Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday's Book - Murder and Tainted Tea #MFRWauthor #Cozy mystery #Santa Fe

Murder and Tainted Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 3)

Katherine heads to Santa Fe, New Mexico along with a Maine Coon Cat kitten to spend New Year’s Eve with Lars. Her guilty feelings over the organist’s death has her needing an escape. When she reaches Santa Fe, she discovers Lars is missing. She seeks and finds him and steps into another mystery. 

Lars’ daughter dislikes Katherine but when the young woman is kidnapped, they are puzzled. The murder of Lars’ daughter and one of his employees makes solving the mysteries necessary. Can she learn before Lars becomes a victim.

Editorial Review
With every book, I think the Katherine Miller Mysteries can't get any better. I'm always wrong, because they always do. ~ Writer Gail Roughton

October 14, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Seelie Kay #MFRWauthor #football #attorney

Kinky Briefs, Thrice
Take a kinky romp through lawyerland!
Lawyers get their kink on in this sizzling collection of short stories. Through the eyes of a lawyer toiling away in the backroom of a law firm, a wicked window into the legal world opens as she spins her outrageous tales of lawyers in love, cranky judges, and those who serve them. From a randy AG who uses his cycle to woo a young law firm associate to a Sheikh and lawyer in a fight for their lives, or a kinky lawyer struggling to adapt to a diagnosis of a crippling, chronic illness to a rowdy fantasy about a new sheriff in town, each lawyer attacks life with humor and passion, always ready to embrace just a dash of kink. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even blush, but one thing’s for certain, when you’re done reading, you’ll run out and buy a set of handcuffs!
Buy links:
A Touchdown To Remember
It takes more than a hard knock on the head to keep running back Tim Wheezer Douglas down. When life pelts him with the proverbial lemon—a career-threatening concussion—he simply runs the other way, right into the arms of litigator Laura Adler.
When a second concussion sidelines Milwaukee Greyhound running back Tim Douglas, the rest of his life continues full-speed ahead. A sometime law student, Tim is faced with a classic Catch 22: Whether to continue to play football and risk a third and possibly life-altering concussion or quit the game altogether to pursue a career as a sports agent. He loves the game, but his priorities change when he meets Laura Adler, a sassy, sexy young attorney and rabid Greys fan. Their sizzling romp of a romance turns serious and Laura demands that he make a decision about football before she accepts his marriage proposal. Will Tim choose football or the law, and what role will Laura play in his future?
Buy links:

Kinky Briefs, Quatro (early 2018 release date pending)
Cover reveal
Take another kinky voyage through lawyerland!  

Indulge in a walk on the wild side with these sizzling short stories about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink. Whether painting well-hung nudes at a networking event or thwarting terrorists intent on harm, to finding love despite a chronic illness or exploring kink on a train, these lawyers pursue love with a vengeance. And while affairs of the heart may come in all shapes and sizes—a law school menage a trois, a middle-aged AG and a law firm associate, and a new marriage suddenly threatened by a spouse long believed dead, these relationships thrive despite the odds. Because in the end, it’s not the kink that defines these liaisons, it’s the strong belief that true love always endures. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and yes, the resultant loin heating might even make you blush, but in the end, you’ll run out and buy a set of handcuffs. Because that’s the only way to defuse the sizzle created by these hot, sexy stories.
Buy links:
None available

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday's Guest Seelie Kay Talks about Who She Was Before #MFRWauthor #Attorney #Journalist

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I was and attorney and journalist. Since I write “sizzling short stories about lawyers in love, with a dash of kink,” obviously my more than 20 years in the legal world had an influence. Lawyers are quirky characters and so fun to write about!
2.      Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above. 
While I tend toward erotic or contemporary romance in general, many of my stories contain elements of fantasy, paranormal, suspense, and mystery.  For example, in Kinky Briefs, Quatro (set for release in early 2018), a law professor who is a former agent of an unnamed intelligence agency, gets caught up in some spy drama.  In Kinky Briefs, Too, a séance held in a courtroom brings in a bit of the paranormal.  I simply go where the characters take me!
3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 
Surprisingly, no.  I am a big fan of J.D. Robb (futuristic detective stories), James Patterson (Alex Cross series/crime) and Lisa Scottoline (women lawyers/crime). Romance writing is something new and different.
4. What's your latest release? 
A stocking stuffer, A Touchdown to Remember, was released Dec. 7.  Kinky Briefs, Quatro is set for release in January.
5. What are you working on now? 
I am actually trying to decide if I want to spin off some of the stories in the Kinky Briefs series into full-fledged novlss or continue with the short story collections.
6. Where can we find you? 
Twitter: SeelieKay

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday's Third Scene from Murder and Poisoned Tea #MFRWauthor #Small town mystery #mint tea

By the end of February, the committee had eliminated all but three of the twelve applicants for the full-time position as music director.  Though many churches are trimming their music programs, St. Stephen’s can afford to expand.  A trust fund insures the presence of a full-time director even if the minister can’t be paid.
                After our schedules for visits had been set, I stopped in the parish office to see Edward.  The secretary, another Mary, showed me in.  Edward jumped to his feet and held a chair for me.  His large book-lined office had a small conversation area near the French doors that overlooked the garden.  Last night’s snow covered the lawn and the flower beds with a blinding blanket of white.
                “You’ve found an organist,”  he said.
                “We’ve selected three candidates and have set our first trip for next Sunday.”
                He rubbed the balding spot on the top of his head.  “Can’t the process be hurried?  I can’t believe we’ll have an Easter season without outstanding organist.  It’s never happened before.”
                “The substitute and I will bumble along.  We won’t have a new organist before fall.”
                “But the Passion Sunday Evensong --”
                “I’ve found an excellent quartet, but I have to let them know this week.”
                His pout reminded me of one from a child who has dropped his candy in the mud. “If you must.  This is such a disaster.”
                “Hardly.”  I rose.  “Should I submit bills for our expenses or will you give us money from petty cash?  We’ll need money for gas and meals.”
                “Submit the bills.  The Vestry prefers that.  This group isn’t as trusting as others in the past have been.”
                I left the office and headed home.  Sunlight glared off the banks of snow lining the walks.  Bits of old ice formed ragged patches on the concrete.
                “Watch your step, Mrs. M.”  Pete Duggan, my neighbor and a local police officer, fell into step beside me.  His down jacket nearly matched his dark red hair.  “Last time you had an accident, you got involved in a murder.”
                “Then I’m glad you’re here.  Once was enough.”
                His hazel eyes twinkled.  “What happened to the knife?”
                “What knife?  I don’t remember.”
                “Right.”  The knife he referred to, the one used to kill my tenant, lay on the bottom of the Hudson River.
                We reached the corner.  “I’m crossing here.  I have to see Beth Logan about church business.”
                “Beth Logan?”
                I laughed.  “Don’t tell me there’s an available woman in town you don’t know.  She’s a widow.  She and her six year old son live in the old Perkin’s house.  Sings in the choir and is a nurse at the hospital.”
                “Haven’t had the honor.”  He grinned.  “Church business -- missing robes -- vanished communion wine?”
                “Nothing criminal.”  I studied him and wondered when he’d settle down. 
                “So what are you up to?”  he asked.
                “Acting as temporary choir director and heading the search committee for a new organist.”
                “Good for you.  Should keep you out of mischief.”
                “I’m crushed.”
                He laughed.  “I don’t believe you.  Let me walk you to her house.  Maybe you’ll introduce me.”
                “Beth is not to be trifled with.”
                His eyebrows lifted.  “You wound me.  When I’m involved with a woman, I’m serious.”
                “For a limited engagement.”
                “Someday I’ll surprise you.”  He held my arm and steered me across the street.
                A child’s laughter rang clear.  “Bigger.  Let’s make it bigger.”
                “Then how will we get the head on the body?”  Beth asked.
                “Maybe I can help,”  Pete said.
                Beth whirled.  Her eyes narrowed.  Then she saw me andher expression relaxed.
                Robby eyed Pete.  The boy’s blond hair stuck out around the edges of his blue knit hat.
                “Beth, this is Pete Duggan, a friend of mine.  He decided to help an old lady across the street and found me instead.  You’re home early.”
                “It’s a comp day.  I have to work this weekend.”
                “Then I’m glad we don’t begin our visits until next week.  Just left Edward.  He wants us to finish the search yesterday.”
                While Beth and I talked, Pete lifted the snowman’s head and placed it on the body.  “Why don’t you wait in the house?”  she asked.  “The snowman is my project.  Your friend seems to have taken over.”
                “He has a habit of doing that.  Let me help, too.”
                When the snowman had button eyes, a radish nose and a bright green scarf instead of Beth’s favorite blue one that her son had tried to liberate, she invited us in for hot chocolate and cookies.  The sight of a box of store-bought cookies made me wince.
                “Pete, here’s my key.  There’s a tin of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on top of the refrigerator.”
                He caught the key ring.  He looked at Robby.  “Want to come with me?  I think they want time for women talk.”  He winked.
                “Egotist.  It’s church talk.”
                “Can I go, Mommy?”  Robby asked.
                “Let him.  He’ll keep Pete honest.”
                Pete laughed.  “What’s the matter?  Don’t you trust your favorite cop?”
                “Are you really a policeman?”  Robby asked.
                “A policeman?”  Beth echoed.
                “I’m surprised you never met him when you worked in the ER.  I’m sure he’s been there a time or two.  He’s all right.  Used to be my paperboy.”
                Beth tucked a scarf in the neck of Robby’s jacket.  The door closed behind them.  She stood at the door and watched until the pair reached the top of the driveway.  She turned.  Sadness glistened in her eyes and I knew she’d thought about her dead husband.  “Let’s finish before they return.”
                “Do you have the next three weekends after this one off?”  She nodded.  “Good.  There are five of us.  I think we should take two cars.  The first church is a two hour drive and more than a half hour of Judith’s company and I’ll start twitching.  Then there’s Ralph.  I’ve finally contracted intolerance.”
                She laughed.  A mischievous twinkle cleared the last trace of sadness from her eyes.  “I’ve got intolerance, too.  We’ll take my car.  It’s small.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday Hook Choices #MFRWBookHooks #MFRWAuthor #Medical romance #Hospital #politics


Today, I'm joining some other authors on MFRWBookHooks as we share bits of some of our books. Find us here:

Johanna Gordon devotes her time and energy to her job as Director of Nursing at Hudson Community Hospital. With budget cuts hanging over her head, Johanna suspects the CEO of scheming a plan that threatens her job as well as the hospital, and she’s determined to find out why. 

The choices she’s made for herself and her career leave her with no social life until she meets Dylan Connelly. He’s everything she’s always wanted, loving, devoted to his kids and everything she’s never had. Just when she finds love with the new man, an old flame returns with promises of a life together. Johanna has to decide between security and companionship, while trying to recapture the past, or moving forward with her new life.
December 4, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Buy Mark

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Whose Head Are You In #MFRWauthor #Character #Viewpoint

Now that you've identified most of your characters, the major ones and the secondary ones you need to decide who is telling the story. You can choose one character, two or many but when in their head or heads, you need to make them clear to the reader. Otherwise you could need a cast of characters to refer to when reading the book.

How are you going to do this?  Show them in a scene. Establish their name right away. This will help the reader focus. Also give them traits, ways of speaking or other things to help clearly identify the viewpoint character in the reader's head.

Josie paced the room. She spoke aloud and took another slug from her glass. "How could he do this to me?" She slammed the glass on the table and ran her hands through her short curls. Hopefully the familiar gesture would help her find an answer.

Stay in a character's view point for a scene, a few paragraphs. Don't bounce from one person's viewpoint to another's in the space of a paragraph. You don't want to give your reader whiplash.

My own choice is to use one character per scene, even when I have more than two or three viewpoints in a book. I've sometimes used as many as twelve viewpoint characters in a book but when I'm in their head, what I must do is view everything through their eyes. What they see, hear, taste, touch or smell belongs to them not to the other characters.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Merry Christmas #amwriting

Meander 1 - Merry Christmas to all. I love this time of year, whether there's snow or not. They are predicting some but predictions can be precarious. There will be rpesents and food. Christmas cookies have been baked and so have pies and the ham. Will do the turkey later today. The tree looks wonderful as does the little displays, one in the hall and one in the living room. Not all the family will be here but perhaps another year will bring that sort of thing. This year, the stockings are not stockings but bags. No one will have a really full one this year. The bags are too big.

Meander 2 - Christmas Wish - What I really would like for Christmas is peace on earth. There is too much distance between people these days and so much hidden hatred and overt anger. I have other wishes but won't mention them. They have no place on this day.

Meander 3 - Writing - I am working on the Leo/Aquarius Connectiona nd taking it from the beginning this time. Hopefully before long I'll get the story back on track and will see it completed by the end of March.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday's Book - Murder and Poisoned Tea #MFRWauthor #Cozy mystery #Hudson Valley

Murder and Poisoned Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 2)

The moment she hears his mastery of the organ, Katherine covets him as St. Stephen’s new Minister of Music. Handsome, charming and vastly talented, the women of the congregation adore him. Even Katherine is swayed by his manners and ability, But Roger not only brought beautiful music, he brings poisoned notes to the choir. Katherine seeks to find the secret of why he has changed churches yearly. She prays the discovery will be in time to prevent a tragedy.

The Mrs. Miller Mysteries series is a sheer delight. Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher would love Katherine Miller. I know I do. ~~ Writer Gail Roughton

July 8, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Christina Lambert #MFRWauthor #Paranormal romance #shapeshifters

I’m just beginning my writing career and have written and published two books so far. The first book was Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures book 1) published by Loose Id in September of 2016. My second book is Bear’s Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2) published by Loose Id in September 2017. Both can be read as a standalone as they feature different couples trying to find their happily ever after. I listed my books in order from newest to oldest.

Bear’s Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2) 
After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.

As his boss, Shayla is off-limits, so Grant keeps his feelings for her under wraps until…the attraction doesn’t seem so one-sided. Grant takes a risk and lays a piece of his heart on the line. When things get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders- will some of his darker desires be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?

A reporter who covered the bombing Shayla survived three years before is convinced the only reason Shayla survived is because she’s some type of bionic medical experiment or superhuman freak. When the reporter ropes Shayla’s angry ex, Hunter into the mix, Shayla’s business and her life are on the line. Can she and Grant trust in each other and find a way to slay all the obstacles that stand in their way?

Buy links for Bear’s Edge

Blurb for Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures book 1)
Taking risks, especially risks of the handsome male variety, is currently out of the question for Sydney Reid. She will make no exceptions for tall, gorgeous Derrick Porter. Never date a player-it’s rule number one in Sydney’s book, and the charming lawyer constantly devouring her with his eyes is every inch the reason. Despite her best efforts to keep Derrick in the friend zone, sparks fly between the two of them, and Sydney isn’t entirely sure she wants to throw water on the flames.

Can Derrick convince the shy, sexy Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive “maybe”? More importantly, should he? Derrick has a few secrets, the least shocking secret being that he can transform at will into a powerful wolf. He's still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he's pretty sure not having her would be just as bad.

And with an obsessed stalker on their tails, more than their hearts are at issue.

Buy links for Wolf’s Challenge

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday's Guest - Christina Lambert - Who She Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Writing #Reading

1.     What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I didn’t study creative writing in college (except for one elective class of short story fiction writing). Instead I studied psychology and ended up with an MBA. I enjoyed writing for fun, mostly poetry, but I forced any writing ideas other than training manuals and such to the back of my mind, telling myself that it wasn’t important. Before I had the crazy idea to write a book, from start to finish, I worked in a few different fields. I worked in sales, I worked with adults with special needs, and then, when my children were small I worked as a personal trainer and running coach. When it was time to think about getting my career back on track I honestly couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I started writing a story when I was supposed to be studying for a fitness training certification. Finally, I gave in and acknowledged that writing was what I was meant to do.

2.     Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above. 

I started out writing a science fiction novel. After I was about thirty pages in, I saw a teaser on Facebook for a romance novel by Kele Moon and thought, “I want to write romance. I want to write about love”. Because with the idea of love, there is hope. and hope is what carries us through one day and into the next. I enjoy writing steamy paranormal romance because I like bending reality in my writing. I thought at first that I would stick with only paranormal but when I got an idea for a suspense series, I decided to follow up on that thought. What I realized is that I can still bend reality to create an element of strange on the pages even when the story I’m writing is not outright science fiction or paranormal.

3.     Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? 
My love of science fiction led me to read paranormal romance. I am fascinated by the different and unique world created by different writers and the problems characters encounter in these weird worlds. Some of my favorite books also spent a lot of time on the characters rather than just focusing on the ongoing events. Creating strong, memorable characters is something I strive to do in everything I write. I want my characters to be just as important as the situations in which they find themselves.

4. What's your latest release? 
Bear’s Edge was released in September 2017. It is the second book in the Stranger Creatures series, though each book in the series features a different couple struggling to find their happily-ever-after. In Bear’s Edge, Shifter bear Grant had been crushing on his boss, Shayla since the day they met. When the attraction no longer seems so one-sided, Grant must decide whether to walk away or risk his job and his barely healed heart to convince Shayla to take a chance on him.

5. What are you working on now? 
I’m working on the next book in the Stranger Creatures series as well as the first book in a romantic suspense series. The romantic suspense series will involve some tough on the outside but sweet on the inside firefighters. I have ideas for so many different stories- science fiction, horror, romance, but there’s only so much time in the day.

6. Where can we find you? 
I’m on social media and I have a Wordpress blog too. Feel free find me at one of the sites below.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday's Third Scene - Murder and Mint Tea #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #Small town

     Monday was a day of learning truths.  Other than to give birth to Andrew, I had never been a hospital patient.  I’ll admit I liked being on giving not receiving side of care.  As I waited for the transport team to take me to the OR for the insertion of a pin in my left leg, my thoughts focused on all the dire complications I could remember.  Some were the product of an imagination out of control.  My heart thundered.  My mouth was dry.  Tears filled my eyes.
     “You’ll be fine,”  Beth Logan, neighbor and nurse said.  “We’ll take good care of you.”
     I clung to the assurance in her voice.  “Just think of all the things that can go wrong.”
     Beth patted my hand.  “Just remember how seldom they occur.”  In that moment I realized how important sympathy is for a patient.  Before we could say more, the team arrived and wheeled me away.
     The rest of the day passed in semi-consciousness.  Drowsiness from the anesthesia and the pain medication scrambled my thoughts.  Even Andrew’s scolding about my foolishness barely registered.
     By Wednesday I felt caged and tired of pale green walls, gray tile floors and white sheets.  The television turned low and switched from channel to channel failed to divert me from an aching need to escape confinement.
     Dr. Beemish had promised to discharge me once crutch walking was mastered.  By noon, the physical therapist hadn’t arrived.  I toyed with my lunch and prayed for mint tea and the serenity of my apartment.
     Lars, my friend and bridge partner, called from Santa Fe.   He spends most of the winter months at his home there.  He hoped I would heal quickly and grumbled about my penchant for adventure.
     When I hung up I waved at Pete Duggan.  He held a bouquet of yellow mums.  “More flowers.  Why?”
     “Seemed the thing to do.  You chose a dumb way to turn down my offer of a partnership.”
     I laughed.  “Breaking my leg wasn’t my first choice.”
     He slouched on a chair and told me some stories about the storm.  The tales made me laugh.
     The arrival of Edward Potter, pastor of St. Stephens, ended Pete’s visit.  The small, dapper man’s ringing tenor voice dripped with sympathy and gossip.  While he regaled me with stories I would rather not have heard, Paul and Maria Prescott arrived.  I eyed the thermos in Maria’s hand and sighed in anticipation.  One of my wishes had come true.
     “Mrs. Miller, I was so sorry you have the accident and I am not here to give you the help.  When Paul and I come home last night Mrs. Sarah tell us you have the misfortune.  I have brought the tea.”
     Edward coughed.  I made the introductions without mentioning Paul and Maria’s last name.  Edward’s face showed a hint of disapproval.  He stared at the gold hoop dangling from Paul’s ear.  Edward kissed my cheek.  “Katherine, I’ll keep you in my prayers.”
     Would his prayers be for my healing of about my choice of friends?  I hadn’t told Edward that Paul owns the most successful antique store in town or that Prescott Reproductions is on the way to success.  Maria designs jewelry and has a growing reputation in her field.
     Paul and I had met the year I converted the house.  He’d come to evaluate the antiques I’d decided to sell.  We had become friends.  Several years later on a trip to Spain he’d met Maria.  After their marriage he’d purchased the house next-door.
     Maria opened the thermos.  Some people crave caffeine.  My choice is mint tea.  Like a starving woman I reached for the cup, breathed in the aroma and sipped.  The hint of chamomile made me smile.  “Heavenly.  Thank you.  How was your trip?”
     “We have the beautiful time.  My madre and padre are happy to have us home again.  Paul find many beautiful things for the shop.  My niece, Bianca, want to live with us so she can go to school.  Paul and I think on this.”  She sat in the chare beside the bed.
     Paul leaned against the door frame.  His shoulder length blond hair had been pulled into a club at his nape.  “I hear you nabbed the neighborhood thieves.”
     I grinned.  “With help from the police.”
     “Good show.  Any hope they’ll recover the loot?”
     “Call Pete.  He should know.”
     The Prescott’s house had been the scene of the first robbery.  A gold and emerald ring Maria had designed for a national juried show had been taken.
     Maria shook her head.  “I do not know how you could let the thieving men in your house.  I would scream and run.”
     “I didn’t think.  Just acted.”
     Paul crossed the room.  “Now, why don’t I believe that?  Have you ever acted impulsively?”  He shook his head.  “Bet you dismissed any options before you acted.”
     He stood with his hands on Maria’s shoulders.  She looked up at him and the love in her eyes made me sigh.  Her dark coloring and near perfect features complimented his rugged handsomeness.
     Maria patted my hand.  “I should never have go away.  First the bad man hit you.  Then you fall in the snow.  What if no one find you?”
     “I’d be part of an ice floe on the river.”  Her frown said she didn’t understand and explaining the town’s snow removal system was beyond me.  “I’m fine, child.”
     “When you come home I will care for you.  My house takes just one hand.”
     “We’ll see.”  I looked up in time to catch Paul’s not.  “When do you start remodeling?”
     “Late summer.  Once they spring you and you’re on your feet, stop by the shop and check out your investment.”
     Three years ago when Paul started the reproduction workshop he needed a backer.  I invested some of my savings.  “I trust you.”
     He laughed.  “Could get you in trouble.”
     “Maria would never let you cheat me.”
     “Few people could.”  Andrew stepped into the room.  “Her trusting air is an act.”
     “Is that a nice way to speak to your mother?”
     He stood with his hands clasped behind his back like the presenting doctor for Grand Rounds.  “Paul, Maria, good to see you.”  He acknowledged their greetings with a nod and walked to the bed.  “Can’t stay long or I’ll be late for office hours.  Ruth will drop by this evening.  Are you sure you won’t consider Hudson House for a few weeks?”
     “Never.”  Though the local nursing home was exclusive and expensive I wanted my own apartment and bed.
     Paul clicked his heels and saluted me.  Maria kissed my cheek.  “Not to worry, Dr. Andrew.  When your madre come home I will tend her.”
     Andrew sat on the chair Maria had vacated.  “Mom, I’m serious.  If not Hudson House, let me hire a nurse.”
     “There’s no need.  With Ruth’s, Sarah’s and Maria’s help I’ll manage very well.”
     “You are the most stubborn woman in existence.”  He patted my hand.  “I’ve found a tenant for your apartment.  Then I won’t have to worry about you being in the house alone.  She’s a friend of Ted’s.  Divorced with two children.”  He smiled.  “Rachel’s a lovely woman.  They’ll move in the end of the month.”
     Though I preferred to select my own tenants, I decided to let him win this round.  “Rachel what?”
     “Rodgers.  Ted sent her to me for some therapy sessions.  Her divorce was messy.  She even lost custody of her children.  Ted helped her regain custody.  She needs support.  You’ll be good for her.”
     Something about the way he said her name bothered me.  For the past year I’ve noticed an inner restlessness about him.  He seems discontent and to be searching for illusive answers.  I sighed.
     He pulled a paper from his briefcase.  “Here’s the lease.  Ted drew it up.  Rachel has signed.”
     I found a pen but first read the brief document.  “This is different from the one the realtor provides.”
     “Simpler.  Ted said you and Rachel would be protected.”
     “The terms favor the tenant.”  I scratched out several of the terms.  “Tell Ted to have this retyped and then I’ll sign.”
     “Mom.”  Andrew looked at what I wrote.  “This is hardly fair to Rachel.”
     Something in his voice raised a flood of questions.  Before I had a chance to ask my son what was happening, the physical therapist arrived.  Andrew left.
     For forty-five minutes I embarked on an exhausting attempt to master the extra set of legs.  I returned to bed and slept until the nurse woke me for dinner.
     Shortly after the trays were collected Ruth arrived.  “Mother Miller, you look so much better.”
     “But bored.”
     She smiled.  “Andrea’s in the hall near the elevators.  Let me find a wheel chair and take you to her.”
     “I’ll use the crutches.  Follow with the chair in case I falter.”  I slid to the edge of the bed and positioned the crutches.  I noticed the concern on her face.  “I should be fine.”
     “Of course you will be.  I think you can master anything you try.”
     “Thank you.”
     My daughter-in-law isn’t beautiful but she knows how to dress.  She keeps her dark brown hair cut in a style that’s perfect for her narrow face.  Though she graduated from college with honors and could have had a brilliant career she’s chosen to serve as Andrew’s handmaiden.  Even when his ideas clash with hers, she doesn’t disagree in public.
     “Ready.”  Ruth appeared at the door with a wheelchair.
     Slowly at first and then with greater confidence, I walked toward the cluster of chairs near the elevators.  A drop of perspiration slid down my back.  Another made a path down my nose.  One hundred steps.  Fifty more.  Then ten.  The trip seemed longer than my usual morning walk.
     “Grandma.”  Andrea bounced from a chair and dashed toward me.  Her dark brown hair had recently been cut and curled around her face.  “Crutches, how neat.  When you don’t need them could they be mine?”  Hazel eyes like mine and Andrew’s sparkled with excitement.
     After I eased into the wheelchair Ruth lifted the leg rest to support the case.  “Why would you want them?”
     “To put them in a dance.”
     “Only if you promise I’ll be in the audience.”
     “Sure.”  She kissed my cheek.  “Can I write my name on your cast?”
     “I’d love that.  You’re the first to ask.  Guess my friends think I’m too old for cast decoration.”
     “Not you.  They’re the old ones.  When you come home I’ll stay and be your nurse.  Dad thinks you need one.”
     “What about school?”
     She wrinkled her nose.  “Guess I can’t them.”
     “Tell me what you’ve been doing?”
     Those words released a spate of stories.  To each I responded in the proper manner.  When Andrea ran out of stories Ruth pushed me back to my room.  She held the wheelchair while I transferred to the bed.
     “Are you sure you can manage when you come home?”  she asked.  “You know I’ll be glad to help unless I’m tied up with Andrea’s schedule.”
     “I’ll be fine.”
     “Andrew blames himself for the accident.”
     “If anyone’s to blame it’s his fool mother.  If I’d waited twenty minutes the street would have been scraped on both sides.”  My sigh was part exasperation and part worry.  “He’s too serious.”
     She nodded.  “It’s a phase.”
     Ruth usually read Andrew like an expert but this time she was wrong.
     “He would feel better if he could do something.  He loves you.”
     “I know that.”  Her concern for my son brought a ripple of guilt.  My stubborn pride loosened its grip.  “Why don’t you suggest he hire a woman to come every morning for a few hours?  Not a nurse, mind you.  Just someone to help me dress and do some light cleaning.”  My sense of the ridiculous rose.  “Have him get me a portable toilet.”
     Ruth giggled.  In that instant she looked no older than her daughter.  “That’s wonderful.  I can’t wait to see his face when I tell him about the commode.”
     My laughter joined hers.  “I tried to make the suggestion to him but couldn’t.  He has a view of me I don’t deserve.  He’d be embarrassed to think his mother has normal human functions.”
     She patted my hand.  “He does tend to put you on a pedestal.  I’d better leave and get Andrea home.”
            After she left I turned on the television.  The program, one of the crime shows I always watch, barely registered.  My thoughts centered on my son and some nameless concern for him.