Friday, September 25, 2020

Why We Bless Those Who Sneeze

 As often happens when I’m writing a new story, I clicked to a search engine to look up ONE simple fact and then get intrigued and keep clicking.

In writing Between Two Beaus, my October release in the "Keepers of the Light" series, I wanted to know what someone of Swedish and of Finnish heritage would say when another person sneezed. So, here’s your brief lesson on why we bless sneezers.


In pre Christian population, people believed their souls lived in their breath and a violent sneeze could temporarily expel your soul from your body. If your soul is gone, then the devil can sneak in and you might need an exorcism to get it out. So the God Bless You was a protection for you during that perilous time.

Sneezes were thought to be an interference by evil spirits and so a blessing of some type of spoken to invoke good spirits. Another theory is that people thought your heart stopped momentarily with the sneeze and hearing someone wish you well would start it again. Yet another theory is that the practice originated during the time of the plague when people blessed those who sneezed as a way to keep the disease from infecting them. The idea being to wish those affected good health.

No matter the belief, here are a few ways to respond to a sneeze.

Most of us know Geshunheit, which is German for health.

People in Spanish countries say salud for health for the first sneeze then dinero (money) for the second and amor (love) for the third.

Dutch is gezondheid for health for the first sneeze only.

French is â tes souhaits for to your wishes.

Finnish is terveydeski or for health.

Say prosit  when someone sneezes in Sweden (the first time only) Added detail: Swedish folklore dictates that each time you say tack (thank you) in response to prosit, a gnome will die. The word is the same in Danish and Norwegian.

In Russia people say будьте здоровы for “be healthy”. 

In Yiddish the response is tsu gesunt.

After the first, the saying in Turkish is çok yaşa or“live long” and for the second sneeze, the response is sağlıklı yaşa meaning “live healthy”. But more than a simple “thank you”, the sneezer’s response to the first blessing is, “And I hope you will live to see it.”

Tagline for Between Two Beaus releasing October 13th.

When Gala’s decision to act as a fake fiancée threatens the balance among the trio of friends, she is torn between Hal, who has suddenly shown interest, and fulfilling her promise to Bork.

The "Keepers of the Light" authors are hosting a Summer Fun and Games Facebook party on September 25 & 26 from 8AM-5PM PDT to highlight the upcoming releases. My time slot is 11AM to 2PM on 9/26. A $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded at the completion of the party on the Amazon series readers page. The first 8 titles in the series are on sale 9/25-9/26 for only 99 cents. Find them on the series page.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Please Welcome LAURA ASHWOOD











Please welcome

Laura Ashwood

To the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog

We are pleased to announce that author Laura Ashwood has joined the blog. She will be posting on the first Wednesdays of the month beginning in October.

About Laura Ashwood:

Laura Ashwood writes sweet contemporary and historical western romance, and women's fiction. In her novels, Laura brings to life characters and relationships that will warm your heart and fill you with hope. Her stories often have themes involving redemption, forgiveness, and family. Laura and her husband live in northeast Minnesota, which is the setting for many of her stories. She is a devoted grandmother and chihuahua lover. 

Laura has also written several contemporary romance books.

Website| Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Pinterest | Bookbub

 Here is Laura's American Historical Romance book:

An Agent for Clarissa

By Laura Ashwood

In order to avoid a marriage she doesn’t want, Clarissa Ferguson will have to get married to a man she doesn’t know. 

Available on Amazon


Tuesday, September 22, 2020


 Unbelievable, I know. True, nonetheless. It was an American who invented ice.

I can imagine the groans, scoffs, and snorts even of those reading this blog at those opening words. Sure, ice itself didn't spring from good old Yankee ingenuity. The demand for cold drinks and ice cream did. And it's the amazing story of a man who persevered to create an industry that no one knew they needed or wanted.

At the start of the nineteenth century while picnicing on a hot day in the West Indies, Frederic Tudor and his brother joked about harvesting ice. Where William, his brother, saw humor, Frederic saw a chance to earn a fortune. (The family was already rich. No matter, a little more money could never hurt.)

Frederic never had the ambition to do much. His Bostonian family allowed him to drop out of school at 13 and roam from then on. But ice became a passion that centered Frderic's life. For a man who never stuck to anything, he determined not to give up until the world craved cold drinks and ice cream made correctly out of ice instead of using snow.

Back in New England, Tudor tried to hire a ship so he could haul ice harvested in New England back to the tropics. He received a very icy reception. 

No one trusted a profit from that cargo so he had to buy a ship instead. Undetered, he sailed to Martinque with eighty tons of ice and the belief in his idea.

Amazingly, the ice arrived in perfect condition. It should have been a triumph except...No one wanted ice. Tudor tried hard to convince the islanders, but no one was interested. There was no desire for ice during the hot, tropical summer. They simply didn't see the need.

Quit? Absolutely not. Even though his family lost much of their money in a bad real estate deal, Frederic Tudor continued harvesting and shipping ice. He even made a profit four years later. Still, he struggled with debt for decades. No matter. The man was obsessed with making ice something everyone had to have.

By the time he died, Tudor was amazingly rich again. His company was shipping ice across the country and as far away as India. How did this happen? Tudor went to restaurants to show them how to use the product and to hospitals to show the benefit of ice for feverish patients. He offered free samples and showed people that they couldn't live without ice. 

One taste and the demand began. America wanted fresh meat, milk, and produce. By the time Tudor died in 1864, harvesting ice was a competitive business in New England. It was an industry that continued growing, even during the American Civil War.

A shiftless, school drop out with no purpose in life convinced much of the world that they needed and wanted ice. He had a vision and wouldn't give up. The American dream...

For a bit of chill while you read, check out my sweet historical romance with a bit of suspsense. On sale this month for $.99.


Kitty Donaldson’s marred face keeps her isolated from others. Wanting warmth and companionship Kitty gladly agrees to become a mail-order bride. No matter that her new groom refuses to leave his home. After all, she’s always lived without friends.

A mysterious fire hideously scarred Kit Randolph. Did someone purposefully burn down his home? He hides in the rebuilt house, willing only to see close friends and family. When the worst happens to Kit, his cousin Phineas suspects someone near to Kit is the murderer. How can he prove it?
Married to a man in a mask, Kitty begins to wonder about her husband. Who or what lies under the hood he wears? Why is she constantly shadowed by a companion? Worse yet, why does her mind seem to confuse her scarred husband and his handsome cousin.

What will Kitty find when her husband’s mask is removed? With a murderer on the loose, will she live to find out?


Monday, September 21, 2020

As it grows closer to the Holiday Season, I wanted to share this poem of the Life of Christ with you all.   You are welcome to copy and share it with family.  I can also email you a copy if you contact me at   

This is a poem that my Grandfather used to tell us as we were growing up.

It may sound somewhat like a famous old song, but it is my Grandfather’s own personal version of the Life of Christ.

Please feel free to share this with family and friends. Please honor our copyright and only pass it on for free. 


The Old, Old Story Told by Shirley Sparks


Tell me the old, old story, of unseen things above, 

of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love. 

Tell me the story often, if you would truly be, 

in any kind of trouble, a comforter to me. 


Tell me the story often, in earnest tones so grave; 

remember I’m the sinner, whom Jesus came to save. 

You ask me for this story, nothing else will do, 

indeed, I cannot wonder, it always seems so new. 


I often wish that someone would tell me it each day; 

I never would get tired, of what they had to say. 

But I am wasting moments, oh how shall I begin, 

to tell the old, old story, how Jesus saves from sin? 


Once in a pleasant garden, God placed a happy pair, 

and all within was peaceful, and all around was fair. 

But oh, they disobeyed Him, the one thing He denied, 

they longed for, took and tasted, they ate it and they died. 


Yet in His love and pity, the Lord at once declared, 

that man though lost in ruin, could after all be spared. 

For one of Eve’s descendants, not sinful like the rest, 

should spoil the world for Satan and man be saved and blessed. 


Hundreds of years were over, Adam and Eve had died, 

the following generation, and many more besides. 

At last some shepherds watching, beside their flocks by night, 

were startled in the dark, by a strange and heavenly light. 


And was it true this story? They went at once to see, 

and found Him in a manger, and knew that it was He. 

He whom the Father promised, so many ages past, 

had come to save poor sinners, yes, He had come at last. 


His life on Earth was worthy; He was a working man, 

who knows a poor man’s troubles, as well as Jesus can? 

His every thought was kindness; His every deed was love, 

in every act He showed it, to man and God above. 


He was a man of sorrow and when He gave relief, 

He gave it like a brother, acquainted with the grief. 

Such was the man Christ Jesus, God in the form of man, 

but hush the tale grows sad, I’ll tell it if I can. 


The gentle Holy Jesus, without a spot or stain, 

by cruel hands was taken, was crucified and slain. 

But when He left his children, he promised them to send, 

a comforter to teach them, and guide them to the end. 


The same Holy Spirit, is with us to this day, 

and ready now to teach us, the new and living way. 

So, come dear friends and people, accept Him while you may, 

for soon the time is coming, that you must pass away. 


This is the old, old story, and every word is true,

twas meant for every sinner, including me and you. 

The reason I’m so certain, it was us that He did mean, 

I found this precious promise made in John 3:16 

        For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son 

That who so ever believeth in Him shall not perish but have Everlasting Life. 


How to Know Jesus Christ Personally! 

1) Realize We Each Have A Problem: All of us have the same basic problem in our lives. The Bible identifies that problem as ‘sin’. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Sin stains the soul, scars the spirit, and separates from God. 

2) Recognize Jesus Is the Only Solution to Our Problem: None of us are capable of solving the sin problem in our own life. Because we all have the same sin problem, we cannot solve one another’s problem. The only solution for this problem would be to have someone who was sinless to solve it on our behalf. This is where Jesus provides the solution. He was sinless. He willingly took our place on the cross and paid the price for our sin problem to be solved. “But God demonstrates His love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 

3) Receive Jesus Personally as Our Savior and Lord: Salvation, God’s solution to our sin problem, is a gift that is offered to every person. However, unless a gift is received, it just remains a gift offered. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 

Receiving Jesus Christ personally involves asking Him to come into one’s life to be their Lord. “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 

You can ask Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord right now.

“Lord Jesus, I realize I am a sinner, I recognize you are the solution, and I receive you as my Savior and Lord.” 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sweet Americana Sweethearts Blog is Five Years Old

I'm really bad about remembering birthdays and anniversaries. Remembering the five year milestone of the start of the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog is no exception. Although two months late, I still wish celebrate and say thank you to all the authors who have blogged for us over the years. Just as important, thank you to all of you readers who signed up to follow the blog and read our posts.

To celebrate, I wish to introduce the blog’s founding authors and their first posts on the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog. Please click on the title to see the first post for each author.


     The first authors who posted in July 2015:

Zina AbbottThe Sultana Disaster

Shanna HatfieldThe Teutonic

Angela Raines-Doris McCrawThe Woman in History Everyone Should Know

Linda Carroll-BraddNot Only a Place to Sit


     Added in August 2015:

Penny Estelle – Timothy Hershey and the Beginning of Abilene, Kansas

Kristin HoltFive Things I Learned from THE MENACE TAKES A BRIDE

Kathryn Albright – Romancing San Diego’s Amazing Past

Amelia Adams – Writing History, Whenever It May Be

Times and needs change, but I’m pleased to note that four of those authors besides myself are still blogging. 

Thank you to all of you readers who read our posts and buy our books. You are why we write.