Uncategorized

STELLA AND LAURA ARE AT IT AGAIN –SARCASM REIGNS SUPREME IN DEAD AIR BY KAREN VAUGHAN

SASSY-SARCASMStella has been in prison for offing her ex husband Larry. Laura is surprised yet appalled to find her nemesis standing on her door step a scant 2 years after going up the river.

It’s obvious Stella is as feisty and sarcastic as ever since her time “inside”  Get ready for a battle of wits.

 

OPENING SCENE

early Wednesday afternoon, a knock at our door signalled the end of my peace and quiet for the day. I rushed to the door to answer it “coming, keep your pants on!”

I opened it to see someone I never expected to lay eyes on again… “Stella?”

“Yes, I’m back.” She stood there smiling.

“What the…?” I replied. I really didn’t want to know the answer but you know I had to ask

. “Don’t say it Laura. I heard enough bad language in the clink.”

“… Which is where you’re supposed to be for the next 20 years or so. What are you doing? Did you escape? Should I be calling the police?”

“Cool your jets or as the kids these days say chill!”

To say that I was aghast and feeling a tad nauseous was an understatement. I just stood there with a deer in the headlights look not knowing what to say next.

Stella cleared her throat “don’t just stand there let me in and I’ll explain everything to you.”

SCENE 2

“Listen Laura, there’s something not right about that woman in 207.”

I sighed and spoke “Myrna is a perfectly nice person who by the way objects to being bothered at 8 AM.”

Stella huffed indignantly “it’s a perfectly civilized our Laura. Why I was expected to be up a meeting at 6 AM every morning and then report to my workstation by 830 every day. Nothing wrong with getting down to business right away. “Do I need to remind you that this is not prison. Myrna is a elderly lady and likes to sleep in. by the way, she also informed me that you tried to trade units with her.” I was trying really hard to control my temper but Stella was making it really hard.

“Yes, I did. It was a perfectly harmless request after all, it was my unit before…”

“You went to jail yeah I know. You are also told not to bother the tenants. Myrna is a valued tenant. So don’t approach her about this again. Do you understand?”

“Clearly Laura. The decor in that apartment is disturbing to say the least. It’s like she’s a member of the occult or something.”

“She’s Wiccan. It’s her religion. Just like someone would practice Judaism or Christianity is no big deal.” A stated vehemently.

“Wiccan? Wait a minute! She’s a witch is and she? You’re harbouring a witch. Someone who asked spells and uses potions. Meanwhile you snub your nose at my criminal past.” Stella fumed

“what’s wrong Stella? Are you afraid she’s going to turn you into a toad?”

“Well, one has to be careful.” She uttered

“Stella what happened to the I’m going to chill and be Zen. Maybe you should go do some yoga and meditate or something.

“Don’t mock… Oh, I see what you did there. Well played Laura. Fine I’ll leave the broom rider alone.”

 

 

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Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

DEAD ON ARRIVAL CHAPTER 4 & 5

dead onarrival

Chapter 4

 

I woke up the next morning, to the feeling of being nudged and poked. I thought it was the cats demanding breakfast; however, I came to the sudden realization…. CATS DON’T TALK.”

 

“Laura”, the voice said “L-A-U-R-A.” I wanted to bury myself under the covers and make the nasty voices go away. “C’mon Laura.”

 

I opened my eyes to a guy standing over me. I would have screamed, but I realized very quickly that it was Gerry, my super. “Damn!” I yelled, “Don’t ever do that. You were this close to eating wood pal.” I jumped out of bed and grabbed my housecoat.

 

“Sorry, I was worried. I saw the unmarked outside and wasn’t sure if something else had happened since Monday.” “Nope, no one has done me in yet.”

 

Gerry and I had been friends for years. As I mentioned before, we were in the same high school and I got him this job as super here, out of guilt; since inadvertently I had gotten him fired from his taxi driver job—which he later admitted to hating anyway. Now he drives strictly for the airport limo service.

 

“Do you often take such liberties with your master key?”

“No but I was worried. I hadn’t seen you for a couple of days.”

“You weren’t the one responsible for letting the goon in last weekend were you?”

“No”

“Good, who was then?  “That was Ray, the relief super.”

 

“He should be fired and have his ass kicked. No one should have the right to get in here without 24hrs written notice—you know that and Ray knows that too, or he should. The privacy of my home has been violated, and he’s responsible for this nightmare. I am under protective surveillance and I feel like I can’t go anywhere because I’m afraid of being followed! You try living like that!” I was so angry I was shaking.

 

When I managed to regain my calmness, I asked him, “Can Ray describe the delivery guy or the truck?”

“Maybe, why?” he asked. “Ray said there were two of them, and they had a big box that they needed to deliver.”

 

 

 

 

“The police need a description of whoever delivered ‘my package’ and the truck.” “Ray didn’t want to let him in, but the guy said it was a surprise. Ray told me the guy said he would make it worth his while to do this.”

“Did Ray tell the police any of this?”

 

“Not sure. After he sobered up, Ray told me, that the delivery man was very persuasive. He told Ray he was just the messenger and his head would roll if he didn’t make the delivery.” Ray also mentioned the guy looked menacing.

“Ray really needs to tell the police what he knows for everyone’s sake. I can’t give out any information right now, but the delivery man could be a person of interest.” at this point

 

“I’ll take Ray over later on and get him to see one of those sketch artist guys.” says Gerry.

I looked at Gerry, and crumbled. I just couldn’t take any more. He took me in his arms and stroked my hair, kissed my forehead. Then he stood back, looked at me and told me to get dressed. He was taking me out to breakfast. Judging by Gerry’s culinary tastes, I assumed we would be heading to Timmy’s but he surprised me with a trip to Smitty’s. Gerry is basically a good guy. I have ribbed him about being a bad ass some days, but he really does have a good heart.

 

When in a potentially deadly predicament like mine and I do count having a dead body dumped in my living room by someone who may also be targeting me as potentially deadly. It’s best to have as many friends at my disposal as possible. Having an unmarked in the parking lot of my apartment building, and several locks on my door gave me some sense of feeling safe. However, just in case whoever dumped Velcro at my doorstep was following me, it never hurt to be seen in public with someone like Gerry, who could pass as a bouncer at Hooters. Gerry was the kind of ‘muscle’ I needed to send the back off message out there. What I needed to consider were the times when Gerry might not be around. What would I do then? A gun was a possibility but I couldn’t aim worth a damn, and as the city wanted to cut down on guns, I wanted to avoid handling one. Pepper spray was the next rational possibility. While it would not be on equal footing as a gun or knife, I could just spray the person and get the hell out of harm’s way. In the meantime I just hoped the police were advancing on the case. My Mom was still insisting I stay with them until the guy was caught. I wanted to avoid putting them in danger. I also thought living with them would drive me batty. I haven’t lived at home since I was 21. Since then I have done the college thing and the marriage thing, the divorce thing, and I see my self as fiercely independent. Running home to Mommy and Daddy wasn’t going to help. I begged off, mainly for their safety. Transporting my pets over to their house was inconvenient because I wasn’t leaving them for Gerry to watch. I already had police protection of sorts that could not be transferred –what would the neighborhood gossips say about a “strange” car parked on the street 24/7. Her comment about having a guard dog did not hold water with me—yeah right Toto, the killer Yorkie, wasn’t going to do much to serve and protect anyone. Sean and Seamus would eat the dog for lunch anyway, another good reason not to go there. All this being said; the bottom line is to solve this crime so I can get back to what passes for a normal life.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Gerry had agreed to keep his eye on the comings and goings around the building and to help keep the police abreast of any strange faces around the neighborhood. Later that same evening, Inspector Gibbons called to check up on me and to see if I had recalled anything more which might be important. Right now the case was lukewarm at best and they were working on the list of leads they had. Right in the middle of the conversation, there was an earthshaking kaboom in my parking lot. I stretched the phone cord as far as I could, to peer out the window. My onsite protection had just gone up in smoke; the unmarked had blown up, complete with the officer aboard. “Oh my God” I screamed into the phone. “Call 911, and get over here.”

“Why?” he yelled back. “What’s going on?”

“The unmarked just exploded.”

The line went dead. It didn’t take long for EMS and police to surround the building. Gerry and Gibbons showed up on my doorstep at the same time. Thank goodness no one else was in the back lot and my own car was far enough away from the unmarked. It had been parked in the back forty next to the dumpster—to remain inconspicuous, but not enough I guess, as some one had figured it out and eliminated my only source of official protection. The only thing to catch fire besides the car was the dumpster. There really wasn’t enough left of the patrol car, or its driver to examine. I just had to wonder if the next kaboom would be the building. Gibbons sent a bomb squad through the building along with a couple of hounds, just to make sure we weren’t going up in smoke anytime soon.

 

Just at that point the phone rang. As a reflex I answered it, prepared to ask the person to please call back. What I got was a voice on the phone that sent chills up and down my spine.

“Whatcha gonna do now Bitch, without the cops to protect you?”

“Who is this?” I said, “What do you want with me?”

“It’s my way of letting ya know I don’t appreciate the attempts made to repo my car.”

“So why are you calling me? I didn’t do it.”

“You tracked me down. That’s enough for me. You turned your hound onto me to make the collection. I can deal with a lot of shit, Lady, but no one takes my car ya get my meaning?”

“Uh yeah”, I hesitated.

I motioned Gibbons to come and listen in but instead he grabbed the phone “Gibbons here,” he said. “Who is this?” Click, the line disconnected.

 

“Damn. What did you do that for?” I yelled, “I was handling it!” “It’s not for you to handle, its police business,” he yelled back.

“The hell it is! It’s my life. He was threatening mine not yours!” I was nose to nose with the detective at this point.

“Ok,” he said, “I can appreciate that, but you aren’t the one investigating, we are.”

“Yeah, well a lot of good that is, with a dead cop and burning car in the back lot, and no solid leads.” “Now I have a strange man whispering threats in my ear, so what’s next,” I thought.

“What are you going to do now Einstein, replace him with another sitting duck?” “Easy, we bug the phone. Move you to a safe place and move a decoy in to make it look like everything is normal, like you are still here. More enforced obvious police presence in the neighborhood.”

“I agree to bugging my calls. But a decoy? And where am I going to go? I have pets! I have a life. I have to work, pay bills.”

Gerry jumped in at this point, “I want to help here; Laura and the menagerie can stay with me. I will go where she goes, except of course to the ladies’ room.”

“Thanks Gerry but you can’t guard me 24/7. You have to work and what are your girlfriends gonna say about me on your sofa bed?”

“Well I just won’t have the girls over and anyway my life is dull. A couple of cats ought to shake things up. I also have vacation time coming to me, for a few weeks. Too tell you the truth, there aren’t that many girls.” He winked.

 

It takes a real man to admit to that much. We both looked at the police detective for approval of the plan, to which we got a nod.

 

“What I need,” says Gibbons, “is to know word for word what he said. Was there any accent or vocal inflection?”

 

I told Gibbons pretty much word for word what the guy on the phone had said to me. No accent but he had the street lingo down pretty good.

“Street Lingo?” asked the detective

Yeah like rap talk, gangsta stuff

Gerry looked at me like “What do u know about that shit?” “I listen to 50 Cent. I’m down with that.” “You scare me, Laura,” Gerry said.

“Don’t worry. I scare me too.”

 

“Well,” says Gibbons, “we’ll get the decoy in here and the bug on the phone. Take everything you’re going to need out have here, down to Gerry’s, and you might want to get a wig or a dye job so you look different. We want to make sure our suspect thinks he is following you around when it’s the decoy. We’ll provide you with a rental car so the decoy can drive yours.”

 

“Meanwhile, you and Gerry ride together for tonight.”

Gerry grabbed a baseball hat and a pair of sunglasses and said, “Come on ‘cousin’ Cindy we’re going shopping.”

 

Gibbons headed for the door, and looked at both of us. “Good luck Gerry. You may need it with this one.”

“Me too” and he slung my duffel bag over his shoulder.

I stuck my tongue out at both of them Grabbed the cat carrier and headed out of my apartment.

 

Gerry got my stuff settled in his room, after he lost the toss over who got the bed.

“I was going to give it to ya anyhow.”

“Yeah sure, I believe you. Millions wouldn’t, but I do.”

 

“Come on Red” he said. “We’ve got some things to do. Like shop for hair dye.”

“Red, as in what, hair colour? How do you know I didn’t want to go blond?”

“You ain’t any blond schweetheart”

“Schweetheart?? Who do you think you are, Bogie?”

“Yeah, so…”

“That’s the worst Bogie I have ever heard, and why red?”

“Got a visual of you as a redhead—Julia Roberts Red. It works for me somehow. With sexy librarian glasses and stiletto heals—fishnet stockings.” I picked up a pillow and threw it at him.

“Can the fantasies, Fitz.”

 

We left the apartment building through the side door and headed back to his truck. I was sporting his jean jacket, Jays cap and Ray Bans as a disguise. We decided to eat dinner first –and then go shopping. I lost the toss on the radio station so we headed toward the No Frills, with Eminem booming from the stereo.

 

I hoped our “rooming” together was going to work out before I went totally nuts, or the guy got caught which ever came first. I called my mom to tell her I was going on vacation for a bit. This was just to sidetrack the issue that I really didn’t want to stay with them instead of Gerry. If they knew I was staying with Gerry there would be too many questions asked. So I just figured I would tell them I was staying at Elaine’s cottage and they could reach me on my cell. I hung up before mom could start up with the safety lectures. It was better off that she thought I was going off with the girls for a week. The next call was to the agency to state that I was taking a stress leave and I would call when I was available for work.

 

I think all the bases were covered. I told Elaine that my folks thought we were off together and not to call there looking for me. None of my other friends would call my folks, so that tied up those loose ends. We stopped at a fast food joint to grab dinner, and make a list of provisions we would need.

 

We got our shopping done. After returning to Gerry’s apartment, I dyed my hair “Julia Roberts” red, dried it and put in brown contacts. The transformation was amazing! I felt like a new woman. Gerry had fallen asleep on the couch while I was in the bathroom. I turned off the TV and headed to bed early. There was a message on Gerry’s answering machine that my car was being dropped off at ten am at the department’s expense. My new life, such as it was, was about to begin. Until the killer/stalker was caught I was Cynthia Fair, Gerry’s cousin.

 

Karen Vaughan, Laura & Gerry series, Uncategorized

A CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH KILLER T. FORD FROM DAYTONA DEAD!E

You met Killer T. in Daytona Dead. He is the bad ass responsible for several deaths in the Daytona Beach area and even took a run at Laura!

41FEniRgFbL

What is your story? I am the featured antagonist in DAYTONA DEAD

Who are you?  My name is Duane Ford a.k.a KILLER T. FORD

Where do you live? Daytona Florida, I have a nice estate with a ranch house and a slip for my cabin cruiser

Are you the hero of your own story? Yes it’s all about me! Actually I am a badass Nascar driver with an evil streak.

What is your problem in the story? Too many cops trying to track me down and a pesky

 

Do you have a hero? Dale Earnhart Jr. Only man who beat me that I respect

 

What are your achievements? Won a few big NASCAR races.

What is your most prized possession? Why? My 40’s Chevy; we are one with the universe

What is your favorite beverage? Why? Beer-Budweiser as they sponsor me.

What is your favorite music?

Country, and Classic 70s rock

What is your favorite item of clothing?

Why?Jeans, and my racing uniforms-I am a casual kind of guy. I don’t kill people wearing Armani

What are the last five entries in your check registry? Last 5 cheques I wrote to pay people off

    . What are the last three books you read?

Book of Robert Frost Poetry, Complete works of  Edgar Allen Poe, Christine by Stephen King

 If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Beer, girlie magazines, steaks, salmon, 10 lb bag of spuds, Corn Flakes, Jim Beam, Bratwurst sausage, beef jerky and pork rinds.

You can find out more about Killer T.’s killing spree in Daytona Dead by Karen Vaughan!

DAYTONA DEAD AT AMAZON

 

 

Uncategorized

DEAD ON ARRIVAL CHAPTER 2 & 3

dead onarrival

Chapter 2

 

I got in my car, and stopped at Timmy’s. When in shock there’s nothing better than an extra large double-double and a sour cream glazed to put things right. Okay, so in this case, there were a lot of ways things could be improved, but coffee and a donut was a good start. I told Gerry where I was going. He offered to tag along, but I needed time to collect my thoughts, before heading to my employment agency to let them know I was available for tomorrow. I handed in my last timesheet, but nothing fresh had come in just yet. Even though I wasn’t in the mood, I gave them my cell number and told them I could really use the work before I got desperate enough to flip burgers, or sort clothes at Value Village. However, until my name is cleared up in this mess, employment was the last thing on my mind.

 

The next, dreaded stop was the west end. I needed to fill in my parents about the deceased house guest before they heard it through the news or the trans-metropolitan grapevine known as my family at large. Any gossip can reach Etobicoke from Scarberia within a half hour. I wasn’t going to call Vicky either for the same reason. I surfed the radio stations searching for news of the city’s latest murder. There was nothing yet, great. My Bon Jovi CD kept me company on the drive over.

 

I wanted to call Elaine, my very best friend for the last ten years since college. I just couldn’t do it until I was sure I wouldn’t break down. Elaine is great in an emergency but I wanted to digest the situation myself before sharing. Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardener Expressway were clear at 10 am on a Monday morning, and I made the trip in good time.

 

As I drove west I wondered who in hell would want Hodges dead. As I had told both Gerry and the detective, I had only known Hodges for a short while. I really didn’t like him. His collection methods were suspect and rumor had it he was snake when it came to women. So I guess there were many possibilities. Who would fit the suspect list? Pissed off victims of his collection attempts, and as many ex-girlfriends as you could shake a stick at. The biggest issue still stuck in my head was, ” Why my apartment? Was it completely random or was I really being sent a message as Inspector Gibbons suspected?” I could speculate until the cows come home but until we knew the truth, it was as useful as banging my head against the wall.

 

My parents still lived in the same house they had when they first got married forty-five years ago. I hauled my trash out of the car and headed for the side entrance. Mom was at the kitchen table portioning out her groceries into meal-sized servings. Upon seeing the Timmy’s bag and tray she gave me the look, you’ll-never-get-a-man-eating junk food” look. I am definitely heading for plus size model status. My mother preferred herself and her “girls” to be Barbie perfect, referring to Edna and Charlene, my two sisters.

 

I returned her look with a glare to suggest “skip-the-lecture-been through-helland-back”. It’s like I had told the police earlier. Mom has always believed that the girls should stay at home until they meet Dr. Right and have ten kids. I am 34 divorced and have always believed in once fried in unholy matrimony don’t do it again. I appealed to Dad to get her off my case for the moment. Dad is a happy camper as long as he has his newspaper and a 12 pack of Guinness in the fridge. I sat down at the table.

 

Mom looked at me.” You’re not working today?”  “Nope.” I was feeling into short staccato replies.

“Why not” was the obvious next query?

I didn’t really want to launch into 20 questions with her about my employment status. Mom just looked at me. It didn’t take much for her to figure that something was up.

 

“Before I entertain you with my activities of late, I need you to put down the knife before you hurt yourself.” Mom carefully put the knife on the table and sat down

“Laura,” she said, “You look like you have been through a war or two.” I had her attention now. “What’s going on?” She looked at my father. “Robert, put down the paper. Laura has news.” She was likely hoping I had finally snagged my shrink. Mom doesn’t care what kind of doctor I marry, as long as the initials preceded his name.

 

“Don’t get all excited Ma, I am not marrying Dr O’Hara. In fact, let’s just leave my love life and employment status out of this,” I tell them.

“There is something I do need to tell you. Number one, I am not working. I couldn’t handle the stress of chasing debtors and there is nothing available right now. Secondly I had a guest visitor overnight.”

Mom crossed herself and gave me and I don’t want to know about your tawdry sex life look.

 

“Nothing like that! Someone deposited a dead body in my living room last night while I was out.” There I said it. The best way I have discovered for delivering this kind of news is the rip off the band-aid quick method.

“Mom! I may be in deep here. I have to get printed and tested for gunshot residue, in order to clear myself of any involvement in this crime.”

 

My mom plunked down on the kitchen chair and looked sky, crossed herself, and sported

the ‘why me?’ look. It’s kind of a shoot first, answer questions later approach Her eyes got that glazed look. “What the….., why? Did you know him?”

 

“Yes I did. Some one snuck him in sometime while I was out yesterday, beyond that I don’t know. The police came this morning, and did the usual – including dusting for prints. They are going to let me know.”

“Okay who was he?”

“Well he worked at the agency. His name was Anthony Hodges. Not sure why yet either, obviously someone’s trying to tell me something. Maybe someone has an axe to grind and in his or her sick way is telling me, I’m next.” This thought alone gave me the willies big time!

“Well then its final, Laura I want you to move home.” Mom cut to the chase and put on her mommy knows best hat.

 

“I can’t. I have cats,” I was ready for her arguments and had some ready mad retorts of my own. “Besides, if I move, it will look suspicious to the police.”

“Bring them.”

“Who, the police?” I had a tendency toward sarcasm, which drove the folk’s nuts.

“Don’t get smart Laura; you know I meant your animals.”

“You’re allergic”

“Well get out of that neighborhood. I never liked you living across the city. Saul across the street is renting out his basement—I’ll put in a good word for you.”

“I am not moving THAT close,” I tell them.

 

Maybe it was just the shock of the situation, but my mother was doing a great job of avoiding the bigger picture, maybe that’s where I get it. I put my hands on her shoulders and looked her straight in the eye. “Mom, I could end up very dead if whoever murdered Hodges, found me. The other more heinous possibility is I could do time for this, if the legal system decided I was responsible for the crime.” It was a hideous thought that we all had to face. The only good news was that Canada has no death penalty. However, I pictured being at the mercy of some big chick named Bertha, who would either kill me or make me her prison bitch.

 

” I actually came here seeking refuge and a sense of safety, which I don’t think I am really getting here.”

“You’re welcome to stay here if you want.” Mom replied.

“No.” I return. “I’ll call Elaine. I want to go home and sanitize my apartment after all that has happened. I may not stay there but I at least need to clean up and get some extra locks and maybe an alarm system. No one is going to surprise me like that again. Besides the police planted an unmarked car in case the killer decides to come back. We also have to consider that if they want to question me further, I may just need a damned good lawyer.”

 

Dad chirped in for the first time.” Okay Laura I will call my lawyer friend, Paddy Mulligan—He does real estate law, but he might know someone good at criminal law, should the need arise.”

No matter how little Dad said in a conversation, I could always count on his common sense approach—no nonsense from him. “Thanks daddy.”

“No problem—hope you won’t need it but I’ll not put you in the hands of a ‘still wet behind the ears’ duty council.”

 

I kissed the top of Dad’s head I also hugged Mom, and asked them to wish me luck and say a few prayers the next time they head to Mass.

I pulled out my cell and called Elaine. I arranged a dinner date with her and some of our girlfriends. I definitely needed a night out to forget my troubles, albeit temporarily.

 

“Where are you going for dinner?” Mom asked.

“Not the Moose Burger Emporium.” I said, as I headed out the door.

Chapter 3

 

My appointment at the police division was for three p.m. I hoped I would not bump into anyone I knew. I took Elaine with me for emotional support. Elaine is another real long time friend. We have been buddies since our college days when we used to raise hell and get drunk. She is perpetually single, and loves it. She says it would be a frosty day in hell before she does the ball and chain routine. Call it commitment phobia. Seeing me and

Louie split, didn’t help change her mind. It only confirmed that love stinks, and men are pigs. Okay she’s not a lesbian, but she won’t commit to a guy beyond a short fling. Anyway, she and the other girls we hang with, including my cousin Vicky, have been a great support to each other over the years. So, once again, Elaine was along for the ride, complete with bail money should I need it. The testing involved me getting my hands clothing, and jewellery examined. I had a change of clothes in my car so I could hand over what I had been wearing. Elaine and I were out of there within an hour. I was informed that testing could take awhile but I would definitely hear from someone if there were problems. Next stop was the liquor store and the Home Depot for supplies – not necessarily in that order.

 

There is nothing like a night out with the girls to make you forget your woes. I told the group what had happened that morning. The girls were shocked that someone could have gotten in that easily. We agreed that, that night we would have a sleep over at my place install the locks, alarms and arm ourselves with pots and pans against further invasion. I had my baseball bat ready. If there was to be another intrusion to my sanctuary, the sucker had better be prepared to eat wood.

 

The next morning I got a call for a day job at a printing company, which ended uneventfully. Upon arriving home I received a call from Inspector Gibbons, who wanted to meet about the investigation. I asked him if it was official enough to come to the division, and did I need a lawyer.

 

Since he said no, I invited him over for coffee. I was still uncomfortable being alone, despite the unmarked police car out in the back lot. At 7 pm, Jeff Gibbons showed up at my door armed with coffee and Danish. We sat at my counter bar.

 

“So,” I said. “What’s new?”

The good news was that so far my hands had tested clean; they were still working on my other things. Gerry and Ray had been tested as well. Gibbons confirmed the fact that Hodges had been dead before he was dumped. He was shot. The Medical Examiner said some one had kept him on ice –almost literally – until he was delivered.  Well at least now I could reassure mom and dad that I wasn’t going to jail.

 

“But how could that be?” I asked, “He smelled like a fermented banana split when I found him.”

“In that heat it doesn’t take long for things to thaw out.”

 

“There is another nagging question I have been thinking of all day….. Since there was no blood on my carpet or in the parking lot, how did they get him here? I awakened at eight am and that’s when I stumbled over him. How long had he been in my apartment and who got him in here?”

 

“Those are good questions and ones maybe you can help us find answers to.”

 

“Okay, but I am not sure what I can do.”

 

“It’s easy. Just take us through your activities the day before the body was found. That way we can determine the possible time a body could have been snuck into the building.”

 

“Perhaps,” I remarked, “it would be important to find out how the killer knew to deliver him here.”

 

“Hey, I am impressed. How did you figure that out?”

 

“Look at me, I am a single woman, I have a lot of time to watch TV. I suppose I get into it a bit too much.”

 

“Okay let’s follow that line of thinking. Let’s take it back to Friday night. What time did you leave work?”

 

“Easy, they let me leave at 4 pm that day because it was the day I quit. “

 

“Okay, you said previously Mr. Hodges left before you went to talk to the boss. What time was that, approximately?”

 

“Hmmmm, about 3:30, I had just gotten off the phone and I remember asking him where he was going and he said he was off to do repossession on a car. I remember being creeped out about it. He just seemed too happy at the prospect. Do you think the owner of the repossessed was responsible for the death? Maybe he wasn’t quite ready to part with the car. ?”

 

“Where did you go after you left work?” Gibbons cut in.

 

“I went to the Super Saver to grab some wings to go, and junk food, then on to the beer store. I called my friend Elaine. I went to her place, we stuffed ourselves silly, got stinking drunk and I conked out until noon on Saturday. From there I went to my cousin Vicki’s, where I babysat her three kids for the rest of the weekend.” Which, I was thinking is really hard to do when severely hung over.

“Did you stop at your apartment at anytime through out the weekend, for a change of clothes?”

“No I keep a change of clothes in my car for emergency sleep-over at my parents, or at friends. I also wear the same size as Elaine so I borrowed something from her. And I always carry a tooth brush with me in my bag.” The detective looked at me kind of funny.

 

“What?” noting his look I answered back, “I am a woman. I am prepared for anything.”

 

“No comment on that,” he said. “So when you returned home sometime on Sunday night, there was nothing odd in the apartment?”

“Not that I can remember. But I don’t think I tripped over the body ’til Monday morning. I was over tired from babysitting over the weekend and partying with friends on Friday. Sasquatch could have been camped on my couch and it would not have phased me.”

 

“Did you notice anything strange when you left work?”

“You mean like some one following me? I never noticed anything out of the ordinary.”

 

“Who did the trace on the debtor?”

“I did.”

“Maybe from now on you had better take notice.”

 

Inspector Gibbons looked at me. “I can’t tell you this officially but off the record, we

“like” the debtor for this. He or she’s definitely a person of interest.”

“Well that’s going to narrow things down. The manager of the agency could trace what files Hodges was working on. Any files regarding auto loans should be looked at.”

 

“We already spoke to the director of the agency and he traced anyone who was slated for collection of cars. Then we narrowed it down and found out where they were all weekend.”

 

I can’t remember exactly who the debtor was but I liked him for this too. “That’s a good start. There is still the burning question why did they dump him in my backyard? ”

 

“Okay, new thread but it bears checking out.”

 

I was starting to feel like a spider—throwing out new threads to build a web and I was woven into the middle.

 

I tried to pretend I wasn’t afraid, but my false bravado was fading. Someone knew where I lived, and had succeeded in depositing a dead body in my living room. “So how long does my shadow stay parked out there?”

 

“I’d say until it’s over, and the killer is behind bars. Do you feel safe here?”

 

“No, my home and my peace of mind have been invaded.” I couldn’t help it. I fell apart. I have never been much of a cry-baby, but enough is enough. I was crying real tears and I was not ashamed to do so. Inspector Gibbons stood in front of me and assured me it was natural to feel this way. He handed me a card for victims’ services, if I needed counselling.

“Well I guess I feel better with the car outside my door than without it.”

 

“I should get going.” He said. “Let us know if you remember anything else unusual about the weekend.”

 

“So do you really think someone could have followed me around to find out where I live?”

 

“It’s a possibility we can’t afford to ignore. If he was angry enough to kill Mr. Hodges and if you traced him, you should be careful. But we will do what we can to protect you.”

 

“Well this is my home and I am not running from it until I have to. I have a bat and I added some more locks.”

 

I slept on the couch that night with the lights and the TV on. My phone was beside me and I had hairspray under my pillow. It wasn’t Mace but it would do. I couldn’t sleep so I watched the all night movie channel.

 

I had no work the next day. So when I did fall asleep, I dreamt of having to flip those dreaded Moose burgers, and ended up counting Bullwinkle’s all night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

DEAD ON ARRIVAL PROLOGUE & CHAPTER 1

dead onarrival .jpgDead On arrival—Prologue

May 15, 2005— Delivering the Goods

 

“C’mon man can’t we just leave the package on the balcony?”  The short stocky youth was trying to drag an item off the rental truck.

“Nope!! We have specific orders to deliver the ‘goods’ right to the apartment –I have instructions right here, Dawg.”

 

“How we gonna get in there without getting caught?”  He was anxious about this aspect of his initiation exercise.  “Rebo, brother, man, you know I can’t do more time if we get caught. They said the next time I go in the joint they’re not letting me out for twenty or so. I can’t do it.  Scar nearly skinned me alive the last time.” Rebo, whose full moniker was actually Reboot-due to his considerable savvy in moving hot computer parts, looked at his less intelligent brother. “C’mon Walter, ya big pussy, help me with this package. I have to deliver this as instructed or I’m dead meat. That’s the word from the Man!!   I’ll keep ya out of the joint. Don’t worry we just have to convince the management of this here building, that we got to get in there.”

 

“Ray-man” he said as Ray came across the back parking lot, “I got a quick job for you…. Bidding starts at fifty and mum’s the word. Interested?” Ray, who knew the two boys loosely, was known to turn a blind eye when a business opportunity presented itself, even if the opportunity was of a spurious nature.  Money talked, in his book.

“Show me the colour of your money and we’ll talk. I don’t need details, its better I don’t know, makes lyin’ to management that much easier.” “I thought you were management?” spouted Rebo.

“Word got out that I did time, and the best I could get from this gig is Assistant Super, with no cash handling.

But hey let me worry about Gerry, I’ll get around him. Now what do ya need?”

 

 

May 16, 2005— Finding the Package.

 

What was I thinking as I got up that Monday morning?  I had impulsively quit my job.  I was on benefits for chronic health problems. However, I was employed part time as an office temp.  The placement I had been on just didn’t work out. I guess I am just too soft- hearted to deal with all the deadbeats calling in begging for mercy at the collection agency I had been assigned to.   I woke up with the sudden fear, that despite my best efforts in budgeting, that I would have to do something to keep my financials afloat.

 

All those worries were put on the back burner, when I tripped over the dead body in the middle of my living room.

“What the hell?” I exclaimed as I went flying over a lump of something.   As every red-blooded girl would do in this situation, I screamed.

 

When I managed to pick myself up off the floor, I realized I knew the dead body.

The deceased was none other than Anthony “Velcro” Hodges.  He was aptly nicknamed Velcro as he attached himself to his prey until the debt in question was collected upon or the asset in question was repossessed.  He was said to be hard-nosed and not well liked in general.  In short, he was an aggressive bully, and had been arrested for harassing people he attempted to collect from.   He probably deserved to be fired for questionable practices; but murdered?

 

As my sniffer doesn’t usually work properly first thing in the morning, until I get the first pot of coffee going, it didn’t really occur to me that something smelled bad. Well not bad per se, more like something rotting.  What I had assumed was fermenting overripe fruit—perhaps I’d left my bananas out too long, was, in reality, Anthony.

I went around opening windows and the balcony doors, just as my gag reflexes were kicking in.  Too late and, I hurled my first cup of coffee out onto my patio. Maybe it wasn’t just the smell, but the shock of seeing a body in the middle of my living room and the realization that my personal space had been grossly violated. The only two people that had keys besides me were Gerry and Ray the building supers.  I immediately thought this was one of Gerry’s’ practical jokes, but where did he get the stiff?

 

Chapter 1—

 

Before I get too far into the scenario, I should introduce myself.  My name is Laura Hamilton. I live in Toronto, Ontario in a small apartment building in the heart of what was formerly known as Scarborough prior to the annexation of the Greater Metropolitan Area.

 

I am an Office Clerk for hire when the need to pay rent and eat arises.  My most recent assignment had been at Handy Debt Collectors as a receptionist/skip tracer.    My job was to field calls from frightened and often disgruntled persons calling to negotiate, threaten, and beg their way out of collection of their favourite, yet unpaid for, assets.  So, I direct them to the appropriate collections officer, depending on the size and type of debt owed. I doubled as a skip-tracer researching the whereabouts of dislocated parties who owed us money. This is basically how skip tracing works.   If a debt collector cannot find the person who owes the money, the account first goes to a skip tracer, who uses any legal means possible to track the person down, even if it means calling neighbours, and generally being a pest. I generally take a lot of abuse throughout a day.  The reason I had quit, was because I am too nice a person to want to harass people who didn’t want to be found and my trace quota wasn’t close to netting the results the agency expected.  So to save myself the humiliation of getting fired, I volunteered to find something more in my comfort zone.

 

So here I was unemployed, and to add insult to injury, standing over a smelly dead guy.  As I was squelching the urge to hurl again, there was a loud banging at my door.  I skirted around the body, and ran to open it.  It was Gerry, the building super.   Gerry had slammed into my life for the second time, after a car accident involving his cab and my car, resulted in him getting fired and needing a job. We had gone to high school together. We hadn’t been friends, but he had played football with my ex Louie.  I felt partially responsible for Gerry losing his job, so I managed to wrangle a gig for him as the super for my rent-controlled walk up.

 

I might add that it is the middle of May and we are in the midst of a heat wave.  Everything smelled a bit riper than it would normally would.

“What in hell’s name is that horrible stench?”  Gerry stopped short, quickly noticing the dead dude on the carpet.  He quickly held the edge of his work shirt over his mouth and nose.  I was sorely tempted to gag again. The stoicism I exhibited was slowly dissipating and being replaced by panic.  What if the killer came back, and decided to finish me off?

“Okay Gerry,” I said, “cut the crap!  How did you get Velcro’s’ body in here?” “What do ya mean how? You mean you think I did this, thanks a lot!” he said, somewhat pissed.

“This wasn’t your handy-work?”

“No! Why would you think I would do such a horrid thing?”

“Not sure really; maybe because you and Ray have the only keys besides me, and you love practical jokes.”

“Yeah, I do, but nothing this heinous! My practical jokes are more of an April fool’s kind of gag.  Besides I don’t even know him.”

“Okay. I’m sorry I’m just trying to figure out how and why he got here. Furthermore he is wrecking my rug! “I know it’s odd to worry about a frigging rug right now but this is how I deal with stressful situations. I ignore the obvious problem, and settle for something mundane and harmless to worry about.  Okay so enough about the damned rug.  I focused on the corpse once again.

 

As I don’t do ‘cool nonchalance’ well, I retorted, “Gee good point I practically fell over him on my way out of the bedroom.”

“Didn’t it occur to you at some point during the night, that there was a rotting corpse in the middle of your living room?” Gerry asked.

“For one thing, I sleep with my bedroom door closed and my air conditioning on; and second, I was so tired after this weekend; I just came in and flopped. I didn’t even realize

I had a guest, dead or alive.”

“Well regardless of all that, we have to call this in.” Gerry got out his mobile and dialled 911.  It was definitely classed as an emergency.

 

I suddenly realized I probably had a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I was in deeper shit that I wanted to admit to myself.  I dreaded facing the local constabulary on this one. Picturing the headline, ‘Local girl kills debt collector in living room’ the guilt was flooding in, and I hadn’t done anything … yet. This thought was followed by what I thought my parents’ obituary might be, when they found out my predicament, ‘Man dies suddenly of a major coronary, directly preceded by death of wife due to gross shame”.   The reality of the situation was really starting to get to me.  I don’t look good in prison orange.

 

“So do you know John Doe?”

“UH, yeah I do actually.”

“Did your date go that badly?”

“He wasn’t a date!” In fact I wouldn’t even have classified Hodges as a friend.  The shock was starting to wear off, and I could start to feel weak in the knees. Gerry caught me, as I was about to go down.  I love a mystery as much as the next person, but not in real life. Gerry guided me to the couch and forced my head between my knees. Shock had truly set in, as well as morbid disgust, and revulsion. This had to be the weirdest situation I have ever been in.

There was a knock at the door again and it was the police.

The lead inspector and the crime scene unit converged on my building at once. Immediately, my home sweet apartment becomes a crime scene, confirmed by the usual crime scene yellow tape. The coroner waited outside until the initial investigation was finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary detective on the case was Jeff Gibbons.  Gibbons was tall, and had a confidence exuded by many in his position.  His posture just screamed out cop. As introductions where being made, I instantly noticed the slight accent, a faint down eastern lilt to his voice; Like maybe Cape Breton. It wasn’t strong, but still there just the same. Gibbons seemed to be one of those ’just the facts ma’am’ kind of cops. He was friendly but quickly got to the point.  I wondered what he was like away from the job.

 

Gibbons looked around for a good place to talk. In order to make room for the officers to do their jobs, the detective on the scene directed me to my bedroom to question me. Okay so it looked like a tornado had run through it, but hell I really didn’t care.  I sat down on my bed with Gerry next to me.  Gibbons positioned himself on a chair across from us.

“Can Gerry stay?”

 

“Absolutely,” Gibbons replied, “I have questions for both of you.” “Are you okay?” he inquired.

“Not sure.” I answered.

 

“I imagine you have a few questions.” I say anxiously.

“Are you ready to answer them now?  It can wait, you know, until you’re ready. ”

“No, I want to, while it’s still fresh and then I want out of here.”

“I hear you.”  He says and takes out his notebook.  I had seen this detective on the news.   Inspector Gibbons is professional, yet personable in his questioning.  He was trying to make me feel at home in the worst of circumstances. It must be that east coast laid back attitude. “Were you home when this occurred? “

I repeated what I had managed to tell Gerry, and then added that I had been with my cousin Vicki for most of the weekend. I had been babysitting her kids from Saturday until ten pm. Sunday. Friday I had been with my friend Elaine.  I provided telephone numbers to corroborate my alibi.

 

“So he could have been dropped of any time between Friday and Sunday and I would not have been the wiser?” I was shaking in disbelief that someone could have gotten in here that easily.

“Likely, we have to determine cause and time of death and the possibility that he was killed somewhere else. Based on evidence of all that and lack of or presence of blood.” This was from Gibbons.

“Yeah and don’t forget presence or lack of motive on my part.” I added

 

I stated my occupation, how I knew of the victim, and all the information I could provide at the time.

“I’m not a suspect am I?”  I was silently hoping I wasn’t even a material witness. Hapless victim of a random drop would suit me fine.

Gibbons added that I might want to get printed and tested to clear myself.  He looked at Gerry and reiterated the same thing. “It’s just a precaution at this point. He turned to  Gerry. “Did you know him?”   “Nope, never seen him before,” as he shot me a scowl…. I guess he was still cheesed off at me for the practical joke thing.

 

“I know this looks bad, but I barely knew the guy.  I only worked at the agency for a month before I left. I really didn’t get to know too many people there.”

“Why did you leave?” Gibbons asks

“Mutual decision, yet it was on good terms.  I make a great receptionist, but I guess I am too nice to do skip tracing. I just want to know the same things as you guys, how he got here and why they picked my apartment?”  Gerry also explained that he had been off all weekend, working another job as a chauffeur for an airport limousine service. There had been a relief super named Ray, who might know something.  I explained that I knew nothing of any deliveries. I hadn’t ordered anything.  Gerry provided Gibbons with any additional information the police might need.

 

“Miss Hamilton.” he replied referring to his notes. “We know no more than you do. I promise we will at least let you know how he died. And just in case you have anything to fear, we’ll post surveillance outside the building during the investigation. If you get any strange or threatening calls please let us know. All the information you can give at this point is most helpful.”

 

“We’ll be talking to the manager of the collection agency and will keep you up to date.

While I don’t consider you a suspect at this time, I do need you to get cleared so I wrote down instructions as to where to go for GSR testing.  Don’t leave Toronto without letting us know as we may have more questions for you. ”

“Thanks, it‘s creepy to think that someone got in here and left a body.” I made arrangements with Gibbons to go down and be tested for the GSR thingy they wanted, in order to clear me of any wrongdoing.  Having never been in trouble with the law, aside from the odd traffic infraction or parking ticket, why start now?

 

 

“I just want to get my apartment back to normal, and the furthest I am going is to my parents place in the west end.   I’m 34, and mom still hasn’t cut the strings –likes to keep tabs.  Well you know.”  Oh God I can’t believe I was rambling, talking to keep myself warm. Shock was setting in.  I nodded my head towards the living room, “Are they almost done in there?”  Once again, the thought of a dead body on my oriental rug was starting to be too much for me.

 

Inspector Gibbons got up and checked on the progress of the team. Normally I enjoy stuff like this. I am a big CSI fan.  This is supposed to happen to others, not me.  I never dreamed that being part of a murder would be a reality I would have to deal with.

 

He came back in the room and said they had the body bagged, but they were still dusting for prints.  “We still have to check with the other super to see how he got in here.”

“Do you happen to know where the deceased was heading on Friday?”

 

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw him leave just before the director called me into his office for our talk He was headed out to do a repo on a car. I am not sure of the make but Hodges implied it was a high end make, and a real asset to his commissions.”  I didn’t want to say too much more on that, as I was no longer employed at the agency.    “He was practically drooling on his way out the door.” I said.  “With Hodges it was all about the money.”

 

“Do think you’ll get called back?” Gibbons was edging at my relationship with the agency.

“I think so. I just told him I just didn’t think I was cut out for being a blood- thirsty collector. I am still interested in being a receptionist though and told him I’d go back in that capacity for them. I think he’ll keep me in mind.” At this point though, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go back there again.

 

The lead forensics guy came in and told us they were done for now.  There were no other prints and the Coroner rolled in to take Hodges body.  “Great!!” I thought to myself.  I needed a shower and to pull myself together.

 

My cats Seamus, and Sean came out from out under the bed at this point.  They started sniffing around the police inspector.   “I didn’t know you had pets.” Gibbons reached out his hand for the cats to sniff him out. “Yeah they’re big babies; they hide at the sight of strangers. But they do come out for breakfast.”  I shrugged.

“My Dad is Irish, and he named them.”

 

He looked at me quizzically.” They’re Siamese.”

“Go figure, Dad likes the irony of all that. “

 

“Okay, well I have some work to do on this Miss Hamilton.” He shook both Gerry’s and my hand saying he’d be in touch and that he would post a guard in an unmarked.  “Call us if you remember anything else or if you need us.  Tell Ray we want to have a word with him about this.”

 

“Just call me Laura.” I tell him hoping the first name status will make me feel better. He didn’t offer his in return, likely wanting to keep a professional distance. He offered his card and followed the team out my front door.  I closed the door behind him, and fed the cats.  Since I couldn’t hit the shower I got dressed and headed out the door.  I would clean up later but for now I just wanted out of there.

 

As Gibbons headed out of the building, he thought to himself that this was the weirdest case he had investigated in a long while.  He didn’t really think the girl had done this. He did have a feeling however that someone was seriously messing with her. He was sure someone had planted that body. There was no blood spatter on the walls, so it was very doubtful the crime had been committed here.  The victim didn’t really look as fresh as others he had seen. He wanted to see what the medical examiner had to say about cause of death before he came to any conclusions about the case. He had a lot of angles to work, so he’d better get going.

Uncategorized

Oh those heinous plot bunnies!!!!

95ea3dd2ea9d69401cb38f56d2f00152--funny-bunnies-cute-bunnyA plot bunny is a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written. The term’s origin is unknown but is known to predate NaNoWriMo. Because plot bunnies tend to multiply quickly, the term is thought to be related to the oft-quoted John Steinbeck quote about ideas and rabbits.

 

 

 

So there you are the writer, working away diligently on your work in progress. Things are going well, and the story is flowing like Niagara Falls and then Boom!  Guess what a new and brilliant idea comes to you but you swat it away.  It will have to wait as you are on a roll.

This entity we love to call a plot bunny just won’t leave you alone.  it pokes you like an annoying Facebook friend.  You ignore it.  It pleads, begs and rolls over for a belly rub. Still nothing you are in the zone.

Things are about to get real here. As cute as a rabbit might be these beings start out mellow and and unassuming but dare to ignore them and they soon turn vicious. You will be incapable of any thought except the idea the entity is beating you over the head with.When You Can't Control Your Plot Bunnies....jpg You have been captured, assimilated by the Borg. Caught in a Vulcan mind meld and soon you have no choice but to comply.

How to keep those bunnies 

sourse:http://hannahheath-writer.blogspot.com/2015/04/controlling-your-plot-bunnies-how-to.html

Have a decent plan in

mind. Before you start your story, you need to have a definite end in mind so that you don’t start a story and then just trail off or get tempted by new plot bunnies. It obviously helps to have a beginning charted out, along with a rising action and climax. If you don’t have these, you have no story. Your plot bunny is still a plot bunny and if you go in without a plan, you’ll end up flopping around, getting frustrated, losing interested, running off with another plot bunny, and then repeating the process. A vicious cycle, I know.

Have well developed characters. I cannot stress this enough. The more developed the characters are, the more you will be attached to them, the more you will want to see their stories through. You will be far less likely to abandon them for another book. I think we’ve all experienced loss of interest while reading a book or watching a movie because the characters suck. Sure, the idea may be cool, but the main character is kind of lame (*cough* Luke Skywalker *cough *cough*). Or maybe the book is written well, but nobody cares whether the characters live or die. Think Wuthering Heights, though I may be one of the few people who actually read that book. Oh the hours of my life I will never be able to get back….Anyway, you have to love your characters in order to keep the desire to actually see your book all the way through.

No book hopping. Ever. You work on one book from start to finish. You can’t write two separate books at the same time…that’s like having an affair. Just stop it. Sure, you can be writing a novel and take a break to write a short story or a blog post. That can be helpful. You can even edit one book while writing the first draft of a different story. I do that, and it works really well. But don’t ever write the first drafts for two books at the same time. This is a very bad idea unless you are:

  • A professional writer who knows exactly what you are doing
  • Writing a fiction and nonfiction book at the same time (slightly easier, but still not recommended) 
  • Writing two books of the same series
  • Batman

Under any other circumstances, just don’t even try. It’s distracting, slows down your writing process, and you’ll often end up liking one story better than the other, thus ditching one of the two books.

Keep an idea journal. While it’s not good practice to chase after every plot bunny you see, it is actually very helpful to jot down the random ideas that float through your brain. Especially if there is one idea that nags at you very often, then for goodness sakes, document it! You might need it later.

Make a Pinterest board for your book. If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, just go sign up right now. It’s free and it has saved the lives of countless half-finished novels. By pinning character look-alikes, dialogue prompts, pictures of places that look like scenes in your novel, songs that fit themes in your story, etc, you will keep yourself engaged. It’s liked adding fodder to the fire. You constantly have images in front of you, inspiring you to write, getting you pumped about new ideas. Pinterest is a safeguard against quitting or becoming tempted to gallivant off with just any other plot bunny.

Write on a schedule. If you want to write a novel from start to finish without getting side-tracked, you need to dedicate a specific time each day to doing so. Writing is a job. Treat it like one. I have more on how to become a scheduled writer here.

Come to terms with the fact that you will never be able to write down all of the stories you see in your mind. A bit harsh, sure. A bummer? Definitely. But you can’t do anything about it. Just suck it up and move on. Completing one story is better than having dozens of half-finished books lying around. All we can do is pick the stories that we think are the best, that we think can make the biggest difference, and be happy with the fact that we’re seeing them to the end.

Those are a few of the ways I’ve found to actually finish a story without getting distracted by plot bunnies. What about you? Do you struggle with being unable to finish a book? How do you control your plot bunnies?

 

Uncategorized

5 years! and still have a face for radio!!!!

This month marks my five year anniversary of being a radio host! 5 years and i have hosted a lot of people, many of them repeats but all together I have met some awesome authors that I like to call friends.

Where it began!

May 2013 Dellani invited me to join her and Christina Giguere on DELLANIS TEA TIME for a chat. The conversation turned to the fact that I, in their esteemed opinion needed my own show.  Naturally I gobsmacked, but in a good way.  This was something I had never considered myself doing but I jumped at it with hubbys encouragement.

Why?

Dellani explained it was because I asked so many good questions in the chat room during her shows that i would be great at interviewing others.

What’s Next?

We set about finding me a person to steer the ship. to set up the chatroom and get the switchboard going. My first co-host was a nice Scottish lad by the name of Jon Magee. He was a wonderful co host but after 2 1/2 years he had to drop out due to work and family considerations and Christina Giguere became my go-to-girl.

I have had a blast on this show WRITERS ROUND TABLE  and I plan on many more years talking about all things books.

Fave Questions I have asked

What would you do for a Klondike bar? Once such guest replied but then demanded his ice cream. I stopped asking that one because clearly I couldn’t deliver.

If your character had a theme song what would it be?  Wil Van Lipsig-Let the bodies hit the floor!

If you could drop one of your characters into another book what would it be? Dellani would drop Wil from Lone wolf into Lord of the Rings. Wil would decimate the ring, kill the bad asses and turn an epic novel into a piece of flash fiction.

That’s just the few of the questions I have asked and I am looking for more.

So the questions I ask involve the books they write and character driven questions. I also ask the guests about their writing styles and when and why they started writing. I end the show sometimes asking them to give a piece of advice to give new writers.

I thank my mentor Dellani for introducing me to the wonderful world of radio hosting. It’s been a blast.

 

 

 

Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

SASSY SARCASM PRESENTS STELLA SARCASM

SASSY-SARCASM.jpgFROM THE TIME I INTRODUCED STELLA STADYLMEYER IN DEAD MEN DON’T SWING SHE AND LAURA HAVE BEEN TRADING SARCASTIC QUIPS. SHE SPENT A FEW (TOO SHORT MONTHS IN THE SLAMMER FOR KNIFING HER EX IN A FIT OF RAGE BUT SHE IS BACK IN MY WORK IN PROGRESS DEAD AIR DOING BATTLE WITH  LAURA ONCE AGAIN AND MYRNA (INTRODUCED IN DEAD TO WRITES). STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO UP HER GAME AS MYRNA GIVES AS WELL AS SHE GETS. STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO WATCH HER BACK AS MYRNA MAY HAVE TO BREAK A FEW WICCAN RULES AND TURN HER INTO FROGS LEGS!

dead_mean_dont_swing_2 (2).jpg

“Well if it isn’t Mrs. Fitz? Who’s your little friend dear?

If Elaine had been in any shape, Stella would have been on her back on the floor. Luckily for both of them, the cab pulled up and honked. Elaine shot Stella a filthy look and stumbled out to the taxi.

“Not much of a conversationalist. You really need to pick politer friends dear.”

I was sorely aching to tell her off but I suppressed the urge to tear her a superfluous opening. I waved and walked back to the apartment while counting to ten and praying for strength.

 

STELLA QUOTE.jpg

I was sleeping on the way home in the car. Gerry had to practically carry me into the apartment. Of course in my semi comatose condition, we just had to run into Stella who uttered a few quick quips about me having too much to drink to which Gerry answered with a ‘bite me Stella’. If I had had any energy left I would have offered up a middle finger salute.

STELLA GOES TOE TO TOE WITH LAURA’S MOTHER. WATCH THE FUR FLY!

The evening went well and we were able to dine al fresco. Toronto was experiencing a warmer than usual month of April. We had set our new patio table and chairs on our patio. Things were going smoothly until Stella happened along and started to nose her way into our gathering.

“How’s your arm Mrs. Fitz?”

Mom looked at me. “What about your arm Laura?”

I had a mishap playing darts last night some yahoo has worse aim than me.”

Stella chimed in “That’s not what I heard. It would seem your daughter has attracted an enemy or two.  With that attitude it comes as no surprise.”

“How dare you say my daughter has an attitude?”

“Plain to see –she is a thorn in my side and I have no clue why the owner hired such an uppity individual. Does a fine management job but she has a caustic tongue.

My daughter is far from perfect; I raised her to be independent and opinionated but you have no right to criticise her for that.

Yes I see where she’d get that attitude ; you should have instilled manners and respect for her elders.

Why you bitch!”

“Mom don’t! Your blood pressure she’s not worth it.

With that Stella stormed off.

“Where did you get that one.”

“Unfortunately  she came with the building.”

DEAD MEN DON’T SWING IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

 

Karen Vaughan

THE WHITE ENVELOPE: FOR THE MAN WHO HATED CHRISTMAS!!!!! BY NANCY GAVIN 1982

karens kwm logo (1).pngI wasn’t going to post a Christmas story of mine because I didn’t have one. I was going to post my Gus story written from the POV of a dog. I was surfing the net and found this gem.  So settle in with some hot cocoa and some Christmas cookies and enjoy this heartwarming story.

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas — oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it — overspending…Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Christmas card with bow on a brown background.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids — all kids — and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition — one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

credit goes to huff post for this story

Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

WOOHOO, JAMAICA DEAD IS NOW IN PAPER BACK MON!

Grab a bottle of Red Stripe, some jerk chicken and settle in for the vacation of a life time for Laura and Gerry. Laura has done the work required to become a Crime scene investigator  (even while being abducted ) This only means one thing. Laura will now get paid to snoop!

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As per what usually happens when Laura is in the vicinity, there is a murder! Donovan Mitchell is a royal pain in her assets but did he deserve to get taken out? No, It was grisly the way this guy met his maker. Laura is trying her hardest just to avoid getting dragged into the murder investigation but wants to help the widow figure out why her husband was dispatched and what killed him.  

Jamaica dead was one of my favorite books to write. I used my previous experience in Jamaica years ago as  part of the story and gave it to Laura to use.  I also had fun writing the characters of Gaylord and Mary.  The ugly jokes got a lot of laughs from people who read the story.UGLYJOKEQUOTE.jpg

Some kind words for the e-book!

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If you haven’t read a book by this author, grab this and if you have, you will already know you have to have another mystery, suspense from this author. Laura and Gerry are back and headed to Jamaica. Of course, with Laura you have to have murder, mystery and a lot of fun. Donovan and Becky Mitchell are also headed to the same resort and although not Laura and Gerry’s first choice for friends they do get to know each other and then Donovan ends up dead and readers are in for a great ride involving voodoo, murder, drugs and a well told tale.

JAMAICA DEAD PAPERBACK