Wednesday Words: Gratitude

We are in the downhill slide to the end of the year and the holidays are fully upon us. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Seems like yesterday was Halloween. Time is so weird. Anyway, todays #1lineWed THEME is something of a no-brainer–**GRATITUDE**– and since I have a scene in FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE that’s centered around Thanksgiving, I figured y’all could deal with a fairl long snippet. That’s the only set-up you get. 😉
“Why is he even here?” Brooke perched on one of the kitchen stools. She was supposed to be arranging a relish plate but she ignored the cans and jars of olives, pickles, and other munchables.

Justice continued rolling out dough for the yeast rolls. The turkey was in the oven, and the kitchen smelled heavenly. Potatoes were ready to be mashed. The green bean casserole would go in soon. Elena and Pops were bringing dessert and the cranberry sauce. “He’s here because the sheriff is my friend and I invited him.”

“Your friend?” How her niece could sneer, smirk and put air quotes around a word all at the same time had to be a teenager talent.

“Yes. My friend.” Oh, Jack was so much more but for two months now, she’d managed to hide the fact that Jack shared her bed on multiple occasions. Thank goodness the man was sneaky and they’d had no close calls causing him to vacate the premises via her bedroom window. The mental picture of him scrambling down the side of her house put a big smile on her face.

“Ewww. Stop that, Aunt Jussie. I know what you’re thinking about and it skeeves me out.”

Jack walked up behind Justice and dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “You’ll be thinkin’ different in a year or so,” he told Brooke.

“Ewww,” Justice responded. “No boys for you, young lady.”

The teen rolled her eyes. “Boyfriends are for losers.”

“Says the girl who doesn’t have one,” Justice mumbled that for Jack’s ears only. She glanced at the neon clock on the wall. “Elena and Pops should be here any minute now.”

In response to her statement, a red truck pulled up in front of the house. Elena and Pops climbed out and then Pops helped someone out of the front seat.

“Is that Miss Reba?”

“Appears so. I’ll go help Pops with the food.”

Jack passed the ladies on the way in and directed them toward the kitchen. At the truck, Pops handed him a fancy food carrier with handles and everything, along with a pie container. Breathing deeply, Jack smiled. “Pecan pie and sweet potato casserole.”

“Both compliments of Reba.” Pops carried a brown bag with handles and two stacked food carriers—one pie, one cake. “Tres leches cake, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and Lena’s hand-made tamales. Can’t have a holiday meal without those!”

Jack’s stomach growled. “Good.”

Laughing, Pops preceded him into the house. “A man after my own heart.”

They delivered their items and then the ladies shooed them out. Brooke sulked when they detained her and insisted she help.

“How’s that goin’?” Pops asked once they were in the family room with the TV loud enough the women couldn’t hear.

“Good days and bad days. Gettin’ to be more good lately.”

“And you and Justice?”

Jack scowled at his best friend. “What about me’n Justice.”

“How’s that going?”

“Not rushin’ her.”

Pops leaned his head back and laughed. “Not rushing her? Swear to God, Jack, you are slower than the Medina River in a drought.”

A growl escaped before Jack could swallow it. “Leave it be, Pops.”

His old friend studied him for a long time but didn’t say anything. Then he faced the TV and asked, “Who’s playin’ today?”

Jack let his anger go. Prolonging things with Justice was gettin’ damn old. His wolf was acting as sulky as Brooke, but Jack couldn’t move things faster. They were together. They weren’t hiding they had a relationship. He managed to get into her bed most nights and the ones he couldn’t, he patrolled her ranch in wolf form. “Houston and Detroit. Cowboys play Washington later.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

An hour later, Brooke slouched in and collapsed on the couch. She glanced at the TV and huffed out an aggrieved sigh. “I hate football,” she announced in an imperious voice.

Jack slowly turned his head to stare at her. She met his gaze for about half a second then she dropped her eyes. “Parades are over.”

“I don’t like them either.”

“Is there anything you do like?”

Pops burst out laughing. Man and girl both stared at him. “Lord but I do not miss this stuff. I’ll take a toddler’s tantrum over an angst-filled teen any day of the week.”

“I don’t even know what that means,” Brooke groused.

“Is emo kid still a thing?” Reba called from the kitchen. “I’m old and I don’t keep track of the hip slang anymore.”

“I am sooo not an E-girl. Jeez.”

“E-girl.” Jack pondered the phrase. “That anything like email?”

Brooke rolled off the couch. “I don’t have to put up with being dissed like this. I’m going to my room.”

“Did you set the table?” Justice called.

“Yes.” Brooke trudged up the back stairs like the weight of the universe hung around her neck.

Jack glanced at Pops to find the other man staring at him and grinning. “What?”
“Watching you and that young’un. Makes me proud and grateful that I’m standing here watching.”

“Shut up, Pops.”
I’m grateful I bought a freezer-to-oven turkey breast that will take about 2 1/2 hours to roast and then we’ll enjoy turkey sandwiches and the trimmings because turkey sammiches are the best part of Thanksgiving around this house. The kids are coming and I’m grateful for that, too. I’m also grateful that this book is almost done. Yay! Writers, any gratitude words to share? Readers, what are you grateful for? If you are celebrating, have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Cajun Thanksgiving Rum Cake

The following “commercial” comment is brought to you by Louisiana Travel and I’m happy to “run” it because this recipe sounds amazing, even if it is a bit labor intensive.

This sweet and slightly boozy recipe is a delicious addition to any meal but it especially shines during the holidays. Ensure you get the best flavor by using a Louisiana-distilled Rum. Check out the different Louisiana distillers and find the perfect rum for your pound cake.

Ingredients for Pound Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
1¼ cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon rum extract
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup half-and-half
3 cups Rum Syrup, divided (recipe follows)

Method of Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with baking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a separate medium bowl, beat yolks and ¾ cup sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add extracts.

Add flour mixture to yolk mixture in three batches, and beat just until combined. Add butter and half-and-half, and beat to combine.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium-high speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to high, and gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until all is combined. Beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes.

Add one-third of egg whites to yolk mixture, combining gently. Add remaining egg whites, folding gently to combine. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Do not remove from pan. Using a skewer, pierce cake 12 to 15 times. Pour 2 cups Rum Syrup onto cake. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook remaining 1 cup Rum Syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Invert cake onto serving platter. Drizzle with desired amount of thickened Rum syrup, reserving remainder for another use, if desired. Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes 12 servings

Rum Syrup Ingredients
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup rum

Method of Preparation
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 2 cups water, vanilla, and salt to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; add rum, whisking to combine. Cool completely. Makes 12 servings

This recipe was provided by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine. Check our Louisiana recipes and visit Louisiana Cookin’ for even more recipes. Check out the RUM CAKE PAGE and for other yummy Louisiana Thanksgiving dishes, CHECK THIS OUT.

As y’all know, I have two Cajun characters: Isabelle “Izzy” Fontaine (the heroine of ROGUE MOON) and her uncle Antoine Fontaine (the hero of BLUE MOON). Izzy cooks, having learned from her grandmother, the matriarch of the extended Fontaine clan. Antoine, being a Wolf, eats. Izzy brings out the big guns on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone loves her Rum Cake and if you check out the links, you’ll discover the other “unusual” and totally tasty dishes she prepares. Izzy’s hero is rogue Wolf,  Rudek “Rudy” Tornjak. Antoine claims Deputy US Marshal DJ Collier. You can read their stories by clicking on the covers or the titles. Read free with Kindle Unlimited. Note: ROGUE MOON is also included in MOONSTRUCK: BETRAYAL. Personally, I agree with Izzy (and all the Wolves). A little booze in dessert is a good thing because…yum! And I’m a fan of rum so there ya go. What about y’all? Do you like a little “hair of the Wolf” when you’re cooking or eating? And yes, I was being a bit obtuse and punny there. 😉

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Monday and Magic Dogs

How can this be the Monday before Thanksgiving?!?! At least the weather is feeling a bit more seasonal though turning the heater back on left me sneezing and hacking. It always does and eventually my stupid sinuses will figure it out. Life. It is what it is. 🙄 So…last week happened. And there was a weekend. There was writing, a magic ghost dog, Bedlam, and pretend Cuban sandwiches that were pretty darn tasty.

Let’s start with the writing. I hit 50K over the weekend and while that’s a “win” with National Novel Writing Month, the book isn’t finished. I was shooting for around 50K words and The End. Yeah, not happening. It’ll likely be closer to 60k, but that’s okay. The writing continues and it’s flowing and damn if I’m not enjoying this book. I’ve made myself laugh AND cry and sprinkled in some awwwws to boot. Now, if my readers will just react the same way. Still planning on being finished and ready to send off the publisher by the 30th. My final NaNoWriMo word count will shift as I go through edits.

Remember when I featured Zeta and Brodie on Tuesday Treats and Titles? With the Cuban Sandwich Appetizers? I made them last week, with the idea of dinner-size rather than apps. I couldn’t find deli pork loin, so I ended up buy thin-sliced pork sirloin and frying it up. I’ve also figured out–which I’ll try the next time–how to get the pickles on the inside.

Bedlam. It was awful. My Cowboys lost and the Sooners were big jerks. FYI, I actually attended a semester at OU and my whole family graduated from there. I’m an OSU fan because that’s where Lawyer Guy graduated. ‘Nuff said. Moving on.

Ghost dog. Who is either a reincarnation of Houdini, or magic. Last week, I went out to feed the ferals and only one was hanging around. A Siberian Husky was standing on the front walk sort of watching Shylock. I called to the pup but he backed off so I followed and shooed him home. Siberians are known as escape artists and tend to wander but they can usually find their way home. Well, a bit later, my boys are in the backyard and Boone is barking his intruder challenge bark. I hustle out there and see the husky on the other side of the fence with Boone and Jake both right there sort of challenging him. Exceptn when I get closer, he is NOT outside the fence. He’s inside it! Please understand that we have an 8-foot chainlink fence on two sides and the other two sides are 8-foot cedar privacy fences.

This is a long story, so bear with me. I snap a picture of him and I go to the Nextdoor App and post about him, saying I’d delay calling animal control until later in the day, to give the owners a chance to claim him. A lady who lives sort of in the area contacts me but in comparing pictures, my ghost dog is not her missing Siberian. I finally call the local animal welfare in the afternoon and they have a husky who just appeared at the shelter that morning, and that scratched on the door to be let in. The animal control officer described the husky she had, which matched the dog the neighborhood lady had lost. I told AC that I’d contact the lady, left my contact info on the ghost husky (he has a white face with masking only around the ears, hence…ghost) and said we could keep him for awhile as the shelter was full.

An hour or so later, AC calls. The owner of “my” husky is at the shelter. I say it’s fine for him to come to the house to pick up his dog. He gets lost. We aren’t that hard to find. AND, it turns out that he live across the street (catty-corner) and four houses down, so basically a block away. Anyway, the husky’s name is Zeus and he was very happy to see his dad. LG and I talked to him about the “care and feeding” of Siberians. They are very much pack animals and either want to be with their humans or with their doggy pack. Zeus is an only dog. So we wave goodbye and they drive off home.

Now, fast forward. We’ve eaten dinner and I’m carrying dishes to the kitchen to wash up and I’m staring at the back door. Which is open, with Zeus standing there halfway in, halfway out. I. Kid. You. NOT! So we call the owner. He comes back. I’m out there in the dark and I find where I think Zeus got through the fence. I jerryrig it to keep him out until we can make proper repairs in daylight. The damn dog keeps finding ways to get into the yard. We stop calling the owner and just shoo Zeus out. He knows where he lives. And Boone and Jake are no longer that thrilled with having a third doggo around. And Loki? The cat disappears for hours when Zeus has gotten inside. That’s like…Tuesday/Wednesday, right? Also Zeus came about 3 a.m. one morning and scratched at the front door to be let in. LG chased him off.

Fast forward to Friday night. Spaghetti dinner at the American Legion Post. I SHUT AND LOCK THE BACK DOOR. Jake and I head to the post to meet LG. I come home, LG is still there. We walk in and Jake goes on alert. THE BACK DOOR IS OPEN!!! I’m freaked and digging my pistol out of my purse. And then Zeus walks around the corner. *headdesk* It gets better. I shoo him out, trying to keep my boys inside as I slip out and I shut the back door behind. The back door that IS STILL LOCKED. And I’m outside. I can’t get back inside. Keys are in the house and the garage door doesn’t have an outside keypad. *HEADDESK* I call LG, he comes home to let me in. He finds where Zeus has managed to bugger up the chainlink on the gate. He rewires it, goes back to the Post to finish up what he was doing. The dog is gorgeous and way too smart for his owner’s good but a total pain in my (and my critters’) ass! He’s lonely. We tried to tell the owner. FYI, I STILL can’t figure out how he managed to get through a locked door. Just sayin’…

So that was my week and weekend. Words and a magic dog. What’s up in your world?

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Friday Sinema: Southern Mad

So…guys can be clueless. But women know how to handle them. Take a brief respite to watch what goes on in the mind of a southern woman when confronted by her clueless mate… Have a great weekend, y’all!

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Relevance

Back in the dark ages, when I went to college, one of my classes studied “The Peter Principle,” “Parkinson’s Law,” and “Murphy’s Law.” There were books. And discussions. And the class was actually a study of government bureacracy, case you are wondering. *koff*Forty*koff*five*koff* years later, I can still recite those laws, principles, corollaries, etc. that we studied. I can’t remember my cell phone number but I can remember those darn sayings. Anyway, what does this have to do with writing? Since I normally relate the tidbits the Universe drops in my lap to writing. Bear with me. 

Silver, have I ever told you about, “The Law of Relevance”?

It goes like this, “No matter how scared, or tired, or ill you are; no matter how lost, or confused, or desperate you become; no matter how lonely, depressed, or cranky you feel… if you just do what you can, with what you have, from right where you are, IT WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH.”

Pretty good odds, huh?

Your legal beagle,
The Universe

Silver, do you think “cranky” should have been used like that?

I had to laugh at the “afterthought” because my current hero is a bit on the cranky side. Jack would argue that observation but it’s true. And that definitely describes me before at least two cups of coffee in the morning. Some days, it takes three. Anyway.

Here’s how it relates to writing–at least as far as I’m concerned. I have a constant battle with depression. For several years, I managed to lose myself in the stories I created in my head and wrote down. And some were bought and published by publishers, others I published myself. And then self-doubt hit. And I didn’t do much of anything for over a year. So I did what I could. And I felt guilty about it because it didn’t seem like enough. At some point, here recently, something clicked in my head. “Do what you can, when you can,” a voice said. So that’s what I did. And I got a book finished, edited and published. And now I’m almost done with another book, though it won’t be published until February ’21. But see…I gave myself permission to do what I could do, with no guilt. Okay, without much guilt. And then the Universe reinforced that voice in my head. Bottom line, do what you can, when you can. In the long run, it all evens out and IT WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH! Now, I’m going to start my second cup of coffee so I can tangle with my cranky hero. 😉 What are you going to do today?

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Wednesday Words: Surreal Reality

Once again, we’ve arrived at mid-week and I’m thinking it’s UNREAL at how REALity is flashing by, making this whole time thing seem totally SURREAL. Have you guessed what the theme for today’s #1lineWed prompt is? This is a short snippet from FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE, my current WIP. It’s Halloween. There’s a “haunted hayride” sponsored by the local high school on Justice’s Wind Wolf Ranch. Jack has…well, I’ll leave it up to your imaginations. 😉
By the time dusk settled across the landscape, everything was in place. Three tractors ready to pull large, hay-filled wagons, their drivers dressed like demonic scarecrows, were lined up and ready. Justice pretended that a bunch of teens wouldn’t be snuggling into that hay, hugging and probably kissing between the scary stuff. The moon was almost full which cast an eerie glow across the land. There was a Freddie Krueger character. And since this was Texas, a guy in a bloody shirt with a real chainsaw. There were pop-up ghosts. And since the horses had been out in the sun all day, their painted skeletons absorbing the light, they looked terrifyingly real as they rambled around the pen munching hay. Brooke and Mia provided a bucket of carrots for people to feed them. The parking area was full, the tractors and wagons lined up ready for passengers to board, and a throng of people milled around admiring Halloween decorations, eating and drinking. Some took pictures of the horses.

Justice glanced at her watch. The only thing missing was…Jack. Surely he would have tagged her if he’d been called out. Then she heard it. Eerie. Echoing. Piercingly lonely. Everyone froze, including all the animals. The wolf howled again. The hair on the back of her neck prickled and every hair on her arm rose. And her phone pinged. She almost dropped the thing it startled her so bad. She opened the text app.

TEXT: Wolfman reporting for duty

She glanced around. People milled around, looking a bit nervous. She grinned and typed back. TEXT: Play the howl again. People are freaked.

Another howl ripped through the darkening night, a plaintive love song rising to the moon, turning a spooky night into something surreal. She had no idea where he’d gotten that recording but it was perfect.

She stepped up on a hay bale, cupped her hands and called out. “Who among you are brave enough to face the spirits haunting Wind Wolf Ranch? Know that the guardian spirit of this land will judge whether you are worthy.” She gestured toward the tractors. “Time to face your fates!”

Brooke, eyes rounded, grinned up at Justice. “That. Was. Awesome!”

And it totally was.
FYI, this is a first draft. I’ll edit out some of the redundant words, etc. Ignore typos. Yada yada. Also, the text messages will not have “TEXT” in front of them. That’s a note for the formatter so he knows to change the font. Anyway, a little late for Real Life Halloween but it’s Halloween in the book’s timeline. I hope you enjoy this surreal peek into both the real and unreal sides of this story. 😉 Writers, got unreal real surreal words to share? Readers, do you like an unreal touch of surreal or do you want everything real in your reading?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Cuban Sandwich Appetizer Squares

I do love me a good Cuban sandwich but I don’t always have the right kind of bread and other stuffs. Then I found this recipe. It is easy-peasy and yummy enough that we eat it as small sandwiches for dinner. Or for sitting around nibbling while watching TV.

Total Time: 45 Min.
Prep Times: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 30 Min.
16 servings (2 squares = 1 serving)

Finger food doesn’t get any more fun than Cuban Sandwich Appetizer Squares. With crescent dinner roll dough substituting for a sandwich bread and topped with a dill chip, Cuban Sandwich Appetizer Square aim to please. Try some at your next get-together.

What You Need
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, divided
1 pkg. (9 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Smoked Ham
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Extra Thin Swiss Cheese Slices
5 oz. deli-style roasted pork loin
3 Tbsp. HEINZ Yellow Mustard
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
32 HEINZ Hamburger Dill Chips

Let’s Make It
1 – Heat oven to 375°F.
2 – Unroll 1 can crescent dough onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; firmly press perforations and seams together to form 12×10-inch rectangle. Bake 5 to 6 min.
3 – Top baked crust with ham to within 1/2 inch of edges; cover with layers of cheese and roasted pork. Spread with mustard.
4 – Unroll remaining can of crescent dough as directed, except substitute sheet of parchment paper for the baking sheet. Flip dough and parchment over meat- and cheese-topped crust; remove and discard parchment. Press edges of dough together to seal, tucking under if necessary. Brush with butter; sprinkle with pepper.
5 – Bake 25 to 30 min. or until golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before cutting into 32 squares. Top each with pickle chip.

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Substitute: Substitute KRAFT Provolone Cheese Slices for the Swiss cheese.

Tip 2 – Size Wise: Try using a smaller plate at parties to help manage portions of your favorite appetizer recipes.

Tip 3 – Note: If necessary, cover top of appetizer loosely with foil near the end of the baking time to prevent it from overbrowning.

My Tip – Note: The 5-6 minute baking time for the bottom “crust” is included in the prep time NOT the overall cooking time. Seems some folks found that confusing over on My Food & Family, which you can CLICK ON HERE to get all the nutritional details. 😉

I do have one heroine of Cuban descent but she…doesn’t cook. Much. She kills people. No, really. Well, she used to kill people, until her last assignment when she was sent to assassinate a rogue Delta Force soldier who also happened to be a Wolf. You can read Zeta and Brody’s story in UNDER THE ASSASSIN’S MOON, which is a standalone novel but has ties to other books. FYI, Brody does the cooking and he makes these when the guys come over to the watch a game. 😉 If you don’t have the book, just click on the cover or the title. You can read it for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Have you ever had a real Cuban sandwich? The kind that’s hot and pressed? Yum! FYI, this is also one of my favorite cover.<3

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Sweet 16 Monday

Another weekend by the by and it’s Monday once again. Why does this keep happening every week? Of course, if we got Mondays banned, that would just put an extra burden on Tuesdays. And I’d much rather get rid of Daylight Savings Time. Yeah? *nod* Today is the 16th. I checked the calendar because I needed to make sure of the day. It IS Monday. In addition to the weekend, there was a week. To update those who want to know…

I’m closing in on 40K words in FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE. On track and pretty pleased with the story so far. I get inspired at weird times so I’m relearning to go with the flow when it hits. The good news is that I AM writing every day and clocking in over 2K at day. I have every intention of keeping that up once NaNoWriMo is over.

Saturday was a fun day. A wonderful member of the American Legion family had her birthday at the Post on Saturday afternoon. There were fun games and good food and a part of her family came up from Texas, along with several members of the Post. She’s full of energy and love and hugs and…yeah. Good people. Sunday was a lazy day of listening to audio books and writing.

I did some catching up on the DVR list. Of note, the Snow Owls were revealed on The Masked Singer last Wednesday. I was holding out for Vince Gill and Amy Grant until I saw last week’s episode and the “smackdown” to see which contestant(s) moved on to the finals. I recognized the male voice but couldn’t put a name to him. They turned out to be Clint Black and his beautiful wife, Lisa Hartman Black. I was sad to see them go. The rest of the shows were ghost or weird stuff related and nothing spectacular to relate.

I finished off my marathon re-listen to JD Robb’s In Death series with the new-ish release, SHADOWS IN DEATH. Awesome book! But now I have to wait until February for the next new release. I was at a bit of a loss for what to pick up next–darn book hangovers (and yes, SiD is hangover worthy!) so I picked through some lists I’d made. I came up with a series about dragon shifters (Fire’s Edge) written by Abigail Owen. The prequel novella, THE MATE, was okay and since I hadn’t found anything else in my stacks that jumped up and down for my attention, I clicked over to Book 1, THE BOSS. Dragon shifters, fated mates, and they pose as a hot shot crew located not far from Lake Tahoe. I enjoyed that book and I’m on to Book 2, THE ROOKIE. One more, so far, in this series. There’s a companion series that has 3 books in it but they aren’t available in audio yet. I’m also reading SAVAGED DEVOTION by one of my all-time favorite authors, Jennifer Lyon. This is the final book in the SAVAGED ILLUSIONS series. Sadly, I can’t devour it like I want because–eye issues. I will say that I was out-and-out crying at the end of the first chapter. The final HEA is going to be AWESOME!

Bye week for both college football teams I follow. Next week is Bedlam, when they play each other. I’m trying not to fret over Yadi Molina and Adam Wainright, my two favorite players with the St. Louis Cardinals. They are both free agents. My whole sports outlook is pretty slim this time of year. Moving on…

Well…actually, moving out. 🤣 I’m done. There’s no other news of which to update you fine people. So, time to get to work. I have many words to write this week–The End being two of them, hopefully. What’s up in your world? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

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Friday Sinema: Wick’s Kitty

Okay. I can admit openly that I LIKE the John Wicks franchise. Gratuitous violence, gun battles, awesome fights. I worry about any dogs in those movies, though. That said, here’s the perfect pet for John. Trust me, this 45 seconds is worth the click. 🤣 Have a great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Page 1

As y’all know, I’m just over half-way to my 50K minimum word count on my current WIP, FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE. We’re also 12 days into NaNoWriMo. I’d set myself a goal of 3K words a day. I actually hit that on Tuesday. The rest of the time, I’ve been logging in over 2K a day. What does this have to do with “Page 1” though? Think about. Before a book gets written, an author has to sit down and write the first page. It starts with the opening line, continues with a paragraph. Then another and another until about 450 words–more or less depending on dialogue and length of paragraphs–are written. That’s about a page. The thing is, we have to start that journey by writing that first line and getting to the end of page 1. The Universe dropped this into my inbox at just the right time.

When just starting out on a new journey, Silver, it’s only natural to feel vulnerable, like you have so much to lose.

But may I remind you that never again, at any other point in the same journey, will you have so much to gain?

I’ll take that as a “Yes.”

The Universe

And, Silver, that barely hints at how profoundly “the game of life” is rigged in your favor. Go for it and keep going for it! (I’m “wanted” in Vegas.)

Whether you’re writing a book or starting a new project, even if it’s as mundane as doing laundry, raking leaves, or reading a book (and I’m always hopeful that book you pick up is one of mine!), you have to start that “journey” somewhere. And isn’t it nice to know that the Universe has rigged the game in our favor? But that means we have to take the first step. Write the first word. No matter how vulnerable we feel. No matter how much we think that first page sucks. We have so much to gain by taking the chance.

I wrote my first page and approximately 28K more words to add to the total. I took that chance and it’s going to pay off with a shiny new book here in a few weeks. What will you gain when you take that first step of your journey today?

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