Excerpt From: “Not Safe for the Bank(er) A Fiona Gavelle Mystery” by Una Tiers

Not Safe for the Bank(er)Fiona Gavelle just wanted to get a roll of quarters but ended up in the middle of another murder investigation. Meet Father Gizzle and Mary Ann and find out whether or not Fiona gave her business card to the murderer.

Excerpt:

The police car parked on the sidewalk didn’t suggest anything out of order, but the crowd inside the bank did. As the door hit me in the ass, I stopped like a cartoon character.

Feigning confidence to cover my indecision, I scanned the room. Ten or twelve police and an equal number of humorless guys in suits were watching me with at least scorn. Mr. Fives, the bank manager was sitting in the lounge area squeezing his face in his hands, then running them up through his hair making it stand up in goofy clumps.

His eyes widened, “Ms. Gavelle you need to help me.” He stood up part way and sank down in resignation.

Relieved to see a friendly face, and inappropriately curious, I started over to him.

“Are you okay Mr. Fives?”

Before he answered, a large man stepped between us fuming with exasperation.

“You can’t talk to him.”

“He’s asked to speak to his lawyer.” I searched for a poker face to apply. Oh how I love when my mind works at lawyer speed.

After some mumbling and discussion among the suits and uniforms, the large man stepped aside and Mr. Fives and I went into his office. The floor to ceiling glass walls would drive me crazy but in a bank I guess they were necessary. Mr. Fives looked considerably less handsome with a splotchy face than when sitting at his desk printing out extra copies of my monthly statements or hawking a new credit card feature.

“I don’t know what happened…” he started.

A slight blur of movement distracted me. “Wait,” I held up my hand.

“They think I…” He blundered.

“Stop.”

“Why?”

“Ssh.” I whispered impatiently.

For a few seconds he looked confused. Looking through to the curious crowd inching closer to the glass, watching us without shame, he figured it out. Turning his back to the glass window, he continued. “Carol’s dead. She was murdered in the vault this morning.” His nose was running and he wiped it on a real handkerchief wadded up in a death grip in his hand.

“Carol?” I started. “Murdered?”

“Dead, murdered, gone, and they think I did it because I was the last one in the vault last night.”

“You didn’t admit anything did you?”

His wretched look suggested he had. Didn’t he watch television? Innocent questions and honest answers always get people in trouble.

My fingers were less than steady when I pulled out my cell phone and called Bob Noodle, an attorney who actually practices criminal law. I’m just a reasonable faker because I watch lawyer and cop programs and reruns of Police Woman.

***

Bio: Una Tiers is an attorney in Chicago, Illinois. She murders people (on paper) to relieve stress or if they sass her. Her school chum asked if she would be in one of her books and the result is Not Safe for the Bank(er). It’s a short story/humorcide.

eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Safe-Bank-er-ebook/dp/B00CPCJA66

website: http://unatiers.com

trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX03yc1t0Ws

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Excerpt From “Reality Boulevard” by Melissa Jo Peltier

bookrealityboulevard152

New York Times bestseller Melissa Jo Peltier turns her attention to the brilliant, back-stabbing world of prime-time television in this wickedly funny new novel.

In it, we see Oscar-winning producer Marty Maltzman and his staff out of a job – and out on the streets – when long-running docu-series Lights and Sirens is unexpectedly axed. But the Hollywood the team now faces is full of Kardashians and Real Housewives, and they need to survive in a world where it’s very hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t – both on and off screen.

Oscar and Emmy winning documentarian and veteran reality producer (Big Brother, Rescue 911) Arnold Shapiro called the novel “the best satirical look behind the scenes of reality television ever written”, adding: “It contains more truth than you would believe.”

EXCERPT:

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Jerry asked “What did I tell you about getting serious with actresses?”

“Look,” Marty began, “Crimson’s different – “

“Crimson!” Jerry spluttered. “Oh, Marty. The name alone.”

“Jerry. She’s a serious, working actress. “

Jerry sighed. After all, it had been Jerry himself who, twenty-five years earlier, had schooled Marty on the industry distinction between a working actor and a common wanabee actor: genus and species Opus Ludius versus the ubiquitous Vacuus Ludius. According to Jerry and those jaded above-the-liners who subscribed to his philosophy, the second type could be found at any time of day or night: at the gym, sculpting their impossibly flawless physiques; at Starbucks, pecking out star vehicle screenplays on their laptops; at clubs and industry parties, seeking access to the plush lifestyles to which they aspired. Some of the more industrious among them were waiting tables in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, ushering at the Arclight Hollywood or Sherman Oaks, or guiding tour busses though the Universal Studios back lot, hoping to make an impression in a more productive way. There were many, however, who always seemed to be just scraping by; living off the largess of parents, roommates, lovers, sugar daddies or mommies. Most of them were extremely good looking, young, and famously flighty.

Working actors, Opus Ludii, were a different species altogether. They had real agents and managers who didn’t work out of their apartments. They were known by at least a couple of the major casting agents in town. Working actors had the training to prove that they viewed their careers as art and craft rather than as fame vehicle. They spent more of their free time in classes and workshops than in gyms and plastic surgeon’s offices, haunted the new play section at the Samuel French bookshop, and earned at least enough income from acting in a given year to qualify for the Screen Actor’s Guild health insurance program. Some of them even had homes, families, and relatively normal lives outside of work.

***

Melissa Jo Pelwriterpeltiertier has been honored for her film and television writing, producing and directing with two Emmys, a Peabody, Humanitas and more than 50 other awards and nominations.

An executive producer of the thrice Emmy-nominated and People’s Choice-winning reality series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, she co-authored five New York Times best-selling books with its star, along with two more non-fiction titles.

Melissa is a co-founder of Burbank-based MPH Entertainment, Inc, which has created over 350 hours of original non-fiction and reality programming.

Her dramatic work includes writing the Lifetime movie Nightwaves, and the episode The Collector for the hit CBS series Ghost Whisperer.

Most recently, she produced the festival-winning indie feature White Irish Drinkers for New York-based Ovington Avenue Productions, of which she is also a principal with her husband, film/TV writer/director John Gray.

http://www.apostrophebooks.com/books/realityboulevard
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17364636-reality-boulevard http://www.pinterest.com/apostrophebooks/reality-boulevard-by-melissa-jo-peltier
My website http://www.melissajopeltier.com which is hosted through The Author’s Guild, protecting the rights of writers and content creators since 1912.
Twitter: @apostrophebooks and @MelissaJPeltier
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/apostrophebooksltd

Excerpt From “Floor It! Road Trips Down the Humor Highway” by Michele Wendling Ryan

 “Floor It!” is a whimsical and witty collection of humor columns that’s hitting the highway and making a healing difference with what has come to be known as Comedylove. This book includes a fun bonus: a writing prompt at the end of every chapter with journal entry pages so readers can reflect upon and capture their own personal journeys from life’s road trips! PLUS a portion of proceeds are donated to ovarian cancer organizations worldwide.

_

EXCERPT:

My inner lyricist wants to rewrite the Steppenwolf song “Born to be Wild”. But first a word from our sponsor: MapQuest…whose tagline should be “Don’t believe everything we tell you.” Both attempts to get to an Indie Music for Life event have resulted in some misguided directions. The first time was trying to get to Blackstock Winery in Dahlonega, GA last November. Nobody could find the right turn onto Frog Hollow Road because it DID NOT EXIST. Good news for the frogs.

This time I made it all the way into North Carolina and by my estimate was less than an hour away from my destination. The exit from the Interstate was clearly marked…but that’s when things started to get murky. Okay, I don’t entirely blame these online navigational services because the people who design our infrastructure must have a sadistic streak. Case in point: roads that change names several times for no apparent reason and with no warning.

I’ll spare the details of which roads I should/should not have been on. Let’s just say it was dark and I was lost in the middle of nowhere. Although I think I was more a bit to the northeast of nowhere. Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light…NO it wasn’t the Hotel California…it was a REALLY small gas station but it appeared to be open.

Nothing says “Y’all ain’t from ’round here, are ya?” faster than Cobb County, GA license plates on a mid-sized SUV and a woman with a Vera Bradley purse clutching a piece of paper with the big friggin’ MAPQUEST logo on it. But I knew country folk are good people, much like Floyd the Barber of Mayberry. (NOTE TO SELF: After I write the lyrics for Born to Be Lost compose opera entitled “The Barber of Mayberry”).

But the man behind the counter was right friendly…considering he had two, possibly three of his own teeth and smelled horridly of chewing tobacco. When I told him what road I was TRYING to locate, he pointed in various directions and I think told me to take a right turn after the squashed possum in the road. But I DID get to Highway 65…

…except I didn’t know whether to go East or West because my directions told me to “merge” northbound and mentioned nothing about the possum.

***

Once upon a time…there was a little girl who loved to make people laugh. Michele Wendling Ryan was born in the kingdom of Minneapolis. After being enlightened by great literature (okay, storybook tales), she developed a vivid imagination. Being an only child this trait was useful, although her parents never determined how many imaginary siblings Michele had. A late bloomer making up for lost time…this multi-faceted humorist hits the road again, this time in print! From her childhood ingenuity to the madcap road trips, Michele’s book encapsulates this incredible journey of one woman’s passion to make the world laugh!

Link to author on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Wendling-Ryan/e/B007UQU5N4
Link to author’s website: http://shellyscomedylove.com/floor-it-the-book/

Donations to Clarity by Noah Baird

The plan was simple: hoax Bigfoot, then sell tours to Bigfoot enthusiasts. The plan wasn’t brilliant, and neither were Harry, Earl, and Patch. The three chemical-abusing friends only wanted to avoid the 9 to 5 rat race, but their antics attract the attention of a real Bigfoot. When the misogynistic Earl is mistaken for a female Bigfoot by the nearsighted creature and captured; it is just the beginning of their problems.

Between bong hits and water balloon fights, Harry and Patch come up with a plan to save Earl and the lovestruck Bigfoot. Where do you hide a giant, mythical creature? In an insane asylum, because who is going to listen to them?

Excerpt:

“How much do you think the average human turd weighs?” Earl asked as he sat down at the table, pulling the plastic lawn chair up behind him and reaching across the table to dig into Harry’s basket of buffalo wings.

“Are you serious? Why?” asked Harry.

“Well, answer me this: how much does an order of wings weigh?”

“Regular or jumbo?”

“Jumbo” Earl mumbled with a mouth full of meat, spraying Three Mile Island sauce across the table. Droplets of orange-tinged spit peppered the table. Earl snatched a paper towel off the roll sitting on the table and wiped the table once, leaving an arc of smeared wing sauce across the table.

“Dude! Say it, don’t spray it!” Harry yelped, holding his beer out of the mist with one hand, while trying to cover a baskets of wings and celery sticks with the other hand.

“You know: my usual. How much do you think that weighs? The parts I eat?” Earl said, craning his neck around looking for a waitress. Harry could hear the frustration in Earl’s voice. Earl hadn’t sat down with a beer, and he didn’t usually like going for very long without one. Especially in The Beaver, not because the wings were too hot, but because Earl swore Yuengling tasted better from The Beaver’s taps. Everyone else in the village thought The Brown Beaver’s draft beers tasted skunky because the staff never cleaned the lines. “That’s bullshit!” Earl would bellow to anyone who would listen. Earl had the proud distinction of having been in two fist fights and arrested once for defending The Brown Beaver’s honor. The second fight (and arrest) was with The Brown Beaver’s owner, Seamus, who refused to give Earl any more alcohol one night.

“I don’t know. Why?” Harry said, responding to the back of Earl’s head.

“I’m just trying to figure out how much I’m eating, is all.” Earl said, holding up one finger to the waitress.

“What? Can’t shop in the Miss’s section anymore, Meatball?”

“Screw you! I’m serious!”

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. Good for you! I’ll support you on your diet. I hear they can be tough.” Harry was switching gears, downshifting into sincerity drive, and hoping he sounded convincing or at least supportive.

“I’m not going a diet! I’m trying to figure out, in pounds, how much food I eat.”

“Here you go, Earl” interrupted Cindi, placing his beer on the table.

“Well, thanks, darlin’, and keep ’em coming.” Earl cooed after taking a long drink. He gave Cindi his biggest smile, like a proud little boy showing his mama he ate all of his dinner.

“I sure will, honey.” Cindi cooed back. She was a good waitress. She played along with the customers’ little games, and ignored the slurred speech and rude pick up lines. She had wide hips and full breasts, her body was often described as good breeding stock by the old ranchers and lumberjacks sitting at the bar without their wives. She usually wore T-shirts with a low v-cut neckline when the weather was warm because she got better tips when she did.

“Cindi, how much does a jumbo order of wings weigh, not including the bones?” Earl probed, trying to sound intelligent in front of Cindi while still pumping out the charm.

“Uh, I don’t know,” Cindi responded sheepishly. Why do customers always think of strange things to ask me?

“No idea? Can you ask the cook how much an order of wings weighs without the bone? Do they weigh differently depending on the sauce?”

“Uh, sure,” was all she could reply as she backed away from the table. Why can’t Earl do like Harry does and just stare at my tits instead of asking weirdo questions?

“What’s this have to do with turds?” Harry asked, watching Cindi’s ass walk away.

“I’m trying to achieve neutral buoyancy within a human vessel.” Earl deadpanned, also watching Cindi’s ass walk away.

“Huh?”

“I said I was ‘trying to achieve neutral buoyancy within a human vessel,’ that is, me.” Earl repeated with what he thought should be the impatient air of an academic.

“You see, Harry,” Earl continued after taking a long pull from his beer, “I don’t like taking shits.” Earl stated, pausing for effect. Harry raised his eyebrows. Earl mistook the raised eyebrows as a signal to continue. “I’m tired of taking shits. It is the most despicable of all bodily functions,” Earl continued, gaining speed. “Either through design or evolution, our waste disposal system is lacking. Our scatological process needs to be revamped. It’s disgusting. It smells. It can be embarrassing. Leaves you feeling uncomfortable. I’m tired of it. I’ve done some research, and the average adult turd weighs between half of a pound to about a pound and a half.”

“Really? That’s it? I’ve had some whoppers I thought must’ve been heavier than that” replied Harry, his curiosity peaked, wrinkling his brow as he pondered Earl’s latest bit of trivia. Another part of Harry’s brain was simultaneously wondering why he was entertaining this conversation.

“I know. I thought the exact same thing” replied Earl, pleased Harry was showing some interest. “Anyway, I figure the weight of turds must equal the weight of excess food we consume. Food our body doesn’t need.” Earl was now punctuating the air with the fat end of a buffalo wing as he spoke. “So, I figure, if I reduce the amount of food I eat by the weight of my bowel movements, my body won’t need to crap anymore. I will consume exactly what my body needs. So no waste. No more taking the Browns to the Super Bowl, or dropping the kids off at the pool! Close and seal the hatch. My crapping days are over.”

Harry sat in amazement by the range of subjects Earl could pull out of his ass and discuss, without fear or embarrassment, in a public place. Maybe sealing the hatch would be best? “So, how’s it going so far?” asked Harry, unconvinced.

“I’m still working on the ratio.”

***

Noah Baird wanted to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, but his grades weren’t good enough (who knew?). However, his grades were good enough to fly for the U.S. Navy (again, who knew?), where he spent 14 years until the government figured out surfers don’t make the best military aviators. He has also tried to be a stand-up comedian in Hawaii for Japanese tourists, where the language barrier really screwed up some great jokes. On the bright side, a sailboat was named after the punchline of one of his jokes.

He has several political satire pieces published on The Spoof under the pen name orioncrew. Noah received his bachelors in Historical and Political Sciences from Chaminade University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He knows nothing about hoaxing Bigfoot. This is his first novel.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Donations to Clarity

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire by Malcolm R. Campbell — Excerpt #2

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire
by Malcolm R. Campbell
Vanilla Heart Publishing
ISBN-10: 1935407147
ISBN-13: 978-1935407140

Mainstream humor with a dash of mystery… A throwback to Hollywood’s film noir reporters, Jock Stewart is out of touch with the looming world of digital journalism.

While Stewart goes out of his way to mock those in authority by pretending to kowtow to them, he admits he does his best work by “being an asshole.” A mix of Don Rickles and Don Quixote, Stewart is the man for the job when the skirts are up and the chips are down.

Hard-boiled reporter Jock Stewart wakes up on the morning after the Star-Gazer office party with a hangover and an old flame in his bed and  he cuddles up with the mayor’s wife in the back seat of a 1953 Desoto. Between these defining moments, he investigates the theft of the mayor’s race horse Sea of Fire and the murder of his publisher’s girl friend, Bambi Hill.

Stewart discovers the truth for his news stories via an interview style based on lies, pretense and audacious behavior.

EXCERPT:

          Coral Snake Smith was sitting in his favorite booth at the Purple Platter when Jock got there at 11:45 AM. Smith, who suffered disfiguring burns as a child, ended up with a ruddy, red and yellow complexion that made him unfit for any career other than crime or psychiatry. He dabbled in psychiatry until the review board questioned why 98.6 percent of his male and female patients were diagnosed with an Electra complex. Subsequently, he practiced crime without conviction.

          Now he described himself as a storyteller, an information handler, and an unidentified source. Those who trusted him believed his word was well worth the price of a meal, hash browns scattered and smothered and a Denver omelet. Others hypothesized that he was a stool pigeon.

          Jock sat down on the far side of the duplex table and ordered two usuals when the waitress stopped by after a long vacation on the far side of the near-empty dining room.

          “Dawn will turn on her hustle when the church people get here,” said Smith.

          “True,” said Jock.

          “You could have washed that coffee off your face and put on a clean shirt,” said Smith, “unless you were sent packing out of your own house.”

          “Why do you say that?”

          Smith picked at an itchy place on his face where the hairs in his beard grew in on themselves along the edge of a yellow band. “Red and yellow kill a fellow,” the guys at the paper always said.

          Dawn set down two breakfasts that looked like they were cooked yesterday. Smith poured stripes of ketchup across the top of his omelet, and then offered Jock the squeeze bottle. Jock declined.

          “I say that because sources close to the action have confirmed that fifty-two percent of those attending the Star-Gazer office party last night danced with those they didn’t bring.”

More of Jock Stewart:
First Chapter Online
35% Free at Smashwords

BIO:

After working as a college journalism instructor, corporate communications director, technical writer and grant writer for many years, Malcolm R. Campbell published The Sun Singer in 2004 and Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire in 2009. 

Campbell’s articles have appeared in Nostalgia Magazine, Nonprofit World, The Rosicrucian Digest, Quill & Scroll, Training and Development Journal and the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday magazine. 

He is a contributing writer for Living Jackson Magazine.

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire by Malcolm R. Campbell — Excerpt #1

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire
by Malcolm R. Campbell
Vanilla Heart Publishing
ISBN-10: 1935407147
ISBN-13: 978-1935407140

Mainstream humor with a dash of mystery… A throwback to Hollywood’s film noir reporters, Jock Stewart is out of touch with the looming world of digital journalism.

While Stewart goes out of his way to mock those in authority by pretending to kowtow to them, he admits he does his best work by “being an asshole.” A mix of Don Rickles and Don Quixote, Stewart is the man for the job when the skirts are up and the chips are down.

Hard-boiled reporter Jock Stewart wakes up on the morning after the Star-Gazer office party with a hangover and an old flame in his bed and  he cuddles up with the mayor’s wife in the back seat of a 1953 Desoto. Between these defining moments, he investigates the theft of the mayor’s race horse Sea of Fire and the murder of his publisher’s girl friend, Bambi Hill.

Stewart discovers the truth for his news stories via an interview style based on lies, pretense and audacious behavior.

EXCERPT:

            County Road 3724 closely followed the lay of the land like the arm of a lover or a python crushing its next meal.

            While his ancient Kaiser Jeep CJ-5 followed the road well enough through the scrub forests and pastureland, it lacked the feline grace of the midnight blue Porsche that sped by on a blind curve with the top down and a woman’s hair free of restraint.

            Ten minutes later, he reached a place with a black mail box marked “G. Starnes” perched on top of a leaning 4×4 post next to a mixed pea gravel and mud farm road. About 100 feet off the right of way, Grayson had built a small white-washed ranch style house with no landscaping or other embellishments flanked by three-horse gabled barn. Two of the house’s front windows were covered by sheets of cardboard and the barn’s Dutch paddock doors had been left open to the elements. Two things in the resulting pastoral were as out of place as bullshit on a Minton Bone plate, the lady and the car. Both were parked next to the paddock at a rakish angle.

            He pulled up close enough to the Porsche to see the world reflected in more than one of its mirrors, but Lucinda didn’t flinch.

More of Jock Stewart:
First Chapter Online
35% Free at Smashwords

BIO:

After working as a college journalism instructor, corporate communications director, technical writer and grant writer for many years, Malcolm R. Campbell published The Sun Singer in 2004 and Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire in 2009. 

Campbell’s articles have appeared in Nostalgia Magazine, Nonprofit World, The Rosicrucian Digest, Quill & Scroll, Training and Development Journal and the former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday magazine. 

He is a contributing writer for Living Jackson Magazine.