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travlbug

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  1. travlbug

    Chapter 2

    Chop Shop--what a great name for a hair salon! (If I ever start my own barbershop, I'll call it The Golden Forfex [in honor of The Rape of the Lock! 😉]) Gary has crossed the line, but at least he doesn't try to force Hunter when he demurs. (I am intrigued as to what type of individual would pay $100 per "date" for a sham relationship. Even if Hunter were receptive to selling sexual favors, the relationship would still be a sham.) So, has Gary found Hunter's workplace by chance, or is he stalking him?
  2. travlbug

    Chapter 8

    Derry may be annoyed at his mother's move-related communications, but at least he knows that he's wanted. As Isaac says, "[My mother] just up and left my ass behind…." Yet, Isaac's two Dads have turned his life around. Nik's Pappas have done the same with him. (The sex of the parent is irrelevant: it's the love and support that count. [Duh.]) As an aside, situations like these always remind me of "Love is All it Takes to Make a Family" by Romanovsky and Phillips. (It's worth a listen.) Mom tries to sell Derry's car? She is officially insane. (I can't even go there.) And Jack remains the perfect boyfriend. (He even delivers coffee!) 🥰
  3. I could see the water-color illustrations in my head as Lucy's adventure played out! "And the Caldecott Medal goes to...."
  4. I'd been wondering for a while why Kyle's grandparents hadn't reached out to him, so I appreciate that the situation is mentioned in this chapter. He might consider a meeting with his sibs before reaching out to the grandparents. My husband's parents used to live in Las Vegas, and we never had a problem visiting them during the summer. We'd use their house as home base to go on bookstore safaris. (You wouldn't think it, but at one time, Las Vegas was a bookstore mecca. [RIP Amber Unicorn.]) One sad bit of reality: Psychopaths tend to run in families, not because of a "psychopath gene" but because of gene groups which predispose to psychopathy. The children forcibly produced by the Greene brothers' rapes will need to make a moral decision on whether to have children themselves. Thanks, @kbois, for gifting us with another wonderful tale. I will be looking forward to your shifter novel with great anticipation! (Can't wait until Skippy learns he can turn into a poodle! 😂)
  5. travlbug

    Chapter 20

    I love that the story switches to the victims' point of view, and the basement scene does an excellent job of portraying their feelings and circumstances. I love that Greene's decision to duct tape Kyle's wrists ultimately proves his undoing: Without the duct tape, his wrist would have been too swollen to pull through the cuff, and the tape creates the space for Kyle to escape. (Further, without his Houdini training or gun practice, Kyle couldn't have killed Greene. However, what really makes Kyle a hero is his perseverance: Despite complete exhaustion and pain, with a head wound and self-inflicted broken thumb [to effect his escape], he dives for the gun, takes aim, and does what's necessary, and he does all this without a second thought. It's just the right thing to do.) I've sent Bruce a gift card for a free steak! 😉 But Jett gets the real prize. 🥰
  6. travlbug

    Chapter 1

    Andy is truly a character. (She wears her lust on her sleeve!) Hunter is likewise a character, already making a small profit from his artistic endeavors. Further, I'm curious as to how he became an "escort," even if he doesn't consider himself to be one. (I love how he calls Gary a "sugar daddy with restrictions," but he is clearly using the man for personal gain, even if Gary finds the situation equitable.)
  7. travlbug

    Chapter 7

    “If you wanted more children, maybe you could have had fewer headaches!” Best line in the chapter. Yes, Mom has been wronged by her husband, but that doesn't excuse her selfishness: She actually expects Derry to give up Jack, his friends, and his senior year to enable her personal idea of a "fresh start." She interprets his refusal just as selfishly (as siding against her). It's obvious that Derry loves her, but he can't reason with her. Of course Dad uses a tea infuser. That said, he reheats his tea, so he could still be a philistine. Actually, while Dad's infidelity may have been the last straw, the marriage was already broken, and Derry is only now being made aware. Dad is proving to be Derry's rock in this crisis: With Mom's behavior flighty and unpredictable, Dad remains reliable and is the only parent to offer Derry physical comfort. If a judge were to ask which parent he wants to live with, Derry couldn't have a clearer choice. Isaac is very lickable--er--likeable. I love how the "Isaac" portion of chapter (with its joy/happiness) contrasts with the seriousness engendered by Derry's parents and homelife.
  8. travlbug

    AOC 12

    And lest I forget.... Many thanks, Ivor, for another wonderful story. Your gift with words is very much appreciated.
  9. travlbug

    AOC 12

    Amazing how just a few people can diminish life for everyone--how much better life becomes with the removal of just a few bad apples from the school power structure. Jackson and Renolds get off easy, being fired but avoiding charges. (Principal Abbot was an incompetent boob and deserved to be replaced.) Sad to hear that Wayne's father is forced to serve his entire sentence, but he leaves prison with no restrictions. (If he were released on parole, I'm sure that the bad guys who put him in prison would have arranged for him to violate the parole.) Good luck, Jerry, you're still young and--being a good guy--are sure to find happiness. I presume that Wayne spends his 3-week disappearance on a vision quest, or other spiritual quest, on Comanche lands; and he is now ready to commit himself to Ethan, body and soul. (As if there were ever any doubt. ) And Ethan (you dog!), you have found your perfect mate. Woof! And they all lived happily ever after--in California! (@weinerdog, I'll see you at Mysterious Galaxy, my favorite San Diego bookstore! I'll be the customer who looks like a hamster. )
  10. travlbug

    Chapter 19

    John Howard Davies is the only Oliver of the silver screen to look in need of a good meal. (Dickie Moore actually had chubby cheeks!) That said, I echo the sentiment! ❤ As an aside, if anyone is wondering why Benny Hill went off the air, this little guy axed his show as a grown-up BBC producer. I guess he didn't want any more! 😂🤣😉
  11. travlbug

    Chapter 19

    "Romano" was sloppy, purchasing the house under his own alias, and the combination of Nikki's remembrance and modern technology has led the police directly to the bad guys' door. (I'm amazed at the power--and reach--of today's high tech, but I'll never lose my love for the "ratiocination" of the golden-age detectives!) My big fear is that the situation will devolve into a hostage standoff and/or actual injury to Kim and Kyle, especially with the Greene's cornered and with "Marc Greene" likely refusing to be taken alive (just to go back to prison).
  12. travlbug

    Chapter 1

    So heaven is the true "bait and switch"--a self-selecting trap for bigots and the intellectually straightjacketed, not to mention televangelist audiences (or is that redundant? 😂). Now watch, someone will complain because I said that televangelist audiences are going to heaven. The Devil wears Prada? Actually... I love that Lucifer uses the Socratic method in response to Gabriel's queries! (That's why they called him Socra-tease! ) I'd ask how Gabriel woke up in Hell to begin with, but @kbois would probably answer with another question! 🤣
  13. travlbug

    Chapter 18

    "This may be a hard chapter to read. Mentions kidnapping, rape, incest, corruption, blackmail and murder." I'm trying to figure which of the 7 deadly sins did NOT make it into the Greene brothers' repertoire! 😅 "Double the evil / double your fun"--with apologies to Wrigley's gum. No wonder "Marc Greene" was able to accomplish the impossible! I can't even imagine what a kidnap victim goes through. (I keep thinking of John Paul Getty III and Konerak Sinthasomphone.) Knowing that the Greenes intend to kill them, Kyle and Kim have nothing to lose in a no-holds-barred attempt to break free, but I doubt they'll escape without help.
  14. travlbug

    AOC 11

    Sad that some people have to be threatened to do what's right. BTW, Jerry's sperm donor is a Klootzak!
  15. travlbug

    Chapter 6

    "I'm here if you need me, okay? I know you have Jack, but I'll be the backup plan, okay?" Derry, you may not have realized it before, but Jared's a good friend. Mr. Benson does not blame himself or his ex-wife for their divorce: He's a wise man. When Derry and Jack question whether they can forgive their Dad and Mom, respectively, Mr. Benson puts the situation into perspective: "What your parents did wasn't about you…. ...You have to remember that they didn't do this with the intention of hurting you. They did it for other reasons – unhappiness, the need to feel...something other than what they did…. They are still the same people. They still feel the same way toward you." Again, Mr. Benson proves a wise man. "If you [Luke] start to stress...talk to one of us. Get some perspective…" Derry, I think that Mr. Benson's smarts may be rubbing off on you! (If this chapter has a theme, it's about maintaining perspective! ) So, Derry, have you figured out why Nik seems familiar? 🤔
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