Monday, September 26, 2011

Angus MacPherson from View to a Kilt

A View to a Kilt by Chris Redding,
from Echelon Press.
Available in eBook and trade paperback
Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day.
When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her
past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son
makes it pretty clear that won’t happen too easily.

Tonight we welcome FBI Agent Angus MacPherson.
Retired FBI.

You’re a little young to retire, aren’t you?
Once my wife Charlotte was killed I lost my zest for law enforcement. I run a private security firm and do everything from body guards to internet and computer security.

Tell us how you met interior decorator Miriam?
Well, I saw her as someone who could help me figure out if Charlotte was murdered and by whom. I never had any idea I’d fall in love with her.

Investigating the death of your wife and you fall in love – how did you manage that?
Thinking with the wrong head? Oh, wait, I guess you could say I didn’t realize how captivating Miriam would be. My wife died two years ago. I didn’t realize just how ready I was to fall in love again.

And Miriam Stokes is The One?
I’m nuts about her. I never thought I’d feel this way again.

So, what went wrong?
I lied to her, or at least didn’t tell the truth. I was hired to protect her, but I couldn’t tell her. My client asked for the utmost discretion.
Now I can’t sleep and I certainly can’t go back to the Bureau if I’m dating someone who is a witness for them. The whole relationship closed some doors for me. But I learned how to put the past in the past and that no job is worth lying to the one you love.

Find out more by checking out...,,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fang and Claw

The night is my world...

Mostly I spend my time in the twilight world where perfectly respectable characters become real... well mostly respectable characters. As the days shorten and the calendar marches on towards October 31, I can't help thinking about the darker things that inhabit the night.

Hallowe'en is over a month away, you say. Tell that to the kids who are already planning their costumes. Besides, the ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, aren't limited to one night a year. They are always with us - if only on our bookshelves.

Speaking of Twilight worlds, do real vampires sparkle? Do werewolves bond for life? Inquiring minds want to know. And who would really win the battle (or popularity contest) Fang or Claw or some other classic monster?

Having a set of claws myself, I might be prejudiced. So I am asking you to weigh in. (See the poll on the side.) The results will help determine who will be interviewed Hallowe'en night. Then we shall go "Deep into that darkness peering..."

But I'm a hawk, not a raven, so don't quoth me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back-to-School with Miss Gumm

In honour of  the first day of school, I've invited Miss Adele Gumm, from Cherryville Kansas, 1873. 

Miss Gumm, better known to readers as Marly Landers' Aunt Adele, is oft referred to but never appears in Under A Texas Star.

Welcome, Miss Gumm.

Humph! That ungrateful girl has put you up to this, hasn't she? I rescue her from a renegade reb. I put a roof over her head and food in her belly. I teach her to read and write and do sums - I even let her learn history and bookkeeping with the boys - since she had no aptitude for needlework.

Boys and girls have a different curriculum in your school?

In every school! When I started teaching, girls and boys were in different classrooms - if not different schools. That was in the city of course. In a one-room country school, the best I can do is have the girls on one side and the boys on the other. Both learn reading, writing and sums, but the boys learn skills that will help them take care of their accounts or go into business - maybe go to college if their folks can afford it. Girls learn what they need to take care of a home and children.

Whatever her faults, Marly was a quick learner. Except for the needlework, she could handle all the lessons I gave. She was good with the younger children too. I was training her up to take over for me as teacher. No fear of that happening now.

Do you miss Marly?

Humph! She was useful enough when I could get her to work, I suppose. Give her the chance and she'd disappear. Took to hanging about the Sheriff's office when she was younger. Sweeping floors, sorting wanted posters when she should be sweeping the schoolroom floor and cleaning the slates for me. Though, fair is fair, she took her turn at those chores too.

It wasn't seemly, a young girl hanging about a bachelor like Langtree. Not saying he would have taken advantage but I know from experience how easy it is to have your head turned by an experienced man.

What experience is that, Miss Gumm?

None of your beeswax! You keep your prying beak to yourself.

The rules that a teacher has to follow are pretty strict, aren't they? You can't marry or keep company with men. You can't dress in bright colours...

That all depends on your school board, doesn't it? And whether you're a man or woman.

Men are expected to court, so long as the girl is respectable, because a man is considered more respectable if he's married. A woman is expected to leave her profession if she marries so she can get down to making babies and the like.

The school I started in did its best to fill their female teacher's time with chores and Bible study. They didn't want to lose us to marriage. One whiff of impropriety and you were out.

Here, they're just glad to have a teacher. There are plenty of rules, of course, but no one is going to check up and see if I'm in bed by sundown or chide me if I smoke a pipe now and then. As for bright colours... those days are past me now.

Are you smarter than an 8th Grader circa 1900? Find out here.