KINDLE VERSION AVAILABLE

Posted: May 24, 2017 by Richard in Home

The Kindle version of my new book THE GRAVE DODGER is now available for purchase.   Special pricing is available for those who belong to Kindle Unlimited of $0.00.

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AVAILABLE FOR SALE

Posted: May 18, 2017 by Richard in Home

THE GRAVE DODGER, my newest book, has been released for sale to the general public.   It can be ordered directly from Amazon.com or by contacting the author directly.  Click on [Contact Us] on my website:   http://www.eliteword.com

The Kindle version should be available in a few days.  Check back later if you prefer that format.

Finally a special sale promotion will soon be announced right here on my blog site.  Keep watching for details.

RELEASE NOTICE

Posted: May 17, 2017 by Richard in Home

My newest book, THE GRAVE DODGER, will soon be released for general sale by Amazon.com.  A Kindle version will also be available.   Listed as not yet available, the title may be viewed on Amazon now.  Please check back later for purchase information.

THE GRAVE DODGER

Posted: May 5, 2017 by Richard in Home

My new book will soon be released, titled The Grave Dodger.   Here’s a quick description……..

IN THE YEAR 1122 AD, His Eminence Pope Calixtus II received a mysterious letter from a Christian priest who claimed to be a great king.  Boasting of his dominion over seventy-two countries in the mountainous regions of northern India, he called himself Prester John.  The letter made several fantastic assertions, but the one that piqued the interest of The Holy See had nothing to do with exotic animals or an abundance of treasure.  Prester John claimed he had discovered a remote valley that possessed qualities capable of extending human life almost indefinitely.

Several versions of the Prester John story spread across Europe even as Christian armies suffered serious defeats on the battlefields of the Second Crusade.  Modern scholars believe the popularity of the legend may have arisen as a reaction to those losses.  In the centuries that followed, the search for a universal remedy that would extend human life also influenced the organization of many journeys of exploration and discovery.  Over time, the legend waxed and waned with the rise and fall of popular interest in other matters.  Published in 1519 AD in the city of Constantinople, the Hebrew book of Ben-Sira featured a copy of Prester John’s letter.  The text of that letter appears in Appendix 1 of this book.

In 1933, English writer James Hilton published a book loosely based on the legend of Prester John’s kingdom.   Hilton’s tale of the lamasery of Shangri-La was titled Lost Horizon.  Four years later Columbia pictures released Frank Capra’s feature film production, which began with the dramatic highjacking of an airliner.  Critics of the time acknowledged the imaginative scene, but stated the highjacking of a modern airliner was as implausible as the existence of Shangri-La itself.

Prester John’s legend lives again when a fortuitous encounter in the Himalaya Mountains promises recovery from the ravages of a terrible disease.  The Grave Dodger is the story of a man who refuses to accept a prognosis for which there is no known cure.   He plans a journey of discovery to return to the mountains and secure his hope for life, but before it can begin an organization of international criminals learn of other treasures in the Himalayas.  A deadly tale of life and death unfolds as the separate interests of both expeditions collide.

Not all find the riches they seek, while some discover treasures they did not expect.

CHANGES

Posted: February 23, 2017 by Richard in Home

We’ve established a new office!

Our new USPS contact address is listed on my web site for those who wish personal assistance regarding book sales.

A new book has been completed and artwork is next on my To Do list of important matters to consider for publication.

NEW BOOK COMING

Posted: September 14, 2015 by Richard in Home

Keep a close eye on my web site for details. A great book is coming soon.

http://www.eliteword.com

NEW BOOK – Chapter 3

Posted: September 9, 2015 by Richard in Home

Here’s the third chapter from my new book, which still has no title. If YOU can suggest a title I eventually use, I’ll send one of my titles to you FREE !!!

http://www.eliteword.com

Visit my web site for more free content as well as an opportunity to review and purchase either of my other books. Thanks for browsing……

Chapter 3 – Patience
Patience sat at a small table staring out the one large window in her apartment. A spider plant hung there, throwing out small babies in all directions. The plant badly needed pruning, but she hadn’t noticed. Her mind was elsewhere. An absolutely sparkling day was dawning outside, but Patience didn’t see it. She was gazing at yesterday.

Her hand rested on a cold teacup. She’d sipped from it an hour earlier when it was hot, but it’d long since lost its warmth. She’d emptied and refilled it an hour or two before that and only sipped it then. It’d been like that all night for her, endlessly repeating familiar actions; fill sip stare out her window, fill sip and stare out her window. As dawn revealed the world in brilliant new light the pools of her eyes filled to overflowing. Tears spilled down her cheeks. He was gone. He was really gone.

She loved Casey so much it hurt and she’d feared the day would come when he might leave. She feared it with an ache that stabbed at her heart like an ice pick in winter and feared it with an unease that seized her mind day and night. Patience feared it with lovesick pain that stabbed to the bone and the bottomless depth of her soul. Her anxiety ate her like a cancer. Yet despite her misgivings, its arrival struck like lightning – sudden, unexpected and with such searing pain she was robbed of speech itself.

Some say the spiritual grief of losing an arm or leg is far worse than physical pain. Casey was more than a pair of legs to lean on. He was her heart. She told herself and Casey too, that she would suffer any hardship, welcome any sacrifice and embrace any difficulty life had to offer if only they could stay together always. He had filled her with his life, but when he withdrew – hers was empty. He waltzed in with dreams of fortune and glory for them both, but he ran out with little more than hope in an outlandish rumor. It was as though her own legs had been cut out from under her.

For as long as she’d known him, her heart never beat more lightly nor warmed more joyfully than when they were together. Her heart was never heavier with loneliness than when distance lay between them. When yesterday’s last light had passed from her window, Casey had gone with it. A new day had begun and she was still watching.

Patience wondered if she would ever again know a day without loneliness and apprehension. She sobbed as she dabbed at her damp face with a ragged Kleenex. On the morning after her fear arrived, Patience began a long vigil – waiting and hoping for Casey’s return. A return for which there was no guarantee.
* * *
Casey had bubbled with news that he’d been invited to join the team, told her their plan for the hundredth time and repeated his confidence in it. In his exuberance, he echoed his own words over and over again, never noticing Patience’s face had assumed the immobile character of pale Kashmir granite. She’d always chatted and laughed when they were together, but on that last night he mistook her silence for astonishment and approval. He gave her a quick hug good-bye, a peck on the cheek and a promise he’d write as he breezed out her door.

Boiling with pent up excitement and raw energy, Casey failed to notice a newly broken bit of sidewalk outside Patience’s apartment. He tripped, stumbled and nearly fell. One quality that had won him a place on the team was his instinctive athletic ability. He was great at any new thing he attempted, and poetry in motion with moves that he’d already practiced. Casey never missed and seldom failed.

Taking advantage of his athletic prowess Casey spun around, added a flare of showmanship, and neatly regained his balance. In a single fluid move, wearing his best boyish grin, he presented himself to the driver of the waiting taxi.

“That was quite an act,” the driver said as he smiled and shook his head. “What do you do for an encore?”
Casey’s performance was rare entertainment for a guy who hauled fares like freight over the same slate gray city streets every night. The driver placed Casey’s bag in the trunk and politely acknowledged his request to be taken to the airport. As the car pulled away from the curb, Casey turned for one last glance at Patience’s apartment. He saw her sitting in the window and blew her an enthusiastic kiss. The cab reached the end of the street, turned and accelerated into traffic.
* * *
In a different city many hundreds of miles away, a police forensics vehicle halted in front of a dilapidated apartment house. It discharged several uniformed occupants who unloaded a few items of equipment and who then proceeded without delay or discussion to enter the building. Their destination was a filthy apartment on the second floor. Most of the neighborhood residents ignored them. A few were mildly interested. One man studied the official activity with agitated concern.

The old man had been on his regular morning excursion to a popular coffee shop at the end of the block when the police arrived. Leaning painfully on his cane, he watched the officers disappear into the building where an old woman he knew as Dolly once lived. When the curtains inside a huge bay window on the second floor were drawn aside, he decided to change his plans for the morning. Mustering all the speed at his command, the old man tottered across the street toward an Asian antique shop a few blocks away.

Built more than a hundred years previously, the entire neighborhood had sprung up in the heyday of the industrial age. Immigrants willing to work for low wages were crowded together in cold-water flats offering little privacy and comfort. Ethnic shops, carved out of larger buildings of even earlier construction, served communities unable or unwilling to travel outside familiar surroundings. As a consequence of this concentrated growth, a rabbit warren of narrow streets, tiny stores and congested neighborhoods were created. When the second generation found opportunities elsewhere, they left their parents and the older sections of the district to age and rot. Eventually the original settlers began to die out, leaving vacant squalid buildings, shabby streets and increasingly isolated pockets of culture. It was to one of those timeworn shops that the old man directed his steps.

A faded sign hung above the front door on rusty chains. Its words once brightly lit and painted, read Fang Jeng Tsang, bidding the impulse buyer to enter the Oriental House of Treasures. To the casual souvenir hunter, it meant only that unusual antique items of rare quality and unusual appearance were available for sale. For the old man, it meant something quite different.
The shop was deserted, allowing him to make no pretense of browsing. Instead, he presented himself to a withered Asian woman seated behind a dusty display counter littered with tagged items of different sizes and prices in varying conditions of disrepair and age. She recognized him immediately.

“Ling Duey?” she asked.
The old man nodded and the woman pressed a button, which activated a buzzer somewhere in the bowels of the building. She bowed her head slightly and he returned the courtesy. Nothing else was said or heard until the owner, himself a man of great age, appeared.
“Mr. Connell,” he said acknowledging the visitors’ presence. “I’ve been expecting you.”

Hoyt Connell, whose spoken name sounded more like a violent sneeze than one commanding respect, had never been a customer. His rare uninvited appearances in the shop usually meant he needed money, or a favor, or both. On that day he appeared frightened and anxious, in need of something, or aware of something of importance to them both.

Ling, who had attained the title of honored community leader and who had also made a good living by understanding the emotions of his customers, knew trouble when he saw it in a man’s face. He ushered Connell through a door into the rear of his shop, out of sight or hearing of any who might enter to conduct business. Before he closed the door behind them, Ling made a gesture with his hand in the direction of the old woman. She bowed her head in acknowledgment and picked up the telephone.

“Why were you expecting me?” Connell asked. “Do you know something I don’t?”

Ling offered Connell a cup of herbal tea. Connell painfully folded himself into a chair admitting he wasn’t thirsty. He was shaking more than usual, which prompted Ling to reflect that Connell’s nerves had been considerably stouter in years past. That would be a significant factor in his assessment of their conversation, perhaps disastrously so if things got out of hand.
“The police are going over Dolly’s apartment,” Connell announced fearfully. “A group of them went in just a few minutes ago.”

Ling poured a cup of tea and lingered over long slow sips of the hot liquid. He was playing for time, considering both the situation and its implications. Connell in turn grew more agitated as his host failed to respond to the news. Long minutes passed in awkward silence.

“Don’t you know what that means?” Connell said impatiently. “It means they suspect something other than death by natural causes. It means sooner or later they’re going to knock on my door. They’re going to ask questions I can’t answer truthfully.”
“Were you not careful at all times?” Ling asked.
“Always. I was always careful. I’ve been going over and over it in my mind. I can’t think of anything I might have overlooked.”
“Except perhaps the reason you killed her in the first place. That is the thing you overlooked.”
“I couldn’t find anything,” Connell stated apologetically. “I spent hours going through everything in sight and hours more looking in places I thought she might hide it. You have no idea how disgusting that place was. The woman was a pig, plain and simple. Just being in there was an effort of the will. It stank worse than the sewers of Paris. I ought to know, I was there after the war. Killing her was an act of mercy, believe me.”
“Later rather than sooner,” Ling said as he pulled a shiny object out of his pocket.
“What?”
“The police will seek you later rather than sooner. I will have time to prepare.”

Ling handed an object to Connell who hadn’t a clue what his host meant. He asked what sort of preparations Ling had in mind, but the Oriental didn’t answer. His face remained inscrutable, devoid of emotion. Instead, he pointed to the piece in Connell’s hand.

The item was a square plastic envelope. It was completely transparent, measuring a little more than two inches on each side. Inside could be seen a round object of red metal, its age indeterminate. At first glance it seemed to resemble a coin about the size of an American silver dollar. Connell studied the piece, recognizing its graphics and lettering on one side. He couldn’t identify anything on the other side, though. The harder he tried to recollect its meaning the further it seemed to slip away from his mind.

“What is this?” he finally asked. “I’ve seen markings like this before somewhere. Does this have something to do with Dolly?”
“The first question to be asked and answered is how I obtained the item. Answer that and the second will answer itself. The same answer will also suggest whether the police will arrive with difficult questions to answer.”

Connell looked at the piece of red metal again.
“All of that from this?” he asked.
Ling poured a cup of tea from a different pot and offered it to Connell.
“Drink some of this,” he said. “You’ll find it very soothing. It will settle your nerves and allow you to think more clearly.”

Connell repeated that he wasn’t thirsty. Ling insisted he drink. “If you don’t relax we cannot discuss this problem dispassionately. If we cannot approach the issue calmly, then strong perhaps unpleasant measures may be required. I would rather not have to resort to force, sir. Remember that I too am involved in this. Please drink what is offered. Do not insult me Mr. Connell, and do not make things more difficult than they already are.”

Connell reluctantly accepted the warm drink and for a time both he and Ling sat quietly sipping their beverages. Before long Connell felt a sense of warm relaxation begin to spread through his hands and feet. He sighed contentedly and handed the plastic packet back to Ling. Calmer now, Connell asked how he had acquired it. The Oriental put his cup down, held the envelope gently in his hand and began to explain.

“A few days ago a young woman came into my shop with this. She said she had obtained it as part of her aunt’s estate. She said she was unfamiliar with exotic coins and requested an appraisal. I recognized it immediately and told her in truth that it wasn’t a coin. She inquired further and I told her it was a relic of questionable origin from some remote Asian village. I paid and she left my shop, but not before I learned who her aunt had been.”

“Dolly?”
“Exactly so, Mr. Connell. Someone entered Dolly’s apartment after you did your work and discovered that which you did not. It was either a member of the family who knew of secret places or someone they hired. I suspect the latter.”

“If they found your relic they may have also found something else,” Connell wondered. “But if they found anything else wouldn’t she have asked about that too?”
Connell’s arms and legs felt deliciously warm and numb. The aches and pains from old joints and muscles had melted away and he was beginning to enjoy the relief. He smiled as the warmth from his drink spread to his hips and shoulders easing the soreness there.

“She would have if she had them,” Ling said. “I believe she does not, because when I asked if there were other items of interest she replied quite simply and clearly that she didn’t have anything else. There was no attempt at evasion in her voice or her demeanor. I fully believe she was telling the truth. Because of that, I believe a third party was involved.”

Connell’s raging headache was gone, replaced by a slight drowsiness. He accepted Ling’s suspicion that a third party now held certain items in their possession. It seemed a logical conclusion. Connell yawned deeply.

“If they have them, all we’ll have for our effort is trouble with the police,” he said.
“Only if they talk to you first Mr. Connell, and I think I have a solution for that problem.”

Someone knocked on Ling’s door. He moved to open it and a burley young Asian man entered the room. The huge young fellow stood nearly six and a half feet tall, which meant he had to be careful when moving among low hanging lamps, fans and doorways. The bicep of each arm was greater in circumference than one of Connell’s legs at the thigh. Just one of his hands could grasp the head of an average man and squeeze it painfully. A joke between friends suggested the fellow regularly bench-pressed small European cars for exercise. Ling directed his attention to Connell, now deeply asleep.

“Take this trash out and throw it in the river,” Ling said. “Make sure it stays there.”

NEW BOOK – CHAPTER 2

Posted: August 10, 2015 by Richard in Home

Welcome back.  Before I share chapter two of my new book, let me tell you about our BOGO, Buy One Get One book free sale.   Visit my web site at http://www.eliteword.com for details.   Buy One Get One won’t last much longer.  BOGO now!

Chapter 2 – The Apartment

The apartment stank of death.  It was the last place anyone would want to be that day, or any other day for that matter.  The investigator entered the place as a favor to the family, but as he stepped into the front room he wondered if he’d made a mistake.  Two days after the police discovered Dolly’s partially decomposed corpse, the sickly sweet smell of rotting flesh was still heavy in the air.

The chair she’d died in was still in the middle of the room facing her TV.  Stains and liquefaction from her decomposing body covered most of it.  Flies buzzed incessantly throughout the room and hundreds of the disgusting creatures crawled on the chair.  Somebody needed to haul the thing out and burn it, but somebody wasn’t going to be him.  Family favors only went so far.  He stifled a gag reflex and reached into his pocket for a small jar of Vicks VapoRub.

Applying a small amount of the rub to his upper lip afforded him almost instant relief from the effects of the odor, but there was nothing it could do for appearances.  The apartment was a dusty dark unkempt shabby mess.  He’d never met Dolly, but if first impressions carried any weight he would’ve reckoned the woman’s last days were something less than fastidious.  The second floor walkup couldn’t have smelled much better even when Dolly was alive.

Drapes and dark curtains covered most of a huge bay window in the front room.  It was a beautiful sunny day outside, but in that oppressive place only a few thin rays of light peeked through threadbare curtains to disturb the twilight within.  Flies roaches and another species of creepy crawly he couldn’t identify had claimed the curtains as their domain.  He hadn’t seen that many bugs in one place since an excursion to the African Serengeti in his youth.  Deciding to leave the curtains and drapes to their multi-legged occupants, he set his digital camera for flash exposure and began capturing a photographic record of Dolly’s apartment.  In a few minutes he’d taken a full set of images in the front room.

The old woman had been a hoarder, a pastime that never allows one to keep a neat and tidy living space.  But to the investigator’s trained eye, something about the apartment and its accumulated debris seemed to be out of place.  Bookcases had been moved away from the wall and moved back again unsuccessfully.  One problem with large collections of stuff is that the items, like water, seem to move to their own level – and that level is usually downward.  A table could be hauled away from a wall, but in the process a pile of books may fall behind it or a stack of dishes piled precariously for months or years may topple over.  Consequently, the furniture can’t be put back in its original location without disturbing other towers of trash.  Lack of dust on the floor outlined the original placement of heavy furniture.  Smudges on faded old wallpaper indicated that tables and chairs, once pushed hard up against the wall, were now an inch or two away from it.  In this way, the furniture and wall-to-wall accumulations revealed a tale of serious inspection by party or parties unknown.  Someone had been in there – looking for something.

Someone had moved everything, and that same someone had tried and failed to put everything back in place.  Every piece of furniture had been moved.  Ironically, the trash itself had frustrated the searcher’s efforts to mask his probing.  The authorities had cleared a narrow path through the rubbish when they removed Dolly’s earthly remains, but it didn’t appear they’d taken any time to perform a detailed examination or to move anything else.  All was as it had been when the body had been discovered, except for several dozen dead flies on the floor near the rear corner of her stained chair.

The effort to populate a gruesome gallery of photographs continued in the bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet and kitchen.  Dolly’s bathroom was perhaps the cleanest most undisturbed room in the house.  By all appearances it hadn’t been used in months.  The bedroom and closet were a mess, definitely in worse shape than it had been when Dolly last used them.  Someone had obviously ransacked that area too.  Contents of drawers and shelves had been rearranged.  Portraits and other wall hangings displayed evidence of having been moved.  Sheets and blankets were uncharacteristically tight and neat on Dolly’s bed.  The investigator moved the bed covers and wasn’t surprised to discover numerous places where the mattress had been cut open with a knife.  He couldn’t get into the closet at all.  Every article of clothing had been pulled off its hanger or shelf and examined.  Finger marks on dusty upper surfaces of clothing that had hung unmoved and unworn for years proved the searcher had entered Dolly’s closet too.  There were even a few holes in the wall hidden by coats recently moved to hide the work.  Nothing of value seemed to be present.  Only Goodwill could make money on the mess now.

The kitchen was the last room he visited and a more putrid sight he had not had the misfortune of enduring.  If it were possible to tally more roaches and flies in the kitchen than in the room where Dolly died, the kitchen would have won the count.  Dirty unwashed dishes and open cans of food were everywhere.  Waste bins and baskets, crawling with maggots, overflowed with refuse.  Uneaten food and packaging was strewn everywhere, lying where it’d been tossed or dropped.  In a dark fetid corner, where he’d been told he would find a hidden wall compartment, the investigator discovered a spot that looked as though Dolly had emptied her bowels and bladder on repeated occasions.  Even worse it looked as though some small animal had been eating her excrement.

* * *

“Tell me Jack, did you get any money for that gig?”

“Not really.  No.”

Jack Speer opened a briefcase that had seen better days and extracted a manila folder.

“I got this as a sort of consolation prize,” he said as he passed the folder across their restaurant table.  Alec Douglas took the folder, cleared a spot on his side of the table, and began studying the papers and photographs it contained.  Their waiter arrived and began bussing dishes and glasses.

“Would you like to see the dessert menu, sir?”

“No thank you,” Jack answered.  “I’d like a Kahlua and a Bailey’s for my friend.”

Alec was still studying the documents when their drinks arrived.  Jack enjoyed his Kahlua, occasionally studying the faces and actions of the other restaurant patrons.  No one seemed remotely interested in looking in their direction.  That was good.

“Did they let you keep the originals,” Alec asked as he stuffed the papers back into the folder.  Speer returned the folder to his case.

“Not exactly,” Jack said.  “They don’t know I have any of the papers I’ve shown you.  They don’t know I have the other items either.  All the family wanted was the cash, the gold and silver coinage, and the bits of gaudy jewelry I found in the wall safe.  They were happy with that.  My services were free of charge as far as they’re concerned.  They got what they wanted and didn’t have to get their pretty hands dirty.  I got something a bit more interesting.”

“You didn’t tell them you found these things?”

Jack shook his head, “Of course not!  They didn’t ask and I didn’t tell.  I hadn’t been paid to scavenge Dolly’s pigsty and I figured they owed me something.  I didn’t volunteer any information either, if that’s what you mean.  Anyway, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d found.  It took me a little while to research the materials before I could be certain.”

Alec sipped his drink, “but you suspected?”

“Well yes, of course.  I got interested because someone else was interested too.”

Alec disagreed, “I doubt someone tossed Dolly’s place deliberately looking for those things.  It was probably some punk thief taking advantage of the situation.  He could take all the time he needed to find something of value for himself.  Dolly was in no condition to object.”

Jack shook his head, “Close, but not quite on point.  The police report said there’d been no evidence of a forced entry.”

“Are you suspecting the police?” Alec asked.

“I’d suspect the police if an old woman’s baubles were the only consideration, but I really don’t think they’d stoop to murder just to snatch a jewelry box and a handful of cash.”

“What reason do you have to suspect murder?” Alec asked.  “You said the Coroner’s report stated Dolly died from natural causes.”

Jack shook his head in disagreement, “Remember I told you I found dead flies beneath Dolly’s TV chair?  They were the only ones not moving crawling or flying.  Why that place?  Why had flies died at the center of all the fly-ish activity in the room?  I knelt down and used a small penlight to follow the trail of insect bodies under the chair.  Beneath it, hidden from sight, were several shards of broken glass.  I grabbed a paper towel from the kitchen and used it to gather the glass and a few dead flies into a plastic baggie I’d brought with me.  Later I had both analyzed by a private lab.  It turned out the shards had been part of a cheap water glass.  Both the drinking glass and the flies were found to have trace elements of a powerful poison.”

“Did you report that to the police?”

“Yes I did.  The case has been upgraded to a homicide.  The biggest glitch, though, is that Dolly’s body has already been cremated.”

“Do the police have any suspects?”

“They’re looking at family members right now.  Dolly obviously trusted someone enough to let them into her apartment.  I don’t think it was family, though.”

“Why not?”

“The family asked me to go through the apartment.  They didn’t want to soil their hands sifting through Dolly’s filth especially when they knew exactly where she kept her valuables.  Apparently they didn’t know about everything Dolly had hidden there.  Somebody else searched her apartment.

Somebody wanted to take his time and somebody wanted to make sure Dolly didn’t make a fuss about what turned up missing.  Somebody wanted everything nice and quiet and that same somebody didn’t know about the hidden wall compartment.”

Alec finished his Bailey’s, sat back in his chair and stretched his legs.  He took a long thoughtful look at Jack and asked the one obvious remaining question.

“You want my help, don’t you?”

Jack nodded, “I’ve been asked to put together a team to follow up on this.  I’d like you to be on it.”

“Jack, I’ve known you for years.  I’ve learned to watch my pockets and guard my ears against your fast fingers and forked tongue.  So far you’ve never cheated me.  Our business relationships have always been profitable as far as I’m concerned.  If you’d come to me with those papers in your hand and nothing else, I’d have said you were chasing crazy dreams and fairy tales, or that you were planning some new con.

Dolly is the catalyst I think.  She had something somebody else wanted.  Something so valuable they’d kill to get their hands on it.  You may be a seasoned reprobate, but you’re not a murderer.”

Alec finished by asking Jack if he’d considered the project might prove to be a wild goose chase or that someone might be trying to con him instead.

Jack doubted it, “At first I figured this was simply an opportunity to take advantage of a rich loon and make off with a little something in addition to my fee.  That’s what I usually do.  It’s not strictly ethical, but it isn’t illegal either – unless I get caught at it.  I didn’t really believe any of this stuff, but when they let me in on their private little secret I realized it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Alec saw the familiar light of assured greed in Jack’s eyes and made a snap decision, “Yea man, you can count me in.”

NEW TITLE

Posted: July 29, 2015 by Richard in Home

I’ve got a cool BOGO sale going on right now.  Buy One Get One book free.  Buy either my Atlantis book or my Shadow Zone book and get a second copy of either one free.  BOGO sale all summer.   BOGO now.

While you’re here, I’d like to ask your advice.   I’ve nearly completed another book and I need a catchy title.   It’s got to be short and sweet and inspire the potential customer to buy it.   I’ve listed a few titles below.  Without knowing the subject matter, would you be interested in peeking inside?  Would you like me to post another chapter or two?   Here’s my title selection.  Which one do you think is best?

Plumber’s Paradise
Speer’s Paradise
Speer’s Quest
Treasure of the Tian Shan
Beyond Shambha-La
Where Paradise Endures

Here’s Chapter 1.

Chapter 1 – The Seaman and the Snoop                                                               [Present Day]   

            Sir Percival Plumber’s prosperity did not rest upon the solid ground chosen by other tycoons of his day.  His was a fortune built upon cargo ships that crisscrossed endless sea-lanes.  In his youth, he learned the only constant of the sea was that it was a living thing – always changing, always moving, never the same from one hour to the next.  And so this man went in search of a new fortune in places that did not change – in the predictable unmoving bowels of the earth.  In the shadow of one of the most remote mountains on the planet, the rumor of a different kind of treasure came to his ears.  Like the mountains that surrounded it, the treasure was so inaccessible that men no longer dared to even dream of possessing it.  But Sir Percy dared – to return to the mountains and claim it for his own.

                                                                        * * *

Jack Speer was a man whose deductive capacity served him well as a private investigator.  He liked the work, such as it was, but far too often there was far too little of it to allow him the extravagant indulgences of life so many of his clients seemed to enjoy.  For far too long he’d hoped for a client or case that would free him from the constant fear that a retainer or payment might not arrive in time to satisfy his creditors. 

To fill in the gaps between paying clients, Jack began to merge his investigative talents with lessons he’d learned from college courses in journalism.  As a free-lance writer, Jack fed his readers’ perpetual appetite for stories about bureaucrats who ran afoul of commonly held notions of propriety.  It didn’t pay as well as private jobs, but it was regular work.   

Between the two sources of income, Jack had managed to create a comfortable living for himself.  It wasn’t a lot, but it did allow him the freedom of the occasional gratuitous snoop.  During those times Jack worked under the assumption that the absence of a stipend waived his professional obligation to divulge anything to his client that might be of advantage to himself.  It was a private luxury he enjoyed – an adult version of finders’ keepers.  And so it happened that during one such complimentary exploration Jack Speer discovered several unusual items in the hidden wall space of a filthy apartment once occupied by a rotting corpse and an active community of rats and insects.  

Visit my web site at http://www.eliteword.com  or contact me directly at rjp34652@yahoo.com

What do you think?  Which title should I use?

Thanks for your help……

BOGO SALE

Posted: July 13, 2015 by Richard in Home

Introducing the summer Buy One Get One BOGO sale. Buy either one of my books and get a second one free. See my web site http://www.eliteword.com for details.

Buy ATLANTIS CITY IN THE SKY or THE SHADOW ZONE and get a second book free. BOGO Buy a copy of the Atlantis book and get a second copy free – OR – buy a copy of The Shadow Zone book and get a second copy free – OR – buy one book and get the other copy free.

BOGO SALE this summer…….Buy One Get One free

BOGO NOW