Stealing Home

Stealing Home (Small)We are working hard to have Stealing Home available later this month.

Angus E. Lee only wants to run his one-man, small town law office.

Until he crosses paths with The Sandman, a hit man who is killing show horses.

And then a psycho decides to kill Angus.


Another Fun Misspelling

People seem to love pointing out spelling mistakes and I confess I do too. Since I did a post on spelling a few days ago, I spotted this one earlier this morning and decided the statute of limitations had not run out yet. It’s lifted from a rant in response to a newspaper article and here’s the relevant sentence.

They are controlled with dominance and cruelty to make them perform unnatural tricks on cue. Anyone who says otherwise is lying probably because their lively hood depends on the domination of these animals.

I made it easy for Christmas and highlighted the offending word. I think they were going for livelihood. Now, I need to get off this topic before I misspell a word.


SpellCheck and Horse Books

The older I get, the less I pay attention. At any rate, I often need to see something several times before taking notice …. unless of course it involves nudity.  This particular error has climbed to the top of the list, because it seems like every few days, I am saying “There it is again.” If you count on SpellCheck and who doesn’t, then you really need to pay attention to those words that sound alike and have different meanings. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen heroin and heroine in the wrong context lately. Now, remember this. A lady that saves your dog from drowning in the swollen rapids of the river is a heroine. A junkie with a needle in his arm is probably using heroin.

I have spent quite a bit of time the last few days cataloging a small collection of vintage and antique horse books. I still have several Rubbermaid tubs left before I’m finished. I assigned an average value based on what I find across the Internet, but any reasonable offer will be considered. I’ll post these for sale as soon as I get a complete list. Most are about American Saddlebreds, Thoroughbreds, and Stable Management. So far, values range from five dollars to four hundred.

Cover Reveal for Stealing Home will be directly after Christmas and publication in late January.

Bayne Diagnosed With MS

The sport I follow is NASCAR racing. Some will argue that it isn’t a sport, but that is another conversation. We were saddened to read this morning that Trevor Bayne has been diagnosed with MS. Trevor is the biggest breath of fresh air to come along in many years. He is proud of his relationship with God and just seems to be an all around example of good. In 2011, Bayne had a job as a developmental driver for Jack Roush and mainly drove in the Nationwide series. He was tapped to drive a few races for the legendary Wood Brothers in the Cup series and won the Daytona 500. He was the youngest person to ever win it. At the time, I thought Good things will happen to good people. He is a sponsor’s dream. Fame and fortune will follow. I was wrong. No sponsors came calling and the youngest Daytona winner ever was shuffled back to Nationwide. Then he came down with a mysterious disease and couldn’t drive for 5 races. It was possibly Lyme disease, but never diagnosed for sure. Back on the track, Bayne continued to drive in the Nationwide series and Jack Roush held him back and never gave him a shot at Cup. He did move Danica Patrick’s boyfriend up, though.

Trevor fell in love and married. He also expressed appreciation for the ride he did have in Nationwide. It seems like sometimes bad luck and good luck will even out. Trevor had unbelievable good luck when he won Daytona. Now with this MS diagnosis, he has unbelievable bad luck. Through it all, Trevor remains an example of faith and trust. Twenty-two year old kid is one of my heroes.

Tiger Trainer Refutes Abuse

While doing some research for a novel I’ve just begun, I stumbled across this fascinating article in which the tiger trainer of a traveling circus is having a bit of a war of words with a citizen in the online edition of the Holly Express, a local newspaper in Holly, Michigan. will get you to one of the articles, apparently the response from the trainer. I haven’t read this article or many of the comments, so I am certainly not going to jump into that debate. However, I am researching some areas of animal abuse and intend to look at exotic animals being kept by private citizens as one of the subplots in my work in progress. Let me say here loud and clear that I am a strong supporter of animal rights and feel that no punishment is quite enough for someone who abuses animals.

I am a freedom loving guy, but do you really want your idiot neighbor to be able to own a tiger? You could in my state of North Carolina until the Zanesville, Ohio tragedy and then my county did pass a mildly restrictive ordinance. No unregistered mambas. Really.

I do know that a fool with a tiger or a lion in his backyard hasn’t anything to do with conservation. And if they register as a non-profit and have baby white tigers, they are breeding for profit. Those little cuties do not happen in the wild.

It’s a big, big, subject. PETA’s crazy tactics have turned people away from their good works. The ones that try hard like the Humane Society need our help.

Now What?

As I previously noted, I just finished my first draft of Stealing Home. I sent the draft to my editor who will get back to me in January and to my cover designer who is on the January schedule as well. It’s fairly shocking that my planning all came together for an early 2014 launch.

I’m so new to writing that I sat down the next morning and said now what in the hell do I do? I haven’t developed that routine yet. The one that produces work no matter what.

Stealing Home is the first in a series, so now I can do the most important thing, which is keep writing. I may have the second draft finished by the time I publish Stealing Home. I know I already have page one finished. What about you? Do you have a good hard routine yet? Do you try to sell for a few months or do you just keep writing?

Stealing Home

I finally finished my novel in progress, Stealing Home. I will guestimate I am maybe six months behind. My father was in his early nineties and lost his health. If you’ve been through this, you know what I mean. I live in another city but within driving distance, and my sister was his primary care giver. She would call with a “daddy did this and we’re at the hospital” and the next week would be spent off work and on the road.

Then there was the nursing home. Enough said there.

We lost him and I was just mentally about ready to restart the novel when I got sick. I had an ulcer but even more fun, an 8mm kidney stone lodged in me. Another six weeks of stents, outpatient procedures, and pain. I mean serious pain. No novel writing pain. Pain pill taking, laying on the couch pain.

I finally got back on track and pulled it together in my head. Now it is finished and ready for the editor and the cover artist. When life throws crap at you, and it will, just keep your head down and sooner or later, you’ll get it done.

Progress Report

I’m excited to announce that I’m nearing completion of, Stealing Home, the novel I’ve been working on this year.
Angus E. Lee, a small town attorney, must track down and stop The Sandman. The Sandman is a killer for hire who murders expensive show horses. And did I mention a mentally unstable girlfriend and some cartel drug action?
I will reveal more soon and post an excerpt. Publication is planned for January and I will do the cover selection soon.

The Tipping Point

The nation’s attitudes are constantly changing, and I believe we have reached the tipping point on the path to legalization of marijuana. Nineteen states have now legalized medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington are the first to legalize recreational weed as well. One of my favorite authors, Lee Childs, revealed in an interview a few days ago that he has smoked five nights a week for the past forty-four years. As creator of the Jack Reacher series, he must have been smoking some particularly good weed when he thought Tom Cruise would be good in the movies playing Reacher. (That’s a joke now, Cruise fans). More importantly, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reversed course and said he had been wrong and misled the nation about medical marijuana. He produced a CNN special on the groundbreaking research being done in other countries and finding ailments that medical marijuana may be the drug of choice for.

The United States government has its own agenda though, and disregards the medical evidence and the will of the people. Federal agents continue to raid dispensaries that states have deemed legal. Medicine is withheld that stops seizures in babies or relieves nausea and pain in cancer patients. I’ve seen countless lives ruined by alcohol, but none by marijuana other than for long jail sentences or criminal records that last a lifetime. Possibly our police do not want to give up all the money they derive from marijuana, as law enforcement and property seizures are big business. Why else would resources be squandered to track down and arrest a person with a joint. Our citizens have recognized the truth and seen the inhumanity of withholding medicine and sometimes miraculous cures from people. The people of America will change our laws and if the government doesn’t change, the people will change it also.

Hollywood Park to Close

Betfair Hollywood Park of Inglewood California announced that it would close by year’s end and the property will be developed into a housing and retail complex. The 75-year old track hosted greats such as Seabiscuit and the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984. My present novel in progress features crime in an equine setting and in my youth, I worked as a groom and assistant trainer in a show horse barn for seven years.

Horse racing is an exciting, respectable sport a few days of the year in America, such as the first Saturday in May when the Kentucky Derby runs. The rest of the year, it is struggling to survive and hardly on anyone’s radar. The sport provides tons of jobs, such as hotwalkers, grooms, trainers, and folks employed by the tracks such as hospitality and wagering. Then there are veterinarians, farmers growing hay, truckers hauling horses. However, racing has been hit hard by slot machines, internet gambling, corruption, abuse, and drugging of horses. This didn’t happen overnight either. All the way back in 1990, one of the greatest horses ever, Alydar, standing at stud at one of the greatest breeding farms ever, Calumet, was allegedly killed for his $36 million dollar insurance. At the least, the incident set in motion the bankruptcy of the farm.

My novel, Curtain Call, should be ready late summer and will explore events such as insurance fraud and the murder of horses from an up close and personal view.

Writing About Crimes that Kill and Horses that Thrill