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Friday, October 30, 2015

I Buried It in the Woods

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

That afternoon, Tucker walked Brooke home from school. He glanced behind his shoulder. “It’s weird. He could be anywhere. My stepfather might be watching me now.”

Brooke grasped his hand. “Don’t worry. He wouldn’t dare come near you before the trial. And once you tell the court all the terrible things he did to you, they’ll put him away for a long, long time.”

Tucker sighed. “I don’t know if I can. It’s not easy to talk about, especially to a courtroom filled with strangers.”

Brooke gazed into his eyes. “You can do it. I know you can. You told me.”

“That was different. I felt comfortable with you. We were sharing our lives; you told me about your suicide attempt and all your problems at home. You were like a sparrow with a broken wing and I wanted to protect you and help you fly again.”

She smiled. “A sparrow with a broken wing?”

“I found one in the woods, once. I brought it home and kept it in a shoebox. I fed it seeds and worms.”

Brooke frowned. “Eww, worms.”  She laughed. “That was sweet of you, though. Did its wing mend?”

Tucker turned sullen and gazed down. “No. My stepfather found the shoebox in my room and…” He swallowed. “He didn’t think I should have pets.”

A horrified look crossed Brooke’s face. “He didn’t…?”

Tucker nodded. “I buried it in the woods where I had found it.” He brushed a tear from his eye. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”


Available in paperback or Kindle exclusively on Amazon.com


Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Do You Have Any Idea How Powerful That Watch Makes You?

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

“Mac, last night he tried to rape her. Margo slept in the woods. She was afraid to go home. She’s terrified. He’s got to be stopped or he’ll try again.”

“Has she told the police?”

Marlene shook her head. “She has no proof to back up her story. He’ll deny it. Besides, the cops can’t guard her every minute.”

Mackenzie pulled out his pocket watch. “I can travel between minutes, but I can’t watch over Margo every minute either. What can I do?”

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pepsi Perfect – NOT!


Pepsi has just made the biggest marketing blunder since rival Coca-Cola changed its successful 99-year-old formula into the disastrous New Coke in 1985.

This is no small accomplishment. The saga of New Coke has become a legendary example taught in business schools to marketing students of what a company should never, ever do. Until now, no one has been able to top that blunder. Yet Pepsi has managed to live up to its slogan and become the Choice of a New Generation… Of marketing dodos.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Perfect Night for Dancing

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

“I guess you’ll have to hang around to talk to the cops.”

“I wasn’t planning on going anywhere. This is the hottest party in town.” She noticed the music piped in through the speakers and saw several couples dancing in the moonlight. “It’s a perfect night for dancing.”

Mackenzie gazed across the rooftop and saw Vanessa in an elegant chiffon dress dancing with her father. “Yeah, it is, but it would be awkward to break in when Vanessa’s dancing with her dad.”

Marlene rolled her eyes and tried again. “Still, it’s a shame to let the music go to waste; it’s such a lovely slow dance.” She hesitated. “You could dance with me. After all, it’s not every night I wear my best dress.”

Mackenzie shrugged. “I suppose. If you don’t think it’s weird or anything.”

She clasped his hand and drew him close to her, swaying with the music. “Close your eyes, Mac. Imagine you’re dancing with Vanessa.” Marlene swallowed. And I’ll pretend I’m Vanessa, as well, she thought. As they danced, she felt closer than ever to Mackenzie… and as distant as ever.

Available in paperback or Kindle exclusively on Amazon.com


Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Someone’s Stolen the Watch!

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

Mackenzie dropped another quarter into the arcade game. He glanced across the rows of pinball machines and video games at Tucker Bryant and Brooke Cooper playing skee ball. He turned to Marlene. “I never thought I’d be spending the day with Tucker Bryant.”

Marlene shrugged. “We promised to be there for Brooke. With her life falling apart, she needs friends more than ever. And to his credit, Tucker is turning into one of her best friends. He’s become very protective of her.”

“He is much nicer now that he’s no longer living with that awful stepfather of his. But  part of me will always see him as the bully who picked on me for so many years.” Mackenzie watched Tucker guiding Brooke’s aim at the skee ball game. “He does seem to have taken her under his wing, literally. You don’t think he’s falling for her, do you?”

“Look at how she’s gazing up at him. Her mind’s not on the game, Mac. I’d say the feeling is mutual. It’s good for Brooke to have someone who makes her feel safe and protected, and I think Tucker has needed someone to care about for a long time.”

“I guess.” Mackenzie looked back at his video game. A flashing “Game Over” greeted him. “Oh, no. My time ran out while we were talking.” He dug into his pocket. “I’m out of quarters, too. I’ll be right back after I get some change.” He reached into his back pocket. “What the—? My wallet’s gone!”

Marlene pointed to a “Beware of Pickpockets” sign above them. “Tough break. I can spot you some quarters, Mac. How many do you want?”

Mackenzie reached into his front pocket. The color seeped from his face. “It’s gone! The pocket watch is gone!”

“Are you sure you brought it with you?”

“I always bring it with me.” He glanced back up at the sign. “Someone’s stolen the watch.” He perused the crowded arcade. “It could be anyone.” He cast a panicked gaze at Marlene. “What am I going to do?”

She grasped his hand to comfort him. “We’ll find it, Mac. We’ll get it back, somehow.” Marlene looked at the throng of kids around them and wondered if the thief was still in the arcade.

Her reassuring words provided little solace for the desolate boy. “We’re downtown, Marlene. Kids come here from all different schools and neighborhoods. The thief could be anyone. He, or she, might not go to our school or live anywhere near us. How can we find someone if we don’t know who we’re looking for?”

“You’ve got your grandfather’s journals. Maybe you could build another watch.”

“No way. I can hardly understand what he wrote about using the one he built. If there’s a journal diagramming how to construct one, then that must be one of the missing notebooks. Even if I had it, we’re talking relativity and quantum physics on a scale way beyond junior high science classes.” He recalled with irony how he had once tried to get rid of the watch. “If we don’t get the pocket watch back, my time travel days are finished.” He gazed up at the flashing “Game Over” message.

Available in paperback or Kindle exclusively on Amazon.com


Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!

Friday, October 2, 2015

I was Going to Write You a Long E-mail

An Excerpt from The 25th Hour (Book One in The Adventures of Mackenzie Mortimer):

Mrs. Cooper sighed. “Your father’s been laid off. There’s no money coming in. We’ll have to live off our savings until we can find jobs. Your brother will be moving back home when the semester ends, unless he can find a way to pay his tuition.”

Brooke was distressed at the idea of her brother returning home. She had been relieved to watch him go off to college for what she had thought would be four years. “But where will he sleep?”

“We’ll all have to make sacrifices. You’ll have to give him back your bedroom. We’ll turn your father’s office back into a bedroom for you.”

Brooke grimaced. “That tiny room?” Her brother’s departure for college had freed up his bedroom, which was much larger than Brooke’s. The notion of being downsized did not appeal to her. “If he doesn’t go back to the university, does that mean I’ll have to live in the small room for the next five years until I start college?”

“Honey, we might not even have the house in five years. If we can’t make the payments, we’ll lose it. As for college, well, we’ve only started to fund your college account. Now that we’re not going to be able to contribute to it, unless you can earn a scholarship between now and then, I’m afraid college won’t be an option.”

Brooke’s jaw dropped. “But Mom! Everyone goes to college.”

Mrs. Cooper turned away. “We can keep you in school, through high school, I hope. But you’ll have to get a job when you turn fifteen and help contribute to the household.”

“You  mean the four years I planned to be at the state university will be spent working a fast food job to help keep a roof over our heads?”

“We’re all making sacrifices. Your brother is postponing his education and your father is applying for jobs out of state.”

“Dad’s leaving town?”

“He needs to go where the jobs are. Serenity Valley is a small community and, if the Carlyle plant isn’t hiring, there’s not likely to be many jobs available for men your father’s age.”

“This is messed up,” Brooke cried. “I need some air.” She ran out the front door and kept running until she found herself at Craig’s house. Her boyfriend was 14, an eighth grader, and she needed an older perspective and a warm hug. Her prince would be there, even if her mother’s had abandoned her, and he would find a way to make everything all right again.

She rang the bell and waited.

The door cracked open. “Brooke. What are you doing here?”

“I need to talk to you, Craig.”

He glanced behind him inside the house. “Now’s not a good time. You should have phoned me before coming over.”

“It’s important, Craig. So much has happened—”

“Craig? Who’s at the door? Come back in; I miss you.” A redheaded girl peered over his shoulder.

Brooke recognized her. It was Theresa Brewster, an eighth grader from Serenity Valley Junior High.

Theresa frowned. “What’s SHE doing here? You told me you dumped her.”

Craig squirmed. “Yeah, I haven’t had a chance to tell her.” He turned to Brooke. “I didn’t want to tell you like this. I was going to write you a long e-mail.”

Available in paperback or Kindle exclusively on Amazon.com


Time is running out… fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has a few more minutes than anyone else!