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Friday, April 10, 2015

Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story, the first novel in a three-part paranormal thriller 

series. A young male is forever changed after a near death experience. His incident invites the 

attention of a covert Government agency. A gritty detective remains diligent in discovering the 

facts of the incident and encounters opposition from the unlikeliest of places.

Book Excerpt

Ten years have passed since Trey’s question went unanswered, the sacred practice of

attending church Sunday mornings now a distant memory. On a cool fall Saturday night, Trey’s 

thin, six-foot frame stands in the doorway of their small apartment. His mom is asleep on the 

brown suede couch, and he can overhear the faint sound of arguing neighbors next door. The 

aroma left from a well-cooked pot roast lingers and competes with Tracey’s smoldering cigarette 

in an ashtray on the floor, inches from the remote control—another failed attempt at quitting. 

While the ceiling fan does a poor job circulating warm air throughout the dimly lit apartment, it 

works wonders for the smoke.

Red, green, and blue lights from the television flicker on and off Tracey’s face while she curves 

into a ball in her blue scrubs. Above her on the wall is the blown-up picture of Nana and the 

family when it was still together: Toni still in Tracey’s stomach and James’s arms holding his 

wife and son tightly, Nana beside him.

Laughter from a discontinued sitcom cries out from the television—another episode of Three’s 

Company and Chrissy misunderstanding something she overheard. 

Trey decides to go through with his plan. He pushes his silver-framed glasses up on the bridge 

of his nose. Heart pounding, he sneaks into the kitchen in search of his mother’s gun, bumping 

the table and almost knocking over a glass of water beside Tracey’s nursing books. 

Plowing from right to left through the wood-finished cabinets, one after another, the anxious 

Trey can barely breathe from the pain in his chest. Finally, in the last cabinet above the 

refrigerator, he finds a scratched and dented blue coffee can without a lid. 

Trey pulls the coffee can down with two trembling hands and peeks inside, then glances at his 

mom through the cutout to make sure she is still asleep. He sets the can on the counter. He 

grabs hold of the cold pistol—his shaky hand causing him to almost drop it in the process. 

Trey fumbles with the right-handed pistol and is unable to shake the awkwardness since he is 

left-handed. He holds the pistol in his right hand and struggle to hold it firmly as he uses his 

left hand to pull the slide and peer into the half-cocked chamber to check if it’s loaded—it is. 

Another glance at Tracey. She pulls the red throw closer to her face and rolls over on the couch.

The pistol’s magazine is full and several loose bullets tumble over into the can. The 

refrigerator’s icemaker clanks out a few more cubes, which breaks Trey’s gaze on the bullets. 

Trey packs the gun at the small of his back. After a half-stride, the gun slithers down onto his 

buttocks. He goes perfectly still, repositions the pistol, and tightens his belt. 

Trey scampers out of the kitchen and across the living room. He stops at Toni’s bedroom door. 

Shaking, he pushes it open, and get enough light from her night-light to make out her ten-year-
old silhouette. Trey sees his sister curled under the butterfly-covered blanket Nana spent her 

last days on earth stitching. When Nana found out she was dying and would not see Toni grow 

up, she organized a box of gifts for her granddaughter, to be given at special occasions. The 

first gift was that butterfly-covered blanket and Toni cherishes it.

Author Bio

My infatuation with writing was born before I ever took my first breath, somewhere on the rural

plains of Eastern North Carolina, nourished by the adventures of my grandmother’s childhood.

From the time I was only four or five years old, her memories gave flight to my imagination and

fuel to my curiosities. Her stories widened my eyes to the fascinatingly bizarre in the everyday.

As a young girl, my grandmother would bring her puppy with her to stalk rabbits every morning.

The two of them would chase an unlucky long-eared rascal until it escaped into a hollow at the

base of a tree, and she would run a stick around the inside of the opening as though churning

butter. The spell of the sound and vibration would lure the rabbit out of the tree and into her


Good fiction, inventive and provocative fiction, reverberates in readers and spellbinds them. It

can spur surprise, delight, discomfort, and revelation and defy reason. As a storyteller, I strive

to help others solve their problems by sharing things that I have read about, heard about, and

seen. But I also prize the look on people’s faces when they hear the brilliant punch line of a

joke, or when they experience an epiphany that knocks the logical wind out of them. These are

the reactions that I live to inspire in my audiences when I write paranormal thrillers.

My obsession with the extraordinary in my writing might also, ironically, stem from my 20-year

career in the U.S. Army. I can allow my mind to wander in the extraterrestrial sphere while my

love for my country keeps me grounded in domestic affairs. Of all of my accomplishments,

serving as a paratrooper in a Special Forces Group and a Field Artillery outfit during Operation

Desert Shield/Desert Storm claims high rank. Few situations force a person to confront his

humanity as painfully as going off to war, and this experience taught me both to accept

accountability for my actions and to trust others. Eventually, I became a successful Army

Recruiter and Station Commander, earning the Top Recruiting Station awards in Dallas and

Seattle Recruiting Battalions. North Carolina Central University granted me a Public Service

Award for my work in the local community. And currently, I serve fellow veterans as an HR

Specialist for the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Other passions of mine include playing chess, traveling, and indulging in my contrarian nature

by instigating debate. Spending time with my wife tops the list of my life’s privileges, however.

Whether I am entertaining her with my emulation of Laurence Olivier as Marcus Crassus or

protecting her from an elk during one of our photography excursions in the wild, I treasure her

companionship and affection.

When I was twelve years old, I announced to my Aunt Becky and Cousin Tony that I wanted

to write a book. They stared at me in astonishment. The world of publishing was an enigma to

simple country folks in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1982. These days I am achieving my dream

with the ebook, a medium through which I can express my individuality without sacrificing

my voice to expectations of marketability, popularity, and deadlines. My goal is to create an

opportunity for escapism that is bold and absolute.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Grammar Tip: Double Punctuation

Emmy Edits is in full swing! I've enjoyed reading, editing, and proofing several different manuscripts, thus far. 

Through this process, I felt it necessary to give a little grammar tip. In today's society texts, email and Facebook are common ways to communicate. I myself, find my grammar to be lacking on my personal Facebook page at times.

I would like to address this grammar mistake in professional, creative writing: The double punctuation! 

It's a little peeve of mine. 
Here's an example: "Can you believe the party is tonight?!"

?!--is not okay!
I understand why writers feel the need for this type of punctuation. The sentence is a question, but has a tone of excitement. It appears to be the only way to get your point across, but it is not grammatically correct. During editing I will always remove the second punctuation mark (and what I mean by always is there are also exceptions, it's English after all). Instead, try using the context of your sentences to give an invisible exclamation point. Write in a way that the reader can hear the voice and tone of the character.

What do you think? Do you feel double punctuation is an "acceptable" form of writing?

Let me know.

Happy writing.