Sunday, January 04, 2015

Coming March 2015!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Turn Does The Year
By Stephen B. Bagley

the old year turns
either onto a new path
or onto the same
with only minor changes

we raise a cup or not
as it may be hoping it will
even as we realize
it might not be as hoped

in this heartbeat
between then and now
and what comes after
drink deep the bittersweet

we are promised nothing
but we plan and plan
and if the fates be kind
some plans will bloom

we cannot make promises
we might not keep
even though we will try
and cry and laugh and run

dance with me or
love with me maybe
pray with me perhaps
kiss sweet lips now

think of what we leave
behind walk toward what
is before us hold my hand
as the old year turns new

(Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Contributing to the heat death of the universe

Was watching a show on the Discovery Science Channel -- can't tell you which one because I didn't pay attention -- but the scientist on it talked about how every living thing contributes to entropy, how being alive is a constant journey toward disorder and how using the energy we do is an infinitely small contributor to the eventual heat death of the universe. Yeah, happy stuff. I think I switched over to watch a movie at that point. Probably Guardians of the Galaxy, which I enjoyed greatly.

Later, over a hot cup of chai latte, I begin to think about what the scientist said. We do contribute to disorder by being alive. We have our own personal carbon footprint. Energy is used by our gadgets, cars, machines, buildings ... we build a debt up by simply being alive. It's mostly a factor of our current technology; four thousand years ago, we lived short lives. Our impact was less; we simply didn't survive long enough to have much of a footprint.

We can reduce our carbon footprint by doing easy things: Take public transportation when available, don't use plastic when we can avoid it, use recyclable plastic when we can, use more glass and paper containers, change the air filters in our heaters and air conditioners, take our own bags to the store, weatherstrip our houses and buildings, and so on. I'm sure you can think of several things that are fairly easy to do. Naturally, we won't see much of a impact, particularly if no one else does any of these items. But in a huge group, it's amazing how much energy we can save.

But will anyone do them? Some of them are not particularly convenient. Some of them take more time. And in the short run, more money. I do carry my own canvas bags to use; they're cheap and sturdy. We do change the air filters. Our house has nice windows. We don't have access to public transportation here. We probably keep our thermostat too high in the winter and too low in the summer. And so on. It's hard to work up enthusiasm about results when they're dependent on so many people.

Not much point to this. Just where my mind has been wandering. Next week, I'll be talking about my plans for 2015. This week, a couple of visits to the doctor. Actually, doctors. House cleaning. Chores. Planning.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Books for Christmas and after!

Blackbirds First Flight 
Anthology - Enjoy chilling poems and dark tales in this collection from Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, & Tamara Siler Jones.
Buy on Amazon
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By Stephen B. Bagley
Poetry - Enjoy more than 50 sensual & moving poems, including the award winning "Non-Communion," "Torrent," & "Endless."
Buy on Amazon
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Floozy & Other Stories
By Stephen B. Bagley
Humor - Laugh at these hilarious tales from the author's decidedly different life.
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Buy on Lulu

Murder by Dewey Decimal
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the librarian? Who's next to die and why? 1st in Measurements of Murder series.
Buy on Amazon
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Buy on Lulu

Murder by the Acre (Second Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! New expanded edition. 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
Buy on Lulu
Buy on Amazon

Murder by the Acre (First Edition)
By Stephen B. Bagley
Mystery - Who killed the ladies man? Bernard, Lisa & the chief are back! 2nd in Measurements of Murder series.
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes & Noble

Tales from Bethlehem
By Stephen B. Bagley
Inspirational - Have you ever wondered about everyone else in Bethlehem on the night of the Nativity? These charming and touching Tales will tell you their stories.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Smart phones or another horror of modern life

By Stephen B. Bagley
Excerpted from A Little Floozy.

The perfect Christmas gift this year—according to numerous ads on TV and online—is apparently a “smart” phone. Or a smart phone upgrade. I don’t have a smart phone; my phone just makes  and receives calls. It’s a dumb phone. And I’m happy about that.

Many people think it’s strange that I don’t like the smart phones. Well, they think other things are strange, too, but we’re not going to talk about those. It’s strange, they say, that I love computers, robots, lasers, telescopes, cameras, anything with lots of buttons and lights, and rockets, but dislike smart phones.

But I do. I find smart phones annoying. Their screens are tiny. Their buttons are small. They make weird noises, and people use them to post embarrassing and/or naughty pictures online. Worse, people use them to “text” each other. “Text” is not a verb. You can’t “text” someone just as you can’t “font” or “comma” or “semicolon” someone. Or you shouldn’t if you have any respect for the English language.

I have been told the smart phones are little computers, but they are not! You cannot use a smart phone to break the encryption on a secret government site... not that you should do that under any circumstances. The FBI knows—or will when they read this—that I am not doing that and certainly not encouraging anyone to do that again. (Agent McHenry, how are those nervous hives? Hope they’re cleared up by now.)

The most annoying thing about smart phones—well, the second most annoying thing about them—is how it lets people look things up. They “Google®” it. (“Google” is also not a verb, but that may be a fight I will have to concede.) I have an awesome brain filled with millions of interesting and often strange facts. Say, for instance, you wonder how Genghis Khan died. I can tell you both stories: how supposedly he fell from his horse and died from internal injuries, or how supposedly a captured princess did something terrible to him with a knife and he never recovered. But do you ask me? No. You just “Google” it with your phone. My brain is loaded with all these wonderful items, but you instead use your smart phone. A pox on it!

Of course, my brain is faster than you looking it up, but once in a rare, rare, rare instance, I might possibly remember wrong. I might tell you that Khan died in July when he really died August 18, 1227. July, August, it was in the summer, okay? You didn’t know. If it hadn’t been for your phone, I could have told you that he died in January 1220 by eating undercooked badger and you would have believed it. The thing is I don’t understand why you’re so interested in Genghis Khan anyway. It’s weird. Get a life.

The actual most annoying thing about smart phones is how people will be talking to you and they get a text and then they interrupt talking to you to carry on a conversation with someone else—thus implying I am not as interesting as the other person they are “texting” to. This is insulting, and I find throwing silverware at them immediately makes them pay attention to me again, as they should. Knives are particularly effective. (Once again, just kidding Agent McHenry. I am not violating my parole with weapons, depending on how you define “weapons” since I think we’re all agreed that lasers, rockets, and firearms are not under that definition, but rather under the heading of “good, clean fun” or “party favors.”)

A friend pointed out that maybe all this texting nonsense is the universe getting revenge on me for not paying attention to other people when they are talking. He said a few more things, but I wasn’t listening. If you aren’t interesting enough to keep my attention, then the problem is with you. You need to up your game. Talk about a subject I’m interested in—for instance, my general brilliance and sweet humility—and I will hang on your every word and might even quote you.

People use their smart phones all the time everywhere. Weddings, funerals, church, even during the Sacred Rituals of the Poached Warthog Lodge, it doesn’t matter. The smart phone is ubiquitous. (This is a real word. You might not know it since it’s not often used by those who send texts. Too many letters, I guess.)

The other Sunday morning while sitting on the balcony at church—which I do because it seems to make my minister less nervous—I looked out over the congregation and noticed a man using his phone to text in church. Fortunately I had my binoculars with me and could easily see he was talking to a friend about going out to eat after the service. You will be proud to know that I did the only thing a decent, God-fearing man could do. I took the collection plate, flung it like a Frisbee® and bounced it off his head. He was so surprised. And unconscious for about twenty minutes.

I think the height of the balcony may have added to the force of the throw, but it could have been an angel, too. At least, that was my defense in front of the deacon board. They were overwhelmed by my piercing logic and silenced by my wise words. They sat there quietly with the oddest expression on their faces. They looked...frightened. It was quite strange and offsetting.

I may visit another church for a while. For some reason, I have started to receive a lot of brochures for other churches, several in other towns and one in another state. Curious timing.

I actually have a phone that could be smart if I was willing to pay the data charges. AT&T® telemarketers are baffled by my refusal to add anything extra to my phone. They often call me with offers of many “gigs” of data for a monthly payment that I would only need to sell my neighbor’s car to afford.

“You can read books on it,” the telemarketer says.

“The screen is too small,” I say.

“You can watch movies,” he says.

“If the screen is too small for books, how is it large enough to watch a movie?”

“On YouTube, you can find thousands of videos to enjoy,” he says.

“I’ve seen enough videos of grumpy cats and falling people,” I say.

Then he makes a fatal mistake. “You can Facebook,” he says. “You can Twitter. You can—”

“Facebook and Twitter aren’t verbs, you uneducated batweasel skunkface,” I explain kindly.

I then launch into a fascinating discussion about how we must protect the English language from the barbarians of textspeak. Somehow we get cut off, and I have to call him back to finish. Twice. You’d think they would have better service than that, but perhaps he’s using a  dumb phone. He should upgrade. I’m told it’s the perfect Christmas gift. 

(Copyright 2014 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. Thanks for reading!)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Enjoy stories and poems from authors 
Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, 
Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones
in this dark, thrilling anthology!

Click here to buy Blackbirds First Flight at Barnes & Noble!
Click here to buy Blackbirds First Flight at Lulu!
Learn more at Blackbirds Flights.

Blackbirds First Flight
  • An unhappy wife can't decide what to do about her boorish husband until an uneaten meal gives her a dark idea. 
  • Something is raising zombies in Tulsa, and Justina Grave is the only one who can stop it.
  • When a fat farm promises to make Edyth thin again, her dream comes true. She will never be fat again--or safe. 
  • Hopping a freight train can be a cheap way to travel. Unless you pick the wrong boxcar. 
  • One kiss gives Francois immortality, but at a cost he doesn't see coming. 
  • A woman warrior must choose her fate as the Romans ravage her land. 
  • Stalked by terrible creatures seeking vengeance, a band of robbers runs for their lives in medieval France. 
This anthology will lead you into dark, twisted places filled with mystery and delight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Library hosts book signing for "Blackbirds First Flight"

ADA, OKLAHOMA—Ada Public Library will host a book signing for the new anthology “Blackbirds First Flight” 4:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 30. The anthology features stories from Ada author Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones.

Bagley, Blanton, Henderson, and Schara will sign copies of the book at the signing. The book will also be on sale at that time for the special price of $10.

“‘Blackbirds First Flight’ is an anthology of stories and poetry with a dark, sensual twist,” said Pru Simmons, Many River Harbor associate editor. “The stories run the gambit from thrilling Gothic adventure to modern urban fantasy to fantastic encounters with the macabre. The poetry is uniformly excellent and tells dark stories of its own, many related to mythology.”

Simmons said the book might become an annual anthology. “We have had many inquiries about the book and its theme,” she said. “We definitely think there is an interest in dark, twisty fantasy that tells a satisfying story and follows traditional narrative arcs. We hope there will be another flight next year.”

“Gail (Henderson) and I are excited to actually meet some of the other authors,” Bagley said. “Wendy (Blanton) is flying in from Chicago, and Jean (Schara) is driving up from Texas. This is the first time we’ll all be in the same town.”

Stephen B. Bagley wrote “Tales from Bethlehem,” “Murder by Dewey Decimal,” “Murder by the Acre,” “Floozy & Other Stories,” and “EndlesS.” His works have appeared in “Creations 2014,” “Creations 2013,” “Creations 2012,” “ByLine Magazine,” “Free Star,” “Nautilus Magazine,” “OKMagazine,” and other publications. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Ada Writers.

Kent Bass enjoys writing Gothic action/adventure stories. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and from the University of Oklahoma, with a Master of Science in Accountancy. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas, where he works for the nation’s leading tax software company. “Blackbirds First Flight” is his first publication.

Wendy Blanton published three fantasy novels, “The Dragon’s Lady,” “Rogue Pawn,” and “Sword and Scabbard” under the pen name Elizabeth Joy with co-author Scott Carman. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Mount Olive and served in active duty for the United States Air Force for eight years. She is an apprentice bard and tells Celtic folk tales at Scottish Highland Games and other venues.

Gail Henderson collaborated with noted Oklahoma photographer Michael Duncan to produce “Bare,” a book of poetry and photography. “Red Bird Woman,” a collection of her poetry, was published in 2013. Her work has appeared in “Creations 2014,” “Creations 2013,” “Creations 2012,” and “ByLine Magazine.” She holds a Masters of Education in English and Social Studies from East Central University. She is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Ada Writers.

Tamara Siler Jones is a wife, mom, writer, quilter, and cat-wrangler from rural Iowa. She has three novels in print/eBook (“Ghosts in the Snow,” winner of the Compton Crook Award for best first novel of the year in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre; “Threads of Malice”; and “Valley of the Soul”; all published by Bantam Books), one book (“SPORE”) under contract with Samhain Publishing for release next summer; one book (“Morgan’s Run”) being marketed in New York, three novels in progress, and a screenplay in first draft.

Jean Schara retired from a 28-year career in the United States Air Force in 2008 and took up residence in Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and of the Troy State University with a Master of Science in Adult Education. She has had several book reviews published in the “Air Power Journal” and several articles published in “Vision: A Resource for Writers.”

“Blackbirds First Flight” is available from,, and other online retailers and in downtown Ada at Karen’s Art & Framing, Inc., 108 East Main.

For more information, visit Blackbirds Flights.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Blackbirds First Flight on sale now!

Blackbirds First Flight is officially on sale now! This brand new anthology features dark, twisty short stories and poems from Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Jean Schara, and Tamara Siler Jones. 

To buy the book from, go here: Blackbirds First FlightGet free mail shipping or 50% off ground shipping on your order by using coupon code: GMF14. (Offer ends Oct. 6 at 11:59 PM. Offer cannot be combined with other offers.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pre-release sale!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Festival this Thursday!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Book & Author Festival slated for Thursday

ADA – Ada Writers Second Annual Fall Book and Author Festival will be Thursday, Sept. 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m. hosted by Karen’s Art and Farming, 108 East Main. The festival will feature books by local authors and “Creations 2014,” the latest anthology by Ada Writers.

“This is our chance to show our appreciation for the support we’ve received from Ada and the surrounding area,” said Stephen B. Bagley, Ada Writers president. “We will have a limited number of signed copies of ‘Creations 2014’ available.”

The anthology features short stories, poems, memoirs, and more by members of Ada Writers, including Kelley Benson, Eric Collier, Stacey Foster, Gail Henderson, Mel Hutt, Sterling Jacobs, Ken Lewis, Rick Litchfield, Don Perry, Martha Rhynes, James Sanders, Anna Tynsky, Joanne Verbridge, Tim Wilson, Tom Yarbrough, and Loretta Yin. Unsigned copies are available for purchase on Lulu, Amazon, and other online retailers.

“We will also be featuring books from our members,” Bagley said. Among the books offered will be “Floozy & Other Stories,” “Tales from Bethlehem,” “Murder by Dewey Decimal,” and “Murder by the Acre” by Stephen B. Bagley; “On Target: Devotions for Modern Life” by Kelley Benson; “Montana Sunshine” by Arlee Fairbanks; “Red Bird Woman” by Gail Henderson; “Devoted to Creating” by Jen Nipps; “The War Bride,” “Secret of the Pack Rat’s Nest,” “Jack London,” and “How to Write Scary Stories” by Martha Rhynes; and “Tree Stand Scribbles” and “Treasures of the Kingdom” by Tom Yarbrough. “The books range from mysteries to romance to biography to inspirational and more,” said Bagley.

Several members of Ada Writers will read from the various Creations anthologies, and original music will be provided by member Anna Tynsky. “We will have refreshments, of course, and plenty of good conversations about books and writing, and a few surprises,” Bagley said.

Ada Writers has been helping local authors with their writing goals for more than 25 years. The group meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month in the upstairs meeting room at the Ada Public Library at 11 a.m. Meeting times may be changed to accommodate holidays and bad weather. The meetings feature writing programs and tips aimed at beginners, professionals, and all those in between. For more information about Ada Writers, visit their website at

Thursday, September 04, 2014

First paragraphs from Blackbirds First Flight

Heir to the Warrior Queen
By Wendy Blanton
I gripped the sword hilt in the pre-dawn gloom as I stood watch overlooking the sleeping village of Londinium. It wasn’t much of a village from what I had been able to see. Small, unprotected. Why would the Romans leave their trade center unprotected?
         A small scraping sound preceded warmth on my shoulders. My mother fastened the cloak under my chin and wrapped her arms around my shoulders. Her touch was the only one I could bear.
         "What are you still doing with that Roman sword, Scotta?"
         "I am going to kill Romans with it."

Robbing the House of Roche
By Kent Bass
He moved quickly through the crowded Parisian streets, keeping his head down, careful not to make eye contact with anyone, not to go any place familiar, not to give anyone a chance to recognize him. He knew he had to get out of the city and fast. He had hidden for two days and waited until tonight to come out. He had to be gone before the night ended.
         Etienne had always lived on the edge of society but always on the safe side of that edge. He never did anything that would draw attention to himself. He worked odd jobs and committed the occasional petty theft, but nothing serious.

By Gail Henderson
Nine o’clock.
         The book that had fascinated her at eight lay across her lap, face down, her hands rigid on its spine. Dark rage welled up inside her, filled her, and leaked out into the room, replacing wall-to-wall emptiness. With clenched teeth, she turned the book toward her face; her eyes straining to bring the words into focus, reading and re-reading the same paragraph, until, abruptly, she switched off the lamp next to her chair, placed the book on the end table, rose, and walked through the rage-dark room into the kitchen.
         She touched the light switch, illuminating a pan of cornbread and a pot roast cooling quietly on the stove and a few dirty dishes in the sink. Rage shrank back from her habit of orderliness. Rinsing out pans, wiping off counter tops already shiny dissipated her dark energy into apprehension. Nine o’clock was not so late. There might have been problems. Maybe a flat tire. He might not be able to call and tell her he was going to be late.
         What if there had been an accident?

By Jean Schara
Francois’s hand had been poised to open the door to his new employer when it opened, revealing a courtly gentleman decidedly out of place in this rundown industrial district.
         “Mr. Bergeron, I presume?” the man asked.
         “Yes. Please call me Francois.” He offered his hand for a hand-shake, hoping the gentleman would introduce himself, because he did not like being at a disadvantage.
         The man took his hand, guiding him into the building before releasing his grip and shutting the door behind them.

Grave Matters
By Stephen B. Bagley
The dead man on the blood-drenched bed had clearly seen better days. Justina Grave slowly approached the body. His heart had been cut out of his chest. Crow and raven feathers were scattered around the room along with other spell materials.
         “Charming,” she muttered. Her Nethersenses probed for signs of magic. She found many. Dark tendrils of energy hovered in the area, visible to any Mage. Something had fed on the victim’s life force and used that energy to power a spell.

By Tamara Siler Jones
Edyth stood in the shower, hot water thrumming on her aching head, the heat refusing to soothe her tortured soul. “I just can’t do this anymore,” she sighed through the steam. She scrubbed herself with a complete lack of enthusiasm, refusing to acknowledge her loose sagging stomach, her wide cellulite-dimpled thighs, jiggly arms, or her soft, jowly face. Still sighing, she finished her shower and turned off the heat.
          As Edyth toweled off, she told herself not to look in the mirror, but she sought out her shame anyway. She stared at her reflection, at the droops and rolls on the stranger staring back at her. The hideous person she had become gawked back, sickened disbelief carved into the fat. How did this happen? she asked herself. How did I become so ugly, so utterly repugnant? But maybe, just maybe, I’ve found a solution. Maybe my luck is about to change.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

An Unattended Death, Part Two

An Unattended Death, Part Two
By Stephen B. Bagley

I didn’t know Aaron Brody or his family so my involvement in his death should have ended there. They didn’t know me from Adam so it was a strange twist that I attended Aaron’s funeral.

Not that I really wanted to, but our sales manager, showing that compassion that made us call him Hitler behind his back, decided that the entire sales staff of the radio station should go. His reasoning: lots of our customers would be there so we should be in case any of them needed to discuss their advertising. No, I am not making that up.

Thus, I found myself in a car with three other salespeople. We enjoyed ourselves on the way to the funeral, comparing our sales manager to various animals. (He drove his BMW to the funeral.) The other three championed a skunk, but I happen to think skunks are fine animals, perhaps a little smelly, but they didn’t deserve to have our sales manager lumped with them.
Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral. Leon Brody was well known and well liked. I saw Simon Williams and several of my other clients. None of them, strangely enough, approached us to discuss advertising, a fact that Charlie, our morning DJ and afternoon salesperson, said he was going to make sure our manager knew.

Dozens of flower bouquets lined the front of the church. I counted at least a hundred different sprays. The florists in town were making money. I wondered if they gave a special discount on funerals ... And would it be too tacky to advertise it if they did? How could you word the radio spot so that it didn’t sound ghoulish and macabre? It’s an absolute joy to live inside my head sometimes.

“Wow,” Charlie breathed.

I looked and saw a young woman in an extremely short black dress walk by. Her hair was that bright blond that only comes from a bottle, and she was thin to the point of starvation. All in all, a hottie by the current accepted definition. (I, however, prefer women that don’t look like they would need anchors in a strong breeze.)

She sauntered down the aisle and sat in the pew reserved for family. After a few moments, one of the attendants hurried down the aisle to her, and there was a sharp whispered conversation. I couldn’t hear what was being said, other than a few words from the woman, and they weren’t words you’d want to repeat to your mama, depending on who your mama is, of course.

She got up, pushed past the attendant, and strode toward the door. She paused, then turned and looked at all of us already seated, and loudly said, “Take a picture. It’ll last longer.” With a contemptuous flip of her hair, she exited, leaving a lot of scandalized conversation behind her.

“Who was that?” Charlie asked, his eyes bright with excitement.

The lady in front of us turned and whispered, “His girlfriend.”

Charlie leaned forward, and he and the lady (using that term loosely) exchanged a few minutes of gossip. To hit the low points: the girlfriend’s name was Marlene Postwain, she was thought to have started Aaron on drugs, she had been arrested several times but let off because her uncle was a state senator, Aaron’s mother Margaret hated her, and all in all, she was basically naughty. Charlie and the woman had a good time. Nothing like gossip to liven a funeral.

A few minutes later, the family entered. Leon Brody looked terrible. He walked as if he would fall at any moment. Several friends hung close to him, but I never saw him let them help him. His haggard face would haunt me later. His wife Margaret was wearing a hat with a black veil, the only time I had ever seen that except on TV. About two dozen other people made up the rest of the family. I recognized a couple of them from events around town.

The funeral was fairly short. A prayer, a couple songs, the eulogy, another prayer, and it was over. Aaron didn’t leave people with much to say about him. As I stood in line to view the body, I wondered how he had managed to mess up his life so badly.

Aaron looked young and small in the coffin in a suit that seemed oversized. I turned and hurried out of the church.

Outside, the other radio station people and I stood around, waiting for the parking lot to thin out. Our car was blocked in. A lot of people were in the same situation so little knots of people talked and laughed. While the mood was somewhat somber, most seemed to treat it as an occasion to catch up with friends. Isn’t it strange that people can treat funerals like social events? Perhaps it is a comfort of some sort to renew our friendships, catch up on family news.

Charlie told our sales manager that we hadn’t sold any commercials. Our manager said, “I didn’t say we would. I said we had to be prepared to sell some.”

“We’re just like the Red Cross of the advertising industry,” Charlie deadpanned.

Our manager nodded as if that made perfect sense. His car was free so he left.

The family finally came out of the church. Margaret Brody stumbled on the steps, and Leon reached out to steady her. She jerked away from him and made her way to the car. He stood there for a moment in the harsh sunlight, looking at the crowd. For a weird moment, it seemed like our eyes met, and then I realized he was looking beyond me. I turned. A police car was parked across the street under a tree, Police Lieutenant Ron Sims leaning against the car. I looked back at Leon. He entered the family car. People formed the procession, turned on their headlights, and headed for the graveside service.

I knew Ron. He came to the station once a month to record public safety messages for the police department’s drug prevention program for kids. I had helped write a couple of spots for him and set him up in the recording studio. I started to go over to him, but he got into his car and left. He didn’t join the procession, instead turned and followed a little red car that had been parked on the other side of the parking lot. I stood there for a moment, shrugged, and went to our car.

That was that. Or it should have been. But not even two weeks later, I would be in the woods where Aaron was found, looking for clues like a real world version of Scooby-Doo and the gang, facing a gun.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Book blurb!

Here's the book blurb for Blackbirds First Flight:

An unhappy wife can’t decide what to do about her boorish husband until an uneaten meal gives her a dark idea...
Something is raising zombies in Tulsa, and Justina Grave is the only one who can stop it...
When a fat farm promises to make Edyth thin again, her dream comes true. She will never be fat again—or safe...
Hopping a freight train can be a cheap way to travel. Unless you pick the wrong boxcar...
One kiss gives Francois immortality, but at a cost he doesn't see coming...
A woman warrior must choose her fate as the Romans ravage her land...
Stalked by terrible creatures seeking vengeance, a band of robbers runs for their lives in medieval France...

This anthology will lead you into dark, twisted places filled with mystery and delight. Enjoy thrilling stories and chilling poems by authors Stephen B. Bagley, Kent Bass, Wendy Blanton, Gail Henderson, Tamara Siler Jones, and Jean Schara.

It goes on sale October 1st! Watch for it!