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Sunday, September 15, 2019

What dogs think about road trips

This little doggie went to market; this little doggie hates to stay home...

Ewok love, love, loves road trips! She understands specific words like, "Let's go," "Ride!" and "Go bye, bye." My husband and I can't say these out loud or she'll scamper to the door. Then it's disappointing for her to find out it's not really going to happen.

So we have a special language for mentioning the possibility of, ah, the possibility. "Should we take Ewok you-know-where?" "Do you think we should allow her to, well, you know..."

Once loaded in the car, if we drive in the direction of Ewok's grooming place, she'll shake and shiver, certain it's hair cut time. She hates getting purty-fied, but is happy when it's all over. If we go in the direction of the V-E-T, she's a hot, panting mess.

When Ewok finally realizes we aren't going to any of those dreaded places, she settles in for the trip. She loves hanging her head out of the window to smell the breeze. Long trips aren't for her, just short jaunts to the grocery store or a trip to gas up the car.

As she stares at the passing scenery, I always wonder what she's thinking. Maybe, "Sky is blue," or "Trees are green." If she spots someone walking their dog, does she think, "Mutt alert!"

If you have a dog and you take them for car rides, have you ever wondered what they think when they look out the window? 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Fortune's Folly," a sweeping romance tale


Click on the book cover to purchase from
 Amazon
Fellow Solstice Publishing author Cat Dubie is with me today to discuss her June release!

It sounds like an awesome story, so take it away, Cat!

I’ve written creatively since forever, it seems. Poems, songs, short stories, novels, reviews, essays, even letters to the editor. My day job as a technical writer for various levels of government was the labor I did for a living so that in my free time I could indulge in my labor of love, writing fiction.

In the meantime, I married one of the good guys, raised three great kids, and now can indulge full-time in that loving labor!

About Fortune’s Folly

My first draft of a novel I tentatively titled Fortune was a whopping 160,000 words. As I took a knife to the words, I explored the possibility of turning it into a trilogy. Had my titles, plot points, characters… Then I realized book 2 was nothing more than a bridge between book 1 and book 3, it contained nothing but contrived filler that didn’t advance the story. Think characters biding their time until the exciting finale of book 3. So now I’m back to book 1 and the sequel, book 2.

Story basics:

1850s-1860s The tale moves from Ireland to England to the British Colonies in Canada, with quick stops in Egypt and Abyssinia. It includes a number of spicy love scenes.

This is Eden Fitzgerald’s story, a romantic saga that follows the daughter of an Irish patriot from brave child to alluring woman, from naïve innocent to determined feminist. When her father is unjustly imprisoned she uses her wits and wiles to do what she can, what she must to have him freed. When all else fails, she dons a disguise and resorts to highway robbery to amass the funds she needs to pay for his escape. Her crimes pile up one after another until, her own liberty and life in danger, she must flee to unknown territories.

It's also the story of Alex Banning, whose meeting with Eden in Ireland when the two are children brands them both for life. A dozen years later in another country, he and Eden discover a powerful attraction that, consummated one hot summer night, cannot be sustained in the light of day.  Having been forced to give up his career in the Royal Navy, Alex is a reluctant agent in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a position that places him and Eden on opposite sides when he investigates her family’s ties to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. 

In addition, Fortune’s Folly is the story of the Fontaine men, two brothers and a cousin, scions of an illustrious Montreal family. André does not love Eden but marries her and will claim her child as his; Louis is dangerously obsessed with her; Laurent adores her from afar and is the unwitting catalyst for her flight.

Book 2, Fortune’s Flame, is a work in progress!
Author Cat Dubie

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Witch at Midnight released by Solstice Publishing

https://www.amazon.com/Witch-Midnight-Cindy-Keen-Reynder/dp/1079974962/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+witch+at+midnight+by+cindy+keen+reynders&qid=1563993477&s=books&sr=1-1
You can purchase "A Witch at Midnight" 
at Amazon by clicking on the book cover.
Solstice Publishing has released the second book in the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan sisters, "A Witch at Midnight."

I wrote this book and my previous Solstice title, "The Seven-Year Witch," because of a dream.

Yep, I dream in book format sometimes, and I like the idea of sisters since I have some very awesome ladies in my life who are also my sisters, sisters-in-law, sisters by friendship, etc. I also love the idea of family sticking together.

My witches aren't wicked witch of the west types like you find in "The Wizard of Oz." They are more of the Glinda the good witch type--witches who love nature spirits and are on Earth to assist mankind. In my witch books, there's also a twist of "Practical Magic," the movie Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman starred in years ago.


While the witch sisters get into trouble, they find unique ways to survive and save the day. There's romance, adventure and humor in these stories, which is my favorite kind of book to write.

I hope if you read my books, you can relax and suspend reality for a while. There's too much drama and conflict in the world that can't be resolved, so go on a journey with my witch sisters and enjoy life.

Have your dreams encouraged you to accomplish something? 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Walking Dead...Fish

A fish skeleton greeted me on my walk around Sloan's 
Lake.

I may not be a member of The Walking Dead cast, but I enjoy watching the program. Amazingly enough, it's one of my favorites. I like the survival aspect, but the nasty zombies--not so much.

This late in the game, I fear the AMC show may not be around much longer. Most of the original actors have died (left.) Meanwhile, I'm preparing myself for its eventual demise.

Today, while walking around Sloan's Lake in Cheyenne, a Walking Dead fish that had washed ashore greeted me.

Eew!

It's a new goal of mine to walk at least a mile each day and increase the distance as time allows. That may not seem like a lot of movement to those of  you who run marathons. But for me, it's real progress and it feels great.

After sitting at a desk all day, whether it's writing my books or working at the office, fresh air and sunshine is a welcome break.

I prefer walking in places where I can enjoy nature to its fullest. Those of you who live in the Cheyenne/Laramie area, and are in better condition than I am, may want to visit my niece Rebecca Walsh's website, "Hike Like a Woman," where she offers backpacking experiences, hiking adventures and mountain retreats for outdoors enthusiasts. She owns and operates Laramie Basecamp, a sports store in Laramie, WY. Becky and her husband are also army veterans and have two adorable sons.

Come with me and I'll take you on a brief  "photo" tour of Sloan's Lake.

Do you have a favorite place to walk?

Starting my 21.26 minute walk...

The beach where I spent many summers as a kid 
lounging on shore. My mom often drove me, my
 sister and my friend Valerie to Sloan's Lake to swim. 

A handy bridge to cross over the water led the way.

Light purple flowers dotted the landscape.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Would you take a bath in this?

Pictured is an antique cast iron and wood bathtub pioneers
bathed in. Water was heated in pans on coal-burning stoves
and poured into the tub. It must have taken a lot of pans full
of water to fill that tub!
Can you imagine taking a bath in a tub like the one pictured on the left?

How about traveling in a covered wagon, cooking on a cast iron stove, sleeping on a feather tick mattress or one stuffed with hay?

Back in the 1800s when easterners decided to pack up and move, hoping to improve their fortunes in the west, they gave up most comforts offered in civilization.

They left behind families and friends, most times never seeing them again. Would you be brave enough to do that? I don't think I would.

I recently paid a visit to Encampment, Wyoming, where some of the richest copper mines could be found at the turn of the century. It was a booming time and people settled in the region, working hard to make a living.

My husband's family went there back in the day, and he has a rich history of how they settled the land and proudly raised their families.

If you ever have a chance to visit the Grand Encampment Museum, located in Wyoming's Carbon County, you will see amazing displays featuring the pioneers' plows, buggies, clothing, eating utensils and plates, cabins and other items.

You will get plenty of exercise exploring this place while visiting the museum and touring the grounds, which feature restored buildings. Here is the museum's website if you want more information: http://gemuseum.com/

What are some of the historical sites you have enjoyed visiting?

                          At the Grand Encampment Museum, barns and cabins have been relocated
                          from communities throughout the region to represent a thriving frontier town.
A replica of a two-story outhouse, which was needed when
deep snow coated the mountains, burying the lower level.


Most homes were of the one-room, log cabin variety.
A few comforts from home could be found.
Settlers managed to bring finer items to the frontier.
Cast iron coal-fired stoves gave food a smoky flavor.
Before trains, wagons carried families west to seek new fortunes.
A tiny, one-room school house built for a rancher's children
to be taught in

The arial tramway's 800 buckets could each carry up to 700 pounds
of copper ore from the Ferris Haggerty mine. 







Friday, June 7, 2019

Crèche Terrenium, a science fiction book to experience


Welcome to Solstice Publishing author K.C. Sprayberry, who will tell us about her latest release. A passionate writer who is true to her craft, she has worked hard to see her work in print and to build her brand. I hope everyone enjoys reading about K.C.'s new story!


Good day and welcome to the release of Crèche Terrenium. This book was written many years ago, when I was first starting out in my writing career. I submitted it to Millennial Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine as a 5,000 word short story. This was during the days of snail mail submissions and waiting months on end to hear back from the editor in chief. To my surprise, I heard back rather quickly, about six weeks. Figuring they’d laughed and sent me a letter telling me that I should quit writing, I waited a couple of days before reading the bad news. Well, it wasn’t a contract to have the short story published in their magazine. What I did get was a letter telling me that the then editor in chief loved the concept of my short story and wanted me to develop it into a full book before resubmitting.

The full book was written, critiqued, edited, rewritten, etc. over a period of six months of sleepless nights and fingernail chewing days. I finally resubmitted the new story to the editor in chief per her request, only to hear back nearly immediately. The thin envelope pretty much told the story before I opened it.
Turns out while I was breathing life into this novel, the editor in chief had been replaced with someone else. That individual bluntly informed me that they were no longer interested in teen sci-fi books, as “teens didn’t read.” Who was I to argue? I knew the book was good. All I had to do was wait for the right time and place to present it to the world.

The time is now. The place is here. Enjoy!
  

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJTGPX1/
A galaxy under attack…youth out of control…extreme measures are called for…until the citizens are faced with impossible choices.
The Edict…
A law enacted to deal with recalcitrant children lays the blame on their parents. Only a computer can properly change The Melane Galaxy’s youth and turn them into good citizens. Chairman Sterling must force people to realize that parents aren’t right for raising children.
The Reporter…
Susannah Tilotsen discovers she’s being used by a government attempting to parent children. She soon realizes no one is safe from this new law. The loss of her beloved husband and her daughter being forcibly taken to Crèche Terrenium drives her to organize a group determined to stop this madness
The Boy…
Ripped from his loving home, Joey Dinaldo is taken to Crèche Terrenium after government troops find him living with his parents. He works hard to be a good citizen and obey the rules but soon discovers he can’t support a system designed to turn children into uncaring robots.
The Computer…
Master, the computer system that will raise these children, controls every second of their lives. Yet, there is no one to maintain the machine. The computer never thinks it needs to be repaired, even as the control it exerts slowly erodes. It is perfect, and fights to keep from being destroyed.
Background...
Rebels refuse to stop fighting until they have closed down the Crèche system and returned the children to their parents. Or find them a guardian. All of them are willing to do whatever it takes to end this madness…but at what cost?
The Melane Galaxy has a problem, one that threatens their very existence. Led by a reporter, Susannah Tilotsen, the citizens demand a solution to their children terrorizing people. Yet, when Chairman Marcus Sterling institutes the Crèche system, Susannah feels deep shock and dismay.

The children will be taken from their parents and raised by a computer designed to educate and monitor them. No adults will have interaction with the youth of the galaxy. The overall goal is to create good citizens of the youths rather than out of control hooligans.

Is this solution good intentions by the leadership? What if a parent protests the loss of their child? What choice do they have?
Excerpt:
Black words on the creamy parchment in her hand numbed Susannah Tilotsen. Shivers racked her spine; fear deadened her fingertips. Her grip loosened and the document fluttered to her feet. The forty-something man in front of her caressed his silver-shot sable hair before spreading his hands. She watched the public façade take over as the benevolent leader of a fractious, crumbling galaxy smiled. She knew better. His duplicitous expression sent chills up her spine.
She looked at the settlement she was reporting on to a galaxy awaiting a solution for a growing problem. The gray on gray buildings depressed her. The same hue was repeated in the walkways and latticed worked fences enclosing the twelve living areas. The children who would soon call this place home would have no relief from the depressing shades of gray.
To Purchase:
Amazon print book: https://amzn.to/2XowPcp
About K.C. Sprayberry
Living a dream she’s had since she first discovered the magic of books. K.C. Sprayberry traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for nearly a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.
A multi-genre author, K.C. Sprayberry is always on the hunt for new stories. Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.


Find out more about my books at these social media sites:




Thursday, May 30, 2019

History lives in old Cheyenne



A streamline moderne fountain in front of Cheyenne's
old regional airport was dedicated to early aviation.
"Wild Bill" Hickock married Agnes Thatcher Lake here in 1876, a couple of months before he rode up to Deadwood and got shot from behind while playing poker.

Wyoming’s first female Justice of the Peace and women’s suffrage leader, Esther Hobart Morris, used to live downtown on Warren Avenue. Restored and in good condition, the Morris House now holds a pizzeria.

Holliday Park hosted actors Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw’s wedding when McQueen was in town filming the movie “Tom Horn,” yet another character from the pages of Cheyenne's story.

If you visit or if you live here, there are many landmarks and historical sites to enjoy, including a lofty streamline moderne-style (inspired by aerodynamic design) fountain in front of the old regional airport.

Constructed in 1934, it honors early aviation history and pioneers of flight.
Charles Lindbergh, “Lucky Lindy,” was one of the honorees. He flew into Cheyenne during his Guggenheim tour in 1927, landing "Spirit of St. Louis" at the local airmail field.

Another honoree, Amelia Earhart, flew into Cheyenne on June 2, 1931 and departedJune 4, creating quite an attraction for the locals.

The fountain has fascinated me since I was a kid. I always wondered who built it and why it was eventually abandoned, leaving puddles of rainwater where once silver liquid splashed across blue tiles.



Raised carvings featuring passenger aircraft jetting through mounds of cumulus clouds are etched into the stone, reflecting true artisan skill. At the top and the bottom of the tall column spire, lights once twinkled in the evening's gathering darkness.

Brutal Wyoming weather has eaten away the fountain’s former glory. It’s sad, really. Somewhere back in time, the City of Cheyenne forgot to maintain the old girl, and she has lost her shine.

Now it will cost a small fortune to restore the fountain. Fortunately, Cheyenne’s Historic Preservation Board is spearheading the effort to gather the funds. I support their goal to preserve the city’s past and look forward to the fountain coming back to life.

What special sites or monuments fascinate you?