Spring has sprung

Finally, after a terribly tough winter, it appears that spring has finally sprung. Outside we have only experienced liquid precipitation over the past few days and now the sun is smiling down pleasantly on Middle Tennessee.

I have been busily working on four new books at once. Vacation time is approaching and for anyone planning on traveling anywhere in the greater Southeastern US, anywhere from Louisiana to Washington, DC. my latest book, Exploring Our Wonderful World, Book I is a great carry-along tool to point you toward the best of the best spots to hit. If you like historical sites, this volume is loaded with them. If you frequent or would like to check out State and National Parks, so many are highlighted. There is even information on festivals and entertainment venues. A lot of places include driving directions. But best of all, it gives you an overview so you can see what you like as you travel or plan before visiting and map out your trip. I’m planning on taking it with us when we go to New Orleans, a place I have only visited once before.

So go to St. Clair Publications at stclairpublications.com or any Amazon site and get your copy today. I now will be taking all major credit cards at events and book signings as well. More on that later. Happy vacationing in 2015.

What do you do when it is frigid outside?

I awoke this morning, like so many other Americans, to record low temps for the day. It was 1 degree F with a wind chill of 12 below zero outside my house. I still had to walk our little doggie, of course, so I bundled up with layers of clothes, a knit hat and scarf, put the leash on Brody, and headed out to brave the elements. But it’s warmed up now. It is only 3 degrees. I’m at the computer with our kitty, Shia, on my lap.

So what do you do when the weather is so bad that you don’t want to get out? One thing I do, which lots of folks do, is snuggle up with something nice to read. Daytime TV isn’t great anyway, and I check facebook and other things online before breakfast.

Luckily, I have more than ample reading material when I am taking a little break from writing. St. Clair Publications has so many great books in so many genres that we can pretty much match anyone’s tastes. Everything from fast moving novels, to classics to  science fiction to self-improvement, to spiritual beliefs to animal books to historic topics to poetry, to children’s books, to word and phrase meanings and origins to travel…and the list goes on,

To see a near-complete listing of our books just go to stclairpublications.com and search the authors’ pages. You may purchase them there with PayPal or you may go on Amazon all over the world and make your selection. Many of them are also available from Barnes and Noble, Abe Books and other sources. And if you want something today, download one of our great ebooks, either in PDF at our website or on Kindle from Amazon. People are getting our books every day. If you’re not, check it out. You might like what you see!

Knowing which side your bread is buttered on

How many times have you heard someone say, “I know which side my bread is buttered on”? Or perhaps used this metaphor in relation to someone else?

Did you ever wonder where that came from? My popular book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions has the answer to this and hundreds of other phrase origins. This is on page 320 to 321:

Knowing which side one’s bread is buttered on

This was passed down by John Heywood in A dialogue conteinying the number in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

I knowe on whiche syde my breade is buttred.”

It means ‘I know where my loyalty lies. I realize who is responsible for my good fortune, and I will show that person or persons the greatest of respect.’ 

*****

This 730 page tome has been called ‘remarkable’, ‘compelling’, ‘in-depth’ and ‘the best (book) of its kind’.

It would make a nice gift for that studious loved one on your Christmas list…or a special gift to yourself. It is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide.

If you got snowed in at a mountain cabin…

This morning I watched Jeopardy, and one of the questions was “If you got snowed in at a mountain cabin, name something you’d hope you had with you.” At this time of year we aren’t thinking much about snow, but for the past two weeks, I’ve almost felt like I was snowed in because I have been very sick and didn’t feel like doing a whole lot. I’m improving every day, now.

The reason this question stuck with me, however, is that when 100 people were surveyed, the number 4 most popular answer was “a book.”

In spite of all of the electronic devises, people still enjoy curling up with a good book. At St. Clair Publications we still believe this and are constantly publishing high-quality books which are of interest to all ages. We have several classics which have stood the tests of time. We have a growing selection of children’s books for all age children from toddlers to teens. And we have a lot of adult books as well. Check out our great authors at http://stclairpublications.com, google us or even do a search on Amazon. You might be really surprised by what you discover.

British Author Biography was well-writen

In 2010 we were privileged to publish in the UK and US similtaneously a wonderful biography about a popular nineteenth-century author which has all but been forgotten in modern times.

The author of this book, Joy Dunicliff, has lived in Uttoxeter, East Staffordshire, England, for more than 50 years, where she is the local historian. She is an expert on Uttoxeter’s most famous nineteenth-century resident, Mary Howitt, and has previously published The Traveler on the Hill-top: Mary Howitt, the Famous Victorian Authoress and Mary Howitt, Another Lost Victorian Author, among other works.

Identifying with Mary for many reasons, viz women’s rights, writing and the gentry of the area, the study of these subjects drove Ms. Dunicliff to compose a fresh new biography centered around Mary Howitt’s conversion from the Quaker faith to that of a Roman Catholic not long before her death.

Book Synopsis: 

Quaker to Catholic: Mary Howitt, Lost Author of the 19th Century, is a fascinating look inside the life of one of the most endearing figures of Nineteenth Century England. Best known for her classic children’s poem, The Spider and the Fly. Ms. Howitt was a close friend of such figures as Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth and Mary Barrett Browning. She introduced the English version of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales by translating them from Danish.

She and her dedicated husband, William, helped get many well-known authors of their day into print. A great champion of women’s rights and abolition of the slave trade, she became friends and an associate of Hariett Baker Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Uneasy with the practices of the Quakers in relation to clothing and rights of women, she finally converted to Catholicism before her death in 1888 at the age of 89.

Written in the first person, this unique work gives the reader the feel of living in the Victorian age in England, Europe and Australia, and a shocking look at the hopeless plight of women of the day.

The book is distributed by Ingram Books and is available through stores where better books are sold and at http://stclairpublications.com and a number of other online booksellers around the globe.

Today marks another historic milestone

After a hotly contested presidential race and a narrow miss of going over what became known as ‘the fiscal cliff,’ America’s eyes today are turned toward the second public inaugaration of the first American President of African descent. It is also, coincidentally, Martin Luther King Day, celebrating the legacy of the most beloved non-violent leader for Civil Rights in America’s history. 

Yes, our nation is sharply devided, perhaps on a scale not equaled since the Civil War, a schism, like that of Dr. King, involving Civil Rights. Now, however, the sharp divide is more about other weighty matters.

My book, A Place in Time, available on Amazon.com, chronicles the divisions still existing in the reconstruction era, in a short, easy-to-read novel which puts you in the picture from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the first downfall of the Ku Klux Clan. Order your copy today.

A poet and don’t know it

I am wrapping up phase one of my final phrase origin book. The original, On the Origin of the Cliches and Evolution of Idioms, continues to sell daily on Amazon both in America and also a number in the U.K. On the Origin of the Cliches, All New, Book II is also selling well.

The effort of the new book continues to consume much of my time. But the result is definitely worth it. I am now doing corrective formatting to agree with my new, larger page, smaller text version. It will approach 800 pages and is intended to be a trend-setter and standard-bearer for future books of its type. It will contain the phrases in my earlier books and many hundreds more. After this stage I shall begin first proofing, then two of my associates will also go over it carefully before I begin the final editing and proofing for publication, hopefully in late spring, 2013.

One of the entries is “Poet and don’t know it.” If you’ve ever made a rhyme without trying you may have had someone rattle off these witty words to you. Here is my entry for that phrase:

Poet and don’t know it

This sordonic statement is invoked when someone has apparently made an unintentional rhyme. It has been around in varying forms since the late-nineteenth century. The earliest known citation is from Niagara University’s (New York) Niagara Index, page 27, 1 October 1895:

“The author of that German poem, placed under our door must come to our office and identify himself with no less than three witnesses before we will pass judgement on its merits for publication.

“’We have a poet and don’t know it. If he had whiskers he’d be a go at.’”

The fact that the entire expression was in quotes leads to the opinion that it was already in use. Then in 1926 the following variation, which became more popular, appeared in Volume 20 of the Washington, DC, literary journal, Gargoyle Magazine as a part of a ‘Pat and Mike’ joke:

Pat: “You’re a poet and don’t know it, your feet show it; they’re Long- fellows.”

At St. Clair Publications we actually publish poets–the kind that KNOW IT and want to be read. Recently a friend made it known that she had a book of poetical prayers that she wanted to someday publish. We will be the ones with the honor of putting out her book.

If you have some poems that you believe are worthy of appearing in print, let me know and I will be happy to discuss it with you. I do have the option of accepting or rejecting anything, of course. We have guidelines and standards. Here’s wishing our readers a very merry holiday season.

 

Our three most popular books on Kindle

Though there has been a slight delay on the launch of our eVolve Division on the StCP website, we do have one great book available there now, Good to the Finish! by Kent Hesselbein. It’s a wonderful read with lots of true drama.

And our three best-selling paperbacks are on Amazon Kindle, at reasonable prices awaiting your Christmas shopping downloads. Conspiracy in the Town that Time Forgot, by Ron Cunningham and yours truly, is only $6,95 on Kindle. My best-selling phrase book, On the Origin of the Cliches and Evolution of Idioms and Tammy Mentzer Brown’s best-selling true story of broken youth redeemed, A Teacher’s Prayer are each only $5.95. So head on over to Amazon and download yours today!

 

Should Columbus Day become Exploration Day?

I, for one, believe that it should. In August 2008 I was among a group of concerned folk who organized, supported and attended The Atlantic Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia featuring numerous speakers from around the world advocating taking another look at the popular teaching that Columbus discovered America. It is common knowledge that there were several explorers who journied from Europe at least hundreds of years before his 1492 venture with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. In fact, a new book published by St. Clair Publications primarily aimed at youth which is vividly illustrated in brilliant color unvails the story of one of them, ‘Prince Henry’ St. Clair, Earl of Orkney’ by Hazel Brown, which is available on Amazon in the US, the UK and continental European sites.

There is a growing movement to change Columbus Day to Exploration Day, recognizing all explorers for their remarkable feats. If you agree, you may go to http://explorationdayusa.org/ and sign a petition to do so.

Another wonderful book, one which I can only wish I had published, was authored by my friend, Gunner Thompson. It’s called Viking America and may be purchased in either hardback or paperback at a number os online retailers. It gives detailed research information concerning voyages to the New World as far back as the Roman Empire, and includes a shocking map which he discovered from 1414 showing another contenent on an orb resembling our modern maps, though somewhat distorted due to lack of proper charting. So the next time someone says ‘In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus sailed the ocean blue’ you can say, “Yeah, so what?”

Fall is in the air

It seems that a season has only begun when it fades into another. The seasons come and go with lightening speed, and even more so as Father Time works on us forming lines on our faces and blanching our hair till it resembles fallen snow upon our roof tops.

As autumn slips in, many of us will not likely be on the go at quite the pace of summer, and it will be a good time to catch up on our reading. On our home page at http://stclairpublications.com there is now a new video about Tammy Mentzer Brown’s gripping true story, A Teacher’s Prayer, which has already touched the hearts of many, and some have even said it made an impact on their lives. This would be an excellent book to read, either in paperback or Kindle e-book to fill some hours when the temperatures are taking a nose dive and dampness fills the atmosphere outside your window. Get your copy today at our site, on Amazon, from Barnes and Noble, or at Hastings book store. You will be glad you did.