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Posts tagged ‘Motorcycles’

Fallen Angel Salvage – Ebook – 99 cents

Fallen Angel Salvageis still on sale for 99 cents in digital format. An old black van. A missing child. Tatia and Jesse race through the city streets with a band of bikers while Johnny and Jade dig through the dark web and Detectives Nelson and Martin pound on doors. Will it be enough? Or will Joy become another statistic? Read the preface and Chapter 1, and then click the Buy Link at the end of the post to get your copy before the price goes back up.

Preface – The Letter

Thursday – 3:00 pm

Tatia stepped out the back door and stood quietly for a moment, watching her two children play tag in the small back yard. She smiled as Joy slowly jogged between the swing set and the sandbox with her younger brother in hot pursuit. Daniel lunged toward her, but she swerved at the last moment causing him to belly flop onto the soft grass.

“I almost got you,” he pouted.

Joy leaned over him and gloated, “You missed me by a mile, short stuff.”

He grinned up at her, touched her arm, and rolled away from her under the swing set. “Tag, you’re it!” he shouted in triumph.

Tatia laughed at the stunned look on Joy’s face and clapped her hands. “Nice move, Daniel! Now, recess is over, and we have a reading lesson to complete before we quit for the day. Dust yourselves off and get the mail on your way in.”

“I’ll get it,” yelled Joy as she took off for the front of the house.

“No!” wailed Daniel. “I won! I get to get it.”

“Okay, I guess you’re right,” said Joy, slowing down to let him catch up. Then, she tapped him on the shoulder. “But now you’re it!”

Tatia shook her head and went back into the house as the two tagged and shouted all the way to the mailbox. Joy must have been in a charitable mood, because a few moments later the front door slammed open and Daniel strutted into the living room with several envelopes clutched in his fist. He presented the mail to his mom as if he were handing her a dozen roses, and then headed to the refrigerator for a bottle of water.

“Joy, did you see that old van across the street?” he asked his sister. “It must have been about a hundred years old.”

“I didn’t see any old van, and I wouldn’t care if I did,” said Joy, her charitable mood long gone.

“Well, you should. The driver was staring at you.”

“There wasn’t a van and there wasn’t a driver! You need glasses!”

“That’s enough, you two,” said Tatia, hoping to restore some peace. “What kind of van was it?” she asked Daniel.

“I’m not sure, Mommy. I’ll go check.” He knelt on the couch and peered out the window as Tatia looked over his shoulder. “It’s gone now,” he said with a shrug.

“Good! Now we can talk about something important,” said Joy. “Like birthday cards! Mommy, did I get any more today?”

Tatia dismissed the uneasy feeling that tried to insinuate itself into her mind, and made a mental note to talk with Jesse about the van later. Right now, she had an almost-nine-year-old girl dancing from foot to foot, waiting for her to sort the mail. It was two days before Joy’s birthday, and she had received more mail in the last week than she had in the previous nine years. She loved the emails and ecards her mom and dad shared with her, but she loved the cards that came in the mail even more. They felt more like they belonged just to her. Tatia flipped through the small stack of envelopes and handed two of them to her daughter.

“It looks like there’s one from Alicia at school and another one from Grandma and Grandpa G. How many is that from them anyway?”

“Seven! One every day for a whole week! What about that one? Is it for me?” she asked pointing to the plain white envelope Tatia was staring at curiously.

“No, it’s addressed to me, and it doesn’t have a return address or a stamp.”

“Probably a bill,” said Joy, and she took her cards to the couch to read them.

Tatia opened the envelope and pulled out a single sheet of notebook paper. On it was taped a small article from the Cameron Morning Telegraph dated the previous Sunday.

Cameron, TX. After serving twenty years of three concurrent sentences for murder, aggravated statutory sexual assault, and human trafficking, Eric Hall was paroled from the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville this week. His conviction was the first of several that resulted from the testimony of a very brave young woman, later identified as Tatia Robins in her book, Groomed for the Streets. These convictions freed Cameron from the human trafficking trade that had plagued our city for years.

Below the article was a short, hand-written message:

I wonder if Joy is as brave as her mother.

Chapter 1 – The Nightmare

Friday – 4:30 am

Tatia fought, trying to free herself from the arms that grasped her, crying out silently for Mama. Mama didn’t come, though. She was lying in a box with Daddy, both of them cold and lifeless, staring up at her with painted faces that melted into piles of ashes. Eric grabbed at her, pulling her away from the casket and through the door of a shabby motel room toward a bed covered with dirty, rumpled sheets. On the bed lay her daughter, sobbing hysterically while the men who surrounded the bed chanted her name again and again. Tatia struggled toward another voice she could barely hear.

“Tatia,” it said softly. “Tatia. Sweetheart. Wake up.”        

The room behind her began to fade as Jesse’s gentle whisper drew her out of her tormented sleep and back into the safety of the bed they had shared for the last dozen years. She rolled over toward him and buried her face against his chest as he once again drew her out of the darkness that still haunted her nights.

“It’s okay, baby,” he crooned. “I’m here. I got ya.”

He felt the tension gradually leave her body, and as her ragged breathing evened out, he drew back slightly and gazed into the face he loved so much.

“Hey,” he said gently. “I’m not gonna let him hurt you ever again.”

She smiled weakly and snuggled closer. She lay there for a while, listening to him breathe, trying to feel the reassurance he offered. The peace wouldn’t come, though, and after listening to the sounds of her husband sleeping for a while, she slipped out of bed and into her robe and slippers to ward off the early October chill.

She stepped carefully to avoid tripping over Harley who purred and rubbed against Tatia’s ankles, happy to have some unexpected company in the pre-dawn hours. Tatia yawned as she pulled the bedroom door closed behind her so Jesse could sleep for a while longer. Then, she put a scoop of food in Harley’s bowl. While the fluffy kitten inspected her breakfast, Tatia went down the hall and looked in on her children. She lingered a little longer at Joy’s door, whispering a prayer for her protection now that a convicted felon knew her name. She dashed away an angry tear, fighting the rising rage at the man who had stolen so much of her childhood and now had invaded the sanctity of her home with his words.

Tatia sighed and shuffled to the kitchen where she turned on the coffee maker and selected a decaf coffee pod from the holder on the counter. Once the hot, fragrant drink was brewed and she had added some French vanilla creamer, she retrieved her Bible and prayer journal and settled into her favorite overstuffed chair in the corner of the living room. She opened the journal to the thanksgiving section, but she struggled to find any feelings of gratitude in the emotional turmoil that churned inside her. Harley was perched on the armrest next to her, and she absently stroked the purring cat as she sipped her coffee and attempted to lose herself in happy memories.

Buy Link: Fallen Angel Salvage

Blessings,

Linda

Ebook – 99 cents!

A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is still on sale for 99 cents in digital format. It’s the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. Here’s how it begins – on a day when three events presaged some difficult changes in our lives.

2004

Thursday, September 9 – Change

Psalm 55:22 (KJV) Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

There it was–a dump truck, coming straight toward me on a road with no shoulders and no place to go. The Department of Transportation’s motorcycle safety course teaches you to look where you want to go, and the bike will follow your line of vision. That would probably have worked, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the truck. Instead, the world shifted into slow motion, and one thought trailed across my mind: I’m going to die.

Avoiding a collision It should have been easy; to slow a little, push a little bit harder on the right hand grip, and swing back into my lane. Filled as I was with a full rush of adrenaline, nothing was easy, and I leaned hard into the right-hand curve. With a death grip on the throttle, I revved the engine, straightening my trajectory and sending the bike straight into the path of the truck. I heard the right footrest screech against the asphalt, and I felt it give way under the weight of the 700-pound motorcycle. I pulled my left leg up toward my chest, and as rubber crunched metal I heard the crashing sounds asand both the front and back wheels of the truck hit the bike.

I don’t know what happened next. I don’t know if a heavenly hand reached down and plucked me off the bike or if I tucked and rolled, bouncing up at the end like a gymnast after a tumbling run. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the middle of the road, surrounded by bike parts: a headlight; the footboard, where my left foot had rested; and various, unidentifiable bits of chrome.

The bike was a blue 2002 Harley Heritage Softtail that I called the Blue Angel. She was beautiful, loud, and had chrome in places where most bikes don’t have places. When I rode her, I felt powerful and beautiful and shiny, just like her, and I rode every chance I got. Now, she was lying on the side of the road with a trail of broken bits and pieces behind her.

In a daze, I wandered over and said to no one in particular, “I guess my riding days are over.”

My husband David was leading the ride. Out of sight around the next curve and deafened by the roar of his pipes, he was unaware of what was going on. James and Peggy, our neighbors and riding buddies, were bringing up the rear. James pulled up beside me and made sure I was still breathing before speeding away to catch up with David. 

I watched him until he was out of sight, and then I sat down in the weeds to take inventory. Unlike my Angel, I was bruised and shaken, but not broken. My helmet was scraped, and the visor hung from one snap. There was a slight cut on the bridge of my nose from my glasses. My left foot hurt, so I took off my boot to check the damage. I didn’t find anything major, but my instep was swollen and turning blue, so I put my boot back on before my foot outgrew it. My elbows were skinned, and the length of my right thigh stung from road rash. A dull ache on my left hip presaged a huge bruise, and my left instep was swollen and turning blue–but I was alive.

Peggy and the truck driver had just dragged my bike out of the path of oncoming traffic when an Arkansas Highway Patrol car arrived. The next few minutes were a blur of activity. I watched it all from the cocoon of numbness that surrounds you after a traumatic event. I answered questions when they were asked and signed my name when it was required, but mostly I thought about what had just happened.

I had been following David like always. He rides a black 2000 Harley Road King Classic. As we had been winding through the trees and hills on a beautiful two-lane road, I’d felt good, enjoying both the memory of David’s compliments about what a good rider I was becoming and the elegance of his riding style. Even after a couple of decades as a civilian, he still had his military posture, and he looked almost regal in the saddle. He had pulled ahead of me a bit, so I had given the Angel a little more gas–a little too much as it turned out. I had gone into a right-hand curve a little too hot and swung out just over the yellow line.

If I could just hit the rewind button and take that curve one more time.

Once the formalities were done, I watched the shiny, twisted remains of the Angel being towed away on a flatbed trailer. I climbed onto the buddy seat of the Road King, back where my bike-riding days had started, riding two-up behind David. Our shrunken caravan rode off in search of a place to eat dinner and lick our wounds.

Sitting on the back gives you time to think and pray. I thanked God for His mercy, amazed at what I had survived. I also asked why it had happened and if my riding days were really over. The only response I received in those moments of quiet meditation was a sense that I’d know when it was time to ride again. So far, I’m still riding two-up behind David.

The day wasn’t over…

Blessings,

Linda

Buy Link: A Long and Winding Road

Yes, I’ve been to Sturgis | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 30, 2022:

My Daddy and me – 1947

The week before Father’s Day, I changed my Facebook profile picture of a favorite picture of Dad and me. I was about nine months old which would have made him about twenty-six. You could tell that, even at that young age, I had him wrapped around my little finger – and I was pretty fond of him, too. While I was at it, I decided to change my cover photo. I chose a picture my neighbor Connie took of me and David back in 2014 during a photo shoot. You see some of the results of that day at the top of my column every week.

I’m not a very good model – I stiffen up in front of a camera – so after we finished the hard work of getting something acceptable for a head shot, Connie wanted to do some fun shots. She snapped a few pictures of us among the flowers in her front yard, and then she had us change into our biker clothes and move over to the old metal bridge on County Road 3200. In the summer, it’s shaded by a canopy of trees that she said would make a great setting for photos. I’m much more relaxed when I pose with David, and the results were some of the best pictures of me since our wedding. (His pictures are always good!)

I posted my favorite of the bike shots, and although I’ve posted it before, it got a lot of attention. One day last week at the Senior Center, Linda Pietila said, “We  got a real kick out of your biker picture, especially Rocky. He couldn’t believe you were ever on a motorcycle.”

(more…)

The end of an era? by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 10, 2020:

My husband David has been a biker most of his life. He learned to ride his

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is david-on-tricycle.jpg

uncle’s old Cushman motorcycle when he was nine, and since then, hitting the road on two wheels has been an almost magical experience to him. He’s owned several motorcycles, and when we met in 1999, he had a Yamaha Virago 1100 that he rode every day.

Shortly after we began dating, he asked if I’d go riding with him. I wasn’t sure about the bike, but I liked the man, so I said yes. I think we both knew that was the first of many rides together. By the time we celebrated our first anniversary I had my own helmet, boots, and leathers and had put in many miles on the buddy seat.

(more…)

Romantic is as romantic does | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 16, 2018:

RingsIf your idea of romance is roses and chocolates, then you wouldn’t call my husband David a romantic guy. It’s true that, when we were dating, he showed up unexpectedly with a bouquet of Tyler roses just because, and he bought me a beautiful diamond ring when he asked me to marry him, but flowers and jewelry aren’t on his typical shopping list. He’s a romantic at heart, though, and he has his own special ways of expressing his love and letting me know that he’s thinking of me. (more…)

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 1!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: TOMORROW!

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide20

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

I cannot remember when I read a fiction book that moved me like this one. – Lisa Stillman

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Paperbook and Ebook available on BookPros and Amazon on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 2!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide19

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

Recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it. My hope is that Tatia’s Tattoo will increase awareness that the shameful tragedy of child sex trafficking really exists in small-town America. – From the Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Paperback and Ebook available on BookPros and Amazon on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 3!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide18

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

I loved it! Tatia’s story touched me to the core. It captures the intense struggles and tragic events confronted by the many victims of sex trafficking. The story is compelling and well written, and I had to dry my eyes many times. The dialogue is amazing, particularly in the courtroom. – Christi Palmer, Beta Reader and Fellow Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Ebook available on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 4!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide17

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

It is my hope that Tatia’s Tattoo will help give a voice to the exploited children and youth who cannot speak for themselves. – From the Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Ebook available on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: Release minus 5!

TATIA’S TATTOO

RELEASE DATE: JULY 16

GENRE: CHRISTIAN FICTION/LEGAL THRILLER

Slide16

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

I live in a tiny town in East Texas that feels safe and isolated from the world. I was shocked when a couple gave a presentation at our church about their organization, one that fights the sex-trafficking trade in a slightly larger town about fifty miles from where I live. – From the Author

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Pre-Order Paperback on Amazon Now 

Ebook available on release.

To read the Preface and first 2 chapters, go to https://www.bookpros.com/books/15 and click on “Download a sample” below the cover.

Blessings,

Linda

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