Straight lines- #SundayStills #photography


Straight Lines

Terri Webster Schrandt has given us an interesting challenge this week. Find straight lines in your photos! You can see her images here and join in the challenge.

This ivy covered building looks straight, until you compare it to the power pole (or is it the pole that’s not straight?)
The water and horizon are straight- the log, not so much 🙂
Docking station for the big oil and gas rigs
Wisteria growing on straight gazebo posts
My version of a hummingbird’s straight beak

Okay, your turn- let’s see what you’ve got 🙂

Saturday Satisfaction #amwriting #gardening


I Finished the Damn Book!

May was such a messed up month for me, I was getting seriously worried whether I could finish the book I had up on pre-order in time to fulfill my obligations.

It came down to the wire, but I got it done and feel good about the outcome 🙂

Now I can breathe again, and with views like these in my backyard- relax.

Virtually Gone Releases JUne 12 on all your favorite retail sites!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085PQTV69

International: https://books2read.com/VirtuallyGone

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/virtually-gone-a-mended-souls-novel-high-tech-crime-solvers-book-6-by-jacquie-biggar

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52329219-virtually-gone

Exclusive Excerpt

Matt sat next to a middle-aged university security guard and stared at the video playing out on a desktop computer screen. It was brain-numbing work, but he held onto the hope one of these recordings carried a usable ID of their suspect. Investigators had gone over footage taken from the general area of Gina’s attack, but at the time, they hadn’t realized they were dealing with a serial offender. With the new information received, he and Connor were going back over the evidence with a fine-tooth comb.

The timestamp on the top right of the screen said it was eight pm, shortly before Gina’s final class for the night had ended. She’d told them her routine was to take a path cutting across campus in order to arrive in time to catch the transit bus she needed to get home. There were safer routes, such as the bus lane outside the security building, but at that time of the evening she would need to make several transfers, which made her nervous. It was sadly ironic her careful choices ended up placing her in the crosshairs of a criminal.

After her shock today, Connor had offered to drive Gina home and wait until someone could come over and be with her, so she wasn’t alone. Every time Matt thought about the photo and frightening message she’d received; it made his blood boil.

The cops can’t save you, sweet Gina. See you soon.

No wonder the girl was scared; the bastard was stalking her.

While Connor had interviewed each of the individuals outside on the grassy rotunda with them, he’d snapped pictures to go over later. Their tech guy, Bob, had come up empty at tracing the number to where the photo originated, but they’d expected that. The perp hadn’t made many mistakes to this point, he wasn’t going to hand himself over on a silver platter. But he’d given them another clue—Bob had explained even burner phones came with a unique serial number, and given time, he could find out whether their suspect had used the phone to browse the web, make calls, or even if he carried another ‘regular’ phone with him. Phones constantly communicate with cell phone towers, whether in use or not, and therefore left a digital footprint that could be traced back to the distributor.

“Wait. What’s that?” Matt straightened and strained to see the grainy figure moving in and out of the shadows on the video. “Back it up a bit, will you?”

The guard paused the footage and rolled it back a few seconds before hitting play again. This time, they focused their attention on the hunched form in dark clothing, head covered by the hood of his jacket.

“Does it seem as if he’s waiting for someone to you?”

The guard shrugged. “Maybe he’s got a buddy.”

Or maybe he was waiting for Gina.


Thanks for reading. Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!

My Happy Place #PacificOcean #SundayStills


Sunday Stills

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge by Terri Webster Schrandt is my happy place- water! You can join Terri’s challenge and view her wonderful photos here

The first time I saw the ocean was on our anniversary almost 36! years ago, and I swore then if I ever had the chance I was going to live nearby- and here we are!

Papa and kiddo flying kites
Kayak fun
Swan on the Gorge waterway
DH with his new camera
Peace
Wish I lived here!
My brother and girlfriend here for a visit
Tide pools
Airforce patrol
Northern island
Sunset

Where is your happy place?

What Does the New Normal Look Like #Family #WorldViews


Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

What is your new normal?

Life has changed for all of us. Whether we like it or not, Covid-19 is an eyeopener. It shows that humans aren’t as invincible as we’d like to believe.

Like many others, I’ve been struggling to get my bearings. Half the time, I feel like a balloon floating in the sky with no real direction.

I’m stressed on so many levels:

Is it too soon to open up the economy?

How will we recover if we don’t reopen?

How many more lives will be lost?

Is my family safe?

My pet?

Me?

I’m sure these worries are running through our Prime Minister’s head, as well. I can’t imagine having to make the decisions he’s forced to do, and I thank him and all first line responders for all that they do to keep our country going.

My Mom lives next door in our RV park and took a fall in the early hours of Mother’s Day. I guess she called and called for help, but I didn’t hear her until a kind neighbor came and knocked on our trailer. I feel so horrible about that.

She’s in hospital now, and will be for quite a while. There’s liquid in her lungs which they removed with a giant needle (her words). They’re running all kinds of tests to find out why she’s so weak. Of course, I’m not allowed to visit due to Covid rules, but did manage to do a drop off of her cell phone charger and Kindle. A huge plastic shield greeted me just inside the doors and a health tech took my care bag from there.

I have a book deadline looming and have never felt less like writing.

I think these guys say it all

How about you? Are you coping all right? Feeling blue? Let’s chat…

P.S.

Here’s something that does make me happy- nature.

#SundayStills- National Pet Parent Day #PetLover #ILoveMyPets


Our pets are like children to us. We treat them like our kids 🙂

Join Terri Webster Schrandt for Sunday Stills Here

Harley hiding in the bamboo
Annie keeping the kiddo company
She’s not sure about this white stuff- neither am I! lol
Mom, quit working and pay attention to me!
My girl soaking up the sunshine

What?

Annie following Dad EVERYWHERE! lol
Love you, Dad
Miss you ❤

Find Joy- Favorite Places #SundayStills #Photography


Find Joy however you can

Many of us are scared of what is going on in the world and frustrated with the restrictions this unseen enemy has placed upon our lives. But I challenge you to go through your photos and find the places, or things, that bring you joy. Soak up that feeling and don’t give up- we are in this thing together {{hugs}}

Sunday Stills- Favorite Places

Sunday stills is a weekly challenge created by Terri Webster Schrandt. This week she chose FAVORITE PLACES. Stop by and join the challenge here.

Cherry Blossoms against a cerulean blue sky

I’m blessed to be living in my favorite place. DH and I were both born and raised in north-western Alberta, against the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Winters tended to last seven-to-eight months and could be incredibly depressing if you weren’t into snow sports.

Our summer holidays were often taken on Vancouver Island, Canada’s rainforest. We fell in love with the land and the people and dreamed of one day living there.

Imagine my joy when that dream became a reality!

Our new home- full-time RVers
Cherry trees in full bloom in our park
Goofy grandson at Butchart Gardens
Fisheye shot of Esquimalt Lagoon
My brother here for a visit
Mural at Chemainus
See the resemblance? DH posing, lol

We may be stuck at home, but photos are a wonderful way to lift our moods.

Stay safe everyone!

WWW Wednesday #Read #amreading


WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

This looks like a fun challenge, so I decided to join in.

What am I currently reading?

I came across this ebook on sale the other day, and while I have a dog-eared paperback in my library I decided to make the purchase anyway. You can’t have to many copies of The Outsiders!

This book is every bit as good now as it was the first hundred times I read it!

50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published.

The Outsiders transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world.” —The New York Times

What Book did I Recently Finish Reading?

If you’re looking for a lighthearted story to rid you of the virus blues, this one will do the job! You can check out my review here.

In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen.

What Am I thinking of Reading Next?

I have two books on my reading list for this category.

I’ve been reading rave reviews for Warning Signs and can’t wait to start it myself!

Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her saviour from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together?
Detective Van Ray is out on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection.
Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological thriller about human frailty and loneliness.

Karen Robards is one of my go-to authors. She has an uncanny knack for combining suspense and humor to her stories- I love them!

With her back against the wall, everything’s on the line for Bianca St. Ives. She’s either going to save the world—or die trying.

It took one hell of an effort for the authorities to finally get the jump on master manipulator Bianca St. Ives, but now that they have, it’s far from the capture she expected. Instead of taking her in, there’s an offer on the table, a one-shot deal that would allow Bianca to walk away scot-free as if they’d never found her. And all she has to do is run one last mission—the kind she might never return from. But if Bianca wants to go back to her normal life in Savannah, it’s not like she has a choice.

An intelligence operation is already under way in North Korea, one that’s poised to end the country’s existing tyrannical regime for good. But first, the US need one of their own to go undercover as the female hacker who recently stole top secret intel from NORAD. Enter Bianca. After everything she’s seen, Bianca knows feeding fake information directly into the belly of the beast is about as dangerous as it gets. It could mean torture or endless imprisonment—assuming she survives. But it might also ignite the kind of chaos that forces a revolution. It might just change the world. Besides, if Bianca has to go down, she’s gonna go down swinging…

If we have to stay home, at least we have our fictional (and blogging) friends to keep us company 🙂

squad

Spring is coming- Green #SundayStills #Nature


This week’s #SundayStills Challenge from Terri Webster Schrandt is macro shots of GREEN. You can take part here

Daffodil just before it bloomed with a few strawberry leaves in the background
Corn husk from last year’s crop- fancy hairdo!
Ladybug wandering along the stem of a broccoli- I think?
Clematis after flowering

Share your macro shots- we’d love to see them!

Pacific Northwest- #SundayStills #Photography


Sunset at Esquimalt Lagoon. Can you see the Blue Heron?

This week, Terri Webster Schrandt gives us the challenge of showing our state/provincial symbols on #SundayStills You can join the challenge here.

From the Spirit Bear to towering cedars, British Columbia is a land of beauty and mystery.

Fog lingering after one of our winter rains.
It’s cherry blossom season!
Canadian Navy patrolling our waters.
Inter-island ferry
Our provincial bird- Stellar Jay

Share some of your favorites- we’d love to see them 🙂

#BookReview- Moments We Love by Balroop Singh #Poetry @BalroopShado


Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life; butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; it just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how they could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. My imaginative muse transformed them into poetry.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows,
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

Biography

Balroop Singh, an educationalist, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in San Ramon California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

My Review

A rich tapestry of emotion guides the reader through first love through the pain of loss and poignant memories in Moments We Love by Balroop Singh.

The words flow like a warm breeze, inspiring us to think about the moments that change our lives.

My Favorite Lines

From Rift

We lie trapped in darkness

In the shadows of stillness

Butterflies of hope are fluttering

With tears in silent eyes.

Moments We Love- Balroop Singh

From Rooted in Love

Love is not just growing together

It is weathering storms

Smiling through gales

Reaching out to each other

Making memories

That could be cherished.

Moments We Love- Balroop Singh

From I Feel Most Like Me

I feel most like me

When random memories make me smile When rain drains away emotional dust That gathers unawares

When my grandson hugs me tight

And whispers, “I love you.”

Moments We Love- Balroop Singh

A refreshing look at life and love. I give Moments We Love 5 lovely kisses!

Bitmoji Image
Check out all of my book recommendations on BookBub 

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

February is National #Bird Feeding Month #Nature #SundayStills


Since moving to the west coast, DH and I have quickly become avid bird watchers. Being in Canada, we know how important it is to have food out for our feathered friends, but I hadn’t realized February was National Bird Feeding Month!

Check out Terri Schrandt’s interesting #blog to learn more and to participate in this week’s #SundayStills Challenge.

Here are some of the many birds we have on the island:

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A Letter From Home- #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


February 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!

Follow along or join in at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch- here

Unashamed tears roll down my face, words on scented paper imprinted on my mind.

Darling Ken,

I think about you every day, but never more than now.

He’s beautiful, my darling. A full head of hair, nut-brown like yours. Ten perfect fingers and toes, and a smile that fills my heart.

The nurse says gas, but we know better. He’s thinking of the day you’ll come home and take us into your loving arms.

I pray it’s soon.

Love you always and all ways,

Sara

Three long months ago, my baby wrote me a love letter- I’m a father.

A Parent’s Nightmare- #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


This week’s challenge courtesy of Charli Mills Carrot Ranch:

January 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a protest story. It can be about a protest, or you can investigate the word and expand the idea. Who is protesting, where, and why? Go where the prompt leads!

I decided to take mine in a more personal direction. This is from a WIP- hope you enjoy my interpretation of PROTEST.


“There’s no easy way to say this—” Matt met the growing horror in Mrs. Carter’s eyes, his heart hurting, “your daughter was murdered last night on the Galloping Goose Trail. We believe she was on her way home at the time.”

The poised woman who’d met them at the door disappeared in a swelling tide of despair. She vigorously shook her head. “No, you’ve made a mistake. Emily was home last night. I brought her home from school myself. It’s not possible.”

“How do you know it’s our child?” Carter asked, his voice gruff. “It could be anyone.”

Skiing Mishap #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


This was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge:

January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

You can join in here: https://carrotranch.com/2020/01/10/january-9-flash-fiction-challenge/

Jeff juggled to keep his balance on the ice without dropping his wife.

“I told you to stick to the bunny hill,” he chastised.

She giggled and held her arms out like a bird in flight. “But it was so much fun- until I fell.”

“Well, let’s see if you still think it’s fun when you’re wearing a cast for the next six weeks.”

“Aw, Jeff, don’t spoil my high. Did you see me? I hit those moguls like a pro.”

“Yes, honey you did,” he said, tenderness running strong in his veins for his brave, incredible, beautiful wife.

Something Old #SundayStills #Photography


Hugh Roberts from Hughsviewsandnews blog is hosting Sunday Stills today and the subject is old. Stop over and check out his pictures- so interesting!

You can join in here: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2020/01/12/have-you-found-the-secret-of-old-items-sundaystills/

Hugh asks the question; what does old mean to you?

For me, it can be the giant cedars we have here on the island.

Canada’s largest tree is the “Cheewat Cedar” on Vancouver Island (left), which measures 18.34 m (60.2 ft) in circumference and 55.5 m (182 ft) in height. It is almost beyond belief that this enormous matriarch, a western red cedar with an estimated age of 2,000 years, is as old as Christianity.http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/text/01-Cathedral-Grove-1.htm

DH by one of the smaller cedars in the grove

Or it could be the Rocky Mountains, rising up like fists to the sky.

Mount Robson is the most prominent mountain in North America’s Rocky Mountain range; it is also the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. 

The dinosaurs can claim they’re old dating back 66 million years ago.

Driftwood sculpture on local beach

And then there’s my childhood photos- old to me! lol

What does old mean to you?