Thursday, July 17, 2014

Today's my birthday!

Today is my birthday and I wanted to do something special for all the people who have followed my adventures. For one day only, I've made my book, The Codename: Carla Casebook, available as a free Kindle download on! The offer will only be available until 3 am Eastern time (12 midnight Pacific), so you have to act soon. Enjoy six of my strangest missions without any cost to you. C'mon, everybody likes free stuff, so check it out:

Now I have to run. My Mom and Aunt Trudy are taking me out for a birthday pedicure and lunch. See ya'!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Big Events and an Old Case Reopens

The Fourth of July weekend was one of the best I've experienced in a long time. For once, I was not away on assignment and could spend time with my family. We had a cookout in the backyard, stuffing ourselves on burgers and ribs. Then we drank too much beer and wine and watched the fireworks. It felt a lot like the Independence Days of my youth, except the composition of my family is quite different now.

My new family includes two people with whom I have no biological connection. I'm speaking of my mother's fiance Bradley Huggins and his daughter Roxanne. Bradley Huggins used to be my old high school principal and he and my mother worked together many years ago. After my dad died, he and my mother started dating. It was a big adjustment for me, trying to think of the guy who used to yell at me for putting on makeup in class as the object of my mother's romantic yearnings. I knew intellectually that he was not replacing my father, but emotionally I felt a little bit of betrayal. Anyway, all that's behind me. After all I've been through over the past four years, I'm only concerned with my mother's happiness and, for some reason, Brad (still can't get used to calling him that) makes her very happy.

I'm even getting used to Roxanne. When I met her almost four years ago, she was a bratty, superficial college student who was more concerned with wearing the latest fashions and having rhinestones on her phone than with any serious academic or career pursuits. I thought she was a real lost cause. Today she's...well, she's still kinda bratty and superficial, but she at least has a good job with a public relations firm in DC. She brought along her boyfriend to our cookout. Dark, smoldering good looks and smooth banter. He wore a crisp polo shirt and madras shorts. I wasn't surprised when Roxanne told me he was a lobbyist. Oh well.

Actually, I think I buried the lead.  Brad and my mom decided to get married this weekend! It's going to be a small affair with a few friends in our backyard. They know someone who is one of those Internet-ordained ministers, so he will be officiating. Best of all, my Aunt Trudy is in from Wisconsin. I thought it might be a little weird for my father's sister to watch his wife marry another man, but she and my mom are like sisters now. We had had almost no contact with Aunt Trudy for quite some time, but after my little adventure in the land of cheese a couple years ago, Aunt Trudy has become a regular fixture in our lives, even if it's often through the virtual world of email and Facebook. So she's been here since July 3rd and is hanging around for the wedding and my birthday on the 17th.

Which reminds me, in honor of my birthday, I've planned a little surprise. I'll let you know more about it next week. Now it's back to work. It's funny how people never quite go away when you are in the intelligence business. Once you think a case is closed, some aspect of it resurfaces in another form or fashion. The name Horatio Zaman has popped up again. I wrote about him in my book. He left us a little present and there's some very smart people in Princeton who are looking it over. Since I was the agent on the original case, The Colonel has asked me to work closely with the research people up there. I might be taking a long drive up I-95 in the near future.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Returning With Great News!

Yes, I'm sorry. I ran out on you without a warning. I should have at least left a note. The truth is, after my experience in New Mexico back in the fall of 2011, things got a little complicated. The Colonel gave me a promotion of sorts. No pay raise; just more responsibilities. I was so eager to prove my worthiness, I lost track of the blog. Or maybe I didn't need the blog as much.

You see, when I started the blog in the summer of 2010, I was expressing my frustration, my confusion, my loneliness, all the crazy stuff that was swirling around in my head. The new job was making me crazy. It was like my eighth grade math class. As the school year went by, I became more and more lost. I didn't understand what the teacher was trying to convey to me, but I was too ashamed to say anything. I assumed that I was the only one who didn't get it, although I'm sure at least half the class probably felt the same way I did. The algebra train was moving too fast for me and I wanted it to slow down so I could catch up, but admitting that would make me look stupid.

Then, somewhere around the spring, things started to click in my head. Those equations started to make sense. I was getting it, and my confidence soared. That is sort of what happened after New Mexico. Not to say that I haven't had some challenges. At times, I've questioned whether I could keep going in this job that's like a funhouse built on quicksand. But, as the old song goes, I'm still here.
And that brings me to my good news! I've been writing down my experiences over the years during those slow periods between cases. I've shared some of my work in this blog. Some of my more important cases, like the one in Vermont and the other in New Mexico, are simply too involved to cover here and really deserve their own books. And then there's the cases that are somewhere in between. For those stories, I decided to put them together in a collection I call The Codename: Carla Casebook. It's available now as a book with a real cover and pages with words and everything. Or you can do the electronic thing as well. I've included a few of my early experiences before the blog started, my second run-in with those creatures from Las Vegas, a brief return to the Navy, and my most personally challenging case to date. I hope you'll get a copy and catch up with some of my exploits both old and new. I'll also try to post more to the blog.

Again I really apologize for disappearing, but that's what us agents do sometimes. You can't trust us as far as you can throw us.