Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Out of the Past PG-13 abridged edition

Just found this new five star review on iTunes for Out of the Past, abridged PG-13 version. I really needed this to lift my spirits.

Time travel and family history - doesn't get better than this!
by Maryinark

As a genealogy geek myself, I lived this book. I too know all of my Great Great Grandparents cousins, neighbors and travels. Thank you for introducing a new way to make them dance, farm, garden, and love each other in prose that is as enchanting as it is easy to read. Love the tips for playlists too! Thank you.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Out of the Past

A little taste of a perfect chemistry

Out of the Past (Heritage Time Travel Romance series, book #1)

A second place finisher in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards

Free for Amazon Kindle and 
Barnes & Noble Nook 

Amazon link 
Barnes & Noble Link

     I returned from my book tour on May 16th and had only one day at home to do laundry and clean house before I drove to Des Moines to stay with Derek for the weekend and to schmooze with some of his clients for dinner and drinks both Friday and Saturday night.
     So on Saturday night, I found myself sitting in downtown Des Moines at the lovely Cosmopolitan Lounge, stirring my very apropos Cosmo drink and nodding mechanically at the stylish, dripping-with-expensive jewelry, and very young wife of Derek’s client who I refer to privately as, Mr. Middle-Aged Moneybags. I listened to her describe how she had lived enough to fill ten novels with her exploits into the fast-paced world of the rich and famous.
     “You should do it. You should write a novel,” I urged her with as much sincerity as I could muster.
     “Oh, I just couldn’t!” she hooted, followed by a ringing high-pitched cackle of a laugh that sounded a bit like a deranged hyena. Derek glanced over briefly, likely as surprised as I was that a sound like that could come out of a human being, but he went back to his conversation without missing a beat. My companion placed a hand over her mouth briefly with a self-conscious flush coming up in her cheeks, floored by the notion.
     “Oh no, not me but if you ever run out of ideas, I would be more than happy to share,” she offered magnanimously.
     “I’ll definitely keep that in mind—can’t have too many good ideas,” I said distractedly as I reached for my black clutch that was vibrating on the oversized-leather chair beside me. I pulled out my smart phone and swiped open the face to read a text message. It was from Dave.

“Wow, that little black dress is killer!”

     In shock, I looked up and around the room, finally finding him seated at the bar halfway between me and the stage at the far end. He was relaxed, seated on a bar stool, drink in hand. He raised his glass to me in salute and grinned.
     Oh, I thought seeing his smiling face, I had missed Mr. Cameron. I hadn’t had a chance to see him in Fremont before I’d left to come to Des Moines for the weekend and having not seen him for over two weeks, it felt as if it had been ages.
     “Would you please excuse me?” I said absently to the table in general, and then I scooted my chair out and on my little black stiletto heels, made my way across the room.
     Dave watched me approach with a friendly enough smile on his lips but those eyes of his; they roamed over every inch of my body, from the tips of my high-heeled shoes to the very top of my head and back down again, ending with a ‘have mercy’ roll to them as if to swoon, just as I arrived.
     “Would you mind going back and doing that one more time? I want to be sure to commit that strut to memory for my future private use,” he requested dreamily.
     I shook my head and rolled my own eyes at his rather bawdy remark.
     “How’s the hand?” I asked to change the subject.
     He immediately lifted it for my inspection and I held it in my two hands, smoothing an index finger over the back of his hand and along what was now no more than a thin pink line marring the golden brown of his tanned skin.
     “Looks good,” I said approvingly. “Glad to see that you’re still in possession of all five of your fingers,” I observed and released his hand from my grasp.
     I crossed my arms over my waist and gave him a look up and down not unlike he had just given me, from the top of his head to the tips of his very expensive looking black dress shoes.
     “No missing extremities,” I observed. “All body parts appear to be present and accounted for. I’m very happy the see that you survived my absence unscathed.”
     “Very funny,” he said dryly.
     “So now my next question must be what on earth are you doing in Des Moines? And how is it that you just happen to be in the same bar as me?” I asked flabbergasted. “Taken up stalking me, have you?”
     “I’m not saying that wouldn’t likely be an extremely entertaining endeavor, all things considered but—no,” he said playfully. “I knew Max Eubank was playing here tonight, and my date lives downtown at the Plaza, within walking distance so—”
     “Your date?” I interrupted, goggling at him open-mouthed. I don’t know why that should surprise me so much but it did.
     “She’s in the restroom just now,” he said easily with a grin, obviously amused by my reaction. He reached out an index finger and lightly touched my chin.
     I promptly closed my open mouth.
     “Hmmm,” I murmured as I tried to digest this new development.
     I was a little shocked by the incalculable coincidence of seeing him in this place and seeing this other side to Dave Cameron that I’d never really considered. He was meticulously groomed and dressed in a great looking dark-blue dress shirt and tie with some nice gray trousers, and those dress shoes—something other than the work boots that were his usual daily wear, at least in my experience. Not that I don’t appreciate the way that he looks on a day to day basis. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen him looking anything but perfect to my discerning eye but this—he looked amazing. I couldn’t even think of any eloquent adjectives fitting enough to describe his sexy hotness, and I’m a freakin’ writer!
     “Hey, you clean up nice, buddy,” I finally managed to say nonplussed.
     He sat up a little taller in his seat, lifting his chin which showcased a knife sharp jawline and with a wry twist of a half-smile, straightened his tie and gave me his famous one-liner.
     “I have my moments.”
     Just then, a very beautiful and very young woman, blonde and stylishly dressed in an expensive designer outfit that flattered her numerous curvaceous attributes, arrived and stood next to me and I belatedly got the hint and moved to provide her access to what was apparently her seat next to my employee.
     Dave rose from his bar stool and kept standing briefly until she had seated herself with, I noted, effortless grace and fluidity. She swiveled on her stool toward me and I couldn’t help but notice her reach out to lay a familiar hand on Dave’s upper thigh to steady herself while she crossed her impossibly shapely legs and joined our conversation.
     “Sharon Johnson, I’d like you to meet, Torie Mills. Torie this is Sharon,” Dave gestured between us, making the introductions and Sharon and I shook hands and made small talk about how nice it was to meet each other, how much we were both looking forward to hearing the singer tonight, blah, blah, blah—while Dave sat placidly sipping at his drink and looking on with his head tilted to one side and a slight smile upon his lips, seeming to be enjoying this little tête-à-tête immensely.
     “Well,” I finally said extricating myself when our conversation had quickly stumbled to an awkward pause. “It was very nice to meet you, Sharon.”
     “Nice to meet you, Torie,” she reciprocated with another shake of my hand.
     I moved my attention back to Dave, finding his eyes were on me and a soft smile was upon his lips.
     “Dave,” I said. “I need to get back to Derek, but I’ll be able to help with the house part of next week.”
     “I’ll be there, bright and early,” he assured me, nodding and taking my hand into his for a cordial shake and said softly. “Really great to see you.”
It was just then that the lights dimmed, bringing any further conversation to an end as Max Eubank took his place on stage to a round of enthusiastic applause and began strumming the intro to “I Won’t Make You Feel Romantic.”
     Sharon wiggled her manicured fingers toward me in a final friendly farewell and swiveled her chair around to face the stage while I quickly retreated to my table at the back of the room but I couldn’t help my eyes drifting again and again, across the room to watch Dave and his date as they sat cozily together, enjoying the music and quiet conversation with each other. Dave had his arm along the back of her chair, leaning in to whisper over her shoulder and she was leaning back against his chest, tilting her head so that he could speak directly into her ear and doubtless his lips were lightly touching there, his breath probably tickling and warm against her neck. I had to admit to myself that they appeared to be sharing a very romantic and intimate connection with each other as they listened to the singer and his acoustic guitar.
     Me? Oh, I was treated to listening to Derek drone on and on about market conditions and equity index funds while at the same time shamelessly stroking his client’s already inflated ego like a two-bit car salesman and expecting me to do the same for the guy’s gold-digging trophy wife!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Into the Future book #2

When I was writing about time travelers going back in history I had so much material to draw from in the 1800's and early 1900's that I could use as a nucleus and then build on, to create Dave Cameron's horrors he must endure in book #2 of my time travel adventure series. Being a genealogy and family history buff I had scores of real news stories at my disposal.

Here is another great example. I found this brief news story from the early 1920's during my usual genealogy researching at the local historical library. It was very powerful and had the elements needed for Dave to live through.

Wayne County Democrat

Car goes over Embankment in dark—Drowns before help arrives—Brother Saved

Last Sunday night at eleven P. M. the car driven by two brothers went over an embankment near Downing, Mo.

From what we can gather it appears that the men  had some car trouble and were on their way to Downing, when they saw the lights of another car, which stopped to let them pass at a bad place in the road. The lights of the car they were approaching were very bright and in trying to get past the other car they approached too close to the embankment and went over into the ditch—some twenty feet below.

Both men were caught under the overturned car in such a way that they were pinned down in the mud and water; one face downward, and the other on his back and in such a manner that neither could get out nor render any assistance to the other. The other car, driven by two girls, at once drove away to get help, leaving the man, who was with them to render what aid he could. However, no help arrived for forty-five minutes and by that time one man was dead.

And here is a portion of Dave's time travel where I used elements of the story and it became part of a longer chapter. The chapter also described other time travel's Dave endured, based loosely on real events.

Into the Future Chapter 29
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     I was sitting in the passenger seat of an old Ford sedan. The man driving the car, from what I could see of him was average build and that was about all I could tell in the dark. We were driving on gravel and he was trying to avoid the large ruts that stretched out before us on the dark rural road. It was obviously late evening because the moon was high in the night sky.
     We both had our side windows down and the driver leaned out to adjust a spotlight mounted outside the window just to the left of the windshield. He angled it so that the beam hit closer to the front of the car. It appeared that we were driving without headlights; perhaps something was wrong with them; I had no idea but I could see that coming down the narrow road from the opposite direction was another vehicle and its headlights were very bright. They nearly blinded me.
     “Damn it,” the man barked, “Marv, lean out there and check my clearance.”
     I could see we were coming up on an embankment and what looked to be a small bridge and a creek running below. I did as he asked and leaned out my window to try and find the edge of the road as the other car approached. 
     “You’re too close!” I shouted. “Move to the left.”
     He tried to do as I instructed but the right front wheel caught in a rut at the edge of the road. With no curb or shoulder it was a matter of seconds and the car went over into the ditch and then it was just nothing but a whirl of tumbling until we splashed to a jarring rest in the creek. I could see the headlights of the other car on the road up above us but as the moments ticked by no one seemed to be coming to our rescue. 
     The frigid water was numbing and I guessed it was probably forty degrees or less. I could feel the weight of the car on my legs and pelvis pressing me into the muddy soft bottom of the creek bed. I was pinned under the roof of the car; facing upwards and barely keeping my upper torso above water while I held onto the passenger side window frame. The driver of the car had tumbled out my same side of the car and was trapped beside me face down. I was situated in such a way that I was unable to get to him and I helplessly watched his arms flail as he frantically struggled to lift his head out of the water.
     “Help him!” I shouted out but the effort of trying to get air into my lungs and make a sound caused me to lose my hold on the edge of the window frame and I went under and got a nose and mouthful of water before I was able to fight my way back to the surface and shout again. “Help him!”
     The man was just a couple feet away from me but I couldn’t reach him without going under water myself. I lifted up and turned my head to get another look at him and in just those few moments time, his struggles had stopped and his arms were floating limply on the surface of the water. It was just then that a young man made his way down to us where we rest a good twenty feet below the roadway.
     “I’m here. Go on!” he shouted and I could see the headlights of the other vehicle moving off.
     The guy, who wasn’t more than a teenager, I decided, struggled to lift the car without any success and then quickly grabbed the driver by his hair trying to lift his head up at least to get his face out of the water but it was no use. He couldn’t lift him enough to get him above the water line.
     He turned his attention to me and fell to his knees, bracing himself behind me and lifting my torso to keep me out of the water. My strength was all but sapped from the effects of the near freezing temperature and I was pretty sure I had a broken left arm. I relaxed and held onto the frame with just my right hand and let the boy hold me up to keep me from sinking into the water deeper as the car settled. I allowed my fractured left arm to float in the chill water and could feel my fingers growing numb.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Into the Future, history revisited

My Time Travel Romance series, is mostly stories taken from my life, my families history and the history of Iowa. An example is in book #2 Into the Future when Dave time travels back to 1901 and witnesses the death of his own great-great-grandfather William McFall.  This is actually taken from my family history and the death of 2nd great grand uncle William Coffey

Here is the actual story from the Humeston Iowa newspaper from 1896

A sad accident happened five miles south of town on last Monday morning, resulting in the death of Wm. Coffey. He was assisting at a horse power wood saw, and the belt coming off, he started to stop the power, when the tumbling rod between the power and the jack came apart and one portion struck Mr. Coffey on the back of the head with such force as to knock him several feet and kill him instantly. An inquest was held which gave a verdict in accordance with above facts. Mr. Coffey was esteemed by all who knew him, and his death causes deep regret. He leaves a wife and six children, who have the heartfelt sympathy of all. The funeral services will be held this afternoon at his home.

And here are portions of the same event, fictionalized for Into the Future:

     I felt as if I was going to topple over; the effect of a dozen horses in double harness moving in a blur around me as I stood high above them at the center, was causing me to feel dizzy. I crouched down to grab the platform I was standing atop. It was like I was standing in the center of a wagon wheel; the spokes of the wheel were attached to each team of two horses.
     I instantly knew what this was. This was how machinery was run at the turn of the century when real horse power was the energy behind saws and threshing machines. I had seen lots of photographs of this process. The circling horses were turning a rod which ran along the ground and was attached to a gear and belts that were, in turn, powering a wood saw. Several men were working at a table nearby, sawing lumber. The wood saw being used was literally a twelve horsepower saw.    
     “Jake, you need a break?” a man shouted loudly to be heard over the sound of the saw and the horse’s snorts and harnesses rattling....

And another snippet from later in the chapter...

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” several men shouted and then in the time it took me to turn around; it happened. The belt was coming off the saw and as they tried to stop the horses, the tumbling rod just came apart in pieces and a portion of the rod struck a horse in a rear leg severing the limb at the knee and the horse collapsed screaming in agony and pulling its harness mate to the ground, as well. Both animals thrashed and whinnied in terror as several men came to their aid. Another portion of the rod had flown with such force that it had hit a man standing at the saw in the back of the head knocking him several feet away where he lay on the ground, motionless.
     I knew he was dead. I knew he had been killed instantly because I knew, all at once, exactly who he was. I turned back to the wagon and grabbed a shotgun from the bench seat and dashed back to the team of horses.
     “Jake, let me. Go see about your father,” the man who had relieved me from the platform duty said.
    I handed him the gun and hurried toward the saw and the gathering of men who were crouched around my fallen great-great-grandfather William McFall and I jumped as the shot rang out and the screaming of the maimed horse suddenly came to an abrupt end.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Praise for Out of the Past

Praise for Out of the Past on Amazon.

AN AMAZING STORY~~I was looking for a really good book, the kind you just can't put down. This was the one! You can't help but love the characters (with one exception as you'll see). I was moved to tears several times, elated at other times. It was just an awesome book with an interesting storyline, and as I said characters you came to know and care for. I can't wait to start the next book in the series.

GRIPPING. COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN~~A unique mix of time travel and romance. Not what you typically find in this genre. Very well written and enthralling right to the end.

NEW WAY TO TRAVEL…LOVED IT!~~Since reading my first book in the time travel genre I have been an avid fan. This book just reinforced that opinion. It is different from any other book I've read (so far)...and I loved it! In this book rather than the protagonist finding themselves traveling through time by one means or another and remaining there, Torie (protagonist)finds herself warping back and forth between the past and present. Not only that, it is different each time. Loved this idea. Add to this a the dreamy Dave who is helping to restore Torie's home and I was anxiously waiting my "reading" time each evening. I've never read the author before, but I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. I enjoyed the story and her writing. I recommend the book, especially to lovers of the time travel genre, however I feel that almost anyone would enjoy it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Heritage Time Travel Romance Series

Torie Mills will move to small town Fremont Iowa to find her roots and start a new life. What she will find, will be her true place in the world and the love of her life, but the danger that lurks in her dreams will threaten to bring it all crashing down around them. 
Can their family survive and make a stand and claim once and for all the inheritance that is theirs by all rights and ensure a future full of time travel wonders will be left as their legacy for their children? Or will the evil that has dogged Torie's family for centuries, finally bring them to their end?

Strap in cause it is going to be a wild ride!

Start the journey for FREE for you Kindle with Out of the Past, a stand alone novel but part one of the trilogy. Then continue with Into the Future and Forevermore.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Forevermore Book #3 of the Time Travel Trilogy

 Heritage Time Travel Romance Series Book #3

 Amazon LinkForevermore


     “Okay, so who is gonna hold the rope?” Jeff asked.

     “Wait a minute! Who says you’re going down there?” Dave argued. “I think I should be the one.”

     “Why’s that? I’m the one with climbing experience,” Jeff said.

     “Yeah, climbing around on rooftops,” Dave barked back.

     “Well, I have the safety harness and line and pulley in my truck bed right now so I guess I win,” Jeff countered, trumping any argument Dave might have had in the wings. The testosterone was heavy in the air. I decided I needed to put the kibosh on the direction this conversation was heading.

     “No one is going down there,” I insisted raising my voice loudly. “We are simply going to turn on the camera and lower it.”

     The four of us stood on the precipice of the black void of the abandoned well, with a pile of old wood and a large concrete disk tossed to the wayside. We had found it about two hundred feet back from the road after I had led the way as we had climbed between the strands of barbed wire and up the barely discernible gravel drive. 
     The old homestead was completely gone, but as we walked I was replaying the time warp in my head and mentally recalling when I had looked back toward the drive. I could recall standing before the original house, as I described to them the journey Lindy and Coyle had taken, as the others followed along behind me.

     Just beyond where the house would have once been and walking in the direction the barn had once stood, we found the well fairly quickly. It was covered by a large concrete slab and it took all four of us and two shovels as levers to get it to slide off the cavernous hole.

     The guys were not willing to simply take finding an old well as evidence unless I could find some other traces that would make it indisputable. After an hour of scouring the sites that I felt for sure once held the house and barn, I'd had to give it up. Besides, Allen’s buildings from his 1904 homestead had been razed again at some point after 1981 when I had visited this old farm with my dad. 
      There was absolutely no sign of any structures. So here we stood, as Dave and Jeff had now decided that the best evidence would be to go down the well and see if they could find any of the girls’ physical remains.

     “Risk the camera? Nope! Not happening. We don’t even know how deep it is,” Jeff snapped.

     “Hey, it’s my camera and I don’t care if we risk it. You think it’s better to risk one of your lives rather than a three-hundred dollar camera?” I snapped back. “We don’t even need to do that. Let’s just keep looking for remnants of the barn or the house. The house was back that way about a hundred feet.”

     “Torie, we’ve been looking for an hour and have found nothing substantial. The only way to know if this is the place is to try and get to the bottom of this well and see if we can find anything. If the girls really are here, we’ll find bones; at least a skull,” Dave said firmly.

     “Carrie, help me out here,” I whined. I gave her a wide-eyed silent plea to help me rein in these idiots before it got any more out of hand.

     “Let’s grab one of those large rocks over there and drop it down the well,” she said as she pulled out her smart phone. “We can time it and then I can find,” she paused and turned her phone to show us. “Got it—a calculator. I love technology! It states that it’s accurate to within twenty or thirty feet allowing for the variables of the weight of the item being dropped, gravitational pull…yada, yada.”

     “Carrie! I wasn’t kidding! No one is going down there,” I said again but as I spoke, Jeff went to grab the rock and Dave fell to his knees beside the hole.

     “It’s our best option for being sure we have the right place and proving that your dream really was a warp,” Dave said, and by the tone of his voice I could tell I was going to have an uphill battle to win against the three of them.

     “No, I vote to just dangle the camera down there and pull it back up and see if it catches anything,” I said firmly. “None of you are going to put yourselves at risk.”

     “Hardly a risk if we are lowered in a harness,” Dave argued. “We can back my truck up and hook the line to the trailer hitch and just lower one of us…”

     “No!” I said. “That’s crazy! We have no idea how deep it is. It could be full of water. There could be dangerous gasses. The walls could collapse.”

     “Doubtful,” Jeff called as he came back across the scruffy weed-filled farmyard with several rocks in his hands; he was juggling them as he approached. “Okay, let’s do this, and I’m going to be the one to go down,” he corrected Dave. “It’s my harness.”

     Carrie sat on the ground near the lip of the well and flexed her index finger at me. “Come on, we need your ears, Torie. We all need to listen for it to hit bottom.”

     I resigned myself to accepting the plan and joined the others at the well’s edge and I got goose bumps as I looked down into the pitch blackness. The chill air that wafted out of the depths  smelled eerily familiar. I could recall the cool earthy odor as Lindy Smith crashed through the wooden cover. I could even remember the feeling tightening in her middle as she tumbled. That feeling like when you go down the first big hill of a roller coaster and your stomach seems to be dropping out.

     “First a smaller one just to see if we hear water because if it’s full of water, then any remains of the girls will be history,” I said with a heavy sigh of resignation.

     “I agree,” Dave nodded.

     Jeff crouched beside us and took the smallest of the rocks, about the size of a peach, and dropped it down into the inky blackness. We all listened carefully and heard a flinty dry sound as it landed in just seconds.

     “No water,” Dave confirmed. “So now a large one and I’ll time it.”

     Jeff chose a rock about the size of a brick.

     Dave studied his watch for a few moments and then ordered     “Now.”

     Jeff let it go and the depths returned a loud echoed reverb as it struck bottom.

     “About three seconds,” Dave announced and looked at Carrie.

     She quickly typed the information into her phone. “Okay, with variance for gravity, weight of the rock, and the time it took for the noise to bounce back it’s roughly two-hundred plus feet.”

     “Whoa,” Jeff chuckled and jumped to his feet, slapping his hands together to remove the dust. “Okay, show time."