Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles
I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each personâs day for the better.
Itâs no less special than the stuff in my books though itâs easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before your disbelieving eyes. And on that note, Iâd like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy the dragon coming home. Please enjoy.
âSiobhan,â Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.
I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.
Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. âIt is something to see, yes?â His tone reflected true awe.
âIs this your first time seeing this?â I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.
âNo, I have seen this many times.â He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. âBut a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.â
To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. âGuys, are you kidding me?â In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.
They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. âWhat?â Alex said.
âHey, what are you guys staring at?â Tim sounded defensive.
Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turelâs smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. âShe comes.â His eyes shone as they met mine.
Alex glanced this way and that. âDoes anyone hear that sound?â he asked.
Tim craned his head. âI hear it. It sounds like bells.â
âWind chimes,â I corrected, still staring straight ahead. âItâs wind chimes.â The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. âDaisy.â
âDamn it,â growled Tim. âI canât see anything even a bit like a dragon.â
âUnless itâs a super little one,â said Alex, his face downcast.
Turel laughedâ a big, belly laugh full of joy. âGwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.â
Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, âCertainly, Turiel, dear one.â Suppressed mirth laced her tone. âHowâs this, children?â
When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.
To purchase The Dragon in The Gardenplease see:
This post was written by Erika Gardner. Sheâs a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, âLikeâ her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.
Energize Your Life! By: Del Millers, PhD
BLURBAre you suffering from a personal energy crisis?Are you constantly running through your day, feeling chronically exhausted? Are you desperately overcommitted? Do you find yourself sacrificing your health, family time and quality of life just to meet the never-ending demands on your time? Are you exhausted when you go to bed at night and still tired when you awake? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you may be suffering from a personal energy crisis. Unfortunately, this way of living — and working — not only robs us of our health and puts a strain on time and energy resources, it blocks our access to our most essential sources of energy, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. In his new book, Energize Your Life, Dr. Del shows you simple things you can do everyday to fuel your life and work with positive energy. Drawing from his years of experience consulting with executives, entrepreneurs, small business owners, career changers and self re-inventors, as well as the wealth of new research over the past two decades on positive psychology, employee engagement and play, Dr. Del demonstrates how you can program the brain — and the subconscious — for productive, beneficial action. Energize Your Life is different from other positive energy books and personal energy management programs. Its unique advantage is that it shows you how to fuel your life and work with positive energy from seven distinct sources. And why is it important to increase your daily dose of positive energy? Well, several studies have clearly demonstrated that chronic stress and negative energy shuts down the creative problem solving brain, slows your productivity and puts you in fight or flight mode where very little gets done. Energize Your Life will challenge and inspire you to develop a personal action plan to fuel your life and work with positive energy everyday. Thereby, improving your personal well being, enhancing your work engagement, and helping you feel more alive.
PURCHASEDr. Del Millers is the founder of TheBestYouAcademy.com, EnergizedLifeAcademy.com, and author of eight books on nutrition, fitness, and personal growth. A PhD Nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, Dr. Del teaches simple mind-body principles to busy entrepreneurs and professionals to help them energize their lifestyle, improve their personal wellbeing, and enhance their work engagement. Dr. Del has appeared on FOX Television (Good Day LA), E-Entertainment TV (DR 90210), numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, and in magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States and Australia (LA Sports & Fitness, Australian Ironman, Health & Fitness, Stuff, Fighting Fat and others). Dr. Del’s greatest passion is sharing what inspires him with others. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters. Buy any of Dr. Del’s books and forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org for Dr. Del’s special bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Subscribe to Dr. Del’s weekly podcast at http://www.energizeyourlifepodcast.com
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Crimson Moon: Throne Of Shadows
About The BookIn the undulating purple mists of a parallel step realm to Earth lies the kingdom of Shadowrealm. It's noble leaders, the royal House of O’ Oasis, are pledged to protect the earth and its inhabitants.
The night of the crimson moon, Tsar Fredrick O’Oasis is brutally murdered. Shadowrealm lost their Tsar, but his son Alexsander assumes the throne as the Tsar and rightful ruler. Enraged, his younger brother Prince Omar O’Oasis makes a pact with the Dark Amy forces led by the notorious Prime Vice Dark. He has promised his allies and minions the demon born Chupalmas the spoils of the Earthrealm.
Tsar Alexander’s mission is clear, and he travels to Earth to turn away the murderous tide of the invaders, and in the process encounters the one woman on earth destined to bring him to his knees and claim his soul: Nicolette. Beautiful, educated and desperate to solve the mystery surrounding the murderous rampage, she is unaware of having the dangerous target on her back or that she possesses the magic to fight the Dark Forces that seek to enslave her.
A tug of war ensues: Nicolette refuses to recognize her connection with Tsar Alexander, the Chupalmas are closing in, and time is running out.
. . . . . . will Tsar Alexander be the EARTH SAVIOR?
Teaser Tuesday ExcerptCrimson Moon
Shadowrealm Secrets Series
Copyright © 2016 By P. T. Macias, P. Mattern
At the end of the corridor outside, two immense golden moons shine their beams into the torch lit corridor. The Tsar’s private chambers are located at the end of the long corridor. The sound of night birds calls, along with the chant of crickets, serenade him into a deep sleep. The guard sits outside Tsar Frederic’s bedroom door. His head bobs as he nods off.
The silent figure, the Dark Minion Pox, keeps to the shadows that appear along the opposite wall, and pays rapt attention to the guard. When he’s satisfied that the guard is asleep, he quickly reaches out a long, curved talon, and slits his throat. There’s a muffled thud as the guard’s body hits the floor, a momentary gurgling sound, and then silence. Even the crickets stop chirping.
The well-oiled door to the Tsar’s chambers opens silently inward. There’re two huge candles on high wrought iron standing along the sides of the Tsar’s bed. The Dark Prime quickly draws the energy from them, causing the flames to flicker, and then go out.
Some things are best done in the dark. Murder is one of them.
The dark prime creature walks stealthily into the room and looks down at the handsome sleeping monarch. Frederick is still a regal and handsome figure. His beard and hair are flecked with silver, his eyes are closed, and he breathes the deep satisfying sleep of Tsars.
The Dark Prime minion, Pox, inhales all of the oxygen out of the room at once, and Tsar Frederick awakens gasping, his hands at his throat, as he looks up into the terrible and distorted face of the creature. The creature’s eyes are black soulless holes. Its sneering, twisted lips grimace in a wicked smile. Its double rows of deadly sharp teeth shine like ivory needles in the moon ray of the twin moons.
Pox takes no time to strike Tsar Frederick in his bed. He stealthily inflicts the deathly blow, to send him to his death without ever uttering a sound.
The Tsar’s death looks on the surface to be a natural one, but the Dark minion reaches down, and rips the Tsar’s night shirt open. He uses the same talon with the guard’s blood on it to carve a symbol into the Tsar’s chest.
The distinctive symbol shows the Sanskrit symbol for hell: a swastika with four dots on each quadrant. It is the symbol of the Chupalmas, and the creature smiles again as he examines his handiwork.
Tsar Frederick is dead.
Buy the book today for 99cents on Amazon!
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JACK'S MAGICAL BEANSTALK series
by Pablo Michaels
Official genre of book: Adult fairy tale, gay erotica
In this adult fairy tale young, awkward, young Jack sells their prize cow Pearly White for magical beans to a strange man in a red bikini. Little does Jack’s mother, Lorene, know that the beans grow into a giant, magical beanstalk, high above the clouds?
Jack ascends the beanstalk to a land where a Giant Slave serves his larger Master, Jack begs Slave for food to satisfy his hunger from his long journey. But Jack finds Master hoarding treasures.
Attempting to escape the wrath of Master and Slave with the treasures, Jack encounters a handsome, engaging normal sized human man. Sam lives with others that live naturally without clothing deep in the forest. As Jack ages he becomes a handsome man, just like his father, attracting many men, including the two farmhands, Zeke and Adam.
Even though Jack has enabled the farm to prosper with the treasures he stole from Master and is met with increasing danger, he climbs the magical beanstalk again and again to find more treasures and pursue Sam.
Bill and Lorene met at the county fair after a couple of rowdy, uncouth men made crude comments to Lorene regarding her beauty. Bill stepped in, discouraging any further catcalls. “Excuse me, Miss, are these men bothering you?” He had asked.
“I don’t appreciate what they have been saying, it’s true.” Lorene blushed at their vulgar behavior.
“Okay, you cowards, it’s time you’re on your way if you know what’s good for you.”
The men immediately fled. Bill’s tall stature, muscular build, and commanding baritone voice left no room for argument.
“How can I repay you?” Lorene smiled at Bill. “May I offer you one of my pies?” She had entered her award-winning pies in the county competition.
“You needn’t repay me, Miss. Any gentleman would treat a beautiful young woman such as you with respect.”
Lorene not only gave him one of her blue ribbon peach pies but invited him for Sunday dinner. During their brief courtship, Bill wooed Lorene with beautiful love songs, serenading her with his smooth, baritone voice. They married that November.
They started their farm with a prize milking cow, Pearly White, and planted crops. Bill bred Pearly White over the years, her offspring providing more milk. In the evenings after they had eaten dinner, Bill would sing songs of love to his wife. Afterward they would make passionate love. Two years later, Lorene gave birth to their son, Jack.
Bill’s son brought a sparkle to his eyes. When Jack was three, he began taking him along while doing the farm chores. Jack idolized his parents drawing pictures of them. For such a young boy, he was quite talented. His parents encouraged him to pursue his art, allowing him to draw and paint whenever and wherever he desired.
Bill died when Jack was only five. He was struck by a lightning bolt during a severe thunderstorm while trying to bridal his horse and fetch Pearly White after she broke through a fence and ran off in fear. Jack remembered that day vividly. He had not feared the continuous lightning flashes, the loud booming thunder, or the rising water of the ensuing flash flood. He feared only the expression on his mother’s face when they found his father, his body singed from the heat of the lightning. His eyes were open, frozen with the undeniable pain. His mother’s face had always radiated peace and serenity, until that moment.
In this sequel to the adult fairy tale book, Jack and the Magical Beanstalk, Jack and Sam have been living happily together on Jack’s prosperous farm with Jack’s widowed mother, Lorene, and the two farmhands, Zeke and Adam.
When Sam started having nightmare concerning his father’s health, Sam became distraught and felt helpless not being able to go back to the land he was born, even though Jack attempted to find a way to climb back up high in the sky to Sam’s native land.
When Sam traded five prized bean seeds and a golden egg to the peculiar old man wearing only a red bikini underwear for five magic beans, he agreed to make it a secret and was unable to tell Jack. Adam was aware Sam was dealing with the peculiar old man and blackmailed Sam into having sex to keep his secret before Sam grew another magical beanstalk.
Before Sam could climb Sam climbed the beanstalk to help his ailing father, unaware there were two new villainous giants, Duchess Luscious Lips Loretta and Queen Buxom Bosom Belinda inhabiting the castle. Jack was left behind to save the farm after a late spring blizzard killed the crop of beans without any more prized seeds to plant.
Did Sam Save his ailing father and brothers? Did Jack figure out a way to save the farm from ruin? Did Jack follow Sam and save him from the wrath of the giants?
As a new member of the adopted family, Sam had to learn new customs. He had to adapt to his new way of life by wearing pants, shirts and shoes. As he had been accustomed in his tribe, hunting and harvesting food from the forests, he continued to gather food around the farm. Jack taught him how to farm on a larger scale, rather than the small, family garden Sam’s father had tended.
Jack learned new innovations from Sam for growing crops, such as building a pond to store water for irrigating the crops when no rain fell. One month, when they received no rain, the pond supplied water to the crops until the next rains came. Jack took Sam to market so he could know how to barter with the milk and crops in exchange for food and supplies that were needed on the farm. Although Zeke and Adam taught Sam new skills to help out on the farm, Jack made it clear that they were to keep their hands off the new handsome man.
Zeke abided by that rule.
Adam’s advances rose occasionally, but Sam soundly rejected any of his foolish fantasies.
Lorene loved Sam like another son she never was able to have.
Jack knew Sam well enough to know he was an independent man, not prone to confiding or dwelling on his worries. Jack felt comfortable with Sam’s easygoing nature and enjoyed his jovial sense of humor, especially the repartee of stories about growing up with his brothers.
But after a year, Jack detected traces of despondency Sam was hiding from him and the others. He knew very well Sam missed his father and brothers. It made Jack’s need to find a solution to take Sam back to the land he was born all the more important.
But in the spring, Jack’s responsibility to the welfare of the farm took presentence. He had a dream to diversify the kind of crops they grew. Walking through the fallow fields, he discussed his plans with Sam.
“I’m going to ask Zeke and Adam to plant most of the prized bean seeds.”
“Don’t you think that rash?” Sam questioned the large amount of seeds to be used. “Don’t we need those seeds to last for more than one season? You know the beans those seeds produce won’t grow the same beanstalks. They’re just ordinary beanstalks and don’t spread for the large distances.”
“That’s exactly my point. Those seeds won’t last forever. If we have a huge yield of beans, we’ll make more to trade with. We will be able to plant a variety of crops, next year. We’ll diversify and thrive.”
“I guess.” Sam hesitated with his approval. “It’s risky.”
“I know, but it could prove highly successful. Go get Zeke and Adam. I want to get started right away.”
Jack instructed Zeke and Adam to till the soil and ready the fields for planting.
Jack’s Magical Beanstalk & Sam’s Quandary is the story of Jack and the Magical Beanstalk seen through Jack’s partner and lover’s eyes.
The story began when Jack’s future love interest, Sam watched him flee from the evil giant Master with his bag of gold coins. When they met they were infatuated with each other. Through Jack’s escapades with Master, Sam eventually followed Jack down the magical beanstalk to live with Jack but the beanstalk had to be cut down.
Subsequently, Sam was prevented from seeing his father and brothers. When Sam discovered his father’s illness, he conspired to plant a new magical beanstalk, having to do so secretly. Adam the farmhand had his suspicions and blackmailed Sam into a sexual fling to keep the secret.
Did Sam save his father from sickness? Did Jack follow his lover when the farm faces ruin?
Once upon a time, two equally handsome young men lived on a prosperous farm. Sam and Jack were deeply in love and had devoted their lives to their relationship, their happiness, and the wellbeing of their parents, Jack’s mother, Lorene, and Sam’s father, Jason. But their widowed parents lived in different, far away worlds. Jack grew up on the farm, while Sam grew up high in a faraway land. They currently employed two loyal farmhands, Zeke and Adam, and had a prized cow, Pearly White that helped them survive through leaner times.
Sam and Jack fell in love years before when Sam lived in a land high above the clouds. In this different world, Sam lived with his father and brothers in a tribe inhabiting the forests, bordering a cobblestone road, leading to a majestic castle possessed by two giants, Master and his submissive servant, Slave. Often, Sam snuck into the castle to steal food for his family, especially when a member of his family became ill, the sickness usually Giant Fever. Although Slave gave morsels of food when Sam begged, Master delighted in feasting on humans like Sam. Sam developed his skill in running with exceptional speed to prevent being captured by the giants. Living naturally without clothes was a necessity to hastily flee them. Nudity, also enabled the people in his tribe to select their mates. It was only natural they went about their daily lives uninhibited and naked.
Sam first met Jack from a distance when Sam lurked in the background after getting food from Slave for his ailing father. Sam noticed a strange man who wore clothing, like the giants, but fleeing with Master’s bag of gold coins. Sam’s thought about this man he saw running for his life.
How strange. A man like me who wears cloths like the giants. There is something about that man I like. Where is he going? He’s definitely in a hurry to get away from Master. He must know that Master loves to eat us. That man must be adventurous to be bold enough to steal from this villain. I would like to meet him. Sam stared, and stared, and stared.
As Jack fled the pursuit of Master and Slave with the coins, he noticed Sam watching him from a distance. Their eyes locked with more interest than curiosity. Jack disappeared down through the ground, vanishing from Sam and the giants. Oh, no. Master has stopped chasing him. The man must have fallen off the ground into oblivion. That’s disappointing. I wonder where he was from. Sam thought the man had fallen off the edge of the world. So he returned to his family with food for his ailing father, thinking of the man who wore clothes. The clothed man left a deep impression in Sam’s mind, a rush of sensations breeding curiosity and desire.
Pablo Michaels disguised himself as a shy, friendly heterosexual during his adolescence, fantasizing other males. Falling in love with another man his first year in college, he followed this man to another university to maintain their platonic love, while he continued in his in studies. When he had his first sexual encounter with another man, just before turning twenty-one, he exploded into gay life with lust and rage. He attempted to live his new life naturally, seeking love, ignoring the statistics of the books he read on homosexuality in high school, and proving what he had read was wrong.
Pablo Michaels is a gay man who writes gay romantic genre fiction from a gay man’s perspective. He is driven to educate and enlighten readers with the true beauty of love between men. He has published several books over the span of the last five years. He has found a new home to publish his stories with Yellow Silk Dreams, a publisher composed of a coop of authors. He grew up in a working class family that taught him the values of hard work, regardless of the profession, and helped him acquire a diverse education. The family motto is “People can take everything away from you. But they never can take away your education.” He is legally married to his soulmate, a man he has lived with for twenty years.
Pablo Michaels was born in the story, “Raging Silence”, which is included in the book, “This Beautiful Escape”. The silence raging in Pablo Michaels was his inherit sexual orientation, suppressed in his adolescent years. Through years of struggles he finds peace in his current life with his legal husband, a partnership of 20 years.
He wrote poetry and stories since third grade. When he turned twenty-one, he moved to San Francisco to work and write, experiencing more of gay life. In the 1980's he wrote every chance he had, trying and failing miserably at publishing mainstream fiction. He published his first story, Reunion on the Trail, in 1986 in a literary magazine When the Mockingbird Sings.
After writing plays, short stories, poetry, and two novels, he began writing gay genre stories, feeling he had more knowledge and experience with gay lifestyle. Trying to publish, he went to a library seminar hosted by two published authors. Inspired by the gay writer, Scott Kemble he connected with him on the internet site for The San Francisco Bay Area Literary Arts Newsletter and Review, which published four of Pablo's short stories.
Constantly, writing since 2004, he published his first e-book, Pagan Knights of Cambria, with Life of Riley Productions in London. Soon a mainstream story, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again Hooray, published also. In 2012 Pablo self-published his first novel, Catnip, Rosemary, Rage and Time, combining mystery and humor in a gay, erotic romance. He continues to write more episodes in his next novel, The Deer in the Forest The plot spreads over several decades, about a man's attempts to adapt to the world he lives, all with love, heartache, history and survival at no cost.
His latest article, Why Gay Men Retire to Palm Springs, was just published in the very popular SimplySxy.com online magazine. You can read the insightful article here. http://simplysxy.com/articles/2015/06/08/why-gay-men-retire-to-palm-springs/
Pablo retired from gardening and landscaping to devote his energy to write fiction. As a gay man he wishes to promote his writing gay genre fiction to help others understand the necessity for equal rights for LGBT people and comprehend that love between a man and a man, people of the same sex, is as natural as love between a man and a woman. Throughout his lifetime he has experienced the long battle of achieving acceptance. He has searched for a committed relationship with another man. He has loved his partner for twenty years. They were legally married in front of Harvey Milk's bust in the rotunda of San Francisco City Hall by a judge, in 2008. Although their marriage remained legal after the passage of Proposition 8, they continued to work to repeal DOMA and Prop. 8. Throughout his life he has attempted to live and practice peace as a process for living.
His published books include the book, Blood, Sweat and Black Leather, a gay paranormal romance, published by Yellow Silk Dreams in January 2015. Affairs of Men’s Hearts, published in May 2015 by Yellow Silk Dreams is an anthology of four stories connected by the themes of gay men seeking love with another man, from wishful thinking male to male romance to gay marriage. His latest book, Jack and the Magical Beanstalk is an adult version with a gay twist of the fairytale classic, Jack and the Beanstalk, published in December 2015 by Yellow Silk Dreams. He has rewritten his first novel, Catnip. Rosemary, Rage and Time, and its prequel, Learning to Love Again, both soon to be published. He is currently working on the sequel to Jack and the Magical Beanstalk. The working title is Climbing Another Magical Beanstalk.
Retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase team up again—this time to match wits with two serial killers stalking children, women and the elderly.
When Dottie Borghase's friend Camilla Rothrock collapses at a lunch gathering of old friends, the countess's only concern is to dial 911 for help. But Camilla's subsequent death has authorities buzzing about international safety and retaliation, because her son is decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock.
As other restaurant patrons in Richmond meet similar fates, Michaela and Dottie join forces with the Richmond Police and the FBI to track down the pair of heinous murderers. But in order to catch the killers, they will put their own lives and the lives of others in in serious jeopardy.What Price Must a City Pay to Keep its Citizen's Safe?
Book link: http://bit.ly/GetCaseofDowager
How about an excerpt:
Dottie turned off the main highway and headed south to Blackstone Virginia. Madame Toulescent lived just outside of Blackstone and that's where she conducted her psychic readings. She wished away the butterflies that cramped her stomach. She had a sense that what she was going to hear wasn’t good. She wished she didn't believe in the value of psychics or the unknown but she did, and that was that. She’d seen psychic readings and prophecies come true time after time during her life. Mic wasn’t a believer at all but had grudgingly admitted psychics had helped them in a case about ten years ago.
The speedometer on her car registered over sixty miles an hour on a forty-five mile limit stretch of highway. I'd better slow down. The last thing I need is a Virginia state trooper on my tail. She braked and her car skidded but she handled it skillfully. The Cadillac was a big, monster car but she really liked it. Since Dottie had lived in the US, she had always preferred German-made cars and previously owned multiple Mercedes Benz. Of course, when Count Borghase had been alive, they’d always driven Italian cars, mainly Ferraris. But now she was pretty much American and she loved her Caddy. There was something about the Cadillac that was so plush and so American that she bought a new one every couple of years.
She saw an old gray mule in the pasture out of the corner of her eye and saw the fence that was lying on the side. Dottie didn’t know what she’d do if they ever repaired that fence. She’d been looking at that fence on the ground for years and it was her landmark just before she turned onto Madame’s private road. She knew her turn was just up ahead. She slowed for a farmer carrying a load of hay in an old truck. He was hogging the entire road. Now where in the hell am I supposed to go? She steered her big car to the side of the road as far as she could without falling into the ditch. She cursed and held her breath as the farmer passed her. She swore the farmer missed her by less than an inch. The old codger hadn't even looked her way. She shook her head and cursed again softly. She threw her white Caddy into first gear and roared out of the ditch spewing gravel, dirt, and mud all over the road. She saw three rabbits running for their life and hoped she hadn’t interrupted their nest. Dottie drove a little further and made her left turn. She turned right on the first road and started the difficult trip along the horrible, rutted road to Madame Toulescent’s tiny home. The road was almost a mile long. Dottie's tall, thin frame bounced all over her plush leather seat and her hair fell out of her neatly arranged bun. I'm going to have to take a pain pill. All this jumping around is killing my hips. Secretly Dottie new she needed to have her hips replaced but there was no way she was willing to do that, at least not while she could walk. I wouldn't be able to help Michaela. And then, what would she do?
Madame Toulescent waved at Dottie from her front porch filled with flowers and beautiful hanging baskets of petunias and begonias. Her small white cottage was immaculate. Madame Toulescent watched her painstakingly steer her huge Cadillac down her battered road. Dottie brought the iron beast to a stop, looked in her rearview mirror and re-pinned a piece of white hair that had worked its way out of her perfect updo. Even though the Madame lived in a house that was little better than a house trailer, Dottie had been trained from birth to always look perfect when visiting. This task had become monumental at age 82. She reached for her purse and checked to make sure her Glock was nestled in its special pocket. She checked her lipstick in the mirror, pinched her lips together, cursed the fine lines around her mouth and got out of the car.
"Hello Madame Toulescent. Thank you for seeing me today on short notice." Dorothy smiled her gracious smile at the psychic, showing her beautiful white veneers, once available for a large price from the famous, dentist-to-the-stars Dr. Michael Smirkowitz.
"You are so welcome, Countess Borghase." Madame Toulescent looked around the empty fields and through the trees and gestured with her arm. "As you can see, there is no waiting line. Please come in. I've made us some tea." She paused for a moment and said, "Watch the steps. They're in need of repair," she cautioned.
In need of repair, my butt, they need to be rebuilt Dottie climbed the rickety steps dodging rusty nails and wood splinters. She grasped the loose railing and posts that held up the old front porch. The last thing she wanted to do was fall and break something. She followed Madame Toulescent into her small but neat and cozy home. There was a wonderful scent in the air and Dottie’s mouth watered.
"Please have a seat in the easy chair," the Madame offered. "I'll bring us some tea and sweet bread."
Dottie nodded and smiled her thanks as she carefully studied Madame Toulescent. She wasn't sure of her nationality. She thought she was Eastern European but she seemed very much like the French and her house had several amazing pieces of French country furniture. In years past, she had asked the Madame about her former life, but the psychic seemed unwilling to share her past. Her voice had a strange accent Dottie couldn't identify which frustrated her. Dottie had traveled the world and she knew the languages and dialects of most ethnic populations. But she couldn't figure out Madame Toulescent’s origins. That puzzled her.
Madame handed Dottie a cup of herb tea. The aroma alerted her senses and she immediately felt more awake and inspired. The tea had given her energy and awareness. She took a sip. It was delicious.
"Oh my, Madame Toulescent. Whatever is in this tea? I feel a million times better just from smelling it. You’ve got to tell me where you got it because I know Cookie would love it too," Dottie gushed as she sipped her tea.
Madame Toulescent smiled and said. "I made the tea. It's a blend of ginger, mint, lemon verbena and a few other things I grow in my herb garden. I'll send some home with you. It's sweetened with honey I collected from my bees yesterday." She smiled briefly, and her lips stretched over teeth that could benefit from a cosmetic dentist. "That's probably what you love so much."
Dottie nodded and studied the Madame. The years hadn't treated her so well. Dottie didn't know her age but her face was a mass of wrinkles that blended one into the other. Dottie guessed each wrinkle had its own story. Her skin appeared soft but deeply creased. Her jet black hair was streaked with gray and hung freely past her shoulders. She wore a simple blue shift with a silver belt and wore tennis shoes and socks. She smelled of lemon and freesia.
Dottie, as usual, smelled of Chanel #5. "It's so lovely out here, Madame. Do you ever come to town?"
Madame Toulescent shook her head. "Very rarely. My neighbor collects my groceries for me when I need them and as you know, I have a huge vegetable garden and I can and freeze most everything I need. I like it here and I like to stay with my animals - my dogs, cats, cow, mules and horses. It's quiet here and my love is nature."
Dottie nodded. She couldn't imagine staying in these four walls every single day. She supposed she didn't have the patience and gentleness of spirit that the Madame had. But that was okay. Dottie was very happy in her own way.
The two women shared a comfortable silence and continued to sip their tea until the Madame asked, "How can I help you today, Countess?" She smiled at her and said, "I can tell you have some significant things on your mind and that you are troubled."
Dottie put her teacup down and said, "Yes, I do. Have you been watching the news?" Dottie saw the woman pale under her sun-darkened skin.
Madame Toulescent nodded. "You’re here about the poisonings, aren't you?"
Dottie held Madame’s dark eyes with her own and said, "Yes, I am. Camilla Rothrock was one of my dearest friends and I need to know who poisoned her."
Madame shifted her gaze to the floor and said, "Countess Borghase, this is a very bad business that is happening. I've had some visions and they are upsetting. It reminds me of the evil work of Hitler in Germany."
This time it was Dottie who paled, her heart beating so hard she could hardly breathe. "Oh my God, Madame. We both remember his devastation in Europe and the millions of people he murdered."
Madame Toulescent rubbed her hands together, her face grim. "Indeed we do. A sad and sorry time. Let's move into the back where I work and see what we can see."
Dottie stood and followed Madame to the room in the far back of her modest home. It was a glass room with beautiful views into the forest. She left her teacup on the coffee table. Her heart thumped dangerously in her chest and she was short of breath. She was so terrified she almost lost her balance. She gripped her purse and cell phone in her hand. She was scared and just the idea of having the Glock made her feel safer. Could the evil be so strong it permeated her soul?
“Countess, why are you so upset? What can I do to help you?” Madame Toulescent looked at Dottie with concern.
Dottie stared at her but her eyes said it all.
“Let me get you something to calm you down so we can have a good reading. Please stay in the chair and I’ll be right back,” Madame Toulescent said as she left Dottie and walked to her kitchen.
Want To Read More? Read Chapter 35 here!
Who Is Judith Lucci???
Dr. Judith Lucci is a bestselling Amazon author and the author of the Alex Destephano Medical Thriller series set in New Orleans and the Michaela McPherson Mystery/Suspense series set in her hometown on Richmond, Virginia. Lucci also has a volume of short stories, Black Magic Bayou, a collection of moralistic tales based on Cajun superstition and lore and a novella, Beach Blanket Murders: The Ocean Can be Deadly. She has contributed to three anthologies and collections, and is the creator of Author 911: The Authors Guide to Writing and Medical Information. She is a registered nurse and college professor and holds graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia.
“Before I wrote fiction, I was an academic writer who published research, theoretical works, authored text books and just about anything a college professor needed to publish to survive.” The differences in academic and fiction writing are dramatic. Writing what I know encourages me to pull from my clinical experiences, some good, some not and use popular fiction as a means to teach and advocate for others.
Dr. Lucci’s books have three purposes, to engage the reader, to entertain them and to educate about healthcare and perhaps, the darker side of hospital life and life in general. Her books are described as contemporary novels that focus on and describe current social, moral and ethical issues in present day society. Judith is a true advocate for social justice and that theme is often prevalent in her work. She’s an avid reader and loves making stuff up and writing it down. She’s a member of the Virginia Writers Club, The Gulf Coast Writers Club, The Shenandoah Valley Writers group and Sisters in Crime.
When I’m not writing I am probably teaching, painting on silk as I am a multi-media artist or playing with my many dogs. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I am always excited to meet new people!
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A very funny science fiction adventure! by RP Momsen @philtheuniverse #Bestselling #Free #SciFi #NewRelease
PHIL! By: RP Momsen
A very funny science fiction adventure that will change the way you look at life, the universe and why we're all here. Billions of years ago, our universe was born. Not really that terribly exciting for most life forms except of course yourselves… and, well, Phil. The poor bastard who’s had to watch over all you people the last billion or so years. Well, finally after years of listening to all your griping, bitching and whining, always with some imaginary being getting all the credit, he’s finally had it! Phil has decided to explain what the world is, why you’re here and how you can evolve finally into a species worth talking about at parties. In this hilarious actual account, Phil takes two unwitting Physicists on the adventure of their lives, which isn’t saying much for a couple of physicists, and shows them what life, the universe and lovely little corner pubs really is all about. They’re transported to other dimensions to meet their better looking selves, get taken prisoner by an evil but very good looking race, fly through black holes and help the creation of a new planet all while their greatest challenge hangs in the balance, saving earth from the most evil, and best dressed, species the universe has ever seen. Will they save earth? Has all the years of hard work Phil has done creating you beings be lost? Does any of this really matter?
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Enjoy An Excerpt
“You gonna answer that?” Delphinia slurred. Typically an attractive female colleague, except now she had half a glass of Pan Universal Kumquat Juice down her front, and somehow an equal amount sprayed randomly throughout her hair. We were all drunk—she was winning.
“Just another idiotic human with some whiny ‘I can’t do anything for myself’ question.” “Are they still making you do that? Didn’t you create some god chat line for them to look up on their own?” asked Braithwaight, a much larger and uglier version of myself who had the unusual characteristic of having the largest nostrils in the universe. You wouldn't know them as nostrils, of course, given that their size and look is of one of your outhouses, massively uneven, bright orange and dripping with something I'd rather not discuss.
“Ya, but they seem to be using it mostly for porn and watching other humans or animals doing idiotic stuff, which is even stranger when you realize that the average human does 4.8 stupid things per week; you would think watching each other in real time would keep them amused enough,” I replied. Braithwaight was correct, after all—a number of years ago, I had instructed humans to create something called God Gab to answer all their questions and, hopefully, quit bothering me. As usual, they misunderstood, called it Google, and continued to harass me anyway.
“Slow... what dey say?” Delphinia slurred, spitting Pan Universal Kumquat Juice over both of us, which as it turned out was actually rather tasty; I decided to order one next despite it being a bit of a girly drink.
“Dear Lord.” (Dear Phil, it should have actually read.) Please give me strength in dealing with my two kids; I’m always so tired, they stay awake for hours on end, I seem to be the only one in the house able to nap, they eat all my food, hide my weed and are even messier than my 3 ex husbands. I can’t keep doing it. What should I do?”
“Signed ‘lame-ass, stoned and grumpy Mom.’ I added the last part.” I ordered my drink despite Braithwaighte’s sudden drunken episode of visualizing me in a short skirt with nice big perky ears; an odd and very unsexy effect of the alcohol.
“So, how do you answer it?” Braithwaight asked, refocusing himself.
“ I usually give some form of positive bullshit advice that they ignore, and then they continue doing exactly what they’ve been doing for years,” I replied.
“You should just sway what you twink then; who cares what they do?” Delphinia again slurred, though this time with more drooling than spitting, which was fine with me since I now had my own drink. Oddly enough, this had never occurred to me before, which just goes to show that the advice of a really drunk person should not be discounted even when slurred, spat, or dribbled. I took two large gulps of my drink, hoping to gain some more of this wisdom; my entire mind seemed to open up and swallow everything around me; my eyes fell out of my head, dropped off the table, and rolled under my now very short skirt, and then I spat the remaining mouthful onto my two companions, to which Braithwaight said ‘mmmm’ before promptly ordering one for himself.
If it had seemed like a good idea before, after two sips of Pan Universal Kumquat Juice, it became the most brilliant idea since the first crossing of the universe in a giant Easter egg with very slightly modified snowshoes and a six-pack of Grantham Planetary Beers. Without putting anymore thought into it, or in fact having any more thought left, I promptly replied to my lame ass Mom message “I would suggest refraining from drinking every night until near unconsciousness, or adoption, whichever ones easier. Signed, Phil.
PS. There is no Lord—Surprise!”
Author Info R.P. Momsen was lucky enough to meet Phil in a very lovely but rather smelly pub a few years ago. After listening to the most amazing story of his life, and a half dozen pints, Rick agreed to bring Phil’s story to the world and finally get Phil a vacation. Through an arduous process over the next couple years of intense notes, grand philosophical debates, lengthy trips through multiple universes and numerous beers this masterpiece of answers was named Phil and finally released. A great friendship has been created and Rick has agreed to continue to write the real truth about everything, why it’s kind of a good thing to know and what humankind could do to be invited to the really cool parties.
Other FB: https://www.facebook.com/rickhunterBM
Brought to you byWorldwind VBT
“Ok, Yazy, take off that jacket and walk into the shower stall. The water should be nice and warm. You’ll love it!”
Samyaza raises his eyebrows, looking at the water spraying from the shower head. He looks at the steam swirling around.
He shrugs his shoulders and the jacket falls off his shoulders and slides down his wounds. He winces and closes his eyes. He takes in a sharp breath.
Crystal quickly steps around him to look at his back. She gasps, outraged, and her color drains from her face.
“Omg! What did they do to you! Your flesh is totally shredded. How in the world have you been able to tolerate the pain?”
Samyaza clenches his jaw and turns to around to look at her. He narrows his eyes and nods.
“Sweet Crystal, I’ll be much better as soon as I eat a meal. I would heal quicker if I have more blood.”
He watches her closely, watching her pale complexion.
“Yazy, are you serious! Look at your back!”
She points to the mirror, frowning, and turns him around.
Samyaza turns around and looks into the large bathroom mirror. He frowns, and nods. He closes his eyes.
Yes, that’s what flogging does to you but I’ll be ok. I understand why she’s so upset. I need to convince her that I’m going to be ok.
He opens his eyes and gazes into her eyes. He raises both hands and rests them on her trembling shoulders.
“Sweet Crystal, please believe in what I’m going to tell you. Remember that I’m an angel. Well, a fallen angel, and most important immortal. That means that I usually regenerate but I was without sustenance for such a long time that my energy is depleted. I need nourishment or blood to boost my energy. My body will regenerate soon as I have the power that I need.”
He looks deeply into her beautiful hazel eyes, reaching her soul.
She blinks rapidly and her tears fall down her face. She shakes her head, trying to understand what he told her.
“Yazy, I don’t understand how someone could hurt you so. It’s too painful to see. I hurt for you.”
Her tears continue to fall down her face and he pulls her into his arms.
“My sweet Crystal, please don’t shed your tears for me. I don’t deserve your tears. I promise you that I’m going to be ok.”
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Shame by Phil Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
DO NOT Pass This Book By!
I purchased the eBook format of Shame : Abuse In The Justice System on July 16, 2016. This isn’t the normal book of choice for me, I like to stick with fiction but I decided to explore something different. I have read non-fiction memoirs before but never, ever have I experienced a story that would provoke feelings as I did with this real-life true account of a young man, his family and his journey into adult hood. I was blown away by the abuse and neglect that this young man and his siblings experienced at the hand of his mother and the pure neglect that was shown by his father.
This man struggled through his entire life, each time he thought he was out of the system it was as if fate would deal a card and pull him back into disdain and despair. The justice system is definitely flawed, but to read this book and learn of such things that had really happened inside and out of the “system” is appalling. These things still happen to this day. It is a sad but it is truth.
I was unable to put this book down. I had to finish it and discover if he ever made it out of the system, if he would ever be able to have the life that he so desperately desired and prayed for.
I would highly recommend this book! Age Recommendation: 16+ and up. Due to some highly disturbing written imagery, I would suggest discretion when it comes to the younger reader, but this book could help some younger audiences cope with issues that may relate to this book.
Overall, I am giving this book a HUGE 5 STAR review! Congratulations to the author of this book and thank you for sharing “Shame” with us!
Margaret A. Daly
Author of Dusgadh: Essence of Life
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