Friday, December 19, 2014

Update on My Christmas Gifts to You

How exciting! Some of you are unwrapping your Christmas presents I'm giving you. DO YOU KNOW HOW GOD LOVES YOU? is #5 on Amazon!

Look at this:

#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Meditations



#23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Romance > Historical

To get your gifts, please go to these links:



Today (December 19, 2014) is the first day of my Christmas giveaway.

December 19-23, you are welcome to download a free copy of my newest book, a historical and inspirational novel called THE DREAM BUCKET. This book has received an award. It appeared on the "hot and trending" list of the Kindle Scout program every day for the thirty days it was featured there.

Go here to get your copy of THE DREAM BUCKET:

The Dream Bucket for Free

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Congratulations to Mike Link, a friend who taught at Louisiana Tech several years ago. Mike is a great educator with an humble spirit. It is thrilling to see his great accomplishment.

McKinney Orchestra at Midwest

Christmas Gift Idea -- New Kindle

There's a Kindle for only $59. Amazing that the price has dropped so much!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Christmas Gifts to You

A schedule of the Kindle books I’m giving you this Christmas:

The Dream Bucket
Newest novel, available FREE on these dates in 2014: December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

Do You Know How God Loves You?
Big book of daily devotionals, e-book version only available FREE on these dates in 2014: December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson
New novel, available FREE on these dates in 2014: December 20, 21, or 22 and December 29, 30.

I'm Choking . . . But Life Moves On Along the Path of Grief
Little book about grief, available FREE on these dates in 2014: December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.

The above books are free to anyone who goes to and downloads them either to a Kindle, computer, or other electronic device.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Help with Grief

I'm Choking . . . But Life Moves On Along the Path of Grief

In case you’re feeling blue this Christmas or know someone who is grieving, you may want to read this little book after Christmas. Everybody I know has felt that way at one time or another. Several people who have read the book say it has helped them through some sad times.

I’m giving this one to you as another Christmas present. It will be available for free to download onto your Kindle or computer December 26-30, 2014.

Another Christmas Gift to You

In addition to a free Kindle copy of The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, The Dream Bucket’s sister book, on December 20, 21, 22, 29, and 30, 2014, at, I’m giving you something else.

Christmas 2007, my daughter requested a book of daily devotionals for Christmas. I gave her two, but she told me after Christmas that she wanted me to write a devotional book for her. What a gift she gave me! The opportunity to say some things I may not have remembered to tell her when she was a child.

Christmas 2008, I gave her Do You Know How God Loves You? She thought of the title. It contains 366 daily devotionals. Through the years, I’ve sold a few. It has been read in the Philippines, Europe, Africa, and South America.

Christmas 2014, on December 19-23—any time during those five days—you can go to and select the Kindle version for free of Do You Know How God Loves You? If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download it to your computer.

Thank you for the wonderful gift so many of you have given me: your nomination and your support for The Dream Bucket, which is near the end of its campaign in the Kindle Scout program. Go here for details.

A Christmas Gift for You

4 days remaining in the Kindle Scout Program for THE DREAM BUCKET.

Kindle Scout

Thank you for keeping this book on the hot list.

16 Days until Christmas. Here’s a gift for you:

The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson is a new novel, released as a Kindle book on November 16, 2014. This inspirational romance is about a woman in her thirties who lives in the town of Taylorsburg in the early 1900’s, and it’s a companion to The Dream Bucket, which tells the story of a family’s difficulties on a farm near the same Mississippi village a year later.

As a Christmas present, I’m giving you a free copy of The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson. Since it is a Kindle book, you will need either to load it onto your Kindle or download onto your computer. There are no strings attached (although reviews are a great blessing).

To unwrap your gift, go to the page and type The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson on Amazon's search bar, OR click on the picture below. You can get your free book any time on December 20, 21, or 22, 2014. If you’re too busy then and miss this, wait until December 29 or 20, 2014, when it will be available for free again. If you have any problems, please send me a private message on Facebook. (CONFESSION: I've never participated in this five-away, and I hope I'm doing this right.)

In the meantime, remember to nominate The Dream Bucket if you haven’t done so already. You’re allowed to nominate it only once. If Amazon chooses to publish it through the Kindle Scout program, you will receive a free copy of it.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Random Thoughts

Now it's Christmas. Almost. What does it mean? What else does it mean besides the wonderful coming of the Savior to rescue us from our depravity? What I'm trying to ask is this: once we have Christ's grace, what do we do with it?

This year I'm absorbed in a project of sharing some thoughts so personal I cannot spell them out in literal terms. I need to say them in fiction. If you read my stories, you may catch a glimpse at what I want to say. Even better, you may find something within yourself that the stories evoke.

The question is often asked of writers--plot or character driven? I think my stories are setting driven. A place with a situation comes to mind. I ask who would be in that place.

Then I let them do what is natural. There is little control on my part about the outcome of writing. I wasn't always sure which man Loretta Larson would choose, and I wasn't sure how Zoe Cameron would solve her horrendous problems.

What I have observed about the heroic characters in these two books is an unselfish attitude.

Please nominate The Dream Bucket.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Duck in the Well

When Ruth, my sister seven years older than I am, was young she had a baby duck. (This event happened before I was born.) For sport, she was chasing her duck through the yard. Our dad had removed the wooden frame that protected the well so he could repair it.

The results were not as bad as they could have been. Ruth didn't fall into the well, but her baby duck did. Upon her insistence, Daddy drew bucket after bucket of water to rescue the duck, but he never found it.

My sister's recollection of losing her duck in the well inspired a scene in The Dream Bucket.

Please help me publish this book by nominating it here: Kindle Scout

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Character in The Dream Bucket: A Young Girl Named Trudy

As The Dream Bucket begins, ten-year-old Trudy appears to think she is entitled to have nice things. Her papa’s little princess, she deserves to live in a stately mansion with fine furnishings in her bedroom and an abundance of beautiful dresses to wear to school.

On page one, she learns that having things cannot make her happy. What good are pretty lamps, curtains, and rugs if Mama and Papa fight in their room next to hers? Not much later she learns how it feels to lose almost everything.

When circumstances strip away material things, Trudy’s sense of entitlement changes to an attitude of thankfulness. She soon learns to recognize her blessings. For example, when she lies down on the floor in a rotten shack, she thanks God she doesn’t have to sleep on the ground.

Please help me convince Kindle Scout to consider The Dream Bucket for publication.

Nominate The Dream Bucket.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wash Pot

None of the blog entries will spoil the story of The Dream Bucket. I promise.

After the Camerons’ home burned, Zoe, Billy, and Trudy went looking for anything they could glean from the fire that had reaped most of what was theirs. It hurt to go looking around at the old house site.

Between the backyard and the chicken yard, the three-legged cast-iron wash pot stood waiting to be drafted into service to the little family.

With help, they set it up behind their new home. They filled it with water and built a fire underneath it to boil their clothes.

While having fellow writers critique The Dream Bucket, I discovered that not very many people know what a wash pot is. Some friends in the Taylorsville group on Facebook helped me find some pictures to show readers. Here is one of them.

The Dream Bucket is a slice of life the way it was about a century ago. I hope you’ll paint your own mental picture of this life in Mississippi, which was a little bit pioneer and a little bit reconstruction era lingering on.

Your nomination at will help Kindle Scout make a decision to publish it. Please CLICK HERE and select the blue bar underneath the presentation of The Dream Bucket that says “Nominate me.”

Old Mississippi Lifestyle

A Dozen Common Practices in the Good Old Days

1. Rolling hair on corn shucks
2. Drawing water from a well
3. Living in an unpainted house
4. Laundering with a black iron wash pot, galvanized washtub, and washboard
5. Hanging clothes on the line-- maybe bushes or fences if no line was available
6. Ironing with a flat iron made of iron
7. Riding in a mule-drawn wagon
8. Refrigerating food in an icebox containing a big block of ice
9. Robbing honey from a beehive in a tree
10. Cooking biscuits in a wood-heated stove
11. Cracking eggs and dropping then into a separate container just in case they're rotten
12. Tying a milk cow's tail with a string to keep her from hitting you in the face when she swats at horseflies

Life in The Dream Bucket was like this. Please nominate this book at Kindle Scout. CLICK HERE.

The Dream Bucket Featured in Kindle Scout's Reader-Powered Publishing Campaign

11/24/2014 . . .
11 days since Kindle Scout launched The Dream Bucket

19 days until the end of the campaign.

All campaigns last 30 days.

How many nominations does the book need?

Who knows?

All I know is that the more nominations The Dream Bucket receives . . .
the more likely it will receive attention from the Kindle Scout team
so it can be selected for publication.

You have the power to select The Dream Bucket for Kindle Scout to publish.

Thanks for your vote!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Dream Bucket

What are your dreams?

What's in your bucket?


10 reasons why I'm excited about KINDLE SCOUT

What’s so exciting about having The Dream Bucket featured for nomination on Kindle Scout?

Amazon’s new publishing program is a stroke of genius.

Kindle Scout began a campaign 10 days ago to feature The Dream Bucket. Readers can go to and nominate it for supported publication.

20 days remaining . . .

Nominate The Dream Bucket today or by December 13, 2014, with a better-than-traditional contract. CLICK HERE.

The ten reasons why I’m excited:

1. The Dream Bucket is “hot.” It has maintained a spot in the Hot and Trending category every day for 10 days.
2. Many dear friends, established authors, cousins, Facebook friends, and some folks I don’t really know have supported the campaign by nominating (voting for) the book , sharing my comments, and “liking” my posts on Facebook.
3. Kindle Scout is providing a built-in platform of readers for my new novel by allowing Amazon customers to select the books to be published. If The Dream Bucket is selected, Amazon will give each person who nominated it a free copy of the book with an invitation (but not requirement) to write a review.
4. The Dream Bucket has a unique cover specifically designed for this project. The picture of the shack evokes curiosity about the mysterious events unfolding in the story.
5. This historical novel with an inspirational theme holds its own along with racy thrillers.
6. Kindle Scout gives me an open professional route to promote the book.
7. Amazon provides broad-marketing access.
8. Submitting to Kindle Scout is an opportunity to promote the book without hiring an agent.
9. Kindle Scout is the beginning of an excellent opportunity. This campaign has started to provide me a chance to share some universal struggles found in the hearts of the characters in the story.
10. presents new books in a clever, interactive way. This is a live website.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

You have the power: 21 more days to vote for THE DREAM BUCKET

You have the power to select a novel for Kindle Scout to publish. Amazon will promote the book and provide a beneficial contract. My novel,The Dream Bucket, is in the list of unpublished works to be considered in a 30-day campaign.

21 more days . . .

THE DREAM BUCKET at Kindle Scout

Three weeks from now, Amazon will tally your nominations for The Dream Bucket. I'll receive an email to tell me whether it has been selected for publication.
If you haven't voted yet, please nominate (vote for) The Dream Bucket in Kindle Scout today or before December 13, 2014. Thanks to all of you who have voted. You are keeping the book in the "Hot and Trending" list.

Several friends have asked me if it is possible to vote twice. No . . . just once for The Dream Bucket. If it is one of the books selected and you voted for it, you'll receive a free Kindle copy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Dream Bucket, a Tender Romance

Until a few decades ago, a woman had no right to know specific details about her husband’s finances. The man handled the money, but what was a woman to do if she lost him?

The Dream Bucket . . . courage, self-discovery, grief, healing family pain, survival – a tender romance with threads of humor and mystery . . .
In the spring of 1909, Zoe Cameron shares a prosperous life with William and their two children – twelve-year-old Billy Jack and ten-year-old Trudy. Two days after William refuses to tell Zoe where he stashes his fortune, he dies in a fire that destroys their Southern mansion.

For more information about THE DREAM BUCKET, please visit Kindle Scout. If you'd like to see this story published in the Scout program, nominate it by clicking on the blue bar.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What The Dream Bucket is About

The summer of 1909 presents overwhelming challenges for the Camerons and the Bentons, two neighboring farm families in Mississippi. A farm bucket—the dream bucket—brings a glorious solution to all the problems that have made their lives difficult.

Ten-year-old Trudy Cameron overhears her parents, Zoe and William, fighting about money. Zoe wants to know where William hides his unlimited supply of twenty-dollar gold pieces. Instead of sharing this essential information, he slaps Zoe.

Two days later William dies in a fire that destroys their mansion. Trudy, whose father has indulged her and whose mother has been cold toward her, has nothing to rely on. Zoe lacks experience with the dairy and farming operations. The three survivors move into a rat-infested shack with a roof as leaky as a colander. They milk cows, harvest produce, and tend cornfields.

This is the beginning of The Dream Bucket, which has been selected by to be featured in a campaign for thirty days. Amazon wants to know how many people will want to read this story. I'm asking you to go to, find the picture of the shack and vote for (nominate) The Dream Bucket.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jacob MacGregor, Transcendent Hero

Have you watched a television series or read a series of novels with one character serving as a common thread in many stories? No matter what happens, this one heroic person is always an important part of the action.

Jacob MacGregor is such a character in the Covington Chronicles. He first appears in Secret Promise as a self-absorbed young man, but he grows into an admirable person. In The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, he steps into the background but remains important to the story by being a supportive friend to Loretta. In The Dream Bucket, he is a true friend of the young widow Zoe.

The epitome of greatness, Jake makes the best choices in the situations that present themselves.

Please help publish The Dream Bucket by going to and nominating (voting for) it.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Elvin Trutledge in THE DREAM BUCKET is one of the favorite characters of the authors who critique my writing. He's the kind of villain people love to hate. So is Johnson Daniels in THE COURTSHIP OF MISS LORETTA LARSON.

First, let me say that I researched these names and couldn't find that they belonged to anyone. If they do, please accept my apology. I do not wish in any way to cast aspersions on anybody.

Behind every character in a novel is a background not always revealed to the readers. Backstory can get in the way of the progress of the plot. It's fun though to show some of this back story in a blog so the readers can know more about what is going on or where the writer came up with the idea.

Elvin Trutledge in the summer of 1909 could have taken over the entire book if I'd allowed him. The inspiration for him comes from a great song, "Paradise" sung by John Prine. I'm sharing a link to it:

Thanks again for all the nominations (votes) for THE DREAM BUCKET to be published by Kindle Scout.

Names of Characters in THE DREAM BUCKET

On November 17, 2014, with 26 days remaining in the Kindle Scout Campaign, I want to share some information with you about naming characters in THE DREAM BUCKET. A friend asked me on Facebook why I chose the name Cameron. The answer was for no reason except it's simply a pretty name with a study old Southern sound. I've had some great friends with that name, but not with the characters of the Camerons in my novel.

Most of the other names in the book have no special significance. Some of them appear in SECRET PROMISE and THE COURTSHIP OF MISS LORETTA LARSON, but you don't have to read those books before you read THE DREAM BUCKET, which is involved right now in the campaign.. The campaign must end before THE DREAM BUCKET can be published. Thanks for voting.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Dream in My Bucket

In August 2011, The Dream Bucket placed second in the book proposal category at the Texas Christian Writers Conference. I had written the entire book back then, but for the last four years I've revised the manuscript over and over. With the helpful advice of an agent/editor, a writer/editor, and three critique groups in Texas and Louisiana, along with useful information gleaned from books about writing, I've worked to make The Dream Bucket enjoyable to read.

After writing and self-editing The Dream Bucket for five years, having started it in 2010, I considered it finished. In the meantime, I had written two books that preceded it in a series.

At that point, a friend sent me a note on Facebook about the Kindle Scout program. The rewards are generous, and the requirements were doable. I'm really excited about this publishing opportunity.

First an author submits a novel with a a catchy title and a one-liner that introduces it. The author must also provide a short autobiography, a brief synopsis, and the answers to three of the questions from the list, and a cover suitable for a Kindle book. Supplying all the items listed above, I submitted it. The next day, Kindle Scout informed me that it would be placed online for readers to vote on.

Unlike the usual Kindle programs, which allow the writers total freedom to publish whatever they choose, Kindle Scout is a "reader-powered" publishing system designed for books not previously published. Readers have the privilege of deciding which books will be considered for publication.

At this time, I'm at the mercy of readers and friends, who are nominating The Dream Bucket. The campaign will be completed on December 13, 2014. Nominate (Vote for) The Dream Bucket here: THE DREAM BUCKET at Kindle Scout

Remember the calaboose?

In the town of Taylorsville, Mississippi, a flimsy tin shack squatted on the main street across from a row of stores back in the fifties. The proud citizens of our town pretended it wasn't there. Even now, it feels like taboo to reminisce about it. Some of our kin and the family members of our friends--the men our parents called "sots" in hushed tones--spent time in the local jail.

Did you ever quake in fear, horror, and embarrassment on Saturday afternoon in Taylorsville when a drunken acquaintance would stagger down the sidewalk? Everyone south of Center Ridge and east of the Y in the Mize road went to town on Saturday. Everybody saw. People knew but were kind enough not to mention what happened on Saturday afernoon.

I'm not sure about the chronological order of the images recorded in the mind of my childhood. I just remember the drunken man yelled loud enough to be heard a block away, looked through the crowds of men milling around for some enemy so he could settle a feud with his fist, tripped on a crack in the sidewalk, fell, received a blow from an officer's bill club, was dragged across the street, and transported to the calaboose. He stayed there until he sobered up.

Who knows when Taylorsville had its first jail? I wanted to look inside, but no self-respecting female would have walked within twenty feet of it. When it was empty, some of my friends played pranks in the calaboose.

The imaginary town of Taylorsburg, which vaguely resembles our beloved Taylorsville, contained a similar jail when the twentieth century began. It was also constructed of flimsy tin.

In the year 1908, Zoe Cameron, a prim lady in THE DREAM BUCKET, enters the village calaboose. Discover why she goes there and what happens when she opens the door and steps inside. I want you to read this part near the end of the book.

Please help me convince Kindle Scout that THE DREAM BUCKET is worthy of a contract. Go to Kindle Scout and nominate (vote for) THE DREAM BUCKET.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Announcement about The Dream Bucket

28 more days remaining in the Dream Bucket campaign . . . still listed as "Hot"

Thanks, friends!
I'm grateful to you who went to
or yesterday, wrote your own reviews, pasted or wrote original requests for others to vote, sent e-mails to your friends, let me know you voted, and just gave me all kinds of encouragement.You helped me start this campaign with momentum to get THE DREAM BUCKET published by the Kindle Scout program.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Three Questions about THE DREAM BUCKET

Kindle Scout requires each participant to answer three questions. Here are the ones I chose with the answers. I could have written volumes about these, but Kindle Scout reined me in by allowing only 300 characters.

Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A. In the early 1900’s farmers had the treasures that mattered most—a sense of humor, love for one another, respect for the land, and reliance on the Lord to see them through any situation. I hope, though, that readers grasp the joy of this story so much that this message becomes secondary.

Q. Where did the idea for this book come from?
A. When I was 17, our home burned to the ground. My father went inside the burning house and pulled out some valuables. He moved into a house he kept for sharecroppers. I moved into an apartment in town. My mother alternated between the two residences. This loss inspired THE DREAM BUCKET.

Q. This book is part of a series, tell us about your series.
A. THE DREAM BUCKET, an independent, complete story, shares some characters and locations with SECRET PROMISE and THE COURTSHIP OF MISS LORETTA LARSON. These three books, known as THE COVINGTON CHRONICLES, show life in and around a Mississippi village in the early 1900’s.


The Dream Bucket by MARY LOU CHEATHAM: Two Families, Many Dreams

November 14-December 13, 2014
Vote to have this book published.


Ten-year-old Trudy loves Papa more than anybody else until she hears him slap Zoe, her mother. She is so angry at him she wishes he’d die. When he accidentally sets fire to the family mansion and dies in the fire, she is not prepared for the shock. William has cautioned Zoe not to pry into his financial arrangements. She wants to know where he keeps his money in case his life should end. How will she survive as a widow? The family has nowhere to call home except a sharecropper’s shack.

Historical Romance
Go here to vote.

Please go to
If Kindle Scout publishes this book, you will receive a free copy to read on your Kindle or computer.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jimmy John’s, Gourmet Sandwich Shops

Do you ever wonder what the history is behind a restaruant where you like to go? Or what’s behind the name of a sandwich shop that sells food you love?

Having discovered some of the world’s most delicious sandwiches in Jimmy John’s in Lubbock, TX (4730 Slide Rd. 806-795-0800) and in Amarillo, TX (4730 Slide Rd. 806-795-0800), I decided to check on the name.

Jimmy John Liautaud, the owner/founder, started his first sandwich shop in 1983 when he was nineteen years old, and now there are about 200 of them. His story is fascinating. Go to to read more about it. Also look at the information at Wikipedia

To learn about the sandwich it is necessary to try one. The menu overwhelms me with a plethera of enticing choices. I like #6, the Vegetarian.

Included on the website is a thorough chart of the nutritional value of the items.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Eating Chinese Buffet Food

Most of us consume an inordinate amount of calories when dining at a Chinese buffet. As much as one thousand in a meal. (And lunch from the inviting pans of hot food may contain more sodium in it than most of us need to consume in a day.) This food has a Chinese influence, but it is Americanized with all our demands for high calories.

According to Calorie Count, a serving of General Tso’s Chicken has 844 calories per serving. One solution is to get a tiny piece of chicken.

Next, a pile of crab Rangoon awaits hungry diners. Just one. That shouldn’t be too bad. Chicken is a popular diet foods, but the chicken on the buffet is fried and dipped in various sweet syrups. A mere bite of one and another . . . which one tastes better? Soon a mountain of food piled on a plate awaits our tingling fingers and salivating palates. At the table it all tastes alike because we mix it together, or at lest stack it in close proximity.

We know to avoid all those fried foods with crusts. Instead of fried chicken, we can choose chicken with broccoli, and for being good we can select one high-calorie food we’ve been craving. The broccoli cancels the calories.

Soup isn’t too bad. A cup of egg drop soup, if it isn’t loaded with chicken fat, may have as few as 100-120 calories. It is definitely a better appetizer than an egg roll, which may have 200-300 calories. Since we’re craving the crisp taste of something chewable, let’s try a spring roll, which supposedly has half the calories of an egg roll.

Who isn’t in a hurry these days? Sometimes we don’t like to spend time ordering food and waiting for it. This Chinese buffet has to be an improvement over fast food, right? Hurried travelers and business people often find Chinese buffets practical solutions for the problem of obtaining a quick lunch. Let us remember though that we don’t have time to go back and get a second or third plate of food.

The Great Wall Buffet, 2005 Lamar Street, Sweetwater, TX 79556, is a typical Chinese buffet restaurant. I honestly don’t see much difference in most of the Chinese buffets I’ve visited throughout the South.

One of the popular buffets in Ruston, LA, is Peking Restaurant, 1300 North Vienna Street. It has improved. Sometimes it features fresh, tasty sushi at the end of the buffet line. There’s something about all that food that is addictive. Plate after plate, we consume it until the waiter comes and offers a serving of ice cream.

Ruston now has a leaner alternative: Teriyaki Grill, 1913 E. Kentucky Ave. #6, Ruston, LA 71270. We can order Asian food, freshly prepared and not go back for seconds. At the restaurant’s website there are pictures of beautiful food, low in caloires and ample with proteins . . . but what about the sodium content?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eating at the Airport

One of the most entertaining ways to occupy time when I have to occupy an airport is to find something to eat. It’s important to take the food to a place near the gate for the pending flight. Occasionally there are places close enough to allow me to sit at a table, but more often than not it is prudent to sit in a chair and nurse carry-on luggage, along with food and drink.

Boarding a plane on Hollywood Avenue in Shreveport, LA, I learned two valuable lessons. First, liquids are not to be purchased before checking in at security. If there’s not enough time to eat in a civilized manner, it is better to check in and walk to the inside section. Two food counters are in this airport.The one outside the security check place seems more appealing. I think it may have more choices on the menu. It’s possible to buy a sandwich out there and take it through security, then buy a drink at the inside place.

The sandwiches at the Tailwinds are mouthwateringly delicious, the employees are pleasant, and the dining areas have an inviting ambiance. The entire airport has fascinating paintings on the walls. There is one problem though. It seems to take forever to cook a hot sandwich there.

The food service in DFW is quite different. Because the airport restrateurs are accustomed to seeing people run from gate to gate with the boarding places changing frequently, the cooks don’t dally around. Cousin’s B-B-Q, for example, can provide a delicious meal in a flash.

Monday, June 09, 2014

What's Great at McAlister's Now

When my friends and family go with me to McAlister’s, I order the same meal every time until something even tastier comes along. My favorite was the veggie spud until the Savannah chopped salad entered my life. By the way, men like salads; they find the Savannah chopped irresistible.

According to the McAlister’s website, A Savannah chopped salad consists of sliced, grilled chicken breast, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, honey roasted almonds, tomatoes and cucumbers. Chef's dressing selection: Sherry Shallot.

Calories: 440, Total Fat: 16 g, Total Carbohydrates 43 g, Dietary Fiber 11 grams, Protein 32 grams, 11 Weight Watchers Plus Points.

A typical conversation goes like this:
“Do you want to go to McAlister’s”
Such a conversation means without saying:
“It’s time we had another Savannah chopped salad.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”

We’ve indulged in this salad at 1202 Pecanland Road, Monroe, LA 71203; also at 1671 E 70th St, Shreveport, LA 71105. The salad always tastes the same, which is somewhat wonderful, and the salad dressing is always on my mind.

Many more salads await us, but this first one we tried is so good we haven't been able to move on.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A fellow author reviews Secret Promise

Having a fellow author compliment something I wrote is a gratifying experience. Kathy McKinsey, a sensitive writer who has written some family novellas, reviewed Secret Promise:

Secret Promise. Delightful. Heart wrenching.

Mary offers us both in this gripping story from Mississippi in the early 1900s. Jake and Caroline struggle with tragedy and sorrow, and wrestle through ups, downs, and twists before they find joy, love, and a sweet relationship with God.

Kathy McKinsey

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Cheatin’ Wife

Jameson Gregg through his clever writing is helping me lose weight.


I suspected my wife was fooling around behind my back. Recently, I found smoking-gun evidence and she confessed. Suspicion confirmed.

The trouble all started when she watched Oprah on TV one afternoon. I cringe when she watches Oprah. Some new diet or exercise regimen is always in my near future.

Sure enough, she announced we were going on the “clean gut” diet. The next day, Kroger’s produce section must have gone barren because our kitchen counters were laden with red, green, and yellow vegetables of all shapes and sizes. Full sink, cutting boards, boiling pots and whirring blenders. The place smelled like a bomb exploded in a cabbage patch.

I gagged on the spinach “milkshakes” and that left only veggie soup – no meat. After a few days of this torture, my legs were wobbly. Stars filled my eyes when I stood. The rabbit that nibbles my grass in the morning was eating better than I was.

I grew lethargic and shed pounds like water through your fingers, symptoms that my wife mysteriously seemed to avoid. Being the faithful husband, I carried on nonetheless.

She announced we were switching to the “pre-surgery” diet, something she lifted from a magazine.

“Why do we need the pre-surgery diet,” I protested, “when we have no surgeries planned?”

“That’s beside the point,” she explained. “It’s for rapid weight loss before surgery and it’ll be good for us, trust me.”

I became delirious from hunger. Cloudy thinking. Couldn’t remember where I put things. Lost favorite baseball cap. Looked in her car and BOOM! The smoking gun – an empty Wendy’s bag!

I grabbed it and confronted her. “What vulgarity have you inflicted upon your body? Have you been two-timing me?”

“Oh that. Goodness, I forgot to throw that away. I was running errands and my blood sugar got down on me [translation: she got hungry] so I had to grab something quickly, that’s all. Wendy’s was the closest thing.”

Culinary infidelity in the first degree. Furious, I stormed out and hightailed it to Wendy’s. I was in critical condition by then. Dizzy, I walked hangdog to the counter and could barely concentrate. Somehow, I rattled off “triple cheeseburger, large fries, and sweet tea.” Never had a triple in my life.

Meat and cheese, grease and ketchup, oh my. I instantly felt better. My vigorous, clear-thinking old self was back. Endorphins flowed like the chocolate Frosty that seeped into the cracks and crevices of my stomach. I clicked my heels in the air as I exited.

After that coming out, I went on a vicious eating binge to show my wife that two can play the game. Cheeseburgers, fried chicken, French fries, fried this, fried that. I went on a true pre-surgery diet – the open-heart variety. I’m happy to report we are back on a “normal” diet. I have forgiven her for her indiscretion.

Stop the presses, Oprah is back on TV!

Jameson Gregg Author
PUBLICATION: Dahlonega Nugget, The (GA)

SECTION: News, page 4A

DATE: April 16, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review of Luck Be a Chicken: The Gizzards of Wrath

Jameson Gregg mixes raw realism and compassion with brazen satire in Luck Be A Chicken: A Comic Novel. He paints the rough side of life with comic relief. Farce and embellishment live on the top drawer of his humor toolbox.

The sensory impact, the humor when it is least expected, and the nail-biting anxiety propel the rapid turning of pages to the end. This book digs into the inner core of some unsavory elements of society. As a result, certain events portrayed and the language spoken may disturb some. Delving into the minds of rough characters can be shocking.

Jameson holds a cracked mirror in front of us. Somewhere, some piece of us all is in there, and we wish it weren't. For example, Butterbean Sweat and his dumpling wife Ruby rely on junk food to comfort them. Bean's boss is a perverted, white-collar criminal who doesn't care if his chickens kill people—profit is king.

Let’s not lie to ourselves and pretend chicken plants don’t exist. Although Jameson places the reader inside the plant, he does so with a comedic touch and doesn't smother the reader with grossness as Upton Sinclair did in exposing deplorable conditions in meat packing plants in 1906. Jameson portrays substandard practices in a fictional plant but doesn’t imply that all or even most chicken processing operations are substandard. The compassion Jameson shows for the less fortunate in our society will remind readers of John Steinbeck. With a backdrop of humor, Gregg questions whether hardships are caused by poor personal choices or oppression of evil men.

The deer hunt brought back fond memories of Faulkner’s great short story, “Race at Morning.”

This humorist tramps out a twenty-first century version of the gizzards of wrath. He doesn't turn his eyes away from the segments of humanity lacking coping skills.

A highly entertaining read from a most-talented author.