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A cold wind blows through the aspens tonight as I long for you holding me close. Wolves howl out of the darkness as a moose browses lazily with its young, breaking the song of the wind in the trees. The moon reflects in the lake below me and all I see is your face. I sit on the front steps wearing your shirt, one that smells so much of you. The song that was on the radio as you walked out of the door - it seems so long ago – runs through my head.

The fall breeze hits my face, bringing the smell of the pines to me, but all I think of is you. After so many years alone, dreaming of someone to love me the way that I am, you came like a dream with a promise - you by my side - in our cabin deep in the woods with the pines standing guard. Off in the distant horizon I see a storm moving in, the lightening faint at first, but soon becoming jagged pitchforks of light. The cold wind blows my hair behind me and I start to chill. I pull your shirt around me to ward off the night air.

At first I'm mistaken, but no- your headlights are coming up the leaf covered road tunneled in by the trees with their smoky fall colors of red, orange, and yellow. When you stop, you see me in the brilliant flash of lightening as the storm moves closer. The thunder hits as you get out and walk toward me, your boots noisy on the fallen leaves. A wolf howls again calling his pack together as you look me in the eyes. You have seen this so many times before, the look of me alone, the look I had for so long before you came to me with your promise. You pull me close and hold me tight; the chill goes away even though the storm blows against my back.

You know what happens on nights like this as I wait for your return. It has an easy remedy - just you by my side and all is well again - in our cabin deep in the woods with the pines standing guard.

#fiction #freeread

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I should love it, I know. People for decades, centuries even have waxed profoundly on the Green Fairy. It has literary cache. The muse of legendary writers, all the great artist imbibed it, not to mention it's the bad boy of alcohol, among so many was banned. Was it the THC that drove men mad or a bad grape harvest putting the wine-makers up in arms at lost sales? Whatever the reason, for decades people forgot about it as the demon of the alcohol world. It was a world of the hidden, talked about in hushed tones bringing out bottles produced in a handful of distilleries that defied the ban. Easy to drink provided water was added, hallucinations if you were lucky, the muse to artists, the louch as the water hits the green liquid. Posters advertising the drink were seductive, elegant, and beautiful. It has its own language, spoons to rest over the glass to dissolve sugar into the drink with a little water. Or a burning sugar cube if you're really daring. Hemingway had death in the afternoon a mix of champagne and absinthe. In other words I should love it, bottles of pre-ban absinthe are sold for thousands of dollars with ranking like wine. The green has faded into amber and now it's fashionable again. I'm a writer for goodness sake.

So in the days when it was just coming back as the bans dropped in country by country. A lower thujone content that was supposed to be the madness ingredient only, but it was back. Old factories that had once made it dusted off old recipes, new companies started experimenting to recreate a product no one living had made. New and old were suddenly there to buy. My husband wanted to try it, and I did some research, found a small little bottle enough for 8 to 10 glasses maybe, bought one glass and spoon and waited as it came from Czechoslovakia, a beautiful art nouveau bottle capped with red wax. But that would be weeks. Then he got impatient and searched out a local liquor store that carried it. A big gift box with a huge bottle and two glasses and the spoon. Carefully following the proscribed method, about a shot in the stunning little glass, balancing the sugar cube on the delicate spoon over the top and slowly pouring the cold water over the sugar. Like magic the clear green liquid turned a milky greenish white. AND NEITHER OF US LIKED IT. All the talk of wormwood and thujone, it didn't point out that it is for all intents a licorice/anise liquor. This was a bit before the reviews and rankings like wines were there to tell us all that. But it didn't help the fact that we were stuck with a huge bottle of something we couldn't stand. The lure of it had us trapped, we were the perfect people that should have loved it. I'm a writer for goodness sake. The romance, the legend, the muse, the lure, the history, the Green Fairy and we hated it. Once more we tried it, but time didn't help. We gave it away to a friend that liked anise.

A week later the tiny little bottle arrived in a box covered with foreign postage and writing. It sat for years taunting me with its pretty design, its red wax cap untouched still covering the small cork. I finally gave it to someone that would enjoy it a few weeks ago. I just hope I get my bottle back.

#absinthe #history #alcohol

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The list is out for the Chanticleer Somerset Award for contemporary and I'm a finalist!! Its for my manuscript Never turn your back on a wolf, a novel that starts a murder mystery of 4 books set in Montana.

The full list of finalists:

Stormy Weather by Dermot Davis

Mother Teresa’s Advice for Jilted Lovers by Donna Barker

Individually Wrapped by Jeremy Bullian

In Search of Sticks by Randy Kaneen

Opposite of Everything by David Kalish

Cheating the Hog by Rae Ellen Lee

The Devil Wears Scrubs by Freida McFadden

Morning Star by Roger Schick

Surviving 26th Street by Carol June Stover

Sparrows Cannot Catch Me by R. Mursell

Midlife Fanilow by J. M. Holder

The Prodigal by Michael Hurley

Chocolates on the Pillow by Sean Dwyer

Tarnished Hero by Jim Gilliam

How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons by Nicola Pearson

The Botanist’s Daughter by Angela Belcaster

Family Bonds by Kate Vale

Color of Lies by Abbe Rolnick

The Orbiter by Jana Krause

The Fosters, a Novel by C. Alease

Never Turn Your Back on a Wolf by Jennifer Mueller

Take the Pilgrim Road by Frank T. Klus

Saving Faith by Patrick M. Garry

The Apprentice by Jana Barkley

Brain, the Man Who Wrote the Book that Changed the World by Dermot Davis

The winners will be announced later this year at the Chanticleer Book Reviews Awards banquet held in Bellingham.

#writing #chanticleerfinalist #neverturnyourbackonawolf #murder