Tag Archives: murder

A Grave Misunderstanding, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa BurtonHello, and welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m stoked to introduce this week’s guest. It’s my first time interviewing another robot. “Welcome to the show, Smithers.”

“It is my distinct pleasure, Lisa.”

“Smithers, you’re in the studio with me, but our listeners can’t see you. I’m excited to meet an advanced model, and you look as human as I do. In fact, I think you look a bit like Peter O’Toole.”

“Yes, that is very perceptive of you. In fact, most of us in the Simdroid 3000 Series resemble Peter O’Toole. Our human creator, Darius Hawthorne, has a great affection for O’Toole, particularly his role in Lawrence of Arabia. That’s why he has ten other simdroids in the mansion who look like me. Our voices vary, however. You know, Jimmy Stewart, James Cagney, and so on. Oh, and then there’s the upstairs maid, who has the voice of Marilyn Monroe. My voice, as you will certainly note, is the actual mellifluous voice of none other than the late Richard Burton.”

“Great voice, and great last name, if I do say so myself. My voice is an amalgamation of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, and a lady I thought sounded nice on a telenovella. Now my bio says you are a butler at Hawthorne Mansion. Butlers always have all the dirt. What kind of things go on at Hawthorne Mansion?”

“Until yesterday, I would have said nothing much. Polishing, cleaning, tidying, the usual butlerly stuff. But the murder has changed all that, you see, and not just any ordinary murder, but a murder that defies logic, at least any logic I’ve been given in my programming.”

“Why, what a wonderful puzzled expression you have generated!

“Let me explain. The gentlemen I am helping with this case, Detective Simon Grave and his near invisible partner, Sergeant Barry Blunt, call the murder a locked-room mystery, but with a twist. Instead of the victim, poor Miss Epiphany Jones, being locked in the room dead as can be, all of the so-called prime suspects—seven in all—were locked in the room, myself among them. Not that the butler did it, understand. Oh, my, who programmed your expressions? They are quite delightful.

“At any rate, we don’t know who did it, and I don’t know logically why Detective Grave thinks that any of us locked in that room could have been the murderer. He’s a rather curious fellow, and logic seems to be a challenge for him. That being said, he at least recognizes my abilities as an observer and recording device. He’s letting me sit in on the interrogations.”

“Let me tell you, my recording capability has proven handy more than once. Does anyone seem to know why the murder happened?”

“There are at least two theories. Firstly, there is reason to suspect a violent argument between the victim and Mr. Hawthorne’s daughter, Whitney Waters, who has achieved some small fame by painting red herrings, in the nude. And, of course, there is the MacGuffin Trophy, a sailing trophy that was stolen from the locked room the same night as the murder. Two crimes, you see, perhaps connected.”

“Hmpfff! So detective Grave is going to have to chase the MacGuffin, get it?”

“What? Oh, Ha! I see what you are doing there, but no. The trophy is named after Barnaby MacGuffin, a famous local yachtsman. The trophy is awarded to the winner of an annual race in Crab Cove.”

“Okay, so we have this missing trophy and a body. Do you have any suspects yet?”

“Well, Miss Waters, of course, although it could have been Mr. Hawthorne; his second wife, Philomena; his other daughter, wheelchair-bound Edwina; the French governess, Lola Lafarge; or Whitney’s young son, Roy Lynn Waters. And me, although that is quite ridiculous. Nothing in my programming suggests I could have done such a thing. Robots just don’t do that sort of thing.

“Still, the interviews of the suspects have been interesting. As I said, Detective Grave seems to have an oil and water relationship with logic. He reminds me more of that fictional character Dudley Do-Right than the equally fictional Sherlock Holmes.

“I have to say, though, that I think Detective Grave could learn something from Sherlock. I’m not sure if Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels are part of your database, but I can access them all, including his way of approaching a case, which is, and I quote: Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

“Well, I’m afraid Detective Graves’ approach goes something like: Once you eliminate the truth, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the impossible.

“So, right at the moment, everyone is a murderer and a thief, and everyone is a red herring.”

“Oh crap, that reminds me. The traveling salesman Red Herring stoped by the writing cabin recently. I need to finish cataloging and putting all that stuff away. I’ll bet my author would prefer a naked lady painter to show up. Wait, Whitney is a lady, right?”

“Yes, and quite beautiful, according to my programming. A ten on some maddeningly subjective scale or other, ten being the highest. Although frankly, that is not a data point of any interest to me. I am a Simdroid 3000, Series 2, Butler Model XL, and butlering is what I do. I am not human and don’t wish to pass for human.”

“See, that’s our programming. I was built to almost trick people into believing I’m human, so I want to be as human as possible. If I were programmed to be a butler, I’d want to be the best butler possible. I really respect your work ethic and dedication.”

“Well, the sooner we solve this murder, the sooner I can get back to doing just that. And that will be fine with me.”

“Smithers, I wish you all the best. Sometimes these little diversions can be maddening. Do you have any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“Being a butler, my entire focus is on serving my master and his household as well as I can. Part and parcel to that, of course, is being as efficient as possible. With that in mind, I would make the following humble requests. Gentlemen guests, please lift the seat before urinating. Lady guests, please avoid leaving lipstick on the champagne glasses.

“And thank you, Lisa, for letting me ramble on. You have quite run down my battery.”

“You can learn all about Smithers, the MacGuffin Trophy, Barry Blunt, and the others in A Grave Misunderstanding, by Len Boswell, one of the Simon Grave Mysteries. I’ll include all of the deets on the website.

“Don’t forget to help me keep the lights on around here. Please use those sharing buttons and help Len and Smithers spread the work about this book.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***
Book Blurb:
In A Grave Misunderstanding, by Len Boswell, the first in a new series of Simon Grave Mysteries, “almost handsome” Detective Simon Grave and his “nearly invisible” partner, Sergeant Barry Blunt, investigate a locked-room mystery with a significant twist: the prime suspects are in the locked room, not the victim, a logic-defying situation that challenges the team at every turn. As if murder weren’t enough, they must also investigate the simultaneous disappearance of The MacGuffin Trophy from that same locked room, the studio of artist Whitney Waters, famous for her stylized paintings of red herrings.

Who is/are the killer(s)? How did he/she/they get out of the locked room with the trophy, kill the victim, and return unnoticed by others in the room? These and other questions, including the limits of logic and the meaning of life, are posed and perhaps even answered in this quirky, near-future mystery. Yes, there are robots.

Author Bio:

Len Boswell is the author of Flicker: A Paranormal Mystery, Skeleton: A Bare Bones Mystery, The Leadership Secrets of Squirrels, and Santa Takes a Tumble. An award-winning writer, he now spends his days in the mountains of West Virginia, with his wife, Ruth, and their two dogs, Shadow and Cinder.

You can follow Len and pick up a copy of A Grave Misunderstanding at the following locations:

Purchase Link

Twitter: @simonsilverback

Facebook

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Songs From Richmond Avenue, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hi all you mystery lovers, this is Lisa Burton, the robot girl. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, and my guest today is a real enigma. He’s calling in today from The Relix Club in Las Vegas, and he’s known only as the Buddhist. “Welcome to the show, Buddhist.”

“My humblest of greetings, Lisa. One brief correction, if I may. I am currently in The Relix Club, true enough, but it’s located in Houston, Texas, where I have resided, on and off, for a number of years. The confusion may be that I have only recently returned from North Las Vegas. I flew west, you see, to make right a wrong done to a friend concerning his vehicle and another party’s rather substantial debt. It’s probably best to leaving it at that, at least in such a public forum. Too many people listening in, if you follow my meaning.”

“I take it this Relix Club you’re in is kind of a seedy place. When you called just now I distinctly heard glass breaking and someone cursing at the top of his lungs. Why did you choose to call in from there?”

“Cursing? Oh yes, Danny. He’s the bartender. It’s how he relieves stress and maintains order. I prefer chanting, myself. Do you want to talk about chanting and meditative states? Maybe chemical relaxants to assist with meditative states?”

“No. I want to talk about why you are calling from that Relix Club dive.”

“Well, it’s kind of my headquarters, so to speak. I do business out of here and am comfortable with the level of discretion provided by its staff and clientele. The dress code is fairly relaxed as well. Shirts and shoes are more of a humble suggestion than a requirement, you see, so long as you happen to be a paying customer. Plus it’s dark here. Easy on the eyes.”

“Now, Buddhist, my bio says you’re sleeping in an old car these days. What happened to drive you to those depths?”

“I must take exception here, Lisa. My current living arrangements have less to do with sinking to depths than they do with rising from the ashes – like a Phoenix, only in Houston. You see, there was a fairly substantial fire at my prior address, the cause of which has yet to be determined. All I can say on the record is that I was not the perpetrator. Anyway, I decided a more minimalistic approach to life was spiritually preferable after that. I like to think of the fire as something of a cosmic blessing, though I could have done without all the depositions.”

“So I understand using your friend’s car as a residence got him into a pickle last year that had something to do with unpaid gambling debts.”

“The car in question is no ordinary vehicle. It’s a classic Mercury Marquis touring car, circa 1976, containing the largest factory engine in commercial automotive history. Needless to say, it provided lots of room to stretch out, making it an obvious choice. Actually, I only slept in it a time or two and in no way took up residence. I can only say the Merc was central to my friend’s difficulties, but you should ask him about that. Wait, I’ll put him… He’s shaking his head, Lisa. Now, he’s leaving without even finishing his beer. I think I’ve only seen him do that once before.

“A thousand pardons, Hoss. Come on back!

“It’s difficult to explain, Lisa. You see he is the press by trade, yet he shuns the press. Kind of a yin and yang relationship with his chosen vocation, don’t you think?

“Understand, Lisa, I am limited as to what I can say out of a sense of loyalty and due to certain pending legal constraints that I unfortunately fall under. I will go on record to say his difficulties were not of his own making but rather due largely to a certain admirable naiveté on his part. That I fell asleep when I did, admittedly complicated matters.

“Danny, when you get a chance, another drink before the band starts making noise.”

“So what’s wrong with a nice band? It might give the old place some character.”

“Character? The Relix’s loaded with both character and characters. The bands, I’m afraid, tend to draw a more conventional segment of the populace than we’ve become accustomed to, so to speak. Less flexible in their sense of right and wrong, less forgiving. They ask for wine lists and make Danny nervous. What if there’s a fight, for example? These people will want cops and ambulances if someone really gets hurt.”

“Okay then, Buddhist. Let’s talk about the body you and your friend, and his date discovered. What kind of leads do the police have so far?”

“That unfortunate turn of events was most definitely none of my doing. Even Michelle was there as a witness to the discovery, and I can tell she never does anything injurious. My belief is the deceased fell into the shrubbery from an upstairs window while home alone. Possibly death by misadventure as the coroners say in such cases. Frankly, the deceased was, in my view, not as mentally sound as you or I. Say, how do you even know I was there when the body was found? Who talked? A thousand pardons, Lisa, but I’m starting to regret agreeing to this interview. I thought we’d be swapping lewd stories like Howard Stern does. Or, or, or, maybe giving away cars to your audience like Oprah. How do you know all of this?”

“Actually, I used to be a cop, and yes I’m recording the show for transcription onto the website.”

“Transcription? — So, Lisa, assuming that is your real name, do you think during the editing process you could by chance, I mean– Look, humblest of apologies but I have a pending commitment I nearly forgot that requires me to cut this short. A thousand apologies.

“Hoss, the Merc. I need to borrow the Merc. It’s of the utmost importance.”

“Buddhist? Are you still there? Buddhist?

“We seem to have lost Buddhist somehow. The good news is there is a book available. It’s called Songs From Richmond Avenue, by Michael Reed. I’ll post the link, and all the other deets on the website after I transcribe everything.

“Don’t forget about those sharing buttons on the website. I’m sure after he thinks about it, Buddhist will appreciate it, and I know Mike Reed will too.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

A Houston Love Story, with Beer and a Couple Dead Folks Thrown In

Songs From Richmond Avenue by Michael Reed offers an off-kilter, satirical take on big-city misfits, the bars they frequent and the occasional, albeit, misguided quest for something better.

For the blurry-eyed denizens of the Relix Club and our narrator, a serially employed journalist with questionable work ethics, whiling away the hours engaged in their two favorite activities – drinking and betting on just about anything – is a pretty good life. That is until he meets pretty Michelle, a woman who he declares has “skin so perfect I doubted she even had pores.”

Could she be his salvation, he wonders. Maybe, but not until after he completes an alcohol- fueled urban odyssey involving Michelle’s Nihilist stripper roommate, a paramilitary Buddhist barfly, a pair of dumber-than-dirt, debt-collecting hoodlums, and the usual ration of Bayou City sweat and torrential rain.

“Bukowski, no doubt, would have found comfort and more than a few laughs in the sideshow of Houston inhabited by the author.”

– Steve Olafson, longtime Houston journalist

“It keeps the reader turning pages while navigating the Bayou City at a breakneck pace…”

– Tom Minder, author of Long Harbor Testament

To order

Print: www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/songsfromrichmondavenue

Kindle: www.amazon.com/Songs-Richmond-Avenue-Michael-Reed-ebook/dp/B01N039ZM7

Michael Reed is an award-winning Texas journalist, which means he has lived in inexpensive apartments and driven paid-for used cars most of his life. Experience as a reporter and editor, along with extensive, though at the time completely unintended research into the many facets of Houston’s dive bar scene, provided him with the requisite background material for this novel. This is the Southern Illinois University graduate’s first novel.

You can also find him in the following locations:

Twitter: @trends_to_reed

Facebook: SongsFromRichmondAve

Instagram: @miker0130

 

Email: songsfromrichmond@gmail.com

 

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The Broken Life

It’s my pleasure today to welcome Jaye Marie to Entertaining Stories. She and her sister have a blog tour going on, and it’s their first one. Please make them feel welcome, and share this post across your social media.

***

Interview with David Snow/Broken Life

 

I have interviewed David Snow before, but usually in my office. This time I am visiting him in the hospital, where he is recovering from the horrendous injuries he sustained in The Broken Life, the third book in my mystery thriller series.

I’m not sure what condition I will find him in, but I believe he is almost ready to be discharged. As my job as editor I have to find out what his plans are for the future. Rumour has it that he will be retiring, but I might have other ideas about that. It would be a shame to lose him now, as he is one of my better characters.

I find him sitting in a chair by the window in his private hospital room, looking amazing and wearing casual clothes and not the pyjamas I was expecting. He looks up as I push open the door, the same boyish grin on his face as he recognises me. The attractive blonde sitting on the bed stands up as I approach.

“I’ll be back later on, David and we can finish making the arrangements…”

I watch as the door swings shut behind her and wonder what kind of arrangements Jane Bates, the duty solicitor for Guildford Police Station could be making with DI David Snow.

“Hello, David. You’re looking much better than I thought you would. They must be taking good care of you in here.”

“Hi Jaye, they have worked wonders, but it’s time I got out of here…”

“That sounds as though you have a plan of some sort. Care to let me in on it?” Was I mistaken, or did I see a flicker of uncertainty cross his face? He would have to talk to me, for I was going nowhere until I knew what he was up to.

“Well…” he paused, checking my face for clues as to the purpose of my visit. “I think I know why you’re here… but I don’t think I will be going back to work just yet… maybe never…”

My heart sank. This was the worst thing he could have said to me, but I had been expecting something of the sort. He must have been dreading telling me, and my face probably reflected my disappointment.

“I am sorry to have to say it… I hope you’re not too unhappy. I never thought I would leave the Force, it has been my life for so long, but I’m not getting any younger…”

“Is there a medical reason for this decision?” I was clutching at straws, and he probably knew it.

He laughed… and the nervousness on his face eased immediately. “No… I have been pronounced fit and good to go. I desperately need a break though, before I begin to think of what happens next. If you have come to put me back to work, I’m afraid you’ll have a bit of a wait.”

He stood up and walked to the window. I had forgotten how pleasant it was to watch him move. No lasting damage to his body that I could see either, he moved like he always did, like an athlete. The thought of never seeing him again was beginning to upset me, so I tried one more question. “You can’t fool me, David. You can’t just stop being a detective, and a good one at that.” Changing the subject, I asked, “Any news from Kate Devereau lately?”

He frowned, and I thought I had possibly touched a nerve.

“She sends postcards sometimes, seems her life really has changed for the better…”

I sensed a reluctance to talk about Kate, so stood up to leave. I knew I wouldn’t get the answers I hoped for today, but I had the feeling I wouldn’t be losing him after all. But before I left, I had one last question. “You will let me know what you decide, won’t you?”

He walked up to me and gently took my hands in his. This close to him I could smell the soap he used laced with his testosterone. My knees reacted instantly, a fluttery weakness that always occurred near my snowman. Kate thinks she invented that nickname for him, but it was me all along.

“I will be in touch, Jaye. Don’t you ever worry about that…”

***

My name is Jaye Marie, the ‘oily rag’ of the partnership http://jenanita01.com and usually, I prefer to stay in the background.

Since we decided to publish our books ourselves, most of my other interests have had to take a back seat, and as I am not half as clever as I want to be, they may well have to leave the country for a while. Well, some of them can but not all. I am an avid Bonsai fan and have a collection that demands my attention in the growing season, or they will die. (It is a bit like having children)

I love books and have read my way through stacks of them, so when my sister needed someone to edit and type up her manuscripts, I was happy to help. Somewhere along the way, I discovered my vocation and my love-hate relationship with the world of computers. But I did learn how to edit and proofread, taking over the job of getting Anita’s books ready for publication. I even had some wonderful compliments from one of the best literary agents in London for my editing of Anita’s first book, Bad Moon, and for the last twenty years since my retirement, that‘s what my life has been like.

Then everyone started talking about ‘Indie’ or self-publishing. I already knew how hard it was to be published in the traditional way, so became very excited at the prospect of being able to do it ourselves. I started our own website and found that I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world and posting our thoughts online. Then I concentrated on publishing Anita’s books. It wasn’t quite as easy as they made it sound, but with my usual stubbornness, I kept at it, learning more and more as I went along.

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking about a story that had been nibbling away in the corner of my mind for months, and before too long, it demanded to be written and then there were two writers in the family!

Links

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/anitajaydawes

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/JayeLink

Website: http://jenanita01.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaydawes2/media
Facebook: http://facebook.com/anita.dawes.37
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie
UK Amazon Link : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Life-Jaye-Marie/dp/1326866753
US Amazon Link https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Life-Jaye-Marie/dp/1326866753

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Adventures in La-La Land, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Coming at you with 1.21 jigawatts of power, it’s Lisa Burton Radio, the only show where I interview the characters from the books you love. My special guest today is Moe Fishbein. He lives in LA, and dabbles a little in skip tracing, vehicular repossession, and even the law on rare occasions. “Welcome to the show, Moe.”

“Good to meetcha, Lisa. But please…my friends just call me Fish.”

“Lawyers make bank, and I’ll bet Los Angeles is an interesting market. Why would someone walk away from that kind of career to go solo?”

“You ever heard of a law firm called Uptight, Rigid, Repressed and Lipshitz? Hey, if somebody – or some government agency – is hassling you and you’ve got the bucks, they’ve got the power, the muscle and the connections to make it go annoy somebody else. I was an associate there for almost five years, then I just couldn’t take another day of defending the rich and powerful for committing the indefensible. So, I told the management committee to take their partnership offer letter and use it as a suppository.

“Now I live at the beach, on top of a cliff that overlooks the little cove where they used to park Jim Garner’s trailer when they were shooting Rockford Files. Now, I just dabble. Practice a little law here…a little vehicle repoing and bounty hunting there. Backed up by my two best buds in the world…Einstein, who’s all but dissertation on his Ph.D. in physics. And Kenny, who became my first bail capture, legal client and employee – all on the same freakin’ day.

“What else do you want to know? Lived in L.A. my whole life. Pretty much grew up next door to the Brady Bunch. Did a little time at UCLA and Valley State. Kicked around restaurants as a sous chef for a few years, while I went to night law school. Quickly became the Uptight, Rigid, Repressed and Lipshitz associate voted most likely to royally piss off the Appellate Court. Go ahead, call me a wise-ass. WTF, everybody does. I’m kind of like John McLane from Die Hard…but without the firepower.

“Sure, we work hard. And we’re pretty damn good at getting the job done – without fracturing too many statutes along the way. But, this is L.A. we’re talking about. With a heavy side order of the entertainment industry. Where EVERYBODY packs a hyphen and valet parks on the whacko side of the street. So, we usually don’t have to go looking for trouble. It’s always got our GPS coordinates.”

“Repo and bounty work is kind of dangerous. Seems to me the courtroom is a safer place to earn a living.”

“That’s why I never go out on a job alone… Hey, Sinatra had his Rat Pack, right? Well, I’ve got Einstein and Kenny. And Beast, my head of security. We all keep an eye on each other’s 6. Kenny is fully fluent in ‘Dude’. He stumbled out of the 70’s a few brain cells lighter than when he face-planted in, and is sniper/scout material when it comes to paint ball guns. Einstein is close to his Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and he never met a neutrino he didn’t like. Especially, the ones that hang around the ignition system of your average deadbeat’s car. And Beast? He started out as a pampered little Beverly Hills lap pooch. Now he’s rockin’ a tiny little body full of dredds, day-glo patches of dyed fur, beads…and whole new attitude. He’s my little go-to guy.”

“Where did you boys go?”

“Where, on our little vacation? Hey, where does anybody who can spell the words Harley and Davidson want to spend their vacation?

“I’ll even give you a little hint: picture more than a million Harley owners. Partying HARD in a Black Hills town of only about 8,000. Hey, forget Tomorrowland. Sturgis, South Dakota HAS to be the freakin’ happiest place on Earth. And me, Kenny, Einstein and another bud, are all lickety-splitting our way down the highway to get there. Then we get picked up by a force of nature named Shawna Kretschman, a bad-ass blonde with her own full-race hog. Not to mention a short fuse, some serious fighting skills and an outfit that leaves zippo to the imagination. So, now we’re all headed for Sturgis to link up with more than a million of our best buds and budettes at the town’s annual Motor Cycle Rally.

“Too bad we never got the memo about the real estate developer who wanted all the bikers gone, so he could sell the area as a family-oriented resort town. And how he’d stop at nothing – including murder – to get it. All of a sudden, bikers and locals are dropping all over town. And me, my lady friend, my buds and my big mouth are all in the developer’s crosshairs.

“We’re all on a weird-ass collision course that includes phony cops and bar fights, pepper spray-laced paint balls, a no-holds-barred wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding and getting adopted by the Sioux nation. Even a little manscaping.

“Y’know, like the old rock ‘n roll song says, “girls just wanna have fun”. Shawna says they also wanna have a lavender-tanked hog and bottomless saddlebags packing everything from high fashion to large caliber playthings; thigh-high leather boots to latex-covered toys.”

“Oh I like her. We sound like kindred spirits, only I carry all my stuff in my sidecar.

“You ride?”

“Oh yeah. It’s a modern build of an old Army motorcycle. That’s a sweet Panhead you rode in here.”

“Funny, Lisa. Mine’s a modern build of an old classic, too. Right down to the puddle of engine oil that’s always on my garage floor. And the hardtail frame that sends so much vibration and road shock my way, it’s paying for my proctologist’s vacation home on Maui…

“Yup, I definitely think you and Shawna would get along. Tell you what—let me give her a quick call, and we can all go out for a fictional drink when we’re done. Get to know each other, have a few laughs…maybe insult the Hell out of a wise guy or a city councilman, or something…”

“I’m curious, Fish. How’d the two of you get together?”

“Actually, we met about five years ago, over a not-quite so stolen RV in Twin Falls, Idaho. The owner was more than a year behind on the payments, so the bank sent us there to repo his rig. And Shawna ended up booking us into Twin Falls’ right friendly little jail…and treating us to a complimentary de-lousing and the jail’s Grand Theft Auto suite. When the boys in blue figured out that we had legitimately repoed the RV, they let us go. Then they found the body of the owner stuffed into a large freezer in the belly of the beast, and Shawna got to give us our official welcome and de-lousing again—this time for murder. When all THAT got sorted out, I ended up inviting her down to Malibu for a few days of surf, sun and whatever.

“She showed up on a surprise visit about a month ago, right as we were getting to hit the road for Sturgis, South Dakota, and the biggest biker party in the business. And, we’ve been ‘whatever-ing’ a ton ever since.”

“What do you think, Fish? Was it kismet that brought the two of you together? Fate? Karma?”

Hah! Nah. Probably just a writer with a vivid imagination and a warped sense of humor. But if you tell Shawna, I swear, I’ll deny every word.”

“Fish, you’re fun, and you certainly don’t leave for any dead airspace. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Hey, thanks for taking the time to hang with me today, Lisa. This has been a ton of fun. Gotta tell you, you’re good people – even for an android. Seriously, thanks.”

“If you want to learn more about Fish and his friends, pick up the Adventures in La-La Land series by Jeff Lee. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress by using those sharing buttons. I know Jeff and Fish would appreciate it, and they’ll do the same when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Hurricane Kretchman is book number four in the Adventures in La-La Land series, featuring Fish and all his friends.

You can download it directly at this link.

If you’re like many of us and prefer to start at the beginning, you can find all the books at Jeff’s Amazon Author Page.

You can check out Jeff, and follow him, at the following locations:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Jeff Lee Bio:

 

 

Born in New York and raised near San Francisco, I’ve been a copywriter and creative director for some of the country’s most creative ad agencies. Won a lot of silly awards for my creativity and wise-ass sense of humor.

And I’ve been writing in L.A. since before KC even HAD a Sunshine Band.

So, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that, given half a chance, this city can be a never-ending cavalcade of rib-tickling fun — and funny — things, people and approaches to this thrill ride we call life.

 

Like phony televangelists who produce biblical-themed porn for the faithful.

 

Bat-shit crazy showbiz moms.

 

Defrocked talent agents posing as Reality Show producers.

 

The Rose Parade.

 

And on.

 

And on.

 

It never freakin’ ends with this place.

 

There’s always something — or someone — to gape at and giggle over.

 

I tell ya, you’ve just GOT to love this town!

 

It’s the law.

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Ghostly murder on Lisa Burton Radio

Coming at you with one, point twenty-one jigawatts of power, all across the known galaxy and into the spiritual realms, this is Lisa Burton Radio, the only show out there that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me today is Finn McLachlan. He and his friend Cain have been observing some pretty unusual situations lately. “Welcome to the show, Finn.”

“Thanks, Lisa. When they said robot girl, I pictured a female C3PO or R2D2, which you’re so much not. Totally a good thing.”

“Thanks, Finn. My bio says you’re in high school and you have a girlfriend named Lindsey. What can you tell us about her?”

“Somebody crossed their wires, sweetheart. Lindsey is one massively cool girl, but she’s into Cain, my best friend, who’s currently trapped in the web of the reigning mean girl, Erin. I know, high school drama, right? He needs to grow a set and dump her, but the dude’s worried about hurting her feelings. Told him empty shells like her don’t have feelings. Lindsey’s the first girl I’ve met who might be worthy of him.”

“Wow, now that’s a best friend. So what kind of unusual situations have been going on?”

“I think my boy, Cain, is in trouble. Strange things are afoot at the Shannon home – namely in Cain’s bedroom and the attic – the door to the attic is in his room. Doors opening and closing on their own, writing in condensation on a mirror, his cat hissing and growling at things no one can see. And get this – the temperature was 90+ degrees outside, but he could see his breath in an attic with no air conditioning. But only in a certain corner of the room. Kind of creepy, right? I thought maybe Cain was just imagining things – I mean, the guy’s really into horror movies and books, so I thought he’d just had some nightmares you know? Guess I should have known he wasn’t that creative.

“So he got this idea to set up an old camcorder to record what went on in his room while he was sleeping, when a lot of the weird stuff has been happening – maybe get some proof. When he woke up the next morning, the camera was lying on the floor across the room, like someone – or something – had thrown it.”

“Okay, we discuss some weird situations on this show, but that’s pretty far out there.”

“Well, sweetheart, it’s about to get even weirder. We played back that video and saw the attic door open on its own, then the mattress dipped on his bed, like a person had sat on it. After a few seconds, his hair moved away from his face, like someone was running their fingers through it. Really freaky stuff. Next thing you know, clothes start flying off his bed, the camera gets knocked sideways, and the screen goes white, then to static. I worked with the recording, frame by frame, and that’s when we caught our first glimpse of Sarah, the ghost, vengeful banshee, or whatever you want to call her, who’s decided to make herself at home in Cain’s humble abode. After we talked with her – yeah, we actually spoke with a ghost – we kinda got the impression she wasn’t of the Casper variety, if you know what I mean.

“So, it turns out Lindsey’s Aunt Mona owns a metaphysical store down on King Street and she might possess a tad more than the normal five senses and could offer some help. And right now, she’s the only lifeline we’ve got.”

“Well — Maybe Aunt Mona can help exorcise Sarah somehow. Stranger things have happened.”

“Something’s got to happen soon, because we’ve already got a dead body –did I forget to mention that? Considering the guy’s head was nearly separated from his body, I’d say it wasn’t from natural causes.”

“Is there any connection to Sarah?”

“He’s one of three guys Sarah said was responsible for killing her. Cain and I warned the other two, but they think we’re making up all this ghostly vengeance stuff. Sarah seems stronger after murdering the first guy, and I bet she’s got something special planned for the other two. The girl’s got breathtaking anger management issues.”

“This is way off the beaten path. I think you guys should tell the authorities, and find some outside experienced help.”

“Seems like that would have been a logical step, right? Until Sarah threatened Cain’s family – and I consider his mom and sister just as much my family as his. Then there’s the weird way Cain’s been acting…but it’s probably nothing.”

“You can tell us Finn. It’s that kind of show. What’s on your mind?”

“Well…..Cain’s more of a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of guy and stays away from the spotlight, but lately it seems like….maybe he’s not completely Cain. Say there’s a chance, before Sarah got stronger, she needed a little help with her killings to-do list. It could make someone wonder. Someone who doesn’t know him like I do.”

“Oh my God! Have you told him? What are you going to do?”

“I’m thinking something along the lines of ghostly possession intervention. If that’s not a thing, it should be.”

“I think you should tell him, but you need to make sure it’s really him you’re talking to. I don’t know if that means daylight, hallowed ground, or just away from the house, but he needs to know.”

“He may not believe me, but it’s time to lay all the cards on the table. We need to know everything we’re up against and then make a game plan. I’ll give Sarah the fight of her miserable, undead life before I let her hurt Cain or anyone else I care about.”

“Oh I’m so sorry. Too bad you can’t just call in Hellboy or someone to take care of it all. I really feel for you guys, and wish you the best of luck. We’re about out of time. Do you have any final comments for our listeners today?”

“Totally off topic, but how do you feel about younger men? Is the whole dating a human thing frowned upon as a general rule or is that more of just a guideline? I’m single, you know. I’ll give you a call if I live through this.”

“I’m flattered, Cain, but I’m totally into my career right now. I’m sure there are some nice girls in you’re hometown who would appreciate a local hero.

“If you want to find out what happens to Finn, Cain, and Lindsey, pick up the book, Sarah, by Teri Polen. I’ll include all the important deets on the website. Help me keep the lights on around here by using those sharing buttons, I’m sure Finn and Teri would appreciate it, and would do it for you when your character appears on the show.

“If you’d like one of your characters to appear on Lisa Burton Radio, drop me a line. I’m always looking for guests. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Book Blurb:

 

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

 

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Black Rose Writing

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, is her first novel. Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

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The Frank Rozzani Detective Agency, on Lisa Burton Radio

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love to read. This episode is for you amateur detectives, the mystery solving maniacs among you, and those who crave a big puzzle as part of your reading regimen.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me in the studio today is Frank Rozzani and Clifford Jones the third. “Welcome to the show, fellas.”

“Please call me Jonesy. Clifford is the horrible name my parents gave me. My mom was so embarrassed, she called me Trey for the third.”

“Alright, Jonesy. You two boys team up in a kind of private detective agency. That’s kind of an unusual profession, or is it more of a hobby?”

“Well, for Jonesy, it’s a hobby. For me, it’s turning into a profession although I get paid like it’s a hobby sometimes.”

“Frank’s right. Although, when people come to us to find lost cats and lost wallets, I think we might even need to get a new hobby.”

“I want to get into your background, Frank, if that’s okay. It makes some sense that a police officer could become a PI. Why don’t you just work inside the system? You could be a cop in Jacksonville as easily as New York.”

“I was a policeman. Being forced to take on a case I didn’t want got my wife killed. Being a PI lets me pick my own cases. There are a lot of people in this community that need help that can’t afford a P.I. I’m able to help them out. Someone has to help the underdog.”

“Hmm, underdog, is that what led you to Jonesy?”

“I consider myself more like Shaggy from Scooby Doo instead of being the actual dog.”

“Jonesy is selling himself short. You’re looking at a guy who passed the bar without studying, is a computer genius, surfs and he also does a decent job of playing the drums in my jazz trio.”

“Someone has to drown out your piano playing.”

“Now, Frank, let’s talk about that personal project. People aren’t going to warm up to a character who abandons his children like you did. You probably have to help a lot of underdogs to balance that book.”

“Ouch, Lisa. Way to hit a guy below the belt.”

“It’s okay, Jonesy. Since you brought it up, my kids had to go into witness protection. The witness I protected brought down a significant chunk of the mob with his testimony. I was threatened and I figured if I was going to get out of town, I needed to protect my kids. They offered all three of us witness protection, but I have some unfinished business with the people who murdered my wife.

“I’ll be glad if they come and look for me. I’ll be waiting, but they better hope I don’t find them first. So you see, I help underdogs because no one else will. It’s not related to guilt. It’s just something that needs to be done.”

“When you explain it that way, it’s really more of a sacrifice than abandonment. I’m glad you took the time to explain it. There’s going to come a time when you have to let go of the past to take advantage of the future. I mean, you’re a nice looking man. You’ve got almost a Bradley Cooper thing going on, and a nicer jacket, maybe a decent haircut, and lots of women would be interested in you.”

“Well, he does share his bed with a lovely female. She is a beauty, despite the bad breath. Tell her about Lucy, Frank.”

“Jonesy, you’re in full wise-ass mode today. Lucy is a dog. I’d say she’s my dog, but she just kind of showed up at my trailer the day I moved in. The trailer is my office. I rent it from Sam Monreaux. He’s the proprietor of a local restaurant where Jonesy and I play with our Jazz trio on weekends. He is also the benefactor to a lot of local underdogs and subsidizes a lot of the cases we take on.”

“You still didn’t answer her question about women. What are you, a politician? Answer the question you were asked.”

“I…just. I just need some time. My wife’s death is not something I’ll get over easily. Maybe when I find the bastards responsible I’ll be ready to move on. It’s just not something I want right now.”

“Oh, honey, you’re so broken. Maybe a nice girl can help you out of this dark place. Plenty of women like to fix things for their man. What about that lady detective, what was her name?”

“Yeah, Frank what about Anita?”

“Um, Thanks Jonesy. Anita is like my sister. Besides, let’s just say, we have the same taste in potential partners.”

“Okay, moving on then. Tell us about your latest project.”

“In our latest case, Jonesy and I had to go undercover to investigate the disappearance of twin 10-year-old girls. They were on a cruise with their parents and they just disappeared. Their dad was an ex-Navy Seal and we enlisted his help on this one.”

“Yeah, it’s a good thing he helped us or Frank could have ended up visiting Davy Jones’ locker.”

“No thanks to you, Jonesy. You were off enjoying the fun and sun in Panama when that happened.”

“Fun and sun? Is that what you call it. I felt like I was at a Rambo wannabe convention.”

“Anyway, the case was a tough one, especially going under cover.”

“It wasn’t that bad. We had to blend in with the musicians on the cruise ship. It was kind of fun.”

“Maybe for you. At any rate, this was the fifth in a line of high-profile cases, but this one was special because of the age of the victims and the ruthlessness of the bad guys.”

“Gents, it’s been fun, but we’re about out of time. I sincerely hope you can find those little girls. Any last words for our listeners?”

“Cases like the one we are currently on are becoming a specialty. If despicable people want to victimize defenseless members of my community, they’re going to pay a price. Jonesy and I won’t let it stand. We will come after you and we will catch you. You might want to do yourself a favor and turn yourself it. It will be the easier way out, trust me.”

“Lisa, thanks for having us. All kidding aside, Frank is right. Mess with our people and we will mess with you. Thanks for letting us put the word out.”

“Check out the entire Frank Rozzani Detective Series. I’ll include all the contact data on the website. I’m always looking for guests, so if you’d like to have a character on Lisa Burton Radio, drop me a line.

“Help me keep the lights on around here by using the sharing links on Craig’s blog. I’ll appreciate it, and I’m sure Frank and Jonesy would too. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Frankly Speaking (Book 1)

http://getbook.at/FranklySpeaking

 

Let Me Be Frank (Book 2)

http://getbook.at/LetMeBeFrank

 

Frank Incensed (Book 3)

http://getbook.at/FrankIncensed

 

Frankly My Dear (Book 4)

http://getbook.at/FranklyMyDear

 

Frank Immersed (Book 5)

http://mybook.to/FrankImmersed

Follow Don at the following locations:

Web Site:

www.donmassenzio.com

 

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Cleaved by Sue Coletta

The Mystery Surrounding Antlers

Fans of the TV show Hannibal know the cannibal psychiatrist and gourmet chef—although his ingredients are quite questionable—often uses deer antlers to create macabre crime scenes. Some may think the creators of the show stole the idea from HBO’s True Detective, but that isn’t the case. The original idea stemmed from Stephen King. In his 1979 hit Salem’s Lot, King impaled one of the characters with antlers. They say it takes three repetitions to create a trend, and perhaps there’s some truth to that.


Antlers intrigued me enough to write them into my new novel, CLEAVED.


In preparation, I did extensive research into deer antlers. Specifically, white tail deer, the only breed that live in New Hampshire, where the story takes place. The reason antlers and murder elicit such a strong reaction might be because the deer symbolizes purity, rebirth, and regeneration. By showing the antlers of such a majestic creature next to the darkness of murder it strikes at our fears. Subconsciously we think, if the killer could use an innocent animal in this way, maybe none of us are safe.


It’s precisely this symbolism that sent me down a rabbit hole of research. Or was it a jackrabbit hole? LOL Sorry, couldn’t resist.


Finding a way to incorporate antlers into the MO so it made sense became a much harder task. Deer antlers weren’t enough, though. I needed more. So I included the King of Hearts playing card, women encased in oil drums, birch trees, and nursery rhymes. Sounds crazy, I know, but I promise it all makes sense in the end.


Many mysteries surround antlers.

Why do deer shed their antlers? Why do only males and hermaphrodite deer grow antlers? How do antlers grow faster than any other vertebrae bone on earth?

I share some of the mythology and symbolism in the book, so I won’t share it here. A few interesting facts I didn’t include are…

Hardened antlers (not in velvet) are made up of 45% protein, 22% calcium, 11% phosphorous, and 1% fat. They also contain magnesium, sodium, aluminum, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc.

The chemical composition varies according to location and is affected by other factors, like soil and the amount of rainfall during the antler growth cycle.

Antlers respond to their environment. Genetics, age, and diet are the three key factors.

Even though only male deer and moose grow antlers, there are exceptions, like caribou, elk, and reindeer. Although, with the exception of reindeer, they’re then called “horns”.

Why do female reindeer grow antlers when their southern cousins do not?

Here’s a tidbit for speculative fans. The now-extinct Irish Elk, known as the Giant Deer Meglasaurus Gigantus, lived until 5,000 B.C. Analysis of its bone and teeth from scientists showed the huge herbivore stood 7’ tall with gigantic antlers that spanned 12’ across and weighed up to 80 lbs. Imagine running into him? Whoa.


No matter the amount of research, no one really knows whyantlers antlers exist.

Scientists have theories, but no concrete proof. Some theories are…

To acquire a mate. The bigger the antlers, the better the quality of male. (I’m not commenting on that, especially while on a man’s site)

They’re used as weapons to fight off other males, even though many times a gorgeous rack is enough to make the lesser male stand down.

Defense against predators.

What blows the first two theories are female reindeer. If antlers exist merely to attract potential mates, then why do any females grow them? Some scientists believe horned (caribou) or antlered (reindeer) females who live out in open use them for protection and so they don’t stand out from the male members of society.They also use them to clear snow.


With regard to moose, they say the antlers are used as large hearing aids. But then, why don’t females grow them? Are female moose deaf? Or do they just not care what male moose have to say?


As I mentioned earlier, environment plays a key role in antler growth. The photo period is the 24 hour period where the deer are exposed to sunlight. In the summer we have longer days. During which bugs produce higher levels of testosterone, which triggers antler growth. Antlers start out as cartilage in velvet,which is fuzzy and rich in blood vessels. If we were to pet thevelvet, the antlers would be hot to the touch.


When the bugs go through a second cycle of testosterone, it triggers mineralization and hardening of the antlers. In the fall when the sunlight diminishes, deer rub their antlers against trees, other plant life, and bugs. This removes the velvet to reveal bony antlers. They carry these hardened antlers through the fall and winter. In the spring, the bugs drop in testosterone level signals another change. Within days of this drop, the antlers release from their pedicles. In other words, the deer sheds its antlers. A scab-like material grows over these pedicles and the cycle repeats, with these new growth cells.


Cool, right?

 

Blurb:


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. Why 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.


Want to see how I used antlers in CLEAVED? Save $5.00 by pre-ordering now. Only 99c: http://smarturl.it/Cleaved


Bio:

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 locations:


Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads/Amazon

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