I almost went to NYC last week

There was a cat in New York who needed rescuing, possibly abandoned in an apartment without enough food to last for weeks. There were three of us who could split the fourteen hundred mile round trip drive from the mountains of North Carolina. We had ample disinfectant wipes, enough hand sanitizer for a sponge bath, and a whole box of latex gloves. And, damn it, we were willing to do it.

This was Saturday night, March 22, about the time NYC was becoming the known epicenter of covid-19 in the US. We planned to leave at 5 am, armed with our own water and food so we only had to stop for gas and bathrooms. The plan. Drive eleven hours. Double park in front of the Brooklyn apartment, grab the cat and, okay, maybe a few other things, and exit NYC without speaking to a soul. Without touching a thing. Almost without breathing. Then drive eleven hours home.

We told a few other people what we were doing. Ummm. They were not impressed. What if we had a flat tire? A minor accident? How about car troubles or illness? As the list of ways this trip could go wrong grew, even we had to admit this was not as well-thought out a plan as we originally thought.

Then, a local caregiver for the cat was found. The lost roommate reappeared. The mission was now a luxury, reuniting the adorable cat (see above – she is adorable) with her loving human. Nice but no longer necessary. The plan was abandoned.

Would it have worked? We’ll never know.

This has always been a blog about time, and about possibilities. About multiverses and the choices we make. It’s about how little events determine the course of our lives in ways we cannot predict.

Times being what they are, at the extreme ends of the probability spectrum, we could have lost our own lives because of this journey, or maybe saved someone else’s. Who knows. In the middle, we’d just have returned home, tired, and with a cat.

 

 

 

Australia Burns

Today it is my pleasure to welcome the collection of stories called “Australia Burns.”

Stories in this collection have been contributed by authors who care about Australia and the relief efforts from the devastating bushfires. All profits from the books will be donated to charities involved with the recovery efforts. The publisher and authors are not affiliated with the charities. They simply want to show Australia their love and support.

Volume 1:  A collection of Short Stories in Mainstream Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Thrillers, and Mystery

A Solicitous Wife by Madeleine McDonald

No One Knew by Larry Farmer

Pinochle by Brenda Whiteside

The Tuesday Night Meeting by Peggy Jaeger

911, What’s Your Emergency? by D. V. Stone

Tall Tales by Laura Strickland

Fare Gain by Alexandra Christle

The Note by Stephen B. King

Three Ghosts by Julie Howard

Detective Paws and Lip Gloss by Maureen L. Bonatch

The Ring by Margaret Ann Spence

Portrait of a Gunfighter by Hywela Lyn

Six Hours or So by Lisa Wilkes

Prussic Acid by Melody DeBlois

Volume One Buy Link

Volume 2: A collection of Romance, Young Adult, and Women’s Fiction Short Stories

Che Gelida Manina by M. S. Spencer

Recipes for Love by Carol Henry

Waiting for Caleb by Gini Rifkin

Wings of Fire by Jana Richards

A Lark by Gabbi Grey

Apple Crisp by Terry Graham

Goody Twoshoes by Mark Love

The Number by Barbara Bettis

Deadly Homecoming by Peggy Chambers

An Egg-Cellent Witness by Marilyn Barr

Season of Withered Corn by Judy Ann Davis

Beneath the Pines by Debby Grahl

Christopher Reisner by Linda Griffin

Unexpected Love: Chase Allen by Anna Lores

The Cowboy and the Lady by Jean Adams

The Heart Necklace by Amanda Uhl

The Relaxation Response by Darcy Lundeen

Dancing Through Tears by Jeny Heckman

Volume Two Buy Link

Volume Three: A collection of Paranormal, Horror, and Sci-Fi Fiction Short Stories.

The Pilot’s Son      by CJ Zahner

The Vengeance      by Rhonda Gilmour

A Climb to Kill      by ML Erdahl

Born of Fangs      by Sydney Winward

Johnny Appleseed      by Robert Herold

Rebellion in Slot III      by Roni Denholtz

Home, Sweet Mobile Home      by Alana Lorens

The Filthy Human      by Tori V. Rainn

Baby Daddy      by Kerry Blaisdell

The Witch of Calico Island      by Cat Dubie

Stained-Glass Vision      by Mary Morgan

A Witch’s Protocol      by Tena Stetler

I Choose Life      by Kristal Dawn Harris

Together Forever      by N. Christine Samuelson

Where Is Your High School Sweetheart?      by Donna Kunkel

Lost and Found      by Joanne Guidoccio

Nursery Chimes      by D.S. Lucas

Volume Three Buy Link

The publisher will give away a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

Enter here to win.

A personal note:

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Australia a while back when my daughter studied there for a semester.  It’s a fascinating country (and continent) and I was totally taken in by the blunt helpful optimism that is the cultural norm. It broke my heart to see the extent of these wild fires, so let me add one more voice encouraging you to buy these books and to help in any way you can.

Gods of Merlin

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Priya Ardis and her YA Fantasy Paranormal novel Gods of Merlin.

Author’s description of the book:

Foster kid and occasional shoplifter Eowlyn Patience just wants to fit into her Boston high school. When the Sword In The Stone falls out of the sky like a meteor into the middle of London’s Trafalgar Square, everything changes. Then, an enigmatic golden-eyed man arranges for her to attend a school for the gifted in England, and the irritatingly perfect Matt Emrys from science class turns out to be Merlin—the Merlin, King Arthur’s greatest wizard.

 

Frozen in a cave for fifteen hundred years, Merlin has woken to find the next Arthur. Eowlyn Patience’s mysterious admittance to Avalon Preparatory was not something he foresaw…a disturbing aberration when his most powerful gift happens to be visions of the future.

 

The race to find the rightful heir rages between deadly gargoyles, wizards, and Regulars, but figuring out the troubled Eowlyn might be by-the-book Merlin’s hardest job yet. She’s altogether the wrong girl. Torn between what is right and what saves lives, will Eowlyn do what it takes to win—even if it means sacrificing Merlin to a god?

 

My Review:

In Gods of Merlin, Priya Ardis has written an action-filled adventure likely to appeal to teenage fans of the fantasy genre.

What I liked best:

1. I’ve got a fond spot for females who get to be the chosen one (for once) and I found Eowlyn to be particularly likable. I rooted for her from the start.
2. I’m a life long fan of the many variations of the King Arthur tale and it was fun to see it given a new twist.

What I liked least:

1. I thought there were too many parallels to a certain famous story line with a likeable orphan who mysteriously ends up at a British school for magical kids where those with wizards’ blood look down on those who don’t have it.
2. I found some sections too grisly and others too confusing (particularly flashbacks of Eowlyn tangling with other main characters in other times.)

I would recommend this book to young people who enjoy fantasy and particularly to fans of Harry Potter or King Arthur who are looking for more of what they love.

About the Author:

Priya Ardis loves books of all kinds–but especially the ones which make your nose leak and let your chai go cold. Her novels come from a childhood of playing too much She-Ra and watching too much Spock. Her bestselling series, My Boyfriend Merlin, about Merlin going to high school is a YA contemporary fantasy and romance for those like road trips, wizards, Greek gods, and gender-bent quests.

Talk to me!

Find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, YouTube or on Twitter. 

Visit her on her website.

Buy Gods of Merlin on Amazon.

You can also find Priya Ardis on Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play.

Yes, there is a giveaway.

Priya Ardis will offer a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn winner, and an autographed copy of the book to a second randomly drawn winner.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops.

My favorite excerpt:

“You are my Gwenhwyfar,” he said. “Or how do you say her name in your time? Guinevere.”

I stood, wanting to run but knowing it would do no good. Because I was not in reality. I was in a dream. I played along. “Wasn’t Guinevere King Arthur’s wife? I’m a little young. I belong to no one.”

“I did not come seeking a wife. My former love is the reason we are in this mess. I have chosen you to be my champion, my right hand. You will go where I cannot.”

I growled in disbelief. “What makes you think I would do anything for you?”

Golden eyes glowed as he considered me. Power radiated from his gaze. The power burned so bright, like the sun, that I would be burned if I looked too long. Then, golden eyes blinked. The light dimmed and I could breathe again.

He peered at me. I dropped to my knees on the ground.

He touched my cheek. “You will do it, Eowlyn Patience, because you crave what I do. You would do anything to leave this small life behind. You would do anything for a bit of power.” His thumb traced the line of my jaw. “Seize the day, my champion.”

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