Vote please!

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I have submitted The Cookbook of the Dead Into the SOOP machine.

Please vote for it!

https://goo.gl/G1tXS1

It’ll only take a few seconds, promise! Share it around! I need 2000 votes.

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A New Tome is Found (part 3)

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The elevator doors slowly opened, as if tired, and although unheard, I could almost imagine a ‘phew’ of exertion from it as the doors opened, and the heat from the office washed into the elevator.

As I entered the office, all eyes were riveted on the book in my arms.

The Professor squinted at it warily.

“EmJay, is that…”

I shrugged.

“You tell me.”

Ramon cleared his throat, “Which one is it? We have the Cookbook, so…”

I dropped it on the large desk, the cold it radiated generated light fog which dripped down the edge, to the floor.

The boss leaned over it, chewing her lip as she pondered.

“The Economicon, eh? I think that’s a bit fishy.” She bent to open the book but thought better of it at the last second.
“Want me to ask Hartwood?” Jane enquired.

“Mmh. No,” The Professor returned to her desk and fished through her drawer. “Let’s call Kwok in.”

Pulling a wand from her desk, she stroked it several times, causing it to emit different colors with each stroke. Once it glowed canary yellow, she tapped the book, which slowly began glowing the same shade of yellow.

“It’s safe. Kwok. Now.”

“Yes ma’am,” Jane sat at her desk and flipped through a bulging Rolodex.

“So, you think it’s legit?” I asked, hoping that the answer would be no.

Ramon nodded. “It has the same feel as the Cookbook. Definitely something demonic.”

He opened his messenger’s satchel and pulled out a wooden case. Opening it revealed a well-used art set. With a quick, practiced hand, he sketched a startlingly detailed three-dimensional lockbox and padlock in the center of a magical circle on the surface of the desk. He then reached out and opened it.

“EmJay? If you would…” Ramon gestured grandly to his work.

I nodded and picked up the book and placed it into the lockbox that had until a moment ago, just been a drawing, closed it and closed the wrought iron lock that sat near it, securing it from meddling hands.

“Jane, get that fan on it. We have a new air conditioner for the time being.” The Professor said, turning her attention back to her phone-cum-computer.

Jane shot a thumb up into the air just as she hung up the phone.

“Yes, Boss. Kwok is on his way.” She rose and unplugged the fan, relocating it to the table, then went on a quest for what I assumed was an extension cable.

Now we just have to wait for Mister Kwok.

Tutoring English

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I used to work for an English tutoring company out of S. Korea called Talkbean. I loved the company and people.

Unfortunately, I also had untreated OSA, which caused me to fall asleep at  …awkward times. Add this to the fact that the time difference meant that my students were all scheduled for hours that man was not meant to be up and perky. So the job was not meant to be.

Well, now that I’m about to finish my BS in a few terms, I can take teaching jobs abroad, I have been sent job offers from Korea and Thailand, but they hinged on the BS (for the k-1 Teaching visa)

I might get to spend quality time abroad again!

The First Rule of Book Club

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namesofpower

Had a great time tonight at the Arlington YA Book Club. The club is run by 3 librarians from the Arlington Public Library. I only found out about the club two days ago, so I didn’t have a chance to read this month’s book, The Haters, which is apparently about a small group of teens who are trying to win some sort of band competition, and end up on a crazy weekend adventure.

I was able to give a copy of The Angel to Miranda, the leader of the club, to take home to review for possible inclusion on the reading list for the group. I was pleasantly surprised to find out she is also working on some library events for which she would like to invite local authors to participate. Looking forward to that!

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Another Tome is found (Part 2)

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The day had been long, and golden fingers of the last few minutes of daylight lit the office. An old oscillating fan cast its gaze back and forth over the room, its’ whirring drowning out the dozen other lesser sounds that the office made in its’ daily business. Less than hustle, but somewhat more than bustle, the agency had managed to stay alive in the dog days of summer, just barely managing to make ends meet.

The phone rang, and Jane, a thin black girl who had once been considered the office beauty before the death of her mother, now answered the phone, as if by rote. The smiles that could be heard through the phone from her, were now gone, and only a faint trace could be found if you listened real hard.

She set the phone in its cradle and strode to the large desk in the back. On this large wooden desk, sat a smaller identical desk. Seated at this small desk was The Professor, the manager/owner of the Metroplex’s premier supernatural detective agency. Standing a solid eleven inches high, she was a simulacrum of Althea Harrison, a mage who was well known by those who were in the know of recent events. She sat there, playing a video game on a cell phone on a stand on her desk, meant to emulate a computer screen.

“Professor. We just got a call from team EmJay. He’s en route, and wants a full staff meeting.”

The Professor reached up and pressed the button on the upper edge of the phone to shut it down, and stood, sending her desk chair rolling backward.

“Did he say what about?”

“It was Nate. EmJay was resurrecting.”

The Professor looked startled, “Was there trouble?”

Jane shook her head, “I don’t think so.”

“Good. OK, gather the crew.”

“Yes ma’am,” Jane made a beeline for her desk and began making calls.

***

Ramon answered his cell, as he sat on the stoop of his house, watching his son play tag with his friends.

“Hola,” He took a drag on the cigarette that he had been nursing. His eyebrows raised as he listened to the voice on the other end.

“I’ll be there,” He rubbed his shaven, tattooed head wearily, flicked the butt into the street and stood, stretching. Whistling to his son, he jerked a thumb at the house. Tapping him on the head as his son ran past, he grabbed his satchel from the coat hook just inside the doorway and buttoned up his slate grey shirt to hide his beater.

“Chica! I’m headed to the office. I’ll call if I’m gonna to be late.”

From within, his wife replied, “You betta!”

***

As the car pulled into the underground parking, Nathan turned on the overhead lights, bringing me fully awake.

“Thank you for flying Nateway, please bring your seats to the fully upright position, and wait until we come to a complete stop before deplaning. Thank you, and have a nice day.”

Flexing my fingers and toes, I did a quick inventory to make sure everything was working as intended, I unbuckled my seatbelt.

“Thanks, Nate. Did you make the call?”

“Yeah, we should have a full house.”

Another Tome is Found (A Horror’deurve from the Cookbook of the Dead) (edited)

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It was cold.

Not the ‘let’s bundle up and we’ll be sorted’ kind of cold.

It was the kind of cold that cut through you like a knife.

What was unusual about this though, is that it was just a few weeks’ shy of summer, and just a few moments ago, I had been as they say, sweating balls.

This told me that I was getting close to my target, a non-corporeal haunt. For those not in the know, a haunt is almost-but-not-quite a ghost. Sometimes it’s an emotional echo, a leftover bit of rage, ecstasy, jealousy, what have you. These are by far the most common kind of haunt to deal with, but unfortunately, not the kind that has been making mischief for the last month.

The haunt I’ve been sent to deal with is sneaky. Very sneaky. Which is unusual because haunts by-and-large, are unintelligent masses of emotion, and incapable of intelligent thought.

A curl of breath escaped my lips, gradually vanishing as my body temperature dropped to room temperature.

Wait. Let me explain.

I’m what you’d call a specialist in the field of the afterlife. Yeah. Mortimer J. Appel, Necromancer, at your service. Before you get all uptight, keep an open mind. I’m what you’d call a psychopomp. Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant when I started either. It just means I guide the dead to rest. No, not like the reapers. I don’t particularly care about where you go when you die, just that you get there. Ah, but I do have some other abilities…

Anyway, after spending two weeks chasing this thing, I realized it was sensing my life force and fleeing when I got too close.

Which is convenient for me, because all I have to do is die. It’s nothing special. Anyone can do it, the trick is coming back, and not just anyone can do that.

So now, the detachment that comes along with death dulls the pain.

Oh, it’s still there. I can feel it if I care to. There’s power in pain. It can drive a man onwards when all he wants to do is lie down. I’m not at the point where that’s necessary though.

Revenancy. That’s the name for the state I’m in right now. It’s your basic intelligent undead. A few steps above zombie, a few steps below Vampire. …The purebloods, that is.

Common vampires are just barely smarter than zombies, not even considered people, they’re just smelly, faster, smarter zombies that crave blood. Don’t get me started! Vampires are a huge problem for Necromancers, and I don’t care to explain why just yet, it’s embarrassing.

Anyway, now that I’ve cast loose the life in me, I found that the haunt has become less evasive. What I didn’t expect was the emotions it pushed outwards, the Book that it orbited, or the fact that it wasn’t alone. A dozen haunts slowly circled the floating Tome

I took it into my hands, wiped away the layer of frost that covered its heavy leather cover and read its title:

The Economicon: The Economics of the Dead

I applied spiritual pressure on the haunts that hovered nearby, and felt them transfer their emotion onto me. I paused, because the emotions were unlike any I had absorbed before. They tasted like a complex combination of depression, resignation, and something else foreign to me. As I processed the emotions, the haunts faded away, finally free.

I tucked the book into the large pocket inside the breast pocket of the khaki overcoat I usually wore when out on a job, and headed back to the office. The glittery black eyes of Nathan, my driver flicked my way as I sat with a grunt in the back seat and shut the door with a little more force than expected.

“Everything alright?” He said, pulling out and heading downtown.

“Things got a little weird, but we’re good. Get us home, take the scenic route, I’m going to res.”

“Sure thing. I’ll wake you when we arrive.”

I’m gonna need some help with this one. I buckled my seatbelt, and began the process to return to life.

“Let the boss know I’m heading in, and we’re going to need a staff meeting.”

“Yes sir,” Nathan’s eyes cleared to appear normal as he drove.

Carb free pizza! (mostly)

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My brother Travis (author of the new series Names of Power) hooked me up with a recipe for carb free pizza. (‘cos I’m a fatty, and he cares about my health)

It is surprisingly awesome!

2 cups of grated cauliflower + 2 cups of low moisture mozzarella (that’s one of the 8 oz bags) + 2 eggs and Italian seasonings.

(I let the cauliflower dry out a bit under a fan for a few hours because otherwise it’s a bit wet when fully cooked.)

Mix em up. Put on parchment paper and then on a pizza tray, smooshed as thin as you can get it while filling the entire pan evenly.

(I also blotted some moisture out with a few paper towels before cooking.)

gets you this:

pizza1

Bake for 15 mins at 450 degrees.

Gets you this:

pizza2

remove parchment, Add toppings. Bake until the edges get nice and brown, cheese is melty, and toppings look done.

Gets you this:

pizza3

breathtaking.

Eat up.

Let me know if you like it.

-F