Three Little Birds

Cardinal northern Pair male female red bird brown at feeder wikimedia commons ken thomas

The recent events in Charlottesville and around the world have left me in a stew of emotions: anger, sadness, uneasiness, and pain. Kicked in the stomach. The world seems to be an ever growing darker place.

Recently large black crows have been scavenging in my back garden. I don’t like to see their presence. They represent doom, death, loss, anguish.  These carrion birds are unsettling for us. Although they have their place in the natural world and the order of things, they have come to represent death, anguish, and uneasiness.

Their numbers seem to be increasing. I watch birds in my back garden. The crows and the ravens are on the rise. Buzzards too. It doesn’t make me feel any better. The natural world seems to reflect our human microcosm. The scavengers are on the rise.

Yesterday a 17-year-old boy was killed in a car accident. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I’m trying to wrap my head around why such things happen. We can perhaps say goodbye to someone that is older or has battled a long illness. We don’t understand it when a life is snuffed out, taken too short. Whether it be a 17-year-old boy in a car accident, or a young woman killed while standing up for goodness and truthit  reminds us of the crows and the ravens. The unspeakable surrealness of life. 

This morning I looked out on my back garden as I sipped my morning coffee. The crows were there, scratching and pawing at the ground. They won’t come up near my house where there are bird feeders and a bird bath. They lurk away from every other bird.

As I was sipping my coffee, still trying to process so much from last night and the last few days, I witnessed something extraordinary. A family of cardinals flew in to graze at the feeders and drink from the bird bath. Mother, father, and three little babies. Babies that are old enough to fly and feed on their own at the feeders but are still under the watchful protection of their parents. Youth making its feeble flight out into the world.

Cardinals are said to be a sign that a loved one is near you. Their bright scarlet plumage is cheerful and reassuring. Unlike the uneasiness of the carrion birds, the cardinal is there to let you know, to quote Bob Marley, “that everything is going to be alright.” It might not be better immediately, but their presence reminds you that someone is watching over us. Loves us. Protects us.  Reassures us. Cardinals represent the good forces of the world.

This morning I watched as the cardinals came to feed and bring up their young, the carrion birds lurking in the shadows flew away. A coincidence maybe. But I rather like to think that in the presence of goodness, darkness flees. In the presence of reassurance, doubt and darkness can’t stand to be there.

Sometimes three little birds of goodness, younglings taking flight remind us  in the midst of chaos, death, and despair, that everything is not lost. Like those little birds, for every carrion bird that signals death and destruction, little scarlet birds take flight. Good will rise up to meet darkness and despair. Hope is ever present, even in the smallest of places.

Long live the cardinals.

 

Coming Soon! We’re celebrating the release of Dunkirk with an epic, riveting sale!

dunkirkpromonightandday

Are you ready for Dunkirk? So are we! And we’re not just talking about ChristopherNolan’s upcoming summer blockbuster movie. Beyond the major motion picture, there is Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Novel Sale.

Discounted Books for 99c each!

40+ authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have40+ authors of the Facebook Second World War Club have joined together for the Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Novel Sale. From July 21-27 (the opening week of Dunkirk), we will discount a selection of our books to 99c to bring you more riveting tales of WWII from around the world.This is a great chance to discover some awesome WWII stories.

To find out more, go to: http://alexakang.com/dunkirk-book-sale/

We have tons of fun and interesting online events planned including:

Prizes & Giveaways including:

A promo week giveaway of Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion

Picture  by Joshua Levine

A Rafflecopter giveaway of 11 paperback copies of some

of the fiction novels

that will be part of this sale.

A 7-day giveaway of 7 audio copies of The Importance of Being Churchill

by Lorri Moulton

Also, join us for:

6/26 A viewing Dunkirk Promo Official Trailer

6/29 A viewing of the book trailer for Girl at Dunkirk by David Spiller

7/4 A viewing of the book trailer for The Yankee Years by Dianne Ascroft

7/5 A viewing of the book trailer for 45th Nail  by Ian Lahey

7/7 Our Authors’ Pick of the Top 40 WWII Movies of all time.

7/10 A viewing of the book trailer for  Unrelenting by Marion Kummerow

7/13 A viewing of the book trailer for Luzon by Richard Barnes

7/14 The Book Speak Podcast reading of Roberta Kagan’s  All My Love, Detrick

7/17 Part One of our special two-part blog series on Dunkirk by Suzy Hendersen

7/19 A viewing of the book trailer for Eternal Flame  by Alexa Kang

7/21 Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Book Sale begins with The Book Speak Podcast

reading of The Girl at Dunkirk  by David Spiller

7/22 Part Two of our special two-part blog series on Dunkirk by Jeremy Strozer

7/24 Movie review of Dunkirk by Alexa Kang

Dates are subject to change.  For updated information, 

bookmark this page and be sure you won’t miss out:

http://alexakang.com/dunkirk-book-sale/

 

June Newsletter!

I’m sending out the inaugural issue of my newsletter this week and I’ve got lots of news to share with you. I’m so excited to bring you news of a book promotion that I’ll be participating in with other World War II authors in July.  Details will be coming in June’s newsletter. If you love World War II fiction, you will want to check this out. Haven’t signed up for my newsletter? Then just use my signup form here on my website or on Facebook. You may also email me personally with your email address. If you need more information, just contact me at kellie@kellierbutler.com

I’m also putting together a book trailer of my own for my upcoming print release of Night and Day. More news of it will be featured along with the online book promotion of my e-book in July. Summer is a great time to catch up with your reading and discover new authors you may not know!

 

 

Night and Day (The Laurelhurst Chronicles Book 1) is on Goodreads!

I’m so excited to share with you that Night and Day is now on Goodreads and has its first five-star review! I’m also excited to share that as an author,  I’m participating in the Ask the Author program on Goodreads. Have a question about character backgrounds, plot questions,  or how I write? Fire away! I will try to update my answers weekly. 

Also, if you have read my work, please leave me an honest review so other readers can discover my work.  I would greatly appreciate it! Feel free to connect with me on Goodreads! 

You can locate Night and Day on Goodreads here:

Night and Day (The Laurelhurst Chronicles Book 1) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34943514-night-and-day

Happy reading!

Kellie 

Freebie Friday Giveaway!

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It’s Friday again and I’m celebrating by giving away another copy of my novel to one lucky winner on my facebook page! Head on over to enter the trivia contest for a chance to win! I’m drawing the first person who answers my trivia question correctly!

While you’re over there, won’t you like my facebook page and join? Thanks and have a happy friday!

Fall writing projects


November seems to be a popular month for writing contests. I recently submitted a short piece of fiction for The Master’s Review Fall Fiction Contest. Getting outside of the historical fiction world for a while and just let my mind discombobulate is always rewarding. The fifteen finalists are announced in December and winners announced in January. Here’s hoping that I make the cut!

If you are an emerging writer, go to The  Master Review’s website, https://mastersreview.com,  to find out about their contests and submission policy.

The binding force of food

Chris Cleave recently released his new novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, set in Second World War London and North Africa. Chris describe how he researched his novel, and one of the things that I noted is that he ate the rations diet of that time period to help get into the mindset of his characters. This is something I follow quite well.

Writing a novel requires you to wear many hats. You’re part character, part director, part audience. The best writing evokes all five senses. As a historical fiction author, I like to recreate dishes from period to truly give a sense of what characters are tasting, feeling, thinking. You can discover many things about a place from its food.  Every facet of its history and culture are represented through food. Indeed, food has played such a  pivotal role in history as items such as salt and chocolate have been used as currency.

Food is sustenance. It is fuel. It is comfort. It’s medicinal. Holistic . Spiritual.  It is the thing that unites us, binds us. Our races, creeds, and politics may disagree, but our love of food unites us. It is a reason why we break bread with each other. Certain foods transcend cultures: pizza, dumplings, pasta,  barbeque, sandwiches, and bacon. If the latest social media trends are correct, we all love tacos.

Our memories often tie back to three senses: taste, smell, and sound. You  may not be able to remember what you saw yesterday, but you can remember what scent your mother wore. A waft of something reminds you grandmother’s kitchen.  A bowl of chicken soup in various forms (matzo ball soup, chicken noodle, ramen noodle, etc) all provide us comfort. The tastes of childhood can calm you or make you smile on your roughest of days. We’re all still trying to figure out this thing called Adulthood.

I will be releasing my foray into recreating the dishes from the second world war and beyond for my series The Laurelhurst Chronicles. From the rustic dishes such as the Lancashire Hot Pot and various dishes popular in wartime Britain to the foods of the Automats and Luncheonettes and beyond of New York City, each recipe will be tested and noted here on this blog.

The food of that younger time was local and fresh. It is the kind of food that comprises the current farm to table movement.  People ate what they grew. They ate what they could afford with their ration books. Fast food did not exist, and neither did large grocery stores. Wasting food was a possible  criminal offense in wartime Britain.  People got creative, but they still enjoyed food. Food united them.

If you have a dish that you would like to resurrect from the second world war through the mid 60’s,  please feel free to email me at kellierbutler@gmail.com. I would really love to hear from you.