Friday, August 5, 2022

Saying goodbye to daddy

Yes, it's be a very long time since I've posted on my blog. Life has been crazy (hasn't it been for everyone?).

Three years ago I wrote my first eulogy, which was for my mom. I can never be too serious, so humor was the main component of what I wrote, and read, at the funeral.

Three years and a day later, daddy died.

Here I am again, saying goodbye. I'm technically an orphan.

But, as always, I can't be that serious. So here is what I will be reading at his funeral tomorrow. I hope you can enjoy the humor and get a glimpse of the man I loved so dearly.

We are all here today to celebrate the life of a man that would take the shirt off his back for anyone and knew exactly how to fix anything (as long as he had enough duct tape and WD-40).

Dad was a fun loving, kind and caring man who was known for his long, entertaining stories; of which he loved to repeat often.

His over 20 years as a corrections officer afforded hundreds of men and women exposure to dad’s unique sense of humor.

His regrets were few but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from a convenience store in the summer of ‘98, not training his faithful Chihuahua Chewy to deer hunt, and that no video evidence exists of his near-death experiences, of which there were many.

There were so many in fact that there’s not enough time to tell you all about them.

Like, I could tell you about the time, when he was only two, that his dad accidentally ran over him with the family car.

Or the time he was put in charge of a Royal Rangers camping trip, in which he decided to show a group of 12-year-old boys a fast draw with his six shooter. A bullet wound and some hard earned first aid badges later, the boys managed to carry him a mile up the hill to another troop pack who got him to the hospital.

Or I could even tell you about the time he blew up the garage while welding, causing the door handle to shoot down the hallway, along with the cat. It took three days to find him. The cat, not Dad.

Honestly, he had so many near death experiences, the family joked that his guardian angels’ robes were in tatters and smoking.

I guess the best story I can tell you of dad’s guardian angels working overtime, is when he went out hiking with our uncle Chip. They came upon an overlook that was 40 feet above a creek, fed from a cave beneath their feet.

Dad, wanting to get a better look at the cave, decided to jump out and hang from the branch of a tree at the edge of the overhang. However, the tree wasn’t having any of it and promptly uprooted itself, sending dad careening 40 feet down to land in the middle of a rocky creek bed. Somehow, he managed to survive with only bumps and bruises (though it would explain his back problems after that).

For 71 years, dad was literally inches from death, more times than I can count on both hands. The whole family wondered when the next accident would be his last.

But God has shown us, it is only when He calls us, that our time has come. Even dad, who I’m sure tested our gracious Lord’s patience at times, would not go before his time.

So, I leave you with this:

Don’t eat convenience store hot dogs.

Never lean down with an open flame to see where your welder is leaking.

And always live life to its fullest.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Wolf's Beautiful Beast - New Release and Teaser Trailer

 After nearly four years, Wolf's Beautiful Beast has finally arrived!  Check out this amazing teaser trailer!

What harm could come from picking a rose?

Under the silver glow of the moon, Lycus was cursed to run through Blakx Forest in wolf form. All that changed when Rapunzel set him free. Now, after learning she and Red plan to journey to the Land of Oz, he joins their adventure... oblivious to the darkness they will soon face.

Stranded in the land of Bruen, the trio hears whispers of a lost princess and a horrible beast. After sticking his nose where the king felt it didn’t belong, Lycus is forced to join the hunting party to kill the beast and rescue the princess.

Proving no good deed goes unpunished, Lycus is captured by the same beast he was ordered to slay. It doesn’t take long for him to realize all is not as it seems in the abandoned castle and there is far more to this story than meets the eye.

Racing against the clock, can Lycus save the princess before his friends are imprisoned for his mistake? Or will he be forced to choose between his beauty and the beast within?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Only one more sleep until "Wolf's Beautiful Beast" arrives!

Only one more sleep (as if I will be able to sleep) until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast?" It has been a long four years, but it is finally happening. I want to thank all of you who have been so faithful in your love of my books. This book is truly for you!
 Well, just for you, here is the final sneak peek!

            Placing my finger over my lips, I stepped out from under the shelter, looking up. There was no obvious disturbance. Most of the windows were already broken, and chunks of the masonry had long been degraded by weather and time. However, high in the tower, Arabella’s plush curtains billowed through the window, shards of broken glass glinting in the moonlight.
            I turned to Red. “Stay here. I need you to cut him off should he makes his way past me.”
            “No!” she begged, trembling under her flowing red cape. “I will stay with you. You can’t take him on your own.”
            Placing a hand on her shoulder, I steadied her. “The best way to help me is to keep yourself safe and make sure he doesn’t escape. If he comes through this courtyard, I expect you to take him down.”
            I hugged her, kissing her forehead. “If things do go awry, find the horse and get back to Rapunzel. Get her out of this godsforsaken kingdom.”
            She released a shaky breath, nodding in understanding.
           Without the benefit of a torch, I sneaked through the long halls of the castle. I had spent enough time walking the corridors to know where I was going.
            Running as quietly as possible, I made my way down the long hall that led to the split staircase. As I descended the steps to the landing, I heard the deep growl of the beast, accompanied by furniture being knocked about.
            Reaching Arabella’s room, I found the door wide open. Inside, the once beautiful sanctuary of the princess had been destroyed. The curtains, shredded down one side, flapped in the wind out the broken window. Her shelves of books lay scattered across the ground. Even her bed was mangled; the small white down feathers floated on the cold breeze.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

ATTENTION Just 2 more days until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast!"

Can it seriously only be two more days until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast?" The excitement is overwhelming!!! Well, just for you, here is today's sneak peek!

            “Out of the way,” hissed the soldier. “This doesn’t concern you.”

            Jumping from the wagon, I called out. “There’s no need for this. Certainly the woman could be let off with a warning.”

            “She’s been warned,” he ground out through clenched teeth. “This old…”

            “Captain!” barked General Drax. “Stand down!”

            The soldier glanced between us and his commanding officer. With a heavy sigh, he mounted his horse and guided it back into line with the wagon.

            The general nodded to Red. “My apologies. My men can get a little overzealous in their duties.”

            “Do their duties include beating on old women?” Red spat, continuing to stand protectively by the woman.

            “Of course not,” Drax insisted, placing a hand to his heart. “A simple misunderstanding, I promise you. Rest assured, I will be addressing it as soon as we reach the castle.”

            I placed a hand on Red’s shoulder. “Let’s go. You have done right by her, now we need to see Rapunzel to the castle. She’ll catch her death in this cold.”

            Reluctantly, Red turned to the old woman. “Please take care of yourself.”

            “Bless you, child,” she replied, taking Red’s hands in her own. They were tanned and wrinkled, showing the years of hard labor and weather.

            Red walked to the wagon. As I turned to follow, the old woman grabbed my arm. The shock of her icy touch against my warm skin felt like a bolt of lightning surging through my body.

            “Danger,” she murmured, her voice but a whisper in the blowing wind. “You must leave before it comes.”

            I furrowed my brow. “What comes?”

            Her cloudy, gray eyes bore into mine. “It comes in the night.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Just 3 days until Wolf's Beautiful Beast arrives!

I can't believe it is only three more days until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast!" Here is today's sneak peek!

I first pushed against the door, but it was not going to give easily. I tried kicking it, but it barely budged. Running as fast as I could, I slammed my shoulder into the wood. I bounced off, falling to the floor in a heap. I was almost certain the crack I heard was not the wood, but my bones.

            “Gods help me,” I cried out, grabbing my injured shoulder. “What is it made of? Stone?”

            The door clicked and slowly opened. “Actually, I believe white oak,” said Arabella, carrying a silver pitcher, along with a towel. “I thought you might want to clean up.” She stepped past me as though nothing about the situation was out of the ordinary.

            I winced as I stood. “Where were you all night?”

            “Doing the beast’s bidding.” She groaned, setting the pitcher and towel on the small table by the window. “As I’ve done every night for the past… how long has it been?”

            “My understanding is you’ve been missing for five years,” I explained, stepping closer.

            She turned on her heel, eyes wide as she searched my face. “Has it really been only five years?” She stood silently for several moments, staring through me.

            “I… uh… believe so,” I slowly approached her. “That’s just what I was told by the king and queen.”

            Her eyes shot to mine. “My parents? They sent you, didn’t they?” She turned back to the table, pouring the water in a basin. “Well, I’m sorry to say their efforts will be fruitless.”

            “But it doesn’t have to be.” Reaching out, I touched her shoulder. She jerked away, knocking over the basin. Water pooled at her feet as she backed against the wall, staring me down.

            “I’m sorry,” I said, putting my hands up in surrender. “I never meant to scare you.”

            She took deep, slow breaths as her gaze fell between the door and me.

            “Princess, I…”

            “I am not the princess anymore,” she growled, yanking the towel from the table and bending to dry up the mess. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Only 4 more days until Wolf's Beautiful Beast drops!

Only four more days until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast!" Here is today's sneak peek!

A low rumble emanated from the beast as it turned and moved to all fours. It lowered its head, horns aligning to charge. The beast’s ember red eyes bored into me, the rumble turning into a full-fledged roar. It kicked off the ground, snow and mud flying in its wake.

I growled, willing my body to act when everything in me said flee. I leaped into the air, intent on meeting the beast head on. However, as our paths came to a head, the creature burst into the air, spreading its wings to clear me with ease.

The sound of metal clanged as it landed. I spun, recalculating my attack. It had landed on General Drax. The beast loomed over him, saliva falling in his face from its snarling teeth. I growled, snagging its attention away from the general for a split second. It was enough. Drax grabbed his dagger and pierced the leg of the creature.

Roaring, the beast retreated several paces, allowing Drax to scramble to his feet. He grabbed a long limb from the fire, throwing it at the feet of the creature. Its eyes shown orange in the burning light.

The beast stretched its golden wings, fanning the flames. Hot embers flew toward the general and his men, causing them to turn and shield their faces.

The creature looked at me one last time, releasing a small groan. Then, like a great eagle, it lifted into the air and into the cover of darkness.

For several moments, everyone stood still as the grave. Tension rose as we waited for another attack. I listened and scanned the area for an ambush. When I felt it was safe, I transitioned back into the man, grabbing a nearby cloak to wrap around me.

General Drax scowled at me as he wiped mud and drool from his face.

Clenching my teeth, I grabbed my bag and headed into the darkness to dress. “Still under the impression that the beast doesn’t exist?”

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Only 5 more days until the release of Wolf's Beautiful Beast


 Just five more days until the release of "Wolf's Beautiful Beast!" Here is today's sneak peek!

Red yelped and jumped back, then burst into a laugh. “Did I scare you?”

“What are you doing out here?” I growled, crossing the distance between us. “Don’t you know it’s dangerous?”

“Obviously.” She giggled, covering her mouth. “The big bad wolf and his wall of flowers might get me.”

I glared at her. “Keep your voice down. Don’t you see what this means?”

She stepped forward, squinting to get a better look. “Well, given the fact that these roses are growing in the dead of winter means this place has magic.” She plucked a nearby red rose from the vine.

“No!” I hissed, reaching for the bloom.

Pulling away, she brought the flower to her nose. “Calm down, Lycus. What harm could come from picking a rose?”

“Remember,” I whispered. “The boy said the beast is attracted to these roses. That is why it attacked the kingdom before. If this place is covered in roses, then…”

“Then we’re standing on the edge of its lair,” Red gulped, glancing around.

“And it means the princess could be here,” I murmured, turning back to the wall. I stretched to look through a gap in the abandoned courtyard.

Suddenly, the air erupted in a bone-chilling roar that cut to the core. Red and I threw our hands over our ears.