Guest Authors

TAEM Fishing Adventure by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

This month we decided to do something new for our readers. The Commonwealth of Virginia is nicely situated between the Allegheny mountains in the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. There is a marvelous stretch of water on the mainland’s east coast called the Chesapeake Bay with the Delmarva Peninsula separating it from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Chesapeake Bay is a fantastic fishing ground for sport fishermen not willing to brave the wilds of the ocean beyond. Here calmer waters prevail most of the time. Many fishing communities have sprung up here, alongside of residential areas harboring residents who love waterfront views. Vacationers and sightseers frequent the villages dotting the coastline to enjoy hearty seafood restaurants and explore the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. One such community is know as Solomon’s Island. (more…)

TAEM Explores the world of Hiking by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Within the past two months we began a new venture by exploring the world of Hiking ! What seemed like a dire period of bad weather, either roasting hot or a season of monsoon-like rains, we finally stepped outdoors in search of a new story, and a new passion.

The impediments of extreme temperatures , what felt like 103 + degrees in the shade, to one of the rainiest years on record for our area, sunshine and more temperate weather finally kicked in. Friends of ours have been sending us photos of their hiking and camping adventures and they really wetted our appetites for similar field trips. Unlike their extended stays, encapsulated by mother nature, we decided to minimize our explorations by going Day Hiking. In this way we could start building up our stamina along with much needed experience. This included purchasing the correct type of gear and supplies we would need for this purpose. (more…)

TAEM Visits St. Augustine Florida By Joseph J. O’Donnell & Photographer Joseph O’Donnell

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Joseph O'Donnell, Sr. and Joseph O'Donnell, Jr.Our magazine had trekked south this past week to explore the land of sunshine. Our goal was to explore the fabled city of St. Augustine, Florida, the first true city in North America.

St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor. He named the settlement “San Agustín“, as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine. The city served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years. It was designated as the capital of British East Florida when the colony was established in 1763 until it was ceded back to Spain in 1783. (more…)

Hobbies, Hobbies, Hobbies! by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Writers block is a terrible thing for one who takes up the pen. Sometimes it is a brief thing. Other times it comes in stages. When unusual circumstances intervene, long periods of brain mortification can set in.

Usually in the brief term a cup of java, or a short walk, will help the writer regain their poise and will act like a refreshing wind to get their juices flowing again. In dire circumstances a vacation, or alternate hobby is needed to get them back on course. Such was the long term effects dealt to me recently. (more…)

Today’s Great Authors by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

   There are so many new authors with their work gracing the book shelves today, and they surely owe their talents to some of the great authors of our century, and the current generation. To name a few we must conjure up the names of Tolkien, Rowling, Martin, and Doyle.

Each of these writers have spawned, not only written works, but movies, board games, comic books, and television shows . There are also many current writers, whose written topics, mirror these great people and it is comforting to know that written literature has been reborn again. (more…)

My Virginia – Let’s Go Exploring by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Well, it’s time to dust off the camera and leave the ‘cabin fever’ doldrums behind us. When Winter set in and the weather left us in a state of hibernation, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate beckoned us indoors in front of the fireplace. We threw a comforter around our shoulders and settled in till Spring. Now that Old Man Winter is about to leave us our magazine’s team is searching to explore our surroundings once again. In retrospect we are like bears leaving our dens to see what has changed over the winter months. (more…)

The Last Train from Avignon by Guest author Candice James

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

My name is Memphis Andromanya. I stand deep inside the parallax flux between yesterday and tomorrow.  It is the day after yesterday. It is today. It is the day before tomorrow. It is today.  Time moves in static shadows cast forevermore against the solid statue of upward mobility’s downcast eyes.  This is the universe I live in. This is a world of torn tears caught in the treacherous jaws of a barbed wire riptide. I stand unzipping the sky, loosing lost demons, carving my voice onto the black of the night in the parallel flux between yesterday and tomorrow. Ear to the hard edge of the wind, I listen for the hollow whistle of the approaching train to nowhere. I am Memphis Andromanya. (more…)

My Virginia – Harper’s Ferry

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

At approximately 3:00 am in the morning of July 23, 2015 a fire broke out in the historic town of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The calamity resonated far beyond this town of 300, in large part because of Harper’s Ferry’s momentous role in American history and its popularity as a tourist destination. Luckily for the 300 residents who live in this tiny community, no injuries or deaths occurred due in part of an alert community member who was awakened by the outset of the fire. Two residences and eight businesses were destroyed, and most of the inhabitants felt that their town would never recover. (more…)

In Search of… Me (Part 6)

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

In the past episode for this story, in the December 2016 issue, I had uncovered my Irish links that originated in Londonderry (now Derry again !) Ireland where my Great-great-grandfather first immigrated to Scotland. Many questions still remained. A few included where the Irish first came from and why the Romans referred to them as Scots. This has piqued my interest even further and galvanized me to dig deeper into the past of this most interesting race.

Two books that have revealed much to me for my quest was ‘A History of Ireland’ by Edmund Curtis. This actually belonged to my uncle Vincent, for his studies when he had originally decided to train as a Catholic priest. He later decided to become a New York City policeman instead and went on to become a professor of law, after retirement, at Fordham University in New York City. The second book is titled ‘The Story of the Irish Race’, by author Seumas MacManus, who went deeper into the Irish origins that answered many, if not all, of my many questions. (more…)

In Search of… Me (Part 5)

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Joe-ODonnellYes, the Magazine is back!  With that said I wanted to open up this issue with the continuing story for the search for my family roots. As last left off I wanted to find out when my Irish ancestral name came into Scotland in the area around Glasgow.

My father was born in South Lancashire, nearby. His father, who also born in that area, was a boat builder along the  River Clyde, in Glasgow. My father’s uncle owned three pubs in that vicinity which were quite popular with the local citizenry. Upon my grandfather’s move to America, my father’s uncle, who was childless, asked if my father could remain behind in order to inherit his businesses, and therefore keep them in the family name. My father declined this gracious offer and decided to move to America with his parents and sister. In America three other siblings were born into his family. These are the aunts and uncles, and later their children, my cousins, of whom I grew up with. (more…)

‘Pass The Salt’ by author Glenn James

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Dark Fantasy Writer and Illustrator Glenn James has a long standing familiarity with Doctor Who. In the summer of 2014 he was asked to undertake a rather special commission for a private collector, a man with a deep and affectionate knowledge of the programme. The resulting illustration followed a very unusual route, as the following article reveals.

© By Glenn James 2014                                                                                                                                                               (Black Biro and Ink, Black watercolour Paint and Chinagraph Pencil on Mount board.)

© By Glenn James 2014 (Black Biro and Ink, Black watercolour Paint and Chinagraph Pencil on Mount board.) Left to right: The War Doctor (John Hurt), the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann), the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), the 10th Doctor (David Tenant), the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith), River Song (Alex Kingston), Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman, standing), the First Doctor (William Hartnell, seated centre), the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi, standing), the 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton, seated), the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker, standing), the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee, seated), the 6th Doctor (Colin Baler, with cats), the 5th Doctor (Peter Davidson), and the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

As a fantasy artist I have been asked to undertake some unusual works in my time, but this one was a real challenge: How to portray all the incarnations of Doctor Who together, and do something really fresh and original with the composition.

Putting all the Doctors together is no new thing in artistic terms. You often see illustrations or posters depicting all of them in one composition, and this was especially true at the time of the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013.   Conventionally this is usually a matter of showing the various actors faces side by side in one illustration, usually in chorological order of the incarnations, with the most current one to the fore. (more…)

‘A Certain Smile’ by Guest Author Glenn James

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Author Glenn James

Guest Author Glenn James

I won’t cry for help. I know there’s only one soul out there who can hear me, and I’m too frightened as it is. They must be pretty close by now, I can hear the movements getting nearer, and it’s too horrible to think about; I need to save my strength. No-one else will hear me now, I’m too far off the beaten track, and the chances are pretty remote.

It’s like being lost in the Everglades. Tall weeds and bushes follow the path for miles, clinging to its fringes like an encroaching disease. Like a ghost suffering from a fever, it wanders crazily, winding in and out of odd little copses where you aren’t even sure how close to the river you are anymore. It’s really deceptive, because all of a sudden you see it’s only about a foot away through the brambles. One minute you are right next to the cocoa coloured waters, and the next you could be a hundred yards back inland. I don’t believe a bird could see that route clearly from above, so tangled and winding is the path.

Every now and then a clapped out a knackered boat will loom up through the leaves out of nowhere, its stained bow yoked to the bank with a filthy umbilical cord of slimy blue-nylon rope. There are quite a few along the way, their tiny walkways overflowing with rough firewood, and the hoods over their cabs permanently aloft, weathered grey-green and patched with gaffer tape. Ancient bikes and nervous dogs are stationed on the decks, and little disturbs their solitude, except from the ebb and flow of the tide, the silent swans, or the raucous cries of the rowing coaches bumping along the opposite bank at dawn and dusk, swearing at their crews. (more…)

‘Locusts’ by Guest Author James F. Gaines

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


By Alphonse Daudet

Translated by James F. Gaines

          Before returning to my mill, here’s another memory of Algeria…

The night I arrived in that farm on the outskirts of the Sahara, I couldn’t sleep.  The new landscape, the disruption of the trip, the barking of the jackals, and then that sapping, oppressive heat – complete suffocation –  as if the mesh in my mosquito netting could not allow the passage of a single breath of air.  When I opened the window at dawn, a heavy summer fog floated in the air, scarcely drifting along and fringed at the edges with pink and black.  It hovered like a cloud of gunpowder over a battlefield.  Not a leaf fluttered, and in the beautiful gardens that spread out below me, everything had the same sullen mood, the same immobility of foliage waiting for a thunderstorm: the grapevines aligned on the exposed slopes that made for sweet wines, the European orchard tucked into a shady corner, the orange and mandarin trees in long, calibrated rows.  Even the banana trees with their shoots of tender green, always waving in the slightest breeze that tousled the fine, light fronds, stood at attention silent and straight as the plumes of a cavalry regiment.  (more…)

‘In Search of …Me’, pt.4- by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Joe O'Donnell   My search has taken me a step farther back along the trail in connections to my ancestors. In the previous issue I showed the beginnings of the O’Donnell name and the pre-history of my family before immigrating to Scotland. My next steps are to find the link in which the first member of the O’Donnell clan set sail for Glasgow.

Glasgow was the goal of many Irish who sought work and to flee starvation in Ireland due to the potato famines of the 1800’s. Working and living conditions where they settled were harsh and they were always considered as second class citizens. Unlike America, though, where signs were hung in windows that read INNA (Irish need not apply) there was a relationship between Scots and Irish via blood lines. (more…)

‘Wulfcleaver and the Lost Gold’ by Guest Author Glenn James

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Author Glenn James

Guest Author Glenn James

The following work was written for the Potteries Museum and Art gallery, in Staffordshire, England, about their celebrated and internationally renowned Saxon find, The Staffordshire Hoard.

This amazing collection of artefacts, martial in content, has some of the most amazing examples of Anglo Saxon artwork ever found, and is thought to date from the reign of king Penda, last Pagan King of Mercia in the 7th century.

But… There is no record of this amazing treasure. No record or even legend makes reference to it, and its origins are lost in the mists of antiquity….

Dark Fantasy Writer Glenn James penned the following story about whom it belonged to, how it came to be buried, and why it was lost all those centuries ago….

Behold, hearken and listen! How bottomless is the wound to tell of an unmatched treasure once lost, and given up to all memory.  But what glory to tell of the valour and prudence which vouchsafed it before the all seeing eye of the creator of the world into the safekeeping of the soil, in the bosom of the kingdom.  (more…)

‘Crisis’ – Chapter Two by Guest Author R.C. Hutchins

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Robin Hutchins - PictureThe drive to the hospital did not take as long as the demon lord first thought. When the car pulled into the hospital parking lot, Belial glanced once at the sleeping form of his young sorcerer and let himself smile, just a little. The car engine turned slowly after the demon lord shut the car off. Stretching languidly, Belial leaned over the space between the passenger and him, stretching his hand leisurely toward the human’s face. His long nails smoothed over the worry lines at the corner of Koen’s lips and Belial purred softly.

“You’re far too young for worry lines…” the demon purred softly. But then the human stirred and the demon lord pulled back his hand as if struck. In a louder voice, Belial said, “We’re here, pet.”


“…too young for worry lines…” came his purr, interrupting my sleep. I stirred slowly, blinking blearily in the afternoon light. “We’re here, pet.”

At the words, I shifted and stretched slowly, arching my back as I stretched. “Nnng… It’s only ten past eleven? I thought the drive was a five hour trip?” (more…)

‘In Search of……Me’ by Joseph J. O’Donnell

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
Joseph O'Donnell

Joseph O’Donnell

For many years I have toiled with the idea of finding out something about my family roots. This was first inspired by author Alex Haley and his novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. In 1977 ABC aired the story as Roots and was watched by a record breaking 130 million viewers. It later went on to become a mini series and spurred world-wide interest in people to research their own ancestry.

A second film, Enemy Mine, with Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. nudged me even more. The film depicted Gossett as an lizard-like alien, and Quaid, as an earthling, doing battle in outer space. Both had crashed landed on an barren world and had to come to grips with each others cultures. Upon spying on a ritual chant by Gossett, Quaid asked if Gossett was praying to an alien God. Gossett explained that he had been reciting the names of his ancestors from over one hundred generations in the past.  He challenged Quaid to recall his own predecessors in which Quaid could only remember no further back then his grandparents. (more…)

‘Crisis’ by guest author RC Hutchins

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Robin Hutchins - PictureCHAPTER ONE

“I can’t believe you would say that,” his voice grated on my nerves, even as my hands stuffed shirts and pants into a shoulder bag, “and I can’t believe you’re just going to leave! What you said to my parents back there-“

“Was the complete truth. If they didn’t want the truth, they shouldn’t have asked.” I know; I was being short with him, but he was just fouling up my already ruined mood. “Now, I’m going to leave before I am insulted further.” I slung the bag over my head, turning towards his amethyst gaze. But what I met wasn’t what I expected. The normal fire in his eyes was gone and there was pain and hurt clearly there. “Look… Derrick. I’m sorry, but I can’t stay here.”

“But my parents-”

“Your parents don’t exactly like me, especially your father. I’m pretty certain they’d celebrate if I left.” (more…)

‘The Greenskin Chronicles: Fetch’ by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Joseph O'Donnell

Author Joseph O’Donnell

(exert from his book ‘Shorts’ copyright 5/7/2002)        

As goblins go, Fetch was not much to look at. His pale green skin pulled tightly around the frame of his average size body. There were smaller goblins, which gave some thought of comfort to him, but there was bigger and stronger goblins as well. These were the ones that gave him trouble.

All the goblin world was ruled by one motto, “Might Was Right”, and the stronger ones always bullied the weaker inhabitants. Fetch was not one for bullying and those lesser of his kind, thankfully appreciated that. He became a kind of leader to them, something that didn’t sit right with those above him. As time wore on though, they begrudgingly accepted him. They also found him to their advantage in having him do odd jobs that they did not care to do. Hence, he was given the name Fetch, which at the outset was not to his liking. It was the rule here, however, that the rulers of this world tag names on their underlings. Fetch finally accepted that, and it kept the most bothersome goblins off his back. (more…)

‘Wood for the Fire’ by Guest Author Michael R. Brush

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Guest Author Michael R. Brush

Guest Author Michael R. Brush

We occupied a small hunting lodge on the outskirts of the estate. Our mutual friend had allowed us the liberty to use this place for some time of quiet to get over the hectic term. We were, and are, quiet chaps so we relished the retreat to the country despite that, in deep winter, there was no game to be hunted and away from the house there was a lack of festive camaraderie.

Termed ‘Scrooges’ from the recent story by Dickens we were at home and content. You could say that we were happy there. We would drink our sherry and bitters, smoke our pipes and relax in our respective books. The one drawback from being so far away from the main house was that the service was erratic. We were sympathetic even when we ran short of comestibles, like game pie, or the bare necessities like bitters or sherry and one night, not too far off Christmas Eve, inside we ran short of wood for the fire. (more…)