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Karen Palka is the Founder & Executive Director of A Beautiful Me®. She is a creative person who sees the value in each individual and loves to empower ALL women of ALL ages.

Podcast moment for the week of
July 28, 2014.

Alpha, Beta, Gamma!
Which kind of woman are you?

A Beautiful Me® podcast airs every Tuesday after the 9:00 am news on
WGRT 102.3 FM in Port Huron, Michigan.

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Fireworks over toccoa

Fireworks Over Toccoa

What a beautiful debut novel by Jeffrey Stepakoff. Lily marries just days before her husband is off to fight in World War II. The story picks up as he and others are returning home.  A celebration with fireworks is planned, and Lily meets Jake Russo, the designer of the fireworks for the celebration. Follow as Lily and Jake’s paths cross; will Lily choose duty and her husband or the man who might be the love of her life. Enjoy!


Cathie Martin is an avid reader and
artist. She has had many
roles in life including
her current position
as News Director at
WGRT 102.3 FM.
A highlight of her job
she says is reviewing
books and interviewing

Time-Honored Sisterhood

Years ago, my British-born grandmother told me a true tale of romance and adventure set in WWII England.

Grandma’s story went like this: Despite the terror of nightly bombing raids and fears of invasion, romance still blossomed in war torn England.  Some young British women and the allied American soldiers stationed in Europe met – and fell in love.  Love often led to marriage.  At wartime weddings, soldier grooms typically donned their uniforms while brides might wear a borrowed dress or a gown stitched from parachute silk.

At war’s end, great ships transported thousands of European war brides of American servicemen – and the babies born to these couples – to awaiting husbands in the U.S.  Although not a war bride herself, my grandmother undoubtedly felt a kinship with these women who gathered their courage and a few possessions, said tearful goodbyes, and sailed for a new life in the U.S., just as she had.

Years later, I began researching this historical event, known as the 1946 “Bride and Baby Voyages,” for a children’s book. I also spoke with war brides from Europe and Australia.

How touching to learn that today, more than 60 years since those voyages, some of these war brides still get together.  Now in their 80s and 90s, they meet to chat and reminisce. They laugh, too, recalling the challenges of adjusting to American culture.  One national organization, the WWII War Brides Association, holds annual reunions with last year’s event in New Orleans.

These women gained much from their time-honored sisterhood.  Gathering with other women to share advice, experiences and laughter can be heartening – in any era. True, we ourselves might not set sail from our homeland, as the courageous war brides did. Yet when we connect with women who face similar challenges, we tap into a source of wisdom and support that can sustain us on our own amazing journeys and adventures.

Catherine Stier is an award-winning author of several children’s books. Her recent WWII historical fiction picture book, Welcome to America, Champ! was named a 2014 Best Book of the Year for Children by the Bank Street College of Education. Born in Michigan, Stier now lives in San Antonio, Texas.  She supports the vision of A Beautiful Me® of promoting a positive self-image for all girls.

EW.20140728.KatelynSIronsKatelyn S. Irons
“Shine with all you have. When someone tries to blow you out, just take their oxygen and burn brighter.”