A High Honor ( photo: at right, Georgienne Bradley of Sea Save, with the author. White shepherd: Denali)

Because I’ve grasped the concept that there are no guarantees in life, I’ve relied upon positioning myself for the happy accident in the manner of showing up, doing the work, and turning it over. I believe in the unpredictable timing of the manifestation of good intentions and have been rewarded by what I view as the uncanny actualization of strange convergence. Here is a case in point of disparate variables fallen to alignment: I was blessed to grow up in Memphis, where I went to an all-girls school named Hutchison, whose hallowed halls were graced by the likes of the Jehl sisters: three charming, affable characters with smiles that don’t quit. I am closest in age to Cary Jehl, and although our lives came to spin in separate orbits, I consider Cary “one of my own.” I have followed Cary’s doings in the world with awe-struck admiration. I could knock your socks off with her accomplishments, but for the purposes of sticking to my point, I’ll keep this in the present by sharing a quote about Cary from the Cinderella to CEO website: “A long-time advocate for women, Cary speaks to audiences coast-to-coast and globally about how to successfully navigate issues of integrity, personal and professional development.”
This quote is in reference to a book Cary co-authored, From Cinderella to CEO, which was translated into ten languages and is now the backbone of a nation-wide, yearly event that honors significant “women in the work-place,” as in women who are out there making a contribution to a larger sphere. The Cinderella to CEO organization issued a national call-out for nominations of women worth shouting about under the guidelines of nine, well-defined categories. As I read the category descriptions, two women sprang to mind: Kathy Murphy of The Pulpwood Queens, who, in the name of art for art’s sake, unselfishly created a labor of love for countless authors by serving as the rallying point of The Pulpwood Queens Bookclub, which currently has 785 book club chapters, and holds a yearly, three-day author/reader lovefest in Jefferson, Texas that I call the Mardi Gras of the book world. That’s just for starters on what Kathy Murphy does, for her labors go into literacy advocation and, in her spare time, she makes heartwarming moves such as putting bookshelves in churches. The other woman who came to mind is Georgienne Bradley, who is the mastermind behind a foundation called Sea Save, which is dedicated to campaigns that help educate and advocate for ocean conservation. Georgienne is a scientist. Let’s just say she travels the world to speak before thousands, calling attention to saving the ocean and everything that swims in it. Her magnanimous impact is unending.
It occurs to me I’ve been used as a cosmic facilitator. I met Cary Jehl Broussard in 1970’s Memphis; Kathy Murphy three years ago through a couple of authors who can’t sing her praises loud enough; and Georgienne Bradley in Malibu through a mutual friend. All three women inspire me, and here’s where the idea of strange convergence comes in: Little ole me nominated Kathy Murphy and Georgienne Bradley in two different categories for Cary’s creation: the Cinderella to CEO Awards, which will be held at the JW Marriott Essex House on August 8th in New York City. Both Kathy Murphy and Georgienne Bradley are finalists in their categories, both women will attend the NYC ceremony, and the way I see this, everyone wins!

Cinderella to CEO website: http://cinderellaceo.com/

Sea Save Website: https://seasave.org/

Pulpwood Queens Website : https://www.thepulpwoodqueens.com/about/



The Chanticleer Review’s Conference in Bellingham Washington

Suite T: Southern Writers Magazine:

Monday, June 24, 2019
The Chanticleer Reviews Conference

By Claire Fullerton

My writer’s life is an insular life. Months are stretched together wherein I look for a reason to schedule opportunities outside my office, in an attempt at leaving my desk to live a balanced life. It’s not that I’m unduly obsessed with my work, it’s only that I recognize the merits of seeing a project through once I’ve started. I’ve heard it said that once one begins a writing project, it’s best to work on it every day, lest a break in the work changes one’s voice. I do write every day, yet every so often I take the opportunity to attend a writer’s conference, which does me good because it gets me out in the “real world.” Always the adventure is worth the logistics of setting aside my work, packing, getting to the airport, and staying in what feels like a beehive for three days or more.

I recently returned from the Chanticleer Reviews Conference in Bellingham, Washington. Bellingham is a short enough journey from my home in Malibu, California. When I received the news that my book, Mourning Dove, was a finalist in the Chanticleer contest, I reviewed the conference’s online schedule, considered that Bellingham and Malibu are on the same time zone, and decided it would be well worth my while to attend the conference.

There are great advantages to attending a writer’s conference. Everyone who attends is there for the same reason. Though authors who write in different genres are assembled, we all share the same passions and interests. Writers conferences are geared toward imparting information that pertains to the craft and business of writing. It is one thing to read about this in a book or online, and quite another to listen to individual speakers address subjects ranging from writing a series, to character development, to book marketing and promotion, and the current trends in publishing. When a personality is front and center, and the audience is invited to ask questions, a writer’s conference is a great opportunity to learn as well as compare notes about how we as writers engage with our career.
And then there’s the social aspect to attending a writer’s conference. A writer is gifted with meeting fellow authors from different parts of the country. It is typical for authors who have books out in the world to cross paths with each other on social media, and through this, relationships are formed in cyberspace yet all there is to go on are pictures. Meeting fellow authors in person solidifies a sense of writer’s community, and when a conference holds a contest, the camaraderie is intensified by an award ceremony. In the case of the Chanticleer conference, a fully-realized banquet was held in the beautiful ballroom of the historic Hotel Bellwether, and the festive, water-front atmosphere was the perfect setting to handle the suspense followed by heartfelt congratulations as awards in fourteen categories were announced.

I spent three days at the breathtaking Hotel Bellwether in Bellingham, Washington listening to one speaker after another alongside a jury of my peers. The conference was organized and eye-opening. It was a wonderful place to meet fellow authors and the award given for Mourning Dove, as well as the information I acquired invigorated my enthusiasm for staying the course of my writing career.

Claire Fullerton is from Memphis, TN., and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a Southern family saga set in the genteel side of Memphis. Mourning Dove won a First Place blue ribbon in the Somerset Awards of The Chanticleer Reviews Conference. It is the 2018 Literary Classics Words on Wings award winner for Book of the Year. It is the 2018 bronze medal winner for Southern Fiction by Readers’ Favorite, a finalist in the 2018 Independent Authors Network Book of the Year, and was listed in the International Faulkner Society’s 2018 William Wisdom competition in the novel category. Claire is the author of Kindle Book Review’s 2016 award for Cultural Fiction, Dancing to an Irish Reel, and paranormal mystery, A Portal in Time. She contributed to the book, A Southern Season: Four Stories from a Front Porch Swing, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window. Her work has appeared in Southern Writers Magazine, and was listed in 2017 and 2018 in their Top Ten Short Stories of the Year. Claire’s work has appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature; Celtic Life International; The Wild Geese, and The Glorious Table. The manuscript for her next novel, Little Tea, is a finalist in the 2018 Faulkner Society’s William Wisdom competition. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Literary Agency.

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Book Review: Clover Blue by Eldonna Edwards

A perfectly paced, thoroughly realized, refreshingly unique story that takes the concept of world-building to expert proportions. Author Eldonna Edwards sets her standout novel in a 1970s, Northern Califonia commune’s bucolic setting and regals the reader with an unusual story from the perspective of the eponymous narrator, Clover Blue, who has a personal history, unlike all others. In a coming of age story, Edwards layers her art with the subtle fine-tuning of what it also means to come into awareness. The Saffron Freedom Community’s earthy setting is tangible, it’s free-spirited, well-intentioned residents so finely drawn as to elicit the reader’s acceptance of a lifestyle so beautifully and minutely depicted, one can’t help but become emotionally invested. At the heart of this story is the adolescent Clover Blue’s search for identity within the confines of his deep-rooted sense of place. Once the reader is hooked by Clover Blue’s story, a mystery creeps in to suggest all is not as it seems, in this idyllic world apart from the world, spearheaded by a mesmeric leader whose past is so covert, it’s no wonder his counsel is centered on nonjudgement and living in the present. Clover Blue is a story that rolls, unfurls, and deepens in seemingly simple complexity. It is a resonating, engaging story true to the spirit of its times and satisfying in its unpredictable end.



In a Garden

It’s blowing with gusty winds that sail through the grass and sway through the trees incessantly. It’s a force to reckon with and each step outside is to secure something better removed than at the mercy of this wind. Looking at the sea, I see she dons a new personality. I thought I knew all her vagaries, yet in this wind she is moody, she is upset, she is rocking in multicolored facets under a kaleidoscope of light and I do not recognize her. She wears a white hat as she crests and flows in an intermittent roar then draws back unto herself with the rat-a-tat-tat of firecrackers. She is matching the rhythm of the wind, doing her part to join in companionably saying we are all one—I am all one with you and if this is the way of heaven and earth then I will play in the symphony.

The sea will not exhaust her histrionics. She has a point, lest anyone misunderstand. She rises and swirls to remind us that she has existed since the beginning and we are all here on borrowed time.

A garden lies hillside in the early morning springtime. She boasts rosemary, white roses, and sage. She looks at the wind, appreciative that it moves in synchronicity with the ocean. She remains still, save for the kinetic undercurrent that promises nubile growth. She is steady, confident, proud, knowing she’s a magnet of attraction. She basks in the attention of bees and white butterflies, thinking sometime, long ago, someone told her that all white butterflies are really divine angels. She knows she is equal to her task.

In a garden, worlds collide born of fellowship. One should consider history, and the camaraderie of all living things, for one cannot be one without the other.
And isn’t this just like us?

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Claire Fullerton, C.S. Boyack and Balroop Singh

Sally Cronin is the Gift that keeps on giving. Follow Sally on Smorgaasbord!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the second edition of the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with recent reviews is Claire Fullertonfor the Southern family saga Mourning Dove.

About Mourning Dove

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a…

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Gather at the River: 25 Authors on Fishing ( Edited by David Joy with Erick Rickstad)

At the heart of every well-beloved novel is that one riveting scene that verges on transcendence and stays in the reader’s memory as the very soul of the book. Gather at the River is a collection of those resonant moments, one right after another, and there’s not a weak story in the assembly. I use the word story, instead of essay, on purpose. These are first person accounts rife with insider’s knowledge in the hands of those that know nuance and how to describe it down to the last rock in the river. These writers know what from the woods as they recount their individual fishing stories and gift the reader with their own version of universal nostalgia. They work the depths of the seemingly simple themes of family connections, childhood innocence, and pivotal moments all within a bucolic setting that expands the visceral margins of character as place. You can see, hear, and feel the mood of every setting, and though fishing is the common premise, the central experience in each is so much more. There’s such art in the craft of a briefly told story. The sure sign of success is when the reader, in this case, yours truly, is so moved by the reading experience that they wish for more.

Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton #bookreview #tarheelreader #thrmourningdove @cfullerton3 #mourningdove #mourningdovebook — Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Today I have a review of Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton. This beautiful book is available now! My Thoughts: It’s the 1970s. Millie and her brother Finley are eighteen months apart, and he’s her rock. When Millie is ten, Posey, their mother, leaves their alcoholic father and moves from Minnesota to Tennessee, where Posey is […]

via Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton #bookreview #tarheelreader #thrmourningdove @cfullerton3 #mourningdove #mourningdovebook — Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader