Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Anthology Call - Fat Girl in a Strange Land

Crossed Genres Publications is now accepting submissions for the anthology Fat Girl in a Strange Land, to be published in February 2012.  Genre is science fiction and/or fantasy, with a fat female protagonist.  Please read guidelines carefully... "fat" can't be just a passing detail.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Farewell, My LovelyFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The New Yorker put it best...

"Chandler wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered."

Chandler's rich prose, his multi-faceted protagonist and often one-dimensional "bad guys" defined a genre... he set a standard that, while many have aspired to, few have met.

I loved the twists and turns in Farewell, My Lovely... from a routine case, Marlowe "steps in it" and finds himself embroiled in murder, a ring of jewel thieves, and more murder.

Through it all, Mr Chandler keeps his character human... he doesn't make him out to be some sort of super-hero.. Marlowe gets cut... he bleeds.  He gets "coshed", he hurts.  But, he keeps getting back up... relentless.

I loved this book immensely and would recommend to anyone.  My favorite line...

"I like smooth shiny girls, hard-boiled and loaded with sin."

Me too, Mr. Marlowe... me too!  *wink*

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Prompt: Write a story based on a common conspiracy theory
Genre: Any
Word Count: 1000 words
Deadline: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011, 4:30 pm EST

By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

In February of 1962, President John F Kennedy met in secret with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, to explore the possibility of establishing a North American Union.  This was at the height of the Cold War, and it did not take long for Russia to learn of these meetings. 

Recognizing that such a union would dramatically alter the economic and political status quo, and tip the balance of power between the two superpowers irrevocably in favor of the United States, Premier Khrushchev ordered the KGB to “settle the Kennedy problem” once and for all.

In late April, a coded message was sent to a sleeper in southern California.


In the early summer of 1962, while working on “Something’s Got To Give”, a young writer at 20th Century Fox caught Marilyn Monroe’s eye.  This was shortly after Marilyn had been deemed a security risk to the presidency, and was “warned off” of the Kennedy brothers.  On the rebound, Marilyn was quite receptive to the young man’s “attentions” and soon the two of them began a clandestine sexual relationship.  His name was Thomas Evans… otherwise known by his KGB handlers as “Blond Ambition”. 

Thomas’s mission was simple… establish a relationship with Marilyn in order to gain access to the President.  Security would be minimal at their little rendezvous’ and the Russians saw this as the perfect opportunity to assassinate Kennedy and place the blame on an unsuspecting Marilyn.   

Marilyn did not tell Thomas that she was now persona non grata with the president.  Instead, she told him that JFK was very busy, but would be coming out to the West Coast in a few weeks to spend the weekend with her.  

In late July, after an evening of sex, booze, and drugs at Thomas’s West Hollywood bungalow, Marilyn awoke in the middle of the night to find Thomas gone from her side.  In a haze of drugs and alcohol, she wandered through the house and made a startling discovery.  In a tiny room at the back of the house, Thomas was hunched over a short wave radio, speaking in Russian.  Marilyn ran from the room, screaming that Thomas was a “dirty Commie spy”.  Thomas gave chase and caught up with Marilyn outside on the front lawn.  Screaming incoherently, she collapsed on the dew-covered grass, succumbing to the depressants in her system.

When Marilyn awoke the next day, she could recall nothing of the previous evening; it appeared that Thomas’s identity was safe.  However, Thomas had dutifully reported the incident to his controller, who ordered him to kill Marilyn immediately.  Thomas could not do this… he had fallen hopelessly in love with Marilyn.  Over the course of the next several days, he tried to convince his controller that Marilyn knew nothing, and that there was no reason to kill her.  His controller argued that the risk was too great… Marilyn had to die. 


This is where I came in.


I watch as the green sedan turns out of Fifth Helena Drive and heads north on Carmelina.  After waiting several minutes, I pull away from the curb and turn into the cul-de-sac, parking the black Volkswagen at the end, next the curved wall fronting Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood estate.  Reaching under the front seat, I unclip the tiny derringer and stash it in the bottom of my purse.  Checking makeup and glasses in the rear-view mirror, I am ready.

It takes several minutes for Marilyn to come to the door.  The face that greets me is a tragic parody of her movie posters… puffy, tear-stained, lipstick and mascara a wreck, drugged look in her eyes.

“Miss Monroe” I say, handing her my card.  “My name is Nina Johnson, Dr. Greenson’s assistant.  Doctor asked me to come by and…” I stop… Marilyn looks as if she is about to collapse.  “Oh, you poor dear” I say, catching her and guiding her back into the living room and over to the sofa.

We talk for some time, or rather… Marilyn talks and I listen… my ears perking up when she re-tells of a particular evening with a lover… Thomas… she does know!  After a while, I suggest to Marilyn that she take a little nap, and we will talk more when she wakes up… that I need to confer with Doctor. 

Marilyn becomes agitated, begging me not to leave her, and then… as if a switch was turned, she suddenly becomes this sultry little seductress, moving close to me… touching me.  What is expression in America?  Business is business… but, do not forsake pleasure?  Marilyn stands… taking my hand… she leads us down the hall to her bedroom.

Buttons unfasten… zippers slide down… clasps undone… delicate lace slips down creamy thighs… soon we are lying against one another… Marilyn’s warm, soft mouth pressed to mine… tongues entwined… her soft breasts pressed to mine… moving down her flawless body… my long, dark tresses brush over her creamy, pink skin…lips caressing warm flesh… lower… over the rise of her mons… the heat of her passion warms my face as I lower my mouth… red-painted lips parted… she moans softly…

Some time later… Marilyn slumbers.  I slip quietly out of bed and dress… gazing down at her beauty… a small regret forms… and then… passes.  I walk back out to the living room for my purse… stopping to set things right, and then return to the bedroom.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I retrieve the small hypodermic from its case… gently easing Marilyn’s thighs apart… fingers part her delicate flower… the tiny needle slips into her flesh.  I wait.  A few minutes later… her breasts no longer rise and fall.

I stand and look down… the face of a sleeping angel… peaceful.  Bending over her, my lips touch Marilyn’s in a final kiss…

“Good bye, Norma Jean…”      


Dallas, Texas – November 22, 1963 – 2:48 AM

Unobserved, a dark haired young woman, carrying a long package, entered the Bryan pergola on the north side of Dealey Plaza.  A little less than ten hours later, she left… walking slowly in the opposite direction that people were running to.