Tuesday, December 10, 2019
I remember nothing.
Not my name, where I come from, my past, or how I ended up in the hospital with a bullet wound in my chest. Everything is a black void…except for her. The beautiful nurse with the friendly smile.
I have no idea who I am, but I know Mac has something that draws me to her. The more she helps me uncover the mysteries of my past, the more I want her to be a part of my future.
But as vivid images of being in a warzone seep through my dreams, I can’t help but wonder if I’m putting her life at risk by allowing her to help me—by allowing myself to fall for her.
With every piece of the puzzle we manage to put together, it becomes clear that there are secrets and dangers hidden within the darkness of a life I can’t remember.
Now I need to do everything I can to protect her. I’m just not sure what I’m protecting her from. My past…or me.
Books Make Great Gifts ~ Cross Stepping Your Way to Success: The Power to Transform Your Life One Step at a Time by Carolyn Bowen
When surfers hit the waters, they use a technique called cross-stepping, or moving their weight forward and backward to stay standing. Cross-stepping isn't just a good idea for surfers, though - you, too, can metaphorically use the same strategy of zig-zagging motions to achieve success. In "Cross-Stepping Your Way to Success," career coach Carolyn Bowen shows you how to zig-zag your way to success one step at a time. She examines grieving, life planning, owning your power, becoming health conscious, learning to love again, and more. With "Cross-Stepping Your Way to Success," you'll discover how to maintain your balance on the choppy waters of life!
Teague McMurtry spent the last six years of his life in the Army. Finally having enough of killing, he comes home, thinking he's put the nightmare behind him. When he meets beautiful and sultry Vivica Rambo, he thinks his life is taking a turn for the better.
Little does Teague know that he's been targeted for death by a violent biker gang led by Vivica's psychotic older brother. Now Teague must put his skills to the test to protect himself and the woman he loves.
Ten entertaining biographical stories set in Dickens County, Texas portray rural life during the Great Depression. They reflect the straitened circumstances, strong work ethic and close sense of community of the time, as well as the resilience and ingenuity of that generation. Despite the difficulties, or perhaps because of them, Benji’s childhood was marked by strong family ties and sheer love of life.
Demon's Destiny is book one of the Dark City Guardians.
Garrett Duex Sabres is handsome, wealthy, brilliant and a demon with a split personality feeding on the living energy of humans. However, unlike others of his kind, Garrett chooses not to feed off pain and misery, he’s discovered a more palatable and just as potent source—sexual energy. Exploiting his charms, Garrett spends many evenings moving from one “dinner-date” to the next siphoning off small amounts from willing playmates. When Kay walks into Garrett’s life, his entire world is flipped around.
Set in the world of the Dark Knights of Heaven
After talking to McCleary, the brothers fear for the safety of their women.
Lucius and Willem were nearly beside themselves with worry by the time they got to the school. They breathed a huge sigh of relief when they got to the school office and the girls were fine. They were just closing up for lunch. Surprised, but pleased, they invited the men to their apartment for a meal. Over sandwiches and soup, Willem and Lucius told the girls about their conversation with Mr. McCleary.
"Any idea what he meant about where your father went to think?" Dollie asked.
"No idea," Willem replied. "We need to run up and see Mama and ask."
"You do that," Lucius said. "I'm gonna stay down with Dollie and Patty."
"We're fine," Dollie said, smiling. "You don't need to worry about us."
"But I do," Lucius replied solemnly. "Someone tried to take you from me last night. I won't stand still and wait for them to hurt either of you."
"Do you really think we're in danger?" Patty asked, her hand flying to her throat.
"I don't know, Miss Patty. Don't especially want to find out that I'm right and have someone get hurt."
"I'll head up there. Ma may want us to dinner. I'll come down and get ya if she does."
"I'll be up to help with chores," Lucius said. "So don't worry about coming back down. We can come up in Dollie's car."
"All righty. We can talk about out plans when you arrive." He gave Patty a kiss and left the three of them together.
The afternoon was quiet. Dollie and Patty worked quickly, typing letters and writing checks. When five o'clock rolled around, Patty put the balance sheets and checkbook in the safe while Dollie covered her typewriter.
Lucius drove Dollie's car up to his mother's house. Willem met them at the front porch.
"I talked with Uncle Wilt. He went and fetched some of the menfolk to keep an eye on things. I talked to Ma about Daddy's thinkin' spot. At first, she didn't want to tell me. Finally, she decided it was silly not to, and told me."
"Why so secretive?"
"Cause Daddy had him a shine still up there. Don't want the government men to find out."
"Did you tell her why you wanted to know?" Patty asked.
"I had to tell her something, or she wouldn't have given me the location. She didn't seem too surprised to hear McCleary's name. She wasn't real shocked when I mentioned coal neither. Reckon she knows more than she'll say."
"Why not tell you?"
"Too many folks around. Even family can't be trusted with all the information. Besides, if she believes that's what got Daddy kilt, she ain't gonna tell her boys, now is she?"
Lucius shook his head. "Girls, I want y'all to stay up here with Mama while me and Will go meet with Mr. McCleary."
Dollie and Patty tried to protest, but he and Will were firm.
"Can't have you with me, worrying sick if you're safe. We got men watching here. They're armed and they can shoot the wings off a gnat." Will said.
"But you and Luke!" Patty said.
"We can take care of ourselves," Will replied. "You're not to worry none. Now, we're gonna go have us some dinner with Mama and the kids. Then we're gonna make the excuse we got to check the upper fields. Got some ewes ready to lamb. Reckon we got to anyway, so we'll have a look before we meet up with McCleary."
Despite what the girls said, there was no arguing with the men. They finally agreed, grudgingly, to stay at the house.
"But you tell us exactly where it is," Patty said. "So if we have to come looking, we know where to start."
"I'll do ya one better," Lucius replied. "I'll draw ya a map." He dug a piece of paper out of a drawer in his room. He grabbed a stub of a pencil and smoothed the paper on the kitchen table. A few quick strokes and he had a basic layout of the Henry land. "This here's us," he marked an X on a rectangle representing the house. "Bout half a mile up," he drew a dotted line. "In a little hidden holler. Got a shack up there and water nearby, which is good for a thinking spot." He winked.
Dollie folded up the paper and put it down the front of her shirt. Lucius' eyes followed her movements hungrily. He took her hand, bringing it to his lips.
"Damn, Miss Dollie, I sure wish I was that paper."
She smiled, kissing his forehead. "One day, you will be. You come back safe, you hear? Don't go off and get yourself killed before—"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Sunday, December 08, 2019
It's December already? Wow, it doesn't seem possible. If you're whittling away at your gift lists, books make great gifts! Today, we have on two authors of great books. One is a frequent flyer with our network, the other fellow is brand new. We're delighted to have them both on.
K.G. Bethlehem fathers one daughter, and has been writing since the late 1990s and has evolved into an accomplished author, poet, conscious-minded individual, narrative storyteller, and overall excellent writer. He is also a well-experienced short-story writer as well. His first venture into writing was poetry. He wrote, some in high school but more in college. He took a class under the tutelage of Dr. Georgia Johnston at St. Louis University and went on to perform at poetry readings around the St. Louis area from 1999-2003
K.G. Bethlehem specializes in the Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Dystopia genres where he combines well-thought storylines with a vivid imagination to comprise to ultimate reading experience.
He has self-published 6 books including his most recent full-length novel, “Astronomical”, and “Shadow Within A City”, which was co-authored with F. Kenneth Taylor, as well as his newest publication and short-story, “The Forever Spring”. His first self-published book was Avenging Knights, a fantasy novel, that came out in 2009. He’s the Co-Creator of the 2004 Dark-Comic release, ShadowKill.” Also this year Shadow Within A City II Ghost Squad’s Apocalyptic was release, Dystopian, sci fi novel written with F. Kenneth Taylor. He currently has several upcoming projects. One such project is due to come out in May of 2020 called “She is to be remembered.” This sci fantasy. Anti utopian fiction is part of the Shadow Within A City universe that will showcase a new hero fighting against an ancient foe.
F. Kenneth Taylor is a Self-Published Author of 9 books in multiple genres including; Sci-Fi/Space Opera, Dystopia, Urban-Drama, and Poetry. He wrote his first manuscript in 2001, but wouldn't become a published author until 2012. Since then, he has become a Freelance Writer/Editor and most recently, began consulting new SP Authors. However, there's much more F. Kenneth Taylor has accomplished in writing...
2014-2019 Owner/Creator of Some'n Unique Magazine LLC
* 2015 Nominated 'Author of the Year' by STL Star Awards
* 2015 Featured in Dec. issue of F.U.S.E Magazine
* 2015 Guest Speaker at Gateway Elem. School
* 2016 Featured on The Hangin With Web Show
* 2016 Launched 'Books Jazz Coffee & Smoke' on BTR with Kevin Daniel (KG Bethlehem)
* 2017 Launched Local Poetry Open Mic, "Poetic Vibez"
* 2018 Featured on Roku TV's, "The Women's Cave"
* 2019 Launched new BTR Open Mic, "The Cipher" Aside from being a Self-Published Author, F.
Kenneth Taylor is also an Acrylic Abstract and Landscape Visual Artist. Losing his father in 2018, who was an amazing artist as well; re-ignited F. Kenneth's passion and first love of Art. He was 1 of 7 hand-picked artists to have their work presented at Urb Arts in the 2019 Abstract Pop-Up Exhibit. Finally, F. Kenneth Taylor is a Spoken Word Artist who performs regularly in St. Louis, MO and select venues in Illinois.
In his down time, F. Kenneth Taylor is usually with his youngest god-daughter, who is also a budding artist, or he's playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II (his fav. one), Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, Dragon Age II, or Mass Effect II. FUN FACTS: Major Star Wars fan... Loves playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed (Brotherhood or Black Flag), Dragon Age II & Mass Effect. -- He's an avid music lover and favorite snack is Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Banana Moon Pies & Welch's Fruit Snacks.
Thursday, December 05, 2019
The men find a letter in the bank which shows that someone had found coal on the Henry land, and they assume that's what had Earl upset the night he confronted them.
When they got outside, Luke pulled him close. "What was all that with Mr. Kelly?"
"You want him to think we got the papers or not? I don't think he's in on it, but we got to figure that anyone we know might be guilty."
"I don't like thinkin' our friends might've kilt our daddy," Luke said. "But you're right. We can't rule out any man we know."
"Or woman," Will countered.
"You think a woman shoved our daddy in the creek?"
"Not really, but we can't rule anyone out but us and the girls. They was with us when Daddy died."
"Besides, it wouldn't even occur to them to do such a thing."
"That's the God's truth. Let's go find that phone."
The two men made a show of driving out of town as if they were headed back to the school. Instead, they took the first available road to Cumberland. The whole way, they talked about what had happened and lined up their suspects. The sheriff was at the top of the list. The people who ran the school stacked up right under him.
"I don't like to think Bert would kill our daddy," Luke said. "But he was powerful angry with him at the party."
"He had a right to be," Will countered. "I was powerful angry with him myself. And you were pretty mad as well."
"Yeah, I was. Not enough to kill him."
"Well, no. But you'd have punched him given half a chance."
Luke had to agree, he would have. His father knew just how to get under his skin to make him furious.
They arrived in Cumberland and drove around a few minutes looking for a payphone. They found one near the courthouse. Parking down the street, they walked over to the phone, digging around in their pockets for change.
Will took up the phone and gave the number to the operator. A few clicks and buzzes later, he heard the phone ringing on the other end.
"Geological Society of Kentucky, 1939, " a man answered.
"Hello," Will said, doing his best to lose the country hick accent that came so naturally to him. "I'm calling regarding a letter you sent to Mr. Earl Henry about a survey you did of his land."
There was a pause.
"Who are you and why are you calling?"
"I'm Mr. Henry's heir."
"Earl's dead?" There was a tone of shock and horror in the other man's voice. "Is this Willem or Lucius?"
"I'm Willem," he said, a slight question in his voice.
"Where you calling from, son?"
"Payphone in Cumberland. Who's this?"
"Timothy McCleary. I need to talk to you boys. How can I reach you? Will you be in Cumberland long?"
"No, sir. We come up here to make our call. We have to head home soon."
"Dammit." McCleary cursed softly. "Can you meet me somewhere? Tonight. Preferably not in Harlan."
"Mr. McCleary, you're scarin' me a bit."
There was a short silence. "Phones aren't private," he said. "Anyone with a mind to can listen in. If you can't make it to me, I'll come to you. You do what you need to do and I'll meet up with you. Your daddy had a special spot he went to think. You ask your mama. I'll meet you there after supper."
"You sure, Mr. McCleary? That's a powerful long drive."
"Y'all ain't safe, Willem. Soon as I hang up, I'm on my way."
"We'll see you then, sir."
Willem hung up, sighing. It took a few minutes to tell Lucius everything because he kept interrupting. Finally, he had the entire story.
"So, what now?" Lucius asked.
"Now, we find out from Mama what the hell Timothy McCleary was talking about."
"Reckon so. I'm powerful worried about the girls. We need to get on back now."
Willem agreed. They hopped in the truck and drove back to the school as fast as they were able. It seemed that every possible delay met them. First, there'd been a wreck. A truck ran away on the narrow mountain road. Fortunately, the driver had been able to direct it into a soft bank. He was hurt, but alive. They saw him standing on the side of the road talking to a deputy.
Next, they got behind an overloaded bus. It was almost too long for the steep mountain road. More than once, the end of it hung over the edge of the road, its wheels barely on the pavement. Fortunately, they stopped at an overlook to check out the scenery and the men were able to get around.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
The men head to the bank in the morning, to check out Big Earl's safe deposit box.
"Just let me know when you've finished. I'll put the box right back."
"Thanks, Mr. Kelly," Will said.
He waited for the door to click shut before opening the box. He lifted the lid and put his hand inside. He brought out a stack of papers tied with another piece of the same red ribbon as was on the key. He untied them, handing half to Luke. There were chairs in the room, so they sat down and looked through the stacks.
Most of the items were nothing special. There were a few receipts for things like the plow he'd bought five years ago. He had various livestock papers were there. An official looking envelope caught Luke's eye as he shuffled through his stack. Taking it out, he sent the other items down and removed the paper from its envelope. The address was typed and the return address was printed on the left hand corner. Inside, the official state seal graced the letterhead. Thinking it looked important, Luke unfolded the paper.
"Dear Mr. Henry," Luke read quietly. "Enclosed you will find a full report from our independent firm. You were right in thinking there were resources under your feet, Mr. Henry. Please see the report to verify our findings. Sincerely Layton Haws, Geology Society of Kentucky."
The accompanying sheet was full of words and numbers he couldn't interpret. Then one word hopped off the page at him—coal. Tugging Will's sleeve, he showed it to his brother.
"What the hell? Luke, look at the date on this. He got it the day before he died."
"No wonder he was so antsy. This is what he meant when he talked so crazy at the party. He meant this—this is his payout."
"You suppose he was gonna sell to a coal mine?"
"I dunno, Will. There ain't any love lost between him and Mr. Bertram. Them two hate each other. But I can't see him tearing up the family land. That's been in his family since time began."
"He'd do it if he thought it would make things right for Mama. He's always been sorry he couldn't provide better for the family. Reckon he thought he'd found a way."
"This is what got him kilt," Luke whispered. "This right here is the reason our daddy's dead."
Will paled. "Now you're talkin' crazy, Luke. No body killed him. He got drunk and fell in the creek."
"If that's so, why did someone try to break into the girls' dorm?"
"You don't suppose they think the girls know something?"
"Nope, but wouldn't they make damn fine leverage if they wanted us to give them this information?"
"Jesus, Luke!" Will smacked his forehead. "Kidnapping? Of our womenfolk?"
Luke lowered his voice to a whisper. "And I reckon our sheriff is in on it. All those questions he's been asking, staying late at the office and scared as hell that we called instead of someone else."
Will ran his hands through his hair. "You ain't kiddin'. You really believe that."
"I do. Makes a body wonder who else knows and is after wantin' this information."
"We got to call that fella in the letter," Will replied. "And we need to figure out a way to protect our family. What if next time, the fellas bring guns instead of a baseball bat? We ain't even safe here. Folks saw us in town. They're gonna talk."
"And the girls went back to school." It was Luke's turn to go pale.
"They can't grab 'em in broad daylight."
"They can if it's Mr. Bertram and his buddies."
"I can't imagine Bert kidnappin' anyone," Will tried to sound confident. "Aw, hell, Luke. I can imagine it."
"Safest place for this is right here," Luke said. "Lemme get that number." He scribbled a phone number on a scrap of paper in his pocket. He added the address. "Or, maybe we need to drive up and see him."
"That's all the way to Lexington," Will protested. "That's a half day's drive at least. Even if we started now, we'd not be back until after dark. The girls won't be safe."
"Then we take them with us. Drive up this afternoon, spend the night and see that Mr. Haws in the morning."
"I got a better idea. We drive up to Cumberland or some such, find us a pay phone and make that call," Will said.
"Why go all that way?"
"You want the whole town to know our business? Old Louisa Michelson is such a gossip, the whole county would know. Hell, they'd know as far south as Knoxville."
Will laughed at his brother, though he saw the wisdom of it. "Okay. Then let's do that. And if we have to, we'll plan a trip tomorrow up to Lexington, and take the girls with us."
That matter agreed on, they put everything back in the box and asked Mr. Kelly put it away.
"You find all you needed?"
Will had kept out a few papers on a cow that had died of milk fever. "Sure nuf, Mr. Kelly. Got all we need right here." He waved the pages nearly under the man's nose.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
I don’t know who I am. I can’t remember my name, where I come from, or how I ended up in the hospital with a bullet wound to my chest. When I think back, searching for a memory, all I see is a big black hole of nothing.
But I recall her voice…the sweet, angelic sound that reached out to me through the coffin of black, pulling me back to the light.
I might not know anything about my past, my life, my identity—but the moment I opened my eyes and stared straight into hers, I knew I wanted her. I knew there was no way in hell I would let her go.
Now I need to piece back together the missing fragments of my life so I can figure out where she fits into it—or if she fits into it at all.
The only problem is if your past is buried beneath a shroud of darkness, you have no idea when it might come back to haunt you.
Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreement with her boss at Birdman & Birdman.
Jason Banes is a thief, he readily admits that, but he's quick to deny that he's also a murderer. Accused of multiple homicides, and theft, he agrees to help a multi-national task force find the real killer. When he's assigned to an FBI team for protection, he meets Agent Taylor Driscole. It's a race to find Orchid before she kills again. Though she's reluctant to use Jason's skills, Agent Driscole realizes that sometimes, It Takes a Thief to catch a murderer.
From a three-week voyage of more than 7000 miles from New Orleans to Buenos Aires in 1964 through an eight-day, 3258-mile round-trip drive between Evanston, Illinois and Clovis, New Mexico in 2017, whether in their prime or in their nineties, the Bedfords have packed a lot into their life's journey. Follow their inspiring story of faith and service, set in fascinating times and places in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.
Where fallen angels battle Hell’s demons, find their lost souls, and discover love while hunting for a prophecy that holds the key to either their redemption or their destruction. They are the Dark Knights of Heaven. Look for His Soul to Keep, His Soul to Hold and His Soul to Save.
I remember nothing. Not my name, where I come from, my past, or how I ended up in the hospital with a bullet wound in my chest. Everyt...
Gasping loudly, she spun around, clutching her throat. She is a pretty thing, delicate of feature. Her dark brown eyes look nearly bla...
Practicing law in a large partnership, Sydney Jones was primed for making partner. Then her life turned upside down after a disagreemen...
After hearing what's got Phillida upset, Margo and Drea agree that Andres is making a serious mistake by asking Carley to be hi...