Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Author Website

I would love it if y'all would check out my new author website. I have my own domain name and all that sweet jazz. I tried to snazzy the place up for y'all so I hope you'll meander on over and take a look. If you like the site, please make use of the share buttons provided.

From the Books link you can find all my short story anthologies. The links on the page will take you to Amazon where they are all published.

Please sign the guestbook if you stop by. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Indie Author Meet and Greet

Hey, y'all. Just wanted to post here for those who read the blog and let you know that I'm hosting an Indie Author Meet and Greet on Facebook tomorrow. Be sure and stop by if you can. We are giving away eBooks, an Amazon gift code and a coffee mug with my new logo. It'll be a fun way to meet some new authors you might love!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


“Are you really going to wear that?”

I smiled when Amanda’s shoulders slumped and she hung her head in shame. She actually looked good in the dress, but I couldn’t let her know that. Oh no, she had to wear what I told her and only what I told her. You had to keep your woman under control. Dad had taught me that, and it had served him and mom well for fifty years.

“I’ll go change,” Amanda whispered. “I’m sorry.”

“Hurry up,” I ordered. “I can’t afford to be late for this dinner.” When she didn’t leave fast enough, I added, “Not that you care about the promotion anyway. Not with the way you keep spending money.”

Amanda hardly ever bought anything for herself, but she had bought new school clothes for the children last week. I knew she would think of that and be ashamed. She ran to the bedroom to change while I sat on the couch and read the paper.

After ten years, it was easy to push her buttons. I used to wonder why she didn’t leave, but then I figured it out. She actually believed she was stupid and couldn’t survive on her own. I guess after hearing her father say it all through her childhood and me say it during our marriage, she took it for fact.

She was back in ten minutes, but I acted as if it had taken hours. “It’s about time! What took you so long?”

“I’m sorry, Tony, I tried to hurry.”

“Well you didn’t try hard enough. If we’re late you can bet your sweet ass they’ll know why.”

I knew we wouldn’t be late, but Amanda didn’t. I had never allowed her to learn to drive. She had to take a cab to the store whenever she went, which of course I complained about if it was more than once a week because of the money. 

We had plenty of money. I had socked it away for years, but she had no idea. I gave her an allowance and that was all she got.

We made it to the dinner on time. Not that I didn’t belittle Amanda because we were the last ones there. To her credit, she sucked back the tears and held her head high while meeting all my associates. I had trained her well.

When we were first married, she broke down in the middle of a party. After I was through with her lesson, she never made that mistake again. From then on, I could count on her to hold herself together no matter what I said. Her self-control was actually astounding under the circumstances. 

Dinner went well. Amanda never missed a step. I had made her watch etiquette demonstration videos for two days straight during our first year of marriage so she would never embarrass me when we were out. I even made her stick to all the rules at home when it was just the family. 

Not that I was going to tell her how well things went. 

“Well that was just great, Amanda,” I snapped as soon as we got in the car.

“I’m sorry,” she replied, even though she had no idea what I was talking about. “I’ll do better next time.”

“Damn right you will. I think it’s time you dug those etiquette videos back out and watched them again.”

“Yes, Tony, I’ll watch them tonight when we get home.”

“I’ll be lucky if I get the promotion now,” I added and sulked the rest of the way home. 

Sometimes, I got tired of the charade, but if I didn’t keep up my end, Amanda might start thinking for herself and we couldn’t have that. I needed her by my side. Nobody made partner at Sterns and Benfield who wasn’t married.

I smiled when we walked in the door and Amanda headed straight to the hall closet to fetch the videos. I stood in the doorway, watched until she started the show, and sat down, and then I went to bed. I would quiz her in the morning.

It was late and I was tired.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wrong Number

Here was our writing exercise for the week:

You're sitting at work one day and receive a text message from an unrecognized number. The text says, "I have the money and hid the body." You think this is a practical joke from a friend, so you play along at first. But the more texts you receive, the more you realize that it isn't a joke. Write the text conversation you have with this unknown texter.

Here is what I came up with. What do y'all think?

Unknown Number: I have the money and hid the body.

“What’s so funny?” James asked at your laughter.

“Just Tom being Tom,” you answer and read the phone again before replying.

Drake: Did you hide it in the place we talked about? 

Unknown Number: Yes, nobody will find him for years. By the time they do, we’ll be long gone.

“Humm,” you say. “Hey, James.”


“Was Tom drunk when we talked about offing Janet the other night?” At the puzzled look on James’s face, you add, “You know, after she bitched me out about the alimony being two days late?”

“Oh, now I remember. No, Tom had just got there I think. Why?”

“Seems he’s mixed up,” you say and then go back to texting.

Drake: I know Janet has put on a few pounds but she doesn’t look like a man. LOL Are we heading to Vegas? 

Unknown Number:  Who is Janet? We don’t need any more complications. You need to take care of her. We’re going to Russia. I have connections there. Just in case someone stumbles upon the body.

 “Whoa!” you say and drop the phone.

“What now?” James asked so you pick it up and show him. 

“I don’t think that’s Tom…”


Friday, November 2, 2012

With Friends Like These...

“What’s going on?” I asked, trying to shake the grogginess from my head. 

I looked around when no one answered. I expected to be alone, but instead, saw several of my friends standing over me. I wiped my eyes because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. Each one, to a man, held a gun, and what was worse was they were all pointing at me.

“What the hell?” I demanded. “Why are y’all pointing guns at me?”

Roger looked like he was fixing to speak, but Charles elbowed him and told him to shut up. The others just shuffled from foot to foot and looked confused. I had no idea what was going on, but I was determined to find out.

“Roger,” I said, looking directly at my best friend of fifteen years. “What’s going on here? What’s with the guns?”

“Like you don’t know,” Charles snapped. 

The others said yeah and shook their heads like I was supposed to know what they were talking about. 

“I don’t know, Charles. Why don’t you tell me?” I asked. “And while you’re at it, why do I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck?”

I shook my head again, but couldn’t seem to clear it. Charles was squinting at me, and Roger looked like he wanted to talk so bad he was fixin’ to explode. 

“Roger?” I tried to prod him. “Please, tell me what’s going on here.”

“Come on, Trent, you know what you did,” Roger said before Charles could stop him.

“What I did?” I waited for them to add more, but nobody was forthcoming. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I could see that Charles was even starting to doubt. I still didn’t know what they thought I did, but it must have been terrible for them to be holding me a gunpoint. I was beginning to think they had already roughed me up a bit and that’s why I was so out of it.

“Pricilla,” Burt piped up. “You hurt her bad, Trent.”

“What!” I yelled. “I love Pricilla. I’d never hurt her.”

“That’s what we thought,” Charles said. “Until Pricilla told us what you did.”

I tried to remember what had happened that day, but I couldn’t shake the cobwebs loose enough to think clearly.  

“I would never hurt Pricilla. I don’t know what she said I did or why, but I know I wouldn’t hurt her.”

Roger pulled Charles aside. I could see them arguing back and forth. I don’t know why, but I hoped Roger won. When they finished, both men stepped back into the circle. 

“We want to believe you, Trent, we really do,” Roger said. “But Pricilla,” he stopped to clear his throat. “Pricilla looked awful. You hurt her bad.”

“I didn’t hurt her!” I yelled and jumped to my feet. Every gun came up and I immediately settled back to my knees. “Please, you have to believe me.”

I was fixing to argue my case some more when the doors burst open. Pricilla hobbled in on the arm of her brother, Chuck. 

“Wait!” she yelled. “Don’t hurt him.”

Everyone waited while she got her breath. I sure hoped she could explain what was going on because it wasn’t looking good for me. 

“Please forgive me, Trent,” she began. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

I still had no idea what was going on, but the tears in her eyes were more than I could take. “I love you, Pricilla. I’d never hurt you.”

“I know.”

“But,” Roger said. “You said he did.”

“I know what I said, but it was a lie.”

All the men lowered their guns, finally. Suddenly, I wasn’t the only one who was confused.

“Why would you do such a thing?” Roger asked.

“I didn’t want to admit what really happened. I didn’t want to lose Trent. Little did I know y’all would try to kill him!”

“What did you expect us to do?” Charles demanded. “You’re my cousin!”

“I wasn’t thinking clearly.” We waited and she said, “I went to Tubb’s last night.”

“The bar?”

“Yes, and I wa...,” she stuttered to a stop. “I was attacked on the way out.”

“What!” I yelled. 

“I’m so sorry, Trent. I didn’t know what to do. 

“You’re sorry?” I asked, dragging her into my arms. “What are you sorry for?”

“I was scared people would think I was a whore or something. Going to a bar like that.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sakes, my sister goes there all the time. You have nothing to be sorry for,” I assured her.

“You still love me?” she asked, tears streaming down her face.

“I’ll always love you,” I replied. “I’m not so sure about the rest of these lugs though.”