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What You Did by Willow Rose Blog Tour

About the Book

Former FBI-profiler Eva Rae Thomas faces the most personal case in her career, as bestselling author Willow Rose’s new hit-series continues.

Three girls disappear on prom night at the local high school. One of them is the prom queen.

FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas is chasing her long-lost sister when detective— and boyfriend — Matt Miller asks her to join the investigation of the three girls’ disappearance. They were last seen walking home together after the dance.

When the body of a young girl shows up in her backyard, Eva Rae knows she can no longer watch from the sidelines, and soon she realizes not only is she involved in this investigation, she’s also this killer’s target.

About the Author

The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won’t see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.

Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

Release Date: September 3rd 2019

This is the first of three young adult novels from New York Times best-selling author Mackenzi Lee that explores the untapped potential and duality of heroism of popular characters in the Marvel Universe.

Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity . . . except for Amora. Asgard’s resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.

But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.

When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he’s meant to be. 

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The Sum of All Tears by Kim Cresswell and M.K. Chester Blog Tour – Guest Post

About the Book

The Day after Tomorrow meets Mad Max, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games in this enthralling post‑apocalyptic dystopian adventure with a paranormal twist.

In the near future, after her father’s climate change experiment goes terribly wrong, twenty-two-year-old environmental studies student, August Madison, finds herself resurrected in a frozen wasteland. With most of the world’s population and food sources annihilated, depraved nomadic gangs patrol the lawless landscape as outlasters claw for survival. Even old friends become unrecognizable.

Amid the chaos, Graysen Marx, iron-fisted leader of the domed settlement Liberty, emerges from the catastrophic event with his own agenda—collecting only those who exhibit unexplained abilities. When August crosses his path, he sees an opportunity he must exploit. She sees an evil she must destroy. In a treacherous new world where anyone could be a savior or savage, August discovers her true purpose. And only the strongest will survive.

Guest Post

Where were you born/grew up at?

Kim: I was born in Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario Canada. When I was two, my parents divorced, and we moved to London, Ontario. I’ve been here ever since.

M.K.: I was born and raised in and around Columbus, Ohio, USA, with the brief excursion to Phoenix, Arizona when I was little. I’m not sure it counts since I barely remember it.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Kim: I enjoy reading, taking long walks to clear my mind, and spending time with my adult kids and friends.

M.K.: I like to read, watch TV and movies, the usual. As a new homeowner, I’m also finding new things to enjoy, like redecorating, gardening and birdwatching.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Kim: Funny, kind, crazy, caring, and a loyal friend.

M.K.: Sarcastic, loyal, quiet, caring, and empathetic.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

Kim: I have always envisioned my Whitney Steel series (Reflection, Retribution, Resurrect) as movies. They are high-octane romantic thrillers and would work well as movies.

M.K.:  When I write, I usually see the story unfolding in my mind as if it were a movie, but I can honestly say that Icehaven would be the most exciting to both create and view as a movie.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Kim: My spirit animal would be an Owl, emblematic of a deep connection with wisdom and intuitive knowledge.

M.K.: My spirit animal has always been a polar bear, which represents strength and endurance as well as acceptance and surrender. I have a tattoo to represent this connection.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Kim:  I’m presently working on Invisible Truth, the second book in the thrilling Assassin Chronicles series. M.K. Chester and I will be writing Liberty, the second book in the Sum of all Tears series beginning in July.

M.K: I’m working right now on polishing the second book in the New South series, titled Ten Days.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Icehaven? 

M.K.: We wanted the characters to be relatable—they could be someone you know—who are thrown into this new world and have to find the strength to survive. Strong heroines are a must, and August is a character who shows remarkable growth through her trials. Her love interest likewise has to be able to keep up with her, while handling his own responsibilities at the same time. I always think villains are the most fun to write, and we enjoyed making our antagonist both relatable and a worthy opponent.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

Kim: I use a random name generator and with M.K.’s input, we were able to find interesting and unique names for our characters.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Kim: What I enjoyed most about writing Icehaven is the story was very different from my other books, a completely different genre. 

M.K.: It’s different than anything I’ve written and really enjoyed getting to jump outside the romance genre.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Kim: Not at all. Icehaven is exactly the way I envisioned the story.

M.K.: Nope. There is nothing I would do differently, as the entire process built me up as a writer.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? 

Kim: I learned how how much I love writing dystopian fiction, and also how resilient characters can be. Very much like life, we adapt and come out stronger no matter what is thrown at us.

M.K.: I learned that mixing genres can be awesome! I loved getting a little taste of everything, from romance to post-apocalyptic fiction, very outside the box I’d been working in.

Anything specific you and M.K. Chester want to tell your readers?

We hope readers have a chance to read Icehaven. At the story’s core, the book is about duty, sacrifice, choices, and consequences. It’s an emotional blend that asks the basic questions, “What would you do?”

And thank you to our fans of the Sum of all Tears series. It’s because of you that we will continue to write new books in the series. We appreciate your support. 

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

The candle would smell like citrus, green bamboo, patchouli, and musk. Of course, we’d call it Icehaven.

How long have you both been writing?

Kim:  For many decades. I knew I wanted to be a professional writer while working at our public library at the age of seventeen. I remember reading Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls and from that moment I wanted to be an author. It seemed like a farfetched idea back then. Life, marriage, and kids put my dream on hold until 2012 when I decided it was time to take my writing seriously. It really was now or never. With my first book, Reflection, I landed two literary agents. Since then, I’ve published over 20+ works: novels, short stories, and anthologies.

M.K: I started writing stories for my own entertainment when I was ten but didn’t get serious about things until almost twenty years later. The Internet played a big role in my growth (and it’s how Kim and I met) and I know I’d be writing whether I ever published or not. As a history geek, historical romance was a natural fit and most of my published work fits that mold. After a layoff in 2017, I was also able to use my skills as a copywriter, a role I still enjoy.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

Kim:  I love reading! My favorite genres are dystopian, romantic and action thrillers.

M.K.: I was a reader first and will always be a reader. I read a lot of romance, but also enjoy military fiction and historical fiction and biographies.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

Kim:  I usually only write one book at a time so I can focus on the characters and the story.

M.K.:  I have several projects at various stages of completion, but it’s best for me to focus on no more than two at any given time (one, if I’m being honest!).

Pen or type writer or computer?

Kim: I write on a laptop and use pen and paper if I’m stuck on a scene. I find moving away from the computer always helps me get unstuck.

M.K.: I prefer to type. I have MS and it’s affected my hands, so it’s always easier to type. I have my desktop, laptop and iPad set up for typing.

Describe your writing style.

Kim: I would describe my writing style as cinematic. My books are like watching a movie.

M.K.:  My style reflects deep narratives with redemption themes, so it often seems like getting to peer over the character’s shoulder.

What makes a good story?

Kim: What makes a great story is a solid and interesting plot, lots of action, and emotion…emotion…emotion. If I don’t feel a story, I walk away from it.

MK: Definitely emotion—but if the events don’t make sense to me, I can walk away.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

Kim: My writing process has always been the same. First, I write the draft back cover blurb. I can’t start a book unless I do. Then I select a title and begin plotting out each chapter, so I have a map to work with. After those are completed, I sit down and start writing the first chapter. Of course, things can change but generally, I stick with my plot outline quite closely.

M.K: The opposite of Kim’s! I often begin with a character. I know who they are and then find a situation in which they can learn and grow. I usually write straight through but will occasionally write out of sequence. I use Deb Dixon’s GMC to ensure conflict is working.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Kim: I love coming up with unique plots and characters which I do believe readers want and expect.

M.K.: Both, if it’s possible. I like to take characters who may be questionable in one way or another and make readers love them.

 

About the Authors – Kim Cresswell and M.K. Chester

Kim CresswellKim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada and is the bestselling and award-winning author of the action-packed WHITNEY STEEL series.

Her romantic thriller, Reflection (A Whitney Steel Novel – Book One), has won numerous awards including RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense), InD’tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller), UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner, Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha” contest. Kim also signed a 3-book German translation deal with LUZIFER Verlag for the first three books in the series: Reflection, Retribution and Resurrect. Lethal Journey won RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown (Thriller).

The Assassin Chronicles TV series was in development with Council Tree Productions. The TV series is based on Kim’s upcoming 4-book paranormal/supernatural thriller series: Deadly Shadow (May 2018), Invisible Truth, Assassin’s Prophecy, and Vision of Fire.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

MK ChesterM.K. Chester is an RWA award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance. Her first novel, Surrender to the Roman, is currently published with Carina Press. Her three-book historical series, Bryeton Books, focuses on love, loss and redemption in small town America at the turn of the 20th century, while her latest release, Crashed, is the first book in the contemporary New South Series. 

M.K. is a native Buckeye who lives in Tennessee. She’s married to a veteran, recently became a MoM (Mother of Marine), and will soon become a grandmother. She adores her Scottish Terriers and is fighting MS.

Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Series Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

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Books I’m Preordering

Every few months or so I splurge on Barnes and Noble to preorder some of my most anticipated books for the upcoming months, so today I thought I would share which books I decided to preorder recently. Let me know which books you’re preordering or which books I left out that you think I should preorder!

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Experience Feyre Archeron’sjourney all over again with the beautiful collector’s edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the seductive first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas, featuring a deluxe new package, an updated map, ribbon pull, and more! 

When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

All of the magic of Feyre’s epic journey and romance is reflected in this enchanting, collectible edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses, which comes complete with a cloth slipcase featuring unique foil art on the case and book cover, ribbon pull, brand-new interior page designs, metallic endpapers, and a newly illustrated map.

**Synopses and images derived from Goodreads**

blog tour · excerpt

Blog Tour – Silent River excerpt + Giveaway

About the Book

A gripping psychological thriller inspired by true events. 

Robert Collins is Portland’s best investigative detective. When the Stevens family goes missing, he goes to work. As he uncovers clues the family may have been targeted for a professional hit by organized crime, it gets personal. 

Too personal. Can he face down his inner demons before he loses himself? 

He confronts the mob and police bureaucracy to find the missing family. Jake, partner and friend, thinks he’s spiraling into obsession, when Robert’s taken off the case but refuses to give up the investigation. 

Can he get past this shameless tragedy and his own past to move on with his life? 

Silent River is a fictionalized version of a real investigation in the late 1950s in Portland, Oregon, a time when money and power ruled the city. This story will appeal to fans of true crime and detective fiction alike. Readers who enjoy Ann Rule, Rex Stout, and Mary Higgins Clark will love CM Weaver.

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Detective Robert Collins absently swigged the lukewarm coffee that he’d bought on his way to work that morning. A few officers sat at their desks. Monday mornings usually weren’t this quiet.

He pushed open the door to his office. He detested the institutional green walls. His desk was falling apart, no matter how many times he nailed and glued the drawers back together. He threw his coat at the stand along with his hat. It slid on the curled wood and stayed. The hat twirled but remained in its place. Robert didn’t bother to watch as he sat the cup on the stained desk and gingerly sat in the wooden, rolling, office chair. It hated him and had dumped him on the floor a few times.

His inbox overflowed with reports for follow-up and notes on cases he needed to read. There were times when he wished he had a regular nine-to-five job, and this was one of those times. He’d pulled an all-nighter last night, and the subject of the stakeout had played him like a cat with a toy mouse.

The sound of taps on leather shoes echoed as it moved toward his office. The announcement of Nate Polentti was not a welcome sound to Robert. He cringed as the tapping stopped at his door.

“So, you and Jake got some “prime beef” last night.” Nate’s nasal tone grated on his nerves. “Why do you guys seem to get all the bribes? Oh, that’s right, you two passed through the cleanup with flying colors. Makes a person think now, doesn’t it? You made front page news. I wonder how my uncle, Chief Gilmore, is going to take this.” Nate gave a dry laugh as he slapped the newspaper down in front of Robert. The tapping seemed more pronounced as Nate walked away.

The paper unfolded, allowing Robert to see a large picture, above the fold, of an unmarked police car. The driver’s arm rested on the frame of the open window. Thankfully, it was just an arm, he thought. He looked closer at the grainy picture. The prime target of the photographer centered on the person in the background. A white-jacketed waiter walked away from the car, balancing a tray that bore the remains of two sumptuous dinners.

The headline read: Are There Still Cops on the Take? The article stated that two police officers were seen eating prime rib dinners provided by a known mob leader who had arrived in Portland to possibly open a casino in the area.

The phone rang. Robert fumbled around under the paper until he found the receiver. He answered, not taking his eyes from the article.

“Collins here.”

“Robert, we got a call for you to report to Stan.” The dispatcher gave the address. He pulled a pen and pad from his pocket and jotted down the information. As if it were one complete motion, he jammed his long arms into the sleeves of his coat, positioned his fedora over his dark blond crew cut, and hurried through the office.

In the car, he turned the key and pressed the gas pedal. He headed down Alder Street to Sandy. Following Sandy Boulevard, the traffic kept him to the speed limit, and the drive to Fifty-Seventh Avenue took a little longer than usual. He’d hit the end of the rush hour and everyone heading to work. He poked down the street, looking for the address he’d been given.

The houses were well kept. Robert saw people milling on the sidewalks ahead and parked behind a squad car. He looked at the situation and didn’t see anything that would need a gun drawn, so he got out and slid his hat in place, running his fingers along the brim. He made his way through the crowd of people the officers tried to keep on their front lawns.

“Hey, what’s happened?” a reporter called out. “Who’s missing?”

“Stan!” Robert called to a man just going up the front steps of the house.

“Took you long enough,” Stan taunted.

“Took you long enough to call. Couldn’t handle it on your own?”

“I thought you should earn some of those taxpayers’ dollars instead of just reading the sports pages at your desk on Monday morning.”

“Yeah, well, thanks. What have we got here?” He followed Stan into the living room. A man and a woman sat on the couch talking to one of the officers.

“This is Tom and Maggie Borman. She claims something happened to her brother and his family.” Stan consulted his black book, “A Karl and Debra Stevens and their three girls. Mrs. Borman, this is Detective Robert Collins. Would you tell him what you told me?”

Maggie Borman wore a beige sweater over a plaid shirt and pleated brown skirt. Her salt-and-pepper hair was pulled into a French roll at the back of her head. She was in her late forties; her brows were furrowed over her brown eyes.

She wrung her hands as she talked. “I called yesterday afternoon to talk to Debra, but they weren’t home. I kept calling until almost midnight. When I got up this morning, I tried again, but there was still no answer. We came over here and because I have a key for emergencies, we went in to check. I didn’t find anything missing or any reason they wouldn’t have come home last night.” Her voice broke, and she began to cry.

“Was the lock forced?” Robert asked Stan.

“No, and we couldn’t find any of the windows forced open either. Everything is locked up tight.”

“Can you give me their names, ages, and descriptions?” he turned to the woman.

“Karl Stevens is my brother; he is fifty-four. Debra, his wife, is forty-eight. Kelly is fourteen; Darla is twelve, and Sara is ten years old.” Tom spoke the names while Maggie filled in the ages.

“Do you have any idea what they might have been wearing?” Robert asked.

“No, I can only guess. I know that Debra would have been wearing a dress, and the girls were probably wearing pedal pushers, shirts, and maybe either a sweater or a jacket.”

“Is there anyone they might have gone to visit? Someone they spent the night with? There has been some snow up the Columbia River Gorge.” Robert directed the questions, while Stan stood to one side looking at his notepad and adding any details he hadn’t thought to ask.

Maggie shook her head. “They would have called me,” she muttered into her handkerchief.

When Maggie could not continue, Robert left them in Stan’s care and walked through the house. He watched a team of men search for any clues. The house was clean, but the Sunday paper lay on the side table, as if Mr. Stevens had just put the sections down after reading them. The comic pages had been divided, and some were on the floor while others were folded on the coffee table.

The kitchen had been used, for breakfast dishes soaked in oily water.

He opened the fridge, but there was no roast waiting to be put in the oven. His mom liked to have a roast cooking when they came home after church. He took a deep breath, remembering the smell that greeted the family as they all trooped through the door after the church service. This family either ate before going to church or didn’t go that Sunday. What would cause this family to skip church?

Taking a quick look in the bedrooms upstairs, he saw the parent’s bedroom. No clothes lying around; the items on the vanity were lined up on the runner. A quick check in the closet revealed no suitcases; he’d check the hall closet later. The next door down the short hall had the name “Kelly” written on a card tacked to the door. Inside, there wasn’t anything out of place—too neat for a teenager. He stepped inside. The bed had perfect hospital corners, the books so neat they were aligned by height. With his pen, he hooked the desk drawer and pulled it open. All the pens and pencils were in neat rows, small to large, sharpened to a point.

He looked for any notes she might have left, but the notepad was blank. He would have the guys bag it and bring it to him at the office, along with her schoolbag.

All the drawers held her clothes neatly folded in vertical stacks. Robert opened the closet door to see dresses, blouses, and skirts hanging in even spaces. She must have been obsessive about her room, which wasn’t normal in his book. He had no sisters, but he did have a brother who would sleep in and on his clothes. He backed out of the door, taking one more look at the dresser, small desk, bed, and night table with a single lamp.

Two cards with “Sara” and “Darla” printed on them were stuck to the next door. The beds were made, but not as neatly as Kelly’s. A wicker basket of folded clothes sat on each bed, ready to be put away. A bookshelf held books and games stuffed haphazardly on the shelves, some of the pieces falling out of the half-closed boxes. Schoolbags in this room peeked out from under the beds, nothing out of the ordinary.

He opened the last door in the hallway and found a stairway to the attic. A door at the top was closed but it opened when he turned the knob. A bedroom. He sniffed. A boy’s room. Perhaps a boarder? A single bed with a quilt over it, a short dresser, a chair, and an empty closet. He turned and went down the stairs. 6

 

Back on the main floor, he made a note that there was no sign of a struggle and no note left on the pad near the phone or on the refrigerator, where most people would leave one if they were going out of town.

In the basement, he touched the sawdust furnace. Still warm, even though the fire was out. It must have been going for quite a while before the fire died from lack of fuel. Robert judged it to have been out about four or five hours.

In the living room, the Christmas tree was decorated, a Santa suit lay neatly over a chair, and a bag of candy canes lay right next to it. A few Christmas decorations adorned the windows. Probably done by the girls, he thought. It was December 7, 1958, and Christmas was just around the corner. Not a time for a family to go missing. The Bormans remained on the couch, watching the officers.

“Mrs. Borman, who else might have a key to the house?”

“No one that I know of, but anyone could get in, the back door is never locked.”

Robert frowned; he turned and walked back to the kitchen. Maggie stood and followed him. He stood looking at the lock, a standard, turn knob with a button-slide, locking mechanism. Maggie reached past him toward the knob. Robert pushed her hand down, intercepting her reach.

“What!?” Maggie gasped.

“Fingerprints. If this door is normally unlocked, someone locked it. We will need to fingerprint the lock. We’ll need your prints to disqualify you, and we’ll have the others in the house. Anyone different, we will need to question them. I’m sorry I startled you.”

“That’s okay.”

He met Stan on the porch.

“What do you think?” Stan asked.

“Mrs. Borman said they never went anywhere overnight that they didn’t notify her first. It’s possible this might be the exception. Let’s question the neighbors and see what comes up.”

“I have a team already on it, though we are shorthanded if you want to help out.”

“Always ready to help, after all, this could be my department—homicide.”

Robert talked to the occupants in the house next to the Stevens and one person across the street. None had seen anything that morning or the day before. One family had been gone all day, and the other had sick children and hadn’t been outside.

~~~

“Hey, Robert, the chief wants you in his office right away.” Deputy Nate’s grin almost wrapped around his head as he made the announcement.

Robert ground his teeth and nodded at the young man. The kid must have his ear on the phone every moment.

At the office of Chief Arnold Gilmore, better known as Arnie, he rapped his knuckles firmly and waited for an answer.

“Come in,” the gruff voice called out.

Robert opened the door, but the chief was on the phone. The man waved him to a seat across from him and finished his conversation.

“Good to see you, Collins. What are you working on right now?” Chief Gilmore had a balding, round head with a few wisps of white hair that grew near his left ear and were pasted across the top of his head almost to his right ear. He had a barrel of a chest and a stomach that overshot his belt buckle if he had one on. He wore wide suspenders that crossed over at his shoulder blades.

“The usual, sir. Following mob bosses who show up in our city and have to submit to their haranguing the department to the media, who then make us look like fools.” He tried to keep the bitterness out of his voice, but he was sure the irony was not lost on the chief.

Arnie laughed. “Yes, I saw your picture in the paper this morning. Was that your arm or Jake’s?”

“Mine, sir.”

“Don’t worry about it. The hoopla’s over. The man you were watching was here to put a deal together to buy a plot of land on Sauvie Island. He planned to build a casino here. Wanted to build a little Las Vegas.” Robert frowned and leaned closer to ask if that had happened. Arnie continued. “No, it didn’t happen. It’s rained here for the past two weeks. The area he wanted to see is flooded with about a foot of water. He’d been heard to say, ‘Who would want to live in this godforsaken place, much less want to visit here?’ He had his dinner Sunday night with his boys and now is probably back in sunny Las Vegas.”

“For once, thank goodness for our rain.” Robert sighed.

“Yes, that might be true, but a casino would have brought in jobs and money to the community.”

Robert schooled his expression. He was against legalizing gambling. It was bad enough they had their own little organized crime gang running the city.

“Jobs. Yes, we would have had to hire more men, build bigger jails, and then you would have another corrupt department to clean up.”

This time Robert didn’t bother to hide his sarcasm. “Yes, we can be thankful that it isn’t going to happen. One cleanup was enough. I never want to go through that again.”

Robert had just become a deputy when someone sent large envelopes to the governor, the Oregonian, and the Journal. Inside were pictures, dates, and the names of cops who were on the take. The photos were so incriminating that there was nothing left for the governor to do but initiate a city-wide sweep. There were still officers and high officials who were on trial.

“Robert, I want you to work with Stan on this missing persons case. He specifically asked for you. You file a report regularly. That’s all.” Chief Gilmore dismissed Robert.

Walking down the hall to his office, Robert glanced at the men working. He wondered what they thought when they weren’t buried in police procedures. He’d felt some of their gazes as he passed them, conversations that suddenly stopped or seemed to change.

After the chief called them all in for a meeting and said there were going to be changes, he’d been apprehensive. He liked the chief and thought he did a good job. Then half the department disappeared. Older officers retired early or asked for a transfer. Some were indicted with criminal charges and the few left, like Jake Monroe, his friend, walked softly around some of those who remained. Not all of them agreed with the chief but knew their jobs were a thin line from being terminated.

About the Author – C.M. Weaver

I live and work in the Pacific Northwest. I’m married and take care of a challenged rescue dog, Ariel. I love writing, but don’t write in one particular genre. I do gravitate more to mysteries as I’m always asking “What if?”

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Book Release – Still Alive? by Melissa Woods

New Release Today! The second book in Melissa Wood’s thrilling new action adventure apocalypse series is now available in print! STILL ALIVE? by Melissa Woods is an exciting continuation to a series that readers are calling “binge-worthy,” and “thrilling.” Don’t like zombies? Maybe we can change your mind. Now’s the time to check out this series if you haven’t already. The first novel— ALIVE? —is currently available for FREE for a limited time in digital format!

Now available in print!

Turns out being half-dead is only half the problem. Still Alive? by Melissa Woods (The Alive Series, #2) Grab your copy: Amazon

Grab book #1 for free today!

Alive? Melissa Woods (The Alive Series, #1) Published by: Clean Teen Publishing Publication date: October 30th 2018 Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten. Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either. Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too… Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams. New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.

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Author Bio: Writer, primary school teacher, zompocalyptic obsessive. Melissa Woods is the author of ‘Alive?’, a young adult zombie adventure story, set for release on October 30th 2018. When she’s not writing or teaching, Melissa can usually be found walking her three dogs, playing video games, or, occasionally, spending time with her husband.

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Author Interview – Joseph Tamone

Fusion+World+rebootAbout the Book

CAN A SMALL TEAM OF UNTESTED SPECIALISTS SAVE THE WORLD?

20 years after a crushing defeat in the Universal War, Vyndral is a cold desolate wasteland. The remnants of the mighty Vyndral military scavenge the post-apocalyptic remains of the once great planet trying to stay alive.

When a way to reopen the portal to Rafia is discovered, Cein Colvak, the ruthless Vyndral leader, launches a devastating invasion. Rafia is caught by surprise and the capital of Vyloli falls. With thousands of hostages in the city, the Rafian military has its hands tied. 

When Vyndral starts to construct a diabolical weapon that can reduce Rafia to dust, a small untested team is assembled to stop Cein and save their homeworld. Pulling it off requires extraordinary skill, courage, and ultimately, sacrifice. Racing against the clock and facing incredible odds, do they have what it takes?

The first in a series from a fresh new voice in science fiction, Joseph Lewis Tamone, will take you on a thrilling adventure with twists, turns, and riveting action. 

Interview

What made you want to write sci-fi?

You can do a lot with science fiction.  You can create worlds that don’t exist, or technology that doesn’t exist yet.  You can incorporate fantasy elements into it and it’ll still be considered science fiction.  One of my favorite things to do is to incorporate existing mythology into science fiction, and I do that with Philanthropy.  Not so much with Fusion World, but with every proceeding book, I incorporate a bit of Greek mythology into the stories and making it based more in science rather than in religion. 

Science fiction is essentially a creative outlet to write pretty much any story that you want, and to be as imaginative as you want to be. 

Do you see sci-fi as a window to our future or, as it is titled, simply works of fiction?

A little bit of both.  I try not to go too overboard with the science in science fiction, just because you can only describe advanced technology so much.  I also try to base a lot of the technology on tech that already exists. 

I also try to get a sense of realism with advancements in technology.  For example, in Fusion World, the Rafian military are no longer using metal rounds in their guns, they’re using biodegradable polymer rounds.  The world is becoming more renewable and green and less reliant on non-degradable sources.  I feel like that’s the future, so that’s the direction I’m taking Rafia’s tech in. 

What kind of research did you have to do?

I did a bit of research on nuclear fallout and residual radiation.  It helped me to understand the plight of a people coming from a world devastated by nuclear war. 

I had to do a lot of research on helicopters and airplanes, because of the scene where a character sits down in a helicopter and remembers how to fly.  He knew how to fly, but I don’t, so I had to read up on it. 

One of my main characters is a doctor, but I’m not and I don’t have a background in anything medical related, so I did a bit of research on that part, and then passed it over to my wife for approval.  She’s an LVT, so she does have that medical background. 

Most of the stuff I wrote is straight from my imagination.   

What authors and/or books inspired your writing?

The greatest book series ever written is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.  That absolutely was a huge inspiration for my writing.  I got the idea for travel between dimensions from those books.  Sajaelar’s ability to shoot and never miss came from Roland Deschain’s ability to shoot and never miss.  The decision to have overly snarky and sarcastic characters like Vai and Sajaelar is a tribute to the best character from The Dark Tower, the overly snarky and sarcastic Eddie Dean. 

Much earlier on, I read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which introduces a device for slicing spacetime and creating portals to parallel worlds in the second book.  The Subtle Knife operates similarly to a Dark Orb, it’s just more mechanical than magical, and you don’t have to lose a couple fingers to use it. 

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

I’ve been told that Vai Kogan and Sajaelar Molaes are just amplified versions of me.  Leward Peltron is perpetually exhausted, and I wrote that into his character when I had really bad insomnia.  Edam Lavinski only drinks his coffee black.  I wrote that in because I only drink my coffee black.  So there’s little bits and pieces of my own personality traits, likes and dislikes peppered throughout the book. 

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

If I’m sitting down to write for an extended period of time, I’ll need a large hot cup of black coffee.  It helps me focus.  If I’m working on constructing dialogue, you’ll find me pacing around my living room talking to myself like a madman.  I also write out cliff notes for chapters in advance just so that I don’t lose focus in my writing.  I also need to see how the story ends before I can work on the beginning.  The story for Philanthropy spans another seven or so books, so that’s quite a bit of information and story development to consider when writing.  Every moment or bit of dialogue is leading to future moments or dialogue, there’s a lot of foreshadowing for future events, and certain elements from the first book are already setting up for things that don’t happen until book 4 and 5.   

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

I have a few projects I’m working on.  The follow up to Fusion World, called In The Shadow of the Demon is in production.  I’m already getting Philanthropy III and IV ready.  Gray Skies & Glass Lands and Leather Wings & The Seven Kings.  There’s about four more in the Philanthropy series, not including short stories and spin-offs that I have notes for. 

I have a fantasy trilogy I’m writing.  The first one is called The Hunter, The Killer, The Coward, And The Doofus, and the special thing about this story is that the characters are all based on the personalities of my pets, and other people’s pets that I know.

I had a Stephen King moment and dreamt up a story called Antherah, about a woman named Antherah.  I have a space adventure in the works called Omega the Corruptor, where we’ll meet an alien species called Badickerdacks.  And I’m also writing Harvey The Wyvern, the story about Harvey, the first wyvern to be employed by the United States Postal Service. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Take risks.  Nothing you do will ever get done if you don’t just go for it.  I second guess myself all the time when it comes to what I write, and you’re going to do that as an artist.  You’ll fixate on all your faults and your limitations.  I know I do, and I ended up sitting on Fusion World for seven years.  I finished the book, didn’t let anybody read it, and moved on to the next one.  Then I would go back and edit it, and I edited it about once a year, without actually doing anything with it.  And as soon as I worked to get it published and took that risk, it was picked up by Chandra Press.  And yeah, your writing probably isn’t going to be perfect, and that’s what editors are for, but you’re better than you think you are.

If you like what you wrote and put your heart and soul into it, your readers will see it.   

About the Author – Joseph Tamone

Joseph Lewis TamoneJoseph Lewis Tamone lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Despite getting a degree in Environmental Engineering, Joseph has always found an escape in his quirky imagination that lent its way to his passion for writing. Joseph is an avid animal lover and history buff. When he is not writing, he enjoys escaping into the world of video games, nature, and most importantly, reading and researching. He lives in Delaware with his lovely wife, Erica, and their house full of animals.

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