Mallory O’Shaughnessy Christian Fiction

What is Mallory O’Shaughnessy Christian Fiction? Mallory is both a brand, and a heroine in these Christian Fiction titles: DAZZLING, TREASURES, WEALTH, MAGNIFICENCE, and RADIANCE!

The series begins when seventeen year old high school junior, Mallory O’Shaughnessy, tries to return to school and get back to ‘normal’ after the sudden death of her beloved father! Sudden to her; evidently he’s hidden his worsening heart condition from her! With his loss, she and her mother go from poverty-level living to having utilities shut off!

Trying to trust the Lord, even in the face of her mother’s faltering faith, she  stays faithful!

In turn, God honors and rewards her faith and steadfastness~

Every book is a different set of challenges, obstacles, and trials~ With new friends and associates joining the ranks, her life is never dull!

For a lesson in faith-filled living and its rewards from an author who has experienced God’s faithfulness firsthand~time and time again!

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Fascinating reading from FAMILY FORGED

John bolted across the back porch, and literally lost his cookies!

     David sat morosely! So much for more reassurances! He gazed up as his dad came back in, still clutching his mid-section!

     “Man, I haven’t gotten sick like that in years!”

     “Sorry,” David mumbled. “I tried to tell you, ‘You don’t want to know’! Why don’t you go home? The roads are getting worse, and now you know what my problem is!”

     “What do you mean that you lost millions of dollars’ worth of Diamonds? Are you talking about gambling?”

     A bitter chortle! “I guess you could say that, in a sense! Not ‘gambling’ like you mean! But I guess it was a big gamble for me to stash them the way I did and assume I could just go back and get them!”

     After another hasty exit, Anderson returned. “Okay, start from the beginning~”

     Hesitantly, David started ‘from the beginning’.

     “So, we’re talking about the first week y’all were married? This has simmered that long?” John’s interruption of David’s narrative!

     He nodded; his dark eyes and beard-growth standing out startlingly against his pallor.

     “Yeah, when everyone was bragging on me saving Summers, I was thinking I should have saved the Diamonds instead!”

     “Well, David, a human life~”

     “Yeah, Dad, I know all that,” he gasped. “Well, for the longest, I kept telling myself they’d be fine~until I could get a chance to sneak back and get them! Well, Mallory always wanted us to be together, and she’s really fun to be with, Dad! But I kept trying to find a way to wander into the woods alone! By the time I did, they weren’t there!”

     John’s eyes were bigger than his son’s! “Are you sure?”

     Another mirthless laugh! “Am I sure?” I’ve scoured every inch! As much as I could! I mean, there are people coming and going around here all the time!”

     Anderson was on his feet! “Well, no one’s out and about now! Let’s go~”

     “Dad! They aren’t there!”

     “Well, they might have gotten scattered around!”

     David regarded his dad steadily. ‘No sermons about how big God is!’ His dad was terrified and panicked, too!

     “Yeah, I know! I’ve looked for the pouch they were in, or pieces of it! I’ve looked for the stones; I’ve tried to do a little mining on my own! It’s hopeless! But, I was working on it! Then, a month ago, I overheard Mallory and Lilly talking about doing an audit on the Diamonds! It’ll all come out! She’ll think I stole them! Or, that I’m really a lamebrain to just leave them~. I might end up in jail and never see Amelia!”

     “Well, right now, Mallory seems more in jeopardy of going to jail than you do!”

     “Wow, Dad! You’re some kind of comfort!”

     “Okay, hold on a minute though! That still doesn’t explain why you’ve been spending time alone here with Heather!”

     “Dad, that’s so annoying! I’ve hardly been able to get any time to come here and search, and then when I do, Heather shows up! I think Mallie might be having her spy on me! That’s why I haven’t come to church, too! The reason I come here without Mallory and Amelia, is to look for~”

     “Okay~” John released his breath, not realizing he had been holding it. “Have you ever considered just telling her what happened?”

     “Yeah, Dad, I’ve considered everything from every angle! One night, I took her out for an extra-nice dinner, and I was going to confess everything then. But, it just got romantic, and I chickened out! Well, she’s always romantic and responsive! She’s so perfect; everything works for her, Dad!”

     John shook his head, amazed. “Things work out for you, too! David, you’re a hard worker! You two complement one another! You’ve made a lot of money and added a lot of value~ You just need to tell her the truth! It’ll work out!”

     “Says the guy that was just ready to take a spade and dig up the whole of western Arkansas!”

     “Well, you have a special talent for panicking me”!

                                                                 *****

“Can you open the gate?” Agent Jed Dawson’s voice; still distorted and seeming unbelievably loud; startled Mallory. She must have dozed; her hand was asleep.

     “No, David keeps a controller on his truck visor. I’m usually with him when we come and go. Maybe we can get to Dallas~”

     “Nah, we can override it!”

     Mallory gazed around the soggy landscape dazedly. Lights on in the house! A sedan she didn’t recognize and Pastor’s big-sized SUV! The FBI car pulled in close. “Get ready to move quick!”

     A couple of agents with weapons ready took in the surroundings as Mallory was urged up the front steps!

                                                               *****

Steb and Christine were still busy! In their opinion, Jennifer was a victim and a victim only! Steb was aware that the Tucson Police Department still considered it a possibility that Jennifer had somehow managed to make her crime scene drive away, leaving dead law officers in its wake. Or even, that he had orchestrated such a thing, in his sympathy for her! He considered the possibility that Jennifer’s two most recent assailants must be the Saxon- father-son duo!

     “Are you going to eat?” Christine’s gentle reminder!

     He smiled at her. “I am, but I just thought of something.” He rose and moved quickly to the guest suite Jennifer had once occupied. There were a few art supplies left behind. He studied an unfinished picture, squinting at it in light of new developments. “Hm-m-m.” At the time, he and Christine had thought she was starting a picture of the view from their patio. He carried the canvas to the dining room and propped it on an empty chair.

     “What’s that, Steb?” Christine tilted her head quizzically. “I thought it was starting out pretty, but I never thought it really looked like the paddock.” She paused, glancing at Missy, worried.

     “The Orphanage” Missy’s voice was barely audible but she didn’t fall apart. “She was starting to paint the Orphanage, but then she must have gotten scared! She never finished it! It~was a very~bad~place!”

     “Can you tell us?” Christine’s voice coaxed.

     Missy’s forehead creased anxiously. “I~I can’t, Mother. I’m sorry!”

     Christine’s eyes filled with tears as her eyes met Steb’s. That was the first time Missy had called her ‘Mother’~since before her abduction!

                                                        *****

Mallory felt humiliated beyond words as the agents rushed her into the Ranch house! She wasn’t sure what to say to David! Or his dad!

     They both stared at her like she was an alien! At least she wasn’t still in handcuffs!

     “Is it okay if I go clean up?” Her question was toward Erik’s FBI superior!

     “Yeah, I’ll accompany you and make sure the area’s secure!” Dawson tromped up the stairs beside her and looked into closets and nooks and crannies.

     She paused to caress Amelia’s curls.

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A Third Major Hindrance to Answered Prayer

A Third Major Hindrance to Answered Prayer

 

A third major hindrance to our getting definitive answers to our prayers, is that we waste our precious time with Him, telling him how to be God! Do you find yourself worried about what others are doing? Especially someone you don’t like? Or have issues with? Someone in the church, in the neighborhood, on the job? Maybe your spouse or a family member? Or an ex! And we spend time telling the Lord how He can ‘get them’ for us! Or straighten them out! Let go of that and focus on Him and bringing your petitions with thanksgiving!

 

By all means, pray for salvation of the unsaved! But don’t waste your energy on trying to figure out if this person is reaaalllllyyyy saved, and if so, why haven’t they achieved perfection in their Christian lives! Don’t judge! Deal with yourself and your needs and wants! Trust me; that will take up your whole time! And you’ll get amazing answers!

 

God has your life under control, and theirs, too! So, don’t worry about THEM!

 

Psalm 86:17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

 

Spend your prayer time praying if you want more answers!

 

 

 

 

A Third Major Hindrance to Answered Prayer

 

 

 

A third major hindrance to our getting definitive answers to our prayers, is that we waste our precious time with Him, telling him how to be God! Do you find yourself worried about what others are doing? Especially someone you don’t like? Or have issues with? Someone in the church, in the neighborhood, on the job? Maybe your spouse or a family member? Or an ex! And we spend time telling the Lord how He can ‘get them’ for us! Or straighten them out! Let go of that and focus on Him and bringing your petitions with thanksgiving!

 

 

 

By all means, pray for salvation of the unsaved! But don’t waste your energy on trying to figure out if this person is reaaalllllyyyy saved, and if so, why haven’t they achieved perfection in their Christian lives! Don’t judge! Deal with yourself and your needs and wants! Trust me; that will take up your whole time! And you’ll get amazing answers!

 

 

 

God has your life under control, and theirs, too! So, don’t worry about THEM!

 

 

 

Psalm 86:17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

 

 

 

Spend your prayer time praying if you want more answers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Third Major Hindrance to Answered Prayer

 

 

 

A third major hindrance to our getting definitive answers to our prayers, is that we waste our precious time with Him, telling him how to be God! Do you find yourself worried about what others are doing? Especially someone you don’t like? Or have issues with? Someone in the church, in the neighborhood, on the job? Maybe your spouse or a family member? Or an ex! And we spend time telling the Lord how He can ‘get them’ for us! Or straighten them out! Let go of that and focus on Him and bringing your petitions with thanksgiving!

 

 

 

By all means, pray for salvation of the unsaved! But don’t waste your energy on trying to figure out if this person is reaaalllllyyyy saved, and if so, why haven’t they achieved perfection in their Christian lives! Don’t judge! Deal with yourself and your needs and wants! Trust me; that will take up your whole time! And you’ll get amazing answers!

 

 

 

God has your life under control, and theirs, too! So, don’t worry about THEM!

 

 

 

Psalm 86:17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

 

 

 

Spend your prayer time praying if you want more answers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Second Major Hindrance to Answered Prayers

A Second Hindrance to Getting Prayers Answered is lack of faith!  Although very similar to the first blog on this subject about Satan lying and telling us we’re unworthy, there’s enough difference to address this evening! We lack enough faith to believe that having a daily and dedicated prayer time will make an appreciable difference in our lives! (It won’t be a profitable use of our time!)

 

Totally wrong! It does make a huge difference! As children of God, we have an inheritance available to us! And we’re largely ignorant of it! Look at the words of the writer of the book of Hebrews in chapter 4 and verse 2:

 

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

 

I’m sure the primary meaning of this verse is that the Jewish nation heard the gospel and refused saving faith! I hope it isn’t a misuse of it to apply it to Christians who have saving faith, but haven’t matured to live the exciting, invigorating life of faith and prayer!

 

Having a dedicated prayer time matters, and you need faith as a grain of mustard seed to get started! That’s all you need, and the Lord takes over from there: showing Himself strong on your behalf time and time again!

 

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

 

What does that mean? It means in English, just what it sounds like! God rewards the time you spend coming to His presence, by answering you! He rewards you openly, and people start wondering, ‘How can he have that? How can he go there? Where does it come from? Why are they so happy?’

 

Don’t rob yourself of the rich life God has for you! Launch out into the deep, let down your nets for a draught, get out of the boat! Start giving Him time right now by opening His Word for dialog! He longs for you to discover His love, provision, and promises for yourself!

 

Don’t let words of doubt defeat you! ‘Why should I? It won’t make any difference!’

 

Trust me! It will!

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Hindrances to Answered Prayer: Our Prayerlessness

Hindrances to Answered Prayer

 

 

I hear this time and time again from Christians! From good, faithful Christians who are the backbones of their churches! “God never answers my prayers!”

     ‘Hmmmm! I’ve given some thought to why this must be!’

     First of all, ‘Never’ is a poor word choice! Just as we shouldn’t use it in arguing with our mates, we shouldn’t use it about God’s kindness! ‘He never answers our prayers?’ Would that mean He didn’t answer our prayer for salvation? Of course not! In fairness to Him, we might tone down our rhetoric to: ‘God doesn’t answer prayers for me very often!’

     And then as we consider that sad state of affairs, we might ask again, “Why not? Where’s the problem? Is it with God? Or with us?”

     If we seldom pray, how many answers to prayer can we have? But it’s not God’s goodness and faithfulness at fault, but our own failure to come to ‘The Throne of Grace’ more often! He invites and commands us to bring all of our petitions to Him!

     So, why don’t we?

     Because the devil has convinced us that we’re not good enough to get anything from God! That’s his lie! He accuses us of sins buried by God, and makes us think answered prayer is for other Christians! Preachers, Church staff members, missionaries! Those Christians worthy of His time and grace!

     The truth is that no Christian deserves any grace and kindness! They just know how to tap into the inheritance Christ has purchased for all of us!

      If you’ll take more deliberate time to pray, you’ll discover that God answers your prayers often!

     I know the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing, and I hear people tell me that’s their preferred method! ‘Get in the car and pray for Aunt Bess to get saved, and then turn on the radio and pull into traffic!’ And then see how effective it is!

     Prayer as God intended it, is a two-way conversation! How do you enjoy your friend who calls and spends fifteen minutes going into all of her troubles, and then hangs up without listening to your troubles~or you solution to theirs? How rude we are to our Great Savior to begin rattling on and refusing to listen to what He has to say! Through His Word!

     STOP! Sit down with your Bible and read at least a few verses! Give Him a chance to speak! His kind words are more what we need than our petitions! And then present your requests, with Thanksgiving for all He’s done for you!

     Hindrances to answered prayer don’t stem from God’s side of the equation! Don’t let Satan’s lies rob you of a victorious prayer life!

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Hand In Hand With Him In 2016

Hand In Hand With Him In 2016

 

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it

 

It’s time to think about New Year’s Resolutions, and I think determining to grow in the spiritual realm should be the main emphasis for every born again believer!

     You may argue, “Well, I’ve resolved before, to read my Bible consistently! I barely made it three days, three weeks, every third day~ I’ve promised God I’d do better!”

     Try this! Confess your failures in this area, to Him, and ask Him to help you! Ask Him to make you fall in love with Him and His Word! That’s what I finally did! And now, I love the time with Him! It’s not a problem getting started! The problem is with breaking off!

     Maybe you don’t stick with it because your faith is weak! The devil has convinced you it’s a fruitless religious exercise, and you’re much too busy! He keeps you from maximizing the profits of the Christian life! Look at what it says! The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith…! Grow your faith! It’s your responsibility! And you’ll be richer for doing so! All around richer! To grow your faith, you must get into God’s Word for yourself!

 

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Have you ever considered the miraculousness of your literacy? Learning to read and write was once only the privilege of the elite! Until the United States, blessed by God, established the idea of public education for all! Since we are able to read the Word for ourselves, we are responsible to do so! At one time, no one was considered educated who hadn’t read the Bible through at least once!

     You should read it because it’s your will and testament! As joint-heirs with Jesus, we have great store of possessions at hand! But we can’t make a claim without knowing what the will says! I love the words to the Israelites in Isaiah 45:19 b …I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: …

     It isn’t just another task, a pointless exercise! When I come to Him, I’m blessed and rewarded! Come to Him and get to the point of what you need and want! Read hungrily for His marvelous promises! He grows my faith every day as He shows Himself faithful in myriads of ways!

     Hand in hand with Him in 2016! I wouldn’t want it any other way!

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Why the Location of Mt. Sinai Matters!

Why Pinpointing the Exact Location of Mt. Sinai is so Important!

 

Does it really matter? Tradition has long accepted the St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula~ The ‘Sinai Peninsula’ was named the ‘Sinai Peninsula’, based on the assumption that Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, knew what she was doing! Well, the emperor sent Mom on a mission, for certain; and she made an unprecedented Real Estate grab! Churches across the Middle East have sprung up where she decreed something important happened! Actually, one of her deciding factors in choosing St. Catherine’s, was that there was a bush there, and people had already begun making pilgrimages to the site! Seriously! This bush became the bush where God appeared to Moses on the ‘back side of the desert’ where he tended his father-in-law, Jethro’s sheep!

     Why take umbrage with ‘tradition’? Tradition can be very good! But it can also be very wrong! Helena had a lot of ground to cover and too many sites to locate accurately in ten lifetimes!

    But why does it matter? Why the subject of this blog? Because error accepted brings about confusion~as we shall see!

 

 

 

Exodus 3:1-3 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian (a place): and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb (Interchangeable name with Mt. Sinai).

 

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and, behold, the bush burned with the fire, and the bush was not consumed.

 

And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.

 

 

 

v. 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee, and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

 

 

 

Let’s go back to the reason why Moses is in the land of Midian tending sheep! If you remember, it was because, as Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, he had killed an Egyptian to aid a Hebrew brother! When he realized his crime was known, he panicked and fled from Pharaoh’s wrath! Now to reason this through, if you were trying to flee a murder rap, wouldn’t you flee beyond Pharaoh’s jurisdiction? Check out ancient maps of Egypt, and see that this strategic peninsula has always been part of Egypt! Tell me; wouldn’t you keep running, cross a national border, put a geological barrier between you and those searching for you? And that’s what Moses did! His first time escaping from Pharaoh, and again, when he led God’s people out of bondage! Crossing the Sinai Peninsula as rapidly as possible, and coming to the eastern fork of the Red Sea, known as the Gulf of Agaba, and ending in Midian, in Arabia! On the back side of the desert where Mt. Horeb stands!

 

     Since there are bushes all over the world, I’m not sure why a bush would be such a crucial criteria!

 

     Again, why does it matter? Because the correct spot can’t be in two separate places, far removed from each other! And getting it right matters! In a society that’s become multiple choice, with no absolutes, it’s easy for Christians to grow lackadaisical! After all one star on the map’s as good as another; right?

 

     Wrong! Because of Helena’s unfortunate guess, she has raised doubts and confusion! The site simply does not gee-haw with Biblical data!

 

     Here’s my primary difficulty with St. Catherine’s! Archaeologists, excavating the Sinai, have found nothing to substantiate the story that between six hundred thousand and six million Israelites wandered and camped in this wilderness for forty years! Not an artifact, not a pottery shard to substantiate the incident! No strata to support the wilderness wanderings for forty years by a huge number of people! Which has led ‘scholars’ to eagerly conclude, ‘that the story isn’t true, never happened! The Bible is simply a weird grouping of unrelated myths!’ And it never dawns upon them (because they don’t want it to), that they are merely searching and re-searching the wrong area: one originally chosen by Helena, and which presently brings in millions of tourist dollars to Egypt! And if you’ve noticed, most of the world is more interested in money than in truth! The truth is still more important!

 

     To wrap up:

 

  1. The original determination of the site was based on feelings and not the Bible!
  2.  Refugees would flee to a place of safety rather than remaining in-country!
  3. There is no archaeological substantiation at the St. Catherine’s site; which doesn’t prove the Bible wrong, but suggests the site has been incorrectly identified!
  4. The Bible is clear that Moses left from the land of Midian, clearly east of the Gulf of Agaba, and returned there with the freed Hebrew children!

 

 

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

 

 

 

Jesus, who is the Truth, cares about our knowing the truths of the Bible! It matters!

 

 

 

 

Exodus 3:1-3 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian (a place): and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb (Interchangeable name with Mt. Sinai).

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and, behold, the bush burned with the fire, and the bush was not consumed.

And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.

 

v. 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee, and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

 

Let’s go back to the reason why Moses is in the land of Midian tending sheep! If you remember, it was because, as Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, he had killed an Egyptian to aid a Hebrew brother! When he realized his crime was known, he panicked and fled from Pharaoh’s wrath! Now to reason this through, if you were trying to flee a murder rap, wouldn’t you flee beyond Pharaoh’s jurisdiction? Check out ancient maps of Egypt, and see that this strategic peninsula has always been part of Egypt! Tell me; wouldn’t you keep running, cross a national border, put a geological barrier between you and those searching for you? And that’s what Moses did! His first time escaping from Pharaoh, and again, when he led God’s people out of bondage! Crossing the Sinai Peninsula as rapidly as possible, and coming to the eastern fork of the Red Sea, known as the Gulf of Agaba, and ending in Midian, in Arabia! On the back side of the desert where Mt. Horeb stands!

     Since there are bushes all over the world, I’m not sure why a bush would be such a crucial criteria!

     Again, why does it matter? Because the correct spot can’t be in two separate places, far removed from each other! And getting it right matters! In a society that’s become multiple choice, with no absolutes, it’s easy for Christians to grow lackadaisical! After all one star on the map’s as good as another; right?

     Wrong! Because of Helena’s unfortunate guess, she has raised doubts and confusion! The site simply does not gee-haw with Biblical data!

     Here’s my primary difficulty with St. Catherine’s! Archaeologists, excavating the Sinai, have found nothing to substantiate the story that between six hundred thousand and six million people wandered and camped in this wilderness for forty years! Not an artifact, not a pottery shard! No strata to support the wilderness wanderings for forty years by a huge number of people! Which has led ‘scholars’ to eagerly conclude, that the story isn’t true, never happened! The Bible is simply a weird grouping of unrelated myths! And it never dawns upon them (because they don’t want it to), that they are merely searching and re-searching the wrong area: one originally chosen by Helena, and which presently brings in millions of tourist dollars to Egypt! And if you’ve noticed, most of the world is more interested in money than in truth! The truth is still more important!

     To wrap up:

  1. The original determination of the site was based on feelings and not the Bible!
  2.  Refugees would flee to a place of safety rather than remaining in-country!
  3. There is no archaeological substantiation at the St. Catherine’s site; which doesn’t prove the Bible wrong, but suggests the site has been incorrectly identified!
  4. The Bible is clear that Moses left from the land of Midian, clearly east of the Gulf of Agaba, and returned there with the freed Hebrew children!

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

 

Jesus, who is the Truth, cares about our knowing the truths of the Bible! It matters!

 

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…full of His riches…

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24

In the creation, God created earth as a dwelling place for the man he would create in His image! (It is not an accident that happened in space) He pronounced it, ‘good’ before he created Adam, and brought Eve to him! In His amazing foreknowledge and abundant provision, He supplied all that man would need from creation’s beginning to the end of this heaven and earth as prophesied in the book of Revelation! There’s an absolute abundance! As per the above Scripture, the earth is full of his riches! I recommend reading Job 28 in this same light!

Satan labors to turn mankind away from God and tempt us to go against Him! One of his prime weapons is disseminating the idea that there isn’t enough! There are shortages! Everything’s running out! There are no more inventions to be discovered! No more fortunes to be made! No natural resources to be discovered! We need to fight and kill and steal to get a share! These are total lies!

We should keep our eyes on our wise and good Creator, the One who created matter from nothing! The One Who can create more if the need should arise! (As in the feeding of the multitudes) He loves us so much that He sacrificed His only begotten Son to buy our redemption! The Bible promises us believers, that if God wouldn’t hold back His loved and prized Son from us, why would He deny us anything else? (Anything not detrimental to our good)

We should come to this Creator of all, for all of our needs and desires! There are no shortages in God’s economy! His promises are never affected by the economy and ‘Hard Times’! He is as exceeding abundantly able to meet our needs today as he was able to meet Adam’s in the Garden of Eden!

We have not because we ask not, and one reason we won’t ask, is because we don’t believe God can keep His word! He never fails, and He delights in showing Himself strong on the behalf of His children!

Ask, and it shall be given!

There are no shortages with the all-sufficient One!

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Drawing Waters from the Well

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: For the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:2&3

When we are Christians, so much benefit simply springs up! We can take it so for granted that we don’t even notice the love of the Savior in every good thing that we enjoy! We should take time on purpose to praise and thank God for the rain and sunshine, health and income, family and love!

To the seeking Christian, there is even more! Besides the abundance of the up-springing blessings, there are those we seek for! With joy we go into the presence of the One Who ripped the veil in half, giving us direct access to His throne! That we go there so seldomly is truly sad! But when you pick up your bucket and make a deliberate trip to the well, you don’t come away empty-handed!

Why do we fear? Because we haven’t on purpose sought to the Lord for whatever we need to dispel that fear! Why do Christians lack the joy available to them? Because they don’t by faith and hope make that trip to the wells of salvation! As God’s children, we have such rich provision! Get up and joyfully claim yours!

Right now! What are we waiting for?

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Chapter 36 JUSTICE from Alexandra

 

Chapter  36 :     justice

 

………………………………………………………….

 

Trent sat absent-mindedly twiddling a pencil between his fingers! He hated to admit it, but Mallory was right! All the people with interests in the diamond industry were better prepared to safeguard them than he was! There was an industry within itself to prevent pilfering of the valuable little Carbon chunks! He guessed he was mostly humiliated professionally about the loss from Federal evidence! But, if Lilly Cowan had been the one behind spiriting them away, and in her own definition of justice, thought if only fair that Ellis, as the latest victim of the vigilante, should receive proceeds from the sale~

 

     He rose and paced! Not sure why he wrestled with it! There was plenty within his sphere that he could do something about! Still, Mallory’s reminder haunted him! Of the thin line delineating the good guys from the bad guys! And finding a fortune in anything could erase that line in a blink! Not surprisingly, she still felt a lot of animosity toward Rob Addington! And his dereliction of duty while David needed medical attention! The four months of suffering she had endured at David’s bedside! Not knowing if he would ever regain consciousness! And if he did~would he be the same David?

 

     The problem wasn’t Addington! The problem was the before mentioned thin line~and how could he judge a man and determine which ones were beyond price? He scoffed at himself! Probably, there weren’t many! He had a trust of Doug Hunter! Surely all of his national forests and grasslands were laden with undiscovered treasures! For his sake, best left undiscovered! Hey, if Lilly Cowan wanted to downplay the fact that there were diamonds in the US, he could help her with the subterfuge! Let his guys concentrate on solving crimes in their jurisdictions, unaware of natural resourced inches beneath their feet!

 

     He rubbed the tense muscles in the back of his neck as he closed an imaginary folder in his mind!

 

                                                                  *****

 

Stan didn’t have much money from the sale of his winery in Provence! And his balance kept dwindling! A Las Vegas wedding wasn’t cheap! Well, a ring set was definitely in order, and although, the cost was moderate~And then, the license, and paying the chapel and minister who was on call!

 

     “When are we going to Salt Lake? We don’t have any guarantees that after we meet with Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner, that Alexandra will let us see the baby!”

 

     Her tone still accused him for the folly of his having followed her through the gate of the mine property!

 

     He sighed, “You’re right, of course! But I see no other avenue! I don’t have money for attorneys and court costs!”

 

     She chewed her lip nervously! “Alexandra doesn’t deserve that kind of hassle! And I don’t want to take the baby! I’m in no condition or position to raise a little one! I~I just want to be~”

 

     He finished the sentence, “In her life!” He sank into a sofa in the hotel lobby! “Attorneys and law suits and threats! Those are the only methods I ever heard for handling things! I wanted to be different from~my father~finally~ Once I realized he’d never have any use for me, no matter what!”

 

     Myrna smiled numbly, “Yeah, sorry you had to find that out! He~uh~wrecked everything~with everybody~Well, no use going back through all of that again!” She twisted the new rings uncomfortably, not sure in retrospect what she had gotten into!

 

     “I’m going to go check with the desk if the room’s available for tonight, too! Rooms are cheaper here than they will be in Salt Lake! Rates are lower here, so they can lure people here to gamble! Their odds are in favor of recouping their room charge losses in the casinos! Once I take care of that, we need to go shop!”

 

                                                                     *****

 

The repurposed lodge/mine burst with activity! And people! With chow hall experience, Alexandra stepped in to double the grocery order! Then, not sure why, she phoned Delia O’Shaughnessy to order table linens! The property boasted commercial laundry units for keeping up with sheets and towels from the cabins! Why not add table linen too? Maybe she wouldn’t use linens at breakfast and lunch, but in the evenings she could dress things up! She contemplated ordering a pretty but durable china or stoneware, but decided to run that past Mallory! Maybe she had overstepped with the table cloths and napkins!

 

     She paused to call Diana again, “Hi, Mom, I hope I’m not driving you crazy~”

 

     “Whoa~that won’t happen! After not hearing from you, this is like an oasis~anyway~what can I do for you?” She was delighted to have the wall torn down, and didn’t want to start rebuilding it by heaping guilt on Alexandra’s fragile shoulders!

 

     “Walk me through again, how Mardy did the baked egg casserole! If you have time!”

 

     “I always have time, and that’s a delicious but simple dish! I guess I should give you a heads up that Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell contacted us! We’re meeting with them in a few minutes~just to get acquainted,” she added hastily at Alexandra’s silence!

 

     Alexandra’s laughter lilted! “Thank you! Try to talk them out of suing me! I~uh~guess I overreacted!”

 

     Diana’s tone turned sharp! “No, you didn’t! In view of all that’s gone on! Remember, your dad doesn’t want you to second guess yourself in retrospect! If you or the kids feel threatened in any way~ How’s Idaho?”

 

     “Mom! You wouldn’t believe! I wish you and daddy could come see it! All the kids would love it, too!”

 

     “Well, thank you for the invitation, because we’re meeting the Maxwells here in Salt Lake this afternoon; then we’re flying to Boise tonight!”

 

     A screech of joy followed by a sudden caution! “I hope you brought warm clothing! And your ski stuff! There’s been snow here this winter!”

 

                                                                  *****

 

Dag, Shannon and David stood back, viewing their crew’s work of preparing pads for modular buildings! With a quick phone conversation, three helicopters appeared above trees on a high ridge opposite the new camp! A company rep rappelled from the smallest of the three craft, directing the other pilot where to winch down its load! The third chopper set down, and a work force swarmed out, to tie the modular down and complete its setup! With daylight fading, a second building appeared, accompanied by the steady beat of the rotor!

 

     Shannon watched in awe as David signed off for the units and the chopper trio lifted away! Ten minutes later, their leased chopper set down to pick them up! He thrilled at the thought of seeing Ellis, and her spoiled little puppy! He wasn’t sure who she loved best, but for the moment, there was no sense pushing the issue!

 

                                                                   *****

 

“That was sad!” Diana addressing Daniel as they settled into the first class cabin for the short hop up to Boise!

 

     Daniel’s warm brown eyes stood out in his handsome features, “You’ve got that right! I would be that guy, if God hadn’t intervened in sending me you! My life wasted! If I’d had kids I probably wouldn’t have known them, cared about them! We knew Brad better than he did!”

 

     Tears clouded her vision, “Yes, and we knew little good about him, due to his lack of proper rearing! I resented Stan’s suggestion that Alexandra might have shot him! I resent having anyone consider her trigger happy! It’s a good thing she’s~” she halted in frustration and he laughed.

 

     “I couldn’t agree more! Brad~uh~was planning to kill her! That was his reason for showing up there~I guess he dosed himself with PCP’s so he could go through with it! If he hadn’t accidently tased himself~that’s what gave her the opportunity to flee!”

 

     “I wish you hadn’t told me that here, where I have to hold myself together!”

 

     He looked miserable! “That’s why I told you now!”

 

                                                                    *****

 

“Well, I can get a job!” Myrna’s assurances back in the coach section as Stan stewed about finances!

 

     He stared at her, “Waiting tables?”

 

     She shrugged, bitter, “It pays the bills!”

 

     “If you don’t have many bills!”

 

     “Do~do you~are you heavily in~debt~”

 

     He leaned back tiredly in the seat, “Actually, no! But I need to find something to invest in before my money all gets away! Order me a Seagrams when they start serving, and wake me up when it comes!”

 

                                                                     *****

 

“Okay, thanks, Hunter! Great job! Why don’t you get down to Denver and catch this flight? I haven’t had an oversight visit to the Challis National Forest in a couple of years! The flight’s vouchered, and I’m guessing you can find a place to stay?”

 

     Doug laughed, “Yeah, maybe; if she hasn’t thrown me out! I’m not sure why she puts up with me and my craziness!”

 

     Unsure how to respond exactly, Morrison suggested buying flowers!

 

     Agent Hunter responded quickly, “Great idea! That’s cheaper than renting a room!”

 

     Trent disconnected with a laugh! Hunter was right about that! He dialed a florist!

 

                                                                     *****

 

Daniel and Diana took in the frenetic scene in wonder as they led their children and Stan and Myrna Maxwell toward what seemed like the office area!

 

     “No wonder Al loves this! Between the beauty and the action!” Daniel pulled his top coat around him more tightly as a gust caught at it! “And it’s a Geologist’s version of heaven!”

 

     Alexandra dashed to meet them, then stopped short as she caught sight of Stan and Myrna! She recovered her composure, “Please come in where it’s warm! Have you eaten?”

 

     “On the plane,” Diana’s responded!

 

     “So, in other words, we’ve snacked!” Jeremiah stepped forward and offered a hug!

 

     Daniel laughed! Although first class meals were okay, the portions were usually small! And with the short flight~

 

     “Hurry in! Chow line’s still open! Hi, Myrna! I’m just about to put her to bed! Maybe in the morning?”

 

     “Oh~uh~yeah~sure~” The woman felt awkward! Since separating from Stan, her life had taken a decline from the elegant! Now the Faulkners left her gasping for air! Stan wasn’t saying anything and he reeked of Seagrams, spilled on him thanks to turbulence!

 

     Fires burned cheerily from heavy planked fireplaces, and the blend of wood smoke with the chow tantalized!

 

     “Better load up your plate, Stan,” Daniel encouraged! “They may close the line before we can get seconds! Looks like we made it in just under the wire!”

 

     Alexandra noticed her dad’s skill in making people feel comfortable! His people skills were second to none! Well, maybe to Mallory’s! It was hard to remember, but she thought Mallory possessed the gift, even before her exposure to her dad! For Alexandra, it was still a learning curve!

 

     Evidently thinking about Mallory conjured her up, because she materialized to hug Diana and speak to the little kids before extending that friendly handshake to Stan and Myrna!

 

     Taking a hearty scoop of bubbling Shepherd’s Pie, she found a place to sit to visit with the new arrivals! Which, she was a draw to people, and it seemed like she was swarmed!

 

     Diana watched, intrigued by the scenario! At last she addressed Daniel. “She needs an organizational chart! She can’t eat for trying to address everything from running the generator to why there isn’t more meat in the pie!”

 

     Daniel nodded, “Chain of command! You’re right! Like Jethro’s advice to Moses in the wilderness! If you let people eat up your time, they will! I’ll find David tomorrow and see if we can bring organization to the chaos! Still, for the short time, it’s amazing!”

 

                                                                     *****

 

Erik Bransom filed a folder carefully into his attaché! Darius Warrington’s realization that Sharon Saxon was telling all in an attempt to extricate herself from the criminal ring, had him spouting information faster than he could write! Erik felt encouraged! Not that he would ever stop it! Not while there was money to be made! But he wouldn’t quit! Every one of them placed behind bars! He frowned! Not that there weren’t problems galore in the nation’s penal system! Privately owned jail facilities made more money when they had full occupancy! Consequently, seeing inmates reformed, transformed, kicked free, was not in the interests of their pocket books! But maybe he curbed the activity! He needed to think so!

 

     He sent a text to Nick Moa’a’loa to tell Jennifer, that with Warrington’s signed confession, her testimony against him wouldn’t be necessary! Not that she had ever agreed to face him in court! But now his conviction without pressuring her, should surely ease her mind!

 

                                                                   *****

 

“Are you doing okay?” Mallory met Alexandra’s gaze worriedly! “Are they leaving soon?”

 

     Alexandra laughed, “Actually, I’m fine! They didn’t discuss their plans with me, but the only thing they really want is to see Angelique occasionally! Suing for custody or causing me any trouble is the last thing they want! They were~I don’t know~like trying to feel~me out~about whether I’ll be living here~or Colorado!”

 

     Mallory looked up sharply, “Why?”

 

     A shrug, “I guess they don’t have much money! Since they’re looking to buy a house and a small business interest in something, I guess being close to Angelique is one of their considerations!” She sighed, “It’s like, since both of them lost Brad without ever really knowing him~they can make amends or atonement~”

 

     Mallory’s expression turned to lively interest, “Really?”

 

     Alexandra frowned, “Yeah, really! Did you need something?”

 

     “Actually, yes! To talk to you about Jared!”

 

     Alexandra crossed her arms defensively, “What about him?”

 

     “Figured you’d get all possessive of him! Hear me out!”

 

     “I’m listening!”

 

     “Not with an open mind!”

 

     “You can tell that how?”

 

     “Okay, he has the silver mine running like a sewing machine! He’s restless anyway!”

 

     “So, that gives you the right to hire him away from me?”

 

     “No! He’s beyond capable of maintaining your Colorado mine and getting this going too! It gives him the opportunity to make a lot more money and gain prestige! Takes care of both his boredom and his salary cap! It’ll give Abby a change of scenery! We can work out the details and offer him the package!”

 

     Alexandra laughed suddenly! “I’m such a dummy to always hold your motives suspect! Of course, that’s brilliant! I’m about to lose him anyway~and you’re right! It’s perfect! Sorry for being a hardhead!”

 

     Mallory nodded slowly, “Now tell me about the Maxwells!”

 

                                                          *****

 

Trent listened to a report from the Bethesda police department! DNA left at the park had led investigators to an Amos Silva! Really bad dude, violating his parole in ways too numerous to relate! The worst violation being that of possessing a pistol with armor-piercing rounds! Kind of an ironic but divine justice that he shot his own foot off with one of them!

 

     He sighed with relief, that not only had Ellis and Shannon avoided harm, but that the fearless little puppy had survived!

 

     He checked emails! No report yet from Hunter! He grinned! If Hunter hadn’t heeded his advice of sending flowers, his doing it himself was standing him in good regard!

 

                                                                    *****

 

Alexandra couldn’t help laughing! Janni was more upset about Myrna Maxwell’s appearance than she was!

 

     “Would you relax? In case you haven’t noticed, you don’t replace a grandma in Angelique’s life! You’re too young and pretty!”

 

     “Your mom’s young and pretty!” Janni quipped back!

 

     “I’ll be sure to pass the compliment along! I agree, and it’ll make you an extra bunch of points with her! Your job is safe, and Myrna’s being here won’t make you stuck more with Leisel! And when I’m working, you’re the authority, so don’t let Myrna try to run over you!”

 

     “Okay, thanks, I guess that clears up my concerns!”

 

     “What do you think about gathering everything up and going skiing? Surely Myrna doesn’t ski! She can watch the baby, and we can put Leisel in ski school!”

 

     Alexandra considered, “Not a bad idea! Fun sounding, actually! But I don’t trust Myrna that much yet! I’m not sure the ski school is prepared for a toddler like Leisel! The main crunch is that we’re doing a lot of organizational meetings today! We’ll go soon, though!”

 

                                                                      *****

 

Stan paused uncertainly at the open office door before tapping lightly!

 

     Mallory Anderson looked up with a welcoming smile, even as she sprang up to extend her hand!

 

      “Good morning, Mr. Maxwell! Do you mind if I call you Stan? Can I get you coffee? I’m getting some! I hope you rested well and that the cabin was okay! That it stayed warm enough?”

 

     Before she could make a move to get the promised coffee, Alexandra appeared with a tray bearing coffee and pastries! She set it on the desk and retreated.

 

     “Yes, Ma’am, the cabin was very nice! Thanks for asking!” Even as he responded cordially enough, she knew his curiosity was piqued about the summons!

 

     With a rippling laugh, “Okay, I’m feeling around in the dark here, but according to all of the information our grapevine could summon about you, you owned your own company?”

 

     He relaxed slightly in response! “I did! Past tense! I’m sure no one would believe me, but I cared about my son! Being an American competing in the French wine industry presented problems, but I thought someday, I’d have something to invite Brad over to see! Uh~to be impressed with! Although, I didn’t know Brad as I wished~the news hit~hard~Actually, I lost father and son within a few months’ time! The struggle suddenly didn’t seem worth it! I sold out at the first offer!”

 

     Mallory nodded sympathetically, “So Myrna mentioned to Alexandra that you’re looking for another company to purchase?”

 

     He sighed, “Like I said, I didn’t hold out for as much as I probably could have gotten! I have enough proceeds left to buy a fast-food franchise! Which I could probably be successful at! Myrna hoped for us to settle where she could see the grandbaby~”

 

     “Well, franchises are a good bet for someone who has skills managing a business! The reason I’m asking all of this is that we’re in need of someone who possesses your managerial skills and business expertise! This isn’t a job offer, per se; but we would like to explore the avenue further if you think you might be interested!”

 

     Hope shot through exhausted features, “I might be very interested! I would need to talk to Myrna and check you guys out!”

 

     Mallory didn’t flinch! “As you should! I didn’t want to offend you by handing you an employment ap, or even requesting a resumé! But if you could provide us with some references and details, we could move this process along!”

 

                                                                *****

 

Kayla Hamilton was flying higher than the jet carrying her from Grand Junction to Boise! A tip from Mike Behr? Of all the crazy people? He was one she crossed swords with more often than she cared to count! With his tip making her dizzy with the possibilities, she double-checked the story with Trent Morrison before filing a fistful of papers on Alexandra’s behalf! The sophisticated ham radio, supposedly invented by the late Noё Keller, was attracting the attention of the Pentagon! With the threat of virtual warfare, the military and Washington-powers-that-be, were aware of the position they would be in with loss of the internet! Really? Back to Ham radios? Who would have guessed? But Keller’s invention was upgraded from the days of yore with encryption and other security gizmos she didn’t understand! Well, with the criminal deceased, Treasury usually swooped in like a bird of prey to seize anything valuable to replenish their coffers! And the radio design was valuable! Except that Brad Maxwell, on the night Alexandra had shot Keller to death, had claimed the patent rights for Alexandra! Hearsay, right? And who cares? But with first Behr, supporting the claim, and then Morrison~there would be high demand for the product once it became available! The money Alexandra might make!

 

     Hence the reason for her flight to Boise! Maybe Alexandra would sign over a percentage of the revenue for fighting for the patent for her!


 

 

 

Chapter  36 :     justice

………………………………………………………….

Trent sat absent-mindedly twiddling a pencil between his fingers! He hated to admit it, but Mallory was right! All the people with interests in the diamond industry were better prepared to safeguard them than he was! There was an industry within itself to prevent pilfering of the valuable little Carbon chunks! He guessed he was mostly humiliated professionally about the loss from Federal evidence! But, if Lilly Cowan had been the one behind spiriting them away, and in her own definition of justice, thought if only fair that Ellis, as the latest victim of the vigilante, should receive proceeds from the sale~

     He rose and paced! Not sure why he wrestled with it! There was plenty within his sphere that he could do something about! Still, Mallory’s reminder haunted him! Of the thin line delineating the good guys from the bad guys! And finding a fortune in anything could erase that line in a blink! Not surprisingly, she still felt a lot of animosity toward Rob Addington! And his dereliction of duty while David needed medical attention! The four months of suffering she had endured at David’s bedside! Not knowing if he would ever regain consciousness! And if he did~would he be the same David?

     The problem wasn’t Addington! The problem was the before mentioned thin line~and how could he judge a man and determine which ones were beyond price? He scoffed at himself! Probably, there weren’t many! He had a trust of Doug Hunter! Surely all of his national forests and grasslands were laden with undiscovered treasures! For his sake, best left undiscovered! Hey, if Lilly Cowan wanted to downplay the fact that there were diamonds in the US, he could help her with the subterfuge! Let his guys concentrate on solving crimes in their jurisdictions, unaware of natural resourced inches beneath their feet!

     He rubbed the tense muscles in the back of his neck as he closed an imaginary folder in his mind!

                                                                  *****

Stan didn’t have much money from the sale of his winery in Provence! And his balance kept dwindling! A Las Vegas wedding wasn’t cheap! Well, a ring set was definitely in order, and although, the cost was moderate~And then, the license, and paying the chapel and minister who was on call!

     “When are we going to Salt Lake? We don’t have any guarantees that after we meet with Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner, that Alexandra will let us see the baby!”

     Her tone still accused him for the folly of his having followed her through the gate of the mine property!

     He sighed, “You’re right, of course! But I see no other avenue! I don’t have money for attorneys and court costs!”

     She chewed her lip nervously! “Alexandra doesn’t deserve that kind of hassle! And I don’t want to take the baby! I’m in no condition or position to raise a little one! I~I just want to be~”

     He finished the sentence, “In her life!” He sank into a sofa in the hotel lobby! “Attorneys and law suits and threats! Those are the only methods I ever heard for handling things! I wanted to be different from~my father~finally~ Once I realized he’d never have any use for me, no matter what!”

     Myrna smiled numbly, “Yeah, sorry you had to find that out! He~uh~wrecked everything~with everybody~Well, no use going back through all of that again!” She twisted the new rings uncomfortably, not sure in retrospect what she had gotten into!

     “I’m going to go check with the desk if the room’s available for tonight, too! Rooms are cheaper here than they will be in Salt Lake! Rates are lower here, so they can lure people here to gamble! Their odds are in favor of recouping their room charge losses in the casinos! Once I take care of that, we need to go shop!”

                                                                     *****

The repurposed lodge/mine burst with activity! And people! With chow hall experience, Alexandra stepped in to double the grocery order! Then, not sure why, she phoned Delia O’Shaughnessy to order table linens! The property boasted commercial laundry units for keeping up with sheets and towels from the cabins! Why not add table linen too? Maybe she wouldn’t use linens at breakfast and lunch, but in the evenings she could dress things up! She contemplated ordering a pretty but durable china or stoneware, but decided to run that past Mallory! Maybe she had overstepped with the table cloths and napkins!

     She paused to call Diana again, “Hi, Mom, I hope I’m not driving you crazy~”

     “Whoa~that won’t happen! After not hearing from you, this is like an oasis~anyway~what can I do for you?” She was delighted to have the wall torn down, and didn’t want to start rebuilding it by heaping guilt on Alexandra’s fragile shoulders!

     “Walk me through again, how Mardy did the baked egg casserole! If you have time!”

     “I always have time, and that’s a delicious but simple dish! I guess I should give you a heads up that Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell contacted us! We’re meeting with them in a few minutes~just to get acquainted,” she added hastily at Alexandra’s silence!

     Alexandra’s laughter lilted! “Thank you! Try to talk them out of suing me! I~uh~guess I overreacted!”

     Diana’s tone turned sharp! “No, you didn’t! In view of all that’s gone on! Remember, your dad doesn’t want you to second guess yourself in retrospect! If you or the kids feel threatened in any way~ How’s Idaho?”

     “Mom! You wouldn’t believe! I wish you and daddy could come see it! All the kids would love it, too!”

     “Well, thank you for the invitation, because we’re meeting the Maxwells here in Salt Lake this afternoon; then we’re flying to Boise tonight!”

     A screech of joy followed by a sudden caution! “I hope you brought warm clothing! And your ski stuff! There’s been snow here this winter!”

                                                                  *****

Dag, Shannon and David stood back, viewing their crew’s work of preparing pads for modular buildings! With a quick phone conversation, three helicopters appeared above trees on a high ridge opposite the new camp! A company rep rappelled from the smallest of the three craft, directing the other pilot where to winch down its load! The third chopper set down, and a work force swarmed out, to tie the modular down and complete its setup! With daylight fading, a second building appeared, accompanied by the steady beat of the rotor!

     Shannon watched in awe as David signed off for the units and the chopper trio lifted away! Ten minutes later, their leased chopper set down to pick them up! He thrilled at the thought of seeing Ellis, and her spoiled little puppy! He wasn’t sure who she loved best, but for the moment, there was no sense pushing the issue!

                                                                   *****

“That was sad!” Diana addressing Daniel as they settled into the first class cabin for the short hop up to Boise!

     Daniel’s warm brown eyes stood out in his handsome features, “You’ve got that right! I would be that guy, if God hadn’t intervened in sending me you! My life wasted! If I’d had kids I probably wouldn’t have known them, cared about them! We knew Brad better than he did!”

     Tears clouded her vision, “Yes, and we knew little good about him, due to his lack of proper rearing! I resented Stan’s suggestion that Alexandra might have shot him! I resent having anyone consider her trigger happy! It’s a good thing she’s~” she halted in frustration and he laughed.

     “I couldn’t agree more! Brad~uh~was planning to kill her! That was his reason for showing up there~I guess he dosed himself with PCP’s so he could go through with it! If he hadn’t accidently tased himself~that’s what gave her the opportunity to flee!”

     “I wish you hadn’t told me that here, where I have to hold myself together!”

     He looked miserable! “That’s why I told you now!”

                                                                    *****

“Well, I can get a job!” Myrna’s assurances back in the coach section as Stan stewed about finances!

     He stared at her, “Waiting tables?”

     She shrugged, bitter, “It pays the bills!”

     “If you don’t have many bills!”

     “Do~do you~are you heavily in~debt~”

     He leaned back tiredly in the seat, “Actually, no! But I need to find something to invest in before my money all gets away! Order me a Seagrams when they start serving, and wake me up when it comes!”

                                                                     *****

“Okay, thanks, Hunter! Great job! Why don’t you get down to Denver and catch this flight? I haven’t had an oversight visit to the Challis National Forest in a couple of years! The flight’s vouchered, and I’m guessing you can find a place to stay?”

     Doug laughed, “Yeah, maybe; if she hasn’t thrown me out! I’m not sure why she puts up with me and my craziness!”

     Unsure how to respond exactly, Morrison suggested buying flowers!

     Agent Hunter responded quickly, “Great idea! That’s cheaper than renting a room!”

     Trent disconnected with a laugh! Hunter was right about that! He dialed a florist!

                                                                     *****

Daniel and Diana took in the frenetic scene in wonder as they led their children and Stan and Myrna Maxwell toward what seemed like the office area!

     “No wonder Al loves this! Between the beauty and the action!” Daniel pulled his top coat around him more tightly as a gust caught at it! “And it’s a Geologist’s version of heaven!”

     Alexandra dashed to meet them, then stopped short as she caught sight of Stan and Myrna! She recovered her composure, “Please come in where it’s warm! Have you eaten?”

     “On the plane,” Diana’s responded!

     “So, in other words, we’ve snacked!” Jeremiah stepped forward and offered a hug!

     Daniel laughed! Although first class meals were okay, the portions were usually small! And with the short flight~

     “Hurry in! Chow line’s still open! Hi, Myrna! I’m just about to put her to bed! Maybe in the morning?”

     “Oh~uh~yeah~sure~” The woman felt awkward! Since separating from Stan, her life had taken a decline from the elegant! Now the Faulkners left her gasping for air! Stan wasn’t saying anything and he reeked of Seagrams, spilled on him thanks to turbulence!

     Fires burned cheerily from heavy planked fireplaces, and the blend of wood smoke with the chow tantalized!

     “Better load up your plate, Stan,” Daniel encouraged! “They may close the line before we can get seconds! Looks like we made it in just under the wire!”

     Alexandra noticed her dad’s skill in making people feel comfortable! His people skills were second to none! Well, maybe to Mallory’s! It was hard to remember, but she thought Mallory possessed the gift, even before her exposure to her dad! For Alexandra, it was still a learning curve!

     Evidently thinking about Mallory conjured her up, because she materialized to hug Diana and speak to the little kids before extending that friendly handshake to Stan and Myrna!

     Taking a hearty scoop of bubbling Shepherd’s Pie, she found a place to sit to visit with the new arrivals! Which, she was a draw to people, and it seemed like she was swarmed!

     Diana watched, intrigued by the scenario! At last she addressed Daniel. “She needs an organizational chart! She can’t eat for trying to address everything from running the generator to why there isn’t more meat in the pie!”

     Daniel nodded, “Chain of command! You’re right! Like Jethro’s advice to Moses in the wilderness! If you let people eat up your time, they will! I’ll find David tomorrow and see if we can bring organization to the chaos! Still, for the short time, it’s amazing!”

                                                                     *****

Erik Bransom filed a folder carefully into his attaché! Darius Warrington’s realization that Sharon Saxon was telling all in an attempt to extricate herself from the criminal ring, had him spouting information faster than he could write! Erik felt encouraged! Not that he would ever stop it! Not while there was money to be made! But he wouldn’t quit! Every one of them placed behind bars! He frowned! Not that there weren’t problems galore in the nation’s penal system! Privately owned jail facilities made more money when they had full occupancy! Consequently, seeing inmates reformed, transformed, kicked free, was not in the interests of their pocket books! But maybe he curbed the activity! He needed to think so!

     He sent a text to Nick Moa’a’loa to tell Jennifer, that with Warrington’s signed confession, her testimony against him wouldn’t be necessary! Not that she had ever agreed to face him in court! But now his conviction without pressuring her, should surely ease her mind!

                                                                   *****

“Are you doing okay?” Mallory met Alexandra’s gaze worriedly! “Are they leaving soon?”

     Alexandra laughed, “Actually, I’m fine! They didn’t discuss their plans with me, but the only thing they really want is to see Angelique occasionally! Suing for custody or causing me any trouble is the last thing they want! They were~I don’t know~like trying to feel~me out~about whether I’ll be living here~or Colorado!”

     Mallory looked up sharply, “Why?”

     A shrug, “I guess they don’t have much money! Since they’re looking to buy a house and a small business interest in something, I guess being close to Angelique is one of their considerations!” She sighed, “It’s like, since both of them lost Brad without ever really knowing him~they can make amends or atonement~”

     Mallory’s expression turned to lively interest, “Really?”

     Alexandra frowned, “Yeah, really! Did you need something?”

     “Actually, yes! To talk to you about Jared!”

     Alexandra crossed her arms defensively, “What about him?”

     “Figured you’d get all possessive of him! Hear me out!”

     “I’m listening!”

     “Not with an open mind!”

     “You can tell that how?”

     “Okay, he has the silver mine running like a sewing machine! He’s restless anyway!”

     “So, that gives you the right to hire him away from me?”

     “No! He’s beyond capable of maintaining your Colorado mine and getting this going too! It gives him the opportunity to make a lot more money and gain prestige! Takes care of both his boredom and his salary cap! It’ll give Abby a change of scenery! We can work out the details and offer him the package!”

     Alexandra laughed suddenly! “I’m such a dummy to always hold your motives suspect! Of course, that’s brilliant! I’m about to lose him anyway~and you’re right! It’s perfect! Sorry for being a hardhead!”

     Mallory nodded slowly, “Now tell me about the Maxwells!”

                                                          *****

Trent listened to a report from the Bethesda police department! DNA left at the park had led investigators to an Amos Silva! Really bad dude, violating his parole in ways too numerous to relate! The worst violation being that of possessing a pistol with armor-piercing rounds! Kind of an ironic but divine justice that he shot his own foot off with one of them!

     He sighed with relief, that not only had Ellis and Shannon avoided harm, but that the fearless little puppy had survived!

     He checked emails! No report yet from Hunter! He grinned! If Hunter hadn’t heeded his advice of sending flowers, his doing it himself was standing him in good regard!

                                                                    *****

Alexandra couldn’t help laughing! Janni was more upset about Myrna Maxwell’s appearance than she was!

     “Would you relax? In case you haven’t noticed, you don’t replace a grandma in Angelique’s life! You’re too young and pretty!”

     “Your mom’s young and pretty!” Janni quipped back!

     “I’ll be sure to pass the compliment along! I agree, and it’ll make you an extra bunch of points with her! Your job is safe, and Myrna’s being here won’t make you stuck more with Leisel! And when I’m working, you’re the authority, so don’t let Myrna try to run over you!”

     “Okay, thanks, I guess that clears up my concerns!”

     “What do you think about gathering everything up and going skiing? Surely Myrna doesn’t ski! She can watch the baby, and we can put Leisel in ski school!”

     Alexandra considered, “Not a bad idea! Fun sounding, actually! But I don’t trust Myrna that much yet! I’m not sure the ski school is prepared for a toddler like Leisel! The main crunch is that we’re doing a lot of organizational meetings today! We’ll go soon, though!”

                                                                      *****

Stan paused uncertainly at the open office door before tapping lightly!

     Mallory Anderson looked up with a welcoming smile, even as she sprang up to extend her hand!

      “Good morning, Mr. Maxwell! Do you mind if I call you Stan? Can I get you coffee? I’m getting some! I hope you rested well and that the cabin was okay! That it stayed warm enough?”

     Before she could make a move to get the promised coffee, Alexandra appeared with a tray bearing coffee and pastries! She set it on the desk and retreated.

     “Yes, Ma’am, the cabin was very nice! Thanks for asking!” Even as he responded cordially enough, she knew his curiosity was piqued about the summons!

     With a rippling laugh, “Okay, I’m feeling around in the dark here, but according to all of the information our grapevine could summon about you, you owned your own company?”

     He relaxed slightly in response! “I did! Past tense! I’m sure no one would believe me, but I cared about my son! Being an American competing in the French wine industry presented problems, but I thought someday, I’d have something to invite Brad over to see! Uh~to be impressed with! Although, I didn’t know Brad as I wished~the news hit~hard~Actually, I lost father and son within a few months’ time! The struggle suddenly didn’t seem worth it! I sold out at the first offer!”

     Mallory nodded sympathetically, “So Myrna mentioned to Alexandra that you’re looking for another company to purchase?”

     He sighed, “Like I said, I didn’t hold out for as much as I probably could have gotten! I have enough proceeds left to buy a fast-food franchise! Which I could probably be successful at! Myrna hoped for us to settle where she could see the grandbaby~”

     “Well, franchises are a good bet for someone who has skills managing a business! The reason I’m asking all of this is that we’re in need of someone who possesses your managerial skills and business expertise! This isn’t a job offer, per se; but we would like to explore the avenue further if you think you might be interested!”

     Hope shot through exhausted features, “I might be very interested! I would need to talk to Myrna and check you guys out!”

     Mallory didn’t flinch! “As you should! I didn’t want to offend you by handing you an employment ap, or even requesting a resumé! But if you could provide us with some references and details, we could move this process along!”

                                                                *****

Kayla Hamilton was flying higher than the jet carrying her from Grand Junction to Boise! A tip from Mike Behr? Of all the crazy people? He was one she crossed swords with more often than she cared to count! With his tip making her dizzy with the possibilities, she double-checked the story with Trent Morrison before filing a fistful of papers on Alexandra’s behalf! The sophisticated ham radio, supposedly invented by the late Noё Keller, was attracting the attention of the Pentagon! With the threat of virtual warfare, the military and Washington-powers-that-be, were aware of the position they would be in with loss of the internet! Really? Back to Ham radios? Who would have guessed? But Keller’s invention was upgraded from the days of yore with encryption and other security gizmos she didn’t understand! Well, with the criminal deceased, Treasury usually swooped in like a bird of prey to seize anything valuable to replenish their coffers! And the radio design was valuable! Except that Brad Maxwell, on the night Alexandra had shot Keller to death, had claimed the patent rights for Alexandra! Hearsay, right? And who cares? But with first Behr, supporting the claim, and then Morrison~there would be high demand for the product once it became available! The money Alexandra might make!

     Hence the reason for her flight to Boise! Maybe Alexandra would sign over a percentage of the revenue for fighting for the patent for her!

 

 

 

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