Tag Archives: mystery

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/

Advertisements

19 Comments

Filed under Writing

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

63 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

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/

28 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

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

41 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

The Curse of Time, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome everyone. Turn down the lights, find your silver bells, and possibly a crystal that speaks to you. You might want to light a candle or two. This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I’m your host Lisa the robot girl.

My special guest today is living under some unusual circumstances, but we’ll let her tell us about them. “Welcome to the show, Amelina Scott.”

“Hi Lisa. I’m so excited about this, a chance to tell my story to a robot girl, that’s beyond amazing!”

“I already mentioned that your living arrangement is a bit odd. Can you fill our listeners in a bit?”

“Yeah, my dad disappeared on my thirteenth birthday. Sorry, I find this difficult to talk about. It really hurts. I, I cope by writing my feelings down in poetry. I don’t like to talk about it… But for you I will …

“Dad’s vanishing was the weirdest night ever. We’d been celebrating, laughing, dancing and playing charades. Then my dad’s charades card became a terrible omen and he upped and left. It was scary and so out of character for him. I tried to fathom it out, but it’s pretty unfathomable. Mum and I clung to each other, weeping….

Then, guess what? A couple of years later he returned. A dad, but not the dad I knew. It was heart-breaking. He had aged, viciously. He looked more like a battered old grandfather than my dad.”

“That’s strange, but is it possible he went away for some kind of treatment, and returned after it was over? It might have been really hard for him.”

“No way! What made you say that… No treatment would do that to you! That’s bonkers. Unless it was a special clinic for guys addicted to playing guitar. My dad always loved his guitar. I reckon there’s something sinister going on; I’d say he’s a victim of an aging curse.

“Ah, my mum, Sorry, this is making me tear up again. My lovely mum has changed. She used to be all sunshine and now she’s sharped-tongued and stroppy. She hasn’t aged but it’s like her soul has. Deep inside. The pain’s carved its way in and taken residence. Then there’s Esme. She used to go to the same school as me. We weren’t close then but now we are. I’ve always longed for a sister to share my thoughts with. Esme isn’t my real sister, I’m an only child, but she feels like one. I know this sounds crazy but she’s trapped. Yeah, trapped, in the mirrors in our house. You must think I’m making this up, but I’m not. Her pain’s trapped too. She has a limited ability to do anything, so she speaks, listens, and eavesdrops. She moves a bit but has no real freedom. This leaves my poor friend trapped with a continuous stream of dark thoughts. She tells me loads of shocking stuff about how she used to self-harm. How she’s a victim too. She can’t tell me why she’s become a prisoner in our house. Someone has sworn her to secrecy.”

“It’s getting stranger, particularly Esme. Is there anything that might have catalyzed these events? Maybe you can put your finger on something.”

“I know this sounds odd but I’m beginning to think it’s got something to do with this weird grasshopper housed in the Corpus Christi Chronopage clock on King’s Parade.

“It took a long time to work it out but I think time has something to do with it. I’m still muddling through. At the beginning, this cartwheeling invite bounced through my letterbox and summoned me to the Crystal Cottage. In despair, I thought I’d never find the cottage. It was like the cottage was playing hide and seek with me. But, then my Aunt Karissa sent me an enchanted paint set. I painted creepy scenes, creatures and the like. It scared the heck out of me but there was a purpose to it all. It was like I had to go through this to get my pass to the cottage. I can’t tell you much more for fear of spoiling the story. All I can say is this cottage is so beautiful, a haven of mysterious light. It’s quaint, a magical place hidden below the earth. Its walls hold an array of every twinkling crystal imaginable. It’s dream-like. But, there is a sense of danger too. A sense that the cottage must be protected from evil.”

“Things are sounding pretty creepy.”

“Oh, geez there is so much about the cottage I daren’t tell you. What can I say?

“An old wacky lady, Leanne inhabits the cottage. She tends to the crystals and keeps a bunch of white doves as pets. I have a feeling the doves are not as pure white or as friendly as they seem. The cottage is guarded by a creature called Eruterac and protected by well-known Gods and Goddesses from mythology. Aphrodite often takes a hissy fit if pretty girls meddle in the affairs of the cottage.

“According to Google maps the cottage doesn’t exist. Yet, I swear I’ve been there. It’s located on a river pathway, a place that’s light and breezy, or shadowed and eerie. The cottage lays hidden below the earth. When it’s summoned, it breaks through the surrounding earth to appear at ground level. But even then Google maps can’t find it.

“To find the cottage I had to take a dangerous pathway. I’d been warned not to go by my mum but I didn’t listen. At the railway tracks I knew I was in danger. What kind of danger I didn’t know. Then, this guy called Ryder turned up. All dark charisma and shadows. He saved me from two youths who didn’t have control of their own minds. They’d been tormenting me but it was as if they were puppets. As Ryder left, he commanded the shadows at his feet to do his bidding. It was a strange encounter, an awakening. His hypnotic personality frightened but excited me too. I had to find out more about him.

“So there is a shadow monster and a strange cat named Shadow. Do you think there could be a connection there?”

“Oh there are so many connections to puzzle and confuse! Who is Ryder? And how is he able to command the shadows? The monster isn’t the shadow; he’s too earthy to be a shadow. My not-quite-sister Esme believes the monster is Mr Nice Guy! But, I’ll let you decide about that…Shadow is a black cat but he’s more than that. There’s something extraordinary about him. A power within that I can’t quite explain. I love him but my mum and dad hate his black furry guts. Black cats have that effect. Some people believe they’re bad luck. Maybe they are. He turned up when my dad returned. A strange coincidence or what? Maybe I should kick him out. Sigh. I could never do that.

“I get so frustrated with Esme. We often argue. She knows what’s going on. I swear she does. But she won’t tell me. Or, perhaps she is too scared to. Someone is controlling her that’s for sure.”

“I understand your frustrations. What are you going to do now?”

“I’m learning all I can about crystal magic. I’m discovering who I am. I’m not an ordinary girl .I’m a Krystallos, a crystal magician. That’s who I am, but it’s taken me a long time to find my true self.

“I have to cure my dad otherwise the villain will keep on stealing time for his own wicked reasons. The only way I can do that is to wield a seriously scary crystal. I have no idea how it will go or what will happen. I’m so in the dark. My Aunt told me I have to be the one to do so. I have to be brave… Me, Amelina Scott has to be brave!”

“Amelina, I wish you all the luck in the world. It sounds like a scary situation, and there isn’t a lot of help out there. Any closing comments for our listeners?”

“Sometimes I am that hidden person. That person who’s courageous. I have to be that girl. I’ll do anything to help my family. I’ll do anything to make my friends safe. This curse will find a new victim unless I do.”

“You can learn more about Amelina’s plight in the book, The Curse of Time – Bloodstone, by Marjorie Mallon. I’ll post links and such on the website after I go off the air.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons today too. Marjorie and Amelina would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Paperback

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Carolina Russo has created two wonderful portraits of my characters which feature in my paperback which is due for release in April. Below you can see a full colour version of one image.

54 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Cusp of Night #CoverReveal

Mae Clair has a new book coming soon. To tease us along a bit, she’s sharing a blurb and cover. Check out this cool artwork.

***

Cusp of Night
by Mae Clair
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Paranormal

book cover for Cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair

BLURB:
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 . . .

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS LIST

Connect with Mae Clair at the following haunts:

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

Promotional banner for author Mae Clair with bio and author photo, spooky house as header in wash of red

31 Comments

Filed under Writing

Small Town Murder, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you beat reporters and gumshoes. We’ve got an interesting case here today. This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I’m your host Lisa the robot girl. What happens when a carnival stripper misses her last show, is found murdered in her trailer, and local sentiment is to brush it all off?

I have with me today, the one person who seems to care. “Welcome to the show, Brian Stockton.”

“Thanks for having me. It’ll be good to get this story out there.”

“Now, Brian. I understand you work for the local newspaper. How did you get involved in this case?”

“It’s my job–guess my editor figured he could spare me from important stories like covering a Town Hall meeting or a loose cow running amuck on main street. So, he gave me this case to cover. Good thing, too. It needs the attention, with the police getting nowhere. If it wasn’t for me, and this paper, nobody would know what happened, and the public wouldn’t care when the police don’t solve this. I don’t know why nobody’s covering it, but they aren’t. They should be. If the police can’t find the killer, perhaps the press can.”

“Slow down, Brian. Why do you think the police aren’t finding the killer? Are they limited in resources? Do they not sympathize with the victim? What?”

“Look, I don’t want to get down on Chief Davis. He’s a good man–a good cop. But he’s up against a lot here. Not much evidence was left. Just a stripper face down in a pool of her own blood. From what I understand, there were no fingerprints, footprints, or anything else that points at a suspect. So it’s going to come down to interviews, right? Well, Davis is a small-town chief with a useless police force. A police force that spends it time enforcing useless laws. Now, if someone was speeding or jaywalking, oh, they’d get right to the bottom of it; I can vouch for that. But a case like this–I don’t know, they’re not making progress. And the county isn’t helping. They’ve had people here once–once! If I were the Chief, I’d drive down to Cleveland and demand an experienced detective get involved. What else do they have to do? It’s a disgrace. That poor woman. If they won’t stand up for her, I will. I’ll do my part to solve the mystery.”

“That’s certainly noble. Who was this woman to you?”

“Just a victim in the town where I work, but right it right.”

“So what do you have, so far?”

“That’s a good question. I have to be careful how I answer. You wouldn’t want me to slander anyone. But I have suspects. One in particular. He’s who one might expect to have done something like this. Hard up slob who had a history with her–a romantic history. But the thing is; they’re a bizarre bunch–the carnies I mean. One of them is quite incoherent, and for some reason, had the victim’s cat. I mean, why would he have her cat, and on that night, no less. She’s dead and he has her cat. But, if he did kill her, why wouldn’t he get rid of the cat? He doesn’t seem too bright, but still. I don’t know, he’s refused to talk to me so far. But I’ll keep working on him. There’s a guy there who likes to buy people’s souls. Could it be some satanic thing? Or what about some deviant? Lust? Spurned love? More than one have, you know, been with her. I suppose I don’t have any more than the police. But the answer lies among the carnies–of that I’m sure. And I’ll stick with it until justice is done.”

“This seems like an extreme path for someone to take. The investigation into a murder by someone who didn’t know her at all. I have to ask, what’s in it for you? There can’t be many promotional opportunities at a small town paper.”

“Can’t I just want justice? Maybe there is something in it for me. I’m thirty years old and look where I work. This isn’t journalism–not normally anyway. Before this, the last story I was working on was reviewing this carnival on its last night in town. Why? What was the point? Reviewing a carnival is bad enough, but who would want to read the review of a carnival after it was too late to go. That makes no sense. It’s madness. But this murder: this is a real story. It is important. It’s given me some purpose. And who knows, if the story goes national, maybe it leads to other opportunities.”

“Any closing thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Things need to change. All the time our police spend worrying about drugs and so called juvenile delinquents but when something like this comes up, they’re stumped. I don’t know, maybe no one can do better. I haven’t, yet. But this story needs attention. The work of the police needs scrutiny. Maybe that will change things. Maybe that will lead to progress. Maybe that will lead to justice.”

“If you know anything about the murder of Mary Fontaine, please contact Brian Stockton care of this show.

“Help a robot girl keep this show on the air. There are a bunch of sharing buttons on the blog site, and if you share them it will help me, Brian, and author Corey Recko. I’ll include all the pertinent details on the blog with purchase links and such. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

It’s Halloween night 1953, the last night of the carnival in rural Ohio, and a stripper turns up dead. Tom Davis, the chief of police, orders the carnies to stay in town while he investigates, but there are no leads to Mary’s killer—no fingerprints on the murder weapon, no blood but Mary’s at the scene, no foreign hairs or fibers—no clues of any kind. Brian Stockton, a reporter for the local paper, hopes this will be his break into the big time, so he begins to investigate as well. But, alas, the killer’s identity eludes him, too. As tensions build, the carnies become paranoid, pointing fingers at each other. Could it be the owner, Bill Harris, the one who discovered the body? Or was it perhaps Gino Guglielmo, the man who runs the kootch show and has a nasty temper? Was it the eccentric clown, Otto Radowski, a man with dark secrets in his past and who just happens to have Mary’s cat? And how did the killer manage to commit such a violent act without leaving a single speck of evidence? Mary certainly wasn’t killed by a ghost…or was she?

Purchase links:

Corey Recko | Amazon Paperback | : Amazon Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | Kobo | iTunes | Scribd | Black Opal Books

Corey Recko’s first book, Murder on the White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain, won the Wild West History Association’s award for the “Best Book on Wild West History” for 2007. New Mexico Magazine said of the book, “The story moves along like detective fiction . . . .” Of his second book, A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster, the Civil War News review of the book concluded, “Just about everyone will find something to like in this tale of Civil War espionage that mixes in portions of heroism, intrigue, cowardice and betrayal.” Along with books, Recko has written articles on a variety of historical topics for magazines and historical journals and has become a sought after speaker (including an appearance on C-SPAN). Death of a Kootch Show Girl, a murder mystery about a death at a small-town carnival in 1953, is Corey Recko’s first novel.

Catch up with Corey at the following places: Website | Book Page | Facebook | Twitter

29 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio