Liberty

Jeff tripped on a rock, stubbing his toe, and almost dropping Liberty.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” he promised the Bold. “I’m sorry but it’s time for you to go. The fog’s rolled in and that will help you escape Crusher. Please don’t cry, don’t be afraid. Liberty will take you far away. She’s a great ship. My Grandpa and I made her.”

The lump in Jeff’s throat felt bigger than a jawbreaker candy. He should know because he almost swallowed one, once. It was one of the scariest things in his life, almost as scary as Crusher.

Jeff reached the edge of Pine Grove Bay, and gently slipped the driftwood ship into the still water. He took the yellow nylon rope and watched as a gentle breeze pushed against the cloth sails, carrying the good people towards the bigger waters of Gull Lake. He smiled and waved, hoping that it would calm them down, as they begged him not to let go of the rope.

Wherever they ended up, it would be better than here. Better than the everyday meanness from Crusher. That monster loved to torment the Bold. He hated their art, said it was just as ugly as they were, just before he would wreck it. He took their money so they couldn’t buy food and threatened a beating should they tell anyone. Jeff had to make sure that he’d never let the beast see Liberty.

Jeff knew what the word ‘bold’ meant, but he was too afraid to stand up against Crusher, who was a lot bigger than him. He’d felt ashamed and after a while, he’d gone to the King and Queen to plead for help for the Bold.

But the King said that The Crusher was really just a coward and that it was up to Jeff to fight him off. The Queen said that sometimes there are just monsters, and they build something called character.

Jeff didn’t see it that way. He let the rope go and plugged his ears against the cries of the Bold. His eyes blurred with tears as he watched them go. One of the Bold jumped overboard, he was splashing in the water . . . no, drowning!

Jeff ran into the cold water, not worried about getting his clothes soaked. He scooped up the little man who immediately yelled, “What about Princess Carlan? She’ll help! She believes in us!”

“Um, I don’t know—”

“Yes! Princess Carlan! Take us back, Jeff! We don’t want to go!” The Bolds on the ship yelled.

Jeff was frightened but he thought that this might be the right thing to do, so he grabbed the rope and brought Liberty back to shore. Everyone cheered!

Jeff went back to the palace. The Queen wasn’t happy to see him soaking wet. She told him that he’d be late for school and that Miss Carlan would not want such a mess in her classroom.

Jeff quickly changed and set Liberty back on his dresser. He grabbed his backpack while his stomach twisted into knots.

He hurried down the sidewalk, his legs feeling evermore like cooked spaghetti with each step. But Princess Carlan was so nice. She’d always said he was smart, a good artist, and that his stories took her places, whatever that meant. She would help, he had to believe that.

The open doors to Gull Lake Elementary were bigger than a Blue Whale’s mouth, but at least there was no sign of Crusher.

Jeff closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was time to be brave; it was time to ask his teacher help.

Scribbling & Scrabble

I sometimes feel as though writing is like a jumbled pile of Scrabble tiles. I mean, the CONCEPT, is bouncing ’round inside the noggin’. Oh yes, I’ve fingered the five w’s; trapped them in my spotlight as they climbed out of the second-floor window at three am.  BUT, actually putting them into words is a nitpicky process of sifting through those tiles, plucking the ripe ones and discarding the rest. Now, repeat that dozens of times.

Please don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy the challenge and there’s no plans to pack up my carpet bag and move on to selling cleaning products.

However, I’d be guilty of hoodwinking, or at least attempted deception, if I denied that there are times when scooping up those tiles and tossing them into the trash would be considered a viable option for getting a Klondike Bar. 😊

Now put away those Kleenex’s (not an endorsement of any kind, if you prefer Puffs, or some other brand, that’s okay, I guess). This isn’t a woe is me tale. Okay, maybe take just one final blow into that velvety soft tissue and be done with it. This gets better, because the truth is, no matter how much you enjoy something, these moments come.

The best part is when they go away, far, far, yep, keep on walkin’ self-doubt, oops, mind the cliff! That quiet confidence sets in. Those stubborn tiles are eventually wrestled into place, yes, they are nice and snug in their new role as tellers of a tale! Characters birth from them, like images born from the one’s and zero’s of binary code. They rely on us to truck on and finish their story.

If you’re staring at this screen, yes you, right at this moment, and feel like swatting that ‘Delete’ button to send your work to the void of, ‘forever gone.’ DON’T! Sorry, got a wee bit dramatic there.

Ahem. I plead with you to reconsider. The journey is a reward in and of itself. Give yourself TIME. Be gentle and patient with yourself, and others.

Have a blessed day!

(Oh, and maybe eat dark chocolate instead of that ice cream bar . . . much better for you)

Review of, The Reckoning: A Time Travel Thriller(Book One of the Series), by D.M. Taylor

Well, it’s day three of quarantine and that nasty little COVID bug still has me holed up in our office/bedroom. But hey, it’s not all bad. This thing feels like a minor cold, and I’ve been able to get plenty of writing and reading done. Speaking of which, I’m pleased to share my latest read and it’s a good one!

The Details:

If Katniss Everdeen had a PhD in Quantum Physics she’d be a perfect fit in Dr. Taden Barrett’s world of time travel.
Can Taden’s technology save her country or will she make a choice that even time travel can’t undo?

My Thoughts:

I’m not a habitual reader of science fiction . . . but wow! This book was a literary riptide that didn’t release me until the final word. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I’ve been fascinated with time travel since I knew how to read a clock.

Aside from the thrilling and 3 g-force plot twists, I believe this story appeals to the sentimentalist in most of us. If it were possible, who among us wouldn’t entertain at least the thought of returning to our past and righting a wrong, or spending one last time with a deceased loved one?

True to most tales that deal with time travel, there are caveats about interfering with the past, though not so disastrous as the destruction of the universe.

Taylor has built well rounded, strong, intelligent, and resilient male and female characters that keep things moving at a fluid pace.

The only issue I found, and this is just my personal opinion of course, was the occasional use of parenthesis. Yes, I know it’s just me being picky, but I’m not a fan of them in books. I just want you to know that they are used sparingly and in no way interfered with my enjoyment of this book. I definitely have my eye on the next one in the series.

FIVE STARS!

Please note that I do not post reviews of books that I deem to be less than four stars. Life’s too short, and if I don’t enjoy the read, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet D.M. Taylor

D.M. Taylor is a full-time writer with a constant desire to be at the beach or as close to a combination of: water, sand, and sunshine as she can. You can tell by looking at all of the freckles she has collected as evidence.

If she’s not writing in her tiny cottage by the lake, then it’s not summer. The rest of the year, she’s writing on her couch under blankets near a giant bay window. On the less romantic days of writing, and let’s be real–most of them, her pages come together while waiting in a car for one of her kids–as part of her chauffeur gig.

Her gravitational pull to science fiction, developed throughout her teacher training; where she concentrated on science education. Graduating from Michigan Tech with an Applied Science Master’s Degree jumpstarted her geeky interests. An obsession of time travel pushed through her romantic notions of the world and the easy fear she holds of anything frightening. Together, these elements created a writer of: sci-fi thrillers who sprinkles in a bit of slow burn.

Accruing in her head is a checklist of places to travel, items to accomplish, and book ideas to write.

She regenerates from deep conversation, dancing, and laughter.

Connect with her and grab your copy:

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Review of, The Prince And The Prodigal, by Jill Eileen Smith

As I look out the window, all I can see is brown . . . but that’s a good thing! Yesterday the ground was being struck by hail and sleet and today there’s nothing but clear skies. 🙂

Please let me steal you away to a place where snow never falls, and the earth bakes to a crisp under a hot desert sun. I’m talking about ancient Egypt.

The Details:

Joseph is the pampered favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His older brothers, deeply resentful of his status in the family, take advantage of the chance to get rid of him, selling him to slave traders and deceiving their father about his fate. It seems like their troubles are over. But for Joseph and older brother Judah, they are just beginning.

While Joseph is accused of rape and imprisoned, Judah attempts to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother. After decades apart, the brothers will come face-to-face in a stunning role reversal that sees Joseph in a position of great power while Judah begs for mercy. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

Bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith brings her considerable research and imaginative skills to bear in this vivid retelling of one of the most popular stories found in Scripture–a story of jealousy, betrayal, and a reconciliation that only God could bring about.

My Thoughts:

I am extremely familiar with the Biblical account of Joseph’s life, so I was excited to read this book. Let me tell you, I’m glad I did.

This was an excellent ‘behind the scenes’ story of what must have been the dramatic, and traumatic, lives of Joseph and his family. Jill cleverly weaves scenes throughout the story that bring these historical figures to life and through her words, those Sunday School lessons leapt from the pages to become three dimensional.

The book sticks to the main facts but allows the reader an insight into the possible mindset of people who lived thousands of years ago.

I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Bible, history, the supernatural, adventure, or stories with great outcomes.

I’m giving this one Five Stars!

Meet Jill:

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, Wives of the Patriarchs, Daughters of the Promised Land, The Heart of a King, Star of Persia, Miriam’s Song, and the nonfiction When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams, and She Walked Before Us. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Grab a copy of one of her works and connect with her:

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