A Second Helping -An Excerpt

Tips

Debbie

From the first time I saw her I knew I had to taste those soft, cherry lips. I watched as she slid the lip gloss wand over her lower lip, how it glistened in the summer sun. She rubbed her lips together, giving a kiss to the air.

We were attending summer session at the University. It was a hot, dry summer, and Debbie was fond of wearing white denim shorts with purple flowers printed on them. She wore them rolled up exposing her slender upper thigh, how I longed to touch her smooth, tanned skin. To run my fingers through her long wavy dirty blonde hair, that she kept pulled back in a loose braid. She gathered her things and headed towards class. I followed her, mesmerized by her swaying hips and the click clack of her sandals against the pavement. My obsession now had a purpose, to kiss Debbie Stevens before summer’s end.

After class on Wednesday I caught up to her on her way to lunch.
“Hey, Debbie. Would you like to grab a slice? My treat,” I smiled, waiting for her response.
She gave me the once over glance.
“Sure, why not, what was your name again?”
“Charlie,”

We walked across campus and down to Mario’s Pizza. Where we split a medium pepperoni pie.
“So how are classes going?” she asked.
I finished chewing and took a drink of my soda, clearing my throat.
“Fine, except for creative writing, I need something for a short film,”
“Do you have anything in mind?” she asked, sipping on her soda. How I wished I could be that straw, slipping between her lips.
“Well I kinda wanted to run something by you,”
Debbie set her drink down, a smile spread across her mouth.
“Really?”
“Yeah, if you’re interested?”
“Well my curiosity is definitely peaked,”
We made plans to meet later at her place. I went to the computer lab and typed up a script.

~ ~ ~ ~

Debbie answered the door.
“Hey, Charlie. Sorry about the heat stupid AC isn’t working,”
“It’s fine,”
I watched as she walked into the kitchen, she was only wearing a short red silk robe. I could see her hard nipples rubbing against the fabric. I swallowed, watching her move gracefully around the kitchen, grabbing two tall glasses and filling them with ice.
“Is tea ok?”
“Sure,” I answered without hearing the question.
“Take a seat,” she gestured towards the table.
I sat as she brought over the glasses of iced tea.

“So, let’s see it,” she asked, taking a drink of her iced tea.
I opened my backpack, pulled out a red folder and handed it to her. She set it down in front of her, opened it and started reading to herself. She reached over and took another drink, how I wanted to be the edge of that glass. Her lips sliding over me.

“Hum,” she closed the folder. I took a long drink of my iced tea.
“Do you have everything to do this now?”
“Yes, I only need my camera… well and you,” I said, giving her a smile. She giggled.
“Well ok then, let’s get this done,”

She stood up and extended her hand towards me. My heart pounded against my chest, her long slender fingers, the faint smell of vanilla. I stood, grabbed my backpack and took her hand, soft and warm. My knees shook as she led me to her bedroom.

“Here it is,” she turned on a lamp next to the bed. The room was drenched in lavender, the bedding, curtains, and even the throw rug all various shades of lavender. The queen size, four post bed complete with canopy took up most of the room. A smaller dresser along with a vanity sat against the far wall.
“Nice room,” I said, taking out my camera.

Debbie laid on the bed and put her feet up on the footboard. I stood in front of her feet and looked them over. I wanted to touch them, to run my fingers along her arches, to caress her toes.
“What?” she sat up on her elbows looking at me.
“Do you have any nail polish?”
“There should be some over on the vanity,”
I turned to look, there was make-up, perfume, combs, hair brushes and an assortment of nail polish. I thumbed through them.
“This will work,” I held it up for her to see.
“Fine,”

Sinful Colors, Daredevil, pink in hue. I found it fitting for Debbie’s toes, I pulled the chair from the vanity and sat eye level with her feet.
“Comfortable?”
“Sure,” she laid back down against the pillows and closed her eyes. I began painting her toenails, gently holding each toe while I carefully applied the Daredevil pink. I started to feel flush, might have been the heat, it was warm in her room even though the window was cracked and a small fan was blowing towards the bed. I finished painting her nails, I was admiring my work when she spoke.

“Can you do me a favor, while they dry?”
I looked up at her slightly startled by her voice.
“Sure,”
“Can you grab me a water out of the fridge?”
I nodded, stood up, put the chair back in front of the vanity and left the room. I grabbed two bottles of water out of the fridge, opened one and downed it.
“That’s better,” I mumbled as I returned to the bedroom.
I handed her the bottle of water.
“Thanks, nice job on my nails,” she opened the bottle and drank.

“Are you ready to shoot this?” I asked.
She finished off the water.
“If you are,”
I smiled at her, and picked up my camera.

I focused in on her freshly painted toes and zoomed out slowly. I moved around the bed, panning up from her toes to her feet, ankles and legs. She sat up and ran her hands down her legs, pausing at her ankles then running them back up her legs. I followed her hands back up her legs. I stopped at her thighs, and panned back down to her feet, I zoomed back to her toes focusing on her nails.

The Edition Doesn’t Change the Story

Before we get to it, we read for the story. Wether it be a first edition, a trade paperback, a mass market paperback or a book club edition we read books for the stories they tell.

The standard definition of a book club edition book is a book published by a ‘book club’ with cheaper materials. The look of a book club edition is smaller than a standard hardback, with no price or barcode on it, and usually says book club edition on the inside jacket flap.

Not to be confused with mass market paperbacks, which are smaller, less durable, and lower in price paperbacks. Who’s main purpose was for a wider distribution of mainstream books.

Quick history of mass market paperbacks: Kurt Enoch’s Albatross Books in Germany 1931. Allen Lane’s Penguin Books in England 1935. Robert Fair DeGraff’s Pocket Books in the United States 1938.

A few notable mass market paperbacks publishers: Ace Books est. 1952 specialized in science fiction, mysteries and westerns. Avon est. 1941 centered on publishing original works across all genres. In the 70’s Avon became a major publisher in the romance gener. Bantam est. 1945 started publishing mysteries and westerns. Turned to horror during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Ballantine est. 1952 started a trend in fantasy by publishing The Hobbit for a mass audience. Ballantine was acquired by Random House in the late 70’s.

A few quick mentions: Dell est. 1943. Fawcett. Popular Library est. 1942 was acquired by Fawcett in 1970.

My personal take away is read what appeals to you, regardless of format. Hardback, paperback, trade paperback, book club editions or mass market paperbacks just enjoy reading.

Some of the book club editions in my collection:

The Man with the Golden Gun, A James Bond Novel by Ian Fleming. A New American Library of World Literature 1965 Glidrose Production Ltd. Jacket by Paul Bacon Studio

Slaughterhouse -Five or The Children’s Crusade A New Novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. A Seymour Lawrence book/Delacorte press 1969 Jacket by Paul Bacon.

Look even a Kurt Vonnegut Jr autograph on the cover.

The Summons by Peter Lovesey A Mystery Novel The Mysterious press -Warner Books 1995 A Time Warner Company. Jacket by Jackie Merri Myers and Mel Grant.

The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul -6 novels 1 volume. Fawcett division of Random House 1997. Jacket by Danilo Ducak.

Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie. Walter J. Black Roslyn N.Y. 1956 -Red Badge Detectives/ The Detective Book Club.

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie. Dodd, Mead and Company 1969

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie. Dood, Mead and Company 1972. Jacket by J. Caroff.

Do you have any book club editions on your bookshelf?

Queen Anne Victorian

Mortimer West owned Rose’s Cafe on main street, named after his now late wife. Rose and Mortimer were soulmates.

When Mortimer returned from World War II, after serving as a cook aboard the SS Endicott. They married and settled into a Queen Anne Victorian style house in Kalamazoo Michigan. Rose loved the two story house with wrap around porch and arched entryways.

On their first viewing of the house Rose stood in the entryway and faced the front door. Above the door was a stained glass window with forget me nots and ivy vines intertwined. She knew that she was home. They made their home opening Rose’s Cafe shortly after their third anniversary.

It was a Thursday afternoon when Mortimer decided to begin with the attic in preparation for selling the house. It was Rose that kept the house a warm and inviting home. Without her the house was cold and empty. After collecting everything into the front room, Mortimer poured himself a glass of Jameson Whiskey and took a seat in front of a pile of boxes. As he worked through all the odds and ends including a rubber chicken that he held up a gave a slight giggle about before tossing it into the donation box.

Towards the end of his sorting he came across an antique looking book, about the size of a telephone book. Bound in a dusty red leather. He thumbed through the book, deciding that the text was in Latin. He sat it aside to take it to an aquantice, Philip Hicks a dealer in antiques.

When Philip handled the dust red leather book he felt a slight twinge. “I’ll give you a hundred for it.” He offered to Mortimer. Mortimer agree to the price.

After Mortimer left Philip locked the shop door, flipped the sign to closed and shut off the lights. Philip lived in the studio apartments above the antique shop. He sat on the kitchen floor sounded by five lit candles. He opened the book and began to chant.

The hairs on the back of his neck began to tingle, as a bright light appeared before him. “At last.” He wispered to himself, as he took the book with him and stepped into the light.

The Claiborne’s

Makimaki classified as a dwarf planet is slightly smaller than the Milky Ways planet Pluto. Sits on the outer rings of a neighboring solar system.

Archie and Amelia Claiborne a couple in there golden years are the only inhabitants of Makimaki. Archie Claiborne was a well published paleontologist till his discovery of a fossil that he named ‘Max’. Archie was determined to prove that ‘Max’ was an alien. After losing his standing in the scientific community he gladly took the opportunity to explore the new planet Makimaki.

Amelia a botanist in her former profession, she and Archie spend their days collecting samples from the planet lush green forest landscape. They reside in a dome containing a quaint little house and a respectable sized English garden.

During one of these typical days a figure of a girl appeared in the Claiborne’s garden. She looked to be about eight wearing a blue dress with white lace trimming the collar. A ribbon holding her blonde locks away from here rosy cheeks and red lips. The girl skipped through the garden and knocked on the kitchen door.

Amelia answered the door. “Oh my. Hello dear.” “Hello.” The girl answered. “I’m Amelia and this is Archie.” She said as Archie joined her at the door.

“What should we call you dear?” The girl thought for a moment and then answered brightly. “Lilly.” “Well hello Lilly, would you like to come in for tea?” Amelia asked. A smile spread across Lilly’s face, as she entered the house.

Four Authors You Need to Know

Spring is upon us are so are these outstanding book recommendations.

Dark White 

By Neil Christiansen

A modern noir thriller. Gavin Gayle is a myth, a Chicago urban legend. The man that takes care of things when the justice system fails. The shocking truth is, he’s real. Sent to prison unjustly, he is secretly released in order to exact revenge on the unjust by a corrupt State’s Attorney. His life is a secret that she controls. When Gavin’s ex-girlfriend is accused of the murder of a Justice Department lawyer looking into Chicago corruption, Gavin must choose between saving his own life or hers. Intrigue, deception, and murder propel this nail biting thriller to its shocking conclusion. The only question is, who survives?

Neil Christiansen has a way with words and imagery that pulls you into the gritty underworld of Chicago, in his modern noir thriller Dark White. Dynamic characters finding their way through the gray landscape of morality. Hold on it’s quiet the ride. -My Review 

The Ghost Beside Me

By Lee Hall

The paranormal is a subject that E. Neville holds with the utmost content. Being an introvert by choice, he leads a lonely existence full of torment and anxiety for his affliction of preferred solitude. In this diary account Neville shares much of his woes and while settling into a new living space he begins to encounter a series of night-time disturbances like no other. Soon after he faces a battle of self-doubt and belief that something could be reaching out. Is this all a dream? Or is a soul of the ‘departed’ persuasion trying to make contact for a reason? Eventually they make an acquaintance which becomes much more as the barrier of life and death is broken by the power of love. 

Sweet, enduring and unique. I enjoyed the diary or journal style entries. It helps illustrate Edwards thoughts and perception of his experience. Also the description of room 4 is perfect, it sucks you in, so that you are there with them in that little quaint room. Full of moving descriptions, believable dialogue and heart, a must read, anytime of year. -My Review 

The Nightshade Cabal

By Chris Patrick Carolan

All Isaac Barrow wants is to be left alone to pursue his supernatural research and tinker with his inventions. But when you’re the only technomancer openly practicing the craft in 1880s Halifax, trouble has a way of finding you. When a routine mechanical service call reveals the grisly handiwork of the Nightshade Cabal – an underground cult of necromancers – Barrow finds himself in a race against time to put a stop to the Cabal’s depredations before they can kill anyone else and turn them into… office machinery?

Then there’s the mystery of Emily Skye, a missing teenager with strange abilities of her own. Believing her disappearance to be connected to the Nightshade Cabal, Barrow agrees to help track down the missing girl. But even if he can find her, will Miss Skye aid him in his struggle against the Cabal? Or might she turn out to be the deadliest threat of all?

Chris Patrick Carolan’s debut novel The Nightshade Cabal pulls you into a dark, mysterious world of magic and lore. With Isaac Barrow leading you down into a familiar yet new world of 1880’s Halifax. Imagery that sucks you in drenched in rich detail and mystery, The Nightshade Cabal is a trip worth taking all the way to the end. I look forward to Chris Patrick Carolan’s next journey. -My Review 

Death Dresses Poorly

By Marc Watson 

Ethan is a directionless twenty-something who has finally cast off the heartbreaking responsibilities of his broken boyhood home, but not without irreversible scars and sarcasm. After surviving a tragic accident, he begins to suspect he may actually have something to live for. Is it a hidden purpose? His new beginning? Finding a decent cup of coffee? The answer is unclear, until one morning a familiar stranger appears. The poorly dressed man at Ethan’s door seems to have all the answers. But with those answers comes a grave proposition. Witty and realistically sarcastic; full of self-redemption and the dark, cosmic inner-workings of life and death. Comically sharp yet lighthearted, Death Dresses Poorly is the bittersweet tale of a young man’s journey through the discarded baggage of his childhood. 

A dark, comical acid trip with death as your guide.

An outstanding job on mixing everyday life with the unknown. An enjoyable read filled with humor and emotion. You will surely enjoy the trip. -My Review

 
Of course mine:

Detective Stories 

By Megan Hinde 

Collection of detective stories featuring Detective James Andrews. “Secret admirer?” Officer Roberts asked handing Detective James Andrews a red heart shaped box, wrapped with a white ribbon. “Not likely,” James said, taking the box, setting it down on the desk in front of him. James pulled the white ribbon that made a bow around the box. He slid the top of the box up, lifting it off. “What the…” James pushed back from his desk standing up. “Get a crime scene kit up here,” He ordered.

Blue Denim

Radio announcer: “World-renowned Chef Joseph Callahan is still missing. Chef Callahan disappeared from his home four days ago. If you have any information on…” Shelly clicked off the broadcast. Taking her mug of fresh brewed English Breakfast tea with her as she made her way down the rickety wooden steps into the cellar. “So Chef what do you think of my little bunker?”

Chef Joseph Callahan raised his head from his corner. Where Shelly had shackled him to the cinder block wall. He cleared his dry throat. “Why am I here?” He croaked out.

Shelly gave him a grin as she took a seat behind her Singer sewing machine. “Well Chef, when the rapture comes, I’m going to need you to cook for me.”

Shelly picked up a long piece of blue denim fabric, gave it a shake and held it up towards Joseph. “How about this for your apron?” She then set to work sewing an apron for Chef Callahan.

Muirne, Druid

The moonlight dripped through the forests canopy illuminating the small clearing. Tall ancient oaks surrounded by lush green moss.

Muirne entered the clearing the moonlight shimmering off her tall, slender frame. Highlighting her toned calf’s, abs, and shoulders. The moon elf druid being pulled to the clearing by a haunting voice.

Holding her oak staff and raising her hand towards the dark sky, the staff began to glow a rich dark green. The winds picked up creating a cyclone around Muirne. The vines crawled up her legs, slithering around her waist as she chanted.

“Teacht chugam Teacht chugam. Ciallmhar!”

All of a sudden the winds became still. A loud crack of thunder rang out in the clearing. A tall broad shouldered figure dressed in gold robes appeared next to her. A deep voice said. ” Why have you awoken me?”

“Wait a minute, Rob, can she do that? Doesn’t she need to roll first?” Chad asked. “Umm, I think it’s OK. Go on Carol, what happens next?” Rob said leaning in over the table. Carol grinned and cleared her throat. “I’ve woken you, because our world is in chaos. The dark one has set upon us.” Carol continued.

“See I told you she would make things more interesting.” Rob whispered to Chad as they listened to Carol. Chad nodded in agreement.

*Teacht chugam, Ciallmhar (Gaelic for Come to me, Wise one)*

Witness


Detective James Andrews parked on the edge of the dirt road that ran along the valley. The wind was warm and a thunderstorm was brewing out to the west. James made his way down the embankment to the open field of overgrown grass.


“What do we have?” he asked the responding officer.
“Female, dark hair, between 20 and 25 years old, approximately 5’4” 115 lbs, knocked unconscious, found by Mr. Keller who was out walking his dogs Buster and Mack.” the officer
reported.
“Ok, maybe next time don’t worry about the names of the dogs.”
“Yes, sir.”
“The woman was taken to Community Hospital, she is stable but unconscious.”


James made his way over to where the woman was found, the grass was matted down in a circular area. There was blood splatter to one side, and an object in the grass caught his eye. He wandered over to the object, and bent down.
“Hey, come photograph this and bring me an evidence bag.”
The officer handed him a bag and he used it to pick up the object. He held it up; it was heavy, round, flat, and ceramic.


“Looks like a drink coaster.” the officer said.
“You know Officer Kent, your powers of observation are outstanding.” James said, as he sealed the coaster into the evidence bag.
“Get that to forensics and keep me informed on the woman.”
“Yes, Sir.” Officer Kent said, taking the bag from James.


James made his way back up to his car, he lit a cigarette and took a deep drag as the heavy
raindrops started dotting his windshield.

“This is Detective Andrews.” James answered the phone. “Detective, this is Nurse Miller from Community Hospital, you requested a call when the Jane Doe woke up.”

“Yes, thank you, I’ll be right down to talk to her.” As James entered room 10, he announced himself as Detective Andrews of the downtown precinct. “James?” The woman in the bed asked sitting up. James gave her a once over. “Tami?” He said.

“It’s Tina.” She said sharply. James gave her an apologetic grin. “Yes. Tina, I remember now. How are you doing?” James pulled up a chair along side the hospital bed.

“I think I’m ok. Doc says it was a mild concussion. No real damage done.”

“That’s good. Do you remember what happened?” Tina took a sip of water from the straw sticking out of the glass. She took a deep breath. “I was out on my usual route running. When I crossed to cut through the field something hit me in the back of the head. And I woke up here.” Tina said, as the corners of her mouth dropped into a frown.

James reached over and gave her hand a quick squeeze. “If you think of anything else give me a call.”

*Slowly continuing Detective James Andrews decent into madness*

Check out the beginning, before we get to the end

10 Authors Worth Checking Out – Thanks #BookTube

First off a huge shout out to Je Board Crab shorts aka Jason, and The Jeff Word aka Jeff Terry. Two people that know how to talk about books. Do yourself a favor and go check them out on YouTube.

https://youtube.com/c/JeBoardCrabshorts

https://youtube.com/c/THEJEFFWORD

On to the 10 Authors Worth Checking Out in alphabetical order, because it’s easier that way.

Poppy Z. Brite -An American author of Southern Gothic Horror and Dark Fantasy. Check out Exquisite Corpse.

Philip Fracassi – An award winning author of horror. Check out Behold the Void, Boys in the Valley, and Beneath a Pale Sky.

Stephen Graham Jones – An author of horror. Check out Mongrels, My Heart is a Chainsaw, and The Only Good Indian.

Thomas Olde Heuvelt – A Dutch author of horror, magical realism, and fantasy. Check out HEX, and ECHO.

Grady Hendrix – An American author of horror, and supernatural fiction. Check out Horrorstore, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism.

Joe R. Lansdale – An American author of western, mystery, adventure, crime, and horror. Check out Paradise Sky, Jane Goes North, and Big Lizard.

Josh Malerman – An American author of suspense horror. Check out Bird Box, Malorie, Unbury Carol, and Goblin.

Robert Mccammon – An American author of horror. Check out Swan Song, and The Listener.

Marisha Pessl – An American author of literary fiction. Check out Night Film.

Sarah Pinborough – An English author of adult thrillers, fantasy and cross-genra novels. She also writes young adult novels under the pen-name Sarah Silverwood. Check out Behind Her Eyes.

How to #BookTube

Should I write this, nope. I’m I going to write this, yep. #SorryNotSorry

Things that you must say/do in order to call yourself a ‘book tuber’

Intro must be ‘Welcome to or back to my channel I’m (insert name and literature pun channel name)

Hold up book and squeal about that cover art. Must have an aesthetic bookshelf/bookcase background.

Must show or mention Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, or Charles Dickens to prove that you do read. (That English Lit degree getting it’s props)

Must have sponsored content Book of the Month and Wine subscription boxes are top tier.

Must do TBR Monthly stacks, #booktube tag question videos, and of course cream of the crop Book Haul Videos, with extra points for shooting B roll in the bookstores visited.

Now things I just don’t understand

Reading vlog videos, filming yourself sitting or laying while reading a book.

Updating said reading vlog videos with sitting up in bed doing the ‘you guys, oh my God, this book’

Are the only people who watch book tubers other book tubers?

I know, I’m harsh but until someone can explain why #BookTube is a thing. I’m going to question it.