Guest Authors

Black Tower – Chapter 2

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

Read CHAPTER 1

Joseph J. O'Donnell
By Author
Joseph J. O’Donnell

          Chet Lawrence looked out over the city from his penthouse office on the fortieth floor.  It seemed like it was only yesterday instead of three years ago, when his dream of this building was no more than that of a dream.

He thought of the deals he had made and “pocket money” to have to lay out in political contributions to the mayor then in power, to prevent the city government from taking any actions in the project.  In everyday life in New York City, it is known as “supporting” your local politician, but when those, other than the political bosses, practiced this ritual it was known as the protection racket. 

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In Search of … Me (Part 7) By Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Monday, July 12th, 2021
Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

    As of my last episode I have just received a more extensive upgrade of my DNA analysis. Ancestry.com Is always uncovering new data, whether it be a DNA upgrade, or simply adding new info in helping you discover your family tree.

   According to the new results of my DNA sample the figures have changed somewhat since my last findings. I have now been declared 70% Scottish, 19% Irish, 9% English and Northwestern Europe, and 2% Norwegian (those pesky Vikings).

   This has made more sense to me as my mother’s maiden name was Mills (of which I have found many of my cousins now living just north of me), and my father’s namesake moved to Scotland from Ireland, due to the Great Potato Famine, at about 1830. He then married a Scottish girl not long after he arrived there.

   For the next several generations the sons of the O’Donnell clan married women of Scottish lineage until my father arrived in America and married my mother (a Mills).

   I will keep my readers informed, and updated, with any new info as it arrives. I hope that my search results can help anyone who is considering in their quest to find their bloodlines and how to promote their own family ties.

JOD/TAEM

HAPPY 100TH ANNIVERSARY

Thursday, April 1st, 2021
Joseph O’Donnell

This is our 100th issue and we are about to move forward and make this, and all following issues, grow again. During the pandemic we had laid low, but we intend to sally forth to capture our readers hearts again!!!

                    Joseph J. O’Donnell-publisher

Culpeper’s Early Settlers by Joseph J. O’Donnell

Thursday, April 1st, 2021
Joseph J. O'Donnell
Joseph J. O’Donnell

(Part-2)

The earliest inhabitants known to the area were the Manaoac tribes. They lived along the Rappahannock River west of Fredericksburg and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These native people were known as the Piedmont Tribes and were hunters and gatherers, and also practiced farming. Their success with this was due to the fertile soil made rich with by the run-off of minerals by streams and rivers from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their crops consisted of corn and squash.

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Play It Again Sam by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
Author Joseph J. O'Donnell
Joseph O’Donnell

     Sam Perrillo was one of the most reliable hit men of the New Jersey mobsters. He was big, beefy, and tough. Almost anyone who met him would surely feel uncomfortable in his presence. He wasn’t a smart man, but he knew how to keep his mouth shut about any assignments that he was given. He was also very proficient in his work. All these qualities assured his benefactors that he could handle any delicate matter for them quickly, and quietly.

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Playing With Dragons by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019
Author Joseph J. O'Donnell
Author

Tom was a large young man with a very congenial personality. Most in the village considered him a big oaf, only good for menial labor. He helped out wherever he could to earn his room and board, and was paid little more than that. The old man who visited the village took a liking to Tom. He was considered a character unto himself, and drew suspicious stairs from the others. Rumors had it that he was a wizard, but rumors like this were never confirmed. Nevertheless, the small populace of this out of the way village, believed in most anything that was bantered about.

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The Crazy Lady by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019
Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

There was an old woman

That lived in a shoe

Who reminded children of dark nights

And not Winnie-The-Pooh

 She was dread by her neighbors

And kinfolk alike

And particularly dreaded

By every little tyke

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Coming Soon : My New Book by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

I have a new anthology coming soon to Our Book Store and Amazon Kindle titled ‘Tales for Late at Night- Darker Times.’

Joe O’Donnell, our photographer and superb graphics designer in his own right, has completed the new book cover design for the long-awaited book which I have submitted to this article. Joe has quite a few accomplishments under his belt and his book cover design can proudly take its place amongst his many fine works.

I want to thank Joe personally for his contribution to my writing and I’d like to point to his contact info at the bottom of this article for ALL my readers who wish to employ him for their literary works. You can contact him through his site below.

Thanks so much again, Joe!!!

TAEM/ JOD

Joe O'Donnell, Jr.

Joe O’Donnell’s Contact Page

Midnight Watch by Joseph J. O’Donnell

Monday, October 28th, 2019

Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell

John Carver was collecting a nice pension from the Army. Single and retired, he took to fishing to pass the days away. He would take trips to fishing holes across the country where his ‘Angling Magazine’ boasted trophy size catches and peaceful surroundings. His pension didn’t quite cover these trips, so he worked three nights a week as a night watchman for a security company.

John was known as a practical joker by some of the co-workers that he shared his nightly watches with. This particular night he literally had a graveyard shift to man. A union grave digger’s strike left a large local cemetery unattended, and waiting graves caused a backlog in coffins that went unburied. The management decided to store the caskets in a large warehouse on the grounds that normally housed the tractors, and digging equipment, used on the premises. They didn’t want any of the coffins vandalized and they wanted to keep temptation out of reach of the pranks the local youths might conjure up. (more…)

The Raven Revisited by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a  tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door- only this, and nothing more.”

I was an English teacher at Stone Junior High School, in Centreville, Virginia. I had always cherished this subject throughout my own school days, and it feels almost natural for me to make this my career. (more…)

Pay the Piper by Joseph J. O’Donnell

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

Margaret and I had lived in our new home for approximately six months before we began to notice the strange occurrences that changed our lives. Prior to these happenings, we had busied ourselves by redecorating the interior and making repairs where necessary.

It was an old house, but we loved it’s classic Victorian character. There were areas of the house where it showed maintenance had been lacking. All in all there was nothing major to the structure that needed an overall. The heating system was something that needed updating, but the plumbing and electrical fixtures were up to building codes. We had additional electrical and telephone outlets installed for my computer and a cable television box put into the living room for our new large screen TV, but that was about all. This gave us time to putter around the house and add a few of those personal touches. (more…)

My Virginia- Summertime Hiking in the Blue Ridge by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Joseph O'Donnell, Sr. and Joseph O'Donnell, Jr.Virginia is unquestionably the most beautifully state for hiking along the Appalachian Trail . The state offers many trails branching out all over the Commonwealth, but its most scenic trails lay along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Access to the area may be obtained via the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. This 105-mile serpentine roadway runs the length of the mountain chain and offers many places where a vehicle can pull off to the side of the road to let its occupants enjoy the beautiful vistas of the Shenandoah Valley below. The views are spectacular and many photographers flock to these sites to pan the seemingly endless horizon and mountain peaks. (more…)

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…)