Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 37

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne feigned surprise. “Oh, you hadn’t figured that out yet? I figured out that you’re part of a plot to destabilize the American economy. And that you killed Carol to keep her from going to the secret service.”

He jerked her closer. “Is that what Tom told you?”

She winced and drew in a breath. Was he trying to rip her arm out of socket? And where was Erik anyway? “No, I figured it out myself.”

“Well aren’t you smart. Too bad it’s going to get you killed.”

“So you admit it? All of it?”

“I suppose so.” His emphasized his nasty tone with another twist on her arm. “Not that you’re going to live to tell anyone about it.”

The edges of her vision were turning fuzzy. Her lungs seemed to have decided to hunker down like a bomb shelter and refused to let air in or out. She had to hang on just a little longer. “What are you going to do to Tom?”

“Same thing I’m going to do to you.”

“But don’t you need him to complete the plates?”

“You just know too much don’t you?”

A pair of men turned the corner chatting desultorily they walked to the edge of the platform to wait for the next train. Rick prodded her ribs with the barrel of his gun. The look he shot like a laser in her direction held no equivocation. If she called for help, he’d kill her, and probably those men as well.

“I told you I know. And I told the secret service too.”

“Well then, I guess they won’t need your testimony.” He dragged her toward the tracks.

A faint grumble came from the mouth of the tunnel as if it harbored a dragon. A dragon that was awaiting its annual virgin sacrifice from the villagers. She tried to retract the image. Her mother had been right. Anne had a morbid imagination.

“Where are you taking me?”

“No where, sweetheart. This is the end of the line for you.”

A pair of glowing eyes appeared in the cave. Tunnel. It was a tunnel and there was no ravening beast inside. It was just a train.

No way she was going to let herself be fed to the monster of Armstrong’s ambition. She just had to figure out what to do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 36

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne’s shoes pounded out a big band rhythm as she darted after Armstrong. They echoed in the sparsely populated station. She tossed a look over her shoulder. Where had Erik gotten to? How could such a tall fellow disappear completely?

The man redoubled his already brisk pace. He turned around a corner and out of sight. Again, Anne glanced around. Where was a policeman when you needed one?

Good grief. Did she have to do everything? No way was she going to get close enough for Armstrong to catch her again. She would hang back and just try to observe from a distance, so that he didn’t escape. She edged to the corner and cautiously peered around.

A hard hand clamped over her mouth. Fingers dug into her cheeks. She tried to pull back but it was useless. He had a grip on her arm now. Inexorable as the tide he dragged her forward.

His voice rasped against her ear. “Did you really think your little double cross was going to work?” His snort provoked a shiver. “If I ever get to the point where an amateur gumshoe, who’s barely out of training pants, can put one over on me, it’ll be time to hang it up.”

His hand covered both her mouth and nose, and again she tried to pull away. She needed air. Her lungs shouted at her. Nothing. No air. She was going to pass out. Jesus.

Her knees sagged and he pulled his hand away slightly. The trickle of stale air was as refreshing as a glass of cold lemonade on a summer afternoon. He must have spotted her somehow and decided to trap her. Dear Lord, she needed help to get out of this one.

He released her arm. “I’ve got a gun. If you yell I’ll plug you. Now, I’m going to take my hand off your mouth. Where are the papers?” He moved his hand to her throat.

Anne massaged her cheeks.

He nudged her with the barrel of his ugly little gun. “Come on.”

She shook her head. “I told you the truth the first time. I gave them to the secret service.” She might as well go for broke. “They have agents everywhere. You can’t—”

“Shut up.” He prodded her harder. “I’d have known if you turned them in. If you don’t tell me the truth, I’m going to shoot you and throw your scrawny little corpse on the tracks.”

His eyes were wide, a thin rim of white showing all the way around. Anne drew in another breath. Whoever stayed cool would win this one. She resisted the urge to lick her lips. They’d win, or they’d get shot. At the moment it was a bit of a toss up.

“I’m telling you the truth. I gave the papers to Agent Erik Carter this afternoon. He took them to his superiors and they arranged for Tom and I to come back and get you to confess your involvement in the counterfeiting plan.”

“Tom.” The single word was so loaded with loathing that it carried the weight of an emotional atom bomb.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bon Voyage to me!

Ladies and Gent,

I am on my way to Sunny Denver, CO. The annual ACFW conference is gearing up and I am abundantly blessed to be a part of it. If you have any desire to write yourself I highly recommend ACFW as a place to learn craft. To be brutally honest, when I first started writing I turned my nose up at how-to books because I thought that writing was a talent from God. Either you had it or you didn't. Those books were for wannabes who would never break in.


God laughed at my presumption and I have since repented of my judginess. Writing is an art, a craft and a trade and to do it well you must learn and practice just as with any other art or craft or trade.

I promise to be back next week with more of Anne's adventures, and I hope to be a better author because of what I learn this week in Denver.

BTW, we're almost to the end of Girl Sleuth, I think. I have a few ideas of what I'd like to tackle next, anyone else want to offer suggestions? What would you like this blog to be?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Huge Book Signing!

During the ACFW conference in Denver next week there is going to be a huge book signing! Over 100 Christian authors will be participating and books will be available for sale. If you are in the area you won't want to miss this special opportunity.

The signing will be held on Saturday, 9/19/09 from 4:00-5:30, at the Mariott Tech Center in Denver. Hope to see you there and just to whet your appetite, here's the list of authors that will sign books:

Carolyne Aarsen
Diane Ashley
Ruth Axtell Morren
Rick Barry
Christina Berry
Lauralee Bliss
Diana Brandmeyer
Sandra Bricker
Margaret Brownley
Candace Calvert
Robin Caroll
Jeanie Smith Cash
Colleen Coble
Brandilyn Collins
Mary Connealy
Shirley Connolly
Margaret Daley
Susan Page Davis
Mary Davis
Janet Dean
Megan DiMaria
Lena Nelson Dooley
Wanda Dyson
Leanna Ellis
Pamela Ewen
Miralee Ferrell
Linda Ford
Tina Ann Forkner
Judy Gann
Jeff Gerke
Rhonda Gibson
Debby Giusti
Sandra Glahn
Elizabeth Goddard
Winnie Griggs
Cathy Marie Hake
Lisa Harris
Mary Hawkins
Roxanne Henke
Cynthia Hickey
Patti Hill
Denise Hunter
Annette Irby
Myra Johnson
Liz Johnson
Jenny Jones
Eileen Key
LAURIE Kingery
Kathleen Kovach
Harry Kraus
Jeanne Marie Leach
Tosca Lee
Julie Lessman
Loree Lough
Elizabeth Ludwig
Richard Mabry
Debbie Macomber
Joyce Magnin
Gail Gaymer Martin
Judy/Jude Martin-Urban/Urbanski
Debby Mayne
Aaron McCarver
Vickie McDonough
Dana Mentink
Robin Miller writing as Robin Caroll
DiAnn Mills
Stephanie Morrill
Janelle Mowery
Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Kevin Parsons
Golden Keyes Parsons
Donita K. Paul
Tracie Peterson
Allie Pleiter
Cara Putman
Tara Randel
Deborah Raney
Sandra Robbins
Kim Sawyer
Marc Schooley
Michael Sheehan
Shelley Shepard Gray
Ann Shorey
Beth Shriver
Sandra Lee Smith
Virginia Smith
Betsy St. Amant
Therese Stenzel
Stuart Stockton
Alison Strobel
Michelle Sutton
Camy Tang
Donn Taylor
Janice (Hanna) Thompson
Missy Tippens
Pamela Tracy
Carrie Turansky
Deborah Vogts
Jenness Walker
Dan Walsh
Susan May Warren
Michael Webb
Kit Wilkinson
Lisa Wingate
Beth Wiseman
Kimberley Woodhouse
Lenora Worth
Cheryl Wyatt
Kathleen Y'Barbo

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ACFW Conference Coming!

"The Premier Christian Fiction Conference"


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

SEPTEMBER 17 - 20, 2009

Bestselling authors, publishing industry representatives, and newcomers to Christian fiction writing will gather in Denver at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual conference September 17-20 to compare notes, learn from each other, and encourage one another in the pursuit of publishing goals.

This year’s conference theme , Standing Firm…Moving Forward, will especially inspire the full range of talent and dreams in the ever-changing publishing world today.

This amazing conference will feature representatives from major publishing houses like B & H, Guideposts, Zondervan, Harvest House, Barbour, Steeple Hill, Summerside Press, Bethany House, Waterbrook Multnomah, Marcher Lord Press, Tyndale House, and Thomas Nelson, and top literary agents who will meet with writers and identify promising proposals from both new and veteran novelists. Conferees will have access to publishing panels, professional critiques, and customized workshops based on skills and interests.

The keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author, Debbie Macomber, who has more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Learn more about the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference by visiting www.acfw.com. Click on the left sidebar on Annual Conference.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 35

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne scrambled for her door. “No way. I’m coming too.” What was she saying? She wanted to stay as far away from Rick Armstrong as she could.

Erik glared at her his arms crossed. “I don’t have time to argue about this.”

“No, what you don’t have time for is to search the entire station by yourself. We don’t have to argue, you know. Just be reasonable.”

The muscle in his jaw ticked, but at last he motioned her forward. “When we get in, you head to the left and I’ll take the right.”

She nodded.

He held the door open for her. “And don’t do anything stupid.”

“Like making condescending remarks to the people I’m working with?” Anne shot over her shoulder. She didn’t wait to hear his response but swept to the left of the door, her gaze scouring the sparse population of travelers.

The trouble with Armstrong was that aside from his beard, he looked perfectly average. Unless she saw his face, she wasn’t certain she would recognize him. On the other hand it ought to be fairly easy to spot a fellow with an inordinate interest in the ladies’ room.

She wracked her brain to see whether she had specified the location of the hiding place. It had been in her interests to be as vague as possible, so she didn’t think she had. It had been so crazy at the time she couldn’t be sure, however.

She had to think. What would Rick do in such circumstances? He seemed the kind of person more inclined to think than act. He had left the heavy lifting to his employees for the most part, only stepping in when he had no choice. Maybe she was going about her search all wrong.

Forget about splitting the station in half. There weren’t very many women in the cavernous station. It wouldn’t take long to canvass them and find out if they had been approached and asked to go in the ladies’ room and retrieve some documents.

Swallowing her reservations about approaching strangers, Anne headed straight for the first female she saw. A glitzily made up number in a sequin studded dress and ankle breaking high heels.

The woman blew out a long, sensuous strand of smoke before replying. “Naw, honey. I haven’t talked to nobody all night. This place is deader than a tent revival for my kind of work tonight.”

Anne thanked her hurriedly and rushed on. She couldn’t waste time being shocked. She stopped two more women who denied being approached by anyone.

She had to find Rick Armstrong. Good grief, what if he meant to hop a train somewhere as soon as he found that there were no documents awaiting him? She swallowed hard. He’d be gone for good. Why oh why had she ever thought of such a lousy lie in the first place?

She accosted a tired looking woman in a rumpled suit and asked her question.

“Way what is this? Are you two working some kind of con? Leave me alone before I call the police.”

Panting, Anne shook her head. “No. It’s not like that at all. The man is a criminal, he’s looking for—please, can you just tell me where he is?”

Something in her frantic manner must have struck a chord with the woman. She pointed toward a brown coated man heading away from them. It could be Armstrong.

Anne flung a thank you over her shoulder as she sprinted away.

Must Reads

  • All the Tea in China-Jane Orcutt www.revellbooks.com
  • In the Shadow of the Sun King-Golden Keyes Parsons www.goldenkeyesparsons.com
  • Wings of a Dream-Anne Mateer