Summer Backyard Barbecue Recipes


Sparkling Citrus Punch for a Crowd


1 container (52 fl oz) refrigerated orange juice

1 container (52 fl oz) refrigerated grapefruit juice

1 bottle (1 liter) ginger ale, chilled

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lime, thinly sliced


Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl, adding ginger ale just before serving.



⅔ cup lemon juice

⅓ cup orange juice

¼ cup sugar

1 lemon, cut into thin slices

1 orange, cut into thin slices

1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine or non alcoholic red wine


In a half-gallon glass pitcher, mix juices and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon and orange slices to the pitcher.

Stir the wine into the juice mixture. Add ice if desired.

Grilled Garlic Steak Salad


Spicy Garlic Dressing

⅓ cup olive or vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh or ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


1 pound beef boneless sirloin steak, 1 to 1 ½ inches thick

1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cup sliced mushrooms (3 ounces)

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

6 cups bite-size pieces salad greens


Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. In a tightly covered container, shake all dressing ingredients; reserve ¼ cup.

Cover and grill beef over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until desired doneness. In a medium bowl, toss bell pepper and mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of the dressing; place in a grill basket. Cover and grill vegetables 5 minutes, shaking grill basket to turn vegetables occasionally, until bell pepper is crisp-tender.

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; cut into 1/4-inch slices. Toss beef and reserved 1/4 cup dressing. In a large bowl, place salad greens, vegetables and beef. Add remaining dressing; toss.

Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Vegetable Kabobs


Rosemary-Lemon Marinade

¼ cup lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Chicken and Vegetables

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash , cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion, cut into wedges

1 lb fresh asparagus spears

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz)


In a shallow glass or plastic bowl, or resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix all marinade ingredients. Add chicken, stirring to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag; refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes but no longer than 6 hours.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Thread chicken, bell pepper, zucchini and onion alternately on each of four 15-inch metal skewers, leaving about 1/4-inch space between each piece. Brush vegetables with marinade.

Cover and grill kabobs over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning and brushing frequently with marinade, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add asparagus to grill for the last 5 minutes of grilling, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender. Discard any remaining marinade.

Sprinkle feta cheese over kabobs. Serve kabobs with asparagus.

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chunky Guacamole


Chunky Guacamole

2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped

2 avocados, peeled, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 serrano chile, seeded, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon salt


3 Tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 salmon filets (about 6 oz each)

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

10 corn or flour tortillas (6 inch)

2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

Lime wedges


In a medium bowl, mix Chunky Guacamole ingredients. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Rub salmon filets with lime juice mixture; let stand for 15 minutes.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Cook salmon filets in oil for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, turning once. Remove from heat; cut in serving-size pieces, removing and discarding skin.

Fill tortillas with salmon and cabbage. Serve with guacamole and lime wedges.

Tip: To grill this salmon fish taco recipe, heat gas or charcoal grill. Place salmon, skin side down, over medium heat. Cover grill; cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork (do not turn salmon).

Lemon-Thyme Chicken Legs


¼ cup honey

1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

½ teaspoon pepper

8 chicken legs (about 2 ½ lbs)

Lemon wedges


Heat gas or charcoal grill. In a small bowl, mix honey, lemon peel, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of the salt, the thyme and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.

Sprinkle chicken legs with remaining ½  teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook for 16 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (at least 165°F). Brush chicken legs generously with lemon-honey sauce, turning to coat evenly. Cover grill; cook 1 to 2 minutes longer on each side or until the glaze is hot and bubbly.

Place chicken on a serving platter. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Chocolate Mint Cookies


⅔ cup butter or margarine , softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa Powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ⅔ cups Mint Chocolate Chips 10 oz. pkg.


Heat oven to 350°F.

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well. Stir in mint chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until set, do not over bake. Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 36 cookies.

More From Edna’s Kitchen ebook cookbooks:

Picnic Picks From Edna’s Kitchen


Red and Blue Lemonade Cocktail


2 cans (12 oz each) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

12 cups sparkling water

2 medium lemons, cut into slices

1 pint (2 cups) blueberries

1 pint (2 cups) raspberries

1 lb strawberries, stemmed and halved

1 cup mint leaves

12 oz limoncello, if desired


Fill a bowl with water, add 1 sliced lemon. Freeze completely, about 4 hours.

In a large pitcher or glass drink dispenser, add lemonade concentrate. Pour in sparkling water. Mix well.

Remove bowl from freezer. Dip bowl into warm water, and turn ice out. Put ice in a pitcher of lemonade mixture. Add other sliced lemon, berries and mint leaves.

Pour into glasses, and add 1 oz limoncello to each.

Cranberry-Mint Iced Tea


6 cups cranberry juice cocktail

4 tea bags black tea

10 mint leaves (1 inch each)

2 tablespoons sugar


Heat cranberry juice cocktail to boiling in 2-quart saucepan. Pour over tea bags and mint in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or heat proof pitcher. Let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Strain tea mixture. Stir in sugar. Serve tea over ice. Add more sugar if desired.


Be sure to use cranberry juice “cocktail,” which contains added sugar, for this refreshing iced tea. Regular cranberry juice is not as sweet and would make this summer sipper much too tart tasting.

Mediterranean Layered Salad



½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 ½ teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


8 cups chopped romaine lettuce (12 oz)

1 container (8 oz) prepared hummus

1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium English (hothouse) cucumber, chopped (3 ½ cups)

1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)

½ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)


In a small bowl, stir all dressing ingredients together with whisk until well blended.

Arrange lettuce on a large serving platter. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Place small dollops of hummus evenly over lettuce. Layer tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, onion, olives and feta cheese on top of hummus. Serve with remaining dressing.

Grilled Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin


2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Heat gas or charcoal grill. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except pork and oil. Brush pork with oil. Rub and press spice mixture on all sides of pork.

Place pork on a grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 17 to 20 minutes, turning several times, until pork has slight blush of pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 155°F. Cover pork; let stand about 5 minutes or until thermometer reads 160°F. Cut pork into slices.

Slow-Cooker Barbecued Beans


½ lb bacon, cut into ½ -inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped (½ cup)

1 cup ketchup

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup mild-flavor (light) molasses

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground mustard

2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, drained, rinsed

2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained, ½ cup liquid reserved


In a 10-inch skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onions are tender; drain.

In a 3 ½  to 4 quart slow cooker, mix bacon, onion and remaining ingredients, including reserved liquid. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 to 4 hours.

Chewy Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookies with Orange Icing


Parchment Paper


¾ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅔ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries


1 cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

3 to 4 teaspoons orange juice


Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with Parchment Paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and orange peel with an electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon. Stir in remaining cookie ingredients.

On a lined cookie sheet, place cookies 2 inches apart.

Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack; cool completely, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar, vanilla and enough orange juice until thin enough to drizzle. Spoon into a small resealable food-storage plastic bag; cut off the tiny corner of the bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle icing over cookies.

More From Edna’s Kitchen ebook cookbooks:

Sandwiches: From Edna’s Kitchen

Sandwich– noun, an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.

Some favorite Sandwich recipes from Edna’s Kitchen…Enjoy.

Grilled Cheese

5 Tablespoons butter, softened, divided
4 slices sourdough bread
2 Cups shredded cheddar

Spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of each slice of bread. With butter side down, top each slice of bread with about ½ cup cheddar.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add two slices of bread, butter side down. Cook until bread is golden and cheese is starting to melt, about 2 minutes. Flip one piece of bread on top of the other and continue to cook until the cheese is melty, about 30 seconds more.
Repeat for the second sandwich, wiping skillet clean if necessary.

BLT- Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato with a kick

2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
Pinch cayenne
1 lb. thick-cut bacon
¼ Cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices white bread, lightly toasted
4 leaves green lettuce
4 (¼ ” thick) slices vine-ripened tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne.
Line a rimmed baking sheet large with foil and set a wire rack on top. Lay bacon in a single layer on a rack. Bake, rotating tray halfway through, until bacon is just golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and brush bacon generously with maple mixture. Turn oven to broil and return bacon to oven until glaze is thickened and bacon is crisp, watching carefully as it will cook fast, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Meanwhile, in another small bowl, whisk mayonnaise with chili powder and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread mayonnaise on 2 slices of bread. Top each slice with lettuce, tomato, and bacon, then close sandwiches with remaining 2 slices of bread.


3 pieces sliced bread
Butter, softened
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tomato slices
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pieces bacon, cooked
1 thick slice cheddar
2 slices turkey
2 slices ham

Toast bread until golden, then spread a thin layer of butter on both sides of every slice.
Spread mayonnaise on one side of one slice of bread. Top with lettuce and tomato slices, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Place bacon slices on top.
Spread mayonnaise on both sides of a second piece of bread and place on top of bacon. Top with cheddar, turkey, and ham. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the last piece of bread and place it on top of the sandwich, mayo side down.
Secure with toothpicks and cut into 4 triangles.


For the Sandwich:
8 slices rye bread
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
¼ Cup Russian dressing
8 slices Swiss cheese
¾ lb. corned beef
1 Cup sauerkraut

For the Russian Dressing:
½ Cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the non-butter side spread Russian dressing on each slice. Top half of the slices with cheese, corned beef, and sauerkraut. Top each sandwich with remaining slices, dressing side down.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Place a sandwich in the skillet and cook until golden and cheese is melted, 3 minutes per side.

Russian Dressing:
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire, sugar, and paprika until combined. Season with salt and pepper.


2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 green peppers, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, sliced
Kosher salt
1 ½ lb. sirloin steak, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 slices provolone
4 hoagie rolls

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers and onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove onions and peppers from the skillet and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon oil and cook steak until it has almost reached your preferred doneness, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Return veggies to skillet and toss to combine with steak. Blanket mixture with provolone and cook, covered, until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Divide mixture among hoagie rolls and serve.

Pull-Apart Cuban Sliders

12 slider buns, halved, keeping sheet intact
⅓ Cup mayonnaise
⅓ Cup Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt
12 oz. sliced ham
12 slices of Swiss cheese
1 Cup sliced pickles
¼ Cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350º. Place the bottom half of slider buns on a large baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, and garlic powder and season with salt.
Spread sauce on slider buns, then top with ham, cheese, and pickles.
Top with the top half of slider buns, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with parsley.
Bake until golden and cheese is melty, 10 to 15 minutes.

French Dip

3 boneless ribeye steaks (about 3 pounds)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried ground sage

For Jus
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 ½ Cups low-sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

For Serving:
6 hoagie rolls
12 slices provolone

Preheat the oven to 450°. Rub beef all over with olive oil and place in a roasting pan. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, oregano, and sage. Rub spice mix all over beef. Roast for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 125° in the thickest part of the ribeye. Set aside on a cutting board to rest and turn the oven down to 350°.
Meanwhile, make jus: Place a roasting pan (with beef drippings) over the stove top burner and turn to medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring up to a simmer. Cook until thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes more.
When ready to serve, thinly slice beef. Fill each roll with beef and top with provolone. Bake until the cheese is melty, 10 minutes.
Serve with jus on the side for dipping.

Italian Sub

½ large onion, thinly sliced
1 12-inch loaf soft Italian bread
5 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ pound deli-sliced provolone cheese
¼ pound deli-sliced Genoa salami
¼ pound deli-sliced ham
¼ pound deli-sliced mortadella
¼ pound deli-sliced capicola
½ head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
¼ to ½ Cup sliced pickled pepperoncini
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

Soak the onion slices in a large bowl of cold water, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, split the bread lengthwise, then pull out some of the bread from the inside. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each vinegar and olive oil on the bottom half. Season with salt and pepper.
Layer the cheese and meat on the bottom half of the bread. Drain the onion and pat dry. Top the meat with the onion, lettuce, pepperoncini and tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons each vinegar and olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the cut side of the bread top with the remaining 1 tablespoon each vinegar and olive oil, then place on top of the sandwich. Cut into 4 pieces.

Shrimp Po’boy Sliders

½ Cup whole milk
2 large eggs
½ Cup all-purpose flour
½ Cup finely ground cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
Vegetable oil, for frying
12 slider buns
Shredded iceberg lettuce, for serving
Sliced cherry tomatoes, for serving

For Remoulade:
1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Make shrimp: In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, Cajun seasoning, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge shrimp in milk mixture, then toss in flour mixture until coated.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat about 2″ of oil until the oil is shimmering. Fry shrimp until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate.
Make remoulade: Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, parsley, and green onions.
Build sliders: Spread remoulade on bottom slider buns and top with fried shrimp, lettuce, and tomatoes. Top with slider bun tops.

Check out Simply Salads for more fun, easy recipes from Edna’s Kitchen

Grace’s Story -An Excerpt

Grace Ann

In a farmhouse surrounded by acres of sweet corn on a warm summer’s day in late June, Grace Ann Chapman came into this world screaming.

Local paper birth announcements:

The community of Ridgeville Nebraska would like to welcome Grace Ann born June 22nd, 1974 to William and Martha Chapman. Congratulations on your healthy baby girl. 

Martha clipped out the announcement from the Daily Sun Newspaper and taped it into Grace’s baby book. 

William Chapman worked the land that had been handed down to him from his father. It was hard daily grueling work to keep the corn crops healthy and on schedule for harvest. He took pride in what his family had established over the past three generations of Chapman’s and did his best to keep it going. With the birth of his first child, Grace Ann he knew that there would need to be more children, he loved and adored his daughter but knew that a son would be needed to keep the farm in the Chapman name.

Grace Ann was a sweet helpful child that was always full of questions. Always asking why this or why that. When her brother William Joseph was born five years later, Grace became a little quieter, but still helped Martha clean and cook, just not asking as many questions. Two years later Grace’s youngest brother was born, Jonathan Michael was a loud baby he cried and screamed about everything. Grace tried to be helpful, but Jonathan’s constant crying wore on her, she stopped asking questions all together. 

Grace had a few classmates that she considered friends, although she wasn’t close to any of them. Shawna Wilson was a round faced, dark haired girl that talked all the time. She was what Grace called bossy, she was always directing how people should play. Grace and Shawna would walk to the general store after school and then over to Shawna’s house to play. On a particular spring afternoon after school they walked over to the general store as usual, Grace always had a few dollars from her allowance in her backpack, Shawna dared Grace to “Just take it,” Grace knew it was wrong to steal but she had a strange need to want to please Shawna. To fit in, to be accepted. So Grace did it. She slipped the Kit Kat into her jacket pocket and they walked out of the store.

The girls split the Kit Kat while they walked to Shawna’s house. It being Friday Grace was going to spend the night at Shawna’s, after having dinner with Shawna and her family Grace felt ill. She asked if she could call her dad and go home. Grace’s dad came and picked her up from Shawna’s house.

“So what’s wrong, why didn’t you want to stay the night at Shawna’s?” he asked as they drove home.

“If I tell you, will you promise not to tell mom?” William looked at his daughter, thinking this request over.

“Yes, it will be between me and you.”

“She made me steal a Kit Kat from the general store. I didn’t want to…but I couldn’t tell her no, I’m sorry dad.” Tears welled up in Grace’s eyes. The whole thing made her stomach hurt.

“Well, that is something, you know that even though it’s hard, you can’t let others, even friends, make you do things that you know are wrong.” 

“I know.” Grace dropped her chin to her chest and took a deep breath. A weight had been lifted, she now understood the concept of confession.

Grace’s first crush was on a boy in her class named Matt, she spent a lot of time daydreaming about running her fingers through his wavy brown hair, and wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Grace kept her fantasies to herself, playing scenes over and over in her mind. When she did find it within herself to talk to Matt he treated her as a friend, wanting to know if she thought that Tamera was ‘into him,’ her daydreams of Matt came to a quick end.

During the summer of Grace’s thirteenth year she met and spent a lot of time with Jenny Donovan and her older sister Rebecca; they had a lot to tell Grace about anatomy and sex. Grace found it enlightening, especially since her parents didn’t really go into detail about ‘the birds and the bees.` 

When Grace got her period for the first time her mother pulled out two books from way back when, one titled Where Babies Come From and the other one explaining the joys of your first menstrual cycle it was blue and had a rainbow with the figure of a girl dancing around on it. Grace read them and had a lightbulb moment, the biology of life made sense, she kinda wished her mom would have been able to just tell her. Jenny and Rebecca explained and sometimes demonstrated the how, where and what of sex.

Grace spent her time going to school, helping out around the house and working at the general store. She kept things simple, family, school, friends and work. Towards the end of her last year of high school things changed quickly. She started for a lack of a better word dating a ‘nice guy’ from school named James, he was cute, kind and ignited something within Grace. She couldn’t keep her hands off of him when they were together, his smell, his look, how she got butterflies in her stomach when he touched her. She loved it all, the anticipation of getting to see him, the adrenaline rush when he touched her, and ultimately the orgasms when he fucked her. 

She was hooked, and sex was the drug.

Once awakened sexually Grace had an inability to stay faithful. She enjoyed getting to know new people on a sexual level. She worked with a guy named Kyle and after many weeks of inappropriate flirting, she found herself with him in the back storeroom making out. Grace found that each person she was sexually involved with had something new and different to offer her.

When Grace turned twenty-one she made a decision, she would take the money that she had saved up from working at the general store and go see the world. One early morning in July of her twenty-first year she told her family goodbye, boarded a bus and left Ridgeville Nebraska.


Grace sat on the patio and lit a cigarette, she took a deep drag and exhaled. The first light of day had begun to show, it had been a long night. She looked down at her hands looking past the dirt and noticed that a few of her manicured nails were broken. 

I’ll have to trim them all down, she thought as she poured a glass of Jack and downed it.

She put out her cigarette and wandered back inside, she made her way up stairs shedding her clothes as she went, dropping them into the hamper next to the bathroom door. Finding her fingernail clippers she trimmed her broken nails.  

She stepped into the tub and turned on the water. Tears started to stream down her face as she slid down and sat in the corner, crying. 

“I’m so sorry, John.” She sobbed.

~ ~ ~ ~

Beep, beep, beep… Grace opened her eyes, the sunlight streaming through the window made her turn away. She got up and stumbled into the bathroom, catching her reflection in the mirror, dark circles under her eyes and a pale complexion, topped off with a frizzy mess of red hair. 

She splashed cold water on her face hoping it would wake her up. Grace slipped on a pair of dark jeans, a blue blouse, and grabbed a pair of tan flats as she headed downstairs to the kitchen. 

She poured herself a cup of coffee and pushed the blinking red button on the answering machine. “John it’s 9 am and you’re not here, where are you? Please call me.” His assistant Jenny said with a frantic tone in her voice.

Grace pushed the next button. “Hey John, it’s 4 pm on Monday and no one has heard from you since Friday. Let us know what’s up before we send a search party after you.” Mr. Renolds, John’s boss.  

Grace let out a sigh, as she pushed the delete all button.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

As she entered the garage and got into her car, she glanced over at John’s car. 

I’ll have to deal with that later, she thought to herself.

It was 10 am on Tuesday when Grace entered the downtown police station. 

“I need to file a missing person’s report.” She informed the front desk attendant.

The attendant handed her a form and told her to give as much detail as possible. Grace took a seat and filled out the form.

Missing John Summers age 45, 

height 6 ft, 

wt. 215 lbs, 

eyes brown, 

hair dark brown streaks of gray,

last seen Sunday April 27th.

Continued in Grace’s Story ebook available on Amazon and with Kindle Unlimited.


Isabella sat at the kitchen table with her thin gray hair twisted around pink foam curlers, held securely against her head with a worn pink chiffon scarf. 

The Daily Star News opened before her, she adjusted her glasses, the thin gold chain dangled as she leaned closer to read off the weekly lotto numbers.

4-9-29-33-51 she let out a deep sigh.

Isabella played the same numbers every week, 6-11-19-25-27  the day she married Carlos’ and the number of years they had spent together. 

She opened her navy blue leather cigarette holder and pulled out a slim Misty one-twenty and set it between her lips, she fumbled to pull out her gold plated rod lighter, struck the flint and held the flame to the white end and inhaled. 

After taking a few drags she set the cigarette in the dark green ashtray as she closed the paper.

“What is that awful smell?” Isabella asked as she glanced towards the stove, where Camila was standing over a simmering pot. 

“Dinner.” She answered, turning towards Isabella.

Isabella rolled her cigarette against the edge of the ashtray, bringing it back to her lips and taking a drag. 

Isabella looked at the counter top where a white plastic tub with green and red lettering sat open.

“You still using that?” She asked, pointing to the tub of El Mexicano Manteca Lard. Camila glanced over at the open tub. 

“Well yeah, it’s in your recipe for Chicken Adobo.” Isabella’s lips parted in a slight grin, she scoffed. 

“It’s not my recipe.” She said, Camila gave her a sideways glance. 

“It’s from  Señora Victoria Cardoza’s cookbook for traditional Mexican dining.”

Camila let out a slight laugh, turning back to the large pot of simmering chicken thighs.

Kiss and Kill

Kay Russell was asked personally by her managing editor Ronald Jacobson to cover the ‘free spirits in the desert’ as he put it, between taking gulps of black coffee from his chipped classic diner mug. Ronald Jacobson was nearing the 60 year mark, a sticky note with his retirement date written on it in black Sharpie clung to the side of  his computer monitor. Kay had joined the local paper after getting her BA in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Print Journalism. She had been with the paper for just over a year and this was her first out of town field assignment.

After getting settled at the Friendly Budget Inn on I-80 Kay got her things together and headed over to check out the festivities. The ‘free spirits’ in this case were a group of artistic, free minded individuals nummering around eighty. Their ‘Free Minds, Free Bodies, Free Expression’ motto hung on a hand-painted banner that was fastened to two poles and stretched out over the dirt road that leads into the Black Hills Desert. Kay found a place to park, exited her car and started wandering through the crowd of half dressed individuals.

She bumped into a guy walking the other way.

“Sorry,” she said in passing, the guy nodded and continued on.

Then Kay heard it from behind her.

“Hey, Kay? Kay Russell is that you?” the voice of the guy she had bumped into asked as he made his way back towards her.

Kay knew exactly who it was she had randomly run into. Richard Boyd, Richie the guy she had had a schoolgirl crush on throughout High School. Kay and Richie had many classes together over their four years in Roosevelt High School, from the first time Kay saw Richie in Mrs. Thompson’s Intro to Literature class to the last AP Biology class they had together senior year Kay was love sick. His broad shoulders, wavy brown hair and a square jaw, gave him that Superman look. When he took up playing football during Junior year her crush intensified, his toned, muscular body along with that grin and charm. It melted her, even though she could never bring herself to ask him for more than to borrow a pencil.

Kay took a deep breath, turned to face Richie and said, “Hey Richie, what brings you out here?”

“I’m freelancing for a small independent rag. Came to see what all the hype was about.”

“Nice, I guess I’ll see you around.” Kay said, turning to walk away.

“Hey, wait a minute.” Richie said, grabbing her upper arm. Kay faced him slightly surprised by his actions.


“Can I talk you into getting a drink and helping me with something?”

Kay gave him a sideways look.

“Maybe, depends on what you need help with.”

“I’ll explain over a drink.”

~ ~ ~ ~

Kay and Richie found a small tiki bar that had been set up amongst the festivities.

“What can I get ya?” The Bartender asked as they took a seat at the bar.

“Whatever you’re having.” Kay said.

“In that case we’ll have two Zombies, please.”

The Bartender nodded.

“So what do you need help with?”

“This” Richie said, taking out his phone, holding it up and pushing record.

“Hello everybody, this is my friend Kay, say hi Kay.”

Kay gave a false smile and said hi to the recording phone.

“We’re out here checking out the festivities, no need to worry. Talk to you all later.”

Richie pushed stop on the phone.

“What the hell was that?” 

“Thanks for helping, my family worries so I send them videos to show that I am fine.”

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Kay was about half way through her drink when Richie struck up a conversation.

“Can I ask you something?”

“I don’t see why not.”

“There was a, let’s call it a rumor in school about you, Kyle Sheridan and a dry handjob in the back of Wendy’s.”

“What? You may need to elaborate on that one.”

“Well according to Kyle you gave him a handjob in the back room at Wendy’s. Of which he said it was dry and not very good.”

“Wow, that’s one way to twist the narrative.” Kay said, finishing off her drink.

She motioned to the Bartender.

“Can we get two shots of Jack, please.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

They downed the shots.

“OK, now would you like to hear the real story?”

“Yes, hit me.”

“Kyle and I were in the backroom at Wendy’s before it was time to open the doors. We had done all the prep work and had a few minutes to kill. Now Kyle is a big flirt and I was game at the time, so we went into the backroom and I got on my knees in front of him.” Kay ordered another shot of Jack and downed it.

“And?” Richie asked.

“And I sucked him off and he enjoyed it, there was no handjob, let alone a dry one. Kyle’s a fucking asshole.”

“Yeah, Kyle’s an asshole. So you up for a walk, take in the insanity of ‘Free Minds, Free Bodies, Free Expression’?”


~ ~ ~ ~

Twilight had begun bathing the dessert in an eerie blue light, people started building bonfires around the area. Kay and Richie walked through the groups of people, small groups dancing, and singing together. They entered a large tent, full of oversized floor pillows scattered around on the floor. There were a few couples sitting around, some talking, some making out.

“Would you like to partake?’ a short man in a silk robe asked, holding out a pipe.

Richie gave Kay a look.

“You game?” He asked.

Kay took the pipe and inhaled, holding the smoke in her lungs as long as she could, then slowly exhaled.

“Nice.” She said, handing the pipe to Richie.

He took the pipe and inhaled, held and exhaled. Richie handed the pipe back to the man and took Kay’s hand. He led her over to a pile of floor pillows and sat down. He pulled her down next to him. Kay leaned over and whispered. “Now what?”

“Now we wait.” He said leaning back and getting comfortable. Kay sat back next to him, and closed her eyes.

~ ~ ~ ~

A deep warm feeling washed over her, the pillows felt softer, the air warmer. She moved her hand and realized that he was still holding her hand. She glanced down looking at her fingers interlaced with his, how soft his skin was. Kay’s gaze moved up looking into Richie’s dark eyes. He met her gaze and moved towards her. Kissing her gently on the lips. Kay let out a sigh, put her hand on the back of his neck and kissed him again. She sat back against the pillows, he leaned over her and whispered into her ear. Kay giggled, she couldn’t help herself, his breath on her neck sent a shiver down her back as her arms broke out in goosebumps.

Richie stood up, holding his hands out to help her to her feet. She took his hand and stood up, the room spun. She took a quick step into his arms.

“You OK there?”

“Yeah, head rush.”

They walked out into the cool night air. Kay looked up, the sky was littered with bright stars, they made their way over to a bench and sat down. Kay closed her eyes and took a deep slow breath, letting the high wash over her.

“Any thoughts on what time it is?” She asked. Richie checked his watch.

“10:45 pm.”

“So back to the Friendly Budget Inn? That is where you’re staying?” Kay asked.

Richie leaned in and kissed her, slower and deeper this time. 


~ ~ ~ ~

The sun streamed through the slit of the heavy rust colored curtains, falling upon Kay’s face. She turned her head away at the realization that it was morning. Her head pounded and her body ached, she moved her arm towards the other side of the bed. Her fingers hit something, it was soft and cold.

“What the…” Kay quickly moved and fell onto the floor. 

“What the fuck?” a groggy voice from the other side of the room asked.

“Richie? If you’re over there who the fuck is in the bed?” Kay asked, trying to get up off of the floor.

“What are you going on about?” He asked getting up and walking towards the bed.

Richie looked over at the nice looking blonde that appeared to be sleeping, except that her bright blue eyes were open and her skin was pale. He moved closer, touching her wrist and then her neck.

“Well whoever she was, she is most definitely dead now.” 

“Who’s room are we in?” Kay asked, standing next to Richie.

“Mine, I think.” He answered looking around.

“Do you remember anything from last night?” Kay asked, gathering her clothes and getting dressed.

“Not really. Except…”

“Except what?” Kay asked, pulling her shirt over her head.

“You’re not going to like it. But given the circumstances.”

“Not like what?”

Richie wandered over to the far wall that faced the bed. He ran his hand over the top of a painting of sunflowers pulling down a small black box.

“What the fuck Richie…”

“I told you, you wouldn’t like it.” He said turning on his laptop.

“Can we at least not do this in here, with her?” Kay asked.

Richie got dressed, taking his laptop with him to Kay’s room.

~ ~ ~ ~

“I can watch that on an empty stomach.” Kay said, calling room service. After two cups of coffee, scrambled eggs with sausage and an english muffin Kay was ready to face the events from the previous night. 

“OK, fire it up. Let’s see what we’ve gotten ourselves into.” She said taking a seat next to Richie.

He pushed play, the timestamp read 11:15 pm. Kay watched as they made out, undressed and thoroughly enjoyed each other on a carnal level. She could feel her cheeks getting hot as the embarrassment and regret of the night’s events were being played back to her in high def.

“So you film all your conquests?” Kay asked, getting up and rummaging through her bag.

“Not always. What are you looking for?”

“These.” Kay answered, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. She lit one and sat back down.

At 1:35 am Kay went into the bathroom, and Richie took a call and then left the room.

“Where did you go?” Kay asked, taking a deep drag.

“I have no idea.” He said taking the cigarette from her and taking a hit.

Richie pushed the fast forward button. Kay coming out of the bathroom, having a drink, laying on the bed.


The timestamp read 2:40 am when Richie returned to the room with the blonde on his arm. Kay lit another cigarette.

“Are you ready?” He asked.

“Do you have anything stronger?”

Richie laughed, “Not on me.”

Richie went to push play Kay put her hand over his.

“Maybe we should be on the same page before seeing what happened.”

“What do you think happened?”

“Considering she’s dead something happened.”

He took her hand and gave it a squeeze.

“Let’s see what happened, before overreacting.” He said leaning in and kissing her on the lips.

Richie pushed play. The blonde was introduced to Kay. Kay and the blonde kissed, she then did a striptease and laid on the bed. Kay moved in between the blonde’s legs, eating her out while Richie fed her his cock.

“Fuck.” Kay said under her breath.

Kay watched as the three bodies intertwined fucking each other in various positions. Then they were all still.

“Fast forward it.” Kay said.


The timestamp read 5:15 am Kay watched as the blonde got up, took something out of her handbag and went into the bathroom. Richie then got up, leaving just Kay on the bed. Fifteen minutes later the blonde came back to the bed and laid down.

“Well that does and doesn’t answer things.” Kay said, looking at Richie.

“Meaning what?” Richie asked.

“Meaning you knew where the camera was. What happened during the fifteen minutes you were both off camera?” Kay asked, getting up and getting a bottle of water out of the mini fridge.

As she turned back around, Richie was standing right in front of her.

“Oh Kay, sweet, curious Kay.” He said, wrapping his arms around her. He kissed her. Then looked into her eyes and said. “You need to make a choice, either you’re with me or tomorrow’s headline will be ‘Two women found dead at the Friendly Budget Inn’ your choice.” He kissed her again, holding her tightly to him. Kay looked at him, kissed him again and said. “Guess we had better go clean up the other room then.”   

Eight Free Fiction Ebook Titles

Rounding out Indie April 

Eight Ebook Fiction Titles are free April 18th and 19th on Amazon 

After the Glory 

You know that feeling you get when you are at a point in your life where you don’t know what’s next. But you know it makes you feel sick to think about it. That tight knot in the pit of your stomach, the metallic taste you get in the back of your throat knowing that you’re going to throw up no matter how hard you fight it. This is that point in life for Thomas.

No Rest For The Wicked 

A collection of short stories featuring Detective James Andrews.

Detective Andrews grabbed a cup of coffee with two sugars, a splash of cream, his notepad and a new black ballpoint pen. As he headed out to his car the desk attendant said.

“No rest for the wicked,” James flipped him off as he left the precinct.

Grace’s Journey

Grace awoke the next morning with a purpose, to be here with Eric, to distance herself from the craving. That feeling of need and sexual desire that haunted her. 

Haunted Hydrangeas

A collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories. Twenty-four selected works ranging from a quick 200 word flash fiction piece, to an elaborate 3074 word short story. Showcasing the randomness of ideas that can come from a few choice words…a where, a what and a whom.

Down the Rabbit Hole 

A collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories. Twenty-six selected works that tell a variety of stories, from quick and dirty to long and involved. I invite you on a journey of words…Down The Rabbit Hole.

Embracing the Chaos 

Here it is a chaotic collection of flash fiction. 26 ½ pieces of flash fiction, created out of suggestions of an item, a place and a name/occupation, and one bonus story. Because I wanted to use the title Sulfur and Sin. Enjoy the chaos reader.

An Experiment in Flash Fiction 

An Experiment in Flash Fiction is for me, all my musing printed in one place. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then Their Were None’ and Clue, my original take on ‘Mr. Plum, in the Conservatory, with a lead pipe.’ Sometimes twisted, sometimes heartfelt, always a good time regardless of length.

Detective Stories – Scarlet 

A labor of love, bringing Detective James Andrews story to an end.

Detective James Andrews looked down at the slip of paper that he held in his hand. He took a drag of his cigarette and mumbled to himself.

Why am I out here

The wind screamed through the surrounding trees, causing a cascade of yellow and orange leaves.

It had better not snow

He thought as he pulled his coat tight and flipped up his collar. He made his way to the tall rod iron gate and found that it was slightly ajar. Pushing the gate open just enough for him to enter the Stony Hill Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the area, the last of its residents were buried in the late seventies.


All of my ebooks are on Amazon also available through Kindle Unlimited:

Bouns: Two Free titles From Edna’s Kitchen ebook Cookbooks 

Recipes From Edna’s Kitchen 

Holiday Treats From Edna’s Kitchen  

Six Collections, Twelve Pieces of Flash Fiction -A Showcase

From Haunted Hydrangeas


The Second Bar

Ok quick explanation, this short piece is inspired by the lyrics from Set Fire To The Third Bar by Snow Patrol, when it was pointed out to me that they mention the first and third bar but not the second. So there you go on with The Second Bar. 

Lucy entered the bar on 2nd street looking for him. The guy she had gotten a glance of at the last bar over off of 1st avenue. She was determined to find out his name. 

Lucy took a seat at the bar.

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked.

“Scotch on the rocks,” she answered, the bartender grabbed a glass, dropped a few cubes into it and poured.

“Thanks,” she said as he set it in front of her. 

She took a sip of the Scotch as she scanned the bar for him.

As she finished off her drink she spotted him, over in the far corner nursing a beer. She asked the bartender for two beers and headed over to the table tucked away in the corner.

“Mind if I join you?” she asked the good looking guy with dark eyes.

He gave her a sideways look.

“Sure, do I know you from somewhere?”

Lucy sat the beers down and took a seat.

“I was over on 1st avenue, till the fight broke out,” she said, taking a sip of her beer.

“Yeah, that was kinda crazy, what do you think of this place?”

Lucy looked around, it was stuffy and crowded.

“Not really my scene,”

“So do you have a name?” he asked her. She grinded and put out her hand.

“Lucy, and you are?” He took her hand, giving it a quick shake.

“Aaron,” he gave her a smile.

They sat there sipping on their beers, watching the others socialize. Aaron slid his hand along Lucy’s thigh. She closed her eyes for a second and when she opened them he leaned over and kissed her lightly on the neck. She let out a slight moan and he moved his hands up to her waist, he pulled her into him and kissed her on the lips. She took a breath and kissed him back, running her hand along the back of his neck.

“I know a place on 3rd,” he said.

Lucy gave him a smile and kissed him again. 


Amber sat behind the wheel of her 97’ Honda Civic, the fat heavy raindrops plopped down on her windshield. She had barely gotten the groceries into the car, before the rain started. She sat in the parking lot of the Everyday Foods Grocery store watching the rain splatter across her windshield.    

What if we could go back? She thought to herself.

Back to a pivotal moment, one of those moments when the choices made would affect not only my future but the futures of others in our lives. 

Why did I go? Out of curiosity, loyalty or for the thrill. 

Why did you come? Out of lust, need or want? 

I guess the why doesn’t matter as much as the actions taken by both of us to be there at the same time in the same place. I feel that you risked more than I did. You had to lie to someone that you took vows with. All I did was show up. Which took a lot for me to even do. I stopped and thought over my actions, why am I doing this? Even when I got there I stalled, thought it over. Played out unrealistic scenarios in my mind. 

But I showed up with a knot of guilt in my stomach. Why am I here in a Motel room with someone else’s husband? I have a solid long lasting relationship of my own. 

Why did I come? How did I allow myself to be talked into being here? How do I go back and undo what has been done?  Is there any going back, or just moving on, going forward. Forgetting about it, but learning from it. 

Nothing happened, I showed up, we talked, it was weird and uncomfortable. The knot of guilt kept getting heavier in the pit of my stomach. My hands shook, my voice cracked. 

Why did I go? For the thrill, there’s no thrill in this, this being here in a strange room with you is agonizing. 

I keep thinking that I should be home doing the laundry or dishes. Not in a Motel room with somebody else’s husband. 

Did you have guilt? Were you aware of the damage that you could have done to the others in your life? Would you have regretted it? If something had happened and she found out, would she forgive you? Or punish you?

How did I let it get to this point? I didn’t want to be there, so why was I?

Amber shook her head, turned the key, flipped on the windshield wipers and drove home.

From Down the Rabbit Hole 

Junior Executives

Lauren sat at the table waiting for the Monday morning staff meeting to get underway. As other Junior Executives and their Assistants filled the room, Lauren was watching one of the new interns as she made coffee and put out fresh doughnuts. Julie was her name, she had started a few weeks ago and was a bit of a head turner, with her pretty face and cute little southern accent. When Mr. Henderson arrived Julie served him his coffee, with two sugars and a dash of cream, just the way he liked it. As she turned back from the table something fell from her jacket pocket. After the meeting Lauren picked up what had fallen from Julie’s pocket, she placed it in her own jacket pocket and exited the room.

“Julie, may I see you for a minute?” Lauren asked as she passed her in the hallway. Julie followed her into the restroom.

“You dropped it,” Lauren said, holding up the syringe.

“Fuck, do you think anyone else saw?” Julie asked. Lauren tossed the syringe into the trash, and moved towards Julie. 

“I don’t think so babe, but do try to be more careful, he can’t die too quickly,” Lauren said, as she kissed Julie.

Austin Nights

The neon lights streaked along the rain soaked streets of downtown Austin. As a tall, slim, redhead, wearing a short silver metallic dress and black stilettos wandered down the empty street. Her curly locks hanging in her face as she stared blankly into the darkness, the still warm derringer strapped to her right inner thigh.

She squinted as she approached the bright lights coming from the Greyhound station. She pushed open the doors and entered the terminal, making her way up to the ticket counter.

“How much is one way to San Antonio?” she asked the attendant.

“That would be $6.00.” She fished out some folded up bills from between her breasts, unfolded them and handed him a five and a one. He punched it in and handed her a ticket to San Antonio leaving at 4:45 am.

She took the ticket, and found a payphone, she picked up the receiver and dialed.

“Hello?” a groggy male voice answered.

“Nate, I’m coming home.” She said,

“Cynthia, is that you?” Nate asked.

“Yes, I’ll be there in a few hours.” She said,

“OK but do you think that’s a good idea?” He asked. Cynthia took a deep breath.

“No, but I don’t have a choice…Nate I shot John.” She said, waiting for his reply.

“We’ll talk about it when you get here.” He said hanging up the phone. She hung up the receiver, took a seat on the hard wooden bench, and stared at the clock on the wall. It read 2:50 am.

From Hat Trick 

Dentz’s Deli on 5th

Jerry Whitman was making his weekly rounds drumming up some business for his vacuum cleaner business in New York City. It was a little after one when he entered Dentz’s Deli on 5th for some lunch. He ordered a pastrami on rye, with extra mustard, a garlic dill pickle spear, with a bag of chips on the side and a tall iced tea with a wedge of lemon. As he was enjoying his lunch a young man in a navy blue tracksuit ran in and headed into the back of the small deli.

“What do you mean you lost it?” a loud male voice asked.

The next thing Jerry heard made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

‘Twack’ followed by a muffled scream. 

A large man holding a rusty butcher’s knife came out of the back and asked Jerry if he could get him anything else.

Jerry shook his head.

“No thank you, I am fine,” 

“Ok, then,” the man walked towards the back.

Jerry wrapped up the rest of his lunch and left. 

White Hollyhock

Cyril’s head fell forward, his chin resting upon his chest. He hadn’t gotten much sleep the day before as his neighbors were having plumbing work done on the apartment above his. Realizing that he had nodded off once again he shook himself awake.

He sat up right in his chair and glanced over the bank of security monitors before him. Cyril checked his watch and grabbed his flashlight.

“Time to make the rounds.” He muttered to himself as he stretched before leaving the booth. As Night Watchman at the Stanford’s Warehouse it was Cyril’s duty to keep an eye on the merchandise, mostly pieces of art work mixed with some designer furniture.

Some of it was crated but most of it was set up in displays, to help the buyers picture it in their homes or offices. He walked the perimeter glancing at the displays as he went. As he walked past a particular living room set up, glanced over and continued on.

“Wait a minute.” He turned around and looked over the display again. Now Cyril had been doing this job for the past four months and in that time he had pretty much memorized what was in each display.

He stood staring at the back wall of the display, instead of the Ram’s Head, White Hollyhock painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, there was a Dogs Playing Poker painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge in its place.

From Random Words

Within the Twilight

As I, Jack, am sentenced to roam this world in purgatory, I stand hidden in the shadows of the boggy marsh, waiting for you, my helpless one to wander through my paradise.

I open my hand, releasing my ghostly orbs into the twilight. They catch your attention, you are drawn into their elusiveness. Wanting to follow them, chase them, catch them.

I watch from the shadows as you are caught in a hypnotic state, that leads you deeper into the bog, to your demise. Your soul for the taking. I relish in the pleasure it gives me to take your soul as my trophy. 


“RUN Scott, RUN!” Christine screamed from the steps of the manor house. Scott ran full out through the drive and into the dark forest. He could hear the growls of the hellhounds getting closer. His heart pounding along with his feet hitting the wet mossy ground. 

“Fuck,” he said coming to a stop, putting is hands on his thighs and leaning forward, waiting to see if his dinner was going to reemerge.

He glanced to his left, peering at him with raging red eyes, and dripping fangs were two hellhounds. A deep growl emerged from their throats, as they lunged.

A screaming echo was heard back on the steps of the manor house.

“That’s disappointing,” Christine said.

“What is ma’am?”

“Pour Scott, I told him not to go into the basement.” 

From Embracing the Chaos

Murine, Druid

The moonlight dripped through the forest’s canopy illuminating the small clearing. Tall ancient oaks surrounded by lush green moss.

Muirne entered the clearing, the moonlight shimmering off her tall, slender frame. Highlighting her toned calves, abs, and shoulders. The moon elf druid being pulled to the clearing by a haunting voice.

Holding her oak staff and raising her hand towards the dark sky, the staff began to glow a rich dark green. The winds picked up creating a cyclone around Muirne. The vines crawled up her legs, slithering around her waist as she chanted.

“Teacht chugam Teacht chugam. Ciallmhar!”

All of a sudden the winds became still. A loud crack of thunder rang out in the clearing. A tall broad shouldered figure dressed in gold robes appeared next to her. A deep voice said. ” Why have you awoken me?”

“Wait a minute, Rob, can she do that? Doesn’t she need to roll first?” Chad asked. “Umm, I think it’s OK. Go on Carol, what happens next?” Rob said leaning in over the table. Carol grinned and cleared her throat. “I’ve woken you, because our world is in chaos. The dark one has set upon us.” Carol continued.

“See I told you she would make things more interesting.” Rob whispered to Chad as they listened to Carol. Chad nodded in agreement.

*Teacht chugam, Ciallmhar (Gaelic for Come to me, Wise one)*

Among the Corn

Mr. Bumblesnatch bent over trying to catch his breath. Standing on the outskirts of  Mr. Hanson’s corn field, he glanced down at his hand. The claw hammer was still firmly in his grasp, covered in sticky, crimson film. Mr. Bumblesnatch looked back over his shoulder at the two story white farmhouse that stood in the distance. 

Immediately his mind flashed back to what had occurred only an hour ago. Mitch Bumblesnatch pulled up to his house at half past four on the afternoon of August 7th like any other day. He made his way into the house and yelled for Hannah. Only this time there was no reply. He wandered through the house checking the kitchen and living room before making his way upstairs. 

As he came to the upstairs landing in front of the bedroom, his eyes fell upon a horrific scene. Without hesitation he grabbed the hammer that was sitting on the table at the top of the stairs. Hannah had been hanging some pictures and it had been left out. 

Mitch moved quickly toward the scene, swinging at what appeared to be a creature of some sort. It was human-like, but with black scale-like skin, it was feeding on Hannah’s neck. Mitch buried the hammer into the creature’s back. It stopped feeding and looked at him, its yellow eyes piercing into Mitch’s soul. 

He swung again making contact with the side of its head. It let out an ear piercing screech. Mitch turned stumbling down the stairs and out the front door. He ran till the tightness in his chest was unbearable. 

All of a sudden Mitch felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck, the creature had found him. As it drained the blood from Mitch’s body the hammer fell to the ground.

From Lost Among the Hydrangea

Beer Head

Geoffrey Hartley’s feet ached as he sat down upon a large boulder. It had taken longer than he had anticipated, but finally he had made it to Beer Head scenic overlook in southeast Devon. Geoffrey made himself comfortable opening his worn rucksack, he retrieved a sketch pad and a fine-line black pen. 

Taking a deep breath and gazing out over the rocky cliff he began to sketch the open calm landscape before him. Beginning with a horizon line, his pen sketched in basic shapes. The cliffs edge, the shoreline, and the open sea that laid before him. His hands worked quickly adding the tufts of overgrown grass, and scattered boulders. 

Geoffrey gazed at the clouds as they slid across the sky. All of sudden he had the feeling of being watched. Looking around his immediate surroundings he found the pair of eyes that were upon him. A stout little fox was sitting on its haunches among the tufts of grass. When Geoffrey made eye contact with it, it let out a little cry and then ran off. Geoffrey went back to his sketch of the Beer Head cliffs. 

Time slid by as he was working, the sun began to set and a cold wind from the north had started to build. The fox let out another cry, this time sitting much closer to Geoffrey. He looked over towards the sound, which pulled him back to paying attention to his surroundings. “I’m almost done.” he said in passing to the fox. 

The fox cried again slightly louder this time. Geoffrey scoffed and continued his sketch. The raindrops began and the fox ran in a circle around the boulder that Geoffrey was sitting upon. “OK, OK.” he said, tucking his sketch pad and pen back into his rucksack. The wind increased and the rain began to fall harder, there was a streak of lightning in the distance followed by a crash of thunder. 

Geoffrey gathered himself up and began walking back towards the road that would lead him down the cliff and back towards town. Where he hoped to take shelter for the night before heading out to another location to sketch. 

As he made his way to the road a loud crack of thunder rang over his head and the fox let out a loud cry as a bolt of lightning struck the very boulder he had been sitting upon, cracking it in half. Stunned by what had just occurred Geoffrey cleared his throat and looked down at the fox. “Well that was a close one.” He said, smiling at the fox and continuing on his way.


The gold ornate clock, with two grizzly bears standing erect on either side of the clock face, was covered in a fine dust as it sat upon the mantle in the dining room of the Winter Palace. The clock remained untouched since that dark day in late October when it had stopped at 2:10am as the Bolsheviks forced themselves into the palace under Lenin’s orders to arrest and remove the country’s Provisional Government. 

During this event that is now known as the Bolshevik Revolution, Lady Edith of British Royalty happened to be a guest in The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg Russia. Lady Edith, being a distant cousin of George V, was a well traveled, educated individual with a passion for understanding other cultures, people and values. 

During Edith’s visit she had befriended one of the house maids, a lovely young lady by the name of Sarah. As the commotion began in the dining room Sarah rushed to Lady Edith’s room and awoke her. Sarah led Edith down one of the upstairs hallways, stopping in front of an oversized portrait of Catherine the Great. 

Sarah placed the palm of her hand to the right of the portrait and gave a little push. The panel gave and opened, Sarah took Edith’s hand and led her through the passageway. The two women made their way through the dark narrow passageway, down a staircase, through another passageway and down another staircase that ended in front of a heavy looking mahogany door. Sarah opened the door and they stepped into a small room that housed a variety of goods. 

Finding a box of matches and lighting a few candles Sarah found Edith a place to sit as they caught their breath. Sarah started rummaging through an old wooden crate that sat in a corner, she pulled out a long folded piece of paper. Taking it over to Lady Edith she unfolded it, smoothing out the creases. 

It was a simple drawing of The Winter Palace, laid out like a map of the buildings and grounds surrounding the property. Edith only knew a little Russian and took her time studying the symbols and lettering. Sarah pointed at a small square on the lower left corner of the main house. “Is that where we are?” Lady Edith asked. Sarah nodded. 

After waiting what seemed like an eternity the two women packed up some essentials and made their way out of the little storage room. Being on guard and cautious Sarah and Edith climbed the staircase to the main floor and found themselves standing in the main dining room. Edith looked at the clock that stood on the mantle, it had stopped. Taking a moment to throw on overcoats, scarves, gloves, and boots the two left the Winter Palace walking along the river’s edge heading towards a place of refuge.

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“Hey, sleeping beauty, do you need a kiss?” the voice said.

Jane opened her eyes, remembering where she was.

“Nope, I am good,” she answered, fully aware that she had fallen asleep during the bus ride to school. She looked over at the guy that had posed the question. Zeb, a senior this year, that still rode the school bus, he was cute, in a rebel without a cause sort of way. With his ripped jeans, t-shirts with obscure bands on them, and the ‘I don’t care about style’ hair that hung in his eyes half the time.

Jane made her way upstairs to her locker, it was her junior year of High School, and school had been a whole lot of ‘blah’ so far this year. As she opened her locker, she heard Brandi yapping away as she came down the hallway. 

You know the type that introduce themselves as Brandi with an ‘i’, sign their name with a little heart over the ‘i’, and always smell like bubblegum. Brandi and Zeb were a thing, Zeb’s locker was a few down from Jane’s in the math wing of the school. As Zeb opened his locker, Brandi pulled out her lip gloss running the wand over her lips, and then continued talking. 

Jane pulled her textbooks for morning classes, Brandi stopped talking abruptly. Jane looked over, Brandi’s back was to her and Zeb was kissing her. Zeb shot Jane a look. Brandi broke off the kiss and headed down the hall. Jane closed her locker and headed towards class.

“Sometimes it’s the only way to get her to stop talking,” He said as Jane passed him.

“Does she taste like bubblegum?” Jane asked.

Zeb laughed. “Yeah, sort of,”

Over winter break Jane’s parents separated, her mom moved into town, renting the upstairs of a house. It had two bedrooms, and shared the garage with the owner that lived downstairs. Jane also had taken a job to help out with the rent, since she was spending the majority of her time at her mom’s place.

Jane was walking home one day after work when it started to rain. Large heavy raindrops accompanied by a chilling wind, kind of rainstorm that comes out of nowhere. She continued to walk against the downpour, when a pick up truck pulled up beside her. 

“Get in,” Zeb said, reaching across to open the passenger door.

“Thanks,” She said as she got into the warm dry truck.

“You going to your mom’s?”

“Yeah, it’s off of…” 

“I know,” he cut her off, giving her a smile.

“It’s a small town,”

“That it is,” Jane said sitting back.

Zeb parked in front of the garage, turned off the truck and faced Jane.

“I am sorry about your parents,”

“Thanks, it’s been…you know what I don’t even know,” 

Zeb put his hand over hers, giving it a light squeeze. He reached over and touched the side of her face, her skin was cold from the rain. He leaned in, kissing her lightly on the lips. She moved back looking into his dark eyes.

“I should go, thanks for the ride,”


A few days later, Jane was walking to work, as she passed the house at the end of the block, Zeb parked in the driveway. She kept walking but looked back as Brandi came bouncing out of the house talking away and got into the truck.

The school year had ended leaving Jane to work more hours. As Jane was leaving work a voice asked her a question.

“Would you like to go for a drive?”

Jane turned to face the voice, giving Zeb a smile.


They drove out towards the river and found a secluded place to park among the trees.

“So Brandi lives down the street from me,”

Zeb laughed. “So I noticed, how are things?”

Jane took a deep breath, exhaling slowly and looking out the window.

“Things are exhausting,” she said looking at him.

He put his hand on her shoulder, pulling her towards him. She let in and leaned against his chest, he ran his hand down her back. Jane closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of his hand rubbing her back. She moved up and kissed him. Parting her lips and letting him slide his tongue into her mouth. He let out a moan and she kissed him longer, letting her lips linger upon his. 

She put her head back on his chest, running her hand down his arm and lacing her fingers into his.

“Are you busy later?” she asked.

“Depends on when later is,”

“After 9 pm, my mom’s staying out at her friends house tonight,”

He ran his fingers through her hair, and kissed the top of her head.

“I think I can pencil you in at nine,” he said.

She sat up and moved back from him. He leaned forward and kissed her.

At 9:15 pm Jane answered the door wearing a faded gray t-shirt and a pair of navy blue sweatpants. 

“Nice outfit,” Zeb said.


As they walked through the kitchen he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her into him. He hugged her, giving her a kiss.

“No bra, nice,” he said, kissing her again.

“And no panties,” she said, taking his hand and leading him into the bedroom. 

“Isn’t this your mom’s room?” Zeb asked as they entered the bedroom.

“Yeah, but she’s not here and it has a bigger bed, unless you want to attempt to fit two people on a twin bed, I think we should stay here,” Jane answered, pulling him into her.

She kissed him grabbing the bottom of his t-shirt and pulled it up over his head, running her hands along his bare chest. He slid his thumbs into the waistband of her navy blue sweats and slid them down to the floor. She stepped out of them and pulled her gray t-shirt off, tossing it on the floor. Zeb gazed over her naked, toned, petite body.

“Very nice,” he said as he unbuttoned, unzipped and slid off his jeans.

Jane spread her naked body across the queen size bed, laying on her back and opening her legs. She slid her hand down in between her legs. Running her fingers over her pussy, letting her fingertips tease her clit. Zeb joined her on the bed, laying beside her, he ran his hand over her breast, lightly pinching her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. He left a trail of kisses from her mouth, down her neck and across her collarbone, to her breasts. As he took her nipple into his mouth, she slipped her fingers into her pussy.

“What do you want?” Zeb asked her, as his hand joined hers rubbing her pussy.

“I want you…to make me cum,” 

Zeb smiled at her as he moved down her body. He kissed the inside of her thigh, moving his hands under her and pulling her to his mouth.

Jane let out a moan when he slid his tongue into her pussy. Her hands gripped the bedspread as he sucked on her clit.

“Fuck,” she breathed, in between spikes of adrenaline, rushing through her body. She reached down, running her fingers through his hair, he pushed deeper into her and she shuddered, filling his mouth with her juices.

He moved back from her, sitting up and wiping off his chin.

“You ok there?” he asked. She cleared her throat and sat up.

“Ooo…headrush, yeah I am good,” she smiled at him.

“Good,” he kissed her and stood up.

“You leaving?” 

“Yeah, I need to be somewhere,” he said, slipping on his jeans and finding his t-shirt.


Zeb gave her a sideways look.


“Well you might want to pop a breath mint before kissing her,” she said, putting on her t-shirt and sweats.

Zeb pulled into Brandi’s driveway, he reached over and thumbed through the glovebox. Finding a forgotten pack of wintergreen gum, opening it and chewing on a stick. Brandi came bouncing out of the house and got into the truck. She leaned over and kissed him on the lips.

She gave him a confused look.


“Have you started smoking?”

“No, why?” 

“Because you don’t usually chew gum,”

Zeb shrugged his shoulders. “Just felt like it, are you ready to go?”

“Yeah, let’s go,” she answered, giving him a smile.

More Stories:

Featured Recipes of the Day

Today’s recipes will be from Sweet & Savory and Recipes for Summer

from Sweet & Savory

Garlic Butter Crusted Margherita Pizza


2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

½ teaspoon chopped roasted garlic or chopped garlic

½ teaspoon salt

1 can refrigerated classic pizza crust

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 Tablespoon chopped roasted garlic or chopped garlic

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh basil strips


Heat oven to 400°F. Grease large dark or nonstick cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray; set aside.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add tomatoes, ½ teaspoon roasted garlic and salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are thickened, stirring frequently. Set aside; cool slightly.

Unroll dough on cookie sheet. Press out dough to 15×10-inch rectangle. In small bowl, mix butter and 1 tablespoon roasted garlic. Spread over dough. Bake 7 minutes; remove from oven.

Evenly distribute tomato mixture over partially baked crust. Top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Sprinkle basil strips over pizza before serving.

S’mores Brownies


1 box (16 oz) original brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box 

2 cups miniature marshmallows

8 graham cracker squares, broken into small pieces

2 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy, broken into 1-inch squares


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box. After removing the pan from oven, set oven control to broil.

Immediately sprinkle marshmallows and graham crackers over warm brownies. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown. (Watch carefully; marshmallows and graham crackers will brown quickly.) Sprinkle with candy. Cool on a cooling rack, about 3 hours until chocolate is set. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

from Recipes for Summer

Broccoli with Sweet Red Pepper and Garlic


1 Tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups broccoli florets

1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup) 

1 small onion, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)

3 Tablespoons water 

¼ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese


In 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Stir garlic into hot oil. Immediately add broccoli, bell pepper, onion and water. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until broccoli is crisp-tender and onion is beginning to brown. Stir in salt.

Place in serving dish, top with cheese.

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Pasta Bake


12 oz uncooked egg noodles

2 teaspoons oil

½ cup diced onion

2 ½ cups chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)

6 oz cream cheese, softened

3 Tablespoons ranch dressing and seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)

2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken

5 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled 

1 ½ cups frozen sweet peas

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 cup panko crispy bread crumbs 

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired


Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 13×9-inch (3 quart) baking dish.

Cook noodles in salted water as directed on package for minimum cook time. Drain, place noodles in large bowl.

Meanwhile, in 10 inch skillet, heat oil until hot. Cook onion in oil until soft and translucent. Season lightly with salt. Add chicken broth, heat to simmering. Stir in cream cheese until melted and combined. Stir in 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the ranch dressing mix. Pour mixture over noodles. Fold in chicken, bacon and frozen peas. Spread in baking dish.

In small bowl, mix melted butter, bread crumbs and remaining 1 teaspoon ranch dressing mix until well coated. Spread over noodle mixture.

Bake about 20 minutes or until top is crisp and sauce is bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.