Monday, July 18, 2016

Guest Guy Ogan

Welcome to the Garden everyone! You all should know the drill by now! Fill your plates with goodies and don't forget to pour yourself your favorite beverage. Today we have a new guest, Guy Ogan.

Information on the first (of currently three stand alone novels) in my Immortal Relations, Adult Paranormal-Romance Series - this first book will be FREE 20 through 24 July. It should be noted that it is an adult story as it has erotic content.

From the back cover of the book Immortal Relations:

When Gary Logan discovers an old black-and-white photograph of his father in Prague with a woman's handwriting on the back, he flies there to investigate where his father worked, only to meet and fall in love with a beautiful lady who he believes to be a vampire. In love with her, Gary is initiated into her coven of guardian vampires, beginning an extraordinary journey of epic proportions.

Exciting, erotic, and full of heart-stopping action, Ogan's debut novel turns human vampire lore on its head, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two species that deepens emotional connections to astonishing effect. But a coven of evil vampires bent on destroying the guardian vampires and feeding on the humans at will have other plans. Adam (Gary's son) however assists humans in almost wiping out the evil coven, beginning the ever-increasing relationship between vampires and humans. Gary and Adam then save Great Britain from nuclear theft and attack; when their nemeses make one last-ditch effort in Russia to bring all the peaceful societies down Gary, Adam and their coven must save the human species before their enemy's plans can come to fruition.

Probing the gray areas inherent in sexuality, family, and legend Ogan weaves an amazing tale that examines the very nature of existence. An unrelenting thrill-ride of passion and action, Immortal Relations will leave you breathlessly awaiting the series' second installment. Link book one: book two:  book three: 

Excerpt from Immortal Relations” first book in the three book (stand alone) series. Chapter One: Finding Love: My name is Gary Logan, I was a human in my sixties when my adventure began, but even then, most people thought I was much younger, not having aged normally. It had been several years since my sweet mother passed away from Alzheimer’s and some of the pain from seeing her decline while I cared for her had eased. Yet something she had said kept popping into my consciousness at odd moments, mostly when I was alone and in need of sleep. Even when I was young and she was the vibrant, creative lady that she had been, she would absent mindedly mumble something like, “He’s over there with that woman” or “He has had a child in Czechoslovakia” but if asked, would say nothing further. Perhaps her misgivings were due to my father’s trips to Europe as part of his government job and that he had spent more than a little time there after the Second World War. Even as I’d grown, I’d never considered that I might have a half-brother or half-sister overseas, but now these memories made me wonder.

One day, while looking through seemingly tons of all the papers in dad’s file cabinets an old envelop caught my eye. In it I found a Black and White photo of my late father next to an old building. On the back it said “Prague, Czechoslovakia” and in a very feminine hand was “I’ll always be waiting here.” This brought back all those things my mother had said and gave me the idea that I might be able to find the building and see some of where my father spent his time while in Europe as he’d never discussed his years in government service. Even with the difficulties of travel in these days of terrorist threats I thought it might be worth the hassle to see a part of Europe I’d never seen. I contacted a travel agency specializing in travel to Europe and asked them about visiting Czechoslovakia and was told it is now called “The Czech Republic” but they could make my arrangements. After getting a passport and enduring all the red tape involved in international travel, I packed my bags and had a friend drive me to the airport. Once I’d removed my watch, change and metal objects I went past the magnetic detector, removed my shoes, put up with the pat-down, as well as the various sniffers and scanners, then I could proceed to the gate to wait for the flight to load. I’d flown so much in the military; flying didn’t hold much excitement anymore, I thankfully fell asleep sometime after we were airborne.

From years in the service I awoke when I felt the aircraft start to descend to land in England. After the security checks, I switched to another aircraft bound for Prague. I was glad when the aircraft took off, knowing it wouldn’t be long before I could start looking for where my father spent some of his working years. After landing, my passport was checked; I gathered my small bags and went to the window to convert dollars for local currency. I then walked outside; it was still dark and it had just stopped raining so the air smelled clean and sweet. Finding the cabstand I held my picture up to the first driver in the queue, he shrugged and shook his head. The next cab in line was piloted by an older silver haired gentleman who still looked very fit; he smiled when I showed him the picture nodding his head saying, “Old Town Hall, I take you.” Starting off, I asked him if a Hotel was near the old town hall and he said, “Very Close”.

The sky was starting to clear and looked as if the day would be clear and bright but at the time of morning we traveled, it being a Sunday, there were very few vehicles on the road. My driver slowed to a stop and pointed out the Old Town Hall through his windshield (I was in the rear seat). Then he said, “Hotel…very soon” and in seconds he had stopped his cab at the curb by the hotel’s front entrance. I got out with my bags and held out paper money and coins to pay for the trip. He took what he needed, I thanking him and waived as he drove off.

At the front desk, I arranged for a room and took the elevator to the fourth floor. It was still very early but I wanted to start looking around so I just dropped my bags by the bed, went back to the first floor and walked the short distance back to the old town hall. The sidewalks were deserted; the only traffic seen as I walked back was a cab and an almost empty bus. Getting out my picture, I looked everywhere for other pedestrians but it seemed too early and I saw no one else anywhere in the area. I held the picture up high walking around and closely compared both the architecture and the angle from which the photograph was taken. As I looked up at the windows, which were well above street level, I noted one that was open giving me a reflected view of the other side of the road. There, on the opposite side which had been empty seconds ago, someone was suddenly standing; but I was sure there hadn’t been anyone there a second before. Seeing her, I sucked in a breath; my God she was stunningly beautiful! I’d seen pictures of “Hollywood Starlets” and "Super-Models" and I knew the Czechs had several of these such as the lovely Paulina Porizkova and Petra Nemcova and I thought this had to be one of them. Suddenly she vanished! I thought she might have moved and my old eyes had missed it so I turned to look and found myself starring into a pair of eyes. Automatically, my head jerked back; the vision of loveliness I’d seen across the street was mere inches from me. She said, excuse me, I didn’t want to startle you! Then she smiled the most brilliant smile I’d ever seen, my knees felt like rubber as I started to fall back but her hand shot out grabbing my arm to keep me upright. The power in her arm surprised me and my heart raced and I couldn’t tell if it was from almost falling or the close proximity of such a beauty! After I felt like I could stand on my own, she introduced herself as Magdalena Dvora'k, saying she had seen me looking at a photograph and asked if I’d been to Prague before. When I told her the picture was taken of my father standing by this building many years before. She asked to see it and I handed it to her. Without skipping a beat, she said “Doug Logan”; if my legs had been rubber before, now they were Jelly! Dazed, I staggered back with her hand back on my arm and I leaned against the stone cold wall. Her gaze transfixed me as she looked deeply into my eyes. It seemed as if she were God’s own angle assigned to test and weigh my soul, for how long I didn’t know. Once I’d regained some composure I said, “How…how could you know my father’s name?" She chuckled at my stammering and said he was the love of her late great aunt who always talked about him and kept his picture next to her bed. To say I was speechless and still weak in the knees was an understatement so she helped me to a bench where we sat for awhile, me trying to recover, while she looked bemused as she read the puzzlement and confusion in my pale face now drained of all its normal color.

I was weighing the odds of meeting someone whose great aunt had known my father and it seemed an unbelievable coincidence! Do you feel alright she asked? I said, not really, adding I can’t get over our meeting, more improbably that your great aunt knew my father. She said, Oh, not just my great aunt her whole family knew him; he was very helpful to them in recovering their lives after the war. Magdalena said her great aunt could speak, read and write in English, because her father was a Czech diplomat in England before the war and her great aunt had gone to school there. Her father was recalled when he voiced alarm over the pacifist actions of England’s Prime Minister at the time, who thought he could make deals with Adolph Hitler. Of course history proved Hitler lied on paper about “Peace in our time” and then, when the Nazi’s invaded Czechoslovakia, my great aunt’s father was arrested and shot. His wife escaped to her parent’s farm with my great aunt who was just a pre-teen. Then, Winston Churchill became England’s Prime Minister and when America came into the war the Nazis were defeated! Later, my great aunt went to work for the new Czech government as an interpreter working with some Americans who came to help. Your father was one and it wasn’t long before he captured her heart and she his. Unfortunately for my great aunt her lover was married and as much as he cared for her he was too committed to his wife and young son, as well as to his agency. I noticed her voice broke toward the end of her comment, so I knew she deeply felt the heartbreak of that lost love! She went on to say; when the new communist government expelled Americans my great aunt wrote her promise to always be waiting on the back of the picture of your father by the Old Town Hall. As color returned to my face I said I knew my father was always committed to us; but it was too bad he couldn’t have had both loves! I guess that was an impossible situation, especially back in those days. She looked confused and asked; don’t you feel angry he cheated on your mother? I told her I felt love was such a beautiful thing and such a blessing to those who suffered during the horrors of war that I wouldn’t deny him or your great aunt that solace. While that terrible war, that claimed the lives of millions was over, with all the death and destruction, I felt the whole human race suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder and if their love helped them overcome that, how could it have been wrong? Thanking me for my understanding she said, “I know my great aunt would appreciate what you’ve said”. She then asked how long it had been since I’d had anything to eat or drink. I told her that I’d had something light, a few hours ago on the plane. She thought it best if we visit a nearby café for something to eat and a little coffee. We talked as we walked slowly, now among the few others who had started to come out to face the day as a bright Sun rose higher in a cloudless Blue Sky.

Sitting outside the café; she ordered a coffee and a pastry for me, saying she’d had something just before we met. We talked while I ate and I mentioned I’d read about the 80,000 Prague Jews murdered by the Nazis in World War II. I told her I felt the West had failed to act against Hitler until it was almost too late. As we sat discussing history and politics I marveled at both her knowledge and her beauty. When she finally said I looked tired, I had to admit I was feeling a bit of “jet lag”. She said if I had a room I should get some rest and when I told her the name of my hotel she said it was close. We continued to talk as we walked; arriving she asked “Do you mind if I come up” and I said I’d love for her to stay as long as she could. Once in the room, she said she’d let me get some sleep. I told her I’d like to hear more of her great aunt and her family, if she could come back. She said she would so I told her I’d call the desk to give her the spare key upon her return. She told me to lock my door when she left. After locking the door, I was so tired I just lay down, cloths and all, without even pulling the threadbare covers back.

I’d slept over eight hours because the Sun was going down. I decided to take a shower rather than wasting time in the morning when Magdalena might return. I’d been in the shower just a minute when I heard her voice, “Are you in the shower?” “Yes, but the water is cold and I don’t know how to regulate the temperature.” Without a pause, she thrust her hand in turning the dials to adjust the temperature! Embarrassed, I thanked her for her help, she just laughed...

Author Bio: Born in Washington D.C. early in WW-II, mother and child moved to Texas while father went off to war as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (which later became the C.I.A.). After the war, mother and child returned to Arlington, VA to be joined by father now working in Washington and on "temporary duty" in spots around the world. Guy was interested and involved in long-distance running, which he continued when the family moved to Northern California in the late 50s. He graduated from Los Altos High School, obtained an Associate of Arts from Foothill Junior College and Transferred to Texas Christian University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the U.S.A.F. While in the military he obtained a Master of Arts from the European Campus of Ball State and upon his retirement from the service completed a Master of Education, from Hardin-Simmons. While in this program he taught undergraduate Psychology, Sociology and Counseling at local colleges as well as writing a book on the assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder. He was then employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TX Prison System) to write treatment programs for inmates with addictions and later as a Associate Clinical Psychologist. He retired early to care for his disabled mother upon the passing of his father. He and his wife have two grown children and four grandchildren as well as two Pomeranians. All are involved in dog rescue services. He states: "Dogs are God's gift to mankind to teach us about love and loyalty!"

My Other Interest (beyond reading and writing) is my "old cars." I have a 64 Studebaker Daytona Station-Wagon called a Wagonaire because the rear of the roof can slide forward under the front part of the roof allowing the station-wagon to serve as a short-bed truck. I have had six ladies from my wife's group able to stand up in the back for a very slow-moving parade. While the vehicle appears virtually the same as when it left the factory, we have made modifications for safety and drivability. It is now powered by a modern hemi V-eight and five speed automatic from a 2005 Dodge truck, has Mustang II type suspension, power-steering and four-wheel power-disc-brakes with the goal of making it a reliable, fun car for my wife. But I think I enjoy driving it far more than she does because it is something most people these days have never seen. Some people even ask me "Who made Studebaker!" Of course Studebaker made Studebaker cars and trucks...sad to see so many amazing vehicle no longer with us! Pictures show the Studebaker at the Vernon Car Show. One has the rear roof only partially forward allowing it to be quickly closed should it rain.


My other car isn't as rare; however, it's also fun to drive when the weather cooperates. My 66 Mustang is a convertible so it stays in the garage all the time with it's top down and only comes out when it isn't overly hot, cold or raining. It has a nice V-8 engine with a new and more reliable 5-sp. transmission. We had the Pony Interior re-dyed (the color had faded from when the previous owner left it out In the Sun for too many years). The photograph of my 66 Mustang is from a car show held in the parking lot of a local Baptist Church (they put on the show).

It took a lot of time, effort and money to get these vehicles into the condition they are now in but when we drive them we feel it was worth it and we enjoy taking them to car shows to allow others to see them as well!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Fun - For me anyway!

Welcome to Mary's Garden. Most of you know the drill, but if you haven't been here before... Please fill your plate with goodies and pour your favorite beverage and have seat. Everyone may want to find some shade it's HOT here in Utah.

This summer we are finishing up our kitchen. Last summer I sanded the cabinets and painted them. I also painted the walls. I took the valance off and hung up pot holders over the window. This summer my husband is tiling the floor and the counter tops. Oh we ripped out the counter. We're going for Rustic Farm House.

Here are a few pictures of our kitchen before we started.



 Here are a few pictures from the first part of the remodel last year.



And here is the work in progress on the floor. Still need the counter tops tiled. I will post a pictures when it's completed and cleaned. I have DUST everywhere, even after I dust. It will be nice when it's done.




Also, just an FYI I have a Summer Reading Contest going on. You can win this awesome mug or if you're out of the US a $10 GC from Barnes and Noble.



All you need to do, is enter and answer the question on:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 04, 2016

Welcome Catherine Green!

Welcome everyone! We have a special treat today. A friend of mine, Catherine Green, from England has a new book out. I wanted to share with everyone, looks great! Please fill your plates with goodies and fill your glass with your favorite beverage. Then lets read about VAMPIRES! Awesome.

The Vampire of Blackpool by Catherine Green

British paranormal romance author Catherine Green has taken a break from her Redcliffe novels series set in Cornwall, and has launched her brand new novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. A contemporary English Gothic story, it tells the tale of vampire Meredith Hanson, her love interest Samantha Morris, and her rival, the vampire hunter Ryan James. The novel is strictly for an adult audience, and Catherine’s vampires do not sparkle!

The vampire, the witch, and the hunter battle it out in a contemporary Gothic adventure in Northern England.

Meredith Hanson lives in Blackpool, the former Victorian holiday hotspot of Northern England. She masquerades as a reclusive author, feeding on the blood of unsuspecting tourists without remorse. Her life takes on new meaning when she meets a young witch in a local pub one evening. Despite Meredith’s cold demeanour, she finds herself oddly fascinated with Samantha Morris, and falls into an accidental relationship with the girl. It is at this time that a vampire hunter arrives in Blackpool. He is tough, he is determined, and his next target is an ancient vampire that has been spotted in the tourist town. He intends to bring her down and destroy her to save the lives of innocent humans. Will he succeed? Or will the experienced vampire seductress be the cause of his undoing?

The Vampire of Blackpool is available to order in paperback and ebook formats via her website www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.com or you can find it in Amazon and other ebook stores.

About the Author

Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.

If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.

You can find Catherine in the following places:
Facebook
Mrs GreenAuthor blog
Twitter page
Personal Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thank you for your help!

Welcome everyone to Mary's Garden Blog. Everyone knows what to do now, right? Yes, fill your plate with goodies and pour yourself your favorite beverage and find a seat and relax. For the past few weeks I have been doing an interactive story written post to post. Never Forgotten. During this I have asked for feedback to help guide me through the first part of the story. I believe I am off to a great start thanks to your help! The last post ended with this....

Helen drew in a breath. She remembered all too clearly what happened next.

“I pulled the door open with such hope. For several moments I didn’t understand what I was seeing, actually it was a long time before I understood. By this time it was ten at night, and yet the two men stood there with sun glasses on. All I could think of was Men in Black.”

~~~
The questions I asked last were:
Here is the Interactive part. Here's where you tell me which way to go.

After listening to everything about what happened that night, what happens?
1. Helen decides she can't allow Spencer to investigate.

2. Spencer decides he really can't follow up.

3. James and Helen hire Spencer to find Carla.

How will it go? Anyone have a guess?

The last suggestion was... "The logical choice would be to hire Spencer. But it could be a fun twist if they don't." Well you'll have to wait and see. I will post updates about the progress and maybe give you a brief teaser from time to time.

To read the first part of Never forgotten check here...
Buy links and official blurb TBA sometime in the future.

Summer Reading Contest
June 27, 2016, through August 31, 2016
Details on the Contest page.
Winner will win a Read & Grow Mug 
(outside the US $10 eGift card from Barnes and Noble)



Monday, June 20, 2016

Interactive Story: Never Forgotten: Chapter Two continued

Welcome back, I really hope you're enjoying the story. Please, remember this is an Interactive story. As soon as you fill up your plates with goodies and pour yourself a refreshing beverage and you've found a spot to relax in the garden, we'll start.

If you are just joining us, you can read the first post of the interactive story here... Then just scroll up from there. Remember this is a rough draft, and you are asked to answer the question at the end in a comment. Let's get started.

Helen closed her eyes and let herself travel back to that awful day. It had started out normal, and even after Johnny had called about Carla she hadn’t been worried. How naïve of her. Carla would have never left Johnny alone without calling her mother or leaving a note for her brother.

Finally she opened her eyes and regarded her visitor and then her son. When her children were babies, she’d dreamt of a wonderful life for them. Carla meeting a wonderful man, even maybe one like Spencer. But then her husband had left, just vanished. He had left for work and never come home. Times were hard after that, but they’d been happy. If poor.

She stood and walked to the sliding glass door, pulled it open to let the breeze carry in the salt and smell of the ocean.

“Do you think we could relive this part of my life out on the deck?” She didn’t turn to see if they followed. “I’d just as soon not take the darkness into my home. I have to live with it every day here…” She placed a hand over her heart.

When the two men had settled she let herself drift again to that day, she stared at the waves crashing against the rocks, but what she saw was Johnny standing at the window next to the door. Watching and waiting for her to come home.

“Sometimes I wonder what kind of mother doesn’t have some kind of warning when their child is in trouble.”

“Mom…”

“Shush James. Please don’t interrupt or I’ll never get it out. I’ve spent too many years keeping it in and terrified that if I slip Carla or you will pay for my mistake.”

She waited and when the other two didn’t reply to her statement she let herself return to the day she pulled into the driveway, her son ripping the door open and ran to meet her. Terror written clearly across his features.

“I had no flash of intuition that my life was about to be tore from me again. When the kids’ father walked out, I thought life could never get worse. I was wrong.”

She dashed the moisture from her eyes impatiently. She took a deep breath and told herself to just relay the story as if she were telling something that happened to someone else. Someone like Francine, Johnny, and Carla Morgan.

“Johnny was at the car before I had time to climb out. I grabbed my purse and took a hold of his hand. The entire time he kept repeating that Carla was gone. He was positive some kids at school had done harm to his sister.”

Helen had finally calmed him down enough to find out what he was talking about. She was certain that elementary boys could not make her daughter disappear. She searched the house and came to the same conclusion Johnny had, her daughter had not been home since she’d left for school that morning.

“When I’d finally convinced Johnny the bullies at school did not have anything to do with his sister, I’d decided I needed to call the police. I had no clue how long a child had to be missing before you could report them gone.” She shifted in her chair. What she wanted to do was pace. “I didn’t care, Carla was ten. The weather had turned to rain and it was dark. I had had only a vague idea of the time when Johnny had seen her last. It had to have been around four in the afternoon.”

Again, guilt washed over her, no premonition had warned her, why? She’s already taught her children to follow their gut feelings, if something felt off, then it was. But why wasn’t she warned by some internal pain, or something?

“Mom, it’s not your fault.” James stood. “Why don’t I get you a glass of water, Spencer do you want something?”

“Dear, I really…”

“Water would be good,” Spencer said.

She watched James go to the kitchen through the sliding glass door, and then turned her attention to Spencer.

“Why do you need to know all of this? It’s just going to harm my children. I may not know where my daughter may be, and I want to see her again. My heart aches for her. But if finding her will bring her danger, I’d rather leave things the way they are.”

“Ma’am, may I call you Helen?”

“Yes. I actually miss being called Francine or Fran. Even after all these years, for a spilt second when someone calls me Helen I don’t realize they’re talking to me.”

“I can only imagine.” He scooted his chair toward her a little as if he may tell her a secret. “Helen, I promise you I will not bring any harm to your family. The more information I have from you, the less I need to find out on my own. That way my snooping will not send up any red flags to anyone watching. Does that make sense?”

She thought for a moment. James handed her a bottle of water, then gave one to Spencer. He sat and opened his own. He fidgeted in his seat, but he didn’t interrupt. She studied his face and realized he wasn’t as immune to the consequences as she thought. He loved his sister and wanted her home.

Safe. He understood the circumstances.

She turned her attention to Spencer again. “What you’re saying is, the more initial information you have from me, the less likely the people watching me will see that you’re investigating me.”

“Exactly. I don’t care how powerful these people are, unless they’re the NSA, they can’t monitor every IP address in the nation. The more I can trace, with your help, on the Net the better.”

“I’m beginning to understand that you’re not going to be out in public until absolutely necessary. Making it less likely to be caught.”

For the first time since James told her his idea, she felt hope. Hope she may see her daughter again.

“I can only tell you what happen that night to the two of us, not to Carla. If we had to change our names, I’m sure she did also. How will you find her if you do not know her name?”

“Let me worry about that, you need to tell me everything you know. Descriptions of these men and or women, the cars, everything you remember of the events.”

“As I said, I’d decided to call the police to report what had happened.” She glanced at James, he gave her an encouraging nod. “As I picked up the phone someone pounded on the door. I had hoped it was someone returning my daughter.”

Helen drew in a breath. She remembered all too clearly what happened next.

“I pulled the door open with such hope. For several moments I didn’t understand what I was seeing, actually it was a long time before I understood. By this time it was ten at night, and yet the two men stood there with sun glasses on. All I could think of was Men in Black.”

~~~
Here is the Interactive part. Here's where you tell me which way to go.

After listening to everything about what happened that night, what happens?
1. Helen decides she can't allow Spencer to investigate.

2. Spencer decides he really can't follow up.

3. James and Helen hire Spencer to find Carla.
 Voting is closed. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Interactive Story - Never Forgotten, Chapter Two

Welcome back, I really hope you're enjoying the story. I would welcome any feedback, even if you do not answer the question. As soon as you fill up your plates with goodies and pour yourself a refreshing beverage and you've found a spot to relax in the garden, we'll start.

If you are just joining us, you can read the first post of the interactive story here... Then just scroll up from there. Remember this is a rough draft, and you are asked to answer the question at the end in a comment. Let's get started.

Chapter Two

Helen looked at the clock again, two minutes, a long two minutes had passed. Where was James? She knew he’d gone to meet that private investigator. She’d told him not to, one wrong step and her daughter would be gone. No chance of ever seeing her again.

Her life was so frustrating and confusing. She’d been a single mom working three jobs to keep food on the table one day. Then almost the very next day she and her son had been whisked away to a new life, literally, as Helen Dunlop and James Dunlop.

She’d been enrolled in San Diego State University majoring in Business Administration. All expenses paid, and their living expenses also. Her son enrolled in the best after school day care when she had night classes. It was a dream come true.

And the only thing it cost her, her daughter.

There wasn’t a day that passed that she didn’t wonder if she was alive. She no longer let herself think about what she might be going through. And she knew James felt the same way, he’d been so young and confused at the events. As an adult he’d made it his mission to find his sister.

To hell with the consequences.

She stood when she heard the front door only a moment before James stepped through the arch, a brawny man ducked under to follow. His head barely missing the light fixture.

“Mom, this is Spencer Graham.” James gestured toward the visitor.

A large hand reached toward her, Helen was sure he’d break all the bones in her hand. She tentatively put her palm in his, he gave it a gentle pump and then stepped away.

“Have a seat, would you like some tea or coffee?”

God she was babbling, but his size intimidated her and she kept thinking how his looking into Carla’s disappearance wouldn’t go unnoticed. Then they were all doomed.

He sat on her small kitchen chair and for a moment she worried it was going to crash to the floor. Somehow it didn’t even creak.

“No thank you, I’m fine.” He gestured to her, then to James. “Please both of you have seat and tell me exactly what happened the day Carla disappeared.”

“James, you told him her name?” She swallowed and walked to the window to look out over the view of the beach, another benefit of her changed circumstances.

She’d give it all away in a heartbeat to see her baby again.

James laid a hand on her arm, she covered it with her own. He urged her toward the table. Reluctantly she let him, he pulled out a chair for her. She settled her clasped hands on her lap. She’d listen and if she didn’t agree she’d talk to James.

“Ma’am, I know this is hard. But do you really want to live without seeing your daughter again?”

“No, of course not. I pray every night we’ll find her. But the only way we can hope to do that is by accident. A wonderful coincidence. If you start searching…” She looked up from her clasped hands, her plan to listen had flown out the window. “You aren’t exactly nondescript.”

He barked out a laugh, and she swore the windows shook. “That is true. However, sometimes that’s a good thing. If a political figure needs to be investigated, if he doesn’t need a new body guard he most likely needs a cable repair or plumbing professional. You’d be surprised at the contacts I have to make sure he or she needs help in some way.”

She wasn’t sure about that, they’d still notice him. For a moment she considered if she called a plumber and he showed up, would she think he was not exactly who he said he was? No, he was right she wouldn’t.

She sighed. “I’m listening.”

“James has gone over what he remembers of that day. And he’s told me where you lived. He can’t remember the address, I’ll need that….”

“No, absolutely not, if you go snooping around.” She turned her attention to her son. “James you know they’re watching, they’ll hurt Carla or you. They promised if I ever tried to find her she’d be hurt and I’d be sent proof.”

James again laid a calming hand on her arm. “Mom, please. Spencer won’t walk up to the door and knock.”

Spencer held up his hand. “I do most of my research on line. I most likely will never visit Russell County. But I’m hoping by the address to find out how the sale was handled, the company that bought it. I have to find a trail to follow.”

“I’m listening,” she repeated.

“Please go over what you remember.” He pulled out a pen and poised it above a pad for notes.

Helen closed her eyes and let herself travel back to that awful day.

~~~
Next post find here...

VOTING IS CLOSED.
And here comes the interactive part. Please answer the question.
When Johnny couldn't find Carla in the house that day.
1. Did he call his mother at work?

2. Did he huddle in his room scared until his mother came home?

3. Did the people responsible for Carla's disappearance arrive at the home before his mother came home?

Thank you!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Interactive Story - Never Forgotten, Chapter One Continued

Welcome back, before we get started, you know the drill! Yup, fill up your plates with goodies and pour yourself a refreshing beverage and find a spot to relax in the garden.

If you are just joining us, you can read the first post of the interactive story here... Then just scroll up from there. Remember this is a rough draft, and you are asked to answer the question at the end in a comment. Let's get started.

Here is the last from the last post:
Georgia picked up the manila folder from her desk. “Can you tell me what’s not in this file?”

Sarah’s grin faded, her chest expanded as she drew in a breath and held. She let it out gustily after a moment. She tucked her chin in and stared at her shoes. Georgia was pretty sure the girl wasn’t seeing her shoes.

“Why?”

“As I said, Sarah, you don’t have to tell me anything.”

The girl lifted her head just enough to stare at the file on the table. “No, I mean why isn’t in the file. I don’t know why my parents treated me as an animal, what I did wrong. Jamie was perfect. They loved her. She was the princess. I don’t understand.”

Georgia knew there had been another child in the home, but there hadn’t been much in the file about her. Just that they’d found her unharmed. Georgia had assumed it only met the other child was unharmed the time they were caught. What Sarah had gone through was horrific, but to have another child that was treated better, normal, would magnify the treatment.

“Tell me about Jamie,” Georgia said.

Maybe if she understood who Jamie was, she could come up with a treatment plan. Georgia usually waited until she’d had a few sessions with her patients before she designed an individualized treatment plan. The notes and situations on paper left out feelings and other dynamics, such as Jamie being perfect in this case.

“Jamie’s pretty. Not like me with buck teeth and carrot hair.” Sarah shifted around. “See even you are more interested in her than me, and you’re supposed to be helping me.”

Georgia leaned back in her chair as if she’d been slapped. The last thing she’d wanted was to alienate her patient. Damn. Time to back it up a step.

“Sarah, I’m sorry if it seems that way.” She picked up the file and let it drop on the desk with a thunk. “Unfortunately, there is nothing in this file other than there was another child. You said no bullshit and so this is the truth. I need to know about Jamie so I can help you.” Sarah sniffed then amazingly she regarded Georgia and actually made contact. Her green eyes shining with un-shed tears.

“She would sneak me food sometimes. I loved her too.”

Georgia couldn’t understand how parents could treat a daughter the way these people had done Sarah, yet it appeared they were capable of love with their other daughter Jamie. Or was she another daughter?

“Then what would happen? Did they punish her for helping you?”

“No, she was careful to sneak in when they were gone or drunk.”

Sarah pulled herself out of the chair, if Georgia hadn’t known better she would have thought the girl was an old woman instead of ten. As if called, she wandered to the window again. Georgia watched her, her throat worked as the girl swallowed. Then she closed her eyes for a moment. She turned her back to the glass and leaned.

She licked her lips, then began to talk. At first her voice was so soft Georgia had to strain to hear her.

“I can’t remember when it started, it’s just always been that way.” She shrugged as if to say, know what I mean? “My mom would slap me whenever I said or did something she didn’t like. It didn’t mean I’d done anything wrong, just that she was upset she couldn’t get what she wanted. I was a punching bag.”

Old beyond her years. Georgia almost felt guilty. She’d been forced to do and be unspeakable things. And she was abused but in different ways than this child. She wasn’t harmed physically, more mentally and the threat of physical harm to her loved ones.

She didn’t prompt Sarah, the girl would tell her in her own time.

“Punching bag, I learned that since I’ve been in my new foster home. Not that it’s much better than home was. But at least I’m not in the closet with no bathroom or food—I’m not sure which was worse. Starving or having to pee and poop in the closet.”

Georgia had to follow down the bile that wanted to come up. She had to focus on moving forward, in order to get the details for her plan.

“What do you mean the foster home isn’t much better? Has something happened?”

“Oh, the people aren’t abusive or anything but some of the other kids are jerks.”

She lifted a shoulder and shoved away from the glass and returned to her seat. She folded her legs up under her. A good sign she was beginning to let her guard down around Georgia.

Georgia jotted down a note to have Maggie check into the home where Sarah had been placed. While she was making notes, she added that Sarah had steered the conversation away from Jamie.

Georgia glanced at the desk clock and saw that all the silences had added up. The allotted hour was almost up. Although, she could fill the rest of the time asking a few things, she choose to wait.

“So how does this work? This no bullshit thing?” Sarah asked after a few more moments of silence.

“How do you want it to work?”

Georgia did her best not to laugh. But when Sarah swung her head up to glare she couldn’t help but let it out. After a moment the girl grinned, and then let out a laugh of her own.

“I think I may like you Dr. Georgia.”

Georgia stood and walked her to the door. After it snapped shut, she shook her head, Sarah, the poor thing had lost her childhood. She was ten going on forty.

Yet, Georgia had lost her childhood also. Not that her childhood was any less horrific, it was just a different horrific! Now, though, it was her job to help Sarah recover what was left of her childhood, bring her back to ten going on eleven.

~~
Next post find here...

Here is the interactive part:
Georgia's brother and Mother have been relocated. Help me decide what state and what are they doing in their new home:

1. Seattle, Washington.
2. San Diego, California

Georgia's Mother and brother both have been educated as she has:

1. Mother working as a nurse.
2. Mother working as a Administrator

Brother

1. Brother working as an Engineer
2. Brother working as a Database administrator

Voting CLOSED now. Thank you for reading!