Friday, December 30, 2016

Catching UP!

 Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,

We had a lovely holiday here. Very quiet, but very nice. Arline is working on the year end accounting stuff and after that she will do the final payroll for 2016.

Roger has given up on "Grandma got Runover by a Reindeer," but now he's trying to learn "Auld Lang Syne," before tomorrow.

To all of you, we send our very best wishes for a happier and more prosperous New Year.

PLEASE don't YOU forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on... so I'll have some gossip to pass on next week. 

Just send an e-mail to with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice

Each year I write a poem for the holidays instead the usual family newsletter. Here's the one for this year.

Joy Yet Abides...

Despite infirmity and the advancement of years,

            There is still joy in moonlight over ancient stones

                        Joy in a rosy sunrise that marks yet again our

Progress, as the earth follows God’s ancient path…

No more dancing. No more driving. No more travels or vacations…

            Doctor’s visits and our family gatherings on Sunday, define

                        our social life. Then family talks eagerly of harvests, football,

and a bloodhound named Cletus, while two seats remain empty.  

Life’s everyday concerns make demands, while practical solutions

           come and go. Lightning strikes the well. New hearing devices reveal the ticking
                          of a clock and a kitten’s soft purr, unheard before.

A needed new roof is a gift from a loving son.

Despite the loss of a firstborn son, there is joy in remembering

            his bright blue eyes, the wonder of his smile, and knowing that he loved,

                        and was loved every day that he lived. Though we miss him, and weep,

we all hold in our hearts the joy he brought to us....

Whatever our hopes, whatever our dreams

           The earth spins on, and once again brings light from darkness

                           Peace, fulfillment, and joy, from chaos, and

hope to each and every blessed soul…

                                                                                              --- Arline Chase
                                                                                                   Winter Solstice, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

Tomorrow, Roger and I will celebrate our 60th Wedding Anniversary...

A lot of things have changed since then:
   My waistline has vanished, along with some of Roger's hair...
   But people who were sure it wouldn't last six weeks are still wrong...
   My cooking has improved...
   His guitar playing has improved...
   We had a great family life together.
   But parents and siblings have passed
   Sons have grown and gone
   And while we still enjoy cohabitation,
   Jack gets to sleep in the middle...

But there are a lot of things that are still the same...
   Roger is still my best friend
   He calms me down when I'm upset,
   I give him something to get excited about when he's bored.
   His faith is strong, his temper mild,
   If I have a problem, he finds a solution without being asked,
   His kindness of heart is unfailing
   Sixty years isn't nearly enough....

Friday, December 16, 2016

Catching UP!

Happy Holidays, too.

 Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,

All the books have gone to press and while there may be a book from time to time in the future, the chances are they will be as scarce as hen's teeth from now on. Arline IS writing her holiday poem. Usually, she writes one poem a  year, but she has already doubled her output foe 2016! So I guess this "having more time to write" thing is working...

Terry White read from her new  poetry book, Gaia's Dream, at the Dorchester Arts Center this week and, according to my sources she was very well received.  As the official bookstore cat, you know I love all oue authors, but I have to admit that Terry is very special to me. I was born under her bed and she played with me every day do I could learn about people and grow up not to be standoffish like my mama, "Miss Kitty."
Her new poetry book is turning out to be very successful, too. I believe there are copies available in the Arts Center Gift Shop for folks who live around here...

PLEASE don't YOU forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on... so I'll have some gossip to pass on next week. 

Just send an e-mail to with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Gift Suggestions from Jack!

Good Morning Everyone,
I'm just waiting for Roger to come sing.  He is still learning  some new (to him) seasonal songs and I've almost given up on "Grandma got Runover by a Raindeer," though he's real good on "Jingle Bells."

Meanwhile I thought I'd mention some favorite Books of mine that might make some good Christmas gifts for people on your list. They are all series books, but every story stands alone, so it won't matter if they haven't read the others....

All are available at Amazon in both paper and Kindle. Other e-book formats are available at Smashwords.

ACup of Joy
by Anna Dynowski

    This is Book six in the "Harmony Villiage" series (that some people call the "Cupid Cat" series), and it does have the greatest Siamese Kitty in Literature, folks. Me? I'm still waiting for Arline to write a book about me.  You don't have to read the whole series to enjoy this one, but "warning" -- you'll want to! Take it from me,  Jack.

Life is great for Kasia Jacubek. She’s smart. She’s sassy. And she’s the sole owner of her restaurant. Well, sort of. She does have a silent partner. But the faceless man appears uninterested in taking a hands-on approach to their shared inheritance, content with accepting his share of the profits she mails to the lawyer.

Everything is going great, until…he shows up unexpectedly to take over the culinary reins. Why does he look familiar? And why does her heart take a leap of joy?

Take heed! Guard your heart!

Sharpening his matchmaking claws, Cupid Cat has his own ideas on the matter of the heart: he intends to make sure the restaurant’s silent partner isn’t so silent with her.

A Ghost Meets an Angel
by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox

   This a book from the "Shannon Delaney Paranormal Mystery Series," and, according to my friend Elizabeth, this one is the favorite one of all her readers. All your friends will enjoy it. Jack...

Gavin turned to me and queried, “This isn’t the first time you’ve seen ghosts, is it?” …

   And so begins Shannon Delaney’s assignment to write publicity for the Spotted Coyote. As the right spot for Grub, Spirits and Conjuring, it’s an entertainment venue that’s a re-invention of an Old-West Saloon in California’s historic mountain town of Julian. The Spotted Coyote is more than what Shannon bargained for when she discovers the century-old murder of little Sarah Morghan. Sarah’s ghost will not be denied, leaving Shannon no choice but to pursue haunting clues that pair jumping rope rhymes with rare books, treasure lore with a ghostly angel and an uncanny connection to the Scottish paranormal author, Robert Louis Stevenson. Assisting Shannon is Francisco Zavala, Alex Blackthorne and Shannon’s very own spectral guide; phantom magician from the 1800s, Eric Blackthorne.

First Waltz
by Terry L. White

   This one is from one of my favorite authors, Terry L. White.  How could I not love her. I was born under her bed. This is a story inspired by her mom and dad, and that is their picture she put on the cover, All her Chesapeake Heritage novels are stand alones, too. Whether they like Historicals or more modern stories, any of your friends would enjoy a quick trip to the shores of Chesapeake Bay.

Terry L. White’s First Waltz is a compelling portrait of a marriage, filled with interesting characters and a page-turning story.

"Starting in the days of World War II in the Eastern Shore town of Cambridge, at the dance when Sally, a pretty young nursing student, means Henry, a handsome soldier from Upstate New York, first meet, the story progresses through their lives and their love, their families and their children. There are trials and tribulations; life is after all, what happens when you’re making other plans.

"The story never falters, and keeps the reader turning the pages to see what will happen next. What renders this tale especially charming is Ms. White’s eye for time and place, and the mise-enscene of another time and another era in American history. Weaving details of that era skillfully into the fabric of the novel, the War and post-war periods and the small town life of ordinary people in Maryland and New York become characters in the story, so real you can taste the cooking and see the homes and places. This is a great read."

–Helen Chappell, Baltimore Sun columnist and author of the Hollis Ball and Sam Wescott Ghost Series, Oysterback Tales, A Whole World of Trouble and Looking for Midnight.

Dead Duck
by Helen Chappell

   And here's one from Helen Chappell, who gets fan mail addressed to "Famous Writer" in Trappe, Md. Back when Arline was a newspaper reporter, Helen worked for  the same chain, but in another town. Also back when she lived in the big city, she wrote for a soap-opera that should remain nameless.  Both come into play as Helen tells one of the coolest and funniest ghost stories around.  Jack...

Small-town reporter Hollis Ball is back, this time covering the "Decoy Jamboree." She's still smouldering over the light sentence Judge Fish gave a wife-murderer. Then someone bashes Fish on the head with an antique decoy. Hollis is pretty sure it's not suspect #1, an old school friend and Soap Opera Queen. So naturally she decides to solve the murder herself, with the help of her ex-husband of course, the charming and ghostly, Sam.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Catching UP!

Books that went to Press this week:

THE LAST CHRONICLER, by Judy Johns Heathcoe
    While tunneling through a mountain in the Russian Southern Urals, a team of engineers are trapped in a deep, large, cavern containing a living rain forest. Looking for a way out, they discover a hermitage that once was home to a historical society who called themselves chroniclers, whose
members were able to travel in time to view a famous person or event in order to record history correctly. In the hermitage library, among the many chronicles, they are privileged to view the lives of Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia, and his family. But hiding out and watching their every move are the remaining chroniclers who are determined
to keep their existence a secret, even to the point of murdering any that discover it. The engineers find themselves running for their lives through the seemingly endless forest, wondering whether they
would face death at the hands of the dangerous and adamant chroniclers. . .or the primeval creatures of the forest.

 Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,

Everything is pretty well back to normal around here, though I sure could have used some news for my column... 

We had a nice Thanksgiving and it sure was good to see Kathy again. She is recovering well from her knee surgery and already planning for going back to work. We surre missed her.

We still miss our Shelley, too. She gave the best ear rubs.

Arline is still working hard, trying to get all the books straightened out and thinking about getting back to her own writing again. She's over her flu shot -- so annoying, all that SNEEZzing!  AANNNnnndd, she wouldn't wake up for treats!

Roger is trying to learn some new songs for the season. So far he knows "Winter Wonderland" and "Grandma Got Run-over by a Raindeer."  Spunky really likes that one.

PLEASE don't YOU forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on... so I'll have some gossip to pass on next week. 

Just send an e-mail to with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday's Read and a Recipe

Sleepy Sand Bluff hasn't had a murder in twenty years. That's about to change!"

When Jonas McCleary gets the opportunity to join the force in sleepy Sand Bluff, he jumps at it. A cushy job in a little town where nothing ever happens. He can relax and enjoy life, and since Jonas is getting onto thirty, he’s hoping with a little luck, to meet Miss Right. But on his third day in Sand Bluff, another officer, Ackers, finds a body in an alley.

Sand Bluff Cookies


8 h 30 m72 servings178 cals

On Sale


  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
  1. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together. Add just enough flour to stiffen. Dough should be slightly sticky. Place dough in the refrigerator and let chill overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a very small bowl combine the egg white and the milk. Set aside.
  3. Remove small amount of dough from the refrigerator and roll it into a round ball. Place on Cookie Sheet. Of desired press thumb in center, brush top with egg white, and garnish with a pecan half. Place cookies on a cookie sheet, Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes and the edges are slightly browned. Watch these cookies closely for they burn very easily.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Poetry for November

Candle Song
by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

    In this collection you get the essence of the poet’s inner soul, the fine artistry of her spirituality, the
memorable imagery she displays, the depth of her imagination, her pastiches of life and people who
inhabit them. Her words are like a breath of the golden dawn; their gentle taste and wisdom fall lightly on the tongue. Sometimes poignant, sometimes stirring, her mainstream poetry often lends a dark, fine mystique, one that borders on the macabre. You’ll find a wide range inside here, including, for the first time, a touch of the bizarre. Readers will be drawn into her captivating world lit by her disquieting spirit and her love for the beauty in life.

Orange Slice Cake



  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour one 10 inch tube pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and granulated sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add to the creamed mixture.
  3. Place flour in a large bowl and add dates, orange slices, and nuts. Stir to coat each piece. Add flour mixture and coconut to creamed mixture. This makes a very stiff dough, so it will be necessary to stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour batter into the tube pan. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. As soon as cake comes from oven, combine the orange juice and confectioners sugar and pour over hot cake. Let stand in pan overnight.