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Tattoos with something to say

Every tattoo has a message of some kind. It might be a cry of rebellion, a permanent memorial, an homage, or a personal reminder to follow one’s heart. Tattoos feature prominently for several of my characters, and while looking for a tattoo ideas one day, I stumbled across this website that features literary-inspired ink. What

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The thing I hate most about auto dealerships is the full court press from the salespeople. The only thing almost as bad is the actual buying process once you’ve made a decision. If you want to check out a new car without a commission-eager guy in a tie hounding your every step, head for the

Hanging with the Coasties

My fabulous trip to NYC for the RWA National Conference started off with a visit to US Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook in New Jersey as part of pre-conference events sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter. Here’s a little of what I learned. The US Coast Guard started in 1790 and currently has about


While researching Virginia’s recent restaurant smoking ban—hey, tobacco was the State’s #1 export until a couple of years ago, so give them a break for being behind the curve—I learned something new: There are no stand-alone bars in Virginia. Huh? What it means is that in order to get a license to serve alcohol, an

Big Boy Rules

I’m reading BIG BOY RULES by Steve Fainaru, and it’s changing everything. In a good way. First of all, it’s a compelling read about private security contractors in Iraq, and the fact that unlike the military, the only rules they’re subject to are big boy rules (i.e. you’re a big boy now, you know right

Fruits of research

I was watching Fugitive Chronicles the other day, and just like on fictional cop shows, it’s the one random comment that can make the case. In this particular instance, the fugitive had vitiligo—a skin condition characterized by mottled lack of pigment—on his man parts. The investigator learned of his vitiligo through a conversation with someone