December 27, 2012

"The Grippers": Getting Homeless Without Even Trying

The "GRIPPERS" (Getting Homeless Without Even Trying) was introduced here, in serial form, on June 6, 2011. It ran for 20 weeks (episodes) and followed the journey of Bob and Tracey Slider and their son, Jake, 12, as they plummeted downward toward the murky, scary world of being homeless. If you would like to start at the beginning scroll DOWN to the first chapter.

The "Grippers"  is being made into a novel and I hope to have it published sometime in 2013. OOPS!!!   2016   Can you believe it?  That is three years already.  I turned 72 yesterday. Better get my ass in gear..LOL

December 20, 2012

To St. Joseph; The Best Husband & Dad EVER--Merry Christmas

I just felt compelled to write a few words about a simple man, a man of incredible faith, unyielding loyalty, and a heart so filled with love for his wife and child it might have exploded if that were possible. I am referring to Joseph (Yosef in Hebrew) the husband of Mary and the earthly father of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We all know him as St. Joseph.

I am not going into any theology here. Nothing about the Pauline Epistles or the Gospels of Mark and Luke or the apocryphal works that have varied "opinions" about the man and his time. I just want to look at Joesph as a husband and a father and try, just a little bit, to get into his shoes (sandals).

First of all, Joseph was a "righteous" Jew. This meant he followed the Law of Moses and did it to the best of his ability. He was a true man of faith. I do not care how old he was when he became betrothed to Mary. All I know is that "betrothal" under the Jewish law was like a pre-marriage. Sort of  like a post-engagement. There even  had to be a rabbi officiating. You did not walk away from a betrothal. No sirree, to get out of a betrothal you needed a divorce.

So what happens? Joseph and Mary become betrothed and Joseph finds out she is pregnant. This is not 2012 we are talking about, this is over 2000 years ago. Mosaic Law permitted the actual execution by stoning of the woman. What would I have done? What would you have done? Damn--I can't imagine being confronted with that situation. So, I don't know what I would have done. Not our man, Joseph. He loved this woman and married her anyway. I know, I know, he had the dream and everything. But haven't you ever dreamed and I do suggest that, as a man during those times, being faced with the reality of what was going on, he could have ran away from that dream like an Olympic sprinter dashing toward the stadium exit instead of the finish line. Yet, he married her and they had a nice reception, they moved in together and about four months later it was time to travel to Bethlehem for the census.

So now I'm thinking of me and what would I do. I'm thinking; My wife is due any day.I have little money and I have to make an 80 mile trip over rugged and dusty terrain that will take maybe four to five days if,  I can do 20 miles a day. Heck, I don't want to make the trip so how is she going to be able to deal with 20 miles a day for 4 days?  Okay, okay, there is no choice. Dang, I hope that donkey can take it. I probably would have tried to hook up with a caravan as I traveled assuming it would be safer in numbers. I do not know if Joseph actually did that. The bottom line is, he had to take his pregnant wife and  let her sit on the back of a donkey and travel 80 miles. Nice trip. I would probably hate myself for doing that.  Think about it, we can drive 20 miles in 20 minutes doing 60 mph and we still complain.

Anyway, he gets to Bethlehem and there is no place to stay. Not a lousy room anywhere, even in a dive. She is already in labor and he is probably freaking out a bit. If it was today at least he probably would have had an old Chevy or something that she could have laid down in. He winds up in a smelly stable with animals and straw and his son is born and it is a beautiful thing but I'll bet he would have done anything to get his wife and son into a room, any room. And along comes Herod and his insane jealousy.

Joesph hears about King Herod wanting to kill his baby. Just imagine for a moment that the government had soldiers out looking for your child so they could kill it. I can't imagine. In fact the maniac king has thousands of children killed figuring sooner or later he would kill the right one. MADNESS----Why? EGO.

The trip to Bethlehem was a cake walk compared to the Egypt trip. But Joseph somehow manages to make it about 300 to 350 miles to Egypt with a wife and a newborn and remains there a few years. Then, when he knows it is safe, he goes to Nazareth and resumes his trade as a carpenter, teaching his Son the law and the trade. He passes away  before his Boy begins his public life. His Son is at his side as he breathes his last.

 I love this man. Thank you Lord for giving us St. Joseph, the best husband and dad ever. All of us should think of him this Christmas. He deserves it.  I'm done.

December 17, 2012

Stuff Your Stocking with Books Blogfest Giveaway

Join me as I participate in the "Stuff Your Stocking with Books" Blogfest 
read a Christmas post written by me and
enter to win a copy of my book, "The Priest and the Peaches."

Click here to join in the fun:

December 14, 2012

This Christmas a "Bronx cheer" for the Unintelligent

The Christmas season has triggered what seems to be an all out barrage of vitriolic ranting and raving by a gaggle of the enlightened, highbrow, polished, pompous, intelligentsia that satisfy their quest for validation by spewing their crap all over the place. You know what---Christmas IS a celebration of the birth of a child and the peace and joy and promise that came along with that birth. That is what the "Holiday" is all about. What is wrong with these people? How did they get so UNINTELLIGENT? As a man who loves the Christmas season and all it represents and all it has done for so many, to all you self-righteous, moronic thickwits who despise the word CHRISTMAS and hate what it represents, I say, BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!--that is a "Bronx Cheer" written out.

Let us briefly review the success of the unintelligent over the last several weeks. The word "Christmas" is banned in some schools. Kids in some schools are NOT allowed to hand out religious Christmas cards. Nativity scenes are banned from many schools and public places. I could go on and on but for what. If you are reading this you get it. The ultimate in "Unintelligent Babble" came from NBC's medical director, Nancy Snyderman. Somehow she managed to summon from deep within herself a pronouncment  that when it comes to Christmas, "religion mucks the whole thing up". I heard it--she said it and it is all over the tube if you would like to hear it for yourself. That's right, "religion mucks the whole thing up". This from a highly trained and well educated woman. Hey Nancy---BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!!

Finally, let me mention the DC Abortion Fund. These folks have decided to celebrate a baby  whose birth brought "joy to the world" by having a "Peace, Joy and Choice Winter Holiday Party" at the upscale Capitale Lounge in Washington D.C.  Five per-cent of the money from their drink orders go to fund the organization's sole  purpose which is to help fund abortions so babies preparing to be born can be obliterated. (Maybe they are big fans of King Herod.) How convenient to use a day they denigrate to raise money to defile what the entire season represents. And they all pretend that they are so well educated and sophisticated. Yeah, right.

It is less than two weeks until Christmas. I am sick and tired of all of this anti-Christmas, anti-religion nonsense coming from a tiny percentage of the misguided who simply want to take the joy they refuse to experience away from the vast majority who do. Look, if you choose to embrace a concept that does not make sense and  be miserable, knock yourselves out.  But leave us alone. Celebrating peace, joy and love is a GOOD thing. I truly extend my wishes to ALL for a blessed Christmas Holiday. If you refuse to accept the sentiment---BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!!!!

December 13, 2012

John Catenacci - Dianna's Way - Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Dianna is a young woman in her late 20’s when she meets John, a man in his late 40's. They fall in love and marry. A central feature of their life plan is to have one child to fulfill her fervent lifelong dream of being a mother.

Not to be.

Not long into their marriage, Dianna discovers she has an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Hand in hand, they begin a 17 year spiritual journey into the nature of love and healing. Along the way, she discovers and fulfills her life purpose and, in the process, takes John by the hand, gently helping him to reveal, then fulfill, his own.

In the beginning, John, being much older, thought he would be her teacher but gradually discovers in the most important dimensions of life quite the opposite is true. With Dianna’s guidance, he ultimately discovers we are all teachers, we are all students and we are all one.

Theirs is a story of courage, determination and a lightness of being, as they descend into the deepest valleys of crushing disappointment, pain and suffering only to rise again to ever higher peaks of appreciation, gratitude and love. Throughout it all, their journey is laced with light and laughter.

Even today, after her passing, they continue their relationship, piercing the Illusion that veils this reality, exploring its limits while continuing a spiritual journey without end.

Author Interview

Please tell us about your current release.
I will use the back cover copy as it works pretty well on its own.

John Catenacci is enthralled from the start by the beauty, radiance, and mystery of the much younger woman he meets at a party. Dianna “is in Technicolor and everyone else is in black and white.” Expecting to be the teacher, not the student, John is humbled by the gradual discovery that the opposite is true, in their marriage and in life. The author is profoundly awed by Dianna’s courage, determination, and lightness of being that remains entirely undiminished in the face of what becomes a seventeen-year battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer. John accompanies Dianna each step of the way, and is increasingly amazed by the undeniable healing affect she has on others. Theirs is a shared spiritual journey into the nature of love and transformation. Even after her passing, their relationship pierces the illusion veiling this reality.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?
At some point in our life together, I began to notice Dianna was living her life in a genuinely powerful, almost mysterious (to me) way and suggested to her that I write her story. She was as delighted as any child running down the stairs on Christmas morning. But, as her health deteriorated, I became focused on care giving and put the writing aside. After she died, I was engulfed in grief and for a couple of years I just couldn’t climb out of it. One day, I happened upon a book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, which I credit with guiding me back into the game.

The book is in five parts. The first four recount our life together with the fifth devoted to my personal spiritual journey of coming to terms with her leaving, my long view of who she was and what I learned from her. The first four parts flowed like water once I began to write but I struggled mightily with the last part. Yet it is this last part that weaves together the whole of her life, her message, in a way very satisfying to me.

John's wife, Dianna

Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?
Well, originally the cover was going to be centered on the photo of Dianna that is now on the back cover. I love this photo of her – it is quintessential Dianna in an image.

However, my editor, Marly Cornell, convinced me this was going to be an ineffective cover and, after accidentally seeing the photo of Dianna and me from the rear taken by a dear friend/professional photographer, Giovanni Sanitate, she instantly said, “This is the one. Use this one.” Well, it has taken most of my life but I have finally learned to listen and follow advice when the advice comes from someone I respect. So, now, everyone gets to see my bald head instead of Dianna. More mystery, more intriguing, Marly said. Probably because anyone looking at it would wonder what this young woman is doing with this old man.

Anyway, unwilling to let it go completely, I pushed Dianna’s photo to the back cover because I wanted it to be seen and seen in color.


Price: $16.95 paperback
ISBN: 9780985247904
Pages: 365
Release: December 14, 2012

About the Author

After spending his youth doing cement construction work while getting his education, John Catenacci earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He went on to work on the Apollo 11 Project as a member of the USAF in California, then as an engineer for the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI, doing both process research as well as designing and building chemical plants.

Mid-career he became interested in group dynamics, leading to another 20-year career in team building that took him across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

With a sprinkling of published short stories and articles in small magazines along the way, his abiding passion has always been writing, something now coming to fruition in this, his first book.

Connect with John:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site


a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 11, 2012

Giveaway: Win 3 top-rated Christmas Kindle ebooks!

Win three top-rated Christmas Kindle ebooks!

A Family for Christmas 
by Helen Scott Taylor

A lonely career woman stranded in a blizzard, a disillusioned man who has cut himself off from women. When he rescues her from the snow and takes her into his home, the spirit of Christmas and his little girl's love work their magic.

On Christmas Hill 
by Nichole Chase

When Gertie Nichols passed away, her estate was given to her great niece, Molly. After making the long trek from Florida to Vermont with her dog Remy, Molly is caught off guard by the attractive groundskeeper her aunt left in charge. At first her lonely holiday seems to be shaping up to be better than expected—until Nate tells her about the Nichols family legacy and the secret of Christmas Hill.

As sparks fly and magic blossoms right before her eyes, Molly will have to decide whether to take up the mantle her great aunt’s left behind or turn her back on tradition and the man who has quickly garnered space in her heart.

Christmas Grace 
by Malinda Martin

It’s the most wonderful time of year for everyone in the small town of Charity, Florida.

Everyone, that is except for Grace Hudson.

Grace associates Christmas with bad memories and is determined to be immune from the cheerful holiday. All she really wants is to sell the diner that she inherited and move North to the glorious anonymity of New York City.

Stuart “Mac” McCrae loves Christmas! As an award-winning photographer he just needs to get that one perfect picture before heading south for the holidays. The only thing holding him back is the small, undecorated diner that sits in the middle of the beautiful main street of Charity.

Determined to get that picture, Mac sets out on a quest to reintroduce Grace to the beloved holiday, unknowingly bringing her face to face with the pain of a long ago Christmas.

Can Mac help Grace let go of the past and again embrace Christmas before his deadline to get the perfect picture passes?



Email Larry your receipt of purchase of his Christmas novel, The Priest and the Peaches, to

Giveaway ends January 2, 2013.

November 27, 2012

"Black Friday" is now "Black Insanity"

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but the truth is, it has attained that status in my world  through the default of my REAL favorite holiday, Christmas. Christmas, in and of itself, will always be the best holiday because of what it represents; Peace on Earth, Good Will to All, Joy to the World and Love and Giving. And it all began with the birth of a baby in a cave or stable somewhere in the bowels of the  Middle East 2000+ years ago. The baby grew up, lived for 33 years, preached love and forgiveness, and changed the world forever. The whole thing is unbelievable. The story is also TRUE. (By the way--there are millions & millions of folks who agree with me on that--could actually be 2,000,000,000 or two billion---So there!).

Thanksgiving really asks nothing of us except to "share and give". It's beautiful. Well, that is how Christmas started. What happened to me this year was "Black Friday" was replaced by "Black Insanity". The Christmas season has always been commercialized, especially in the 20th century and "Black Friday" has been around for a long time with people standing in line in freezing weather at two in the morning to get a "deal" on stuff. Good for them. They had already done the family thing on Turkey Day. For many it became a holiday tradition.

Now, this year, along comes "Black Insanity" (my definition). People were camping out all week so they could get save a few bucks on stuff on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon and evening. WHOA--What happened to family day with the turkey and stuffing and cranberries and pie and football and too much tryptophan --Puhlease---STOP! We need some quality time with our family and friends. Forget about saving some money. You are giving up something that has no price tag because it is priceless. Look folks, we need to empty ourselves once in a while of the world around us, even if it is just a little bit.

There was a time in America when every Sunday was family day. People who had jobs in necessary services  were the ones who worked on Sundays. Dads and moms would have dinner together with the kids, take them out together, or just simply hang out together at home. Most stores were closed, period. I grew up in NYC and the only stores open on Sunday were the candy stores to sell newspapers, the delicatessens and the bakeries. Of course, the saloons opened after 1p.m. That was it. There was a serenity in the air on Sundays, a pause from the everyday, a calmness that surrounded people. It was not perfect but it was good.

 I am just trying to make a point with all this rambling and the point is this. This "Black Insanity" that has taken place this year has opened the proverbial Pandora's Box. Once opened it will never be closed. The only thing that will  happen is "Black Insanity" will expand it's clutching fingers and grab hold of more and more folks who will believe that they are "missing out". All those Sundays of years ago were crammed into Thanksgiving and Christmas. It took a long time but it looks like Thanksgiving has just become another modern Sunday?   What's next? Christmas Day "white sales"?

November 18, 2012

"Being Thankful for Thanksgiving-"

I'm a holiday kind of guy. I love the Christmas season with its "peace-on-earth" and '"joy-to-the-world" messages and Santa Claus, and elves and Christmas lights and all that comes with the excitement leading up to Christmas Day. Most of all, I love the "reason for the season"---acknowledging the birth of Christ.

I also am fully aware of the pressure and stress Christmastime can bring to so many. This year, besides the homeless, the unemployed and  those with serious illness, we must factor in the death and devastation brought by "Monster Storm Sandy" on so many of our brother and sister Americans. Christmas for many will require much Faith in the 'reason for the season'. 

Then there are the many  parents with no money who desperately want Santa to visit their house on Christmas Eve.  Let's face it, kids are kids and Santa is Santa; to them the "real world" has no place in their little, anxious hearts. The stress this can cause for a mommy and daddy who might be struggling just to make rent can sometimes be overwhelming. And what about the single parents with only one income, generally small. Providing a Christmas for their kids can be one of the most stress filled times of the entire year. That is a whole other issue.  But first comes Thanksgiving---and Turkey and stuffing and pie and full bellies.

I LOVE Thanksgiving. To me it IS the best day of the year. Why? Because it is the one day of the year when we pause and simply give thanks for all that we have even if it is just a little. A job, good health, a cancer in remission, connecting with a long lost relative, the birth of a child, so many things that we can be thankful for. People from every economic situation can have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens and prisons serve turkey. Folks who have little money are able to receive turkey baskets from various charitable organizations so they can have a turkey dinner at home with their families. No-one in America needs to go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. You do not need to purchase gifts. All you have to do is show up, hang out, eat and enjoy the uplifted spirit of family and friends that are with you, even if they are strangers in a soup kitchen. This year even the victims of "Sandy" will have a turkey dinner available to them no matter what their situation. It will be something to be thankful for that day and will generate a spark of hope in otherwise despondent hearts. We should all be Thankful for Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful thing.

"If the only prayer you said in your WHOLE LIFE was,"THANK YOU", that would suffice."
Meister Eckhart 1260-1327, Theologian and Philosopher

November 10, 2012

I know, get over it. 'After all, it's only politics"

This was my 12th presidential election and  it took me until Thursday to accept, not the election results but rather, how we got to those results. Inside my discombobulated and foggy muse I know the system we have has worked--again. I know we have re-elected a sitting president--again. It is all "good", right?  God Bless America, right? So whatever is my problem?

Look, I know we have this cliche that has been embedded in all of our psyches and that cliche is "hey, its politics". And what does that mean? Does it mean character assassination is permissible? Does it mean lying is allowed?  Does it mean vilifying  a person's family is justifiable? Apparently, it does and I for one am sick of it.  I am sick to death of the upscale, well educated, articulate campaign reps and biased news pundits  being no better than  soap opera villains going about their business assailing those with whom they disagree with blistering attacks on their character and their families. And PLEASE--don't tell me "hey, its politics". That is Machiavellian crap. The truth is this behavior is disgusting and the example we set for the younger generations is deplorable. How many young people, even at the high-school level, have learned during this election season that Governor Mitt Romney is nothing but a lying, thieving, tax-evading, murdering felon who has no qualms whatsoever about 'pushing granny in a wheelchair' over a cliff. Why is this vilification done. TO WIN! Hey, I know, "its politics".

As a catholic I am also befuddled and disheartened  by the Gallup poll taken after the election that showed 52% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama while only 45% voted for Mitt Romney. I am a senior citizen who was  raised catholic and still is.  Never in my entire life have I experienced the Bishops in the United States (The USCCB under Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY) reaching out and asking their catholic "flock" to vote to save and protect our First Amendment rights. Never have they asked for our support to literally defend the faith we profess to follow. Those rights had never been threatened before. But now they are.  And what happened? 52% to 45% of we  'catholics' turned our bishops down. Why? I have some answers inside myself to that question but they are too painful to deal with right now. Hey, I know, I had better get over it. After all, " its only politics."

October 31, 2012

All Saint's Day & Why We "Weird" Catholics"pray" to Saints.

As a blue-collar, catholic guy I just felt I should give you my take about the day after Halloween, a day that is known to us catholics as The  Feast of All Saints or All Saint's Day. There is a lot of misconception about this "saint" business so let me try to clear this up in my own way. No research here, I am just digging down inside myself trying to remember what I learned from Sister Mary Ursula and all the other good sisters way back when and how I have managed to extrapolate that information over a 50 plus year period.

First of all, let's get something straight--Catholics DO NOT worship or adore saints. God alone is worshiped and adored. Period, Amen. So who are these people we call saints and why do we "pray" to them? Well, for starters, remember that praying is just like talking. When we pray to the saints we are talking to them. When we pray to God we are talking to God. However, there is a HUGE difference. When you talk to God it is direct, one on one, straight up. You cannot go any higher. God is the top Man. The "buck stops with Him". Many Christians feel that there can be no intercessor between "God and man (when I use the word man I also mean woman, okay) except God Himself. Well, that is fine and perfectly okay. All of us catholics always talk directly to God too. So, what about these people called saints? (I know, I know, we catholics sure can be weird.)

Here is how yours truly looks at this saint situation. I have to compare it to baseball or football. Over the years many thousands of men (and even some women) have played baseball and football. Heck, when I was a kid we were playing stick-ball in  the streets of the Bronx when we were  seven years old. I guess I could safely say that millions of people have played the game over the years. The years go by and we begin to grow up and most of us fall by the wayside as far as being great football or baseball players. But there are those select few that continue to play and actually become professionals. And from that group the cream comes to the top, the "best of the best" the greatest of them all, the ones that break records and become heroes to young and old alike. These people we pedestalize and place them in a place called the "Hall of Fame". Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and Jimmy Brown and Terry Bradshaw and Joe Namath and the list goes on. Immortalized forever because they were the best of the best. Well, there you have it. The Saints are the "Catholic Hall Of Fame". They are the best of the best, the ones that loved their faith so much many died for it. There are the ones who spent their entire lives living in poverty and working with the sick and the poor never wanting anything for themselves and always having a smile on their face because they never lost sight of the prize. They showed us how the game of life should be played.

Here's the deal. We know that these folks died and went to heaven. They are with God. This is a faith thing so don't get logical about it. Imagine if you had a big brother or a big sister and you needed something from your dad but you were sure he would say "no" so you decide to ask your big brother to put in a good word for you. And he does and dad agrees. And there it is. We ask the saints to put in a good word for us because they are with God and they "have His ear" so to speak. No, I cannot prove it. Once again, it is a faith thing. But I do believe it, without reservation.

 If you want to explore this talking to the saints thing a bit further go on line or stop by your local catholic parish and check it out. You know, we all have pictures of our family members in our homes or wallets and we have statues of great people in history. Why? We honor them. Same with the saints. And for all those who did not make it into the Hall of Fame we talk to them too. You see, we are all one, big family known as the "communion of saints". That's right, you don't even have to be dead to be a saint.  It is a beautiful thing.

October 29, 2012

The Legend of the "Jack-O-Lantern" Halloween, 2013

by Larry Peterson

Long ago in Ireland, the land of shamrocks, leprechauns, soft winds and smiles, there lived a man named Jack. Jack was quite lazy and did not like to work. But he had the gift of "blarney" and could talk the peat off the moss. He would tell wondrous tales about his adventures as a world traveler and the people in his village would be held spellbound by his golden tongue; however, Jack outsmarted himself when he  stole money from the townsfolk. He thought that they were not very smart and would never find out. But they did find out and began chasing him down the streets of the village.

As Jack ran down the road as fast as he could he rounded a bend and ran smack into the devil. The devil smiled at Jack and told him it was time for him to die and that he was there to take his soul. Jack quickly convinced the devil that if he would let him go and promise to never take his soul he would give him all the souls of the folks who were chasing him. "And how do you plan to do that, Jack?" the devil asked.

"Well now, all ye have ta do is turn ye-self into a pot of gold coins. Then I will give the coins to the people and you will be in all of their pockets. They will be yours."

Since many souls were better than only one, the devil readily agreed and turned himself into a pot of gold coins. Jack gave the coins to all the people and they went away smiling never realizing that they had given themselves to the devil in return for money.

So Jack lived on, grew old and, like all mortal men, finally died. His life had been so sinful on earth that he could not get into heaven and since the devil could not take his soul, he could not get into hell. He had nowhere to go. He asked the devil how he was supposed to see because he was in complete darkness. The devil laughed and tossed Jack a burning ember from the fires of hell, an ember that would never burn out.

Jack, using the ember to guide his way, found a pumpkin patch (some say it was turnips) and carved out a pumpkin. He put the ember inside and began carrying it around so he could see where he was going. To this day he wanders the earth seeking a resting place. And that is why he is known as "Jack-O'-Lantern" or "Jack of the Lantern".

"HAPPY HALLOWEEN"     posted in 2011 and 2012

                                                   copyright © 2012 Larry Peterson

October 25, 2012

Review from Rainy Day Reviews

The kind where I need to get all errands and house work done before hand becasue once I pick it up it is near impossible to put down. This was one of those books. This sucks you in right from the start. Part of the pull of this book was that you just had to know what was going to happen next.

October 24, 2012

"A Guy Named Barney" Just a Doorkeeper

The election season has fried my brain.  The pundits, the commentators, the campaign officials, the editorial writers and, of course, the candidates. My God, MASSIVE EGOS--everywhere. They are all experts in everything you can think of and they vilify each other, name call, besmirch each other and even attack their opponent's families. It had finally gotten to me. And then you hear this Machiavellian disclaimer, "Hey, that's politics". You know what, I have a different word for all of it, "DISGUSTING". To the Point-----

As a Catholic, I decided to check the Catholic Hall of Fame for someone "egoless". You know them as saints but to me, they are the Catholic Hall of Famers. The best of the best, the creme de la creme. Let me tell you about one of them, a simple man who never aspired to be anything more than a simple priest. His name was Bernard Francis Casey and his family and friends called him Barney. There are many guys like Barney in our Catholic Hall of Fame and they, like Barney, probably never even knew what the word "ego" meant.

Barney was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin back in 1870. He was the sixth of 16 kids of Irish immigrants. When Barney was a boy he contracted diphtheria and it left him with a permanently raspy sounding voice. Barney would never have qualified for American Idol. Barney felt the call to the priesthood but his goal was detoured by jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin as a lumberjack, a prison guard, a streetcar operator and a hospital orderly. Barney Casey always did whatever job he had to the best of his ability wanting to serve his God in all things. At the age of 21 he was able to enter St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee and spent five years there before being able to move on and join the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Upon his acceptance, he took the name of Solanus after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th-century missionary.

Solanus Casey was finally ordained a priest at the age of 33. He had to study extremely hard to reach that goal and when he was finally ordained he was given the title "Sacerdos Simplex" which means "simple priest" and he was not permitted to preach or to hear confessions. He never complained and took joy in being a "simple priest". Father Solanus Casey's main job at the monastery where he lived in Detroit was that of "doorkeeper". Father Casey was probably the finest doorkeeper that ever lived. He did this for well over 20 years and also became known for his service to the sick and the advice and consultations he would have with visitors. People began attributing cures and other blessings to his interaction with them or others.

So there it is. A man who opened and closed doors for people. A man who had no ego and was happy to serve God in the simplest of ways. He died in 1957. A man who, because miracles have been attributed to his intercession, was declared "Venerable" by Pope John Paul II in 1995. This is the second step toward canonization as a saint (the first is being declared a Servant of God). He is the first man born in the USA to be on the road to full sainthood. And all he did was humbly and happily open doors for people and talk to them if they wanted. A Catholic Hall of Famer for sure and quite the contrast to the gaggle of egotists that bombard us daily with their "I think" wisdom. Solanus (Barney) Casey has re-charged me.

Review from Lissette E. Manning

This was such a beautiful story. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it to anyone for reading.

October 23, 2012

Review from aobibliosphere

I am an orphan myself and the eldest child too. I can relate well with Teddy, the eldest brother, as he gathers his wits about him now that he takes over his late father's role as head of the family.

October 22, 2012

Review from A Pocket Full of Books

The Priest and the Peaches is a different kind of book than I usually read and I very much enjoyed it! Sometimes branching out from your usual genres can be really worth it.

October 18, 2012

Win a copy of 'The Priest and the Peaches' during the 'Spectral' read-a-thon

Win a copy of 'The Priest and the Peaches' during the 'Spectral' Read-a-thon! A 15-day celebration of Shannon Duffy's book - as we re-read it together and focus on a couple of chapters every Monday through Friday from November 1st through November 21st. All you have to do to participate is purchase 'Spectral' and read along with us.

We'd love for you to leave comments on our daily posts at the 'Spectral' blog, tweet us under the #Spectral hashtag, leave shout-outs to Shannon at @ShannonDuffyLit - and of course, we'll have giveaway surprises for those who follow along.

Sign up at the linky at:

Help us spread the word. If you don’t have a blog, use Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. Having a blog is not required. Be sure to grab the button at the top of this post.

We are looking for prize donations if anyone would like to contribute. Authors, this is a great way to promote your book! Email info [at] tribute-books [dot] com

Let's hit the road with Jewel!

November 1: Chapters 1, 2 & 3
November 2: Chapters 4 & 5
November 5: Chapters 6 & 7
November 6: Chapters 8 & 9
November 7: Chapters 10 & 11
November 8: Chapters 12 & 13
November 9: Chapters 14 & 15
November 12: Chapters 16 & 17
November 13: Chapters 18 & 19
November 14: Chapters 20 & 21
November 15: Chapters 22 & 23
November 16: Chapters 24 & 25
November 19: Chapters 26 & 27
November 20: Chapters 28 & 29
November 21: Chapters 30, 31 & 32

October 16, 2012

Review from Sweeping Me

The book was really good. I found myself with so many emotions about these kids and all they had to endure. What a delightful surprise to feel so many tugs at my heart. I loved each of the kids and felt like I could relate to all of them.

"Little Sisters Threatened by Big Brother"

The Little Sisters of the Poor is a catholic, religious organization founded in France in the first half of the 19th century. A woman by the name of Jeanne Jugan (now Saint Jeanne Jugan) felt the need to help care for the many poverty stricken elderly who seemingly were everywhere in France. She began her ministry by inviting an elderly woman into her home to care for her. One woman caring  for another and so began the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Let us fast forward about 160 years or so. The Little Sisters of the Poor serve people in 31 countries. They have grown from one woman helping one woman to one of the most successful religious organizations in the world. One country they serve is the good old U.S of A. They have about 30 homes here and care for 2500 elderly in the U.S. Enter Obamacare and the HHS Mandate.

There are certain penalties that accompany the Mandate. For example, if an organization were to stop offering health insurance rather than comply with the Mandate that organization, ie: The Little Sisters of the Poor, would be forced to pay a $2000.00 penalty per employee. If they chose to offer insurance without contraception, aborta-facient drugs or sterilization availability, they would be penalized $100.00 per day per employee. If there were 50 employees that would come to about $2,000,000.00 a year.

The Little Sisters of the Poor do one thing. They care for the elderly. They offer them homes where they are welcomed and lovingly cared for. These folks are treated with respect, dignity and love. The good Sisters do not want money. They do not need a fancy car or a big house to live in. They do not need  a flat-screen TV or contemporary clothing. All they want to do is serve other people. Half of all operating costs come from donations, the other half from Medicaid. The penalties for non-compliance with the Mandate would virtually wipe out their ability to continue this work.

The Department of Health and Human Services exemption criteria is so narrowly defined that hardly anyone will qualify. A religious employer will only be exempted if they hire & serve only people of their own faith. Catholic Charities and  Catholic hospitals serve all folks. So do other religious organizations. The penalties will force them to go out of business.  This is so crazy and I would ask, what do the elderly need birth control for anyway?

October 15, 2012

Review from Adventures of Frugal Mom

Here is an alert to this book. Make sure you have a box of tissue ready. You will either laugh until you cry and you will cry at the sad moments. This book is that good.

October 12, 2012

Review from Sara's Organized Chaos

The Peach children immediately feel like real characters and within the first ten pages you are rooting for them and want them to do well.

October 11, 2012

October 9, 2012

The "Nones" are here--are you One?"


By Larry Peterson

Things have changed and things are-a-changing still. This baby-boomer is firmly entrenched in the world of a senior citizen. This place is on a high-up perch where one can pause, look down and see with clarity what was and what is. When I look back about 20 or so years ago there is a small group of people occupying a small corner of the landscape. For some reason their numbers have exploded and now they occupy almost 20% of the American population. These people are called the "Nones". Maybe you are one of them.

The "Nones" are those folks who have no religious affiliation. Except for the atheist and agnostics, the rest do not consider themselves Godless. They just do not think that they need religion to guide them. (this leads to another thought--if God and religion are two different things why all the hysteria about using the name of God in the public square? That can be discussed another time). As you can see, for a guy like me, a Catholic blue-collar, flag-waving type of person, this "None" thing is a bit perplexing.  I want to yell and scream and say----"OH MY GOD!! What's the matter with you people?" But--I and many of my generation are part of why this "None" phenomena has grown and taken hold. We have not passed down our faith and traditions. We have, as Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington has said, "catechized without content".

Protestantism was the majority religion for decades, maybe longer. Now it is under 50%. There are supposedly about 58 million Catholics in the country yet, maybe 16 million practice their faith. That's about 28%. What happened to change the religious landscape? We old fools happened, that's what happened. We let down our guard with our kids and started worrying too much about traumatizing their delicate psyches. We did not want to say "no" to poor little Johnny and Joanie. That was the beginning.

And so the world changes and evolves. I am a cradle Catholic. I am even among the dwindling population of  Catholics that attends not only Sunday mass but daily Mass. Yet I am responsible as are many of my generation. From the religious hierarchy downward and into the home itself and right to the empty supper tables choosing to stare at cell phones instead. We did not transfer the baton. We dropped the baton. Not saying "no" morphed into "Nones".

                              ©Larry Peterson 2012 All Rights Reserved

October 8, 2012

Review from My Two Blessings

The story is well written with 3 dimensional characters and the Peach kids will steal your heart as you experience all the ups and downs with them. Highly recommend it.

October 1, 2012

Review from Kristal McKerrington

A Young Adult book that had me hooked from page one right through to the last nitty gritty page.

"My Pollyanna bubble is ready to burst"

Last week I posted that we Christians (Catholics included) are the latest victims of hate crimes subjected to what seems to be a daily onslaught of ridicule, degradation, mockery, lampooning and defilement. Our President and Secretary of State saw fit to use tax-payer money to  star in a video apologizing to Muslims for a 13 minute movie trailer that offended them.  It depicted the prophet Muhammad in a satirical manner.  I suggested that we Christians should have a tax-payer funded video produced apologizing to us for the "PissChrist" exhibit on display in midtown Manhattan. This exhibit is not satirical, not quite. It cuts to the very core of a Christian's belief system by placing Christ in the artist's urine. Not to worry all you "powers that be". We Christians will do like we always do and make some verbal objections and then turn the other cheek. There will be no anarchical  uprising with plundering and pillaging, mayhem and murder. Rest easy, we Christians do not have to be feared. Now, to the point.

I guess when all is said and done my  pollyanish world view has taken a serious hit. I have discovered that many Christians do not even care about stuff like this. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked catholics all over the country to stand behind them in their quest to stop the infiltration into the Catholic church's invasion by a government run amok, an intrusion unprecedented in American history. Forty nine (49) individual lawsuits were filed on the same day in federal courts all around the country to stop the HHS mandate. How did many Catholics respond. They didn't. They did not seem to care. In addition, because of the main stream media's refusal to report about these things, many still do not even know about it. Now the Washington Post comes out and says the latest polls show President Obama leading Mitt Romney by a large margin among Catholic voters. HUH!!! In my pollyanna world this does not even make sense. This Pollyanna's bubble is ready to burst. I'm just  hoping and praying that it holds on a bit longer.

September 24, 2012

Review from Sapphyria's Book Reviews

There is a sense of community closeness that is inspiring and uplifting.

"Have We Christians Become the Victims of Hate Crimes?"

The Muslim world went berserk over a 13 minute video that most of them had never seen but had, from what they had heard, offended the prophet Muhammad. So, by the thousands, they created mayhem, civil disobedience, and anarchy in 20 countries around the world and fiendishly killed our Ambassador to Libya and three of his American associates. The administration said it was a "spontaneous uprising". The embassy issued a statement apologizing for offending  Muhammad in the video.  Wait a minute---it all started on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Uh--oh--it was planned and Al_Queda was involved. So, after a week of  denials the administration admitted that it was, in fact, a terrorist attack. How about that. Time for a new approach.

So the President of the United States and his Secretary of State took $70,000.00 of taxpayer money and made a video apologizing to the Pakistani people for the video. The President said in the video, "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others". Secretary Clinton called the video "despicable and reprehensible". As far as Libya is concerned, an intense investigation is under way and those that committed the crimes against the US will be brought to justice. I'll bet those marauding Muslims are shaking in their sandals. To the point---

Taxpayer money has been used to make those apology ads to the Muslim world. What about the Christian world. I am one of those that total one third of the world's population (like 2.3 billion) and over a billion of us are Catholic Christians. How come we can be  mocked and defiled and laughed at whenever someone feels like it?  How come our guy, JESUS CHRIST, who we BELIEVE  is the Messiah and the Son of God, can have His name publicly reviled and His very existence lampooned by the "intellegentsia" of the world? Is it because we are the peace loving folks, the ones who forgive others and therefore we are no threat to anyone? We are not about to blow you up or slit your throats? Is that it?

So what do we Christians get on the heels of the Great Muslim Apology by the President and the Secretary of State. We get "PISS CHRIST". That's what we get. This 1987 "work of art" by the"renowned" artist, Andres Serrano, famous for using urine and feces in his "art", is what we Christians get. Something that was once branded as a "deplorable, despicable (where did we just hear that word) display of vulgarity" and was funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, is what we Christians get. On September 27 an exhibit of "Piss Christ", which is a crucifix with the body of Christ on it immersed in Serrano's urine, goes on display at the Edward Tyler Neham Gallery on upscale W 57th Street in Manhattan. Where is our apology video? You don't think I am deeply offended by this attack on my deepest beliefs,  beliefs that for me and many are the core of our existence. Where is our apology video?

It seems to me that if taxpayer dollars can be used to apologize to those who hate us and want to kill us, and if taxpayer money can be used to fund so called "art" that is repugnant to so many (remember the statue of the Virgin Mary covered with feces at the museum in Brooklyn) then we Christians should get an apology from our government for taking our money and using it to fund programs and people that vilify us. Slowly but surely we Christians are the ones who have become the "victims of hate crimes".

One final thought. Since the United States of America was, in fact, attacked again on 9/11 and on our own soil, I thought that maybe at every football game across America that maybe a moment of silence would have been held in honor of those Americans killed on the new 9/11. Not a PEEP---anywhere or from anyone.

September 17, 2012

Protecting Idiots--HAPPY 225th BIRTHDAY to our CONSTITUTION

9/11 transformed us forever. Then, on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11, our embassy in Libya was attacked and   four people, including our ambassador, were murdered by extremists who hate us. Make no mistake, an embassy is a nation's sovereign territory and those maniacs who attacked us may well have done it right down at Ground Zero or in Kansas, Oklahoma or in New Jersey. It makes no difference. It is simply a question of location. Today, Sept 17, 2012, it seems as if the world has gone mad. It seems that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Islamics hating America and everything it stands for. They hate all of  us Americans and everything we have and everything we believe in. They want to kill us.

There is a  great irony that confronts us today, September 17, 2012. It is the 225th birthday of the United States Constitution. This is our document. This is what outlined this "great experiment" in freedom. This is the anniversary of when people were given rights FIRST and the government was instituted to safeguard those rights. That is the governments purpose under the Constitution of the United States of America. We have been blessed.

Freedom of Speech is in the very First Amendment. You see, in America it is okay to be an idiot. You can say the dumbest, most insulting, degrading, condescending, vitriolic kind of stuff in America and the Constitution says it's okay. You might get smacked in the mouth or taken to court but it is not illegal to be an idiot or even a moron. So what is going on this Constitutuon Day? Is there a stifling of free speech being attempted by the powers to be--the government that is supposed to look out for us. Are they doing it under the guise of virtue? Say it ain't so.

It seems some idiot made a 13 minute video that mocked the prophet, Muhammad. Like I said, in America you can be an idiot. But now they are blaming the madness going on in the world, the violence, the destructiuon, the killings, the hate filled rhetoric, on this guy and his idiotic video. The government has him in custody, not for his safety, but because they want to blame someone for what is happening. This idiot did not make people go berserk all over the world. There has to be more to it.  Maybe generations of hatred instilled in a people looking for the least little excuse to plunder and pillage is bubbling over. Maybe the folks running amok are the idiots. Maybe our government should protect its own idiots like it is supposed to. Maybe we should never lose sight of who and what we are as a nation and protect those rights no matter what.

Thank you to James Madison, the 4th President of the United States and the "Father of the Constitution". You did a marvelous job, Mr. President, absolutely marvelous. We owe you big time. (I wonder how many teachers in schools across the country even mentioned what today is)

September 10, 2012

SO Disappointed with the DNC

I have unceremoniously plodded onward in life and have crossed the senior citizen threshold. Therefore I remember VIVIDLY everything about the assassination of President Kennedy. Part of that entire memory includes his daughter Caroline standing next to her mom as the fallen President's horse drawn casket passed them by. She had just turned six. (Of course, no one who witnessed it will ever forget John John's salute). To the point. Now 55 year old,  Caroline Kennedy was introduced as a guest speaker at the Democratic National Convention. She looked so Kennedyish and for a brief moment, deja-vu, ah Camelot. Then she spoke and Camelot, once again, vanished. What a disappointment.

Caroline first proclaimed her Catholicism and then, to quote, "as a Catholic woman, I take reproductive rights very seriously, and today, they are under attack". HUH ???? Under attack by WHOM???

The Catholic Church of course. Her church. her faith. So, for the sake of political expediency, she spits in her church's face. What's up with this hypocrisy? How can a person profess his or her belief in a church's teachings and then pick and chose which ones they like? What if some outstanding baseball prospect came along and could virtually hit every pitch thrown his way at least 450 feet. But there was one problem--he always hit the ball foul. No matter how hard he tried he could never hit it fair. So he decided to challenge the location of the foul lines and went to court because he wanted his hits to be fair like everyone else who played the game. Far fetched analogy? Why? Foul lines in baseball are the same from Little League up through the Major Leagues. That's it. End of story. The Catholic Church has always been against abortion and contraception. That's it. End of story. Many Catholic women practice birth-control and have been doing so for decades. That is between them and their God. The church will never approve. But the church realizes that people have to live within their own consciences and sort of turns aside a bit when it comes to birth control. When it comes to abortion, the Catholic Church is  much more vocal and adamant in its opposition. Abortion takes a life. It will never change its stance on this topic and will always be there to offer every conceivable alternative to such an act. "Reproductive rights" include contraception, abortafacient drugs and abortion,  including partial-birth and after-birth abortion. "After-birth abortion"--just think about that one. By the way folks, there is no "war on women" being waged by the Catholic Church. It is the other way around; a war on the Catholic Church is being waged by secularists who want their own way.

The DNC also removed the name of GOD from their platform and the word Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. After urging from the President it was put back in but the majority of delegates objected. When did the name of GOD become offensive? Cardinal Dolan's offer to give the closing benediction was at first refused. Then it was accepted. When he gave it the major networks did not broadcast it and afterwards hundreds upon hundreds of "F-Bombs" directed at the Cardinal were posted on Twitter. Why?---was it just because he is a priest and said a prayer asking God to protect life and freedom? 

Along with Caroline Kennedy there are quite a few "Catholics" who denounce their church and preach their own theology.  Vice-president Joe Biden, former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi,  and former presidential candidate John Kerry are a few of the  professed Catholics who approve of abortion and proclaim the wondrous freedom it gives to women everywhere. Sorry folks, just because you say it does not mean that they are going to move the foul lines. You want to make your own rules and then castigate those who might disagree. That is not the way it works. This is not spreading "freedom" but rather it is promoting servitude to one's self. You and all of those like you have no idea what a big disappointment you are to so many.

September 7, 2012

Review from Mom in Love with Fiction

Sweet and heartwarming, this book is for readers who want to invest in characters and a story full of heart. You will laugh, cry, and take a leap of faith.

September 4, 2012

Reading Clean Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
MostlyMisha [at] gmail [dot] com

Enter to win the young adult ebook release, The Priest and the Peaches from Tribute Books.

1) Click here to like Tribute Books on Facebook.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


The Priest and the Peaches
by Larry Peterson

Based on a true story...

Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

September 2, 2012

For Dems "Sticks & Stones" have become "Clubs & Boulders"

Two weeks ago the catholic hierarchy was being called radical, extreme and 'out of touch" with the mainstream. Last week Maureen Dowd eviscerated Paul Ryan in her column quoting Tom Morello, of the metal rap band, Rage Against the Machine, who called Paul Ryan  a guy "who is filled with a whole lot of rage"; Rage against women and immigrants and the poor, and gays and even the environment.  Madame Dowd says that beyond the even keeled Ryan mien lurks full-tilt virulence. That's pretty nasty, mean and virulent stuff Madame Dowd and it came from you, not Paul Ryan.

Then we have the Republican National Convention do its thing in Tampa. Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan and now a professor at Berkeley, has written that when Paul Ryan accepted the nomination as candidate for Vice-president he "knowingly lied to the American people". She called Ryan's acceptance speech "lie-larded". No big deal, right? After all, its just politics. Apparently the phrase, "its just politics", seems to be the justification to commit every type of slander know to human kind and to just say things because you have decided to hate people because they disagree with your point of view. I watched the RNC and the commentary coming from the Democratic pundits and news media slowly turned my stomach. The four main words I kept hearing were liars, extremists, radicals, and racists. Then (for me) came the coup-de-grace.

American Pie actor, Jason Biggs, decided that he needed to express his feelings about Paul Ryan and his wife Janna. So he posted the most vile and disgusting sexual references about them on Twitter. He then went on to Twitter about Ann Romney stuff even more vile. "Stick & Stones have now become "Clubs & Boulders". If that had been done to Michelle Obama or the Biden's--well, can you imagine the uproar.

I watched the RNC and  I know what I saw and heard. I heard some classy, professional people, people like , Mia Love, Marco Rubio, Condoleeza Rice, Suzanna Martinez and others give fine speeches never once calling any of their opponents names. Certainly, they gave their opposing view points but their was no vitriol. Clint Eastwood, an American icon, to me was hilarious. I have since heard him called disgusting and deplorable. Can anyone remember when we could poke fun at ourselves and love each other at the same time? What ever happened?

Well, I am a registered Independent. I  don't adhere to any particular party line because I like to think of myself as open to all ideas and vote accordingly. Well, the garbage that has been spewed out by the opponents of Romney & Ryan has made this election for me a no-brainer. We deserve better and our kids and grandkids deserve a better example. Go Romney/Ryan.

August 31, 2012

Review from The Story of a Writer

A priest that enjoys eating peaches? A priest that has some sort of incident with peaches? Hum. I had to find out, and I’m so glad I did.

August 29, 2012

Review from Giveaway Blogdom

Peterson has an extremely unique writing style that I enjoyed very much. There are not many authors that can successfully blend tragedy and comedy (although those two concepts are supposed to be very close to one another), and The Priest and the Peaches treaded the line between drama and humor extremely well.

August 28, 2012

Review from A Shower of Roses

I would recommend this book for teens who are capable of dealing with the harsh realities of children who are suddenly orphaned.

August 27, 2012

Review from Book Lovin' Mamas

I challenged myself to read outside of my "Normal" Genre...and now I can't wait to dig deeper into this kind of Genre again and also read even more books from Larry Peterson.

August 26, 2012

The Reverse Rage of Madame Maureen Dowd

I just happened to read  Ms. Maureen Dowd's column in the Tampa Bay Times (reprinted from the New York Times on 8/22/12) in which she informs the proletariat (you know, all the un-Ivy-Leagued) that Congressman Paul Ryan is not who we thought he was. No sirreee, in fact she has gotten her information from none other than Tom Morello. This has to be factual and intelligent information because this guy is a Grammy winner, a guitarist, a member of the metal rap band, "Rage Against the Machine" and  the ultimate proof of his being part of the creme de la creme, he is a Harvard graduate.

Before I read Madame Dowd's column I had this whacked out notion that Paul Ryan, a man who might become our Vice-president, was a 42 year old married man, with three small kids, was a practicing catholic, and still lived in the town where he was born, Janesville, Wisconsin. It seems that every Thursday, after work as a Congressman, he heads home to Wisconsin to be with his family. (That should have given me a clue that something was up, right? He does not hang around D.C.) He is also (from what I was informed by the mundane media) very smart and wants to fix Medicare for FUTURE generations. Mr. Morello, through Madame Dowd, has set me straight. There is another person hiding out in Paul Ryan's body.  Here it is. Better get ready.

Seems our friend Mr. Morello wrote an essay for Rolling Stone Magazine and told us the "truth" about Paul Ryan. Since Madame Dowd has this ongoing need to find her own personal gospel writers, she has now included Tom Morello on her list of chosen writers of ex-cathedra doctrinaires. Mr. Morello advises us that "Paul Ryan is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging about for two decades. I  CLEARLY SEE, Morello writes,  that Ryan has a whole lotta 'rage' in him. A rage against women. A rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. The only thing he is not raging against is the priviliged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions."  WHEW !!!! Maybe his wife should consider having a restraining order issued against him. According to these folks, he is one "raging dude".

Well, I had no idea. I never suspected that Paul Ryan was such a scary person. Madame Dowd's final sentence in her column reads, "Beyond the even-keeled Ryan mien lurks full-tilt virulence. A moderate demeanor is not a sign of a moderate view of the world". "Full-tilt VIRULENCE"??  That means being venomously hostile or causing disease. WHATEVER, Madame Dowd, whatever. I will not even touch on the other parts in the column about Nicaragua and Angola and the idiot in Missouri, Akin, who stuck his foot so far down his throat you could hear the gagging from coast to coast, or the shot at the Catholic bishops  or quoting the Jesuits to disparage Ryan or his parish priest suggesting that he might allow kids to starve to death.

Thank God Cardinal Dolan is coming to the Republican Convention. Maybe he can get hold of his friend Ryan, bring him in a room, and do an excorcism on him before the rage in him causes him to self-immolate.

August 22, 2012

Review from Everything Has a Purpose

Larry Peterson's novel brings the tough questions to light. When your world tumbles down, what should you do first? What should you not touch at all? Will everything ever be alright again?

August 20, 2012

The "Vacuous Virtuous" Need to Stay Out of Our Churches

I am a blue-collar guy who has, based on my date of birth, become a "senior citizen". That qualifies me for lots of discounts. No big deal because most of those start kicking in at age 55 and I passed that mark a while back. Now I qualify for Medicare. I am also, and this is most important, a Catholic. Okay, to the point.

I am tired folks. Not because of my age or bad back but because I am worn out from being slapped upside my head because I am Catholic. There are supposedly 77 million Catholics in the United States. That makes me one little pea in a great big pod. And this pea is pee-ode. I am sick and tired of hearing my faith denigrated and mocked by a secular world where the slightest hint of a moral boundary professed or defended is scorned and/or ridiculed by these secularists, many of whom claim to be "catholic". God forbid anyone (especially someone like Cardinal Dolan of NY and the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)  attempts to defend his faith and his flock by saying "NO" to someone of modern virtue who has their own ideas as to what the Catholic faith should be. The Cardinal and his peers, including Pope Benedict himself, are deemed "out-of-touch", "radical", or "outside the mainstream". Here's the deal; there is no such thing as "progressive" catholicism.  The basic tenets of the faith have been around for centuries.

My three priorities have always been God, Family and Country---in that order. But you see, no one ever bothered me about that. No one ever bothered you either, right? God bless the framers of the Constitution. Were they SMART. Freedom of Religion--the very first amendment. They knew what kind of lid had to be placed on the pressure cooker of diversity that was to be America. They knew that religion transcended man made law. They knew that a sense of right and wrong was an inborn gift. Religion spelled it out. It provided a moral compass. Therefore, they left it alone and reinforced it with the First Amendment. But then a few hundred years went by and somehow "yes and no" became not only archaic but anathema to so many of our sophisticated and secular 21st century intelligentsia. I would like to dub them the "vacuous virtuous". Their sense of great smartness has laid waste to any sense of humility they may have once possessed. The result---noxious fumes.

As a Catholic Christian I am supposed to try and live my faith 24/7. We Catholics can go to Mass and Communion every single day of the week if we so choose. There are still many of us, including me, that do. We go for spiritual reinforcement and nourishment so, when we leave the church and confront the world OUTSIDE, we are prepared to live up to out beliefs. We have to work at it, are quiet about it and just do the best we can with what God has given us. Sometimes we succeed, some times we don't. After all, we are imperfect beings.

Now, unprecedented in American History, an administration in power is telling us that when we go OUTSIDE our church we must violate our beliefs under penalty of breaking the law, facing fine or even imprisonment. They have even suggested that we (as Catholics) have declared "war on women" because we are refusing to give women contraception and abortifacient drugs. Have they lost their minds? Not hardly. They know full well that Title X was signed into law by President Nixon in 1970 and that contraception has been available to all women in this country ever since. The problem with religion, and not just the Catholic religion, is that it sets boundaries and rules and says "NO". The nerve to tell us we CANNOT do something or have our way. Who in hell do they think they are? Government is the "Great Benefactor". So,  let's kick down their doors and take charge.

The powers that "are" think that they have found the "weak link" in the suit of armor. How foolish they are.The Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years. It has survived onslaughts by the "vacuous virtuous" many times and it will again. It will also be around long after all of us here today are not. As for me, I just want them to leave me alone.

August 16, 2012

Review from Reading Challenged

One thing you do not see much of nowadays is books written for young adults that can be described as “heart-warming”. Right now, dark and intense are in style. So it is refreshing to see an ultimately uplifting book.

August 14, 2012

Review from Romancing the Book

This story had me hooked from the beginning. The writing style drew me in and I felt like I was there with the characters as they suffered tremendous loss and adversity.

August 13, 2012

Review from Simple Clockwork

It reminds me of something I learned from working in a non-government organization: that all children are entitled to proper care, nutrition, encouragement, education, and opportunity.

August 9, 2012

Review from My Tower of Books

And the Peach kids stumble into plenty of trouble and whatnot throughout the course of this book. Like moths to a flame :)

August 7, 2012

Review from Reading in the Mountains

I loved this book. Even through difficult times they were still able to find the humor in most situations. I like that because that's what I do.

August 6, 2012

Review from Write Panic Live

I dare you to look inside yourself and really think about whether you might misjudge a character in your life like Peach children were misjudged.

August 2, 2012

Review from Compulsively Writing Reviews

Written in a reminiscing style, it felt as if the author was speaking of his own family and neighborhood. Each character was written with care, and their deep feelings came out through their journey.

August 1, 2012

Review from Minding Spot

The death of a parent is a hard and life-changing experience and Peterson does it with sensitivity and brings a beacon of light to the devasted Peach kids.

July 30, 2012

Review from In the Pages

When you read a realistic book that is not all happy and wonderful - it isn't always the easiest to read - BUT it is one of my favorite types of books. I don't need everything to be rosy - realistic is ok too. The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson is one of those books...

July 27, 2012

Review from Literary R&R

During that first week of being alone, they are forced to grow up fast learning how to survive in an adult world ... from getting the mail to paying bills to getting groceries to washing laundry. It's a tough road, but if they can pull together and work as a unit, everything will work out fine.

July 26, 2012

Review from Gina's Library

It also makes you stop to think that you don’t really know the story behind anyone. Someone that seems mean spirited may really be hurting and not know the way out of their own darkness. I loved this book.

July 25, 2012

Review from The Musings of a Book Addict

I felt Teddy's burdens as he tried to hold it all together. I felt his stress and heartache. I could not imagine being an eighteen year old with my life ahead of me and suddenly my life is changed drastically.

July 24, 2012

July 23, 2012

Review from Culture Shock

You can relate to the fear experienced by Teddy and Joanie as they try to figure out how they’re going to support their siblings admist a growing rebellion by kids who are balking at the idea of obeying them.

July 20, 2012

July 19, 2012

Review from mybitsandbleeps

Peterson has got the recipe for story-telling right … he clearly demonstrates the difficulties that children face when they have lost both their parents.

July 18, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

No comments = no winner :(

Enter to win the young adult ebook release, The Priest and the Peaches from Tribute Books.

1) Email subscribe to this blog (in the right sidebar) and confirm your subscription in the follow-up email you will receive.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


The Priest and the Peaches
by Larry Peterson

Historical fiction novel set in the Bronx in the mid-1960s

Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Review from The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Heartbreaking, but uplifting, the author has a way of touching your soul with his words.

July 17, 2012

Review from Sweeping Me

The book was really good. I found myself with so many emotions about these kids and all they had to endure. What a delightful surprise to feel so many tugs at my heart. I loved each of the kids and felt like I could relate to all of them. The way they deal with each other and the family as a whole is an inspiration.

July 16, 2012

Request a Kindle 'autograph' from Larry

Click here to request a personalized Kindle autograph ('kindlegraph') from author Larry Peterson for The Priest and the Peaches and Slippery Willie's Stupid Ugly Shoes.

No purchase necessary.

July 13, 2012

Review from Crazed Mind

I think that it would be good for a tween to see that even in the worst of times things can work out.

July 12, 2012

July 11, 2012

Review from Colorimetry

Each of the Peach kids have their own personality. I could picture each of them with their ages and characters.

July 9, 2012

Review from Back to Books

The Priest and the Peaches was a complete home run. I don't know why I connected so well with this book, but I did. I could relate to the characters and found myself excited to keep reading and finding out what happened.

July 6, 2012

Review from The Children's and Teens' Book Connection

What I truly enjoyed is how the story showed that kids often don’t know everything about their parents and the impact they have on other people. The Peach kids and the readers learn that Pops is a lot more than meets the eye.

July 5, 2012

Review from Tiffany's Bookshelf

The theme of love your neighbor is certainly one that we could stand to see more of in the world, so I greatly appreciate that being portrayed in the book.

July 2, 2012

Review from Tribute Books Mama

This is a very heartwarming and sad story of five children who were made orphans when their widowed father dies unexpectedly.

June 29, 2012

Review from BlogCritics

The Priest and the Peaches is one of the most delightful Christian books on today's market. While it is aimed toward young adults, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed Larry Peterson’s portrayal of the incredible problems young adults and/or children face after they have lost both parents.