Thursday, July 28, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapters Eight and Nine

Today is the final day of my week-long introduction to my brand-new thriller, THE LONELY MILE ($2.99 from StoneHouse Ink). Here we go with Chapters Eight and Nine...


—Martin shoved the girl hard, directly at the guy. The pair went down instantly in a tangle of arms and legs, crashing to the tile floor with a thud.

The moment they fell, he turned and sprinted for the entrance, barely slowing as he raced through the glass double doors, smashing into them and rocking them back on their hinges. He burst into the brutal May heat radiating off acres of pavement and sprinted toward his truck, passing the confused sheep who had been lucky enough to rush out the plaza doors at the onset of the confrontation. They huddled in groups of two or three, staring dumbly at him, no one quick or daring enough to try and stop him.

Martin tumbled inside the cab, fumbling with the key, finally jamming it home and cranking the tired engine of the ancient vehicle. It grumbled and complained and eventually turned over, and Martin yanked the wheel to the left, heading toward the interstate and freedom. It was a shame to have to give up his trophy. He already knew this failure would rankle him for days, and he could expect a brutal dressing-down from his contact, a person who was never a model of patience, even when Martin delivered on time.

He had been incredibly lucky; he knew that. He had recognized immediately what the hero’s play was going to be; it was the only one he had when he didn’t pop Martin from behind in the first place.

And the guy had only made one, little mistake; a tiny one, really, which would not have made any difference at all were it not for Martin’s superior intelligence. When he was roughly four feet away, the wannabe hero removed his left hand from his weapon—a Browning Hi-Power, Martin had noticed—and, when he did, instead of lowering his gun closer to his body where he could use his bulk to protect his grip and keep it away from Martin, he left his arm straight out, holding it away from his body. The moment Martin shoved the girl, the gun became useless, taking the brunt of the collision, and the hero’s arm lifted toward the ceiling. Had he been holding the gun closer to his body, he might still have been able to squeeze off an accurate shot.

A pathetic rescue attempt by just another pathetic loser. Martin flashed a triumphant smile at no one, grinning easily despite the adrenaline-fueled tremors wracking his body, enjoying the moment before getting down to the business of completing his escape.

He had no doubt that someone, probably several people by now, had already punched 9-1-1 into their cell phones and reported something bad going down at the rest stop. Undoubtedly, even now the police were speeding toward this interstate exit, sirens wailing, blue lights flashing, the cavalry riding in on their white horses to save the day. Well, they were going to be disappointed, because they would be too late.


Before they even hit the floor, Bill knew he had blown it. Not majorly blown it, not dead-teenager-bleeding-out-on-the-floor blown it—after all, the girl was safe and sound, even now beginning to untangle her arms and legs from his as the kidnapper exited the scene like Usain Bolt running the hundred-meter dash—but still, there was no denying he had committed a huge error in judgment by getting close enough to the kidnapper to allow the guy the opportunity to make such an obvious play.

Still, what else could he have done? Maybe the guy hitting the bricks was the best thing that could have happened, all things considered. The alternative was unthinkable—a desperate man loose inside the building with a lethal weapon in his hands and several dozen potential victims just waiting to be slaughtered. Not a pretty picture.

The girl moaned as she rolled off him, and Bill pushed himself to a kneeling position. A sharp pain radiated from his left elbow, offering a convenient reminder of which body part had made impact with the floor first, although the back of his head had placed second in a photo finish. He could feel an egg-sized lump rising already.

He shook his head to clear some of the cobwebs and concentrated on the young girl lying next to him. “Are you all right?” he asked, and she shot him an incredulous look that would melt steel, a look only a teen can pull off.

Then she giggled nervously. It was probably a reaction to the pent-up stress caused by the terror of the attempted kidnapping, but the sound was incongruous and unexpected and reminded Bill of his own daughter, Carli, who was roughly the same age. He wondered where this girl was from and whether she might have been friends with Carli if they had grown up together.

They sat on the floor staring at each other, and, in a shaking voice, the girl said, “That was him, wasn’t it?”


“Yeah, you know, the I-90 Killer,” the girl said, with a heaving sob and a shudder that wracked her entire body.

Bill had no doubt that was who it was; the likelihood of some other lunatic haunting highway rest stops, stalking and kidnapping teenage girls using exactly the same methodology as the I-90 Killer was practically nil, and although Bill had foiled this kidnapping attempt, the pathetic dirt bag was going to get away while he sat here on the floor rubbing his sore elbow.

The girl seemed okay, at least physically. And her mother and father were even now running across the glass-littered floor of the plaza toward the two of them.

“Oh, God,” the girl whimpered, her chalk-white face crumbling as her parents drew near. Allie’s father lifted her from the floor, and her mother drew her into her arms, her father hovering protectively over both of them. Allie turned her face into her mother’s shoulder and started to cry.

Bill rose to his feet, staggered, and dropped to one knee, spitting out a curse. His head was swimming. He must have knocked it harder than he realized. He picked up his Browning off the floor where he had apparently dropped it in the violence of the collision—some hero, dropping his gun at the critical moment—and began moving in an unsteady gait toward the rest stop doors that the failed kidnapper had blasted through just moments before.

By the time Bill crossed the fifteen feet to the doors, he felt a little more like himself. He was suffering the beginnings of what he suspected was going to be a whopper of a headache, and lightning-bolts of pain radiated from his left elbow, but overall, he knew it could have been much worse. He was still alive and so was the girl.

He picked up the pace, hitting the doors at a dead run, jarring them violently backward for the second time in less than a minute, and was rewarded with a metallic screech that sounded like an accusation. The unseasonable heat and humidity descended on him like a wet blanket as he leapt the four steps from the plaza to the concrete walkway, staggering slightly upon landing and continuing forward into the parking lot. An elderly couple approaching the plaza did a double take. Bill wondered what he looked like to them and decided he was probably better off not knowing.

In a way, he supposed he must look like a freaking lunatic, chasing after a guy armed with a deadly weapon, who—if, in fact, he really was the legendary I-90 Killer—was rumored to have murdered at least ten people, probably more. And Bill had no doubt the guy would not mind adding one middle-aged fool to his tally.

By the time he had taken three running steps onto the hot pavement, Bill realized it was hopeless. There were probably over a hundred cars in the mammoth lot, and while it wasn’t even close to being full, the odds of picking the I-90 Killer’s vehicle out of all of the ones glittering in the bright May sunshine when he had no idea what it even looked like were stacked overwhelmingly against him. For all he knew, the guy had been parked in the first row and was already gone, even now speeding down the highway, anonymous and safe.

Bill slapped his hands together and screamed in frustration, and as he did, his headache spiked and the I-90 Killer roared past him, not twenty feet away, tearing along the parking lot access lane toward the on-ramp leading to the eastbound lane of the interstate. He was driving a battered, off-white box truck that trailed blue smoke as he made his escape. The vehicle had obviously been repainted, and not professionally, containing no apparent markings. Bill shuddered, thinking about what horrible fate might have awaited that young girl back inside the rest stop had the man gotten her into the back of that truck.

He peered at the rear of the vehicle in an attempt to decipher the license plate, but the heavy blue smoke pouring out of the exhaust made an effective screen. Bill could see the plate but could not make out any of the numbers or letters; he couldn’t even tell whether it was a New York or a Massachusetts tag, or maybe neither. He cursed again and wondered if the escaping kidnapper realized how lucky he was right now to be driving a vehicle that needed a ring job.

Bill began sprinting toward his vehicle to give chase. How hard could it be to catch that crappy truck?


Bestselling author Scott Nicholson says, "Allan Leverone delivers a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy," and acclaimed crime fiction author Dave Zeltserman says THE LONELY MILE "will carry readers along..."

If you like what you've read over the past seven days, please consider purchasing your own copy at one of the following links:


Barnes and Noble:

My website:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapters Six and Seven

Day Six of my week-long introduction to my new thriller, THE LONELY MILE ($2.99 from StoneHouse Ink), brings us, appropriately enough, to Chapter Six. But I wanted to thank everyone for the positive response to the book in its first full week, so here are Chapter Six and Seven. Sometimes my generosity astounds even me...


Martin froze, instantly aware the shouted warning was meant for him. For perhaps two seconds, nothing happened—the silence was all-encompassing and unnerving—and then, like a dam bursting, chaos erupted in the plaza. A shrill, high-pitched scream echoed off the ceramic tiles in the big, open room. Trays filled with dishes fell to the floor, glasses shattering and dishes breaking as their owners spotted the guns and dove for cover. Tables crashed onto their sides, and the more physically gifted among the travelers vaulted the counters, thudding to the floor on the other side. Those lucky few near the plaza entrance simply ran out the door.

And still Martin did not move. He hugged the girl tightly, frantically calculating the possibilities. It could not have been a cop who shouted the warning—they were required to identify themselves. So it had to have been a citizen; an ordinary Joe who had seen the kidnapping go down and decided to play hero. That was good; he might still be able to get out of this.

Martin turned slowly and carefully, avoiding any sudden or unusual movements that his attacker might interpret as threatening. He kept his handgun firmly planted in the girl’s side, shoving it hard against her ribs in an unspoken warning not to do anything stupid, like running toward her misguided—and soon-to-be dead—savior.

In front of Martin, the girl whimpered softly, breathing hard, clearly terrified, her weight heavy on his arms as he pulled her tight against his body, using her as a human shield. He completed the turn, dragging her around with him, and found himself face-to-face with the same man who had bumped him just seconds ago. The man was crouched, his weapon held in a two-handed shooter’s grip, the barrel trained steadily on the center of Martin’s body, which meant it was now also trained on the girl.

Martin smiled, knowing that, no matter how powerful the man’s handgun was, it was useless unless he could shoot like Annie Oakley. The odds were that he would hit the innocent victim if he attempted to fire now, and, unless the guy was totally off his rocker, he would not do something so rash. The man had had his chance to take down Martin when his back was turned, and he had blown it.

If the busybody had just fired his weapon, then this would all be over, with Martin lying face down on the cold, plaza floor, blood and life soaking out of him. Instead, the fool had offered a ridiculous fair-play warning, like he thought he was Marshal Dillon patrolling Dodge City, and just like that, his only chance at taking the advantage away from Martin had evaporated. Now Martin was back in control.

His smile widened into a cocky grin. The buttinsky was dressed in a blue windbreaker with “Ferguson Hardware” stitched on the breast pocket. It should have been a dead giveaway to Martin that the dude was carrying. It had to be ninety-five degrees outside; there was no possible explanation why someone would don a jacket in this heat unless it was to cover a concealed weapon.

Martin mentally kicked himself, careful not to let the guy see his anger. He didn’t want the wannabe hero to know he was anything other than supremely confident. But there was no way he should have overlooked such an obvious warning sign—it was one of those careless mistakes he had sworn he was too smart to make. Well, he could still escape this disaster, and, when he did, he would chalk the episode up as a valuable lesson learned; one that was annoying and stupid and inexcusable, but one that he would never make again, that was for sure.

Martin knew he was in control. He continued backing toward the doors, pulling the girl with him. He smiled at the man with the gun, oblivious to the chaos around him as the sheep bleated pathetically, roused from their torpor and completely lost now, confronted with this frightening and confusing new reality.

The hero still had not moved. He remained in a crouch, holding the gun on Martin and his new girlfriend. Martin wondered if it had occurred to the Good Samaritan yet that he had lost control of the situation. Probably not, this guy was just another idiot. He was brave, Martin would grant him that, but he highly doubted this hardware store man could match Martin’s intelligence or cunning.

The idiot would find that out soon enough.


Bill kept the Browning trained on the kidnapper who still held the girl tightly in front of his body. The guy had a creepy grin plastered on his face, and the girl was wearing an expression of sheer terror. Bill was suddenly thankful for his long-ago military training and the hours spent firing weapons in the desert blast-furnace of Iraq, honing his technique until he had total confidence in his ability with firearms. He had been an expert marksman in the service, and he hoped the intervening years hadn’t dulled his accuracy.

The panicked noises in the food court—the sounds of screaming, cursing, running feet, and breaking glass—were dying down. Out of the confusion, came the plaintive sound of a wailing woman’s voice. “Oh God, he has Allie! He has Allie!”

Bill ignored the tortured voice, tuning it out along with all the other chaotic, background noise. They were distractions he didn’t need. He knew he had to remain sharp and focused, because the next few moments would determine whether this whole mess ended well or disastrously.

The kidnapper continued to smile, his eyes sharp and predatory. Maybe it was a trick of the harsh fluorescent lighting inside the rest stop, but his teeth appeared long and yellow—wolfish even.

He stared Bill down as he slowly edged backwards, the challenge in his eyes unmistakable. The kidnapper had regained the advantage, and worse, he knew it. There was no way Bill could fire on him now without risking hitting the hostage. For just a moment, he was back in Iraq, the intense heat and dust and life-and-death pressure returning with a vengeance, so real he felt that, if he opened his mouth, it would fill with burning desert sand. He hesitated, his hand beginning to lower, and then he shook his head, clearing it of the cobwebs, and once again raised the weapon, training it on the scruffy-looking man and his young victim.

It was a classic standoff. Bill knew he couldn’t fire on the kidnapper because of the hostage, but the kidnapper couldn’t shoot the girl either because he would lose his shield and open himself up to a bullet. What he could do, however, was shoot Bill and back straight out the door.

The kidnapper seemed to reach the same conclusion as Bill, and at the same time. His grin widened. It was unnerving. He slid the gun smoothly away from the girl’s body and pointed it at Bill, who rose from his crouch and began moving forward ever so slowly, matching the kidnapper step for slow step. The two handguns were now pointed almost directly at each other.

Now what? If he could move close enough to the girl, maybe he could grab her and pull her out of the scumbag’s grasp, using his own body to shield her from harm. What he would do after that was still a little unclear. As plans went, Bill knew it was pretty thin, but he couldn’t come up with anything better, and felt control of the situation slipping away, sliding inexorably toward a disaster involving death, tragedy, and regret.

He crept closer, neither man speaking, the girl sobbing quietly in the man’s arms, pulled tightly against his body. Under the circumstances, Bill thought, she was doing an admirable job of keeping herself together. From his peripheral vision, he was aware of the rest of the people in the crowded plaza watching the confrontation from behind overturned tables, peeking over counters and around booths and chairs. The chaos of a few seconds ago had resolved into a low murmur, a buzz of shocked excitement as the observers began to realize that they, at least, were not in any immediate danger.

The pair with the weapons pointed at each other were now eight feet apart…now six…four. The gunman holding the hostage shuffled steadily backward, dragging his reluctant companion with him, and Bill moved forward, steadily closing the gap.

Still, neither man spoke. Neither man fired. The tension was palpable. Something was about to break, something had to happen soon, but no one had a clue what it was, least of all Bill Ferguson.

He continued moving forward, finally reaching a point where he could smell the rancid stench of the kidnapper’s fear. Outwardly, the man appeared calm and in control, an arrogant smirk pasted on his face, but the sweat dripping from every pore revealed his tension. The odor was sour, and Bill nearly gagged.

He was close enough now. It was time. He stopped moving and pulled his left hand off the grip of the Hi-Power, leveling the gun with his right hand in the direction of the kidnapper and his hostage. Still operating mostly on instinct, Bill reached forward to grab the girl’s right shoulder and yank her toward him, to spin her behind him to relative safety, to shield her with his own body. He moved as quickly as he could, his hand flashing out toward the girl, and as he did—


The final installment of my preview follows tomorrow! If you like what you've read, please consider downloading a copy to your ereader for just $2.99 at one of the following purchase links:

My website:


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapter Five

On to Chapter Five of my new thriller,THE LONELY MILE ($2.99 from StoneHouse Ink):


Bill approached the entrance to the restrooms, dodging left and right, avoiding masses of people, all seemingly oblivious to everyone and everything around them. A fat, middle-aged woman with thinning brown hair waddled straight at him, staring through him as she careened toward the food counters like she hadn’t eaten in weeks. He stepped nimbly aside and let her pass, shaking his head, half in frustration and half in amusement when it became clear she had had absolutely no intention of altering her course. The woman shot past, trailing a wake behind her like a big rig blowing by an economy car out on the interstate.

As he sidestepped the overweight woman hell-bent on her next meal, Bill bumped into a thin, wiry man in a billowing t-shirt who was apparently headed toward the restrooms as well, rocking him onto his heels. The man glared at Bill, who smiled and offered an apology.

“No problem,” the stranger mumbled unconvincingly, and turned away as if anxious to end the brief encounter. Bill stared in surprise at the man’s back for a moment before shrugging and turning again toward the restrooms. He advanced three steps before being forced to step aside again, this time to dodge a young woman exiting the ladies’ room. She was a teenager, tall and blonde, with hair streaming behind her in a ponytail protruding from the back of a New York Yankees baseball cap. Her head was raised and her searching eyes bypassed Bill. It was clear she was looking for someone.

Two more steps brought Bill to the men’s room entrance, a feeling of ill-defined unease nagging at him. He had served two terms on the ground in Iraq half a lifetime ago and learned very quickly that the fastest way to an early, sandy grave was to ignore what your senses were telling you, even if you couldn’t quite decipher the message.

Something was wrong.

He stopped and turned. A man bumped into him from behind and muttered, “Jerk,” then kept walking into the men’s room. Bill ignored him. The wiry guy he had nearly deposited on his butt over by the rack of t-shirts a moment ago was no longer there. Bill watched as that man walked away quickly, now approaching the blonde girl from behind.

When the man reached the girl, he moved to her right and raised his left arm as if to drape it over her shoulder. Bill’s first thought was that the man must be the girl’s father, but that didn’t make any sense. He was too young, and there was no way she could have missed seeing him as she came out of the ladies’ room if they were acquainted; they had to have passed within a foot of each other. The man was obviously unknown to her.

Bill’s internal alarm bells were jangling now, his sense of vague unease morphing quickly into full-blown dread. What happened next caused all the other people milling about to melt away from his consciousness until only the blonde girl and the strange, wiry man existed. The man continued to raise his arm, hooking it over her shoulder as if preparing to settle her neck into the crook of his elbow. With his right hand, he pulled a handgun out from under the back of his shirt and pressed it discreetly against her ribs while bending down and whispering in her ear, clearly warning her not to scream. Then, the man lead her rapidly toward the double doors and the intense heat of the parking lot. And a certain escape.

Bill did a double take, not sure his brain was correctly processing the information his eyes were sending it. He glanced quickly around the plaza. Everyone was still milling about, oblivious to the drama unfolding in their midst. He shifted his attention back toward the man and the girl. The man was hustling the girl out. They had nearly reached the exterior doors.

In a precious, few seconds they would be out of the building and crossing the parking lot to some waiting vehicle where he would spirit the young girl away. Bill made a snap decision, one which he would later question, and, in some ways, come to regret.

Bill Ferguson sprinted forward, dodging passers-by, closing the distance on the still-unsuspecting man and the teenage girl, unsnapping his Browning from its holster as he moved. He held it like a football, cradled in his arms against his chest, hopefully out of sight, but readily accessible. He would approach the kidnapper from behind, use the butt of the pistol to club him in the head, and pull the girl to safety. It wasn’t a perfect plan, but it would work, because the man still didn’t see him, and—

—A kid holding a gigantic iced coffee in his hands arms backed directly into him. The kid was having an animated conversation with his buddies in a booth, backing away from them, his attention diverted. The drink flew out of his hands and crashed to the floor, and a tidal wave of iced coffee splashed around his feet. The kidnapper turned for a split-second to see what was causing the commotion, and just like that, the advantage of surprise was lost.

Bill changed the plan on the fly, dropping into a shooter’s crouch and taking dead aim at the center of the man’s back. The guy’s head was turned but his body continued to face the door. Bill still had a clear, unobstructed shot.

He held the Browning in two hands, making a conscious effort to keep his grip loose and relaxed, and screamed, “Freeze!” at the top of his lungs. The man stopped instantly and stood stock-still. His gun remained firmly planted into the girl’s side, but at least he hadn’t pulled the trigger. Yet.

One full second of utter, monastic silence fell over the inside of the rest stop. No one spoke. No one moved. The clatter of plates and silverware stopped. Cash registers fell silent.

Then, all hell broke loose.


Chapter Six to follow tomorrow! If you like what you've read, please consider downloading a copy to your ereader for just $2.99 at one of the following purchase links.

My website:


Barnes and Noble:

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapter Four

We've reached the midpoint of my week-long introduction to my new thriller, THE LONELY MILE ($2.99 from StoneHouse Ink), the novel Dave Zeltserman says "will carry readers along..." Here is Chapter Four:


Martin pushed open the door and entered the rest stop, grateful to be out of the heavy, hot, summery air. Already, his light t-shirt stuck to his back uncomfortably. He mopped his brow with the palm of his hand, scanning the interior of the crowded building for any cops who might be sitting on their fat butts drinking coffee and eating donuts like some stupid, living cliché. There were none. He relaxed a bit and began the process of searching for a likely prospect. The plaza was set up like a shopping mall food court, with counters running in a long semicircle around the back of the room, beginning immediately to the left of the glass double doors and terminating to Martin’s right at the entrances to the men’s and women’s restrooms.

Spaced at intervals behind the counters were the usual fast food suspects: the pizza place, the fried chicken place, the burger joint, the coffee shop, the ice cream and frozen yogurt franchise. Tables and booths filled the spacious open dining area, with carts and stands more or less randomly scattered throughout the room hawking t-shirts, knickknacks and cheap collectibles.

The place was filled. Martin loved the bustling activity, the way all the people were so absorbed in themselves, in their own little worlds, that they took note of little else. Even now, after more than a dozen kidnappings in plazas like this one all along the eastern portion of I-90, most people remained blissfully ignorant, unaware of their surroundings, certain of their own safety, apparently believing that random tragedy would always strike the other guy.

Martin walked slowly toward the pizza counter, not because he was interested in eating, but because that vantage point offered the clearest view of the open room, and thus it offered the best opportunity to scan for potentials. He was reasonably certain he had already made one “withdrawal” from this particular plaza, maybe even his very first, but there had been so many over the last three-and-a-half years that they all began to blend together, a satisfying mishmash of pretty young things forcibly abducted in broad daylight in front of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of potential witnesses.

He regretted losing clarity in the memories of his earliest conquests, but it was inevitable, really. In a way, those fuzzy remembrances served as testament to his methods, to the fact that he was so good at what he did. He had been at it so long and taken so many girls that the details of all but the most recent kidnappings had begun to merge together into a kind of delicious, nostalgic stew. Perhaps he couldn’t recall the specifics of all of them, but, in total, the memories served to warm his heart, to cause a little tingle in his belly whenever he thought about them. You couldn’t ask for much more than that in this world.

Besides, it’s not like I’ll forget any of them, with my trophy case stocked with precious souvenirs, ready to display more. He thought about the collection of locks of hair and the rings, watches, and other jewelry he had saved from his conquests, and he knew that, as risky as keeping the prizes was—if the authorities ever searched his house, they would certainly be his undoing—it was well worth it. Besides, he was much smarter than the people pursuing him, so as long as he continued to exercise caution in his hunting, he knew he had nothing to fear. What exactly was the point of exercising his admittedly peculiar interest if he could not enjoy the fruits of his hard-fought labors?

Martin scanned the plaza, his practiced eye immediately zeroing in on a few potential targets, attractive girls in their late teens or early twenties. He was fortunate that he was mostly permitted to indulge his taste for slim blondes and brunettes; his contact only demanded that they be young and attractive. This process of selecting a companion was where things could get a little dicey. He had to be careful to choose a target whose family or friends weren’t paying too much attention to her. It was getting more and more difficult. With each passing success, the media coverage of the I-90 Killer became more and more sensational, causing nervous parents to pay that much more attention to their daughters.

At least for a while.

Then, time would go by, Martin would lie low, and the coverage would die down as other stories moved into the news cycle, picking up again only after Martin plucked another victim out from under the not-so-watchful gaze of her parents or friends.

Martin strolled past the pizza counter, moving behind the lines of people. He passed the line for the pizza and burger joints, taking his place in the crowd of people waiting to buy a cup of coffee. His heart hammered wildly in his chest and he practically quivered with anticipation. This was the hardest part: the knowledge that he was so close to his next plaything but would have to wait to enjoy her, but he forced himself to slow down and proceed with caution.

This sense of caution was exactly why he would never be caught. Others of his kind rushed in with little or no regard for the potential consequences of their rash actions. Or they were careful in the beginning but became sloppy after a few successes, leaving themselves open to committing the kind of mistakes that resulted in capture, humiliation, and, eventually, life in prison or even the death penalty.

Not Martin Krall. Martin Krall was too smart for that kind of carelessness. He knew when to take bold, decisive action and when to hang back and observe, and this was the time to hang back and observe. Scan and plan before leaping into action.

The line at the coffee counter moved slowly. Its length surprised Martin because of the stifling heat outside. Of course, like most coffee franchises, this one offered the thirsty patron all sorts of fancy iced drinks and frothy ten-thousand-calorie concoctions composed mostly of water and sugar, and Martin figured the majority of the sheep were probably purchasing those. He waited patiently, eyes continually scanning the crowd behind his mirrored sunglasses, keeping tabs on the pair of girls he had determined were the most promising targets.

Finally, he reached the front of the line. A tall, skinny kid in his late teens with serious acne issues and long, greasy, blond hair looked down at him through bored, blue eyes. Pinned at a careless angle onto his shirt was a nametag that read “Jamie.” The shirt was wrinkled and partially untucked. “Help you?” he asked.

Martin was immediately turned off. He was no neat freak, not by any stretch of the imagination, but this kid reeked of grime and germs. It was disgusting. Martin’s first instinct was to turn away. He certainly didn’t want to drink anything “Jamie” had put his dirty paws all over. But then he stopped himself. Waiting all that time in line and then leaving without buying anything just as he got to the counter would be noteworthy. It would make him stick out. It would make people remember him.

That kind of reaction was unacceptable, especially considering what would soon take place here today. He reluctantly forced a smile onto his face, wondering whether it looked as insincere as it felt, and said, “Small coffee, please.”

The kid stared at him without moving, as if Martin had spoken in some foreign language. For a second, Martin wondered if maybe he didn’t speak English, but of course, that was absurd. He had been waiting behind a whole group of people, most of whom must have been speaking English, and no one else seemed to have had any trouble. What was this moron’s problem?

Finally, the kid asked, “Hot?”

Now it was Martin’s turn to stare uncomprehendingly. Of course it was hot; it was at least ninety degrees outside, for crying out loud!

Suddenly, he realized what the kid was asking. His earlier supposition that most of the people in line were buying those iced drinks was right on target, and this idiot wanted to be sure he understood Martin’s order correctly. “Yes, hot,” Martin said, trying and mostly succeeding in keeping the sneer he felt out of his voice. “I’d like hot coffee.” He said it slowly and deliberately.

The kid drew the brew out of a huge stainless steel urn set up on a counter behind him, then handed the cup to Martin and received payment without another word. Martin wanted nothing more than to stiff this loser out of a tip—his service was poor and his personal hygiene nonexistent—but of course that might draw the attention of some of the sheep, too, so he reluctantly dropped a quarter into the plastic tip jar, strategically placed next to the cash register, and moved away, grabbing a table near the front of the room where he would have a decent view of the entire place.

No sooner had he sat down, than he spotted, “the one.” There was no doubt about it. She was perhaps seventeen, tall and athletic, willowy, all coltish legs and youthful energy, with long, blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. She was perfect—just what Martin liked, and just what the others would like as well. The girl was entering the plaza, traveling with a man and a woman, presumably her parents. She was not one of the likely targets he had been monitoring, and he congratulated himself on his patience.

The family moved into the plaza and immediately split up, the girl turning right toward the restrooms and Mommy and Daddy staking out a spot at the end of the line for the burger joint all the way across the room. There were so many people milling about at the moment that Martin figured there was no way they could even see the restrooms from where they were standing. Perfect.

Martin left his coffee untouched on the table—just as well, he thought; he didn’t really want to drink it after that greaseball behind the counter had touched it —and meandered slowly toward the restrooms. The men’s and women’s rooms were adjacent to each other and featured open doorways with interior walls preventing anyone from seeing in.

He took his time, moving slowly. The plaza was busy and there was a pretty decent chance the girl would have to wait for a stall inside the restroom. Even if she didn’t, it would take at least a couple of minutes to do her business and wash her hands.

Stopping at a t-shirt stand a few feet from the rest rooms, Martin pretended to check out the cheap wares while he waited for the girl. Shirts with silly puns on them competed for attention with other shirts featuring scenic views of the Adirondack Mountains or one of the thousands of lakes dotting the region. The only thing they had in common was that they were all poorly made and overpriced.

Martin watched the restrooms surreptitiously, knowing he would get only one chance to do this right. Hopefully, the girl would exit the ladies’ room alone, but even if she didn’t, it would pose no more than a minor problem. The girl’s parents were still cooling their heels in line at the hamburger joint across the plaza, and anyone who happened to walk out of the ladies’ room at the same time as the target would undoubtedly be in a hurry to get her food and drink and head out, and so would be paying scant attention to the pretty blonde girl.

Martin Krall patted the Glock 9mm, jammed into the waistband of his jeans and covered with a long t-shirt, and waited. The girl would walk out of the ladies room any second now. He could feel it. He didn’t know how he could tell, but he could. He had done this many times before.

He stood at the display stand surrounded by the cheap t-shirts and all of the unsuspecting people and waited, unnoticed, a predator stalking its prey.


Chapter Five to follow tomorrow! If you like what you've read, please consider downloading a copy to your ereader for just $2.99 at one of the following purchase links.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapter Three

Day Three of my week-long introduction to my brand-new thriller, THE LONELY MILE, $2.99 from StoneHouse's Chapter Three:


Bill Ferguson sat alone at his table, one arm resting along the back of the booth’s bench seat, legs stretched comfortably across the red vinyl. Steam swirled lazily from his mug as he sipped his coffee. He loved the coffee they served at this busy rest station off Interstate 90 in western Massachusetts. It wasn’t the fancy upscale stuff the yuppies seemed to enjoy overpaying for, but it definitely hit the spot.

As the owner of a pair of moderately successful independent hardware stores, one located in rural Massachusetts and one in rural upstate New York, Bill had occasion to travel I-90 often, ferrying inventory between stores and taking cash receipts to the bank. Whenever possible, he tried to take a few precious minutes out of his day to sit back and enjoy the coffee while watching the world pass by, here, at this rest stop.

The weather today was atypical for a late spring day: hot and humid; more like August than May. Sweaty travelers, most dressed in shorts and t-shirts, hurried inside to use the facilities and stock up on food and drinks before barreling back onto the highway to mix it up with the rest of the early-season vacationers. The chaotic activity had a certain anonymity to it—like the practiced avoidance of the big city, where people could be packed, shoulder to shoulder, on public transit or elevators and still manage to ignore the strangers around them. Most of the vacationers’ interactions here were limited to completing a transaction at one of the fast food franchises inside the plaza, wolfing down their food and drinks, and heading out.

In contrast, long-haul truckers slouched in to sit around long tables, sipping coffee and shooting the breeze with their buddies as they falsified their drivers’ logbooks in case of a surprise inspection by the DOT somewhere down the road. Bill could pick out the longtime truck drivers pretty easily; they carried themselves low to the ground like sports cars, as if the gravitational pull from decades of sitting in the driver’s seat had somehow gradually compressed them. The truckers spent their days in solitude, breathing exhaust fumes and covering mile after mile of paved highway with only the radio for company. Unlike the vacationers, who seemed to view the people around them as intrusions to be avoided at all costs, the truckers tended to be outgoing and talkative here, at least to others who earned their living behind the wheel.

Bill raised his coffee to his lips with his left hand, enjoying the slightly acidic taste as it burned its way down his gullet. With his right, he absently traced the bulge of the Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol secured in his worn, leather, shoulder holster. A loose-fitting blue windbreaker with “Ferguson Hardware” stitched with off-white thread on the breast pocket concealed the handgun nicely. He carried the weapon whenever it was necessary to transport cash or valuable merchandise for his stores, and, in sixteen years, he had never had occasion to pull it out of the holster unless he was at the practice range.

Running his hand over the outline of the weapon, Bill caressed it like a security blanket, which he supposed, in a way, it was. Carrying large sums of money at all hours of the day or night on an interstate highway, often lonely and secluded over the forty-mile stretch between exits for his stores, was no kind of avenue to a long and healthy life, and, although Bill had never yet run into trouble, he knew you could never be too careful.

He drained his coffee with a satisfied sigh and stretched his muscles, feeling the usual popping and cracking of bones and tendons—signs of turning forty last year. He set his mug on the table and rose. The coffee was good, but nothing lasted forever. His failed marriage testified to the wisdom of that theory.

Oh, well. It was time to use the facilities, hit the road, and get back to work.


Chapter Four to follow tomorrow! If you like what you've seen, THE LONELY MILE can be purchased for $2.99 at

My website:


Barnes and Noble:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapter Two

Day Two of my week-long introduction to my new thriller, THE LONELY MILE, from StoneHouse Ink, brings Chapter Two:


May 22

Martin Krall was a ghost. He was a wraith. He was legendary. He haunted Interstate 90, its ribbons of pavement winding their way through the mostly rural towns and thickly forested hills of western Massachusetts and eastern New York. He was invisible, ethereal, terrifying. In the mental movie playing nonstop inside Martin Krall’s head, he saw himself as omnipotent, invincible, taking what he wanted when he wanted it. The mere mortals populating the surrounding areas were powerless to stop him and afraid to try.

Today, what Martin Krall wanted was a girl. A teenage girl, specifically, closer in age to twenty than ten. Someone developed, with curves. Martin was not into the nasty stuff that so many of his contemporaries were hung up on, the guys who took young children and did disgusting things with them. He never understood the urge to enjoy a child in that way and was thankful he was more advanced than that. More evolved.

He pulled his aging, white, cargo truck—it was practically invisible, like a raggedy street person sleeping in a cardboard box, ignored by the passers-by—off I-90 and onto the access ramp leading to the massive parking lot of the interstate rest area. He passed a sign on the right directing the big eighteen-wheel tractor-trailers to “Keep right here.” Those gigantic dinosaurs merited their own special place in the lot. Martin slowed as he drove past and then eased into the second right turn, the one leading to the parking area for normal-sized vehicles.

He cruised the access lane, scanning the rows of parked cars and trucks as he eased past, finally selecting a parking spot three rows from the entrance to the travelers’ plaza and shutting the engine down. It knocked and bucked for a couple of seconds, as if disagreeing with Martin’s decision, and then gave up. Martin made a mental note to get the old piece of crap tuned up soon. He couldn’t really afford the expense, but on the other hand, he didn’t want to risk getting stuck somewhere like this with a vehicle that wouldn’t start. That sort of disaster could land him on death row.

The authorities had been chasing Martin for years, ever since the first kidnapping way back, more than three years ago now, but they had never come close to catching him. Martin was confident they never would, despite the fact that he always used the same five-hundred-mile stretch of highway as his hunting ground. He was smart, and, much more importantly, he was careful.

So many of the men who shared his particular predilection made the mistake of getting careless or resorting to boastful, showboating tactics that invariably led to their downfall. Things like taunting the police with cutesy notes or ill-advised telephone calls, or leaving behind little “calling cards” for the media, as if they thrived on the attention and notoriety.

Martin wondered what these idiots were thinking when they did such self-destructive things, virtually ensuring themselves an appointment with a lethal injection, all in the name of notoriety. Of cheap self-promotion.

Martin hated publicity. He would have preferred that the public never learn of his existence, although by now that dream was nothing more than the most baseless sort of wishful thinking. Somewhere around the third kidnapping, a clever television news reporter hung a nickname on Martin, a nickname that stuck to him like vacuum wrap and forever removed his cloak of anonymity.

Martin Krall was “The I-90 Killer.”

He stepped out of the cab onto the parking lot, the searing midday heat softening the pavement and radiating off it, warming his legs beneath his jeans and causing a sheen of sweat to break out on his forehead. Martin slammed the driver’s side door, leaving it unlocked, and turned toward the plaza entrance. It would be foolish to lock the truck; it was a work truck, with no remote control locks, and Martin knew he might be leaving in a hurry, hopefully with a new playmate in tow. Plus, he was a ghost and his truck was as invisible as he—who would pay the least bit of attention to a nondescript, beat-up old box truck adrift in a sea of shiny, much newer vehicles?

Things slowed as they always did when Martin was hunting, seeming to move at half-speed as he strode purposefully toward the glass double doors of the travelers’ plaza. Families with children of varying ages jostled Martin as he walked, some moving, as he was, toward the rest area, and some away from it and back to their cars, refreshed and ready to hit the highway. They all looked to Martin like they were walking underwater, their movements almost painfully slow and exaggerated. Martin assumed this strange phenomenon, a sensation he experienced every time he hunted, was a function of his heightened sense of awareness, of his advanced, predatory instincts.

All of the travelers were potential victims, although they didn’t know it, and none saw him or were even aware of his presence among them; he was a lion stalking among oblivious sheep. It made sense, though. Martin Krall was a ghost—invisible, ethereal and terrifying. The sheep instinctively seemed to move away as he approached, the Red Sea parting for Moses, mothers holding their children’s hands a little tighter without even realizing they were doing it.

Martin felt incredibly alive and hyper-aware. Today was a special day. Today Martin Krall would add another victim to his collection.


Chapte Three to follow tomorrow!

THE LONELY MILE can be ordered at, or at


Barnes and Noble:

Friday, July 22, 2011

THE LONELY MILE excerpt - Chapter One

To celebrate the release of my brand-spanking-new thriller, THE LONELY MILE, and in a bold-faced effort to whet your appetite for my work, I will be posting the first seven chapters here, one a day over the next seven days. This is the book bestselling author Scott Nicholson calls "a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy," and critically acclaimed, multi-genre-talented author Dave Zeltserman says "will carry readers along..."

Enjoy, and if you like what you read, please consider going to Amazon or Barnes and Noble for the full download...thanks!

Chapter 1

May 1

Amanda Lawton sagged sideways, groggy and disoriented, her blonde hair hanging in sweaty strings in front of her eyes. The heavy duct tape attaching her arms and legs to the wooden chair was all that kept her from falling to the cold, cement floor. She shot a pleading look at her captor, trying to focus on him through the disorienting effects of fatigue, hunger, and the drugs he’d forced on her. The thin man swam in and out of focus, moving around in her field of vision like a jittery Casper, although he was not a ghost, and he certainly wasn’t friendly.

This new room he’d moved her to—she thought it might be one of those aluminum-sided rental storage places—yawed and buckled in her watery eyesight. This must be what it feels like to be adrift on a small boat in heavy seas. Her stomach lurched. She thought she might puke. Please don’t let him gag me.

Her captor wrapped a final strip of the reinforced tape around each of her legs until they were completely immobile, then stepped back to admire his handiwork. Amanda knew this was her chance, probably her last chance, to beg for her life and her freedom. Maybe she could play on his sympathies, if he had any, and his humanity—if he was actually human—to plead with him to let her go.

She sat silently, though, trying to focus her gaze on him and failing, attempting to sit up in her chair and failing at that, too. What could she possibly say to him that she hadn’t already said? What pleas could she try? What promises could she make? Over the past week, the nightmarish seven days that had seemed like an eternity, Amanda had begged and reasoned, threatened and cried.

Nothing had worked. Nothing had made a bit of difference. He’d handcuffed her to a filthy little bed in the damp, nasty basement of his crumbling house, taking her when he wanted her in all sorts of different ways, feeding her when he felt like it, making her beg for the bathroom, in general, treating her like an animal or a piece of garbage while lovingly whispering words in her ear that were totally inconsistent with his treatment of her.

Amanda was in despair. Why had she let him grab her and throw her into his truck? How could she have been so careless? She would never again see her home. She would never again see her boyfriend or her parents or her college roommates. She would never hang out at the pizzeria in her tiny hometown, listening to music on the old-fashioned jukebox and teasing the local boys by wearing tight jeans and tank tops. She would simply disappear.

I guess I already have.

Amanda Lawton began to cry. She hadn’t thought it possible, she thought she had exhausted her tears at least three days ago. She had no words left to plead with her captor, but the tears came of their own accord. She cherished the tears. The tears meant that, somewhere deep inside the terrified shell of her former self, there was a sliver of hope, a dream that she might still escape the fate laid out for her by this awful man.

She was wrong.

Her captor stood and watched her cry, impassive and unmoved. He raised his arm slowly and pointed to one side of the tiny enclosure. Amanda tried to follow his gesture, which required intense concentration thanks to the cocktail of drugs she had been forced to take before he brought her to this new prison. “See the tiles on these walls?” he asked.

Amanda shook her head, trying to clear it. Why would he think she cared about the walls?

“Do you see them?” he repeated, the annoyance clear in his tone.

Amanda nodded, stifling a sob, still confused. “Yes, I see the tiles on the wall.”

“Good. These are professional-grade acoustical tiles, very expensive and very effective at accomplishing their purpose. And do you know what that purpose might be?”

Amanda shook her head again, confused and disoriented, but not so confused that she couldn’t tell he was playing with her, taunting her. Somehow this meaningless little humiliation hurt worse than all the indignities he had forced on her over the past week. It was the last straw.

She closed her eyes and sniffled as the tears came harder. She knew the man well enough by now to know this would only infuriate him, but she couldn’t help it. Of course, she was right.

“Answer me!” he shouted. “What is the purpose of these incredibly expensive tiles?”

“I don’t know.” Amanda sobbed, not wanting to die but wishing that, if his plan was to kill her, he would just hurry up and do it already.

“Thank you,” the man said with exaggerated politeness. “Now, was that so hard?” The swiftness of his mood changes was unpredictable and frightening. “Since you’re now showing an interest, I’ll tell you. Those professional-grade acoustical tiles are so expensive because they are extremely effective at muffling noise and preventing it from leaving this room. Radio stations and music studios use them to preserve the integrity of the recording and broadcasting process, and the people I deal with use them to preserve the integrity of their operation, which, in this case, means not allowing anyone outside of this room know that you are here inside it.

“Now, in case you’re wondering, and undoubtedly you are, this little “office,” as I like to call it, is located in an out-of-the-way area surprisingly free of traffic. Not many people come here at all, either by car or on foot. But in the event someone does pass by while you’re here, you can scream all you want at the loudest volume you can manage, and all you will achieve for your effort will be a set of strained vocal cords.

“My point, sweetheart, in case you are so addled by my drugs you need me to explain it, is that, even though I will be leaving soon, and I’m not sure how exactly long you’ll be here, it will do you no good to call for help. It would be a pointless waste of effort and would only serve to tire you out for no good reason. There is a bright side, however. I know you fear for your life, but you needn’t. My home was merely a waypoint for you, and your stay, as pleasant as it was for both of us, represented no more than a temporary interlude for you before continuing your journey to your new, permanent home.”

Amanda shook her head. “Permanent home?”

“That’s right. I’m not exactly sure where you’re going. It might be the frozen wastelands of Russia or the deserts of the Middle East. It all depends upon who my contacts are currently negotiating with, but I can tell you it won’t be here in the United States, or even on the North American continent. That would be too risky for all involved. Do you understand?”

Amanda nodded. She understood. She wished she didn’t, but she did. She tried again to raise her sagging body and sit upright in the chair. It wasn’t easy, with all four limbs duct-taped to a big, wooden monstrosity that looked like an electric chair—not to mention with the drugs coursing through her body. She strained and worked and eventually managed it, and she felt marginally more comfortable. But the tiny enclosure with no windows felt like an oven.

Her stomach lurched again. Sweat streamed down Amanda’s forehead and into her eyes, stinging them and mixing with her tears, and her vision jumped and blurred. She vaguely registered her scraggly captor turning and walking toward the door.

At least it looked as though there would be no gag stuffed into her mouth—why bother if nobody could hear her scream anyway? When he reached the door and swung it open, taking one last long look back at her, she threw up all over the floor.

Her captor shook his head in silent rebuke and walked out the door into the bright May sunshine. It slanted in through the open door for just a moment like an unfulfilled promise, and Amanda wondered if she would ever see the sun again. He closed and locked the door. She waited to hear the sound of his rattletrap truck starting up, of him driving away, but she didn’t hear a thing. Of course, the incredibly expensive acoustical soundproofing tiles.

She counted to one hundred in her head, nice and slow, and when she was sure he must be gone, she tested his theory about the tiles. Amanda Lawton screamed.

And screamed.

And screamed.

And he must have been right. Because nobody came.


Chapter Two to follow tomorrow...

Purchase links are available at, as well as and

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dinosaurs and the Borders Closure

I don't claim to be a business expert, okay? I'm lucky if I can match my khakis with my golf shirt without benefit of helpful Garanimals. So I don't mean to imply that I could be CEO of anything, particularly a business facing the challenges bookstore chains and publishers are facing in today's rapidly changing environment.

But I read a statement today that literally made my jaw drop, or at least hang open for a few seconds, giving me the look of a mouth-breathing idiot. Even more so than usual.

Inside a Wall Street Journal article by Mike Spector and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg discussing the pending closure of the remaining 399 Borders stores, which will result in 10,700 people losing their jobs, was the following statement: "The chain's demise could speed the decline in sales of hardcover and paperback books as consumers increasingly turn to downloading electronic books or having physical books mailed to their doorsteps."

Or, as explained by CEO of Hatchette Book Group, David Young: "When you lose literally miles of bookshelves, it's going to have an impact."

Am I the only one who sees the tail wagging the dog here? It amazes me that something which seems so obvious to me has apparently escaped the attention of both the people who write about the business side of books and the people who run the business side of books.

And that is this:

Readers aren't going to begin downloading more ebooks because the Borders chain is closing, it's the other way around. The Borders chain is closing because people are downloading more ebooks!

In my opinion, this perfectly illustrates the disconnect that will doom the dinosaurs of the publishing world, those publishers and booksellers who just simply cannot grasp that the literary universe has changed (not is changing, has changed) in a very fundamental way, and is never going back. Things will never be the way they were for hundreds of years; that ship has sailed and isn't coming back.

The ability or inability of the largest publishers and booksellers to adjust to these changes will ultimately play the dominant role in determining which of them will survive and in what form. Everybody knows that. The problem is, the more hide-bound and entrenched the organization, the harder it is to effect that change. It takes a lot longer for an aircraft carrier to change course than a speedboat.

I don't mean to imply that there was no understanding of publishing's new realities at the top of the Borders food chain specifically; it's entirely possible upper management did everything they could to help the company survive and just weren't able to pull it off.

And the apparent misunderstanding of the primary cause of Borders' demise by the article's authors is pretty harmless, too. But if I was employed by Hatchette Book Group and I read the quote attributed to their CEO, David Young, I would be pretty freaking nervous right now. Might be time to get a jump on things and start polishing up the ol' resume, before that Hatchette falls. On their heads.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

JK Rowling and Life After Harry Potter

A couple of days ago I read an article about JK Rowling, in which the Harry Potter creator says she has written lots of material since the publication of the final Potter book in 2007, but "wanted the last film out of the way before I made any moves on the publishing front."

Obviously, marketing must have played a role in that decision. Any book Rowling releases will be the subject of a massive publicity blitz, and media scrutiny rarely seen in the literary world, two things that would likely serve only to take attention away from the Potter films, possibly costing Rowling and others mountains of money.

But I wonder if there weren't other factors involved in her decision as well. What do you do if you are the creator of arguably the world's most commercially successful literary character? How do you follow that up? Where do you go when you're already on top of the world?

The Harry Potter universe has spawned an army of adoring fanatics, people who are bound to view any Rowling creation that follows the Potter books with suspicion or even outright disdain, measuring any book that follows against an unrealistic yardstick.

So where do you go from here if you're JK Rowling? Do you create another fantasy universe or do you go off in another direction entirely?

Whatever JK Rowling decided to do - and the decision was apparently made years ago, as she continued writing after finishing the Potter series - she has the luxury of being able to satisfy only her own creative desires. She's richer than the queen of England, literally, and should remain so regardless of the fate of whatever she writes from here on out.

It's a problem I wouldn't mind having, and yet I can't help but wonder how uncomfortable a time it will be for JK Rowling as she approaches Life After Harry. My guess is she hasn't felt this uncertain since she was the only person in the world who had ever heard the name Harry Potter.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Free Casey Anthony Immediately!

As I write this, a travesty of epic proportion is occurring in this country, an injustice that must be remedied immediately. An innocent young woman - sorry, a "not-guilty" slut* - sits in a jail cell, falsely imprisoned for a crime she did not commit. Or at least, acquitted of a crime everyone who has been paying attention - except twelve people - knows she committed but the state couldn't prove.

In any event, this young woman - sorry, this "not-guilty" slut* - was convicted of nothing more than lying to police investigators, and, what the hell, everyone does that, right? Everybody lies to the cops. Caught speeding? Sorry, officer, I was late for work. Possession with intent to sell? Nah, come on, gimme a break, it was just for my personal use.

Besides, the innocent young woman - sorry, I keep making that mistake, the "not-guilty" slut* - suffers from the affliction of being a pathological liar**. The good folks at Merriam-Webster define "pathological" as "altered or caused by disease," or "being such to a degree that is extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal."

Obviously, it would be unfair to expect a pathological liar** to tell the truth, particularly to law enforcement investigators who are desperate to find the innocent young woman's - sorry, did it again, "not-guilty" slut's* - missing child, who has been gone for over thirty days and the pathological liar** supposedly has no clue where she is.

Or maybe she really does know? She's a pathololgical liar**, after all, so who can say for sure?

In any event, all these messy charges involving a two year old child being murdered by the one person who is supposed to protect her, the tiny decomposing body stuffed into a laundry bag and carried around in the innocent young woman's - oops, the "not-guilty" slut's* - car before being dumped in a swamp like so much garbage, while she partied thirty nights away, no longer apply.

The unjust imprisonment of the innocent young woman - sorry, the "not-guilty" slut* - must end. Immediately. The definition of the word "slut" - again, according to the good folks at Merrian-Webster, is "a promiscuous woman, especially, prostitute."

Obviously, forcing this slut* to sit in jail for three years for a crime of which she is innocent - sorry, "not-guilty" - is a travesty of justice which must be rectified immediately. It is unfair in the extreme to expect a slut* to sit in jail, denied the companionship (at least of the male variety) she so much desires.

Release Casey Anthony immediately. There are clubs to dance in. There are hot body contests to compete in. There is a "beautiful life" to be lived. Well, at least for her.


*Slut - This is an indisputable legal fact, so entered into the record by Casey Anthony's own defense team.

**Pathological liar - This, too, is an indisputable legal fact, also entered into the record by Casey Anthony's own defense team.