Tag Archives: mystery

Blind Redemption – Blog Tour

Blind Redemption Tour Banner

Title: Blind Redemption
Authors: Denise Dearth and Amy Gillen
Length: Novel
Genre: Mystery, Detective, Paranormal Mystery, Lesbian, F/F, LGBT
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

A woman is missing, paths are misleading. Can Psychic Detective Jackie Vaughn see through the veil of lies to find her?

Why Did We Write Blind Redemption?

Our novel, Blind Redemption, was written to inspire, highlight issues women face and provide entertainment for lesbians. Domestic abuse is a topic we’ve been exposed to in our own lives and we created this work hoping that any woman living with spousal fear or stuck in an unhealthy environment can find the strength to reach out and get help. In addition, with awareness we hope that anyone who suspects someone living with abuse can provide a helping hand even if it’s just lending a non judgmental ear.

Researching the book we learned more about human trafficking. While prostitution is often the first thing people associate with trafficking we chose to write about slave labor. That statistic is staggering. The latest from the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 14.2 million people trapped in forced labor in industries including agriculture, construction, domestic work and manufacturing. i We live in the United States where human trafficking victims have been identified in cities, suburbs, rural areas and in all fifty states and in Washington, DC. ii

A fascination with the psychic realm also inspires us. Whether you believe in psychic phenomenon or not experience has taught us to keep an open mind. As far as we’re concerned universal wisdom doesn’t have static boundaries. We feel that everything in the developing human character is available for each of us to explore and ponder no matter how concrete or illusive. To gain some insights on psychics please visit us on facebook and check out Amy’s interview with Indianapolis psychic, Amy Auset Rohn. http://www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI

For Amy and I it comes down to writing stories that are relatable and empowering to lesbians and also straight women. Although revealing what it’s like to be a lesbian is no longer taboo the social evolutionary tide is still changing. Barriers and prejudicial stereotypes exist. We know we live with it. If we can expose some injustices and keep the reader engaged, we’ve achieved success. Thank you for having us as guests on your blog!

i “Labor Trafficking in the US.” Polaris Project n.d. Web August 2015 ii “Get involved. The Victims.” National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Web August 2015 Denise Dearth & Amy Gillen http://www.fictioncorner.com Who’s Cryin’ Now book trailer song available on Amazon, iTunes and iHeart Radio.

Synopsis

Kidnapped and sold into the Chinese slave trade the survival of Annette Freder, the wife of University Chancellor, Charles Freder, depends on struggling psychic detective, Jackie Vaughn.

Crippled by grief over the unexpected death of her wife, Jackie deals with her anguish through pills and booze. While these coping mechanisms numb her pain, the growing addiction hampers her abilities, and places her health and livelihood in jeopardy.  The missing person’s case of Annette Freder shifts Jackie’s focus, challenging her psychic abilities.

Blind Redemption Cover

While on the job in China, Jackie finds herself with limited access to medication, resulting in bouts of withdrawal and depression. But that is just one of the many hurdles hindering Jackie in her quest to find Annette and return her to safety. Will corrupt police, maxed out credit cards, an ousted Greek intelligence officer assassin, and a revelation from an unexpected source prove too much for her?

Entangled deceit and unravelling lies Blind Redemption captures the essence of the human spirit and the power of redemption.

Video Trailer

Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/blind-redemption-by-denise-dearth-and-amy-gillen/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B014U2PX9G
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B014U2PX9G
ARe:  https://www.omnilit.com/product-blindredemption-1887377-243.html

Giveaway

Prize: $6.99 WIP Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e3d66a51/

About the authors

DENISE DEARTH is a novelist and songwriter.  Blind Redemption is the first novel in the compelling Jackie Vaughn detective series. She is a member of Broadcast Music Incorporated, a music performing right organization, and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. When’s she’s not writing she may be seen riding a two-toned, sky blue and white Victory Vegas Steel horse into the Midwestern sunset.

AMY GILLEN is a co-creator of the Jackie Vaughn detective series.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Indiana University.  She is a poet, photographer, and entrepreneur with a passion for kayaking and travel.

Denise Dearth and Amy Gillen can be found at:

Website: www.fictioncorner.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieVaughnPI

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The Distant Sound of Violence

I am super excited today to bring you details of the new release from my #Awethor buddy Jason Greensides. Jason’s a great writer and I know you’re gonna love his new book.

Seven Days, Seven blogs, Seven Chapters

Day One, Chapter One

The Distant Sound of Violence by Jason Greensides Relaunch Blog Tour

The Distant Sound of Violence promo banner

Author: Jason Greensides

Title: The Distant Sound of Violence

Genre: Literary/Contemporary/Coming-of-age/mystery

Book Content Rating: Adult, based on language, violence, and sexual content

Synopsis:

Do we ever escape the decisions we make when we’re fifteen?

Nathan Dawes, the loser from school, an outsider, street philosopher and member of The Grove Runners gang, needs Ryan’s help to get Stephanie to fall for him. When Ryan’s lawnmower is stolen, Nathan sees this as his chance to enlist Ryan in his plan.

Although Ryan knows becoming friends with Nathan could lead to trouble, he reluctantly agrees to help.

Stephanie wants nothing to do with either of them. Besides, she’s more interested in the one guy in the world she really shouldn’t be.

As Nathan continues his pursuit of Stephanie, and Ryan gets mixed up with The Grove Runners, soon events overtake them all, haunting their lives for years to come.

This intelligent and compelling debut is a heart-breaking tale of bad decisions and love gone wrong. It’s about choices that lead to violence, loss and tragedy.


Excerpt

Chapter One

‘You can’t change the size of fire.’

The first words he ever said to me were half lost in the rumble of traffic along Ladbroke Grove.

I’m sure he thought he was being poetic or something, but right then I didn’t care: someone had just stolen my aunt’s lawnmower while I’d been inside the repair shop. I stormed up to him from the curb, where I’d been scanning the road for some sign of the thief, and barked down at him, ‘Where’s the mower?’

He gave me a crooked smile, delved into his trouser pocket, pulled out a stick of Dentyne and offered it to me.

How did he think a stick of gum could help in this situation? How would that help when my aunt went batshit? Weirdo stuff like that made everyone at school run whenever they saw Nathan. It also didn’t help that he was supposed to be part of a gang – The Grove Runners – and it was this that made me weary of him now. If any of the girls from school saw me talking to him, they’d be gone.

So I smacked the gum out of his hand, sending it flying onto the concrete.

‘Which way did he go?’

‘That way,’ Nathan finally said, jerking his thumb towards the Harrow Road.

I turned from him then ran off in what would turn out to be a futile search for the lawnmower.

*

The next time I spoke to him was two days later in Mrs Bradley’s history class. For some reason, he threw himself into the chair next to mine, flung his graffiti-covered bag on the table, just as my girlfriend Karen – the girl I was supposed to be saving the seat for – walked up, saw the two of us, gave an exaggerated huff and strutted away again.

‘Yeah, cheers for that,’ I said to Nathan as I watched Karen’s arse sway tauntingly as she walked away to look for another seat.

‘Sorry, mate. I didn’t mean to –’

‘Save it.’

Besides, he didn’t seem sorry. He looked amused.

Ignoring him, I perched on the edge of my seat and watched to see where Karen would sit. I could still salvage the situation, follow her over there, tell her she looked beautiful today.

She finally sat over in the opposite corner, at the farthest point away from me.

But then I saw she could have taken the seat next to this other girl, but hadn’t. There was an empty seat next to her. She wanted me to follow!

I grabbed my books and pens, but just as I was about to leap from my seat, Mrs Bradley clapped her hands, told everyone to shut up and draw the curtains. Too late to change seats. I slumped back into my chair and dumped my books on the desk as far from Nathan as I could. Yeah, petty, I know.

Mrs Bradley inserted a video into the player, switched off the lights and ordered everyone to put their pens down. Seconds later, Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog flickered across room.

As the opening credits rolled and the haunting music rippled through the sweaty air, I soon forgot about Nathan and the trouble he’d caused me with Karen. That film is probably why I remember the events of that day as well as I do: Jews stripped, shaved and tattooed; a man who’d been shot, lying on a barbed wire fence; a bulldozer shovelling raw-boned and skeletal bodies into a ditch…

About halfway through, I snuck a look at Nathan. Odd: he seemed just as disturbed by the film as I was. Usually he’d sit at the front, cracking wise, but now he was gazing at the screen, the flecks of green in his brown eyes shimmering, the Dentyne frozen in the side of his mouth in mid-chew.

When it was over, as Mrs Bradley ejected the video and switched on the lights, I whispered to Nathan, ‘That film was insane. I can’t believe –’

He held up a chubby, scarred hand to silence me, an odd, faraway look on his face, and huskily said, ‘I know where your lawnmower is.’

*

This was back in ’91 when I was living with my aunt in a small flat off Portobello Road. She’d taken care of me since I was eleven, when my parents, away on their second honeymoon, had drowned off the coast of Antigua (that small island in the Caribbean where I was born).

My father had jumped into the sea to save my mother after she’d been swept away by the swelling waves in the rainy season of 1987. Since that time I’d been living in west London under the stern guidance of my aunt. I always had plenty of friends and girlfriends, and usually managed to stay on top of my homework and out of trouble.

But something must have happened when I turned fifteen. Whether it was the nightmare of exams and having to make decisions about what I was going to do with my life, or whether hormonal changes had twisted my way of thinking – whatever it was – something had changed in me.

So, that afternoon after Mrs Bradley’s history class, I skipped football practice and lied to Karen about where I was going – something the old Ryan Williamson would never have done – and walked through Notting Hill with Nathan Dawes.

‘Where are we going?’ I said as we turned onto All Saints Road.

‘You’ll see.’

I think he thought ‘You’ll see’ would be enough to get me off the topic.

It wasn’t.

‘Come on. Don’t be lame. You said you knew who took my lawnmower.’

‘Yeah, and I bet you wish you could go back in time and stop that kid from taking it.’

‘So what if I do?’

‘My point is’ – he broke off to take a hefty drag on his cigarette – ‘that stuff what happened in Germany would have happened anyway. Determinism, innit.’

Nathan had already gone home to change, and he was now wearing a shirt, trainers with big floppy tongues, and aviator glasses, which were balanced on his head. His hair was slicked across his brow, partially covering a broad face that seemed both welcoming and belligerent.

It was that look on his face which was going to make me argue that what happened in Germany could have been stopped, perhaps asking him if my parents’ death was also inevitable. But I didn’t. Instead, I asked, ‘What you doing after exams?’

He seemed to struggle with this question, his brows jagged in a deep frown, his pockmarked, nail-bitten hands scratching at each other. ‘I don’t know… I just… Whatever I do, I just want to fit in. I want the girls to like me.’

I laughed, then, seeing that he was being serious, shut my mouth again.

‘Well, what are you gonna do?’ he said.

‘I want to make films and maybe get married, I guess.’ The vagueness of my answer was worrying, and, as if to steer the conversation back to the safety of the present, while realising Nathan had derailed the conversation in the first place with all that determinism bollocks, I said, ‘What did this kid look like, anyway?’

‘Can’t remember,’ he shrugged, ‘all kids pretty much look the same.’

‘You’re right useless.’

Nathan laughed, as if I’d fallen into a trap he’d laid. ‘Well, as Chaung Tzu said, “All People understand the use of the useful. But few people understand the use of the useless”.’

I waved him off. ‘And you said you want the girls to like you?’

But he’d already moved on, his attention caught by a group of boys waiting outside Vidur’s Videos. ‘There’s some people I want you to meet,’ he said.

I stopped dead, eyeing the boys wearily.

‘Come on,’ he continued, ‘your aunt wants her lawnmower back, don’t she?’

‘But I didn’t think I’d have to meet your dumbass friends in the process.’

‘Get over yourself. You need to see what’s on the underside of life. You need to –’

‘Shut your trap. I need to go meet Karen. I need to go to football practice.’

‘Look. Come with us just this once,’ he said. ‘After that you can go back to your hot girls.’

I studied his face. Could he hear the crazy things he was saying?

He looked back at me, and we tried to stare each other down, the traffic along Ladbroke Grove spluttering around us.

I don’t know how long the two of us stared at each other like that, but it felt a long time. Then, unable to remain serious any longer, we both broke into laughter.

‘You’re fucked,’ I said, my reluctance at meeting his gang crumbling the longer I watched Nathan’s animated eyes.

‘Let’s do this,’ he said.

I glanced over at the boys, who’d begun to saunter towards us, and I cursed under my breath. It was too late to walk off without looking like I was scared of them.

First, Nathan introduced me to Dwain Tapper, the leader of The Grove Runners, a curbside gang which had strong ties to a Yardie outfit headed by Dwain’s cousin, English Victor; then, Fahad Kandala, son of Vidur, the Indian proprietor of the video shop we were stood by now; Courtney Hoxton, another boy with Jamaican parents; and lastly – although

everyone was uncomfortable with his presence – Aidy Small, now half-hidden behind a wall because he knew he wasn’t welcome due to him being only eight years old.

We ambled up Ladbroke Grove to the Harrow Road where, according to Aidy (whom Nathan had sent to follow the thief), the lawnmower could be found in a shed at the end of an alley behind Lee’s Arcade. We stood across the street, eyeing the arcade, watching old men and kids trundle in and out, until it became apparent to the other gang members that they had no idea why we were there.

Dwain, grouchy, marginally overweight, with a short Afro, leering smile and dark confrontational eyes, stepped right up into Nathan’s face, looked him up and down, as if Nathan were emanating some faintly pungent smell, and said, ‘Why you bring us here for, star?’

Nathan placed a hand on my shoulder. ‘We’re here to get Ryan’s lawnmower back. Look how upset he is.’

I looked down at the floor, embarrassed that Nathan, despite Dwain’s glare, was just laughing him off.

Dwain kissed his teeth, eyed Fahad and Courtney, thrust his glare upon me then focused back on Nathan. ‘Ain’t no reason why we should help this bumboclot. My man looks like a batty boy.’

‘Don’t be like that,’ Nathan said, ‘he’s gonna help me get laid. The least we could do is this one little thing.’

‘I’m going to what?’ I said.

Fahad and Courtney laughed.

‘You ain’t getting no pussy,’ Dwain said, ‘not dressed like that. You look like you’re dressed for the beach – raas.’

Nathan flattened out his shirt with his palms. ‘This was my dad’s.’

‘No shit it was your old man’s. If I were you, I’d mash up his face; he’s laughing at you, star.’

What did Nathan see in these kids? Courtney and Fahad were OK, I guess, but Dwain was just…ugh.

‘If you batty boys fink I’m gonna watch while you steal back some pathetic lawnmower and drag that shit halfway across London, you’re on a jolt flex.’ Dwain hunked up a gob of spit and fired it three feet from Nathan.

Nathan blew air from his lips, making his fat lower lip wobble. He didn’t speak, just turned to eye the arcade again.

Feeling stupid for ditching football practice and Karen for these bunch of losers, I decided to make it up to my aunt in some other way. So I turned and walked back.

Nathan called after me but I kept my head forward and my feet moving. They were proper doing my nut. I had to go ring Karen.

Now about twenty meters away (I could hear Nathan and Dwain arguing again), I stomped on to the nearest bus stop.

*

When I arrived home, Aunt Esther was stooped over the stove, boiling rice, a wooden spoon in one hand, a bible in the other. She was stood between me and the phone.

Acting casual, I strolled up to the biscuit tin, pulled the lid open and picked out a chocolate Digestive, knowing this would cause her to turn and allow me to squeeze by her to the phone.

It worked, but she ignored the pre-meal biscuit and said, ‘How many sweet potatoes you want?’

My stomach flipped, both at the prospect of eating sweet potatoes, and being accused of rejecting my West Indian heritage. I took a bite of the biscuit and said, ‘Do I have to?’

She kissed her teeth, something I was used to her doing for the last four years, but this time it reminded me of Dwain, catching me off guard.

‘Look here, boy,’ she said, ‘I don’t never give you no yam, no plantain, dasheen, green banana, okra, aubergine, callaloo –’

‘I know. Just one then.’

I squeezed past her, the phone now in my sights at the end of the hallway. But just as I was about to leave the kitchen, she said, ‘Any sign of my lawnmower?’

‘What do we need the lawnmower for, anyway?’ I said, backchatting her against my better judgement. ‘We live in a flat.’

‘Don’t make me walk my hand around your face, boy. You’re lucky Gertrude can’t hear you. She box your ears.’

Gertrude was my grandmother in Antigua. Esther always said that Gertrude wanted nothing more than to get me out of the satanic cesspool of London and over to the Caribbean, to straighten me out, teach me the ways of the Lord.

Obviously, I hated the idea, so in order to steer the conversation away from that, I stepped outside the kitchen and said, ‘God, I’m starving, maybe I’ll have some plantain if you’re doing some.’

‘Eh-eh. Now you want my cooking. Have mercy.’ Despite herself, she laughed and waved me out of the kitchen. ‘And don’t go runnin’ up my phone bill.’

‘I won’t.’

I closed the door behind me and dialled the number.

‘Who’s this?’ Karen’s mum asked even though she knew who I was.

Sweat moistened my hands and I struggled to grip the receiver by the earpiece. ‘It’s Ryan. Is Karen there, please?’

There was an awkward silence, then: ‘Hang on, I’ll go see if she’s in.’ I flinched at the sharp knock of the phone being placed onto a table.

At last Karen came on the line. ‘Hello,’ she said, her voice oddly blank.

‘Hi, it’s me,’ I whispered.

‘Oh, hi,’ she said, the background noise at her end fading as she went into another room, ‘I thought you were with that Nathan Dawes.’


The Distant Sound of Violence cover

To celebrate the relaunch and Kindle $0.99 / £0.99 promotion of Jason Greensides’s acclaimed literary coming-of-age debut, The Distant Sound of Violence, you can read the first seven chapters on seven different blogs over seven days. I’m proud to host Jason for day one of the tour, featuring chapter one. Happy reading!

Amazon Book link: mybook.to/TDSOV

Jason Greensides Biography

Jason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies and has made several short films, two of which have been broadcast on television – but writing fiction is his real passion.author headshot photo

He’s interested in ‘outsider’ types, people operating on the edge of society. This inspired him to write his first novel, The Distant Sound of Violence. It’s about a group of kids, one in particular, Nathan Dawes, whose philosophical obsessions and criminal connections have made him an outcast at school.

Jason is now working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery, but on coffee breaks he blogs and tweets about writing, and throws in the occasional book review.

Links:

Jason Greensides website: jasongreensides.com

Facebook: facebook.com/jasongreensidesauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/jasongreensides

Google Plus: plus.google.com/+JasonGreensides

Pinterest: pinterest.com/jasongreensides

Goodreads: goodreads.com/Jason_greensides

Amazon page: amazon.co.uk/Jason-Greensides


Subversion

Introducing J.P. Choquette and her book Subversion – check out her guest post and extract.


JPChoquette--resized for web

Thanks for offering to share a bit of information with your readers about Subversion, Lynzie. I appreciate it greatly! Tatum “Tayt” Waters, the main character in this mystery novel is spunky, sarcastic and always seems to find her way into trouble. Though she’s only 29, she has her own cleaning business and is transitioning into another full-time business, providing security at events or for individuals. On the side though, Tayt often helps people who have been failed by the justice system through “Sunflower Specials.”

This scene is taken from an early part in the book, when Tayt is contacted by an abused wife, Mary Ann, seeking retribution against her husband, Walter Hawk.

Mary Ann Hawk is tiny and bird-like and does have the dark hair and wrinkles I expected but not the angry eyebrows. Instead, her eyebrows are nearly invisible, almost plucked to extinction. I order coffees for both of us, and we sit at a table with a view of the street.

“I got me a problem with my husband, Walter. I told you that on the phone,” she says. “He’s a maniac. A crazy man. And when he gets to drinkin’ …” she leaves the sentence unfinished, staring intently at the large windows as though her estranged husband is watching from the street. And what do I know? He could very well be.Subversion cover DIGITAL edition--resized for web

“So, Mrs. Hawk. Mary Ann. Is it OK to call you that?”

She nods, twisting the thin curtain between clenched fingertips.

“Your husband, Mr. Walter Hawk, has a history of abusing you.”

“Yeah. If you can call nearly killin’ me abuse, then yeah. I almost died that last time,” she laughs, a deep, dry sound. “He messed me up so good that it took me weeks to recover. Thought I might not for a while there, but here I am.”

Her fingers strangle the paper napkin. I nod, make a note on my paper.

“How’s all this work, anyway?” she asks, looking at me. “My friend said that you take on these special jobs, Sunflower Specials, she called ‘em. Said you can track people down, make ‘em pay for what they done.”

I nod, hoping my wig stays in place.

“Are you familiar with Iranian law?” I ask.

Mary Ann nods, then shrugs. “Not really. I guess not.”

“In Iran it’s called Capital Punishment. The law states that the victim of a crime, or the victim’s family, if the victim is deceased, is responsible for exacting punishment on the criminal. Not on their own, but as part of a legal process.”

Mary Ann’s eyes brighten.

I continue, “Say for instance that a man is killed in a street fight. After a legal trial where the perpetrator is convicted, the victim’s family will be the ones at the hanging, responsible for pushing the chair out from under the murderer.”

“Pffft,” Mary Ann says, squinting her eyes at me. “So you’re sayin’ you’ll bring, what, bring Walter to me? No offense, but that ain’t gonna do me an ounce of good. You think if I could kick his ass, I’d have let him kick mine so many times?” Mary Ann pauses for her first sip of coffee. Her skinny arm shakes slightly.

“That’s where I come in,” I say, lowering my voice further. “Think of me as your sort of rented family. I’ll see that Walter is punished. My job in these cases,” I’m whispering now and Mary Ann leans closer to me, so close that I can see every pore in her nose, “is to make sure that the punishment fits the crime.”

“And then you just go along your merry little way?” she says. Her breath smells like coffee

and spearmint.

“I do have two rules in regards to Sunflower Specials,” I say, tapping the table with a nail to enunciate each. “The first is that the perpetrator actually is a perpetrator. I’m not going to go around scooping up innocent people for psychopaths,” I take a sip of my drink. “No offense.”

“None taken. I can get you court papers, photos of me from the hospital if that’s what you want.”

“That is exactly what I’m looking for,” I say, leaning back in my chair and returning my voice to a normal volume. “Once you give me those and your retainer, we can move on with your case.”

“You said you had two rules. So, what’s the second?”

“I get paid in cash, half up front and half when I deliver. No checks, no credit cards, no IOUs.”

“How much is a job like this gonna set me back?” Mary Ann asks, taking another sip of her coffee. I tell her, and she chews her lip a while, then nods.

“I can get it to you by the end of this week.”

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Mystical Mystery Series Book Bundle

Because… and yes I did just start a sentence with because… I like to spoil you I have a triple whammy – three books on sale and to give away. Check out the details and don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Three Award-winning Authors—Book Giveaway and Sale

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Discover a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery from an international trio of authors. Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton – all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners – have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.

Win a Paperback of Each Book

Enter the drawing below to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series.

Buy each e-book during the sale for only $1.99 US.

The Calling – Amber Foxx

The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

Website & buy the ebook for $1.99: https://amberfoxxmysteries.wordpress.com/buy-books-retail-links/

When the Clocks Stopped – Marion Eaton

The Mysterious Marsh Series, Book One

When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write some wills while she waits for the birth of her first child, she unwittingly triggers dramatic consequences. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose tempestuous life took place more than two centuries earlier when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by smugglers. Soon that past collides with the present, and Hazel finds herself pitted against an evil that has stalked the marsh for centuries. As her destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history – and could even change it. If she survives.

Website: http://www.marioneaton.com/ Buy the ebook for $1.99: amzn.to/17THZ83

The First Lie – Virginia King

Selkie Moon Mystery Series, Book One

Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she’s escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she’s running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she’s psychic, no way. But the messages and threats escalate until she’s locked in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious stalker. Entangled in Celtic and Hawaiian mythologies, the events become so bizarre and terrifying that her instinct is to keep running. But is she running from her past? Or her future?

Website: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Buy the ebook for $1.99: http://www.amazon.com/First-Lie-Selkie-Moon-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00K1VC20Y/

All three books will be on sale for $1.99 US from April 21 to 30.

Enter the drawing now to win paperback copies of all three books

When you click on the Rafflecopter link you’ll be invited to choose which series you would like to learn more about. This will enter you in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away. The raffle runs from April 21 – April 26. The winner will be announced on April 27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Noise

Noise, by Brett Garcia Rose, is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character’s search for his missing sister. It’s short, violent, but ultimately it’s about love. Noise was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery

Synopsis:

The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?

Excerpt:

Twenty-Eight

The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.

My own hideous voice.

I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.

I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.

The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.

The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new

history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.

I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.

The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.

Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.

I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.

The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.

His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.

In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.

Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.

In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.

I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.

I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.

I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.

The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:

“Wait for me.”

Available for sale now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


The Return of the Key

So to start the year here’s The Return of the Key from Alisha Nurse

16 year old Eliza Aurelio grapples with her mixed race identity amid rising racial tensions on her little island. For their safety, Eliza’s grandfather sends her and her grandmother to a quiet town in Southwest England to stay with a relative. But this otherwise quiet town has been turned upside down by people mysteriously disappearing. Eliza eventually encounters a magical but dangerous realm accessible through a doorway in the town, and sees its connection to the abductions. She intends to put things right, only wanting to protect her family. To do this, she must return a stolen key to lock the open doorway. But Eliza has to overcome her own inner conflicts if she is to stand any chance of being successful and leaving the other realm alive.

Suspenseful and enchanting, The Return of the Key explores the power of love, sacrifice and the journey to self acceptance.

Find out more about Alisha Nurse here: http://authoralishanurse.com/books/


Christmas Pie Crescent

 

New release time – take a look at this Christmas cracker and find out how to win a free paperback copy.

 

Christmas Pie Crescent was a Christmas paradise… unless you were Holly Hayward. She hated Christmas. Having grown up in Christmas Pie Crescent, she couldn’t get out of there fast enough but now, as Christmas fast approached with no husband to inject the holiday spirit into their twins, it was up to her to make it a Christmas to remember except she didn’t know what to do. It’s out of her comfort zone and the only solution she could think of was to return to Christmas Pie Crescent… But what about what she saw that night when she was twelve? The night she stopped believing.

Then there’s Ryan Shaw, Christmas Pie Crescent’s newest resident at number five with his two children. Along with losing his wife, he also lost his Christmas spirit… then he meets the neighbours. With elves living at number seven, a sexy Mrs Claus at number four, Santa’s twin at number three and never mind the scary cat lady at number two, Ryan has to question himself, where the hell has he moved them to?

As the Christmas competitions begin, Ryan finds himself swept along in the festivities so why not take part and even win? Holly can’t think of anything worse but can Ryan change her mind and help her get her Christmas spirit back?

A festive funny full of love, laughter and heartache.

Available to download for Kindle and Kindle app and in paperback from Amazon from December 1st 2014.

Amazon.co.uk ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Pie-Crescent-Kerry-Frith-ebook/dp/B00OICB64U

Amazon.com ~ http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Pie-Crescent-Kerry-Frith-ebook/dp/B00OICB64U

 

INTERVIEW WITH KERRY FRITH

Christmas Pie Crescent is your new book – can you tell us about the crescent, are there really elves living there?

Christmas Pie crescent is one of those places where everyone knows everyone. They pop in and out of each other’s houses for a cup of tea and are never too busy to stop for a chat but come Christmas time, it’s an entirely different story. Best friends become enemies because they all want to win that Christmas crown. Unfortunately the only elves living in the crescent are in the shape of gay couple Keith and Lionel at number seven, who like to dress as elves!

Holly Hayward is your leading lady, she’s not exactly a Christmas lover – what can you tell us about her?

Holly doesn’t like Christmas because when she was 12 she witnessed something no child should see. That night she stopped believing and developed a hate for all things Christmassy. Her parents on the other hand, are big on Christmas. The original Mr and Mrs Clause so whilst she’s happy to visit her parents all year, come December she avoids it like the plaque. This Christmas though, is her first without her husband and she finds herself at a loss. Because of the situation she promises her twins the best Christmas ever but it’s out of her comfort zone and the only solution she can think of is to return to Christmas Pie Crescent. The twins are over the moon as it’ll be their first Christmas there but for Holly, it’s her worse nightmare. She has to face the only thing she’d tried her hardest to forget.

What about the new single dad in the neighbourhood, Ryan Shaw, what is he like?

Ryan is just lovely! His back story is sad. He lost his wife the previous November so last Christmas wasn’t very good at all but this year he wants his two kids to enjoy it and the only way he can think of is by moving house and starting again. He finds himself in Christmas Pie Crescent but he has no idea what he’s let himself in for and at first, he thinks where the bloody hell has he moved to. He thinks his neighbours are complete nutters and should be locked up. There’s no way he plans on taking part in all the festive madness but his twin sister and daughter have other ideas. Soon enough, he finds himself in the thick of it and it’s not so bad. He pines desperately after his wife and thinks moving was a mistake because nothing reminds him of her in the new house. His kids are his main priority and his heart belongs to Ellie but when he sees Holly, he finds himself distracted and he feels guilty for it.

What Christmas festivities take place – is this a traditional Christmas or a tacky one?

Do you know what, it’s a bit of both! There’s plenty of Christmas lights and displays that make the Americans look tame. Competitions include battle of the bulbs, deck the halls and the Christmas bake-off. Competition is fierce and some people will do anything to win.

Aside from Holly and Ryan, who is your favourite character in the book?

This one is easy! Issy, Ryan’s twin sister! She’s fun, kind hearted and keeps Ryan in check. I love her so much in fact that I’m 9 chapters in, into her own story! I just wasn’t happy leaving her in the background and wanted to expand her character some more. The new book will also give you an insight into what Holly and Ryan have been up to since. I am aiming to have it published around Easter time.

And what is your favourite scene?

Ooh, let me think… there’s a few to be honest. For Holly, I’d say when she’s queuing to see Santa and is attacked by an elf… and for Ryan, the elf stake out. I laughed at both while writing them!

You’re a prolific author, aside from Christmas Pie Crescent, what your favourite book that you have written?

This is so tough! I have enjoyed writing all of them… but I think I’ll go with April’s Busman Holiday. It’s different from my previous books because whilst it’s still romantically themed, it’s also a whodunit. I just love April, her wit and humour and it was my first attempt at murder mystery. It was hard but so much fun! Book 2 How to catch a jewel thief will be out next year.

How will you be spending your Christmas this year?

At home with my husband and children and plenty of food and drink!

Finally what advice would you give an aspiring author?

Never give up! It’s a long winding road with so many learning curves. I’ve been at it for two years and I’m still learning. Negativity is never good and my first bad review felt like I’d been slapped in the face but then it made me realise without the bad, I wouldn’t know how to improve. It made me learn how to turn a negative into a positive and I think I have flourished and the good reviews make you realise why you do it.

Me

Kerry Frith is a self-published author of The Cocktails & Tattoo series, Handbags at Dawn, April’s Busman Holiday (The Maxwell Mysteries #1) and her new up and coming festive funny, Christmas Pie Crescent. She’s an East London girl with a mad passion for writing. When she isn’t writing, she’s busy being a mum.

If you would like to win a signed paperback copy (UK only) or Kindle edition (everywhere else) join the online launch party today https://www.facebook.com/events/718756248161097/ and take part on the day ~ Sunday 7th December. Signed paperbacks will also be available to purchase directly from the author.

 


Peter Spark

I am joined today by the title character from the Peter Spark series. So Peter, thanks for being here. You work in Crisis Management, what’s that like?

A: Well, there’s a clue in the name. My job is to plan for crises and disasters, then manage the response to them when they occur. About 50% of my life consists of waiting in airports.

Being good at crisis management means not just preparing for a train wreck, but being happy to imagine a train wreck where bulk chemical carriers split and create a toxic cloud of gas.

What’s the most dangerous thing you have had to deal with?

A: Probably dealing with a toxic cloud of gas after a train wreck. Also, I was once on an oil rig that was hit by a tsunami. That was a toughie. Both of them were easy compared to having a conversation with a mad Australian media person called Maryam Drysdale-Behier.

Do you have to deal with time wasting situations too?

A: Anything that involves the media in any way at all. That is a terrible waste of time and agony at the same time- Like standing in the rain sticking pins in your own eyes endlessly.

But I bet the media loves you?

A: The media couldn’t care less about me or anyone else. They need a constant supply of fodder to fill their time slots and pages and whoever is unlucky enough to get caught by them has my unending sympathy. I have had to talk to the press sometimes, but there is virtually always someone nearby who is better at it than I am. In fact, anyone with a pulse is better at it than I am.

I work a lot with Professor Tilly Pink from Edinburgh and she absolutely loves talking to the media, and she’s good at it too. She’s good at most things though.

With your work do you even have time for hobbies?

A: I envy people with hobbies.

Why?

A: The bit of the human brain that does hobbies must be missing in me. People are interesting, but very, very strange. How can people invest in things that don’t produce anything.

But you’re really into the Knights Templar – weren’t they in that film with Tom Hanks?

A:You make them sound like a Boy Band. I never watch films, so I wouldn’t know. The Templars were an amazingly advanced organisation; very flat hierarchy, low costs to productivity ratio, excellent process innovation. Not famous for either their media relations or for having hobbies, as far as I am aware. Lots of reasons to admire them.

What about love Peter, do you have a special lady in your life?

A: Now we’re back to the subject of dealing with the media. I could spend years trying to work out why anyone might have even the slightest interest in that topic. I can only say that any woman who thought that I would be a suitable partner would be far to mad to want to deal with.

Okay, well thank you Peter for your charming interview. What did you say your friend was called? Tilly Pink – we’ll be sure to call on her next time…

 


 

If you want to read more about Peter Sparks you can pick up his series of books written by the talented Scott Chapman from Amazon now.

And you can pre-order the new Peter Sparks novel now.


Lights Out

Today is the turn of Melissa Groeling who has taken time out to talk to us about her book Lights Out…

So where’s that manuscript you wrote but don’t want anyone to read? Is it back in the bottom drawer of your desk? Maybe in some hidden file on your computer that’s password-protected? Or maybe you haven’t even written it yet—it’s tumbling around and around in your head, banging on the walls of your cranium, trying to get out.

Lights Out was definitely that hidden manuscript for me. I’m not sure why I kept it locked up for so long. I kept trying out different excuses that sounded rational on the surface but deep down, only came across as scared and self-doubting. When certain family members got the word that I had a finished story in the bottom drawer of my desk, it’s perfectly appropriate to say that all hell broke loose.

“How can you have a finished story and not do anything with it?”

“What are you waiting for? Send it in!”

“Don’t make me do it because I will.”

(That last statement came from my mother.)

So in the end, I took out the manuscript, dusted it off, ran it through some serious slicing and dicing and sent it in. Even now that it’s published, it still makes me nervous. I don’t know why. I think all of us have a book we’ve written that completely wrings us out, leaving behind our limp, useless husks. We all have that book that makes us question why we write in the first place.

But we don’t quit, do we?

Because really, what would be the fun in that?

Lights Out Excerpt

This was the core of it. This was where it was laid bare to anyone with the gift of sight. This was where monsters were created, where they destroyed, where they broke the weak. There were no happy pictures here, no fantasies, no dress-up. This was for the ones who knew damn well what they were doing and didn’t care. They didn’t try to hide it with gifts and toys and ice cream. This was where the darkness was, omnipotent and cruel in its entirety and judging by the darker stains on the floor, irregular-shaped, dried, and brown, almost black, very few could harness it. Very few could survive it.

He took an unsteady step back. Teetering on a knife’s edge, he howled, “Ethan!”

Rage pulsed, abrupt and loud, inside of him. He turned in an endless, frenzied circle, the need so great now to find him, to get him away from all of this, to get himself away from all of this that Paul nearly missed the small voice from behind him.

“Hello.”

He spun wildly, almost blind with anger. His finger tightened on the trigger of the gun in his hand and he almost squeezed off a wild shot. Through his reddened vision, he saw the door in front of him, saw that the eye-slot was still open. It was a room full of fairies, the walls painted like a meadow. Little twinkling lights hung from the ceiling and he’d been pretty damn sure that the room had been empty when he first looked inside.

He hit the door with a soft gasp and peered in.

A little girl, no older than nine, sat on the bed, facing the door. She smiled at him, open and trusting. Her big brown eyes sparkled with youth and humor. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail; wispy bangs hung in front of her smooth white forehead. She was dressed like a fairy, complete with shimmery wings, tights, and a dress that shone with blues and violets. The sight of her made him want to fall to his knees, the anger that had nearly consumed him just seconds before, crumbling beneath the weight of this small, fragile creature locked inside of a nightmare. She seemed to ripple as he stared at her like he was looking at her through plastic film. Paul wiped at his eyes, squinting, wondering if perhaps she was nothing more than a hallucination. Maybe she was something that his overtaxed brain had conjured up to keep him from making the wrong move. Her small, slippered feet swung freely above the floor, lightly bumping the side of the bed. The twinkling lights from above illuminated her smooth white arms. Her skin seemed to sparkle.

Fairy dust, he thought numbly.

He started to think that there was something familiar about her but then she asked him in a voice high-pitched, innocent and so fucking young, “Would you like to come in and play with me?”

He had to try several times to find his voice. “Uh, no, no honey, that’s all right.”

“But isn’t that why you’re here?”

He took a painful breath. “No. I’m—I’m looking for someone.”

She gave him a curious look. “Are you playing hide-and-seek?”

Jesus, God. Paul felt like his heart was about to break.

“Kind of. Listen, sweetheart, could you—”

“Melinda.”

“What?”

“That’s my name. Melinda. You can call me Melinda if you want to. What’s your name?”

He swallowed. “Paul.”

She giggled. “Your voice sounds funny. You’re not nervous, are you?”

“I—no.”

She nodded. “Good.”

The look she gave him was heavy and expectant. “If you want to come in, you’ll have to find Uncle Jack so he can unlock the door.”

Paul’s fingers bit into the small mesh screen covering the eye slot. “Uncle Jack? Do you know where I can find him?”

“He’s probably at the silo.”

“The silo?”

“Yup. He always goes there before it gets dark.”

“What’s in the silo, Melinda? Do you know?”

She shook her head. “Only the bad kids go there.”

His heart lurched. “The bad kids, huh?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Why only the bad kids?”

“Because, silly, they don’t follow the rules.”

“What kind of rules?”

She swung her feet harder now. “You have to eat your food, do your chores, smile for everyone, and never, ever run away.”

“Really?”

“Yup. ’Cuz then you go to the silo.”

Paul leaned back, biting his lip. Then he said, “Okay, look, Melinda, I’m going to go to silo, find Uncle Jack and then come right back here and get you out. Okay? How’s that sound?”

A small frown graced her features. “Why?”

“What?”

“You don’t have to get me out. You come in here. I don’t come out there.”

“But—”

“This is where I belong. You leave. I stay.”

He blinked. “But don’t—don’t you want to go home?”

She flinched as if he’d struck her. “Home is bad. I get hurt at home.”

“Don’t you get hurt here?”

She brightened. “Nope. I get lots of ice cream here. Chocolate chip, too. It’s my favorite. I get it all the time because I’m a good girl.”

Her eyes were almost fever-bright as they drilled into his and Paul found himself backing away under the force of it.

He half-stumbled, half-ran back the way he’d come.

“Hurry up so we can play,” followed him down the steps and out onto the porch.

Bile rose in the back of his throat. He leaned over the railing and vomited.

 

Here are the links were you can find out all about Melissa Groeling and her work:

http://www.facebook.com/melissa.groeling

https://twitter.com/#!/stringbean10

http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H51R2AS

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lights-out-melissa-groeling/1117540680?ean=2940148946137

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379110

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lightsout-1369485-235.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19270732-lights-out