Monday, September 23, 2013

Vacation Train

Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild CHild publishing and Freyas Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.

Prizes will include

  • Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two Freya's Bower)
  • An awesome swag package that includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Books
    • Wild Child T-shirt and mug
    • Wild Child and Freya's Bower bags
    • Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
    • An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
    • A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic "Up The Creek" (lovingly used)
    • One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya's Bower anthology.)
    • Book trading cards
    • Signed Dangerous Waters poster
    • of "Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud"
    • winner's name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
    • A Yankee Candle
    • more...

Please visit these sites for more chances to win, the more you visit the more chances you have to win. We have 46 participating authors. You can stop at as many or as little blogs as you wish. At each stop, you will find either two chances to enter per blog to win some awesome prizes. If you visit all, that's 92 chances to win! There will be five, lucky winners.

Take the Blog Train and Visit These Blogs for more chances to win
Marci Baun/Kit Wylde Critters at the Keyboard Teresa D'Amario Judith Leger, Fantasy and Comtemporary Romance Author Writing The Fictional World of Jaime Samms Follow Where the Path will Take You The Wandering Mind of Lizzy P. Bellows Where Love and Magic Meet Kissa Starling Marianna Heusler Hell's Ambrosia C.M. Michaels The Shadow Portal The Blog Zone Blog By iMagine Ardyth DeBruyn Author Blog Shadows of the Past Dear Reader Cassie Exline -- Mystery and Romance Sarcastic Rambling & Writing That's What I Think Sue's Random Ramblings Make Old Bones Elements of Mystery Molly Dean's Blog Kenzie's Place The Forbidden Blog David Huffstetler Cassandra Ulrich Carol Marvell Andrew Richardson Nick Lloyd Fiddleeebod -- land of stories Nita Wick's Blog Ruth G. Too Poor for Texas Jenn Nixon City of Thieves Musings and Doodles Husein The Western Writer Bike Cop Blog The Character Depot Allen Currier Tracy Holohan

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Vacation Train

"It's got to be the going, not the getting there that's good." Greyhound, Harry Chapin, "Heads and Tales" (1972)

Stepping from the platform onto the train often represents the first leg of vacation travel. No matter the destination the open doors beckon. I step through them.

Autumn trips follow hot, harrowing summers of bike patrol. We commonly work short - fewer officers to handle calls - because the majority of my coworkers are younger, astride the "child bearing years." They generally take leave during the summer, when kids are out of school. The rest of us make the best of it, taking situations one at a time. Then.... It's our turn to play.

Few things fill me with such pleasant anticipation as stepping onto this train on the way to vacation. The familiarity of smooth accelerations, the rattle and squeal of metal wheels on track. Even the stops have a comfortable sameness, accepting those beginning their journeys and bidding farewell as destinations near. Too excited to nibble on the energy bars we carry, a simple cup of coffee or bottle of water will suffice until it is our turn to depart.  Then the glorious pleasure of checking into the hotel, unpacking.... The first, refreshing walks out to explore whatever venue we've chosen to relax, recharge. Forget the travails of everyday life, trade them for toes in the sand, sunsets, meals shared.

Some of the others around us seem quiet, almost sullen. Travel stresses some people out, I suppose. Leaving the settled and familiar for the unknown, an unpredictable world of delays and glitches. Not everyone is vacationing, of course. But we are, a chance to reconnect, recharge and return to our professional endeavors refreshed.

We're blessed. We're headed for--

"Please exit here for all C gates." 

The canned announcement brings me back to reality. We step from the Denver International Airport inter-terminal subway. Our plane to Florida awaits.

Excerpt from Out of Ideas

“Weird how that happens sometimes, huh, Officer?”
Sheriff’s Deputy Karen O’Neil turned and looked at a man standing about ten feet away.
For some reason a thought intruded; the man embodied the exact opposite of her husband–this fellow’s aura announced “nice guy.” Kind of cute, too, in a laundered and pressed way. His brown hair cut in a very military style–short on top and buzzed on the sides—lent a government-issue appearance. He stood an inch or two shorter than she did, and a little soft around the middle, his expression struck her as warm and genuine–his face bearing a worldly boyishness. An official-looking windbreaker was appropriate for the cool, cloudy, damp early evening. He offered an identification wallet of some sort.
“Excuse me?” She assumed an interview stance, gun side away from this friendly, but unidentified intruder.
“Weird how stuff gets shot out of the cockpit. The canopy pops off and sometimes things are sucked out. It’s kinda heartbreaking if it’s a personal item. I once found a dead guy’s watch in a tree. Still worked, too. I woke up a couple times in the middle of the night thinking about his watch.”
She glanced at the crushed fuselage, steaming engine buried in the crater in front of her. The single occupant, the pilot, was surely dead. One of his highly polished brown dress shoes sat empty, still neatly tied, several feet away. She turned back to the man.
“Who are you, and why are you inside my crime scene?”
“I’m Adam Phlatt, National Transportation Safety Board. I’m the investigator assigned to this wreck.” He extended his hand.
Their eyes met. He has gorgeous eyes. Sort of a mocha brown, like the strong Cuban coffee she loved, clouded with creamer. Soft and expressive, hinting at an active mind and a compassionate heart.
“Karen O’Neil.” They shook hands.
“Nice to meet you. Hey, we’re gonna be here a while. I got the wreck now, if you want to go put on a jacket.”
“I’m good,” she replied. Why had he suggested a coat? She felt fine.

“Oh. Okay.” He shrugged simply. “I thought I saw you shiver.”


  1. Ah yes toes in the sand -- awesome image. Great excerpt.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed both excerpts. Thanks for sharing!