Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three Prayers

In honor of this poetry month of April, I'd originally planned to offer my opening and closing poems from one of my novels. Today, after witnessing the recurrent rath of our natural planet, I'm moved to offer three prayers. Also, I'm reminded once again that we're all stowaways on a rogue spaceship, helpless to plot a course much less determine our personal or collective destinies.
My first prayer is one of thanks for those souls who met their own destiny in the horrendous storms that have swept across the land. No matter how short their span was in human terms, one and all had a life and made an impact on those who knew and loved them.
My second prayer is for the survivors who've been left behind to pick up the pieces of their lives and strive for something approaching normalcy once the shock of loss has diminished somewhat.
My third prayer is for the rest of us to do whatever we can to reach out to those victims. Some of us have physical strength and tools that will help clear away the debris and restore a modicum of order. Some of us have money, and that will surely be needed in massive amounts even to begin to replace what's been lost. Some of us have neither strength nor money, but we can pray to whatever supreme being we ascribe to. We've witnessed enormous natural disasters recently that have taken, not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands of lives, leaving the survivors destitute in goods and in spirit. I beseach you to avoid placing the blame for our misfortunes on your personal God or on any God. Bad things happen to good people just as good things happen to bad people. It's how we deal with the hand we're dealt that counts in the end.
And now for those poems. The first is an expression of my take on the flow of life on this planet.


Bubbling burbliing brook,
The sound of wishing, swishing water
Rounding, bounding over boulders and pebbles,
The tremolo of ever present, already gone droplets of time.
Now joyful, then wistfull; finally mournful.
Opportunity coming-here-lost.
More promised; always coming,
Blink and they're gone.
The sound, the ripple,
The rhytym of life.

The second is an expression of my take on our journey through the universe, the final couplet being my requested epitaph.


As rise the lofty mountain peaks, seeming eternal in granite reality,
Upward too we mortals stretch, miming creation in stubborn certainty.

Man presumes too much from far too little,
Living but a jot as he spans the portal.

We expand within our rigid cage, bursting with pride in our endeavor
To break free of this self-made prison, seeking instead the great forever.

Eve, rib of Adam, ever Genesis of man's future soul,
Incomplete in herself, needing him to fulfill her role.

If we could watch from distant skies, earth's clocklike ebb and flow,
Mountains melt before our eyes, Eve reborn in the plains below.

Rain-delivered to earthly womb, form devolved but guaranteed,
The eternal ellipse at last is run, ever changing; forever indeed.

In our desire to stay the same, we miss the meaning of our claim.
Dust to dust, our earthly core; released to fly, our spirits soar!

May the God each of you prays to comfort and strengthen you to endure, to comprehend, and ultimately to triumph over your personal trials. Until we meet again...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A bit of Nostalgia

Easter has come and gone, and with it, a rare visit with my family. While my children for the most part take me for granted, my grandkids do not, and for that I am grateful. I remember my fascination with my grand parents and understand perfectly. Nevertheless it's gratifying to have a grand daugter come up and ask for my recollections of my childhood.
Needless to say, I have no hesitation about telling her lots of 'very' true tales of my youth. I've written several of them down and she's read them. Now she wants more. Who am I to deny her?
I'm feeling pretty mellow today, having survived a stress-free holiday. I just had one of my favorite books released by Muse Publishing and have another to come out next week. Ten years ago, I despaired that my work would never see the light of day. I needn't have worried. By springtime next year, I'll have eleven books out in either print, eBook, or both. Got to get writing again!
SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY came out this month and I know I need to promote it. As I said above, it's one of my favorites. One reason is that I was able in this book to immortalize my dog Molly. She's been gone now for a year and a half, yet she still comes up on my desktop every day as part of a rotating wallpaper. I hope you read Sleeping and get to know her.
Molly was a German Shorthair, and had such a 'can-do' spirit, she amazed everybody who met her. Fast as a Whippet, sharp as a tack, and a true sweetheart, she was my Unsinkable Brown Molly. In the book, she plays a vital role in the storyline and displays her real-life personality. Do dogs have personality? I think they do. I know my dogs do, each with its own unique way of approachinig life on a daily basis.
I mentioned nostalgia. In the book I've utilized several real life characters, changing only their names and enough vital info that they'll not be found out. One such is the woman pastor of the canyon church. Jessie actually did just that, only her name was not Jessie. She was an amazing lady, rich in spiritual values, and just the kind of problem solver my fictitional pastor was. One value of living a rich and varied life is having contact with so many fantastic human beings. After a lifetime of experiences, it makes a writer's work easier. And more fun!
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY is available at or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other eBook outlets. I urge you to take the plunge and give it a go. I think you'll enjoy the story. If you are truly disappointed, let me know and I'll refund your money.
And just think; how else will you ever be able to get acquainted with my Molly?!
Happy reading, everybody. This is my take. What's yours?
Pat Dale

Friday, April 15, 2011

Confession, Question, Promise, and a Change of Pace

First, my confession; as a promoter of my writing, I suck! There you have it in a nutshell. It seems that no matter what I do, it's either not enough, too much, or just boring as hell. Why am I in a snit? My upbringing and my training leads me to be respectful of your time and sensitivities. I don't want to offend anyone so I'm reluctant to take an 'in your face' posture in my writing. (That does not include some of my characters, who do on a regular basis things I'd die before attempting.) I just went through the release of another book and tried for six weeks to leave little snippets that would make you curious enough you'd want to check SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY out. I even offered a free book and a series of free reads. Response: Zero. I'm told that our 'new' social media is the way to go and I'd better get on Facebook, Twitter, etc. ad nauseum if I want to attract a large readership. Oh, really? Does anybody remember MySpace? When it was all the rage, the same things were said of it. Then the 'wave' moved on to each new entity as it ballyhooed its way onto the world stage. Well, I've tried some of these, and I also suck at them. Now for my question. Will somebody, anybody, please check out at least one of my books? I can't help thinking my best advertisement is my work. Read a book and tell someone about it. If you like my writing, tell your friends about it and/or write a review. If you don't like it, please use my email address or my blog address and tell me why you find fault with it. In fact, if you really don't like it, I'll refund your money, subject to my financial abilities. The promise: I will read what you tell me and, if I'm really off, I promise to heed your words. The absolute worst thing I can think of is to feel like I'm talking to myself in a closet somewhere. I want to introduce a change of pace today. Years ago, I fancied myself something of a budding poet. Most of what I put down on paper has long since (mercifully) vanished. But my love affair with words has grown through my maturity and now I write novel-length fiction. I recently pulled up a couple of my oldies, however. After dusting them off, I'd like to share them with you. The first is a poem I wrote during the era of Sputnik. Written in 1959, it foretold the demise of the Soviet Union and their early lead in the race to space.

There spins that shiny top, plaything of man’s creation. It goes unnoticed now by those who pulled the string.

They planed, they worked, the keyword was progress

Which they seemed to make with gallant stride.

But the fate that awaits those who walk, gaze held high,

Pulled them in as it lay at their stumbling feet.

Fly on, O Golden Calf, but as you sail through space,

You are but a speck, a splinter, in all the universe.

The second is an early attempt at expressing humility. Imagine my shock and surprise when a number of my peers charged that I had an overinflated ego and a lot of gall. Perhaps its my use of the word god, but please notice I spell it two ways. Could it be that I was trying to express my spiritual nature? I'll let you be the judge. Let me know what you think. Please?

CREDO Oh that it were, that the god in me, Were somewhere out in space; To be seen by those who, with searching gaze, See little of God in me.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Hi folks,
Yep, this is the day SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY is available at: or on Barnes & Noble,, Smashwords, or other eBook distrubutors. I urge you to get your copy and enjoy.
Meanwhile, I'm guesting on Lois Winston's blogspot today at: and I hope you'll drop by there as well. I have a contest on there but it's not the same one I've got going here. So, without further ado, I'm going to give you the last of the six excerpts I promised. Remember they are not in chronological order and the contest is for you to try to determine what the correct order of the six should be. Send your answers to: and the first correct entry wins a free book from me. Also, every entry will get back by email a free read from my newest romantic comedy. Now, here's the excerpt I promised. After the excerpt, I'll give a hint as to how to win.

She stared into his gorgeous eyes for an eternity that lasted at least five seconds. Then she grabbed his head and brought their lips together with a ferocity that startled him. Startled, but did not put him off.
Kissing, they somehow made their way into the living room. When the sofa bumped against the back of her knees, she dropped onto its soft surface, pulling him down with her. He followed gracefully, landing on the sofa but not on her.
They cuddled for long moments, their kisses tender and intimate while his hands explored under her robe. It would be so easy to make love to him. That was, once she overcame the persistent image of the petite blonde hanging above them. The idea of mating with Dan was right, but the timing was up for grabs.
She was about to bring that question up when they heard a voice from the top of the stairs. “Daddy? Did Ana go home?”
He jumped to his feet, his face a study in panic, as she struggled to get the robe pulled tight. “No, honey,” he answered, “we’re down here talking. Did we wake you?”
“No. I just wanted to tell her how happy I am she’s here with us. She wasn’t in her room.”
Ana spoke up. “That’s sweet of you, Sherry. I’m glad you like me.”
“Can I come down for a while? I’m not sleepy.”
Dan’s agonized expression made Ana giggle quietly. “I don’t think so, sweetheart. It’s late and you still need a lot of rest to get well. We’ll all have a super time tomorrow,” he called up to her.
“Okay. Goodnight, Daddy. Goodnight, Ana. I love you both very much.”
Ana said, “We love you, too, sugar. Goodnight.”
After waiting several minutes, he shrugged. “Do you think she came down here and saw us kissing?”
“I don’t think so. I hope not. Surely if she had she wouldn’t have gone back upstairs to call to us. Would she?”
“Nope. You’re right. But that was close.”
“What if she had?”
“Oh my gosh, I hate to think about it.”
Her spirit shrank as she watched the lusty man who’d melted her heart turn into a frightened pansy. She realized it could have been embarrassing, but if it were right, how much different would it be than if a child walked in on her parents during intimacy?
“If we’re going to do anything like this again, we have to consider the possibility your daughter will find out sooner or later. If that bothers you, we have a problem.”
The look in his eyes confirmed it. They had a problem. He tried to answer but stuttered nonsense. “Okay,” she said. “That answers that. We’re not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot if your face is any indication. Maybe we’d better keep our distance until you can work this out in your mind.”
“Me? In my mind? Come on, Ana, you’re having trouble with this, too.”
“Not the same way you are, apparently. When I commit, I commit for better or worse. I’m not into casual petting, even with the most adorable man I’ve ever known.”
“You think I’m adorable?”
“Among other things. And the most frustrating at the moment.” She paused to give him a pained smile. “But we’ll have to work on it. If you were serious earlier.”
“I was.”
“I can handle that.”
“Ana, I don’t know how this happened but I do know one thing. I love you. I never had an inkling of wanting to be with another woman since Peg. What we just did may have been indiscreet, but it was wonderful.”
She kissed him on the cheek. “Yes. It was. Wonderful.”
“But what?”
“There was a question at the end of your words, Ana.”
“I was stuck on the word indiscreet. What we did was wonderful, but it was not indiscreet. It was our timing that was questionable.”
“Oh,” he said. “Uh, we didn’t go too far, did we?”
“Oh, we went too far all right.”
She giggled. “Not in the way you’re thinking, apparently.”
“You don’t have to worry about kissing me, Dan.”
“I don’t?”
“No. It was just the timing.”
“We’ve already established that.”
“I mean, the timing for us to make love.”
She giggled again. “You say that word a lot.”
“I do?”
“Yes, you do.”
This time they both broke out in soft laughter. He grabbed her into his arms and kissed her again. She responded instinctively. She could tell his body was ready, indelibly ready, to move forward. But his mind wasn’t. Until he resolved her place in the scheme of things, this would be nothing more than an exercise in lust.

Now then, all you have to do is go back to my previous posts and look at the six excerpts. Figure out what order they come in, in the book, and send the number to me in an email to my above address. First one with the right answer gets a print copy of my romantic suspense A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND. Everybody gets a free read from my new romantic comedy THE LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS. I guarantee you'll enjoy reading both of them as well as SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY. And next month, watch for my psychological suspense thriller CROSSED LINES. It's a book you probably won't want to read late at night, but one in which the lady protagonist gets exactly what she wants.
Read, enjoy, enter the contests, and have a great weekend, all.
Pat Dale

Friday, April 1, 2011

Surprise Guest Blog

Well, hello. You’re probably a little surprised to have me here today. Pat asked if I would fill in for him and I was happy to oblige. My name is Anika Henry, call me Ana, and thanks to Pat, my story will be out next week. Oh my God, what a relief!
I’ve been crammed into this guy’s brain for all this time and had begun to wonder if I’d ever see the light of day again. Let me tell you, there are some strange characters creeping around in that man’s head. Some you don’t dare turn your back on, if you know what I mean. Oh, some nice ones too. Don’t get me wrong, I know Pat’s no pervert. Just saying…
Anyway, he asked me to fill you in on what happened in my life before this adventure began. Hmm, that covers a lot of territory since I’m nearly forty. I married the boy of my dreams when he graduated from the Air Force Academy. J.P. (John Paul) and I had known each other since grade school and I watched him grow up into a fine specimen of a man.
I was so proud of him in his dress uniform. Tall and wiry, he was built perfectly for his Air Force mission, flying fighter planes. I’d gone through nursing school and become a registered nurse but since he got transferred quite often, I never worked that much at nursing. Did I love him? Oh yes, I did. I adored watching the boy I’d teased in school grow up to become a manly hero.
Was our marriage idyllic? No, I have to confess it was anything but, but not because I didn’t love J.P. with all my heart. Then, when he was killed in a silly flightline accident, I was left with our son Paul Joseph. I called P.J. Joey and he became the center of my universe. But I still remember the long nights when I’d have given anything to have had a man sleeping beside me.
We’d lived in Arizona when J.P. shipped off to war one time too many, but when he was gone I couldn’t stand the sound of those planes taking off and landing. We moved to Colorado, to Ft. Collins and my first real nurse’s position. It was a lovely place and I thought I’d solved our problems.
Wrong! That’s when my problems really began.
My job at Front Range Hospital was wonderful. Check that. It should have been wonderful. I was assigned to the children’s ward and worked the night shift. It became a way of life to bring a little cheer into the lives of all those kids who found themselves in a strange place at a very bad time in their lives. Within a short time, I’d gained a reputation as the kids’ smiling nurse.
Joey was not so happy. He’d had to leave his friends at the Air Base and at eight, with no school experience in the new town yet, he had no friends. He nagged me into getting him a puppy so he’d have some companionship. Molly is a little German Shorthair pup with such a positive air about her, it’s impossible to be around her and not smile. Now. After she led him out into the street where he was hit and killed by a car, I wished her dead for awhile.
God, thinking back on that gives me shudders! As I already said, he’d become the center of my universe and, with him gone just like that, I had no one to turn to; no place to go. I honestly considered ending it all. But I didn’t follow through. Oh, there was one time later I almost did it again, but that’s part of the story and Pat just came back in and threatened to do bodily damage if I spoil my, uh, his story.
Anyway, now you know something of what happened to me before SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY begins. Enjoy the story; I’m sure you will. Pat may be a taskmaster but he’s one heck of a storyteller as you’ll find out next Friday, April 8th, when Muse Publishing releases ‘our’ story. Happy reading, all!

Hello, folks. I hope you enjoyed hearing from a truly gutsy gal. You're going to love her, I'm sure. Now for the fifth installment of excerpts. Remember, after next week and the sixth one, there will be a CONTEST to see who can guess the correct order of them. Don't worry if you've missed one or two. I've got a hint next Friday that will get you caught up. The winner gets a free paperback copy of my romantic suspense novel, A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND. And everybody who enters will get a free online 'unedited' chapter of a new romantic comedy I'm finishing now. Here's the ex:

Ana was about to step out of the shed when she looked back. The windshield was smudged on the right side. She wedged herself past the side of the car so she could get a better look at the front of it. On the right side, the molded headlight was cracked and there were tiny dark flecks on the fender. When she bent to get a closer look, her breath caught in her throat. Blood!
Old and dried, black with oxidation, but it was definitely blood. On Dan’s car. With a broken headlight. And a slight indentation in the hood above the light.
The combination of the headlight, the blood, and the dent were too much. Her mind rewound the horrible accident where Joey’s body would surely have done this kind of damage as he bounced off the speeding car that killed him. The shed shimmered and went dark.
“Ana! Ana! Please wake up. You’re scaring me!”
She sensed rather than saw the little blonde girl leaning over her where she’d passed out. When her eyes opened, she tried to smile but couldn’t. “I’m sorry, Sherry. The damage on the car reminded me of something.”
“It must have been pretty awful, the way you screamed.”
“I screamed?”
“Enough to scare the elk in the meadow clear to the other side of the mountains. What scared you?”
“Nothing, really. I’m okay now.”
Sherry shook her head. “I don’t think so. You’re white. Are you sick?”
“No, honey. I’m fine. Really. I’ll tell you what it was that scared me, but I’d rather your father be here when I do.”
“Okay. Can we go back outside and play with Molly now?”
“That’s a good idea. You go on and play and I’ll close up the shed.”
She waited until Sherry was out of sight and glanced at the car again, sure it was identical to the one she remembered. But there’s no way it could actually be the car. Could it...

Now if that doesn't get you wondering, nothing will. As you might guess, this is the jumping off place where Ana's life really goes into the tank. 'Nuff for now. Cheers everybody, and happy reading!
Pat Dale