Softly and Tenderly
by Lisa Binion
This is a recipe for the chili I make.
To make this chili, you will need:
1 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
14½ ounces beef broth
One 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
¼ cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Two 15-ounce Luck’s pinto beans
In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Stir it often to break up the bits. Drain excess oil when you are done.
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the beans, crackers, cheese, and sour cream. Bring the chili to a boil; lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes. Be sure to stir it occasionally. Add the pinto beans and simmer covered for about another 15 minutes.
Serve the chili on top of crumbled crackers and top it with shredded cheese and sour cream.
Fun Fact Interview:
1. Why did you start writing?
I guess you could say I started writing after I got married many, many years ago. I took a course on writing for children. Then I actually had children and pushed my writing aside for a long time. I started writing again when I became the Natural Living Editor for BellaOnline. I gave up that site when the Fiction Writing site became available. I have been the editor of that site for over three years now.
2. What's your favorite book of all time?
Wow. That is a difficult question for me. I read a lot, and it is really hard to choose a favorite from all the books I have read. When I was young, my favorite genre was mystery. Towards Zero by Agatha Christie has been one of my favorite books for a long time. Another close favorite would be The Widow’s Club by Dorothy Cannell. And I love suspense/thriller/horror books. My favorite horror book would have to be Darkfall by Dean Koontz. I like to read Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and many others. I have enough books to fill an entire library.
3. Favorite Movie and why?
That would be a tie between The Princess Bride and Arsenic and Old Lace. Both are movies that my family always loved to watch together. I think my children had every line of The Princess Bride memorized. Arsenic and Old Lace is just plain hilarious. I love watching all the different faces Cary Grant makes when his character discovers the body in the window seat.
4. If your book was made into a movie, who do you seeing being cast for your characters?
I’ll have to give that one some thought. Softly and Tenderly is just the first part of a much bigger story, so I haven’t given much thought to who I see being cast as their characters yet.
5. What is your favorite scene from your book, or the scene you most enjoyed writing?
I think the scene I most enjoyed writing would have to be the one in the funeral home when Lori’s mom sits up in her coffin and reaches her hand to Lori. I was only nine years old when my mom died. When I went to her funeral, I was so sure that I saw her breathing as she lay there in the coffin. What happened in that scene would be a nightmare for anyone.
Even though it only took me two days to write the entire story, it was really difficult for me to write. The memories of everything that happened when my mom died came flooding back to me. On the day I finished writing it my 84-year-old father fell down the steps and was dead when he hit the landing at the bottom. The paramedics started his heart beating again, but he never regained consciousness, and two weeks later, they took him off of life support and declared him dead.
6. Name one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you…
I had a car wreck back in January of 1991. The doctors said I would never walk again, and I would have the mental aptitude of a child for the rest of my life, and that was if I survived. I surprised them all and walked out of the hospital after just 6 weeks. My mental abilities? Well, the people I know have varying opinions about that.
About The Author:
Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax. You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/pages/BellaOnline-Fiction-Writing/125143070846792., http://www.silvertonguepress.com/, and http://edit1st.com/.
Genre: Horror Short Story
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press
“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium. Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori. From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?
“Lori, it’s your turn to say bye now. You need to tell her that you love her and how much you will miss her.” Daddy put me down next to her coffin and placed his hands on my shoulders. He pushed me so close to her death box that I felt the white satin that overlapped to the outside. It rubbed against my hands. At least it was soft for Mommy. She would be comfortable in there.
I decided to speak out loud this time. Maybe no one else would bring me back up here again if I spoke my goodbyes out loud. “Mommy,” I began, but then I started crying so hard I couldn’t speak. Daddy rubbed my shoulders until I quieted down and could begin again. “Mommy, I love you. I don’t want you to leave me. Please come back. No one, not even this Jesus, is worth leaving me over.” I opened my eyes and looked at her. She hadn’t moved since Mrs. Minuet had dragged me up here. But then her eyes opened, and she stared at me. She was staring at me! I sucked my breath in and felt my legs grow weak as my head began to spin. With one hand I grabbed on to the edge of the coffin, while with the other hand I grabbed hold of Daddy’s arm.
“Daddy! Daddy! Mommy’s not dead! She looked at me!” I screamed as I jumped up and down. “She was still alive when they took her out of the house. I saw her trying to get out from under the sheet.” I pulled on his arm and shook it. “Please, Daddy. You’ve got to save her.”
Daddy was beginning to sound a bit mad. He picked me up and held me over top of Mommy. “Maybe if you give her a goodbye kiss you’ll understand she’s dead, and believe me when I tell you she isn’t coming back.” I was so close to Mommy’s cheek that I could see the makeup was beginning to cake in her pores. There was no warmth rising up from her body, only icy coldness.
5 eCopies of Softly and Tenderly