Archive for May, 2010

Memorial Day

May 31, 2010

On the west side of the Greve river, approximately 7.5 miles south of Florence, Italy, set against a backdrop of hills dense with London Plane trees, headstones belonging to 4,402 American Military Dead stand on 70 acres of foreign soil. Pine, cypress, willow, oak and cedar trees enclose the section along with oleander, crepe myrtle and laurel-cherry shrubs.
A bridge set between the cemetery office and the visitor’s center at the entrance to the cemetery leads us to row after row of crosses and stars of David. The cemetery is hushed except for the occasional rustle of a leaf or a bird’s fragment of song. We wander among the headstones that bear the names and dates of birth of the servicemen and women who were lost to friends, loved ones and our nation. Here and there, we see a pebble placed on a stone; a way to say “We are here. We came to see you. We will never forget you.”
Americans, traveling through the area, stop at the cemetery, on the west side of the Via Cassia, a major highway that links Florence with Rome and Sienna, to pay their respects to the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. The majority died in the fighting that occurred after the liberation of Rome in June 1944 and during the fierce battles in the Apennines right before the end of the war.
The cemetery is one of 14 permanent memorials built by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The site (liberated on August 3, 1944 by the South African 6th Armored Division) and the stone used to construct the chapel and headstones was supplied by Italy.
On the highest of three terraces located in back of the burial site are two open sections partially enclosed by walls; to the east is the American flag. Tablets of the Missing, constructed of Travertine stone, connect the two sections. Visitors barely breathe as they read the Baveno granite panels; on the tablets are inscribed the names of 1,409 Americans (United States Army and Air Forces and the United States Navy) who died in our nation’s service and rest in nameless graves. They came from every state in our union but Alaska and Hawaii.
Men study the north section’s west wall where two marble operations maps tell the story of the American Forces in the area. Inscriptions in English and Italian provide an explanation for the maps and the military operations. A forecourt at the south end of the tablets leads to a marble and mosaic chapel; a place to meditate and pray for the peace represented in a sculpture that rests on a pylon.
The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm from April 16 to September 30 and from 8:00am to 5:00pm from October 1 to April 15. Staff members in the visitors’ building will accompany family members to the graves and memorial sites.


The DayAfter My Blog

May 29, 2010

Spent yesterday happily reading comments about my Scene Stealer blogs on If anyone missed them they’re still on the site. Today, I’m slacking off a bit. Bit of writing, bit of reading and changing the closets to welcome summer.

Scene Stealer Excerpt Chap. 1

May 28, 2010

After a chance encounter on the subway, Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired schoolteacher living in New York City, is determined to help the police in the search for missing 9-year-old child actor Kevin Corcoran.

     I must have been staring at the child. They were such an unlikely pair: the boy clean and neatly dressed, the man unkempt. For a moment our eyes met; his were frightened, seeking help. Or was it my old lady’s imagination gone wild? No, I understood children. All those years of teaching elementary school, I knew this child was afraid. The man seated next to the boy nudged him and the child lowered his eyes. As usual, the Broadway/Seventh Avenue local at Sheridan Square was crowded; I stood to one side to allow passengers to exit but the man pushed his way on, dragging the child behind him. A new rush of passengers hid them from my sight when the subway stopped at 14th Street. Such a darling boy; why did he seem familiar? Of course! The child was the spitting image of that little tyke in the Cowboy Bob’s Big, Bad Burger commercial. The commercial where the boy, dressed in chaps and a ten-gallon hat, twirls a rope and dances a hoedown with animated French-fried potatoes. Big blue eyes and a warm smile people returned. But this adorable child wasn’t smiling.

Scene Stealer will be launched June 28

Scene Stealer

May 27, 2010

“For a moment our eyes met; his were frightened, seeking help. Was it my imagination gone wild? No. After all those years of teaching elementary school, I knew this child was afraid.”

After a chance encounter on the subway, Miss Augusta Weidenmaier, a retired schoolteacher living in New York’s Greenwich Village, is determined to help the police in the search for missing nine-year-old child actor Kevin Corcoran. Never mind that she has no training in law enforcement—she spent decades teaching. She knows when someone is lying.

Once set upon a course of action, the indomitable Miss Weidenmaier cannot be swayed—or intimidated. Facing down megalomaniacal business executives, stuck-up celebrities, pushy stage mothers and a rabble-rousing talk show host, Miss Weidenmaier will stop at nothing—not even the disapproval of one Lieutenant Brown of the NYPD, who does not take kindly to amateur sleuthing—to bring young Kevin home.
To learn more about my mystery, Scene Stealer, check out my posts at tomorrow, Friday, May 28.
Don’t forget to leave a comment. One digital copy of Scene Stealer will be given away to a blog commentator, a twitter commentator and a facebook commentator.

A Bright Smile

May 25, 2010

Spent the morning at the dentist. Not the most cheery event in my day. But now it’s over for six months and I can look forward to blogging on the Carina Press website next Monday-the last day of the month and smile when I introduce Miss Augusta Weidenmaier and her fellow characters in my cozy mystery titled Scene Stealer.

Seasonal Foods

May 22, 2010

Springtime into summertime. Time for strawberries, blueberries, potato salad and cole slaw. Long walks (in between writing, of course,) summer reading and subway rides to the park. Best of all – Scene Stealer will be released on June 28. Yat for the merry month of June.


May 18, 2010

Spent the morning trying to set my first website. A bit difficult for this non-techie. By the time Scene Stealer is published by Carina Press, I expect to know a good deal more about the tech side of life Photos, blogs, and socializing. It’s an adventure.

Time Out

May 11, 2010

Took a morning break. Lord & Taylor had a sale and I tried on three suits. the first two jackets seemed to be proportioned for size 38 E, the third jacket fit but the pants were about eight inches too long. did buy a pair of slippers and a book for a friend, a bio about Artie Shaw. Stopped at Barnes & Noble to learn about their nook and Best Buy to learn about eReaders in general. If there are any experts reading this –  let me know what you think ab out the Readers..

On My Way

May 10, 2010

Just received the final cover and banners for Scene Stealer. Looks terrific. Publication by Carina Press will be in June. Excitement reigns.


May 2, 2010

Carina Press has begun its countdown. Authors are being introduced and June 7 begins publication. Look for new titles and authors on