Tag Archives: Stanley Bruce Carter

Kill My Husband…

10 Oct

Another GSP release from Author of the Week: Stanley Bruce Carter.

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Eldelaide Crawson desperately wants to kill her husband, and she’ll do anything to get the job done. But despite her best efforts, Barrett manages to survive her strange and diabolical attacks. And then, just as success finally appears within her grasp, Eldelaide makes a bizarre discovery that changes everything.

Clutching a hideous jade statuette in her hand, Eldelaide Crawson strolled nonchalantly toward her husband. He was seated at his writing table, tapping his lavender fountain pen against his lower lip, his eyes fixed on the sheet of twenty-bond paper in front of him. He didn’t look up as his wife approached; didn’t notice she was holding one hand behind her back.

“Eldelaide,” he said. “If a woman were scaling the apex of her passions, would she be more likely to say Ooh or Ahh?”

Eldelaide stopped abruptly, her murderous mindset discombobulated by Barrett’s question.

“Scaling the apex of her passions?” she said.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And what, pray tell, does that mean, exactly?”

He regarded her with his watery blue eyes, and his thin lips curved into a tolerant smile. “Her climax, my dear. Would the average woman go ooh or ahh or perhaps utter some other exclamation?”

Eldelaide replied in a frosty tone: “I’m afraid I wouldn’t know, Barrett. I’m not an average woman. And I really couldn’t say what sounds I used to make when I scaled the apex of my own passions, for it was so long ago.”

One of Barrett’s carefully trimmed eyebrows arched. “Oh, come now. You’re not quite old enough to be losing your memory just yet.”

“Not quite old enough?”

“Besides, I’m not asking what sounds you personally would make. I’m asking what most women would do.”

“And why do you want this information?”

He waved a slim hand at the piece of paper. “My latest poem is all about the sounds of physical love. Auditations Amorous is the working title. I already have the bodily noises—the slurps and squishes and gasps and grunts and squeaks and creaks . . .”

“Your lovers squeak and creak? Where’s this poem set, in an old folks’ home?”

“It’s the bedsprings that squeak and creak, Eldelaide,” he said wearily. “But never mind that. I need the words people utter during their climaxes. I have the man’s response already—as his procreative urge / swells to its crescendo / his passion starts its surge / and he trumpets forth his bellow. I think ‘bellow’ fits nicely. But I need the woman’s response. Women don’t bellow, of course. Sometimes they shriek, but I want something less animalistic. The word ooh can be rhymed more easily than ahh, but I don’t want to take the easy way out.”

“Sorry. I can’t help you.”

“Oh, come now. Surely when you women get together you talk about such things.”

“Do we?”

“Well . . . don’t you?”

“Are you speaking of harlots in some bawdy house? I would know nothing of that. As for me and my friends, we most certainly do not discuss such personal matters.”

“Oh. Well you’re no help, then.”

He set down his pen, then reached for his teacup and brought it to his lips. He took a sip, held the cup toward his wife.

“I’m empty. Fetch me some more tea, would you? Oolong, of course. You know the way I like it.”

“With absinthe and butter,” she said tonelessly.

“A tablespoon of absinthe and a teaspoon of butter.”

He held the cup a little higher. She did not take it.

“Why don’t you ring for Lisanne?” she said. “Fetching your tea is her job.”

“Why should that poor girl have to scurry all the way up here to find out what I want and then go all the way back down to the kitchen to fetch it when you’re already here? Come on, be a good girl. I need to keep the creative juices flowing.”

Eldelaide took the teacup. It was a lovely thing, over a hundred years old, with gold trim on the rim and hummingbirds on the sides. Imported from Japan, the cup was an exquisite example of Kenzan craftsmanship and cost nearly three hundred pounds.

                                                                       ***
She remembered the day Barrett brought it home. She’d been delighted at first—so nice of him to remember her birthday, for once, and to buy such an expensive and charming gift.

“What do you think of it?” he’d asked.

“Oh, it’s lovely, Barrett!” she’d replied.

“I saw it sitting in the window of that little antique shop on Headingley Lane and I just couldn’t resist.”
She reached for it, but he turned away, heading for the stairs leading up to his study atop the tower.

“It will look lovely on my writing table,” he muttered.

And that’s when she realized the truth: He hadn’t remembered her birthday. He’d bought it for himself.
Her face reddening, she blurted out: “Don’t you think it’s a bit sissy, a grown man drinking out of a teacup with little birdies on the sides?”

He paused on the stairs, looking at her over his shoulder. “Sissy? My dear, your knowledge of ornithology is woefully inadequate. There is nothing sissy about the hummingbird.”

And with that he’d continued up the stairs, gazing lovingly at his cup . . .

                                                                         ***
The memory of that exchange reignited Eldelaide’s fury and she hurled the teacup across the room. It struck a bust of Percy Bysshe Shelley and burst into a thousand pieces that sprayed onto the carpeting, landing in a roughly fan-like shape—a fitting continuation of the Japanese motif.

For a few moments, the only sound in the room was Eldelaide’s ragged breathing, until an astonished Barrett finally found his voice.

“Merciful heavens, Eldelaide, if you must get out of sorts during your monthly madness, I do wish you’d confine yourself to hurling non-breakable objects. Or better yet, quaff some sort of palliative. That teacup cost nearly three hundred pounds!”

She replied through clenched teeth: “A non-breakable object. Is that what you want? Very well, Barrett, I happen to have one right here. Have a look at it!”

She took her right arm from behind her back and held up the jade statuette, clutched in her white knuckled hand.

“What an intriguing statuette,” he said, his displeasure giving way to delight. “It looks rather bestial. But I can’t see the head very well. Set it down on the desk so I can get a better look.”

“Oh, you’ll get a better look, all right!”

She raised the statuette high above her head, her grip tightening, her chest tightening even more. She could already see his skull cracking open like an egg, his brains running out like gray yolks—all those precious rhymes and well-wrought couplets oozing onto his blotter. All she had to do was slam the statuette into his head. Perhaps more than once. As many times as it took. That’s all she had to do. And she would do it . . .

Review:

This delectable novella is Stanley Bruce Carter at his best. I love the blend of attempted murder, spicy bits, and tongue-in-cheek humor. Try it! Sandra Carter.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StanCarter.html#KillExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-My-Husband-ebook/dp/B00F02N802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381427981&sr=8-1&keywords=Kill+My+Husband+Stanley+Bruce+Carter

The Extortions of Stiffani Voydalle…..

9 Oct

Another GSP release from Author of the Week: Stanley Bruce Carter.

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The Ballingers’ maid is very good at finding dirt—not just dust and grime, but the dirty little secrets the Ballinger clan desperately wants to hide. And she’s more than happy to keep those secrets—for a price. But the handsome Ballingers soon learn it takes more than money to seal the lips of Stiffani Voydalle.

Excerpt:

“I’ve come to clean up your dirt, sir.”

Narando Ballinger stared incredulously at Stiffani Voydalle. “At this time of night?”

Stiffani smiled. “Yes, sir. I saw the light under your door, so I figured you hadn’t gone to bed yet. May I come in?”

“There’s no dirt in here. The room is spotless. And even if it weren’t, this is hardly the proper time to be tidying up. Come back in the morning.”

“Oh, but there is some dirt in here, sir. And I’d be neglecting my duties if I didn’t tend to it right away.”

“I think you’ve been working too hard, young lady. I suggest you get a good night’s sleep. Now if you’ll excuse me . . .

He started to close the door.

“If you say so, Foster Lee,” she said.

He froze. “What did you just call me?”

She put her fingers up to her mouth. “Oh, I am sorry, sir. Slip of the tongue. I got your name mixed up with your partner’s.”

His eyes narrowed. “I have no partner.”

“Not anymore. But you did. Before that unfortunate . . . accident.”

Narando studied her face. It had been pretty once—before someone cut a big scar into it, running jaggedly from her forehead clear down to her chin. But it was her eyes that captured his attention now—green eyes, feral and hungry, like those of a jungle cat stalking its prey.

He quickly swung the door open. “Get in here,” he said gruffly.

He was a handsome man, with swarthy skin and brilliantined hair and a pencil mustache, and he was nattily attired in cream colored silk pajamas with gray trim, and maroon slippers. The glowstone lamp next to his roll-top desk was alight, and a workbook full of blank music sheets lay on the blotter, with a fancy gold-plated fountain pen next to it. Some musical notes had been jotted down on the first page of the book, with a few lines of lyrics scribbled below the staves, marred by lots of cross-outs. But most of the page was empty.

Stiffani strolled toward the desk, humming a tune—Rubber Boot Blues. It was one of Narando’s compositions, perhaps his most famous.

She sat down in the dark green swivel chair and crossed her legs. Narando inspected her shapely shins, then returned to her flawed face. He licked his lips. She picked up the workbook.

“What’s your latest song about?” she asked.

He marched to the desk and snatched the book away from her, snapping it shut.

“Look, Miss Voydalle, I don’t know what you’re up to, but I wish you’d get to the point. Why did you really come up here?”

She swung around to face him, folding her hands in her lap. “To talk about Foster Lee. A remarkable lad. Earned his living scraping the barnacles off the hulls of fishing boats down in New Orleans. Used to sing little tunes he made up on the spot while he worked.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“Isn’t it obvious, sir?”

“No. It’s not. What makes you think there’s any connection between myself and Foster Lee?

Stiffani reached into a pocket of her white apron and took out a deck of cards.

“I understand you’re good with cards,” she said. “Ever played with a deck like this?”

His eyes slitted. “Your Mumler deck. So that’s it.”

“Correct, sir. The little scrying session I held in the parlor the other night went so well, I decided to gaze into my water bowl again and see what else I could dredge up. I’ve captured it on this card, and I thought you might like to watch it, just in case your memory needed a bit of a jog.”

“How kind of you,” he said acidly.

She riffled the cards, then fanned them out. “Pick a card, any card—as long as it’s this one.” She pushed up one of the cards with her thumb.

His hand trembled as he pulled the card from the deck. It had a black back embossed with a pentagram, and the front was white, the border decorated with Celtic designs in thistle-colored ink. But the picture in the middle was not a king or queen or joker, it was Narando Ballinger himself—not a drawing, but a sepia toned photograph. A very special kind of photograph.

Stiffani traced a magical glyph in the air with a forefinger and said, “Visions of water, in cardstock sealed, come alive now, the past reveal.”

The surface of the card glowed with soft light, and the sepia image blossomed into color—and began to move. The focal point zoomed out, revealing more of Narando’s surroundings, and sounds began to play—the plinkety-plink of a piano, the thrum of a powerful engine, the wush-wush of a paddle wheel churning through water. Narando was sitting at a round table, playing poker with three other men, all clad in gentlemen’s clothing. Two of the men were smoking cigarillos, while another had a big stogie crammed into his mouth.

Everything seemed quite amiable at first—until one of the other players suddenly grabbed Narando’s left wrist, twisted it, and plucked an ace of spades from the sleeve of Narando’s green suede jacket. Everyone stood up. A brief argument ensued. Narando was seized by his fellow players and forcibly escorted out the door onto the deck of the riverboat and hurled over the railing. He splashed into the moonlit waters of the Mississippi and shook his fist at the receding boat, then began swimming toward shore. But he tired long before he reached the bank, and began to cry out piteously, begging for help. A cry no one heard.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StanCarter.html#ExtortionsExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Extortions-Stiffani-Voydalle-ebook/dp/B00BEQ9G8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381337726&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Extortions+of+Stiffani+Voydalle

Petchy Maligula

8 Oct

A GSP release from Author of the Week Stanley Bruce Carter.

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When handsome TV archaeologist Faladan Pala disappears while taping an episode of “I Dig the Past,” it’s up to Petchy Maligula, grrl detective, to bring him back alive. Petchy is big and tough, and more than a match for any man, but she does have one weakness: She’s madly in love with Faladan Pala. When she hears an evil cult called the Sisters of Inner Beauty may have abducted Faladan so they can sacrifice him to the ancient serpent goddess Quatakexel, Petchy vows to save him at all costs. As she contends with ghost gangs, demon wannabes, eccentric professors, reclusive millionaires and snotty babes, she must draw on all her power―both muscular and magical―to learn the truth. But as she delves into the case, she uncovers a secret that knocks her for a loop and threatens her love for the man of her dreams.  

Excerpt:

The flesh of Adono Phrebus was a delightful shade of blue—often referred to as “sky blue,” although that phrase was meaningless in the city of Betroit—and his wavy hair had a coppery tinge. His sharp, angular cheekbones were offset by an inviting rosebud mouth, and his eyes resembled sapphires (stolen sapphires, of course).
     Petchy Maligula liked pretty men, but she had been forced to make some alterations to Adono’s face—adding some purplish bruises and puffy skin, and splitting open those rosebud lips, causing cyanish blood to trickle down the cleft in his chin and stain his expensive peach-colored shirt. Since Cygnians had a high pain threshold, she knew Adono wouldn’t break down and cry from a few love taps, but the damage to his looks and his wardrobe was definitely getting on his nerves.
     Petchy was lucky; she never had to worry about her own looks. Because she didn’t have any. If forced to describe herself, she would compare her blotchy skin to sandpaper, while her reddish-brown fuzzy-buzzy hair resembled rusted Brillo and her eyes were pea-soup green. Her facial features lacked Adono’s finely chiseled look; “hacked” would be a better word—hacked out of gnarly wood by a bad carver with a dull knife.
     And while Adono’s body could be described as lithe, Petchy’s was . . .
     Unlithe.
     Very unlithe.
     But she couldn’t complain. This was the way the Goddess had made her. And in Petchy’s line of work, size came in handy—especially when you needed to lean on a slimeball to loosen his lips.
     “OK, Adono,” she said. “I’ll ask you one more time. Where the hell is Faladan Pala?”
     She twisted the collar of his emerald-green suit and heard a satisfying ripping sound.
     “Stop that!” Adono replied in his thick Cygnian accent.
     “Sure. As soon as you tell me where Pala is.”
     “I already told you, I don’t know anything about Faladan Pala.”
     “So why does the SIB want the dagger?”   
     “Who?”
     “Come off it. Everyone’s heard of the Sisters of Inner Beauty.”
     He smirked. “Sisters of INNER beauty? Heh. With a name like that they must be ugly as sin. I’m surprised you’re not a member.”
     She whacked him again. For a second she thought she saw a tooth fly out of his mouth, but it was only a blob of phlegm. Too bad.
     “That was cute,” she said. “Nearly as cute as you. Oh wait, I forgot. You’re not that cute right now, are you? I hope you don’t have a hot date tonight, ’cause with that messed-up face you’ve got as much chance of scoring as the Betroit LionCubs.”
     “What would you know about hot dates, Maligula?”
     She hauled off to hit him again, a real good wallop right on the chin, but thought better of it; she might knock him out cold and then he couldn’t talk.
     “Come on, Adono. Make it easy on yourself. Why did you come here? Who’s the dagger for?”
     “I dunno.”
     “Bull. You’re not the kind to work blind. You know who Bardoko’s buyer is.”
     “I didn’t bring the dagger here. I found it on the floor when I arrived.”
     “Then why did you come here?”
     “Just a social call. Garek’s a friend.” He glanced at the massive blob of goo on the floor behind him. “Uh . . . he WAS a friend.”
     “Can the crap. You don’t hang out with people unless there’s money involved.”
     “Shows how much you know. I’ve got lots of friends. But you wouldn’t know what that’s like, would you?”
     “If Bardoko was such a friend, why did you kill him?”
     “I didn’t. I’m not into violence. That’s your line.”
     “Oh yeah? Then why did you try to stick me with the dagger?”
     “You startled me. I thought you might be the killer returning to the scene of the crime. You should know better than to sneak up behind people. I was just trying to defend myself.”
     Petchy gave him a dirty look and let go of his collar, then turned around and walked a dozen steps to the other side of the living room, dodging the contents of a book shelf that were strewn across the floor.
     Maybe “living room” wasn’t quite the right word, for there was a dead body lying in the middle of it, or the remnants of one, melted by a beam gun into an ash-colored blob that resembled a big wad of gum someone had tossed on the ground and stepped on. Only this wad of gum had a face at one end—smeary eyes and a crumpled nose and fused lips—and at the other end was part of a foot, still clad in a shoe; an Abidas, judging by the tread pattern.
     The blob could have been anyone, but Petchy assumed it was Garek Bardoko, although the name on the mailbox downstairs identified the tenant of Apartment 613 as “Mr. Johnson.” 
     She wasn’t well acquainted with Bardoko, and had never been to his place before (he moved fairly frequently), but she knew he was a first-class fence and one of Adono’s main contacts in Betroit.
     Bardoko was a Deshian—a humanoid race with dimpled, slate-colored skin and tufts of orange hair protruding from odd places—and even though the beam gun had erased all those distinctive characteristics there were other clues pointing to the blob’s identity. The TV set was on, the DVD player set to Repeat, showing a music video of a Desh group called Slof. Mercifully the sound was muted, but Petchy had heard The Slof before; their shrill squeaks and whistles were the kind of cacophony only Deshians would call music.
     Another clue was the newspaper on the coffee table: The Strident, a rag put out by the Deshian Protective Front.
     Then there was the pile of cat heads in the wastebasket. Deshians considered cat brains a delicacy. They’d cut the heads off and drill a hole in the top of the skull—with a special tool purchased from a Deshian food shop—then suck out the brains and toss the heads away. Petchy didn’t remember what they did with the bodies. And didn’t care to find out.

Review:

Set in an amusing parody of earth, a doppelganger if you will of the very place we call home is a distinctly odd but interesting mystery. There is only one person capable of finding the answers; Petchy Maligula, Private Investigator.

The heart throb of the History Channel, the host of “I Dig the Past”, Faladan Pala has disappeared. Petchy, along with hundreds of other women are absolutely devastated, he has been rumored to have been kidnapped and Petchy is on the case. Faladan is a handsome, lithe and friendly man, loved by those around him.

Petchy, as she would describe herself is definitely unlithe. In point of fact, she is not even good looking. She is a huge woman, but a very capable one. As she is drawn deeper into the mysterious absence of Faladan Pala, bodies begin to pile up. Different factions of the city and surrounding areas become immersed in the case. As each new clue turns up, it only creates further mystery.

The plot thickens as the History Channel hires an alternate host to temporarily replace Faladan, sending the investigation into false directions. It will take all of Petchy’s interesting and bizarre techniques to set the course to rescue her hero. And while it is an oddly straight forward, albeit strange and foreboding mystery, leading our heroine into untold areas, there is no way that she will have been able to foresee the bizarre and unusual ending.

In Petchy Maligula, Stan Carter has brought us an earth, in a parallel existence, just a bit different then the one that we know. It is inhabited by humans as well as aliens. Magic is still somewhat rare, but a very acceptable practice. The main setting for the story is the city of Betroit in Mechigan. Do not check your glasses, this is the correct spelling. This story is littered with this type of distinction. It is a dangerous and amusing world, so close to our own and yet just a bit off kilter. I was alternately amused and annoyed at times by the parables, but always entertained.

Petchy is an extremely interesting character and a very ample heroine. She dabbles a little in magic but is also bestowed with paranormal abilities. Her girl Friday’s are both ghosts, that do her bidding, sometimes gracefully, often times not. Lady Cresta Victaria Menden reached this state by being the thirteenth victim of Jack the slasher. Liddy McDade, her other helper was run over by a trolley. Liddy was also eleven at the time of her death, but she is a funny and willful ghost. Both have distinct personalities and add their own slant to the wild and crazy happenings in the story.

Petchy always carries her boob gun, very well encased to her bosom, and is a crack shot. She is sarcastic and crude, having belonged to a grrls (correct spelling) gang in her earlier years. She is the great, great, etc., etc. grand daughter to the Empress Maligula, a character in her own right, known for a particular appetite, and a device that was used on the male slaves that did not please her. This is also a part of the mystique of Petulanta as Petchy was christened at birth.

I enjoyed this story although it was a little difficult to get through. I generally read quickly but because of the different spelling I had to go back a few times to make sure I was correct. It is sometime a laugh out loud, maybe a chuckle, or just a slightly annoying read, but the story line is a winner. In all its absurdity, I found that I really enjoyed it. I believe that you will either love it or hate it, but it certainly captures the imagination. This is a fun and frivolous read, humor and imagination at its height.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StanCarter.html#PetchyExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Petchy-Maligula-ebook/dp/B00433TB3M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381254979&sr=8-1&keywords=petchy+maligula

Author of the Week – Stanley Bruce Carter….

7 Oct

Congratulation to GSP Author of the Week: Stanley Bruce Carter.

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 Stan Carter lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. He has been in the newspaper business for nearly 30 years, serving as a reporter, copy editor, columnist and typesetter at various publications. He currently is a paginator with the Omaha World-Herald.

Of himself, he says:

 I remember as a kid sitting at my father’s Olympia typewriter and writing novels. They weren’t manuscripts that I intended to submit to a publisher; they were finished books. It was kind of like building model airplanes or sailing ships; I didn’t intend to do anything with them once they were done, I just wanted to make them. I didn’t even care if anyone read them (I think my sister might have read them but I’m not sure.) The covers were manilla folders and I drew the cover art and wrote the blurbs. Kind of a weird thing to do, but I guess I just had an urge to do it. In later years, when I tried to write for actual publication, I stuck with short stories for a long time, figuring novels were just too daunting a task. I got a few acceptances, from tiny publications that no longer exist, although I almost got into Dragon Magazine and Pulphouse. One of the magazines that accepted my work was literally tiny; the entire magazine was the size of a matchbook and they were sold out of a bowl on a counter of some store somewhere in North Carolina, I think! My story was called “Fwum, Fwum, Fwum,” but they didn’t have room for the entire title, so they changed it to “Fwum, Fwum.” One day I was writing a story and just decided to keep going, and that became my first real novel. I wrote about a dozen novels and they were all rejected by the big time agents/publishers, and then I finally changed tactics. I wrote a novel with a female protagonist — since most novel readers are women and I figured that would increase my chances of success — and I submitted to an e-publisher for the first time, Gypsy Shadow. And that was the beginning of what may someday be a notable literary career. One of my main motives for writing these days (besides that basic urge to create, and the desire to be rich and famous) is to show people I’m not just some creepy old loser with Asperger’s Syndrome. To paraphrase Harold Abrahams from Chariots of Fire, I want to “write them off their feet.” As for which books I would most like blogged, I’d say (1) “Petchy Maligula” (although I hate the first sentence and I wish I could write it over), and (2) “The Caskian Scandal” (although there’s a big mistake early in the book that I wish I had caught), and (3) my latest, “Kill My Husband.”

  • Watch this space during the week for three of his GSP releases.

HOT OFF THE PRESS – Kill my Husband

6 Sep

Congratulations to Stanley Bruce Carter on his brand new release from GSP: Kill my Husband.

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Eldelaide Crawson desperately wants to kill her husband, and she’ll do anything to get the job done. But despite her best efforts, Barrett manages to survive her strange and diabolical attacks. And then, just as success finally appears within her grasp, Eldelaide makes a bizarre discovery that changes everything.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Clutching a hideous jade statuette in her hand, Eldelaide Crawson strolled nonchalantly toward her husband. He was seated at his writing table, tapping his lavender fountain pen against his lower lip, his eyes fixed on the sheet of twenty-bond paper in front of him. He didn’t look up as his wife approached; didn’t notice she was holding one hand behind her back.

“Eldelaide,” he said. “If a woman were scaling the apex of her passions, would she be more likely to say Ooh or Ahh?”

Eldelaide stopped abruptly, her murderous mindset discombobulated by Barrett’s question.

“Scaling the apex of her passions?” she said.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And what, pray tell, does that mean, exactly?”

He regarded her with his watery blue eyes, and his thin lips curved into a tolerant smile. “Her climax, my dear. Would the average woman go ooh or ahh or perhaps utter some other exclamation?”

Eldelaide replied in a frosty tone: “I’m afraid I wouldn’t know, Barrett. I’m not an average woman. And I really couldn’t say what sounds I used to make when I scaled the apex of my own passions, for it was so long ago.”

One of Barrett’s carefully trimmed eyebrows arched. “Oh, come now. You’re not quite old enough to be losing your memory just yet.”

“Not quite old enough?”

“Besides, I’m not asking what sounds you personally would make. I’m asking what most women would do.”

“And why do you want this information?”

He waved a slim hand at the piece of paper. “My latest poem is all about the sounds of physical love. Auditations Amorous is the working title. I already have the bodily noises—the slurps and squishes and gasps and grunts and squeaks and creaks . . .”

“Your lovers squeak and creak? Where’s this poem set, in an old folks’ home?”

“It’s the bedsprings that squeak and creak, Eldelaide,” he said wearily. “But never mind that. I need the words people utter during their climaxes. I have the man’s response already—as his procreative urge / swells to its crescendo / his passion starts its surge / and he trumpets forth his bellow. I think ‘bellow’ fits nicely. But I need the woman’s response. Women don’t bellow, of course. Sometimes they shriek, but I want something less animalistic. The word ooh can be rhymed more easily than ahh, but I don’t want to take the easy way out.”

“Sorry. I can’t help you.”

“Oh, come now. Surely when you women get together you talk about such things.”

“Do we?”

“Well . . . don’t you?”

“Are you speaking of harlots in some bawdy house? I would know nothing of that. As for me and my friends, we most certainly do not discuss such personal matters.”

“Oh. Well you’re no help, then.”

He set down his pen, then reached for his teacup and brought it to his lips. He took a sip, held the cup toward his wife.

“I’m empty. Fetch me some more tea, would you? Oolong, of course. You know the way I like it.”

“With absinthe and butter,” she said tonelessly.

“A tablespoon of absinthe and a teaspoon of butter.”

He held the cup a little higher. She did not take it.

“Why don’t you ring for Lisanne?” she said. “Fetching your tea is her job.”

“Why should that poor girl have to scurry all the way up here to find out what I want and then go all the way back down to the kitchen to fetch it when you’re already here? Come on, be a good girl. I need to keep the creative juices flowing.”

Eldelaide took the teacup. It was a lovely thing, over a hundred years old, with gold trim on the rim and hummingbirds on the sides. Imported from Japan, the cup was an exquisite example of Kenzan craftsmanship and cost nearly three hundred pounds.

                                                                       ***
She remembered the day Barrett brought it home. She’d been delighted at first—so nice of him to remember her birthday, for once, and to buy such an expensive and charming gift.

“What do you think of it?” he’d asked.

“Oh, it’s lovely, Barrett!” she’d replied.

“I saw it sitting in the window of that little antique shop on Headingley Lane and I just couldn’t resist.”
She reached for it, but he turned away, heading for the stairs leading up to his study atop the tower.

“It will look lovely on my writing table,” he muttered.

And that’s when she realized the truth: He hadn’t remembered her birthday. He’d bought it for himself.
Her face reddening, she blurted out: “Don’t you think it’s a bit sissy, a grown man drinking out of a teacup with little birdies on the sides?”

He paused on the stairs, looking at her over his shoulder. “Sissy? My dear, your knowledge of ornithology is woefully inadequate. There is nothing sissy about the hummingbird.”

And with that he’d continued up the stairs, gazing lovingly at his cup . . .

                                                                         ***
The memory of that exchange reignited Eldelaide’s fury and she hurled the teacup across the room. It struck a bust of Percy Bysshe Shelley and burst into a thousand pieces that sprayed onto the carpeting, landing in a roughly fan-like shape—a fitting continuation of the Japanese motif.

For a few moments, the only sound in the room was Eldelaide’s ragged breathing, until an astonished Barrett finally found his voice.

“Merciful heavens, Eldelaide, if you must get out of sorts during your monthly madness, I do wish you’d confine yourself to hurling non-breakable objects. Or better yet, quaff some sort of palliative. That teacup cost nearly three hundred pounds!”

She replied through clenched teeth: “A non-breakable object. Is that what you want? Very well, Barrett, I happen to have one right here. Have a look at it!”

She took her right arm from behind her back and held up the jade statuette, clutched in her white knuckled hand.

“What an intriguing statuette,” he said, his displeasure giving way to delight. “It looks rather bestial. But I can’t see the head very well. Set it down on the desk so I can get a better look.”

“Oh, you’ll get a better look, all right!”

She raised the statuette high above her head, her grip tightening, her chest tightening even more. She could already see his skull cracking open like an egg, his brains running out like gray yolks—all those precious rhymes and well-wrought couplets oozing onto his blotter. All she had to do was slam the statuette into his head. Perhaps more than once. As many times as it took. That’s all she had to do. And she would do it . . .

About the author:

Stan Carter lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. He has been in the newspaper business for nearly 30 years, serving as a reporter, copy editor, columnist and typesetter at various publications. He currently is a paginator with the Omaha World-Herald.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StanCarter.html#KillExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-My-Husband-ebook/dp/B00F02N802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378498783&sr=8-1&keywords=kill+my+husband+stanley+bruce+carter

New Release New Release New Release New Release New Release

16 Feb

Hot off the press, new release The Extortions of Stiffani Voydalle by Stanley Bruce Carter.

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Stan Carter lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. He has been in the newspaper business for nearly 30 years, serving as a reporter, copy editor, columnist and typesetter at various publications. He currently is a paginator with the Omaha World-Herald.

The Extortions of Stiffani Voydalle

 

Hot off the press, new release The Extortions of Stiffani Voydalle by Stanley Bruce Carter.

 

The Extortions of Stiffani Voydalle

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The Ballingers’ maid is very good at finding dirt—not just dust and grime, but the dirty little secrets the Ballinger clan desperately wants to hide. And she’s more than happy to keep those secrets—for a price. But the handsome Ballingers soon learn it takes more than money to seal the lips of Stiffani Voydalle.

 

Excerpt:

 

“I’ve come to clean up your dirt, sir.”

Narando Ballinger stared incredulously at Stiffani Voydalle. “At this time of night?”

Stiffani smiled. “Yes, sir. I saw the light under your door, so I figured you hadn’t gone to bed yet. May I come in?”

“There’s no dirt in here. The room is spotless. And even if it weren’t, this is hardly the proper time to be tidying up. Come back in the morning.”

“Oh, but there is some dirt in here, sir. And I’d be neglecting my duties if I didn’t tend to it right away.”

“I think you’ve been working too hard, young lady. I suggest you get a good night’s sleep. Now if you’ll excuse me . . .

He started to close the door.

“If you say so, Foster Lee,” she said.

He froze. “What did you just call me?”

She put her fingers up to her mouth. “Oh, I am sorry, sir. Slip of the tongue. I got your name mixed up with your partner’s.”

His eyes narrowed. “I have no partner.”

“Not anymore. But you did. Before that unfortunate . . . accident.”

Narando studied her face. It had been pretty once—before someone cut a big scar into it, running jaggedly from her forehead clear down to her chin. But it was her eyes that captured his attention now—green eyes, feral and hungry, like those of a jungle cat stalking its prey.

He quickly swung the door open. “Get in here,” he said gruffly.

He was a handsome man, with swarthy skin and brilliantined hair and a pencil mustache, and he was nattily attired in cream colored silk pajamas with gray trim, and maroon slippers. The glowstone lamp next to his roll-top desk was alight, and a workbook full of blank music sheets lay on the blotter, with a fancy gold-plated fountain pen next to it. Some musical notes had been jotted down on the first page of the book, with a few lines of lyrics scribbled below the staves, marred by lots of cross-outs. But most of the page was empty.

Stiffani strolled toward the desk, humming a tune—Rubber Boot Blues. It was one of Narando’s compositions, perhaps his most famous.

She sat down in the dark green swivel chair and crossed her legs. Narando inspected her shapely shins, then returned to her flawed face. He licked his lips. She picked up the workbook.

“What’s your latest song about?” she asked.

He marched to the desk and snatched the book away from her, snapping it shut.

“Look, Miss Voydalle, I don’t know what you’re up to, but I wish you’d get to the point. Why did you really come up here?”

She swung around to face him, folding her hands in her lap. “To talk about Foster Lee. A remarkable lad. Earned his living scraping the barnacles off the hulls of fishing boats down in New Orleans. Used to sing little tunes he made up on the spot while he worked.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“Isn’t it obvious, sir?”

“No. It’s not. What makes you think there’s any connection between myself and Foster Lee?

Stiffani reached into a pocket of her white apron and took out a deck of cards.

“I understand you’re good with cards,” she said. “Ever played with a deck like this?”

His eyes slitted. “Your Mumler deck. So that’s it.”

“Correct, sir. The little scrying session I held in the parlor the other night went so well, I decided to gaze into my water bowl again and see what else I could dredge up. I’ve captured it on this card, and I thought you might like to watch it, just in case your memory needed a bit of a jog.”

“How kind of you,” he said acidly.

She riffled the cards, then fanned them out. “Pick a card, any card—as long as it’s this one.” She pushed up one of the cards with her thumb.

His hand trembled as he pulled the card from the deck. It had a black back embossed with a pentagram, and the front was white, the border decorated with Celtic designs in thistle-colored ink. But the picture in the middle was not a king or queen or joker, it was Narando Ballinger himself—not a drawing, but a sepia toned photograph. A very special kind of photograph.

Stiffani traced a magical glyph in the air with a forefinger and said, “Visions of water, in cardstock sealed, come alive now, the past reveal.”

The surface of the card glowed with soft light, and the sepia image blossomed into color—and began to move. The focal point zoomed out, revealing more of Narando’s surroundings, and sounds began to play—the plinkety-plink of a piano, the thrum of a powerful engine, the wush-wush of a paddle wheel churning through water. Narando was sitting at a round table, playing poker with three other men, all clad in gentlemen’s clothing. Two of the men were smoking cigarillos, while another had a big stogie crammed into his mouth.

Everything seemed quite amiable at first—until one of the other players suddenly grabbed Narando’s left wrist, twisted it, and plucked an ace of spades from the sleeve of Narando’s green suede jacket. Everyone stood up. A brief argument ensued. Narando was seized by his fellow players and forcibly escorted out the door onto the deck of the riverboat and hurled over the railing. He splashed into the moonlit waters of the Mississippi and shook his fist at the receding boat, then began swimming toward shore. But he tired long before he reached the bank, and began to cry out piteously, begging for help. A cry no one heard.

 

Links:

 

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/StanCarter.html#ExtortionsExc

 

Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Extortions-Stiffani-Voydalle-ebook/dp/B00BEQ9G8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361026837&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Extortions+of+Stiffani+Voydalle