Top Drawer News — Aye, Matey

 

Have you ever dreamed of finding pirate’s treasure?

So have we. Read what we discovered in our first Bublish book bubble for our young adult novel, Pirate Summer.

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Posted in Fiction, Pirate Summer Tagged with:

Top Drawer News — Lovebugs, murder, and a cover reveal

Image source: Wikimedia Commons; no machine-readable author provided.

 

Love is in the air – especially if you’re a lovebug in May and September. During those months, these pesky little black-and-orange bugs lock together in an amorous embrace and become airborne missiles that splatter cars along the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Originally from Central America, lovebugs arrived in America’s southern region around 1940. Their scientific name is “Plecia nearctica.” Though they don’t bite or sting, they’re a nuisance to cars, pedestrians wearing light-colored clothes…and the hero in our soon-to-be-released cozy mystery, A Cause for Murder.

A Cause for Murder is set in the month of May and features septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs, along with plenty of lovebugs, both insect and human.

Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs thinks her neighbor’s death was an accident—until her friend Arnie says he suspects murder.

Arnie is convinced he knows the killer’s identity. He wants Emma to prove it.

Is Arnie right? And is he right in his belief that Emma’s best friend is the killer’s next target?

As Emma navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives, she discovers more than one person is hiding deadly secrets.

The question is, who has a cause for murder?

A Cause for Murder is on track for publication within the next month. In the meantime, here’s a cover reveal and an excerpt.

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EXCERPT

 

It wasn’t the food. Happy Haven Retirement Community’s chef prepared delicious, artistically plated roast beef and mashed potatoes every Sunday evening.

Emma Twiggs set down her fork. No, the food wasn’t the problem.

It wasn’t the chatter or the whispers in the dining room, nor the sidelong glances of other Happy Haven residents. Happy Haven was a hotbed of gossip and rumors. Being the topic du jour was familiar territory.

It certainly wasn’t her dinner companion. Arnie Bracken was always charming, kind, and intelligent, no matter what her best friend Olli thought.

No, food, chatter, and Arnie, combined or singular, were not the cause of her uneasiness.

The problem –

“I know what you’re thinking, Em,” Arnie said.

“Do you?” She picked up a glass of lemon-spritzed water and tried to swallow past the tightness in her throat. She could only hope he had no idea of what she was thinking.

“Sure.” He leaned forward and lowered his voice. “You’re wondering how someone as fit as Jo accidentally drowned in the swimming pool.”

Emma froze. Her fingers tightened on the glass. The chatter in the room faded into muted background noise. She had deliberately not been thinking about Jo. She would not think about Jo. How did Arnie know she’d been thinking about Jo?

“I’ll tell you how,” he said. “Jo was murdered, and Cahan murdered her.”

“I am not thinking about – Murdered?” The lump in her throat expanded to the size of the Brussels sprouts on her plate. “By Todd?”

“Murdered. By Cahan. And we need to prove he did the deed.”

“Arnie.” Emma set the glass on the table and uncurled her fingers from it. She coughed to clear the non-existent Brussels sprout from her throat. “The paramedics told us Jo’s death was accidental. An accidental drowning.”

“Yeah, I know all the euphemisms they used.”

Emma did too. The headline in Harmony Notes, the local daily, had read TRAGIC ACCIDENT AT HAPPY HAVEN. Unfortunate was the word murmured most frequently at the funeral service, followed closely by regrettable.

She said, “Harmony’s police department and the district medical examiner agreed with the paramedics, Arnie.”

“They’re wrong.”

A trickle of condensation wept down the side of the glass and puddled into a teardrop on the table. All the words used to describe Jo’s death were wrong. Wrong and inadequate. Words were inadequate now too.

Because this was the problem she had been avoiding.

Her role in Jo’s death.

***

Posted in Emma, Fiction Tagged with: ,

Top Drawer News — Staring out the window

Image source: Dreamstime Stock Photos ID: 83059245 ©Creativecommonsstockphotos

 

What do you see when you stare out your window?

That’s the question we ask in this month’s post over at WorkingWritersandBloggers.com. We tell you what we see — and we’d like to hear what you’re looking at. Hop over and let us know in the comments.

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Posted in Top Drawer Tips

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 46

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 45
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 46

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
(Show notes are beneath the text.)

 

Before Jack completely disappeared, Nessa dashed around the edge of the palmettos. The excitement on Jack’s face had revealed how badly he wanted to find the Fountain.

What would he do if Harey couldn’t lead them to it?

Jack shouted, the words indecipherable.

“What?” She stopped. “Where are you?”

A solid THUD shook the ground.

“What was that?” Tenspot asked.

“I think Jack fell!”

Nessa ran. The tangled vines and thick clusters of young trees caught at her, held her back. Tenspot clawed at the undergrowth, opening a way for both of them. Sweaty and panting, they emerged into a closet-sized sandy glade. Jack sprawled on the ground on the other side, next to a toppled tree.

“His leg’s stuck!” Tenspot raced across the clearing.

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded this segment in one take, after three practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. This week, we  watched YouTube videos about effects available in Audacity. While we have known that we can change the pitch of our recorded voice, and we do so for Tenspot, we learned that the average difference between a male and female voice is about one octave, and we learned how to create the difference in Audacity using the Change Pitch effect.

Comments. We  think Tenspot’s voice is a bit chipmunky, and will work on correcting his voice in future installments.

Story changes. No changes to the written version this week. The sentence structure and words worked well in the switch from visual to audio.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 45

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 44
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 45

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

“We don’t have to.” Tenspot pointed at the palmettos. “He found us.”

Harey emerged from beneath the spiky bushes and paused. His nose quivered. He looked even younger than he had when they had started the search.

Could he—no. No, of course not.

Nessa held out her hand. Instead of hopping toward her, Harey backed away.

“Let’s circle around him,” she whispered. “We’ll corral him and I’ll pick him up.”

As they started toward him, the rabbit shot sideways and vanished into the undergrowth. Leaves rustled and a sharp gust of wind set the palmettos shaking.

The ache of wanting to find the Fountain twisted Jack’s stomach. He curled his fingers into his palms. He had to know.

But the thought of being wrong again froze him in place.

“What are you waitin’ for?” Tenspot poked Jack’s arm. “We’re gonna lose him.”

“No, we are not.” He uncurled his fingers. “You two take the trail around the edge of the thicket. I will follow Harey. I will not lose him this time.”

He plunged into the palmettos. The surge of excitement that gripped him was every bit as sharp as the spiky green fronds that closed around him.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,
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