#GuestDayTuesday – I Am Mayhem by Sue Coletta

#GuestDayTuesday Banner

Today, please give a warm welcome to author Sue Coletta who is here to talk about her latest release, I Am Mayhem. Sue is even going to share an excerpt with us, which I know you’ll find as exciting as I did. So, without further ado, I’m turning the floor over to her. Take it away, Sue!

***

Thanks for having me back on The Write Stuff, Marcia!

I haven’t been sharing excerpts of I AM MAYHEM during my blog tour because the story twists and turns so much it’s tough not to give away spoilers. On my site I created a video reading of a fun scene (dark humor). This time, I’ll share a sneak peek of one of the many nemeses Shawnee Daniels must battle in this story. Enjoy!

Rather than enter through the front door, I clicked my flashlight app and hustled around the side of the house, into the backyard. Halfway to the deck, a twig snapped to my left, and I whirled toward the tree line.

Icy tingles shimmied down my spine. “Mister Mayhem?” Though I couldn’t find him in the pre-dawn darkness, my voice still cracked, pitched. “Please let me explain before you—” Mid-sentence, my mouth gaped open.

Into my light beam stepped the same enormous dog I’d encountered weeks ago. On hind legs, he towered over me. Piercing yellow eyes narrowed to thin slits as it cocked its head, spit dripping off razor-sharp canines, a low rumble growling in its throat. Frozen in place, our gazes locked. His wolf-like stare held me hostage, his overpowering presence weakening my resolve.

A yenaldlooshi—better known to the world as a skinwalker—stood within striking distance. Gigantic, distorted, uncharacteristically canine, its ear-splitting screech fissured cracks across my skull. I couldn’t move. As much as I longed to resist, its spell rooted my boots to the grass, my muscles limp, my mind fuzzy.

Without provocation, the beast lunged toward me, its fangs on full display. Hot breath blew back my bangs, poison huffed in my face. Blinded, my fingers clawed at my eyes, and I folded in half, bent at the waist, choking, coughing, spitting, trying everything to clear the powdery grit off my tongue.

Nadine’s high-pitched shrill shattered the silence.

In a flash, I straightened. Through the haze I could barely make out her silhouette in the porch light’s glow. I choked out, “Help,” and staggered toward the deck stairs. The backyard whirled faster than a carnival ride, and I fell face-first on the grass.

“Shawnee!” Nadine’s footsteps pounded down the stairs. She reached for me, but I flashed a flat palm.

“Don’t touch me. I’m covered in poison.”

“Oh-my-God, you must’ve hit your head. Okay.” Her frantic tone eased. “Time for a quick trip to the emergency room.” She squatted, ready to sling my arm over her shoulder to help me up.

“No, Nay.” I rolled on to my back and angled the cell phone toward my face. “Look.”

“Whoa.” Her finely waxed eyebrows V’d, an intense stare as though I’d sprouted a unicorn horn. “What is that stuff?” She leaned closer. “Looks like some sorta gray powder. It’s all over your face, neck, and chest y’know.”

“Thank you, Nancy Drew. I’m aware.” I shooed her away, not unlike the way one might stave off a hungry mosquito. “Stand back. This shit’s lethal.”

“Alrighty then.” As I crawled to my feet, Nadine took a half-step backward. “How pray tell, did you get covered in poison?”

“Why? You never believe a word I say anyway.”

“Try me.”

Hands stuffed in my front pockets, I sloughed off a half-shrug. “What the hell? Got nothin’ to lose at this point. You want the truth? Fine. An evil dog—wolf?—whatever the hell it is, just huffed the shit in my face.”

“A what?”

“See? Told ya, you wouldn’t believe me.”

She quailed back, full lashes fluttering like butterfly wings. But not without reason. Even I could barely grasp the words rolling off my tongue.

“Lemme see if I’ve got this straight.” Her lips smoothed, almost as rigid as her spine. “Crows deliver body parts, and dogs—or wolves—carry around vials of poison. And to top it off, both species are out to get you. Nobody else. Just you.”

“Why do I even waste my breath? You only see what you wanna see.” I slogged toward the stairs, muttering, “And she wonders why I don’t tell her squat.” With one hand on the railing, I turned back. “There are things in this world that defy reason, defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real.” Oy. Now I’m quoting Mr. Mayhem. “For someone who devours multiple books per week, one might think you’d have an open mind.”

“Y’know what?” She pushed past me, her slippers pounding each tread of the stairs, and tossed “I’m done listening to your lies” over her shoulder.

The moment Nadine slipped through the sliders, two crows rocketed toward me from a nearby tree, screeching at decibels unfit for human ears. Their talons each held the end of a rope, an identifiable object dangling between them. As I raised my cell phone’s flashlight, my eyes widened in disbelief. Are those—?

***

And…you’ll have to read the book to find out what Poe and Edgar delivered. LOL Sorry! #notsorry 😉

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?

With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

Released today! Since I AM MAYHEM starts where SILENT MAYHEM leaves off, my publisher put both books on sale for 99c. Ends soon.

Author Sue Coletta Photo
Author Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and 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 “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5). Sue also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog. 

Sue lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writers two psychological thriller series (Tirgearr Publishing) and true crime (Rowman & Littlefield Group). And recently, she appeared on an Emmy award-winning true crime show. Learn more about Sue and her books at: https://suecoletta.com 

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads
Tirgearr Publishing
Globe Pequot(Rowman & Littlefield)

~~~~~

Thanks again for being here with us today, Sue, and best of luck with I Am Mayhem! Hope it sells millions for ya! 🙂

~~~~~

(All images above were either created by me, used with permission,
or obtained from 
Pixabay.) 

#NewRelease – The Emissary Trilogy by … ME!

I’m happy to announce that all three of my Emissary novellas are now available in one eBook, cleverly entitled The Emissary Trilogy. If you’ve been planning to read these novellas, you can now get the three of them in one $3.99 download, essentially getting one novella free. Such a deal, right? 😀 

 Azrael thinks you really should add this one to your collection. (Just sayin’… ) 😀

Download The Emissary Trilogy HERE

#GuestDayTuesday – #GwenMPlano – The Culmination, A New Beginning

Hi, Everybody! Please help me welcome our first guest of 2021, my friend and author, Gwen Plano. Gwen is here to share her latest release, The Culmination, a new beginning with us. I know you’ll be excited to learn about this one, so without further ado, take it away, Gwen!

 

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Marcia, and for helping me launch The Culmination, a new beginning. With the New Year upon us, this is a perfect time to focus on the book.

 

 

***

What’s it about? The Culmination can best be described as a military thriller. It tackles difficult topics such as denuclearization, the power struggles over oil in the Middle East, as well as the ever-present danger of war. Readers will find themselves sitting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking in the historic Red Square, and laughing with children in an orphanage in Turkey. They will glimpse the horror of war and watch the give and take of a negotiated peace. Readers will also meet the two Heads of State who fall in love and subsequently commit themselves to creating a world in which all are family.

I never expected to write this book, but in some ways, I had no choice. The characters crowded into my office and insisted that I listen to them. In a very real way, they wrote the book. I simply tapped the keys and through the process, I learned intensely..

To celebrate the New Year, the Kindle edition will remain on sale through this week and then will return to its full price of $2.99.  

BLURB:

The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope. 

EXCERPT:

In his hospital suite, Admiral Parker sits by the wall of windows. Since the second attempt on his life, he’s found himself unable to sleep. Parker keeps hearing gunshots and has flashes of scenes from his service in Vietnam.

Drowsy, his head grows heavy and falls to his chest. His mind takes him back to Vietnam. Grisly scenes flash before him of mangled bodies, thundering missile explosions, and shrill screams. He shudders and recoils. Then he startles when someone touches his shoulder. When he opens his eyes, he finds the base chaplain stands next to him.

“Hello, Admiral. I’m told you might appreciate a friend to talk to. I’d like to be that friend if it’s okay with you.”

Parker shrugs his acceptance. “I suspect you’re here because I’m remembering things. I, ah … I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I keep having flashes of Vietnam. It’s like I’m reliving it, but why? Why now?”

“My understanding is that the sniper’s bullet came within a hair of your heart. One centimeter more, and we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

“That’s true, but still …”

“And, it was the Medal of Honor that protected you.”

“Yes …”

“Awarded because of your extraordinary valor in Vietnam, right?”

“Correct.”

“Maybe it’s time to remember your experience there and make your peace.”

“Some things are best to forget, chaplain.”

“And yet, you’ve discovered that you haven’t forgotten. The experience lives and haunts you with its devastation.”

“I don’t understand it. After all these years, it feels like it happened yesterday. I keep seeing the same scenes over and over.”

“Tell me about what you see.”

Parker looks away, his eyes welling, and his jaw tightening. “Marines got trapped at the Delta. They needed help, badly. The sub Commander asked for volunteers to go ashore, and I offered. The sub got as close to land as possible, and I swam to shore and found mayhem. I could barely see through the smoke. The thumping sound of the Hueys mixed with desperate cries for help. It was a scene from hell. Bodies strewn everywhere. Torsos without arms. Without legs. Arms and legs without bodies. Hell.”

Parker stops and wipes his eyes. “I arrived too late. Yet I searched for any injured. There were none. It was a graveyard. I decided to go back to the sub, and when I drew close to the shoreline, I heard a moan. It turns out that I’d stepped on a Marine’s arm and broken it. The Marine lay buried in the mud but was alive. That man was Samuel Williams.” 

“As in President Samuel Williams?”

“Yes. I called in for a patrol boat and got Williams into the craft. Though I did what I could, I was too late, except for Williams.” Parker slumps, and his head falls.

The chaplain breaks the silence with a question, “Do you pray, Parker?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you mind telling me how you pray?”

“I say the Lord’s Prayer, and usually, I hold my mom’s beads.” He raises his hand and shows the chaplain an old wooden rosary.

“Do you bring that prayer into your memories?”

“Not really. The past is past. Until recently, I thought I’d moved on.”

“Time isn’t linear. We can be a young child one moment, and an old man the next. The past is as real as the present through our memories.” 

***

Buy The Culmination HERE


Contact Gwen:

Blog:  https://www.gwenplano.com/blog-reflections
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/GMPlano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano
Amazon Author’s page:  https://amzn.to/3eAU2Bt 

Book links:

Letting Go into Perfect Love https://amzn.to/3bToO7t
The Contract between heaven and earth https://amzn.to/2U2Lgmv
The Choice: the unexpected heroes https://amzn.to/3lcz8eA
The Culmination, a new beginning https://amzn.to/3eEWkj9

 

#GuestDayTuesday – Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

 

Hi, Everybody! Today, I’d like you to help me welcome our special guest, Jan Sikes. Jan is sharing her latest release, Ghostly Interference, and I know this one is going to appeal to a lot of folks, myself included! (Just look at this great cover!)

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Take it away, Jan!

~~~

Hi, Marcia! Thank you SO much for allowing me to borrow your blog platform to talk about my new book!

It is not unusual for authors to use some form of Astrology in their stories. In Ghostly Interference, Jag Peters had been raised by a mother who incorporated all sorts of metaphysical knowledge into his upbringing, Astrology being one of those things.

Jag is a Libra. That sun sign fit his character perfectly. Rena Jett is a Taurus.

At one point, Jag is compelled to try to track down any living relatives that Rena might have. She craves family and it has always just been her and her brother, Sam. Now that he is gone, she is completely alone.

But how can Jag get the information he needs from her? At the suggestion of his mother, he decides to use astrology as an ice-breaker and to learn more about Rena.

EXCERPT:

“Let’s play a game. When were you born?”

She shot him a look of panic. “Why do you want to know?”

“It’s how we play the game. I want to know you better.”

“I was born May 1, 1979.”

“I knew it! You’re a Taurus. I woulda’ bet money on it.”

“Is that bad?” Rena sucked on her bottom lip

“Oh goodness no. Taurus people are born under the sign of the bull. Most often they are stubborn, determined, practical and down to earth, but have an eye for beauty. And they are brave.” He kneaded the arch of her foot. “And you are the bravest warrior woman I’ve ever met.”

“Hmmm, I like that phrase. And I love what you are doing to my feet.”

He continued. “I was born right here in Cedar Springs. Where were you born?”

“My birth certificate says I was born in Austin. I don’t remember anything except being in foster homes.”

“What was your mother’s name?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t see as that has anything to do with us getting to know each other.”

“Call it curiosity. My mother’s name is Charlotte Grace Peters.”

“Marjorie Irene Jett is the name on my birth certificate.” She spat out the words like a bitter pill.

Jag rubbed her ankle and moved up her leg. “It’s okay, Rena. I was just curious, that’s all. Any other siblings besides Sam?”

“Not that I know of. It’s always been just me and Sam. I don’t think I like this game. Your turn.”

“Okay. One more question and then I’ll take a turn. What do you want to do with your life? I know your ambition isn’t to work at Meg’s diner forever. What does Rena Jett want?”

She paused a long minute. “I used to talk with Sam about what we’d be when we grew up. He said when he finished his tour in the military, he wanted to go to school and be a child psychologist. I think about it a lot. I never had his ambition, but I would like to do something to help kids stuck in situations like we were.”

“There are all sorts of things you could do. You could be a caseworker, but I can’t see you having the patience to put up with the bureaucracy.”

“That’s for damned sure. I’ve seen too much of the bullshit that goes on to ever play that game. I think I’d like to be a police woman.”

Jag let out a whistle. “That’s perfect for you, Rena. You’d make a great police woman and you could ride one of their Harleys.”

She grinned. “It’s just a thought. Your turn to play this game.” 

He grinned. “Okay. I was born October 8, 1975, and that makes me a Libra.”

“And what are Libras like?” She took a sip of her wine.

“Libras are usually kind.”

Rena nodded. “What else?”

“We like peace and harmony and will walk a mile around a fight. We love all things of beauty and have a hard time saying no sometimes.”

“Those all fit you.”

“I’ve lived in Cedar Springs all my life, except when I went away to college. My father’s name was Arthur.” He reached for his wine and took a sip.

***

Using tools like astrology is also a great way for the author to reveal more character depth to the reader without telling or doing a big info dump that the reader finds boring.

I’m a Leo. I was born on August 21st, the cusp of Leo/Virgo, and have some qualities from both signs. How about you? What is your sun sign? Have you ever used astrology in character development or in your storyline?

BOOK BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?


BOOK TRAILER LINK:
https://youtu.be/NHaLVSe_flI


Buy Ghostly Interference  Here:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Interference-White-Rune-Sikes-ebook/dp/B08KW1KFMW/

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghostly-interference-jan-sikes/1137871003?

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of The Author’s Marketing Guild, Writer’s League of Texas, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), and sits on the RWISA Executive Council.

JAN SIKES
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

http://www.jansikes.com
https://jansikesblog.com/
https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
http://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8D (Author Page)
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sik

 

#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