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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Safe Of Old Lies: Book Excerpt



Chapter 12

The one-story, three-unit apartment complex that Bobby Dobbs called home was located in Encanto. It was north of Imperial Avenue and not far from the barbershop. At first sight, the small building was pale and looked pinkish-orange under the mid-morning sun. To get there, I had to steer carefully along nearly 500 feet of a narrow driveway off Atkins Avenue. Hanging trees and wild brush smacked against the windshield of the car. Were it not for the entrenched tire marks trailing to the left, I might have passed the entrance to the graveled parking lot.
From the looks of it, Dobbs must have been saving up money to buy an actual house one day. The rent sure seemed like a bargain here. Huge patches of dried, peeling paint were curling from the structure’s walls. Trash, loose paper and other pieces of debris were speckled and tossed about the empty parking lot. From somewhere in the distance, the lingering stench of an angry skunk permeated the dry morning air.
I got out of the Buick slowly and took a look around for Dobbs' maroon-colored Volvo. It still wasn't here. In the backdrop facing east were three palm trees towering over the apartments, swaying like anemic, mop-topped skyscrapers. A chain-link fence ran around the perimeter of the entire plot, with wild jasmine shrubs planted sparsely every twenty feet or so. To my left was a rusted Toyota Corolla with three flat tires, parked for what seemed like the long term in front of a large garbage bin. Walking toward a cemented walkway just outside the doors of the building’s tenants, the whole complex resembled the type of inexpensive, patched-up housing that made quick profits and attracted temporary settlers in this area of the city.
All three units had vertical blinds drawn closed, and Dobbs’ apartment was the last door on my right, nearly camouflaged by thick brushwood. I peered curiously through the dense leaves and smiled at the sight of a small vegetable garden along the length of the southern wall.
The apartment's front door was bare and unfinished, garnished only with the pair of metallic letters A3 as if to indicate another floor of units existed. Out of curiosity, I stepped back and peeked at the neighboring door, confirming my presumption of door number. Sure enough, it was marked as A2.
The doorbell sounded like a stifled pig's squeal when I pushed it. There was no response, even after a few more prolong pushes of the button. So, as I always do, I knocked firmly but politely.
Suddenly, a swift gust of dusty, hot wind blew against my back, opening the wobbly door before the first rap of my knuckles. The effect was just like one of those scary movies, only this time the draft of air exposed the interior of Dobbs' small apartment. I scanned the jamb from top to bottom and left to right, and checked the dead latch and strike plate for any possible damage. Nothing seemed unusual.
From where I stood could be seen an interesting variety of throw rugs that were placed tidily in certain spots on a wooden floor. Each matting had a different color and shape. As was the case with Maybella Honore, you could easily see that Bobby Dobbs had a penchant for neatness. The contrast of his apartment’s tidiness against the trashy parking lot was as stark as day and night.
I stood at the opened door, slightly confused about the next move to make.
“Hello?...” I inquired like a typical stranger. “Mr. Dobbs?...Anyone home?”
I glanced backward before poking my head in further, trying hard to be not too good at being inquisitive. But it was times like these when my sixth sense always kicked in, letting me know in an uncomfortable way that something just wasn't right. I started getting that feeling before I got here. It might have been the hundredth time that I walked into an empty residence like this and having no clue about what the hell might have went wrong. But what I did need to know now was, why would a person like Bobby Dobbs leave his front door unlocked for unexpected visitors like me to just walk right on in?
They often say thin walls make for bad neighbors. From somewhere nearby, I heard the oohs-and-aahs of a familiar social activity. When I found the source, my eyes widened a bit at the sight of the woman’s massive derriere humping up and down rhythmically against a well-endowed john. She was positioned above him, working her special magic with enormous hips and thighs. Although the sound was lowered on the television, the tantalizing video had enough visual action to raise any man's blood pressure in the right way. And just like any man would, I tried hard to concentrate on the task of finding Dobbs while contending with a budding erection.
The living unit had been converted into a low-scale facsimile of a studio apartment. The strange array of its windows was the first indication. I found them to be spaced apart in an unusual way. Then there was the interior finishing of the ceilings, walls and baseboards that were rather substandard. I frowned at the sloppy workmanship which had been done, and the thin paint that had been brushed over the drywall and globs of rippled joint compound.
But the place did have the true feeling of a bachelor’s pad: uncluttered, maneuverable and perfectly equipped with all of the physical pleasures of a single man. In front of a contemporary leather sofa stood a monumental home entertainment center, spanning the entire wall to the right of me, replete with every video game, DVD or A/V component a man-child could ever want. Throughout the floor space were other kinds of household electronics, miniature car models and tall floor lamps resembling metallic cranes. On a long table near the windows sat clean and shiny tonsorial equipment that were carefully placed as one-of-a-kind artifacts in a history museum. Large posters hung on the walls depicting the colorful character of black barbershops and painted in a manner evocative of Ernie Barnes and Frank Morrison.
After a few instances of quick admiration, I went back to the front door, peeped outside and slunk toward what could be called a kitchenette. It wasn't much bigger than an English phone booth, with a stove, a rusted sink and a dwarfish refrigerator squeezed within its tiny footprint. There was a fresh, half-eaten Reuben sandwich and pickle slice left on a small platter. Inside of the fridge were your typical condiments, a gallon of milk, orange juice, more corned beef, ripen fruit and four unopened beer cans. It was a good sign; at least Dobbs was still eating. So I went to explore the bathroom next to the kitchenette.
It looked as if the barber may have had a quick shave before getting to wherever he was at this moment. Dripping waters echoed down the hole of a slightly rusted face basin. I bent forward to study an expensive-looking steel razor that had been left drying beside a lathering bowl. I took a whiff of the rich shaving cream inside, impressed with its unique scent, as well as Dobbs’ obvious taste in men's grooming. The bathroom walls and floors had been tiled with black ceramic pieces, and every square inch of the shower stall sparkled with a quartziferous luster.
I was about to leave the apartment and end my uninvited tour when I wondered why I hadn't noticed a thin painted door situated between the kitchenette and the bathroom. It had the same off-white color as throughout the apartment. The door was about two feet wide and so level against the surface that it virtually blended unnoticeable into the wall. I tried pulling at it, but the door appeared bolted like the Fort Knox Repository. I thought better at giving it a second try, becoming ashamed at the thought of being caught snooping around another man’s personal space.
But it was the faint thump against the door that stopped me in my tracks.
With a final, rigorous jerk, I found out why the small knot in my gut was getting tighter.
Bobby Dobbs knew why too, only he couldn't tell me.
Behind me, I listened to the spunky couple climax simultaneously, bringing their invigorating workout to a shuddering end with cascading orgasms. I released a chestful of repressed air through the grinding teeth in my mouth. I wanted to close the door and get the hell out of Dobbs' little private hell as fast as I could. But as much as I tried, I couldn't move a muscle. I just couldn't stop staring at the moist droplets trickling from the dead man's exquisite face. It smeared against the clear plastic bag that encapsulated his toweled body as it slumped jaggedly and motionless between the walls of the slender closet. It looked as if his protruding tongue was trying to tell me something between mustached lips. But I couldn't hear a damn thing Bobby Dobbs may have been trying to tell me.
He had taken his last perfect shave. Only this time, he didn't have anyone around to check out his work. I'd never been a religious man, but I said a little prayer for the dead barber on this day.

Book excerpt from "The Safe of Old Lies"
Copyright 2013 Forrest Greenley Mysteries.
All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Safe Of Old Lies



"The Safe of Old Lies" is now available for download at the following sites:

Smashwords

Apple iTunes

Kobo Books


There is also a book sample available.

Smashwords is a eBook self-publishing and distribution site dedicated to promoting self-published authors. This site gives you virtually all the help you will need to get started  as an independent author or publisher, including practical self-publishing information and state-of-the-art eBook marketing advice that you will need to distribute eBooks to a variety of eBook genres. The Smashwords Style Guide, Smashwords Marketing Guide and Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success are free tools offered and written by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The "Plus-Size" Femme Fatale

   
    Good fiction writing is all about using your imagination.

I mean, to really use your imagination in the creative writing process sometimes requires the most unconventional ways of thinking. In developing the plot for "The Safe of Old Lies”, I wanted to come up with characters that defined the unusual, the extraordinary and larger-than-life. After all, that's what good fiction is all about: a stretch of one's imagination through the use of imaginary events involving unimaginable people. When telling a good story for your readers, your writing environment may not be just right, nor as inspiring as you'd like. You may have to adapt to uncomfortable surroundings, unavoidable distractions and undesirable time schedules. Believe me; I know and it's a struggle at times. But this may be a good thing for most of us in helping to produce a greater, more dynamic story than initially intended.


I'm a lover of big women. I grew up surrounded by a number of large-size girls and women during certain episodes of my lifetime. I grew to appreciated all of the new and wonderful things that I learned about them. Lately, I'm finding that the rise of popularity of plus-size models in the fashion industry, the professional working world and general acceptance among society has been gaining a lot of coverage in media. For a long time, the body types of plus-size women have been shunned and ridiculed, as well as made out as an abnormality. Thin girls have had their day but now everything seems to be leaning favorably towards the curvy diva. I'm no expert on women nor fashion, but what I do know is I have always liked what I've seen in plus-size women. And most men will tell you that, way down deep inside, we would much prefer and admire the woman with extra curves.


Enter Sara Wrightwood, one of the main characters in the latest Forrest Greenley Mystery, "The Safe of Old Lies". To develop Sara's persona, I used the photographs of several well-known plus-size models to get the inspiration I wanted in formulating Wrightwood's background. She's a former plus-size fashion model who falls upon bad times during this Great Recession. Ironically, the only job that available is as a secretary of a non-denominational church. In the development of her character, I tried to imagine what it would be like to experience such a transition in life, something which most have experienced to a large degree lately due to such challenging economic times. Sara's change in attitude about what she really wanted out of life prompts her to make a choice: be a humble, proficient assistant at the Armored Faith Congress for who knows how long? Or take the chance of a lifetime and hopefully never regret it.


The fashion models displayed in this post were a big help in accomplishing that goal. The women above are actual professionals working in various areas of the world of business, and not just only fashion modeling but entrepreneurship, retailing, apparel design, entertainment, media and much more. If it's true that "a picture is worth a thousand words", then I imagine that it should become obvious that these beautiful ladies are extremely confident about their body types and don't let such non-sense get in the way of their pursuits of happiness.

    The outcome of "The Safe of Old Lies" will shock many readers, but the only way you will know is to download your copy at Smashwords.com.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Apple's "Breakout Books" Campaign Going Global


Over the past few months, I've been watching with interest the emergence of Apple's "Breakout Books" feature and its promotion of Smashwords' authors. Well, it seems that Smashwords's consistent efforts of promoting self-published eBook authors is finally paying off through this campaign. Apple's "Breakout Books "  is an continuing promotional feature that started at Apple iBookstores in December 2012, giving many of Smashwords' self-published authors high merchandising visibility in many countries around the world. As of this week (March 4, 2013), there are nearly 40 self-published titles being displayed in this campaign by Apple, all of whom are Smashwords authors. The "Breakout Books "  latest drive has been directed toward iBookstore customers in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

You can read the Smashword's article here:
"Apple iBookstores in U.K. and Ireland Promote Self-Published Authors in Breakout Books Feature"

I'm writing this article because of the good feeling I'm having with the recent success of the Apple-Smashwords marketing collaboration. As stated before, the self-publishing market is looking more and more like the sleeping giant that is awakening the book publishing industry and in unexpected ways. So, if you're an promising author and want to be a part of something big, go directly to the Smashwords Web site, dust off that long-forgotten manuscript and get back on that keyboard! 

Smashwords is an eBook self-publishing and distribution site dedicated to promoting self-published authors like yourself. In a simplified world, it's virtually all the help you will need to get started. The site will give you practical self-publishing information and state-of-the-art eBook marketing advice that one needs to create, publish and distribute eBooks to a large variety of readers. Start by downloading and reading the Smashwords Style GuideSmashwords Marketing Guide and Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success, all of which are publishing tools written by Mark Coker (the founder of Smashwords) to help you succeed. Once your manuscript is finished, you can set your own price, create your own book cover and begin detailing your personal Smashwords profile. The obvious success of recent Smashwords authors should be a clear indication of the potential you have in becoming successful in your self-publishing endeavors. Ultimately, it will take some serious effort on your part. But the best thing about Smashwords is that the tools created for you to write the next great novel are free, are proven to work and will make 2013 your benchmark year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The Safe of Old Lies": Book Excerpt




Here's an excerpt from the next Forrest Greenley Mystery, "The Safe of Old Lies". 
Forrest is hired by a retired librarian to find a personal safe that was stolen from her home while she is hospitalized for breathing difficulties.
"The Safe of Old Lies" will be available for purchase soon at Smashwords.com. Smashwords is an independent publishing site that offers a huge selection of marketing services and publishing tools for independent authors and writers that are free and worthy of your review. All you have to do is provide the creative content. You will also find more Mystery & Detective Fiction eBooks there as well.
In the meantime, enjoy the except and please have a safe Holiday Season!  

__________________________________________________


Chapter 17

The truth doesn't cost anything, but lies will cost you everything.”
Anonymous

We sat together this Friday night enjoying the culinary delights of grilled tuna burgers, a well-dressed black bean-mango salad, savory African peanut soup and a bottle of chilled white Merlot. Let me show how much my wife missed me over the past week: she bought me a three-pound strawberry cheesecake! (One of my greatest weaknesses, I might add.) Over the past several months, Tariah had been coming home early more often ever since her hair salon clients were dwindling in frequency. In a way, this became a forced opportunity for us to have relaxing dinners as they should have been: a well-cooked meal, frivolous conversation and relieving laughter. We were joking about the little big-headed son of a next door neighbor. He was your typical little boy, rambunctious, nosy and venturous. One day, I caught him leaping off the top of the fence in my backyard. When he landed, I stood in front of him like an unexpected giant, freezing him in his tracks. He looked to the right and left, and quickly came to the conclusion that there was no escaping me. This is what I said to him:
“If I ever catch you jumping over my fence again, I'm gonna take you and throw you on top of those trees, where the crows and hawks will eat you up in one night!”
Tariah broke out with such hearty bursts of laughter that I thought she'd never stop.
Then the laughter stopped, and rather abruptly.
I helped myself to another slice of delicious cheesecake while admiring the big, beautiful brown eyes staring back at me behind her thick, corded dreadlocks. The deep, significant valley of her cleavage pronounced itself with her every movement. She was wearing a black silk shirt that was, indeed, very tantalizing. I smiled at the flashing highlights and twinkles from her large golden earrings as they reflected light from the ceiling fan above. They were like signals that something good, even something mystical was in store for us this evening.
I don't know about her, but I was feeling pretty good and in the mood for those type of things.
“Is there something wrong, Tee?”
“No!” She hushed away my inquiry with a sip from her goblet. “What makes you think there's something wrong?”
“Well,” I said after a bite of the baker's delight. “I think I've known you long enough to know a few things about you. When you give me that look, it's either one, you're about to ask me something very important. Or two, there's something you've got to tell me that's very important.”
She ran the two postulates across a cloud above for a second or two, giving a confirmation with a spread of pearly whites.
“Very good. Very good. So you have been paying attention to me!”
“'Course I have. You think I would take our little conferences for granted?”
“Honestly? No. Somebody else? Yeah. But you? No.”
“I just love the little details you give me,” I smirked. “You're such a detail freak.” This made her chuckle and blush.
“It's not really me....it's just might be a subconscious carryover from the type of work I do. You know how detailed I am about hair. There's...just a lot of...details....that go into the work. That's all.”
“I don't know,” I returned, rubbing my chin with a playful look. “Sometimes, that carryover can be pret-ty annoying at times.”
She gave one of those knowing looks, grinning at the ceiling fan before returning those probing orbs at me. This time, they were on fire.
“So you think you really know me that well? Huh?”
“I don't know. Is there more I need to know about you?”
She got up, walked over and sat on my lap, taking the last fork of moist cake from my hand and ate it. The flowery perfume on her skin titillated my nose with hints of jasmine and cinnamon, and the weight of her hips had given an enlivened feeling to my little Forrest.
“Damn you smell good!” I snuggled my nose between her copper bosom for deeper inspection. “What is that?”
She let out a girlish sigh.
“It 's called body lotion for women. I've worn it before, and you never said anything then.”
“That because I wasn't this close to you.”
“G-r-r-r-r!!! You men! You're all the same, aren't you?!”
The sparkle in her eyes grew brighter and melted me more.
“I missed you, baby. That's all I'm trying to say.”
“I missed you too, Tee. I was serious about becoming a better listener. And thanks for the cheesecake. It was very delicious.”
“More delicious than this?”
       She lowered her full lips against mine, brushing against them before the warmth of her tongue began raising my body temperature. 
“Now that tastes very delicious...Can I get some more?”
We kissed again, softly and tenderly, with doses of intense, unbridled passion. The moment felt as if we had nothing else to do. Forever. I liked moments like these. The anxiousness inside me was building up again, only this time I let its smoother rush flow through me and mix with the good food and wine. Then, like two ravenous creatures meeting for the first time, we went at each other with mad abandon. The video I'd seen in Dobbs' apartment was Mickey Mouse compared to what we were about to do. Tariah Nash and Forrest Greenley had some feel-good, low-down and heavy-duty nurturing to make up for after a long, troublesome week.
I rubbed her secret valley of deep pleasure with a delicate friction, telling her all of the dreams I had while away from her. This only made her respond in return with heavier gasps and stronger, deeper kisses, pleasurably grinding her magnificence against my tightening groin. I brushed her locks aside and added more stirring whispers of how beautiful she was to me, and all of the many ways I wanted to show her.
How we managed to get to the bedroom, I'll never know. But once we crashed onto the bed, it was time in getting to that timeless motion we both relished with impatience. She hissed with voiceless exhaustion as I ran my lips and hands over every square inch of her splendid, writhing body, taking no detours around the dimples, dips, nooks and crannies.
Grown folks makin' good love? Ain't nothin' else like it!”
That's what my uncle Henry used to tell me when I was young.
“...Ooh Forrest! Baby! What has come over you?!”
“Mmm-hmm!”
Grunts and groans, roars and moans were all I could manage in return to her whispered pleas and breathless requests, preoccupied with the mission being the man of her moment.
Kiss me here.”
Kiss me there.”
Do it, baby! You do it right! but you do it baby!
She give, I'd give, and she'd give a little bit more. I did my very best to paint the picture of her dream just the way she wanted.
I lost count of the times she called out my name.
Oh Fee-Fee! Oh ba-by! Oh dar-ling! Oh m-m-my!”
Mmm-hmm!”
The soulful deep house music told us to 'let it feel good', and that's exactly what we did. My voluptuous lover and me got on a bouncy rhythm that would have tilted the Richter Scale, melting, shuttering, smacking, screaming, squeezing and then finally, finally, releasing, just the way The Creator meant for it to be. I enjoyed letting her be the woman she wanted to be, and I showed her how much I appreciated her doing that for me.
Uncle Henry was right.
There wasn't much else in the world better than making good love to a good woman.

Cover design by the Author.
Book excerpt from "The Safe of Old Lies"
Copyright 2012 Forrest Greenley Mysteries.
All rights reserved.

From Forrest Greenley Mysteries:
Happy Holidays and here's to a more Successful and Prosperous 2013!