Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Excerpts and Teasers

For a limited time only you can purchase both for less than $5.00 - Nook, Kindle and Smashword.


THE GIFTS, A JACODY IVES MYSTERY

Setup: Sheriff Sarah Burns was born with what her grandmother calls “The Gift”. In the final throes of death, souls reached out to her with dying messages. Only this time the message was for Sarah.

“He’s coming, Sarah. He wants to destroy you.”




SACRED SECRETS, A JACODY IVES MYSTERY

Setup: Charity Froste is one of three women missing. A prostitute, a nurse and a voodoo woman (Charity). Two of them are already dead.

Charity looked around her, her heart fluttering as reality closed in. She was in an old farm cellar. From the looks of it no one had been here for years. Tears formed, she bit her lip, steadied the candle. Her whispered words stirring fear into full blown terror. “Yous’ in trouble now, sugah. Yous’ done been buried alive.”

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Jacody Ives Mysteries - Limited time only--get both for less than $5.00!

Have a Kindle? Now you can enjoy both the Jacody Ives Mysteries for less than $5.00.
The Gifts $2.99 and Sacred Secrets $1.99. Also available on Smashwords and B & N.



Excerpt From The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Sheriff Sarah Burns pulled off the road and parked near the site of Saturday night’s tragic accident. Unnatural deaths were rare in Glade Springs, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d missed something.

An image of Morgana Nelson clutching the body of her daughter, her heartbroken cry echoing through the morgue, flashed through Sarah’s mind.

Maybe it was only wishful thinking. The Nelsons were good people, and Johanna had been their only child. The accident made no sense. Johanna wasn’t the typical eighteen year old. She didn’t run off to Edgewood or Richmond after graduation, looking for a larger city and more excitement. She didn’t stay out late. She didn’t drive fast. She didn’t drink. So why had she been here, driving so fast she missed the curve? The toxicology reports weren’t in yet, but the body had reeked with the smell of alcohol. The Nelsons had questions, needed answers.

Climbing out of the Explorer, Sarah walked toward the curve as she closed out the noises around her, traveling the path Johanna had driven. Emotions were strong here. She could feel the sadness—and the anger. Johanna was upset.

Sarah moved into the curve slowly, feeling the shift in the emotions surrounding her. Panic took over, quickly turning to fear. She retraced the path the car had taken as it skidded off the road into the huge oak tree.

Crouching near the point of impact, she placed her hand on the earth and closed her eyes. For a brief moment she felt physical pain and then all emotions ceased.

Sighing, Sarah stood up. She wasn’t sure what she had expected to find. Let it go, Sarah, she chided herself. Some questions have no answers.

Heaving another sigh, Sarah started toward her vehicle. She was tired, looking forward to a quiet evening at home. Last night’s dream had upset her. All day she’d been haunted by the image of the dark brown eyes filled with pain, the heart-wrenching cry that had jerked her from an uneasy sleep. The whispered message that had kept her lying awake, trembling as she listened to the sounds of the night.

She hated the dreams. Hated the feeling of helplessness they created inside her as the dying reached out, sending messages to loved ones, or crying out for vengeance against their attacker. Only this time the dream had been different. This time the message was for Sarah.

Sarah shook herself mentally, pushing away the memories, the fear. It was just a dream. And this was just a horrible accident. Accidents happened—especially when teenagers drank. Her foot touched the passenger tire track imprinted in the soft earth near the tree. A feeling of panic clutched at her, growing stronger, making it hard to breathe.

“Jesus,” she muttered as she stepped away from the track, breathing deeply.

Kneeling, she touched the earth, holding her breath, as emotions flowed through her fingertips. Unlike the driver’s side, the panic here continued to escalate. There was no physical pain, no ceasing of emotion. This was what had been bugging her. The something missing. Johanna Nelson had died almost instantly, but she hadn’t died alone. Someone else had been in the car with her when she crashed into that tree.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Murder She Said!

Murder She Said ~ Diana Rivers, sexy, feisty sleuth.

After solving the truth concerning the bloody murders in, The Assassins’ Village, our sexy, feisty sleuth and heroine, Diana and her partner, Steve decide they deserve a holiday. On their arrival at their luxurious palm fringed plantation hotel in lush, tropical Malaysia; things don’t quite work out as they imagined.

Diana is asked by the hotel owner, the inscrutable Miss Chalcot, titled, imperious and secretive, to take a look through some old family documents. Miss Chalcot possesses a burning ambition to put right a dreadful wrong that occurred over forty years ago – and Diana is given free rein to pursue the mysterious past of the family and discover what lies behind the dark stories.

Diana enters into a dangerous world of the 1950’s and 1960’s, where lies, deceit, illicit love, jealousies and perhaps murder all feature.

What really happened all those years ago? Who was Paul, Hermione and the beautiful but selfish Eleanor? Who was responsible for events that shocked the whole family and plunged it into despair? And what is the real story behind all the fa├žade?

Will Diana triumph against all odds yet again?



Children Of The Plantation

Prologue

Opening the kitchen door, she spotted a vixen standing near the refuse bin. Hermione clapped her hands, and it shot through the hedge at the bottom of the garden.

Hermione's heart was thudding in her breast as she considered what next to do. Casting a look around, she gave thanks that the clouds scudding overhead made it a dark night. This had to be done in complete privacy.

Giving herself a mental shake, she crossed the damp grass to the shed and picked up a spade. A clod of earth still clung to the sharp blade from where she had been digging in her vegetable patch earlier that afternoon. It seemed such a long time ago now. She paused, still not completely certain she was doing the right thing. Making up her mind, she walked over to the newly turned earth.

The air smelt fresh after the rain shower, and a light breeze blew the mixed garden scents her way while she dug. The hole was to be small but deep, especially as she had just driven the fox off. Satisfied, she stood back and peered down into the soft loamy material, a sorry place for such a pathetic bundle.

Sick at heart, but knowing they had no choice, Hermione laid down her spade and walked back into the kitchen. She picked up the tightly wrapped package and carried it outside; it weighed no more than a couple of pounds as she gently laid it down into the hole.

Covering it with fresh earth, she scattered pebbles around and knelt on the grass. Had there been any other choice? Whatever were they going to tell him when the time came?

About the Book. Children of The Plantation will be first published as an eBook and later as a paperback by Topsails Charter. As a special lead-in price (eBook) and a Thank You to my friends and followers it will be offered to you first for $0.99c for the first month. All I ask is (when you've bought your copy) for you to please write me a fair review. Thanks!



About the Author. Faith Mortimer was born in England. Her father was in the Royal Air Force and from the tender age of five, Faith learned the meaning of travel and living in different parts of our beautiful world. Faith now spends her time between England and Cyprus where she lives with her husband. She’s filled her life with different careers, Registered nurse, entrepreneur and writer. She loves the outdoors, acting and writing. She has written two other bestselling novels and a short story collection. Visit Faith Mortimer’s website http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com/for more information.

Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Set up: Nurse Sally Morse realizes that something is wrong with Katie O'Connor's heart transplant. The doctors don't believe in cellular memory, but Sally does. Determined to find out why Katie woke screaming "take it out" Sally breaks hospital rules to find out more about Katie's donor.

Excerpt from - Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Sally Morse opened the file drawer slowly, avoiding the squeak that generally met her ears. She looked around nervously. She’d be fired if she were caught. But she had to know. She shivered as she remembered Katie’s screams. Screams Hollywood would have paid dearly for. The kind that raised the hair on the back of your neck, quickened your heartbeat. Screams of terror.

But it was the whispered words that perturbed Sally, made her pull the file from the drawer. It was more than a dream. And she didn’t care what Dr. Wagner thought, she believed in cellular memory.

Sally’s face burned, humiliation washing over her as she remembered Dr. Wagner’s scathing remarks.

It wasn’t her fault life hadn’t given her the perfect figure, gorgeous hair and a winning personality that doctors loved to fawn over. Instead she’d been cursed with stringy black hair, a bean pole frame that would never have curves no matter how much she ate, and eyesight that required thick lenses. The other kids had laughed at her. She’d grown up with the taunt of “raccoon eyes” forever imbedded in her brain, like bits of jagged glass. Cutting occasionally, just enough to make her miserable. Like now.

“Dammit, I’m a good nurse, and I care about people. That counts more than big boobs and a tight ass in my book.”

Sally hesitated a scant second before opening the file. What she was doing was wrong. A violation of her oath. Yet, there were times, like now, when she felt the oath was wrong.

Her hands started to shake as she fumbled with the clasp on the folder. Angry with herself, she jerked it open. She’d never been a coward, and she wasn’t going to start now. So what if she did get caught? Wasn’t Katie worth it?

Sally read the notes quickly. A priest? She breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn’t some psychotic maniac. What harm could a priest’s memories do? Still the absolute terror in Katie’s eyes, the whispered “take it out” made her read more. Suicide? Why would a priest commit suicide? “Because he did something unthinkable,” her mind whispered, causing her hands to shake even more as she closed the clasp, replaced the file in the cabinet.

Sally closed and locked the cabinet. She’d risked her career, but at least she had a starting point. Something she could look into, and maybe something she could help Katie with. Dr. Wagner was wrong. Something was wrong with Katie’s situation.

“Oh, crap,” Sally exclaimed, glancing at her watch. She was late for her meeting with Wagner. He’d be furious. Opening the door cautiously she scanned the hallway.
Sally locked the door, heading for the elevator at a quick pace. It was too quiet here. Almost like the morgue. Ominous. She turned once, hearing footsteps behind her, the soft sound of breathing. “Is someone there?”

Silence. Sally started walking again, this time her pace quicker. Reaching the elevator she pushed the button as she glanced over her shoulder down the hallway. She could see the shadow hidden within the shadows of the basement. There was someone there.

The ping of the elevator caused her to jump, but she quickly entered, hitting the button to close the doors. Only when the doors were completely closed did she dare to breathe. Pushing the button for the third floor she leaned against the wall, her thoughts frenzied. Why had someone been watching her? And even worse, why hadn’t they wanted her to know they were there?

Buy Now:
US

Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery

UK

Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meet The Characters





Ms. Charity

Charity Froste closed her eyes. She could see the huge ugly bird as it descended. Red eyes glowing like the embers of fire. Snow white fangs that devoured everything in its path.

The wind howled, shrieked and sent forth blood-chilling screams. Tree limbs slapped and scraped the sides of the house, like the huge bird’s dagger-like talons.

The bones never lied.

Charity tossed the fossil stones, her eyes still closed. She would not easily be devoured. The white fangs, red eyes and razor sharp talons of the Piasa held no fear for her. She had faced it before. She feared little beyond the balance. And the balance had shifted. Billy had called the white wolf, weaved the dreams, and she had done what she had to do.

A distinct chill blew across her nape.

She opened her eyes, studied the bones. The bones never lied.


Billy

Coming into another curve Billy shifted his right foot, letting off the gas pedal, allowing the vehicle to gradually slow. His gaze drifted to the leather satchel on the seat beside him. His destiny. His grandfather had been so proud when he’d killed the buck. They’d worked side by side for days as his grandfather explained every stitch, each design, so that one day Billy could make the satchel for his own grandson. Pass on the gift.

He’d been too young to understand why his grandmother had turned away from him, hands clenched at her side, eyes brimming with tears. She had known. Even then she had known this day would come.

Father Michael

Father Michael sighed, placing his hand over the knotted arthritic joints of Father Peter’s fingers. “I have prayed, Father. I pray daily that God will take this cup from me.”

Father Peter felt the trembling in the hand covering his. Felt the despair. His words came unbidden. Words he knew not the source. Words he would ponder and regret in the days to come.

“Perhaps you must take the cup and drink from it.”

Father Michael embraced him. He had the forlorn feeling of being alone in the world. And that loneliness threatened to crush him. He whispered the words that sealed his fate. “Perhaps, Father. Perhaps I must.”


Claire

Claire felt her steps falter, a cold chill moving down her spine, descending down her legs. He sounded so smug. So sure of himself. Pretending to care. She wasn’t going to fall for his tricks. Not this time. And never again. They had been fine without him. Fine until he came back into their lives. Somehow this was his fault. She didn’t know how, but she knew Simon was behind Aaron’s unhappiness.

Claire refused to look at him. Give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d struck a nerve. She stood, hand poised over the doorknob. “You don’t know when to quit do you, Simon. You never understood Aaron, and you never will. Even at one in a million he’ll match. Katie O’Connor is one in a million. Don’t you go near Aaron again, and you stay the hell away from me.”


Katie

Katie wrung her hands in her lap as the intern took another curve, maneuvering the car onto the main highway at a rate of speed that was surely against the law. Everything was moving so fast. The tearful goodbye with Clover. The trip home. She had barely gotten unpacked before exhaustion overcame her. She’d slept most of yesterday, and then the phone had rung. Now the mad dash to the hospital. What exactly had Dr. Wagner said? We may have found you a heart. And what did that mean anyway? Was it possible that someone was dying as they rushed to the hospital? Could they maybe live? Had she truly gotten a pardon from death row, or was this some cruel joke of the executioner.



Clover

“Don’t go getting all happy on me, okay? I’m dying. You’re dying. That gives us something in common. It doesn’t make us best friends. In fact, if you look at it realistically it makes us pretty pathetic. We should be doing something absolutely amazing like diving to the bottom of the ocean, bungee jumping off the tallest building, or getting boinked by some good looking guy.” Clover paused for breath, swallowed hard and stated through gritted teeth, “Instead we’re just sitting here on death row.”


Jacody

Jacody Ives smiled, flexed the fingers still gripping the sink. Evil attracts evil. He’d heard its call in the nightmare. He would answer. There’d never been any other choice for him. Evil knew his name.


Tall Feather

The old man cackled, gumming away on another piece of bacon. “I tell you story.”
Tall Feather made himself comfortable on the couch, rubbing his greasy hands on the fabric.
“I, too, at times have a great hatred for those who have taken so much with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy.
“It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”



Synopsis with spoiler removed

Haunted by dreams he couldn't control of murders he couldn't stop, Gavin McAllister a/k/a Jacody Ives teamed up with his adopted brother and his brother's partner to find an elusive killer the papers had termed the Mother's Day Killer. For five years they'd followed a trail of bodies across the United States finding no clues to help in their pursuit. But this time the killer had made it personal not only by choosing his last victim in Gavin's hometown, but the evidence showed the same killer had murdered Gavin's twin sister, Corrine Larson.

Corrine Larson was a noted journalist in search of a story. No one knew what, or where until Gavin received a post card shortly after her death followed by a ghostly visit from his sister, begging him to save someone.

Faced with the mental breakdown of his adopted brother, and the sure knowledge that the killer had already chosen his next victim, Gavin travels to Glade Springs, West Virginia. A small town with secrets. Some worth killing for. There he meets the beautiful Sheriff Sarah Burns and her five year old daughter, Nikki. It doesn't take him long to figure out that Nikki has been chosen for the killer's next victim.
As the small town's secrets slowly unravel Gavin realizes he will have to break every rule he's set for himself if he's going to stop the killer. He would have to get involved, and he would have to get close to the beautiful Sheriff if he was going to protect her and her daughter.

Sarah Burns also was born with what her grandmother called "The Gift". Sarah knew in reality it was a curse. What good was it to be psychic and dream of murders if she could do nothing to stop them? Only this time the dreams were for her. A ghostly vision with spine chilling words "He's coming, Sarah. He wants to destroy you." The news that Gavin McAllister was coming to Glade Springs only served to add validity to the dream. McAllister a/k/a Jacody Ives was famous for uncovering secrets, and destroying lives. And Sarah had secrets. Secrets worth killing for. To protect her daughter Sarah must overcome her fears and learn to trust again.

Teaming up with Gavin and her deputy, Joshua Cross, they three must work together to unravel the meanings of Gavin's and Sarah's dreams to stop the brutal murder of Gavin's adopted brother and his FBI partner, Carl Jackson.


Both books are available on Amazon, Nook, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and Smashwords. Download a sample today and ENJOY!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Overnight Success?

Another throw me an opening line suggestion. Titles - Overnight Success? Watch The Money Roll In?



There once was a man from Nantucket….

Damien poured another glass of Kentucky Bourbon, took a sip and stared at the words he'd just written. He'd heard them somewhere before. Where?

Booting up the computer he ran a quick Google search. Crap. Emptying the glass in one quick gulp he shook his head, jerked the paper from the typewriter and tossed it into the trash. He was an idiot. Everyone had used that line. So what now? He'd quit his job, bragging he was going to write a best seller. Be the next Stephen King. Famous. Rich. And he'd failed. He couldn't even come up with an original line.

Pouring another glass of bourbon, Damien stared into the cool amber liquid. What was it Stephen King had said? Something about ideas and writing. There were no new ideas, just new ways of writing old ones. That was it.

Flipping another piece of paper into the typewriter Damien started again.

There once was a man from Nantucket. A different kind of man. One the world had never seen before. A mere glance from his caliginous eyes and you were seized with fear. A fear that froze your limbs and numbed your brain.

Damien sat back, reading the words he'd just written. That was good. Darn good. He counted the words. Forty-three words already. Whoot! He was good. Really good. If he worked really hard he could have 80,000 words in the next few days. Then up on Amazon and he was on his way. All he had to do was sit back and watch the money roll in.

Random Musings of a Disturbed Mind?

I played with titles for this. Moon Walker. Woman of Conviction. And Random Musings of a Disturbed Mind. What do you think?




"Judge not, lest ye be judged."

The words were strong and clear in the crisp morning air. Spoken with conviction. I remember them daily, just as I remember the report of the rifle, the sound of the bullet penetrating flesh. The warmth of the blood that splattered across my face and neck. The hush of the crowd, just before the screams rang out.

I was eight years old when Shannon Johnson killed my father. Shannon was a man of conviction. He believed my father was the voice of the devil, and that angels had told him he must kill him or the world would be destroyed. There are many Shannon's in the world. People of conviction who believe acts of evil are in truth acts of God.

"You ready girl?"

I nodded to Cameron as I sheathed the knife at my waist. I had not spoken a word in eight years. My voice had died with my father. But there was strength in silence. Strength in the words that were not spoken. That silence allowed me to move without sound, kill without remorse and sleep at night without the screams of my victims ringing in my ears. In many ways I was a woman of conviction. I believed in what I was doing, but that didn't make it right. Perhaps the people I killed deserved to die, but not by my hand. Somewhere down deep, in a place where the silence could not reach, could not penetrate the pain I knew I was no better than the rest of the Shannon Johnson's in the world. I judged, and some day I would be judged.

"Moon's almost up, let's move." Cameron picked up his rifle and headed for the warehouse door.

I followed him out the door, closing it softly behind me. Somewhere a robbery was being committed, a rape, a beating, a mugging, a murder. Somewhere someone needed my help. The world has grown so much that God can no longer do it all. So when the moon rises, so do I. They call me Moon Walker, and in the darkness of the night, and the silence of my world I go forth and proclaim judgment.




Thursday, September 22, 2011

All Out Of Hope

A twitter friend gave me an opening line and I wanted to see where I could take it. Not as good as I wanted, but I don't think it's too bad in 15 minutes. Thank you, Brian.

ALL OUT OF HOPE

He had two choices, drink the last swallow of water in the canteen and extinguish the fire in his throat or keep trudging through the sand, praying that someone would come along and save him. The odds were against that, but as long as he had those few drops left he had hope. Once they were gone. . .

Brian Smith thought back to the beginning of the day as he struggled to keep placing one foot in front of the other. It should have been simple. Pick up the package, deliver it, get the cash. How the hell was he supposed to know the guy was a cop? And where had Javez gotten the gun? Three minutes. That's all it took, and now his life was over.

Sinking to his knees in the sand Brian held the canteen close to his heart. Hope? For him there was no hope. If the drug lords didn't get him, the cops would. Kenny Rogers had said it best. You got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. Well, it was time to fold them.

Unscrewing the top on the canteen Brian poured the water into the sand watching as the last few drops slowed, hanging onto the edge of the canteen mouth, like he had been hanging on to that elusive hope. Laughing he shook the canteen, forcing the last few drops to fall away. Lying down in the sand he spread out his arms, staring at the sky for a moment before closing his eyes. God was all out of miracles and he was all out of hope.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

#SampleSunday One Man's Justice

When life is busy, and I know I can't spend hours working on my lastest novel, I do love to tinker with flash fiction. Working in the judicial system day in and day out, I often see the injustice of people set free on mere technicalities. I once had to watch what clearly was a murderer walk free, a mistrial declared on a technicality. Before we left chambers the prosecutors reminded counsel and the judge this same person was on trial next week for raping an eight year old. I hope you enjoy -

One Man's Justice

Monica Stacy holstered her pistol. "They're all dead."

"Shit happens." Silas Cornwell glanced at the three bodies stretched out on the warehouse floor. Each had taken one shot, but each of those shots had been carefully placed and deadly.

"Silas, they're kids. None of them could be over eighteen." Monica knelt by the first body. She'd heard great things about Silas Cornwell. He was the main reason she'd transferred here last month. But if this was how he treated crime scenes she'd made a mistake. A big mistake.

Tapping the first body with his boot, Silas spit contemptuously. "Marty Crenshaw, eighteen. His first love was Cocaine, his second hurting woman and kids." Moving to the second body he bent down and turned him over. "Simon Benfield, seventeen. Child molester, and if he'd lived long enough, a future serial killer." Moving to the third body, Silas stopped long enough to light a cigarette. Taking a deep drag he exhaled slowly. "Timothy Bradshaw, fifteen. In and out of Juvie Hall since he was ten. Raped his own grandmother last year, and only God knows how many others."

Monica joined him and stood staring down at the third body. "Why weren't they in jail?"

Silas tossed the cigarette and turned toward the door. "You said it yourself, they're just kids."

Monica ran to catch up with him. "Shouldn't we call it in, get forensics out here? No matter who or what they were, we still have to do our job."

Silas stopped walking, his fingers twitching, curling into rock hard fists. "We'll do our damn job."

Monica took a step backwards as he turned. His pupils were mere dots locked inside a glacier of ice. "This was one man's justice. And I'll arrest him, but I sure as hell don't have to like it."

Monica swallowed hard. "One man's justice?"

Silas stepped outside the warehouse, breathing in the chill night air. "Two months ago those three brutally beat and raped a ten year old girl right here inside this warehouse. Everyone knew they did it, but little Jennifer Hidalgo suffered severe head injuries and she was left blind and unable to speak, so she couldn't identify her attackers. "

Silas lit another cigarette, offering the pack to Monica. She hadn't smoked in five years, but suddenly that Marlboro Red looked like manna from heaven. Shaking one out with trembling fingers she leaned into the flickering flame of Silas' lighter and took a deep drag. Exhaling slowly she wondered why she'd ever quit. "So what happened?"

"A slick lawyer, and minor technicality and the judge set them free yesterday. Insufficient evidence." Turning back to the warehouse a slow smile played around his lips. "James Hidalgo did what any father would do. I'm only surprised he killed them so quickly."

Monica tossed her cigarette, a sudden longing to rush home and hug her own little girl washing over her. If it had been her child she wouldn't have killed them with one bullet. She would have tortured them for days, weeks, months. She would have skinned them alive, one little slice at a time. She would have. . . .

Silas slapped her on the back and headed for the car. "Let's go do our job, partner."

Monica followed him, her heart heavy. "All right, Silas. I'll do my damn job, but I sure as hell don't have to like it."

The Year is 2056 - Let Larry Enright Entertain You!

The Year is 2056


The year is 2056. Much has changed in the neighborhood of Caswell Drive in the hundred years since Tom Ryan lived there. The expansive forest at the end of the street has been developed to the point where there is little of it left. Most of the 1950s houses have either been demolished or rebuilt. Construction has begun on a convenience store where the Ryan house once stood. It is indeed a very different place from when Tom Ryan and the Caswells grew up there.

During the course of the excavation of what used to be the side yard of their home, several interesting artifacts were uncovered — a BB rifle, a partially decomposed giant turkey dinner, and a composition notebook. Specialists in archaeological restoration were immediately called in from the Carnegie Institute to begin the process of bringing these important artifacts of the 50s back to their original condition.

These specialists have been able to restore the cover of the book, thought by historians to be the only remaining copy of the legendary work, the Book of Tom, the most-quoted compendium of knowledge and history from that time period. Sir Nigel Wigglebottom, ageless historian and book reviewer has been quoted as saying that the Book of Tom is the period’s sole work of significance pertaining to the fabric of modern society. He has also been quoted as saying that the Captain Midnight Decoder Ring was used to break the German’s secret code during the Battle of the Bulge.

We are privileged to be able to show you the exclusive image of the cover of the Book of Tom and one excerpt from it, transcribed from Tom Ryan’s barely decipherable handwriting by the noted handwriting expert, Arnold Q. Palmer, inventor of the Palmer Handwriting method and distant relative of the noted professional golfer. So without further ado or adon’t, here is the cover.



As you can see, there is a rather explicit warning about reading it, similar to the curse on King Tut’s tomb. We didn’t lose any workers getting it open, but several poundings at the dig site have been reported. Note in particular the underlining of the words “Stop now.” This was a typical 1950s form of emphasis not present in 21st century writings, absolutely verifying its authenticity.

Here is the excerpt we have been given permission to share with you. It should be noted that there is some dispute about its authenticity. One side of the argument says it was written by Tom’s youngest brother, Harry from his remembrances of sneaking into Tom’s room and reading his book. The other side says that Tom actually wrote it in such a way to make you think he was Harry. You be the judge.

A reading from the Book of Tom:
There are three places you never want to be caught dead: at the Isaly’s without a quarter, downwind when Big Bob is farting, and anywhere near Sister Concepta’s office.

We didn’t get a story about puddles that afternoon. We got something much different. Mrs. Baxter had just opened her storybook to read to us when Sister Del Rey, the school disciplinarian appeared out of nowhere at the classroom door. Mrs. Baxter closed her book and stood up, smiled and nodded to the expressionless nun. I liked Mrs. Baxter. I wasn’t so sure about Sister Del Rey though. She never smiled. She never frowned. She never laughed. She was never angry. Tom said she was a robot Sister with super powers that the nuns had gotten from the Sears catalog. When her robot eyes looked around the room, I knew she was there for me.
First, she pointed at me, and the desks around mine slid away, leaving me by myself. Then her hand turned palm upward and she curled her long knuckly finger back, yanking me out of my desk and almost knocking over my milk. I stood, arms frozen at my sides. I couldn’t move. When she turned her hand again and pointed to a spot at her feet, an invisible force grabbed me and pulled me forward across the floor until I was standing beside her. She looked down at me, and without a word walked out. I followed. What else could I do? Sam, Kate, Mary, and even Tom couldn’t resist, and one by one she collected us, and marched us down to the principal’s office.
Sister Concepta. Just say the name and it strikes fear in the heart of the bravest of the brave. The waiting room outside her office smelled old and had the most uncomfortable wooden chairs for us to sit in. The room had two doors — one that went back to the school secretary Mrs. Apple’s desk and freedom, and the other leading to Sister’s inner sanctum and certain doom. Both were closed. Three of the walls in the waiting room were white painted wood panels with windows above. Sister Concepta’s wall was faded yellow plaster covered with portraits of the principals before her at Saint Catherine’s. The blinds had been drawn on the two sets of windows that looked into other offices, but between the secretary’s desk and waiting room they were open so Mrs. Apple could keep an eye on us. I waved to her and she waggled her finger at me.
Tom pulled me back into my seat. “Sit down, Harry.”
“Why does Sister Concepta want to see us?”
Mary shushed. “Keep quiet or you’ll get us all in trouble.”
Sam shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re already in trouble, big trouble.”
Mary shushed us again. “Listen.”
It was Frankie Marx. He was in Sister Concepta’s office. “It’s all their fault my shoes are ruined, and when I tell my father…”
“He’s ratting us out,” Tom said. “We need a plan. We have to stick together on this.”
I got down off my chair and peeked through the blinds into one of the other offices. There was Sister Del Rey staring at me from her desk. She raised her finger, but before she could fire it at me, I let go of the blind, ran back to my seat, and hid behind Tom.
Kate was trying to straighten out a crease in her skirt, but wasn’t having much luck. She rubbed her palms across it over and over. “We should just tell.”
Tom looked up to make sure Mrs. Apple wasn’t watching and whispered, “Tell what?”
Sam gave up on prying loose a piece of gum someone had stuck to the underside of his chair. “Does anyone have a piece of paper? I’m going to write my last will and testament.”
Kate was rubbing her skirt so hard she was going to wear a hole in it. “We should tell her the truth, Tom.”
“And squeal? No way.”
Mary’s face scrunched up in that funny way she did when she knew she was right. “But he started it.”
Mrs. Apple heard her and looked up, and we instantly became statues in different poses in a game of 1-2-3 Red Light. She went back to reading her book. I whispered, “Green light.”
“He started it; we’ll finish it, but no squealing.” Tom was the king, and the king had spoken.
Mary sat up straight. “What was that?”
We all turned around toward Sister Concepta’s door. There was a grinding, whirring noise, then a creak and a chunk. There it was again.
Tom knew what it was. “It’s a robot machine that chews up kids and spits them into the wastebasket.”
Sam hid behind the chair back. “If I don’t make it out alive, Harry gets my Roy Face.”
Tom didn’t like that at all. “You said the Roy Face card was mine, and Vernon Law, too.”
“That was when you were sitting on me, and besides, he’s the only Pirate Harry likes.”
“You little welsher.”
“I know you are, but what am I?”
Mary looked like she was going to cry. “I don’t hear Frankie any more. I don’t like this. Why didn’t he come out yet?”
“It’s a one way door,” Tom whispered. “No one ever comes back, at least not alive.”
Footsteps, big heavy footsteps were coming closer toward the door from the other side.
Kate had squeezed herself together in a little ball. “I have to go.”
“Tommy, did Sister Concepta eat Frankie’s brain so he can’t talk anymore?”
“Frankie doesn’t have a brain, Harry.”
“Then how does he talk?”
Something clanked up against the door, something metal, and the doorknob started to move.
Tom was the first to turn around and sit up straight. “We’re dead ducks. Turn around. Don’t look into her eyes or you’ll turn to stone.”
We followed his lead, sitting like statues with our hands in our laps. The door creaked slowly open. Yellow light from inside Sister Concepta’s office spilled out into the waiting room, and the shadow of a giant robot nun inched across the floor under our chairs.
“Line up and come inside now, children.” The shadow moved back into her office.

Thank you for taking the time to read this excerpt from the newly released A King in a Court of Fools, the prequel to the best seller Four Years from Home.

About the book: A King in a Court of Fools, originally published as a serial novel, is Larry Enright’s second published work. It is humorous, nostalgic fiction about kids growing up in the 1950s and has been already enjoyed by thousands, ages ten through ninety-one. It is available in both eBook and paperback from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. Click for details to Purchase or sample A King in a Court of Fools.

About the author: Larry Enright was born to Irish Catholic first-generation immigrants and raised in Pittsburgh. After college, he moved to the Philadelphia area where for the past 40 years he has filled his life with many careers including musician, teacher, programmer, researcher, and writer. He has written three other novels, including the best-selling Four Years from Home. Visit Larry Enright's site.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

#fridayflash Cookies For Davey

Cookies For Davey

Davey Crimmens wheeled his bike around the corner of Third Street, slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop less than two feet from the old woman. Jesus, where did she come from so fast?

"Davey, could you help me, please?"

Davey hesitated, weighing his options. He could keep on riding and ignore her, but he was already in trouble for sneaking off to the swimming hole yesterday. One more incident and mom would ground him for sure. And the old woman knew his name, which meant she most likely knew his mother. Parking his bike against the old wooden fence, her followed her through the gate.

"What do you need?"

She smiled at him, and motioned for him to follow her inside the house. "Could you move my rocking chair in front of the window for me please? Been trying to move it all day, but these old hands, you know." She held her hands out in front of her.

Davey shivered as he looked at the bent and gnarled fingers. Must be some kind of disease. The quicker he got out of here the better he'd feel.

Grabbing the rocker he hefted it toward the front window. "Here?"

She smiled at him again, running a hand over his dark curls. "That's perfect, sweetie. There's a plate of chocolate chip cookies for you in the kitchen. Why don't you take some to your friends?"

Davey made his way to the kitchen, stopping short when he saw the card placed next to the plate of fresh baked cookies. "Cookie's for Davey."

That was strange. How could the old woman know he'd be the one coming by today? His mother must of have told her. Good thing he stopped. Grabbing a handful of cookies he turned back to thank her, but she was gone.

Shrugging he shoved a cookie in his mouth, closed the front door behind him and grabbed his bike. He'd thank her tomorrow, or better yet tell his mother to thank her. That should score him some points.

Mike Thomas was waiting for him at the end of the street and Davey pulled up next to him, handing him a chocolate chip cookie. "Sorry, I’m late."

Biting into the cookie Mike grinned at him. "Was beginning to think your mom locked you up."

Davey shook his head. "Naw, she was mad, but not that mad."

"So what took you so long?" Mike licked the chocolate from his finger. "You got anymore cookies?"

Davey handed him another one. "I had to stop and help the old lady on the corner move a chair. Worth it though. These are the best cookies I've ever tasted."

Mike dropped the cookie he was holding. "You mean old lady Harrod?"

Davey hopped off his bike and picked up the cookie. "Five second rule."

"Don't eat that cookie!" Mike's voice trembled slightly, but still came out just short of a scream.

Davey stared at his best friend, his hand automatically stopping short of his already open mouth. Mike was pale, eyes huge, body shaking. "What's wrong with the cookies?"

Turning his bike around, Mike headed in the direction of his house. "I’m going home, Davey. Old lady Harrod's dead. She hung herself yesterday."

Davey stared at Mike's retreating back as he grew smaller and smaller in the distance. Dead? Sniffing the cookie he broke it open. It looked real. Could she have baked them before she died? But he'd seen her. Talked to her. Tossing the cookie in the ditch he wiped his hands on his jeans, a strange feeling washing over him. He suddenly felt hot and cold at the same time, and his hands were shaking.

Grabbing his bike he set off toward home, wobbling slightly. I'm not scared. Mike's acting like a baby. Probably lying anyway. Trying to scare me. Well, I'll show him. I'm ten years old, and I'm not scared of no ghost.

Davey managed to get past the corner without looking directly at the house, peddling fast he sped down Main and turned on Parrish, eager to get home. "Mom, you'll never guess what Mike told me."

"I'm in here, Davey." Claire Crimmens called out from the living room. Smiling at her son, she put aside the paper and gave him her full attention. "What did Mike tell you? I hope he's not trying to get you sneak off again."

Davey shook his head. "Naw, he said the old lady on the corner hung herself yesterday. But I know she didn't, 'cause I seen her when I rode by. Helped her move her rocking chair in front of the window."

Davey saw the color drain out of his mother's face, but she was still smiling. "Mom?"

Claire patted the seat next to her on the couch. "Come here, Davey."Waiting until he was seated next to her, Claire placed her arm around him. "Mrs. Harrod was old, sweetheart, and she had crippling arthritis." She gently stroked his hair, running her fingers through the curls. "She had a son, and he always visited in May. He was supposed to be here today, but there was a car crash and he was killed. I guess she just couldn't face the thought of going on without him."

Davey swallowed, blinking hard at the wetness behind his lashes. "But I saw her mom. Talked to her. She gave me cookies."

Claire pulled him close, continuing to stroke his hair. "I was supposed to go over today and move her rocking chair for her. She liked to sit in front of the window and watch for his car. Always had a huge plate of chocolate chips cookies on the table with a little card that said "Cookies for Davey." Claire raised his head, looking into his eyes, noting the unshed tears. "Her son's name was Davey too. Don't be scared, sweetheart. You did a good thing and I'm very proud of you."

Davey leaned in closer. "I ate the cookies, mom," he whispered.

Claire hugged him and stood up, pulling him up with her. "And I'll bet wherever she is right now she's smiling knowing that her "Cookies for Davey" didn't go to waste. Come on, you can help me cook supper."

Davey followed his mother to the kitchen, his step a little lighter, back a little straighter. He was ten years old and he'd seen a ghost. Heck, he'd not only seen a ghost he'd talked to one, and he'd eaten cookies. Just wait until he told the guys about that. Maybe Susie Whitlow would sit with him at lunch.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kay Hooper - A wonderful "Touch of Evil"

I think my very first Kay Hooper book was Finding Rachel and then Haunting Laura, but I totally became hooked when I read her "Evil" series. What pulled me in? Her characters were both believeable and fascinating. As I strive toward my own writing career, I hope to develop some of Kay's skill in creating memorable characters with compelling stories that keep the reader turning pages all the way to the end.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Ripple In Time - WIP Part 2

I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with this. Short story, novella or novel. Ideas are running rampant and I hope to really get started on it this week.
Hope you enjoy.

Part 2


Fumbling with the doorknob she finally got it open and sprinted across the room to Casey's bedroom, turning the handle and pushing. The door wouldn't budge. "Casey!" Valerie pounded on the door, continuing to push.

"What?" Casey pushed the chest away from the door and opened it a crack. "Jesus, Val, it's only four a.m. I knew you wanted to get an early start but this is…" Casey took a good look at Val's face, noting the paler than usual complexion, as well as the tears streaming down her face. Pushing the chest completely out of the way she opened the door. "What's wrong?"

Valerie struggled to bring her breathing back to normal. "I heard a scream. I thought. . ." She couldn't finish the sentence, instead she reached out and pulled

Casey into a tight embrace. "I thought he'd killed you."

Casey broke the embrace. "Who, that sweet little old man you rented this place from?"

Valerie had the decency to flush. "Okay, so he gave me the creeps too. But I did hear voices and then there was this horrible scream."

Sighing, Casey knew she wasn't going to get back to sleep so she headed for the kitchen and a fresh pot of coffee. "Maybe it was your lady in white?"

Valerie perked up at the idea, but immediately discarded it following Casey into the kitchen. "Ghosts don't usually talk in groups, and I've never heard one scream like that."

Casey filled the coffee pot and turned it on taking two cups down from the cabinet. "You're always telling me that it's an unknown phenomena. How do you know ghosts don't scream like that?"

Valerie pondered the question for a moment. She couldn't be sure, but it sounded human. Too human. "Well, I'm going to ask Mr. Jenson if there's anyone else around here, and if there is we're going to get at least part of our money back."

Casey chuckled, and shook her head. "We stole this place as it is, Val. Two hundred dollars for a full month? I expected it to be run down, poorly furnished and a real dump. Instead it's clean, and the furniture looks almost new. Where else could we find a deal like that?"

Casey's words sunk in and Val felt the hairs rise along the back of her neck. What had she been thinking when she'd read the brochure? "Yeah, where else could anyone get a deal like that?" She whispered.

# # #

Grabbing her easel, canvas and paints Valerie headed to the clearing at first light. Two pots of coffee and daylight had gone a long way in dispelling her earlier fears. It really was beautiful here, and she couldn't wait to start painting.

At least Mr. Jenson hadn't lied about the clearing. Setting up her easel and canvas Valerie walked around the clearing, getting a feel for the place. She had the feeling something had stood here in the past. Perhaps another cabin. The grass was lush and green as if tended by some unknown hand. The forest closed it off in a perfect circle.

Returning to the easel she prepared her pallet and picked up a brush. "Okay, guys. Show me what you want me to see."

Valerie knew she often tranced out when painting and hours passed like minutes. Still she was surprised when she looked around and noticed the deepening shadows and sun disappearing below the horizon. Where had the day gone? Standing back she looked at the canvas and frowned. She recognized the clearing, but there was definitely something new there. A huge stone occupied the center. More disturbing though was the water-like ripples flowing from left to right. The painting was ruined. Sighing she packed up and headed back to the cabin. Casey was just coming out the front door as she trudged up the porch.

"Hey, I was just coming to look for you. I had to cook supper again and it was your night."

Valerie shrugged, mumbling as she passed her. "Sorry, I lost track of time."
Casey followed her into the cabin. "You better put something on that sunburn. What happened anyway?"

Tossing the painting into her bedroom, Valerie put her easel and paints away before coming back to the living room and flopping on the couch. "Bad paint, I guess. A total day wasted."

"I doubt that. You only buy the best paint. Let me have a look." Casey picked up the discarded painting, frowning as she noted the ripple effect. "Is this the clearing you were in?"

Valerie nodded. "With the exception of the rock in the middle."

Casey looked closer. "That's not exactly a rock, you know."

Valerie joined her looking closer. "Looks like a rock to me."

Casey gave her a condescending look. "You really need to get out more. It's an altar."

"Altar? What kind of altar? And what's for dinner?" Valerie took the painting and propped it against the wall. Maybe it wasn't a wasted day after all.

"Looks like a sacrificial altar to me, and we're having franks and beans."

Valerie grimaced. "We had franks and beans last night."

Casey grinned. "Maybe tomorrow night you'll cook."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

#samplesunday Ripple In Time - A WIP


"Okay, tell me again why Connecticut?" Casey Burgin asked, wiping the sweat out of her eyes as she geared down to take another rocky hill on the road from hell, which supposedly would lead to the cabin of their dreams.

Valerie Marsh grabbed for the door and dash as they hit another bump in the road, wondering not for the first time if Casey's beat up '97 CRV was going to make it to the cabin. "You said you wanted something off the beaten path." She grinned as the road finally evened out. "You have to admit this is definitely not a beaten path."

Casey slowed to a snail's pace as overgrown tree branches closed in around them. "I don't think anyone has been up this path in years, Val. Where the hell did you find this place?"

Valerie pouted and pulled out the brochure, tossing it across the seat. "Someone mailed it to me right after my last art show. Said it was just the kind of place for my paintings."

Casey cast a quick sideways look, eyebrows raised and jaw set as they hit another rut in the road. "Meaning?"

Valerie shrugged. "I guess because of the lady in white."

Casey cursed under her breath, rolling her eyes toward the heavens. "Another lady in white? I mean, what is that about 20 in the last two years? I think every state has one."

"Not like this one," Valerie smirked. "She's been documented on video and photographs."

"Oh, and that makes it real." Casey grimaced, avoiding another hole in the road. "Do you have any idea how much of that stuff turns out to be fake every year?"
Valerie sat back in her seat and stared at the passing countryside. "I'd know if she was fake. There's something here, Casey. Something really strange. I can feel it."

Casey turned a corner and the cabin came into view. "And just where is this lady in white supposed to materialize? You can't expect me to maneuver up and down this God-forsaken road in the dark."

Valerie shook her head. "A lot of people have seen her along Route 59 and inside the Union Cemetery. They say she actually darts in front of passing cars. One driver even thought he'd hit someone the night she darted in front of him, but they could never find a body even though there was a dent in the hood of the car. A lot of renowned ghost hunters have been here. One group even documented hearing a woman weeping one night in the cemetery."

Casey pulled up in front of the cabin and parked turning to give Valerie her best "you're kidding me look". "Really, Val? A woman weeping in a cemetery. That would sure convince me it was haunted," she replied sarcastically as she looked at her home away from home for the next month. She was already thinking the cabin was a perfect backdrop for "The Hills Have Eyes" when the front door opened and a perfect character for the next "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie walked out.

"Who the hell is that?" She whispered.

Valerie grabbed the brochure, stuffed it in her purse and opened the door of the CRV with a smile. "If you'd read the brochure you'd know. That's our landlord, Mr. Jenson."

Casey followed her from the vehicle at a much slower pace. She wasn't afraid of ghosts, or anything already dead. It was the living you had to worry about.
Landlord my ass. That man's the next serial killer in my newest novel, and you can bet a sweet penny I'll be pushing furniture against my bedroom door every night.

Shaking the proffered hand, Valerie continued to smile while fighting the urge to rush inside and wash her hand. There was no way she was going to let Casey know the sight of Mr. Jenson had totally freaked her out. The picture on the brochure had to be from another century when he still looked human. The bony fingers that had clasped hers were cold and stiff, belying the 90 degree temperature outside the cabin.

"Mr. Jenson, this is my friend Casey Burgin. You may have heard of her, she has several best sellers on the market."

Casey shot Valerie a withering glare as the cold bony fingers closed around her hand. "Nice to meet 'ya. Afraid I don't read much." Handing Valerie the key, he stepped down from the porch. "Live about a mile south of here. You girls need anything you just let me know."

Casey and Valerie stood on the porch watching as he shuffled slowly down the overgrown lane and disappeared into the trees. Casey wiped her hand on her jeans. "You can't tell me you didn't find him just a little creepy, Val."

Opening the screen Valerie stepped inside the cabin calling over her shoulder. "With the things you write and things I paint, most people find us a little creepy. He's probably just a nice old man."

Casey doubted that, but followed her inside pleasantly surprised that although the cabin was small, it was immaculate. She'd imagined a ratty old sofa with rusted springs, and spider web covered furniture. Peering into the bedrooms she called out. "I've got dibs on the blue room. The view is gorgeous."

Valerie joined her at the window. "See, told you you'd like it here. You can set up right here in front of the window and kill all the people you want."
Casey grinned at her, flopping on the bed. "Yeah, but what about you?"

Valerie continued to stare out the window. "Mr. Jenson says there's a clearing about a quarter of a mile from here that I might find interesting."

Casey sat up, pulling her knees to her chest and resting her chin on her knees. "I don't like the idea of you going out there alone. Especially to some place he recommends. He may be a sweet old man, but there's something in his eyes that sent chills down my spine."

Valerie nodded. She'd felt it too, but then she often had that chilled feeling. Especially when she was painting. "Let's get unpacked. I saw a grill out back, and you're cooking tonight."

Casey groaned leaving the comfort of the bed. She hated cooking. "I saw a nice bed and breakfast on the edge of town. If we stayed there we could order room service."
Valerie chuckled. "And miss all this ambience? You can't tell me you don't already have a murder rolling around underneath that curly mass."

# # #

Two hours later unpacked, fed and feeling the effects of the long drive they retired to the porch swing with a bottle of wine. Nightfall was descending fast and a multitude of sounds cascaded from the forest. Valerie could tell Casey was itching to get started on her new novel. She felt the same itch, wanting to grab her easel and paints. Standing up she stretched and turned toward the cabin. "I'm calling it a night. I want to make an early start in the morning."

Casey refilled her glass and sipped it, enjoying the cool breeze that had sprung up. "Go ahead. I'll lock up."

Valerie woke to the sound of muted voices, rising and falling in a song-like crescendo. Rolling over she punched the pillow, irritated at the thought of sharing their getaway with other campers. Mr. Jenson had promised they would be the only ones in a ten mile radius. Closing her eyes she allowed the warmth of the bed coupled with the cool air from the air conditioner to lull her back to the pre-sleep stage. A blood-curdling scream broke the silence of the night as a thin line of hairs stood up all over her body. Tossing back the covers she sprang from the bed. Casey.