Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Three New Releases by Linda Swift, LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY, THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, and PROMISES ON THE WIND

Kala's position as tour guide at a Kentucky Welcome Center isn't enough to cope with huge debts left by her late husband's illness, but she manages to make ends meet, until she has car trouble. To save on future repairs, she enrolls in a basic auto-care class. 

Rex is a handsome, part-time instructor whose broken heart needs repairing, too. After recently losing his important job and family, he has sworn never to get involved with another woman.


Kala discounts her growing attraction to Rex when she learns he is years younger, until the winter storm of the century throws them together. When the Interstate closes down, Kala opens her home to a houseful of strangers. Despite fire, flood, and friction, she creates an old-fashioned holiday rich in the true spirit of Christmas. In the process, will Kala and Rex discover the greatest gift of all?





Once in love, Leigh and Russell are maneuvered into spending time together during the Christmas holidays. Recovering from a tragedy, Leigh vows never to be responsible for a child again while Russell faces deciding custody of his two daughters after his ex-wife remarries.

Even as their attraction flares once more, how can they possibly overcome the obstacles life has placed between them? Then toss an arsonist, a lovable Labrador, and an unwanted stepfather into the situation... 

Will the twelve days of Christmas be time enough to sort it all out?



Heart-warming Civil War Tales

A Season of MiraclesCaroline Ross, a Confederate widow, desperately seeks medical help for her little son in the Union Army camp. 

John Oldham, a soldier disowned by his family for choosing the wrong side, comes to her aid. 

As they keep a vigil for days at Danny's bedside, a close relationship develops between them. John longs for a family and wants to make Caroline and Danny his own. Will his wish come true in this season of miracles?
• ♥ •
A Season for Love Elizabeth Harper, a recent widow, is in danger of losing her home and livelihood to her late husband's brother who is claiming legal ownership.

Matthew Sutton, a homeless wounded veteran, takes on her cause when he agrees to become her husband to stop Fred Harper's takeover. Elizabeth and Matthew have no intentions of falling in love, but love happens. Can she convince him that she looks beyond his past allegiance and useless arm and loves the man he has become?
• ♥ •
A Season to Forgive Enid Sutton is resigned to remaining single and caring for her dictatorial father in the aftermath of the Civil War. When Judge Sutton suffers a heart attack, Enid sends for his estranged son who returns and brings his new family with him.

Ben Taylor arrives to claim his deceased aunt's property and convert the mansion into a school for freedmen, but his plans go awry.


      
   

Sunday, October 15, 2017

WORDS THAT SPEAK, by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer



Some word are greater than others. Names, for instance, hold a power of their own. Titles, also. There are words that resonate in most people’s minds, words such as war, peace, love, hate.

Then there are words that are more personal, words one discovers over a lifetime. You may not even think about it, but chances are there are certain words that resonate specifically with you, words that when read, project an immediate subjective draw. These special words in a book title may compel you to buy the book, or in a movie description, may pique your interest in the film no matter what it’s really about.

Here are some of my words. I don’t know why these particular words. I don’t know when I developed the connection. I don’t know if these words speak only to me or to people in general. I only know that I stop, look, and listen whenever these words come about:

Dark: I recently read this apocalyptic noir cat mystery by Clea Simon, “As Dark As My Fur” 

Lost: One of my favorite films for one of my most compelling words is “The Lost Room,” the 2006 SyFy Channel miniseries that was far too unique and intelligent for its time.

Noir: Noir is a genre of dark crime drama with no happy endings, such as the 1944 film, “Laura”, or the modern Lennox Cooper series by Lily Gardner. Noir translates to black in French, but it is so much more. Even the artwork is compelling.




Twilight: As the word, twilight, gained notoriety through the vampire books and movies, it lost some of its personal draw. To me, twilight summons a different image, the lessening of the light, the lengthing of shadows, and that day-meets-night period when anything can happen. Then there’s always the Twilight Zone.

Moon: So far and yet so near, moon is a perfect jumping-off point for the imagination. Movies include Moon (2009), Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), and Cat-Women of the Moon (1953). Books, Bouncing offthe Moon, by David Gerrold, De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon, by Jules Verne 1865), and of course the classic Goodnight, Moon. People whose names are Moon include Moon Unit, daughter of Frank Zappa, and comic character Moon Mullins (1924).



Rose: Is it because I was born in the City of Roses I felt compelled to incorporate the word, rose, in two of my former art businesses, Woodrose and Rainbow Rose?

Sky: To me, the word, sky, brings infinite possibilities. Authors, song writers, and film makers seem to feel the same. Here are only a few titles: Sky King (TV), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Film), Ghost Riders in the Sky (Ballad), and October Sky (Movie).

Ion: Simple, elegant, scientific. What’s not to like about the word, Ion?

(This photo is on a molecule, but as close as I could get.)

There are many other words that command my attention, such as cat or trek, but those make sense because they stem from my interests. The list above has crept into my psyche from who-knows-where, a very different place indeed.


Do certain words draw you down a rabbit hole or zoom you up into the stratosphere? Bring sudden images of the universe expanding, or maybe just make you want to buy a book when you see them in the title?

Golden Twilight, by Irene Sheri


Check out more blogs by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer at:
Happy reading!



Friday, October 13, 2017

New Release for Friday 13th -- BAKER'S DEADLY DOZEN (A Fresh Baked Mystery Book 13) by Livia J. Washburn

Going back to school can be a killer!

Phyllis Newsom and Sam Fletcher come out of retirement to take substitute teacher jobs as a favor for some friends, but they soon realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That means getting up early, dealing with students and other teachers, and helping out with extracurricular activities. The problem is, for Phyllis, stumbling over dead bodies is an extracurricular activity!

When murder strikes at the school’s Friday the Thirteenth dance, it’s unlucky not only for the victim but also for the student who’s the prime suspect. Sam’s granddaughter has a crush on the boy and can’t believe he’s a killer. Neither can Phyllis. The police are convinced, though, so the only way Phyllis can help him is to uncover the true identity of the killer stalking the halls of the high school before it’s too late!

EXCERPT:


     The light downstairs went out before they reached the stairwell. Phyllis frowned. If Mr. McCracken was down there cleaning he should have been moving around enough to keep the light on. Unless he was inside one of the classrooms, then the light might have gone off, she reasoned.
     Then it came on again.
      Something about the way things were happening made a chill run down her back. She was at the top of the stairs now, so she stopped and called, “Mr. McCracken?”
     A strange sound came from below. It might have been a human groan. Ronnie exclaimed, “What was that?”
     The lights went off again.
     “Ronnie,” Phyllis said, “I’m starting to get the feeling that something is wrong. Go back to the cafeteria and find your grandfather.”
     “What are you going to do?” Ronnie gestured toward the stairs. “Go down there and see what it is we heard? It might be a . . . a monster!”
     “You don’t believe in monsters.”
     “Right now, I don’t disbelieve in them.”



     

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What is Bouchercon?

For those not familiar with the term, “fan convention” or “con,” it is an event where fans of a specific type of entertainment gather to celebrate their common interest, and to socialize with each other and influential personalities or experts in the subject area.  As a kid, I became familiar with these cons because my father, author Bill Crider, would take the family along to mystery and sci-fi conventions that he attended.  Although I was not a formal participant in the conventions when I was young, I was able to soak in the excitement in the atmosphere and the fellowship of the participants.  A few of my fondest and indelible con memories include attending screenings at the AggieCon science fiction convention of Blade Runner and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension when they were first released in the early eighties, and seeing con guests running around sporting their Buckaroo Banzai bandanas.

At the posting of this article, I will be winging my way to Bouchercon in Toronto.  “What is Bouchercon?” you might ask.  Bouchercon is the annual World Mystery Convention for devotees of mystery and detective fiction (Li’l Tom will also be in attendance, of course).  The con is named after editor, reviewer, and author, Anthony Boucher.  The convention consists of many events such as auctions, banquets, the Anthony Awards for excellence in crime fiction, and panels of authors, experts, and aficionados who speak about different topics in mystery and crime fiction, scheduled all day each day.  This will be my third year to attend the con as an official registered attendee.  

Last year, when the con was held in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel.  It was called "Scooby Snacks" and the topic was "Mysteries with Critters."  


[Left to right:  Angela Crider Neary, Margaret Mizushima, Liz Mugavero, Glenn Eric Meganck/J.R. Ripley, Elena Hartwell, Janet Finsilver]


It was a wonderful experience in that I was introduced to five new authors and their works, got to read their books, and then meet them and ask them questions about their writing.

If you're interested in buying or selling books, you're in luck as there is an enormous "book room" housing most everything a mystery fan could want, including new releases as well as collectibles, first editions, vintage books, and more.


Another great thing about Bouchercon is that it is hosted in a different city each year, so you can combine some sightseeing in the local area with the con activities.  





[Bill Crider, Angela Crider Neary]





But the best thing about the convention is the people.  Thinking back, the authors and fans I've met at mystery and sci-fi conventions and others I know through my father are some of the kindest and caring people I have ever met.  I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but lucky for me, I have not run into any of these so far.  My experience at Bouchercon in Raleigh in October 2015 really brought this home for me.  I had recently had my first novella published, but was generally attending the convention as a mystery and crime novel fan.  Every single person I ran into was happy and seemed genuinely interested to meet me and hear about my book.  Maybe it was because we were all in our element and experiencing an event with those of like minds.  The camaraderie and festive atmosphere may have also contributed to that feeling of good will among the participants.  

Have you ever had the pleasure of attending a fan convention?  Which one?  If not, what are you waiting for?




Angela Crider Neary is an attorney by day and writer by night. She is an avid mystery reader and especially enjoys reading novels set in interesting locales. She was inspired to write her first mystery novella, Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos, by one of her favorite areas in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill.  Stay tuned for her second book in the series, Li'l Tom and the Case of the New Year Dragon. To learn more, visit her on Facebook and Amazon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Release —SONG OF MY HEART by Sarah McNeal

Gideon thought he had the perfect life as a musician with a beautiful model as his girlfriend, until he was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ashamed and afraid he may die, Gideon hits bottom when his girlfriend dumps him for a real man.

Hope comes in the form of his father’s ghost and a person he has just met. Can he beat the odds and survive? And if he does, can he ever find happiness again?

EXCERPT:

     Gideon rose up out of the ether of anesthesia as his senses began to return to him. Pain seared across his chest beneath the bandages. He opened his eyes to the too-bright white of the hospital room and the smell of antiseptics and fresh linen. He glanced up at the bottle of clear fluid dripping into the plastic tubing that ran down to his arm where it disappeared under the cover of a small dressing. Thank God, he couldn’t see the needle, where it pierced his skin.
     A soft knock, and the door opened. Doctor Swanson walked through the portal, across the room to Gideon’s bed. He took up the chair next to the bed and sat down. The doctor’s face grew solemn as he folded his hands and bent his head to stare at them for a few moments. When he lifted his head, he peered straightforwardly into Gideon’s eyes, with unflinching resolve in the determined, thin line of his mouth.
     Gideon’s heart fell in gritty pieces into the pit of his stomach where it sat cold and heavy like a coiled snake ready to strike. He knew the answer before he asked the question but he had to ask it, just the same. “Well Doc, what’s the verdict?”
     “I’m sorry, Gideon, it was malignant...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What's Next?


Last month I mentioned my plan to use National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November to pound out a rough draft for my first inspirational romance, Finding Faith. I guess the other story ideas in my head were listening in and at least one of them, Blood Lines (a fantasy romance), got jealous.

Like most writers I have dozens of story ideas swirling around in my brain. Not all ideas will become books. Some ideas have already been absorbed into other story lines, some just don't have enough substance - at least not yet - to make it on their own. Prioritizing what I plan to work on next has never really been an issue. I pick a project and work on it until completion making brief detours along the way to make notes on which ever story is threatening to hold is breath until it turns blue in order to get my attention. Recently, Blood Lines has become that whiny child. (Mommommommommom. Look at me mom! Dances with Werewolves is your favorite; you never pay me any attention.)

So now, instead of knowing what story I'm going to be working on next month I find myself staring at two very different story ideas that I love in different ways. The facts:

Finding Faith will be the first story in a three-book series.

Blood Lines is a stand-alone - at least for now. There is a minor character that may demand her own story at some point.

I suspect that Finding Faith and its sister books will be somewhat emotionally draining to write. These three books will have the most of "me" in them by far.

Blood Lines calls to me because of its sense of humor and pop culture references. It also has the type of cocky hero that always wins my heart in books and video games.

So now, at the last minute, I'm kind of changing my mind and leaning toward working on Blood Lines. The past couple of years have been an emotional roller coaster and I think it would be a blast - and maybe even a little healing - to write something that's just fun.

Image courtesy of www.123rf.com


Decisions, decisions. What do you think? Fellow writers, how do you choose your next project?



Sign up for my newsletter here:  http://madmimi.com/signups/112968/join

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I slept and dreamt - Michael E. Gonzales


I slept and dreamt I was in a spell, and fell into darkening well.

Or did I float and rise into that inky ether where the stars reside?

In a ship with billowing sails I rode

Past the Moon, and stars, beyond the wheel within which they strode.

A land unknown was shown to me, a land of beauty, but hard as stone.

Here great evil’s trumpet did resound, I ran until I fell to ground.

Flight or fight? I took my stand. Would I live or die? I could not tell.

The painful battle was a bloody hell, that pushed me to a darkening well.

Into the pit I fell, and fell, sure that I was soon to die.

At length I rose into a star filled sky.

Where a single dove was passing by.

Upon her wings of velvet snow, she led me to a land where naught but love did grow.

My hurts healed, by fever calmed, by lips as soft as the light of dawn.

From my dreaming I awoke, at the light of the accursed sun did I look.

Now, my tears stained the pages, as I closed my book.

--MG