Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles
I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each personâs day for the better.
Itâs no less special than the stuff in my books though itâs easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before your disbelieving eyes. And on that note, Iâd like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy the dragon coming home. Please enjoy.
âSiobhan,â Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.
I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.
Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. âIt is something to see, yes?â His tone reflected true awe.
âIs this your first time seeing this?â I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.
âNo, I have seen this many times.â He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. âBut a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.â
To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. âGuys, are you kidding me?â In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.
They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. âWhat?â Alex said.
âHey, what are you guys staring at?â Tim sounded defensive.
Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turelâs smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. âShe comes.â His eyes shone as they met mine.
Alex glanced this way and that. âDoes anyone hear that sound?â he asked.
Tim craned his head. âI hear it. It sounds like bells.â
âWind chimes,â I corrected, still staring straight ahead. âItâs wind chimes.â The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. âDaisy.â
âDamn it,â growled Tim. âI canât see anything even a bit like a dragon.â
âUnless itâs a super little one,â said Alex, his face downcast.
Turel laughedâ a big, belly laugh full of joy. âGwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.â
Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, âCertainly, Turiel, dear one.â Suppressed mirth laced her tone. âHowâs this, children?â
When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.
To purchase The Dragon in The Gardenplease see:
This post was written by Erika Gardner. Sheâs a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, âLikeâ her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.
Energize Your Life! By: Del Millers, PhD
BLURBAre you suffering from a personal energy crisis?Are you constantly running through your day, feeling chronically exhausted? Are you desperately overcommitted? Do you find yourself sacrificing your health, family time and quality of life just to meet the never-ending demands on your time? Are you exhausted when you go to bed at night and still tired when you awake? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you may be suffering from a personal energy crisis. Unfortunately, this way of living — and working — not only robs us of our health and puts a strain on time and energy resources, it blocks our access to our most essential sources of energy, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. In his new book, Energize Your Life, Dr. Del shows you simple things you can do everyday to fuel your life and work with positive energy. Drawing from his years of experience consulting with executives, entrepreneurs, small business owners, career changers and self re-inventors, as well as the wealth of new research over the past two decades on positive psychology, employee engagement and play, Dr. Del demonstrates how you can program the brain — and the subconscious — for productive, beneficial action. Energize Your Life is different from other positive energy books and personal energy management programs. Its unique advantage is that it shows you how to fuel your life and work with positive energy from seven distinct sources. And why is it important to increase your daily dose of positive energy? Well, several studies have clearly demonstrated that chronic stress and negative energy shuts down the creative problem solving brain, slows your productivity and puts you in fight or flight mode where very little gets done. Energize Your Life will challenge and inspire you to develop a personal action plan to fuel your life and work with positive energy everyday. Thereby, improving your personal well being, enhancing your work engagement, and helping you feel more alive.
PURCHASEDr. Del Millers is the founder of TheBestYouAcademy.com, EnergizedLifeAcademy.com, and author of eight books on nutrition, fitness, and personal growth. A PhD Nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, Dr. Del teaches simple mind-body principles to busy entrepreneurs and professionals to help them energize their lifestyle, improve their personal wellbeing, and enhance their work engagement. Dr. Del has appeared on FOX Television (Good Day LA), E-Entertainment TV (DR 90210), numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, and in magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States and Australia (LA Sports & Fitness, Australian Ironman, Health & Fitness, Stuff, Fighting Fat and others). Dr. Del’s greatest passion is sharing what inspires him with others. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters. Buy any of Dr. Del’s books and forward your receipt to email@example.com for Dr. Del’s special bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Subscribe to Dr. Del’s weekly podcast at http://www.energizeyourlifepodcast.com
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Retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase team up again—this time to match wits with two serial killers stalking children, women and the elderly.
When Dottie Borghase's friend Camilla Rothrock collapses at a lunch gathering of old friends, the countess's only concern is to dial 911 for help. But Camilla's subsequent death has authorities buzzing about international safety and retaliation, because her son is decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock.
As other restaurant patrons in Richmond meet similar fates, Michaela and Dottie join forces with the Richmond Police and the FBI to track down the pair of heinous murderers. But in order to catch the killers, they will put their own lives and the lives of others in in serious jeopardy.What Price Must a City Pay to Keep its Citizen's Safe?
Book link: http://bit.ly/GetCaseofDowager
How about an excerpt:
Dottie turned off the main highway and headed south to Blackstone Virginia. Madame Toulescent lived just outside of Blackstone and that's where she conducted her psychic readings. She wished away the butterflies that cramped her stomach. She had a sense that what she was going to hear wasn’t good. She wished she didn't believe in the value of psychics or the unknown but she did, and that was that. She’d seen psychic readings and prophecies come true time after time during her life. Mic wasn’t a believer at all but had grudgingly admitted psychics had helped them in a case about ten years ago.
The speedometer on her car registered over sixty miles an hour on a forty-five mile limit stretch of highway. I'd better slow down. The last thing I need is a Virginia state trooper on my tail. She braked and her car skidded but she handled it skillfully. The Cadillac was a big, monster car but she really liked it. Since Dottie had lived in the US, she had always preferred German-made cars and previously owned multiple Mercedes Benz. Of course, when Count Borghase had been alive, they’d always driven Italian cars, mainly Ferraris. But now she was pretty much American and she loved her Caddy. There was something about the Cadillac that was so plush and so American that she bought a new one every couple of years.
She saw an old gray mule in the pasture out of the corner of her eye and saw the fence that was lying on the side. Dottie didn’t know what she’d do if they ever repaired that fence. She’d been looking at that fence on the ground for years and it was her landmark just before she turned onto Madame’s private road. She knew her turn was just up ahead. She slowed for a farmer carrying a load of hay in an old truck. He was hogging the entire road. Now where in the hell am I supposed to go? She steered her big car to the side of the road as far as she could without falling into the ditch. She cursed and held her breath as the farmer passed her. She swore the farmer missed her by less than an inch. The old codger hadn't even looked her way. She shook her head and cursed again softly. She threw her white Caddy into first gear and roared out of the ditch spewing gravel, dirt, and mud all over the road. She saw three rabbits running for their life and hoped she hadn’t interrupted their nest. Dottie drove a little further and made her left turn. She turned right on the first road and started the difficult trip along the horrible, rutted road to Madame Toulescent’s tiny home. The road was almost a mile long. Dottie's tall, thin frame bounced all over her plush leather seat and her hair fell out of her neatly arranged bun. I'm going to have to take a pain pill. All this jumping around is killing my hips. Secretly Dottie new she needed to have her hips replaced but there was no way she was willing to do that, at least not while she could walk. I wouldn't be able to help Michaela. And then, what would she do?
Madame Toulescent waved at Dottie from her front porch filled with flowers and beautiful hanging baskets of petunias and begonias. Her small white cottage was immaculate. Madame Toulescent watched her painstakingly steer her huge Cadillac down her battered road. Dottie brought the iron beast to a stop, looked in her rearview mirror and re-pinned a piece of white hair that had worked its way out of her perfect updo. Even though the Madame lived in a house that was little better than a house trailer, Dottie had been trained from birth to always look perfect when visiting. This task had become monumental at age 82. She reached for her purse and checked to make sure her Glock was nestled in its special pocket. She checked her lipstick in the mirror, pinched her lips together, cursed the fine lines around her mouth and got out of the car.
"Hello Madame Toulescent. Thank you for seeing me today on short notice." Dorothy smiled her gracious smile at the psychic, showing her beautiful white veneers, once available for a large price from the famous, dentist-to-the-stars Dr. Michael Smirkowitz.
"You are so welcome, Countess Borghase." Madame Toulescent looked around the empty fields and through the trees and gestured with her arm. "As you can see, there is no waiting line. Please come in. I've made us some tea." She paused for a moment and said, "Watch the steps. They're in need of repair," she cautioned.
In need of repair, my butt, they need to be rebuilt Dottie climbed the rickety steps dodging rusty nails and wood splinters. She grasped the loose railing and posts that held up the old front porch. The last thing she wanted to do was fall and break something. She followed Madame Toulescent into her small but neat and cozy home. There was a wonderful scent in the air and Dottie’s mouth watered.
"Please have a seat in the easy chair," the Madame offered. "I'll bring us some tea and sweet bread."
Dottie nodded and smiled her thanks as she carefully studied Madame Toulescent. She wasn't sure of her nationality. She thought she was Eastern European but she seemed very much like the French and her house had several amazing pieces of French country furniture. In years past, she had asked the Madame about her former life, but the psychic seemed unwilling to share her past. Her voice had a strange accent Dottie couldn't identify which frustrated her. Dottie had traveled the world and she knew the languages and dialects of most ethnic populations. But she couldn't figure out Madame Toulescent’s origins. That puzzled her.
Madame handed Dottie a cup of herb tea. The aroma alerted her senses and she immediately felt more awake and inspired. The tea had given her energy and awareness. She took a sip. It was delicious.
"Oh my, Madame Toulescent. Whatever is in this tea? I feel a million times better just from smelling it. You’ve got to tell me where you got it because I know Cookie would love it too," Dottie gushed as she sipped her tea.
Madame Toulescent smiled and said. "I made the tea. It's a blend of ginger, mint, lemon verbena and a few other things I grow in my herb garden. I'll send some home with you. It's sweetened with honey I collected from my bees yesterday." She smiled briefly, and her lips stretched over teeth that could benefit from a cosmetic dentist. "That's probably what you love so much."
Dottie nodded and studied the Madame. The years hadn't treated her so well. Dottie didn't know her age but her face was a mass of wrinkles that blended one into the other. Dottie guessed each wrinkle had its own story. Her skin appeared soft but deeply creased. Her jet black hair was streaked with gray and hung freely past her shoulders. She wore a simple blue shift with a silver belt and wore tennis shoes and socks. She smelled of lemon and freesia.
Dottie, as usual, smelled of Chanel #5. "It's so lovely out here, Madame. Do you ever come to town?"
Madame Toulescent shook her head. "Very rarely. My neighbor collects my groceries for me when I need them and as you know, I have a huge vegetable garden and I can and freeze most everything I need. I like it here and I like to stay with my animals - my dogs, cats, cow, mules and horses. It's quiet here and my love is nature."
Dottie nodded. She couldn't imagine staying in these four walls every single day. She supposed she didn't have the patience and gentleness of spirit that the Madame had. But that was okay. Dottie was very happy in her own way.
The two women shared a comfortable silence and continued to sip their tea until the Madame asked, "How can I help you today, Countess?" She smiled at her and said, "I can tell you have some significant things on your mind and that you are troubled."
Dottie put her teacup down and said, "Yes, I do. Have you been watching the news?" Dottie saw the woman pale under her sun-darkened skin.
Madame Toulescent nodded. "You’re here about the poisonings, aren't you?"
Dottie held Madame’s dark eyes with her own and said, "Yes, I am. Camilla Rothrock was one of my dearest friends and I need to know who poisoned her."
Madame shifted her gaze to the floor and said, "Countess Borghase, this is a very bad business that is happening. I've had some visions and they are upsetting. It reminds me of the evil work of Hitler in Germany."
This time it was Dottie who paled, her heart beating so hard she could hardly breathe. "Oh my God, Madame. We both remember his devastation in Europe and the millions of people he murdered."
Madame Toulescent rubbed her hands together, her face grim. "Indeed we do. A sad and sorry time. Let's move into the back where I work and see what we can see."
Dottie stood and followed Madame to the room in the far back of her modest home. It was a glass room with beautiful views into the forest. She left her teacup on the coffee table. Her heart thumped dangerously in her chest and she was short of breath. She was so terrified she almost lost her balance. She gripped her purse and cell phone in her hand. She was scared and just the idea of having the Glock made her feel safer. Could the evil be so strong it permeated her soul?
“Countess, why are you so upset? What can I do to help you?” Madame Toulescent looked at Dottie with concern.
Dottie stared at her but her eyes said it all.
“Let me get you something to calm you down so we can have a good reading. Please stay in the chair and I’ll be right back,” Madame Toulescent said as she left Dottie and walked to her kitchen.
Want To Read More? Read Chapter 35 here!
Who Is Judith Lucci???
Dr. Judith Lucci is a bestselling Amazon author and the author of the Alex Destephano Medical Thriller series set in New Orleans and the Michaela McPherson Mystery/Suspense series set in her hometown on Richmond, Virginia. Lucci also has a volume of short stories, Black Magic Bayou, a collection of moralistic tales based on Cajun superstition and lore and a novella, Beach Blanket Murders: The Ocean Can be Deadly. She has contributed to three anthologies and collections, and is the creator of Author 911: The Authors Guide to Writing and Medical Information. She is a registered nurse and college professor and holds graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia.
“Before I wrote fiction, I was an academic writer who published research, theoretical works, authored text books and just about anything a college professor needed to publish to survive.” The differences in academic and fiction writing are dramatic. Writing what I know encourages me to pull from my clinical experiences, some good, some not and use popular fiction as a means to teach and advocate for others.
Dr. Lucci’s books have three purposes, to engage the reader, to entertain them and to educate about healthcare and perhaps, the darker side of hospital life and life in general. Her books are described as contemporary novels that focus on and describe current social, moral and ethical issues in present day society. Judith is a true advocate for social justice and that theme is often prevalent in her work. She’s an avid reader and loves making stuff up and writing it down. She’s a member of the Virginia Writers Club, The Gulf Coast Writers Club, The Shenandoah Valley Writers group and Sisters in Crime.
When I’m not writing I am probably teaching, painting on silk as I am a multi-media artist or playing with my many dogs. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always excited to meet new people!
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