MJ Monday-Manuscript Excerpt

Besieged by the Moon (tentative release date July 8, 2020)

The cool night air felt light, as opposed to the heavy, humidity-laden summer nights of Phoebe’s home. Nothing weighed her down, not even the awkwardness of her mating with Parker.

“Are you okay to walk?” Parker asked, as if she hadn’t already walked to the diner.

“It’s not the walking that has me dawdling,” she admitted. “Your friend’s mate gives off a lot of negativity. I’m not in the mood to deal with attitude.”

“Well, you and Ethan were giving off some strange vibes,” Parker reminded her.

“You thought they were strange?” Phoebe’s voice rose half an octave. “Try being on our ends.”

“I still don’t understand it.”

Phoebe studied the overhead sky. Too much ambient light in town dimmed the stars, even though she viewed them through the shimmer of tears filming her eyes. “He reminded me of . . . someone. I don’t want to talk about it.”

They walked in silence, their footfalls scuffing on the uneven sidewalks. Most of the houses they passed were dark. Here a backyard light was on; there the pale bluish glow of late-night TV illuminated a window. A string of early Christmas lights twinkled on the eaves of another dwelling. Dog droppings scented the air.

They rounded onto the block on which Ethan’s house sat. Phoebe noted there was only one other house on the block, and it seemed to glitter in the feeble beams of the corner streetlamp.

Help me. Please.

Parker’s head jerked up. “Did you hear that?”

Phoebe nodded. She tilted her head to get a better sense of the direction from which the plea came.

Please. Somebody.

“Over there.” She pointed to the sparkly house across the street from Ethan’s.

“Helga,” Parker muttered, and sprinted toward the house.

Phoebe followed.

“Helga?” he called out. “It’s Parker Rowe, a friend of Ethan’s. Are you okay?

“I fell,” came the weak reply.

He tried the doorknob. Locked. “I’m going to have to break down your door,” he said.

“Wait,” Phoebe said. Wasn’t it just like a male to be destructive when a little finesse would do?

She didn’t have her tools on her, so it took about sixty seconds to disengage the lock rather than the fifteen it should have taken, but nothing was destroyed in the process.

The look Parker gave her as she opened the door, was quick but disturbing. He rushed past her to the occupant, who was sprawled in the middle of the living room floor. “What happened?”

Phoebe followed, nose prickling at familiar scent of burnt sage clinging to the air.

“The batteries in my TV remote are dead, and I haven’t had a chance to get to the store,” an old woman whined, as Parker knelt next to her. “I was going to turn on the TV and fell. I hate getting old.”

Thursday Thoughts: Food Obsession

I sometimes feel like I’ve obsessed about food my whole life. I have a tendency to enjoy eating. I love flavors. Textures. Food. Even as a child, I read cookbooks, looking for recipes to make. I’ve always enjoyed cooking.

Here’s the thing. I tend to be overweight. I’ve tried cutting calories, I’ve done Weight Watchers and became a lifetime member. And yet I’m still overweight.

I. Like. To. Eat. So I’ve changed my relationship with food.

I’m through apologizing for being hungry. If eating a bowl of ice cream makes me happy, then I’m going to be happy.

I know people who talk about good food and bad food. “Oh, I was bad and ate a crumb of fudge, so now I can’t eat anything except lettuce for a week.” Did the fudge make you happy? Does lettuce make you happy?

My categories are different. Do I like it? Then it’s a good food. Do I hate it? Then it’s a bad food.

 

MJ Monday-Music: Instrumental Jazz

Jazz triggers theta waves – inducing states of artistic and spiritual insight – which can assist dealing with complex issues.

I own several instrumental jazz CDs because lyrics can be distracting and jazz is very . . . fluid. The music is moody. Best of all, it’s depends on improvisation. The music demands the musician be swept into playing what is in her soul. Creative reservoirs are tapped and set free.  Just like when an author is in the flow of writing.

Book Review-Linda Howard: Son of the Morning

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

I once listened to an RWA workshop in which the presenter, an editor, said just once she’d like to read a submission where time travel was voluntary. My immediate thought  was you’ve never read Linda Howard’s Son of the Morning.

I love this book. It has time travel, a Scottish hero, a modern day (circa 1997) heroine on the run from some “deep state” thugs, murder, Knights of the Templar, instructions on how to live off the grid, and a true battle between good and evil.

The scenes in the beginning of the book alternate between 20th century USA and 14th century Scotland. The heroine is seeking; the hero senses someone is watching him, but doesn’t understand how. Of course, he knows why.

The heroine is a scholar who must develop other attributes to survive. The hero is a warrior with a secret.

Five stars.

MJ Monday-Movies: We’re the Millers

My husband and I watched We’re the Millers one night, and I couldn’t stop laughing. I bought my own copy of the flick and took it with me on my next writing retreat. My crit partners couldn’t stop laughing. At least one of them borrowed the DVD from me so she could show it to her husband.

Four disparate people come together to form a fake family on holiday in Mexico in order to smuggle marijuana into the US.  Their misadventures are hilarious. In the end, we learn that blood doesn’t necessarily make family.

5 stars.