The special investigator took in the appealing French countryside as the TGV sped south past Lyon. After receiving the encrypted message from a contact in Washington, he had arranged to meet his partner in Avignon. From there they would drive the forty-five minutes to Aix-en-Provence. He enjoyed the change of pace. It felt good to get out of Paris. Fresh air always seemed to improve his disposition.
As a hired investigator for some very wealthy people, and a trusted member of Société d’Angélique, he was often called in to follow up on every alarm the rich and powerful got wind of.
Sometimes he was brought in to clean up messes left by their goons, including bodies for disposal. Strangely, he no longer found this distasteful.
Excerpt from THE RED SERPENT
I wrote this article several months ago for posting on Mothers Day 2013. With the approaching holiday season I thought it fitting to post it today.
My Mom died ten years ago, unexpectedly, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. When I marvel at the size of big screen TV’s I think of her and what she’s missing out on. When I see a new boat in a showroom I think of her and the fact that Mom never saw a boat she didn’t like or want to own and in a lot of cases she did. Mom liked gadgets from cell phones to stereo equipment and tried to keep up on advancing technology, I know she would have liked the iPhone.
Mom was a depression baby who grew to be part of the greatest generation. She worked in a factory producing clothing for GI’s, purchased war bonds, married my Dad, who became part of the invasion of Europe and found time to play baseball, a passion that led to an offer to play in the All American Women’s Baseball League. As busy as she was trying to survive in those stressful times she gave birth to me. Of course I don’t remember much about my early childhood and what it was like to live through the war years but several years ago my uncle handed me a stack of letters post dated 1944 through 1945, letters received by my aunt from my Mother and from my Dad. I had received a gift of history first hand and read what it was like to live and work in those times, but more importantly I learned how much my mother loved me and the sacrifices she made for me and about my life in those early years.
And that brings me to my point. I wish I could have told her, one last time, I loved her before she died and I wish I could have thanked her for all the things she did in bringing me into to this world and those first years of my life. I wished she would have lived to see my first book published and like the main character in my story, Jean Marchaud, followed a young man through his loss of a loved one and like me wished he could have told her he loved her before she died.
So I’ll tell you now, I love you Mom and I hope you get this message where ever you are.
There are no two ways about it – reviews help sell books. Writing a book requires not only passion for the project, but months or years of exhaustive research and sometimes traveling to the subject destination. Then comes the hard part: the outline; the painstaking assembly of a hundred thousand words; (including punctuation and individual letters, this can add up to well over a million keyboard characters!); then there’s the dreaded edit, and re-edit, and re-edit, and re-edit…you get the picture.
So when you have the pleasure of reading a book you like, take a moment to acknowledge the author’s effort by posting a review on a site like Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads. Friends will gush about how much they loved my book. When I thank them and say, “Great! Please post a short review so others will know that too,” they gasp and recoil like a vampire stumbling onto a garlic patch. “But I’m not a writer,” they wail. “What do you think I am…a New York Times critic?” (I wish!) No, I don’t think anything of the sort. But seeing as you just told me the things you liked about my book, all you have to do is type that into a couple of sentences and submit it! Even if it’s just a few positive comments, a review is the ultimate way you can show an author respect for his or her labor of love. And please don’t forget to recommend the book to your friends who like to read!