Guest Blogger Sue Coletta Acknowledges the Experts Who Help with Research

Hey, gang, I’ve got crime writer, Sue Coletta as my guest today. She’s got a brand new release ready to roll out with Cleaved and it’s up for pre-order at only .99c. I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this book. Trust me, it’s one you’ll want to grab—then curl up and be thankful you’re safely inside, tucked away from the killers who populate Sue’s fictional worlds.

Banner image for Cleaved by Sue Coletta

Acknowledging the Experts Who Help with Research
by Sue Coletta

In the past I’ve been guilty of not acknowledging the numerous experts who’d helped my stories ring true. That’s a mistake. A short line in the acknowledgements of our books is the least we can do.

Since I have a new release, I’ll share the acknowledgment page from CLEAVED, Book 2 in the Grafton County Series (MARRED is Book 1).

Acknowledgement Page

A special thank you to all the men and women in law enforcement, especially those who helped with my research… first, to my detective friends who mean the world to me: my Partner in Crime Kimberly McGath aka “Scoobs”, Garry Rodgers, and Joe Broadmeadow. Thank you for always being there. Love you guys. A nod toward Adam, too, who also goes out of his way to help. Thanks, buddy.

Next, to Lt. Crystal McLain from NH State Police/NH Marine Patrol for taking time out of your busy schedule to help Sheriff Niko Quintano work with Marine Patrol so my story would ring true; Kristin Harmon from NH Fish & Game for all the information on waterways in the state; Cheryl Hutchinson, Communications Supervisor II for NH Marine Patrol/NH State Police for the information on interagency cooperation; the Grafton County Medical Examiner for taking the time to chat with me about the floating patterns of a corpse in fresh water vs. salt water; and Alexandria Taxidermy for the plethora of information about deer antlers. You all went out of your way, and I’m so grateful. I spoke with other members of NH Fish & Game, too. You know who you are…thank you for dealing with a crazy crime writer who forgot to mention the deceased was, in fact, fictional when calling in a report of a body in the marsh. That situation could’ve gone a total different way!

A quick shout-out to my faithful readers, blog followers, and the writing community. You’re so special to me. And to God, for blessing my life in unimaginable ways.

As you can see, I first acknowledged the friends who help me on regular basis with police procedures. CLEAVED required tons of research, as my stories often do. Perhaps even more than previous books. While writing, I spoke with several members of law enforcement, and each one went out of their way to help me. The local police weren’t as accommodating. Small towns, they can go either way. The state agencies, however, sent a plethora of emails and phone calls. I didn’t run into one person who wasn’t thrilled to chat with me. Oddly enough, they all thanked me for my accuracy. Law enforcement isn’t always portrayed in the best light. When a crime writer wants to show the truth about their incredibly difficult jobs, the blue wall crumbles and they go to great lengths to help with accuracy.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful everyone was to work with. Even the Medical Examiner spent a half-hour on the phone with me. I learned so much information about what happens to bodies in water, including a juicy tidbit that I’m reserving for a future book. Sorry, not telling! In the acknowledgements, I didn’t use her name because she asked me not to. Instead, I used her title. As you may or may not know, several members work in the morgue. I did speak with the Medical Examiner, but that’s our little secret. If you’re curious about the different job positions, I wrote a post entitled What Happens Inside an Autopsy Suite, which you can find HERE.

That brings up another important point. After you receive the answers you seek, ask the expert if they mind the mention in the acknowledgments. Most will love it, but sometimes you run into an expert who asks for discretion. Or, like my friend Adam, agrees to using his first name, not his last, so he doesn’t get in trouble with his department.

I like to end my acknowledgements on a personal note by thanking my readers and community, but it’s a personal preference. There’s no right or wrong here.

book cover for Cleaved by Sue Coletta shows rear shoe of woman tied to tree, superimposed with skeletal deer head with blood-tipped hornsWhat’s CLEAVED about?

Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bond their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. How he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.

Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

Here’s a video excerpt I created instead of a regular book trailer…

CLEAVED is available for pre-order.
Score your copy for 99c and save $5.00.
Releases May 3rd. If you haven’t read MARRED,
you’ll have plenty of time to catch up.

Purchase Links: 
CLEAVED universal | MARRED universal | Tirgearr Publishing 

Sue Coletta, author

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is a multi-published, award-winning author. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and collections, including a forensic article in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime” on Blog Talk Radio. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter, where she helps other crime writers’ stories ring true.

She lives with her husband in a quaint country town in rural New Hampshire where she’s surrounded by moose, deer, black bears, and the sultry songs of nature. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with the wildlife, but her husband frowns on the idea.

Connect with Sue at the following haunts: 
Website Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook 

Staci Troilo with a Deleted Scene from Bleeding Heart #StoryEmpireRoadshow

Hey, everyone! It’s the last day of our Story Empire Roadshow Bookmobile blog tour. The week went so fast, I can’t believe it’s winding down so soon. Even though the fun is ending, I have a fabulous post from my wonderful friend and SE sister, Staci Troilo to close things out. She’s got a number of goodies to share with you too, so let’s close this Roadshow out with a bang! 🙂


Hi, Mae. Thanks for hosting me today. And hi, Mae’s followers. It’s nice to be back here with you today.

We’ve been making the rounds on the Story Empire Roadshow, and this is my last stop. I’ve been talking about my Medici Protectorate series, and I thought I’d close out with a deleted scene. This was originally the opening, but as many writers will tell you, sometimes your beginning starts too far back. So, the beginning to Bleeding Heart starts a little farther along the timeline. I also considered using this as a prologue, but it wasn’t necessary; the relevant information from this scene is organically revealed throughout the series.

But I really liked this scene, and I didn’t want to get rid of it entirely. The interplay between the guys reveals a lot about their characters. Reading it might give you a good idea of who the Brothers are. Without further ado, here’s the deleted opening to Bleeding Heart, book one of the Medici Protectorate series.

“Okay, Vinnie. Good job. Gianni, sweep… now watch for the—”

“Oooph.” Gianni took a bo staff thrust to the right side, and his breath left him with a whoosh. He took a knee on the mat and struggled for air while Nico and Coz stood snickering, waiting for their turns, and his sparring partner Vinnie leaned on his staff and grinned. Their instructor showed about as much amusement as Gianni felt.

Silhouette of two men engaged in martial arts“He gets you every time.” Marcus offered Gianni a hand and hoisted him to his feet. “Just because you’re on the attack doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.”

“He’s not left-handed. It doesn’t seem natural for him to thrust leading left.”

“You aren’t left-handed. You attack on the left.”

Gianni rubbed his side. It was going to be bruised. Again. Vinnie didn’t hold back. He narrowed his eyes and squared off.

“Bring it.” Vinnie grinned and spun his staff in front of him.

“Hey, it’s our turn,” Coz said.

Marcus stepped between Gianni and Vinnie and pushed them each back a step. “Ladies, stand down. Your sisters want a go.”

Usually talk like that would garner equally sarcastic retorts, but Gianni was grateful for the break.

Vinnie must have been tired too, because he bowed and gestured to the sparring arena. “Have at it, girls.” Then he joined Gianni against the wall. Marcus stayed on the mats to coach Nico and Coz through their fight.

“Did I get you too hard?”

No way was Gianni admitting his pain to Vinnie. “Nah, I’m fine. Just tired. It’s wicked hot in here today.”

“No argument there.”

Usually the men wore full dobaks, or martial arts uniforms in the gym, but that day they had all stripped off their shirts, even Marcus, and were battling in nothing but the wide-legged black pants. While Marcus worked with Nico and Coz, Enrico taught a young black belt class across the gym. Poor kids didn’t have the luxury of working shirtless. Rico kept them in their full uniforms.

Gianni rubbed his side until he and Vinnie got up for round two. Just before they started, Paolo came in with a young boy in tow. “Marcus, this is Ben. He’s going to start training with us. Ben, this is Marcus, one of my partners and an instructor here. And these are four of our associates, Gianni, Vinnie, Nico, and Bobby.”

“Everyone calls me Coz.” No one called him Bobby except Paolo, and Gianni suspected Coz didn’t care much for it.

Paolo grinned at Coz over Ben’s head, but Ben didn’t pay attention to any of it. He stared at Marcus’s chest. “Cool tattoo, man. Does it have any special significance?”

Marcus grabbed a towel off the floor and hung it around his neck, covering the ink with the tail of the cloth and his hands as they grasped the edges.

Students in a martial arts class watching two men practicePaolo turned Ben toward Enrico and the young black belt class. “First, you should learn right away we don’t address elders here as ‘man’ or ‘dude’ or any other nonsense. Second, we need to let these gentlemen get back to their training. Let’s go meet Enrico and the students who are more your age. You should be at their level in about three years.”

They turned to walk away, and Marcus donned his dobak shirt, securing the waist with a plain black belt. The lack of stripes didn’t mean anything. Everyone used plain black belts in the gym, but they all had embroidered ones with their names and ranks for competition. Marcus had a belt in his possession with seven stripes on it. Gianni’s and his brothers’ belts had six each.

While Marcus dressed, his cell phone beeped. So did Paolo’s. Quick glances at their screens caused them both to frown then exchange worried looks. Enrico left his class and joined them. A senior instructor had already taken over his class. The three men bowed their heads together and discussed the message in hushed tones.

Gianni nudged Vinnie and caught his attention, but he looked as puzzled as Gianni felt.

Paolo turned back toward his young charge. “Ben, go sit in that room and watch those boys. Someone will be with you shortly.” He shoved the boy toward the class Rico had abandoned and gestured to a senior black belt to assist the new student.

Marcus turned to Gianni and the others. “Keep practicing. Bo staff, not daggers. At least another hour. We need to go.” And he, Paolo, and Enrico ran out of the gym without any further explanation.

“What the hell do you think that was all about?” Vinnie asked.

“It’s gotta be something for work,” Gianni said.

“Yeah, but which work?” Coz asked.

Since they had graduated college, they had been hired at MDH, a multi-national conglomerate with offices in Italy, the United States, and Argentina. The three men who had just left, plus one who wasn’t there, had been their mentors since they had been young boys, training them in martial arts, getting them into elite colleges, making inroads for them at MDH, and even helping them get graduate degrees in their respective fields. There had been talk of another job that they were being groomed for, but no one would give the guys more information. Gianni suspected it had something to do with the tattoo Marcus had.

On Marcus’s left pec, near his heart, was the outline of a dagger. All four of the mentors had them. Marcus’s was white, Enrico’s was green, and Paolo’s was black. Sal, the mentor that Gianni was closest to, had a red one. The daggers were simple enough when you looked at them, yet there was something exquisite about them. Each one of them alone was a true work of art, but for the few people who had ever seen them when the men were all together, they were stunning. Each pointed in a different direction, as though they were parts of a whole picture. Gianni didn’t know the significance of the colors or the directions—even Sal wouldn’t tell him—but he was certain they had to do with the other job the Sal kept alluding to. The most he could get out of him was that Gianni and his brothers were likely the chosen, and they’d learn about it all when the time was right.

Whatever that was supposed to mean.

“Well, if it was important and had to do with MDH, you’d think one of us would have been notified,” Nico said. “We cover pretty much the whole company. We definitely overlap their departments.”

“That leaves the other job. Whatever it is,” Vinnie said. “What do you think it is?”

“My luck it’s something illegal,” Coz said.

“Why would you say that?” Nico asked.

Coz shrugged. “Track record.”

“Sal wouldn’t do anything illegal.”

“There goes Gianni with his man-crush again.” Vinnie put his bo staff down and grabbed a dagger.

“I don’t have a man-crush.” Gianni grabbed a dagger and squared off against Vinnie.

“Didn’t Marcus say we were supposed to practice staff for another hour?” Nico asked.

“Are you going to tell?” Vinnie continued circling Gianni.

“I like daggers better, anyway.” Coz grabbed the remaining staffs and put them away. He selected two daggers and offered one to Nico, keeping the other for himself.

Nico sighed but accepted it.

“So, when do you think they’ll tell us what’s really going on?” Vinnie struck at Gianni. “Those guys are getting old. It’ll be our turn soon enough.”

Gianni started circling. “Old? They’re in prime fighting condition.”

“We’re in prime fighting condition,” Vinnie said. “They’re in great shape for their age, but they’re not young anymore. If they need to fight for their job, they’re past prime.”

Gianni swept Vinnie’s legs and held the dagger to his throat. “Submit?”

Vinnie tapped out.

“They can still kick our asses.” He helped Vinnie up and immediately tripped him again. He pointed his dagger to Vinnie’s throat, but Vinnie just laughed.

Then Coz swore. Nico had cut this left bicep, and it gushed.

“Sorry. Let’s go stitch it up.” They left their daggers behind and went to the medical room for Nico to clean and stitch Coz’s arm.

Most of the men at the gym had wounds in some stage of healing. They had all gone through medic training and could administer CPR as well as stitch wounds. A few of them had performed minor surgeries on occasion.

Gianni and Vinnie continued practicing dagger drills and speculating what the big secret was. Nico and Coz returned in ten minutes and rejoined the practice and the conversation.

None of them came close to guessing the big secret, but they’d learn it all too soon.

So, there you have it. Something that happened before what happens, if you get what I mean. I appreciate the chance to share this scene with you and to close out the tour on familiar ground. Thanks for having me here today!


To show my gratitude, I’m offering two prizes to commenters.

One commenter will receive a free eBook of their choosing, not just from the Medici Protectorate series (although you can choose one of those), but from any of my works (the complete list can be found by clicking here).

Another commenter (US only) will be sent a Medici Protectorate gift pack. Every day this week I gave away a little Medici swag. Today, one commenter gets the whole bunch: bookmark, refrigerator magnet, pen, and sticky note pad. Good luck!

Swag gift pack from author Staci Troilo


display ad for the Medici Protectorate book series by Staci Troilo

Medici Protectorate Series
Premise:
The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.

Book One
Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both.

Bleeding Heart is only $.99 throughout the duration of the tour.
Click the universal link for purchase information.

Book Two
Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late?

Mind Control is only $1.99 throughout the duration of the tour.
Click the universal link for purchase information.

Book Three
Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.

Biography box for author, Staci Trolio

Social Media Links:
Web | Blog | Newsletter Signup | Twitter | Amazon | Additional Social Media Links

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

Welcome A.M. Manay with She Marches Through Fire #Vampires #NewRelease #RRBC

I’m delighted to welcome A.m. Manay, sister author with RRBC to my blog today. She’s here to share some background on her newest November Snow novel. I’ve already read the first two books in this series and have pre-ordered book 3, She Marches Through Fire, which releases in just a few days. The amount of world-building Anne Margaret has put into this series is phenomenal. Highly recommended by moi. 🙂

In the meantime, please say hello as Anne Margaret shares some background about a unique setting in her books…

~ooOOoo~

“Sanctuary Setting” 
by A.M. Manay

In both She Lights Up the Dark and the forthcoming She Marches Through Fire, November hides in the basement of an historic church in Oakland, California.  Churches have a long history as places of sanctuary for those hiding from persecution or arrest, so I found it thematically appropriate to make a church November’s place of refuge.  The church is based on the one I actually attend, which continues to be a beacon for social justice even as its membership has dwindled since its heyday following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  I wonder if the internet sleuths among you could identify it based on the details in She Lights Up the Dark . . .

The sanctuary building of my church was constructed in 1913, and the heating system is thus based on century-old technology.  The basement chamber where November and company hide is part of that system.  A furnace heats steam, which is sent into coils that form blocks of copper tubing several feet deep.  An enormous fan the size of a bedroom blows air past those heated coils.  The hot air fills a half-height chamber, then it rises through vents into the sanctuary above.  This photo is of that short chamber, where November and company hide.

dark basement room of old church

As you can see from the photo, the accommodations for November and her companions are not exactly lavish.  It’s dark and damp down there.  The ceiling is criss-crossed with old pipes and sharp bits ready to scratch the unwary and to test the efficacy of tetanus shots.  The space is littered with old, rusting equipment.

And yet, unsightly as this basement room is, it keeps us warm every Sunday in real the real world, and it protects my characters in the pretend one.

It’s a testament to my characters’ desperation that no one complains much about their hiding place’s physical condition.  Otherwise, it would be hard to imagine Luka, in particular, choosing to rest somewhere so beneath his station in life.

In She Marches Through Fire, November and Luka wind up spending the day beneath the church having just survived an enormous vampire brawl, a car chase, and a multi-vehicle collision at high speeds, after weeks of the enemy constantly nipping at their heels.  That’s probably about what it would take to get me to sleep down there.  How about you?

To find out just how much November needed sanctuary, pre-order your copy of She Marches Through Fire, arriving March 28th.

Book cover for She Marches Through Fire by A. M. ManayTitle: She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3)
Series: November Snow
Author: A.M. Manay
Cover design: A.M. Manay
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Supernatural fantasy

Mini-blurb:
Psychic vampire November Snow must battle grief, injury, and her own family as she fights evil on all sides. She seeks a cure for the poison sapping her strength and a fairy weapon as powerful as it is dangerous to wield. When it is time to save the innocent and gain justice for her maker, will she find the strength to march through the fire?

EXCERPT:
Luka woke, and his body jerked as he registered the presence of the silver bindings holding him helpless on the floor.  He looked up at his companions: Pine, Hector, Raina, and Gul.

“Oh, dear,” he commented bleakly.

“Tide has turned a bit, you worthless bastard,” Hector said, unable to resist the urge to needle the man he despised.

“Indeed, it has,” Luka admitted.  “The wheel of fortune does turn.  One day at the top, and the next . . .  Well, here we are.  Are you going to torture me, Hector?  Make me beg for death?” he mocked, widening his eyes in fake fear.

“He wouldn’t stoop to your level,” Pine replied tensely.

Luka looked from Pine to Hector and back again before a grin spread over his face without reaching his eyes.  “My, my.  How deliciously perverse.  Whatever will your Grandma Hazel say?  Did you know she used to keep a werewolf head mounted on the wall of her bedroom?  You have to do some kind of special magic on it so it doesn’t turn back into a human one when the creature dies.  I’m not really familiar with the details.  At any rate, it was quite the conversation piece.  Do you suppose she still has it stashed somewhere?  In some ratty storage facility in suburban Nevada or something?  Can you imagine?  That would make a very special episode of Storage Wars, don’t you think?”

“Shut up, murderer,” Hector said, his hands balling involuntarily into fists.  His knuckles glowed white against his brown skin.

“And speaking of murderers, dear Pine, has Hector told you how old his father was when I so cruelly had him slain?”  A cloud crossed Pine’s face.  “He hasn’t?  Well, that should make for an interesting tale, indeed, but I don’t think you’ll much enjoy it.  Might give you bad dreams.  You know, if fairies slept.”

“I know how old Carlos was when you murdered his family and stole his childhood,” Pine managed to reply, in a voice that shook more than he’d intended.  “You’re vile.”

“Tell me, Hector, do you mutts still leave your defective children to the elements?  Poor little cripples who’ll never turn—  freezing to death in the snow, or burning up with thirst?  Mauled by vermin?  Pecked at by razor-beaked birds before they even expire?”  Luka had dropped his pretense of jocularity, his fangs now peeking out of his snarl.

“Enough,” Raina declared.  “I need to see to November, and I may need Luka’s help.  Savita may need him as well, if Greg will allow it.  Nobody is torturing or killing anybody today.”

“What’s wrong with November?” Luka asked, the hostility suddenly gone from his voice, replaced by concern bordering on fear.

“I told you, William shot her,” Raina said impatiently.

“So, you pull the bullet out, and she heals.  What’s the problem?” Luka asked, increasingly agitated.  “Even a baby can take a bullet or three.”

Gul and Raina exchanged a look.  “William poisoned the bullet, which shattered in her leg,” Gul finally explained.  “Some exceptionally strong werewolf toxin.  I believe you’re familiar with it, since he got it from one of yours,” he added pointedly.  “It would be quite helpful if you could give us the antidote.”

Luka looked stricken.  “I had plenty of it.  In the house.  Before it burned to the ground.”

“That is highly unfortunate,” came Gul’s understated reply.  “For both of you.”

 

SHE MARCHES THROUGH FIRE is available for pre-order at most booksellers

Connect with A.M. Manay at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

Welcome John W. Howell with My GRL #Action #Suspense #RRBC Author

Today, I’m delighted to participate in the relaunch of My GRL, a pulse-pounding adventure novel by John W. Howell, and the first book in his John J. Cannon series. I’ve read all three books, and they are an adrenaline-packed punch!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL

My GRL

The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of

$0.99

Here’s the blurb.

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission. Amazon for the kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Paper version

Check them out and read the first few pages on Amazon.

Also, you can check out John Cannon’s other two adventures, as well as, the new My GRL at John W. Howell’s Author Page

his-revenge-front-finalour-justice-front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

john-resized

Author Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Welcome Charles E. Yallowitz with Chasing Bedlam #Scifi #Dystopian

Charles Yallowitz has a new book out, the second in his Shattered States series. Take a look below to see what this wild ride is all about!

Return to the Shattered States

for a tale of love between a woman & her jeep!

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Lloyd and Cassidy’s last adventure was to honor a life. This time they are out to end one.

It was a normal, violent mission to Texas that should have had nothing more than beer-induced hiccups. That is until an old enemy makes off with Cassidy’s jeep and most of their gear. Needless to say, she’s pissed off and challenging Lloyd for the psychopath of the month award. With the mouthy serial killer by her side, she is going on the warpath from Dallas to Miami even if it means declaring war on the drug cartels.

So strap in for another wild ride through the Shattered States and learn why you never mess with Cassidy’s jeep.

Available on Amazon for 99 cents!

Want a taste?

“So your boss thought she could send assassins to kill the Riflemen,” the black-haired leader says, earning a cheer from his men. A firm smack to the prisoner’s head silences her gurgling attempt to deny the charge. “Nothing you say can prevent the inevitable. Don’t go thinking that pet serial killer will save you either. The idiot brought a paintball gun to Texas and thought he’d win a gunfight? I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. All we need to do is find the body and we can collect the bounty on him too. Guess you’re lucky that he’s wanted dead and you’re wanted alive by that warden up north.”

“I’d be careful, boss,” a sword-wielding gang member warns. She leans away from the angry glare, but rolls up her sleeve to reveal a sloppily stitched wound. “While this one isn’t as tough as her reputation says, she can still hit hard. Lost two men before we restrained her and three more are nursing broken balls. Maybe we should use some of our tranquilizer stash and keep her sedated.”

“No reason for th-” Top Hog begins as he runs his hand across the prisoner’s forehead. He rubs his fingers at the sensation of something sticky between his fingers and looks closer to figure out what he has touched. “This scar is fake. Made from glue or something. Are you sure this is Cassidy?”

“She was with Lloyd Tenay at the bar,” a one-eyed man replies in a shaky voice. He shifts from one foot to the other when everyone else takes a step away from him. “You told us to look for him and a blonde woman. She had the denim jacket, the forehead scar, cursed a lot, carried two pistols, and even has the correct tramp stamp. Everyone was calling her Cassidy after she drove up in the blue jeep too. We made sure that everything checked out, boss. Even bribed the bartender and two waitresses.”

Sweat beading on his face, Top Hog draws his large gun and presses it to the prisoner’s temple. He leans around her, his eyes repeatedly darting toward her hands to make sure they are still bound. Lifting her white shirt, he sees the unique tattoo that the widespread stories mention Cassidy getting a little less than a year ago. The design is two pistols back to back with vines of bone curling around and binding them together. A strange discoloration catches the gang leader’s attention and he rubs his thumb along the woman’s side, pushing his weapon harder against her head to prevent wiggling. He swears that he feels a seam, so he gets a dirty fingernail beneath what turns out to be a flesh-colored sticker. Top Hog yanks it off and shows it to his men, the prisoner biting her lower lip to avoid screaming. He can already see that the tattoo is smeared from where he has touched it with his meaty fingers.

Enraged and embarrassed, the gang leader is about to kill the fake Cassidy when he hears distant rock music. Within seconds, he realizes that the source is getting closer and is soon joined by maniacal laughter coming over a crackling megaphone. With a snap of his fingers, Top Hog orders one of his men to take the prisoner to his office while the others run for the exit. Nobody gets very far before a blue jeep, which has been outfitted with a wide battering ram, smashes through the front of the warehouse. The vehicle leaves a gaping hole in the wall, which is made worse by hooked chains on the rear bumper that catch and tear more of the obstacle down. The jeep continues at full speed through crates, shelving units, and the slower gang members whose deaths are celebrated by honks of the horn. Tires screech as the driver hits the brakes and gets the car to spin, the move appearing to have no purpose beyond making those inside dizzy. With an embarrassing thud, the vehicle hits the back wall and hisses to a stop.

The gang have already drawn their weapons and are cautiously approaching the jeep when the sunroof opens. Bullets fly at the blonde figure that leaps out, the projectiles creating so many holes that the top half of their target falls off. The legs of the cardboard cutout are casually tossed to the floor before the shriek of a megaphone makes everyone cringe and cover their ears. With the tattered remains laying face up, the frustrated criminals realize that they have destroyed another Cassidy decoy. They are about to inch closer when the jeep briefly roars to life and a man inside begins making engine noises. The sounds change to the exaggerated screams and detailed begging of those whose parts are still stuck to the scuffed battering ram.

“So that was your plan, Cassidy?” Top Hog asks with a chuckle. He turns to see their prisoner is trying to roll away and fires his gun into the air to stop her. “Two decoys, so that you could get the drop on us. Guess you thought more of us would get run over. You still have thirteen of my crew standing and you’re cornered in that jeep. Now, the only question is if I send a piece of you back to the Duchess as a message that she should stay out of my business. Damn northerner needs to stay out of Texas’s business.”

“Actually, that young woman was the bait and I was the distraction,” Lloyd announces from inside. With a gleeful laugh, he opens one of the doors and yanks it back when the gang shoots at him. “Well shit. That was my favorite power window button. Anyway, people make that mistake all the time. You see, bait draws you in and, at least here, allows the real predators to follow you back to the previously hidden hideout. Not even a sign to help us out, which is very rude and unaccommodating. Now, the distraction’s job is to keep you looking in one direction while a mischievous maiden of mayhem prepares her new toy somewhere else. Don’t bother running, boys, because she’ll take that as an insult.”

Top Hog and his men turn toward the hole in the wall, which has exposed them to the large parking lot. The sun forces them to squint at the lone figure standing behind a loaded mini-gun, the weapon glinting in the midday light. Clouds move across the sky, which makes it easier for the gang to identify the denim jacket and blonde hair of their enemy. They take a few shots at the distant woman, but their bullets either miss completely or bounce off several riot shields that are strapped to the weapon. A slamming car door causes them to jump, but they turn in the wrong direction and are unable to stop Lloyd from racing toward the prisoner. Wearing orange pants from his time as a prisoner and a red shirt with a lightning bolt, the black-haired serial killer seems like an obvious target as he scoops up the young woman and dives behind a box of grenades. Suddenly afraid for their lives, Top Hog and his men attempt to scatter and hunt for cover.

“I hate moving targets,” Cassidy growls.

And don’t forget how it all started in CROSSING BEDLAM!

Also on sale for 99 cents!

charles

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog 
Twitter: @cyallowitz 
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz 
Website 

Welcome Tammy Tate with The Homecoming #ShifterRomance

Today, I’m welcoming back Tammy Tate with her latest release, a shifter story, and the first in a series. Take it away, Tammy . . .

The Homecoming (Book One of Bayou Shifters series)

 Mae, thanks so much for having me as your guest. I’m thrilled to be here and excited to share my new release, The Homecoming. It’s part of a series I’m working on called Bayou Shifters. For the most part, it takes place deep in a Louisiana alligator infested swamp and is only accessible by boat. The perfect place for a clan of shifters to thrive and go unnoticed.

The Homecoming is packed with romance, revenge, and a strong will to live. All the ingredients necessary to keep the pages turning. WARNING: Depending what time of day you start it, it may keep you up at night or ignore household duties during the day! You’ve been forewarned…

And, if The Homecoming leaves you wanting more…then you’ll be happy to know, I have started book two! Book cover for The Homecoming by Tammy Tate shows young dark-haired couple embracing facing camera, dark night sky behind, wolf at bottom

Blurb
Sydney is half human, half wolf, and has fallen in love with Kyle, a full-fledged shifter who for the last six months has been appearing in her dreams.

The next full moon, Sydney makes her first shift from human to wolf. The transformation won’t be easy. Thanks to her human genes, it could leave her disfigured. Or, worse. Dead.

Edward knows he can’t rush Sydney to the hospital if something goes terribly wrong, so he sends his only daughter to live with his late wife’s wolf clan deep in Louisiana’s alligator infested bayou. Despite holding Edward responsible for her sister’s death, Susan agrees to help.

Sydney learns Kyle is in Bayou Fontaine. But, for the sake of the pack, the council has already chosen Emily, as his mate. The relentless she-wolf will stop at nothing to claim what is rightfully hers and teams up with Kyle’s twin brother, Justin, who’s hell bent on revenge.

The clock is ticking…

Excerpt
Sydney frowned at her internal beast. “Look. I know you mean well, but the evil ‘Ms. Thing’ might just show herself if I call her name.”

“It’s easier to go against something we can see, rather than something we can’t,” her wolf protested.

Her canine had a good point.

Her wolf spoke again. “She’s out there. Don’t believe me? Call her.”

“Do you have a death wish? Because if you do, I must inform, I don’t.”

“Lisa’s life may depend on us.”

“What if Emily shifts into her wolf? Should I remind you, I can’t do that at will, yet?”

“You could try—”

“I could get us killed, too!”

“I’ll help…”

Sydney clenched her fists. “I thought you understood. I’m the boss. Obviously, you don’t get it, so let me refresh your memory—”

“Shhh…” her wolf said in a low growl. “Wolf. One o’clock…”

Sydney rolled her eyes a tick to the right, and whispered, “I swear if Emily doesn’t hurt you, I might.”

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON 

BOOK TRAILER:

Author Tammy TateAUTHOR BIO:
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes…creating a world where anything is possible. She’s been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she’s not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she and her husband are exploring country roads on their Honda Gold Wing.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon’s Best Seller list.

Connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Facebook Fan Page   

Goodreads   
Blogspot    

Cover Reveal: A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair #RRBC Author

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m kicking off the week by doing a cover reveal for A Desolate Hour, the third and final book in my Point Pleasant mystery/suspense series focused on the Mothman of urban legend.

Book cover for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair shows a small town overlooking a river at night, full moon overhead, cover in wash of green red and black with white lettering

A DESOLATE HOUR
Book 3 in the Point Pleasant Series
Genre:
 Suspense/Mystery
Length: 79,000 Words
Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground Imprint
Publication Date: July 18, 2017

BLURB:

Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures . . .

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing Chief Cornstalk—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

~ooOOoo~

This book was challenging for me, the hardest of the three to write, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out. If you’ve been following the series, all those questions about the Mothman are finally answered with the conclusion of this novel. Caden Flynn is back, along with other regular characters, Eve, Katie, and Ryan. There’s also a few new ones you’ll be meeting and one character, who had a minor role in A Cold Tomorrow, is now front and center.

I hope you’ll join me for the conclusion of the trilogy.

A Desolate Hour is now available for pre-order from all major book sellers. Pre-orders help tremendously with a book’s launch, so both the Mothman and I would be highly jazzed should you like to place an order now. 😀 Just click here to pick the bookseller of your choice.

And if you happened to miss books 1 and 2, the purchase links are below.

A Thousand Yesteryears (Book 1) is on sale for .99 until February 4

A Cold Tomorrow (Book 2)

Character Interview with Brandi from #NakedAlliances #RRBC

Please join me for a character Interview with Brandi, from S.K. Nicholls’ crime romp, Naked Alliances. Susan is a new member of RRBC, and I’m happy to showcase her latest work on my blog. Susan sent Brandi over for a chat…

Name of Character: Brandi

Book Title: Naked Alliances

Age: 29

Profession: Exotic dancer at the Parliament House, a gay club.

City and State: Orlando, Florida

I’m thrilled to have here today Brandi from S.K. Nicholls’ new crime romp, Naked Alliances, the first volume in the Naked Eye Series. Brandi is a twenty-nine year old exotic dancer living in Orlando, Florida. She serves as a private investigator’s sidekick in the novel.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today!

Thank you so for this interview, Brandi. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Thank you for having me. Sorry I was late, but I play Pokemon and there was a Snorlax in my nearby sightings and I found him right around the corner. My author did a wonderful job portraying me in Naked Alliances. The private investigator in our story claims I’m irresponsible, but I saved his butt more than once.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Colorizing is an interesting choice of words. I’m biracial and transgendered. My author took great pains to make certain that I wasn’t stereotyped, but Richard Noggin, a.k.a. Dick Head, P.I., certainly seemed to have some images of me that are stereotypical. I hope we’ve cleared the air on a few of those in the first book, so the author doesn’t have to work so hard in the next. I also appreciate that my author was able to demonstrate that I am quite capable of being a nurturing soul, even if things didn’t start out that way.

My author had an artist friend of a mutual friend of ours, Craig Boyack, illustrate me and his spokesperson, Lisa Burton, when I paid them a visit. I think he did a fine job, as well. Lisa gave me a new purse. I’m hoping my author will let me use it in a future book.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I take crap from nobody. Especially not a bumbling P.I. who can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble. He’s smart man with crummy luck, but I’m no dummy. I’m a former Explosives Ordinance Disposal Specialist in the U.S. Army, and did a brief stint as a cop. Dancing and entertaining men are not the only things I do well. I am highly skilled. And I’m certainly not gonna take any crap from some mastermind of an organized crime ring.

Worse trait?

Admittedly, I have two bad traits. First, I have a horrible fear of guns. It came about after my Army days when I was working as a cop and had a serious incident trying to talk down a woman with a gun. Things didn’t turn out well. And finally, not so much a trait as a habit, but I smoke cigarettes. At least I did when the author wrote the book. But I’ve quit the cigarettes since then and now I vape, make my own e-juice, and wrap my own coils.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Chablis from “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. She’s my heroine. Loved the movie and loved the book by John Berendt. She was not only the heroine in the book, but played herself in the movie. RuPaul has some characters that might do the job well, but I can’t think of one that’s better than me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I like to think I’m confident about my sexuality and I have loved. Truth is, I’m recently transitioned, so I’m still sort of struggling with my sexuality and since the book is set in a nudist resort that has a significant population of swingers, I had opportunity to consider my options. I still can’t decide if I’m more attracted to males or females. I’m attracted to both for different reasons. Richard is kinda cute, but with his attitude, I’m not sure we could ever really be more than friends.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When Richard showed up at the nudist resort all angry at me for leaving our little friend, Cara, the sex-trafficking victim, alone I thought he was gonna send me on my way. But after finding out what a bad day he’d had, I was able to smooth things over. Then, there was a time when he took off on his own to settle a score and I was really worried.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really NOT want to be and why?

Tim Morrison, the former mayor of Orange County and current Administrator of Growth and Development. He plans to run for Governor, but leads a double life. He tries to keep too many secrets. I put it all out there. He’s more sexually confused than I am, and sex-trafficking is rampant in his community. I wouldn’t want his job. Not only did he lose his wife to murder, but he could very likely lose his kids. He’s an unhappy man, and his personal assistant is an arrogant a**hole. I’d fire him in a minute.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I’m glad our author insists on having a satisfying resolution for each book in the series. I want to know what’s going on with everybody in the books, but hate cliff-hangers.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

I really need a new purse. That military green, oversized messenger bag from my Army days holds a lot, but it’s cumbersome, Richard hates it, and it’s just not fashionable.

Thank you for this interview, Brandi. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I sure hope so. My author is eager to see how well we are received in the reading community with this first book. If everything goes well, and I’m talking reviews here, she’s promised me a starring role in the next book. (As if I wasn’t the star of this one.) She loves to hear from people about what they liked and didn’t like about her work. You can write to her at sknicholls@sknicholls.com. 

Thank you for having me here, Mae. This was my most fun interview to date!

NakedAlliances_JPEG

Bio:

e_dsc4834-1S.K. Nicholls is author of Naked Alliances, Book One in the Naked Eye Series. Her family owns and operates a nudist resort located in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. She has a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing that is touched with a humorous edge. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Greg. When she’s not writing, she can be found tracking down Snorlaxes, wandering city parks with the homeless, or sipping margaritas on the bow of a boat. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Florida Writer’s Association, and Writers of Central Florida…or Thereabouts. BraveBlueHeronBooks vector image

Amazon Link
Twitter: @sknicholls1
Blog

What Now?

For the last month I’ve been focused on little else but meeting the publisher’s deadline for A DESOLATE HOUR, the third book in my Point Pleasant series. Wall-to-wall writing marathons each weekend plus late nights at the keyboard helped me deliver the manuscript on time.

Celebration time, right? Yes…and no.

Part of me is excited by the prospect of being able to start something new, but the other part is saddened to see the series end. The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Never undertake writing a series while working fulltime. Kudos to anyone who can juggle both, but it’s beyond my time management skills. The deadlines are too tight, not to mention I’m tired of using concealer to hide the dark circles under my eyes. Bleh!

Now that the dreaded “D” word is behind me, it feels weird not to have to produce on demand. For the last year and a half I’ve been writing based on deadlines and suddenly all that pressure is gone. A wide open road ahead. I’m bummed about saying goodbye to my characters (even the Mothman) but am looking forward to starting something new. And one of the characters from the last two novels could easily spin off into his own series.

Oh wait—did I say series? Let me rephrase—he could be spun off into new tales. As much as I see the potential for him to be a repeat character, I don’t want his saga turning into a series based on deadlines. I’ve had my fill for a while.

A notepad with pen under the word Write in large letters

I remember when Kensington first offered me a contract for all three books. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be challenging. I also knew if I walked away from the opportunity I would regret the decision. Now that it’s over and mostly done (there are still edits), I feel like I’ve taken strides forward in my journey as an author. I’ve also learned that I can write on demand and when push comes to shove, can deliver a finished manuscript in under four months. Who would have thought?

All of that aside, I’m looking forward to the release of book 2 in the series, A COLD TOMORROW, which rolls out on December 20th. I hear it makes a great Christmas gift and is available for pre-order right now. Yes, that’s a blatant hint, folks. 🙂

In celebration of UFO visitors (did I mention there are UFOS in A COLD TOMORROW?) here’s another graphic Kensington did for me. I love that my book is tucked in along with Greg Olsen’s and Lisa Jackson’s latest releases. Now if we could just push TOMORROW to their level of sales, LOL! 🙂

A collage of thriller novels available on dark background with creepy house

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble. I can’t wait to start blogging about new projects. I just need to decide which one and….what now?

Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2

December is approaching, and with it, the release of book 2 in my Point Pleasant saga,  A Cold Tomorrow. In anticipation of the December 20th release, Kensington Publishing is running a Goodreads giveaway for residents in the US and Canada. This is your chance to win a print copy of the book while helping a hard-working author out in the process.

Er…that would be me, folks. 🙂

GR giveaways do wonders for getting books noticed with increased exposure, so I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over and enter. It will be a huge help to me, so please accept my gratitude in advance.

I’m currently busily working on book 3 of the series, but I have a special fondness for book 2. I’ve heard many writers find the middle book the most difficult to write. I didn’t encounter that problem, but it could be due to my fondness for the subject matter—UFOs, Men in Black, and, of course, the Mothman. What a combination! If you read book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, you’ll find I’ve expanded on many open threads, as well as opening new ones—such as introducing the mysterious Mr. Evening. And if you haven’t read book 1, A Cold Tomorrow, can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Book cover for A COLD TOMORROW by author, Mae Clair shows a deserted country lane at night beneath a sky of green cloudsBLURB:
Where secrets make their home…  

Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder….

As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events.   But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….

~ooOOoo~

Intrigued? Then please enter the Goodreads giveaway here then hop over to Amazon and pre-order your copy of A Cold Tomorrow. Like the giveaway, pre-orders are a huge help in getting a book launched successfully. I truly appreciate each and every pre-order and, as always, am grateful to my readers and friends for your ongoing support. You guys rock!

The Mothman knows that too 😀