Archive for the ‘murder/romance’ Category

There are Four P’s in Becoming a Writer

May 1st, 2017

There are four P’s in becoming a writer

When you are a writer, it’s essential to know your standings among other authors.
This is something that I don’t normally do. And that’s to check my ranking in Author’s Central on Amazon books.

It’s just something that doesn’t occur to me to do often. I’m so busy just coming up with topics to blog about. And then, I thought, an author’s RANKING might be interesting for my audience.

There is so much more to becoming an authentic, verified writer. We just don’t sit down and plunk away on a computer keyboard. It first takes an idea. Sometimes an idea just pops into your head. And other times it comes from an inspiration.

The next step is the idea needs to germinate and grow. I write two weekly blogs. So, I have twice the workload. And I also try to put a monthly book out on CreateSpace and in the Amazon e-book store.

The inspiration to write this blog, came from roaming around in my Author’s central page. I found it rather interesting. This is the way the Amazon Bestsellers Book Ranking works.

You need to have more than four books in your bibliography. And I do. Then they list your top three best sellers. My top three are…

Spog Goes to School (Spog’s Children’s Book Series 5)
#1, 481,785 in Kindle books store (paid) 66,168 spots today

Seychelles Survivor
#1, 762,106 in Kindle books store (paid) 2,557 spots today

Haunted Manor: Voodoo Murder
#1, 882,754 in Kindle books store (paid) 2,825 spots

Retailers selling your book, need to take part in the Nielsen BookScan. Your book to belong to one of the companies from which Nielsen derives its list of reported ASINs. The ASIN is the Amazon Standard Identification Number. It’s a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com. The number is used by its partners for product-identification within the Amazon.com organization.

For example. If your book is a partner with the Ingram Company, you can see the sales info. If your book is Print on Demand. Your publishing company may not report ISBNs to Ingram. Thus, you may not see any sales information. It will show up as, ‘current rank unknown.’ Most of my books show this prompt.

To see sales data for Amazon sales, you must take part in one of the direct-publishing programs. CreateSpace.com or Kindle Direct Publishing. CreateSpace is an Amazon print on demand company. For this reason, sales of your CreateSpace book on Amazon may not appear. Mine does not show because I print my books on demand. It’s costly to buy books up front and then try to peddle them.

But, CreateSpace books might be eligible for enrollment with the Ingram Book Company. And then the book report sales go to BookScan. Does this sound complicated? Yes, for me anyway, it’s a lot to digest.

All CreateSpace Author members, can see a manufacturing report. This shows the volume of their books printed to meet the demand of various sales channels.

Createsapce offers five or six free channels
.
Amazon.com

Amazon Europe

CreateSpace e-store

Libraries – I just went to my local library yesterday to drop off some promotional literature about my print on demand books. Over half my books are already in the library. But, I reminded them that they can get my new books to put on the shelves. This is because, libraries are in the Createspace channel of distribution.

CreateSpace Direct

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Any copyright holder can publish a Kindle book on Amazon for free. Members of the KDP program have access to reporting data. The information has a weekly update.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank History

The Amazon Bestsellers Rank History page shows the best seller rank summary of all your books. The Bestsellers Rank does not include sales from any of their International websites. And I belong to a few of these. I can get my international ranking through another source.

But, the Bestsellers Rank shows books in their (meaning Createspace) catalog. The ranking system tells the author how well their books are selling. This is relative to the sales of other books in the catalog.

Sales rank is a relative measure. Print books rate among all books in the Amazon Books store. Kindle books rate among the free or the paid books in the Kindle store. Remember, this number is a comparison of your book with all other books in the catalog For example:

Spog Goes to School (Spog’s Children’s Book Series 5)
Rates # 1, 481,785 in Kindle books store. The book was among 66,168 (paid) spots today.

Beyond the Twilight Zone
Kindle Edition
Current Sales Rank: Rates #2, 732,649 in the Kindle Store.

Beyond a Kiss: Book Five; Mia Perez series
Kindle Edition
Current Sales Rank: Rates #3, 343,493 in the Kindle Store.

You might think, gosh the book ranks in the one million, two million or three million range. Yes, that’s a lot of competition. And that’s why writers are among the group known as ‘starving artists.’

It takes a lot of practice, persistence, patience and promoting in our trade to eke out a living. It also takes discretionary cash. Books aren’t free for the writer. We pay for each book with the hope we can sell them to the general public. The most lucrative way is to hold a book signing. And this avenue takes all of the (four ‘s) and a lot of cash.

You might think a writer makes a lot of money. This is a misnomer. That is, unless you’re lucky enough to sell a lot of books. Depending on the retail sale of a book. A writer’s royalty can be a few cents to maybe three dollars and a few pennies.

I call it a hallelujah moment if a book sells. I know when this happens because it shows up in my bank statement. Someone recently bought a book online through a catalog. But that sale didn’t affect my ranking. Most likely because more books in the same category sold more than my one book. I’ve even watched my ranking drop. But, I take this lightly.

On the same note, I’ve seen my ranking improve. My best educated guess is the group of books in my same genre, is selling one copy a week. And my book’s sales rate remains the same. Perhaps, even my book sold two copies in one week. So, this is an indicator why my rank improved.

Of course, it’s a two-way street. My rank may still drop even though my book kept selling one copy a week. This is why I refrain from checking the numbers. I’m not into roller coasters and the nausea I get from the ride.

Amazon Author Rank is based on sales of all your books relative to the sales of other authors. The Amazon Author Rank shows how an author’s book sells relative to other authors. Like the Billboard charts, lower numbers are better. An author with the Amazon Author Rank of #1 will only appear as an author in the top 100.

Of course, this is a dream of mine. To be listed in the top 100. But, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Amazon looks at paid sales of all the books sold by an author on Amazon.com. This includes books in Kindle too.

My author ranking is #136, 842. I consider this pretty darn good. This means that I have 136,742 more books to sell before I rank in the top 100. It’s a doable goal.

As of a few moments ago, I had 9,222 visits to my K. Lorraine website http://klorraine.com. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to reach 10,000 views by December 31st. I’m almost there and I have seven months left in this year. ‘Hip-hip-hurray,’ for my accomplishment.

My fan base has grown leaps and bounds. I couldn’t be more humbled or I couldn’t feel more blessed. And that’s where the (P word) patience falls into play. I’ve been writing all my life. But, I didn’t publish until 2013.

It’s taken, (P word), persistence to grow my fan base. It’s taken (P word), practice to hone my skills. It’s taken learning to market my talent. And it’s taken time to (another P word), promote my books. But it’s taken a strongfaith in God’s Will and a a lot of prayers to keep the pace steady.

Thank you for reading my blog.
Until next week.
Happy reading,
K. Lorraine

P.S.

Be sure to drop by my other blog, ‘No Shoes Required.’ www.noshoesrequiredblog.wordpress.com. You can also get there by going to http://klorraine.com and click on the ‘No Shoes,’ icon.

You never know what you’ll find there. It’s fun. It’s flirty. It’s fabulous. And it’s fashion at it’s best. You never know who might show up as a guest blogger either…

Posted in childrens books, Commentaries, disabled, Fashion, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, murder/romance, short stories | Comments (0)

GIVE ONE–TAKE ONE–A Blog about two Public Libraries

October 17th, 2016

Give one, Take one
Blog about two Public Libraries

library2

 Sanford, Michigan Little Free Library

Two thousand miles separate them, but the vision of spreading the joy and power of sharing books is the same. Author K. Lorraine supports both libraries by sharing her books. A list of books that are on the library shelves in Sanford, Michigan and Roswell, New Mexico, follows.

About the author:

K. Lorraine is a recognized author who has written 112 ‘five star’ short stories. To date; she has received seven ‘First Place’ wins. She has also achieved many ‘Recognized wins,’ for her work.

A young Kathleen wrote her first book titled ‘Pockets’ for her daughter, Rebecca. It was a birthday gift when she started her first year in school, the book never saw the light of day. But, some of Ms. Lorraine’s later works did. The upcoming author writes her stories under the Pen Name of K. Lorraine.

Ms. Lorraine resurrected her interest in writing after a thirty year absence. But, she kept her skill of writing fine-tuned when a local newspaper offered her a staff writer job.

Ms. Lorraine divides her time between writing different types of adult human drama. Her favorite genres are romance and murder/mystery. She also has to her credit, a series of children’s stories.

Ms. Lorraine and her husband Ed, of twenty-five years, live in Roswell, New Mexico. They have five children from previous marriages. They are also blessed with six grandchildren.

library3K. Lorraine is humbled and honored to announce that the Roswell, New Mexico library has accepted the following books.

The author’s most recent book is a novel;
“The Playboy Prince”

The novel is Part mystery, Part romance…

“You are an amazing author and so very gifted indeed. You are awesome.” Comment Written 04-May-2016 by foxangie123

DP replied “The ending did surprise me.” Written 06-May-2016

The idea for ‘The Playboy Prince,’ came to mind in 2006. Over the years, the storyline continued to grow. I allowed the intrigue in the life of Hale Lake Kahuka-Dano, to flourish.

The first half of the book focuses on Hale Kahuka’s childhood.

The second half is about the rogue Interpol undercover cop. His obsession was to find the man who murdered his Grandfather, Judge Dano. Hale Dano’s obsession becomes his life’s mission.

The Playboy Prince is brimming with emotion from the beginning to the end. Hale Lake Kahuka–Dano is the 6th generation grandson of King Kahmehameha. Hale Dano invites you to follow his story as he goes from being a youngster, to becoming a mature man.

Poetry in Motion

Ms. Lorraine said, “I had NO CLUE that ‘Poetry in Motion’ was going to be as popular as it has become. I didn’t even have it in my head that this would be my first book to go so far. In two days, the book has gotten another 192 LIKES and 10 more comments and reviews. Since publishing, the book has received 5,000 Facebook LIKES, views and comments.”

The book, ‘Poetry in Motion’ is a collaboration of 52 contemporary poems. The poems are fiction and are creations of the author’s imagination. Some of the entries date back twenty plus years. She invites you to come into the magical world of imagination. Many of the pieces are award winning poems.

Seychelles Survivor

It was orientation week at the University of Iowa. Five freshmen students from different parts of the country sit together in a college lecture theater. The group is unaware they share a common interest.

The five college friends set out on a tropical paradise vacation over a long 4th of July adventure. Two days later, the parents get the word that the private jet is missing.

Surviving a plane crash can be a terrifying thing. The tension mounts as the story draws to a close on a beautiful tropical island in the Indian Ocean. The setting is compelling and the dialogue is real.

‘Seychelles Survivor’, is about a family separated by a plane crash. The families band together to find their children.

The book ‘Seychelles Survivor’ has had more than 40 reviews. The author has selected a few for your reading pleasure. “The background kindles the reader’s curiosity. I love your emotional appeal. It’s indeed your specialty– one such as I want. Thanks for creating such an emotionally mature character as Lei Lani. Thanks for sharing with us. God bless.”  Comment Written 11-Dec-2014

“I thought this piece was very well written and thought out. The emotional impact of the wedding and the epilogues pregnancy was very deep and profound; the love between the husband and wife clearly shown and made plain in the simple and elegant wedding they had. I liked the way God was invoked at the time of the ceremony, the prayers seemed genuine and realistic. That was the thing about this piece I really liked, the realism of it and easy readability. Five stars!”  Comment Written 10-Dec-2014

“Selfishness can only come to harm in the long run. This is very well written with a smooth flow of words, making for a very strong read.”  Comment Written 20-Nov-2014.

Beyond the Twilight Zone

‘Beyond the Twilight Zone’ is a series of unrelated stories. The book contains drama, psychological thriller, fantasy,science fiction, suspense, and/or horror. The stories often conclude with a macabre or unexpected twist.

The book is a compilation of short stories that will take you back in time to the original Twilight Zone series. Ordinary people find themselves in situations that they try to solve.

Ms Lorraine thought you might like to read a few reviews.

Fan Reviews…

The Pirate Story – 76 views – 6 stars

“Boy, that was a trip! You took the story thread down many pathways. I enjoyed just following along, wondering where and how you were going to tie it all up. It was fun. You write with great confidence and authority. I like the way your mind works, delivering us a bit of everything. Some pretty explicit sex scenes, lots of angst and pathos, a bit of melodrama. A terrific mix, all in all.”

Space Mishap – 23 Fan Views

“An eccentric oddity and a kook cause a delay in getting home. The dialogue is clear and shows what the characters are like. The narrative shows the action, such as hitting the wrong panel, stepping in the cow poop. The emotion felt was a warm feeling with a big smile.”

We Came Upon a Ghost Child – 62 Fan Views – 6 stars

“An awesome and creative story, although sad. Well written. “Daddy, it’s only terrible when the truth doesn’t come out.”

“Kitty, is this your daddy’s car?”

The Dark Side of Being Different – 58 Fan Views

“I’m not one for sci-fi, but you did a miraculous job of capturing my attention the whole story through. You described the aliens in great detail. You moved the story along as an accomplished writer would. It’s obvious that you invest time and thought in your writing. Your story was well edited and polished.”

Lethal Injection-50 fan views

“Chilling, frightening story. You made it even more so because something like this could actually happen. I’d tend to agree with Detective Stabler. His assessment that a user would not choose their mouth as an injection site for the heroine. It looks like this Wall Street exec bit off a bit more than he could chew with his selection of hired hookers.”

Through a Mother’s Eyes-50 fan views—

“You deliver a short but powerful piece. The last words linger long after I finished reading the story.”

Haunted Manor – Voodoo Murder

He sat back in his swivel chair and lit an electronic cigarette. He watched her step out of the 1964 Rangoon Red Thunderbird convertible. She was wearing four inch sling-back heels with legs that went up to her neck. He exhaled a continuous chain of smoke rings. She was stunning in a close-fitting black wiggle dress. Her blood red lips made his testosterone level rise.

Burton Middleton had a lucrative and successful writing career. But his passion for the written word as a noted Historian ended after his beloved wife died from lung cancer. Leaving his Yankee roots behind him, he moved to the ‘Big Easy.’

Black letters spelled out Middleton Private Investigations on the glass door. The office door opened, and the ‘Bombshell’ walked in. He was completely unaware of how his life was about to change.

COMMENTS AND REVIEWS-
“Haunted Manor: Voodoo Murder, is a steamy, sexy, bone-chilling thriller. The book is steeped in southern superstition and tradition. The author combines a Mashup of Voodoo with a beautiful antebellum manor that ends in MURDER.

‘Mashup’ is a new genre concept in literary writing, and it is fast becoming popular. In ‘Mashup’, the story is when you take two or more different genres and mix them together. This technique is masterful in bringing about a new and fresh storyline.

The author mashed a ‘Civil War’ College Professor, along with a haunted manor. She came up with a story line that ends in Murder.

Writer’s Digest suggests that K. Lorraine has been using ‘Mashup’ technique for years.”

Comment – April 22, 2014

“I call this a ‘Genealogy murder’ story. A Civil War plantation owner’s mistress passes down the twisted gene of voodoo superstition. Trust me, there is a lot of ‘mystery’ in this book.”

Mia Perez Series

Comment – May 10, 2014

The Mia Perez Series is a collection of five stand alone stories. Whether read one after another, or separately, they become a compelling story of Mia’s life.

Book One – ‘Unethical Doctor’, Mia Perez was lucky to be alive. She was the only survivor of the fatal accident. Induced into a coma by the Chief of Neurosurgery, Dr. Aidan Chase, was a merciful way to help the long healing process.

When Mia awoke from her coma, the first person she saw was an attractive man. But she was unaware it was the doctor who had saved her life. The doctor opens the door to an unethical desire to win over his patient’s affections.

In Book Two, ‘Unfit Mother’, Mia Perez is young. She is naive. Her parents reared her in the strict native traditions of Brazil throughout her entire life. She came to America in hopes of finding a rich American man. But, she finds a world full of freedom and choices instead.

Uninformed about sex, she learns that even a woman with a disability can get pregnant. Mia is desperate when she learns the results of a drugstore pregnancy test. She slept with two men. She feels the pressure to get one of them to marry her.

Book Three, ‘Shhh’ is a short story of 18,000 words. The long awaited reunion of the Callan brothers is nearing. Mia has had an imaginary love interest with an American movie star, Tobias Callan, for a long time.

She uses her sexy curves to toy with the brothers. And she knows exactly how to please them all night long. But will Mia’s passionate encounter with Tobias set off a series of events?

Will a one-night stand, turn into a risky scheme of manipulation? Will the sex tape destroy the brothers in a whirlwind of emotions over the love of one woman?

Book Four, ‘Locked Away’, Mia Perez sends the Callan brothers away after a bad break-up on her wedding day. She banishes the two men from her life that she’s loved.

‘Locked Away’ is a second chance story. The suspense grows when the tapes come out about Mia’s sordid past. The story is about the entanglements of love. Will Mia finally get her fairy tale marriage with one of the Callan brothers? Or will tragedy strike?

In the fifth book titled ‘Beyond a Kiss’, Mia Perez becomes obsessed with solving a two decade old murder.

In the series, five men have loved her: her father, Juan Perez, a wealthy Brazilian coffee plantation mogul; Aidan Chase, the handsome young doctor who saved her life; Nicholas Starks, her water therapy coach whose unconditional love saved Mia from self destruction; and there were the Callan brothers, who Mia toyed with.

It was her plan to manipulate the brothers and get the man she loved to marry her. Nicholas Starks, was not husband material, but he always came to her rescue.

After two decades, the reading audience will learn the killer’s identity. Will this discovery affect Mia’s future plans for happiness? ‘Beyond a Kiss’ is a page turner murder mystery with an unexpected ending.

The Me Time E-Books provide you with a quick escape into a world of passion. And even an occasional happy ending.

“My name is Mia Perez and this is my story about the love I have for the men in my life.”

 

The Misadventure of Walter and Katy Shuster series-Book One
The Adventure of the Traveling Green Ants

Something on the dashboard caught her attention. She amused herself as she chased them about as they scattered.
“What,” she spouted off, “Damn, they are multiplying faster than I can squash them!”

Katy was on a mission of her own as she began to sing off-tune. “And Another ant bites the dust; another ant bites the dust.”

Walter and Katy Shuster were about to begin their annual trek from SW Florida to New Mexico. But, the ‘comedy of errors’ began sooner than later.

COMMENTS AND REVIEWS-

“Find out how Katy Shuster, became known as the Notorious killer of the Alien Green Ants.”

“Great book on adventures in Florida after retiring–a great read, and funny! Don’t miss this one!” comment – January 20, 2016

“A light-hearted piece, easy to follow…”
Margaret— Comment Written 09-Mar-2015

“That was cute how you had the wife say, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” The amusing part is when he goes to the rear of the car and takes a look. This wet my whistle.”
Comment Written 07-Mar-2015

“It was a fun book to read. Since I’m a “junk dealer” (antiques) I liked that part.”  Teresa
Comment Written 07-Mar-2015

Undercover Rookie

Eddie Cannon Jr. is nearing the completion of his police academy training. He decides to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was formerly head of Homeland Security. Detective Ed Cannon Sr., tried to bring down a large Midwest drug trafficking ring.

Homeland Security learns that the young Cadet is the son of the fallen decorated officer. They give Eddie Cannon Jr. his dream job of going undercover. Eddie Jr. assumes the identity of an out of work high school drop-out. His instructions were to take a job in the Nebraska Fun Center and Roller Skating Rink.

Cannon must resort to his academy training. In the end, it was Eddie Cannon Jr. who stood motionless over a female’s dead body holding the smoking gun. He tried to feel something for her, but he couldn’t shed a single tear. He hides his emotions, studies the situation, but does he solve the case in the nick of time?

Undercover Rookie is an action-packed thriller, full of suspense, sex and betrayal. The story’s ending will shock and surprise you.

The Christmas Dream – children’s picture book library1Snuggles Bedtime Stories-Book One (Volume 1)

The Christmas Dream is about a young boy and a dream filled with wonderment. Ricky finds himself walking in the newly trodden footsteps of a mother deer and her fawn. Among the snow covered trees, there is a small cottage. A billowing white cloud of smoke dances around the chimney. Could this be Santa’s house?

Children’s Easter Story Book 2016 – Children’s picture book
Snuggles Bedtime Stories (Volume 2).

The book includes two stories-
Robbie the Purple Easter Rabbit
And… Easter in the Barnyard

As a bonus, the book includes the author’s favorite prize winning poem-
A Candy Colored Easter

Thank you for taking the time to look at some of the books that I’ve written and published over the years.

Thank you for allowing me to share the news that the above listed books were reviewed by the Roswell, NM Library Board and accepted as new books to the Roswell community. The same selection of books are in the mail to the Sanford, Michigan ‘Little Free Library.’ It is an honor to be selected as an upcoming published author.

Happy Reading, K. Lorraine

Posted in Adventure, aliens, American History, automobile crash, children fiction, childrens books, colored eggs, coma, comedy, Commentaries, critique, drama, drunk driving, easter, easter buuny, easter rabbit, easter story, fiction, Florida, funny story, Happy Mother's Day, humor, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, katy shuster, mothers, murder/romance, New Orleans, Novel length books, Novellas, occult, Poetry, retired couple, romance, Romance.Sci-Fi, roswell new mexico, Science Fiction, short stories, supernatural, the shusters, walter shuster | Comments (0)

CONTEST! Sponsored by the K. Lorraine Website Come one–Come all!

September 26th, 2016

              K. Lorraine SITE sponsored contest.               Come One—Come All!!!!!

contest

                          th-7   smiley-megaphone
Come one—come all…

The contest, Fun stuff I blog about, runs from Tuesday, September 27 – October 11, 2016. The winners will be announced before the end of the month. Read on for the official contest rules and the list of prizes. Don’t delay… the contest will end on October 11, 2016.

You don’t need to be a professional writer to enter the Fun stuff I blog about contest. All that is required is that you like to read. If you can read, you can write.

Being real is the name of the game. I am looking for authentic people to write a blog entry. I want to see humanity and vulnerability in your writing. This is what connects you to your audience. I am this kind of writer and this is the type of person who would write the kind of piece that would fit into my column.

Since you are already on my website, it would probably be helpful to read some of the blogs that I have written. They will give you an overview of the variety of topics I’ve written about.

The rules are simple.

· You must be 18 years or older to submit an entry.

· Your written entry should be at least 500 words and no more than 1,200 words.

· The subject idea is open-ended. Write about anything—fiction or non-fiction.

· Keep it clean, and pleaseno religion, politics or current affairs.

· Remember, you do not need to be a professional writer. In fact, I encourage the amateur to write a blog and submit it. I want to know what you believe and how you really feel about things.

· One entry per person.

Enthusiasm is the key word, and the idea is to entertain, so make your piece enjoyable to read and inform your audience about something you have found that is fun.

You can learn more about me as an author and review a listing of my published books by exploring my webpage. There is a wealth of information available to help you understand me as a person and as a writer. I encourage you to browse and explore the website by clicking on the tabs.

A panel of three judges has been assembled to insure that all entries will be read and evaluated independently.

Two of the submissions will be chosen as a FIRST place and SECOND place winner. All prizes will be awarded.

The FIRST PRIZE award is—a choice to select one of the following books

· The adult coloring book, Fun in the Florida Sun. The coloring book blends in well the latest trend of adult coloring books. But, what make this unique above all the rest is this book features large, easy-to-color graphics starring a zany couple who live in a Florida 55 plus community. Katy and Walter Shuster live in a topsy-turvy world based on the everyday life of a retired couple.

· The Playboy Prince–The (novel) is Part mystery, Part romance. The first half of the book is dedicated to Hale Kahuka’s childhood. The second part is about the rogue Interpol undercover cop, and his obsession to find the man who murdered his Grandfather, Judge Dano.

· Poetry in Motion is a collaboration of 52 contemporary poems that are creations of the author’s imagination; some dating back twenty plus years. The author invites you to come into the magical world of imagination.

· Spog Tames a Bully. On his native planet of Apple, Spog was taught that the best way to reform an unsavory character is to make them your friend. The steps for this change is revealed in a plan written by Apple’s leading peacekeeper, Professor, Al Right. Spog and his friend gather the students together to prepare a plan based on the Professor’s theory, so the children of Roswell Elementary School could welcome the new kid named Spike, into their playground clan

The author will personally autograph the book and mail it directly to the winner.

In addition—the winner will be awarded a guest spot in the K. Lorraine website, blog.

The winning entry will also be featured in the 2017 book, How to Blog Your Way to Write a Book.

The second place prize—is the choice to select one of the following books.

· The Misadventures of Walter and Katy Shuster–Book One

(The Adventure of the Traveling Green Ants.) The genre is Satire/humor and is written primarily for the retired age audience. The story is a comedy of errors that the senior reader would appreciate associated with travel and irrational thinking which often accompanies an aging adventure. Something on the dashboard caught her attention. She amused herself as she chased them about as they quickly scattered. “What,” she spouted off, “Damn, they are multiplying faster than I can squash them!” Katy was on a mission of her own as she began to sing off-tune. “And Another ant bites the dust; another ant bites the dust.”

· The Christmas Dream–a children’s story, is about a young boy and a dream filled with wonderment. Ricky finds himself walking in the newly trodden footsteps of a mother deer and her fawn. Up ahead among the snow covered trees, there is a small cottage with a billowing white cloud of smoke dancing around the chimney. Could this be Santa’s house?

The author will personally autograph the book and mail it directly to the winner.

In addition—the second place winner will be awarded a guest spot in the K. Lorraine website blog. The winning entry will also be featured in the 2017 book, How to Blog Your Way to Write a Book.

My blogs are available to read on my website at http://klorraine.com or WordPress.com

Thank you for entering the Fun Stuff I Blog About contest and facilitating in the promotion of K. Lorraine and my books. Have fun as you write your contest entry. Please do me a favor and pass this contest along to others.

Submit your entry to: punken1947@live.com and be sure to indicate at the end of your submission, the book you have selected if you are the winner. Your name, full address including zip code and email address are required.

(All entries become the property of K. Lorraine Books and non-winning entries will not be returned unless a request is submitted in writing. All entries are in compliance with the copyright rules. Compensation for the first & second prize is made through the gift awards. No other means of fee for service is or shall be awarded.)

Thank you,

Happy Reading and WRITING,

K. Lorraine

Posted in coloring book, comedy, Commentaries, contest, fiction, Florida, funny story, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, katy shuster, murder/romance, Poetry, retired couple, romance, short stories, the shusters, walter shuster | Comments (0)

Creating a BUZZ!

September 19th, 2016

                                                            Creating a buzzth-5

Increased foot traffic to web blog – 100 overnight visits…

Well, this number is already outdated, because this morning, there were 29 more visits to the K. Lorraine blog. That’s one nice thing about statistics, they frequently change.

There are a lot of things that come my way daily. It is this stuff that causes me to alter my priority tasks – to set the intended blog aside – and to write a different one. And that’s what happened to me the other day when I checked my website (blog) foot traffic footprint.

There are always a lot of things swirling around in my head. It is with the help of the Lord, Jesus, that I’m able to descramble the jumbled mess and write my blogs, book proposals and books. But reviews can be the magic where-with-all that a writer appreciates.

REVIEWS are the greatest asset to a writer, whether you are a newbie, or a well seasoned author. I’m going to use the example of my the book, Poetry in Motion that I wrote several moons ago.

I’ve been keeping a running tally on how many reviews, views and LIKES that the book gets on a weekly basis. Today is Monday, September 19, 2016 and I just checked my Facebook page. I was amazed that the poetry book had been awarded 412 views and 26 more LIKES during the past week.

The statistics a book gets can be instruments of its success. But, a lack of reviews is often times the cause of why a book failed. So when a reviewer cares enough to critique an author’s work, from dialogue to sentence structure, it can be a precious gift.

Have a tizzy fit if you must, when the review doesn’t measure up to your expectations. Shout hallelujah when the critique was fabulous. But, perhaps, the criticism can be used for the betterment of your next book… and just maybe, you published on your own, too quickly. This is a bitter pill to swallow.

I read an interesting remark by Richard Riley, a well-known columnist – blogger, and I liked what he wrote. “Chances are you are not a perfect writer. There is no shame in that. It’s OK not to master every element of the story. Every writer has his or her strengths and weaknesses. Those strengths exist because they are rooted in your passion. Don’t drive yourself crazy honing and fine-tuning a novel to try and make it perfect. Do rewrites, of course. Carefully edit your manuscript, of course, but don’t let elemental imperfections prevent you from publishing.”

I strive for perfection in my writing. I’m quite sure that you also strive for perfection in everything you do. But, it never fails, that I will publish a book, or post a blog, and ‘Blam’, there will be a glaring mistake staring me in the face.

The world of publishing has changed greatly. Thanks to the internet, self-publishing, online bookstores, bloggers, social network sites; with their help, they have helped the writer get reviews. It is also a proven fact, the author who contributes to their own success has a better chance to see the favoritism of their books rise.

Many reviews are downright fake. Many reviews are written to persuade… you hear what you want to hear. Most often, you don’t get the whole truth about the quality and accuracy of your writing. Thanks goodness, due to the technology of the internet, self-published authors have more control over their work than you might think. Reviews are important, but the author should remember that most beta readers are ‘reader reviewers’, or amateur reviewers.

Authors should take note of what the reviewer said and not just the rating given. Reviews are a great avenue to becoming a better writer. Use your reviews in your marketing strategy.

Self-published authors are encouraged to use their website, their blogs, and even offer to be a guest blogger on another’s blog. Another effective avenue of getting your writing out there is to send out emails about your written work. Use handouts and business cards. And don’t forget about PSA’s (public service announcements) in your hometown. The ever so effective – ‘word of mouth’ is one of the best sources of advertising.

Authors, for the most part, are responsible for their own careers. Contact other authors for their help in promoting your work. We are in this together. Media exposure is not a guaranteed miracle.

One of the questions I get asked the most, is… “Why are you giving your unpublished coffee table book away FREE on your website?”

My answer was simple… I would rather have a million people from around the world come to my blog and see my artwork and read the companion stories, than not have anyone see my creativity at all. However, I do include a copyright provision for the protection of my hard work.

Richard Ridley always has sound advice. He recently wrote in a blog, “You cannot succeed with online strategies alone. Step outside into the real world and meet your readers. Build a solid Brand. Master your craft and write well. Your time will come if you keep on keeping on.”

The best advice I’ve heard from my research was, don’t expect your family and a few close friends to sustain a review campaign. It is vital to get viable reviews from unbiased strangers. In order to accomplish this, means you will need to query for those reviews. That brings me around to the following-

I had NO CLUE that ‘Poetry in Motion’ was going to be as popular as it has become. I didn’t even have it in my head that this would be my first book to go so far. In the first two days after the book was released, it had gotten 192 LIKES and 10 comments and reviews. Not bad for two days of promoting the poetry book.

In fact, I had a whole other book in mind that I thought would make a big splash with my reading audience. And that book was, The Playboy Prince. The book is showing well, but it is a novel, and I think most readers prefer not to invest the time in reading longer stories.

Once again, I thank everyone who continues to display favorable reviews for ‘Poetry in Motion’, a book of 52 contemporary poems in various genres. All of my books are available on the K. Lorraine website http://klorraine.com and at Createspace.

P.S.

The adult coloring book Fun in the Florida Sun, featuring the zany retired Florida couple, is picking up speed. The book is trending well around the globe. The coloring book is getting an average of 10 LIKES daily with several views, comments and reviews. Not bad Walter & Katy. In fact, there were 10 additional views today.

I’ve also sent a book proposal to Barnes & Noble to see if I could generate enough interest to get the adult coloring book on their store shelves. I’ve used some of my own marketing strategies, and I have three book signings in play, with the possibility of a few more. Walmart has taken an interest in Walter and Katy Shuster and Ancients of Day in downtown Roswell has already put the coloring book in their store.

Keep up the good work, Walter and Katy Shuster.

Thank you God and the K. Lorraine fans for the sunlight thatbuzz2 shines upon my world.Thank you for joining me this morning and reading today’s blog.

Happy Reading, K. Lorraine

Posted in Art Works by K. Lorraine, Coffee Table Art Books, coloring book, Commentaries, critique, humor, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, katy shuster, murder/romance, Poetry, short stories, the shusters, walter shuster | Comments (0)

BOOK ON A HOOK

July 6th, 2016

book on a hookAre you ready to ‘hook’ a good summer read? Well then, go to the K. Lorraine website at http://klorraine.com and order my NEWEST release… ‘The Playboy Prince.’ Be sure to take advantage of the summer discount on this exciting novel filled with emotion, mystery, romance and a murder to be solved.

While you are there on my website, http://klorraine take advantage of reading my FREE weblog and wander through the library of some other K. Lorraine books available for your reading pleasure.

Thank you for stopping by today and as I always say, “Happy Reading.”

K. Lorraine                                                                                                      king-kamehameha-statue-in-wailoa-park-hilo-hawaii-photo-by-donnie-macgowan1 (2)Kay Head Shot 3-2016

Posted in Commentaries, fiction, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, murder/romance, Novel length books, romance, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Excerpt from “The PlayBoy Prince”, KLorraine’s New Novel

June 29th, 2016

Inspiration

The idea for The Playboy Prince came to mind in 2006. I began to plot the story and started a preliminary outline. I played around with writing chapters of the book over the years. The storyline continued to grow. Instead of cutting the narrative short, I allowed the intrigue in the life of Hale Lake Kahuka to lead the way.

In 2014, I joined FanStory, a writer’s online group. I selected parts of the story and revised them into short stories to fit different contest prompts that interested me.

Out on a Ledge was one of the entries. In part two in the book, The Playboy Prince, Hale enters the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. I used this contest entry as one of the field exercises that his team of trainees was assigned. This is a review I got from the entry. “

“Well described terrorist scenario, fast-paced action and drama well captured in your story. Good descriptions, good dialogue and it read well. Enjoyable read.”

The Last Curtain Call is another contest entry that I used as the ending of the story. The following is one of the reviews that the entry received.

“Very well written with great usage of emotional wording in the story. Indeed, a great romance story.”

In 2015, when the smash series, “Quantico,” hit the small screen, I knew that it was time to follow the trend and I decided to use the FBI as a plot twist for The Playboy Prince, but I was unaware of where I would be taken as the story thrust forward.

From this hit series, I learned that timing is key. Obviously, I was ahead of my time in 2006, therefore I was a day late in publishing The Playboy Prince. However, if truth be known, it is doubtful that this type of story would have been in popular demand a decade ago.

There is a distinct difference between the TV series Quantico, and the book, The Playboy Prince. In the TV drama, the show is based in Quantico, Virginia and the want-to-be FBI trainees are faced with real life situations that they must pass in order to become certified FBI agents.

The Playboy Prince is a novel that starts at the beginning with Hale Lake Kahuka as a young child, and the storyline takes you through his early life. Hale is raised by his maternal grandparents after his parents die. The boy is nurtured by the grandfather in the story, Judge Garrison Dano, who instills in his grandson some of his own personal traits, along with a desire that the boy follow his father’s footsteps.

Hale’s father, Kale Kahuka had always been intrigued with espionage and clandestine governmental affairs. Hale becomes enamored with the highest part of law enforcement and in time, he goes through the FBI training at Quantico. It is after graduation, that the real story begins to take shape.

The book focuses on the assignments of Special Agent Hale Lake Kahuka – Dano, and the readers will learn why Hale changes his surname and becomes known as the Playboy Prince.

It is my hope The Playboy Prince will become a 2016 Best Seller and that you will enjoy the book. As I always say, Happy Reading…

Thank you,

K. Lorraineplayboy prince book cover preview 6-3-16

Part One

A Boy Among Girls

The
Garrison Dano Family

Chapter One

Narration by Kirby Dean

Prequel

This book is written from several points of view. I, K. Lorraine, chose this style of writing in order to bring forth a stronger story line and plot. The people who had the greatest impact on the child’s life were Kirby Dean, an investigative reporter, Hale Kahuka-Dano; himself, Loura Dano, Hale’s grandmother and Commissioner Frank Gibbons.

Every story has a beginning, and this story is no different. My name is Kirby Dean. I was an investigative reporter for DNN news for a long time. It has taken me three decades to put the facts together and to write the story about a young man whose true identity was kept private for many years to protect his life.
My name is Hale Lake Kahuka – Dano, and I am a sixth generation descendant of King Kamehameha. Follow the story of my life as I go from being a youngster, and grow up into becoming a man who followed in my father and grandfather’s footsteps.

The tape recorder was turned on by investigative reporter, Kirby Dean, and I, Hale Kahuka, began telling my story.

HO’OKU’U is the Hawaiian word that means to ‘free.’ I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was a child born with a free spirit. My mother, Haleigha, was Asian – Hawaiian, and she was a young woman of privilege. My mother was the only child of Garrison and Loura Dano, a wealthy island family.

From the pictures that graced my grandparent’s home, Haleigha – Okelani – Dano was a young and beautiful woman. I was told that her bright eyes were filled with curiosity. She wore her long, dark black hair, straight with a hibiscus flower tucked behind her ear.

I would leaf through photo albums to find pictures of my parents. Mother was often photographed wearing a swimming suit. Her slender torso gave her an edge as a strong swimmer. She had a love for the ocean, and
the sugar white beach sand of the islands.

My grandparents, Garrison and Loura Dano, had given their daughter the best of everything.

The well-known island fashion designer, Loura Dano, impeccably dressed her daughter in the latest fashions.

Haleigha was well educated in the finest schools on the mainland and abroad. Haleigha Dano was well traveled, and it was said that she was a descendant of the Kamehameha Dynasty. She was a young and beautiful woman who had so much life to live.

My biological father, Kale Kahuka, came to the islands after he quit his American government job that kept him in Europe for several years. He was a highly intelligent man who had spent years in Paris, Spain and Barcelona. Kale had always been intrigued with espionage and clandestine governmental affairs. He worked for a short time undercover as a talented artist who had a passion for painting.

He migrated to paradise from Connecticut, and now Kale Kahuka was growing his new business in Hawaii as a Government contractor. Kale eventually became a rich Anglo who provided services to the Navy on Oahu. He became a wealthy man by the time he turned forty.

One day, on Waikiki beach, at Kapai’Olani Park, he caught my mother’s attention. He was tall, tan, and muscular. They soon discovered that they shared a passion for water sports.

They were neighbors, but unaware they lived so close. A year later, Kale Kahuka and Haleigha Dano were married. The next year triplet girls Celteah, Cahmille, and Cayhla were born. Three years later the couple gave birth to a son; that’s me, Hale Lake Kahuka. The house was now filled with females, and I soon became known as a ‘boy among girls.’

I wasn’t even six years old when my parents died, and their memorial was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Our maternal grandparents had come to Hawaii from the mainland. Nana Dano would eventually return to the island family home with her four grandchildren in tow. But on this trip, we went to Oahu to attend the double funeral of my parents.

Mother was killed in an accident when an out of control watercraft hit her jet ski head-on in front of the family Hawaiian home. Haleigha Dano- Kahuka died at the age of thirty-one. My dad, Kale Kahuka, was twenty years her senior, and he died almost instantly from a fatal stroke as he helplessly watched the accident happen. We, the four Kahuka children, were now orphaned.

My sisters were three years older than me at the time of our parent’s death. Our Grandparents, Garrison and Loura Dano, were thankful that we were young, and yet old enough to accept the change that was about to happen to us.

It was a beautiful two-hour sunset sail from Honolulu to Diamond Head on the forty-foot catamaran. We watched the whales and porpoises swim alongside the boat, and we scattered loose petals of island flowers into the water.

I’ve been told that I boldly said, “Grandpa, after we scatter mother and father’s ashes into the water, they will freely ride on the whale’s back and play with the porpoises in the water.”

I guess my grandparents smiled at my remark, but it also concerned them that their grandson understood death was permanent. Grandmother Dano thought the remark was too mature for a child to make, and it made her cry.

I undoubtedly patted her hand gently and said, “Nana, it isn’t sad for me that mama and papa have gone to live with our ancestors. Why are you sad? Nana don’t you know that their spirits are now living among the sea animals, the waves, and the sky?”

Nana Loura, perhaps gasped in shock that a young child could make such a profound statement. Children were taught by example and grandparents were supposed to be a source of wisdom and understanding. It seemed that Loura Dano was now forced to become the spiritual guardian of her grandchildren. Grandma Loura would be expected to bring a sense of well-being to me and my sisters.

Most Hawaiians still believed in water burial where their ashes were given back to nature. In general, Hawaiians believed in the afterlife. Grandfather wanted Haleigha’s spirit to return to her ancestors in the afterlife. He insisted that her ashes rest within the sea that she loved.

Kale’s parents wanted their son to rest in peace with the woman he loved. So, their ashes were blended together, and the families sailed out into the Pacific between Waikiki and Diamond Head to set their spirit (HO’OKU’U) free.

According to tradition, mourners wore brightly colored Hawaiian attire and flower leis. The family prepared an outside dinner feast and shared the food with one another, talking and laughing about their deceased loved one’s life. The mourners danced the Hula to the lively tunes of grandfather’s band. Some of the guests cried because funerals were usually somber, although grandpa Garrison wanted Mother and Father’s deaths celebrated as a happy occasion, and a family social event of remembrance.

The wake was held at the Dano family waterfront home with pictures of Haleigha and Kane displayed prominently in the parlor. The guests gathered together and shared stories of the deceased before and after the luau dinner party.

This was a ‘lantern light life memorial,’ celebrating life rather than death.

I was only six, but I suppose that I happily danced about my parent’s pictures with the adults and talked openly about them. I assumed that Grandpa Garrison encouraged me to mourn with joy while Nana Loura tried to hush me and dissuade me from partaking in the celebration.

I loved my parents and I missed them very much. Regardless that I was a precocious child, I couldn’t possibly have fully understood why my grandmother wanted to push me aside and forbid me to tell my stories. Grandfather tried to assure me that I wasn’t being pushed away, but grandmother was only trying to protect me from the pain of my loss.

I do remember how I liked the attention that I received from Grandmother. I remembered how overly excited I was when they came from the mainland to visit on holidays and special occasions. Nana Loura wasn’t around very often, since they only visited a few times a year.

The memorial service had ended, and Nana Loura took me aside. She talked with me about going to California to live in the big house on the hill. The girls fully understood that they were being asked to leave the only home we knew and move far away from their Hawaiian tradition. Although I was three years younger than my sisters, I fully understood that we would be uprooted from our home.

At six years old, I was a child who definitely took steps toward his independence. I had already established my own preferences, experiences and capabilities. And my motor skills were developed beyond my years, as well as my athletic skills, and my physical development.

Nana Loura often said, “Hale, I respect your Hawaiian culture, but you also should learn about the Anglo Christian culture. The Hawaiian culture and the view of Western religion have conflicts between them. Western culture is built upon superiority and Hawaiian culture is based on tradition. When you are grown up, I think you will understand.”

I think she didn’t fully recognize that Hawaiian people tried to appease the Gods and kept them happy by performing good deeds. We believed that our ancestors continued to look after us… even after death.

I was advanced as a six-year old. I watched and learned a lot from my older sisters. To have older siblings provided me with an opportunity for an exceptionally early and advanced maturity for the lovely ladies.

Grandfather Garrison noticed that I was more than just smart. I was a child who was observed as being extremely curious. Even as an infant, I had a long attention span. I guess I was spirited too. I remember that fast moving objects captured my attention and I showed excellent memory skills. I spoke my first word earlier than normal. I was told by my grandfather that my first word was, ‘boob.’

I had built an extensive vocabulary by the time that I was one. I guess that I also had an aptitude to learn foreign languages easily. And by the time that I attended grammar school, I spoke three languages. I was fluent in English, Japanese and my native Hawaiian language. I remember that no one made an effort to teach me these languages. They just came naturally by being exposed to the languages on a daily basis from my grandfather. I was gifted with strong language skills, and I simply moved with ease between the languages.

I was tested early in different areas of how children assimilate, or learn about the world around them. I tested high in interpersonal relationships, linguistics, and music. These were apparent traits inherited from my father. The tests showed that the I had a high level of task commitment, and I multi-tasked easily. I was an active leader, even as a young child, and like my grandfather, I loved sports.

Family life with a gifted child must have challenged my grandparents. I was often led to behaviors that required unique parenting strategies. My idea of fun was not always similar to my sisters’, or children my own age group.

I never found the usual toys much fun. I preferred toys that challenged me. I loved anything that had wheels. Grandpa Garrison introduced me to fast cars and fast ladies early in life.

Before mother died, Grandpa Garrison spent a lot of time at his vacation home in Honolulu, and he would take me for rides around the island in his Jaguar convertible. Grandfather would strap me into the seat next to him. I remember his distinct chuckle. He said, “Hey, little man, you look just like grandpa.” He meant that I wore my sunglasses down low on the bridge of my nose.

I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I just knew that loved the wind blowing through my hair and I especially liked being with Grandpa.

I still have the gift grandfather gave me on my third birthday. It was my first toy set of racing cars. Granddad and I would sit on the floor together for hours, racing the toy cars around its track as if we were racing in the Grand Prix.

Grandpa Dano called me his ‘Little Buckaroo.’ Papa Dano loved to take me everywhere with him, and I liked being grandpa’s sidekick. Judge Garrison Dano was a hell of a good teacher when it came to women too. I watched grandpa carefully. I took mental notes on how he treated women. The Judge was a lover. I often found him kissing Nana’s mouth and fondling her breasts.
I couldn’t help myself when I was little. It was a natural instinct of mine to squeeze Nana’s breast. Grammy liked my sloppy wet kisses, and I liked it a lot when she held me in her arms. It felt good when we cuddled, and she smelled really nice too.

The first few times I grabbed her boobs, Grandma Loura thought it was cute and Garrison did too. But it didn’t take them long to figure out that it was about getting their attention. That’s when the Judge wanted it stopped. “Hey little man,” he would seriously say, “Those are my toys. Grandma’s happy bags are for me to play with.”

I had figured it out early, how to handle my grandparents. I would flirt with Nana and I said, “Yeah, Grandpa, I’m hungry.”

Posted in drama, fiction, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, mothers, murder/romance, Novel length books, romance, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The Adventure of the Green Ants

January 23rd, 2016

soldier ant

Illustrations by K. Lorraine

Vectorized by Envisioner

Author K. Lorraine introduces her NEW, Satire/Humor adult genre book.

The SPECIAL Valentine book will make a wonderful gift for the Valentine in your life. The book is a fun filled 110 pages of laughs about a Florida retired couple whose lives are turned topsy-turvy on a daily basis.

Walter and Katy Schuster were about to begin their annual trek from SW Florida to New Mexico. The ‘comedy of errors’ would begin sooner than later as Katy Shuster left a trail of death and destruction behind her. Something on the dashboard caught her attention. She amused herself as she chased them about as they quickly scattered.

A full-fledge brigade of soldiers appeared on the dashboard and more on her window. The movement of the ants brought her back into consciousness and she sounded-off,  “This means war.”

You don’t want to miss out on finding how Katy became to be known as the “Notorious killer” of the alien green ants.

The book includes a ‘Special bonus feature’ and a FIRST place poem written by the author herself.

The book is available in print on CreateSpace  or the K. Lorraine webpage… http://klorraine.com

Book  is NOW available  on Kindle E-books to download to your electronic device.

Please pass this e-mailer to family & friends. Thank you, K. Lorraine

Happy Reading &  Happy Valentine Day

Posted in alien festival, aliens, children fiction, comedy, drama, early readers, funny story, humor, k lorraine books, K. Lorraine, katy shuster, murder/romance, New Author, Novellas, Romance.Sci-Fi, short stories, short story, supernatural, Uncategorized, walter shuster | Comments (0)

April 24th, 2015

Demon Willow

Comment from Aveindha

Excellent

You are an excellent writer. Your words are living and tangible, you’re writing to the point, but not rushed. I think you have the basis for a very long lived set of stories here, great concept. Well done!
Comment Written 28-Nov-2014

Demon Willow


Genre: Horror Contest

Demonic crime in New Orleans

The I-10 bridge tent city was the home of many victims after Hurricane Katrina. Many homeless still reside beneath the bridge a decade later. Several of the lower wards were completely destroyed by the flooding water. This story is purely fictional, but in order to tell the story in full, I felt it was necessary to write about the things that I saw with my own eyes.

It was a hot, sultry Friday the thirteenth in the Big Easy. I sat alone in a corner booth of a bar called Hell’s Door drinking a pitcher of ice cold beer. 

I was on furlough from the police department for misconduct and the use of excessive force in a drug raid in the 8th district. My department shrink told the Captain it was time for me to reevaluate my attitude with regard to the drug addicts and other depraved citizens in that area.

With a grin that stretched from ear to ear, he told me the shrink explained that Katrina left a negative effect on all of the citizens in New Orleans. The department psychologist believed the persons residing in the virtually abandoned 8th District, were heavily influenced by the voodoo practitioners and these neglected folks required special treatment.

The politicians pressured the department to suspend any officer who demonstrated this kind of negative behavior. The task force worked with the preachers and mystics to develop a plan to help and support the “possessed citizens in the 8th District.”

The humidity hung thick in the air and my white cotton shirt had large perspiration stains beneath my armpits and down the center of my back. The forecasters were predicting a moderate category one storm, with a slight potential of strengthening to a more powerful hurricane as it crossed over the warm Gulf water. I was walking home down Bourbon Street when bolts of lightning lit up the sky and snapped fiercely around me.

The hair on my arms stood up on end, and I felt as if I was being shocked. My breathing quickened, my heart raced and my mind was spinning wildly about. I questioned, if I had been struck by lightening or did I simply have too much to drink? I shrugged my shoulders and I continued on with my journey.

I was thankful that the storm watchers downgraded the storm before it came on land. We didn’t need a second Hurricane Katrina event. The city hadn’t fully recovered from the category five devastating storms of the previous year. New Orleans was definitely in need of a break in the weather.

My attention was diverted across the street to Madam Le Beaux’s Voodoo shop. I could see a group of tourists through the window, congregated around the mystic. No doubt they were listening to her spiel, probably about love potions and how they could use them to ward off some evil spirits during their visit to New Orleans. I shook my head in amazement, as they listened to the bullshit, and how the shysters can get an intelligent human to spend money on this hooey still baffles me.

I’d lived in New Orleans all of my life. I know for a fact, that you didn’t need to be a mystic to receive extraordinary mystical visions, or conjure up a potion. In fact, I knew the extraordinary life of the false mystic, Sr. Magdalena of the Cross, was guided by the devil for 50 years. I’ve been a cop for the past twenty-five years and with my own duty experience, I know the real danger exists not with these false mystics or phony visionaries, but with the ones who practice their clandestine craft that knowingly brings harm to people.

The rain was falling heavily now, so I quickly crossed the street and entered the voodoo shop to get out of the inclement weather. Madam Le Boix was talking about Katrina and how the storm had raised the evilness of the devil and the demonic possession of their souls.

Standing in the crowd was a small black child. Her hair was braided and colorful, plastic hair clips tied the loose ends. She was barefoot, and looking up at me with her big, brown soulful eyes, she began tugging at my pant leg. She shook my pant leg trying to get my attention.

“Mister, Mister,” she was whining, “I’m thirsty, can I have a sip of your drink?”

I shook my head and replied sternly said, “No!” I had a nearly half full cup of iced beer and I wasn’t going to give the kid a sip of alcohol. I replied, “Child you go ask your mama to get you a drink. It’s not safe to ask strangers for food or drink.” My harsh rebuff didn’t faze the kid. She persevered, “Mister I ain’t got no mama or a house.

“Don’t you lie to me,” I strongly said, “So where do you live, and who takes care of you, if you don’t have a mama?” I inquired, “Do you have a name?”

“Willow,” was all that she said.

I asked, “How old are you?”

She held up six fingers. She was missing her two front teeth and she flashed a smile that melted my heart. I’ve been hijacked by this same smile many times while on duty by the urchins who were good at panhandling. I motioned for Willow to answer the question.

She frowned and grumbled some words, “Past the cardboard boxes where people live under the big bridge.”

My eyes narrowed and my bows lifted in concern, “My God, the tent city bridge was at least ten blocks away.” I placed a hand on the child’s shoulder and asked, “Where’s your mama, I know you’ve got one!”

She sighed and politely answered, “Home sleeping, I can’t wake her.”
I looked into Willow’s now bereft eyes and asked, “Does your mama have a name?”

“Yup, Queen Ho,” she said without hesitation or any possible understanding of the meaning of her mother’s job description. I thought cynically, this makes sense, though, she’s probably snorted too much blow and nothing on the planet will wake her. I asked, “Where’s your dad?”

She shrugged her shoulders and gave me a one word answer. “Dunno.”

Again, I thought, “Figures, she is, undoubtedly, an illegitimate kid whose parents are both junkies.” Do you go to school?” I queried.

“Nope, my mama say’s I’m smart enough and I don’t need no ‘schoolin’ to make money.”

I thought, unfortunately, this figured too, because kids living near the tent city bridge, in the 8th District, are rarely checked on, since Hurricane Katrina pretty much devastated the inner city. The kid was probably the best kept secret in the life of her mother. So, I gave it another try and asked, “Does your mama work?”

Willow eyes squinted and it was obvious that she was ‘ticked off’ by my questions. She said, “Nope,” and she kicked me in the shin, “I told you, Mister, she’s a Queen Ho and men give her money. She don’t need no other job!”

There wasn’t any doubt in my mind now, that Willow definitely understood what her mother did for a living. I looked around at the people who were engrossed by Madame Le Boux’s sales pitch about the ‘Devil Protection Spells and Potions,’ but there didn’t seem to be anyone who was responsible for the child, so, I asked her, “Willow, why are you this far from home?”

“Mister, mama brings me along when she comes to see Madame Le Beaux. Sometimes she gets stuff from the dealers who are outside ‘sellin’ dope. Mister, I told ya, I’m thirsty, I ain’t had nothing to eat all day. I was just asking for a drink.”

I took her by the hand, “Come with me Willow and I’ll find something for you to drink and some food.” I sidled up to a garbage can on the street, and disposed the rest of my beer. And I was off duty as a cop with some scruples, and I’ll always help a hungry child.

The rain had stopped and the sun was shining brightly. The humidity was high and I saw a vendor selling shaved flavored ice. He was pushing his cart around the corner, so I bought a pink lemonade snow cone for Willow and a Pina Colada shaved ice for me, minus the booze.

The sun was beating down on the wet cement surface and the heat radiating off the pavement created a light fog. I told Willow to wait in the shade beneath a Magnolia tree and eat her snow cone. I went into the discount store to buy her a pair of flip flops and a package of peanut butter crackers and some bottled water.

Willow was still fiddling with her icy slush and dripping some of the flavored water on her arms and face to cool her skin. I opened a bottle of water, pulled my handkerchief out of my pocket and soaked the cloth. I handed it to Willow, “Here, kid, use this to wash your face and hands and then put these flip flops on your feet.”

She showed her gratefulness by flashing me a big toothless grin. She danced around showing off her new footwear, eating a cracker and chugging water that dribbled down her chin.

“Come on Willow and I’ll walk you home before that big, black thunder cloud over yonder decides to pour on us.”

She threw the remnants of her melted ice drink and the other waste paper on the ground. I took her hand, squeezed it to show my disapproval of her littering, “Doesn’t your mother bother to teach you any manners?

Willow didn’t fidget and wasn’t intimidated with my question.

I pointed to the mess that she made and then pointed to a waste basket a few steps away. Willow bent down, picked up the soggy mess and walked quietly to the garbage can. I smiled, reached for her hand and we started to walk in the direction of the bridge.

After we dawdled a few blocks, Willow reminded me that she needed to go to the bathroom. We luckily were close to the tourist plaza bathroom. I pushed open the door of the bathroom and pointed to a stall. She used the stall and I quickly used a urinal. I was washing my hands and I suggested that she needed to use soap and water this time to clean her hands properly.

I wanted to get to the kid home ASAP. I walked quickly and my long strides meant that Willow had to run to keep up. She was very fatigued when we reached the tent city bridge. We stopped to catch our breath and there was that restless feeling once again in my gut. This time it seemed more like an uneasy feeling of danger.

I asked, “Okay, Willow, where do we go from here?”

She pointed straight ahead. I picked her up, sat her on my shoulders and carried her down the creepy crumbling broken sidewalk, past a pile of water damaged crusty, abandoned cars and trucks. The street signs were missing. The lots were full of overgrown grass. They were once green and full of trees and bushes. Now, it was the sign of blight. I carried Willow past a makeshift grave and downed utility lines.

It was dusk and without any working street lights or the moonlight to guide my way, I felt apprehensive and fearful. The blood flowing through my veins suddenly became cold and my body shivered as we approached the cabin that Willow referred to as home. Decaying roots, breaks in the bark exposed the now blackened wood covered by decaying fungi. Spooky Spanish moss was dripping from the partially shaded branches of the large overgrown Oak trees. The tangled tree hair was eerie and sinister.

The moss draped everything in sight like a scene from a horror film. The old slave cabin sat rotting in a floating forest. Bugs, chiggers, spiders, snakes and birds made the surroundings their home. Mosquitoes were making their annoying whining sound as they swarmed around my head. They viciously attacked our exposed flesh with barbarity. I put Willow down at the end of the dirt track and the air smelled of ozone. I stomped the ground to scare off snakes slithering up from the creek toward our feet.

As I slowly pushed open the creaking door…  I moved cautiously, and sensed a strange presence in the house. My eyes scanned around the room, and then I focused on the motionless body that lay in the shadows. She was a black woman no older than 21. I nearly choked from the stench of feces and rotting flesh.

I tried to shelter Willow from the ghastly sight of her own mother’s naked body leaning against the sofa with a belt wound around her neck and gunshot wounds in her head. My guess was that she had been dead at least a week. I knew from the expression on Willow’s face, that she had seen this scene before.

I’ve been a crime scene, police officer most of my career, but seeing this turned me inside out. The woman had bled out and the blood pool had dried, leaving only a few sticky edges. Willow was a tender young age… far too young to witness her mother’s dead decaying body.

This kind of violence present at a crime scene, definitely showed signs of being connected to drugs and sexual slaughter. I began an informal investigation of the house. It seemed obvious that the kid was shut up in her room alone while her mother entertained men in the next room.

A smelly old bucket was sitting beside the mattress on the floor and I imagined that Willow used it as her pee-pail. I guessed that she was told, if she dared leave her room, the evil man who was doing bad things to her mother would also do bad things to her. She was probably told that he would carry her skinny body and bury it somewhere in the swamp where she would never be found, or maybe he would simply feed her to the gators.

I found a lantern to use as I continued looking around. My heart palpitated loudly as Willow reached for my hand and led me to the back yard where I found a second victim. The naked white man in his fifties was beneath the Weeping Willow tree with a hypodermic needle stuck in his jugular vein. I was shining the lantern’s light on him when I asked, “Willow do you know who did this?”

She flashed me a hint of a smile. It was the kind of smile that you cultivate as you get older and your mind fills with stories from your past. It was a smile that spoke volumes about the wisdom she’d gained during her short life, by experience. She didn’t need words because her eyes told the story.

Her lower jaw pushed forward… narrowing her eyes in an angry, negative emotion; she glared and stared directly at the corpse. Her eyes were fixed, her brow furrowed and she did not blink. With a hostile expression on her face, she stared at the dead man and pointed to him… and said, “Everything got messed up cause I stole some stuff from the drug man. The devil from Madam Le Beaux’s Voodoo shop visited me and told me he killed my mama and that he should die too.”

“Mister, the bad man shot mama because she wouldn’t give him back the stuff I took. Mister, I killed the bad man cause he sleeps with my mama; he gives her money and she buys more drugs! She can’t buy drugs, no more cause my mama’s gone.”

Willow collapsed to the mucky ground. She was limp when I picked her up. While holding her, a cloud of small black bugs flew out of her mouth. In all my years of service to the city of New Orleans, I had never witnessed this kind of tangible evil.

I left the cabin with Willow and took her to a nearby church. I told the Priest about my experience. He vowed that the church would intervene and absolve the child for her demonic possession.

Visit http://klorraine.com to view more titles to read or buy!

Posted in drama, fiction, murder/romance, short stories, short story | Comments (0)

Comatose

April 6th, 2015

Comatose?

A bad car accident

Comment from Michael Ludwinder II

Excellent

Wow. That is a scary incident you describe here. I love how you took the prompt and ran with it. Your story easily held my interest. This has a little bit of an “unfinished” taste to it, but I greatly enjoyed reading it.
Comment Written 09-Dec-2014

Comment from Genya

Excellent

I have heard and read about people being placed in an induced coma so they can heal and you created this scene so brilliantly. Lots of feelings, thoughts, emotion, fear captured as this young woman woke up and had no knowledge of why she was the way she was. Very well told with lots of detail and description. This was a really good story and one that seemed very realistic. The last line was very well written and captured all the emotion… what if I never remember my past, my name and all I can do is blink… brilliant ending. Good luck in the contest with this. I really enjoyed this story. Genya
Comment Written 08-Dec-2014

Comment from NanT

Excellent

Very descriptive view of accident. Makes one to look forward to her recovery.
Comment Written 08-Dec-2014

Comatose? Is a contest short story where the prose started off with the sentence beginning… ‘What if?’ The idea of the story line was what if the protagonist didn’t know anything when she awakens… The story idea for Comatose was claimed from a chapter of another book that I had written. The names were changed along with some minor details of the plot.

 

‘The Awakening’

A victim of a bad car accident, a young woman is placed in an induced coma to heal. When she awakens, she is unable to speak and remembers nothing about her life. With help from her doctor and trust in God, she struggles to remember her name and details about her past.

What if?

She wasn’t humming to the music and watching the ocean water sparkling in the sun when the cars in front of her suddenly swerved and a truck going the wrong way, appeared in the lane. Could the accident have been avoided?

But instead of trying to get out of the way, she screamed and slammed on the brakes. The tires squealed on the hot pavement. The force of the head-on impact caused her car to spiral in midair and land upside down and against the guard wall. She was trapped by the truck’s mashed front end and she was hanging upside down held in place by her seat belt.

She heard someone moaning and she called out. It was then that she realized it was her who was moaning. The tears joined the blood from her face wounds washed down onto her blouse. She heard the paramedic comment, “It’s amazing that she had the ability to react at all. She’s lucky to be alive!”

She felt all the familiar sounds of life fading away and then she saw nothing more. The beautiful young woman had a name Lucia Angelina Perez, was from Brazil.  Lucia was the Miss Junior Beauty Pageant winner from her country, and part of her prize winnings were an American college education at the Southern California’s Technical University.

Dr. Chase Severi, ordered Lucia to be admitted to the Intensive care unit and placed in an induced coma. Her doctor was hopeful that she would fully recover, but he admitted to himself her prognosis was not good. When and if Miss Perez awakened, no one knew if she would walk again.

And then one day, Lucia’s eyelashes began to flutter, but her eyes remained closed. The sun was shining brightly behind her eyelids. She felt a warm breeze blowing her hair around and she was humming a song.  And again… there was nothing.

Even though she had a sense that she was alive, her body continued to rebel as she drifted in and out of awareness. She made an effort to speak, but there were only muttered sounds and gibberish.

As her eyes flickered open intermittently, she caught a glimpse of a room and people all around her. Lucia saw an angel dressed in white. The bible verse in Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted,” kept running through her mind. It is through this grieving that healing takes place.

God promises that HE will exchange the deep pain for comfort. God sends His Angels to do all things, for we are dearly loved by HIM and we are never alone. The angel kept talking for a long time, and she began looking forward to its visits. Lucia no longer had the urge to yell, “help me, I’m being held prisoner.”

And then one day, her eyes caught movement and she began to focus on the person that was leaning over her. The man excitedly called out, “She is regaining consciousness!”

He had been secretly talking to her for weeks during the induced the coma. Dr. Severi softly whispered in Lucia’s ear for the first time in front of his staff, “Wake up Lucia.” He waited a few minutes before saying a little louder, “Wake up… I know that you can hear me and I want you to wake up now.”

Within the depths of her unconsciousness, she heard a male voice commanding her to wake up. The sharp tone of his voice terrified her. Weird images and thoughts swirled around in her head. She saw a car spinning out of control. She heard herself scream, and the voice repeated once again, “Wake up Lucia, you can hear me, so open your eyes now.”

She didn’t understand anything and she questioned; “Where am I?” Lucia felt desperation and fear, although, she didn’t know what she was desperate about or why.

The now calmer voice interrupted her thoughts as she heard him say, “Wake up Lucia, I want you to wake up. I know you can open your eyes. I want you to open your eyes and keep them open this time.”

Her body felt weightless, like she was an astronaut floating in space. Her mind flashed back once again to the accident. The memory of being trapped upside down came back to her and she remembered not being able to feel her legs. She tried not to focus on the sudden quietness and the feeling of nothingness all around her.

She tried to move her limbs, but she could only make a jerking movement of one arm. Trying again, she concentrated hard to move her legs. Instead, her head involuntarily shook back and forth and her arms moved wildly about her body. She heard herself screaming inside, “What is going on? Help me. Why can’t I move?”

Instead of an answer, she heard the doctors sigh with relief at her movements. But, she felt no relief. She tried to focus on what she was hearing, but the words confused her. She heard her own voice begging, “What is going on? Why can’t you hear me? Please help me!”

Finally, Lucia realized that she was trapped within her own mind and they couldn’t hear her. She felt terror at being trapped in a place that she did not understand. She felt pain and she could taste the tears circling around the corners of her mouth. She struggled to fully wake up and speak, but all that came out were scrambled words of confusion and continued fear.

Giving up, she thought her tears were all that she had left and they represented what her life had become. But, the voice came again, “My name is Dr. Severi. You are in a hospital. You were involved in a bad car accident. You were put into a coma so your body could heal. Do you understand what I am saying?”

She tried to speak, but the words would not form as his voice continued, “Lucia, it is okay if you cannot speak yet. Your brain has been injured, but I promise that you will talk again. I want you to relax now and blink once for ‘yes’ and twice if you mean ‘no.’ Do you understand my questions?”

Concentrating, she blinked once to say that she understood. Her mind began to calm down and focus. She became aware of the sights, sounds and smells around her and the terror was leaving.  Dr. Severi asked, “Can you tell me if you are thirsty? Blink ‘yes’ if you would like a drink.”

She tried to say yes, but her lips only slightly moved, so she blinked once. A nurse moistened her lips with a small piece of ice. The water droplets felt good and she could tell the doctors and nurses were excited to see her interact with them. As her vision continued to clear, she caught an odd, disappointed expression on the male doctor’s face. She wondered why he looked concerned and instantly her fear again returned.

Do you remember your name?”

She still seemed confused and blinked twice. Do you remember anything about the accident?”

Coming out of unconsciousness briefly, Lucia’s eyes stared into the distance. Was someone talking to her? Did she answer? Why did he want to know her name? Why does it hurt so much? Is this a dream; a nightmare? Where was she?

Slowly the pain subsided, due to the morphine. For the first time in her life she felt ugly and helpless. Over the next few weeks, Dr. Severi noticed that Lucia was quiet and seemed unsure. So he made it a habit to check on her in the evenings before going home from the hospital.

She grew happier after Dr. Severi’s visits at the Hospital Rehabilitation Center, but trapped inside her own mind, she thought, “Oh God! What if I never remember my past, my name, and all that I can do is just blink?”

Visit http://klorraine.com to view more titles to read or buy!

Posted in automobile crash, coma, contest, drama, drunk driving, fiction, murder/romance, Novellas, romance, short stories, short story | Comments (0)

Author K. Lorraine has a new Blog for her fans

March 19th, 2015

I decided that I wanted to take some time off from personal writing to join a group of professional authors. My goal was to improve my literary skills and study with some of the best writers who were published as far back as forty years. I chose to make a compilation of my work that I wrote during the 2014 year. I hope that you enjoy the variety of free stories and other unpublished work written by K. Lorraine. All material is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written permission.

The first of my new posts of literary works is a short story contest entry titled…

 

The Indian Bounty Hunter

Review comment:

Excellent

That was a very good story, I didn’t notice the length, you held my interest. The characters were excellent, the descriptions spot on, the dialogue slick and the plot well thought out. I liked the criminal detail, well researched. Most enjoyable. Good luck in the contest.  Comment Written 23-Sep-2014

 

The Sheriff used a push pin to hang up the Wanted Poster.

The rural desert town was in the flat land near the tableland of the Albuquerque mesa. Not much of anything exciting ever happened in the small, quaint town of Cactus Flower, New Mexico. And for the even smaller police station to investigate anything much, it meant we got an occasional report about a stolen chicken. The case was usually solved by the farmer shooting the coyote that invaded his chicken coop.

Like most days at the office, the sheriff rested his brown mid-calf cowboy boots on a pile of crumpled papers and old files that were stacked on top of an antique wooden desk.  A dusty trophy of an Elk’s head, hung on the brown paneled wall. It was an impressive twelve point Elk mount that belonged to Sheriff Luke Emerson but when he died, Mrs. Emerson didn’t want the musty old beast.  So she donated it to the police department and now its part of the decor where most folks use it as a hat rack for an array of western headgear.

Beads of sweat formed on Sheriff Eagle’s brow and droplets of odorless water trickled down the narrow bridge of his nose, causing a small puddle on the old wooden desk. Lowering his feet to the floor, Henry walked across the room to check the thermostat to see why in the hell the room was so warm. He grumbled beneath his breath as he took each shuffling step.

Pounding his fist on the wall, Henry said, “Son of a bitch; it’s one hundred degrees in this damn office. The damn swamp cooler is on the fritz again.”

Because the police department was run with one deputy and a dispatcher, the town council restricted any kind of spending without prior authorization. So it was up to Henry to call  the local electrician and make a service call, but instead, he chose to stop at Micky Shallow Water’s  hardware store to get the needed parts and try to fix the antique swamp cooler himself.

Sheriff Eagle was a man of true grit and integrity. He wore his jet black hair in the Native American style, keeping it long and pulled into a single ponytail. He always wore a buckskin jacket, blue jeans, a cowboy hat and boots. Henry’s chiseled jaw added dimension to his rugged western appearance and the females both on and off the Reservation found him not only good-looking, but sexually appealing.

Henry was now facing the biggest event in his short criminal justice history. The murder of Riley Stumpp, took place just blocks from the Sheriff’s office and in plain sight. But because the sidewalks folded up by nine, there weren’t any witnesses; not even the town drunk who slept it off in the alley behind the courthouse.

Bounty hunting was not a game, so you better be tough as nails and don’t expect to get much sleep either. Sheriff Eagle wasn’t your average Indian, he had ‘Indian’ in his blood. Henry lived a humble life and to supplement his income, he often changed hats and hunted down crooks on the run. Henry’s father, Chief Flying Eagle was proud of his children, but he was especially proud of his oldest son.

Henry furrowed his brow and his eyes narrowed when he laid the notepad down on his messy desk. And for a moment, he reflected back on some things he learned during his training at the academy. The number one thing was to take good notes. The first thing entered in his notebook was when the State Police trooper, Chip McCoy arrived on the scene and roped it off with crime tape.

Trooper McCoy had discovered the body accidentally after leaving the courtroom where he testified in a traffic fatality. When exiting the courtroom, he glanced at his watch; it was 20:50. It was late and past his supper break. That’s when he saw a car idling in the no parking zone.

The sheriff interrupted the trooper and asked, “Tell me Chip, why did you check out the car?”

Chip responded, “It just didn’t seem right that a black Escalade with darkened windows would be sitting unattended in a no parking zone with the motor running. I thought I should at least check it out before calling it into your office. I tried shining my flashlight through the tinted window and I thought I could see a body slumped against the driver’s side back seat door. I tried to arouse him by pounding on the window, but when I didn’t get a response, so I called it in immediately.”

Another state police car with its lights flashing pulled up front of the courthouse followed by an official State vehicle. The cars stopped and turned off their engines. The door opened on the passenger side of the coroner’s van and all eyes focused on her long tan legs as she stepped out onto the sidewalk. She walked over to the Escalade, put a hand on Henry’s shoulder and asked, “Okay Sheriff, who’s the stiff. He must be pretty important to call Albuquerque in the middle of the night and get me out of bed.”

Carley Meadow Lark rarely made house calls to Cactus Flower. She was not only shocked about Stumpp’s death, but she quickly amended her routine of getting a good night’s sleep and said a murder of a New Mexico Senator was what she called “BIG; maybe even HUGE.”

Carley didn’t mind driving to Cactus Flower because Sheriff Eagle would be there. She and Henry had an on-again-off-again romance a few years back when he was a police cadet and she taught a class in forensic science.

She was attracted to Henry’s Native American rugged good looks and he was enthralled with her beautiful green eyes. He told her that you don’t often see a pretty Native American woman with green eyes. Carley was an Apache Indian too, but her mother was Irish. Apparently that was the source of the green eyes.

At the crime scene, he nodded at Carley and said, “It seems like we’ve got a real mess here.”

She flashed a big warm smile and said, “Good to see you Sheriff, it’s been too long. Hey Henry, are you any good with the camera you’re holding. I’m going to need some pictures of the deceased victim.”

He returned a wink and a head nod, saying, “I’ve been known to take a good one.”

Her demeanor changed abruptly when she asked. “Sheriff Eagle have you taken a look inside the car at our victim yet?”

He shook his head NO and stated, “I’ve just barely gotten here myself and I was so-to-speak interrogating Trooper McCoy about what he knew, since he was the one who came upon the Senator in a state of the not so living anymore.”

She flinched a little and remarked. “I hope you have a strong stomach, because I absolutely need a few pictures of this.”

Henry tossed back an off-the-cuff comment and asked. “What’s so bad that I might lose my cookies overseeing it?”

She nodded toward the now open car door and said. “Perhaps you should take a look for yourself.”

He stuck his head inside the car and mumbled as quietly as possible. “Holy Mary, Mother of God; what kind of sadistic Son Of a Bitch would mutilate someone that way?”

Carley replied, “Sheriff, that’s up close and personal. I’d say the Senator knew this person in a friendly way, if you get my meaning. Once I get Senator Stumpp back to my lab, I’ll know more and I shall be more specific about the assailant.”

Eagle cringed a little and asked, “Doc, can you give me an approximate time of death?”

Dr. Meadow Lark inserted a probe into the Senator’s liver and stated, “I’d say somewhere between one and three hours ago, since rigor hasn’t set in yet.”

The sheriff regurgitated a response, “So the Senator’s death occurred between nine and midnight. Three hours; that’s a hell of a head start!”

Henry finished taking pictures of the interior and exterior surroundings of the car. He ordered Trooper McCoy to get a flatbed and follow the Escalade to the forensic lab in Albuquerque.

Although Christian for most of his life, Henry found need to retrace his ancestral roots and follow his native spiritual traditions. Henry Eagle shared a spiritual closeness to the magnificent soaring eagle of the sky, because of its shared humanity and master of its species.

In the traditional ritual ceremony, Henry stripped down to his shorts and added more stones onto the hot fire. He began chanting and singing ceremonial songs to connect him with the spirit-world. In the sweat lodge on the Albuquerque mesa, Sheriff Eagle sought guidance from the spirit-world to send him on a clear path to find the person who committed this heinous murder. The mighty bird of the sky-world held a serpent of chaos, corruption and darkness in its talons.

He drove to the Medical Examiner’s office and parked his car. The M.E. was in the morgue already performing the autopsy on Senator Riley Stumpp. Henry walked closer to the autopsy table. He looked at the Senator and said, “You know Carley, I’ve seen a lot of truly morbid things in my career, but I swear seeing an autopsy being performed is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. Do you have anything positive to tell me about the missing body part?”

She replied, “Well sheriff, I can tell you the body part is called a penis. And I can also confirm the Senator was with a female before his penis was severed. I can tell you from traces I found around the zipper of his pants, the woman was wearing ‘Passionate Pink’ lipstick and she is also a redhead.”

The forensic evidence was piling up and pointing to the Senator’s wife. Sheriff Eagle was given a tip that he needed to visit the biker bar on the Reservation. Parking his Bronco among the dozens of hogs, the sheriff walked into the ‘Snake Pit.’ It was smoky, dark and loud. A couple of bikers walked up to Sheriff Eagle and bumped into him deliberately. The biggest goon of the two spoke, “I smell bacon.”

Sheriff Eagle cordially nodded and said, “Pardon me, did you say something?” He pulled out his sidearm and commented, “I’ve got some business to take care over there, so if you’ll excuse me gents.” And pointing toward the bar he said. “I’ll be making my way without any more interruptions.”

Sheriff Eagle continued his way across the room and slapped a picture down on the counter top hard, “Barkeep have you ever seen this man in here before?”

The large burly man standing behind the bar with a full beard, skull cap and wearing a patch over one eye said as he picked up the photo, “Hmmm… let me see, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.” He lifted the patch and his eye socket was nothing but a black hole and he burst out laughing hard from his gut, “I see better with both eyes. Now let me take a good look Sheriff. Yep, I’d say this here gent is dead. Am I right sheriff?”

Henry just nodded affirmative and the bartender looked again and finally said, “Yes sheriff, the man is a frequent clientele of this fine establishment.”

The sheriff picked up the picture and asked, “Name… what is his name?”

The bartender flipped his patch back over his missing eye, “I ain’t no snitch, but seeing you are the law and all, I’ll cooperate this time.” He paused and said to the bikers who had gathered around Sheriff Eagle. “I told the sheriff I’d cooperate and help him out by identifying the stiff, so step aside and let me do my civic duty.”

The gang applauded and pounded on the bar top laughing. “Yeah, see here sheriff. Our dead patron is Senator Stumpy.”

Laughter again erupted and the one-eyed goon raised his hands high in the air, “Pardon me sheriff, I meant to say New Mexico’s fine and upstanding Senator Stumpp.”

Sheriff Eagle replied, “Thank you for the information. I have one more question for the patrons of this fine institution. And Sheriff Henry added, “Has anyone ever seen a thirty-something redhead woman in here with this man who has unfortunately met his maker?”

Wild commotion, clanking of beer bottles and cheering broke out and one of the bikers pushed his way through the rowdy crowd and looked the sheriff directly in his eyes, “I bet you’re going to ask us upstanding men if she has a tattoo on her tit?”

Henry nodded and replied, “I guess you are one of those carnival mind readers, because I was just about to ask that very question. So, I guess I have my answer. And I want to thank you men and ladies… for your cooperation. Oh, by the way, if you remember anything more about this redhead you might want to share it with me, I’ll be having supper at Reba’s.”

The scruffy biker that spoke up, added, “Yes sheriff and you can kiss my ass, but I bet you won’t do it as good as she does.”

Hammer, the gentle-giant barkeeper added, “Remember what I said when you first came in; Pigs aren’t welcome.”

When Sheriff Eagle pulled up in front of the police department and walked into the building, he hung his hat on the antler rack like usual and bid the Elk a good evening. Sally came over and plunked a cup of coffee on his desk, “Sheriff  you look like hell and you stink to high heaven too. Here are those reports you requested and you aren’t going to like what I found out.

She said, “It’s after my quitting time and my hubby is waiting for me to get home and feed him. So, I’m saying good-night, get yourself a shower sheriff and find some clean clothes too. And you know Henry, some hot food would probably be a good idea too.”

Sally picked up her purse, walked to the door and closed it behind her. Henry sat down, sipped some coffee and began to read Sally’s findings. Sally learned the Senator’s chauffeur was Highman Wellington. And the DNA report of the lipstick sample from the Senator’s pants zipper was not found in CODIS. If she had a record for prostitution, she’d be in CODIS, so the redhead was still a mystery.

Sheriff Eagle scanned the room at Reba’s Diner to see who was there for supper. There were a few new faces, but one in particular stuck out like a sore thumb. Henry recognized the scruffy biker with a big mouth who’d pushed his way through the crowd.

Henry walked over to the bearded man dressed in leather chaps, pulled out a chair and sat down and asked, “What brings you here to my side of town? Maybe, you just wanted to reciprocate a social call or maybe you remembered something else? Sheriff Eagle asked, “You got a name?”

He nodded, “Rambo is all you need to know.”

Henry said, “Well Rambo, I can’t believe you’re here for coffee and pie. Seems like beer and a fistfight is more your style.”

Rambo placed a matchbook down on the table, “Sheriff, never judge a matchbook by its cover.”

The biker stood up and bid Henry a ‘Goodnight.’

Sheriff Eagle ordered some comfort food of an open face beef sandwich and a side of extra gravy. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out the matchbook, opened it and saw the name Cherry Starr. Rambo had also written the name of a Albuquerque strip club… ‘We Bare all Gentlemen’s Club.’ Yes, comfort food, a shower and a redhead stripper sounded good. Henry was guessing that Rambo was an undercover cop, probably from Albuquerque. He confirmed Cherry Starr was a regular at the Pit, and she had been seen in the company of Senator Stumpp.

Riley Stumpp was a fifty-something year old Democrat who had been re-elected to the 4th Congressional District in Albuquerque. The Senator’s political career flourished. He was appointed to serve as a congressional delegate who would work along with the U.S. State Department on counter narcotic issues, counterterrorism and human trafficking. Stumpy also had an insatiable appetite for pretty and much younger women and this didn’t set well with his aging wife Argentina.

Mrs. Stumpp was active socially in her community. She knew about her husband’s illicit activities of gambling, women and sex. The only thing that Argentina cared about was her highly visible and connected charitable circle and her husband’s money.

Politicians usually employ FBI agents as a body guard saving themselves the out-of-pocket cost. Henry did some digging and found out that Highman Wellington had been a bouncer at the ‘We Bare it All’ before going to work for Senator.

The one thing the Sheriff hadn’t  accomplished was Wellington’s where-a-bouts during the murder, but he hadn’t been seen since before the murder. Henry added this to his notepad and put out an A.P.B. (All-points bulletin) on the chauffeur and included that he was wanted for questioning about Riley Stumpp’s death.

Sheriff Eagle was outside the gentlemen’s club, scanning the photos of the strippers posted on the marquee. He was looking for one special woman and dancer who went by the name of Cherry Starr. He spotted her and entered into the club.

A half-naked woman dressed approached him and asked, “Why, I do believe you are a law man and how might I help you?”

Sheriff Eagle replied, “I’m looking for a redheaded stripper named Cherry Starr. Is she available?”

The woman looked at him and answered by asking a question of her own. “And tell me law man, what might Miss Starr offer you that I can’t?”

He just pointed to his badge and said in his most professional voice, “Ma’am it’s police business and now would you please fetch Miss Starr.”

The woman turned on her heels and walked away. When she returned, there was a beautiful redhead who came out of a side door marked ‘private’ wearing little more than a smile.

“Miss Starr my name is Sheriff Eagle and I’m from Cactus Flower investigating the murder of a man I believe you might know. I need you to take a look at the picture and see if you can identify him.”

Cherry politely replied, “Yes sheriff I’ll do what I can to help, so let’s see that picture.”

She looked closely at the picture of the corpse and said, “Sheriff Eagle, the portly man’s name is Senator Riley Stumpp. And yes, I’ve personally escorted him on several occasions here in town and in Cactus Flower. But, I swear sheriff, I don’t know anything about his death.”

As they were walking down the hallway to her dressing room Henry asked her quietly. “Miss Starr, you know it won’t take me long to get your real name, so why don’t you save us both some aggravation and just give it to me.”

She smiled, “Its Annabelle Johnson. Don’t you agree Cherry Starr is a better name for a professional dancer?”

Sheriff Eagle nodded, but refrained from answering. Cherry held her appointment book in her hand and gave it to him, but before he opened it to check out her alibi, Henry stated, “Miss Starr, I’m also going to need you to remove your robe.”

She flashed him a big wide grin, “Sheriff Eagle I’d be delighted to show you my breasts and at no charge, but I get paid a lot of money to expose them. So I ask you in return. What are you willing to do for me?”

Sheriff Eagle nodded, “Miss Starr, I’m sure you get paid well, but I assure you I’m not here for a free peep show. I have my reasons to see your breasts. And a favor, well, I might talk with the DA and keep you out of jail for your cooperation.”

She opened her cover-up and above her right breast was a tattoo of a serpent. Sheriff Eagle scanned the room and found Cherry’s make-up table. He picked up a tube of pink lipstick and asked Cherry if it was hers. She nodded yes. He dropped it into the evidence bag, thanked  Annabelle and placed her under arrest for murder. Cherry’s mood abruptly changed to fear.

Was Annabelle’s story believable, Henry questioned. He had enough evidence to hold her, but he did not have enough hard evidence to convict her of first degree murder. He needed concrete DNA evidence. Later that day, the lipstick traces found on the Senator’s zipper and Annabelle’s lipstick was conclusive that it was not Cherry Starr’s saliva.

The sheriff’s gut instincts rarely gave him a false reading. Henry returned to the mesa sweat lodge where the winged angel of death appeared to him and in his vision, it showed him the Trickster. She was a supernatural spider that took the form of a woman wearing red, yellow and white painted rings around her eyes. Along with the Trickster symbol was the symbol of a Medicine Man depicting a death of violence.

Sheriff Eagles eyes opened wide and through his vision, he knew that Argentina Stumpp killed her husband. Her motive was being fed up with her lying cheating husband. She decided that she would be better off if he was dead. Mrs. Stumpp knew about Riley’s mistress at the strip club owned by her own philandering husband. So Argentina decided to pick the club’s Annabelle Johnson, AKA Cherry Starr as her patsy.

Argentina Stumpp had purchased a replica of the red wig, L’Oreal hot pink lipstick and some cheap henna tattoos to use in the caper. The crime was scheduled to take place after the charity event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club in Cactus Flower. Argentina enticed Riley to meet her in his Cadillac Escalde for some kinky sex. Her boyfriend Highman Wellington agreed to sever the Senator’s penis. The M.E. Confirmed that Riley Stump had bled out causing his death.

With her dead husband’s money, she and her new lover Highman Wellington were heading for New York City and eventually to Dubai, where the American justice system could not touch her.

Annabelle found a note in her dressing room and turned it into the Cactus Flower Sheriff’s department. Argentina Stumpp wrote, “You may have his heart, but now I have his money. I hope you enjoy returning to your glamorous career of naked dancing for powerful men who will use you to get what they want! Dubai has no extradition agreement with the United States. I learned this from my criminal husband. You will never be able to prosecute me for killing Riley; may his soul rest in peace.”

Two of the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ were on their way to the east coast. The real-life hunter for hire who made a dangerous living out of tracking down fugitives boarded the plane heading for New York City and it was crucial that he catch the wealthy socialite, Argentina  Stumpp and her chauffeur boyfriend Highman Wellington before they fled the country. A glint of sunlight bounced off Sheriff Henry Soaring Eagle’s badge who was now in pursuit of a two million dollar bounty.

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