Saturday, January 12, 2019

Grumpy Has the Floor

This is a picture blog today.
I go back to work next Tuesday, and the Grumpster just helps me get through it.
Let's see how he reacts to my having to go back to work driving a transit bus...


And really I just hate answering those stupid questions I get like... "when's the # 17 bus going to be here?"


U hv bn warnd

Well? What did you expect? | WANT TO SEE MY FAVORITE STREET SIGN? | image tagged in memes,grumpy cat,funny,street signs,funny street signs,new feature | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

I really don't like working outside the house...

Another life lesson with Grumpy Cat.

#GrumpyCat #INTJ #SpiritAnimal

z funny pictures (3)
The above should say "BUS"

And some think the earth is going to blow up soon...

Less Than a Month to Go

There's a good reason I hate working with others:

Oh grumpy cat #persiancatfacts

Someone asked me about my New Year Resolutions once...
Lol - Tap the link now to see all of our cool cat collections!


Love this cats face

And if you didn't get my Christmas present...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

America's First Serial Killer

Secret passages, sliding walls, trapdoors in the floors, oddly angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, windowless rooms, doors which opened only from the outside...

A fun house?

No. This was no fun house. This was a torture-chamber of horrors in real life, built in Chicago 1893. At this time the World's Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) was held in Chicago, and many people were drawn to the fair. Holmes Castle seemed to be exactly the place to stay. Large, it took up a whole block and was three stories tall. Built by a man by the name of H.H. Holmes.

Sound-proof sleeping chambers with peepholes, asbestos-padded walls, gas pipes leading into some, and sliding walls, or vents that Holmes controlled from some other place in his huge “castle”, which he himself only knew the actual lay out, as he would change builders during the construction.

You would definitely not want to spend a night here. Your sleep would be permanent. After being asphyxiated. Or worse. It was believed that Holmes would place his victims into these special chambers, and then pumped lethal gas into them, controlled from his own bedroom where he would watch what happened.

In some cases he might ignite the gas to incinerate them, or sometimes a stretching rack he had devised.

Holmes had trapdoors in the floors with greased shoots, leading down into a two-level cellar. There he had installed a large furnace. In some cases it is thought that he would take twisted pleasure in dissecting the corpses, strip the flesh from the bones, and sell the skeletons to a medical school. (Later on, it was said that parts of bodies found were so dismembered and decomposed that it was difficult to tell how many bodies there actually were.)

His alias was Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. Aside from being a psychopathic serial killer, he was a swindler. He liked to swindle insurance companies. In many cases having a ready made corpse for the body of someone so as to collect on the insurance. He was also married to two women at the same time in two different states. He also liked to marry rich widows and then get them to leave him their wealth and then kill them.

His undoing was his last swindle. He found a lawyer who would go in on a plan to swindle an insurance company out of $10,000 by taking a policy out on himself, and faking his own death. He promised a man he went in on with $500 commission for the name of the lawyer who he could trust his plan to. The insurance company became suspicious and refused to pay. He decided to try a similar plan with his associate, Benjamin Pitezel. Pitezel had agreed to fake his own death, arranging that his wife would collect. Holmes was to find an appropriate cadaver to play the role of Pitezel. Instead, Holmes killed Pitezel. Evidence in the case against him was that he had administered chloroform to Pitezel after he died, trying—presumably--to fake a suicide.

The only thing that foiled Holmes was that he forgot to pay off a man who helped supply him with the name of the lawyer to help him with this scheme, and he tipped off the police.

As far as “the Castle” Holmes built in Chicago, a custodian for the place informed the police that he was never allowed to clean the upper floors, and so the police began a thorough investigation over the next few months. There are conflicting numbers as to Holmes' victims, but it has been said that anywhere from 20 to 100, and as many as 200, based upon the missing persons reports of the time, and testimony of his neighbors who saw him escorting young women to his hotel. Yep. A real life “Hotel California” where nobody leaves. He apparently liked blondes.

Holmes was convicted of murdering Pitezel and he confessed soon after, to 30 murders in Chicago, Indianapolis and Toronto. Some of these people were actually still alive. Apparently the man was such a good liar, even he couldn't keep track of his lies. At one point he even said he was possessed by Satan. You think?

On May 7, 1897, Holmes was hanged. It's really too bad we can't hang them a second and maybe a third time. However, he didn't die right away. It took him approximately 20 minutes to die.

Saturday, January 5, 2019


My job at Huskie is a little weird in that when NIU is down for a holiday, like Christmas or Easter, very few buses are running. And because I really, really hate the runs they have available, this is the first Christmas break I've had totally off. This means no pay, but my meager SS payments and some savings to get us through.

And so, I've been writing. The third book was finished in less than 40 days, back in November. Of course, it was less than 200 pages, but still I wrote and plotted it along the way. This one was a bit special for my Lainey Quilholt murder mystery series.

So, I went through it a second time to fluff it out, and do a few other things to it, and after that I went to #4 book (which I wrote first, back in the summer), and am working on that presently, and I've almost got that one fixed. This one was difficult to figure out who murdered the victim, and who did what and why and when. It's a who-done-it, whereas the 3rd one is a different LQ in which the murderer is a serial killer, and he is stalking Lainey. It had me watching and reading a lot about serial killers, sociopaths and psychopaths. Oh, and painball guns and home security cameras. Fun stuff.

I'm going to bring you a post which I had done years ago about the first known serial killer in the US. We all know about Jack The Ripper of London. We have our own version and I'll be posting it in a day or so.

Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, December 3, 2018


I've always been a fan of murder mysteries. Anyone who has read any of my vampire novels knows I'll put a mystery or two into the book to give it added interest to the overall plot. 
When I began working on my Lainey Quilholt mysteries, I thought it was time for a little change in my writerly diet. I didn't think I could write just a murder mystery. They seemed so hard. But I began reading a lot of mysteries and got the overall feel of how they should go.

Lainey has graduated from high school, and has already solved two mysteries, and now has to tackle three murders in this next book. Her creative writing teacher, Mr. Tyler, is found hung in an unused basement men's room. And on top of it, his wife has been found shot to death in their own home. It's at first deemed as a murder/suicide, but Lainey doesn't see it that way. She becomes suspicious almost right away of the president of the school, Mr. Cooper Smith. It's when an old friend of hers has died in a suspicious auto accident, and was last seen speaking to Smith, that she becomes convinced this man is dangerous. She also suspects the FBI is there at the school keeping an eye on things. In fact, she's pretty sure the teacher who has been brought in to teach in Mr. Taylor's place is an FBI agent.

Things become intense as she realizes Smith may be on to her finding clues and speaking to people from the office that may tell her something he wouldn't want her to know. She comes under his radar as a person he needs to be rid of in order to get away with everything. 

The ending comes down to perfect aim and excellent timing when Lainey stops another murderer.

Lainey is excited to begin college - until she finds herself in the middle of another murder case.
Only a few days into the first week, Mr. Taylor's body is discovered in a bathroom stall. Within an hour, news arrive that Mr. Taylor's wife has been killed in their home, that very morning.
The deaths are deemed by authorities as murder-suicide, but Lainey finds clues to the contrary.  As she digs deeper into the case, dark secrets surface.
After Lainey receives ominous warnings, it becomes clear that someone really wants this case to stay closed.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Updates on Murder Mysteries

I'm still at work on my third murder mystery, The Serial Killer Beside Me. I'm over 47K words, and on page 122. Still work to do, as I'm heading for the exciting climax of this one.

Meanwhile, cool news: my second book is almost out, but even cooler are the covers of these.

Below is the second book, due out probably this week. I'll post when it is out.

Party To A Murder can be found here
(I could use more reviews!)

If you like small town YA mysteries, this is for you! Join amateur sleuth Lainey Quilholt in her first adventure as an amateur sleuth as she figures out two murders--one an unsolved drowning, another a grisly stabbing of a high school student. With a pinch of romance, and something that won't give you nightmares, this might be the type of book to curl up with before bedtime! Check out the review below!

Review by Eve Gaal:
April 28, 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November is for...

Ah. Yes. Some writers do the NaNoWriMo thing.
I don't need that nudge, thank you. I've never needed it. And it wasn't even in existence when I was writing with a pen or pencil and typing it all out on a typewriter--when I had one--once upon a time.
Now it's the computer and that's a blessing because I no longer have a huge callous on my middle finger at the first knuckle.

Now it's just typing on a keyboard, and nearly half of the letters on the keys are worn away. My computer is 10 years old, going on 11. Happy birthday!
As of this writing, I've gotten my second mystery sent to my publisher. I'm currently waiting on some covers--supposed to be new ones to help boost this, my next new series called
Lainey Quilholt
Lainey is 17 years old as this 1st book opens, and turns 18, then goes on to college in the next book. This mystery series is for young adults, or those who just enjoy a murder mystery. 

The first books is called Party to a Murder.

This is the current cover, I expect it to change in a few weeks.

Lainey, a 17-year-old small town girl, has no idea she's about to be involved in a grisly murder investigation.

After young Arline is murdered, Lainey's suspicions arise. Why does everyone seem to hate this girl? While digging for clues, she discovers that blackmail could be the motive. Trying to understand her friends' hatred for the murdered student, she finds herself in the middle of a second murder cover-up.

Clues lead to several other people, including Lainey's friend Wendy... and the more she wants to prove her innocence, the more it looks as if her friend has done the deed. With Sheriff Weeks's help, Lainey delves into who had most to gain by killing Arline. But can they find the killer before it is too late?

My next offering is called An Invitation to Kill.

When I returned from my hiatus from writing this summer, I began writing what I thought would be the next book, Until We Murder Again, but it takes place in the winter, and I felt I needed a book that takes place in the Fall. Something around Halloween. And in the back of my head I really wanted to tackle something serious, and more scary, like a serial killer. Something like this in the small (made-up) town of Montclair, Iowa, would have everyone worried, and Lainey, especially when she finds victim #3 in the woods behind her small college.

The ideas came and I went with it. Then the first paragraph came into my head and the next and the next and before I knew it, I was writing it.

This one, the third book, will be called The Serial Killer Beside Me.
(I just couldn't resist this title!)

Not wanting to get ahead of myself, I'll end this here. My next book should be out soon, and I'll be posting it. I just wanted to wet everyone's appetite for this next mystery, or my mysteries in general.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Opening Sentences

Some say the opening sentence in a book should be the hook that keeps the reader reading.
Earlier this week I was given a chance to send my opening sentence of Ascension to the Book Life Editor, and did so. This is apparently a little contest they have on a monthly bases. I don't expect to win.

However, I thought this was a pretty good idea for a blog post and thought I would plop the opening sentences of each of my novels down here. Not just from Sabrina Strong series, but my other books as well. So, here goes. Let me know if you feel any one of them urges you to find the book at Amazon, and at least read on.

The full moon poured silvery light down around me as I arrived about eight minutes late for my job interview with a vampire.

Cold, hard ground beneath me--it was as though every bone in me had been broken.

A sudden hot flash blazed through me

"You're cooking the gravy too hard!" Grandma Rose grumbled, peering over Constance's shoulder.

The man with shoulder-length dark blond hair and edgy smile sat motionless in the shadows, in a wooden bar chair, waiting.

He wiped the blood from his mouth.

"Mistress Zofia!" The peevish voice jolted Zofia out of the dream she was having.

His lips moved against her ear, sending shivers of pleasure down her spine

"I can't do this!" Margo said, her voice shaking, on the verge of tears.

Grumpy Has the Floor

This is a picture blog today. I go back to work next Tuesday, and the Grumpster just helps me get through it. Let's see how he reac...