Thursday, November 19, 2015

God Bless the Family! Linda Massucci

I am often asked why I choose to write family sagas. My response is simple- I think a family is the most valuable possession one can have in their life.

I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of houses and other children to play with after school & during the summer. Between five o'clock and six o'clock, the neighborhood became quiet. There wasn't a disaster occurring. Everyone was inside having dinner with their family.

When I was in elementary school, I was a walker. That meant my sister and I walked to and from school. Our father often walked with us to school. He took the time to ask about our teachers, friends we had in school, and the importance of getting good grades so we could be anything we wanted to be when we grew up. Our mother was waiting at home for us every day at 3:15. We knew my mother would ask about our day, what homework we had to do, and refuse our whines when we begged to play outside- instead of doing our homework first.

The weekends involved visiting relatives, going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and playing with my cousins. Imagine, children playing together without any structured activity, athletic uniforms, or driving to an amusement park for entertainment. We had one ball and everyone had to decide on the game we were going to play. If your game didn't get chosen, you told yourself to get over it...or your cousins would call you a whiny baby.

Families come in many shapes and forms. We can be raised by one parent, live in a home with cousins & aunts, or regard close friends as siblings. A family is a circle of people that care for each other, no matter the distance or misunderstandings that happen along the journey of life.

In a world where we pay people to listen to our problems, expect schools to raise our children, or blame society for life struggles- why don't we start preserving the family unit. It's family that teaches the important things in life- without many of us even realizing it. Those family dinners taught me the art of conversation & story-telling. Whenever my idea for a game with my cousins wasn't chosen, I learned acceptance & patience. The summer vacations spent at home, taught me the importance of creativity & imagination. The morning walks to school with my father provided me with the self-esteem to dare to take risks in life, and that I was important enough to be listened to and respected by any man. My mother's rule of doing homework before play taught me the importance of perseverance, and sometimes you have to do things you don't like- but you will live, so stop whining.
God Bless the Family.

Linda Massucci writes family sagas with a constant theme of the importance of family, faith and values. She also dabbles in short stories, educational literature, travel journalism and photography. Linda is presently working on the sequel to her 2015 novel, ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The sequel will be called ‘Mama’s Bookends’ and continues the story of Elizabeth Manciano, a young lady who realizes that family & faith are the most important things in life from her wise & charismatic Grandpa Frank.

Linda Massucci writes a monthly blog about her dog, Maggie- the smartest dog in the world. She also blogs about her travels across America and the importance of family. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please visit her website at to find her social media links or purchase her writings.

Meet Crystal Anne and her storybook persona "Huggy Dougie"!

Crystal Anne is a children's book author that is just beginning her adventure with her storybook persona, Huggy Dougie, based on her son’s journey through life with Down syndrome.

Huggy Dougie’s adventures are the result of Crystal Anne’s adaptations of her son’s life as seen through both of their eyes. The author hopes that these adventures will provide entertainment and learning opportunities for both parents and children. Her hope is to inspire a passion for reading and creativity.

Being a parent of a Special Needs son is the greatest honor I have every experienced. Every day is full of surprises. Through my relationship with my son, I have learned so much about life and what it is that makes us who we are later in life. The wonder and innocence I find in my son's world is the inspiration for Dougie's adventures. Dougie is a loving boy, full of emotion and always seeking friendship. Thank you for taking the time to live in my world and help us introduce Dougie to your family!

To follow Crystal Anne, please visit the following social media outlets:

Facebook :




Opening Prayer by Patti J.Smith for "Thirsty Thursday" 11/19!

The Perils of Procrastination - Flora Reigada

The editor's eyes lit up with interest as he read an excerpt from the devotional on which a friend and I were collaborating. This was years ago at a Christian writers conference.

"Email me a copy," he said, sitting across from us. "I'd like to review it."

The words echoed in my mind. They were a writer's dream-come-true. A big smile spread across my face until my friend's hesitant expression made it fade.

"Let me give the book another quick edit," she said. "We'll get it to you soon."
Although my heart sank, I told myself my friend should know. She had worked as an editor.
However, her "quick edit" stretched into endless rewrites for both of us. We emailed excuses instead of the book.
Over the next several years, we submitted it for consideration at two more conferences. Editors expressed interest and each time, my friend declined for one more "quick edit." In her "professional" estimation, our devotional was never good enough.
Eventually, I gave up in disgust and moved on to other projects.

The devotional was relegated to my all-but-forgotten archive files. It never went anywhere; at least that's what I thought until a lazy afternoon found me flipping through devotionals in a Barnes & Noble bookstore. One title stopped me short. It was nearly identical to the devotional my friend and I had written.

I sat down for a closer look, reading devotions with the same message and composition. But when I recognized a name in the credits, my mouth popped open. That name belonged to one of the editors who had expressed interest in the devotional. She had obviously contracted another writer to deliver what we had not.

Turns out, the book was an international best-seller, translated into several languages. It became a series.

I briefly considered legal action, but then remembered the Parable of the Talents, related in Matthew 25:14-30. In the parable, a wealthy man gave three servants talents (money) to invest in his absence. Two invested wisely, but one hid his talent. He was called wicked and lazy and his talent was given to another. That had a familiar ring.
Believing the book contained a message God wanted proclaimed, I declined legal action.

Still, it was a hard lesson and one reiterated in a dream as I heard these words repeated: "We don't get things by wishing."
We get them by being faithful and following through.

Flora invites you to visit her blog:
Amazon author page:

Read the 1st Chapter of Clay More's "Mistletoe and Crime" RIGHT NOW!!!!!


Christmas Eve, 1882

Toby Winstanley had been desperate to leave Chimneys Hall to snatch a few precious moments with Rosalind in the snow-covered grounds before the gong for dinner.
The snow had been falling for several hours and the roof of the Elizabethan home that he shared with his father, Sir Roger Winstanley was covered in a thick white blanket through which the half dozen tall, graceful chimneys, so typical of 16th century manor houses and halls, rose to send streams of smoke upwards into the falling snow. In the moonlight the hall and the gardens sparkled like an enchanted landscape.
And that was how it felt to Toby as he made his way to his tryst.
He was seventeen years old and utterly in love. His life had totally changed in the last year, when his main interests had been sport, art and all the other pursuits of a youth of his class and breeding. Christmas too now held a different magic for him, for he was eager on this Christmas Eve to give the present he carried inside his coat and to see the effect it would have on his beloved.
The ground was covered in four inches of snow and the tracks he left from the house, across the lawns and into the copse of yew and oak trees would be obvious for anyone to see from the house.
His breath came fast, condensing into puffs of steam in the cold atmosphere. Then he felt a momentary sense of disappointment, for Rosalind had left no trail.
Why, has she not come? He thought to himself. But she must! I have to see her.
He trudged through the topiaried box hedges, covered in a patina of snow and entered the copse of trees that contained the private family graveyard of the Winstanleys. It was a place that he had loved since he was a small boy, for he had enjoyed climbing in the trees and pretended to be an explorer. Of late, it meant much to him, for his mother had been laid to rest there a mere year before.
It had worried him that Rosalind might not care to meet him there, but she had smiled and told him she would meet him anywhere, so long as it was private.
But still no tracks. She could not have forgotten their appointment, surely? That would be impossible. Unbearable, even.
He moved through the trees to the tall iron railings that enclosed the cemetery and there, standing waiting for him under the canopy of an oak tree, was Rosalind.
“My darling,” he said, rushing to her and sweeping her into his arms. “When I didn’t see your footprints I thought you had not come.”
She was a head shorter than he, who was already six foot tall and broad of shoulders. She was dressed in a black cloak with the hood drawn up over her head.
“I came the back way, of course,” she said. “I worried when the snow started to fall, lest my footprints would show. But I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
He raised a trembling hand to touch her face. “Do you mind if I touch you?”
He could see her tremble, too. Her full red lips quivered and he could swear that in the moonlight she blushed.
“I think…I think, you are so beautiful. I love your blonde hair and those dazzling blue eyes and this,” he touched her retroussé nose, “lovely, beautiful face.”
She sighed and raised her hand to touch his face. “Just as I think you are so handsome. I love your hair that is as black as coal, your smiling mouth and that dimple in your chin.”
He laughed. “It is from my mother’s side, God rest her soul.”
His eyes momentarily strayed to the marble gravestone on the other side of the railings. “How I miss her, Rosalind.”
She squeezed his hand. “As do we all, Toby. All of us.”
He shook his head as if dismissing any further thoughts. “But we have so little time, my love. Here,” he said, reaching into his coat and drawing out a small wrapped package. “I have a Christmas present for you. Open it now.”
“But it is not yet Christmas day,”
“I will not be able to see you open presents on Christmas day, so humor me and open it now.”
Her mouth broke into a smile. “Only if you will open the one I have brought for you.” She reached inside her cloak and drew out a small rectangular package.
“Together, we open them together,” he said with a smile. “That is how I want us to do things forever, Rosalind. Together.”
She gave him a wan smile and tears formed in her eyes. “This place is so beautiful, so magical,” she said as carefully she opened the wrapping to reveal a small box. She opened it and gasped with pleasure to see a small gold locket studded with diamonds. “It is beautiful!”
“It was my mother’s, given to her by her mother. My grandfather brought it back from India and gave it to her.”
“But Toby, I cannot…”
“You can, Rosalind, and I want you to wear it always.”
She acquiesced and clipped it around her neck as he continued to unwrap his gift.
“My goodness, a fountain pen. This must have cost…”
“It is worth every penny if it pleases you, my dearest Toby.”
“It does and now, do you know why I asked you to meet me here in this very specific place?”
“Is it so that your mother’s spirit could see us? Bless us in a way?”
He laughed. “You are right. But look up above.”
“Why, the tree is full of mistletoe!”
“It is. Very apt for Christmas Eve, don’t you think? It is so right for me to kiss you and for us to plight our troth.”
“But Toby, we cannot. We are both only seventeen years old.”
Before she could say anything further he slid his arms around her and kissed her passionately.
“That is true. Yet when I am of age it is you that I will ask to be my wife. Only you. Until then, I want us to meet whenever we can, but especially under this mistletoe every Christmas Eve to reaffirm out vows. This mistletoe shall be a symbol of our love.”
“Our eternal love, Toby.”
They kissed again.

What do think? Clay would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment here at the bottom of the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar of the blog. Thanks You!!!!!!

Drop by Clay More's Amazon Author Page:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

We LOVE Twitter!!!!!!

We love Twitter!!!!!!

We use it to for our "Thirsty Thursday" Parties,to announce new releases,contests,to get your ideas and feedback on covers,stories and much much more!

Look on our sidebar and see our Twitter feed. If you like what you see we would LOVE to have you as a follower.We do follow back!

Our Twitter link is:

We hope to see you there!!!!!!!

U R INVITED!!!!!! Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday" Party! 11/19@8PMEST!

Join us on Facebook:
Or Twitter @HelpingHandsPre
We hope to see you there!!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Please HELP Clay More chose a cover for "Mistletoe and Crime" - A Victorian Christmas Tale

MISTLETOE AND CRIME - a Victorian Christmas tale

By Clay More

It is Christmas 1882 in London and Sir Roger Winstanley has died suddenly, leaving his fortune to his 17 year old son, Toby. But Toby is in the first flush of love and dare not allow his uncle and guardian, Tremaine Winstanley to know about the girl he adores. A kiss and a pledge under a very special mistletoe will change his life forever.
At least for as long as he can stay alive.

Which one do you like and WHY???????

Please leave your thoughts here under the blogpost in the comment section,in the "Contact Form" on the blog sidebar, or leave a comment on Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest,wherever you find this post.We value your opinion! Thank you very much!

Read the 1st Chapter of Big Jim Williams "A Deadly Fire" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

“Jake Silverhorn’s Revenge”

Volume 9

“A Deadly Fire”

By Big Jim Williams

Jake Silverhorn reached Canaan by nightfall, his exhausted horse barely able to walk. He left the animal at the livery for feeding and care, told the stableman about the stagecoach holdup and explosion and to hold the horse for the stagecoach company.
“You back in town for long?” asked the stableman.
Jake nodded, too tired to say much more.
“Saw that Leviticus bank robber feller sneaking around, riding outside of town a few hours ago,” said the stableman. “Skedaddled like a scalded dog on hot coals.”
“You or Leviticus?” asked Jake.
“Both. I ain’t friendly to men who kill people and rob banks, especially when I got some money in there. Told one of the Sheriff’s deputies. They’re out lookin’ for him right now. You still chasin’ that no-account?”
“Till there are no tomorrows.” Jake draped his rolled blanket over his shoulder. “Hold my saddle, saddle blanket and bridle,” he said, “till I find another horse.” Although his cash was getting low he handed the man some money.
Jake would love to be back riding Concho, if he’s healed by now, or even straddling Ranger or Mae’s favorite horse, Belle, all stabled in Tumbleweed, but that was miles away and he had a killer to catch. When all of this was over he’d pick up his horses and take them back to his ranch in Mesquite.
He buttoned his sheepskin coat. The nights were getting cold. The blanket might come in handy. He carried his repeating rifle up the street toward The Rose Café where a pale light seeped through its fogged window. His rumbling stomach needed food.
The former painted lady greeted Jake with a tired but friendly smile. “Figured you’d be back,” she said, clearing a table in a corner. “Hear that damned killer, Leviticus, you been chasing, has been seen skulking around Canaan again.”
“Got time to fix a starving man a thick steak?”
“We’re about to close, but we got time to fix eats for any man tracking that son of a bitch.”
The tired cook sighed in the kitchen, hoping the newcomer’s meal wouldn’t dirty the stove he’d just cleaned. He’d planned to go home early and soak his aching feet.
“Ain’t surprised you’re back,” continued Rose. “How do you want your steak?”
“Thick and well done, fried under a foot of onions. Take your time. Gonna down a couple of your beers first.”
Jake settled in a dark corner back from the front window. He needed a sympathetic ear but didn’t want lots of questions. He lifted a stiff leg and pushed out a second chair when Rose returned with his suds and filled the seat with her fleshy body.
“Wanted posters up all over town,” she said.

What do you think? Big Jim love your feedback! Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or feel free to use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar. Thank You!!!!!

If you enjoyed what you have read and would like to start reading Big Jim's series,here is the Amazon Kindle link to the first story:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nothing New Under the Sun - Peggy Blann Phifer

Solomon wrote: “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 [NKJV]

By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation. We spend hours upon hours trying to come up with something new, something to challenge Solomon’s observation.

Yet, he’s right. As writers we depend on our creative imaginations to take something old and make it new. And that’s the fun–and frustrating–part of being an author.

So, how do we do that? A few notable examples: Liz Curtis Higgs wrote a series of books retelling the story of Isaac and Rebecca; Jacob and Esau, and Leah and Rachel. She set the stories in Scotland’s Lowlands in the late Eighteenth Century and into the Nineteenth. Different character names, of course, and I loved them! If you’re curious, the titles are: Thorn in my Heart, Fair is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince.

Remember the account in Genesis 34 where Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, (from Leah) was violated in Shechem? Well, Liz wrote a book about that, with a twist. The Bible says nothing about Dinah, and she’s only mentioned in this one chapter. However, Liz makes Dinah unable to speak. I’ll not spoil the rest for you. That title is Grace in Thine Eyes. Excellently written.
Another excellent retelling is from Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love, which presents the story of Hosea and Gomer in a more modern setting. This one I could not put down. I believe it’s a book everyone should read.
Can you think of any others you’ve read–not necessarily Biblical stories–that fall into this type of taking the old and making it new? I’d love to learn about them.

A little something about me

I came to writing late in life. Oh, I dabbled with it through the years, even took the Institute of Children’s Literature course. But I quickly found out that writing for children was not my cup of tea. Though I finished the course, I searched for that special something that would spark my creativity.

It wasn’t until I reached the half-century mark that I discovered my niche, so to speak. Yet it took twenty-three years to see my first book published…Indie published, that is, through CreateSpace and Kindle KDP.
Since then I’ve had numerous short stories released in anthologies, penned a Christmas novella, and am currently under contract to write a series of short stories of my own.

But it hasn’t been an easy road. A series of optic TIA’s have left me with several permanently opaque spots in both eyes through with I cannot see. That resulted in losing my driver’s license two years ago. I can no longer read print books, so I rely on my Kindle and Kindle apps to feed my voracious reading appetite. Thank goodness for computers which allow me to enlarge the font in my documents to enable easy writing!

Drop by Peg's Amazon Author Page to see all of her wonderful titles and much more!

Where Did “SLIPPERY WILLIE” Come From? By Larry Peterson@slipperywillie

Way back “in the day” when I lived in New Jersey, the wife and I decided that it would be nice to share our home with some less fortunate children. So we became foster parents. We had no agenda save ‘sharing’ ourselves and our home and what we had with others. However, we committed to sharing our two young sons also. Their ages were six (6) and almost three (3). Yes, at that point in time our decision making was somewhat “Pollyanna-ish”.

We were supposed to have a boy of 12 come to live with us. At 2 p.m. on the appointed day, the caseworker, Deirdre, pulled up and two boys, aged six (6) and three (3), jumped out of her car. I said nicely, “They don’t look like a 12 year old. Do the two of them even add up to being 12 years old? Now we have two sets of twins. This is a trick, right?”
Overworked and obviously stressed she assured me it was “no trick”. Plus, she was rubbing a big, red welt on the side of her face the result of being whacked by three year old Brian with his shoe. But I digress. Suffice it to say, for the next two years our family life was, to say the least, somewhat unconventional. Now you might be asking, what does this have to do with Slippery Willie? Well, here it is.

Brian was one month shy of being three and was hyper-active, possessing scant self-control in any of his behavior. He did not even speak. Rather, he growled. He would put anything that would fit, into his mouth. He chomped on tree bark, dirt, leaves and even swallowed rubber bands (we discovered that after one of his adventurous potty visits).
Besides the child’s bizarre penchant for eating all sorts of junk, munk and gunk, Brian would get up and just run across the room. He would smack into the wall and fall backward onto his butt. He would bounce back up and keep on going. He would run out the front door and stumble down the steps. And, he would bounce back up and keep on going. Bottom line—he NEVER got hurt. It was amazing. Then his big brother, Joey, says, “I think Brian got slippery feet.”
That six word sentence is what spawned my children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. Here is the description from the back of the book:

“Willie Wiggles hates his slippery feet. He just slips, slides and spins all over the place. But what he hates even more are the special shoes that have been made for him that will help him to walk just like all the other kids. Willie thinks that they are the ‘stupidest, ugliest shoes in the whole world.” Come and discover how sometimes we worry about things about ourselves when actually there is nothing to worry about in the first place.

The publisher of that book set up my Twitter and Blogger sites using the words, Slippery Willie. That publisher (traditional) went out of business last March and all rights reverted to me. The Twitter username and my web/blogger site has been using Slippery Willie since it was published in 2011. And there you have it, the birth of “slipperywillie”. Anyway, the username at Twitter remains @slipperywillie . Slippery Willie also lives on in his book and on the blog;

Final thoughts: Joey and Brian, our foster boys, lived with us from 1974 thru 1976. They became part of our family. Our kids morphed into being their brothers and they called us ‘mom and dad’. They had no contact with their mom and after two years we inquired about adopting them. That is a whole other story but, when the adoption process was initiated, their mom resurfaced and they were removed from our home and returned to her. She moved to Florida and managed to place them in a foster home somewhere near Fort Lauderdale. When Brian left us he was behaving as a normal five year old and attending kindergarten. We heard that he reverted and was placed in a school for developmentally disabled kids. That was very sad news. We did try to keep track of their whereabouts but after some time passed we lost all contact. Funny thing is, even after 40 years I do not believe that story has reached its conclusion..

Larry is the author of "The Demons of Abadon" series that is available on Amazon Kindle,Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link to "Volume One-Shadows and Light":

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Read the 1st Chapter of Larry Peterson's "History of Invidia" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Back at the police station Ed Martin was sitting on the edge of his desk. He was looking down at Micah Lightfoot who was sitting in the chair nervously looking up at him. His thigh was pressed into Micah’s shoulder. Ed ran his hand over his head combing his fingers through his hair. He slowly said, “Look Micah, the Great Festival of Torment is Monday. Our mission is almost complete. Leviathan has waited one hundred years in earth time to be adulated by his followers and presented with the oblation of a pure soul. You and I are still in our earthly state and, as the chosen mortals, we are in the forefront of this celebration. We have pledged ourselves to Leviathan himself. So Micah, tell me, please , please tell me, does ANY of this ring a bell with you?”
Ed’s sarcasm wrapped itself around Micah and he answered, “Don’t be ridiculous, Ed. I know what’s going on.”
“You do, do you? Well, we have less than a FREAKIN WEEK TO GO!”
Having screamed that at Micah he pulled his right arm over his left shoulder and then swung it down at Micah, back handing him across the right side of his face. Micah’s head spun and he fell from the chair. Ed stood over him, glaring down. Then he lifted his head, extended his arms and let out a blood curdling growl/scream that was more animal in sound than human.
Micah was terrified. “Please Chief, please, I know all of this. I look at that kid every day and I am reminded of that pledge. I know full well what I have pledged. Don’t worry, don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
Ed lowered his head and shook it back and forth. He opened his eyes and looked at Micah and said in a low, deliberate voice, “Okay Micah, okay. Just remember, his earthly sycophants will be begin arriving any day now. Preparations are almost complete. There can be NO screw ups. Do you understand, Micah? NO SCREWUPS!”
“Yes Ed, I know. I know. You do not have to be telling me these things. Don’t worry, nothing will go wrong.”
“Then what is going on with Jacob? You tell me. Why is he visiting those people? He never visited anyone before. ”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how that started.”
“Well, you know why Jacob has been entrusted to you. The time has now come to honor your word to our Master. A few days from today Jacob becomes oblation. Just a few more days. We have kept him isolated for all of these years. We have prepared him. He knows fear. He knows misery. He knows torment. We have kept him pure and Satan will be proud. And now, when we have a few days to go, he starts visiting folks. This is not good. You had better make sure he goes nowhere. You know the consequences for screwing up.”
Micah summoned up a bit of courage and said, “The hell with you, Ed. I got no more time for this. I am going to find Jacob.”
Micah Lightfoot had treated his son as if he were nothing more than a stray mongrel that he allowed to hang around his house. No child should have ever been subjected to such mean and callous treatment. But Micah knew no other way. When Ed Martin had ‘converted’ him he had agreed to offer his boy to the world of the “ungood”. Upon doing so he had tried to make himself hate his own son. The extra money, good health, cushy jobs and even all of his women “friends” were perks Micah received for trading his son to Satan. He was even given many extra years of a healthy and prosperous earth life. Ironically, all of these “perks” had brought him nothing but a deep sense of self-loathing.
There was another problem conflicting Micah. Down deep inside of himself, under the feigned hate reinforced by continual drinking, he could not truly hate his own son. He had tried to bury the love that was inside him. He had almost quenched the flame but a spark still remained. Now, with the Festival of Torment only two days away, that spark was flickering brighter than it had in a very long time.
Micah was having doubts erupt deep within him. He was a prisoner of the ultimate paradox; he was trying to hate and love someone at the same time. He needed a drink. He had no idea that his wife, before she died, had baptized her son against his wishes. Jacob’s soul was a thing of pure beauty and the love that came from it was something Micah never could truly escape.

What did you think? Larry would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar of the blog! Thank you!!!!!!

If you would like to try the series, and start reading from the beginning with Volume One,here is the Amazon Kindle link.It is also available on NOOK and KOBO:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Read the 1st Chapter of Clay More's "Guilty As Sinned" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

“Just squeeze the arms of that chair as hard as you can. I assure you; it will only hurt for a moment.”
She looked up at him, her eyes showing no trace of fear. If anything there seemed to be a glint of amusement in them. And then she quite deliberately winked at him.
That wink flummoxed him for a moment. It made him think of another pair of hazel eyes, just as beautiful as these, regarding him over the rim of a teacup. There had been the same look of amusement, and almost exactly the same wink.
He forced the image from his mind as he took a firm grip on her lower jaw and inserted his ebony handled toothkey into her mouth. He maneuvered the hook around the loose tooth and, momentarily releasing her jaw, he swung the swivel device so that he had a firm grip upon it. Then he took hold of her jaw again and smiled reassuringly.
“I am going to count to three, Angelica, then I’ll pull. Are you ready?”
She winked again.
He then suddenly rotated the instrument, back and forth in three swift movements then pulled. Long experience had taught him that if you performed the maneuver swiftly, a moment before the patient was expecting it, then the extraction went well with the minimum of pain.
And although he tended to use forceps in most cases, there were still occasions such as this when the good old dental toothkey was still a useful instrument.
“Wow! You cheated on me a bit, didn’t you, Doctor Quigley! Let me have one last look at that tooth, if you don’t mind.”
Marcus Quigley held up the toothkey with the pearly white tooth still ensnared in the hook and swivel plate. “It was a healthy tooth, I am afraid,” he explained with a sorrowful shake of his head. “But it had to come out. Whoever gave you that punch in the face knocked it so loose that there was no way I could save it.”
Angelica Queen turned and as delicately as she could, spat blood into the spittoon at the side of the dental chair.
“Sorry, Doc, that isn’t very lady-like,” she said, gingerly feeling her jaw. Then she smiled. “But not many people have ever thought of me as much of a lady.”
Marcus smiled at the woman’s brashness. He had met her a couple of times before when he had last visited Sage Fork on one of his regular stop-overs every two or three months. Hank Greville the barber would rent out his back room, complete with a barber’s chair so that he could set up a temporary dental surgery.

Angelica was one of the town’s prettier doves. She was cheerful and brash and but for some better luck in life, Marcus could have imagined her as an actress or artist’s model, rather than a calico queen in some of the less salubrious establishments in town.
He had first seen her at the Four Aces Saloon when she had offered to sit and drink with him to bring him luck before he drew up a chair to play poker. So they sat and drank and then he played and won. That was the extent of their relationship. It was purely a business transaction. He bought her a drink and she brought him luck. It had also worked on the second occasion, on his second trip to town.
Marcus dropped the tooth into a zinc basin and then washed the toothkey before wiping it clean and placing it on the side table with his other instruments. “I hope that you got the law onto whoever did that to you, Angelica? By the size of the bruise, I’d say that was a man’s fist.”
She gave a hollow laugh. “The law? The law has no use for girls like me, Doc. But don’t you worry, because I am going to get even with the cur that did this to me. I am going to hurt him more than he would believe possible.”
“You know who did it, then?”
“What sort of a girl do you take me for, Doc? Of course I know, and soon everyone around here will know about him. And I don’t just mean about what he did to me. It will destroy him!”
Marcus stroked his neatly clipped mustache with the back of his forefinger. “Revenge can be a powerful emotion that can eat into you, Angelica. Be careful.”
And as he said it his mind flashed up the image of those beautiful hazel eyes that had winked at him all those years before. The recollection brought with it that familiar stab of guilt, for he had failed to protect her. He had not been there when he should have been and she had been the one who had suffered.
Once again he forced the thought from his mind.
“So that will be a dollar for the extraction, Angelica.”
She sat back and pouted at him. “A whole dollar, Doc.” She winked at him again and swayed her legs back and forth so that her dress rustled. “Couldn’t we come to some arrangement?”
Marcus sighed. He liked Angelica, but until he had settled a score for a death that weighed heavily on his mind, he was determined not to allow anyone to get close to him.
“It is just a dollar, Angelica.”
With good humor she stood up and opened the strings on her purse.

“You can’t blame a girl for trying, Doc. Maybe I can bring you luck at the Four Aces sometime soon.” Then her expression went serious. “But you mark my words, the worthless cur who slapped me around is going to have a serious change of fortune. Their luck will have run out by tomorrow. I am going to take everything that they hold dear. I am going to destroy all of their precious plans.”
Marcus held the door open for her and watched as she walked coquettishly past all of the men waiting for Hank Greville to cut their hair or give them a shave. All of them were drawn to the provocative sway of her hips as she walked.
He wondered if whoever had hit her realized that a dove’s retribution was soon about to change their life.

CLAY MORE is the western pen-name of Keith Souter, part doctor, medical journalist and novelist. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and is the current Vice President of Western Fictioneers.

He has also written a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Doctor Marcus Quigley published by High Noon Press in both paperback and ebook. Doctor Marcus Quigley is a dentist, gambler and occasional bounty hunter who is on a mission to find the the man who murdered his benefactress.

He is also one of the authors of the Remington Colt Wells Fargo series by High Noon Press.

Check out Clay's blog MORE ON THE RANGE

FIVE more Questions with Joseph Max Lewis!!!!!!

-If you could be a Superhero what would your powers be and why?

Mind Control. Figure out why for yourself but understand this, peasants, the Pittsburgh Steelers would never lose a football game as a result of all the crappy calls made against them and the Patriots would never have won some of those allegedly bogus Superbowls, though they did get screwed over by the Oakland Raiders in that playoff game the year the Raiders "won" it all . . . which would not have happened if I had mind control either. Just sayin.

-Does your Faith influence your writing and if so in what way?

Yes. Truth exists. Often its hard to find and when it is found demands we make difficult choices. Some of those choices don’t "feel" Christian or "tolerant." That reality underlies all my writing and each of my stories. It is counter cultural and, believe it or not, not just in the secular world, but increasingly among Christians, especially "well" educated (ie indoctrinated) ones.

-What was your worst part-time/summer job experience?

After three years in Army Special Forces, a year in a steel mill, and four years of college, at the end of my first year of law school I was low on money, so I took a job making sandwiches at a Pittsburgh sandwich shop. It was hot, most of my classmates were rich kids off to Europe or someplace for the summer and my boss was a pimply faced 19 year old asst. manager. So after 3 or 4 corrections by him on the proper way to cut and stuff the meat into the bun (he was right) I finally got the hang of it and my future was assured. "You know," he said, watching me, "that’s pretty dang good. Keep that up and I’m going to promote you to ‘grill man.’"

-What is your Favorite TV Series and what character would you play in it?

I don’t watch TV, only movies, news and the novelty channels like Discovery, History, etc.

-If you had to choose a "Last Meal", what would it be?

- Turkey with stuffing (in the bird, no bread crumbs in casserole dishes, please!), mashed potatoes, gravy (both real), corn, cranberries, hot rolls. If you want desert, you haven’t eaten enough.

-What are your Top 5 Favorite Books and/or Characters?

Lord of the Rings-Faramir, The Gunslinger-Roland, or maybe Oy. The Forever War, The Cross of Iron, First Blood.

-What is your go to Social Media platform –Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest,Blog/Website-and why?

Goodreads is my favorite. GR not only has great technology, platforms and apps specifically designed for writers and readers, it is nothing but a community of readers and writers. I can blog, receive and respond to an email from one of my readers, read rankings and reviews of my books, schedule events and post my own opinion of books. It’s a great place for a reader or writer to be.

Drop by Joseph Max Lewis website to keep up with all of the latest and greatest news:

How many sunrises do I really need to see in my life? - Linda Massucci

A few times a year I do something that not many people know about. I wake up before the sunrise, make a cup of coffee to go, place my camera equipment & a blanket in a backpack, and drive away in my car.

My destination is decided that morning when the alarm clock sounds at five o’clock. I live in Connecticut, so within an hour I can either see the sunrise at the ocean, or in the hills overlooking a dairy farm. Once I reach my destination, I set my tri-pod, roll out my blanket, and wait for the sunrise as I enjoy my coffee.

Recently, I took a friend with me on a sunrise journey in the hills of Litchfield, Connecticut. While driving to our destination, there were a few grumbles of how dark and cold it was at five o’clock in the morning. Other questions included, Why do you wake up this early on a Saturday? How many sunrises do you really need to see in your life? What are you going to do with all these photos?

We finally arrived on a quiet, country road off of Route 7. The fall foliage was beautiful- almost at its peak, and there was a thin layer of frost on the ground. The morning mist gave an eerily feeling across a pond, but the horses in the distance didn’t seem scared. A farmer driving his tractor towards a silo gave a wave, as we sat with our coffee and waited for the sun to make its arrival.

Although I enjoy morning sunrises by myself, I always smirk when I am with a friend and the sun begins to rise. Every time, the experience is the same- talking stops, breathing slows to a steady pace, and their eyes never leave the sky. On the way home, I am never asked why I get up so early on my day off from work to watch the sunrise, or what I will do with the photos.
Our soul needs to hear peace and our body needs to feel nature; interesting how both these needs are only found from God’s creation. How many sunrises do I really need to see in my life? As many as God will let me.

Linda Massucci writes family sagas with a constant theme of the importance of family, faith and values. She also dabbles in short stories, educational literature, travel journalism and photography. Linda is presently working on the sequel to her 2015 novel, ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The sequel will be called ‘Mama’s Bookends’ and continues the story of Elizabeth Manciano, a young lady who realizes that family & faith are the most important things in life from her wise & charismatic Grandpa Frank.

Linda Massucci writes a monthly blog about her dog, Maggie- the smartest dog in the world. She also blogs about her travels across America and the importance of family. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please visit her website at to find her social media links or purchase her writings.

What's next for "Sweetland Christmas Reflections"? Sue Badeau's "Hockey Santa"!

When Elaine, "Lainey" Evers breaks her ankle just before Christmas she knows she can count on her brother Homer for support. He invites her to his home in Sweetland and hopes she can rest and recuperate amidst the boisterous holiday chaos a family with six kids ensures. When Homer is asked to serve as Santa for a town Christmas party Lainey reminds him of a special Christmas they shared as children. With faith, creativity, re-lived memories and the power of sibling relationships can they recreate the magic of that "hockey Santa" for Sweetland's foster children?

Love children (mom to 22, grand mom to 35, great grandmom to 7!) chocolate, camping, road-trips, writing, reading mysteries and more, standing up and speaking up for those without a voice. I have worked in children's services, policy and advocacy for 35 years. Married to my best friend, I divide my time between my home and kids in Philadelphia and traveling to speak and teach on the topics I am passionate about - healing and hope for children who have experienced trauma, foster care, adoption, permanent families for all kids, and more. My faith is my rock. After the 3rd of our 3 terminally ill children passed away in 2012 we decided the time had come to write our story and so we are proud and excited to share "Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids" with you all!

Drop by Sue's Amazon Author Page:

If you want to start the series with the first story,grab Anne Baxter Campbell's on Kindle,Nook, or Kobo: #NewRelease #Amazon Anne Baxter Campbell@Anne_Baxter_C "Sweetland #Christmas Reflections-V1-A Gift For Arlene" #NewRelease #Kobo Anne Baxter Campbell@Anne_Baxter_C "Sweetland #Christmas Reflections-V1-A Gift For Arlene" #CR4U #NewRelease #Nook Anne Baxter Campbell@Anne_Baxter_C "Sweetland #Christmas Reflections-V1-A Gift For Arlene" #CR4U

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

PLEASE help the Author Team of "Sweetland Christmas Reflections" choose a cover for their soon to be released,10/29, series!

Arlene Smith looked up from the picture album she held in her hands and breathed a happy sigh. Even if it hadn’t started out so great, that had to be the most memorable Christmas since the beginning of time. Or at least the beginning of her time. And really? It had seemed like the end, but it had been just the beginning.
Things had been so different then. She’d only been seventeen—nearly forty years ago. She been Arlene Billings then.
Had she had any kind of premonition that Tuesday morning when it all started? If she did, she didn’t remember. Probably got up that late November morning and put on a pair of bell bottoms and a top. Maybe the turquoise blue pants and the bright pink sweater. The knit blouse was just a teeny bit too snug, but if she had a coat on, maybe Mom wouldn’t notice. She had to get some tape to get the cat hair off the clothes. Just couldn’t get away from Morris’s orange hair all over everything, but she loved her big furry friend.
The new guy, Jeff Collier. Dark wavy hair, deep obsidian eyes, and a motorcycle. Maybe that day he would look at her instead of Nancy Cole.
Arlene shook her head. I know, God. Vanity. Nancy Bowen was the prettiest girl in school. With her perfect figure and beautiful long blonde hair—never mind that it came from a bottle—all the guys looked at her. What hope could plain ol’ shy Arlene have in snagging a good-looking guy like Jeff Collier?
She had to admit the sweater looked good on her, though. Maybe…. She snuck some mascara and eye shadow into her purse. She’d put them on at school. Usually Arlene only wore some if she went out on a date. But if she just looked like her usual mousy self, Jeff Collier would never notice her among all the Sweetland high school girls. Why couldn’t she have had sandy-orange curly hair like Carolyn or blonde wavy hair like Nancy? Brown and straight was pretty much uninspiring.
It only took five minutes to walk to the school, and ten minutes to apply the makeup. She hurried out of the restroom and nearly tripped over the feet of the boy she’d primped for.
He grabbed her shoulders to keep her from dropping to the floor, and he grinned. “Falling for me, foxy girl?”
Foxy? He thought she was foxy! Her face burned, and she stammered out something stupid, she didn’t remember what.
He reached down and picked up the pink checked compact case she’d dropped. He tossed it up and caught it a few times. “Put on makeup in the school restroom all the time, or did you just do it today?”
“Just today,” Arlene managed to squeak. She fought the urge to feel if her hair had been messed up.
She held out her hand for her kit, but he kept hold of it. “Come on. I’ll walk you to your class.”
She beamed at him, but couldn’t say a word. He didn’t seem to mind.
“Which way?” he asked.
She pointed, and they walked down the hall together. Her heart felt as though it would pound right out of her chest.
“What are you doing after school? Want to go for a ride on my murder-cycle with me?”
He laughed, dark eyes not laughing. “It’s the present your folks buy you when they want to get rid of you.”
“Oh no! That can’t be true.”
“Can’t it? My mom and her newest husband shipped me off to my dad here, and he’s talking military schools. Nobody wants me. So what do they do? Buy me a motorcycle. For my eighteenth birthday.”

Which cover would you choose and why? What did you think of the reading sample for Volume One by Anne Baxter Campbell? Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar! Thank you!

READ the 1st CHAPTER of Larry Peterson's "Leave Abadon or Die" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

They immediately jumped up and headed out the door. The TV was still on and Eleanor went over and turned it off. As she headed for the door a deep, guttural sound came from behind her. It was almost as if a wild animal was beginning to growl. Eleanor felt herself go cold as a chill ran from the top of her head down and out the toes of her feet.
She turned and stared at the TV screen. Two, dark red, almond shaped lights each having a black dot in the center seemed to be staring back at her from the screen. She knew she wasn't a crazy woman or someone who heard strange voices. No, she was normal. So were Joey and Bobby even though they were children with vivid imaginations. Even Charlie had been frightened by a strange figure on Hemlock Road. Something was happening and it was out of the ordinary. What was going on? She closed her eyes, instinctively prayed a 'Hail Mary', and reopened them. As was with the shadow near the porch, the red lights were gone and the screen was black.
As she started to leave the room, the shadow of a person passed by the door, seemingly going to the stairway. Startled, Eleanor gasped and placed her hand over her mouth. She looked out into the hallway and no one was there. Desperately wanting to be with her husband and the boys, she hurried downstairs. But first she went to the living room and walked over to the fireplace. On the mantle were rosary beads. She picked them up, kissed the crucifix attached to them, and hung them around her neck like a necklace. She knew that a set of rosary beads was not to be used as a talisman but she did not care. Instantly she felt a bit more secure.
Charlie and the boys were out on the deck, sitting at the picnic table, chatting. Eleanor, relieved to be with them, noticed how attentive Bobby and Joey were being and was curious. “Hey guys,” she said. “So, what are you talking about?”
Joey quickly answered, “Jacob.”
“Oh, I see. He sure is an interesting young man.”
Bobby said, “He is the strangest kid I ever seen. He don't even know how old he is.”
Aunt Eleanor said, “Bobby, how come you and Joey both know how old you are?”
Bobby smiled and began to speak. He paused and his expression turned serious. Then he said, “I guess someone told us because how would we know. Maybe no one ever told Jacob? Is that what you mean?”
“Yes Bobby, that's exactly what I mean. I hope Jacob comes back soon. I really would like to get to know him better.”
“We better be careful Ellie. We don't know anything about the boy or his father. I would like to talk to the man before anything else strange happens. Know what I mean?”
“Yes Charlie, I know what you mean and maybe you’re right. But I have a feeling that Jacob has come into our lives for a reason. I don't really care if we talk to his father or not. So, I would ask you all to do one thing for me before this day is over.”
Charlie said, “You name it sweetie.”
Bobby and Joey waited to hear what the request was. Charlie smiled because he instinctively knew. Eleanor said, “After supper I would like all of us to pray a rosary for Jacob, okay?”
Eleanor Winters loved her Catholic faith but did not “wear it on her sleeve”. Charlie, was just plain indifferent. If it were not for his wife insisting that he go to Mass with her on Sunday he might not have went at all. However, they were both kind, caring people who did their best to live by the golden rule of L-Y-N. Charlie figured that was good enough for the “Man upstairs”.
They had dinner and it was around 8 p.m. when they gathered in the living room to say the rosary. Bobby said, “I can remember my mom having us say the rosary together. Sometimes Dancer and me would start to giggle and we would get in trouble because we couldn't stop.”
“Sounds like you had a wonderful mom.”
“Joey said, “I can't remember anything about my mom except she laughed very loud one time when I peed on Pops by accident. When I think about it I can hear her laughing.”
“Well,” Charlie said. “That's a real nice memory to have. Real nice. What about you Bobby? You have memories like that too?”
Bobby remained silent and his lips tightened as an overwhelming feeling of loss grabbed hold of him. His eyes filled with tears and he began to cry. Eleanor hurried over to him and put her arm around him pulling his head next to her chest. “Oh Bobby, that's okay. That's okay. We understand. You boys have lost an awful lot at a very young age. It's okay.”
Things settled down and they began to say the rosary together. Dusk was shrouding out the day's light and, besides the sounds of their voices joined in prayer for Jacob Lightfoot, a sense of tranquility embraced them.

What do think? Larry would LOVE to hear from you! Please leave a comment here on the blogpost or use the "Contact Form" on the sidebar.

If you want to start Larry's series from the beginning here is the Amazon Kindle link for the Volume One:

FIVE Questions with Peggy Blann Phifer!

What are your musical tastes? Do you write to music?
My taste in music is eclectic. I love the old Big Band sound: Glenn Miller, Jackie Gleason, Les Brown, Ray Anthony, to name a few. And the music of the 50’s (my teen years). But Classical music has always been a part of my life since as long as I can remember.
When it comes to writing to/with music, I must have instrumentals only. No vocals, period. It’s enough I keep time to the livelier tunes, I don’t need to be tempted to sing along! (Although I do admit to humming a lot.)
I have the desktop version of Pandora which is almost always on, tuned to “Mantovani Radio,” 90% all instrumental. But, once in a while, if I’m struggling with a scene, the noise irritates me, and off it goes.

My Top 5 Favorite Movies?
This is going to give my age away
1. Exodus, (Otto Preminger) with Eva Marie Saint and Paul Newman.
2. Dr. Zhivago, with Omar Sharif and Julie Christy.
3. Ben Hur, w/Charlton Heston.
4. The Ten Commandments, also Charlton Heston
5. The Sword in the Stone, Disney. When my (ex) husband and I were dating, we went to see this delightful movie and I totally cracked up when Merlin appeared zooming in on a surfboard wearing a tropical shirt and Bermuda shorts!
Note: the first 3 movies haunted me and continue to do so even now. Matter of fact, I’ve read each of those books at least three times.

I’ve had pets of one form or another since I was eighteen months old. My parents bought a black Labrador puppy for me. I instantly named her Susie, because that was the name of my favorite sock doll my grandmother made for me.
However, within just a few days, it was discovered that I was allergic to her. I’m told I really threw a dramatic fit when they tried to take her away. So she stayed, I suffered severe asthma attacks, but I didn’t care. Growing up we had a number of Susie’s–yes, the same name each time–some traditions are hard to let go of.
As an adult, I learned to stay away of dogs and turned my devotion to cats. No allergies there, thank goodness. But, apparently, I’ve grown out of my allergies and I now have an adorable Border Collie mix called Rocky, and a Lhasa Apso-Shi Tzu-Poodle grand-dog named Athena. And I’m doing great.

Favorite Season
Spring! Though here in northern Wisconsin it seems to take forever to get here, I love the promise of everything new. I love the rich, loamy scent of the awakening soil; watching eagerly for the first shoots of the peonies and daffodils . . .

Does my Faith influence my writing?
My Faith plays a part in everything I am and everything I do. In my writing, I let my words reflect my faith. My Christian message is covert, never in-you-face, or preachy. No dramatic big Salvation scene. That’s just not my style. I’m 88% Introvert. Does that tell you anything? I’ve never been one to broadcast my Christianity. I trusted the way I lived my life would reflect that. And it did in the workplace. My coworkers seemed to instinctively know I was ‘different’–NOT a prude, far from it–and tried to refrain from using foul language in my hearing.
But the industry I worked in was rife with construction workers and those offending words usually slipped through. What proved this to me was when they instantly apologized to me.

So, that’s the way I choose to write.

Peggy invites you to drop by her website:

Friday, October 16, 2015

“Getting Old Isn’t For Sissies” by Melanie M. Jeschke

My mother often repeated with wry resignation Bette Davis’s famous quip as my parents faced the challenges of aging. The saying became my mom’s mantra in the early days of my parents’ move to our home over two years ago. We felt led to take them in—although at the time we had no inkling how much my mom’s Alzheimer’s had progressed, how much my dad’s heart and physical pain had worsened, or how much their living conditions on their own had deteriorated. My husband and I worked hard to give them a happy home and to improve their standard of living. With numerous errands and doctors’ visits, we enabled my father to get help with his heart, hearing, and eyesight. As my mother increasingly faltered with completing daily living tasks, we hired caregivers, who assisted several times a day. Last winter crawled by with the challenges of harsh weather and harsher sickness. Over the spring, I began visiting assisted living facilities—nine in all—just in case we were no longer able to give my parents the care they needed. Despite all the emotional and physical stresses of sharing our home with them, I was determined to make it at least two years.

We passed the two-year benchmark the end of May, but my mom’s “descent into the darkness” of Alzheimer’s has relentlessly progressed. Meeting her basic daily needs requires more help than we can provide, and so we painfully and prayerfully made the decision that the time had come for my parents’ move to an assisted living facility. Of the nine I had visited, the one I thought best for them actually had an opening. I am so thankful that some terrible crisis did not precipitate the decision to move them. However, once we made the decision, we had to move rapidly, and the past few weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting.

I have mixed emotions: sadness that we couldn’t take them to the end, but immense relief from the day to day pressure of ensuring their safety and comfort. I know many of my generation are facing these same difficulties and decisions with their aging parents; and even though my parents are currently being well cared for, we will continue to face even more difficulties and decisions in the days to come. I am also considering what lies ahead for my husband and me, aware that we are almost senior citizens ourselves. Before too long, our own children will have to meet these same challenges in dealing with us. I must choose not to worry about the future, but rather trust that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
My mom no longer quotes Bette Davis. I don’t think she can even remember the saying now, but I still can. It resonates with me more than ever: truly, “getting old isn’t for sissies.”

Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced “Jĕsʹ-key”) is the author of The Oxford Chronicles series, including Inklings, Intentions, Expectations, and Evasions, as well as Jillian Dare, the Oxford chapter of Rick Steves’ England guidebook, and numerous travel articles. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia with a MA in English Literature from George Mason University, she is currently an adjunct professor of English and lectures in a variety of educational, professional, and community settings. Melanie Jeschke has studied at Oxford University and has traveled extensively in the UK where she sets her stories. A mother of nine and former home-educator, she resides in Northern Virginia with her family and husband Bill Jeschke, senior pastor of The King’s Chapel in Clifton, VA.

Read the 1st Chapter of award-winning author Big Jim Williams "Battle in a Blizzard" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Jake constantly thought of sending his wife’s killer to an early grave. However, seeing Leviticus ride toward Arizona Territory’s Superstition Mountains revived memories of past dangers there.
* * *
Jake had ridden into the Superstitions years before when pursuing three men who had murdered a rancher and his family. He remembered...
“Weren’t no kill Mom and...Dad and Jacob,” sobbed a boy of ten, the only survivor of the Pierson family. “Paw showed ‘em his buried cash they wanted. They took it all. Twelve dollars...our corn and pig money. Took Mama’s brooch...the one Granny Pierson gave her. Shot at old Luke, but he’s faster than greased lightnin’.” The boy hugged the big black-and-white sheep dog.
“Rode off with our two plow mules, too,” sniffled the teary boy.
The boy ran and hid when the three outlaws shot his parents and brother. “Had no need doin’ that,” repeated the towhead, wiping his nose and eyes on his sleeve. “Mom gave ‘em hot coffee and biscuits...when they rode up. Asked ‘em to come inside out of the rain.”
Three bodies were laid out on the homestead’s small muddy porch. One was the boy’s fourteen-year-old brother. “Jacob bit one of ‘em on the hand,” said the youngster, choking on his own words. “Drew blood. A tall fat man...mean lookin’...long black hair. Had a bad cough. He’s the one...shot Jacob last.”
“Which hand?” asked Jake.
“Left one,” replied the boy.
“You Marshals goin’ after ‘em?” asked a shotgun toting neighboring farmer. He had heard the shooting, but arrived too late to help. He said he and his wife would shelter the boy until they could find his kin.
Jake nodded. He and Marshal Caleb Thorne would be chasing the killers into the mountains. Caleb, who lived in the area, knew the Superstitions far better than Jake.
“Mighty rugged up there,” said the farmer. “Lotta men go in there lookin’ for gold or buried treasure and never come out, including miners looking for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. We find their bones among the rocks and canyons now and then. Some say a few Apaches are still up there waitin’ to scalp white folks.”
“Wouldn’t be surprised,” replied Jake.
It had been raining, so the muddy tracks were easy to follow. Then the rains came again, only heavier, wiping the soil, making it harder to follow riders and their stolen mules.
Jake and Caleb moved as fast as they could through rocky terrain and tall saguaro cactus, often dismounting to lead their horses up muddy slopes, then remounting to cross rushing streams. They could still find some of the renegades’ hoof prints.
“Where are they heading up there?” asked Jake.
“There’s an old abandoned mining camp way on the other side of the Superstitions,” responded Caleb. “Suspect that’s where they’re going. It’s a hell of a climb. Nothing much up there but solid stone cliffs.”
Jake turned up the collar of his slicker as cold water trickled down the back of his neck.
“I’m sure I know these hombres,” continued Caleb, carefully leading his horse up through a slick part of the narrow trail. “The big one, with the perpetual cough and long black hair sounds like Nevada George. He’s a chain smoker. Never see him without a cigarette between his lips. He’s been in an out of prisons for years. He’s mean. Broke a bartender’s arm last month for being slow re-filling his whiskey glass. The barkeep left town, so the law couldn’t do anything about it.”
“Think I’ve heard of Nevada George,” added Jake, leading his horse behind Caleb’s on the switchback trail. “Don’t remember where, but it wasn’t good.”
“Real name’s George Dawson. Hails from Utah. Calls himself Nevada for some strange reason. His sidekicks are young and stupid. Hang around him like flies on road apples, like he’s something special. He’s about to get ‘em killed.”
“Sounds like hero worship,” said Jake.
“One’s probably Rupert James,” continued Caleb, “a cemetery-bound, no-good who wants to be another Jesse James. Thinks he’s related to Frank and Jesse, but he ain’t. The other one is probably Red Hooker, a wet-nosed kid with a long red ponytail. Caught him stealing from our church poor box last month. Gave him a swift kick and boxed his ears. Cried like a baby. Thinks he’s something with his first pistol. He ain’t, either. He’s dumber than Rupert.”
“The kind of folks you’d like to take to a hanging—theirs’,” added Jake, with a shake of his head, “if we can catch them for what they did to the Pierson family.”
“My problem goes deeper,” continued Caleb.

If you enjoyed this reading sample and would like to purchase the ebook,here is the Amazon Kindle link:

Please meet TRISH HORNER Co-narrator with George Taylor for "The Roman’s Quest"!

I've been blessed to play many roles in my life - theatrically, professionally, personally. Marion the librarian (The Music Man), Fruma Sara (Fiddler on the Roof), Vera (Smoke on the Mountain), Reuben's wife (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), teacher, therapist, daughter, wife, mother. But the role I have been the most blessed to play has been that of daughter of the King, younger sister of Jesus of Nazareth. When George asked me to be a part of this project, I could never have foreseen the blessings available, not only for me, but for all those who hear it. As you listen, it is my prayer that Adonai bless & keep you, make His face to shine upon you, be gracious to you & give you His peace.

About Anne Baxter Campbell's "The Roman's Quest":
Centurion Julius has eyes for a young Jewish woman, but a Roman is not what her father intends for her. Miriam is a pious Jewish girl, determined to do the right thing by her God and her parents, and she bows to her father’s wishes to betroth her to a Jewish fisherman, James ben Zebedee. Her heart yearns for the Roman, but their love is impossible. Miriam’s mother lies close to death, and her last wish is to see her daughter wed. The marriage has to take place before it’s too late.
Anne Baxter Campbell is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves her Lord, her family, and writing. She and her husband, one very small dog, and one overweight cat live in north central California .

This novel is broken up into 10 audiobooks!
Audiobook #1 and #2 are now available in the HHP Store,they are $2.99 each: