Feb 222024

Back in my small town newspaper days, many editors and publishers, myself included, had a sign or plaque in their office that said some variation of, “The duty of the press is to print the truth and raise hell.” I have heard that phrase attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to a number of well-known journalists, and I really can’t tell you where it originated from. But I always believed it was true, and I still do.

Miss Terry tells people all the time that one reason she fell in love with me was because I was so outspoken and didn’t mind stepping on toes with my editorials. Often those toes belonged to politicians on the city, county, or state level. A lot of times people didn’t appreciate that very much. That’s one reason I can’t breathe very well through my nose and have little sense of smell. That happens when you get it broken a time or two.

Not only did I get punched out more than once by someone who was irate about something I put in the paper, I also had the mayor of a town in Washington state spit on me at a town council meeting, had my car vandalized a time or two, and somewhere in my desk I still have a tape recording of a county sheriff standing in my office telling me that some night he was going to pull me over and shoot me, and that his deputies would be the ones that investigated it and not a damn thing would happen.

Four nights later, a carload of skinheads showed up at our semi-rural house in the middle of the night, trying to break through two different doors. I put Terry on the floor on the far side of the bed with a .38 revolver and told her to shoot anybody who came to the bedroom door that wasn’t me. Then my 12-gauge riot gun and huge pissed off German Shepherd helped me get the message through that they were not welcome. Terry had dialed 911, saying that our home was being broken into, and three days later, a deputy wandered by to take a report and casually mentioned that I must have made somebody mad. I guess that’s what happens when you step on toes.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Scandal, the fifth book in my Big Lake mystery series. When the richest man in Big Lake is murdered on the night he announced his bid for State Senator, the list of suspects stretches all the way from the small mountain town to the Governor’s office. Sheriff Jim Weber’s investigation reveals a web of secrets, illicit sex, and shattered lives that teaches him that nothing is what it appears to be and that sometimes the people we think we know are not at all what we believe them to be. Meanwhile, love has come to town and wedding bells must compete with the echo of gunshots.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – If you can’t be kind, at least be vague.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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