February 29, 2016

Do You Have a Minute?

The Moms Place, may I help you?”

Rhys’ gut tightened at the sound of her voice. “Cassi? It’s Rhys. Are you busy or do you have a minute?”

“It’s about time you called!” Her voice filled with venom.

“You sound a little upset,” Rhys said. “What’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter?” she echoed. “You totally ignore me for nearly a month, and you want to know why I might be just a little bit upset? You could at least have called to turn me down, instead of leaving me hanging for three and a half weeks!” Cassi’s voice rose steadily, until she was nearly shouting.

“What are you talking about?”

“You know very well what I’m talking about, Mister I-never-eat-breakfast-without-my-newspaper Morgan!” (From The Moms Place, by Natalie Peck) http://tinyurl.com/ntx6kuq

February 26, 2016

Becoming Mormon

His conversion to the church came about in a very interesting manner. A number of his neighbors were assisting him in a house-raising. He suggested to them that, in the evening when the day's work was done, they go in a body and break up a meeting which he had heard the young Prophet Joseph Smith was holding in the nearby woods. Intending to cause a disturbance, he found himself converted instead.

Many times after he was heard to testify that before the prophet had spoken five minutes, he had received a thorough assurance of the divinity of his mission, which testimony remained with him all his life. (From Journal Through the Ages, by Mischa Borgnaes)

Monday, July 23, 1838...On the road near Bellefontaine one of the sons of Martin H. Peck, had a wagon wheel run over his leg, but as the Lord would have it, and to the astonishment of all—considering the weight of the load on the wagon—he received no particular injury, although the wheel ran over the boy's leg on a hard road without any obstruction whatever. The wheel made a deep cut in the limb, but after hands were laid on him in the name of the Lord, the boy was able to walk considerable in the course of the afternoon. This was one, but not the first, of the wonderful manifestations of God's power unto us on the journey. (From Journal Through the Ages, by Mischa Borgnaes) http://tinyurl.com/llamlof

February 25, 2016

What to Wear

“Dress?” Anders asked.

“Hmph. You’re the only male I know who would know or care about asking that. Casual. My budget runs to Denny’s, especially now while I’m out of work.”

“I’ll see you at six, then,” Anders said, “and I’ll be dressed for Denny’s, but since your budget is tight, I have a better idea.”


“It’s a surprise. I’ll show you tomorrow.” He brushed his lips against her cheek, and was gone before she could decide whether he’d actually kissed her – and whether she should have turned her face toward him and kissed him back. (From A Gigolo for Christmas, by Natalie Peck)  http://tinyurl.com/p6lp5mu

February 12, 2016

Best Cookies Ever to Touch my Tongue

Choc-Scotch Cookies

Contributed by Romana

Invented while at college, and very few could guess what that other flavor was.

½ C butter

½ C shortening

¾ C sugar

¾ C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2½ C flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ pkg butterscotch chips

Cream butter, shortening, and sugars. Add liquid ingredients and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chips.

Bake on an ungreased sheet 8 - 10 minutes at 375°F.

(From Clues to Food, by A M Jenner) http://tinyurl.com/psrsn3x

February 11, 2016

Invisible Servants

Ez sat down at the table and drew out her wand, and with a few flicks and several muttered incantations, her kitchen was alive with what looked like invisible servants. The eggs floated from the refrigerator and broke in mid-air, throwing their contents into the frying pan which materialized beneath them just in the nick of time. A few slices of bacon made their stately way to the pan, and began sizzling on contact. The pan hovered merrily above the stove as it cooked the food, even though Ez had forgotten to turn the gas on. The bamboo spatula stirred the eggs, scrambling them beautifully, while the tongs darted in and out of the pan, turning the bacon as needed. (From "Scrounger Ez" by Scott Ashby, Bits and Bites) http://tinyurl.com/mc4vbh5

February 10, 2016

Death in Waiting

Wading back across the stream, he found the best place to give adequate view of his quarry while concealing his own presence and settled in for the wait.

A scant brace of hours ambled by with few riders and only one coach passing before the small lad wearing Kwenn’s livery cantered into view. Always an exceptional marksman, Rocnar took careful aim, allowing the horse to bring the boy closer. The sound of the shot rent the air and caused the horse to plunge and buck as its rider slipped onto the roadway, blood staining his jerkin from the neat new hole over the center of his heart. (From Tanella’s Flight, by Scott Ashby)  http://tinyurl.com/mc4gp2l

February 09, 2016

Origami Love Notes

I hadn’t seen Darragh for a few days, other than through the Med Center window when he was too busy to bother. The station had received a ship full of refugees who were battling some illness I didn’t hear named, but his obsessive problem-solving skills no doubt would come in handy.

I left dinner on his doorstep every night, and every morning I found the dish clean and set beside my door. The second day he left me a note on a tiny square piece of colored paper that simply said “Thank you.” The third and every day since, he left me a note that said “Thank you” and a meticulously folded paper animal or flower. (From Rift Watcher, by C R Simper) http://tinyurl.com/q7vytu9

February 08, 2016

Madder than a Wet Hen

They rounded the corner of the garage and saw utter chaos. Some chickens had escaped their coop and were clucking, squawking, flopping and fluttering about outside their pen. The hens still in the enclosure were even more hysterical.

Wang Huck and Jack, entering the coop, waded into the melee, trying to corner two smallish dogs within the enclosure. With men and dogs now inside their fence, those chickens still in the pen were doing a frantic dance-and-screeching squawk.

Each time a dog was cornered, the men made a lunge for it but several chickens would get in the way. The dog would escape and run to the other side of the pen, stirring up more chickens. Jack was yelling and waving his arms. Wang Huck’s howling, punctuated by his singsong words, wove in and out of the discordant noise and made a most unusual accompaniment to the cackles, barks and yells.

The panorama was so unexpected and bizarre the girls started to giggle. The harder the men tried, the less successful they were. The funnier the situation became, the harder the girls giggled. The men were getting tired. Rebecca, still laughing, thought of a possible solution. (From Sirens in her Heart by Natalie Peck) http://tinyurl.com/qxxvmz4

February 05, 2016

Fire in the Night

A blazing light awakened Gladiola, and her first thought was she’d overslept and the sun was shining in her eyes. She smelled smoke and sat upright in her cot. She’d not overslept. The sun was not in her eyes. It was still the middle of the night, and the light was caused by the burning tent around her. (From Crown of Tears by Scott Ashby) http://tinyurl.com/pf2m49s

February 04, 2016

Please Don't Slap Me!

A tall, slender man stepped into the room, and the impact of the stunning vision before her rendered Shenda’s voice dead in her throat before she’d made a sound. If this man was her purported boyfriend, it was most definitely not Steven.

This man was gorgeous. His blue eyes were a startling contrast to the evenly tanned skin on his face and forearms, while his obsidian hair was shiny and thick. Those were the only features her brain cataloged before he proclaimed a loud “Darling!” and swooped her up into a full-body, all-encompassing hug, whirling her around as he did so.

When his back was to the nurse, he whispered urgently in her ear. “I’m your bodyguard. Please, for your own sake and for your life, play along with me. I’ll explain everything when we get outside. I won’t make you go anywhere you don’t want to go, I promise you, but please play along for now. I’m going to kiss you. Please don’t slap me!”

With those words still seeping into her ears, the hunk leaned back just a little from the embrace and loudly proclaimed, “I love you and I’ve missed you, Sweetheart!” and soundly kissed her. (From Deadly Gamble by A M Jenner) http://tinyurl.com/qd4n8sb

February 03, 2016

A Delayed and Secret Meeting

“Something’s happening, something’s wrong,” he whispered into her ear. “When everyone’s here, don’t wait for me. Take them all back to our camp. Tigano couldn’t talk, but wants to meet me later. I’ll make my own way back after I’ve talked to him, but it’ll be late. He’s set the eleventh hour as the time.”

“Bring him with you afterward,” Dexya said grimly. “He’s risked enough on our behalf.”

“I will, if he’ll come.”

“If he won’t come willingly,” Dexya said, “then whack him over the head and bring him anyway.”

Quibell chuckled at her proposed solution as he moved away from her position and melted into the darkness. (From Fabric of the World by Scott Ashby) http://tinyurl.com/ophfp6u

February 02, 2016

Special Equipment

Mike hurried to catch up to where Skylar was walking with Jenna. He opened his mouth, then glanced at Jenna and shut it. Skylar watched him and could see the tussle between curiosity and caution written on his face.

Curiosity won. With another sideways look at Skylar, Mike softly commented, “I see you got yourself a kitty. What’d you hit him with, a club?”

Equally quietly, Skylar said, “I shot him.” He looked at Mike’s shocked and disbelieving face and grinned.

Mike snorted. “With a wet pistol,” he said, “Right!”

Skylar’s smile widened. “Special equipment.”

Mike cut in, a bit of frustration showing. “Let me guess, it’s experimental and you’re not allowed to talk about it. Are you in the air force or something?”

Skylar choked back his laughter. “Or something,” he agreed.

 “Skylar, that cougar’s dead and there’s not a mark on him! What on earth did you use to kill him?”

Skylar placed a hand on Mike’s shoulder, facing him squarely, and with a serious tone which told Mike not to push too far, replied, “Let’s just call it space-age technology and leave it at that, all right?” (from Assignment to Earth by Scott Ashby) Read more here.

February 01, 2016

Converting Pounds to Kilograms

We’d packed spaghetti sauce packets in our luggage and that was to be it; spaghetti and meatballs with some salad and fresh bread. Home-cooked, even if it was a packaged sauce mix. All of us were anticipating the first home cooked meal in Brazil.

Margie and I walked to shop for food at the little stores in the neighborhood. First to the little veggie shop for salad stuff, then next door to the bakery for French bread and then next door to the meat market.

We could just point to what we wanted at the first two stores, but had to say what we wanted at the meat market. They understood that we wanted ground beef. We forgot the difference between kilos and pounds and watched wordlessly as they ground 2 kilos (4.5 lbs.) of beef. We had decided that kilos were half a pound instead of 2.2 pounds. We forgot how to say stop! We couldn’t explain and were too embarrassed to do more than watch and pay. We didn’t break into hysterical laughter until we got back into the house.

The new refrigerator hadn’t been delivered, so we had to cook all four pounds, eight ounces for that one meal. The kids loved that for once they had enough meatballs to go with their spaghetti! (From Jenny’s Daughter by Jaqi Wade) http://tinyurl.com/nk37akr