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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

JB Fletcher, Mystery Writer, Solving the mystery of what Lorelei is up to

Hello, you know me as the mystery writer, Jessica Fletcher. I've dropped in on Lorelei's blog here to help solve a mystery.


Oh, my no. There's been no murder, but if there were, you know I'd solve it in a jiffy.

I'm here on behalf of my very good friend, Lorelei to help solve the mystery of what's going on around here. Oh, I know our genres are so completely different, but that makes no difference where friendship matters. And, while I am busy working on my next novel, Lorelei has been, well, on hiatus, as of late. But she's been busy looking into another--dare I spill the beans?

Yes, I dare.

Lorelei has signed on with another publisher. As you know, she had to suddenly go Indie because of that bonehead--uh, well, let's just say her last publisher up and left her and she had to pick up where he left off. She wasn't really happy with the way things went on her last book, as most of you know. What a mess that was. (chuckles)

Doing this work on her own was not turning out very well at all. She found it hard to get covers done, do the edits herself, and so forth.

So, another friend of hers told her about Creativia. She checked them out, and found that it was exactly what she was looking for. Today, she gave the go ahead on a simple contract with her first book in series, "Vampire Ascending".

From what I understand is there will be a new cover, and eventually, they will do the entire series, and then some. I think that's exciting news, don't you? Especially since she's been so very frustrated as of late. Oh, of course, none of you could have seen it, but I did. I keep in touch with her, after all.

Now, I must return to my writing. Hmmm, where did I put that hammer... or was it the screwdriver that I was thinking of using... Well, a murder has been committed, I don't want you all to think I've gone off a twist or something. Just trying to figure it all out, you know.

Ta ta for now,
Jessica Fletcher

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mission: The Lady

About 45 minutes ago, I arrived in the middle of nowhere... somewhere in Kansas. I swear, I can't see why people live here, but that's just me. My name is Dan. That's all you need to know for now. I've steel blue eyes that put people off. Women think I look like someone who wouldn't think twice about taking them into a back alley somewhere and do something untoward to them. But I'm not really that type. Men think I'm that type too, and that I'm dangerous. They've no idea how dangerous. After three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to do something different. Besides, it's a bitch being a werewolf and trying to hide it during the full of the moon. Sure, it helped me in certain skirmishes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but really, it was almost unfair.

So, here I am. I arrived in this Hummer in a place that is about as desolate as some of the places I've been to half a world away.
I've just had an interview with three guys before I was sent down. They were also werewolves. I've never met them before. We've been hired by the same people. Um, at least that's all they know about me. Vampires usually like to hire us for muscle, and because we're so loyal to our jobs.

Okay, I'm chuckling to myself. See, I'm a mole. I've already been hired by Mr. T--uh, that's Mr. Tremayne. Actually through a third party, but makes no difference. My job is to somehow thwart whatever they've got planned for the little lady who is to arrive here tonight. The man I'm about to meet, Mr. Paduraru, is double crossing Mr. T. This is what I've been briefed by another of Mr. T's men who originally brought me in. I got put on the list as the "door man". Tough job, guarding a door, but you'd be surprised.

So, I'm here at this old Atlas F Missile site, which means a lot of stairs. See what I mean?
I'm told to take these stairs down to the first level. Looks like the contractor did a bang up job turning this place into a condo. I mean, who would have thought of making a condo out of an old, underground missile site? Of course, it would take someone like Mr. T with a lot of dough to afford this.

The stairway ends at a set of 6,000-pound blast doors. These were designed to keep occupants safe during a nuclear attack. The doors curve inward to offset the vacuum effect of a blast... at least that's the thought behind it.

Hard to believe these doors are still functional, considering that a number of blast doors from other sites have since buckled under their own weight. As large as these suckers are, it only takes a gentle shove to push them open.

Well, here I am. I'm taken inside one of the apartments. I'm to be given my "orders" from a man called Paduraru. He's the one, I've been told, is playing double cross on his boss, Mr. T.

Vampires. Really. I can take them and I can leave them, but Mr. T is signing my check for this job, as far as I'm concerned. And his bank roll exceeds Paduraru's considerably.

When I was briefed about this position, I was told the woman I'm to help protect is "special". I'm not certain in what way, but she's highly regarded in the vampire circles. Her name's Sabrina Strong. When I dug a little more, I found out that a lot of Supes were both intrigued by her apparent abilities, and in awe of her.

But, like I said, I'm paid the big bucks to do my job, and I'll do it to the best of my ability. I'm to ignore much of what Mr. Paduraru tells me to do. Especially if it's to harm Ms. Strong in any way.

I'm standing in a main room of the condo. I'm not certain where Mr. T. is, but he's somewhere in this silo/condo. I was also briefed that Mr. T. is dying of silver poisoning. If this Strong woman doesn't get to the proper place in this huge facility, he will most definitely die. So, I'm all for getting the little Lady to where she needs to go.
Finally, a dark-haired man, about 5'10" enters the room. I know right away he's a vampire. He greets me, and identifies himself as Nicolas Paduraru. He's your typical vampire, with the look of a predator and too much arrogance and confidence for my taste.

He explains my job is to stand outside the first door and greet Ms. Strong, and ring him when she gets here. Fine. A boring job, but hey, twenty-five thousand from Mr. T, and another ten grand from Mr. Paduraru, here. That's the beauty of being a double agent. If you survive, you get paid double. Uh, if you can get paid up-front, at least half (which I did), you come out alive and smiling from ear to ear all the way to the bank. 'Course, I've got some debts to pay, so I'm not going to be rich afterwards by no means.

Paduraru explains in his suave, thick accent--I've pegged him as a several hundred years old from some western European country, like Romania--tells me that under no circumstances is Sabrina to get beyond the third door. That's the other door heading another direction from the one I came through to enter this condo.

Really.

I, of course, assure him I won't let her get past me to go beyond this condo. I've got five hours before she is due to figure out how I'm to bushwhack this bastard, and not set off any alarms to the goons above. Those three looked like something they pulled out of a hole in New York City. The worst kind of werewolves are from New York, but then, the ones from Louisiana have a few quirks  in their personalities that you just don't want to experience, if you get my drift. That's where someone like me can, and will, take them out.

Paduraru takes me on a tour of the place. Shows me the water closet, in case I have need.


Swanky, no?
And this is the door I'm to guard.
Well, I've got a few hours to figure out a plan. The men up top searched me, so, I've been relieved of any and all of my weapons. So, that means it will be my bruit strength, and werewolf senses to get the job done.

I wonder what Ms. Strong looks like. From what I learned, she's quite fetching.


Coming soon....

Thursday, January 1, 2015

So, we put up a new calendar? Big Deal... My Skewed View Year In Review

Is it me, or why is it that when you get older the holidays and a new year come around too damned fast?
If it does for you, let me know I'm not going crazy. (Well, that could be debated, really.)

Two end of year posts I want to recommend here are Speak of the Devil, and The Three Rs. William Kendall and Norma Beishir both have some good points to make. I agree with Norma on all points in this post of hers of top ten rants of the last year. She didn't have a 10th one. I can think of a few myself, but the public toilet thing really is an eye-roller. I happen to drive a bus, and have to use public toilets. Finding that people have not only NOT flushed their mess, once someone had peed everywhere and all they did was put toilet paper across the seat. REALLY? Were you, or your parents born in a barn?

About the ads on TV.

Okay, this is the thing. Remember when ads on TV were mostly about dish detergents, toilet paper, shampoo, and soft drinks? What are they now? Car dealers, expensive drugs (that have bad, dangerous side affects), and lawyers who want to sue them for you when you've gotten bad results. I don't know about you, but none of those drugs will be taken by me. The old saying the cure might kill you is apt here. They say "Ask your doctor." Ask your doctor what? If you'd be better off without the drug because what ever your ailment, it isn't making you bleed internally, or making your tongue swell, or giving you suicidal thoughts?

Another are TV and Internet ads. First let's think about FREE TV. Remember when you just had an antenna or "rabbit ears"? Well, thank goodness someone somewhere made it illegal for the government to take away all free TV from us. We, my husband and I, use "rabbit ears". I'm not going to pay for channels I don't want to watch, or on which there isn't anything I'd watch. (Really, there are no shows, let alone 4 that I would want to re-wind and play back. I don't have time for it, for one thing.) For about $20 you can get "rabbit ears" connect to your adapter (whatever it's called that the government gave us for when this whole thing went digital), and watch TV without paying anyone. I don't think a lot of people know this. I guess, though it's all about what you want to watch.

The Baby Boomer Generation: described as the "postwar craze for making babies from 1946 to 1964
AARP calls the first ten years "The Hippie Vanguard" (1946-1950). The second was  "Watergate Kids" (1951 - 1955),  but I'd rather refer to myself as the "Beatles Era"--much happier memory) (Oh, and Bewitched, and a few other shows that didn't need sex to be popular). The third is called "Dazed and Confuse" (1956-1960). My husband is in this category. The "Last Boomers" are from 1961-9164-the "yuppies".

I'm in the second decade . We Boomers are considered "iconic", the article says. Whatever. I don't always follow the crowd. I remember being at a party when I was--I don't know, maybe 19--when someone offered me a joint. "Ah, no thanks. Gee, look at the time! I've gotta get home." And I left.

Yeah. I don't like being thrown into the group known as those who "experimented" with drugs, because I didn't. I said "no" to drugs. My sister, however, who belonged to the first group (Hippy), didn't say "no". She now has various health issues.

In the old days...
I must say, things were more simple back then. I'm not going to say that everything was hunky-dory by any means, but we didn't have people going into classrooms and shooting everyone they hated. There was no "cyber bullying", or people stealing your personal information off the Internet (the reason why I don't buy anything via the Internet. Sorry, that includes books.)

Getting Better and enjoying my age
I'm not sure when I quit being naive. Maybe when I turned 40? I quit apologizing (about who or what I am) by age 50. At 60, I'm just going for broke. Someone doesn't like me, or what I do/write, eff em. I'm sick of pleasing people.

Writing, or hell with it and doing something else

I've posted before about struggling as a writer trying to bust through to publish. I finally got a publisher (itty-bitty, side-business), and it ended quickly. I went back to being "indie" Still don't make any money. Well, the up side of it I don't have to pay any taxes on that once-a-year check from Amazon.

And in the past year I've taken up crocheting, and toyed with the idea of going back into crafts--making a little money from it again. It basically pays for the materials, and I don't really make enough to pay any bills, but the fun is in the making, being creative, not the money.

Stuff
I've been working on getting #5 book in series done. But yesterday, I just sat and watched TV with my husband. We've been off for a 2-week hiatus from (transit) bus driving. I've really enjoyed just doing what I wanted all day long, and not worrying about going anywhere, being with people--ugh! I keep on thinking of the dream-day of retirement. I don't know when that will be, since we aren't making much money at what we're doing (the company who owns us at Huskie, are your typical billionaires who won't give us a decent wage. And they think by changing their name from "Veolia" to "Transdev" will, I don't know, hide all their badness. Yeah. I make a little over $11.00/hour. They are dragging their feet with working on our next contract (we turned down the first one). Once they do, and we vote on it--or turn it down again--they'll owe us back pay, but they don't want to give us more than a measly 3% raise. You begin thinking they must think a monkey can drive these things safely AND be pleasant when someone calls you a bitch for not stopping at a non-stop in the route. Transit drivers in Chicago make $35/hour. DeKalb may not be Chicago, but we have to deal with Chicago people who have attitude, and think they can dictate to us how we are to do our route. (Not that the supervisor disagrees with us, it's just that you have to deal with it all day long.) Oh, the day I can walk away from this job--I'll do it in a heartbeat, if only I could.

Today, I thought I'd write this. It takes me a couple of hours to get it written. A lot of others put up a post with fast internet. Don't got that. So, it takes me a while. It also takes forever to get certain other posts in. I might get a portion of one that has a lot of photos in. But I try to get to my favorites, when I have time, but I can only do this once a week.

I think that about covers most everything I have to say, today.

When I get ready to get the next book out, I'll be back. Or before, if I have something to say.
Have a good New Year.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Of Wizards, Murder Mavens, and Gargoyles

Hi. My name? Homer J Goyle. Yeah, I look gruesome now, you should have seen me when I was headless.
I was called "The Headless One" by many a students here on the grounds of NIU. I was never so happy to get my new head back on my shoulders, now I can check on the women--uh, er, I mean I can guard the grounds near the old castle.
Okay, right. I was supposed to do this post for Lorelei. Color me forgetful. I'm a gargoyle after all. Got stone for head. Get it? He he.
Well... where was I?
Oh, right, right.
The post.
Today's post is updates. Well, Lorelei is busy. Has a few more long days of driving a Huskie Bus around town, trying to avoid hectic holiday traffic and all. I wouldn't know about that. I'm sitting in a courtyard. I see some vehicles pass, and people stop and take pictures of me. One guy took many, many, many of me. In fact he came on a couple of occasions and that's one of the pictures above. Lorelei was able to cajole him into taking a few picks of me. What can I say? I'm handsome, right?

Er, back to the main post.
Uh, oh. I'm to mention Lorelei is a writer, but I understand, plus she makes things with her hands. Mostly afghans, but other things like hand warmers and cowls. Hmmm. Don't know what those things are, but whatever.
She's also working on other things to take to local craft shops soon. As soon as she can get off the frigging bus--her words, not mine.
And after the holidays. She says she and husband are going to have a quiet Christmas Eve watching "It's A Wonderful Life" and something traditional, like ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans and a holiday meatball thing she says is easy to make and requires some strange ingredients like grape jelly and chili sauce. (If I could, I'd be shrugging, since I don't eat, I don't know what sort of strange things people eat)

Ah, and she tells me that her local bookstore--the only one left standing--is closing at end of the month, and she hopes to find a few books, or whatever, left to buy. 
Currently she's into murder mysteries, and something called The Dresden Files. Oh, wait. I've got a picture here... Oh! here it is.
Yep. She told me she picked this hardback up just the other day for only $5.99 at her local grocery store. I don't know. Is that a good thing? I haven't a clue. Now, I don't read, mind, but the whole thing is sort of, well, up my alley, so to speak. Dresden is a wizard PI, from Chicago. She tells me that there was something about the guy in a fedora that caught her eye. Then, she said she'd read his very first book (Jim Butcher), and thought it was okay, and wanted to read another, but she just hadn't been able to do that. Other things on her plate--so she says. But she likes to read a male point of view in the fantasy realm. She's begun this latest adventure, but she's way behind. I mean like more than a dozen were written before this. Oh, well, I guess she'll just have to catch herself up.

That was one of the books she's read. Here is the other one, which she's finished, and wants more of:
She says she used to watch the show, and loved it. Now, she can't get enough of these mysteries and hopes to snag a few soon.
And, when she can, she'll be posting herself. I hope so. This is murder on my stone fingers!
Oh, and if you're out here during the night, watch out for things that move around unseen. Well, I see them, of course. Duh!
I've gotta go back to my uh-er duties now. It was nice visiting with you folks!