Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Another excerpt! This one's from Applesauce and Moonbeams, a book that takes place at a time when the moon is slowly getting settled by humankind. Our Hero, David, is a telepathic psychiatrist who is on the run after he's taken on a mob boss. A telepathic hit man has attacked David just as Our Hero gets onto a lunar shuttle about to take off.

Slowly the world swirled around David, as if he were still in his strange dream. A faraway scream echoed through the haze. He felt dislocated, out of touch with himself. Alien.
He clamped his eyes shut and smacked his lips, trying to make the funny taste go away. Furry. Must have been asleep for a month. Had he had a chance to brush his teeth this morning? What was that smell? His nose wouldn’t wrinkle as much as he wanted. Stiff. Instead he opened his mouth slightly and inhaled to let the odor rise to the top of his palate. Smelled like... like musk, with a touch of urine attached. Not entirely unpleasant.
He stretched only to find his hands and back were butting up against something solid. Oh right—he’d jumped into that capsule. A woman was already in it.
He’d been hiding from something. Someone. Someone had been chasing him.
His breath caught as full consciousness crashed upon him. Kane—that telepath—had tried to take over his mind!
The memories of battle returned to him. He hadn’t really expected to wake up, but here he was again. I think; therefore, I am.
I’m alive. I did it!
But something was wrong. He felt all wrong. Had he given himself a stroke? Surely someone would come along and take him to the hospital. Even with a major stroke he could be himself again in a week or two.
That faraway sound of screaming came again. His right ear swiveled to seek the source.
More movement, somewhere outside wherever he was. Now it was his left ear that twitched and rotated.
He dared open his eyes. This didn’t look like what he’d pictured the inside of a sleep chamber. He hadn’t noticed the rows of eye-big circles cut into it, revealing bright light and shadows in the room beyond.
Whatever it was, that terrible Kane presence wasn’t near. These people had different vibes.
“Hey,” he wanted to say, but his voice was a dry croak, a tenor “Eh.”
He tried clearing his throat. He gave his head a shake. There was something furry in here with him. When he reached out to touch it, it moved.
Wait a minute.
He stretched his hand out, flexing his fingers. In front of his eyes, an orangey-yellow paw fitted with a medical tube stretched and flexed. Claws extended slightly, then retracted back.
“meeOOOWWWWW!” he cried. “Yoww! Yioww! Mioww! Yoww! Moww!”
“Looks like someone’s awake here too,” a female voice from outside said. A large eye peered in through one of the holes. “Hello there, boy. Welcome to Luna. Bet you’re hungry.”
“Moww! Moww! Moww!”
“A real talker. My granny has a talker. Siamese, I think. Is this a Siamese, Pete?”
“You don’t know nothing about cats. That’s a plain ginger cat in there.”
David might have heard the reply if he weren’t heaving against his restraints, shouting as loudly as he could.
“Whups. Kitty doesn’t like his cage. Why can’t they learn to trank these animals enough? What do we got on hand?”
“Oh, just let him have his fit. He’ll calm down eventu—”
“This is the Applegate cat, Pete. Even you’ve heard of Evie Applegate.”
“Whoa. Okay, lemme see what I can find.” “I’m a man! I don’t belong in a cage!” David yelled, but all that came out was cat yowling.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Diets are a scam!

Quite a while ago I wrote a short story... or is it a novella?... called "Nothing to Lose." I put it on Amazon for 99¢ and pretty much forgot about it. Lately people have been asking me about it, asking to expand it. After I get through this glut of book-revamping, plus the new book, I just might do that. (Plus I'd correct the crazy formatting! Eek!)

It's the story about a group of ladies, one in particular, who have weighty issues. Let's join them at a gym that looks a lot like Curves...

Pat’s lower lip had begun to protrude farther and farther and I didn’t think it was because we were approaching the leg press again. Her chin wrinkled along with her nose as she thought. We looked at her. Was this a botox moment? She slammed her fists down on the handles of the glute machine and declared, “It’s not us!” She looked hard at each of us in turn. “It’s a curse. A real curse. Magic!”

I laughed. Who wouldn’t?

She pointed at me. “You said it yourself. The physics doesn’t make sense. That’s science, right? If it’s not scientific, it’s not true. OR it’s magic.”

LaDawn tapped her chin thoughtfully instead of doing the required climbing motions for her board. “I never thought of it that way before. Could be.”

“Magic,” I scoffed. “If it were just that, some wizard would be making a fortune curing people.”

“Maybe someone is,” LaDawn said. “Maybe they’re keeping it on the downlow.”

 “Why? So they don’t have to become a multi-millionaire?”

Pat poked the air in front of her as if it were someone’s chest. “It’s so they’re not overrun by people, tearing down their front doors. Begging them to do the job.”

“I know a wizard in Atlanta and she keeps busy. Very busy,” Charlotte said. “Her whole family has been well off for generations. She can afford to turn down business if she wants. I decorated her main parlor,” she confided. “She gave me an unlimited budget. Oh, my.” A wistful smile lit her face.

“Look,” I tried to reason, “if being fat was something magic there’d be a rumor about it at least. I’ve never heard anyone claim this was a curse. You know me; I’m always on the Internet looking for new diets. I tell you, I’d know.”

“Do any of those diets of yours work?”

“Ah...” It took me a while to go through the long list in my head. “That Adkins thing worked for a month or six weeks.”

Charlotte waved her perfectly-manicured nails at me. “Well, I do not want something that only lasts six weeks. I want forever.”

“And I wouldn’t mind it being easy, either,” LaDawn put in. “Diets are too hard. They make me crazy when I’m on them. Give me some magic with some chocolate and maybe a little scotch every day, and I’ll be happy.”

You couldn’t argue with that. Could you?


If I'm going to be expanding this, I need to hear funny stories about how people have tried to lose weight. Did it work? Did it not? What was your (or a friend's) experience?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Danger! Explosions! Desert island!

It's Monday, so I'll post an excerpt. This time it's from Touch of Danger, the first volume in the Three Worlds Saga.  This is the book you get free when you sign up for my seldom-appearing newsletter. Yep, this book has SUPERHEROES. But here our super guy, Londo (aka Valiant) has just helped our timid (but psychic) heroine, Lina, escape a burning hotel on an island in the south Pacific. Lon's had most of his powers temporarily stripped from him by Bad. Guys, and has dislocated his shoulder in the escape. He has also discovered that everyone else at the hotel has mysteriously disappeared. Let's peek at the two: 

He turned back to her and took her measure from a more professional standpoint. Was there anything in her open and rather inept body language that disguised deceit? “Except you.”
“What? Where are all the others?” She snapped to attention, her gaze raking the windows and grounds of the hotel. “But just thirty or forty minutes ago, there were maybe six people in the pool, another fifteen or so just walking around. I was surprised because it was so early. There was a big group of Australians or New Zealanders here, some sort of convention. They were all men. Creepy men. They’ve been running around drunk all night. I bet you anything one of them started this.”
Eh bien, they’re not here now.”
“That’s impossible,” the girl said flatly. “They must be on the other side of the hotel.”
There was no one trapped in any windows. Lon’s paravision still operated to an extent. Through the fog of smoke the beach showed deserted as well. The girl ran across the lawn to the other side of the building and the gravel parking lot there—empty.
Lon followed her, holding his mangled arm and grunting. “We need to get out of here,” he told her. “The reason I’m powerless—”
As she turned to face him her eyes went wide. She sucked in a breath and leapt for him.
“Get down!” she yelled, taking him down with her onto the sharp gravel with no regard for his shoulder.
Ba-whu-whoom!A curtain of fire and glass, cement and wood splinters blasted through the smoke.
Valiant looked up through the pain to see a sheet of glass flying through the space he’d just been taking up. If he had been standing there—
The girl put her palm on his forehead and pushed down. “There’s something else,” she said, and then another explosion went off, this one even closer than the last.
Shock wave! A wall of air lifted them up and threw them across the hotel lawn. He heard her cry out as she landed, but then he did, too. It felt like someone sledge hammered his shoulder. All his senses except touch blanked as agony jolted through him down to his feet.
He shouted his torment. Tears of pain ran down his face. Stop it, stop it! Get control!He was still alive. He needed to protect the girl!
Cracking his burning eyes open, he squinted back at the hotel. Everything was gone—leveled. Only piles of cement blocks and debris remained. A pea-soup haze of yellow dust left from disintegrating masonry swirled in a sour, choking cloud he could feel as distinct particles when he breathed. Where was the girl? Londo coughed through the filter of his hand as he peered around.
A hundred feet from him the ocean breeze lifted the dust-covered hem of her nightie, but she lay very still.
In his life he’d seen far too many other still bodies.