Thoughts about Billie Mattis…

Redheaded, freckle faced Billie Mattis had only one real love in her life, William C. Hawke III. She was five when she had met him and he was nine. As she got older, she knew that his father, W.C. Hawke II and his wife, were somehow involved in commercial real estate and they brought William to visit on varying weekends. Their dads spent their time talking about investments and future projects, things that would help her family’s ranching business and ensure her and her sister’s future. Both their moms spent their time discussing the arts and cooking

But in those early days, from their first weekend together, Billie, her sister Sandy and William occupied their time boating and fishing on their small lakes, and horseback riding. All under the watchful eye of the ranch foreman, of course. But Billie’s playful and fiery personality and temperament preferred to wrestle, to sword fight with sticks or handmade wooden swords, or to race their horses through the wooded sections of the expansive ranch.

As much as a five year old could, Billie had fallen in love with William the first moment she saw him, and had focused every ounce of her attention on him when he was there. But her natural playfulness kept her from calling William by his name, always using a number of almost derogatory nicknames, such as “four-eyes” or her favorite, “double vision.” He had been short for his age, dark hair and glasses.

When she was seven, late in the summer just before school was to start, Billie had broken her leg while they were riding and William had held her on his lap against her squirming while Sandy rode back to the main house for help. After that, she had begun using a different nickname, feeling somewhat glad he had persisted so she would not do further damage to her broken leg.

During those years, Billie’s life was as bright as the sun, effervescent, animated, full of expectations and anticipation, with mostly everything wrapped up in waiting for William’s next visit.

She met him when she was five and he was nine, and lost him when she was ten.

The unbelievable news that he and his parents has died in a car wreck robbed her of everything she held meaningful in her life. It tore at her very soul. Her fantasies of growing up with William and whatever else might come, had suddenly turned morbid and dark. Her interests in school and her other friends had evaporated and her depression had continued for many years, with one brief exception.

When she was twelve, Billie’s mother took her, her sister and a school friend into Chesterfield to a Renaissance Fair and a treat afterwards. They had stopped at a restaurant run by a friend of her mothers and a tall, lean sixteen year old boy that worked there, gave her a tour of the restaurant and challenged her to do better in school, explaining a good education was the only way to get ahead in the world.

Then seventeen years later, with a masters degree in business under her arm and a job with a well-known architectural design firm, Billie had moved back to Chesterfield.

But from that moment on, her life would never be the same again.

 Billie’s story is captured in the three books of the Keeper and His Tiger series, Unexpected Complications (I), Deadly Undercurrents (II), and The Trap (III). It is a story I think you will enjoy.

 I hope you will try them and see for yourself.

Aidan

 

Thoughts about Shara…

This morning I was thinking about a friend of mine, Shara, and the incredible life she has had. I thought I would share a bit of her past in case you should follow it in the Paladin Shadows chronicles.

Shara came about quite by accident, an unexpected bundle in the Smallwood household. She was born in the beautiful, pine covered Riggs Valley in the western United States and raised on her parent’s horse ranch outside of the small college town of Riggin. She was eight years behind her two, planned sisters, both of whom generally ignored her during her years growing up. They left home not under the best of circumstances after quarreling with their mother over things she could not remember. They moved to the lower valley and lived with their great aunt in the town of Hawthorne.

Her father, Henry, was a full blooded Apache, raised on the Antelope Mesa Indian Reservation, a day’s drive north of the Riggs Valley and upon reaching manhood, worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the reservation. On a very auspicious day, giving in to the urgings of a friend, they took an impromptu trip to look for work opportunities farther to the south where the winters might be less harsh. They overnighted in Riggin and the next morning in a café over breakfast, a local resident, Andrew Hawkins and his wife struck up a casual conversation. When Henry responded to their questions that they were passing through on their way to find work. Andrew suggested they come out to their ranch and consider working for them.

Henry arrived at the Hawkins’ ranch and when he was greeted by Andrew’s daughter Clea, something clicked; in that moment, Henry stopped looking for other work.

When Henry and Clea married, Andrew passed the ranch to Clea and she and Henry began building a life of raising and training horses, teaching others to ride and many children the art of competing in rodeos and other horse centered activities.

Shara occupied her childhood engrossed in horses and everything about them. She seldom made friends and by the time she reached high school, had had all she could take of post-pubescent boys. Near the end of her junior year, Shara discovered Jill Thomas, at one of Jill’s older cousin’s birthday parties. Jill was still in middle school, but her engaging, sometimes outrageous personality caught her attention and they soon became fast friends, despite their age difference.

To skip ahead a little, Shara decided against college, instead diving into her horse and rider training activities. She had become very skilled in rodeo competitions, taking her first blue ribbons when she was seven and garnering many more each summer in the years since. Everything was good, until, that is, her grandparents, Andrew and Katherine, died in a car wreck near Clay. Then six months later, her mother suddenly divorced Henry.

Four years later, in the fall of her twenty-eighth year, Shara had returned to her supplementary job, working for the college in their financial records department. That was the fall when her world fell apart for the third time. Her unknown and unexpected talents began to appear and sacred her beyond words and then she discovered her great aunt’s nefarious pastime of enslaving people for the Galactic markets.

It was also the fall that Jill discovered that an elusive, never spoken of relative, Greg Malone, had quietly arrived in Riggin and was working for the same Woods Lumber and Mill that she was.

 

Still here, just been busy…

The past few weeks since I launched this page have been extremely busy. Happily, I can say some of that busy-ness has been writing. I won’t say what I’m working on other than to say one of my series is getting an additional trilogy.

Unlike some of my writing friends, I am not going to set daily or monthly word-count goals. I seem to be able to keep my pace and move my stories along, so I’ll just continue to work with that and see how it goes.

If anyone has any questions, just use the Contact page and drop them my way. I’ll try to address them either with an email or in a future post.  Thanks for visiting – Aidan

 

Announcing Aidan’s Blog Page

For a general, first time use, I have created a blog page to promote discussions between my readers, inquiring visitors and possibly other writers. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, either in general or in response to something I post.

Looking forward to talking with you.