Tag Archives: fiction

Macabre Macaroni, second helping

Lisa Burton

Flipping

I pulled into the driveway, and my tires pushed down weeds as I pulled up to the parking circle. It was a long day at work, but I decided to start a little demolition before heading home.

Three stone steps led to the elaborate old front door, but I had to shoulder it open against years of rust and weathering. A thick layer of dust covered the stone entry.

I wound my way to the kitchen and pulled open the tattered old curtains to let some of the setting sunlight into my work area. I worked my crowbar under the stone countertop and looked into the breakfast room. With new windows, that morning view would add another twenty-thousand dollars to my resale value.

My shoulder pushed against the bar, but the stone wouldn’t budge. Then a crystal decanter and glasses appeared on the counter. Had I missed that somehow?

Slow clacking footsteps echoed down the hall to my right. A shapely woman, possibly in her fifties, walked into the room like she owned it. She wore a short, sleeveless dress and pearl colored heels that must have made the sound.

She picked up the decanter and poured herself a drink. An overstuffed chair and end table appeared across the room. Had I overlooked this stuff while I was measuring, or was she a squatter.

She sauntered to it and sat down, crossing her legs. She lit a cigarette and blew the smoke straight up.

My hand tightened around the crowbar, and I nervously checked my exit routes.

“So, what are we going to do about you?” She said in a husky voice.

“You need to leave,” I answered. “This is private property. My private property.”

She picked some invisible tobacco from her tongue. “Is it now? This is my home, and I intend to keep it that way.” She took a sip from her drink, then smirked. “I’d offer you one, but I don’t think it’s possible.”

“I’m the deeded owner of this property. I’m going to gut it, revamp the whole thing, then sell it for a huge profit.”

“Oh yeah. How much did you pay?”

“Over two million.”

“They saw you coming. My husband only paid seven-fifty when he bought it. You’ve got to admit, it’s a beautiful place though. And I’d appreciate it if you’d quit destroying my counters.”

“I’ll have you forcibly evicted if I have to–”

She leaned into the arm of the chair, and I could see the falling wallpaper moving behind her – through her head. “Something tells me that’s not going to work. See I own this house too, and I’m not leaving.”

“But it’s a dump. Maybe you want to check out something better.”

“It’s not a dump. This is one of the top neighborhoods in the city.”

“It was, maybe fifty years ago.”

“Well, it not a dump the way I see it. My beautiful floral wallpaper, the polished wood of the breakfast set. It’s all still here.” She stubbed out her cigarette in an ashtray that appeared right before she touched it.

“Those things will kill you.”

“Too late. Besides, if you knew all the things I put in this body, a little cigarette is the least of my worries. Oh the parties I used to host. They were all here, you know. Politicians, movie stars, musicians. We use to put out drugs on one of those three tier serving dishes like some people place out canapés.”

“W-w-we who?”

“Larry and I. He was my husband. House went to me after he died. You can ask him yourself, he usually shows up near the pool on clear nights.”

I pulled the kitchen curtains back. A flurry of moths startled me. The stone around the pool was cracked and small trees pushed up between the stones. A foot of green scum floated on the partially filled pool.

“Not there tonight? That’s where I buried him. A lieutenant detective helped me dig the hole.” She looked up at the ceiling. “I thanked that man proper, right up there.”

“I, I, I don’t need to know this.”

“Lots to know about this place. One night a rockstar banged a socialite on that countertop you’re trying to destroy. The rest of his band cheered him on.”

“Anybody I’d know?”

“Meh, flavor of the month. You know how that business goes.” She finished her drink. “Now what are we going to do about you?”

“I’ll hire an exorcist or someone to clear this place out.”

“You can try. Lot’s of cons in that business, but there are some legit ones. Of course, I could do the same thing.”

“Wh- what do you mean?”

“Things on my side of the veil aren’t so different. Maybe I’ll hire someone to get rid of you. In fact, that would be kind of fun. Tell you what. You hire someone, and I will too. We’ll get them all together one night, and see who prevails. First one to blink has to leave. What do you say? Sounds like a party to me.”

“I’m not playing your stupid game. I’m on the hook for a lot of money here, and I’m in the right.”

“Maybe you could sue me. Good luck serving papers though. No, we’re going to do this my way. We each get two weeks to find someone, then we do battle. If you win, I’ll leave.”

“What about Gary?” I cocked a thumb toward the back.

“Larry. And he’ll do whatever I tell him. He’s a lot calmer since I pulled the trigger. He doesn’t question or doubt me any more.”

“You aren’t giving me much choice here, and I’m the aggrieved party.”

“On your side of the veil, sure. On my side, I’m the aggrieved party, and I’ve owned this house since before you were born. What’s your name again?”

“Carl.”

“You seem like a nice young man, Carl. Find your witch or whatever, and I’ll do the same. And don’t get any ideas about selling this to someone and running off. What I’ll do to them is guaranteed to get you sued at minimum, maybe killed at maximum.” She faded away, along with the chair, decanter, and the rest.

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Macabre Macaroni

Lisa Burton

Our Secret Lives

All of us have things in our lives we never discuss. Despite the age of the selfie, we might go somewhere, or do something, we don’t want to be judged for. When it comes to dreams, the sky’s the limit.

We never really remember our dreams. Bits and pieces, of course, but that’s a side of life we never understand fully. What if some of our nocturnal activities were real? What if we just didn’t remember after we awoke? Studies of sleep walkers and others show this is possible too.

Then there is the case of Lauren. Thirty-one years old, left wing liberal, vegetarian. She’s been married to her wife Tina for the last five years, lives in a quiet little house with solar panels on the roof. Tina is an international flight attendant, complete with insurance and benefits. Lauren owns an old nursery. Together they make a comfortable living.

🌑🌒🌓🌔

Lauren parked her Prius under the carport and headed inside. She pulled her rubber boots off at the door. “Smells wonderful. Do you have time to eat before you go?”

Tina poked her head around the doorframe. “Not tonight. Thought you’d be home sooner. I’m off to Denver, Seattle, and Tokyo.”

“I got another offer from that developer, Steve Roper. I tossed it in the car to read when I got here, but couldn’t help myself. By the time I read it, traffic got ahead of me.” She walked into the kitchen.

Tina tucked one of the blonde dreadlocks behind Lauren’s ear and handed her a glass of wine. “There’s roasted eggplant and some parsnips in the oven. What’s he proposing this time?”

“It’s a lot of money, but I can’t sell Dad’s old nursery, I just can’t. Besides, luxury condos isn’t what this city needs. We need a place for the homeless. We need affordable housing. Even one of those tiny housing communities would help.”

“I know, right? Look, you’ll have to text me the rest. My Uber is here, and I really have to go.” Tina extended the handle on her bag and wheeled it toward the door. “I’ll be back in four days, and we can talk about it then. For now, I can text. Bye.”

Lauren carried her supper out to the back patio, along with the bottle of wine. It was a small yard, but lush with plant-life from the nursery. Birds trilled as the sun started down. She picked at the food, but abandoned it in favor of the wine.

🌑🌒🌓🌕

“I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with that woman,” Steve Roper said to the men at his country club. “I’m offering her more than the property’s worth, and I threw in a position as our landscaper; with benefits. I verbally offered her a small flower shop on the main floor too.”

“I don’t see how she can hold out much longer,” Everett Hosmer said. “As downtown grows, there are less customers for a small nursery. People won’t drive by perfectly good nurseries in the suburbs to visit her.”

“I know, but she seems to miss that point. I need her corner for the entrance to the whole project. We have our timing too, Everett. If Crandleburg breaks ground first, we’re going to be playing catch-up. I don’t want to deal with all those early-bird discounts and free upgrades. Donnie builds a good project, and I don’t want him beating us to the punch again.”

“Maybe you ought to have something to eat. She may come around by Monday. You’ve been drinking, and things might look better in the morning.”

“I intend to do a lot more drinking first, and I’m not hungry.” He walked behind the bar and grabbed a bottle of Talisker. “Put it on my tab. I’m going to walk the grounds and take in the night air. Tell Cici to take the car home, and I’ll find a ride later.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I really hate that nursery woman, and need to flush her out of my mind.” He headed out onto the golf course.

The call of an owl came from Driscoll Park. The country club bordered a huge state park with tall pines, camp sites, and volleyball courts. The far side of the park bordered a reservoir that drew people on the weekends. Steve occasionally saw deer on the back nine, and ambled that direction.

🌒🌓🌔🌕

Lauren was sound asleep on her lounge chair when the moon crept over the trees. The light in its full configuration landed on her like a spotlight. The transformation started as hair, beautiful silvery tipped fur covered her from head to toe. Her feet extended, and claws grew from her toes.

Her sinuses expanded and lengthened. Her ears migrated and took on canine shape. The smell of the birds that sung her to sleep filled her nostrils. She rolled off the lounge, spread her toes, and stretched with her butt in the air. Fangs glistened in the moonlight as she yawned.

She scratched behind her ear and took in the local scents. Once fully oriented, she trotted around the house and peered around the Prius. She ducked down, as she was nearly as tall as the car now. It was late, and the residential streets were empty.

She trotted off toward Driscoll Park. The lakeshore was empty now, but a few embers glowed where water-skiers had abandoned campfires. She went through the campgrounds, sniffing at tents. The hunger hadn’t landed yet, and she had other goals before hunting.

She loped off into the forest, and headed for the large stone outcrop. A lone howl reverberated through the trees. She wagged her tail and headed toward the sound.

He waited beside a gigantic ponderosa log that fell fifty years ago. He remained in the shadows, but the tips of his black fur stuck up in the moonlight. Nobody would have noticed him, but there was no fooling Lauren’s nose. He trotted down the hill toward her.

She wagged her tail, and rubbed her shoulder in a patch of wild sunflowers. Eventually turning onto her back and rolling in them. He sniffed her and wagged his tail. She licked his face. He smelled of whisky, but the alcohol had no effect on this form. He jumped playfully over the top of her, crouched and leaped again. She met him mid-jump, and they frolicked in the moonlight.

Once their meeting was over, they got down to business. There were homeless people below the dam, an up-scale event near the band shell in the city park. One of these would provide a nice meal, then they could lick each other clean and cuddle the night away. If those familiar hunting grounds failed them, the tenters weren’t going anywhere, even if they were too close to home. The lunar cycle would provide them with three nights of bliss, hunting, gorging, and mating.

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Progress, depends on how you define it.

Today was my flex day. I made no effort at all to wake up early, but was up around six o’clock. I took my time with chores, social media, email, and my standard AM process.

I turned to my manuscript, and started reading the last chapter plus. Fixed a few spelling errors and one double word.

Right now, the story involves moving the pirate ship into harm’s way once more, and doing some character building to help carry this section.

I need to make sure to build some tension as they face a well trained enemy with multiple ships, and that might be slow going as I work back and forth across it. This will lead right into the big finish scene.

There is a lot that has to happen in the finale. I’ve planted quite a few things that need to pay off now. Magic, cannon, swordsmanship, and a new monster will be involved. Then, of course, there is a denouement of some kind.

I’m mildly concerned about the big finish, because I don’t want it to feel like a battle scene that drags on. There are enough characters, and it’s a moving battle, so I get some leeway.

Denouement is another struggle. I have a happy ending I could go with, or one that leads into a possible sequel. My big issue with this involves my readers. If they don’t take to book one, will anyone be interested in book two? A second book would also eat time for something else I’d like to write.

Who knows how I’ll handle it. Honestly, I need to focus on one step at a time here.

Moving pieces around the board doesn’t sound like much progress, but it’s required in the story.

On the other hand, I wrote three blog posts this afternoon, including this one. One of them will post over at Story Empire next week. Blogging counts by my rules, so today was fairly productive.

Back to work tomorrow, but my next flex day is Monday. With a three day weekend I might even finish my novel, but it would be a stretch. I won’t rush it. If I have to wait another week, so be it, but I’m getting close here.

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Converging Paths, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you the characters from the stories you love. The world is balancing on the head of a pin today, and my special guest has some insight into the problem and a possible solution. “Welcome The Old Lady of Alexandria to the show today.”

“Thank you. I am very tired from having my home restored after a fire. It is good to rest a while and do what I like best.”

“Well, I suppose you can smoke in here. You know it’s bad for you, right?”

“At my stage in life, what does it matter? Would you like one?”

“I’m sure they’re fine cigars, but I don’t even have lungs. Sorry. My little bio says you own a bookstore in Alexandria. I assume something you read brought some insight into the problem we’re facing today.”

“As you know, the great library at Alexandria was destroyed by nonbelievers. A group of scientists were able to salvage many manuscripts that predicted if humankind continued in the direction it was heading, the world would be destroyed. Further texts provided solutions, unfortunately we could save only partial copies.”

“Okay, so the crisis is global warming, but the solution might be in China. Is that correct?”

“Ahem… we refer to it as Global Climate Change… It’s more accurate. China is rising. Its government is leaning more to the left and its population is demanding a westernized lifestyle. However, there are a number of old party members in the government who are fighting this evolution and want to keep China under a dictator’s thumb. China is under the world’s microscope and what decisions are made will affect the world.”

“My bio also notes that you’ve manipulated your own granddaughter to become part of this solution. Can you explain some of that to our listeners today? I mean that’s a pretty high stake.”

“Rebecca is a brilliant young woman who does not recognize her own potential. I have many friends around the world who strive for the same goals as me, but I was old and needed someone to continue my portion of the quest. I have left her my bookstore in an attempt to manipulate her into following in my footsteps. I have many allies who will help her. She is too entrenched in her job and needs a change. She needs to meet Alexander, who is in Japan, and learn of her importance as a quantum physicist in saving the world. And if she can find love along the way, it would make this ancient woman very happy.”

“Japan? I thought China was the lynchpin here?”

“It is, but Alexander is following a key player in our plan, The Seeker, who is currently vacationing in Japan. He is a prominent member of the Chinese government who is also surreptitiously studying the Japanese Buddhists and their reaction to the impending death of the Dalai Lama. As you know, because you are obviously a very intelligent individual, there is an interesting link between quantum physics and Buddhism which is elucidated in this story.”

“Okay, so snag Alexander, jet off to China, then what?”

“Oh, it’s not as simple as all that. Remember we are dealing with real flesh and blood characters here, not robots, they don’t think in a straight line and analyze in ones and zeros like you. They are far more, is it rude of me to say, emotionally complex. There are many moving pieces, just like the game of Go. We need to allow The Seeker to play out his game. Now that the Dalai Lama has been murdered, China’s global presence is teetering. How will the occupier of Tibet react to the scrutiny of the world? Will it step up onto the world stage and become a super power or will the old guard win and return China to isolationism?”

“Wait, now we’re in Tibet?”

“Now you see the importance of GO, and how territories fit in. The oldest game, and dare I say the most pleasing to the eye, teaches us to think in non-linear patterns, in circles and in wild patterns. You see in Go, borders do not matter, but controlling the board does, much like the geo-political battle that rages. It is all about control of the playing area. However, we also have a pivotal character who has been sequestered in Bhutan and now will assemble Buddhists from around the world in Tibet. Norea, or The Blue Rose will fall in love with the Seeker and accompany him through the final stages of this geo-political game that is so reminiscent of Go. The Second-in-Command of China, his nemesis will fight to regain territory on the world’s Go board while the Seeker and Norea counsel The Chairman of China in his final decision.”

“It all sounds very important and intriguing. Perhaps everyone should read this, so we can keep our politicians updated too. Any final thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Today, more than ever before, we need to remember compassion is so important to help save our planet, specifically humankind. If China can become a super power on the world’s stage and maintain compassion through its treatment of Tibet, maybe humankind deserves to survive. It is too late for me… I am long dead. My memory lives on through my granddaughter and the rich characters who help her in this quest.

“Thank you Lisa, you have been a joy to talk to. By the way, I admire your outfit…you’d make a beautiful whirling dervish.”

“Listeners can learn more by reading the novel, Converging Paths, by Lorraine Dimond & Roy Dimond. I’ll post all the important stuff on the website after I go off the air.

“Keep your friends updated too, by using those sharing buttons. I’m sure the Dimonds would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Purchase link:   http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/convergingpaths

Contact information:    http://roydimond.tripod.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roy-Dimond-Author/391172050979499

http://www.authorsden.com/roydimond

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122268688&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

http://roydimond.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/RoyDimond2

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Quest of the Broken Hearted, 99¢ all month long

Charles Yallowitz has released his follow up story to the Legends of Windemere series. Good news for us is the introductory price. I’ll let Charles tell you all about it.

A battered soul faces a city of monsters in
Quest of the Brokenhearted!

Cover Art by Sean Harrington

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

*****

Book Excerpt: The Farm

The blast of warm air hits and swirls around the area to make all those in metal armor feel like they are about to faint. As the wind billows out, it carries the fog away to reveal broken fences and an abandoned farmhouse. The porch is partially collapsed with a swing sitting in the mud, its chains still connected to the fallen roof. The front door is closed, but a large hole is in the middle as if something tried to punch its way inside. Rusty pots and tools are scattered about the ground, some of them having been plunged into the ground. Not far away is a large barn, which shows no sign of damage beyond peeling paint and cobwebs dangling from the eaves. A crooked weathervane sits above the hay loft, the bat-shaped object spinning wildly even though the wind has died. Wilted crops stand in the fields among those that have already rotted into mush. Piles of hay dot the landscape, each one having turned black and become surrounded by swarms of thumb-sized flies. When the last of the fog clears, the entire area is bathed in a sickly orange light that causes the adventurers’ skin to crawl.

An animal call erupts from a nearby pasture, the grass a light brown and showing signs of being repeatedly trampled. In response, the sounds of chickens drift from the farmhouse and they are soon joined by other familiar noises. The ear-wrenching symphony continues to grow as the adventurers spread out across the road and into the fields. Most are focused on the farmhouse door, so they are caught off-guard when the attack begins. Zombified pigs, horses, goats, and sheep burst out of the barn to charge the nearest warriors. With acidic foam flying from their mouths, the undead livestock crash into the armored figures and rip into whatever flesh they can reach. The goats and pigs cause the most damage, their teeth breaking through metal and bone while the horses do more harm with their hooves. Flapping wings from the farmhouse are a slight warning before a flock of chickens and ducks explode from the windows. Lacking teeth, they have a harder time killing their prey, who swing wildly and blindly cast spells that miss half of the time. Chaos is consuming the crowd when the first animal call erupts from the right and four knights are sent hurtling through the air. Flesh dangling from its horns and blood splattered across its rotting face, the zombified bull barrels into the adventurers. The grunting beast tramples everything in its path as it crashes into one of the fields and sends a broken cart rolling away. Turning around, the animal ignores the arrows that stick into its hindquarters and charges back into the crowd.

While the others try to retreat, Kira swings her sickle at the bull’s side and gets the weapon stuck between the exposed ribs. She holds on while she is dragged and uses the blunt end to swat chickens out of the air. As she passes a stallion, she swings her kusari-gama to get the chain wrapped around its hind legs. With the horse galloping away from the bull, Kira plants her feet and pulls hard on her weapon. Her strength combined with that of the zombified steed allows her to shatter the larger animal’s ribs. Spinning around, she whips the sickle into the side of the stallion’s head and uncoils the chain as it crashes to the ground. Without turning back, the adventurer dives to the side and narrowly avoids getting gored by the bull. The moment she hits the ground, she pounces to grab the jagged hole in its body and pulls herself close enough to punch inside with the blunt end of her weapon. Kira continues striking the rotting heart until the confused animal rears back and exposes its stomach for a pair of spearmen to impale it. They are unable to support its weight and are promptly crushed while the young woman flips up to slam her sickle into the base of its skull. Hanging onto the bucking bull, she violently twists the blade until the zombie finally falls over and rapid decays. The others are about to cheer when the call of another bull bursts from the pasture.

“They just keep coming,” Kira mutters as she watches more animals pour out of the buildings.

Grab your copy on Amazon for 99 cents throughout the month of July!

*****

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or more interested vampires? Then check out War of Nytefall: Loyalty:

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

LET THE TOURNAMENT OF LACARSIS BEGIN!

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The Contract – between heaven and earth

I’m really excited to have John and Gwen stop by today. I had the honor of being a beta reader on this story, and I think you guys are going to like it.

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Craig, for inviting us to join you today. We are super excited to be featured on your blog where some of the most imaginative writing takes place. Also, we are so thrilled to meet Lisa Burton. We’ve wanted to try on The Hat, but we promised to be on our best behavior and besides who knows what could happen if we did. Thanks again.

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

After a few moments of silence, the general got up and walked over to a double set of windows. He pulled on his chin and appeared taken aback by the information. Then he turned to face Brad, crossed his arms, and leaned back on the window.

“Do you know who arrives in four days, Sailor?”

“No, sir.”

“The President of the United States.”

Brad gulped. “Oh, my God. They sent me here because the bomb has something to do with the President?”

“Sailor, when you went on an op, wasn’t every detail orchestrated?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Didn’t you have diversions in place, to sidetrack the guards?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Your SUV is set to explode at zero-ten-hundred hours in four days. The President will address the base at that time in the ball field. The entire Reconnaissance Wing will congregate on that ball field. Do you understand?”

“I do, sir. Equipped with our nation’s most advanced aircraft, the Reconnaissance Wing provides for our national security.”

“Sailor—” The general smiled. “You may have thought you’d have a few days of vacation here, but you’ll work with me now.”

“Yes, sir. Whatever you need, sir.”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s Books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

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Hodgepodge kind of day

Otto decided to get me up at 5:00 this morning. It really wasn’t in my plan, but Momma put some leftover chicken breast in his bowl, and he knew it was there. He held out as long as he could, then needed to get at it.

Across yesterday and today, I got one shtick out the door for an interview, and scheduled one for July. I have another one to schedule, and two more to move ahead in the queue. One of my guests is a planner, and needs a date in August. I went ahead and scheduled that one too. (I love planners. They can make the interview part of a larger tour.)

I managed about 2000 new words of fiction today too. Yesterday was all about cannons, swords, and action. Today was all about coming down from that. The pirate crew is starting to meld together, and it occurred to me that, as a whole, the crew is also a character. A lot of character building happened today. Fart jokes were made too.

I watched a beautiful horse race today, which led to another Triple Crown Winner. These things are rare, and there may have been as many Popes in my lifetime as Triple Crown Winners. (I’m not taking the time to count.) So excited for Justify and his peeps.

Now I’m hoping my baseball team can pad their lead in the west. This is going to be a tough series, and we’re on the road, but stranger things have happened.

I took a minute to catch up on blogs, and stumbled across some exciting news. Karen O, is the first book reviewer I ever met. Years ago, she was taken by Lisa Burton in her debut novel. She asked me if she could use Lisa in a story she was writing.

Lisa was just lounging around, and I hadn’t come up with tasks for Lisa at the time, so I said yes. Karen serialized this story on her blog, and it was a lot of fun. A while back, she asked me if it might be alright to publish it. I said yes, with no reservations, and encouraged her to do it.

Karen is doing a cover reveal today for her story, Neighbors. Lisa has a small co-starring kind of role in the story. Go visit Karen for more information at this site In A Small Compass.

If I do nothing else, it’s been a productive weekend. I plan on addressing those pending interviews, but we’ll see how it goes.

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