Tuesday, February 26, 2019

It's finally here! The Keeper . . .

Jolie Sowell is not looking for love. As a young single mother with a toddler daughter and a full-time job as a night zookeeper, she barely has time to comb her hair, much less forge a relationship.

After a shotgun marriage ended in divorce and left her with a baby, she just isn’t interested in men. But when her friend Kaycie talks her into going on a blind date, she has to reconsider. Cade Bishop has looks, style, charm, charisma, and a steady job. Does she dare believe that she might find real love and a father for her little girl?

Timber City Zoo, in the heart of East Texas, is a small but world-class haven for well-tended wildlife as well as a tourist destination and school field trip favorite. Jolie loves her job there. But when her supervisor Jay is injured in a storm and she finds a dead squirrel monkey out of its enclosure, she starts to wonder. Soon more animals die and then even some employees.

Someone who knows the inner workings of the zoo is on a killing spree, someone with keys to every lock and gate. To her utter dismay, her parents and Cade urge Jolie to find another job and leave the only place she has ever wanted to work.
Shattered from the latest death and feeling pressured by Cade and her parents, Jolie flees Timber City only to return when another coworker is badly injured.

What animal or which keeper will be next?

Can Jolie help stop the killing?

Will her relationship with Cade survive?

Paperback copy to be available soon.  Stay tuned!

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

More from the James House

I think we still lived in the James house in Van when Mama decided to put me and my brother Allen in swimming lessons.  Sharon was too young, and Brenda hadn’t arrived yet.  There was a large round public pool at the park, which was adjacent to the city golf course.  I can still see it and it looked awfully big to my six-year-old eyes.  We were divided into groups of six or eight and assigned to different teachers.  My teacher was a man named Mal Fowler, whom I later knew as the high school’s head football coach, and whose son Todd grew up to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

See the source image
This isn't us, but it must be what we looked like waiting for our lesson to begin.

Coach Fowler taught us how to hold our breaths underwater, and I suppose we learned to swim some, but really my swimming skills didn’t develop until much later.  I was a timid little girl, and I was afraid of him.  I was especially afraid when we were required to jump off the diving board on the last day of lessons, and swim to the side.  I’m still not sure how I didn’t drown!  I was really glad when that two weeks was over.

It’s amazing how memories seal themselves in our brains with the senses of sight, smell, and hearing.  Our lessons took place in the mornings with the scent of water and chlorine, the sounds of chattering children, adult voices, and splashing water, and the sight of mothers with young children waiting on one end of the pool while their children bobbed in the water in various groups with their teachers. 

I’ve never been quite sure that swimming lessons actually teach children to swim, but one thing the lessons do accomplish is building confidence in the student so they can go on to perfect the skill themselves.  At least that is what I did, and my own children did, years later.  I never did thank Coach Fowler for teaching me that life skill, and now it is too late. 

What about you?  How did you learn to swim?  Or did you?