wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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A Crabby Chapter from a Free Book

I know it’s a lot of reading, but I’ve put a chapter from my novel “The Wind Weeps” here, below the photo of these wonderful dungeness crabs the Captain brought home yesterday.

The chapter tells a bit about how the crabs can be caught and cooked, but it also shows the dark side of Robert’s abusive character and Andrea’s response to it.

The part about how to pick up the crabs comes directly from my own experience, but the rest is fiction.

You can find the novel “The Wind Weeps” on amazon and on smashwords.com. Just click on the book cover image at the side of the post or visit my web page at http://www.anneli-purchase.com

The e-book is still FREEEEEEEE. Sequels of this coastal novel (“Reckoning Tide” and “Marlie”) are also available.

 


Chapter 44

“I’m going to pull the crab rings. You coming?” Robert was friendly. You’d think yesterday hadn’t happened.

“No thanks. I don’t think I’d be much help. I’d only be in the way.” And I have no desire to go out in the skiff with you again. Ever!

“Well, at least put some water on to cook the crabs.”

I slammed a big pot of water on the woodstove to heat up. I grabbed the binoculars and watched him. Maybe he’d get caught in the coils and fall overboard. He stopped the boat by the farthest marker, reached for the float and started pulling the line in, coiling it in the bottom of the skiff as it came over the side. When the ring came up, he set it on the seat in front of him and gingerly grasped the two crabs that were now trying to clamber out of the netting. He tossed them into a bucket in the front of the skiff. He repeated the process with the closer ring, this time pulling up three crabs. After tossing them into the bucket as well, he pried loose a starfish that had settled on the fish-head bait and chucked it back into the water. With the second ring securely on board, Robert scooted the boat over to the dock again. I threw down the binoculars and tried to look busy as he came in the door.

“Put that pot of water on the propane stove now. Set it up on the porch or it’ll stink up the house. I’ll have those crabs ready to throw into it in a few minutes. Lots of salt in the water?”

“A good handful,” I said. “Is that enough?” He nodded and went back to the dock.

Once I had the water set up, I watched him tear the shells off the live crabs and crack their backs on the edge of the dock, breaking the bodies in two. Then he leaned over the float, swished out their guts in the water, and put the halved bodies in another pail.

“Get me another crab out of the bucket, will you?”

I reached in to pick one up, but it turned its beady black eyes on me and stood up on its back legs, front claws open, ready to do battle.

“Ah … er … how do I pick it up without losing a finger?”

“From behind. Like this.” Robert reached in and picked it up. “Fingers on top, thumb underneath. That way they can’t reach your fingers with their claws.” He tossed it back into the bucket and said, “Okay, go ahead.”

I started to reach in and again, the crab stood up tall on its back legs, holding its claws towards me. I turned my hand this way and that, trying to picture how to pick it up. Thumb on top, fingers underneath. Or was it fingers on top and thumb underneath? I made a move towards the crab and it went into action facing off with my hand whichever way I planned to grab it.

“Oh …” I wailed. “I can’t do it.”

Robert easily picked up the crab. I thought now he’d be angry again but he was trying to hide a smile. I took that as my cue to get away while I could.

“I’ll go check on that water.”

It was a brutal business, boiling a potful of live crabs even in halves, but later, when I tasted them, I forgot all about that, and how intimidating they had been when still alive. We laid the cooked crab on old newspapers on the porch to let them get a good chill. That didn’t take long in the December air.

“They’re really meaty this time of year,” Robert said, wiping at the crab juice that dripped down his chin.

“You mean they aren’t always?” I picked at the meat of a claw using the small end of one of the crab’s own legs.

“They stop eating when it’s time to molt and grow new shells in summer and early fall. While the new shell is still soft, the crab hasn’t grown enough to fit into it yet. They aren’t as meaty then as they are later.”

I let Robert tell me all about it. He liked showing off his knowledge. I had to feed that need for my own sake; keep him happy.

“I bet even millionaires don’t get to eat this much crab at once.”

“And for sure not as fresh as these.” Robert reached across and wiped my cheek. “You had a bit of crab flake there.” He smiled.

“My wrists are dripping with crab juice.” I dried my hands on some paper towel and picked up a piece of garlic bread.

“This is great bread,” Robert said with his mouth full. “Really good. I didn’t know you could bake bread.”

I almost said, “Janine taught me,” but swallowed the words quickly. Janine had baked goods for the restaurant at Hope Bay. I didn’t want to turn our thoughts back to that time. “Yup. I can,” I said lightly. “You like it?”

“Fantastic. Goes perfect with this gourmet crab feast.”

After the last crab leg was picked clean we pushed away from the table, groaning.

“That was good,” he said, “but I’m so stuffed, I never want to eat crab again.”

“Yeah, me neither.” I laughed. “Till next time.”

 


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A Matter of Thyme

Enjoy a Mystery and Support a Good Cause

My guest today is Douglas Logan, author of “A Matter of Thyme.”

Doug is a management consultant, facilitator, public speaker, Rotarian – and long-time author of reports and plans.

One day, having just finished writing a lengthy document on innovation, he went for a walk to clear his head. As he did, it occurred to him that not all the words he put to paper had to be so dry.

“Maybe I need to broaden my horizons,” he thought. “What if there was a mystery to be solved?” So, he sat at his keyboard to see just what kind of mystery might need solving. A Matter of Thyme was the result.

 

 

A cold, foggy night. The dead body of a well-respected principal is discovered lying frozen on the highway. He drowned and it’s obvious something untoward has happened. But after several months the police know nothing more than this, and still can’t explain how his corpse came to rest on the cold hard pavement.

Frustrated and impatient with the lack of progress, the victim’s sister asks Justin Thyme for help. Once a highly talented investigator, Thyme has been forced out of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by the sudden onset of PTSD. Unemployed and living alone he’s learning to control his illness and carve out a new life for himself.

Thyme is at first reluctant to get involved. But encouraged by close friends, he accepts the offer and begins to untangle the mystery and learn more about his new self.

Available at:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.ca/Matter-Thyme-Douglas-Logan/dp/1999018605/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+matter+of+thyme&qid=1564678756&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-matter-of-thyme

And iBooks on your Apple device.

 

AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

 

The Rotary Club of Halifax Harbourside On-Line will invest proceeds from sales of A MATTER OF THYME in women striving to build better lives for themselves, their families and communities.

According to the World Bank, the best investment we can make in developing countries is to support women’s labour force and business participation.

 

EARTH SHATTERING CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

Once a month for the next six months the author is giving away a free signed copy of A Matter of Thyme! 

To win your copy, all you need to do is to answer a skill testing question! People who answer correctly will have their name entered in a draw held at the end of each month.

This month’s draw will take place Saturday, August 31.

But wait! There’s more!

At the end of the sixth month, there will be a second draw from all entries received over the six months. That winner of that draw will have the right to have their name used for one of the key characters in the next Justin Thyme mystery, tentatively titled No Thyme for Crying!

What could possibly be more exciting?!

So, let’s get started!

 

Since the Rotarians are using proceeds from sales to invest in women in developing countries, their first skill testing question is Rotary related:

What is the name of the person responsible for starting Rotary International?

Send your answers to Thyme@bell.net

Good luck!

And don’t forget to share this with your friends! In fact, share like crazy!

 


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Power: A Passion Patrol Novel

Another great book by Emma Calin has just hit the market. It is just as thrilling and awesome as her previous eight police passion novels. You really have to check it out.  

Emma Calin doesn’t just take it easy on the beach. She is busy writing steamy suspense romance stories.

Power’ is the 9th title in the ‘Passion Patrol Series’.

Each story in the series introduces one of Emma Calin’s sassy female cops.  These tough police officers are as passionate about solving crime and locking up the bad guys, as they are about the men they love.

Every book features a different crime episode, with villains to be caught. Threaded through the mystery, our heroine meets and falls for the love of her life, but not without obstacles and dilemmas along the way. Cops from earlier stories make appearances in later books,  as they progress up the career ladder. Knowledge of their stories is not necessary and the books can be read in any order.

And here’s a treat for you! The first book in the series is FREE (‘Guilt‘). This story highlights the adventures in crime and love of a dog-handler, Helen Marx and her trusty K9 partner, Lanza.  (LINK: https://emma-calin-author.lpages.co/download-from-from-giveaway/).

The newest title, ‘Power‘ tells of a young rookie cop, Olivia. She encounters visiting American congressman, Jackson T. Paine during a violent incident on the streets of London. Their attraction is strong but he’s a high profile guy, earmarked as a future president and their relationship is unlikely to succeed.  Controversy is rife as rivals try to smear this presidential contender.  Scandals that also smear Olivia and compromise her position, result in a change of role within the police. These crooks at the heart of power are determined and will use any means to spoil his campaign, ruin his image and remove him as a candidate – even if that means death.  But he of course has the ultimate weapon – a woman in love.  Read this book to feel the victory of the human heart.

Here is the typical setting for one of the planned attacks on Jackson’s life. Who would expect assassins to be lurking just around the corner? As you read the story, you’ll be right there with Olivia as she does her “hero” thing to save the life of the man she has come to love and admire.

You’ll love this book!

Buy direct from author:  https://emma-calin-author.lpages.co/power-landing-page-01/ Universal link to buy from a choice of online book sellers (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple etc.):  http://books2read.com/PPPower

The launch editions of ‘Power’ include a link at the back of the book to a giveaway draw – with a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 or equivalent Amazon Gift Card.

 


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Three Cheers for the Weather – “Raw! Raw! Raw!”

I thought it was pretty at first, the way the fog rolled in over the bay and completely hid the water from view.

Foolish girl!

It rolled onto the lower beach areas and the land close to the water.

Smugly, I thought, “How pretty it looks, and how lucky am I to be living on higher ground in the clear blue sky.”

But pride comes before the fall. You might be able to see the mist lifting ever so slightly, rising up, looking for me.

Here it comes…

and here it stays, full of tiny droplets of ice water that almost freeze the air.

Carl Sandburg’s Chicago poem, “Fog,” made an impression on me the first time I heard it. He says it so simply, so “on the mark,” and with beautiful imagery.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

But …

I’m sorry, Carl. I find that very often, the last line of your poem doesn’t work for me, so I’ve had to change it.

 

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and stays and stays and stays and stays and stays… .

Anneli Purchase


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The Wild Winds Weep

The wild winds weep

And the night is a-cold

Come hither, Sleep,

And my griefs unfold.

I wish I could claim this poem as my own creation, but I can’t. It is from a poem called “Mad Song,” by William Blake.

I was quite taken by this poem when I wrote my first novel of a coastal drama in which the wild weather played a significant role. That is why I used “The Wind Weeps” as my title.

I’m not trying to persuade you to click on the book cover image at the side for the free download of that book, but if you do, remember book two, “Reckoning Tide.”

It’s just that today the weather is so wild. The wind is crying out there,  whipping up the waves, just as it is in parts of my book.

Driving past Point Holmes on my way home from shopping, I stopped to take a few pictures. I had to hang onto the car door tightly so it wouldn’t rip off. A torn rotator cuff on a person is painful, but on a car door it would be  expensive  – so, also painful in a way.

It takes  a good stiff wind to give these waves foaming, frothy tops. In the photo below you can see a smooth line near the bottom of the picture. That is the paved boat launch ramp. No one is using it today for obvious reasons. No way I’d want to be tossing around in a small boat out there.

Even the little songbirds were looking for shelter. They swarmed in small clouds to and from the beach. Some flew in to land on the rocks and logs, but my photo doesn’t show the tiny birds well. I enlarged the photo to have a look (as you may be able to do by clicking on it), and I counted at least twelve small birds. It’s a tough time for them.

Those mountains in the distance should be clear and sharp. It is only around noon, but the sky is dark and full of raindrops flying sideways so the far shore is fuzzy and the mountains just a haze.

It’s too stormy out there for me. I think Emma has the right idea.

DSCN9323


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West Coast Travels

At the end of the fishing season this past summer, the Captain was ready to head home.  A new phase of the adventure begins with the rising sun.

Along the way home, he stops to check out this little building. You would never guess that inside this shack is a pleasant surprise.  A cemented enclosure fills with warm water through a  pipe from hotsprings behind the cabin. Step inside and have a soak to take the ache out of your bones.

The falls at the head of Lowe Inlet splash relentlessly. Except for the odd raven chuckling in the treetops, the rush and gurgle of the water are the only sounds. If you think you might want to try casting a dry fly towards a coho, be sure to take your bear spray with you – just in case.

 Need a warm cabin for drying out those wet clothes? This Fisheries cabin at Lowe Inlet, aptly named the Lowe Budget Hotel,  is very cozy after the Captain has spent some time trying his luck fishing in the cold mist of the falls. 

He remembers to follow the rules about the woodstove, posted on the wall. Don’t want to risk burning the cabin down.

Almost there. Running the boat down Grenville Channel.  Beautiful trip but there’s no place like home.

Meanwhile at home, I’ve been writing, and thinking about my fictitious character, Andrea, who has had an experience that seems bizarre at first. But in truth, this has happened to other women who have ventured out to the coast.

How did a city girl like her became trapped in an isolated cabin on this remote coast? Will she ever escape this lonely place where she must live with a man who is mentally deranged?

You can download The Wind Weeps (FREE), and then you can find out the conclusion in a sequel, Reckoning Tide, that is only $2.99. When did you last get so much enjoyment and entertainment for such a small price?

Why not get them both today at amazon.com or amazon.ca and smashwords.com?

You can find them all with supporting reviews at my website www.anneli-purchase.com


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Orchid Obsession

My friend Ariane and I went to a nursery in Puyallup, Washington, today. Their orchid display was beautiful. I had left my camera behind, but thankfully, she had her Iphone with her and took these photos for me.

The amazing thing about orchids is that they come in such a variety of colours, shapes, and designs, and yet they are still all part of the orchid family.

The antagonist in my novel “The Wind Weeps” is a disturbed man. One of his quirks is an obsession with orchids. These flowers are expensive and perhaps he thought he could “win the girl” by impressing her with a bouquet of orchids. They are not flowers that lend themselves to making a bouquet, but does he care? They are expensive and will impress her, he thinks.

In spite of the man’s obsession with orchids, I still love these flowers.

By the way, if you want to download the e-book of “The Wind Weeps,” it is free for Kindle on amazon (just type in the title) and also on smashwords.com if you have an e-reader other than Kindle.

Very important:

The sequel to The Wind Weeps is called Reckoning Tide (also available at amazon and at smashwords). At $2.99, it won’t break the bank, but it will break the spell and tell you what the ultimate ending will be.

Read them and find out the fate of the disturbed man with the orchid fetish.