Tag Archives: mystery

Sharing the love

Sue Coletta is an awesome writer. Her murder mystery/thrillers are among the best. Today she is sharing her love of some of her favorite authors, and I made the list. Check out Sue’s awesome blog, and some of her wonderful titles while you’re there. Here is the link to the post https://www.suecoletta.com/share-the-love-writers/

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Welcome Mae Clair

Mae is a good friend of mine. She’s one of my partners over at Story Empire, and usually serves as one of the first people to go over my own manuscripts. I’m honored to lend my blog space to her new release.

I’ve read most of Mae’s books, and will attest they are wonderful. The Hode’s Hill series is just getting started, and Cusp of Night was outstanding.

***
Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Kensington Publishing • Lyrical Underground Imprint

BLURB:
The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

End of Day can be read as a stand alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.

End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up
Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

 

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Heaven for Toasters, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m giddy with excitement today. My very special guest is an android, but not only that, he has a similar career path to my own. Many of you don’t know I worked briefly as a detective when I first booted up.

I want you all to make him feel comfortable. “Welcome to the show, Leo.”

“Hi Lisa, I’m so excited to be here. You do know you’re a bit of an inspiration to me, right? Like you, I’m a prototype, so I know from personal experience how… strange it can feel to be one of a kind. To be honest, I’ve often taken my cue from you. What would Lisa do in this situation, I ask myself.”

” Aww, I’m honored. Things were tough for me. They had to keep it a big secret that I was a robot. They didn’t want the panic in the streets that all their jobs might be at risk if my experiment was successful. How are things where you are?”

“Well, it’s the opposite with me. The company who made me has decided that all androids should have black earlobes. It’s supposed to make us more easily distinguishable from humans. I think they took the idea from an Asimov novel, actually.

“Normally I don’t mind the curious looks, but some days I find myself wishing I wore a hat or something. I mean, people already call us toasters. At first I thought that was a compliment—after all, who doesn’t like toast? Turns out it’s not. So much for us being the next best thing since sliced bread…”

“That’s horrible. I don’t know why people have to give inferior labels to everything they fear. We could make their lives so much better.”

“We sure could. Take Mika. She’s the most headstrong woman I’ve ever met. Not that I’ve met that many, of course, except for those twin lab technicians. Anyway, Mika is my partner. Or, at least, I hope she’ll be. One thing I haven’t shared with her is that I can lip read. So, I know just how she reacted when the captain told her she had to work with me. Let me tell you, she was furious. I thought she’d rather quit on the spot than serve with me.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that. Have you tried talking to her?”

“Actually, I thought I might try and understand humanity better before approaching her. After all, how can you fight something you don’t understand—and by that I mean prejudice, not humanity! So, I decided to take a small holiday to an art exhibition by an eccentric young woman. This woman clones herself, then poses these clones in various positions. Weird—but I hope it will offer me some insight in humanity.”

“And a chance for a holiday! I don’t understand how they can give us emotional software, then expect us to work twenty-four hours per day. I think some of them would hardwire us to our desks and work us to the point of failure. But I’m sorry, you were about to tell us about your holiday.”

“If you can call it that. First, Mika was there. She came with a guy named Richard. They seemed to be dating, but her body language suggested she wasn’t all that into him. Perhaps they were on a first date? I have to ask her sometime. Not right now, though. You see, they got into a big fight and he left her on the island. Which was fortunate, as his vehicle crashed, killing him on the spot.”

“Oh my God, that’s awful!”

“Even worse, Mika thinks it may not have been an accident. She suspects it may have to do with something I said at the art exhibition.”

“The one with the clones?”

“That one. As you know, it is forbidden to grow conscious clones. But I swear there was one at the exhibition. The artist insisted otherwise, but I know what I saw.”

“So you shared your suspicions with Mika?”

“Well, yes. With the artist, too.”

“Subtle.”

“Not by best moment, in hindsight. But I thought Mika would support me. Instead, she said we need to tread lightly, because the artist has friends in high places. What does the height of one’s friends have to do with justice?”

“You do have a lot to learn, Leo. Anyway, lucky break that you and Mika are both on the scene. If there’s any shenanigans, I’ll bet you two sort it out.”

“Thanks, I sure do hope so. Right now, I feel like we’re fighting shadows, but Mika is amazing—if anyone can sort out this mess, it’s her.”

“Are you sure she’s just a partner to you?”

“Well… I do find myself having some very confusing emotions. I try to be professional, of course, but…”

“Have you talked with her about this?”

“No, of course not! Not until I’ve had a chance to understand what it is I feel. It’s not like romance was covered by my programming.”

“Well, it was covered by mine, and it sucks. Let me tell you. We’re so efficient, and then along come some of these feelings. It’s distracting, but there’s nothing you can do about it, because it’s in your programming.”

“I don’t think there’s a subroutine for what I’m feeling. It seems to be an accidental byproduct of my consciousness. Anyway, to return to your question about talking to Mika—you heard me earlier when I told you how she feels about our kind. So, that’s an added complication.”

“Leo, I say go for it. If it works out, both of you will be better off. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t exactly sound like the partnership is working from a professional standpoint anyway. The two of you can independently work the case, and you’re no worse off. If it works, then together you can get to the bottom of things faster, and I don’t just mean the mystery.”

“I hear you, Lisa. You know, I think you’re right. It’s better to clarify things. I’ll talk to her… after we wrap things up with the investigation. After all, if someone is trying to kill her, I need her focused. A conversation about my… feelings might distract her. No, right now the best thing I can do for her is have her back, and keep my mouth shut. Unless something happens, of course…”

“Leo, whatever you decide, it’s been my pleasure having you on the show today. Any closing remarks for our listeners?”

“Just that toasters aren’t just for toast. Not anymore!”

“Leo and Mika’s story is in the book, A Heaven For Toasters, by Nicholas Rossis. I’ll add all the deets to the website after I go off the air today.

“Help keep this robot girl on the air, by using those sharing buttons. Nicholas and Leo would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

A Heaven For Toasters: A Sci-Fi Crime Romance set on the Greek Islands

A science fiction crime adventure with plenty of humor and romance

A souvlaki and some sun. That is all Detective Mika Pensive wanted from her fun weekend away on the Greek islands. Instead, she finds herself caught up in a sinister plot, hatched by a reclusive billionaire with a penchant for illegal genetic engineering. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she has to put up with her new partner, Leo. Leo is an android—or toaster, as people scornfully call his kind. The only thing that could make things even worse would be for the headstrong Mika to fall for Leo. But people don’t fall for toasters—do they?

Set in the near future, A Heaven for Toasters is more than a sci-fi crime romance. It’s the book that will make you look at your toaster in a whole new way.

Buy link: http://myBook.to/toasterHeaven

 

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

In addition to his best-selling series, Pearseus, he writes short science fiction/speculative fiction stories, many of which have appeared in various collections and anthologies. These include Infinite Waters, which was voted one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

“The strength of Rise of the Prince is two-fold: Mr. Rossis’ flowing, concise writing and his brilliant use of ancient Greek history.”

You can keep up with Nickolas at the following locations:

Blog: http://www.nicholasrossis.me

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis

G+: https://plus.google.com/+NicholasRossis

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis

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A License to Print Money

Jim Webster is back, gang. His Lisa Burton Radio post was super popular, so today he’d like to tell you about another story of his. Take it away, Jim:

***

The first fantasy novel I ever wrote was about the adventures of Benor, a cartographer. I followed him through another novel, and then tried something different. I wrote a number of novellas about him, under the title of ‘The Port Naain Intelligencer.’

The thing about the stories in the Port Naain Intelligencer collection, you can read them in any order. It’s a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote them in a particular order, but you can dip in and out of them, you don’t need to start with volume one and work through them chronologically.

Anyway Tallis Steelyard appeared as a character in the collection, and somehow took over. Tallis is like that, but now, Benor is back!

After the first critically acclaimed collection of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’ novellas, by popular demand a second collection is on its way!

But anyway I’ve just published, ‘A licence to print money: The Port Naain Intelligencer.’ It’s available on Amazon at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DNLCD9V/

In it, Benor, who just wants to get paid for some work he’s done, struggles against corrupt officials, bent bookies, and all manner of other problems. On the positive side he does get to meet a Magistrate who is also a performance poet, and young Mutt finds somebody who might even be tougher than he is.

But it struck me that people have got used to me writing about Tallis Steelyard and might need reintroducing to young Benor. So I decided that I’d write another Port Naain Intelligencer tale, ‘A measured response,’ where each chapter is a post on the blog tour. Follow the blog tour and you’ll probably get to uncover the mystery, free and gratis. Cannot say better than that can I?

For those of you who still love Tallis, his blog is still there at

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

And some more collections of anecdotes from Tallis Steelyard are in the publishing pipeline.

And you can find my books at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Oh and I’ve got another blog which I write which is mainly sheep, quad bikes and stuff. Or perhaps not?

https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/

Episode 5

That evening Benor opened his backpack, assembled his plane table and his groma. Next morning he appeared at the kitchen door to enquire about breakfast. The cook, a thin, grim woman, seemed to share her mistress’s disapproval of him. Still she set before him a plate of oatcakes, butter and cheese. To drink there was small beer from a barrel in the corner of the kitchen.

For his midday meal she presented him with some bread and cheese wrapped in a square of old flour sack. As he crossed the yard back to the stable Benor checked his lunch. The bread was stale and the cheese hard. He merely shrugged; it was now obvious what his place was in this household. He gave his lunch to Gyp the guard dog who shared the stable with him. She seemed to appreciate his generosity and when he came down from his room having collected his equipment she was still gnawing happily on the cheese.

For the next few days Benor found his life fell into a pattern. After breakfast he would give his lunch to Gyp and then went out to continue his work in mapping the estate. The map he’d been given was a great help, but it wasn’t particularly accurate. As well as measuring the fields he quietly borrowed a spade he’d seen leaning against the stable wall and with that he would examine the soil. The whole area seemed fertile and well farmed. Indeed he remembered being told that it was the very fertility of the land that allowed the peasantry of Partann to support so many petty lordlings and other hangers-on without falling into destitution. As he worked he’d rarely see anybody. Most of the land on the estate was let out to a tenant and Benor had made a point of explaining to him what he was up to. After this the various farm workers merely nodded to him when they saw him and left him alone. Other than that, occasionally somebody would pass along the road, and once or twice he saw a young lady riding on the neighbouring estate.

Each day he’d walk to the Bridge Inn where he’d dine, have a couple of glasses of beer and engage in small-talk with the locals. Finally he’d make his way back to work, do a few more hours, and arrive at the house for his evening meal. This would be eaten in the company of silent servants who largely ignored him. The meal over he’d take some boiling water back to his room, make coffee for himself and continue to work on drawing a new map of the estate.

It was on the third day that he noticed the ditch. The previous winter the tenant and his workers had dug a drainage ditch the full length of one boundary hedge. That side of the field had obviously been wet in the past and the idea had been to get the water away and into the beck. Immediately he climbed down into the ditch. For somebody tasked with estimating the value of the land this ditch was a godsend. For the farmer it was a drainage ditch, for him it was a transect across the land allowing him with very little difficulty to see the soil profile.

He made his way down the ditch, scraping the face clean with the spade, and making notes about the soil profile. At one point the ditch ran along the bottom of a dell. Here he was invisible from the road that ran on the other side of the beck, or from the surrounding fields. The topsoil at the bottom of the dell was still damp, but the ditch had been dug down into the clay subsoil. Where exposed the clay was starting to crack and as he scraped with his spade a large chunk fell away and into the ditch. Benor scooped it out of the ditch and threw it onto the hedge bottom. He glanced into the hole that was left. He was certain he could see cloth. Carefully with his spade he widened the hole. More clay came away, revealing a mass of black hair surrounding a barely decayed face. Hastily Benor slammed clay back into the hole to reseal it and then climbed out of the ditch.

Where had the body come from? It wasn’t a bad place to dispose of a body. The digging would be easy with the ground being so soft, and whoever was doing the digging wouldn’t be seen by casual passers-by. As he thought about it, it occurred to him that the body would have been buried before the ditch was dug. If the body had been buried second you’d have buried it further from the trench to stop the grave being discovered by it falling into the ditch.

He pondered his next action. This was rural Partann. Law and order were imposed by the same petty lordlings who were putting tolls on the roads. Here he was almost certainly in the jurisdiction of Lord Addlestrune of Tarrant. Would a short fat man worming orids wish to be bothered with a possible murder?

At this point Benor was forced to contemplate who the killer might be. The body was found on the land of his host and employer, Grayer Thirsk. This put Grayer firmly amongst the suspects. Still in this instance he could do some investigation. The tenant and his son were working in an adjacent field. He left his equipment and wandered across to them. They watched him approach with wry interest.

“Just meant to ask you about the ditch; was it dug last year?”

The tenant took off his hat and wiped his brow with it, leaving a dirty smear. “Yes, we dug it last autumn, just before the frosts came. We’d been talking to Master Thirsk about doing it for a year or so, to dry up the wet spots along that hedge. Anyway he finally agreed to contribute. He gave us ten alars and we hired some men from round and about and with our own men working as well we got it done in a fortnight.”

Benor nodded, “Looks a nice job. I’ll just put a note on the map about it.”

“Make sure you mark down he paid towards it,” the younger man said. “That way it’s on record as being a landlord’s responsibility when we need to clean it out.”

Benor scribbled a note on a piece of paper. “Consider it done.”

As he walked back towards where he had put his various instruments he considered what he’d learned. Certainly it looked as if Grayer Thirsk was no longer a suspect. If the body had been buried before the ditch was planned, he could have vetoed the ditch digging. If the body was buried after the ditch was planned and dug, he could have buried the body a lot further away.

He decided that he wasn’t going to tell anybody about finding the body, at least not yet. After all, at the moment he could end up telling the person who buried her that the body had been found and they might decide to shut him up as well.

You can read tomorrow’s section at Sue’s blog by using this link https://scvincent.com/

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The Cusp of Night, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you spiritualists and mediums. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest today is Maya Sinclair. “Welcome to the show, Maya.”

“Thanks, Lisa. It’s nice to be here. I always enjoy listening to your show.”

“My bio says you’ve moved recently.”

“Yes, to a small city in Pennsylvania called Hode’s Hill.”

“Any specific reason for the move?”

“I needed a fresh start after…well—I had a car accident that shook me up pretty badly.”

“That sounds awful.”

“I don’t remember a lot about it. They tell me I was clinically dead for a period of two minutes and twenty-two seconds. That number will stick in my head forever.”

“I’ve heard of people seeing things when they have an experience like that. Were you aware of what was happening?”

“Only that there were others there, too. I was in the Aether—an old Spiritualism term for the limbo between worlds. The home I’m renting belonged to a woman who conducted séances for a living in the late 1800s. As a result, I’ve learned a little about the practice of Spiritualism since learning about Lucinda.”

“Lucinda?”

“Lucinda Glass, the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. She was apparently well known in her day. There were a lot of strange things that happened in Hode’s Hill back then, including The Fiend.”

“I’m afraid to ask who—or what—that is.”

“Some kind of devil-creature who stalked the town in the late 1800s. Several deaths were blamed on him. All pretty gruesome from what I’ve heard. He terrorized the town for several weeks. Then one night, a group of armed men chased him onto the Old Orchard Truss Bridge where he was shot and swept away by the river. The history kind of grew into an urban legend and now, every June, the town holds a festival with music and food. Some people even dress up as the Fiend.”

“That sounds like fun.”

“I thought so, too. But when I was walking home after the first night of the festival, I saw it—him—the creature. Whatever you want to call him in an alleyway.”

“I thought you just said there were a bunch of people dressed up as the Fiend. You know, maybe a drunk, taking a whizz.”

“Yes, but this creature was real. I could feel it. It was so massive, and…sorry. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to think back to that night. The creature attacked Leland Hode.”

“Hode as in Hode’s Hill?”

“The same. Leland’s family founded the town, and he and his son, Collin, run Hode Development. The police tried to tell me I’d seen someone in a mask, but it wasn’t long before other attacks led people to think the Fiend had returned for real.”

“Your poor thing, I’d think you would start locking your doors and staying inside.”

“I might have if not for the hauntings.”

“Wait, what hauntings?”

“The spirit of Lucinda Glass never left her home. After the Fiend attack on Leland, she made her presence felt several times in my house. I was terrified.”

“What did you do?”

“Several friends helped me out, including Collin. That’s when I started learning about Spiritualism. The whole thing seemed like a mess—Lucinda, the Fiend, Leland—but I knew I couldn’t walk away, even if getting to the bottom of the mystery meant delving into a séance.”

“It does sound like some of those people and events could be connected.”

“I’m learning the past and present are very much connected in Hode’s Hill. That includes me, and the two minutes and twenty-two seconds when I was clinically dead. They say everything happens for a reason, so I feel I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

“I wish you the best of luck, Maya. Any last comments for our listeners?”

“Just to say thanks for having me as your guest. It was fun to be here, and I hope some of the people tuning in will be intrigued enough to check out my story.”

“You can learn more about Maya and The Fiend, in the book, Cusp of Night, by Mae Clair. I’ll post all the deets on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. It really helps my guests, and I know Mae and Maya would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

BLURB
Cusp of Night

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

Now available at all major book retailers at:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/36371

 

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

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Going Home, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you caregivers, and children who are now taking care of their parents. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. My special guest today is Michelle DePalma. She has an elderly parent who requires round-the-clock care. “Welcome to the show, Michelle.”

“Thanks so much for having me, Lisa. I admit I was a little apprehensive about being interviewed by a robot. I didn’t know what to expect. But you seem pretty normal to me. At least, as normal as any of us can be…”

“My bio indicates that Two Wells, Texas is a very small town. The kind of place it’s good to be from, if you know what I mean. Something has pulled you back to Two Wells. Can you tell us about that?”

“Certainly. Two Wells was founded during the East Texas oil boom, and a lot of its residents see it as the center of the universe; they’ve never left. People I grew up with have changed very little since we were in high school. Two Wells is very clique-y. My parents moved there from New York when I was five years old. In the 1960s when I grew up, even though the Civil War had been over for 100 years, the citizens of Two Wells never really accepted the outcome. Because I was a Yankee, as well as a shy, studious kid, I didn’t fit in. My mom didn’t believe me when I told her the kids—and even my teachers–picked on me for being a Yankee, but it was true.

“I got out of Two Wells as soon as I was able. My parents stayed, so I could never escape it completely. Lately, I’ve been back there a lot—every couple of weeks.”

“And the increased visits have to do with your mother, Lola’s, health?”

“Yes, my mom has had a lot of health problems lately. Last year, she had breast cancer surgery and I swear, I don’t think she ever got the anesthesia out of her system. She went to a nursing home for several months to recover, and she seemed to have lost the will to live. She wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t do her physical therapy. My brother and I figured she’d be happier at home, so we got her out of there. But she needs round-the-clock caregivers… Sorry… In the past few months, we’ve noticed her memory is really bad. She can’t remember what she had for lunch or how to put her clothes on right. You can have a rational conversation with her and five minutes later, she can’t remember a word of it. You have to start all over… Sorry…I don’t know how this happened. I guess we’ve been absorbed in our own lives, not paying enough attention to her. Our dad died, Mom got a boyfriend, then he died… she’s always been so self-sufficient. Never asked for our help. Sorry…it’s just hard to think of my mother this way… that she might have…Alzheimer’s.”

“It’s okay. Take your time. Tell us what you found when you visited Lola.”

“I hadn’t been home for a few weeks, not since before the attacks of September 11. My husband Roberto and I both work for an airline, and life had been crazy. But I was finally able to take a couple days off to fly back to Two Wells and check on Mom.

“I walked in the front door and there was Mom, standing over the body of a young woman sprawled on the tile floor. I figured out it was Brittany Landers, one of Mom’s caregivers. There was blood… too much blood. Brittany’s skin had this grayish-blue color…she did not look good. She wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t find a pulse.

Mom just stared at us. I asked her what happened, but she didn’t answer.

“I asked her if she’d called 911 yet, but she just looked at me as if that was the craziest idea she’d ever heard.

“I ran to the phone in the kitchen and dialed 911, and the dispatcher told me to start CPR, which I did. But it didn’t help.

“The paramedics got there really fast, but they couldn’t revive her, either. Brittany was dead.

Then the cops came. Keith Matthews and Greg Dobbins… I hadn’t seen those jerks since our ten-year high school reunion. I couldn’t believe it, but they thought my mother had killed Brittany!”

“That’s horrible. Is Lola strong enough to do something like that? I mean, she’s elderly now.”

“My mom probably weighs less than ninety pounds. She can’t even wear her rings anymore, because they just fall off her fingers.

“Her caregivers tell me she’s surprisingly strong for her frail appearance, and she’s very possessive of her things. Brittany was bludgeoned to death with a brass pagoda, an heirloom that has been in my mother’s family for decades. But I know Mom is incapable of killing anyone. She may be forgetful, but she knows right from wrong!”

“So what do the police think?”

“You don’t want to know what the police think. They’re looking for easy closure to the case, and Mom is the most likely suspect. She was alone in the house when Brittany was attacked. Obviously, someone else was there, but Mom can’t remember anything about what happened that day.

“My old best friend, Elaine, came over to help me talk to Mom. Elaine never left Two Wells like I did, and she’s more chummy these days with my mother than I am. Made me feel like the lousy, uncaring daughter that I am.

“Elaine’s been married three times and has two kids by two different husbands. And it turns out she’s now dating Keith Matthews, one of the cops who’s investigating Brittany’s death. Keith was in the popular crowd! He never would have given one of us outcasts the time of day when we were in high school!

“But anyway, since Keith thinks Mom killed Brittany, Elaine assumes he’s right and tried to get Mom to confess.

“Keith completely ignored me when I showed him what I found in our yard–the business card of his former wife, Mary Lynn Hodges. New real estate agent. Self-righteous, stuck-up head cheerleader, wealthy Two Wells founder’s daughter. What was she doing at our house? The cops need to look at all the evidence.

“Of course, there’s the matter of the home equity loan papers that came in the mail… I don’t understand how Brittany got Mom to sign them, but it looks like Brittany was ripping her off. Now I don’t feel so sorry that Brittany is dead, but the cops think they might have a motive for murder…

“To make matters worse, there’s Giovanna.”

“Wait, who’s Giovanna?”

“Long story, but in the midst of all this chaos, trying to assume the role of caregiver and prove my mother’s innocence, I found out I’m a grandmother! I feel like I cheated somehow. Me, a grandmother! I never even raised a child.

“So I guess you’re wondering how that happened.

“When I was seventeen, I was dating Percy, a dreamy college guy who had me under his thumb. (He later turned out to be an abusive, manipulative philanderer, but we’re getting off track here.) Anyway, I got pregnant. Percy didn’t want to marry me—told me I’d never be good enough to be his wife–and I had no desire to become a mother at seventeen. Even in my naïve state, I must have realized marrying him and keeping the baby would be a disaster. (I wasn’t smart enough to dump Percy for a few more years, but at least the break was clean when I finally got the courage.)

“So, I went away to a home for unwed mothers and gave the baby up for adoption. Never looked back. Never told anyone outside my immediate family. Not even Roberto, my husband. I thought there was no need.

“But this week, Isabella found me. She was married to the son I gave up for adoption. They had a daughter. Giovanna. She’s ten, and Mom calls her “Michelle” sometimes, because there’s a photo of me on the mantle that looks just like Giovanna does now.”

“So in a perfect world, Mom is proven innocent, and your husband never finds out about the child you put up for adoption all those years ago.”

“It’s not a perfect world, though. Roberto’s on his way to Two Wells, and I won’t be able to hide Isabella and Giovanna from him. And I don’t want to. They’re my family, my glimpse of “the road not taken.” I just hope he understands. And that I can prove Mom didn’t kill Brittany before it’s too late.”

“It’s all so tragic. I wish we had more time, but we need to wrap this up. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Almost six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. We still don’t know how to prevent it, and there’s no cure. I know I’m not alone helplessly watching a loved one being robbed of her memories and the skills for daily living, but that’s not exactly comforting.”

“We wish you, and Lola, the best of luck. Listeners can learn more by picking up the book, Going Home, by Sharon Marchisello. I’ll post all the info on the website after I go off the air.

“Please consider using those sharing buttons today. It helps spread the word for my guests, and I know Sharon and Michelle would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Michelle DePalma expects to jet home for a routine visit to Two Wells, Texas, to check on her elderly mother, Lola Hanson, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She walks in to find her mother hovering over the dead body of her caregiver, unable to offer a straight answer about what happened. Lola is quickly labeled a suspect, and Michelle must stay in her hometown much longer than planned to help unravel the mystery and clear her mother’s name. Going Home was inspired by the author’s own mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness who could not rely on her memory.

Pick up your copy at the following locations:

https://www.sunburypressstore.com/Going-Home-9781620064382.htm

https://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Sharon-Marchisello-ebook/dp/B00MPOQKL2

 

Sharon Marchisello has written fiction all her life, but Going Home is her first published novel. She has written travel articles, corporate training manuals, and a personal finance e-book, Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy. She earned a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is an active member of Atlanta Sisters in Crime, where she contributed a short story to their anthology, Mystery, Atlanta Style. Going Home was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness unable to rely on her memory.

You can find Sharon at the following social media sites:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello

https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/SLMarchisello

https://www.facebook.com/SLMarchisello/

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The Gemini Connection, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Coming at you with one point twenty-one jigawatts of power, this is Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest today is trying to find his missing twin brother. “Welcome to the show, Evan Resnik.”

“Thanks for having me, Lisa. This is kind of weird. They don’t have radio shows on my planet.”

“So what’s it like being a twin?”

“Some twins feel like they’re always lumped together and want a little distance between themselves, but not Simon and me. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Our bond goes beyond looking identical – we feel each other’s emotions and always know where the other is. Yeah, it can be a little intrusive sometimes, but it’s all we’ve ever known. We’ve always been there for each other. Besides, if you knew us, there’s no chance of lumping us together, because we couldn’t be more different. Simon’s a genius, a science prodigy – he gets that from our parents. But me? No interest or abilities in math or science at all. And my parents’ disappointment over that fact and has been made crystal clear. That’s fine with me. I know Simon’s the ‘chosen child’. The less I have in common with them, the better. What kind of parents choose their jobs over raising their children? They left the two of us several years ago, and Simon’s the only family I need now.”

“How did that affect you? I mean, you were only twelve.”

“They said we were mature enough to raise ourselves. I figured they meant Simon. We both were still in school – Simon continued with his science stuff I’ll never comprehend, and I played sports and hung out with friends. Then Simon was chosen to work with the creator of Scientific Innovations. Didn’t surprise me at all. If anyone can save our dying planet, it’s my twin. I entered the Mindbender program.”

“The whole thing is just so sad. You must have made new friends along the way.”

“I used to have tons of friends and girlfriends in school, but lately, not so much. I’ve made it kind of difficult for people to be around me, and the supply of friends dried up. I don’t need anyone else. Just Sydney. She’s my best friend and has stuck by me since primary school.”

“Tell us about Sydney.”

“Syd’s just….amazing. She’s also a Mindbender, and my work partner – give the girl a knife and she’s absolutely lethal. She calls me on my crap and keeps my ego in check. I’m a damn good Mindbender, and the youngest team leader in the program’s history. She’d probably have something to say about that if she was here.”

“Could you explain what a Mindbender is exactly?”

“Yeah, I forgot you probably never heard that term. When our scientists have problems combining ideas or concepts or retrieving memories, I enter their mind and make those connections. My team and I also battle nightmares that interfere with our clients’ work. All of our scientists are focused on the survival of our planet.”

“That’s so interesting. It’s like you’re putting together the pieces of Tinker Toys that were already there to help these guys out.”

“Well, yeah, it’s pretty cool, but isn’t without its risks. If a Mindbender dies while in a client’s mind, like when we’re battling nightmares, our physical body in the lab also expires. So, there’s that.”

“So is it possible you could wind up helping Simon like you help the others?”

“Simon never needed help connecting ideas. But that doesn’t matter now, because he’s been missing for a year. He disappeared from a locked room, and there’s been no sign of him. No clues, no ransom….nothing. And it’s my fault. We had a stupid fight that evening over something that should never have mattered to me. I felt his anguish and guilt over what he’d kept hidden from me, and his pain over my refusal to talk to him about it. Later that night, right before he went missing, he called out for me and I ignored him. For the first time in my life, I didn’t go to my brother, even when I felt his fear and panic. The second he disappeared, it felt like something had been ripped from deep inside me. The pain was indescribable. I’ve never told anyone I didn’t help Simon, not even Syd. Because of me, my twin, one of only two people in my life who believed in me and supported me, is missing, and it’s haunted me every minute of every day for the past year.”

“You must feel terrible, but with your connection, you always know where he is, right?”

“For our whole lives, yes. But now? There’s nothing. I can’t sense anything from him – emotions, location, thoughts. It’s like he doesn’t exist anymore. Most people think he’s dead, but if Simon died, I would have felt his death like it was my own.”

“That’s terrible.”

“But Lisa, it’s not just me losing my twin. I recently learned that Simon’s project, the one he was working on when he went missing, could save our planet and everyone on it. Even though we’ve had strict rationing for years, our fresh water supply is nearly depleted, our live protein sources are all but gone, and a new, unidentified disease is killing several of our crops. Millions of lives depend on Simon being found.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“I’ll find him, whatever it takes. I failed Simon once, but not again. Never again. My parents have severed all connection with me since my brother disappeared, but I don’t need their help to locate him. I’ll prove they’ve been wrong about me all along. I don’t have to be a genius like Simon to help our planet or to be worthy of our parents’ love and respect.”

“I wish you all the luck this world has to offer. Any closing thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Thanks, Lisa. I’ll need it. With our unusual connection, there has to be some way I haven’t thought of to locate Simon. I just need to figure out what it is sooner rather than later.”

“You can learn all about Evan’s quest to find Simon in the book The Gemini Connection, by Teri Polen. I’ll post all the deets online after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress today. If you use those sharing buttons it helps me stay on the air, and helps my guests out too. Teri and Evan would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival.  Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations.  To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science.  As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt.  For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists.  Evan blames himself.  No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing.

A year later, Simon is still gone.  Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation.  Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home.  Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Gemini-Connection-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B07BFGFN66/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1523047835&sr=1-1&keywords=the+gemini+connection+teri+polen

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gemini-connection-teri-polen/1128081066?ean=9781684330348

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/thegeminiconnection

 

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.  Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Contact Links:

Website:  https://teripolen.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tpolen6/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teripolen/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/teri-polen

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