****”The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” the 1st YA Book In The Para-Earth Series Is Coming October 1st****

Revised TVB CH Border Cover

Technically  a re-release, but “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” is returning to online bookstores everywhere with a whole new look. As mentioned in previous posts, many told me that the book was more suited to Young Adult audiences since both 17 y. o. Lisa and Marisa do the majority of the storytelling. Furthermore, we didn’t want to lose all the reviews the book had already garnered previously.

So we gave the book an overhaul with a brand new cover and synopsis. You’ve seen the cover above, now for the synopsis…

Ever since her father was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, Marisa has had nightmares about the disease taking the form of a vampire, slowly killing him. She can no longer stand movies or books involving even ‘good guy’ vampires, much less any of the old horror movies she used to watch with him. She even stopped hanging out with her best friend Lisa who got into Goth clothing and make-up, even though Lisa has been trying to be there for her this whole time. 

But all that is about to change with the arrival of young and handsome Nathan, a family friend Lisa grew up calling Uncle. Not only does his arrival set both girl’s hearts beating, but it gives them a chance to renew the friendship both have sorely missed. 

However, there’s more to Nathan than Marisa realizes. Lisa knows he is a vampyre-like being. He may also be the one thing both the girls and the town needs most. For a true horror from the Para-Earth here Nathan was altered has entered this reality. And he is the only one who can stop it. 

A ripping 4 and 5-star vampire story just in time for the creepy holiday season. It’s partner “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” will also become part of our YA line of books.

Now some might be wondering if this means none of these characters will be appearing in future books that are not YA. The answer is of course they’ll be showing up. Nathan is already scheduled to make an appearance in the “The Door” which is sequel to “The Bridge” and “The Ship”. He will be accompanied by Lisa and Marisa in “The Door” and possibly in the big cross-over “Harlequin House” which will pit all these characters against some consider the most haunted house on the planet.

But never fear, Nathan and the young ladies have other adventures looming of their own such as “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” which will pit them all against a ruthless developer who knows Nathan’s secret and how to deal with him. Family bonds, betrayal, faithful friends, and extended family will be tested as Nathan and company fight to not only save his family homestead, but Marisa’s father, as well as their town, their state. and possibly the world.

Also, audiobook versions of Nathan and company’s adventures are under way as you read these words.

In short, we got a lot happening on this and other fronts so please help spread the word, and also stay tuned as new stories are coming your way on this blog.

We thank you all for your patience and support. Links to all the new online stores will be posted soon as these books will now be available not only through Amazon but Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and other online outlets.

So until next time, take care and happy reading everyone!

Our First Short Audio Story Is Live…

And so it begins, dear friends. Here is my first full-scale attempt at doing an audio recording of one of the short stories from our anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time”.

*NOTE: Do not click on this image, link to audio is just below it*

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mxg1nIibXI&t=32s

The purpose of doing this short story is of course to start preparing for turning the entire anthology, as well as it’s predecessor “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” into full-length audiobooks. Helen and I will also be turning her new solo novel “Forever’s Too Long” (another vampire tale, set in 1947 NYC) into an audiobook as well.

For some time many readers and friends have been urging me to try my hand at doing audiobooks saying I have a good voice for reading aloud. Helen readily agreed as I have spent many evenings reading aloud to her from books we both wanted to read at the same time, and this seemed to be the simplest solution.

However, I was completely unsure how one even began to make an audiobook. I do not consider myself all that well versed in technology. Furthermore, until the last couple of years, our finances were very tight so trying to rent time at a professional recording studio. Plus, I would then have to pay someone to do all the technical cleanup of the recordings to make them presentable for Audible, over on Amazon.

But after having helped create the trailer for Helen’s book “Forever’s Too Long” (which I have shared here before but in case you missed it here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNoPA_ytUvc

I found my confidence increasing in my vocal skills. The responses to the trailer and the praise I received at her release party where I did some live reading in the voice of her main character, was the final nudge I needed. From there I downloaded Audacity (the program Audible uses for audiobook submissions) and did some serious reading up on audio recording. I also watched a number of YouTube videos which taught me how to get the best sound quality while recording inside our own home, instead of renting space at a studio. I also invested in some equipment…

I won’t go into all the technical details of how I made the recording here, because I’m covering that topic in a series of entries over on our blog about writing at:

https://www.musingsoftwocreativeminds.com/

There will be more audios coming to this site in the near future for your enjoyment, leading up to the release of the complete anthology on Audible. When that date will be, I do not know as I still have a lot of recording to do. However, we will keep you all apprised of our progress. In the meantime, please enjoy the audio provided above and know that this blog will still be sharing brand new tales about Nathan and his friends as usual.

I also want to let you know that progress is being made on “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties”. My main regret is that it’s taken so long, but there have been health and family issues over the past year that slowed things down on that front. But the book is still under way and will see the light of day. Hopefully, late next year.

In the meantime, besides the audios, I am working on a new cover for “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” as it will be getting a new home under the Young Adult section over on Amazon. It will also be getting released to Kobo, Barnes and Noble (Nook form), PDF and other formats later this year. So, as you can see, we got a lot happening with Nathan and company, and there are many more adventures and stories to tell, so please stay tuned.

Until next time, happy reading (and listening) dear friends…

Penny’s E-Diary August 11, 2016 “She’s Back” – Part V

     Meanwhile, Nadine stared into her now empty cup, apparently without realizing it. Something was still weighing on her mind. Glancing down I saw my cup was empty as well. “I could use a refill, how about you?” I asked.

     Nadine blinked. “Huh… oh, more hot chocolate? That sounds good.”

     I started to get up, but she got to her feet first saying, “I’ll get it. You take it easy. I’m keeping you up, I can at least play hostess.”

     For a moment I was going to remind her that my little guy was really the one who’d kept me up already, but I held my tongue. I was starting to feel a bit tired, but I wanted to know what she hadn’t told me yet. Whatever it was, it had troubled her up something fierce, and that bothered me.

     I guess it must’ve shown in my face because I saw the look of worry in my friend’s eyes as she served up the hot chocolate.

 

     “Are you getting tired?” she asked gently. “I know I’ve been keeping you up even later than your son.”

    “I’m all right,” I smiled, “But I am worried about you. When you came in tonight, you looked ‘troubled’ more so than if you’d simply had to put up with wolf-whistles and catcalls.”

      She nodded and sat down again. “I guess I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I saw… and what I almost did.”

     The tone in her voice as she spoke those last few words, sent a chill down my spine.

     “The evening started out as usual. I went out to dinner by myself and got the usual questions about why someone so beautiful was on her own. Was I waiting for someone? Would I like some company? Mind you I almost said yes once, but thought better of it.”

     That piqued my curiosity. “Oh? Was he that good looking?”

     “Oh, yeah,” she nodded with a wistful look, “She was.”

     “Ooo… attracting girls now are we? You should have taken her up on it, you might’ve had a good time,” I smiled.

     “I kind of wish I had,” Nadine sighed and fell silent.

     At that point I knew I was getting to the heart of whatever happened that upset her so much. A part of me didn’t want to push things any farther, but something told me she needed to get it out of her system. So I reached across and took one of her hands saying, “Hey, I’m here for you, tell me what happened. Please? I can’t stand sitting here watching as it eats at you.”

     That earned me a small but uneasy smile. “Are you sure you want to hear about it? It wasn’t one of my better moments.”

     “How so?” I asked.

     “I think… I know, I came pretty close to breaking every bone in some asshole’s fucking body.”

     I almost asked if she was serious, but I already knew she meant every word of it. Finally, I said, “Tell me what happened.”

          She nodded. “After dinner I decided to go catch the new all-female Ghostbusters movie, which was great, by the way. I loved it. Totally hilarious, and Chris Hemsworth was a riot. The man is great at comedy, let me tell you. Anyway, I was just coming out of the theater when I spotted Lisa and Marisa standing in line to get tickets and quickly did a U-turn. Unfortunately, they’d already spotted me and started calling out to me.”

     “Busted!” I teased, fearing she was going off on a tangent. As it turned out, she wasn’t.

     Meanwhile she sighed, “Yeah, I was and I knew it. Turning around, I smiled and started coming towards them when I spotted a girl I knew Marisa wasn’t too thrilled about standing just a few people behind them. She was rolling her eyes in their direction, not that they could see, and I quickened my pace in the hopes of preventing any trouble. But as I did so, some guy a couple of years older than her stopped and said something to her, which she totally ignored. Next thing I know…” here she paused and shook her head.

     “He what? Did he grab her or something?”

   “He punched her in the face,” Nadine snapped, while balling her own hands into fists. “No warning,  no raised voice, he just went ahead and belted her in front of everyone.”

      Even I had not been prepared for that. I was expecting an argument or the guy grabbing her by the arm. But not this.

     Nadine was starting to shake with anger as she continued, “And that wasn’t the worst part. I heard him saying she deserved it. You see he’d complimented her looks and she didn’t even so much as smile or say thank you.”

     I barely kept myself from yelling “Say what?” out loud and waking up my little guy. But I managed it somehow, and just hissed the words instead.

    “Yeah,” Nadine nodded taking a deep breath before continuing. “He’d punched her for ‘disrespecting’ him. At that point I didn’t care if anyone saw or not, I used my speed and got between them. My first instinct was to grab his hand as he started to try and take another swing at her. But I knew if I did, not only would I catch it, but I would start squeezing.”

     “Squeezing?” I repeated. That didn’t sound all that bad.

     “As in I wasn’t going to stop until every bone in that hand was broken, along with the rest of his arm,” she replied quietly.

     “What stopped you?” I asked, feeling a little sick at what I was hearing.

     Nadine looked at me and said, “The expression on your face, it’s the same one I saw on both Marisa and Lisa’s. If they hadn’t been there…” she shook herself. “Anyway, I caught his next punch and went all Bruce Lee on his ass instead. But even as I did, a part of me still wanted to hurt him a whole lot worse than I did. The resentment I felt from all the crude catcalling, ass slaps, and gropings was screaming for me to not only beat his ass, but rip his throat out. Literally.”

     “But you didn’t,” I pointed out. “I know you. You didn’t let it get that far.”

     “Barely,” she sighed.

     “Then what happened?” I asked.

     “I looked up and saw Marisa and Lisa were helping the girl who’d been hit. It turned out to be Diane, the one who was pissed at Marisa for not choosing her to be the new head cheerleader. She was looking awfully grateful for their help as well as mine. As for the asshat, a couple of his buddies had apparently started to try and pull me off him. Only the rest of the crowd, most of them women had blocked them. And then the police showed up. Of course, the jerk’s friends started giving them a bullshit story.”

     “Naturally,” I nodded.

     “So I released some mist and got them singing like canaries about how their friend started all the trouble by assaulting Diane. Of course, I got the creep to confess as well and that was all the police needed to take his ass away.”

     “He’s not going to forget,” I told her.

     Nadine smiled, “I made sure of that. You see I gave him and his buddies a special suggestion. One that will keep all of them from disrespecting any woman ever again.”

     “Good for you,” I smiled, but her face was still troubled. “What?”

     “I really wanted to hurt that guy,” she murmured.

     “But you didn’t,” I assured her. “You’re better than that and them.”
“I know, but I came so close…”

    “Welcome to the human race,” I cut in. “With all the powers you have, you’re still a person. A good one at that. Don’t ever change.”

    That made her smile. “Thanks. But, I have to know. Everything I’ve experienced lately as a woman, is it always like that?”

     “Not always, but more often than it should be,” I told her honestly. Then I eyed her curiously and asked, “Are you thinking about going back to just being a guy?”

     She shook her head. “No. Isabella’s growing. She’ll need someone to help her navigate this world. It’s very different than the one she remembers.”

     “She’ll have me, Lisa and Penny,” I pointed out.

     “Thanks,” she smiled, “But I think ‘Nadine’ will be hanging out with you all from time to time as well. Someone needs to watch all your backs as well sometimes. Girls have to stick together.”

     “Indeed we do,” I smiled. As if on cue, I heard my little guy begin fussing again. “And there goes the rest of my night,” I said standing up.

     But once again my friend beat me to the door saying, “No, you and Richard get some sleep. I’ll take care of him. He’ll need to get used to seeing Aunt Nadine hanging around every so often. And I’m more of a night owl than the rest of you.”

     I was too tired to argue and headed back to bed. It’s morning now and sure enough both my guys got a good night sleep after all. Nathan was back and thanked me for the hot chocolate and the talk. I thanked him for being willing to walk a mile (and them some) in high-heeled shoes.

Penny’s E-Diary August 11, 2016 “She’s Back” – Part III

“I could not believe the total lack of tact the man had,” Nadine continued. “And that wasn’t the half of it. Before I could I remind him where my eyes were, he put his hand on my forearm and started stroking it with his thumb.”

This time I couldn’t stop myself. “Let me guess, that’s when he started telling you how pretty you were, and what a crime it was that you were sitting there all by  your lonesome. Am I right?”

Rolling her eyes, she nodded. “Then he suggested I join him and his friends at their table so we could all get to know each other better.”

“Did you tell him you were waiting for someone?” I asked.

“Oh yeah,” she groaned and took another sip of her hot chocolate. It seemed to calm her down, at least a bit. For when she spoke again her voice was more controlled as she continued her story. “Of course, he didn’t believe me. Kept telling me not to be shy. But when I insisted someone was coming, he kept pressing me to come over to his table and we could all wait together for my ‘friend’ to show up. Otherwise, every Joe in the place would be pestering me for the rest of the night.”

“So what did you do?”

“I bit him,” she replied simply,

I stared at her in shock. “In front of an entire room full of strangers?” I cried in disbelief. “I thought you liked keeping a low profile on the whole vampyre bit!”

“Okay, I should have been more specific,” she corrected herself. “I didn’t lean over and bite him, my forearm did it for me.”

“Your forearm,” I repeated.

She nodded. “He hadn’t removed his hand from it and had actually started squeezing it while insisting that I go with him. So, I grew a mouth there and let him have it.”

I couldn’t help smiling. “Oh, I wish I could’ve been there to see that. What did he do?”

“Well he jumped back so hard, he fell off the stool and landed on the floor. I made sure I looked as startled as everyone else. A couple of his buddies came over and helped him up, while he started accusing me of having a taser or something. I was ready to play all ‘innocent’ but didn’t have to because one of them pointed out I still had a drink in my free hand and he’d had a hold of my other arm. That just pissed him off more and he shot me a dirty look then stomped back to their table. Sadly, that wasn’t the end of it. One of his friends began apologizing and taking over his friend’s seat. Naturally, HE offered to get me another drink and before long his hand wound up on my thigh.”

    thigh

“Really?” I said in mock surprise. “How long before your thigh decided to take a bite out of him?”

Nadine grimaced at the memory. “It didn’t. Much as I wanted to, but I decided to ask for his opinion of my perfume. Naturally he leaned in close and I let him breathe in some of my mist and changed his mind that way. As he got up to leave, I gave him an extra dose so he could take it back to the table so his friends could get a whiff. Which they did! And thus I was left alone until Michael showed up half an hour later.”

“Nicely done,” I told her approvingly.

She smiled but it quickly faded, and her expression became more thoughtful again. “Afterwards I didn’t think too much about it because by then we were hunting for the Cannibal and… well you already know how that went down.”

“Oh yeah,” I nodded and took another sip of my chocolate. It was the only way I could keep from shivering at the memories of what she’d told us all. I’d been surprised that she hadn’t asked Lisa or Marisa to leave the room, but I didn’t protest. They weren’t children by a long shot. Both of them were young women who needed to know the truth about what dangers might be lying in wait for them or one of their friends. The world could be cruel, but I at least felt a bit safer having them and Nadine in my life. But I also knew not everyone was as lucky as me, and I never let myself forget that fact.

Looking over at my companion I asked, “So what got you thinking about your experience in the bar again?”

Catcalling

“I’d gone over to the college where Brian works, to see what classes might be available next fall,” she began. “I know I could simply look them up online, but I really like that campus. And I don’t stick out too much like a sore thumb in the evenings. There are a lot of other people who are my ‘apparent’ age taking classes and I just enjoy a change of scenery once in a while. Anyway, while I was there, I spotted a couple of girls about Lisa’s age walking ahead of me. Coming the other way were some guys heading the other way who started hooting and whistling at them out of the blue. At first I thought they knew the girls, but apparently they didn’t because I saw how uncomfortable their smiles were as well as how fast their pace increased. And it got me thinking again about what had happened to me.”

“You know that kind of thing goes on all the time, right?” I asked.

“Yeah, but some of those guys were closer to my ‘apparent’ age,” she pointed out with a look of disgust on her face. “I mean, teenager boys doing that kind of stuff is bad enough. But these jerks were in their mid-twenties, I would’ve thought they’d know better by that age.”

Here she paused to shake her head, then continued. “That’s when I started wondering how often stuff like that went on. Did it happen to Lisa and Marisa, or any of their friends? If so, why did they never mention it?”

I was about to answer her, only she started talking again and I decided to sit back to see where this was all headed. Besides, if it came up later, I’d have time to look up the saying about fish, how they don’t know what water is. Women grow up with this. For girls like them, it may just seem like a nuisance. Me, I’d had to pay more attention to stuff like that. Figure out who was a threat, who was a sale. Worst in a way were the ones who were both.

 I told myself not to think about the past. Besides, this was all new to my friend, even if she could go back to being a he any minute. I wouldn’t wish the sense of being trapped on anyone, and I liked that Nadine was trying to walk a mile in our too-narrow heels. But that was only a dip of the toes in the water of a woman’s experience.

“And what about Isabella? She’s still very young but one day she’s going to start ‘blossoming’ and then what? She’s still trying to get used to how people act these days compared to what she was used to back in the 1860’s. That’s when I decided to start going around as Nadine again. I wanted to know firsthand what women have to deal with…”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Penny’s E-Diary August 11, 2016 “She’s Back” – Part II

I escorted Nadine to the kitchen and got her settled into a chair at the table. Surprisingly, she barely uttered a word the whole time I made hot chocolate. Only after I put it down in front of her, did she finally look up.

hot+chocolate

“Thanks,” she smiled and inhaled the aroma deeply. Immediately, her shoulders relaxed along with the rest of her. After a few moments of silent bliss, she caught me grinning. “What?”

“Never underestimate the power of chocolate, Sweetie,” I told her and took a sip from my own cup. Damn I make good hot chocolate, even if I do say so myself.

That made her smile.

“So,” I began, “You said you were doing research. Come to any conclusions yet?”

A serious expression crossed my companions face as she gave it some serious thought. Then she took a deep breath, declared that men are misogynistic ass-hats and that she was never letting Isabella out of the manor ever again. Then she went back to drinking her hot chocolate.

I just stared at her for a few seconds before saying, “Number one: congratulations on coming to that conclusion. Number two: as far as never letting your sister out of his manor again, do yourself a favor and don’t even try. Because knowing that little girl the way I do, I can tell you right now it ain’t happening. And controlling, over-protective behavior can be the very thing that makes girls rebel and put themselves in danger.”

I expected Nadine to sigh, but instead she groaned and began gently head-desking the table.

“You must have had one hell of an evening tonight.”

“Not just tonight,” she corrected. “Ever since I dealt with the Cannibal Killer, I’ve been going out like this at least once or twice a week.”

My curiosity was piqued. “Why?”

“Because of some of the reactions I got when I went after that psycho,” she replied, tucking some of her long blonde locks behind one ear.

Leaning forward I gestured for her to continue.

“I never told you or the girls at the time, but I spent a whole day in that town looking like this. The idea at the time was to observe what kind of reactions I got from other people, hoping our killer might give himself away. Of course, he was already hiding in the park and never laid eyes on me till I pulled him off the girl he attacked. But that’s not to say I didn’t get a few reactions during my walk.”

“With looks like yours, I’m not surprised,” I remarked.

“Thanks,” she smiled, but I could see it only partly reached her eyes.

“How did it feel,” I asked after a moment.

“Kind of flattering at first, but also kind of uncomfortable on a sort of subconscious level,” she answered, shifting in her seat as she spoke. “I was so focused on my mission I never really gave the feelings any thought at the time. But when I got to the bar where I was to meet Michael, I started thinking about it.”

Bar scene

I didn’t say it aloud, but I already had a pretty good idea of what was coming. Sure enough, her next words proved me right.

“I barely sat down at the end of the bar when some guy suddenly appeared at my elbow leaning in and asking me what I was drinking,” she said with more than a touch of annoyance in her voice. “And before you say anything, no it was NOT the bartender. But the thing that bothered me the most was the fact that he was supposedly talking to me, but I could actually feel the vibration from his voice hitting me down here,” she added, pointing at her chest.

As tempted as I was to say “no surprise”, I kept quiet and listened as she continued.

“And let me tell you, he was like practically six feet tall,” Nadine continued. “And here I am like 5′ 4″ and he’s talking to my cleavage. I mean my God, if he was bent over any further, he could have passed for The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s better looking cousin.”

I leaned back in my chair nodding. I could tell already that this was just the beginning…

TO BE CONTINUED…

Penny’s E-Diary August 11, 2016 “She’s Back” – Part I

       If anyone had told me two years ago I would one day be married, have a child, and be living in a big old mansion, I’d have told them to quit snorting the white powder. Of course, there’s no way they would’ve have known a man who’d fought in the Civil War, and was for all intent and purposes a vampire, would be partly responsible for all of this. It still seems like some weird dream, or like I stepped into the Twilight Zone, but it’s all real. And I’m truly happy about it.

     Not that things don’t get kind of bizarre on a semi-regular basis. Take tonight for example, my baby boy had been fussing and feeling poorly lately. So I took him to Dr. Jack a couple of days ago, who said it was an ear infection and gave me instructions and a prescription for it. Of course, this means I’ve been keeping odd hours at night to administer the medicines. Needless to say my he wasn’t happy when I woke him up to administer more medicine and it took me a good hour to get him back to sleep. Richard offered to take over for me, but I insisted. He even offered to keep me company  while I walked our boy back to sleep. He’s really turning into a great dad. And as much as I appreciated his offer, I sent him back to bed. He’d had a really long day already, plus sometimes a girl wants to deal with things on her own. My home life had been pretty messed up and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes as my so-called parents. The moment I knew I was pregnant I swore to do a lot better than them, and I like to think I’ve been succeeding.

      Anyway, I’d just put my little boy down again and realized I was a bit hungry. Looking over at the clock on the night table I saw it was only 1:30 in the morning. Not too late for a snack, I thought and headed downstairs.

      I’d gotten halfway down the  staircase when I saw the front doors open and a young woman entered. In the dim lighting I couldn’t make out the features and thought it must be either Marisa or Lisa my two, much younger, best friends. Both of them are barely twenty but in spite of a decade difference between us we’re tight. They love hanging out with me and both of them are great with the baby. The two of them also have the hots for Nathan, the Civil War veteran/vampyre I mentioned earlier, who owns this big old mansion. He’s also one of the best friends/guardian angel any of us could ever ask for.

      I know Nathan gave both girls their own key, so naturally I thought it must be one of them. Upon seeing that our late night visitor had blonde hair, I figured it must be Marisa (Lisa’s a brunette). Then realizing what time it was I immediately started hurrying down the rest of the stairs thinking something bad must have happened.

     “Marisa?” I called out only to have our guest look up.  It wasn’t Marisa, instead it was someone I hadn’t expected to see again anytime soon. “Nathan… I mean Nadine?” I stammered for a second.

      Okay, now I’m going to take a step back for a moment and explain a few things. Like everyone else who knows about Nathan being a vampyre and keeps an e-journal, blog, or an e-diary, these entries I make are set to private. Only someone knows, or will one day know, about Nathan gets to read them. We do this because we want to keep our memories and experiences with him alive even when (God forbid) we can’t remember, or are no longer part of this world. Although in the former case I don’t think we’ll ever fall to dementia or Alzheimer’s because Nathan wouldn’t let that happen. He’s got abilities like you’ve never seen and although he can’t hold off death (except for maybe himself), he’s learned to use them in so many ways to help people. And  want these memories to be available for my son and his children so they know what a difference this man has made, not only my life but other peoples’ as well.

    One of Nathan’s more fascinating abilities is of course shape-shifting. But unlike what you see in the movies where a vampire simply turns into mist, or a bat, or some other animal, he’s taken this ability to a whole other level. He’ll alter parts of his body, like turning just his legs into individual puppy dogs to play with Lisa’s little brother, or alter his facial features to look like another person. However, even more impressive is his skill at changing his entire body  into that of a very attractive woman. Mind you, Lisa, Marisa and I had a hand in his learning how to do it convincingly. The three of us gave him some serious coaching just two months ago when he was helping hunt down a cannibalistic serial killer.

     The result was the creation of ‘Nadine’ the female persona he was wearing tonight. Upon seeing ‘she’ was back my first thought was, ‘Oh dear God, don’t tell me was there another maniac on the loose?’ It must’ve shown on my face, because he/she… dammit, I’m going to call Nadine a she for this entry, mainly because she didn’t change back to normal all the time I was with her.

      Anyway, Nadine smiled as if she’d read my thoughts and said, “It’s okay, Penny. I’m not on a case or anything like that. I’ve just been doing some… research of my own.”

     “Thank God,” I sighed and looked at her again. I have to admit, the girls and I had done a damn good job on teaching Nadine how not only how to look but act like a woman. Even as we were talking, the mannerisms and way she held herself was just right. Which puzzled me even more.

     Had ‘Nathan’ taken a liking to being a woman sometimes or was there something more going on here? She had just mentioned something about research, so I asked, “Trying to find out how the other half lives?”

       “In more ways than one,” Nadine sighed raising a tired hand to her head.

      I knew that tone and the gesture. I’d seen and done it myself more times than I’d like to count. Putting an arm around her shoulders I said, “Let’s go to the kitchen and I’ll make us something and you can tell me all about it.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Private Journal of Doctor Jack Tyler December 29th, 2012 “The Haircut” – Part II

            Darlene rolled her eyes at her brother and sighed, “I don’t know why he’d need a haircut. Does it really matter?” Then before he could answer, I saw her expression change. “Actually, that is a pretty good question. Dad…?”

            Holding up my hands I said, “Don’t ask me, I’m just here for Nana’s cookies and hot chocolate.” I wasn’t about to admit that I’d never really thought about it myself.

            Just then Nathan, who was not three feet away, turned to my grandmother saying, “You know I could’ve sworn I’d walked in with a bunch of people, was I just imagining things? Or did I suddenly turn invisible?”

            I watched her pat his arm and say, “No, you’re just getting to that age when everyone thinks you’ve gone deaf or your mind has gone wandering and you aren’t paying attention. I get that a lot.”

            “Not from me!” I called out loudly.

            Nathan looked around, “Did you hear something?”

            “Aw it’s just this old house creaking, or my joints, one or the other,” Nana told him.

            “Must be the house,” he assured her. “I told your dad when he was building it to use hickory but as he pointed out it was more expensive and harder to get here in Connecticut.”

            Nana laughed as she led us down the hallway.

barberspole

            There was an old barber pole on the wall, next to the door that led downstairs.

            My grandfather had been the town’s barber for over sixty-five years, before he finally ‘retired’. The shop was still in business but being run by one of my cousins who specialized in not only classic haircutting, but the more modern ‘faded’ style as well. I myself spent a lot of time in grand-dad’s shop when I was a boy and people often thought I’d follow in his footsteps. In reality, I was studying how he interacted with his customers since he always had a way with them. I learned an awful lot about putting people at ease and drawing them out from watching him, which has been a great asset to my medical practice.

            I slipped past Nathan as we reached the door to offered Nana my arm which she accepted, then we all headed downstairs.

            “Here we go through ‘Dr Who’s Tardis’ again,” I heard my son Joe murmuring behind me, only to be shushed by his sister saying, “Oh, shut up, I like that show.”

            “That’s just because you think the current one is cute,” he shot back.

            Glancing over my shoulder I saw Darlene make a face, “Ew… I’ll take David Tennant over him any day of the week. I mostly like the companions, especially Amy…”

            At that point Nana chimed in with, “I still prefer Tom Baker myself.”

            That earned several groans from the rest of us, although deep down I had to admit she had a point. He was a master of comic timing and seriousness when it came to the role of the Doctor. I would’ve said more but we’d just reached the bottom of the stairs and my grandfather’s ‘shop’.

            Even though my dad, Nathan, and I helped set the place up for him, I always found myself transported back to my childhood every time I came down here.

the-bookcase-and-barber

           One wall of the room was dominated by a large mirror, with shelving covered by numerous barber implements, stood before two chairs that had come from the shop itself. There was also a small flatscreen television staring down from above the mirror. In short, there were also other chairs and tables around the room, but to all intent and purposes, the place was a mini-barber shop. This had been my grandmother’s idea after a number of former clients kept pestering her husband for haircuts because he was the only one who knew how they liked their hair done. Plus, they missed having their regular bull sessions with him.

            But most of all, she knew my grandad missed keeping busy.

          My grandfather was lounging in the older of the two chairs, when we came down. Getting out of one of the chair, where he’d been reading the paper, he stood up. “About time you got here Nathan, I was about to…” he began then spotted me and my family. “Oh good, lord you brought the entire crew with you. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me tonight.”

          TO BE CONTINUED…

        *Author’s Note: Sorry for the short entry. I was working on it this past weekend and had to go to get some routine lab work done (which took a couple of hours… groan). Plus family and a bad cold took more out of me.  Didn’t want to leave you all with nothing, so I figured a short entry was better than nothing, especially when I’m trying to do at least at two entries a month. To be concluded in two weeks… unless the story decides it wants to be longer.