Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

2019 is just around the corner. 

How strange it is to write that line. 

I can vividly remember the anticipation of the year 2000 and all the scares about the Y2K bug that would bring the world to a screeching halt. Fortunately, that situation never amounted to much of anything.

So here we go again. A new year. A new beginning. 

I’ve never been one to make resolutions. Too easy to get caught up in the idea and then get discouraged if I can’t sustain it for the full year.  It’s better to set short term goals and try to achieve those, like writing one scene or five pages each week. If I can do that, there’s a good chance another novel will be close to completion.

2019 will see the release of “Your Turn to Die”, the second Jefferson Chene mystery.   That’s slated to be available in early February.  Because she is such a remarkable character, and a stubborn redhead, Jamie Richmond makes an appearance in this book as well, one of the supporting characters helping Chene investigate a murder.

So Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2019 is filled with laughter and love, shared with family and friends, both old and new.  Along with new adventures and above all else…


Here’s a scene from “Vanishing Act” that takes place on New Year’s Eve.  Jamie and Malone are leaving the new year celebrations with her best friend Linda and her surprise escort, Vince, an old friend of Jamie's.

“Splendid,” Vince said. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am ready to kick off my dancing shoes.”

    Linda smiled sweetly at him. “And I thought you’d like to go for a starlit stroll around the neighborhood.”

    “That’s what we have this lovely limousine for.” Vince reached up toward the ceiling and touched a button. A section of the roof slid back, revealing a clear Plexiglas panel. The snow squalls from earlier in the evening had passed. We could all see the stars above, little diamonds glittering in the jet-black sky.    

    Malone activated a button on the console and gentle mood music filled the passenger cabin. I recognized Diana Krall and Tony Bennett singing a duet.

    “You don’t miss a trick, do you?” I said.

    “No, ma’am. I don’t leave much to chance.” He leaned down and kissed me, gently pressing his lips to mine. It was so easy for me to get lost in Malone’s kisses. I don’t think we came up for air until I felt the limo begin to slow down.

    I glanced out the window, expecting to see Linda’s neighborhood coming into view. Instead, I recognized my own little house, with Malone’s Cherokee parked in the driveway. The car glided to a stop at the curb. The driver was already moving toward the back doors.

    “Malone, tell Terrence this was supposed to be the last stop,” I said.

    “Hush, Jamie. It’s time to say good night.”

    I was confused. I looked across the seats at Vince and Linda. Her face was glowing. She leaned across and hugged me, her eyes very bright.

    “Happy New Year, Jamie. I love you.”

    Not willing to trust my brain, I echoed her sentiment and kissed her cheek. Perplexed, I watched her repeat the message as she kissed Malone chastely on the lips. Vince and Malone clasped hands as Malone exited the car. Vince kissed my cheek and bade me a Happy New Year once again.

    I watched Malone press an envelope into Terrence’s hand. He thanked him for the wonderful service, firmly took me by the elbow, and guided me up the walk to our house. I was still having difficulty wrapping my head around the situation. Suddenly I realized what might be going to happen next.

    “We should have taken Linda home first.”

    “Hush, Jamie.” He unlocked the door and ushered me inside.

    “But, Malone, it just doesn’t seem right. She and Vince…”

    “…are consenting adults. And what they do in the privacy of her home, or his, or in the back of that limousine, is none of our business.”

    I was thunderstruck. Malone unbuttoned my woolen winter coat, then turned me around and eased it off my shoulders. I was still standing there dazed while he hung our coats in the closet and turned back to me.

    “Jamie,” he said softly.


    “I am a very patient man. But I’ve been waiting all evening to find out exactly what is underneath that gorgeous gown.”


    “…no buts, Jamie. It’s time for you and me to properly welcome in the New Year.”

    I couldn’t possibly formulate an argument as he literally swept me off my feet. I kicked off my shoes and wrapped my arms around Malone’s neck. He had one arm behind my knees, the other around my back. Yet somehow he still managed to find the tiny zipper that held my little black dress together.

    As I succumbed to Malone’s attentions, one final image of Linda and Vince passionately kissing at midnight flashed through my mind. What had I put into motion?

Here's a great tune by Spencer Davis that popped up on the airwaves this week. Hope you enjoy it.

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