New Mystery Short from James Moushon

I'm pleased to say the #1 New Release in One-Hour Mystery Short Reads on Amazon is HALLOWEEN AT OAKLEY RANCH by my friend James Moushon.

This is another Oakley Ranch Cozy Mystery Short Story, and it's now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Find out more about James Moushon and his mysteries at his website


Welcome to Oakley Ranch: An Active Adult Community just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

Halloween is a great time at Oakley Ranch. A Parade. A Dinner and Party. Great Music. The return of the winter visitors. And lots of hard work. This year was no different.

A good time was had by all...until a body was found in the pool the next morning.

Blood and money become the keys to solving this murder.

Detective Ferguson and Officer Rizzo follow their standard investigation. Sarah Sandberg and her neighbor, Mary, go in their own direction. Then Sarah’s dog, Jethro does it again. He uncovers the evidence that solves the crime.

HALLOWEEN AT OAKLEY RANCH is showcased at Author's Spotlight.


Grab this new story today, and be on the lookout for another FREE Jonathon Stone Short Story coming soon from James Moushon.


Romancing the Weekend: Opposites Attract Romance

Love those Romance plots where the opposites attract—like steel to a magnet?

The woman is a dreamer, and the man is a pragmatist.

The woman is a hard-headed lawyer, and the man runs a soup kitchen for the homeless.

The woman is cold and heartless, and the man is sensitive and caring.

Those are all Opposites Attract Tropes, and stories like that can take many forms.


These romance stories can feature characters opposite in personality, attitude, sex,  background, and even disposition. Think of Taming of the Shrew. The bitchy woman at the center of the story is definitely the ultimate Grouch.

I wouldn't deem her mate as a Pollyanna, but it's obvious he and she are opposites. Look at Beauty and the Beast. He's a monster, and she's a sweet, happy Pollyanna with a sunshiny personality. Opposites!

Whether the hero is the mean monster or the heroine, there are sure to be Romance Novels with the Opposites Attract trope you'll love. Here are a few for you to check out. Perhaps you'll find some deliciously romantic weekend reading?



Mysteries abound at London's most fashionable Hell.

Two Georgian Romances for the Holidays! The Thief Who Stole Christmas and The Kerse Who Saved Christmas.


Kerse: He, of the no nonsense approach, is stymied by She, a woman considered long past prime marriageability who needs a keeper more than he requires a wife.

Yet the dreamy-eyed, impractical, and much too optimistic Philomena still manages to steal his heart despite her unrealistic beliefs and trust in fortune tellers.





Opposites Attract...

Braydon prides himself on his womanizing skills. Then he meets Henrietta, an adventure-loving, globe-trotting, treasure-hunting enigma.

Henrietta has no time for Braydon’s macho charisma. No interest in getting involved in the drama between Braydon’s brothers and their sworn enemy.

Until she finds herself implicated in a murder. And Braydon is the one person she can count on.



Everyone back home thought he was dead!

So he stayed that way, leaving his younger brother to enjoy the life that should have been his. With the wife that should have been his.

Chelsea followed her cousin, who’d made a life in the new world. Men in the West were different. And out of those men, Reece Rawlings caught her eye.

No one knew much about him, except he kept to himself. But Chelsea was used to getting what she wanted. And she had her sights firmly set on Reece.



She's a quadracial cop—Cherokee, Hispanic, African-American, and white—with an over-achieving Army colonel for a father and an award-winning microbiologist for a mother. With parents like that, she never dates unsuitable men.

He's a blond-haired, blue eyed surfer with adventure in his DNA, a body that makes women weak in the knees, and he could be the poster boy for unsuitable.

So why can't she stop thinking about him?


Nikki is an investigative reporter who's impulsive and stubborn and will do just about anything to get a story, and she has more enemires than friends.

She doesn't mind using her pick pocket talents or a pair of 38's (her boobs not guns) to get her story.

Roman is a former Army Ranger who owns an international security firm, and he's looking for the person Nikki kidnapped—or is he looking for a more intimate connection with her?



She's a hard-working CEO known as the Ice Queen. She has only one friend, a stepdaughter who's married, twin grandchildren, and no life outside of work.

He's a well-loved history professor and author specializing in Hispanic contributions in Texas history. 

He's a single father with a son who just got his Master's in Architecture, and he has dozens of freinds, lots of family, and a golden retriever named Tiger.

What do these two have in common? The secret she carries. He's the only man she wants, but the one man she can never have.


Opposites Attract in a Georgian Romance, Western Historical, Contemporary, and Romantic Suspense. Hope you find something you want to add to your weekend reading.  

Joan Reeves participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

Review: La Brea on Peacock and NBC

After finishing up seasons 1 - 4 of Yellowstone last week, Darling Hubby and I couldn't find anything to watch this weekend.

That's when we saw an NBC series called La Brea that was also streaming on Peacock Plus.

We decided to give it a look. Since I'd done far more reps than I should have for my shoulder/arm exercises, I was feeling the pain and was content to do a little recliner exercise called binge watching.

About La Brea

This drama has an interesting but improbable premise which makes it great SciFi drama. A sinkhole opens on Wiltshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, and cars, trucks, and a city bus go tumbling down the unending sinkhole. Panic ensues. Grief among survivors. Homeland Security shows up which seems odd.

The survivors of the victims are told no one could have survived. Next scene shows people who fell into the sinkhole waking up and gradually coming together amidst wrecked cars, an  upside down bus, etc. Somehow most survived and observe this strange glowing light in the sky.

Yep, they fell into the sinkhole then into a time warp worm hole or whatever you want to call it. Luckily there's an anthropologist among the group who, though a pothead, comes to realize that they've traveled back in time to 10,000 BC.

If you don't get NBC or Peacock Plus, you can purchase  episodes of La Brea or the entire season 1 from Amazon.

I know the storyline sounds absurd, and it is, but I'm sure some theoretical physicist could cite a hypothesis for why this could happen.

The people stuck in 10,000 BC just want to get back to the land of latte, cell phones, and internet. The people on the modern side include someone who thinks they're still alive. I won't tell you why in case you want to watch.


Even though this series includes the usual stock characters—pothead genius, strong mom protecting her kid, children estraned from their parents and more than willing to blame them for everything that goes wrong, trouble makers, drug dealer, religious zealot, someone with terminal illness, etc.—and stock situations created mostly by people who act like idiots, there's something addictive about this disaster series.

I understand it airs on NBC with episodes then going to Peacock Plus. It's now in its second season so the cast members led by Natalie Zea of Justified, Eoin Macken as Gavin her estranged husband, Jon Seda as Dr. Sam Velez, and Chike Okonkwo as Ty seem to have a tiny bit of job security—at least to the end of season 2.

Of course, each episode has loads of conflict, one disaster after another that gets solved within the last 10 minutes of each episode. Look out for the saber tooth tigers, gigantic water snakes, enormous bears, and the ice storms that strike the locale of what will be sunny Los Angeles in another 10,000 years. Yes, the ice age is coming.

I nearly forgot to mention the indigenous people who shouldn't be there and who have skills far greater than primitive humans and who speak perfect English.


In other words, La Brea is a good old-fashioned disaster flick with cliffhangers at the end of every episode. It's loads of escapist fun. Give it a try.

Joan Reeves participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

Saturday Share: Windex, Not Just for Glass, 10 Other Uses

I've started fall cleaning—only because I missed spring cleaning.

I guess I can either be accused of  procrastination or applauded for thinking ahead. 

I don't keep a lot of chemical cleansers because some common products, either homemade or store-bought do just as good a job without taking up space in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.

A perfect example of this is Windex which has been around since—well, I just looked it up. Windex has been with us since 1936 when it was invented by Philip Drackett as a vehicle windshield cleaner. 

I use the original Windex which contains a lot of ammonia—28% along with 4% alcohol. The blue liquid can clean many different things. (Never mix with products containing bleach!)

Windex, More Than a Glass Cleaner

1.  Spray the inside of your toilet bowl, wait a couple of minutes then scrub with the bowl brush.

2. Spray the greasy backsplash behind the stove. It will cut the grease easily.

3. Use as a touchup spray for your floors. I keep a sponge mop handy. If I see a spot where coffee was spilled, it's a simple matter to spray it with Windex, then wipe with a paper towel. If I see lots of spots, like Freddie tracked in dirt or mud from playing in the yard, I can spray and use the sponge mop. No rinsing needed.

4. Crazy tip for moving a heavy appliance like the fridge or stove. Spray the floor in front of the appliance. It should slide out easier without marking the floor. (Always be careful when moving something on a floor rather than lifting it.)

5. Use as a jewelry cleaner. Just spray, brush with a soft child's toothbrush, rinse, and dry with a soft cloth. Never use this on pearls or opals. To clean pearls, gently rub with a soft cotton cloth. To clean opals, gently pat with soft wet cloth. 

I have opals which I bought in Japan. I was told to periodically soak them in a small bowl of water. I don't know if that's true. I never did it and my jewelry doesn't look any worse for not having done it.

6. Spray your countertops then wipe with a paper towel.

7. Use to spray a mosquito bite. I usually have After Bite in a kitchen drawer—as well as one in each car—because mosquitoes can be ferocious, and they love me! 

Once after walking Freddie, I reached for the After Bite only to find it was empty. It's always smelled like ammonia to me so I grabbed the Windex and sprayed the bites on my ankles and arms. Worked great. (Reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the heroine's father prescribed Windex for everything.)

8. Clean the white board in your office or in the kid's playroom.

9. Clean the inside of your car: dashboard, seats, steering wheel, door panels, etc. Spray Windex on a soft cloth and start wiping.

10. Keep a bottle in the kitchen cabinet as well as the bathroom cabinets along with a roll of paper towels. 

Spray the toilet, shower glass, vanity, mirror, sinks, and fixtures then use the bowl brush on the toilet and wipe down everything else with a paper towel. In less than 10 minutes, you have a sparkling clean bathroom that smells good. 


The neat thing about Windex is you can buy one spray bottle and then a refill jug of the mighty blue cleaner. Less plastic and less cost when you refill your own bottles. Happy cleaning!

Joan Reeves participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

Friday Facts About Reading

I haven't done a Friday Facts post in a while. Hope you enjoy this one.

Since I've been focused on Reading for several weeks—mostly nonfiction with a scattering of Romance Novels—I thought this was the perfect time to share these...


1. Reading makes you smarter. According Education professor Anne E. Cunningham  found that frequent reading helps one retain knowledge and recall that knowledge later in life. Why? The more one reads, the more information is stored and made available to the brain.

2.  50% of adults cannot read an 8th-grade level book. The Literacy Project released a statistical report in 2019 that showed 

3. 3 out of 4 people on welfare cannot read. Another statistic from The Literacy Project. 

4. 85% of juveniles who end up in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. From statistics on, a collective of young people who want to change the world, 

5. Reading makes you kinder and more empathetic. According to researchers at Kingston University in London, frequent readers are inclined to see things from other people’s points of view.

6. Reading improves your focus, memory, and communication skills.

7. Reading actually exercises your brain. This helps it stay "young."

8. Reading helps you live longer. A 12-year study on health and retirement found that those who read books survived about 2 years longer than those who didn't read books or magazines. Those who read for 30 minutes a day, or 3 1/2 hours each week, were 23% more likely to outlive those who didn't read often.

9. Reading has shown to be 600% more beneficial in fighting stress than playing a video game.

10. Reading is the least expensive form of entertainment. Read a book today!

If you know someone who needs to improve reading skills, try a book like Improve Your Reading by Ron Fry or any of the others that address that need. 

There are books for every age group and school grade as well as Reading Log Books to record what your read and your thoughts about the books. 

Just do an Amazon search for improve reading skills or adult literacy.

Joan Reeves participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.


It may be simplistic to say that literacy and education will keep people out of jail and help them become self-supporting and productive, but it surely must be a big part of the solution to those problem.

Romancing the Weekend: Second Chance Romances

So many little time. Yes, there are so many books available to read at bargain prices that it's difficult to know where to start or what to pick.

By the same token, many wonderful  books go undiscovered by the vast majority of readers.

Most readers like a certain kind of romance, but they have to read dozens of blurbs before taking a chance on a book.


I thought I'd lend a helping hand by spotlighting books with various Romance Themes, or Tropes as Authors call them.

Each Thursday, I'll feature a few books that meet requirements for a specific Romance Theme in a Romancing the Weekend post. 


I'm kicking this feature off with romance novels that are called Second Chance Romance. This kind of romance is about a couple who once were in love, but something happened to break them apart.

They meet at a later time and find the attraction, that spark, is still there. Circumstances or other people may bring them together again, and they begin to wonder if they should give the relationship a second chance.

You'll find this kind of Romance Trope in every genre of Romance: sweet, spicy, contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, Women's action adventure, mystery romance, and women's fiction. (I'm sure I left out a few.)

Readers, if you enjoy this type of content, please let me know with a Comment.

Authors if you want to have a book featured here, email me using the Contact Page.

 Suzanne Winslow

Where there’s smoke there’s fire…

Third grade teacher Jenifer Nichols is getting her life back on track. The widowed single mother has worked hard to regain her pride and independence while carrying the guilt of her estranged husband’s death. 

Her new home in Grand Rapids provides a fresh start for her and her six-year-old son. Jenifer no longer believes in happy endings, but sparks ignite when the handsome firefighter across the street saves her son from a terrible accident.

Career firefighter Matthew Barnes missed the kind of childhood other kids had. Proud of his job protecting others, he longs to have a family, but a childhood accident means he can't have kids of his own. Then, just as sparks are turning into flames with Jenifer, his past suddenly threatens to turn his dreams of a bright future into ashes.

Defining what it means to be a family can be complicated. Jenifer and Matt have both been burned by love before. Taking a second chance will take courage and commitment. But their happily ever after could go up in smoke before it has the chance to catch fire.



By Liz Flaherty

Syd Cavanaugh is beginning a “year of firsts” with the road trip she’d promised her husband she’d take after his death.

An unplanned detour lands her in Fallen Soldier, Pennsylvania, where she meets Clay McAlister, the interesting and intelligent editor of the local paper.

While neither of them is interested in a romantic relationship, their serious case of being “in like” seems to push them that way. 

However, Clay’s heart condition doesn’t harbinger a very secure future, and Syd’s already lost one man she loved to a devastating illness—she isn’t about to lose another.

Where can this relationship possibly go?


Seduction can be pretty funny—especially when both sides play dirty!

"I loved this book! If you haven't read JUST ONE LOOK, you're missing out on a great story. It's humorous, sexy to the max, and just plain entertaining." —Netgalley

What would you do if the gynecologist subbing for your regular doctor turned out to be your first love from high school?

Successful psychologist Dr. Jennifer Monroe does what any normal, well-adjusted woman would do. She makes an excuse to send the doctor and nurse from the room, dives into her clothes, and flees!

Unfortunately, her running away makes conscientious Dr. Matt Penrose conclude she has some kind of sexual hangup. For her health, he's determined to refer her to another doctor, but she refuses to take his calls. He wants to find a way to talk to her so he can suggest counseling for what he thinks are emotional problems.

Jennifer never wants to see him again. Dallas is a big city. What are the odds that she'll run into him again? Even money when Fate lends a hand.

Each of these books is on Kindle Unlimited so you can read for free if you're a subscriber. If you like, or love a book you read, please do the Author a favor and leave a review.

Is He Teasing or Flirting? by Joan Reeves #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Contemporary

Welcome to Wednesday and this week's Marketing For Romance Writers Blog Hop.

Enjoy this Excerpt from FOOLISHLY YOURS

Look for the #MFRWhooks hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to read the other excerpts.

Grayson opened the music app on the smart TV, and It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere by Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson started playing.

Samantha saluted him with her water bottle. “Kudos on selecting the perfect background music for a beach bum like you.”

“Is that what I am? A beach bum?” Grayson drank deeply from his bottle of water.

“Dude, you’ve got long shaggy hair, you haven’t shaved in at least a month, and your bronzed skin is darker than mine—and I’m quadracial. Plus, you’re unemployed.” She shrugged. "You know what they say. If it quacks like a duck, etcetera."

Grayson ignored her crack about ducks. “Quadracial huh? I bet it’s fun filling out standard forms with that information.”

He grinned. “So what four ancestors do you thank for your beauty?”Ignoring his flattery, she gave him a withering look as an answer. 

When he crossed his eyes in response, she could only laugh. “African, Cherokee, Hispanic, and white.”

He gave a disconsolate sigh. “And I’m just a plain ordinary white boy.”

Sam didn’t think there was anything plain or ordinary about his well-muscled tanned body, his strong runner’s legs, wide shoulders, biceps, and—Stop it, she ordered herself.

“Well, Officer Ruiz, if you don’t mind my saying so, your quad combination is spectacular.”

Even though she was warmed by his compliment, she scoffed in response. “That’s really smooth, but in my opinion you’re still an unemployed beach bum.”

“Not true. I’m self-employed.”

“Of course you are.” Sam muttered and took a long drink from the bottle of water. “How much of this mythical pirate book have you written?”

“In my head or on my laptop?” He scooted closer to her.

 “I don’t think in your head counts, does it? I mean, I can’t read a book if it’s in your head.”

She’d not noticed before how his dark blue eyes gleamed when he was teasing. Or was he flirting, she wondered as he scooted even closer.

“You got me. I have zero words stored on my laptop, but I’ve been thinking about writing.”

“That doesn’t count either. What have you been doing up here all alone?”

Grayson moved all the way over until mere inches separated them. “I’ve been thinking about you.”

“Me?” Flustered, Sam didn’t know how she felt about that matter of fact statement—or about the way her body responded to his answer and his closeness.

Maybe he was teasing her, but the heat in his gaze told her he was also flirting.

She should put an end to this immediately. So why was she hesitating?

FOOLISHLY YOURS is a Kindle Unlimited Romance free read. 

Takeaway Truth

Thanks for reading. Visit the other #MFRWhooks for other captivating excerpts.

Guest Post Review of Hulu + Live TV

Recently, I had an email from Helen Back, the Community Manager for

In case you're not familiar with, it was formerly called, a website dedicated to informing consumers of the possibilities available with streaming services as opposed to cable or satellite TV.

Helen had read a post I wrote about Hulu and wanted to let me know that had just completed a review of Hulu, a popular streaming service with original programming as well as television and movies.

The report shows how Hulu compares to competitors. Go toHotDog/Hulu/ Live-TV to read the report and get all the details along with a complete channel list.

By the way, HotDog has been featured on USA Today and PCMag.

Takeaway Truth

Some of the best programming in today's world is offered by streaming services. Read this report and see if Hulu is for you.

(I received no compensation for this post.)

Give Me a Trope, Any Trope, If It's Romance

As the years go by, fashions change so do books.

What was a popular theme or trope in books and movies a few years ago has waned in popularity by the time 2022 rolled around.

As 2023 is on the horizon, I thought I'd take a look back and see what was the top 10 Romance Tropes a few years ago.

Now, don't get me wrong. These may still be popular, but there may have been other tropes that have surpassed them in popularity because the social mores and attitudes of people have changed too.

Your favorite will still be your favorite, but others may have become popular with more numbers of readers. Here we go.

Top 10 Romance Tropes Prior to 2022

1. The Fake Romance (To get her mom off her back or to show to someone at some event that she's not a loser in the romance department, the heroine gets a guy to pose as her boyfriend/fiance/husband. Guys can set this fake romance up to for similar reasons. My friend Bonnie Edwards has a great romance that uses this trope. Check out Fake Me.)

2. Friends to Lovers (They have always been friends, but one or both secretly is in love with the other but afraid to ruin their friendship by making a move.)

3. Stranded Somewhere Together (Survival at its most romantic.)

4. Snowed In (similar to #3 but the coziness of winter because it's a lot easier to rationalize cuddling skin to skin when survival depends on it.)

5. Small Town Romance (I personally love these and write them like Last Christmas, Brianna's Season for Miracles, Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, The Trouble With Love, Romeo and Judy Anne, etc. You can look on my Amazon Author page for these and more.)

6. International Travel Brings Romance (My friend Mona Risk is expert at this kind of romance.)

7. Action Thrillers/Spy and Espionage (I've written one of these too, Dead Heat.)

8. Capers or Heists (like Oceans 11) 

9. Books and Romance (book shop owners, author heroines, reading characters. My friend Lucinda Race has a book available for pre-order now that's the first in a new series. Books and Bribes: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery)

10. The Plain Jane Romance (She's not a looker or doesn't think she is, but she ends up with the studly hero. I wrote this in Cinderella Blue, a Romantic Comedy.)

Takeaway Truth

Romance is eternal, but popular themes/tropes do go up and down in popularity on the Top 10 list. 

If you'd like to know what's most popular in 2022, be sure and drop by Smart Girls Read Romance on Tuesday, October 18.

That's my blog day on Smart Girls, and I will be posting a list of the 10 Most Popular Romance Tropes in 2022.

The Butterfly Effect aka Chaos Theory

I have a project I'm considering that involves Chaos Theory. I went back to a post I'd made in 2008 on the subject to refresh my memory.

I thought I'd share part of that today because it's a fascinating subject.

Chaos Theory Thoughts

Is any event or action truly random? My husband, a financial trader, has studied Chaos Theory, initially a field of physics and mathematics involving structures of turbulence and self-similar forms of fractal geometry.

He believes that just about anything considered random can be charted if there is enough data gathered over a sufficient period of time.

Researchers are still trying to use chaos theory to predict events for complex systems like weather, though I believe, because of the tenets of chaos theory, they haven't been able to do so yet.

Birth of Chaos Theory

Edward Lorenze of MIT simulated weather patterns on a computer in 1961. The computer he  used had limited memory so after he saw a particular pattern, he wanted to recover the data. He started the program again, but in the middle of the sequence, he rounded the numerical values off to 3 places instead of 6 decimal places which he had used before.

Lorenze Fractal
He was surprised to see the data now resulted in a pattern that presented a different image. The image, that is, resulting fractal pattern, looked like a butterfly which is why chaos theory came to be known as the Butterfly Effect.

Lorenze discovered the change in decimal places caused the different result even though everything should have given the same result as the first time, according to conventional thought.

He couldn't believe the fourth and fifth decimal places, which weren't even measurable using reasonable methods, could have such a big effect on the outcome of his experiment, but he was wrong. The amount of difference in the starting points of the two curves is so small that it's comparable to a butterfly flapping its wings.

Butterfly Effect aka Chaos Theory

Most people have heard of the Butterfly Effect. The movie of the same name starring Ashton Kucher popularized the label which is just another name for chaos theory. 

Does God Play Dice?

Ian Stewart's book Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos states: "The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does."

Astounding, right? Scary too. In science-speak, this phenomenon, common to chaos theory, is also known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

Is Anything Truly Random?

That was my initial question. How can it be random if even the smallest change in the beginning can dramatically change the end result. 

As a writer, and therefore an armchair philosopher of sorts, I find this fascinating. One might say that fiction authors have always worked with the butterfly effect or chaos theory.

With every book, play, or movie written, we have been practicing experts in chaos theory long before the label existed. We know how one small act can change a life or several lives or change a world. The literature, plays, movies, and world events of our culture are rife with these butterfly effects.

You May Recognize These Examples

A man commits suicide in his cousin's hunting lodge leaving the cousin's father in line for the throne which he renounces. So the cousin takes the throne only to be assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914 leading to a chain of events resulting in WWI. (Assassination of Franz Ferdinand.)

A man decides he needs a pack of cigarettes so he stops by a convenience store, gets shot by a robber, and ends up brain-damaged and becomes a different man than he was. (Regarding Henry)

Two women decide to take a road trip in a 1966 Thunderbird, but a series of ill-fated encounters and resulting bad decisions ends with their driving off a cliff at the end of the flick. (Thelma and Louise)

A man decides to relive a childhood pleasure of hiking in the hills and finds a lost dog and takes him in, and his world changes. (Watchers by Dean Koontz)

A shy woman marries an older widower and moves to Manderley, his home. (Rebecca)

The Road Not Taken

A perfect example is the eloquent poem by Robert Frost which is now in public domain.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Takeaway Truth

Writers dream up stories using the butterfly effect. We call it playing "what if." People play that game too—frequently wondering it they should have taken a different job or married a different person or moved to a different town.