I don’t know how many of you have seen the gold star license plates but all states have a version of these which can be applied for either online or at the DMV. Being as it’s Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d share these in case you hadn’t heard of them. These are license plates for the cars of family who have lost an immediate family member while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The family member can be a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild or even stepparent or stepchild.  The family members allowed such were created by the same law that created the Gold Star lapel button which is 10 U.S. Code Section 1126. I am posting it here in its entirety in case any readers qualify.

Here is also a sampling of the plates.

10 U.S.C. § 1126 : US Code – Section 1126: Gold star lapel button: eligibility and distribution

(a) A lapel button, to be known as the gold star lapel button, shall be designed, as approved by the Secretary of Defense, to identify widows, parents, and next of kin of members of the armed forces – (1) who lost their lives during World War I, World War II, or during any subsequent period of armed hostilities in which the United States was engaged before July 1, 1958; (2) who lost or lose their lives after June 30, 1958 – (A) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (B) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (C) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party against an opposing armed force; or (3) who lost or lose their lives after March 28, 1973, as a result of – (A) an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of Defense; or (B) military operations while serving outside the United States (including the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States) as part of a peacekeeping force. (b) Under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary concerned, upon application to him, shall furnish one gold star lapel button without cost to the widow and to each parent and next of kin of a member who lost or loses his or her life under any circumstances prescribed in subsection (a). (c) Not more than one gold star lapel button may be furnished to any one individual except that, when a gold star lapel button furnished under this section has been lost, destroyed, or rendered unfit for use without fault or neglect on the part of the person to whom it was furnished, the button may be replaced upon application and payment of an amount sufficient to cover the cost of manufacture and distribution. (d) In this section: (1) The term “widow” includes widower. (2) The term “parents” includes mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, mother through adoption, father through adoption, and foster parents who stood in loco parentis. (3) The term “next of kin” includes only children, brothers, sisters, half brothers, and half sisters. (4) The term “children” includes stepchildren and children through adoption. (5) The term “World War I” includes the period from April 6, 1917, to March 3, 1921. (6) The term “World War II” includes the period from September 8, 1939, to July 25, 1947, at 12 o’clock noon. (7) The term “military operations” includes those operations involving members of the armed forces assisting in United States Government sponsored training of military personnel of a foreign nation. (8) The term “peacekeeping force” includes those personnel assigned to a force engaged in a peacekeeping operation authorized by the United Nations Security Council. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/10/A/II/57/1126#sthash.gFlY7eiL.dpuf
Posted by: Author | May 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday 

 Photo by Tara Tew Cartledge 5/19/2015 

Posted by: Author | May 18, 2015

Tuesday Tales- May 19, 2015- Picture Prompt

This week, for Tuesday Tales, we have a picture prompt and since in my current WIP, I have already used egg sandwich when we had the word sandwich, I decided to write a little piece of flash fiction for this week’s photo. We are only allowed to use 300 words so it’s very short. I hope you enjoy it as it was fun to write. Be sure to check out the other tales here. 11238228_10205461898365686_2531796307751873399_n

Badge for TT - very small

Bacon and eggs

The bell over the door of the diner tinkled announcing a customer. Tom, the short-order cook, didn’t look up. He was tired of glancing at the door and being disappointed. If only she’d come. Desperate to see her again, he forced himself to focus on the pancakes on the griddle and the sausages in the pan. Keeping everything going at the same time was a challenge when he first came to work at the hole in the wall joint. It wasn’t what he was used to but it was honest work.


He couldn’t believe it. It must be his imagination. Was it really her voice? One word—his name—and he recognized it?

Afraid to turn around and have his hopes dashed, he ignored the sound and kept his attention on the food orders.


There it was again. His broken heart must be working overtime to taunt him. He could swear it was her but she was gone. She’d left him long ago. He’d even moved and gotten a job in a place she’d never think to search for him. It wouldn’t be her if he looked. He was sure of it.

“Tom. Please.”

Inhaling deeply, he turned to face the person who relentlessly spoke his name.

Stunned to see the woman he loved and lost, he couldn’t find words. He stared in amazement.

“I’ve found you at last.” She smiled and held her hand out. “Won’t you come home?”

“But you said you couldn’t love me.”

“I was wrong. I see that now.” She stared at the griddle. “What you’ve done is beautiful.”

“I have learned not to burn the bacon and scald the eggs.”

“Please come home. I never meant you to leave. I only wanted you to learn to cook.”

Posted by: Author | May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday


Posted by: Author | May 11, 2015

Tuesday Tales – May 12, 2015 – Twenty

This week’s word is twenty. I’m still working on the snowed in story and I know you all have to be as tired of it as I am. LOL  – Anyhow, here’s this week’s snippet.  Be sure to read the other fabulous writers here. 

Badge for TT - very small

A noise at the door startled Ian awake. Pressing down on the end of his watch to light up the face, he peered down at the time. He couldn’t believe it had only been twenty minutes since they’d gone to bed. He must have been really beat since it seemed as if he’d been asleep for hours.

Ian heard the noise again. He sat up and tilted his head toward the door. It sounded almost like something scratching at the wood but he knew there were no rats or other creatures in the building. Simon was meticulous about those things and the health department was as well.

The sound came again. Ian couldn’t believe he was the only one to hear the noise. Simon and Lanett seemed to be comatose they were sleeping so hard.

In a few seconds, the doorknob turned slowly. Ian didn’t move. He was curious about who would be creeping in and wanted to give them a chance to show themselves before he alerted them to the fact that he was awake and onto them.

Suddenly curious about why Simon believed the front of the bar would be safe with both owners in the back, Ian thought twice about being quiet. He knew the money from the register was in this room locked in the safe but what if the person coming in had a gun?

He opened his mouth to call out for Simon but before he could say a word, his brother knelt beside him holding a hand up as if to halt any sound. Ian stayed quiet.

The door inched open, letting out a tiny noise. When the sound entered the room, the door stopped moving. Whoever was behind the stealthy entry must have decided to wait a moment to determine if anyone was awake and listening. It took a few moments for the door to move again.

When it did, Ian wasn’t surprised to see Nancy come creeping in. Simon put a hand on Ian’s upper arm as if to hold him back.

Ian’s gut was screaming at him to protect Lanett but when Nancy turned her head toward his cot, Simon ducked and pulled Ian into a supine position.

Getting the message he thought Simon was sending him, Ian pretended to be asleep even as he peered out of his half-opened eyes to see what she was going to do.

Posted by: Author | May 8, 2015

Friday Facts- May 8, 2015- V. E. Day

Seventy years ago today was Victory in Europe Day. May 8, 1945 was when the Allies accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender. The end of WWII in Europe. We still had a way to go to whip Japan but the European part of the quest for peace was over.

Hitler had killed himself on April 30 and so his successor was the one to actually surrender. Betcha don’t know his name. He got brushed over by history and I often wonder what role he really played in the whole thing (he was a submarine commander) since he was only sentenced to ten years at the Nuremberg trials for war crimes. His name was Karl Donitz. He was president of Germany from April 30, 1945 (appointed so in Hitler’s will) to May 23, 1945. The man always denied any knowledge of what was happening to the Jewish people and said he only dealt with U-boats and the Navy but you have to wonder, don’t you? Being as he was named as successor to Hitler by Hitler himself.

Lots of parties in the streets marked this day in 1945 and who could blame them? The war years took a toll on the people of all the nations and now was the time to begin to move past it and rebuild lives as best they could. Lots of loss of life in this war and most every family was touched by the death of loved ones.

Wars are terrible but it seems mankind can’t stay out of them.  Would that we could.  What a wonderful world it would be.

Posted by: Author | May 6, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

2014-08-15 09.50.41

Posted by: Author | May 4, 2015

Tuesday Tales- May 5, 2015- Sandwich

Today’s word on Tuesday Tales is sandwich. This was an easy one to put in since I’d had my characters drinking in a bar and now they are snowed in and need to be fed and find spots to sleep. Don’t forget the other writers who have tackled this word this week.  Check them out here.

Badge for TT - very small

“Seriously, what are we going to do? I know you were teasing earlier about the carpet but I’m so exhausted I might be tempted to pull up a corner of it and pass out.”

“I was thinking you could take the couch in Simon’s office.”

Simon walked up at that moment. “You selling my bed to the highest bidder?” He asked.

“You could say that,” Lanett smiled.

“I confess that earlier this evening I was planning to put the ladies in the office and the lads out here when it was time to sleep. I’ve changed my mind now though since the only two ladies left are you and that vixen that works with Ian. It would be too dangerous to put the two of you in there alone.” Simon turned to Ian. “I think you’ll have to go in with them to keep the peace.”

“That sounds like a terrible plan,” Lanett said. “Clearly Nancy has some gripe with Ian and she sure doesn’t like me either. I think we’d be safer out here with the entire group.”

“But there’s a nice couch in there and I have a cot in the closet as well. You’d be more comfortable there than out here.” Simon touched her arm. “Won’t you consider it?”

“No. Sorry. I can’t.” She shook her head.

“Very well, then, let’s get everyone a little something in their stomach besides liquor and then I’ll pass out what blankets I have on hand.”

“What are we going to feed them?” Ian asked.

“The easiest thing to whip up is an egg sandwich,” Simon said. “I probably have several dozen eggs in the refrigerator and a number of types of bread.”

“I’ll help.” Lanett offered.

This may or not be a fact since my research shows a couple of different origins for the tradition of foot and hand prints of stars  in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  I’ve always heard it was Norma Talmadge, a star of the silent movies in the 1920s. She accidentally stepped in the wet concrete when it was being poured in front of the building. As I was getting this post ready, I found other explanations but most of them were on wikipedia so, who knows, right?  Anyway, I think it’s cool.

When I was in LA, I went to the theater, of course, and got some pictures of these markings. It’s kind of interesting how small some people’s feet are.

Here are a few pictures from when I went (not the one of Norma, of course) – I DID think I got a few shots of women’s feet but I guess not.  LOL

Posted by: Author | April 30, 2015

Special Guest- M.V. Freeman! What’s your Kryptonite?

The second book in my friend’s series is out.  She has an awesome post for us!  Check it out AND her new book out this week.  Thanks for popping in, M.V.

What is your Kryptonite?

We all have something we can’t seem to live without. It is at once our weakness and our strength.

It’s no secret, mine is coffee.  I love it. Have to have it. Sure, I can live without it but I’m grumpy. I’ll make a point of looking for a good cup every morning. I will also work for coffee…wait, I’m a writer that’s a given.

Now, like I said *everyone* has something.   Maybe it’s collecting shoes, or clothes, some love purses, or jewelry.  How about cars? I know everyone knows someone who can rattle details about engines.

But, our “kryptonite” the one thing we adore—can take a darker bent. Do you remember Sex in the City show?  In that series, the Carrie adored shoes (and clothes). How many times did she have to juggle to make ends meet because she just *had* to have that pair of shoes.

For me, if I drink too much coffee I get shakey, can’t sleep, and I am unable to focus. This is *not* pleasant. So, I never drink *that* much. But sometimes-we all over indulge.

My heroine in the second book in my Hidden Races Series, “ILLUMINATION” –the darkling Mina, an odd and dangerous woman adores Cheetos and Cheeze-puffs. It’s her personal Kryptonite and she’s known to comb through her friend’s cabinets looking for it.

My hero, Xander, doesn’t care for snack foods. He really doesn’t’ have an addiction, but does like a nice Scotch. It’s still not on the level of Mina’s adoration of Cheeze-puffs. His Kryptonite is Mina. It’s because of her—that he makes a decision that will change his life forever.

Could you? Could you give up what you can’t seem to live without?

I’ll admit—I’ve given up coffee for a period of time. I can do it, but I don’t like it.  But it’s never changed my life forever either—well, unless I drink it after five p.m. and I end up awake at 1 a.m. (And I blame insomnia—basically it’s me.)

How about you; what is the one thing that will stop you in your tracks, and you WILL go out of your way to get it. Is it Ice-cream? Or like me Coffee? Maybe a t.v. show, or your own hero/heroine—what is YOUR Kryptonite?


Capricious and free-spirited, Mina Tepes is forever trying to intervene. Some would say she interferes. Her attempt to save a friend worsens a war already waging between her people, the Darks, and their reviled overlords, the Mages. Desperate, she turns to the man who saved her life as child–an enemy Mage named Xander. As part of the ruling class, Xander Fjordson should never have taken notice of Mina, but even as boy, one look into her large dark eyes and he was lost. As an adult, involvement with her has ripped his world to shreds. Though the war she unintentionally instigated has made them enemies, when she comes to him bleeding and injured, he is unable to say no. He puts at risk what is left of his status and his family as he follows her, knowing in the end he’d have to betray her. Together Xander and Mina begin to unravel terrible secrets as the war escalates. Soon Xander must choose: save his family or the woman who’s come to mean more to him than his own life.

Author Bio: M.V. Freeman lives in North Alabama. A nurse by day, at night she enjoys creating and exploring alternate worlds within our own. She gravitates toward stories of determined heroines and anti-heroes who push the boundaries as they both fight to find their light in the dark. M.V. is represented by Victoria Lea from The Aponte Literary Agency. Her award-winning and best-selling debut novel INCANDESCENT is the first in the Hidden Races Series. Currently she is working on the third book in the series, while plotting others. When not writing, she can be found reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.



Website: http://www.mvfreeman.com/

Simon & Schuster (pre-order links) http://bit.ly/1OscWoP


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About.me: https://about.me/mvfreeman

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