Monthly Archives: January 2016

Meet the characters in JOLT: Dr. Jeremiah Fischer

Screenshot from 2016-01-23 18:15:46

“Are you sure you want to do that?”

Jeremiah Fischer looked at the chess board and saw immediately that his queen was in danger. “Ah, I see. Well, I concede the next move to you.”

Lalita took the opposing queen with her bishop. “Since I’ve never played with you before, Dr. Fischer, I don’t know whether to chalk that up to a lack of skill or a lack of mental focus.”

Fischer smiled. “Ah, I think the acceptable excuse in the presence of a lady would usually be distraction, but since I am happily married, I will have to concede to the lack of skill.”

She laughed. “You are slick. I think you left out one possibility. Distraction by vocation. I think you are trying to puzzle me out, and that leaves precious little brain power for chess.”

He couldn’t help but smile as he pondered his next move both on the chess board and in getting her to open up to him. He knew she was hiding something, but at the same time, it seemed obvious that she wasn’t used to hiding.

Her voice across the table brought his mind back to the game. “If you don’t hurry up, I’m going to fall asleep over here. Dr. Cavanaugh got me up rather early this morning.”

He moved a pawn forward. “Oh? Did you have plans other than jail today?”

Meet the characters in JOLT: Seth Dickson

Screenshot from 2016-01-22 17:01:27

Pulled off balance she stumbled sideways, watching Tate and Nellie heading out without her. She looked to the one who waylaid her, already suspecting whose hand was still wrapped around her arm. Seth Dickson grinned down at her, his blue eyes shining.

“I say, Miss Torres, you’re looking prettier than a picture this morning.”

Lalita swallowed. “Mr. Dickson, if you’ll excuse me, my ride is leaving.” She pulled her arm from his grip.

He put his bowler on his head. “Aw, the doc won’t leave you. You can talk a minute with me.”

The crowd had mostly gone out the door, and Lalita turned to follow. “I’m sorry, but—”

Dickson caught her arm again. “Now hold on, there’s no reason to be afraid. I don’t hold any grudges against your people.” He grinned again. “Especially when they’re as fine as you.”

Lalita’s brows knit together as she tried without success to pull away again. “My people?” Her volume was rising. “What are you talking about?”

“Seth, I don’t believe the lady appreciates your attention.” Lalita looked to the door, so relieved to see Tate striding toward them.

Seth let loose of her arm and backed up a step.

“Now, Doc, you said she wasn’t your woman, and I don’t mind if she’s a bit addled.”

Lalita’s jaw dropped. “I am not addled, you over-bearing asshat!”

Tate’s eyes grew wide as he tried to move her toward the door. “Lita, this is a church.”

Dickson just grinned as he followed them out of the building and down the steps. “She’s got spunk. That comes from the Injuns.”

Meet the characters in JOLT: Dr. Tate Cavanaugh

Screenshot from 2015-10-31 14:40:13

Tate watched his patient, wondering if he should take her to the hospital in Denver—a journey that would take him away from his practice for several days. She was still out after twenty-four hours, and he feared a full out coma. He and his housekeeper, Mrs. Kettler, had been monitoring her around the clock, and even little Nell had stayed with her, giving her droppers of water and broth at regular intervals.

After the discovery that “he” was a “she,” he’d sent the Hill brothers to fetch Mrs. Kettler but proceeded to undress her himself down to her underthings—the strangest, skimpiest underthings he’d ever seen. If she hadn’t been in desperate need of warming up, he would have waited for his housekeeper for the sake of propriety, but he’d told himself that the young woman’s health was more important, and he was, after all, a doctor.

Mrs. Kettler had arrived in time to remove the last of the girl’s wet clothes and get her dressed for bed in one of his late wife’s nightgowns.

As surprising as her underclothes had been, the colorful flowered tattoo that covered her right shoulder and upper arm had captured his attention the entire time he had been warming her in the bath, and even now his eyes drifted to the spot, even though he couldn’t see it through the long-sleeved gown.

He couldn’t help but appreciate the artistry—he’d never seen a tattoo like it—but was shocked that a woman would have such a thing permanently done to her body. Not to mention the piercings on her earlobes. One of her earrings was missing, but the hole was still plainly there. With such bodily decoration, he feared that she had spent time in a house of ill repute. The cross necklace she wore at least spoke to the possibility of redemption.

He sat back, letting his gaze rest on her peaceful face, her long dark lashes resting against her high cheek bones. Perhaps it’s all merely for tribal distinction.

Another curiosity was her hair. Not even the Ute men wore their hair so short. His eyes narrowed remembering the union suit she’d been wearing with the prospector’s slogan on the backside. Was she trying to pass for a miner? He smiled. Better remove the other earring, then, missy.


Meet the characters in JOLT: Lalita Torres

Manitou clock

“Excuse me, did you say the ‘time’ you come from?”

She nodded.

“The time. Not the place.”

“Well, the place is different, too, since I’m not from around here.”

“Where are you from?”

“Missouri. Close to Kansas City.”

He leaned in again. “When are you from?”

She spread her hands dramatically. “The early 21st century.”

Tate just stared.

Lalita nodded. “That’s right, man from the 19th century,” –she gave an exaggerated wink– “you’re looking at a 21st century woman.”

Suddenly she pushed back from the table, rose, and struck a pose with one hand in the air and one on her hip. Then she started to sing. “I can bring home the bacon”— she moved her hips a quick left and right– “fry it up in a pan”–she slinked toward him, spinning the cord tie at her waist—” and never ever let you forget you’re a man,” –she sat right on his lap, throwing her arms around his neck– “ ’cause I’m a woman.”

Tate was speechless, but Nellie clapped, and Lalita was biting her lip, trying to keep from laughing. She put a hand to the side of her mouth as she whispered, “I don’t know how much competition there is for airtime, but that should keep us off the editing room floor.”

Tate’s heart sank. This beautiful, young woman was absolutely off her chump.

Get er done!

Right now my house is a complete disaster.

A painting project plus a cover photo shoot plus Christmas decorations take-down plus a headcold= one great big mess.

But usually it’s not. Usually, you could drop in on me almost any time and I wouldn’t be embarrassed by the state of my home. And I don’t spend every waking minute cleaning either. In fact, I write two 100,000 word novels a year and record, edit, and master two other books every year.

Recently, I’ve seen a chore plan floating around facebook, and even for a clean freak like me, it seemed completely overwhelming. So I’m going to share my secrets.

Live in the NOW. There’s no later.

You ate a meal, so you clean the dishes NOW, not later. The stovetop is cleaned NOW. The counters are wiped down NOW. Thnk of the cooking, the eating, and the clean-up as one project. You’re not allowed to leave the kitchen until it’s clean.

When the dishwasher is clean, unload it NOW. Don’t just take out one clean dish and leave the rest. It will only take 5 minutes to get it all put away.

The mail is sorted NOW. It isn’t laid down in a massive pile of collected mail. As soon as you bring it in the house, it is sorted into important and not. The not is thrown away. The important is taken to your desk.

Leave a room the way you found it.

When you leave a room, look back. Could you grab those dirty socks, dishes, shoes, knitting project, etc. and carry them to where they belong? You know you could, so do it.

Make your bed as soon as you get out of it

Okay, you can go potty first, but this just sets the tone for your brand new organized day that you are in control of. Those blankets, comforter and pillows don’t control you. You control them. You put them in place.

Corral clutter and demand that it stays there.

We all have that one place in our space that is prone to clutter. For the ladies, it’s probably our bathroom or vanity counters containing all our lotions, mousse, nail polish, and beauty products. For the guys, it’s their work bench that is constantly strewn with tools and projects. Often, some organizational baskets or drawers are needed, but we still need to be diligent in putting them back where they belong rather than just tossing them on the counter willy nilly.

Schedule weekly chores

I do bills and enter receipts in Quicken every Wednesday. EVERY WEDNESDAY. Only something unexpected keeps me from doing this every single Wednesday. If some crisis occurs, I do it on Thursday. Nuclear war would have to break out to push it to Friday.

I dust mop my living room, dining room, and kitchen every Saturday morning. I clean my wood laminate floors every week but Shark my kitchen floors and clean my downstairs bathroom every other week. The weeks I don’t Shark the floors, I vacuum my lower level. My dear hubby does the upstairs, but if he didn’t, I’d plan a different day for vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms. I do laundry on the weekends. The point is to HAVE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT.

Note that I don’t have a special day to clean the kitchen (other than the floors) because the kitchen gets quickly cleaned after every meal.

I don’t have a day to de-clutter, because de-cluttering is a constant cleaning up after yourself. And I dust when I see dust and feel strongly about dusting. I don’t plan that one.

And yes, there are things that you only do once or twice a year like cleaning the garage, but if you try to schedule everything, the list will look too big, and you won’t do anything.

If even my simple plan is like a foreign language, then try adopting one change at a time. Start with never going to bed with an uncleaned kitchen. Once you have that habit set, concentrate on another area without stopping the first. Pretty soon, these will just be second nature.

If something is distracting you from your goals, use it as a reward for a job completed. I try to never turn on my computer until after I’ve exercised, taken a shower, and am all ready for the day. This is a tough one for me, but E-mail and Facebook could take up my whole morning if I let it.

So, here’s to 2016. Life’s messy, clean it up.