Cover Reveal for “Riddle” by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

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On May 25th at 9:00 AM ET (until 6:00 PM ET) please join me as I reveal the cover for my new book, “Riddle”. I am very impressed with the artwork of Rachel Bostwick who has captured the essence of the story.
There will be games and prizes and, I hope, fun. So put on your most comfortable clothes, find a relaxing spot, grab your favorite beverage, and join me on Facebook.
What’s the “riddle”? Check out the Riddle page on Facebook for a clue.

“The Olympus Project” by Ted Tayler

The Olympus ProjectThe Olympus Project by Ted Tayler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When is a bad guy not really a bad guy? When he is Phoenix in Ted Tayler’s exciting book “The Olympus Project”. Tayler wastes no time in getting the action started in this high tech, guns blazing story of Colin Bailey. When I picked this book I didn’t realize Colin Bailey had made his initial appearance in an earlier Tayler book. This says a lot for “The Olympus Project” since it stands perfectly on its own. Tayler does a great job of giving Colin’s back story while weaving a tale of political intrigue, secret organizations, and romance. From the moment Colin Bailey is saved from drowning the story moves forward fluidly. Each new character is introduced and developed cleverly. Colin is drawn into the secret organization, The Olympus Project, and is re-named Phoenix. This seems a particularly brilliant choice since the rest of the world does not know that Colin is still alive. He has in fact, been raised from the ashes of his past life to be reborn as a trained and efficient killing machine. These killings are assigned by the mysterious group of British gentlemen and one very sexy woman based on the evil doings of the targets. These targets have escaped more conventional methods of punishment so the Project steps forward to take out the trash. Over the years they have developed a trained group of operatives with the demand their work remain secret. As Phoenix embarks on his assignments he perfects his already excellent skills and becomes a top champion of good versus evil. Using brilliant details and plans Tayler creates missions that are both exciting and believable. Underneath it all he generates a sexual tension between Phoenix and the emotionally wounded but very sensual Athena. Carrying painful baggage from her past she is reluctant to become involved with Phoenix but the desire increases and soon she has to admit what her fellow cabal members already know. Using current issues of political and economic concern Tayler gives the story an intensely realistic feel. By the end of the book I was panting for more. I can’t wait to read the next installment. Tayler wisely leaves the reader with questions that demand answers. While I’m waiting for the sequel I plan to go back to Colin Bailey’s roots to learn more about what makes this fascinating character tick.

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Coming Soon!! “Riddle”

Only a few weeks more until my new book, “Riddle” will be released on Amazon and Createspace. This is nothing like my first book, “View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale”. While it also deals with a social issue, the primary characters are much younger and have different life experiences.
Kort Eriksen is a young man born in the Yukon and illegally adopted by a white family. Growing up as the only native in his town he has difficulty making friends and is practically an outcast. In addition his adopted father is abusive and his adopted mother does nothing to protect him. As a teen in high school he is accused of murdering his girlfriend, popular cheerleader Desiree Steele, and despite only circumstantial evidence is sent to prison. Because he is a juvenile he is released after seven years and he returns to the town of Riddle. The town is split in its beliefs of his guilt or innocence.
Grace Donahue left home after finding her fiancé in bed with her maid of honor just before the wedding. Driving cross country in an effort to leave her painful past behind her, her car breaks down in Riddle. As she waits for her car to be repaired she takes a job at a local diner to earn money to pay for the repairs. Soon she and Kort become friends and she is slowly drawn into the drama that is Riddle.
Along with a cast of characters ranging from Butch, Desiree’s ex-boyfriend who is now the town deputy, Norma, Kort’s high school friend who has been in love with him for years, and a variety of others, tensions grow in Riddle. Accidents, murders, and mysteries ensue. The body count grows and questions are raised.
This is a story of injustice, love, and murder. It’s guaranteed to keep you guessing until the very end. I hope you’ll join me in “Riddle”, get to know the characters, and decide who you think the killer might be.
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“Chapter One
Kort gazed out the bus window as the countryside sped by. Seven years, seven months, and seven days and things looked the same. Turning away from the window he tried to stretch his long legs in the cramped space allocated to passengers of all shapes and sizes. Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of a young boy, maybe nine or ten, staring at him. A child’s cowboy hat sat crookedly on the boy’s head. Suddenly the boy lifted his hand and squinted his eyes like a sheriff in a wild west adventure; he pretended to shoot at Kort. Kort did not react. He didn’t blink, he didn’t smile, he didn’t frown. A woman peered over the top of the seat and catching sight of Kort’s impassive stare she pulled the child back, out of Kort’s line of vision.
“But Mom he’s an Indian.” the child protested rather loudly.
Over the tops of the seats Kort could see some heads turn as the mother shushed the child, admonishing him to lower his voice and stay in his seat.
The bus grew still again but after a few minutes the small head peeked back at Kort and the boy stuck out his tongue. He was swiftly pulled back and the sound of a soft slap followed by whimpering once again broke the silence.
Kort leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Seven years, seven months, and seven days and nothing had really changed. He was older, taller, and leaner. He had earned his high school diploma and put a Bachelor of Science degree on his almost bare resume. His hair had grown long; he’d grown a beard and shaved it off. But his skin still carried the bronze of his heritage.
He felt the bus turning and opening his eyes he saw they were coming into town. There was a new gas station at the highway exit, bigger and shinier. Several more businesses had popped up on the road. As the bus wove its way more deeply into town he saw the high school. The football team was practicing, the cheerleaders jumped up and down their short red skirts flapping in the cool autumn air. He saw one girl, her blonde ponytail bouncing with each hop and felt a pang remembering Desiree.
He closed his eyes again and for a moment he was seventeen with the future stretched out before him and all the promise of life yet to live. No point going there. He was no longer seventeen. He was a grown man of twenty-six with a criminal record. He was a convicted killer and no one would see him as anything else.
As the bus slowed he opened his eyes. No one would be waiting for him. His adoptive father had died while he was in prison. His adoptive mother blamed him saying the stress of his crime was too much for her husband to bear. She conveniently ignored the fact that the man was almost seventy years old, had smoked since he was a teenager, drank beer like water, and straight single malt that smelled like tar. He was at least seventy pounds overweight. That had no impact on his demise. It was Kort’s fault.
The bus stopped and the mother slipped out of the seat past her son and began gathering the few belongings they carried with them. As she led the boy off the bus he turned back to look at Kort and gave him a conspiratorial wink. Perhaps some things had changed.
Surprised, Kort watched as they waited at the side of the bus for their luggage to be unloaded. Then standing up slowly, careful not to bump his head, he slipped into his denim jacket and made his way off the bus. The rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to break through the clouds. As he removed his small suitcase from the bus drivers hand he heard a woman’s voice call out his name. His stomach tightened as he turned to see Norma standing on the walkway. He recognized her immediately although her dark hair was cut short now and she had filled out to a more womanly shape during his stay away. But her nose still turned up slightly and her dark eyes still glittered like deep pools under a glowing moon. Norma moved toward him, her step slightly hesitant. He noticed she wore a white uniform.
“Norma.” He tried to keep the surprise out of his voice but it crept through.
She looked up at him and he thought she was a lot shorter than he remembered.
“You’ve gotten so tall,” she whispered before standing on her tiptoes to place a light kiss on his chin.
Of course she wasn’t shorter, he was taller.
“How did you know…” he began, but she cut him off.
“Everyone knows. You’re the talk of the town.” Norma took hold of his hand and led him toward the parking lot beside the depot. “Let’s get out of here before someone comes along and tries to start trouble.”
“How did you know what bus I’d be on?” Kort asked as she used her key fob to unlock a small black car.
“I called and asked your mother if I could come down to meet you with her,” she responded, popping open her truck so he could stow his bag. “When she told me she wasn’t coming I knew I had to be here. Welcome home Kort. I missed you.” Norma smiled up at him and for a moment it was as though no time had passed and they were just standing outside Doc’s Apothecary and Fountain.
But that moment passed quickly when a voice called out, “Be careful there Norma or you might end up down by the river with your hair cut off and your brains bashed in.”
They turned to see a young man in greasy coveralls walking away. He cast one glance back at them before turning the corner and disappearing inside the station.
Norma laid her hand lightly on Kort’s arm. “Don’t pay any attention. Some people just don’t know how to let go of the past.”
Still staring in the direction the man had gone Kort asked, “Who the hell was that?”
Norma opened the passenger side door, “Doug Sutton.”
Kort folded his body into the front seat. Doug Sutton; running back on the high school football team. One of the jocks. One of the angry boys who had testified against him at trial. An angry boy who apparently had grown into an angry man. Norma slipped into the driver’s seat and put on her seat belt. “Put your seat belt on Kort.”
“Some things never change,” he thought as he pulled the strap across his chest.
Neither of them noticed the uniformed officer leaning against the counter in the diner across the street.
“So, you want a quick tour of the new and improved Riddle?” Norma turned onto Main Street headed toward downtown.
Kort smiled wryly, “I don’t know. Is it safe?’
Laughing, Norma said, “Don’t worry. I’ll protect you.”


I know that two hundred and seventy-nine people are going to die tomorrow. I know where it will happen but not the location. I know the names of every person who will die but I do not know them. For the last month I have seen their faces in my dreams. I have heard their screams. The first time I had the dream the only thing I recalled on waking was the disaster. I watched the plane as it dropped lower and lower in the sky. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue. There were a few fluffy white clouds that resembled puffs of pillow stuffing. The plane dropped, faster and faster. I opened my mouth to scream but no sound came from my throat. I jumped awake seconds before the plane would have hit the earth, leaving a long gouge in the green grass, exposing the rich red earth beneath. My body was covered in a thin film of cooling sweat.
People dream about plane crashes. I’ve had friends tell me about dreams like that. They dream and when they are awake the next day they go about their business, the dream forgotten. They have pushed the dream to the back of their minds and unless something out of the ordinary happens they will likely forget it completely in a day or two. I pushed my dream to the back of my mind. I pushed it as hard as I could. But when I sat in front of my computer at work, poring over meaningless information, I could still see the plane dropping from the sky.
Five nights later I had the dream again. I had the dream again but it was not exactly the same. The sky and clouds were the same. The plane was dropping slowly, like a paper airplane that had lost its hold of the drafts that would keep it airborne. Now I was inside the plane. I looked out the window to my left. I saw the crazy tilted angle of the wing. I looked to my right. There was a middle aged man beside me who I did not recognize. His eyes were wide and his hands clenched the back of the seat in front of him. Next to him was a middle aged woman. Her mouth was moving but I could not hear any sound. I thought she might be praying. Looking out the window once again I realized the green earth was rushing up to meet us. I wanted to close my eyes but some compulsion made me continue to watch as death opened her arms to welcome me, to welcome all of us. There was a jolt and I sat up in bed, breathless, heart pounding, and a silent scream in my throat.
The next day I could hardly function as the dream filled my mind. It played over and over behind my eyes. I accomplished nothing at work. I spent the day staring at the computer monitor. I placed my fingers on the keyboard but they never moved. Co-workers asked if I was sick, told me I looked pale, suggested I go home early. I did not want to go home. If I went home I might sleep and if I slept I might dream the dream again.
After a couple of days it began to fade. It never left my mind entirely but it faded like an old color photo that’s hung on the wall for years, the sunlight striking it until all the color and life had been leached out of it. I began to feel safe. I began to sleep through the night again.
I should have known better. Hope is a funny thing. Hope combined with fear is even funnier. It lulls you into a false sense of safety because anything else is too horrifying to accept. I was lulled into that lie, that make believe peaceful place, where dreams are only dreams.
It was seven days after the second dream when the third dream came. It came with a newfound vividness. It came complete with sights, sounds, and smells. The man beside me smelled of whiskey and sweat. Beads of that sweat stood out on his upper lip like shiny transparent globes. His voice was a low deep throated moan that escaped his lips and lingered in the air like a mournful song. The woman was not praying. She was repeating a name, over and over like an old vinyl record that skipped on a scratch, unable to proceed unless someone gave it a tap. The tap came. Te tap came as the plane impacted the earth. I felt the vibrating seat, watched the grass and dirt fly up outside the window. I smelled fuel and flames. Mercifully I woke. I did not jolt awake. I did not suddenly find myself sitting up in my bed. I simply opened my eyes. It was still night. The only light was the reflection of the streetlight outside my window throwing bars across the ceiling as it forced its way between the slats of my blinds. I did not go to work the next day.
I did not go to work for the next three days. I could not bear to hear the comments on my appearance, the very polite suggestions that I should see a doctor. I could not stare at the computer monitor, terrified I would see that man’s face staring back at me, pleading for me to help him.
Then I had a week without the dream. Just when I thought I was safe, just when I believed I could sleep at night and wake the next morning, shower, dress, grab a latte and head to the office, just then the dream came again.
I was not in a seat in the cabin. I was in the cockpit. My hands were locked around the plane’s wheel. I was watching the white fluffy clouds float by in that beautiful cerulean sky. When I looked straight ahead I saw that bright green grass; grass that looked as though it had been painted a blade at a time by a magical brush. The earth was rushing at me. I was not afraid. I was not unafraid. I was nothing. It was inevitable and I accepted it. When I met the ground this time it was not a gentle jolt, it was a punch that drove my entire body sharply back in the seat. I watched the blades of grass separate and fly into the air and the rich red earth part like a woman giving birth. Only we were not being born, we were dying. We were being surrounded by earth and grass and the yellow orange of flames. I did not wake up. The dream faded and I slept on.
The next morning I woke and went to work. I waited. I waited that day, I waited the next day. I waited a week. I walked in a dream. I worked in a dream. Everyone said I looked much better. I told them I felt better. They said it must have been a bug, an allergy, the change of seasons. I agreed. I agreed with every one of them.
On the way to work I passed a store with televisions in the window. A crowd of people stood and stared at the screens, every one turned to the same program. I saw the flames. I saw the blue sky and the green grass, and the angry red gash in the earth. Two hundred and seventy nine people died. I watched for a few minutes. The crowd around me murmured horror, fear, and mourning. I went to work.
That was three months ago. Last night I dreamed I was standing beside train tracks. I could see the bright headlight of a train speeding toward me. I did not hear it. I watched it approach, the light cutting through the black night like a sword splitting dark velvet. Gray fog like mist drifted along the tracks, clinging to the ground like hungry fingers. I watched the train speed past and then it leaped from the tracks as though it could fly like the plane. It left the tracks and began its journey across the grass and the earth, cutting through it and leaving a swath of red like an open wound. The cars tumbled one on top of the other, crumpling like aluminum foil that will be discarded when it is no longer of any use. The lights behind the windows flickered and some went out.
I woke. I was not screaming. My heart was not racing. One hundred and eighty eight people were going to die. Sometime in about a month they would board a train journeying to homes, on vacations, to jobs, until they would be embraced by the flames. I knew their names. I knew the names of every one of them.

“Aria: Left Luggage” by Geoff Nelder

ARIA: Left LuggageARIA: Left Luggage by Geoff Nelder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is perhaps the most innocently thought provoking book I have ever read. What would happen if everyone began to experience memory loss? How would the world be affected by the gradual but constant loss of days, months, and years by every single person on earth? What happens if we all eventually regressed to infancy? Geoff Nelder attacks this question with fear and humor in “Aria: Left Luggage”. When the crew of the International Space Station finds a metallic suitcase mysteriously stuck in the struts of the space station the first question that arises is how did it get there? Then the inevitable question follows, should they open it or send it back to the labs on Earth to be examined? When the case is finally opened using less than secure procedures a virus is released on Earth that is unlike anything scientists could have imagined. Little by little people begin to lose their memories. Called ARIA, Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia, it sweeps the world, seemingly airborne and unavoidable. This is a fascinating tale of how important our memories are and how much we take them for granted. Nelder weaves a subtle tale where recent memories go first but as time goes by more and more memories are lost. Tension builds as younger victims are reduced to childhood and even infancy. Professionals like doctors and scientists regress until they are unable to perform job duties because they have forgotten what they learned to do. Panic ensues as violence and chaos sweep the earth. Amazingly there are pockets of people unaffected by the virus because they were able to avoid contamination. Meanwhile another suitcase appears on the ISS. Will this contain a cure or is there an even more disastrous virus about to be released on Earth? This is not simply a science fiction story. This is a story of the collapse of civilization as we know it and the behaviors of people thrust into unknown territory. The characters are real people confronting a frightening new world, some desperate to retain some semblance of normalcy while others struggle to function in spite of their mental deterioration. How much of our humanity relies on our ability to remember? How far would we go to protect ourselves from a sweeping virus that could eventually take everything that defines us? This is a story that confronts basic issues and makes the reader stop and think. A unique and insightful story it is a must read.

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Recent Interview

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Horton-Newton: Senior citizens are protagonists in JFK assassination thriller
View_From_the_Sixth__Cover_for_Kindle (1)
Welcome to this week’s guest, Elizabeth Horton-Newton. She was born and raised in New York City. She began writing when she was a child, writing stories for friends and family. In the 4th grade at P.S. 151 in Manhattan she wrote an essay about her dream job–she wanted to be an author. She continued to write short stories over the following years as she raised a family. After attending Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY and East Tennessee State University, she worked in the social work field for thirteen years. In addition to writing, she loves traveling and photography, even using one of her own photos for the cover of her book. She currently lives in E. Tennessee with her husband, author Neil Newton, and a collection of rescued dogs and cats, with frequent visits from her four children and five grandchildren. Her first book–View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale–was published in October 2014. She is currently working on her next book, Riddle, to be published in the Summer of 2015.

What brings your writing into focus– the characters, the stories, the love of words? For me, every story has a different motivator. When I first started View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale, the story was my focus. I had an idea and I wanted to get the story told. It seemed to move forward on its own. But in the end it was a combination of the story and the characters. In my current work in progress, the story is definitely what brings my writing into focus.

What inspired your latest book? View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale was inspired by my fascination with the assassination of President John Kennedy. I was ten when the assassination occurred and vividly remember everything about it, including seeing accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald being killed on television. As I got older I came to believe he was innocent and it was a conspiracy. After that, I wondered what might have happened if he had lived to tell his story. When the 50th anniversary came along, something clicked and the story was born.

What makes your book/characters unique? The main characters in View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale are senior citizens. Olivia Roberts is a widowed and retired school teacher. She is an ordinary woman caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Bill Horton is a mysterious man in his early seventies. Is he hiding something or is he crazy? They undertake an adventure as friends and learn more about themselves and one another. I think they show people can have lives even when they are older.

Would you share a bit about your next project? My current project is called Riddle. It’s a romantic thriller about a young Native man who was falsely convicted of killing his high school girlfriend. He’d been adopted by a white family as a baby and never really fit in with the other kids in the town, Riddle. When he returns from prison after seven years, some townspeople feel he got off easy and others believe he was railroaded. To add to the mix, we have a young girl who has run away from her fiancé after catching him in bed with her best friend. Her car broke down in Riddle, and she is working at a local diner until she has enough money to have it repaired. They become friends and begin to work together to clear his name and find the real killer. Meanwhile, more deaths begin to happen in the town. It has some tense moments and some very sexy moments but it isn’t erotic fiction. It’s definitely an exciting edge-of-your-seat mystery.

How much fact is in your fiction? In View From the Sixth Floor, Lee Harvey Oswald was a real person. I read a lot about him when I was researching the assassination. He was a fascinating person, and I used a lot of his reported characteristics in developing his character. The assassination obviously really occurred. With my current project, my male protagonist Kort is a Native who was adopted as a baby in an illegal adoption and was mistreated by his adoptive parents. Unfortunately that is a more common practice that people realize. I cover that underlying story throughout the book. I like to inject a little fact into my books.

“Lucy” A Film by Luc Besson

I wanted to see “Lucy”, directed by Luc Besson, while it was in theaters but it came and went so quickly I didn’t get the chance. Reviews were not that great and I figured I’d probably saved myself a few bucks and a couple of wasted hours. So tonight as my husband and sat down for our Saturday night Chinese take-out we decided to catch a movie “On Demand”. Having just seen Scarlett Johansson in the new “Avengers” film in the theater we decided to give “Lucy” a go.
Luc Besson is no stranger to science fiction since he directed “The Fifth Element”, and he is certainly familiar with action films, most of which I’ve seen and liked. “Lucy” was no disappointment in either of these categories.
I admit to be a tad concerned in the beginning as Lucy (Johansson) and her apparent boyfriend argue about the delivery of an aluminum briefcase. The seemingly pointless back and forth seemed to go on forever until she is forced to acquiesce to his wishes. He handcuffs her to the briefcase and forces her to go into a Taiwanese hotel demanding to see Mr. Jang. From the moment Jang’s gang of thugs arrive in the lobby the pace picks up.
Suddenly Lucy is thrust into the midst of a drug deal that is going south quickly. Coerced into becoming an unwitting accomplice, she finds herself transporting a new and exotic drug in a not so novel but quite unpleasant manner.
When her exposure to the drug causes her to change in amazing and ever evolving ways she desperately seeks a way to make good out of a very bad situation. Contacting the brilliant Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) she arranges a meeting after dazzling him with her growing mental capabilities.
Engaging the assistance of a French policeman Lucy races through Paris in order to acquire more of the drug which she now needs to maintain her changing metabolism.
With enough action and a lot of science Besson weaves a tale of where we come from, where we may be headed, and what makes us human. It’s more of a cerebral film than an action film. This one makes you think about what is and what isn’t important.
I confess I am particularly attracted to the movie because the things that happen to Lucy are tempting to me. The very idea that it would be possible to know everything and understand that knowledge is exciting. Of course there is a downside since all film goers know man cannot be God, even by accident.
I would give “Lucy” 5 out of 5 stars. I liked it a lot. I think Johansson was fabulous. It’s a lot more difficult to act emotionless and brilliant than fiery and forceful. She pulled it off.
If I were to speculate (and I am about to), I would think that Johansson’s cool persona, the lack of sexuality, limited violence and bloodshed, and a very scientific and insightful story line made “Lucy” less than a box office blockbuster. Hopefully one day the viewing audience will grow up enough to value brains over brawn.

The Road Less Traveled by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

We all knew about the shortcut that led to the high school. It ran along an old road and through a small tunnel before opening into the large field behind the sports field. As often as it was used to get to school by those who didn’t need another tardy on their record, more often it was used as a path to sneak away from school. The ground was littered with cigarette butts, the leftover stubs of marijuana cigarettes, glass from broken pipes, and even an occasional condom wrapper. Although the path was frequented during the day as soon as twilight came with its deep grays and blues and shadows filled the recesses of the tunnel, the path was not traveled. No one ever admitted they were afraid and there was no recorded incident of violence to keep people away. Instead there was an unspoken knowing that this was not a place to be when darkness fell. Even the most daring would not risk being in the tunnel if the sun was setting. No jokes and teasing that often accompany the fear of forbidden places were spoken of in reference to this space.
When Maria disappeared no one connected it to that place; that dark and wonderful link between here and there. No one wondered if she had walked there as the shadows lengthened because it was a given that no one would dare to. But I knew she had. I had seen her go. I never saw her again. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Airline Contrasts -First Class Luxury


I was clearing out my e-mail this morning and found an amusing contrast in recently received messages. First there was a nifty ad from Cheapo Flights which I have used in the past to book flights. Right under that e-mail was my daily dose of Delicious, links to a variety of interesting articles online. I scrolled through the selections before coming across one that caught my eye. “What an $18,000 Suite on a Singapore Airlines Flight Looks Like”. I did a double take. Seriously? Of course my curiosity was aroused. I knew quite well what a cheapo seat looked like. I had spent many flights squished against a window if I was lucky or squashed between two other travelers if I was less fortunate. Of course Cheapo flights cost nowhere near eighteen thousand dollars.
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I clicked on the article and off I went to see just what such a ridiculously exorbitant amount of money would buy. From an exclusive check-in area to a private waiting area called “The Private Room” furnished with crushed velvet and supple leather chairs I could already feel the dollars adding up. Toss in the meal you can order while you wait and the cha-ching was fairly deafening. Oh, and you can be called by any title you feel meets your station; King or Queen, Lord or Lady, President, Prince or Princess, Dr., and so forth. I don’t think anyone checks to see if you are entitled to use these titles either. But for $18,000 they probably should just take your word for it. This appealed to me; after all I have Siri call me “Your Majesty” when I deign to allow her to speak.
private room

The next photo in this tempting array is a set of stairs rising up to the First Class Suites. It must be akin to going to heaven, although the flyer does have to mount the steps under their own power. For that much money you should be carried on the backs of willing “passenger carriers”, or at least get an elevator ride. I’m already getting greedy.

Before you stretches a long hallway with suites on either side of the aisle. Yes, suites with doors and window shades to ensure privacy when desired. What delights await the traveler in their personal space! A recliner, any newspaper of your choice, champagne, and Bose headphones (not those little earbuds that cost a couple of bucks, fall out of your ears when you turn your head, and either break or get lost before your next flight requiring another purchase). I have no clue who Salvatore Ferragamo is but a kit with cologne and assorted goodies are presented.. Just the spelling of his name sounds like a few thousand dollars worth of scent. But we aren’t finished yet! Givenchy, a name I do recognize, supplies blankets, pillows, and pajamas for the wealthy traveler.

It’s time to settle down for what surely must be a lengthy flight. If pajamas are provided that is some indication of sleeping. Comfortably reclining with a hot cup of gourmet coffee and cookies at hand it’s time to watch an in-flight movie. This is not one of those small screens on the back of the seat in front of you. Oh no. This is a larger screen with enough room to stretch out and still see the screen.
Dinner time brings a menu with numerous appetizers to choose from and a main course served on, wait for it, a PLATE! It’s a proper dinner setting with silverware, dishes, glasses, and salt and pepper shakers.

No sign of those nasty little microwavable multi sectioned trays that look like TV dinners. Wait, they are microwavable dinners. In the splendor of your private space there is no juggling to keep your elbows away from your fellow passenger while you maneuver your meal. There is no concern with spilling the glass of wine on your table. Yes, I said a GLASS of WINE! And there is even dessert! A separate not in the same dish dessert. After a sumptuous meal it’s possible to dim the lights, kick back and just enjoy the ride.
making bed fullbed

When bedtime rolls around a flight attendant will open your bed in preparation for a good night’s sleep. No you don’t sleep in the roomy recliner. There is a full sized bed available if you have adjoining suites and a traveling partner. And you each have your own movie screen. If you desire a little (cough) privacy there is even a “Do Not Disturb” light. It’s joining the mile high club in comfort for those frisky enough to dare it. Even if you had to utilize the usual room for clubbers, the bathrooms in this first class haven are larger, brighter, cleaner, and even have a seat that covers the toilet should you need to change clothes.
first class bathroom
Assuming you are unable to sleep in all this luxury your flight attendant will be happy to provide you with a late night snack. No, not a small bag of pretzels. This time you are given a giant chocolate Toblerone. For those of you who don’t know, that’s imported chocolate.
After a good night’s sleep you can order a drink with breakfast, mimosas anyone? Maybe there’s a scheduled layover. It’s possible to “Book the Cook” and have a gourmet meal prepared and brought onboard for you. No need to leave the luxury you have grown accustomed to. And of course dessert is included.
Remember your traveling companion in your double suite? Maybe you need a break from the chatter and just want to close your eyes. Put up the dividing partition and use the single bed. So if your nerves are frayed from all the amenities you can shut out the rest of the world.
While all this sounds fabulous I have a few questions. What does this do for a traveler on a two hour flight? I imagined trying to squeeze all this fun into two hours and it resembled a cartoon played at high speed. I guess the average flyer doesn’t need all these bells and whistles. However it would be nice to have a little more room, something other than miniature packs of pretzels, a free glass of wine, and did I mention a little more room to stretch out? In all honesty some airlines do offer roomier accommodations without the huge price tag and super privacy. But if I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream big!