Sunday, August 30, 2015

Opening for "Gold Wings are Murder: The Ghost Light"

Here is a bit from the opening of my newest murder mystery novel:

. .. ... * ... .. ...

Layla Robinson stood on the dark, narrow stairs and took a deep breath. “I’m not afraid of ghosts,” she whispered. “I am not afraid of ghosts.”

She eased up one more step till she could just see the top landing. The theater balcony was empty, empty, empty. There were no chairs at all, save one wooden folding chair in the front row. All the other seats were gone, removed long ago as a safety precaution. The old balcony was too rickety to hold more than a dozen patrons at a time. There were no patrons there now, at least, none that Layla could see. None that would add any excess weight.

She took the final few steps with gusto, then boldly stepped out onto the landing. One hand on the front railing, the other at her side, she stopped, tried not to look down, looked down anyway, saw the main seating area far below and closed her eyes. The world spun around once, twice. Her breathing echoing through the empty balcony, Layla gripped the railing firmly and opened her eyes.
Nothing. One folding chair. Wooden ledges like a Greek amphitheater dissolving into mysterious darkness. In her off hand, the small, athletic looking woman held a single, long-stem rose. She put it carefully between her teeth—the blood red rose glowing softly against her chocolate skin. She started to talk, thought better of it, then took the rose out from between her lips.

“Well,” she said to the emptiness. “The thing is …” She gestured with the rose. “Here, let me show you.”

She crossed to the folding chair, folded it up with an echoing snap, then clomped over to the wall. Carefully, she set the chair next to several other wooden chairs that were folded and leaning there against the wall.

“The thing is …” she took a different wooden folding chair from the stack, one with a padded seat and back, and brought it back to that spot in the front row of the balcony. “The thing is, you’ve been here a long time,” she said, opening the chair and looking around at the ornate ceiling so close overhead. “And lots of people know your story, and we’ve kept a chair for you here so you could watch the shows, you know, whenever you want to.” She stood up, crossed back to the stack of chairs by the wall and grabbed another chair. “And what I was wondering, thinking, considering about, was …” She brought the second chair down front, opened it and set it next to the first one. “Was that maybe it was time for some company.” She went back to the stack of chairs one more time, found a third padded, wooden folding chair and set it on the other side of the first one. 

“Maybe, uhm, maybe it’s time for some company. Visitors. Guests. Oh, not just anybody. I’m thinking some other high rollers. V.I.Ps like you. Did they have that term when you were alive? I’m not sure how much you get out, although, uhm, live theater, so I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with the current lingo.”

Layla stopped and rolled here eyes. She said to herself, “You are hopeless, girl. Just get on with it. There’s probably nobody here anyway.” A deep breath. The echo of her breathing. The darkness moved closer.
. .. ... * ... .. ...

The current book is available now for Kindle readers and Kindle apps on your Apple and Android phone. 

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Gold Wings are Murder: The Ghost Light

So, it's on to book two. In the first book, our heroes Winged down to Lake Lure, NC and found a haunted inn. For book two, Django and Sorcha cruise down to Charleston, SC and end up at a haunted theater.

I've written my plot points. Today, I'm working on my scene cards. It will be a tight schedule, but I hope to have book two done in time for Christmas. It's possible. Here is a peak at my working cover.

This is actually about the sixth cover I made. My trusty wife gave me the Icky Face when I showed her the other five. (Gotta love an honest women.)

Writing about Lake Lure was easy because I love the place and have been their several times. Writing about a haunted theater should also be pretty easy. I did high school, college and community theater. Live theater is lots of fun and a great mix of art, technology and performance.

I'm looking forward to learning more about Charleston. It's been a hoot learning about South Carolina ghosts. Like "The Crying Stone," my new book, "The Ghost Light," is based on a real ghost story.

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