Sunday, March 30, 2014


 Last night was date night and hubby and I went to see Noah.

I'd been warned about seeing it, but I'm not one who likes to base my decisions on what others think.

The movie is 2 hours 16 minutes long. If you're looking for the true biblical account of what happened, this is not it! If you're looking for a feel good movie, this is not it. If you're looking to learn something, this is not it.

What I saw instead was a genocidal, homicidal, action hero Noah who said his Creator told him to kill off the human race, murder his twin granddaughters, fathered by his eldest son, and sail across the ocean for a new beginning. But by the time they reach the other side, the only survivors will be the animals because Noah's already instructed his family they will all die. Two at a time, of course, but they're done. Then, we have these giant transformer-like monsters made of rock and fire. They're the fallen angels and known as “the Watchers.” They protect Noah and his family to fight against the animal eating population who want to feast on what Noah's has aboard.

I thought the acting was mediocre at best, certainly not award worthy--at least not in my book, and I didn't walk away feeling as though I'd recommend it to anyone. But then, you have to decide that for yourselves.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Murderer of Madeleine McCann

I've been a long-time subscriber of Women in Crime, Ink, a group of females who are criminal justice professionals, as well as authors. Today's contributor is criminal profiler, Pat Brown.  To subscribe to Women in Crime, Ink, here's the link:

What do you think of this scenario and the interview techniques used by Scotland Yard investigators?


The Agony of the McCanns is Over: Scotland Yard Solves the Case of Missing Maddie

The Murderer of Madeleine McCann
By Pat Brown

It has been a long six years for Kate and Gerry McCann. After the Portuguese police bungled the investigation of the kidnapping of their daughter, Madeleine, who was abducted from their vacation flat in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, the McCanns have endured being made suspects in their own daughter's disappearance and then suffered years of fruitless searching by their own private investigators, never coming any closer to finding out what had happened to their daughter.

In 2011, The Met (New Scotland Yard) launched Operation Grange, spending two years and nearly ten million pounds following every lead and tip generated by the PJ and the McCann's PIs post-the-evening of May 3rd, making absolutely no progress at all.

But, in a stunning turnabout just as the McCann's libel trial against Goncalo Amaral comes to a close, Andy Redwood of Scotland Yard has uncovered who kidnapped Madeleine McCann and what they have done with her, according to an unidentified source of Bollux Media.

When Operation Grange reached no conclusion after an incredible number of man hours and money had been frittered away, Redwood decided to use a surprising investigative technique; he would go back to the actual events of the evening of the crime. Although he was unable to get the cooperation of the parents of the missing child or cooperation of any of the friends who dined together with the parents on the night Madeleine went missing, he was able to get the cooperation of the television media and a bunch of actors (including a very capable porn star) and scripted a very believable version of what occurred that evening. Redwood thrilled the public with his incredible breakthrough moment in the case wherein he disclosed that the Tanner sighting was really that of a vacationer who was wandering about in circles with his child trying to locate his apartment which he had misplaced. He then went on to reveal that the Smith sighting of Gerry McCann was now the correct sighting and he was looking forward to the public telling him who they thought it was now that they could show the world the sketches the McCanns had hidden for years.

Lots of callers identified Gerry McCann, but a couple of folks said it was a burglar they knew from the neighborhood and the pieces fell into place. Redwood discovered that a flurry of phone calls had been made by a three man burglary ring that this man was a part of, a number before 10 pm and another number of phone calls a couple of hours later.

Today, Scotland Yard detectives have interviewed the men of the burglary ring and through a clever investigative interrogation method in which the men were asked what they thought a bunch of burglars might have done if they were involved in the crime, they related the following story:

Just after Gerry and Kate's friend looked in on the McCann children, one of the burglars entered the apartment through the unlocked sliding door. Although he knew the layout of the apartment and that any valuables would likely be either in the living room or in the large bedroom, for some reason he felt drawn to go into the smaller of the bedrooms first. When he entered the room, a small girl awoke and began screaming. Without thinking of the possible results, the startled burglar put his hand over her mouth. Being a small child, his hand accidentally covered her nose as well and after a short time, the girl stop breathing. Thinking he had quieted the girl, the burglar released his hand and then made the horrific discovery that he had smothered the child. Panicked, he called his fellow burglars on their cells to ask what he should do and they decided the best plan would be to remove the child from the flat so as to leave no evidence of what had happened. One of the burglars posted himself at the back of the flat, the other in the front, and the burglar inside raised the window. When all was clear, he passed the deceased child through the window to the burglar waiting outside. Having worn gloves to the burglary, no prints were left in the apartment.

The burglar receiving the body of Madeleine then carried the child back to his Praia da Luz flat passing by the Smith family on the way. One of the burglars went to retrieve his boat and the other patrolled the area between the flat and the beach. During this time, the trio kept in touch by cell phone. When the streets became quiet enough to quickly move Madeleine's body from the apartment to the boat, this action was completed and Madeleine's body was disposed at sea.

Scotland Yard is hoping the Portuguese prosecutor will arrest the three suspects and take the case forward to court; however, they feel this is unlikely because the Portuguese prosecutor claims there is insufficient evidence due to the PJ mishandling the case for six years. There is no physical evidence remaining after all this time, and there is a refusal on the part of the suspects to make a full confession.

Kate and Gerry McCann have issued a statement thanking Andy Redwood and Scotland Yard for absolving them of any wrongdoing in the death of their daughter and uncovering a story of her death which is not too awful. They also want the public to know that The Fund will remain active until Madeleine's body is found and brought home for a proper interment.

This newslike article is brought to you by Bollux Media and

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Whenever the idea of a story enters my mind, I already know the beginning and the ending.  And then there’s that middle thing of trying to figure out how to get your characters from “A” to “B” to end up with “C”.   But even though I know the ending, it doesn’t always mean that’s how it ultimately turns out.

I’ve never wanted my stories to be predictable.  I have a slew of favorite authors I love to read, but if I’m only halfway through the book and have figured out the ending, I lose interest.  And that’s what makes me want to keep my readers guessing until the very end—make them think they know what’s going to happen, and BAM, I change it to the least predictable character.

When I wrote my first story, it originally started out with the traditional boy meets girl, girl meets a couple of guys, and ultimately has the pick for the litter, as they say. But three-quarters of the way through while driving to a winery in Napa Valley, out of the blue it hit me—I had the wrong hero running off into the sunset with my heroine, and so it became.

Sometimes this upsets my fans.  As a matter of fact one reader was so upset, she gave me a 4 star review instead of 5 because she didn’t like whom I chose to be the hero for my leading lady.  I thought it was pretty funny that she’d actually admitted it.

For some, ending a story with a twist of fate can be the most challenging aspect of writing.  Sure, you can kill him off, but that’s not necessarily satisfying to the readers—I know, I wouldn’t be satisfied. But again, it depends on which genre you’re writing.  Obviously, in a light-hearted contemporary, having the main character die is heartless, yet in a mystery, it might actually work.

Below are a few twist-ending archetypes that have been done before.  Here’s how I’ve labeled them.

THE PUZZLE: With this scenario, you want your readers to know something’s wrong—something isn’t adding up, but take it slow.   Creating multi-layers here is good, but only if it’s done well.  Confusing the reader is not.

A good example of that is The Runaway Jury written by John Grisham. Although I loved this film, and the acting, there were so many twists and turns that I found myself confused most of the time very early in the game.  So give your audience some pieces of the puzzle, something to sink their teeth into, and above all, make the actions believable.  Two lawyers being scammed at the same time is hard to believe.  You want your audience to have a picture in their minds, but if they’re caught up in the confusing sub-layers, they’re going to be focused on that instead of what’s in front of them on the pages. The key here is to keep it simple and make it original so that people will remember the story for years to come.

THE DOUBLE-CROSS:  I don’t want to spoil the film for you if you haven’t already seen it, but in the Ides of March, the good-looking guy you thought was the good guy actually turns out to be the bad guy.   The way the writer worked this into the script was done with such finesse, you don’t actually see it coming, and in the end, you find yourself shocked and rooting him on.  Now that’s good writing!  Seriously, if the good guy turned bad guy doesn’t win, what kind of ending would that be?

THE RED HERRING:  This approach, the author creates a multi-layered drama.  Using this week’s Criminal Minds as an example.  The scene opens with a man being shot in the legs, he’s face down on the carpet.  The guy wielding the gun isn’t shown, but he wants his victim to look him into the eyes.  The victim struggles to look at him, but the bad guy is gone before we know it.  When the man crawls to his cell phone to call 911, his phone rings instead.  When he answers, it activates a bomb and blows up the room and everything in it.

The team is called in and remembers how this town fell victim to a felon’s gun in a school shooting ten years earlier.  The survivors have planned a 10th anniversary ceremony to remember the fallen, but because of the recent killing of the principal, the ceremony is cancelled.   Hoch finally remembers there was a list with all the survivors’ names on it, but they’d never found it in the previous investigation.  He now becomes suspicious that the killer will follow through by killing everyone on the list.

The team visits the parents’ house of the former felon who was killed by the police in a shoot out, to question the brother who they consider as the primary suspect carrying out his brother’s legacy.   When they ultimately find the list after a search and see the principal’s name is on it, along with all the other survivors, they’re more than convinced he’s acting out of revenge for his brother’s death.  But another killing takes place during their questioning of him and the investigation now becomes a lot more confusing.

In the final scenes, a new guy appears out of nowhere.  This is his first appearance and you’re left wondering who he is.  He’s having a conversation with one of the survivors who mentions the ceremony.  He informs her the event has been cancelled due to the recent killings.  She tells him a few of the survivors are getting together anyway.  He wants to join them but she tells him it’s only for the top ten and hopes he understands.  He’s feeling rejected. 

In the next scene while the top ten survivors are celebrating, he’s attends the party all right.  A bomb goes off as he enters the restaurant wielding a gun.  He grabs the woman who rejected him and he’s asking if she knows his name.  When she doesn’t, he fires the gun past her, except now you’re led to believe he’s the killer, but when there’s another flashback, we learn he’s actually one of the survivors, albeit one of the unpopular kids and you’re just not sure.  That is until he admits his plans to kill everyone on the list because no one ever acknowledged him, they don’t even know his name.  But they will now.  The classic bait and switch scheme.

THE CON ARTIST: Take the guy who runs off with another woman before his wedding to someone else but because the girlfriend thing didn’t work out, he’s back begging his former fiancĂ©e to take him back.  He realizes he’s made a mistake and wants to make amends.  He begs the heroine for forgiveness.  She’s angry at first, doesn’t want anything to do with him, but when he won’t take no for an answer, she begins to soften by justifying the break up as her fault. You’re confused because you’re still remembering how he broke her heart, except the excuse he’s now using to schmooze her and the reader, you’re left wondering if this sweet guy will be the hero after all.  Of course all is lost when we find out he’s still two-timing her, and the only reason he came back was to settle a wager with one of his friends.

THE SCAM:  And the last twist—my all time favorite is The Sixth Sense.   I was left flabbergasted at the end when I realized the Bruce Willis character was actually dead the entire time.  It takes a deft hand to pull this one off, something that takes lots of practice.  I wish I could write like that.