Ha-ha, try saying the title fast. Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? I’m not, but as I’m writing this post, I want to. However, when I participated, I always took my own advice… So…Write as much as you can, when you can to stay ahead of the game. Good luck!
Gather snacks. Don’t forget a beverage. Stay hydrated. Have fun!
In Comments, post a link to your NaNoWriMo profile if you’d like others to find you.
If you’re new to NaNoWriMo or don’t know what it is, check out the link HERE.
Need some inspiration? Five or more of my books written through NaNo are now published. They weren’t competed in thirty days, though. Also, after NaNo, it took hours and hours of editing before hiring a professional editor.
Here we are on Saturday. The sun is shining brightly through my windows today. It’s nice out, too. The morning hours brought thick fog.
This Saturday Snippet is from Finding Kimber, the second book in a spin off series to the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight. Kimber is a newcomer to Arizona. You can read more about Kimber and how she got to where she is at this LINK from Meet Our Heroines.
The actual snippet is short. All this other writing around it makes it look long. ❤
Brief setup: Earlier in the day, Tressa experienced the worst moments of her life. She’s giving up her identity to keep her family safe and is about to enter her new life in Arizona with a new name. Jerry is her godfather. Before retirement, he had a career in a branch of law enforcement. Everything he’s doing for her now is off the books. Melinda has been hired to accompany Jerry in getting Kimber settled.
Later in the hotel in Boise, Idaho, Melinda came to stand beside her. “Think of your parents and Charlotte. They’re safe because of your decision. A murderer is off the streets.”
At fifty-three, Melinda didn’t look her age. Her auburn hair shone, and her green eyes were friendly most of the time, though they had darkened and hardened as of late. Tressa took a deep breath. “If I must do this, I’ll make the best of it. I have a good incentive to make it work—my family’s life.”
Melinda patted her back. “And don’t forget it’s for your life.”
Tressa buried her face in her hands. “I can’t stand them being hurt.” She pounded her chest. “It aches so much right here.”
Jerry sat beside her, waiting until she got control of herself. “All of us will keep you safe, Kimber.”
It was the first time she’d been called Kimber. She clutched her chest again. “I don’t know if I can do this. My heart is broken.”
He handed her a degree from San Francisco University. There was a high school diploma, awards from high school, report cards, and her new credit history. “Like the passport, we’ll create your driver’s license and other photos when the scar from the removal heals. Are you sure you want the mole above your lip removed?”
“Yes, it always stood out. Yes.”
“All your records prove you are Kimber Kay Sinclair. You’ve nothing to fear. You need to do what we suggest. In my job, we warned, ah, our witnesses, to obey our rules. You’ll survive as long as you do what you’ve been told.”
Tressa went through the motions while trying to distance herself from all the horror of the past and then today. Over a period of the last thirteen months, she had set money aside for later. Untraceable money meant for Kimber Sinclair. “But how? How, Jerry, did you do all of this?”
“Kimber…” He smiled upon using her new name. “You know I can’t answer your question. And it’s best you don’t know, either, my dear.”
Here is what the book is about and where to find it:
She’s wary of her future. He’s burdened by his past
Cattleman Zachary (Zach) Bryson arrives in Arizona with hopes of leaving the ghosts from his past behind. Hired by a stranger to run a ranch, he meets the owner—a secretive woman with no ranching experience. He’s seen her before, but she wasn’t a redhead with green eyes. In their first encounter, she swept him off his feet without their exchanging a word. Why did she change her appearance? What secrets lay behind those heart-stopping eyes? Seeing this job as a challenge, he sticks around to tackle this hottie head-on.
After her life is threatened, Kimber Sinclair is forced to flee her lush Oregon county for a small town in Arizona with sand, saguaros, and dusty cowboys. She settles in to live a lie—to discover the person behind her new identity while she mourns the death of Tressa Garnett—her given name at birth. However, keeping a distance from her ruggedly handsome, broad-shouldered, wise-cracking ranch foreman, isn’t easy. She struggles daily to hide her secret from Zach who demands answers. By telling him the truth, his life could also be in danger.
If trouble finds her, will she choose fight or flight? Can Zach set aside his own issues, or will his nightmares prevent him from doing what he was unknowingly hired to do?
In an earlier post, I wrote a rant about the high-cost of apartment rentals. How it would soon come time for my decision to stay or leave where I live now. After I wrote the previous post on this topic, I knew I had to come to a decision or continue to stress over it until my lease expired.
So, after working out a plan, I decided to stay another year. Deciding lowered my stress level. Well, September arrived with a letter I expected from my manager, asking for my decision to stay or to give a two-month notice to move out.
The letter indicated the rental fee for the next year. Honestly, I knew I’d be shocked, and I was, but not because it increased a ton. Yes, it increased, but it didn’t increase as much as first quoted. Well, I marched into the office wearing a smile as always, to inquire about the quote before signing the letter. She checked. Yay. No mistake.
However, I recently learned my utilities increased too. No surprise. When I handed in my lease, I gave my manager a list of needed repairs. Yesterday, a newly-hired maintenance guy arrived to repair my bathtub drip. Drip is putting it mildly. He also installed a new faucet in my bathroom sink. I’m easy to please, and now with a new faucet, I feel like a queen!
The lower-than-expected rental amount could be for two reasons:
The first estimate earlier in the summer was based on the cost of a renovated apartment. It’s my guess their plan fell through at this complex. My previous post mentioned they planned on renovating the kitchen and bathroom while we still lived here. To repeat from the other post, my apartment had recently been remodeled. Not totally renovated like their new remodels, though, where they’d tear the kitchen completely out and redesign it. Still, without a total renovation, my apartment is nice.
Secondly, maybe their summer quote wasn’t for my apartment model. My model is a hundred square feet smaller than some others. When I moved here, I lost one hundred square feet of space and storage.
So folks, the debacle about where I’ll live for the next year has ended. Prayer works. Some of you know I didn’t choose to live here, but I was forced to move because an atrocious odor in my other apartment made me sick. By the grace of God, this is where they transferred me. This time, I am choosing to live here, and it brings a sense of calm. I don’t think this apartment ever felt more like home than it does now. Maybe I’ll even hang my pictures. I miss looking at them.
This was my second trip to take pictures of the scarecrows. I first saw this “Stella” display while driving past the park. I knew I had to investigate the display. After reading these little notes above, I had to look it up to learn more about her. “Stella was a service dog and led a remarkable life,” says her owners on their website.
Unfortunately, she passed in August 2022. 😦 What a sweet dog and display.
I wasn’t the only one on a field trip yesterday. The park was packed with kids on a real field trip. It brought back so many memories of the many field trips I had taken when I worked with kids. I couldn’t have asked for a prettier day. A little windy for photos, but they turned out. I’ll share more later. #Wordless Wednesday (with words).
“…Love can find you at every time in your life.” The last line in the quote inspires my muse. Age is only a number when it comes to love. Yes, I can agree with this because, once, love found me at a time later in life when I never expected it.
I took this picture years ago. A couple of weeks ago, I dug this out as I was emptying a storage tub. Since then, I’ve seen five Thunderbirds like this driving around town in random places. Maybe it’s a sign that I need one? Ha-ha. In my dreams! #WordlessWednesday with words.
Howdy, folks. Here is the follow-up excerpt I mentioned in the previous post. For those who missed it, I had intended to start book six in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight in 2023. The excerpt I’m posting is to give you a look at Rob, who stars in the sixth book in the series. He appears in almost every book in the series and the spin off series.
The setting for this series is my fictitious town of Canyon Junction in Arizona with the Sonoran Desert and Superstition Mountains as a backdrop. Check the link HERE if you want to know more about the series. Books are rated between a PG-13 and R rating by movie standards. Going forward, I intend to update all of my books to a PG-13 rating and below. My newest books are already there. Rob’s book will reflect the change too.
Set up: Nora and Tristan had a major argument, and she needed a ride home. Who better to call than a longtime friend.
Like Rob’s long hair, so is this excerpt.
This would kill her, but she’d have to ask for a ride. Who could she call? She took out her phone and called her old friend Rob Adams who recently opened Rob’s Place, a local sports bar in town. What choice did she have?
He answered, “Rob’s Place.”
“Rob? This is Nora Trinity.”
“Nora, hey, hi. How’s it going, girl? Grab Tristan and come up for a drink on the house. We’re kind of slow tonight.”
Nora dropped to the bed. The bar was noisy and didn’t sound slow at all. Glasses clinked and TVs blared in the background. “Can I ask a big favor?”
“Huh? What’s wrong? Are you all right?”
His voice held concern. They’d been good friends in school, but that was a long time ago. They’d run into each other in town a few times since she’d been back, and she and Tristan visited the last place he worked before opening his own bar, and the Grand Opening, but she had to ask. “I need a ride home. Please don’t ask me any questions.”
“All right. Where are you?”
Don’t cry now. Oh, should she be doing this? Maybe Tristan would have a change of heart when he returned… That didn’t matter. He needed time to think. She did, too. “I’m at the Double Dutch. Tristan’s section of the ranch.”
“Is everything all right there?”
“Not for me.”
He must’ve been behind the bar because it sounded like he juggled beer glasses to patrons. “I’ll be right there.”
“I’ll be waiting at the office. Thank you so much, Rob.”
She looked up after disconnecting. Tristan waited at the door with his hands gripping the jamb. “I’m leaving. I had to call for a ride.”
“I know. I came back to give you a lift.”
He had removed his flannel shirt and looked so good standing there in a black t-shirt and black jeans. That shock of hair on his forehead needed to be brushed back. Would she ever be able to do it again? “I have a ride.”
“I brought you here, I’ll take you home. Cancel your ride.”
“No. I had to embarrass myself by asking, and I’m going through with it.” She stood and picked up her bag. He didn’t move out of the way. She peered at him eye to eye. “Let me pass.” Tristan turned enough to let her slip by. “You know where I live if you change your mind.” She strode down the hall and ran into Destiny at the top of the stairs. That was the last thing she’d wanted. Hold it together a little longer. “Hi, sweetheart. I’m going home now. I’ll see you later.”
Destiny stomped. “No, Nora-Mom. You have to stay.” She looked up at Nora with wide eyes. “Why are you going? Can I go with you?”
Tristan came over to take her hand. “You’re not going with her.”
Nora knelt to hug her tightly. “I love you, Destiny.”
“Nora, don’t go with your suitcase.” She cried. “Don’t go!”
Nora rushed down the stairs. Destiny broke from her dad’s hand and ran down after her. “Nora, don’t go.” She took Nora’s hand.
“Destiny, you can’t go with me, honey. I’m sorry.”
Tristan came down the stairs to take her hand again, but she pulled away from him. “No, Daddy!” She ran upstairs and slammed her door.
Nora peered at Tristan. As much as she tried not to cry, she couldn’t hold it back. Oh, God, oh, God. She rushed past Judy who no doubt came to see what was wrong with Destiny. No, she couldn’t face her. She hurried toward the office, closed the door, and locked it behind her so no one followed her in.
Headlights shone through the front window. She rushed out and Rob pushed the door open in his truck, so she stuffed her bag and purse in ahead of her. Nora glanced toward the office door when she reached for her seat belt. Come on, Tristan, don’t let me go.
“Where to, Red? Don’t you live out on the golf course?”
“That’s right. Drive please.” Rob didn’t look clean-cut like he had during their high school days. Now, he had long hair and tattoos. It fit him though, and he was even more handsome all grown up.
“Tristan’s a crazy asshole if he let you go that easily. Wanna go back to the bar for a drink?”
Her stomach reminded her she hadn’t eaten, but she wasn’t sure if she could. There wasn’t much at home to eat, either. “Sure, I can’t promise to be good company right now. What’s your special tonight?”
“I’ll make you one of my special burgers.”
“I’d like that. Fries, too?”
“The best in town.”
“Thank you for giving me a ride.” She broke down and cried again to think of the future without Tristan and Destiny. “I can’t have a drink.”
Rob put his hand on her shoulder as a friendly gesture. “Oh, I see. That’s okay. I have soda…and milk.”
“Don’t mention it to anyone. No one but Tristan and I know.”
“I won’t, but now that makes Tristan look like an even bigger asshole.”
“He’s not to blame. It’s my fault for not trusting him.”
I know it’s #WordlessWednesday, but if I have a story to tell about a particular image or images, you know I’ll share it. These photos look so much better in their printed form. Please forgive the phone shadows and blurriness from taking pictures of pictures.
These snapshots don’t do the images justice. I’ve cropped and resized each one numerous times, so they are what they are. Sigh. My photography teacher would be disappointed. The darker sky got washed out here in my bright room and multiple resizing. The originals are exactly as I wanted them, and probably the best night sky photos I ever took. It was around eleven-thirty p.m. by the time I took the last one.
Believe me, it was a scary night when I realized how late it had gotten. I was alone in a park and a distance from my truck. It wasn’t until another car pulled in that reminded me, that oh-oh, this was a stupid idea. I was in a dark area and unless I moved, I couldn’t be seen. After they left, I gathered my equipment and got out of there.
It took me one more time of getting caught after sundown all alone in a park. The second time, I was a distance into a wooded state park because I wanted to catch the moon coming up between the trees. Carrying all my camera gear, including a tripod, I walked-ran out as fast as I could, praying the entire time until I was safe in my truck. I don’t recommend this unless you know you can protect yourself.
A click of the shutter, a crank of the film, and you’ve caught forever a significant bit of life.
~Willis Peterson, “A Philosophy of Seeing,” Arizona Highways, May 1973, arizonahighways.com
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