This was a week from hell, like so many at my workplace. Wound up putting in a bunch of extra hours and was kind of tired today. That poses a problem, because my only writing days are Saturdays in this new world order. Do, or don’t do. Thanks, Yoda.
I elected to work on my science fiction project this morning. Jenny has been spinning her wheels after her promotion. She’s trying to help her son get through college and dreaming of doing some investigative reporting.
It sounds like a lot of dragging components, but she’s uncovering important things as she pokes around. She doesn’t see the big picture yet. Hopefully, readers will want to piece some things together as they go.
I introduced two lesser characters today. One is a disgraced network anchor who might be able to do some mentoring. The other is a billionaire (on television) who wants to enter the vanity space race. It all seems unimportant right now, but will come together later.
Honestly, this one is a challenge for me. Many of my characters have an obvious problem to overcome. Jenny is working from a position of desires and kind of fumbling around.
My intention is to have a slow burn, but I don’t want to bore anyone while smoldering. This is a new method for me.
Her next move will be to find and speak with the former anchorman. I intend to have some fun with a man who doesn’t want to be found and my heroine who needs some advice.
I could have gone a bit further, but really am not at my best after the week I had. There were some family concerns in the mix as well and it was all a bit overwhelming. Everything appears to be fine now.
My failure was in hearing Pirates of the Caribbean music from the living room. Old What’s Her Face almost always watches Harry Potter, but apparently he wasn’t available today. The Pirates films were alway among my favorites, so here we are. Time for my Davy Jones fix.
Word count feels somewhere in the neighborhood of 1100 to 1200, but I didn’t keep actual count.
Let’s all welcome Gwen Plano to Entertaining Stories today. Gwen is an incredible author, and one of my Story Empire colleagues. She’s here to tell us all about her newest publication. The site is your’s Gwen
Thank you, Craig, for inviting me to your site today. It’s a pleasure to visit your readers and share a bit about my new release. I look forward to doing the same for you.
Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision is a mystery thriller that takes place in the Southeast corner of New York state, in the towns of New Rochelle and Cortlandt. In the excerpt below, the characters travel to Fishers Island, New York in Long Island Sound. Having spent about twenty years in and around that area, it was exciting to visit as a writer.
The book tackles themes of forgiveness and redemption through suspense. We accompany the son and daughter of the deceased as they try to uncover the reason for their father’s murder. What they discover prompts them to ask if they even knew him.
Sometimes complicated situations help us see our own challenges in a different light. That is my hope for this book. Most of us won’t experience threats like those of my characters, but pain is universal, as is joy. Seeing either in the extreme helps us recognize our own—and severe or elated, those emotions are impactful.
In this excerpt, Lisa and Trace Holmes, along with their friend Ryan, ride a ferry to Fishers Island. They go at the request of the siblings’ mother. There’s something important she wants them to retrieve, but that something is a mystery. On the ferry, Ryan and Lisa are surprised to discover a matter of the heart.
The ferry pulls away from the dock, and the trio watches the village cottages come into view. The playground near their cottage is absent of children. The only evidence of life comes from an older couple, who walk their dog on the beach. Lisa spots a blue building. “Look. Just like the one in the painting.”
“No kidding.” Trace stares. “You were right that the painting was a clue. It looks like the painter worked from a photo taken right here on this ferry. It’s a leap, but I believe we’re on the right path.”
The mainland shoreline grows more distant, and the threesome weave through groups of passengers to the bow of the boat, where they can see the approaching island.
The moist wind sends Lisa’s hair flying. She brushes it away from her face and tries—unsuccessfully—to knot it at the nape of her neck, now ruddy from the morning breeze. As the waves hit, the ferry rocks, and Lisa with it. She struggles to keep her balance. Ryan edges closer, and shoulder-to-shoulder with her, Ryan waves to the seagulls.
The ferry bumps against the dock buffers abruptly, and Ryan grabs Lisa when she staggers. She smiles, and his features light up.
An announcement sounds over the public address system: “All passengers need to return to their cars. Deboarding begins in ten minutes.”
Family secrets can be deadly. When Lisa Holmes visits her parents one fateful Saturday morning, she hugs her father and walks to her childhood bedroom. The doorbell rings. Her father opens the door, and one minute later, he lies dead on the floor—three bullets to the chest.
The Holmes family lives on a quiet street, but no one really knows Eric Holmes. He travels for business and comes home a few days each month. Unbeknown to all, Eric has multiple lives.
In this fast-paced psychological thriller, Lisa and her brother, Trace, embark on a quest to solve the mystery involving the murder of their father. The journey takes them into a secret world where nothing is as it seems. As the puzzle pieces begin to coalesce, theydiscover the meaning of Redemption.
I’m really excited to have Joan Hall visit today. She’s branched out into short fiction and published her book of 13 short stories, and even published on Friday the 13th. That’s something I’ve done before, and I think it’s cool.
Joan is a long-time author friend and one of my collaborators over at Story Empire. I’ve read a bunch of her books and recommend them without fail. I’m sure Menagerie is wonderful and will be reading it myself.
Make Joan feel welcome everyone, and please use those sharing buttons before you leave. I can almost bet she’s done it for most of you.
Thanks so much, Craig, for opening up your sight to me today for the eighth stop of the Menagerie tour. The book is a mixed-genre compilation of thirteen short stories. Each stop features a different story where I tell what inspired me to write it. Today, I’ll talk about the idea behind Storm Rider.
In the early 1980s, I read a book titled A Walk Across America.It’s the true story of a young man named Peter Jenkins who became disillusioned with life and set out on a journey accompanied by his dog, Cooper. During his journey, Jenkins met and lived with several people, often taking temporary jobs to help pay for his trip.
Even though many years have passed since reading the book, it’s one of those stories that stayed with me. Fast forward to last summer when I envisioned a truck driver sitting at a roadside diner and had an “unusual” talk with another customer. I won’t say what was so mysterious about the second encounter because that would give away the story.
I changed things up a bit from that original idea. Mike Travis is a young man who, like Peter Jenkins, was a bit dejected with life. Instead of following his father’s wishes to return to college for his master’s degree, Mike decides to walk across country. One evening, he’s on a lonely stretch of a desert highway when a violent thunderstorm approaches. It so happens a truck driver, Ray Crawford stops to give Mike a ride.
During the trip, Mike tells Ray part of his story and receives some sage advice. After traveling over seventy miles together, Ray drops Mike off at a roadside diner. It’s there where Mike discovers something interesting about Ray.
Part of this story was also inspired by a journey my brother took during the summer of 1977. He traveled by ten-speed bike from San Antonio, Texas to Moab, Utah. As you can imagine, he met lots of interesting people and had a few stories of his own to share.
Storm Rider is set during the summer of 1978. A few other stories in this collection are set during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s—what I call simpler times.
Below is an excerpt.
The fresh scent of rain hitting the ground emanated from the parched desert. Mike’s biggest concern was lightning. He considered a culvert or a drainage ditch, but with the rain falling at this rate, the probability of flash flooding was high. He prayed the lightning didn’t strike nearby.
Your wanderlust will get you into trouble someday.
His father’s voice echoed in his head. Hopefully, his words weren’t prophetic.
Times like this made Mike question his choice of walking across the country. He could have purchased a used van by dipping into his savings. The trip would have been easier, but his expenses would have been greater. He wasn’t about to accept any money from his father. Not that Robert Travis would offer any unless it was for a plane ticket home and a promise to return to college.
The clouds darkened the early evening sky, making it appear much later. As he continued toward the valley, the rumble of an approaching vehicle—likely a bus or an eighteen-wheeler—sounded from behind him. A curtain of light cascaded over the road when the semi crested the small ridge. Mike moved toward the shoulder, so the truck could pass, but it slowed to a stop just ahead of him.
Taking it as a sign the driver intended to give him a lift, Mike rushed to the passenger side, then opened the door.
“Where are you headed?” The trucker was a man of around sixty years of age with a waistline indicative of someone who spent a lot of time sitting.
“Eventually, Arizona. Tonight, the next town.”
King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?
Each is a famous menagerie.
While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.
Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.
These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.
Let’s all welcome Mae Clair to Entertaining Stories today. She’s here to tell us about her latest release, The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.
Mae is one of my oldest and dearest author friends. I freely recommend anything she writes. We started Story Empire together, and I soon met Staci Troilo, Mae’s partner in this project.
I’ve also read a ton of Staci’s work, and recommend her stories without any reservations. It’s Mae who showed up today, so let’s all make her feel welcome. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons while you’re here. I know both Staci and Mae have done it for many of you.
PS: I already have my copy preordered and could be reading it by the time this goes live. Can’t miss with these two teaming up.
Craig, thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be here with you and your readers to share The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. I co-authored this novel with Staci Troilo, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was amazing to work with a co-author, especially someone as talented as Staci. She and I found we work great together, so who knows—maybe another down the road.
For now, we hope others will enjoy our supernatural mystery which includes dual timelines, ghostly happenings, a town curse, murder, and rumors of buried gold. During our short promo tour, you’ll meet several characters who populate the book. Today, I’d like to introduce Benedict Fletcher, from the 1888 timeline. Spiritualism is a key thread in the book, so Staci and I thought we’d have each character sit down with a medium as a way of introduction.
Let’s listen in.
SPIRTUALIST: I feel a little awkward, given you’re a spiritualist yourself, Mr. Fletcher. Do you really want me to proceed with a reading?
BENEDICT: (waving aside the offer): We can skip that. Chatham Hollow already has one too many mediums as it is.
SPIRTUALIST: I take it you’re referring to Victor Rowe?
BENEDICT: Don’t you mean the Great Victor Rowe? (rolls eyes) The man has a reputation longer than a locomotive.
SPIRTUALIST: Well… he is endorsed by the Society of Psychical Research, something not easily accomplished.
BENEDICT: Only because the SPR hasn’t investigated him thoroughly enough.
SPIRTUALIST: Is that why you’ve made it your mission to upstage him? You’ve only recently arrived in Chatham Hollow yet have made quite a name for yourself. I’ve heard even Irene Chatham sings your praises.
BENEDICT: (straightening his cinnamon-colored cravat) The mayor’s wife recognizes talent when she sees it. I had the pleasure of summoning the dear woman’s deceased mother, providing her the comfort so many crave when they lose a loved one.
SPIRTUALIST: You did the same for her sister, Dorinda—summoning her husband from beyond the Veil.
BENEDICT: Yes, yes. (steepling his fingers with a solemn nod) She was most appreciative.
SPIRTUALIST: Enough to suggest you contact Ward Chatham at the Founder’s Day Festival?
BENEDICT: It was more about the SPR.Dorinda is acquainted with two members, and thought if they saw me conduct a séance, they might endorse me. You understand how important that is.
SPIRTUALIST: Of course.But there are also rumors of an underlying motive—hoping to discover where Ward Chatham hid his gold.
BENEDICT: Chatham’s gold—and his curse—is the stuff of legend. It’s fool’s gold if you ask me.
SPIRTUALIST: Really? Then the treasurehas nothing to do with why you came here from St. Louis?
BENEDICT: I came for one reason only—to build a reputation. (he smiles sharply) And discredit Victor Rowe in the process.
BLURB: One founding father. One deathbed curse. A town haunted for generations.
Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.
In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town.
More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.
This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.
Thanks again for hosting me today, Craig. It was a pleasure to drop by—along with my unnamed spiritualist and Benedict Fletcher. (Please excuse Benedict. He can be quite the chameleon). I invite your readers to pick up a copy of The Haunting of Chatham Hollow at the link below. Staci and I both appreciate the support and wish everyone happy reading!
Let’s all welcome Judi Lynn today. She’s a long-term blogger/author friend, and she has a new book to tell us about today. Please check it out, maybe consider it for your summer reading list. Before you leave make sure to use those sharing buttons. All of us struggle to get the word out and a click or two is pretty simple.
This is the second book in my Karnie Cleaver series. Karnie works in her family’s butcher shop with her parents, brother Chuck, Aunt Aida, and Aida’s son and daughter. They not only work together, but they get together every Sunday for suppers. They like each other. That led me to write a story that focused on family dynamics, the good and the bad. When Karnie married Matt Roeback, Chuck’s best friend, his family is close, too. And she inherited his two kids, Chelsea—almost three—and Jackson—five. When Matt’s ex-wife left him, Chelsea was only six months old and doesn’t remember her mother. Jackson doesn’t want to. They’re both ready to have a woman who loves them. So was Matt. And I wanted to show how all of them bonded as a family in this book.
I also wanted to show that even when people love each other, sometimes the need to do your own thing can cause chasms. Karnie’s older brother, Porter, left the butcher shop and moved to Florida soon after he graduated high school and never looked back. He was always their parents’ golden boy who could do no wrong. He’s handsome, smart, and maybe a little too into himself. He didn’t come home for weddings and rarely answered phone calls. Until now. But when he gets into trouble, home looks better than it once did. Karnie and Chuck aren’t jumping up for joy when he wants to return to the family business, but their parents greet Porter with open arms, their prodigal son returned.
And then there’s the mystery. And it emphasizes relationships this time, too. Farley Rawlins is the victim, and people would line up who disliked him. He and his wife can barely tolerate each other, but she stays with him. Why? He’s such a pain, she doesn’t want to bother with one court battle after another to get rid of him. Then there’s his mistress, Cecilia, who’s not happy because he’s left her for someone else. Not his wife. And there’s the myriad of people who rent from him, and he’s threatening to throw them all out so that he can raise his rents.
I also wanted to show the hardship of parents who have kids with special needs. Don’t get me wrong. They love their kids with all their hearts, but they always worry what will become of them once they’re gone.
I enjoyed writing this book. I didn’t even fuss through the messy middle (and that’s unusual for me). And I thank Craig for helping me promote it. If you try it, I hope you like it.
Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, and a noisy Chihuahua. She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need. That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories. She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best.
It’s my honor to welcome D. L. Finn to Entertaining Stories today. She’s here to tell us about her newest publication, and it sounds pretty good to me. Denise is a friend, a Story Empire partner, and a great author. I hope all of you will make her feel welcome, and don’t forget to use those sharing buttons at the end.
Thank you for having me here today, Craig, to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.
I’ve never had a pet who wanted a bath. Our dogs thought it was a punishment when I went from water to soap, while the cats would attempt to end all water contact with their front claws and propelling back legs. So, I had fun writing the bath scenes that included animals.
Imagine Drea’s surprise that they seemed to enjoy it, not only the dog Charlie, but the cat Jane, and rat Ben too. You’d either think they were the best-behaved and trained animals ever—or wonder. I know my mind would come up with an unusual scenario or two, but never consider these animal’s truths.
Still having a dog, cat and rat show up just when Drea needed it was an enormous boost for her in the depressed state she was in. She deserved that small moment of peace to bond in everyday chores like bathing these animals before her life, and theirs, unraveled.
Fun Finn Facts
1. Could there be labs trying to create talking animals? If they do and they escape they are welcome at my house.
2. Do our loved ones who have passed on try to communicate with us? I believe so.
Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.
Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.
Drea gasped and sat up on the couch. Her heart was racing like her nightmare of falling off a cliff had been real. Although it was still dark out, dawn was peeking through the veil. She had slept soundly through the night. The familiar crackling of the fire was absent. She shivered in the cold room, wrapped the blanket tightly around her, and took the simple route of turning on the central heat over rekindling the flames. This time of year, she preferred the warmth of a woodstove over forced hot air, but since becoming a widow, she chose where to put her energy.
The animals were curled up on the blue wool hearth rug and hadn’t stirred. A pleasant sensation passed through her— a sense of belonging, or being needed. That inspired her to pull on her snow boots, coat, and gloves and grab her new black fabric wood carrier. She shut the door quietly behind her without letting it latch. The garage door creaked open, exposing her to the winter chill.
The headlamp fit snuggly across her brow. A simple flick of a switch lit her path across the pristine snow to the woodshed. As the narrow beam of light guided her forward, her boots sank into the covered landscape. She quickly filled her carrier with oak and turned to go back into the house when her path crossed another set of footprints.
Her heart raced as she studied the tracks. They were bigger and deeper than the ones she’d made. The square heel left out any possibility of being a forest animal, and the tracks led away from the house into the trees. A quick scan of the area didn’t offer any answers.
She took a deep breath to push her fear away. Next time, she’d bring her gun. How stupid to go outside alone with a killer on the loose.
Charlie’s paw swept the door open, and he sprinted to her side.
She met the dog’s wide-eyed gaze. “Someone’s been here.”
Charlie sniffed the air, nodded, and fell in behind her. His head bumped against her legs, quickening her sluggish pace. Looking to her right, she spotted more footprints—right outside her front window. Time inched forward as goosebumps crawled over her skin.
Finally they were inside the garage. She dumped the load on the concrete floor and raced to the button that would shut the door and offer her protection from the outside world. Charlie stood statue-still next to the closing door, which moved at the speed of a turtle. She sighed in relief when the outer metal door thumped shut and quickly gathered up the wood.
D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.
Hey, everyone. A couple of years ago I got an invitation to contribute to an anthology of murder mysteries.
This is a little outside my orbit, but they didn’t care if mine was a speculative tale. I decided to give Jason Fogg another spotlight and my story came together.
Jason is a private detective who has the ability to turn himself into fog. This allows him to get inside places and poke around for evidence. Even openings like keyholes are enough for him to pass through.
Jason originated in the first Experimental Notebook, earned another tale in the second Experimental Notebook, and was part of the team in Viral Blues. I might trot him out again some day.
This brings me to Murder They Wrote. I am honored to appear beside some stellar authors in this collection. If you feel like diving into murder mysteries, this is the collection for you, and you might find a new favorite author in the mix.
The best news is this collection is absolutely free for a couple more days. Grab your copy now. I like to read anthologies as lunch-break material to stretch them out. (It’s okay if you want to read them all at once. You do you.)
Let’s all welcome Judi Lynn today. She’s got a new book to talk about, and I love her explanations for how it came about. I tend to read and write like she does. Check out the book, and feel free to use those sharing buttons to help spread the word.
I want to thank Craig for inviting me to his blog. I’ve been a fan of his writing and his blog posts on Story Empire for a long time. I’ve been waiting for the third and final novel of his Lanternfish trilogy since I fell in love with Serang in the first one.
I’m here today to promote my latest novel, POSED IN DEATH. I usually write cozies, but this time, my story is much darker. And I’m blaming it all on Louis Kincaid. I’m hooked on P.J. Parrish’s series about the P.I./detective. I don’t know about other writers, but what I read affects what I write. I read a lot of cozies, historical mysteries, and only a few thrillers. That is, until I bought my first Louis Kincaid. Now, I read more thrillers than I used to.
I can’t read any one author over and over again, back-to-back. I get more critical with each book and bore faster. I need to change things up. So, I usually read two cozies, a historical, another couple of cozies, something outside the mystery genre, then a cozy, then a thriller, and on and on. I’d never make it as a binge reader or TV watcher. And I learned that if I write the same characters back-to-back, even though I love them, I get just as bored. So, I need to switch things up. (Luckily, in real life, I don’t have this problem. I haven’t gotten bored with HH yet😊 But I do have to constantly find new recipes to make because I’ve already made some of mine too many times.)
For a while, I wrote paranormal mysteries between my Jazzi and Ansel cozies, and that helped. I tried to write a few different cozies with different characters, like my Lux novels and A Cut Above, and it helped, but not as much. Those had the same FEEL. They didn’t quite do the trick. It was like reading a Lynn Cahoon Tourist Trap cozy and then going to a Kim Davis Diva cozy. They were both fun, but I was ready for something different. And that’s when I discovered Louis Kincaid. That’s also when I got the idea to write something darker. And it was wonderful. It did the trick. I’m ready to tackle another Jazzi and Ansel now.
Writing darker is a gamble. I’m not sure readers who like my cozies will want something that features a serial killer. But my agent said I had too many cozy elements in the story to call it a true thriller. And that’s true. But I wanted to focus on the theme of marriage. And this worked for me. So, it felt like a gamble worth taking.
Thanks again, Craig, for sharing your blog with me!
Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, and a noisy Chihuahua. She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need. That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories. She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best.
Joan Hall is with us today to tell us about her new book. It’s the first in the Legends of Madeira Series. There is also a sidecar/prequel called House of Sorrow, that I highly recommend.
Joan is a big supporter of the independent author community, one of my partners over at Story Empire, and just and all around good person. Let’s give her a big welcome, and make sure to use those sharing buttons to help her launch this project. Take it away, Joan:
Cold Dark Night: A Lunar Trifecta
Thank you for your generosity in hosting me today, Craig. I’m delighted to be back with you to kick off this tour for my latest release, Cold Dark Night, the first novel in the Legends of Madeira series.
As you know, I’ve long been fascinated by the full moon. Several years ago, I discovered Native Americans had names for each of them. Up until that time, I’d only heard of the Harvest Moon or a Blue Moon (when there are two full moons in a calendar month).
In 2018, a rare event occurred. January had two full (or blue) moons, as did March, meaning there was no full moon in February. This is sometimes referred to as a Black Moon.
This rarity occurs every nineteen years or so and is dependent upon time zones and leap years. But January 31, 2018, there was an even more uncommon occurrence, the trifecta of a blue moon, a supermoon (close proximity to earth), and a blood moon or eclipse.
I had an early meeting that day, and as I arrived at work, the eclipse had just begun. The event fueled my imagination. I had to write a story around this unique event. The idea for Cold Dark Night began to take shape.
He looked toward the western sky. The earth began to pass between the moon and the sun, casting a shadow on the lunar surface. Before long, it would appear blood-red, the brightness completely obliterated.
The darkest hour is just before dawn.
How many times had he heard his grandmother say those words? It was years before he knew where the quote originated, or that it was metaphorical, not literal.
He’d come to a remote area of the Vaughn ranch to view this rare celestial event. Stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts gathered in various places outside Madeira to watch, but he didn’t want to be around others. He wanted to be alone, and the chances of the ranch’s owners spotting him were next to nothing.
A twinge of excitement ran through him as the lunar surface turned a coppery hue. Astronomers called it the Super Blue Blood Moon—a rare trifecta of the second full moon of the month, its nearness to earth, and a total eclipse.
An eerie stillness surrounded him. His pulse quickened—not from fear, but in anticipation of what was to come. Part of him wanted to go ahead with his plans. Too bad he hadn’t thought of it before now. A killing taking place during the blood moon would have been perfect.
But no, he had to bide his time. Wait for the natural course of events. He’d waited thirty-eight years. Another couple of weeks wouldn’t matter.
The darkest hour is just before dawn.
He would see the morning. But for some, darkness would soon last forever.
Thanks again for hosting me today. Cold Dark Night is available on Amazon for the introductory price of .99 through the end of June. The price increases to $3.99 on June 15th, so now is a good time for readers to grab a copy.
New husband, new house, new town… and a new mystery to solve.
Tami Montgomery thought her police chief husband was going to be the only investigator in the family when she gave up her journalism career and moved with him to Madeira, New Mexico.
But after the historical society asks her to write stories for a book celebrating the town’s history, she becomes embroiled in a new mystery. If she can’t solve this one, she could lose everything. Her research uncovers a spate of untimely deaths of local law enforcement officials. Further digging reveals a common link—they all lived in the house she and Jason now share.
Tami isn’t a superstitious person, but the circumstances are too similar for coincidence. Then she unearths an even more disturbing pattern. And if history repeats itself, her husband will be the next to die.
Let’s all welcome Harmony Kent to the blog. Harmony is an old friend, one of my Story Empire partners, and she has a new book to tell us about. Don’t be afraid to use some of those sharing buttons to help her spread the word.
Hi everyone. Harmony here. Thanks so much, Craig, for letting me visit with you today. I’m so thrilled to share the launch of my latest book with you all.
The Vanished Boy is a mystery suspense novel based around a teenaged boy, who’s gone missing. The book follows the mother as she trawls through her missing son’s online life and realises, to her horror, how out of the loop she’s become.
The inspiration for this novel came from watching a number of movies based on how our lives both revolve around and are influenced by the Internet and mobile devices. Although these movies covered many genres such as murder/mystery, thriller, and the supernatural, they all centred around the same theme: Apps and living life online. This led me to ponder how many of us spend our lives in digital pursuits rather than physical—both the old and the young? For many people, their actual physical lives become but a shadow compared to their online existence.
Mostly, the shift to a digital world happens slowly. It’s incremental and, too often, insidious. All of which led me to ask how well do we actually know our children? Our loved ones? Those around us? What might be going on in the shadows?
From that inspiration and questioning, this story was born. Much of life and our actions originate from the same needs and wants: to be loved and accepted, the ability to differentiate between truth and lies, and the things we do to cover our mistakes and make ourselves look better than the reality instead of owning who we are. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Enraged and desperate, Carole sprints forwards and nearly knocks the girl over before she manages to skid to a stop on the wet paving stones. The girl leaps back.
‘What the fuck?’ She looks at her friends in an evident bid for fortification and encouragement. ‘Woah, crazy-woman alert.’
Carole gasps for air, bent over at the waist and hands braced against her knees. She straightens and holds up her palms. After a couple of seconds, she says, ‘I’m Jay’s mum.’ Her lungs burn. She’s too old for this sort of exertion.
The girl scowls at her. Around them, a bunch of kids pull out their phones. ‘Yeah, so? Why should I care?’
God, the idiot’s as obnoxious and rude in real life as she is online. Carole bites back her temper, but only just. ‘You said he was with you. Where is he?’
The girl smirks, and her lips lift in a sneer.
Carole steps forwards so she stands too far into the girl’s personal space. She plants her hands on her hips and glares at the teen. Through a tight jaw, she says, ‘Where. Is. He?’
The obnoxious girl rolls her eyes. ‘I was having a laugh. Lawd, everyone’s, like, freaking out. I mean, just chill, right.’
That does it—Carole’s temper flares white-hot, and she loses it. Her animal brain takes over. She flies at obnoxious gal, knocks the large tub of popcorn from her hands, and grabs her around the throat. In her peripheral vision, more phones get pulled out. Some flash as their owners snap pictures, but most of them hold out the screens to record the night’s excitement.
After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.
Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her adorable husband, ever-present sense of humour, and quirky neighbours.
Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.