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Essay Contest

An attitude of gratitude


to the winners of our THANSKGIVING ESSAY CONTEST!!

Here are the winning essays:

When l was about 7 years old, l lost my little brother. He had bad asthma, and he had an attack in the middle of the night - they couldn’t save him.  My mother was devastated. l use that word now, but then, all l knew was that she would sit and cry, or stare into space, or forget to cook, or to pick me up from school.


I asked where my father was, and l was told no one knew. I didn’t want to get angry or scared, because l didn’t want to upset my mother. l held everything in. l played alone, ate alone, cried alone.


One day a new family moved in next door. They had 3 children, one of whom was about my age. I sat on my stoop and watched them move in, bringing furniture, boxes, even a dog. Some of the boxes were marked “toys”, and “games”. l couldn’t imagine having so many toys and games that you needed boxes to put them in. 


Out on the stoop again, alone, a little boy approached me with a wagon. In the wagon was a cowboy doll, and a rubber ball. He asked if l wanted a ride in his wagon, and if l wanted to play with him. I remember jumping into the rusty green metal wagon, and being pulled over the rough sidewalk while holding the cowboy on my lap. l had never been so happy. 


Andre and l remained friends for years, playing in that wagon, until my mother decided it was time to move into a larger apartment in another part of town. Just before we left, l ran to Andre and hugged him, and told him he was my best friend. And he was.


I still remember his face, although now l am 62 years old, and have children and grandchildren of my own. In my heart l thank Andre every day for the gift of his innocence and friendship, and for rescuing me from the loneliness and despair that l didn’t even know l had.

My first born son is named Andre. 


Rayna Foster-DeAngelis


For rising suns and setting clouds

For robins and bluejays  that chirp out loud.

For breezes and fires when fall begins

For oceans and waters that cleanse the skin.

For neighbors and people who help and care

For relatives, family, further and near.

For all of my blessings and all of my strife,

For everything coming to me in this life.


Gayle Ward


Honorable mention:

One defines gratitude as an act of feeling and showing appreciation, being thankful. 


What am I grateful for?


To me it is similar to building a jigsaw puzzle with my corners being  my health, my family, my friends and a roof over my head. All self explanatory strengthening factors but never, never taken for granted. 


I happily connect the pieces with everyday life with being able to make people laugh and smile. Whether it is with me or at me, no matter the eyes still crinkle. That I can breathe in nature and still find the smallest of amazements. That in the quietest of moments you hear the most inspiring things. That thankfully opportunity does knock. Just be open to opening the door. 


Grateful for the pieces of the puzzle that  challenge us to continue to learn, step outside the comfort zone and share. 

Ann McIlvain

The winners will each receive SIGNED COPIES of BTS Books Author Lorraine Brooks' book of poetry "Riding the Wave"

Lorraine Brooks, Author


There were so many good ones, we decided to award 3 prizes!!!  

Thank you all for your entries.



Here are the winners:

Pumpkin eyes flicker
but there's no candle inside --
ghosts haunt your doorstep.

Headstones, like broken
teeth, mark where bodies lie in
crowded earth. Undead.

        Sophie Sparrow

Silvery cobwebs

Cloak the autumnal doorway

Skeletons beckon.

Wintry ghoulish lass

Draped in a black velvet cape

Blood red lips and nails.

Kathleen Russell


Calm of darkness waits


Tingling webs of spiders pray


Halloween’s at bay.

Ann McIlvain

All decisions are final!

Our editors aded these for good measure...

Hunter’s moon

A bad little girl

For dinner.


F-U, he says

The goblin says


Ingrid Bruck

Winter winds howling

I brace against certain death

The darkness is mine.


If death shall conquer

And ghosts in the midnight toil

So shall be my end.

Lorraine Brooks

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All winners received a SIGNED copy of 


by BTS Author Chris Collins



the long awaited, pandemically delayed 

"Between These Shores- 'The Pandemic Issue'

# 4"

Featuring Lockdown Interview with

Louis Maskell, 

Iconic star of Cult Classic  'The Grinning Man'!

click HERE to order

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by Christina Collins

Click HERE to hear an interview with BTS author Christina Collins

First time collection of fairy tales-retold by this gifted storyteller.

‘Forests of Silver, Forests of Gold’  

is a clever twist of olde wives tale wisdom and modern feminist practicality. 

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Issue Two, Volume One

"The Binary Star of BTS Books!"


Edited by Adele C. Geraghty & Jolen Whitworth



Publication Date December 2022

Thank you for all your submissions!

Check for publication Dec/Jan

Listen to our podcast

Click HERE to hear our own Lorraine Brooks in conversation with artist and painter RITA KEEGAN

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