Wednesday, November 24, 2021


I'm still away adventuring, so here are a few lovely sunrises from this past August in the Sierra Nevada mountains. No commentary needed.

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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Monday, November 22, 2021

Spotlight: Nightmare on the Bike Trail

I couldn't do a review this time because of my travel schedule, but I can say that I read and reviewed the first in this series, The Killer Outdoors, and found it a fun premise.

Nightmare On The Bike Trail (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Independently Published (November 9, 2021)
~180 Pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08L2JFWDW


Welcome to Bushwhack, New Mexico: home to tourists, the great outdoors, and murder…

Andie Sullivan, adventure guide in the mountain community of Bushwhack, NM, is gearing up for the annual bicycle race hosted by her tour company. When a ghost from her and sheriff Zac Mars’ past registers to participate—her suspicions are raised.

And then a gun goes off deep in the wooded forest along the trail, leaving her and Zac to fight for their future by revisiting past grievances. With lives at stake and secrets opening old wounds, Andie must piece together the clues to solve a decade old case she thought was closed.

But time isn’t on her side and sometimes even the best sleuth can miss a piece to the puzzle. Especially a cold case clouded with jealously and pain. Will she spot the clue this time or is it too late to make amends?


About the Author

Jodi Linton is an author of several romance novels and cozy mysteries. She pens funny, romantic, whodunnits during her days in between being a carpool mom. She lives in Texas with her husband, with who she runs the family day business with and two kids. When she isn’t writing her next page turner, she likes to delve into her hobby of finding all the cool, new makeup products to buy.

Author Links

Purchase Link: Amazon  B&N    Kobo     iBooks


November 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

November 15 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW

November 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 17 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


November 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – The Ninja Librarian – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Flash-Fiction Flashback

This week's treat to help you remember I exist (and that I'm a writer) is a flashback post with a bit of sweet romance I enjoyed re-reading. I hope you do, too.


Under the Oak. A story in 10 very short chapters.

The car coasted to a stop under a big oak that shadowed the pull-out. The lights went out. It was invisible from the road, even if there had been any traffic to see it. At ten on a Tuesday night, no one would drive down that road.

"Is this the place?"

"Close as I can tell. I wasn't paying as much attention as I might have, last time."

The passenger peered through the window into the darkness outside. "I can't make it out. I just can't tell."

"You'll see," said the driver. "It'll come back to you." He turned the key, and the motor died. The sounds and scents of a summer night came in through the open windows in the sudden quiet.  The other time had been autumn.

It was 1959. In some places, the country was gearing up to the Sixties. In Boondocks, the Fifties were just getting into full swing. The girls at Boondocks High were into roller skates, poodle skirts, and saddle shoes. The boys wore button-down shirts and ties to school. They smoked behind the bleachers, but only tobacco. Other things also happened behind the bleachers. When a girl "went to live with an aunt" everyone knew what had happened, but they pretended they didn't. They still held sock-hops in the gym on Friday nights.

Calvin Bergen had lived in Chicago until the start of his Senior year. Then his father took the chance to leave his job, which paid well but would never go anywhere, and go run the Boondocks distributorship. It was a huge advance, even though he took a pay cut to do it. That didn't matter, because living in Boondocks cost next to nothing. And he was his own boss. That made him happy.

Calvin also liked being his own boss, and deeply resented being dragged to Boondocks.

After a few weeks at Boondocks High, Calvin changed his mind. In Chicago he'd been one punk among many, chasing whatever was cool. In Boondocks he was the master of all things Big City, which was to say, all things Cool. When he showed up at school in a white t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve, the next day half the boys copied him. Mostly they took off their shirts and ties after leaving home, in the hopes that their parents wouldn't find out.

It took two more days for the Principal to announce a rule prohibiting the wearing of t-shirts in school.

Calvin came to school with no shirt at all, and was suspended for three days.

Dottie Calhoun was a straight A student. Her father owned the farm supply store, and she had more pocket-money than any other girl. She was generous, so in spite of being rich, she was popular with the girls as well as the boys. The teachers called on her first because she always had her work done.

In twelve years of schooling, Dottie had never seen the Principal except socially. Dottie was pretty, smart, and terribly afraid of doing anything wrong. She dated all the boys--once. She always turned down a second date. Midway through her Junior year she'd started to repeat, having run out of boys before she ran out of Friday nights, but she still didn’t go with any boy twice in a row.

Dottie noticed Calvin as soon as he arrived at Boondocks High. He wasn't especially handsome, but he had the glamor of distant places and the Big City. Even before the t-shirt episode everyone knew he was a rebel and a born leader.

In History class, when he was tilting his chair against the wall and pretending to ignore the teacher, he caught Dottie looking at him. She flirted with her eyes and he turned away, looking bored. She was too inexperienced to know he had done it on purpose.


Calvin had hooked the uncatchable Dottie Calhoun on the first cast.

They started dating after Calvin’s suspension ended. He was still wearing t-shirts to school and serving detention every day in consequence. Dottie struggled with her conscience. On the third day she went into the girls' bathroom when she got to school, and rolled her skirt waist until her knees showed.

In Detention, she sat behind Calvin and slid a note between the seats. "Meet me at the soda fountain after we get out of here."

He sent one note back. It read, "Forget sodas. Meet me behind the bleachers."

Dottie had never met a boy behind the bleachers. That was what girls did who later went to visit far-off aunts.

They didn't stay behind the bleachers. It was crowded there, even an hour after school let out. They walked together to the parking lot and got into his car, a two-year-old Chevrolet. Dottie could almost hear her mother's outraged gasp when she slid onto the seat, her skirt once again above her knees. She banished all thoughts of her mother.

They drove randomly until dark, and then Calvin pulled off onto the shoulder under a tree that hid them almost completely from passing cars, if there had been any.

He turned off the motor, rolled down his window to let in the sounds and smells of an autumn night, and reached for her.

"I can't believe you even found a '57 Chevy," Dottie said. "It's exactly like the one you had then."

"I know." Calvin looked towards her. In the dark, she was still the 17-year-old he'd taken parking 55 years ago. "I wanted it to be just like that night."

"And modern cars are too cramped," Dottie said. "They don't have these lovely bench seats." She sighed happily, and he leaned in to kiss her. Just like that night 55 years before, his hand slipped up her shirt.

They'd made the usual mistakes and lived through the results. But this part was always good.


 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

While I'm away...

 ... I thought I'd share a few extra photos each week, just for fun. 

Today, a few more of the amazing Golden Cathedral.

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

IWSG: Gone Hiking

I'm not participating this month, because I'm somewhere in the air at this moment, winging my way to Nepal. But I encourage all of you to click on the badge below and check out what other members of the IWSG are up to! If you leave a comment here, it could be a month before I get back to you. BTW, my one-word answer to the question below is "depends."

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

November 3 question - What's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

The awesome co-hosts for the November 3 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Middle Grade Monday: Helen Dore Boylston

Sue Barton Nurses Series eBook (7 Book Series)


This isn't actually a review of Sue Barton, or any of Helen Dore Boylston's other books. Instead, I wanted to talk about the author, and what I discovered when I read her bio in the new Kindle editions of the classic Sue Barton nursing books.

For many of us of a certain age (and in the case of these books, a fair bit older, as the first was written in the 1930s), these books were a childhood delight. For some, I'm sure, it influenced their decisions to become nurses (my own desire to emulate the main character, who is as red-headed as I am, lasted only until I thought about it for five minutes). But a part of me had always assumed that a) Boylston might be as much of a fiction as Caroline Keene (Nancy Drew) and/or b) this was totally made up.

Imagine my surprise on discovering that Helen Dore Boylston was actually a nurse, that she served as a nurse in WWI (I told you these dated way back), and that she wrote books besides this series and her Carol Page, Actress series.

Carol Page the Actress eBook Series (4 Book Series) 

Most notably, Boylston wrote a light little diary of her nursing experience in the Great War (yeah, remember when it was possible to think of a single war that was going to end all wars?).

Sister (Annotated): The War Diary of a Nurse 

I was struck by this memoir because, though there are allusions to nastiness, suffering, and the death of many people she knew, nurses and soldiers, there is one thing that overrides that and sets this apart from some men's memoirs of the war: she was happy there. And why? Because she was out in the world doing something interesting, exciting, and important. Yeah, not the usual fate of young women in 1917-18, and still less after the war.

Boylston had so much trouble settling into the expected ruts that after the war she went back to Europe with the Red Cross. There she met Rose Wilder Lane--yes, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was a writer before her mother was. That led to Travels With Zenobia, an account of the two women's 1926 trip by car from Paris to Albania (with their French maid, of course). 


Boylston and Lane lived together for several years, first in Albania and then in the US. For a time it looked like she would be settling down for good on Rocky Ridge (the Wilder's farm in the Ozarks) and the two women would be writers together. Then the Great Depression hit.

Whatever happened besides financial strains, Boylston ended up back east, working as a nurse, which was probably a good thing for the writer. Sue Barton came out of those years and she found she could make a living off her writing. 

Boylston denied that Sue was her, but I sure saw a lot of similarities between the two, including the tendency to charge headlong into things that won the author her nickname, Troub, as in Trouble. She did, of course, make Sue take a path she herself had rejected. Sue marries and has a family, and while she struggles with a sense that she's not using her talents or training, repeatedly decided that mothering is the most important job.

I think the author sold out to the publishers on that one. Sue Barton and Carol Page were very early examples of what we now call Young Adult books (I've seen them also referred to as "girls' series" or "career books"). Anyone want to bet that, in addition to encouraging girls to pursue (suitable) careers, the publishers also wanted to reinforce traditional roles? The last of those books, which actually kind of leaves the question open of whether Sue will keep working, was published in 1952--a period when women were being strongly pushed back into the home after discovering independence (again) during the second World War.

For all that, Sue is a pretty remarkable woman for the time, one who never gives up entirely on her career, however much it takes a back seat to parenthood. A secondary character, Sue's friend Kitty, is even more interesting as she never appears to date men at all. I may need to read the Carol Page books to find out how Boylston handles it in those (all written during WWII, another period when women were being called on to do "men's jobs").

In all, I found my reading of both the fiction and the non-fiction both enjoyable and thought-provoking. For the author, that would be mission accomplished.

*The biographical information in this post has been gleaned from the book bios, the intro and afterword to Zenobia and Sister, and the Wikipedia article on Helen Dore Boylston.


 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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