If the Sedona O’Hala series had a book trailer, this would be it.
I’ve been on this call. A few times…
An Ever Growing Bookshelf
If the Sedona O’Hala series had a book trailer, this would be it.
I’ve been on this call. A few times…
Not Global WARMING, that is for sure. Look, y’all know I take re-usable bags to the grocery. I plant an organic vegetable garden and supply half or so of our veggies during the summer. That’s as local as it gets.
I sew my own clothes. Yes, I do too! They may not be WEARABLE, but I sew them. I don’t care if there is global warming or not, I take care of my environment and I don’t want to breathe tailgate fumes any more than the next guy. I don’t use pesticides and I rescue bees when they fall in my water bucket!!!
If this global is so warm, why is it 28 with a high of 40 for two days in a row? My garden is usually planted by now and I’m harvesting lettuce. All I have this year is a blanket or two covered in icicles.
Y’all global warmers need to have a talk with Mother Nature. She seems to have other plans that are not directly related to “warming.” Be careful how you talk to her though. Last time I complained to her about lack of rain (that would be yesterday) she smacked me in the face with an icicle.
I read Enchanted, Inc last year and told you about it last month when it went down from 9.99 to 3.99. Well, if you missed your chance, it’s now 99 cents! This is the first in the series. I know several of y’all have also read it, and you’re in luck–the rest of the books in the series are now 5 dollars or $3.99!!!
Once Upon Stilettos This one is on sale for 5 dollars.
Damsel Under Stress This one is on sale for 5 dollars.
Don’t Hex with Texas $5.12
Much Ado About Magic $3.99
No Quest For the Wicked $3.99
Kiss and Spell $3.99
Only a deranged fool would go out in this weather to put warm water bottles around the bean plants. It’s 29 degrees. Ice pellets slice into your face as you walk along ground that is quickly becoming slippery. The drapes over the beans are already frozen into solid sheets. They move like robotic imitations when the wind slams into one side or the other. Your hands will be warmed slightly by the water bottles, but don’t dally and keep a tight hold onto your hat.
Surely this is the last visit from winter???
You know those nice cover shots on romance books where the cowboy isn’t wearing a shirt? Or those shots where he’s standing in his boots on the porch with nice clean jeans? Fiction. TOTALLY FICTION.
If you ever wondered how cowboys avoided sunburn back before sunblock I can tell you the answer. When you’re out ranching, whether by truck or horse, the first thing you encounter is gates. You have to dismount or get out of the truck to open and close gates. If you’re on a horse, the horse tends to stir up dust. If you’re in the truck, the truck wheels let loose a powder dusting as it eases through the gate. The person opening the gate gets a fine covering of delicate sand across every spare inch of her person. Nature’s sunscreen.
When you throw hay out the back of a truck so that you can entice the cattle to the corral, you get large bits of hay, dust and dirt showered across your person. More natural sunscreen. By the time you leave the ranch for home, you are actually wearing the equivalent of sunblock 152. Trust me, I calculated it on the last trip. There was enough dirt on my person to start a garden. And at the end of the day, if I’d had the energy to prop my boots on the porch railing for a picture, I guarantee you neither the boots nor my jeans were pristine.
Okay y’all know this first one is a favorite series of mine and if you pre-order The Five Faces by Frank Tuttle, it’s a dollar off. These books are a total steal anyway. Every book in the entire series is under 5 dollars. I ordered mine and now must wait for the actual release date…
The first in the series: Dead Man’s Rain
The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths is due out in just a few days!
You may recall it made my books of the year and was a favorite read:
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. Highly recommended if you like mysteries that aren’t quite cozy, but aren’t thrillers either. Just good characters with interesting jobs investigating mysteries.
You may recall that Mom and Dad adopted a new ranch dog a while back. I finally got to meet El Paso (his original name was Dylan, but he preferred El Paso). He’s a darling border collie FULL of energy. This dog loves to run and play is his middle name. While I was there, we finished his lessons for being left off his leash at night. We also taught him not to go down to the road. There’s a gate there, but none of the dogs are allowed to go to the gate. Such training prevents them from getting ideas if the gate is ever left open. Well, we hope it does.
At any rate, I was in my bedroom working on the computer when I noticed El Paso tearing around the yard like a maniac. Common exercise for him, but…he had something dangling from his mouth. It was peach colored…not orange enough to be his frisbee. He ran to one side, shook it dead and then ran around in a circle and killed it again with a sharp snapping of his neck before taking off right in front of my window running as though the hounds of hell were at his heels trying to take away his prize.
Hmm. It would appear that I had dropped some of the laundry on the way in because he had found a valuable toy to play with. From the way he was running amok, you’d think it was the prize of the century too. Mom was not going to be pleased that he had found her underwear on the ground…
“El Paso if you want a treat, you bring me those right now.”
He laughed, trotting about with glee.
We negotiated for a while with him dancing near and then far. He knows several commands, including “Drop it” and “Leave it” and “Bring it” and “Ignore the stupid human because this is the greatest fun I’ve ever had.” Oh wait. That’s not what I said, but that’s what he must have heard.
“I’ve taught that dog not to steal things off the laundry line!”
“I think I dropped them on my way in,” I explained. “I took the laundry down a while ago. Here. I took them away from him.”
“Don’t give them to me! I don’t want them anymore!”
Mom, the ingrate, didn’t even want them after all my hard work! Hmph!
Leave it to the dog to decide that while taking laundry off the line wasn’t allowed, things on the ground were fair game. He needs work when it comes to a few of the commands he’s supposed to be learning.
Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling — April the Dragon sends in her recommendation for book one of a favorite series from a big publisher on sale for 99 cents!
When young Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, he is certain that his life is at an end. But one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be…Luck in the Shadows.
When I was an exchange student in Japan, I took almost a full year of Karate. I continued it while in college for a couple of years. You just never know when you’re going to need that kind of thing, right?
Last week I visited my parents on the ranch. Unbeknownst to me, Dad had bought a new bull and small calf from a neighbor. That means they needed branding. Branding cattle is right up there on the list of chores that I really don’t want to do. Ever. But it’s part of the ranching life and has to be done before a calf, cow or bull can be sold or butchered. More’s the pity.
At any rate, off to the corral we went. Dad has a nice setup at the nearby corral, complete with a chute for holding the calves and all the other equipment right where it needs to be. Of course…the calves still have to be persuaded to go into the chute and stand still while they get tagged and branded. My job was mostly to lock gates and pull levers…and chase the calf and bull down the channel. Sure, my job is the easy job. Hmph.
I don’t have to do the branding or make sure it doesn’t smear, or get near the hot flames, or douse flames if something nearby sparks (some of those cow paddies are dried. They are essentially dried hay, so you want to be careful).
I chased the steer down the chute, flapping at him with my long plastic pipe swatter (Think long, flexible stick). He ran down the chute channel and Dad nabbed him quickly, trapping his shoulders behind the steel panels that would keep him from moving around too much.
While Dad held the chute lever in place with both hands (this takes a lot of muscle because often the calves are pushing against the steel panels until the locking pin is engaged) I ran back out of the holding pen to put the pin in place to keep the panels from opening. The steer was quite docile and really calm. In the old days when Dad threw the calves sideways and tied their feet, they got rather upset.
Dad branded, tagged his ear, checked his ears for ticks and he was ready to go in minutes.
When it came time to drive the bull down the channel (this is a small bull, mind you, under a year old) I got in the holding pen…and realized I had forgotten my pipe swatter. Well, it’s more trouble to leave and come back because there were two extra calves in there and they were already nervous. I didn’t want anything bolting through a gate that I might be using so I just sucked it up and instructed the bull to get going. He thought about it and declined. Not all that politely either.
Me: Run after the calves, try to separate the bull and get him in the chute.
Calves and bull: Churn feet and create a huge dust storm in an attempt to choke the human. If the human gets too close, change directions, try to run over her or lift tail and poop.
Finally the bull started in the right direction…only to turn and push the other two calves out of the way in his hurry to avoid the channel.
Around and around we went. FINALLY, I got him in the channel. But…I had no swatter!!! He backed his big butt back out. For the love of…cow paddies.
Well, there was a short swatter pipe in the pen, about half the size of the one I wanted. I hated to lean over to pick it up. You need to keep your eyes on these monsters or they can run you right over. So I chased them around to the other side of the small pen and then quickly dipped down to get the swatter. Excellent!
We went around again, and I got the bull headed in the channel! Only…blast it all, he started backing out. I waved my swatter. Dad yelled. I yelled.
The dang swatter was too small to convince the bull that I was dangerous and not to be messed with. I jumped up and down waving that thing like an escaped clown convict, but the bull backed up anyway.
In desperation, I gave him my best rebel yell complete with a high karate kick square across his butt. Never mind that I whiffed it completely; the bull ran in fear of his life. Because seriously, if you saw me jumping and kicking like a lunatic, wouldn’t you run???
We got him branded and cleared of ticks and released. Whew. There are better jobs out there. And yes, if you must know, right before I climbed back in the truck, I stepped directly in the center of a fresh cow paddy.
The picture below is Dad using a professional tool (stick found nearby) to get the ticks out of the bull’s ears).
This next shot is the pen where all four calves waited while one went down the chute. I sorted the steer first and then the bull. The calves in the photo are ones that we didn’t need–so after we were done, Dad chased them out. They got to escape down the channel without being captured at the end.
That’s just one of the many highlights of ranch life. Those of you who have read Soul of the Desert know that the characters in that novel share a number of other…interesting escapades that might occur on a ranch.
I really liked the sound of this one–witches, trolls, family problems…I haven’t read it yet, so if any of you have, chime in. Witch For Hire by N.E. Conneely is only $1.99.