Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #frifreebits

Preface:  Remember, Cynthia thought she saw something suspicious going on at the dumpster?  She's read there's a serial killer loose in her neighborhood...could he be closer than she thinks?






He watched the couple disappear from sight, inched his door shut then leaned against it. He placed a cigarette in his mouth and struck a match. The smell of sulfur hung in the air. What a disgusting display he’d just witnessed. A chuckle, sounding evil even to him, escaped his puckered lips as he held the fire to the tobacco end and watched the Camel come to life. 

The way they'd laughed and carried on while he peeked through the door. She was a looker, that blonde from upstairs, but then she probably knew it. He could tell by the way she batted her eyes and flaunted her curves at her unsuspecting victim. Her actions made him sick to his stomach. 


The sun had climbed higher in the sky and left his room virtually dark. He moved to turn on the light and pondered saving the poor schmuck who'd been with the bitch. So many blondes and so little time. But, ridding the world of women like her was his responsibility and he'd take care of her soon, very soon. 

Buy Link:  My Amazon page

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Page Straight From Roseanne Dowell #apagestraightfrom


Another Day 
by
Roseanne Dowell


Someone once said a hangover felt like a sharp spear of light, slicing your eyeballs out of their sockets and leaving every nerve rubbed raw, while a hundred drummers played in your head, complete with cymbals. I couldn’t remember who said it, but I could attest to the truth of it. The room spun. My stomach churned, and my mouth tasted like sour milk. I squinted against the bright sunlight. Darn, why hadn’t I pulled the shades? What time was it anyway?  Rolling over and lifting my head just high enough to look at the alarm clock, I tried to focus. My eyes hurt just looking at the digital numbers.
Ugh, eight o’clock already.
Slumping back down onto the soft mattress, I pressed my fingertips into my temples. Rotten headache, served me right. Had I really drank a half bottle of wine?  God, I had drunk so much and barely remembered anything from last night. Anything that is, except Paul’s hands all over me. Oh Lord, Paul. Memory of last night flashed through my mind.
What had I done? Trying to block out the memory, I pulled the sheet over my head, and inched my way to the other side of the king-sized bed, glad for the coolness of the soft cotton sheets. What had possessed me last night?  I wasn’t some sex starved teen. I was married for cripes sake.
Oh God, how would I face Andrew?
Tears stung my eyes. Suddenly, my actions from last night became all too clear. How could I have done this? Just because Andrew had been inattentive and away on business a lot didn’t justify having sex with another man.
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and groaned. What attracted me to Paul anyway? He wasn’t even my type.  What the hell does a forty-two year old woman want with a twenty-eight year old? Hardly even a man. Still a kid.  Young enough to almost be my son.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! I hated that I had given in. Hated the guilt that seeped into me. I’d never be able to live with this.
Sexy though Paul was, with his black curly hair and tanned muscular body, we had absolutely nothing in common. Paul, single, athletic and outgoing, bordered almost on the point of being crude.
 Oh, he treated everyone polite enough, and all the women at the club fawned all over him. Maybe that was the problem — he acted like God’s gift to women.
So what in the world made me give into his seduction?  Clearly, I hadn’t been thinking straight.
“Thinking straight?” I covered my head with the pillow. “Honey, you weren’t thinking at all.” My voice sounded harsh, raspy. I rolled over, eased myself up, sat on the edge of the bed, and pushed back the wave of nausea and dizziness. “Pull yourself together, girl. You have to think this through.” 
Think, I couldn’t even focus. And how was I going to face Andrew when he came home later? I wasn’t good at lying, never had been. Andrew would guess the minute he saw me. Damn, damn, damn, what had I done?

Another Day is available from Amazon 

Friday, January 23, 2015

SATURDAY'S ROUND ROBIN - Rita Karnopp

SATURDAY'S ROUND ROBIN featuring RITA KARNOPP

What is your favorite time and place to read?  I read anywhere ~ anytime I can fit it in!  Grocery line, doctor’s office, breaks or lunch at work.  My favorite place to read is in the evening, in my living room with the fireplace cracking and a cup of Café’ Carmel Keurig style. 

How about writing time? This is a little trickier!  LOL  I have learned to write with kids running around or with people talking and walking by my cubical at work during my lunch hour.  My favorite time to write early Saturday mornings . . . Saturday afternoons . . . heck anytime I can sit at my clean desk and write.

Do you have to make time?  I work a full-time job, so yes, when I set a deadline date I also set a writing schedule.  That will be marks on the calendar that say 25% done with WIP, 50%, 75% and date finished 100%.  I am a stickler about deadline dates, so it’s rare for me to miss one.  It takes self-discipline to write, and without setting goals and deadlines ~ I think it’s too easy to procrastinate and not get the job done.

Do you have a ritual or is your plan helter-skelter? I had a quilting teacher who followed the Swiss-cheese method to completing tasks: Make a hole here, and sometime later a hole there; keep repeating this until the whole thing is complete. What's your method?  This Swiss-cheese method would send me over the edge.  I’m a ‘make a plan and follow it’ kind of girl.  I know the average time it takes me to write a chapter – so I plan it out ~ and mark my calendar when I need to reach quarterly goals . . . and hit my finished deadline.  I believe I have to plan and set goals to reach them.  It’s like planning a trip from Montana to Wisconsin.  I wouldn’t just jump into my car without knowing the route, hotels, costs, etc.  Same with planning to write a book; what is the plot – goal to reach at the end – what are mid-marks, ideas to be weaved into the beginning – middle – end?  It’s all about setting out on an adventure . . . with the keyboard and me . . . my goal – to write the best book I’ve ever written. 


Rita Karnopp ~ Multi-published author Rita Karnopp knew at a very young age she wanted to be a writer – and penned her first story at age sixteen. She is drawn to the history of the Native American and strives to bring alive the authenticity of a time past.  Whether writing suspense, Indian historicals, or contemporary romance, Rita enjoys bringing excitement and the enduring power of love to her stories. 
Rita currently resides in Montana with her husband and their loveable Cockapoo named Gema.  
     When she isn’t reading, writing or doing research, Rita enjoys making dream catchers, gold panning, crystal or sapphire digging, rafting, fishing, canoeing, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Also find Rita at:

Facebook:
rita.karnopp@facebook.com
LinkedIn: rita karnopp
Blog:
http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Contact her at 
ritakarnopp@bresnan.net

Whispering Spirits

Devastated by her boyfriend’s murder, Summer Timber Wolf, Niipo Ómahkapi'si, goes back to Browning, Montana to take care of her Blackfeet grandmother. That choice finds her living in the ways of the old ones in a tipi on the shores of St. Mary’s River in the shadow of the Chief Mountains. Her Nah’ah tells her to listen to the whispering spirits of her ancestors. They are her shield, her past, her present and her future. Summer, however, is not so easily convinced.

It doesn’t take long before Summer realizes they’re not alone. Has her boyfriend’s killer found them? To protect her grandmother, Summer trusts their scout and protector, Cameron Running Crane. Soon she doubts her decision and wonders if he’s the kind of killer we instinctively fear the most; a loved one.

The truth will be revealed in time . . . what she doesn’t know is who will survive.

SATURDAY'S ROUND ROBIN:

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #frifreebits

Preface:  Cynthia has already become acquainted with her neighbor, a San Francisco Police Officer.  They've met on the way to the dumpster, and Alex is now helping her take out the trash.  As you can see...Cyn's mind is elsewhere at the moment:




Once in the alley, Cynthia flashed back to the building Superintendent and his suspicious behavior. She fought the urge to dig for the bundle he'd deposited, and almost laughed. Wouldn't dumpster diving make a great first impression on her handsome neighbor? 

Alex snapped his fingers in front of her face. "Can I have your other bag or have you become attached to it?" 

"I'm sorry," she said, handing it to him. "I guess I drifted off somewhere." 

Alex took hold of her elbow. "Garbage delivered, mission accomplished." 

She chuckled as they walked back into the building. "Next time I hope you take me some place that smells a little better." 

She noticed the slightly ajar first-floor apartment door as they ascended the stairs, but didn't mention it. For the first time since she'd arrived, she felt safe. 

You can pick up your copy via my Amazon page.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Page Straight from Roseanne Dowell #apagestraightfrom

All In The Family
by
Roseanne Dowell


Mama always used to say, “This too shall pass.”
But not this time, Mama – this time Jessica Roberts was in a heck of a mess. She paced the small jail cell, waiting for the chief.  How could anyone even think she killed Jake Warren? She was a Judge for cripe sake. Not like she could kill anyone anyway. “Hey, don’t I get a phone call?”
Nothing, no answer as usual. Damn rookie cop was gonna pay for this. How dare he ignore her? A night in the cell made her itchy, like a million bugs crawled all over her.  She ran her fingers through her hair and pulled out a handful of gray hair.  The rate her hair fell out, she’d be bald by time she was sixty-six. When this was all over she’d have to see what the problem was. But that was the least of her worries. All she wanted now was a hot shower and a warm bed.  And where the hell was Jim Landry anyway?
What kind of police chief goes fishing in the middle of the week?  Jessica rubbed her wrists where Officer Sanders handcuffed her. Handcuffed, how humiliating.  Worse part, he seemed to take pleasure in making sure they were real snug too. Real smart ass, that one. Didn't he know who she was?
Oh he knew all right, that’s why he took such pleasure.  Pay back because she reproached him in her court room when he testified in that hit and run case. Too smart for his own good. Cocky attitude and all.
Jessica fingered the button in her pocket. It was a clue, and she shouldn't have picked it up from the crime scene, but it was in her hand when Sanders came along. She barely had enough time to drop it in her pocket when he grabbed her arms and slapped the cuffs on her.
Darn, she wished she knew what Jake had wanted. So secretive calling the way he had and asking her to meet him in that alley. Good lord, no better than thugs. What was it he said, something about police corruption and he couldn't talk to Landry about it.  What in the hell did that mean? Landry was the most honest cop she knew - Wouldn't cheat a store clerk out of a penny.
“Jess, what the hell’s going on?” Landry’s voice boomed through the jail.
“About time you got here. How should I know what’s going on? Someone killed Jake Warren, and that punk out there seems to think it was me.”
“Hmm.” Chief Landry rubbed his unshaven chin. “Well everyone in town knows you and Jake didn't see eye to eye.”
“Jim Landry, you can’t believe for one minute that I had anything to do with his murder.” Jessica glared at the Chief.  “No, we didn't see eye to eye, but you can’t possibly believe I killed him. Good Lord, Jim you know me better than that.” Of all the nerve, even as a joke that wasn't funny. “Come on open the door - get me out of here.”
“Well now, I’d like to do that, Jess, but see, you've been booked, and we got to follow procedure. You know the proper channels.” He unlocked the door and motioned to her. “Come on, we’ll talk in my office.”
Procedure, my eye. Proper channels. She knew damned good and well Jim could let her go if he wanted to.  She didn't like this. Not one little bit. She followed him into his office, relieved to at least be out of the cell, for the moment anyhow. He handed her a cup of hot coffee. She sipped it, relishing the aroma while it warmed her. Never knew coffee to taste so good.

All in the Family is available from Amazon.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Is Being An Author Detrimental to your Health? - Ginger Simpson

www.dietdoctor.com
Think about the topic?  How much did you weigh when you started writing?  How much do you weigh now?  I spent years as an Administrative Assistant, which was a very sedentary job, and then retired so I could spent countless hours in front of my computer or on the sofa with my laptop.  Needless to say, activity moved way down to the bottom of my priority list, and the pounds continued to add up.

I know what I eat is not the problem, because I don't tolerate solids well.  My husband says I pick like a bird, but that's because of scar tissue that's formed and I have trouble chewing things enough to get them to pass through my esophogas.  My body is in starvation mode and hangs onto every calorie I put into it, and with no activity to work off those calories, my hips grew as wide as my office chair.

Being an author for most of us is a passion, but we must remember to find time for our health.  I don't make resolutions because they are usually a dismal failure for me, but this year, I did resolve to put ME first.  So, I'm not giving up writing, I'm going to try to be more time-oriented and work in my creative juices around walking or attending water aerobics.  Instead of empty caloried foods, I'm imbibing in protein shakes and I have to say, I feel much better.

I started exercising already, and I've lost nearly 30 pounds.  I've been a bad girl this week because of appointments, but next week, it's back to the three day grind of adding some sort of activity into my life.  I'd like to stick around for another several years and keep doing what I love.  Besides, I have a lot of stories started in my WIP folder that need finishing.

So, do yourself a favor.  Although you love to write, find some time in your day to make yourself a healthier author.  It's a new year, and time for a new start.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #frifreebits

I started a new book last week.  If you want to go back and check the info I shared...here's the link:
http://mizging.blogspot.com/2015/01/friday-freebits-with-ginger-simpson_9.html


Here's another "freebit" from Culture Shock:

She hummed as she went about the rest of her Saturday cleaning. Still, in the back of her mind, she wished she lived somewhere more presentable. How was she going to explain this rat hole without being embarrassed? She stood back and assessed the drabness. Maybe if she planned lots of fun things, they wouldn't have to spend much time at The Cairns.

She took a deep breath. "Stop it Cynthia! Kevin and Sara know you're just starting out. They won't be expecting the Ritz!" She laughed. They also wouldn't be expecting her to talk to herself as much as she did lately. 

Armed with her bottle of window cleaner, she pushed aside the tattered rags masquerading as curtains. Once her checkbook was back in the black she planned to buy some new ones. There was no use asking the super about replacements. He hadn't even fixed her lock. 

She misted the glass then wiped it dry. Why she bothered she didn't know. It must have been years since the outside was cleaned. So many water spots made it look as though she hadn’t touched the pane, but there wasn’t much to look at in the littered alley below. The scenic view fit the rest of the motif. 

She leaned in. Movement caught her eye in the form of someone seemingly pilfering through the trash bin. Maybe one of the vagrants she passed every day on her way to the station? 

She wasn't used to seeing so many bums and homeless people on the street, but this man didn't look like one of those types. At least she considered the person a “him.” Something vaguely familiar niggled at her--perhaps his frame, his hair. What was it? She squinted through the blotchy glass. 

He bundled something inside a blue wrapper then, glancing side-to-side, he poked around in the trash, appearing to move things about before tossing his package into the dumpster. He almost looked to be hiding something, and when he turned, she recognized the building super. 

You can find Culture shock on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Books We Love gave me the opportunity to breath new life into "Beside Myself."  The book was originally published only in paperback and not read by many people other than a few reviewers.  This is one of the snippets I saved because it really touched my heart.

"This is one of the most entertaining suspense novels I have ever read.  I do not however, recommend reading it at your desk on your lunch break because it is just too difficult to keep the laughter inside."

Keely Skillman
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books and Coffee Time Romance (5 cups)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Granny Panties - Ginger Simpson


I first shared this post in 2009, but with a different picture.  You'll still get the point.  :)


forums.mtbr.com
My friend, Rita, shared a joke today about sayings
 things you wish you could take back. She reminded me,
 not of something I'd said, but something that was said
 TO me. I can laugh about it now, but at the time,
 it wasn't all that funny. :)

I'd worked with a woman for years,
discussing her recent shopping trip and
 all the year-end bargains she'd found.
While discussing her purchases, the topic
 turned to the panties she bought.
Her dialog went something like this:

"I bought the same panties I've been
 getting for years. Same size as always,
 and I got them home, took a shower and
 put on a pair. I was shocked, absolutely shocked.
 I checked the label twice to make sure
 they were my size, but although the tag said they were,
 they hung on me.They were huge. The legs gapped,
 the seat sagged,and the waistband was evidently made to fit
 someone obese. I should have held them up before I bought them. I certainly would
 have noticed something wrong, because I don't think I've ever seen
 anything so big in my life."

Without blinking an eye, she turned to me and said.
 "Do you think you could wear them?"

Although I was taken aback by her comment, I swallowed my pride
 and quickly responded, "Well, if I can't, I can probably cover my car with them."

The sad ending to the story: They fit!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Page Straight From Jamie Hill #APageStraightFrom

 Time to Kill by Jamie Hill. Book 2 in the Witness Security Series.


A couple of hours later, after Jordan had eaten the donut that Olivia brought her anyway, she glanced up to see their chief escorting a man into the office. Something familiar about him, she swiveled her chair to get a better look. Tall and slender, with spiky light brown hair, he sported a familiar, sexy little cleft in the middle of his chin.
She panicked. Rhodes wouldn’t have. He couldn’t have. No. He. Did. Not.

Pushing away from her desk, she hurried to the break room before either of them spotted her. With her back against the wall, she fumbled in her pocket for her phone and texted Doug.

He’s here. OMG!

Realizing she was being cryptic, she added,
Pierce. Then, Nick Pierce is here.

She waited. And waited. Damn it! Doug always had his phone on him. Unless he was sleeping. Maybe the baby was keeping them up at night. Damn it!

Ben entered the room and refilled his coffee cup.

“Ben! I need you to run interference for me. Go out there and distract Rhodes and that other man. I just need to grab my purse and get out of here.”

He looked at her like she was insane. “What are you talking about? I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes.” With an apologetic shrug, he walked out.

Her phone vibrated and she glanced at the screen. Doug had texted her back.

No freaking way! Wish I was there to run interference for you.

Jordan thought she might cry.

Me too, she typed back. I don’t know what to do.

He replied, I have a few thoughts, but can’t put them in writing. Might be used against me in a trial.

She smiled and typed, No shit. A moment of hesitation, then she added, I’m scared.

His reply was instantaneous. Want me to come in? Go hide somewhere and I’ll be there as soon as I can.

Jordan brushed a tear from her cheek. Love you for saying that, but no thanks. Not going to hide. She inhaled deeply to bolster herself, then blew out the breath. Thank you. Go kiss that baby. Talk soon. She pocketed her phone.

A mirror hung on the opposite wall and she moved in front of it to check her makeup. Nothing had smeared, thankfully. Before she could decide what to do next, a voice from the past sounded behind her.

“Beautiful as ever, Jo.”

A January release, look for it on Jamie's Amazon page.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FINALLY...Yellow Moon by Ginger Simpson

www.thecallofthebride.com
I was inspired by my love of western historical romances to write Yellow Moon's story.  Who is she?
Yellow Moon is a young Lakota maiden who accompanies her family to the traditional Sun-Dance held anually by all the tribes of the Sioux.  They meet, mingle, find spouses, and on the last day, braves who choose to participate are tethered to a tree by skewers in their chests  and dance until the skin breaks free.

Sounds barbaric, doesn't it?  Honestly, it's a tribute Indian men make to the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka, thanking them for past blessings and hoping to garner futures ones...like plentiful buffalo.  To think, we just pray to give thanks and request strength.  I don't think I could endure the pain that Sun Dancers experience, so I'd be happy that there are lesser roles for participants.  Of course, in the story, I also touched on the women's function at the dances.  I think the biggest lure to the festival was all the feasting and celebrating that went on.  No matter who you are, parties are fun!

I love American Indian history, and my fondness for the Lakota proves I must have been one in another life.  I checked my chest for scars and I didn't find any, so I must have been a chicken back then, too.

Hope you'll read Yellow Moon's story...and enjoy it!  It's available on my Amazon page.

Cover by Michelle Lee

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sexuality Among the American Indians of the Past by Ginger Simpson

Today, I’m addressing courting and marriage; specifically the presence of plural wives in the tribes of the old west, most notably the Lakota Sioux.  Since Gay Rights are a hot topic in the news these days, I’m also including information about homosexuality among American Indians in the 1800s.

The number of men killed during battle or buffalo hunts was often the reason for having more than one bride.  With honor being the backbone of the American Indian, remaining relatives frequently took on families left behind in the case of death. If one brave had only one wife and his brother was killed, leaving behind two, then it wasn't uncommon for that man to become the husband to three.

Quite often, a singular wife might suggest her spouse marry again to ease her workload while giving her a senior status in the household.  Little is written about the sexual habits in the research books I've used, so I always wonder how accurate our romantic notions are in the novels we create about the American Indian tribes. Thankfully, we write fiction and can enhance what we don't know to be certain. 

archive.constantcontact.com

How surprising to learn of the respect and attention given to males we would today consider homosexuals.  These tribal members were more the transvestite types, called 'winkte,' and although feared to some degree, they weren’t hated. 

Rather than participate in male roles such as hunting and warring, the 'winkte' dressed as women and took up quilling, tanning, and other female duties.  They lived in their own tepees at the edge of camp, which was an area usually reserved for ancient widows and orphans.  I'm not quite sure why there would be orphans since most research indicates the Sioux were very family oriented, and the tribe was considered an extended family who took care of their own, but as I continue to write Western Historical, I’m bound to learn the answer by researching.  Perhaps the ‘orphans’ were of an age that they no longer required care.


But, back on track…the 'winkte' were believed to acquire their 'womanly' skills through supernatural inspiration.  Pieces of work completed by a 'winkte' were considered more desirable and often cherished. Some also deemed the transvestites to have healing powers and sought them out to name their children. Of course, the names were considered secret and not used, but still hopefully strengthened the child.  Girls were never given 'winkte' names.

Although those men who dressed as women were given respect in most ways, male warriors were instructed that even though a 'winkte' lived and worked as a woman, to engage in sexual relations with one was cause for retribution after death.  The belief held that in the land beyond, the warrior wouldn’t be allowed to live in the main circle, but away from the rest where the 'winktes' would torture him.  I suppose it worked as the Sioux held the 'beyond' in the greatest reverence.

There appears to be no documentation of obvious lesbianism among the female tribal members.  This may be attributed to the 'dream' instructions given to young women that warned of avoiding perversion.  Obviously, fear played an important role in instilling the goal of wife and mother, as no record exists of old maids among the Sioux.  I found it very interesting that men were given greater acceptance of their differences while women were more restricted and basically 'scared straight.'

 cover by Michelle Lee

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit of information, so much that you might check out Destiny’s Bride, published by Books We Love, and one of my western historical romance novels that includes similar research about the Lakota, peppered in to give historical credence to my story.  You can find Destiny’s Bride along with my other books on my Amazon author’s page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/gingersimpson


Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #fridayfreebits

Happy Friday.  Today, I'm starting samplings from another book, Culture Shock. I've lost the original idea of sharing only six paragraphs, and instead am showing scenes that may help you want to know more of the story. Culture Shock contains mystery/romance/fantasy with a little paranormal stuff going on.  Here's the blurb so you can follow the story:  (Oh, BTW, this story was originally published as Beside Myself until Books We Love gave me a chance to pump new life into my story.  I believe this is a far better version and I hope you will too.)

Naïve, country girl, Cynthia Freitas, moves to the big city with high hopes, but her starting salary barely makes rent in a run-down tenement. Newspaper headlines warn of a serial killer in the neighborhood, and the article grabs her attention when she recognizes the victims bear a striking resemblance to her. Alex Carlyle is assigned to assist detectives in one of the toughest cases he’s ever experienced as a cop. Despondent over a recent break-up with his fiancé, he buries himself in his work until he meets the cute new tenant next door who gives him something else to think about except kidnap and murder. The aftermath of their first “jolting” kiss places the burden on Cynthia to solve Alex’s case and keep him from potentially becoming the next victim. 



Cynthia Freitas straddled the complementary copy of the daily newspaper lying in the hallway in front of her apartment and gulped. The thought of a kidnapper loose in her neighborhood sent a shiver up her spine. 

With two grocery bags balanced in one arm, she strained to see around them to find the keyhole. Just as she unlocked the door and stepped inside, the bottom of one sack gave way, sending her carefully-selected apples skittering across the warped floorboards. An assortment of vegetables landed in a premature salad at her feet. 

She clenched her teeth. "Damn! Damn! Double damn!" 

Not in the habit of cursing, she winced and turned to see if anyone was in the hallway and had overheard. Seeing no one, she took a deep breath, removed the dangling key, and closed the door. "You've picked up some bad habits, Cynthia Ann." 

She stepped over the spillage, still grasping the torn bag, and placed it and the intact one on the stained kitchen counter. With a deep sigh, she dropped to her knees and crawled from apple to apple until she had recaptured all the escapees, but not before crinkling her nose in disgust at the recent rodent droppings next to the stove. She made a mental note to buy a mousetrap on her return visit to the store.

With the Granny Smiths cradled in one arm, she stood and dumped the fruit into the sink. Curiosity drew her back to the hallway to retrieve the newspaper. She tucked the daily edition beneath her chin and fiddled with the deadbolt. It still wouldn't work. 


The super hadn't responded to her call, and this wasn't the best of times to have a broken lock. After placing the flimsy chain across the door, she added making another call for maintenance to her growing mental notebook. 

You can find Culture Shock on Amazon.  Tune in for more next week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Page Straight From Eleanor Stem #Apagestraightfrom

Miri's Song by Eleanor Stem


Miri stood before a howling mob with her back pressed against the quarry wall. Somewhere in the depths of her dead heart, she was glad. Soon, it would be done, and she’d be gone from this place where only pain greeted her.

The sun sent hot, white light into the quarry. Its bright dance blinded her. When she tried to focus her eyes, all she could see was the shadow of a gnarled tree, and the shimmering mob that scrambled for stones at their feet.

“Harlot!” they cried, and a stone seared across her breast, followed by another, and another, until she was numb with pain.
Dust rose as men and women shuffled in the dirt for more stones, obscuring the white sky of the afternoon. Miri sagged against the wall as stones pummeled her. She did not turn away, but faced her accusers with open eyes.

She asked an uncaring god for a swift end to a life filled with carnal hardship. She had been forced into an unclean life by birth, to a place where she had not asked to be. She’d experienced the underbelly of man’s nature. It defiled not only her body, but her soul.

The stones pummeled and battered her. One crashed against her shoulder, slamming her hard against the quarry wall. She tried to keep her eyes opened. She wanted to watch her own death. Another stone hit her midsection. The impact bent her over, and she grunted in pain. She tried not to weaken and fall into the dirt. She refused to collapse before the mob, and tried to stand up, but the stone damaged something within her. Deep pain cascaded through her as she gasped, and fought for breath.
Death was nearly upon her.

Miri closed her eyes to the stones that smashed into her. She did not raise an arm to protect herself, did not turn her back to them. The bigger the stones, the harder they were thrown, the faster she’d die.
One crashed into her head and her legs buckled, but her quick descent was halted by a strong arm. Someone held her tight, and said something to her. The words did not penetrate. She could not hear what he said. She could not see or feel what happened around her except the mob who wanted her dead, and the pain of the stones as she tried to die.

In her narrowed vision of white heat and dust, she glimpsed a tall man shielding her from harm.

He yanked her upright, and held her tight. He said, “Find your feet.”

She wanted to die, and his words faded in a haze of agony.

She slumped against him.

The man pulled and tugged her through the mob toward the quarry gate. Her head sagged against his strong arm. When she found the will to open her eyes, she saw the mob had lost its howl. They stood like dark statues in the settling dust.

This is madness. An errant thought slipped through her pain. Had the stones stopped, forever, or for only a short time? Was this a trick? Somehow the man had bewitched the people. As he dragged Miri through the press, she waited for the men to scoff and the women to laugh, and the stones to begin again.

But nothing happened.

In the blistering sun, the crowd stood silent as white dust drifted at their feet. Hot breaths of bloodlust were stilled in the presence of this man who protected her. He threaded their way through the throng of now silent people. Miri could feel the palpable anger suppressed as if under a shroud of magic. He carried her while the rabble glared at them, stones hanging in loose hands.

He stood in defiance of the mob. Amazed, Miri sliced open a thought to the slim possibility of life. She let him pull and prod her against the tentative shroud of protection of the angry mob. She pressed closer to him, waiting for his next move. She tried to take a step when he took a step.

He held her, and kept her upright. People shrugged aside when they passed, and remained quiet as they reached the quarry gate.

Death now seemed farther away.

The tall man placed his big hand on her head, covering her forehead and eyes. Suddenly, warmth flowed into Miri, changing into a hot glow. Bright light swept through her body, and spread on soaring wings until it penetrated her soul. Brilliance crashed through her broken flesh, and left her breathless. She collapsed against him, knowing all in the quarry must see the dazzling, bright colors flash around them, and mingle with the glare of the white sun.

At once, the pain stopped. Her legs held her upright, and she felt whole again.

She looked up at him, and wondered what this was all about. A new sponsor, perhaps? To continue what swept her into the quarry in the first place? Her heart cried out against it.

The mob had ripped her away from a life of bitter self-destruction. She would never go back, but to leave it behind, she must die.

As bread and wine were her nourishment, death was her only salvation.

Miri wanted to rip from this strange man’s hold, and run back into the mob. She would beg them to finish killing her. Their malevolence comforted her, a small thing when matched to her self-loathing. When not overwhelmed by their need to shed her blood, she understood the anger that pressed against her from all sides. It was honest, and a balm to her broken spirit.

But she was helpless in the face of this tall man’s strength. This turn of events was too quick, and she was too stunned to react. She could only bask in the healing powers of the bright light, and warmth of his touch.

It pervaded her whole being. Her heart filled with the buds of newfound joy, and the will to live.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Hooray!!!!

I'm so happy to announce that Rita Karnopp is returning to Dishin' It Out in March.  I've truly missed her input and her posts that continue to teach me so much.  I know you've all missed her, too.  Here's hoping that 2015 is much kinder to her...of course her refrigerator went out on New Year's Eve and they lost $500 worth of food, but that doesn't count...it wasn't 2015 yet!

May all your woes be used, Rita, and may 2015 be your year to shine.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #Frifreebits



“Ring, damn it!” Cassie sat, curled up on the sofa, and stared at the phone. For the last hour she’d fought with herself about being the one to initiate the call, but her mother’s words echoed in her mind. “Nice girls don’t call boys. They wait.”

Cassie wondered what her mother would think about this whole Internet dating scene. Mom maintained old-fashioned standards, still believing that real men opened doors and threw their cloaks over mud puddles. Cassie opened her own doors and stepped over puddles, but the one thing she couldn’t do was fill the void of loneliness inside herself.

The phone’s loud ring sliced through the silence, startling her and ending her dilemma. She took a deep breath before she answered. She didn’t want to sound too eager.

“Hello.”

“Hi, purdy lady.”

Cassie’s heart warmed. She snuggled down on the couch and cuddled the phone between her head and shoulder.

“Hi yourself, cowboy, I was hoping you’d call.” The bold admission shocked her.

“Reckon I’d have to be a darn fool not to call. I’ve been thinking ‘bout you all day.”

Cassie chuckled. The rapid palpitations of her heart made her feel as though she was back in high school.

“What? Why are you laughin’ at me? I just couldn’t think of anything but you and wantin’ to call you tonight.”

“I wasn’t laughing at you. I just love your voice. You sound so cute.”

“I reckon I’m a far cry from cute, but I like that you think that. So … you thought of me today?”
“I told you I was hoping you’d call me tonight. If my mom hadn’t taught me better, I would have called you first.” Cassie swore under her breath and felt a warm flush creep up her neck. She barely knew the man and already she confessed an interest in him. What if he was a serial killer or something? She felt so conflicted.

“I sure would like to meet you in person,” Evan drawled.

“Don’t you think you’re being a little premature?”

“Pre what?”

“Don’t you think you’re rushing things? We’ve only talked on the phone a few times. I think we need to get to know each other better before we even think about meeting.”

Cassie’s own ruling caused a pang of disappointment. Maybe she was afraid of meeting him, but curiosity was killing her.

“What’d you do today?” She picked a safe question, but one that might tell her a little more about him.

“I started out drawing some landscaping plans but found myself distracted.”

“By what?”

“Thoughts of you. What else?”

“I’m sorry I interfered with your work, but flattered that your thoughts were of me.”

“You have no idea how much you disrupted my day. I tried to work but I kept checkin’ my watch.”
At the mention of time, she glanced at the clock. If only time at work went by as fast as the time she spent on the phone with Evan. Reluctantly, she put an end to their flirty banter. “Gosh, I just noticed the time. It’s late and I have some work to do before I can get some sleep. I’ve really enjoyed our chat. Call me tomorrow?”

“Sure ‘nuff, baby girl. Hope you dream of me.”

Betrayed is available with my other works on my Amazon page.

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