Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween, Killer Friends! 

Time to talk about something near to our suspense writing hearts:

What scares the bejeezus out of you?

Ghoulies?  Ghosties?  Long-leggedy beasties?  Psychotic men in hockey masks?

What goes bump in the night for you?  What set your heart racing?  What makes you want to curl up under the bed in hopes that it will never ever find you?

Come on.  You don't have to be afraid... much.

B.E.:  Okay, no laughing... I'm afraid of moths.  Butterflies?  I'm totally cool with those, but get a moth anywhere near me and... :shudder:  It's just that they're all hairy with those big eyes...

I'm also terrified of suffocation.  I can be in a small room, just as long as nothing is covering my face.  Once, I had to get an MRI, and beforehand one of my acquaintances likened the experience to being buried alive.  She suggested I put a towel over my face... Oh gods no.  I can't even sleep with the covers up past my chin. The thought of a towel over my mouth was worse than the thought of being slowly pulled into that machine.  (Which was kinda cool despite what she said.)

JB: Cockroaches (it's got to be a scuttling thing) and spiders. Heights (it doesn't have to be "high" just off the ground -- stepladders make me quake, flights of stairs make me want to hurl). IT by Stephen King.

Your turn.  Tell us what scary thing is most likely to send you running.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Creating Problems

There's lots of things I suck at, but one thing I'm pretty good at, is creating problems.

I bet you're thinking that's nothing to be proud of.

And you're right...for a "normal" person. Normal people would say they're good at solving problems.

But I'm not "normal". I'm a writer.

And as a writer, creating problems for my characters to overcome IS something to be proud of. 

Let me explain:

Maggie Lee, the heroine in my Neurotic Hitwoman series, faces A LOT of problems in the first book CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN

Her niece is in a coma, her sister has died, her aunts are driving her crazy, she hates her job, her friend thinks she's a psychic, her father is in prison, her mother is in the nuthouse, a mobster wants her to kill someone, her murder-mentor is a sexy cop who may have to kill her, she's blackmailed by another hired killer, and oh yeah, she can suddenly talk to her niece's lizard.

Is it any wonder she's neurotic?

Problems are the lifeblood of all novels, no matter the genre. Here's the blurb for the first book my pal Clarice Wynter's Spring Valley series.

Harper Shaw is certain she’ll never live down her reputation as the jilted bride after her fiancĂ© bails on the wedding and decides to go on the honeymoon by himself. 

Grant Addison’s career depends on saving the failing catering hall where Harper’s wedding was supposed to be held. He can’t return her deposit money to her, but his business proposal could help them both stay out of the red. 

Their unlikely partnership heats up the cold winter nights in Spring River Valley, and leads them to discover January just might be hottest month of the year.

Here's the blurb for Deadly Pursuit by my pal Misty Evans. Check out these problems!

Her sting operation put a ruthless criminal in prison.
One year ago, rookie FBI agent Celina Davenport pulled off the ultimate undercover operation…she seduced Emilio Londano – the dangerous leader of the San Diego Mafia – and destroyed his illegal empire.
Now he’s escaped and looking for revenge.
When Londano escapes a maximum security prison and begins picking off Celina’s friends and coworkers, everyone she knows becomes a target. Including DEA agent Cooper Harris, the man who once broke her heart and is now assigned to be her bodyguard.
How far will they go to stop him?
Cooper and Celina must risk their careers – and their hearts –to turn the table on their pursuer. But will their past, with its forbidden passions and impulsive choices, put them directly in his crosshairs?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Teaser from a Work in Progress

Here’s an excerpt from a book I’ve been working on for quite a while. I still haven’t hit the point where I think it’s good enough to send to my agent yet, but I’m making progress on it.  (And no, it hasn’t been edited yet.)

WARNING: If you’re accustomed to my Neurotic Hitwoman series, you may find this uncomfortably dark.

“He’s out.”
            Walter Grayson didn’t need to say more than those two words to turn Connie Kennedy’s day inside-out.  Icy fear settled between her shoulder blades, tightening her chest, constricting her breath. Her stomach flip-flopped treacherously, and she was suddenly, sickeningly, light-headed.
            He’s out.
            Ivan Vogler.
            The man who had brutally raped and killed Iris. The man Connie had helped send to prison. He was supposed to be away for life, locked up so that he could never hurt anyone ever again.
            Now Walter Grayson, the District Attorney who had prosecuted Vogler, was calling to tell her that somehow, some way, the monster had gotten loose.
            A moment ago Connie, on this, the first day of her “vacation”, had been enjoying the warmth of the morning sun as she pruned the potted rose bush blooming on her apartment’s terrace. Now a shadow had passed over her day, and a chill had seeped into her bones. A moment ago she’d been sniffing the sweet scent of the roses. Now the scent of spilt blood seemed to hang in the air.
            She forced herself to take a shaky breath, but the images still rushed at her all at once.
            The blood. So much blood.
            The naked, mutilated body of her young cousin.
            Iris’s dead eyes staring sightlessly up at her.
            Connie’s whole body began to tremble as the memories buffeted her mercilessly.   The accusation in her aunt’s eyes when she’d gone to tell her Iris was gone, murdered.
            The disappointment in her uncle’s gaze when he found out she didn’t kill Vogler, and avenge Iris, when she’d had the chance.
            Vogler, promising that Connie would get her turn.
            “Did you hear me? Vogler’s out.” The tension in D.A. Grayson’s voice was unmistakable.
            “How?” Connie was surprised she was able to sound calm.
            “He was being transported from the prison to a local hospital.” Grayson did not sound calm. He sounded angry, on the verge of losing control. Connie had heard Walter Grayson speak about Ivan Volger with revulsion, but his demeanor, while intense, had always seemed to be consistently measured. “He killed two guards.”
            His voice wavered, and it occurred to Connie that Grayson’s anger might be a mask for his true emotion: fear.  After all, Vogler had sworn in open court to kill everyone who helped send him to prison. If he was out, he might be very well looking to follow through with that plan.
            “You need to be careful,” Grayson warned. “Anyone else would lay low, try to get the hell out of Dodge, but Vogler…”
            “I understand.” Tightening her grip on the pruning shears, the closest thing she had to use as a weapon, she looked around. Kids were playing in the courtyard while their mothers gossiped on a nearby porch. A UPS delivery guy in brown shorts had just left a package on a doorstep and was returning to his truck. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in her apartment complex. Everything seemed normal. She found no comfort in that. Didn’t everyone know that the bottom of the world had just fallen out?
            “He’s got no money. No I.D. He won’t get far. They’ll catch him in no time.”
            Not in the habit of giving weight to empty promises, she wasn’t reassured. Catching Vogler hadn’t been easy the first time, why the hell would anyone think it would be simple this time? There was no way his escape was random. A man like Ivan Vogler didn’t wait for a coincidence to get him what he wanted. He made a plan and he followed through. He was out because he’d planned to escape.
            Her heart skipped a beat and the pruning shears almost slipped out of her suddenly numb hands. Deep in her gut she knew that she was a part of that plan.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Genre Jumper

I don't know about all y'all, but I do love to read across the spectrum of genres.  Just in the past month I've read: Fantasy, Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Political Thriller, YA Dystopian, YA Steampunk/Fantasy, Zombie Apocalypse, Mystery, and SF.  I also tend to read a lot of Urban Fantasy (just not this past month), throw in some erotic romance, action/adventure, middle grade, literary, women's fiction... and my 2013 has been fairly-well rounded out. Hell, I'll even stray in nonfiction from time to time.  (And yes, I do read product labels if I'm stuck somewhere without a book and need to kill time.)

Let's just say if I'm reading I'm a happy camper.

What about you?  Do you stick with one genre primarily?  What makes you read outside your chosem genre?  Or are you a genre jumper like me?  Are there any genres you won't read*?

* For me, I tend to stay away from graphic novels, most horror**, and much of the self-help genre.

** Okay, sometimes I can't help myself.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Frankenstein Friday

Tomorrow is Frankenstein Friday.  As we all know, Frankenstein created a whole new person - a monster if you will.  Obviously we can't actually create people out of the parts of other people, but we can create characters - either from bits of people we know or out of thin air.  So today, we get to talk about our own mad scientist tendencies...

Tell us about someone you've created - whether you're a writer or not.

B.E.:  Of all the characters I've pulled out of my subconscious, my favorite is probably still from my first book. He's the heroine's boss: Tom Sheldon.  Even though he's just a secondary character, there's just something about him that calls to me.  And of course, the one actual human being I created (pretty much by myself - except for that tiny bit of paternal DNA) is always a favorite.  I built the Kid out of bits of me, but she's becoming her own person.  =o)

JB:  I love creating characters because I can use some aspects of someone I know, or have the character address a flaw I'm trying to understand, or just make someone over the top.

Godzilla (though he prefers to be called God for short) from my Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series is one of my favorite creations. He says the things I'd only dare think.

Your turn.  Talk about someone you've created, and if you haven't created a character, talk about a favorite character you've read that someone else created. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's the "weirdest" book on your shelf?

This week I pulled out my copy of LADY COTTINGTON'S PRESSED FAIRY BOOK and shared it with someone.

She was not amused or enthralled or delighted.  I was shocked. After all, if I love it, why wouldn't the rest of the world?

The book is the diary of poor Lady Cottington and it contains...well...let's just say that instead of pressed flowers, Lady C. pressed fairies.

I'm not going to give the story away, but here are a few of the fairies. (Be warned: These aren't for the faint of heart!)

Tell me Killer Friends: What's the "weirdest" book on your shelf?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random Fandom on a Tuesday

Because I was all wrapped up in my own junk this past week, I didn't get a chance to ask anyone else to let me post a teaser today.  And my own work... well, being unpublished makes me feel bad about posting teasers sometimes. 

Anyway, I thought I'd take today to do a little random fandom.  Problem is, I've already talked about a lot of the people I most want to chat up - so I'll just be totally random today.

First off, Jennifer Lyon has finally published the last book in her Plus One Chronicles - Obsession.  I am totally fangirl about this series anyway, but that last book knocked my socks off.  Jen wrapped the series up so well that she blew me away.  I'm sad there won't be any more books for Kat and Sloan, but I can live with it because their story ends so nicely.

Secondly, I'm freaking out waiting for the release of Mira Grant's new book: Parasite.  If this book is half as awesome as her Newsflesh series, I will be totally happy.  Anyway, here's the blurb I stole from Amazon:

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.


Third, and probably the biggest reason I'm kicking myself over my lack of fundage is that Larry Correia has had the third book of his Grimnoire Chronicles - Warbound - out since July and I haven't gotten it yet.  This is, in fact, killing me.  But it's like $10 for the Kindle edition and I can't make myself part with that right now.  I heart this series so much.  "Gritty urban fantasy adventure set in an alternate noir 1930s..."  Seriously cool stuff, folks.

Maybe I'll save my pennies and treat myself to Warbound when Parasite comes out.  Get them both and totally geek out for a few days.  =o)

Okay, that's my fandom for today.  Anyone you can't wait to read? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Antifreeze Poisoning

I may have said before how much I watch those true murder mystery shows.  Well, the Hubs and I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of people offing their victims (usually spouses) by adding antifreeze to their diet somehow. 

It seems like a pretty easy thing to do.  After all, antifreeze blends pretty well with other liquids.  Its smell, taste and color can be masked.  Good lord, it looks like original-flavored, name-brand sports drink for petesakes.  Plus, it's sweet.  (Who's bright idea was that?)

This one guy gave it to his wife using the standard flavor.  "Here, hon, I brought you a glass of your favorite sports drink."  And when she got sick, he gave her more.  "Gotta replenish those electrolytes."  He only gave her a little at a time, so she took a while to die.

One gal went a different way and gave her husband his dose using his favorite peach tea.  She put it in his thermos and sent him off to work with it.  This chick gave him a bunch and killed him quicker.

Either way, it's a horrible way to die.  And what kills me is that the hospitals these poor people were taken to - sometimes against the wishes of the perpetrator and sometimes by the perpetrator - never got it.  Or they got it too late - like autopsy late.

I don't know if we could get away with killing off our characters this way.  The standard reader would look at that and go 'no way'.  It's not believable that someone wouldn't notice this somewhere along the way before the victim expired.  But fact is stranger than fiction.

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense/" - Tom Clancy

And antifreeze poisoning often doesn't make sense.  One would think people would be aware of the effects of antifreeze by now.  Not just the medical professionals either.  The victims should.  It's been in the news enough.  It's been on these true crime mysteries. 

For us, it's gotten to the point where as soon as we hear about a loved one getting sick mysteriously on one of these shows, we look at each other and say 'antifreeze'.  Nine times out of ten we're right and the other 10% it's some other poison.  Although with other poisons, the time between dosage and death is way shorter than with antifreeze.  Like I said - horrible way to die.

Of course, the Hubs and I joke about it.  I hand him a glass of Mountain Dew - our drink of choice - during one of these shows and say in an exaggerated tone "Here's some Mountain Dew for you, sweetheart."  Because we're warped. 

What do you think?  Is this a viable plot for a book or if you were reading a fictional story about an antifreeze murder would you throw it against a wall as unbelievable?

I don't know about you, but the thought of it makes me really leery of accepting beverages from someone I don't 100% trust.  ;o)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fabulous Photo Friday

Back in 2006, my hard drive crashed and I lost several year's worth of photos that I hadn't backed up - including a trip I took to Yellowstone back in 2003.  Or I thought I'd lost the Yellowstone pics.  Before I moved this year, I went through all my old backup disks - paring down for the trip.  On one of those were my lost Yellowstone pictures!  Yay!  I hadn't seen them in almost 7 years, but they sure did bring back memories.

Pretty amazing, eh?

Oh, and that's my Kid at the tender age of 10 in front of Old Faithful.  =o)

Ever been to Yellowstone?  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Pizza Month

Who doesn't love pizza?  I guess pretty much everybody loves pizza because someone gave it a National Month.  Of course, while everybody loves pizza in general, what to put on your pizza can turn into a heated debate.  What do you put on your pizza?  And what are some things you absolutely cannot tolerate on yours?

B.E.:  I'd eat pizza every day if I could get away with it.  My favorite right now is Bacon Cheeseburger pizza from Jack's.  (Yes, I love cheap frozen pizza.)  I also like to buy a frozen pepperoni pizza and doctor it up with ham, olives - green and black, mushrooms, real bacon pieces, chicken... whatever I have available.  Best pizza ever, though, is my own homemade - but who has time for that these days? I love sausage, green peppers and onions but I regret eating that for days afterwards.  And I cannot tolerate anchovies.  Fish? On pizza?  Eww.

JB: White pizza with spinach and/or broccoli is my fave. I'm not a fan of fruit or fish on pizza.

Time to lay your pepperonis on the table, Killer Friends.  What about you?  Pizza: love it, hate it, or could live without it?  What's your favorite slice? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Things I Still Love About the First Book

I'm working on Book 6 in my Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series and I'm still having fun with it. I'm guessing that part of that has to do with how much I still love the first book, so I made up a list of things I love about it.

1) I LOVE Godzilla (he prefers God for short). He's my inner snark demon set loose on the world...even if he is only a talking lizard.

2) I love Maggie Lee. Sure she's got her issues and is from a pretty messed up family, but she's funny, brave and loyal when the shit hits the fan.

3) I love the witches. (Also known as Maggie's three aunts.) They've got such different ( and weird) personalities.

4) I love Armani Vasquez. Who hasn't had a semi-psychic work friend who who alternately drives us crazy, but has our backs?

5) I love Patrick Mulligan. Seriously, I'm past being infatuated with the cop/hitwoman. He's more than swoon-worthy. I'm obsessed with him.

Tell me Killer Friends: If you've read any of the books in the series, who/what do you love? And who do you love in books/series by other authors?

Speaking of series, I'm over at Girl Who Reads talking about the possibility of my books becoming a tv series...I guess that means I'm not the only one who loves them.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

There was a dead guy checking out my ass -- Teaser Tuesday

I thought it would be fun to share the opening of NEARLY DEPARTED: A Spring Cleaning Mystery which will be out in December. It's unedited and the final version may change a bit, but here's the first of Victoria Spring's adventures.

A dead guy was checking out my ass.
Not that there was much to see. While a disposable biohazard suit protects against blood-borne pathogens, it’s not exactly the most flattering of fashions.
I turned around and glared at the dead guy through my protective goggles. “Didn’t your mother ever teach you that it’s not polite to stare?” My indignation was muffled by the respirator mask covering my mouth and nose.
Ever since I’d met my first one in a burning meth house, two and a half years earlier, encountering ghosts had become fairly common place.  Most of the time I met them while working a job since they were connected to the place they died. The easy fix would have been to get into another line of work, but right after the meth house incident, my brother Jerry’s National Guard reserve unit had been called up to active duty and off he’d gone to serve his country while I’d been left to serve the needs of Spring Cleaning.
I no longer freaked out when I saw a ghost. They’re really more of a nuisance than anything, despite what books and movies would have us believe. In close to three years, I’d never had reason to fear one. They weren’t malevolent spirits out to do me harm, they were just pathetic souls, stuck looking through a window at a world they could never be a part of again.
Nearly naked Myron Blotto, all three hundred hairy pounds of him, leered at me from where he hovered in the middle of the room.  Thankfully he’d died wearing red silk boxer shorts, so at least I was spared the trauma of witnessing him in all his nude glory. In this job it’s the little things that count.
“I don’t get paid enough for this,” I muttered, turning my attention back to cutting up the butt-ugly carpet of the cheap motel room that had absorbed some of the fluids from Myron’s decomposing body. Crime scene clean up actually pays pretty well considering you don’t need a college degree or the most sterling job history to get the gig, but my paycheck doesn’t compensate me for dealing with lecherous ghosts.
“How’d a nice girl like you end up with a job like this?” Myron asked.
I jabbed at the carpet with my blade a little harder. One of the reasons I’d agreed to take this job when Jerry offered it was that I thought I’d be spared having to make inane small talk with strangers. That was back when I didn’t believe in ghosts, back before I could see and talk to them.
Myron had been talking to me for over three hours now.  I was tired and sweaty, and not in the mood to chat. “Really? You’re going to trot out the nice girl line? Is that what you used on the hooker? Maybe that’s why she left you to rot after you croaked.”
His body hadn’t been discovered for almost a week, which was why the floor covering had to be trashed.
“You don’t have to be so mean.” The big guy actually sounded hurt.
My back and conscience twinged as I ripped up the piece of rug I’d carved out. I tossed it in a plastic biohazard bin before turning back to Myron. He was no longer leering, now he looked to be on the verge of tears. I felt kind of sorry for him. According to Ned, the motel manager, and one of my regular customers, Myron had rented this hellhole by the month. The guy obviously hadn’t had an easy life.
“Look,” I told him more gently. “There’s nothing here for you. You have to move on.”
“Move on?” Myron asked plaintively.
“Do you see a bright light?”
He shook his head.
I sighed. They never did. That would be too easy. To be honest, I didn’t even know whether the stupid bright light thing was even real, but at heart, I’m a pretty lazy person and that light, if it does exist, seemed like the easiest way to rid myself of ghosts, so I always ask.
“Something is keeping you here. If we can figure out what your unfinished business is, we can get you out of my hair…uh…I mean… help you move on.”
Myron squinted at me dubiously. “Unfinished business?”
I turned back to the floor where Myron’s body had been discovered. “Yeah. Unfinished business. Maybe it’s some message you want to get to somebody. Or some task you need completed.”
“I would have liked what I paid Cherry for.”
Grabbing my blade, I began gouging out the carpet pad. “Assuming that Cherry is the hooker, I’m gonna make a wild guess and say that is not what’s keeping you here. Usually it’s something important.”
“It was important to me,” Myron groused.
            “You hired a hooker, had a heart attack and died in this crappy motel room, Myron. Surely there was something in more important than Cherry’s job skills.”
            “Well there was one thing,” he said slowly.
            I put down my blade and peered at him through my plastic goggles. “What?”
            “It’s going to sound stupid.”
            “Stupider than being tethered to this world just because your favorite prostitute didn’t deliver your happy ending?”
            He considered that for a moment, scratching his hairy belly like it was a good luck Buddha. “I forgot to mail a letter.”
            “A letter?”
            He nodded somberly, his fleshy jowls jiggling like gelatin.
            “What’s so important about this letter?”
            The ridiculously upbeat notes of  Living La Vida Loca suddenly echoed in the room.
            “Oh crap! The birthday party!” My cell phone only plays that song when one person calls, and the only reason my mother would be calling, would be to remind me of the birthday party. I made no move to answer the phone. If I did, I’d have to tell her where I was. She wouldn’t have been pleased. “I’ve got to go,” I told Myron, snapping the lid of the biohazard bin shut. “I’ll come back tomorrow and you can tell me all about this letter of yours.”
            “You’ve hung out here for a week, and you’re already dead, so one more night won’t kill you.”
            I stumbled out of the room and almost collided with a woman pushing a cleaning cart. “Sorry.”
            Abandoning the cart, she backed away from me, making no effort to disguise her utter revulsion. Yup, even someone who scrubs toilets and changes the dirty sheets where prostitutes have plied their trade thinks my job is disgusting. Ignoring her, I ripped off my protective suit, stuffed it in a trash bag which I tossed atop the biohazard bin, and closed the door, double-checking to make sure it was locked. “Don’t go in there,” I told the cleaning woman who hadn’t yet reclaimed her cart.
            For good measure I stuck a piece of Crime Scene Do Not Cross tape across the doorway. It wasn’t actually a crime scene, but the tape is the equivalent of putting out a Beware of Dog sign; enough to deter the merely curious. Nothing would be enough to keep out those who were truly determined.
            “I’ll be back tomorrow,” I said a tad too loudly since I wanted to be sure that Myron could hear me through the door.
            The cleaning woman crossed herself as though I’d just spit a gypsy curse at her.
            I jumped into the company van and raced to the dilapidated  house I  have called home for over three years. I took a long, hot shower (a quick shower would have been more efficient, but when I’ve spent hours cleaning up decomp it can be a challenge to wash that death right outta my hair) until I felt like I could pass in the land of the living. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kinda Good Variation on a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hi Killer Friends!

Since I totally forgot to write this post until Sunday night, and my muse was off playing mumbly-peg with herself so I had no idea what to write, I thought I'd post a recipe I found and tweaked a while back.  Made myself a batch of these earlier and OMG are they ever yummy...

Kinda Good* Variation on a Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 c butter or margarine
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 1/4 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c walnuts (optional)

Preheat to 350F. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Fold in chips, coconut and walnuts. Drop by very rounded spoonful onto cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. (And watch out, they spread.)  Makes about 30 cookies - or less depending on how big you make them.
Killer cookies for our Killer Friends.  Seriously.  And they stay all soft and yummy for as long as it takes you to eat them.  (Hubs and I can finish off a batch in a few days.)

*I named it 'Kinda Good' because the recipe I tweaked this from said theirs was the 'best ever' and I wouldn't go that far.  When I find the 'best ever', I'll know it.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Perfect On-The-Road Pick-me-up Fabulous Photo Friday

A couple of weeks ago I was driving along and what to my wondering eyes should appear...

Maybe I needed some?

Dressed for Autumn -- Fabulous Photo Friday

Here's a pic of my handsome guy Teddy dressed for Fall....I'm not sure he's too happy about it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pet Peeve Week

Hello, Killer Friends!  The second week of October is Pet Peeve week, so it's time to unload.  Let's talk pet peeves.  Hate when someone leaves the lid up?  Can't stand when someone says 'irregardless'?  Bothered by people who take their dogs for walks but don't bring along a pooper-scooper?  Let it all out.

JB: I have a couple pet peeves. One probably sounds silly, but it annoys me that the phrase "You're welcome." has fallen out of vogue. I hate when I say "thank you" to someone and I get back "uh huh" or "no problem" or "yup".

Another peeve is motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic. (I've been known to throw open my door just so they can't pass.)

B.E.: What JB said, but for me it's gone beyond peevishness over someone not saying you're welcome.  It's the word... MYBAD.  Every time I hear that word spewed out of someone's mouth, I want to slap them.  It's like 'mybad' absolves them of any responsibility and eliminates the need to admit they made a mistake.  Sorry, bud, that don't fly in my world. 

Also pet peevish?  People who park stupid.  Is it really that hard to get a vehicle between those yellow lines?  And if you make a mistake and pull in wrong, there's no shame in backing up so you can park right.  Seriously.

Your turn.  What are some of your pet peeves?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Things We Take for Granted...

Recently I had to pump my own gas.

This was something I hadn't done in YEARS.

Now before you go thinking I'm some sort of dainty princess, let me tell you something that you may find shocking: It's ILLEGAL to pump your own gas in NJ. (and I'm pretty sure Oregon)

Unless you're from NJ (or Oregon) you probably think that's weird. But if you've lived in NJ (or, I'm guessing Oregon) for any length of time, it's one of those things you take for granted.

Also, I suspect Jersey is the only place that tortures drivers with "jughandles" also known as a "Jersey left".  Every out-of-state driver who spends any time on NJ roads complains about them. GPS systems are befuddled by them.

Other things people might find odd about NJ: No alcohol, of any kind, is sold in grocery stores (or gas stations).

It drives me nuts when I'm reading a book that's "set in NJ" and someone pumps their own gas or picks up a bottle of wine in the supermarket. While they may be standard wherever the author is from, it's not the way things are done in Jersey.

Here's another little bit of NJ trivia: If you're Jersey born-and-bred you may love Taylor Ham (also called pork roll...but not in the Northern part of the state). If you're not from NJ, you'll look at someone like they're crazy when they wax poetic over this salty mystery meat. As a purist, I happen to think that a "Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a roll" is the ONLY way to go.

Okay Killer Friends: Those are four things I take for granted in NJ. What's taken for granted in YOUR neck of the woods?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Hi all!  It's teaser time again.  I wish I could say this book is available somewhere or that it's going to be available somewhere sometime soon, but since it's one of mine, you'll have to wait along with me for someone in publishing to want to publish it.  (Or for me to scrap together the funds to publish it myself.)

Here we are with Dying Embers again.  This scene is about 130+ pages in and the villain is in the middle of her killing spree when she meets a man who's not on her list.  One she feels a certain kinship with until he makes the wrong joke...

Listening to Studly shower was an experience.  He sang through every drop of water as if he was on stage in front of thousands.  She couldn’t let him live, but it was a shame she had to kill him.  Especially considering his death wasn’t one he earned for the things he did, but for the one thing she never would’ve expected.  For all his bullshit about a ‘liars weekend’, Studly had come too close to the truth.
As he turned the water off, she rolled onto her back and let the jets of air conditioning wash over her.  Just the thought of his lean body, all edges and angles, made her skin slick with sweat.  He truly was unlike any man she ever met.  Most of the men on her list had been soft and rounded in all the wrong spots.  Where Will was a sequoia, Studly was a poplar. 
It really was too bad.
One by one, she ticked down her mental checklist for the coming day.  Last night, she laid the ground work.  On the pretense of needing some ‘alone time’, she slipped away long enough to drive her car into the mountains and hitch a ride back to the city.  Her gas can was in the truck and full of her most necessary tool.  Her bottle of epoxy was nestled inside her purse, beside her gun and a disposable cell phone.
Now all she needed was for him to take her to the same perfect spot. 
“Hey there, Pretty Lady.  Penny for your thoughts.”  Studly stood before her in all his glory, dripping onto the beige carpet. 
“With inflation, don’t you mean ten bucks?” she joked, even as she could feel the moisture gathering between her legs.  One more time wouldn’t hurt.  The plan was in place, and an hour of energetic sex couldn’t stay her from the course she already set in motion. 
“Now that you mention it, you’re worth a few thousand.  What say we dip into the bank account again?”
A few thousand wouldn’t buy her little toe, but she let the thought slide.  After all, he wouldn’t have too many more hours to be the life of the party.