Marvel's Next Female Superhero

Us and Them

  The teacher who stays after school to give extra help to a student who needs it, is a true teacher. The teacher who mocks a student who's having trouble learning, is a child abuser with a teaching certificate. The priest who cries with you, says a prayer with you when your loved one dies, is a true religious leader. The priest who molests an altar boy is a pedophile wearing a priest's robes. The police officer who talks a distraught stranger out of jumping from a bridge truly believes he must protect and serve. The police office who holds down an unarmed man and kills him by kneeling on his neck is a murderer wearing a blue uniform. When we excuse the inexcusable vileness of … [Read more...]

Without Writers

  Without writers there would be no Disney World, because there would be no fairytales. No Cinderella, no Ariel. No Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, or Captain Hook. There would be no Muggles or Wizards, no Scriptures or Bible, no Sneetches on Beaches or elephants saving Whoville. We could never contemplate the fate of Frankenstein’s’ monster, or the Nine Circles of Hell, Faust’s punishment, or lost Paradise. Without writers there would be no Academy Awards Best Dressed, because there would be no films and no cause to celebrate those who act in them. There would be no Star Wars or Citizen Kane. No Downton Abbey or Dark Shadows. Bill and Ted would never have had their excellent … [Read more...]

Tell Them. Today

    In the past month, I've been in touch with three females aged eighty and above who have always inspired me. I've admired them and strived to be like them, should I live as long as they have, because despite their age, or maybe because of it, they have always lived each day fully and dynamically, and by putting so much good out into our world. However, in our recent conversations, under the cloud of corona virus quarantine, all three seem "off their game," for lack of any other way to express it. Though all three are as healthy as ever, they all mentioned their own 'approaching' death. Listen, let's face it, we know we're finite creatures. We know that the clock is ticking … [Read more...]

Teachers, Bullying, and the Code of Silence, by Angelina Iacovou

  Dear Readers,  My guest blogger today is Angelina Iacovou, a student from New York who has just graduated from middle school. After much research, she has written the following essay, which she hopes will help new teachers deal with bullying in school: __________________________________ In a bullying situation, teachers should know that the students aren’t going to break the code of silence. The code of silence is when the target, the bystanders, and even the bully’s group won’t say anything about the bullying. This is because they don’t want to become targets themselves, they don’t want to “rat out” their friend, or, if they’re the target, they don’t want the bullying to get … [Read more...]

Spirits Aboard the RMS Queen Mary: Patricia V. Davis Interviews Angela Richardson

Growing up in Florida, author and photographer Angela Richardson heard about the RMS Queen Mary when she was a child, but it wasn’t until she went out to California as an adult to visit her now husband that she got to see the ship in person. Says Angela, "When we drove over Queen’s Way Bridge, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how amazing the ship looked sitting in Long Beach Harbor." Initially, it was the sheer size and beauty of the ship that drew her in. But once she began touring the ship, she became fascinated with the engine room. For some reason, she found it very comforting, and in fact there are times that when visiting the ship she will only go into the engine room. For Angela, … [Read more...]

When Will Things Get Back to Normal?

  For sure, that’s the question we’re all asking ourselves. But I think it’s pretty clear to all of us that life is not going to go back to the “normal” we had before this virus. How ironic that I chose to ‘disappear’ before all this happened. And then, the moment I returned, we all had to ‘disappear’. I’d promised that that’s what this post was going to be about, hadn’t I?—why I chose to leave social media for an entire month, why my publicist turned it into the #FindPatricia game. (I know we all enjoyed that part of it, at least, and I do certainly thank everyone who sent in videos, and everyone who played the game.) I had reasons for wanting to “get away from it all.” Things that … [Read more...]

May I Make a Suggestion?

  Please think about this. Maybe this is not the way you want to go, but for the duration of this catastrophic event, I've posted my last negative political post. I've posted my last negative post, period. There is literally a virus in the air, killing people. Some people I am talking to this week might be dead next week, and I include myself in that, of course. Many of us are very scared, too many more are financially stressed, some beyond measure. No matter what our politicians do now, we are facing an uncertain future, as personally as that can get. And tempers and emotions are high. This past week, there was a upset in my own little world with a beautiful person who means a lot to … [Read more...]

Sisters of the Undertow

  Sisters of the Undertow, launched in late February 2020 is Johnnie Bernhard’s third novel. Her inspiration for the story came from an experience she had at an author's event in a downtown urban library, when she realized that a number of the patrons were homeless. The experience of reading to those who live on the streets led her to develop a character who is a librarian working at a downtown library in Houston. Johnnie says, “To understand the diversity in Houston, please consider the fact that over ninety languages are spoken there. Houston is truly an international city, which I love. This allowed me to create some terrific characters in Sisters of the Undertow.” The other … [Read more...]


  On February 14, 2020, I will disappear.    13 clues to my whereabouts will be posted by my intern on Her Secret Bookshop Facebook page. Follow the clues, solve the mystery, be eligible to win: 1) Your choice of a full set of The Secret Spice Cafe audio books or hardbacks. 2) Dinner for two at a fabulous restaurant near you. Runner up prizes will also be awarded. RULES: Follow the page. Solve the puzzle of my whereabouts, and I will return on the first day or Spring. Or not. It's up to YOU. … [Read more...]

Filthy Rich

  I'm filthy rich. And I got that way by writing books. Yeah. Almost every author I know collapsed into giggles at those two sentences. Unless Neil Gaiman is reading this, they know I can't possibly mean rich in actual dollars. (I'll keep working on that, though, just as Neil does.) What I mean by "rich" is rich in the things I've learned and the experiences I've had. But mostly I mean rich in the people I've met and the relationships I've formed. Here's a thing I now know that some might have not yet ventured to discover: The world is full of wonderful, amazing people living in places we might never get to visit, leading lives very different from our own. And all we have to do is … [Read more...]