The Decimation of the Caribou Herds

The Disappearing Caribou

From This…………………………………………………………………………………………

                                                                                                                                               To This


caribou herds

caribou 2


Hi Friends,

I read in our local paper, The Evening Telegram, an article by Derek Montague which reports on the decline in numbers of the Red Wine Mountain caribou herd in Labrador.  Over the last twenty five years, the herd has seen a ninety seven percent decline.  In 2013, the Red Wine Mountain herd was estimated at seventy five to one hundred animals. The latest numbers compiled by the provincial government in the fall of 2014  show the herd at the staggeringly low number of approximately twenty animals.  A recovery plan has been in place since 2002 under the Endangered Species Act and Wildlife Act, but yet the numbers continue to dwindle.  When asked why, our Environment and Conservation minister, Dan Crummell tells us “We have ecological conditions that impact the population, we have range deterioration, and illegal hunting, but mortality is the biggest issue.  The young are not surviving as well as they should.”  

Now Nalcor, the developer of the Muskrat Falls Hydro Electric mega project, plans to construct part of its transmission line in the Red Wine region.  What restrictions have been put in place to be sure that any activity has minimal impact or disturbance to the remaining herd?  According to Crummell, a few weeks ago, Nalcor was given stricter rules for activity in the area.  These rules include “avoiding and limiting project activities during sensitive times for the animals” and, “activities are  not permitted within important and highly used calving areas.  Work must also cease if a Red Wine Caribou is spotted within four kilometers of the work site until the caribou no longer occupy the area.  They actually have to drop their tools and walk away.”

Will it be enough to turn the near vanquished herd around?  The government has certainly recognized that change needs to be made to their recovery plan, but it may be too little too late.  

In my novel, The Lions Den, due for publication in April, environmentalist Brad Jamieson explains to photojournalist Della Rawlins the difficulties that the George River caribou herd have faced.  The herd, once numbering 384,000 has now been reduced to around 27,000 animals.  He tells the story of how careless conservation efforts resulted in the death of over 10,000 of these animals. 

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 9 of The Lions Den:

Several hours went by from the time Brad had gotten through to his buddy, Ted, and in that time many more caribou had joined the herd, moving northward, and inland from the coastal plain. Della was amazed by the sheer number of animals and the force of the instinct that drove them to travel the long journey to take them into the cover of the forest to wait out the long winter months.  Watching the little calves running to keep up with their elders, she wondered how many of them would survive the ravages of the wolves, the sparser food, and the cold harsh weather.

“How far do they have to travel?”  Della asked Brad, who was mulling over some maps and charts.

“Depends on where they live,”  Brad answered, “This herd will travel over 1,200 miles annually.

Some individual animals have been known to travel as much as 3,700 miles in a single year.

These guys are part of the George River herd which spreads across the northern part of Eastern Canada from Quebec to Labrador.”

“How many animals are there altogether in the George River herd?”

“There used to be around 384,000 at the turn of the millennium, but the numbers have shrunk to a little over 27,000 in recent years.”

“Wow, that’s a huge decrease,” Della said, “Besides the habitat destruction and the overhunting and the increase in predation, and disease, is there anything else that has caused the decline?”  Della asked.

“Well, as a matter of fact, there is.  Did you hear in the news a few years ago where there were a huge number or Caribou drowned while crossing a river in northern Quebec?”

“Yeah, I think I remember something about that.  There were tons of dead animals found floating down the river.” Della said, “Why would that happen?  I thought that Caribou could swim.”

“They can,” said Brad, “Around six miles at a stretch.  The herd generally will lose a few of the weaker or older animals every year on its annual migration, but what happened in Quebec was a man made tragedy.”

“Really?”  Della’s nose perked up, scenting the rotten stench of politics lurking behind the story.

“Yeah, what happened was that Hydro Quebec built a reservoir on the headwaters of the Caniapiscau River.  The Caribou always followed a migration route which had them cross the Caniapiscau about seventy miles upstream, just above the Limestone Falls.  Now the Caribou had gotten used to the low water flow in the Caniaapiscau while the reservoir was being filled. The waters of the upper Caniapiscau River, which flow north, were diverted into the La Grande River of the James Bay watershed to the west. That September there were exceptionally heavy rains, and the reservoir had filled up completely.  A decision was made to partially release the headwaters back into the Caniapiscau because the power stations on the La Grande River couldn’t yet turbine the full water flow.  According to the power company, any major addition of water to the La Grande River would have been diverted around the power stations for months, even years, and would  have seriously damaged the floodgates which were designed for temporary use during exceptional climatic events.”

“So the Caribou didn’t realise that the Caniapiscau was too wide and too strong for them to get across.”  Della said, sadly.

“Exactly the conclusion the biologists and wildlife officers came to, along with the local residents whose people were familiar with the river and the migration route of the animals for years and had opposed the development.”

“Yet another example of the white man’s arrogance in thinking that they can just willy nilly interfere with the natural environment for their own selfish monetary gain while making changes that can have  tragically detrimental repercussions.”

“I have to agree,” said Brad, “The government, the power company and even the wildlife authorities were jointly responsible for the death of over 10,000 animals.”

How important it is for our government to continue to invest in research and to watchdog developments to ensure that herds like the Red Wine Mountain and the George River are given every chance to recover.  To that end, Minister Crummell has committed to “identifying seasonal ranges that are extremely important to these particular herds and we’ll continue to monitor survival and recruitment and we’ll be using this information to ensure that any activity or developments involve minimal disturbance to the remaining animals.”  Let’s hope that everyone will do their part to be proactive in the recovery plan.

Norma coffee cupclose up caribou                                                     Moo!


Only the Lonely – The Empty nest

Only the Lonely 

empty nest







Empty nest

You know that song, “Only the Lonely”, well it’s how I’m feeling these days.  I had heard about the empty nest syndrome, but didn’t realize how devastatingly lonely it would feel when our children, our pets, and our elders one by one left the nest.  I have never, up to this point, felt myself aging.  Our daughter is twenty-six, our Westie was with us for thirteen of those years, and the grandmother would be ninety one in her birthday.  Time, they say, is only a human construct, yet we count our lifetime down in years, months, weeks and days.  It’s only a flash in the pan.  Better make the most out of life, make your mark on this earth while you can.  Don’t think you’ll always have time.

Heather leaves for New York on Sunday.  Fly little bird.  Have a great life!


Only the Lonely

Only one wife, only one husband

Only one grandparent lives with us, now

We had only one child, who has

Only one aunt and only one uncle

Because daddy is an only child.

The child was lonely being only

So we got only one dog

But he would only sleep in our room

So we got only one bunny for the daughter to snuggle

When she felt lonely for being only.

The years passed and friends

Came and  went and nobody saw us get older

Only the mirror in the hall.

Only one day the grandmother wasn’t there any more

The dog passed away only yesterday

The bunny only stays in his cage, now

The child found her one and only

She wanted only to be with him

Only New York would do.

Now there are only two of us

It’s very quiet here

Only the clock and me


Only two months left until my first novel, The Lion’s Den comes out.  I’m hoping that the writing will save me from the desolation of the empty nest and give me purpose in my golden years.

The best part is, I can invite all of you to come with me.  None of us need to be lonely.

love, norma








Indulge me, please. My dog, Kirby, died today.

Kirby Died Today

westie meadow




Our little Westie, Kirby, died today. I didn’t see it coming. I took him to the vet last Thursday and she treated him for an ear infection, did some bloodwork, checked out his heart and kidneys, all fine. She told me his liver readings were up a bit, probably due to the allergy meds he was taking. He had started to show signs of arthritis, but not unexpected at thirteen years of age. She figured he was in good shape for his age, probably had another couple of years in him.

We took him with us out to Port Blandford as Paul had to do a favour for a friend, and he slept between us on the front seat of the truck all the way out. Coming home today, he was cuddled up by my side under his blanket, asleep, when suddenly he stretched out his front legs and stopped breathing. Several minutes went by before we realised he was gone.

He has been my friend and constant companion for thirteen years. I can’t believe he’s gone. There’s a huge hole in my heart.


westie sleepingkirby                                                                                                                                   October 9, 2001 – February 11, 2015


Sleep well, sweet prince and softly.

The Lion’s Den on How to Celebrate Love

Celebrate Love!  



rose pendant

MMMMmmmmm…….Valentine’s Day.  That special day set aside to celebrate love.  Whether you invite your valentine out for an evening of wining and dining, with soft music and candlelight, or if you decide to go bowling, or have a quiet evening in with a pizza and a good movie, it’s not what you do, but who you do it with that makes it special.  Now if you’re a real romantic, you might want to mark the occasion with some flowers and maybe a little trinket, something that whenever she wears it will always remind her of you.    

While Brad and Della, the  two main characters in The Lion’s Den, my first action/adventure/romance novel due for publication in April 2015, were taking a time out from some trouble that was following them from Della’s involvement in covering the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, they spent some time staying at the beautiful Algonquian Hotel near St. Andrews by the Sea in New Brunswick, Canada.  Its old world opulence and charm make it the perfect setting for a romantic get away.  If you’re looking for a way to melt your lady’s heart, take a page out of Brad’s book and treat your special someone like the queen of your heart on Valentine’s Day.  

The Lion’s Den

When Brad let himself back into their suite, Della was sitting at a vanity table, putting the finishing touches on her makeup.  Her hair was shiny from her shampoo and it cascaded down over her shoulders in glossy abandon.  The cocktail dress he had bought for her that afternoon fit like a dream, and  the natural shape of her firm breasts  under the flimsy chiffon, was enough to make his mouth water.  She had just rubbed some of her rose scented lotion into her arms and legs, and her skin glowed like polished silk.

Brad stepped to the hall table and took a long velvet box out of their pile of shopping bags.  He walked over to her and sat beside her on the vanity bench seat, slipping his arms around her and watching their reflection in the glass.  He closed his eyes as he drew in the soft scent of the new perfume on her skin, and he knew that he would no longer be able to smell a rose without thinking of her.

“You are so beautiful,” he whispered in her ear, as her lashes lowered over the passion starting to build in her smoky eyes,” You are the sexiest woman alive.  I want to devour you, but I don’t want to mess you up, since you’re all dressed up for dinner,” he gently nipped her earlobe and she shivered as his magic mouth traced a path along her jawline, and slanted across her lips. He took the cover off the velvet box and drew out a slender gold chain from which hung a perfect crystal rose.  He fastened the clasp around her neck and the pendant rested, sparkling like fire between her breasts.

“Oh Brad, it’s beautiful,” Della breathed, watching the crystal sparkle against her skin.  She saw the emotion in his eyes and  laid her lips on his, soft as a butterfly’s touch and whispered,

“Thank-you, I Iove it.”  He couldn’t wait until she would be ready to say those three little words to him.

Whatever you decide to do for your loved one on Valentine’s Day, remember it’s the sweet gestures and unexpected surprises that show her that you care.  Above all, give her the gift of your time and complete attention.

love, norma

The Lion’s Den on Euthanasia – Goodbye Oscar


As a person who is dealing with the care of elderly parents experiencing extremely painful health conditions, I am so glad that the Supreme Court of Canada has lifted the ban on assisted suicides. It is comforting to know that people with terminal illnesses experiencing unbearable pain every moment of their lives now have the right to end their suffering.

In my book, The Lion’s Den, due for publication in April, 2015, the subject of euthanasia is examined, as the main character, Della Rawlins visits a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and experiences the grief of having to put a beloved animal down. Della’s grandmother makes a case for assisted suicide for people who are terminally ill and who are dealing with chronic debilitating pain.

assisted suicidebald eagle

The Lions Den:

After her chores were done, Della went out on the verandah to sit in the porch swing and wait for Brad and Hope to come back. As she made herself comfortable, her phone dinged with the tone that indicated a Skype call.

“Hi Nana,” she smiled as the screen popped open and her eighty seven year old grandmother’s kind face filled the screen.

“Hello my beauty,” the old woman chirped, “Where are you?  I missed you tonight for our Radio Bingo date.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Della said, remembering too late that she was supposed to pick up the game cards and be at her grandmother’s senior’s residence at 6 pm sharp.  “Something came up and I had to go out of town.”

“That’s okay, my dear.  I was young once.  I remember how things used to come up back then, too,” She cackled, “Your mother was here, anyway.  Not as much fun as you, but we did okay.  Need young people like you around to keep me from getting old,” She cackled again, wheezing.

Della could see her Nana struggling to hold up the phone with her arthritic wrist,

“Damn rheumatitis,” She complained, wincing, “What I wouldn’t do for a fifth of scotch.”

“Nana!”  Della scolded, “You know you can’t drink alcohol with the drugs you’re taking!”

“Oh, I know, girl,” the old woman sighed, “Can’t do any of the fun stuff anymore.  Sucks to be getting old.”

Della smiled at her, “You can’t keep a good woman down,” she said.

“So what did you get up to after?”  Nana asked with an impish grin, “Was he taller than six two?”

“More like three feet,” Della said, trying to put Nana off the scent of what she thought might be a big secret romance, “I’m at a wilderness refuge.  My friend had to put her bald eagle down.  She has been working with him for five years, but he developed really bad arthritis and he can’t fly properly now.  He seemed upset that someone has to get his food for him, because he can’t hunt anymore.”

“I know exactly how he must feel,” Nana said, holding her arthritic wrist and painfully flexing her claw-like old fingers, “Useless!  If people were half as kind to their seniors as they are to their pets, they would put them out of their suffering when we get old and sick and depressed.  Half of the old age homes around are full of the walking dead, just hanging around waiting to die.  Who wants to be old and broken and dependant on someone else to wipe the drool off your face?  It’s so much kinder to let one die with dignity, like your friend did for her eagle.  Keeping people or animals alive because their bodies are too stubborn to quit, that seems to be more for the family than the senior, don’t you think?  The native cultures got it right, you know.  When a senior got old and sick, they would let them walk away from the tribe, alone, to die.  Animals often do that, too.  Then we have dumb people, who take men like old Dr. Kevorkian, who believe in assisted suicides for people who have excruciatingly painful, degenerative diseases, and throw them in jail.  I tell you, girl, the world is a screwed up place.”

Later, Nana took part in a television promo for the wildlife shelter where she spoke about their having to put their beloved friend and mascot, Oscar the bald eagle to sleep:

The screen opened on Nana, sitting in front of her computer screen at home.  Her poor arthritic wrist and her gnarled old hands were folded in front of her as she spoke.

“Nobody knows how helpless and useless one feels when you live every day in pain.  For a proud bird like Oscar, it is such a gift to give him to end his suffering, and let his spirit soar, free of his damaged body.  He will live on in all of you, because he has touched your hearts and helped you to understand how important it is to respect and protect all of our wild creatures.  Whenever we see animals being mistreated, we should step in and say “No”.  When we can give them a second chance on life, we can call people like Hope.  When we can end their suffering, we should.  Thank you, Oscar and Godspeed.”

Read more about Oscar the bald eagle and the Hope for Life wildlife refuge when The Lion’s Den comes out in April.

 Feel free to leave a comment and share your views on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

stock-photo-silhouette-hand-in-heart-shape-with-sunrise-in-the-middle-and-beach-background-106941566cursive norma


The Lion’s Den on the Romantic Dinner Out

3rd Romantic Excerpt from The Lion’s Den

I know you’ve been waiting for it, Teaser Tuesday, the third romantic excerpt from The Lion’s Den, my Action Adventure Romance due for publication in April 2015.

 In this chapter, Brad and Della have left New York City, where Della is being hunted by al Qaeda for having proof that Osama bin Laden has escaped the May 2011 assassination attempt and is still alive and well.  The US government has a stake in keeping the failed mission secret as well, as they try to close the net around him for the second time.  Della and Brad have fled to an innocuous little seaside town in Eastern Canada where they are enjoying a romantic get away, out of reach of the forces that threaten her.  (Some bits have been edited out here for adult content 🙂  



At the Algonquian Hotel, St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada

A sleek black limo waited at the hotel reception entrance for Della and Brad.  The chauffeur stepped out and said, “Good evening sir, madam,” and held open the door for them to board. They were whisked away to the wrought iron gates of the Kingsbrae Gardens, which had been transformed to night time elegance with the lighting of thousands of fairy lights.  The Maître d’ met them at the reception desk with menus and led them down the softly lit path to the privacy of the Rose garden.  They were seated in an arbor surrounded by climbing roses, and the Maître d’ plucked a long stemmed fuchsia colored rose from a nearby vase, and bowed formally, saying, “Please allow me to welcome you to Savour in the Garden.  The rose blushes at your beauty, mademoiselle.  Please accept it as a token of our appreciation for choosing to dine with us tonight.”

The dapper Frenchman expertly placed linen napkins in their laps and offered them menus and a wine list.  He took their drink order then made himself scarce, returning only to fill their water goblets and to ask if they would like their patio heater turned on.

It was a very warm night for October, and the crescent moon hung low in the indigo sky.  The soft glow of candles on the tables was all that lit the space, and the stars, sprinkled across the heavens numbered in the millions.  Brad took Della’s hands in his, “Are you warm enough?”

With the soft pashmina around her shoulders, Della nodded and told him that she was perfectly comfortable.

A waiter returned with their drink order and said he would be back in a little while to take their dinner order.  They perused the selections, each of which sounded more delectable than the last. Brad asked Della’s preference in wine and they settled on a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to complement their main course.

For a while they were content to sit back and enjoy the romantic ambiance.  Soft music was piped into the garden through hidden speakers, and Brad asked Della if she would like to dance.

Aching to be held in his arms again, Della smiled and nodded, and they wandered over to a pretty wooden gazebo, where another couple were enjoying a slow dance.  Brad took Della in his arms and fitted her to his hard contours. They swayed close together, the melody soft and sultry on the rose perfumed night air.  Too soon the song ended, and Brad pulled her to him and kissed her with a restrained hunger, just enough to whet their appetites.

They saw their waiter approaching with their appetizers and they sat down at their table as he expertly served the sumptuous fare.  Brad’s oysters were served on the half shell and the look on his face as they slipped down his throat, made her believe in the famed aphrodisiac quality of the delicate shellfish.  Della teased him about being careful not to crack his tooth on a pearl, and Brad couldn’t resist the opportunity to share more of his biological knowledge with her.

“You must not confuse food oysters with pearl oysters, Brad informed her, “Different bivalve altogether, although food oysters can occasionally produce pearls.  This species is most likely the Eastern American oyster, very commonly found in Atlantic waters”, he sagely said, causing Della to roll her eyes.

“You know way too much about animals,” Della said, “I don’t want to know anything about ducks or lambs.  I’d prefer to just think about meat as delicious proteins found on Styrofoam trays in my local supermarket.”

“Ah, yes, we must get back to your lessons in duck hunting when we get back to the cabin.  Ideal time for it right now with the ducks migrating south.  Can’t have you going back home to Michigan without bagging your first duck!  What would all of my customers say?  “Brad, your girlfriend can’t hit the broadside of a barn.  What are you thinking?”

“Am I your girlfriend?”  Della asked, swallowing the last delicious forkful of salad and laying her fork down on the delicate china plate.

Brad took a minute to consider his answer, not sure whether he should make light of the question, or if he would treat it as seriously as he took it to be. Deciding to be bold, he took her hand in his, and looked her deeply in the eyes, and placed  a kiss on the back of her hand and softly said ”I’d really like you to be.”

A warm smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she regarded the man who had stolen her heart, calmed her fears, and made her feel whole again.  “I’d be proud to be your girlfriend,” she said, and he closed his eyes, pressing a kiss into the palm of her hand and opening them to see in hers the promise of a love beyond all reason, without reservations, enough to last them a lifetime.

rose arbor  savour in the garden   table kingsbraestock-photo-young-couple-in-love-the-bride-and-groom-posing-in-the-arbor-under-red-roses-wedding-day-in-the-111480443







*Sigh* Don’t you just melt when you get to the part in the romance novel when the couple first confesses their feelings of love for one another?  One more Romantic excerpt left before Valentines day!  

Stay tuned for the release of the The Lion’s Den in April, when Brad and Della’s idyllic romantic interlude gets interrupted as the dark forces threatening to rip Della out of her cocoon of safety close in, and she is swept back into the world of foreign politics where nothing but terror and death await.

pink valentine norma







Hope for Wildlife

Hope for wildlife

flying eagle

The Lion’s Den on Hope for Wildlife


In memory of our friend and teacher, October 9th, 2012



Hi friends,

I wanted to share with you some information about a lady and an organization that is very dear to my heart.  Her name is Hope Swiminer, and she is the founder of The Hope for Wildlife Society.

Located in Seaforth, Nova Scotia, Hope for Wildlife has grown from its beginnings in 1995 when Hope, then working as an administrator at the local Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital, rescued a baby robin, caring for it in her own home.  From this small beginning, Hope found her calling in life, to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals.  She went on to study and earned a basic certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation.  Her first shelter was located at Winnies Way, Seaforth Nova Scotia, opening in 1997, and quickly outgrowing that location, she moved it to a bigger property in Seaforth in 2001, 5909 Highway 207, where the shelter operates today.

With the help of over 100 volunteers, some summer students, and the help of veterinary professionals, Hope now rehabilitates over 2,500 animals a year from all over the province.  Funding comes from donations, as well as corporate and government grants and their own annual fundraisers.  They are presently fundraising to raise $800,000.00 to repair their barn roof, and already have raised over $540,000.00, with another three months left in which to meet their goal.

In addition to working with the animals, Hope is committed to educating children and adults about wildlife, and runs many valuable programs which you can learn more about at their website,  You can also watch Hope and her team in action by tuning in to Animal Planet or Oasis HD channel ( filmed by  Arcadia Entertainment).  It’s some of the most entertaining and informative programming on tv!

I was so impressed by the work that Hope has been doing that I used her wildlife refuge as a model for the shelter I wrote about in my novel The Lions Den, due for publication in April 2015.  In the novel, the main character, Della Rawlins, a photojournalist who has been working in the Middle East, wanting to make some changes in her career, meets up with Environmentalist Brad Jamieson, who introduces her to the world of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation by visiting a shelter in Eastern Canada.  Following are pictures of some of the furry and feathered characters you will meet when the book is released for publication. I hope you will enjoy the story.  I plan to make a donation to Hope’s shelter with proceeds from the sale of the book. More people need to learn about the great work these folks are doing.  Check out their Facebook page, and if you ever visit Nova Scotia, take time out to visit the Hope for Wildlife Refuge in Seaforth.  It’s time well spent.

cursive norma





Cast of Characters from the “Hope for Life” Wildlife Rescue, The Lions Den, due for publication April, 2015

Baby foxes                                                                       Oscar’s Injured Wing

baby fox

xray wingoscarjacko










Oscar                                                               Jacko



Valentines, Things are getting Hot!!

hEARTS AND BEARThe second hot excerpt from The lion’s den







Hi again, It’s Teaser Tuesday, time for another sneak peak into The Lion’s Den, my action/adventure/romance novel which is due for publication in April 2015.

 At this point in the story, Della and Brad have met one another near his cabin in the Canadian wilderness.  She is on a photoshoot for National Environmental Magazine while he is taking some time off from his work, running an outdoor outfitting business.  Della is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder having recently been through the ordeal of escaping from Pakistan during the Navy Seal’s mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden, a mission in which her boyfriend had been attacked and taken prisoner, and was possibly killed.  Now back in the Canadian wilderness, an encounter with a mother bear and her cubs forces the two to share personal space, which becomes even more personal as their attraction to one another ignites. Here is another hot excerpt from Chapter six of The Lion’s Den.  

It was mid morning when the mighty fishermen decided that they had caught their limit, and they trudged up towards the cabin with their catch in their net, wrapped in some moss.

Noticing movement out of the corner of her eye, Della turned her head and stopped dead in her tracks, whispering, “Oh look, Brad, they’re bear cubs.”

Sure enough, two small black bears were wrestling and playing with each other in the meadow in front of the tent.  They were close to the Hummer at this point, which was parked just in front of the cabin.

“Careful, now, Della,”   Brad whispered, scanning the woods, “Where there’s cubs, there’s usually mother bears.”  With that, a loud grunting sound came from behind the Hummer.  Momma bear had scented intruders who were threatening her babies and she was not happy.

The seven hundred pound animal reared up on its hind legs, making a guttural bawl, looking ready to charge.

Brad dropped the net with the fishing gear, grabbed Della and shoved her under the truck.

“Roll over to the middle,” he yelled.  Della needed no persuasion.  He wrapped her in his arms and laid on top of her.  The animal was pacing around the perimeter of the vehicle, her huge nose snorting and snuffling, and grunting.  Suddenly a large paw swiped in under the left running board and Della turned her face into Brad’s neck, and started to whimper.  He pulled her closer, and not knowing what else to do to distract her, he started to kiss her.  Her lips parted and his tongue tangled with hers, the kiss going hot and wild.  Her body went molten with sensation and she squirmed closer, fitting her body to his hard contours.  She felt so good in his arms.  Her passion matched his as he nuzzled her neck, blazing a trail down to where the

jacket strained across her breasts.  She caught his earlobe in her teeth, her hot breath playing havoc with his senses.  The bear had lost interest in them by now and had discovered their netted lunch and was happily tucking into the fresh trout.  Oblivious to the danger having passed, the couple strained towards each other.

Suddenly, Brad came to his senses, and regretfully pulled his lips from Della’s.  He peered out from under the Hummer and watched the mother bear lumber over to where the cubs were

licking peanut butter off their paws.  The tent was pretty much a write off, with all of its contents strewn across the meadow.

Della’s hand rested against the pocket of Brad’s pants.  She felt something hard digging into her palm.  “Is that your car keys?’  She whispered.

“Oh yeah,” Brad said pulling them out.  He pressed a button on the remote control and the car alarm blared, startling the mother bear that took one last look at the truck, herded her family in front of her and lumbered off into the woods.  Della closed her eyes and slumped over in relief.  Brad tried to rearrange her clothing, softly apologizing for messing her up.  He was mortified that she would think that he had taken the first opportunity to take advantage of her,

when her defences were down. The truth was, he just couldn’t stop himself.  Della was just glad to be alive, and thought that Brad could have taken her right there on the ground with the mother bear chewing on her head and she wouldn’t even have noticed.


cursive norma





Just one of those days (from hell!)

Bet Your Ass, Hell Hath Fury!

Remember in that “About” section where I confessed that being the  parent, business partner, elder care giver, wife and chief cook and bottle washer was sucking the life out of me? Here’s a sample of how that goes down.  You try adding writing a novel to that job description!  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it, though.


Oh, yes!  It’s going to happen soon.  There will be gray matter all over the ceiling, just like the chocolate chip explosion, only less tasty.

It all started yesterday morning.  I had been on the weather network, procrastinating getting started at work.  The weather gurus were predicting a snow bomb for our area, twenty to forty centimeters of snow.  Hell!  I promptly shut down Google and fired up the old VPN and hunkered down to work.   I started doing the bank reconciliations for last taxation year.  As should be duly  noted, I hate the bastards and put them off, and now had no choice but to tackle them in order for the accountant (Shauna, the loud one who makes my head hurt, but is so g’damn efficient) to do the year end.   I didn’t realise that I had already done January for some reason (A gift to myself when I found that out, one down eleven to go!).  So I buckled in and did February.  I have a freakin’ awesome set of instructions written out to myself on how to go about it, I’m just rusty now.  February was a little problematic, but I gets ‘er done and on to March!  I never stopped until I saw the balance line equal zero, around 10:00 last night.  Great.  I’m a quarter of the way there.

No time to cook a decent meal, so we have baloney and beans for supper.  Bad move…

I get up this morning, all set  to finish April, and realize that I forgot to make a couple of journal entries. The g’damn process is so gnarly that it takes the best part of two hours to get back to a zero balance.  I’m pretty sure I did one entry wrong, and didn’t change the date from today’s to the date I am working on, so when I go to do this months rec (probably this time next year)  I will probably be out the amount of this bank entry, which is lurking somewhere in cyberspace hell like a time bomb waiting to go off! Terrorist fucking accounting system, I swear to God!!!

So the elder one hobbles out to the door around 11:00, looking like death warmed over, holding her wrist like the proverbial bird with a broken wing.  Me: ” How are you feeling today?”  Her: ” Bad.”  Yup, Lasix has got her wrist in a knot, just as I predicted yesterday. Looks like Thursday until I can stop the double dose she’s on due to the congestive heart, so that we’re sure her lungs are clear.  More pain to come in the wrist.  So, I get her breakfast because her wrist is too bad to even take down a coffee cup, throw a handful of pills down her neck, couple of extra Tylenol, and I plant her on the couch for a nap.  Yeehaw, back to the office for fifteen minutes until I have to take the daughter to work in “the Pearl”, a forty minute round trip.  Didn’t know whether I should let her drive, because the Mrs. from the Insurance Company called the above mentioned elder one yesterday to say her insurance is up at the end of March, and of course, innocent to the ways of the world, she spilled the beans and told the nice lady she was no longer driving, and she was giving her car to her grandaughter, who is just learning to drive, and her son and daughter in law now drive her car.  Great.  Of course, that sheds a whole n’other light on the policy, which now has to be re-worked with the son as the main driver.  The daughter does not have to be insured until she actually gets her licence, but can still learn as long as there is insurance in force on the car. The elder one had totally misunderstood what the woman had said and thought that she was telling her that the car had had no insurance paid for the whole of last year and that all of us had been driving it uninsured!  I was ready to eat the bitch, because I knew damn well that the premium had to be paid or else they would be tormenting her to death, and a registered letter would have had to been issued notifying her that they had cancelled the insurance policy.  So at this point, I had some investigating to do and Heather still had to get to work, so I say, “Let’s take a risk.”  So she drove her grandmother’s (or her car, who the hell knows?) in to the Pearl.

I had to go for groceries.  Of course, with a list long as your arm from the mother-in-law, which makes grocery getting fun, because everything has to be kept separate, and I’m trying to think of what I need at the same time.  Of course, she forgot to give me her debit card, so I still have to pay the full shot, which came to over $400. So I drag it all home and into the house with no one to help me, the dog barking his fool head off, and starved because I had forgotten to feed the bugger, and pissing myself at the same time, because the morning coffee decided to make a re-appearance.  Thank-you water pills.  Finally, I get straightened out from all that and I open the door to the in-law apartment to bring  out her groceries, only to be barraged by messages from the agent at  the Insurance company to get in touch with her immediately about the mother-in-law’s insurance. Of course the elder one figured I should just drop everything and call the bitch right NOW!  Meanwhile my back was killing me from lugging groceries and then she informs me that she had gotten the runs (back door trots) from the beans, and had been to the bathroom a dozen times since I had gone out, which meant that she couldn’t put the groceries away.  Meanwhile, my stuff was out thawing in the front porch.  She kept yanking my chain, until I almost lost it and told her that if things got much worse with her, we were going to have to get her a nurse.  Of course, she misunderstood, and thought I meant putting her into a home, and she got all quiet.  She then figured that she should be calling Belbin’s or Coleman’s to place a grocery order for delivery.  Hell,YES!!!  She finally gets it!  I am so worn out from the whole shebackle, I feel like I should do the same.

Meanwhile, life goes on in the office, and hubby/boss calls with a dozen or more things for me to look up and fax, and by the sounds of things is having just as bad or worse a day than I’m having.  The Mrs. finally calls me back from the Insurance company and we get the changes needed started on the policy for the mother-in-law’s car.  Good thing I didn’t go aboard the missus, cos it was the mother-in-law’s muddled brain that caused most of the confusion and upset, and I wasted a lot of time gathering up proof that last year’s insurance was paid.  Meanwhile, she  probably still thinks we have all been driving her car without insurance.  *sigh*  Why do professional people even bother to discuss confusing business issues with the elderly?

So, in summary, no vendor’s got paid today, only half of April got reconciled, we’re pretty sure there is insurance on Heather’s car at least until next Monday, but I wouldn’t bank on it if we had an accident in it before the policy was re-written.  (If she looks up my driver’s license, she’s probably going to wonder why I wasn’t licensed for seven years somewhere in between there.  If she asks, I think I’m gonna tell her I was in prison!!!)

AND THE SNOW BOMB HASN’T HIT!!!  What’s up with that.  If I was as wrong as often about people’s accounts and paying vendors as they are about the weather, I’d be fired.  I don’t feel one bit bad about being behind on my bank rec’s.  If those twerps at CRA had to contend with what I have to contend with in the run of a day, the taxation center would be covered in brain matter from people’s heads exploding!  I kid you not.

Now I’ve got so many groceries that I can’t decide what to have for supper.  Hubby just came home, ready to eat the fatted calf, and It’s still on a styrofoam tray in the fridge.  I think I’m going with the previously frozen cod tongues, because with the way I’m feeling today, someone needs to be fed a meal of tongues before the night is out!  Oh my!!!

Hope your day went better than mine!  Enjoy the calm before the storm.  At least you didn’t have to shovel your way in!  Tomorrow may be a delayed start.  One can only hope, with the city council snowclearing crews cut to the bare minimum.  Tim Horton’s will have to be making road calls to keep the poor buggers going!!!  Hope Heather gets off before the heavy bombing starts!  You can bet your ass, I won’t be taking the Corolla out to pick her up!  Love you like  a day on the beach in Florida.   I so need a holiday!!!  Chances are I wouldn’t be coming back, if I made an escape now.  *frantically counts travel points*  *sweatdrop*

Your pal,

blue glitter norma

Valentines, The Season of Love

Seasons of Love








Valentine’s Day is only a month away, and I think it’s high time I gave you a little taste of what The Lion’s Den has to offer in the way of romantic fiction.  For the next four weeks, I will be posting excerpts which  show the deepening of Della and Brad’s relationship as the circumstances surrounding their lives intensify. I can’t promise any R-rated content here, that will have to be saved for the book release on April 15, 2015!

As you already know, Della and Brad get thrown together under very unusual circumstances.  She had just returned from Pakistan where her photojournalist boyfriend was captured during a tactical mission that saw Osama bin Laden captured and killed.   Not knowing whether Aaron was dead or alive, she was forced to go home and regroup and await further information before any attempt was made to extract him.

 Della’s father, the United States senator from Michigan, suggests that Della take a photographic assignment to keep her busy and out of his hair while he and his team attempt to gather intel on Aaron’s whereabouts.  Della accepts an assignment with National Environmental Magazine to cover the seasonal migration of the Woodland caribou.  It’s on the banks of a remote salmon river in eastern Canada that she makes the acquaintance of  a very annoying* stranger.

 *Isnt it funny how embarrassment and the thought of looking stupid in front of a very attractive stranger can bring out the worst in a person.


The Lion’s Den, Chapter one, Bad Beginnings

Della had been waiting for days for the rain to stop drizzling down, which was nothing new to her.  As a photo-journalist, she was used to crouching for hours in adverse conditions, waiting for news to happen in front of her camera.  Quite often, it wasn’t just raindrops she was dodging, but gunfire or worse.  She sighed as she opened the flap on the camouflaged blind that housed her camera and tripod setup, and checked the light meter to see if she would soon be able to get a decent exposure.  Her subjects had yet to arrive, and they were shier than their human counterparts about having their photos taken……..

A gentle sound outside the blind brought Della’s mind back to the present.  Flexing her cramped muscles, she pressed a button on the camera which lit the viewfinder display.  On the screen a group of shadowy figures appeared out of the lavender mists, their gray forms silhouetted against the breaking dawn sky, which painted the digital landscape with muted shades of pink, purple and gold.  Two majestic caribou, a buck and a doe stepped into the foreground, and dipped their heads to the water to drink.  The composition was perfect, the diffused lighting was perfect, the color saturation amazing.  Della paused to check the light meter one last time and gently pressed down on the shutter release, just as all hell broke loose.  Brilliant lights stabbed through the woods behind her as the roar of a monster machine rent the quiet stillness.  Dust billowed and the light blinded her as Della crouched in the blind, paralysed with terror.

Della’s heart was beating out of her chest and she couldn’t draw breath into her lungs.  Her mind was back in the Middle East, even though her body was here in the Canadian wilderness.  She stumbled out of the blind, and dropped to her knees in the dead grass, clasping her hands behind her head.   With the last gasp  in her quaking body, she shouted, “Don’t shoot, I’m an American citizen!”

The door opened on the huge vehicle.  A rack of lights on the roof, shining towards her stole almost all of her vision.  All she could see was the silhouette of a beast of a man striding towards her through the dusty air.  She kept her eyes downturned as he stopped in front of her.

“What the hell, woman?”  The masculine voice asked incredulously.

Della looked up.  She thought it odd that the soldier wasn’t carrying a weapon.  Hope dawned in her foggy brain that the man standing in front of her might be on their side.  He cautiously approached her and reached out a hand to her shoulder.  She flinched away, expecting a blow to the head.

“I’m not going to hurt you.”  He said calmly.  “Can you tell me who you are? “  He once again cautiously reached out to her, “Here, let me help you up.”

With the beep of a remote control device, the overhead lights on the vehicle went off, and Della could see the man’s face.  He was definitely not Saudi.  Brown wavy hair fell over his forehead.  His brow, framing darkly lashed blue eyes, was furrowed, not with anger, but with concern.  His cheeks were clean shaven and his strong jaw and full mouth were more Gentlemen’s Quarterly than World at War Magazine.  He was wearing camouflage, but the kind hunters wear for hunting season, not military issue.

Trembling, Della gripped his forearms to steady herself as she rose to her feet.

“I’m Della Rawlins,” she said shakily, remembering, and just catching herself in time she said, “I’ve been sent here by Today….I mean National Environmental Magazine to shoot the caribou.”

“Could of fooled me,” the man said, “Looks more like you’ve been caught in a war zone.”

Della’s hackles rose on the back of her neck.  She realised she was not in any imminent danger and she felt foolish and embarrassed and shell shocked all at the same time.  The result made her furious.

“Yeah, well, if you hadn’t barged in here like a weekend warrior, I wouldn’t have been terrified.

Who do you think you are, crashing through the woods in a military issue Hummer, of all things, dressed like a soldier of fortune!  Hasn’t anyone told you that the war here in Canada is over?”

“Well now that you mention it, I guess the gear is a little over the top,” the guy said, ruefully, scratching his head, “But, hey, I’ve got an image to uphold.  I’m Brad Jamieson, owner of Jamieson’s Outdoor Outfitters,” he said, extending his hand.  “Your tent is parked practically on my front doorstep.  This is my family’s property.   I was just wondering who was here squatting on my land………

Can I offer you a cup of tea and a bite of breakfast and maybe an apology for ruining your morning?”

Della huffed out a breath, still fuming, and retrieved her Nikon from its tripod inside the blind.

“Now that you’ve scared off the caribou and stunk up the blind with your man smell, it’s just as well to call it a day and move my gear somewhere else,” she said peevishly, “This was a perfect location.”

“Want a ride up to the cabin?”

“No thanks, I need the exercise.”

Noticing, not for the first time, the trim, athletic, definitely female body in the slick North face jacket and Sportzone leggings, he tended to disagree, but he thought it wise to hold his tongue.

Brad shrugged his shoulders, “Suit yourself,” he said, and strode back over to the camouflage painted Hummer, which Della now noted, was blazoned down the side with the company logo of Jamieson’s Outdoor Outfitters.  He swung up into the driver’s seat and expertly backed the rig up the path to where he could turn in towards the cabin.

Still peeved, Della trudged up the path, debating whether she should pack up her gear and spend the afternoon scouting other locations, or whether she would take the mighty great white hunter up on his offer of a cup of tea and see if he had any ideas on where the herd might have migrated to, having vacated “his” property.


Stay tuned for the next excerpt from The Lions Den


Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Wordpress Development Company
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Pinterest