Reader mail bag offerings:
A bit behind on reader mail (again) but the next deadline is circling like a hungry Great White and I sure ain't going to catch up now; a lot of nice Oh My God Shockball Made It High Fives (thanks, and it's still pretty mind-blowing here); what Liaden novels do I recommend (all of them); would I be interested in lending my name to help push a new e-zine project (based on what I've seen, and my recent exposure to one major dork in the industry, no thanks); and finally, some idiot posted a review on Amazon that trashed me and ruined the plot of Shockball for a reader (I keep telling you guys, don't read these idiot reviews. Get a copy of the book from the library if you don't want to spend the seven bucks for it.)
A bit of a warning, based on past experience -- whenever I hit the Locus bestseller list, every SF anal retentive rushes to post negative reviews on my book, especially on Amazon. You can always spot them, they don't sign their names but remain anonymous -- "A reader from the USA" or something like that. They try to knock down my star rating by posting 1 or 0 stars and call me a bunch of names. They ruin the plot of the books by listing every detail. This is why I stopped reading reviews -- it's stupid, and pathetic. I appreciate everyone who gets indignant on my behalf but consider where it's coming from, folks. Then let it go.
One more graphic. Just one. Indulge me. :)
Desperately Seeking Ear Plugs:
My neighbors are planning to have most of Broward County over tomorrow night for the SuperBowl -- not a problem. It's the post-SuperBowl party that I dread. Last year, it went on until 3 am, with lots of drinking, Latino music at full blast, guys throwing up in the flower beds, etc. Finally the cops had to shut it down. I can appreciate that people need to blow off steam (that dates back to the Coliseum) but I really hate contact sports, and I've already heard every album Enrique Inglesias has made -- at least seventeen times after the last
Yep. Graphics are definitely trouble.
I Made Graphics:
Okay, I made one
graphic, down at the bottom of the weblog. It's the cover art from my latest release, and it's linked to my author site. I'm still not keen on loading up the weblog with a lot of junk, but I wanted to see how to do the coding on the template. So I can do pictures if I want now. Hmmmm....
Quote for the Day:
"Literary men are … a perpetual priesthood." Thomas Carlyle, 1795–1881
Considering how much they drink, and what they feed to the masses, yeah. That works for me.
Medical Fact for the Day: A Hemangioblastoma
is a rare type of brain tumor made up of blood vessel cells. These tumors begin usually in children and young adults as cysts in the cerebellum. Symptoms include headache, vomitting, ataxia (incoordination) and nystagmus (rapid, involuntary eye movements.) As hemangioblastomas are slow to grow and easy to spot, they can be readily identified and in most cases, cured by surgical removal.
So, government agents are closing in on your apartment, and they've cut off all possible escape routes. What's a girl to do?
Excerpt from Untitled (Onyx Trilogy II Book 1)
by Gena Hale
“Oh, sweetheart,” Raven murmured as she watched Kalen and two of his operatives enter her apartment and spread out, guns drawn. “You should call me before you bring friends home for dinner.”
Standing on a fire escape seven stories above the busy streets of Paris wasn’t one of her favorite hobbies, but she’d had little warning of Kalen’s visit. They’d gotten past most of her interior building cameras, probably by climbing up the same fire escape she stood on to the floor beneath her apartment. Her corridor camera caught them just as they began picking the five locks on her door, giving her only ten seconds to get out the window. Even now, two of his men were standing at the base of the fire escape watching the front entrance to the building, totally oblivious to her.
General, you really need to hire better help.
Carefully she stepped off the iron ladder onto the ledge and used it to walk around to the other side of the building, looking down to see if Kalen had doubled on backup. And got her answer when she spotted the two large men standing directly under the east fire escape, watching the back entrance to the building. There was literally no way out.
“Can’t a girl get five minutes to powder her nose?” She sighed and stepped back onto the fire escape, but climbed up instead of down. The rattling of the metal alerted the watchers below, because extra weight suddenly jerked the rungs beneath her hands and feet. “Guess not.”
She climbed quickly to the rooftop, swinging over the ornate facade and dropping to her feet. Sounds of footsteps pounding up behind her made her sprint for the other side of the building. Kalen and his duo burst out of the building stairwell just as she reached the edge.
“Raven! Hold it!”
“Not this time, darling.” She turned and blew him a kiss, then picked up a cable coiled neatly under a curve of the facade. One end she clipped to an eye hook she’d driven and cemented into the brick. The other she clipped to her waist.
Then Raven jumped off the building.
She’d had the bungee cord made to her exact length and weight-bearing specifications, of course, and had terrified a few neighbors testing it earlier that summer. It broke her fall with a jerk halfway down, then elongated slowly to allow her to land with ease on the pavement.
Can’t leave without a little parting gift.
She took two seconds to clip the end to the handle of an overflowing garbage can, then released it. The can silently rose back up to the top of the building, where it landed with a terrific clatter of sound. As she ran down the street, she heard faint male cursing, and the sound of someone drop-kicking metal.
Copyright 2002 by Gena Hale
All rights reserved
Time to Get a Guide Dog, Lady:
A visit to the opthamologist this morning revealed my left eye vision can no longer be completely corrected (I've been legally blind in that eye since 1980), and combined with my gimp leg makes me qualify for a handicapped car sticker. I don't want one -- sheer perversity, I know. When I'm in a wheelchair, then okay, but until then, I walk. I passed all the tests, which means my arthritis has not progressed to my eyes, but I'll never be completely out of the woods -- people with my type of arthritis regularly go blind. And yes, I am terrified of losing my sight. Saw off my leg, stick my butt in a wheelchair, but let me keep what's left of my vision. Also, another unpleasant notice from the eye doc: if my vision gets much worse on the left side, I'll have to have surgery or hand in my driver's license.
I don't mind getting old, I think it's interesting to see how I'm ageing. I want to be a cranky old lady who gives everyone a lot of trouble someday. What I mind is how fast the bod is falling apart. Not like I want to go qualify for an Olympic team or anything, but I'd like to be able to walk, read, and type until I'm seventy or so. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, do you?
Romance is in the air . . .
Since we're kicking off romance genre month today over at Holly's,
I thought I'd post one of my classic top tens. So here's
The Top Ten Things You Should Never Say to a Romance Author
1. “You know, I’ve been in RWA forever, but I’ve never heard of you.”
2. “It was so unbearably hot at my last book signing. Of course, the waiting line was backed out into the parking lot—as usual—so they had
to leave the front doors open all day.”
3. “Good help is so hard to come by. My secretary only types 70 words per minute.”
4. “What do you mean, the love scenes in your book weren’t supposed
to be funny? I laughed so hard I got a cramp.”
5. “My publisher is so generous. With my last advance check, we bought a summer home on Sanibel Island, matching BMWs, and started construction on the new servants’ quarters.”
6. “You look so much heavier/older than your book jacket photo.”
7. “Is your editor still in that twelve-step program?”
8. “Nora Roberts invited me to her house for lunch the other day. Something about wanting me to co-author the next book. I hated to disappoint her, but I simply had
to get my nails done.”
9. “Oh, I know your agent. What a lovely man/woman he/she is. And I personally never believed a word about all those embezzling charges.”
10. “I think I’ve had 150—wait, no—160 novels published. And you?”
Copyright 2002 by S.L. Viehl
All rights reserved.
Quote for the Day:
"You're the only one who can protect your creative energy." Alison Hart, romance author
Medical Fact for the Day: In Mitral Valve Prolapse,
the valve leaflets bulge into the left atrium during ventricular contraction, and sometimes allow regurgitation (leaking) of small amounts of blood into the atrium. About five percent of the population suffer from mitral valve prolapse, and yet because it rarely causes serious cardiac complications they need no treatment. Doctors do prescribe beta blockers if the heart rate is too fast, and patients undergoing dental or surgical procedures are put on antibiotic therapy prior to their scheduled procedures to prevent infection of the heart valve.
Yes, I know I have a weird sense of humor.
Talk to the Photons:
Someone asked via reader mail where I got the title for my blog. It comes from a paper on the cyclotron lines in neutron star atmospheres with super-strong magnetic fields, where this description appealed to my sense of humor:
"In an extremely strong magnetic field, photons with energies of keV split before escaping from the emission region. The produced photons emerge at an angle to the field since splitting is a collinear process in the nondispersive limit." -- Osamu Nishimura, Kousuke Sumiyoshi, and Toshikazu Ebisuzaki, Computational Science Laboratory, Riken Institute of Japan
Splitting up to escape the region of emissions at an angle to the rest of the field. Sort of sounds like my career, doesn't it?
Way Cool Kid Stuff:
While I was ODing on exotic paper at Pearl's, I also picked up a kid science kit called "Expedition" #870, which contained a block of soft clay/dirt in which the manufacturer embedded a reproduction 6" T-Rex tooth, and 3 more real fossils -- a shark tooth, a dinosaur bone, and a chunk of petrified wood. The point of the kit is, you dig the fossils out of the clay/dirt just like a real archeologist -- and you know how my daughter is about digging in the dirt. Well, it was a huge hit. Mike lasted about fifteen minutes until he found the shark tooth, then he called it quits. Kathy was hooked, and she dug and brushed and chipped away for over an hour until she had everything exhumed. The fossils are small, but genuine, and the reproduction T-Rex tooth is downright scary. It's bigger than my hand.
"Expedition" kits are manufactured by Kristal Educational Inc., and I paid $10.00 for this one. You can order the kits through Kristal's web site here.
It was definitely worth it.
Star Lines is now powered by Blogger Pro, mainly because I read this article
about Evan Williams doing this whole thing Blogger thing by himself and figured my $35.00 would be a nice way to say thank you. You know I'm not going to use any of the features, that would require me to actually learn
something about programming computers. (shudder)
For better or worse, the final novel synopsis for Raven's book went off to New York. I sat on it for a few weeks (no, not literally) to let it gel, and finally flipped the last plot twist. Zhihan's character seemed too plastic in the original plot line, and I like him better now. Of course, this means rewriting about 75% of his scenes, but I can live with that. Now I wait on my editor's viewpoint on all this, and as the book is due on her desk in four weeks, I may have to get pushy. I don't like being pushy with editors. I like being invisible.
For those who e-mailed, I don't know why Blogger randomly zaps my archives, but they should be back now.
Quote for the Day:
"For as yet I did not understand fame, that public destruction of one in the process of becoming, into whose building-ground the mob breaks, displacing his stones." Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875 -- 1926
Fame is what God gives you for not listening to your mother and becoming a teacher like she told you to.
Medical Fact for the Day: Ipecac,
a drug used to induce vomitting to treat poisoning, is derived from a plant native to South and Central America. The syrup form of ipecac is available over the counter and should be kept as part of the first aid kit in your home and your business.
On a more melodic note, I found what has to be the best web site using flash -- whatever the hell flash is -- I've seen in my three years on the web. It showcases PJ Harvey,
and while I have no idea who she is, she has a nice voice. The graphics, on the other hand, are spectacular. Check out what happens when you click on the links after you enter through the enter thing on the first page. Warning, as I know this annoys some people: you will hear music at this web site.
Setting the Record Straight:
If it's one thing I can't stand, it's being misquoted or quoted out of context. Yes, I make some radical statements. Yes, I know it usually ticks off a certain contingent who would rather perpetuate the myth of sacred SF writing. Big deal. But if you're going to quote me on my now infamous "Hey, your loss!" for Christ's sake at least get it right:
Excerpt from the actual interview I said it in:
Q: What do you recommend for writers who haven't yet gotten that first acceptance?
SLV: I've been brushed off in virtually every way, shape, and form -- pre-printed slips, hastily scrawled one-liners, indifferent form letters, and several unpleasant, vicious attacks. One editor (who shall remain nameless) was so callous and cruel in her rejection letter that my sixty-three year old mother wanted to fly up to New York and kick her ass. Listen, I know it's hard. Brother, do I know. There are three words that got me through it. Just three words, and you have to repeat them every time you get a rejection:
"HEY, YOUR LOSS!"
Silly? Maybe. Magic? No. But for the writer who hasn't gotten that first acceptance yet, they have to be your battle cry. When you say them, you're telling the world you're not defeated. You don't care if they slammed a door in your face, because when you do get that acceptance you're going to kick that damn door in and stomp over the sorry slob behind it.
Say those three words and you're defying the publishing industry, reaffirming your faith in yourself, and making a prediction that will come true -- as long as you believe them, and you never, ever give up.
The words "Hey, your loss!" aren't a war cry. They define personal ability, endurance, and faith for those writers who are struggling every single day
to pursue a professional career. I was just answering the question put to me. This is not something you say to an editor or another writer or anyone but that face in the mirror. And for those who still snicker or pooh-pooh over the idea of having faith in yourself and your ability, let's just compare stacks of rejection letters, shall we? I have -- to date -- more than fourteen hundred of them received over the last eleven years. I went the distance and I made it. When you've worked that long, received that many rejections, and can say the same, then you can come talk to me about my bad attitude.
Heap big busy productive day writing, problem-solving, and dealing with a small international crisis (postal issue, quickly resolved in the usual "I don't take NO for an answer, pal" way.) I had to run downtown on errands so I stopped by Pearl's and found some beautiful silk and straw papers upon which I will write tres cool letters. Why am I so in love with exotic paper? Search me. Then I picked up the kids from school and we went over to Larry's for ice cream to celebrate absolutely nothing. You know how important an absolutely no occasion is.
Tonight I meant to get back to work, but the cats piled around me on the sofa and heat-drugged me into an hour-long nap. I just woke up after having an interesting dream about walking through the Sahara Desert (my cats make excellent insulation) while debating issues of honor and war with a bald Buddhist monk dressed in a scarlet robe carrying a small black tatami mat under his arm. Toward the end of the dream, I looked down at myself and realized I was dressed like Jennifer Lopez during the bedroom scene in The Cell. All I needed was the wicked metal face ornament she wore and a serial killer dressed like Baron Munschausen dancing around me to complete the ensemble. Yet it was a very reassuring dream, for all that. I woke up perspiring but serene, as if I'd solved a problem with the universe, too. Maybe I did.
Famous Quote for the Day:
"Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug." Christina Dodd, romance author
I seem to be the windshield wipers.
Medical Fact for the Day: Volkmann's contracture
is a disorder in which the wrist and fingers become frozen in a bent position. The disorder is a direct result of ischemia (inadequate blood supply) in the forearm muslces that control them, usually caused by damage to the brachial artery. Fractures in the humerus, a dislocated elbow, or any forearm injury that culminates in edema (retention of fluid in the tissues) are generally the extended cause. Treatment includes correcting the source of damage to the artery, vasodilator drugs, or arterial grafts.
One Last Kiss:
Took a couple hours off to watch an extremely strange movie starring Jude Law, "Immortality." I rented it solely because he starred in it, and I'm a shameless Jude junkie, but it was . . . ? Disturbing. Interesting. Incomprehensible in many places. Would probably bore the tears out of non-medical people or anyone who wants a quick flick fix. I don't know that I'd even recommend it to anyone, except for this really cool fight scene right smack dab in the middle of it. Jude kicked butt. I have to rewind it to see the opening credits but I think there was an Asian director, which would explain why it was so . . . ? (Still can't think of a single, apt descriptive word.) Jude gives a very controlled performance, and looks terrific, but I liked him better in Enemy at the Gates.
has announced he's planning to quit writing for the second time in his career, and a lot of people are speculating on "the real reason" again. Well, geez. The last time he was shaken up from that guy who ran him down on the side of the road. Now the man is pushing sixty. He's worth millions. He's also left some pretty large footprints in the sands of time. He wants to go out with dignity, he says. Sound like retirement time to you? Does to me.
Speaking as a lifelong, prolific writer, I doubt King will quit writing. We don't stop. I think he'll just quit letting them publish what he writes. Then, when he finally checks out, some publisher will buy the rights to all the stuff he did after he "retired" from his heirs and we'll see what he was up to.
Register to Vote:
Always good to do this for stuff like the Presidential election, but something more important has come up: Masterfoods, the makers of M&Ms, is adding one new color to the traditional line-up: either purple, pink or aqua. To determine which, they're asking consumers to stop by their web site and register to vote
for the upcoming New Color Election in March. Why is this important? Because I want the aqua M&Ms. So go register and when election time comes around, remember, AQUA.
I've read some books on marketing and advertising over the years, and I'm fascinated by one thing advertisers focus on -- getting their product brand name to equal a single word in the mind of the consumer. Here's what I mean: when I say IBM, you think computers, right? You don't think laptop, printers, modems, software, or anything else. IBM = computers. Like Oreos = cookies and Thomas's = English muffins (okay, two words, and I'm getting hungry.)
I like playing with words, but I'm starting to realize just how important they are. A few years back, I was searching for a title for my SF series. I knew I needed a really good one, one that would stick in the mind of whoever read it. When I came up with StarDoc in the shower, I had no idea how important it would be. I just thought it was a neat title. Books about a doctor in space = StarDoc. Now people remember me not as S.L. Viehl, but as the author of StarDoc. I haven't figured out my one-word focus for my romance books, but I'm working on it. Gena Hale = something.
How about you? What's the one word you want to own?
Rock the Casbah:
This week StarDoc went Euro in a big way; I got reader e-mail from France, Germany, and Spain. And discovered some french men sound sexy even when they're writing a nice, polite e-mail. sigh
All of the people seem to have picked up the book from used bookstores, and are now ordering my new titles from the french version of Amazon.com. This is why I don't complain about used booksellers -- it's a great way to get new readers -- and why I need to get something moving on overseas rights so I can get my books translated into other languages. Anyway, among the dozen or so European e-mails, there was one with a very strange addy and an attachment. I put it through the security washer, made sure it was clean then opened it. A teenage Jordanian girl is reading my books to improve her English, loves them and sent me a photo of herself so I could see my new fan in Amman (and she's a gorgeous little thing.) Far as I know -- not counting US soldiers on ships and bases out there -- this is the first time my books have made it into the Middle East.
You know why.
Quote for the Day:
"An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children." Benjamin Disraeli, 1804 -- 1881
And I'm both. You poor people.
Medical Fact for the Day: A paroxysm
is a sudden attack, worsening, or the recurrence of symptoms or of a disease; also a spasm or a seizure.
Knowing that Goodkind, Moon and multiple Tolkiens were coming out in paperback at the same time, I wasn't counting on making the Locus bestseller list
this time around. All of my SF books have hit the BSL list so far, but with that line-up? No chance.
Good thing I didn't bet money on it. Shockball came in at # 7.
Although I am universally acknowledged as one of the lousiest artists on the planet, I have a couple of pro artist friends at the other end of the talent scale. One of them called me today and was depressed about the progress she'd made on her latest painting. Oddly enough, her creative dilemma sounded just like writer's block -- she was intimidated by the demands of the commission she'd taken on; her composition wasn't working out; and she felt discouraged every time she picked up a brush. Artist's block -- who knew?
I don't get writer's block, but the kids trained me -- the only way a novelist mother with toddlers in the house can write is very fast during nap time. I also don't think about what I do while I'm doing it. I just do it, like a machine. I do all the thinking before
I sit down at the keyboard.
But I think writers have a much easier time of it, in many ways, compared to artists. If I screw up a scene, I'll fix it during rewrites and no one is the wiser. If my friend messes up, she has to paint over it or start from scratch again. She agreed, but pointed out she doesn't have to devote six months to painting the same canvas, and would probably go nuts if she tried.
She's going to try my suggestion of "turn off your brain, grab your palette and just paint" tomorrow, but only if I try one of her techniques. Which means in the morning I have to move my work in progress out onto the porch and write chapter nine while wearing a bikini and listening to the Foo Fighters. Oh boy.
Quote for the Day:
"Why she do that?" Asian Guy behind me in 10 Items or Less cash Line, while we watch large white lady pay for thirty items with her credit card
I didn't know, but I made him laugh by suggesting we start carrying pepper spray in the grocery store.
Medical Fact for the Day: Trench Fever
is a disease caused by Rickettsia quintana
and is transmitted to humans via body lice. Although now rare, wartime epidemics of Trench Fever infected troops during WWI and, to a lesser degree, the first part of WWII.
This is quote from my American Zen Journal:
Last night I dreamt I was a butterfly. Today -- am I a butterfly dreaming I am a man?*
If I apply that to my recent dreams, then there's an older lady who lives in a mansion parked on the edge of a cliff, an Army officer in the jungle and a very large bird with long black feathers out there somewhere, and they've all dreamt they're me.
What did you dream last night?
*(attributed to "Chuang Yzu")
Slayed the Monster:
Knuckled down and finished the final draft of Infusion,
and sent it off to Willa along with the February update. It's all I did today; what was supposed to be a pretty straight forward 3K cop story grew into a 10K plus monster. Worse, the idea got cocky and made me think about expanding it into a new novel which really
wouldn't work, not at all. The writing went fine but I'm exhausted, I've never had such a hard time stomping all those creeping plot lines into dust. The complete story will be posted on my web site in February, if you want to have a look at the unruly beast.
Attended a way cool class on South American mythology last night at Holly's (thanks Jinx) and learned much that will go into the new story for March; then stayed up too late discussing generation music with my twenty year old son, who is of the opinion that rap music will last forever. I keep telling him, we felt the same way about Duran Duran and the rest of the Brit techno-pop scene back in the eighties, and look what happened. Billy Idol is still around, of course, but he's starting to resemble Don Knots wearing a codpiece. I was tempted to make him listen to my Power Station LP, but I'm still hip enough to realize that would be like making me listen to 2LiveCrew. I did win on the fashion issue sub-debate, though, he reluctantly agreed that we were much
better dressed in the 80's (okay, he laughed over big hair and guys wearing makeup ala Bowie, but I did the same over baggie jeans and letting your boxers hang out an inch.)
Did some cruising this morning and found mostly annoying blogs. I don't know why, maybe it's the approaching full moon and they're popping out of the woodwork. One was written by a colleague (who shall remain nameless) but has the distinction of being the only newbie SF writer who annoys me and
makes me yawn at the same time. All that effort trying to be scathing and cool while frantically promoting himself on the web; babe, give it up before you give yourself a complex. Go write books, it's good for you.
I should do a quote and a medical fact of the day but I'm late with my web stuff for Willa (again.) More in the pm if I'm a good girl and get my work done.
I Knew Better:
I did, I really did, but I wrote Norby into my story in progress Infusion
anyway. And, in one week, he's completely taken it over. I hate when this happens. When we last left off,
my cop Sam and her partner Harry had found the charred body of a carpenter impaled on a two-by-four at his job site. Here's the rough draft of the next scene, and this one is definitely rated R
Excerpt #2 from Infusion
by S.L. Viehl
“Sam, Harry.” Captain Grant nodded toward his office.
We left our desks and followed him in. Harry, who was two weeks from retirement, got the only chair. I took my usual spot against the right wall, next to the rows of framed citations John Grant had earned over the years. He was a good cop; there were a lot of them.
The Captain had run Homicide for three of the seven years I’d worked there, but he remained something of a mystery man. He ran a tight, efficient squad, had zero tolerance for time wasting or bullshit, and didn’t encourage anyone to get friendly. He kept his big frame in shape by lifting free weights and running five miles every morning before work – I knew that because I used the same gym three days a week myself. The guys thought he shaved his head to play up his resemblance to the actor, Vin Diesel, but I suspected he didn’t want to waste time in the a.m. fooling with his hair.
“Prelim on Tyson, Albert, your barbecued carpenter.” He tossed a file on his desk. “The ME’s tagging it unknown cause.”
“They took the guy out in an ashtray, Cap,” Harry said. “Had to be some kind of fire, do that to a body. Blow torch, maybe?”
“Gasoline,” was my suggestion. “Doused him, made him drink.”
“No residue – and Amoco cocktail parties don’t cremate the bones. Not in open air, anyway.” Grant pushed the file toward Harry. “Pull his photo off DOT, check out the next of kin, see who he pissed off lately. That’s all.”
“Can I have a minute, Cap?” I asked. At his nod, my partner slipped out and shut the door. “When Harry’s out of here, I’d like to fly solo.”
A flicker of surprise crossed the captain’s face before it went back to impassive. “You know policy, Sam.”
I also knew who’d be taking Harry’s place. “It’ll just be for a couple weeks, ‘til Singer screws himself with IA.”
got a transfer.” It wasn’t a question. I nodded, and he grabbed his phone. “How come you’ve got better spies than I do?”
I shrugged. “A lieu over in Admin owed me.”
“This is Grant,” he said into the receiver. “Who shoveled Richard Singer my way?” He listened for a minute. “Put me down for a nine a.m. with him tomorrow. I don’t fucking care, just do
it.” He slammed down the phone.
I closed my eyes. The last time I’d worked with Singer, I’d ended up in the hospital for six weeks – two in intensive care. “I’ve got vacation time coming.”
“Sit down, Sam.”
I sat. Grant got up and shut the blinds before coming back around to lean against the edge of the desk. Although he didn’t look sympathetic, his deep voice softened a couple of degrees. “How bad has he got it in for you?”
“Bad.” I forced myself to recite what constituted the worst moments of my life. “I got him washed back at the Academy for sexual harassment in ‘93. Two formal reprimands for unprofessional conduct while we were in uniform. About a dozen unofficials after that, until the Hernandez case.”
Wood creaked under his hands. “You killed Hernandez after he shot you.”
“Which is why I couldn’t prove Singer had ratted me out to him.” I toed the carpet with my shoe. “Since they booted him down to Vice, I've heard he’s kept his nose clean, did the mandatory psych, earned a few citations.”
“You think he’s been waiting for another chance?”
“Oh, yeah.” I met Grant’s gaze steadily. “You partner us, I’ll be dead in a week.”
“I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, keep it under wraps.”
I’d been harassed, stalked and shot down in the street because of one unbalanced cop with a grudge, but I couldn’t tell anyone. “Right.” I got to my feet.
“Sam.” Grant held up a hand. “I’m on your side. But you’re the only woman I’ve got, and you’ve made rank faster than any guy here. He’s always claimed you had the hots for him.”
And the squad would believe Singer over me. That was the way it was. “Singer made me want to puke, from day one. And I earned my rank with my brain, not my ass.”
“I know. Which is why you’re going to keep your head down until I can boot this nutcase off the force.” He produced an ugly smile. “You’re not the only one owed favors.”
“Hope they’re large ones, Cap.” I walked out of the office.
Copyright 2002 by S.L. Viehl
All rights reserved.