Interviews. Reviews. Book Announcements.


Dedicated to writers, readers, and lovers of Paranormal Mystery everywhere!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Color of Clouds with J. C. Whyte!




Today I have the good fortune to have an interview with author J.C. Whyte!

Brought to you by www.escapewithdollycas.com





Q:  How is the title meaningful to the book?

A:  The clouds mentioned in the title are not really clouds at all. And along with the colors, they cannot be seen by the physical eye. It all has to do with what takes place in the unseen dimension beyond our physical world. Yet the colorful clouds play a huge part in this story where two people become trapped in the unseen dimension.


Q:  How is the main character like you?

A:  There are actually six main characters on a cruise ship crossing the Pacific. These six are assigned to the same dining table each night and soon become friends. But during their crossing, a series of natural as well as unnatural events converge upon the characters to threaten their very lives. A seventh character – the narrator – doesn’t even have a life, at least not at the time of the story. He’s dead spirit guide Pedro who communicates through the psychic in their group.

The only character I may be somewhat like is Deanna, the wife of skeptical physicist Paul who constantly pooh-poohs the otherworldly talk of the psychic. Like Deanna, I’m married to a die-hard scientist who believes in the infallibility of his chosen profession. Yet unlike physicist Paul, my scientist is open to the possibility of what lies beyond the visible realm.



Q:  What would you do over again if you could on this book?

A: That’s an impossible question to answer right now. The Color of Clouds was only just released this past spring, so I’m still extremely happy with the book.

If anything, I might work a bit on the dialogue, since that’s always a bit tricky for me.



Q:  How important is the setting to the story?

A:  I chose to place this story on a cruise ship crossing the Pacific because the characters cannot escape to safety. Not even a helicopter can reach the ship in the middle of the vast ocean. So they all must deal with the circumstances presented.



Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  Nothing at the moment, sad to say. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer who waits until inspiration strikes. And at the moment, I’m too busy traveling and planning more travel to sit down and write. Hopefully, I’ll be including some of my travel adventures in an upcoming novel or two. That is, if and when the spirit next strikes.



J.C. Whyte discovered her love for writing while still in elementary school, creating children’s stories. But as an adult, J.C. had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So she earned degrees in both Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years she focused her creative energies into feature writing.

After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J. C. entered law school. While there, she became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of her humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.

Graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she has returned to where her life’s calling began, beginning in 2013 with publication of her children’s book Karmack and now in 2015 with her first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds.



 Buy links:




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dying with the Paranormal at Heart by Tj O'Connor


DYING FOR THE PAST








Dying With The Paranormal At Heart
By Tj O'Connor






Dying is not for the faint of heart. Neither is being a dead detective—a Ghost Gumshoe. In fact, it’s downright unusual. Bizarre. Confusing. Often, just… weird.

Huh?

Oliver “Tuck” Tucker is a dead detective—and often, a detective for the dead. In my first published series from Midnight Ink, Tuck is killed and returns to solve his own murder. What he doesn’t understand at first, is that his murder had to happen. It was ordained. There were victims waiting for him who needed him to solve their crimes, too. So, as the Ghost Gumshoe—a moniker I’m not entirely thrilled about (and neither is Tuck)—Tuck and his history professor wife, Angel, and his former partner Bear Braddock, solve murders. Oh, and Hercule helps, too. He’s Tuck’s dog—a black Lab with a nose for spirits and bad guys.

You see, Tuck has a gift. He can work with the living for the dead. For those wronged spirits—those murdered whose killers never faced justice—Tuck has become the detective for the dead. And, for his cases, there is no statute of limitations—in this lifetime or before.

With each of Tuck’s cases, my stories offer three important elements. First, there is the traditional murder that begins the case—Tuck’s murder in Dying to Know; a mysterious philanthropist in Dying for the Past; and in the upcoming Dying to Tell, the murder of a reclusive banker. There are historical subplots involving murders in years past—often decades past. In Dying to Know, Tuck chases a killer with connections to a Civil War gravesite and missing teenage girls from fifty years past. In Dying for the Past, Tuck searches for a 1939 gangster’s journal with the keys to crime families and spy rings in Washington DC. And, in Dying to Tell, there’s a World War II Egyptian treasure trove and German spies everywhere. And, finally, the current murder and the historical subplot all collide at the end to twist into a larger plot that connects the two. I don’t want to give away the endings so I won’t go into those details!

And how, might you ask, does Tuck and his partners solve murders from the distant past—Civil War graves? 1930’s gangsters? World War II spies? Easy. It’s the paranormal twist I add to each novel.

You see, being a dead detective is not offering up a ghost story. No. Tuck’s stories are traditional murder mysteries with a paranormal twist. Tuck uses some interesting skills in his living-challenged world to reach in and out of history to find clues and chase his killers.

For Tuck, being back among the living and not really one of them is a challenge. Not everyone can see or hear him. Those who can came by this connection very hard. It took an emotional connection—and sometimes a perilous one. And it’s the emotional side of Tuck’s existence that connects him to the dead. It’s their pain and their demand for justice that connects with Tuck and moves the stories forward.

Tuck learns more and more about his abilities with each book. At first, he’s just coming to grips with his new existence. He must learn to connect with people—whether they realize he’s doing it or not. Then he must learn what strange skills he has and how to use them to solve the murders. For instance, early on, Tuck learns that it’s emotions—hate, fear, love—that bind him to the world. And it’s those emotions that form the nexus between the historical murder he’s trying to solve and the modern one before him. Often, the dead seek him out and tell their own stories—not directly, mind you—but with snippets of their past and clues here and there. Tuck can often touch someone’s personal object—a ring, a necklace, letters, etc.—and he’s flashed to a place and time where something meaningful has happened in the case—a murder scene, a witness’s viewpoint, perhaps a lead on the suspects. Unfortunately for Tuck, the vignettes are not always clear. And they’re not always meaningful until the rest of his case plays out. His trips into the past and present taunt him and pull him through his investigation but never really lead him to the killer. Not until it’s time.

Then, wham. The historical murder collides with the present-day and the sparks start flying.

Tuck’s skills are not without error, however. He doesn’t have the gift of clairvoyance and has no claim to a crystal ball. Instead, it’s like watching an old movie that’s been damaged by the years.  Sometimes the clues are there. Sometimes they’re missing. Sometimes what he sees is real—and sometimes it leads him down the wrong path. But always they have meaning. He just isn’t sure he likes it!

And Tuck has some help along the way, too. In each book, we learn more about Tuck’s family past. He grew up in foster care and never knew his family. Now, though, he’s learning that being a ghost is hereditary. He just isn’t sure he likes it. With each story, Tuck’s family lore comes out and tells the story of how Oliver Tucker and his family have been integrally linked to crime and adventure for generations. And not always on the right side of the law, either.

So for Tuck—who really tells the story, not me—it’s his life and death that make the mysteries. And to connect all the dots from past to present, he has a few paranormal tricks up his sleeves to bind history—and the killers—together.

But in the end, it’s the living, not the dead, who are most dangerous.




Tj O’CONNOR IS THE 2015 GOLD MEDAL WINNER OF THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS BOOK AWARDS FOR MYSTERIES and the author of Dying to Know and Dying for the Past, available in books stores and e-books from Midnight Ink. His third paranormal mystery, DYING TO TELL, will be released January 2016. He is currently working on a traditional mystery and a new thriller. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York's Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Lab companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also a Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award finalist.

Learn about Tj’s world at:

Web Site:  www.tjoconnor.com



Monday, June 1, 2015

A Watery Death by Joyce and Jim Lavene




A Watery Death
By Joyce and Jim Lavene
Missing Pieces Mystery #8
www.joyceandjimlavene.com 

It’s the Fourth of July weekend in Duck, North Carolina and twenty-thousand visitors are on hand to enjoy the parade, the festivities – and learn about the murder of Captain Bill Lucky.

Lucky is the captain of the new gambling ship, Andalusia II, which is modeled after the famous ghost ship that haunts the small town on the Outer Banks.

Whispers of unusual sea creatures surround Lucky’s death.  It isn’t the first time that mermaids have been seen in Duck, but it’s the first time one of them has been accused of murder.

Mayor Dae O’Donnell has her hands full with setting up the parade, convincing her friend Trudy she shouldn’t call off her wedding, and getting her shop, Missing Pieces, ready for the summer crowd.  

Dae doesn’t ask to be involved in Lucky’s death, but she can’t ignore it. 

If someone from the sea isn’t his killer, who is? And will he or she strike again to lay the blame on the town’s watery visitors?


REVIEWS
“Fourth of July Weekend in Duck, Parades, festivities and Captain Lucky is murdered. Who would have wanted the captain of the gambling ship dead......was it a mermaid/merman who killed him? You have to read this book for yourself to find out. Wonderful story, with characters that I have grown to care about. Can't wait for the next one!!” ~ Amy Connolley

“Readers will find themselves drawn into the investigation of the death. Throw in a little ghostly activity, the promise of a pirates’ treasure, and the reader will be hooked.” ~ Fresh Fiction

“As is typical with the Lavenes’ cozy mysteries, this one is filled with likable (if eccentric) characters and boasts a vividly realized small-town setting. The combination of small-town ambience, a psychic main character, and plenty of antiques should give the authors plenty to work with in subsequent adventures.” ~ Booklist

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery by E. Hepner




Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery
Written to Death Mysteries Book 1
Kindle Edition
E. Hepner



Ainsley Moss never thought she’d become a representative for the dead. But as a newbie obituary writer for the Aurora Fall’s Guardian, she gets a sneak peek at her new profession. Her ex-best friend and rival newspaper worker turns up blue and stiff as a board in the women’s bathroom—after they’ve had a less than civil confrontation.

Ainsley’s in the habit of memorializing the dead, not finding them. But now she’s saddled with a motive for murder—killing to drum up obituaries in order to further her career in a dying newspaper business where everything is going digital.

When another victim meets his maker with a connection to the first victim, Ainsley has to make nice with a hard ass, bombshell Detective who’s dead set on closing the case or risk the calm of their cozy town. Ainsley’s charming, ex-boyfriend turned roommate Gage Sullivan comes to her aid as they throw themselves into deadly research. Every obituary interview brings them that much closer to finding a killer connection. While fighting her new rep as a prime suspect, her matchmaking, Stepford mother is intent on keeping her daughter’s dirty laundry under wraps and her sex addicted wealthy grandparents want to buy her way out of jail. Or at least help her learn how to make a shiv.


None too thrilled with the idea of making friends with a cell mate named Betty the Bruiser, she’ll wade knee deep into a cesspool of the town’s secrets, gossip, and lies. But with a whacky cast of characters hell bent on keeping the peace, no bit of personal information is sacred. They have to find a killer—before Ainsley loses her freedom and her chance to make peace with a fate that scares her more than anything else in life.

Meet the Author 
E. Hepner is the cozy mystery pen name of erotica and erotic romance author Elise Hepner. She writes small town heroines with an alternative edge put in big time situations where death, hijinks, and overall shenanigans ensue on a daily basis. Also a little romance--which they may or may not be ready for, given the pile up of dead bodies. When not thinking about corpses and trickery she's planted in front of the TV petting her demanding cat or looking up things on Google that she really doesn't want on her internet history.

Available at: 
http://www.amazon.com/Deadlines-Written-Death-Mystery-1/dp/1503254402/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1433079793&sr=8-2&keywords=a+written+to+death+mystery 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bubba Done It By Maggie Toussaint






I'm welcoming talented author Maggie Toussaint to my Paranormal Mysteries Blog today. Her new book is Bubba Done It - an unlikely title for a paranormal mystery but Maggie's Dreamwalker Mysteries are great!

Welcome to my paranormal mystery blog, Maggie!


1. Bubba Done It is the second book in your Dreamwalker Mysteries. Please give us a brief synopsis of the story.

Thanks for the warm welcome, Joyce! I’m delighted to be here at Writers and Readers of Paranormal Mystery. My newest book, Bubba Done It, is both paranormal and cozy. Amateur sleuth Baxley Powell, a woman who talks to the dead in her dreams, now has an “in” with the cops and is a bona fide police consultant. Baxley and the sheriff are summoned to a crime scene arriving just in time to hear the dying banker confess who stabbed him: Bubba Done It.

While the sheriff believes he can solve this homicide in a day or two, Baxley knows their town is full of Bubbas. Among the top 5 suspects is her screw-up brother-in-law, Bubba Powell. She’s known this Bubba all his life, and he wouldn’t hurt a flea, would he? Turns out he’s seeing the dead man’s estranged wife. Suddenly everything gets more complicated for Baxley.

She dreamwalks to talk to the dead guy, but a scary entity has taped his mouth shut. Said entity shows up throughout the book, needling Baxley and finally helping her when her dad goes AWOL on the Other Side. Meanwhile, Baxley and the sheriff sift through the Bubbas’ lives.  The top suspects are a down-on-his-luck fisherman, a crackhead evangelist, a politically-connected investor, and her brother in-law. Each Bubba had a combination of means, motive, and opportunity to want to get rid of the banker.

Baxley gets distracted by a cold case, that of the dead man’s missing niece. She wonders if the two cases are connected and tries to prove it while she’s also pet sitting and landscaping, her other day jobs. The banker’s funeral arrives, and the funeral reception is marred by a food fight as the Bubbas feel the heat of the investigation.
The screws tighten, and Baxley’s life is on the line. Will she find the killer before he takes her out of the picture?

2.  How do you come up with your titles?

Titles are very important to me. I’d like to say that I have an organized process for selecting a title, but I don’t want to mislead you. I’ve now published 13 books, and of those, only one title was modified by a publisher, and that was to add the comma in Death, Island Style.

Brainstorming helps. I jot down ideas for titles as they come to me. Every possibility seems brilliant when I write them down. It takes several days for me to figure out which title is right for the book. My first mystery series was about an accountant, and coins factored in all the titles: In For a Penny, On the Nickel, and Dime If I Know.

This book was always going to be Bubba Done It. Once the idea settled in my head, I got right to work on writing the book. I need the right title before I can get started.

3. Are you ever worried that your books are too ‘Southern’ to have a large audience?

Sure, I worry about this, but then I think about Margaret Mitchell. She wrote Gone With The Wind very Southern, and most everyone has heard of her book. I enjoy writing Southern because I am Southern. This type of story comes the most naturally to me. Initially, I wrote other books set in Maryland that weren’t as Southern, but I love the challenge of writing every woman stories into my fiction. The Southern part comes across as my branding, which works for me.

4. Please describe your writing process.

You would ask this ((grin)). I started out writing as an outliner, then I tried winging a few books. Painful lesson learned: winging it means side trips to nowhere and lots of rewriting. Now I have major plot points I write to. Once I start a book, I set word count goals for each week. Mornings are my golden power hours.

5. Please tell us something about yourself and how you relate to this book.

I’m of the generation that started out with no television, though TV quickly became a staple in our household. In our rural Southern community, we only received three stations, and they all went off the air at midnight when I was a kid.

My aunts, uncles, cousins, and the entire neighborhood valued oral story telling. I literally grew up at the knees of fabulous story tellers. The best stories were of disasters and scariness. Ghosts were a frequent character in the stories, and several relatives claimed to see ghosts.

I soaked it all in like a sponge. I don’t consider myself to be psychic though I sometimes get “a feeling” about this, that, or the other. In Bubba Done It, I live vicariously through Baxley’s adventures on this side of the dirt and the other. For me, it’s a matter of parsing together Christian teaching, a belief in life after death, a lifetime of interest in the paranormal, and making up stuff to make it all work out. I love this job!

6. What do you do to celebrate a new book coming out?

Book launches! I have branched out from the local booksignings I do to include Facebook parties, blog tours like this Great Escapes Blog Tour, special edition newsletters, library mailings, and blitzing all my social media. Contests and giveaways increase interest as does cool swag. Dinner out is a nice touch, as well.

7. Do you have any input into the covers?

Absolutely. Every publisher I’ve ever worked with had cover input sections in their guidelines packets. I’ve been very pleased with the cover artists I’ve had. Three of my backlist titles, which are now in Kindle format, I reissued and created the covers for. The process is time consuming, and it really made me appreciate a good cover artist all the more.

8. What is your dream review?

One that goes viral and thousands of people buy my books. The dream review would truthfully make my books sound like the best thing since sliced bread, and it would be posted where lots of people would encounter it.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’m not a huge traveler, but I have spent some time overseas and some time seeing the sights in the U.S. For nearly 30 years, I lived in Maryland, returning to Georgia about ten years ago. Again, not a vast amount of travel experience, but just enough to know that I wouldn’t live anywhere else but coastal Georgia. There is no place like home.

10. What are you working on now?

Another mystery! I’ve got a total of four books written in my Dreamwalker mystery series and only three books in my Cleopatra Jones mystery series. Seemed like I should spend more time with Cleo, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

Thanks so much for having me, Joyce.



Bubba Done It is available in hardcover format at online retailers. The ebook (digital) format of the book will show up on those book pages as well for you folks who prefer digital books.

Bubba Done It at Amazon

Bubba Done It at Barnes and Noble




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blood Gifted by Tima Marie Lacoba




Bloodgifted (The Dantonville Legacy Book 1) 
By Tima Maria Lacoba


Being unable to age is only the beginning.

Laura Dantonville is shocked to learn her strange genetic mutation, is linked to a dark family secret—a centuries-old curse that turned her Roman ancestor into a vampire. Now that she has come of age, she is the key to breaking that curse. But she’s also the prey of rogue vampires who inhabit the city’s frightening and violent underworld, as her blood gives them the ability to daywalk. For her protection she’s assigned a guardian—the handsome, sexy and dangerous Alec Munro—who wants nothing to do with her.

If not for her family, Alec Munro would never have been transformed into a vampire. He owes them nothing, yet he also knows his own fated role in breaking the curse, and the unthinkable consequences should he not accept.

To the Brethren, the ending of the curse spells disaster. Among a powerful few malice grows.


Bio for Tima Maria Lacoba


Tima Maria Lacoba is a paranormal, urban fantasy romance writer, who loves to include a bit of history, a bit of suspense and lots of thrills in her books. Her Dantonville Legacy Series--although set in modern-day Sydney--spans a two-thousand year period, and the ending of an ancient curse.

Both Bloodgifted and Bloodpledge, the first two books in the series, were in Amazon's Top 100 in Gothic Romance. Bloodgifted was also awarded 4th place in the Atlas Award, and Top Ten in the annual Choclit Competition.

Tima lives on the Central Coast, an hour's drive north of Sydney in Australia in a little house surrounded by bushland, possums and seed-dropping Rosellas on one side, and waterways on the other.

Prior to that she was a practicing archaeologist, having worked on some amazing digs around the world. After several years in the field she was drawn to teaching and ended up as Head of History in a local high school. It enabled her to take her students overseas to visit various archaeological sites in Europe and Britain. It was a way for her to combine her love of history with travel, and share it with others. On one tour, in Italy, she managed to indulge her other passion--gelato ice cream.

Nowadays, when not working in her garden, Tima's writing and plotting the next series of books.

Sign up if you'd like to be the first to hear about any news from The Dantonville Legacy - NEW releases, teaser excerpts or giveaways: http://timamarialacoba.blogspot.com.au/
I promise not to share your email, or spam you as I send out my newsletter only quarterly.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dead Girl Blues By Joyce and Jim Lavene





Dead Girl Blues



A Taxi for the Dead Novel
By Joyce and Jim Lavene

By the National Bestselling Authors of Broken Hearted Ghoul and Dae’s Christmas Past

When Nashville cop Skye Mertz and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself.

But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died.

Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse.

To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance.

Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.


Praise for the fantasy mysteries of Joyce and Jim Lavene:

Missing Pieces Mysteries:
“Paranormal amateur sleuth fans will enjoy observing Dae use cognitive and ESP mental processes to uncover a murderer…Readers will enjoy.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Renaissance Faire Mysteries
 “Murderous Matrimony is the first book Ren Faire Mysteries that I have read. It is not only a cozy mystery, but full of surprises. It is charming, silly, fantasy, history, romantic, haunted and crazy. You are not sure what to believe is real, and what parts are not.  The characters are a variety of fun and crazy people. They have wizards, a fortune teller, and more fun characters waiting for you in every chapter.” ~ R. Laney

Retired Witches Mysteries:

“A delightful premise, a couple of enchanting protagonists, and cats as essential familiars . . . It is a promising series for urban fantasy and paranormal mystery readers.”—Library Journal


Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction and urban fantasy as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Penguin, Amazon, and Simon and Schuster along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com.


Book One in the Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries:

Broken Hearted Ghoul


Friday, April 3, 2015

Plagued by Quilt by Molly MacRae





The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, published by Penguin/NAL. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990. After twenty years in northeast Tennessee, Molly lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois.






Yarn shop owner Kath Rutledge is at a historic farm in Blue Plum, Tennessee, volunteering for the high school program Hands on History. But when a long-buried murder is uncovered on the property, Kath needs help from Geneva the ghost to solve a crime that time forgot . . .

Kath and her needlework group TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) are preparing to teach a workshop at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm, but their lesson in crazy quilts is no match for the crazy antics of the assistant director, Phillip Bell. Hamming it up with equal parts history and histrionics, Phillip leads an archaeological dig of the farm’s original dump site—until one student stops the show by uncovering some human bones.

When a full skeleton is later excavated, Kath can’t help but wonder if it’s somehow connected to Geneva, the ghost who haunts her shop, and whom she met at this very site. After Phillip is found dead, it’s up to Kath to thread the clues together before someone else becomes history.

Blurb for series:
The Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries follow the adventures of Kath Rutledge, a textile preservation specialist, who inherits her grandmother’s fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee, finds herself investigating murder with a group of avid needlework artists called TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber), and ends up with a depressed ghost on her hands. Kath inherits a couple of other things she never expected – her grandmothers secret dye journals and an odd ability to “feel” a person’s emotions by touching a piece of clothing.


Excerpt from Plagued by Quilt:

Chapter 1

“But where will we find the real story? Where will we find the dirt? Where . . .” The end of Phillip Bell’s question disappeared as he paced the stage in the small auditorium at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm, hands behind his back. The two dozen high school students in his audience tracked his movements like metronomes. I watched from the door, where I could see their faces.
Phillip, who couldn’t have been ten years older than the youngest student, screwed his face into a puzzle of concentration as he continued pacing. He brought one hand from behind his back to stroke the neat line of beard along his chin. If he hadn’t been dressed in a mid-nineteenth-century farmer’s heavy brogues, brown cotton trousers, linen blouse, and wide-brimmed felt hat, he would have looked like a freshly minted junior professor. The students’ reactions to him were as entertaining as Phillip himself.
Without warning, Phillip jerked to a stop, swiveled to face the students and flung his arms wide. “Where?” he asked. “Where are the bodies buried?”
Startled, the teens in the front row jumped back in their seats. The boy nearest me recovered first. He slouched back down on his spine, stretching his long legs out so his feet rested against the edge of the stage. He smirked at his neighbor, then turned the smirk to Phillip.
“In the cemet—” the boy started to say.
Phillip flicked the answer away. “No, no, no. Not the cemetery. Boring places. Completely predictable.”
“Unlike Phillip Bell,” a woman’s voice said behind my left ear. “Full of himself, isn’t he? What a showman.”
I glanced over my shoulder to smile at Nadine Solberg. She’d crossed the carpeted hall from her office without my noticing. She didn’t return my smile. She was watching Phillip as raptly as the students and gave no indication that she expected an answer to her comment. I turned back to watch, too.
“No,” Phillip said to the students, “there’s someplace better than cemeteries. That’s beside the fact that no living Holston—or anyone else—is going to let us dig up his sainted Uncle Bob Holston or Aunt Millie Holston from the family cemetery. And you can bet that is chiseled in stone. Not chiseled on a gravestone, though.” The students laughed until they realized Phillip wasn’t laughing, too. When their laughs died, he turned and stared at the boy who’d brought up cemeteries. “You aren’t a Holston, are you?”
The boy started to open his mouth, then opted for a head shake. Under Phillip’s continued stare, the long legs retracted and the boy dropped his gaze to the open notebook in his lap.
Phillip looked around the room. “Are any of you Holstons? Last name? Unfortunate first name? Anyone with a suspicious H for a middle initial?”
Students shook their heads, looked at each other.
“Just as well,” Phillip said. “The Holston clan might not like what I’m about to tell you. Have you got your pencils ready? Take this down. Two words. Two beautiful words describing some of the most interesting places on earth. Some of my favorite places. Much less predictable than cemeteries.” He turned a pitying look on the formerly smirking boy. “And that makes them so much better than cemeteries. Where are we going to find the real stories? Two words. Garbage dump. Yes sir, I love a good old garbage dump. ‘Old’ being the operative word.”
“Will your ladies and a crazy quilt be able to compete with Phillip and his garbage dump?” Nadine asked in my ear.
“I think we can hold our own, although ‘crazy’ might be the operative word in our case. Is Phillip always ‘on’ like this?” We watched as he described the contents of a nineteenth-century household dump in loving detail.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Interview with author of Echoes, PJ Roscoe



Echoes
By P J Roscoe

Bronwen Mortimer moves to a quiet village near Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England in the hope of starting a new life after suffering years of abuse, but the echoes of the land refuse to lie quietly and when Bronwen witnesses a horrific murder, she must face her past and win to have any chance of living in the present.

Moving between present day and 15th century England when Henry Tudor claimed the throne. There were many casualties of war, but some refuse to be forgotten.

Winner of best e-book in the Paris book festival 2013 and awarded an Honourable Mention in both the London and New England book awards 2014/2012

An interview with PJ Roscoe

What made you think about writing  this book?

I first began ‘Echoes’ over seventeen years ago following the death of my son who died at birth. I was sitting alone in my kitchen not knowing how I was going to get through the day when I picked up a pencil and began doodling on a scrap bit of paper. Words formed and I went in search of more paper. By the end of the day I’d written a short paranormal story. Over the next few weeks it grew into a book that I titled ‘Ruined Echoes’ but over the years I shortened it and I think it works better for the story.

It was inevitable that I’d write something paranormal as it’s been a huge part of my life since I was a young child as I ‘played’ with a poltergeist! Thought it was normal and everyone had an invisible friend that could move stuff and slam doors! I was never frightened and as I grew I found that I could feel ghosts and spirits and over the years I have helped many. All of my stories at school were always in the supernatural genre, so I guess it was inevitable.

Who are some of your favorite  authors and why?

My favourite authors are Barbara Erskine, Diana Gabaldon and lately I’ve found another wonderful author, Rachel Hore. A local bookshop gave a review of ‘Echoes’ that said ‘This book is perfect for Barbara Erskine fans as it captures both the supernatural and the historical elements perfectly and combines them together to create a story that will keep you turning the pages’.

I was blown away and contacted the bookshop to thank her and explained that I read Barbara Erskine, to which she laughed and said, “I can tell!” I love the combining the history and the paranormal elements in my stories as do all of my favourite authors. I find their books flow really well and are not too overly descriptive!

I like to keep some chance of imagination to step in and I find these authors give just enough. Diana Gabaldon has been with me for over twenty years since I first read ‘Cross Stitch’. I have read it over and over, usually every other year and now they have dramatised it – which was a very emotional time for me! Would they get the characters right? Yes they did!

I found Rachel Hore on Goodreads and we’ve become friends there. I read her book ‘A place of Secrets’ last month (February) and hated putting it down. Very similar to Barbara Erskine, but with just a glimmer of supernatural in this book, but a great mystery and the historical aspect was brilliant.

What are you working on now?

I have just finished working on a collection of faerie stories for 5-7 year olds that I wrote for my daughter many years ago and put them away until recently. Out of the thirteen written I’ve chosen four and together with an artist who works with nature and watercolour, we’ve just launched ‘Adventures of Faerie folk’ on Amazon. I will be putting together the next collection to come out later in the year.

I am also working on my third and fourth novels ‘Where Rivers Meet’ and ‘In-between Worlds’ though it is the latter that is winning my attention so I think that one will come out first. Both are paranormal/historical novels of course and I have recently finished the first draft of both.

‘In-between Worlds’ is set near Hadriens Wall Northumberland. A young woman, Emily Rogers has been found next to the headless corpse of a security guard. Bloodied and traumatised, Emily refuses to speak and is placed in a secure hospital until her guilt can be established. Meanwhile the only clue is the murder weapon, an ancient sword from the 6th century in perfect condition.

Dr Marian Griffiths is convinced Emily is hiding something and through hypnotic therapy a story begins to unravel of time travel back to the dark ages when a Roman commander named Artorius fought the Saxons and the legend of King Arthur was born, but that is impossible and yet, how did Emily get hold of the sword that experts say is both authentic and one of its kind?
Is Emily mad, or has she indeed been pulled back into the past?

I won’t tell you, you have to wait and see!

What do you like about writing  paranormal?

I love writing about things that have been around all of my life, in fact, ghosts, poltergeists, spirits, past lives, time slips, Angels, faeries, demons, all of these paranormal occurrences have been with us since we began recording them and yet, it seems like we have barely come forward very far in understanding them.

People are becoming more spiritual, I see it more and more in my other work as a holistic therapist and in my healing groups that I put on. People are finally starting to connect to energy, to spirit, their own and others and sometimes it feels like science is like a petulant child as it defiantly tries to prove they are right and everyone else is just wishful thinking! When in fact, sometimes you just have to believe and go with your gut instincts as our ancestors did without question.

The paranormal is such a wide and wonderful array of energy and we are all connected to it, so for me it’s the genre I feel most happy with writing about. It’s like writing about an old friend! I do sometimes step out of my comfort zone and write short stories and articles about other stuff – generally 

I keep my articles humourous and mainly write for ‘The News in Books’ website. But I have two stories in Anthologies. One is out now ‘Love Alters’ and is anthologies of true love stories, available on Amazon. I wrote about my true love ‘Martin’ and it’s titled ‘Inevitable Love’. My other short story is part of a collection of stories on time titled ‘Steps in Time’ due out later this year by Crimson Cloak publishing and my story it titled’ Time goes by ...’

What's  the hardest thing about writing ?

Time! It is always against me and I just can’t type fast enough! I can only work when my daughter is at school as she has Autism and Dyspraxia so obviously when home, she has my full attention. I also work at a local spa and hold various healing workshops throughout the year, so my life is already busy but I try to find a few hours a day to do writing if I can stop myself from getting sucked into the hundreds of e-mails and FB messages I receive every day!

I’ve never had writer's block and so far my head is running ten to the dozen with idea for a few more books and faerie stories. My husband also came up with a fantastic idea for a book, which I think would make a fabulous film, so it’s something that’s ticking over in the back of my head. The hardest thing is also looking back at what I’ve written, switching off! I’m always thinking, researching, writing down scenes and idea’s for other stories but it’s my birthday on the 5th March so I’ve promised to be good and have a day off!!



Bio of P.J Roscoe
Paula lives in North Wales with her husband of twenty-one years, their daughter, three cats and Sidney the dog. She is the award-winning author of ‘Echoes’ and ‘Freya’s Child’ both are available on Amazon and local bookshops. Paula is a spiritual lady who walks in nature every day, loves to dance and sing and explore history. She is most happiest surrounded by beloved family and friends usually with a glass of something! She lives by the quote written in the novel ‘Echoes’
“Live life, never merely exist.”

Paula can be found throughout the internet:
Twitter @derwenna1


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Author Toni Lo Tempio paranormal books

As T.C. LoTempio Toni pens the Nick and Nora mystery series for Penguin, but as Toni LoTempio she has several paranormals published via Amazon.





No Rest for the Wicca
Communing with the dead is an everyday occurrence for PI Morgan Hawkes. A half-Wiccan witch who can commune with spirits of those caught between worlds, Morgan uses her talents to exorcise the trapped ghost or demon as part of the Paranormal Investigation Squad – until a string of murders with a voodoo slant prompts the Special Forces Agency to ask for her assistance. Someone’s killing pure blood witches- and the SFA’s convinced Morgan’s heritage (her father was a voodoo priest) could be instrumental in solving the mystery. Teamed with dashing SF agent Cole St. John – an Inheritor Vampire that sets her blood racing – the two of them fight their attraction for each other as they race to stop a madman from unleashing a demonic force upon the world.






Raven’s Kiss
Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to shape shifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant hell hounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a hell hound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…





Raven’s Quest –a Novella
Shapeshifter Raven Grace and her psychic lover, Finn McPhee, are back, traveling to parallel time in search of a demonic klller.


All books are available at Amazon or can be ordered from the author’s website, www.tclotempio.com


Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Garish Ghost and Blueberry Jam by Jennifer Fischetto





One Garish Ghost and Blueberry Jam



Interview with Jennifer Fischetto

1 - What do you enjoy about writing paranormal fiction?

I love the freedom that a fictional world gives. I have flexibility with my world's rules, and that's a lot of fun. Plus, I love the supernatural and the "what ifs" of ghosts, witches, time travel and other paranormal phenomenon. It's exciting. :)

2 - Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I love my lead, Gianna. She has a goofy side that I find refreshing and a lot of fun to write. She doesn't take herself seriously. She's not overly concerned about appearances or how she comes across to others, which allows her to have the freedom of acting silly. And she has a super close, loving, and loyal family. She'd do anything for them.

3 - What are you working on right now?

I am writing book 4 of the Jamie Bond Mysteries, with Gemma Halliday.

4 - Have you ever had a paranormal experience? If yes, please elaborate.

When I was between 3 and 5, I was lying on the top of my toy chest. One side was close to the wall, and I allowed my arms to hang over the sides. It wasn't that wide of a box. My left arm was between the box and wall, and I felt someone grip my hand. I don't recall what happened next, but I assume I got scared, lol, because I remember crying to my mom. She tried to play it off as not a big deal (she definitely believes in the paranormal) and told me that it must've been one of my dolls. But I knew none of them could move, and I definitely felt someone close their hand around my fingers.

5 - What has your experience as an author been like so far? Easy? Hard? Different than you thought? 
Something you'd never do again?

I've been writing since I was a child. I still recall my first original short story in 8th grade, with its own construction paper cover. haha When I started writing seriously though, I assumed I'd sit at my computer and the words would flow from my brain through my fingers, and the pages would fly by. Excuse me while I laugh uncontrollably for a moment. :)

I learned that most of the time it is very hard. It's like walking uphill in a foot of fresh, firm, packed snow in slippers. It's cold, I'm all alone, and I forgot my ski poles at home. But then some days you get to sit at the top of the hill and slide back down on a totally shiny, cool sled and you know there's hot cocoa waiting below. Despite it being so much harder than I ever imagined though, I wouldn't do anything else. :)

6 - Please share your favorite line from the book.

Oh wow, that's hard. I have more than one from the same scene. Taken out of context it isn't nearly as much fun, so I'll write the whole paragraph, but my favorite is the last line:

Izzy perches halfway in and halfway out of the window in some delicate dancer-type pose. She took ballet as a child. I colored with my box of 96 Crayolas. I don't think Burnt Sienna could've helped with my landing.


--
Jennifer Fischetto


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Choices: Make Me Paranormal Book 1 by Cora Maxine





Title: Choices: Make Me Paranormal Book 1
Author: Cora Maxine
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 206
Price: $2.99

Description:

I always wondered which paranormal being I would choose to be, but never thought I'd be forced to make the decision.

As an urban fantasy author, Jupiter Hayes knows all about the things that go bump in the night, but she never dreamed that those beings could be real.

Summoned to a secret paranormal facility within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Jupiter finds out that not only are these beings real, but she's destined to become one of them.

Soon she's cut off from the life she once knew as she spends time getting to know each society in need of new members. But, some of those societies may be a better fit than others, due to her own bloodline.

Throw in a sexy vampire and a gorgeous warlock and it's easy to see that Jupiter Hayes has some tough choices to make.


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

I always wondered which paranormal being I would choose to be, but never thought I'd be forced to make the decision.


I rubbed my eyes and tried to let them adjust to the room. Though my eyes adjusted quickly, my brain didn't. I wasn't sure where I was, but I was certain I had been kidnapped by someone from the 100 Acre Wood. The bear, rabbit, or pig had some explaining to do. The walls of the room honestly made it appear as if the room was created inside a hollowed out tree. As I raised my hand to touch the wall, there came a gentle knock on the door and an old woman peeped around the opening.

“Oh good, you're awake,” she said coming into the room and closing the door gently behind her. I guessed her age to be around late 60s or early 70s. She had her white hair up in a bun and was wearing a light brown dress that cinched at the waist, but did nothing for her figure. “I'm sure you have many questions, including why you're here.”

Actually, I had been wondering how I got here. I was a very light sleeper and someone shouldn't have been able to move me without waking me.

“All the answers will come in good time, my dear.” She smiled sweetly and clasped her hands together in front of her body, looking quite harmless. “First, why don't you freshen up a bit? Everything you need is in the bathroom, including a fresh set of clothing. Once you're done, I'll be down the path, in the room on your right.”

Something inside nagged at me that I should thank the woman, but another part of me was still in shock about the whole situation so I just stared at her.

“Well, I'll just be going.” And she was gone. Either my eyes hadn't properly adjusted or that woman was damn fast because people don't just disappear...do they? I guess if a stuffed bear could pull off a high-stakes kidnapping, old ladies could also disappear.

Wow, I was really beginning to lose it.

As I climbed from the bed, I found a pair of fuzzy slippers anxiously waiting for my feet. The interior of the slippers was warm and upon standing I found that they were lined with memory foam. It was like walking on air. As I walked past the mirror, I noticed that I must have gotten taller or the furniture was shorter. Then I noticed my feet in the mirror.

“Holy...,” I said as my hand flew to my mouth. I was floating at least six inches above the floor. I immediately kicked the slippers across the room, ran into the bathroom, and locked the door.  I stood there for a second feeling relieved, but then I just felt stupid for running from a pair of slippers. I carefully peeked out the bathroom door and saw the slippers gliding back into place, at the side of the bed. “Eek!” I closed the door back and stumbled backwards into the toilet, which made me scream even louder.

I sat there, on the toilet, slowly trying to gain control over my emotions. Last night had been my 29th birthday party, and while I'm not a drinker, someone must have slipped something into my sweet tea. I rubbed face with both hands and just sat there for a few minutes.

Obviously, I was having a vivid dream. Damn melatonin. Vivid dreams were a common side effect of the medication, but without it, I couldn't sleep at all.

I pulled my hands from my face and stared at the wooden wall before me. I have to admit, my imagination was still in top form. The room looked so real and every detail was perfect. I reached out to touch the wall and it even felt like real wood.

The bathroom was huge for a hollowed out tree. There was a separate Jacuzzi tub and a large shower with a rainfall shower head and numerous jets. Pretty fancy for the forest.

I couldn't help but succumb to the giggle fit that followed. It might have been just a dream, but I was feeling extremely nervous. It was time for this to end. I pinched myself hard enough to leave an angry red spot on my arm. Nothing. I was still lost in the forest. A yellow stuffed bear in a small red shirt had some 'splaining to do, but first I needed to take a shower.



Buy Link:



Author Bio:

Cora Maxine lives in Western North Carolina and uses the towns around her as inspiration for her urban fantasy novels. When she's not writing, she can usually be found reading, baking, and spending time with her amazing boyfriend and houseful of pets.

Author Links: