#GuestDayTuesday – She Made It Matter – Chiara Talluto

Today, I’d like to welcome Chiara Talluto. Chiara is going to tell us a bit about herself and share an excerpt from her book, She Made It Matter.  I feel certain you’ll enjoy it!

Author Chiara Talluto

“I’m not a bestselling author, I’m just a ‘nobody’ who uses storytelling to encourage others to find their purpose and save their souls.”

Hello, my name is Chiara Talluto. I’m a wife, busy mom, author, and a woman after God’s heart. As I ponder this declaration, I find it more appropriate to claim that I am a woman after God’s heart first. He has given me a gift of writing, and I honor Him through my written works. So, pull up a chair and stay awhile.

People often ask what kind of writing I do. I tell them… I write Inspirational/Christian drama empowering women to discover their faith, use perseverance to overcome adversity, and become heroes of their own destinies. I also write middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales to encourage girls in developing strong morals and values, and to always stand up for what is right.

My first books were the Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys books. The library was a couple miles away and I rode my bike to and from almost every day, I couldn’t get enough of the stories. I began keeping a journal at the age of eleven. Soon, I began writing poems. My love for the written word was sparked by all that reading. It wasn’t until my late teens that I discovered Danielle Steele novels and began to pen stories of my own. I continued writing longer prose as much as I could during a prosperous career as a Human Resources Recruiter, and then as an Instructional Designer. I received many awards and accolades for my accomplishments, and my work responsibilities grew, but there was something missing. I began to devote less and less time to my joy of writing. And soon, my creativity began to suffer. It wasn’t until after much soul-searching and some tough decision-making that I finally left the corporate world to start writing full-time. That was fifteen years ago.

Today, I am the CEO of my home, practicing wife to my husband, mommy to our two daughters, and writer of all things that need to be put on paper. My family often tells me that I am the Master Storyteller in our household because I have a passion for writing about people who struggle with decisions and conflicts that arise in their lives.

In the last six years, I’ve been blessed to have published four books:  A Christian Romance, Love’s Perfect Surrender, two middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales: Petrella, the Gillian Princess and A Tribute to Tulipia, and an Inspirational fiction, She Made It Matter.

All of my writings contain an element of Christianity and faith. I never set out to be a writer, or a Christian writer for that matter, it just happened. It’s who I am and who I was meant to be. Writing is my outlet, a spilling of emotions, random thoughts, and imaginary characters that consume my mind twenty-four hours a day. I need to write, just like I need to eat, exercise, and breathe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She Made It Matter
Can she forgive her past and make her life right again?
 

Chicago, Illinois – From the three-time Five Star Readers’ Favorite REVIEW RECIPIENT, Chiara Talluto, author of Love’s Perfect  Surrender, Petrella, the Gillian Princess, and A Tribute To Tulipia, comes the highly anticipated release of She Made It Matter, an inspirational fiction SLATED TO BE IN bookstores everywhere on November, 2nd 2020, and Ebook on all online retailers, October 27th, 2020.

She Made It Matter is a compelling tale of one woman’s fight to regain sobriety, find salvation, and earn forgiveness after years of guilt from being abandoned by her mother and then losing her brother to cancer, a struggle to vanquish the demons of her past and make her life right again.

This story tackles the difficult subjects of family abandonment, alcohol abuse, and food dependencies; compulsions and addictions caused by the trauma of one’s past.

Amanda Reynolds is vulnerable. Like most humans we err and make mistakes, and harbor grudges and secrets that can create huge reservoirs of pain if not addressed. Amanda is stuck in the past, and stuck in the pain, and the only way to cope with it is alcohol.

WHILE WRITING the story, Chiara thought about her own idols and addictions and how she could break them. She thought about how a person with a perfect life is able to throw it all away over something that consumes their mind and body. She thought about a person who cannot move forward because of horrible past experiences. She pondered the ongoing domestic abuse and abandonment of children in our society. Most importantly, Ms. Talluto thought about the human condition, and the temptations that can lure one in the wrong direction.

Ms. Reynolds has to face her fears and QUASH the demons of her past so that she can live again. It is a daring attempt to confront things head on. But, we are encouraged to know that tough situations don’t last long; BUT tough people do.

… The work ABOUT addiction is heart-breakingly accurate, delivering a realistic emotional quality which both endears Amanda to us as a character and also teaches important real life lessons about the judgments we often place on people who are alcohol dependent… (K.C. Finn from Readers’ Favorite)

… Author Chiara Talluto gives the reader a realistic tale of someone searching for a purpose, for validation that they mean something, that they are worth more than just being left or abandoned… (Michelle Randall from Readers’ Favorite)

She Made It Matter is available in print and electronic editions everywhere books are sold. More information on the author and all her writings can be found at www.chiaratalluto.com

BACK JACKET BLURB:
Don’t turn back. Begin anew.

Thirty-six-year-old Amanda Reynolds has it all. She has a loving, successful husband, two beautiful daughters and a perfect, manicured home in a quaint suburb of Chicago.

But demons hide where no one looks and Amanda’s past is full of them—she’s addicted to alcohol. The reasons for her addiction have been buried for years.

One horrifying day, suppressed memories resurface and Amanda drinks herself into a stupor in front of her daughters. Waking up in the hospital, the realization is clear: get clean or lose everything.

Amanda sets off on a daring journey taking her across the US in an attempt to vanquish the demons that have plagued her life.

Will Amanda defeat her alcohol addiction?

Will her family forgive her?

Can she break away from her past, find her self-worth, and restart again?

BUY SHE MADE IT MATTER HERE:

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/she-made-it-matter-chiara-talluto/1137747331?ean=9781734823707 

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/She-Made-Matter-Chiara-Talluto/dp/1734823704/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1602518270&sr=1-1 

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1044555

Kobo
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/she-made-it-matter

Reach Chiara on Social Media Links HERE:

Website: www.chiaratalluto.com
amazon.com/author/chiaratalluto
http://www.facebook.com/ChiaraTallutoAuthor
Twitter: @ChiaraTalluto
#ReadLocalAuthor –https://hometownreads.com
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Chiara+Talluto
Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/rfreviews/search?search=chiara+talluto
Authorsden: http://www.authorsden.com/chiaratalluto

Contact Info
ctalluto18@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

#SpecialGuest – Sue Coletta – #PrettyEvilNewEngland

Hi, Everybody! Today, I am very pleased to welcome special guest Sue Coletta, sharing her latest book, a non-fiction work entitled Pretty Evil New England. 

Many of you are familiar with Sue’s fictional thriller/murder/crime novels, but I think you’ll enjoy finding out more about how
her new, non-fiction book came to be.

NOTE: To win a free paperback copy of Pretty Evil New England, all you have to do is leave a comment below. I will be drawing names from a hat at the end of the day, and the winner will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!

Now, without further ado, here’s, Sue!

~~~

Thanks, Marcia. Nice to be visiting you today.

Writing true crime has many moving parts. My background as a thriller writer helped, but I also needed to maintain a factual narrative. Thankfully, I’ve always been a research junkie, so that wasn’t a problem. Combining the two was a little trickier. I can’t tell you how many times I feared blowing the opportunity. For those who don’t know me, in May 2019 a large publishing house reached out to me to write true crime. Not just any true crime book. They asked for historical true crime about female serial killers of New England prior to 1950.

Sounds like a dream opportunity, right? I mean, c’mon, it’s not every day a publisher seeks out a writer. It’s usually the other way around.

ONE PROBLEM

I wrote fiction. Not historical fiction, either. Contemporary psychological thrillers/serial killer thrillers. See why I panicked?

To my credit I’d written true crime stories on my blog — still do — but never an entire book. What that means is, I didn’t have a signature style for true crime. I’m not the type to travel Easy Street, so while writing I also had to develop a unique style to attract readers within my core audience and beyond.

During those early weeks of my deadline, I’d rip my hair out, totally convinced that I could never pull this off, that I “fake it till you make it” my way right down an endless pit. Every time I panicked my husband reminded me that I do the same thing with every book. Why should Pretty Evil New England be any different? He’s right, of course. Part of my process is to convince myself that I’ll never be able to outdo my previous book. Why do writers do that? We’re our own worst critics.

POST-PANIC

Once I’d moved past the self-doubt stage, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing in this genre. And now, I’m hooked! The same day I submitted the full manuscript of Pretty Evil New England to my publisher, I searched for an exciting new female serial killer to feature in my next true crime book. I even created a tagline for my true crime persona: Breathing new life into dead serial killers. 😊

EXHILARATION

Did all my worry and frustration work out in the end? Well, I made my deadline, and the publisher couldn’t be more thrilled. Early reader reactions are also encouraging, but only you can judge whether Pretty Evil New England is right for you. I will say, some readers might find the book frightening, creepy, or both — cough, Marcia — because whenever possible I wrote from the killer’s perspective.

Living inside the mind of female serial killer isn’t for everyone. Try living inside five at once. David Attenborough became my savior. Whenever I felt overwhelmed by murderous thoughts and actions I flipped on Netflix and sank into one of his amazing nature documentaries. Still do.

EXCERPT

Before boarding with Mr. and Mrs. Beedle, Jane Toppan lived down the road at 19 Wendell Street, the home of Israel and Lovey Dunham. “Mr. Dunham was getting pretty old—about seventy-seven—and was feeble and fussy,” she would later confess. “I thought a little morphia would do him good, but I gave him too much and he never woke up. It was just as well for him.”

Israel Dunham died on May 26, 1895. The doctors misdiagnosed the cause of death as heart failure.

I continued to live in the same place, and two years later I found Mrs. Dunham rather troublesome. She was old and cranky, so I gave her the same dose as her husband, and she passed away [on] September 19, 1897.

After murdering the Dunhams, Jane moved in with Mr. and Mrs. Beedle. They, however, employed a live-in housekeeper named Mary Sullivan. As far as Jane was concerned, Mary’s services were no longer required. So, she drugged the young woman into a stupor with morphia. When Jane beckoned Mrs. Beedle up to Mary’s room on the second floor, the housekeeper lay spread-eagle on the bed. Jane insisted Mary had a drinking problem, probably sneaking alcohol during work hours, too. Mrs. Beedle fired her housekeeper on the spot.

Jane sniggered. The plan had worked better than expected.

Now with full control of the household, Jane poisoned the Beedles on a whim. She only gave enough of her deadly cocktail to cause gastrointestinal upset. Perhaps this was her way of reminding Mr. and Mrs. Beedle just how helpful and convenient a live-in nurse could be, thereby securing a warm place to sleep without the threat of eviction hanging over her head.

As Mattie Davis knocked at the Beedles’ front door that June evening, the family was just sitting down to dinner. Eliza Beedle insisted that Mattie join them. Jane hustled into the kitchen and returned to the dining room with a glass of Hunyadi (a medicinal mineral water) for her friend.

“You must be very thirsty after your trip,” she said as she passed Mattie the glass.

During dinner, Mattie told the embarrassing story of falling in full view of everyone on the train. By the end of the meal she’d drained the last drop of mineral water. Jane suggested they walk to the bank so she could withdraw the funds to pay her overdue balance. Since Mattie needed to deposit cash anyway, she agreed. But when she rose from the table, the room spun off its axis. Woozy, Mattie slapped a hand on the back of her chair.

“Perhaps it was that fall,” suggested Jane. “Should we wait for a while?”

“No, no, I’m fine.” Mattie couldn’t let her condition stand in her way, not with being so close to achieving her goal. After all, collecting the money from Jane was the main reason she’d traveled to Cambridge in the first place. Her family had waited long enough for payment.

Once Mattie stepped outside into the sultry night air, she let out a groan and crumbled to the street.

With no one else around, Jane bent down to wrangle Mattie to her feet. Perhaps she added too much morphia to the Hunyadi water. Now she had to practically carry Mattie into the house. Thank goodness she hadn’t gotten far before she collapsed.

Grunting, Jane heaved the lethargic woman back inside. Melvin Beedle jogged over to assist in carrying a limp Mattie Davis up the stairs to the guest bedroom. When Melvin dashed back down the stairs to fetch a cold glass of water for Mattie, who looked like she’d fainted from the heat, Jane darted into her own bedroom and swiped a hypodermic needle from her bag. Back in the guest room, low whimpers escaped Mattie’s lips.

So I gave her another small dose of morphia. And that quieted her.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.

Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims.

The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.

BUY Pretty Evil New England here:

Amazon (all countries, Kindle & paperback)
Barnes & Noble (NOOK & paperback)
Books-A-Million (ebook & paperback)
IndieBound (paperback)
BookShop (paperback pre-order sale)
Globe Pequot
Rowman & Littlefield

Author Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as one of the “Top 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5) for four years in a row. She also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog, and writes two serial killer thriller series (Tirgearr Publishing) and narrative nonfiction/true crime for Globe Pequot, trade division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

You can reach Sue on Social Media here:

Website / FacebookTwitter / Amazon  / Goodreads /

TigearrPublishing / Globe Pequot (Rowman & Littlefield/ 

#GuestDayTuesday – The Case of the Babbling Sphinx by Bob Nailor

Hi, Everybody! Please help me welcome Bob Nailor to The Write Stuff today. Bob is here to share his newest book, The Case of the Babbling Sphinx, and I think you’ll agree it sounds like a winner! 

BLURB:

Gregory Eggers, a multi-billionaire, is missing; then he is found dead. Not only dead, but mummified. His third wife claims she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra and he is Marc Antony. Detective Barry Hargrove is called to figure it all out with the assistance of his old police partner, Williamson. What he uncovers is an ancient Chinese sword, a vendetta, and an Egyptian curse with a Chinese secret—a mystery so strange that even Hargrove can’t believe it. What is the secret of the curse on the obelisk? Hargrove searches the mansion and life-sized replica sphinx to learn the answers. But is the sphinx willing to babble its secrets?

BUY The Case of the Babbling Sphinx HERE


Author Bob Nailor

My name is Robert S. Nailor, but many people know me as Bob Nailor Author. I live on a quaint wooded acre in the NW corner of Ohio. I’ve retired and now spend most of my time puttering around the house, working in the yard, spoiling the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and writing – not always in that order. Seems I have less time for writing than when I worked full time, but, still, I shove my butt into the chair and force myself to put words to the screen. I write fantasy, Amish Christian, adventure, mystery, and what I call “light” horror. I have written several books and have been included in multiple anthologies. I also do speaking engagements and editing for other writers. There’s several corners to me and many of them can be found at my webpage: www.bobnailor.com

Social Media Links:
Webpage
Facebook
Email: bob@bobnailor.com

 

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Astral Conspiracy by Staci Troilo


Today, please welcome Staci Troilo, my friend and fellow Story Empire author, who would like to share her latest releases (yes, plural!) with us today. I’ve read Book  1 in this series and can attest to just how good it is, so I know you’re going to enjoy finding out more about all five books! Take it away, Staci! 


Ciao, Marcia. I’m so glad to be back here today. And greetings to all your readers.

I’m here today to talk about my Astral Conspiracy series. It’s technically science fiction, as it’s part of the acclaimed Platt and Truant Invasion Universe, but my saga is as much thriller as it is sci-fi, so I thought I’d have a little fun with my marketing and include pages from the top-secret government files on my main characters.

Today, I’m sharing info on Dev Chandra.


DOSSIER

Name: Dev Chandra

Occupation: Agent for US Government AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program)

Of Note: Hired to debunk rumors of alien sightings and unaware of the existence of aliens before Astral Day.

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW BETWEEN AUTHOR (Staci Troilo a.k.a. D.L. Cross) AND CHARACTER (Agent Dev Chandra) ON ASTRAL DAY (the day the world is alerted to the approach of alien ships) via video conference. (Video is eyes-only, file #6221940-V, director’s approval required.)

Subject photo available, file #6221940-G

Staci: Hi, Dev. How’s it going?

Dev: How’s it going? Don’t you have the Astral app? Have you checked any news feeds today?

Staci: I do and I have. I know you work at AATIP. I thought you might have some insider information to share about the aliens on their way here.

Dev: Well, you’re going to get a kick out of this. I didn’t even know aliens existed until Rysoft sounded the alarm. This was as much a surprise to me as it is to you.

Staci: And now that you’ve had some time to process everything? What about your bosses? Aren’t they sharing info with you?

Dev: (he sighs) Tasha and Nadia are too busy trading insults and hostile glares to relay anything useful. And the director…

Staci: What about him?

Dev: (shrugging) Beck is Beck. It’s obvious he knows a lot more than he’s sharing. But I won’t know what that is until he shares it.

Staci: You can’t tell me anything?

Dev: Well, there has been talk. I thought it was just a rumor, but now…

Staci: What kind of talk?

Dev: There’s something going on at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Staci: Wright-Patt? What?

Dev: Like I said, it’s just a rumor right now. But it’s a juicy one. And now that I know aliens exist, I suspect it’s true. Especially since Tasha wants to go there.

Staci: Landon Thorne told me everything he knew.

Dev: The ancient astronaut kook? (he frowns) Well, I guess he’s not as “out there” as I thought.

Staci: He told me everything he’s thinking.

Dev: I doubt that.

Staci: He told me more than you did.

Dev: He’s a civilian. I’m a government agent. And because of that, I need to cut this short. Take care, Staci.

Staci: Wait! (but he left before another question could be posed)


Dev makes his debut in the Astral Conspiracy series in book one, The Gate. You can read a brief synopsis of all five books below, and each one has links to its product page and a purchase link.


The Gate: When the hypotheses of disgraced ancient alien theorist Landon Thorne prove to be true, he travels across the globe in search of a way to communicate with—and perhaps stop—the approaching alien armada.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Stones: The invasion couldn’t be prevented, but there is a chance the Astrals can be driven away… if Landon Thorne can reach the Georgia Guidestones, unearth its secrets, and decode the mystery before the aliens stop him.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Nine: Landon Thorne and his team of resistance fighters seek a cipher to decode the message accompanying a cache of alien artifacts they’ve unearthed, but the government, a clandestine cabal, and the Astrals themselves stand in their way and might not only put an end to their plans—they might put an end to their lives.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Twins: When all factions converge for a human-versus-alien showdown, resistance fighter Reverie Sterling gets help from the least likely source. But even then, it may be too late for everyone she loves to make it out alive.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Lab: In the final showdown between Earthlings and Astrals, twins Asha and Vonn insist their long-lost grandfather has a plan to save humanity. It’s a long-shot, but the resistance takes it—and no one is prepared for the consequences.
Full Blurb | Purchase Link

About Staci Troilo/D.L. Cross

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

Connect online:

Website | Blog | Troilo Amazon | Cross Amazon
Troilo BookBub | Cross BookBub | Troilo Goodreads | Cross Goodreads
Social Media


Let me wrap-up by once again thanking you, Marcia. And all of your visitors. This post was as fun to write as the stories were, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Grazie!

 

#GuestDayTuesday – The Cat That Changed America – by Tony Lee Moral

Today, I have something very special to share with you. Author and film producer Tony Lee Moral is sharing an excerpt from his latest children’s book, The Cat That Changed America, illustrated by Louise Groves. I think you’ll find this story as interesting as I do, especially if you have a love of wildlife in general and mountain lions, in particular. My thanks to Tony for sharing his book here today, and my very best wishes for a huge success. I know my grandson will be getting a copy of this one, for sure, and I’m guessing many of you will enjoy getting this book for the children in your own lives, too.  Enjoy!

EXCERPT:

Then the biggest and ugliest looking mountain lion that P22 had ever seen emerged from behind a tree. He had a thick brown coat, enormous paws, and muscles bulged from his long limbs. His name was Prime.

“Good Evening,” said Prime, with a smile, baring his enormously long teeth. “Looks like you’re having a dinner party, and forgot to invite me. Now what kind of manners is that?”

“We were just passing through,” Mom said. “We’ve finished now and we’ll be on our way.”

The Old Male snarled another smile that made P22’s hairs stand on end.

“Just passing through?” he said. “This kill looks and smells a day or two old. You’ve obviously been here before.”

“We’ve stuck to our territory,” Mama said bravely, even though she was quivering a little inside. Prime was about twice her size and she knew that she’d stand no chance against him in a fight. “Even though we are close to yours. But the deer have gone further west. As I said, we’ll leave now.”

The old male, leered at the two lion cubs who despite themselves, tried not to quaver. 

BLURB:

Based on a true story with an imaginative retelling for young readers;
P22 mountain lion is born in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles, California. But he is forced out of the mountains by Prime, a fierce older male lion who wants him dead. He heads east to stake out a new territory of his own in the bright lights of the big city. Along the way, he makes friends as well as enemies, and crosses two freeways, the 405 and 101. He passes through the City of Stars at night, and strolls down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all the while trying to avoid those bothersome humans. After more adventures, he reaches the edges of Griffith Park. Can he make it his new home?

Pre-Order/Buy The Cat That Changed America HERE (US) and HERE (UK)


Author Tony Lee Moral

Tony Lee Moral is an author specialising in children’s, young adult, mystery and suspense. He has written three books on the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass (2013) published by MWP books; The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds (2013) published by Kamera Books and Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie (2005) published by Scarecrow Press. Tony was born in Hastings, England in 1971, before moving to California. He lived in Monterey and Big Sur for two years which forms the inspiration for his YA novel “The Haunting of Alice May”. His latest book “The Cat That Changed America” is based on his 2017 documentary film about P22 mountain lion and is aimed at young readers.

You can reach Tony here:
Twitter and Instagram
@tonyleemoral
Facebook
@tonyleemoralfans

Websites
www.tonyleemoralbooks.com
www.thecatthatchangedamerica.com
www.ghostmaven.com

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Mae Clair Introduces the Murder They Wrote Anthology

So happy to have Mae Clair visiting us today to talk about the Murder They Wrote anthology. I can’t wait to grab a cup of tea, plop down in the Comfy Chair, and get going on this one. I think you’ll feel the same way when you read about all the goodies it contains, so let’s make Mae feel welcome here this morning as she gives us the details. Take it away, Mae! 


Thanks for hosting me today, Marcia! I’m super excited to be here sharing news of an anthology in which I have a short story.  Murder They Wrote brings together seven authors writing in various sub genres of whodunits.

You Can See the Variety by the Blurb:

Murder comes in 7 different genres. By 7 different authors.

Are you a fan of courtroom drama? In the anthology’s first story, Abraham Lincoln defends a friend’s son against a charge of murder.

For lovers of speculative fiction, Jason Fogg dissolves into mist to sneak through open windows and snoop for clues.

How about a cozy? Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel discover a dead body while renovating a kitchen, dining room, and half bath.

Have a craving for a Regency? Lord Peregrine and his wife, Elizabeth, use their sharp minds and quick wit to solve a murder at a garden party.

Need a bit of literary fiction? A young, lonely widow must deal with the theft of a valuable butterfly collection.

And what about a little psychological horror? Twin sisters discover that their attic is haunted by not one, but two ghosts.

Last, but never least, the anthology concludes with a historical mystery. A young, newly married knight is accused of murdering his obnoxious host at a holiday gathering in his castle.

______________________________________________________________________________

If you’re wondering which one of those stories is mine, it’s the last one.  🙂 

Normally, when I write a mystery, there is an old legend, or a paranormal element involved. Readers know me as a writer who loves creatures, but I wandered in a different direction this time. My story, A Winter Reckoning, is a straight murder mystery with a sizable group of suspects, an isolated location (a snow-bound castle), and—of course—a dead body. <cue theatrical music>

I chose a Medieval setting to tell a tale that I hope will keep readers guessing as they consider and discard suspects. There is a chivalrous romanticism attached to knighthood, and a courtly type of cunning that comes with intrigue. In many ways it is like a chess match.

My father first taught me how to play chess when I was in grade school. I like to think that strategy of manipulating pieces on a gameboard, transferred into manipulating characters in my story. And unless my lead, Sir Richard Essex, discovers who murdered a deceitful nobleman, his own life will end in checkmate.

A Winter Reckoning is just one of seven stories contained in Murder They Wrote, and I think you’ll enjoy the variety. I wish you happy reading and happy sleuthing!

Buy Murder They Wrote HERE


Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

AmazonBookBubNewsletter Sign-Up
Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media


 

#GuestDayTuesday – #NewRelease by John W. Howell – #EternalRoad – The Final Stop

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the “official opening day” of #GuestDayTuesday, a brand new weekly feature. (Or at least, an updated one.) From now on, Tuesdays will not be limited to sharing reviews, but will expand to sharing pretty much anything and everything our guests would like to talk about. To start things off, I’d like to introduce  our first guest, John W. Howell, a friend and fellow author from the Story Empire blog. 

John has a brand new book out, and I’m delighted to be sharing it with you today. After reading the blurb and excerpt below, I can’t wait to grab my copy, and I suspect many of you will soon feel the same way. Please join me in giving John the warmest of welcomes this morning! 


Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Marcia. You are the first on the Eternal Road -The final stop blog tour and thank you for helping me launch this book. Speaking of the book, let me describe the kind of book it is. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

BLURB:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

EXCERPT:

The man squats low in the woods. The little girl will come to the curve in the sidewalk soon. For the past month, he’s watched her walk home. She always takes this way. He chooses to squat so that he won’t get his pants dirty while he waits. It wouldn’t do to go back to the office with dirt on his knees. That would give folks a tip-off for sure. Someone would remember him walking in with dirt on his fine gabardine pants, and the police would put two and two together.

He’s planned this snatch and grab for weeks. Has lain awake nights thinking of how he will need to take utmost care. And he must make sure that the girl makes no noise. Though the dense woods muffle a lot of sounds, enough people use the area that one cry could bring down disaster. After a series of deep, calming breaths, he believes he is ready

The sound of skipping comes to his ears. He looks toward the sidewalk. Through the brush, the girl approaches, singing as she skips. A few seconds more, and she will be his forever.

Eternal Road The Final Stop is now available on Amazon in paper and Kindle.
The Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th

Kindle Universal link  
Paper Universal Link 

John W. Howell, Author

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John:
Blog Fiction Favorites – http://johnwhowell.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell
Amazon Author’s page – https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Buy John’s Books Here:
My GRL
His Revenge
Our Justice
Circumstances of Childhood
The Contract: between heaven and earth 

 

#NewRelease – HMS Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

Hi, Everyone! Today, I’d like you to help me welcome my very special guest, C. S. Boyack, to The Write Stuff. Craig is is a friend and fellow author on the Story Empire blog, and he’s here to tell you a bit about his newest book, HMS Lanternfish. I found his information truly fascinating and can’t wait to read this one. I know you’ll see exactly what I mean, so let’s get to it. Take it away, Craig!


Marcia, I’m excited to visit your place today. Thanks for having me back, and know that my door is always open when you need to talk about one of your publications.

I’m here with a new book called HMS Lanternfish. This is the middle volume of a classic trilogy, and I expect to release the final one next year some time. Just to put a label on it, this is a pirate fantasy. It’s full of monsters, adventure, and a bit of humor.

Today, I want to talk about one of the subtle undertones of this series. Readers and fans like to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we tailor our books. This one keeps coming back to the front, and yet, readers might miss it if they aren’t paying attention. It’s about fatherhood.

James Cuttler is my main character. (He goes by the alias of Captain Bloodwater when it suits his purpose.) His father was a notorious operative called a wargler, and started the last war between Hollish and the allies of Prelonia and Saphelon. He was so good that he made the wrong side look like the aggressors and nearly tipped an entire continent on its head.

Eventually, James’s father took him away from the war and hid from the world until his dying day.

James is involved in a struggle to live up to his father, while trying to live down the man at the same time. In book one, he was mistaken for his father and that’s how he got involved in a new continent-wide war.

It goes even deeper, but you have to keep your eyes open for it. If it eludes you, that’s okay. This is just a small extra for those who want to look a bit deeper.

Serang is one of the stronger supporting characters in the story. She spent a considerable part of her life mourning her own father who was a fisherman. She also dedicated a lot of effort to revenge against the dragon turtle that took him. Serang lost her father when she was very young, so she’s further along the adjustment curve. You can read about her struggles in her own book, Serang.

James has a ward now, nicknamed Mule. Mule is a teenager in this book, James considers him a son, and the reciprocal is true as well. Now, while James is struggling with his own issues over his father, he’s trying to be a good parent to his son. He’s trying to keep the boy alive in a dangerous profession, while training him to be a top-notch navigator. There is also the distraction of young love to deal with. Mule is starting to have thoughts about his physical father’s profession that doesn’t involve sailing and piracy. Back to fathers once more, in a kind of triple-lutz way.

Inside HMS Lanternfish, James learns yet another fact about his father’s covert life, and how he was the one to introduce the bigger problem to their shores in the form of a religious cult.

There is a captured slave named Mal. He came from an island of cannibals, and the slavers took his entire family away. There are a few points in the series where he helps James come to grips with things that are out of his control (Like a surrogate father). Eventually, Mal is reunited with one of his own sons, but only one.

HMS Lanternfish has a section where an older pirate, named Chappy, has to deal with the ghost of his own father. Yes, an actual ghost. Told you it was a fantasy. It appears his childhood was not a happy one, but there is still some love for his long departed father hanging on.

I’m also going to talk about King Reynard of Hollish, who hasn’t made a single appearance in the series… yet. This is a boy king, and he’s been pushed by his advisors to finish his own father’s work by taking the entire continent under the flag of Hollish. It seems even royalty lives with the ghosts of their ancestors.

Trust me, the Lanternfish series is full of enough monsters, sea battles, and clashing swords to have a pretty good time without knowing all about fatherhood. There are some readers who like to look below the waves and this post was for them.

I’m going to drop some links, along with a cover and blurb for the new book. I hope some of your fans will find this peek inside my plot intriguing, and thanks for having me over today.

Cover

Blurb: The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.

Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.

HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more. 

BUY HMS Lanternfish: 99¢ for a limited time.

Also By Craig Boyack:
Voyage of the Lanternfish: Book one of the trilogy.

Serang:
A supporting story about one of the more intriguing characters.

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy NovelsTwitterGoodreads | FacebookPinterestBookBub

 

#ComingSoon – #NewRelease – #CoverReveal – The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

It’s been a long journey for this little novella, but at last, the end is nigh! I hope to complete the publishing process within the next week, and will let you know as soon as this one is available for download. In the meantime, to whet your appetites, here’s a little goodie for you. A cover reveal/teaser graphic all in one. Enjoy!