Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Phantom Pilot has arrived!

Yay!  It's finally here and I am very pleased with the artwork.  I downloaded it to my Kindle by simply clicking on the image of the cover.  It will take you directly to Amazon.  It should also be available for Nook in the next day or two, by going to  But when I went there a few moments ago, the links on Cool Well were not working yet.  Technology ... the bane of my literary existence.  Just ask my poor editor.

Check back tomorrow.  As soon as the publisher has all the bugs worked out to order it, I will announce the winners of the free books.  Till then ... enjoy gazing at that lovely cover!  Thank you to Anne Cain and Beth Ann Ryden for the cover, and to Denise, YoDen, Vitola for the editorial expertise.  Wow.  It's really here!

Afterthought: I've done everything but lick the tip of a pencil to make that dern comment section work better so give it whirl.  Leave me a comment, dadgummit. Just post as anonymous but write your name in the comment ... it'll work.  I'm pretty sure of it.  Well, fairly sure.  Okay, I think it will.  I hope so anyway.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Update on The Phantom Pilot

Cover artist having difficulties.  May be another few days before it is completed by another artist.  Still hoping it will be available before Christmas.  It would make a lovely gift . . . and I'm not biased.  Not at all.  I promise!  Well, okay, maybe just a bit.  LOL

Be sure to read Part 2 of The Warning on the previous blog.  And if you haven't read it yet, Part 1 is still here, too.  Just go to Older Posts.  Oh, and be sure to leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you aren't entered into the contest yet!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ann's Afterthoughts: Contest to win The Phantom Pilot

Ann's Afterthoughts: Contest to win The Phantom Pilot

Contest to win The Phantom Pilot

Hello! Part 2 of The Warning follows this short message.  Hope you are enjoying the story.  Remember to leave me a comment to be entered in the contest to win The Phantom Pilot when it is released any day now.  The publisher says we are simply waiting for the cover art.  Yay!  Can't wait to see it! Now scroll down to the next post to read part 2...or scroll down one more to read part 1 if this is your first visit to the blog.  If you left me a message or sent me an email previously, you are already in the contest!  Part 3 will be next Friday or Saturday.  By the way, you can leave a comment under Anonymous--but just sign your name in the message--you do not have to be a member of any group.  

Friday, December 9, 2011

About this blog and the Upcoming Contest

Below is part one of The Warning.  I will post part two next week on Friday or Saturday, and part three the following week.  Please leave a comment if you want to enter the contest for The Phantom Pilot (see comment box below the story).

When my ebook, The Phantom Pilot, is published (sometime this month), I will draw 3 names from all the folks who have posted on this blog or on my email or on my Facebook Author page.  Email or click the FB link at the top of this page, or just post a comment below.    

Thanks for visiting!

The Warning

The Warning Part 1

            Irina scrubbed at the spot to no avail as she muttered good-naturedly, “Why did I open my big mouth and volunteer for this?”  She sighed and dropped the useless rag in the bucket of soapy water just as her iPhone began to chime.
            Glancing at the picture on the screen, she answered brightly, “Hey there, handsome, you done with those tests already?”  It was her husband, Jeb.  He was back in the city, finishing up his first-year exams in med school.  That was why she’d volunteered to take care of the house alone.
            “Done with the lecture part,” he answered wearily.  “Next are the labs.”
            Irina laughed, “You’ll ace those; the labs are what you live for!”  She could picture her curly haired husband standing in the kitchen holding his own phone to his ear, tired but grinning, sexy as hell in his green student scrubs. 
            “So how is it going there?  You know I really appreciate this, don’t you?  I mean, they weren’t even your parents . . .”
            “Shhh, don’t say that again.  I loved them, even if I didn’t get to know your mom before she passed on, well, I’m . . .” she paused and looked around the bedroom, “I’m sort of getting to know her now.”
            “Things are just like she left them, huh?”
            Irina grimaced, “That's an understatement.  It’s almost as if she were still alive.  I mean, her diary is still open on the bedside table.  Feels like she was here just yesterday.”
            “Oh, man” he groaned.  “This is too much for you to do alone.  Come on home, we’ll go back together.”
            “No, no,” she replied.  “Its fine, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything.”  She didn’t want to put more stress on him, he was under enough already.  
            Jeb hesitated.  “If you’re sure—
            “I’m positive,” she interrupted.  “I'll get everything ready for the real estate lady.  Now, go and be a good doctor-in-training and make me proud.”
            “I love you,” he said.  "Don't know what I'd do without you . . ." 
            Irina smiled.  “Love you, too,” she smooched the phone loudly as she broke the connection.

            The next morning, after hurriedly eating a breakfast burrito and draining a cup of coffee, Irina headed out to Kroger’s, the only large grocery store in town.  She wanted a box of Magic Sponges.  That was a very stubborn stain on the bedroom wall.  It wouldn't do for buyers to see that.
            As she stood in the checkout line, a woman wearing a teal jogging suit walked up behind her.  “Excuse me,” she said.  “Aren’t you Jeb Pruett’s lovely wife?”
            Irina tried not to let the surprise show on her face.  She couldn’t remember ever meeting this woman.  “Why, yes I am.”
            Holding out her hand, the woman continued, “I’m Sue Wilkins.  I live on your block."  Her face pinked up in embarrassment.  "At least I’m assuming the house belongs to you and Jeb, now.”  She took Irina’s hand in hers, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” she said sincerely.  “I’ve lived down the street from Sal and Kenny for years.  And I’ve seen your picture on the mantel enough times to know who I was looking at as soon as you climbed out of the car yesterday.  Of course I saw you at the funeral but my sciatica was acting up and I didn’t get to actually visit with you or Jeb, bless his soul.”
            Irina glanced at the line to see how long it was until her turn.  Sue Wilkins never noticed; she was on a roll.
            “I’m sure you know that boy was the light of his Mama’s eye, and his Dad’s too for that matter.  They thought they never would have children,” she glanced at Irina’s face to make sure she was still listening.  “Sally was forty-three, maybe even forty-four before Jeb was born.  They’d given up all hope, but in the end, all it took was a change of scenery.”  She must have sensed the question on Irina’s lips for she paused and lowered her voice a bit.  “Oh, yes.  That vacation to Peru, all those mountains and the fresh air.  She came back pregnant.  Happy as clams they were; I remember it like it was yesterday.”  Her eyes grew misty.  “’Course, my own husband was still alive back then.  We were all happy as clams.”
            Irina put her item on the conveyor belt and gave the woman a brief hug.  “Thank you for the kind words,” she said, swiping her debit card through the reader.  “Jeb had his final exams at school; so I volunteered to come and pack up a few things.”
            “Well, that was very sweet of you,” Sue replied.  “I won’t keep you, but if you should need anything, anything at all, just let me know.”  She punctuated her words with a pat on Irina’s shoulder.  “I’m the white and blue house on the corner.”
            “Well, thank you,” Irina replied, convinced that the woman wasn’t just a busy-body after all.  “Maybe we’ll have time for lunch or at least a cup of tea before I leave.”
            Sue Wilkins face brightened and Irina made a mental note to stop by the blue and white house before she left town.
            Back in the kitchen, Irina turned on the radio and pulled her hair back into a ponytail.  “That spot is history,” she said soaking a Magic Sponge with water then squeezing it out over the sink.  She hurried to the bedroom and knelt down in the corner near the baseboard.  She frowned.  The spot appeared to have spread.  Now it encompassed part of the adjoining wall, too. Guess I smeared it around last night, she thought, sliding the damp sponge over it gently.  If this doesn’t work, I’ll just leave it for the buyers to deal with.  But she knew she wouldn’t do that; she had never given up on a challenge in her life.
            After only a few minutes of scrubbing, Irina sat back on her heels.  She felt dizzy, slightly nauseous.  She stood slowly, but the room began to sway.  Stumbling to the bed, she plopped down clumsily.  Maybe I’m allergic to the chemicals in that sponge, she thought, tossing the crumpled thing to the floor.
            Gingerly she lay back and closed her eyes.  She could hear the oldies radio station playing in the kitchen, but when she cracked her eyelids open, the world was still wavy.  She stuffed a pillow under her head.  Her suitcase lay at the foot of the bed where she’d pulled jeans and a tee shirt from it this morning.  I’ll be okay in a bit.  Just rest here a moment . . . 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In the Beginning

If you are reading this, welcome!  My first attempt at blogging will be short and to the point.
I write.  That's what I do.  And I play on the computer.  Then I write some more, then I feed the pets, then I write some more.  And afterward, I read . . . anything and everything.  I like YA, and I like mainstream, and I really like Stephen King, usually.  But I also like thrillers and mysteries and fantasy and sometimes even a smattering of science fiction.  I'm not picky.  If it's well written, I will read it.  But if it doesn't grab me by the throat and threaten to drown me in an ocean of envy within the first few pages--I put it down.  Life is too short to read bad fiction.  I try to keep that in mind when I'm writing, too.

So there.  That's me in a nutshell, and I do mean in a nutshell.  Certifiable, maybe.  Or perhaps just a bit squirrely.  You be the judge.  Personally, I don't worry about it too much.  I'm just me . . . I yam what I yam as Popeye would say.  But thanks for dropping by.   Watch for an upcoming story to be serialized here next time.  It's one of my own (natch) and it's a bit of a horror show.  Hope you like it.  If you do, you might want to check out my YA Novella coming out this month from Cool Well Press.  It's called The Phantom Pilot.  It will be available at and  Or you can simply pop over to my website and order it there!

Once I figure out this blogging business, you will probably even be able to order it here.  Anything's possible, right?

PS (afterthought) Feel free to leave me a note or a comment or whatever you would like to call it.  I'd love to hear from you.