WIP Wednesdays: Only The Willing

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While Stan, Jane and Julian tend to make a formidable team, that doesn’t mean that they are perfect and don’t fight.

*****

“So are you guys going to fill me in or am I going to have to become a psychic to figure out what is going on?” Juilan asked as Holly, their waitress brought their food.

Stan looked at Jane and shrugged. It certainly wasn’t going to hurt anything to straighten a some of the misinformation out that the boy had heard, and you never know with Julian he came up with some pretty interesting lines of thinking.

“You aren’t seriously considering telling him whats going on are you?” Jane asked her forkful of lettuce stopping half way towards her open mouth.

“Well what can it hurt at this point? He had probably already heard everything that the chief has heard and then some. It certainly isnt going to give him any less nightmares if we straighten a few things out for him.”

“Ugh! I cant believe it! Every time we get to this point in the conversation you tell me that this will be the last time and that you promise you wont get Julian involved again. And every time the boy wonder here asks you look at me like the over protective parent and make me feel all guilty for not letting the boy in on the case.”

“Well that’s what you are, are you not? Aren’t you the bad cop in the good cop bad cop scenario.”

“Why is it that I always end up being the bad cop all the time?” Jane said stabbing at her salad with her for while Julian watched the exchange with a slightly amused grin on his face.

“Because you are so good at it my dear. Besides you wouldn’t be happy if you weren’t taking care of some one or something. Seriously.”

“Whatever. You go ahead and do what you want. You will anyways regardless of what I say so I don’t even know why you bother asking me for my approval.”

“Well it would be nice to have the support of my partner in the decision I may or may not make.” Stan said trying hard to keep the irritation out of his voice. Some times Jane could annoy him when she went off on one of her self righteous rants.

“Yeah well I would certainly like it if my partner would at least try to respect my wishes, especially when my wishes pertain to the disclosure of information about a case we are working on. Seriously Stan.” Jane jabbed her fork in his direction.

“Now wait just a minute Jane I never–” Stan started

“Would both of you just cut it out! I’m sitting right here you know and listening to you is starting to give me a headache.” Julian said putting his hands up to silence the both of them. “Now look I understand why you don’t want me to know things about the cases you guys handle but at the same time, we all know if I can be of assistance I will be. Now from what I have heard this is turning into a pretty nasty sounding case and you are going to want to wrap it up as fast as possible. That being said I might be able to help in some way or another. But if you don’t want a lowly academy type helping you out fine. I get it. But you guys shouldn’t waste your time arguing about whether or not to fill me in on the details of things. Last check there were bigger fish for you to fry out there.”

Julian finished speaking and stood up grabbing his back pack and laptop, making like he was going to leave.

Teaser Tuesdays: Sacrifice Of Innocence

teaser tuesday

Of course no teasers would be complete without a look at the bad guys…

*****

The room was dark except from the light from the dais at the far end of the room. Two giant pillar candles flanked a robe-clad woman seated in a winged, high-back chair. In the light her robe looked almost black. Her guards were there, too. Even though they kept out of the light the man that entered the room could feel their presence. The little hairs on the back of his neck had risen the moment he had stepped across the threshold and entered the room. They would be armed and ready to protect the one they served at the cost of their lives, if the situation called for it.

 

A man knelt on the ground before her, his own robes pooled around him, and spoke without looking up at her.

 

“There is a problem, your Highness.”

 

“I am well aware of that. How could this happen?”

 

“He was not careful. He left too many things behind, which in turn led him to be identified by the authorities.”

 

“He cannot be linked to us.”

 

“I understand. That matter has been dealt with. We have erased our existence in his life. They will not find out.”

 

“I hope you are right. What has begun cannot be stopped.

 

All we have worked for would be lost. The end is now near.”

 

“I know.”

 

“You have the final gift to offer our Gods?”

 

“Yes. We have the child.”

 

“Then all is not lost.”

 

“We shall not fail, your Highness.”

 

“We only have to wait until the next new moon and it will be done. Our place in the New World will be concrete. There can be no more problems. Discretion is paramount.”

 

“I understand what must be done.”

 

“Good. See that there are no more failures.”

 

The man rose, bowed all the while without looking at the woman, then turned and left the room.

Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

Most days I try to squeeze in some time, but with my chaotic world sometimes a week or two will pass with nothing written. Also seasons affect my productivity as well. I tend to be far more productive in the winter time than I am in the summertime. Summertime I can be found roaming far and wide with the pup and the rest of the family as we tend to hike and camp a lot when the weather gets nice.

Although I have to say there have been more than a few times that the muse has grabbed a good hold on me in the middle of no where and I have binge written well into the wee hours of the morning in a notebook.

Thats the other thing; I never go anywhere without a notebook. You really never know when your best bits will hit you. So yes I write almost every day, but there is no strict schedule for that writing.

Q&A with Robert N Stephenson

q & a

Please welcome our first guest from Satalyte Press… the wonderful Robert Stephenson!

*****

P1070685What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Writing is an absolute passion, it is what fulfills me and helps me feel alive. As I write words I live the lives of the characters and experience their worlds, nothing can compare to this feeling. Finding publications is just topping on and already beautiful cake. With all things published I hope to entertain above all things and through my writing allow others a journey away from the ho hum of the day.

So, what have you written?

I have written five novels for myself, Life Light has been published in both English and Polish, the other 4 are languishing in editing hell. I have a story collection ‘We Would be Heroes’ available from amazon along with a book on the observations of religion and faith in a neutral world. I have 2015_01_10_cover_Bleedwritten several hundred short stories, and have sold over 100. My how to write book is available from http://www.smashwords.com for free. The Writing Soldier is a simple attempt and creating a background in which a new writer can develop there skills and enjoy the full process from writing, to editing, to publication.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

In Life Light the characters paranoia drives him to stand up against a system he thinks is broken. He doesn’t know the tele-transportation system is broken, it is just a feeling he gets when he uses it. He has lost much of his passion but is driver by the notion of being right and finding out what is wrong with him. He isn’t a free spirit and no is he really in control of his own destiny but he tries, fails and tries again against threats and sanctions. Mikolev is a character you want to succeed but you struggle to work out just how he can given the situation and the world.

Pencilled in GodWhat genre are your books?

Life Light is Science Fiction, but I have written 2 books in Urban Fantasy (submitted for publication), a steam punk novel and two biographies for persons undisclosed. I have also written a High Fantasy novel for a film company in LA.

How much research do you do?

In my initial draft I do little research as I delve into creating the bones of the story first. I might leave notes for myself to look things up, but it is usually in the second draft that I do a lot of research into everything from word use, to physics.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I moved into writing in my late teens, where I wrote poetry for many years, publishing Garments of Rainbows in 1992 – a reprint will be coming soon. In 1996 I ventured into short story writing and found, while I was rather rough in skills, I had a good imagination for the genre field. I started and ran Altair Magazine until 2000, which allowed me to see other writers and edit materials for publication. My first full length novel wasn’t written until 2002, and it was published in Poland in 2005 – this book is Life Light, which has now been published in English by Satalyte Publishing in Australia.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

While I write full time, I also teach genre writing in a couple of colleges – online tutoring. I am now averaging about 80 graduates a year, and I now and awhile get news of their successes. I write a long short story every month, and have done so for twenty years, and when I am satisfied I have the energy to write the first draft of a novel I dedicate myself to the creation of the first draft in 12 weeks, though it takes a long time to editLife Light the work for possible publication. I aim for around 7 full drafts before I think I am getting the words in the right order.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Creating a time to write is vital to any writer’s life. I have many things to do in a week, but I have set aside one whole day that n o one is allowed to bother me. This is my writing day, and I even run a writer’s group in the evening that day – everything is writing. I write at other times as well, but if things go awry for the week everyone knows that one day is out of bounds. That day has been in place for 15 years now, so everyone respects that day.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing for me is that I am bipolar depressive so changing moods can affect me from time to time. The interesting thing is because I now take á lot’ of medication as treatment, and see a psychiatrist every month, my completion rates for fiction has gone up considerably. I almost complete everything I start, where as in the early days my mind would create but I couldn’t finish. If anyone suffers serious depression do not be afraid of the medications. Yes they do dull you emotionally, they have to, but what you lose in one area you pick up big time in others. If it wasn’t for my medications I would never have written 5 novels or hundreds of short stories. Some days sitting at the keyboard can be frustrating as my sadness gets really dark, but sometimes it is also refreshing to expound wonder that flood my mind. Oh, and one thing the medications do strange things to, your dreams. They are often rather wild and colourful. I wrote a story based on part of a dream once, and it was published by Keith Stevenson and was awarded an Aurealis Award for be SF short story for the year. Yes, there are hard days, but then there are not so hard days

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I have always held the opinion that writer’s block doesn’t actually exist. What does exist is an authors unwillingness to write. They want the story but they don’t want the effort. Some say it is a real thing, it has the root in depression and depression is a blockage to creativity. So there are probably bigger issues at play here and so called writers block is a manifestation of an underlying condition. If you find yourself struggling, then write a shopping list with reasons why you need products and what you would use them for, then write reasonable excuses why you shouldn’t use the same product. Trust me, there are many stories in that small setup.

Life LightDo you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

My favourite authors are many and varied and I would happily suggest ready some James P Blaylock, early Jack McDevitt, Nancy Cress, Joe Haldeman and if you are looking for collections of stories, look for collections edited by Ellen Datlow.

What advice amused you?

In my early writing days I submitted a story to Marion Zimmer Bradleys Fantasy Magazine and it was sent back with a note saying ‘this almost made me vomit’. The same story was rejected 30 times and without alteration I sent it to the Australia anthology Alien Shores. The story sold and was argued could have been up for an award. So, if I took what people said to me about my writing to heart I would have probably given up in that first year. I received 450 straight rejection (5 years) before I sold my very first story, and it took another 50 rejections until I sold my second. The thing I say to all writers and I definitely say to my writing students, never, ever give up. Never take rejection personally, and never be swayed but what others thing you should do. I was told many times to just give up. I didn’t and you shouldn’t either.

*****

Thanks so much to Robert for being on the blog from the great Down Under! Please be sure to follow Robert and check out some of his books!

Website: http://www.robertnstephenson.com

Facebook: robertnstephenson (The one in the Fez)

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/509090

WIP Wednesdays: Only The Willing

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Monsters lurk everywhere…

*****

As much of a monster as he was he had been the best father he could for his kids and they loved and adored him for it. He couldnt risk loosing them. Not for all the tea in china as his grandfather would say.

He had though in the past about going to talk with a shrink about the things that were going on inside his head. They were not permitted by law to talk about anything that was told to them in confidence by a patient. There however was one downfall to that as well. Any shrink worth their salts would do everything they could have someone like him committed.

Again that was something that he would never be able to allow to have happen. It would take his kids and wife away from him.

There was also the fact that even thought there are laws in place to stop people from talking there was also the chance that despite their code of silence they would talk, and then the police would be watching him and his movements.

Again something that would not work very well to his advantage.

At some point though the truth was going to come out. He had been lucky at this point that for all that he had done he had left nothing behind that would be able to identify him. But he kept on loosing control like he had last night he was bound to make some mistake some where an that would be his undoing.

No he had to be more careful. He couldn’t allow the rage to take over like it had last night. Truth be told the whole episode had left him shaken let alone with a massive pounding headache.

But when he had seen her walk into the coffee shop he had known just what she was. Her red hair had given it away. And then hen she had sat down at the table beside him and tried to strike up a conversation he had known without a shadow of a doubt that she was no better than his mother was.

She had been someone the world could do without.

Teaser Tuesdays: Sacrifice Of Innocence

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As a mother I know there is no greater fear than when your child is not where they are supposed to be. My kids have done that more than once to me and my God! I have almost lost it!

Rose however has a completely different problem.

*****

Rose headed straight home, expecting to find her daughter there wondering where she had been. She could almost see the look on her daughter’s face now. The look that said, ‘Mom, you worry about me too much.’ In truth she did in some ways worry about Lily more than most parents. She tried to tell herself that it was because she was the only person that Rose had left in her life. Her parents died when she was in her early twenties and she had no siblings. The rest of her family was scattered across the country and they rarely spoke to one another, let alone her.

When she walked in the house she automatically looked for her daughter’s running shoes and when she found that they were not there she called out, “Lily! Are you home?”

Getting no reply, she went to the kitchen thinking that maybe Lily had gone out looking for her. Maybe she had left a note or something, Rose thought.

But there was nothing on the kitchen table or by the phone where they usually left notes for each other. Rose looked at the phone and saw that the message light was flashing red. Without bothering to check the caller ID to see who it was that had called in the time she was out, she dialed her voice mail and played the first message. It was from Roxanne telling her that Becca was home, that Lily had not been with her this afternoon, and that Becca had gone to the library by herself. Lily had said she was headed home when they parted ways. Rose had to fight down the panic that was rising in her chest as she erased that message and played the last message, praying it was from Lily.

The next message was very short. In fact there was only one word spoken. That word brought Rose crashing to her knees in the middle of the kitchen. Time became a blur but she somehow managed to hang up and dial 911. She tried to explain the situation to the operator the best she could.

“My daughter is missing…” she stammered. “I think she’s been kidnapped… no…no…I don’t know by whom. Please, help me! Please!”

The operator told her to stay where she was and that someone would be sent out to see her shortly. After she hung up the phone she slumped into a chair to wait. She could not get the message out of her head no matter how hard she tried.

The message had been left by a man and the only word he spoke was Lily.

Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I try to write in the evenings every day after the kids go to bed, however the muse doesnt always cooperate with me and I can find myself starting at a blank screen for an hour. Then there are days when I can write on and off all day at work, home and even waiting around to pick up a husband or kid.

As much as I try to structure my days, it doesnt always work the way that I plan. I do however try and get a few words a day, even if it is just one hundred words, it is progress to me, and I get back to it tomorrow.

Q&A with Alice C. Hart

q & a

This week on the blog is another of my fellow authors from Sexy in the City Toronto.. the every beautiful… Alice Hart!

*****

allyhartWhat were you like at school?

I loved school. It was more of a social event for me than anything. Looking back, I wonder what could have happened had I gave a fuck and applied myself.

Were you good at English?

I rocked English… In school. I’m pretty sure I’d fail miserably now. Math was not my strong point and still isn’t. Fuck numbers n shit.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d love to have a writing career. For this to happen, I need people to read and hopefully love what I write. This is going to be hard for me because I love being a tad un-conventional. I don’t care about HEA’s, love cliffhangers, I love all the things that a lot of people don’t like lol.

Which writers inspire you?

EVERYTHING

So, what have you written?

I wrote a book. It’s called, Obsession. The main character is loosely based on me. All the other characters are based on my friends.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

My story is told from three different POV’s. My main bitch, Abby Osborne actually has a job, an apartment, and so does her love interest, Jake Jackson. They both work at a homeless shelter.

What I love about my characters, they are not perfect. They drink, they smoke, they party. I feel like they live their lives without apologising but also aren’t hurting anyone at the same time. People aren’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. It’s messy, complicated, and sometimes you have a stalker LOL.

What are you working on at the minute?Small New e Cover

Oh lord, I have three things I’m currently working on. Book 2 to the Stalker Series is top priority. I also want it to kick ass and refuse to release it until I feel it’s good enough.

What genre are your books?

This series is Romantic/Suspense, sprinkled with a hint of funny.

What draws you to this genre?

I’m generally drawn to dark reads. I’m not saying my book is dark. It isn’t. It’s really only, tip of the dick creepy.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

God, Mila Kunis is the perfect Abby and I love Jensen Ackles as Jake. I actually had no idea who I wanted my stalker to be. Zero image. Then, the book trailer was born and I guess someone saw something I didn’t and BOOM… Hello, Justice Joslin!!!

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Not yet… But I’m sure hell going to!!!

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t you decide to become a writer. I’ve always written things and have had a different way with words. It wasn’t until I started reading Indie Authors about three years ago that I realised, books didn’t have to suck, follow any rules, and I could write books that I’d want to read myself.

Why do you write?

My Therapist said I needed an outlet *shrugs*

 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

There is nothing about me that’s structured. I do love to write first thing in the morning with a cup of tea. Or two.

 

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I just got a Mac. So, it’s like I’ve landed on another planet and I’m learning how to use it.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a write by the seat of my pants kind of gal. I do make notes though. I have pads of paper with scribbles that only I would be able to understand.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve evolved entirely. My world has changed. For the better.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Trying to make sure it doesn’t suck. Trying not to offend people’s sensibilities but realising, it doesn’t matter what you write. People will always have something to say, so why not go for it?

 

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

yessssssss

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

I stop and work on something else. Or, I read. Reading usually toggles something in my brain that gets the wheels spinning when my hamster falls asleep.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Yes. The Stalker Series. I think the second book will finish what I started. I want to move on with other projects that I’m excited about.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I love a lot of the Original Gansta Indie Authors like, Tara Sivec, Helena Hunting, Colleen Hoover, and Kendall Grey, RL Mathewson, Rebecca Donovan, I know I’m missing more. But I’ve also fallen hard for some new authors. I can’t name them all. There are just too many.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer to read ebooks but hoard signed paperbacks.

Approved Teaser 3What book/s are you reading at present?

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas.

 

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Yes, and I love my cover.

How are you publishing this book and why?

Indie. Writing is fun for me. I don’t have a boss. For the first time in my life, I set my pace. The only way I’d ever go with a publisher is to put my books in stores. And, even if that never happens, I’m still a happy woman because I’m doing everything my way!!! (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

How do you market your books?

I blast on Social Media. I network with people. I’m kind of fun so people like to be around me n stuff.

Why did you choose this route?

Because I didn’t know any other LOL

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

I don’t. Should I?

What do you do to get book reviews?

Great question. I’m thinking about offering sex on the side with each sale. Bahahaha, just kidding. Or am I??? I’ve sold quite a few books. More than I even thought. I’ve given away so many copies at online events. But, I can’t make the people write reviews. Even if they said they would. It sucks donkey balls too. An author needs to get past 50 reviews to get into the algorithm on Amazon. It puts you into more searches. This is why we Authors beg for reviews. And, when you are a nobody and brand new, it’s the hardest job. I’m not a best seller of any kind. I only have one book out.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

After busting my ass, begging, pleading, selling my soul to the devil, I’ve done ok. I had some help from my amazing friends.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I need them all. Let’s talk about bad reviews. Every single Author has them. Not everyone is going to like your book. You can put all the warning labels you want, it doesn’t matter. Someone will read it and hate it. It’s OK. It would be nice if people were constructive instead of saying, “Hey, you suck, quit writing,” or “I skimmed the book,” ß— that’s not reading it. I feel books are like movies. You don’t know what you’re getting. It’s a surprise. Do you want to know how it ends before you even go? Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn’t. Do you bash actors based on one performance?

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?

Can I tell you… I hit publish by mistake. Two weeks early. No ARCS went out. NOTHING. I was so not prepared. It was a big old whoops. I then had my release party two weeks later.

Which social network worked best for you?Approved Teaser 1

Facebook

Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

I don’t ever tell people what to do!!!

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?

Bahahaha, I wish.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

I’m always going to make mistakes. It’s how I roll. So, I don’t put pressure on myself like that.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I love them. I love mine ❤

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?

https://vimeo.com/149568710 

In what formats is your book available?

Just Amazon. It was on other platforms but it wasn’t worth it.

How do you relax?

Ummm, if you read my book it will be fairly obvious how I relax lmao

What is your favourite motivational phrase?

If you write it, they will read it. Alice C. Hart

What is your favourite positive saying?

Giddyup

What is your favourite book and why?

I love love love Seduction & Snacks by Tara Sivec and stalk her on a regular. She knows. It’s not a secret LOL

 

*****

A big thank you to my girl Alice for coming to hang out on the blog with us this week! Be sure to follow her and check out her book!

Blog: https://www.facebook.com/secretsfromtheboudoir/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralicechart/?fref=ts

Twitter: @authoralice79

Pinterest: @authoralicechart

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-C.-Hart/e/B00W1W7GAC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Book Links:

Amazon:

US: http://amzn.to/1H1hCmR UK: http://amzn.to/1AFnfPT

CAN: http://tinyurl.com/psfsafl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13822598.Alice_C_Hart

WIP Wednesdays: Only The Willing

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Stan Has FACEBOOK!

*****

“So where do you want to start?” Stan asked powering his computer on as he sat back once again in his chair.

“You mean you are actually going to use that thing today?” jane asked a look of fake surprise crossing her face.

“Well unbenounced to you I have taken a liking to using my computer. Ask Julian, he can tell you I am getting better at using it every day.” Stan beamed proudly.

“Well I never thought I would see the day. You really must be spending a lot of time with the kid in order for his habits to be rubbing off on you like they are.”

“Yeah well once he made me realize just how handy they were. And that they were not there to make our lives harder, then I was able to put my reservations on hold long enough to learn more about the damm things and how to use them to help whatever investigation we are working on.”

“Ill be dammed. Not in a million years did I think that you would be one who would eventually convert into a computer user. Not with your inherant distrust for them.”

“Oh I dont trust the dammed things. Dont get me wrong, I back everything up from here to Sunday, but at least I am using them more than I did. Actually I think thats where I got that bit about the red headed ressive gene.”

Jane nodded.

“I even have a facebook page and am on twitter.”

“You have a facebook? are you serious Stan?” Jane asked her eyes wide, “wait never mind I really dont want to know about it. Lets just get back on topic.”

 

Teaser Tuesdays: Sacrifice of Innocence

teaser tuesday

Welcome back! Time for Stan to get down to business… right?  Jane sure thinks so!

Building the camaraderie between I felt was important as they have a lot they have to face together. If they don’t have the light and levity, the dark will no doubt take over. They have a unique way of dealing with things that crop up, and generally while Jane is serious and focused, Stan, while he faces everything with a dogged determination he also approaches everything with a sense of humor.

It is that humor that keeps him sane.

*****

“Yeah, I’m awake. What do you want?” he said into the phone.

“Nice to know you are in a good mood,” Jane answered sarcastically. She was as close to Stan as a sister. People who didn’t know them well often looked at them like they were worst enemies but Stan wouldn’t trade her thick derision and sense of humor for anything. It brightened his life and made it worth living.  

“Yeah, well, the one day I wanted to sleep in, I couldn’t. So what did you expect – me to be happy about it?”

“Oh, did I wake the sleeping giant?” she asked innocently.

“No, I’ve been awake since five-thirty, but up since eight-thirty. Been catching the local news. You looked good on it yesterday, by the way.”

“Yeah, sure. I looked like hell.”

“You looked a hell of a lot better than I would have standing there beside the chief. After the first three questions, I would have probably told them to screw off and wait for the trial and you know it.”

“True,” she laughed. “However, I wish I’d been in your shoes. You got to go home and start to unwind. I had to be in the center of a three-ring circus.”

“Yeah, but you looked good doing it.”

“Whatever! Look, I got a call from the chief about twenty minutes ago. He wants us in his office ASAP.”

“Oh, come on!” Stan groaned, rubbing at the sleep that still crusted his eyes. “This was supposed to be my day off.”

“It was my day off too, remember? But duty calls. At least you don’t have to explain to your sons that you can’t take them to the zoo today like you promised, because you have to work once again. You only have Sammy to worry about and believe me, as long as he gets fed, he doesn’t care if you are there or not.”

“Yeah, well-”

“Don’t ‘yeah well’ me. If I have to, I will come down there and drag you out of your house to the station in your housecoat and slippers,” Jane threatened teasingly.

“I don’t own a housecoat, or slippers for that matter,” Stan informed her.

“Better still. I’ll haul you in wearing nothing but your underwear, so get your ass moving before the chief has both of our heads.”

“Alright! Alright! I’m coming, just let me grab a shower and I’ll be there in an hour.”

“See you there and don’t be late,” she said, hanging up the phone without waiting for a goodbye from him.