We share this planet …

Someone asked me today my view on the Paris tragedy. I share my response:

Of course it’s a tragedy; it always is when lives are lost in such a vile and senseless manner. It’s important to remember though that Paris is one city and that thousands have been murdered in cold blood by the evil hands of terrorism.

In fact, it is estimated that 33,000 lives were lost to terrorist activities during 2014. When you look at it like that, one might say that Paris was small fry. But when just one life is wiped out by a terrorist, it’s one life too many. Some have asked why a prayer for France and not for Iraq or Pakistan or Beirut… I suppose it has to do with the fact that we feel for what we can relate to. France is in Europe, on our doorstep as it were. We have a history and many of us have been there. Very often we need to see something to believe something. Pakistan, Iraq and Beirut feels like a world away and therefore we find it easier to look past what happens there. I am not saying it’s right to do so. I am saying it’s very often, sadly, although somewhat understandably, part of human nature. If a family member dies today you wouldn’t expect all 7,000000,000000 people on this planet to pray for your deceased loved one.

Unfortunately we are bombarded with horrific scenes day in and day out, and in the end our brains simply cannot comprehend what we are witnessing. We become blind-sided by the hell we find ourselves in, and desperately we search for something better. My thoughts are with all victims worldwide, but Paris is on my doorstep and although my heart says I should stand for all, my head says deal with what is close to you. France is in Europe and so am I. It is then, part of my family, relatively speaking of course. There are also some who say the attacks were fake. Like some say the London bombing or 9/11 was a fake; that the governments of these countries set things up to stir up some sort of un-godly soup that we can all drown in.

Seriously though, I mean…seriously. At the end of the day we have to remember that we are all human and that we have to work together…we share this planet. We don’t own it. We borrow it so that the next generation can borrow it.


But if these terrorist groups win, we will have nothing to hand down to our children. We need to come to terms with the world we now live in, need to hold our heads up high and wipe these scum terrorists away once and for all.

Until next time,

Gavin  …

author page on Amazon



Signs of Autumn

Unveiling another season of God’s painted canvas …

daisy sunflower sky sc 2014 septWP_20140927_005maple ski sc 2014 septApples SCIchurch sc3butterflies SC GroupingI think autumn time is best for me

When leaves turn a rusty red

 Cool fresh air enters my head

Birds take off into the sky

I know they will be back

But still I say good bye

I think autumn time is best for me …

© Gavin L. Hill, all rights reserved ®

Segment from Reflections Upon the Waters of Life (our poetry/photography book)

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Enjoy the beauty all around you!


Escape from the world by reading books!

Today’s post is an interview conducted by David Barrick, a retired librarian. He interviews author-motivational speaker, Gavin Hill … the other half of Sweet Conclusions.Areavoices. Enjoy this informative interview about Gavin’s new book release, The Tale of the Golden Casket  and other highlights of interest …  

David:   Not once but twice I have had the extraordinary pleasure of being in the audience during Gavin Hill’s motivational speaking – author events in the U.S.A. Today, I had the honor via Skype to connect and interview Mr. Hill. Here are the highlights of our time together:
Greeting, Gavin! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for your loyal fans!
Gavin:    And thank you for taking the time to speak with me.
David:    I have read your excellent series of adult books. In August, your sixth book was released. I am holding my printed copy in my hands! Great front and back covers by the way! I will let you tell our viewers the title and about this new release.
Gavin:   Thank you! The title is, “A Tale of the Golden Casket” it is as you stated my sixth published book in the Maze series. When I began book one in the Maze series I had no idea there would be a second book. Now there are six books in the series!
The fate of the Maze rests within the Golden Casket which is now in the possession of the Novark King. If the Chosen Four are not reunited soon the Golden Casket could be lost forever with the Maze falling deep into the pits of purgatory!”

TGC with Spine cover #1

David: Another great adventure book in your series!  The ending left me feeling completely at peace, satisfied that you connected the series so well. Please tell our readers the titles of all of your books.
Gavin:    The Maze, The Blood Tree, The Changling, The Watchman, The Power of the Zycon, The Tale of the Golden Casket. All are available on online through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble. Com and Jan-Carol Publishing .com.


6 book covers

David:   I am a recently retired librarian. I have always been interested in bringing into the school system story lines that captivate a young child’s attention with a valuable moral. Is it true you have a children’s book coming out in 2016? If so please tell us about your book.
Gavin:   Yes, I have an upcoming children’s book entitled, “A Lesson in the Jungle” under contract with my publisher, Jan-Carol Publishing, in Tennessee. It is a captivating children’s story teaching the importance of preserving life within the animal kingdom. It is the first in my children’s book series called Live and Learn. Each book has a live and learn message with different animals and characters. Readers of all ages, young and old, will be enriched with the valuable lesson told within its illustrated pages.
David:    We look forward to taking this new adventure with you, Gavin!
Gavin:    Thank you, David. I am very excited to show readers the many avenues of my writing from adult to children’s books, poetry to children’s themed theatre productions!
David:    I purchased your inspiring poetry-photography, coffee table book at your event! Please tell our readers more about this special collaboration.
Gavin:    Reflections upon the Waters of Life has actually been years in the making. Not the book itself of course, but the love and energy that has surrounded the concept at least. My dear friend, Rosie is an avid photographer and me, well I write a little, as you well know. I have a long and deep relationship with the written word; have written books and song texts and poetry and a whole lot more. Rosie shares my passion but with pictures. It only seemed right that we would put our creative minds together to come up with the book you purchased at an event. Reflections upon the Waters of Life is a collection of photography and verse, the idea being to lift and to inspire others.


David:   My grandchild and I were in attendance for your library children’s event in 2013 in a quaint town in Minnesota. The children really poured their hearts into acting out the roles! Everyone in the audience enjoyed your special anti-bullying message.
Gavin:   That’s good to know. I have always cherished the young; have worked within the school system most of my working life. The young are the future and it is up to us to mold them into fine adults. I didn’t much care for school, hated having to sit hour upon hour, reading and writing and then reading and writing again. Education has to be fun or it simply becomes a chore. It must be interesting and uplifting. I think that is why I came up with the idea of a theme theater.
David:   You mentioned at the meet and greet I attended, while at your home away from home in Minnesota ,you found inspiration to write, while relaxing with nature on your patio. Please tell us what project you were working on during your time in the states and if it is completed?
Gavin:   Oh yes, it’s complete. I have the perfect writing spot, a corner plot, with plenty of grass and trees. I love nature. Oddly enough, my home from home in Minnesota always inspires me and it is very rare that I don’t have ideas while sitting there with a strong mug of coffee. The project you are referring to is a book entitled, ‘The Rise of Silent Shadow’. It all came about one early morning when I was sitting out in the sun listening to the birds. Just at that moment three boys went by on their bicycles. It’s kind of strange how the mind works, but suddenly the three of them gave me an idea. I rushed indoors, took a pen at note pad and began writing. The story is about a young journalist named Mathew, who leaves city life to work at a small newspaper in a little town called Silent Shadow. What he doesn’t know is that Silent Shadow has been waiting for him ever since he was adopted almost twenty-three years earlier. The town holds a deep and dark secret, and only through Mathew will peace return to a town that has been cursed by an evil above all others.
David:  On a lighter side, it would be fun to know what foods you found more savoring than others during your travels in the U.S.A.? Any other final news you wish to share with us before this interview ends?
Gavin:   When I was down in Kentucky I got to try okra for the first time. That was totally new for me. I also ate grits and sweet potatoes. Oh and kettle corn. I love kettle corn. I ate goat for the first time when I was in Texas. It was at a lovely Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. Very nice, I love food and the U.S.A certainly has a taste for everybody.
I have several other books ready for my publisher as well. I don’t really want to go into great detail about them just yet, although I can assure you, you haven’t read the last of me yet!

David:  Exciting! Thank you again Gavin. I enjoyed interviewing you.

Escape from the world by reading! SC books

We all look forward to reading more adventures from author Gavin Hill and seeing him at events across America soon!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,


The Smell of a New Book!

What an exhilarating moment via Skype when Rosie shared the opening of a package from Amazon with me … enclosed within the confides of a box was my sixth printed book in the Maze series entitled, A Tale of the Golden Casket!

I was sure I could smell the waft of my new book through the internet waves when the package was opened! It has been a thrilling and satisfying journey to have my series published. I hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

Here is the release from my publisher, Jan-Carol Publishing in America:
Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc., of Johnson City, Tennessee, is proud to announce the release of The Tale of the Golden Casket, the sixth book in the Maze series from Gavin Hill, but will it be the final one? Hill answers that question with more questions by stating, “Does anything really end? I was brought up to believe that if something has a beginning, it must have an end. But where does space end? I don’t think it does. When I began book one in the Maze series I had no idea there would be a book two. There are now six books in the series and although I am telling you this is the final book in the series, I have a feeling it won’t be the end.”
The series continues in The Tale of the Golden Casket with the fate of the Maze resting within the Golden Casket, which is now in the possession of the Novark King. If the Chosen Four are not reunited soon, the Golden Casket could be lost forever with the Maze falling deep into the pits of purgatory!
Hill is a talented author and motivational speaker with a diverse selection of adult novels, poetry books, children’s books and theatre productions. He tours Europe and America speaking about anti-bullying issues and his interesting journey of life. He is co-owner of Sweet Conclusions, an art company. He writes a blog for Area Voices, which is published for different newspapers in America. For more information, follow along: http://sweetconclusions.areavoices.com.
Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc., includes the imprints Mountain Girl Press, Little Creek Books, Express Editions, RoseHeart Publishing, and DigiStyle. Each imprint specializes in a particular genre—from Appalachian stories to children’s books and more. At JCP, we believe ‘every story needs a book.’
For more information or to schedule a book signing, call Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc., at 423.926.9983, or visit jancarolpublishing.com. Follow JCP on Facebook

TGC with Spine cover #1mugs sc m series      Until next time, God bless …


Amazon Author Page


National Root Beer Float Day!

Summertime visits to A & W drive in restaurants still bring back fond memories. The frosty glasses filled with ice cream and delicious root beer brought out on a tray, to your partially rolled down car window … car hop service … who recalls those vintage days?


One of the first places I took Gavin, when he arrived to America, was to A & W  for him to experience and savor the taste of root beer from a frosty mug!

A & W Root BeerToday is National Root Beer Float Day!

P1090607Make yourself a float and enjoy!  

What do you add first … the ice cream or the root beer when you make your float?  :)

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,



The delicate taste of homemade tapioca!

Morning, noon or evening, anytime is the right time for the creamy, delicate taste of tapioca!  I recently made tapioca for guests, they enjoyed and savored each bite so much that I thought I would share my recipe with you today … along with photos taken in my Sweet Conclusions kitchen during the cooking process. Wash your hands, put your apron on and let’s get started!

TAPIOCA Pudding Ingredients

1/2 cup small pearl tapioca

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs separated

1 tsp. vanilla

Cooking instructions:

1. In a bowl soak small pearl tapioca in 2 cups of room temperature water overnight.soaks beads

Drain water.draining beads

2. In a double boiler, heat milk just until no longer cold. Add tapioca. Continue heating until small bubbles appear at the sides of pan. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure that milk mixture does not simmer or boil.

3. Separate egg whites from yolks. Place egg whites in refrigerator to keep cold.

Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of the hot mixture to the egg yolks and blend thoroughly. Then add the egg yolk mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Place the double boiler over medium heat and cook until tapioca mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.

4. Beat egg whites until stiff. (Before beating, I always place my mixing beaters in the freezer compartment for 10 minutes to have them very cold. I also place my mixing bowl in the refrigerator to have the bowl chilled before placing the chilled egg whites into the bowl. )

    Slowly fold the egg whites into the hot tapioca mixture. Stir in vanilla. adding whites

    Serve warm or chilled.finished tapSavor the taste!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions!


Simple Pleasures for this 4th of July

If you need a tasty recipe for this Fourth of July weekend brunch or summer picnic here is a Strawberry Yogurt Muffin recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!  I used fresh strawberries for this recipe. The strawberry aroma of the muffins while baking and while on the cooling rack afterwards was heavenly! I bake for the sure pleasure of the fragrant aroma and to please my guests with something tasty.

                                                  Photo of muffins after baking

WP_20150629_005We really could use a scratch and sniff button for this photo!

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder.  1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 2 cups sliced strawberries, 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1 large egg.

DIRECTIONS: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine flour with baking soda and baking powder.
With your mixer, combine the freshly sliced strawberries with vanilla yogurt, brown sugar, canola oil, and a egg.
Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to combine. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  
 Enjoy the smiles on your guests faces as they take their first bite of these moist and scrumptious muffins!
I captured this photo recently of local majestic American flags blowing in the breeze with fireworks above them. The songs, This Land is Your Land  and Independence Day came to my mind. What comes to your mind when viewing this photo?
Have a safe and Happy Independence Weekend
See you soon with more Sweet Conclusions!
independence day photos 2015 scr5

Backyard nature moment!

I leave my window slightly open so I can hear the cardinal’s sweet song. It gives my day a touch of heaven and brings me closer to my angelic parents.  Cardinals have special meaning to many people.

The Northern Cardinal

The male is a vibrant red, mid-sized songbird. The female is a brownish – dull red. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning. In winter, they are breathtaking in winter’s snowy backyards.

  I love nature and hope you enjoy these photos! Today as the female took a bath the male protected her. I was able to capture the moment to share with you.

cardianls 2015Until next time with more of life’s sweet conclusions,


Yesterday Marked the Eight Hundredth Birthday of the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is one of the most famous documents in the world. Magna Carta, meaning ‘Great Charter’ has inspired people across the centuries, from Thomas Jefferson to Mahatma Gandhi. But why was the charter originally created and what does it actually say?

Let’s take a trip back in time to medieval England. It’s the year 1215 and King John is in power. Very few would disagree that King John was one of the worst kings in history. He imprisoned his former wife, starved his opponents to death and allegedly, he even murdered his own nephew. What a nasty man.

King John imposed heavy taxes on his barons in order to pay for his expensive foreign wars, and they who refused to pay were punished and had their property seized.

king_john-11The barons demanded King John obey the law. When he refused, they captured London and King John was forced to negotiate. The two sides met at Runnymede on June 15, 1215 and the result of these negotiations was written down by the King’s clerks into the document we know today as the Magna Carta.

Although most of the carter’s clauses dealt with medieval rights and customs, the Magna Carta has become a powerful symbol of liberty around the world. The most famous clause that is still a part of the law today is that all men should have the right to justice and a fair trial. No man shall be arrested or imprisoned except by the judgment of their equals and by the law of the land. However, this clause was not as liberal as it appeared to be. The charter only applied to free men, and the vast majority of people in 1215 were unfree peasants, who were ruled over by their landowners. And although the Magna Carta was created to keep peace between King John and his barons, England was plunged into civil war after the Pope declared the charter invalid.

magna_cartaWhen King John died of dysentery in 1216, nine year old Henry lll took to the throne. To keep the peace, the Magna Carta was reissued several times during the 13th century, until it was finally made part of English law. The Magna Carta has lived on for eight hundred years and is echoed in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Perhaps the Magna Carta’s most important legacy is that everybody today, including our leaders, must follow the law of the land. What began as a document of specific complaints from a group of barons has turned into an international symbol of liberty.

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,


Author Site on Amazon