Tag Archives: mystery

A Voice in the Silence

It’s my honor to welcome D. L. Finn to Entertaining Stories today. She’s here to tell us about her newest publication, and it sounds pretty good to me. Denise is a friend, a Story Empire partner, and a great author. I hope all of you will make her feel welcome, and don’t forget to use those sharing buttons at the end.

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Thank you for having me here today, Craig, to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.

I’ve never had a pet who wanted a bath. Our dogs thought it was a punishment when I went from water to soap, while the cats would attempt to end all water contact with their front claws and propelling back legs. So, I had fun writing the bath scenes that included animals.

Imagine Drea’s surprise that they seemed to enjoy it, not only the dog Charlie, but the cat Jane, and rat Ben too. You’d either think they were the best-behaved and trained animals ever—or wonder. I know my mind would come up with an unusual scenario or two, but never consider these animal’s truths.

Still having a dog, cat and rat show up just when Drea needed it was an enormous boost for her in the depressed state she was in. She deserved that small moment of peace to bond in everyday chores like bathing these animals before her life, and theirs, unraveled.

Fun Finn Facts

1. Could there be labs trying to create talking animals? If they do and they escape they are welcome at my house.

2. Do our loved ones who have passed on try to communicate with us? I believe so.

Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

Excerpt

Drea gasped and sat up on the couch. Her heart was racing like her nightmare of falling off a cliff had been real. Although it was still dark out, dawn was peeking through the veil. She had slept soundly through the night. The familiar crackling of the fire was absent. She shivered in the cold room, wrapped the blanket tightly around her, and took the simple route of turning on the central heat over rekindling the flames. This time of year, she preferred the warmth of a woodstove over forced hot air, but since becoming a widow, she chose where to put her energy.

The animals were curled up on the blue wool hearth rug and hadn’t stirred. A pleasant sensation passed through her— a sense of belonging, or being needed. That inspired her to pull on her snow boots, coat, and gloves and grab her new black fabric wood carrier. She shut the door quietly behind her without letting it latch. The garage door creaked open, exposing her to the winter chill.

The headlamp fit snuggly across her brow. A simple flick of a switch lit her path across the pristine snow to the woodshed. As the narrow beam of light guided her forward, her boots sank into the covered landscape. She quickly filled her carrier with oak and turned to go back into the house when her path crossed another set of footprints.

Her heart raced as she studied the tracks. They were bigger and deeper than the ones she’d made. The square heel left out any possibility of being a forest animal, and the tracks led away from the house into the trees. A quick scan of the area didn’t offer any answers.

She took a deep breath to push her fear away. Next time, she’d bring her gun. How stupid to go outside alone with a killer on the loose.

Charlie’s paw swept the door open, and he sprinted to her side.

She met the dog’s wide-eyed gaze. “Someone’s been here.”

Charlie sniffed the air, nodded, and fell in behind her. His head bumped against her legs, quickening her sluggish pace. Looking to her right, she spotted more footprints—right outside her front window. Time inched forward as goosebumps crawled over her skin.

Finally they were inside the garage. She dumped the load on the concrete floor and raced to the button that would shut the door and offer her protection from the outside world. Charlie stood statue-still next to the closing door, which moved at the speed of a turtle. She sighed in relief when the outer metal door thumped shut and quickly gathered up the wood.

Amazon Purchase Link US
Amazon Purchase Link UK

Author Bio

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Author Amazon Page

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Heck of a deal! #freebook #murder #mystery

Hey, everyone. A couple of years ago I got an invitation to contribute to an anthology of murder mysteries.

This is a little outside my orbit, but they didn’t care if mine was a speculative tale. I decided to give Jason Fogg another spotlight and my story came together.

Jason is a private detective who has the ability to turn himself into fog. This allows him to get inside places and poke around for evidence. Even openings like keyholes are enough for him to pass through.

Jason originated in the first Experimental Notebook, earned another tale in the second Experimental Notebook, and was part of the team in Viral Blues. I might trot him out again some day.

This brings me to Murder They Wrote. I am honored to appear beside some stellar authors in this collection. If you feel like diving into murder mysteries, this is the collection for you, and you might find a new favorite author in the mix.

The best news is this collection is absolutely free for a couple more days. Grab your copy now. I like to read anthologies as lunch-break material to stretch them out. (It’s okay if you want to read them all at once. You do you.)

Here’s the universal link and it should work no matter what country you’re in. http://mybook.to/Murder_They_Wrote

I hope you’ll check this one out. It’s rising on the list, but it will take a lot more “FREE” downloads to get us to number one.

Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons at the bottom. Maybe one of your friends might like a copy.

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Posed in Death by Judi Lynn #Newbook

Let’s all welcome Judi Lynn today. She’s got a new book to talk about, and I love her explanations for how it came about. I tend to read and write like she does. Check out the book, and feel free to use those sharing buttons to help spread the word.

***

I want to thank Craig for inviting me to his blog. I’ve been a fan of his writing and his blog posts on Story Empire for a long time. I’ve been waiting for the third and final novel of his Lanternfish trilogy since I fell in love with Serang in the first one.

I’m here today to promote my latest novel, POSED IN DEATH. I usually write cozies, but this time, my story is much darker. And I’m blaming it all on Louis Kincaid. I’m hooked on P.J. Parrish’s series about the P.I./detective. I don’t know about other writers, but what I read affects what I write. I read a lot of cozies, historical mysteries, and only a few thrillers. That is, until I bought my first Louis Kincaid. Now, I read more thrillers than I used to.

I can’t read any one author over and over again, back-to-back. I get more critical with each book and bore faster. I need to change things up. So, I usually read two cozies, a historical, another couple of cozies, something outside the mystery genre, then a cozy, then a thriller, and on and on. I’d never make it as a binge reader or TV watcher. And I learned that if I write the same characters back-to-back, even though I love them, I get just as bored. So, I need to switch things up. (Luckily, in real life, I don’t have this problem. I haven’t gotten bored with HH yet😊 But I do have to constantly find new recipes to make because I’ve already made some of mine too many times.)

For a while, I wrote paranormal mysteries between my Jazzi and Ansel cozies, and that helped. I tried to write a few different cozies with different characters, like my Lux novels and A Cut Above, and it helped, but not as much. Those had the same FEEL. They didn’t quite do the trick. It was like reading a Lynn Cahoon Tourist Trap cozy and then going to a Kim Davis Diva cozy. They were both fun, but I was ready for something different. And that’s when I discovered Louis Kincaid. That’s also when I got the idea to write something darker. And it was wonderful. It did the trick. I’m ready to tackle another Jazzi and Ansel now.

Writing darker is a gamble. I’m not sure readers who like my cozies will want something that features a serial killer. But my agent said I had too many cozy elements in the story to call it a true thriller. And that’s true. But I wanted to focus on the theme of marriage. And this worked for me. So, it felt like a gamble worth taking.

Posed In Death: Nick and Laurel Mystery/Thriller 1 – Kindle edition by Lynn, Judi. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Thanks again, Craig, for sharing your blog with me!

Bio:

Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, and a noisy Chihuahua. She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need. That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories. She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best.

My blog & webpage: http://writingmusings.com/

My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter: @judypost

On BookBub at Judi Lynn with a link to Judith Post (for my urban fantasies): https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judi-lynn

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Legends of Madeira

Joan Hall is with us today to tell us about her new book. It’s the first in the Legends of Madeira Series. There is also a sidecar/prequel called House of Sorrow, that I highly recommend.

Joan is a big supporter of the independent author community, one of my partners over at Story Empire, and just and all around good person. Let’s give her a big welcome, and make sure to use those sharing buttons to help her launch this project. Take it away, Joan:

***

Cold Dark Night: A Lunar Trifecta

Thank you for your generosity in hosting me today, Craig. I’m delighted to be back with you to kick off this tour for my latest release, Cold Dark Night, the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series.

As you know, I’ve long been fascinated by the full moon. Several years ago, I discovered Native Americans had names for each of them. Up until that time, I’d only heard of the Harvest Moon or a Blue Moon (when there are two full moons in a calendar month).

In 2018, a rare event occurred. January had two full (or blue) moons, as did March, meaning there was no full moon in February. This is sometimes referred to as a Black Moon.

This rarity occurs every nineteen years or so and is dependent upon time zones and leap years. But January 31, 2018, there was an even more uncommon occurrence, the trifecta of a blue moon, a supermoon (close proximity to earth), and a blood moon or eclipse.

I had an early meeting that day, and as I arrived at work, the eclipse had just begun. The event fueled my imagination. I had to write a story around this unique event. The idea for Cold Dark Night began to take shape.

Excerpt:

He looked toward the western sky. The earth began to pass between the moon and the sun, casting a shadow on the lunar surface. Before long, it would appear blood-red, the brightness completely obliterated.

The darkest hour is just before dawn.

How many times had he heard his grandmother say those words? It was years before he knew where the quote originated, or that it was metaphorical, not literal.

He’d come to a remote area of the Vaughn ranch to view this rare celestial event. Stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts gathered in various places outside Madeira to watch, but he didn’t want to be around others. He wanted to be alone, and the chances of the ranch’s owners spotting him were next to nothing.

A twinge of excitement ran through him as the lunar surface turned a coppery hue. Astronomers called it the Super Blue Blood Moon—a rare trifecta of the second full moon of the month, its nearness to earth, and a total eclipse.

An eerie stillness surrounded him. His pulse quickened—not from fear, but in anticipation of what was to come. Part of him wanted to go ahead with his plans. Too bad he hadn’t thought of it before now. A killing taking place during the blood moon would have been perfect.

But no, he had to bide his time. Wait for the natural course of events. He’d waited thirty-eight years. Another couple of weeks wouldn’t matter.

The darkest hour is just before dawn.

He would see the morning. But for some, darkness would soon last forever.

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Thanks again for hosting me today. Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon for the introductory price of .99 through the end of June. The price increases to $3.99 on June 15th, so now is a good time for readers to grab a copy.

Blurb:

New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.

Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.

But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.

Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0968CXZQ9

Connect with Joan:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub | Goodreads | Instagram

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The Vanished Boy #newbook

Let’s all welcome Harmony Kent to the blog. Harmony is an old friend, one of my Story Empire partners, and she has a new book to tell us about. Don’t be afraid to use some of those sharing buttons to help her spread the word.

Hi everyone. Harmony here. Thanks so much, Craig, for letting me visit with you today. I’m so thrilled to share the launch of my latest book with you all.

The Vanished Boy is a mystery suspense novel based around a teenaged boy, who’s gone missing. The book follows the mother as she trawls through her missing son’s online life and realises, to her horror, how out of the loop she’s become.

The inspiration for this novel came from watching a number of movies based on how our lives both revolve around and are influenced by the Internet and mobile devices. Although these movies covered many genres such as murder/mystery, thriller, and the supernatural, they all centred around the same theme: Apps and living life online. This led me to ponder how many of us spend our lives in digital pursuits rather than physical—both the old and the young? For many people, their actual physical lives become but a shadow compared to their online existence.

Mostly, the shift to a digital world happens slowly. It’s incremental and, too often, insidious. All of which led me to ask how well do we actually know our children? Our loved ones? Those around us? What might be going on in the shadows?

From that inspiration and questioning, this story was born. Much of life and our actions originate from the same needs and wants: to be loved and accepted, the ability to differentiate between truth and lies, and the things we do to cover our mistakes and make ourselves look better than the reality instead of owning who we are. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Blurb:

Excerpt:

Enraged and desperate, Carole sprints forwards and nearly knocks the girl over before she manages to skid to a stop on the wet paving stones. The girl leaps back.

‘What the fuck?’ She looks at her friends in an evident bid for fortification and encouragement. ‘Woah, crazy-woman alert.’

Carole gasps for air, bent over at the waist and hands braced against her knees. She straightens and holds up her palms. After a couple of seconds, she says, ‘I’m Jay’s mum.’ Her lungs burn. She’s too old for this sort of exertion.

The girl scowls at her. Around them, a bunch of kids pull out their phones. ‘Yeah, so? Why should I care?’

God, the idiot’s as obnoxious and rude in real life as she is online. Carole bites back her temper, but only just. ‘You said he was with you. Where is he?’

The girl smirks, and her lips lift in a sneer.

Carole steps forwards so she stands too far into the girl’s personal space. She plants her hands on her hips and glares at the teen. Through a tight jaw, she says, ‘Where. Is. He?’

The obnoxious girl rolls her eyes. ‘I was having a laugh. Lawd, everyone’s, like, freaking out. I mean, just chill, right.’

That does it—Carole’s temper flares white-hot, and she loses it. Her animal brain takes over. She flies at obnoxious gal, knocks the large tub of popcorn from her hands, and grabs her around the throat. In her peripheral vision, more phones get pulled out. Some flash as their owners snap pictures, but most of them hold out the screens to record the night’s excitement.

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her adorable husband, ever-present sense of humour, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Links

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk/

Story Empire (co-authored): https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Author Page

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/harmony-kent

The Vanished Boy Sales Link

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House of Sorrow #Newbook #IARTG

Hi gang, gather ’round. Joan Hall is here with her latest release. Joan is one of my Story Empire partners, and a great author. This one is smart, because it’s a prequel short story. I like the idea of something to whet appetites for the main event.

Make sure she feels welcome, check out her book, and use those sharing buttons before you leave. We all thrive on comments, so don’t be shy. I’ll let Joan take it from here.

House of Sorrow: April 1970

Thank you for hosting me today, Craig. I appreciate the opportunity to tell your readers about my newest release.

House of Sorrow is a short-story prequel to my upcoming novel Cold Dark Night, book one of my Legends of Madeira series. It’s the story of Ruth Hazelton, a reclusive older woman who lives in a two-story Victorian house in the fictional town of Madeira, New Mexico. Ruth reflects on her life, particularly when she and her husband Lee first moved to town.

Most of the scenes occur in the late 1960s/early 1970s, so I included historical events into the story along with a few personal memories. Today is the fifty-first anniversary of one such event.

In April 1970, John Wayne won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Midnight Cowboy received the award for Best Picture.

But not all was rosy that month. Paul McCartney announced the break-up of the Beatles on April 10, leaving thousands of fans in mourning. The following day their song, “Let it Be” reached number one on the charts, where it stayed for two weeks. A rather bittersweet farewell.

The Beatles, Public Domain

On April 13, an explosion crippled the Apollo 13 spacecraft carrying astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert. The next four days were tense as NASA worked diligently to bring them home alive. With the command module virtually useless, the lunar module became a lifeboat.

A replica of an Apollo Lunar Module – Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Many people believe the number thirteen brings bad luck, including Ruth’s neighbor, Sam. He’s a bit of a curmudgeon who doesn’t believe men should be “Messing around in the heavens.” Sam tries to convince Ruth the Apollo 13 accident was inevitable.

Excerpt:

Like many Americans, Ruth had grown accustomed to moon launches. When Apollo 13 blasted off on April 11, she didn’t give it a second thought. Even Lee had grown disinterested, which was a good thing since none of the major television networks carried the astronaut’s live broadcast on the evening of April 13.

The following morning, Ruth sat in the porch swing, enjoying the cool spring breeze.

The Marsh girls waved to her from next door as they left for school.

“I’ll have cookies when you get home from school.”

“Chocolate chip?”

“If that’s what you want. How about you, Tina?”

The older girl shrugged. “Whatever.”

“Is something wrong?”

Tina shrugged again.

“She’s in mourning,” Amanda said.

Ruth cocked an eyebrow. “Mourning? Why?

“Because the Beatles broke up.”

Ruth suppressed a smile. She’d been a teenager and knew what it was like when inconsequential things seemed like the end of the world. She watched until the sisters were out of sight.

Sam waved to her from his yard. It was Millie’s day to volunteer at the nursing home.

“Did you hear about Apollo 13?” he shouted.

“No. I haven’t turned on the television.”

He hurried across the street. Sat in his usual chair. “There was an explosion.”

“Explosion? How horrible. Are the astronauts okay?”

“Had to move them into them lunar module, hoping to keep them alive. NASA is working to bring them home.”

“Let’s pray they do.”

Sam shook a finger. “What did I tell you about messing around with the moon? Somebody’s trying to tell us something.”

Blurb:

Dream home or damned home?

Ruth Hazelton is over the moon when her husband Lee agrees the nineteenth-century Victorian in Madeira, New Mexico, is the perfect home for them. While he starts his new job as police chief, she sets about unpacking and decorating.

But it’s not long before Ruth needs more. She becomes a fixture in the community, making time for everyone, volunteering, hosting events—she’s every bit the social butterfly her husband is not. Through her friendships, she learns several former residents of her home met with untimely deaths. If she were superstitious, she might fear a curse, but such nonsense doesn’t faze her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now, as the end of Ruth’s life draws near, she must convey her message and stop the cycle to prevent anyone else from suffering in the house of sorrow.

Purchase Link:

https://www.Amazon.com/House-Sorrow-Legends-Joan-Hall-ebook/dp/B091HX4BHR

Connect with Joan:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Goodreads | Instagram

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I Am Mayhem #newbook

I want to welcome back an old friend today. Sue Coletta writes these amazing murder mysteries, and if you haven’t discovered her you’re missing out.

Make her feel welcome, and make sure to use those sharing buttons to help with her latest release. The new book sounds wonderful, so I’ll let her tell you all about it.

***

It’s impossible to talk about my Mayhem Series without the mention of crows. For those who don’t know, Mr. Mayhem has three top crows: Poe, Allan, and Edgar. When I first introduced crows into the series, they were supposed to be sidekicks—someone for Mr. Mayhem to chat with during his late-night excursions—but Poe evolved into so much more. I’ve read some reviews that say he’s their favorite character. Not the humans mind you, but Poe, the lead crow of Mayhem’s murder. In I AM MAYHEM, I introduced one more “special” crow, but I can’t tell you why without ruining the surprise.

As an aside: Poe’s based on a real crow who comes when I call.

With each new book, I take another plunge into crow research. After years of studying crow behavior, one might think I’ve learned all I could about corvids, but I always find something new.

Humans often believe we are the only species to possess certain traits, behaviors, or abilities, especially with regard to cognition. Occasionally, we extend such traits to primates or other “higher” mammals—species we share fundamental brain similarities.

Few look toward the sky. Yet, crows, ravens, and other corvids are making multipart tools like hooked sticks to reach grubs, solving geometry puzzles, and one particularly kind magpie even nudged a clueless hedgehog across the highway before it became roadkill.

A crow’s brain is enormous compared to their body, and they don’t waste a morsel of it. Crows have long impressed scientists with their intelligence and creativity.

Now, crows can add one more feather to their brainiac cap: A new study unveiled in Science magazine found that crows inherently know things and can ponder the content of their own minds, a manifestation of higher intelligence and analytical thought believed only capable by humans and a few other higher mammals.

German scientists put crows through a series of puzzling tasks. During which they measured neural activity in different types of neurons, with the goal of tracking how crows sensed and reasoned through their work. They sought to study a specific kind of thinking called sensory consciousness.

Sensory consciousness isn’t as simple as the definition: awareness of the visual, tactile, olfactory, auditory, and taste qualities of stimuli. Sensory consciousness arises from specific brain processes. In simpler terms, the sensory feel of an experience is not something that happens to us, but rather, it’s a skill we exercise. It also differs from other mental phenomena, like conscious thought or memory.

Consider the difference between physically feeling pain vs. imagining that you feel pain. Or rubbing the softness of fleece between your fingertips vs. envisioning how fleece might feel. We writers use our sensory consciousness all the time.

Do crows have this ability, too?

To answer that question, we first need to understand the difference between our brains and birds lies within the design. Mammals’ brains are layered like club sandwiches, while birds’ brains are arranged more like pizza. All the pieces are there but they’re not stacked like ours.

Another important note about sensory consciousness: The ability to have subjective experiences that can be explicitly accessed and thus reported arises from brain processes that emerged through evolutionary history, and dates back 320 million years ago when birds diverged from mammalian lineage.

After the crows got comfortable within the testing environment, scientists introduced a rule—a red cue for “yes, they’d seen the stimulus” or blue for “no, they hadn’t.”

The results stunned scientists, and affirmed crows do in fact possess sensory consciousness.

To reconcile sensory consciousness in birds and mammals, one scenario would postulate that birds and mammals inherited the trait of consciousness from their last-common ancestor, and crows tucked this superpower in the ol’ memory bank for at least 320 million years. Amazing, right?

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?


With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

Preorder on Amazon for 99c.

Book will be delivered to your device on April 20, 2021 (release day).

You can catch up with Sue at the following places:

Website Facebook Twitter Amazon Goodreads Tirgearr Publishing Globe Pequot (Rowman & Littlefield)

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Kicking it into Overdrive

It’s September now. The best month of the year is just over the horizon. I can taste the pumpkin spice in my beer, and detect the crispness of the occasional morning. We’ll still dabble with the occasional 100 degree temperature, but October will be here before we know it.

It’s been my favorite since I was a small child. All the spooky Halloween oriented things. The changing colors, I love all of it.

Late summer was busy. It seems like Lanternfish sailed all over the world in the last month. We visited a lot of old friends and managed to get Lisa Burton out of the writing cabin. I’m hoping that my free promotion of the first book will walk some new readers into this series. It’s time to send the ship to dry dock now. She has holes to patch and barnacles to scrape before I take her back out for her last cruise.

I’m going to be popping up here and there this month to promote Murder They Wrote. This is an anthology of seven different short stories with a theme of murder. My character, Jason Fogg, is a private detective on the trail in my story.

I’ll be on the lookout for review posts. With Lanternfish’s free days, plus the new book, plus the anthology, one or two could pop up. If I find them, I’l try to share them here.

You might be thinking, Craig’s had a busy year. He’s probably going to relax for a while. That’s just not the case this year. I try to have a Halloween themed promo of some kind every year, and 2020 be damned, I’m doing it this year, too. I have another book I hope to release on October first. I only have part of my promotional artwork, but I have a cool cover. I’m sure the rest of the art will arrive in time. I don’t even have the formatted MS back, but it will be here.

I decided to post some teasers this month. Simple, visual and auditory at the same time. With this post, I’ve officially promoted three new books in one week. Take that 2020. Check it out. Are you teased? Are you intrigued?

Lisa Burton

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I’ve been kind of quiet lately

The work week has kept me pretty busy lately. That brings a certain amount of satisfaction, but it doesn’t make for good blog material. Fortunately, I was able to reblog a couple of good things, and I was up at Story Empire yesterday.

Still, that isn’t the same as fresh content. My daughter is visiting this weekend, and that’s always good. She’s also promised to give my son a haircut and I’m excited about that. He’s starting to look like that creepy girl from The ring. Maybe a member of the Manson Family.

We decided to rent a movie and watch it together last night. We went with ‘Birds Of Prey.’ Color me disappointed at best. Margot Robbie was so good as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, I didn’t see how this could miss. It missed. It felt rushed to market to capitalize on the prior success. Characters were under developed and it was kind of a mess. It wasn’t as bad as the second Ghost Rider movie, but it wasn’t good either.

There hasn’t been much writing time available, but I sent out a bit of Lanternfish for critique. I already have one sample back, but will save it until I have them all.

I forced a bit of time today and managed a thousand words of, well, it’s another new project. I was invited to send a short story to an anthology and committed. They like the idea of getting a speculative author to contribute something. These are all going to be murder mysteries.

There is a bit of a time crunch, but not too bad. Fortunately, I already have a private detective that I don’t need to create from scratch. It looks like Jason Fogg is on the case. If you’ve enjoyed Jason from either of the Experimental Notebooks, or Viral Blues, you might want to watch this space for more information as it unfolds.

I’ll probably continue to tap away at it this weekend. Lanternfish and Mrs. Molony are at points where they require more concentration. Right now, I’m still introducing characters and setting up the murder ideas with the Jason story. It’s easier to hack away at, and can be fine tuned later.

I still need to work up my next Story Empire post and get it scheduled. This will bring an end to my Character Archetypes, and I’m sorry to see it go. I may, or may not, do a wrap up post to it later on.

Hope you’re all finding something fun this weekend. Old What’s Her Face give up on finding a puzzle. It seems like everyone else got the idea before she did and there are none to be found.

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Tattoos & Portents

Hey, everyone, we have a visitor today. Judi Lynn is here to tell us all about her new book, Tattoos & Portents.

Judi is an author friend of mine, and we would both appreciate you checking out her wares, maybe visiting her blog, and using a selection of those sharing buttons. Such activity really helps an author make a splash with a new release.

Here’s Judi to tell us all about it:

Hi, Craig! And thank you for sharing your blog with me today. I’ve come to promote my new book, TATTOOS & PORTENTS. It’s a supernatural mystery. I love mysteries and urban fantasy, so tried to combine the two genres for the Muddy River series.

You’d think writing about witches, shifters, and demons, I wouldn’t do any research, but I ended up doing more than I expected. For one thing, I wanted more than the usual supernaturals to settle in Muddy River. Hester and her coven find the remote area first, and I needed a reason for them to travel to southwest Indiana and choose a location near the Ohio River that’s inconvenient to most mortals. The idea that came to mind was that they were fleeing the witch trials that obsessed most of Europe, Great Britain, Canada, and eventually Salem. They’d learned that mortals fear anything unknown to them, and when mortals were afraid enough, they became dangerous. Most of the supernaturals who run to hide have lost family members. They want to stay as far from mortals as possible. To the point that the witches cast wards to keep enemies from passing their borders, and the Fae cast an illusion spell so that mortals can’t even see Muddy River.

Witches weren’t the only ones persecuted, though. Every supernatural was in danger, so werewolves, demons, sirens, and vampires find Muddy River, too, and they all join together and get along. They have to, because they appoint Raven, a fire demon, as the area’s enforcer. Anyone who steps out of line is banished or turned to ashes. I did a little research on demons and found their origin started with Lillith, Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden, who eventually left him. Druids settle close enough to the town that they’re friendly neighbors. I knew a little about Druids but not much. I ended up researching their sacred trees, healing wells, and background. I never realized how learned Druid priests were. They could often speak several languages and were asked to preside as judges over difficult cases for kings and rulers of other areas. They didn’t write about their religion, though, passing its truth down from one person to another, so I could only include the things I found in articles. Neighbors farther to the south, across the Ohio River, are women who belong to a voodoo community. I only included the basics about voodoo in my stories because their magic, though Nature based like the witches’, feels so foreign to Hester.

But enough about research. In TATTOOS & PORTENTS, it’s nearing the end of December. And while most mortals in the area celebrate Christmas, the witches celebrate Yule. Unfortunately, this year, Hester and Raven learn that a voodoo priest is capturing witches, and they have to interrupt their festivities to find the witches and rescue them, and eventually battle the priest and the army of undead he’s creating.

https://amzn.to/3bfv20F

Blurb: Why are people returning to Muddy River with Celt tattoos on their arms and non-stop dreams? When Hester uses her magic to help a sleepless friend, she discovers that the dreams are pleas for help from witches who’ve been captured by armies of undead. A voodoo priest has created them, but for what purpose? And how can she and Raven find him to stop him?

Thanks so much for hosting me, Craig! I appreciate it.

Bio for Judith Post

Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, a noisy Chihuahua, and a parakeet. She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need. That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories. She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best. She writes cozy mysteries for Lyrical Press and paranormal mysteries on Amazon.

My blog & webpage: http://writingmusings.com/

My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter: @judypost

On BookBub at Judi Lynn with a link to Judith Post (for my urban fantasies): https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judi-lynn

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