Monday, August 22, 2016

Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back-To-School Book & Blog Block Party


 Welcome to the Rave Reviews Book Club’s Back-To-School Book & Blog Block Party!


Location for this stop:
Central Oregon High Desert
(Pictured Below)



What I’m giving away today:
$25.00 Amazon Gift Card

Number of winners for this stop:
1

Click here for more details on the Block Party
and see how to become eligible for more prizes.

For those who may not be familiar with me, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bruce A. Borders. I’m the author of several books, sixteen at last count, but that is subject to change. Although, I tend to branch out into more genres, I usually write crime/mystery/suspense novels. Most often, my books tell the story of someone who has been wronged in some manner and how they deal or cope with it, how it affects them, or (my favorite) how they retaliate.

One of my habits is to add a plot twist to the end of a book, which may change the entire story. I don’t always do that but then I usually hear about it from some of my beta readers—that would be my wife and kids!

As I mentioned, I have several books and I doubt anyone wants to read a synopsis of each of them, so I’ve limited this post to introducing my four best selling titles.


Dead Broke is my most recent release and the first in what I hope will be a LONG series, the Lana Denae Mysteries. The setting for the books is Portland, Oregon. I chose that city because, living in Oregon, I am fairly familiar with the layout and other details unique to the area.


Dead Broke
(Lana Denae Mysteries, #1)


It was the perfect murder... almost.

An elderly woman is found murdered in her apartment. Cause of death; a single gunshot wound to the chest. The only door is locked from the inside. There are no signs of entry, no bullet holes in the walls, and no weapon is recovered from the scene. That’s when Detective Lana Denae of the Portland Police Bureau is assigned the case. The investigation gets off to a slow start until she realizes there is more to the story than a single random murder. Someone is looking to rake in a profit to the tune of more than a million dollars, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Lana is determined to stop the killer before he strikes again but with limited evidence, finding just who is responsible is more difficult than she imagined.

“Every time you think you've got this one figured out, it turns out you're wrong.”

“One of the more enjoyable books I've read lately!”

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Over My Dead Body is my first novel. The story combines two news stories I heard when I was much younger. In both stories, a corrupt official threatened—and then followed through with the threat—to remove a minor from their parents’ home without justification. This provides the setting and beginning plot. I’d wanted to write the story for quite a while and describe what I would do, how I would react, in a similar situation.


Over My Dead Body


How far will a man go to protect his family?

When the director of Child Protective Services uses his position to exact a personal vendetta in removing three-year-old Ashley from the Blake’s home, Jeff Blake, a financial advisor, responds to the threats in the only way he feels he can – violently. By the end of the short encounter, three people are dead and Ashley, the daughter, is still taken and placed in temporary foster care, so the tragic fiasco gained Jeff nothing. Or, so it seems.

Matters are further complicated when Amy, the wife and mother, winds up for a brief stay in a mental ward due to the trauma she witnessed in her home. It seems as though everything is against the Blakes. Understandably, the police, as well as the Courts, are not too concerned with the needs of the family. Complete with many twists of fate, the story looks at the common problems of a typical family caught between love and the law.

“Thought provoking!”

“Exceptional! One of those books you can't put down!”

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Miscarriage Of Justice was written and then re-written several times. In fact, over the course of about a year and a half, there were seventeen re-writes. And even then, I put it aside because I wasn’t satisfied with the book. A year or so later, I picked up the manuscript, made a few minor changes and “suddenly” it seemed to work.


Miscarriage Of Justice


The justice system is just a system, not a just system.
Sentenced to fifteen years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Ethan Rafferty has one thing on his mind—payback! With his time up, the ex-con is free to pursue his mission of revenge.

During the trial, the District Attorney, Mariana Clark, suppressed evidence that would've exonerated him and now is the focus of Ethan’s vengeance. Intent on making her life a living hell, he works daily to antagonize and torment the woman. Unable to retaliate through the courts, considering the role she played, Mariana chooses to fight fire with fire. Soon, their feud escalates to a point where neither imagined it would go.

Which one will prevail, Ethan or Mariana? Can either? Or, are both of them bound to a destiny produced by a Miscarriage of Justice?

“You will never look at the court system the same again!”

“Never saw that ending coming!”

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Inside Room 913 is my best selling book, which is odd. I wrote the book intending for it to be a short story. But as usual, I got carried away and the book turned into a few hundred pages. I then edited it down to about 150 pages. Originally, I thought the book would be categorized as young adult but thanks to input from readers and advertisers, it has become a suspense book.


Inside Room 913


Parkview Manor has a secret, and eighteen-year-old Cynthia is curious! 

When Cynthia Holt takes a job at a former sanitarium, now operating as an assisted living center that doubles as a hotel, she instantly discovers something more is occurring than simply providing the elderly with housing and care. Something very strange is going on behind the locked door of Room 913!

After she is repeatedly warned to stay away from the room and to not discuss it or the occupant with her co-workers, she is even more intrigued, and suspicious! Letting her curious nature guide her, she immediately begins asking questions. When she finds that Room 913 has been closed off, locked and sealed for 40 years, her curiosity turns to concern. Though rumors abound, no one seems inclined to talk about it.

Not giving up so easily, Cynthia persists in her pursuit of solving the mystery, investigating the rumors until she learns the truth of what is inside the forbidden room—or does she? 

“Truly great story - unexpected ending!”

“Excellent book! 5 Stars! I thought I’d figured it out, and then...” 

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 See all of my books on my Amazon Author Profile.


Thanks for dropping by! And don’t forget to leave a comment below!








The Information Age

It’s amazing what a guy can learn from those little human-like creatures known as grandchildren. Having recently spent a week with all five of my grandchildren, I am now brimming with information. While some of it is interesting, some are things a guy would rather not hear.

Among the things I’ve learned is: that I need to lose weight (although, it was not stated quite that way), that I’m getting old, that when the sun rises it’s time to get up (even if you’ve just gone to bed a couple of hours before), that what little hair I have left is mostly gray, that kissing my wife spreads germs, that I wouldn’t make a good fisherman, that I talk too much, and the list went on. And on.

Then there was the utterly useless stuff like: motorcycles have two wheels, water is wet, and you should open a door before going in. While it come as a surprise to some (my grandchildren) these things I already knew but had long ago dismissed them because they don’t serve much of a purpose for, well, anything. That didn’t seem to matter; I was still deluged with all of their “profound” knowledge.

Some of this enlightening info I asked for but most of it was offered freely with no prompting. The little critters seem to have no inhibitions when it comes to speaking their mind. But in a world where everyone has learned to sugarcoat things in order to not offend anyone, I found their open honesty refreshing! But also, a little overwhelming. I’m not sure how they expected me to remember it all!

Yep, I definitely learned a lot of stuff. A week’s worth times five! But I think the most important thing I learned during our time together is, don’t ask a child a question if you don’t want to know the answer! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back Home

Wisconsin in August! Probably not the best time to venture into America’s Dairyland.

For those of you who did not see last week’s post, the family and I, all eleven of us, took a road trip from Oregon to Wisconsin. For some in our party, it was the first visit to the state, and their first experience with humidity and bugs! Oh, and thunderstorms!

Also, for some, it was their first experience with long distance driving. At first, the grandkids seemed excited at the prospect and eager to hit the road. But I think the novelty wore off after the first 100 miles or so. After that, the “joy” of driving transitioned into the typical “Are-we-there-yet view.

For the adults, the adventure took a turn for the worse after about ten hours, in the form of car trouble. Outside Evanston, Wyoming, one of our vehicles broke down. It would run but the transmission would not engage. Sitting on the side of the freeway is not a real exciting way to spend a vacation. After a couple of hours and a few visits from the Wyoming law enforcement (who were very friendly and helpful) we had the car towed to the dealership where we learned it would need a new transmission, which incidentally, was not cheap. Eventually, we rented a car and continued our trip, leaving the problem vehicle to be fixed. We were a day late when we got to Wisconsin but better late than never, I suppose.

But wait, there’s more. The day before we needed to leave, the key for the rental car decided not to work. It was one of those new key fobs and not an actual key. The message panel on the car just said “Damaged key” when we tried to use it. And although those type of keys have a “real” key inside them for such an emergency, that wouldn’t work either. No matter what we tried, the car wouldn’t start. We couldn’t even roll up the windows. Not a good situation in a place that likes to rain buckets of water! So, after another tow to the dealership and waiting a day for them to fix it, with fingers crossed, we headed home.

There a few more minor issues with the rental, but finally, we made it back to Evanston, Wyoming. There, we picked up the repaired vehicle, returned the rental car, and hit the road again for the rest of our journey. After a day and a half on the road, we arrived home dead tired—and slightly disgruntled.

But the trip wasn’t all doom and gloom. While in Wisconsin, we visited my wife’s family, celebrating her parents’ 50 years of marriage and, I think, we all had a good time. We saw a lot of family and friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time and had a nice visit. Also, on the way to Wisconsin we stopped at Mt Rushmore, and saw a few other sites too. The stops helped break up the trip for the travel novices, know as my grandchildren!

In all, we visited nine different states. I’m pretty sure the extended freeway journey made for a fun-filled experience for, not only the grandkids, but everyone else as well. But I don’t think any of them are ready to go anywhere in a vehicle just yet. Except me. I’m headed back to work. I’ll be driving all night again. But not to Wisconsin! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Almost A Vacation

Vacation! Yep, again. A year ago, on my summer vacation, I spent the week painting the house, and fixing things that had been neglected far too long. This year, I’m taking an actual vacation. Well, sort of. We’re traveling to that exotic land of enchantment, known as Wisconsin. (That last part may have been typed with just a hint of sarcasm).

It promises to be a fun-filled, or at least, interesting, trip. The whole family, my wife and I, our three adult children, our son-in-law, and the five grandchildren will be cruising down the freeway from Oregon to Wisconsin. Normally, it’s around a thirty-hour drive, but with that many people, and that many kids, it might take a wee bit longer this time. Hopefully, by the time anyone reads this, we will be there. Hopefully.

For everyone, other than me, this will be a LONG trip. By the end of our vacation, we will have driven more than 3,500 miles. I’m thinking the grandkids, and perhaps a few others, will have had enough of being car bound, listening to the hum of steelbelts on the asphalt, by the time we get back home. 3,500 miles is a lot of miles. I know. That’s what I drive every week. And now you know why I said I was “sort of” taking a vacation. ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

My Wife, The Gardener

My wife doesn’t like tomatoes. (No, we’re not sure what’s wrong with her but she seems to be managing okay). But me, I love tomatoes, even store-bought ones—providing I have a full saltshaker.

Although I haven’t had a garden in a few years, somehow I did seem to always have a few tomato plants. Until recently, that is. The last couple of years, I didn’t want to take the time to water, weed, and care for them. So, I went without. Well, actually, I didn’t. There were enough people giving me tomatoes that I never really ran out—at least not during the summer.

Still, it’s nice to be able to walk out the door and pick my own. I mentioned that to my wife one day last winter—amid my complaints that the tomatoes from the store were creating a salt shortage at our house.

She must have taken me seriously because this past spring she bought some tomato plants, planted them, and took care of them, which included a lot of work to make sure they didn’t freeze when our weather kept insisting winter was not over. She also watered them every day, which is in itself a lot of work. (I know, some of you people live where watering things is totally unnecessary. But where we live, if you want a plant to grow, you have to pour water on it—every day. More than once too.).

And now, thanks to all of her hard work, I’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes for the last month or so. Yay! But, I’m not sure what she has gotten out of the deal, since she doesn’t like tomatoes. Maybe she’s just trying to keep me happy. Or, perhaps, she was just tired of buying salt! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Timing Is Everything

I was treated to a rare lightning storm show this past week. I drove for 100 miles or more with the spectacular flashes right in front of me. It was almost a continuous display of lighting, or lightning, with brilliant blues and orange. It’s been a while since I lived where this is a regular occurrence and I actually kind of enjoyed watching. Of course, it helped that there was no rain accompanying the lightning. I’m sure it may have been raining somewhere but the road I was traveling stayed dry as a bone. Which was fine with me, I don’t really like rain.

While driving along, amid the storm, I noticed a guy pulled over on the shoulder taking pictures. He had a tripod-mounted camera and appeared to be snapping photographs as fast as he could. With the clouds in the night sky and the mountains as a backdrop, I’m thinking he was getting some good shots.

I hadn’t thought of taking any pictures myself, until I saw him, that is. So, I grabbed my phone and started clicking away. I must have taken twenty-five or thirty pictures and only after the show was over did I look to see what I had captured. And... nothing. I had several photos that fit into one of two categories—white and black.

I had figured not all of the pictures would turn out but I knew that depending on the timing, I stood a chance of getting a couple of amazing shots. But no. Apparently, I either snapped too late (the black category), or at the split second, the lighting flashed (the white category).

Disappointed, I put the phone away and continued driving, thinking I was not much of a photographer. Obviously, a good photographer would have better luck in his timing, I told myself. I brooded on that a while and then, out of the blue it hit me that I had impeccable timing. What were the odds of that many photographs being taken at the exact moment they wouldn’t turn out? Especially with the amount of lightning I was seeing.

While I’d like to say that I had another chance on the return trip, it was not to be. The thunder and lightning had moved off to the distance and the only thing I could see in the night sky was the stars. But next time, say in two or three years (or more—remember I said it was a rare thing), that we have a lightning storm, I’ll give it another shot. I doubt I can duplicate my feat of snapping every picture at the wrong time. But you never know, I seem to be pretty good at it.

Or, maybe I just need a real camera. The guy I saw taking pictures from the side of the road happens to work at the same place I do. I saw a few of his photographs a couple days later. They were pretty dramatic and dazzling. I talked to him a bit (without divulging my little attempt at picture taking) and he said he’s been waiting years for the opportunity to get those shots. And what’s more, he seemed fairly confident he’d never have another chance like that. Well, so much for my idea of next time. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Off-Road Driving

Keep the dirty side down—a truck driver’s way of saying have a safe trip. In the case of the place I drive, where we haul garbage to a landfill, through the man-made mud (thanks to truck loads of water constantly being dumped to keep down the dust, all sides of the truck are dirty. So, the saying loses some of its significance.

The road to the site is paved but narrow and has a few corners. When meeting other traffic, you absolutely can’t move over. Though it goes against all instinct, you have to hug the centerline because the 1-foot shoulder is very soft. If a trailer tire goes onto the shoulder, you’re sunk—or the trailer is. The shoulder gives way and it pulls the trailer, and then the truck, right into the ditch.

As you can imagine, the ditch is not all that solid either so the entire truck then sinks—well, at the least the side that is not on the pavement does. And then physics finishes things off, giving the driver a ride they hadn’t anticipated as the truck and trailer turns over.

While this scene is far from an everyday occurrence, it does happen occasionally. Last Monday was the latest incident. Over the next two days, I got a good look (several looks actually) at the truck laying there on the side of the road. Surprisingly, it didn’t look all that damaged. Of course, I couldn’t see the side that was on the ground.

What I did notice though, was that the bottom of the truck, or what was supposed to be the bottom of the truck, was by far the cleanest side. Apparently, the swirling spray of water from driving in the man-made puddles, washes away the mud on the underside but doesn’t do such a magnificent job on the rest of the truck. This realization has led to a modified version of the old trucker’s saying—that will probably never be understood by other drivers unless they work at my job —keep the clean side down! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Current Reads





Monday, July 11, 2016

Move More, Eat Less

Made the mistake of mentioning to my wife that I’d like to lose a little weight. A mistake because now she keeps coming up with these ways I can do that. Insane ways. Her suggestions are things like walking, running, jogging, bike riding, an exercise routine and... dieting of all things!

I’ve never gone on a diet in all of my forty-nine years! Just the thought of dieting makes me hungry. Much as the mere thought of running, jogging, bike riding, or exercising makes me tired. I’m not a teenager anymore! My life these days consists of driving a truck and working at my computer! I can’t really be expected to actually be active can I? Besides, I don’t have time for any of that.

Seriously though, I’m pretty sure that’s the real reason I don’t do any of those “healthy” things any longer—I don’t have the time. And yes, I know, not doing those things would be the reason I need to lose some weight.

But I’ve come up with a solution! I’m going to exercise in my sleep! Should be easy to lose weight that way, after all, I get about five hours of sleep a night! That’s thirty-five hours of exercise per week. The weight should just fall off, right? Yeah, I know, in my dreams.

Actually, my real solution is even simpler than that. I’ll just stop eating. Well, not completely. That might cause serious complications. But maybe if I stop eating so much that just might do the trick. Might, but there is still that hunger issue to deal with, so it may take a little work. What I won’t do is mention my plan to my wife; she might start dreaming up ways for me to eat less—like not cooking. I don’t need my first diet to be a starvation diet! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Current Reads





Monday, July 4, 2016

God Bless America

I like to record songs in my spare time. Okay, I really don’t have any spare time. What I do is make time to record because I like to sing. Recently, in light of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday (Independence Day for those of you who think the Fourth of July isn’t a holiday), I recorded a few patriotic songs. I did several of them, America The Beautiful, Battle Hymn of The Republic, This Land Is Your Land, and others.

Singing songs about America made me realize again how lucky, or blessed, I am to be an American, living in this great country. Most patriotic songs are full of meaning and even more so when you sing them over and over and them work on the production of the recording. You start to actually pay attention to the words a little more than normal.


One song that I felt had the most meaning was God Bless America. Although for a patriotic song it is very short, it still holds a lot of truth. These days it’s not exactly popular to mention God but, well, I don’t care. Actually no, I do care, which is why I made a video of the song and posted it to YouTube. I’ve also included it below in this post but if it doesn’t play, you can see it here.


And now, I shall return to recording. Maybe a few Christmas songs. I know, it’s kind of the wrong time of year for that but ever heard of Christmas in July? I’ll let you know how it goes in December or so.

Happy Fourth!



Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Current Reads






Monday, June 27, 2016

Give 'Em A Brake!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my dislike of construction zones. But since I drive over 700 miles a day, I probably despise it more than the average person. They slow me down, making my day longer. Especially, this year.

There are currently seven construction zones on my route, with the speed limit reduced to 50 mph. That may not sound like a lot and I’m continually told by construction types that they only slow me down for a few minutes and then I can be on my way. That is true. But the problem is I don’t just make one pass through. So for me, it becomes a little more protracted. I make two round trips through each of these zones. That means the seven construction zones have become 28. That’s how many times I have to slow down and I usually wait behind traffic about half of the time. It generally adds an hour, or more, to my day. You can see why construction is one of my many pet peeves.

It helps to keep a sense of humor—otherwise, I’d just be upset all the time. Thankfully, the level of intelligence of those in charge of said construction makes that fairly easy. For instance, one day this past week, I was chugging along down he road when I noticed the dreaded familiar orange signs in the distance—more construction! Yay! Like the seven I had already weren’t enough. Wondering what they had decided to “fix” now, I kept driving—like I really had a choice in the matter; this is the only road I can use in this particular area.

The first sign I passed was a lighted reader board that advised me the left lane was closed two miles ahead. Okay, that’s no big deal. There are two lanes on the freeway after all. I’m driving a slow truck and usually stay in the right lane anyway. But then, not more than a half-mile further, I see a sign that says right lane closed ahead.

So, of course, I’m driving along thinking that someone messed up. Obviously, one of the signs was wrong. But which one? Figuring I’d take a wait-and-see approach, I kicked off my cruise at the 50 mph sign and continued on, a little amused by it all.

And then, rounding the next corner, I’m greeted by this:
         


Really? I thought. Both lanes are now closed for construction? I guess that wouldn’t surprise me considering the convoluted methods they sometimes use. But almost immediately, I knew it couldn’t be. I was traveling on a busy freeway and if both lanes were indeed close ahead, I felt pretty confident I would have already been in the resulting traffic backup—and I wasn’t.

By this time, I can see the orange and white barrels ahead, lined up down the shoulders. Yep, BOTH shoulders. And then I saw the workers. Well, two of them. They were standing on the side of the road, engaged in what appeared to be quite an animated discussion, oblivious to the traffic whizzing by. Both were shouting (I assume, since I couldn’t really hear them inside the truck but their lips were moving rapidly and their red faces going through all sorts of contortions), both were shaking their heads forcefully, and they were wildly gesturing, pointing in what looked like all directions. I got the distinct impression there had been some miscommunication somewhere along the line. A miscommunication that had for the moment left both lanes OPEN! That worked for me! Except that meant I’d had to slow down to 50 mph for nothing. But that was okay. Just this once anyway. It had allowed me a better view and a little more time to enjoy the show as I passed.

The entertaining diversion didn’t last long though. By my next trip through, they had figured it out—at least I think they had. There still were no lanes shut down but the signs had been changed. They now read, “Shoulder Work Ahead.” But that may have had nothing to do with any construction. It might have simply been to allow the workers to finish their argument in relative safety. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Patent Pending

I’ve never actually filed for a patent. There’s a good reason for that; I’ve never invented anything. Wait! That’s not quite true. But I don’t think combining two different steak sauces to make my own special blend really counts!

Still, the fact that I’ve never come up with anything deserving of a patent didn’t stop the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office from sending me a letter. A letter to inform me that my patent application had been received and recorded. My patent was now pending, it said. They even gave me a number. Great! I only wish I knew what it was for!

I found the whole thing a little more than odd. Don’t they require a patent attorney for such things? And wouldn’t they send all correspondence through the attorney? Maybe not, I guess, because after all, I did get the letter.

Perhaps they were just making everything ready in anticipation of some forthcoming invention—something I have yet to conceive or devise. Or not. That would require a remarkable level of efficiency. And I’ve never seen anything run by the government that’s even remotely efficient.

Obviously, they had the wrong Bruce Borders. They apparently got Bruce the inventor, mixed up with Bruce the truck driver/author/artist/songwriter/dental technician—among a few other things. But I didn’t feel any compulsory need to tell them that. Not my responsibility. How they got my name, I’ll never know. Even more baffling is how they came up with my address for this other “me.” I’ll never know that either.

This was quite a few years ago and no, I never contacted them or responded to the letter. I just threw it in the trash. I didn’t figure my effort would do any good and it wasn’t really my problem anyway. Besides, I didn’t want to encourage them in their incompetence. No doubt, I’d still be trying to convince them they had the wrong guy! (Yes, I’ve dealt with government agencies before and they all seem to operate under the same erroneous assumption—that they never make mistakes).

I never heard anything else and I suppose they eventually located the right Bruce Borders. But, who knows? I could still wind up making a fortune off “my” invention—whatever it is. I’ve heard these things take time. Maybe it’s still pending. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

50 Years!

Today is my anniversary—and my wife’s too! Strange how that works. We’ve been married 29 years and while that may seem like a long time, it sort of pales in comparison to another couple, namely; my wife’s parents. They celebrated their 50th annivesary this past Saturday. 50 years! That’s longer than I’ve been alive!

What’s a little scary is when I first met them they’d only been maried 17 years. Not that 17 years isn’t commendable but compared to 50... Well, you see why I said “only” 17 years.

Unfortunately, my wife and I live 2000 miles away so we couldn’t be there this weekend but we plan to celebrate with them later this summer. The plan is for their entire family to attend; children, grandchildren, great granchildren, as well as the many spouses who have been accumulated. I’m looking forward to getting together and seeing everyone. I know that’s not the stereotypical thing to say—in-laws notoriously do not get along. But I’m not the typical stereo playing the same old tired song—I actually like my in-laws. Really!

When I moved to Wisconsin, away from my family and everyone I knew, they became like family to me; a second set of parents. They always treated me like a son and for that I am grateful.

In the many years I have known them, they have always been selfless and strong, supportive of each other, and even tempered; it’s no surprise they made it to 50 years. These days, not many couples make it to 10 years, much less 50. Just wanted to say congratulations to them and acknowledge their accomplishment. Happy (now belated) Anniversary! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Trains Or Trucks

It’s no secret there’s no love lost between the trucking industry and the railroad. Being a truck driver, it’s obvious which side I’m on in this grand debate over which mode of transportation is better, safer, more reliable, etc. The railroad types are continually telling me that trains are the safest, most reliable, far more efficient than trucks, better for the environment, and do not cause traffic problems like major backups or accidents.

Um, yeah, sure. I suppose that’s why I’m currently sitting here on a two-lane highway, at a dead stop! Actually, the reason I’m sitting here, as I have been for the last six hours, is because on the other side of the river, where the freeway is, and where I normally drive, there is a huge fire, which has produced at least one explosion, and has closed the freeway as well as caused an entire town to be evacuated.

What is on fire? Well, a lot of things, trees, wooden bridges, and maybe even a few buildings. Oh yeah, and an oil tanker. A train oil tanker. That’s literally adding fuel to the fire! Not only is the train burning but it has derailed as well, taking out a lot of track, bridges, and other structures.

So, here I am, along with what looks like about a million other people who made the mistake of wanting to go somewhere on this Friday afternoon, at a standstill due to the massive traffic jam—thanks to the train. It’s taken me six hours to get here, and “here” is exactly twenty miles from where I started this detour.

So, tell me again, dear railroad people, how trains are better, safer, and more reliable. And as for being environmentally friendly, I doubt the fish are convinced of that at this point—not after swimming in burning oil-laced water and then being doused with flame retardant.

I do have to give the railroad credit though. They are on the ball. It only took them a matter of a few hours to bring in all the necessary equipment and supplies to repair the tracks and bridges. They’re ready to fix things and get the trains rolling again—well, as soon as the fire gets put out. There are thousands of railroad ties, loads of rock, and rails, along with bulldozers, backhoes, and a various assortment of other heavy equipment. All the needed supplies and equipment is lined up down the nearby exits and on ramps and down both sides of the freeway. Yep, the freeway. On TRUCKS! They had it TRUCKED in. But then, how else were they going to get it on site? The railroad is sort of, well, gone. The trucks are still running though! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Cost Of Freedom

Memorial Day. The day America remembers those who have died while serving in the armed forces. Those who died in war. Those who gave their life for freedom. And there have been a LOT—over 1.3 million to date. This includes all wars since the Revolutionary War but that is still a huge amount of people. That is the cost of freedom.

More than 1.3 million lives. And every single one of them had a family. They were someone’s son or daughter. Maybe a husband, a father, or brother; a wife, mother, or sister. An uncle or aunt, niece or nephew. The point is, the loss of these lives reaches even farther that the 1.3 million. A lot farther. The impact has been heartbreaking for many families who lost a love one. That is the cost of freedom.

1.3 million people who never reached their full potential in life. 1.3 million people who never got to pursue their dreams. Never got to watch their children grow up—or see their parents grow old. They never had a chance to experience all the world has to offer. And never had the opportunity to enjoy the freedom they fought for. That is the cost of freedom.

And that’s why we have Memorial Day. A day to remember those who sacrificed, those who gave their all—and then some. But one day doesn’t really come close to being adequate. It seems so insignificant in light of the price that has been paid by so many; especially since so many individuals these days do not appear to care. They take their freedom and life of ease for granted. As for me, I choose to remember the price that is the cost of freedom.

Just something to ponder as you go about your fun-filled holiday; that is, the cost of freedom. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Sounds Like Work

I’ve never liked taking my vehicles to a shop to be fixed and most of the time, over the years, I’ve worked on them myself. However, a couple of weeks ago when my pickup started making an odd noise, and having a little vibration, I didn’t want to deal with it—for a lot of reasons; I’m getting older, it’s harder to work on vehicles these days, I never seem to have the right tools anymore, and it was raining. Besides, I just really didn’t want to work on it.

So, I took the pickup to a local shop. After telling them what it was doing and when it would occur, I went home to get some sleep, thinking the over-inflated cost of the mechanics might just be worth it this time. I’d sleep while they worked. An ingenious plan.

Well, things rarely work out so easily.

Later that afternoon, I called to see what they had found and was told they’d found nothing wrong. The truck made no noise and had no vibration, they said. “Probably just normal creaks and rough roads. Replace your shocks and it’ll be fine.”

I’d barely made it onto the street before the loud popping noise and the vibration returned. But since I was on my way to work, I didn’t take it back. I spent the next several days, looking for loose parts on the suspension—among other things. And on the weekend, I put new shocks on, front and back. It didn’t help. And the problem seemed to be growing worse. It now felt as if the left front wheel was going to fall right off.

After a few more days, the noise and grinding sound didn’t just come and go; it persisted. And the wheel became wobblier. So, I made a return trip to the shop, figuring this time they surely would be able to find something amiss. But no. Even though I was riding with the mechanic who drove it, and could feel and hear what I had described to him, he didn’t and said there was nothing wrong. We even took it back to the shop and raised it on a hoist. Examining underneath, I made sure things were tight—and they seemed to be. I mentioned the possibility of it being a hub but the guy dismissed my suggestion. Obviously, I had no idea what a hub going out sounds or feels like—at least that was what I got from our conversation. It had to be something on the suspension, he said. And then he sprayed some lubricant on all the bushings and connections, telling me that should fix it.

Well, I’m a little stubborn and since I had checked the suspension myself, I wasn’t convinced that was the problem. Still believing it was a hub going out, and not wanting my wheel to come flying off while driving down the highway at 70 mph, I checked some prices and found the cost would be around $500.00 to have a shop replace it.

Well, that was way too much, especially since I wasn’t sure if it would even fix my problem. So, purchasing a new hub, back home I went.

Thanks to the number miles on the pickup and stubborn parts that didn’t want to come off, working on it was a pain. But a few days and several new tools later, I finally put it all back together and... it works! No thumps and pops, no vibration and grinding noises! It’s a nice feeling when that happens. Even nicer when I have the opportunity to go tell a mechanic he was wrong! And after the looks I got when I suggested the hub might be the problem, you can bet I’ll be making a special trip down to tell them!

My experience wasn’t totally without reward, however. I did get some new tools out of the deal—and had the chance to spend quite a few hours lying on the hard concrete, in the rain! You can’t beat that! Well, I could have I guess, if the shop had fixed it in the beginning, like I’d intended. But it turns out my dad was right—again—if you want something done right, do it yourself! It’s usually cheaper. Even with buying the new tools, I didn’t spend the $500.00 they wanted to charge. I think they just wanted to make a few extra bucks off of me. Then again, maybe the mechanics suffered from the same symptoms I had—and they really just didn’t want to work on it. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Walking The Line

As a truck driver who covers thousands of miles per week, I’m treated to all sorts of scenes on the road. Some are pretty, like snow-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls, and slow-moving rivers. Some are funny, such as the time I saw a Volkswagen Bug pulling a huge U-Haul trailer. Others are puzzling; a tire perched precariously atop an exit sign—yes, I have seen that. But a few are downright creepy. Morbid.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I was traveling down the freeway, minding my own business—sort of—when I got passed by a State Patrol. He was following right behind another car and I kept waiting for him to pull them over but the lights didn’t come on.

Both cars soon disappeared into the night but then a ways ahead; I saw the red and blue lights start flashing. I watched as the lights came to a stop on the side of the road and assumed he had stopped the car he’d been following. But as I neared the location, I noticed there was no other vehicle in front of the cop. I had only a brief moment to wonder why the officer had made a stop of himself before his spotlight came on. And there, fully illuminated on the shoulder of the road, was a body! Yes, we’re talking a human body, a male. He was lying facedown on the side of the road, just off the fog line. (The white line on the right for you non-professional drivers).

Later, I learned the man had been struck while walking; a hit and run. Obviously, he had not survived.

I know sometimes walking down a freeway is necessary but why anyone would do it when there is no reason, especially at night is beyond me—I’ve seen the way people drive! Actually, when traveling at freeway speeds, it is extremely difficult to see people on the road at night. Yet, quite frequently, somebody is out there walking down the line. In fact, as I was thinking about writing this blog post, I saw one who must have had a death wish of his own.

I was traveling through a construction zone, a single lane with concrete barriers on either side. And there he was, a man who acted as if he had not a care in the world, slowly ambling along, reading a newspaper. He didn’t seem to flinch as multiple trucks and cars flew past barely a foot away.

Like I said, I know walking down the freeway may, at times, be necessary, but please, do me a favor. If you find yourself in a situation that requires hoofing it on the highway, walk on the other side of the guardrail—or at least far enough away from where my trailer could clip you if the wind happens to be blowing. I could do without all the extra paperwork! Thanks.

Oh, and the fool who was calmly standing in the lane mere inches from death? I heard from another driver that the police had showed up soon after I’d gone by and they’d apparently “explained” the situation to him and then escorted him out of the construction area. But, about five hours later, when I made my return trip, there he was again, strolling down the road, halfway in my lane. As I passed him, I’m sure I saw his lips moving, and his body was swaying back and forth rhythmically, almost as if he were singing. And maybe he was—his death song, I presume! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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