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Jim Northum

I live in Benton, AR with wife, Debbie, and son, Jess. I have one of the last Bachelors of Forestry degrees awarded in the United States. Four years were spent in the US Air Force, where I learned absolutely nothing about forestry, but much about people. I have been employed as a Forest Entomologist for the past 33+ years. Then degree I received in 1969 qualifies me to be a dinosaur, and you know where all the dinosaurs are.

Hobbies include woodworking, turning pens and pencils out of tropical woods, skeet shooting with Jess, trap shooting with Debbie and informal non-competitive benchrest shooting, nothing like the pressure cooker of competitive shooting. We have traveled extensively in the Southern US. I used to hunt and fish a bit, but the critters don’t bother me anymore, so I don’t bother them.

In general, I try to enjoy life and not take myself too seriously.

Email : cooperdog2656@sbcglobal.net

A Sense of Place

Written By: Jim Northum
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Angel Perez has it all—highly paid position, her pick of international assignments and related world travel....

“Okay, we need to hold up here for a minute and check this next rapid.” He hopped out and dragged the canoe ashore. “Look here,” he said. “See how the current goes straight, then turns almost ninety degrees to the right? We have to follow the current to a point, then go sideways and paddle like crazy to try to get beyond that big rock before we hit the bottom of that trough rolling back on itself. If we get caught there, it is a sure capsize. We can play it safe or go for it.”

“How do we play it safe?”

“We can portage around, a little more work, but no problem.”

That’s no fun, let’s go for it,” she exclaimed.

“Okay, but remember this is the last rapid before supper and the rest of the party is watching, hoping to see a big wash out.”

“Let’s give them a show, one way or the other.”

“Got to admire your guts; hope we pull this off. Here is the plan. We have to set up just right and start our turn at just the right time. See that little rock ledge at the water’s edge on the right side?”


“We need to ride the current until the front end passes that ledge, and then start our turn. Too early and the nose will hit the wall on the right, spinning us around and over. Too late and we can’t get out soon enough. The instant you feel the back end start around, paddle for all you are worth; dig in and give it you all. Don’t stop for anything; keep paddling until we clear, or go over. Still want to try it?”

“Why not,” she replied while studying the water with the intensity of a race driver studying a new track.

“Well, here goes nothing,” he said as they shoved off. They lined up in the chute and rode the current. She felt the pull of the current, faster and more powerful than ever as they picked up speed. What did I get myself into this time? We are going to crash for sure. At the last minute, she remembered his instructions and snapped her mind back to the task at hand. Everything seemed to go into slow motion; the little ledge was there and she dug in to start their turn. The nose of the canoe missed the wall by the smallest of margins as they slid sideways to the current, toward the rolling trough. She saw him straining to paddle as she dug in to paddle as she had never paddled in her short, one-day canoeing career. The trough seemed to be ten feet deep as they slid closer and closer to the bottom. White water crashed down on her as they cleared the rock and hit smooth water.

Angel Perez has it all—highly paid position, her pick of international assignments and related world travel. Her professional career is almost unlimited and her personal life seems to be headed toward the American dream. Her fiancé appears to be every woman’s desire; handsome, wealthy, nice cars, fine home and attentive to her every need. However, under the shell of respectability, he is a mean, manipulative control freak who tricks her into accepting his dominating, abusive ways. After a severe beating, she lashes back and breaks away from the relationship. Thinking her social life is over, she returns to Altus, Arkansas. Her long-time best friend welcomes her to his furniture shop, supports her struggles and offers his love to her. Can she overcome the abuse and mental anguish and accept his love?

Price: $4.99
Harvest of the Storm

Written By: Jim Northum
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Beth Jackson successfully farms about five thousand acres of rice, wheat and soybeans. She is well versed in the b...

Beth’s first thought was for Max. He should be here by now, unless something happened to him. She noticed the hound was gone and heard a mournful howl in the distance. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end as the memory of old campfire tales of a howling dog signifying death ran through her mind. Just old superstitions, she thought as the long, drawn howl echoed through the bottoms again.

Still, she hit 911 on her cell phone as she mounted and galloped toward the sound of the hound. She gave the sheriff an approximate location as she rode. The horse loved to run so she thundered along the road skirting thick timber and pounded across open fields. She was no weekend rider bouncing roughly in the saddle, but rather rode as smoothly as any skilled range rider. The next howl came from dead ahead. She rounded a finger of timber to hear the hound behind her. Sliding to a halt, she jerked the rifle from its scabbard and plunged into the swamp, realizing this was where she had felt so uneasy. The almost unearthly howl seemed to come from all around her.

She rounded a thicket to a scene of bloody carnage. Three of the catch dogs lay dead, ripped open by the boar’s tusks. Beth turned her head to the left and there, she found Max…deathly pale and barely breathing, sitting against a tree. Blood oozed from a jagged rip in his thigh, his belt cinched tightly above the wound. The femoral artery must be cut. It’s a wonder he hadn’t bled to death already. She knew to move him without proper equipment would kill him almost instantly. She called 911 with the location and his condition. She knelt in front of him and brushed the hair from his face.

A wane smile fleetingly crossed his drawn face. He whispered weakly, “Beth, I was a fool to leave you. You were everything I could ever want a woman to be and I left. It seems I’m going to leave again. I’m so sor…” and he slipped into the dark world of unconsciousness.

Beth Jackson successfully farms about five thousand acres of rice, wheat and soybeans. She is well versed in the brutal world of the commodities markets. She battles weather, pests and freeloaders with skill and determination. The man she hires to control a new pest proves to be much more than a simple nuisance animal control specialist. He is polished, respectful, appealing and very exciting. Can she survive the storm now brewing within her heart?
Price: $4.99
Love In Romance Arkansas

Written By: Jim Northum
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Can a high-powered California lawyer find happiness on a cattle ranch in rural Arkansas? Jenny Jones, successf...

A boom on the deck awakened Jenny. She bolted upright as another boom rattled the windows. What the heck is going on, a drive by shooting out here? Just as she opened her door another rifle shot shattered the stillness. John was sitting at a bench peering through a rifle scope at something far across the field. “What on earth are you doing?”

Without even lifting his head, he replied, “I’m sending my regards to those coyotes down by the creek. Cover your ears,” and another shot rang out.

“Why are you shooting at them?”

“Ever seen a little calf with his nose bitten off as he was born? Some of those little calves might have grown up to be prize winning bulls instead of coyote bait. Been watching this pack awhile and have seen some dangerous signals. So, I’m taking a preemptive strike.”

“What kind of signals are you talking about?”

“For starters, they are in poor condition so they are hungry. They have been hanging around the calving field too much and getting a little bolder every day. It is just a matter of time until they happen onto a little calf and have an easy meal. Also their population seems to be increasing too fast.”

“I didn’t think coyotes did much damage. We have some in the foothills back home and they don’t bother anything.”

He replied, “As long as their numbers are reasonable, they don’t hurt anything. In fact, they are beneficial, they help keep rat, mouse and vole populations in check. However, when populations go up, competition for food becomes keener and some enterprising individuals and packs turn to other food sources – like our calves.”

“Did you get the one you shot at?”

“Yeah, all four of them.”

He turned to see her standing on the deck in a skimpy night shirt, bare legged and no shoes. Her hair was tousled and tangled. No makeup marked her beautiful face. What a woman, even like this she is gorgeous, just a pretty as when she is all dressed up. Not many women can pull that off. “As much as I would like to continue to look at you, you might consider getting dressed.” With a start she looked down at herself and beat a hasty retreat.


Can a high-powered California lawyer find happiness on a cattle ranch in rural Arkansas?
Jenny Jones, successful California lawyer appears to have it all—highly respected and highly paid position, an almost unlimited professional career, and a small cadre of close friends. However, a nagging little voice pops into her mind from time to time.
The death of her mother, the arrival of a letter and the discovery of a bundle of unopened letters in her mother’s files reveal bits of family history and the nagging little voice becomes much louder. Deceased grandparents she knows nothing about, a cattle ranch in Arkansas and a ranch manager offer her a chance to follow that little voice to a new life. 
Can she leave the California dream and an alternate lifestyle behind and embrace an entirely new life in rural Arkansas
Price: $4.99
Mists of the Vineyards

Written By: Jim Northum
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

With her sister, loved and lost, Cathy finds heartache when the man of her dreams turns her away. Striking out wit...

She had his head in her lap as she intently listened to him. The heartrending loss of his wife touched her deeply. She wept openly as did he. “Oh, Gill, it would be terrible to lose a loved one that way. Molly and your grandparents deserve much praise for helping you adjust. You might have ended like Mike without their support. The Lord puts people in our path for a reason.”

He looked up into her sparkling eyes. “Why do you think we were put in each other’s path?”

She looked down and just smiled. She was very aware of his presence—the warmth of his head in her lap alternately tied her in knots and gently worked those knots free.

He reached up to cradle her chin, brushing her breasts in the process. “I want to know you better. Molly told me if I didn’t, she was going to disown me.”

Her breath tightened in her throat as he dropped his hand to stroke her thigh by his head.

* * * *

The smooth strength he felt there was exciting and comforting at the same time. He turned and pulled her down. He continued to stroke the fine, long curve of her thigh with his free hand as he cradled her in one arm. He moved to her back to stroke and massage.

* * * *

As their lips met, she uttered a strangled moan, moved to him and hooked her leg over his. There was none of the hard, fast demanding she detested. Instead, this was slow, gentle and easy, freely given and freely taken. “Oh, Gill, I have waited so long for a man like you, for a time like this.”

He paused and took her lips again in a deep, long easy kiss that completely carried her away. She had been kissed many times before, but not like this. She had had her lips bruised and almost cut by eager boys and men, had her lips bitten and even had her tongue bitten by an overeager, somewhat misdirected boy. She had had tongues rammed half way down her throat and freakishly had men actually spit into her mouth. Needless to say none of the above did much for her enjoyment of the moment.

However, this was so different, a firm, gentle free exchange of pleasure. This man is truly interested in my feelings. He wants to bring me pleasure, make me feel good. When she opened her mouth to explore his lips with her tongue, he responded gently in kind. As their tongues danced and teased, he made a long, slow sweep up her thigh and she tensed, waiting for his touch to reach her.

Instead, he continued to her back to gently stroke. “Cathy, I’ve waited for someone like you. Believe it or not, I want to wait a bit before we continue what we’ve started here.”

With her sister, loved and lost, Cathy finds heartache when the man of her dreams turns her away. Striking out with no goals, she stumbles into opportunity with an elder gentlemen and a dying vineyard. A budding friendship sparks renewed growth in a youthful exuberance, an old soul and some very rare grapevines. But life’s not done mixing the ingredients. Add a few varmints, a couple of dogs, a sprouting pair of troubled teens, some winery competitions, a German vineyard, a dilapidated piano and an outdated farmhouse. And that’s not all. Just wait until the local vet gets involved.When a painful past opens doors to a possible future, can Cathy survive the walk through the present to reach happiness?
Price: $5.99
Sea Mists

Written By: Jim Northum
Published By: Devine Destinies

A freak wave hit the crippled sailboat broadside, heeling it far over. Jenny Stark held on to the wheel as the cra...

Her face was tipped up, her eyes dark in the moonlight, his bright and sparkling. He lowered his lips to hers for a long, deep, incredibly soft kiss. He loosened her hair, ran his hands through it and buried his face in the scented strands he held. He slipped his hands completely under her top to stroke her soft, warm, smooth skin. He returned to her midriff, hooked his fingertips inside the waistband of her slacks and slowly slid them from side to side with his knuckles rubbing her tummy, easing a little further down her smooth, warm stomach with each pass.

She stood still with her head tipped back, knowing she wasn't going to stand still much longer. She was beginning to purr deep in her throat like a big cat as the swirl of passion swept and rolled through her. He teased her tongue lightly with his and she responded with building passion. He gently nibbled her ear lobes and moved to the hollow of her throat to nibble and kiss teasingly.

With a shock, she realized he was not asking or demanding anything from her. He only wanted to make her happy and bring her pleasure. Any other man she had even known would have tried to have his hands all over her by now. As his soft lips returned to hers for another easy kiss the thought eased through her brain, this is a real man! Another fascinating thought zipped through her mind. What would it be like to be his wife? With that thought, she let go of everything that held her back and offered herself to him without reservation.

She pressed tightly to him and reveled in the feel of his body against hers as he eased his knee between her legs. She took a long deep breath that caught in her throat and eased out in a low, purring moan. The feeling that stirred the first time she looked into his eyes now burst into full, glorious flight and carried her along to new heights. However, the dark, brutal, ugly memory of being hurt so deeply was overpowering and she pulled away. Her shoulders were racked by sobs. She turned to him "I'm sorry, I must go."

A freak wave hit the crippled sailboat broadside, heeling it far over. Jenny Stark held on to the wheel as the craft righted itself. The terror of being absolutely alone screamed in her mind as she desperately searched for her companion, Jess Cook. The wildly rolling deck was clean except for a tangle of rigging and lines, one a bright orange safety line, stretched over the starboard side. Jenny worked her way to the lines and saw Jess floating face down in the tangle. She pulled with all her strength on the safety line to no avail. With no thought for her own safety, she bailed off into the churning water to help her friend. Can she reach him in time?
Price: $5.99