Sunday, January 5, 2020

Happy New Year


The New Year began a couple of days ago.  Due to some other commitments and preparations for teaching the new college semester, I’ve fallen behind in my blog. Blame it on the holidays, football, too much food and wine, or tackling too many issues simultaneously.  As Chuck Berry would say C’est la Vie. 

There are several projects I’ve been working on, including revising an old short story in preparations for submission, working on a new novella in a different genre and doing some research for the next Chene book.  It’s just a matter of which one is going to be finished first, so I can move on to what’s next.

I’ve also been considering creating a monthly newsletter.  Several authors I know currently have one and it may be a good method to share more information, insight about writing and bits regarding any new releases.  Once that plan has been finalized, I’ll post details on the blog.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I hope that everyone had a fantastic New Year’s Eve and that 2020 will bring us all success.  May our days be filled with laughter and love, shared with family and friends. And peace.




New Year’s always makes me think of “Vanishing Act” the second Jamie Richmond mystery.  Here’s an excerpt from that book.  In this scene, Jamie and Malone are going out with to welcome in the New Year with her best friend Linda and a surprise escort. 




The limo made our next stop and picked up her date. He looked splendid in his tuxedo, almost as good as Malone. They greeted each other warmly. I got a kiss on the cheek. His aftershave was subdued, but sexy. We chatted quietly until the limo arrived at Linda’s house. He stepped out and moved quickly to her door. She opened it just as he reached the porch. Malone had put the window down so we could see her reaction and hear their conversation.

    “Linda, you become more beautiful each time I see you.”

    There was a moment of hesitation in her eyes before her face broke into a wide smile. “Vince. You are the perfect date.”

    Linda flashed me a dazzling smile as she slid into the limousine. Vince sat beside her. I nudged Malone lightly when I saw Linda slip her gloved hand into Vince’s and lean back to enjoy the ride. We chatted about the holidays and what to expect for the evening while the sleek car cruised through traffic. I felt like a fairy tale princess as our carriage pulled up in front of the glamorous hotel. There was a flurry of activity as the valet raced to open our doors. I watched Vince and Linda move out, and then I took Malone’s hand and followed them.

    The lavish hotel was beautifully decorated for the holidays. The ballroom was enormous. We were escorted to a cozy table for four near the center of the room. From here we could see the dance floor and the orchestra. But before dancing, there would be dinner. The Westin has a history of featuring some of the most renowned chefs in the area. I had no doubt they would have spared no expense to put together a scrumptious dinner.

    And I was right.

    The courses flowed smoothly, from appetizers, to soup, salads, and entrees. There were two wine buckets beside our table. One held a bottle of chardonnay for Linda and Vince. The other had sparkling white grape juice for Malone and me. Since I found out he’s an alcoholic, I haven’t had a drink of alcohol either. Although Malone said it doesn’t bother him to be with other people who drink, I decided I could do without it, too. We all opted to hold back on dessert, needing some time to let our gourmet meal settle. At one point between courses, Linda crooked a finger at me. We went to powder our noses.

    “Jay Kay, you could have told me Vince was going to be my date,” she said with a laugh. “I probably wouldn’t have objected.”

    “Are you kidding? I wanted to surprise you. He looks quite dapper in his tuxedo if you ask me. I even made sure he knew you were wearing red, so his tie would match.”

    “How did you ever con Doc Schulte into this?” she asked, leaning toward the mirror to touch up her lipstick.

    “There was no con. It took me all of a minute to tell him what I had in mind. He agreed immediately. He even insisted on paying Malone for the tickets. And I know for a fact he’s an excellent dancer.”

    Vince Schulte has been my doctor for the longest time. While he may not be as physically fit as Malone, he was nearly as tall, which would work well with Linda and her high heels when they got on the dance floor. I’ve always thought of him as a Dutch uncle. About once a month since I graduated from high school, we’d go out to the theater or for dinner. His presence has always been a good stabilizer for me.

    “Look, I know Vince isn’t as young as Malone, but with only three days to find you an appropriate date, I thought he was a good choice.”

    We turned away from the mirror, heading out of the crowded ladies room. Linda looped her arm through mine and leaned close to my ear. “Don’t worry, Jay Kay, he’s not that old.”


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Music this week comes from Don Henley.




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