Gratitude Attitude, June 29, 2016

I remember meeting a lady one Sunday in a church’s parking lot.  I was leaving for home after spending a most exceptional weekend attending a women’s retreat.  The grounds were stunning (even after the bad snow storm the day before) and the church took my breath away.

The lady and her husband (I presumed) got out of a luxury car.  She was wearing an expensive fur coat and her hair looked as if she visited a hair salon every week.

I said, “Good Morning” to them.

She replied, “What’s so good about it?”

I didn’t say anything to her.  I always wondered what sorrows she was experiencing at that moment in time.  I still feel sorry for her to this day.

I experienced some extremely low points in my life that I thought I could never return.  What’s so good about today? I’m grateful for what I have.

My Mother’s Eulogy

When our mother passed, I realized what I truly missed the most:  listening to her working late at night at the kitchen table creating a new piece of jewelry.  It was her creativity that I will always cherish.

When she was a little girl during World War II, she walked into a local CSO, determined to knit a sweater for a GI (never mind that she didn’t know how to knit). The ladies told this child to come back when she was older.  She said, “No!  Let me try!”  She walked out with yarn and a pattern.  She taught herself how to knit and a lucky GI was the recipient of her first sweater.

Years later she had knit exceptional Irish cable stitch sweaters for her husband which were followed by beautiful sweaters for her children and then grandchildren.

There was nothing that her hands couldn’t create:  she painted, embroidered, and sewed. She made her daughters’ party dresses.  Later, she made doll-sized pillows, blankets, and rugs for her granddaughters.

Our mother joined the Red Hat Society.  When she couldn’t find a suitable red hat, she decorated a red hat with her hand-made jewelry.

She loved to hear about the triumphs and adventures of my friends.  She was concerned with my friends sorrows.  In essence, this was my mother:  she always cared about other people.  Even when she was in the hospital, she was more concerned for her roommate than for herself.

She loved to hear about the many triumphs and adventures of my friends’ children and then finally her circle included her grandchildren. Our mother loved the nightly calls  . . .

. . . Mum, you taught your children to love books, art, and needle craft. You taught your children the phrase, “I can.” Please don’t worry about us–we’ll always watch out for one another.  And some day soon we’ll fulfill one of your dreams of taking a paddle-boat ride down the Mississippi.

In a eulogy given by Mark Twain to his daughter, I quote:

“Warm summer sun, shine brightly here/Warm Southern wind, blow softly here/Green sod above lie light, lie light/Good night, dear heart; good night, good night.”

Mom, we love you.

Author Highlight: Campanelli: Siege of the Nighthunter by Frederick Crook


Campanelli: Siege of the Nighthunter

June, 2110. A serial killer strikes the populace of the City of Chicago. The first victim is a wanted man by Detective Frank Campanelli’s Sentinel Division. His body had been mutilated and, from the evidence uncovered by forensic genius, H. Lincoln Rothgery, it has been partially consumed. The unknown invader leaves a trail of corpses behind in short order, including that of a homicide detective.

To add to the mystery, the DNA evidence retrieved from a stolen vehicle indicates that the killer is former military, but special encoding prevents the murderer from being identified. Frank’s partner, Marcus Williams, seems to know more about what’s going on than he lets on, until the former Navy SEAL calls in a friend from the FBI to help.

“The Nighthunter”, as the media has labeled him, instills terror and virtually shuts down Chicago. Together, Campanelli, Williams, and the agent must work to capture the enigmatic and frighteningly efficient cannibal.

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Excerpt from, “Campanelli: Siege of the Nighthunter”

Lincoln caught Frank’s gaze. “We found two different types of blood, two sets of DNA in the car.”

“Go on,” McLain prompted.

“Herman Werner’s and the killer’s. No ID’s been matched to his,” Rothgery stated and stood from his chair. He stepped between the two detectives and stepped casually toward the sedan. “The killer’s DNA has been engineered, as has the blood, but there’s no identification to be found in the cells. He is a he and appears to be of military origin, but it goes beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

“So, you’re telling me that the killer is a soldier. American?” Frank asked as he stopped next to Lincoln and stared at the driver’s seat of the ruined car.

“I can’t even determine that without a serial number, Frank.”

“Soldier or not, Mister Rothgery…how the hell did he get outta that?” McLain asked from Lincoln’s other side. The big man waved his hand over the wreckage as he spoke. “That should’ve been fatal…engineered genes or not.”

“I agree.” Rothgery slid his glasses from his Roman nose and rubbed his eyes with his free hand. “Gherling is still researching the DNA and the blood while Teri is carrying out more tests.”

“You said Werner’s blood was in the car,” Frank stated.

“Yeah,” Lincoln said then nodded. “Not much of it, though. A lot of the DNA we found in it was from hairs in the carpets and seats. My opinion is that he used the car for some time. Months, perhaps close to a year.”

“So, Werner was cut out of the seatbelt…then thrown through the air.” Kirby stepped up to the side of the car and studied the sliced seatbelt. In the bright light, the precision cut was much more impressive.

“Definitely,” H. Lincoln affirmed as he replaced his eyeglasses. “And…before I forget…there are teeth marks on the body.”

“We saw those,” Frank said. He leaned back on the workbench behind him and crossed his arms. “The bites on the shoulder.”

“I’m not talking about those, Frank.”

This took Kirby’s attention from the wreck to the forensic genius. “What are you trying to say, Mister Rothgery?”

“I’m saying he had a little nibble on some muscle tissue while he cut out the heart and liver. It’s also confirmed that the heart and liver were eaten.” Lincoln met the eyes of McLain then looked to Campanelli.

“God,” Kirby uttered and stepped away from the sedan as if it exuded heat.

“How do you come to that, Lincoln?” Frank asked.

“Pieces of both organs were left behind in the car. Nothing more than shreds, really. Seems he had to pick them out of his teeth as he drove.”

Frank lifted his right hand to his chin and rested it, keeping the left arm tucked. “You’re telling me that we have a soldier of unknown origin turned cannibal, running around the streets of Chicago.”

“From everything we’ve gathered so far, Frank, that’s about the size of it.”

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Author Bio

Frederick was born

in Chicago in 1970 and now lives in Villa Park with his wife, Rae and their three dachshunds. He began by writing fictional works all through high school, but didn’t take himself seriously until 2009, when Frederick began writing his first novel, The Dregs of Exodus, which was self-published in late 2010. This was followed up with another novel, The Pirates of Exodus in 2012.

Throughout that year and 2013, he continued writing and published four short stories in eBook form for Kindle. Runt Pulse, The Fortress of Albion, Lunar

Troll, and Campanelli: The Ping Tom Affair.

His third novel, Campanelli: Sentinel, was picked up by Solstice Publishing in late 2014. The novella, Minuteman Merlin, was released for the Kindle by Solstice Publishing in March of 2015 and followed up by his fourth

novel, Of Knight & Devil in September. His fifth novel, Campanelli: Siege of the Nighthunter was released by Solstice in March, 2016.

He is currently an editor for Solstice Publishing and working on novel number six, a paranormal historical fiction.

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