Up Next



Paradox entertains and intrigues.

facebook Ruth Colter

Join Newsletter Ruth Colter



July has been busy with family activities in the Portland, OR area. The weather was beautiful and family reunions, bridal showers, and birthday parties are never better than when you can enjoy them outdoors. Zelfar has been out a month now and I’m thrilled that readers are anxious for book two. It’s in progress and I hope you won’t have to wait too long. My personal short story this month is about another experience in the Mammoth Lakes area, this time on a trail, not in a lake, so read on. In case you missed earlier stories, you can access previous issues of my newsletter at www.ruthcolter.com.


Zelfar, The Discovery is now available with direct links for ibooks with itunes, and nook with Barnes & Noble, plus kindle and paperback through Amazon. Other e-reader formats can be downloaded through Smashwords.

Welcome to an ideal world where humans have created a harmonious society with advanced technology. They travel in hover spheres and everyone has a robot.

A world-shaking crisis threatens the extinction of this perfect community. One extraordinary doctor is not about to let that happen.

“We’ve already lost six babies! You have to save this one, Zophie! Please tell us the serum is going to work.”

In Zophie’s quest for a cure, she uncovers secrets of a portal to an alternate dimension, a world of her ancestors. Can she survive the dangers of the past? Will she risk everything to save her paradise?

Buy at Ruth Colter -- Author of Paradox Suspense Fantasy


More contests will be coming soon. Watch for details in upcoming newsletters.


“Let’s go for a walk in the woods today,” I suggested to my husband.

“You mean ‘go hiking’. He grimaced.

“Oh, come on,” I said. “I’ve heard the lakes along Rock Creek are gorgeous.”

“I bet Doris would go with you.” The corners of his mouth turned up in a coy smile, encouraging me to call our friend who was also vacationing in Mammoth Lakes, CA that week.

“Of course, I want to go hiking!” Doris replied when I called. Even in her late 70’s, I knew my friend would be up for a hike. Over the years, she and I have traversed many a trial in the Mammoth Lakes area.

The Rock Creek trail, just off Hwy 395, was a perfect destination with its gentle slope up to five pristine mountain lakes. With the sun high overhead, our lunches tucked away in my backpack, and bottles of water in hand, Doris and I were ready.

“I’ll wait here at the picnic table,” my husband said, “but I want you to carry the walkie-talkie so we can keep in touch while you’re on the mountain.”

A walkie-talkie. Not the same as having him with me, but it would have to do. Besides, it was a busy trail. If any danger were to arise, there would be plenty of help.

Doris and I marveled at the beautiful sky and started up the dusty trail. We paused briefly at the first lake, enjoying the glistening sunlight on the crystal blue water. After tying our jackets around our waists, we continued at a gentle pace, passing the second lake then stopping at the third.

“I think I’ll sit here and rest a bit,” Doris said. “You really should go on to the next lake. It’s just at the top of that rise. Go on, I’ll be fine. I’ve done this trail before, so you need to see as much as you can.”

She refused to take no for an answer so I handed the walkie-talkie to her and hurried up the trail. The dirt path was straight at that section, allowing me to keep Doris in view until I reached the top. I caught a quick glimpse of the fourth lake, as well as the breathtaking view beyond then just as quickly returned to my friend still perched on a rock overlooking the cool clear water of lake number three.

“Why are you back so soon?” she asked. “You should go on up to the last lake.”

“I saw the fourth one, which is the largest, so I’m good. Besides, those clouds up there seem to be forming pretty fast. We should probably head back down the hill before it starts raining.”

“Ruth! Can you hear me?” My husband’s voice echoed loudly from the walkie-talkie.

“Yes. What’s the matter?”

“It’s hailing down here at the campground and the storm is headed your way! You and Doris need to come back right now!”

“Okay, Sweetheart. Don’t worry about us. We’ll be there before long.”

Even though we picked up our pace, by the time we got down to the second lake, we encountered light rain. We donned our jackets and I pulled my hood over my hair. Doris had no hat. We had not prepared for rain.

“The storm will probably pass in a little bit,” Doris said eyeing a massive tree with wide protective branches. “Let’s sit under that tree over there and eat our snack. Maybe the rain will let up or stop by the time we’re done.”

We thanked the tree for its shelter and found a large flat rock, dry as a bone as if waiting for our arrival. We enjoyed our light lunch while green boughs protected us from the hail that had begun to plop loudly on the lake nearby. We chuckled at the excitement of the storm and chose to enjoy the experience.

Several hikers waved to us as they hurried down the hill. Most of them were wearing thin plastic parkas. I made a mental note to add one to my backpack. The rain and hail persisted and Mother Nature delighted us with raps of thunder and far off flashes of lightning.

“How close are you now?” My husband urgently pleaded for us to return.

“We stopped and sat under a tree, eating our snack.” I replied. “But we’re done and packing up.”

“You’re under a tree in a lightning storm? What’s wrong with that picture? I just wish you’d hurry up.”

There was no lightning when we sat down, but that didn’t matter now. It was raining harder than ever and we decided Doris needed something to cover her head. We giggled at the makeshift hat we fashioned for her from one of our plastic lunch sacks then I gave her my visor to hold it in place. I flipped up the hood of my sweatshirt and we resumed our trek.

“Did you see that one?” I asked. “It was really bright.”

“No, darn it. I keep missing them.” Doris desperately wanted to see a streak of lightning, so we stopped when we heard the next clap of thunder.

“There,” I shouted, but she missed it again.

After a few more attempts, we were thoroughly soaked and Doris agreed we had better get back to the car as soon as we could. At the bottom of the trail, the thunder boomed again and the whole sky lit up.

“Wowee,” Doris cried, “I should be careful what I ask for!”

We were still laughing when we joined my husband at the car. We would not have chosen to hike in a thunderstorm, but it proved to be one of our most memorable treks ever! My husband took a picture to ensure we would never forget.

Love and Joy, Ruth Colter