Monthly Archives: August 2020

Kimberly Baer’s own life holds a kiss of the paranormal

Welcome to Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend, Kimberly Baer!

Kimberly, tell us about your story:

I got the idea for the story after my car keys disappeared from my purse and turned up an hour later—in my purse! Meanwhile, a bunch of people had been walking around looking for them, so it was pretty humiliating to admit that I’d found the keys in my purse. I didn’t want to believe I’d been stupid enough to overlook them during my multiple searches, so I decided that some supernatural entity had pranked me by hiding my keys. (Have you ever had something disappear and later turn up in a place where you’d already looked? Don’t rule out gremlins, demons, or ghosts. Just sayin’.) Later it occurred to me that a supernatural purse might be an interesting premise for a novel.

I guess you could say I’m no stranger to paranormal happenings. For starters, my mother is psychic. You simply cannot surprise that woman. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I visited her and said, “Guess what? I’m pregnant, and the baby is due in June.” Without a word, she led me into the kitchen, reached behind her refrigerator, and pulled out a note she had magneted back there. The note said, “Kim pregnant, due in June.” There’s no logical way she could have known that. My husband and I hadn’t told a soul we were trying for a baby.

Another time, I said to her, “Guess what we just got?” It could have been anything—a new car, a pet aardvark, a foreign exchange student. She said, “A piano?” And she was exactly right! In both cases, she said she just knew somehow.

Supernatural purses and psychic moms notwithstanding, the strangest thing that ever happened to me concerns a calendar—one that predicted my husband’s death. Sounds creepy, right? And yet for me it’s been nothing but comforting. In fact, that calendar is my most prized possession. You can read about it on my blog: I’m really curious to find out what others think—creepy or comforting?

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That old denim purse Libby Dawson bought at the thrift store isn’t your run-of-the-mill teenage tote. It’s a bag of secrets, imbued with supernatural powers. Strange items keep turning up inside, clues to a decades-old mystery only Libby can solve.

Filled with apprehension and yet intrigued by the mounting pile of evidence, Libby digs for the truth. And eventually finds it. But the story of the purse is darker than she imagined—and its next horrific chapter is going to be all about her.

Book trailer for The Haunted Purse

Excerpt from The Haunted Purse:

Toni asked, “Do you think we should tell my mom about the purse?”

“No,” I said. I wasn’t ready to trust an adult. Not even Toni’s mom, nice as she was. “Your mom is like you,” I added. “Practical. It would take a long time to convince her there’s something supernatural going on.”

We went back to watching the purse. There was a moment when I thought I saw it twitch, but that might have been my imagination.

“You could always get rid of it,” Toni said. “You know, donate it back to the thrift store.”

I considered that. “I could. But I don’t want to. Not yet, anyway. This purse is the coolest thing I’ve ever owned. I want to find out more about it. I want to see what it does next.”

She took her eyes from the purse long enough to glance at me. “Aren’t you afraid it’ll crawl into your bed some night and strangle you with its straps?”

“No. I think it’s trying to get my attention. It’s trying to tell me something.”

“Like what?”

I didn’t have a clue.



Sci-fi romance is the genre for our time

Welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend JL Peridot!

When I tell people I write sci-fi romance, they mostly look at me confused. I’ve often wondered if it may have something to do with science fiction sometimes being thought of as a “boys’ genre”, where romance is a “girls’ genre”. These labels would be wildly inaccurate, of course, but stereotypes are stereotypes and they take a long time to change.

chasing-sisyphus-800But I love a good love story in a sci-fi setting. For example, the simmering tension between Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) and Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) in The Orville. That maybe-but-not-quite second chance romance opportunity adds a spicy and relatable flavour to the challenges faced when exploring the boundaries of technology and humanity.

The tragically satisfying love story in James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes, between Detective Miller and Julie Mao, comes to mind as well. It’s odd, sure, and not the usual romance by any stretch (whether you’d call it a “happily ever after” is questionable). But by the end of the book, I found it powerful enough to rival some of the best love stories I’ve ever read. Here we are in this otherworldly place in a time and universe we can’t quite fathom, and yet this universal, eternal experience of love still binds us to each other and makes us who we are.

Sometimes they ask, why sci-fi? If it’s a human story you’re telling, why is it necessary to put it in a science fiction world? But to me, that’s like asking why anyone should tell a story at all.

Science fiction stories are our stories. Phase-shifted, perhaps, and detailed a bit differently, but ours nonetheless. The modern world is full of technology and it’s changing all the time. To deny that we’re already living and falling in love within a sci-fi universe (of sorts) is to take for granted the journey mankind has been on since the dawn of time.

Whether in space, on a distant planet, or aboard an incomprehensibly decked-out spaceship, sci-fi love stories are my favourite way to explore our humanity within the context of a mysterious and evolving world.

_headshot-JL-PeridotAbout JL Peridot

JL Peridot writes futuristic love stories and more from a tiny apartment in present-day Western Australia. Her 2017 debut novel, Chasing Sisyphus, is an action-adventure romantic suspense about a bounty hunter with a heart and the cop who stole it from her.

Subscribe to JL’s mailing list for periodic updates, teasers, free reads and banter.






Thank you, Lyndi, for having me on your blog! ❤️

Chasing Sisyphus by JL Peridot

Bounty hunter Adria Yuan is hot on the trail of her final hit: a notorious hacker wanted by the city’s elite. With the reward, she can pay for her brother’s surgery and finally get out of Basilica City. Trouble is, her line of work’s not exactly legal, and she’s barely staying ahead of the cops who want her target, too.

Detective Rhys Carver may be a little unorthodox, but he’s a good cop. Born and bred in Basilica, he does his part to keep his city clean. As clean as it gets, at least. And with Adria suddenly in his sights, it’s going to take more than falling in love for him to let her go.

As the pair close in on their mark, they are unwittingly drawn into a high profile conspiracy that could thrust the whole of Basilica into chaos. Can Adria and Rhys set aside their differences, and their desires, to save the only home they know?

Check out Chasing Sisyphus, book one of the Basilica Conspiracy series.


Adventure strikes even ‘ordinary’ lives

Welcome to Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend, Marilyn Barr!!

“Pick a direction,” my then-boyfriend now-husband would say.

In the year 2000, Ada Ohio (population 5582 people on the 2000 census including 3000 Ohio Northern University students) had two stoplights and just as many places to date.  My spouse and I bonded in our mutual dislike of partying which gave us even less to do on Ohio Northern University’s campus.  On Saturdays with good weather, he would ask me to meet him in the school parking lot and then to pick the direction we were driving.  We carried no maps, cell phones, baggage, plans, or worries.

Our first trip was driving south along highway 235 from Ada to Dayton.  With the sunroof open on his Honda Civic, we felt like the world was ours.  We sang to the music he had burned onto CDs in the chemistry lab, as the car sailed through cornfields and one-stoplight towns.  Our first stop was playing around Kiser Lake and reading under a tree in the adjacent state park.  Never mind the bug spray, swimsuits, or sunblock, we were young and invincible.  Next, was a stop for ice cream in New Carlisle, Ohio (population 5735 people) at the C&J Dairy Aisle & Pizza roadside stand.  To this day, we regret not trying the pizza.

As we got closer to civilization, we went to Bookery in Fairborn, Ohio (population 32, 414 in 2000).  The ground floor is divided into three stores where the register, rare vintage books, and expensive new release books were located.  Along the back wall, expensive comics were in glass cases but space underneath them was dedicated to dollar comic back issues.  Piles of white cardboard boxes provided hours of hunting for treasure for my spouse.  I would venture down into the basement which was filled floor to ceiling with all genres of paperbacks jumbled together but the authors were in alphabetical order in a dazzling array of colors and sizes.  We each left with a hefty stack of reading material costing less than a tank of gas.

We visited the outdoor exhibits of the National Museum of the US Airforce.  We didn’t have the money for the admission fee, but we didn’t care.  (Remember the bookstore?)  My now-husband took some of my favorite photos of us playing beside the planes surrounding the museum.  The big city of Dayton (population 161,696 in 2000) proved too rich for our pockets so we traveled north again.  After watching a perfect sunset on Indian Lake, we returned to Ohio Northern University to eat in the cafeteria on our meal-plan and enjoy our books.  When asked why we never “had any fun”, we would smile at each other like Bonnie & Clyde.

Over twenty years later, my husband asked me to travel south again to places unknown.  Our sudden move to small-town Kentucky is the basis for my debut novel, Bear with Me.  Will Grant’s dream job opportunity turn out to be a nightmare for the couple looking for a new town, a fresh start…


Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.

She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community.

She would love to hear from readers via her website:

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      “You look perfect. I mean perfectly healthy. I mean mostly uninjured,” she stammers. She places her tiny hand over her eyes.

Feeling braver than ever, I walk right up to her. I gently remove the hand from her face and hold it to my own. “See, I’m fine,” I whisper as I gently rub my thumb over her tiny knuckles.

Her eyes lift to mine and lock our gazes. I have always found the golden color of her eyes fascinating but never studied them up close. They are light brown with a golden star in the middle. I am literally star gazing as she takes in the injuries to my face. We stand there for about a minute, lost in time.

I wonder if she is thinking about when we first started dating, the hard times that followed, the present, or the future. I search her face for clues but don’t want to break the spell by opening my mouth. I decide to put said mouth to better use by lowering my head toward hers.


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Lucky number 13? Learn about the 13th zodiac sign with Jeny Heckman

Welcome to Lyndi’s Adventurous Friends author Jeny Heckman!

Hi all, and thank you so much for joining me today! Also to the delightful Ms. Alexander, my sincerest appreciation for having me on your site today.

Okay, as an author of the Greek god, Heaven & Earth series, you’d think I’d know the zodiac, and actually, I thought I did. However, last week I discovered there’s a thirteenth zodiac! Did you know that? In 2016, NASA explained that when the zodiac was created 3,000 years ago, they wanted the star constellations to correspond with the months on the calendar.

However, there were thirteen constellations and only twelve calendar months. Which constellation did they chuck out? Ophiuchus (oh-FEW-kuss). Not only did that happen but the earth’s axis no longer points in the same direction anymore. So, in fact, we all have different ranges regardless of this four-year-old find.

Mind blown yet? Want to know what the new astrological dates are? Check it out and see if you are the same! Capricorn: Jan. 20 to Feb. 16 – Aquarius: Feb. 16 to March 11 – Pisces: March 11 to April 18 – Aries: April 18 to May 13 – Taurus: May 13 to June 21 – Gemini: June 21 to July 20

Cancer: July 20 to Aug. 10 – Leo: Aug. 10 to Sept. 16 – Virgo: Sept. 16 to Oct. 30 – Libra: Oct. 30 to Nov. 23 – Scorpio: Nov. 23 to Nov. 29 – Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 to Dec. 17 – Sagittarius: Dec. 17 to Jan. 20

Ophiuchus means “serpent bearer,” and I recently found out that my birthday, December 6th, falls smack in the middle of this new sign. Apparently, as an Ophiuchan, I’ll move through life with authority’s favor. However, I won’t blindly follow authority (shocker for those that know me), I’m thirsty for knowledge and wisdom (check), and have a flamboyant sense of style (check, check)! My new lucky number is apparently twelve, and I’m a true visionary. Those with the sign of Ophiuchus are passionate and have a wicked temper (and I thought it was the red hair). They are introverts and will shun you if they mistrust you (yawp). Do not get on their bad side!

I must admit, aside from being a true traveler (Sagittarius, my old sign), this sign does have me somewhat nailed. Did your zodiac change?

My series, Heaven & Earth, are about the Greek gods. How do the Greek gods and the zodiac connect? Many of the stories and legends from Greek mythology are illuminated in the stars. Some stars or constellations were name to venerate a particular god or even mortal that did something extraordinary.

Are you more like your old sign or this new one? If you want to learn more type in your zodiac sign and Greek mythology and see what comes up. I’d love to hear your discoveries!

Thank you so much for spending time with me today!


Colton Stone is a newly traded tight end whose reputation is as battered as his football helmet. When he receives a vacation invitation from his new teammates, he accepts. There he collides with Dr. Lillian Morgan, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, and doesn’t know what to think.

A widow with two children, Lilly is looking forward to her friends’ wedding. When she meets Colton Stone, his arrogant attitude only makes her long for the love she took for granted. Lilly struggles between letting go of her perfect past for an uncertain future.

Strange events occur, out of the realm of normal consciousness. When black energy touches their world Colt and Lilly become the pawns of the immortal Greek gods. Is the love developing between them natural, or part of a larger prophecy?



“You couldn’t have known,” Colt said.

“I’m a doctor,” she retorted. “I’m trained to know.”

“Oh, bullshit.” She drew her brows together and looked at him with irritation. Undaunted, he continued. “You were his wife, not his doctor.” Glancing back at the picture, he drank from his glass. “He was a young guy…looked fit…father of two.” Colt turned to look at her again. “Young, fit, fathers of two don’t get stage four pancreatic cancer and die in ten months. He wasn’t your patient, Lillian, and you weren’t looking at him like a patient. He was your husband, and he died.”

“Colt.” She took a breath, placed a hand on his, and backed up a little. “Look, I know you want something, but we’re broken here, and I can’t give you what you…”


“It’s not bullshit. It’s how I feel. I’ve got kids to think about and responsibilities. You want easy and I’m not that.”

“You don’t even know me, Lilly.”

“I know. That’s what I’ve been trying to say.”

“No, that’s what you’re trying to use as an excuse. Those kids aren’t damaged because of their dad, you are. Those kids have a mom who loves them and makes damn sure they aren’t damaged. You’re afraid to try, so you hide behind your dead husband.”

“How dare you be so callous?”

“How dare you use your husband to get out of trying again? You’re a beautiful, intelligent woman and your life isn’t over.”

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Author Bio:

Award-winning author, Jeny Heckman, was born in Bellingham, Washington, and was the youngest of two daughters. She met her husband, Jeff, in August 1992, and eloped three months later, at Magen’s Bay, on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

She wrote her first book, the Catch, in a few short months but took several years before she gained the courage to self-publish it at her son’s urging, and her love for writing began.

In 2018, Jeny knew her next project would be a series that showed adults could have adventures in the paranormal-fantasy genre too. So, she created the Heaven & Earth series, a story of doomed Greek gods and their only salvation, their modern-day descendants. Her first book of the series, the Sea Archer, was immediately picked up by the New York publishing house, the Wild Rose Press, and won, “Best in Category” from the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards.

In the year 2020, Jeny released, Dancing Through Tears, a short story from the anthology, Australia Burns: Volume Two, highlighting the Route 91 massacre from the perspective of one family at the concert, and at Mandalay Bay. She also intends to release, the Warrior’s Progeny, and Dee’s Cornucopia, in 2020, continuing the Heaven & Earth Series.

Jeny lives in Washington State with her husband of over twenty-eight years.

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It’s good to be the queen — #MFRWHooks

At her friend’s coaxing, Jelani tries on a glass slipper left lying on the sidewalk. When she steps into the shoe, it shatters, cutting her foot. As blood trickles to the pavement and mingles with the broken glass, dozens of two-inch high creatures emerge and then scurry away into the shadows. Soon she is approached by two mysterious and handsome men claiming to be elves who need her help to rescue their queen. More revelations come, threatening to unravel the life of this sassy barista from Missoula, Montana. Jelani must learn to accept that elves are real and living in the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains.

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Jelani opened her eyes and discovered a different world.

She and Daven had come up a single trail that led to the area. Now, as she looked behind them, she could see a dozen imprints snaking across the grass around them. The deer, the elk, even rabbits left distinctive marks and patterns on the green blades that made it clear to her what had stepped there. She looked behind to see her own footprints, heavy and destructive, plants crushed under the weight of her boot. Daven’s passing was marked only by a shadow on the grass that faded as she watched.

But that wasn’t all. Her new sight revealed patterns in the trees, many of them set close together to create small enclosures. Looking up, she saw gossamer platforms extending between the branches, the elves on them hardly noticing her below through the nearly opaque walls of their chambers. For the first time, she saw elf children. Their tinkling laughter lifted her spirit.

“Kids? There were kids out here the whole time?”

Daven smiled, raising a hand to the curious toddler above, whose attention had now been captured. She laughed and scattered a handful of flower petals over them. “We didn’t all come out of a glass slipper, you know. We procreate much as humans do.”

She considered the view, looking around her. As her eyes adjusted, she noticed other dwellings in the trees around them. Surely their walls were like those of the Circle chambers, diaphanous but sturdy with magic, keeping out the elements. Even so… She winced as the small ones ran in what seemed to be open space, awaiting their death-defying tumble to the ground. But of course, magic kept them safe.

“You just live in the open? Just hang out?” She shuddered. “I don’t think I could do that.”

“We did not believe you would. That’s why we have created a special place for our new queen.”

They continued into the woods to the foot of a Douglas fir so tall it hurt her neck to crane back to see the top. Astan waited there to meet them, a warm smile on his face.

Her eyes narrowed at the negative thought that came to mind, even though she couldn’t believe Astan would be involved with something that could hurt her. “You’ll shove me in a tree, like my mother?”

“Of course not, denami,” Astan said. “This is specially created for you-for us.” He gestured at the trunk. “Look closely.”

She eyed the rugged bark, suspicious, but saw at last the outline of a door and three dots spaced closely together. When she reached for the dots, she found them separated by an interval that comfortably matched her fingertips. Contact gave her fingers a little tingle, then the trunk split open without the crack or noise she expected, the two sides raising and separating.

“Come into our home,” Astan said softly, taking her hand. They entered the opening to discover a small cottage of several rooms, complete with windows.

“Now, wait a minute,” she said, stepping out to examine the trunk of the tree, no more than four feet across. She looked back inside at the roomy space, which held several chairs, a small table, and some cabinets. A fireplace was laid out, but not burning. An open space in the back hinted at a bedroom. “How did you do this?”

“We want to make our queen happy,” Daven said. “Welcome, Jelani.”

She could hardly believe what she saw. The space reminded her of something Snow White might have stumbled upon in the woods. Except, of course, this was elves. “Is this the only house like this? Just for us?”

“No,” Astan said. “Others exist, but none are quite so suited to humans. The Circle has gone to some length to keep your comfort in mind.”

Grateful at the concern for her well-being, she’d marveled at the creation, her one frown prompted by the fireplace. “You want me to burn a fire inside a tree? That seems counter-productive somehow. Even if we wouldn’t die from smoke inhalation.”

A laugh burst from Daven, amusement flickering in his eyes. Shaking his head, he patted her on the shoulder. “You are quite right, Jelani. Burning an actual fire in this enclosure could be dangerous to you, and the tree as well. One of the elders has left you some flash dust.”

He demonstrated the use of the gift by opening a small glass box on the mantel. Inside was some nondescript powder that looked like well-dried ash. He said a few words in elvish and tossed a pinch of the powder onto the hearth and a fire appeared.

“Whoa.” Jelani stared at the flames, then came near. No smoke came from the fire, and heat came only as high as the fireplace enclosure. While the room warmed perceptibly, the heat faded as it approached the walls formed by the trunk of the tree that housed her.

More magic.

“You’re going to teach me that abracadabra part, right?”

Daven crossed his arms and studied her. “I’ll teach you all the magic you can learn, my queen.”

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