Maggie rides again

I’m celebrating the release of my new humor book, I Never Drove a Bulldozer. But ever moving on to the next project, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my work in progress, the next in the series of Maggie Gorski mysteries. There’s no keeping a good woman down, or Maggie either.

“Touché,” Maggie cried as she raised her foil into a jaunty salute, then dropped into her stance.

“I believe you mean En Garde.” Cher said.

“I knew that.” Maggie hopped forward as she swung her sword wildly from side to side. Continue reading

I *heart* Books Blog Hop


blog-hop-tag-3001 Welcome to the I <3 Books Blog Hop! This is my first time participating in a blog hop, so we’ll muddle through it together, have some fun along the way, meet some new authors, and maybe win some prizes. (Please let there be a pony). For those of you unfamiliar with my blog, I write about the trials and absurdities of getting older, one of which is love. Pop a few Valentine chocolates, pull up a rocking chair, and enjoy this excerpt from my upcoming humor book, I Never Drove a Bulldozer / There’s a Hole in my Bucket List. Continue reading

Box of Rocks

I once had a panic attack while dog sitting for my daughter. It was the inspiration for the following excerpt from my book. To set the scene, my main character, Maggie is meeting with her Therapist.

“You think panic attacks are a personal failure?” Sally asked.

“Don’t you? I close my eyes at night, and they play back in my head. Last night I dreamt about designer dogs again.”

Shortly after she quit her job, Maggie had agreed to housesit for her nephew, Derek for a weekend. Derek was the only one of their family and friends who didn’t realize that he was gay. The clues had always been there. He had an impeccable sense of style when he decorated his condominium in Mount Pleasant. His two Shih Tzus, Dolce and Gabbana, wore designer doggie clothes and had color coordinated rhinestone collars to go with their wardrobes.

Maggie had watched The Dog Whisperer often enough to know that Derek’s male, Gabbana was the dominant one, so she felt extra protective of Dolce during her stay. She was still smarting over the feeling of failing at her job, and felt like she had been on the verge of a panic attack throughout the first night at Derek’s place.

At one point, she snuggled Dolce lovingly against her breast. “Don’t worry little girl. I’ll be your Alpha and protect you from Gabbana.” She was wondering all the while how she was going to pull that miracle out of her butt, when she could barely keep her breathing steady. She was trembling violently as she rubbed the side of her face against Dolce’s little head. If she was hoping for some mutual comfort, she didn’t get it.

Dolce started wiggling to be put down. “I’m trying to protect you, you little mutt,” Maggie whispered. Dolce had responded by snarling and truly fighting her. Maggie was stooping to put her down, when MWAP, Dolce landed a right hook directly in Maggie’s eye as she writhed in her arms. Maggie dropped to her knees and clutched at her eye as Dolce slithered out from under her arm to the floor.

Maggie felt like she was drowning, unable to catch her breath between the sobs and the painful constriction in her chest. She was on her hands and knees, mentally measuring the distance to the phone. Dolce chose this moment to pee on her foot, while Gabbana started humping her leg. She tried to drag herself to the phone, with Dolce weaving back and forth in front of her, barking viciously. Gabbana was still determinedly holding on while pleasuring himself on Maggie’s thigh. Maggie gave up and collapsed on the floor waiting for the panic attack to pass, occasionally shaking her leg to try to dislodge Gabbana.

For the rest of the weekend, every time she came near them Dolce snarled at her and Gabbana tried to make a play for a little romantic ankle action. She couldn’t even get close enough to change them out of their t-shirts printed with the words “Cute little bitch,” and “Cute little son of a bitch.” Since then, foo-foo designer dogs and panic attacks had been indelibly linked in her mind. Even now, she felt her chest tighten thinking about it.

Box of Rocks

You’re invited to enjoy an excerpt from my current work in progress: a comic murder mystery titled ‘Box of Rocks.’

Bear limped back to his truck, still parked down the street from the building. Could he call it, or what? The rungs on the fire escape had long ago rusted through, and his weight was more than the weakened steel could bear. The drop hadn’t been far, but he had landed awkwardly in a pile of plastic bags, which split open upon impact. He had the wind knocked out of him, and as he was finally able to suck in air, he realized how rancid it was. He had counted at least four rats the size of terriers, and one of those had refused to run away. It was unnerving to see the creature’s black button eyes latched onto him, unflinching in the dark. He had felt something squirming under his hands, and shuddered at the thought of maggots making their way into his pants.

He looked down at his pants. Great! There was a rip that went from his knee up to his thigh, then continued up through his leather jacket. Apparently his clothes had caught on a sharp edge of the broken ladder rung. There wasn’t any blood on his leg, but he gave a shudder at the proximity of the tear to his manhood.

He hobbled around to the front of the building, and was alarmed to see one police car after another pulling up all along the street. Worse yet, a news van was double parked next to his truck. As he backpedaled, ducking around the corner, he nearly bumped into a young couple who were hurrying over to see what was going on. They grimaced, and veered off across the street, giving him a wide berth. He could hardly blame them.

“The perfect crime.” he thought. At least nobody had seen him enter the building, and they tried to politely avoid him as he left. As long as they didn’t photograph his truck, he wasn’t going to need an alibi for this fiasco.

He smelled like rotting cabbage, his ankle was killing him, and he was pretty sure that there was a piece of gum stuck in his hair. God only knew how long he would have to wait there before the news crew left. A woman walking by paused before him, pulled a dollar out of her purse and pressed it into his hand.

“God bless you, honey.”

In one evening Bear had passed from contract killer to beggar.

Six sentences

A challenge has been issued to choose six random sentences from your writing and put them together. Following are mine, taken from my current work in progress, Box of Rocks.

She and Ted had wanted a small, one-story bungalow in the old section of Summerville, and she was very happy with her ditch.

” … phosphate, I don’t suppose that’s code for Emeralds.”

“I’m going to want to see that note from your chiropractor, darling.”

Maggie was distracted, watching the EMTs struggle to stuff the limp body under the fence.

She shouted through the door, “We’ll just be over at the Inn when you’re, you know, done.”

“Between my holding onto the lantern and your comfortable yet stylish footwear, we may as well have left a sign with our motel room and cell phone numbers.”

Prune in the sun

As we get to the stewed prune for breakfast age, most of us develop less tolerance for the cold: my parents spent half of each year living in Arizona, in the RV which now resides in my daughter’s back yard. Many seniors are opting for retiring in a tropical paradise with a lower cost of living. You too can buy beachfront property for pennies on the dollar in Costa Rica … 25 years ago. Continue reading

Back in my day

Go to any restaurant gift shop and you can find pamphlets that give you the trends, favorite songs and average price for a house in the year you were born. This has the unfortunate affect of making you think back to all the changes since you were a kid and realize that your lifetime has become “history.” It also makes you wonder why a restaurant needs a gift shop.

Highlights of the new old farts (some lying is involved):

1946 The Baby Boomer Generation begins, and the first bikinis go on sale in Paris. Cottage cheese thighs come out of the closet.

1947 UFO allegedly found in Roswell, NM. U.S. begins mass production of weather balloons.

1948 First NASCAR race for modified stock cars is held at Daytona Beach. The term “redneck” is first coined by Jeff Foxworthy, Sr.

1949 First Polaroid land camera sold. Photographer complained, “You blinked” 60 seconds later.

1950 First television remote control is marketed. Joey Roenscheck becomes the first U.S. couch potato.

1951 First oral contraceptive (The Pill) is invented. The Pope pretends not to notice.

1952 Elizabeth, II becomes Queen of England after the death of her father, George VI. Welsh Corgis invade Buckingham Palace.

1953 Playboy Magazine’s first issue featured Marilyn Monroe. Magazines sold out in 32 minutes.

1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs social security bill into law. Social Security system faces 1.2 million dollar deficit for the first time.

1955 Disneyland opens in California. The Magic Kingdom is rocked by scandal as Donald Duck is caught in public without pants.

1956 Elvis Presley releases his first hit: Heartbreak Hotel. First Elvis Presley impersonator hits Vegas strip.

1957 Peak of the Baby Boomer years, and foot and mouth disease reaches epic proportions in England. George Walker Bush was not to blame.