The Lazy Days of Summer

Here in the mountains where I live, our summer didn’t come in hot, but it sure came in late with  snow falling into June. Therefore, several  outside chores around our home are still not done,and with fall in sight, I suspect some of them will wait until next spring. For example, we didn’t get the deck painted yet. Why paint it now? The snowblower will rip that paint off the first minute it touches it and we usually have snow in October.  Cop out? Maybe. Rationalization? Absolutely.

I was shocked to discover my lavender bed blooms are already turning brown for winter. It seems way too early to me, but then I slapped myself on the back of the head and realized we are half-way through August. Is it aging or is time actually flying faster than what was normal?

My Columbines have gone to seed and the deer are beginning to look a little shaggy as they shed their reddish-brown  summer fur for the darker brown of winter. Even the velvet on the buck’s antlers seem out of sync to me.

We had so much snow last winter and rain this summer that everything is taller, greener and more lush than usual. The river remains higher from the high country snow still melting. That’s never happened this late into August before since I moved here 37 years ago. The damage caused by avalanches that normally do not run, coupled with those that always do, has been shocking to see.

Tourists have flocked into this town in numbers greater than we’ve ever had. Our town is no longer “Our Secret Place” and parking spots downtown are a much coveted prize, if you are lucky enough to actually find one.

I did manage to do one productive thing over the summer months. I just wrapped up the manuscript to my second novella JAKE-Winds of Change (Book 2 in The Drifter Series) and am happy to say it will be released very soon. This is the middle book of the series and it was not easy to complete. Spurred on by my editor and another close author friend, I finally got ‘er done.

Did we get a sign of an early winter yesterday? It snowed and accumulated on Monarch Pass, the Continental Divide between Colorado’s eastern and western slopes. It is 11,312 feet in elevation. Today it is raining where I live and fifty degrees.

 

 

 

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Posted in Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, Colorado, Colorado's SW Mountains, summer | 4 Comments

MY BEST REVIEW EVER!

Here on July 3, 2019 I was busily going about fixing tonight’s dinner, which will include Sarah and Jorden, our grandkids from Wichita, who are driving as I write. They love to be in Ouray for July 4th, which is a huge deal in this little town. To make things extra special, this is the first time all of the grandkids are in town at the same time since Pete died nine years ago. Running late, I checked my email and discovered Caleb Pirtle III and his wife, Linda, featured my book FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST as the Book of the Moment today. What a great gift. Caleb told me he also reviewed it and I have to say it’s the best review I’ve ever had. I will share it here.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DD1Y2F8

Review by Caleb Pirtle III:

I gauge a book, particularly a thriller, on the way a story makes me feel. It’s not the thrill of the hunt that matters, it’s the experience that surrounds me when an author as talented as Jackie Taylor Zortman grabs me by the throat and jerks me into the the unsolved riddles of a novel like Footprints in the Frost.

I feel the beauty of the Colorado high country.

I have a photograph of the mountains embedded in my brain.

I’ve been there and stood on its ridges.

Jackie’s descriptions are better than the photograph.

I feel the peace, the comfort, the loneliness of a remote mountain cabin that sits far above the noise, the confusion, the rigors of city living.

It’s a place where a police investigator can escape to untangle the cobwebs from his mind.

It’s a place where he and his girl friend can rekindle their relationship.

But will he ever be able to flee the nightmares created by a serial rapist?

The memories of five beautiful women, five beautiful victims, won’t leave him

They linger day and night.

Will the girls ever be the same again?

Or does their lives lie in ruins?

Their voices cry for justice.

Is there any justice?

I feel the hope, the frustration, the fear of two intense people – a detective and his love – who are battling time and circumstance in a desperate effort to unravel the knots that keep their lives together, yet, at the same time, separate them.

Do they really have any time for each other?

Or will their jobs drag them apart?

I feel the cold of a Colorado winter as it creeps into the bone marrow of the key characters – Max and Sami – as well as the intensity of the story.

Their love runs hot and cold.

Can it survive?

Footsteps in the Frost is a romance.

It’s a mystery.

It’s a crime story.

It’s a love story.

Max and Sami have many mysteries to unravel.

Most revolve around them.

Max won’t be satisfied until the serial rapist is behind bars.

Sami won’t be satisfied until she knows how Max really feels about her.

He comes into her life.

He walks out.

She wonders if he will ever return.

For Sami, there are only fragmented moments between “I love you” and “goodbye.”

Jackie Taylor Zortman has twisted a haunting tale around hope and fear, crime and punishment, guilt and innocence, promises made, kept, and unanswered.

But when it’s all said and done, feelings are all that count and all that are left.

If you need a bitter chill to chase away the heat of summer, Footprints in the Frost is the one book you should take home with you.

Posted in Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, BLOG: Here Comes A Mystery-Caleb & Linda Pirtle, Crime, love, mysteries, trial | 4 Comments

Memorial Day Tribute by Keith Bettinger

My author friend, Keith, wanted to share his poem with the veterans on Memorial Day, so I invited him to be my guest author. Keith is a veteran himself. Both of us wish to thank all of you for your service and may God bless you.

WELCOME HOME
BY
BY KEITH BETTINGER

Desert winds blow across the hard packed sands,
Warm breezes caress the cheeks.
She waits at the station with sweating hands,
Unable to speak.

Her sweetheart is returning,
She waits to hold him and tell him of her love.
She has not seen him and she is yearning,
Oh dear God, please give a sign from above.

The train whistle blows,
It will soon arrive in town,
Please keep coming train,
Oh please don’t slow down.

The train arrives, the passengers debark.
Her true love’s the last to step down,
He hasn’t slept for days, his eyes are dark.
As he looks around, his face, it holds a frightened frown.

She steps up upon the station bench.
She waves a yellow ribbon from her purse.
As he sees her standing there,
He feels as if his heart will burst.

He runs and wraps his arms around her,
Both bodies trembling, eyes are full of tears.
They hug, they kiss, they cry.
He is home, the war behind, yesterday now seems like years.

Author KEITH BETTINGER

Keith Bettinger is a retired Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police Officer. He’s been writing for law enforcement publications for more than 35 years and has received 22 awards for his articles, stories, poems, and books. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Relations with a major in Clinical Counseling. During his career he received the department’s Bravery Medal, Silver Shield Award, Meritorious Police Service Award, Special Service Award, Professionalization Award, Department Recognition Award, five Headquarters commendations and six Precinct commendations. He also was a field training officer and an instructor on Post Shooting Trauma and Critical Incidents. Keith has written three books, FIGHTING CRIME WITH “SOME “DAY AND LENNY, END OF WATCH AND MURDER IN McHENRY. He has also contributed stories to the following anthologies: I Pledge Allegiance, Cop Tales 2000, Charity, True Blue, To Protect and Serve, and Dad’s Bow Tie. He also shares with Jack Miller, the screenplay Master Cheat. Keith lives in Las Vegas with his wife Lynn

(Your comments are welcome.)

 

 

Posted in Jackie Taylor Zortman, Keith Bettinger, military, veterans | Tagged , | 6 Comments

This is the Reason I Write Books

Today I received a phone call from a lady in Indiana. She took the time to call and tell me how much she enjoyed reading my book “We Are Different Now” and blessed me for writing it. Today is the one-year angelversary of her father’s passing and she has been feeling sad. He lived to his mid-nineties and happened to have a copy of my book, so she’s been reading it for three days and just finished. She thanked me for writing it with a tearful voice. This woman has also been through the fresh hell of her son taking his own life and the fatal illness of her young daughter in the last few years.

This, my friends, is the very reason I wrote that book. As I said in it, if it helps just one person in some small way, my purpose was fulfilled. I cannot put into words how much that simple phone call means to me. People think authors write for money, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The little things in life can be the most important.

They don’t cost anything.

They don’t take much time.

They can brighten someone’s day tremendously.

Kindle & Paperback at http://www.amzn.com/B07QMY5RRG

 

 

 

Posted in Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, death, grief, non-fiction, Phone calls, thank you, thoughtfulness, WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW | 4 Comments

Tribute to Police Memorial Week by Keith Bettinger

Each May the United States recognizes the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement and pays tribute to those who have died in the line of duty. Officers and survivors of LEOs from around the world visit Washington, DC to participate in special events. A candlelight vigil will be held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13th to honor those who have died. The names of fallen officers are engraved on the memorial. Police Memorial Day is May 15th, and a Memorial Service will be held. Various other activities take place each day from May 6th through the 16th, including counseling for law enforcement survivors.

Author Keith Bettinger  wrote the following poem for this week.

NO NEED FOR MY GUN

No Need For My Gun
The cemetery has been visited
The honors are done
Now I journey to heaven
Without my gun

I see the people I arrested
They mean me no harm
Emotions are not tested
There’s no reason for alarm

The mansions of heaven all stand tall
None are hidden behind high walls
There are no locks or keys

Heaven remains crime free

Partners from the past
Meet and greet me at last
They tell me I’m about to meet the Father and Son
Now I understand there’s no need for my gun.

 

Author KEITH BETTINGER

Keith Bettinger is a retired Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police Officer. He’s been writing for law enforcement publications for more than 35 years and has received 22 awards for his articles, stories, poems, and books. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Relations with a major in Clinical Counseling. During his career he received the department’s Bravery Medal, Silver Shield Award, Meritorious Police Service Award, Special Service Award, Professionalization Award, Department Recognition Award, five Headquarters commendations and six Precinct commendations. He also was a field training officer and an instructor on Post Shooting Trauma and Critical Incidents. Keith has written three books, FIGHTING CRIME WITH “SOME “DAY AND LENNY, END OF WATCH AND MURDER IN McHENRY. He has also contributed stories to the following anthologies: I Pledge Allegiance, Cop Tales 2000, Charity, True Blue, To Protect and Serve, and Dad’s Bow Tie. He also shares with Jack Miller, the screenplay Master Cheat. Keith lives in Las Vegas with his wife Lynn

(Your comments are welcome.)

Posted in Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, Author Keith Bettinger, Law Enforcement Memorial Week | 1 Comment

FOOTPRINTS IN THE FROST

When the jury reached a verdict at the conclusion of the the trial, the bayliff read it to the court. The defendant was found guilty on all counts. Max was sitting at the prosecution’s table beside the assistant district attorney, Mike.

The defendant’s wife began a wild, hysterical wailing, and all eyes turned to her. The defendant’s brother, sitting beside her, jumped up and bellowed, “Detective!” Max whirled to face him. “I will kill you!” Max immediately lunged over the seats toward the man, but his arms were suddenly held tightly by two sheriff’s deputies. The bayliff assured Max, “I will handle this,” and the man was escorted from the court room.

When  Mike, Max and the victims later walked into the hall, the Lebeau family stood waiting in front of the elevator doors.  Max and his entourage approached the, seemingly, disoriented group. The wife was sobbing, but her hysteria had subsided.

Max held back his rage, but stepped close enough to the man who’d threatened his life to be well inside his comfort zone. He stared right down into the man’s frightened green eyes. Max didn’t say a word, but he wanted to make sure he’d recognize him should they ever meet again.

Read the Kindle of Footprints in the Frost at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DD1Y2F8

Trade paperbacks are only available from me. Message me on Facebook at Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FIRST COPIES OF MY NEW BOOK

 

It’s always exciting to open the package that contains the first copies you see of your new book. I had the pleasure of holding copies of the second edition of my non-fiction book “We Are Different Now”today, and am very pleased. I’m especially fond of the cover. I wrote the book about the tragic accidental death of my grandson, Pete, and he had a life-long passion for wolves.  In addition, an author friend of mine who lost her son in his early twenties told me she thinks it conveys exactly how we all feel about our loss. I agree.

I had every intention of rewriting this book, since it was the first actual book I ever wrote, but the same author friend begged me not to change the original. She said it is as though I am sitting across from the reader talking to them. I hope that’s how all my readers feel. The first edition was a huge success, to my surprise. It still sells today, and people often buy several copies at once to share with others.

You can find the book at http://www.amzn.com/B07QMY5RRG in both the Kindle and trade paperback form. I hope it continues to help those who need to know how it feels to others after a loss.

Comments are always welcome.

 

Posted in accidents, Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, Colorado, death, fall, Grandchildren, grief, non-fiction, WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW | Leave a comment

TODAY I GUEST ON CALEB PIRTLE III’S FABULOUS SITE

It is with great honor that I find myself the featured author on the site of Caleb and Linda Pirtle today with my new book release WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW. You can find it at https://calebandlindapirtle.com/botm/featured-different-now-jackie-taylor-zortman/ and I hope you’ll take a look at it. He does such a great job with presenting authors and their books.

I appreciate all of you who have been so supportive of my books and thank each and every one of you. If you’ve read any of them and would like to leave a review on Amazon.com, simply go to the book’s page and scroll down to Customer Reviews and write it there.

Author Jackie Taylor Zortman

 

 

 

 

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WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW – Released today!

Just released ! I am re-releasing my book WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW as its second edition after two years of it being unavailable. It is the exact same book with a different cover. The Kindle is up on Amazon right now at http://www.amzn.com/B07QMY5RRG. You’ll find the paperback at http://www.amzn.com/1093612770.

.  I’m very excited to have Pete’s book available again. If you click on the cover, it should enlarge for a better view.

All his life, Pete had a passion for wolves, which is the reason I chose this cover for his book. I want to see him live on within the pages and help those who have lost someone near and dear to them. I appreciate all of you who have supported me and this book in it’s original edition and in the second.

My grandson, Pete.

 

Posted in accidents, Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, Book, Colorado, death, fall, grief, new book release, non-fiction | 2 Comments

JAKE’S WAITING TO MEET YOU

  • Jake is still anxious to meet you and can’t understand why that feeling isn’t mutual. Afterall, he’s a super nice guy with good looks and a warm personality. Miss Berta adores him from the moment she meets him and Tomi is beside herself to get to know him better. He has warm attractions to Berta as his mother figure and Tomi as a love interest, though not one of those together forever kind of deals. Not him. That’s not his style.

Jake knows a thing or two about fighting wildfires and is on the spot when one breaks out. I forgot to tell you he’s a Hotshot firefighter and he also rides a cool looking Harley and doesn’t even own any other vehicle.

If you want to know why he stopped in Kimble, Colorado and why Miss Berta makes him her pseudo-son, read the ending and it will knock your socks off. I promise!

You can meet Jake at http://www.amzn.com/B07PG3F47J . Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle. Amazon’s got that covered with a FREE download at http://www.amzn.com/B00UB76290 and you can read it on all your devices.

COMING SOON!

You don’t want to miss this one!

 

Posted in Author Jackie Taylor Zortman, Book, Colorado, fiction, Firefighter, Grandchildren, grief, mysteries, Uncategorized, WE ARE DIFFERENT NOW, wildfires | Leave a comment