Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Facts About St. Louis

Hi Everyone,
I got this in an email so I don't know who the person is who actually looked up these facts. I thought it was cool and wanted to share :)
St. Louis History for you ..... Enjoy
We are the only ones to have Crab Rangoon and gooey butter cake too! 
St Louis thin crust pizza is the best!

St. Louis , MO
The St. Louis area encompasses several Illinois counties which include St. Louis in their newscasts and weather.

Most people in this vicinity are diehard Cardinals fans. Cubs fans tend to live north of Springfield , with exception.

The late Harry Caray, one time voice of the Cubs, started his baseball broadcast career with the St. Louis Cardinals (why he left St. Louis and how he wound up in Chicago is another story) .

How much do you know about St. Louis ? Most of us know that St. Louis is called the Gateway to the West.

St. Louis is home to the world's largest brewery, Anheuser Busch.

Enjoy these St. Louis fun facts and learn a little more about this great city :

A.. St. Louisans consume more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in America .

B.. The first lung cancer operation and first lung transplants were performed in St.. Louis .

C.. The soft drink Dr Pepper was introduced at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis . 7-Up was invented in St. Louis .

D... St. Louis was the site of the demonic possession treated by a Jesuit priest from St. Louis University Theological, that inspired the book, and later the movie, "The Exorcist."

E.. The ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World's Fair. So was iced tea. Hot dogs and hamburgers were popularized to a wide audience at the Fair.

F.. St. Louis was once the largest shoe-manufacturing center in the world -- home of Buster Brown and other famous brands.

G.. The largest collection of mosaic art in the world graces the walls and ceilings at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in the Central West End neighborhood.

H.. St. Louis is home to the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River - Saint Louis University .

I.. Hawken Rifles and Murphy wagons, used by the western pioneers, were made in St. Louis ..

J.. The cocktails, Planter's Punch, Martini, Bloody Mary, and Tom Collins,were invented at a St.. Louis hotel, the Planter's House.

K.. The custom of placing chocolates on hotel pillows began in St. Louis when the actor, Cary Grant stayed at the Mayfair and used chocolate to woo a woman friend.

L.. The first Jewish congregation west of the Mississippi was founded in St. Louis , as was the first library west of the Mississippi ..

M.. Famous writers including T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, William Gass, Tennessee Williams, Eugene Field and many others were from St. Louis ..

N.. The Missouri Botanical Garden is among the top three botanical gardens in the world.

O.. The first ironclad boat was built by James Buchanan Eads in the Port of St. Louis . Eads also invented the diving bell to salvage steamboat wrecks from the Mississippi River and built the first bridge using steel truss construction - the 1874 Eads Bridge ..

P.. St. Louis offers more free, major visitor attractions than anyplace outside of the nation's capital, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Cahokia Mounds, Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis Science Center , Missouri History Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Grant's Farm and more.

Q.. The first kindergarten in the U.S. was founded in St. Louis by Susan Blow.

R.. Peanut Butter was invented in St. Louis on a visit from George Carver.

S.. Famous musicians including Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Albert King, David Sanborn, Michael McDonald, (The Doobie Brothers) were from St. Louis . Missouri native Sheryl Crowe taught school in St. Louis ..

T.. St. Louis was the first American city to host the Olympic Games (1904).

U.. Famous contemporary actors including John Goodman, Kevin Kline and Scott Bakula were born in St. Louis . Other famous actors and entertainers including Josephine Baker, Betty Grable, Vincent Price, Buddy Ebsen, Redd Foxx, Shelly Winters, Virginia Mayo, Marsha Mason and many others also called St. Louis home.

V.. The Mercury and Gemini space capsules were built in St. Louis by McDonnell Douglas - now Boeing.

W.. The world's first skyscraper - Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building - was built in 1897 in St. Louis ..

X.. Charles Lindbergh flew mail routes into St. Louis and named his plane "Spirit of St. Louis " to thank the businessmen who provided financial backing for his solo Atlantic flight in 1927.

Y.. The nation's first interstate highway was constructed in St. Louis ..

Z.. The Gateway Arch - at 630 feet - is the nation's tallest man-made monument.

AA.. The Mississippi River runs 2,350 miles from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico . The word " Mississippi " comes from the Anishinabe people (Ojibwe Indians). They called the river "Messipi" which means " Big River ." The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a navigation channel nine feet deep in the center of the river.

BB.. The bread slicer was invented in St. Louis circa 1900.

CC.. The 2nd professional fire dept in the USA was started in St. Louis in 1850. ( Cincinnati , Ohio started the first 2 years prior)

DD.. Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee both served as new West Point officers at St Louis ..

EE.. Jefferson Barracks, still open as reserve base, with museums & park, is the second largest military cemetery in the U.S. and was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War with 25,000 killed.

A few added facts:
Pork steaks, the number one choice of backyard barbecues, originated in St. Louis .

Cork Ball originated in St. Louis .

St. Louis is the original home of blues music.
And toasted ravoli!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blackbeard's Treasure -- EXCERPT

Available at:


Edward Teach, better known as the pirate Blackbeard, was killed November 22, 1718. Two months before, he purposely ran his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, aground at what is now called Beaufort Inlet.

He emptied the ship of all treasures into his other ship, The Tender, and fled to where nobody knows. Two months later, when he reappeared, he was killed in battle, and his body was tossed into the ocean. To this day, nobody knows where the treasure went.

Legend has it his headless body swam around the boat several times before stopping. Legends also say that his headless ghost roams the beaches looking for his head , always with the same result. No treasure ghost roams the beaches looking for his head.

For years, people have searched high and low for his treasure. It has been said that Blackbeard said nobody but he and the devil knew where it was located.

Chapter One

Cassie Andrews packed her green 2011 convertible Camaro and left her beloved beach house in San Diego to go to Branson, Missouri to empty out her grandfather’s house. Sadly, he had recently passed away. She was the only living family member so it was all left up to her. Not that she hadn’t loved her grandfather, but she wasn’t looking forward to spending months in Branson. She loved the beach.

The drive was going to be long and boring but there was no alternative as she would need her car when she arrived. Besides, she loved hearing those ponies roar from her v8 engine and feel the wind in her hair. Cassie drove for days, stopping over at little motels, until she pulled into her grandfather’s house late that Saturday night.

Cassie got out of her car, popped the trunk and grabbed her bags. I am going straight to bed, she thought. The house was dark but when she unlocked the door and walked in and flipped the switches, the lights came on. That was a relief. The electric hadn’t been disconnected. She took a quick look around. Everything was a bit dusty since it had been a month since her grandfather passed away. It took time to get things in order for her to be able to come out and take care of everything.

She hurriedly undressed and stepped in the shower for a quick rinse off and then went to bed. She had a lot to do in the morning.


Cassie was in the kitchen making coffee when a knock came at the back door. She walked over and opened the door to a dark haired muscular man wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt, holding a file full of papers. He looked to be around thirty. His gray eyes shone.

“Can I help you?” Cassie said.

“Hi. You must be Cassie,” he said as he held out his hand.

“Yes and you are?”

“Levi Williams. My father asked me to bring by these papers. He got caught up in meetings. It’s the deed to the house and the copy of your grandfather’s will. Everything you need should be here.”

“Thanks. Come on in and I’ll get you a cup of coffee.”

He walked in behind her. “So what’s your plan? Are you moving here?”

Cassie turned around and tried not to laugh. “Oh no. I can’t live here. I have a beach house back in San Diego calling my name. I’m going to go through everything in the house and sell what I can then donate the rest. Anything that doesn’t fit into those groups I’ll take to the local dump. I hope to have it all tied up within a month or two.”

“Well if you need help with anything just let me know. I work for my father and he told me to help you out with whatever you need. He was friends with your grandfather.”

“That’s great. I’m going to take you up on that offer. Would you like some breakfast?”

Levi rubbed his midriff. “I just felt my stomach grumble. I left before breakfast, so, yeah. If you don’t mind.”

She opened the refrigerator door. “Well, I’m surprised. I was a mite hasty, inviting you for breakfast – I really didn’t know what…”

“Oh, my father made sure the house was fully stocked for when you arrived.”

Cassie made eggs, bacon and bagels. She didn’t always get a chance to have lunch in her busy schedule so she usually made sure to have a good breakfast. While everything cooked she poured them both a glass of orange juice.

As they sat down to eat, Levi asked, “So what do you do back in San Diego?”

“I’m a diving instructor. I teach three classes a day in the ocean.”

“Wow. Really? I love to dive. Around here we only get to dive in lakes though. I would love to go diving in the Pacific. I plan to take a vacation one of these days and try it out.”

“You would love it and if you’re ever in San Diego, look me up. I’ll show you all the great spots.” She stood up. “I need to get started on this place.”

After Levi left Cassie walked around the house, making a list of what would be auctioned off and what would be given away. Her grandfather owned the house for years and it was full of stuff when he bought it from an estate sale. He never took the time to go through the previous owner’s belongings. He always said it gave the house character. Cassie sighed. She had no idea how many generations of character would be up in the attic.

She walked up the stairs to the attic and when she opened the door the sight almost made her want to hurry back to San Diego immediately.

Boxes were stacked from the floor to the ceiling and the entire room was covered in dust. She was going to need a lot of trash bags for this job.


Cassie spent hours going through boxes in the attic, throwing things away right and left. She had never seen so much junk in one house. It was unreal how many years of things were stored in the house, and to think that her grandfather had no interest in going through this stuff.

She picked up a small, rusted metal box, its hinges barely still in place. She started to throw it away but could tell it wasn’t empty. Inside, an old book with brown tattered binding grabbed her attention. Cassie sat on one of the boxes and looked through the book, an old diary. Who it belonged to or when it was written, she didn’t know, but soon became lost as she read:

My mother died today and even though I have my wonderful husband, my mother was my whole life. The only way I know how to cope with my loss is to write my thoughts down in this journal.

The words brought a tear to Cassie’s eye as she thought of her parents, who died in a car accident years earlier. She could feel the pain of the person that penned those words as she missed her own mother dearly. She closed the book and carried it downstairs. She’d been in the attic for hours cleaning and was starting to get hungry. The diary seemed interesting and she planned to read some more of it later.

She fixed a grilled cheese sandwich and some tomato soup. As she sat at the table eating, she couldn’t resist the urge and opened the diary.

The only thing I know about my father is what my mother has told me over the years. Although I never met him he sounded like a great man. I am proud to know that my father, Edward Teach, was a well-known fisherman and worked hard his entire life before dying in a fishing accident. My mother must have loved him more than anything. I remember visiting his grave at the small wooden church every day
It wasn’t until later that I learned my mother actually had the church built in honor of my father, a place for her to visit him. To know a love that unconditional was a gift to me. I wish I had known my father. He must have done well with his fishing because my mother never had to worry about money. I was blessed to have a house to live in and food in my stomach.

Cassie closed the diary and went to her bedroom and laid it on the bedside table. She had too much to do right now to get interested in a story. Levi would be here in a day or two to pick up things she was donating to charity.


Cassie made several calls throughout the day, planning the estate auction for the furniture. She would have a good ole yard sale for all the smaller items. It would take way too long to auction off every little thing in twelve bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room and a full attic.

She didn’t necessarily care if the auction or yard sale made any money because she knew that the sale of the house would bring in a good sum. She already had a list of buyers interested, once it was emptied and cleaned. She couldn’t show it to anyone in this condition.

Cassie heard Levi’s car pull up. “You’re just in time,” she said as she opened the door. I’m about to start dinner.”

“Well how about I take you out instead?” he said.

Cassie glanced down at her dusty clothes and back to Levi. “Can I jump through a quick shower first?”

“Sure. I’ll just watch TV.”

She turned and ran up the stairs.

Minutes later, she was back, showered and shampooed, with her hair in a ponytail, and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Levi was wearing jeans so she figured they weren’t going anywhere fancy.

“So where are you taking me?” “To a steak house down the road It’s rustic but they have the best food in town. You’ll love it.”

“Sounds good.” She grabbed her purse from the counter. “Let’s go.”


After the waitress took their orders, Levi looked at Cassie and smiled. “So how’s the house cleaning coming along?”

“Too slow.” Cassie laughed. “I can’t believe my grandfather kept all that stuff. You know the history of that house?”

Levi shook his head. “It was there long before I was ever born. All I know is what my father told me. Apparently, it was empty for years and taxes weren’t paid on it so the house went up for sale on the courthouse square. Your grandfather bought it, and everything in it. Mainly because the city didn’t want to spend the money paying somebody to clean it out. They left that up to your grandfather. So he never cleaned it out either?” He chuckled.

The waitress brought their tea.

“It’s full of so much junk it’s unbelievable but I did find something kind of interesting, an old diary. I just glanced at the first few pages. So I don’t know who it belonged to, but the woman talks about her mother and father. She said her father was a famous fisherman named Edward Teach. It looks really old. Maybe it will be worth something to somebody.”

Levi looked confused. “That’s strange.”

“What is?”

“Well, the Edward Teach I’ve heard of wasn’t a fisherman. I remember from history lessons. Edward Teach was a pirate.”

Cassie laughed. “A pirate? That’s ridiculous.”

“No really. Ever heard of Blackbeard?”

“The name is vaguely familiar.”

Levi sat up and took a drink of his sweet tea. “I loved pirate stories when I was growing up. Story has it that Blackbeard was killed in action. His head was cut off.”


He nodded. “There are a ton of legends and stories. Movies are made all the time about Blackbeard and of course a lot of it is exaggerated, but the basic story is that he was a pirate and he buried his treasure and it was never found.”

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Marketing Your Ebook" Tips From Author Kelly Abell

Social Networking for Marketing Books
What have you got to lose?

In a word? Nothing. Setting up social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Plus, or all of the aforementioned websites is a great way to get your name in front of book buyers. How do you know if they will buy your book? You don’t, but I can guarantee you if they don’t know about it, they definitely won’t buy it.

The key to successfully using these sites is the make connections. Connect with writing groups in your genre, begin participating in discussions that have nothing to do with your book. DON’T SPAM about your book. Just begin to build relationships with people and discuss other books you’ve read, blog or tweet about the latest greatest movie, or something else that interests you. I’m a huge fan of Dancing With the Stars and I tweet about that all the time.

Make sure your profile says you are an author. A correctly worded profile will draw people to learn more about you. If you’ve won an award for a book or story, briefly state that. Don’t say anything untrue, but be sure to mention your accomplishments.

Once you’ve established connections on other topics and established some followers then begin to trickle things about your book. One liners that are of interest. Maybe it’s a piece of dialogue from your book that is particularly intriguing. I enjoy seeing those posts on the various websites and I’ve bought books because of them. Some examples of things I’ve seen are:

“What did she kill him?”
“Oh my God, he’s at the door. What do I do?”
“John, a credible doctor, just killed a woman on the operating table. What’s going to happen to him now?”

Those are just examples, but they are effective marketing bleeps about your book that might draw a reader to want to know more. Be sure to include your buy link so they can find you. What’s the point of getting someone interested and not leaving them a way to take advantage of that urge to satisfy that impulse buy.

Will you be an overnight success? No. But if your patient, a key to being a successful marketer, you will begin to see your followers build and your friendships grow and more readers will find you.

Good luck and I hope you find this information helpful as you begin to navigate the social networking waters in an effort to introduce a sea of readers to your work.

Kelly Abell
Author – Cursed, Episode 1 – The Hunters of the Cross Chronicles