So you can read my books

Sunday, January 2, 2011


A young man of maybe fourteen strolled up to us.

"Toya, you know perfectly well that Captain Sam sent those clothes to Roland to say 'Thanks' for helping him in Hell."

Her coffee cream face became a living sneer. "Victor ...."

She tossed him the package. "Stick it!"

He flashed a gypsy smile. "Sure thing. Bend over."

Marlene chuckled, "I like you."

Victor winked at her, handing her the package. "This contains an evening gown for you, too, ma'am."

She mussed his hair, smiling gently at his blush. "Marlene, Victor. And if you're a very good boy, I will let you escort me to my quarters here in Meilori's."

Victor laughed, "And if I'm a naughty boy?"

"Why then, I'll let you peek," Marlene laughed back .

Mark Twain gruffed to me. "I better get Gypsy back to your apartment and apologize to your blog friends."

"Apologize?," I frowned.

Mark rubbed the back of his neck. "Well ... I wrote them you'd died."


Mark sputtered, "You looked damn dead when I left, son."

Gypsy took a swipe at him through the carrier. He lifted it up and groused, "You keep that up, gal, and I might have to change my mind about how I feel about felines."

Gypsy yowled at him. Mark Twain chuckled, walking into the growing mists of Meilori's.

I watched them grow smaller and smaller in the fog while their bickering and yowling grew louder and friendlier. I smiled. I was seeing the start of a strange friendship.

I turned around. Marlene was walking arm in arm with Victor. I followed, shaking my head as she tried (and succeeded) in getting him to blush more and more.

Which explains how that photograph of Marlene above came to be taken. She was even more stunning than usual, standing by the piano Ellis Marsalis played. His son Wynton blew his trumpet as Frank Sinatra sang, "Stella By Starlight."

Standing in my new clothes, I smiled as I heard Frank substitute 'Marlene' for 'Stella' in the lyrics. Ava Gardner, sitting at a table close by, winked at her old love for his compliment to her friend.

Glowing slightly from his sojurn in the inferno, Sam McCord strolled up to me, "Thank you is too small a word for you going to Hell for me, son."

He looked like he was biting into a squirming snail, "Which makes me having to ask you to leave a hard thing."

Marlene stiffened at his words. She stormed up to us, proving her hearing was even more awesome than her beauty, but not her temper. "You speak 'thanks' and yet order him out?"

Sam held up a gloved hand. "Marlene, it's for his own good. He's become a legend of sorts here in the Shadowlands. The longer he stays, the more chance someone is going to try and add his scalp to their lodge pole."

Marlene's chin rose defiantly. "An hour. He will have an hour with me here. I will accept nothing less."

Sam shook his head wearily. "I know better than to argue with you when you're in this mood."

Marlene's eyes sparkled dangerously in the dim light. "You are wise."

She turned lazily and floated to Frank, whispering in his ear. Then, she bent by Ellis and Wynton, talking low to them. Frank, smiling wide, walked and sat down by his love, Ava. Ellis and Wynton started playing "The Very Thought of You."

She walked back to us and pointed a long forefinger at Sam. "You will guard Roland's back while we ... dance."

She dragged me to the dance floor, and I protested. "Marlene, I haven't danced in a long time."

She playfully nipped at my earlobe. "With me in your arms, Liebling, you will float."

She wasn't being poetic. We did float. She felt light yet firm and amazingly soft in my arms. We danced close for long moments, then Marlene began to sing low in my ear.

"The mere idea of you,
the longing here for you,
You'll never know how slow the moments go
until I'm near to you."

So with Sam pretending not to see, and Ava winking at Frank, . ... Marlene led me off the dance floor, up the stairs, and into her private quarters in Meilori's ...

And it was a very fine hour.




  1. *jumping up and down* YAY!!!!!!! FOR HAPPY ENDINGS!!!!!!!!

    I kept trying to figure out where he was dead.....and Mr. Twain just had it wrong the whole time.

    I need to go back and look for any red herrings.....

    You should see about getting this published as a novella!

    Well done, bravo!

  2. Words Crafter : I'm truly glad you liked the novella. I basically finished it for you and Donna and Michael. I hope it was a fun trip. Yes, I love happy endings, too.

    But you can't blame Mark Twain for thinking my avatar dead. He pretty much was ... before Marlene's kiss! Gotta love the reverse Sleeping Beauty motif. LOL. Have a great Sunday, Roland

  3. This is now at the very top of my reread list - the works enjoy over and over.
    Thanks, Roland!

  4. ...what a finish, that naughty Marlene:) Apparently even the dead can get frisky.

    Loved the ending, Roland. An instant classic.


  5. Mary : It does read better going smoothly from chapter to chapter without waiting days in between and losing the flow of the story.

    Have you ever noticed how Syndication often creates a stronger following for a series than its original run? People watch a new show every day, growing close to the characters and picking up on the sub-plots threads that were missed from week to week. Thanks for enjoying it enough to consider re-reading it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    Elliot : Yes, in my worldview, the dead do get frisky. LOL. Though judging from our love of horror movies, we already suspected that!

    My ending is an analogy of sorts :
    We authors do go throuh Hell, bringing our Main Character through the tribulations that end in a satisfying conclusion.

    And also, we authors face the temptation of staying too long at the end, reluctant to leave those characters we have come to know and perhaps to care for deeply.

    Best to leave the readers with laughter, a lingering melody, and a glimpse of love rewarded ... but only a glimpse, the readers' minds will fill in the details much better than we ever could.

    See? My ending, in fact of all of GHOST OF A CHANCE, was a lesson on how to write. Hopefully, knowing that, re-reading will be even more fun for those of you who do it.

    Happy New Year, Roland

  6. A good song to dance to :) I can imagine you all graceful Roland. Especially against Marlene's - gown.

    I had to go back an read the last few excerpt. Marlene's healing kiss was awesome. I liked how death swirled your hand to finish the S.

    The pic of Dead Hitler was cool; I got shivers when Roland slid the dagger across his side. But I was glad to see Gypsy safe and contained (lol). I really do need to get a cat again. I miss having one.

    Thanks for leaving this with such beautiful imagery. I see Roland and Marlene dancing off into the distance like Sleeping Beauty and her Prince.

    And yeah, I know what you mean about the serial being a writing exercise in how to craft a story. With my own series, I'm learning so much about character development, setting, tension and conflict; things I didn't REALLY think about while writing the original trilogy.

    I hope my serial turns out as well as yours did. I'm not usually one for happy endings (LOL).

    Ok, I gotta get back to that Cyborg Fairytale; I promised myself I'd finish it by this weekend. I'm running out of weekend, but no end in sight. Hmm, another resolution broken . .


  7. Donna : I can be graceful enough when I have incentive. LOL.

    Yes, Gypsy is an source of healing for me, giving me an outlet for love and compassion. Being a cat, she is self-sufficient enough for me to leave for 12 hours by herself without me worrying. I, being prejudied, vote for you rewarding yourself with a kitten.

    Thanks for enjoying the ride and the ending. I wish you good luck in your cyborg fairytale.

    About sad endings - remember TITANIC's : it endly sadly but with an emotive, positive spin to it. Readers like those and recommend those books with that kind of ending to their friends. Just a thought. Have a great New Year! Roland

  8. Hi,

    Hee hee, I've been secrectly waiting on the end so as to read at my leisure in its entirety!

    I've never been one for dangling on the end of a hook . . .

    Thanks muchly. ;)

  9. Francine : I don't like dangling from the hook much either. That's why I sometimes skip series while on TV until the season is released on DVD so I can watch without having to wait a whole week to see what happens after the cliffhanger!

    I don't think you'll be disappointed by GHOST OF A CHANCE. Have a great, prosperous New Year! Roland