Sunday, January 27, 2019

Remembering a piece of Ontario history.

For a peek at Ontario history, don't miss Patricia Stott-Prince's book Muskoka Falls: The Village 1859 – 2018

  Patricia grew up in Muskoka Falls, and felt there was a need to record the history of the village which she loves. Her father William McClelland, built the Muskoka General Store in 1947, and the family lived at the store which is still standing as a private home. A big part of the community, McClelland also ran the Highland Mill. With the Ontario Free Grants and Homestead Act (1868), land was opened to settlement in the Muskoka area and became available to farmers.

Patricia Stott-Prince

Patricia's writing adventure sent her researching long forgotten archives, and offered her an opportunity for re-acquainting and reminiscing with old friends. 

The Muskoka region is named for the Ojibwe chief who resided there, Mesqua Ukie / Mesqua Ukee (whose name is said to mean "not easily turned back in the day of battle").

Patricia never turned back either, and her finished book is now available.

For a signed copy of
 Muskoka Falls: The Village 1859 – 2018  

 For folks in the area, stop by...... Veranda in Bracebridge and the Muskoka Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst

Monday, January 14, 2019

Interview with the reptile.

    I was nervous, which was unusual for me. As a newspaper reporter I'd interviewed celebrities (both athletic and Hollywood types), heads of state, religious figures, and my own personal group--the common man. But I had never interviewed what might be a reptile, one that could kill me in the blink of an eye.  
    Arriving early at the office building of Mr. White, I really didn't know what to expect. He sounded human enough on the phone, his photo on Facebook looked "normal", and his about our company page seemed legit. It had to be an elaborate hoax. 

  Slipping into the ladies room in the lobby, I took advantage of the facilities, washed my somewhat shaking hands, and after checking the load in my Glock, slipped it back into my purse.  
                           Image result for free images computer nerd
The tip I'd received had been an anonymous E-mail message. But thanks to the super/cyber skills of  our in-house nerd, Ralph the Router, we knew it came from the daughter of Mr. White's secretary. 
                               Young woman looking through blinds — Stock Photo
   When we tracked the young woman down, she refused to speak with us other than saying "My mother told me something's not right at that place. She said they're monsters, and now she's disappeared. Please check it out." 
    When I entered the outer office, the secretary was definitely MIA. Then a deep voice echoed from the inner sanctum bidding me enter. As I reached the threshold, crazy images of a reptile in a business suite flashed through my mind. 
      But when I saw him, he looked okay to me. Was I disappointed or relieved? A little of both, I suppose. 
I asked the usual mundane questions about him and his business. Then I threw in the ringer. 
                                  Image result for free images man in suit
      "Rumor has it there are reptile invaders working for your company." 
       He grinned, as if to laugh off the ridiculous statement. Then the grin widened to accommodate his elongating teeth, and a forked tongue flicked in and out of his mouth.
     I jumped to my feet and ran. The creature smashed his still human-looking hand down on a desktop button. The door slammed shut before I could reach it. 
    When I turned around, back pressed up against the unyielding panel, Mr. White was beginning to show his true colors--mostly green, and a brief flash of red in his eyes. 
                        Image result for Image crocodile red eye
                  Damn...the rumor had been true. 
    Spittle oozed from one corner of his  mouth. His body grew larger splitting the seams of his Brioni suit until the material hung in shreds on his scaly body. 

    I dashed to one side, liberating my Glock--my finger twitching on the trigger. "I won't hesitate to shoot." 
    He growled out a response and leaped over the desk, his fingers having turned to lethal claws. 
                        Image result for free images lizard claws
    I fired off three rounds. He didn't even slow down, and I figured I was a goner. Then he suddenly grew still. Swiveling his giant lizard head toward the door, he sniffed the air like a monstrous reptile dog. 
    Bellowing as if enraged by something I couldn't see, he held his ground. The door burst open and the objects of his discontent rushed in.  
       Three women dressed to kill (or rather dressed for combat) and a woolly creature the likes of which I had never seen, took control of the room. 
      They circled around, armed with various weapons, from bo stick to contemporary arms, and the battle was on. Finally, the woolly creature had the reptile backed into a corner. 

     Green blood oozed from several of the former Mr. White's wounds, and a putrid odor permeate the room. With a roar of anger the huge lizard leaped over the shaggy beast they called Noodge, and smashing through a window, he made his escape. 

     The three warrior women turned in my direction. 
      "You okay?" asked the one with white hair. 
     "I guess so," I stammered, still shook up and trying to come to grips with what I had just witnessed. 
      "I'm Bliss," said the redhead. "Good thing we were on our way here today. I think your lunch meeting with Mr. White was more a case of you actually being his lunch." 
       I swallowed hard, trying not to visualize that scenario in too much detail. "What's this all about," I asked, my reporter's training kicking in. 
        "You'd do well to forget what happened here today," advised the one with raven black hair. "Consider it a public service to keep this under your hat until we eradicate these monsters. When this is over, we'll see you get an exclusive."
       "If you don't," Bliss put in, "they'll come after you. And the next time you may not be as lucky."
       Taking their advice, which by the intense look in their eyes came across as more of a threat than a request, I nodded in agreement. 
     They retreated as quickly as they'd appeared. The otherworldly beast at their side. 
      I knew this was the story of a lifetime, but if I didn't take their advice, that lifetime might be cut very short. 
     Read the Fae Warriors Trilogy and find out how three sisters, Solace, Bliss, & Portence, stop the alien reptiles bent on world takeover. Although a trilogy, each full-length book stands alone. No dainty flower faeries here--this story features six-foot-tall female Fae warriors, and the courageous partners who love them and stand by their side.
     Buy Solace            Buy Bliss            Buy Portence

  Solace Goodeve, one of Mother Nature’s favorite Fae Warriors, is assigned to Earth to help save the planet. Reptile invaders, disguising themselves as humans, are waging a takeover—and Mother is mad enough to eat asteroids. Solace is ready to prove herself as a warrior, but having a human for a partner is not in her battle plan—even if the man is rugged, ripped, and ready for action.

   Ex-Army Ranger, Tanner Jackson, has seen his share of black op missions. The last one took a toll on both body and soul. Tanner isn’t looking for love, even though his new partner is six-foot-tall and drop dead gorgeous. However, after Solace shows him a new meaning to working undercover, he may have to reconsider that possibility.

   As the Reps plan to sabotage NOAA, Tanner and Solace must learn to trust one another. But as they're trying to save the world, Solace and Tanner might just lose their hearts—and that takes the most courage of all.

     Fae Warrior, Bliss Goodeve, fires up her empath skills to help Mother Nature battle the Reptiles invading Earth. But when it comes to her new human partner, Nathaniel Winston Calhoun, Bliss would rather make love than wage war. A man of mystery, he even makes horn-rimmed glasses and a white lab coat look sexy.
    Nate admits to being a brainiac, at least that’s the persona he shows the outside world. If his boss discovered his checkered past, life could get complicated. The bad boy in Nate wants Bliss in the worst way. The scientist in him calculates high odds of being left brokenhearted.   
   After one Reptile goes rogue, it’s up to Bliss, Nate, and an alien critter named Noodge to bring him down. But time is running out, and things are heating up—especially romantically. Bliss is all for living in the moment. But will that be enough for Nate?
 In the final battle to save the Earth, Fae Warrior, Portence Goodeve stands ready to serve Mother Nature. But as she fights for the future of the planet, she’s haunted by her past. One near-death experience and a betrayal that goes deep become weapons that could get her killed.

     Malachi, a cross/breed, half-sorcerer and half-Fae, is back to help fight the Reptile invaders. Once upon a time, his sexy Fae-half stole Portence's heart, breath, and good sense. Then he abandoned her—what if it happens again? Should she surrender to desire, giving both Malachi and love another chance? Or seek retribution and be done with him forever?

    Portence and her sisters, as well as their Earth partners, are in a fight for their lives. When Malachi's magic is stolen and his life is in danger, will she discover the path to her future is bound by both love and duty?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Follow the Arrows

       All over the country, 70-foot concrete
arrows can be found in remote locations.
Follow them, and they'll point you out of
the desert.

They come courtesy of the US Postal Services Air Force and will point you all the way across the continental United States. They were constructed in 1924 to guide postal planes in the right direction as
they carried mail from coast to coast.

These old planes couldn't rely on radios at that time, so they used these arrows, along with beacon towers, to navigate.

The arrows and beacons bisect the United States from San Francisco to New York City.

The towers were 50 feet tall and fixed with gas lights that could be seen from 10 miles away, helping lost pilots find their way. 

This is a model of the arrows and towers in their heyday.

World War II brought new advances in
radio technology effectively making the
towers and arrows system obsolete.

 The towers were mostly dismantled, but some of the arrows remain. Is there one near you?

                      List of locations for arrows