Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lynn Lovegreen Has a Golden Interview with I.B. Nosey

NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter. I’m coming to you from…um…er…what’s this? *reads sign nailed above Entrance*…No Dummies Allowed. Well, O.K. Maybe Just One Nosey Reporter’*scratches head* Wonder who that’s meant for?


NOSEY: Aacckkk! *shrieks* Who said that?

*Light flickers and woman holding lantern approaches* Nosey, you’ve gone all white.

NOSEY: *clutches chest and staggers back* A-and you’re all yellow.

WOMAN: What? *eyes narrow* I don’t like what you’re implying.

NOSEY: I just meant… *swallows* You’re covered in something yellow.

WOMAN: Right. *dusts down front of shirt* It’s not exactly clean in here.

NOSEY: Here? *pivots around to take in surroundings* Where is here?

LG: Ssh. *lays silencing finger to lips* I’m Lynn Lovegreen. Remember our appointment?

NOSEY: Oh, s-sure. Name’s familiar, but, uh, lady, you gotta admit… *drops voice to whisper*… scheduling to meet this reporter in an isolated location like this—

LG: Excuse me?

NOSEY: Well, I have to wonder, uh, what sort of scenario you had in mind.

LG: *crosses arms* Surely you aren’t thinking I brought you here to steal Gum Drop Island chocolates from your tacky blazer pockets?

NOSEY: I just thought— hey, whadda ya mean ‘tacky’?

LG: *clicks tongue* Nosey. I arranged to meet you here for one purpose only. Look. *casts lantern light down length of walls*

NOSEY: *gasps* What’s those sparkling yellow rocks?

LG: This is a mine, Nosey. A gold mine.

NOSEY: Holy yellow brick road. *whistles* All we gotta do is follow it, huh? Heh heh.

LG: Heh heh, nothing. We have to keep one step ahead of claim jumpers.

NOSEY: Claim jumpers? You don’t mean— *leaps away from walls*

LG: Not spiders. No.

NOSEY: Snakes!?

LG: Huh uh.

NOSEY: Roaches?

LG: Nope.

NOSEY: Then what? Green toed froggies?

LG: A claim jumper’s got nothing to do with frogs. Really, that’d be unfair to the frogs.

NOSEY: Yeah?

LG: *nods* Yeah, because claim jumpers are humans who take other people’s mining claims.

NOSEY: Wait. I’m confused. What does mines, frogs, and clams - um, I mean- claims, gotta do with scheduling a date with me?

LG: A date? *frowns* With you?

NOSEY: Sure. *checks notepad* Says right here: ‘Lynn Lovegreen, meet for interview date…’ Oh.

LG: *giggles* Right, Nosey. Interview date. Like, you know, for my book, ‘Quicksilver to Gold’. *slaps book in Nosey’s palm* I don’t think you’ll have trouble reading the blurb in this light, will you?

NOSEY: ‘Course not. I’m a professional, you know. *straightens tie* Who wears famous tackless blazers.

LS: Tactless. Right. *nods* My mistake.

NOSEY: Ahem. Interview, take one— *glances across shoulder* Um, why do I get the feeling little beady eyes are on me?

LS: Just a reflection off the gold. I assure you, you’re - um- *peers down tunnel and edges away* perfectly safe. Uh huh. But, there is a, uh, a draft. Yes, a draft. Maybe you should get started? *looks again toward dark tunnel*

NOSEY: Er, well, okay. Here goes: ‘Gold mining is in Jeannie Kelly’s blood. But it’s a dangerous time to be an honest miner in Nome, Alaska—claim jumpers have invaded the territory. Jeannie has set her sights on Clint Tilghman, the strong, quiet man next door to her family’s claim. Clint fights his feelings for the impulsive lady miner, fearing he’ll lose his independence. Jeannie tries to change her tomboyish ways to attract Clint and gain respect from others, but there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights. Jeannie must woo Clint and beat the claim jumpers before summer’s end.’

NOSEY: Egads! *throws down book* Gold mining’s in her blood? Is that contagious? Am I gonna get sick?

LG: *mutters* How should I answer that?


LG: *grins* No, silly, it’s not contagious. It just means Jeannie comes from a mining family. Her dad and brothers are miners, and she grew up mining. Hm… *brow furrows in thought* Maybe reporting is in your blood?

NOSEY: Don’t be nosy, lady. I ask the questions here.

LG: Oh, that’s right. *lays wrist to forehead* How could I forget your skill? Your flair? Your gift of gibberish?

NOSEY: Heh heh. *puffs out chest* A fan after my own heart.

LG: *coughs* Er, just your listening audience. How about asking something about my hero, Clint.

NOSEY: As a matter-of-fact, I was just gonna do that.

LG: Certainly.

NOSEY: Yeah, right. Yeah, uh… let’s see - well, if he’s so afraid he’ll ‘lose his independence’, why doesn’t he go back and find it where he discovered it in the first place?

LG: Good point. Maybe he could. *shrugs* But losing your independence is like losing your good looks — you can’t get it back. *mumbles* Of course we’re assuming you once had—

NOSEY: Huh? *leans closer* You said something?

LG: Never mind. *waves dismissive hand* What else can I tell you about Clint?

NOSEY: Well, something’s sorta bothering me.

LG: Really?

NOSEY: Uh, how can I put this? *tugs at ear in awkward gesture* See, it’s not what you can tell me. It’s what I can tell you about Clint.

LG: Is that so? Like what?

NOSEY: Something you’ve got a right to know. You mentioned Clint was rebuffed by Jeannie. But you wanna know why?

LF: Since I’m the author, I think I know why.

NOSEY: No, you don’t.

LG: Yes, I do.

NOSEY: You don’t.

LG: Do.

NOSEY: Don’t.

LG: I—

NOSEY: Listen, I’m trying to tell ya! Clint gets rebuffed ‘cause he found that autographed Nosey fan photo that Jeannie carries in her locket. Yeah! So now how are they gonna make up?

LG: *hoots with laughter* Nosey, Nosey. Why do your interviews always end up about you?


LG: *wipes tears from eyes* Actually, I’m not going to tell you more about their romantic difficulties because I don’t want to give any spoilers.


LG: You’ll just have to read the book to see if there are any Nosey fan photos mentioned.

NOSEY: *snarls* That’s cheap.

LG: *spreads palms* So are your interviews.

*Loud clang sounds in distance. Nosey jumps* Holy headless horseman! What was that shadow that passed by?

LG: Something really spooky. *holds up lantern* That draft caught your profile and stretched it up the wall. *points* See?

NOSEY: Yikes! *crouches behind LG’s shoulder*

LG: Maybe we should move toward another section, huh, Nosey? *glances down length of tunnel*


LG: Come along. *takes Nosey’s arm and heads down opposite end of rail track*

NOSEY: Drafts. Shadows. Clam jumpers. *shivers* Why do you even want to set your books in this dangerous Alaskan wilderness?

LG: It’s home.

NOSEY: A gold mine is home?

LG: Ssh.

NOSEY: *whispers* Why do you wanna be quiet?

LG: We don’t want your shadow to overhear, do we? *glances behind and quickens step*


LG: Anyway, to answer your question. No, my home isn’t a mine. It’s Alaska. And I also enjoy the odd characters who live there— hey, have you ever been to Alaska, Nosey?

NOSEY: *stops to stare at LG* You mean we’re not in Alaska now? Then where am I?

LG: Look around. *gestures at rock walls* It’s sure not Kansas.

NOSEY: *snaps fingers* You’re right. Aw, fudge. Why do they pick me to go on these crazy author assignments?

LG: You know how it is, Nosey. You’re continually searching for the next Pukelitzer Award interview.

NOSEY: And this one’s no candidate, lady.

LG: *looks offended* Think again, Nosey!

NOSEY: I’m telling ya. No way.

LG: *taps foot angerly* I suggest you explain yourself.

NOSEY: Put it together, gal. Shadows, drafts, clams. Even your own Jeannie says, ‘there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights’. Playing with guns too? And fighting with bars? Or… *eyes narrow in suspicion* is that fighting with bears?

LG: *snorts* Have you ever tried to fight a bear? Trust me on this one, their teeth and claws give them an advantage.

NOSEY: *winces* Ouch. I bet. But—

LG: But, in this case, it’s more like those old-time Western movies where people have fist fights in the bars and muds. Though… *shakes head* I never understood why so many movies have fights in mud. Maybe they think it’s Gum Drop Island chocolate and it’ll taste good?

NOSEY: Hm. *rubs chin in consideration* That’s a thought.

LG: And a good one too. So why couldn’t my interview be put up for a Pukelitzer Award?

NOSEY: Uhhh…

LG: Wait. *pulls Nosey to one side* I hear something.

NOSEY: W-w-what? *huddles close to LG*

LG: Your teeth chattering, for one thing. Do you mind? *strains to push Nosey away*

NOSEY: Oh, drats. Your Jeannie was right.

LG: When?

NOSEY: When she said  it was a dangerous time to be an honest miner.

LG: Hm mm. There’s no arguing with a sensible woman.

NOSEY: Yeah, but wouldn’t it be safer to— you know…

LG: What?

NOSEY: Maybe be — sorta dishonest?

LG: You wouldn’t be suggesting I could write dishonest main characters, are you? I’ve never been so insulted in an interview! *stomps off in other direction*

NOSEY: B-but— 

*Shadows jump out from nearby tunnel*

NOSEY: *shrieks* My headless horseman shadow! It’s alive!

TWO MEN (OR WEIRD-SCIENTIFIC-EXPERIMENT-GONE-WRONG)  APPROACH: Ye hear that, Tuffy? *one elbows the other* He don’t know what we be.

OTHER MAN CACKLES: Should we tell ‘im? *cackles again* Clam jumpers, pal. Real high kickin’ clam jumpers.

TUFFY: We hear ye talkin’… *nods at tunnel* ‘bout goolld.

NOSEY: Gold? Er… *twitches nervously* Not me, buddies. Huh uh. No way.

TUFFY: Looky ‘im, Snuffy. He got whole mouth full o’ goolld.

NOSEY: *backs up* Whoa, fellows. That’s just my dazzling, gorgeous, super Nosey white pearlies.

SNUFFY: Purls, eh? *pulls out giant sized pliers from back pocket* Ye must be wearin’ million bucks worth.

NOSEY: *slaps covering hand to mouth, and then screams* Ms. Lovegreen! *turns tail and races down tunnel* Help! Help! Heellppp!

LG: Hey, guys! *calls out to weird-scientific-experiment-gone-wrong claim jumpers who leap and bound after Nosey* You’ve got it all wrong. Nosey’s nothing but fool’s gold!


Available at Amazon

Lynn Lovegreen grew up in alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. Visit her website to learn more. You can also find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

If you enjoyed this interview, schedule your own. Contact Nosey via the form on the left hand side of this site!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Laura Shinn Pulls a Fast 'Draw' on I.B. Nosey

NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter! Here I am on my day off from interviewing. I’m merely wandering the halls and—

WOMAN: Sssh!

MAN: Ssh!


NOSEY: *spins around and sees a family wearing frowns* What’s ya problem? Can’t a guy walk around in a doughnut shop?

WOMAN: *whispers* This is an art museum!

NOSEY: You must be lost, lady. That*points at wall* is a doughnut and coffee display.

MAN: That is a painting.  

NOSEY: Yeah? *leans to look closer* Whadda ya know. It’s even signed: Laura Shinn.

LS: Who called?

NOSEY: *pivots around to see woman seated before easel* Are you Laura Shinn?

LS: That’s not you, is it?

NOSEY: Me? I’m I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial—

LS: Yeah, yeah. No need to chew your spinach twice.

NOSEY: What spinach? Hey, this handsome mug doesn’t belong to Popeye, ya know.

LS: Handsome? *coughs* Er, um. Hm. *checks watch* Oh, I get it. You must be my eleven o’clock. Pose for me, please.

NOSEY: Pose? Heh heh. *slants profile* Is this my best side?

LS: *makes face* I’m not sure you have one, fella.


LS: Let me see. *comes up and bends Nosey into Egyptian-like pose* There. Better.

NOSEY: Whoa, wait, lady. I’m not—

LS: Be quiet, or I’ll call security.


LS: You’re not paying me to argue.


LS: Your mouth looks better when closed.


LS: And what is this disaster? *gestures at Nosey’s jacket* Call this a smock?

NOSEY: I call it my famous tweedy-weedy Picasso Pukelitzer Premiere. *glares* Hey, who are you, anyway?

LS: *returns to easel* Didn’t we settle that? I’m Laura Shinn.

NOSEY: You’re a painter?

LS: Cover artist, actually. Plus, I’m an author.

NOSEY: I should’ve known. *groans* Listen, gal. This is my day off and—

LS: Don’t move! *stares knives*

NOSEY: Why? *gives fearful glance across one shoulder* Is there a spider?

LS: Worse. You’re creating creepy shadows on the wall.

NOSEY: *jumps* Really?

LS: And, honestly. How do you think I can possibly paint you if you don’t stand still?

NOSEY: I don’t wanna be painted!


LS: Better listen to ‘em. I see the woman’s carrying knitting needles and I think she knows how to use them.

NOSEY: *gulps* Uhhh…so, what do I do?

LS: Allow me to do my job. *hums while splashes color on easel* Why don’t I tell you a story?

NOSEY: No. No author stories. This is my day off and—


LS: Where shall I begin?

WOMAN: *smiles eagerly* At the beginning, dear.

NOSEY: Hey, if she can talk, why can’t I?

MAN: Because she looks like she’s got brains.

NOSEY: What’s that supposed to— ‘eyyy!


LS: Ahem. As I was saying… Writing is a passion I acquired in high school in my Junior year. Although writing stories, particularly short stories, was new to me, I took to it quickly. My English teacher in high school, Mrs. White, inspired and encouraged me at every turn. I owe her a great deal.

WOMAN: *clasps hands* How exciting. Do go on.

NOSEY: Can I just say— ?


LS: Anyway, the majority of my inspiration later in my adult life came from the love of reading romance. Back in the ‘80’s, my key genre to read were historical romances. When I picked up my time travel romance, and a short time later my first vampire romance, I was hooked into the paranormal genre. I began reading more contemporary stories with elements of the paranormal and, of course, romance. I’m a romantic at heart and couldn’t imagine ever writing a story without some kind of romance within it.

MAN: *frowns and points at Nosey* If you’re a romantic, what are you doing painting him

NOSEY: *scowls* I don’t like the italic in your tone, pal.

MAN: *snarls* Would you like it any better in my fist?

NOSEY: Heh heh. *tugs at collar* Nine italic words. Good tone too.

WOMAN: Be quiet! *bares teeth at Nosey, and then turns to LS* Ah, romance. *sighs and lays gentle hand atop LS’s shoulder* We’re all listening, Ms. Shinn.

LS: Well, as I was saying… *works busily at easel* My mother once asked me to write a novel for middle-grade reader to YA. It started off pretty good, but by the end of chapter one, I had the single mother falling for the single man who recently moved in next door. *laughs* What can I say? It’s in the blood, I guess. My mother wrote children’s stories and Christian non-fiction, so my mother’s love of writing passed on to me, along with music and art.

MAN: Talent runs in the family. *nods* We can see that.

WOMAN: We certainly can.

LITTLE GIRL: You draw good.

NOSEY: *ducks* Hey, there’s a fly buzzing—


LS: *chuckles* Talent? Why, thank you. But it was hard work too. After my first son was born, I began typing stories on my electric typewriter. I went through tons of ‘liquid paper’. Anyone remember that? I sent a few of the stories to Zebra and Harlequin. After receiving several rejection letters, I decided I’d just write for myself. It wasn’t until my husband and I purchased our first computer in 1999 - yeah, way back then - that I was able to go online for the first time.

NOSEY: But this fly—

WOMAN: *whirls and jabs with knitting needle* Didn’t we tell you to pipe down already?


MAN: Cram it, Big Mouth. *squints eyes* Or is all that just your nose?

NOSEY: Heh heh. Jealous of my masculine profile, aren’t you?

LS: *clears throat* Where was I?

WOMAN: You just went online, remember?

LS: *snaps fingers* That’s right. I joined a few Yahoo groups connected with some of my favorite authors. It was there I came upon a women’s writers group. I joined and spent the next few years learning so much about the publishing business and writing/editing. Shortly thereafter, I was hired on as an editor for Writers Exchange E-Publishing. She also published a few of my stories!

NOSEY: Shoo, fly! *swats* Get! Get!

WOMAN: *gives rapt attention to LS* Then what happened?

LS: Later I worked for two other publishers as an editor. *swirls brush on easel* One of the publishers hired me also as a cover artist. I didn’t receive very many projects, however—

MAN: No!

LS: *nods* Yes! So I eventually pulled all of my books and followed my best friend’s advice to self-publish. God bless her, she taught me everything, including formatting.

WOMAN: Wonderful friend!

LS: She’s the greatest, and—

NOSEY: Who reads fly language? This one… *ducks* I think he’s trying to say something!

LITTLE GIRL: Didn’t anybody teach you manners? It’s rude to interrupt. *sticks tongue out at Nosey*

LS: Stop jittering, Nosey! I’ve almost finished. *smiles at audience* Where was I? Oh, yes. Well, at that point, I was already designing covers for WEE -that’s Writers Exchange E-Publishing- and I was no longer editing. I learned how to design print covers too, mostly by hit-or-miss. My best friend began her own publishing business and hired me as her Chief Designer. I’m now Chief Designer at WEE as well, and a cover designer for Western Trail Blazer. I format and design covers as a freelance business too.

WOMAN: *flutters lashes* Oh, goody. So you’re willing to be hired to paint portraits?

LS: Uh… Well, let me just say that freelancing has been a real blessing. It’s enabled me to leave retail jobs and now I work from home. With arthritis setting in, this is now a Godsend. I am the proof that you don’t need a Design degree or Literary degree from a university to pursue that chosen field. If you want to be a writer, start writing. If you want to be a cover designer, get a program and start playing around with it and learn all you can. There’re several on the internet you can download for free with all kinds of free tutorials too. 

NOSEY: *throws up hands* No one’s listening to me. Sheesh. I might as well be at work!

LITTLE GIRL: Ms. Shinn, you still writing stories too?

LS: *laughs* When I can. My muse has been going crazy inside of my head, wanting to get stories written, published, and out to the public. But my workload usually prevents it. I’m hoping to take some time off during vacation and work on my own writing. If all goes well, I should have several new releases coming out in the Fall and around the holidays.

MAN: We can’t wait. We’ll be your first buyers and— *stumbles as winged insect buzzes close to ear* What’s this pest doing?

LITTLE GIRL: You mean him? *points at Nosey*

WOMAN: That’s a funny looking fly. *gasps* Oh no. It’s a hornet!

LS: A hornet? *bolts to feet* Nosey, why didn’t you say something?


MAN: All you had to do was to… *flails arms at angry hornet* tell us, man!


LITTLE GIRL: *wails* He should’ve spoken up!


LS: Run, everyone! *shrieking, the small crowd makes a ‘bee’ line for the exit*

NOSEY: Wait! Wait for— Oops. *skids to stop as hornet spins to face him. Nosey backs up* I, uh, I run fast too, little hornet. If you read any of my interviews, you’ll see—

HORNET: Buzzzz. *flies to easel and scrawls out words in the paint*

NOSEY: *reading* ‘It be quiet here to sleep. Why you make noise?’ *stares at hornet* Me? It’s my day off and all I wanted was — er, I mean — sorry we woke you but —

HORNET: ‘You. Go. Work. NOW.’ *zooms towards Nosey, menace written on his little bug face, and he didn’t have a nice expression either*

NOSEY: Oww! Ouch! Ooh! *screaming, Nosey flees for the doorway* Okay, okay, dude. I get your point! Aaiiii!

A book by Laura Shinn

Available at Amazon


(Samples of some of Laura's covers)


(If you enjoyed this interview, sign up for your own. Contact Nosey via the form over there on your left-hand side.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What the World Needs Now Is...

Greetings, cyber-world! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter. Today I'm reporting on some candid... that is in, like 'candy', get it? Heh heh. Ahem. As I was saying, I'm making a BIG announcement!

World, are you ready to hear about Gum Drop Island?!?

No, not with me and my microphone, though I know it's your dream. Heh heh.

Er, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Get ready to hear Gum Drop-- hm, think I said that.

Um... *checks notes* Here it is! Right. Get ready to hear, as in really, really hear. With your ears. With your head phones. With your volume turned up loud because -- Gum Drop Island is going audible!

No date for release is confirmed as yet but it's my understanding that the incredible Owen McCuen, the 'champion of make-pretend' who is narrating this delicious little tale, is stuffing his pockets full of a variety of tasties before his voyage aboard the Good Ship Sugar Daddy and sails back into The Real World. Sir O. Yuri Wiseguy-eh counted the edibles with a critical eye and claims Owen has packed enough sweet treats to last -- oh, maybe a month. Wow! Owen must have the deep pockets of a hungry kangaroo.

So, friends, Romans, and Womans, perk up your ears! 'Ahoy Gum Drop' is coming alive in SOUND to a speaker near you. Oh goody, goody gum drop!

(Audible Cover)

Many thanks to Owen McCuen. 
Visit him on Facebook.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frank Kahren Stores It Up with I.B. Nosey

NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter! Today I’m browsing the aisles of my favorite department store in search of a new pair of ‘Rock ‘em & Sock ‘em Blunderland’ shoelaces. Hm. Wonder where the help is? *gazes around* Ah, here’s some clerks. Greetings— *men stare at Nosey, gasp, and then flee* Hey, you! *bongs a straggler over the head with microphone* This is I.B. Nosey, the official unofficial reporter and—

EMPLOYEE: Yeah, yeah. *rubs bruised noggin* We know all about you.

NOSEY: *puffs out chest* My reputation precedes me.

EMPLOYEE: *sighs* Unfortunately.


EMPLOYEE: *clears throat* Mr. Nosey, can I, for once, interest you to enter the ‘world of Ralph Lauren’?

NOSEY: *blinks* Who?

EMPLOYEE: The famous clothes designer who can give you a - ah… *gestures towards Nosey’s blazer* better - er, um, that is -different look.

NOSEY: Why would I want anything different from my tweedy-weedy blazers? They’re all the rage, you know.

EMPLOYEE: Mr. Nosey. *clasps hands in earnest plea* If you’d only allow me— *shrieks as human cannonball flies down aisle* Watch out!

*Nosey is tackled, thrown to the floor, then dragged behind rack of clothing*

MAN: *hoarse whisper* Get up! What’re you doing lying down on the job?

NOSEY: *gives groggy shake of head* Holy torpedo! What sub did you escape from, pal?

MAN: No time for sandwiches. I’m hiding from the Scary Man.

NOSEY: Er… *bolts upright* W-w-what Scary Man?

FK: I’m Frank Kahren and you can read about him here. *thrusts book into Nosey’s palm*

NOSEY: *frowns* An author’s found me in the middle of… *looks around* the women’s girdles?

FK: Keep your voice down!

NOSEY: *gulps* Is the Scary Man t-that d-dangerous?

FK: *hisses* Read the blurb and figure it out for yourself.

NOSEY: Yeah, well, ya never know… *darts nervous gaze around* that might just be a good idea. *turns book over* Let’s see, the title is Brand Loyalty and it says: ‘Retired from the Marine Corps and the California Department of Corrections, Major Matt Rommel’s life has been one long exercise in applied violence. A docent at San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor, he spends his days surrounded by art treasures and his nights in the Mission District at Vince’s bar…’ Excuse me, but…*Nosey leans over to whisper* Those art treasures. Uh, there’s something kinda funky about one of them.

FK: That so?

NOSEY: Uh huh. It’s a…*glances across shoulder* portrait of me! Yeah. Pretty cool, eh? But it’s gotta be protected so that it won’t get stolen!

FK: *grunts* There’re more than one portrait of you there.

NOSEY: Oh, yeah? *eyes light up*

FK: *peers around edge of cabinet to check for eavesdroppers before beckoning to Nosey* As you must know…

NOSEY: What? Huh? What? *gives fast cleaning to left ear and scoots closer* You were saying?

FK: There’s a portrait of you in one of the galleries. I believe it was painted by El Greco?

NOSEY: *nods* El Geeko. Right. Captured my likeness to a nose.

FK: Well, there’s also a Rodin sculpture of you in the Spreckles gallery, plus an intriguing ‘I.B. Nosey’ image in one of the Watteau paintings.

NOSEY: *awe fills voice* For real?

FK: Friend, apparently you’re virtually immortal. I can assure you that everyone at the Legion of Honor is committed to protecting their I.B. treasures.

NOSEY: Heh heh. Keep talking like that and I just might wind up buying your book.

FK: First, we have to escape from the Scary Man. *nods to book* Don’t you want to know more?

NOSEY: About the Scary Man? Um, not especially.

FK: But what about Carolyn?

NOSEY: Who’s Carolyn?

FK: *taps book* In here.

NOSEY: Somehow I knew you were gonna say that. Ahem. Okay. Continuing: ‘The years have also changed the life of Carolyn Kast, leaving her with a failed marriage to a man committed only to his forlorn hope of a technology company. Now, Carolyn is a single mother in her middle forties with a fledgling ad agency and two partners who are always at each other’s throats. Worse, it is becoming clear that someone’s trying to kill her…’ *Nosey shudders* Whoa. How’s it ‘becoming clear’ that someone doesn’t like her very much - to put it delicately?

FK: There’re always subtle signs. Like… *grabs Nosey by the collar and drags him behind stack of boxes*

NOSEY: Hey! *sputters* What’re you doing, man?

FK: Trying to keep us safe! This is for you. No need to call attention to ourselves. *steals hat from one of the boxes and plops it atop Nosey’s head*

NOSEY: I.B. Nosey does not need a disguise!

FK: You mean that’s not a mask you’re wearing?

NOSEY: ‘eyyy!

FK: Be quiet! You want what happened to Carolyn to happen to us?

NOSEY: Uhhh… *drops voice* If she didn’t eat a bar of Gum Drop Nutty Whizz Bang, then I don’t wanna know.

FK: But you asked why someone didn’t like her.

NOSEY: I did?

FK: Ten lines back.

NOSEY: Ohhh. Guess I was too nosy for my own good, heh heh.

FK: Know what else is for your own good? Recognizing the signs of being ‘disliked’.

NOSEY: No worries there, fella. I know 'em all by first name. 

FK: Really? You've had someone to drop a garage door on your head?

NOSEY: Er, no, although they’ve probably dreamed about it.

FK: Or had a capoera fighter try to knife you in an alley in Rio?

NOSEY: *scrunches face* Ooh.

FK: And that’s not all. Sometimes people shoot a cop and chase you into a mausoleum. If you stay in touch with your intuitive sides, you can always pick up on the signals.

NOSEY: If it’s all the same to you, I’ll stick with smoke signals.

FK: Well, Aubrey knows what to do.

NOSEY: Aubrey? Aubrey who?

FK: The blurb, Nosey. You didn’t finish it. *points* See?

NOSEY: *glances down* Oh, yeah. ‘Six-year-old Aubrey knows what to do. Go to the museum, to the man she has decided is an enforcer for Santa Claus: The Scary Man!’ *gapes* We’re hiding from Santa Claus?

FK: *scoffs* Get real. It’s like this, see. *glances both ways* Matt Rommel, besides what he does at the Palace of the Legion of Honor fine arts museum, is also an ex-marine and working at a prison as a guard. Let’s just say, he’s got a ‘gift’ for dealing with people.

NOSEY: If you don’t mind me asking, ah…does that gifting have anything to do with garage doors, or Rio?

FK: *shakes head* Nothing like that. See, once a year, he brings two bags of Christmas toys to the Toys for Tots barrel in downtown San Francisco. During that trip, he makes a point of ‘provoking’, shall we say, the Gunnery Sergeant who mans the gift barrels.

NOSEY: A gift barrel? *spies one in the corner* Like that one?

FK: Nosey! *grabs his tie* Stay put!

NOSEY: Unhand the threads! *knocks off FK’s grasp* Sheesh, man. Don’t you get it? I'm not named Nosey for nothing.  *plunges into barrel and withdraws stuffed, fleeced octopus* Hey, look at this! What a cutie. It’s so soft and huggable and—

FK: Don’t squeeze it! 

NOSEY: Yikes! *staggers back against row of umbrellas* Who turned out the lights?

FK:  Ssssh! *yanks Nosey behind dressing room* Here. Use my handkerchief.

NOSEY: Uh, Mr. Kahren… *rubs glasses and smears ink all across face* …an idea’s suddenly flared over my head.

FK: Sorry, Nosey, but I don’t think your bulbs burn too bright.

NOSEY: I— huh?

FK: Forget it. What do you wanna say?

NOSEY: It’s about Matt. He’s too busy a guy, don’t ya think?

FK: Meaning?

NOSEY: Sorry to have to tell ya, but these toys … *waves arm toward gift barrel* just plain downright stink. As in last week’s garbage truck stink.

FK: And you’re sorry to tell me that?

NOSEY: Well, listen. Your Matt, if he wants the ‘totties’ to like him, he’s gotta get tuned to their brain waves.

FK: Hm…*gives considering nod* How?

NOSEY: Matt needs a break from his ‘dangerous docent’-ing, ‘ex-marine’-ing, and ‘prison guarding’-ing. He oughta clear his head. And no better place to do that except at Gum Drop Island.

FK: How will that help?

NOSEY: Why wouldn’t it? Relax in a coconut strand hammock, nibble on the gingerbread hedges, pluck a couple of chocolate bars off the palm trees. *snaps fingers* Guaranteed ‘Kool-aid’ tot-toy inspiration.

FK: I don’t know. *strokes chin in pondering gesture* That creates its own problems.

NOSEY: Dude, how can spending time at Gum Drop Island be a problem?

FK: From Matt’s point of view, after some of the people he’s worked with, he’d never want to come back.

NOSEY: That’d be bad?

FK: How would he protect Carolyn?

NOSEY: Oh. *chuckles* I get it. So they get lovey-dovey with each other, eh? Bet that happened when he gave her a box of chocolates from Gum Drop Island.

FK: Actually, Aubrey the one’s that brought them together. She saw Rommel with those bags of toys and concluded that he works for Santa.

NOSEY: Uhh.. you’ve lost me. What’s Santa got to do with Carolyn? Is she one of his elves? *eyes the gift barrel* Oh, no. She made that exploding octopus, right?

FK: *spreads palms* Don’t blame me. I didn’t write nothing like that in my book.

NOSEY: So, then… what did you write about how a bag of toys gets Carolyn and Rommel together?

FK: Easy. It goes like this - Aubrey sees those toys, assumes that Santa must have enforcers. And Rommel’s scarred face doesn’t scare Aubrey because her mom, Carolyn, suggests that a face like that is used to “stop things”.

NOSEY: Like the clutches of a sardine-breathed, ornery sea critter?

FK: Possibly. But she needs an enforcer, or a big scary man to help her -or ‘stop things’- with a problem she has at her elementary school. 

NOSEY: Gotta hand it to you. This is some kind of plot! *whistles in admiration* How did you dream up something like this?

FK: I picked the two groups of people that are most overlooked and least understood - veterans and single mothers. I once read that, after divorce, single mothers experience a 42 percent decrease in their income.


FK: Yep. Yet, they’re almost always the ones who must shelter and provide for the children.

NOSEY: Well, if you ask me, Carolyn sounds like Super Woman!

FK: Doesn’t she? *nods* Everyone gravitates toward Matt Rommel. Sure, he’s capable, decent, and he’s just about fearless. But Carolyn is my favorite because she doesn’t let Life kick her to the ground without getting right back up. She overcomes obstacles; she’s smart; capable; and she knows that her mission is to protect her daughter.

EMPLOYEE’S VOICE CALLS: Mr. Nosey! Are you back here? We have your shoelace order ready.

FK: Watch it! *grabs Nosey’s arm* It could be a trap. They might work for Carl Grinnell.

NOSEY: And, uh, this Carl - I wanna avoid him, right?

FK: You better unless you like an old, disreputable advertising executive who tries to exploit and ruin Carolyn.

2nd EMPLOYEE: And we’re ready for you to depart the store!

NOSEY: Oh. *gives relieved chuckle* No worries, Mr. Kahren. They’re legit. *pops up from his hiding place* Greetings, cyber—

*Men’s eyes widen, they scream, spin around and dash out of store, knocking customers out of their way*

NOSEY: Where you rushing off to? I didn’t finish my official unofficial intro— *turns to look behind, gasps* Aaaiii! *turns tail, leaps over counter, scales wall, and smashes through plate glass window - all in one Nosey super-sized fleet-of-foot single bound*

FK: *calls out* Nosey! Get back here!

NOSEY: No way, dude! *beats feet down sidewalk* It’s the Scary Man!

FK: *looks around and yells out to Nosey’s fleeing backside* But, Nosey, haven’t you seen a mirror before?


Available at Amazon


F. M. Kahren is the author of Brand Loyalty, his debut novel and Matt Rommel's first adventure. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English, Dr. Kahren also has a masters and doctorate in business administration from the University of North Dakota and Golden Gate University respectively. He has published a number of technical articles for industry journals and is the author of Strategic Planning: The Practices of PCS Companies and the Academic Literature. In addition to serving as a Minuteman missile crew commander and missile operations staff officer, Dr. Kahren has worked extensively in the telecommunications and rail transportation industries.

For more information, visit Frank's author page at Amazon.
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