Mr. Scruffy's News, The Owl-Sword-Efil Stone

Mr Scruffy News – Love in the Air!

Image of a book in shape of a heart by Naypong from Free Digital
Image by Naypong from Free Digital

Dear Reader…

Wednesday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day – a day for showing those you care about your love. I want to let you know that I love Pam. I’m one of the main characters, along with Kay “KC” Carson, in her new fantasy epic-journey series, The Chronicles of Eldershire. If you’ve not met me before, you may be surprised to learn that I am an owl. Pam has written about me and I’ve shared news here before (Mr Scruffy – The Muse or Mr Scruffy’s News – July) and she enjoys having me speak with her or sit near her writing desk. I enjoy watching her write.

The book I star in is The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone and is finally being published. It won’t be long and I’ll be real in the minds of Pam’s readers. I can’t wait for you to meet me and to read the story of Eldershire.

The excitement around Hobbit’s Bend is growing as the anticipation builds for the arrival of the paperback copies (an eBook will be available on Amazon on or about February 23, too). We’ll be having a book signing the end of February. In the mean time, I am sharing what Pam told me of how the idea for the new series, The Chronicles of Eldershire came about:

The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone is Book One of The Chronicles of Eldershire and is an introduction to the land of Eldershire and its many inhabitants, like you Mr Scruffy. I’ve put information about the new book, and a concordance, Words of Eldershire, to help readers with pronunciations and meanings of terms, names, and places they will read. As the series grows, words will be added to this listing. In addition, if you’re like me, you will enjoy looking at the map of Eldershire to learn more about the setting of the series.”

Mr Scruffy here: “At some point, Pam said she plans to add more information and background of various characters.”

Mr Scruffy winking at you: “I bet, if you leave a comment and ask, you can get Pam to tell you other things about the series, too. Back to Pam’s story.”

Mr Scruffy watching Pam write
Here I am watching Pam create her map of Eldershire.

“The story of KC and Eldershire has been over forty-five years in the making. I put it away right after I graduated from high school, and then worked on it again about the time I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, Julie, which was fall of 1979. Then, around 2005 or so, I became friends with someone who became a special writing colleague. In 2009, Rosa and I attended a writing conference where I shared the early chapters of this story. It failed drastically. My writing and creativity came to a halt. Rosa encouraged me to trudge forward. After writing four books (a memoir and a thriller trilogy), I decided I’d think about writing Kay’s story once more.

One day, on my way to an audio recording of The Fire Within, I saw on the side of the road a lone bowler hat. It had a daisy hanging out of its brim. I thought how strange and considered turning around to take pictures of it, but I was running late for my studio appointment.
 Driving on down the interstate, to my left I saw a tall, black witch’s hat lying in the median. It was flapping in the wind. It looked like it was waving at me. Nukpana Fraener came into my mind’s eye. The witch’s hat was in a bad location to get a picture, but I thought I might be able to get a picture of the bowler hat. I called Julie and asked her to try to get a picture; I went to my recording session.

Six hours later, I started for home. Checking with Julie, she said she couldn’t find the hat. There was no picture.
 The interstate traffic was not crowded driving home, so I was able to look as I drove by where I saw the witch’s hat; I thought I would see it. It was gone. My hopes were dashed that I’d find the bowler hat. Driving closer to where I had seen the bowler hat, I was hesitant to look. There it was lying exactly where it had been earlier that morning.

I pulled over, parked, and got several pictures.”

Here is a picture of the bowler hat Pam saw that day:

The Bowler Hat featured in Book One

“The truism, ‘If I knew then what I know now,’ came to mind as the shutter clicked. Kay’s story began to form in my mind coupled with the magic of a hat and the evil of a witch.”

The rest came to life in Pam’s first book of this series and more will be told in the remaining books to come. If you are interested in Eldershire and KC’s future, follow Pam, sign up her V. I. P. Reader newsletter, or join her Facebook Author page to learn about Pam’s writing journey and future publications.

Thank you, readers, for your support, for reading my words, and, if you enjoyed it, share this story with others.

Read on!
Mr Scruffy
Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows


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14 Books I Read in 2016 – 5 Books I Plan to Read in 2017


14 Books I Read in 2016

The following 14 books I read in 2016 and it’s not a comprehensive list. If you are looking for a good book to cuddle up to during the pink-cheek days of January or you might want to use one of these for a birthday gift in the coming new year!

1. Rosa Lee Jude’s latest new book: I Still Do! — great love story
2. K. R. Thompson along with six other others — Once Upon a Time — and any book of her’s.
3. Paul Dillinger’s latest new book — Fuzzy with co-author Tom Angleberger – a great read for children
4. Elle Knowles latest new book — Coffee-Drunk or Blind — a wonderful personal journey with her folks to Alaska
5. Ransom Rigg’s latest book — Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – a wonderful escape!
6. Ransom Rigg’s Book Two — Hollow City — I’m hoping to read Book Three real soon!
7. Ursula K. Le Guin — EarthSea – A Wizard of Earthsea — a great revisit! I love re-reading books.
8. David Colbert — The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter — what can I say? I love Potter-any-thing.
9. Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black — The Spiderwick Chronicles — Ah…another re-read.
10. Margot Edmonds & Ella E. Clark — Voices of the Winds — lovely capture of Native American legends.
11. Paul Curry — Organic Square Foot Gardening — not all books I read are fiction. LOL
12. David Hewson — Writing a novel with Scrivener — my favorite software for writing
13. Kristen Lamb — Rise of the Machines — a wonderful look at technology and how it affects us.
14. Kellie Honaker — Grandfather Hollow — an intriguing collection of short stories, all keep you reading.

Mr. Scruffy giving me inspiration while I read in 2016.
Mr. Scruffy

And, just incase, you would like to find one of my booksThe Letter: A Page of My Life and the Marine Letsco Trilogy–The Fire WithinThe Fire of Revenge, and A Time for Fire– they are on Amazon or Createspace. Locally, for that special gift, an autographed printed copy may be purchased from one of these fine locations:

Museum Gift Shop – Wytheville, VA

Big Walker Lookout – Wytheville, VA

The Farmer’s Daughter Boutique – Wytheville, VA

Black Horse Artisan Guild – Wytheville, VA


5 Books I Plan to Read in 2017

Now, this list is by no means complete. I’ll add books as the year progresses, but the following are books I had hoped to read last year and never got to them. I’ve put them at the top of my list:

  1. James Scott Bell — Romeo’s Way — this sounds like it will be such a good story.
  2. Sarah Addison Allen — The Peach Keeper — I had read her first book, Garden Spells. Looking forward to this.
  3. Lynnette Bonner — Rocky Mountain Oasis – The Shepherd’s Heart – Christian Historical Romance
  4. Marsha Canham — Across a Moonlit Sea — I loved the cover…what can I say.
  5. Mitch Albom — The First Phone Call from Heaven — I loved his book – The Five People you Meet in Heaven

There you have my beginning reading list for 2017. I’m sure this list will grow. If you have a book you’d like to recommend, please do.

How’s my writing going?

I’m plugging along on my next trilogy – The Chronicles of Eldershire – here’s a description with a little sneak peek:

Book One is tentatively titled The Brooks Forest. A depressed and lonely Kay “KC” Carson, at 63, recently lost her husband, son, daughter-n-law, and their pet dog in a traffic accident she believes she caused. While mourning their loss, KC wishes for a chance to go back to an earlier life where she thinks she made a decision that set her on a course to lose her family. Never believing wishes come true, KC is transported back to a time when she was sixteen to the strange and mystical land of Eldershire. A land filled with beautiful landscapes, magical mountains, and majestic forests and where wood spirits, nymphs, elves, and other beings co-exist. Until KC can retrieve the Efil Stone from Nukpana (the Evil Wicked-Dragon), the Elderwians and KC’s future is in peril.

Snip-it of Chapter 1:

My mother always told me not to wish for things—they might come true — and if they do, what you thought you wanted might not be what you want. I’d wished to be back to my old life, to be away from the life I had. Mother was right, KC thought as she peered through the tangled branches of what must be a brier patch, keeping still as a mouse, or trying too. The creatures on the other side were looking for her.  

She thought back to a few moments ago and wondered why she picked up that old, tattered hat sitting along the side of the road. I’m a sixty-three-year-old woman for Christ’s sake. I knew better—or at least I thought I did. From the ramblings on the other side of the brambles, she was thankful she was inside the brier patch and not out on the other side, where they were. She listened to the sounds. Their gruff and grunts sent chills down her spine. The odor of her surroundings was putrid. I wonder where I am. She could tell she was sitting on something soft and gooey. It was dark inside the brambles, but little specks of light made their way through the tangled shrub, which gave her little moments she could peer out to see what was happening.

A large mass of flesh moved passed where she was looking out. She moved back in fear. The mass of flesh stood inches away. She tried not to move or breathe.

May you and yours have a most glorious beginning to 2017! Please visit my website, join my newsletter list, and stay connected with me!

Happy New Year!
Pam's Signature




This post first appeared on on Saturday, December 31, 2016.

Honeybees, Update

Inactivity means a Busy Life

Hello Reading Fans!

“Inactivity means a busy life” with me, anyway. Gees, Hobbit King and I have been extra, extra busy this spring and early summer.

It all started with me helping Hobbit King with our honeybees. We are beekeepers (about five years now). We have six hives, well, actually, we have four hives and a half—one is a nuc and one isn’t in use yet. We had a hive to swarm, so we captured the swarm and moved it to a nuc box. (If you’d like to read more about our beekeeping adventures over the years, visit Honeybees and me.)

Hobbit King, my loving nickname for my hubby, read about building robbing screens to use to help young hives ward off potential honey robbers. During the dearth season, honeybees are very ingenious at taking advantage of weak hives. When a hive is young or older and weak, it is harder to fend off those who would steal honey. The idea of using robbing screens enables some protection.

Robbing Screens

Honeybee Hive Robbing Screen
Hobbit King’s design of robbing screens in use on Honeybee Hive No. Three.

This little front piece is a new addition, Hobbit King created based on some reading he has done. He decided that he was going to see how well he could help the bees protect their hives from robbing bees. This particular screen is his third iteration. The first two didn’t seem to help as much as it confused some bees.

This model looks to be doing the trick. The bees that live in this hive know how to leave and re-enter by going up and out or down and in.

The robbing bees congregate on the outside of the screen as they are not sure where the entrance is located and want to fly straight into the hive opening. They congregate on the screen trying to figure out how to move into the hive and steal the honey.


Trying out New Recipes

Hot Dog Reuben
Hot Dog Reuben – Yummy!

Lately, I’ve tried to organize my recipes. I have also been trying out new recipes that I have collected. Many of them have been fun to make, tasted good, but I wasn’t impressed enough to take a picture of the dish or consider making the dish again.

Recently, while going through my collection, cutting out the recipes from magazines I wanted to keep, and placing them into my binders (I’ll post how the binder collection looks when I get them done). I came across an issue of Bon Appetite magazine that had a section on hot dogs. Hobbit King loves hot dogs. Hobbit King loves Reubens. What could be better than a Hot Dog Reuben?

This recipe took the Reuben, which is an American hot sandwich composed of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread, and turned the hot dog into the delightful all-star favorite. Trust me, the taste is just as good as you would expect! Yummy, indeed!

Wisteria – Frost Bite to Re-bloom!

The late spring freeze this year had killed all of the blooms of our wisteria in late April. I had decided that it must have killed the plant, too. It looked awful. The blooms were withered and brown. Then, about two or so weeks later, I noticed leaves starting to emerge. There was hope. My wisteria is about fourteen years old and I didn’t want to have to start over with a new plant.

One day in mid-May, I was out walking around the property making plans of what I might plant this year. Was I surprised when I looked up and saw the blooms. My wisteria was making a show hidden from view unless I went under the pergola and took a breather by sitting and enjoying the view of Reed Creek. Gladly, I “popped a squat,” as our daughter says. Propped up my feet and enjoyed my surprise! Hobbit King soon found me enjoying the view and joined me.

Wisteria in bloom, May 2016
Wisteria in bloom over the pergola looking out at Reed Creek.

A New Series Begins

And, yes, I’ve also been writing. Many of you know that besides writing fiction, I also am a technical writer. This past June, I managed to finish two different technical writing gigs. The additional time gave me what I needed to put finishing touches on the audio version of The Fire Within, which is in the final stages of post-production. Also Julie, our daughter, worked her magic on the audio cover as well as updating the print cover. Hobbit King was so helpful listening to the mp3s and helping critique the readings.

With the audio version of The Fire Within about complete, I’m working on final plotting plans for my new series. The new series is about Kay “KC” Carson, who is entering her elder years. One day, KC finds herself transported to a new world where she experiences mysticism, magic, and numerology and must learn how to solve some of the mysteries of her life.

As a V. I. P. Reader Club member, you’ll hear first how you can acquire a copy of the audio version and learn more about my new series. Look for an e-mail from me in mid-August.

May you have a gloriously fun July!

Write On!
Pam's Signature





The post “Inactivity means a Busy Life” was first posted on Pam’s Blog on Sunday, July 17, 2016.

Book Two, Novel

Arson, Murder, and Mayhem Come Together in The Fire of Revenge

It’s official! The Fire of Revenge is now available in eBook format on Amazon!

Arson, Murder, and Mayhem come together in The Fire of Revenge

After establishing a new life in the fictional town of New Brook, VA, Marine Letsco begins to put her past as an assassin behind her. She graduates from the Evansham Regional Fire Academy and begins a career as a local firefighter. A series of fires begin to plague Marine as she discovers the fires are set by an arsonist and are somehow connected to her past life.

“Marine, an amnesiac ex-assassin has begun to have flashbacks. Moreover, she thinks she saw the ghost of Ana-Geliza, her cabin steward she thought she killed at the end of the cruise in The Fire Within. To complicate her quest to regain her memory and overthrow a deadly revenge-seeker, more secrets are revealed that will change her future. What else could possibly happen?” The Fire of Revenge explores the power of love, family, and revenge. (J. K. Brooks Publishing, LLC; 2015; ISBN-13: 978-1-941061-03-9; $16.99; and Print available on CreateSpace and in eBook and print on Amazon)

Dr. Chet Henegar encouraged his aunt, Elizabeth Lanter James, to allow Marine to live in her old Victorian home. After several months, Marine makes the decision that she would like to become a firefighter. She felt it would enable her to give back to the people of New Brook that had welcomed her into their community. During the writing of Book One and while making plans to write Book Two, Pam began researching the requirements for someone to become a firefighter. She interviewed several practicing firefighters and fire investigators to learn how it felt in the heat of a fire. She even tried on fire gear to develop a feel for the sensation of the weight of pants, coat, and the air pack.

After completing the initial draft, Pam realized that she needed more authenticity. She interviewed several firefighters at a local Christmas party in order to get an idea of their sense and feelings for their chosen careers. She made a composite of what she learned that became the basis for several of the characters. If you like suspenseful twists and turns, thrills, murder coupled with revenge, you will enjoy reading The Fire of Revenge.

Quotes by other Authors:

“Pam Newberry lights a fire in her readers’ minds with the twists and turns she leads them throughout the second installment of her trilogy. They will be on the edge of their seats to discover what happens next.” ~~Rosa Lee Jude, award-winning author of the forthcoming new series, The Enchanted Journey.

“The surprises come rapid-fire in Newberry’s second novel of an amnesiac ex-assassin seeking a new life but plagued by a deadly revenge-seeker from her past. The heroine and others are not always who they seem to be in this thriller that will keep you guessing.” ~~Paul Dellinger, author of Mr. Lazarus and Other Stories and scriptwriter for The Adventures of Hap Hazard radio series.

For Book Signing Dates

Books ready for YOU to acquire your personal copy.
Books ready for YOU to acquire your personal copy.

If you are planning on being in the area, click this link to Appearances and come on by for a visit, I’ll sign a copy of my latest novel for you, and we can chat and talk while we have a beverage or two!

Looking forward to visiting with you and hearing what you think of my latest novel!

The post Arson, Murder, and Mayhem Come Together in The Fire of Revenge first appeared on Pam’s Blog on