Book Review

October Newsletter: The Monkey’s Paw

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

Glenda Bonham

If you’re searching for a classic Halloween tale, The Monkey’s Paw won’t let you down. First published in 1902, the short story has been a horror/suspense standard over 100 years.

The story of the Monkey’s Paw has been adapted by the Simpsons, Are You Afraid of the Dark, the X-Files, Tales from the Crypt and more. Stephen King seems fond of the tale as the theme of Pet Semetary centers on the unintended consequences of bringing back the dead. Another King story, The Dead Zone, features a reference to the classic tale when protagonist John describes his psychic powers as being similar to the Monkey’s Paw.

The basic lesson learned in The Monkey’s Paw is “be careful what you wish for.” That to desire more than you have is one thing, but to cheat, to skip steps and cut corners to get there, will rarely if ever end well for you. It’s a warning to the reckless. It’s also one of the best short stories ever penned.
Happy Halloween!

This short story can be read online free of charge at:

monkey's paw


September Newsletter Writers and Readers Quick Snack: Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

4 cups honey nut Chex cereal
2 cups pretzels
16 oz. bag Caramel Bugles (Caramel Bugles)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
18 oz. bag Boo-terscotch M&M’s
1 cup harvest candy mix (candy corn, candy pump- kins)
1/2 cup Reese’s pieces

(If you can’t find butter scotch M&M’s –use your choice)

In a large mixing bowl, mix the cereal, pretzels and Bugles

In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and then pour over the dry mix. Stir to coat.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper spread out the mixture into an even layer. Bake at 275 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15
minutes. Spread on wax paper to cool. Once cool add the candy pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Submitted by Glenda Bonham

Book Review

September Newsletter Book Review: The Far Pavilions

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

Submitted by Glenda Bonham

the far pavillionsM. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret Kaye) won worldwide fame for her epic novel The Far Pavilions, an international best-seller in 1978. The book was made into a movie and a Broadway show.

It took her 10 years of writing and editing before she submitted the first draft of The Far Pavilions to a publisher. The story is set in India during both national and tribal conflicts of the turn of the 20th century. It opens with the birth of a British child born during his parents touring in India. After the deaths of both his parents, he is adopted by his father’s housekeeper and lives his childhood as a poor Indian subject. In his teens he is discovered by the British and sent to England for formal studies. His story is one of conflict of cultures, faiths, and loyalties for he returns to India as an adult. Here he finds romance, danger, and a struggle for his own identity.

The Far Pavilions has been recognized as one of the finest historical fiction novels of the 20th Century, alongside such epics as Gone With the Wind. It has won acclaim in English speaking countries and translated into dozens of foreign languages.

This was followed by Shadow of the Moon and Trade Wind. She also wrote and illustrated The Ordinary Princess, a children’s book and authored a dozen detective novels, including Death in Kashmir and Death in Zanzibar.


August Newsletter Writers/Readers Quick Snack: Cantaloupe Pie

Cantaloupe Pie
Submitted by Glenda Bonham

1 fully ripe cantaloupe (preferably Pecos, of course)

3 tablespoons flourPie-clip-art-pictures-free-clipart-images-2

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 stick butter

5 egg yolks, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1 9-inch baked pie shell

5 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar or to taste

Cut the cantaloupe into smallish chunks and cook over low heat until soft enough to mash. Add flour, nutmeg, butter, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup sugar. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until thick. Cool and pour into baked pie shell.

To make meringue, beat egg whites until stiff, adding vanilla and sugar. Cover pie with meringue and brown slightly under the broiler. You may top with Cool Whip instead, if desired. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving.


August Newsletter: Audio on the Go

Audio on the Go

Glenda Bonham

Many won’t be able to remember when driving while reading a newspaper was actually a fad. In the pre-audio days of the 70’s it was common to meet drivers on the highways in West Texas with a newspaper spread over the steering wheel. I used to stay on alert for a width of white, visible through the windshield of oncoming vehicles. The distracted reading-while-driving motorists would be cruising at speeds between 70-85 MPH on two lane highways reading the local news on the steering wheel. These were the days before seat belts, air bags, child safety seats, and electronic warnings in cars. If there was a state law on the books prohibiting reading-while-driving, I was never aware of it.

Fast forward to present day, and be thankful for the technology that delivers entire books on audio for drivers. Not only can you listen to a new book on a long drive, you can study a second language, dictate a letter, listen to a text message, get driving directions, and a score of other topics, without taking your eyes off the highway.

Downloads from the internet are inexpensive and many libraries offer audio books for check-out free of cost. There are new laws in place against texting and driving for good reasons. If you tend to get lonely on long drives, take along a better form of entertainment than your phone. You will be much safer and you might even learn something.