March 11, 2016

Presidential Dogs Not Allowed

One day I almost caused an incident that might have been considered funny. One Saturday morning, I was assigned to greet people at the entrance [of the George H. W. Bush Library] rather than introduce the film that begins the tour, guide tourists through the exhibits or sit at the information desk.

Near the entrance, I noticed a tall man approaching who was dressed in khaki clothes with a backpack, wearing a baseball cap, and leading a dog on a leash. He looked like one of the professors, and I moved forward to explain the Library regulations that the dog could not enter.

He leaned down to pet the dog and only then did I realize he was petting Millie! I just backed up, smiled and said “Good morning, Mr. President.” Of course, Millie entered with him.

That was a close call. I hadn’t noticed the ever-present secret service fellows with the ear pieces that signal the presence of the President. They usually dress in clothes to match what he’s wearing, trying to blend in with the crowds. I chuckle when I wonder what if I’d tried to keep him from entering his own library. (From Jenny’s Daughter by Jaqi Wade)

March 10, 2016

Where's my money?

“Charleston, I’m really not feeling well. If you want answers to your questions, please don’t hit me anymore. I’ll faint, and you’ll get nothing but silence. If you will please explain what money you mean, I’ll tell you all I know.” She felt Gavin stir again.

“Tell me where the money is, Mrs. Beardsley, and maybe I won’t slap you for a while.” Sarcasm dripped from his voice, his lip curled in an ugly sneer.

Katrina sighed loudly. “What money are you talking about, Charleston? I don’t make much at work.”

“I’m talking about the forty-three million dollars Uncle Andrew left you in his will!”  (From Inherit My Heart by A M Jenner)

March 09, 2016

Valentine's Day in Chicago

Once she was changed, she wrapped the dress around her blood-stained clothing, and threw the bundle as far off the road as possible. She chuckled.

Climbing back in the car to continue the journey, she was still chuckling. She had to find the humor in the bad situations she kept finding herself in or she’d go nuts.

Samantha looked intently at her. “Why are you laughing?”

“If forensics tries to match those bloodstains, they’re going to be very confused.”


“I just got back from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” (from Quinn by Marie Evergreen)

March 08, 2016

What's a Klodfon?

Suddenly Glen realized what he was seeing. These must be Clod-fawns. They were huge! Jenna had been conservative in her description of seven foot lizards. These lizards walked on two legs and used their tails for balance. Covered from head to toe with bright, neon green scales, they reminded him vaguely of a tyrannosaurus rex, only with well-muscled, usable arms attached on the sides of their shoulders.

The helmets they wore were shaped wrong for any dinosaur. Glen rather thought they would fit on his own head, though the squarish corners might be uncomfortable. Their faces were different, too; he could see them through the helmet’s clear front covering. They were definitely lizardish; red eyes with a slit for a mouth, and absolutely nothing where the nose should have been. Glen wondered absently what they would do if they needed to wear glasses, with no nose to hold them up.

They wore black bits of stuff strapped to various parts of their bodies, and Glen recalled Jenna saying something about blast armor. It certainly looked like armor. Not the kind knights used to wear; more like a Roman soldier’s. Breast plates and back plates, helmets, and guards on the forearms and shins.

Other than the helmets and armor, they wore no other clothing. Apparently the lizards had no problem with nudity, but then, Glen couldn’t recognize anything that modesty should prompt them to cover. (from Assignment to Earth by Scott Ashby)

March 07, 2016

Not THAT sort of a man!

“I’ll be gone about a week. You and Gramps can manage that long without me, right?”

“Of course we can. Have you got a hotel room yet? They’ve got that big party there for New Year’s, so I’m hoping not everything’s booked.”

Anna concentrated on slicing the bread evenly. She knew Gran wasn’t going to approve of what she was going to say next.

“Well? Have you?” Gran asked.

“I’m staying in Jim’s guest room.”

“Without a chaperone?”

“I’m not flying out there to have sex with him, Gran!”

Her grandmother chuckled. “I don’t for a minute believe you’re going out there planning the sort of shenanigans that will get you in trouble, but I’m not a na├»ve country girl, either. That sort of thing happens when unmarried people stay under the same roof. One goodnight kiss can turn into a baby before you realize what’s happening!”

“He’s not that sort of a man.”

“Honey, they’re all that sort of a man. And for that matter, we’re all that sort of women.” (From Meet Me Midway, by Natalie Peck)

March 04, 2016

Inside Cell

Jameisaan looked around, assessing the situation. “We’re in an inside cell,” he said calmly.

“Why do you say that?” Fergasse’s voice reached out in the near pitch darkness.

“No windows in the walls,” was the answer.

“None of the cells have windows, as they’re all underground. We could be anywhere.”


“We’re lucky in one respect,” Fergasse said, as calmly as Jameisaan had been speaking.

“What’s that?”

“They didn’t chain us to the walls.” Fergasse rattled the chains of a set of manacles bolted to the wall.

“That was nice of them,” came the acerbic reply.

“Very nice. The manacles are measured so you can’t sit or lie down.”

“I see. In that case, I’m really glad they decided to forgo the formality.”

“Absolutely,” Fergasse agreed. (From The Siege of Kwennjurat, by Scott Ashby)

March 03, 2016

They're in Her House!

Unlocking her door, she entered and reached to turn on the lights. A strong arm gathered her close, a hand pressing hard across her mouth. A deep, gruff voice spoke in her ear.

“Don’t scream. Do y’unnerstan’?”

Marilee made a sound in her throat, and the hand eased its pressure on her face by a fraction. The strong arm held her tight, but her own fear held her still.

The men were back. She was a dead woman. (From A Heart Full of Diamonds, by A M Jenner)

March 02, 2016

Calcasieu Pass

Calcasieu Pass was an important spot in the river. The Trans-Mississippi Department depended on clear passage for providing supplies of corn, beef, muskets, gunpowder and reinforcements as well.

For almost three years the Calcasieu River was of little or no interest to either side of the war, even though the Pass itself was only about thirty-eight miles from the Texas-Louisiana border. Even so, after the war began, one company had erected a mud fort on the island which had miles of marshy land. This was an attempt by the Confederates to keep Union foraging parties from gaining access to food sources needed by the Confederate troops. The island was virtually abandoned during the winter of 1863-1864 and because of its terrain didn’t seem worthy of invasion or defense. (From The von Rosenberg Family of Texas: The Civil War Years, by Ann Barnes)

March 01, 2016

Grazing the Donkeys

When I was old enough – I think I was about six years old – I was allowed to go outside the city walls with other boys. The older ones tended small flocks of sheep, or grazed donkeys and goats. If we begged enough the older boys would let us ride on the donkeys, but they always made us get off after only a little while so that the donkeys could graze. The donkeys were hobbled so that they would not run away. Donkeys may refuse to move at all, but if they want to go they will run away. I have known people like that. (From Samuel, Seer, by Gordon C. Krantz)