Is there a safe place in the world ? The threat of terrorism is everywhere; Texas a Jewish place of worship is shot up, in the Netherlands a similar action took place. Brazil a bar is shot up and dozens killed. So many violent actions take place that I get confused. I mix up violent events and get angry that our beautiful world is full of hate.
I miss the sixties of peace and love, the Buhdist passing out flowers at the airport. Yet, there was a lot of turmoil and a decade of violence over Vietnam, racism and Charles Manson murders. What is wrong with this picture. Why can we have peace and love and prosper together?
I have been living in Costa Rica for four years and I love it here. I miss my home country, but there is very little violence to report. Where I live in San Luis there is no murder. A little petty crime like break ins and my time is mostly peaceful. Loud trucks break the airwaves once in a while because of construction. I like our morning sunrise because we face the eastern mountains of Lake Arenal. It is a far contrast to Las Vegas, Nevada which has three or four murders a day and a constant barrage of sirens 🚨 by police ,fire,or ambulance. My last visit six people were killed on my first night.
My fear is I would get used to the negative prodcast from the news and become sullen and uncaring. What can I do attitude? I see hatred in some of the Costa Rican’s. Most are friendly, but some will not look you in the face when talking to you. I tend to forget I am but a visitor infringing upon their person and place. It is a socialistic democratic society where a President is voted in. Laws are changing all the time to benefit the Costa Rican. When you live in a country you must follow there rules or live. The government has been cracking down on visitors who have lived here a long time and never followed up on Residency.
Imagine living in Costa Rica, building a farm for eighteen years, leaving every thirty days to satisfy you visa agreement and suddenly the government gives you thirty days to leave and cancels your visa. Temporary Visa was my first objective towards Permanent Residency. I do not get it,do you?
It is a heavy rainy , foggy morning as I stare out at my lovely garden. I find tranquility in my garden and wish the best for the world. I hope violence is thrawted in the months to come. Terrorism in the name of the holy one ☝️ must be stopped. White supremacy groups must be stopped. Those sick people who need medical help must be helped and homelessness must be eradicated. No one should be homeless.
I look up at my rose picture and I see tranquility and peace ☮️. Is that the way it should be?
The case was a simple case to figure out. Criminals believe they are smarter than you. Some of them are, but they always seem to make a fatal mistake; their egos get the better of them. What makes Lucky so intelligent is he is ego-free. Nothing a person can do to break his confidence or damage a fragile ego. Even in anger, he thinks scenarios out quickly And precisely. He is smart enough to hire people who are smarter than him. He hit a home run with Thomas. A master technician and highly Intelligent, Thomas is an elite in his field. He is one of Lucky’s closest friends and talks to Lucky every day.Lucky has not heard from Thomas in three days. “Carla, I am leaving for California and will be back in a few days. I am going to check on Thomas; He has not called in almost four days. He is religious in calling us every day,” Says Lucky. “Maybe he took a vacation and needed some time alone,” Says Carla. “I do not know, but I feel it is unusual for Thomas not to tell us. I am going over to Jack’s and see if he wants to go.” Carla calls Jerry to see if he is near D.C., Jerry says he has a couple of California congressman he is flying to D.C. tomorrow and can fly them to California at eleven in the morning”
The Chameleon Returns
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It is quiet this morning; No monkeys yelping from danger, no trucks or loud motorcycles making noise, just peacefulness. The quiet made me lazy, wishing to stay in bed a little longer, staying cozy warm under the sheet. Very seldom do we need a blanket to keep warm. It is a dark morning sky with the dark gray clouds hovering close. I get up to make coffee and watch the clouds seperate to form a perfect reddish -orange eye as if God is peeking down at us.
There isn’t any sunrise this morning andI needed a sunrise. I did not wish to start a day feeling gloomy or depressed so I put my sunrise on my blog and smiled. This is the beginning of the rainy season, there will be weeks of overcast, no sunrise mornings. Even in the dark, stormy clouds Lake Arenal shows its beauty. Our little garden is full of color this morning as the plants are blooming. One plant must have a dozen new flowers. I smile, stop and thank God I live with no turmoil; only serenity , peace in my world.
I have been so busy building, digging, pulling weeds, I have neglected my writing. I made an affirmation to write everyday even if it is only an hour. I love to write because sometimes it is a Little challenging as thoughts are muddled. You need peace and tranquility to write. No outside disturbances like contractors, girlfriends, friends calling on the phone,peacefulness must prevail for me to have inspiration.
I awake at three or four in the morning and capture my ideas, usually from a dream and I write about immediately. I use my recorder on my phone to jot down inspiration that pops in my mind. Sometimes I will be driving and pull over to the side of the road for a half hour. Once I needed to explain to a policeman why I was sitting on the side of the highway. I thanked him for being kind enough to see if everything was ok. Does this happen to you? I hate a great idea being lost because I did not respond fast enough to capture the idea.
The soil is dark black, wet from the morning sprinkle. I can smell the fragrance of the herbs in my garden; they are growing too fast for us to use them so we cut them down, dry them, freeze them, or give them to our local produce man. Julio has done so much for us that we give the herbs to sell. We ask for no remuneration. How can we when he brings us a hundred gallons of fresh water during the drought? He will not take money for his trouble on a Sunday evening.
The birds starting to chirp late this morning. No Turkey Buzzards cruising high in the sky; They must be at some roadkill having breakfast this morning.I sip my mocha coffee,I love to drink every morning as the sun sneaks through the gray skies. God, thank you for the smell and the beautiful invirionment. It looks like the rain will stop for a few hours. Today is cooler than yesterday’s hot and humid rainy day. I perspired quite a bit yesterday and pulled my shirt away from my body several times to get the breeze, thank God for the breeze, I think to myself.
I get my inspiration for stories from everyday experiences. An example is my first novel, The Man with a Limp. While living in Bay Point, California, I watched a young man walking to the convenience Store. It was a struggle for him to walk, but rain or shine he walked to the store.He dragged his left foot on the ground and struggled forward. At corners he would twist his hip and lift his leg down off the curb. You could see the wear on the left shoe from his progress of walking. One day a another man wished to help him and he pushed him away saying,
“ I need to do this myself. It is important to me to finish this task myself.”
He was not hostile, just matter of fact to him. His left hand was curled under and was a useless appendage. The struggle was always accomplished because of the strength of his right side of his body. I believe he needed this victory every morning to live; To feel strong and capable of surviving this world. He reminded me of my brother Jim who had polio at seven years of age. My brother grew up determined, strong to conquer the world on his terms. I fashioned Lucky McLaughlin after the walking man and my brother. Self reliant, strong minded, very intelligent, and the best in his occupation, in his world. Everyday we have adversity we must overcome. It is how we accomplish over adversity that makes the individual who we are. Peek at my bookstore and enjoy a good read. Press the link below, Pura Vida!
“I believe they are from the Middle East and are probably terrorist. Keep them under the Patriot act with no bail while I call Homeland Security and the FBI, says Lucky; Boy never a dull moment Jack, How did you learn how to box like that?” “I was Marine middleweight champion and took a Gold Gloves when I was a kid.” “Impressive, Buddy! How come the transient gave you a hard time? I need to call Carla, she will help get the ball rolling,” says lucky. Lucky and Jack finish the run and sit down for some margaritas. It is a beautiful Wednesday morning. The waves roll in at four feet, and the air smells fresh. The seagulls are close to shore a sign the weather is going to change for the worse. It is the beginning of winter, and Santa Cruz is getting to be sweatshirt weather. Warm enough for the outside chairs. Lucky and Jack were discussing their visitors on the beach. “By the way, I was off balance when the transient first hit me and made me dizzy,” claims Jack, as Lucky gives him a little more chiding. Tom and Carla show up, “Can’t you boys stay out of trouble?” Says Carla. “We were running down the beach minding our own business.” Says Jack. “You were right Lucky; The three men are from Yemen. Part of Isis and they have lived in Santa Cruz for two years. Respectable residence who have career jobs as computer technicians. They are taking flying lessons at the airport here in Watsonville, close to Santa Cruz. It is a small plane airport. Phil has the FBI checking out who are taking flying lessons. I want to know why they targeted you.” “How did they know we go running four days a week?” Says Jack. “We will get that information from these three guys. In the meantime, I have a protection team on you fellas.” “No Thank you, we will wear our guns and be more vigilant. Use your people to find the terrorist cell,” says Lucky. “Call us if you need help,” says Jack. “How come you and Tom came together, Carla?” Ask Jack. “We happened to be in the parking lot at the same time and walked in together,” says Carla. Lucky’s phone rings, “Lucky this is Curt, what the hell is going on out there in Santa Cruz?” “Three guys from Yemen tried to kill us today; the FBI and Homeland are on it, we are fine,” says Lucky, “I now that, I want you and Jack on top of this. Get a hold of Phil and put together a task force and find the rest of the son of bitches!” “Yes, we will get on top of this.” “Happy to hear it, Lucky” “Sounds like a job to me,” says Jack. Jack and Lucky go home, shower and change. Lucky picks up Jack, and they head to the Santa Cruz Police Station. The FBI is busy interrogating the terrorist. The terrorist is reluctant to talk. Tom decides it is time to pressure the terrorist. He has his people questioning the suspects in different rooms. Tom noticed a change in their eyes as he mentioned their family. Tom gave his men instructions to tell the suspects that their family is under arrest for terrorist crimes against the USA. If they do not cooperate, your families will go to prison without a trail. You will never see them again. The interrogators leave the room to let the suspects think about the last statement. Jack and Lucky were following the interrogations. Jack says, “The man in the first room is the weak link. He showed a lot of emotion whereas the others acted as if they did not care. Bring in his wife and see if we can crack him.”
It is another great Cinco de Mayo as we celebrate our neighbors independence from Spain. Is it just another gimmick for restaurants to get mass numbers of people into the eatery, or is it a genuine effort to support a country who fought for their independence. I think of it as supporting our immigrants from Mexico 🇲🇽 as they BBQ in the parks with family and friends in celebrating their heritage. The Mexican community are big park people and they enjoy a good BBQ after the parades, and flag waving is finished.
Most Mexicans enjoy getting the family together for fun with friends and family in the parks. I admire the way they find time to be together as a family. I enjoy time spent at holidays in different times of the year. It is times well spent with family and friends. In retirement it is like a constant vacation of writing ad building of a new home. I have never been involved in building a home from the ground up and I am enjoying it immensely. Time flies by and before you know it you are on a plane to celebrate Christmas, New Years or the Fourth of July.
Right now I am writing my second short story book and publishing my novel Charlie. I hope to have it published by the end of May. It is the sequel to The Man With a Limp and The Chameleon Returns. I hope you have an opportunity to buy these books and enjoy the saga of the McLaughlin family. Until next time, Pura Vida!
Philip arrives at Cherry Farm and meets Chris for the first time and Lucky takes him to the sound studio to listen to the complete Album. He loves it! Lucky shows him the first cd from the label. Lucky found a company who guarantees mass cd quality and one week delivery. Philip has a long six months planned out for Butch. He will run his old circuit in front of small crowds and has plans to hit every Country western radio station across the east and Midwest.
Lucky had t-shirts and cd’s with Butch’s face and the name of the new label, Butch Sundance and the new album name “Time”. Chris went to be the sales person at the concerts; t-shirts, key chains cds and of course beer mugs that say Time on them. Lucky bought a cargo van to carry everything. The first concert will be at the General’s Bar and Grill called the Bowery. Lucky will meet them there. Lucky is looking forward to seeing General Bill Foremost at the Bowery. The club is sold out for next weeks concert. The club holds six hundred folks and should be a lot of fun. Lucky prepared for the tour and had Claire make a Facebook page with all of Butch’s friends and former music associates. Bill has a surprise at the end of Butch’s gig, he is the star that night and follows a new group.
Claire and Lucky go over the testimony of Chris and finds a difficult case to undue. Claire calls Abe and ask for FBI help; they lay out Chris’s defense and wish to show culpability of Mason and his cohorts. A sting is put into the works when a new rock band is surging to success and Mason wants to take over its management. Thanks to FBI warrants, email and phones are investigated. Brazen by his success Mason threatens the manager of Death Call, Toby Coons, if he does not leave the group and hand it over to Marvin Mason LLC. Charlie begins to watch Toby Coons every move. The tone of the text and e mails become more and more violent from Marvin. A tap is established and Marvin’s Plan is unveiled.
“ We will use the same plan as we did that Chris kid. Toby parties hard, we will plant a kilo of cocaine in his car. Silk you know what needs to be done. Tomorrow at The concert Toby will be partying hardy; place the drugs in his trunk and when he leaves call our police contact Officer Mills and have him pulled over. It will be another easy bust for the Sargent.”
Silk leaves the office and drives down to Oscar Martinez’s home to pick up a kilo of Cocaine. As he walks into the home the FBI race through the door with a warrant to search the home. It happens so quickly that Oscar and his men can not pull out their weapons. It was perfect timing by the FBI. The FBI find one hundred kilos of Cocaine in the house and three hundred thousand dollars. Silk has fifty thousand for Oscar to entrap Toby. Quickly Abe takes Oscar and Silk to the FBI for questioning. Silk refuses to talk until DA Susan Keats begins to talk deal.
“ I want you to tell me about Chris Johansson; We know you framed him like you are trying to do Toby Coons. Retract your wanting a lawyer, let’s make a deal.”
“You have nothing on me, I was making a loan payment to Oscar,” claims the quick thinking Silk.
Clair walks in with the tape from Marvin’s office,
“ Silk you are a smart man; listen to this recording and tell us what you want. The DA will listen to you very closely. We want everything about Chris’s case, everything!”
Before Claire plays the tape Silk rescinds asking for a lawyer and Claire plays the tape. His face turns white as he hears his roll in the Toby case. After Silk left Mason’s office he makes a phone call to Officer Mills were he ask the officer to frame Silk. Officer Mills ask for one hundred thousand dollars which Mason says, “do it!”
Silk is livid and ask for immunity. The DA offers freedom if he follows through with Marvin’s plan and goes back to Marvin saying the job is done. Officer Mills is arrested as he is arresting Toby for Cocaine. Charlie watches as Abe arrest the Officer and Charlie takes Toby into custody so he can question him about the phone calls and emails he received from Mason. Toby gladly hands everything over to the authorities. Officer Mills rolls over like a bowling pin; he tried to say he was making a tip arrest, but Claire plays his phone conversation with Mason and he knows he is finished. He admits his part in both men’s arrest and tells his story. Abe and Charlie walk into the offices of Marvin Mason and arrest him for his mastermind of the two Cocaine arrest. Marvin was arrested for conspiracy to frame two individuals for cocaine possession. Sonny will help in Chris’s retrial which is closed quickly at the DA’s office as the new evidence is brought forth. Chris gets exonerated and a new life; he thanks his new friends
As his band wishes to bring him back. Chris tells them as their manager he wants them to join a new Company, Sundance Studios. Chris introduces Lucky to the new group at the studio and ask them one question,
“ Fellas, where was your loyalty to Chris? You knew the man and you did nothing to help him, why?”
“We lack the courage to stand up to Marvin who had a history of destroying new groups who did not follow his request. He told us to play for him or he would destroy us.”
Lucky understands what fear does to men but demands loyalty to his friend and the fledgling company they are getting off the ground.
“If you are threatened by anyone you take it to Chris and he will tell Charlie, who will take care of it. Do you take drugs?”
“ No, we party with alcohol and monitor people who use drugs and keep them away. We are always being bother by dealers at our concerts,” Says Simon.
“Good, my security team will eliminate that problem, you will never have to worry about it,”
Lucky walks the group over to the house where Sonny is waiting for a new contract for the group with Chris as Manager under the Sundance label. Everyone is eager to begin recording and get the band on the road. Jazz went on the road with Butch and will help his sales department at Sundance Studios. Sonny suggested to incorporate the sales part of Sundance Studios. It is called Sundance CDS and Gifts Inc. A subsidiary of Sundance Studios so inventory can be conducted and accountability. Jazz is President of the Corporation and a board member of Sundance Studios and is enjoying life again. Lucky likes how the Company is coming together. It keeps him busy, active in all his businesses; Strategic Inc with A hospital, a surgical building, an airline of one jet and now a recording company with two clients. He likes his new role as advisor to young people. Lucky would like to see his family away from crime investigation, but Charlie and Claire loves their work. They enjoy working with Harry and Junior who are a big help.
Hello! I am a Turkey Buzzard loving the late summer. Although I am a little thirsty because of the late summer and a continued drought we are having. Humans have restrictions, but I do not. What ever water they use I sip on after my daily consumption of road kill. I have a beautiful lake to fly to for a drink .
Mister buzzard is correct, we are in a drought and the water company is on the verge of shutting off our water a couple of hours a day. We are asked to not water our plants and stop any construction we may be doing. Great, We planted fifty new plants and trees and they need to be watered, so we water the plants. We received a letter on our fence asking us to comply in order to keep the water on. Someone called and said we were watering our garden. There is always someone policing your business.
I went to the water company and explained what we were doing. We recycle our kitchen, bath, and laundry water. A friend brings us a hundred gallons of water once a week from Tilaran and we stopped concrete construction to only three days a week. We monitor toilet use and follow the movie slogan; If it is yellow, be mellow,if it is brown ,flush it down. We shower every four days unless we are dirty from working the property. They understand new construction and planting, and were happy we came in to talk and said not to worry about the situation. I told the company my neighbor does not know what we do and we appreciate the good water. Too bad I have a neighbor who has to be involved in everyone’s business. He bought new plants last week. I guess he must be watering them. I wonder, no I will not get involved with him, I will enjoy the beautiful day and enjoy life.
I love the beautiful sunrises in San Luis. This morning the sky was a mixture of orange, white clouds, blue sky, and the disappearing of the darkness slowly in the West. The sun was full and bright as it rose over the eastern mountains. It is amazing the distance the sunrise is from Volcán Arenal. It seemed like last week it rose next to the volcano. Now it is more easterly over the mountains. It is a cool,breezy seventy degrees with a ten mile an hour breeze. Rain will most likely begin at the end of May. We can use the rain for our property. I keep writing, but not in the voracity in the past. I have so much to do and so little time it seems. I work at writing at four in the morning for three hours , but because of the physical labor I sometimes do, I need to sleep a little longer. I love to write. Check out my two novels: The Man with a Limp and The Chameleon Returns, check the link below.
“There is momentary silence as Samantha searches her mind for discussions with her interns; Curiously she mentions up and coming intern Marcia Cornel. Marcia and Samantha had a nasty argument over the proposed bill. Marcia’s sister, a fifteen-year-old teenage girl, bought an abortion pill and died. She snuck out of her home and bought it on the street. Apparently, her family did not know about her goings-on.”
The Chameleon Returns
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Happy Spring Break with Easter Sunday this week. A weekend were college kids rush to Daytona Beach, Florida and families celebrate the long weekend and the week long school breaks. Here in San Luis, Costa Rica the town stores close for the weekend. Very rarely does one stay open unless it is owned by a foreigner who does not celebrate the Christian Holidays.
The Catholic Churches are crowded all weekend to Celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Students with money and locals are partying up a storm and enjoying their favorite form of entertainment called alcohol consumption. Corina and I will celebrate with a quiet weekend on the mountain. My birthday falls on Easter 🐣 and we are having homemade fish tacos. I bought Corvina(sea bass) fresh from Daisy our fish lady from Punteranas. Once a month we buy fish and shrimp caught the same day.
Of course we will have a couple margaritas made with fresh orange juice and strawberries and mangoes. Getting to old to go crazy like a college kid ( 70 years old), moderation is my key to a long life now. Give me twenty more years Lord and I will be happy. I like peace and tranquility and a good story to write. My garden keeps me going and it is all the work out I need. No travel this weekend because the tourist will be everywhere. If you are like me and wish to have a quiet 🤫 weekend; how about a good novel to read. My EBook is $2.99 and a good adventure story. Press the link below:
“A new Adventure Cherry Farm will be an excellent place for the family. Ten-year-old Charlie is seeing a psychologist, Dr. Mary Summers. Charlie began having nightmares about drowning while surfing. It was a traumatic experience being pulled off a surfboard underwater for three hundred yards. Oscar would wait until she gurgled some water and then gave her his mouthpiece. On land, he used a needle to put her asleep. Charlie became short-tempered and demanded Lucky’s company. Lucky began martial arts training for Charlie. Beth’s ex-boyfriend, Tom came three times a week to train Charlie.”
The Chameleon Returns
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What inspires your writing? Is it a Fabulous sunrise or sunset? Is it a romp in the hay that gets your blood going or a quiet evening of gardening before darkness falls. Do you have a margarita while you dream of an adventure story in Hawaii or do you listen to the news to develop a crime scene? Maybe all, maybe none, What makes your imagination fly?
For me, I am a fly by your seat kind of writer. I have an Idea and I flow with it. I do not make my stories complicated, but I hope I make you guess at the outcome. I like to personalize my characters, even the bad anti-hero’s. I want to grab your heart strings or hear you shout, get the bastard! How about you, are you a meticulous writer who must have an outline to follow? Do you put hours of research into your scripts? Good for you! I like to use the internet for dates and facts and give credit where credit is due.
I enjoy my writing and I hope you enjoy your creativity. Charlie, my third novel should be out in June. Look for the sequel to The Man With a Limp, and The Chameleon Returns at the links below. Thank you! TM Nugent-Author.
Jerry has the Jet ready and with a little luck, Lucky, Jack, Phil and Thomas will beat the small aircraft to the private airport. The Mexican Federal Police are waiting in the hanger behind Oscar’s plane. Jerry pulls into the private hanger and closes the hangar doors. A half-hour later Oscar opens the hangar doors with Charlie being held by another confederate. He walks towards his plane and the police step forward and tells him to halt. Oscar pulls out a gun to shoot Charlie, and Sargent Dias shoots him in the knee and Oscar falls. The other man drops to his knee and Lucky rushes to his daughter. “Honey, you ok?” “Yes, Daddy, the man said he was getting even with you for his cousin’s death. Can we go home now?” “Yes, Go with Jerry to our plane and I will be with you shortly. I need to talk to the Sargent,” Says Lucky. Lucky turns walking over to Sargent Dias and his men.
The Chameleon Returns
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Every night as I ready for bed; I look out at the lights of Lake Arenal, Rio Piedras, Aguacate, Nuevo Arenal,and on my side of the lake is Tronadora, San Luis, and Tilaran. I am amazed at the sights and marvel at God’s work. Arcos Iris (Rainbow) over the lake and the beginning of the rainy season; What happened to summer?
I love living in the San Luis hills with it’s wildlife, and weather. The greener the better and I have more than enough green. We have less rain on the western side of the lake. You see a storm coming over the eastern mountains and it seems as if a magnet grabs the storm and blows it away from San Luis to the north. I visualize the rain hitting Rio Piedras,Aguacate, and Nuevo Arenal, but never reaching San Luis.
Yesterday the storms came marching over the eastern mountains and rained in the lake producing a beautiful rainbow and never reached my Cabina. Go figure! We had three weeks of rain and at last sunshine and seventy degrees; A beautiful couple of days. I pray for more rain so my young garden has water to refresh its growth.
I am getting my new book Charlie ready for a new publisher. I will enjoy assembling the necessary items for my book of adventure with the McLaughlin tribe. Look for Charlie in my bookstore by late May. For now try reading The Man with a Limp and The Chameleon Returns. A couple of fun reads, press the links below:
Jack and Lucky are out running at the beach. It has been six months since the surgery and no signs of pain. Lucky still walks with a slight limp, but the Doctor feels it is psychosomatic. In time he will stop limping. At one and a half miles Jack says, “Hey kid remember I am an old man.” “Old my ass, how old are you? Forty if you’re a day.” “I am forty-five and have not run more than five hundred feet in ten years. How old are you kid?” Says Jack. “I turned twenty-seven last week and I feel great!” “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” “I do not celebrate birthdays, Jack,” Lucky confides . “You do now buddy!” Says Jack. The two runners turn around and head back to the restaurant. “I am sorry Jack; I forgot you have not run for a long time, I am surprised my energy is so high,” says Lucky “That is because you were always a big runner were you not? Were you not special forces before you became an expert in bombs?” Jack ask Lucky. “Yes, I was Jack, and it was second nature for me to run fifteen miles.”
The winds were howling like cat screaming in fear. The sliding glass door wobbling from the force of seventy mile an hour gusts. The glass holds firm, but rattles through the night. The screens are forced open by the wind approximately one inch and pushed back into it’s original position. The wind cannot make up it’s mind on were to blow. East , west, which way is best, as we sleep through the night.
You become accustomed to the wind in San Luis. The heavy winds is a normal course of the night. It is hard to grow a colorful garden because the wind blows off the leaves and flowers or the leaf eater ants have an early morning breakfast. You want to use insecticide, but how much is enough? Too much and you walk in a cancer field; too little hundreds of dollars are washed away with Mother Nature.
The sunrises as the wind sends the storm clouds away, and it is beautiful in the morning and not as windy. Not today, the gust still rattle the sliding glass doors; I am glad I bought heavier doors to combat the wind and keep us warm. Today I continue to correct my new novel Charlie. It is the continuing saga of the McLaughlin Family. Charlie takes over the reigns of the avenger, The Chameleon. Dad wishes to retire and have the Chameleon disappear, but daughter, Charlie wants to continue the legacy of the crime fighter against the greatest evils in the world.
Press the link above for my bookstore and read an except below from my latest novel Charlie.
The case of the accidental poisoning
It is a quiet winters morning, the snow is falling, and the temperature is two degrees Fahrenheit. Lucky tells Carla,
“Let’s spend a couple of months in Costa Rica. It is too cold here in DC!”
Carla agrees as Lucky and Carla searches the internet and finds a beautiful house in El Cielo, Costa Rica. It is a road off the main highway overlooking Lake Arenal; you can see the whole lake from the living room. It has every amenity for a thousand dollars a month. Maybe the kids will visit, and we can make it a family affair, thinks Carla.
The house is quiet, Mom and Dad are gone for three months enjoying Costa Rica, Nicaragua and having an enjoyable time. Charlie’s phone rings,
“ Charlie, Claire here, I was going through my emails and received a strange message. It says help me please; my family wants me dead. Should I track it down?”
“Yes, if you can get a complete name and address,” Says Charlie.
“ I found this obituary in the Barstow newspaper,” Says Claire.
Ida Clemens, the last of the oil baron Clemens whose husband dug a well for water in nineteen thirty-two in Barstow California and struck oil, dies at the age of one hundred and ten years old. Her husband Ira and son Joe were digging with a pick and shovel one hundred and fifty feet down. They hit one of the most productive oil fields in California. Her survivors are Ida Mae Clemens and Granddaughter, Mary Anne Clemens Stow. Funeral will be January twelve, two thousand and eighteen at twelve in the morning. The services will be at St Joseph Catholic Church, 505 E Mountain View St. Barstow, California.
“ Mary Anne Clemens Stow believes her husband is trying to kill her and her mother. Several incidents involving broken step ladder, flat tires near a river where the car almost went into the river, and a late night break in where shots were fired by Mary Anne to chase off the intruder,” Says Claire.
“Is she asking for protection?” Ask Charlie.
“ She wants you to find her killer?” Says Claire.
“ What? We need to help her out and find the mischief maker,” Says Charlie.
“ Mary Anne is sixty-eight years old, and Mom is ninety years old,” Says an interested Claire.
Charlie, Claire, and Harry arrive in Barstow a few days later. The trip in the Albatross was comfortable. The vehicle was overhauled before, and the air conditioning is working great. They drive into the long gravel entrance of Clemens Cattle Ranch and Oil Company. Home of ten thousand head of cattle. You could smell the ranch five miles down the road. It is a large ranch, some one hundred and fifty thousand acres of trees, grass built into the desert some one hundred years earlier. Almost two hundred and fifty square acres.It is Modern Ranch with helicopters, ATVs and four-wheel trucks. It is a billion dollar industry that helps feed a nation. The ranch also has two farms that raise chickens, hogs, and grows large crops. Because of its age and size, the ranch does not worry about California water laws. The family owns California politics which has a Stow as a California Senator for twenty years. Marshall Stow is also the family lawyer; he took over his father’s practice before becoming a Senator. As they pull in front of a magnificent one story Ranch house with a sizeable gabled frontage, a tall man is waiting.
“I am Senator Marshal Stow, welcome to Clemens Ranch. My Mother is in the parlor with Grandma; I must warn you Mom is a spitfire!,” Says the Senator.
“Mrs. Clemens, Mrs. Stow, I am Charlie Mc Laughlin and my associates, Claire and Harry. What can We do for you?”
“Did you get my letter, Young Lady? I want you to find out who is trying to kill me!” Says the feisty Mary Anne.
“Easy daughter, you are coming off two strong, they are not your hired help!” Grandma is working to calm her daughter.
“Well! I want answers, not questions!” Demand Mary Anne.
“Ma’am, you might as well get used to our questions, or we can leave. We can not be held back because you have a lot of money and a sour disposition,” Says an eager Charlie.
Mrs. Stow asking questions will help us solve your problem,” Suggest Claire.
“Ok! I’m on edge because I believe someone is trying to poison us,” Says a frightened woman.
Marian hands a cup of tea to Charlie and asks her to smell it. It has a faint scent of arsenic.
“Can you and your mom trust us alone in your house for three hours?” Ask Charlie.
“Yes, we can visit our friends down the road,” Says Mary Anne.
“We will call a laboratory to inspect your well for arsenic and lead. Did you have new piping replaced in your home? I imagine it was originally lead pipe, correct?” Ask Claire.
“ No, it is the same piping for over one hundred years, why?”
“ My scientist will come out to your property and take samples of your chickens, meat, water on your property. I do not think anyone wants you dead; your property is old, it is showing its age. We will fix your situation and investigate wrongdoing,” Explains Claire.
Claire excuses herself and calls Professor Lazlow and ask him to send some scientist and equipment to the farm. The Professor says,
“I know the Clemens family and Albert, and I will fly out by helicopter to the ranch. See you in a few hours.”
Charlie calls Mary Anne asking for a few more hours so the scientist can do their work and she agrees. The helicopter arrives, and the scientist goes to work. In minutes they find a severe problem, The Professor lights a match and throws it in the sink, and it explodes in a puff of fire and smoke. Charlie comes running into the kitchen followed by the Senator,
“What was that?” Screams Charlie.
“Methane! You have dump site near here Senator?” Ask the Professor.
“No we incinerate all garbage five miles inside the property and dump it in a large landfill with the cattle dung to make Compost for the local farmers and us, “Says the Senator.
“ Any earthquakes in Barstow lately?” Ask Claire.
“ Last year we had a seven point two quake that shook up the area for almost four minutes. We thought it was the end of the world. We had minor quakes for six months and then they went away,” Says the Senator.
“I need to call my associate Joshua and get a geologist out here. Joshua will know who to call,” Says Charlie.
Charlie calls Lucky and explains what is happening,
“Good call Charlie! It sounds like Alaska all over again. Get a drilling company out there and have them wait for Joshua. He is the expert on methane related problems. Let the Clemens know they can harness the methane for useable energy. Joshua and the Geologist will show them how; I Love you! Bye!”
“We have all the drilling equipment you need; we are an oil company, and my men are experts,” Says the independent oilman.
Joshua arrives at seven PM; his Geologist does some minor checks at the well and house. Large amounts of methane plus lead and arsenic in the water. The Geologist shuts off the water to the house and digs into the piping. It is cracked and seeping into the ground.
Mary Anne is back at her home as a violent shake rattles the area and a giant explosion a half mile from the ranch house blast dirt and dung high into the air. Joshua and Bill, the Geologist, drive out to the blast site. Night time is beginning to fall, and they can not visualize the bottom of the crevice. Joshua runs to the truck and take out a rope and ties a rock to it and drops it into the hole. One hundred feet it falls as Joshua rolls it back up.
“We have to wait until the morning, what kind of reading did you get?”
“ No scent of methane gas, it must have capped it off. Tomorrow we will have a better idea, five AM?” Ask Bill.
In the morning, Mary Anne, Bill, and Joshua head for the hole. It is two hundred feet deep, three hundred feet wide. Joshua gives orders to the drilling people. He asked Mary Ann to have a crew fill in the hole and compact it with rock, stone and gravel and pile in the dirt. Make sure it is compacted. An hour later a truck with large stones is followed by trucks of gravel.
It is covered with dirt that exploded into the air. Joshua and the drilling team drill where Bill instructs them to drill. They used special piping that sprays water into the ground as the drill. They stop at one hundred and eighty feet and unhook the drilling pipe. With water sprinkling on the top, they unscrew the lid and walk away as they clear Joshua pushes an igniter, and a hundred foot flame appears. Joshua drives to the dung pile where Bill is and ask Bill,
“ Do we need to cap more leaks?”
“The parameter is safe. I drilled down one hundred and eighty feet in different areas and believed we need to drill in the center of that fifty-foot pile. Any suggestions on how we do that?” Ask Bill.
“ They need to knock down forty feet of that mountain of dung, and we will put the final pipe in.” Suggest Joshua.
The Clemens made lemonade out of lemons. They started a gas company with two trucks and delivered propane to new clients. Repiped the house with PVC pipe, built a new well and added filters to protect from any iron that might exist. The Geologist gave them a bill of good health.
The Professor stayed to ensure the proper work. Charlie gave Mary Anne a bill for three hundred thousand dollars because of all the professionals she brought in and the expense of the helicopter. Mary Anne said it was a low price to pay for good health. Mary Anne invited everyone back for the Fourth of July picnic, and Charlie thinks we would like to come and ask if she could bring mom and dad. Of course, says Mary Anne. The gang jumps into the Albatross and head down the road.
“ Funny how people think it is foul play instead of poor maintenance,” explains Claire.
“What business they have built! They will be in the history books; think we will get a mention?” Laughs Charlie as the group giggles at the thought.
Good morning everyone! Are you lucky enough to live the life you always wish for? I go to bed early soI can watch the sunrise over Volcano Arenal. The weather is cool and windy: always windy in the mountains of San Luis. Of course the summer has arrived and the evening, early morning rains have begun. Our little flower garden is beginning to blossom, making living a beautiful sight. I write every day and eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily. I consume very little alcohol I may go out to dinner and have a beer or two and on Saturdays we indulge in Strawberry or Pineapple Margaritas.Generally only two drinks apiece. We wish not to abuse a great fresh fruit drink.
One must move forward and enjoy what life brings to you. You will be surprised what you can accomplish. I never thought I would write sixteen books and work at publishing them. My last book the Chameleon Returns is a sequel of The Man With a Limp is the continuing saga of the McLaughlin Family. A crime fighting family of the highest order. You will watch as the families and friends grow and accomplish impossible task.
Down below is the link to my book store at Litfirepublishing.com and an excerpt from the Chameleon Returns. Thank you for reading my blog.
I am twelve chapters into writing my second short story book; about thirty-four thousand words and having a ball. I love to write and push my imagination to the limit. How about you? Do you like to write? Do you push your self to be as good as possible? I always have and have not been disappointed, even though I have failed many times. I like to try different things: Right now I am dabbling into making my own furniture. My girlfriend and I have a tendency not to agree on how to construct a piece of furniture, but we work it out as one of our challenges.
Lucky set his GPS for Miami Florida and will stop along the way to rest. First stop, Bealeton, Virginia for a cup of coffee and breakfast. Lucky decides to go to McDonald’s for a cup of coffee and a sausage and egg sandwich. He pulls in and walks inside; it is busy but quick. It has been twenty years since he ate at a fast food place. He smiles thinking how Carla would say,
“We do not eat fast food Lucky!”
The cashier asks Lucky why he was smiling so much, and he says because it has been twenty years since he ate fast food and the woman’s jaw drops in astonishment. Lucky spends an hour at the table. He liked his coffee and hot sandwich and was a little surprised that the sandwich was a bit spicy. He takes out his I pad and writes some notes: beautiful forest riding and many curves. Lucky thought of his first visit with Carla on assignment; He thought she was the most intelligent, sexy woman he ever met. Lucky Stops by a railroad crossing and sees an eighteen wheeler barreling down on him. The driver slams on his brakes as Lucky watches his cabin slide by him and stop. He jack knifed his rig and launches into the opposite lane. Lucky smiles at him and rides off as fast as He can to make up the distance between him and that rig. Lucky writes, I laughed.
Lucky continues to write his notes and finishes his sandwich and leaves the restaurant; two men are looking at his motorcycle.
“Can I help you?” Ask Lucky.
“ Yeah! Give me your keys!” Demands the young man.
Lucky looks around him to see if anyone else is behind him. Lucky ask the young men to leave before they get hurt and they both laugh. Lucky hits the man in front of him on the side of his head and propels him to the ground. Lucky kicks him in the bottom of the head with a round heel kick, knocking out two teeth as Lucky approaches the other man who raises his arms to surrender.
“Pick up your friend and leave or I will shoot you!”
Lucky raises his jacket to show him his forty-five. The man quickly helps his friend up and leaves. Some people will never learn to listen when someone tells them to leave you alone, thinks Lucky. Lucky starts his bike and rides down the road hoping no one else will test his resolve. Sorry Honey, I lost it for a minute; I have little patience right now, as Lucky thinks of Carla as he rides down the road. Lucky plans on touring to Charlottesville then to Danville Virginia. The country is beautiful, and he will be tired when he hits Danville. Every time Lucky hits a curve, he remembers the ride home from Santa Cruz, California and the great time he, Jack and Harry had. Harry will be upset I did not invite him for this ride. Lucky pulls into the Holiday Inn, in Danville and it begins to pour. He is happy he made it to the hotel.
Lucky is hungry and rides to Joe and Mimma’s Italian Restaurant and has a Chicken Croccante, a pan-fried chicken breast encrusted in almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Topped with wild mushrooms and a port wine sauce. He had a glass of Italian red wine with his dinner and couldn’t be happier. He enjoyed the server who was very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. Lucky enjoyed the view of the Dan River and sat outside for a while. The rain had stopped, and the air was crisp and smelled of forest and steak. Jack would like this ride as he writes in his book. Lucky would mention the kindness shown him at the restaurant. Lucky walks over to his bike and a young man with tattoos, long black hair, and a long black beard is looking at Lucky’s Bike.
Hi, my name is Butch, nice scooter you ride. I do not see many old men riding Harley’s. I am glad to see you on one.”
“Thanks, I am Lucky, and I am on a little trip,” as Lucky shakes Butch’s hand.
“Yeah, where you are heading?” Ask Butch.
“No kidding! I am heading that way tomorrow after my gig here. I play Blue Grass music and have a little following. I own that Harley Trike over there and could use the company.” Says Butch.
“ Your welcome to come but I make frequent stops. When do you wish to go?”
“ Eight o’clock good for you?” Says Butch.
“Yes, that is perfect, I can have breakfast at the hotel before we leave,” explains Lucky.
“Where are you staying?”
“At the Holiday in Express here in Danville, Says Lucky.
“Me too! Small world, see you on the morning,” Says Butch.
Lucky hops on his bike as Butch waves goodbye. Small world we live in, uh Jack, as Lucky thinks of his best friend. He arrives at the hotel and walks to his room; a woman stops him and ask,
“Can you use some company?”
“ The woman grabs Lucky’s arm and Lucky sees a man from the corner of his eye come running around the corner. Lucky pushes the woman away and pulls out his gun. The man has a knife, and Lucky tells the woman to back away and points the gun at the man. Drop the knife and walk away or I will shoot you!”
The man turns to walk away, and Lucky says,
“Drop the knife!”
The man turns and attempts to throw the knife and Lucky shoots his throwing hand. The blade flies out of his hand and the man and woman run away. Lucky picks up the knife and walks to the hotel office. The manager calls the police, and they arrive ten minutes later with the man and the woman in the back seat. Lucky shows the officer his FBI card and explains what happened and hands the officer the knife.
“ You have had an exciting evening.”
“Yes, I asked him to drop the knife, and he tried to throw it at me, and the woman wanted some action. When I told her no he came around the corner,” explains Lucky.
“Their names are Joe and Beth, they are local meth heads and are always in trouble. Why didn’t you kill him?” Ask the Officer.
“ Too many dead people on my hands; It comes with the territory, being a criminalist,” Says Lucky.
“Criminals see older people as easy targets, an advantage to rob from you because you cannot defend yourself,” Says the officer.
“ Good night Officer” as Lucky turns to go to bed.
“ Hey! You filing any charges?” Ask the officer.
“ Throw them in Jail and remind him how lucky he is to be alive,” Says Lucky.
“Amen! Mr. McLaughlin, the Officer, walks to his car as Lucky watches him leave.
What is wrong with this country? Terrible drugs that are a multinational problem; Homeless on our streets. Is it not enough police or too little morals? Twice today I have been attacked, is there a sign on my back, I am easy prey! Lucky is thoroughly disgusted and is ready for bed when his phone rings,
“Hi, Dad! How is your trip?” Asked Charlie
“ It has been interesting to say the least, what’s up?”
“ I have an interesting case and need your advice, a man brutally beat his wife and almost killed her, and he is out on bail. He was in jail for six months and is threatening her again. The police are doing nothing, you know we can not act until he hurts her again. He may kill her, how can I help her?”