What a nice surprise when I went to my book, Written Across the Genres, on Amazon and found new reviews. The book has 8 five stars and 1 four stars rating. I appreciate all of you who wrote reviews, and the most recent one by MBTG. Who are you, MBTG? I’d like to thank you personally.
Here is the review:
5*****Written Across the Genres – Stellar Collection
By MBTGon November 23, 2014
Julaina Kleist-Corwin is an innovative editor, gliding us seamlessly through a stellar collection of stories such as sci-fi, romance, and historical fiction to young adult, memoir and travel, contributed by new and established authors. “Countdown” recounts a well-written tale of man vs. computer virus and ends with unpredictable results. “White Bitch,” an intriguing, tension filled memoir exposes racial tension in Oakland, California in a way you can’t put down. Prize winning poet, Albert Rothman, rounds out the novel in an exceptional manner. “A Brooklyn Odyssey” will take your breath away. This collection is not to be missed. It includes everyone’s favorite genre.
Here is the link for the reviews on Amazon:
Thank you, everyone.
Joan Green wrote a poem called “Our Talking Cat” for my anthology, Written Across the Genres. Her poem is comprised of 16 haiku that tell the story of how their cat learned to say her husband’s name. Joan earned a BA from UC Berkeley and holds an elementary teaching credential. She loves to volunteer, travel, hike, read, write, and listen to classical music.
Here is an interview with Joan Green:
Julaina: Who is your favorite author and genre?
Joan: It’s difficult for me to single out a favorite author, but I do enjoy reading good mysteries and historical literature.
Julaina: Why do you write?
Joan: Writing is in part an emotional release for me.
Julaina: Where do you like to write?
Joan: I usually write while holed up in my den. However, my haiku poems often come to me in the wee hours of the morning when I’m half asleep.
Julaina: What are you working on now?
Joan: Although I’ve been preoccupied with poetry more recently, I still want to complete the family history memoir I started some time ago.
Julaina: I remember the wonderful letters from your father when he was in the war that will be included in that memoir. Good luck with finishing the project. Thanks for stopping by for my questions.
(End of collaborative story from previous posts.)
Marian felt like an outsider while her father and Gen reunited with her mother. She gazed at the sparkling lights on the dazzling landmark. From the dock to the tower was what she had wanted, but she never expected the dangerous way to arrive there.
“Marian, join us,” her father said as he pulled her closer. She blanched at his touch but followed him. “You must have questions.”
“Interpol? Were . . . are . . .”
“Yes, the three of us since before you were born.”
“I went undercover and then couldn’t get out. All those years wasted,” Marian’s mother said.
“Gen, you embezzled?”
“For your mother’s release. Interpol didn’t send the money fast enough. I had to save my sister.” Gen kissed Marian’s mother on her cheek.
Her father whispered, “Classified information with a potential to start another world war.” Aloud he said, “Let’s go home.”
Story Contributors in the order of participation: Julaina Kleist-Corwin, Anne Ayers Koch, Jordan Bernal, Paula Chinick, J. K. Royce, Beth Aaland, Carl Gamez, Arleen Eagling, Sonia Geasa, Victoria Emmons, Carole MacLean, Emily De Falla, Cindy Lou Harris, Sheila Bali, George Cramer, Stacey Gustafson, Blake Heitzman, Shannon Brown, Neva Hodges, Gary Lea, Diane Lovitt, Linda Todd
(Dock One Collaborative Story Continued from previous posts.)
“I know you have the key, where is it?” her father motioned toward the contents of her purse spread on the bed.
Marian observed the photo among her personal items.
“Give me the key now.” He smashed a chair against the wall.
“Why should I?” She controlled the quiver in her voice. “Tell me what you’re after.”
“We have a common goal. Save your mother.”
“My mother? She disappeared when I was ten.”
“I don’t have time to explain. Give me the key.”
“Where is she? Don’t lie to me.”
“She’s being held hostage somewhere in this Godforsaken city. The key must remain out of their hands.” Marian plucked the key from her cleavage. Her mother must be the prisoner in the faded photo.
He grabbed the key then stuffed it in his pocket. “Your mother’s abductors are evil. You must escape them.” His voice deepened, “Gen, get her on a plane to San Francisco.”
“Yes, yes,” Gen said, with a catch in her voice, almost a sob.
“Get going.” He shooed them toward the door.
Marian grasped her father’s wrist. “No.” Her lips trembled.
He turned his face away from her. “I can’t lose both—”
She interrupted him, “They intend to kill you.”
“You know nothing.” He thrust his chin to Gen, “Take her away.”
“The dock money wasn’t touched,” Marian said, her voice firm. “This isn’t about ransom. What have you done that someone would want revenge?”
Her father’s facial expression flashed a look of agreement, but it changed to anger. “That’s not your concern.” He positioned himself at the door, with his hand on the knob for her departure. “You must stay safe.”
“Father, you’re the one who forced me into a dreary career. Let me do something worthwhile now. It’s my mother’s life at stake and probably because of you.”
“I’m coming too. She’s my sister, and it’s my freedom on the line,” said Gen.
“You’re retired from the agency.”
“I still have a few good years left in me, and I have my service weapon here.”
“The three of us have to save the mother I never knew. We must work together,” said Marian.
Her father rubbed his forehead and grimaced. “I’ll make the arrangements for the meet.”
(Collaborative Story continued from previous posts.)
Marian approached the Eiffel tower as her stomach roiled with fear. She moved forward, alert like a nuclear weapon specialist ready to push the button for the next war. She was thankful the lights on the tower illuminated the ground under it. A large crowd of tourists with their cameras stood in line for the elevator to the upper levels. Smells of food cooking in the restaurant above made her hungry. A hot meal would have relieved the damp of the cool night.
A man and woman stood alone a few feet away. Her father and Gen, from opposite directions, looked towards the couple. Marian and Gen received the planned nod from her father directed at the couple. The woman had to be Marian’s mother.
Marian pretended to be one of the sightseers milling around and edged closer to the man and woman, slipping behind them. The man held something in his hand. A gun? She maneuvered closer, and suspected the object was a remote control device. She had read about them in the mysteries. A bomb’s nearby.
The man flashed the object so her father could see it. He in turn revealed the key. Seconds beat along with Marian’s heart as the two men squared off. Suddenly, the man slumped to the ground, a red smear blossoming on the side of his head. The remote flew out of his hand. Marian scrambled to grab it without the fear that it could be a dead man switch. She straightened, met her mother’s abject terror-filled eyes. She directed Marian’s stare to the bulges under her coat. Marian froze.
Her vision blurred and all movement appeared in slow motion. Police descended on the scene. A man dressed in protective gear ambled toward them. Marian couldn’t stop her body from shaking while the expert disarmed and unstrapped the vest of C4 packets from her mother’s body. Marian’s mind raced to figure out what happened. Gen must have shot the criminal and Marian’s own instinct made her recover the remote before it hit the ground. Had it landed the wrong way, there would have been nothing left of any of them.
Marian’s mother crumpled to the ground once she was free from the bomb vest. Marian hurried to kneel beside her and held her tight as they sobbed. Several times her mother said, “Forgive me. I never wanted to leave you.”
(Collaborative Story Dock One continued from previous posts.)
The throb in Marian’s right temple pulled her from her sleep, the outline of a man in a chair brought her back to the reality of the dead man on the pier and the ride through Paris with Gen. The instinct to bolt took hold of her, but fear held her in place on the bed.
“Marian, be calm,” said a recognizable male voice. She winced when he flicked on the nightstand’s small lamp, illuminating a face she knew all too well. Dazed, the disdainful odor of chloroform lingered in her nostrils, and settled on the roof of her mouth.
Gen offered a bottle. “Here, drink some Evian.”
Feeling queasy, Marian accepted, “This is kidnapping. Why?”
“We’ll explain later. Drink. It’ll settle your stomach.” Gen glared at the man.
Marian did as she was told. The man’s face zoomed into focus. She stared in his eyes, the eyes of the man she least expected here in Paris. She sipped to borrow time, to regroup. She mistrusted him more than ever. Her thoughts strayed to the dock, the dead man, the money, her unforgettable past. How imperfect, yet perfect in timing. “It was orchestrated, wasn’t it?” she asked.
“Yes, Child. Now, where is the key?” Her father’s voice, the controlling tone she knew too well, the one that annoyed her.
Marian hated the man who was her father. For the greater part of her life, she had tried to love him. It hadn’t worked. She endured his lies, his secrets, his unwillingness to open up to her. Now here he was bringing a new danger to her. No, not a danger, but more, who could know how many new dangers? The sound of his voice crushed her joy at being in Paris to search for a new beginning, a new career away from his lies.
How did he know she would be on that pier? How did he know that she would go to the old man’s side? She had a thousand questions he probably would never answer.
(Collaborative Story continued from last posts.)
They found a sign in the restaurant window that the woman translated, “closed for renovation.” Marian hoped her friends had returned to their hotel.
“Thank you for driving me here. I need to find them.” She reached for the door handle. “I’ll get a cab.”
“No need for that. I’ll take you.” The woman placed her hand on Marian’s arm. “My name is Madame Flaubert. But you can call me Genevieve, or Gen.”
“I’m Marian.” She let go of the door handle and settled into the seat. “I came to Paris to decide what to do with the rest of my life. I have only two days left, but I need more time. Something has happened that interrupted my quest and thrust me into a pursuit more confusing than finding myself.” She didn’t know why she blurted personal information to a stranger. There was something familiar about Gen, she reminded Marian of her long absent mother.
Gen put the Citroen in gear and merged with the traffic. “In Paris you will find many answers.”
Marian wondered how people found their way in the City of Light. To her, it created more questions, not answers.
“Quel hôtel?” Gen asked.
“Le Force Majeur. It’s in the 2ème Arrondissement, near rue de Rivoli.”
Marian absorbed the sights along the way. Lovers strolled along the dimly lit sidewalks and friends sipped coffee at cafes that remained open. The City was alive, unlike the man she had abandoned at Le Pont Neuf. The dead man, whose unique key and photograph now lay in the bottom of her purse, remained a mystery. Marian slipped her hand deep into her bag and gently fingered the cold outline of the key.
The Citröen turned onto an unfamiliar section of rue de Rivoli. Where was Gen taking her? Marian faked a cough and pushed the key inside her bra before she spoke. “Oh, I think we should have turned right back there.” Marian tried to sound casual, but inside she doubted every decision she had ever made in her life, including her most recent one to get into the car.
“There are many ways to drive to places in this city,” Gen replied. “I like this route because the traffic is lighter. I have lived in this city all of my life and never tire of exploring its streets.”
That’s when it occurred to Marian why Gen’s name sounded familiar. Pierre had read it aloud to her from this morning’s newspaper. “Wife of French National Police Commissioner accused of embezzling half a billion euros.” Pierre had explained what a huge story it was because the Commissioner was well liked, but little had been publicized about his wife of thirty years. Now she was making headlines—and her name was Madame Genevieve Flaubert.
Marian struggled to figure out where they were headed, heart sinking as her hotel faded in the distance. Fear and anger flared in her gut like bottle rockets on the Fourth of July. Just as suddenly, she felt her mind suffused with a cool, calm determination.
Don’t panic, Marian told herself, breathe. “Gen, let’s stop playing games. You’re not taking me to my hotel. You were waiting for me—it was no coincidence you were idling on the street to pick me up.”
“You are right.” Gen’s voice was reminiscent of a teacher praising a bright student. As they passed under a street lamp for the first time, Marian could see the deep circles under Gen’s eyes and the strain on her kind face.
“I was ordered to collect you and bring you in.” Her voice caught in a sob. “You are about to join my nightmare.”
Marian glimpsed a sliver of opportunity as Gen downshifted the old gears of the Citroen at the red light. She grabbed at the metal door handle, but a hand from behind jerked her back on the headrest. The sweet scent of chloroform filled her nose before her vision faded to black.