Manual Justified Deception: Prequel to the Dancing Moon Ranch Series

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She can't predict what Matt or his family might do if the adoption's challenged. However, Ruth's carefully-laid plan goes awry when she finds herself falling in love with the man who might have stolen her child. Buy now. The shock sends Grace into early labor, and the only place she can have bed rest is at the Dancing Moon Ranch owned by Jack and his twin. But soon, Grace finds herself falling in love with a hard-edged cowboy who appears to want to control every aspect of her life, now that she's carrying his son.

But Jack has his reasons. He also has no intention of marrying, and Grace is determined to learn why.

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Brad Meecham, a bestselling author with post-traumatic stress, has taken a cabin at the ranch to try and deal with mind demons. Brad is drawn to Justine, who knows instinctively what to do when dark memories begin to surface. But when Brad unexpectedly finds himself with a daughter he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with anyone but Justine, he knows without question that a woman who slept her way to the top will never be a candidate for step-mother.

But Brad fails to factor in the power of love to bring together a flawed woman and a troubled child, and his need to have both in his life. Things don't add up. But Sam also senses that there's much more. But soon after, a life-altering incident has Sophie looking at Rick, her buddy, in a whole new light.

He's also trying to gain the love and trust of a three-year-old boy who fears and mistrusts men. Still, Adam intends to protect them at all cost, even if it means going against his family, and the law, and taking Emily and Jesse into the mountains and beyond, if that's the only way to keep them safe. Marc walked away from his family after learning that all his life had been a lie. He hasn't seen them in four years and doesn't plan to return any time soon.

Although Kit sees potential in the man, and his presence makes her pulse race, he's carrying far too much personal baggage, so a relationship with him is out.

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However, when Kit learns there's an unexcavated Indian mound on his family's ranch, she talks Marc into taking her there. But whereas Marc's mother welcomes him with open arms, it's not the same with his father. Marc walked away from a mother who'd loved him unconditionally, and Jack Hansen isn't ready to put that behind. But as Kit begins to peel back the layers of a very complicated man, she also finds in Marc a man worth loving.

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The problem is convincing Marc that just because he's no blood kin, he's not the outsider in the family he's always believed himself to be. Annie Kincaid's a wild horse advocate. Ryan Hansen's a rodeo cowboy. The fact that Annie's father hired Ryan doesn't sit well with Annie. She's had her fill of hot-shot cowboys who think life's all about busting, breaking or bulldogging, and of all the Hansen boys from the Dancing Moon Ranch, Ryan's the cockiest of the bunch.

Ryan also has a lot to learn about managing Annie. In the past he had no problem attracting women, but now he wants the one woman who'll take special handling. But in the process, Annie also learns something about Ryan she never could have imagined, something that has her taking a second look. Men have fame and privilege; women have agency. Women do all the meaningful work and make all the political decisions while men are treated like prized breeding stock.

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Life in the motherhouses borders on utopian, but life in the castles is physically and emotionally dangerous: Sports brutality is encouraged; education is forbidden; men have few personal rights and no protection from bullying, hazing and sexual abuse, problems that remain issues in college fraternities today. Like Always Coming Home , the story is structured in a series of anthropological first-person narratives set over a period of many generations as the genetic defect begins to be repaired, and the culture begins to move toward a healthier balancing of genders.

Like other stories, this consists of the anthropological notes of an Ekumen mobile who brings her children to the newly rediscovered planet and succeeds in establishing a connection and understanding the culture in ways previous male observers could not, finding a matriarchal culture that centered on mindfulness or being aware. Here Le Guin may be referencing the effective techniques and patience of female primate researchers such as Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. On Eleven-Soro, the emptiness of solitude is sometimes sorrow, but for those within the safety of matriarchal community, there is freedom, possibility, and time to watch the stars.

Their focus is on the traumatic effects of war, concluding that the only way to end cultural violence is through the long and difficult process of achieving moral maturity. She considers herself dead to them and them to her. She wonders how she can be dead to the people with whom she identifies without becoming dead to herself. Before her retirement, she was a teacher and administrator, a competent person.

Although she thinks deeply and cares about others, Yoss has been betrayed a number of times—by her daughter, by the Agricultural Plantation Corporation that has destroyed good farmland by overfertilizing and cultivation, and by a neocolonial culture that does not value older individuals:. Growing old, the people of Werel and Yeowe might turn to silence, as their religion recommended them to do: when their children were grown, when they had done their work as householder and citizen, when as their body weakened their soul might make itself strong, they left their life behind and came empty-handed to lonely places.

Yeowe, recently liberated from a slave system, has no cultural history of equal opportunities or rights, and isolates older citizens, essentially putting them out to pasture at a time when they need connection most. Furthermore, the culture loses the wisdom and expertise of those they have isolated. The predominant religion is one of convenient self-sacrifice. It is a world informed by colonialism with corresponding masculinist values and religion.

Justified Deception (Dancing Moon Ranch) by Patricia Watters

Although Yoss realizes the importance of finding personal peace within a world that is constantly at war, her persistent depression and negative self-talk interfere with the process. To get beyond her loss, she must rethink the erroneous cultural values that entrap her. Although her original intent was to memorize scriptures and purify her soul, the values represented in the scriptures do not make sense to her, and she finds herself increasingly drawn back into the world and into the lives of the villagers.

As the story begins, she, unwilling to let a Romeo and Juliet story play out tragically, has already broken a local norm by giving two young lovers, the children of two feuding families, the sexual privacy of her house. In response to the conspicuous consumption of previous propertarian Owners, the new national culture tends toward an austere Marxist disavowal of personal property. Yoss, a feminist unawares, struggles with her various attachments to worldly comforts. Nevertheless, his need draws her into caring for him, where she cannot accept her increasing attraction for him.

Essentially they have both been betrayed: they live in an emotionally cold, damaged world, so it is not surprising that they unconsciously seek a place of warmth between them.

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  8. In seeking their own souls, they must forgive each other as well as themselves, and, in doing so, become soulmates, a much healthier choice than living alone in prayer and contemplation. Originally Yeowe was colonized by Werel, creating a planet of plantations with a four-fifths slave population until John Brown—like uprisings evolve into full-fledged civil war. The viewpoint is through the eyes of another set of literally star-crossed lovers, Solly and Teyeo. Solly, who grew up a space brat, has come to the planet for her first job as an Ekumen mobile; smart, headstrong, and opinionated, she does not like to follow direction.

    Major Teyeo, her guard, has been brought up on Werel in a military family with strict discipline and essentialist chauvinism. Sexes are separated, and women are considered property. He values his military code of honor and the importance of right behavior. He is still grieving his wife who died of the same fever that nearly killed Abberkam. As is common in romance, Solly and Teyeo are attracted to each other, but their disparate viewpoints initially strike interpersonal sparks.

    It is important to note that the Tao considers rituals very low on its continuum of moral behavior. Solly and Teyeo are captured by terrorists, beaten, starved, and nearly killed. Teyeo is a good man, but his upbringing and military experience have left him stuck in a moral place where he recognizes that his allegiance to his government is wasted, but he does not know any other way to be. After Teyeo meets Old Music, his awareness of other possibilities expands. Havzhiva grows up on Hain in a matrilineal, nearly utopian community on the island of Stse which may be similar to the Scottish Isle of Sky—there are cairns although the villages are called pueblos.

    On Stse, women usually remain with their birth families after conception and uncles function as fathers. The religion is humanistic and naturalistic. The name for a local bird, the araha, is also the name for the human spirit:. Girls are given bird names. Sexuality is closely linked to self-restraint, and all conception is planned. This technique is the result of genetic experimentation over twenty-five generations. This attachment, however, is so profound that loss of a partner can cause individuals to lose their araha and die of grief unless they can be pulled back with a staying chant.

    A grown man who made sexual advances to a virgin or either sex would forfeit his professional status, his religious offices, and his houseright. Havzhiva, who comes from a family where the men are weavers, leaves home to become a historian. Within the Ekumen, the study of history involves a cognitive weaving of ideas which is informed by self-knowledge, education, and recognition of multiple intelligences:. Local knowledge is not partial knowledge, they said. There are different ways of knowing. Each has its own qualities, penalties, and rewards. Historical knowledge and scientific knowledge are a way of knowing.

    Like local knowledge, they must be learned. What is best for the ecological balance in the world may not be best for specific individuals. When Havzhiva becomes an envoy, his first job is on Yeowe just after its thirty year War of Liberation has ended while fierce fighting continues between chiefs and warlords. Before he leaves, Old Music, the head of embassy intelligence, cautions him:.

    I tell you what, Yehedarhed Havzhiva: there are great gods loose on these worlds.

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    Utopian society must be stable to endure. Dystopias depend on an externally mandated stability the trains must run on time or heads will roll.

    But on Yeowe, values are up for grabs, and various forces are warring for control. Fortunately, he is helped by an experienced woman doctor, now relegated to nurse, and Solly, now a respected ambassador. The essential focus of these linked novellas is that those who make mistakes and learn from them are then prepared to help others. Here his name, Havzhiva, which can be heard as Half Shiva, begins to have significance.

    Correspondingly, successful political action for good is a very sophisticated diplomatic dance that requires nimble footwork, the press-forward and push-away of verbal tai chi, an effective use of diplomacy that is able to reconcile opposites and create change without violence.