June Bugs (Part 4)

[Read first installment here]
[Read second installment here]
[Read third installment here]

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The telltale thump-thump-thump churned the air, fanning the heat in Jake and Bridget’s direction. Bridget retreated inside before Jake could think to warn her leaving him to stare at the sky looking for the helicopter.

A firefighter dashed past him, too fast and too purposefully to bother. He stepped off the deck and down onto the steaming grass as the dew reacted to the extreme temperatures. A whirly firework with a loud whistle screamed overhead. Jake instinctively ducked and threw his hands over his head. He made his way to the second engine that had come on scene and over to the engineer who was still standing by waiting for his orders. Only it wasn’t a he. Jake realized that three seconds too late.

“Is this your doing?” Abbey snapped at him.

“What? Me? Not in your life. I’m the one that cleans up his messes, I don’t start them. You haven’t seen him, have you?”

“Who?”

Jake managed to escape letting out a sigh of exasperation. “Chuck.”

“Why should I care?”

It wasn’t worth explaining it to her. It was clear she still held a grudge. But by all rights, she should care. Everyone there should. “Who ordered up the helicopter?”

“You can read, right?”

“Of course.”

“Okay, so look really closely at my forehead.” She pulled off the leather helmet and swept aside tendrils of chestnut hair so he could get a clear view. “Now tell me, do you see information booth printed anywhere there?”

Message received. Loud and clear. He hustled off in search of someone wearing a white or red helmet. He was soon rewarded with a cluster of red and white. Steered towards them. Got lucky when one turned in time to see him and peeled away from the rest to talk to him. His pal, Captain Luke Hennessey.

“Looks like Chuck got himself into a real pickle here,” Luke said once he was in earshot.

“Have you seen him?”

“Negative. He’s not with you?”

“Negative. Haven’t seen him since I got here which was right after your crew arrived. Who ordered up the whirlybird?”

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

Both looked skyward.

Luke said, “That doesn’t look like one of ours.”

Jake said, “That’s because it’s not.” He scooted off before Luke could say anything else. He’d have to find a way to get that damn thing down before it fanned the flames into the woods. And do it without killing the occupant. Because Bridget would never forgive him if he took the love of her life away from him.


Jake and Chuck’s Adventures is a new section of KathieLeung.com with weekly installments in this fun and free never-ending story that features two unforgettable spear carriers from Kathie’s works.

This is an interactive never-ending story which readers are invited to participate. Have an idea of where the story is headed? Do you want to chime in with your own story ideas? Hit that comment button and let ‘er rip! Note that these posts are written in advance so your suggestions might not make the next couple of excerpts.

Your rating and comments are all the gratuity needed! Enjoy, comment, and share.

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Jake and Chuck’s Adventures is something new to this site, but not new to me. The characters were developed eons ago, intended to be spear carriers–characters that got the reader from point A to point B in the book. Partners with Winslow Police Department with some colorful dialogue providing a bit of comic relief. But Jake was having none of that. And Chuck? Well, he came along for the ride–begrudgingly.

Several years back a short story was born featuring Jake and Chuck. The pair was required to attend Weapons of Mass Destruction training and elected to go to a class held in Nevada just outside of Vegas. They were tasked with building their own bomb on the final day of class. Being Jake and Chuck, they wanted to make the biggest bang they could. And being Jake and Chuck, all kinds of mayhem ensued.

Since then, Jake and Chuck have taken a backseat. That lasted only so long. And now they’re back behind the wheel, inviting readers to follow them on a slew of their wild adventures–and inviting the readers to become active participants!

Here’s your opportunity to lead the pair into catastrophe or help them out of a pickle. When you finish reading an installment, rate the story and then add in the comment section what you’d like to see happen next. It’ll be completely up to the duo as to whether they follow your lead–one thing I’ve learned, I have no control over these two. And who knows? Maybe the ideas will bear an entirely new storyline and new characters. So have at it and leave those suggestions!

Augustus Gloop

Books Instead of Candy & I’m a Regular Augustus Gloop

 

It’s officially summer and you know what? I’ve got nothing for a reading list to fill the long, hot (dreadfully so, especially since our A/C is out and we can’t afford to fix it) summer days and sultry summer nights.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Wrestling Match In My Head

The Wrestling Match In My Head

 

I’ve noticed, as I’ve grown older, that I have a spatial gap memory deficiency. One second I’ve got a list of things to Read the rest of this entry »

(c) KLeung Photography 2013

Chico Rebels vs. Napa Force 2013 – Boy’s Varsity (cropped down from across the field)

Read the rest of this entry »

powells

The Pie Dudes in April 2009 visiting Powell’s

After the publication of Second Avenue Second Hand and a very cool reception and unproductive meeting with the local indie bookstore when attempting to arrange a signing with fellow author, Donna Hole; I considered other options. Immediately I thought of Powell’s. I used to be a big fan of the bookstores out of Portland, OR. It was a fun family weekend excursion to run up to Portland (usually to escape the oppressive heat of California’s Sierra Foothills), spend a day roaming through Powell’s, stop off down the street at Voodoo Donuts for a Texas doughnut to nibble on during the drive back home, taking with us another over-sized doughnut a piece for the morning after, staying in Eugene at another family favorite, Broadway Inn. It would have been my dream come true to arrange a signing there, but in trying to get in touch with someone, I couldn’t find the author links on their site that I had seen many times before. Puzzled, and sidetracked by the growing of my twin boys, I let it go.

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Pictured Above: A Voodoo Doughnuts & Broadway Inn Photo Essay Circa 2009

But then Kelli Stanley, author of the Miranda Corbie novels, published a scathing post about the bookstore. Seems that there’d been a change at the helm which you can read here. While I removed as many of the links to the Powell’s website for purchasing the anthology after reading about this, replacing them with links elsewhere, but not the preferred indie store, I decided to ask Kelli what she recommended by way of other indie stores. And this is what she said:

“A friend recommends Annie Bloom’s or Broadway Books in Portland. Outside of Portland–and specifically for crime fiction–there’s the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Clues Unlimited in Tucson, Book Carnival in Orange, CA, and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego (they also carry science fiction and fantasy). The latter stores are heavily patronized by the crime fiction writing community, so whatever book you’re looking for, they’re sure to be able to get it signed and delivered.” .

Sadly, our family tradition of excursions to satisfy our inner cravings will be missed. But now we have the opportunity to start new ones as we hope to visit the stores Kelli suggested. Tell me, though, do any happen to have doughnut stores like VooDoo?

Do you have a favorite indie bookstore?

Winslow California

Winslow, CA

So who is this calamitous duo, Jake and Chuck? They are cops in Winslow, California (a fictitious town, see map on left) in northern California. Jake is the younger of the two, early thirties (fresh out of the Butte College academy when they were first paired), a self-proclaimed bachelor-for-life while Chuck, fast approaching retirement, is a bit odd, happily married to Marilyn, and more often than naught the catalyst for their misadventures.

Interview with Jake:

KL: So, Jake, tell us about the first time you met Chuck.

Jake: Oh man. (laughs) I honestly thought this dude had sat firmly on top of one of our famous Sequoias. That first day he was tense, barked at me for every stupid little thing, and at the end of the day, walked off without even saying good bye or see you tomorrow. (Shakes his head, laughs again.) Boy did I have it all wrong. Read the rest of this entry »