* Doctor Micheal Louis returned to work after being off ill for several weeks. Needless to say, he’s not having a good day. Enjoy.
The next day, it was Tuesday in December. A cold wind whistled violently from the North, and snow flurries swirled in the sky. Twigs, crumpled paper, and dead shrubs blew across the hospital’s parking lot. Doctor Michael Louis parked his black four-door Mercedes sixty yards from the hospital entrance. He wanted to protect his vehicle from unnecessary damage by coworkers parking their vehicles too close to his. He slapped the sun visor down to checked himself in the mirror. Gasping with horror, he noticed thin short hair sticking up from his dusky brown, ratty toupee. Vain to his detriment, Doctor Louis took excellent care smoothing his hair back in place. He smoothed out his thick mustache, giving extra attention to the little gray hairs on his deep crater face. Although Doctor Louis had been off work because of his recent heart attack, the doctor enjoyed spending time with his young wife, Sierra. But now he must face the crazy mayhem at Salter’s Point Regional, and he wasn’t thrilled about it, not one little bit.
Satisfied his hair looked decent, Doctor Louis shoved the sun visor back in place. He opened the door and stepped out of his Mercedes. The strong freezing wind slammed him against the vehicle, and it took all of his physical strength to shut the door too. Shivering, with his false teeth clicking like a soft ticking clock, the freezing wind ripped through his clothes straight to the bone. Doctor Louis buttoned his long black cashmere coat, and after he was done, he adjusted the fuzzy ear muffs on his ears. Then he headed out across the parking lot, the wind hurling his thick body this way and that. The wind blew off his ratty toupee, and it floated like a balloon over the parking lot. When the wind died down momentarily, the hairpiece dropped to the ground.
Frazzled and panicky, Doctor Louis took off and ran after his cherished hairpiece. Only to be outrun by a menacing big black crow. The crow swooped down like a big freight plane and snatched the ratty hairpiece off the ground. The crow flew to a nearby pine tree and settled on a broad branch. The crow dropped its prize possession in a nest of muddy twigs, and it laughed at the doctor with its annoying hoarse caw. Incensed, Doctor Louis scowled and shook his fist violently at the crow. “You damn, crazy bird! If I had my gun, I would shoot your ass out of that tree!”
The crow laughed again, twitching his head from side to side, cooing and cawing as it danced on the edge of its nest. Doctor Louis scoffed. “Oh, shut the hell up, you dense, crazy bird!”
Boiling inside, Doctor Louis returned to his Mercedes. The whistling, blistering wind knocked him around like a tennis ball. When he finally made it to his car and unlocked the door, he was exhausted. Breathing heavily with short, quick breaths, Doctor Louis opened the door and bent down. He stuck his head inside and a brisk wind slammed the car door against his backside. He fell in the driver’s seat, bumping his bald head on the steering wheel. Groaning with frustration, again he cursed.“Damn, I just can’t get a break! This sure is a shitty morning!”
Aching with pain and beside himself, Doctor Louis massaged his temple as he settled in his car seat. He shut the door and reached over to open his glove department. The doctor took out his black wool hat and pulled it over his pale bald head. Again he inhaled harshly as he opened his car door. “Okay, I’m going to try this again,” he angrily muttered to himself.
Doctor Louis got out of his Mercedes and locked the door. The wind seemed to died down, and Doctor Louis was relieved. He eagerly hiked with ease across the parking lot to the hospital entrance. Once he arrived, Doctor Louis tapped the sensor above the glass door. The door slid open, and he stomped inside. Scowling, he stomped across the lobby with his angry eyes peeled to the floor. He didn’t say a word to nobody, not even to Joyce who was sitting behind the reception counter. Wide-eyed, Joyce took offense to his bad behavior. “So, doctor, you’re not speaking this morning?” Joyce called out to him.
He kept walking, ignoring her enraging the receptionist even more. “Good Morning Doctor Louis! I said Good Morning!” she shouted at the top of her lungs.
“Humph,” he grumbled dismissing her with a wave. Joyce dropped her shoulders and sighed, “The grumpy old colonel is back. It’s going to be a long, stressful day.”
Doctor Louis maintain his brisk pace until he arrived at the mailroom. He went inside, and found his box overflowing with weeks of messages. Frowning, Doctor Louis stuffed the notes inside his briefcase. He stomped out of the mailroom, slamming the door behind him. Once he arrived to his office, he stood in the hall fiddling with his keys. Rachel heard him in the hallway. She left her desk and opened her office door. She stood in the doorway smiling at the frustrated doctor. “Good Morning, Doctor Louis, you’re here, glad to see you!”
Refusing to look her way, Doctor Louis hurriedly unlocked his office door, and growled at her. “What’s so damn good about this shitty morning?” With that said, he shoved the door open, and went inside. He slammed the door so hard, the frame shook. She flinched violently with her mouth gaped open. She feared the screws on the door’s hinges were going to pop out. “Geez, what a freaking grouch! I hope he’s not going to be like this for the rest of the day! Lord, Jesus help me!” she pleaded. Hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. Happy New Year Everybody!
The town residents packed in the courthouse early Monday morning. It was the last day in November, and Christmas was around the corner. Elderly women dressed like elves busily decorated the courthouse lobby. Bright red poinsettias were placed in every corner of the hall. Black and white angels and snowmen figurines were set on tables. A nativity scene of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus was constructed on the stage. Men with bulging muscles carried an twenty-foot evergreen tree into the lobby. After they strung it up and stabilized it in the center of the floor, men with ladders ran over to the massive tree. They carefully erected the ladders on the tree, and with Christmas lights in hand, they climbed up the ladders and strung them around the tree’s thick branches.
Loudspeakers belted out an orchestra playing Joy To The World in the background. People bundled up in wool scarfs, coats, and hats continued to pack the courthouse. They scurried around in various directions like big mice, looking for their assigned destinations. A frantic woman wearing a tiara on her long, curly brown hair, sprinted across the lobby in her wedding dress. Crying and throwing a fit in a nearby corner, a little boy about the age of four screamed like a hyena. Calm, his mother stooped down to his level, hugging on him. She covered his cheeks with kisses, and the little boy stopped crying. He giggled as his mother tickled his stomach. Then she picked him up and went on her way.
Sitting on the second floor in front of courthouse numbered five, Doctor Beebe and James Cole waited for the judge to approve and sign the warrant. At first, Doctor Beebe was reluctant to file kidnapping charges against his old friend and colleague, Doctor Benny. After an intense discussion with James Cole, he became convinced it was the right decision. Looking haggard with dark circles around his eyes, Doctor Beebe stayed awake all night, unable to sleep, anxious about his visit to the courthouse. With his mind made up, but still deeply troubled, he pondered when it would be the best time to fire Doctor Benny. The medical director knew his timing was everything. He needed to be as strategic as possible.
Finally, around noon, the clerk emerged from the courtroom. Short and dumpy, the woman’s straight, stringy hair was parted in the middle, and her bright light blue eyes were intense. Wearing an outdated black pantsuit with spiked red heels, the clerk strutted over to the two men carrying a sheet of paper. Her lips parted into a sardonic grin. “The arrest warrant has been signed.” She gave Doctor Beebe his copy, and she lingered for a moment, waiting for questions. Doctor Beebe found her frozen smile off-putting. He shifted in his chair, straightening up.
“Do you know when he will be arrested?” he asked.
“Tomorrow morning,” she answered.
“Why not now? He could leave town by this time tomorrow morning,” he told her. Doctor Beebe looked annoyed.
“I’m sorry,” said the clerk. “But that’s the best the court can do.” She turned her short, dumpy self around and slipped into the courtroom. Doctor Beebe rolled up his copy of the arrest warrant and stuck it in his coat pocket. “I’ll be glad when this is over. This whole situation has been quite taxing!”
“I know, old buddy. It will be over soon.” James slapped his hat on his head and rose to his feet. “How you plan to break the news to your staff?”
“Slowly but carefully,” Doctor Beebe half-heartedly joked.
James laughed. Then he turned serious. “But really, have you thought about it?”
“Yep, it’s been on my mind constantly. It’s such a delicate situation.”
“My friend, you don’t have a lot of time left. Once the media gets a hold of this, you’re going be peppered with tons of questions.”
Doctor Beebe let out a harsh sigh. “I know, man, I know. You can’t go to a gun fight with a hammer! I will tell the staff when it’s appropriate.”
Feeling sorry for his old friend, James offered a suggestion. “Let’s head to Sully’s for a drink. You could use a break.”
“Good idea,” Doctor Beebe grinned. “I’ll meet you there.”
James waved and headed down the hall. “See you in a few.”
Note: The Story Below Is Loosely Based On The Book of Luke
The heavens in the night sky glowed in streaks of red and gold. It was the middle of summer and the land in Galilee was hot and dry. Out of nowhere in the universe, a white dove burst out of a bright star. The dove soared like a rocket to the dark earth below. It rose over snow-capped mountains, dips of valleys, deserts, and wheat fields. The strong wind propelled the bird over the Dead Sea. As the town of Nazareth came into view, the bird swooped down and flew its way into an open-walled courtyard. It landed on a flat roof of a modest stone hut. The hut had a wood ladder extending to the earth floor, and on the other end of the yard, three sheep grazed quietly from a wheat clay trough. Wild chickens ran hither and yon on the earth floor, looking confused. They seemed to have trouble deciding where to settle in for the night.
The dove waddled to the window sill and peered inside the hut. An oil lamp sitting on a wood table gave the hut some soft light. And in a corner, curled up on a woven reed pallet on the floor, fast asleep was a petite young woman with olive skin and long, thick black braids. Her name was Mary, and she was exhausted from a full day’s work. She had worked from dawn to dusk, minding the sheep, washing clothes, and sweeping the courtyard. Single with no children, Mary was to marry Joseph, a descendant of King David, in the next few days. Although she hardly knew Joseph, she liked him, and she looked forward to her upcoming marriage.
The dove turned into a fiery shimmering light, and when the light faded momentarily, a colossal-looking angel appeared in its place. The angel stood ten feet tall, and its magnificent bronze skin and wings shone like the sun. The angel’s presence woke Mary from a deep slumber, forcing her to sit straight up. Mary stared at the bright shining image with big dark brown eyes. She rubbed her eyes once, twice, three times trying hard to comprehend the beautiful creature standing before her. Mary stuttered with fear, barely getting out the words. “Who?…Who?…Who are you, my Lord?”
The angel roared with a loud voice.“ Greetings, you are highly favored! The Lord is with you!”
Mary trembled and she was deeply troubled. She grabbed her shawl and flung it around her shoulders. Unable to speak with her lips sealed tight, Mary sat in a frozen state on her pallet. Sensing Mary’s fear, the angel offered comforting words. “Mary, Do Not Be afraid, You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most Highest. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Mary looked confused. Surely this couldn’t be so. I’m still a virgin, and besides, I’m not married! To make sure Mary heard the angel correctly, she bravely asked the angel a pointed question. “How could this be? I’m still a virgin.”
The angel’s eyes burned with fire as he answered Mary’s question. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most Highest will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God, for nothing is impossible with God!”
Mary fell face down on her pallet. In awe over the angel’s words. “I’m the Lord’s servant,” she whispered. “May it be me as you have said.” Darkness fell over the room, and when Mary looked up, the angel was gone.
The next day, Mary, still recovering from the angel’s visit, could no longer hold her joy. She had to share her happiness with someone, so she packed a lunch and walked to the next town, a hilly area in the land of Judea. Elizabeth and Zechariah lived there, and Mary and Elizabeth were best friends. It took all day to get there, and Mary was exhausted and sweaty. Mary tapped on the stone door, and it swung open. Elizabeth stood in the dirt doorway with a wide smile. “Mary, you came such a long way! Why?” she asked with out-stretched arms.
“I’ve joy in my heart, and I must share it with you!”
“Come to me, my child.” Elizabeth grabbed Mary and hugged her. She was up in age, and her long silver-gray hair hung down to her waist. Her warm sea-green eyes adorned her wrinkled olive face, and a protruding stomach weighed down her petite, frail figure. Mary wondered if she was ill.”What’s wrong with your stomach? Are you sick?”
Elizabeth laughed out loud. “No child, I’m not sick. All of these years, my womb was barren, the Lord God finally saw fit to blessed me with a child!”
Mary slapped her hands over her mouth in awe. “Oh, my goodness, what a miracle! I, too, have exciting news! Last night, the Lord’s angel came to me. He told me I’m to give birth to the Son of God!”
When Elizabeth heard this, she felt the baby in her womb leaped for joy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth shouted. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! The baby in my womb leaps for joy at the sound of your news! Blessed you for believing that what the Lord has said will be accomplished!” The two women fell on their knees and pray. After a day or two, Mary returned home to Nazareth.
Nine months later, in March, Caesar Augustus, a Roman tyrant, issued a decree for a census be taken over the entire Roman empire. Caesar ordered everyone to register at the town where they were born. By this time, Mary and Joseph were married, and she was with child. Her time to deliver grew near, and her back ached from the weight of her stomach. When Joseph heard the news about the census, he hurried home and told Mary. “We must leave at once. We’ve to go to Bethlehem!”
“Why?” Mary answered as she gently rubbed her stomach.
“Caesar is demanding a census of each town. Everyone must register in the town they are from. We have to go!” Joseph belonged to the house and line of David, who originated from the town of Bethlehem. He was a slight man with thick curly black hair and dark brown eyes. He stood five feet and ten inches tall, and his skin was copper brown from the sun.
“I see, when do we leave?” Mary incredulously asked.
“At dawn, the journey is long,” Joseph replied. The next morning, before dawn. Mary got up, dressed, and packed food in a burlap bag for their long journey to Bethlehem. Joseph tied the packet on the donkey and adjusted the animal’s bridle on its face. He held on to Mary as she climbed on the donkey’s back. Once she was settled comfortably on the donkey, Joseph grabbed his wood staff. He wrapped one hand around the donkey’s bridle strap and headed out.
The air was crisp and dry. Stars twinkled brightly in the dark sky. The journey was long and exhausting, and by mid-day, they finally arrived in Bethlehem. After Joseph registered himself and Mary at the Registrar’s office, Mary went into labor, and she moaned with pain. “I need a place to rest. The baby will be here soon,” she warned Joseph with tear-filled eyes.
“Yes, dear, I know,” he calmly replied. But deep inside, Joseph was worried. Mary’s contractions were now five minutes apart. He needed to find a place for the baby to be born. For hours, they searched for shelter, stopping at several places, and being told by every innkeeper that there was no room. Frustrated, Joseph was about to give up, and then Mary said. “Tried that place over there,” she said, pointing to an inn with a manger made of sticks and clay.
Joseph shook his head and sighed heavily. “They’re going to say no, I just know it.”
“Have faith, just go and ask,” Mary groaned as another contraction ripped through her abdomen.
“All right.” Joseph tied the donkey to the post and went to the door. He knocked three times, and the innkeeper answered. The innkeeper stood in the doorway, looking scruffy with his white beard knotted like moss on his face. He was bald with white hair growing around his temples. The innkeeper’s laughing, light brown eyes were wide with intrigue. “Son, what brings you here this evening? It’s late.”
“I’m looking for a place for the night for my wife and me,” Joseph said. The innkeeper stretched his neck to checked out Mary. When he realized she was with child, the innkeeper wanted to help. “There are no rooms in my inn, but you and your wife can stay in my manger. I’ll get you some towels to lie on.”
Joseph pressed his hands together and bowed repeatedly. “Thank you, sir, bless you!”
While the innkeeper went back inside to retrieve some towels, excited and relieved, Joseph ran straight to Mary. “The innkeeper is going to let us stay in his manger! He’s getting us some towels to lie on.”
Mary drifted her eyes heavenward and whispered. “Thank you, Lord for looking after us.”
A few minutes later, the innkeeper came out of the inn and waved at Joseph and Mary. “Follow me,” he hollered. Joseph helped Mary off the donkey and flung his arm around her waist. Unsteady on her feet because of her labor pain, Joseph carefully guided Mary to the manger. Once they were inside, they soon discovered they wouldn’t be alone. Two cows, three sheep, two swine, and a few fowl also had sheltered there. The innkeeper immediately apologized as he handed Joseph the towels. “I’m sorry for the lowly accommodations, but this is the best I can do for now.”
“We’re grateful,” Joseph smiled.
“Good, I leave you to settled in.” The innkeeper left, leaving Mary and Joseph to themselves. Joseph grabbed a bale of hay and made a makeshift bed. After he arranged the towels on the hay bed, Mary laid down. The contractions came more forcibly as time progressed, and by midnight, Mary had given birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clean towels and placed him next to her on a makeshift hay bed. Mary and Joseph rejoiced, praising God, amazed and thankful that God had chosen them for Jesus’ earthly parents.
Down the road, a few miles from Bethlehem, shepherds stood shivering in a wheat field. They were keeping an eye on their sheep to protect them from predators. They covered their heads with part of their shawls then wrapped the remaining material snugged around their bodies. The temperature had dropped, and the cold night air ripped through them like a sharp knife. The only light in the sky was a massive bright star. As they meandered among their flock trying to keep warm, a colossal-looking angel appeared in their midst out of nowhere. The glory of the Lord shone around them, and the shepherds hid their faces, terrified. The angel said to them. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord, this will be a sign to you: You will find him a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly more angels appeared with the head angel, and they praised God with loud voices. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom favor rests!”
Then the angels flew off into the heavens, leaving them alone. Except for the bright star shining in the sky, it was pitch dark. The shepherds said to one another. “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried down the road to Bethlehem, and an hour later, they found Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus lying in the manger. The glory of God shone brightly around them, and the shepherds fell to their knees, worshipping God. After they laid eyes on the Christ Baby, they took off spreading the news to everyone they met. All who heard the shepherds’ fantastic story, they too, praised and glorified God. Jesus’ birth was so long ago but it changed the world forever. Have A Joyful Holiday And Merry Christmas To Everyone!
It was a hot, sweltering September day in Atlanta, unusually warm during this time of the year. Marigold Applegate’s light brown eyes stared out the window of an old Marta bus as it rattled down Candler Road. She was casually dressed wearing a loose-fitting summery blouse over black stretchy slacks. Marigold sighed deeply as she fingered combed her short, curly, auburn red hair. Always good-natured, she wasn’t in the best of moods. It was Monday, the beginning of the workweek, and Marigold was tired. She didn’t get much sleep from the night before, and she wondered if she had enough energy to make it through the next ten hours.
Employed as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital, most days, Marigold was up for the challenge. She worked the evening shift working with the mentally ill, however, lately, the job’s daily grind and constant program changes grated on her nerves. Exhausted from the daily mayhem, Marigold longed for a cruise. She dreamt of relaxing on a deck in her bathing suit and reading a good book. As she mentally prepared for the evening shift, a malodorous mixture of musky mops and human waste slapped her in the face.
Homeless men in need of a shower sat or laid sprawled out asleep on seats near the back of the bus. Their faces were dirty and motley as their heads bobbed up and down like puppets on a string. Marigold frowned, wrinkling her nose as the musky smell floated through the bus. Between the men’s snores, and the putrid body odor, Marigold was overwhelmed. She rubbed her nose and her brown framed prescription glasses slid down on her face. She pushed them back in place on the bridge of her nose using one index finger.
Marigold tightly pursed her pink lip-sticked colored lips and held her breath. Trying not to inhale, she fought the urge not to pass out. Marigold lost the fight momentarily and took a deep breath. Then she tightly pursed her lips and held her breath again. Soon the bus pulled in front of the hospital, and stopped. Eager to get off, Marigold slid out of her seat. She walked briskly to the front of the bus, and when the doors open, Marigold got off. With her black handbag swinging on her left shoulder and her lunch bag clenched tight in her right hand, Marigold walked through the hospital’s sliding glass doors inhaling deeply, welcoming the fresh air, relieved to be free from the stinky odor. Marigold checked her watch. The time was eleven fifty-five. Although her shift began at twelve-thirty, she often arrived early. She used the time to settled in, chatting with co-workers and reading emails.
Nurses dressed in purple scrubs, doctors in white lab coats, and patients mingling in the hallway waved at her as she scurried by. Marigold waved back as she hurried down the hall. She was focused and she wondered what nonsense awaited her from the weekend. Marigold smiled inwardly as questions weighed on her mind. Did management make up another screwy policy or did a doctor make a crazy decision? “I’ll guess I’ll find out,” she mumbled to herself, rolling her eyes heavenward.
By the time Marigold reached the office, she was mentally ready for the day. With her hand poised on the doorknob, she opened it and eased in. Angela Kennedy and Hallie Smith were sitting at their desk, eating lunch. They waved at Marigold as she hurried past them to the break room. “Enter at your own risk!” Marigold heard Angela yelled from behind.
Marigold chuckled to herself as she stood in front of the break room door. She knew what Angela meant. The break room was always filthy. Staff was either too busy or too lazy to clean up after themselves. A neat freak herself, their lack of cleanliness irritated her. As Marigold twisted the doorknob, and walked in, she took a sharp breath. The place was in disarray as she expected. Dirty dishes were stacked high in the two-bowled sink, and scattered food crumbs were on the counter. Marigold’s shoes stuck to the floor momentarily as she made her way to the refrigerator. Dried, sticky grape juice was splattered all over the floor. “Damn, why don’t these people clean up after themselves,” Marigold muttered out loud as she scrunched up her face.
Marigold shook her head in disgust as she opened the refrigerator door. Her face tightened when she saw what laid before her. Lunch bags of every color and size were jammed packed on every shelf. Marigold sighed harshly making room for her lunch bag. It took several minutes to fit hers in, and once this daunting task was done, Marigold slammed the refrigerator door shut. She whirled around, and her light brown eyes landed on a large paper napkin taped to the wall above the table. Marigold’s eyes lit up, and her mouth gaped open. With an arrow pointing down toward the table, the napkin read in big, bold letters, Please Don’t Put Bougers On The Wall!
Marigold fell out laughing. She grabbed a chair and sat at the table in awe. She laughed so loud, her belly ached drawing both Angela and Hallie running to the break room. Still laughing, Marigold pointed at the wall. When the women saw the sign, they fell out laughing. After Angela gathered herself together, her dark brown eyes stared at the distasteful sign. “Where are we? Are we in kindergarten or in an adult work setting? Unbelieveable!“
“I know,” Marigold smirked.
“Are there boogers on the wall? Did you check?”
“No, I didn’t check,” Marigold laughed lurching out of her seat. She took her glasses off and rubbed her watery eyes. Then she slid them back on as she hovered over the table. Marigold inspected the area below the pointed arrow, bursting out into mirthless laughter. “The wall is clean as a whistle! There are no boogers here!”
“Maybe, someone wiped the boogers off,” Angela suggested.
“Maybe.” Marigold giggled.
“But who would be crazy enough to put a sign like that on a wall at work?” Hallie gasped with her blue-green eyes glistening through her black-framed eyeglasses.
“Beats me,” Angela said, twirling a black curl around her pinkie finger.
Hallie shook her head vigorously with her dark ponytail swishing back and forth. “So disgusting and nasty!”
“Yep! You can say that again,” Angela laughed half-heartedly. Erring on the side of caution, Angela’s face turned serious. “We probably should take this down before someone in management sees it.”
“Before you do that, I need to take a picture. No one would ever believe this.” Marigold said as she pulled her iPhone out of her jacket pocket. She leaned forward and snapped a picture. “There, I’ve evidence now,” she laughed.
Angela shook her head, folding her arms while Hallie reached over the table and snatched the sign from the wall. She crumbled it up into a ball and threw it in a trashcan.
“Send me that picture when you get a chance,” Angela said. “I want to put it on Instagram.”
“Seriously?” Hallie asked, staring at Angela with big eyes.
“Why not? Let’s give the Instagram world a good laugh,” Angela replied with a gleam in her eye.
Marigold laughed hysterically. “You’re so crazy!”
“Not as crazy as the person who put that damn sign on the wall!”
All three women laughed, and Marigold found herself in a better mood. She started her day wishing she was somewhere else but the little napkin taped on the wall with the words Please Don’t Put Bougers On The Wall, drastically changed her tune. It reminded her she worked in an engaging, bizarre work setting, a daily comedy show that has never failed to keep her entertained and engaged. Thank you for reading.
Good Morning! This Saturday, September 21st, Cinco’s Mexican Restaurant at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta is hosting my book signing for my latest novel, a steamy romance tale of love, betrayal and triumph. The festivities began at 1 pm thru 6 pm. Complimentary light refreshments will be available, and there will be a drawing for giveaways. It’s also an opportunity to meet my amazing editor of this real-life racy romance novel! So come on out next Saturday, meet some new friends, and have a little fun!
Note: Copies of the novel will be available to purchase at the cool, smooth price of $11!
For the first time in twenty years, The City of Austell is having a Labor Day Festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019, with a parade, vendors, live music and fireworks. The City of Austell is a friendly, small-town atmosphere with its new residential, commercial and industrial growth. There’s the South Cobb Diner, The Austell Farmer’s Market, Bruster’s ice cream parlor as well as several eateries and antique shops along Jefferson Street.
Both residents and businesses benefit from easy access to both Interstates 20 and 285 as well as main through-fares, such as, C.H. James Parkway, Veterans Memorial Highway and Austell-Powder Springs Road. Austell is also home to the Norfolk-Southern Railway John Whitaker Intermodal Facility-the largest facility of its kind east of the Mississippi River.
I encourage you to come out and enjoy the Labor Day Festival in Austell. It promises to be filled with family fun events. The festivities begin at 10:00am and ending at 9:30 pm with a huge firework display. I will be there with bells on with the rest of the vendors selling my latest novel, Whiskey And Merlot A Love Story at the cool, special price for $10! So Don’t Miss Out On The Fun! Come and See Me At The Austell Labor Day Festival This Coming Saturday!
Hi Everyone! Starting Today thru Labor Day, the paperback version of Whiskey And Merlot A Love Story will be available on Amazon for a special promotional price of $10.99! So Hurry and Take Advantage of this Special Offer by clicking on the button above.
Order Your Paperbook Copy or Download a copy of this Steamy Romantic Novel on your Kindle, and Be Sure To Attend the Book Signing Coming Up In September. Only Limited Versions of the Paperback will be available For Purchase on the day of the signing.
Based on a real-life happily-ever-after, this is not your typical romantic fantasy. Because Isabelle Perkins doesn’t believe in fairy tales.
Newly divorced and recently transplanted to Atlanta at the age of thirty, Isabelle has never met a man she truly loves and doesn’t believe she ever will. When she meets the dashing Lincoln Davis, she’s smitten by his handsome looks and take-charge confidence. As Lincoln recklessly and persistently pursues her to escape his loveless marriage, she finds herself embroiled in a hot affair and falls in love.
Isabelle’s Christian morals and self-esteem are deeply undermined as the lines between right and wrong become irrevocably blurred. Convinced that Lincoln is her one true love, she hangs on until Lincoln is forced to break off their steamy affair, leaving Isabelle devastated and heartbroken
Eighteen years later, they’re paths cross again. After a sobering brush with death and now divorced, Lincoln is determined to win Isabelle back. But can she set aside her deep hurt and disappointment to let him back into her life and heart?
Here are a few reviews. I love the dialogue in the story! Very funny moments!” Holly Lightkep
“A stunning Love Jones rollercoaster ride, it made me laugh out loud, cry and the ending was most gratifying.” Crystal
“I enjoyed reading this book. The way each character was described, I could visualize each one. It was sweet and romantic. I definitely would recommend Whiskey And Merlot to my friends.” Susan Walker
“The author’s descriptive narrative made it easy for me to envision the setting, the characters, and emotions involved in the story. Once I started reading, it was hard to put the book down!” Courtney Jones
“I couldn’t put this book down! I enjoyed it to the end!” Doria E. Hillsman
Love these reviews? Then get on Amazon and purchase your copy of Whiskey And Merlot A Love Story by clicking on the link below. Don’t Miss Out!
Nine o’clock the following evening, the lights in the radio station flickered on and off as the evening shift came to an end. Everyone packed their belongings and made a mad dash to the elevator. Growling loud like a baby lion with water leaking from the corners of her bleary eyes, Isabelle was sleepy. Lincoln took note of her peculiar yawning, making a face. “Damn! What kinda noise was that?” he teased.
“I’m exhausted,” Isabelle dryly replied, unamused by his comment.
“Maybe I should go home with you and perk you up,” he kept teasing.
Isabelle lazily chuckled. “Buddy, not this time.”
The elevator stopped, and everyone except Lincoln and Isabelle piled inside. He waved them on. “We’ll wait for the next one.”
Pat looked at them sideways. “Don’t get into trouble, you two,” she smirked as the elevator doors slammed in her face. Lincoln and Isabelle looked at each other and laughed. He pointed to the exit.
“Let’s take the stairs,” he suggested.
“Good idea,” Isabelle agreed. They ran down six flights of stairs. Their footsteps echoed against the paved surface as they raced to the ground floor. Lincoln opened a gray steel door, and they stumbled into a bright empty room with walls made of concrete slabs. Lincoln let the door slam, and it clapped like a bolt of thunder.
“Damn!” Lincoln cursed as he fiddled with the locked door handle.
Isabelle’s heart pounded in her chest, scared. “We’re stuck, aren’t we?” she dared to ask, biting her bottom lip.
“I’m afraid so,” he mumbled as he hurled his muscular frame against the steel door.
“What are we going to do?”
He stopped for a moment and searched the room. He looked up and pointed at a corner near the ceiling. “There’s a camera up there.”
Isabelle’s eyes followed the direction of his long finger. “Oh, I see it. Someone will rescue us soon!” she excitedly said repeatedly hopping on one foot. Isabelle was hoping for a miracle. Her blouse, soaked with sweat, clung to her body like a cold, wet bathing suit. Sweat beaded on her forehead and blood rushed into her cheeks. Burning up because there was no air conditioning, Isabelle swooned, getting dizzy. She felt like roadkill, and Lincoln took notice.
“Are you all right?”
“I think so,” Isabelle whispered steadying herself. She wiped her face on her blouse sleeve and burst out in anger, “Get me out of here right now!”
“Whoa…calm down,” Lincoln said with his eyebrows touching. “Don’t get so hyped up. Everything will work out.”
Livid he was so calm, Isabelle glared at him and snarled, “You think you’re so damn cool, don’t you?”
“What’s with the attitude?” he scowled. “We’re both in the same boat. There’s no need to get your panties in a knot.”
Isabelle folded her arms over her chest and glared at him. He reached for her, and she jerked away. “Hugging won’t help,” she hissed.
He made another attempt, and she recoiled. “Stay away from me,” she pouted.
Lincoln curled his lips and demanded, “Woman, come here.”
He came at her, and this time he was successful.
“Leave me alone!” Isabelle half-heartedly pleaded as she tried to wiggle out of his strong embrace. His hot, sweaty body melted into hers and she surrendered. His warm lips grazed her forehead, and her heart fluttered when he kissed the tip of her nose. His velvety lips brushed against hers, and she clasped her hands on each side of his smooth dark face. Isabelle took him in, and his lips tasted like mint candy. Lincoln’s sizzling kiss was open-mouthed, sweet, hot, dry, and then wet. His breathing quickened, and he licked her neck with delicate kisses, so faint they felt like little whispers.
She broke away, spoiling the romantic mood. “Don’t you dare give me a hickey!”
“I wasn’t trying to,” he grinned.
Isabelle knew he was lying. “Yeah, you were. I felt those little bites.”
He lurched forward reaching for her again. “Let’s finish what we started.”
Isabelle backed away. “No way. We need to get the hell out of here.”
“Come on, just another little kiss,” he seductively begged her. He grabbed her hand. A bolt of electricity shot up her inner arm when his hand wrapped around hers. A tiny pulsating twinge stirred in her fiery loins as he pulled her to him.
Suddenly the lock clicked, and the door flew opened. A security guard, medium in stature, stood in the doorway with a hilarious baffled look on his face, his chestnut eyes crinkled at the corners
Isabelle shouted with glee, “We’ve been rescued!” as she broke from Lincoln’s strong embrace.
“Great,” Lincoln mumbled sounding less enthused.
The security guard snickered. “How did you two get down here?”
“The elevator took too long, so we decided to take the stairs and ended up here,” Lincoln explained. “How did you know we were here?”
“I saw you two kissing on the camera,” the guard snickered again.
“An eye full, I bet,” Lincoln joked.
“Borderline X-rated,” the security guard joked back.
Isabelle felt her face getting warm. “Not funny!” Embarrassed, she stepped to the door. “How do we get out of here? I want to go home.”
“You’re in the basement. The lobby is on the first floor,” the guard said.
“Can we go?” Isabelle groaned.
“Sure.” The security guard stepped aside, and Isabelle ran past him. She couldn’t wait to get out of there. Lincoln followed her, and they both booked it up the stairs. “Remember the lobby is on the first floor,” the guard hollered after them.
Isabelle slapped Lincoln hard on the shoulder once they were in the lobby. He grabbed his shoulder and moaned. “Ouch, woman, what’s your problem?”
“Every time I hang with you, I get into trouble,” she complained. “I’m not going to hang out with you anymore.”
His face lit up, and he fell into a donkey-like braying laugh. His massive arms encircled Isabelle’s waist, and he pulled her to him. “You don’t mean it,” he growled.
“Yes, I do!”
He nuzzled his head deep in the soft spot of her neck. His warm breath tickled her, causing her to erupt into hysterical high-pitched laughter. Isabelle wiggled from side to side. “Stop it!” she whined with sheer euphoria mixed with agony. He flipped her around and planted a warm kiss on her lips. Isabelle broke free and pushed him away. “I have to go. I can’t hang with you all night. It’s getting late.”
“I know,” he softly said as he edged closer to her. Isabelle turned away and took off strutting outside into the balmy night air. She stepped briskly to her car, but her quick steps were no match to his long panther-like stride. He threw his arm over her shoulders and yanked her close. Her eyes drifted up, and she gazed into his mocha eyes. His warm lips covered hers, taking her by surprise. The warmth of his hard, hungry kiss spread throughout her entire body, and it felt like she was floating on air. It was magic the way his lips connected with hers.
Then it was over. Just like that. He rested his forehead against hers.
“I’ll walk you to your car,” he whispered as he pecked her on the tip of her nose.
“Hmmm,” Isabelle moaned. They held hands strolling to the car with no words passing between them, savoring their special moment and falling deeper in love. On cloud nine, she decided to hold off ending their affair. She was caught up in the moment and she wasn’t ready to let go. Isabelle unlocked the car, and he opened the door. She slid into the driver’s seat, and he leaned in kissing her on the cheek. “See you tomorrow, handsome!” Isabelle softly crooned.
His eyes sparkled and his lips curved up into a smile. “Likewise, beautiful. Be careful driving home.” He slammed the door and backed away. Isabelle turned on the ignition and waved as she backed out, viewing him through the rearview mirror as he walked to his car.
By eleven thirty, she was home, two hours past her bedtime. She slid out of her clothes, dropping them on the floor. Too tired to shower, she fell into bed. Eight minutes later, Isabelle was fast asleep.
Early the next morning, Isabelle struggled out of bed. With only four hours of sleep, she was exhausted. She staggered to the shower and turned on the water. The warm water in her face woke her up. Revitalized, she finished her shower and dried herself off. After she dressed, made up her face, and ate a quick breakfast, she was out the door.
It was seventy-five degrees, unseasonally cooler for an August morning in Atlanta. Once she arrived at work, Isabelle stopped by the mail room to retrieve her messages. After she settled in her office, she made herself a pot of Starbucks coffee. Soon, the coffee’s citrus aroma consumed her office and she poured herself a cup. While enjoying her morning brew, the telephone screeched loud in its cradle. Startled, she almost dropped her cup as she answered the phone.
“Good morning, this is Isabelle,” she said in a cheery voice.
“I see you made it in,” Lincoln said.
Isabelle’s face brightened. “Yes, I did. You’re working tonight, aren’t you?” she coolly asked, trying to temper her enthusiasm.
“I plan to,” he replied.
“Good,” she said.
“So, will I see you later?”
“Bye.” He hung up, and Isabelle slurped down her coffee. Barely tasting its nutty flavor, the hot liquid burned the tip of her tongue and her entire palate stung. She waved her hand in front of her face, taking short breaths to cool off her mouth. Again, the telephone screeched in the cradle, scaring her. She answered on the second ring.
It was Jinx. “Are you coming by this morning?” she inquired in a loud voice.
“Yeah girl, I got something funny to tell you,” Isabelle informed her.
“Hurry up and get down here,” she cursed, hanging up. The phone slamming in the cradle rang loud in her ear. She grabbed her coffee and hustled to Jinx’s office. Five minutes later, Isabelle pounded on the door.
“Come in!” Jinx hollered. Isabelle plowed through the door and sat. She crossed her legs, sipping on her coffee, quiet. Jinx’s eyes were birdlike as she examined Isabelle’s face. “You’re up to something. What happen?”
Isabelle set her coffee on the end table and burst into a belly laugh. “Nothing bad.”
“Tell me,” Jinx inquired as her hazel-green eyes flickered with excitement.
“Last night, Lincoln and I got locked in the basement at the radio station. At first, we couldn’t get out, then…”
Jinx reared back in her chair, and curse words fell from her lips. “Shit, girl, what the fuck did you say?”
Isabelle lost control as she burst into wild laughter.
“Stop laughing,” Jinx scolded her, looking cross. “How did you two get locked in a basement?”
“We decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and we ended up locked down there.”
Jinx stared at her with intrigue. “How in the hell did you two get out?”
“The security guard saw us kissing on the video camera, and he let us out.”
It took a moment to sink in, and when it did, a toothy grin crossed Jinx’s face. Then she howled with uncontrollable laughter, doubling over and holding her stomach. Isabelle cackled hard. Their tummies ached from all the laughter. Finally, they manage to stop as they struggled to catch their breath.
Jinx, still red in the face, spoke first. “Girl, you and Lincoln are fucking crazy.”
“We didn’t plan it,” Isabelle snickered. “It just happened.”
“Who in the hell gets locked in a basement?” Jinx said violently shaking her head.
Isabelle pleaded with her. “Don’t tell anybody please, not even Kandy.”
“I won’t,” Jinx chuckled, bucking her eyes. “So embarrassing. Who gets locked in a basement? Crazy!”
“Shit happens,” Isabelle shot back.
Jinx rolled her eyes. “Girl, please. I suppose you plan to see him again this evening with your crazy self.”
“I sure do,” Isabelle said as she sprung to her feet and dashed to the door.
Jinx followed her and stood in the doorway. “Isabelle, keep your little ass out of the damn basement!” she yelled after her as Isabelle hurried down the hall. Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this chapter click on the link below and purchase your copy of Whiskey And Merlot A Love Story. Don’t Miss Out! Until next time.