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Rebecca E. Neely, Author ~ Romance. Paranormal. Suspense.

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The Keeper

Spring Time, Sewer Lines and Storytelling

It started on Mother’s Day.

Or I should say, it stopped.

My sewer line, that is.

I bought a house a few months ago, and as a proud new home owner, I was on still on the honeymoon, filled with ideas about improvements and projects I wanted to tackle.

Enter TAG. I now know him, and I bet, if you own a home, you do too. He’s an unwanted guest that will not be denied. Many years ago, my father, a wise man, as well as a home and business owner, told me about his visits from TAG. (a.k.a. Turd Above Ground)

That night, his words came back to me with haunting clarity.

After having a relaxing day at home, reading the book my daughter had given me as a gift, and eating dinner with her and my boyfriend, I told him about some water I’d found earlier that day on the floor of my basement, near one of the floor drains. Or, rather, the evidence of it – a sopping wet throw rug I keep in front of the washing machine. At the time, I’d gotten my flashlight, checked the ceiling. It was dry. Had it come from the washer? I had no idea, and I was in the middle of making dinner, so I forged ahead, figuring I’d ask my boyfriend about it later.

My boyfriend is a general contractor who possesses an uncanny ability to fix things. When I told him about it, he raised an eyebrow in his calm, knowing way, almost as if he knew something I did not. He instructed me to flush the toilet, and run water in the bath tub.

Minutes later, he yelled to me from the basement. Stop! I ran to join him, while my brain tried to process what I was seeing erupting from another floor drain. Denial is a funny thing, isn’t it? Was that rusty water, I asked, almost as if I said it aloud, I could make it so.

No. It was TAG.

Unmitigated horror filled me as the seriousness of what was happening hit me. This was bad. Running upstairs to escape the smell, I located the home warranty information I’d been given at the closing, and called the 800 number, pushed the appropriate numbers to get me to the correct menus (you didn’t think I talked to a person, did you?), and placed my service call.

At this point, I feel it necessary to clarify that I’m not squeamish; I’ve raised a child, I’ve had numerous pets, and I worked in my family’s restaurant business growing up. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, and I have, many times. But this situation was proving beyond my capabilities.

Over the next few days, I learned more about pipes, sewer lines and plumbing than I’d ever wanted to know. I listened to my boyfriend’s advice; however, this particular problem was beyond his fixing scope, unfortunately. He was, however, at my side every step of the way, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I Googled and You Tubed my way through the internet, reading and watching more information than I’d ever known existed on the topic. Opinions and prices varied wildly on issues such as root killers, pipes and camera videos. My mind raced. I couldn’t sleep. What if I had to replace it? I knew it could be thousands of dollars and take days to repair.

Captain’s Log, Day 1

I had to leave work to meet the plumbers the home warranty company sent. They snapped on their black nitrile gloves and went to work, their big metal snake shimmying and rattling to some unknown tune. Again, the smell was so repulsive I fled. Thirty minutes later, I was told I had tree roots growing in the line, and guess what? The home warranty doesn’t cover it. Big surprise. I was told the line was open, to get it camera scoped, and that the roots would come back, a common occurrence in the spring time. I paid the fee and they departed, leaving me to clean up a mess I’m not sure I can properly describe in mixed company. That was the low point. The substances I cleaned from the floor and the walls, along with the creatures–yes, you read that right–made my skin crawl.

Worms. Did I mention some of them were alive?

Shudder.

And the smell. An unholy, godforsaken, dehumanizing smell emanating literally, from the bowels of my home, seemed to permeate my nose, my mouth, my very skin. If I’d showered for three days, I don’t think I’d have felt clean. Suffice to say, it was Andy Dufresne escaping from Shawshank prison through the tunnel all over again.

Still can’t sleep.

Captain’s Log, Day 2

Since I was price shopping, I called a local company. The woman on the phone told me proudly that they didn’t charge by the hour, but by the job. That sounded promising. I needed a camera scope, I said. They did that? Great. See you tonight.

I came home from work, and evidence that the line still wasn’t clear greeted me from the basement floor.

Plumber No. 2 snaked the line yet again, scoped it with a camera, and announced the alleged ‘good’ news. Since the line was in pretty good condition, I would able to put in a liner – to the tune of $9,500. Did I say the low point was cleaning up the floor? I burst into tears.

Still can’t sleep.

Captain’s Log, Day 3

The drain is open. I’m taking short showers, and checking the drains constantly, creeping up on them, afraid of what I’m going to find. All is well. For now.

Enter plumber No. 3, an old hand who both my boyfriend and I had used at different points in our lives. I’d wanted to go to him in the first place, but the home warranty dictates that their contractors must be used. My boyfriend had spoken with him over the course of this ordeal, and filled him in about what was going on. Did I mention I hadn’t slept well in three days?

I called him. He chided me, telling me I should’ve called him in the first place. Plumbers apparently have egos. Who knew? Bewildered, sleep deprived, and sick with dread about what fixing this might cost, I tried to explain the events of the last few days and found myself groping for words. Phrases like, ‘raw sewage’, ‘home warranty’, and ‘digging it up’ punctuated the conversation. We agreed on a time for him to come that evening.

It occurred to me was living in some sort of alternate reality; office admin by day, plumber whore by night.

Plumber No. 3 came. He observed with an experienced eye, asking few questions, except for me to run water, flush the toilet, and the like. He eyeballed the drains, which mercifully, were clear at this point. And pronounced, in not so many words, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

I hugged him and praised all higher powers. Truly. He gave me a few suggestions about maintenance, and we emerged from the basement, friends and comrades, our bond forged indelibly as we each of us soldiered on in the war against TAG that every home owner wages.

I’ll bear the scars from this battle proudly. I earned them. And because, at the end of the day—wait for it; you knew it was coming—shit happens.

So, what have I learned, and why am I blogging about this? Common sense, in the form of an older, experienced plumber, will win the day. I still love being a homeowner. And about TAG? My father passed about ten years ago, and in the moment of crisis, his words came back to me. He used to make us all laugh so hard, and I almost felt like he was there with me, commiserating. So, thanks Dad!

Also, this blog is for anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed, uninformed and intimidated by repair men, not to mention short on cash for serious home repairs. You are not alone. Also, this is for anyone who wonders what writers do in their spare time. <grin> Collect experiences!

And, I am a storyteller at heart. I sincerely hope I’ve been able to entertain you with my folly. And who knows? As upsetting as the whole experience was, it’s replete with emotion and strife, perfect for me, as a writer, to tap into when I want a character to suffer, say, by finding themselves in a deep, dank hole in the Earth, clawing through dirt, and coming up with . . . worms.

“May your lines be clear, your position always upwind, and TAG never darken your door.”
–A Brand New Proverb

Rebecca E. Neely is a writer, blogger, author and storyteller. Visit her at www.rebeccaneely.com

The Crossing Realms series ~ The Keeper, Book 1 and The Watcher, Book 2 available on Amazon

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Cover Reveal for THE WATCHER, Crossing Realms Series Book 2

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Hello! Thrilled to share the cover with you for THE WATCHER, the second book in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series! And even more excited to share Dev and Meda’s story with you on November 30th!

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The battle in the Steel City continues…

Look for THE WATCHER, coming November 30th from Soul Mate Publishing! Pre-order available soon ~ stay tuned!

COOL CONTESTS  ALL MONTH LONG – KEEP SCROLLING!

Hell bent on avenging his own death, former Keeper Dev Geary eagerly accepts when the Watchers task him with returning to the human realm to discover the secret for rendering Similitude—the very thing that killed him.

But to succeed in the seven days he’s been granted, he’ll need to work with the one human who wants nothing to do with him, and who he can’t help falling for—Meda Gabriel, a cagey, street smart bar owner with a unique skill set, and maybe, the key to his mission.

With the clock ticking and the Betrayers barely a step behind, can Dev overcome his demons and find the answers the clan so desperately needs, with Meda at his side? Can love find a way, or will he be forced to abandon her and the clan, leaving them all to face imminent destruction?


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ALL KINDS OF COOL THINGS HAPPENING THIS MONTH!

  1. ALL NOVEMBER LONGI’m counting down to the release of THE WATCHER, and kicking it off with a contest at Fresh FictionGrand prize is a Kindle Fire! I’ll also be giving away books 🙂 Click here to enter!
  2. NOVEMBER 7th – Catch up with me at Coffee Time Romance’s Book Brew with the Coffee Crew! I’ll be posting throughout the day, sharing sneak peeks, excerpts, the inspiration for the Crossing Realms series, and, you guessed it, giving away more books! Stop by, chat and enter to win!
  3. WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14th – Catch up with me during the ROMANCE WRITERS GONE WILD event on Facebook. A week long romance reader’s paradise! Join over 100 romance writers for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways, with a specific day dedicated to your favorite romance genres, and all without leaving the comfort of your home. And, you guessed it, I’ll be giving away even more books!

 Join my mailing list & MONTHLY, be entered to win a FREE ebook! You’ll also receive EXCLUSIVE sneak peeks, offers & sale info!

Put some paranormal in your life. Go on. I dare you.

Spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop!

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Welcome to this stop on the Spooktacular Halloween Blog Hop!

Fabulous Authors, Prizes  & Fun!

The Prize for this Stop ~ Join my mailing list and be entered to win a Kindle copy of THE KEEPER, Crossing Realms paranormal romance series, Book 1

THE WATCHER, Crossing Realms Series Book 2 coming November 30th!
The battle in the Steel City continues…

Crossing Realms SeriesSacrifice or salvation?
A chosen psychic few may be both. As the city’s Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all’s not fair in love and war.

Enter to win by October 31st!
TRICK OR TREAT HERE NEXT: Lisa Kulow ~ https://www.facebook.com/lisakulowauthor/
For a List of all Stops on the Hop & Kindle Fire Giveawayhttp://bit.ly/2dQ8uFL
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GIVEAWAY IS OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 31ST
FB IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WONDERFUL TREAT!

How Water is the Essential Miracle

"Water is the only drink for a wise man." Henry David Thoreau
“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” Henry David Thoreau

Odorless, colorless and tasteless, the element of water is without a doubt the most essential element of every aspect of our lives, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Water covers over 70% of the Earth. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Water gives and nourishes life. It can also take life, in the form of natural disasters and pollution. It’s in our food, our beverages and the products we use every day, we bathe in it, and we literally cannot go a single day without it. One only needs to recall the recent horrific events in Flint, Michigan to know that clean water is a gift for which we should give thanks every day.

fountain-197334__180Emotionally, water soothes and invigorates, calms and heals. As humans, we gravitate to the ocean, rivers, streams for swimming, fishing, boating and other recreational activities, or merely to sit, relax or read. In the way of ponds, pools, and fountains, we make water a focal part of our homes and our landscapes as a way of inviting tranquility, color and life. The sound of the ocean waves soothe. The warmth, the reflection, the feeling of floating in the water reconnects us to a fundamental place in our lives, perhaps of being in the womb, protected, nurtured.

Spiritually, water is indispensable in religious rituals the world over. Catholics bless themselves and their homes with holy water and employ it in the sacrament of baptism to cleanse original sin. Hindus regard the Ganges River in India as sacred, bathing in it to wash away sin. Christians use water to redeem, cleanse and rebirth the soul.

An unusual but visionary view about water and humanity’s deep connection with the element was put forth by Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese author and researcher who claimed that human consciousness had the ability to affect the molecular structure of water, and that it was a blueprint for our reality. In the article, ‘Exploring the Mystical Powers of Water’ by Kate Canan, it’s explained he also “believed water revealed hidden messages and reacted to human thoughts, music, emotions, prayers and written words.” “When I was a child, I learned from my mother that ‘water is a reflection of your soul,'” Emoto was quoted as saying.

LET ME HEAR FROM YOU: In what ways do you appreciate water in your life?

Rebecca E. Neely tells stories with a paranormal flair. In the first book in my new Crossing Realms series, The Keeper, elements converge in those realms in unusual ways…Available on Amazon now!

Here’s the Cover! THE KEEPER, 1st in the Crossing Realms series

TheKeeper_CoverRevealBadge (2)Hi! I’m so excited to share the cover with you for THE KEEPER, Book 1 in the Crossing Realms urban fantasy series! It’s coming in April, so I invite you to stay tuned for all the latest 🙂

Even cooler, starting right now, you can enter to win some awesome prizes, like Amazon gift cards and free books, by following along on the ‘cover reveal’ tour. It starts today and runs until Thursday.

A big shout out to all the generous book bloggers who are hosting me this week! I appreciate you!

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE LATEST DETAILS &

TO FOLLOW THE TOUR

Celebrate the cover reveal & check out these blogs

for excerpts, fun and chances to win!
THE CROSSING REALMS SERIES

Sacrifice or salvation? A chosen psychic few may be both. As the city’s Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all’s not fair in love and war.

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