Ghost Hunters Wanted!

I’m about a week behind on this, but apparently Syfy’s Ghost Hunters TV show is looking to replace three of their cast members.



Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, and Britt Griffith are all bowing out of the show. Why? Who knows. I won’t speculate. It’s none of my business.

Now Pilgrim Studios has posted a casting call looking for a new investigator.

I wouldn’t make a good ghost hunter. Actually this is more of my idea of ghost hunting…


After watching a scary movie, I make my hubby turn out all the lights as I cower under the covers, then snuggle close to him, hoping that if a ghost appears or serial killer breaks in, that he will be able to defend me, or at least keep them busy while I escape…with the kids…of course…





Yep, that about sums up what a chicken I really am.

BUT, my hubby would be an awesome ghost hunter. Here are some of his qualifications…

1. He’s been a correctional officer. He can keep a level head in stressful/unique situations.

2. He’s been in maintenance and HVAC. Something made a noise? More than likely it was a squeaky door, furnace, water heater, vent, window, etc. I’m thinking he would be great at debunking things.

3. He has stuff in common with the TAPS team members. He can talk plumbing with Jason and be scared of spiders with Steve.

4. He’s a good looking guy, a man’s man, prankster, team player…the list could go on and on…

Okay, so he is lacking on the actual ghost hunting side, but he’s a quick learner.

So, if you’re interested in the possibility of becoming a ghost hunter click on the Casting Call link above, better hurry though, the deadline to submit your application is June 13,2014. Then again, you could just let this one slide. The hubster already submitted his application 😉

I’ll leave you with a few fun ghost memes…











Dear Newspaper Delivery Person

Dear Newspaper Delivery Person,

One question…



When I signed up for newspaper delivery, I asked for my paper to be delivered on my driveway. It’s a double wide driveway, you can’t miss it, but for some reason, every Thursday and Sunday (the only days I get the paper), you seem to miss my driveway completely. Heck, it’s almost in my neighbors yard…

…hopefully I’m not accidentally stealing their newspaper…

…nope, I’m not…

…their paper is in their driveway…

Every Thursday and Sunday I start my day with a good ole game of ‘Find the Newspaper’. Most of the time I find it in the street, in the street gutter to be more precise. Sometimes it’s in the midget tree out by my curb…

…yep…there’s my paper…in a tree…

That won’t happen anymore though. I cut the tree down. Ha!

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to not have to walk to pajama wearing self the extra 2 feet to the street because you’ve thrown it on the sidewalk…

…the sidewalk in front of my house???

That would be too easy…the sidewalk in front of the neighbors house is much more welcoming…

So again I ask…why don’t you like me?

Maybe you think I’m fat and need to walk the extra few steps to the street to retrieve my paper….


Maybe it’s the vicious dog I don’t own that chases you down the street?


Do you not like the look of my home? Does it scare you? (Keep in mind, this was before we started remodeling).


Maybe my house is too colorful? (This isn’t quite what it will look like when we are finished…but isn’t it pretty! And so colorful!)


As far as I know there aren’t any obstacle courses or gates in front of my driveway that would make it difficult to throw a paper in it…unless of course you are afraid of an octopus…



Whatever the problem is, I’m sure we can work it out….right?












…maybe not…


McStubs Weekend Review

I don’t normally post about my life, because, honestly, it’s pretty uneventful. Today, though, I found myself wanting to share my super duper exciting life, just to give you a taste of a bloggers/writers/authors life. This past weekend was just too glamorous not to share…that was sarcasm…just in case my typing actually led you to believe otherwise…

Friday night started like most others…

Roomie (a.k.a. Twinkie) to Me:   What are going to do tonight?

Me to Twinkie:  The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world.

Well, that plan didn’t work out so well. I blame the kids(no reason behind it)…so, instead of taking over the world, we decided to run amok in the local mall! After spending WAY too much on clothes and other non essential things, such as make-up from one of those little kiosks that try to pull you in as you walk by…yeah…I hate them too. $40 poorer, but 4 eye shadows richer, I was finally able to walk away. Grrr.

I did manage to get an extra awesome b-day gift for my Twinkie! Check it out:


Twinkie FB post:  Holy Han Solo Batman! Can you say trip to the mall was a success? Absolutely thanks to my super awesome twinkie! O and I got new sunglasses! 

(Okay, so I added the ‘super awesome’ part, but she knows it’s true).

After that, it was back to home base to order pizza and greet the hubby. We decided a movie was in order. Twinkie rented Pompei with Kit Harrington, because well she likes…wait, more like she’s slightly obsessed with John Snow. She refuses to call him by his real name, ‘John Snow is a better name.’ (Her words not mine. I personally like the name Kit.)

Pompei Ranting: 3 out of 5 stars. It was okay. I never studied Pompei in school, so I had no idea what to expect. Yet, for some strange reason I knew the huge volcano they kept showing in the background was going to erupt. I like to think it was thanks to my sixth sense.  The action sequences were good. Kind of a predictable movie though, even knowing nothing about the history. Keifer Sutherland is in it. That was a plus. He plays a really good a$$hole. Trinity from the Matrix plays a mom, liked her character too. Kit did a decent job. I’d like to see more from him. He’s a good actor.

We finally went to bed around 1 am…I’m too old for that…ugh…

Saturday morning comes way too early. I roll out of bed, shower, and throw on some clothes. We’re working under the house today on the plumbing for our new tankless water heater! Joy!

I hate going under the house to work. It’s dark, it’s dank, and my roomie’s daughter swears there are dead bodies under there…


She might be right…who’s shoes are those???

We crawled under the house at 11 am. By 8-9 o’clock pm, I couldn’t stand to crawl under there any more, so the twinkie took my place to help out my poor hubby who didn’t have a tag out partner. In my defense, I’m bruised down my entire right side, from my ribs down to my calves. I’m the only one who bruised like this:


Yeah, I know, sexy picture eh? The hubby compared my bruises to the spots of a leopard. Rawr!

The hubby was finally able to crawl out from under the house around 1 am Sunday morning. The water heater still wasn’t done! We had to shower at my in-laws house. We all managed to fall into bed around 3 am. No church Sunday morning. Nope, that ain’t happening.

Now, Sunday was the hubster’s b-day. He once again worked on the water heater. He is a workaholic or gluten for punishment, either way. Luckily it didn’t take much more to FINALLY finish the installation of the awesome tankless water heater.

Much of the rest of the weekend went back to its usual run of the mill routine, with one exception.

Twinkie’s daughter was having a hard day on Sunday. Everything was a struggle. I could see Twinkie’s nerves were fried. I thought I would be nice and braid her daughter’s hair. All little girls like to have their hair played with, right? WRONG!!!!

I braided it nice and loose, but she DESPISED it. Twinkie, bless her heart made her daughter wear it the rest of the day. Telling her she would either start wearing her wear back to keep it out of her face or get it cut. Her daughter chose to have her hair cut. I couldn’t believe it! This is a girl who is constantly saying she doesn’t want her hair cut. Well my little braid changed all that.

She got it cut the next day. It was almost to the middle of her back, now it’s at her shoulders. Super Cute!!! Since she’s not my kids I won’t share pictures. Trust me though, it’s adorable!

So, how was your weekend?

Flashback Friday: Movie Edition!

The hubster and I have had a serious hankering to watch the movies when loved when we were kids, 80’s movies that is. So what movies were we itching to watch? 

My pick:



Who’s Da Master!? I am.

I thought this movie was awesome when I was a kid. I loved every single aspect of it, from the music to the fighting. I wanted to be Laura Charles a.k.a. Vanity. So pretty! I wanted to have my own rescuer like Leroy (Taimak). And even though Eddie Arkadian’s girlfriend, Angela was supposed to be annoying and untalented, she was awesome in my eyes. You had to be to put up with a jerk like Eddie. Leroy eventually beats down the bad guy, Sho’Nuff and gets the girl.

Rewatching it now, I still love it. I still think Laura (Vanity) is pretty. Leroy is still the cute misunderstood kung fu fighter. Eddie Ardakian is still a jerk. If I were is girlfriend I would have kicked him in his monkey balls and dumped his ass and long time ago. I don’t think I could go up against Sho’Nuff himself, but I think I could take on the female side of his gang and win. That’s right! Let me at ’em! I would also have kicked Leroy’s little brother’s butt too for being a douche to Leroy.

Some of the hair styles, make up, and clothing were too much for now-a-days. Such as…



I want this for my next Halloween costume!


Next Up…the Hubster’s pick!

He chose…Ice Pirates!



Okay, even the movie poster says it’s a ‘spaced’ adventure.

I admit, I had never seen or heard of this movie until we watched it. I laughed, giggled, smiled, and cringed throughout the entire movie. It was very 80’s campy, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they were going for when making this.

I would also like to admit that I was doing laundry when we started watching this. I think I caught the majority of the movie.

Let me explain…no let me some it up…

Stealing ice, kidnapping a princess, getting caught, almost getting their weenies chopped off to become slaves, getting rescued by the princess, only to become her space taxi to find her long lost father, discover a space herpie on your ship and in your food (gross!), chop off some dudes head (only to find out he doesn’t really have your long lost papa), bring the talking head with you on your adventure (because, honestly, why not?), figure out a why to find lost daddy, go through some time warp thing that ages some to the point of death, get out of time wrap to get things back to the right time, finally find the planet that daddy has been hiding out on and with unlimited water, end movie.

I had fun watching this movie. Not sure I’ll watch it again, like I know I will with The Last Dragon, but I’m glad I got to share a fun childhood memory with the hubster.

Happy Flashback Friday! Have a wonderful Memorial day weekend!

Flabbergasting Season Finales!

Holy Emotional Roller Coaster Batman! Some of my favorite TV shows had some EPIC season finales. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next few months without finding out what’s going to happen! Well…I suppose watching Falling Skies, True Blood, and So You think You Can Dance will keep me somewhat preoccupied. I hate to imagine how Game of Thrones is going to end. I’ll probably be a train wreck. Please check in with me on FB.  may need to be consoled or I may need people to throw a party with, either way, hit me up. I’ll be there for you too!

The following is a list of my favorite season finales this year. One pick for each day, minus Saturday. WARNING: There might be spoilers. Read at your own risk.




The Mentalist

My reaction? Much like the look on Lisbon’s face in the above picture. I read an interview with the show creator a few years ago. In that article he said the Jane and Lisbon would never be anything more than friends…LIAR! I should have known better than to believe that BS. Any hubble bubble, I liked this finale, not the strongest in my opinion, but I can’t wait to see where this leads next season. I wonder if they’ll be anything like one of my other favorite crime fighting couple…Caskett…speaking of Castle…




Castle – 

My reaction?      I JUST WANTED A GOSH DARN WEDDING!!!! The episode was fun. Love Beckett’s (ex)husband. Loved Beckett’s new wedding dress. It was gorgeous, much better than the original one. Hoping that whatever happened to Castle is cleared up quickly next season. I realize they had to bring in a new bad guy for Caskett to deal with, but I really wanted to see them get hitched.


I can’t pick just one show for this day. All the finales were amazing (in my opinion) for all these shows.



The Originals – 

My reaction? Tears…well almost, but if my daughter hadn’t been sitting there watching this with me, tears would have been streaming down my freakin’ face. Even my daughter looked at me at one point and said, ‘this is really sad mom’. I had to gulp back tears, look at her with my ugly refusing to cry face and say, ‘I know right?’

I have loved the whole season of this show. I honestly don’t know how they are going to top this season. 

Supernatural – 



My reaction? NOOOO!!!! Dean!!! NOOOOO!!! You can’t kill Dean….again! He’s my favorite! Oh wait! He’s ALIVE, but he’s now DEMON!! NOOOOOO!!! How the hell are they going to fix that??? Can’t wait to see Demon Dean kick some serious ass next season though.

Person of Interest – 



My reaction? Don’t break the gang up! The mid season finale was bad enough with the death of Carter, but now you’re going to break up the whole group??? *pouting* All I’m thinking at this point is that The Machine needs to show Samaritan who’s boss. More Root next season. I have a slight girl crush on Amy Acker. In fact more of Root and Shaw teaming up and kicking ass would be awesome!


Sorry Wednesday, you pale in comparison when it comes to TV shows. Wednesdays are good for Ghost Hunters (which is rarely on anymore) and American Horror Story (which had a good season, but ended awhile back. No need to rehash its ending).




The Vampire Diaries – 

My reaction? Again…TEARS! The only thing that saved me from blubbering everywhere was that my roomie was supposed to walk through the front door at any moment. Can you tell I hate to cry in front of any and everyone? Somethings are really hard to hold back. Nina Debrev deserves some kind of award for her heart breaking performance. Come here girl! We can make ugly cry faces together! This time I was watching all by myself when practically everyone dies, then mostly everyone comes back…MOSTLY everyone. Damon finally gets everything he could possibly want and turns out to be a decent human being…ur…um…vampire and what happens? He gets stuck on the other side! Dammit Damon! The bad guy is gone…for now, there will be another one next season, when the gang all heads to the other side to save Damon and Bonnie. Come on, we all know that’s what’s going to happen.

On a side note: I also watch Elementary, but it’s finale paled in comparison to The Vampire Diaries. Though I am looking forward to its next season as well.




Grimm – 

My reaction? Hexenbeasts are horrible, mean, ugly, vindictive, pieces of nastiness! That being said, I love Adalind. She is about as despicable as a villain could possibly be, all so she can get what she wants, her baby. Honestly though, what mother wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth to find their child. It’s a good thing Trouble (yeah I know, I’m probably spelling her names wrong, but there are probably dozens of grammar and punctuation errors in this post so whatever, I don’t care). Nick without his super Grimm powers is going to suck big time. They better fix him quick next season. I like Juliette, but if she is going to make Nick pick between being a Grimm and being with her, I gotta tell Nick to let her go. Monroe & Rosalee? YAY!!! So freakin’ happy! Poor Hank. This man needs a woman! Pronto! Sgt. Wu? This poor guy. Someone needs to tell him the truth. Oh and the captain better not die dammit! Love his and Adalind’s chemistry. Perfect for each other.

Honorable Mention:

Once Upon A Time – 

I’m still a season behind on this show, but I’ve seen the spoilers about a certain new princess from icicle land that will be on next season. Hoping ABC will show reruns this summer so I can catch up before the new season starts. Love this show.

There you have it! So, am I missing any good shows? Let me know in the comments below so I can catch up on them this summer! Thanks for tuning in. Catch ya later!

McStubs Musings on The Voice

My hubby is not a fan of The Voice, or really any reality competition. So while the results show aired last night I was cooking dinner and waiting for Supernatural to come on. Obviously, since I didn’t watch it live, I didn’t vote for anyone and this is not a post to complain about the results.

I managed to watch the results show this morning as I was getting ready for work.

First off, for me, this show could have been narrowed down to 30 minutes. Just results, no need for all the musical performances. We had The Rascal Flatts, the three finalists from last season, and the bottom three performances. Lots of music jam packed into that one hour.

The first finalist to move on to the finale – Jake. Okay, I like the guy. He’s a cool kids, totally grounded, but…I don’t think he really should have been voted into the top 3. I would have picked Kristen over Jake. For me, Jake never really had a break out performance where I was blown away by his ability. It was always ‘Oh, well that was nice.’ Completely underwhelmed by him. BUT… good job all the same. He really has come a long way from last season and I was really pulling for him at the beginning of this season.

Second finalist to move on – Josh. We all knew this was coming, right? I mean, this guy has been kicking ass and taking names all season. Damn! You go boy! He deserves to be in the finale. Not much more to say about him.

That left Kristen, Kat, and Christina in the bottom 3, having to perform for the Instant Twitter Save.

In the midst of all this we had a slew of performances. 

The Rascal Flatts – I’m going to make enemies here, but I’m not a huge country fan. Not to say that I hate it. I do listen to country music on occasion and sometimes it’s awesome, other times…not so much. Their performance was good. I was able to listen/watch it without having to fast forward through it.

Jackie Lee (yes I know I spelled her name wrong) – I really liked this performance by J. she did a good job. Last season I could barely sit through her performances. It felt like she was constantly screaming at me. Last night’s performance was nice and scream free. The girls got skills.

Will Chamberlin – I really liked Will last season. I knew he wasn’t going to win, but I was so happy he made it into the top 3. That being said I wasn’t fond of his performance last night. I couldn’t understand what he was singing and some of his vocals sounded strained. I want to hear more from him, hopefully something…different. I ended up fast forwarding through the last minute of his song.

Tessanne Chin – Her song was good. At least I could understand what she was singing about. No doubt about it the girl can sing. I’ll have to hear more from her to find out whether I’ll buy her upcoming album or not.

And finally, the bottom 3 girls sang their hearts out for the Instant Twitter Save.

First up – Kristen. What can I say about this woman? She’s got a great voice, but I never really connected with her performances or her personality. Given the show runners didn’t really give you a chance to get to know her. She was constantly at a disadvantage in the exposure dept. I liked her voice, I just wish I had a better idea of who she is.

Second – Kat. Rock chick extraordinaire. I loved Kat! She always looks like she has fun on stage and is so full of life. She is such a cool chick. I want to know her in real life and hang out with her. She had a good performance.

Last – Christina. I have to admit, I’m a bit biased when it comes to Christina. I’ve been watching her covers on You Tube for the past year. She is a fantastic singer. She had an unfair advantage going into the Instant Twitter Save. Even though I thought she out performed Kat and Kristen with her final song. Does she scream on occasion? Yes, but nothing like Jackie Lee. The kneeling thing Christina does, also pulls me out of the performance. Other than that, she’s a great performer.

Christina went on to win the Instant Twitter Save. Again I feel she had an unfair advantage compared to Kat and Kristen. Did it seem fixed to me?…yes. Has The Voice become a popularity contest where teenyboppers vote for cutest, most handsome, the prettiest, or even the coaches…maybe. But honestly though, it’s a TV show. If we focused solely on ‘the voice’, it wouldn’t be a TV show, it would be a radio program. There wouldn’t be any famous judges to sway the votes. You wouldn’t know what each contestant looked like. All you would hear are the voices of the contestants and you would call your vote into a radio station.

I get why the show runners added the Instant Twitter Save. They want someone they can market that already has an enormous fan base. Easy sales! Christina Grimmie has that. She will be easy to market, already has a built in fanbase, the looks, and the ‘voice’.

That being said, I know there are a lot of people who are pissed about that instant save. That might hurt Christina in the finale. Some of her votes will probably go to Josh.

The top 3 going into the finale: Jake, Josh, and Christina

Who I think should have been in the top 3: Josh, Christina, and Kat…or Kristen instead of Jake.

Who is my pick to win?     Josh


Author Spotlight: Janice Ross


Jumping Ship


Book Description


The year was nineteen seventy-five. Barren couple, Pearl and Edward Riley stumbled upon a newborn baby girl. Her cries could only be heard by a true mother, which Pearl immediately became. Bundled up with their new child, they discovered a parcel of artifacts and a scribbled note that read: Sakkara. Pregnant seamstress, Petrina Dugal, became a runaway at the age of twenty-six. She ran away from a brutish husband, Roger, and a well-loved South American home in Georgetown, Guyana; at the heart of her rebellion – an enigmatic lover named Michael Chen. Pet and Mikey, as they became affectionately known, allowed love to blossom in front of her police officer husband and an intrusive community. Were they not aware of the dangers? Or did the pursuit of love trump obligations?


Sakkara Riley grew up with two loving parents – adoptive parents to be exact. She never knew the circumstances surrounding her discovery, until the age of sixteen. She embarks on a journey.


Jumping Ship is an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series. There are 7 planned books – representing each of the islands that Sakkara will visit along the way.







A baby… her baby… their baby?

Pearl sobbed at first, unable to speak just then. For every bawl the abandoned child provided, the woman cosigned. Hers was not from loneliness―not any longer. Hers was not from uncertainty―life had instantly provided surety. Each second reinvigorated her existence. She wanted to live again. Wanted to smile again. Wanted to breathe again. Wanted to hope again.

And she did.

“We have a baby,” she crowed. Tears streamed down red cheeks. It had been ages, but the shine had returned. Blushed cheek naturally glistened as never before. Of the few onlookers to walk by, no one appeared eager to mind the couple’s dealings. Peering from side to side, she reiterated in a softer voice, “We have a baby, Ed.” Pearl spun the little treasure, allowing her husband to see their gift from God.

The knitted wrap began to float away, out of her grip. But to the child she held for dear life. The crying briefly subsided. She glared into wide, glossy grayish-blue orbs. 

A large piece of paper was pinned to the front of her clothing.

“What’s that?” Ed cranked out.

Pearl was fixated on the tender, pale brown baby that was cooing in her direction. Just a slight bit of the baby’s profile had initially escaped her casing. As Pearl unraveled more, she marked every inch of her belated birthday present.

“Pearl?” Edward keenly took in what was transforming before them. He reached up and ran his fingers through his crown once more. Tugged at the lobe of his left ear. Careened down the side of his face. The pressure was on.

When his wife didn’t automatically respond, he shifted closer. Slowly, then quicker paced.

“Pearl? Dear? What’s that?”

Edward’s lengthy finger extended and drew attention to an off-white document. Its edges were jagged.

Pearl examined it briefly before exhaling deeply.

“It must be her name: S-A-K-K-A-R-A.”


“No. I think our baby’s name is Sakkara.”

“Sakkara,” they sang in harmony.

As daylight drifted out of sight more and more, the urgency that once filled their pace also fled. This child changed everything. They felt safe and secure, even in the darkness. There was now a mandate on their lives, a chance at true happiness and satisfaction. Peace had surely become their newest friend. God would not bless them now, only to torture them right afterwards. This moment was meant to be. There was no need to rush any longer. The Rileys were right where they wanted to be. No thoughts were given to whom the baby’s parents were and if they were missing the little angel. For that moment, all that mattered was that Edward, Pearl, and Sakkara were now a family.


* * * * *


Book Trailer:



Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate is a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.


You can connect with Janice on


Talk show:

Blog &










Mrs. McGrumpy Butt

We all have those days when just one tiny little thing throws our whole decent mood out the window. Well that happened to me yesterday. My oldest was complaining about having to go to the grocery store with me and his brother and sister. 

“Dad is at work. I can’t leave you home by yourself. You have to come with me.”

As soon as we walk into the store he asks me how long it will take, then proceeds to ask me every couple of minutes. About halfway through our shopping expedition I stop and look at him.

“If you keep asking me, I’ll make sure we are here for another hour.” Well that put a stop to his questioning.

After spending a small fortune on groceries, that might only last a week, we head out to the car. The kids hop on in and leave me to put the groceries in the trunk. Not cool, but I don’t say anything…until I was finally able to get in the car and head home.

“When we get home you all need to shower for school tomorrow, but before you do that, I expect you to help me carry the groceries inside, especially since none of you helped me put them in the car. Got it?”

The journey home was a quiet one. The kids knew I was mad. They all helped carry the groceries inside. My daughter went to take a shower and the boys went back to their room. I told them to pick their dirty clothes up from the floor and to pick up their toys. As my oldest brought his laundry through the kitchen to put in the utility room he mumbled something about me being mean.

I snapped. I had been trying my best not to, but it couldn’t be helped. After that there was a long conversation about the give and take in our relationship, and how all the kids needed to start helping me out more around the house.

I kissed them all goodnight and told them that I loved them. This morning I apologized to my oldest for losing my cool, and he apologized for pulling attitude with me. It’s a happy ending.

There is one that is grumpier than I though, and that’s…yep, you guessed it, Grumpy Cat. This post is for my kids. They love Grumpy Cat memes so I’m posting some of their favorite ones. Sit back and enjoy =)






Author Spotlight – Bette Stevens



ABOUT THE BOOK: Experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough as you hop on a bike and ride into town with two delightful young boys who find adventure at every turn. Shawn and Willie Daniels live in the woods with no indoor water or plumbing. Dad spends most of his hard earned money on beer. Prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying are cleverly woven into this 1950s adventure short. PURE TRASH is a prequel to the author’s upcoming debut novel.

As a baby boomer that grew up in an average middle-class family in America during the 1950s and 1960s, poverty was not something I had to dwell on or even think about as a child or as a teen. As an adult, I learned what living in poverty was like from friends and acquaintances that grew up in this invisible (to me) world―one where being poor was an accepted part of life for those who lived it. I became intrigued by some of their stories. ~ Bette A. Stevens


“It’s 1955 and we’re entering scene 2. So hop off your bike…

(That’s right—the one you hopped on in scene 1 and pedaled for three miles to get here.)

Get ready to head into Stark’s General store with nine-year-old Shawn Daniels and his younger brother Willie.”


PURE TRASH (scene 2)

Brakes, bike tires and a cloud of dust announced our arrival in the gravelly sand covering Stark’s parking lot. I was feeling like David right after he conquered the giant Goliath. That’s when I looked up and spotted Mr. Wentworth pointing over at Willie and me from his brand-spankin’ new 1955 Ford pickup. That red truck shined just like the candied apples Mum made for us kids in the fall. I could hear his deep-throated laugh as he stared at us from across the lot.

“There’s Eddy Daniels’s boys, regular chips off the old block,” I heard him telling Tom Matthews, the town barber.

As the men laughed and talked, Mr. Wentworth’s steel-like eyes never lost sight of Willie and me.

Sometimes I hated coming to town. Like I hated going to school. Folks like the Wentworths always made me feel like a nobody. The minute I’d spot them, I could feel my breath stop. My hands, my teeth and my stomach all got sucked in together. I wanted to throw up. I hated that feeling.

Thinking about those people made me sick. Folks like that always got a big kick out of making fun of Eddy Daniels’s kids.

Mr. Wentworth hollered over to me. “Hey boy! Your pop too poor to buy you a real basket for that bike? He sure had plenty of cash for beer last night.”

I hated it.

When he said that, I couldn’t help but think about how Mum had bawled her eyes out when Dad brought home that brand-spankin’ new Zenith TV. She said that if he’d had money to buy a television, he’d better find the money to start fixin’ up the house. I hated them fighting, too.

Mr. Wentworth’s eyes glared straight through me. He grinned like he knew how it made me feel.

I forced my eyes to look at the ground in front of my shoes, while the men joked and laughed. My hands clenched and unclenched. I pretended not to hear them. Willie was still looking straight at them with an open-mouthed grin. I could tell he was ready to holler right back at them. Willie was a talker. Mum calls him “The Social Bugger.”

Carefully, I unhooked my basket, shot a quick glance at Willie and whispered, “Hush. You just grab your bottles and follow me.”

We headed straight for the twelve wooden steps leading up to Stark’s General Store.

Mr. Stark himself was behind the counter today. I always liked to see him. He was smiling back as if he was glad to see us, too. Empty bottles and all. Most of the clerks hated to see empties. They’d roll their eyes and shake their heads as if to say, “Not you two, again.” But not Mr. Stark. He was a different sort. His silver and black speckled hair had waves that curled around his face. His haircut sort of fit right in with his smile. Bright blue eyes sparkled and danced inside those wire-framed spectacles that looked way too small for his big round face.

“Hi, boys! Looks like you two young’uns are in for some extra treats with all those empty bottles.” Mr. Stark smiled at Willie and me as he counted them up. “Forty-eight cents,” he said, reaching into the cash drawer for the four dimes and eight pennies that he pressed into my hand as he winked and smiled.

I was sure that Mr. Stark knew I’d divide the money between us. The other clerks would have tossed a quarter, two dimes and three pennies right down on the counter. But not Mr. Stark. He closed my fingers around the coins with his huge hand. It felt like a big friendly hug. I knew why I liked him a lot.

“Thank you, sir!” I smiled back at Mr. Stark and then down at Willie. Willie and me headed straight back out the door. We sat on the steps and began our storefront ritual. We had all the time in the world today. We were as free as the birds and the bees. We had our bikes and plenty of money to boot.

“What a day, Willie! We’ve got enough for ice cream, some soda pop and probably a bunch of penny candies, too,” I said. Then I handed Willie his share.

“Dang it, Shawn. You mean I get to hold on to my own money today?” Willie shook his head and quizzed me as I handed him his share of the cash.

“You sure do, Willie. I think you’re getting big enough now to do some figurin’ on your own. Just give a holler if you need any help.”

We grinned at each other. It was like we were sharing one of the world’s best kept secrets. Then, we marched right back up over those twelve steps and headed straight inside Stark’s to pick out our loot.

I sure wasn’t in any kind of a hurry. Stark’s carried just about everything anybody could think of. I liked to wander around and look over the fishing gear. Today I had plenty of time to check out lots of other neat stuff, too. I knew Willie would head straight for the ice cream freezer.

I headed around the store to get a peek at all the stuff I’d never had time to take a real close look at before. Sporting goods. I loved to go fishin’. The glass case came nearly up to my shoulders and ran the length of the back wall, except for the space where a clerk could get in behind. The bottom shelves held knives of different shapes and every size you could imagine. Some of the knives were simple, others downright fancy. There were smooth leather covers and holders for those blades that likely cost more money than I’d ever see at one time. On the next shelf were handguns. One was so small it looked just like a cap gun and there were lots of other pistols. Rifles and shotguns, too. There were even fancy leather holsters just like the ones Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger and all the cowboys wore on TV and in the movies.

On the back wall above the glass case hung bows and arrows, and gun racks filled with rifles and shotguns. There were jackets, vests, fishing gear and even bags to carry your trout back home in. Best of all were the fishing poles. How I longed for a real pole. One with a spinning reel and some store-bought hooks. Oh sure, I’d still use worms. They worked real good. Didn’t need all those fancy doo-dads made with feathers to get fish to bite. Didn’t need a store-bought pole either. But, oh, how I wanted one. “Someday, I’ll have me one just like that,” I told myself, spellbound by the shiny green pole and black reel that hung high over the glass counter. Someday.

“Yes. Someday, I think I’ll get me a store, just like Mr. Stark’s. I’ll work at the counter every Saturday when all the kids come in,” I thought dreamily, smiling up at that perfect, shiny green pole.

“Hey, Shawn, whatcha get?” Willie hollered right after he rammed his shoulder up against my arm.

I jumped out of my daydream and shook my head. Then, I turned around to meet Willie’s ear-to-ear grin.

“You owe Mr. Stark five cents for my Good ‘n Plenties, Shawn. I already opened ’em up. Can’t put ’em back on the shelf now.”

Willie’s hands were full. One held his soda pop and a small brown bag that I knew was chock full of his favorite candies. The other held his ice cream. Willie was more than ready to devour it all right on the spot.

“I’ll take care of it, Willie,” I said. “I’ll meet you out front in a couple minutes. I’ve got to get my stuff and settle up with Mr. Stark.”

Sure, Willie spent more than his twenty-four cents, but that was OK. Willie loved his sweets.

Willie sat on the step licking the sticky remains from his lips and fingers by the time I’d finished up inside. The only thing left of that ice cream was an empty wooden stick. His face said it all. When it came to ice cream, chocolate was Willie’s favorite.

“Hey, Shawn, what we gonna do when we leave Starks’s? Whatcha say we stop over to the school playground before we head back home? Can we? Can we, please?”

Willie’s endless words only stopped every now and then so he could pop a cherry-coated Tootsie Pop onto the tip of his tongue and snatch it in for a lick or two.

“You promised we’d have all day, Shawn. I want to swing right over top of those bars and then hang upside down on the tip top of the jungle gym. I ain’t s’posed to do that at recess, Shawn. This might be the only chance I got. Please?”

“We’ll see, Willie,” I told him as I licked the last smooth bite of ice cream from my stick.

I still had money in my pocket. “Come on, Willie. Let’s go back inside and get a soda pop. We can share an Orange Crush out here, turn in our empty and grab some more candy before we head out.”

Willie’s eyes lit up like fire crackers.


“So long, Shawn and Willie. Now, don’t you boys eat all of those sweets at once,” Mr. Stark said as he smiled as we turned in our bottle and headed out the door cramming licorice sticks and bubble gum into our pockets. “See you boys at church tomorrow morning.”

“See ya tomorrow, Mr. Stark,” I called back and smiled.

“Can we head over to the playground, Shawn? Right now? Please, please, purty please?” Willie begged.

I finally said, “Sure, Willie, let’s go!


Find Bette’s books at

You can find out more about Bette’s perspective on poverty and prejudice in her guest post on author MCV Egan’s blog: