En Route


I wrote this better than several years ago, but it somehow feels like an appropriate prayer for me today….



I’ve watched so  many people

 Pass every test I’ve failed

And in my hand hangs heavy

The hammer and the nails

As once again I crucify

My Savior to the cross

I despise my weakness

And cannot bear the loss

Oh, how did I come to be in
Between the Grace of GOD, and sin?
In dreams I run t’wards Heaven’s Gate
And voices mock me, “Late, too late!
The Saints have entered long ago…”
A world I fear I’ll never know
Where GOD resides, and angels sing
And sinners like me can’t get in.

Why so often do I stumble
Why is it that I fall?
I look inside and try to find
Some reason for it all
But I’m just a weary hobo
Wretched as can be
Who with tear-stained face
Beholds GOD’S Grace
Through Christ’s blood…which sets us free.

And in my hand hangs heavy
The hammer and the nails
And in my heart contrition
For every time I’ve failed.
Oh, give to me that cross LORD
And let me die with Thee
In death I live, my life I give you
Here at Calvary.

© 2002 – Hobo Mountain Publishing.


En Route

Welfare – A hand up, or a handout…?

G’morning all!

I wandered over to Matt Walsh’s blog a little while ago – it’s the second time I’ve been there – and for the second time I felt compelled to post something on the subject under discussion.  Matt believes in charity but not in Social Assistance (AKA – welfare), which he believes is ‘Stealing’ on the part of the recipients.  He thinks that all giving ought to be voluntary – all giving, period.  Well, that’s a fine idea, of course, but as history has taught us, goodness cannot be mandated.  If the wealthy of the world had cared enough when it mattered most, not a soul on Earth would be starving.

Orphan Boys in a Sandbox

We would have no need for famine relief, NGOs, and all of the other aid agencies that work tirelessly to mitigate the sufferings of millions, when there is enough of everything for all – if we would only share – which we would if we cared enough, but most people don’t, sadly.

Here’s my post:


While I’m a strong believer in multigenerational families, and always thought that I’d be a senior member of one someday, the reality is that kids nowadays are so far into the ‘me’ generation, the ‘self,’ the ‘I,’ and the ‘You owe me a living’ mentality, that not too many stick around to help their parents, and grandparents, and further extended family. Sad, but true nevertheless. My husband and I raised a passel of kids, and we taught them all about hospitality, morality, solid family values, and to follow the example of Christ as well as they could. Only one of them bothers, and even she can’t fathom how not seeing us for… I think it’s ten years now, is *not* all right! She telephones from time to time and tells us all her woes, but I don’t believe it crosses her mind to wonder how we’re coping with being diabetic, and I’m wheelchair bound, legally blind, have a chronic CNS disorder (present since birth), and multiple injuries from a car crash almost eleven years ago. In the not-too-distant past, we lost our house because there was absolutely no work in our area. We moved, of course, over a thousand miles to work, but we couldn’t keep up the payments on both the house we were obliged to rent (so my husband could stay employed), as well as the mortgage on the one we used to own. We even had a buyer for it, but the bank wouldn’t let us sell it, saying that we were a few days past the deadline for ‘Independent action,’ so… they took our house and auctioned it for a quarter of what it was worth. We still owe them the rest, so they say. Now, I think *that’s* stealing, don’t you?

So, we have insurance companies canceling policies and negating mortgages left and right.

We have banks that will come and take your house the moment you’re late with a payment.

We have ungrateful and self-centered children abounding everywhere.

And easily *half* of most people’s take-home pay is *stolen* by the government, via the various forms of taxation, making it extremely difficult to make a living.

We have sick people and old people who *cannot* work any longer, and who cannot afford even the most basic medical care.

We have an unemployment rate that is just shy of what was reported during The Great Depression, and we’re barreling headlong into a meltdown that will make the 1930′s look like a holiday. The United States is bankrupt and has an $18 trillion debt, which it can *never* repay, of course, as the only equity it has is the geographical land itself – and ‘We the people,’ and our taxes. When (yes, I did say *when*) the dollar tanks, tens of millions of people in other countries will suffer too, and many are in a desperate state already.

So, given the above-mentioned problems, why is it surprising that so many people need financial assistance of late?

The welfare office used to be filled with homeless people, and drug addicts, and alcoholics, and high-school dropouts – as well as single mothers. Now, if you visit a welfare office (we don’t even have them in Canada anymore – everything’s done on-line), you’ll see men in suits and ties, many of them with degrees in one field or another, who simply can’t find work anywhere. The latter are people who, for the most part, have paid in to social programs for years, and now that they need a hand up, they shouldn’t get one? Why not? Do these people have a choice? No, they don’t, and neither do those with disabilities, and they need to be assisted.

We don’t need to spend tax dollars on the garbage that we do – we ought to be taking care of the needy – who for whatever reason, and through no fault of their own, simply can’t make ends meet.

The Nanny or Welfare State isn’t something we ‘Buy into,’ Matt; poverty is forced upon most by excessive taxation. Those who abuse the system *are* stealing, if indirectly, but certainly no more so than the government – and it doesn’t matter which government we’re talking about – British, American, or Canadian. In the Western world it all works on the same premise, but it doesn’t work well at all, does it? Banks, Insurance companies (that never pay out), greedy corporations, obscenely high unemployment levels, excessive taxation, ungrateful kids, deadbeat dads, and the general disintegration of the family unit, hyperinflation, lack of medical coverage…, I could go on. No, it isn’t ideal for us to have a Nanny or Welfare state, but unless we solve the other problems we’ve allowed to remain in place (and we won’t), we will always need some version of it.

You’re passionate, Matt, and I know that you want to set the world aright (that job’s already taken, by the way), and God bless you for it, but you’re still young and relatively inexperienced. Wait a couple of decades until you, your wife, or your kids become chronically sick, disabled, or you’re unemployed, or you meet with a horrible accident. Perhaps then you’ll see the situation through the other side of the looking-glass.

We *all* need help from time to time, and when we have more than we need we (hopefully) give, but when we have less than we need, there is no shame in *accepting* help; it teaches us humility, and those who would give, compassion.

May God bless you and yours, Matt, and may He help us all.


Well, what do you think?  Should we do away with Welfare?  Are most of us taxed too much to make it?

Ideally, families and communities *would* take care of each other, and work together for the betterment of all, but we don’t live in a Utopian society, we live in a disintegrating one.

Do you think we’re too far gone to recover, or could we, collectively, regain our ground and *really* learn to ‘Love Thy Neighbor’?

I’d love to hear your comments on this one.


En Route

Mist, Moonbeams, and Shadows….

The following is an excerpt from Echoes of Silence, book #3 in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series:

Falcon in flight

‘Jenny felt a surge of nostalgia as she unbuckled the kids’ seat belts in Colombo. The usual roar of the airport was uncharacteristically subdued, even for a Sunday. As Tom, Linda, and Mahrie transported the sleeping children one by one into the waiting helicopters, the pilots dimmed the Falcon’s lights and departed, and Jenny stood alone in a plane clad in mist, moonbeams, and shadows. Tom ascended the stairs one last time, and standing still in silhouette in the doorway, he waited.

“Tom,” she whispered, and covered her mouth with her hand.
Without a word, he put his arms around her, and let her cry the last salt tears with which she would season this plane, and there had been many.

He’d had an ocean to quietly reflect upon his own memories of the past seven years. Together they had weathered more storms in those years than many do in a lifetime. The Falcon carried more than just people, it held the ghosts of their memories, and he wondered if the laughter and tears would linger after they were gone….

He escorted Jenny down the stairs with his arm still clasped firmly around her shoulders.

Linda watched the scene from the window of the helicopter, and closing her eyes she suspired and sighed; this night would be a long one. She felt a lump slowly forming in her throat, and her eyes stung as she fought the tears that threatened to fall.  Saying goodbye is never easy….

The girls slept beside her, cognizant of nothing, and Mahrie and Joe sat opposite, not understanding fully, but both sensing that this was no ordinary journey.

Tom helped Jenny to climb in beside the boys, who hadn’t stirred, and the helicopters took off in tandem, leaving the ghost ship behind in the trailing mist, as they whirred their way deep in to the mountains.’

Falcon all aboard



The Sri Lankan highlands, home of The Mission, are central to this story, as central as Tom and Jenny’s K’i-pahulu (Maui) home, and Tom’s native Netanya, a half-hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, and forty-five minutes from Jerusalem.

Make Tom and Jenny’s journey through life part of your own.  I promise you won’t be sorry!

You can read the first five chapters of the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series here –

Click to access first_five.pdf

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En Route

Mother died today….

Sometimes the most memorable journeys we take En Route are in our hearts and minds, and today was one of those times for me.

Quite by accident, I chanced upon a blog about stay-at-home mothers, and how little value society now places upon a vocation that was once considered a sacred trust, and stay-at-home mothers were not second-class citizens, or thought of as uneducated and boring.  

The nurturing and molding of decent human beings is a gargantuan task. It takes every ounce of strength, courage, and compassion that you have, and it goes on round the clock, week after week, and year after year, and when a mother dies, everything stops – everything. There’s a hole in your heart that never heals, and that’s true no matter how old you are – we all have (or have had) mothers. Suddenly, there’s no one there to clean the house, cook your meals, or hold your hand when you’re sick, or comfort you when you’re scared. There are no arms to rock you when your world falls apart, no kind and gentle words of wisdom that only mothers, it seems, can impart. Our mothers are critical to our well being, and the loss of one’s mother is devastating. Can you think of a job or occupation that could possibly be more important?

I can scarce believe some of the derogatory comments I’ve heard in this vein, so I felt compelled to comment on the value of stay-at-home moms, and with a quote from Albert Camus (author of The Stranger) fresh in my mind, I did so.  I don’t often give my opinion, as I’m well aware of what it’s worth, but sometimes I feel that to be silent would be criminal.

My comment on the blog:


Interesting comments.

In a nutshell:  Since children are highly portable, it’s possible to be with your children 24/7 and still be ‘out’ in the workforce.  My husband and I had nine children (only four are still living in the flesh, I’m sorry to say, but that’s another story, or blog. You can read about our adventures at http://www.enroutewithjesse.com ).

Home is where the family is, and while I’m a missionary/author/singer-songwriter/musician, and naturopath, I took my children with me wherever I went in the world – and I’ve traveled most of it .. My husband and I home schooled them and kept them in our proverbial hip pockets until they were ready to branch out on their own, which they’ve all done, and now we’re blessed with several grandchildren.  Our kids who have kids are all stay-at-home moms, by the way, which I find both gratifying and interesting.

I’m not knocking working mom’s here, as I’ve always been one, and I don’t doubt for a moment that most moms are doing their best for their children, but is the choice to leave their kids for ten or more hours a day an informed one?  Somehow, I think not.  I applaud all moms and dads who are working hard to provide for their children (which is their obligation, of course), but I’m *deeply *concerned about the absence of mothers in the home.  I’m concerned that I can type ‘Latchkey kids’ in to this comment and not have a spellchecker correct me.  As old-fashioned as it has now become, I strongly believe that children should be within arm’s reach of their parents until they are old enough to go it alone.  What other species can you name that abandons its children for material anything?

To be sure, leaving one’s child to work all day is sometimes unavoidable, but let’s be honest – most working mothers don’t work because they have to, they work because they want to, period.  The needs of children nowadays too often come after the wants of their parents, and I’ve lived long enough to watch the present trend take hold.  This is not progress or liberty, it’s the shift from family to ‘self,’ and that shift will be the undoing of those who subscribe to the ‘self’ philosophy, but the greatest casualties in this moral war, will always and forever be our children.

The fall of *every* world power in history was preceded by the disintegration of the family unit.  When families fall apart, so do individuals, villages, towns, cities, and finally nations, and people become displaced, confused, and lose their sense of identity… and their roots, and they begin to question their intrinsic worth, and their reason for being.  Just look at North America today, it’s spiritually, morally, and financially bankrupt – and the U.S. won’t be a world power for much longer, sadly.  It was a great country once.

As unpopular a comment as I’m sure this will be, I firmly believe that if one *intends* to avoid raising one’s children oneself, or at least have them brought up within the family unit (as in Grandma looks after them for you), I don’t believe one ought to have them – it’s selfish, irresponsible, and… unkind.  If you disagree, I invite you to visit any daycare five minutes after working mothers drop their children off – it’s nothing less than heartbreaking!

While I don’t wish to downplay the importance of fathers in any family, there’s a reason why people all around the world agree that one of the most poignant and ‘best first lines’ in any novel is:


Gets you where it counts, doesn’t it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Love and All Good Things – Jesse.’


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The featured image for this post is the cover from the second book in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series The Least of These.  You can read the first five chapters here –

Click to access first_five.pdf

En Route


This magnificent bald eagle was perched motionless high up in a tree beside the Bridge River, focused intently on catching a glimpse of silver scales flashing in the fast-moving water – breakfast for his growing family, and a slow, grizzly death for the unsuspecting salmon. I watched him for a moment or two, his head darting back and forth, his yellow eyes skimming the pearl gray water, his pinions disheveling in the biting wind.  He ignored me, and as I coaxed my Canon to come to life in the chill of the early morning, I snapped him as he left his perch, diving at 105 miles per hour, but he disappeared in to the canyon before I could get his prey on film.  Man!  I hate that!  Anyway, he put me in mind of a song I wrote not so long ago, and used (in part) as the opening to Chapter Twenty-one in book #4 – The Gathering Dark – in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series.

book_4_cover front cropped

Most of you probably know by now that all of the chapters in all of the books are preceded by a poem, prose, or a song to set the mood for each chapter.  If I’d had this fellow then, I think I might have included him….


‘Black Roses


Last night I dreamed of black roses

With blood dripping red from their thorns

And the sky was a strange kind of crimson

That never did change with the dawn

And I stood there and stared at an eagle

Its yellow eyes stared back at me

It was caught up in flight and soon gone from my sight

And I wished that eagle were me


Last night I dreamed I was flying

And my wings took me out into space

As the stars drifted by me I wondered

Why no breath of wind kissed my face

It was dark, it was cold there and empty

Each glimmer of light far away

And part of me wanted to run from that place

Another part wanted to stay


Last night I dreamed I was aching

For somebody warm in my bed

Just someone to hold me, but nobody told me

That I’d wake up lonely instead

And I cried for the sand and the sound of the sea

For the softly whispering foam

And I do confess it’s a mystery to me

Why I can’t seem to find my way home’




(Above) Scanning the waters.



Ah… breakfast!



I love flight, I always have, and I’ve flown in most kinds of planes, I suppose, from hot-air balloons, to gliders, to MiGs, to all sorts of commercial planes.  The only one I haven’t been up in, and would still love to experience, is a Dassault Falcon 7X.  Ah, but I managed to live vicariously… a little, in enjoying Tom’s and Jenny’s journeys in theirs.

Despite the sense of loss and longing at the conclusion of Black Roses, it seems to me that we’re all searching in one way or another, and however far our journeys may take us, we’re just trying to find our way home….

Love, peace, and All Good Things – Jesse.


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Read the first five chapters of the seven-novel Time & Unforeseen Occurrence series here –

Click to access first_five.pdf

En Route

Where’s *your* sense of wonder…?

Darlin’ and I slept for most of the day.  I’d have posted a picture of us but… trust me – it wasn’t cute; we were out for the count!

I had a dream about an amusement park in Toronto, Ontario, where we used to take our children when they were small, and then I remembered a passage from Letters to Jenny (the sequel to the seven-novel Time & Unforeseen Occurrence series), where a ‘hot’ pitcher (Michael Richards) for the Blue Jays, his best friend and legendary All Star hitter, Mitch Warner, and their teammate and catcher, Will O’Conner took their pregnant wives and their children to Canada’s Wonderland.

‘Michael took two Extra Strength Tylenol before they left for Canada’s Wonderland on Wednesday.  Just the thought of all that rumpus gave him an anticipatory headache and he wondered why he had loved the place so much in his younger years. 

The kids all thought it was Heaven on Earth and their excitement reached critical mass when the Twister came into view, and they began squealing in anticipation, and writhing in their seat belts – even Charity, their two-year-old, was clapping her hands in delight.  Pulling up to parking lot #4, Michael paid the lady in the booth and asked if he could possibly be permitted to park close to the entrance gate, as his wife was pregnant and he didn’t want her to have to walk five miles before they entered the park.

“You’re Michael what’s-his-name from the Blue Jays, aren’t you?” she asked.

“Michael Richards, and guilty,” he grinned.  “Mitch Warner and Will O’Conner are in the two vans behind us, and their wives are pregnant too – very.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes, Ma’am, so if you could…”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Richards; I’m a big fan, but if you wanted a good parking spot you should have been here three hours ago.”

“Three hours?  It’s only 9.30, you don’t even open for half an hour yet!”

“I know, Sir, but people come early so they don’t have to… ahem… walk five miles.”

“I hope you have a six-day labor with every one of your kids,” Michael said, as she gave him a power junkie saccharin smile.

“Michael!” Keisha objected.  “That wasn’t called for.”

“Oh, no?  Fine!  I don’t want to hear a peep out of you during our five-mile hike to Hell,” he scowled, and groaning added, “So much for celebrity status.”  Following the pimple-faced parking attendant’s flags, he obediently, if begrudgingly, drove to the second last row on the lot with Mitch and Will following close behind him.

“Ain’t they never heard o’ the Blue Jays?”  Mitch said.  “I told ‘em we needed to get closer on account of the gals, but…”

“Didn’t work for you either, eh?”  Michael said, rolling his eyes.  “I’m going to get Keisha one of those rental wheelchairs they have.  The nannies can push the little ones in their strollers today.  You coming?”

“You betcha!”  Mitch said, and followed Michael.

“Hold up you guys!”  Will hollered, “I’m coming with you!”

Half an hour later the men returned with their wheelchairs, just in time to witness the mass exodus from the stationary cars in the parking lot.

“What say we let ‘em go first?” Mitch said.  “It ain’t as if we’re vyin’ fer a seat or somethin’.”

“You’d better give the kids their water bottles,” Helen said.  “We’ll be an hour before we get through those turnstiles.”

“An hour!” Michael Jr. and Chrissy whined in concert.

“Yes, an hour,” Michael said.  “Do you see those little black specs on the horizon over yonder?”

“Yeah, but…”

“Yeah, but nothing.  Those are people waiting in line for entrance into this theme park, and we aren’t going anywhere until they’ve all filed in.”

“Don’tcha wanna go to Canada’s Wonderland?” little Chad asked.

“No, Chad, I don’t.  I’d rather paint myself with barbeque sauce and walk naked through theAfrican Lion Safari than come to this place.  Look at them all!  I must be out of my mind!”

Mitch and Will, newcomers to this particular childhood ritual, eyed Michael suspiciously.

“How bad can it be?” Will asked.

Michael reached into his pocket, and pulling out his tube of Extra Strength Tylenol, he tapped out two pills into Mitch and Will’s outstretched palms.

“What’s this for?” Will asked.

“The pounding headache you’re going to get, if you don’t have one already.”

“How come you ain’t takin’ none?” Mitch asked.

“I took mine before we left home.  Amateurs!” Michael said, shaking his head, as the twenty-seven person troupe strode out into the already seventy-six-degree Ontario sunlight. 

Ten hours, 232 rides, sixty-eight hot dogs, thirty-four candy apples, and five diaper changes later, the kids began to whine.  They were tired and wanted to be carried, sit down, or catch a nap, and a couple wanted to throw up, and three of them ‘Couldn’t wait’ and had an accident while standing in line waiting to urinate in the obscenity they had the nerve to call a washroom.

Blue Jays and Mariners July 2009 811Little girl with pop

Blue Jays and Mariners July 2009 110The Lone Tear

Helen moaned.  “I don’t want to think about the number of fatal diseases they could catch in that place.  Next time we’re bringing along a port-a-potty.”

“Next time?” Will said.  “You mean you’d do this again?”

“Not willingly, but the children seem to like it,” she said.

“I don’t get the impression Mia’s enjoying upchucking by that bush,” he said, nodding in her direction.  “I have the baby wipes but you’re the mom,” he said, handing them to her, and rubbing his temples as the effects of the Tylenol were wearing off.

“Hey, Michael,” he whispered, “got any more of those pain pills?”

“What do you think?  How many do you want?”

“Forty,” he groaned, “but with any luck two will do the job.”

Mitch said nothing but held his hand out silently.  “I’ll getcha for this, Richards,” he promised.  “Who invented this place, Hitler?  If people was meant to be spun around like this then the Good Lord would’ve made us into spinnin’ tops.  I ain’t interested in stayin’ to see no fireworks!”

“Gentlemen,” Michael gasped, and holding his arm outstretched he said, “Read the sign, it says – Canada’s Wonderland – where’s your sense of wonder?”’

Hope you enjoyed the visit!

Love and All Good Things – Jesse.


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Read the first five chapters of the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series here – http://jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf

En Route

The Driver’s Seat….

Ice on the windows eight days in a row, frost on the grass in the mornings, and crystalline snow-white fingers stealthily inching down the mountainside – a month too early from our point of view, but as with all else in life… what can y’do but roll with it?

The heaters in Buster aren’t adequate to compete with an Alpine winter, so today Darlin’ had to rescue our sensitive electronic equipment, our clothing, and all other items that could be damaged by the cold. Heaven knows, it’s a waste of a day, as we’ll only have to reload them again – some into Buster, and some into the U-Haul truck we’ll use to transport our belongings to a temperature-controlled storage facility.  Five years is too long a time to leave them in the house unattended – been there, done that, and even with baseboard heaters on, we come back to musty, moldy clothes and bedding every time.  No thanks!  So, Darlin’ spent the day moving back in to the house what we just moved out to Buster a month ago.  It’s not supposed to be this cold yet!

It isn’t always fun being in the driver’s seat!

Poor guy, it’s not as if I can physically help him either, but did he complain?  Nope, not once!  The only quasi lamentation I heard from his lips was how much he was going to miss… home.  Sigh….  I hadn’t had time to think about the leaving yet.

It’s not that I mind going, I love what we do, going to scores of different places and seeing all those smiling faces, as we sing, play, and read to them, and… well, you know the drill.  (Or you do if you’ve been following us for any length of time.)  I’ll go anywhere the LORD leads me, but… like Darlin’, I’m going to miss this:


 And this:

Bridge River Valley Overview

And this:

Testing  Canon S5 IS 009cropped Eagle Falls

And this:

Sunset from outside our house - Dec. 10th, 05

And him….

Testing  Canon S5 IS 128Bruno cropped

I’m going to miss our quiet conversations, he’s such a sweet and gentle soul….

Do you know that by the time I was fifty, I’d lived in sixty-four places?  Some for a few weeks or months, and some for a year or two!  I figured that out a few years back and haven’t kept count since then.

I know we’ve been a tad overwhelmed lately, and my blog posts reflect that, I’m sure, but the fault is mine, my friends, mine and Darlin’s.  In all of our planning, praying, and reaching, we forgot the most important thing of all – the Driver’s Seat is already occupied by GOD – and He doesn’t want us anywhere near it!  Phew!  I feel better already.

It’s far too easy to take back the reins when we’re tired, or on autopilot, and not connecting with God as well as we should.  Haste will do that to us – all of us, as will worry and all other futile occupations.  God is *always* in the Driver’s Seat of our lives, and if He isn’t… He should be!  (Jeremiah 10:23.)

Suddenly it all seems possible again!


‘May The Lord bless you

May The Lord keep you

May He lift up His face and shine His Countenance upon you

And give you peace.’


Love and All Good Things – Jesse.

En Route

Champagne, bubble baths, and softly falling snow….

Today, we were supposed to ‘scan’ the Digital Version of the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series, due to be released on July 1st, 2015.  We’d just received the final document from the printer’s and we had to check the alignment of circa 6,000 pages.  When I read the word ‘scan,’ I foolishly thought it might take an hour or two – at most, but it didn’t, it took all day.  I do confess that we might have made it through the task a little faster, but we’ve missed our friends, and the story, and we found ourselves reading sometimes, instead of ‘scanning,’ when a particularly delicious segment caught our attention.

Tom and Jenny, the leading gentleman and lady of the story, were nibbling on strawberries, sipping on champagne, and soaking in a hot, round, fragrant bubble bath in Jenny’s photography studio, tucked away near TYAX, in Canada’s Coastal Mountains, and far away from their family home in Maui.  And winter was on the wing….

Here’s an excerpt from Book #6 in the series, entitled The Fairing Sky:

‘The lake waters thundered against the shore and the northern wind roared angrily, hungrily, as Tom and Jenny watched the first few flakes of snow fall silently and then disappear into the midst of the squalls of swirling, ill-fated leaves, stolen from the swaying trees all around them.  Soaking in the warmth of their bubble bath, grateful for the shelter, Jenny hoped that they had brought enough warm clothing for what was sure to be a bitter morning.  A large, wet, burgundy maple leaf stuck to the bathroom window, like five groping fingers hoping to hold on for the night.  As it slid slowly down the slippery glass an inch or two, Jenny noticed a black spider attached to it, furiously attempting to spin a web, an anchor to help it ride out the raging storm. 

Tom lifted his leg, and with his toes, he pulled the hot water faucet toward them, infusing the bath with fresh, steaming liquid, while Jenny poured another capful of lilac-scented bubble bath into the mix.  Tom reached over and grasped the bottle of dealcoholized champagne, filling up Jenny’s glass, and was about to fill his own when they heard a shrill scream coming from Gabriel’s room.’

Ah, the joys of parenthood, no?  We read the next few pages too… we couldn’t help it!  After spending a decade creating the Epstein family saga, we feel that they’re family to us now, and we’re officially junkies, as we seldom go for more than a day or two without visiting with them, either in the first seven books, the sequel (due out in October 2015), or in the final book, the one I’m tidying up now, but I haven’t had the time to enjoy immersing myself in the journey lately, as our upcoming tour is taking all our time.

If you’d like to read the first five chapters of the story on line, you can do it free at my Web site, with my compliments.  Here’s the link – http://jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf .  We’d love to hear your thoughts about the story.

Oh, the featured image at the top of the page is a lake not far from the TYAX Lodge, and closer to our house, going the other way.  We think it’s beautiful, but then – we’re a little biased.

G’night, Godbless, and may you always hear the whisper of wings.

Love – Jesse.