I am finishing up my 2nd book and writing the last chapter, as we speak. It will go out to my group of beta-readers next week, then the editing process. The final release date is March 1st! Woo Woo! All I can say is…WOW! This is one scary F#*$ing book! I have given myself nightmares from this one- and I LOVE scary stuff. It has required more thorough amounts of research than the first and I will be glad when this one is over! It has been a bittersweet experience for me; the subject matter has been difficult for me to write about yet at the same time so very fascinating. I am once again humbled at the things I have learned from this process. I’m learning from mistakes in the writing, editing, publishing process from my first book; hopefully creating my masterpiece with the second. 😉 Thank you for your support and prayers!
Love, love, love
Here is a unique idea for a holiday appetizer. It is an Italian Antipasto platter and its one of my most popular dishes. For those of you who have read my book (‘Marley Parker’), you know that Tony is Marley’s father and he loves too cook Italian food. Well, this recipe happens to be a favorite of my father as well, his name is Tony Libri. It’s pretty obvious that the character of Tones is based off of my dad. I love creating characters based on people who have made an indelible impact on me.
Sliced Salami or sliced pepperoni
Chunks of Gorganzola cheese
Sliced Parmesean cheese
Handful black olives & green olives
Arrange all ingredients on a large platter, drizzle good olive oil over the top, then sprinkle with ground black pepper. Voila!
I had an awesome morning! This is a pic of me with Dr. Ron Havens. He was my favorite Psych. Professor at UIS. He agreed to be a consultant on the upcoming marley Parker book; ‘A Rumor of Ghosts’. The character of ‘Doc’ (Dr. Will Warner) was 100% based on him. He is such a wonderful teacher and an inspiration.
The Interpretation of Dreams
As we approached Dr. Hopkins’ office, I could already hear her no nonsense voice as she talked into her cell phone, “Please tell your contact at FOX that I just signed a contract with another major network and I’m not interested”.
Doc glanced over at me. “It’s okay, she’s expecting us,” he reassured me as we stepped into Dr. Hopkins’ office.
The small room had the distinct scent of eucalyptus and lavender. The walls were plastered with awards, certifications, and diplomas from universities on the west coast. Ever so slightly more impressive than my ‘wall of no shame’ at home. I took another minute to study her choice of decor. The wall to my left held a massive bookcase containing hundreds of books on psychology and philosophy. I recognized a few famous authors’ names printed on some of the bindings, like Friedrich Nietzsche, Erick Erikson, and Carl Jung. I instantly recognized one of Sigmund Freud’s books on dream analysis, sitting directly next to a slightly taller book, written by his daughter, Anna Freud, on Child Psychology. Whenever I heard Freud’s name I couldn’t help but laugh, remembering the way I summed him up in a high school paper in under ten words: He was a drug addict with an oedipal complex. Sitting on top of the book shelf sat a large laughing Buddha statue with his prominent fat belly and bald head. There were several ancient looking artifacts, which I assumed were her homage to Freud. I remembered reading somewhere that he was fascinated by these little statues and had collected over 2,000 of them. Something about how he believed psychoanalysis to be similar in nature to archeology. Both professions required digging through the past and putting pieces together.
“Marley, thank you for coming. Please have a seat.” She gestured to one of two chairs on the opposite side of her glass-topped desk. Can I get you anything?”
“No, thank you, I’m fine.” I smiled politely, wondering what the hell this was all about.
“Alright, I’ll give it a try. Thank you.” I replied.
“Tea?” She asked Doc.
“Yes, please.” He answered her while curiously studying the contents of her book case.
Dr. Hopkins reached over to a file cabinet that served as a provisional countertop and retrieved two small teacups, sans handles, and set them in front of Doc and myself. I watched as she poured steaming hot tea into our tiny tea cups from a beautiful beige cast iron tea pot.
“Thank you both for coming,” Cat addressed the both of us. “Marley, how have you been these last couple of weeks?” She asked me in a somewhat maternal tone. For a split second, I wondered if she was calling me into her office for counseling.
“Fine.” I took a cautious sip of my tea before continuing. I wasn’t sure just quite how much information I wanted to reveal. I didn’t exactly think they would approve of my vigilante tactics. “I’ll be better once we all know who’s responsible for the recent murder.”
“That’s why I wanted to see you today.” Cat spoke slowly and quietly. She annunciated each syllable and spoke with purpose. I admired that about her, I tend to talk before I think. “Do you really think it’s wise going rogue the way you are? What’s in it for you, Marley?”
“Well, not only is it personal for me, but it’s a story. One that could really help my future career in journalism.” I could sense her disapproval as I continued. “I don’t mean to sound callus, but it’s a tough field to break into. I’m not exactly a Mensa candidate, but I’m good at this.”
“She does have a point,” Doc interjected. “If she cracked this case and was the first to take it to print, she could pretty much write her own ticket. At least in Greenbriar, anyway.”
“Well, I certainly can appreciate an ambitious woman who’s not afraid to go after what she wants. You don’t exactly sound like you can be swayed, so I’ll get on with why I asked you here today.” She paused longer than seemed necessary before continuing.
“Do you believe in extra sensory perception?” she asked frankly.
“Like ESP?” I giggled. “Psychic abilities? Woooo.” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud yet again. Even though, I was the only one. “Oh, you’re being serious.” I looked over at Doc, and he was not smiling and neither was Cat.
“I’ve never really given it much thought, to be honest. I guess it all seems like hocus-pocus to me. I was raised Presbyterian, so…no. Not really. No.” My voice trailed off.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to be insulting. I’ve just never had any experience with… the supernatural, shall we say?”
I heard Doc give a little chuckle next to me. “I’m guessing it’s not what you may have pictured, Marley.” He spoke up with that permanent look of subtle amusement on his face. “ESP is a sort of a feeling or a dream that Cat sometimes has. She’s not communicating with the spirit world or anything,” he smiled broadly.
“He’s absolutely right.” Cat said. “Typically, when I have these feelings, they’re for good reason.” Her self-assured tone, made me want to buy whatever she was selling. Yes, I may be gullible, but I wanted to trust her.
“Ok. I’m afraid to ask, but why are you telling me this?” I asked, looking Cat dead in the eyes, not completely sure I wanted to know the answer to my own question.
Cat slowly, walked around to the front of her desk, taking an informal seat directly in front of me. I could sense that whatever she was about to say, was going to be delicate. She gently picked up my hands and placed them in hers. They felt cool and papery. Her voice had a slight tremble as she began to speak.
“Marley, I think you’re a exceptionally unique young lady. You have a very strong energy force that surrounds you.”
I looked at her curiously. “Energy force?”
“Well, you have a very innocent soul, a bright spirit, if you will. I believe that you are truly a kind and benevolent person and that this energy you have reflects that. In other words, you’re pure of heart. This is a unique quality. It’s unusual to come by. People with bad intentions or evil in their hearts will always be drawn to your light.”
I felt immediate confusion settle in. “I’m not sure I understand?” I asked, trying to remain calm.
“There’s simply no way of putting this delicately, Marley. I believe that you are in eminent danger.”
“Yes. Someone wishes you harm. Listen, I’ve been having these sorts of visions, if you will. About you. They are vague and unclear, but there is no mistaking the central message.” She took another deep breath before continuing. “Evil is upon your doorstep.”
I stood up, overtaken by the sudden wave of fear that had just penetrated my bones.
“Look, I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time now, and I’m always careful. But I appreciate your concern. I really do.” I stood up and started to turn when, I heard Cat jump off of her desk and yell out, “Wait!”
She grabbed my arm, yanking me over to her. I winced as I felt her fingernails dig into my skin. She pulled me in close to her with surprising strength. I felt like a child who about to be reprimanded for being flippant about a serious punishment. She tightly grabbed a hold of my shoulders and in an unusually eerie tone said, “Open your eyes.”
I am finishing up my second book, ‘A Rumor of Ghosts’. This will be part 2 of the Marley Parker series. I’m obsessing over the ending, as this will open up the third book. So, I am asking my social media friends; Is it a smart idea to kill off the love interest or should he keep making random reoccurences throughout the series? The shock value of killing him off appeals greatly to me but he also provides interesting material. I do think I would miss him terribly if he died…