Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

May 11, 2011

90 Degrees in Chicago and My Ice Cube Trays are Empty!

Time for an update, right?

Plumbing is all fixed.  Waiting for new carpet installation Monday the 16th.  After that, put everything that’s piled in my family room back.  End of story, I hope.  I got ashamed of myself for whining about the floors being wet when I saw how many people down south don’t even have their floors anymore, and no way to pay for any of it. I don’t put a lot of faith in our government helping them out to any extent because our government doesn’t appear to have the money to pay for it, unless you’re a U.S. Senator who wants to go on a trip somewhere. I wouldn’t mind having that job, I can tell you. Some of them, all they do is preen in front of the camera crews and lie. On second thought, not for me.

I’m making headway with my book promo.  Starting in a couple weeks, I’ll be having blogs by a lot of very good authors who will each have their week on my website.  12 in fact, for 12 weeks straight.  In case you’re thinking I’m getting all generous and altruistic, I’ll be on their different blogs for 12 weeks too.  I’ll let you know every week where I am, in case you miss me. This is called the 2011 Murder We Write Blog Tour.  I finished all mine and sent them to the various authors already, and tried to make all of them different and interesting.  I’ll post on here and Facebook each week who I’m hosting and where I’ll be.  The person who visits the most blogs of mine and leaves a comment will win a print copy of Raven Talks Back.  You do remember the heroine is an Alaska Native, lower 48 educated, and the hero is a great cop named Jack O’Banion, don’t you?

Book news:  Raven Talks Back is now available for only $2.99, folks, at both and B&  Here are the actual links.

Amazon’s Kindle edition:

B&N’s Nook edition:

They take you to my own pages on each site where you can see all of my books. I hope you’ll go there and take a chance if you haven’t read any of my books.  Raven Talks Back is my best book yet, and all my others have generated mostly five star reviews and not from family or close friends. I’d love for you to read them, especially this new one and leave a review at Amazon and B&N.  In a week or so, Raven Talks Back will be up there also in print, I know a lot of people are waiting for that. But if you have a Kindle or a Nook, you can get the book much cheaper.  Just sayin’.

Also, I’ll be at Sloane Taylor’s blog on May 13, then Ellis Vidler’s blog on May 24th, Jenny Milchman’s Suspense Your Disbelief blog on July 20, and Leila Taylor’s Creatures & Crooks on July 24.  June will pretty much be taken up by the Murder We Write blogs. I will post the blog addresses every week.

Same offer for all blogs.  At the end of them, in a couple months, I’m keeping track of who comments on these blogs and one person will win a print book, one person will win a chance to have a character named after them in the next Raven book.  So come on out and comment, I’ll leave links every week for a while so you’ll know where to go each week.  Can’t make it any easier for you without sending a police escort, right?  😉

I’ll be having family at my house early in June, can’t wait to see all of them!  Yay!

That’s probably most of the news so far.  I did get one review up on Amazon, five stars.  Hope some of you will add to them, that little one review looks mighty lonely up there.

Back to moving more stuff into this back room.  Can’t wait for the new carpeting to be down.  After this past month I’m really looking forward to that.  I’m trying to get everybody to levitate when they come in so they won’t get the floors dirty.  I’ll let you know how I make out with that.

Oh. I did, on my last blog, give you the opening page, didn’t I.  How about the whole first chapter, right here, right now?  Okay, you talked me into it.  Here goes:

The thought had never entered my mind that I might find myself standing in my back yard shuddering with nausea and disbelief, staring down at a nude female body with no head or hands, and equally horrifying, a painted rock close to where her head would have been. The only other thing missing was blood.

Mark Taylor’s men had graded and leveled our yard the previous week, ready to set the foundation for the attached greenhouse my husband, Red, had been promising for years. Alaska winter days are so short and dark that nothing grows without a heated greenhouse and ultraviolet light. Of all the things I longed for in the wintertime, I missed fresh flowers most.

As was often the case in Valdez, things got done whenever they got done no matter which day it was. I hadn’t known they were coming on Saturday. Mark and his men had simply pulled into the driveway and started working.

My eight-year-old son Timmy stood under the tall pine in the northeast corner of the yard with his thumb in his mouth. I froze when I turned and saw him because he hadn’t done that for three years, ever since he’d started school. I hurried over to him, pulling him close. He shivered when my fingers brushed over his arm and his skin felt cold, although it was quite warm that morning and the fog was already beginning to dissipate over the Sound.

“Timmy, are you hurt?” I forced my voice to stay calm because his black eyes were ringed with white and his lips were a bluish tint.

He pointed toward Jack O’Banion, our chief of police, without making a sound.

I frowned, puzzled by his silence. Timmy had never had a problem speaking; he’d been talking nonstop since he was eleven months old. Now he just shook his head and looked back down at the ground.

Alice, my daughter, was still at the door, where we’d brushed past her in our rush to get outside after she’d awakened us from a sound sleep a few minutes before. I beckoned for her to come.

A surrealistic film seemed to float over the yard as she headed my way. Although she was only twelve, she was constantly swiping her long black hair away from her eyes the way girls did on TV, and lately she had taken to walking in slow motion, her hips moving in a deliberate way that made me nervous. Her voice, shrill with fear before, was now flat and emotionless. “I don’t think he can talk. He saw it first.”

I glanced down at Timmy again. One of the straps on his overalls had come unbuttoned. His black hair hung down over his eyebrows, reminding me as it always did of my father and his father before him when they returned, sweaty and exhausted, from their caribou hunting trips.

His feet were bare, as usual. They were never cold until after termination dust, first snow, appeared on the surrounding mountains early in September, when the temperature would dip below twenty degrees at night. Other than that he went barefoot everywhere, but today his feet were blue and mottled. I tried to pick him up to carry him into the house where I could warm him, but he seemed to have gained twenty pounds overnight. I could not lift him and he could not move.

“Red,” I called, “I need help here. Come carry Timmy into the house for me, will you?”

Red turned to face me. “Why can’t he walk?”

“I think he’s in shock, Red. He’s ice-cold.”

At that, Jack strode over to us and knelt, lifting Timmy’s chin with his finger.

“You okay, son?”

I’d never before heard such a compassionate tone of voice coming from Jack. I’d always thought him distant and unreadable, but this time even the look in his eyes had softened somewhat, a real departure from his usual all-business behavior, and for the first time I found myself drawn to him, whereas before there had been nothing to like or not like.

Timmy turned away from him, still silent.

Jack felt Timmy’s forehead then glanced up at me. “He feels clammy. You’re probably right, I’m pretty sure he’s in shock. Mark told me he was watching while they were loosening up the dirt a little more and he saw it first.”

My heart almost stopped. “What did he do?”

“They told me he ran over to the tree where you found him and hid his eyes with his hands. He hasn’t made a sound. Let’s get him inside so you can call Doc Martin. Tell him I said to get on over here, he can check Timmy first and then I’ll need him out here.”

Timmy shuddered. Jack picked him up without effort and slung him over his shoulder. What a picture they made, Jack in his silver-tipped snakeskin boots and cowboy hat, long legs striding across the lawn toward the house, worn leather holster moving as he walked, and my sad, silent little boy lying limp on Jack’s shoulder with his eyes closed.

I followed them into the house but found myself glancing up into the nearby mountains as if someone were crouched, hidden from sight with binoculars trained on us, watching our every move.

Someone had to be watching. I could feel the certainty of it snaking along under my skin. Otherwise, why had the body been left in our yard?

Okay, Chapter Two next week, then Chapter Three.  Maybe four. After that, it’s up to you whether you want to read the rest of it.

Bye for now, please come back soon.  I’ll leave the porch light on for you. Love you all, you know I do!

Cheers, Beth, Denali, BooBoo and Sarge.


Current Events,What's Happenin | 2 Comments  

November 6, 2006

Go Ahead, Fellow Americans. Make My Day.

Just Do It.

Hotclue, who loves y’all, and will be off to the voting booth in a few hours now.

(Your regularly scheduled blogs will return this coming weekend, I promise.)

Current Events | Comments  

November 4, 2006

Furiously Blogging on This Saturday, November 4, 2006

I’m getting toothaches from gritting my teeth to keep from spouting off over the upcoming mid-term election next week. I can barely keep my mouth shut on SO many issues I have valid comments about, that have me SO boiling hot I may have to enter rehab myself to recover from it after the election, but I truly don’t want to offend anyone who reads this blog because I love y’all, you KNOW I do. So I’m going to control myself this weekend and restrict myself to only one small sentence:

Three. More. Days.

Thank you for somewhat allowing me to have my say.
Hotclue Herself

Current Events | 2 Comments  

March 19, 2006

Hotclue to George:

I’ve read quite a bit of advice about author blogs recently. Some say, “For God’s sake, don’t blog about politics!”

Well, why not, as long as you keep your nagging bi-partisan. We have minds too, some damn fine ones, in fact. And this is the US of A. We get to speak up if we want. Besides, always blogging about nothing BUT writing is preaching to the choir if a writer’s reading it, and maybe boring as hell to civilians who read it.

As y’all already know, I’m a different kind of blogger. I’m like that man in Alabama who does a one-man, one-block parade every St. Patrick’s Day. He does his thing, has fun doing it and everybody around him has fun. Hotclue does her thing and has fun doing it, and hopefully gets the same results. Hopefully.

This morning I was watching the Sunday Morning shows–Prime Time for Politicians, I call it, although Face the Nation and Meet the Press are what the television networks call it. I watch them every Sunday whether I want to or not, since Beth and I are, so to speak, joined at the hip.

This morning I came up with an idea I’d like our President to at least consider, regarding what to do about Iraq. Not that he asked me, you understand. And not at ALL that I’m taking the Iraq situation lightly. I’m definitely not or I wouldn’t be concerned enough to blog about it. But I was thinking–as I told you before, I do that sometimes.

Anyhow. People are saying, here lately, “Mr. President, tell the Iraquis it’s their country, and either they get their act together and run it or we’re leaving.” But nobody ever tells him exactly how he should do that and my take is, he’s fumbling around with the wrong people for advice.

BUT: Hotclue To the Rescue! So listen up, George, honey:

First, invite all of their newly-elected officials to the White House. Send Air Force One after them. If there’s not enough room, send the other Air Force One, too. We know you have more than one.

Pick them up in stretch limos at Andrews Field. Have the drivers go really slow all through DC, but not because we want them to be jealous of what we have. (After all, we don’t want to remind them that we sort of messed up their country ourselves, either. I know, I know, we’re repairing things as fast as we can. But still.)

We just want them to see for themselves what they CAN have if they’ll just stop screwing around fighting each other over things like oil–ummmm, on second thought, maybe we shouldn’t mention the word “oil”. My point is, maybe they need to be made a little more aware of what democracy really can bring to the table if they’ll just settle down and help it happen, and seeing it first hand should help.

Hold a huge state dinner for them. Don’t forget to tell the chef what kind of food they like. No pork, I think–probably lamb, but the chef can check all that out. (Just eat it, it won’t kill you.) After dinner have some entertainment, but no Can-Can dancers or anything like that, remember what happened with Kruschev. If you don’t, there must be a history book in the White House to remind you.

Next morning hold a big televised meeting. Make sure everyone is there.

THEN tell them, “Folks, Iraq is YOUR country. We don’t want it. We want you to take over and control it yourselves, folks, we really do. We went over there and got rid of Saddam and Icky and Ucky for you. Now it’s time for us to leave you alone.

We want to be out of there by December. We want our guys to come home home and take care of our own bad guys, because we do have them. But if you’re going to take over in Iraq, stop fighting with each other and go after your BAD GUYS, for Allah’s sake! (A little diplomacy helps here, George. Allah is what they call Him even if you do call Him God. Give them Allah, it can only help.)

Then tell them that if they can control the people who want to create carnage every time we even TRY to rebuild anything for them, we’ll finish the job, but ONLY if we can rebuild in peace. If we can’t, then we’re sorry but adios, fix it yourselves.

Here’s the reason I’m speaking directly to you, George, honey. You can’t keep sending your number two people over there to do this for you. This message needs to be delivered with some teeth, and although Condy clearly has teeth, her message isn’t getting through. You need to do this yourself. If you do, this should accomplish two things.

First, as long as you don’t let anybody brag about anything we have, just feed ’em well, then say what you’ve got to say so they know you mean it, they might listen. At the very least it’ll give them something solid to think about, rather than vapor-talk like, “We plan on sometime in the near future starting to wind down the number of our troops,” which says nothing.

Second, it’ll get US off your back because we’ll believe you mean it too, if you bring them here and do it on our territory like I told you. It could be a real historic moment for you and we know how much you love historic photo shoots.

In short, ya gotta do this yourself.

I guess that’s about it for today, folks, but don’t go making up any Hotclue for President campaign posters any time soon, please. First I’d have to see how much money I can raise and I think Hillary’s already got me beat there.

Ta ta till oh, Wednesday night, Thursday or so. Beth and I have a book to finish and we’re almost there. I PROMISE to talk about writing next time, even if it’s boring. Which it won’t be. After all, remember, this is Hotclue Live.

Love y’all. Even George. Even Dick.

Current Events | 2 Comments  

March 5, 2006

Flogging the Mattress

I see some of our illustrious U.S. Senators have decided they’d rather not have any outside monitoring as far as all the nice trinkets and campaign donations they receive from their lobbyist friends. They’d much rather, thank you very much, do the monitoring and punishing all by themselves.


You know what this reminds me of? I thought about this last night and I still think it this morning, so hey, it makes sense to me. It reminds me of a bunch of little boys about six years old with bags of rocks hidden in their toyboxes where their mamas won’t notice.

Here’s how I see it:

The little boy gets caught throwing a rock at the little girl he adores. He knows he shouldn’t do it but he does it anyway because he thinks nobody will see him do it. Someone calls his mama and tells her. She meets him at the door when he comes home and tells him he should go find a stick and take it into his room and spank himself with it.

The little boy goes outside, picks up a stick, goes back into the house and shows it to his mama.

“See, Mama, I’m going to punish myself, just like you said!”

“Good boy,” she says. “Go on in your room and take care of it, I’m too busy to think about it right now, but I’m sure you’ll do a good job of it. Just make sure you never play with any more rocks, you hear me?”

He smiles and heads for his bedroom. “Yes, Mama. I hear you.”

He goes into his room and closes the door. He takes the stick and starts flogging his mattress with it, all the time yelling and hollering to beat the band.

He makes so much noise anyone would think he was really punishing himself.

But the whole time he’s thinking about that bag of rocks in his toybox. The hidden ones nobody knows about. The nice ones.

He wants those rocks, oh, yes he does. Every single one of them. The big ones and the little ones. Every. Single. One. And he intends to have them all. But first, he flogs his mattress and yells–loud–for a few more minutes.

Finally he comes out and says, “I’m through punishing myself now, Mama. I won’t do it any more!”

“That’s a good boy,” she says, pleased to hear he’s responding so well to monitoring himself and administering his own punishment.

The little boy smiles to himself and heads back to his room…and his toybox.

Get what I’m saying here? Yes? No?

Hotclue’s take: There are just some things people shouldn’t be doing for themselves.

Love y’all,

Current Events | 4 Comments  







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