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[Read first installment here]

Catastropia – Part Two

nature animal wilderness head

Photo by Pixabay on

“Don’t shoot!” Chuck barked as he pulled his girth free from behind the wheel. Jake leveled the weapon over the top of the door, using the frame to steady his aim.

“Why the hell not?”

“Aside from the victims in the car? There’s a BOLO for two cats that got out of the preserve a few hours ago.”

“Two?” Jake responded, his face sheet white.

Chuck continued to the trunk and opened the special kit each unit carried at all times. Inside was an unassembled rifle along with what appeared to be fancy playing darts. Jake joined him at the rear of the vehicle.

Furtively glancing about, his shoulder pressed up against Chuck’s, Jake said in a low voice, “Two?”.

“Glad to see you’re comprehending the English language buddy. Yes, two. As in dos.” Chuck formed a peace sign and held it in front of Jake’s face.

“Then where’s the other one?” Jake whispered.

Like a bad dream that didn’t stop upon waking, Peterson appeared alongside the car.

“Guys,” she said forcefully as she tapped her watch. “Tick-tock. We need to get these patients looked at and transported to the ER. What’s the hold up?”

Chuck cocked the rifle and headed towards the driver’s side door which remained winged open. Behind him, Jake shared the latest information with Peterson.

“So what? You’re going to shoot at that thing? Within inches of injured patients?” Peterson’s shrill voice knifed through the pelting rain.

Chuck heard the slosh of footsteps from behind him. Reflexively he removed his finger from the trigger. No sooner had he freed his hand, Peterson grabbed his arm.

“For fuck’s sake,” he took a step back. “You could have gotten yourself shot or worse, one of the patients shot.”

Peterson glared at him as Jake yanked her back and threw her against the sedan.

“Do I have to cuff your sorry ass? Those are tranquilizers. Even if Chuck misses, the harm to your patients is minimal.”

“The hell it is,” Peterson screamed back while Chuck once again sighted the animal.

“That tranq will bring down an animal at least twice the size of one of those patients. All kinds of bad things could happen. Life threatening—”

“Knock it off you two,” Chuck barked. “Jake, take a look at this.”

While Jake peered through the scope, Chuck turned a wary eye on Peterson whose face likened to that of a beet. Wondering why she wasn’t moving, he glanced down to see that Jake had cuffed her to the rear door handle. He couldn’t help but grin. For one, the department had all but phased out the old cars—theirs being one of the last; meaning that had they had a newer model, that little feature wouldn’t be available to them. Secondly, he had a mad distaste for the blond. It started back when she had just come on board with Winslow Fire. It was long overdue she finally got her comeuppance.

“Jesus,” Jake breathed, pulling Chuck’s attention back to the present. “What the hell is going on here? Did that son of a bitch tie that cat to the roof before or after?”

“No idea,” Chuck replied. “I’m guessing after because I don’t see the victim.”

Jake moved the weapon and thus, the scope downward to confirm Chuck’s observation. “What are the odds the other cat got to him? I don’t see him anywhere.”

Both were stunned into silence when a loud growl erupted just behind them.

The Adventures of Jake & Chuck is a never-ending interactive (you get to add your thoughts and ideas to the adventure by commenting) story with weekly installments published here (be sure to follow so you’re notified when new posts are released).

Beginning as spear carriers to a novel, these two hilarious characters were not about to be relegated to taking the main characters from point A to point B. Their nagging  insistence brought about their own vignette published in 2008 titled Jake and Chuck Blow S[tuff] Up, which documented the Winslow Police Department partners as they attended mandatory Weapons of Mass Destruction training in the desert. Look for a release of that story here in the upcoming weeks.

Feed the muse! Comments and likes are much appreciated.


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. (more…)

readGillian Flynn’s Gone Girl became an obsession for me. I don’t even remember how I happened on the book, but I do remember that it’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to pick up a book and just read. That little red pen in my brain doesn’t meander out and interfere when I’m reading a Flynn novel. I hope she’s writing more as I’ve devoured Dark Places and am presently relishing Sharp Objects. (more…)

So here’s a bit of advice for writers. Once you get a domain, hang onto it. You can map it to a new server but once it expires, reclaiming it is a nightmare. That said, I’m in purgatory waiting for eNom to release the site name. Worse, my old blogs have been hijacked so the unsuspecting visitor gets a finance scam blog. You have been warned; don’t let this be you!