No Rest for the Wicked

Other people just think they’re “haunted by the past.” In Vi’s case, it’s true.

Clairvoyant Viola Thorne wants to forget about her days of grifting and running errands for ghosts. The problem? Playing it safe is dull. So when a dead stranger begs for her help, Vi jumps at the chance to dust off her hustling skills. The unlikely companions are soon tangling with bandits, cheating at cards, and loving every minute.

Meet Mary from Phoebe Darqueling’s No Rest for the Wicked
No Rest for the Wicked.

Mary Baker’s real life truly began the moment she died.

Sure, she’d had forty-odd years on the planet first, but she’d spent them clawing out a living. After a string of attempts at various jobs, she finally settled on the world’s “oldest profession.” Mary was neither young nor beautiful when she became a lady of the night, but the scratch she made on her back was far better than what she got for back breaking labor scrubbing on her hands and knees.

Until one day when a John decided she didn’t deserve even her pennies. So Mary decided he didn’t need to breathe any longer. The trial garnered quite a few headlines – her hanging garnered even more.

Her angry, wrathful spirit dribbled from her body and pooled beneath the platform as she exhaled her last breath. The ghost was confused and disoriented, but immediately felt a pulse of power from a man in the crowd. Mary drifted through the assembled jeerers until she was in front him. He tipped his hat and said, “How would you like a job?”

Mary smiled.

Excerpt from No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling

The whir of the belt system covered any possible sound, and with her abilities repressed, Mary’s azure aura disappeared. Now neither could detect the other, or at least, that was what Vi hoped. Her limbs twitched with unspent adrenaline, urging her to take action. Instead, she pressed her back against a wall cloaked in shadows.

A mirthless snort, and the assassin’s voice rose up sickeningly sweet with condescension. “You’re going to hide from me here in the dark and the noise, is that it? I see you haven’t been listening to anything I’ve said.” She cackled, then a hissing whisper tickled Vi’s brain, coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. “I don’t need my eyes to see you any more than you need your ears to hear me. I will find you.”

The machines continued their whiny rumble, but a tense stillness descended between predator and prey. The energy inside of Vi clawed away at her resolve, begging to let it pinpoint the source of the danger, but she swallowed it down. It could be a bluff. The ghost had to have limits.

Mary’s voice eventually continued conversationally. “I meant what I said before. If you don’t come out and face me, soon, I’ll be forced to pay a visit to your home again. I don’t really believe you’d be stupid enough to go back there. But I would be remiss in my duty if I didn’t return to at least… ask around.”

Though Vi couldn’t detect the ghost distinctly, the air grew colder, signaling she’d started to cross the factory floor. The movement was slow, probing. Mary still didn’t know. Vi pressed her cheek against the wall, reveling in the distraction of the soft drag of her flesh against the brickwork.

“The old woman, a relation of yours by what I observed. Never seems to leave that house,” Mary said, her voice thick with mock concern. “Which is dangerous, considering how easily those big, old houses burn.”

Even as Vi pictured the manor in flames, the air grew a few degrees colder. The assassin gathered the stray energy in the room, seeking whatever quality she knew belonged to her target. The crackling ball in Vi’s gut grew denser and larger as she pushed away the image of the house engulfed in fire.

“That sweet young lady, she’s there, too.” The ghost taunted. “Not to mention that little boy who follows you like a lost puppy. You led me right to them, you know. And now, they’re the ones who are going to suffer.”

Her anger flared at the taunt, and Vi desperately tried to pull it back in again. The weight became a molten churning of power fed by her rage.

“Don’t you want to know what I did to your precious Peter? You’d have thought he already suffered enough at my hands, but you put him in my way again.”

Vi barely contained a gasp at the blistering pain that sliced through her. Though she needed to hide, there was no going back to the way things had been. The energy had grown too large to bury, and now it spilled over the edges and burned everywhere it touched.

Satisfied laughter bubbled up from below her as Mary picked up the trail alight with agony and guilt.


Find out what happens to Mary and Vi in No Rest for the Wicked, available now from Black Rose Writing.

Find more behind the scenes action and reviews on the blog tour page.

About the Author

Phoebe Darqueling is the pen name of a globe trotting vagabond who currently hangs her hat in Freiburg, Germany. In her “real life” she writes curriculum for a creativity competition for kids. She loves all things Steampunk and writes about her obsession on SteampunkJournal.org. You can find her short stories in the Chasing Magic and The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales anthologies, and her contributions to the collaborative novels, Army of Brass and Esyld’s Awakening. Her first solo novels, Riftmaker and No Rest for the Wicked are available Spring 2019.

Get a FREE copy of The Steampunk Handbook by Phoebe Darqueling when you sign up for Phoebe’s monthly email.

 

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Spring has sprung: “Flower Power Trip”

Had to give a nod to author James J. Cudney who grew up on Long Island, as I did.

Flower Power Trip
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

 

About the Book


Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Creativia (March 30, 2019)
Print Length: 270 pages
Digital ASIN: B07NDK76WF

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball,, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Social Media Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit these other stops on the tour

April 5 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

April 5 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 6 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

April 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

April 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

April 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

April 10 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT (You are here!)

April 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

April 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
Part of the action in Flower Power Trip has to do with a benefit for a library. If you would like to benefit libraries, may I suggest buying a copy of The Magical Book of Wands, a fantasy anthology? The authors, including me, are donating our royalties to the American Library Association.

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Changing genres: Experimentation in writing | Michael Stephen Daigle

Writers: In a slump? Some thoughts about that here. Also, observations about tackling a different genre.

Source: Changing genres: Experimentation in writing | Michael Stephen Daigle

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Enter the dragon’s lair

After two Facebook takeovers, Inky decided he wanted his own group. Thus, something new: Inky’s Lair.  He asked me to share this invitation:

Welcome. I am Inky, author Devorah Fox’s guardian, or in more contemporary parlance, personal assistant. This is my lair, a crucible if you will. Here you will get a bird’s eye, or rather a dragon’s eye, view of what goes into her wonderful fantasy stories and mysteries that you so enjoy reading. You will help me with important decisions about character names, story titles, and book cover concepts. I’ll share sneak peeks at upcoming works, links to free stuff, and other delights. So don’t be afraid … enter. (No advertising unless approved by me.)

So come, join us in this slightly magical place to hang out, enjoy book talks, and savor the best toasted marshmallows, not mention dragonalia of all sorts.

Inky's Lair, a Facebook group for book lovers

The address: https://www.facebook.com/groups/inkyslair/

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The world of Riftmaker

Riftmaker by Phoebe DarquelingRiftmaker by Phoebe Darqueling
Character spotlight

Guest post by Phoebe Darqueling

The world of Riftmaker is populated with characters who have an unusual background. Or perhaps I should say they had a completely usual background for their species, then one day they were ripped from our plane of existence and woke up in a human body on the other side of a rift in space and time. Before Cirroc became a man and was given his human name, he lived in mountains of central Asia. Like his snow leopard brethren, he lived a mostly solitary life in the frozen drifts, hunting down prey and trying to survive.

About a dozen years ago, all of that changed. The silent, white world of his mountain home became awash in purple light as a portal opened. The dazzling gash hung in the air and sang a song so beautiful, he could not help but walk toward it. As the rift enveloped him, his essence remained but his body was torn apart and reassembled in his new form; the pale blue of his eyes and the dappled silver of his hair the only remnants of his former shape. With his new body came a new and utterly malleable mind. And that’s just the way The Commander likes his recruits.

Cirroc’s world expanded, new and exciting thoughts could take shape, and he became part of a community where everyone was considered a brother or a sister. The Commander, who was also the spiritual leader and teacher of The Chosen, painted a picture of how special people like Cirros were. They were closer to nature, closer to their instincts than the spoiled and haughty citizens of the clockwork city of Excelsior. But despite their superiority, they’d been relegated to living in the shadows, afraid that they would disappear at the hand of their oppressors and never return. The Commander has made powerful allies to further their cause, and assures his people that their deliverance is at hand. All they have to do is everything he says.

Meet CirrocFor a decade, Cirroc has done just that, and even been promoted through the ranks. But with his expanded mind came to power to question the world order. The more questions he asks about the mission of The Chosen, the less he likes the answers.

Here’s a little introduction to Cirroc and his Commander.

He replaced his handkerchief, took a final deep breath, and rapped on the door.

“Enter,” came the terse response. Cirroc reached for the handle, but the door was already being opened for him by a servant. He stepped a few paces into the long room and stood at attention. The Commander was standing at the other end of the room with his back to the sergeant, perusing a map on the wall. Cirroc did not need the meager light to see it, he recognized the shape of the Excelsior city walls easily, as well as the places marked as gateways for driving in the chimeras. As a keeper, he was all too familiar with these places and the Commander’s keen interest in them. The supplies they carted away through these makeshift doors every night were the lifeblood of the camp.

It stung Cirroc’s pride to be kept waiting, but he also knew he was in no position to aggravate his teacher and most high commander. The more recruits they brought in, the more important discipline had become, and the Commander did not hesitate to quash anyone who strayed out of line. So Cirroc held his pose of attentive readiness and would do so until he was told to do otherwise. After what felt like an eternity, the Commander finally spoke from his dais, but still did not turn to face him.

“What know you of justice?” “We know none,” Cirroc replied. “For we are those who are forgotten.” This call and response mantra was one of the first things drilled into a new recruit’s head upon entering service. Usually, the words rolled out of Cirroc without even thinking, but as their strange duet continued, he grew more uneasy.

“What know you of the light?”

“We know none, for we are those who walk in the shadows.”

“What know you of hunger?”

“We know none, for we are those who are provided for.” Cirroc did his best to keep his glassy stare straight ahead when the Commander finally turned and regarded him. His leonine mane was loose about his shoulders. The candlelight glinted in the depths of the Commander’s good eye. The milky white ruin of the other stood out against the dark scars that ran down the left side of his face.

The Commander’s next question was not in the monotone of the exercise, and he arched one eyebrow as a small glimmer of mirth to entered his voice. “And what know you of loyalty?”

“We know none—” Before Cirroc could finish the line, the Commander leaped nimbly across the table and stood only inches from his face as he stuttered, “except for those among our ranks.”

The Commander was not a tall man, but it didn’t make him any less imposing. Though the violent action of the moment before did not show in his breath, his muscles were visibly tense as he leaned in closer to Cirroc’s ear and snarled. “Are you sure about that, Sergeant?”

Will Cirroc follow orders or follow his conscience? Check out Riftmaker by Phoebe Darqueling to find out!

Riftmaker

For a limited time, Riftmaker is available for $1.99 from Amazon and a variety of other e-book retailers. So grab your copy before Feb, 14! Print price is $18.99 from Amazon and the Our Write Side store.

Find more character spotlights, book reviews, guest posts, and interviews with Phoebe Darqueling during the Riftmaker blog tour, Jan 24 – Mar 6.

Do you like free books? Sure you do! Get a FREE COPY of The Steampunk Handbook right now.

You can find more of Phoebe’s antics on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Beyond the Mask Release Day Giveaway!

Source: Beyond the Mask Release Day Giveaway!

It’s “Beyond the Mask” release day! If you preordered an ebook copy, it should now be in your hot little hands. And please join us on the Facebook page hosted by C. L. Cannon for our release day party. Meet the authors and learn a little more about what’s beyond the mask. Of course, there will be games, prizes, and giveaways. Inky the Dragon and I are taking over today, January 29, beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

“Beyond the Mask” includes my story, “Lady Blackwing Gets Her Moniker.” This is the second adventure for Mercedes, a part-time college student, barista, and aspiring writer. You can read about the accident that endows her with her baffling powers in “Lady Blackwing.”

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RTA

This has absolutely nothing to do with books or writing, mine or anyone else’s.

Yesterday I spent half a day assembling a rocking chair. I had bought it online and had failed to see the fine print: “some assembly required.” So it was an unpleasant surprise when it arrived in a flat pack.

I swore that I would never do another one of these. I know that a considerable amount of thought, creativity, and engineering goes into designing these projects such that the parts can be loaded into a box and shipped, and upon arrival can be assembled with a few tools (usually supplied) and even less expertise by blooming idiots. However, the designers of RTA furniture fail to take into account someone like me, a COMPLETE blooming idiot. I have no talent or patience.  I had to research hex nuts to find out which end is “up.”

I could have returned it. But I really wanted that chair, so I tackled it. Four hours, three split cuticles, two broken nails, and several colorful metaphors later, I had it put together. In my defense, one bolt was ever so slightly misaligned and required some editing with a mallet on my part. Indeed, the instructions did advise that two people might be required to align the holes for the fasteners.

I will readily admit that even with the supplied “single end wrench” I did not get all the bolts as tightened as they probably should be. But I gave the chair a test sit and it didn’t collapse. This morning it’s still there on my patio, all in one piece, rocking gently in the breeze, seductively murmuring “come hither.”

My compliments to the designers. This is a very comfortable chair. It has a nice high back and wide arms. It rocks back just so far and then stops at a perfect angle. I foresee many a pleasant hour sitting on the patio drinking coffee or perhaps an adult beverage (like the one I sorely needed after my construction exercise). It’s roomy and supportive for reading. Or writing. So maybe this post is about books after all.

resin wicker RTA rocker

By the way, about those hex nuts? Study the nut and you’ll see that one end is flat and the other end is slightly crowned. The crowned end is “up.”

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New: The Quest by Karina Kantas

Newly launched, The Quest by Karina Kantas

Book 2 of Illusional Reality duology.

The Quest by Karina Kantas

YA romantic fantasy the exciting concluding part of Illusional Reality.

Published by Asteri press
http://bit.ly/TQPPAM – The Quest Amazon.com –  Paperback
http://bit.ly/pptquk – The Quest Amazon.UK – Paperback

Karina is a prolific writer and has had 8 books published in various genres. It was her love of Tolkien and Pullman that Karina wrote her romantic fantasy, Illusional Reality, which has turned out to be her bestseller. Readers have taken Thya and Alkazar into their hearts.

THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS

When Hati, notices a Tsinian crystal glowing, she knows she must stick to her word and return to her homeland as Thya. Knowing her kinsmen needed her, there was no hesitation. Even though there was more to lose than just her life.

Once more a prophesy was given that informed the reader of oracles, that only Thya could stop the war and save not just her people, but the rest of Enumac from Kovon’s psychotic future plans.

Along with three other companions, Thya is sent on a perilous quest to locate a dark crystal which holds evil known as the Dark Force. The group are tried and tested throughout their journey by monsters, death and courage. New friendships will be formed and other lost. Thya’s power becomes stronger and a second will threatens to take over her mind body and soul.

A terrifying surprise waits for them in the city of Helkon.
Will they survive.
Will Thya return to Tsinia and for the final showdown with Kovon.

Find out by reading the thrilling concluding part of Illusional Reality.


  •  Karina Kantas is the author of the popular OUTLAW series.
    Thrillers involving outlaw motorcycle clubs and the highly rated romantic fantasy ILLUSIONAL REALITYShe also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.There are many layers to Karina’s writing style and talent. As is displayed in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Takes. And in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans. Giving them another glimpse of her warped mind.

    When Karina isn’t busy working on her next bestseller, she runs affordable indie author services. KKantas AuthorAssist. Social Media Consultant, Book Trailer designer, Narration, Branding and Logo design, Marketing and Promotion Manager, design and VA.

    Karina writes in the genres of fantasy, romance, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, and comedy.

    http://bit.ly/TwittKK TWITTER
    http://bit.ly/BLOGKK BLOG
    http://bit.ly/KKGRE Goodreads
    http://bit.ly/KarinaKantas Amazon author page
    http://bit.ly/IRFBPAGE FB Illusional Reality book page

Join Karina’s mailing list where you will receive a monthly newsletter with offers, latest news and more. All new subscribers receive a complimentary gift. http://eepurl.com/daKief

Buy The Quest in paperback and get the eBook of book one of Illusional Reality for free.

http://bit.ly/TQPPAM

Please send proof of purchase to receive your free eBook.
https://www.facebook.com/bolidepublishing.

http://bit.ly/TQPPAM – The Quest Amazon.com –  Paperback
http://bit.ly/pptquk – The Quest Amazon.UK – Paperback

The Quest in e-book will be released 14th February 2019.

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From the sublime to the ridiculous

I promised you a report on my weekend of experiences. That it’s taken me until Wednesday to get to it should give you a clue as to how busy it was.

Sublime

Saturday I attended the 37th annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival held by the First Christian Church in Corpus Christi. Capping the Christmas season and celebrating Epiphany, it’s an Old English retelling of the coming of the three kings meeting baby Jesus. Originally presented at Queens College in Oxford in 1340, it came to be a holiday tradition in English manor houses and later in colonial America. A Renaissance-era story, it depicts a medieval pageant. This was quite the spectacle and I cannot praise the organizers and actors enough. It would have been sufficient to enjoy it solely for the entertainment value. But I found myself thinking this was the type of exhibition that the lords and ladies of The Bewildering Adventure of King Bewilliam might have enjoyed. I’ll be keeping the sight, sound, and pacing in mind should the Muse want to revisit the Chalklands.

Something Else

Sunday I attended a day-long class to qualify for a Texas License to Carry a concealed handgun. The class began with a four-hour presentation on the various laws governing the licensing and the responsibilities of license holders. Students had to pay attention because a written test followed. I aced it although there was one question that I thought was badly worded. Throughout my career, I’ve written a lot of test questions so I felt justified in criticizing but others shared my opinion.

Then we all drove out in the country to the Corpus Christi Pistol and Rifle Club range for the shooting part of the qualification. Applicants must show that they know how to carry a handgun safely, arm it, and ready it to fire. The targets were cardboard slabs mounted on a stand. A green silhouette of a roughly human form was marked with a bull’s eye and three concentric rings.

It’s been decades since I even held a handgun. I have vague recollections of going plinking with a friend and can’t recall if I managed to hit anything.

The instructor organized groups of three shooters at a time. Other than me, the students had handgun experience so the instructor asked me to go last. I spent the time observing and even helped one student load her magazine (“Do NOT call it a clip!” said the instructor) which was part of the test.

It was late in the day by the time we got around to me. The sun was sinking and I worried about being able to see the target much less aim accurately. I was also concerned because though I had recently purchased glasses with distance correction I had yet to receive them. Still, I knew that I’d only stew about it and I didn’t want to put the test off for another day. I figured that even if I blew it, I could try again. The state allows for three chances to pass the shooting test.

The instructor lent safety gear. License applicants must show that they have consideration for their personal safety. Though it was an outdoor range it was still a noisy place. Shooters need hearing protection (earmuffs or plugs). Eye protection in the form of safety goggles or glasses is also a necessity, especially with brass casings flying through the air like bees swarming.

Not only did I not have experience or my own safety gear I also didn’t have a handgun. I had worried that I would find the firearm heavy and awkward to handle. The instructor lent me a Ruger .22 and I had absolutely no problem with it. The “red-dot sight” with which it was equipped made aiming easy. I anticipated recoil of which I had read so much but because .22 is a fairly small caliber, this handgun didn’t present any that I noticed. I did observe another phenomenon of which I had read: muzzle flash.

So, how did I do on the test?

The shooting test requires 50 rounds of ammunition fired at three distances:

  • 3 yards – 20 rounds fired
  • 7 yards – 20 rounds fired
  • 15 yards – 10 rounds fired

It’s a timed test. The Texas LTC shooting test passing score is 175 points out of 250 points or a score of 70%.

LTC shooting testI scored 243.

The day-long class was conducted by Michael McKinley of CCIT. Enthusiastic about handgun operation and safe shooting practices, he was knowledgeable about the subject and patient with a rank beginner. That I passed is a testament to his skills as an instructor.

He did charge us with evaluating our preparedness to shoot someone, especially in a crisis situation. It’s an important consideration but it wasn’t why I applied for the license or took the class. I write a lot of crime fiction and simply need to know more about firearms.

Ridiculous

Monday I answered a summons for jury duty. Different states handle this in different ways. Here in Nueces County, citizens report to the Central Jury room and wait, sometimes for hours, sometimes all day, for the court personnel to sort potential jurors into groups. The groups are then assigned to pending cases. Jury candidates might proceed immediately to a courtroom or be instructed to return at a future date at which point attorneys will select jurors from the pool of candidates.

OK, “ridiculous” is a little harsh but it can be tedious. I get summoned at least every other year and occasionally more often so I’ve been through the drill many times. To make some use of the waiting time I bring a book to read or one of my works-in-progress to write. And at least one occasion has provided material to put in my Story Ideas file.

So there you have it. Three experience-packed days all of which yielded grist for the story mill. Now all that’s left is the writing.

 

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Happy new year

A year ago I had my house listed for sale and was consumed with finding a new place to live. I sold the house, the closing date approached, and I still didn’t have a new address. For a while there it looked like I and my two cats and my characters would be homeless. Truly. I was quite desperate. At the last minute, I found a place with the right spaces for us all. Sorting and shredding and packing and moving and unpacking proved more stressful and time-consuming than I would have imagined.

But it’s a new year, new ambitions, and writing projects galore. I plan to have new reads for you to enjoy in 2019.

Despite my new full-time job of getting myself relocated I managed to get some writing done. In “Lady Blackwing Earns Her Moniker,” the heroine of my Fantasy/Science Fiction mini tackles a new adventure. This story is one of several in the “Beyond the Mask” superhero anthology. Launching Jan. 29, 2019 it’s available for preorder. I’m especially pleased to be a part of this project. Proceeds from your purchase will go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to benefit childhood cancer research. So you’ll not only enjoy some entertaining reads, you’ll be a superhero yourself.

Beyond the Mask, A Fiction-Atlas Superhero Anthology

Murder by the Book by Devorah FoxI made time to do National Novel Writing Month in November. This was my eighth writing marathon. I worked on a new adventure for Candy Wadsen, the heroine of “Murder by the Book,” a mystery mini. I hope to have “Dying to Get Hung” out for you before the year ends.

Ah, the things we authors do in pursuit of verisimilitude. Tune in next week for a report on my upcoming “learning experiences.” Meanwhile, I hope 2019 is off to a good start for you.

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