Saturday, 20 May 2017

TL & The Real Estate Lady PART 2 by allan hudson

Things start to heat up in Part 2 of my short story. If you missed Part 1, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.





One of my favorite characters is TJ. He's been in two of my short stories already. You met him first in the Two Grumpy Old Men Café and then in the Finale of the Two Grumpy Old Men Café


A perpetual playboy. Swears he'll never get married. Now that the café belongs to someone else, what is he up to?

Read Part 2 of TJ's latest escapades in

TJ & the Real Estate Lady.



Closing his eyes, he lets his mind wander. It goes back to his childhood, back to when he was a boy in South Branch. Particularly of one morning he was hiding in the backseat of his brother’s 56 Chevy, reading a Hardy Boys novel his teacher had loaned him.  He was eleven. The book was the Hidden Harbor Mystery. Frank and Joe Hardy and their friend Chet Morton have just been arrested. TJ couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. He ignored his sister calling him for dinner, he had taken a box of soda crackers from the shelf when he sneaked out so he wasn’t hungry. He slithered down on the floor when his friends ran through the yard looking for him so they wouldn’t see him.

It’s always been one of his fondest memories. The car was new, you could still smell the cleaners and drying glues. Taking off his sneakers, he could lie down full length on the seat. Warm sunshine streamed in the back window, making the hiding spot toasty and comfortable. A bottle of cola propped between his knees. He was doing his favorite thing with his favorite heroes. TJ remembers the intense feeling of content he experienced that afternoon. Recalling it now causes him a brief shiver. His eyes shoot open. His hands rise out of the water for emphasis.

“That’s it. I’m moving back to South Branch!”

Momentarily unfocused he shakes his head and looks around. Bubbles burst and steams rises about him. The deck and starry night stop moving and his head clears. Crawling out of the tub, he steps from the fiberglass step onto the cedar platform, grabbing a large black towel.  Taking two steps down he walks out on the ceramic tiles, toweling the moisture from his body. Deep in thought he wobbles some but manages to dry himself thoroughly. The more he thinks of his existence here he feels out of touch, unconnected from his beginnings, his kin. He’s almost afraid to admit it but he’s tired of living alone. Wrapping the towel about his chest he heads towards the bedroom with one last statement to the empty deck.

“Tomorrow I’m selling my house!”

 


A one acre lot in the gated community of Sheldon’s Lake Estates sells for a quarter million dollars. The transaction stipulates that any home built within the estate must be a minimum of equal value. Most homes average one million. To be offered a listing in this neighborhood is a realtor’s most distinguished moment. Commissions will be in the thousands. TJ knows this as he flips through the list of realty companies on his phone.

He is at a dining table on the back deck facing the lake, the spa area to his left. The rear of the house faces southeast and this time of the day, the sun is low and beginning its ascent into the sky. Mellow rays penetrate the trees and fronds that line the lawn and separate the properties down to the water three hundred feet away. The mockingbirds are singing. The biscuit on the plate is half eaten and drips with strawberry jam. The Fred Flintstone coffee mug steams with fresh brew. TJ wipes an errant drip of sweetness from his chin with his napkin and his eyebrows go up. Eyeing the listing he laughs at the name on the screen.

Two Rooks and a Castle Real Estate Agency. Serving all of Hillsborough and Polk Counties.

“I like the sound of that.” TJ says as he thumbs the dial icon. After the eight ring he guesses it’s going to voicemail and is about to click end, when a cheerful voice answers.

“Two Rooks and a Castle. How can we help you today?”

“Hello there. I’d like to speak to your most junior agent, the newest addition to your sales team.”

A pause follows TJ’s request.

“Oh…well I guess that would be me.”

TJ frowns at the phone. As charming as the voice is, it is not a young person.

“And you’re the receptionist too?”

The lady’s laughter is like soft chimes, happy sounds.

“No, I’m just sitting in for a moment.”

TJ usually just says what he’s thinking.

“She had to use the little girl’s room huh?”

“No, actually, he had to use the little boy’s room.”

TJ is amused by her quick quip, the pleasing sound of her voice causes a wide grin.

“Of course, how sexist of me. Please forgive me. The reason I called is that I’d like to sell my house and I want you to sell it for me. What’s your name?”

“Louisa. And what’s yours please?”

“People call me TJ.”

“Just a second TJ, the other lines are ringing. Can I call you back in about ten minutes?

“Sure, number here is 234-555-9876.”

“Where is your property located TJ?”

“Sheldon’s Lake.”

TJ hears the faint gasp as reality of the location sets into Louisa’s mind. Her voice has a slight tremor.

“I’ll call you right away TJ…and thank you for calling Two Rooks and a Castle.”

“My pleasure.”

 

TJ only has time to finish the rest of the biscuit and fetch fresh coffee when his cell rings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
“Hello TJ.”

“Hello Louisa. Thanks for calling me back so promptly. Now when can you come and list the property?”

“If you are free now, I’m only a half hour away.”

“Great, then come on over and bring anything I need to sign.”

He glances at his watch.

“It’s almost nine thirty now, so around ten then? The address is 200 Waterfowl Way.”

“Perfect, I’ll see you soon. Thank you TJ.”

He hates to hang up. He likes the sound of her voice. He tries to imagine what she looks like.

“Yes, yes, see you shortly.”

 

Placing the cell on the table he sits back. Smiling to himself, he decides the dreamlike voice probably comes from a short bearded lady, two yards wide. If he let his imagination drift, he sees her as a tall Brunette, cinnamon eyes with flowing hair, long legs and the shortest skirt. Shaking the thought away he tells himself no more women until he settles back into New Brunswick. He plans on leaving as soon as possible. Pushing his chair back he gathers plate, napkin and cup and mutters to himself.

“Need to make that bed and straighten the hot tub deck before she gets here.”

 

TJ is tossing the empty scotch bottle in the recycle bin in his garage. The large two car door is open to the driveway and street. His 1970 Chevy Nova sits in the left bay. The right bay is open and his Ford F150 is in the driveway. Before he shuts the door a mint green Jeep Cherokee pulls in the driveway and parks beside the truck. If this is the real estate agent, the woman sitting at the wheel is not what TJ was expecting. Even from a distance the smile is perfect. He walks out the receding garage door to greet his visitor. TJ reaches to open her door.  He`s mesmerized.

The lady getting out of the car is as tall as he is, slim and lithe, the way she moves reminds him of a dancer. A slender chin and fine nose make her smile even more delightful. Short auburn curls in a stylish cut compliment her happy eyes.  Silver looped earrings and a matching pendant glisten on her soft skin. She`s a beautiful woman. He guesses her to be close to fifty-five. Her voice is more pleasing, sexier than on the phone. TJ gets goosebumps.

`You sir are a gentleman. I’m Louisa Bourque.  Are you TJ Parker?”

TJ steps back, pleasure gleaming from his eyes.

“I am but I don’t think I mentioned my last name.”

Louisa Bourque likes the confidence in the man’s eyes, the cockiness in his grin and is immediately drawn to him.

“Well, with the property lists available to us, it was easy to attain your last name. I hope you don’t mind but the information is public. Just give me a second please and I’ll grab my briefcase from the back seat.”

While she is doing so, TJ comments on her familiar last name.

“I don’t know any Bourque’s in Florida but there were many where I grew up.”

The smile is genuine when she faces him. Her hands hold her briefcase in front. Black slacks and the black open-toed shoes have a white bow on the front A beige lace blouse over a dark camisole heightens her light tan. Her briefcase is soft brown leather. There is no wedding band. TJ is awestruck. She turns her head slightly when she speaks to him.

“I don’t think you would know them, my parents are originally from Canada.”

TJ perks up.

“Where abouts in Canada?”

Louisa is struck by the memory of her childhood visits to her grandparents in the summers.

“Small communities in New Brunswick. My father is from Shediac and my mother is from South Branch.”




*
 
 
 
Three months later TJ is standing on the doorstep to a modest condo on Makaikai Street in Mililani, Hawaii. He knocks on the door. It’s not even 8 a.m. and the sun is at his back. The rays are almost as bright as his disposition. There is no answer and he knocks again, only harder. Several minutes go by until the door opens and Wilmot is standing there. Disheveled hair, needing a shave, white tee shirt and baggy pajama bottoms. He’s in a bad mood from being awakened so early and is ready to blast the visitor until he sees TJ posing there with a face splitting smile and a ravishing lady at his side.

“TJ, what a surprise. What are you doing here?”

“Wilmot, I want you to be my best man!” 
 
 
 
Thank you for visiting today. Hope you enjoyed the story and meeting TJ. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

TJ & The Real Estate Lady by allan hudson

One of my favorite characters is TJ. He's been in two of my short stories already. You met him first in the Two Grumpy Old Men Café and then in the Finale of the Two Grumpy Old Men Café


A perpetual playboy. Swears he'll never get married. Now that the café belongs to someone else, what is he up to?

Read Part 1 of TJ's latest escapades in

TJ & the Real Estate Lady.





TJ Parker. A 72 year old playboy bored out of his skull. Bubbles frothing at his back, the water roils about his naked body that soaks in the hot tub. Arms spread in each direction, elbows on the cedar, a stress ball shaped like a breast in one hand and a glass half full of golden glory in the other. The bottle of aged Lagavulin is only inches away, albeit almost empty. Another several inches away is a second glass, lipstick smeared and empty.  Beads of perspiration dot his skin like pebbles that melt and runaway. Steam billows from the seven hundred and fifty gallons of heated water. TJ is staring at the rising vapor as it hits the ceiling of the cedar overhang of his deck and disperses randomly before evaporating. It reminds him of his relationship with Wilmot and Taffy, his best friends, and how it sort of dissipated almost a year ago. His eyes lose focus.
 
 
 

The three of them, Wilmot Parker (no relation) and Taffy Fitzsimons ran a not-for-profit eatery. In fact, under a drunken stupor in this very hot tub a few years ago, yanging to each other about having too much time on their hands, they hatched a plan to open a diner style restaurant for breakfast only. Closes at 11am sharp every day, they’d all still have their afternoons, Wilmot to golf, TJ to write his novels of erotica and Taffy to support the thrift shops. All retired and financially sensible they didn’t need the money. Taffy didn’t want to be involved in any ownership but she’d help anyway she could.

Wilmot was a financial advisor during his career as well as an outstanding chef. He’d do the cooking. TJ was the talker, he’d serve and whatever. Taffy wanted to be a waitress. They giggled at every suggestion until Wilmot would get them back on track. Two hours of banter, another half bottle of scotch, they came up with a plan. They’d buy their own building, big windows and old brick, somewhere not far from a beach. TJ was a building contractor previously and would supervise the work. Soft homey colors (Taffy’s idea, the boys wanted red and black). Big black and white photos of famous Canadians hanging on the walls. TJ’s scrumptious biscuits, every patron gets one whether they want it or not. They’d cover the costs and give the rest to charity, likely the homeless. Thus, the Two Grumpy Old Men Café was born. The food would be delicious and the grumpiness would be free.

Remembering the last time he saw them six months ago when Wilmot asked him to be his best man. A trip to Hawaii was worth every penny, a great time reminiscing, meeting Taffy’s family and finding comfort in the arms of her cousin Luanda was worth the trip alone. He had thought about asking her to come to Florida with him but he talked himself out of it, he wasn’t much for long term relationships. The old joke of too many women and too little time is wearing thin and he’ll have to think of some other explanation when people ask him why he is still single.

His thoughts are disturbed by the returning of his guest.  She reaches over to place a dish of oysters, cheese and crackers on the wood shelf by the whisky. TJ had prepared it earlier, forgotten on the coffee table. Her breast sways teasingly close to his lips when she bends over.

“Here sweetie, you must be famished, we haven’t eaten since we had the pasta at Nevio’s and it’s almost midnight.”

She sticks her finger under his chin to tilt his head up.

“And doesn’t all this wonderful activity make you hungry…you tiger.”

When she says this, she reaches into the water to rub his chest amongst the bubbles.  She must’ve found an on switch. Something in the water quickens.

“Oh my!”

TJ is smirking, rather proud of his libido. The green eyes suggest that it’s no big deal. He takes a swig of the whiskey. Tossing the stress ball he grins at his guest.

“You getting back in?”

She clasps her hand to her chest. The wet one drips tiny droplets on her tummy that run down her nakedness. Amanda Waycross is no floosy.  At sixty five, widowed, a night of unimaginable sex and discovery is no common event. Not one given to a lark, allowing this charming, handsome man to seduce her was the best thing that happened to her in years. She can’t remember how many times she came. She waves him off.

“Oh no way Jose, I can barely walk as it is. That thing should be registered as a weapon. I’m hoping we can do it again but not tonight honey. You know I have to leave soon. The grand kids are being dropped off at seven and I don’t want to miss a day with those rascals. Would you like to join us?”

The eyebrows question him. Reaching up to secure her ponytail, her small breasts are pear shaped and so lovely that TJ is tempted. Not one for children, he tries to avoid such encounters.

“Tomorrows not good Amanda, I…I think I’m going to be busy.”

Disappointment causes a frown, she can read between the lines.

“Sure TJ. I’m just going to get my things from the bedroom and…”

She looks around at the deck and pool area and back at TJ unmoving in the tub.

“…and the deck and the hammock...”

They both start laughing, TJ quiet with shoulders moving, Amanda with a soft chuckle. Bending over the edge of the tub that comes to mid-thigh, she holds his head in her hands, brushing his long hair back behind his ears. Glassy eyes express her pleasure. She kisses him passionately, thankfully and backs off.

“You’re the best TJ. Call me sometime if you want.”

She leaves. A few minutes later he hears the hum of her Audi, the crunching of the tires on the fine stone gravel of his driveway. Stretching out his arm, he tips the neck of the bottle to refill his glass. Less than an ounce dribbles from its brown throat. He shakes it hopefully a couple of times.  That’s it! The bottle teeters a bit when replaced on the cedar almost falling into the water. When he pivots his elbow to grab at it his forearm knocks the last of the finest scotch in the house into the suds, glass and all. The liquor makes a brief brownish stain for several seconds. His eyes bug out. He’d like to curse, he wanted that one last slow burn and besides, the friggin’ stuff is over five dollars an ounce.

“Damn!

He shakes it off and leans back. Grabbing his smart phone, his thumb makes it tweet a dozen times and he sets it back down. Only a second goes by until “Kitty LaRoar” comes softly from overhead speakers. She’s halfway through Skylark, the words as beautiful as her voice. Closing his eyes, the jazz meets the scotch buzz and they get acquainted. Soon lulled into a partial comatose state, his memory drifts back to the last thing they all agreed on. Wilmot made them repeat it all together when they staggered out of the tub.

“Anyone wants out, all they have to do is say so. No hard feelings.”

He can still see Taffy and Wilmot sitting across from him after closing one Friday eleven months ago, arms intertwined staring at each other all lovey-like. He still can’t believe it. Said they were getting married and moving to Hawaii, on Oahu where Taffy was brought up, leaving in less than a week. What a shock, they’d been dating behind his back knowing he would be teasing them in front of the patrons. They reminded him of the agreement they’d made and they wanted out, good friends and all.

Now the Open Heart Home owns the café receiving it debt free, full title at no charge, their largest donation by far. It’s manned by three people that actually were homeless at one time.TJ trained all the staff, helped Edward Bancroft, often referred to in his former life as Twenty five Cent Eddie, get off the streets using his background in cooking. Clean for 11 months, a resurrection of his culinary skills from his former diner jobs has made him the star of the store. Bertha and Beulah do the waiting and cleanups.

TJ only has one more meeting with his lawyers to finalize the agreement. After that, there will be nothing to keep him busy other than his abnormal pursuit of the opposite sex. Grinning at this thought, he speaks to the rising steam.

“Even that is getting old hat. Damn, I’m not getting any younger and I should be a little fussier than I have been. I guess they can’t all be as sexy as Amanda. It’s taking more scotch to get the available ladies looking good enough. And the last time I looked in the mirror, I expect that some of the ladies feel the same way. What the dickens am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
 
 
 
 
Thanks for visiting folks. I'll post part 2 next week. Hope you can drop by for the rest of the story.
 
Tell me what you think of TJ?

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Guest Author Lisette Lombard of Mexico.


All the way from Monterrey...She’s back!

 

The Scribbler is pleased to have Lisette Lombard return for a second visit. A 4Q interview and an excerpt from her newest novel. If you missed her before, you can check it out here 




Thank you, Allan, for inviting me for a return visit to the South Branch Scribbler. I am honoured to be showcased in your blog. I am a native of Monterrey, Mexico. EBO is my first novel and is a YA paranormal romance. It is an exciting story about vampires and love. Night Orchid, its sequel, has recently been released. Both novels are published by Morning Rain Publishing of Ontario, Canada, of which I am their first international author. You can find me as L. Lombard, or by following the link to my website below.
 
 
 



4Q: I recently read your first novel, EBO, which was featured in your first visit here on the Scribbler, and I enjoyed it very much. Please tell us what fascinates you about Vampires and how the idea of loving a mortal was inspired.

LL: I’m so glad you enjoyed EBO. I have always been intrigued by the paranormal. It leads to question What if?— and this presents so many possibilities. I feel compelled to lead readers into another realm and make them forget they are reading the impossible, leave them with a sense of longing for the What if.  It is exciting to create a made-up world in which everything fits, one that is so believable that readers will forget it is fiction, and better yet, wish it were not.

But EBO and Night Orchid serve an additional purpose. The literary world is swamped with stories of vampires loving mortals; however, these stories tend to get a bit graphic. Years back, my daughter was interested in this genre. After reading several novels, it was becoming hard to find appropriate stories for her to read so I decided to write one for her, and that’s how EBO was born. Young Adults are smart and imaginative, and I write “clean” stories for them to enjoy. It’s fun to explore alternative ways for readers of all ages to experience strong emotions while reading my books.

4Q: Your latest work is titled Night Orchid and is a sequel to EBO. Tell us about it.

LL: Night Orchid begins where EBO left off. Thinking the worst is behind, Josephine is ready to turn her back on fear and live out a normal life—as normal as possible when loving a smouldering hundred and eighty year old vampire. But loving the undead is never simple, and the perils that threaten their world appear to never end.

Seeking protection from their beloved Ashanti, Ebo and Josephine return to Africa. Danger multiplies when hunters—a vampire’s worst enemy—side with the wretched creature that has made it her life mission to destroy Ebo and Josephine. The fight for their lives will test every fibre of their being. Can their love survive the turmoil?

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory with us.

LL: When I was about nine, I walked out of class to find a group of boys poking at a dead opossum in the hallway. The poor creature had a live baby in its pouch. I couldn’t help myself and took the baby home. My mom is an amazing person and was used to my antics when it came to rescuing defenseless creatures, but I still knew she’d freak out. I decided to keep it hidden, but I needed a plan. Our next-door neighbour was a young mother who’d recently given birth, so I went over to ask if she had baby formula she could spare. “It’s for a school project,” I said. Armed with powdered milk and a doll’s bottle, I fed the opossum round the clock for a week until I was found out. I wasn’t allowed to keep it, as I knew would happen, but mom drove me to the vet and the critter was left in his care. I’m calling my mom now to laugh over this, and I might remind her about the rescue of the lab rats while I’m at it… but that’s another story.

4Q: What’s next Lisette? What are you working on now?

LL: Shifters! I continue to be drawn to the paranormal and have a story brewing, but it’s still in the initial stages, so we’ll see where that leads.




An Excerpt from Night Orchid. (copyright held by the author)




Ebo, if you come I will never speak to you again. He’d been right. These guys were deadly serious, and his appearance at the village would turn ugly in a hurry. Moving from the window, I walked out the door to face the hunters.

Faking to rub sleep from my eyes, I made my way to the chief’s side, noticing the Ashanti guards were closer to Kiki but in an unfavourable position to help her. “What’s going on?” I asked, trying to control the anger in my voice.
 
“We have visitors,” Chief Kande said. The tension on his face warned me against doing something stupid. He might’ve thought he had things under control, but it sure didn’t look that way to me.

Concentrating on the hunters, I made them believe I was witnessing Kiki’s rough treatment for the first time. “Let her go,” I hissed through gritted teeth. She wasn’t hurt, but it was easy to see the way her body trembled. All blood had drained from her face.

“They want vampires,” Kiki muttered.

Sidestepping through the guards, I made my way to her. “Then go watch a movie,” I told the leader. Too late, I realized I should’ve acted more surprised, but my blood was boiling.

The young one at the back chuckled again. I didn’t risk glancing away from his leader. He was taller and stronger than I’d initially thought. A hand was placed on my shoulder, and I tensed at Chief Kande’s touch. That’s when I noticed the Ashanti had surrounded the hunters, all spears raised in their direction.

Ebo’s growls were in my head, and his fury was in my heart. It made it difficult to keep the emotions from showing on my face, so I directed that hatred toward the man before me. “Let. Her. Go.”

“And you are?” he asked with a smirk on his face, but I noted a hint of indecision in his voice.

“Her friend, and a member of the Ashanti.”

His head tilted. I was sure he saw something, but was it enough? “What are you?” he demanded in a low, dangerous tone.

“That’s a really stupid and offensive question,” I spat.

Ebo was moving fast and would soon reach us. I’m not kidding, stay away. His pace slowed, but did not stop. The anger he felt made me want to scream. My vision unfocused at the edges. You’re making it hard for me to stay human, I warned, unsure of what it meant, but it made him stop.

Behind me, Chief Kande spoke. “Tell us what you want, and we will assist you. The girls know nothing of the female deathling.”

A speculative glance was directed my way. “Have this one switch places with her friend while we search your village.”

“No—”

I moved before the chief finished speaking and reached for the leader’s arm holding the knife. He lowered it, releasing Kiki and taking me in her place.

“I didn’t expect this,” he said. “You are warm.” The hand holding the knife moved, and he placed his thumb against my neck, feeling for a pulse. “You have a heartbeat.”

“Of course, I do.” I forced the laughter that followed. “Do I look like the walking dead?”

“On the contrary, you are extremely beautiful.”

Kiki moved forward and slapped the man hard across his face. Korshi pulled her back just as the other hunters came to her. The Ashanti took a step closer, forming a tight circle around the hunters.

“Uh-oh, you’ve angered them,” I said.

“Shush, foolish girl. I thought you were the one Sophia mentioned. A part-vampire.”

Sophia. Bile rose to my throat. “Maybe I am.”

Ebo’s growls filled my mind as soon as I spoke. Balling my fists, I fought the urge to punch the man. My vampire was capable of such anger. But nothing compared to the fear radiating from him. Had I gone too far?

“Stop toying with us, girl. You have no idea what we’re capable of.” His thumb prodded my neck again. “Call your men back,” he said to the chief.

Kande nodded, and his men took a tiny step back. A really tiny step. The chief wasn’t taking any chances. Kiki went for the leader again, but Korshi placed his hands over her arms, holding them down while forcing her away from us.

Motioning to Alex, the leader said, “Inspect her.” The hunter’s grip tightened, and he whispered in my ear, “He will not harm you, but we must be sure.”

Moving at the same time as Alex did, the chief was immediately at my side. “If you harm her, you will not walk out of here tonight.”

Ebo was running again, and I decided against asking him to stop. The tone in the hunter’s voice made my skin crawl.

“Open your mouth,” Alex said. Relaxing, I nearly laughed out loud. They’d find nothing there. Gently, his thumb pushed against my top lip and explored my teeth. Should I bite him? I asked Ebo. It was hard to control the urge.

Do not test them, sweetness.

With a hard tug, the leader twisted my arm back. I howled in agony as Alex thrust his hand in my mouth, feeling over my teeth again.

One moment I was held in a chokehold, the next I stumbled forward, watching a head roll past and blood splatter the ground, over my face and clothes. The second of stunned silence was chased by uproar and chaos. Chief Kande was right there, by my side, catching me before I fell.
 
 
 
 


Thank you Lisette for being our guest this week. Wishing you all the best with your stories!




And a Special thank you to you - the Reader.
Please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Guest Author D G Kaye


 
Welcome to this week's edition of the Scribbler. So happy to have D G Kaye join us. She is also sharing an excerpt from her latest novel. A special note is that Debby is an author's best friend. She has been most kind in introducing her readers to other authors and we are all indebted. Please see her links below.
 
 
 
 
(Copyright of this material is owned by D G Kaye. Used with permission)
 
 
Hi Allan. I’d first like to thank you very much for inviting me here today to introduce myself and share my books. 
I'm a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women's issues. I write to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them, hoping to inspire others.
I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. I’m kind of the ‘glass half full’ sort of girl. When life is throwing curveballs or lemons, I try to look on the bright side and the goodness in everything else I am grateful for. And usually in hindsight, I can find something to laugh about a previously not so funny situation. And then most likely, I’ll be writing about it. But when I'm not writing intimate memoirs, you'll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog/social media posts. 

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life, otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parents’ relationship. I often wrote notes and journaled about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.
 
Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. I’ve worked in the fashion industry, travel industry, hotel and hospitality, managed an architectural firm, a construction company, and a real estate office. I’ve bought, renovated and sold quite a few houses too. So, all in all, I’m a Jill of many trades. But despite all my experience, I always wrote and dreamed about someday writing books. It took me a few decades to get serious about my writing, but I made it. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life, which gives me plenty of material to write about. 

Ever the optimist, that is me. I've conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word No, or to use the words 'I can't' have kept me on a positive path in life. I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

My current WIP is about aging and relationships and marriage, when one partner becomes a senior and the other isn’t quite yet there.

Once again, thank you so much for having me here today Allan. It was a pleasure to be invited here and I look forward to chatting here with some of your readers.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt – P.S. I Forgive You 


The End is Near 


My mother had been dying for years, and through those years she refused to surrender her bitterness and remained in denial of her flaws. The many times I heard she was dying reminded me of the boy who cried wolf. I almost believed she was invincible, and even though I never wanted her to suffer, she did.
I thought it was just a horrible and sad way to die—holding hatred for those she had chased out of her life, living in bitter seclusion, knowing her days were numbered. Her once vibrant life had diminished into a mere existence of watching TV and complaining. She’d also given all her caregivers a difficult time, bitching at them all and letting them know how useless they were to her because of what her life had become. Nobody was exempt.
I asked my brother Robby why God didn’t just take her out of her misery and pain during one of the many times she was on the brink of death. Why would he not spare her from suffering? He replied, “God has his own plans.” I couldn’t help but wonder if he was letting her suffer because she had hurt so many people in her lifetime, but in my next thought I couldn’t believe God would play those cruel games, tit for tat.
I wondered what thoughts had to have been going through my mother’s head. How awful it must have been to know her time left on earth was limited. I thought about how frightened she must have felt in her lonely world, although she’d never admit it. I was sad for her, knowing that the anger and bitterness she displayed was a front for the depressed state of her pathetic life. I couldn’t fathom why she remained so obstinate in her resolve to spend what little time she had left wallowing in misery instead of embracing the end and making amends with her children. I wanted to fix her, but I didn’t know how.
Her formerly grand life had diminished into a tiny existence. She no longer flaunted her beauty to all who idolized her. Her schemes to extract money from my brothers to support her gambling pleasures were no longer effective. Three of her children had already exited her life because of her verbal abuse. There was nobody left to fall prey to her demands.
I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.
 

 
 
 
Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t     that just make the world right?”
 

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It's also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as traveling is  my pon.
My favorite reading genres are: biographies, memoirs, bookwriting, spirituality, and natural health. I love to read stories about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption. I believe we have to keep learning—there is always room for improvement!

I love to cook and concoct new recipes (and I don't believe in measuring cups), travel, and play poker (although I seldom get the chance), oh, and did I mention travel?

 

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