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Clio's Temple

Life in Aiken

In print

The mountain's labors are doneNights of Horseplayis now in print and available for sale.

If you would like an inscribed copy, send $ 10.00 plus sales tax (for South Carolina residents) to BLS Aiken, P.O. Box 473, Aiken, SC 29802. Shipping and handling are free for orders placed through October 15.

It's also on sale at Amazon.com and at the CreateSpace.com online store. ISBN-13 is 9780615831060.

My sincerest thanks to my fellow members of The Aiken Scribblers and all those who provided required permissions or did services for us.

Angie Baby

A middle-aged woman's limitations and a young man's ambitions create a combustible romantic mixture under the gaze of an equine guardian.

"Romance was out of the question. There were flirtatious boys at church but no deeper relationships resulted. Tess became bold enough to ask on of them what was wrong with her daughter. 'There's nothing wrong with her,' the young man said. 'It's just that she lives in a world of her own. She only wants to talk about horses and trains.

Wedding Belle Blues

A one-sided conversation with a horse gives a runaway bride the courage to redefine herself.

"It was true. She felt guilty for leaving David at the altar because it was rude and embarrassing, not because she actually loved him and wanted to marry him. She blanched at the ramifications of that. David Emerson was perfect in every way.

What's wrong with me that I can't love a man like him?

She looked up at the horse. 'My fiancee's a lawyer, Marie. David's wonderful. He's going to be a partner by the time he's thirty.

Tales of Hoofman

An international celebrity's comeuppance becomes the fulfillment of a frail child's dreams.

"Though performers typically look outward at their audience, surprisingly Dustin's face points to the ground,as if his luck - like that of his celebrity counterpart Dustin Hoffman - has run out.

"I'm here in Aiken to produce and tell his story. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dustin Hoofman has entered another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. It's the dimension we call

Exit, Stage Left

Two amateurish kidnappers get more than they bargained for when a posse of horses turn into sleuths.

"Patriot charged. 'Now!' All four horses burst into the clearing just as the gunshot cracked the night air. Reggie's pained howl drowned out Creele's surprised oaths hurled at the intruders, but by the time Reggie dropped to the pine straw, Creele was already zooming up the overgrown trail.

'He's getting away! We should chase him! We can catch him!" Wordy pranced in place at the edge of the trail leading out.

Forbidden Love

An equine love story heals a mini-Civil War between a family of Yankees and a clan of rebels.

"Stonerside was on a roll now. 'The war didn't last much longer, and I found my way back to my home place south of Aiken. Everyone was really glad to see me; they thought I'd been killed in the war. I could see a lot of new horses had come to the farm since I'd left to fight the graycoats. It wasn't until the following morning, however, that I saw her. I couldn't believe it. The filly!

Sweet Brew and a Cherry Cane

The arrival of a truckload of horse statues knocks the stuffiness out of an overbearing homeowners association.

"That was the last time I saw the remaining statues in Mr. Elliott's driveway. Sunday afternoon I rode my bike with Andy and almost crashed into him as we glided past Wanda's front yard. At the edge of her lawn stood the statue Patriotism parallel to the horse Regions Spirit of Aiken in Hazel's yard, with a gigantic hammock stretched between them. What was weirder yet was the Wanda and Hazel were sitting in the hammock, laughing at something they were pointing to in a magazine.

The Protector

A woman harbors a festering resentment of her aged mother's demands - until a long-departed ancestor comes calling.
Sheeplishly, I shuffled to her side. When I saw her small, balled-up form, I was dumbfounded. Before me was a curly-headed five-year-old version of my mother. Her sweet brow was furrowed as she sucked furiously on her tiny thumb. Then her lips trembled, and she whimpered in her little girl's voice as a tear escaped her eye. A serrated dagger ripped into my chest.

It was then I was struck by a horrific thought.

Introducing Miss Evelyn

A girl's flight from home in search of a dream ends in a dreamy encounter with a horse on a city street.

"Evelyn felt tears starting to sting her eyes, mostly because she knew he was right. Her mother wouldn't stand for this impractical nonsense . . . Evenlyn saw clearly what she had to do. She would need to prove herself to her mother and brother. Evelyn decided to run away to become a great actress."

Nights of Horseplay will hit the streets in late September, 2013. Catch our video trailer

The nights the horses ran free

"Every man his own historian" was the title of a famous address given by Carl Becker, president of the American Historical Association, on a day now all but lost to memory. A few years ago, I made the preposterous leap of faith that, if every man could be his own historian, every man (or every woman) could be his own editor and publisher. The result is the now-almost-ready-for-print anthology titledNights of Horseplay. Set in my hometown of Aiken, South Carolina, it's a collection of stories and poems revolving around a common theme: horse statues that come to life.
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