L.J. Holmes

L.J. Holmes
In her many Guises.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Shame on Me

I came to Muse It Up Publishing OFFICIALLY on March 29, 2010...in short, I am one of the first to engrave the Muse It Up icon on my heart and soul....but not THEE first. I don't know who was the first, but Dale Thompson writing as Pat Dale was one of us.

When I with cowardly trepidation took a baby's footstep into the authors group the greeting I got from Pat Dale (he was the very first) and others made me feel like I really was a part of something that was going to take the world by storm...our closeness was forged then and there.

Now as I look out there on the future, I approach it with a heavy heart, and a lot of guilt.

Guilt...why? I was busy yesterday ranting about the pain I suffered falling down the steps...I am still one ginormous walking ache but ... I am still here to complain...and rant.

I only learned recently of Pat Dale/Dale Thompson's serious medical condition. I spoke with him and was assured by him he was going to rise from the ashes of illness like a phoenix, ready to regale the world again with his brilliant storytelling expertise. I believed him...how could I not believe him given his air of enthusiasm and certainty?

So it's with a heavy heart and shame at my own self-indulgence over the injuries I now can play "follow-the-dots' with, that Dale a very powerful, and wise man, has gone on to the richness of Our Creator's world of plenty.

Dale, I followed every update about your condition, and to be honest I expected you to make a full recovery, so awakening this morning to the reality of your leaving our realm behind and moving to the next made me feel like I'd been hit by a runaway train that slammed into me with the force of a two ton hydrogen bomb.

Once I recovered from the worst of the shock, I knew I had to honor you Dale by writing this posting dedicated to a man I called "friend."

Kat and I have the most book titles published here at Muse so he would tease us about being over achievers...the truth is we cheated...or at least I did. I have so many stories moldering away in my closet, I just pulled them out and reworked them. Dale on the other hand you truly were an exceptionally prolific fiction writing machine.

What follows is a banquet of the wonderful Muse Stories you left behind marking your place in this world your soul claimed  as its own.

Dale, you are a beacon for the rest of us to emulate...a gifted author, a brilliant mind, and cherished friend, and a part of our hearts forever. Long may we feel your presence hovering just an inch or two above us as we all go about the painful chore of living on without your ready council.

We love you always and forever. Pat Dale/Dale Thompson...long may your loving spirit surround us as you travel into your soul's next odyssey.

I just finished reading a tribute to Dale written by another of our
authors at Muse It Up Publishing...here's a link to that heart wrenching tribute done by
Gail Roughton Branan that 
rightly brought tears to my eyes.

We love you Dale.



Zach Mason, a precocious seventh grader who idolizes his grandfather Gentry, writes short stories for his English teacher but gets into trouble by insisting they’re true.

Enrolled in preliminary college classes, Zach puts his brain to work to convince his teacher and classmates he’s telling the truth. The result is Zach’s dream machine. After contending with pal Wally, nemesis Kenneth, and sister Liz, Zach learns something about life when his scheme goes awry. He’s up to his eyebrows warding off one intrigue after another, including a sneaky science teacher who tries to steal it.


On Friday, I was headed home when I saw Wally. I caught up to him and asked if he still wanted to shoot some hoops.

“You want to play basketball now? Zach, the class nerd? The bookworm wants to bounce a dumb ball around?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“I thought you didn’t have time for silly games. You sick or something?”

“Nope. You don’t have to pour it on. I just thought it would be fun.”

“Well, okay, Zach, if you really want to. Hey, you’ve been pretty quiet since Monday. You in some kind of trouble?”

“No. Everything’s fine. You want to play or not?”

“Sure. Let’s go to my place and get a ball before you change your mind again.”

We played twenty-one for over an hour. He beat the pants off me. When we finally sat down to rest, he asked the question I knew was coming.

“Hey, did you write any more of those stories? We have another one due in English on Monday.”

“Nope. I figured I’d write something new this weekend. But I’m not going to do any more of Grandpa’s stories.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope. They just get me into trouble.”

“So, you’re going to give up trying to prove they’re true or what?”

“I’m not giving anything up. I don’t need the hassle. Besides, I’m working on—” I shut up really fast, but I knew I’d gone too far. His eyes lit up.

“So you’ve got something cooking, huh? Does it have anything to do with those big heavy books you got at the library?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Come on, Zach. You can share it with me, your best buddy in the whole world.”

“It’s a secret. If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.”

“Why not? Two people can have a secret. Tell me.”

“I don’t have everything ready, yet. So there’s really nothing to tell.”

“Come on, Zach, don’t fib to me. You have a plan. I’m smart enough to see that. And I can keep a secret.”

“If I told you, you’d have to swear on your honor you won’t tell anybody. This is important secret stuff and I can’t take a chance it’ll get out before I’m ready.”

“I can do that.” His eyebrows went kind of bushy and his forehead wrinkled. “How do I swear on my honor?”

“Let’s see.” I knew it was a mistake, but he was going to bug me forever if I didn’t let him in on it. “Okay, Wally, who’s the most important person in the world to you?”

“That’s easy. My mom. Why?”

“Because you’ll have to swear on your mother’s life that you won’t tell a single person what I’m about to tell you.”

“My mother’s life? Gee, Zach, that’s pretty serious.”

“Yep. So is my secret. That’s what you’ll have to do if you want me to share it with you.”

I could see the worry on his face. Maybe I shouldn’t have made it so tough on him, but I didn’t want him to dare tell any of our classmates what I was about to try. They would make life miserable for me. Things were already bad enough.

“Let’s just forget it, Wally. No hard feelings, huh?”

He shook his head. “No, it’s okay. I want to know. Nothing’s going to happen to Mom. All right, I swear on my mother’s life that I’ll keep your secret.”

I swallowed hard. Now I had to tell him, but I wondered if I’d just made a big mistake.

It didn’t matter. I’d laid out the conditions and he’d met them. “I’m going to build kind of a time machine with my computer.”

“Your computer? You mean your dad’s computer, don’t you?”

“Nope. I’m getting one of my very own. With a bunch of neat stuff I can use to do my project.”

He gave me a really weird laugh. “That’s pretty good. For a minute I thought you said something about a time machine. I heard you wrong, right?”

“Wrong, you heard me right.”

“You can’t do that, Zach. People have been working with computers for longer than we’ve been alive and they haven’t come up with a time machine.”

“I’ve got an idea how to do it.”

“Yeah, right.” Wally cackled. “This is going to be the easiest secret I ever had to keep. Nobody would believe me if I told them, anyway. They’d think I’m as crazy as you. Don’t worry, Zach, your secret is safe.”

I was relieved that he wouldn’t say anything, but the fact he didn’t think I could do it disappointed me. “Well, it is kind of different.”

“Different? This is not just different. It’s impossible. Fruit-loops impossible.”



Back Cover:

TOCCATA is about the city of St. Louis, with wealthy residents who personify the decadence evident in their community. About how inherited wealth carries with it the danger of being abused, to the detriment of the abusers and those with whom they come in contact.

But St. Louis is also a city with a heart and an amazing musical heritage including jazz and classical, and a nearly constant humid climate that spurs its inhabitants to express their basest instincts even while rising to lofty levels of achievement. It’s about sex and privilege, a sense of entitlement, and the dangers inherent in them.

TOCCATA is about the unlikely duo of gifted musician and clinical psychologist, Sera Moreland, and rogue police detective, Daniel Quinn, who are drawn together to solve the mysterious abduction of a young girl; a pairing that carries them far beyond their wildest dreams.

TOCCATA is about abduction, torture, murder, and love.

Back Cover:

TOCCATA is about the city of St. Louis, with wealthy residents who personify the decadence evident in their community. About how inherited wealth carries with it the danger of being abused, to the detriment of the abusers and those with whom they come in contact.

But St. Louis is also a city with a heart and an amazing musical heritage including jazz and classical, and a nearly constant humid climate that spurs its inhabitants to express their basest instincts even while rising to lofty levels of achievement. It’s about sex and privilege, a sense of entitlement, and the dangers inherent in them.

TOCCATA is about the unlikely duo of gifted musician and clinical psychologist, Sera Moreland, and rogue police detective, Daniel Quinn, who are drawn together to solve the mysterious abduction of a young girl; a pairing that carries them far beyond their wildest dreams.


Sera giggled and put her hand on his arm so he could escort her into the establishment. For the first time, he was glad he had one decent suit. Having this lady on his arm would have been disastrous in more casual clothing. Quinn stood tall and proud as they were escorted to a table where a distinguished-looking gentleman greeted them.

“Good evening, Sera. You look lovely as always.” Biscayne’s focus traveled from the ravishing beauty to the tall man beside her. “And I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Quinn.”

Dan smiled in surprise. He’d not anticipated that the man would know his name yet. Before he could speak, Sera said, “Dan, I’d like you to meet Winthrop Biscayne, our benefactor.”

“How do you do, Mr. Biscayne?”

“Very well, thank you. And I’d be honored if you would call me Win. Under the circumstances, I believe we’ll be more relaxed if we dispense with formal names.”

Dan grinned. At least this man didn’t beat around the bush with silly formalities. “And you may call me Dan, Win. I’m pleased to meet you.”

Sera said, “This is the gentleman I told you about on the phone earlier, Win. A detective in the city’s homicide division who comes well recommended for our purposes.”

Win smiled. “Well, then, why don’t we sit at table and enjoy the evening repast? We can discuss eventualities while we dine.”

“Sounds good. If their food lives up to the aroma, I’m in for a rare treat.” Dan helped Sera into her seat between them.

“Rare, yes,” Win intoned. “The way an excellent steak should be served, in my estimation.”

Dan noted the uncertainty of Sera’s facial expression. “Perhaps not so rare in the case of a lady’s taste. What do you think, Sera?”

She gave him a reassuring smile. “Medium for me, thank you. I enjoy red meat at times, but in this day when many women have become vegetarians, I prefer the blood in my nourishment be a little less obvious.”

Quinn couldn’t help noting the fleeting discomfort on Biscayne’s face when the word blood was spoken. Was this man squeamish? He didn’t seem the type, and he had been the one to bring up the subject. Though it never slept, his sense of discovery went on full alert. He needed to learn all he could about this Winthrop Biscayne, right away.

Sera had to interrupt the conversation to take a call on her cell. A hint of annoyance flashed across her face as she spoke softly into the instrument and closed it. She said nothing, so he assumed it was work-related and turned back to answer another of Biscayne’s questions.

As the conversation turned to more mundane issues, Quinn quietly scoped the other man out. Well north of six feet, slightly bulky in the mid-section but definitely not obese, Biscayne seemed more athletic than Dan would have anticipated.

Probably works out regularly.

But his eyes told a different story. Fortyish, with eighty-year-old eyes, this was a man to keep at bay.

Next on the outstanding list of books is:


Back cover:

Among the teeming throng of mankind, can anywhere be found a man who does not harbor a seed of evil within his soul? Battle weary, Army Sergeant Adam Watson retreats from Iraq to his Ozark home, suffering from PTSD and believing he’s seen the worst that man is capable of. Even as he seeks refuge, he finds that same evil in his own country, his own town, his own family—and in his own heart.


Adam climbed into his truck, smiling at his recollection of times past. Maybe it would be good to get back here where he belonged. Time would tell. He slammed into gear and headed around the mountain toward home. Dust swirled up, a rooster tail behind him as he flew down the gravel road, swerving from time to time to avoid little dips and bumps that had been forged into a permanent slalom course on this long-traveled road.

Just like the people. Peaks and valleys, but all of like origin. And that’s what I’m made of, just like my dad and his dad. That’s why living here should be my first choice.

Edward was sitting on the porch when he pulled up in the drive. He got to his feet and smiled. “Howdy, Son. You always go that fast down this road?”

“Don’t know about fast. I was just thinking about things. What makes you think I was going fast?”

“I could tell by the dust storm rolling along behind you. We can always tell if our visitors are upset before they get to the house. Little dust, they’re happy. Big storm cloud, they’re mad as hell. Nothing in between.” He laughed at Adam’s surprised expression.

“Ozark philosophy, huh? Makes sense.”

“Thought it might. So what’re you angry about?”

“I’m not angry.”

“Well, not in so many words. But something has you riled up.”

He chuckled. “Now you’re guessing. Saw Hank in town. He wanted me to come in so he could beat my butt at the pool table again.”

“That pissed you off?”

“Naw. Made me laugh. I think I can beat him now. We had a pool table in our day room, and I got a lot of practice in. But don’t let on if you see him. This is going to be a long-awaited sneak attack.”

Edward laughed. “’Bout time, too. Hank’s a good guy but cocky. That boy’s cocky as hell.”

“Dad, you said earlier we need a good old-fashioned talk. I think I’m ready for it now, if you’re still of a mind.”

“That I am, Adam. That I am. You know I love you. And your mama loved you, too. Makes me want to cry, she isn’t here to welcome you home.”

“Me, too, Dad. I miss Mom something awful.”

“Yeah, we all do. And I’m sure she’s up there in heaven smiling down on you right now, as we speak.”

“I’m not so sure she’s smiling, but it makes me feel good to think so.”

Edward went back to his favorite rocking chair on the porch and pointed to the one next to him. “Sit, and we’ll talk for a spell. Sarah’s fixing dinner, but I reckon it’ll be a while before its ready.”

“That’s okay. I had a burger at the cafĂ©, and I’m not hungry right now, anyhow.”

“Son, you know your Uncle Ernie and I were in the Army back in the sixties. We got sent to ‘Nam. At the same time in the same unit, but we were in different patrols.”

“Yes sir, I knew that.”

“Well, what you didn’t know and still don’t is, both of us got shot up in one battle. Shot up real bad. They thought neither of us would make it home alive. We were ambushed, something like what happened to you.”

“You’re right. I didn’t know that. You guys get purple hearts?”

“Yep. Mine’s in the bottom of my sock drawer. Don’t know where Ernie keeps his, but he’s got it. Funny, I always thought it would be neat to have one of those things. Figured I’d wear it on my chest and be proud of it. Not that I’m ashamed. But after what happened, I mostly wanted to forget why I got the damn thing in the first place. Know what I mean?”

“I sure as hell do. Dad, all I can think about when I look at that thing of mine is how my buddies got blown to hell. And how I’m still alive. I feel guilty as sin.”

“That’s what I figured. You’re alive and they’re dead, and it’s not fair. That about it? That and the fact you didn’t blow every son of a scum to hell getting even?”

“You got it. I didn’t say anything because I figured nobody would understand.”

“Can’t blame you for that, boy. Can’t blame you for that. But what we got to talk about is, you did come home. Alive. And you’re safe. Your buds are up there somewhere, too, like your mom, smiling down on us. There wasn’t a damn thing you could do to save them, so they don’t blame you at all. If you could have, you’d-a died over there getting even for them. Maybe died in their place if you could’ve.

“One good reason they sent you home, son. Revenge is not the Army way, at least not on a personal basis. Makes for some good battlefield heroism, but doesn’t get the job done in the larger picture.”

“So, what are you getting at?”

“If you go back, you got to put that behind you and act like it never happened; like you’re there for the first time. Otherwise, you’ll come back in a body bag in a few weeks. They know it and I know it, and it’s high time you got around to dealing with it.

“I’m not saying don’t go back, boy. Just that, if you do, I want you there for the right reasons, and not for revenge. You okay with that?”




Anika Henry has lost all hope and love of life until one night, a quirk of fate brings her into the lives of Dan Morrison and his daughter, Sherry. Falling in love again has given Anika a reason to look forward to each day—until the day she finds the car.

After a horrible confrontation, Ana has no choice but to turn him in. Alone once more, Ana believes that she has lost her last chance at love. Can she and Dan beat the odds against them and find their way back to one another?


The game ended an hour later with Sherry the clear winner, partly because neither Dan nor Ana could concentrate. They’d spent much of the time staring at each other. She wanted him, lusted for him.

Not as a friend. Not even as a boyfriend. Something about the man had ingrained itself into her so deeply it had become part of her. Like it or not, ready or not, she loved this man.

She couldn’t deny the shadow within her spirit screaming for her to take it slow. But neither could she deny the part of her that wanted to move with lightning speed to make him a permanent part of her. The hazy heat in his eyes told her he was going through identical emotions.

He would not be a replacement for JP. Would not be, could not be. But like it or not, JP was part of the past. To have any kind of future, she needed someone like Dan.

No, not someone like him. Him. Dan. I. Need. Dan.

And, he needed her. Not a word spoken but she knew. It wasn’t his daughter’s influence, though she and Sherry also needed each other. She recalled the day she’d fallen for JP. And now, tonight, the same kind of sensations coursed through her. Not identical but close, more mature this time, and devoid of the giddy sensationalism of youth. But exciting!

He cleared his throat. “Ana? You look a hundred miles away right now. You okay?”

Clearing the haze from her mind’s eye, she mumbled, “I’m fine, Dan. Just fine.”

“Good.” He turned to Sherry. “Well, kiddo, time for bed.”

“I know, Daddy. But this was fun. Can we play again?”

“I’m sure we can, honey, if Ana wasn’t bored out of her mind.” He winked at her. “What do you think, Ana?”

“I’d love it. Sherry, would you like me to go up with you?”

The girl nodded vigorously. “Yes. Then you can tell Molly good night. I’d better let her out first, though. Don’t you think?”

“I do.”

“Come on, Molly,” Sherry said. “Let’s go potty.”

She led the dog to the door and waited on the porch for her. Minutes later, they came back in and raced up the stairs with Dan and Ana trailing.

After kid and canine were well tucked in for the night, the adults went back down the stairs, hand in hand.

At the bottom of the stairs, he turned her toward him. He started to say something when she went on tiptoe and kissed him lightly on the lips.

He kissed her back. For long spine-tingling moments, she revelled in the thrill of his kiss, the taste of his lips on hers, the pressure of his aroused body against hers. She’d been right. This was right.

When they broke for breath, he asked, “Does it disturb you to know how much I want you, Ana?”

“No. I was afraid you’d think I’m some kind of loose woman for wanting to kiss the lips right off your face.”

“I think my mind was doing the same thing. But that felt good, didn’t it?”

“Um-hum. I bet it gets even better. Want to find out?”

“So, there’s really something to that lusty rumour about tall, blonde, sensuous Scandinavian women.”

“You have no idea.” At least, there is with this tall, blonde sensuous woman.

He kissed her, fantastic sensuous kisses, over and over again. Years of pent up frustration melted away as she clung to him, allowing him full access to her lips, her body, her very soul.

Her core heated to an impossible state and she wondered what it must have been like for a man to be denied a woman for over two years. More than two if her experience with dying spouses was any measure. A celibacy that now seemed certain to come to an end. Soon. And hers with it.

Glory be…

Suddenly, a pale blonde image floated through her mind, a woman watching from a hazy distance. Instinctively, she cut the intensity of her kiss. He pulled back. “You okay, Ana?”

He looked into her eyes. “You’re not, are you? What is it?”

“I’m sorry, Dan. I love kissing you, I love needing you. I think you know how much I want this.”

“That goes for me, too. So, what’s the problem?”

She struggled with the answer. “Peg’s watching us.”

“Peg? What—”

“I know it’s crazy, but Dan, I saw her. Not here in the room with us, not like that. But in my mind’s eye, I saw her watching from wherever she is now.”

“You mean, like from heaven?” His voice reminded her of a little boy’s.

“I think so. It seemed so peaceful, so soft... Is it wrong for us to be doing this?”

He pulled her close so she could rest her head on his shoulder. “I don’t think it’s wrong. Could you tell—was she smiling?”

“Yes she was. That’s why I’m so confused.”

“Then it’s okay. She understands.”

“I hope so. Have you ever had this happen before?”

“You mean, like with another woman? No. I haven’t been this close to any woman since Peg. Until you came along, I had no desire for romance.”

“But you do now?”

“I do now. Right now. This is right, Ana. You and I belong together.”

“You know it? Just like that?”

“I know it, and I think you do, too. It’s good that you can be sensitive to whether we should pursue this. I love you for that, among other things.”

She stared into his gorgeous eyes for an eternity that lasted at least five seconds. Then she grabbed his head and brought their lips together with a ferocity that startled him. Startled, but did not put him off.

We're NOT done yet. Dale's next incredible book is:


Okay I admit I am wild about this cover. Of all Pat's covers I really think this is my favorite...and I told him so. We had a cyber chuckle over that.

Warning: Contains graphic depictions of sex, not for the young or the faint of heart.


This science fantasy romp is not what it seems. Ostensibly a foray into the inner reaches of space, the characters take you for a spin into a digital existence that literally lights your fire. Then douses it, permanently. One jolly good romp in the hay and it is sayonara, baby. Police Detective Jim Smith chases the horny, high-charged devil down as it fries victim after victim. When he goes digital as a part of the chase, the conclusion looms, but with a twist that could not have been anticipated. Sweet dreams! Read and enjoy, but whatever else you do, do not hit the escape key…


Phillips was beginning to see a common thread to the stories, but not with the clarity he needed. Concentrating on the details, he tapped the power switch. The screen stayed on.

He pressed the switch again with no result but he felt that strange electric charge. Phillips was irritated and uneasy as he looked for an alternative way to shut the damn thing down. Nothing he did worked so he tapped the escape key.

A strong pulse of current charged through his body. He watched in disbelief as his hands, arms, and finally his whole body blurred and faded into nothingness.

* * * *
Ten minutes passed, then fifteen. Smith, who wasn’t known for patience, became annoyed that Phillips was taking so damn long. The young detective shouldn’t have taken it further without his approval, anyway. Telling himself they were only opening a can of worms, he hit the stairs to see what the hell the man was doing.

The door was shut but not locked. When he opened it and looked inside he saw the computer glowing, but no Bill Phillips. The screen was blank with the cursor flashing in the upper left corner. Bill’s notebook sat open on the table.

Jim read the last entries Bill had made and waited for him to return from the john or bring back a Coke from the breakroom. The lists of those who died in the other stories were underlined and circled, indicating locations. Jim felt a tingling sensation, something like he’d experienced in the motel room, but nothing definitive.

After another ten minutes, he was exasperated. Reaching to turn the computer off he hesitated when the screen came to life. A message appeared, the cursor flying across the screen. “Jim! Don’t turn me off! Don’t even touch that damn keyboard. I don’t know how to explain this but I think I’m inside the hard drive of this stupid thing. Bill P.”

Smith blinked, stunned beyond belief. Then his sense of humor kicked in. That damn Phillips was always playing some kind of practical joke and this must be another. He laughed and reached for the power switch.

“Don’t, Jim! Please! This is no joke! If you turn this thing off, I’ll probably die in here. I know what you’re thinking, but this is definitely not one of my jokes. Check it out if you need to. Go see if you can find me but please don’t let anyone touch the keyboard!”

Smith’s humor lapsed. He flew through the door, taking the stairs two at a time. Five minutes and ten queries later, he returned. Nobody had seen Phillips for an hour. When he looked back at the screen, there was a new message.

“Jim, this is wild! While I waited for you, I did some checking on my own. There are a couple dozen stories in here, mostly written by people other than Prank. This computer must be one that’s been handed from writer to writer. And I’m afraid we’ll find all of the stories are true and detail unsolved cases from all over California.”

Smith began to believe the impossible. After the Prank case, he couldn’t refuse to accept what was happening. He thought, If Bill’s in there, I’ve got to get him out.

The screen flashed, “Yes! That’s right, Jim. There has to be some way to get me out of this thing. It’s crazy, but I can read your mind from in here. Think of a color.”

Jim thought red. “Red!” flashed on the screen. “Try something else.” Jim thought about Bill’s sexy girlfriend.

“Suzie!” The screen lit up in thirty-six-point bold.

“Okay,” Jim said aloud, “I don’t understand it, but I see it and I believe it.”

“Good. Now can you try to free me? I mean, being electronic is, well, electrifying. But when you thought of Suzie just then, I remembered something even more so! And I sure as hell can’t do it in here, even if I had Suzie with me. Too cramped for comfort if you get my drift.”

He said, “Good to see you still can tell jokes. How the hell did you get in there?”

“I don’t know. I got the info we needed, but when I hit the power switch, the damn thing wouldn’t shut down. After trying several times, I hit the escape key. Next thing I knew, a feeling of an electrical charge pulsed through me and wham! Here I am, floating around this microprocessor. I wish you could see in here. It’s like a huge space city.”

“Can you move around?”

“Not very well, at least, not in a physical sense. I think I’ve been assigned to one of the memory gates. It’s kind of humbling to think I could be reduced to a single byte.”

“If that’s so, how is it that you know about the details of the other stories?”

“It’s the same as how I can read your mind. I can’t move but I’m aware of all the other bits and bytes floating around me, including your brain waves. Man, if the captain could see what’s in your head, it would scare the shit out of him.”

“Very funny, Phillips.”

“Yeah. But I need you to get me the hell out of here. This is beginning to scare the shit out of me and there’s no bathroom to wipe my ass.”

Jim decided not to touch that one. “Okay. Let’s see. Prank was also able to move in and out of the computer, according to his story. If you got in the damn thing, there’s got to be a way you can get out. Maybe if I hit the escape key again, you’ll come out.”

“No! Don’t touch that key! You might end up in here with me. Then we’d be really up the old mud creek without a paddle!”

“Well, let’s see. It probably wouldn’t do to hook up a printer. You might end up pressed flat or maybe just a smudge of ink.”

“Very funny!”

I am unsure of the exact dates Dale's books were released. That information can be found on his Muse It Up Publishing's AUTHOR PAGE along with his person al story. My part is to pujt into words how profoundly he will be missed and showcase the wide span of his writing talents.

In that we move on to his NEXT book and as far as I know his LAST book:



Back Cover:

When a prominent family is struck by a senseless murder, Quinn is drawn back into undercover duty to ferret out the killer. Thinking it to be a fairly simple case of homicide, he soon learns that things are not what they seem as more people die and apparent answers become nagging questions. A crime boss is drawn into the melee and violence escalates. Mistrust grows between Dan, his captain, and the police commissioner when a seam of corruption is revealed. Quinn’s quest leads him to an amazing discovery far from the city before he can solve the ultimate mystery of Blood Lust.

He was on his way to the Ferrari when Angel hailed him down. “Quinn? Before you go, I need to talk to you.”

“Again? I thought we’d had our conversation, Captain.”

“We need one more—one I think you’ll be interested in. Fred Cowell has an idea we want to get your take on.”

Fred Cowell, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, didn’t run anything by cops other than division chiefs such as Captain Angelina Louise Caldrone. What could he possibly want from the likes of a former homicide detective—especially one who couldn’t follow the rules?

“My take? Come on, Angel. At least shoot straight with me. What the hell could he want with me?”

She gave him a silly grin. “I’m going to let him tell you himself. He’s waiting upstairs in my office.”

Dan hit the elevator button. “Well, hell. Let’s not keep the good man waiting.”

He trailed Angel into her office, torn between smoldering lingering lust he’d felt for his former lover and a healthy distrust of anyone who maintained an official position in police circles. Cowell sat in Angel’s seat, smiling at him.

Uh-oh. This can’t be good.

“Good morning, Detective Quinn. I understand you have good news regarding Doctor Moreland.”

Quinn did his best to return the smile. “Yes sir. Sera’s opened her eyes and indicated she can see and hear me.”

“That is very good news. I hope you know my prayers are with her every day. All our prayers.” After nodding at Angel, he said, “That affair was a gruesome thing to endure, and she’s a wonderful person.”


Quinn answered, “Yes, it was pretty bad, but she’s on her way back to us. Now, Angel said you wanted to run something by me?”

“I did. We did. Quinn, I won’t waste time mincing words. You’re the best at what you did, even considering the pain in the butt you were at times. We need you in the department, but I understand you feel your career is over. I’ve got an idea for a way you can live the life you want and be an even more effective homicide detective at the same time.”

Quinn couldn’t help the sarcastic laugh he gave Cowell. “With all due respect, Commissioner, how the hell would I do that?”

“An ‘Army of One,’ I think the recruiters call it. I want to give you a chance to be a division of one—undercover, no chain of command other than reporting when you need to, directly to me by way of Captain Caldrone.

“And no specific assignments. A stealth agent, as it were. No publicity, no waiting for approval from your supervisors, just good, quiet detective work that brings in bad guys who work the community harm. And this does not go through Jeff City.”

“Wow. That’s a mouthful and a half.” Avoiding the one-and-a-half-century bone of contention between state and city meant true anonymity if he did it.

Remembering his original meeting with Sera and the task she’d put before him back then, he mentally sifted through all the things that could go wrong. There were some rough spots, mostly concerned with how he’d interact with the regular force in gaining data he’d need to do this. “Worth considering.”

Angel’s face lit up. “Really?”

He laughed. “Sure. You folks don’t know it, but this is close to what Sera offered when she was setting up Biscayne’s foundation. It worked, though not well enough to keep her from suffering and those other little girls from dying. How soon do I need to say yes, if I decide to do it?”

“Soon.” Cowell’s face shrank into his customary scowl. “We have a case right now that will not go well if we have to resort to our traditional system.”

Dan took a stab at it. “The dead gay you’re holding Marlin for?”

Cowell nodded.

“I thought you had an airtight case against Fish.”

The commissioner scowled. “On the surface, we do. But we’re not buying that this creep could have done it. So, what do you say?”

This offered a chance to help his snitch out. Better yet, a chance to do real police work free of the cumbersome trappings of officialdom.



“Yes, I’ll do it. I have a few conditions that go with it, but you can count on me giving it my best.”

“Conditions such as?”

Dan grinned. “All in good time, Commissioner. I’ll not hold you up for anything you’d take offense at. I assume my pay will be the same as when I left the force.”

Angel interjected, “No, you’ll be given a raise. And a title. On paper, you’ll be the equivalent of a lieutenant, though nobody will know that other than the three of us and a faceless office accountant who’ll handle your pay.”

“Sounds like you’ve thought it all out. Well, then, I’d best get started. Oh, yeah, I will share this with Sera.” He couldn’t help the wicked grin he added to his final words. “But I have it on good authority that she’ll not tell anybody about it.”

Quinn walked out into the bright sunshine of an unusually brisk fall day, his feet tripping along as he sniffed the clean, crisp breeze. Even it, with low humidity and positive evidence that St. Louis’s air quality had become cleaner than ever, served to make this a day to remember.

He’d gotten his love back. Well, not quite back, but she was on the way. Now he’d gotten his job back, only it, also, was better than ever. He had a case to solve, and life was good.

Of course, that was before he discovered the parking ticket he’d gotten while parked in the commissioner’s reserved spot. Rather than grumbling, Quinn laughed out loud, realizing he’d found a way to fix even that little irritation.

Ah yes. Life is good!

What a last line for this spotlight for Pat Dale the author and Dale Thompson the man. Both parts of Dale Thompson brought joy and so much more to the lives and journeys of the rest of us. Live long and prosper in the bounty of God's realm dear man...Thank you for the rich legacy of books you left behind for us, and know you will be missed every day, in every way.


Mary Andrews said...

Aw,man. I am so sorry to hear about this. I did not know him well but he seemed like a truly good guy. May God rest his soul and comfort his family.

Cyrus Keith said...

Lin, I always appreciate your way with words. Between the awesome tributes I've seen for Pat, I wish I could have known him more.

N.J.Walters said...

A beautiful tribute for your friend.