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Ruby's Choice: Ditch Lane Diaries, #1

Ruby's Choice: Ditch Lane Diaries, #1

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Ruby's Choice: Ditch Lane Diaries, #1

Length:
181 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 23, 2015
ISBN:
9780986122743
Format:
Book

Description

Love Angel Series with a Twist?

Mysterious cave encounters, magical stones, and a crystal sculpture unlock Ruby's supernatural powers with an invitation to join a six-thousand-year-angelic battle all while trying to graduate college.

So many choices...Will she choose the right path?

Ditch Lane Diaries

Ruby: The Dreamer (book one)

Anna: The Healer (book two)

Sandy: The Soul Reader (book three)

Lee: The Messenger (book four)

Fall in Love with the Ditch Lane Diaries Heroines and Heroes!

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 23, 2015
ISBN:
9780986122743
Format:
Book

About the author

D. F. Jones began her career as a broadcast consultant at the ABC Affiliate in Nashville, which led her to open an advertising agency. Over the years, she's created many campaigns for clients and still enjoys developing marketing materials. However, in December of 2010, she became a caregiver for her parents. There’s nothing quite like facing mortality to shake up one’s life. D.F. Jones downsized her ad agency and began writing her first novel in the late Fall of 2014. Writing is a source of creative expression for DF. Jones, but it also releases stress. She knows many authors may disagree with her. But writing takes D.F. Jones to a place where anything is possible, and fiction takes her to a place made of dreams. D. F. Jones is happily married to the love of her life and best friend. They have two gorgeous sons whom she loves and adores more than life itself. She loves to laugh, and her husband keeps her in stitches! She's a fan of the Tennessee Titans, and loves working in her flower gardens.  

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Ruby's Choice - D. F. Jones

Jones

Prologue

Campbell Ridge Cave, 1972

Ruby, along with her best friends, Anna and Sandy, wore backpacks filled with water, extra flashlights and batteries for spelunking the cave on Campbell Ridge. She discovered the entrance with her brother, George, five years ago looking for Indian arrowheads.

They hiked deep inside the cave, surrounded by complete darkness with only their flashlights to illuminate the interior walls. The limestone had created beautiful rock formations, crystals, and stalactites with almost unworldly appearances. The pungent scent of the moist, murky, earthen floor filled her nostrils.

She jumped over the rushing stream, nearly slipped, but regained her balance by grabbing a protruding rock.

Further inside, Ruby was forced to climb over a boulder squeezing through a narrow pass that opened into a hidden room. Hanging onto the rock, she yelled back over her shoulder, Hey, guys, you have to see this! She slid and landed on her feet. Immediately, the hair on her arms rose.

What the heck?

Anna and Sandy entered the enclosed area roughly the size of a twelve by twelve bedroom.

Holy cow. Ancient hieroglyphics, Anna said while brushing the dirt off her jeans.

Thousands of years of groundwater had caused the rocks on one side of the cave to drop down, forming massive stalactites. The drawings revealed intricate details of symbols and what appeared to be stick people etched in the stone.

Using her flashlight, Sandy inspected the drawings closer. Her fingers brushed across the textured surface of the wall. "Far out. It’s a story. I’ve read about drawings like these in the National Geographic magazines."

Ruby’s flashlight went around the room. A massive figure carved in the stone stood in the far corner. Man, is that a freaking astronaut?

Sandy said, Hm. It could be a halo. Maybe it’s an ancient deity or an angel.

That’s some spooky shit. Anna bumped into Ruby. Sorry, it’s hard to see in here. During the Stone Age, Nomadic hunters lived in the area caves. They believed in the afterlife and high gods. I bet that’s a tribute.

You’re such a geek, but I love you. Sandy asked, Do you think we should tell someone? Or maybe I could write a story for the school paper or even the Nashville Banner.

Always trying to make a name for yourself, sister. Anna chuckled. I’ve got a weird feeling someone’s watching us. We should leave.

Weirdo. Sandy loved to tease Anna, but Ruby remained silent.

Hey, um, ah— there’s a light coming from over here. Ruby handed her flashlight to Sandy, then went on her knees, reached inside the hole, and pulled out an incredible crystal sculpture with a face emitting a strange blue light. Holy Crow, glow in the dark art, and it’s pulsing in my hands.

The sculpture stood around six inches in height with piercing sapphire eyes and was smooth as glass to the touch, and no matter which way she turned the artifact, it seemed to watch them.

Sandy plucked the crystal out of Ruby’s hands. It’s a smaller version of the big guy in the corner. She passed it to Anna, who inspected it thoroughly.

I see what you mean. My fingertips are tingling. I may be losing my mind, but this thing told me someone is here and wants to hurt us. We need to place the sculpture back where we found it and get the hell out of Dodge.

Ruby’s heart pounded. Prickles of fear kicked in her flight or fight. I’m with Anna. I’ve got the creeps in here. Put it back.

Anna placed the artifact back in the hole.

The room vibrated under Ruby’s feet. The cave’s shifting. Let’s rock before we’re trapped inside.

They climbed over the boulder, then pushed it back in place and made a hasty exit.

Outside in the daylight, they sat on a rock ledge, out of breath—speechless.

Ruby opened her backpack to grab her water jug, and instead, she pulled out a gemstone. Shut the front door. It’s a piece of amber. Look, there’s a spider web inside.

Anna pulled out an amethyst stone from her jean pocket, and Sandy found hiddenite in her thermos cup.

Sandy gripped Ruby’s hand. Her face paled. Oh my god, I see a man. Do you see him?

Ruby and Anna exchanged glances, shaking their heads.

I’m not shitting you. Wait. You don’t hear him?

Ruby said, No, Sandy. I don’t see or hear anyone.

Me, either, replied Anna.

Well, he said, the gemstones trigger our supernatural powers. Sandy's voice quivered, He said, we’re The Chosen of Campbell Ridge, and we aren’t supposed to talk about the cave, the sculpture, or the gemstones to anyone. Her eyes rolled, and she passed out cold.

Anna lifted Sandy’s head while Ruby gave her a sip of water.

Sandy’s eyes flickered open. I want to go home. I want my mama.

Ruby helped Sandy to her feet. Let’s go.

They never uttered a single word about their cave experience, the crystal artifact, or the mystical stones again—until years later.

Luc watched Ruby leave Campbell Ridge with her two best friends. I can’t believe those silly girls are a threat to me. Caiojezeal, you need to recheck your intel.

The redhead is a hybrid. Those stones are from the fifth heaven. They may not look like a threat now, but as adults, they’ll become formidable foes, my lord.

Luc’s satiny black wings ruffled. Keep a team on them, but don’t alert their guardians. Find a way to get close to Ruby. She may be useful.

Dream Weaver

Everglade, Tennessee

Summer 1977


Ruby stocked the shelves for tomorrow’s store traffic. Summer always brought an influx of tourists to Everglade General Store in addition to their regular customers.

She daydreamed while stacking the last row of Dove soap and Jergen’s body lotion and recalled the bizarre dream from the night before.

She walked hand-in-hand with a handsome stranger down a long sidewalk lined with pink dogwood trees in full bloom. She raised her hand, framing her eyes to deflect the bright sunlight so that she could see his face more clearly.

He chuckled. His whiskey-colored eyes seemed to hold kindness.

The dream shifted to a room with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the night lights of a city. She stood inches from him, not touching, but she held his gaze.

He faded away.

She turned frantically, searching, and found him sitting on the edge of the bed. She trembled, walking toward him as he reached for her hand.

The edges of her dream blurred with purple, yellow, and blue hues distorting her vision. She had a sense they’d met before, perhaps in a previous life. She knew him, didn’t she?

He traced his thumb across her bottom lip, then cradled her face in the palm of his hand.

Her fingers skimmed over his shoulders and down his well-defined biceps. Every nerve ending sizzled, spreading through her like wildfire in a parched forest.

She knew he wanted to kiss her, but he hesitated.

The room turned dark red, and a presence of evil entered the area. Another darkly, handsome man with glowing green eyes reached for her. He wanted her too, but not in the romantic sense. He wanted her dead.

Someone called her name.

Snap out of it!

Ruby Jane, her boss called out.

Ruby quickly recovered and replied, Yes, sir?

Mr. Burns stood near the checkout counter. Would you work the cash register so I can finish the books?

Yes, sir, Mr. Burns.

He’d taught her the art of running a small business since she was sixteen. Her goal was to buy his store someday, and she’d saved nearly five hundred dollars to use for start-up capital.

Everglade General Store had been in the Burns family for forty years. The wooden exterior of the old-fashioned store had been painted white, and the interior walls revealed exposed logs and wood beams.

Mr. Burns renovated the store several years ago but purposely kept the interior the same to reflect the by-gone era of when his father built it in 1938. Several huge wicker ceiling fans hung overhead, and the checkout counter held glass-encased bins for candy and treats.

She took off her work apron and went behind the counter. The jingling bell signaled customers coming in the front door.

Two guys strolled into the store.

The spit in her mouth dried. She stared, not able to breathe.

Holy Crow. The two men from her dream. What the hell did that mean?

Ruby’s dreams sometimes blew her away.

Ever since she found the piece of amber in the cave, her dreams, on occasion, glimpsed into the future. Often, the explanation of those dreams took a little time to figure out.

She locked eyes with the dark-haired stranger who had wanted to kiss her. Thick black lashes framed his dark eyes. She couldn’t explain it, but she had an instant connection, an invisible thread connecting her to him.

Who was he?

What did he see?

He was at least six feet tall, with muscles bursting through his tight, white T-shirt which starkly contrasted against sun-kissed skin. He smiled with dazzling white teeth, and her knees went weak.

For crying out loud, she acted like a lovesick fool, fidgeting back and forth, trying not to look directly at the guy.

What made her so nervous?

A strange spark of electricity shot to her fingertips. Another dream popped into her head. She shook those lustful thoughts from her mind. Oh, man. She needed to talk to Sandy and Anna.

Only a moment passed before she looked away, embarrassed for being caught gawking at him like he was a hot piece of Southern pecan pie, and she hadn’t eaten for a month.

And then, she noticed his friend with striking green eyes, jet-black hair, and full lips. The one in her dream that meant to kill her. How did she know he wanted her dead? Her vivid imagination ran wild with possible scenarios.

She was probably overthinking it. She didn’t know either of these guys.

The two chuckled, walking past the counter.

The blood rushed to her cheeks.

They seemed so confident and self-assured as she watched them approach the refrigerated section in the back of the store. She maintained her composure. She’d hash out the dream later.

They grabbed sodas before stepping over to the candy aisle. 

She started straightening the items on the counter. On the surface, she maintained a calm demeanor, but on the inside, her nerves bounced off the freaking walls.

Caiojezeal materialized on the winds of Ruby’s musings. While resting in the corner of the store, the idea came to him like a bolt of lightning. He’d use the two young men in the store in a power play for her affections.

Agitation, mistrust, jealousy, and insecurity were his favorite demons. He rubbed his hands together with delight. He’d use the fallen angels sparingly so as not to draw out the Angel Armed Forces (AAF). Seneca, Ruby’s warrior angel, hadn’t enlightened the young woman to her lineage, her real powers, nor had he even introduced himself. Undoubtedly, the AAF was laying down on the job.

He had a small window of opportunity to corrupt her belief system and to create doubts about herself. College-age students were the most impressionable and easily swayed. He’d read her thoughts. She had no clue of her beauty or the light that radiated around her. People in the earthly realm gravitated to that light.

Hm. Her thoughts had already chosen.

He listened to the dialogue.

Reed drove out to Everglade with Brent to check out George Glenn’s, the manager of their summer baseball team, little sister. He’d invited Reed and Brent to a party tonight at Ditch Lane, a local hangout for college students.

Since the season started, the guys on their team talked about asking out George’s hot little sister, and from the rumors, the ones brave enough last year to ask her out had been shot down. Ruby Glenn had caught his interest, and by looking at her, he had caught hers.

Reed whispered to Brent, That little honey is going to be mine.

Brent pushed him out of the way for a better look at the girl behind the counter. No way, dude. She’s mine.

You don’t play fair. And, if George catches a whiff, you’re after his sister, your ass is grass.

Since freshman year at Middle Tennessee

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