RUBICON RANCH: RILEY’S STORY — Chapter 5: Mary “Moody” Sinclair — by JJ Dare

Moody’s nose hurt.

And, she was scared.

For the past seven years, psychologist Mary “Moody” Sinclair had been used to the moist cool air of the coastal town of Winnington Bay, Washington. The dry desert air of Rubicon Ranch sucked the moisture out and left her feeling like she was breathing in tiny sand particles. The scratchiness in her nose added to all the other hurts she had suffered over the past year.

One error in judgment had cost Moody her license to practice. When conventional ADHD treatments had not helped eight-year old Chad Monroe, in a moment of self-doubt and slight panic Moody had opted for a new-age radical binding technique.

All had been going well for Moody and Chad’s parents until Chad started to convulse. Epilepsy had not shown up in any of the boy’s medical tests. Everyone, including the coroner, was left with the question: did the tight binding treatment create the epilepsy or was the epilepsy dormant until the binding triggered it?

The humiliation of the trial and its resultant three-month prison sentence added to the hurts Moody had already suffered for her part in killing Chad Monroe. It wasn’t entirely her fault, though. When the boy began to convulse, too many hands had tried to loosen the thick rope wrapped around his small body like a cocoon.

After three months in Fendleton’s Women’s Prison, Moody had been given court permission to return to her father’s home in Rubicon Ranch. When the judge realized who Moody’s father was and where Rubicon Ranch was located, he sarcastically told Moody she might wish to stay at Fendleton rather than move to another type of prison.

Click here to read the rest of the chapter: http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/chapter-5-mary-“moody”-sinclair-by-jj-dare

***

Rubicon Ranch is a collaborative and innovative crime series set in the fictional desert community of Rubicon Ranch and is being written online by authors of Second Wind Publishing.

Advertisements

False World by JJ Dare

The second book in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy continues where False Positive ends as Joe continues his mission to destroy those who have destroyed his life. As the world changes, Joe’s search for justice takes on a global urgency and he races to find answers before deadly answers find him. 

Beginning in a secluded town in the middle of nowhere, it is not long before Joe is traveling across the country and, ultimately, across a collapsing world on his quest for vengeance. 

The world is not what you see. 

And neither is Joe.

False World is available from: Second Wind Publishing, LLC

Excerpt from False World by J J Dare: 

Joe felt more and more like Alice in Wonderland as the day passed.

When he walked into the Citizens’ Identity Office, his first thought was he had walked into Utopia. When the caseworker assigned to him asked him to roll up his sleeves, Joe just looked at him.

“Identifying marks, sir,” the office jockey said. “If you’ve been in the service, you’re granted carte blanche privileges within the scope of the new laws.”

Rolling up his sleeves, the worker looked at Joe’s military tattoos and smiled as he nodded.

“I could tell by you’re bearing, sir, that you were either army or marine,” he said as he filled out the paperwork for Joe’s new identity card. “I’ll have you out of here in just a few minutes, sir.

“If you’d like to register your firearms now, I could expedite that for you, too.” The worker looked sharply at Joe as he continued. “You do pack, don’t you, sir?”

Joe laughed as he told the desk jockey, “Hell, yeah.”

As the worker relaxed, Joe again wondered what rabbit hole he had dropped into. People required to carry firearms, military given prestige above non-military, and Texas the capital of the country.

Well, whatever psycho civilization he had wandered into, he liked it.

“Sir, this is your new identity card. If you lose it, you’ll be issued a new one and the old one will deactivate. All of your information is stored on a chip inside the card and in our database. As military, you already have five thousand credits, which equals roughly a dollar per credit.”

Holding up the Joe’s new identity card, the worker continued. “As a citizen of the new United States of the Americas, you swear to uphold the laws of the military and of the government. You swear to be vigilant and to protect yourself and other citizens against those outside of our nation. You swear to be vigilant and to protect your fellow citizens should the need arise.”

The worker looked at Joe and waited. Joe looked back at him.

“You’re supposed to agree, sir,” the worker said.

“Oh,” Joe replied. “I agree to everything.”

“Thank you, sir. Now, if you’d just sign your full name, Mr. Daniels, you can be on your way.”

Joe signed the papers, pocketed his new identity card, took back his guns, and left.

In the open air, he was waiting for someone to come after him. Of all the things he had imagined might be going on in the world while he was in seclusion, this was not one of them.

The world was not was it seemed. Now, the world he thought he had known was radically different. Climbing into his truck, he realized that, more than anything, the tattoos he wore carried more weight in this new country than anything in his pockets.

A month ago when he had gone with Liz into the survivalists’ camp, the United States had been a country pandering to too many special interests, too many foreign countries, and too many lost causes.

The country he had stepped back into was a far cry from the namby-pamby one he had known. It was now the United we’ll-kick-your-ass States of the Americas.

***

J J Dare lives in a small, sleepy town with family and pets. Having visited many parts of the country, Dare has woven these places into stories and these stories have been incorporated into novels. 

Writing since the age of seven, the love of the written word has kept Dare grounded in the curiousity-laden world of writers. Constantly thinking what if?, has given Dare the seed for many stories.

 The first stories published by Dare were written for Rutger Hauer’s website many years ago. Since that time, other short stories have been published academically and in mainstream fiction. 

Story Excerpt From “Second Helpings” ~~ Cookies Without by JJ Dare

Second Helpings
An Anthology of Holiday Recipes and
Short Stories
From Authors of
Second Wind Publishing

Second Helpings

A perfect gift for short story lovers and food connoisseurs!

From sweet childhood remembrances to fanciful solutions of family dramas to romantic relationships that begin–or end–during the holidays, Second Helpings is an anthology of stories and memories, but most especially of recipes. Our end-of-year celebrations are occasions that bring reunions with unforgettable feasts and that one special, treasured dish. At the end of each story, vignette, reminiscence, you’ll find a recipe or collection of recipes that will make your next holiday memorable as well.

EXCERPT FROM:

Cookies Without
By
JJ Dare

This would be the third Christmas without Marie’s husband. It was the second Christmas without her brother and the first without her mother. This holiday had all the markings of a celebration with ghosts as the main guests.

Three loved ones gone in three years. Marie dreaded the next year. Who would leave next?

No Paul, no Eddie, no Mom. The days were always heavy with their absence, but holidays were worse. The emptiness pressed against her soul. She was barely making it through the normal days let alone the times when her family gathered to celebrate life.
. . .

Marie pulled out cans of sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and, from the very back of the cabinet, an expired can of very young peas. She held the can in her hands as fresh tears fell. No holiday meal had been complete without very young peas, Paul had said. There were a few holidays when he went to the store the day of the meal because Marie had forgotten to pick up a can of his favorite vegetable.

Gathering her wits, Marie set the cans on the counter and looked around. What else, what else? Something important was escaping her. What was missing?

The cookies! How could she forget the desert the family had expected the past two Christmases but Marie had been too heartbroken to make. The bon-bon cookies had been a joint effort between Marie and Paul. She would roll the cookies into balls and he would stuff them with chocolate chip pieces. It was the one of their few collaborations in cooking.

Roll and stuff. Marie could not remember when they had started the tradition, but the kids had early on nicknamed the cookies “Mom-Pop cookies.” Maybe she and Paul had started doing it to speed up the holiday dinner long ago when restless children wanted to hurry and eat so they could play with their new toys.

It did not matter now. There was no hurry anymore. There was only time stretching out ahead of her and no end in sight. She washed her hands, sat back down at the table and drifted off in thoughts of bygone holidays.

A bell dinging broke her from her reverie. As she pushed against to table to rise from her chair, she felt something strange on her hands. Buttery dough was sticking to her fingertips. Her heart raced as she looked at the metal cooking tray in front of her.

Neatly laid out were the traditional cookies she had purposely not made for the past two seasons. She picked one up with a shaking hand. Breaking the dough open, three chocolate chips nestled inside. The perfect number.

No more, no less. Paul had been adamant to the point of silliness about the number of chocolate pieces he stuffed inside each cookie. So adamant that one Christmas when they were short of money, he had meticulously removed the chips from the half he had finished and delicately sliced the pieces in half.

The hair on Marie’s neck stood on end.

***

Second Helpings is available in print and all ebook formats from Second Wind Publishing.

 

False World by JJ Dare

The second book in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy continues where False Positive ends as Joe continues his mission to destroy those who have destroyed his life. As the world changes, Joe’s search for justice takes on a global urgency and he races to find answers before deadly answers find him. 

Beginning in a secluded town in the middle of nowhere, it is not long before Joe is traveling across the country and, ultimately, across a collapsing world on his quest for vengeance. 

The world is not what you see. 

And neither is Joe.

False World is available from: Second Wind Publishing, LLC

Excerpt from False World by J J Dare: 

Joe felt more and more like Alice in Wonderland as the day passed. 

When he walked into the Citizens’ Identity Office, his first thought was he had walked into Utopia. When the caseworker assigned to him asked him to roll up his sleeves, Joe just looked at him. 

“Identifying marks, sir,” the office jockey said. “If you’ve been in the service, you’re granted carte blanche privileges within the scope of the new laws.” 

Rolling up his sleeves, the worker looked at Joe’s military tattoos and smiled as he nodded. 

“I could tell by you’re bearing, sir, that you were either army or marine,” he said as he filled out the paperwork for Joe’s new identity card. “I’ll have you out of here in just a few minutes, sir. 

“If you’d like to register your firearms now, I could expedite that for you, too.” The worker looked sharply at Joe as he continued. “You do pack, don’t you, sir?” 

Joe laughed as he told the desk jockey, “Hell, yeah.” 

As the worker relaxed, Joe again wondered what rabbit hole he had dropped into. People required to carry firearms, military given prestige above non-military, and Texas the capital of the country. 

Well, whatever psycho civilization he had wandered into, he liked it. 

“Sir, this is your new identity card. If you lose it, you’ll be issued a new one and the old one will deactivate. All of your information is stored on a chip inside the card and in our database. As military, you already have five thousand credits, which equals roughly a dollar per credit.” 

Holding up the Joe’s new identity card, the worker continued. “As a citizen of the new United States of the Americas, you swear to uphold the laws of the military and of the government. You swear to be vigilant and to protect yourself and other citizens against those outside of our nation. You swear to be vigilant and to protect your fellow citizens should the need arise.”

The worker looked at Joe and waited. Joe looked back at him. 

“You’re supposed to agree, sir,” the worker said. 

“Oh,” Joe replied. “I agree to everything.” 

“Thank you, sir. Now, if you’d just sign your full name, Mr. Daniels, you can be on your way.”

Joe signed the papers, pocketed his new identity card, took back his guns, and left. 

In the open air, he was waiting for someone to come after him. Of all the things he had imagined might be going on in the world while he was in seclusion, this was not one of them. 

The world was not was it seemed. Now, the world he thought he had known was radically different. Climbing into his truck, he realized that, more than anything, the tattoos he wore carried more weight in this new country than anything in his pockets. 

A month ago when he had gone with Liz into the survivalists’ camp, the United States had been a country pandering to too many special interests, too many foreign countries, and too many lost causes. 

The country he had stepped back into was a far cry from the namby-pamby one he had known. It was now the United we’ll-kick-your-ass States of the Americas.

J J Dare lives in a small, sleepy town with family and pets. Having visited many parts of the country, Dare has woven these places into stories and these stories have been incorporated into novels. 

Writing since the age of seven, the love of the written word has kept Dare grounded in the curiousity-laden world of writers. Constantly thinking what if?, has given Dare the seed for many stories.

 The first stories published by Dare were written for Rutger Hauer’s website many years ago. Since that time, other short stories have been published academically and in mainstream fiction. 

“False Positive” started out as an entry into a contest sponsored by CourtTV (now TruTV) in October, 2007. The initial book was written in thirty days. 

The author is still recovering. 

Although “False Positive” did not win the contest, the book interested Dare’s current publisher, Second Wind Publishing and made its debut in October, 2008. 

The next book in the Joe Daniels trilogy, “False World,” was written at a more leisurely pace and was published in November, 2009. 

The author is recovering quicker this time. 

The third and final novel in the trilogy has been started. Since the author seems to be averaging a finished book a year, expect the next installment in late 2010.