Tag Archive | Excerpt

Death Opens A Window by Mikel J. Wilson

Death Opens a Window Blitz_zpsw7dya2ug

 
Title: Death Opens A Window
Series: Mourning Dove Mysteries, Book 2
Author: Mikel J. Wilson
Genre: Mystery
Date Published: October 19, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

 
Emory Rome is back in Death Opens A Window, Book 2 of the Mourning Dove Mysteries and the follow-up to the national bestseller Murder On The Lake Of Fire.

 
Death Opens a Window Cover_zpsl6gslt7uAs he struggles with the consequences of his last case, Emory must unravel the inexplicable death of a federal employee in a Knoxville high-rise. But while the reticent investigator is mired in a deep pool of suspects – from an old mountain witch to the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority – he misses a greater danger creeping from the shadows. The man in the ski mask returns to reveal himself, and the shocking crime of someone close is unearthed.

AmazonB&NKoboiBooks
Add to Goodreads 

Excerpt:

AT THIRTY-TWO STORIES, the Godfrey Tower jutted from the Knoxville skyline like a shark fin in the Tennessee River. Unseen through the frameless exterior walls of silvery, reflective glass, a young woman on the twenty-ninth floor sat with a phone held to her ear, pretending to be on a business call as she stared out the floor-to-ceiling window behind her desk. While her colleagues busied themselves on phones or computers at the dozens of cubicles throughout the large, open office space, Angie was not contributing to the organization’s productivity

If she had looked down and across the street, the attractive brunette would’ve seen the unremarkable roof of the area’s next-tallest building fourteen floors below her. Instead she focused on the unobstructed view of downtown and the hazy, snow-peaked mountains beyond. She imagined herself hiking below the snowline with her new lumbersexual boyfriend and lying with him on a blanket before a tantric campfire. Angie could almost hear the crackling wood, until she realized the sound was coming from behind her.

She turned her chair around to see her boss tapping her desk with his pen. The hoary goat of a man stared her down, his pinched eyes straining to scold her through spotted glasses. “You’re having a rather one-sided conversation.”

Angie held up a silencing finger to her boss and made up something to say to her imaginary caller. “Thank you so much for your feedback, Mr. Watkins. We always appreciate hearing about good customer service, and I’ll be sure to pass along your kudos. Okay. Take care now.” She hung up the phone and greeted her boss with a smile. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t hear what you said.” She mimed a talking mouth with her hand. “He was talking my ear off.”

Mr. Ramsey, however, did not return her smile. In fact, a look of horror sprinted across his face as something behind her snatched his attention. Before Angie could turn around to see what it was, she heard a great shattering, followed by the pelting of glass on her back and right cheek.

A dark-haired man in a brown suit flew through the window headfirst and thudded face-up onto the floor beside her. The impact against the man’s back shoved the air from his lungs. He gurgled as he struggled to regain his breath – although no one could hear it over the screams of Angie and several of her co-workers. Shards of glass protruded from his head and neck, one at the base of an erratic fountain of blood that sprang from his carotid artery.

Angie, now shocked into silence, tore her eyes from the dying man and toward the broken window through which she had daydreamed just a moment earlier. Oblivious to the blood trickling from the small cuts on her own face, she took a step toward the large hole the man’s body had punched into the glass wall. She poked her head outside and looked all around.

Her boss grabbed her and pulled her away from the precarious opening. “Angie, what are you doing? It’s not safe!

”The young woman turned a confused face to him. “Where did he come from?”

 

About the Author

Book 2 Author Photo_zpswnnknnabBestselling mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee. Building on the success of the first book in the series, Wilson continues his “no guns or knives” philosophy for murder as he delves deeper into the lives of the characters and their evolving dynamics.

 

 

Enter the giveaway to win an eBook Copy of Death Opens A Window by Mikel J. Wilson or a $5 Amazon Gift Card

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

 

 

Advertisements

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome

The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome PROMO Blitz- October 15th RABT Book Tours and PR_zpslrjsuxx8

 
Title:
The Secluded Village Murders
Author: Shelly Frome
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date Published: September 2018
Publisher: BQB Publishing

 

The Secluded Village Murders_zpstf1uaqxrFrom a small secluded village in Connecticut to the English Countryside, readers are taken on a roller coaster of events and quirky characters as amateur sleuth Emily Ryder tries to solve a murder that everyone thinks was an accident.

For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fateful early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It’s labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions around Chris Cooper’s death. For Emily, if Chris hadn’t been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn’t fit.

As Emily heads across the pond for a scheduled tour of Lydfield’s sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor . . . she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.

 

Amazon • B&N • Kobo • iTunes • IndieBound • Publisher

 

Excerpt:

Picking up speed, she passed the rows of Victorian houses with their pilastered front porches and attached shutters in homage to last century’s Colonial Revival. She’d grown up here, always lived here except for college and her transatlantic jaunts. But at this moment, her village might as well be a scattering of old photos.

Before she knew it, the rain was beating down harder, her wiper blades barely able to keep up. Among the nagging questions flitting through her mind was how could Miranda Shaw have suddenly gotten wind of her leaking roof? Or   did somebody just put her up to it, to get Chris rushing pell- mell in the rain so he would . . .

Emily eased her foot off the pedal, barely able to see through the downpour. She switched the wipers on high and kept her eyes on the road, intent on avoiding an accident.

Minutes later, she pulled into Miranda Shaw’s place at a slow but steady crawl. As she reached the circular drive, straining her eyes through the thwacking blades, she peered up two stories above the stone archway.

There she caught sight of the familiar gangly figure climbing higher toward the peak of an eight-sided turret. At a point where the grayish-blue slate, copper flashing, and a mullioned window merged, the figure suddenly became a shuddering blur.

Emily honked her horn, blasting as loud as she could. But it was too late. The figure flopped over and slid down the turret, glanced off the aluminum ladder and toppled like a broken doll.

The Secluded Village Murders print front and back_zps6pvbpkki

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run.  Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Promo Page

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

 

Interview with M.L.S. Weech

My guest today is author, M.L.S. Weech, otherwise known as Matt!

Hi Matt, welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to begin by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Me

I’ve been published for about three years. I do that when I’m not enjoying my job teaching Sailors at the Defense Information School. I was raised in the desert southwest, and in my youth, there wasn’t exactly a lot to do because I essentially lived in a desert. My imagination was my most accessible toy. I grew up to join the Navy, and after ten years of service, I returned to where my career started as a civilian instructor.

 
When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 8. I’d just watched what is still my favorite movie ever, and my favorite character died. Naturally, I cried, but my biodad sort of chuckled at me and told me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So started work on the sequel, and I’ve been writing ever since. I finished my first book when I was about 17. I got genuinely serious in 2009, when I joined a writer’s group and committed to writing 1,000 words a day. I love stories. I love thinking about the plot. I love the crafting of words. It has simply been a part of my life for so long I’m not sure what my life would look like if I didn’t do it.

 
What inspires your books?

My posts are usually inspired by something random. My first book, The Journals of Bob Drifter, was inspired by my family dod and my dad. My mom had a nightmare she told me about, and that inspired my second book, Caught. My newest published novel is an anthology in which my contributing story was inspired by the riots in Virginia. So usually I see or hear something, and my brain, which is prone to flights of fancy, takes it to an extreme degree.

 
Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?

I’m a believer in work habit and ethics. I can pretty much write anywhere, but I’m most productive on my couch with my laptop and cool elevating table. (I can pull the top up so it’s even with my arms). That’s where and how I’ve written for about five years, so that’s where my body is most conditioned to want to write.

 
What is the setting and genre of The Power of Words?

The Power of Words has four stories. The first is a science fiction novella set in a world where people can virtually swim in a social media world. That world is dominated by a group of speakers called Voices. This is a world in which social media and digital lives (in this case lived through visors known as omnies) rule, and bare faces are considered odd.

The second is a traditional fantasy set in Richard T. Drakes’ Hollow World series. The story takes place at a seedy bar, and it’s essentially a hostile negotiation between an entrenched criminal and a newly risen hero of the people.

The third is the first in a post-apocalyptic series. It’s a zombie survival story taking place in San Antonio. Some might roll an eye at the idea of “another” zombie apocalypse, but this story is unique in that the main character isn’t one who’s in any way suited to survive in such a place.

The last story is my own, of which I’m very proud. It’s a dystopian science fiction heist story. A mom, who’s essentially a former policeman, hatches a scheme to take out the servers for the planetary silence protocol currently enforced. She believes in the right to speak, and, more importantly, she wants her daughter to be saved from the ruthless enforcement policies currently in place.

 
Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out?

The first reason would be that it’s great speculative science fiction in the vein of Hugo novels of old. There’s a clear message and meaning, which is nice in a world of popcorn scifi.

The other reason is that it’s all dedicated to the importance of communication. We live in a world where maybe sometimes people want to be heard, but they don’t want to listen so much. I think people need a reminder on the importance of hearing and speaking. Communication is what matters. These themes are wrapped stories that are engaging and fun.

 
Many authors state that their characters are portions of themselves. Is this true with you?

I don’t even hide from this. Part of my process when I create characters is that I give them one trait from myself. Sometimes it’s a good trait. Sometimes it’s a not so good trait. Every now and then, I take a positive trait to an obsessive degree to see what happens. I’ve has people ask me which character is most like me, and I do have a thought on that, but the fact is every character has a part of me. Those who know me and read my books often comment how much of myself they see in each character.

 
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Umm….(counts in his head)…five unpublished books and one half-finished.

 
What is your favourite part or scene in The Power of Words? Can you give us a peek?

I can’t give you the peek because my favorite part is the reveal in my contribution to the story. I’ve had many people complement me on the plot twist in Caught, and I think this twist is just so much better. That’s honestly my favorite part, but another part I enjoy is a scene in which the crew’s lifter, Laree, is trying to get a security badge. It’s just a cute little scene that makes me chuckle. Here it is:

A pair of glass doors whooshed open as she stepped into the lab. She kept her eyes down, but noticed a few technicians look at her. She pointed at the empty lab chair before snatching up a data pad, pretending she’d forgotten it.
Bad mark! she thought looking at the first person she saw. He didn’t have a red badge either. Bad mark! Bad mark! Two more employees displayed their green badges like wards against her plan, mocking her increasingly impossible timeline.
She walked around the monitors and holo-tables as if simply taking a leisurely route back out of the room.
Bad mark! For spark’s sake does anyone on this floor have a … there’s a good mark.
A spindly young technician in need of two meals and a gallon of anti-acne cream sat at a monitor. His red badge dangled from his white coat pocket like a pretty bow. She made a show of nearly dropping the data pad, and the helpful tech, who’d probably never seen a woman naked before, had his moment in the limelight. He heroically stood there while she plowed into him. He just managed to snag the data pad as she snatched the man’s badge.
He looked at her, and she could practically see the wedding play out in his eyes.
Oh, Sweetie, no! She hid her face with the data pad and winked at him before heading out of the lab.
That’s when her wrist communicator started flashing.
Come on, Laree! Did you really think it was going to go that smoothly?

 
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKAgain, I’m super proud of this one. I actually designed it myself. I knew I wanted a text-based cover because it was an anthology. So I took the title and played with some concepts. One of my favorite design techniques is the Gestalt principle of figure and ground. Silhouettes use this same principle. The idea is the contrast of one set of shapes on a simple background create the impression of an object or, in my cover’s case, words. I took this one step further because I used a very specific set of words as my figure (the text creating element). I keep it secret as to what those words are because I’d like to think people wonder what the words are and end up staring at them to figure out what publication they’re from. It’s a simple concept executed well. I’m not trying to boast. I’m not saying it’s the greatest cover or concept ever. I just assert it’s a solid idea done well. The real judgement of that would be the viewers though.

 
Have you done any personal appearances?

Ever? Yes. I’ve been in a few bookstores, and I usually do a book launches at a local comic book store. The owner (Bumper) is a great guy, and I like to hang out there. I don’t anymore because if I go in there, I’m going to buy rare comics, and they’re expensive. Most of my appearances (and the one I’m about to do) are at conventions. My next one (and last for the year) will be the Baltimore ComicCon Sept. 28-30.

 
What do you think makes a good story?

I honestly have a simple formula for that. Sympathetic, proactive characters + interesting plot + interesting world = good story. The key element there is the character. They can be reading a book or talking about the weather if they’re sympathetic and proactive enough. I do have to explain that sympathetic to me doesn’t necessarily connote “likable.” A character someone hates can be just as captivating as a character someone loves. The point is, the character evokes strong emotions.

 
Which writers inspire you?

Currently, I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. I think Peter V. Brett is the best with characters. Dan Wells is the most underrated author out there right now. Then there are the go-tos, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz. I do want to give special attention to Michael G. Manning and C.L. Schneider, two indie authors who really are outstanding.

 
Do you have plans to, or have you already, released audio editions of your book(s)?

The Journals of Bob Drifter is already out on Audible, and Caught is nearly finished. In fact, the Audible version of Power of Words is in production, though I’ve hit a snag there, so it might not be out as soon as I want.

 
Writing seems to be a large part of your life. Imagine a future (if you can) where you no longer write. What would you do?

Well, I’m getting married in November, so I’d probably just be an annoying dad and (hopefully) loyal husband. I’d watch WAY more football (and THAT’S saying something) and play a few more video games too. I might take up sleeping as a hobby. I’ve heard good things about it.

 
Your blog is a mixture of books (news and reviews), Book Cover of the Month and your Mum/your faith:
How/why did you come up with the idea for Book Cover of the Month?

I love top ten lists and competition and brackets. I also love book covers. So I started out just picking covers I thought were nice because that’s actually how I discovered C.L. Schneider. After I started doing that, I wondered what to do the covers. The idea for a bracket came pretty quickly after that. I just like to talk about covers. I’d like to see more voters, and I would really like to have more (professional) debates about why this cover works and why that one doesn’t. For now though, it’s really fun, and I’d look at the covers regardless. This just gives me an interesting bit of content to offer my readers.

 
Has writing about your Mum’s illness and your ‘Trial of Faith’ helped you?

The testimony is first and foremost about giving glory to God. This trial truly shaped me. It saddened me. It broke me. It humbled me. But it also helped me improve my relationship with God. I struggle with pride so much in my life. I was raised in it. I was trained in it while in the Navy (Take Charge! Be a Leader! Be Assertive!). This event was humbling because here I am, a man committed to the idea of, “There’s always something I can do!” Then I’m placed in this situation where I was simply helpless. It’s put me in a place where I’ve realized I’m subject to God’s will and God’s grace, and I’m better for it. Life was hard when I felt like it was all on me. Now I realize my life is in God’s hands, and everything he does, even this, is for good. The testimony reminds me of that. I still struggle with pride. MAN do I struggle with it, but I hope I’m improving and growing.

It also helped me to open up more. As I said above, I already fail to see what’s “interesting” about me. Combine that with the fact that I’m honestly super private and generally selfish with my time, opening up like this has helped me grow as a person.

The greatest help would be hearing, thinking or knowing that my testimony has helped introduce more people to Jesus, and through him God. I fear now that what I’m doing might be brining too much attention on myself and not enough to God (which is the main objective). I feel this way because our faith and grace are evidenced (not granted!) by the fruits of our labors. I’m not honestly sure if’ I’ve born any fruit. I’m not sure if I’ve helped anyone find Jesus or even encouraged anyone going through something similar. That portion of the blog is almost over. I have ideas on what the Sunday blogs will be, but I want them (and everything I do) to glorify God. I may fail more often than I succeed (because we all fall short of the Glory of God), but I want to try.

 
It’s time to relax! What do you do?

I write. When I’m not writing or watching football, I’m playing video games. Reading is fun. But honestly if I had more time for writing, I’d be much happier. Marketing, editing, publicity, those things just really burn me out.

 
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Favorites ever are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BEST EVER), How I Met Your Mother, Stargate SG-1, and Supernatural (the first five seasons only). Current series would be Doctor Who, The 100, The Marvel TV shows, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

 
If you had to choose a character from one of your books to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Bob from The Journals of Bob Drifter. Sure, he might be there to take my soul, but he’s hundreds of years old. He’d have a ton of stories to tell me before I croaked.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m bad at sharing. Not because I’m unwilling, but because I’m really just sort of baffled at the sorts of things people want to know about. I think I’m pretty boring, so it’s hard to think about things because I just don’t know. I usually talk about my students or my kids (my fiancee’s kids, but I’ve pretty much already hijacked them).

 
Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Good luck with the release of The Power of Words in October, and best wishes for your wedding and the future.

 

Interview with T.E. Hodden

HeadSpace

Yesterday saw the release of HeadSpace, a sweet but dark romance with a psychological twist.

Today the author, T.E. Hodden, (AKA Tom) in the ‘hotseat’ answering questions about
his books, his writing and himself!

 
Good morning, Tom. Welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you please kick off by telling us a little about yourself and your background?

11692692_751530404964797_6362793632642236555_nMy name is Tom, I’m from Kent, in the UK, and my background is in a very specialised niche of engineering, in the transport industry. I’m married, to the most amazing person in the world, and I am probably best known (admittedly by a very few people) for writing short and sweet romances.

 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It was always there as a hobby. Like a lot of people these days, I wrote stories as a hobby, and had the luxury of experimenting with self publishing digital works before I was brave enough to submit to a publisher like Roane. When I was a kid, I wrote stories in exercise books, when I was doing my apprenticeship, there was poetry or short stories on my laptop, and eventually I wrote something that I was confident enough about to share on Kindle Market Place.

I think a lot of that comes reading a lot, from the TV I loved as a kid, but I think what sparked it seriously in my head was when Virgin Books launched a bunch of original adult novels based on Doctor Who, and shortly after the shock ‘swearing, and sex in Doctor Who!’ came the realisation of ‘Wait, people were paid to write stories like this? And it’s taken seriously?’

I’ve never expected to be taken seriously, and pretty much every time I submit a story to a publisher there is a part of me who is worried they will work I’m still just the kid writing stories for fun.

 
What gets your creative juices flowing?

I wish I knew so I could make it work when I needed it! Sometimes idea pop from nowhere, and sometimes they grow over a long time. Sometimes they come from pulling apart other stories and trying to work out how the plot and the details work under the hood.

 
What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

To just write. Sit at the computer, and write something. It doesn’t matter if you write a few pages of trash, and delete it. What matters is you try, and somewhere down the line, you find an idea that works, and you keep writing it. Don’t care about the rules, or what is meant to happen in stories, or how your English teacher told you the language works. That’s what second drafts, and edits, are for.
Just write.

 
What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like experimenting. HeadSpace is the kind of book I enjoy working on. I like playing with time, and playing around with dream-logic rather than real world logic. A lot of my stories are framed in ways that I hope look at romance plots from a slightly different angle, or to dissect moments in a way I haven’t written before.

 
You’re a prolific writer where do you find your inspiration

The inspiration I go looking for, is from history, mythology, and folk lore. A lot of my stories tend to come from experimenting. I’ll write dozens of first chapters, and find one of them will work, and a story will just grow out of it…

 

What Once Went Wrong.Of all your books do you have a favourite?

It depends how you mean ‘favourite’. The books I write just for my own fun, are the ones about the Bears, because I can just let go, and let the scampering, sticky pawed, teddy bears do whatever seems fun. On the other hand, the book of mine that makes me feel proud, that I can read back and wonder how somebody like me, ever wrote something like that, is What Once Went Wrong. It is a long way from perfect, and it has a lot of wrinkles that I think I managed to iron out, and make right, for the tighter, leaner, more satisfying stories that Roane published, but it has something about it I just got… right.

 

What Once Went Wrong is a wonderful and emotional read, Tom.

 

Do you develop characters from your personal experiences and/or draw from that of others?

A little. If we intend to or not, we all look for characters in life. If you sit there and try to write, you give a character dialogue, and that means thinking about how people speak, and there is a bit of your brain, that we don’t even know is there, that is watching how people talk, and listening for the way they twist phrases. I don’t sit down and think “this character is based on a mate”, but I do consider how I have seen different people react to different emotions, and draw from those experiences to try and make characters feel real, and the characters start growing organically.

 
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

A lot of the time characters start with a name plucked from the ether, that is a little bland and dull, but as I get to know the character they begin to feel more like something suitable.

 
HeadSpace_FinalCoverTell us about the cover for Headspace and how it came about.

It started like as one of my mood sketches. I doodle stuff when I get writer’s block to try and nudge my brain with a little inspiration. So, I doodled a romance story, happening inside a broken mind, and… it worked well, so I tidied it up and toyed around with it a lot on a computer, to use in my promotional work. When the publishers started talking to me about what kind of a cover I wanted, I sent them a few of the doodles, and they liked that one. (It is kind of my favourite. I was aiming for something a bit Saul Bass, and missed, but the result was pretty cool).

 
Who is your intended audience and why should they read Headspace?

HeadSpace is for anybody who likes a sweet romance. It’s a little different, (hopefully you won’t have read a romance like it), but it’s a guy meets girl story, it’s sweet, it’s dark in places, and it is very… dreamy. It’s a good story for those who like fantasy and fairytale wrapped into their romance.

 
What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have a wip we could take a sneaky peek at?

I have WIP but it isn’t ready to be shared yet, it’s still a little rough, and still growing and changing as I hear back from the Beta readers, and proofers. The working title is ‘The Stories We Tell’, and it’s about a guy forced to confront the woman who jilted him at the altar, with a literal gun to his head, and rake up all the dirt of her family secrets.

 
What advice would you give to your younger self?

To cherish every moment with those you love, and not take a single second for granted.

 
How do you spend your free time?

Writing is my free time hobby, it’s how I decompress from my worklife. I also love art, cooking, family, walks, and museums. Above all of these, however, I love to just spend time with my wife.

 
Tell us about your favourite memory related to reading or writing?

Being accepted for publication in an anthology for the first time. It was a story called Feathers, for an anthology called Hearts Of Valour, and although I had played around with some light hearted and silly romance stories before, and some romantic but not quite romances, it was the first time I had tried to write a real, serious, romance story before, and I had never expected it to be picked up.

 
Name three things you consider yourself to be good at, and three things you consider yourself to be bad at.

I hope I’m good at my job, good at cooking, and a person people can approach if they want to talk something, anything, through. I don’t know if I’m quite so good at washing up after cooking, dancing, or adulting.

 
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To like junk food less, and exercise more…

 
If someone gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have never been to America, and I think I would like to see it some day. Maybe not LA or New York, where everybody wants to holiday, but… a quite corner of New England, or to go ghost hunting in Boston.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Writing is very much a community hobby, and a serious business. I know that HeadSpace would be a far worse book if people like SallyAnn Cole, and Jenn Nixon hadn’t been so supportive when I was writing, of if Terri Rochanski and Sharon Hughson had not offered so much support at Roane. Or if people like you, Rainne, didn’t take the time to write blogs, support writers, and help the readers find books they will love. So, what I would really like to share, as corny as this might sound, is a huge ‘THANK YOU’. And thank you, reader, for sticking with us, and getting this far. I mean, you’re still here! Wow! Thank you!

 
Thank you for joining us, Tom. Congratulations on your new release, and best wishes for all your future projects. Keep writing awesome books!

Find Tom on Facebook, and his books on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and other book stores

HeadSpace by T.E. Hodden

HS_blitzbutton

 
Title: HeadSpace
Author: T.E. Hodden
Release Date: September 17, 2018
Publisher: Roane Publishing

 

HeadSpace_FinalCoverAny last thoughts?

A few seconds ago I was pushed down some stairs.

A heartbeat ago my head struck cold stone.

Somewhere out there, I am fighting for my life.

But I’m stuck in here, the echo chamber of my thoughts, fighting to hold on, fighting my way back through my memories, my friendships, and my mistakes.

Because, somewhere out there is a woman I should have said three words to, and I have no intention of letting go until she hears the truth.

Dying is easy. Are you ready to live?

Amazon
Roane Publishing

 

Excerpt:

I saw her every night that week. Our first real date was to the seaside, so she could play the arcade games. Her driving lesson had not gone well, and she took out her frustrations on the digital enemies with button mashing and swearing.

“Bloody Hell!” I chuckled.

“Die! You cold sore riddled, festering foreskin!”

“What did they do to you?”

“They are invaders from another world, they deserve to feel my wrath!” She snarled. “Well, mostly because that stupid git who almost hit me on the roundabout can’t! And my Dad!” Her knuckles went white as she punched the fire button. “If I could zap Dad I would, that feckless little runt! But, I can’t, so these little alien buggers will pay! Argh! You bloody peggers!”

The screen flashed red. Game Over.

Purged of her anger, she curled into my arms, her cheek red hot against mine.
We sat on the beach, watched the waves crash in, and listened to music on shared headphones.

She considered the finger with which I stroked her wrists. “You know you are shaking?”

“I am?”

“Yeah.” She placed my hands on her side. “Do I make you that nervous?”

I didn’t answer.

“Let me guess…I’m so much more beautiful than all the other girls?”

“You are beautiful,” I agreed, “and there are no other girls.”

“I know.” She shrank back. “Why would you want anybody else?”

“I meant…” I could feel my words turning to a confession. “There haven’t been any others.”

“Oh.” She shifted so we lay back, and she could rest her head on my chest.

“Really?”

“You couldn’t tell?”

She chuckled.

“And…”

“And?” She asked.

“And… I’m afraid to let this happen, when…” I closed my eyes. “You know that in a few weeks I’m not going to be around much?”

“Oh.” She smiled. “So, you are playing for keeps?”

That she had to ask, unsettled me. I drew back and mumbled an apology. She put her fingers over my lips.

“Are those the only reasons you are so scared?” she whispered.

“Well, that and any moment now you are going to realise I’m a dork, and—”

She giggled and put my hand on her cheek. “It’s the good kind of scared right?”
It was.

“I know you will come and find me,” she said. “You are going to make me a promise. When you go off and train, you will promise to come find me every moment you can.”

“I promise I will come and find you.” I smiled. “Want something you can keep, until I come and find it?”

“Like what?”

I wrestled with my answer for far too long. Every fibre of me wanted to just say the words, but a sudden fear strangled my voice away, so bloody sure it would send her running for the hills if I admitted how much I wanted her, needed her, longed for her hot breath on the cold sweat of my skin.

If I said the words it would be real.

“My virginity,” I said, the moment hitting me like a sledgehammer to the happy sacks. “To be claimed as soon as you will be happy I am always coming home. Whenever you are satisfied I am forever yours.”

She blinked six times, her mouth opened, closed, set in a bright smile, and opened again, without finding any words, closed, pinching her lip between her teeth, before her whole body exploded into a nervous, twitching, shaking laugh. Fireworks went off behind her eyes, and her cheeks filled with colour. She nodded, kissed me, nodded again, and melted into my embrace, still wearing a glowing blush. “I’ll take it,” she said at last, stretching the words in a pantomime of indecision and bartering, “but I want something to remember you by, too.”

Her fingers found my scarf, she toyed with it. “Cathedral Bridge FC?”

I nodded.

“You poor sad bugger.” She lifted it off me. “Still, I’m the one likely to be wearing it in public.”

Her lips brushed my forehead, and we snuggled down into a contented quiet, between kisses.

 

 
26804431_1452384881546009_1814706673425582622_nAbout the author:

T. E. Hodden trained in engineering, and works in the rail industry. He writes as a hobby, when he is not walking the Kent coast, looking for forgotten nooks and crannies of history and folklore.

Facebook

Come and join us tomorrow, when Tom will be in the ‘hotseat’
answering questions about his books, his writing and himself!

 
HS_Slideshow

 

Noémie’s Journey by Victoria Saccenti

banner

is proud to announce the release of her newest novel
Noémie’s Journey

 
Noémie's JourneyLove is waiting around the next curve…but trouble is never far behind.

Desperate to shake memories that stalk him like feral beasts, Richard Winters points his motorcycle toward the highway and twists the throttle—destination anywhere but New York. By the time he puts his kickstand down, he’s in Summitville, North Carolina, where, with a few annoying exceptions, one being an outlaw MC, he’s left alone.

Except there’s one woman who catches his notice and resurrects the protective instinct that cost him everything once before. A woman with stunning green eyes that haunt his dreams, and facing prejudice that makes him want to rise to her defense. But that would mean doing the last thing he wants to do—lower his guard.

Noémie Bellerose has heard times are changing, but in 1968 North Carolina, she and her younger brother are second-class citizens. The new bartender in town is temptation on two wheels, but in what world could the two of them connect? Not this one.

Despite their best intentions to avoid trouble, trouble finds them both—and so does an attraction that won’t be denied. But can love bloom where it is planted, or will they be forced to resort to desperate measures…before hate cuts them down?

Available for pre-order now at 99c

AmazonB&NKoboiBooksSmashwords • D2D

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE
Mount Vernon, New York. April 1968

         Dickey entered his apartment, and before he could flip the light switch, the memories—feral beasts lying in wait—pounced from every direction.
         
Damn it. Stop. Stop. He stabbed his fingers into his face, but the self-inflicted pain had no effect on the barrage of angry whispers circling him. Taunting him, they grew louder…intensified to a roar of screams and jeers.
         He’d done everything to break the pattern, had changed his routine, rearranged the sequence and time of his actions and nothing worked. As soon as he was alone, the scene and participants came to life, clawing at him whether he played music, listened to the radio, or watched TV. No distraction, no entertainment on earth could end the torment or silence the voices. No. They pulled him, yanked him back to the moment…the god-awful moment.
         
No more.
         It was late, close to midnight, and still he reached for the phone—a pathetic jerk, a slave of the past. He loathed the lack of control, the outright weakness the call would reveal.
         “Hey, Skip. Sorry to wake you.”
         “Hmmm…yeah. Dickey?”
         “Got a moment, pal?”
         “Shoot. I’m awake now.”
         “You once offered to buy my share of the business. Are you still interested in going solo?”
         “It was a passing interest. But…why bring it up now?”
         “Because I’m getting out of Dodge. I refuse to spend another hour in this state. I’m done. Finito.”
         “Hold on, man. Vivian again? It’s been years.”
         “I can’t shake it. I see her…them… No more.”
         “What about that sweet young thing? She likes you.”
         “And she was getting too clingy. I don’t do girlfriends. Mind’s made up.”
         “Wait, Dickey—”
         “Nah, I’m packing. I’ll head west or maybe south. Not sure. When I stop, wherever I stop, I’ll call. Hopefully, a drastic change will do the trick. And Skip, when you see that girl, please tell her I wish her the best.”
         He dropped the phone on the cradle and swept through his place, tossing a few rolled items into the smallest duffel he owned. He didn’t need much. He’d tear into the road, travel light and long with a single purpose in mind: leave good old Dickey behind and forgotten. Hello world, meet Richard Winters.
         In a few strides, he closed the door to his last home in New York, mounted his bike, and, with a deep rumble, sped into the night.
         Ill or fair, he’d meet the wind head-on.

 

About the Author:

Victoria SaccentiAmazon Bestselling author, Victoria Saccenti picked up pencil and paper the moment her childhood book heroes started conversing with her. Sounds a little crazy, but there’s no rhyme or reason for inspiration. Back then, she wrote one-act plays and short fairy tales for simple amusement. Today–many…many moons later–her playful stories have grown into family sagas and retro and contemporary romances with an edge. An avid people watcher, she explores in her novels the twists and turns of human interaction, the many facets of love, and all possible happy endings.

Victoria lived overseas and traveled the world for thirty years, and she brings that experience and sense of adventure to her stories. She enjoys taking her reader on a private journey from America to Europe to Southeast Asia and back around.

Central Florida is home. She splits her busy schedule between family and her active muse at Essence Publishing. But if she could convince her husband to sell their home, she would pack up her computer and move to Scotland, a land she adores.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramAmazon

 

Interview with Victoria Saccenti:
by Karina Kantas

-What made you want to be a writer?

My writing journey began decades ago. I plunged into the adventure-filled pages of Emilio Salgari’s Tigers of Malaysia and my imagination awakened. I started writing juvenile fantasies, kept a diary, progressed to short stories, then finally took on the big project, full-length novels.

 
-How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?

Read, read, and read some more. That is the main advice given by every major author. As other works expand the knowledge and style base. We’re exposed to new and different worlds when we read.

 
-Which character do you identify with most in your novel?

This may sound crazy, but I don’t identify with one specific character. I love and identify with all of them. When they speak to me, I listen.

 
-Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?

I don’t like to tell anyone how or what to think. I only present events, choices, and possibilities. The characters come up to the proverbial crossroad and learn from their mistakes. In the exchange I can only hope the readers take something of value.

 
-Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.

I hide out in my silent cave. LOL I can’t write with music. If I do, my mind wanders away, gets lost in the notes and I lose the connection to the character(s).

 
-What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?

My cave is an organized chaos. I have all sorts of necessary goodies. Affectionate notes from my dear hubby, photographs of dear friends, my special notebook, things like that.

 
-What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.

The biggest challenge was to gather the courage to put your work “out there” exposing your soul to the public.

 
-When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?

I have a wonderful set of friends.

 
-How do you market your book?

Social media platforms are a great way to spread the word. I also advertise via Internet publications. Plus, I have a terrific VA.

 

-Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.

Yes, readers regularly contact me. Their compliments are extremely rewarding.

 
-Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?

I send the manuscript to two fantastic Beta readers. My editor is also a wonderful barometer/critic.

 
-Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.

My very first book signing took place in San Antonio, Texas, at the lovely Menger Hotel. I was a nervous wreck and didn’t know what to expect, or how many books to bring. Authors decorated the packed room with colorful pullout and table banners. Logo’s, quotes, and character images where everywhere. My table partner was sweet and funny. She was probably as nervous as I was, since that was her first event as well. The happy cacophony of laughter and conversation and the scent of fresh popcorn are indelibly etched in the memory bank. Who knew that would be offered at the door? I also remember the aroma of chocolate. I had swag Hershey’s bites spread out on my table. I have a feeling the bites had a lot to do with the readers stopping by. They might have sold a book or two. Hershey’s bites rule!

 
-What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?

Reading is my favorite pastime.

 
-Tell us your favorite novel?

I’ll take a different tack. My favorite writer is Dorothy Dunnett. I love her series The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolò. The best historical fiction books ever written, in my humble opinion.

 
-What kind of advice can you give to other aspiring authors?

Hire a good editor. Editors are worth their weight in gold.

 

WRITING 101

 

KKantas AuthorAssistKKantas AuthorAssist

Interview with Michelle Peach

Michelle Peach

Last week it was the book, Gazelle in the Shadows, that was in the spotlight. This week I turn the spotlight towards the author, Michelle Peach.

 
Hi Michelle, and welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings. No rambling from me this morning, so if you’d like to start by telling my readers and I a little about yourself and your background, that would be lovely.

Michelle Peach - Author HeadshotI’m a stay-at-home mom, married with three children and love volunteering for school activities and animal rescue. In between time, I love to write. I am a graduate of Durham University with a degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. I worked for many years overseas in the British Foreign Office and as an executive PA for a Dubai company. I met my future husband while working in Dubai and soon after moved to America. That was twenty years ago! How time flies!

 
When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I had procrastinated about writing the book for many years but the catalyst came when my children started to ask me what I had done before marrying their father and I felt a need to tell my story for them in addition to the urging of many friends.

 
What gets your creative juices flowing?

There’s not any one thing I can pinpoint as my creativity can be sparked by listening to the radio, reading a book, taking a long walk or even in the moments before sleep.

 
What is your top writing tip?

As a visual thinker, what helped me tremendously was a story planner. I created my arc on a cork-board with index cards pinned in sequence. It was easy to switch things around and play with the chapters until I was happy to begin the writing process.

 
What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Hands down, the hardest part has been the marketing after my book was published. I’m not much of a salesperson so it has been a steep learning curve to push my book forward.

The easiest part was receiving my first printed paperback. Holding it in my hands, feeling the weight and texture of the pages gave me immense pride and fufilment.

 
Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?

I don’t have a typical day. Some days I might write but as a general rule, I enjoy writing at night when the house is quiet.

 
Gazelle in the ShadowsHow did you come up with the title?

I searched for a title that would point to the Arabian setting of the story and remembered that the gazelle has been used to symbolize femininity and love in Arabic literature and music since pre-Islamic times. I also liked it because the gazelle, much like the protagonist, Elizabeth, is preyed upon by many predators. The second part of the title “in the shadows” depicts how Elizabeth faces the unknown where her predators operate in the clandestine world of betrayal and espionage.

 
You say the book is ‘largely based on your life’, how much is fact and how much is from your imagination?

If I were to quantify it, I would say that two thirds of it is true and the rest fictionalised.

 
What is your favourite scene that you’ve written? Can you give us a peek?

I enjoyed writing about the hammam which I visited in Damascus. It brought back many memories.

      We entered the reception area through a heavy, dark curtain used for privacy from passersby in the street. The room opened out unexpectedly into a cavernous space. There were seats along the walls furnished with rich, although threadbare, oriental carpets. In the centre, directly under the dome, there was an octagon fountain inlaid with blue, mosaic tiles. From the inside, the dome was transformed into a light show. Cracks within the bricks allowed shafts of sunlight to shine through. The illumination made me feel relaxed. Unfortunately, it didn’t smell as relaxing, as the vapoury air invaded my nostrils with tobacco and must from wet carpets.
      There were two women who were assisting us in the lobby area. One of them, a plump, short woman, was dressed in a long, black robe and colourful
hijab. She handed out some minshafa, thin towels. The other, a tall, slim woman, handed us glasses of rose water.
      “Get undressed,” Fatima told me. “And wrap this around you.”
      I timidly undressed feeling embarrassed by my body. I wished I had packed my swimsuit now. I clung onto the towel as I awkwardly struggled to pull my clothes off and then wrapped it tightly around me. I was relieved that it was large enough to cover me from my breasts to my knees. Na’imah and Suheera disrobed, unabashed by their nakedness and tied the towels around their waists.
      I was freezing as I stood almost naked in the lobby area. Fatima saw my chattering teeth.
      “This is the
barrani chamber, the coolest room. Let’s go into the next one which is warmer.”
      I happily followed her into the next, warmer chamber. Suheera and Na’iamah stayed in the
barrani chamber. I sat on the wet, stone floor next to Fatima and felt the sweat run from every pore in my body. Fatima took out some soap and face cloths, which she had brought, and began to wash herself. I began to scrub myself as well.
      In the steamy mist, I saw other women in the room. Many small groups were chatting and socializing while washing their hair and bodies. They walked around without towels. I was shocked at how open they were with each other. I couldn’t help but reflect on the two extremes of womenfolk: being concealed in the homes and covered in black when out in the street compared to the freedom and nudity in the
hammam. I could understand how they must cherish the time they spent together and the community it helped them create.
      I was eager to chat about Hama with Fatima and hear about her and Naguib. I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with her. I hoped she had changed her mind about Hussein. After all, she seemed to have enjoyed her time with Naguib.
      “The trip to Hama was great,” I said. “I hope we can go on another with Naguib and Hussein.”
      “I had a good time, but I don’t think I’ll have time to go again.”
      “Is that because Naguib and you have to work?”
      Fatima paused and looked thoughtfully at me.
      “Yes.”
      “I’m so glad that Hussein can spend so much time with me.” I suddenly realised how insensitive that sounded and corrected myself. “I mean, I’m not glad that his father died, but I’m glad he is not working right now.”
      “What do you mean?” she asked.
      “Isn’t he still in mourning?” I wasn’t entirely sure how long he would be in mourning, and I had supposed he still was.
      “I don’t know,” she said, but her tone was abrupt. It was strange that she didn’t know about Hussein’s father and I sensed she didn’t really care to talk about Hussein.
      I bit my lip, frustrated. Fatima got up and gathered her things.
      “Let’s move onto the
jouwani, the hottest chamber.”
      I had thought we were already in the hottest one, but I was extremely mistaken. The third room was like a kiln. The furnace was situated in this room. Heat and smoke passed in pipes under the floor from there into the other middle room. I realised I had not drunk enough, as I felt very thirsty and had probably lost a pint of sweat already.
      Fatima was listening in on some women talking. She was bemused by their conversation. The women were cackling loudly at each other. There were four of them, all middle-aged, round and fat. They sat in a huddle, washing each other with a clay substance. I had noticed that they occasionally looked at me and cackled more.
      “What are they talking about?” I asked, thinking they had made a joke about me, and hoped Fatima had heard them.
      “Those women are gossiping about a girl that the mother is arranging for her son to marry.”
      “What’s so funny?” I asked.
      “She brought her here.”
      “Why?”
      “Mothers-in-law always like to check out the bride-to-be. She wants to make sure she’s not got any serious, physical faults,” she explained. “One of her friends thinks the girl is too ugly for her son.”
      “That’s awful,” I said, but I laughed anyway.
      “Then the mother asked if they noticed anything about the body of the bride-to-be being ugly, and one of them said she thought she saw she had three nipples.”
      “No,” I splurted. “That’s so funny.”
      “I don’t think it’s true, but they love spreading rumours.” Fatima was laughing hard.
      After that room, Fatima took me into a cold one, which I disliked very much. It was meant to cool you down, but I found it too chilly. The stone was slippery. We returned to the middle chamber to find Suheera and Na’imah. The second lady from the reception was sitting with them, still dressed in her black robe. She was scrubbing Suheera down with a black scrubbing cloth made of goat’s hair.
      “Elizabeth, you need to be scrubbed by the
muqashshara,” Fatima said, indicating the woman with the cloth.
      The darkly clothed exfoliator beckoned me over. Her pruned and puckered hands were covered in henna designs and her nails were orange. It seemed ominous, as I lay, almost naked, in her shadow, on a rubber mat. I thought I had washed myself and scrubbed my skin, but she scrubbed harder, so hard that I could feel my skin sting.
      
“Baqraa qadhra. Ya shamootah. Ajnabia qabiha.”
      Dirty cow, I translated. Prostitute. Ugly foreigner.
      She doused me in hot water and lathered my skin with soap. Then she pummelled my skin, squeezed my muscles and pinched my flesh. I felt like a rag doll in the hands of a mischievous toddler.
      I wanted to respond to her insults, but honestly, I didn’t have the energy, or feel in a position to defend myself with barely any clothes on. When she had finished with one side of my body, she slapped me on the arm and indicated to turn over.
      The women around us clucked like hens, as they watched me squirm and gasp while I was vigorously scoured like a burnt frying pan. Strings of black dirt accumulated on my stomach, arms and legs. Obviously, I hadn’t washed myself as efficiently as I had thought. I was embarrassed, but not surprised by all the grime as I hadn’t had a decent shower since I arrived. When the woman had finished inflicting pain, both verbally and physically, I felt like a freed convict and rushed to the cold chamber to rinse off.
      “She was so rude to me,” I commented to Fatima, as I rinsed.
      “I am sorry for what she said. She is not used to seeing foreigners in this
hammam.”
      My spirit was somewhat bruised, but I stroked my fresh and clean skin while getting dressed. Within a few minutes of waiting, Hussein arrived to pick us up and deliver us back to the house.

 

For those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?

The reader will enjoy a fast-paced story with romance, friendships and betrayals weaved around an increasingly dangerous and threatening story which culminates in an unforeseeable ending.

 
When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?

I look forward to continuing to be as content as I am now.

 snowman
What is your earliest memory?

One of my earliest memories is from when I was a toddler. After a night of heavy snowfall, my brothers and I woke to a garden transformed into a winter wonderland. We bundled up in scarves, coats and gloves to play in it and I built my first snowman with them; carrots, currants, twigs’n’all.

 
How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy family time. We enjoy vacations, walking, especially with our three dogs and sometimes even our cat follows us, boating on Lake Allatoona, camping and gardening.

 
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I enjoy reading although I don’t get the chance to read novels as much as I would like. I spend a lot of time reading articles, blogs and news in general on the internet. Amongst my favorite authors are Philippa Gregory, Amy Tan, and Stieg Larsson.

 
Your book is being made into a movie, which star would you cast as Elizabeth?

That’s a great question as it’s my dream that the book be made into a movie. I’m not very au fait with current young actresses but I imagine a young Meg Ryan would make a great Elizabeth.

 
If you could travel to any place and time in history, where and when would you visit?

crowdLike many British subjects, I love the Royal family. I was especially fascinated by Princess Diana, who was only 5 years older than me. If I could travel back in time, I would travel to 29th July 1981, to witness the Royal Wedding celebrations along with the multitudes of enthusiastic well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace in London. As a young teenager, her fairytale wedding was one of my happiest historical memories. Sadly, as we all know, her story is tragic. I was working in Dubai the day I heard about her tragic death and visited the British Embassy to place flowers outside. Her legacy lives on in her children and I miss her humanity and grace.

 
 

Quick fire round:

Favourite Season?

Spring

 
Dream vacation?

Maldives

 
Favourite quote?

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love.” Washington Irving

 
Something unique about you?

I traveled around the world alone when I was 23 years old.

 
Favourite song?

Storms in Africa Parts 1 & 2 by Enya

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I hope the reader will enjoy learning about some of the culture, history and beauty of Syria in my story which, in many ways, has irrevocably changed due to the ongoing war. I find myself often thinking about the places I visited, saddened by the fact that much has been destroyed and about the kind people I met and whether they and their families are still alive. My deepest wish is that somehow Syria will one day miraculously return to be a country travelers can visit and be enthralled by the centuries of history and ancient cultures within its boundaries.

 
Thank you ever so much for spending this time with us, Michelle. Best wishes for any and all future projects.

Find out more about Michelle and Gazelle in the Shadows on:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreads
AmazonB&N