Cops and Robbers

This could be a true story, but don’t take my word for it. On Febrary 14, 1953, two bankrobbers broke into a bank outside Valatia, NY, and stole the payroll. The robbers made their getaway in a blue Oldsmobile. Not three miles away, they skidded on black ice, went off the road, down an embarkment, and rolled over twice. The robbers tried to escape over the frozen lake, but the weight of the money bags broke the ice – they drowned. We used to play in the wreck as kids. What did we play? Cops and Robbers, of course.

Photo prompt© Ted Strutz

Thanks to Rochelle for her Friday Fictioners group!


Meeting with the Mayor

This is typical me. I got heartily sick of walking down my road in the summer under the scorching sun with no shade. So, I wrote a letter to the mayor and sent it off. Basically it went like this:

Dear Monsieur le Maire (I’m not even sure I bothered to find out his name – I figured that with all my complaints about the parking space, my letter would get tossed straight to the nearest trash can) –

I’m writing to you about the part of Bd Calmette that stretches from the Place de l’Europe to the National Music school. It’s a wide avenue, but it has no shade and in the summer it simply bakes under the hot sun. Would it be possible to plant a few trees along it? It would make it cooler, and studies have shown that trees not only help with air pollution, they also lower the temperature because of their shade. 

Thank you for your kind attention – (me)

Anyhow… I sent that off months ago and promptly forgot about it. Then the phone rings the other day and I answer it, and I stay online when usually I cut the person off with “No thank you, I’m not interested”, because I get so many phone calls from salespeople. Anyhow, I stay online, and imagine my surprise when it’s the assistant mayor, and he’s calling to make an appointment to meet me on Bd Calmette. So I’m amazed, can’t think why he wants to meet me – (is it that damn parking place again?) No, it’s about the trees – and now I’m estatic and practially babbling, “yes, yes, thank you! Friday, eleven am, perfect, in front of the apartment? Yes, I’ll be there.” 

So I figure it’s the mayor, he’ll be on time- so I ask Alexa to remind me a quarter hour before, so I’m not late, and I look at the boulevard every time I go to walk Auguste, planning what to say – and I’m all excited, imagining a lovely line of shade trees along the road…Anyhow. Friday, it’s quarter to eleven, Alexa reminds me, and I get my coat and boots on, and look at my watch. Almost eleven. I’m going to be right on time. The phone rings. It’s the assistant mayor. He and the mayor are downstairs. Waiting for me. I look at my watch. It’s five to eleven. “I’ll be right down. You said eleven.  I’m very precise,” I add.

“Oh. Well. We’re here now. We came a little early,” he says.

I bound downstairs, trailing Auguste, and meet the mayor. I took the time to look up his name, so I shake his hand and say, Bonjour Mr le Maire. Mr Cagnet, c’est ça?” The assistant is writing on his notepad as we speak. He takes notes all through the conversation. I make a mental note not to say anything that could be held against me in a court of law.

Well, one point for me. I got his name right. We go to the street and start to discuss Mantes, the schools, my building, then get around to trees, the future train station, the problem of parking (I show the stupid pedestrian crossing/parking space in front of our apartment).

He promises to make the crossing more pedestrain friendly. I push for a speed bump too. His look tells me I may have pushed too far, but I insist, citing the lovely speedbumps along the river. “You’ve done such an amazing job making that side of town beautiful,” I insist. “We on this side of town feel left out. No trees, no pretty sidewalks. And we need doggy poopy bag distributers.” I pull my doggy poopy bag from my pocket and show him.

We discuss trees some more. Where to put them. Why to put them. I explain that now, in winter, it’s not too hot, but in the summer, from May to October – it’s an oven. “A boiling oven,” I insist. He nods. Yes, he will try to work something out with the planners.

I’m torn between optimism and pessimism. He tells me some people don’t like trees. I tell him that you can’t please everyone. He agrees with that. I tell him that most people arrive in our city via the Place de l’Europe by train or car, and that we need to make the entrance to the town more inviting. He agrees, and I start to think we’re going to get somewhere after all. His assistant clears his throat. “We have to go,” says the mayor. I manage to insert some compliments about his work in the town, and he shakes my hand and leaves with a smile. “Goodbye, Mr Cagnet,” I say, smiling back.

I go home, well pleased with myself. I glance at the webpage I opened to the town site. In bold, at the top of the page, is “Mr Le Maire – Mr COGNET”. 




The Soul of Time

The Soul of Time: In the Land of Ice and Darkness, time-traveller Ashley faces The Thief of Souls (The Time For Alexander Series Book 6) by [Macaire, Jennifer]The Soul of Time

In the Land of Ice and Darkness, time-traveller Ashley faces the terrible Thief of Souls

(The Time For Alexander Series Book 6)

Ashley and Alexander come face to face with Volterix, the terrifying Thief of Souls – a druid with powers to stop time and change the future of the world.

Ashley and Alexander must travel to the far north in order to stop the Volterix from irrevocably changing time. With Alexander’s soul, and Paul as his puppet, the druid hopes he can stop the Roman legions from conquering Europe and thus save the druids from extinction. But Ashley knows that will not happen without the mysterious Time-Senders erasing all their lives.

In order to save herself, her children, and the men she loves, she has to somehow get Alexander’s soul back and find the druid’s lair.


      ‘I see.’ Plexis said. ‘So, in your time, can atoms be taken apart and rearranged? Can you create other things besides water with water atoms?’ His questions were always tricky.
‘We can. In my time, scientists have discovered many different ways of using atoms, either in their natural state or in artificial combinations.’ I broke off and frowned. I wasn’t sure just how much to tell him.
‘And one of the ways they use the atoms is for weapons, is it not?’ Plexis peered at my face. His eyes were searching. He could see right into my heart.
‘That’s right.’ I shook my head. ‘But I don’t want to talk about that, please? It’s like, like …’
‘A sacrilege? In this time and place?’ Plexis’s voice was gentle.
‘Yes. That’s what it’s like. It’s worse than a rape. It’s worse than anything you can imagine,’ I said bleakly.
‘Then tell me another story. In the three thousand years that separate your time from mine, there must have been countless storytellers who wove their tales. Are there any you love the best? Can you tell me one that I’ll understand and love the way you do? Do poets still recite adventures like Homer did? Do they still tell stories to entertain, or have all the poets died and the stories vanished?’ His voice wavered.
‘They haven’t vanished. I’ll have to think though; I love so many stories.’ I sighed.
He reached over and touched my cheek lightly. ‘Tell me you love me.’
I looked up at him. His expression was serious. I smiled and tucked a stray curl back behind his ear. ‘Of course I love you,’ I whispered.
He looked at me through long lashes. ‘I love you too, Ashley of the Sacred Sandals, and I have a confession to make.’ He paused. ‘When you were kidnapped, so long ago in Arbeles, it was I who arranged it.’
Arbeles. The word was like a stone thrown into a pool of water. The ripples spread, and I remembered the panic of my abduction, the four days of fear spent in the bottom of a wooden boat heading for an unknown destination. Then the desolation of a year in my temple prison in a silence that no one would break, even when my son was born and stolen from me.
I closed my eyes and found I was trembling. I looked down at my hands. They were gripped together, fingers twisted, knuckles white. Even now, even ten years later, the memory felt like a nightmare.
‘Why?’ I finally asked. I didn’t dare look at him. I was afraid to. My gaze was as frigid as an arctic winter – and that was when I was happy. Right now it would freeze the atoms in his eyeballs.


macaire_author pic

– Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Social Media Links –

Facebook – Blog – Instagram – Twitter


My book review page

I love to read, and like to write reviews, so I thought I’d put the link to my BookBub review page.

You’ll probably notice I only give 4 and 5 star reviews*. Well, I don’t like giving a bad review, I figure books are like babies – some are pretty and some are ugly, but they are all loved by at least one person.

*Also, if I hate a book, I just won’t review it. 🙂


Author interview “Sassy style”


512Bbgw3nqLFrom Wise Words blog: A sassy author interview, prizes, a fab book… what more do you want! .@jennifermacaire .@rararesources #historical #timetravel #funbooks

Jennifer Macaire is a brave author who has agreed to be interviewed in a style that many authors shy away from—derogatory. The sassier the answers to WWBB’s rude questioning method the better!

So welcome, Jennifer, and let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? In your book, the protagonist, Ashley Riveraine (what kind of name is that, Jeeze!), gets pitched back in time some 300 years BC (before chocolate) and meets Alexander the Great—her hero.

Hero? Oh, come on! Okay, I’ll go with it for now. So, is Ashley Riveraine happy now their story has been told or is there more to come (God help us!)?
The funny thing is, this was going to be a short story. I started out as a journalist writing articles for magazines, and at the same time, I wrote a few short stories and published them. One was nominated for the Push Cart Prize, and I’m afraid it went straight to my head.

I set about writing a short story about Alexander the Great not dying and going on to conquer the world (you see how things can get out of hand – one mosquito gets squashed, and we’re speaking Greek instead of English and the Romans never got to build their straight roads anywhere. Much less paperwork too, and we’d still be offering sacrifices to Zeus.

We could always offer this book!

We could, but as my neighbour’s rooster wakes me up every morning at the ass-crack of dawn I was thinking more about sacrificing the rooster… anyhow, I was going to send The Road to Alexander to a Sci-fi magazine as a time travel tale and things got out of hand.

I didn’t realize Alexander would kidnap Ashley – I forgot how omnipresent gods and goddesses were at that time. And I didn’t realize how crazy Alexander’s mother was, and, to make a long story short, there are 7 books in the series.

Seven! Jeeze… you get less for murder! Okay, so give me the best one-liner from your poor excuse of a book.

I realized I was now over three-thousand years older than my own mother.
Do I have to elaborate?

Please don’t.

Good, because the instructions say a ‘one-liner’, so to go on and explain would be a clear indication of my inability to follow the simplest instructions, which is why I did so badly at school, and why my husband has given up trying to tell me what to do…)

Yawn, so basically, you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon, and you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why I should spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?

Oh, come on – who likes best sellers, I mean, besides the teeming masses. But you know the teeming masses yearning to be free – it says so on the Statue of Liberty (written in Gothic Script somewhere around her big toe, I think). So, feel free to try something different – the hero and heroine don’t hate each other on sight! The hero is Alexander the Great, and how much more heroic can you get? There is action and adventure! It’s based on real history (at least part of it is – it’s time-travel, so there is a slight wobble in reality. Be prepared!).

It’s a mad, tongue-in-cheek romp across mixed genres of Sci-fi, romance, adventure, and history. It’ll make you laugh and cry. Oh, and there’s lots of hot, bouncy sex. (If you like that sort of thing. Otherwise, just skip those parts!) But most of all, just relax, sit back, and enjoy your trip back in time. You can always close the book and come back to the present – but Ashley is stuck in the past!

Hang on, there, lady. Bouncy sex? Sex that’s bouncy? I may just have to read this malarkey of a book! So, spill, as an author have you ever regretted anything, i.e. written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued online, copied someone else’s idea? Any juicy naughtiness at all?
Mark Twain once said, ‘The kernel, the soul, let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances is plagiarism.’

In a way, he was correct. We, the people of the present, are standing on the shoulders of those who went before us. Our stories, our art, our science – it’s all based on work that our ancestors did. We simply keep it growing, expanding on it – but we invent nothing brand new. (And stop screaming, ‘The Internet!’ that’s just another way of communicating, and there are more ways of doing that than stars in the sky… I exaggerate, but you get my gist).

I wrote The Road to Alexander after falling in love with ‘Outlander’, so the time travel element was copied from the fantastic Ms Gabaldon. She may have gotten it from H.G. Wells – who in turn, got it from somewhere else.

Time is an interesting subject. I’d like to say I was the only one who ever wrote about Alexander the Great, but Mary Renault did a fabulous job with her series of historical fiction novels – if you haven’t read them, you’ve missed a rare treat.

As for arguing or regretting, or writing bad reviews, I’ve only written two bad reviews, and both were for novels that featured super-alpha-male-control-freaks, and I’m a staunch feminist.

I have argued online, but that was then. Nowadays I just refer people to PubMed (peer-reviewed scientific publications) or Snopes and let them learn for themselves. I never wrote my own review, but I encouraged my daughter to read one of my children’s books and write her own review. It was awful, but this proud mama didn’t mind – I fixed up the spelling, changed a few words (terrible to great, boring to amazing,) and had it published…. well, not really, but it’s an idea. Probably not an original idea – those are all taken!

Describe your writing style in ten words or less. I’ll begin with the first two: Crap, dull…

Pedantic springs to mind. That’s what my editor kept saying. ‘Jennifer, you’re being pedantic again. No one needs to know where the army’s food came from, just tell them what they ate and be quick about it.’ Or, ‘Jennifer, three pages on oral hygiene in ancient times is going to put readers to sleep. I barely got through it without dozing off. Scratch that. I dozed off twice.’

Otherwise, my style has been variously described as fluid, engaging, easy-to-read (not my fault – my editor keeps correcting my spelling and grammar!), and one reviewer—who said the book had way to too much sex in it—admitted it was ‘well-crafted and proficient’. Hmm. Was he talking about my writing or about the sex scenes?

Fuck knows! He certainly wasn’t my husband! All right, just for a laugh, share with us one of the WORST reviews you’ve had.

I’ve had so many – where to begin? Let’s see – one said (1 star): ‘Why, oh why must the ‘heroine’ of these sort of time travel books be so smug, so captivating to their target and so unreal. No-one in their right mind is like this. Go away Ms Macaire, and think real. I suppose I have been spoiled by Diana Gabaldon whose heroine at least shows some reticence towards the hero or Jodie Taylor who is constantly amusing and deep by turns.’

I like this review on so many levels – it perfectly describes Ashley, who arrives from the future feeling smug and superior to the ancients (Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall, Ashley!). It compares the book to Outlander and the St Mary’s series, both of which I adore – (thank you, terrible review, for at least hitching my book to their star for a brief instant before you demolished it).

It is confusing in that it acknowledges the book as being time travel, then beseeches me to ‘get real’. That’s where I’m not sure if she doesn’t like the alacrity Ashley and Alexander (trying to think of another word starting with ‘A’ and failing here…) fell in love, or was it the improbability of Ashley being a real person?

At any rate, I enjoyed having my book in the same paragraph as my two favourite writers! (There are other, more brutal reviews, but they actually had more stars, so the readers must have liked the cover art or something.)

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? (Apart from waking up in the morning, that is).

I was afraid someone would ask me this one day. Can I take the fifth? No? Well, #1: The book is science fiction (I love science and work with scientists as an information researcher – I know, it doesn’t count, sorry!) with a #2: time travel element (I have the worst case of left/right, before/after, letters, and numbers, dyslexia. So time has no meaning for me. It’s a miracle every time I show up at work or to an appointment. #3: It’s in English (I was born in the USA and grew up in the Caribbean, which accounts for that part, anyway). #4: It’s set in Ancient Greece, and my mother is a history teacher. She gave me lots of hints about where to look for information on Alexander the Great. No, she didn’t help me – how many of your teachers wrote your assignments?

Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents, i.e. crime writers are often coppers (or police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?

When I was a kid, I was skinny, had glasses, big teeth, and was dyslexic. I was also clumsy because my glasses didn’t correct my huge astigmatism, which meant I could not catch a ball, no matter how gently it was tossed to me.

I was the last to be chosen in gym for the teams, and, on one sad Valentine’s day, at a party, the boy I had a gigantic crush on threw chocolate kisses at me, telling me I could only keep the ones I caught. I caught none.

Sobbing, I went into the house, collided with his father, and made him drop his finest bottle of wine that he’d been keeping for a special occasion. I stared at the mess, listening to the howls of rage, wishing I could become invisible or at least grow some sort of backbone and stop snivelling (I was nine years old at this time, so excuse the melodrama).

At dinner, the grown-ups drank their not-so-nice wine and glared at me. The other kids snickered. And I decided I’d show them – I’d become so knowledgeable about dinosaurs I’d write and illustrate a fabulous book, and they would come begging for an autograph. This has nothing to do with the question – or everything, depending on how you look at it. I’m actually quite knowledgeable about dinosaurs but have managed to keep all that info out of my books.

Sorry, I asked! Jeeze… whinge, whinge, whinge, me, me, me… If your book disappeared forever, do you think it’ll be missed?

Honestly? No, I don’t think it will be missed at all unless you’ve somehow time-travelled to read all the series and missed the first one and decided you had to read from the beginning. Then it might be missed. Maybe. I’m not sure anything on this earth is irreplaceable except maybe chocolate. I would definitely miss that. And coffee.

Don’t forget the wine. Not expensive wine, obviously, as you drop that! Describe your perfect death (in case I must kill you. Touch my wine and I will!)

Need you ask? Death by chocolate – of course!

and now…
The Road to Alexander
Jennifer Macaire
What do you do when the past becomes your future?
The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.
Purchase  Link
Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.
Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.
Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…
Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.
She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite.
She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Fixer Upper

They say duct tape can fix anything, and I agree. We broke down halfway to Bordeaux on the highway. While trucks thundered by, we lifted the hood and saw the air hose had cracked in two. After trying with everything from socks to electrician’s tape, my husband finally broke down and let me put duct tape on the hose. I fixed it. Of course, a man won’t admit his wife knew better, so he regalled our friends with stories of his socks. I put duct tape over my mirror. When he asked why, I said, “To fix my self esteem.”

Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for the prompt!

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Florida, and back again!

So off we went to Florida. My husband and I travel light, a pair of flip-flops, some shorts, a few shirts. We were hanging out with family and friends, no need for fancy clothes! We did have a big birthday bash for my mom – and we did want to dress up – so off we went to the Goodwill shop on 50% off day and braved the crowds.  I got a cute little dress that’s wash & wear, and Stef got a Hawaian print shirt with palm trees and sailfish, all done in tones of coral and turquoise. What is it about tropical climates that brings out the wish for bright colors?

The birthday bash was fun – with a printed out menu and flowers on the tables. Everyone dressed up and my mother got to wear her diamond and ruby tiara (the one that says ‘Birthday Girl’ on it!

We also had dinner with two brothers I hadn’t seen since jr highschool days – (how can time go so fast? It was funny, one minute there was a gulf of over thirty years, the next second it was as if we’d just left the islands  – every name and place mentioned brought back memories!) Lots of laughter, we met their wonderful family & fabulous daughter (a dancer – how cool is that?) My mother had been one of the brother’s teachers – my sister had managed to keep in touch, so we were thrilled to be invited for a magical evening full of good food, a crackling campfire, and glittering stars.

Another day and we were kayaking in the mangroves (is kayaking spelled right? Let’s just pretend it is!) The trees formed a shady tunnel as we paddled through emerald green water. White egrets and gray herons waded in the shallows. We saw myriads of silvery jellyfish and a golden snake. We stopped on a sandy beach, we found a floating coconut, we go stuck on a sandbar, we tried to tip each other over, we laughed so hard our sides ached.

All too soon we had to leave. I suppose all vacations are like that – you don’t want to leave, but you have to go back to real life. But the return to France wasn’t all bad. The weather was gray but warmish – and my dog was so glad to see us he couldn’t stop running in happy circles!


flip-flops – check.

That’s all I need!

Off to spend some time with my family in the USA. The house is clean (sort of – it’s never really spotless, I’m afraid I’m an indifferent housekeeper…) the dog is depressed – he knows something’s up – our suitcases are in the hallway. But Julia will be here tomorrow to stay with him, and so he will be cheered up imeasurably – he loves Julia more than anyone in the whole family!

The plants are watered. The garbage is out. The refrigerater is empty. The freezer, however, is full of leftover turkey, turkey soup, turkey stuffing, and turkey gravy. Oh, the joys of turkey. You think you won’t have enough, you have three times what you need, you have leftovers for a month.

We are off to Florida – sunshine (hopefully), and some R&R. I’ve still got work to do before I leave, so I’ll be busy until we actually head out the door – and then I will get out my kindle and Read! Any good suggestions for the trip?


Of all the virtues, Charity is, they say, the most precious. But what is charity? From the dictionary, we learn that is means giving to the needy, but that is a modern definition of the word. In fact, when charity refers to a virtue, it means something very different. The word come from the Latin “Caritas”: the altruistic love.
The phrase Deus caritas est from 1 John 4:8—or Θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν (Theos agapē estin) in the original Greek is translated in the King James Version as: “God is love“, and in the Douay-Rheims bible as: “God is charity“.  Charity, then, refers to love of God, a love that comes from God and is reflected by man (made in God’s image), back to God.  God gives man the power to act as God by his own human actions towards others.
Charity is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God.

This holiday season, we are told to give generously. And many do. But more importantly, I think we must learn to give our time, give some of our comfort, and give some of our smiles and good will towards our fellow men (and women – let’s just say language is sexist and accept that when I said men back there I meant humans.)  Yes, let’s not get impatient with others. Let’s not honk our horns, swear, scowl, or shower scorn upon others. Let us, this holiday season, strive for the true meaning of charity. Let us forgive others their sins, and try to love them as we love ourselves. Let us look at the most needy and recognize them for what they are – they are ourselves, but for the Grace of God. We could very well find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence one day.

And speaking of the fence, while I’m writing this, a good friend and fellow writer is in the hospital. I am hoping he pulls through, because he’s dear to me, even though his last rant on Facebook (work of the Devil – Facebook – all your sins right out there for all to see…) was about how he wanted to build the wall and how he respected Trump. But see – the fact that I wrote “Even Though” means that I have a lot of work to do on myself to be charitable. If I were truly charitable, I’d delete that. But I’m still praying he pulls through.


Unhappy Holidays – The Christmas Pageant

Christmas is a mixed bag with me – it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. We Catholics anticipate Christmas all the year. While Easter is a downer (the King is dead, long live the King…) Christmas is all about a babe in a manger, shepherds guarding their sheep, three kings bearing gifts, a poor man, a donkey, and the Virgin Mary. As a little kid, I had fantasies about being the Virgin Mary. She was so kind and accepting, so solemn and calm. In none of the statues or paintings or drawings of her, does she have any expression except tranquility. (Lightyears away from my character – but there you go – we all want what we can’t have.) I imagined myself as Mary during the Christmas pageant – after all, our church had a Christmas pageant, right? Not at first – they didn’t even sing at first; this was the hard, Puritan, New England Catholic church, built of invincible gray granite, no fancy trim, not even any singing or choir. But that year, a new priest declared it “the year of the pageant” and it included all the kids in Sunday school, even me, even though I’d been kicked out. But I had dispensation because as a Catholic child, I – along with a handful of other Catholic children going to the local public school – was bussed to the church on Wednesday afternoons (missing study hour) to confess and save my mortal soul. So I was excited. For the first time ever, I would try out for the part of the Virgin Mary. Continue reading