Sunday, May 27, 2018

Another Coincidence?

Recently, I mentioned that I’m not a fan of coincidence. But every once in a while, something pops up that’s just too good to ignore.  If it happens in real life, there’s no reason to think that it can’t happen in one of my novels.  After all, many of the ideas that come together for a story have their basis in reality.

Here’s a perfect example.  Yesterday, I was at the local grocery store, picking up a few things. Waiting in the checkout line, I glanced down at the impulse racks, where all the decadent chocolate and treats were lined up.  What caught my eye was the wrapper for Snickers bar.  Somewhere along the line, they came up with the idea of putting different words on the distinctive wrapper, with the tag line ‘Who Are You When You’re Hungry?”   So here's what I saw.

There was only one, so of course I had to buy it. I’ll be on the lookout for others as they will make great swag items for the various author events I’m booked for this summer. 

Writers understand that inspiration can come anytime, anywhere.  We’re always watching for it, no matter the form.

Here’s an excerpt from “Devious”.  In this scene, Jamie has been out of town and returns in time to meet Malone for dinner in the middle of his shift with the State Police.  But first, she decides to change clothes.

I kicked off the heels and squirmed out of the stockings. I opted for a pair of very lacy panties with a matching black bra, and rummaged in the closet for a corduroy skirt and a cotton blouse. I called this my flirt skirt. It was knee length but had functional snaps that ran down the front of it. Depending on how flirtatious I was feeling determined how many snaps were left undone. I grabbed my bag and hurried off to meet him.

O'Leary's wasn't crowded when I arrived. Malone was in uniform, sitting at a booth near the back of the restaurant. Malone greeted me with a tender hug and a chaste kiss on the lips then pulled me in beside him on the bench.

"Saving it up for later?" I asked.

"Bank on it. 

Malone opened his menu and scanned the page quickly. A waitress approached, wearing a green leotard and skirt with a black apron. He glanced at me and raised his eyebrows. "Want me to order for you?"

"Sure, I'm starving."

Malone turned to the girl. "We’ll have the roast lamb stew, tossed salads with raspberry vinaigrette, and coffee." He looked at me and I nodded.

"You eat here often?" I asked as she wiggled away. I'd swear she put a little extra swing in her hips for Malone's benefit. I didn't know whether to be angry or jealous. Idly, I undid a couple more snaps on the skirt. It fell open to mid-thigh.

"Couple times a week. The food's good and the prices are reasonable. A lot of the guys stop in. The service is pretty good too.” He winked at me. It was obvious he’d noticed the extra wiggle.

"You're a good guy, Malone."

He leaned over to kiss me. His left hand landed softly on my knee. I watched the expression hit his eyes as he realized this was a smooth bare leg he was feeling. Malone gently slid his hand a little higher. A shiver of excitement ran through me. It took several moments for me to withdraw from that kiss. 

“Want to skip dinner?” I asked. I was glad this part of the restaurant was dark, since I was blushing beet red.

“I think we’re going to need that nourishment for later.” Malone reluctantly removed his hand from my leg. 

After dinner he walked me out to the parking lot. He stopped beside my car and leaned against the door.
"Did I tell you how much I missed you, Malone?" I put my arms around his neck. His hands went to my waist.


"Would it be improper for a girl to kiss a cop while he's on duty?"

Malone's eyes went to his left wrist. "I've got two minutes before I check in."

He tipped his head down to meet my lips and kissed me warmly. If anyone was watching, I didn't see them. I didn't care. His left hand remained on my hip. The right had somehow drifted between my legs and undid two more snaps. The skirt was only fastened to the top of my hips now. A shudder ran through my whole body as his fingertips stroked me through the lace panties.

“Welcome home, Jamie.” Gently he pulled away and straightened up.

“Thanks for the flowers.”

“My pleasure. Glad to have you back.”

"How glad are you, Malone?”

"See you later?" he asked.

"Oh yeah. It may take me a while to be able to drive. And I seem to be having this problem with my door. It just won't stay locked at night." I pushed his hands away and stepped back before I attacked him in the parking lot.

"I'll have to see what I can do to remedy that. And Jamie…don’t change your clothes.”

 Music this week comes with a little change of pace from guitarist Jesse Cook.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Just a Name

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet;

You probably recognize that line from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.   As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for distinctive names. I like to use memorable names for my characters, ones that stand out a bit from the pack.  

Often names may even give you a clue as to how a character may behave. In my new short story “Stealing Haven”, Jamie meets a guy named Randy. It doesn’t take long before the sparks begin to fly. When it comes to Jamie, Randy is certainly…well, randy.  Want more details?  Check out Webster’s definition and you get the idea.  You’ll have to wait until June 19 to read the actual story.

So this week my path crossed with many people. Two young ladies, at different times and places, caught my attention.  One was named Emerald, the other was Treasure.  Definitely not the usual Susan or Mary. So I’ll add these to my list for characters and see where they might come in handy.

You need a good description of the character to go along with the name.  Here’s an excerpt from “Why 319?”.  In this scene, Chene is meeting with cyber squad, who are tasked with reviewing the technology from the three homicides in the hopes of identifying the killer.

Yekovich was waiting for me at the doorway. He was about five six, with coarse black hair and a mustache that was so thick it didn’t look real. He had a habit of smoothing it out with his thumb when he talked.

“You’re working late.”

“This serial killer got my interest. I was home watching a hockey game when my guy called, so I came back in. If there’s anything my team can do to help nail him, we want a part of it.”

“Spoken like a real cop.”

Yekovich gave me a light jab on the shoulder. “I am a real cop, asshole. See, they even let me carry a gun.” With that, he pointed at the pistol clipped in a holster on his belt.

“Damn, they’ll give anyone a weapon these days.”

He led me down a corridor into a series of large workstations. There were two technicians working. Computer components were spread across the counters, with large-screen monitors streaming data bytes like a stock exchange ticker gone wild. Yekovich stopped beside the last workstation.

“This here is Jeremy,” he said, jerking a thumb at the gangly kid who was perched on a stool, staring intently at a monitor. The kid raised his eyes momentarily to look at me. “Sergeant Chene. He’s running that investigation.”

“Hey, Sarge.”

I nodded to the kid. He didn’t look old enough to drive, but he seemed right at home behind the pile of computer equipment. “So, what ya got?”

The kid was about to fill me in when Yekovich cut him off. “Use plain English and get to the point, Jeremy. Chene here chases real killers, not video game demons.”

He paused to consider the best way to explain it. “I’ve been reviewing all the video from the external feed, the cameras that were on the motion detectors.”

“What did you find?”

“The majority of the files were pretty mundane. Mostly they were of this dude coming and going in his Jeep. A couple of times he had a few other guys over.”

“How far back are we talking?”

Jeremy tapped at his keyboard. “Earliest clips I’ve seen are date stamped around Thanksgiving.”

“Is there any video of women coming into the house?” Yekovich asked.

Jeremy shook his head. “Nothing yet, and I’ve been watching so I could compare anyone with the pictures you gave me earlier.”

“So why did you call me?”

“You need to see this, boss,” Jeremy said.

I was facing Yekovich. We worked together a few times over the years, and it wasn’t like him to call me without a reason. A sly grin crossed his face.

“The kid’s talking to you.”

Lately Chuck Berry has been popping up with frequency on my song list.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.