Tag Archives: Jim Woods

The Outlander…

5 Jun

A GSP release from Author of the Week: Jim Woods.

The Outlander by Jim Woods

Ever wish you could call back a promise you’ve made? David Stone, American, has adopted South Africa as his home and Marjie van der Leun as his lover. It’s an on-again, off-again affair, but during one of the on-again stages, David made a commitment which would come back to haunt him. In a reckless moment, David said he would kill for her. Now Marjie wants to call in that favor.

The arrangement involves a lot of money and once David is “in for a penny, he is in for a pound,” as the saying goes.

The plot thickens, Marjie is prosecuted for the murder and David thinks he has gotten away . . . until . . .

Excerpt:

Chapter One

David Stone seldom went to sleep at night without acknowledging he was perhaps the most fortunate bachelor on Earth. After college in California, he practically had fallen into his job, a well-paid management position, allowing him to return to the country of his birth, South Africa, a locale of which he held scant actual memory. Others’ recollections passed on to him, combined with old photographs, triggered false memories of a father he had never known. He knew now his father had been a professional hunter, a safari operator. It was rare for an American to hold such a position in this country and David treated the knowledge as a birthright of near royalty for himself. David had been on safari several times, enjoyed an impressive salary and social position, and all the female attention that money could buy. Life indeed was good; David Stone had everything to live for.

David stirred and groaned at the first summons from the distant kitchen telephone. At the second signal he tossed aside the light comforter and swung his long frame upright, legs dangling over the side of the king-size bed. By the third insistent chirp, he was awake enough to curse his boss in California, who refused to authorize the trivial expense of adding a second instrument for the bedroom of the company-leased condominium in Durban.

Alex Becker, absentee owner of PCI (Pty) Ltd, in addition to being cheap about minor expenses, also demanded the full attention of any employee who happened to be the object of his thoughts at any particular time. He reasoned with the nine-hour time differential between the United States west coast and South Africa, a call placed to South Africa during his local business hours stood a good chance of finding his area manager in bed instead of in the office or out on the road. He wouldn’t tolerate sleep-befuddled answers to his questions, so his scheme was to ensure David always had to be sufficiently awake to find the telephone at the other end of the house, and therefore be alert enough to reel off all the correct responses.

David once again resolved to put in the additional phone at his own expense, but knew that he wouldn’t, because Alex would raise Holy Hell about it when he commandeered the guest bedroom on his next unannounced visit. As much as he enjoyed thinking about crossing Alex, he knew that he would not. His position as almost total controller of the South Africa office provided him a very comfortable, even lavish, lifestyle he wouldn’t jeopardize. He was more or less fully functional when he snatched up the handset.

“Private Computers International,” he puffed into the instrument. “This is David Stone.”

The call had to be from Alex this time of night, David was certain, and his absentee employer demanded formal business telephone protocol. A clerk from the office who stayed late with David one evening, then on until morning, had been helpful in answering the telephone in order to let David continue his recovering slumber. Her pleasant and sensual hallo sounded anything but businesslike to Alex, and she was instantly dismissed from her job and David came perilously close to being yanked back to California. Since then, David’s guests were warned away from taking incoming calls and he was careful always to be professional on the telephone, no matter what the time of day or night.

“Dave? This is Marjie.”

The voice jolted him. She didn’t have to say Marjie Who. David remembered Marjie. When he first took the assignment in South Africa three years before, he’d taken stock of the local talent and identified Marjie as a sexy airhead. He was only half-right; she was sexy. She also was a very smart engineer who’d developed the power module allowing the PCI computer to work on the peculiar 50-cycle, 230-volt electricity produced and distributed by South Africa’s national electric power company, Eskom. Marjie worked for Eskom but, thanks to some expensive and persuasive encouragement from Alex Becker, her efforts had been instrumental in opening the Southern African market to PCI immediately after the post-apartheid government took over in 1994, when foreign investment in the country once again became an attractive proposition. PCI was able to beat the competition to the marketplace by several months, and still held onto that advantage.

David had been the recipient of a Masters fellowship sponsored by PCI, and his brilliant thesis on marketing opportunities in Third World countries won him the managerial assignment with PCI in South Africa. PCI joined with Eskom in a politically-motivated venture to bring technology to the underdeveloped nations of sub-Saharan Africa. Thereafter, at the local implementation level, David and Alex together coordinated closely with Marjie, a working threesome by day and, after hours, one or the other of them a playful pair with Margie, according to her fancy.

Marjie permitted both PCI-exec Alex and second-in-command David to court her, but she’d been promoted to an assignment to electrify the rural northern Transvaal a couple of years ago, and David had lost contact with her. Marjie’s departure apparently had been Alex’s reason for the abrupt decision to wrap up his personal control over the South Africa operation, ceremoniously turning it over to David and immediately returning to the company’s home base in California. Now Marjie was back in David’s life, and his groin ached pleasantly in remembrance of their times together . . . and Alex was not hovering nearby to claim a share of her.

“Marjie! How’ve you been? Where are you? What’s going on with you?” He wanted to say something clever and smooth, but felt tongue-tied and angry with himself because he couldn’t control his thoughts or his voice. What kind of schoolboy must she think I am? he wondered, but Marjie cut in with her assurances of how much she missed him. She explained that she had gone back to the family home in Cape Town for a while after her project in the north was finished. She had just returned to her own home in Pietersburg and wanted, no needed, to see him.

“Davie, do you remember when you . . .” she struggled for the words, “offered to eind die lewe of someone for me if I ever needed it? Well, I need to talk to you about that now. There’s twenty thousand in it for you. Can you come?”

Wheeew, he blew silently, and was quiet for just an instant too long. Marjie was necessarily fluent in English as the language of commerce and technology in South Africa as in most of the rest of the world, but in this very personal turmoil she reverted to her traditional language. She had used the Afrikaans, end the life. Murder someone!

“Daaave,” she came back impatiently, “didn’t you mean it?”
He remembered. When she found out he was keen on firearms, she pursued him with pleas to make her a shooter, and he enjoyed the attention. He instructed her in the use of several guns, from the FN-FAL battle rifle used by the South African military to his favorite personal handgun, the Browning Hi-Power nine-millimeter pistol. She was an eager pupil. The excitement of their shooting sessions carried over to the bedroom. Once, he teased that if she ever needed anyone removed, she had only to call on him. Her thrill at the prospect of him killing someone at her direction moved Marjie to even greater appreciation.

“Yes, I meant it,” he struggled to assure her. He’d lost her once. Now with the prospect of having her back, he wasn’t about to give her up again over some silly notion she harbored about killing someone. He had spent only a few weeks collectively in the United States over the past three years of being posted in South Africa and had become completely at ease with the local currency, rands. However, he still converted to dollars to know what prices were in real money. Twenty thousand rands was roughly five thousand dollars. “I can take care of that for you, but it’ll cost fifty thousand. Haven’t you heard about inflation?”

“Done!” she exulted. “I would have given you a hundred!”

Hey, she’s serious! What am I letting myself in for? “Just who am I supposed to kill?”

“I don’t want to talk about this kind of business on the phone. Let’s meet at the Carlton. I’ll drive in and get a suite where we can talk in private. Can you fly up tonight?”

Durban—almost six hundred kilometers from Johannesburg, he computed quickly; Margie’s base in Pietersburg about half that. “No, I’ll drive up in the morning. In fact, I’ll leave in three or four hours and be there in the early afternoon. I’ll get the hotel and call you at home and we can meet there later that evening. What’s your phone?”

Now it was her turn to hesitate. Clearly she wanted to control the venue, but eventually she gave her grudging approval to the plan. She stumbled over the telephone number as though having difficulty remembering it, then blurted out the four digits. As David wrote them down on his phone-side pad, he automatically added the area prefix for Pietersburg. “I’ll ring you up from the city,” he said hoarsely, and hung up.

No, he thought, I’ll ring you up right now! Then, halfway through dialing he slammed down the receiver. Sprinting to the bedroom, he pulled on the navy-blue sweatpants he’d laid out in preparation for his early-morning roadwork regimen—eight kilometers at a dedicated runner’s measured pace designed to cover the distance in an easy half-hour—then struggled into the matching pullover top emblazoned with Santa Clara in yellow script across the chest, and Broncos on the back He snatched his keys, change and handkerchief from the dresser-top valet and jammed them into the muff pocket, then pulled on his tackies, stuffed the hanging laces into the shoes against his bare feet and rushed to the carport. The Mercedes responded to the turn of the key and squealed down the drive, then onto the street that would take him over to Windemere Plaza and the public phone.

If I’m right, he thought, she will have to go to the post office to find a coin phone in Pietersburg. Having driven extensively over the past three years through the sparsely settled Transvaal Province in presenting PCI’s computer system to potential clients—the exception to spotty populations that characterized the rural province being the Johannesburg/Pretoria megaplex—he knew that the post offices in the smaller towns were the only places to find public telephones this time of night, and generally they were located in the seedier parts of downtown. David reasoned that Marjie would have to drive several minutes, perhaps even a quarter of an hour or more, to get from the upscale Ster Park neighborhood where she lived to the only post office in Pietersburg, and her return trip might give him enough time to verify she did not call from her personal telephone. As he wheeled into the plaza parking lot, he spied the lighted phone pod and was relieved to note that it was not in use. Another problem with the public telephones, as he and all the whites were aware, was the instruments were normally tied up by the blacks who did not have phones at home; they monopolized them for hours. This time of early morning, even the street-blacks were not hanging around the telephone. His first thought, since the cubicle was unoccupied, was he would find only the broken and frayed, dangling cable but he was relieved again when he found the instrument, to be in working order.

Using his crisp, white handkerchief, he dry-sanitized the assumed-to-be-contaminated receiver and mouthpiece with a couple of determined rubs, and then tossed the streaked cloth in the nearby wire trash bin. He dropped a two-rand piece in the coin slot and determinedly punched-in the regional code for Pietersburg and then the home number Marjie had given him. It rang on the other end three times before an answering machine responded in her purring voice. Okay, he reasoned, she did not call from her home. She’s making sure, as I suspected, no record of the call from her telephone could ever be traced to my number. I’ll have to be just as careful from my end.

The leisurely drive through the few blocks to his neighborhood gave him time to muse over just how he would stay a step ahead of the beautiful lady Marjie while also getting her into his bed. Back at the condominium, he dropped into that friendless bed still fully clothed, with Marjie, not at all so encumbered, the prime focus of his schemes and fantasies.

Fighting to clear his head of drowsiness just half an hour ago, he found now he could not sleep. He stripped off the jogging clothes, ran the shower hot while he shaved, then lunged into the revitalizing spray and steam. In the kitchen, he switched the automatic coffee pot from his normal wake-up time to ON, and watched gratefully as the life-giving drip started almost instantly. Then he wet-tracked across the gray stone-textured tile to the bedroom. As he draped the towel across a maroon-upholstered chair he wondered, what does one wear when negotiating a hit contract?

After two cups of coffee, brewed to his still American taste—South Africa offered many culinary pleasures, but the provincials simply could not make decent coffee—and half a box of Baker’s Tennis Biscuits, one of those off-the-shelf culinary pleasures—he dressed for the drive to Johannesburg.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#OutlanderExc

http://www.amazon.com/Outlander-Jim-Woods-ebook/dp/B00IUXDB46/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401980335&sr=1-1&keywords=the+outlander+jim+woods

Oxwagon..

4 Jun

A GSP release from Author of the Week: Jim Woods

Oxwagon by Jim Woods

The story opens with a very strange cargo for an oxwagon driver—the comatose body of a woman whose passage is paid by a man fearing for his life. When the driver takes on the load, he also takes on unexpected adventure for everyone involved on the long and perilous overland trip.

Excerpt:

“Are you sure she’s alive? She looks dead to me and I don’t transport dead bodies for any price. For that matter I don’t take passengers either, so we have nothing to discuss. No deal.”

“Verdoem, man. Cover her back up; I don’t even want to look at her again. I’ve got to get rid of this woman. She’s driving me crazy and she tried to kill me.”

“Then why didn’t you just kill her? If she tried to kill you, you’d be justified. Unless, of course, she had reason to. But actually, I don’t want to know. I’m just not taking her on this trek.”

“Man, you’re in the transport business, and this is cargo I need transported. Why can’t you take my business? I’ll pay to have her transported to Fort Salisbury. Tell me, what are your rates?”

“But I do not take passengers, much less a woman. This is hard country. We barely survive it ourselves, what with the rains, the mud and the fever. And we lose oxen on every trek, if not to the lions, then to their exertion of pulling too much weight over bad country. Their strong hearts simply fail, or they break a leg and we have to shoot them. And when they get tired and cranky they fight among themselves. That’s why we take along extra teams of the animals. We lose too many on a trek. Don’t you understand? This trek is too hard as it is. No passengers to make it even worse!”

“Verdoem, Clayworth, this woman is not fit to be called a passenger. She’s freight, pure and simple. And if she does not survive the trip, I don’t care. Dump her off just by the side of the road as you would any other damaged freight. So, tell me. What is your rate to Fort Salisbury?”

“See here, now, Hannes. You know my rates very well. They’re the same as any other transporter’s. This won’t do you any good, but Johannesburg to Fort Salisbury is a three-leg trek. The first leg is from Johannesburg to Palachwe; the next is to Bulawayo; and the final leg is on to Fort Salisbury. My rates are twenty-five shillings per hundredweight, per leg. That’s seventy-five shillings. Man, you could buy her a salted horse for that if she wanted to go to Fort Salisbury and she could join a train on her own.”

“I never said she wanted to go to Fort Salisbury. I want her as far away as I can put her and Fort Salisbury fills that bill. Look, I know she’s swaarly, more than a hundredweight. I’ll double your price. One hundred and fifty shillings, a shilling for every pound, to take her with you all the way to Fort Salisbury. Dump her off there and she’ll never find her way back here again. What do you say?”

“I say no, just as I’ve been trying to tell you. No passengers. Passengers have to eat and the trip takes twenty to thirty weeks and that’s if we have fair weather. That’s a lot of extra food to carry or find along the way. A man could be useful on a long trek, but not a woman. A man can stand night watch. He can chop firewood. He can wade the mud to pull the trek-oxes through. A woman. Bah! On a wagon trek she’s good for one thing and one thing only. And not good at all when my partner and I would share her. No. I won’t do it. Take her away. I have to inspan and get on my way. Sunlight is a wasting.”

“Now see here, Clayworth. I’ll pay you triple. Two hundred and twenty-five shillings to take this problem off my hands and the load off my mind. What do you say?”

Jerrick Clayworth, grim and tight-lipped, forced himself to hold back lashing out again to the Afrikaner, Hannes Crouse. He considered the offer of two hundred and twenty-five shillings, more than eleven pounds, more than enough to pay for a replacement ox when he lost one, as he was sure to do somewhere, sometime on this trek. And if the woman died along the way, or went on her own way once they were a few days out of Johannesburg, then so much the better. But is she really alive? Jerrick lifted the woven-reed lid from the deep and sturdy woven grass basket once again for a confirming examination. The woman was dressed in man’s breeches and boots, with a shirt top that was male as well. She made no sound. He bent low to inspect her, noting no bleeding wounds, but more importantly no smell of death about her; an earthy odor but certainly not dead.

“How did she get in this condition? What’s the matter with her? Why is she unconscious and how long has she been this way?”

“She’s just knocked out for a while. She’ll come around.”

“What did you give her?”

“I got the potion from a sangoma. I don’t actually know what’s in it.”

“Then how do you know she’ll come out of it?”

“The old teef told me she would, and if she don’t, I’ll wring that witch’s scrawny black neck and take back the two goats I paid her.”

“Well she don’t look dead, but if she does come out she’s going to get really messy in short order when her body starts to function again. We’ll have to get her out of that basket. I’ll spread a bullock hide to lay her on so she don’t piss or crap all over my goods when she wakes up.”

“Danke, Clayworth. Here, I’ll help you with her.”

“Not so fast. I’ll take the shillings first; otherwise she stays in the basket and goes home with you instead of on the trail with me.”

Grumbling, Hannes counted out two hundred and twenty-five silver shillings, and in so doing, emptied the bag. Jerrick noted and realized Hannes knew all along how much he would have to pay and was prepared with just the right amount. Hannes cupped the coins, returned them to the pouch and handed it over to Jerrick. Together the two men spread the hide over the crates and baskets, and stretched the still inert figure on it.

“Does she have a name?’

“I always called her Gertie. Gerta, I suppose?”

“And her surname? Hell, man if she dies on me I have to be able to burn a name on the crossed sticks. I couldn’t leave her for the animals.”

“Verdoem, man. Don’t bother to dig the ground for her. As far as I know even she doesn’t know her father’s name or even who he was. She’s just Gertie and the hyenas won’t check her pedigree.”

 

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#OxwagonExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Oxwagon-Jim-Woods-ebook/dp/B00ENVXYXW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401893171&sr=8-1&keywords=Oxwagon

GSP Author of the Week: Jim Woods

3 Jun

This week we honor the memory of Jim Woods. 

Jim Woods, Author of So you Want to be An Author?

im Woods wrote novels and short stories, many of which stand alone, while others are assembled into collections, in worldwide milieus. He was a world traveler, having researched numerous exotic locales as settings for his stories. Much of his world travel was for big game hunting which, coupled with his background as editor with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Guns magazines, frequently allowed him to bring firearms into play in his tales. Jim Woods passed away October 8, 2012; he lived and wrote in Tucson.

Please watch this space for releases from the author.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Oxwagon

22 Aug

Congratulations to Jim woods on his brand new release from GSP, Oxwagon.

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The story opens with a very strange cargo for an oxwagon driver—the comatose body of a woman whose passage is paid by a man fearing for his life. When the driver takes on the load, he also takes on unexpected adventure for everyone involved on the long and perilous overland trip.

Excerpt:

“Are you sure she’s alive? She looks dead to me and I don’t transport dead bodies for any price. For that matter I don’t take passengers either, so we have nothing to discuss. No deal.”

“Verdoem, man. Cover her back up; I don’t even want to look at her again. I’ve got to get rid of this woman. She’s driving me crazy and she tried to kill me.”

“Then why didn’t you just kill her? If she tried to kill you, you’d be justified. Unless, of course, she had reason to. But actually, I don’t want to know. I’m just not taking her on this trek.”

“Man, you’re in the transport business, and this is cargo I need transported. Why can’t you take my business? I’ll pay to have her transported to Fort Salisbury. Tell me, what are your rates?”

“But I do not take passengers, much less a woman. This is hard country. We barely survive it ourselves, what with the rains, the mud and the fever. And we lose oxen on every trek, if not to the lions, then to their exertion of pulling too much weight over bad country. Their strong hearts simply fail, or they break a leg and we have to shoot them. And when they get tired and cranky they fight among themselves. That’s why we take along extra teams of the animals. We lose too many on a trek. Don’t you understand? This trek is too hard as it is. No passengers to make it even worse!”

“Verdoem, Clayworth, this woman is not fit to be called a passenger. She’s freight, pure and simple. And if she does not survive the trip, I don’t care. Dump her off just by the side of the road as you would any other damaged freight. So, tell me. What is your rate to Fort Salisbury?”

“See here, now, Hannes. You know my rates very well. They’re the same as any other transporter’s. This won’t do you any good, but Johannesburg to Fort Salisbury is a three-leg trek. The first leg is from Johannesburg to Palachwe; the next is to Bulawayo; and the final leg is on to Fort Salisbury. My rates are twenty-five shillings per hundredweight, per leg. That’s seventy-five shillings. Man, you could buy her a salted horse for that if she wanted to go to Fort Salisbury and she could join a train on her own.”

“I never said she wanted to go to Fort Salisbury. I want her as far away as I can put her and Fort Salisbury fills that bill. Look, I know she’s swaarly, more than a hundredweight. I’ll double your price. One hundred and fifty shillings, a shilling for every pound, to take her with you all the way to Fort Salisbury. Dump her off there and she’ll never find her way back here again. What do you say?”

“I say no, just as I’ve been trying to tell you. No passengers. Passengers have to eat and the trip takes twenty to thirty weeks and that’s if we have fair weather. That’s a lot of extra food to carry or find along the way. A man could be useful on a long trek, but not a woman. A man can stand night watch. He can chop firewood. He can wade the mud to pull the trek-oxes through. A woman. Bah! On a wagon trek she’s good for one thing and one thing only. And not good at all when my partner and I would share her. No. I won’t do it. Take her away. I have to inspan and get on my way. Sunlight is a wasting.”

“Now see here, Clayworth. I’ll pay you triple. Two hundred and twenty-five shillings to take this problem off my hands and the load off my mind. What do you say?”

Jerrick Clayworth, grim and tight-lipped, forced himself to hold back lashing out again to the Afrikaner, Hannes Crouse. He considered the offer of two hundred and twenty-five shillings, more than eleven pounds, more than enough to pay for a replacement ox when he lost one, as he was sure to do somewhere, sometime on this trek. And if the woman died along the way, or went on her own way once they were a few days out of Johannesburg, then so much the better. But is she really alive? Jerrick lifted the woven-reed lid from the deep and sturdy woven grass basket once again for a confirming examination. The woman was dressed in man’s breeches and boots, with a shirt top that was male as well. She made no sound. He bent low to inspect her, noting no bleeding wounds, but more importantly no smell of death about her; an earthy odor but certainly not dead.

“How did she get in this condition? What’s the matter with her? Why is she unconscious and how long has she been this way?”

“She’s just knocked out for a while. She’ll come around.”

“What did you give her?”

“I got the potion from a sangoma. I don’t actually know what’s in it.”

“Then how do you know she’ll come out of it?”

“The old teef told me she would, and if she don’t, I’ll wring that witch’s scrawny black neck and take back the two goats I paid her.”

“Well she don’t look dead, but if she does come out she’s going to get really messy in short order when her body starts to function again. We’ll have to get her out of that basket. I’ll spread a bullock hide to lay her on so she don’t piss or crap all over my goods when she wakes up.”

“Danke, Clayworth. Here, I’ll help you with her.”

“Not so fast. I’ll take the shillings first; otherwise she stays in the basket and goes home with you instead of on the trail with me.”

Grumbling, Hannes counted out two hundred and twenty-five silver shillings, and in so doing, emptied the bag. Jerrick noted and realized Hannes knew all along how much he would have to pay and was prepared with just the right amount. Hannes cupped the coins, returned them to the pouch and handed it over to Jerrick. Together the two men spread the hide over the crates and baskets, and stretched the still inert figure on it.

“Does she have a name?’

“I always called her Gertie. Gerta, I suppose?”

“And her surname? Hell, man if she dies on me I have to be able to burn a name on the crossed sticks. I couldn’t leave her for the animals.”

“Verdoem, man. Don’t bother to dig the ground for her. As far as I know even she doesn’t know her father’s name or even who he was. She’s just Gertie and the hyenas won’t check her pedigree.”

About the author:

Jim Woods wrote novels and short stories, many of which stand alone, while others are assembled into collections, in worldwide milieus. He was a world traveler, having researched numerous exotic locales as settings for his stories. Much of his world travel was for big game hunting which, coupled with his background as editor with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Guns magazines, frequently allowed him to bring firearms into play in his tales. Jim Woods passed away October 8, 2012; he lived and wrote in Tucson.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#OxwagonExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Oxwagon-ebook/dp/B00ENVXYXW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377159051&sr=8-1&keywords=oxwagon+Jim+woods

 

Toys, Lights and Trinkets….

18 Jul

Today on the GSP Legends Promo we feature Jim Woods. His book that we are highlighting is Toy, Lights and Trinkets.

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The stories in this eclectic trilogy are unrelated, except for their setting at the end of year holiday season. The first must be saddled with the based on true events disclaimer; the next is related just the way it really happened; and the last story is pure fantasy.

Excerpt:

GHOST BREAKERS (third story in book)

The wizened old witchdoctor in Zimbabwe had been right all along. Although he obviously did not know us—my wife Anne and me—he was much too believable in his wisdom. He somehow knew things about us he had no need or right to know, but we solicited the interview. No one tricked or coerced us to consult him, so we listened to him. Anne and I were a lot younger then, and at the same age, and on one of our several safaris in southern Africa when the old Mashona gentleman consulted the bits of carefully arranged chips of mystic bone that spoke to him. One of his revelations predicted Anne would live ten years longer than me. He was right on; I crossed over a full decade before Anne joined me once again. And while it is true, there is a time to die, Anne’s family would take her passing especially hard, it coming so near Christmas—a time that should be reserved for happy memories.

Even though I left earlier, and fittingly, in the fall of the season and the autumn of my time, I couldn’t stay away. Our lifetime together was too strong in the physical world to be fractured, simply because I happened to be deceased. I hung around the house to keep Anne company. Admittedly, a few friends and even family tittered behind her back about her carrying on conversations with me. We tried to pay no attention, and really were not offended. In fact. it was amusing to us knowing what was going on and they only could guess, and speculate that Mom or Grandma, depending on which generation was the questioning source, was hanging on to the cusp of dementia. Anne and I held a lifetime of memories to recall between ourselves, and we untiringly relived and talked them over.

Anne and I stood together, hand-in-hand, at her funeral service. Being unseen, except to one another, made it easy for us to get a front row view. The Anne beside me was beautifully young, and she noted the same about me. Shucks, I don’t mean she said I was beautiful, just she thought me young and in my prime. We both agreed the body on display the day before at the funeral home was not Anne, but some wrinkled lady who still showed evidence of having been beautiful, and if we examined her closely, my red-haired Anne did show through. Everyone in attendance had nothing but kind words for my bride, as they did for me as well, ten years back. The difference was at my wake; everyone still talked respectfully about me, which was to be expected since Anne was present for all the comments and conversations. That condition changed somewhat drastically at the after-service gathering in remembrance of Anne. It was our granddaughter, Rochelle, whom we both loved, who opened the less than lovable exchange with her mother, Anne’s only child, Charlene, from her first marriage which went awry before I came into her life.

                                                                      <<>>
“What are you going to do with all of Grandmother’s crap?”

“I’m surprised you’d say something like that. Mom and Dad may have accumulated a lot of things over their lives and travels, but certainly no crap. They always bought quality.”
Good for you, daughter, Paxton telepathed. You tell her!

“Sorry, I didn’t really mean it that way. They just have so much stuff. How do you even start disposing of it all?”

“Let’s not rush into disposing of anything. I still have to locate the will, although Mom has told me everything goes to me and I’m listed as executor.”

What do you mean, have to locate the will? It’s right where I told you it would be, in the safe, and the safe combination is pasted behind that framed certificate in my library.

About the author:

Jim Woods wrote novels and short stories, many of which stand alone, while others are assembled into collections, in worldwide milieus. He was a world traveler, having researched numerous exotic locales as settings for his stories. Much of his world travel was for big game hunting which, coupled with his background as editor with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Guns magazines, frequently allowed him to bring firearms into play in his tales. Jim Woods passed away October 8, 2012; he lived and wrote in Tucson.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#ToysLights

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Toys-Lights-and-Trinkets-ebook/dp/B00A9K869S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374118427&sr=8-1&keywords=Toys%2C+Lights+and+Trinkets+Jim+Woods

Hits and Misses…

8 Jul

After a break in the internet connection we are back with the GSP Legends Promo. Today we welcome the late Jim Woods.

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Jim Woods wrote novels and short stories, many of which stand alone, while others are assembled into collections, in worldwide milieus. He was a world traveler, having researched numerous exotic locales as settings for his stories. Much of his world travel was for big game hunting which, coupled with his background as editor with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Guns magazines, frequently allowed him to bring firearms into play in his tales. Jim Woods passed away October 8, 2012; he lived and wrote in Tucson.

His book we are highlighting today is Hits an Misses.

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These accounts of shooting birds and hunting big game mostly relate the author’s adventures in North America—Canada and The United States. Game species encountered, or hoped to encounter, include mule deer, whitetail deer, blacktail deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, bear, turkey and geese. But by convenience, and necessity because all his hunts don’t fit neatly into the confines of North America, and the author had no other place to tell a couple of unique hunt stories, this volume also includes reports of dove hunting in Honduras and red stag in Spain. Mainly, this collection tells the story of one hunter who just happened to be a writer and whose job sometimes required him to go hunting, making him, if not a PH (professional hunter) then perhaps a PTPH (part-time) or a SPH (semi). Either way, for him it was a dream job.

Excerpt:

HONK IF YOU LOVE GEESE

Choosing a favorite big game species is a difficult and arbitrary decision for me. My selection could be swayed by the latest daydream inspired by one of my trophy mounts on the wall, or by one of my rifles that I associate with a particular hunt. I might vacillate between an African species that I have collected several times, or one that almost collected me; or I might settle on the noble western mule deer that I have loved to hunt. It would be a tough choice. But among the birds, everything comes second to geese.

For no good reason that I can offer, I do not have a taxidermy mount of a Canada goose, although I favor those mounts with giant wings cupped for landing. The only tangible goose decoration in my writing work space is a pair of carved birds; not decoys, but miniatures carved of fir and not painted, just the natural color of the wood.

What makes them special is that they were fashioned by a Cree Indian, carved over several evenings during the winter freeze that imprisons the far reaches of Ontario, and finished to splinterless perfection by being scraped with broken glass. Not that the Indians could not get sandpaper if they wished it; on James Bay where the Crees live, the historic Hudson Bay store still supplies all the necessities of life, and that could include sandpaper. Why broken glass then, instead of sandpaper? Because they have broken glass, and materials on hand are to be used. It could be called conservation and recycling.

Geese are godlike to the Crees. Tribal hunters take them by the boatload under the native subsistence laws of Canada, and the tribe does subsist on geese for the entire winter when the waterways freeze over. For a people normally given to hard work, days of forced inactivity produce some native art of exceptional merit, including my toy geese.

I do love the big birds. If there is a greater thrill than a flight of geese lifting off the water and flying past my blind, I haven’t experienced it yet. It’s exciting to have them pass close enough to get off a shot, and a pure satisfaction to bring one or two down from the flight, but many have been the times I was content to watch them pass without my ever slapping a trigger.

It’s another thrill to have the grand creatures come to your call and decoys. In fact, I’m not sure I could say whether sitting in a morning blind waiting for and experiencing the liftoff and formation or turning the birds from a high flight by a coaxing call is the more exciting.

Much of my sitting in blinds waiting for the over-flights has been on Maryland’s eastern shore of the Chesapeake. There is little in the United States to compare with the Chesapeake when it comes to geese. James Michener captured the spell of the geese in the novel, Chesapeake, and to have written that novel, he had to have experienced the flights over Chesapeake Bay. If I were to build a permanent waterfowl blind on Chesapeake Bay, I’d outfit it with a pew for a bench, for at no time do I feel more in church than when the geese fly.

I was fortunate to have hunted the Chesapeake without having to compete for space along the public accesses, and without the necessity of joining one of the expensive private clubs that control much of the admittance to the waterways. All my Chesapeake experience has been as a guest of Remington Farms. Remington, the arms and ammunition people, at the time operated Remington Farms on the bay. The farm, which included a wetlands sanctuary, was a virtual field laboratory for wildlife habitat and related sciences. It was common to observe university students and wildlife biologists at work on Remington Farms, and not only on waterfowl projects but also on those associated with deer and small game, and with general agricultural-improvement methods that benefited farmers nationwide.

In addition, some limited hunting was authorized, controlled hunting being a prime wildlife conservation tool. Remington utilized the setting to host outdoors writers from time-to-time for introduction of the company’s new firearms products. Those sessions usually included a couple of days of hunting. It was during these sessions on Remington Farms that I enjoyed my well-remembered Chesapeake Bay goose hunting. At all times when hunting on those press junkets, the Chesapeake geese were zealously protected, by the federal waterfowl regulations, those of the state of Maryland, and perhaps most rigidly of all by the caring custodians of Remington Farms.

The geese at Remington Farms do not originate at Chesapeake Bay but only stop there en route to wherever their instincts take them on their annual journeys. The geese moving down the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways, and perhaps some that take the Central Flyway as well, gather for their odyssey at James Bay, the southern projection of Hudson Bay between Ontario and Quebec. The birds don’t necessarily originate there either. Most of them are spread much farther north, summering all along the northernmost perimeter of Canada, including frigid Victoria and Baffin islands and all of the Arctic landfalls.

Links: 

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#HandM

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Hits-and-Misses-ebook/dp/B005PGMUUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373298216&sr=8-1&keywords=hits+and+misses+jim+woods

 

Toys, Lights and Trinkets…

2 Dec

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Today it is our privilege to host a book from the collection of Jim Woods on the GSP Christmas Promo.

Jim Woods wrote novels and short stories, many of which stand alone, while others are assembled into collections, in worldwide milieus. He was a world traveler, having researched numerous exotic locales as settings for his stories. Much of his world travel was for big game hunting which, coupled with his background as editor with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Guns magazines, frequently allowed him to bring firearms into play in his tales. Jim Woods passed away October 8, 2012; he lived and wrote in Tucson.

The seasonal release we are highlighting is Toys, Lights and Trinkets.

ToysLightsandTrinkets4
The stories in this eclectic trilogy are unrelated, except for their setting at the end of year holiday season. The first must be saddled with the based on true events disclaimer; the next is related just the way it really happened; and the last story is pure fantasy.
Excerpt:

     GHOST BREAKERS (third story in book)

The wizened old witchdoctor in Zimbabwe had been right all along. Although he obviously did not know us—my wife Anne and me—he was much too believable in his wisdom. He somehow knew things about us he had no need or right to know, but we solicited the interview. No one tricked or coerced us to consult him, so we listened to him. Anne and I were a lot younger then, and at the same age, and on one of our several safaris in southern Africa when the old Mashona gentleman consulted the bits of carefully arranged chips of mystic bone that spoke to him. One of his revelations predicted Anne would live ten years longer than me. He was right on; I crossed over a full decade before Anne joined me once again. And while it is true, there is a time to die, Anne’s family would take her passing especially hard, it coming so near Christmas—a time that should be reserved for happy memories.

Even though I left earlier, and fittingly, in the fall of the season and the autumn of my time, I couldn’t stay away. Our lifetime together was too strong in the physical world to be fractured, simply because I happened to be deceased. I hung around the house to keep Anne company. Admittedly, a few friends and even family tittered behind her back about her carrying on conversations with me. We tried to pay no attention, and really were not offended. In fact. it was amusing to us knowing what was going on and they only could guess, and speculate that Mom or Grandma, depending on which generation was the questioning source, was hanging on to the cusp of dementia. Anne and I held a lifetime of memories to recall between ourselves, and we untiringly relived and talked them over.

Anne and I stood together, hand-in-hand, at her funeral service. Being unseen, except to one another, made it easy for us to get a front row view. The Anne beside me was beautifully young, and she noted the same about me. Shucks, I don’t mean she said I was beautiful, just she thought me young and in my prime. We both agreed the body on display the day before at the funeral home was not Anne, but some wrinkled lady who still showed evidence of having been beautiful, and if we examined her closely, my red-haired Anne did show through. Everyone in attendance had nothing but kind words for my bride, as they did for me as well, ten years back. The difference was at my wake; everyone still talked respectfully about me, which was to be expected since Anne was present for all the comments and conversations. That condition changed somewhat drastically at the after-service gathering in remembrance of Anne. It was our granddaughter, Rochelle, whom we both loved, who opened the less than lovable exchange with her mother, Anne’s only child, Charlene, from her first marriage which went awry before I came into her life.

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“What are you going to do with all of Grandmother’s crap?”

“I’m surprised you’d say something like that. Mom and Dad may have accumulated a lot of things over their lives and travels, but certainly no crap. They always bought quality.”
Good for you, daughter, Paxton telepathed. You tell her!

“Sorry, I didn’t really mean it that way. They just have so much stuff. How do you even start disposing of it all?”

“Let’s not rush into disposing of anything. I still have to locate the will, although Mom has told me everything goes to me and I’m listed as executor.”

What do you mean, have to locate the will? It’s right where I told you it would be, in the safe, and the safe combination is pasted behind that framed certificate in my library.

Links:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JimWoods.html#ToysLightsExc

http://www.amazon.com/Toys-Lights-and-Trinkets-ebook/dp/B00A9K869S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354477297&sr=1-1&keywords=Toys%2C+Lights+and+Trinkets