Immune-Boosting Delicious Recipes for Pregnancy During Covid-19

Today more than ever, building strong immune systems is important for everyone, particularly expecting mothers. We are all cooking and eating at home more than ever before due to Covid-19. Pregnant women are a greater risk for complications related to Covid-19, so dining at home is even more important for them. Eating for Pregnancy: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook, an award-winning nutrition-cookbook by Catherine Jones and perinatal nutritionist, Rose Ann Hudson, RD, LD, offers moms-to-be 150 nutrient-dense, immune-boosting, delicious recipes to help.

EATING FOR PREGNANCY: Your Essential Month-by-Month Nutrition Guide and Cookbook is the ultimate no-nonsense nutrition guide and cookbook for moms-to-be.

Immune-boosting nutrients, that have numerous other benefits as well, include zinc (meats and legumes), selenium (chia seeds and seafood), iron (red meats and iron-fortified breakfast cereals), folate (lentils and asparagus), vitamins A (sweet potatoes), B6 (poultry and oats), C (citrus fruits and broccoli), D (egg yolks and fortified milk, plus sun exposure), and E (sunflower seeds and almonds). These essential nutrients help the immune system in different ways by working as an antioxidant to protect healthy cells, supporting growth and activity of immune cells, and producing antibodies.

Eating for Pregnancy incorporates these powerful nutrients to make menu planning and cooking a snap for all eating preferences and gestational diabetes. Delicious, easy-to-make recipes that are designed to boost your immune system include: Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie Bowl, Mango-Chia Smoothie, No-Bake Nutty Energy Balls, Perfect Homemade Granola, Mango Tango Lime Spritzer, Spinach and Cheese Omelet for One, Awesome Chicken Burgers, Make it Again Meatloaf, Sweet Potato Rounds, Salmon with Artichoke-Olive Tapenade, Superhealthy Lentil Salad, Favorite Broccoli Slaw, Dreamy Chia Pudding with Berries,  and Baby-Blue-Berry Buckle.

Patience has never been a bigger virtue than now. While we all wait for healthier days to come, maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes safe exercises, cooking at home, and taking the proper precautions is the best path forward.

“This is the ultimate pregnancy book… I wish I would have had this book when I went through my pregnancies… A must-have for yourself, your sister, relative, neighbor, or even the perfect reading material while waiting at the doctor’s office!”―San Francisco Review of Books, Rachel Dehning

“[Jones, Hudson, and Knight] bring a wealth of expertise to the project… [This book is] like a warm conversation with a knowledgeable friend.”―Kirkus Review

“Impressively comprehensive, thoughtfully informative, exceptionally ‘user friendly’ in organization, and deftly well presented throughout, [Eating for Pregnancy] is an ideal gift for anyone expecting a child.”―Midwest Book Reviews

“[A] fantastic, one-stop, nutritional guide for all expectant mothers that also lays the foundation for overall healthy nutrition beyond pregnancy [with an] abundance of recipes that contain wonderful ingredients and nutritional information… Well done!”―Feathered Quill Book Review

“The recipes not only look delicious, but are artfully organized into stages of pregnancy, as well as postpartum… Eating for Pregnancy presents information on nutrition in pregnancy in a well-balanced way, focusing on sourcing nutrients from a whole-food diet.”―Midwifery

“[E]very page I flipped to made me say “yum!”… The nutritional and medical information is easy to follow and grasp. The recipes are also appealing to non-pregnant people. This should appeal to those with partners and other children, so that everyone gets fed and gets fed well.”―Kate Sissons, Katesissons.com, Doula, Yoga & Educator

“[A]n incredible resource… I highly recommend using Eating for Pregnancy throughout your pregnancy to keep your body as healthy as possible.”―A Life in Labor

“[W]ell-thought-out and comprehensive… This is a great resource chock full of recipes and guidance for pregnant women. I will definitely be recommending this book to my clients.” ―Nancy Mae, MA, MS, Author, Coach & Creator of the Energetic Fertility Method

Eating for Pregnancy is available for sale on Amazon. To learn more, go to: http://www.catherinejonescookbooks.com

 

 

 

 

Chronicles of a Spell Caster by J.J Singleton

Chronicles of a Spell Caster is the first book in the Orientation series by J.J Singleton. It was released in September 2020. Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Magical Realism

Synopsis:

With Jet’s freshman year gearing up to start, and the normal pressures of college looming, Jet will have to navigate finding a place to fit in, classes, homework, tests, and papers. But in a world where people have powers and abilities and can-do extraordinary things. A new norm has been imbedded into the College curriculum. Students must also complete tasks and assignments within a virtual reality called the AITS to hone their abilities and skills. The idea of who is the strongest hovers over the whole student body and fighting, backstabbing and betrayal are ever present. This notion is amplified during the spring semester of every year when the student spends the remainder of the year within the AITS. Over time Jet will find out who his real friends are and what he must do to survive this hostile world of college. What secrets will be revealed this year. Will one of them be Jet’s dark secret? Will he be able to control the aftermath if it’s revealed or will it harm everyone around him?

Chronicles of a Spell Caster is currently available for sale on Amazon.


About the Author:

J.J. Singleton is an author who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Ancient Studies. Throughout his life, he has dealt with Dyslexia. So, books were never a source of entertainment for him when he was younger. With the difficulties he had with reading and writing, he never dreamed he would one day write a book. He always had a vivid imagination. When he was a young child, he was always pretending that he was the main character in the imaginary stories he created in his mind. Remembering the worlds and characters he created and combining his creative thoughts with historical themes and ideas he learned from his academic career, he has created his first novel Chronicles of a Spell Caster.

When not writing, he likes to play tennis, travel, and watch various tv series, his favorite are historical dramas. His favorite trip was to Greece, one of the many places he studied. He plans to continue his travels to a variety of locations around the globe. His goal is to see many of the historical places he studied and gather inspiration for future projects. Readers can connect with J.J. on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: http://chroniclesofaspellcaster.com/

The Postnatal Cookbook by Jaren Soloff RD, IBCLC

The Postnatal Cookbook by Jaren Soloff RD, IBCLC offers simple and nutritious recipes to nourish your body and spirit during the fourth trimester.

Replenish and rejuvenate your postpartum body with these 75 easy, healing, and protein-rich recipes designed with new moms in mind.

After giving birth, most mothers are well-versed in feeding patterns and schedules for their little ones, yet little attention is given to their own nutrition. The Postnatal Cookbook offers 75 simple, easy-to-prepare recipes for truly nourishing the postnatal body—what is ultimately best for both mother and baby!

Written by a registered dietitian and lactation consultant, these delicious recipes are specially formulated with the nutritional needs of a new mom’s fourth trimester. Inside you’ll find:

  • Quick and easy protein-packed meals like Spinach Egg Bites, Mediterranean Salmon Wraps, and One-Pan Lemon Chicken
  • Satisfying, nutrient-rich snacks such as No-Bake Bliss Balls and Flax Seed Granola
  • The nutritional information every postpartum mom needs to eat healthily
  • And much more!

Based on the latest research in nutrition science, this cookbook prioritizes the foundation of whole food, healthy eating for recovering mothers. Nutrients of vital importance to postpartum such as iron, protein, vitamin D, and omega three-rich foods are highlighted in each recipe.

The Postnatal Cookbook is currently available for pre-sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is set to be released on December 29, 2020, published by Ulysses Press.


About the Author:

Jaren Soloff is a Registered Dietitian and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who serves as an expert in women’s health. While continuing to practice in the field of eating disorder treatment, Jaren gained additional experience as an IBCLC to fuse her love of nutrition and women’s health.

Now working solely in private practice, Jaren combines her expertise as a skilled nutrition therapist and lactation consultant to support individuals looking to heal their relationship with food and body. Her practice, FULL CRCL provides evidenced based practices to support women at all stages of the reproductive cycle, from preconception to postpartum. Informed by her own journey and the hundreds of women she has counseled, Jaren’s experience comes full circle to support women in navigating pregnancy, birth and postpartum from a simple and intuitive framework.

Readers can connect with Jaren on Instagram and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: https://www.fullcrcl.co 

Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture

Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture is a new book by Ryan Bush.

Designing the Mind is a psycho-philosophical self-development book that combines the ancient adage that true happiness comes from within with the modern metaphor of the mind as an operating system. It integrates the wisdom and insights of ancient mystics, practical philosophers, and cognitive scientists into a mindset and method for reprogramming your own psychological software. A handbook for mastering your behavior, cognition, and emotions, one algorithm at a time. Whether fear prevents you from pursuing your ambitions, jealousy ruins your relationships, distractions rule your life, or you have an inner critic whose expectations you are never able to meet, the psychitectural framework will enable you to understand and rewire the hidden patterns behind your biases, habits, and emotional reactions.

“The way your mind is structured will determine the person you become, the life you live, and the fulfillment you realize. When you modify your mind, you edit the operating system at your core and change your personal trajectory. And when you make a persistent occupation of this endeavor, you become the architect of your own character.” – Ryan Bush, Author of Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture

This book is for those who find the idea of building a better mind thrilling in and of itself. Who are impassioned by the thought of cultivating greater wisdom, self-control, or tranquility. Who are drawn to the philosophies of Buddhism and Stoicism, or the fields of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy. We all want to be happier, healthier, better people. But only a few grasp that all of our highest aims can be reached by placing our focus directly on our minds.

“Any man could, if he were so inclined, be the sculptor of his own brain.” – Santiago Ramon y Cajal


Excerpt

“There is no more reliable proof of greatness than to be in a state where nothing can happen to make you disturbed.” – Seneca

Resilience has become a pop-psychological buzzword, and for good reason. Learning to quickly recover from inevitable setbacks is far more practical than attempting to avoid them all. Highly resilient people are better at coping with stress, have fewer depressive symptoms, live longer, and have greater physical health. But why don’t we aim higher? If emotional resilience is getting back up after getting knocked down, emotional robustness is not getting knocked down in the first place.

A robust mind is one with a powerful immune system – one which can bear more without bending. And we fortify our minds, not by circumventing threats, but by preparing for them. By exposing ourselves to difficulties so our minds learn to deal with them effectively. By identifying and reprogramming the emotional algorithms likely to be triggered by the events in our lives.

Emotions are precision instruments. They can be used to achieve great things, but your conflicting passions will only undermine your efforts if you have only little or moderate control over them. If your emotions are the reactive default reflexes they were originally built to be, only luck can help you in achieving your goals.

Believing an emotion to be useful is one thing. But if you are unable to control the emotion, you are not using it. It is using you. If you are unable to keep from getting angry, you have a major weakness, no matter how hard you punched that wall. If you are unable to keep from getting jealous constantly, your partner’s mind is not necessarily a problem – but yours is. And as counterintuitive as it may seem, if you are unable to control your empathy for others, you too have a weakness, and it isn’t doing anyone any favors. You have to learn to stabilize your emotions before you can use them proficiently.

The central idea we’ve covered in the last three chapters, that you can simply reprogram a negative emotional response with which you may struggle, may seem overly simplistic. But over the years, I have repeatedly proven to myself that by viewing emotional algorithms as the root of my problems, these reactions can be eliminated entirely. Each unwanted emotional response poses a unique challenge for creative problem solving. Some are more challenging than others. But I cannot emphasize enough that resignation to negative emotions is the greatest obstacle to a tranquil mind.

Undesirable emotions are bugs in your software. Each emotional category which causes you to feel or act against your values reveals a vulnerability in your psychological code. Culture is keen to remind people that it is okay to feel hurt and upset. This may be important for people to understand, but it’s a bit like telling a programmer it is okay to have errors in his code. Sure, it’s okay. Taking it personally will only create more problems. But now it’s time to debug it. Your thoughts and emotions can be trained, whether or not you have committed to the endeavor of training them. Every problem you have is a part of your own software that hasn’t been optimized.

As we aim to optimize our emotions, we must attempt to cultivate the ancient ideal of equanimity. Equanimity is a state of undisturbed tranquility and psychological stability, with equivalent concepts in nearly every practical philosophy and religion – apatheia in Greek Stoicism, ataraxia in Epicureanism, and upekkha in Buddhism. Someone with this state of mind was someone whose balance of mind could not be shaken, even in the face of great adversity. Equanimity is the pinnacle of psychological robustness and control.

“It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain.” – Bhikkhu Bodhi

Although it is easy to view this state as a spiritual aspiration achieved only by ancient sages, you likely underestimate how attainable a state like this is for you. Think back to the problems you were dealing with five years ago. Chances are these problems are largely irrelevant to you now. Whatever circumstances were causing you anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness then have likely shifted, and they no longer cause you the suffering they once did. From where you stand now, it is easy to look at these problems and see that most of them were trivial; it may even seem laughable that the majority of them ever caused you distress. The problems likely worked themselves out, or better yet, weren’t really problems in the first place. You may even be thankful for the struggles you went through.

Equanimity is about feeling the way you feel about your five-years-ago-problems right now, about your current problems. Meaning they either aren’t problems, are problems that will sort themselves out, or are problems that are good to have. And this state is attained through the gradual process of identifying the emotional reactions that hold you back, using the restructuring and modulation tactics to correct them, and reprogramming each one until you are left with nearly total stability in spite of your circumstances.

“Be like a headland of rock on which the waves break incessantly; but it stands fast and around it the seething of the waters sink to rest.” – Marcus Aurelius

Once you have learned to cultivate tranquility and keep your mind still, you will be ready to learn to masterfully maneuver it in the right direction. We will now turn to the control and mastery of our behaviors, actions, and habits.


About the Author:

Ryan A Bush is the founder of Designing the Mind LLC, a self-development organization focused on providing wisdom education and expanding human potential beyond the norm. Ryan’s background is in the design of systems – he works with tech startups to design and develop everything from patented physical products, to software, to buildings, to business models. But his most relevant credential is a lifelong appetite for introspective investigation, ravenous reading, and obsessive self-optimization. For more than a decade, he has been studying the insights of ancient teachers, practical philosophers, and cognitive scientists. In his first book, he aims to assemble these puzzle pieces to form a new vision for psychological growth and self-mastery.

To learn more, go to https://designingthemind.org.

For media inquires, to request a review copy or an interview with the author, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

Trading Secrets by Rachael Eckles

Trading Secrets, by Rachael Eckles, is a Romantic Suspense. It was released in May 2020 and is available for sale on Amazon. (Warning: Explicit Sexual Content. Ages 18+) This is the first book in the Trading Secrets trilogy. Book 2 is set to be released in Spring 2021.

Synopsis:

Celeste Donovan, a high-powered finance executive, seems to have it all–the penthouse apartment, the supermodel physique with a mathematician mind, and a trail of beautiful men she has loved and left behind.

But when her boyfriend Theodore is killed in a mysterious accident, she discovers Omar, her abusive ex she had hoped would never resurface, is behind his death.

Now she’s caught in a game of cat and mouse, trying to anticipate Omar’s next move, as she realizes he will stop at nothing to get to her. She sets out alone on a whirlwind journey to entrap him, determined to put an end to Omar’s destruction.

Soon Celeste is thrust in the middle of the largest financial scandal in decades. This time, however, powerful government officials are in bed with some of the world’s most dangerous men.

When she discovers that those she thought she knew best are involved in a secret society warring with Omar and his coconspirators, she must decide how far she will go to avenge Theodore’s death and whether she is willing to risk her own life to save everyone she loves.


Excerpt: 

The moment the blues walked into her office, Celeste knew something was wrong, terribly wrong. Her heart pounded, and her throat tightened. The two nondescript men in NYPD uniforms exchanged somber glances. The shorter one cleared his throat and began talking, but Celeste’s hearing was muffled. She replayed the words in her head, struggling to make sense of the situation.

“Ms. Donovan … listed as his emergency contact … accident while flying in the Berkshires … rough patch … plane down … body badly burned … next of kin identified him … truly sorry for your loss, ma’am.”

Then they were gone, and she was alone on her sofa with no recollection of how she had gotten there. Was it the same day or a week later? Her face was streaked with dried tears, her tongue heavy and coated from her vices. A near-empty Macallan and overturned Xanax container taunted her from the coffee table. She reached for the prescription bottle and emptied the last two pills into her hand, washing them down with a gulp of scotch. Fred Warren’s warnings all those weeks ago were legitimate, she was in danger, grave danger. But she had failed to realize the love of her life was in danger as well.

Theodore’s gone. And I could’ve stopped it.


Praise:

“A stylish, fierce, globetrotting crime thriller that fans of Janelle Brown and Kimberly McCreight will fall for… an absolute page turner… Eckles’s prose is crisp, her dialogue crackling, witty and withering… In Celeste, Eckles has created a fascinating and highly memorable character. Sure, she’s a dysfunctional powerhouse, largely despised by other women, who has surrounded herself with morally ambiguous men. But when pitted against the diabolical Omar, it’s impossible not to root for her.” BestThrillers.com

“Eckles provides a fast-paced thriller that takes readers on a wild ride of revenge and intrigue. Vivid descriptions of stunning clothes and opulent locations pack the pages, as do steamy encounters… that will please fans of contemporary romance… readers will find this to be a compelling and satisfying page-turner.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Eckles engages readers from beginning to end with this tale of betrayal, love, and international intrigue. She creates a strong, likable protagonist. Though Celeste’s lifestyle may be foreign to many, it is still very relatable. For those who enjoy a great love story, the relationship between Celeste and Theodore delivers. Likewise, for those whose tastes lead toward the thrill of clandestine encounters and hair-raising escapes, this novel has plenty to offer. A well-written, descriptive narrative and a fast-paced plot keep the action moving along nicely… this is a very entertaining read that should keep readers turning the pages with its exciting plot twists.” RECOMMENDED by the US Review

“Reminiscent of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Eckles’s complex thriller grips the reader from the opening prologue. A tale of high-stakes Wall Street espionage and manipulation, the hunt for the ultimate evil opponent, an around-the-world, whirlwind adventure and a journey into the heart and soul of an extraordinary woman. Trading Secrets is, at once, a spellbinding, heart-stopping thriller and an exploration of the complex nature and vulnerability of the human heart.” -Traci Medford-Rosow, USAToday bestselling author of Unblinded and Inflection Point.


About the Author:

Rachael Eckles grew up in the Midwest. After graduating from law school, she followed her heart and moved to the east coast. Trading Secrets is her first novel. She currently lives in Manhattan with her puppy, where she is working on book 2 in the Trading Secrets trilogy. Readers can connect with Rachael on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://www.rachaeleckles.com

 

 

Empowering Children’s Picture Book Aims to Whisk Away Young Readers on Magical Adventures

“The Girl with the Magic Ponytails” hopes to take the young and young-at-heart on magical journeys fueled by a young dreamer’s extra-long, chocolate-brown ponytails. This empowering children’s picture book aims to spark the imagination of children, families stuck at home during COVID-19 showing you don’t need to leave home for adventures.

“The Girl with the Magic Ponytails,” written by Karen J. Young, was released on October 6, 2020, published by Huqua Press. This new title offers colorful imagery and engaging prose for children ages 4 – 8 designed to unleash their vivid imaginations as they discover their own unique magic.

The full-color, hardcover book, illustrated by award-winning artist Yoko Matsuoka, tells the story of a little girl named Riley with “magical” ponytails that have a hidden power: With a flip, a swoosh, and a twirl, they can transport her to spectacular adventures and even different places and times.

Thanks to Riley’s magical hair, she is empowered to experience a world of possibilities while helping neighbors and animals in need, tending to self-care and learning to embrace the magic within.

Karen J. Young is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor specializing in food, tourism, and human interest stories. Her career includes roles as a newspaper editor, book editor, website founder, public relations/social media consultant and food festival curator.

The Girl with the Magic Ponytails was inspired by the author’s daughter, Rachel, who was born with a full head of dark brown hair that from early on was styled into two symmetrical ponytails. As Rachel grew, so did her ponytails. Up until elementary school, Rachel would rarely leave the house without them.

“She could never really say exactly why she was so attached to her ponytails,” Young said. “I always thought that for Rachel, the ponytails held some kind of ‘magic.’ The kind that spurs imagination, lifts the spirit, and ultimately, strengthens identity.”

View the promotional trailer for the book at https://youtu.be/2XpE1k8N7XM.

For more information about The Girl with the Magic Ponytails, go to http://thegirlwiththemagicponytails.com/.

Learn more about Huqua Press at http://huquapress.com/.

 

 

Book Launch Party in Sioux Falls for “On With the Butter!” by Heidi Herman

Heidi Herman will be at Books N’ Brewz Pizzeria in Sioux Falls on August 13, 2020 from 6pm-8pm. It’s a party to celebrate the launch of her new book On With the Butter! and you’re invited. Prizes and giveaways include free book copies plus some surprises, and of course, pizza!

Author Heidi Herman will host a chapter reading followed by Q&A. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and you can have them personally autographed. If you pre-order now, you can pick up your autographed copy at the event and receive a special gift. (Use promo code PARTY so you’re not charged shipping.)

Early reviews rave about this fun, motivational book that’s sure to appeal to anyone looking to add activity to life, but especially the 50+ crowd.

“The adventures of many daring challengers, including the author’s mother and herself, are expertly documented in this book. These intriguing stories should prove an inspiration to all. At the end of each chapter, there is a list of more robust challenges for readers to try. Herman’s inspiring work offers a fresh perspective on living well at any age.” – US Review of Books RECOMMENDED

“On with the Butter is a delight to read. There are so many good suggestions for anyone considering retirement or already retired. This is not a book like so very many that only consider money and financial matters. Just the opposite. A good retirement is about so much more and this book addresses that.” – Del Lowery, RetirementTalk.org

“An inspiring book for us “retired” people. Fifteen chapters explore many avenues of life where we can find new challenges to enable us to: “Keep Moving, Keep Doing, Keep Living.” It’s a delightful, fun read. Everyone who is about to retire or is retired should read this book. You won’t regret it.” – Vic Broquard, Author & Retired Professor.

Book Synopsis: Carry on, keep doing what you’re doing, forge ahead, and keep moving. Icelanders have a saying for it: Áfram með Smjörið – on with the butter! If you’re looking for new ways to add zest to your life or have free time in retirement, this book offers a wide variety of activities and challenges, along with inspiring and heartwarming stories. Discover ways to explore, play, take chances, try new things, make a difference, and have more fun in life. You’re the activities director, and On with the Butter! is your guidebook. So keep moving, keep doing, and keep spreading more living onto everyday life.

The event is free, but due to limited capacity and to ensure social distancing, tickets are requested. (Masks are encourage and will be provided if you need one). Click on REGISTER on eventbrite to reserve your ticket and join me to celebrate!

‘Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama of Friendship’ by Robin Delnoce

Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama of Friendship is a new book by Robin Delnoce. Recommended for fans of Bridesmaids, Desperate Housewives, and Bad Moms. Bunco was released in August 2020 and is available for sale on Amazon. Genre: Women’s Fiction / Women’s Humorous Fiction 

Synopsis:

We all have “those” friends.  Maybe you’ve known them since childhood, or met in college, or while waiting for a child’s practice to end. Maybe you found yourself living on the same street. There’s no single path to friendship. Relationships don’t follow a script and neither do the lives of smart, funny, complicated suburban women.

Jill, Anne, Mary, and Rachel met years ago through a neighborhood group that regularly got together to play a dice game called bunco. Although players have come and gone, they continue to use bunco as an excuse to abandon their day-to-day responsibilities and enjoy food, drinks, and the company of their best friends. 

When new neighbors move in under the cover of night, the foursome sees an opportunity to expand their bunco circle. But within hours, suspicions run rampant as the odd behaviors of the newest residents are interpreted differently. Are they quirky, or kinky? Diabolical, or misunderstood? Time after time, as the truth sheds light on some secrets, more emerge. Each woman finds herself shocked by the friends she thought she knew.

Through the friendly banter, intimate confessions, and tongue-twisting insults, you may see yourself or your friends in these characters. Wipe away tears of laughter and loss as you join the four metaphorical rounds of bunco, and feel part of the conversation. Whether engaging in playful exploits, providing unconditional support, making uncomfortable sacrifices, or winding up in handcuffs again, these ladies are those rarest of friends who become true family. Of course, families don’t follow a script either, unless it is a plot-twisting, slightly off-color comedy about the drama of friendship. And bunco, sort of.


Excerpt:

EMERGENCY AREA WAITING ROOM – DAWN

The early morning daylight begins to fill the foyer of a hospital waiting room packed with police officers.

ANNE HUTCHINSON, an athletic, petite woman in her early 40s, is sitting dazed and exhausted in bloodstained clothes.

JILL MICHAELS stands behind Anne with her phone to her ear. Over a decade has passed since Jill’s tenure as Miss South Carolina ended, but she currently reigns over the local elementary school as parent council president. She masks her anxiety with her polished manners and pleasant southern accent.

JILL

Good morning Miss Lowe, this is Mrs. Michaels. I hope your morning is going well. Would you be a dear and let Mrs. Kaiser know I won’t be able to attend today’s parent council meeting?

A police officer watches Jill closely as he patrols the room. She reads the judgment on the officer’s face.

Jill

Actually, I may not be able to attend tomorrow’s fundraiser either. I’ll call y’all back as soon as I know. Thank you so much, Miss Lowe.

Jill ends her call, sighs heavily, and takes a seat next to Anne.

RACHEL EASTON, a mid-40s, Midwest-born, and Irish-proud woman, is asleep on the opposite chair. Handcuffs dangle from one of Rachel’s wrists. When awake, Rachel harbors a deep and painful secret that manifests itself in belligerent and self-destructive behavior.

A NURSE passes by the three women. The aroma emanating from Rachel’s general vicinity stops her in her tracks. 

Nurse

How long has this homeless woman been sleeping here?

Jill

She’s not homeless. She’s with us.

The nurse shakes her head in disgust and continues on her way.

MARY HUESTON approaches the women with coffee in her hands. Now in her early 40s, Mary has traded her Hollywood acting auditions for youth soccer games, and her figure has become less “soap opera star” and more “community bake sale.” She hands Jill and Anne the steaming Styrofoam cups.

Mary

Here. Should we wake Rachel?

Mary begins to take a seat next to Rachel but quickly pivots to allow more breathing room. They each deeply inhale the cup’s contents to mask the aroma. 

Jill

She’s been through a lot. Let’s let her sleep.

Mary

We’ve all been through a lot.

Mary notices Anne staring off in the distance.

Mary

How ya doing Anne? 

Anne slowly brings her attention to Mary.

Mary

You okay?

Anne silently examines her bloodstained clothes, contemplates her predicament, and shakes her head in disbelief.

Anne

(Under her breath)

Fucking bunco.


About the Author:

Robin Delnoce has the kind of sense of humor that would crush any political aspirations. Her off-color humor amuses most but offends a few, and she has been known to issue a post-party apology or two. After twenty years of being caught in her verbal crosshairs, her husband kindly suggested she shift her energies to a more constructive outlet.

To learn more, go to https://buncothebook.com/