Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What it's like to be Dru and Running with Wild Blood?

I had been retired from journalism and writing another series for a few years when I read a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. Now let’s just say Reacher is so much larger than life, he’s on a physical plane all by himself. That caused me to search my brain for a woman in a series that was like Reacher. There may be a few, but lacking female Reachers in my library, I created Moriah Dru.

Dru, a tall good-looking woman, began her career as a policewoman on the fast track at the Atlanta Police Department. She was approved for a slot at the FBI’s National Academy and takes the Yellow Brick Road challenge. Her prowess under the harshest conditions earned her a coveted Marine Corps’ yellow brick.

Back in Atlanta, she was partnered with Lieutenant Richard Lake. He was divorced, and they become lovers. When he was promoted, she got stuck with some unlovely partners who thought they should she share her bed, too. Not going to happen. Her good friend, a juvenile judge, urged her to leave the force and start Child Trace, a specialty child-finding private detective agency. In The End Game she is challenged to find two abducted sisters bound for the sex slave trade in Central America. With Lake’s help, they succeed. That book won the St. Martin’s Minotaur Best First Novel.

As her story progressed in the now five-book published series, Dru’s self-defense skills, including expertise in martial arts, shooting, and out-thinking the bad guys, increased. My editor figured out which fictional character she is most like: Emma Peel of the original British “The Avengers” series on television.


One time I rode on a Harley Davidson. Just that once. At eighty m.p.h. I like to be enclosed. But I have to admit I have been fascinated with motorcycles and a culture created by generations of men hungering for the unencumbered wild life. Not all clubs (never gangs) are of the outlaw bent, but Wild Blood is.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were on the highway from hell—I-95 from Georgia to Florida—and a string of bikes flew past us. (My husband is no slouch when it comes to speed.) That’s when the idea of writing a Moriah Dru/Richard Lake thriller/mystery that would feature a biker club came to me.

It’s so easy to connect murder with an outlaw club, but more than that, in Running With Wild Blood I was able to explore the mystique and romance of the culture. I learned many arcane things from my sources—shared by those who knew bikers, including outlaws.

In my reporter days I met several scruffy-looking bikers at Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, S. C. They were the spokesmen (no women)—the front men or hail-fellows of the clubs. In the last few decades, the big national clubs have campaigned to clean up their image by sponsoring charitable bike events in places where they are welcome. In winter, Florida seems to be a magnet for Bike Weeks. Who doesn’t want to get the cold north wind out of their face?

While Running with Wild Blood reflects biker practices and traditions (including those with hearts-of-gold), the book centers on the heinous murder of an adventurous teenage girl and her missing friend. The Wild Blood Club is accused. After looking into the cold case, Dru has doubts about the club’s involvement. To clear them, if they can be cleared, Dru and Lake ride Lake’s Harley to a Florida Bike Week with Wild Blood. To be sure, the culture of cop and biker creates a lot of tension. Who would bet that hell wouldn’t break loose when another murder occurs?

My best to readers and riders alike!

Running with Wild Blood

Friday, January 15, 2016

International Handwriting Week

Cursive going the way of the Dodo?

January 17 starts International Handwriting Week, culminating on January 23 in The USA's National Handwriting Day. The 23rd was chosen by the International Writing Instrument Manufacturer's Association because it's John Hancock's birthday.

Hancock signed his name big and bold on the Declaration of Independence so King George could read it without his specs. Sadly, many of today's children cannot read Hancock's signature, let alone the Declaration of Independence or other important source documents. As president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF) I've watched the decline of handwriting training in US public schools with great concern. Our kids need the opportunity to learn this vital lifelong skill. For some of the reasons why, visit www.cursiveiscool.com

Here's the Good News: Three years ago, AHAF formed the Campaign for Cursive committee, starting a grassroots campaign to turn this shameful situation around. Since partnering with other concerned companies and organizations, we're seeing progress. Several states have already returned the requirement to teach cursive writing to the curriculum. Check www.cursiveiscool.com to see how you can help.

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Crystal Skull Publishing presents its lineup of novels in hardcover, ebook, and paperback formats. Not all are available in all three. http://bit.ly/2094SPr

Please check out the lineup and see if any of these novels -- mystery, suspense, paranormal, romance -- from an award-winning author are your "cup of tea."

By the way, they go good with tea -- or coffee or wine.




Gerrie Ferris Finger

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Trick or Slooh


     That's the name of the community which nicknamed the Halloween asteroid "Spooky". 

     Spooky, estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000 feet wide, is hurtling toward Earth at more than 78,000 mph.

     Spooky's official designation is 2015 TB145. I like Spooky better. Simple things for simple minds. He/she/it will come within 310,000 miles of Earth on Oct. 31.

     NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near Earth Object Program keeps track of these sort of things, and if you have Java enabled on your computer, you can have some fun on their website. Spooky, the dot, will be seen passing the third planet from the sun.

     According to NASA, Spooky was discovered only recently by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii on Oct. 10.

     Said Paul Cox of the community telescope service called Slooh, "It’s frightening to think an asteroid this size, approaching so close to Earth, was discovered only 21-days before its closest approach, which just happens to be on Halloween. If that doesn’t give you the chills, nothing will."

     The closest approach of Spooky or TB145 will happen at 1:12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Halloween day.

     For those of you wishing to track the Halloween asteroid on Allhallows Eve, you can check in with the Slooh community. Or you can go out and Trick or Treat.

     Slooh community:  http://goo.gl/WZguvn

Spookily yours,

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"There is something at the end which makes me want to keep reading this series." RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD (Hardcover: http://amzn.to/1MoJw9P) All book stores and online stores. Great holiday or birthday gift.

Friday, September 25, 2015

William Faulkner - Still a literary force.


William Cuthbert Faulkner, born September 25, 1897 – died July 6, 1962) an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life

My favorite Faulkner quote: "The past is never dead; it's not even past."

Favorite story: Forget "The Sound and the Fury". Slogged through incomprehensible dialogue in high school. Loved "A Rose for Emily". It is so Faulkner; the short story is all you need to read to understand his writing and his mind.

The story opens with the funeral of Emily Grierson, an elderly patrician spinster. Emily is known for her odd behavior. Like others in the antebellum Southern aristocracy, the family fell on hard times. She and her father, the last two of the clan, continue to live in the past, her father vowing that Emily cannot marry a man below their aristocratic status.

When her father dies she becomes friendly with Homer Barron, a Northern contractor that paved sidewalks. He, of course, if far below her standards, and Homer doesn't want to marry anyway.
Meantime, Emily has problems with her cousins and is becoming more erratic.

Emily buys arsenic without giving reasons for needing it. Neighbors suspect she means to take it herself. However, her relationship with Homer lifts her spirits and there is talk of marriage. Homer leaves town to give Emily a chance to get rid of her cousins, and returns three days after the cousins leave. One person reports seeing Homer walk in the house, which is the last he was seen.

Despite her lessened social status, Emily continues flout her long-lost patrician ancestry. She's quite nasty actually and the city council can't bring themselves to confront her about a strong smell coming from her house. Bizarrely, they decide to send men to her house under the cover of darkness to sprinkle lime around the house, after which the smell dissipates. The town council also forgives her taxes as an act of charity, though it was done under a pretense of repayment towards her father to assuage Emily's pride.

Emily becomes a recluse, Never seen out of the house, she rarely lets anyone into it. Her black servant shops for her, and the community comes to see her as an hereditary obligation who must be humored.

Her funeral is a large affair; and her death sparks curiosity about her reclusiveness. Once she's buried, townsfolk enter her house. The door to her upstairs bedroom is locked. Someone kicks in the door to see what has been hidden so long. Inside, among the unused wedding clothes, lies the horribly decomposed corpse of Homer Barron on the bed; on the pillow beside him is the indentation of a head, and a single strand of Emily's gray hair.


So totally Southern Gothic like Faulkner himself.

Gerrie Ferris Finger