Tag Archives: suspense

Tortured Soul, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you basement alchemists out there. Take a seat you members of secret societies. Have we got a show for you today. You’ve landed on 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 I have a doozie for you today. “Welcome to the show, Michelangelo.”

“Good day, Lisa Burton.”

“I’ve wanted to get you on the show for a while now.”

“That is my understanding, yes. Carmina Orsini—I believe she has asked you, as well as everyone she likes, to call her Nonna—has been asking me to talk with you. As I have told her repeatedly, I do not have the time. Alas, I also do not have the time to continue arguing with her. So, here I am. Against my better judgment. Because the woman is just… such a difficult woman to refuse.”

“I know Nonna, and she’s a wonderful person. She was on the show a year ago. Having some problems with one of her granddaughters, Donni.”

“Yes. I was made aware of her transgressions. She should not have done that. Doing so was dangerous. As is this. But, as I said, she is persuasive.”

“Now for our listeners, you are the actual Michelangelo. Can you tell us how you managed to stick around for so long?”

“It is a long story. Let me see, how can I simplify it for you? Alchemy is a precursor to chemistry. While there is a significant scientific component involved in the pursuit, there is an equal focus on magic. And while I realize alchemy is now a nearly-defunct practice, I can attest to the fact that it is, indeed, a fruitful and viable endeavor. Several centuries ago, I succeeded in conquering an alchemist’s two greatest challenges—finding an elixir of immortality and transmuting invaluable metals into untold riches. It has made for a long and rewarding life.”

“It seems like things might get boring after living that long. Do you find yourself running out of things to do?”

“If only you knew how humorous that statement is. While I was a burgeoning artist in Florence, I had the good fortune of being employed by the Medici family. My work and my loyalty to them yielded a mutually-beneficial agreement. While outwardly it would appear I was creating works of art for the family in exchange for their patronage, I was in fact serving as a bodyguard of sorts. And because this became such an intimate and lucrative partnership, I took a vow to always protect the family. It was because of the Medici patronage that I had the ability to conduct my alchemical research, so it was only fitting that I devoted myself to a perpetual defense of the family. I took a solemn vow. Hence the formation of the Medici Protectorate. Every generation since that time, I chose an elite class of warriors to protect the descendants. All these years later, the Notaro family—four daughters—are the lone survivors. With the Italian government currently in turmoil, the country is on the brink of revolution. Heirs of a powerful former ruling family would be ideally poised to take control and seize power. A nefarious faction has learned of their existence and is in pursuit of them, wanting to control them for its own benefit or eliminate them outright. I have chosen four men to be the Notaros’ guardians and several more men to serve as their support.”

“Um… devil’s advocate here, and all that. Has anyone considered what the girls might want in all this? I mean, maybe they don’t want to play princess Barbie. Maybe one of them wants to become a heart surgeon or something.”

“Of course their feelings have been considered. To the extent they are relevant, anyway. If any of the Notaro women was interested in ruling Italy, I would do everything in my power to make it so. But none of them wants that. They all work for their father’s building company and are quite happy in their respective fields. Control of any country is unappealing to them. I have even gone so far as finding a replacement for them—someone who is smart enough and benevolent enough to rule Italy for the good of the people. But until we are able to seat him at the head of the government, the Notaro women will be in danger. That is why they are in seclusion. I would like nothing more than to allow them their freedoms, but it is not safe for them to be in public, particularly on their own. That is why I have opened my homes to them and have assembled the family and their protectors under one roof. Only with constant protection will they be safe. And before you launch into a feminist lecture about the power of strong and independent women, let me stop you. This isn’t about damsels in distress and barbarian men thumping their chests to display their dominance. I have seen it. One of the benefits of my alchemical rituals was the creation of marble daggers which grant their wielders’ powers. One of my powers is foresight, and I have seen the future. The women are in danger without this protection. They, the country—the entire world—are in danger. The Notaros may not like being sequestered, but their discomfort is far better than the alternative.”

“Okay, so you miracled somehow that they’re going to come around. You know these are women we’re talking about, right?”

“I am aware, yes. At one time or another, each of them has escaped. And every time, to nearly disastrous consequences. That is why I found Carmen Scalzotto. He is an activist and a scholar—someone who will be an excellent ruler and can take the burden off their shoulders. But there is only so much I can do, and these confounded women are making things harder. They want to go home, the Brotherhood wants them to be happy, and now we have to protect the Notaro family in addition to Scalzotto. My resources are unimaginably large, but they are not infinite. We are spread thin. Too thin. It is time to put this challenge to rest once and for all, or I will not be able to protect… everyone.”

“So it’s not just fulfilling your vow. You care about the girls, but also want to keep Italy in the right hands. Hands you selected.”

“My feelings are immaterial. And at this point, so is my vow. Do you understand what will happen if this particular evil cabal assumes control of Italy? It will not mean the destruction of one country or even the entire European continent. Dictators have attempted to conquer the world before. Some have even come close, but they have always been stopped. That will not be the case this time. The world has never seen a mind so keen, so devious. So bent on control. If this organization wins, it will be unstoppable. It will mean global domination. Life as we know it will cease to exist.”

“Got it. So our best chance of saving the world involves protecting the Notaro sisters from the bad guys, but all you’ve assigned to the job are four brothers?”

“Very special brothers, hand-picked by me. I adopted them, groomed them, trained them. I used my sculptural skills and alchemical rituals to create special daggers which give them powers that enhance their already exceptional abilities. They are, as you say, the world’s best chance.”

“Daggers might be kind of cool, but we have explosive drones, rocket launchers, and things out there today.”

“Do you think a man can live as long as I have and not know the wonders of modern technology as well as what resides in the hearts of men? The marble came from my personal quarry. Each stone color taps into cosmic powers and provides the wielder with unique abilities. I spent years perfecting the rituals. Colors, materials, herbs, words, science—you cannot conceive of the time and effort put into these weapons. Nor can you comprehend the grueling preparations these warriors have been through. I have watched one of my sons after another give himself over to his calling and master his powers. Only Roberto has yet to fully embrace his gifts. And his are the most important of all. If he does not succeed in becoming one with his weapon and embracing his abilities, all hope is lost.”

“Roberto? You mean Coz, right?”

“Yes. Roberto Cozza.”

“Okay, so let’s project that Coz comes to terms with his powers. What happens next?”

“The Medici Protectorate has spent centuries watching and waiting. Defending. If I can get all four of the Brothers ready—and that means Roberto must come fully into his powers—then we can go on the offensive. We can bring the fight to… well, who leads the cabal is not the point, is it? Suffice it to say, I have known this man for a long while and he is formidable. The only way we can win is to instigate the final battle. And win it.”

“It’s all kind of sad in a way. These girls don’t want what their destiny provides. These brothers have been forced into this life and molded into warriors when they might have chosen different paths for themselves. And an old acquaintance who let you down can’t be trusted. Seems to have all the makings of a Greek tragedy.”

“We are not Greek, Miss Burton. We are Italian.”

“You’re something, all right.”

“I believe I have said enough to satisfy Carmina. If you do not object, I will take my leave now. There is still much work to be done.”

“No. No objection. You’ve given us plenty to think about. Thank you for visiting with me today. Any closing remarks for our listeners?”

“Your very lives are in danger. Whether you believe in alchemy or not, this is happening. And whether you believe in a higher power or not, you might want to pray for our success. Good day, Miss Burton.”

“You can read more about Michelangelo and the brotherhood in the Medici Protectorate Series, by Staci Troilo. Book four, Tortured Soul just hit the shelves.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons on your way out. It really helps my guests and their authors out. I know Staci and Michelangelo would do it for you. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STtorturedsoul

 

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links

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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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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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Sins of the Fathers, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is the owner of a small pub in Montreal. “Welcome to the show Charlene Butler.”

“Hi, Lisa. Thank you for having me today, and please call me Charlie.”

“It’s okay to say the name of your pub. Might bring in a few people.”

“Great idea! I own Butler’s Pub on Drummond Street in Downtown Montreal. The nicest pub in the neighborhood.”

“Charlie, you’re here today because there is a strange string of events in your life. Tell us about that, please.”

“Strange is a good word. Worrisome, scary, terrifying would also be good words. It started innocently enough. I received an anonymous letter in the mail from someone named Vincent, saying he’d been watching me, and we should get together for a chat. I didn’t think much of it until I got another one, with the same handwriting, from someone named Amy, saying she had been watching me, and we should get together and compare lives.”

“That’s kind of off-putting. What did you do?”

“Frank insisted I hire a private investigator. Frank is my bartender, but he’s also my best buddy, and he gets a little protective at times. I usually don’t like being fussed over, but in this case, Frank was right. I had already gone to the police, and they weren’t interested in putting too much time into a couple of mysterious letters.”

“Did you? Hire the PI, I mean.”

“I did. Some guy named Simm. I wasn’t too keen at first. I’m very busy, and I didn’t have time for all his questions. And, I really didn’t appreciate him prying into my past and the lives of my family and friends, especially when he’s so secretive about his life. But, he’s grown on me.”

“Now that’s interesting. Sounds like you’re kind of interested in him beyond your current problem.”

“What? No, not at all. I mean I guess some women would find him attractive, if they like that tall, dark, laid-back, lanky look. Not that I noticed, but I just…maybe we could move on to another question.”

“And did Simm turn up any helpful evidence?”

“He did. Actually, a lot of what he turned up was stuff I already knew, but I didn’t think it was something he needed to know. As usual, he disagreed with me. Anyway, he found out about how I became the owner of the pub. You see, it used to belong to Jim O’Reilly, who was a close family friend and mentor, like a second father to me. He taught me everything I know about running a bar. He was a very kind and generous man, and I don’t like people thinking otherwise. His connection to the Irish Mafia was a mistake and he paid for it. I’m sure he didn’t realize what he had gotten himself into. Jim’s past has nothing to do with the threats I’ve been getting.”

“You mean, like the mysterious letters?”

“Yeah, it started out as letters, but then I got a package. That was gross. I flipped my lid when I opened it up and out came a bag filled with organs. I’m talking livers and hearts, that kind of thing. It was terrible. They turned out to be sheep organs, but I still get chills just thinking about it.”

“You mean like guts and stuff? Maybe it’s time to call the police in.”

“Lisa, we talked to the police when I got the letters, and also when I got the package, and again when my apartment door was smeared with fake blood, but they just spun their wheels.”

“What did you do?”

“Simm did his thing. He contacted people, and visited people. He even made a visit to a prison to talk to some Mafia guy. He finally got us set up for a meeting with Marty Sullivan, the head of the Montreal Irish Mafia. Well, I say us, but actually it was just supposed to be him. I convinced him I had to be there too. Maybe coerced would be a better word than convinced. To tell you the truth, I know which buttons to push to get my way with Simm. He never sees me coming.

Anyway, in the end, Simm wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with Marty if I hadn’t been there. We hit it off right from the start. Marty barely noticed Simm. The guy was a bit cryptic though. Told us we had to go to Dublin and find a guy named Aidan Connelly. We have no idea what that’s about. But, honestly, you’d think a criminal mastermind would be heartless, but he was very upset about Harley’s kidnapping.”

“Wait, who’s Harley?”

“Harley’s my baby. He’s the most adorable little pug. I’ve had him for six years. He goes everywhere with me, and has his own little bed at the pub. Everybody in the neighborhood knows him and loves him. He’s so irresistible.

“Anyway, someone kidnaped him. I’m sorry. I’m getting choked up, but I still can’t even think about it without getting upset. He was gone for days. We knew it was the person who was sending me the letters, and the bloody organs…God, when I get my hands on him…and I will someday…I’ll show him what I can do with organs.”

“Now that pisses me off. Animals are innocent, and should be left out of things.”

“We’re on the same page, Lisa. So now, we’re off to Dublin. Again, Simm wanted to go on his own, and again, he found out I have no intention of letting him go without me. One of these days he’ll learn to not even bother trying. Simm seems to be an exceptionally slow learner.”

“I hope you’re going to be careful about this. Whoever is behind all of it sounds dangerous to me.”

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. But, I feel safe with Simm. He’s an ex-cop, you know. Even though I don’t like to feed his ego, I have confidence in him, and if things get dangerous, I’ll follow his lead.”

“That sounds smart, and in more ways than one. Charlie, I could talk about this all day, but we’re out of time. I wish you all the best, and I hope Harley is okay too. Any last comments for our listeners today?”

“I’d just like to thank everyone for the support they gave me when things were rough. And, if the mystery man is listening, I want you to know that we’ll find you, and you’ll be sorry you ever laid hands on my pup. For everyone else, drop by the pub someday and say hi. Thank you, Lisa, for being such a great host. I love your show!”

“You can learn more about Charlie, and Harley’s plight in the book, Sins of the Fathers, by A. J. McCarthy. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure A. J. and Charlene would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Charlene Butler, a.k.a. Charlie, is beautiful, independent, and a successful pub owner in downtown Montreal, but prefers not to discuss her past, or the main reason for her success. When she anonymously receives strange letters and the police don’t show an interest in the case, she is convinced by Frank, her best friend, to hire a private investigator to help her solve the mystery. However, PI Simm seems to have a few secrets of his own.

Charlie and Simm join forces when the harassment escalates from letters to explicit threats. Their investigation leads them from the safety of her home, through Montreal’s underworld, to organized crime in Dublin, Ireland. What they discover contradicts Charlie’s most fundamental beliefs in herself and ultimately makes her doubt her own character.

Pick up your copy of Sins of the Fathers

“A taut, masterly-written novel of suspense, adventure, and romance!” – David Lucero, author of Big Jim

“McCarthy has the thriller genre down to a science” – Steve Taintor, NetGalley reviewer

“Sins of the Fathers is an excellent who-done-it with great timing, personable characters and a tight story line. A. J. McCarthy brings us a novel that is difficult to put down..” – Bonnie Reed Frye, NetGalley reviewer

The author can be found living near Quebec City, Canada, and when she isn’t working as Vice-President of Finance for a manufacturing company, she will be writing, thinking about writing, or wishing she was writing. She lives with her husband of many, many years, and her Pug/Shih Tzu mix. Her two young adult daughters have flown the coop, but check in every once in a while just to let her know they’re still alive.

Website:  www.ajackmccarthy.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ajackmccarthy

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/a.j._mccarthy/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.ca/ajmccarthy0125

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Sins-Fathers-J-McCarthy-ebook/dp/B0789R8YBG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520458493&sr=8-1&keywords=sins+of+the+fathers+by+a.j.+mccarthy

Black Rose Writing:  http://www.blackrosewriting.com/mysterydetective/sinsofthefathers?rq=sins%20of%20the%20fathers

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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

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Going All In, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on 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 today we’re going to steam things up a little.

What happens when congenial poker nights among a group of six friends take a turn into dark territory? Someone suggests an alternative payout. Everyone consents to the new stakes. They are all excited – but before long, repressed thoughts and even sinister emotions begin to emerge.

With me in the studio today is Katie Kelly. She and her husband, Steve, were one of three couples who participated in this fateful poker affair, and she’s here to dish all the dirt for our listeners. “Welcome to the show, Katie.”

“Thank you so much for having me, Lisa! I’m happy to be here.”

“Let’s start off with some background. Tell us about you and Steve.”

“So, Steve and I were college sweethearts – then he went on to law school and I went to grad school to become a psychotherapist. But fate had something else in mind, at least for me. I got pregnant with our oldest daughter, Jamie, and well, career took a backseat. But Steve’s got a great job in New York City with a big, important law firm and we also have another daughter, Anna. Life’s pretty sweet, I’d say. We have a nice house in New Fairfield, Connecticut. I spend most of my time keeping up the family duties and doing a little part-time teaching at the local college while Steve brings home the proverbial bacon. I’m hoping to eventually go back to finish my counseling licensure hours at some point, though. Oh, and I’m writing a self-help book, – gotta keep busy, you know. There are only so many floors to sweep and loads of laundry to wash.”

“And how long had this couples’ poker night been going on before the rules changed?”

“Well, my hubby and I hang out – maybe too much – with two other couples who live nearby. They all trudged to our house one night in the middle of a snowstorm and we ended up playing a pretty feisty game of drunk poker. We had so much fun, though, that we decided to keep it going every other weekend.

“Some nights we play at our house, but it can get so loud and inappropriate we send the girls to babysit for one of the other couple’s twin sons. That’s Erin and Marty. Erin is a doll. We’ve known each other, God, forever it seems – BFFs and we share everything. I actually never had such a close girlfriend until I met her. Marty, on the other hand, is an ass. Can I say that on the radio? – I really have no idea why they’re together. Anyway, when we’re not playing at our house we rotate – sometimes it’s at Erin and Marty’s house. And other nights we play at Scarlett and C. Thomas’s house. Boy, they’re a pair – hot as hell but neither of them is the sharpest knife in the drawer if you know what I mean. Scarlett is three Bs – busty, beautiful, and brainless. Nice alliteration, huh? and C. Thomas – well, he looks like he was just carved out of butter.

“I know it probably doesn’t sound like it, but we’re all really good friends.”

“Blackjack is my game, and I’m pretty successful at it. My computer memory lets me count the cards. Poker is new to me, so tell us, Katie, are you good at poker?”

“Poker…hmm…Texas Hold’em, actually. Yes…and no, I guess! I’m still learning, you know. Steve is really the best player hands down – beats the pants off everyone most nights. Sometimes I don’t know why we keep playing.”

“Tell us what caused the change in the stakes.”

“God. We really had fun at first. Booze, snacks, lots of laughs…But as the hubby likes to say, familiarity breeds contempt. I guess it was just too much time together and well, the game simply started getting boring. And to be honest, how many times can anyone deal with Marty’s gross, drunken bumbling – or steer clear of his accidental groping? Or worse, have to see Scarlett’s silicone-injected boobs popping out of her skin-tight tank tops? And those nipples! Not that it bothers the guys.

“So out of the blue, C. Thomas suggests we raise the stakes. Instead of getting a few bucks from the pot, why not get something more valuable? he says. A one-night sexual hall pass with anyone we choose, except our own spouses! I think we all choked on our tortilla chips – Marty probably swallowed his tongue. I mean, what C. Thomas was suggesting wasn’t anything I’d ever thought I’d do – in my entire life! Or that Steve would do, or the rest of us for that matter. A fling! A one-night stand! An extra-marital affair! Anyway, you see, C. Thomas has this empire he inherited from his dad. That includes a cute cabin on the lake. He suggested we take another player’s spouse to the cabin if we won…to do with whatever we choose. What happens there, stays there, you know. Granted, it wasn’t great odds for me. Like I said, I’m far from the best player. And I only had one real choice – C. Thomas. If I EVER had to sleep with Marty I think I’d rather poke out my eyeballs.”

“So did you?”

“Did I what?”

“You know, were you the prize or the winner at any point? Did your husband win? Who did he choose? We want some dirt here–.

“Hold that thought, we seem to have a caller today. Hello caller, you’re on the air with Lisa and Katie. Do you have a question for our guest?”

“Yes, um, hi, Lisa. And hey, Katie! Sorry, this isn’t really a question, but, well, Katie – this game thing is really bringing out the worst in everyone. I don’t know what’s going on but you’ll never believe what I found on Marty’s computer.”

“Hey, Erin. What’s the matter? Ha, ha. Remember we’re on the radio! Keep it PG – if I know Marty, it could be anything!”

“You’re right – but this is worse, I mean, worse to me. To you – Scarlett, too! Remember the day we decided we were going to GO ALL IN? You know, that day we were drunk and skinny dipping in your pool?”

“Yeah…?”

“I found pictures of us! On some social media site! Who the hell could have taken them? How did they get there? Marty was working that day!”

“Oh, my God!”

“I know! I’m not sitting back anymore and taking this – or losing the games. I’ve got a plan for us to win.”

“Hey – we don’t know if the guys could be listening. I’ll call you later. I’ve got to know because I’m tired of losing, too.”

“Okay, talk to you later. Thanks, Lisa, Bye, Katie.”

“Thanks for calling, Erin.

“So back to you, Katie. Wow – so your misadventures wound up online. On the one hand, who really cares, but on the other, it could have some social and even employment fallout. I mean, Steve a prominent attorney, your college position, a self-help book. These things could be at risk. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. Do you have any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Well, we’re really in the thick of this now, you know. And I guess we’re just going to have to see how all this plays out, pun intended. I’ll tell you, though, I’m not sure we made the right decision sometimes. Part of me thinks there could be some serious fallout, you know” Everything has consequences. But then again, we all agreed to it, so how bad could it be? It’s not like we’re talking life and death stuff here. And it’s not cheating if everyone says it’s okay, right?

“Hey, I have an idea! Maybe you can have me back on after a few more games – I’ll probably have a lot more juicy stuff to report.”

“You can read all about Katie, Erin, and the rest in the book, Going All In, by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley & Wayne J. Keeley. I’ll post all the pertinent details on the website.

“You can help everyone out today by using those sharing buttons at the end of this post. Stephanie & Wayne would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

BLURB:

A tale of three suburban couples who, during a pummeling Connecticut Nor’Easter, start up a friendly game of Texas Hold’em. The impromptu get-together leads to the institution of rousing, alcohol-driven, bi-weekly poker nights. One evening on a lark, someone suggests an alternate payout – instead of playing for pocket change, the winner may choose a different player with whom to spend the night. Before long, everyone’s Going All In.

All too quickly, friendships are strained and relationships crumble. Lies are told, truths are exposed, and feelings are hurt. In the end, can anyone bear the weight of this wanton self-indulgence? They are six fully consenting adults, and this was supposed to be just for fun. No one could possibly get hurt; after all, it was only a game. Or was it?

GOING ALL IN IS AVAILABLE AT:

Amazon-http://amzn.to/2fKcuO9

Nook-https://tinyurl.com/y7gmxotd

Smashwords-https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/750670

Kobo-https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/going-all-in-11

LULU (print book) – http://www.lulu.com/shop/stephanie-c-lyons-keeley-and-wayne-j-keeley/going-all-in/paperback/product-23349345.html

BIO:

Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley

Stephanie and Wayne are award-winning writers, directors, and producers as well as bloggers, who have other “day jobs” as well. Stephanie has an MA in counseling psychology and is a psychotherapist and professor of psychology. In addition to being a four-time Emmy-nominated and two-time winning writer and producer, who also is the author of the legal thriller Mahogany Row, Wayne is a media attorney and a part-time professor of communications.

Together the married duo (who are parents to a blended brood of seven children, two dogs, and three ferrets) pen “he-said/she-said” entertainment reviews and conduct interviews on their website, Pillow Talking.

Stephanie and Wayne have combined their creative talents on myriad works for film, theatre, and TV which are in various stages of development.

Read about Stephanie and Wayne’s projects here:

Their production company, Someday Productions LLC: www.somedayprods.com; and their blog, Pillow Talking: www.somedayprods.com/talking or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc.

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The Style & Profile Series #RRBC

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get to host blog tours for them and for 4-Wills Publishing. Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Kim Cox and her Style & Profile series. You guys make her feel welcome, and those sharing buttons are there so you can easily help Kim spread the word.

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About the Main Characters: Style & Profile Series

This is for the books published and planned so far: ALL THIS TIME (book 1), BEFORE WE WED (book 2), and FOR THE DEFENSE (book 3)

JENNY MORGAN – In book one, Jenny is a serious workaholic who is the CEO and owner of Morgan Fashions after her father retires. She’s divorced, never dates, and stays away from relationships. She becomes best friends with her employees, Sarah Martin and Lynsi Patterson. In book two, she’s a great friend to the main characters Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton.

TREVOR DRAKE – In book one, he’s Jenny’s best friend and co-worker and thought to be not very ambitious and a womanizer. In truth, he only has eyes for Jenny but he likes to have a good time and doesn’t take life very serious. He sets out to prove himself as reliable to Jenny and her father. In book two, he’s Jon Clayton’s best friend and his best man.

SARAH MARTIN – In book one, Sarah is Trevor Drake’s administrative assistant who aspires to be an associate editor at the magazine. She’s taking classes to become more of a candidate for the next opening. She wears a lot of flashy jewelry and tight clothes to work. Men find her sexy. She’s the type that if bad luck happens, it finds her but she’s always happy anyway. Due to Jenny’s jealousy and Sarah’s car problems, Trevor introduces Sarah to his good friend and mechanic, Jon Clayton. They hit it off and start dating. In book two, BEFORE WE WED, Sarah’s dreams are starting to come true, she’s been promoted to managing editor and she’s marrying Jon Clayton but bad luck finds her again.

JON CLAYTON – He comes late into book one as the mechanic who falls for Sarah Martin. Sarah had a lot of car trouble and Jon has his own auto shop, Clayton’s Auto. In book two, BEFORE WE WED, he’s going to marry Sarah but when bad luck strikes, it’s after him too. He’s arrested before they complete their vows. He has a son from a previous marriage that he loves very much. Before his arrest, he shares custody with his ex-wife. To marry Sarah and to see his son again, he needs to be cleared of the charges.

LYNSI PATTERSON – In book one, ALL THIS TIME, she’s Jenny Morgan’s administrative assistant. She’s smart, dependable, conscientious, and Jenny’s right hand. In book two, BEFORE WE WED, she’s moved into the position of associate editor at Style & Profile, the new men’s magazine. She’s still the one who gets the job done, including finding Jon a lawyer, Jaxon Montgomery (Jax) who becomes her love interest. In book three, FOR THE DEFENSE, she and Jax are dating but life gets in the way when Jax decides to defend a woman who was convicted of murder. Someone doesn’t want her to go free.

JAXON MONTGOMERY – He’s a lawyer with the reputation for representing the wrongly accused and wrongly convicted. In book two, BEFORE WE WED, he represents Jon Clayton and starts to fall for Lynsi. In book three, FOR THE DEFENSE, he represents a woman who was convicted of a murder many years ago. There are people who want the truth to stay hidden and will do anything to make sure it does.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?

Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tf4l8v_youE?ecver=2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.

Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.

Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.

She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.

Go to Kim’s Readers List and visit her at the following sites:

Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Social Media locations:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr

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Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME. To enter the contest, please leave a comment anywhere along the tour.

 

The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

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Filed under Writing