmas came closer and closer, their excitement grew. Finally, three days before Christmas, the two children stared at the magic sheet, imagining a tinsely tree and glorious presents.

“I want to look!” said the RHB.

“No!” replied his very good, beautiful sister

“I can’t wait.” He reached one pudgy hand toward the sheet.

“Nooooooooo!” she cried.

He jumped, grabbed a fistful of cloth, and pulled hard on the magic sheet. The sheet cascaded down. She squeezed her eyes shut. His bugged out. She screamed.

Their mother ran up the stairs.

“I didn’t look,” cried the little girl, tears streaming down her face. “It was him,” she sniffed. “I told him not to do it.”

The RHB planted his legs as his mother towered over him. “I wanted to look.”

“I didn’t want to look. He made me do it,” his sister moaned. “I didn’t see the tree or any presents. Not one.”

“You let him do it,” her mother scolded.

“Right!” the RHB said. “It’s all her fault.”

His sister lurched towards him and their mother scooped him up. “Leave him alone. You’re bigger.”

The girl crossed her arms, imagining a Christmas morning with no presents, no tree, and not one Christmas cookie. The RHB grinned a round-faced grin. He’d seen he had more presents than his sister.
"The Round Headed Boy and the Magic Sheet" is one of a series of simple stories I wrote for my brother at I time when I felt he needed a happy reinventing of family history. He called the stories the second best Christmas present he ever received. His first two-wheeler stayed in first place. I am so happy I shared this with him before his unexpected death. I’d like to think this is an example of how we can each use our writing skills in special ways.
I chose the non-judgmental term "round-headed boy" for fun. A  After I finished the story I looked for a photo to go with it. To my surprise this very round-headed one turned up.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Free Christmas Romance novella Through 12/27

Fly Off to a Caribbean Island for Christmas?

Christmas on Wherever Island by Amber Polo

A Magic Santa brings Caribbean Christmas Joy!

Marti Bell is facing the prospect of a very unmerry Christmas. Reluctantly, leaving her married lover she travels toward ice, snow, and judgmental family until a magic Santa sends her to a surprise destination in the warm waters of the Caribbean.  

Wherever Island would be a winter paradise except the only place to stay is the beachside cottage of romantic globetrotting photographer Cliff Holmes. Cliff wants to unwind and treat Marti to a little romantic Caribbean Christmas fun but she’s determined to stay in the warm ocean and out of hot water. 

  “Not only is the setting sensational, the hero will sweep you off your feet…this is one story I can read every Christmas season. …a great happily ever after story.”  Gotta Read Reviews

Here's the Smashwords Code 
 Free through 12/27

Novella in ebook only

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Magic Trees of Sedona

The Magic Trees of Sedona

     Something magical happens in Sedona every December.  Well since it’s Sedona, let’s say something more magical happens in December.  Along Highway 179, between Bell Rock and the Town of Sedona, Christmas trees appear along the road.  They just appear.  One day they’re not there and the next morning they are.  Not ordinary Christmas trees, these are heavy with thick tinsel garlands and bright round balls.  Each tree is different but they all seem to be decorated in the same style, as if there were a plan.  This year among the reds and greens, silvers and golds, and purples and blues, there are many covered with red, white, and blue garlands and ornaments. 

          Since the trees appear on Coconino National Forest land where federal regulations require visitors to stay on the trails, decorating trees isn’t allowed.  It is rumored that families sneak along the road late at night with boxes of decorations, but that rumor is harder to believe than magic.

          Wherever these magic trees come from, they disappear as mysteriously as they appear.  On New Year’s Day there are no trees.  If you look carefully you might find a few shards of a red or silver ornament or a bit of glittery purple tinsel, but the trees are gone.  The red rocks and the green trees are still there and still magnificent, but they seem a little drab for a few days.                               


I wrote this in 2001. Since then the trees don't appear. The nature-loving people of Sedona have stopped decorating forest trees for fear birds will be attracted to the glittering decorations, eat, and die. So let's keep our trees indoors or with animal friendly decorations.

To see photos of the not so-magic tree in Old Town Albuquerque
see my 2014 post. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Wassail Gingerkuchen Excerpt from "Released"

The Wassail Gingerkuchen

“May I escort you, Mistress?” He led her into the Reading Room alight with glowing candles and whispered, “Don’t they look real? The only bad news is the man you hired to play St. Nicholas came down with the flu.
“What will I do?” Alarmed, Liberty fumbled in the brocade pouch at her waist for her cell phone. “We can’t do this without St. Nicholas.”
“You will have your St. Nicholas, madam.” Gregory stepped close to her side and smiled down at her. “I have experience.” He gently placed her arm on his. His St. Nicholas outfit was no rented Santa costume. The smooth velvet of his red jacket caressed her bare arm. The ruffled shirt, tight black pants, and high black boots complemented his masculine form perfectly. 
Before Liberty could speak, Lily announced, “Wassail time.”
Aldwyn, in a dinner jacket, entered carrying a steaming silver punch bowl, followed by Emma and Rebecca holding platters piled high with spicy, fragrant gingerkuchen.
Liberty whispered to Gregory, “Is it safe for you here?”
“Perfectly safe. This is a magic night.”
Outside the window, a flash of lights illuminated the huge outdoor tree and they heard the loud “Ah” as the people of Shipsfeather gasped in pleasure.
The strains of “Greensleeves” floated from the Local History Room. Liberty didn’t remember hiring a quartet.

Within moments the library doors were thrown open and guests paraded in. Gregory served wassail and Liberty passed out warm gingerkuchen, greeting smiling Shipsfeather residents and their visitors. Many of Liberty’s regular library patrons passed by. Gregory embraced members of old Shipsfeather families. An elderly gentleman called him. Chronus and a woman with a British accent curtsied and addressed him as Sir Gregory. Replying to foreign visitors in their own languages, Gregory was the perfect host. He looked handsome, courtly, and comfortable in ruffled shirt and velvet jacket and each guest lit up at his attention. 

And the Recipe

St. Nicholas Wassail

From The Shapeshifters’ Library celebration in “Released”

4 cups apple juice or cider
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t. ground ginger
½ t. grated nutmeg
½ t. cardamom
3 sticks cinnamon
Fresh orange slices for garnish

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Then turn to low for 2-8 hours.
(In a hurry? Heat in just to boiling in a saucepan, then pour into a slow cooker to keep warm.)
Oranges on top make a pretty addition.

What I love about this recipe is you can vary it to suit your taste in juices and spices (or what you have on hand). With our without alcohol (some revelers) add dry sherry or Madeira), a cup with fill you with warm holiday cheer.


Available from:

Amazon Print
Barnes & Noble
Read the blog post "Researching St.Nicholas Eve"
for my personal remembrances of the celebration 
And the St. Nicholas excerpt from "Released"