Audio Triology Available…get your adventure today.

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The Valkyrie and the Marine: Review by Aloe.  Ms. Keller’s Marine is a strong man who is brave and independent. He knew he almost died, but he still has this vision of an angel who came to visit him. He wants to see her again. Ms. Keller’s Valkyrie is a beautiful woman who has magic and is part of an elite team. She has worked hard to succeed as being the best in her team. I found it very easy to relate to both characters; it might be fantasy, but the author expresses true emotions.. ….I had to keep reading to the end of the story because this was just a short visit for Kaira and we all know Valkyrie’s and humans can’t marry. The author has found a unique ending that was most appropriate for this story. I really enjoyed it. Why don’t you try it and see what you think? The Valkyrie and the Marine

Pippa’s Rescue

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Pippa’s Rescue. Review by Elizabeth Clester, Enjoyed it cover to cover! Artfully told so that I felt I was living within the story. I would recommend and will be looking at other books by JJ Keller!

Skogul, Valkyrie leader of the first squad in Valhalla, is supposed to offer immortality to former marine Basil Vanguard. Too bad watching science fiction on the big screen is more fun. But if her assignment slips through the cracks, will Odin himself take a hand?

Basil wants justice. Determined to find the man who turned on his own unit and caused the deaths of many brave men, Basil tracks him to a horse rescue ranch. But the ranch owner is the traitor’s sister, and she’s not talking. Caught off guard by her beauty – not to mention the bizarre arrival of a leather-clad Valkyrie – Basil has a hard time keeping his mind on his mission.

Animal rights activist Pippa Wilson must find her brother before the bank forecloses on their rescue ranch. When a gorgeous marine arrives looking for him too, she tries to resist the attraction – but will her heart listen? Rescue

Memory of Love

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Power, Family, and Loyalty: The coveted three can join a shifter and Valkyrie in love or tear them apart forever.

Tied to a tree in the midst of thieves, the Valkyrie Skogul wakes without memory of who she is or of the man she once loved. Using curiously deadly skills, she escapes. Injured and exhausted, a wolf befriends her and leads her to a house where the hunky owner’s eyes look strangely familiar.

Aidan Hall, former guardian of Hell’s Gate, doesn’t trust anyone. So when a beautiful amnesia victim he’s never met appears at his door, why does he feel a connection?

Who and what he is will keep them apart. But when dark magik shows up in his woods, his guard intensifies. Is it Skogul or someone else?

Review: GC (Amazon) This book is a novella so it was over quickly but did not lack in entertainment. The narration was good and kept you entertained. This was my first book by this author but definitely will not be my last.

Memory of Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

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392

In my dreams and even my semi-consciousness I see the number 392.

I wish it was a premonition—especially for a lottery number—but I don’t have premonitions.

light sky space abstract
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I do see spirits. More often than not I resent the non-person interrupting my activities or instilling fear inside me. However, there are times past family members will make their presence known and provide solace, hope and the promise of a better future. On occasion I need this seed of inspiration.

I didn’t recognize the deliverer of the three~nine~two message; but I have a strong intuition this essence is trying to tell me something.

I’m not getting it.

Any thoughts?

For Better or Worse

For Better or Worse

woman holding hands
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Every day I walk B…

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Depending on the outdoor conditions and Indiana has diverse, unpredictable, weather; we go a quarter-of-a-mile or a mile. B’s getting older so a mile is her max.

I generally let her determine which route we take and eighty percent of the time we go past the houses of where dogs live. Those cute K-9s tend to look out the windows, doors, and bark. B, being a Sheltie, enjoys a good barking session.

The other day just past the yapping little dogs in the yard I noticed something out of place…not the same.

An older couple walked toward us. She appeared frail, grayish in color with scalp-hugging silver hair. The gent held onto her arm, supporting her as if to say I’ll never let you go.

The closer B and I got to the pair I recognized the guy. Every day he manicured his lawn, actually clipping with a pair of scissor-sized cutters. He never replied to my hello or B’s loud bark of a greeting. In early spring he had the sidewalk blocked off with garden string…which didn’t stop us from scaling the line and continuing on. (I’m very protective of B and we try not to walk on the street. Drivers in Fort Wayne are much like those in Italy…rules of the road are simply suggestions;).

Today, though, I halted B and we waited for the couple to turn into their driveway. B’s bark can be quite unsettling, and I didn’t want to upset the lady. It appeared, by the signs of cancer, she had enough challenges and toppling over due to a scare would make a bad day from the glorious sunny morning. However, I don’t believe the guy would let her slip from his arms.

From his crotchetiness I assumed he was a Scrooge, when it’s probable he is a nice man with a heart-wrenching burden weighing him. My simple observation was he cared for his lady and treated her with the tender kindness like he did his yard.

In my scenario of their marriage they continue their relationship even during the worse, clinging to what was and what may be.

Thank you for reading my musings. I hope you have a lovely day.

 

All rights reserved.

jj Keller

books on shelf

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B004RAOBQI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1518270128&sr=1-2&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

 

Weather Vanes: Maine

I recently visited Maine, the Kennebunkport area. In contrast to the ninety-eight degree eighty-four percent humidity of Indiana, the air was cool and it rained several days. We didn’t mind the coolness or the condensation, as it was a nice respite from hot and dry. Originally I wanted to get some snaps of lighthouses…to add to the portfolio of other state’s provider of lights; however, the area we visited consisted of the Twin Lighthouses, Old Beach Lighthouse and Goat Island Lighthouse, so my focus went to a new interest, weather vanes. Like the famous wild blueberry bushes, weather “veins” dot the landscape.

While weather vanes(flags) are not unique exclusively to the state of Maine, they have a shipyard full and I took many shots of unique directional icons sitting on top of cupolas in the small picturesque Kennebunkport area.

The first weather vane, according to Wikipedia, is from the Greek/Roman era 50BCE and was a combination Bronze Titan wind directional, sundial and water clock. I wish I had this interest when we visited Italy last fall because they have the oldest surviving weather vane, Gallo di Ramperto, which is the shape of a rooster.

Gold church.

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Ship (love it).

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Mermaid.

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Swashbuckling flag?? Bear?

 

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Simple navigational.

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Horse

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Bird, in 101BCE the Chinese used wind-indicating bronze birds on top of their compass. The letter, N-S-E-W will show the direction.

IMG_2282  realbird.jpg LOL, real bird, flew away seconds later.

Rooster became popular as a symbol for Christianity. Jesus predicted Peter would deny him three times before the rooster would crow. Roosters became an emblem for calling the flock to church.

IRooster.JPGSorry, my pic was very blurred so I borrowed from Pinterest.

 

bird Pineapple?

Golfer.

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And the Bush compound in Kennebunkport has a whale.

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A wind vane, weathercock, is an instrument used during the old school navigational days, to indicate the direction the wind is blowing, and according to Wikipedia today weather vanes are “Modern aerovanas combine the direction vane with an anemometer (measure wind speed).

I’ve found though my adventures, of taking photographs of weather vanes winding through Maine and researching when they came into existence, the topper of a cupola is diverse in structure and sometimes…the bird is simply real and indicates the direction of the wind by flying.

I hope you enjoyed my journey. Please share any of your weather vane images.

Mistaken Identity

 

Tess glided home on a haze of proud euphoria. She’d done it. After four years of attending the university she’d obtained her goal. Clutched in her hand was a copy of the magazine featuring her article about her favorite author, the epic John Steinbeck.

At lunch Robin Deal, her roommate, declared a celebration was in order and purchased box seats for them to attend a Russian ballet. Granted Robin had to write a report about the troupe for a recreation class.

The ballet would provide her an opportunity to wear her grandmother’s mink wrap. A hand-me-down, the brown sable had a perfect blending of fur and silk. The worn patches of lining didn’t bother her one bit. Possible comments from animal activist might shake her, but she’d watched Gram dress in her finest clothing and attend social events. Those memories would be worth the trash-talk.

She picked up speed and took the alley leading to their apartment near campus. A few minutes later she rushed walked into their bungalow. “Hello?”

The shower was running in Robin’s suite, so Tess went into her room and striped. Showered, lubed-up with her favorite honeysuckle-scented lotion, and dress as Gram would say, “to the nines”. she selected an A-line gold dress, slipped on dark brown and forced her toes into clacker-heels. To top off the outfit, she swept her hair into a French Twist. A few days before, she’d watched a documentary on Audrey Hepburn and wanted to imitate her look. Over the top—maybe—but she so wanted to wear the mink.

“Well don’t you look like a princess?” Robin appeared in the mirror’s reflection. She rested her arm on Tess’s shoulder and rubbed the fur.

Robin wore a Caribbean-blue tight blouse and a lime green short skirt. Her floral perfume matched the outfit, spicy pungent and striking. They looked like the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon characters, Boris and Natasha. With flats, Robin stood a foot taller than Tess.

“Thanks, I think Gram would be pleased.” She evaluated herself a second time. Scruffy student had disappeared and sophistication remained. The gold in the dress highlighted her reddish-brown hair. She reapplied her lipstick, downplaying the peaks on her lips, then slipped on white above the elbow-length gloves. “You’re not dressing for the occasion?”

Robin snickered. “Ah, no. But I think you should wear my mother’s ring.” She ran into her bedroom. The clap of wood hitting wood sounded through the space. Her shoes thumped on the hard floor as she reentered the room. “Here, it is. It’s rather large.” She opened her palm to reveal a large, square-cut, green jewel. “You might want to wear the emerald on top of the glove.”

Not the type of person to wear such a grandiose piece, she hesitated. “It’s so pretty.”

“Yeah, the stone matches your eyes. Put it on.” Robin smiled.

Tess slipped the ring on her middle finger. “It looks so valuable.”

“Yep, the emerald is irreplaceable, so don’t lose it. Let’s go, we’re already late.”

Tess swallowed, wanting to give the ring back. What if it slipped off?  Robin sat behind the steering wheel of her roadster and Tess sluggishly dropped into the second seat.

Robin circled the theatre building three times and finally illegally parked near a red door, marked private. “Got to hurry.”

Robin jumped from the car and ran toward the obviously restricted entrance. She threw open the metal door and flagged Tess.

Tess cautiously crossed the threshold. The dark hallway momentarily blinded her. “I’m not sure about this.”

Robin pulled the door shut and slid around Tess. “Come on.”

“Ah, there you are, coming in the backdoor. We thought perhaps you’d changed your mind about attending the ballet tonight. I’m Andre.” The young man wore a tux, and his hair was shinier than the brown heels pinching Tess’ toes. “Where’s your security?”

Tess glanced behind her to see if perhaps someone else had entered the theatre with them. Nope. She shot a look at Robin.

“They’re parking the car.” Robin smiled and smoothed a curl behind her ear. “We didn’t want to miss a moment of the performance with world renown Russian dancers.”

“Please allow me.” He held out his arm, elbow kinked and stared at Tess. “Baroness Oxonya?”

Baroness? Was he kidding? Despite not having a clue as to whom he was referring, Tess straightened her back and elevated her chin. She’d deny the mistaken identity, with dignity, and admit the confusion.

“Yes, and I’m her assistant.” Robin’s eyes glittered. She loved intrigue and breaking the rules.

Tess sucked in a breath and glanced at Robin.

“That’s pronounced, Ox-ann-ya,” she spouted.

Damn, she’d known all along. Robin always liked to test the gray area, trying to get special treatment. “Robin.” Exasperation seethed with the intonation.

Andre’s attention went toward Robin. “Ms. Paonce?” After a moment of dead air, he dropped his arm and took a step backward.

“You can call me Robin. We better get moving, the band’s playing.”

He bobbed his head and pirouetted. His stiff posture didn’t relax as he led them along the shadowed hallway.

Tess grabbed her roommate’s hand and tugged her hard enough Robin jerked to a stop. “I’m not Baroness’a anything. What happens when she shows up?”

“She won’t. It’s a small production, at a university in Indiana. Think about it. We’ll get great seats, maybe champagne.” Her eyes glowed. “Snacks. Good snacks.”

“It’s a Russian ballet company, and I don’t speak the language.”

They had reached an elevator and Andre had his hand braced on the door, preventing the panels from closing. “Baroness?”

Tess couldn’t say anything. To deny the mistaken identity now would be an embarrassment and possibly an arrest. Her throat numbed. She pressed her fingers to her gullet, massaging the muscles, urging the words to come forth. Tell him, before this goes any farther.

Andre’s eyes widened. The enormous green rock reflected in his brown irises. Crap.

Tess swallowed and entered the elevator. She kept her head lowered as the elevator rose two levels. She exited and entered what she’d come to think of as her own personal night of doom. Several twists and turns later Andre opened a door. With an overacted flair he flagged them forward.

“Please be a private box,” she whispered. An exclusive box would be helpful when the true royalty showed up. Tess would say oops, sorry, and run like Pegasus.

Robin slithered in front of her, moving to a table boasting shining crystal flutes and dark labeled wine bottles. Straight ahead, two other figures were outlined, one small wearing a hat with plumes extending from the band. Tess glanced at the tall shadow and wide male shoulders solidified.

“Baroness Oxonya, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I apologize for the Senator, he had a situation to handle and couldn’t make it. I’m his assistant, Murdock…Murdock Jameson, and this is my Grandmother, Julia Jameson.” He had chiseled cheeks, and a broad smile; a smile that didn’t just appear on his perfectly shaped lips but highlighted his sea blue eyes.

Tess’s heart pounded. “Sea warrior.” Her voice gurgled in her throat, making her sound foreign. She didn’t recognize the slight accent filtering through.

“Yes, Murdock is Gaelic for sea warrior. My grandson is all that and more.” The woman’s aged blue eyes, so like her grandson’s pierced Tess.

Tess’ heart pounded harder, because of a sudden and inexplicable lust for a stranger. Heated because of impersonation guilt, she shrugged the fur lower on her shoulders. She extended her gloved hand with the green jewel glimmering in the dim lights. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Jameson.” The older woman barely touched Tess’ fingers.

Tess extended her hand toward the hot guy. “And Mr. Jameson.”

He held tight. She squirmed, and he released the hold.

“Please call me Murdock.” He curved his hand under her arm, and took his grandmother’s hand, and escorted them to the four seats near the front of the alcove.

Robin had already sat on the second seat. Her small skirt, suddenly shorter, exposed most of her thighs. She clutched the stem of a wine glass. She patted the chair beside her. “Senator, sit here, beside me. I’m Robin.”

“”I’m his assistant. Murdock and Julia Jameson.” His voice tone resounded in time to the string section strumming in the pit.

Murdock assisted his grandmother onto the seat next to Robin. Tess sat beside Mrs. Jameson, and Murdock occupied the remaining chair. Sandwiched between these good people she felt more like a lying imposter. Her pits grew wet.

Tess slipped out of the fur coat. One of her gloves rolled down, bunching at her wrist. A slip of parchment paper fluttered to the floor. She gripped the armrest and leaned forward to retrieve the scrap of paper. The theatre lights went dark, cloaking her in darkness. She inhaled; maybe they’d get away with the ruse.

Murdock placed his hand on top of hers. The warmth of his skin relaxed her. Forgetting the document on the floor, she snuggled into the padding of the seat.

“The blackout took me by surprise.” How stupid. She sounded as if she’d never attended a production at a theatre before.

He leaned close. “Your voice is so soft I didn’t hear you.” His breath tickled her skin.

She inhaled the spicy scent of his cologne, then exhaled. She stared into his deep blue eyes. “I…”

His perfect mouth touched her earlobe. She had the strongest desire to turn her head a few inches, so her lips could connect with his. “Baroness Oxonya, I’d like to ask—”

“I’m not…” His hand lingered on top of hers. Desire, or fear of being caught, heated her. She had to get out of there.

“After the ballet, would you…and your friend be interested in going to dinner with my grandmother and me?”

The orchestra played louder. Stages lights shone on the main character tiptoeing across center stage.

She lifted her glance. Her mouth, a fraction of an inch from his, begged for a brief touch. A soft kiss and her romantic fantasy would be complete.

“I des not cares who you says entered. I am ‘ese Baroness Oxonya.” A heavily accented voice drowned out the bewitching orchestra music.

“Time to leave!” Robin, shot off her seat and clutched Tess’s arm.

“I’m sorry.” Tess slid her hand from under his and grabbed her coat. “It was a pleasure to meet you.”

Murdock stood. His confused expression would certainly change once the real Baroness came through the door.

Robin dragged Tesss toward the glow of light through the now open door.

A crow-headed harridan with a ferocious look on her face argued with Andre.

Tess didn’t want to leave, yet her heart pattered in fear. She could take a stand and apologize for the confusion and start fresh.

Robin shoved the angry woman aside and dragged Tess across the threshold. At a run Robin flung open the stairwell door and pushed her. “Move.”

Tess clackity-clacked all the way down two flights. She stopped at the bottom and slid her arms through the coat sleeves. “I’ve lost a glove.”

“Forget it.” Robin, with keys in hand, pressed the lever of the exit, and pointed to the car. “My car hasn’t been towed. Let’s go.”

Tess plopped onto the next to the last stair and grabbed the rail with her gloved hand.

“What the hell are you doing? Get up.” Robin waved her free hand. “We’re going to get caught.”

“I’m not leaving. I’d rather stay and―”

“So help me, Tess, if you say face the music I’m really going to leave your perfect little ass here,” Robin screeched. By the snarl on her face, she wasn’t kidding.

“Just as well, because I’m not going to run.” She pressed her hot face against the cool iron rail.

Robin shoved the door. “F’ing fantastic. I’ll look forward to seeing your face in a different sort of print tomorrow.”

Humm, student arrested instead of student honored―definitely bad print. Tess found her dark side and lifted the finger she’d been dying to use since the emerald ring embellished the glove.

From above her seat on the stoop, the squeak of a door opening and closing rang through the stairwell.

Robin ran outside.

Heavy footsteps trod on the stairs. Tess tilted her head to glance up. A man in blue, but not one sporting a shield. She rested her cheek against the rail again, waiting for the set down.

“Tess?” Murdock said her true name.

Lack of oxygen must have made her hallucinate the kindness in his tone.

“Tess Kelour?”

In her peripheral vision she glimpsed a pair of shiny ebony shoes and crisply pressed black pants. She closed her eyes, wishing the night would have ended as sweet as her day had started.

A feather-like touch of silk brushed against her face. She opened her eyes and glanced at Murdock. He held her glove in his hand, a glimmer of mirth in his eyes.

“Yes, but my name isn’t sewed into all of my clothing.” Her voice sounded normal. No squeak, no odd accent, just simply Tess.

Murdock settled beside her and handed her the glove with the tag exposed, her name brilliant in its calligraphy text.

“My grandmother was a fashion designer. I was named after her and have inherited much of her signature clothing.” She flipped the tag inside the glove. “Not really current for the times, but I like her style. Wearing this,” she tugged the fur, “reminds me of her.” Okay, babbling. First she couldn’t get two words to hang together and now she couldn’t stop them from rolling off her tongue.

“Why did you pretend to be Russian royalty?” His baritone voice soothed her heated soul more than the cool touch of the iron rail.

She rolled the glove onto her fingers and up her arm. “I’m not sure. It’s not something I’ve ever done before.” She glanced into his handsome face. “The spirit of adventure. Maybe.”

“More than likely it was because of that skank you arrived with. Where did she go?” He glanced around Tess, touching her as he looked into the dark corner to her right. His closeness reawakened her desire to be near him.

“She left. She’s not really a skank, just a lover of a good time.” Tess used the rail to pull herself to a stand. She glanced at Robin’s exit site. “I’m ready to talk to the police.”

“Why? Did she steal your car?” He took her arm into his. They ascended the stairs, but stopped outside a door marked second floor.

She glanced into his face. His questioning expression conflicted with the humor rippling across his eyes. “No. Ah, impersonation, although it was mistaken. I’ll talk to the men in blue and the Russian Baroness to apologize if necessary.”

“Ah.” His lips were mere inch away from hers.

If she had a fairy godmother, now was the time to intercede. Going with the illogical happily ever after idea, she’d hope for a kiss instead of a lecture on morality. Her heart pounded with such intensity surely he could hear the beat.

“The police were never called. We assumed it was a mistake. Baroness Oxonya huffed away the minute Andre gave the obvious explanation. She didn’t want to attend, and I imagine she would thank you for providing her a reason to leave.”

He cusped her cheek, running his thumb slowly ran around the curves of her mouth. She leaned into him and half-closed her eyes.

“If you’re willing, we could finish the ballet and attend dinner with my grandmother.” He lowered the thumb to rest under her chin, then lifted her face to meet his gaze.

Not fighting the magic, Tess licked her lips and blessed her fairy godmother for giving her this boon. “I’m quite excited about the ballet, and I’d enjoy talking with your grandmother at dinner.”

Murdock lowered his lips to hers. She let the enchantment surround her.

Maybe the original Tess Kelour gave her more than labeled clothing.

 

ALL RIGHTS RSERVED JJ KELLER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TAROT CARD

http://www.thewildrosepress.com

SBN: 1-60154-437-5ard

ISBN 13: 9781601544377

A stalled elevator.

A sexy gypsy.

A straight-laced CEO.

Fate has a sense of humor.

Kerry McClure must secure her future as head of her father’s corporation. She simply needs to sign a contract with Rune Technologies to ward off a hostile takeover.

When Kerry’s mistaken for a gypsy fortuneteller, she plays along, but could one night of fun jeopardize her CEO confirmation?

Stein Laxdale needs the business deal with McClure Ventures or he’ll lose control of Rune Technologies. He must decide if Kerry is his biggest threat or his greatest hope for a happily ever after.

 

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjtQV83j4X8  The Tarot Card

 

jj Keller: Fantasies with spice and humor. http://www.jj-keller.com(All Rights Reserved)

Mistaken Identity

By jj Keller

CONCLUSION:

Robin’s hand pressed against the lever of an emergency door, with a large sign declaring an alarm would sound if opened.

 

 
Fantasies with spice and humor.
http://www.jj-keller.com
Trade Agreement, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxf1tPBXdSY
All rights reserved.

 

Festival Costumes?

When did it become “normal” for any type of festival to bring out people dressed in costumes?

Recently I went to a Cherry Blossom Festival, a beautiful celebration of Japanese culture.

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I loved the lovely garden architectures, bonsai trees are so interesting, painted screens, and the traditional clothing like the bright or pastel colored kimono. Tiny girls wearing gold or silver threaded, embellished bird kimonos handed out origami creations. Beneath their gowns, more than likely, they wore Tabi (ankle high socks) and Geta (sandals).

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And among the gift giving dolls were these guys…

 

What do you think? Part of historical or contemporary Japanese culture? Is anime considered part of Japanese historical cutlure?

Peepers in Trouble

Not, not the peeper looking in the window or hiding in the bushes…rather frogs: Spring Peeper. Their chirping call marks the beginning of spring and the tune is oh so lovely you won’t (don’t) get enough of their serenade.

According to Brian, with the Little River Wetlands Project (lrwp.org), fewer peepers are born, so the musical night songs have significantly diminished. This is Brian and peeper tadpoles-

Spring Peepers chanting chorus bring to life the shadowed deep moist woodlands. Life without peepers to welcome the spring and bring cheer to our hearts would be a horrible loss.

Their diets range from beetles, ants, flies and spiders. I love this little brown frog simply because it eliminates the tiny pests. If only they’d eat mosquitos!

Why are the peepers in trouble? Humans! We put chemicals on our fields, yards, flora and when it rains the pesticides run off into the water (tadpoles fee on algae and organisms in the water), the forest, across the earth. Keep this in mind when you use harsh chemicals in your house and yard or fields/farm.

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The above picture is of Brian getting worked-up about humans devastating our wild life. Nice guy-strong message.

Predators are another reason the peepers are reducing in number like the great diving beetle, snakes, skunks and other larger frogs feast on the little guys.

Spring Peepers are a small frog with a colossal magical chirp. As humans, let us work together to keep them safe and our earth full of animal life.

The Gold Ring

As a country-reared-child I looked forward to my families trips into the nearest town. The main attraction for all ages was a vintage carousel. I loved to go to the park where the carousel had been the main event for a century. The merry-go-round allowed me to go in circles and get that little buzz from the repetitive action, but most of all I wanted to snatch the golden ring.

 

While the horse/swan/goat/rabbit moved up and down as the platform went round and round, the challenge was to grab a ring from an extended arm. Each rider could lean to the side of her/his creature and try to snatch a ring from the holder. Most of the rings were silver, but the gold ring would get the winner a free ride and a prize.

There were two rows of majestic structures

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and I rushed to get an outside horse closer to reach for the ring extender. If I didn’t run fast enough I was willing to trade my silver rings (silver rings could be collected and used to get free stuff) in order to ride a four-legged beast. There was something about the smooth leather of the halter and lead, the vibrant colors of the saddle and sometimes sticky neck.

I wanted a gold ring more than cotton candy or other sweet treat.

Finally, one Saturday we went to the park and I obtained a prime horse in the wondrous menagerie. The ice-cream truck type music seemed louder that day. On the last round I leaned to reach for the ring and noticed it appeared shinier than usual. Could it be the gold ring?

I slid to the side and reached. My finger slipped, disappointment rushed through me until my pinkie finger caught the ring.

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GOLD.

Years later I challenge myself to try for the gold through my writing. Entertainment is my goal, but to obtain that gold ring is to know the reader enjoyed the story—felt the characters’ joy, pain, and experienced the heart-throbbing excitement of the fast-paced suspense.

The prize is a positive review. Possible readers want to get an idea of the story’s value and content. Obtainable shiny gold beckons, teasing me with what did the reader think of the story. Will you extend that precious ring?

And as usual once you have the gold ring, honor of any sort, you want it again and again.

What’s your gold ring story?

This Ghost Needs to Tell His Story

DEAD AND ANGRY ($1.99) Print version coming soon.
Jacey Hewson dreams of opening an antique store and inheriting her eccentric aunt’s house makes her goal within reach. When she hires a primo construction guy to renovate the colossal wreck her objective becomes blurred.
 
Griff Carpenter doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the new peculiar homeowner does and she’s interesting and attractive.
 
The Ames ghost wants justice for his wife’s murder and won’t rest until he gets retribution. If only he could communicate with the human invading his home.
DeadAngryCover
Each time the story is read, told, the more likely Kit will be able to rest in peace. Are you willing to aid him?

Chapter One

She blinked.

A gargantuan green and polished silver sign shot light through her windshield spot blinding her as she rounded the curve in the road. The car’s tires slid in loose gravel, forcing a rabbit from the tall grasses.

Her reflexes bypassed mental signals and she jerked the wheel, but her beautiful blue rental car veered to the right nosing straight for the ditch. Bile rose to her throat. She forced the brake pedal hard to the floorboard, closed her eyes, and prayed for a miracle.

“What do I do? What do I do?”

Rocks shot up against the underside of the car. She pulled the wheel hard to the left forcing the vehicle from the edge of the ditch and into the middle of the street, aiming for a fire engine red pickup.

Her heart thumped hard, like when she had sprinted an entire 5K disparate to time slowing. She accepted the fact her rental would hit the enormous truck. Her gut muscles clenched and the aroma of toast infiltrated her nostrils.

Oh god, she had just read an article regarding the increase of mid-thirties women having strokes and the scent of baked goods was the first sign.

Her survival instinct took hold. She pumped the brakes and somehow caught a glimpse of the truck’s driver. His hands gripped the steering wheel and the truck swerved but not enough. Metal crunched metal and the car jolted to a stop. Her body jerked forward, slamming all her weight against the force of the seatbelt. Air flew from her lungs in a painful whoosh. She took a few deep breaths until the pressure in her chest eased. Stillness and quietness as if the world stood motionless, surrounded her.

The squeal of a door opening drew her attention. She had the dim thought she should try to get out of the car; instead she leaned the side of her head on the steering wheel and with trembling hands punched the button to increase cool airflow. She stared out the window at a street sign she’d somehow managed to avoid ramming. Cyan, Indiana, population 20,888. Established 1817.

She had arrived.

A tall, brawny guy jumped from the truck’s cab with both hands up in the air giving her a what the hell signal. “What are you doing?”

He came closer. His dark gray tee, emblazoned with Hank’s Hardware, was snug across his jacked chest and the tiny graphic of a man wielding a hammer also pointed an accusatory finger at her. The real man motioned from her to the sharp black tracks on the street, and ending where her bumper snuggled his fender.

Her focus immediately returned to his six-foot form. She loosened her death grip on the steering wheel and tasted blood inside her mouth as she blew out a harsh breath.

His quick menacing stride carried him around the car until he assumed a solid stance inches from her door. Undistinguishable color of eyes, due to their current narrowed shape defined his attitude—not happy. He rolled his hand, indicating she should lower the window. A large half-moon scar on his chin went from white to pink.

Instead of talking through an open window she should get out and face him. She took a deep breath and swiped the back of her hand across her forehead.

He motioned again, then scrubbed his fingers through the streaks of blonde in his brown hair. As an educator she’d encountered all types of students and personalities and this guy gave the impression anger didn’t motivate him, rather distress did. Maybe he thought she had been hurt, at least that was what she told herself especially considering she couldn’t relax her shoulders. Just call me the statue of calamity.

She shut down the engine, leaving the key in the ignition. The handle on the door slid beneath her slick palm. She wiped her hands on her jeans and knuckled the button to lower the window and humid August heat filtered in springing her hair into tight curls. Hot before the accident, her temp level elevated to extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully the toast scent had disappeared.

He braced his forearms on the car’s roof and ducked his head. As his gaze ran over her, volts of electricity streaked through her bloodstream. Nervous jitters multiplied tenfold under this guy’s piercing blue, heavenly-azure-blue, stare.

She released the seatbelt. Face him.

He lowered his arms and took a step away from the door.

Get out. Apologize. She wrenched the door lever and the heavy door sprung open as if operated by an unknown force. Crap! What next, Jacey Hewson? Head tucked, she slid out of the car. “Are you okay? No injuries?”

He shook his head. “Okay on my end and you?”

“I’m okay.” She swiped her palms on her jeans. Scents of grass, wheat and the cooked wood scent of river birch infiltrated her nostrils; soon she would start sneezing. She glanced into his face. His expression remained stern, but to her surprise a spark lit his gorgeous eyes. “I guess all wheel drive doesn’t include all wheel stopping?”

He didn’t laugh.

She eased the door shut. “Sorry about,” she waved to his truck, “I’ll accept responsibility for any damage.”

Up close, despite the sourpuss expression, he looked…fine. His back straightened and he worked his jaws as if trying to get a cramp out. Like most men, his gaze slid across her breasts and unlike most men she had dated, his focus centered on her face. He shook his head.

“My first collision.” She cleared her throat and managed a slight grin.

He glanced at the dent in his fender. Obviously humor could not diffuse any situation. Men love their monster trucks.

“My vehicle slipped on the gravel. You look,” hot kept banging against her mouth, instead she went with, “ill. Do you want to sit in the air-conditioning?” She touched his forearm, altruistically to find out if he had been injured, in reality she wanted to feel his sun-kissed skin. There couldn’t be any fat on the man at all. Pure solid muscles popped out from under the short sleeves of the tee and material bunched at his narrow waist. He wore jeans like a prince sported formal garments and buff colored work boots provided the foundation. Too bad this meet-cute involved a damaged vehicle.

“Damn,” he muttered and his cheeks flooded with color, nearly the tint of his truck. He didn’t appear angry anymore, rather…confused.

“Please let me take care of the damage. Here, I’ll get you my insurance card. You can contact them, Mr.?”

****

Crazy, pretty and one of the most tempting women he had ever seen had literally slammed into Big Red. Each time she apologized Griff’s gut jumped like he had taken a hit to his solar plexus. “Griff. No injury. Are you okay?”

“Yes, fine. A sunray reflected off the sign.” She pointed her thumb toward the glittering billboard. “Over there, the welcome from hell.”

The outspoken girl had spunk. Upon closer examination she had a round face, like a neighbor he had admired on several occasions. A narrow beam of afternoon sunlight showed traces of blonde and brown highlights through her auburn shoulder-length hair. She leaned into the car’s open window, lifting one foot off the ground and giving him a fine view of her nice round butt.

She withdrew a brown leather bag, the size of his tool satchel, and placed it on the hood. As she dug through the contents, his gazed over her, she wore a six-inch wide black belt over a long creamy blouse that showcased a small waist. The shirt’s low neck revealed tantalizing breasts, perfectly proportioned to her ample hips.

For the first time, he noted her fingers shaking as she removed a small silver case from her satchel. She bit her lip and dropped the case in her bag.

The good guy in him begged to soothe her. He shoved his hands into his pockets to prevent grabbing her into a comforting embrace.

Her shoulders slumped, and she chewed her lip.

Make her feel better. Ask her to go for coffee or a drink. His workday started at seven AM and ended around ten that night. He didn’t have time for dating, even if this scatter-brained lady made his heart race. This instant attraction for a woman was a new thing for him—he didn’t like it.

She held out a small white card, simple in design with a collection of furniture and lack of color, totally unlike the vibrant woman holding it between her dainty fingers. He took the rectangle. Their fingers brushed and a charge sparked between them. She snatched her hand back, telling him she’d felt it too. To regain his common sense, he evaluated the paper. “New to You Antiques?”

“My store. Right now the current address is my apartment. I’m working toward getting an actual storefront. The phone number won’t change, it’s a cell number.” She walked toward his truck. “Do you want to call the police and get a whatchamacallit?”

He adored her nervous chatter. Under the pressure of his fingers, the card bent in the middle. His mind urged him to give the paper back. “No, it’s okay.”

“Hum. You have a dent and my car has a nice bit of red on the bumper.” She scrubbed her hair from her face; the vibrant hue would kill him.

“Yeah, no real harm done.” Other than she made him hard as a piece of maple wood. Forget the schedule and offer her a coffee. He sighed. His nature wouldn’t allow him to forget his responsibilities. “I need to meet a client. If you’re okay,” he shoved the card into the rear pocket of his jeans, “I’ll go.”

“Fine.”

The short word had a long drawn out ending, giving him insight into her temperament. A bead of sweat dripped along her neck into the valley leading to a place he wanted to visit. He opened her car door. Without making eye contact with him, she climbed behind the steering wheel. She shoved her satchel onto the passenger seat and strapped on her seatbelt. Her fingers tightened on the wheel and a whisper of a breath blew a curl from her pink cheek.

Say something other than nice rack or pretty hair. Torn between engaging in further conversation and making his scheduled appointment he hesitated.

She started the engine and stared at him expectantly.

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