Saturday, November 30, 2013


Welcome, Conda.                                                   

Wow, you have some nice  treats
for us today.

Read on, folks, this recipe is one I'm trying for the holidays.

Hi all, I'm Conda, author of all sorts of things. It's great being on Lorrie's blog, thank you Lorrie! And I have a couple of things for you all, a giveaway and a recipe.


First, my romance short story The Bridesmaid Wore Stains is just released. In The Bridesmaid Wore Stains, Katherine falls all over herself hiding her klutziness from her new guy. Will she spill her secret along with everything else?
AND: in honor of this new release, I'm giving away an eBook copy of my short story romance, A Crispy Rice Christmas—just in time for a fun Christmas read! Just comment to be entered for your free copy.
A Crispy Rice Christmas was inspired by my mom's inability to cook, but I love to cook as well as write. So here's a crispy rice cereal bar recipe from my cookbook The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook, with a little bit about one of the characters in my tween fantasy Mall Fairies series. The first of the trilogy, The Mall Fairies: Exile, is out now with the second, The Mall Fairies: War, to be released spring/summer 2014.
Pout, the teenage fairy with the protruding lower lip, believes he is totally, awesomely Goth. He affects to wear all black, with usually a press-on tattoo of a skull or a bat on his skinny pale white chest. No way would he ever want anyone to know that his favorite cookies are crispy rice cereal bars. He's loved them since he was a tiny Toddle Wing, marshmallows and rice cereal, yum! The only one who knows is his mom, and she won't tell, because she bribes him with a cookie to wash those silly tattoos off.
Basic Recipe:
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 16 ounce bag of marshmallows (fresh mini marshmallows work best)
In a large saucepan, heat the butter on medium heat until it melts. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until marshmallows all melt. Remove from heat. Add crispy rice cereal and stir well. Using a greased spatula, spread mixture in a buttered 15 X 10 inch pan. Cut into bars when cooled.

Okay, now for the variations:
Add vanilla or rum or orange or lemon extract, a teaspoon or two to the melted marshmallows and stir well for rum bars or lemon bars—well, you get the idea.
Add a cup of nuts, or raisins or any dried fruit, or a cup of chocolate bits (or a third a cup of each!).
Add any spices you like, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or cardamom.
Add mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or
Add 1/3 cup of cocoa for chocolate bars.
Or be daring and try adding a bit of cayenne pepper and hot sauce to the cocoa! Strange but good if you like it weird and spicy!
I'd love to answer any of your questions, about, well, anything! Except perhaps about the meaning of—um—anything! Ask away! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Welcome to Flowers and Thorns, Deb. 

So wonderful of you to visit during this busy holiday week.

Please tell us about family and your new book to be released soon.

Family is about more than blood or DNA or genetics. It's about love. The bonds that make a family stay together through the trials and tribulations life throws at us are far more complicated--yet simple--than birthright. 

MAID MARIAN AND THE LAWMAN is a story about unconditional love, which is what my special children and my late husband have taught me. It doesn't matter what we look like, whose eyes we have, what color our skin is, or what our IQ is. All that matters is love, dedication, loyalty, and honor.


I hope you enjoy this special story as much as I have enjoyed my special family.


Barbi, Bonnie and Ben--this one is for you and your daddy. Love, Mom.





Southern Kansas—1888

The relentless north wind sliced through Mary Goode’s threadbare coat as she trudged along the narrow trail. An image flashed through her mind of a warm fire and sweet tea with hot milk. Ah, but England was a far better place than this godforsaken land, where parents died of mysterious fevers and left their children homeless orphans.

Tears pricked her eyes, but she blinked them into submission. Now was not the time, and if all went as planned, she would never succumb to tears again. Crying was for children, and fate had decreed that at thirteen, Mary was no longer a child.

Huge snowflakes floated down from the blue-black canopy until whiteness nearly obliterated the dark sky. She paused and pulled her coat closer, wishing she still had the warm muffler her mother had knitted last winter. Alas, her guardians had taken everything.

Including Robin.

Her breath caught in her throat at the thought of seeing her brother again. Soon, she promised herself. Very soon.

Turning her face into the wind, she continued her journey, pausing at the top of a slight hill. She tucked a stray curl beneath her hood and blinked several times. At last, the massive brick and stone structure came into view.

God, please let him still be here.

Three months had passed since their parents’ deaths, when the sheriff had taken her brother to this dreadful place. Though they called it an asylum, in truth it was a prison where people like Robin were locked away until they died and were no longer a burden to anyone.

Mary would never forget that horrible day when they’d dragged Robin from her side. Weak from the same fever that had killed their parents, she’d been unable to run away and hide her brother. But now she was strong, and she would take Robin across the border to Indian Territory, where they would hide until their grandfather came for them.

What horrible things might these people have done to her smiling brother, whose laughter brightened even the most dreary days? Her mother had often called him one of God’s special angels, and their father had raised Robin with patience and love. Not once could Mary recall having heard her father refuse to read his son the same bedtime story. Every night until that horrible fever had rendered their father unconscious, he had read from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Of course it was also his favorite, which was why Lawrence Goode’s only son bore the name Robin.

Mary knew the entire story by heart, though she no longer had the book. That, along with everything else she’d loved, was gone. But no one could take her memories. Those were hers to cherish, and soon she would have her brother to share them.

She blinked, certain no one in this place had ever read Robin his favorite bedtime story. She would recite it to him herself once they were safe, but first she had to find him. “Please, God, make it so,” she whispered into the snowy night. “Please.”

Her mother’s last words echoed through Mary’s mind, as they often did. Look after your brother, Mary. He will always be a child.

Mary stumbled and her throat worked convulsively, her vision blurred. I will not cry. She drew a shuddering breath; the icy air cleansed her lungs and purged her mind.

Stealthily, she crept around the building, searching for a window without bars. There had to be a way for her to get inside to Robin. Soft light streamed through a ground-floor window, spilling onto the freshly fallen snow in a square of gold. Peering into the room, she determined it was the kitchen and, more importantly, unoccupied.

She widened her stance and gripped the window, easing it open very slowly. The old wood creaked and her heart pressed against her throat, a tight fist of trepidation.

And hope.

Within a matter of moments, she was inside. At first, she thought to leave the window open to aid their escape, but in this weather that would surely draw unwanted attention. 
After closing the window, she rubbed her arms, savoring the kitchen’s warmth. Without knowing where in this huge building she might find her brother, she resigned herself to searching every room on every floor if necessary. A narrow staircase drew her attention, and she decided upstairs made the most sense this time of night.


Her eyes readjusted to the darkness by the time she reached the next floor. She stood with her back pressed against the wall, waiting and wondering, listening to her heart pummel her ribs and echo through her head.
A lone lamp burned at the far end of the hall, and she inched along the wall until she came to the first closed door. With sweaty fingers, she turned the handle and peered inside. A lamp burned near the window, illuminating the room enough for her to see several cage-like iron cribs lined up against the far wall. Most of them were occupied by small bundles.

Oh, dear God. She held her breath and her throat burned with the need to vent her rage at this injustice. If she were rich, she’d take all the babies home and raise them herself. With a shudder and a powerful sense of futility, she left the room and proceeded to the next door.

On the fourth floor, she noted one door slightly ajar with light overflowing into the hall. She heard someone talking from inside, though the words were muffled. Still, something about the voice’s inflection and tone beckoned her.

Holding her breath, she peered through the open door. Joy surged through her when she recognized Robin sitting cross-legged on a narrow bed near the window. He clearly didn’t see or hear her as she stepped into the room, for he continued moving his hands and talking excitedly, reciting his favorite story.

He remembers. Mary’s determination renewed itself. She would find a way to take Robin away from here, to a place where they could live together again as brother and sister. Though he was six years her senior, he would always be her little brother in so many ways.

Her eyes blurred as she searched the stark room until her gaze came to rest on two men seated on the floor near Robin’s bed. They were staring up at him, hanging on his every word. One of them was very tall and dark, obviously an Indian. The other man was the complete opposite, and she knew if he stood he wouldn’t even reach her shoulder. She’d seen a man like him once—a midget, her father had called him.
At first, she remained in the shadows near the door, wondering if the men would try to stop her. But the expressions on their faces told her of the trust and adoration they obviously felt for her brother.
Robin continued the story, pronouncing some words in ways she knew most people wouldn’t understand. However, Robin’s audience, whoever they were, obviously understood.
Knowing she could delay no longer, Mary stepped into the lamplight. “Robin,” she said quietly. “It’s me, Ma—”

Robin leapt to his feet and rushed into her arms. “Maid Marian,” he whispered.

Hearing her father’s pet name for her made Mary’s heart flutter. “Yes, Robin. I’ve come for you.” She cast a furtive glance at the men, who now rose.

“This is Little John,” he indicated the towering Indian, “and that’s Friar Tuck.” He patted the smaller man on the shoulder.

Mary swallowed hard. “How nice. I’m pleased to meet you both.” She looked at her brother again. “We must hurry, Robin.”

“All right.” Obediently, he went to the corner and pulled on an old coat, several sizes too large. “Make haste, men.”

As Mary stared in surprise, the mismatched pair imitated Robin’s actions. The small man donned a coat far too large for his short frame, while the Indian wrapped a blanket around his shoulders.

“We go,” Little John said.

Friar Tuck put a fist on one hip and glowered up at Mary. “You’re but a child,” he said, shaking his finger at her. “But that’s all right, Maid Marian. I shall take care of you all.”

Mary realized that if she refused to allow the men to accompany them, they might alert the staff to Robin’s escape. “Very well then, follow me.”

“Where we going?” Robin asked, his eyes wide and filled with unconditional trust.

Praying for a miracle, Mary reached up to push a stray dark curl from her brother’s brow. With a smile, she said, “Why, to Sherwood Forest, of course.”

1989: Front: Barbi Stover Carr. In arms Ben Stover. Standing, Dave Stover. In backpack, Bonnie Stover (our Sunshine).
Once upon a time, Deb Stover wanted to be Lois Lane, until she discovered Clark Kent is a fraud and there is no Superman. Since publication of her first novel in 1995, Stover has received dozens of awards for her work, and published twenty titles, including including contributions to anthologies. Her work has been published internationally in several formats and languages.
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Deb and her family have called five states home over the years, but recently she made the choice to follow the Yellow Brick Road back to her roots. There’s no place like home, after all, and there’s always another story to tell.
Her next scheduled release is MAID MARIAN AND THE LAWMAN in December 2013 from Bellbridge Books.
May all your days include a bit of magic!                                     
We love comments. Please leave one for Deb if you decided to stop by.






Sunday, November 24, 2013


Hi Heather, and welcome to my blog this great month of November. Enjoy our crisp weather and the smell of spices in the house.

Yes, Thanksgiving is fast approaching so sit back, relax, and have a glass of warm cider. 

Let's talk about your book and let's learn more about Angel. 

-Excerpt from Angel's Code- 

Angel’s Code is an exciting romp through the seedy world of cyber crime.  Based in London, the story revolves around Danny Murray and his introduction into the hacker lifestyle.

Danny is a young, bored web design student at Birkbeck College, who dreams of becoming more than just an IT guy.  He wants to make a mark on the world, and releases a prank virus, attracting the attention of internationally renown hacker, “The Fallen Angel.”

       Angel agrees to teach the young Danny the ways of the hacker, but his online skills are not the ones in need of refining. 

       The only setback Danny has is his older brother, Oliver Murray, who has just been promoted head inspector of the cyber crime division for London’s Metropolitan Police.  Oliver feels it is his main duty to keep Danny away from the mysterious, and dangerous Angel.

However, when the tables are turned and Oliver is the one in need of rescuing, will the skills Danny learned from Angel be enough to save his brother from Cyber Terrorist Ahmed Eid?

Today I'd like to introduce you to the last of the characters, The Fallen Angel.
       Angel is a master of disguise, even her protégé Danny doesn't know what she really looks like.  With wigs, contacts, and her extensive knowledge of human behavior, she is able to blend into any situation.  Also get out of trouble.  Angel is athletic and well versed in parkour - a combination of gymnastics and running. (Think Ninja)
Angel doesn't allow many into her inner circle, but with the influx of wannabe hackers, she brings in the brilliant Danny to help her fight the more dangerous cyber criminals.  She and Oliver do not see eye to eye, though they are fighting for the same cause, though there is something about Oliver Angel cannot leave alone.  The feeling is mutual for Oliver.
What can I say about Angel, she's loosely - and I mean like two sizes too big loose - based after me. (In a previous life I worked for the Navy as an intelligence analyst.)
 No, in reality Angel is who I want to be.  Cool under pressure, smart, mysterious.  I suppose you can say she was also inspired on Lisabeth Salander from The Millenium Series by Steg Larson.  Except there are some big differences between Angel and Lisabeth.  First of all, she's not a lesbian - or bi-sexual or whatever Lisabeth was, which was part of her wound - confusing sex and love.
Angel is not as messed up as Lisabeth.  I wanted to create a character who was strong not because she was abused, but because she had made mistakes and learned from them.  I think there is a lack of that in heroines today.  Can't women just be strong?  Angel is also human, I wanted to stress that near the end of the story.  Sure she's tough on Danny, almost to the point of being sadistic, but she softens as you get to know her.
I also didn't want to reveal too much about her past.  Her memory about going to her funeral is just a glimpse into her psyche, why she is the way she is.  Like Oliver, Angel's backstory comes into focus more in the second book, Angel's Betrayal, which should be out sometime this winter.
Thank you to those who have followed my blog hop. If you would like to read more on the Characters of Angel's Code, you can find them on these blogs hosted by Amber Dalton and Janette Harjo, and also the beginning on my blog.
H. A. Somerled lives in the Missoula, Montana area. After an uneventful tour in the U.S. Navy, she followed her passions and enrolled in Culinary School. She graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art and has also completed a writing course from the Long Ridge Writer's Group.  This is her first published work.
She has two dogs, a puggle named Fritter and a pug named Flapjack.  She considers herself lucky to be single and claims she's half the age she really is.
Thank you Lorrie for hosting me.
Well, what do you think, folks? Angel seems to be quite the character. As you know, we love comments. Please leave one for Heather today to let her know you dropped by to learn about her character.


Thursday, November 21, 2013


Dee, thank you so much for consenting                          

to be on my blog. It's such a thrill to have such
a popular author grace these pages.

Gads! I'm acting like a teenage fan. Sorry. I'll slap myself upside the head and fly right.

And you are giving one commenter today a free download of your audio book. How great is that folks?

But first, tell us all about your love of cooking.

I love to cook.  Anything and everything. Give me a recipe and I’m in.  And I particularly love to try and recreate a great dish I’ve eaten somewhere else.  It’s a challenge of identifying the separate parts and recreating the mouth-watering whole.  So it follows that eventually I’d write a book about food.  Well, at least about another woman who loves it as much as I do. 

 My love affair with cooking started, like a lot of people, with my grandmother.  She loved to cook. And always made it feel like an event.  Then there was my very first cookbook.  The Peanuts Cookbook.   Lucy’s Lemon Squares were my favorites.  Along with Linus’ cinnamon toast.   I could make a pretty mean pudding pie, too.  My daddy’s favorite was butterscotch and I still think of him when I make a pie.  

 Cooking became a serious hobby when I graduated from college and had my own apartment and kitchen.  I was determined to entertain as well as my grandmother.  I remember for my very first dinner party I went out and bought a fry-daddy just so that I could serve homemade sopapillas with the meal.  I wanted it all to be perfect. 

 My first job was doing, among other things, cooking demonstrations for Lone Star Gas Company.  I’d travel around central Texas demonstrating the marvels of cooking with gas.  I even had my own demonstration kitchen and a quarterly segment on a local television show.  I was totally hooked. 

 Of course not everything always goes as expected.  For my first official Thanksgiving as a new bride, my rolls failed to rise, the pie crust drooped, and the fruit salad I’d made sat in the back of the refrigerator totally forgotten until the next day.  

 When we lived in Vienna—finding familiar food became an obsession.  To the point of tracking down a rumored source for corn tortillas.  A man named Gunter Gonzales who made them in the basement of his apartment building.  He only sold them in batches of a hundred, but hey, tortillas freeze.   I still remember the warm tortillas in my hands as we rode back from Gunter’s on the bus.  Exhilaration ruled the day.

 Back in Texas, I settled in to cooking with my favorite ingredients.  And I still remember walking into an HEB and marveling at an entire aisle of Mexican foods.  A whole shelf of salsas.  Grocery stores overseas are a lot smaller than ours, but bigger than the ones in Manhattan where finding ingredients was sometimes something of a scavenger hunt.  Now that I’m back in the real world—Connecticut—I’m happy to say there are huge grocery stores everywhere!  Which I’ve got to admit is a little bit of heaven.

 But the latest development in my obsession with food has got the be the advent of cooking TV.  The Food Network.  Bravo.  Alton Brown, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay.  Chopped.  And of course the chef competition shows.  Top Chef, Iron Chef, The Next Food Network Star.  If I’d been born in a different generation, I suspect I’d have longed for a show of my own.

 Which is why, Andi Sevalas, in the newly re-released Set-Up in SoHo, got a show of her own.  What’s Cooking in the City is my attempt to live vicariously through my character.  And I hope you enjoy reading Andi’s story as much as I did writing it.  For a recipe featured in the book (and one of my personal favorites) check out

When Andrea Sevalas’ long time boyfriend announces he’s seeing someone else, Andi’s thrown for a loop—well, actually, down a cellar.  Head throbbing and nose out of joint, she’s rescued by one of New York’s finest – attorneys that is.  Ethan McCay is the Upper East Side heir to the kingdom of Manhattan.  But Andi isn’t interested in princes.  At least not the uptown variety.  She’s a downtown girl with no time for Park Avenue royalty.
So what’s a fairy godmother supposed to do? Well, if she’s Andi’s Aunt Althea (the infamous Manhattan matchmaker) a little manipulation is in order. After all, even Cinderella needed a little prodding to go to the ball.  And with a little help from her friends, Althea’s plan goes charmingly – until the clock strikes midnight and the truth is revealed.  Certain that she’s been betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Andi runs for the safety of Soho.  But matchmakers don’t give up that easily, and with Althea at the helm, Andi will discover that love comes in all kinds of packages, and that sometimes, all it takes to recognize the fact is opening your heart to the possibility.
This re-release sounds like a fun read for us romance lovers.
Tell us about the audio download you are offering to one commenter today
Years ago while vacationing in Scotland, Katherine St. Claire believed she’d found the love of her life. She shared a night of passion with a stranger, in a hotel castle called Duncreag. But come morning, her lover had disappeared. And she has spent the last eight years trying to convince herself it was all a dream... Living in the 15th century, Iain Mackintosh remains haunted by the memory of his greatest love. Eight years ago, she disappeared, leaving behind a cairngorm earring as the only evidence of her existence. Iain’s family wants him to stop pining for this fantasy woman and submit to a sensible marriage. But Katherine suddenly returns to him and reveals to him where—and when she’s from... The re-release of Dee Davis’ award winning Debut novel.
And one lucky winner will be picked.
Check out all of Dee's novels on her page at
Thanksgiving will be here in a few days so from both of us
Dee would love to hear about some of your favorite food memories.
And you know we love comments. Please say hi to Dee below.



Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm excited to have you here on my blog,
David. Thanks so much for permitting me        
to ask some tough questions.

Thank you, Lorrie, for your interest in my writing career.

Well, let's not keep our readers waiting.

 L--  Please, David, tell us something about one of your novels.

DB -- How about “Who Murdered Garson Talmadge,” a Matt Kile Mystery, to direct my answer toward. I currently have nine writings published (seven novels and two short stories).  Who Murdered Garson Talmadge was my first of three in the Matt Kile mystery series (a fourth will be out in a few weeks). I have always loved mysteries and finally decided to stop working at other things and become a full-time novelist.

L--What do you do when you are not writing? Do you pick up something from your to be read pile?

DB-- The only thing I don’t like about being a novelist is that it limits my time to read the works of others. Most of what I read is the stories I am developing, read them and revise them and read them again and so on. However, I do get to read one to three novels by others each month. It is a joy to read books I don’t already know inside and out. To see how other wordsmiths have crafted a story.

L-- What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? 

DB-- Like many of your readers, I am first attracted to a cover that catches my eye. Then I read the short description of the story. Sometimes I will read the sample pages which are available for eBooks without purchase. Should I find myself not wanting to put the book down when the sample portion ends, I buy the book. The exception is if the author is one I have read before and trust to deliver an enjoyable, well told story. With those authors I just order the book.

L-- What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite? 

DB-- Golly, I love everything about being an author. I’m doing what I love to do and making a living doing it. It doesn’t get any better than that.

L --Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?

DB --Writing fiction is my full time job. I love it and get to do it all day long. Years ago I quit my day job as a financial analyst to write full time. The skills I honed as an analyst allow me to develop and salt clues into my mysteries.

L --What is your favorite junk food vice?

DB-- Ah, your question assumes I have one. Yes, I confess, I do. I’m also glad you narrowed down my vices to just junk food.  That helped keep the list short. I love ice cream. Mint chip, rocky road, homemade strawberry, almost any flavor, but those are favorites. Also chocolate, to confess to a second one. For some reason, from talking to fiction writers, I suspect chocolate is a common vice among us. But then, is chocolate a vice? I think of it as a basic food group, a pleasure, a diversion, a stimulant for my creative juices. As you can tell, I am also skilled at rationalizing my vices.

L--We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?

DB-- I am turned off by overwritten descriptions of people, places, or things. When that happens I find myself skipping ahead to the next paragraph to see if the author has returned to the story. If it happens too often, that book becomes a wall banger and I pick up a different one.

When the tension builds in a scene, the story should be pedantic in detail with each detail embellishing that tension. However, the description of people or whatever should be adequate but not verbose. To overwrite descriptions slows the story and robs the reader of seeing each person or thing a little in that reader’s own eyes.

The descriptions should “show” what is being described but leave room for the reader to “add” some element. An example: The lady CIA Director had the look of a librarian, but the heart of a cobra. This describes but allows the reader to see “librarian” as each reader sees a librarian.  This is done subconsciously, but it is part of subtly leaving room for the reader to enter the story.

L--What seven words would you use to describe yourself? 

DB --Wow. This is a hard one and I am confident you would get very different words should you ask someone else who knows me well. Actually, I hope you wouldn’t, but you’ve asked for mine so here goes: Dependable. Loved. Intelligent. Imaginative. Healthy. Self-confident.  That’s six, so a seventh? Ah, yes, humble, although that might appear in doubt after the first six. This of course ignores words like handsome, rich, and famous. But then, you asked for words, not dreams.

L—lol. I think everyone has those dreams.  Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview? 

DB-- As a writer, I conjure up occurrences designed to quickly bring the story to roiling boil. Along the way, I invent people. Victims and villains and heroes are needed, as well as a supporting cast. I make these people fun and interesting so you will welcome them and introduce them to your friends. Primary characters need habits and tics and talents, the qualities that bring them to life and make you love them or hate them. You’ll want to see them humiliated or hunted down, be successful or seduced.
I don't know about other authors, but I can learn a lot from this interview, David.
My mysteries offer you the opportunity to be challenged to find the villain from among the suspects. Clues as large as a log or as tiny as a bump thereon are salted throughout my stories. There are distractions in the form of false clues, called red herrings, which point to someone other than the real villain.
            Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich and the plots are grabbers. I promise you’ll be glad you came along. Some people don’t like golf or chocolate or even a hearty laugh. But I’ll bet you like some of those things and I’ll bet you’ll like my mysteries.
I have loved your books, David, and here I have to tell the readers a funny story.
Sorry to say, a year back I was not familiar with David's work. Well, his promoed novel on Facebook looked yummy, so I read it. Oooh, instant like. Since I'd seen David on Facebook. I thought I'd be a nice person, so I sent him a private message. I asked if he'd like me to give him a review on Amazon. I really, really thought I was doing him a great big favor. Ha, ha, ha. He wrote back to thank me and said if I wanted to add mine to the other hundreds he had, that would be fine.
Me the idiot
I've since read all his other novels that I didn't know he had released at the time.
Back to our blog

Here is the cover and prologue to the novel David mentioned above
Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, a Matt Kile Mystery
By: David Bishop
It’s funny the way a kiss stays with you. How it lingers. How you can feel it long after it ends. I understand what amputees mean when they speak of phantom limbs. It’s there, but it isn’t. You know it isn’t. But you feel it’s still with you. While I was in prison, my wife divorced me; I thought she was with me, but she wasn’t. She said I destroyed our marriage in a moment of rage in a search for some kind of perverted justice. I didn’t think it was perverted, but I didn’t blame her for the divorce.
But enough sad stuff. Yesterday I left the smells and perversions of men, and, wearing the same clothes I had worn the last day of my trial, reentered the world of three-dimensional women and meals you choose for yourself; things I used to take for granted, but don’t any longer. My old suit fit looser and had a musty smell, but nothing could be bad on a con’s first day of freedom. I tilted my head back and inhaled. Free air smelled different, felt different tossing my hair and puffing my shirt.
I had no excuses. I had been guilty. I knew that. The jury knew that. The city knew that. The whole damn country knew. I had shot the guy in front of the TV cameras, emptied my gun into him. He had raped and killed a woman, then killed her three children for having walked in during his deed. The homicide team of Kile and Fidgery had found the evidence that linked the man I killed to the crime. Sergeant Matthew Kile, that was me, still is me, only now there’s no Sergeant in front of my name, and my then partner, Detective Terrence Fidgery. We arrested the scum, and he readily confessed.
The judge ruled our search illegal and all that followed bad fruit, which included the thug’s confession. Cute words for giving a rapist-killer a get-out-of-jail-free card. In chambers the judge had wrung his hands while saying, “I have to let him walk.” Judges talk about their rules of evidence as though they had replaced the rules about right and wrong. Justice isn’t about guilt and innocence, not anymore. Over time, criminal trials had become a game for wins and losses between district attorneys and the mouthpieces for the accused. Heavy wins get defense attorneys bigger fees. For district attorneys, wins mean advancement into higher office and maybe even a political career. They should take the robes away from the judges and make them wear striped shirts like referees in other sports.
On the courthouse steps, the news hounds had surrounded the rapist-killer like he was a movie star. Fame or infamy can make you a celebrity, and America treats celebrity like virtue.
I still see the woman’s husband, the father of the dead children, stepping out from the crowd, standing there looking at the man who had murdered his family, palpable fury filling his eyes. His body pulsing from the strain of controlled rage that was fraying around the edges, ready to explode. The justice system had failed him, and because we all rely on it, failed us all. Because I had been the arresting officer, I had also failed him.
The thug spit on the father and punched him, knocking him down onto the dirty-white marble stairs; he rolled all the way to the bottom, stopping on the sidewalk. The police arrested the man we all knew to be a murderer, charging him with assault and battery.
The thug laughed. “I’ll plead to assault,” he boasted. “Is this a great country or what?”
At that moment, without a conscious decision to do so, I drew my service revolver and fired until my gun emptied. The lowlife went down. The sentence he deserved, delivered.
The district attorney tried me for murder-two. The same judge who had let the thug walk gave me seven years. Three months after my incarceration, the surviving husband and father, a wealthy business owner, funded a public opinion poll that showed more than eighty percent of the people felt the judge was wrong, with an excess of two-thirds thinking I did right. All I knew was the world was better off without that piece of shit, and people who would have been damaged in the future had this guy lived, would now be safe. That was enough; it had to be.
A big reward offered by the husband/father eventually found a witness who had bought a woman’s Rolex from the man I killed. The Rolex had belonged to the murdered woman. Eventually, the father convinced the governor to grant me what is technically known in California as a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon. My time served, four years.
While in prison I had started writing mysteries, something I had always wanted to do, I finally had the time to do. During my second year inside, I secured a literary agent and a publisher. I guessed, they figured that stories written by a former homicide cop and convicted murderer would sell.
My literary agent had wanted to meet me at the gate, but I said no. After walking far enough to put the prison out of sight, I paid a cabbie part of the modest advance on my first novel to drive me to Long Beach, California. I told the hack not to talk to me during the drive. He probably thought that a bit odd, but that was his concern, not mine. If I had wanted to gab, I would have let my literary agent meet me. This trip was about looking out a window without bars, about being able to close my eyes without first checking to see who was nearby. In short, I wanted to quietly absorb the subtleties of freedom regained.
The Prologue of: Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, a Matt Kile Mystery, available in eBook and print editions.
And another goodie for us above. I suggest you read David's page on Amazon to see all his mystery series Here 

I was born in Washington, D.C. From there my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education. Played some sports, and got some more education. Prior to becoming a novelist, I worked as a financial analyst determining the value of companies. But let's talk about my current and final career, writing mystery novels.
David Bishop stuck his author nose under the edge of the mystery tent with his first novel in October 2011. Since then his mysteries have maintained a constant presence on Amazon Best Selling Lists in multiple categories of mystery novels. He has also been listed numerous times among the 100 best selling authors of mysteries, including appearances among the top 10.
He writes several series characters:
MATT KILE MYSTERIES (in the order of release): Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, The Original Alibi, and Money & Murder.
MADDIE RICHARDS MYSTERIES (in order of release): The Beholder, and Death of a Bankster.
JACK McCALL MYSTERIES (in order of release): The Third Coincidence, and The Blackmail Club.
The stories within these series are independent, not continuing. They can be read in any order.
Again, to order any of David's wonderfull, thrilling mysteries, go to David's page Here

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