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29
The Allegiance of the Damned
October, 1755
There is no greater nightmare to a Nordic sailor than drowning in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Only the terror of being devoured by a kraken could rival the fear of being lost overboard in those ice-filled seas in which the cold’s dagger-like fingers slash into the unprotected flesh to freeze the heart.
Dutch Captain Rutger Vogel knew this terror well for it sped his own heart. He saw it mirrored in the pleading eyes of his ten crewman as they peered back at him from the pitching, ice-covered decks of the Lilith, a 154-foot schooner sailing north through the English Channel, And still, the seasoned captain’s heart burned with more powerful emotions than the fear of an icy death in the stormy seas of the North Atlantic. Vogel’s desires even outweighed his compassion for his fellow shipmates. His insanity was born from the dire needs of jealousy and revenge. His desperate needs demanded that he return to his home outside Amsterdam by the quickest means possible and at whatever the cost.

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31
Jack hurried across their fields swinging his arms and twisting his torso. He was trying to work out his sore stiffness. He found the going painful. Any thoughts that he’d be unable to practice were pushed aside by his determination to be a team leader and set a proper example.

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30
The gathering for the Sobel barn clearing was in full swing that evening. The conversations and laughter were too loud. Most the neighbors were drunk on Pa Spbel’s latest batch. Jack Espinoza felt trapped with his back pinned to an outer wall of the Sobel household. The heat and humidity were down, but the

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31
We all have “to do” lists of tasks we either need or want to complete. I discovered long ago the tasks go easier and are more likely to get done if I think of the tasks as things I want to get done rather than things I have to do. I even say it that way. I rarely say, “I have to mow the lawn.” Typically it’s. “I want to mow the lawn.” It may sound like it’s a matter of words, but it’s more a state of mind.

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31
Moseby tongued his chaw to the other side of his mouth. He spat a river of juice before saying. “Welcome to the thirty-nine season, gents. That was just your first practice, and a small taste of what’s in store for you this year. You boys got a long way to go if we’re going to repeat as League Champions.”

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30
Creativity and imagination are essential tools for a writer. They’re the source of our stories, our characters, and plots. Imagination provides the answers to the constant “What ifs?” and “What’s next?”, and “What would this character do in this situation?”

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30
ost stories are more realistic if written from experience. The problem arises when you’re writing historical fiction and weren’t ¬¬there to experience the history. I’m currently writing a historical fiction novel involving the air war over Europe during the Second World War (1939-1945). I wasn’t alive at the time. Fortunately, one of the planes I’m writing about, a B-17 Flying Fortress, still

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01
In December I logged Corporate America’s next, regarding how the “Me, too” movement was going to catch up with corporate America, leading to lawsuits for sexual harassment.

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