Too Close – Part 2

You can find part 1 here

And now on to part 2!

I had narrowly missed hitting a moose. We were so close that, had I wanted to, I could have reached out the open window to pat her side. I chose not to.

My fingers were clenched so tightly around the wheel, I wouldn’t be able to move until the adrenaline left my system. She turned her massive head more fully toward me, blew a giant moose-sigh of snot out of her nose and sauntered off into the bush. I sat sideways in the road, listened to my pulse pound through my veins and prayed there were no transport trucks coming my way. Several jangled heartbeats later, I did a three-point turn and got myself facing the right way, but pulled off onto the shoulder of the road. I rested my forehead on the steering wheel and waited to stop quivering. Finally, I lifted my head. 

The first thing I saw was a lurid yellow and black sign warning me of moose crossing. 

I put the Jeep into drive and gave the sign the finger as I pulled away.

Too Close…

Portrait of a female moose

“Shitdamnmotherofchocolate!”

I jammed my foot down on the brake pedal, wrenched the steering wheel hard to the left, slammed my eyes shut and braced for impact.

And waited.

And waited.

I cautiously lifted one eyelid, half-expecting to see the Pearly Gates, but instead was treated to a wall of smelly brown hair.

I peered up into a soft brown eye…

What happened? Come back tomorrow and find out!

As The Crow Flies

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I hardly know where to start gushing about this book!

I expected a typical run-of-the-mill romance. I got so, so much more than that.

Ms. Williams is a superb writer, a story-teller in the finest sense of the word. She understands the fine dance of engaging your reader, sucking them in, capturing their heart and their imagination, and does not let go until the final word.

One of the central characters is Bertha the Crow, shown on the front cover. She is unique, smart, generous and loyal. More than I can say about some people I know. Sam, Liz, Gwen, and Isabel are all so well written that I want to go and have dinner with them. They have such captivating and intelligent conversations – they discuss everything from art history, quantum physics, string theory, the multi-verse, even possession and auric attachments. Even though I already knew about multi-verse theories and auric cameras, I did learn a great deal about other topics, so rest assured, this is not romantic fluff!

The level of writing is top-notch. It’s not all seriousness either. Check out this passage,
“…Everything was fine in the straight world until, one day, while Ken was away on a business trip and Skipper was at camp, Midge came over for a swim and found Barbie by the pool. Midge made margaritas, Barbie put on music, one thing led to another – what can I say? – the whole Mattel household went to hell.”
You can’t help but laugh out loud!

The author’s skill at writing visually enchanting passages is at a level rarely seen. In fact, her words painted such vivid pictures that my heart broke more than once. (Read the book, you’ll see what I mean). There are books we read, others we are absorbed by – consumed by – but this novel drew me in until the world around me faded away and was replaced by one constructed of images painted by written words. I did not want to leave that world, and I was sorry to see the story end.
This is a rare and moving novel that will teach you, break your heart, and show you what true love is.

Get it. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Home~A Review

Home

Can a chef from the Rose City find true love in the heart of Texas?

I was caught by the cover, so of course, I wanted to know the answer to that question!

I loved everything about this book, the cover, the descriptive passages painting a humid picture of Texas, the horses, and did I mention the cover? There is humour here, heartache, frustration, hope, and did I mention horses? The writing is top-notch. The characters are so real, you can feel their dreams, feel their disappointments, their passion and fears. I could smell the horses, see the stars, taste the food…oh, the food! The food alone is a great reason to read this book.
Seriously, I did not want this book to end. If I could give it fifteen stars, I would.
I will be reading this one again. It has definitely earned a place in my read-once-a-year-pile.

It’s that good.

And not just because of the horses.
Did I mention how much I love that cover?

Thank you to Jenn Alexander for a wonderfully captivating book, and Bywater Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review that resulted in my love affair with this book.

How To Find Justice

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Justice: noun. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause. … the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings.

Justice is a concept on ethics and law that means that people behave in a way that is fair, equal and balanced for everyone.

Most of us expect our fellow men & women to conduct themselves in a way that is fair and equal to everyone. Expectations like that range from “don’t take my stuff out of my yard, because it’s not yours” to “don’t let your dog roam free so it can bully my dog in my yard”. Going a bit further, we expect that those who do not follow the law will be dealt with by the justice system of the land, learn their lesson and refrain from repeating their actions. But we are so frequently proven wrong.

Politicians, big business, drug dealers and even my neighbour somehow are allowed to carry on as they always have, believing they are right in their actions – that they’re doing nothing wrong – and everyone else be damned.

So it’s no surprise that specific genres in the entertainment world are so attractive to those who no longer have faith in their justice systems. Mystery novels and short stories allow both writers and readers to live for a time in a world where bad guys (and gals) get their just desserts. They are apprehended and forced to pay the consequences of their misdeeds. Westerns, too, fill this need. Now, those two genres split off into sub-genres, but they fill one driving need – to see justice done. To see murderers caught, to see drug dealers captured and put away behind bars, to see extortionists, thugs, car thieves, rapists and con-men all stopped and forced to face justice.

But we all know modern life isn’t that simple. Our justice system (in any country) is not perfect. Not all the criminals are caught, not all are handed down punishments stiff enough to be a true deterrent from a life of crime. It has been said that in North America, we have more drug users behind bars than people convicted of hard crime. That may be true. If it is, then we are forced to admit that our justice system is falling off a horse of its own making. It is in a downward trajectory, and we mere mortals are powerless to fix it.

I believe that fiction has a role to play here.

Fiction can allow us to escape to a world where the bad guy is eventually caught, after a thrilling, nail-biting chase riddled with danger. Whether justice is delivered by a bounty hunter on the back of a horse in the desert or delivered by a cop that always gets his man…we read to find the justice we don’t always see in real life.

I think that’s why I write the stories I do. Because I want to see the bad guys get caught too. And in my stories, I have far more control than I do over my neighbour who lets her dog roam and bully my dog.

In my stories, the criminals are always caught. They always face justice, and it is always more than a slap on the wrist and an admonishment to live a better life.

Come and join me in my stories. While you’re at it, sign up for my newsletter and don’t miss out on subscriber-only perks, story updates, character reveals and more!

A Good Western : A Hill of Beans

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Even though this is #3 in the series, it was quite easy to read without having read the previous ones. I don’t think I missed out by jumping in at #3.

William W. Johnstone is the author of over 300 books, and while that kind of productivity as an author is staggering, this was my first introduction to his writing. It’s my understanding that this book was one of many written by either a basic outline or an unfinished manuscript by William W. Johnstone, after his death. While I found that tidbit interesting, as both an author and a reader, it did not detract from the story.

Let’s talk about the less-than-wonderful parts first.
There were a number of sentences that went on far too long. One in particular that stands out was an entire paragraph long. No, it was not dialogue. Passages like that can tire the reader. But I plowed on.
I would have liked to have been shown the land they rode through a bit more often. A better description of the cattle too.

Now, all that being said, this novel did have strengths.
The main character was well-developed, both in a easy-to-see sort of way and psychologically. His motivations were clear, relatable and he was a genuinely good guy.
Conflicts in the plot were resolved in a way that made sense for the land and the time.
It was an entertaining story that was easy to read and highly enjoyable.

I’m very glad Netgalley and the publisher granted me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Free! For A Limited Time Only!

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Like everyone else, I’m cursing this insidious, sneaky and frightening virus we’ve called COVID-19. It has touched so many people all across the world, on so many levels, and it’s not done with us yet. We’ll feel the effects for some time to come, I’m afraid. We need to rise above the overwhelm, and one of the ways we can do that is by reading.

Read novels, poetry, short stories, whatever strikes your fancy. In order to help you do that, I’ve put Undercover Justice on sale. For free. If the Old West is your thing, or you just simply like going back to an era where good battled evil and the moral code was easy to understand, you might like Undercover Justice.

It’s a short read, you can read it wherever and whenever you like. In whatever format you like, epub mobi pdf lrf pdb txt HTML. Slip over to Smashwords and check it out. If you like it, I’d be grateful if you left a review! Anyway, here’s the link you need to get the short story.

Happy reading!