The Fidget Cube

My girlfriend is a FIDGETIER.

I know it.  She knows it.  We accept it.

It is particularly annoying when you wish to cuddle and she lasts only a little while before the twitches start, usually in the legs or feet, and she has to move.  I used to take it personally, but I’ve learned, she just HAS to move, she MUST move, or she’ll implode or something along that line.  That would probably be messy.  I have learned to accept and look beyond her fidgeting.

However, my sense of humor gets the best of me sometimes and I couldn’t help myself.  I saw this little gadget on line somewhere, probably on Facebook, and I thought, that is PERFECT for her.  I MUST get THAT.  Now, to be fair, I’m a gadget freak, maybe a nerd would sound better?  I love gadgets, do-dads, and dust collectors.  I think that compensates for her fidgeting, don’t you think?  Anyway, back to my story.  I ordered this little item here:

I had to order it.  It was so PERFECT for my girlfriend.  I KNEW she could not POSSIBLY have one.  She does not collect things.  She does not have useless gadgets lying around (I do, and someday, that may be a bone of contention).  She doesn’t have dust-collectors.  She’s a minimalist.  Why she likes me, I have to say it must be our scintillating conversations and my outrageous sense of humor…yeah, right.

Well, it took well over a month for this Fidget Box, also known as a Gadget Box, also known as a Stress Cube, to arrive from China. (Notice it reads FIDDET CUBE, figure THAT one out).  Fortunately, I told her that ‘something’ was coming.  I did NOT tell her WHAT.

Today she received the envelope that it came in.  She said the oriental writing was so obscure she couldn’t have sent it back if she wanted to.  I laughed.  Then she told me when she opened it, it did not have instructions.  I laughed so hard, I cried.  She said she was looking for a USB port to plug it in.  She flipped the switch, she pushed the buttons, she rolled the ball, flipped the dial, and as she is telling me all this I’m only laughing harder, and HARDER!  I finally explained, it didn’t NEED instructions.  It did EXACTLY what it was supposed to do.  It made her fidget, it made her think, it had her concentrate on it as she tried to figure out WHAT it DID! E

I haven’t laughed that hard in ages, and, fortunately, she got my humor in this case.  She too joined in as she told me her trials and tribulations in trying to figure it out.  It only made it funnier to me.  Then I remembered that old joke, how to keep an idiot entertained:

My girlfriend is not an idiot, she is one of the most intelligent women I have ever met, but I did tell her the joke and we both laughed as it hit the funny bone in this whole story.

Meanwhile, it now sits in a place of honor on her desk, waiting for her to fidget with it, and, I hope, provide her with inane and random laughter as she thinks over this conversation and plays with it.

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If you’ve enjoyed this little story, please check out my books…somewhere in them is a little bit of me…and my humors…

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Pirated Heart, the sequel to Pirated Love

Pirated Heart Cover Book 2

~A swashbuckling good time~

From China to India to Africa and home to England…Will the love that Bettina Carmichaels shares with her wife, Claire, stand the test of time?  Will it even last the second year of marriage?

Trading, pirating, sword fights, sea battles, near drownings, and imprisonment…a sailor’s life may not be for all.  Come along as Tina, also known as ‘Black Betty,’ and Claire attempt to repair their failing marriage and survive sailing on the high seas…

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The Northwood Lodge

I am pleased to present to you my FIRST non-fiction novella.  A biographical novella about my father and grandparents with plenty of pictures.

The Northwood Lodge Cover 1000

In 1934, John Dillinger engaged in a shoot-out with the Division of Investigation, later called the F.B.I., at Little Bohemia in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.  Next door to Little Bohemia was the Northwood Lodge owned by Ernst and Agatha Meinel, my paternal grandparents.

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Another NEW year, celebrate WITH me!

I don’t know why this date always sticks out, because I don’t recall the exact day I found out I had cancer.  However, I do remember it was April, I’d just come back from an expo with my sons, my mother had died of brain cancer in January, I was selling my house in Southern California, I was finishing up my lengthy divorce that had taken over six years, and I was very, very sick.  I couldn’t breathe.  It was a Wednesday when I got in to see the doctor.  On Thursday I had x-rays, on Friday I went in for a biopsy…I was awake for the surgery where they removed the lymph nodes in my neck…it was gross because I could see the entire procedure on the shiny light above me, I couldn’t move from the anesthetic paralysis they had put me in, but they wanted me to talk to them, you know, in case they hit my vocal chords?

I’d been sick for a year, I knew it, as a woman, as a mother, and as someone who feels things very intrinsically.   I ignored it.  Why?  I was trying to raise two boys.  They were, when I found out my prognosis, aged twelve and ten.  I was also trying to run two businesses, one of them internationally and it was growing exponentially.  I was also trying to maintain two households.  I had a house in Huntington Beach, CA and another that I was renting in Los Osos, CA.  Then, my mother started behaving oddly.  She was living in our house in Huntington Beach and I was ‘home’ for the weekend.  I remember the first sign vividly in October of 2000 as it still hurts, even though she didn’t mean it, and it was so out of character for her.

We were watching some TV and a commercial came on about abuse.  A woman of about forty was yelling.  You would assume by what she was yelling that she was saying it to kids, abusing them.  Then the camera panned out to show a little old lady, practically cringing away from yelling woman.  I was horrified.  I turned to my mother and told her how much that commercial upset me.  Not that it was okay if it was children she was yelling at, neither was it okay to yell at a defenseless older woman.  My mother looked at me almost blankly for a moment and said, “Well, what do you think you do to me?”  I stared at her in the same horror that I had felt at seeing that commercial.  I gasped.  I also defended myself.  I said, “I would never speak to you in that manner!”  She had raised me correctly and she knew I would NEVER raise my voice to her.  She subsided after that.  I, however, realized something was wrong.  My wonderful, kind, and patient mother was behaving irrationally, that was the ‘first’ incident that I was aware of.

In November of that year, I bought another house, this time in Los Osos, CA, across the bay from Morro Bay, CA, so we could all live under one roof again.  It had to have a fenced in yard since we had two dogs, five cats, two growing boys, and my mother and I, as well as near enough to my warehouse in Morro Bay.  We were all elated as I signed the paperwork.  I had told no one as I didn’t want to jinx it until it was complete, good thing too as a week after I signed the seller changed their mind.  I felt horrible as my mother was so excited about us living together again.  She adored her grandchildren which she had helped me raise once I became a single parent.  I firmly believe that with her help they turned into better human beings than they would have it I had been completely alone for those years.

At Thanksgiving, I arranged to have someone else cook our dinner, I was too busy with work and picked it up.  We really enjoyed the meal and my mother was behaving oddly.  I kept asking her if she was okay the whole weekend before I had to get back to my other home and work up in Morro Bay.  It was a four-hour drive.

My mother knew my 1-800 number (it’s a free number to call businesses to those of you who don’t have that in your country) by heart and called me at least once a day, or I called her to check in.  A week or so before Christmas I couldn’t reach her.  I tried for days.  I had the police go do a ‘wellness’ check where they go pound on the door and ask the occupant if they are ‘okay.’  There was no response.  I finished up my Christmas rush of orders as fast as I could and headed down as soon as the boys were out of school for the day.  No one answered the door, my key worked, but the door was bolted.  I could, however, hear the dogs barking.  I had to lift my boys, one by one, over the back fence.  My biggest worry was that she had died in the house and they would find her, there was nothing I could do.  They went through the dogie door.  I went around to the front of our town home and they let me in.  My mother was sitting on the couch and was like, “Hi there!”  I was not amused, but I was relieved.

Fortunately, across the common area of our townhome complex lived my friend Jill.  She had been a nurse for years and I went to see her after we visited for a while at mom’s.  I asked her what I should do and she recommended I take my mother to the E.R. and tell them about her altered state, just as I had told her.  With that course in mind I went home and asked my mother when was the last time she had bathed.  Clearly, she could no longer take care of herself and this altered state of mind worried me.  Was she taking her meds?  Was she feeding the dogs?  I had regular orders of groceries delivered, part of our phone calls so I could just arrange that all the time.  Everything ‘seemed’ fine but I knew something was wrong.  She asked me if she stank, I assured her that she didn’t, but wondered if a bath would make her ‘feel’ better.  It did.  We had a delightful evening together, just like always.  The next morning, I took her to the E.R., she would never return home.

Getting her to the hospital alone was a nightmare.  I had one of those extended vans and she couldn’t get up in it.  I tried to lift her, but as we were about equal in weight and height, that didn’t work.  Then, her colostomy bag broke and we had to clean her up.  It took two HOURS to get her out the door and to the E.R. which was about ten minutes away.  I felt so bad as though I had failed her as a daughter.  I hadn’t, but I felt that way.

They kept her because based on my description of her behavior, they ran a scan and found a brain-tumor.  The doctor was eager to operate.  I could imagine my mother’s horror at the idea.  She was a very conscientious and particular person…about the way things should and shouldn’t be done.  She was very classy, very dignified.  She’d already survived thyroid and colon cancer, she would not want her head shaved and them digging into her brain.  The tumor had metastasized already but not from her other two cancers.  I have a theory that when she went in for her regular checkup in June, that they found out about the tumor, and she chose not to tell me.  She chose to let it go.  I decided then and there, knowing my mother, that she wouldn’t want the brief amount of time the doctors would have given her with such a surgery.  She would want to go on, she was tired of fighting, she was tired of living, she would want to die with dignity.  We’d talked extensively over the years about her two cancers, her three strokes, and I knew her well enough to know what she would want and the decisions she would make if she could.  I refused to allow the surgery.  I told my mother who was lucid, but had short-term memory loss, my decision.  I wasn’t sure she was nodding because she trusted me or because she agreed with me.  After telling her three times that weekend that she was dying of a brain tumor, I was done, I wouldn’t tell her anymore.  It hurt too much.  This was Saturday when I admitted her, by Monday she was in a coma.  They said she would never awaken again and probably be dead by Thursday.  This was right before Christmas 2000.

My mother not only woke up again, she recognized me, my boys, and my brother when he visited.  Nothing like making a liar out of the doctors.  During the last days, she had a stroke.  She always thought she would die of a stroke since her mother had, so when she tried to ask me what was wrong with her and I couldn’t tell her again that she was dying of a brain tumor, I told her she’d had a stroke.  THAT she could understand and comprehend and it seemed to give her comfort.  She even tried, during the last days, to comfort me when I was crying about her dying.  She told me I would be okay, patting me on the stomach.  She was right, I would be okay.  When she slipped back into her coma a few days later, I told her to go on, don’t hang around for me, I would be fine, she raised a strong woman, and I loved her.  She died the next day on January 4, 2001.

Four months later in April I was dealing with my own prognosis and possible death.  It was terrifying for my two boys.  I tell you, if they didn’t exist, I probably would not have fought so hard.  The doctor told me if I did nothing that I would live maybe 4-5 months…and it wouldn’t be a very pleasant death, choking to death.  I became a human guinea pig.

You might wonder why I tell all this, part of it is to remember because I need to, to exorcise it from my psyche.  Part of it is to tell others that no matter how bad things are, you can do it, you can deal with it.  I write about strong women in my books because I am a strong woman, my mother was a strong woman, my grandmother was a strong woman, my great-grandmother was one too…so I come from a long line of strong women and that is what I know and write about.  Here’s a bit of trivia, I am the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter, of the youngest daughter…how is that for a legacy?  I have no daughters, lol

No matter what you go through, what you may go through, you can do it…I firmly believe that the fates, that a higher power, God if you believe, doesn’t give you ANYthing that you can’t handle.  So, celebrate with me that it’s been SIXTEEN years since that long-ago prognosis.  I’m here, I’m still publishing stories that I hope you all enjoy, AND there is more to come.

If you wish to read more about my cancer story, please click here, here, here, and for the first mention, here.

AND, as always, check out my website to look at all my amazing books!  (Click on the picture to be taken to the site)

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Re-Releases of Malice! Book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & Malice Masterpieces 1

Read through to the end, I promise, it will be worth it.  This is all a little LONG, but no cheating by scrolling down!

Back on September 26, 2011, I released the FIRST of what would become the series MALICE with the release of Mysterious Malice.  It was an experiment.  I didn’t think I could write a Murder-Mystery series.  I was inspired by a good friend of mine, Carrie who writes like Stephen King, as well the show Dexter.  I began to research serial killers and found that 90-95% of all serial killers are men.  Is this because the other 5-10% who are women are smarter and never caught?  I began to think about that statistic.  I think, it’s because originally, the majority of people do not think that women are capable of such horrors, and that was how Alice Weaver began to come into MY psyche.  I thought, perhaps, I could write one and see how it goes, that was to be a novella….then, I thought, maybe a series of five.  Having just finished #22, which will be out soon, I think we have something going on here.

When I first started writing, I didn’t and couldn’t afford an editor.  Slowly but surely I built up a following of my writings and slowly and surely we are going through all the old books and sprucing them up.  They are not only being edited, but tweaked, polished, and even a little added here and there.  So, if you want to re-read an old story with a new polish, feel free.  It’s become a favorite series to many who enjoy a kick-ass woman who doesn’t take prisoners and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, who has faults, and who loves ferociously, then Alice is your kinda gal.

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Book 1 Mysterious Malice Cover

Meeting a mysterious woman in a bar, Deirdre’s life begins to change.  Alice discovers the abuse that Deirdre has been experiencing at the hands of her handsome and powerful husband.  But what can a petite woman such as Alice do to help her out of this bad situation?  And what will she want in exchange for that help?

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Book 2 Meticulous Malice Cover

Alice has a routine that only she follows and she tries not to be too predictable outside her home, leaving few clues for anyone who might be following her…is someone following her?

Murder requires technique.  It also requires meticulous planning and genuine care to detail if you’re going to do it right, correct?  Random acts of violence are not Alice’s style; however, when forced, she can play along.

Meticulous Malice delves deeper into who Alice really is.  Let’s play the game by HER rules…

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Book 3 Mistaken Malice

Making mistakes is something Alice DOESN’T do.  Can she deal with the fact that someone might have died in error?  How will she deal with it when someone else makes a fatal mistake?

Senators Cecelia and Ken Edwards enter into Alice’s arena, but are they more interested in her money, her power, or her desirable body?  Pursuing this ‘friendship’ will create consequences none of them intended…

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Book 4 Malicious Malice

Alice is angry!  She wants revenge for her sister’s death…and her lesbian lover is her target!

Is it ever safe to anger a psychopathic killer?  Justifiable homicide is a dangerous game, but then Alice is the master.  Watch as Alice strikes back in a unique way that promises to exact precisely the revenge she needs.

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Book 5 Masterful Malice

When Alice receives a plea for help from her sister’s friend, will she be able to free her from the bonds of a sadistic man determined to have her all to himself?  What about the bonds that Kathy begins to place on Alice’s cold, little heart.  How will they affect the killer in Alice?

This is the FIFTH book in the “MALICE” series about Alice, a serial killer with a mission to get justice where none would otherwise be served.

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Malice Masterpieces I the First Five Books

Malice Masterpieces The First Five Books including Mysterious Malice (Book 1), Meticulous Malice (Book 2), Mistaken Malice (Book 3), Malicious Malice (Book 4) Masterful Malice (Book 5)

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Also available as a LARGE PRINT Novel:1Large Print

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Alice is just finishing up a few minor details that have kept her from returning to her family—killing a few people that kept her away, blowing up a few things, taking revenge on the heartless…Can Alice FINALLY go home?

Coming to all the aforementioned next few days, so subscribe to this blog or check out my website!  Psst, if you check it out on my website NOW, it’s already THERE for your download convenience!  PDF, Mobi, and Epub formats!

The Outsider is FINALLY here!

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Joy Parker had the perfect childhood.  Doted on by her parents, she couldn’t imagine her childhood any different.  As a child and later a young adult, she’s ignored by her much older siblings, made to feel the outsider…until a tragedy occurs, altering her life in ways she couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

The next few years of her life are vastly different from her parents’ hopes and dreams for her.  Then suddenly, another life-altering event changes the course of her life and she must make decisions she never dreamt possible.  Winning the largest lottery in Wisconsin history opens the flood gates of possibility and means Joy must again decide which direction to take with the rest of her life. 

What would you do if you won $341,726,178.10 after taxes?  Come along for the ride as we discover what Joy Parker decides to do with it….

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Or you can buy it directly from my website here:

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The first chapter is even available on the website for FREE!