Posted in angels, family, Florida, grandmothers, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, love, Merry Christmas, mythology

A Holiday Story- The Marco Angel

island of angels - Copy (2)

Happy Holidays to everyone. Instead of an author interview, for my holiday gift to you, here is a short story I wrote a few years ago about the Marco Angels, hundreds of them, all over our island. They are a wonderful sight.

The Tradewinds


Island of Angels, a short story  December 2012

by  Joanne Simon Tailele

The young girl hunched down in the backseat of the car. Her nose almost touched the screen of the I-pad she balanced on her lap. Bright pink ear buds blocked out the other sounds in the car. As the car approached the crest of the Judge Jolley Bridge, her mother hollered to her above the music pounding in her ears. “Liza, look, an osprey.”

Liza lifted her head just as the bird spread its wings and took flight above the sparkling blue water. She watched as it flapped twice, and then glided on the wind. It headed across the island into the setting amber sun where the high-rises in the distance appeared to dance on the water’s edge. “Nice,” she said somewhat sarcastically and buried her red-capped head back in her lap.

This was not Liza’s idea for a Christmas vacation. Who ever heard of Christmas without snow, or friends or blazing fireplaces? If they had to go to Florida, couldn’t it be Disney World? No, Mom and Dad said it had to be Marco Island. Liza knew what this was really about. It was about saying good-bye. They thought she didn’t know, but she wasn’t a baby. She had looked it up on Google. Lymphoma. The chemo had only made it worse. She threw up all the time and her long blonde hair fell out in clumps until she just shaved it all off and stuck a cap on her head.

Gram’s house was cool and it had a big pool right off the back door inside a cage. Liza could push back the huge sliding doors and walk straight into the water, if she only had the strength. But even with a big artificial tree, and lots of lights on the house, things still did not feel like Christmas.

On the second night, Gram announced that she was taking Liza out to see the town. Big deal, Liza thought. This town sucks. She’d rather be back in New York with her friends.

As they rode down Collier Blvd, Liza noticed the angels. Beautiful silhouettes of praying angels lined the street in front of building after building of condominiums. They turned down Barfield, and then San Marco, then Bald Eagle. More angels graced the lawns of pretty homes and businesses. “What is this Gram? What’s with the angels?” Liza heart began to soften and a lump formed in her throat.

Her grandmother smiled at her. “This is the Island of Angels, don’t you know that?” She pulled the car up the steep drive to the Marriott Hotel and handed the keys to the valet. “Come, my dear. I want to show you something.”

Liza and her grandmother entered the lobby of the hotel. The most beautiful tree Liza had ever seen filled the room, surrounded by dozens of red poinsettias.  They descended the stairs and exited the double doors into the courtyard. A wedding reception was taking place and Liza smiled at the bride and groom surrounded by their friends and families seated at white linen tables in the soft moonlight. Passed the party, passed the pool, passed the restaurant on the beach, Liza walked arm-in-arm with her grandmother toward the shoreline. Those who observed them would not have known who was supporting whom. They kicked their shoes off as they reached the soft sand. The salt air tickled Liza’s nose. When the only sound they heard was the surf lapping on the beach in its own rhythmic beat, Gram spread a blanket and they sat down, shoulder to shoulder. The breeze from the Gulf was cool and Gram lifted the edge of the blanket to wrap them together in a cocoon.

Thousands of stars lit the sky and the moon’s reflection pirouetted over the water. Liza leaned her head on to her grandmother’s shoulder. “This is beautiful. Thank you for bringing me here. Tell me, Gram, why do they call this the Island of Angels?”

“Because it is.” Her grandmother stated rather matter-of-factly.  “Hundreds of years ago, the Calusa Indians knew this, and that is why they settled here. Angels look over this island and keep it safe. When big hurricanes like Wilma and Charlie, or Katrina blow toward this island, the angels all get together and flap their wings at the same time and blow the worst of the storms away.”

Liza snuggled a little closer. “Do you think angels are people that have died?”

Her grandmother thought for a moment. “No, I believe they were created to always be angels, that they are immortal, with no beginning and no end. They just are. But there is something else they do, Liza. They also blow away fear.”

Liza lifted her head from her grandmother’s shoulder and looked into her eyes in the moonlight. “How do they do that, Gram?”

“If you are afraid, just sit very still and quiet. Listen for them and they will come. When you hear the flapping of their wings, you will know that they are lifting your fear and taking it away.”

Christmas morning, Liza was too weak to open her gifts, but a special gift hung by a silver chain on the tree; a Marco Angel bowing with a candle in hand. Her grandmother hooked the clasp of the chain around her granddaughter’s neck. Liza looked up at her and pressed the angel to her chest. “I can hear them, Gram. I hear their wings. I am not afraid.”


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year to all of you.

2011-12-28 18.24.39

Tai and Joanne

Posted in authors, characters, conflict, fantasy, fiction, mythology, sci-fi, writers

The evolution of writing with “Seeds” author Robert Messier

I can’t tell you pleased I am to have Robert Messier with us today on Writing Under Fire for Author Interview Friday. Robert and I are close friends and critique partners. We have struggled and sweated through countless revisions on our WIP’s and I think I am just as excited as Robert about SEEDS making its first appearance as an e-book on Amazon. This story begs to make the top seller list. Robert has a unique style and insight into his writing that I have rarely seen. How he manages to combine sci-fi, fantasy, mythology and history and even prophecy into one cohesive compact story amazes me. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Robert Messier. Please take the time to read this great work of art in SEEDS.

Robert Messier

Robert: Thank you Joanne. It is a pleasure to be here and thank you for the kind words.

Joanne: Let’s get straight to the questions. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get you started?

Robert: When I was 14, I would write silly adventure stories for and about my teen friends called “The Born Losers” which was popular. I also felt inspired to write epic poetry tales similar to “Beowulf, Conan the Barbarian and Homer’s Greek myths”. This again was popular with kids but not so with my English teacher Mrs. Keating. LOL

Joanne: Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Robert: I took a class for creative writing and was voted top writer in class at Edison Community College in Florida for my short stories. I majored in English at Nassau Community College in New York and wrote for Think Magazine with both articles on magic and epic pagan poetry devoted to Goddess worship. For personal reasons I ended my association with the magazine.

Joanne: How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?

Robert: I was fortunate the editor of Think magazine attended my class when I was teaching about “The Power of Music” in a New Age bookstore called The New Moon and immediately wanted to feature me as a writer. As for my first book 100 Years of Thrillers and Chillers, this took three years of handwritten re-writes before learning to type my manuscript and sending it to Rose Dog Books and it got published almost one year later.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same genre?

Robert: No, I just write whatever inspires me at the moment. I like diversity.

Joanne: Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Robert: Of the three books I have written, two are easy to categorize but “Seeds” combines numerous genres but since it begins and ends science-fiction I suppose it falls in Science Fiction.

Joanne: Are you published through a traditional publishing house?

Robert: My first book was produced by Rose Dog Books, a self-published division of a Dorrance Publishing house in Pittsburgh. For now, Seeds will be available as an e-book on Amazon but at some point I will attempt to get an agent and publish it traditionally because (I don’t want to brag- but) it is a very special story. My third book will not be available until it is re-worked with reggae recording artist Frank Carroll to promote The Unknown Guitarist. It will be a music e-book dedicated to musicians from around the world that are relatively obscure guitar virtuosos.

Joanne: Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?

Robert: I met an author who had her book self-published by Rose Dog and so I chose them hoping to gain credibility as an author but this method is expensive.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?

Robert: I like writing in a narrative style but I have not always written in this method…

Joanne: What do you think writers are talking about when they say “finding your voice?”

Robert: I think this is meant to mean is…to write about your passions because if what you are writing is passionate to you then it will excite your reader also. That is what “voice” means I think. LOL.

Joanne: For you, what is the hardest part of the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query, marketing?

Robert: Marketing is far and away the hardest part of being a writer.

Joanne: What marketing techniques do you use to promote your books?

Robert: An author must learn computer marketing techniques such as blogging to reach an audience because traditional publishers now expect the author to promote his own work. Talent is no longer enough. Luck and computer generated promotional skills are required for success. This is the new reality of publishing. On some level it is more difficult to be a successful writer today than in the past. That said if you love to write hang in there but know there are a million other writers to compete against who want success too.

Joanne: What advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

Robert .If you really believe in your manuscript and abilities as a writer then find a method of publishing that works for you. Whether self-publishing, e-book or traditional publishing with an agent. I’m still exploring all these methods to see what works best.

Joanne: What is the overall premise or theme to the book we are promoting today?

Robert: Seeds is the quest for humanity’s evolution and place in the universe. It is a story of love and growth, history and myth with interesting main characters that evolve along with the world.

Joanne: Can you share a few paragraphs of SEEDS with us?  Also, where can readers purchase the e-book?

SEEDS cover from website

Robert: SEEDS and my other book, 100 Years of Thrillers and Chillers can be purchased on from my Amazon Author page at

If you are not into sci-fi fantasy don’t be afraid to read further because many genres are covered in the 32 chapter novella. It evolves. LOL




Jesse has always been the optimist, thought Lucy.

Watching my brother skillfully navigate our crystal starship down towards the green vegetation and lush flora of the young planet, I felt apprehensive but naughty. This was a mission of observation but Father required some action. Large flocks of birds of various shapes and colors scattered and flew off at our approach. Jesse loved to observe Father’s seeding projects first hand. Our beloved scientist Father called these new worlds the Terraforming Project, but this was one of those worlds that made me wish I had stayed home with Mother.

Ages ago Father discovered this small planet rotating in space lifeless, just another large rock in the universe. It had volcanic activity and great deal of hot carbon monoxide gas caused by excessive meteor showers and other cosmic debris. The planet was a prime candidate for seeding life forms in all its bio-diversity. This would be a test subject for Father’s atmospheric projects to induce and sustain life because of its proximity to its sun. This planet also had the ability to maintain an ocean which could act as a nursery for the development of new life, plants and animals including the humanoid species for which our Father is so fond of.

But this world is so boring. If it wasn’t for Father’s psychological experiments on growth I would never choose to come to this planet at all but I am Father’s favorite child and I did not want to disappoint Him.

I looked outside the viewport of the starship still lost in thought. Last time we were here Jesse formed a bond with these aliens and was eager to see them again. These beings were so unlike the life-forms on the fiery, gaseous world of Tartarus. The humanoid creatures of this world were infantile in mind and weak in body and they just seemed so damn lazy and stupid. All they seemed to do was eat, sleep and shit. Not much different than the animals and the lower life forms. They could not change their shape at will or thrive in extreme conditions. They are limited in intellect and physical form. What is so special about the human beings?

“Did you hear me Lucy? I said it’s time to go!”

Despite Father’s wishes of non-interference, Jesse insisted on communication with these inferior beings. As we approached a clearing in the garden, we could see two people eating fruit naked amongst the trees. Jesse transformed himself into a likeness of the man but since I had nothing but contempt for these lazy creatures I chose to transform into a slithering beast and watched from some bushes.

The man embraced Jesse and they walked off in the distance talking. The female of the species had stayed behind and fell asleep under Father’s experimental tree and since our Father asked, I was obliged to do something about it. Another seed needed to be planted to stimulate growth and quite frankly I did not want this species to become immortal. They are not deserving of the gift. These beings were only flesh and blood. No more, no less. They are not like us at all.

As our starship prepared to leave this world, my good natured brother quips, “I can’t wait to tell Father the Good News. He will be pleased to know the experiment was a success. The human beings had not eaten the fruit from Father’s tree and I for one am hoping Father will let us return to this world someday Lucifer, because there is potential here.”

I hated to be called by my formal name as I smiled in response to Jesse.

“My dearest little brother Jeshua”, I teased, “Wherever you go I will follow.”

In the blink of an eye, our crystal starship quietly flashed into space and we were gone.