Monday, March 30, 2015

"Gold Wings are Murder" Opening for Chapter 2

Dear Future Readers of Gold Wings are Murder: Here is a little sample of the book--the opening section of chapter two. This little snippet of a scene over breakfast at the Blue Stone Inn, gives you a good feel for the relationship between our heroes Django and Sorcha. The night before this conversation, Sorcha saw "The Bride," or had a dream, or a vision, or something.


"And what makes you think it was not a ghost?" Sorcha emphasized the "not," but she wasn't really angry. Not yet.

"Well, for one, because there's no such thing as ghosts," said Django.

"You don't know that."

"Well, I've never seen one, and until last night, you had never seen one."

"There! You've admitted that I saw a ghost last night."

"No. Just speaking rhetorically. You can't trap me with the words that easily." Django looked out the window at their Honda Gold Wing. It was parked almost in front of them--right where the porch steps lead down to the front parking lot.

"Will you admit it might have been a ghost?" asked Sorcha.

"If you'll admit it might have been a figment of your sleep-walking imagination."

"My imagination wasn't sleep walking. I was, and I've never seen a ghost while sleep walking before."

"Ah," said Django like a district attorney pouncing on the key testimony, "so you admit you were sleep walking!"

"Yes, yes, your honor. I admit I was sleep walking."

"And was this your first time sleep walking, young lady?"

"No, your honor. I often sleep walk when I'm sexually frustrated."

"Owe! Low blow."

"Or not," said Sorcha. "What are you staring at out there?"

"Look." Django gestured to the parking lot.


I'd love to tell you what they saw in the parking lot, but I'm a heartless literary tease! Find the "Follow By Email" button to be one of the first people who knows when this scary/sexy story is released.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Murder by Mail

Gold Wings are Murder Mail
If you have an email account, and want to keep up with the latest news about the "Gold Wings are Murder" series, use the form in the upper right corner of this blog.

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Caught Up with Re-Reading "Gold Wings are Murder"

I put this story aside for a little while. Now, I'm back at it. I've been reading the story out loud to my family, and we've all enjoyed it. My wife, Leigh--who lovers her Gold Wing--says it needs more cool Gold Wing trivia! (Easy enough to add in while doing edits and revisions.) So, the good news is that I WILL start writing on this story again today!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Creating Memorable Characters

I'm reading a paranormal mystery about a family of Witches in Maine. I like the story, but there are four sisters, plus a town full of local characters, and honestly, I find it a bit hard to follow who is who. That's why in my books, I take a tip I learned in a children's literature course 20 years ago--each character has a unique physical trait or quirk.

So, in "Gold Wings are Murder--The Crying Stone," the innkeeper has huge hands. Whenever I describe him, or he appears on the scene, I mention his freakishly large digits. The innkeepers wife, on the other hand, is petrified her guests will find out the Blue Stone Inn is haunted. I barely mention her looks, but everything she does, everything she says, is about keeping the ghost a secret.

To me, this is just good story telling.

You know, I don't mind if you share these tips on Google+ or Twitter. I'm not worried that someone else is going to write a Gold Wing themed mystery series. Just use the buttons below.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Slow Speed Gold Wing Secret

Slow speed control is often a problem, especially with giant touring bikes like Gold Wings and Electra Glides. While I strongly recommend the Ride Like a Pro class, there is one super simple, super easy technique that will make almost anyone a steadier rider at a walking pace.

Here it is: When you get down to single digit speeds (or anytime you feel uncomfortable on the bike), grip the tank with your knees.

Gripping the tank with your knees keeps your legs from flapping around in the breeze an unbalancing the bike. At very low speeds, a look, an elbow wiggle, or a knee flap will shift your center of balance and make the bike want to tip and lean. Gripping the tank with your knees puts an end to half that problem--the lower half.

Gripping the tank also locks your body onto the bike making you almost one unit. This allows your arms to work independently, and gives them better leverage for swinging those bars left and ride. It's funny that at high speeds, you almost can't see the bars move, even though the bike goes from perpendicular to the road, down to a 40-degree lean angle (on a Gold Wing). But at slow speeds, getting around a pot hole and over to the gas pump can mean steering so far that you bump the left steering lock, then instantly swinging the bars so far that you bump the right steering lock. To do that comfortably, without unbalancing everything else, well, it's a lot easier when your lower body is locked onto the bike from gripping the tank with your knees.

If you think this is a good tip, share it on Google+ or Facebook by using the SHARE button below.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Yes, He Crashed His Gold Wing

No. Not me. I haven't crashed my bike since, well, let's just say not in a while. But you Gold Wing riders may know a guy who goes by the name of Yellow Wolf. This is a story about HIS crash. It happened not far from the famous Tail of the Dragon. Here is how Yellow Wolf tells the story about what happened during his Super Secret Ride In.


We rode over near Deals Gap to do our Killboy drone shoot. It was wet with leaves and sticks on the road. We did the Killboy photo shoot and then a couple of the guys did a run on Deals Gap.

We left and did Route 28 down to Franklin and had lunch at Shoneys. The afternoon started to get sunny, and we all headed down Route 281. There are some nice sweepers there and the road was getting cleaner so the pace was faster!

We rested in Canada "the town" at the park. Afterward, we ran 281 some more and a couple of other roads. The sun was shinning bright and in my eyes. We were going into sun then into shade, and it was messing with my eyes real bad.

I could see the road edges, but I could not see the road surface. I pride myself on seeing thing most miss, but in these conditions I could not! I tried raising and lowering tinted face shield, but I still could not see well! Had I had been with my self, I would have just slowed down, but because I was with my friends on a fast ride I did not!

Well, as we were on Silversteen Road, coming into a right hand turn, I hit some unseen sand with the front tire. I was down fast. The crash tossed me hard on my right side. I was off the bike before I knew it. The bike slid on its right side, across the road and into the gravel where it dug in its tires and did a real nice flip onto its left side. I did not know it at the time but, yup, it was totaled!

Afterwards, I went back and looked at what I hit. It was sand. Then I walked back to the bike. My friends had it up by then, and it made me sick. Just about every part had some sort of damage. It was not leaking anything, so I said, "Well, its time to go home." The bike started and rode fine back to my house.

Time is a strange thing. I originally thought it was just sand and no biggie, but the more I thought about it, the more I started asking myself questions. I asked myself the questions I would have asked someone else, if they were telling this same story. When I did that, I started to see things differently.

So what did I learn:
  1. My job as a Ride Leader is to warn my friends about sand, rocks, cars, dogs or what ever could cause them an issue. My job is to keep the ride as safe as possible. I failed to do that and, lucky for me, I went down and not one of my friends.
  2. Had I been by myself, I would have slowed down. I did not slow down due to ... what? Ego. Not wanting to slow down. Getting to caught up in the moment. It doesn't really matter why I didn't slow down.
  3. Riding is fun. Brisk riding is fun. The problem, when you get like minded folks together, is that it can become a bit more than fun. 
To my friends who were there, if you have anything to add--good or bad--please feel free to be very  honest about that day.

I guess it comes down to this:
  1. If you can't see the road surface, then slow down
  2. If you are leading, or following, and don't feel comfortable with whats going on, don't worry about what others may think, just do what you feel is right, even if that means to slow down
  3. If you are leading a ride, its up to you to keep the group as safe as possible.
A huge thanks to the riders directly behind me for not running me over!


In my opinion, Yellow Wolff is a brave man, and a straight shooter, to share what happened so openly and honestly. Having ridden these mountain roads on a Gold Wing, let me second Yellow Wolf's advice: If something is not right, slow down. 

The video above does not show the crash--just a typical fun run in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the worry warts in the crowd, the speed limit on most of these roads is 55 mph. They are so curvy, you don't need to go more than that to have one heck of a good time. 

Gold Wings are Murder OPENING

Just to keep things interesting, here is a bit from the opening of "Gold Wings are Murder: The Crying Stone."


Tiny Sorcha Rhyne sat bolt upright in the darkness. "Who's there?" 
No one, whispered the darkness.
"I see you there. Come out."
No one stood by the door, back in the corner, behind the dresser. No one stared. No one cried softly.
Sorcha glanced down at her husband, Django. He was beautiful, but he was sound asleep. Sorcha swung her gaze to the darkness in the corner. The darkness stared back, but didn't move. "Django, wake up!" Without looking, she shoved his shoulder, hard! She put her hand in his wavy hair and tugged. A fierce whisper, "Honey, there's someone in our room!" Django didn't move. 
The someone coalesce into a lighter shade of darkness. It came toward her. One step. Two steps out of the corner.
Sorcha drew back against the headboard, pulling the sheets up over her breasts. She reached toward the nightstand--hoping to find a weapon. Something!
When the hallway door opened, Sorcha jumped a foot.
The shape slipped out of an impossibly thin opening and disappeared into the hallway. 
"Don't you go out there," she said to herself. "Don't you dare." She looked at Django. Still asleep. What was wrong with him? Why wouldn't he wake up for her? She couldn't wait to figure it out. Whoever had been in their room was slipping away. What if he, she or it went into some other guest's room?
Before she could stop herself, she swung her feet over the edge of the bed and slipped down onto the floor. Her slippers were waiting, pointed out to keep little demon's from finding their way into her bed. She grabbed a nightgown off the bottom post of the four poster bed and crept to the door.

You know, this stuff is even more fun sitting around a campfire while someone reads this story to you aloud. (Insert evil laughter.)

If you LIKE this story snippet from "Gold Wings are Murder: The Crying Stone," you are welcome to share it with your friends on Facebook or Google+. Just use the SHARE button below.

Gold Wings are STILL Murder

Well folks, it's been awhile since I posted here, or worked on the story. I was working a very stressful job and when I requested a very reasonable accommodation (that I work 40 hours per week), they fired me. Criminal? Yes, but life goes on.

Now, since I'm unemployed, the story can go on too!

I left off on page 77 with a dinner party for our heroes and the Harley riding couple at the Blue Stone Inn. My wife offered to read the story and help me job start the process.