I always loved a parade!



This is  a picture of the Tracy Royal Majestics. A picture taken more years ago than I can hardly imagine. Bobbi Jo, Lee, Jen, and Tiff made up this group. I remember loving to watch them march, twirl, spin two or three times and then still catch a baton. I thrilled to see them twirling two or three batons at a time, thinking that I could barely toss a ball in the air and catch it! Needless to say, I was amazed at their coordination and timing.


I think the kids enjoyed the celebrations more after the parades, when we would have picnics or go to carnivals or even ride the cable car in San Francisco. It was a time of fun and excitement and yet it passed so quickly, we all hardly realized when it disappeared. I know I had a lot of fun at those activities with my friends and family and I can only hope the kids, who are now adults, have good memories of the things we did, although I must admit our little drummer boy chooses to remain anonymous even after all this time.


Life is mostly full of moments, and sometimes we worry so much about things that never happen or just get so caught up in our hectic lives  we forget to seize those moments and cherish them for the special memories they will become much quicker than we might have expected. I would  like to say ‘cheers’ to those kids who worked so hard and yet had so much fun doing it. I do think that Tiff still starts trembling when she hears ‘Rocking Around The Christmas Tree’ because they did their Christmas routine to that song more times than she would care to count, but Jen has carried on the tradition by having her own girls twirl and compete quite successfully in baton competitions. Below and on the left is a picture of Jen’s daughter standing next to her friend at a competition they competed in at the national level.

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Thanks for stopping by, and remember to hold those moments close to your heart, because moments are all we have.









If you love Sci Fi, you’ll love ALIEN, MINE by author Sandra Harris!



I’m happy to welcome Sandra Harris on Thursday Threads talking about her latest fantastic book, ALIEN, MINE.

Title: Alien, Mine by Sandra Harris

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Heat Level: Sizzling






Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow.


Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen. Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space.


The strength and valour of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance.


Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepest fears to be the man she needs. When his principles are betrayed by his own government and he is faced with the impossible prospect of taking Sandrea’s life in order to save his home planet, Mhartak desperately searches for a way to keep safe both his world and the magnificent woman who has stolen his heart.





“I’m sure Miss Sandrea is safe, Sir.” Sergeant Kulluk’s voice interrupted Mhartak’s sombre contemplation of his moon-speckled boots.

He shifted his back against the rock he leaned against and stretched his legs before him. Trying to get comfortable while wearing body armour was still an art he had yet to master, even after all these years. The subdued murmurs of Corporal Shrenkner and Privates Ragnon and Dovzshak drifted from the dark behind him. Their quiet discussion on the aptitude of the Magran villagers and their resolve to defend their settlement with the weapons reaped from the fallen Bluthen heartened him.

Pride in his team warmed him as no fire could. They’d routed the Bluthen despite being outnumbered five to one. Cold and weary, with nothing but combat rations to satisfy hunger, they nevertheless followed covert procedure without murmur. He hadn’t even had to issue an order to prohibit fires. They were no keener to advertise their position than he.

 “Your brother is a good man,” Kulluk continued. “He’ll ensure nothing harmful befalls our little human.”

A bristling sense of possessive anger flared through Mhartak’s gut. The only ‘our’ Sandrea belonged to was him and her, even if he was yet to convince her of that.

“He’ll protect her,” Kulluk offered.

Yes, T’Hargen’s protective instincts ran deep—too deep for his own good.

“And she’ll feel safe. He always was a charming . . . person.”

That, Sergeant, is what concerns me.





Website: www.sandraharrisauthor.com.au


Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ka4jskr


Thanks for stopping by.




What would our lives be like if we’d never had pets in our lives???



Some people are ‘cat’ people, while others are ‘dog’ people, but as can be seen from the pictures, I was definitely a cat/dog person. I think one of the more interesting things I noticed in the photos where there is both a cat and a dog, it’s easy to see the ‘sibling’ rivalry that went on between animals. In the top left photo, Scamper is pretty much implying, ‘leave that mangy cat alone and play with me.’ In the photo below where Pepe is dancing on his hind legs, I can see Tom is thinking, ‘I could do that too, I just don’t want to make a fool of myself.’

Those pets in the pictures  were part of my life growing up. From left to right: Scamper, Thom, Pee-Wee, (actually my brother’s dog) Pepe, Tom, and Missy. Rather like Willy Nelson, these are some of the animals I have ever loved. (yes, I know Willy was talking about women, but you get the idea)

I recall once when I was eleven, my dog Pepe, who is the little tan dog on his hind legs, got in a fight with a much bigger dog. He had a huge wound in his stomach and I remember crying and crying because I knew my parents wouldn’t pay for a vet to save my dog. My brother was eighteen and worked at a market part-time and went to college as well. I remember him taking me in his arms, which is something people in my family did not do, and told me not to cry, that he would pay the vet bill. Well, I did stop crying and he did take my dog to the vet and Pepe lived happily for several more years. The curious thing is I have such a clear memory of that specific episode, and yet, I wonder if my brother remembers it at all. Maybe if he reads this, the memory will come back to him as well.

The pictures below are of my cat, Cicero, (who was practically all white with a solid black tail–kids in the neighborhood used to talk about that one!) my dog, Nooks, (who had a digging fetish, I got nervous when the hole he dug started measuring about my size LOL!) and my beloved, Toto. (of course he was the vampire dog, Charlie, in my book, The King’s Vampire)


z5 And while some of the pictures are fuzzy, as are some of my memories, I still remember how important those pets were to me and how comforting it was when I held them in my arms and knew their love was always unconditional. Whenever things got really scary, those cuddly animals brought comfort in ways even my family and friends couldn’t always do. I think what I loved most about my pets was that even if they didn’t realize what scared or threatened me, they felt no fear themselves and all they did was offer up their love. It’s easy to understand why pets often feel like children because they provide companionship, love, and loyalty that simply can’t be questioned. To be honest, I enjoy thinking and writing about animals. I suspect there will be more animal posts in my future and I hope my musings bring back memories of your special pets. I’ll never forget how my brother saved my dog for me, even though it might not have meant the same to him as it did to me. While we lived our lives together in the same house, the experiences we shared and remember today might not be the same at all.

If you have a special memory of a pet, I’d love you to comment on it on my post, or share it with me on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by.




Here’s Thursday’s Thread with awesome author, Wareeze Woodson, and her novel CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A GENTLEMAN!


woodson_cug     THURSDAY_THREADS  

Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman by Wareeze Woodson

Genre: Regency Romance

Heat Level: Sensual


Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?



Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Each rotation of the hired coach’s wheels whispered the word. Laurel cradled her sleeping two-year-old son, the new Lord Laningham, as a heady sense of satisfaction curved her lips. She didn’t even mind the slight musty odor pervading the vehicle, although she leaned over and raised the window cover for a breath of fresh air. With a sigh she settled back against the seat. At least for a while, Rhonda’s constant complaints would no longer ring in her ears and for that she was devoutly thankful.

Out of nowhere, a rider flashed by the coach window and her startled gaze locked with his brief glance. Although she’d caught only a glimpse of the stranger, in that instant his intense, deep-brown eyes mocked her and unease shivered down her spine. She stared after him for a second before instinctively gathering her child closer. Laurel planted a kiss on his blonde curls, drawing reassurance from the nearness of his warm little body. As long as she had Jamie nothing else mattered. Her son must remain safe.

Everything happened at once. The coach lunged to the right and scraped against the bushes beside the road, sending a shower of droplets splashing inside the window. Her book and Jamie’s wooden horse thumped to the floor. The racket of brakes screeching shrilled in her ears as the vehicle rattled and lurched out of control.

“Jamie,” she cried.

The horses’ screams echoed through her head and the sudden jerk of the coach as the team broke away from the trace chains added to her fear. When the doomed coach started to roll onto its side, she braced her feet against the opposite bench and clutched her son tightly against her chest. Tumbling against the seat, she scraped her elbows and banged her head. The sensation of falling forever tensed every muscle in her body before the force of the impact threatened to tear Jamie from her arms. She landed between the banquettes against the door, her howling child clutched in her arms. The carriage lantern, suspended from a hook on the wall, swayed overhead scraping metal against metal and briefly caught her attention.

Laurel struggled to a sitting position, gulped a deep breath and wiped dirt from Jamie’s face. With her heart in her throat, she examined a tiny trickle of blood at his hairline. Thankful his injury appeared minor she clutched him to her bosom and kissed his cheek, comforting his cries as her pulse slowed to normal.

The accident left her shaken. Frightened, she felt more alone than ever. If only Robert were still alive. She stifled that thought immediately—nothing could be accomplished by wishing for the impossible.

Laurel drew a shaky breath and tilted her head back in order to peer at the window above. Panic overwhelmed her and her breath came in short gasps. The banquettes seemed to close in on her. She fought to escape her trapped position in the overturned coach. Holding Jamie with one arm, she grasped the seat with her other hand and struggled to her feet. Her head whirled for a second before settling back into a deep pounding pain, while her knee and elbow throbbed in rhythm.

Ignoring her discomfort, she glanced around. As she studied the problem, she heard the murmur of voices and listened intently. With a sigh of relief, she recognized the driver’s voice however the other deep tone was unfamiliar.

“Help me,” She cried, “I’m in here.”

Only silence echoed back and the sound of voices moved off. For a second, panic clenched her stomach and her head pounded even harder.

“Stay calm,” she whispered, and the words spoken aloud steadied her. She listened for several long minutes before someone climbed atop the overturned coach. The door was yanked open with considerable force and she breathed a sigh of relief. Gray clouds added gloom to the inside of the carriage and a dark figure blocked out what little light was available. She couldn’t see his face clearly, but his broad shoulders and the arrogant slant of his head were a shadowy outline against the stormy sky.

His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”

“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.

“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”

“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”

He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”

Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.

“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”

He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.

Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”








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