Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
In the picture below, are three preview reviews. Click on the picture and it will show you the reviews in detail. A link to the first three chapters is presented below.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The Anima by Lucas White is about a terrible creature in another country. The story reminds us then when we go abroad we have to see things differently. We also may be forced to make terrible choices in order to protect ourselves.
I made my way to the bar at the back of the room and ordered a Heineken. From there, I observed the people at the tables nearby when I first saw her. She caught the attention of one male admirer after another, each rebuffed until she sat alone. Her tight black sweater accentuated her full breasts. I studied her copper hair, framing her fine-boned, pale face. She was stunning, unattainable by any of the men who sought her.
A heavily muscled blond man sat down beside her without invitation. She shook her head before he had a chance to say anything. When he put his left hand on her shoulder, she grasped his forearm with her right hand and twisted. The force of her motion lifted him out of his chair and spun him on to the floor.
He landed on his back and slid a few feet. He shook his head, as if to clear his mind, and then rose. He rolled up his shirtsleeve and examined his forearm. Even from where I sat, I could see the marks of her fingers. The man backed away, and then walked quickly to the other side of the room. A few people looked over, but turned away. I couldn't imagine how a petite woman could generate such force.
As I gazed at her, she gave me a bemused smile. I hesitated, even when her smile widened. She beckoned me with her finger, and I walked to her table and sat down opposite her.
“Hello, I'm Frank Thornton.”
“Nessa Harcanu,” she said in a husky voice with a trace of an accent.
“I assume it's safe for me to sit here.”
“I invited you, but he made an unwanted boorish advance.” Her glinting eyes accentuated her message.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The only banking or investment system that was not in any fiscal danger while the world teetered on the precipice of economic catastrophe was the Vampire Banking System (VBS.) Technically, the consortium of investment houses that make up the VBS are not banks. However, we provide all the services that investment houses offer. VBS institutions make individual and corporate loans, but never make or buy home loans. Each member of the VBS is a private legal Corporation in the country in which it functions. Most people have never heard of the VBS because it is private, and caters mainly to vampires. However, some mortals are allowed to use the services of a member of the VBS.
While great investment firms such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and others went out of existence, the VBS flourished. No individual or company with assets in the VBS institution was ever in danger of losing one dollar. In fact, from the spring of 2007 until the end of February 2009 the total assets of members of the VBS doubled. How was this possible? Senior members of the VBS institutions have hundreds of years of experience in dealing in precious metal, trading commodities, and knowing the difference between an opportunity and a foolish risk. Vampires running these institutions have extremely long-term perspectives on economic cycles. Most of their clients have very long-term outlooks on their investments.
Starting in the spring of 2007, my firm, Harcanu Associates, began to invest modest amounts of money in complicated trading instruments predicated on the housing disaster that soon followed. As a participant in the VBS Commodities Exchange, we used the expertise of senior traders whose experience in commodity trading goes back to the Middle Ages. Members of the VBS were long oil while the price of oil was going up, and short oil while the price of oil was going down. My firm made judicious purchases of corporate bonds of solid companies whose price had dropped so their effective yields were over 15%. We also bought shares of oil and gas tight line companies that were down 80 or 90% from their highs and now provide yields of 20% or higher. Harcanu Associates will continue to look for opportunities, but given the overall yield our current investments, it is unlikely we make any significant new investments. However, as vampires we are the most prepared for the unexpected and will continue to assure the safety of our investments.